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Working on Base at the Ed Center

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Working on Base at the Ed Center. Lindsey Air Station, Germany

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I lived in Wiesbaden and worked at Lindsey Air Station. At that time Wiesbaden had maybe 9 or 10 installations around the city. Lindsey was right in the city, and it was a few blocks away from the Wiesbaden Regional Medical Center. That was a big hospital, one of the three main Medical Centers in Germany.
I worked at the Education Center. The Ed Center had about 20 employees at that time. We had a lot of students coming in, I think about 1000 on average. The schools that were there were: Boston University (masters degrees); Troy State; Embry Riddle; University of Maryland; City College of Chicago. Those are the ones I remember; there may have been others. Most of us were military wives, and I think mostly officers’ wives. There were also some German women who worked at the Ed Center. They were great. They knew everything and were totally efficient.
On military bases, there was a kind of informal hierarchy of jobs for wives. Mostly enlisted wives worked at the clubs as waitresses or in the kitchen. Enlisted wives also worked at the PX and Commissary, particularly as cashiers and baggers working for tips. Officers and enlisted wives worked at the bank; that was considered a pretty good job. The Ed Center was the best job, because not only was it an office job, but you could take classes tuition free. So wives who had dropped out of college to get married could finish their degrees. I think maybe we had to have some college to work there. I can’t remember, but I know it was a very desirable job to get, and there was a lot of competition.
It was tough for a lot of wives to work, though, because you didn’t get paid very much and most people had children. There were day care centers on the bases, which were very inexpensive, but even so, wives were expected to run everything at home. So most of the wives who worked full-time, at least at the Ed Center, did not have young children.
Working at the Ed Center was great because there were a lot of people coming in, but you got to know them pretty well because most of them were taking classes for a while. Also, it got busy around registration and the beginning of each term, but then it wasn’t so busy. So it was a nice mix of busy and not busy. Plus, we got to know the instructors really well. They were a bunch of characters. Most of them were American but had been teaching for years in Germany. They were great.

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