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Phyllis Zimbler Miller

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Member Since: Apr, 2008

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Blogs by Phyllis Zimbler Miller

U.S. Military Personnel Who Served from 1972-1984 Re-Joins in 2007
7/17/2008 2:06:56 PM    [ Flag as Inappropriate ]

Here’s a guest post from Specialist Neil Gussman – he has quite an interesting story to tell about his military service. (When he’s not training with the Army National Guard, he writes about the history of chemistry at Chemical Heritage Foundation, a museum and library of the history of chemistry and early science located in Center City Philadelphia.) And to read more of his writing, check out his blog at http://armynow.blogspot.com:

When I first enlisted in the Air Force in January of 1972, General David Petraeus was a sophomore at West Point. When he threw his hat in the air at graduation in 1974, I was a sergeant recovering from being blinded by shrapnel in a missile testing accident at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

I got out of the Air Force that year, joined the Army the following year and served as a tank commander in Germany from 1976 to 1979. Our alert area was the Fulda Gap, right where the prophet of all things NATO, Tom Clancy, said World War Three would begin.

World War Three didn't happen on my watch, so I got out and went to college, and served in a reserve tank unit in Reading, Pennsylvania, until 1984. I got out for good then (I thought.) and got a job writing ad copy.

Last August, I re-enlisted after 23 years as a civilian. Writing this post I am 55 years old and have 196 days and a wake-up until my unit deploys to Iraq.

In the past year, a lot of people asked me why I joined. But the more fun question to answer is what is different about serving then and now. I can feel myself smile every time I answer that question.

What's different? I grew up in Boston. The difference is like being a Red Sox fan in the 1970s and being a Red Sox fan now. In fact joining now was the difference between playing for the 1972 Patriots (3-11) and the 2007 team (16-0).

In the mid-1970s, the sergeants who really had their shit together were in their late 20s. They were young, tough, motivated and were not combat veterans. The worst senior NCOs (not all, but a way more than there should have been) had combat patches on their right sleeves and had picked up a serious dope smoking or drinking habit in Vietnam.

I am currently in an Army National Guard aviation brigade. In the 1970s the National Guard was notorious for being badly trained. Today's National Guard is part of the total fighting force. On soldier skills, attitude, and combat readiness, my current Guard unit is better than the tank unit I served in on the East-West German border. The men and women with the combat patches on their sleeves in this army are leaders.

The difference certainly continues outside the gate. In the 70s no one wore their uniform home on leave--at least not those of us who were going home on leave to the Northeastern US. I was proud of my uniform, but the few times I wore that uniform outside the gate, I felt hostility, like I was a foreign soldier in someone else's country.

But today if I stop at Starbucks on the way home from a drill, someone might offer to buy my coffee or the clerk might just give it to me. People walk up to me in restaurants and thank me for my service. I really wish some of the other guys I served with in the 1970s could join up for just a month or two now and get the gratitude they missed out on back when long hair was in style and we were not.

Of course some things are exactly the same:

-- O-Dark-30 is wake up time for everything – even if all we do is stand around.

-- My weapon in 1972, the M-16 rifle. My weapon today, M16A4.

-- All through the 1970s if we went to the field for training, it was crammed in the back of a "Deuce-and a-half" 2 1/2 ton truck. My "ride" at pre-deployment training this year--the M35A2 Deuce-and-a-half truck.

-- The Army has all records on computer. So when I went to Aberdeen, Maryland, for two weeks of training, the e-mail said "Bring 10 copies of your orders." I couldn't believe it. I brought five. When I got there, I needed more. But all of the processing was in one room. Didn't matter. Every processing station needed a copy of my orders so they could collect all my records in one folder at the end of the day.

But even if I have to make 20 copies of my orders and hand them to a guy who
has a PDF of my orders on a computer right in front of him, I am happy to be
back.

