Friday, September 26, 2008
Leif in Chopper - May 1981 - Japan - Age 6
Living on base in Japan was in some ways similar to living in a small town in the 1950s. We had little league baseball, soccer, Scouts, American schools, lots of family activities, and the base was small enough that we rarely went anywhere without meeting someone we knew.
Like all US military bases, we celebrated Armed Forces Day in May, and there were picnics, displays, ceremonies, and best of all, from my sons' point of view, the opportunity to climb on, in, and over military vehicles and equipment. Leif was thrilled to have the chance to get into this helicopter and put on a real pilot's helmet, complete with radio communication. How he would have loved to have been a pilot!
That was his real ambition, undoubtedly fostered by moves such as "Star Wars" and the chances to fly in airplanes and helicopters from a young age. Unfortunately, his hopes to do that were dashed when he found out in junior high school that he needed to wear glasses and his eyes would not pass the flight physical. He never found another real career ambition to replace that dream.
But here, at Camp Zama, Japan, he could still dream, still be thrilled at the chance to be in a real chopper. It was so much fun for us to see him do it.
Here he is, probably pretending it's his bird to fly.