Living On Military Bases and Posts

Let it Snow

Recent scenes of snow in the news made me think about my first exposure to snow in Germany. Until we arrived in Mannheim, Germany in 1962, we had lived in Georgia and snow was something I had glimpsed for about five minutes one fall. My first snow I remember my mother calling us to come outside and see the snow. My brother and I rushed outsside, where we saw large white flakes falling, then hitting the […]

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To Find A Fallen Star

I stirred from an uneasy sleep. I needed to use the bathroom, too much juice again before bedtime. Opening my eyes I looked up into the darkness. It was quiet, only the gentle ticking from the clock crept through the stillness. A faint glow of sodium orange framed the bedroom curtain. I turn round to my left side and fumbled for my bedside clock which stood on the top of the bookcase beside the bunk […]

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A Thanksgiving Story

My most memorable Thanksgiving dinner was also my first. I was sixteen and after living thirteen years overseas had just gotten back to the U.S. the month before. I was stuck on a very remote post. There was no commissary, PX, snack bar, housing, nothing except a few million very tall pine trees. Only eight people lived on that post year around and I was going to be one of them. The Army said they […]

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Only To A Brat

Editor’s Note: Only To A Brat was first published in Military Brats Online, June 7, 2011 It had to happen. Though I’d been dreading this for years, I knew the day would come, though I’d hoped I’d never see it. The final class to graduate from Mannheim American High School accepted their diplomas this year. A large piece of my personal history is beginning to slowly fade away. Oh sure…like many other installations that close down, […]

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The Stars and Stripes

When living overseas where the local paper is usually in another language, having access to The Stars and Stripes was like getting a letter from home, and our way of connecting with the United States.

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Eyes Right! A Return to Jefferson Barracks

“A visiting stranger might sense the ambience of a host of uniformed marching spirits parading with rifles reflecting the bright rays of an afternoon sun. I first stood here as a seven-year-old to scratch my initials like thousands before me on that cannon.”

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Life in Mannheim, Germany

Some military families hated going overseas, but we viewed it as an adventure. We were told we going overseas to Mannheim, Germany, but all we heard was, “. . . flying on two planes and jet to get there.”

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Japanese Paddy Houses . . .

“I remember when we first got there we had to live in a paddy house until there was a house ready on base.”

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My First Car

What could you buy for $100 in 1974?

A slightly used, but not abused, 1959 VW Beetle, that’s what!

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Saturday Matinees at the Base Theater

“Going to the movies with a dozen or so buddies added greatly to the enjoyment, especially when you could get seats in the first two to four rows down in the center section. Girls had their own groups, at that time boys and girls kept to their own ‘tribes’.”

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The Parachute

In a time when there was no TV broadcasts, many Military Brats found hobbies and reading to occupy their time, as we did.

One day an orange and white parachute came into our lives.

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Little Boxes

Remember the song by Malvina Reynolds with the words: “Little boxes on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky tacky, little boxes on the hillside, little boxes just the same.” Military Brats know all about those “little boxes.”

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Earning Extra Money

Regular paying jobs for Military Brats were scarce or non-existing on many military bases, but somehow we found ways to earn a little extra money to stretch our weekly allowance.

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Food—on and off-base

I was a growing teenager when I lived in Germany, so I needed food, and lots of it! I still have some fond memories of my time in Germany involving food. Where to begin? How about the base snack bar. Cheap, basic food maybe, but it sure tasted good.

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Making a Buck at Beale

“We have one job left.”

“Ok!”

“It requires one year of janitor experience. Do you have one year of janitor experience?”

Sitting at the bottom of that missile silo that first night on the job convinced me having high connections that get you into low places can be a good thing.

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