If you’ve followed recent news, you may be aware of the bubbling tension between the Okinawan hosts and the U.S. Military and SOFA personnel. It’s an interesting time to be an American in Okinawa to say the least.
I am incredibly ashamed of the actions of my peers, and bewildered by the fact that it keeps on happening. The list of offenses is awful. Recently, an American contractor was caught on video disposing of the body of an Okinawan woman, and we were subsequently all under scrutiny. In response, a “period of mourning” ensued: 30 days of midnight curfew and prohibition of off-base drinking. Because of several high profile incidents, this was tightened for sailors to recently include a full liberty plan and no drinking whatsoever.
This means that for this last week I was restricted to base and home, and once this restriction relaxed, I had to inform my leadership of every place I would be, minute by minute. I’ve become creative with my time.
Imagine this: someone important walks up to you and asks where you’ll be for the next two days you’ll be off. Quick! Think of every fun thing you can think of. Try not to appear too lame because this is going on paper, and important people will see it. Is it going to rain this Thursday? Don’t put the beach for four hours, you ignoramus! Seeing my life stretched out before me put a lot into perspective: it’s time to experience some new things.
Coming up soon: an exciting weekend trip or two and Go Set a Watchman. Let’s try something new.