My Relationship With Terrorism
Nathan Gehring

It was good to read of your life and personal perspective on terrorists.

I too was a military BRAT and lived, in military housing, and on the economy (in a German apartment). My sister and I would go to the Schwimbad, even on the nights when Americans weren’t typically permitted because we would purchase our tickets in German and only conversed in German around others. We didn’t titter or snicker at the nudity of others, as most American did and we just enjoyed the pool and hot tubs as we were supposed to.

We hopped the strassenbahn to the Luisen Platz to shop and enjoyed elderberry crepes from the local merchant every time we went to shop downtown. We explored the Rhine River by bicycle and wine cruises, with and without our parents and even went to the haunted Frankenstein’s Castle with our friends on Halloween. Saturdays would often include a trip to the Trinkehalle for bratwurst und pomme frites mit cola.

Going to school in Frankfurt, it was sometimes a little concerning that we rode the bus for an hour before arriving at the base where the high school was located and then our bus would be inspected for bombs and our id cards were checked by armed military guards.

It seems not a week would go by without at least one bomb threat that found our student body evacuated to the local theater. A true terrorist could have planted the bomb in the theater, called the school and watched as they moved everyone to their certain deaths.

It was a constant threat and we endured inspections of our backpacks, school bags and purses as we entered the Headquarters building to have lunch in their cafeteria, where bombs had been repeatedly detonated.

A friend of mine said, “that was life and we dealt with it. It just was …”

We took personal precautions to make ourselves a little less of a target… because as my Dad once told me, “The bad guys are just waiting for you to let your guard down. Then they will strike to remind you that they are still there so you have to stay vigilent…always”