Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A is for Addendum

Here is a photo I located too late to scan for yesterday's post. In it, I'm wearing the WAC summer uniform with my Interpreter brassard (the black thing on my left arm) and the then-newly-authorized black beret. I have two ribbons. One is the National Defense Service Medal, which everyone who served during certain periods received (I had thought the Cold War, but in fact they stopped awarding it in 1974 and resumed in 1990) after a minimal time in service. The other is a bit more unusual for 1972-73. It is the Army of Occupation Medal (Germany), and the only way to get one after May 1955 was to be assigned to Berlin. As they kept reminding us, "Berlin is unique!" (Sometimes, alas, they would say "very unique.")

The reason I was in Berlin with an Interpreter brassard is that I was, for about 14 months in 1972-73, a Russian interpreter on a US Army train traveling overnight from West Berlin to West Germany. To hear more about this, you will have to stick around till I get to the letter "B".

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