Wuerzburg Hospital Sounds Final Retreat
Staff Sgt. Bryan King lowers the flag for a final time at Wuerzburg Army Hospital. 1st Sgt. David Hunt, center, and Staff Sgt. Gabriel Noel I. Camacho were also part of the flag security detail.

SCHWEINFURT, Germany (Army News Service, Nov. 1, 2007) - The American flag was lowered for the last time at Wuerzburg Army Hospital Oct. 19, during a somber retreat ceremony.

Col. Theresa M. Schneider, commander of U.S. Army Medical Department Activity, Bavaria, presided over the ceremony, which marked the end of 62 years of U.S. Army presence in the hospital.

The facility closure is part of the Army Medical Command's transformation and realignment to decentralize health care. Currently, BMEDDAC consists of health clinics in Wuerzburg on Leighton Barracks and seven outlying health clinics that support 40,000 Soldiers and Family members in Bavaria.

The other health clinics are in Bamberg, Grafenwoehr, Hohenfels, Illesheim, Katterbach, Schweinfurt and Vilseck.

The hospital served the U.S. military community since the end of World War II.

Located on the Schottenanger, a 600-year-old former Scottish monastery, plans for the 300-bed hospital began in 1935 to support the needs of a growing German army.

The hospital's ground-breaking ceremony was held Dec. 24, 1935. And after a two-year construction period, the hospital opened Nov. 11, 1937.

More than 70 years later, the retreat ceremony - attended by many past and present employees, physician providers and Soldiers - marked the facility's closure. Former Lord Mayor of Wuerzburg, Juergen Weber, was the senior representative from the nearby community.

Ingrid Purucker, an employee in the property book section of the hospital for 42 years, was invited to take part in the cake-cutting ceremony with Col. Schneider and Mr. Weber.

(Anne Torphy writes for Bavarian MEDDAC Public Affairs.)

Page last updated Thu November 1st, 2007 at 09:38