Benelux Soldier reenlists in historic WWII-era building

Dec. 13, 2011

By U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs

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Sgt. Alexander Frye, U.S. Army Garrison Benelux Military Police, reenlists in the basement of Base Bastogne, in the very room that Gen. Anthony McAuliffe refused the German Army's demand for surrender with the simple word "Nuts."

CHIEVRES, Belgium -- Reenlistment is a special moment for a Soldier, as well as those who serve alongside. It is a conscious decision to extend one's term of service to the Nation and make a commitment to the profession of arms and the sacrifices that come with that profession.

Reenlistments have been done in many ways from simple ceremonies in the workplace to the ramp of an aircraft before a parachute jump.

For one U.S. Army Benelux Soldier reenlistment was an opportunity to show that commitment and dedication of a U.S. Soldier in a place that epitomizes the sacrifices of Soldiers everywhere.

During this year's annual remembrance of the Battle of the Bulge in Bastogne, Belgium, Sgt. Alexander Frye, U.S. Army Garrison Benelux Military Police, reenlisted in the basement of Base Bastogne, in the very room that Gen. Anthony McAuliffe refused the German Army's demand for surrender with the simple word "Nuts."

The Battle of the Bulge was the largest and bloodiest battle of World War II with 89,000 casualties, including 19,000 killed.

These sacrifices have never been forgotten by the people of Bastogne and the commemoration services held every year grow in participation.

Following his reenlistment Frye took more time to be a part of this celebration of U.S. forces determination and commitment to the defense of our nation and allies.

As a member of the U.S. Army Color Guard for the event Sgt. Frye  was present for the unveiling of the 10th Armored Division monument, and helped lead the military parade through the streets of Bastogne to the Patton and McAuliffe monuments.

"I wanted my reenlistment to be different, and as the colonel (Col Rick Tillotson, USAG Benelux commander) said while reenlisting me this location is an example of determination and perseverance," Frye said.

This wasn't Frye's first visit to Bastogne, but he said this visit "trumped" his previous experience.

"The most important thing is they remember. It's pretty awesome how this event's history and gratitude of U.S. sacrifice is passed down to each generation," Frye said.

To realize the significance of Frye's comments, more than 50% of the attendants of the Bastogne events were not even alive during WWII.

The events in Bastogne show we still have continued support from our NATO allies, and in turn our commitment to them, Frye said.

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