Tour of Duty

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2012-06-01
  • Publisher: Author Solutions
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When Mark, an American soldier serving in Germany in the early 1950s, meets Lauren, a young German girl, their lives change forever. But love is never easy, and for these two it may well be impossible. In a world still reeling from the horrors of war and genocide, the budding love between a Jewish soldier and a German Catholic girl is controversial and dangerous. It is a time in history that demands the same dedication and focus on duty as in the war years. Both of the lovers are pressured from all sides, and each feels the impossibility of their love-but neither can deny or forget it. Mark is faced with military duty, a possible court martial, and a threatening sociopath. Lauren is expected to play the role of the dutiful German daughter who follows the path dictated by her father. In addition to her obligations to her father, she is expected to focus only on school, work, her church, and her duty to country. Their very different backgrounds stand as obstacles they can't disregard. Neither is so naïve as to ignore the considerable cultural and societal pressure they face. But the heart does not always listen to logic, and soon they are irresistibly drawn together-come what may. Despite all the many forces they face, can they find the strength to stay together in a world that propels them apart?


In the village square they came upon a life-sized war memorial of cast iron and bronze sitting atop a concrete base. Mark stopped and studied the memorial for several minutes. The bronze monument consisted of several life-sized, clustered figures that initially had been a light bronze color but with age had become dark gray with black streaks. At the memorial's head walked a German soldier in full battle dress, followed by a woman with oxen at plow, followed by two young children. Lauren broke her silence: It represents sacrifice and duty, she said, her voice low and reverent. We are told this in's our heritage. Yeah, fate played a dirty trick on that generation, Mark said. People like your father and my parents didn't ask for what they got. Yes, she said, turning to him, touching his arm again. You understand, don't you? Yes. I mean about my father Yes, I think so. It's important that you understand. And I do understand. They then settled on a bench in the small park before the war memorial and each grew quiet for a few minutes. Mark gazed distractedly at the memorial, thinking what a grave and profound heritage to have to live with. Lauren remained quiet and pensive for a brief time, but then continued with her previous conversation. It's not something against you personally, or that he's against anyone.... It's just that to change his thinking now would make his life and sacrifices pointless. Mark again was puzzled and thought deeply about what she said. He felt he was missing something and not fully relating to what she meant. He tried to put it out of his mind, but it continued to bother him as they sat before the monument. To change would make your sacrifices pointless stuck in his mind. Reflecting on this idea and finally coming to realize its meaning not only helped him understand her father but his own parents as well. He shifted the camera strap on his shoulder. That's the older generation, he said. "Our parents, in spite of being survivors, are still victims of the war and their sacrifices." I won't be able to take you there again, she said quietly, looking up into his face. Mark didn't answer, but as they sat there, each holding the others look, he nodded his understanding. He knew what this meant, and he knew she knew he understood. Finally he said, "We should go. I need to catch the next train." They left the park and walked arm in arm back down the cobblestone street towards the train station. Just before the depot Lauren suddenly stopped, pulling Mark around to face her. Then with a solemn face, she said: "Mark, do we know what we're getting into?"

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