Memorial Service for Colonel (Ret.) Chris Conrad
Note From Point Alpha Foundation
The following update (slightly edited) was sent to Glenn Snodgrass from Johannes at the Point Alpha Foundation; it mentions the dates for the Last Border Patrol ceremony in 2023. The URLs for the foundation’s website, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram are listed at the end of the note.
We will have to see how things work out at the museum when the fall arrives and the number of COVID cases rises; hopefully, we won’t have to shut down (again), but for the moment, we’re quite confident we will make it through the cold days this year without too many restrictions.
Philipp and I are very happy you enjoyed your stay with us. It was a nice surprise to meet you all, and we are eager to work with you more closely in the future. We greatly appreciate what you’re doing for us, because we still want to learn much more about OP Alpha. There’s so much we need to know about its history and how the soldiers went about their duties and daily routines. There’s no better source for this knowledge than staying in touch with you, and also for practical help (such as the refurbishing of the tent or vehicle.
We are discussing how we could deal with the silhouettes in the barracks in order to have the correct patches displayed. What we will do first is examine the documentation to find out who actually did these installations. It was done well before Philipp’s and my time at the Point Alpha Foundation, but I’m pretty sure this will give us a first idea on how to proceed. We are committed to fix this as soon as possible, although I doubt it will happen before early 2023.
Currently, we are going through our archive and looking for photographs that help us identify the different building stages of the OP. We’re still not sure when the fences went up, for example, or how certain buildings looked originally. As we talked about when you visited, a person doesn’t pay as much attention to their surroundings when they’re doing routine activities. Therefore, it’s quite challenging to remember certain details much later, and photographs are the best option to figure out how it’s been once. We’ve also filed a request at the German Federal Archive for additional photographs from confidential informants who worked for the Stasi (state security) in West Germany. We have already collected a detailed report about OP Alpha from their archives, and we know they took pictures – we just need to get access to them.
We will keep you in the loop about the outcome of this endeavor and further developments on OP Alpha. The next major event will be the “Last Border Patrol Ceremony.” It will take place on March 17, 2023 if there are no unforeseen developments. The date was confirmed by USAREUR+AF HQ in Wiesbaden. Although we understand it is not just a short trip to come over here, we would be honored if veterans came and participated in this event.
Again, thank you so much for your assistance! We’re looking forward to working with you, and we think together we can make a lot happen at OP Alpha/Point Alpha so that further generations understand what it was like to be stationed on “Freedom’s Frontier” in a divided country (and continent, for that matter), facing an oppressive regime and a mighty enemy threat.
I’ve attached three pictures I took outside of OP Alpha and from the watchtower a few days ago when the leaves started to change colors. Take them as a very small token of appreciation.
Kind regards from Germany.
Johannes Schneider, M.A.
Point Alpha Stiftung
Tel. +49 36967-5964-274
Fax +49 36967-5964-26
Border Legion Veterans Visit the Area of Operations
Provided by Tom Smart and Glenn Snodgrass
A small group of Border Legion Troopers recently returned to Fulda and Bad Hersfeld; they found many changes, but much remains the same.
The Fulda Dom is glorious on a perfect fall day — just as we remember it.
The number of visitors to our former OP Alpha are increasing significantly now that the pandemic has eased. The Point Alpha Foundation is in good hands with new and energetic leadership.
Pictured here are Sandy and Tom Smart; Glenn and Joan Snodgrass; Dave and Beate Cowan; and John Sherman Crow, among others.
Tom Smart and Glenn Snodgrass were at Down Barracks and behind the old Regimental Headquarters in this photo. The plaque is well cared for. Many of the buildings are recognizable, but the changes here and at Sickles Army Air Field have been enormous.
This is the inspiring memorial sign at OP India.
All that remains of OP India, besides the sign, is the tower; it is maintained by Reiner Methe, who is one passionate German.
A piece of the former barrier system is left in place along the B7 in 3rd Squadron’s former area of operations.
The beer is as good as ever!
Important Update on the BHA and USAA Affiliation
The Blackhorse Association has joined the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) as an Association Partner. As we combine forces, we will both be stronger, have a cohesive message to the American people, and a louder voice on Capitol Hill as we advocate for legislation that is important to both the BHA and AUSA. We support each other’s goals, and AUSA provides the BHA another way to show our support for the Total Army.
If you are a member of the BHA, then you probably have received a welcome email that looks like the image below.
If you believe you are a member of the BHA, but you do not have a BHA membership card or have not started receiving your AUSA benefits, then please contact one of these emails:
If you are not a member of the BHA, we welcome you and invite you to join us at this link:
If you are a BHA member or soon-to-be BHA member, you can always opt out of the AUSA membership at this link:
The following is a preview of some of the exciting benefits and savings that are available through our new partnership with AUSA:
The Blackhorse Association and AmazonSmile
Are you a BHA member who uses Amazon.com? Our guess is you probably are, and we need your support. Currently, 288 people support the BHA through the AmazonSmile charity program. All that is needed to provide your support is a quick 30- second enrollment and continued use of Amazon for your purchases.
As a result of members like you who are already using AmazonSmile, we just received a $211 quarterly contribution from Amazon. This brings total Amazon contributions to the BHA to $3122; this has funded one annual scholarship — simply by adjusting your Amazon account.
How It Works
We’re asking that you designate “Blackhorse Association Inc” as your charity. Doing so means the association will receive .5% of the purchase price of all items purchased by you and your fellow BHA members made through AmazonSmile. This Amazon donation is done anonymously based on total purchases of our enrollees. 100% of every quarterly payment received from Amazon is deposited into our scholarship fund.
Anyone can support the association by using AmazonSmile. If you have family members or friends who have their own Amazon accounts, they too can designate “Blackhorse Association Inc” as their choice; everything will work the same for them as well.
Please remember that enrolling in the AmazonSmile program has no effect on the purchase price of your items; your price remains the same as before – not higher or lower. The only differences are Amazon rewards your participation by donating to the Blackhorse Association and you’ll make Amazon purchases on the AmazonSmile webpage instead of the standard Amazon webpage. (We recommend bookmarking the AmazonSmile webpage to ensure we receive credit for your purchases.) As a result, the Association will get a steady stream of revenue throughout the year that will be used to fund scholarships.
How To Sign Up
If you’re using a desktop browser or viewing the Amazon website on your phone, click the link below, log in if needed, get started at the AmazonSmile page, and select “Blackhorse Association Inc.” Please bookmark the new start page.
Click here to go to the Amazon Sign-In page.
If you’re using an Amazon app on your phone or device, open the app, and find “Settings” in the main menu (≡). Tap on “AmazonSmile” and follow the on-screen instructions to turn on AmazonSmile on your phone or device. Search for “Blackhorse Association Inc” and select it.
Amazon recently announced a new AmazonSmile App that will further ensure your purchases are always credited to the Smile program. So this is a possibility, but not a requirement, for you as well. After you register, please select “Blackhorse Association Inc.”
We thank you, and the college students of our troopers thank you too!
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