Sleeping in a Ditch?

Tony Barnes By Tony Barnes, 26th Feb 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Europe>Germany>Bavaria

The trips kept going downhill year after year. I wonder what happened to the next guy.

Patch Barracks

When I was stationed at Ramstein Air Base, Germany I was tasked with traveling to Patch Barracks in Stuttgart to do a staff assistance visit (SAV) on a unit that was located there. I would also teach them chemical warfare defense training skills.

The first year, I stayed in the military version of a motel…referred to in military circles as ‘billeting’. It was a nice room that was about $40 a night which the Air Force would reimburse me for at a later time.

The second year, the commander called me ahead of time and asked if I would be willing to stay in a barracks room because the unit was running low of funds. Being an easy going person, I said yes. I didn’t have the maid to make my bed for me but, it was only for a couple of nights.

The third year, General Colin Powell and his entourage were in town for the change of command of General Shalikashvilli. His entourage took up all of billeting and the unit had no room for me in the barracks. A Master Sergeant in the unit had a ‘maids room’ equipped with a bed and a few other pieces of furniture. It was located in the attic and down the hall there was actually a Germany nanny who lived in another maids room. We had to share the common bathroom and after the first night I noticed she had removed the toilet paper. Not real neighborly of her.

As I was leaving the unit to go back to Ramstein, I told the commander I was transferring back to the United States and would not be returning the following year. But, from a nice room in billeting….to a barracks room…to a maids room in the attic…I have often wondered if the next guy had to sleep in a ditch with a rain tarp over him?


Colin Powell, Ramstein, Shalikashvilli, Stuttgart

Meet the author

author avatar Tony Barnes
I am a native Texan who spent 3 years in the Marine Corps Reserves and 25 years on active duty in the Air Force. I have been a Christian since 1985 and am an ordained minister. I am conservative politically and love to study history. I publish a mont...(more)

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author avatar Claudia J. Rodriguez
26th Feb 2014 (#)

Charming tale. Nice write.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
26th Feb 2014 (#)

Nice post!

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author avatar Jerry Walch
26th Feb 2014 (#)

Interesting question Tony.

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author avatar Helen Thomas
28th Feb 2014 (#)

Very interesting piece ~ Tony.

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