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No Access to Bases in US Either

Date Posted: 2001-01-12

I am writing this letter in response to "why not allow Okinawans access to bases?". I would first like to start by stating that the past three years spent in Okinawa have been some of the finest years of my life. I enjoy the Island very much, and have a deep respect for the people living here. I hope that I can clear up a few issues surrounding this topic. I can only speak for the marine bases, as I have never lived on any other type of military facility. In the States the general public does not have access to the bases, much like the Okinawan people. When my family would come to visit me at Camp Pendleton I would have to stop at the gate and get a pass for their vehicles. In addition, I was required to notify housing of the visits when they stayed in our home more than a week. As they were from out of state, this was common. They were also not allowed to make any purchases at the base exchange. The only time they could buy anything for themselves were at places like Burger King, that do not check ID cards. My family always went out in town to shop, so we could all go together. At camp Pendleton they were not even allowed in the commissary, even with an ID card holder. I am sorry the writer feels so upset by this topic, and I am not responding out of malice. I personally find all of the gates and signs around the bases depressing, but I just want them to know those same gates exist in the states. I love this Island and have had nothing but positive experiences off base, and I am sorry if the writer has not had the opposite returned by military personnel.

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