Sea Gals Blog: Katie's European Tour Journal

Katie talks her recent trip to Europe

Being the younger of two children, my father an Army Major, kept my family busy by living in several states and the Netherlands.  I was a young girl during the years of 1987-1991 (ages 6-10) and at the time could not fully appreciate the benefits of experiencing life out of the States.  Over the years I have discovered the advantages of trying new things and learning about cultures that are different from my own.  For the past 16 years I had not had the opportunity to visit my old home in Holland.  That is until Show Group of 2007 was invited to perform a two week Armed Forces Network Variety Show tour. 

I was particularly excited when I found out we would be performing on the same military installation that my family was stationed at Brunsum. When we arrived I was full of amazement and joy.  I watched carefully through the tour bus window as we passed my old school AF North School, formally known as AFCENT International School.  It looked newer and not quite as big as remembered it as a girl.  However, it was comforting to know that it still existed.  After checking into our hotel (The Conference Center) the Sea Gals had lunch at a newly remodeled cafeteria that I remembered eating at years ago.  Soon we were off to the local Army base, Shinin, to pick up some personal items.  We were greeted by the editor of the base's newspaper. She had been contacted by my mother, whom was a former editor for the same publication.  The reporter interviewed me about my experience as a Sea Gal on a two week tour to my families former duty station.  The best part of that afternoon was re-uniting with a former co-worker of my mother's.  On our drive back to the hotel we were able to drive by the house where I used to live.  I was excited, anxious and, oddly enough, a little nervous to see it.  Even to be on the street where I used to play baseball and walk to and from school brought back some memories. 

Later on the tour at another Military base called Baumholder Garrison I ran into my old first grade teacher from AF North School.  After more than 20 years she was still teaching first grade school.  She happened to be assisting in the Sea Gals Cheer Clinic we were hosting on base.  This meeting took us both completely by surprise as we were overjoyed and astonished of the chances of a former student being reunited with her favorite teacher at a cheer clinic in Germany. 

Though it was nice to visit my old home, the Sea Gals accomplished great things all the days of the trip:  the Sea Gals Cheer Clinic with the Jr. Varsity and Varsity Squads, the full-length 90 minute Variety Show program, and autograph sessions.  Each day was full of productive activities and events within each individual community and I believe that we made the most of every minute.  Everybody felt very fortunate to have this opportunity because these moments only come once in a lifetime.  I felt blessed to bring a small part of Seattle and Washington to our friends and families overseas.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you to all the service men, women and families that work hard every day to protect our rights, freedoms and standard of living.

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