Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Our family is very patriotic which may come as a bit of a shock to some.


I used to think of patriotic people as old men with stories about Viet Nam or "Nam" as some would say but then I became a military wife at the age of 17 in 1994 (5 days shy of my 18th birthday GASP!)


I lived on Fort Ord which is a closed down army base in Seaside CA. I would drive in the ghost town looking base looking at the boarded up housing around me and think of all the military families who must of lived there over the years. My uncle Dave flew to serve in the Korean war from that base and I would often think of what must have gone through the soldiers minds as they waved goodbye to their families and small children, not knowing if they would ever see them again.


In 1996 I lived in Korea in a tiny apartment off base. Nobody looked like me and NOTHING was like home.


The locals ate pizza with a knife and fork, McDonald's served steamed rice and kimchi, nobody spoke English and my Korean was not the best (you would be amazed how airplane and bloody stool machine sound almost EXACTLY alike in Korean!). I couldn't EVER purchase a piece of clothing in a local store because they were made for the average Korean body type so I felt like the jolly white giant of the neighborhood.


When I took the bus to the Air Force Base I immediately felt at home...back on U.S. soil.


There were people of every color, shape and size, there was fried chicken and a Burger King on base. I could get Baskin Robins ice cream and have a casual conversation with a stranger. There was an Italian restaurant and a Mexican restaurant. When you ordered fish on base they removed the head before serving it to you. It was a relief to feel like I was back home.


Occasionally we would have drills on base. Everyone...I mean EVERYONE had to act as if we were being invaded by North Korea. Armored trucks would drive by and soldiers with M16's at the ready would drive by as sirens would scream through the streets. I was often stuck in a the commissary for an hour or 2 during these drills. "NOBODY IN...NOBODY OUT!" All to serve as a reminder that though we felt like we were home, we were far from it. Our military was putting their lives in harms way to protect this tiny little country full of good people who just wanted to stay free and h0pefully reunite with their family in North Korea one day.


This Independence Day we went to an Angels game. A huge plane flew overhead that was so loud and powerful it rattled your soul. As the national anthem was sung I looked at my boys and without being asked, their hats were off and hand placed over their hearts.


We are truly blessed to be living here and blessed to have those who give so much of themselves for our freedom and the freedom of others.


posted by World of Wright at 3:35 PM |

3 Comments:

At July 9, 2009 at 10:06 AM, Blogger Bits from Bonnie said........
That made me a little emotional. And, it brings back all those memories of worrying myself to death about you so far away! I am so proud to have such a patriotic and loving family!!!
 


At July 11, 2009 at 8:42 AM, Blogger Heidi said........
such a beautiful post...

I love hearing more about your life. I had no idea you lived in Korea.

And I grew up in Oregon - we went to Seaside every summer!!!
 


At July 14, 2009 at 2:19 PM, Blogger Milton said........
What a trip down memory lane and so very cool new ones too! I remember when you came back here Stephen had those Korean Childrens tapes. I remember you singing something like "duty,duty,pa-pa-pa!" Miss those times!