Monday, April 15, 2013

Return of the Traveler

The world traveler returns!
Monday 15 April 2013, Jack returned home.  He got in to Honolulu, missed the first flight to Los Angeles, got the second flight, then made a commuter to San Diego arriving about 0845L.  He had a great time and we are grateful to have him home.

Less than perfect weather in Honolulu, but who cares?  I am on my way home!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday Adventures

Sunday Adventures (or just relaxing and having a party!)

Well, today we were supposed to have hiked to the Asan Gun Emplacement, but due to getting home from the BBQ/Bible Study/Hockey Game at about 2145 last night, Kurt and Mary were pretty tired, taking a long nap.

Instead I spent the afternoon cleaning the house with the Thomases, getting ready for Ben ( who I dove with on Friday) and Mandy to come over and eat tacos with us!

I helped clear off the dinner table, swept the front porch and wipe the walls of marks that had been accumulated from kid usage.

When they arrived, I already knew Ben so the only one I hadnt met yet was Mandy. She like Ben was very nice and they brought a Chinese chicken salad which was very delicious to say the least. We had some excellent dinner conversation! The Thomases sure do have some excellent friends!

I was sad to see them leave, but then we had dark chocolate pudding with chocolate chips for dessert! I was sad as I began packing up for the long trip home, as through the week and half stay, I had come to see the Thomases as an extended family!

As I type this, I am in my seat, 20E crushing at 35k feet, somewhere over the Pacific. As I reflect back upon this trip, I reflect upon the visual that connects what I saw, with the pictures and the history of the Battles of Guam, I have a greater appreciation of the Hell that the Marines went through in the Pacific.

I would like to once again thank the Thomas family, who were my most excellent hosts, who opened their home to me, and were excellent guides during my stay. Also I would like to thank United Airlines for making this possible.

This is Jack, signing off.

Until next year!!

Sent from my iPhone

United Flight 200

Jack is in Seat 20E on United 200.

They blocked out 24 minutes late from Guam at 0704 15 April 2013.  They are scheduled to arrive a couple of minutes early in Honolulu at 1753 Honolulu time on 14 April 2013.  Faster than the Speed of Light!  Then, depending on how things goes, to the West Coast and down to San Diego.  He should make it home either Monday or Tuesday!

Track the Guam to Honolulu flight RIGHT HERE!

United 200 taxiing out at Guam

In the Air Again!

Sadness is Guam in the Rearview Mirror
All good things must come to an end; sadly that even applies to all extremely good and awesome things like visiting the coolest people in the whole wide world, Kurt and Mary Thomas and their wonderful family.

Jack is wait listed to leave Guam at 0640 Guam Time on 15 April 2013 on United 200 arriving in Honolulu at 1755 Honolulu time on 14 April 2013.  Faster than the Speed of Light!  Then, depending on how things goes, to the West Coast and down to San Diego.  He should make it home either Monday or Tuesday!

Track the Guam to Honolulu flight RIGHT HERE!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Saturday Night

Asan Beach after sunset! Amazing to think how peaceful it was compared to 21 July 1944
Saturday evening sunset on Guam
Navy Forces Marianas, Guam

Saturday Adventures

Hockey Player Jack

Learning how to skate! I look better than I actually was at this point!
On the court in skates, both firsts for me!

Today began the as the rest of the days on my most Excellent Guamanian Adventure! At the morning coffee, we worked out our Plan of the Day (POD).

There were two showings of the play Robin Hood that Jaiden and Nyah were in (as foresters, people in Sherwood Forest), at 10 and 2 o clock. The whole family went to see them at 10 O'Clock!

I have to say that I was impressed, given the cast had only auditioned on Monday and only had 18 hours to learn their lines, songs and movements!!! The play was amazing!

The play was so great that after lunch, I went with Mary to the 2 O'Clock showing. That show was just as awesome as the first!

After the play, we headed home. Then, I went with Kurt and Jeremy, who works for Kurt, to visit a baseball card collector to find some Derek Jeter cards and see if any cards that Kurt had picked up were great finds. Unfortunately the latter proved to be the case! But the guy did find some Jeter cards for Jeremy!
Marines going ashore at Asan Beach, 21 July 1944

Marines at Asan Beach 1944
Photograph of the World War II Landing at Asan Beach (gift from Kurt)
We headed back home and got ready to go to a barbecue/bible study/hockey game hosted by Steve, a Navy SEAL!!

When we got there, Kurt introduced me to Steve, who was a very nice man He had a great sermon on skates, about always going on the offensive against Satan, never turning your vulnerable side where he can get you, and how you to truly believe must act!

The food was really good! I had steak, potatoes and a sish kabob and some jalapeno poppers! Then I began learning how to roller blade! I fell a couple of times, but once I got the hang of it, could skate around without falling down too much!

I then decided to play in the game that night! I was a down low guy as my teammate Billy dubbed me, hanging by the other teams goal to catch the rebounds!

I got in several scuffles but always hung in there for my team (Blue)! I was benched several times as normal, but I played the last two games straight!

Hockey impact point
More impact

When I was done, I actually managed to skate out of the hockey court with no assistance whatsover!  Even though I was really tired and sweaty, I had a blast! Not often I get to play hockey with a bunch of Navy guys and a SEAL to boot!

