Speaking in Japan to. . .

. . .a First Class Petty Officer. You decided to lay your cover right on my backpack. I am not sure why, but I would’ve gotten a good chuckle from seeing myself walk out of the building with a First Class cover on my head. Because it happened. And then, as I was getting ready for work the next day, it took two seconds to put the story together when I found your cover (very clean, thankfully!) with my uniform. All the Sailors on my next day shift laughed about it too. I accept my part in the mix-up. It is a good thing I got a lift home that day and only walked about fifty yards with your cover on.

. . .a waitress at Red Ramen, a popular Yokosuka dive. Argggh, so sorry some Sailor stiffed you on the bill. By the time I figured out what had occurred, they were gone. The whole, we don’t even know that guy, despite him sitting at our table, was a very poor excuse. I tried to pay for him, but you refused. We can do better and you could not have been nicer about it. . .

. . .a Third Class Petty Officer on my shift. I held my tongue when I overheard you talking about gun control. You said we are turning into a nation of John Waynes. And that only the police should have guns. That we should be more worried about getting killed in a movie theater by a guy trying to kill a mass shooter, than the mass shooter himself. Next time, I will squash that sort of speech though. Political yammering has got no place in uniform.

. . .the base internet provider. How is it that the service is so poor? Often pages never load. Is someone downloading a lot of content? Why not use a governor (guvernor) to mitigate their usage? I work very odd shifts currently while we are in port and sometimes I have a good connection. This tells me someone is overdoing the legal/illegal downloads.

. . .a certain military senior. I watch how you take our material, memorize it, and then berate your staff (quoting exact times and report numbers) for not knowing about it. Maybe I’ve said too much, but does this make us better?

Jonathan Octavio Nunez Drags Us Down

I wish there were a Navy forum where we could address potential rule-breakers and discuss with them the ramifications of their actions before they get in deeper. I am sure there were plenty of signs that Jonathan Octavio Nunez was a scumbag before his big bust. Did his shipmates ever sit down with him and talk about it? Sure, his Chief and LPO probably did, but where were his “friends?” Sorry for my naiveté, but Jonathan Octavio Nunez’s actions really burn me up:

A former Yokosuka sailor wanted since 2004 for attempting to smuggle drugs through the military postal system has been extradited from the United States and placed under arrest, Japanese police said Wednesday.

Jonathan Octavio Nunez, 31, was arrested by Japanese police Tuesday at Chicago O’Hare International Airport aboard a Japanese commercial flight parked on the tarmac, a Kanagawa Prefectural Police spokesman said Wednesday. His plane was scheduled to arrive in Tokyo about 12 hours later on Wednesday afternoon, where Nunez, now a civilian, will remain in Japanese custody.

Police plan to forward charges of violating Japan’s narcotics control law to prosecutors on Thursday, the spokesman said.

Nunez will face allegations that he mailed to the post boxes of two civilians at Yokosuka Naval Base more than 30,000 doses of MDMA, commonly known as Ecstasy; 20,000 doses of narcotics containing a mixture of MDMA and methamphetamine; and, 140 grams of crystal methamphetamine.

In July of 2004, Nunez allegedly mailed packages from Canada to two Yokosuka Morale, Welfare and Recreation workers: Babe Antonio Cole, then 25, and William Eugene Jenkins, then 28.

Thanks for bringing dishonor to the Navy, Jonathan. . .

Navy Captain J. R. Primm

After the below nightmare post on male underwear, I need to redeem myself, to balance the blog, with a more appropriate uniform post. On the 19th of September of 1962, Navy Captain J. R. Primm went into James B. Tan & Co in Yokosuka, Japan and bought the Captain’s jacket you see in the photograph. And surprisingly, it just turned up on eBay:

Navy Captain Unifrom on eBay (WWII)
Navy Captain Uniform on eBay (WWII)

Per the ad, the medals include: Navy Good Conduct Medal, European Theater Medal, American Campaign Medal, WW2 Victory Medal, Occupation Medal, National Defense Medal, and Expeditionary Medal.

