Deserted. Desolate. Melancholic. All words that describe the atmosphere of the United States military housing on Texas Road in Butzbach, Germany. Forty-two years ago, the last time I was there it was a vibrant place filled with military service people and their families. Now it is empty and sad. I shared this picture with you as part of identifying the buildings you can see in the background.
Here are those same buildings on 25 November, 2010:
Our apartment is the balcony on the third floor at 17 Texas Road in Butzbach:
The balcony below is behind me in the old picture above.
These pictures should give you an idea of how empty it is here now. This is our apartment building:
and our street:
and looking directly up from our street:
and looking left:
and looking right:
Seeing our old home would have been overwhelmingly sad if I hadn’t shared the experience with my parents and my sister. I am so grateful I was able to visit Texas Road in Butzbach with them.
It turns out that we were not alone in our feelings. This huge empty United States housing area interconnects with civilian Butzbach residential areas. All of the citizens we spoke with reflected the loss they felt due to the departure of the Americans. The economy of Butzbach has suffered; stores and restaurants have closed. It will probably be years before Butzbach is able to economically rebuild what it has lost. The young adults say that it is very boring there now and the older people miss the loss of their friends and neighbors. There must be many United States service families who are missing Butzbach too.
Thank you for coming along on my trip to the past.
You can read the other parts of this story here.
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