Sunday, May 29, 2011

Typhoon Damage Stuff

Here's a few shots of the damage from the typhoon...Luckily, we escaped any damage to our home.  We watched a few patio covers get torn away and, as you can see above, there's a few trees uprooted and broken.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Okinawa Typhoon Season

Here's a picture of the super typhoon that is heading our way.  The island of Okinawa is circled in red.  This storm comes at a perfect time, as we are in the process of moving out of our house.  No need to clean the outside of our home, the storm will scour it for us!  It does put a bit of a damper on our Memorial Day weekend.

Friday, May 20, 2011

"Deuce Gear" AKA: Supply Issued Field Gear

Washin' the junk

In the earlier days of our Corps, our supply section was run entirely by Marines, and they were in charge of issuing out our field equipment (packs, helmets, tents, etc).  We called it "782 gear," or, "deuce gear," for short.  This was because you typically signed for the gear on a NAVMC 782 form.

Those days are long gone.  Now, the gear is maintained and issued at a "Consolidated Issue Facility," run guessed it, civilians.  They're a bit nazi-like when it comes to cleanliness of the gear upon turn in.  The ironic part is that most of my junk is obsolete and will be simply thrown away.  I still have to scrub it with soapy water and basically waste a day of my life getting any dust or stains off of it. 

It gets me one step closer to getting out of here though...

You know you have a tolerant wife when she doesn't complain about body armor hanging in her bathroom. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Moving Day is Approaching

My wife and I have been keeping busy by preparing for our upcoming move.  I tell myself that this is the longest we've been in one spot, but we've actually moved two times since arriving here in Okinawa.  After almost twenty years in this gun club, we should be old pros at moving by now, right?

We know enough to get ourselves from point "A" to point "B," but it sure seems like this doesn't get any easier over time.  I do sort of like going through some of the closets and such and finding things that I know I've looked for in the past: "Oh!  That's where this was!"

Another fun fact is that summer is the busiest time for moving in the military; it's often referred to as "PCS Season."  With that, everyone around us seems to be getting ready to move.  In the past, if we were preparing for a move, we could count on giving away stuff to our neighbors.  For example, the movers won't pack up cleaning supplies or liquids of any kind; this is the perfect stuff to hand off to a neighbor, but not if they're getting ready to move too!

It will be interesting to see how much our household goods weigh after the movers pack it up.  I'll dig out the paperwork from when we moved here and compare notes!  Perhaps I should make a small wager with my wife over how much junk we have accumulated since moving here.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Common Sense in the Military

Having recently received orders back to the good ol' U.S., I now get to go through the time-honored hell known as "checking out."  Any time a military member gets orders to PCS (permanent change of station) to a new location, he or she must check out of various agencies at their current location.  

I've always looked upon the check out process with disdain, but I was truly blown away when I got my check out sheet this time.  Each location that I must go to is represented with a little spot for some representative to initial or stamp the sheet, which is two pages long!  Some of the agencies and such that are listed on this sheet are just absurd.

I like the Chaplain (the last one I actually met anyway), and think he's a great guy, but I cannot figure out why on earth I need to go see him in order to move to a new duty station.  The Red Cross?  Are you kidding me?  

Not only do I need to visit offices that I really have no need to visit, but they have certain hours (and days) for checking in and out.  Far be it from me to inconvenience these various support agencies...You would think that I'm here to support them, instead of it being the other way around.  

This entire process will involve me driving all over the island (all the offices are certainly not located on the same base) and wasting many hours that could be spent doing something useful.  At the end of it all, some disinterested PFC will glance at my checkout sheet and trade me a set of plane tickets for it, followed immediately by throwing the check out sheet in the trash can.  Brilliant!