Monday, March 14, 2011

Life at Schweinfurt Army Garrison

I told my Mom and a few friends that they could live in Europe through me and this blog. I have been trying my best to post all my experiences here but haven't really talked about day to day life.. so here goes.
  Well, every week day morning Steve leaves for PT (physical training) at 0600 and gets home about 0730 which I am already up at this point and have breakfast made for him! He eats, showers, and gets ready for the day! Puts on his ACUs (Army Combat Uniform), dog tags, maroon beret, and out the door to work he goes. Every single morning at about 0630 'To the Colors' (I think) plays throughout the post which signifies that the flag is being put on the flag pole and the same thing happens at night at 1700 (5pm) and the flag is being taken off the flag pole for the night when 'Reveille' plays.
  When ever you hear it or it starts, the gates of the posts close and every single car driving on post has to stop during both morning and evening, the drivers and passengers have to get out of the car and put their hand to their heart or stand at attention, If they are in uniform, they must salute the flag. Same with if your walking on the street or riding the bike.. the only time you don't have to stop everything is when you are inside your home or a building.
  **One time when Steve first got home from Deployment, Steve, Garza (Steve's friend) and I was just hanging out side at night waiting for the bus (before we got the car shipped here) and all of a sudden Reveille started playing through the speakers all over post. Steve and Garza stopped talking mid sentence and put there hands to their sides and stood perfectly still. All the cars driving by stopped and everyone got out and all of us were facing the big American flag that you see when you first drive on to post that was now being taken off of its pole for the night! They were not in uniform and did not salute but some guys we were standing next to were and they did was very mesmerizing since that was the first Reveille I was outside to experience.
  You also have you stand at the National Anthem that plays at the movie theater before every movie plays! There are play dates for kids (there is a park on every corner in the housing neighborhoods), You must show you Military ID to go grocery shopping, get gas, rent a library book, rent a movie, shop at the PX, and pretty much to just breath you must show your ID for. Also here in Germany, not sure of the rest of Europe, but to pay for gasoline, you must have a rations card which limits you to how much gasoline you can buy per month! That also goes for hard alcohol, tobacco, and coffee..
   To get on this or any Military installation outside of America's borders that you must have your card inspected and scanned every time you go through checkpoint to every single person. When I was in Spokane WA and went to Fairchild AFB, they just looked at my card real quick and pushed me on through, I even took my Mom to the BX with me a few times and they didn't even look at her ID.. If you want to bring a civilian on post here in Germany, you must sign them in and get them a pass and all this other stuff. The security force never goes below a B. In America, many Military installations are always A which is the lowest security force. Things are very strict here.
  During the morning hours of my week days, I usually clean and straighten up the house. When you live on a Military post, you MUST keep your home clean [no matter where you are stationed] because in the Military, anyone could stop by at any given point.. and when a soldier's home is messy then that makes the soldier less of a soldier and is looked down upon. One time his NCO (non-commissioned officer) came over and the house was a WREAK!! The floors were not swept, the garbage needed taken out, the cat box hadn't been cleaned and clothes were every where and the house smelled.. I was sick and didn't have the strength to do it. The next work day, Steve was told by his NCO that I didn't deserve to have the car for the day because I didn't do anything during the day anyways. (Steve and I share a car for now and He usually takes it to work for the day unless I need it). So now I keep the house spotless no matter what. Especially since Steve is working on being promoted to Sargent, it is important that I do my part to make that happen!
  Steve usually comes home during his hour lunch and I make him lunch then after wards, I work on school. If you haven't been following the blog, I am going to Penn Foster Career School for Veterinary Assisting. I'm really enjoying it so far. I work on that for pretty much the rest of the day until Steve gets home from work which can really range anywhere from 1700 to 1900.. Since he is the Havoc Troop Armorer, he usually has to stay late to get stuff completed! I try to have dinner ready and the table set by the time he comes home. We eat and then he kinda plays video games for the rest of the night and I either work on school some more, clean, sort bills, or whenever other tasks that may need to be done! That's usually our life on week days ...sounds boring right? Well it can get lonely from time to time but just having him come home every night to me makes it worth it. There is also the friends that I have here that are also house wives, we some times get together and then there are other get-togethers I occasionally attend such as the Pure Romance Party a few weeks ago. Schweinfurt Army post actually has the number one FMWR (Family and morale, Welfare, and recreation) and always has really cheap trips to sign up for to travel Europe! That's also how we are taking a few of our trips but most of them we are doing on our own.
  On the weekends, Steve and I usually just spend them together. We sometimes go out for ice cream or out to lunch, like today, we went out for Subway and also got a cute little chocolate covered strawberry kabab from a little German stand..cost 5 dollars (3,50 euro)..crazy expensive for a few strawberrys!
  But anyways.. That's kinda our day to day lives here!! Another thing that has been going on is there are so many terrorist attacks on soldiers and families. They made it mandatory that Military and families couldn't even have military related stickers on our cars anymore and that you can't go off post in uniform.. but I understand that. A lot of soldiers have been wounded and also killed in just the last few months here in Germany by gang/groups of people who hate Americans. Its getting pretty scary here!
  Whats great about being a Military family is we get free housing, free Medical, we get people to do all the yard work for us since this is all Government housing, and when something breaks.. you have have to make a call and some one comes and fixes it and charges the Army. Its pretty neat!

