A Different Drummer: My Life as a Peacetime Soldier (Hardcover)
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In this engaging memoir, Gerard Teachman, PhD, shares his coming-of-age experience as a young soldier in the U.S. Army from 1957 until his honorable discharge in 1960. With each spirited vignette, Gerry invites you to experience the humor, the humiliation, and the life lessons that laid the foundation for his future as an educator and humanitarian.A Different Drummer: My Life as a Peacetime Soldier begins with his working-class roots in Detroit, Michigan, where Gerry-slacking in college, and facing the threat of being drafted-voluntarily enlists with the hopes of attending the Army Language School in Monterey, California.But getting there is a difficult road that starts with Basic Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and leads to the ominous forest around Fort Lewis, Washington.Through newfound friends and strokes of luck, Gerry shares fun and sometimes frightening stories about his exposure to new foods, families, and adventures. This Midwestern teen raised on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches finds himself worlds away from his roots at extravagant parties at opulent mansions in California, and a Mexican restaurant in Tijuana.Then he gets his wish: experiencing Europe as a GI stationed in Coburg, Germany. His emotionally and physically grueling reality continues amidst mean-spirited soldiers and military superiors. At times flaunting a rebellious attitude, he's even court-martialed once. But Gerry makes friends, enjoys romance, and travels Europe, where he experiences La Boh me and Don Giovanni at the Vienna State Opera House, the Louvre Museum in Paris, the Palace of Versailles in France, and many other picturesque, historic places.In the end, Gerry returns to Michigan, enriched by his military service, ready to embark on a fulfilling life as a husband, father, and educator.Now in his eighties, Gerry offers A Different Drummer: My Life as a Peacetime Soldier as a delightful, entertaining read brimming with wisdom and wit.