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I read all these comments that my fellow Cook Barracks-ites send in. Ladies and Gentlemen you must remember we were all lot younger and our mind's were all a bit narrow, I'm sure. Yes, there were some rough times. We were away from our friends and families, some for the first times. New people and foreign land. Again, we all remember thing's a little differently. I guess what I'm trying to say is It really was'nt that bad. When we were young,dumb and full of cum as the old saying goes. At times I look back, and think" That was'nt so Bad", and it was not.   


Pete what you are saying is if someone doesn't share your views they shouldn't say anything at all. Touchy touchy


I have seen more than one person who was not happy with Cooke Barracks and the army I wasn't . There is one thing we have in common we all served our time and we have honorable discharges which gives everyone the right to state how they felt about it. Mel has a good point if some one can say their 1, 2 or 3 years there was the best part of their life what does that say for their other 40 to 60 years. I can understand someone saying I enjoyed my time there I had fun there. To say that was the best years of their lives seems they are saying Failed Marriages, Lousy Jobs, Raising a family was a burden. Best I leave my email address out saying I didn't like the army my in box will be filled with hate mail and death threats.

When I was there, late 62 until late 64, only places selling bier were Rathskeller, EM Club, Rod & Gun Club, Bowling Alley, Canteen, and DP Camp.  I'm not saying consumption of beer or facilities didn't change. Alcoholism was getting to be a serious issue in the Army back then.

As far as attacking fellow veterans, aren't there enough draft dodgers that got married, went to college, or to Canada to avoid military service?  It has been hard enough to gleam EARNED GI benefits, or recognition out of the Government for military service rendered during the Berlin Crisis and Cold War, which is all but forgotten today, without fighting amongst ourselves, or putting each other down.

Does anyone remember during the Berlin Wall Crisis the six-month extensions that JFK imposed upon everyone's term that had less than six months until rotation?  If you had 3-months to go, you woke up the next morning with nine month  to go, & no guarantee then.  As I recall, he did it twice.  Every short-timer who experienced that period lived in constant fear of being extended.  Can anyone guess what that did to morale? .


I never knew free speech was just for politics. I learn something new everyday.

Tim B.
First off I'd like to apologize for suggesting anyone was a REMF.  That's just kind of weak since Western Germany hasn't been a combat-zone since 1945, & none of us who served at Cooke Barracks were being shot at while there.  I also have respect for anybody who wears or has worn the uniform, we all know that you usually don't have much choice where you are going to serve; you go where you are ordered to go, and try to make the best of your time while there.  All that said, I know that some of us who haven't donned the rose-colored glasses didn't have a great time while there.  It could be for a variety of reasons, many of them previously stated, but suffice it to say there are those of us (a minority on this board, apparently) who didn't have the time of their lives while at Cooke Barracks.  I feel as if this thread has been pretty civil, (especially considering many other forums on the world wild web) but certainly didn't mean to insult or demean any of my fellow vets;  I can't imagine the few of us sharing our less than stellar experiences at Cooke Barracks on this forum would effect the memories of those who claim it was the "time of their lives"; unless our experiences are causing you to reconsider just how great a time you thought you'd had?  In any case, I appreciate David W. allowing those of us with a different POV a voice here.
rene menendez

67/69 stationedHHCO 4TH armored DIV.SP5

Best time of your life?  Worst time of your life?  Those descriptions are really immaterial.  What Cooke Barracks means to many of us was a memorable time.  I was there in 65-66, working on the Rolling Review, along with Harry Levins, Fred Hamilton, Bob Beck, Noel Bourasaw, dear old Major Werder (rip), Sal Alvarado, and many others.  Forty-four years later, I'm still friendly with these guys, so it must have been important to all of us.

And to those who mentioned First Sergeant Dillard, yes, he was a straight-up character.  I pushed the envelope a couple of times, missing formation, whatever, and there was never a problem with him.

Not good times.  Not bad times.  But definitely memorable times.

Rolling review sounds like a desk job with no details to pull chances are no field duty either. That would make it a memorable time. You have to love the desk jockeys

