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Memoir
(Non-Fic)
TRAVELING ON A WING AND A PRAYER: Surviving the Army During the Cold War and Beyond
by CORA ANN


I was born in New Orleans, La. I joined the Army in 1977. I arrived in Heidelberg, Germany in 1979 as a single parent with two small daughters. After many tours in Germany during the Cold War, I retired here after 22 years in the Army. As a Permanently Disabled Veteran, I enjoy writing about my experiences, adventures, and meeting new people. A big plus for me is learning about different cultures while traveling. I kept a journal and have written several hundred stories and articles over the past 25 years. ChapterBuzz has encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and start my first book. "Sounds interesting!"

THE PITFALLS OF AGING
The fun and absurdity of it all.

When I was six years old, the aging process was a bone of contention with me. Back then, I had amusing concepts about growing old. My childhood naiveté led me to believe I would be a mature adult at age 16. I would be middle aged at 21. And at 33, I ...





MY CHRISTMAS MIRACLE
Christmas had a spiritual message for me.

What are the odds of strange things happening at any given time? Something out of the ordinary happened to me today. I don’t know if it was a coincidence or a miracle.

One of my Army buddies came to visit me for two weeks. We tooled around Germany and we...





MY DISABLED VETERAN CAP
It Carries a Lot of Weight

Last week, I visited the commissary in Wiesbaden to do some shopping. That day, I wore my Disabled Veteran cap with pride. I also had my walking cane with me. I still have a bit of difficulty walking because of the two TKA operations on my right knee. But something ...





I NEVER TOOK MY ARMY BOOTS OFF
A German captain almost started another war.

THIS GERMAN NUISANCE

I have never been a history buff. But in my research for a school assignment, I discovered one interesting fact. During the Battle of the Atlantic, Canada, Germany, and France were at war at the same time. These countries weren't actually on the same s...





I NEVER TOOK MY ARMY BOOTS OFF
My encounter with a tripple K card carrier

MY ENCOUNTER WITH A TRIPLE K CARD

At the time, I was a Staff Sergeant and a Counterintelligence Agent in the United States Army. My unit was the 527th Military Intelligence (MI) Battalion, located in Kaiserslautern, Germany. I was also the Noncommissioned ...





I NEVER TOOK MY ARMY BOOTS OFF
The Hitchhiker from Kosovo

THE HITCHHIKER FROM KOSOVO

It was Saturday morning. Heavy rain played a dismal tune on my concrete balcony. The noise awakened me from a deep sleep. The rain’s rhythmic drops signaled another day of dreary German Autumn weather. It was the kind of weather that makes m...





I NEVER TOOK MY ARMY BOOTS OFF
My life with a violent domestic abuser

JOINING THE ARMY SAVED ME FROM A VIOLENT DOMESTIC ABUSER 

My ex-husband was a physical and emotional abuser. He would beat me coming and going for nothing at all. He had a nasty temper, and anything would set him off. He punched me in my mouth one time wh...





I NEVER TOOK MY ARMY BOOTS OFF
Remembering Colonel William H. Berry

Colonel William Berry, Executive Officer

Executive Officer

to General Frederick J. Kroesen, the COMMANDER IN CHIEF (CINC)

UNITED STATES ARMY IN EUROPE (USAREUR)

Heidelberg, Germany





I NEVER TOOK MY ARMY BOOTS OFF
My friend Jose's shirt was on fire!

Ah, those dainty tea light candles.

They serve many useful purposes. They warm gourmet foods at lavish buffets. They pump pleasant scents throughout one's home or set a cheerful mood at dinner tables. But, I had a close but dangerous encounter with one in a so...





I NEVER TOOK MY ARMY BOOTS OFF
Train trip from hell: PART 1 & PART 2

PART ONE

TRAVELING BY TRAIN AS A KID WITH MY MOM

I grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana. As a kid, I often traveled with my Mom by train to visit my grandmother and great grandmother. They lived in White Castle, a small country town in southeastern Louis...





I NEVER TOOK MY ARMY BOOTS OFF
Train trip from hell: PART 3 & PART 4

PART THREE

BACK IN NUERNBERG, HEADING TO NEUKIRCHEN BEI SULZBACH ROSENBERG

Time: 7:15 p.m. There I was, back in Nuernberg again. Knowing that I had to get to the platform on the other side of the station, I gathered the last shred of my senses. This t...





