Sharing a move with German television: USAREUR Family transitions from Heidelberg to Wiesbaden
July 31, 2012
WIESBADEN, Germany - It was just another day in the life of an Army Family -- another move, unpacking boxes and getting settled in a new home.
Except this time German television station, Sat.1, was on hand to capture the action -- sharing with German viewers what it's like for one of the first Families to move into Newman Village on Wiesbaden's Clay Kaserne.
"We're very grateful to have this house," said Sgt. David Wagner, who is assigned to U.S. Army Europe's G-3.
As David, his wife Kate and daughter Alexandria directed the movers and stowed belongings away throughout the house, they talked about their reactions to the move to the brand new housing area in Wiesbaden.
"We've got no complaints so far," said David. "The housing inspector was extremely nice, and inprocessing is going really well.
"I'm excited to be here," he added, saying he was impressed by the fitness center and other facilities.
"I'm stoked about the back yard," he said. "That was the selling point."
"It's been a really pleasant experience for us," said Kate, explaining that as a real estate agent back home in Arizona, she could relate to the process of helping military Families settle in to their new home. "For me it was like stepping into my client's shoes.
"I expected it to be harder," she said, adding, "Everyone was really helpful."
While David had served in Europe before -- having been stationed in Italy -- for the rest of the family it was only the second big move as an Army Family.
"This is only my second PCS," said Kate, "the first being to Heidelberg --that was the hardest."
While David was away on temporary duty for a couple of months, his wife had to prepare for the move.
"Katie had to do everything by herself," he said, pointing out that it's important for families to get ready well in advance. "You need to prepare -- make sure all your ducks are in a row such as having up-to-date school records, etc."
"It's all about managing your expectations," added Kate. "Hope for the best and prepare for the worst," she said.
As the movers continued to unload boxes and the Wagners showed the German television crew around their new house, their two dogs Shadow and Chester moved excitedly through the chaos. Shadow, who was adopted the day before from a fellow military Family on its way out of Germany, was visibly perturbed by the commotion.
"He tried to eat one of the movers," said Kate, laughing, adding that the dogs and their children -- Alexandria, Aidan, age 12, and Trae, 16, were happy to have a house after 18 months of stairwell living in Heidelberg's Patrick Henry Village. "The kids love the change -- they're very excited."
The Wagners were also pleased to make the move in summer so that the boys wouldn't have to move in the middle of a school year. "They can start school here and finish here."
And while all members of the Family present said they "loved Heidelberg," they looked forward to exploring the Wiesbaden area -- "Rhein River cruises, thousand-year-old sites" and other cultural and historical sights.
"I'm excited about the classes -- the chance to learn Deutsch," said Kate.
"We should have Internet today," she added, saying that for Alexandria, who was in the middle of college exams from her online Brigham Young University courses, that was a critical piece of the move.
"I had to study and move," said Alexandria, who was preparing for a math test.
"Maybe it hasn't hit me yet (the move), because we have to go back and paint," said Kate, "but mostly we're just happy to be here." (Editor's note: To view the German Sat.1 television coverage online visit www.1730live.de/aktuell/neu/news-details/datum/2012/07/20/umzug-der-us-army.html.)