Former military child revisits Ramstein AB

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kaitlyn Oiler
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany – With nostalgia reflecting in his eyes and a lifetime of stories etched in his heart, a proud grandfather took a moment to reflect on a transformative chapter of his younger years as a military child.
Once a teenager living in Europe, Steven Howe now finds comfort in recalling his time living at Ramstein from 1965-1968 at the end of his father’s Air Force career. Recently, he returned to the base with his youngest grandson, Mark Sesholtz, to share his story.
Moving from one base to another throughout his childhood during his father’s career, Howe became acquainted with the highs and lows of a lifestyle many military families are familiar with. However, it was during his years living in Europe that his journey took an extraordinary turn, leaving a lasting mark on his character.
“Living in Europe and learning about different cultures is important,” said Howe. “I want my grandson to experience this firsthand.”
Howe’s family always had a positive outlook on the regularity of change in their lives. This helped him and his brothers adjust whenever they found themselves in a new city. According to Howe, his time in Europe was full of exploration, cultural immersion and profound personal growth. Every experience was a lesson in resilience, adaptability and appreciating the richness of different cultures.
Along the journey, the bonds with fellow military children created lifelong friendships for Howe. He still meets with friends from high school and has maintained the relationships. Together, they navigated the challenges of adapting to new schools and social environments united by a shared understanding of the constant changes of living as a military child.
The education Howe received from Kaiserslautern High School, as well as living abroad, prepared him for his future.
“It was education that helped me to become who I am,” said Howe. “The education I received in Kaiserslautern High School put me far ahead of my peers when I returned to the United States for my senior year.”
After graduating from high school Howe pursued his interest in joining the military. However, Howe was disqualified due to injuries sustained during a car accident. He went on to earn a degree in engineering. He said that the base of his education he received at KHS set him ahead of other students.
As years went on, Howe continued to carry the imprints of his European adventures. His memories became stories he shared with his children and grandchildren, fostering an appreciation for the world beyond their own borders.
Howe said that every time he returns to Ramstein it feels like coming home. Now as a grandfather, returning to Ramstein with his grandson Sesholtz, Howe can directly pass down his love for cultural exploration.
“This trip has been everything I wanted it to be,” said Sesholtz. “I have been very blessed in my life to be able to travel with my family, and I am inspired to continue traveling in the future.”
Howe’s experience as a military child has led him to share advice for others in a similar situation.
“Take in as much of the culture from Europe as you possibly can while you are here,” said Howe. “There is so much at your fingertips to explore.”