Reflections of my Service at Camp King in Oberursel, Germany

This post has been contributed by Greg Cochran, who was stationed at Camp King in Oberursel, Germany during the period of 9 June 1971 through 17 August 1973 in Detachment A, The United States Army Reception Group, Europe (USARGE).

I was a Specialist Four in the U.S. Army assigned to Detachment A, USARGE. I lived in the barracks #1010, it was the barracks for soldiers in USARGE. Later some of us moved next door to barrack #1011 as we got more people in the unit. We lived at Camp King and the soldiers in Detachment A mainly worked out of a building at Rhein-Main Air Base during the day close to the flight line, when we weren’t processing soldiers for exercises in Germany, or some national guard units or on military exercises in Norway, Turkey, Greece and Italy.

When I was there, I missed out on going to Greece with Detachment A, because I was assigned to help with boarding U.S. military personnel going to the 1972 Olympic at the town of Dachau, W. Germany outside of Munich. The army base was closed, but several buildings were open to house military people going to the 1972 Olympic. These buildings were located in the old German army base three-story brick barrack (beside the concentration camp of Dachau), where they could sleep for two dollars a night and also could eat in the mess hall in the three-story barrack.

The German Eagles were still over the main doors of the three-story barrack from World War II, without the Nazis symbol below the eagles feet. Officers and female military personnel stayed overnight in the old military housing apartments. The base theater was also open to show movies at night for the people staying there.
The commanding officer of USARGE, when I ended my service in Germany, was LTC Edward R. Shore, JR., LTC, TC, Commanding.

I still have a picture of the arm band that we wore, when directing the soldiers off the planes onto the buses, which would take them to the area from where they would deploy for their military exercise.
Later, after the military exercise was finished, we would process them through customs, and put them on the planes for their trip back to their military bases in the U.S.

USARGE arm band

Below is a picture of Detachment A, USARGE, getting an award for a military exercise in Norway. I’m in the back row on the left * on the end and the award was given in the USARGE building on Camp King.

This is building #1005B, the same building that had the bowling alley upstairs on the end and the post exchange laundry under the bowling alley in the basement. The unit supply room were armory also were in the basement.

USARGE award ceremony

The commanding officer of USARGE, when I ended my service in Germany, was LTC Edward R. Shore, JR., LTC, TC, Commanding.

I have been back to Germany three times (for three weeks at a time) with the Ohio Army National Guard between 1992 and 1993, when they had the draw down of the army. The Ohio maintenance company I was in helped bring equipment up to standard for turn in. We worked long hours, so the equipment could be turned in on time, and units could be deactivated in Germany.

We were there to work and not to see the sites… I was sorry that I never got to see Camp King, while I was in Germany with the Ohio National Guard helping to turn in the military equipment. We were lucky to have any time off during the weekends.

I retired from the Ohio Army National Guard as a Master Sergeant and I really enjoyed my time in Germany, when I was stationed there at Camp King.
Camp King was a military base, where you could feel safe walking alone at night. My army friends and I enjoyed walking the trails in the woods on the weekends, in the old parts of the city in the narrow streets, and we also enjoyed the open restaurants with seating outside on the sidewalks along the streets of the town.
We also had our favorite German restaurants in Oberursel, that we would go to on the weekends as a group.

* The names of the guys, if available, will be added later.

Thanks, Greg, for sharing your experience of your service time in Germany.

Crowdfunding for a University Film Project

Guest post: The makings of the film Reflections with Broken Edges – by Ina Fischer (1st AD/Casting Director)

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Three years ago I graduated from Frankfurt International School (FIS). In three months time, I will have finished my Bachelor of Arts degree in Film & Television Production.

Time has become somewhat of a “wibbly wobbly” concept, as Doctor Who would say. Not long ago, it seems, I was fretting about my Extended Essay. Now I am working on my final project for university – a short film that was ‘commissioned’ (minus the financial aspect) by my course’s professors over the summer.

I came up with the story for the film around this time last year, while writing yet another reflective essay and listening to my iTunes in the background. Joshua Kadison’s song The Bubble Man started playing and, although I had listened to it a hundred times before, I suddenly started seeing the story of the song play out in front of my eyes. Kadison’s story-telling abilities are unique – one of his albums is quite fittingly titled Troubadour in a Timequake – and as such, the American songwriter is a great inspiration for human conflict, emotions, and distinctive characters.

The Bubble Man tells the story of an unnamed narrator who walks along Venice Beach and sees an old man blowing bubbles. The old man has promised himself to love the world the best he can, mesmerizing young and old alike as the giant bubbles float toward the sun.

I wanted to get to know this old man more. What kind of people does he meet every day? What do the people on the boardwalk think about him? How does his motto of loving the world influence others?

This bubble man, shaped by time and children’s smiles, appeared almost magical to me – as though he has been stood there on the boardwalk for decades, with generations of kids chasing his bubbles. Children grow up with this kindhearted figure, eventually taking their own children to see the bubble man.

I really wanted to tell the story of the bubble. That is how Charlie and Reflections with Broken Edges was born.

In life we take some things for granted, and it is only when they are gone that we truly appreciate the impact they have had on us. Set in the beautiful Lake District, Cumbria, the film tells the heartfelt story of Charlie Marshall. We follow his life from his early childhood, as he visits the bubble man for the first time, to present day fatherhood. One day, he discovers that the old man has disappeared. Finding him terminally ill in hospital, Charlie has to come to terms with losing a lifelong friend. With new-found perspective in the wake of his loss, Charlie begins to reflect on his life.

Reflections with Broken Edges is a poetic, magical film about friendship and trust, about attempting life each day with a smile.

And you can help make it happen by visiting our IndieGogo campaign page: www.indiegogo.com/Reflections-With-Broken-Edges. Any support is greatly appreciated, as we strive to make this the best graduation film yet.

Update received via e-mail on 16 Feb 2012:

The official title of the film will now simply be ‘Reflections’.

Reflections of a Blogger

When I got this blog five years ago (to the day), installed with the help of Graham Tappenden, I had absolutely no idea where this would lead me. The detours I have taken, the tasks I have accomplished, and the things which are yet to come, are the fun part about being a blogger.

My initial reason for setting up this blog was the many requests I got from fellow teachers looking for employment. Being associated with Frankfurt International School supplies a big market for potential students.

But in the end, after having posted their names and contact information, not much came out. There were other ideas which looked great at first – as in important and needed – which also did not pan out.

The biggest accomplishment in itself is the fact that I still keep the blog. I have become a more confident writer and research more carefully. I know when to write and when to keep quiet.

Then I decided to let the blog develop a life of its own and this was the right thing to do, at least in my case.

It has been a fun five years and I have learned a lot.

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