Sunday, June 04, 2006
Beach Bonfire and Bye Byes
Last night, our friend Lori had a beach party to say farewell to some friends who are getting ready to go back to the States. There was about a ton of food, including pink chicken (though I managed to convince few 9 year olds who were there that it was alien meat). We had a great time all just hanging out. After eating, we lit a bonfire and hung out on the beach for a few hours. The gray weather finally broke and the moon came out at about 9 PM or so. At one point, Lori made a torch out of the root ball of a big bamboo stalk. Very exciting.
We also hung out with Cali, Lori's new dog. She's a sweet Golden Retriever who loves living by the beach...she spent a lot of time frolicking in the water, and really seemed to enjoy getting right next to you after rolling in the sand and then giving herself a nice shake.
It was a wee bit sad seeing our friend Claire for what may be the last time (at least in Japan). But, like it or not, farewells are a part of the military lifestyle. People are always coming and going, but the longer I stay in, the more I realize that you probably will see them again sometime. It's really a small world.
One of my best friends, Andre and I have continually bumped into each other over the 20 years we've been in the military. We started at West Point in 1986, lost touch for a couple of years after we both ended up on the "Dean's Other List," and then literally passed each other on the highway enroute to San Antonio TX 3 years later. We pulled off on the side of I-20 somewhere west of Shreveport, and found out that we were going to the same place, Ft. Sam Houston. After that, we spent a month or so in VA, then were company commanders together at Ft. Campbell, KY (101st Airborne Division). After a couple of years there, we were in Louisiana together (BTW...be sure to check out this month's issue of Wired magazine, as there's a good article on the Joint Readiness Training Center - JRTC, where Andre and I worked), then Washington DC. It's been great, and we look forward to our chance meetings to continue.