Spitting into the Wind


Barbara Mullen has been a member of the National Organization of Women (NOW) since 1973 and is a longtime member of the Democratic National Committee and several other Democrat organizations. She received the Vietnam War Commemoration from the Department of Defense for her contributions in bringing home the remains of POWs left behind on the warfront. Mullen has appeared as a military POW wife in newspapers and magazines nationwide, including The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, and Time. She has also been interviewed on radio and television, including Fox TV News, CBS, and CNN. She has published four other books: Every Effort (1986), When You Marry a Man with Children (1990), Dominic’s Daughter (2006), and Unsafe Harbor (2012).

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America wouldn’t quite be America without Barbara Mullen and others like her. Raised in a rural northern Michigan town during the Great Depression, Mullen ran away from her troubled Irish-American family to Denver, Colorado, where she struggled through poverty to earn a college degree that began a life journey beyond her imagination. Only the spirit of a desperate runaway could overcome a culture of misogyny and domestic abuse to become an intrepid world traveler, celebrated feminist and political activist, and an unrelenting voice for military veterans.

Spitting into the Wind is the compelling true story of a courageous woman who helped to change America through the power of her passions. An inspiring array of remarkable experiences shaped Mullen’s story, including her life in 1950’s Thailand where escalating tensions between the US and communist forces led to a savage war in Southeast Asia, and her marriage to a Marine pilot in Japan who was later shot down and captured in Vietnam. A POW/MIA wife, the mother of two boys, three and four years old when her husband left for Vietnam, and a champion of equal rights who influenced the political circles of Gloria Steinem, George McGovern, and John Kerry, Barbara Mullen is an influential character in our nation’s continuing drama. This is her remarkable story.


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