Stranger In A Stange Land

OK, Sorry folks no photo.

In July 3, I graduated from Basic at MCRD San Diego.  July 4th, my father, and Air Force MSgt  (flying one at that) and a WWII, Korea vet, had just graduated USAF 1st Sgt School and came down for a visit.   My Drill Instructors were in awe and recruits and newly minted Marines did not know what to kae of him. 

Move forward to Thanksgiving of that year.  I went to see my parents at their USAF base quarters in North Dakota.   The Airman who took the cab out to the base (in civilian clothes) had been in the USAF about 5 weeks total having completed a 4-week basic training in Lackland AFB, TX.    The APs at the Main Gate let him on the base, but me, in uniform – slick-sleeve Private – was to much of an oddity for them as they started calling for my father to announce this "green thing" at the gate.

Oddly enough, I spent my entire leave at that AF Base rarely leaving the base.  I noted to myself that I got some REALLY strange looks when I went about my errands on that base.  I went to the base Automotive Hobby shop in Utilities fresh starched with startched cover and spit-shined boots.  The ladies at the PX asked me for my ID since they didn't recognize the uniform (Utilities with the EGA fresh on the pocket).   The strangest was while shopping for my Mother at the commisary.  I was dressed in greens when, as I was looking a a shelf full of products, a woman approached me speaking in one language, and when I did't respond, she switched to another further confusing me. Finally in frustration she asked if I could speak English to which I responed "yes ma'am, pretty well actually."   She asked me what was my nationality?  When I started to annouce my family's heritage, even more frustrated, she broke in and asked what nationality was my military service in?   When I went to the cashier, a military wife herself,  She knew instantly (and I knew she knew) that I was in the Corps.  

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