As a result of me being supply sergeant, I was asked to go to many seminars on how to keep the books for the supply room. I can only remember AR 735-35 which enabled us to pass inspections when they came. One of the seminars that I was assigned to go to was in Kaiserslautern about 50 Kilometers from Baumholder. I arrived in the morning went to the first class and then bugged out with some of the other guys into town. We went to a gasthaus (kind of a family bar) and sat around drinking and looking around. I saw a young woman sitting in a corner by herself in a purple shimmery kind of dress. The music on the jukebox was playing a slow song, so I asked her to dance.
I spoke to her in German, but she spoke English well enough. She told me that she was from Rumania and that she had become pregnant by some old fellow (not sure if he was Rumanian or German), had a child that she was taking care of and worked at some sort of factory. Her story touched me. She was 19 years old, same as me and seemed to be lost in the world. We danced pretty much the whole evening. I asked if I could walk her home. She told me that the story that she told me about working in the factory was not true and that she was a girl for hire.
Somehow that didn’t surprise me, but it deepened my concern for her. I told her that I would be back the next night and I was. She was there and we took up from where we left off. I managed to get her address from her and told her that I was very serious about establishing a relationship with her. She seemed to like the idea. When the third night came, I told her that I was serious about her and that we would go to America together. She smiled and told me that was going to be hard. I said we could work through it. I gave her my address in Baumholder and began to communicate with her.
I also wrote a letter to my mother telling her that I had fallen in love and was going to marry a Rumanian girl. I did not tell her of the girl’s occupation. Somehow, she must have gotten the idea that there was something not quite right about this and must have called my commanding officer somehow.
A few days after my letter to mom, Major Clawson W. McCain, who had been in the military since before World War II and had married a Belgian woman soon after, called me into his office. McCain was a hardnosed person who had risen through the ranks and was at the end of his tenure and could not rise beyond major. He told me that he was not going to stand for one of his men consorting with the locals and that I did not have my head screwed on properly. He added that I really knew nothing about this woman and he would see to it that I would end this relationship. I quickly wrote a note to this woman (whose name I cannot remember) and told her of the situation. I never received a reply. I did try and look her up and appeared at the same gasthaus with Russ a few months later, but no one had seen her for a long while. Sometime later on, I was told by one of the gasthaus habitués that she would often consort with soldiers and that the old guy was her husband and that he allowed for this to happen. I was devastated. My first true love and nothing was real- another lesson learned the hard way.