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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

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, meeting new people, and learning about different cultures while traveling in Europe. I have wrritten several hundred stories and articles over the past 25 years. ChapterBuzz has encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and start working on my first book. "Sounds interesting!"

THE ABSURDITY OF AGING
Learning to accept the aging process.

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 ...





WATER OR VINEGAR?
A bit of insanity while cooking

WATER OR VINEGAR?

I drove to Forbach, France, the other day with a friend who was visiting from the states. For the trip, I brought some German sweet peach tea along that I wanted her to try. Since I had an empty water bottle in my car, I stopped on the side of the road so ...





HOME IS NOT ALWAYS WHERE THE HEART IS

Sometimes I was scared to get out of bed! But one thing I do know is that God has a sense of humor!






MY DISABLED VETERAN CAP
My Disabled Veteran Cap 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...





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...





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 ...





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

 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.





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...





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...





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 ...





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...





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...





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.

...





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





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...





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 1

As a kid, traveling to White Castle, Louisiana, by train to visit my grandmother with my mother left me with pleasant, unforgettable memories. After arriving at the train station and buying our tickets, she would find the right track to await our train....





A SENIOR MOMENT TO FORGET
Fending off the aging process has pit falls.

Since I was born during a particular decade, I’ve been unceremoniously tossed aside like dangerously moldy block of cheese into society’s aging segment known as ‘baby boomers.’ I hate that term. I really do. It makes me feel like the universe...





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...






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