Flashback: US Army | The Road to Donnersberg and Beyond

January 1970 I finished the Microwave Radio AN/FCC-18 Multiplexer Operations & Maintenance course at U.S. Army STRATCOM headquarters in Mannheim, Germany in mid-January. My classmates and I were immediately given temporary travel orders to proceed to our various assignments at STRATCOM microwave radio stations across Germany. I received a railroad ticket that would take me…

Flashback: US Army | The Night Train to Heidelberg (Part two)

January 1960 Looking back, I have to believe the high alcohol content German pilsner beer at the Nairobi Bar might have saved the three PFC’s that frigid night in Heidelberg… PFC Wertz, who had imbibed more than PFC Duggan and me, had become more coherent after falling on his wallet on an icy strasse (German street)….

Flashback: US Army | The Night Train to Heidelberg

January 1970 I arrived in Frankfurt, Germany after a major snowstorm. Several of us soldiers were being ferried from Frankfurt Am-Main Airport to a processing center downtown. I had learned to negotiate slippery sidewalks the hard way (I had fallen on my butt twice outside the airport). <feature photo by pinterest.com I learned that I…

Flashback: US Army, Ft Monmouth NJ | Freedom & Foreboding

Oceanport, New Jersey 1969 The importance of FREEDOM cannot be overstressed. My first true understanding of it occurred when I climbed out of the rear of a deuce-and-a-half truck wearing my US Army dress uniform at Seattle-Tacoma Airport. I stood alone with my duffle bag in tow as plumes of smoke puffed out of the…

Flashback US Army | Basic Training Blues II

June 1969 I had heard that it always rained in Seattle. Standing in formation inside the back gate at Fort Lewis, Washington at close to three o’clock in the morning it began to drizzle. Since most of us raw Southern California recruits didn’t bring a raincoat or jacket the rain and lower temperature got uncomfortable…

Kagnew Station, Asmara, Ethiopia | One Hell of a Remote Place

“I do not believe we have a more remote station of our armed forces than Kagnew Station in Asmara, Ethiopia.”  —U.S. Army General William Westmoreland <featured photo Kagnew Station by asalives.org August 1970 I had no idea what to expect. Before I left the 447th Battalion to Frankfurt Am Main Airport on reassignment my C.O….