Jack by goal, Kurt far right
They gave me the jersey that I wore during the game, which was a great honor for me and a very nice gesture on their part! That night I took a shower (hot!) and got ready and headed to bed!

The plan for Sunday is to do a hike at Asan Beach to see the gun emplacements!

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday Night in Guam

Friday night sunset at Asan Beach

World War II Supply Pier

Friday Adventures

Friday Adventures

This morning began even earlier than usual at 0500! There was a reason for this however! We were going to go do a dive at Gab Gab 2, with Kurt and Mary and their friend Ben!

Putting on the scuba gear brought a swarm of excitement to me! Kurt gave me some excellent tips on how to easily don the gear!

We had a nice swim out to the dive site! Upon descent, which I did in short steps to help clear my ears! When we got down to 50 feet, it was like jumping into a big, huge aquarium!  A big variety of fish were swimming around us!

I managed to hang around down there for a total dive time of 37 minutes! Which I found was pretty good for having not dove in a year!

Kurt and I ascended to the surface and snorkeled back to the pool and walked up the steps and took off our gear and waited for Mary and Ben!

Afterwards, we headed back and Kurt went to work! We then learned there was a staged power outage from 1300-1700! So we then went to the NEX, and I got some supplies I needed and Mary got a Vita-Mix.

After the NEX we headed back home, then we decided to hang out at the pool, then go home and get ready to see Kristyna's track meet!

Kristyna's track meet was pretty cool!  I had never been to one before! We were there for Kristyna's high jump! She did really well!  It was amazing to see the girls' agility! 

After the track meet, we headed home and on the way stopped at Asan Beach to take some picture of the sunset there! It was a very interesting feeling to be standing on ground that Marines died and fought on!

It makes me grateful that they lived and died and fought that I might be in a free country today!

Sent from my iPhone

The site of W-Day landings on 21 July 1944!  Imagine what it was like 69 years ago! The hell that the Japanese rained from the hills.

There are two points, I am standing on one in this picture! In the other, on the left, gave this place the name of Devil's Horns!  Not hard to imagine why!

It feels like hallowed ground and it really made my hairs stand up!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Friday Dive at Gab Gab Beach!

0500 wakeup for a dive at Gab Gab Beach!  Kurt, Mary and Jack went diving before Kurt had to go to work.  Mary had the camera, so that is why she is not in the pictures.  Jack will probably get a good narrative going, but here is what really happened in the aquarium amongst the fish, eels and turtles!
Jack and Kurt in the lawn chair

Jack and Kurt having a great time

Knock, Knock…

Blowing bubbles

Jack amongst the little mouths

Thursday Adventures

The usual 0550 or so wake up with the morning coffee ritual was in order for this morning. The POD (Plan of the Day) was after the girls were dropped off for play rehersals, we would head to Dadi Beach, which for me meant a chance to snorkel and explore.

I pre-planned my sunscreen application so that I would not have to do it when we arrived to the beach at 0930!

Upon arrival, I donned my mask and snorkel and headed out! The sea grass was a bit intimidating, as it concealed whatever creatures lay within!

Fortunately, I was soon past the sea grass and headed towards the reef! My goal was to swim to the drop off and snorkel to see the variety of fish, including angelfish and others!

Once I arrived, I did indeed see the variety of fish that Mary told me would be out there! Then after five minutes of watching the sea life I headed back.

There was a Japanese defensive fortification nearby, that I swam to, to explore! When I got there, I imagined as I have at all the war sites, what it must have been like 70 years ago! The machine gun fire, the bullets, the blood and sweat! It makes me appreciate the sacrifices our men have made for our country! Let us never forget!

I found a piece of shrapnel in there and a rubber rectangular object! After I finished, we headed back to the car and went home!

Next, Kristyna took me and her friend Briana to the Pacific War Museum! Which was a rather impressive collection of war vehicles and guns from the War, many of the guns and artifacts had been found right here on Guam! Which made it even more real to me, the history that is!

After we finished, we dropped Briana at her house and went back and hung out, and Kurt put on Band of Brothers for me!  It is very good so far!

Then Mary and I went rent my Scuba Gear; tank, weights, fins, boots and BCD, only 30 dollars! The best 30 dollars I have ever spent!

Then we went home, and had a dinner of beef and cheese tacquitos and beans! Then I turned in at 0815 as I had an early morning dive at 0630 the next day!

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday at the Pacific War Museum and around Orote Airfield


Jap pilot seat

Jack and Gamma Goat
1911A1 Colt Pistol

Dodge Carryall

Jerry Can Collection


Pre-War Marines

KI-100 Windshield shot down in 1944

Jap Woodpecker Machine Gun


US Civil War Bayonet used by Japs

Jap Tail Section

Jap 120 mm AA / Shore Gun AND Jack

Jack and WC-57

Jack and MB / GPW

Jack and Jap Scooter

Jap Anti Aircraft Gun

1903 Springfield Rifle and 1911A1 Colt Pistol

Abandoned Fuel Drum and Shrapnel Piece

Jungle Adventure

Jungle Adventure

Shrapnel Piece

Jungle Adventure