About 160 years ago, John Henry Gall, my great-great grandfather, came to the United States and settled in Missouri. He was from Hesse, a state in west Germany. In America, the term “Hessian” conjures images of drunken German mercenaries defeated by George Washington, but the term simply refers to a person from the state of Hesse, like John Henry Gall.
Now, I’m going back to Germany at the behest of another “relative”: Uncle Sam. This blog is an attempt to let friends and family see what I’m up to, as well as get a taste of military life, which I’ll be living for the next 365 days.
I’m deploying to Kaiserslautern, a city housing two military bases that have featured prominently in the news: Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, the largest US hospital outside of the US, where all the war wounded are sent after being stabilized in theater, and Ramstein Air Base, a major logistics hub.
I’m in the state right next door to Hesse, so intend to go tread the same streets that my great-great grandfather did 160 years ago.