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Shadowless
03-10-2013, 03:30 AM
I just arrived in Korea in January and I love it, I am very lucky not to be stationed at Osan, I was there last night shopping and hanging out and I was shocked to see so many uniformed First SSgts, Supervisors, NCOs and SPS walked around with nothing else better to do at 8pm then to go door to door checkout out every store and building. I honestly just sat back and laughed my ass off, I kept thinking that if I was stationed at Osan I would never stay in the local area on my weekends off because its worse then being in grade school.

71Fish
03-10-2013, 04:30 AM
I just arrived in Korea in January and I love it, I am very lucky not to be stationed at Osan, I was there last night shopping and hanging out and I was shocked to see so many uniformed First SSgts, Supervisors, NCOs and SPS walked around with nothing else better to do at 8pm then to go door to door checkout out every store and building. I honestly just sat back and laughed my ass off, I kept thinking that if I was stationed at Osan I would never stay in the local area on my weekends off because its worse then being in grade school.

Isn't that what you were doing, staying in the local area on your weekend off. Your post has already lost credibility.

Drackore
03-10-2013, 05:02 AM
And the post is done.

BOSS302
03-10-2013, 05:32 AM
I just arrived in Korea in January and I love it, I am very lucky not to be stationed at Osan, I was there last night shopping and hanging out and I was shocked to see so many uniformed First SSgts, Supervisors, NCOs and SPS walked around with nothing else better to do at 8pm then to go door to door checkout out every store and building. I honestly just sat back and laughed my ass off, I kept thinking that if I was stationed at Osan I would never stay in the local area on my weekends off because its worse then being in grade school.

First SSgts. Good one.

The Sinjang Shopping Mall area (as the area of bars, stores, and restaurants outside the Osan AB main gate is officially known) is pathetic. There are a few decent coffee cafes to unwind in & there are some really good restaurants, but everything takes a nose dive after about 9pm...especially on a payday Friday/Saturday or post-ORE.

The only people that stay "local" are Juicy Slayers and those too lazy/too scared to learn how to use the excellent Korean public transit network and go to Seoul, Incheon, Busan, Suwon, etc.

Seoul is where it's at; the Osan AB area is just sh*t.

Robert F. Dorr
03-10-2013, 09:49 AM
I just arrived in Korea in January and I love it, I am very lucky not to be stationed at Osan, I was there last night shopping and hanging out and I was shocked to see so many uniformed First SSgts, Supervisors, NCOs and SPS walked around with nothing else better to do at 8pm then to go door to door checkout out every store and building. I honestly just sat back and laughed my ass off, I kept thinking that if I was stationed at Osan I would never stay in the local area on my weekends off because its worse then being in grade school.

Jump all over me for not knowing Air Force terminology and then call it Osan AFB? It wasn't Osan AFB when I arrived there in 1958 and it wasn't Osan AFB when you arrived there in 2013. You do make an excellent point, however. A lot of people described the situation you describe when we talked to them for an article now in preparation about Kunsan Air Base which, oddly, they like a lot better.

71Fish
03-10-2013, 02:25 PM
First SSgts. Good one.

The Sinjang Shopping Mall area (as the area of bars, stores, and restaurants outside the Osan AB main gate is officially known) is pathetic. There are a few decent coffee cafes to unwind in & there are some really good restaurants, but everything takes a nose dive after about 9pm...especially on a payday Friday/Saturday or post-ORE.

The only people that stay "local" are Juicy Slayers and those too lazy/too scared to learn how to use the excellent Korean public transit network and go to Seoul, Incheon, Busan, Suwon, etc.

Seoul is where it's at; the Osan AB area is just sh*t.

Everything you wrote is 100% correct. The cities you mentioned are great as far as cities go, but getting out in the country is where I really learned to love Korea and the people.

I saw a photo of a dumb Osan Queen once taken outside of the Osan gate. Her caption said "downtown Korea". Really? As if Sinjang is the center of Korea.

71Fish
03-10-2013, 02:25 PM
First SSgts. Good one.

The Sinjang Shopping Mall area (as the area of bars, stores, and restaurants outside the Osan AB main gate is officially known) is pathetic. There are a few decent coffee cafes to unwind in & there are some really good restaurants, but everything takes a nose dive after about 9pm...especially on a payday Friday/Saturday or post-ORE.

The only people that stay "local" are Juicy Slayers and those too lazy/too scared to learn how to use the excellent Korean public transit network and go to Seoul, Incheon, Busan, Suwon, etc.

Seoul is where it's at; the Osan AB area is just sh*t.

Damn double post.

BOSS302
03-10-2013, 02:40 PM
Everything you wrote is 100% correct. The cities you mentioned are great as far as cities go, but getting out in the country is where I really learned to love Korea and the people.

I saw a photo of a dumb Osan Queen once taken outside of the Osan gate. Her caption said "downtown Korea". Really? As if Sinjang is the center of Korea.

Yes, you are right. I was too focused on the cities; getting into the country of South Korea is amazing. From mountains in the north/northeast to the beaches of the south and Jeju Island, South Korea is gorgeous. And Korean people are very hospitable and friendly; respect and manners go a long way in Korean culture.

Also, Koreans rival Italians in their love of and passion for food. I arrived in Korea with a weary eye towards their food but left with a great appreciation for it and many memories of kind Koreans (both strangers and Koreans from work) who gladly stuffed my face for me with their offerings.

FLAPS
03-10-2013, 05:40 PM
" Thanks; I've been around before. Between the surge in "Tak Action" and Pick Your Battles' consistent display of his chromosome deficiencies, I could not stay away. "

Boss302

FW is #1 in my book

BRUWIN
03-10-2013, 10:07 PM
A lot of people there are married and unaccompanied. I got there as a MSgt and my wife was back in CA raising 2 very young boys and she couldn't work with me gone. We didn't get any COLA at the time. So needless to say, I couldn't really justify running around traveling, drinking, and spending all my family's money on myself while she was at home trying to make ends meet. Maybe some have priorities that are higher than themselves.

Chief_KO
03-10-2013, 10:14 PM
Spent a total of 5 years in the ROK. Take a bicycle (or buy a good one while there) and get out and explore. The people are nicer and not looking at your with $$ in their eyes the farther you get from the Ville. The Ville is fun too, just don't fall into the trap.

Jamethon
03-10-2013, 11:01 PM
A lot of people there are married and unaccompanied. I got there as a MSgt and my wife was back in CA raising 2 very young boys and she couldn't work with me gone. We didn't get any COLA at the time. So needless to say, I couldn't really justify running around traveling, drinking, and spending all my family's money on myself while she was at home trying to make ends meet. Maybe some have priorities that are higher than themselves.

I didn't go out and drink that much because it got ungodly expensive when you had the "well I don't have to drive home" mentality.

As for traveling, I would hop a train (like 3k won I think) down to Seoul and just walk around. Didn't spend money, go out and eat lavish food. I would bring a backpack and sandwiches that I procured from the DFAC. If I ran out of water, it was like 750 won for a giant bottle at the corner stores. I spent a max of about 10 dollars on my twice a month ventures to get out of that place. That was of course until I found the Canon 50D DSLR camera for 900 dollars and couldn't pass up the unbelievable deal.

Shadowless
03-11-2013, 01:57 AM
Would it be possible to stay in Korea for another year after my current tour but move to another base within Korea? (my job has assignments at 6-8 different bases here) And yes I have tried calling the MPF but they never answer and I am at a detachment right now so its not easy to just walk on over and ask in person.

BOSS302
03-11-2013, 03:04 AM
Would it be possible to stay in Korea for another year after my current tour but move to another base within Korea? (my job has assignments at 6-8 different bases here) And yes I have tried calling the MPF but they never answer and I am at a detachment right now so its not easy to just walk on over and ask in person.

Yes, if you play the assignment system. I know people who did a year at Osan and then PCS'd down to Kunsan.

Shadowless
03-11-2013, 03:45 AM
Yes, if you play the assignment system. I know people who did a year at Osan and then PCS'd down to Kunsan.

The only problem with that is I already have a follow on after this assignment to a different place.

BRUWIN
03-11-2013, 03:52 AM
I didn't go out and drink that much because it got ungodly expensive when you had the "well I don't have to drive home" mentality.

As for traveling, I would hop a train (like 3k won I think) down to Seoul and just walk around. Didn't spend money, go out and eat lavish food. I would bring a backpack and sandwiches that I procured from the DFAC. If I ran out of water, it was like 750 won for a giant bottle at the corner stores. I spent a max of about 10 dollars on my twice a month ventures to get out of that place. That was of course until I found the Canon 50D DSLR camera for 900 dollars and couldn't pass up the unbelievable deal.

I went to Seoul and did that kind of thing but what I couldn't afford was traveling around like some people could while spending nights in hotels and so-forth. China was a big travel destination for many while I was there. Wish I could have done it but it was a no go in my situation.

BRUWIN
03-11-2013, 03:54 AM
The only problem with that is I already have a follow on after this assignment to a different place.

Than it won't happen. Once you have a follow-on assignment elsewhere they will not change it. It prevents people from stagnating at an overseas location waiting for a follow-on that they do like.

