Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Japanese Pen Pal

It was my goal when I moved to Japan to not only meet but interact and maybe even become pen pals after I am gone with some local Okinawans.

I always regretted that with the exception of a couple of pub owners who knew me by "The girl that orders Snakebites" I never really MET any Brits while being stationed in England for three years. It was time to make some repercussions...this assignment I was going to do it right. So armed with some YEN and a map I joined the Okinawa Women's Club in September.

Fast forward a couple of months, and I am having one of those "holy shit" moments. Friday afternoon, I look around MY house, I am surrounded by 15 Japanese women aged 25-65 yrs. (speaking little English) all crammed in my dining room dancing to a Zumba video while Beto (founder of Zumba) grinds and shakes what his mama gave him for all to see and offend. They laugh I blush, they drink coffee from my Keurig finding it fascinating and give great bear hugs when the day is over.

Now if I can only learn how to write in Japanese.

Seriously, Why Can't I?

Best Friend's Advice...

My best girl told me today that extraordinary things just don’t happen in my life...
instead I have an extraordinary way I look at ordinary things.

Well said, my friend well said.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Warrior

I had the privilege of attending a Warrior's Banquet this past weekend. Dressed in my best camo and armed with a cold draft beer it didn't take long to realize that we were not at "just another party." As I looked around the wonderfully decorated hanger, team spirit oozing from it's steel walls, it hit me...these people, my friends, my husbands' colleagues and their troops, wives and families, they were responsible for more than my freedom, but they were responsible for protecting my life and the lives of my kids. And while I like to say that I never forget what the military stands for, living on a military base it is apparent everywhere you turn from the ID checks to the AFN commercials, I couldn't help but feel an overwhelming sense of pride. I can only describe it as the pride a mother would have for her child. I also felt great honor, maybe the honor that a sister would feel for her sibling. But more than anything else, I felt sad. Sure we cheered and jeered for those warriors that won awards that night. People blew their horns and shook their noise makers, it was quite obnoxious (ear plug were provided for the weak), but still you couldn't help but notice the heavy hearts weighing about the room. Not only sadness for those that have paid the ultimate price for our freedom and our protection but for those who did return and are now standing in the buffet line, seated at my table, or laughing by the keg. I couldn't help but think, as I make some great memories here on our new base in our new town, overseas...what memories are these "warriors" going home with, what did they bring back from combat? Memories they will never forget. Let us never forget.

Grieve the Warrior, You
By Earl Davis

Every decision made is the result of a choice, sometimes mine, sometimes yours. It was my choice to join. It was your choice what I was to be. God did not make the Warrior, man did. In the life we live, the Warrior is a necessity. It is the responsibility of the Warrior to protect and defend the freedom of others, no matter how high the cost. The color of freedom is red.
Grieve the Warrior, You.

Once a Warrior is made, there is no going back. He is forever changed. It is up to you to honor and respect the Warrior in his transformations. A Warrior has wisdom you will never know, let alone understand. Among Indian tribes of old, only a Warrior could become Chief, and only a Chief could advance to Sage.
Grieve the Warrior, You.

There is a Wall filled with bygone heroes, honored and respected. A virtual Wall exists with four times the names, fallen Warriors that shouldn't be, but driven there by dishonor and disrespect. There are many, many more who are alive, but dead at the same time. You have chosen to put it all behind you. It is past now, so let us forget it, like it never happened. Warriors can't put it down, can't forget because it is still happening to their minds.
Grieve the Warrior, You.

Whatever you think of them, or not think of them, doesn't change a thing. You have made them Warriors and Warrior forever they will be. You see I am a Warrior. No one ever says, "I was" or "I will be", but "I am." I am the price of your freedom. Your world exists because of mine, and mine exist because of yours. Your visions are many and varied, of bright and beautiful things to come. The visions of a Warrior are contained in one _____ A thousand-yard stare.
Never mind, the Warrior will grieve You.