Story by Sgt. Christopher Stewart, 7th Army Training Command
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — Leaders of the 7th Army Training Command partnered with the German forest service, known as the “Bundesforst,” and other community members to plant an oak tree outside of 7 ATC’s headquarters, Tower Barracks, Grafenwoehr, Germany, Oct. 8, 2019.
The ceremony represented community togetherness and unity while the tree itself represented more.
“The best day to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best day is today,” said Col. Timothy Davis, the Operations Officer for 7 ATC. “The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit.”
Everyone who walks into the 7 ATC headquarters will have the opportunity to pass by the newly planted tree.
“This is a symbol of courage and strength that will remind us every time we pass by, of the things that we have in the community; our brothers and sisters in arms, our partners and allies,” said Lt. Col. Timothy Maracle, the chaplain for 7 ATC.
The Bundesforst donated the oak tree to 7 ATC, and then multiple leaders from 7 ATC and the community worked together to plant it in the traffic circle.
Among those who took turns shoveling were Brig. Gen. Christopher Norrie, commander for 7 ATC; Command Sgt. Maj. Franklin Velez, the senior enlisted advisor for 7 ATC; Col. Adam Boyd, commander for U. S. Army Garrison Bavaria; Lt. Col. Donald Cherry, the executive officer of 41st Field Artillery Brigade; Command Sgt. Maj. Samuel Zoker, senior enlisted advisor for 41 FAB; Hans-Martin Schertl, the mayor of Vilseck; Anita Stauber, the deputy mayor of Grafenwoehr; Ulrich Maushake, the German forest director, “Leitender Forstdirektor”; and Kevin Quarles, Training Support Activity Europe director.
“It is such a powerful symbol of strength and knowledge,” said Davis. “Communities coming together, nations coming together.”
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