Shadowless
03-11-2013, 04:02 AM
Bruwin, I was told I could have my follow on canceled simply by extending here in Korea which I want to do, I just want to go to another base, detachment or unit that second year. That part I don't know if is possible.

BRUWIN
03-11-2013, 06:49 AM
Bruwin, I was told I could have my follow on canceled simply by extending here in Korea which I want to do, I just want to go to another base, detachment or unit that second year. That part I don't know if is possible.

I left Korea 9 years ago so maybe it's changed. Back then you were asked if you wanted to extend as soon as you arrived...once you got follow-on you weren't allowed too cancel it and stay in Korea. I tried for my troops several times and had absolutely no luck. Put yourself in AFPC's shoes, if everybody that hated their follow-on was allowed to extend then certain bases would have constant manning issues.

BOSS302
03-11-2013, 07:44 AM
I left Korea 9 years ago so maybe it's changed. Back then you were asked if you wanted to extend as soon as you arrived...once you got follow-on you weren't allowed too cancel it and stay in Korea. I tried for my troops several times and had absolutely no luck. Put yourself in AFPC's shoes, if everybody that hated their follow-on was allowed to extend then certain bases would have constant manning issues.

This is correct; you have sixty days from your DAS to enroll in the KAIP (Korea Assignment Incentive Program). If you have a follow-on already, it will be canceled and you will be allowed to extend for up to 24 months/36 months in Korea.

After the sixty day window, you can try and push an "Exception to Policy" letter but not many that I know have had such luck with those.

Robert F. Dorr
03-11-2013, 10:25 AM
Yes, if you play the assignment system. I know people who did a year at Osan and then PCS'd down to Kunsan.

I don't think you could. Very rarely done and not a good idea. The whole arrangement involving a subsequent tour is based on the economy of keeping you in place.

71Fish
03-11-2013, 10:33 AM
Would it be possible to stay in Korea for another year after my current tour but move to another base within Korea? (my job has assignments at 6-8 different bases here) And yes I have tried calling the MPF but they never answer and I am at a detachment right now so its not easy to just walk on over and ask in person.

Happens all the time. Just like others have said, you can either extend extend at Osan or canx your current follow on and volunteer for one of the other assignments in Korea. MPF will have the latest info, make them do their job.

Shadowless
03-11-2013, 11:38 AM
Happens all the time. Just like others have said, you can either extend extend at Osan or canx your current follow on and volunteer for one of the other assignments in Korea. MPF will have the latest info, make them do their job.

Thanks for the post, and for everyone else you are right I am still within my 60 day window and was notified through email of my DEROS options so I am just seeing if it would be possible to take one of those options but move to another base or unit in Korea. I will keep you updated if I can ever get a hold of the MPF.

Robert F. Dorr
03-16-2013, 12:28 AM
Was told today in a telephone interview with an Air Force member in Korea that Osan is one big happy family focused on the mission (the same thing they say about Kunsan). Every time I talk with anybody out there it's one big happy family focused on the mission. Every commander at every level in Korea from the three-star on down has repeatedly told me it's one big happy family focused on the mission. People come. People go. Tours are short. Institutional memory is minimal. But one thing everybody knows no matter who's in charge or what year it is: it's one big happy family focused on the mission.

KellyinAvon
03-16-2013, 01:00 AM
Was told today in a telephone interview with an Air Force member in Korea that Osan is one big happy family focused on the mission (the same thing they say about Kunsan). Every time I talk with anybody out there it's one big happy family focused on the mission. Every commander at every level in Korea from the three-star on down has repeatedly told me it's one big happy family focused on the mission. People come. People go. Tours are short. Institutional memory is minimal. But one thing everybody knows no matter who's in charge or what year it is: it's one big happy family focused on the mission.

Sounds like everyone is reading from the same sheet of music there Bob.

Robert F. Dorr
03-16-2013, 01:11 AM
Sounds like everyone is reading from the same sheet of music there Bob.

Maybe it's not true. Maybe they're not one big happy family focused on the mission. It has been a long time since I visited the Air Force in Korea (1999) but they said the same thing then and as soon as I talked to a few folks it became clear that it was only a sheet of music and nothing more.

KellyinAvon
03-16-2013, 01:13 AM
Maybe it's not true. Maybe they're not one big happy family focused on the mission. It has been a long time since I visited the Air Force in Korea (1999) but they said the same thing then and as soon as I talked to a few folks it became clear that it was only a sheet of music and nothing more.

When everyone gives exactly the same story, a big flag goes up here in Avon.

Robert F. Dorr
03-16-2013, 01:41 AM
When everyone gives exactly the same story, a big flag goes up here in Avon.

My first comment on the Air Force was published in Air Force magazine in 1955. I'm still waiting for the first commander who will tell me that his people aren' the greatest in the world, that his unit isn't one whole happy family, etc.

OtisRNeedleman
03-16-2013, 02:28 AM
Was told today in a telephone interview with an Air Force member in Korea that Osan is one big happy family focused on the mission (the same thing they say about Kunsan). Every time I talk with anybody out there it's one big happy family focused on the mission. Every commander at every level in Korea from the three-star on down has repeatedly told me it's one big happy family focused on the mission. People come. People go. Tours are short. Institutional memory is minimal. But one thing everybody knows no matter who's in charge or what year it is: it's one big happy family focused on the mission. Yeah, ask some first-term enlisted Korean linguist at Osan just how happy they are. When I was a first-term Korean linguist at Skivvy Nine back in the 70's, most of us couldn't wait to get out. And that was when the "Ville" and things in general on base and in the AF were much more pleasant.

Robert F. Dorr
03-16-2013, 10:43 AM
Yeah, ask some first-term enlisted Korean linguist at Osan just how happy they are. When I was a first-term Korean linguist at Skivvy Nine back in the 70's, most of us couldn't wait to get out. And that was when the "Ville" and things in general on base and in the AF were much more pleasant.

When I was there in the 1950s with the same job but with a different name (before the Air Force started using the word "linguist" incorrectly), morale was extremely high but it was bolstered by our shared contempt for most of our NCOs and officers, most of whom didn't have the clearances we had. The Ville was the Wild West, a terrific place to introduce a teenager to unbridled debauchery.

Robert F. Dorr
03-16-2013, 10:44 AM
Yeah, ask some first-term enlisted Korean linguist at Osan just how happy they are. When I was a first-term Korean linguist at Skivvy Nine back in the 70's, most of us couldn't wait to get out. And that was when the "Ville" and things in general on base and in the AF were much more pleasant.

I wonder, today, whether there are tensions between those who are on accompanied tours and those who are not.

imported_blacksheep1208
03-16-2013, 11:22 AM
I wonder, today, whether there are tensions between those who are on accompanied tours and those who are not.

There is. The people that are command sponsored still think they're in America. Their main worry is Girl Scout meetings, fund raisers, and daycare. It's not like it was even six years ago when most of the people here were on one year remote tours. Either they're jealous of the people that get to go out and have fun or they are just haters to begin with.

I'll be honest, I'm tired of the families here. They want to change Osan AB and Korea to suit their beliefs. And their kids annoy the crap out of me. Just go to the BX, you can't escape screaming children while you're trying to eat at the food court. They put a play area off in the corner and you can hear them clear across the place. There is a reason that McDonald's encloses its play areas with plexiglass.

Robert F. Dorr
03-17-2013, 01:28 AM
There is. The people that are command sponsored still think they're in America. Their main worry is Girl Scout meetings, fund raisers, and daycare. It's not like it was even six years ago when most of the people here were on one year remote tours. Either they're jealous of the people that get to go out and have fun or they are just haters to begin with.

I'll be honest, I'm tired of the families here. They want to change Osan AB and Korea to suit their beliefs. And their kids annoy the crap out of me. Just go to the BX, you can't escape screaming children while you're trying to eat at the food court. They put a play area off in the corner and you can hear them clear across the place. There is a reason that McDonald's encloses its play areas with plexiglass.

Very informative and very revealing.

tiredretiredE7
03-17-2013, 01:36 AM
There is. The people that are command sponsored still think they're in America. Their main worry is Girl Scout meetings, fund raisers, and daycare. It's not like it was even six years ago when most of the people here were on one year remote tours. Either they're jealous of the people that get to go out and have fun or they are just haters to begin with.

I'll be honest, I'm tired of the families here. They want to change Osan AB and Korea to suit their beliefs. And their kids annoy the crap out of me. Just go to the BX, you can't escape screaming children while you're trying to eat at the food court. They put a play area off in the corner and you can hear them clear across the place. There is a reason that McDonald's encloses its play areas with plexiglass.

Just wait for Thanksgiving and Christmas when you have to stand in line behind 100 familiy members just to get a meal at the dining facility you are forced to eat at and they have BAS.

imported_blacksheep1208
03-17-2013, 04:11 AM
Just wait for Thanksgiving and Christmas when you have to stand in line behind 100 familiy members just to get a meal at the dining facility you are forced to eat at and they have BAS.

Fortunately that won't impact me. I'm living off base. I pretty much picked the perfect time to arrive last August.

