Between the bumps

Modesto, CA

I sort of think of my time in the Army as being between the bumps. I went in in April 1975 and left 10 years later in 1985. I had some really great assignments. I spent three or so years as a member of the famed Berlin Brigade, back in the days when we could stare into the face of communism by just looking over a wall. I remember riding the 28 bus to Stienstucken. It was the only place in Berlin where the Wall literally ran down both sides of the road. When the Wall went up in August 1961, the little hamlet of Steinstucken was separated from the city proper. During those first few months, I'm told American aviators flew their helicopters each morning to pick up schoolkids to bring them to school in the city. Then each afternoon they would fly the kids home. The U.S. government had to purchase the road that connected Steinstucken to Berlin proper before the flyers could get a day off from flying the school buses. There is even a memorial in Steinstucken honoring the American chopper pilots who died in their efforts. Well, I finished up my decade of service at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. That was a real honor. I'll always look back at those times with a glad heart.

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