My arrival at Homestead Air Force Base (726th Air Control Squadron)

No paragraphs, life doesn’t work that way anyway. It was the first week of Dec 1990. I was at my parents house in Blue Springs Missouri, just east of Kansas City. Just 3 weeks earlier I had just said goodbye to my friends at the 619th ACS at Osan Air Base. Yeah, that was about 10 Nov, I said goodbye to Mark and Urb and Pugs and Bark and got on the freedom bird that took me back exactly the way I had came one year earlier. The flight routed from Osan to Anchorage then to St. Louie, then a hotel and a flight to KC the next day. How many tears did I leech from my eyes, my mouth, my nose? I tried to cover my head but the flight attendants knew, they’d seen it so many times before. I just sat there in my aisle seat and cried and sniffled and bled out all those tears until my face couldn’t produce¬†any more. A quickie one year assignment in Korea does that to you and unless you’ve done it you really can’t understand. You live in the same small barracks, you make friends, you try to get along with your roommate, you find something to do, you work hard, play hard and then it’s, yes YOU have to rotate out and leave those friends to have all the fun while you go back to the world and turn the channels on Donahue, Oprah, Guiding light, same ole’ boring shit. You play with the parents dog, fight with your brother, go to the shopping mall, and see a WWII flick(Memphis Belle) and then realize it’s true, you can’t go home again. I was going to pack up my red Honda Accord DX hatchback right after Thanksgiving but my brother talked me into staying one more week. So, one sunny, cold, incredibly bright and clear blue sky Dec morning I hopped into my Honda and started another adventure, this time driving 1500 miles to south Miami. I took one last picture of my home town as I got onto I-70 east. Ten hours later I was in Memphis or Nashville, the next day I was in Orlando and day after that I drove over for a quick tour of NASA and then instead of watching the shuttle night launch I hustled down U.S. 1 towards Miami. As I drove further south I stuck my hand out the window to see if it was warmer outside, remember handcranking your car window? Got through the heavy Friday Miami traffic and around 9 or 10 at night I was lost somewhere around Kendall. Didn’t know where I was, didn’t know where Homestead was..I just took an exit and there was a little bitty sign that said “Homestead AFB” with an left arrow. Wow, I made it. On a Friday night I rolled through the Security Police gate and parked in the Homestead AFB, Billeting parking lot. A month earlier I was in Korea, a year earlier I had said goodbye to my dusky girlfriend(I will never forget what she said to me)outside Tinker AFB but those lives were¬†gone and here I was on a little air base south of Miami. I had no idea what was in store, I knew I’d never feel those emotions from leaving Marlene, leaving my friends in Korea. There was no way I could meet friends and loves like that again. Of course I was wrong, still so silly young.