The Citizen - December 2021

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Vol. 50, No.13, December 2021

Serving the Greater Stuttgart Military Community




Season’s greetings Stuttgart! It feels just like yesterday (Feb. 4 to be exact) when we released the first Stuttgart Citizen Magazine. It marked a transition from a newspaper that had been in existence for decades to a media format that we believe is not just better to look at but provides content that is more interesting to its readers. Rather than tell the story of an event we held, we now look for multipage features that showcase why USAG Stuttgart is so unique, and this edition is no different. One of the best times to be in Germany is during the Christmas season, while many of us know about the postcard-perfect Christmas Markets (which unfortunately many are closed this year), fewer people know that the Tannenbaum or Christmas Tree calls Germany its home. Please enjoy our insightful and funny story about a few German Christmas facts you may not know. Our library section provides a list of must see and read holiday stories, from “Home Alone” (which plays a big part in our vaccination story) to “Dr. Suess - How the Grinch Stole Christmas”. With Stuttgart getting colder by the day I can’t think of a better activity than holding a hot beverage and enjoying the classics.

One piece of great news we’re proud to feature in this magazine is the arrival and administration of ages 5-11 COVID-19 vaccines. In just three weeks after emergency approval, the Stuttgart Clinic put shots into more than a thousand kid’s arms. With the second shot scheduled on Dec. 11, the entirety of the garrison will have an opportunity to be fully vaccinated by Christmas Day. A true holiday miracle.

Photo by irina02/

A letter from the editor

The European District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shared a great story on the partnership they, the garrison and the city of Boblingen have in creating noise mitigation walls at the range near Panzer Kaserne. Finally we share a short story of one of our fallen garrison teammates, Danny Sanders, who passed away at the end of October, just weeks before heading back to the states. Tough on the outside and soft on the inside, the garrison will miss you.

Happy Holidays

and, see you next year Stuttgart!

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Autohaus Meiling GmbH Wolf-Hirth-Straße 29 71034 Böblingen

Phone (07031) 22 40 57 Fax (07031) 22 40 44

Senior Enlisted Adviser Command Sgt. Maj. Billy Norman Public Affairs Officer John Campbell Managing Editor Marcus Fichtl Contributors Bardia Khajenoori, Paul Hughes, Geoff Morris, Chris Gardner, Dr. Becky Powell, Bill Butler

Official website:

Official community news:

USAG STUTTGART PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE Building 2949, Panzer Kaserne Army Post Office Mailing Address Unit 30401, APO AE 09107 German Mailing Address Panzer Kaserne Geb. 2949, 3rd Floor, Panzerstrasse, 70032 Böblingen

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Telephone 09641-70-5962485 DSN (314) 596-2485 Website Facebook USAGarrisonStuttgart/ PUBLISHER AdvantiPro GmbH Europaallee 3 67657 Kaiserslautern Telephone +49 (0) 631-30 3355 30 Website Managing Director Bret Helenius ADVERTISING IN THE STUTTGART CITIZEN Display Advertising Contact Jennifer Holdsworth Telephone +49 (0) 631-30 3355 37 Email The Stuttgart Citizen is an authorized magazine, produced in the interest of the U.S. Army community in Stuttgart by the U.S. Army-Garrison Stuttgart Public Affairs Office. Contents of the Citizen are not necessarily the official views of, or endorsed by, the U.S. Government or the Department of the Army. The Stuttgart Citizen is printed by AdvantiPro, a private firm in no way connected with the U.S. Govt., under exclusive written agreement with U.S. Army Stuttgart. It is published monthly using the offset method of reproduction and has a printed circulation of 5,000 copies. Everything advertised herein shall be made available for purchase, use or patronage without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation, or any other non-merit factor of the purchaser, user or patron. The appearance of advertising herein, including inserts and supplements, does not constitute endorsement by the Dept. of the Army, or AdvantiPro, of the firms, products or services advertised.

The Stuttgart High School JROTC color guard walks down Patch Chapel as they prepare to post the colors during a Veterans Day ceremony, Nov. 11. Photo by Marcus Fichtl


10 & 11

At the Patch Library USACE, Garrison and host nation team up to fight range noise Loads of winterthemed fun planned for USAG Stuttgart 10 things you didn’t know about Christmas in Germany

12 & 13

Traveling locally: Van camping is the way to go

14 & 15

From the historian: A brief history of Kelley Barracks

16 18 & 19

Vanilla Crescents Vanille-Kipferl Vaccines provide 2021 Christmas Present

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Earning your Jagdschein


The Big Question: What do you want for Christmas?

The Garrison Remembers Danny Sanders

Unless otherwise indicated, all seven-digit phone numbers in The Stuttgart Citizen are DSN numbers and all longer numbers are civilian.

