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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter to everyone on whatever you may believe, 3-31

"Just a Thought" Column contines in La Prensa of SA, 3-31

Just a Thought: Interrupting the Chancellor of Germany
By Steve Walker
In 1979 my reserve unit, the 345th Public Affairs Unit out of Ft. Sam Houston deployed for two weeks to Ansbach, Germany for the Winter War Games referred to as ‘Reforger.”

As the First Sergeant of the 13-man unit, (one woman) we spend our assignment in February inundated with extremely cold weather with lots of snow surrounding us for the entire two weeks.

One of my troops was 1200 WOAI Radio Reporter Bud Little who was caught in a snow storm for two days out in the field with a German officer. Since he was the one unit member who was a working journalist, he was sent out to cover a military exercise. It didn’t go as planned. As the only other unit member who actually worked in radio in 1978 at KONO 101.1 the year before, I was on the lookout for a good story to cover for Armed Forces Network (AFN) Radio Germany.

We were told if we could find a good interview on the War Games they would broadcast it on the network. As luck would have it, I stumbled onto a great interview with the Army 4-star General and US Army Commander George Blanchard.

Standing out in the freezing cold as troops were moving around, I noticed the General was actually about two hundred feet from me on one of the maneuvers. He saw me about the same time I noticed him. In my mind I was trying to figure out how to approach him and ask for an interview. My mind was blank on what I could interview him about.

As I stood there trying to figure out what to do, I realized he was walking toward me. I nearly freaked out and as he approached me I snapped to attention and saluted him.

Puffing on his pipe he told me he noticed my unit patch was from Texas and began asking me questions. We conversed for a few minutes and I asked if he would do an interview with me when I procured a tape recorder and microphone.

He agreed and suggested the topic of a reverse “Reforger” where troops from Germany would go to Texas and conduct exercises like the one we were currently participating in Germany.

He informed me at the next phase when I saw him to wave at him and when he was available he would give me an interview. He told me when I waved at him and he acknowledged me to stand pat until he was ready.

At the next phase I had my tape recorder and microphone ready. When I waved at him he was in a barn sitting on a bale of hay approximately 100 feet away speaking with the Chancellor of Germany Helmut Schmidt. They were so close I could hear their conversation. The Chancellor spoke perfect English.

Also close at hand were three Generals waiting their turn to speak with him. When I waved I assumed I would wait awhile and I stood quietly anticipating his eventually heading my way after he concluded his conversation with the Chancellor.

Imagine my shock when he told the Chancellor, “Excuse me Chancellor but I need to go talk to one of my troops real quick. I will be right back.” He left the Chancellor sitting on the bale of hay and came toward me. I could have fainted on the spot.

We found a spot and I interviewed him for five minutes. After the interview I escorted him back to the Chancellor and profusely apologized for interrupting his meeting. He smiled and said it was his pleasure.

Before I could get away, the three Generals surrounded me and demanded to know why I interrupted the Commander. Explaining I was following a direct order, I departed immediately with the realization that I had gotten my interview at the expense of the Leader of Germany. A day I will never forget!

Anyway, as always, what I write is “Just a Thought.”

Steve Walker is a Vietnam Veteran and former Justice of the Peace and Journalist. His column “Ask the Judge” column ran in La Prensa for the last two years.

Congressman Lloyd Doggett answers constituents, 3-30

L-R: Congressman Lloyd Doggett, wife, Dr. Libby Doggett, Councilwoman District 3 Leticia Ozuna, District 3 Council candidate Rebecca Viagran, Nicky Robertson, Pat Jasso, Rene Watson, Harlandale ISD Board Member David Abundis, participants, signs

Saturday, March 30, 2013

More photos on Cesar Chavez March festivities, 3-30

L-R: March Coordinator Jaime Martinez, former Nat'l AFL-CIO Vice President Linda Chavez Thompson, Actor Brandon Olmos, former Councilman Roger Perez & Congressman Lloyd Doggett, Bob Comeaux with Dr. Libby Doggett, Mark Reyna, Council candidate District 3 Gabe Velesquez, Nettie Hinton, former District 5 Councilman Benny Euresti, John Bustamante, Michael Arrellano, Sylvia Don, District 5 Council candidate Shirley Gonzalez, Councilwoman District 3 Leticia Ozuna, Brandi Lopez, Ernest Martinez, singer "Little Joe" Lopez, Pastor Rosa Wilson, David Plylar, Henry Rodiguez, Rod Radle, wife ACCD Board Member & former District 5 Councilwoman Patti Radle, District 5 Councilman David Medina, SAEN Columnist Elaine Ayala, Charlie Jones & former Mayor Henry Cisneros, Council District 1 Diego Bernal, Police Chief Bill McManus, Maria Martinez, Bexar County Democratic Party Chair Manuel Medina, District 2 Councilwoman Ivy Taylor, Danny Meza, attendees