By MARILYN HAAS
15, 1994, is a day that will be recorded in the history books forever,
for the last remaining unit stationed at ' the Wildflecken military
community, the 283d Base Support Battalion, retired its colors during
an inactivation ceremony at the Fitness Center. Included in the
plans for the eventful day was an ecumenical service at the Post
Chapel, a monument dedication to the Americans by the local national
civilian work force, and a friendship fest sponsored by the mayor
of Wildflecken, Burgermeister Walter "Pitzi" Gutmann.
Overshadowing the day's events was the remembrance of 26 members
of Operation Provide Comfort who had lost their lives the day before
when U.S. warplanes mistakenly shot down two American helicopters
in northern Iraq. Both the German and American flags flew at half
seat was filled with approximately 400 Germans and Americans attending
the "Service of Gratitude" ecumenical service at the Post
Chapel. The 283d Base Support Battalion chaplain, Maj. David Lundell,
the 100th Area Support Group chaplain, Col. Ronald W. Benzing, and
German chaplains Father Peter Sachi and Father Reiner Fries, led
the congregation through songs, prayers and readings from the old
and new testament.
During Benzing's message, he spoke of the "good news"
heard around the world when Germany announced that the Berlin Wall
was open and the Cold War was over. Benzing also recognized the
Wildflecken Post Chapel as a "monument to good news and change,"
for the many people who have attended the Chapel services, who have
received spiritual counsel, who have had baptisms, weddings, etc.,
will carry their spiritual experiences in Wildflecken with them
as they go to other parts of the world.
"Sometimes good news is a mixed blessing," Benzing said.
"To the Rhön Mountains and its villages, change has come.
Americans will soon be gone. But the good news that has sounded
forth from this mountain and from its cathedral will continue forever.
It is carried in the souls of men and women, boys and girls, Germans
and Americans to the ends of the world. Our God reigns."
was moved to tears at the conclusion of the service when Burgermeister
Walter Gutmann played the song titled "Yesterday" on his
clarinet accompanied by Wolfram Reidelbach on the piano.
Retirement of colors
Photos by Marilyn Haas
Top photo: the 283d Base Support Battalion commander, Lt. Col. Vicente
C. Ogilvie begins to roll the battalion's colors for retirement
during the inactivation ceremony. Standing to his left is the 283d
BSB Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Rudd and to his right is 100th ASG commander,
Col. Gary Tobin. Bottom photo left from front to back: Burgermeisters
Walter Gutmann, Hans Rohrmueller and Hans Repp receive the Department
of the Army Commander's Award for Public Service from the Commander
of the 7th Army Training Command Brig. Gen. Charles Baumann. Bottom
right photo: Ruth Ogilvie accepts a bouquet of flowers during the
THE 283D BASE
As a full house
of over 1,000 guests watched, the commander of the 283d Base Support
Battalion, Lt. Col. Vicente C. Ogilvie, said good-bye to Wildflecken
and his battalion during the 283d Base Support Battalion's inactivation
ceremony. Guests included
See CEREMONY page 2
This is our online Version of the very last Issue
All photos taken by Marilyn Haas.