Robert Reismann, who helped warring troops obtain newspaper, dies at 60

Robert Reismann is organizing copies of Stars and Stripes fresh from the Middle East in 2007. Reismann, who spent more than 30 years providing newspapers to troops, died on September 21, 2021 of complications from surgery for the Cancer. (Stars and stripes)

STUTTGART, Germany – Robert Reismann, who for more than 30 years played a pivotal role in getting the Stars and Stripes newspapers to readers in remote parts of Europe and the Middle East, died Tuesday in a hospital in Kaiserslautern, in Germany, as a result of complications linked to cancer. processing. He was 60 years old.

“Without Bob and all of his hard work, I don’t know we would have had the paper delivered the way we did,” said Lt. Col. Marci Hoffman, Stars and Stripes Europe commander and expeditionary, who oversees operations but is not involved in news decisions. “He was instrumental in everything and made sure the troops were informed. “

Reismann’s career with Stars and Stripes began in 1990 in Germany at the end of the Cold War, when the military had sprawling bases across Europe. Having a massive military force designed to fight the Soviet Union as a readership also meant a large and complicated newspaper distribution network for Reismann and others to coordinate.

But after a decade of helping get newspapers to readers in Europe, the terrorist attacks of September 11 have brought about a shift in focus. Reismann was chosen to lead the distribution effort to get the newspapers to the troops in the wars that followed.

In 2003, after US forces pushed into Iraq, Reismann spent about six months in the country setting up operations that allowed Stars and Stripes to deliver papers to bases that were popping up across the country.

Stars and Stripes Expeditionary broadcast director Robert Reismann in a screenshot from the 2018 documentary

Stars and Stripes Expeditionary broadcast director Robert Reismann in a screenshot from the 2018 documentary “The World’s Most Dangerous Paper Road”. Reismann, a longtime Stripes employee, died this week at the age of 60. (Facebook)

At the time, Reismann and his team were receiving 50,000 newspapers a day at the various restaurants and combat outposts in Iraq, from Baghdad to places like Fallujah and Mosul, said James Afflerbach, who worked for Reismann and now supervises. the distribution of stars and striped products in Europe.

“We all had close calls back then,” said Afflerbach, who recalled wondering at one point if the work was worth it.

“But Bob was one of the defining factors we stayed behind,” Afflerbach said. “We trusted him. He was a friend, but he also commanded our respect.

Over the years, Reismann has remained the Stars and Stripes henchman in the Middle East. He made frequent trips to Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond with papers delivered to places such as Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and parts of Africa.

In the 2018 Stars and Stripes documentary, “The World’s Most Dangerous Paper Road,” Reismann was highlighted given his key role in delivering newspapers to combat zones.

He described his work thus: “I try to get the paper to the soldiers as soon as possible, in the field… I’m just a newspaper delivery man.

Reismann is survived by his wife Elina and sons Samuel, Matthew and Charles.


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