December 2021


Photo by JCStudio/



Letter from the editor


2 4 6 &7

At the Patch Library

By Geoff Morris Stuttgart Citizen Volunteer

There is no season like the holidays. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or any other festival, despite the cold and dark nights they can be the happiest times of the year. Here are some movies and books in the Patch Library as of writing. My Drunk Kitchen Holidays! By Hannah Hart In a world where everyone is looking for some good news and something to celebrate, Hannah Hart is there with almost fifty ideas, arranged into twelve months of themes and recipes for how to celebrate with family and friends. A collection of recipes, activities, and suggestions about hilarious and joyous ways to celebrate with family, friends, pets, and your entire community, My Drunk Kitchen Holidays! will commemorate holidays from Valentine’s Day to Graduation, Pride Month and International LeftHanders’ Day (really!). The book will culminate with the fall holidays that get much deserved attention: recipes for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and a celebration of Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Christmas that is festive, inclusive, and incredibly hilarious. The Nightmare Before Christmas By Tim Burton Made in stop-motion animation, Tim Burton’s holiday fantasy THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS centers around Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King (voiced by Chris Sarandon) – a creature who is to Halloween what Santa is to Christmas. When Jack becomes bored with staging yet another frightnight for the sketchy members of Halloweentown, he wanders away from town one night and stumbles across Christmastown and becomes immediately entranced. Jack decides he needs to bring Christmas to Halloweentown and he is willing to do just about anything to make it happen – even it if means kidnapping Santa himself. Unfortunately for Jack, his plans don’t exactly come out right. 4

December 2021

Graphic by SMSka/

Home Alone By John Hughes HOME ALONE is the story of 8-year-old Kevin (Macaulay Culkin), a mischievous middle child who feels largely ignored by his large extended family. While preparing for a Christmas vacation in Paris, Kevin gets in trouble, is banished to the attic overnight, and wishes his family would just disappear. Kevin gets his wish the next morning when his family mistakenly leaves him behind. At first, Kevin is elated – but pretty soon he realizes that being home alone isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. He misses his mom (who employs any and every means of getting home to her son) and even his bully brother. With all the block’s other families on vacation, too, Kevin has no one to turn to, including the cops, who assume he’s up to his usual tricks. Meanwhile, a pair of bumbling burglars played by Joe Pesci (Goodfellas, Lethal Weapon 2-4) and Daniel Stern takes advantage of the situation by pillaging the neighborhood. It’s up to Kevin to defend his home, using every prank in his well-stocked arsenal. A bevy of violent, slapstick, wince-inducing episodes ensues, resulting in Kevin successfully foiling the bad guys’ plans. How the Grinch Stole Christmas By Dr. Seuss “The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season! Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason.” Dr. Seuss’s small-hearted Grinch ranks right up there with Scrooge when it comes to the crankiest, scowling holiday grumps of all time. For 53 years, the Grinch has lived in a cave on the side of a mountain, looming above the Whos in Whoville. The noisy holiday preparations and infernal singing of the happy little citizens below annoy him to no end. The Grinch decides this frivolous merriment must stop. His “wonderful, awful” idea is to don a Santa outfit, strap heavy antlers on his poor, quivering dog Max, construct a makeshift sleigh, head down to Whoville, and strip the chafingly cheerful Whos of their Yuletide glee once and for all.

The Polar Express By Tom Hanks A boy who is beginning to question Santa lies awake on Christmas Eve afraid he won’t hear anything. He hears a sound and runs outside to see an enormous locomotive pull up in front of his house; the conductor invites him to board. The train is bound for the North Pole and our unnamed hero/narrator will have many adventures and find the answer to his questions before he wakes up in his own bed on Christmas morning. Celebrate!: Connections Among Cultures By Jan Reynolds Every culture has its own special traditions and reasons for celebrating. This volume looks at communities near and far, and explores the essence of celebrations the world over. How to Talk to Santa By Alec Greven, Kei Acedera (Illustrator) How do you control your greed, still get what you want, and spread the cheer? Get ready. Santa’s almost here! Ten-year-old Alec Greven is the boy to turn to for advice about the jolly guy in the red suit. He knows it’s easy to go wild when Santa is on his way and explains how to avoid Santa-trouble. But there’s more to Christmas than want, want, want, and Alec reminds us of the greater meaning—giving to others and spreading joy!

Descriptions from IMDB and Goodreads

December 2021


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Europe District Resident Engineer Mario Fuquene, checks out initial demolition work May 12, that is part of a noise mitigation project at a Panzer Kaserne training range that is part of U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart.

