Thursday, 14 July, 1977.
I am officially in the new TAC-CP platoon in Headquarters Company. It's a brand-new platoon and we're on one of our first outings together. This trip takes us out to Schwarzenborn where our German Army sister unit is based. I guess now-a-days I would call this trip a "Junket". Back then, it was just another damn thing to keep me from going back to my apartment and my friends. Our gung-ho Sergeant Wallent liked to keep us busy, you know.
My truck was dead lined (broken) when the rest of TAC-CP headed up there so I had to wait for the Motor Pool droids to get it fixed before I could leave. Finally got the truck fixed and off I went on the 4 hour trip. I got in so late that everyone else was asleep. Rather than wake everyone up trampling around in the barracks, I rolled out my sleeping bag on the top of the Equipment Shelter on the back of the truck and went to sleep.
Let's see, we got to go on a nice little 20 KM (14 Mile) hike complete with our full packs on our backs. Took us just around 2 hours to complete the hike up and down a nice, hilly trail. The females got to do a 10 KM walk. I wanted to go with them but my Team Leader, Alan Huber wouldn't let me. Spoil sport.
The German guys got together with us one evening and we swapped alcohol and clothing and stuff... Uh, well, maybe I had better re-phrase that last part. It was custom for us to exchange parts of our uniforms and what-not as mementos of the occasion. OK, got it? Anyhow, I traded my old shirt for a brand-new German Army shirt and I also stole a Bundes Eigentum (Property of German Government) blanket. I still have both of them. Figures, I keep crap like that and lost my address book.
We also spent a day and a night shooting each others weapons. The one thing I remember was that the German Army guys held their forward arm on top of the weapon when firing in full auto, which is opposite of our below the weapon stance. They did this to keep the end of the rifle from riding towards the sky as bullets went spraying out to destroy people and birds and stuff like that. We called it "John Wayne" style.
Have a look at the "Catching a nap" photo. We had a bit of time between the day stuff and the night weapons firing time. Rather than having us spend the time in nice, warm barracks, the powers-that-be had us all lounge around on the side of some sloping hill. It was July but it got COLD, especially since everyone was sitting on the bare ground. I finally went to my truck and got my shelter half and blanket. I laid it all out and settled in. Shortly after, a couple of female Army ladies asked to share my shelter half so they could stay a bit warmer. "Sure" says I and they arranged themselves on either side of me.
Well, everyone around me thought this was funny or something and started ribbing me about being in the middle of a woman sandwich or something along those lines. I took it in stride, not looking a gift horse in the mouth, you know. The girls were not too happy about the ribbing but they didn't leave either.
It sure helps to be prepared, you know. You never know who or what will turn up and make it worthwhile!