Syndicated from www.mrslieutenant.blogspot.com


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More Blogs by Phyllis Zimbler Miller
• This Is Phyllis Zimbler Miller Signing Off - Tuesday, August 26, 2008
• Civilians DO NOT Salute and How I Learned to Tell Rank - Friday, August 08, 2008
• Your Husband was in a Helicopter Crash in the Bering Sea - Thursday, August 07, 2008
• Army’s Family Readiness Group (FRG) Has Support and Information Mission - Wednesday, August 06, 2008
• YourMilitary.com Announces Military Spouse Contest Winners - Tuesday, August 05, 2008
• Memories From the Daughter of a Vietnam War Veteran - Tuesday, August 05, 2008
• Help Needed for Military Spouses – Especially During Deployment Times - Thursday, July 31, 2008
• An Active Duty Military Personnel Describes What PTSD Means to Him - Tuesday, July 29, 2008
• Biblical Act of Expiation for Killing in Battle Might Have Helped with PTSD - Monday, July 28, 2008
• Then (Vietnam War) and Now (Iraq War): Fraternization With the Opposite Sex - Friday, July 25, 2008
• U.S. Military Personnel Trained as Jewish Lay Leaders in Iraq - Thursday, July 24, 2008
• Episode 7 of Lifetime Television’s ARMY WIVES - Monday, July 21, 2008
• Soldiers’ Angels Needs Help for Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan - Monday, July 21, 2008
• New Vietnam War Movie Based on Non-Fiction Book Announced by HBO Films - Thursday, July 17, 2008
•  U.S. Military Personnel Who Served from 1972-1984 Re-Joins in 2007 - Thursday, July 17, 2008  
• ARMY WIVES Episode 6 of Season 2: Derogatory Reference to Gypsies - Thursday, July 17, 2008
• Racial Prejudice in MRS. LIEUTENANT and the movie AMAZING GRACE - Sunday, July 13, 2008
• HBO’s Mini-Series GENERATION KILL Tells of the First 40 Days of the War in Iraq - Sunday, July 13, 2008
• Guest Post from Iraq: People Like Him Don't Do Things Like That - Wednesday, July 09, 2008
• Honoring U.S. Military Dead: Episode 5 of Season 2 of Lifetime’s ARMY WIVES - Tuesday, July 08, 2008
• JewsinGreen.com: U.S. Jewish Military Personnel Today -- Part II - Tuesday, July 08, 2008
• JewsinGreen.com: U.S. Jewish Military Personnel Today – Part I - Tuesday, July 08, 2008
• Lifetime’s ARMY WIVES Episode 4 of Season 2: What a Difference a Writer Can Make - Wednesday, July 02, 2008
• ARMY WIVES Military Spouse Contest “Tell-Your-Own-Story” Deadline Extended - Tuesday, July 01, 2008
• More Book Blog Giveaways for MRS. LIEUTENANT - Thursday, June 26, 2008
• Guest Post and Book Giveaway for MRS. LIEUTENANT at Books on the Brain - Thursday, June 26, 2008
• First Female Four-Star General Nominated by President Bush - Wednesday, June 25, 2008
• ARMY WIVES Episode 3 Review/Military Spouse Contest Deadline June 29 - Monday, June 23, 2008
• Virtual Book Tour for MRS. LIEUTENANT: Day 15 and Going Strong(ish) - Friday, June 20, 2008
• Creating the Book Trailer for MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL - Tuesday, June 17, 2008
• Lifetime’s ARMY WIVES – My Take on Episode 2 of Season 2 - Monday, June 16, 2008
• Vietnam War and MRS. LIEUTENANT – Part II - Friday, June 13, 2008
• Vietnam War and MRS. LIEUTENANT – Part I - Friday, June 13, 2008
• Flag Day June 14 – Second Continental Congress Votes Yes - Thursday, June 12, 2008
• Virtual Book Tour: Day 8 Stop for MRS. LIEUTENANT - Thursday, June 12, 2008
• Lifetime’s ARMY WIVES Season 2 Premiere – What Did You Think? - Thursday, June 12, 2008
• Tell-Your-Own-Story" Military Spouse Contest - Sunday, June 08, 2008
• In Memory of Yves Saint Laurent and His Impact on American Women Wearing Pants - Friday, June 06, 2008
• Virtual Book Tour Day 4: Let’s Start a “Conversation” - Thursday, June 05, 2008
• Virtual Book Tour; Lifetime’s ARMY WIVES; Ft. Knox Reporter - Wednesday, June 04, 2008
• Virtual Book Tours and Internet Marketing Promotion - Tuesday, June 03, 2008
• Virtual Book Tour: Day 2 Stop for MRS. LIEUTENANT at Boomer Chick Blog - Tuesday, June 03, 2008
• Day 1 of the MRS. LIEUTENANT Virtual Book Tour - Monday, June 02, 2008
• MRS. LIEUTENANT Book Trailer Now on YouTube - Monday, June 02, 2008
• Phyllis Zimbler Miller's Guest Post on BACKSTORY - Monday, May 26, 2008
• MRS. LIEUTENANT Blog Salutes U.S. Military on Memorial Day - Sunday, May 25, 2008
• Ban on Sex for Soldiers in Afghanistan Lifted…Sort Of” - Friday, May 23, 2008
• Pritzker Military Library Promotes Importance of the Citizen Soldier - Thursday, May 22, 2008
• Respecting the Commitment of Graduating ROTC College Seniors - Wednesday, May 21, 2008
• Announcing the Upcoming Virtual Book Tour of MRS. LIEUTENANT - Monday, May 19, 2008
• May 17 is Armed Forces Day – Show Support for Military Families - Friday, May 16, 2008
• Today’s Subject Is Fighting Cancer - Friday, May 16, 2008
• Scholarship Applications for Female Veterans Due June 1 - Wednesday, May 14, 2008
• Today 38 Years Ago Armor Officers Basic #21 Started - Tuesday, May 13, 2008
• For Mother’s Day: Separating Sharon Gold and Phyllis Zimbler Miller - Sunday, May 11, 2008
• Salute to All Military Spouses on Military Spouse Appreciation Day - Friday, May 09, 2008
• I Became a Mrs. Lieutenant 38 Years Ago Today - Thursday, May 08, 2008
• Recommended Books About the Vietnam Era - Wednesday, May 07, 2008
• Recommendation for Two Movies about the Vietnam War - Monday, May 05, 2008
• The Aftermath of the Kent State University Shootings on May 4, 197 - Monday, May 05, 2008
• In Memory of Those Killed and Wounded at Kent State University on May 4, 1970 - Sunday, May 04, 2008
• Yom HaShoah -- Holocaust Remembrance Day -- Part II - Thursday, May 01, 2008
• Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day – and Living in Europe From 1970-1972 - Thursday, May 01, 2008
• April 30, 1970 – President Nixon Announces U.S. Attack on Cambodia - Wednesday, April 30, 2008
• Events of the Heart – Educating Women for Good Heart Health - Tuesday, April 29, 2008
• Free Book Review Copies Offered of MRS. LIEUTENANT - Monday, April 28, 2008
• Anniversary of President Nixon’s Death - Tuesday, April 22, 2008
• A Surprise Launch for the Novel MRS. LIEUTENANT - Monday, April 21, 2008


Recovering Your Lost Self From Adversity, An Anthology Edited by Art M by Maryanne Raphael

This Book is an insperational Anthology which includes my essay, Along Came A Spider, the story of my nervous breakdown and recovery...  
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