Monday, August 25, 2008

Okinawa

Well, I'm here. Here in Okinawa Japan at Kadena Air Force base. We left on Sat morning and had quite the long flight over here. We flew for 5 hours, stopped to re- fuel in Anchorage, Alaska and then flew the 8.5 hours to Okinawa. The flight wasn't long but wasn't too bad. Since it was a chartered flight there were 300 seats for only 120 of us. I got two seats to myself so I got to stretch out a bit which was nice. As we flew into Okinawa the sun was setting and seeing all the islands with the sun was gorgeous. It was like something you would see in a magazine or on a postcard. It was awesome. As soon as we landed and the doors were opened I could feel the humididty and I think I was sweating before I got off the plane.

From the moment we got off the plane we felt at home with the help of all the soldiers and airmen here. Everyone is so friendly and helpful. We were driven to the Shogun inn where our bags were brought to our room. We each have our own apartment style room with a bedroom, living area, kitchen and bathroom. Then we got assigned to a sponsor who greeted us once we got off the bus, showed us to our room, had some snacks for us and gave us their number to call if we need anything. Mine is an Air Force nurse and I think we are going to go to dinner tomorrow night. Last night after we checked into our rooms we had a dinner at the Officers Club which is right across the street. We were all exhausted and ready for bed long before that but I think I ended up in bed around 10:30ish.

This morning came early as we had to be at dinner at 6:45am. Breakfast and lunch is going to be at the Officers Club every day and dinner is on our own. After breakfast we loaded the bus to go to the pool for the first time. It's about a 15 min drive to the pool on Fosters Marine base. We have to go off the base to get to the pool so we got to see a little of life outside the post. The pool is nice, it's a 50 meter outdoor pool so suntan lotion is a neccessity for sure. SInce it's outside the water gets pretty hot so they have these sprinkler things that shoot cold water to cool down the pool. We swim from 8-10am and the load up to come back for lunch. Then we were back there from 4-6. I think today will be a pretty typical day. ALl the folks here at Kadena are really doing all they can to make us feel at home. Our rooms, the food, the service all really can't be beat.

Being here has really made me miss the Army. From getting off the plane to being back on a post and the lifestyle in general. I couldn't be happier that Dick is going to be back in the Army after medical school. I see the men and women in uniform and a part of me wishes I was still one of them.

I spent a while trying to figure out how to call out from my room and talk to Dick. I finally figured it out so we got to talk for a while. I think we figured out the times so we can talk everyday at about the same time. I miss him. I also have internet in my room but the signal is pretty weak so it's on and off but it works for me.

I have been up all day and can't wait to get to bed tonight. That's where I'm headed now. I'll write more when I can.

3 comments:

inthegreenmachine said...

Ma'am,

This is coming from some random old 31 year old guy (well, maybe thats not too old, but I feel like it with 3 kids), you have more than served your country and though you may miss wearing your ACU's, I can assure you that you just simply PCS'd to serve your country in even a greater role. I would love to PCS to the World Class Athlete Program, but you guys are unreal and almost superhuman! Maybe, I can eventually for London 2012!! But aside from that, you are a hero and thank you for having served in uniform. But never think you are not currently serving because representing the USA in the Paralympics is perhaps the greatest service I can think of and you should be proud. If you would like to see my blog it is located at inthegreenmachine.blogspot.com

I am certainly looking forward to seeing you on the TV in September.

inthegreenmachine said...

Melissa,

I hope you don't mind, but I did a story on you and posted a link from my page to yours. That way, my readers can see who you are and hopefully we can get a few more Melissa Fans!! Just click over to my blog if you want to see the story. Thanks for everything.

Marie said...

Melissa-
I wish you all the best in Beijing. I read your story on ESPN. It brought tears of joy to my eyes. You are an inspiration to all of us who know you. Thank you for being such a great role model for the younger paralypmic athletes. Anything is possible!
Marie Wise
Joe's Mom