Colby Way, Interviewed by Lucy Case, 2017
Colby Way, Cold War Veteran, Interviewed by Lucy Case, 2017
Name of person(s) interviewed: Colby Way
Other people present: N/A
Researcher: Lucy Case
Date of interview: May 2017
Location of interview: Burbank, WA
Special conditions (noise, interruptions, etc.): Washing machine beeps and family in the background
General description of contents: His experiences in Germany and what it was like at the Berlin Wall.
Length of interview: 20:33
00:00: Introduction: Who I am interviewing and what part of the military he was in.
00:11: Where you drafted or did you enlist and how old were you?
00:21: Do you recall your first days in service?
00:54: Do you remember your instructors?
01:20: Were you stationed anywhere before you went to Berlin?
01:38: When were you sent to Germany?
01:50: Reaction when you found out where you were being stationed?
02:15: Do you remember arriving and what was your reaction?
02:53: What was your assignment?
03:33: What were a couple of your most memorable experiences?
05:05: What was it like in that area of Germany?
07:34: Did you have plenty of supplies where you were?
08:24: What did you do when on leave?
09:22: Do you recall any particularly humorous or unusual events?
12:14: What did you think of officers or fellow soldiers?
13:10: Do you recall the day your service ended?
14:23: What did you do after your contract ended?
15:07: Did you make any close friendships while in the service?
16:16: Do you continue any of those relationships?
17:02: What was your reaction when you heard the Berlin Wall fell?
17:31: What did you go on to do as a career after the war?
18:00: Is there something you wish you had known before you had enlisted?
19:06: Is there anything you would like to add?
Mr. Colby Way
Interviewed by Lucy Case, 2017
Born on June 19, 1967, Colby Way grew up just outside the Tri Cities, Washington.
He began his life in the military when he was seventeen. A military recruiter visited the high school that he attended and he enlisted, signing an eight year contract.
After enlisting, he was sent to Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri for boot camp. While at boot camp, he had to endure hot and humid weather along with the rigorous training.
After finishing his initial training, Colby traveled to Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indiana for advanced Initial Training. Here, his training was more specific to the military field he wanted to enter. He would be training to be a legal specialist.
As a legal specialist, he worked with the Judge Advocate General’s corps. It was his job to conduct investigative work and to process work for the military lawyers.
The majority of cases that he worked on were non-judicial punishment cases as well as criminal cases.
In December of 1985, upon finishing his training, Colby was stationed in the small German town of Fulda. Fulda is situated right on the along the border between East Germany and West Germany, where at the time, only barbed wire, fences, and ditches separated the two sections.
Although he was actually part of V Corps, he was stationed with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment along Fulda Gap. In many of his assignments, he worked with German citizens and dealt with many of the legal cases.
His tour was considered a hardship tour and he was only supposed to be stationed in Berlin for one year. However, due to budget cuts, he had to stay in active duty for three years. During this time he was only allowed to come home once.
Throughout his time in Germany, Colby was able to take multiple local vacations during his leave time. One trip he was able to go on was with a group of Military personnel down to Italy to go skiing. He was also able to visit Austria and Denmark.
After serving in Germany from 1985 to 1988, Colby returned to America and finished his military contract, working two years in reserves and three years in individual ready reserve. During this time, he married Karla Case on September 5, 1992.
After his contract ended, he came back home and worked at the Walla Walla State Penitentiary as a corrections officer. He then moved to working as a probation officer and held that career for twenty years.
He is proud of the work that the armed forces did in Germany, and the results of it, and encourages young people to consider life in the military.