Rushville Republican

Columns

June 13, 2014

My time in Germany and meeting Elvis

I am a veteran and very proud of it. I am a veteran of the Cold War era, between Korea and Vietnam. The draft was still in effect and numerous young men found themselves serving in the Armed Forces, like it or not.

I volunteered and where the conscripts spent two years in the service, I spent three. All but eight months of those three years was in Kitzingen, West Germany. I was a Forward Air Controller, the guy who is up front with the infantry calling in air strikes in support of the infantry. I found myself assigned to Division Artillery Headquarters Battery working out of division G3 for the US Air Force Europe. Being in Division Artillery Headquarters, I was nominal head of five other FAC’s with in the Third Infantry Division and under an Air Force FAC in Division. We were supposedly in the peace time Army, but even so, danger was there, no where as much as in combat, but danger is always around when you play with explosives, guns, air planes, tanks and other sundry toys of a large size.

We were stationed along the border of then East and West Germany. Although there was no official war going on, there was tensions galore. One time I was with an outfit that patrolled the border and went along with them on one of their patrols. We were in an armored personnel carrier, a metal box on tracks and built to carry infantry. It was armored all around and on top and we were inside and buttoned up, which I at first wonder why, but soon found out. As we were traveling along the fence, I heard ping then another and another. I asked what was pinging. Oh the Russians are shooting at us that is all. All heck, I had no desire to get shot at even if I was in an armored vehicle. I was told that the Russkies knew that their small arms would not go through the metal skin of our vehicles so they shot at us as we patrolled along our side of the fence. Guess that we did the same to them so guess it was all is fair in love and war, or cold war.

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Columns
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