USACE, Garrison, host nation team up to fight range noise Story and photos by Chris Gardner European District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Readiness is critical for Soldiers stationed here in Stuttgart and ranges at Panzer Kaserne are a key element of maintaining that readiness. Part of that readiness includes regular training with small arms and other handheld weaponry, which has at times resulted in bothersome noise impacts to residents in the nearby City of Böblingen for years. The U.S. Army is partnering with the neighboring community to reduce those disturbances with innovative range improvements currently underway. “Noise issues - firing noise, flight noise – are probably the biggest sources of friction between the U.S. forces and the local communities wherever we’re stationed,” said U.S. Forces Liaison Officer Sean Schulze at Stuttgart. “So if we can come together with the local authorities to work together on a solution to remove this point of friction then one, we have the advantage of removing the point of friction and two, we have the advantage of practicing working together through a difficult issue.” The portions of the range complex at Panzer 6

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Kaserne in question are used for small arms live fire training, including shoot and move training. The Soldiers training are surrounded mostly by concrete walls and shoot through open sections toward target areas downrange. As it is, while there are elements in place to mitigate some of the noise, the sound waves from the sound of the firing deflect off the walls in all directions and continue to deflect until they leave the range in various directions. The project team is installing specially-designed wood wall segments in front of the existing concrete structural walls. The wooden walls being installed have angled wood baffling features designed to absorb some of the noise from the firing and direct the rest of noise upward and away from where it would be bothersome to those nearby. “As it exists now, as a Soldier is shooting toward the bullet trap the sound energy goes everywhere kind of indiscriminately, including at times deflecting toward the neighboring community,” said U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Europe District Project Manager Andrew Duffe. “With that wood baffle system on all the walls within the range you have angled pieces of wood that

are meant to deflect that sound energy up directly into the atmosphere to dampen the noise.” The work is a being carried out through a close partnership between the City of Böblingen, the local German construction authority known as the Bauamt, the 7th Army Training Command, U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The bulk of the funding for the improvements is through the U.S. European Command. The German Bundeswehr Immissions Measurement Office also provided critical support, refining the design and conducting practical proof-of-concept experiments. The City of Böblingen has been an active and collaborative partner in the project, and is contributing funding for improvements to the doors as part of the overall range improvements and noise mitigation. While the range has been in use since prior to World War II, the concerns about noise from the range seem to have grown in the 1990s and into the 2000s as training has increased and the area nearby became more developed. In 2007 a collaborative working group was started with members representing U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart and local officials. With Stuttgart being home to the headquarters of Mercedes-Benz, the City of Böblingen was home to private individuals with sound engineering expertise from working on high-end vehicles and brought their input and expertise to the collaborative planning process done in partnership with the local community.

Graphic shows how the installing of specially designed wooden wall features being installed at a small arms range at Panzer Kaserne in Stuttgart will reduce the impacts of range noise for neighboring community members.

“There was unique personal expertise from working on the super high-end Mercedes models, and mitigation of sound in their cars allow for quieter ride,” said U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Regional Program Manager for Stuttgart Jeff Thomas. “This was one of a kind community feedback and contribution, probably in the world because of the Mercedes-Benz headquarters being in Stuttgart.” This partnership and local expertise also contributed to the selection of the type of wood for the walls and baffling, as different types of wood reflect sound differently. “The wood baffling absorbs the sound and reflects it up, whereas concrete just reflects sounds and sometimes can amplify it in the process - think like a racquetball or squash court,” Thomas said. While the use of the angled wood baffling is not common, Schulze noted that it has proven successful elsewhere in the country at another training range used by police near the community of Bamberg. The range noise mitigation improvements are underway and expected to be completed in early 2022 and the hope is the neighboring community will see significant reductions in noise disturbances from the range activities. “It’s not that the neighboring community will never hear any noise, but it will be significantly less when we’re done,” Duffe said. “This is a good faith, neighborly effort by the U.S. government to reduce the amount of noise pollution for the citizens of Böblingen because we understand it’s important to be good neighbors to our host nation and the locals around this range.”

December 2021


“Holidays & Holy Days”

Chaplain’s Corner

Photo by Wako Megumi/

Photo by Love You Stock/

By Dr. Becky Powell Religious Support Office

Photo by sunfe/

Buddhist •

December is a lovely month with markets, parties, school breaks, and (possibly) lighter work schedules. Beyond the fun, December is a significant month of holidays and holy days. There are cultural holidays and remembrances such as Pearl Harbor Day (7th), Boxing Day (26th), and Kwanza (26th to 1 January). We hear a lot about things looking “a lot like Christmas,” but have you paused to consider what all of the “happy holidays” mean? USAG Stuttgart has a diversity of religious groups offering onsite and/or online programs, each with December religious observances. Here is a quick guide to help us all celebrate and learn together.