Chief_KO
03-17-2013, 12:05 PM
Went back to Korea on vacation in 2009 (to see the in-laws). We went to Osan to do some shopping and look at what has changed. Got in a cab at the main gate, driver said "Please fasten your seat belts" and proceeded to drive 15MPH to the BX. Along the way we saw the parking garage at the commissary, the family housing towers, the even bigger high school, the mega lodging resort, the Chili's restaurant before arriving at the BX shopping plaza. Didn't really see anyone out walking around, didn't see a bunch of Airmen in the food court, didn't see any HUMMVs, deuces or 5-tons. Really couldn't tell if I was at Andrews, Nellis, Lackland, Peterson, or Randolph. Yep, what once was a thriving overseas base with a unique "cache" has become "anyBase USA".

KellyinAvon
03-17-2013, 12:37 PM
Went back to Korea on vacation in 2009 (to see the in-laws). We went to Osan to do some shopping and look at what has changed. Got in a cab at the main gate, driver said "Please fasten your seat belts" and proceeded to drive 15MPH to the BX. Along the way we saw the parking garage at the commissary, the family housing towers, the even bigger high school, the mega lodging resort, the Chili's restaurant before arriving at the BX shopping plaza. Didn't really see anyone out walking around, didn't see a bunch of Airmen in the food court, didn't see any HUMMVs, deuces or 5-tons. Really couldn't tell if I was at Andrews, Nellis, Lackland, Peterson, or Randolph. Yep, what once was a thriving overseas base with a unique "cache" has become "anyBase USA".

Cab drivers doing 15 and "please fasten your seatbelt"? Chilis? This is Osan?

Chief: is that a Pete Puma avatar?

Robert F. Dorr
03-17-2013, 02:37 PM
Went back to Korea on vacation in 2009 (to see the in-laws). We went to Osan to do some shopping and look at what has changed. Got in a cab at the main gate, driver said "Please fasten your seat belts" and proceeded to drive 15MPH to the BX. Along the way we saw the parking garage at the commissary, the family housing towers, the even bigger high school, the mega lodging resort, the Chili's restaurant before arriving at the BX shopping plaza. Didn't really see anyone out walking around, didn't see a bunch of Airmen in the food court, didn't see any HUMMVs, deuces or 5-tons. Really couldn't tell if I was at Andrews, Nellis, Lackland, Peterson, or Randolph. Yep, what once was a thriving overseas base with a unique "cache" has become "anyBase USA".

It's sad to read this.

71Fish
03-17-2013, 06:29 PM
Went back to Korea on vacation in 2009 (to see the in-laws). We went to Osan to do some shopping and look at what has changed. Got in a cab at the main gate, driver said "Please fasten your seat belts" and proceeded to drive 15MPH to the BX. Along the way we saw the parking garage at the commissary, the family housing towers, the even bigger high school, the mega lodging resort, the Chili's restaurant before arriving at the BX shopping plaza. Didn't really see anyone out walking around, didn't see a bunch of Airmen in the food court, didn't see any HUMMVs, deuces or 5-tons. Really couldn't tell if I was at Andrews, Nellis, Lackland, Peterson, or Randolph. Yep, what once was a thriving overseas base with a unique "cache" has become "anyBase USA".

When I left Osan in 2007, the towers and parking ramp were almost done. When I went back in 2011 I didn't recognize the place.

jondstewart
03-17-2013, 09:59 PM
I was at Osan for 2 months in the early part of 2009 for an exercise. I found the base like many mainline stateside bases: crowded, busy, and impersonal. Anyway, this is what I saw and remembered:

1. The Gingko Tree aka "Gag Me Tree" dining hall. Food was average at best. They send Services folks to work there, but the Koreans working there are so damned territorial and hard for the Airmen to get any work done. I worked there briefly helping out

2. The downtown area outside the gate. I was content with what they had in the local area and didn't bother going to Seoul. I distinctly remember a middle-aged Korean woman approaching me several times saying "wanna come"?. And the little cartons of soju sold at the convenience stores I loved; sometimes it buzzed me, sometimes it didn't. For the juicy bars, I'd suggest the guys stay away from them unless they're single and really hard-up. A rip-off from what I heard. I didn't bother eating at the Korean food places outside the gate, they looked dirty. Instead I ate at the Indian and Thai food restaurants that were real good. Also, the convenience stores sold kimchi in what looked like those plastic pudding cups. Totally stank like ass, but so good!

3. Lodging on base was very nice. Because we were held back on our flight, I got to just kick back and relax in my room for 2 days after the exercise assignment was over and live off Chili's food, courtesy of the government.

4. I was surprised to see American kids there, because I though Korea was always unaccompanied

5. And finally, like any other place, I'm sure Korea is no different from being stationed anywhere else. Many of the young generation don't get out a whole lot now because they have wireless internet and video games to pamper them

eman_osan
03-17-2013, 11:18 PM
Bob,
Go to the Osan AB Spouses and Osan NON CSP pages on Face Book and you'll get a plethora information on the differences in the two. It's almost a case of the haves and have nots in some minds.

You can still have a good time in the Ville if you use some common sense. I hate to say this, but some of younger troops lack common sense, don't listen to old farts like myself and end up maxing out their credit cards. They fail to realize this is "business" not because you're going to find the girl of your dreams in one of these bars. If you are in a typical bar with Korean females these days, they'll let you spend as much as you want starting at $20 a pop until you're broke - and no she's not going home with you. She's already has a boyfriend waiting at home or he shows up to take her home. It's the bars that have the Filipinas that get popped for PHT (prostitution and human trafficking).

Across the bridge after the "triangle of death" as the american wives call it and you're in a whole new world. There are some very interesting sites located with Pyeongtaek that a large majority fail to explore. I live within walking distance from city hall where there are numerous Korean bars and restaurants just waiting to be visited and "no juicies"!!! There is a huge park that gives free concerts in the spring and summer, but most of our airmen are afraid to mingle with the Koreans because they don't speak the language. Koreans have been learning english in school for the past 20 years, and most of the younger generation can speak conversational english. If you get stationed at Osan get out an explore. There's a whole world outside of the Ville waiting to be explored.

I wonder, today, whether there are tensions between those who are on accompanied tours and those who are not.

Robert F. Dorr
03-17-2013, 11:47 PM
I'm guessing many of you don't know what Osan looked like in 1958. Perhaps OtisRNeedleman does, because it wouldn't have changed a lot when he was there in the 1970s (although one change stood out: American military women in uniform).

Main street outside the main gate not paved. Girls swarming by the dozen around the wire at the main gate competing to be signed in to go to the snack bar or airman's club. Girls in bright satin lining the street outside the gate. Places where you can drink and [censored] everywhere in the Vil. The going rate is $2 for a "short time" and $5 for "all night" and the currency is Military Payment Certificates. Loud, bawdy, raucous. To those who have not witnessed or partaken, it's almost impossible to describe this Wild West scene. And every night near midnight, everything shuts because of curfew, so you'd better be indoors if you're not back on base. In the Snack Bar where our Blue Sky crew returns from the afternoon mission, Marty Robbins on the jukebox: "Out in the west Texas town of El Paso..." Trying the yab-yum position on the dam behind the Vil.

Chief_KO
03-18-2013, 12:08 AM
Cab drivers doing 15 and "please fasten your seatbelt"? Chilis? This is Osan?

Chief: is that a Pete Puma avatar?

My wife was the first to comment on the cab driver...something along the lines of "this is different" Yes, it is Puma Pete ("I like a whole lotta lumps").

No more Kimchi bus on base either...

Chief_KO
03-18-2013, 12:11 AM
89-90 when curfew hit the bars would close the metal window shutters and you could remain inside till whenever. Or your could go to restaurant or coffee shop and enjoy a cup of "coffee". Town Patrol would come in and look around, then leave. If you were not causing a scene, your could be out all night long.

Then came the dark days of Doc...and Osan would never be same again.

Robert F. Dorr
03-18-2013, 12:14 AM
MISS SUK: Hey, GI, you mo' skoshi come hooch catchee numbah one good time?

RFD: Yeah, why not? Oh, wait. I don't have two dollars.

MISS KIM: You no-good GI, no have money, cheat mama-san. You go now. Come back when money hava-yes.

JOE BONHAM: I don't have anything to add but I have to get another post in, here.

Robert F. Dorr
03-18-2013, 12:16 AM
89-90 when curfew hit the bars would close the metal window shutters and you could remain inside till whenever. Or your could go to restaurant or coffee shop and enjoy a cup of "coffee". Town Patrol would come in and look around, then leave. If you were not causing a scene, your could be out all night long.

Then came the dark days of Doc...and Osan would never be same again.

" ... January 1994 - November 1995, Commander, 51st Fighter Wing, Osan AB, South Korea ... "

Well, yeah, but these things happen in cycles, don't they?

Chief_KO
03-18-2013, 12:23 AM
First and only time I ever seen a base commander burned in effigy by the locals.

OtisRNeedleman
03-18-2013, 01:30 AM
I'm guessing many of you don't know what Osan looked like in 1958. Perhaps OtisRNeedleman does, because it wouldn't have changed a lot when he was there in the 1970s (although one change stood out: American military women in uniform).

