Ramen

I love ramen.
I could eat it every day.
My wife is Japanese but that isn’t why I love ramen.
Her mother was a wonderful cook, but she isn’t the reason I love ramen either.
Her dad was born in Honolulu to immigrant parents. Nor he or they.
They worked in the pineapple fields and later cut sugar cane.
Mr. Ono was a WWII hero fighting the Germans in Italy, France, and Germany.
His parents were incarcerated in Hawaii during the war.
He was given the Distinguished Service Cross by General Mark Clark.Pvt Thomas Ono at Fort Derussey(3)
I tear up when I think of him and his heroism. Uncle Masa served too.
They both served in the Korean War. Her dad was a POW. He earned a Silver Star.
A Hawaiian woman operated the lunch van at Barbers Point Naval Air Station.
I had lunch there regularly when I worked the night shift at the squadron.Will_ Dungaree Pic
She never spoke more than was necessary to sell me lunch.
When Hawaiians get to know you, you become family. I learned to love poke.
Her ramen was made the traditional Japanese way. Soy sauce or miso.
Toppings of sliced pork, dried seaweed, menma, and green onions.
It was one of the greatest things about serving in Hawaii.
Other great things about Hawaii were the smells, the ocean, and the nightlife.
Michiko and I met at Bully Hayes nightclub in Pearl City. She’s a great dancer.Jayne281 (2)
We married after two months. We just went over thirty-three years.
We pretty much do things her way. I don’t mind: ^^33 years.^^
After Michiko and I married, we moved several times. Eleven to be exact.
We transferred every three years to a new duty station. I loved Maine’s Winters.
She moved alone twice while I was at sea. Navy wives are the greatest.Jayne328 (2)
Of all my memories of Hawaii, the lunch van stands out. I’m not sure why.
I remember one particular day. I ordered. She served me. We made eye contact.
That was pretty much it. I wondered what she was thinking. She never smiled.
I’m sure she wondered what I was thinking. My nickname back then was Smiley.
When I left Hawaii I cooked packaged ramen. But it wasn’t the same.
Gradually I made it my own. An egg stirred in. Red onions slivered or diced.
I added thin-sliced sandwich ham, mixed vegetables, and American cheese.
Sometimes, when on shore duty, I went home for lunch and made my ramen. A meal.
It’s amazing how American and Japanese relations stand today.
From inflicting unspeakable wartime horrors on each others’ young men.
To powerful allies whose friendship rose from the fallout of atomic waste.
Michiko had relatives on both sides of the war. Her mom lived in Tokyo during WWII. When I was piped ashore for the last time, Michiko was with me. I’m still smiling.
Her white bean and chicken chili is the greatest ever. Her dad drank Bud Light.
It’s good to try new things and make them your own.

The End.jpg

34 thoughts on “Ramen

    1. Thank you, GP. I cherish my Japanese connection as did my Dad even after his wartime experiences. I know so little about my Japanese family, though. Ancestry worship is widespread in Japan but not genealogy, at least not to the extent it is in the West. I can find records in Honolulu of my wife’s great grandparents, but beyond that, in Japan, it’s difficult.

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    1. Thank you. I went to boot camp as an E-1, made E-6 in 9 years, then applied for a commission right before I made E-7. I was an aircraft mechanic, then an aircraft maintenance officer. The MO job was great, but I always missed turning wrenches. When I think of my service, I see myself in my enlisted dungarees. I retired in 2006 after 27 years. I knew you served from reading your posts. Thanks for your service and for sharing your life with us.

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      1. 27 years…. That’s service, I did only4+ in the Spanish Army, can’t imagine myself being a career military man. A lot of sacrifice, specially if you are part of the US military.
        And thank you for sharing this glimpse of your life, quite touching. I like when you said something to the effect, that you do what she says and that you don’t mind, we better do that shouldn’t we? If not we get the female wrath, which is scarier than being in the military. Touching story.

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      2. I had no idea you served in the Spanish Army. You’re from Spain? I deployed to Rota twice and haven’t stopped loving Spain since. I’ve written a lot about my Spanish girlfriend, Susanna.

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      3. They shut it down as you well know and now we have the marines there to protect us.
        US having a military force that totals 175.000 at most, I don’t know what we would do if the Marrocans invaded.

        I studied half of my early life in the US, have 2 friends in the US Marine Corps.
        For certain reasons I had to ยจleaveยจcollege in the U.S so I ended up back in Spain jumping from job to job and they all bored me. And one day walking back home from a job there was a van from the Spanish Army, long story short, I joined the Spanish Legion as infantry, at that age 19 I just wanted adrenaline, and was deployed twice to two very nice countries, that apart from other nice things that occurred it also gave you a great sun tan.

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      4. I’m sure you have good memories, it is a beautiful place, great food and beautiful woman, you did end up with a girlfriend. You Americans win the battles for us and you take our women…. I’m going to see if I can enlist in US military at my age of 36, I can fill in as a Spanish interpreter in Rota.

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  1. Iโ€™m such a huge fan of Japanese culture but most of all thank you for sharing this story. I love ramen as well. Donโ€™t eat it as much as I would like to though lol. Also thank you for your service!

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