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:usaflag:Alright here's my first story....
Posted by: Paul (AR)
Date: July 05, 2009 04:24PM
I was stationed on board a ship that was home ported in Sasebo, Japan. I've been there now going on 13 months while my wife was back home in San Diego, Ca. You noticed I said "back home". I did not consider this ship my home, my home was where my wife was, I was missing her an awful lot by this time.

Well anyway, I had the chance for 30 days leave, with an exception, I had to take it between the ships training period and while it was under way. Great, I planned leave to start when the ship pulled into Okinawa. I was thinking that I could save money by taking a military hop from Kadena, AFB back to the states.

When the ship pulled in, I grabbed my bags and took off for Kadena, when I arrived, I found out that there was a lot of other people waiting for military hops and that there were only two flights going out each day, I already missed the morning flight, I found out there were different priorities on who was going to get a flight that day and that regular leave was the lowest on the list, I didn't make the afternoon flight either.

I was feeling pretty bad about now and was wondering where I was going to stay the night since my ship already left port. I didn't know where to go, what to do or how to tell my wife I will not be flying home that day. I found a phone and called her and we both cried, after I hung up and composed myself, I walked to the BEQ to get a room for the night and try again tomorrow only to be told there were no rooms available, by this time my whole world was coming to an end. I walked around until I found a small park with a bench and that is where I spent the night, laying on a hard bench.

The next day, I was back waiting in line only to be told I didn't make the flights because of higher priorities. This time I got a room in the BEQ and took a hot shower, then I made yet another call to my wife. This was a day and a half of my 30 day leave wasted already.

The following day, I didn't make the morning flight again, by this time I'm desperate and walk outside the base and got a taxi to the civilian airport. I didn't care how much money it cost, I was getting off this island. I was in luck, there was a flight leaving that day. It cost around $1,000.00, but like I said, I didn't care.

The flight took me back to the main land of Japan and I had to take a train to another airport for the connecting flight. Well, let me tell you very few people speak English, but I found the train, the other airport, and the connecting flight to Hawaii.

I arrived in Hawaii and found out the connecting flight to Los Angles, CA will not depart until the next morning. I'm tired, from the long flight and decide to get a room at a hotel near the airport, big bucks again, but I don't care, I going home. To get to the hotel, I rent a car, $$$ again. I call the wife from the hotel room to let her know what's going on, she calls back in a couple of hours and says I can get an earlier flight but it will cost an additional $100.00. for them to push a few buttons. We both agreed to do it, cost doesn't matter anymore.

I check out of the hotel after checking in only a couple of hours earlier, I didn't want to think what they thought about that, turned in the car, same thoughts, change my flight ticket, pay the extra money, and got on the plane to....home.

All together, I lost 3 days of leave and about $1,500.00 trying to get home, was worth every cent.

Thanks for going along with me...Paul

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/05/2009 09:19PM by Wayne in BC.

Great first beginning Paul... I have never been in you situation before...
Posted by: Mikie
Date: July 05, 2009 04:39PM
In fact, I make a lousy flier...[other than when I can pilot an aircraft... part of the reason I got my pilots licence was to overcome fear.. :):]

But to get back to see you wife after an extended absence.... gotta be worth it.

Thanks for the story

Calm seas


"There's no present like the time"

"A dog is better than me, for she has love and does not judge"

"Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most; That people are basically good; that honor, courage, and virtue mean everything; that power and money, money and power mean nothing; that good always triumphs over evil; and I want you to remember this, that love... true love never dies. You remember that. Doesn't matter if it's true or not. You see, a man should believe in those things, because those are the things worth believing in"

I felt your loneliness on the park bench,glad it worked outN/T
Posted by: ojm bc
Date: July 05, 2009 05:37PM

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Quite an ordeal Paul, but worth it! How did you return to duty? :DN/T
Posted by: Ron J
Date: July 05, 2009 06:23PM

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Paul, you have posted a very good story..............
Posted by: Kelley (Texas)
Date: July 05, 2009 06:45PM
When I was in the Marines, I was bumped many times when flying on a "stand-by status." Unlike you, I was not married and thus did not suffer the mental anguish like what you suffered trying to get home to the wife for thirty day's leave. Thanks for posting your story, I really enjoyed reading it. Please have a great day! Kelley (Texas) :)

"Try to live up to your dog's opinion of you!"

