Category Archives: Soldiers

Veterans, 2016 Elections, and Hope & Change

The following is something I recently posted on my Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/thedavidguerra

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FullSizeRender(3)I would like to take this time to talk about something that is really close to my heart.

The great thing about Facebook is that you can join just about any group on just about any topic. Those that know me know that I am Veteran (former active duty US Army Infantry) and am I member of several veteran groups here on Facebook. There was a post today that made me think about the last 8 years and the 8 years before that.

The post read, “I sure hope that whatever party takes on the presidency will make this a top priority and gets those Vets the help they need…”

Folks, whether it is Veteran Issues, LGBTQ, Race relations, Elder issues or anything else, the past 16 years have taught us that we can NO LONGER hope. Those days of hope and change are gone! Those days of wishing and praying for a better future are out the window.

What needs to be done is to STEP UP, TAKE A STAND, and DELIVER A MESSAGE that is clearly UNDERSTOOD and ACTED UPON.

We can no longer act like pawns and puppets. The days of looking for someone to take care of us ended the day we became members of society. There is NO expectation of anything. My grandparents and great-grandparents worked for what they had. My two grandfathers did not even expect to survive when they were called to go and fight against Nazism, Fascism and Imperialism during World War II but they made it back after working hard to help win that war.

I stepped up and did my part when I joined the US Army and was at the front-line against Communism in West Berlin. It was touch and go but we won the Cold War without it ever getting hot.

Now, we fight a different war and yet people seem to look at it as if it is a problem that belongs to others and nothing they should be bothered with. Unfortunately, it is a problem that belongs to us. Right here, RIGHT NOW!

In World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Cold War, Gulf War, OIF & OEF, the only hope was to come home without getting your ass shot off. Many did but many did not come back in one piece or did not come back at all.

We owe it to them, the ones that are gone, the ones we will never see again, the ones that we called our friends, our buddies, our brothers, to stop hoping and start acting on making a change. We owe it to our battle buddies today that are suffering because of the “hope and change” and the “promises” that things will be different. We owe them the opportunity they never had or don’t get a chance at.

We are still soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen and though we might be a little slow on the draw, the time has come to stop hoping for a change and start ACTING TO MAKE CHANGE HAPPEN.

Thank you for your time and let’s get out there,
David Guerra
Infantry, US Army (Veteran)

ALLIED FORCES DAY PARADE

From a little after the Western Allies (US, UK, FRANCE) moved in to occupy Berlin at end of the World War II to just before the Fall of the Berlin there was an annual Parade featuring all three nations. The Allied Forces Day Parade was traditionally held during the summer “parade season”.

I recently discovered a thought lost VHS cassette that had the on the ground POV video of the 1987 Allied Forces Day Parade.

Currently, on the Internet there are several other Allied Forces Day Parades from other years but, at this time, this is the only one from 1987.

Video run-time: ~22 minutes

Enjoy!

June 12, 2016 Update

Good Day All,

Just a quick post to let you know an update had been made to the registry.

UNITS UPDATED: 42 EngineerCompany C, 4/6th InfantryCompany B, 5/502nd Infantry  • Company C, 4/18th InfantryCompany F, 40th Armor

Also stay tuned for a very special gift from me to you this coming weekend (June 17 – 19). I think you are going to like it.

Recapping from the last episode of the BerlinBrigade.com Podcast
• If you have any information or were there when a proposed march to Steinstucken by US Forces after the construction of the Berlin Wall began was either in the planning stages or you and your unit mustered.

That’s it for this week.
Until next time,
Dave
(A/6/502 ’85-’87)

 

We Went To Berlin

We went to Berlin and helped bring down the Berlin Wall and won the Cold War because things like oppression, censorship, and dictatorships are BAD!

Fall of the Berlin Wall

Who are we?

We are the couple hundred thousands  (give or take a thousand) of United States, French, and British Forces that went to occupy Berlin after the end of World War II.

