Thirty years ago this week I departed Augsburg, Germany to report to Fort Sill, Oklahoma for the Warrant Officer Basic Training Course.
Augsburg, and Germany, had been a constant part of my life since June 1977. Many adventures. MANY friends. Some heartbreaks. Only the best memories of a band of brothers and sisters.
Today I remain close friends with many of my comrades-in-arms from those days. (Actually our primary weapon was a set of headphones, sometimes with multiple conversations going on in each ear. Whereever we went there were antennaes and … stuff for the antennaes to plug into.)
1985 was also the 2000th anniversary of Augsburg, Germany since its founding by the Romans. Much of my life in Augsburg was lived in the RathausPlatz (city hall plaza), the city’s center: drinking beer, eating schnitzel, shopping, museums, whatever. It was a great place to hang.
One of my very best buddies was Kent Nutting, whom I met while a mudpacker at U.S. Army Field Station Augsburg. To my great surprise he was also best friends with Joseph Cummins, whom I worked with daily. Together we drank a lot of beer chased by strong coffee and ouzo and … we did what soldiers do best … when they are not doing other things that they also do best.
Note: A ‘Mudpacker’ is a highly technical military intelligence term from the world of SIGINT (Signals Intelligence). We also worked ‘tricks’ while being ‘mudpackers’. I could tell you what that means … but I won’t … unless you buy me some Bier und Wurst mit Senf (beer and sausages with mustard) … then we can talk … if you have the proper security clearance.
The wax engraving below of the Zentralplatz and its huge Kirche (church), made to look like a copper image, was a goodbye gift from Kent Nutting. It has been a prized possession ever since.