Hahn Airbase, West Germany, 1989 I had just put my family on the airplane back to the States and was very depressed. My friends rallied around me and invited me to play paintball with them. Over the months it grew from a couple of guys on the weekend to intramural Squadron events involving 40 or 50 folks. We were reminded to not pull people off of weekend duty to play.
Our favorite place was an abandoned slate factory. Five stories embedded into the side of a hill. We also played in various parks and places where the Germans did their volksmarching. Imagine being out on a weekend with the family, strolling along a forest path when five or six camouflaged figures come bolting across the path. Germans would flee. Americans would throw down a picnic and root us on. More than once the Polizei (cops) would be called and we would fade into the forest until they left.
One of the coolest placed we played was in a medieval castle. It was a drizzly day but that didn’t stop us. With all the germans hanging around everywhere we played we prided ourselves by not shooting a civilian. On this day I was stalking around a corner when this guy wearing a OD poncho came around the other corner. I almost put two in his chest before I realized he was a German. Not just any German but the “Schlossmeister”. the Castle Keeper. Think “Park Ranger”. He was pissed and wanted to know why in the Hell we were marking up a historical site with paint. I told him that the paint was water soluble and promptly popped one in my mouth to proof they were harmless.
We then sat down and started talking paintball
SM: “Is this military training?”
Me: “No, we do this for fun.”
SM: “But you have military equipment?”
Me: “It’s private military equipment.”
SM: “That’s why we lost the war.”
He wanted to know the rules of the game. I told him that two hits in arms, legs or torso meant you’re dead. Head shots killed you immediately.
“Then I should be dead twice”, he said. “We shot you?” “No, I was wounded four times in the War.”
He then regaled me with stories about his participation in the march on Moscow during World War Two.
Base Commander sent out a photographer from the Hahn Hawk to take these BW pictures. Anyone have a copy? Anyone have more paintball pics? Post them of Facebook.