LEEDS, Iowa (KCAU) — Haunting, life-changing experience retold after being stationed at the symbol of the Cold War.

Nowadays Wayne Lundgren spends his days at the American Legion Post 64 where he continues to serve his community as the post’s legal representative.

55 years ago after graduating from Boys Town, Nebraska, Lundgren was sent to the epicenter of the Cold War, Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin.

“There I witnessed the actual scenes of the East Germans trying to escape East Germany into West Germany. Seen a lot of people getting killed and shot by the Cold War resurgence there,” Lundgren said.

After a treacherous six months there serving with the military police, alongside other West German allies, Lundregen was thrown into another traumatic situation when a German terrorist group, the Baader-Meinhof Gang, otherwise known as the Red Army Faction, bombed the V Corps base in Frankfurt where Lundgren had been transferred to.

“There was a colonel there that perished. Of course, I witnessed the explosion, I witnessed him perish and it just affected me to the point where, you know, this is what real war is all about,” said Lundgren.

Lundgren said although he wasn’t ever seriously injured physically, some of the moments over his career haunt him mentally to this day.

Lundgren extended his stay in Germany several times, even met and married his first wife while working as an undercover with the German Police in Freiburg.

He said he loved the culture of West Germany during that time and explained a hobby his infantry picked up that won him and his driving partner a grand prize of $100.

“We could only use VWs and running arond the circles out there and of course, we brought the German nationals in with us also, so every Sunday afternoon, we had stock car races at our post,” Lundgren shared.

Lundgren went on to become Chief of Security for the Army and Air Force Exchange and spoke on what serving in the military means to him.

“The thing about being a veteran and serving your country, it’s something that will never change it’s so much of a comradery,” Lundgren said.