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Oral History interview of Russell Harrison Beltz. Interview conducted by Brandon Kirk via Zoom on August 11, 2021. Interview topics include pre-military life; Army Draft experience: what it looked like for Mr.Beltz while in college; Training; Transition from training to army reserves, to civilian life, and back to the army; Parachute training at Fort Benning; Time between duties at Fort Benning and Fort Rucker; Experience attending chemical school; Deployment to Germany and experiences there; Transferring between airborne duties and chemical duties; Experiences in Germany: artillery unit, training, and enemy interactions; memorable experience at McDonald’s during a nuclear protest in Frankfurt, Germany; Experience within the military and mindset during active duty; Return to civilian life; Draft experience: what it was like being in the army reserves; Cities visited in Europe while stationed overseas; Cultural interactions between Germans and Americans; Experience at Soviet checkpoints during the Cold War; Readiness of detachment during the war; Thoughts on the fall of the Berlin Wall; Awards: third oak cluster, NCO professional development ribbon, parachutist badge, expert rifle badge, German bronze medal; Obtaining the rank of Sergeant and experience as a training NCO; Story of how Mr. Beltz met his wife; Return to the U.S. and orders upon return; Return to jump school; Military career after leaving Germany; Transition back to civilian life.

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Video; MovingImage

Interview Date


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Contributor Affiliation / Organization

RICHES University of Central Florida

Length of Interview



Department of History, University of Central Florida




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University of Central Florida Libraries, Special Collections & University Archives

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UCF Community Veterans History Project

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