by Misty Corrales

A random note about what I remember about Hickam AFB. A lot of the buildings on the base are old — they were there when Pearl Harbor was attacked and there are a few with gunshot damage. Many of them are weird pastel colors… like, not pink but some kind of funky salmon color which isn’t quite salmon…or yellow, but not a bright sunny, pretty yellow. This yellow is like a butter (real butter, not margarine) color with a dash of color that has then faded. Our quarters on base were the pink color. There were also some bluish quarters. Basically, the colors were both pastel and dingy…not DIRTY mind you, just dingy by design. Despite that I’ve called some of those buildings dingy, they were not UGLY. Hickam is quite a beautiful base. There are a lot of trees, and some newer buildings (well, new in the 70s). There is a beach on the base as well. The back gate of Hickam actually connects to Pearl Harbor Naval Station, so we could go to Pearl Harbor very easily — and the naval personnel could easily come to Hickam. Hickam is the base I was at when I turned ten — so my first solo excursion to the BX was the Hickam BX. (At that BX was a blue dress that I tried on at least 15 times. I loved that dress. I never bought it. But I loved that dress.)

Our quarters were also, at the time, the nicest my dad had been given. It was a two story townhouse with a bathroom upstairs and a half bathroom downstairs. There was a great kitchen with pretty decent cabinetry, a living room and a dining room, hallway, laundry connections, a lanai and a covered front porch, and a storage area. They were bigger than what we had in Texas (prior station), which was a duplex. We had a front yard and a back yard. My dad had built me a little play house, and painted it to match the quarters. I think he also helped someone who lived in bluish to make one for their son. I think he did have to get permission to add it to our yard.

(I quite liked my play house! It had screened windows that I could open or close, counters and a door. I also had some nice curtains in it.)

We also had a plumeria tree (white with yellow centers) in our back yard, so I frequently made leis and things with it. A few doors down, one of our neighbors had a mango tree. He didn’t like us kids climbing his tree to get the mangos, but if they fell out of the tree, we were welcome to them. He’d also get us a mango if there were none on the ground, and all we had to do was ask. He just didn’t want us to get hurt. Most of the kids in our housing area were around the same age, some were younger, of course…the younger siblings — and it probably has to do with the rank associated with those quarters. What I remember most about this particular base housing area was the commaraderie in the neighborhood. We had cookouts. Our parents watched over one another. Read the rest of this entry »

4 Communication Challenges That Military Families Face

Away We Run

Sitting in my room, with tears streaming down my face, I couldn’t understand how we got here. How did we go from a loving, carefree couple to the type of people who would yell at each other? How did we lose ourselves in separation, and worry, and stress? I went over it all again and again in my head, and no matter how hard I searched for the answers, I couldn’t find them.

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The Order of The Garter – A Cavalry Tradition

Charlie Troop 1st Squadron 9th Cavalry Regiment

The US Cavalry has many traditions that have been carried on for +/- 200 years. One of these traditions is the Wearing of the Garter by the wives of the Cavalry Trooper. At first the color of the ribbon on the garter was yellow. Since the original garter came out the colors of Red and Blue have been added. The Red is for the Artillery and the Blue is for the Infantry.

The Order of the Garter is a long-standing Tradition in the US Cavalry. The following is a prayer the Cavalry wife would say:

Give me the greatness of heart to see,

The difference between duty and his love for me.

Give me the understanding so that I may know,

When duty calls him, he must go.

Give me a task to do each day,

To fill the time when he’s away.

When he’s in a foreign land,


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MAMF Opens in Tijeras, NM


Post War Italy

Terry J. Ball

Post war Italy was so poor. The only people in Italy who had any money were U.S. Army personnel. They were the 1%ers.

‪We lived on the economy in Livorno, Italy. My father was a Captain at the time. My mother had a full time Italian maid and nanny. Her name was Gina. She prepared three meals a day, washed clothes, cleaned house and took care of us three kids. I remember she made these wonderful tortellinis from leftover food. We never knew what was in them, but years later we found out that when we didn’t eat our vegetables from the night before, we ate them in the tortellini soup the next day for lunch. I’ve often wondered what happened to Gina. She was a wonderful woman.