8 December – Bodhi Day is a day of rededication to Buddhism, its lifestyle and beliefs. It commemorates the day that Siddhartha Gautma attained enlightenment while sitting under the Bodhi Tree. (Contact CH Christopher Mohr about the Virtual observance

Christian •


December 2021

Here are several holidays and holy days. Note that not every Christian group observes the following days in the same ways. 28 November to 23 December – Advent is 4 weeks of prayer and preparation for the Incarnation of Jesus. Advent scripture readings remind people of prophesies and the narrative leading up to his birth. (Advent observances in each of the Catholic & Protestant services 28 November-19 December) 8 December – The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception celebrates the conception of the Virgin Mary in her mother Saint Anne. For the Roman Catholic Church, this is 1 of the 6 Holy Days of Obligation. (Mass at Patch Chapel 1800-1900) - 24 December – Christmas Eve is the day that many Christians begin to decorate. Churches have worship, Mass, or Vigils after sundown as a beginning or waiting for Christmas Day. (Catholic Mass at Patch Chapel 1800-1900) (Protestant Candlelight at Patch Chapel 1600-1700 & Panzer Chapel 1600-1700) 25 December – Christmas Day is literally “Christ’s Mass,” and it is when Christians celebrate the birth (Incarnation) of Jesus as Christ. (Catholic Mass at Panzer Chapel 10001100) 25 December to 5 January – Christmastide is the “12 Days of Christmas.” For many Christians, this is when the actual feasting and celebrations end only with 6 January Epiphany (celebration of the Magi).

If you would like to know more about religious holidays, the US Army Chaplain Center and School provides a list of “Websites of Religious Groups” in their World Religions Training Portal, If you would like to know more about your own religion, then join in USAG Stuttgart Religious Education. We have onsite and/or online classes for each of the above groups with information/registration below. If your religion is not listed, then we can assist; contact your Chaplain or

Living far from extended family is particularly difficult during any holiday or holy day. The USAG Stuttgart Chapels are a place for celebration, commemoration, and community. As we gather to learn the various reasons for the season and share our religions, we can truly say, “I’m glad I live here!” Photo by MstudioG/

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28 November (sundown) to 6 December – Hanukkah is the “Festival of Lights.” This 8 day “Feast of Dedication” celebrates the rededication of the Temple in the 2nd Century B.C.E. in Jerusalem. The miracle of oil is a reminder to rededicate life and belief in Judaism.

Yo u

in vi te d!


An English-speaking, Bible-believing church of many nations and cultures Untere Waldplaetze 38, 70569 Stuttgart (across the street from Patch Barracks) Worship Services Sunday Service: 9:30 & 11:30

Pagan •

21 December – Winter Solstice (also called Yule) is a celebration of new life for Pagan and other earth-based religions. Until Summer Solstice, there are a few more minutes of sunlight daily. Traditions include Yule Trees, Yule Logs, gifts, lights, and mistletoe. (Solstice at Patch Chapel 1630-1930)

Other Opportunities to Connect Sunday School, Awana, Youth, Young Adults, Men’s, & Women’s Ministries

We’d love to get to know you and see how we can minister with you and your family.

The holidays are a wonderful time of year in your host nation. Small twinkly lights illuminate the postcard-perfect Christmas Markets, the smell of Gluhwein, spices and food waft through the air, and the local brass band plays music at your town square. It’s not just the Christmas markets - mimicked, but never bettered anywhere in the world - that make the holidays unique in the land of the Tannenbaum.

10 things

you didn’t know about in Germany

1. Christmas markets While the magic of German Christmas markets has spread all around the world, it’s a tradition which was first derived from Germany. It’s thought the origins of Christmas markets can be traced back to the German-speaking part of Europe in the Middle Ages, and nowadays, nearly every small town and village will have one alongside the much larger cities. There really is nothing better than ice skating, followed by Glühwein (mulled wine) and a Bratwurst at one of Germany’s best markets, like Stuttgart, Tübingen or Munich.

By Paul Hughes USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs

2. Only 78% of the people in Germany celebrate Christmas, compared to 93% of Americans Germany is a largely Christian country, while the Holiday spirit is alive and well, the season identifies less-and-less with it’s church-going traditions. A year-on-year decline in people identifying as Christian and declining church numbers means only 10% of those identifying as Christian actually attend church, compared to 41% in the US.

3. “Stockings” are opened on 6th December Children in Germany don’t have to wait until Christmas morning to begin enjoying the fruits of their hung-up stockings or more accurately - laid out shoes. On the night of December 5, the eve of Saint Nicholas Day, children clean and polish their boots, and leave them outside the door before going to sleep. The next morning they’ll find their shoes full of candy, gifts and other goodies from St. Nicholas - yes, that St. Nick!

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Photo by Halfpoint/

4. The Christmas tree (Tannenbaum) is German Over 400 years ago, in pre-Christian times families often decorated their homes with evergreen branches during the Winter Solstice. Thought to keep away ghosts and evil spirits, the tradition of a decorated indoor tree has been linked to Martin

Luther. The 16th-century Protestant reformer was inspired by the glistening stars after walking home one winter evening. To recreate the scene for his family, he set up a tree, complete with lit candles, in his living room. To this date, some German households still use candles in place of Christmas lights. While alcohol + candles + flammable trees is a surefire way to spice up the danger on Christmas Day, we recommend you leave the fireworks at the dinner table with your out-of-town uncle.

5. The Christmas tree only goes up Christmas Eve One of the largest departures from other countries’ tree traditions is that the tree is around for a lot less time. In Germany trees are put up on December 24th. While this varies more nowadays, it is still tradition in many homes. Meanwhile, the rest of the home is decorated well beforehand – it’s just the centerpiece which is saved until last.

