Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Happy Veterans Day 2015: My Watch #veteransday

My airplane descended into Frankfurt, Germany, late November 1986 without incident. I collected my duffle bags and found the bus that would take me to the Rhein Main Air Base. It was bone-chilling cold that day and snow littered the ground. After waiting an extra day, the Army found me a unit to go to: the 583rdOrdnance Company.  My watch had begun.
Me in Basic Training 1986

I joined the US Army in July 1986, filled with Patriotism. My President was Ronald Reagan and I was proud to serve my country. Sure, I was young, but I believed in my country, its freedoms, and the Constitution. I still do.

The first major event on my watch was the Fall of the Berlin Wall 3 years later. Hungary and Poland eased travel restrictions in the fall of 1989 and East Germany followed suit.  East Germany forced its leader out of office and a new government took over.  On 9 NOV 1989 the government announced new travel requirements to take effect “immediately” and the Berlin Wall came down.
My plane landed in Frankfurt on 10 NOV 1989. It was bone chilling cold day and snow littered the ground. I started my 2nd tour in Germany, part of V Corps, assigned to the headquarters unit in the 11th ACR. I witnessed Germany unification firsthand on 3 OCT 1990. History came alive for me that day. History I’ll never forget. The Cold War ended on my watch, and I’m most proud of that achievement.

The next major event on my watch was Operation Desert Shield/Storm (Gulf War I). Iraq invaded Kuwait and we fought back. I remained in Germany. The 11th ACR deployed in support of Operation Positive Force from June-Sep 1991.

In DEC 1995 I arrived in Frankfurt for my 3rd tour in Germany. My company deployed from DEC 95-96 in support of Operation Joint Guard, however I stayed in the rear. The following summer I deployed to Hungary from JUL-OCT 97 as part of the SFOR (Stabilization Force) a NATO peace enforcement mission. 

I left the Army in NOV 1997 after 11 years of service. My watch had ended. Since FEB 2000, I have worked as a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. I’m proud of my service, and proud to support the US Army during these events. I met some great people in the military and I’m grateful for Facebook so I can keep up with them. 

Since then, the military has been tasked with several worldwide missions dealing with the war on terror – from the Army to the Air Force to the Navy and Marines, and I just want to thank everyone who has served. It isn’t an easy job. Thank you for your patriotism, your sacrifice, and ensuring the freedom of this great country. 


  1. Thanks for your service Stephanie! I retired from the USAF in 1988 after a little more than 20 years mainly because I'd had to put up with President Carter, had enjoyed serving during President Regan's term and saw the handwriting on the wall with Clinton's election!

  2. I want to thank you for your service to our country too, Stephanie. Great post.

  3. I like to read about your years in the service. I think...is this the Steph I know? No wonder you do everything with such ease..you know what it's like to be a soldier. God bless you.

  4. Thank you for your service. You did get to see some amazing things on your watch! Wonderful opportunities. Thank you again.

  5. Terrific post, Stephanie. How exciting to have seen the Berlin Wall come down. Thank you for your service to both the Army and LAPD. As we Navy types say, I wish you fair winds and following seas. Full speed ahead!

  6. Thanks for your service, Steph, from one Vet to another!

  7. Stephanie, thank you for sharing your military experience with us. I enjoyed reading about it. I can see in your books the influence serving in Europe had on you. Thank you for being a part of the team that keeps Americans safe.

  8. Thank YOU, for your service, Stephanie. And thank you for peek into your service life. How awesome for you to be right there when the wall came down.

  9. Thank you for your service, and for sharing your story with us!