Family Memoir

Bucko in Germany

            In the summer of 1961 I couldn’t believe what happened. When I had joined the air national guard of Nebraska I had never imagined this. I was barely 21 years old and yet I was about to be shipped off to duty. I said goodbye to my wife Deane and my new daughter Susan and headed off to the train station. I had a good two days to think about what was going to happen after my train ride and I arrived for training.

 The Berlin wall crisis was heating up and we were most likely going to be shipped there after training and I was scared. Sure I was in the air national guard so I wouldn’t be a grunt or in a metal coffin but I was still apprehensive. Once I arrived I was amazed at how fast time went. It only seemed like a day and already our month of basic training was over and we moved onto specialization.

There was a great diversity in guys; I got to meet people all the way from New York and even one guy from Hawaii. As with all the movie stereotypes the sergeant seemed to have something very pointy shoved where the sun don’t shine but I knew that he was a really good person. One of our specialization tests was to test a new medicine for air sickness. Let’s just say that when the pilot made us hover in our seats some of the medicine didn’t work. After our specialization training we got the word. President Kennedy had ordered guard troops into the West Germany area.

As we shipped out I couldn’t help but think of Deane and little Susan. After we arrived in Germany my fears were replaced with boredom. I had hoped, somewhere deep in my subconscious, that I could actually do something heroic. Unfortunately I was stuck with the rest of the guys in my squad in a group of trailers outside Wolfsburg. My trailer was barley big enough for me!

After a few months of boredom I got to have Deane come out for my two weeks off. Unfortunately she couldn’t bring Susan but we found a good baby sitter with some of our relatives. After our “Vacation” It was back to the drudge of writing pointless report after pointless report.

At one time we were allowed to take a bus trip over to the eastern side of the Berlin wall. The Hoses that you could see from the west side looked nice but once you got past the façade it looked like a warzone.  All the windows were broken, homeless sitting on the side of the road. All the pretty houses were skin deep and on the other side was the decaying heap known as the Soviet Union. All the guards kept telling us “No photos!” but I still sneaked a few shots under the arm-pit that I still have to this day. I also took some great pictures of the Fredrick the great garden and some of the other soviet buildings. After a few more eventless months the Berlin wall collapsed and I got to go home and see my family. IN a few years we would move to Saint Louis and never move again.

Published on February 23, 2009 at 7:05 pm  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. well written and enjoyable. i would try to add a few more details about the events that were happeneding between the time the person arrived in training and going back to st. louis. also, a stronger ending might also make this story a bit better. but it is very nice. good work.

  2. I wanna meet bucko!I liked it alot, you really showed how he felt well.
    I liked the story alot, mabye just tell more of what he did in the service
    in the part “Unfortunately I was stuck with the rest of the guys in my squad in a group of trailers outside Wolfsburg. My trailer was barley big enough for me!” was he in the trailor by himself?

  3. Entertaining to read, and I felt like you did a great job capturing this person’s character in the writing. I laughed in my head once or twice while reading it. There’s just a few little spelling errors… like barely ( i think that’s how you spell it). I also agree that a stronger ending might have improved the story.

  4. There were several spelling/grammar mistakes but you were quite descriptive which made the story easy to visual and see for myself. It was an interesting story and I think what made it so was that it had history in it. I would have also maybe come up with a different way to tie the ending together.

  5. Very nicely done! I think it was a nice entertaining story! I would have to agree that it ends rather abrubtly and that you could have been a bit more descriptive. I would especially like more emotion from the narrator-when “Bucko” is talking about leaving his wife and child for war, it’s very nonchalant. Is this an accurate depiction emotionally?

    Well written and entertaining! Great work!

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