I thought about including a list of both the places I’ve visited and places where I have lived. I decided that list would be far too long so I decided to limit this to places I have lived and say a little about each one.
Weiner, AR – I spent my childhood and teen years in this small, rice farming community in northeast Arkansas. Even though I rarely get back, I still have many fond memories of my days there. Some of the friends I grew up with still live there, many involved in farming, while others, like me, have moved to far flung locations.
Russellville, AR – At the suggestion of our high school basketball coach, I moved (at least during the school year) to Russellvilled to attend college at Arkansas Tech. I lived in the dorms the entire time I was in college and worked for the athletic department as basketball manager/statistician. At the time, Tech had about 2,000 students as opposed to the roughly 10,000 enrolled there now. I also enrolled in the ROTC program and was commissioned a second lieutenant on graduation.
Indianapolis, IN – After college, my first Army duty station was in Indianapolis for a school. I shared an apartment there with two other second lieutenants, one of whom I still keep in touch with today, far more years later than I’m willing to admit. I returned to Indianapolis three more times during my Army career for addtional training courses.
Fort Polk, LA – What can I say about Fort Polk in the mid-70’s? It was an interesting time as the post changed from a basic training installation with thousands of trainees passing through to an installation with units that provided a more stable, and experienced population as the 5th Infantry Division was activated. It also saw the replacement of hundreds of temporary, World War II era buildings with newer, more modern structures. I lived both on and off post during my time there and today can remember the good times far more easily than the bad. I’m not sure I would want to go back but it was definitely a good place to gain experience.
Nellingen, Germany (near Stuttgart) – After another school in Indianapolis, it was off to Europe for my first overseas tour. I was assigned to a small post outside of Stuttgart near the community of Nellingen-Ostfildern. During my time there I lived on a couple of different housing areas around Stuttgart. My tours in Germany were some of my favorite times in the Army and Nellingen was no exception. I had the opportunity to travel, to see things that I had only read about, and to gain new experiences, like skiing, that weren’t available in other places where I lived.
Tirrenia, Italy (between Pisa and Livorno) – Midway through my first European tour, I moved from Nellingen to Tirrenia, Italy, home of Camp Darby. In Tirrenia I lived off-post in a two-family apartment three blocks from the beach on the southern extreme of the Italian Riviera. A wonderful place to live, it was also where my son was born and spent his first year or so. At that time Camp Darby was fairly small population-wise with most folks assigned to logistical units.
Stone Mountain, GA – After leaving Italy, it was back to Indianapolis for another school, then an assignment to Fort Gillem (near Atlanta). While at Fort Gillem I lived in the city of Stone Mountain east of Atlanta. Strangely, I don’t have any real highlights, or lowlights, from my time in the Atlanta area.
Heidelberg, Germany – Leaving Atlanta, it was off to my second European tour. My first assignment in this tour was to a small post in Schwetzingen, Germany, just west of Heidelberg. During this assignment, I lived in two different military housing areas (moved because of a promotion). All of the good things I said about Germany in the descriptions above were unchanged. I would love to go back but unfortunately, the post where I was assigned has recently been returned to control of the German government and will probably be leveled and converted to other uses.
Veitshochheim, Germany – Like during my first European tour, I was reassigned mid-tour and my next assignment was with the 3rd Infantry Division in Wurzburg. While assigned there, I lived in the community of Veitshochheim which is just outside of Wurzburg. It was interesting living “on the economy” in an apartment building where all of the other residents were German natives. While it was sometimes a struggle, we managed to communicate effectively as needed. Again, I would love to go back although all of the American military installations in the area have been closed.
Granite City, IL – After the end of my second tour in Germany, I moved to my final assignment before retirement which was in Overland, MO, near St. Louis. This tour also ended up being the longest of my military service. For most of the tour, I lived in military housing on an Army post in Granite City, IL. With the downsizing of the military, the post in Granite City is now closed and the housing area was turned over to the local community and is still in use.
Maplewood, MO – After retirement and finding a “real job”, I remained in the St. Louis area living in the city of Maplewood. This is my home base for photography and, unfortunately, work today.