by Gerald Morgenstern
Grafenwoehr, Germany — “Grafenwoehr, your home away from home” – that is the city’s and the region’s offer to American families. Mayors Edgar Knobloch and Hans-Martin Schertl, together with Col. Lance Varney, informed Leah Esper, spouse of the Secretary of the Army Mark T. Esper, about this welcome culture.
The new secretary and his wife visited Grafenwoehr Training Area on Jan. 30. “It is nice to be back in Grafenwoehr,” said Esper upon arrival. Esper remembers Grafenwoehr from his time as a young officer when he was stationed in Italy and came to Grafenwoehr for training. While the secretary left to visit Hohenfels Training Area, following a town hall meeting with soldiers and civilians, his wife Leah stayed in Grafenwoehr and visited several facilities.
Garrison commander Col. Lance Varney and his deputy Annette Evans showed her the health clinic, library, the newly built Netzaberg chapel and the “Soldier for Life Center” – the American town hall. Esper was informed about family care facilities, programs in the military community and spoke with military spouses. In the “Welcome Center” in building 244, garrison town mayors Edgar Knobloch, Grafenwoehr and Hans-Martin Schertl, Vilseck explained the good cooperation between the American families and their hosts.
Many municipal facilities in both towns are also used by Americans in their “home away from home.” Therefore, regional leisure facilities are also presented in the welcome center. “My husband and I care a lot about the well-being, the care facilities and support for our soldiers and their families, and they are excellent in Grafenwoehr,” said Esper after her visit.
Photo Credit: Gerald Morgenstern