6. Christmas is celebrated on Christmas Eve Christmas Eve is the day when it ALL happens in Germany. Called Heiliger Abend (Holy Night), it is a day full of celebrations for Germans. As with US traditions, households spend the day decorating the tree (which only goes up on Christmas Eve), preparing food for the family, and sprucing up the home. As soon as the night draws in, households will gather around the tree and sing traditional Christmas hymns, like O’Tannenbaum (Oh Christmas Tree) or Stille Nacht (Silent Night). In the evening it is time to exchange gifts. Children must leave the room while the ‘Christkind’ (Christ Child) delivers the presents. After delivery, a bell will be rung, signalling to the children the Chirstkind’s departure, and the time to open gifts. No groggy 5 a.m. Christmas mornings in Germany!

7. Krampus Night (Krampus Nacht) Germans love scaring kids as much as the next country, and why should the children get all the fun? Someone in the 17th century decided to pair Krampus - a horned, tailed, fanged devil, with jolly old St. Nick. Krampus - popularised by Hollywood movies in the 2000’s - is believed to accompany St. Nicholas to teach naughty children a hard lesson. In Southern Bavaria, for example, men in incredible Krampus costumes walk the streets on St. Nicholas Night, and are sometimes invited into homes by parents of particularly naughty children.

8. Christmas is time for mulled everything

9. A post office in Germany will physically respond to letters to Santa

10. The Advent calendar is another German invention Like many other things in our list, the Advent calendar was also invented here in Germany. It can be traced back to the early nineteenth century, when German Protestants began marking the days of Advent by burning a candle for the day or marking walls and doors with a line of chalk. It wasn’t until the early 1900’s when the paper advent calendar as we know it was created. Today many Advent calendars contain chocolate treats behind the paper panels. And there you have it, ten things you (probably) didn’t know about Christmas in Germany. Why not grab one of the ideas above and add it to your holiday traditions as a way to remember your time in Germany.



Photo by Purrfect_photo/

Graphic by Anura_dsgn/

Photo by Pressmaster/



Photo by Fotoksa/

For the last 20 years in the town of Engelskirchen, thousands of letters have been opened from children around the world at Christmas time. It started in 1985 when post offices began wondering what to do with letters addressed to the Christkind - the person in Germany responsible for delivering Christmas presents. Deutsche Post settled on sending them to Engelskirchen literally “The Angels Church.” During the holidays, they are so inundated with letters, they even rent an office for their team of up to 12 people, who physically answer EVERY letter sent to them.



Photo by Andrei Yarashevich/

Photo by SP-Photo/

As much as Americans like to add Pumpkin to everything during the holidays, Germans love to mull every conceivable drink. Mulled red wine, mulled white wine, mulled cider, even mulled Tequila. You will see it popularly and prominently at Christmas markets and festivals by the name Glühwein - literally “glow wine.” Nothing will warm you up quicker than these hot spiced cups of wine, which, since you will pay a deposit for the mug it is served in, make nice souvenirs as they are often personalised for that market. For added warmth ask for yours “Mit Schuss” for an extra shot of amaretto, or brandy.

December 2021


Photo by DisobeyArt/


VAN CAMPING IS THE WAY TO GO Though camping may conjure images of backcountry wilderness and pop-up tents, there is another way to go: van camping. This is an excellent way to see Germany (or Europe) on a budget.

For many of us, living in Germany meant a chance to to travel! Take a train to Paris, Berlin or Munich. Hop in the car for a short drive to Amsterdam, Prague or Brussels. Waltz away on a short flight to Barcelona, Stockholm or Rome. I mean, come on — this was supposed to be amazing! Sadly, today’s travel is not what it used to be (thanks, Covid). Tests, masks, more tests and more masks, not to mention just being around all those other people! Well, there is another way: Camping! No, camping in Germany is not quite the same as camping in the United States (pitching your tent on flat fields is no match for being among the trees in a state park), but it can still be a great way to see the country and all of its natural beauty, without having to deal with hotels and restaurants. Especially if you’re camping in a van!

Vans, camping, and gear Don’t worry if you don’t have your own camping equipment! If you are looking for van or RV rentals, try searching for “camper van rentals” in your area. If you want to give tent camping a shot, Pulaski, Baumholder and Ramstein Outdoor Rec all rent tents and other equipment. And some campgrounds also offer rentals themselves, including cabins. 12

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Campgrounds everywhere As for where to go, there are a ton of drivable locations, from the Ostsee to the Nordsee, from the Eifel to the Mosel, from the Schwarzwald to the Alps. Natural beauty and camping abound. And that’s just in Germany! France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, and Austria all have gorgeous areas to visit, and all offer camping as an option.

