Well, the day has come. The powers that be have officially closed the bank in Vogelweh, Germany.

Now soldiers and civilians are forced to break land speed records to go to Ramstein Air Base, find a parking space, go into the bank, perform whatever transactions they need to do and drive back in an hour (usually lunch time).

Landstuhl [Regional Medical Center is] not doable either, especially since you have to deal with random security checks and the detour. I have been to Germersheim and saw a Community Bank banking van. Why isn’t this vehicle parked on Vogelweh somewhere?

Sometimes I think the decision makers have no formal education or common sense! Anyone who has lived in Germany for more than 24 hours knows you can only take out $500 per day from the automated teller machine − that’s dollars, not euros. How are we supposed to get euros to pay rent or bills during the week? By the time the average soldier and civilian gets off work, the banks are closed.

Community Bank is turning into a modern-day Army and Air Force Exchange Service as far as I am concerned. It hasn’t taken into consideration whom it serves. It should either extend or change its hours, or, when the time comes to renew its contract, whoever represents the community should not approve it.

Community Bank has done the Vogelweh community a giant disservice. It doesn’t care because what can customers do? Nothing much, except take our business to Service Credit Union.

Last week I went in to get euros. When I got back to my office to run the rate of exchange online, I saw I paid Community Bank $22 more than the international exchange rate I would have received stateside.

Stephen MaloneKaiserslautern, Germany

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