MY HAWAII BY Colin Sewake

Columnist’s 46th Birthday Sparks a Reality Check

“Okinawa is such a beautiful place, not just the ocean and scenery and culture, but the people. I’ve been treated well and taken care of by many people here in what has become ‘My Hawai‘i.’” — Colin Sewake

I don’t know why it is, but I’m kind of a nerd when it comes to remembering certain dates. And I don’t mean just birthdays and wedding anniversaries, but other dates as well — dates marking certain milestones in my life. For example, I’ll never forget Monday, Dec. 12, 1994, the day I arrived in Okinawa. Last month marked 23 years of uninterrupted residence in Okinawa for me. I have now spent more of my 46 years of life here than I have in the sands of my birth: Hawai‘i.

PREARRIVAL

When I graduated from the University of Hawai‘i at Mänoa on May 15, 1994, I was simultaneously commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. I was ordered to report to the 18th Contracting Squadron at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan.

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