Locating the right camping area for you •

For help finding camping areas, try some of these sites: • Search by region, dates and type (RV or pitch) • Pan around a map, set filters and more • Download various apps for on-the-go searches • More for van camping, personal postings & reviews And yes, you read that correctly, some camping areas in Europe are actually free! Services are usually limited, of course, but you can’t argue with that price!

Who needs restaurants? Another great benefit of camping is avoiding restaurants by packing and making your own meals! All you need is a cooler and all your meals are ready

when you are! You might need to stop at a grocery store now and then, depending on how long you travel, but that’s no big deal.

Don’t forget about gas Finally, if you are driving your own car, you probably want to use your ration gas card. To locate the nearest Esso gas station, no matter where you are, on the fly, check-out Start with your current location, then pan the map around as you drive to update the list of stations in that area. Click any station to check their hours, services provided, and click the Get Directions button to start navigating!

Photo by Drepicter/

By Aaron Grogg Contributing writer

Limitations on wild camping in Germany While “wild camping” (hiking into the woods and pitching your tent) is officially not allowed in Germany, many have found that by being nice, clean and orderly, no one will complain, but do so at your own risk. Open fires are strictly NOT allowed when camping in Germany. So either bring prepared foods that don’t need to be heated or bring something like a small grill.

Photo by Andrey Armyagov/

Photo by Vista Photo/

December 2021


From the historian: A brief history of Kelley Barracks By Bill Butler EUCOM Command Historian

Kelley Barracks, located in the Stuttgart suburb of Möhringen, lies on land that had once been used as a tree nursery. In 1937, the German military offered to buy it from the town government for 50 Reichspfenning per square meter in order to build a new kaserne. The purchase was reportedly a contentious one, as the land was rich and highly valued. Nonetheless, the military did agree not to cut more than 20 percent of the wooded area, which resulted in the unique arboreal beauty of the post as still seen today. Construction officially began in January 1938 and preceded rapidly. The first contingent of troops soon arrived to occupy temporary quarters in April, and the kaserne officially opened on 7 May 1938 with a parade, fireworks, dancing, and a public viewing. The post was named Helenen Kaserne in honor of a famous Prussian Army marching song. It initially housed the command staff and five companies of the 5th Air Region Signals (Luftgau-Nachrichten) Battalion, whose mission was to construct and maintain airstrips and aircraft communications in support of German Air Force, or Luftwaffe, missions. Later in May 1940, the unit moved to France to

U.S. Soldiers march through Kelley Barracks shortly after World War II. Photo by U.S. Army


support active combat operations there, and other Air Signals battalions occupied the kaserne throughout the remaining war years. At its peak, the post ultimately housed over 2,500 soldiers. The Headquarters of Air Region V (Luftgau-Kommando V) reactivated at the kaserne in September 1944, when the staff of the Headquarters, Air Region Western France retreated from Paris in the face of Allied advances from Normandy. The command remained at the kaserne until mid-April 1945, when it fled east towards Ulm to escape the advancing French First Army, who initially occupied the southern areas of Stuttgart. The first American unit based in Möhringen was the U.S. Army Air Forces 83rd Air Service Group. It arrived on 3 May 1945 and took up residence at the Karlsschule in the center of town. The group and its subordinates supported the 324th Fighter Group, which had just set up its P-47 operations at the nearby Echterdingen airfield. Later in early June 1945, the 502d Air Service Group officially activated at the kaserne and absorbed the personnel and mission of the 83rd. The post became a more formal American installation on 5 December 1945 and was incorporated into the larger Stuttgart Military Post consisting of garrisons throughout the city’s metropolitan area. The 7700th Troop Information and Education Group manned the post in August 1947 and was joined by elements of the 10th Constabulary Regiment, which took over the installation in February 1948 and remained until 1951. It was during this period that the Möhringen Kaserne, as it had been known during the initial American occupation, was formally renamed Kelley Barracks. In June 1949, the Stuttgart Military Post commander, Brigadier General Arnold J. Funk presided over a naming ceremony honoring Staff Sergeant Jonah E. Kelley, a VII Corps infantryman who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor (MoH) for heroism in World War II. For several years following the VII Corps headquarters arrival in 1951, the post underwent much needed new construction in order to accommodate the Cold War influx of additional U.S. military personnel, who were now to be accompanied by their families. Major projects included the construction of senior officer houses in the area known as Roosevelt Village, which was named in honor of MoH recipient Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.; as well as a larger housing area for officer and non-commissioned officer families known as Peterson Apartments in honor of another MoH recipient, Staff Sergeant George Peterson. Other new facilities included a snack bar and the post library, and the addition of an Enlisted Club above the theater. These were followed by a new gym in 1953; a new post chapel, Officers Club, and bowling alley in 1954; and a Craft and Hobby shop a year after that. By 1958 the Service Club, now the Recreational Center, was completed. Later projects included a modern Dental Clinic, which opened in 1977. That same year the Peterson Apartments underwent major renovations, and a new consolidated dining facility was opened. The streets got their current names when Army Lieutenant General Louis W. Truman commanded the VII Corps from 1963-1965. It is a popular belief that his wife, Mrs. Margaret S. Truman, named the streets after trees because of the post’s forested surroundings. In addition to VII Corps headquarters, other units at Kelley Barracks included the 84th Army Band, a military police platoon, a Special Troops Battalion, a signal detachment, an Air Force Air Support Operations Center, and the headquarters of the 14th Military Police Group. After VII Corps inactivated in 1992 as part of the larger post-Cold War drawdown across Europe, Kelley became the headquarters of the 6th Area Support Group and served primarily as a garrison support hub for installations in the Stuttgart area. Just over 15 years later, a new tenant arrived in the form of U.S. Africa Command, whose headquarters formally activated there in 2008.

