SERVING IN SILENCE by Margarethe with Chris Fisher Cammermeyer


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Jacob Marley's injunction that we all bear the chains we forge in life could be the lesson of Cammermeyer's life story. But like Scrooge, she shows that we all have the power to break those chains and find happiness. Cammermeyer, the Army reservist who challenged the military policy on homosexuality, was born in 1942 in Norway and spent her early childhood under the Nazi occupation while her parents participated in the Resistance. The daughter of a stern, undemonstrative father and a subservient mother, she spent her youth in a household where only the male children ""counted."" After the family moved to America in the early 1950s, she decided to go to medical school, following in the footsteps of her father, a prominent neurological research scientist. When poor grades in college put an end to that dream, Cammermeyer, by then a naturalized citizen, enlisted in the Army, and became a nurse. During a tour of duty in Germany, she met and married her husband, another officer. Though their marriage was plagued from the beginning, she was determined to be a good wife. When her husband was sent to Vietnam, she volunteered as well. Upon returning, both of them, who believed in the US mission in Southeast Asia, were shocked by the naïvetÉ of the American public. Though they raised a family and lived in a dream house, the couple finally divorced when she was 38. A few years later, Cammermeyer finally found fulfillment in a relationship with a woman. She also pursued her military career. During a routine interview for a higher security clearance, she admitted that she was a lesbian and was discharged. She set out to challenge the action in court and was eventually vindicated and ordered reinstated. Appeals continue, however, and she remains out of uniform. Her story is scheduled to appear as an NBC TV movie in February 1995. Cammermeyer tells her story with clarity and sincerity. Despite coauthor Fisher's somewhat repetitive style, the book has a power that brings readers along on this courageous soldier's journey.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 1420844008
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Viking