Why Berlin?

The World War II Allies (US, UK, USSR & France) agreed the only way to bring the war to a proper conclusion was to not just defeat the German military but to take the capital of the German Reich. Once completed, the nation was divided into four zones of occupation and the capital of Germany was divided into four sectors.

The Soviets took the largest portion of the city. Aside from being known as the Soviet sector it would become its own city, East Berlin and become the capital of the Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR) or East Germany.

Why the Cold War?

The Cold War was the result of the political/ideological split between the Communist Soviet Union and the United States., the two major super powers, at the time.

The Soviets were seeking to expand their influence in all corners of the world. The United States and its western allies would not have any that. Thus the game of move and counter-move, cat and mouse, pawn versus pawn began.

Berlin became the focal point of the Cold War. It was the one place on the planet that two ideologies worked so close together that at times the lines between the two blurred.

Why the Berlin Wall?

From 4 July 1945 to 12 August 1961, the borders between East Berlin and West Berlin (made up of the US, UK & French sectors) were porous. For the most part they were an imaginary line on city maps. Sure there were signs here and there but nothing set in stone or granite or demarcated by the line of fire of a sentry post. People pretty much came and went.

This made it some what easy for those with Communist ideologies to travel to west and work the objective of expansion. Then again, it also made it easy for western agents to travel east to either collect data on activities aimed at the west or to disrupt those activities through overt or covert sabotage or better still, active recruitment of foreign agents to the other side.

However, the thing that also happened during this time was a brain drain. Highly educated individuals, individuals important to the cause of East German growth and development were leaving  for the west. This was one of the several catalyst that set in motion the construction of the Berlin Wall.

Starting early in the morning of 13 August 1961 and like a snake, the Berlin Wall now physically divided the city in two. Soon, machine nests, dog runs, anti-tank traps, and anti-personnel mines followed the miles and miles of concrete and barbed wire as it worked its way across city streets. From North to South the Berlin Wall (or the Anti-Fascist Barrier as the East Germans called it) the wall divided families in two. Those in the East and those lucky to be in West Berlin early that morning.

How We Won and Berlin Wall Fell?

From 1961 to 9 November 1989 the Berlin Wall stood as a symbol of what the post World War II world had become. Two ideologies divided the planet and yet people continued to live, grow, thrive, and survive. Over the 28 years the Berlin Wall stood there were countless (seriously the actual number may never be known) escape attempts either through, over, or under. However, ~239 people were killed in the attempt to breach the Berlin Wall during it’s existence.

Over the summer of 1989, the political climate was changing all along the Eastern Europe frontier with the main focus on being on Poland with its Solidarity movement and the DDR. East German citizens with tacit compliance of a couple of Warsaw Pact nations found a route through to the West and ultimately the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany).

Tensions were high all summer long. In West Berlin, the heat was on. Soon old refugee centers were re-opening. Yet, the Western Allies which included the forces in Berlin worked to ensure that not only the access to and from West Berlin remained open and unobstructed, they worked to ensure that any action taken against the west, the western allies of the citizens of West Berlin was dealt with swiftly and properly.

Then through an attempt to curtail the new brain drain that saw close to a million people leave East Germany in 1989, the East Berlin based government attempted to ease travel restrictions to the west. By a simple misinterpretation of the new travel rules, the East German Border Guards soon found themselves overwhelmed by a sea of humanity as they attempted to cross Checkpoint Charlie, Bornholmer strasse, Sonnenallee, and Oberbaumbrucke just to name a few.

When it was all said and done, the US Army Berlin Brigade along with the British Forces in Berlin, and French Forces worked together to maintain access to the city, protect the citizens, and ensure that agreements of a free Berlin remain. We did so until the day of German Unity on 3 October 1990 (less than a year after the fall of the Berlin Wall).

Lot too long after that the Soviet Union was disbanded, the Warsaw Pact ceased to exist, and for the most part Communism as a threat to our way of life also came to an end.