Trees Rustle Like Living Things

A cold wind was blowing from the north, and it made the trees rustle like living things.
–George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

Sailors aboard guided-missile destroyer Lassen man the rails during a sea and anchor evolution at Otaru, Japan, on Feb. 5. Lassen is forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, and is on a patrol of the western Pacific.
Sailors aboard guided-missile destroyer Lassen man the rails during a sea and anchor evolution at Otaru, Japan, on Feb. 5. Lassen is forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, and is on a patrol of the western Pacific.

A San Diego Zoo Monkey

In yesterday’s post on Brooklyn, Coffeypot has a funny comment on his time in the Navy:

Hey hey up she rises
Earl aye in the morning.
Shave his belly with a rusty razor, etc.
Though I never had my belly shaved, I did have to strip to my skivvies on a few occasions.
I had to strip because I had gorilla shit thrown on me from the San Diego Zoo.
I fell overboard of the liberty boat into Hong Kong Harbor trying to drunkenly board my ship.
And I fell into a bingo-ditch (I guess that’s how you spell it) in Yokosuka trying to drunkenly get into a cab.
What do you do with a drunken sailor…well, from past experience I would say you strip him down and chew his ass from hell to high water and put him mess cooking for a month and make jokes of him for the rest of his Navy tour. But it was worth it.
And I never saw a cesspool of debauchery in San Diego or Long Beach or any other Navy port across the world. Just some great bars and overly lit tattoo parlors. The author was just anti Navy.

Love the San Diego Zoo part. . .

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wherever you might be, whoever you might be with, whatever you might be eating, please have a Happy Thanksgiving:

Family members of sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier George Washington greet the ship as it returns to Fleet Activities, Yokosuka, Japan, on Tuesday.

And to our enemies: You, too, have a nice Thanksgiving. Hopefully, you will be able to give thanks for your fondest wish soon. . .

The Ugly Americans: the Post I Did Not Want to Write

If you are new here, please understand that I am unabashedly pro-American. I’m adamant that we serve a great cause worldwide. That a world without United States would be terrible. Yet, I had an experience in Japan that rattled these convictions.

Our plane landed at Narita Airport in the late afternoon. It was me and two contractors, both former Navy. One a retired Master Chief and the other, a seasoned tech.

Narita Express (N’EX) Train

We caught the train from Narita to Yokosuka. It took us hopping onto a couple of lines. Which ones, I could not say. And we rode each train for a dozen stops or more.

As we got closer to base, we switched to a crowded commuter line. Two things I noticed immediately about Japan: the locals were deathly quiet and it was clean. Very much so.

Having spent a good chunk of time in New York, I knew the rush of warm air, the squeal of the subway, and the voices. Kids yelling. Businessmen on cellphones. Rappers and guitarists on dirty benches at the subway stops. Sitting and playing. Standing and rapping. You won’t find any of that in Japan.

Four stops from Yokosuka, the doors opened and three American Sailors stumbled in. Flip-flops and tank-tops. One immediately started cussing. I glared at him. He looked away. The train was quiet for a second, just as it was the two hours before they came on.

Then another kid piped up. Man, I hate Japanese women. Why do they gotta do me like that? I have been here for f***in’ three weeks. And I hate it. Japanese girls. . .

You telling me, the other one, the cusser, mumbled.

I stared around the train. The Japanese men held their gaze at the floor. Maybe shamed. The locals seemed so quiet, I couldn’t tell if I understood their embarrassment. Or maybe they just do not understand English?

I do not like this culture, the complainer continued. With a couple more cuss words.

I cut in. Guys, please.

The one closest gawked at me with a rummy face. We can’t help ourselves, he said, slurring his words.

Everyone can help themselves, I replied. The retired Master Chief looked over at him and then me. He rolled his eyes and shook his head.

Look at me, I am covered in tats. I am screwed, he continued.

You can cover them up. And tats mean nothing.

Crew members aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72)

They were quiet. Relatively so. Then they talked among themselves. About work. Deck Sailors. Catching jets during the day. And during night ops.

I knew their story: fifteen hour days in brown shirts. Purple shirts. White. Green. Yellow shirts. Blue. Red. Which flavor they were, I did not hear. One of them.

And the doors opened and the warm, humid night whisked them away.

We waved at a taxi and squeezed in. The driver was wearing white gloves. His taxi was older. As in ten years old. Lace doilies lined the headrests.

We rolled down the main drag. The edge of the Honch stared at us from beyond the taxi window. My Japan deployment was just beginning. . .