Main street outside the main gate not paved. Girls swarming by the dozen around the wire at the main gate competing to be signed in to go to the snack bar or airman's club. Girls in bright satin lining the street outside the gate. Places where you can drink and [censored] everywhere in the Vil. The going rate is $2 for a "short time" and $5 for "all night" and the currency is Military Payment Certificates. Loud, bawdy, raucous. To those who have not witnessed or partaken, it's almost impossible to describe this Wild West scene. And every night near midnight, everything shuts because of curfew, so you'd better be indoors if you're not back on base. In the Snack Bar where our Blue Sky crew returns from the afternoon mission, Marty Robbins on the jukebox: "Out in the west Texas town of El Paso..." Trying the yab-yum position on the dam behind the Vil.

Best as I recall it was still pretty wild (and fun) in 1976. Main street was somewhat paved, as was most of the bigger streets. No MPCs. Dollars and won were used interchangeably downtown. The girls were all in the clubs, and the tag system made it easy to see who was available. Going rate had gone up to $10-15 for all night. Nevertheless, one's money could still go far in Korea. A meal for two at the NCO Club was easily less than $10. Liquor, while rationed, was absurdly cheap. Still had curfew.

When I came back in 82 things had improved. Songtan looked somewhat better. Prices had gone up some. But as a second lieutenant had more income than as an A1C/SrA/Sgt the first time. Osan finally got a commissary, which saved an all-day trip to Yongsan. There were some new base facilities, including a library. Same librarian was still there, a Korean woman married to some NCO. Didn't hit the clubs much, basically just for brown bean runs. Tag system still in place. Married a Korean lady the first time, she came with me the second time as a "designated location" dependent. That meant she got all the privileges of an accompanied spouse except base housing, which was no big deal to us. Went to the officers' club sometimes. Food was better at the NCO Club so normally ate there. With completion of Mustang Village you started to see more American dependents around.

71Fish
03-18-2013, 01:47 AM
I'm guessing many of you don't know what Osan looked like in 1958. Perhaps OtisRNeedleman does, because it wouldn't have changed a lot when he was there in the 1970s (although one change stood out: American military women in uniform).

Main street outside the main gate not paved. Girls swarming by the dozen around the wire at the main gate competing to be signed in to go to the snack bar or airman's club. Girls in bright satin lining the street outside the gate. Places where you can drink and [censored] everywhere in the Vil. The going rate is $2 for a "short time" and $5 for "all night" and the currency is Military Payment Certificates. Loud, bawdy, raucous. To those who have not witnessed or partaken, it's almost impossible to describe this Wild West scene. And every night near midnight, everything shuts because of curfew, so you'd better be indoors if you're not back on base. In the Snack Bar where our Blue Sky crew returns from the afternoon mission, Marty Robbins on the jukebox: "Out in the west Texas town of El Paso..." Trying the yab-yum position on the dam behind the Vil.

That would be cool to see, especially for those of us who were there more recently. Do you have any photos you can post?

eman_osan
03-18-2013, 02:23 AM
Don't forget Bill Holland's letter in 2003 ordering airmen not to pay barfines.


" ... January 1994 - November 1995, Commander, 51st Fighter Wing, Osan AB, South Korea ... "

Well, yeah, but these things happen in cycles, don't they?

Robert F. Dorr
03-18-2013, 07:50 AM
That would be cool to see, especially for those of us who were there more recently. Do you have any photos you can post?

I have a wad of photos including some i wouldn't show my mother. I wrote a letter home. Mom looked at Dad and said, "What in the world is Bob doing in a warehouse?" Dad looked at Mom and said, "Honey, that word isn't warehouse."

I don't have a scanner and have no clue how to post pix here. I wrote my memoir in a magazine article a few years ago and still have a couple of copies lying around. If you want to provide an address, I'll send one.

eman_osan
03-18-2013, 10:11 PM
Check out the attached link for older photos of Osan and Songtan: http://www.rao-osan.com/osan-info/WildView/Then-Now/Osan/osan-58.htm


I'm guessing many of you don't know what Osan looked like in 1958. Perhaps OtisRNeedleman does, because it wouldn't have changed a lot when he was there in the 1970s (although one change stood out: American military women in uniform).

Main street outside the main gate not paved. Girls swarming by the dozen around the wire at the main gate competing to be signed in to go to the snack bar or airman's club. Girls in bright satin lining the street outside the gate. Places where you can drink and [censored] everywhere in the Vil. The going rate is $2 for a "short time" and $5 for "all night" and the currency is Military Payment Certificates. Loud, bawdy, raucous. To those who have not witnessed or partaken, it's almost impossible to describe this Wild West scene. And every night near midnight, everything shuts because of curfew, so you'd better be indoors if you're not back on base. In the Snack Bar where our Blue Sky crew returns from the afternoon mission, Marty Robbins on the jukebox: "Out in the west Texas town of El Paso..." Trying the yab-yum position on the dam behind the Vil.

Robert F. Dorr
03-19-2013, 12:46 AM
I wrote the following comments in December 1999. I considered submitting them for publication but never did:

OSAN AIR BASE, KOREA:
In the neon and noise of Pyongtaek city, I walked for hours looking for 1958.
I never found it.
The place is better known as Songtan to most airmen, Chikol-ni to an older generation. I was trekking the sector of Pyongtaek that butts against the main gate at Osan Air Base, 35 miles south of Seoul. In this thronged Korean city, sedans and motor scooters competed for pavement with local residents buying goods in the same shops as Americans and their families.
The Americans window-shopped, or purchased jackets, suitcases, leather goods, china, you name it. A few savored bulkogi (marinated beef) at Korean restaurants, or chomped calories instead at Baskin Robbins or Burger King.
Many of these Americans were women---members of the Air Force at Osan, or wives of airmen---and a few Americans of both genders patronized the tacky, noisy, bright-lit rock bars.
But it did not seem that any were drinking more than a beer or two and it appeared that the few dozen bar girls in the town were purveying, at a price, mostly conversation, not sex. Perhaps the ultimate irony is that it costs more to talk with them now than it cost to sleep with them then.
It was December 4, 1999.
In 1958, there was neon and noise, and a main gate. But in 1958, there was no pavement (the streets were dusty in one season, muddy in another), and there were no automobiles or scooters (only Jeeps and buses). Nor were there American fast-food outlets nor, for that matter, American women of any kind.
In 1958, 81 per cent of American airmen were unmarried, their average age was 20.2 (compared with 24.7 today), and few were interested in fine goods or Korean cuisine.
In 1958, alcohol flowed freely, whores abounded, and your typical 19-year-old American airman (who might have enlisted to avoid being drafted into the Army) could traipse out the main gate amid that neon and noise and, if he chose, spend a "short time" with a woman for two dollars, or a night with her for five.
In 1999, the few surviving bar girls---granddaughters, they could be, of girls we knew---wore Gucci or Armani, had cell phones, and weren't about to parlay their pulchritude into boudoir bliss for some American, although one or two might reconsider, I was informed, for $ 250---more than 50 times the tab in my era, in then-year dollars, unadjusted for inflation.
So was there was something wrong with us then, we American airmen who came to defend Korea while yet scarcely adults ourselves, who worked and flew, and then walked out the main gate into the neon and noise and indulged? In the era of political correctness, are we from the 1958 generation obliged to apologize, because in our day the main gate led to beer and bawdiness?
It is a certifiable fact that in my squadron in 1958, one airman contracted gonorrhea not once but five times. (When officers got it, the ailment became non-specific urethritis). Visits to the clinic for penicillin were not exactly routine, but almost. One airman routinely dragged himself out of a brothel every morning to fly the morning mission, a reconnaissance sortie north of the 38th Parallel.
Today, Korea is anything but a poor, war-torn backwater where Americans can set the rules and purchase the women. Today, the American airmen and their spouses---even children, incredibly, American children, yet, in the neon and noise of Pyongtaek---have less purchasing power than the local populace. Korea is ahead of the U.S. in literacy, education, and shipbuilding; Korean-assembled F-16 Fighting Falcon jets are newer than American-built F-16s flown here.
Today, Pyongtaek (called Chikol-ni in 1958) is a bustling metropolis where the adjacent American air base is welcomed but no longer dominant. Today, American airmen, 75 per cent of whom are married, have more mature diversions than we did, in our time.
But we purchased 1999 for the rest of you, we 60-year-old men of today who were immature young kids in 1958. My friend Marty stole an American girl from me at a dance in California, went with me to Korea, sampled the raw sensual delights amid the neon and noise outside the main gate, and died on a reconnaissance mission that nobody remembers, in an era not officially called wartime. My friend George flew missions, was almost shot down over North Korea, married one of those prostitutes outside the gate, and is still married to her today.
We, age 19 in 1958, lived in barracks with up to 60 of us in open-bay, double bunks with the latrine up the hill 300 yards away, and we won the Cold War. There was no Very Strawberry for us at Baskin Robbins outside the main gate. Should we have behaved better?
In 1999, I walked for hours. I observed an Air Force captain, his wife, and three kids, haggling over furniture. Furniture! Who would have believed it?
I even had a brief chat with a bar girl with a cell phone. She was not Miss Suk. She was a Natasha. I did not find what I sought.
I did not find 1958.
It is gone.

eman_osan
03-19-2013, 02:40 AM
IVery well written, but in today's political correct world, this would not have been cliche if you had published it. Too many commanders would be apologizing (as the do today for every little infraction) for an honest description of the way things used to be. You just brought home some of the very fond memories of my experiences in 70's Thailand as well as England, and 80's and early 90's Korea. I'm not saying that things should still be the same way, but we don't need to be judged by the morals police either. I'm glad you had a chat with Miss Suk and not Songtan Sally (lol).


