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I have served in Germany for the past five years as a mobilized Reservist, and am about to head back to the United States.

I have found volksmarches to offer particularly wonderful insights into the "small town" Germany experience and flavor. As I have trekked more than 3,000 kilometers across Germany, I have treasured memories of both the warm, hospitable fellowship and the remarkable beauty of our host nation.

I am appreciative of Bob and Lorraine Huffaker’s weekly invitation for our soldiers and families to experience this unique aspect of Germany and the European theater (Volksmarch column, Travel magazine, Europe edition). As a chaplain, the walks have helped me to stay centered in the midst of our stressful and difficult deployment environment. I would challenge anyone who is facing tough personal times to get out for several walks, for I find after about three or four, people tend to learn to both relax and to rejuvenate spiritually through their trekking experience.

The beauty from Saarland to Bavaria is always profound, the fellowship is always warm and inviting, and the personal time with friends or privately is energizing beyond the exercise.

Plus, I must admit, I am cheap; and volksmarching is the cheap-cheap way to see Germany.

Chaplain (Col.) James M. BrownBaumholder, Germany


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