Spangdahlem Airmen adopt German village

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, GERMANY -- Airmen from the 52nd Equipment Maintenance Squadron present a sign they made to Wilsecker Mayor Edeltrud Hilden and residents to symbolize the unit’s relationship with the village after the two groups spent the day working together during Clean Up Wilsecker Day April 14. (Photo by Diana Frisch)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, GERMANY -- Airmen from the 52nd Equipment Maintenance Squadron present a sign they made to Wilsecker Mayor Edeltrud Hilden and residents to symbolize the unit’s relationship with the village after the two groups spent the day working together during Clean Up Wilsecker Day. (Photo by Diana Frisch)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, GERMANY -- (Editor's Note: The mayor of Wilsecker, Edeltrud Hilden, provided information to Trierischer Volksfreund reporter Denise Juchem for their April 24 edition.) 

Members from the 52nd Equipment Maintenance Squadron armament flight partnered up with residents from the local town of Wilsecker for a "Clean Up Wilsecker Day" April 14. 

The idea of a partnership between the 52nd EMS armament flight and the German town of Wilsecker came from Senior Master Sgt. Gary Day, 52nd EMS armament flight chief, and Master Sgt. Steven Frisch, 52nd EMS assistant armament flight chief, both of whom live in Wilsecker. 

Sergeant Day and Sergeant Frisch walked through Wilsecker with Edeltrud Hilden, the town's mayor, and discovered there were many projects the squadron could help out with during Clean Up Wilsecker Day. In the past, the Wilsecker people performed this spring cleaning on their own. 

More than 40 adults and children volunteered April 14 to work side by side with the residents to make the town more beautiful. 

Both Germans and Americans divided into small teams. Each team had different tasks including cleaning up plant patches, cutting trees, repairing playground equipment, working on the Wilsecker Fussballplatz, picking up trash and repainting the bus stop. The teams worked great together with focus and diligence. 

The armament flight hosted a barbecue and then presented the people of Wilsecker with a hand-made plaque as a symbol of their friendship. The sign took more than 30 hours to make. The mayor was appreciative of the sign and it now hangs in Wilsecker's town hall. 

Community involvement and friendship building was exactly what Sergeant Day and Sergeant Frisch had in mind when they came up with the idea. 

"It was a great outing," Sergeant Frisch said. "The goal was two-fold; to have our younger Airmen that don't socialize much with our German hosts work hand-in-hand and get to know them better, and also, to let our German hosts see that we care about where we live and want to work as a team keeping Germany clean. It was an overall positive experience for all that participated, and we look forward to our next project together." 

As it was time to say goodbye, Mayor Hilden thanked everybody and said she was impressed and happy about the great work everyone did to help beautify the town. 

As a sign of her recognition and friendship, the mayor extended an invitation to the Wilsecker Horse Riding Fest to each squadron volunteer. The event is scheduled June 16-17. 

The town of Wilsecker is excited and is looking forward to more activities where the two communities can work together on more projects. The town hopes to be an example of building stronger connections and friendships between both Americans and Germans.