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If you’re looking for a way to plunge wholeheartedly into a sensory Christmas experience, try this recipe! These cookies are a feast for the eyes, smell amazing, and taste wonderful.

By Gemma McGowan Contributing writer

The Best Vanillekipferl (Vanilla Crescents) Every first weekend of December our house is filled with the most incredible cookie aroma coming from the kitchen. My German husband makes these cookies every year like clockwork! The recipe is very special because it was passed down to him from his mother, and it is a wonderful way to remember her around the holidays. Every time I share these cookies with friends and coworkers, it is a huge hit! Needless to say, these are hands-down my favorite holiday cookies! I hope you give them a try at your own home, and then enjoy them with your friends and family.

For approx. 55 Kipferl • Preparation time: 1 hr • Cooling time: 30 mins • Baking time: 20 mins

Ingredients: • • • • • •

200g soft butter 70g sugar 100g ground almonds 250g flour 1 pinch of salt 1 tablespoon rum (or instead milk) • 50g powdered sugar • 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar • Extra flour

rger/Shutterstoc be en ett R n i t r Ma by oto h P


Photo by Vista Photo/

Mix the butter and the sugar. Mix almonds, flour, and salt and together with the rum, and stir it into the butter until you get a nice smooth dough. Wrap it in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and put it into the fridge for 30 mins. Mix the powdered sugar with the vanilla sugar on a plate. Set the oven for 190 C (375 F) and lay out 2 baking trays with baking paper. Take a portion of the dough and roll it on a bit of flour to a roll of 2 inches. Cut each roll into slices of 0.5 inches. From those make bent rolls with the typical pointed tips (looks a bit like a half moon) and place them next to each other on the trays. The trays go in the middle of the oven (one at a time) and bake each for about 10 mins until they get light brown. Take them off the trays and roll them in the vanilla sugar while they are still hot.

tudio/Shuttersto cks m sto G V by o t o Ph

Author’s Profile: Gemma is a ‘A Jersey Broad Abroad’ blogger and podcaster living in Wiesbaden, Germany. She is either found spending time with her family or planning her next adventure.

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December 2021

December 2021


Vaccines provide

2021 Christmas Present

Story and photos by Marcus Fichtl USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs

The last major group of unvaccinated residents of U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Nov. 20. More than a thousand kids aged 5-11 lined up at the Stuttgart High School gym where a small army of medical professionals from the Stuttgart Army Health Clinic and local tenant units administered the first of two COVID-19 vaccine doses. “This vaccine is important because it protects ourselves and our community,” said Maj. Adriel Dizon, Stuttgart Army Health Clinic’s medical director. The Food and Drug Administration approved emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine for ages 5-11 on Oct. 29, and just three weeks later Dizon and his team were putting needles into arms. That means with an expected second dose administered on Dec. 11, everyone in the garrison will have had an opportunity to be fully vaccinated by Christmas Day.


A child receives her first COVID-19 vaccine dose.

The real incentive for many children - sugary treats.

December 2021

The vaccine drive set-up was near perfect, the long winding hallways provided shelter from the cold, the basketball courts provided the ample space for the administration of vaccines, and the school auditorium played Home Alone 2 as kids waited their 15 minutes after administrations. Claudia Millan, whose two children received the shot cited the exponential growth of COVID-19 in Germany as one of the determining factors to get the vaccine. “I got the shot for my kids, because I knew the numbers were going up,” said Claudia Millan whose kids Ethan and Joseph both received the vaccine Saturday. “I want them to be protected from COVID-19, and if they do catch it, to have decreased symptoms.” Ethan, 11, while sucking on Chupa Chups lollipop said that while he didn’t feel the shot, a sweet treat at the end was his personal incentive. “I strongly believe that we need the vaccinations,” said xyz Bribed with Dunkin Donuts by her father Luis, Emilia, who goes to a local German school said she was happy to make her way to the vaccine drive. “I was a little bit scared today,” said Emilia. “But I feel safer now.” Stuttgart Army Health Clinic’s Chief of Behavioral health, and a shot giver on her second vaccination drive, said coming out to events like this is “absolutely” why she puts on the uniform every day. “It’s awesome not only are we giving them the COVID-19 vaccination, we’re helping prevent them from getting sick and giving them an opportunity to do fun things like travel across Europe,” she said.



