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I read these messages and guest book and everybody says it was the best years of their lives being at Cooke Barracks as I remember everybody couldn't wait to go home counting their days down and yelling short. Has memory failed you people on how miserable everybody was I know of no one who said I don't want to go home I want to stay at Cooke Barracks until I die

I will never regret my years at Cooke, nor especially in Europe before the magic of cheap air traffic opened the previous closed doors to trans-Atlantic travel to most tourist.

The Army was the problem.  Also the danger of roaming bands of bullies, that preyed upon individual soldiers and German civilians.  So escaping into the most rural areas, by bicycle became the favorite pass time.

Although I ran a few Anti-American Germans, most were curious and open about America.

I was glad when my time to rotate came, experienced a major storm at sea, and today am enrolled in VA healthcare, which has benefited me more that all my Army pay.  I'm not bitter, but had enough Army to last me forever!
Pete Schuhmann
You never know what you have untill it's gone.  I will always love Goeppingen and the friends I left behind with all my heart.  I too shouted short but that was due to home sickness. I was not home six months when I realized I was even more homesick for Goeppingen.  I did not miss the early morning alerts or Graf dust, but I did miss the great people of the town. The view of Hoenstaufen.  The brats and pomm fritz. The Red OX, Bier Akadamie, Galaxis and the Life. And even more than those places I missed the bartenders that worked there.  The train ride to Stutgart. The bike rides through the farm land. Breakfast at Maggies. Hot shaving cream at the post barber shop. Fresh powder snow on the airfield. I could go on for hours and I do in my head all the time.
You never know what you have untill its gone.
Stacie Wheeler

I know that I was one of the many that couldn't wait to come back to "The Worl" and had a countdown calendar but when it comes down to it, being at Gurp was one of the best times of my life.  I met many good people while I was there and I have great memories. 

I too had a short-timer calendar and could not wait to get back to the states.  Those two years seemed like they would never end, while I was there, and I'll admit I was plenty miserable, especially during REFORGER and other winter field-exercises!  Of course the unit I served with after 1st ID(F) was an airborne unit and things were a lot more go-go-go and stress-filled, so I didn't know how easy I had it before!  I had a bunch of good friends at Planet Gurp, had quite a few good times to go with the not-so-good, and with the hindsight of almost 20 years, things now seem much more rosy than they did while I was there.

Now that I look back at my time at Cooke Barracks and hear people say how nice it was I guess it was some good times KP Guard Duty bed Check good pay alerts weeks in the field knee deep in snow and mud. Treated like a king in the mess hall on holidays. What I can't figure out is why anybody ever got out of the army. Those were the days

John Hurley
I was at CB 1963-1965. The same post as MEL, not the other one with "the best time of my life guys"
I lived off post so missed out on the joys of barracks living and all that entailed. I also missed out on being "treated like a king" at the mess hall. Matter of fact I remember being treated like less than royalty by cruel, sadistic mean hearted Mess Sergeants.
I remember non stop details such as KP, guard duty, CQ, Post Cleanup Days, pulling targets at the firing range,etc. I remember getting off one detail and reporting for another. I remember alerts, field duty. I remember cleaning the 504th barracks and then not being able to use the toilet until after it had been inspected.
I remember the MP's harassing me when I walked home offbase. I remember the MP'S not wanting to give me license plates for my car because they were saving them for those higher in rank. I only got the plates after I lied that my wife was pregnant and sickly.
I made a lot of friends both American and German, I did a lot of traveling throughout Europe. There were lots of non-military aspects of my stay in Goeppingen which were enjoyable.
But "the best time of my life" - - NO WAY.
If others feel that was their best time - good for them, but I am curious about what happened to them during the rest of their lives.

John has ask a good question about what did people do after they left Cooke Barracks. Another person who signed the guestbook said that was the best years of his life. What did you people do after Cooke Barracks or just the army in general. I made some good friends there and enjoyed seeing Europe but to say it was the best time of my life No way. Like John I would love to know what you did after the army that made your life so miserable

John Hurley
I remember the reenlistment Sergeant asking short-timers what they were going to do after discharge when the garbage cans froze up. Seems like a lot of us worked through that problem and survived.
jim smith
ahem... what did you say...Don't know if till I die will do but.....
The Army to me was the school of "hard knocks" which helped me cope with adverse situation later in civilian life.
Perhaps those who escaped the "hard knocks" of Army life ended up  bigger losers than those of us who were made to suffer?     
I don't think anyone said their life was miserable after leaving the barracks.  I am one who also feels that those were the best times of my life.  I myself was not in the Army, but my father was.  I lived there from 1987-1990. I have travelled to many places, but my heart is still with Gurp.  Naturally when you are thousands of miles from "home" you get homesick.  And naturally you want to count the days until you can go home to see your loved ones, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you didn't enjoy your time while you were there.  Once I left there, all I could do was think about things that I did, friends that I left, and my dad, and his fellow army buddies, proudly marching in his fatigues and me and my sisters proudly watching him.  Thanks DAD!!!

Sandi Some how I don't think you're time at Cooke Barracks was spent on KP and Guard Duty or slime detail that some NCO who had it for you put on. How many days did you spend in the field with mud up to your knees. How many times were you confined to post over some small gig durning an inspection. NEVER!!!!


Yup, a regular fantasy Island!


That may be true MEl seeing as though I was not in the military.  But just because one says that that was the best time of their life doesn't mean that their life was miserable since leaving Cooke Barracks.  And living there was the best time of my life, next to the birth of my two children.

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