While on leave.......
Posted by: Paul (AR)
Date: July 05, 2009 07:31PM
I purchased a return flight from Los Angles, CA. back to Sasebo, Japan. The flight was to depart three days before my leave ended so as to have enough time to get back. I made it back on board my ship with one day remaining. I stayed on that ship another 14 months before returning back to the states. In fact, when my tour was about to end, the ship requested my orders be cancelled and for me to stay another 12 months due to the shortage of my rating. My wife contacted the Senator of California and informed her of our separation of 2 years and how they were going to keep me another 12 months. I was transfered within the week.

Stories by Paul(AR)........
Posted by: Wayne in BC
Date: July 05, 2009 09:17PM
Thank you Paul:smile:

A liar will assume you are lying

Paul that was a labor of love...........
Posted by: Wayne in BC
Date: July 05, 2009 09:21PM
don't blame you a bit! Well written and interesting military story:thumbup:

A liar will assume you are lying

Hey thanks for taking us along. Man
Posted by: Royal
Date: July 05, 2009 10:18PM
that had to be frustrating!! It had me frustrated reading it :D I bet mama was happy to see you. How long were you married at the time? What year was this?

I never liked traveling in cities myself and can not imagine trying to find my way around when I didn't speak the language.

Thanks for taking us along buddy. Easy wasn't it?:thumbup: You dun good


Re: Stories by Paul(AR)........
Posted by: Cupajo
Date: July 06, 2009 06:34AM
Hi Paul,

Sad to say my Friend, that it is an all to common problem for enlisted men and women in the military!

Just one of the many reasons I called it quits after 81/2 years of active duty.

It takes a special breed of cat to thrive in military life and I wasn't one of them.

Challenges such as the one you faced help us to see the true value of time versus money.

Sometimes we would give evert cent we own for one moment more with a loved one!

Thanks for shareing your story with us and helping us to remember the true values in life.


Those had to be hard times Paul.
Posted by: George-CT
Date: July 06, 2009 10:52AM
I've never had a long separation from my wife and am sure I would not like it very well. Glad it all worked out in the end. Military has a
way of putting a strain on relationships. I know my 2 kids deal with and its no to enjoyable. Thanks for your service to country.


This was in 1995, I've been married for less than 2 years and gone for 1 of them.N/T
Posted by: Paul (AR)
Date: July 06, 2009 03:38PM

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:usaflag:A time to kill~a time to let it go....
Posted by: Paul (AR)
Date: July 08, 2009 05:34PM
There was a time in my life I lived and breathed deer hunting, from the end of hunting season until the long awaited opening day. This is the time I would spend looking over numerous outdoor magazines, plotting strategies such as blind locations, scent control clothing. I would spend untold hours in sporting goods stores dreaming about the latest gadget that would bring deer closer or to be able to shoot further. I had to have the latest gear, a rifle that would shoot flat out, zeroed in at 200 yards or a "Matthews" cross-bow, (in Arkansas, use of Cross-bow is legal). Hunting.....that time honored skill that goes back to the beginning of man. My wife use to tell her friends that she was a "Deer hunting widow"......Then it ended.

Opening day of archery season, just a slight hint of daylight in the east. I'm in my blind, 20 feet in the air, eyes and ears atoned to my surroundings, my cross-bow leaning in the corner. I think back of all the times I've spent practicing in my back yard with that bow, first 10 yards, than 20, 30 and 40, I was confident I could hit vital organs at 40 yards, arrow after arrow was hitting the spot, I was ready. I had the basic necessities to spend all day, my day, the opening day in my stand. Most deer are taken on the first couple of days, until they get wise and avoid areas where they smell the scent of man.

