My husband and I met when we were both stationed at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. I did not make the military a career, but he did. This evening, we met with old friends, my husband’s former co-workers, and friends-of-friends at the USAREUR G-2 reunion banquet.
The talk ranged from kids to grandkids, to who we knew in common, to where we’ve traveled and where we ought to travel, to our European adventures, and inevitably to terrorists.
The terrorist angle was underlined by a twenty-minute talk given by Major General (retired) James Dozier who was kidnapped in 1981 by the Italian terrorist group, the Red Brigades, and was held captive for six weeks in a tent erected inside an apartment in Padua, Italy.
The majority of American personnel apparently weren’t terrorist targets as it was high-profile people whom the terrorists seemed to prefer. Still, while living in Munich, it was unsettling to know that just across the Alps, terrorists had kidnapped an American soldier. At the time we couldn’t know that General Dozier would be rescued as both the Baader-Meinhof group in Germany and the Red Brigades in Italy had murdered kidnapped victims (Google Jurgen Ponto and Aldo Moro). That General Dozier is able to give talks such as this was not inevitable — the guard on duty at the time had been given a gun with which to shoot the general in the event of a rescue attempt, but did not use it because he said he couldn’t shoot a sleeping man. Stockholm Syndrome on the part of kidnappers isn’t always a bad thing.
Finally, thanks go to the author of Secrets of the Cold War, for organizing the reunion.
For Cold War veterans who were assigned to Germany, take a trip down memory lane with Mr. McCaslin’s book. Thanks for the autograph, Lee.