Where were you when Apollo flew to the moon and landed for the first time on July 20, 1969? I can remember exactly where I was and whom I was with. I was back in Germany about a week and was walking down the street in a small town with my friend Fish. As we strolled down the street a German housewife ran out of her house saying loudly, “Come here!” in German.

We entered her home and were shown into her living room where her entire family was seated around a television. The moon landing was about to take place. It was amazing to watch. It was even more amazing to watch from the home of complete strangers who had invited us because they saw us walking down street in our Army uniforms.

We watched the landing and heard the famous words, “One step for a man…” the family insisted that we join them for snacks and stay for conversation. as the day passed we thought perhaps we were staying too long and our hosts were just polite about saying anything. We were apparently mistaken as the family insisted we stay for a wonderful dinner prepared in traditional German style and share a large amount of liquid refreshments of various flavors and potency.

When the time to leave actually arrived we left as lifelong friends. It is a memory I treasure. My friend and I as well as our other comrades on TDY were not aware that the spacecraft had been launched or that the landing was about to occur.

We were treated with kindness, love and generosity by people we did not know simply because we were American soldiers and they wanted to share the moment with my friend and I. Where ever they are today I send them love.

Gene