I NEVER TOOK MY ARMY BOOTS OFF
The train trip from hell and back: PART 5

PART FIVE

About 45 minutes later, Mike finally arrived at the station. When he walked through the door, he looked at me and laughed as he came towards me. I wasn't laughing because what I had been through was no laughing matter. He grabbed my bags with one hand. To reassure...





ON THE ROAD AGAIN
Foiled by a German tractor and a radar trap!

FOILED BY A GERMAN TRACTOR AND A RADAR TRAP

When I got my German driver’s license, I was proud of that. I’ve already had my international driver’s license, so this newly acquired ID made me kinda dangerous on the autobahns.

 

I w...





DAS BOOT (THE BOAT)
The German-American Fest in Heidelberg, Germany

DAS BOOT (THE BOAT)

It was one summer in the 1980s. During that time, I was a U.S. Army stenographer stationed in Heidelberg, Germany. My two daughters and I lived in military family housing in Patrick Henry Village. Americans referred to it as PHV.

I loved the conven...





TUBE SOCKS ALWAYS STAYED PUT!
I miss the tube socks from the 80s!

Recently, I went shopping at the Ramstein Base Exchange in Ramstein, Germany. Shortly after I started walking around the store, I started experiencing a nagging, annoying, creepy feeling. As if holding a grudge against me, my socks took on a life of their own. My da...





COURTESY AT A GERMAN GAS STATION
A stranger's unexpected kindness

A most pleasant, unexpected thing happened to me. I had some business to take care of in Kaiserslautern. After I finished, I needed to fill up my tank before heading home. So I pulled into a Shell gas station near Ramstein Air Base. As I rolled in, I noticed a ...





MY NEW COMPUTER CHAIR
My problem is that I rarely read instructions.

OK, I bought this sleek, black high-back swivel chair for me to sit in at my computer table. It took me a minute or two to get the box out of my car and drag it upstairs. After taking all the parts out of the box, I looked at that last annoying piece of necessity: t...





A UNIQUE GIFT FROM A POOR BOSNIAN WOMAN
It wasn't offensive. It was a gift.

When I retired from the Army in Vilseck, Germany, I found a job working for City Colleges of Chicago. This job required that I deploy to Sarajevo, Bosnia to work in the CCC Education Center. I jumped at this chance to travel to another county. While there, I had sev...





A CHILDHOOD TRAUMA
The movie that scarred me for life

THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON

I remember when my sister Rose took me to see The Creature from the Black Lagoon. It was one of those B-grade horror movies back in the day. Almost everyone in the neighborhood awaited its arrival due to the wide-spread hype. It was schedu...





THE ONE RED BEAN
A visit from my late sister

"I received a unique, comforting message from my late sister Rose in the form of

one red bean."

My dear sister, Rose, passed away on 22 March 2016. We were very close. Her passing devastated me for quite a long time. To this day, I still grieve for her.

We wer...





MY FULL RICH DAY
Angels rescued me in my time of need.

Recently, I had eye surgery at Landstuhl Army Hospital. My surgeon scheduled me for a checkup the following morning. After my doctor had cleared me to go home, I returned to my hotel room to pack. With my mind focused on getting back home, little did I know that I w...





ONE HALLOWEEN AT AN ATM IN GERMANY
Meeting a US soldier returning from Iraq

It was in the afternoon on Halloween. As if getting ready for this spooky holiday, the slowly setting sun resisted being tucked away for the night. The horizon glowed eerily with a mixture of vivid autumn hues against the darkening evening sky, setting the mood to w...





TRAVELING WITH MR. FOR SURE
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

On Saturday, my adopted son and I visited Amsterdam. Locals and tourists from all over the world packed the city. I love Amsterdam, the European city that cloaks me in a warm atmosphere of friendship, consideration, love, generosity, respect, and tolerance for other...





THE GERMAN KIDS IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD
Unexpected Priceless Friendships

Recently, I have been fortunate to meet some new friends in my neighborhood: the little German kids. How we became friends warmed my heart and made my spirit smile.

On some days, I will go outside to sweep the steps and front of my house of the scattered mess ...






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