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A child eyes his post vaccine prize. A medic draws a shot, one of more than a thousand shots administered during the vaccine drive.





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An instructor demonstrates how to shoot a moving “rabbit.”

Earning your

Jagdschein Story and photos by Marcus Fichtl USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs

When hunters arrive in Germany, they quickly realize that they just can’t pick up their rifle and head to local wilderness to bag themselves a deer. Unfortunately, for many that means during their stay overseas, the rifle’s locked up, and their hunting trips take a three year break. However, all they needed to do was pick up the phone and call outdoor recreation. “We're here to help people get a German hunting license and hunt in Germany,” said John Taylor the course organizer. U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart’s ODR office and a small phalanx of volunteer instructors have made hunting a reality for generations of Americans in Germany ever since setting up shop shortly after World War II. While regulations have changed over the years, the class has helped thousands navigate the complicated rules for acquiring a license, helped place hunters in local hunting clubs, and provided resources on how to hunt in Germany. Taylor said the class begins first by hitting the books, meeting three times a week for nine weeks,

Students take their shot at the clay target range. To earn their German hunting license, students have to attempt to shoot 150 clay targets.

For more information on how you can become a hunter or sports shooter in Germany contact FMWR’s Outdoor Recreation office at DSN: (314) 421-4291 20

December 2021

A student finishes a round at the running rabbit range. To earn their German hunting license, students must hit the rabbit five times out of ten attempts.

budding hunters learn everything from the local flora and fauna to weapon safety and shooting techniques. Soon the hunters transition to the range where they test their abilities on running boar and rabbit targets and even clay target shooting. A shift in technique for many of the military trained candidates, who have spent their time shooting on stationary targets. At the end of the course the students test for their license. First they must pass a series of written tests, and then a state hunting representative grades them on their ability to shoot and knowledge of weapon safety. Taylor said total class costs come out to about a thousand dollars – a fraction Germans pay. While the hours were long and hard during the course, student Ross Covington, who never had a passion for shooting until the class, said he’d do it all over again. “We had some late nights, but I'm glad that I decided to take the class,” he said. He added what really interested him as the course progressed was immersing himself in the German hunting subculture with his fellow classmates. “I made friends that I otherwise wouldn't have by

coming out here,” said Covington. While part of that culture includes learning about the nature and wildlife of Germany, other parts included earning the right to wear the German hunting hat. The traditional green wool hat, popularized as an accessory to traditional fest gear. Unlike the hats seen at Wasen in Stuttgart or the Oktoberfest in Munich, a hunter's hat will be adorned by their latest qualification year, and pins of any animal they have successfully killed. Taylor said that after completing the test and receiving your German hunting license or Jagdschein the journey doesn’t end there, the volunteer instructors help guide the students into exclusive hunting clubs. A final bonus for those who want to get their hunting license at USAG Stuttgart – the training area near Panzer Kaserne is occasionally open to hunts.

An instructor shows his earned decorations for his German hunting hat.

December 2021


The Garrison Remembers Danny Sanders By USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs

U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart lost a teammate this month. Danny Sanders, an Operations Specialist with the S 3/5/7 passed away Oct. 31st. He was 52. As a freshly-retired Army Sergeant Major, Danny brought competency and a matter-of-fact bluntness to garrison operations during his one-year tenure

in Stuttgart. As a life-long servant-leader he carried with him a genuine passion to mentor and lead. No task couldn’t be accomplished, and no question was too unimportant to answer. His love and dedication to his family led Danny to accept a new position in Fort Jackson, South Carolina, where he could be closer to home. He was slated to return to the United States this November.

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Danny Sanders and his wife Jannice.

“Danny was always there,” said Joseph Edeigba, his coworker. “When I came to the S 3/5/7 he regarded me as a teammate, he was tough on the outside, but truly sympathetic on the inside.” A Field Artilleryman for much of his 30-yearlong military career, Danny spent more than 18 years overseas, including deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. For his actions during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Danny was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor — America’s fourth highest award for valor. In his citation, then-Sgt. 1st Class Danny Sanders, while assigned to Charlie Battery, 1st Battalion, 39th Field Artillery Regiment escorted a group Soldiers to safety with nothing but a mine probe and rifle after they had lost their vehicle in a minefield, dressed in full chemical protection gear, he later captured three key enemy combatants after swimming alone across a canal, additionally he assisted with the detention of 15 more enemy combatants, and toward the end of his deployment he led a firefight against an Iraqi artillery unit where he, himself, engaged the enemy with his 203 grenade launcher and handheld grenades. Danny would later reach the highest levels of the Army’s enlisted service, where he served as a Command Sergeant Major for the 1-84 FA Battalion, and as an Operations Sergeant Major for U.S. Army Japan, where he retired in 2017. He is survived by his wife Jannice, daughter Kaci and two grandchildren Jadan, 2, and Kadan, 1.

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Caleb A banana

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