I wrote the following comments in December 1999. I considered submitting them for publication but never did:

OSAN AIR BASE, KOREA:
In the neon and noise of Pyongtaek city, I walked for hours looking for 1958.
I never found it.
The place is better known as Songtan to most airmen, Chikol-ni to an older generation. I was trekking the sector of Pyongtaek that butts against the main gate at Osan Air Base, 35 miles south of Seoul. In this thronged Korean city, sedans and motor scooters competed for pavement with local residents buying goods in the same shops as Americans and their families.
The Americans window-shopped, or purchased jackets, suitcases, leather goods, china, you name it. A few savored bulkogi (marinated beef) at Korean restaurants, or chomped calories instead at Baskin Robbins or Burger King.
Many of these Americans were women---members of the Air Force at Osan, or wives of airmen---and a few Americans of both genders patronized the tacky, noisy, bright-lit rock bars.
But it did not seem that any were drinking more than a beer or two and it appeared that the few dozen bar girls in the town were purveying, at a price, mostly conversation, not sex. Perhaps the ultimate irony is that it costs more to talk with them now than it cost to sleep with them then.
It was December 4, 1999.
In 1958, there was neon and noise, and a main gate. But in 1958, there was no pavement (the streets were dusty in one season, muddy in another), and there were no automobiles or scooters (only Jeeps and buses). Nor were there American fast-food outlets nor, for that matter, American women of any kind.
In 1958, 81 per cent of American airmen were unmarried, their average age was 20.2 (compared with 24.7 today), and few were interested in fine goods or Korean cuisine.
In 1958, alcohol flowed freely, whores abounded, and your typical 19-year-old American airman (who might have enlisted to avoid being drafted into the Army) could traipse out the main gate amid that neon and noise and, if he chose, spend a "short time" with a woman for two dollars, or a night with her for five.
In 1999, the few surviving bar girls---granddaughters, they could be, of girls we knew---wore Gucci or Armani, had cell phones, and weren't about to parlay their pulchritude into boudoir bliss for some American, although one or two might reconsider, I was informed, for $ 250---more than 50 times the tab in my era, in then-year dollars, unadjusted for inflation.
So was there was something wrong with us then, we American airmen who came to defend Korea while yet scarcely adults ourselves, who worked and flew, and then walked out the main gate into the neon and noise and indulged? In the era of political correctness, are we from the 1958 generation obliged to apologize, because in our day the main gate led to beer and bawdiness?
It is a certifiable fact that in my squadron in 1958, one airman contracted gonorrhea not once but five times. (When officers got it, the ailment became non-specific urethritis). Visits to the clinic for penicillin were not exactly routine, but almost. One airman routinely dragged himself out of a brothel every morning to fly the morning mission, a reconnaissance sortie north of the 38th Parallel.
Today, Korea is anything but a poor, war-torn backwater where Americans can set the rules and purchase the women. Today, the American airmen and their spouses---even children, incredibly, American children, yet, in the neon and noise of Pyongtaek---have less purchasing power than the local populace. Korea is ahead of the U.S. in literacy, education, and shipbuilding; Korean-assembled F-16 Fighting Falcon jets are newer than American-built F-16s flown here.
Today, Pyongtaek (called Chikol-ni in 1958) is a bustling metropolis where the adjacent American air base is welcomed but no longer dominant. Today, American airmen, 75 per cent of whom are married, have more mature diversions than we did, in our time.
But we purchased 1999 for the rest of you, we 60-year-old men of today who were immature young kids in 1958. My friend Marty stole an American girl from me at a dance in California, went with me to Korea, sampled the raw sensual delights amid the neon and noise outside the main gate, and died on a reconnaissance mission that nobody remembers, in an era not officially called wartime. My friend George flew missions, was almost shot down over North Korea, married one of those prostitutes outside the gate, and is still married to her today.
We, age 19 in 1958, lived in barracks with up to 60 of us in open-bay, double bunks with the latrine up the hill 300 yards away, and we won the Cold War. There was no Very Strawberry for us at Baskin Robbins outside the main gate. Should we have behaved better?
In 1999, I walked for hours. I observed an Air Force captain, his wife, and three kids, haggling over furniture. Furniture! Who would have believed it?
I even had a brief chat with a bar girl with a cell phone. She was not Miss Suk. She was a Natasha. I did not find what I sought.
I did not find 1958.
It is gone.

imported_UncommonSense
03-19-2013, 05:32 PM
I wrote the following comments in December 1999. I considered submitting them for publication but never did:

OSAN AIR BASE, KOREA:
In the neon and noise of Pyongtaek city, I walked for hours looking for 1958.
I never found it.
The place is better known as Songtan to most airmen, Chikol-ni to an older generation. I was trekking the sector of Pyongtaek that butts against the main gate at Osan Air Base, 35 miles south of Seoul. In this thronged Korean city, sedans and motor scooters competed for pavement with local residents buying goods in the same shops as Americans and their families.
The Americans window-shopped, or purchased jackets, suitcases, leather goods, china, you name it. A few savored bulkogi (marinated beef) at Korean restaurants, or chomped calories instead at Baskin Robbins or Burger King.
Many of these Americans were women---members of the Air Force at Osan, or wives of airmen---and a few Americans of both genders patronized the tacky, noisy, bright-lit rock bars.
But it did not seem that any were drinking more than a beer or two and it appeared that the few dozen bar girls in the town were purveying, at a price, mostly conversation, not sex. Perhaps the ultimate irony is that it costs more to talk with them now than it cost to sleep with them then.
It was December 4, 1999.
In 1958, there was neon and noise, and a main gate. But in 1958, there was no pavement (the streets were dusty in one season, muddy in another), and there were no automobiles or scooters (only Jeeps and buses). Nor were there American fast-food outlets nor, for that matter, American women of any kind.
In 1958, 81 per cent of American airmen were unmarried, their average age was 20.2 (compared with 24.7 today), and few were interested in fine goods or Korean cuisine.
In 1958, alcohol flowed freely, whores abounded, and your typical 19-year-old American airman (who might have enlisted to avoid being drafted into the Army) could traipse out the main gate amid that neon and noise and, if he chose, spend a "short time" with a woman for two dollars, or a night with her for five.
In 1999, the few surviving bar girls---granddaughters, they could be, of girls we knew---wore Gucci or Armani, had cell phones, and weren't about to parlay their pulchritude into boudoir bliss for some American, although one or two might reconsider, I was informed, for $ 250---more than 50 times the tab in my era, in then-year dollars, unadjusted for inflation.
So was there was something wrong with us then, we American airmen who came to defend Korea while yet scarcely adults ourselves, who worked and flew, and then walked out the main gate into the neon and noise and indulged? In the era of political correctness, are we from the 1958 generation obliged to apologize, because in our day the main gate led to beer and bawdiness?
It is a certifiable fact that in my squadron in 1958, one airman contracted gonorrhea not once but five times. (When officers got it, the ailment became non-specific urethritis). Visits to the clinic for penicillin were not exactly routine, but almost. One airman routinely dragged himself out of a brothel every morning to fly the morning mission, a reconnaissance sortie north of the 38th Parallel.
Today, Korea is anything but a poor, war-torn backwater where Americans can set the rules and purchase the women. Today, the American airmen and their spouses---even children, incredibly, American children, yet, in the neon and noise of Pyongtaek---have less purchasing power than the local populace. Korea is ahead of the U.S. in literacy, education, and shipbuilding; Korean-assembled F-16 Fighting Falcon jets are newer than American-built F-16s flown here.
Today, Pyongtaek (called Chikol-ni in 1958) is a bustling metropolis where the adjacent American air base is welcomed but no longer dominant. Today, American airmen, 75 per cent of whom are married, have more mature diversions than we did, in our time.
But we purchased 1999 for the rest of you, we 60-year-old men of today who were immature young kids in 1958. My friend Marty stole an American girl from me at a dance in California, went with me to Korea, sampled the raw sensual delights amid the neon and noise outside the main gate, and died on a reconnaissance mission that nobody remembers, in an era not officially called wartime. My friend George flew missions, was almost shot down over North Korea, married one of those prostitutes outside the gate, and is still married to her today.
We, age 19 in 1958, lived in barracks with up to 60 of us in open-bay, double bunks with the latrine up the hill 300 yards away, and we won the Cold War. There was no Very Strawberry for us at Baskin Robbins outside the main gate. Should we have behaved better?
In 1999, I walked for hours. I observed an Air Force captain, his wife, and three kids, haggling over furniture. Furniture! Who would have believed it?
I even had a brief chat with a bar girl with a cell phone. She was not Miss Suk. She was a Natasha. I did not find what I sought.
I did not find 1958.
It is gone.

