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Places the Military has Sent Me

  • Apr 17, 2013
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When I joined the military back in 2009 I did it with the specific goal of seeing as much of the world as I could. Sure thoughts of serving my country, getting money for college, learning new skills, and getting away from home were all factors, but the main factor was that I just wanted to see the world. As it turns out a lot of people who join my carrier field (Air Force Security Forces) get stuck in black holes protecting nukes in Montana, North Dakota, or Wyoming where the prospect of getting out of these bases is bleak at best. Thankfully I was one of the lucky ones who not only got an overseas base as my first, but has had the opprotunity of travel quite frequently. This list only includes places where I was either stationed for a prolonged period of time, or got the opprutunity to travel and explore in my off time at. If I were to include all places the military has sent me, I would have to include Qatar, Kuwait, Italy, and Germany, though in all those areas I was either there for a very short amount of time, or had no opportunity to travel and explore. So here is my list of six places around the world and the states where I got to travel as a result of joining the military in the order in which I visited them.
1
San Antonio
Everyone who joins the Air Force has been to San Antonio, but only those who have their technical training (that is, the training you get after Basic where you learn your specific job) there who really get to experience this great city. San Antonia really is a beautiful city; I can walk along the river walk every day and never grow tired of it. Though The Alamo is a bit of a disappointment, the city itself is bustling with life and atmosphere. I got to spend four months there while I was in training and loved every minute of it. Though I'm not a big fan of the Texas attitude, and as a native of Nebraska I can't stand their sports teams, I could think of much worse places to live then San Antonio.
2
South Korea
What a treat it was to have my first base in South Korea, even though my particular base (Kunsan Air Base) is in the far south of the country and in a very rural area. I regret not traveling as much as I should have while I was there, but I did get to go to Seoul, and I did get to visit the DMZ.

Kunsan for military members is a hot party location, as there are no families, no driving, and everyone must live in dorms on base. I would compare it to a year of college except your in a foreign country. One thing I really miss about Korea is the food. I LOVE Asian food, and the best I've ever had was in Korea.

Korean food is absolutely delicious and I've yet to find a restaurant outside of Korea that really does it justice. Ever try honey on your pizza? Well in Korea I did, and it was fantastic. Ever eat dog? I did, and it was... well, that was just okay. The Wong (Korean currency) is very devalued, so things are cheap as hell as well. Everyone always wants to go to Japan, but give Korea a shot if you ever get the chance. It is a very interesting culture that deserves to be experienced.















Korea for me consisted of a lot of this...















Alot of this..




















And a crap ton of tomfoolery like this.
3
England
After my year in Korea was up I hopped on a plane and flew to my next duty station. RAF Mildenhall. Again, the base is situated in a very rural area about 30-40 minutes away from the nearest big city (Cambridge) in mostly farm land. I got to Mildenhall in 2011 and am stationed there to this day.

England is a beautiful country, I don't think I need to explain why to you, you probably already know. Since I got married last year, my wife and I have been traveling the country, from London to Cardiff, and everything in between, and are planning a trip to Scotland very soon. But by far my favorite place to visit is London. I have so many fond memories of there, from climbing the steps to the roof of St Paul's Cathedral, to proposing to my wife at the top of the London Eye. Yes, its always rainy, the Pound is worth way more then the Dollar and so everything's more expensive, and everyone has a funny accent, but I cannot stress just how gorgeous England, and London in particular, is.















London Olympic soccer game between England and South Korea in Cardiff.




4
LAS VEGAS
In 2011 I was tasked to deploy to Baghdad Iraq as a member of a .50CAL team. But before we could go to Iraq, we had to train with the 50. caliber machine gun, which looks something like this.








Me, "training" to fire the 50. Cal














Fortunatly for me, and unfortunatly for the American taxpayer, the only place that we could train on this weapon of awesomeness is located just outside Las Vegas, so my team and I packed up our meager belongings and flew all the way from England to one of the coolest cities in the world. We spent a week and a half in Vegas, and I had a freaking blast. Though I didn't get the full Vegas experience (we were in training the whole time, so there was only so much partying we could do without getting in trouble) Vegas is such a colorful and bright city you can have fun just by walking down the streets.







This has got to be the coolest street in America.





The lights, the music (Rush AND Deep Purple both had concerts while I was there), the atmosphere, even if I didn't do a lot of drinking I had myself a hell of a time, and I got to end my trip like this.





Jealous? I thought so.
5
Baghdad Iraq
So off to Baghdad I went, to serve as part of the last team of American military members to ever set foot in Iraq. I was there for the pullout, I was there when our presence in Iraq ended and we handed over the country to the Iraqi's. But I was also there for four months before that happened, four months of agonizing boredom. There's really not a whole lot for me to say about Iraq. It was a lot colder then I was expecting, we got motored a couple times but were never in any real danger, and we never went off base.

One thing I do remember is working with Ugandan contractors who worked along side us. One of my favorite memories is taking a football to post with me and teaching a couple of them how to play. That was always a lot of fun.






































Yeah we're bad asses, what up?




















Me with a tank

And of course, my profile picture. Funny note, if you look closely, you'll see the patch I'm wearing on my profile picture is actually a Team America World Police badge. Couldn't help it, the irony was just too tempting.
6
Turkey
I'm on my second "deployment" now, and compared to the last, Turkey seems a great "deployment." My wife visited me, I can drink, travel off base, travel, everything I can do at a normal base. Out of all the countries I've been to I think I've worked with the locals more here then anywhere else. The reason being that here we actually work with the Turkish Air Force with joint patrols. I've met a lot of Turks, and learned alot about the culture.

Unfortunatly I don' t have a lot of photos to share with you, when my wife visited she took a LOT but I don't have them right now. So here's a pic of the nearby Mosque.




Mosque in downtown Adana.

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About the list creator
Jonathan J.D. Lane ()
Ranked #119
I am a member of the US Air Force and presently serve overseas at RAF Mildenhall about three hours north of London. I grew up in Pappilion Nebraska and Crestview Florida, but since joining the Air Force … more
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