Measuring 67 miles in length and 12 miles in width at it's longest and widest places, Okinawa, Japan was my home for 30 months, beginning in May of 1983. I find myself often reflecting back to that world that was experienced by young soldier in the US Army.
What causes these reflections? This morning, I was thinking about my running and biking and the rides I used to take there. The many little things I would see in those runs and rides never let themselves slip from my memory.
The Habu snake caught by a couple of the locals on the island, flopping around in their net as they put it into the trunk of the taxi, probably for a meal is imprinted there forever. The Habu has a reputation of being six times more deadly than a King Cobra. When bitten, it's victim has only enough time to pray, as death is nearly certain.
There was the day I ran 20 miles at day break, and later that night had the urge to do more, so after dinner put in another 8 miles. That was my record mileage for one day, seconded only by the Rhode Isalnd Marathon in 1988.
Who could forget Typhoon Holly? The most treacherous storm I have ever witnessed had us locked in the barracks for a while, then we went to work at a building often referred to as "the box" due to it's lacking in windows because of the level of classifications in our work.We were trapped there for 3 long days, working for 8 hours, playing spades for eight hours, and so on.....we should have slept but really? A sleeping bag on a hard floor?.... Nahhh...we were young.
The Snorkling down at the Torii Station beach was a common daily activity and we found ourselves sunburned more than once.
How about November 14th, 1984? That was the day the riptide held me pinned as the waves washed over my head, one after another, just long enough to breath in another lung full of air. Mike Walton saved my life, but because there were no E-5 ranks or above present as witnesses, he was never awarded for his efforts of swimming into the rip current to help me. Shame on those commanders. Incidentally, less than a month later, 2 miles from our snorkling spot near Meida cape, the second larges great white shark ever caught by man was captured. That thought was a less then pleasant one yet, the memory is quite fresh.
The memories go on and on. Who knows what triggers them? The fact that this internal photo album is opened from time to time gives me a good feeling, knowing that I can go there whenever I want to.