I might have crossed paths with you. I was there in December '99. I can't imagine how drastic of a change it seemed to you because after being assigned to Kunsan a couple years ago and making a trip back to Osan, the change in 10 years was ridiculous. In '99 you saw the random family downtown visiting their husband/wife but now, families over run the entire base.

Robert F. Dorr
03-19-2013, 09:24 PM
Now, someone please tell me why the 51st Fighter Wing calls itself the "Mustangs." The name has no connection to the wing's historical ties or its historical name as the "Checkerboards."

efmbman
03-19-2013, 09:34 PM
Now, someone please tell me why the 51st Fighter Wing calls itself the "Mustangs." The name has no connection to the wing's historical ties or its historical name as the "Checkerboards."

I would go with Occoms Razor (did I spell that correctly?)... 51st Fighter Wing... P-51 Mustang... but I am not a military aviation historian. That's not a shot, just the truth. I'm not.

Robert F. Dorr
03-19-2013, 10:16 PM
I would go with Occoms Razor (did I spell that correctly?)... 51st Fighter Wing... P-51 Mustang... but I am not a military aviation historian. That's not a shot, just the truth. I'm not.

No, you didn't. And, yes, that's the reason. But it's an example of the Air Force's inability to understand its own history.

efmbman
03-19-2013, 10:27 PM
No, you didn't. And, yes, that's the reason. But it's an example of the Air Force's inability to understand its own history.

Chalk up one for the Army guy! Seriously, the P-51 is one of my favorites, along with the F4U Corsair (is that the one with the gull wings?).

Shrike
03-20-2013, 11:11 AM
No, you didn't. And, yes, that's the reason. But it's an example of the Air Force's inability to understand its own history.

Speaking of not understanding history, you and your peers won the Cold War, Bob? Strange, then, that it was still going on when I joined in 1988.

RobotChicken
03-20-2013, 06:47 PM
Speaking of not understanding history, you and your peers won the Cold War, Bob? Strange, then, that it was still going on when I joined in 1988.
:mad: Myself too when in '72 joined NJROTC (not too popular,but a LOT of classmates Fathers were KIA,POW) and USN in '75. Still going on when living in Germany when a bunch of DDR's came into our village through Czech. Then thousands of tanks,armor came rumbling through to Desert Storm build up, emptying Germany of a surplus built up over the years never to return,off to 'foreign aid never land'. So yea..WE ALL served during the 'Cold War'..Yalta Conference feb 4-11,'45 to aug 91.:humble

Robert F. Dorr
03-30-2013, 03:55 PM
In Butler Building 130 of the 6929th RSM at Osan in 1959, we had a 20351-2 named Pete who would occasionally get on a kick where he would end every sentence with, "without your pants on."

This may have had something to do with him being drunk, which happened always.

He would say, "They're a little short-handed in the orderly room without your pants on." Or: "The briefing for the morning mission is at oh eight thirty without your pants on." Or: "Curly and me are heading for the snack bar now without your pants on." He would go at it for an hour or more at a time. He wasn't concerned with subject-verb agreement but sometimes the subject would be "you," as in: "You'd better see what the lieutenant wants to talk about without your pants on."

We met again at a later juncture in life and he was completely normal except for being drunk, which happened always.

KellyinAvon
03-30-2013, 06:18 PM
In Butler Building 130 of the 6929th RSM at Osan in 1959, we had a 20351-2 named Pete who would occasionally get on a kick where he would end every sentence with, "without your pants on."

This may have had something to do with him being drunk, which happened always.

He would say, "They're a little short-handed in the orderly room without your pants on." Or: "The briefing for the morning mission is at oh eight thirty without your pants on." Or: "Curly and me are heading for the snack bar now without your pants on." He would go at it for an hour or more at a time. He wasn't concerned with subject-verb agreement but sometimes the subject would be "you," as in: "You'd better see what the lieutenant wants to talk about without your pants on."

We met again at a later juncture in life and he was completely normal except for being drunk, which happened always.

I think I speak for many of the forum-folk when I ask, "Whhaa-huh?"

Robert F. Dorr
03-30-2013, 11:55 PM
I think I speak for many of the forum-folk when I ask, "Whhaa-huh?"

I guess you had to be there.

RobotChicken
03-31-2013, 01:25 AM
I guess you had to be there.

:clock Truth is stranger then Fiction in the military....:amen

Robert F. Dorr
03-31-2013, 08:54 AM
:clock Truth is stranger then Fiction in the military....:amen

One thing that was so different then: the amount of drinking everybody did. After I put up the post about Pete, I learned that he died in 1995 at age sixty. Only one or two items on the Internet bear his name and no cause of death is given. Today, you would not find an Air Force squadron where everybody was drunk almost all the time. That's a little bit of an exaggeration but not a lot.

KellyinAvon
03-31-2013, 11:20 AM
One thing that was so different then: the amount of drinking everybody did. After I put up the post about Pete, I learned that he died in 1995 at age sixty. Only one or two items on the Internet bear his name and no cause of death is given. Today, you would not find an Air Force squadron where everybody was drunk almost all the time. That's a little bit of an exaggeration but not a lot.

I remember some of the retired guys in Korea, a lot of them looked liked they were in their 60s when they were in their 40s. Living hard will do that.

Robert F. Dorr
03-31-2013, 02:31 PM
I remember some of the retired guys in Korea, a lot of them looked liked they were in their 60s when they were in their 40s. Living hard will do that.

I don't know any other place where an American could live and face so much discrimination from the locals.

Absinthe Anecdote
03-31-2013, 02:43 PM
I don't know any other place where an American could live and face so much discrimination from the locals.

Arlington, Virginia?

Airborne
03-31-2013, 03:03 PM
I don't know any other place where an American could live and face so much discrimination from the locals.

Biloxi, MS?

Greg
03-31-2013, 03:12 PM
I don't know any other place where an American could live and face so much discrimination from the locals.

What about France? Or am I thinking of contempt?

JD2780
03-31-2013, 04:20 PM
Wahiawa HI. Or Haliewa town on Oahu as well.

Robert F. Dorr
03-31-2013, 04:56 PM
Yes, there are some strong candidates. I would put up with anything to live in the South of France. But I see what you're saying.

OtisRNeedleman
03-31-2013, 06:28 PM
I don't know any other place where an American could live and face so much discrimination from the locals.

Monterey, CA. Despite many individual exceptions, have found Monterey in general to be the least patriotic place I have ever lived in. More people than you might think look down upon those in uniform. Most people here only want DLI and the Naval Postgraduate School here for the money and the jobs. An awful lot of people here seem to think they're living in a part of Europe, if you will, and they really aren't part of the USA. You might ask why I'm still here. Remain due to family, primarily.

The antithesis of Monterey, far as treating the troops - San Angelo, TX. Most supportive community of the military I have ever seen.

Far as living in Korea went, I lived downtown both tours (76-78, 82-83) and had few problems. Might have been since I spoke the language and didn't act like the 'ugly American".

Robert F. Dorr
03-31-2013, 07:40 PM
Monterey, CA. Despite many individual exceptions, have found Monterey in general to be the least patriotic place I have ever lived in. More people than you might think look down upon those in uniform. Most people here only want DLI and the Naval Postgraduate School here for the money and the jobs. An awful lot of people here seem to think they're living in a part of Europe, if you will, and they really aren't part of the USA. You might ask why I'm still here. Remain due to family, primarily.

The antithesis of Monterey, far as treating the troops - San Angelo, TX. Most supportive community of the military I have ever seen.

Far as living in Korea went, I lived downtown both tours (76-78, 82-83) and had few problems. Might have been since I spoke the language and didn't act like the 'ugly American".

OtisRNeedleman is undoubtedly aware that in the novel, "The Ugly American" is the good guy who behaves the way the authors want among the populace. No book did more to nurture the idea that we should act like them instead of being us. Think "women's engagement teams" in Afghanistan or "psychological operations," both of which are complete rubbish. Burdick and Lederer did incredible harm by perpetrating the ridiculous idea that we should try to blend in among the people. Moreover, the novel perpetrated the myth that Americans behave badly overseas when in fact many other nationalities behave far worse.

Was in Monterey in the Air Force (1957-58) and as a civilian (1972) and liked everything about it. If I remember right, Fort Ord was there both times and sent swarms of basic trainees in uniform to Alvarado Street. In spring 1972, I had plans to quit my job and resume writing full-time and made an offer on a house in Monterey. I ended up not resuming full-time writing until 1989.

I wouldn't live in San Antonio even if [censored] would let me [censored] her [censored].

An American married to a Korean living in Korea is going to encounter serious discrimination in all directions even if he speaks the language and wears a hanbok.

Capt Alfredo
03-31-2013, 08:09 PM
Monterey, CA. Despite many individual exceptions, have found Monterey in general to be the least patriotic place I have ever lived in. More people than you might think look down upon those in uniform. Most people here only want DLI and the Naval Postgraduate School here for the money and the jobs. An awful lot of people here seem to think they're living in a part of Europe, if you will, and they really aren't part of the USA. You might ask why I'm still here. Remain due to family, primarily.

