The View From Your Window Contest: Winner #37

Vfyw-contest_2-11

This one turned out to be the most challenging view yet. A reader writes:

This is north enough that the grass appears to have some frost and the trees have lost their leaves, but south enough that there is no snow.  I’m thinking Virginia or North Carolina, both with a fair share of bases (particularly VA).  In honor of my Dad, who remains Semper Fi even as he has grown to detest our current wars, I’ll say Quantico.

If you hadn’t provided the clue, I’d like to think I would have guessed this was a military installation on my own.  No more clues, please - have some faith that your more rabid guessers will come through.  Plus there are many of us who enjoy the wild misses with good reasoning nearly as much as the intimidating precision of the Master Googlers or “I’ve-got-all-weekend-to-look” Obsessive.

Only one reader correctly guessed this week, and only a few dozen even attempted, so a clue was pretty essential this time around. Another writes:

Been reading the blog for a couple of years, but this my first VFYW guess. As a student at the University of Louisville many years ago, a group of friends and I decided to take a road trip to check out the famous gold repository at Fort Knox. For some reason, this photo sparked that memory.

Another:

This picture reminds me a lot of Fort Knox, Kentucky, where I did basic training many years ago.

Another:

Given the ridiculously accurate answers this contest inspires, I've typically refrained from sending in my off-the-cuff guesses. But a slothy Saturday morning has gotten me over my fears of embarrassment.  So, here goes: the orderly, efficient scene, in a blatant example of stereotyping, suggests that this is Germany. I'm going with Ramstein AFB, near the city of Kaiserslautern.  Admittedly, the order and efficiency could be attributable to the whole military thing, but I've got my hook and I'm sticking with it. 

In light of my lazy manner this morning, not to mention my fear of popping up on some NSA watch list, I've refrained from scouring Ramstein with Google Earth.  But I wonder if a bunch of other VFYW addicts spending hours scouring images of US military installations will set off alarm bells somewhere!

Another:

This looks like a view facing west from the hospital at Dyess AFB in Abilene, Texas. My father was stationed there for the last part of his career. It's been a while since I've been out there, but it sure does remind me of home.

Correct on the hospital part. Another:

What appears to be southern pines are the only element that I recognize, and they make me think Georgia or the southeastern US.  Fort Benning, Georgia?

Correct state. Another:

The hospital at Fort Gordon, GA? I'm desperate to win this thing. I was tempted to make up a story, but my conscience got the better of me. So I'll resort to begging. Please, please, please ...

No begging necessary. From the reader who submitted the photo:

Dr. Matthew P. Burke, Major, US ArmyThis is the view from my brother's window - the view from the hospital room of Major Matthew P. Burke on the 9th floor, west wing, at the Eisenhower Army Medical Center on Fort Gordon, near Augusta, Georgia, on January 29, 2011 at 8:03 AM.

I gave Matt and his wife Bonnie a copy of the VFYW book for Christmas in 2009.  Matt asked me several times whether I had ever managed to get a window published.  Today might be my last chance during his lifetime. Here is why Major Burke is in the hospital; he was injured in the line of duty because he was engaged in physical training (cycling) when he was struck by an SUV.

Sadly, Matt succumbed to his injuries on February 6. His brother, Paul, followed up with the Dish:

I took the photo as I sat next to my brother's bedside.  Bonnie, my parents, my brother Ted and I had been rotating shifts with Matt so that he was almost never alone during  Matt, Bonnie & Anna in Septemberhis final weeks (and, truly, he was never alone because of the remarkable care provided to him by his Army colleagues).  It had been a long night and I was tired.  When I turned from Matt and looked out the window behind me, I was struck by the shine on the Stars and Stripes as the morning sun dawned.

Since Matt passed away, Gen. Gamble has provided flags to Bonnie, my parents, and my siblings that were flown in Matt's honor on the flagpole outside the hospital.  We were touched by this gesture, which now has even more meaning now that the Dish's readership has shared with us my brother's final view outside his window during this life.

(Photos by Paul Burke.)

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