One of the group of what I sometimes refer to as “the rest of my children” sent me an email which I received as I was sitting in the infusion chair at Martinez. I have gathered a few of these over the years; the extra young people, not the chair. Some from a chance meeting on a plane or in a lobby, others from work. shared interests or because they are off-spring of friends. These are those rare & lovely relationships where I get to be the older sister/favorite non-aunt/friend without the sturm und dram that comes with biological family ties.
Christian is one of these. I was stationed at the SanAk in Munich when we met. As I was the liaison officer, he had come seeking advice on how to take the US Army’s Expert Field Medical Badge Test. There is always a long and complicated way of doing such a thing. I took the shorter method – called one of my former company commanders and asked if he could add a young German Army person to his quota. Since he had mostly providers (who don’t have either the time or the interest) the answer was a resounding yes. Intro’s made, I left them to do their thing. He did the course, passed (3% pass rate) and has stayed part of my life since.
When I received his email this morning, I had just finished talking to one of the nurses about having done contingency medical support planing for a significant portion of my military career (in, with and about assignments); inspecting various weapons storage sites; and working with allies.
I start to read the email.
“I think you’ve been to Augsburg before….”
yes. Several times. One of the clinics that fell under WMEDDAC (Wurzburg Army Medical) until closures.
Benign line story line that sucked me in. But what he goes on to say is that construction workers downtown found what they thought was UXO (unexploded ordnance). They call Fire/Rescue who comes out and looks at it. No way – must be a water tank or something. EOD (Bomb Squad) – let’s see your tin cup, no way – too big. 10 minutes later – ummm we know what it is. Never seen one before.
Cookie is a 3.8 ton present dropped by the RAF in WWII. Pure explosives
At this point I am laughing, I can’t help it. The fit was too perfect. Past career, weapons, bombs and Augsburg has such a lovely Christmas Market. It is one of those – release the stress laughs while wondering if the effects of WWII will ever be complete.
She will not be a good Christmas gift for the 54,000 who are going to have to evacuate the center of the city on the morning of the 25th. This includes not just residents, but a hospital, a number of care facilities. With the number of people involved it is obvious why everyone is taking the time and effort to do carefully and without any more drama than necessary. There is a nice picture of where they were digging out an underground parking garage.
The best and clearest story is here for those who read German. Also mentions the fact that in 2015 over 64 tons of left over munitions were found in Bavaria alone. In typical fashion the explanation for why the 25th: prep time needed for planning. Holiday so all the businesses are closed,.minimum window of 5 hours needed and safest to do that in daylight with a holiday following just in case they need a second day.
I’ve done EOD support and standby over the years. I am comforted by knowing the EOD have experienced and extremely well qualified and disciplined support staff standing.
Meanwhile, I was able to put my personal whines into better perspective. I’m warm, fed, dry. I am getting care in an outstanding medical system that is not choosing my medication based on cost. I’ve family that cares about me. I don’t have to leave my home this weekend. I didn’t have any particular adverse reaction to the infusion and I am comfortably home.
Hopefully the Augsburg EOD mission will be complete by the time we are lighting the Menorah on Sunday evening. Christian and all the other members of emergency response services will be safe with their families.
Peace, not to much to ask for?