Soldiers benefit from Army garrison winter safety checks

Story and photo by Rick Scavetta
U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern

When 1st Lt. Humphrey Mararo returned home from Kuwait last month, he picked up a used BMW — a second car for his family.

He was one of dozens of KMC members who took advantage of Winter Safety Day, a recent event sponsored by U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern’s directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation. The daylong event, held at the Pulaski
Auto Skills Center, provided the community with a free 32 point safety inspection.

“This is very good for the Soldiers. The garrison has these twice a year, in spring and fall, to make sure your car is ready for the next season,” said Mararo, a dispersing officer from the 106th Finance Management Company. “That’s big kudos for U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern for putting up an event like this for the Soldiers and civilians in the Kaiserslautern area.”

Volunteers from Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers, including Spc. Jorge Hernandez of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command and Pfc. Jonathan Groves of the 39th Transportation Company, joined garrison staff to support the event.

Nearby, garrison safety officer Scott Livingston checked child safety seats. A German technician from the Bosch service center in Landstuhl offered free headlight alignments and presented drivers with a windshield sticker identifying their car as being compliant with German headlight standards.

During the day, 35 participants won free $10 car washes. While drivers waited, they could check out an undercover German police car, used to check autobahn speeds. They also enjoyed complimentary coffee, muffins and hot dogs.

By the end of the day, mechanics conducted 166 inspections, identifying a variety of safety issues — most recognizable were many worn and underinflated tires.
Mararo, who is originally from Kenya, remembers how harsh German winters can be, he said. He took advantage of the free check, hoping mechanics could point out potential safety concerns with his new car — before winter sets in.

“It’s very important that every part on your car is working properly and that you have winter tires — it’s German law — plus, good windshield wipers and a working defroster,” Mararo said. “Now that we are moving into the winter months, you’ve got to be on top of that.”