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German Club on Fort Bliss shuts its doors for good

By: Gina Benitez

EL PASO, Texas- A Fort Bliss fixture that has been around for 50 years shut its doors for good.

The German Club, however, had one last blowout Friday before it officially closed for business.

"It's a little bit of giving back to the people that are here every night and every day and on the last day, we want to go with a bang," said Master Sgt. Marco Andresen, manager of the German Club.

For 50 years the The German Club has sat nicely on Fort Bliss and served the community -- Germans, non-Germans, service members and civilians alike.

Now the staple is closing its doors for good.

"This is, like the end of an era. Its like the end of friendships," said one attendee.

"Right now, I could cry, honestly, because this is part of history in El Paso," said another.

"Everything has to go. So every bottle of liquor, every beer we have has to be gone. We're going to give bratwurst away for a dollar," Andresen said.

Tickets for the bash sold out within minutes.

"If we got the number over 480, then we have to close the doors and it's only one (way) out, one (way) in," said 1st Lt. Marco Hauff, spokesperson for the German Air Force.

The celebration will continue well into the night but organizers said once things wind down, sadness will start to set in.

"Slowly but steady, the Germans are leaving El Paso and every year now, there's going to be less and less German soldiers," Andresen said.

As the German presence on post fades, so does the manpower to run the place.

"With only 100 soldiers here it will be hard to keep a club open of this size," Hauff said.

"It's going to be great to see everybody for one last time and then it's gonna be very sad to let everybody go," Andresen said.

The German Air Force is set to fully dismantle by 2017.


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