Sunday, July 25, 2010

The SMLM Card

All the recent news about Russian spies reminded me of my own little piece of cold war history. Just when you thought all that stuff was over, here we are exchanging spies like it's nothing at all.

This card, and drink coaster, were not collected at an estate or yard sale but were collected by myself while I was stationed at only one of three PERSHING II nuclear missile sites in West Germany, during the 1980's. The SMLM card basically laid out the rules of engagement on how to handle those stray Russians who wandered into your TRA or PRA. Since every place on our base, and the surrounding area, was a PRA, you had to have one of these with you all the time, just in case.

Soviet Military Liaison Mission Card
This card had been withdrawn by the US Army, and has been classified as obsolete. The base where I was stationed was torn down and is now a small strip mall with light manufacturing and commercial businesses in its place. The money raised from the sale of the base allowed the nearby city to finance a new library, from the proceeds. The drink coaster features the 56 FA Brigade patch and was used at the NCO club located on base. What is funny about this, is very few people owned their own cars and the only time anyone drove was when they were driving an army vehicle.

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