Don Garrett

I had the chance to live life in Gerp from 2 perspectives.  The first, was when I got there, I was single and lived in the barracks.  Life was fair, there was guard duty at the Motor Pool, cleaning community bath and room inspections.  The bad thing was the feeling of being "confined" to post.  Unable to have a car, I had to rely on public transportation so traveling was limited.  Then, half way through my tour, I flew back to the states, got married and my wife and I came back.  I moved off post, got a car and it the whole experience changed.  I was able to drive to the Honey-Dew when we wanted to.  No more inspections and guard duty was non-existant.  It was the last year that my wife and I really enjoyed being over in Germany.  Was there rough spots, sure but being able to drive all over Germany (from Cologne to Munich, from Innsbruck to Zurich, we got to see so much that I know I would never have had the chance to see.  I really enjoyed driving through small towns on the weekends, seeing everything from the beaches of Normandy, the top of the Eifel Tower, the iron curtain on the Czech Border, Dachau, Bertschegarten to the Nurenburg Christmas festival, bridge at Remaggen, the black forest, driving 100 on the autobahn, and the list goes on.  It was those experiences that made the 3 weeks in Grafenwoer in the summer, 2 weeks in Munsigen in December, the countless hours in the motor pool, the early morning alerts, the trips to the field and all the other fun stuff the army thinks of.  I think what most people remember is the good parts of Gerp and not the other stuf.

James L. Bolton
Mel and all that replied to this thread,

I say greetings, I was not around when Mel and a couple of the others that feel that we who found Cooke Barracks to be one of our best assignments. I can say without a doubt that its was the best 6 years of my 20 year career. And Mel, I was a signal soldier assigned to the only signal element in the Division Forward, as a result I deployed (to the field) more often than any element of the IDF. Whenever any battalion of the IDF went to the field so did the Signal Platoon. We would go to the field and Support 4/73rd Armor for three weeks and come back and recover for 3 to 5 days and went out for another 1,2, or 3 weeks.On many occasions this was the norm for the Signal unit. But, we worked very hard and we were allowed to play hard. I made great friends in almost every unit at Cooke Brks, and if I was down town and needed a ride back to Cooke, I would flag down an MP and get a ride back. I learned to speak Germany within the first 6 months there and had many, many German friends. I did KP in Graf and Hohenfels, I pulled motor stables, I did posts police, post lock downs, alerts once a month, GI Parties, grass cutting detail, Sergeants Major detail, ambulance driver, we had a every Friday road march to Hohenstafen. But, I will still say it was the best and longest assignment I had in the Army. And if I could have, I would have stayed there my entire 20 years there.

Craig D. Nelson
Well! I've been away for a while. I just read everyone's input. It feels just like I am down town at a bar. Let's have another beer! Goeppingen, My first really good beer. 64-67 Plenty of really great people to hang with. The only time I went to Graf was with the Goep Boy Scout troop. During the part of the year when I wasn't down in Berchtesgaden on the Ski Patrol I worked in Family Housing with Sgt Williams. What a great guy. He also ran the Class six store and the Movie theater. Lt Col. Yeager, Lt. Glendon B. Pedan, Lt. Dario Francitti, Sgt's King and Lee, Sgt Zacery Lemelle, Rudy Hoffman, Ron, Clark, Ed Loney, all the memories good and bad. I had two really good friends over in the 4th AD. Rod White and Loren Weeks. They took me under their wing and helped me grow up. They told me that there were two ways to go.
Either take advantage of all the opportunities that come up, ie, see the country, learn the language, eat the food and meet the girls! Or, you could save your money and fly home on leave and see your girlfriend who didn't wait for you! So, Goeppingen was one of the best times in my life because it set the tone for the rest of my life. I learned the hard way to be honest, to have a good work ethic and to get along with others and to learn from them.
So, all of you are right. We were lucky because it could have been a lot worse! For me it couldn't have been much better! Go back and read all the input. Sounds to me that we are back in the barracks! 

G Nelson was the Sgt Williams you mentioned a few pounds over weight Black E-5 always Laughing and joking a really great guy.

Craig D. Nelson
Chris, Sgt Williams was an E-6. He was about five nine, white with dark hair. He was a good guy who led us well! I think we who were at the Sub Dist. were lucky to have a lot of really good Sgt's. Sgt. King was a big guy, E-8, old Army type. He never B.S.ed you. You were ok if you jumped when he barked!  Sgt. Lee was his second. He was an E-6. He wasn't very big and was missing a few teeth. He was from the South. Sgt. Lee always had your back. They were like Mutt & Jeff. Really funny most of the time. But you better of had your S--- togeather or they would let you know! Sgt. Zacery Lemell was an E-7 from the deep South! He ran the Post. What ever was broken he got fixed. We were not supposed to eat in the German canteen but he took us in there beacuse the food was sooooo goood!! You guys in the 4th AD most likley didn't know that we even were around. But, if you had a family and lived on post then you would have known all about family housing!
We were a small unit. Most of our workers were German plus a few Americans. Our HQ was the small two story house next to the M.P. Station on the right just as you passed through the gate going up hill. Well, that does it. I guess I will have to go back and check out the old stomping grounds! I might of had some bad times in Goeppingen but as time has passed all I can remember was the good times. 
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