The antithesis of Monterey, far as treating the troops - San Angelo, TX. Most supportive community of the military I have ever seen.

Far as living in Korea went, I lived downtown both tours (76-78, 82-83) and had few problems. Might have been since I spoke the language and didn't act like the 'ugly American".

Having lived in both Monterey and San Angelo, I'd take Monterey 100/100 times. If the locals didn't go out of their way to strike up the Lee Greenwood in Monterey, so what. The amenities and culture and climate of Monterey are unsurpassed in America. The local (gringos) in San Angelo were only friendly as long as they thought you were a bible thumper and social conservative like they were. The culture and climate were horrid. The Mexican food was barely better than in Monterey, but the cost of living was certainly less, I'll give you that.

OtisRNeedleman
03-31-2013, 11:26 PM
OtisRNeedleman is undoubtedly aware that in the novel, "The Ugly American" is the good guy who behaves the way the authors want among the populace. No book did more to nurture the idea that we should act like them instead of being us. Think "women's engagement teams" in Afghanistan or "psychological operations," both of which are complete rubbish. Burdick and Lederer did incredible harm by perpetrating the ridiculous idea that we should try to blend in among the people. Moreover, the novel perpetrated the myth that Americans behave badly overseas when in fact many other nationalities behave far worse.

Was in Monterey in the Air Force (1957-58) and as a civilian (1972) and liked everything about it. If I remember right, Fort Ord was there both times and sent swarms of basic trainees in uniform to Alvarado Street. In spring 1972, I had plans to quit my job and resume writing full-time and made an offer on a house in Monterey. I ended up not resuming full-time writing until 1989.

I wouldn't live in San Antonio even if [censored] would let me [censored] her [censored].

An American married to a Korean living in Korea is going to encounter serious discrimination in all directions even if he speaks the language and wears a hanbok.

Don't know where you get that about an American married to a Korean living in Korea encountering serious discrimination. Only saw one instance of that over 39 months in country, and I was married to a Korean. Only had one instance where a Korean downtown was rude to me. One day in Seoul we were downtown catching the Korean bus back to Osan. Some old Korean man came up to me and started giving me a hard time. Don't know why. Another, younger Korean man grabbed him, threw him to the ground, and started pummeling him. I said, in Korean, "Thanks", and we got on the bus. Only time I really felt discriminated against was at the US Embassy in Seoul when getting my then-wife's immigrant visa. Noticed the last people to be called for anything were the Korean wives of US servicemen. Told my flight commander about it back at Osan. He had me write it up.

OtisRNeedleman
04-01-2013, 12:01 AM
Having lived in both Monterey and San Angelo, I'd take Monterey 100/100 times. If the locals didn't go out of their way to strike up the Lee Greenwood in Monterey, so what. The amenities and culture and climate of Monterey are unsurpassed in America. The local (gringos) in San Angelo were only friendly as long as they thought you were a bible thumper and social conservative like they were. The culture and climate were horrid. The Mexican food was barely better than in Monterey, but the cost of living was certainly less, I'll give you that.

Different strokes for different folks, then. The Lee Greenwood is no big deal. Being refused service at a store downtown because you are in uniform is a big deal. Indeed, Monterey's climate is superb. Far as amenities go, Monterey isn't bad. Far as culture goes, it's nice if you are a liberal. A conservative like me doesn't feel a part of local culture. The local culture is aimed at the rich, the liberals, and the tourists. And Monterey is being overrun with the homeless and the panhandlers, which the police will do nothing about unless they panhandle aggressively.

I spent over nine years in San Angelo, as a student, permanent party, or constantly TDY there. When I first got there in 75 didn't like it at first because it wasn't Monterey but grew to like it. When we came back in 83 liked it just fine. Was always treated great downtown, and I'm not even a churchgoer. I was very comfortable in San Angelo. I fit in very well there. Many other AF retirees feel the same way because there were plenty of them in the city. Both my kids were born there. Great place to raise a family. Had planned to retire in San Angelo but stayed in Monterey because of the CA educational benefits for the children of disabled veterans. This let my oldest child graduate from a UC.

I'll most likely live in the Monterey area until I die, but consider San Angelo more of a home town.

Robert F. Dorr
04-01-2013, 01:01 AM
Don't know where you get that about an American married to a Korean living in Korea encountering serious discrimination. Only saw one instance of that over 39 months in country, and I was married to a Korean. Only had one instance where a Korean downtown was rude to me. One day in Seoul we were downtown catching the Korean bus back to Osan. Some old Korean man came up to me and started giving me a hard time. Don't know why. Another, younger Korean man grabbed him, threw him to the ground, and started pummeling him. I said, in Korean, "Thanks", and we got on the bus. Only time I really felt discriminated against was at the US Embassy in Seoul when getting my then-wife's immigrant visa. Noticed the last people to be called for anything were the Korean wives of US servicemen. Told my flight commander about it back at Osan. He had me write it up.

That's interesting. Between 1967 and 1969, I handled every immigrant visa issued in Seoul. (It takes at least four American officers today). We tried hard to be helpful to the Korean wives of U.S. servicemen.

You would, of course, be the last person to know that you were being looked at disparagingly by the Koreans around you.

Robert F. Dorr
04-01-2013, 01:04 AM
Different strokes for different folks, then. The Lee Greenwood is no big deal. Being refused service at a store downtown because you are in uniform is a big deal. Indeed, Monterey's climate is superb. Far as amenities go, Monterey isn't bad. Far as culture goes, it's nice if you are a liberal. A conservative like me doesn't feel a part of local culture. The local culture is aimed at the rich, the liberals, and the tourists. And Monterey is being overrun with the homeless and the panhandlers, which the police will do nothing about unless they panhandle aggressively.

I spent over nine years in San Angelo, as a student, permanent party, or constantly TDY there. When I first got there in 75 didn't like it at first because it wasn't Monterey but grew to like it. When we came back in 83 liked it just fine. Was always treated great downtown, and I'm not even a churchgoer. I was very comfortable in San Angelo. I fit in very well there. Many other AF retirees feel the same way because there were plenty of them in the city. Both my kids were born there. Great place to raise a family. Had planned to retire in San Angelo but stayed in Monterey because of the CA educational benefits for the children of disabled veterans. This let my oldest child graduate from a UC.

I'll most likely live in the Monterey area until I die, but consider San Angelo more of a home town.

San Angelo didn't yet exist as an option during my time. It was Osan or Fort Meade. We didn't even have the option of Paengnyongdo, which shut down the week I arrived at Osan. There was nowhere else you could go and it was difficult to get out of the career field.

RobotChicken
04-01-2013, 01:31 AM
That's interesting. Between 1967 and 1969, I handled every immigrant visa issued in Seoul. (It takes at least four American officers today). We tried hard to be helpful to the Korean wives of U.S. servicemen.

You would, of course, be the last person to know that you were being looked at disparagingly by the Koreans around you.
:clock Sounds a lot like the 'light bulb changing theory' to this chicken! :doh

Robert F. Dorr
04-01-2013, 01:35 AM
:clock Sounds a lot like the 'light bulb changing theory' to this chicken! :doh

Somehow I'm thinking this is not what Chickie Chickie had in mind:

"The light bulb theory of development, then, is that we need to know what we want to invent and how that is different from other (equally worthy) applications of nonviolent action."

Must be another of those Air Force technical terms.

Chief_KO
04-01-2013, 01:39 AM
I don't know any other place where an American could live and face so much discrimination from the locals.

I proudly nominate Warner Robins, GA and Ft Meade, MD.

RobotChicken
04-01-2013, 02:55 AM
[QUOTE=Robert F. Dorr;616507]Somehow I'm thinking this is not what Chickie Chickie had in mind:

"The light bulb theory of development, then, is that we need to know what we want to invent and how that is different from other (equally worthy) applications of nonviolent action."

Must be another of those Air Force technical terms.[/QUOT

:smash OK then; 'How many foreign service officers did it take to change a light bulb after'RFD'

left his post'? Hint..see post #79. :doh

OtisRNeedleman
04-01-2013, 04:23 AM
San Angelo didn't yet exist as an option during my time. It was Osan or Fort Meade. We didn't even have the option of Paengnyongdo, which shut down the week I arrived at Osan. There was nowhere else you could go and it was difficult to get out of the career field. Goodfellow was where you went to be an instructor. Some Korean linguists went to be instructors. I went there to be a SIGINT Officer Course instructor after the flight commander tour at Osan.

OtisRNeedleman
04-01-2013, 04:41 AM
That's interesting. Between 1967 and 1969, I handled every immigrant visa issued in Seoul. (It takes at least four American officers today). We tried hard to be helpful to the Korean wives of U.S. servicemen.

You would, of course, be the last person to know that you were being looked at disparagingly by the Koreans around you.

The stuff at the US Embassy happened in spring 1978.