‪Our neighbors knew we were Americans. The locals would always come by the house and ask if my parents could provide them any work. They were very proud people and were reluctant to accept handouts. One artisan built my mother a sofa and chair for the living room, as well as a coffee table and sideboard out of wrought iron and Italian marble. Beautiful pieces that lasted for years. I think my father paid the man four cartons of cigarettes and a couple of bottles of booze and the artisan was embarrassed because he thought that was too much.


Actor Bryan Cranston’s Ancestor Discovered at Dayton VAMC

On August 23rd, 2015, the TLC television channel featured Hollywood actor, Bryan Cranston, on their show “Who Do You Think You Are?” The show, fueled by the popularity of Ancestry.com, takes famous people on often convoluted journeys into the secret world of archives and genealogy as they trace their family roots. Bryan Cranston knew little about his father’s side of the family and his particular trek landed him at the Dayton VA Medical Center.

Joseph H. Cranston, Bryan’s great-great grandfather, abandoned his family to fight in the American Civil War. We don’t know his personal reasons for doing it, but he was not alone. Thousands of men from the U.S. and foreign countries left their homelands and families to fight in that war. Their reasons varied: some were enslaved and they fought for freedom, some sought adventure, some did it for the money or felt passionately about the political reasons behind the war, and many others kept their convictions for fighting to themselves. Some returned home after the war, many did not.

What we know of Joseph H. Cranston is that he entered the Central Branch of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers (VHA’s origins)in Dayton, Ohio, on September 1, 1883. He served as a private in four different Union regiments during the Civil War: 23rd Illinois (Co. K)—an “Irish brigade,” 39th Illinois (Co. B), 26th Pennsylvania (Co. D), and the 99th Pennsylvania. While serving with the 23rd Illinois, he was captured at Lexington, Missouri, along with most of his regiment and held as a prisoner of war. He was released at Benton Barracks, Missouri, and later joined another regiment. He served in the war from August 1861 until its end in 1865. While serving in the Virginia Wilderness campaign in 1863 he contracted his disability—varicose veins. Many lower rank soldiers suffered from debilitating varicose veins because of marching, standing guard for long hours, cramped sleeping quarters, etc. Read the rest of this entry »

I Don’t Want the President; I Want my Dad

Porter Broyles

I was a scout in BSA troop 964 in Dale City Virginia in the early 80s. My dad, U.S.A.F. Lt. Colonel Stephen D Broyles (retired) and an Eagle Scout, was very involved in the troop. Well, I earned my Eagle rank shortly before moving to Germany.
They didn’t have time to award me the rank of Eagle before I left. So i arrived at Patch Barracks in the Summer of 84 and the BSA troop there gets started to award me the Rank of Eagle.

Now getting Eagle is a big deal—especially in military communities. Well, I’m on perhaps one of the most important military bases in Europe. Patch Barracks—HQ for United States Army in Europe. We didn’t have a “Colonel’s Row” like many bases. Colonel’s row was where the top ranked officers lived—we had a General’s Row. Scores of General’s were assigned there.

So Lt Colonel Roberts is the adult leader who is helping to put together my Eagle Ceremony and he comes over some evening to talk to me about who I want to get to present me with the award. He explains that this is for the Eagle Scout and that I can ask for basically anybody in the world. He tells me that if I want President Reagan to present me with the award, that he’d make the call. If I wanted a state governor or congressman, that it was possible. This was for the Eagle Scout Award and we were at the most important military base in Europe. I might have to wait, but he said that he would do his best to get me whomever I wanted to present me with the award. This was, after all, for the Eagle Scout Award and we were at one of the most important bases in Europe, so it would be possible. “Even for the President.” Or a general—which for a career military brat is a big deal.

Lt Col Roberts was basically begging me to ask for somebody that would give him the chance to call somebody above his pay grade.
He was sorely disappointed when I told him that there was only one person from whom I wanted to receive the rank… that there was only one person from whom I would accept the rank. My Dad.

32 years later, I am so glad that I made that choice. I have never forgotten the expression on Lt Colonel Roberts face or the smile on my dad’s. My dad tried to talk me out of it, he kept telling me that they could get the President to give it to me, but I knew in his heart that it had to be one of his proudest moments.