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Espionage and Sleeping With The Enemy

Traveling and living in Spain for a couple of years, I experienced many things new and different to me. Some were funny and some weren't.

espionage-and-sleeping-with-the-enemy

My Story

It has been over 40 years now and since nothing was done at the time, I don’t feel badly about sharing the story now. When I first married George, I knew he was not an American citizen. He said he was in the process of applying for citizenship but these things take time. I was 19 and pretty naïve so I believed him. Also, he was an airman in the United States Air Force so I figured if he was okay with them he was okay with me. How little I knew.

I'm only 19

I'm only 19

Treason Talk

We hadn’t been married long before I heard the true George speaking. He would often come home angry and frustrated with his commander and superiors, saying how easily deceived we (Americans) were, that we were all a naïve race and he never wanted to be an American. At first, I chalked it up to work stress and tried to dismiss it. At one point he asked for a leave of absence so he could go full time to college and return to the force as an officer, but when he was denied he told me that if the Americans didn’t give him what he wanted then he’d just go to the Russians. He claimed he knew plenty that they would be willing to pay for.

espionage-and-sleeping-with-the-enemy

Suspicious Actions

He was secretive and suspicious of my every move. I learned later that he was projecting on me what he was guilty of. He accused me often of sleeping around, only to find out years later that he had been sleeping with many co-workers and acquaintances. He never showed me the bank balance or let me even see his paychecks. When he said there was not enough money to buy me cloth for me to make my own dress, I believed him. Yet he had enough money to take flying lessons and go on many solo flights each weekend while working toward his pilot’s license. I was never allowed to get groceries without him because he had the checkbook. Still, I assumed that was just his way and tried not to think he was hiding things. I should have been more suspicious.

Me in Germany

Me in Germany

"There is no place where espionage is not possible."

— Sun Tzu

Deployed Overseas

When George got his orders to go to Spain, he had a choice to go for 2 years by himself or to agree to 3 years and have the military pay my way as well as all our furniture. But George didn’t want to agree to 3 years in Spain and instead opted for 2 years and paid for my ticket out of his own pocket. I didn’t know that he had saved enough to pay for a plane ticket to Spain for me but apparently, he had. What is more, he decided he wanted to have our car with us and he paid out of his pocket to ship the VW Bug to Cadiz, Spain. I have no clue what that cost but I bet it cost more than my plane ticket. Yet, he didn’t have enough for a $4 hunk of fabric for me to have a new dress. And still, I didn’t question or suspect.

Vacation Through Europe

After we had been in Spain for about a year and our daughter was 3 months old, George took 3 weeks off to take a driving trip through Europe. He planned the route for weeks, pouring over his maps with a highlighter, saying if we stopped at US bases along the way, we could save money by staying at base temp housing. Sometimes this was good, and sometimes it was iffy as to whether we would have a nice place to stay or not. Anyway, it was a meandering zig-zag route through Spain, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, and back through France to Spain. That was the plan and I believed he was trying to save money.

We saw many cool sites along the way. But then some strange things happened. George took his briefcase with us, I assumed to keep the maps safe. He never let me look in so I don’t know what else was in it. He never let it out of his sight. He brought it into hotel rooms with us and even into restaurants. And again, I wasn’t suspicious at first.

Trains in Europe were fun to ride.

Trains in Europe were fun to ride.

Frankfurt, Germany

When we got to Germany we stayed with George’s sister and brother-in-law who worked for an international bank. They often sent him to many places, like Panama, New York City, and Germany. While we were there, George’s sister told him he should call her good friend when we got to Zurich. They spoke often but my Spanish was pretty basic and I often lost because they spoke so fast. Mostly I don’t know what all they talked about. But I didn’t suspect.

Me in Germany with my daughter on my back.

Me in Germany with my daughter on my back.

Munich, Germany

When we got to Munich we got up early one morning and went to a restaurant for breakfast. I was pleasantly surprised because he didn’t like to spend money on breakfast. Usually, I fended off hunger with bread for breakfast. There was one other man in the restaurant with us who sat across the room. While I was feeding the baby, he came up to us and dropped a baby rattle with plastic keys on a ring on the table, saying for the baby, and then he smiled and left. I thought, “how sweet these people are,” and was ready to naively name the whole country a sweet place. George got up and said he had to get something out of the car. I couldn’t imagine what, since he had his precious briefcase with him but I didn’t question. I let the baby play with the plastic keys as I finished up feeding her baby food. Still, George didn’t come back. He had been gone a long while and I was beginning to be worried when finally half an hour later he returned and said we needed to leave.

Fast food European style.

Fast food European style.

Zurich, Switzerland

It seemed like a hurried trip to Zurich from there and there were no more US bases to stop at. When we got there George called his sister’s friend and we stayed with them for 2 days. The lady Julta (pronounced Utah) was very welcoming but couldn’t speak any English. Her husband was from the same country as George and they stayed up late into the night talking in hushed whispers.

My oil painting of the Swiss kids.

My oil painting of the Swiss kids.

Rush to Get Back

After that, we were supposed to go to Pisa, Italy but George suddenly announced we needed to get back right away because we were out of money. He still had a week of vacation and I had no idea if he was right about the money or not. He had been taking his time before and spending like he had trunk loads of money. Later as I looked for the baby rattle, I couldn’t find it.

Should I be worried?

Should I be worried?

Final Thoughts

Where was it? What had been in it? Why did we have enough money to buy a brand new car when we got back despite his claim that we were out of money? He boasted that the military gave him a “bonus” of $10,000, but later I found out that the military never gave bonuses of that size. So where did it come from? Did he sell something to the Russians? The Germans? Was I sleeping with an espionage agent? What do you think?

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