The dedication and commitment by the men and women that helped to support, defend, and protect West Berlin were key to ensure that those in the East had an Island of Freedom to reach when they began their journey to the west with their ultimate goal of to be free from oppression.

-David G. Guerra

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David G. Guerra bio pic

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Weekend #1 of 2016

Greetings all,

How are you doing? Hopefully, this first full weekend of 2016 finds you in good health and in good times.

Tomorrow is Monday again. Hopefully, it will be a little kinder and gentler than last Monday was. Hey, a fellow can hope and dream (pun intended).

Seriously, just wanted to drop you a quick note to tell you THANK YOU for your continued support and patience on the website update. I am happy to report 2nd, 3rd, 4th Battalions of the 6th Infantry Regiment and 4th, 5th, & 6th Battalions of the 502nd Infantry Regiment are now online.

I am expecting to have all remaining Infantry Units online by close of business on Friday, January 15, 2016. Then the rest of the units will follow in the order I have them posted on the Registry homepage.

Also, I want to make sure you are aware of the the latest podcast episode is online.  Episode #64 of the BerlinBrigade.com Podcast. In the episode, I mention that I am looking for people to interview. I am very interested to talk to someone from the Helmstedt Support Detachment.

The job those individuals had at HSD is certainly one of the most unique and under-appreciated jobs in the entire Berlin Brigade. Being 110 miles from Berlin, those at HSD knew that if things ever went hot, they would be all that was left of the Berlin Brigade.

So if you previously served at Helmstedt Support Detachment and you want to share your story, your unique insight to working at HSD, I know we would all like to hear from you.

What if you want to be interviewed but never served at HSD? That’s alright, we want to hear from you as well. Your story matters and it always will, so why not share it with the rest of us.

Please drop me an email dave@berlinbrigade.com

Well everyone, that’s it for this brief update. Have a great week and I will talk you soon.

Thank you,
David Guerra
Owner & Founder, BerlinBrigade.com

Happy Boxing Day & Feast of St. Stephen

Greetings Everyone,

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas day. Today is BOXING DAY and Feast of St. Stephen. We don’t celebrate, Boxing Day, much here in the United States but this day is thoroughly celebrated by our good friends across the pond.  It was in Berlin that I first heard about the holiday that also falls on the Second Day of Christmas.

BOXING DAY, according to Wikipedia, is a “holiday traditionally celebrated the day following Christmas Day, when servants and tradesmen would receive gifts, known as a “Christmas box”, from their masters, employers or customers, in the United Kingdom, Barbados, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, Bermuda, New Zealand, Kenya, South Africa, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and other former British colonies. Today, Boxing Day is a public holiday usually falling on 26 December.

As for St. Stephen’s Day, again according to Wikipedia, “St. Stephen’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Stephen, is a Christian saint’s day to commemorate Saint Stephen, the first Christian martyr or protomartyr, celebrated on 26 December in the Western Church and 27 December in the Eastern Church. Many Eastern Orthodox churches adhere to the Julian calendar and mark St. Stephen’s Day on 27 December according to that calendar, which places it on 9 January of the Gregorian calendar used in secular contexts.

In musical lore, today is also the Second Day of Christmas. According to the 12 Days of Christmas song your true love should be sending you: “Two Turtle Doves and (you should have, from the day before) a Partridge in a Pear Tree.”

Talk about a busy day. Seriously, when did it become such a busy day?

In Berlin, December 26 was usually one of the most low drag, low speed, laid back days of the year. It typically, did not matter whether you lived at housing or barracks or on the economy usually not much happened the day after Christmas. Talk about a change of pace from the day before Christmas (12/24).

What do you do on this Boxing Day? Do you have any traditions? Or do you just hunker down and watch the College Bowl games?

Personally, I am going to try to catch up on some sleep and enjoy some leftovers. However, the last of the Christmas cookies will have wait.

HAVE A GREAT DAY!


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