By Mr. Rick Scavetta (IMCOM)August 22, 2013
LANDSTUHL, Germany - Armed with brooms and bags, Soldiers from Landstuhl's Sgt. Audie Murphy Club and local Boy Scouts cleaned up Luitpoldstrasse in Landstuhl - a steep street known locally to troops as "Cardiac Hill."
The project, which first began in 2009, has become a biannual tradition, said Army Master Sgt. Jose Raymundo, the club president and project leader.
"Through this street, we feel connected to the city and downtown," Raymundo said. "That's why we choose to do this."
Luitpoldstrasse links Wilson Barracks at U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern with downtown Landstuhl. American service members and civilians who work at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center often park alongside the street and access the post through a walk-in entrance. On evenings and weekends, many Americans walk down the street to Landstuhl's restaurants, shops and bars.
During the cleanup, volunteers filled at least a dozen trash bags. Empty bottles and fast food containers were mostly what was found. In the past they've hauled out tires, car parts and even a computer. A small van was alongside to haul the garbage away.
"Our intent is to show our appreciation to the Germans," Raymundo said. "We share the same ideas and values as our German neighbors and we want them know we do this because we care."
Sabine Günther, head of Landstuhl's parks department, arrived with a crew of workers to help out.
Together, the German's and Americans partnered together to make the street and forest look better, she said.
This year, Boy Scout Troop 232 from Ramstein also helped out. The event began at 9: 30 a.m. on August 16. They cleaned for roughly two hours. Afterward, the volunteers went to lunch at the New York kebap shop at Landstuhl's Kaiserstrasse.
Raymundo hopes their efforts sets an example for Soldiers in Landstuhl and the entire Kaiserslautern Military Community.
"It's a way for us to appreciate the hospitality from the city of Landstuhl," Raymundo said. "We do this to reinforce the camaraderie between Germans and Americans."