Friedberg, Germany, Christmas 2004. I had arrived to the battalion in August and decided to take local leave. This set me up as the senior officer in the battalion, which also meant the guy to go 'take a look around' when not officially tagged with brigade duty. On Christmas Eve, I drove to my battalion barracks, checked on the CQs, walked through some common areas, dropped off some of my wife's cooking, and was heading back home.

Passing the FSB barracks, and noted a cluster of guys outside, next to a building, around a large sack on the ground. Intrigued, I stopped and got out, walked over, and realized that there was a Soldier laying on the very cold ground, barely conscious, and without a shirt. He was definitely hurt, medical help had been called for, and everyone was waiting for the ambulance. Nobody wanted to move him, as there was the possibility that he had hurt his neck. We covered him, but that ground was pretty cold.

So what happened? Apparently drinking with some friends, he sat on the window ledge of the 3rd floor barracks window, and leaned back a bit too far. His roommates didn't see him fall, and couldn't figure out where he disappeared to for several minutes. The ground was more muddy than snowy, and his inebriated state kept him loose on impact, as he wasn't badly injured, and only spent 3 days in the hospital. But you NEVER knew what you would find in and around the barracks.