Above and Beyond: Adventures in the South China Sea
- By Tracy Wilkinson
- Air & Space magazine, January 2010
Courtesy Tracy Wilkinson
(Page 4 of 4)
When we finally landed at Kadena, the total elapsed time since the knock on the door was just under 23 hours. The duty driver was waiting in the van to take us back to quarters. When we climbed in, she wrinkled her nose, and in her lovely Georgia drawl said, "All y'all smell like a bunch of billy goats."
We drove to the other side of the base in fetid silence. Without prompting, she pulled into the Popeye's Fried Chicken. We all sat together, stinking and eating the piles of chicken. No one said a word.
Later, in a bar in Okinawa, we came up with ideas for the traditional cruise patch. It's a circle (sort of) with a misshapen number 1 (our crew) and an odd silhouette of the Chinese sub. The quality is horrible, the stitching is falling apart, but it's still my favorite.