USAREUR honors former Wiesbaden lord mayor for friendship, support
September 11, 2013
WIESBADEN, Germany - Former Wiesbaden Lord Mayor Dr. Helmut Müller was awarded the Outstanding Civilian Service Medal during a ceremony in the Gen. Shalikashvili Mission Command Center Aug. 28.
Lt. Gen. Donald Campbell Jr., U.S. Army Europe commander, presented Müller with the medal before a standing room only crowd of Soldiers and civilians.
"We're here to honor a true friend of the United States Army Europe," Campbell said, pointing to the former city administrator's "integral role" in helping assist in the transformation of the Wiesbaden military community during USAREUR Headquarters' move from Heidelberg to Wiesbaden. Campbell added that Müller, who served as Wiesbaden's lord mayor from 2006-2013, was instrumental in helping welcome members of the U.S. military community to Wiesbaden by easing the transition and encouraging such things as English-language websites and opportunities for cultural interactions.
"In all the things that he's done, he's just been a great friend," said Campbell. "Thank you for your years of support."
During a reception following the ceremony, Col. David Carstens, U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden commander, also thanked the former mayor for his friendship and support of the U.S. military community by presenting him with an encased U.S. flag that flew over Clay Kaserne. Saying that the flag represents all those "who served here in Wiesbaden," Carstens said Müller's encouragement and engagement were vital factors in paving the way for the huge transformation effort. This included working closely with the city's Chamber of Commerce to identify local vendors where English is spoken, organizations accepting the Value Added Tax form and networking with host nation property owners to find more off-post housing for those transitioning into the Wiesbaden area.
"He has been a wonderful friend," said Carstens, pointing to his leadership as also vital in setting a positive example which encouraged "an amiable and collegial atmosphere between the city and the U.S. forces operating in the Wiesbaden area."
Tracing the close ties between Americans and Germans in Wiesbaden back to the massive humanitarian effort to feed the besieged citizens of Berlin during the Berlin Airlift, Müller said that was "a moment when former enemies became friends" -- when "the United States won the hearts and minds of the German people."
Recognizing challenges encountered during the recent transformation effort, the former lord mayor said, "We had many problems, but we were able to solve them with friendship.
"I'm very proud to get this medal," he said, "and I'd like to thank you very much."