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Mannheim celebrates the New Year “We appreciate your prayers, comfort, and many courtesies everyday.

Story by Christine Gebhard, USAG Mannheim Public Affairs Office
In her outlook on 2008, Lawrence highlighted two events in March –
MANNHEIM, Germany – Nearly 400 German and American guests the 50th anniversary of the Army Signal presence in Europe and the
gathered Jan. 11 at the German Federal Academy of Defense 50th anniversary of the International Albert-Schweitzer Youth
Administration and Technology for a New Year’s reception Basketball Tournament. She also expressed hope that “our stories and
highlighting the Mannheim military community. our communities will continue to intertwine for years to come as
Defense Secretary Robert Gates reviews the need to keep a larger
The event co- hosted by Brig. Gen. Susan Lawrence, commander of the
(military) population in Europe for the foreseeable future.”
5th Signal Command, and Lt. Col. Jeffrey Fletcher, commander of U.S.
Army Garrison Manheim is an annual tradition, drawing attendees Many uniformed attendees echoed her feelings of this “is truly a great
from throughout the area, including members of Fasching, or Carnival time to be a U.S. Soldier serving in Europe, and … there is no better
Clubs, who are in full swing of celebrating Germany’s so-called “fifth place to serve than Mannheim, Germany,” which brought a round of
season.” applause from the crowd.
Mannheim’s Fasching City Princess, Jennifer I., presented her
campaign medal to Lawrence as a German-American friendship token,
along with Viernheim’s City Princess, Meike I., and her Fasching Club

During her remarks, Lawrence, who is also the Mannheim senior

mission commander, praised the well-established rapport between the
U.S. military and Mannheim’s citizens, adding that she and her
husband Neil “feel privileged” to having had the opportunity to
experience the “Mannheim experience” before, as she formerly served
as the 7th Signal Brigade commander.

“It is almost as if a magnet keeps pulling me back to Mannheim; then

again, perhaps it’s not just a personal force in my life … perhaps it’s
just the magnetism of this beautiful metropolitan region of Rhein-
Neckar and its wonderful people.” she said.

She reminded the audience of ongoing deployments downrange,

thanking attendees for their gestures of solidarity to U.S. Soldiers and
families, asking for their continued support of the Mannheim Military Mannheim's City (Fasching) Princess Jennifer I., center, attended the Mannheim
Community, especially for those families whose military members are Military Community's New Year's reception to present Brig. Gen. Lawrence and Lt.
serving in harm’s way in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Balkans and elsewhere Col. Jeffrey Fletcher with her official 2007-2008 Fasching campaign medal.
in the world. Photo by Sieg Heppner