It's getting lighter in the east, birds are starting to chirp and are busy scourging for food. I reach down into the backpack laying on the floor and grab a pop tart and start nibbling on it, thinking this is the best pop tart I've ever tasted, they say food taste better when you are outside and I believe it.

From the darkness first comes shadows, then the faint outlines of trees and shrubbery, again I reach into the backpack and this time I pull out a range finder. I start pinpointing distances from my stand, that shrub is 20 yards, that tree 25 and so on until I have the area around my stand memorized, if any deer should walk out I will know immediately at what distances it is and this tells me what pin on my cross-bow sight to place on the deer for that true kill.

A noise and I instantly freeze. I feel my pulse increase and try mentally to slow it down, but it's no use, slowly I move my eyes to the source of the sound, leaves being stepped on, a small twig breaking, and yet I see nothing. Without taking my eyes from the spot, I start reaching for the cross-bow and then it appears, a cotton-tail. I smile and let out the breath of air I was holding without knowing it, my body starts to relax, my eyes wander to the left and there she is.

A doe standing broadside with her head back looking over her shoulder watching that same cotton tail. Oh, what beauty, what splendor, she doesn't even know that I've spotted her. She is standing beside a tree I've marked off as being 25 yards, an easy shot. I can feel a slight tremble in my hands, my heart is pounding, I can feel the blood surging through my body. I have the cross-bow in my hands without knowing how it got there, I look down at it and think here it is, the time I've been waiting for, I slowly bring the bow up and rest the 25 yard sight pin on the area just behind the front leg. My breathing is calm, my hands are steady, everything around me disappears as I concentrate on that one spot. I take a small breath of air and hold it and slowly squeeze the trigger to take up the slack, I can feel the trigger stop its movement, it's at the point where the arrow will be released, just a fraction of an inch more and the arrow will hit home.

I see movement just below her chest, another set of legs coming toward her out of the brush. I hesitate, unsure what to do, I start to ease up on the trigger and then I see a baby fawn peak its head around its mother watching that same rabbit. My heart skips a beat thinking of the horrible death that fawn would face if I had taken her mother. I watch mother and fawn as her head comes down and she smells her baby to assure it is safe. I watch for a little while longer until mother and fawn ease back into the brush. I'm thinking is this really what I want to do, take a mother from it's baby and call it a sport. There comes a time in life, you could call it a changing of the season, when you know that's it, I've had enough!

The next couple of weeks, I gathered all my hunting equipment, placed an ad in the newspaper and held a yard sale. I didn't keep anything, what didn't sell, I gave away to friends and family.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/08/2009 07:27PM by Wayne in BC.

Re: A time to kill~a time to let it go....
Posted by: Cupajo
Date: July 08, 2009 05:52PM
I stopped hunting over fifteen years ago. I still have my epuipment to possibly pass on to family (I have four grandsons and two tomboyish grand daughters)

Also one can't second guess what life may dump on you and one needs to be prepared!

My reasons for quiting were mixed and mostly had to do with taking time away from work (I'm self-employed) which ate into the mortgage money and computing the cost of those venison steaks and chops!!

Those that have read my posts know that I would rather spend my life "out there" than almost anything, but the decision had to be made and I made it!!

Everything in it's season!!!!!!


Paul, this is an outstanding story about your decision in regards to hunting...........
Posted by: Kelley (Texas)
Date: July 08, 2009 07:25PM
I had a similar situation that made me give up hunting many years ago. My favorite hunting was squirrel hunting, and rabbit hunting was the next favorite. One day while squirrel hunting, I wounded a squirrel and he went into a large knot hole in a tree. I had no way of retrieving him and it made me sad knowing that he was suffering a slow and painful death...a death that I was responsible for. From that day forward, I no longer hunted for sport. The only hunting done since that sad day was hunting down varmints that caused damage to livestock. Thanks for posting this outstanding story...very well written. Kelley (Texas) :)

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