 A few photos of the post we live on!
 United States Army Schweinfurt Garrison, Germany.
One of the gates where you have to show your Military ID

Ledward barracks

The Commissary

The PX (Post Exchange)

Movie Theater.

One of the Gyms

Veterinary Clinic

Post Office

Health Clinic

Grade School

High School

One of the Churches

building that holds ACS (Army Community Service), Library, ect

Our unit's Squadron

Entrance to Squadron

York Town Village housing area

Askren Manor Housing area (our neighborhood)

Where the high ranking officers live

Proud Airborne Infantryman's wife. I am pretty sure I was in the middle of blinking here.


  1. I can't thank you enough. I have been sitting here for the last couple of hours reading your blog and looking at all the pictures. I have laughed quite a bit and cried too. You have an amazing blog. My husband and I will be going to Schweinfurt in a couple weeks. I am so excited and so nervous about the whole thing. I went with my husband for 6 months to Korea. So I know the basics of trying to get around a new place and a new country. I am pretty excited about Germany, and I think it will be a great experience. I am going to keep reading and keep learning. I think you nailed it. So much of what I want to know you have posted it. What its like when you first get there. That first experience and look into a new and exciting place. Thank you again.

  2. awe! Well thank you soo much! I am so glad that I could sort of give you a somewhat insiders look before you get there. Do you blog? I suggest starting one when you get there because you will experience so much and you'll want to remember everything :) (if you do, id love to follow it). Korea sounds really neat. well good luck and safe travels there.

  3. Nice find on the web- you made us smile! We ere stationed there in 1970-71 and lived in Askren Manor 571 B-1 Birch St. We had transferred from Viet Nam and our family came along - wife and 2 year old daughter. Sounds like the area has grown and we did not have the strick security measures pre 911. I was the HG Btry commander in the 2nd battalion 39th artillery 3rd ID and we were on continual call to move out to the then Chek border nearby. My wife enjoyed the many wives club tours and myself not so much as we were a nuclear 155mm artillery unit spending many weeks at the various training sites around Germany. We recently had a slide slow for our grandsons 14th BD and it brought back many memories. We opted out in 1971 and went back to get an engineering degree in our homw town inJohnson City NY and later moved to Tampa in 84 and are now retired in Tampa.

    You are doing the right thing documenting your adventures and put them in a safe place for memories to share with your future grandkids!

    Duan & Thelma - Tampa

  4. ------- Original Message --------
    Subject: Sent an email to Ellen Show
    Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2014 09:01:53 -0400

    We frequently watch Ellen's show and are impressed with her good hearted approach to military family life. This email is not for us - we served in Viet Nam as a special-ops adviser in 1969 and then on to Germany and we experienced many dramatic family events such as our first born in Fort Know Kentucky and then going to VN soon after - on and on.

    The reason for this email is to give you a heads up to a young military family's on line Blog from Schwienfurt Germany that mirrored our military life and its trials. It brought back such vivid memories and familiarity that we hope you will look at it and maybe even contact them! Their Blog is from Askren Manor in Schwienfurt Germany where we were stationed in 1970 after Viet Nam. We left the USArmy after that tour and have had a great life and are now retired in Tampa Florida! : )

    We will keep watching your great show and hope that you contact these fine young people! Duane & Thelma in Tampa Florida

  5. I was stationed in Schweinfurt from April 1997 - June 2003. So many great memories. I wish I would have documented everything! Awesome!