Far as how the Koreans looked at me, I didn't care. They could look and think all they liked about me, as long as they didn't bother me. Their right, their prerogative. I comported myself properly. And why would they look disparagingly at me in the first place? I had taken the time to learn their language and their customs, at the AF's behest. I was there to help defend their country, albeit under USAF orders. But to be honest, I never noticed any Korean looking at me in a disparaging way. Saw a lot of Koreans pleasantly surprised to see an American who spoke their language and respected their customs, and I got around a good bit in Korea. Remember going to my then-wife's home area, a village WAY out in the sticks past Taejon. Think the then-wife was related to everyone in the village. Nice people. Think I may have been the first American some of those folks had ever seen in the flesh.

OtisRNeedleman
04-01-2013, 04:45 AM
I proudly nominate Warner Robins, GA and Ft Meade, MD.

Warner Robins...nice drive down from Atlanta, but when you get there, there's no "there" there.

Fort Meade...agree, just excreable. A nasty, grim place best never gone to in the first place, even TDY. One of the best days on active duty was the day we drove out and left Fort Meade in the rear-view mirror.

Chief_KO
04-01-2013, 11:56 AM
In over 5 years in the ROK, I never had any problems with Korean people (outside of the ville in Songtan). But the ville existed for one reason only, and once one realizes that and gets out to see more of the country they will see an entirely different attitude. Are there pockets of dislike towards the US military, yes those are called Universities (much like here in the U.S.). I remember riding the buses, trains and subway having old grandmas smile at me and nod a "thank you". Now, when the ugly American appears (and far too often he/she does) Koreans will respond. I remember a couple of big anti-US protests started at the big university near Pyongtaek, they were gonna march into Songtan and protest at the main gate. Well, the Songtan business association met them way outside of town and steered them away. Whether driven by economics or true appreciation for the US, it was effective.

Chief_KO
04-01-2013, 12:01 PM
As for "Historic Fort George G. Meade"...in my 2 years at that hole, I never once heard a "thank you for your service" from anyone or "are you in the military" from a store leading to the offer of a military discount. Active duty military in Maryland get shafted on vehicle registration (no exemptions).

Robert F. Dorr
04-01-2013, 04:52 PM
As for "Historic Fort George G. Meade"...in my 2 years at that hole, I never once heard a "thank you for your service" from anyone or "are you in the military" from a store leading to the offer of a military discount. Active duty military in Maryland get shafted on vehicle registration (no exemptions).

Yes, by all means, let's assume that because you're in the military you should receive preferential treatment.

The custom of thanking someone for his service began in about 2005. It makes me very uncomfortable. I wish it would go away.

Are you FLAPS?

Capt Alfredo
04-02-2013, 01:06 AM
As for "Historic Fort George G. Meade"...in my 2 years at that hole, I never once heard a "thank you for your service" from anyone or "are you in the military" from a store leading to the offer of a military discount. Active duty military in Maryland get shafted on vehicle registration (no exemptions).

I spent more years stationed at Fort Meade than I'd care to remember, but never once did I catch any crap for being military. Yes, the area right outside the base to the north was pretty sketchy, but it was just fine in Howard and the rest of Anne Arundel counties. Even some of PG wasn't horrible. I don't judge a place based on getting thanked for my service. I'd rather NOT get thanked. Leave me alone. I don't want to be offered a military discount unbidden. Anywhere that there are 20,000+ well-paid civilians isn't going to be in the worst area. Lots of nice areas around there and plenty to do.

Capt Alfredo
04-02-2013, 01:11 AM
Different strokes for different folks, then. The Lee Greenwood is no big deal. Being refused service at a store downtown because you are in uniform is a big deal. Indeed, Monterey's climate is superb. Far as amenities go, Monterey isn't bad. Far as culture goes, it's nice if you are a liberal. A conservative like me doesn't feel a part of local culture. The local culture is aimed at the rich, the liberals, and the tourists.

I guess I feel the opposite of you. I felt more at home in Monterey than I ever did in San Angelo. I always felt welcome in Monterey, even in uniform, though I suppose things were a bit hairy back during the first Gulf War when I was there, with protesters and what-not.

Robert F. Dorr
04-02-2013, 01:14 AM
Goodfellow was where you went to be an instructor. Some Korean linguists went to be instructors. I went there to be a SIGINT Officer Course instructor after the flight commander tour at Osan.

Yes, I know all that but my point was: none of that existed during my era.

JD2780
04-02-2013, 01:18 AM
Yes, I know all that but my point was: none of that existed during my era.

Electricity and color tv didnt exist during your era.

Chief_KO
04-02-2013, 01:36 AM
Mr. Dorr,
Trust me I am not asking for (or expecting) any preferential treatment anywhere I go. However, I think it says a lot about a community when the citizens appreciate the service of anyone in any uniform (military, first responders etc.). Also recognizing teachers or others who choose an avocation that demands dedication far beyond the amount of salary. Military personnel and their families have limited choice in where they are assigned and for how long they remain at any station of assignment. My point is that the local community LOVES the military when it comes to funds flowing their way, but for any appreciation in return...I think not.
I disagree that this custom started in 2005, i remember it starting earlier.
And no, I am not "FLAPS". I do not hide behind a screen name far from my own given name and rank at time of retirement.

OtisRNeedleman
04-02-2013, 03:24 AM
I guess I feel the opposite of you. I felt more at home in Monterey than I ever did in San Angelo. I always felt welcome in Monterey, even in uniform, though I suppose things were a bit hairy back during the first Gulf War when I was there, with protesters and what-not.

No big deal. We're different people, that's all. :)

Mr. Joe
07-08-2013, 05:48 AM
Electricity and color tv didnt exist during your era.

Maybe there was no color TV in 1959 at Osan, and maybe I didn't ask to be there, but, yes, there was electricity! In fact, I learned to like my job, and made the best of it. The pheasant hunting was unbelievable! I knew some of the 6929 RSM folks. I worked at Dining Hall #2 for a while.

RobotChicken
07-08-2013, 05:56 AM
"You must know the world famous 'RFD' then!"

Robert F. Dorr
07-08-2013, 05:24 PM
Maybe there was no color TV in 1959 at Osan, and maybe I didn't ask to be there, but, yes, there was electricity! In fact, I learned to like my job, and made the best of it. The pheasant hunting was unbelievable! I knew some of the 6929 RSM folks. I worked at Dining Hall #2 for a while.

Was there 1958-60, never heard of anyone pheasant hunting. Unbelievable indeed.

Mr. Joe
07-10-2013, 12:24 AM
Hi Robert!
Tried to reply twice, but having a bad day. My first attempt to reply on this forum. Used to be on USFK Forums in Yongsan in 2007,8 &9. I was pheasant hunting at Osan area in 59-62. ( Not allowed to post yet, so I'll just reply to inquiries.)
will be able to write more later- it seems my computer is acting up today. Good to hear from you. Thr RSM guys I knew who wanted to get married ended up having to change jobs and walked around base without a job until they were reassigned or got a new clearance. The old days were certainly different.

Robert F. Dorr
07-10-2013, 12:32 AM
Hi Robert!
Tried to reply twice, but having a bad day. My first attempt to reply on this forum. Used to be on USFK Forums in Yongsan in 2007,8 &9. I was pheasant hunting at Osan area in 59-62. ( Not allowed to post yet, so I'll just reply to inquiries.)
will be able to write more later- it seems my computer is acting up today. Good to hear from you. Thr RSM guys I knew who wanted to get married ended up having to change jobs and walked around base without a job until they were reassigned or got a new clearance. The old days were certainly different.

Yes, that's exactly what happened to one of the RSM guys who I first met in Monterey in September 1957 and who became my best friend throughout life until he died in 2005. He did get married, it lasted, they raised a beautiful family, and his son -- now fiftyish -- visited us a few weeks ago. I'm not sure in what respect this was "certainly different" from today and you didn't explain.

Port Dawg
07-13-2013, 04:30 PM
"We appreciate what you do everyday." Meanwhile manning is SHIT and there are too many officers and not enough worker bees.

And Robert I LMFAO when I read the repost of KellyinAvon's comment...hahah a big flag goes up.

Mr. Joe
08-02-2013, 06:33 AM
I meant the old days were different in many ways. I kind of miss jumping on the train and getting off anywhere the area looked promising, and taking my special services borrowed shotgun and hunting pheasants on my day off. I had quickly found that one had to learn Korean writing to ride the buses and trains. So I did. I soon learned that a pheasant would buy a night in a Yuggwan (hotel) out in the country, and often they would cook 'em for you as a bonus. Once we were hunting just off-base at Osan. As we topped the hill to pick up our pheasants, we found we were overlooking the Snark Missle Battery! An upset
Senior Master Sergeant was yelling and running around like a chicken. We were soon invited to the MP's office on base. After sitting ther for about an hour, they gave us back our guns, ammo and pheasants.
They said there was a regulation written by Eighth Army, which said, "No hunting on ]POST[/U]!" Since this was an Air Force BASE, and not technically under Eighth Army, we had broken no law! However, I noted they wasted no time in writing such a regulation from 5th Air Force, and probably that eventually stopped the Base Commander from shooting at pheasants with his .45 pistol. We called that our lucky day at Osan, as the Missile Maintenance NCO desperately tried to find shot pellets on the ground, which he had alleged had fallen around his Snark missiles!
were