On every Saturday night, in every NCO club in the world, at some point when every man was drunk enough to tackle anything with many slowed brains but sober enoughs not ruin it but just hash it up good…somebody punched “Fraulein” into the jukes box.

In a room(s) with from 50 to 500 of the loudest mouths in all the various training brigades, the noise level becomes a steady drone way above the tolerance of humans.

Yet, when “Fraulein” came on there was always an instant of silence while the old minds wearied and boozed plugged into the rhythm. First a few started to sing along with the words; then in growing volume the rest jumped into it.

With complete abandon old WW II/Korean/Vietnam fighters with leathered faces and scarred bodies would soften in their own memories of sweet lipped young German girls they had left behind. Here & there a tear fell and many a misty-eyed old warrior whipped his cheeks unashamed.

As the crescendo of the end approached the voices and emotions peaked. In a final thunder the last Fraulein crashed out & trembled out as all silently bid silence adieu to their long ago and now lost phantom girls in unrequited live of what might have been.

Then, what the bartenders had all been awaiting: One toughens old grizzled Sargent would look calmly at another and say, “That’s tears on your cheek you old queer sum bitch!!!!”

And as quickly as wildfire pushed by the wind of a Blue Northerner, the fight would spread. Flailing arms, flying feet and the pounding of big meaty fists consumed the next 10 minutes or so until the war ends as quickly as it began & brotherhood reins again in drunken bliss.

Fraulein with Boxcar Willi


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