"If you’re feeling alone at Christmastime, read letters.” Season’s Greetings – “America Remembers You” – letters to soldiers initiative (1986). At Christmastime, “unforgotten” American border troops received thousands of letters from their fellow American citizens. The letters’ authors expressed their admiration and gratitude for the troops’ efforts to provide for the security of the “West”.
Season´s Greetings, handed out to the U.S. soldiers in Germany.
The letters to soldiers initiative was supported by "Dear Abby", columnist for "USA Today" (newspaper).
After collecting information on the nature of the mission and the situation on the ground, Grimes, the initiator of the “America Remembers You” program, was impressed by the Reaction Force’s level of preparedness. These troops were on constant alert, and were honored with the very first batch of letters from home. “America Remembers You” was often written on the letters in children’s best penmanship. They were authored in all 50 states, by school classes, boy scouts, clubs and individuals. Especially treasured were letters written by people from a soldier’s respective home state.
Don Grimes established in 1983, handing out letters to American soldiers.
Don Grimes also brought along a picture of Miss USA 1986, Christy Fichtner, personally autographed by the crowned beauty.
“When you’re out in the cold over the holidays, guarding the border, take comfort in knowing that people back home are thinking of you”, preached the military chaplain.
A museum was installed at the Kingsley Barracks, which included a media room featuring a presentation on the military’s border mission.
Don Grimes visiting Kingsley Barracks (Hof).
An honorary plaque was handed over to a German mayor, presented in gratitude to all the area’s border communities for their kind reception to American troops in West Germany.
Emergency drills were routine at the Kingsley Barracks (Hof).
Top brass visiting the local troops.
Among the VIPs who visited the border between East and West Germany were American Congressional Delegations. Among the most prominent visitors to “Little Berlin” was George H.W. Bush, then Vice President during his 1983 visit, who would later become America’s 41st president (1989-1993).
Pictured here are Bill Nelson, Robin Tallon and George W. Taller on a visit to the area in May 1985.
Member of the Congress
Soldiers of the 2nd Cavalry, usually responsible for guarding “Little Berlin”, here on a visit to Berlin.
In front of the wall
All photos were taken in the 1980s.