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(Pete Milia / ©S&S)
(Pete Milia / ©S&S)
Five-year-old Chuckie Tansey poses with his volksmarching awards at Regensburg, Germany, in 1976.
Five-year-old Chuckie Tansey poses with his volksmarching awards at Regensburg, Germany, in 1976. (Pete Milia / ©S&S)

REGENSBURG, Germany — "Volksmarching makes one not get so fat," said Chuckie Tansey, the 5-year-old prince of Regensburg volksmarchers.

Chuckie, who weighs 43 pounds, is the son of S. Sgt. and Mrs. Charles W. Tansey. The NCO is assigned to B Btry, 3rd Bn, 60th ADA, at Pioneer Casern here.

Chuckie, who attends kindergarten, has been on 138 volksmarches and has earned as many medals. The little hiking prince has walked 2,304 kilometers (about 1,400 miles) in the past 2½ years, his father said.

"I like to go on volksmarches," said Chuckie, while also advising the photographer how to picture him in front of all his medals.

"I don't even know how many medals I have," the prince said, with hands on hips, watching every move the photographer made and questioning him about all his cameras. "All I know is that I have two cloths full of medals that my Mom has hung up in our dining room. I don't even know how I'm going to get them back to the States."

His statements seemed logical — something every 5-year-old Volksmarcher would worry about.

"I tell my friends that they should go on volksmarches, but only two of them go," Chuckie said.

"I like to run in front of my mom and dad," he said, looking down at a sweater with a number of his favorite medals pinned to it.

The bemedaled prince offered some volksmarching advice for other children his age who might be considering the hobby of weekend trekking around Germany.

"Kids should wear this color tennis shoes," said Chuckie, pointing down to his blue tennis shoes, "unless it is raining. Then they should wear rubber boots. I don't like to go on volksmarches when it rains because I have to wear rubber boots and I can't run. My mom and dad make me wear a raincoat," he said.

"Every young volksmarcher should have a red and white plaid shirt to wear." He has one with his volksmarching patches — each representing a distance he has walked — sewn to it.

"I love root beer ... but on volksmarches I have to drink lemonade. The Germans also sell beer. I like to eat the wurst and brötchen."

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