We were told we would be in our present position for some time, so we felt it was worth the effort to do some construction. Because most of those involved were in the radio section there would be a lot of coming and going so we could get by with smaller hooch than if we were all going to be about at the same time, which we weren’t. I found that our home away from home was more than adequate and that stupid stove actually worked rather well and it kept the inside warm as toast. I was concerned about the possibility of the walls melting but once the ice formed on the inside things worked well. Snow is a great insulator, something I found out later on. We ended up with a comfortable and homey abode for the remaining days we were to stay put. I liked the hooch much better than the hut on my truck as it was warmer in the make shift tent than my radio truck hut and roomier too.
Everyone, with the exception of the gentleman who had “volunteered” his poncho as a make shift chimney, exit managed to get all their required equipment back when we finally had to move out. The poncho some how managed to get “lost” and had to be replaced by Uncle Sam. And we all swore that poncho had just up and gone missing some how and no one knew where or why. The supply sergeant, who had noticed our home, was not really sure we were being truthful but went along with us.
In the end, I believe we spent almost the entire winter season out in the country side moving up and down the demarcation line between East and West Germany. I managed to get back to barracks a day or two at a time and that made things a lot easier for me than for those who were stuck out there all winter. I hope that the Russian soldier on the other side of the border was as miserable as we were; I bet they were worse off. Our side actually cared about their soldiers, theirs, well they didn’t all that much. Just another story of the peace time Army and Cold War and some of the hardships we endured and made the best of.