Newcomers PCSing to Kaiserslautern, Germany Get a Warm Welcome and Tour From the USO

By Airman 1st Class Taylor Slater

Any military family that has moved before knows that getting your bearings in a new duty station, especially one that is overseas, can be a long and trying process.

Luckily, for newcomers PCSing to Kaiserslautern, Germany, there’s a fast, fun and free way to learn about their new home – the Ramstein Air Base Newcomers Tour, which is co-hosted by the USO, the 86th Force Support Squadron Airman and Family Readiness Center.

The tour, which takes place on Thursdays, features a walking tour of Kaiserslautern and lunch at a local German restaurant. Tour participants also learn about the history of Americans in Rhineland-Palatinate during a walk-through of the Documentation and Exhibition Center.

Ramstein Air Base Newcomers Tour attendees learn about the history of Kaiserslautern while touring Kaiserslautern, Germany on June 27, 2019. The RAB Newcomers Tour is scheduled for every Thursday from 8:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Anne Warnock, USO Kaiserslautern area volunteer coordinator, said the tour unites American and German communities.

“One way to feel at home in a new community is to get to know your community,” Warnock said. “This Kaiserslautern orientation is a way for the military community to experience this new culture.”

During the tour, attendees are treated to a verbal history of Kaiserslautern from one of the tour guides. Mary Laureana Aguirre-Garza, a USO tour guide, has been hosting tours for two years.

“I love sharing the history, the culture, the living,” Aguirre-Garza said. “Opening the participants’ eyes to the treasures that we have in Kaiserslautern that are part of all of Europe.”

Attendees also visit the Kaiserslautern train station where they learn about using public transit. At the German-American Community Office Americans learn about German customs and laws.

Mary Laureana Aguirre-Garza, a tour guide, teaches Ramstein Air Base Newcomers Tour attendees about German parking etiquette in Kaiserslautern, Germany on June 27, 2019. Aguirre-Garza has been showcasing Germany for two years.

Edgar Lopez, an attendee, said he enjoyed his time on the tour on June 27 and learned a lot of things about Germany that he didn’t know before. “It’s a good way to get your feet wet when you first get to Germany,” Lopez said.

The tour is open to all Department of Defense service members and their families and is scheduled nearly every Thursday – barring federal and Germany holidays – from 8:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m starting at the Passenger Terminal on Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

Participants can sign up by calling the Airman and Family Readiness Center at DSN 480-5100 or visiting them at Building 2120 on Ramstein.

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