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The Irresponsible Van Dumping Company Gunnery Sergeant

Date Posted: 2000-12-29

The world is populated by a handful of inconsiderate people. Anyone who is in the military has heard the following expression: "There's always that ten percent." Even on this island of Okinawa, that ten percent is alive and well. This despised population does not limit its membership to individuals of certain ethnicity. To gain membership into the Inconsiderate Humans of the World, one just needs the desire to 'screw' or, should I say, inconvenience others. The members of this group can be found in almost any social setting. If you are Japanese, that inconsiderate person could be the guy in the office who likes to poison the rest of his co-workers with his deadly cigarette smoke. Or if you are a Marine on Okinawa, that inconsiderate person could be a Company Gunnery Sergeant on Camp Kinser who enjoys abandoning his van, which has expired JCI, expired auto insurance, and unpaid road taxes on a narrow, out-of-sight, Okinawan road.

For those of you who don't understand military titles, a Co. GySgt is the third-highest ranking enlisted man in a company next to the First Sergeant and the Sergeant Major. Maybe it's just me, but it seems odd that a man who purposely dumped his vehicle can be trusted to supervise and lead several hundred junior enlisted troops. If by chance, you are one of these junior troops that serve under this man, hang your head low, for today is a day of shame.

Allow me to continue the unweaving of my story. Near my house, there is a road which is about three hundred meters long. It is the perfect place to dispose of junk that an inconsiderate individual no longer needs. In late July or August, this road was the site where the Co. GySgt decided to add his van to the collection of rusting carcasses that litter the road. These vehicles, including the inconsiderate Marine's, soon become sub-disposal sites in which people bust the windows and dump treadless tires, ancient VCRs, etc. into them. For what it's worth, the responsible, inconsiderate Marine's van contains about four dead air conditioners.

Why would an inconsiderate person want to dump his or her vehicle? Well, because of the limited junkyard space, people wanting to dispose of vehicles have to pay junkyards about 20,000. However, in the case of a big van, like the one the Co. GySgt abandoned, the price could be as high as 30,000. That's right. Mr. Marine has saved himself 30,000. But in the process, he has stolen money from the wallets of hard-working Okinawan taxpayers, for these vehicles have to be disposed of by the government. Furthermore, he has given anti-base folks, of which I am not one, another reason of why he and the military shouldn't be here.

Some may wonder why I am being so harsh against this Marine. Here is my justification. He is merely a visitor here who doesn't pay Japanese taxes. In addition, he does not have to live with the long-term environmental and economical effects of polluting the island. When he is long-gone, his junked van may still be sitting where he left it, or the disposal fee will still be felt by the taxpayers.

Some may wonder how I discovered that the Y-plated hull belonged to the responsible Co. GySgt. Let me explain. After it had been sitting for several weeks with the license plates intact, someone busted the windows and looted the van. The doors were left open, and the worthless contents in the van were thrown into the street. Among this rubbish was the vehicle's registration, expired auto insurance, expired JCI documents, and photo copies of the ID cards and drivers licenses of Mr. Marine and his wife. Lesson one: When abandoning a vehicle, remove all evidence which could link you to legal ownership.

Taking these documents to my house, it didn't take long to find Mr. Marine's work and home phone numbers. So I called him. I reached him at his place of employment, his company office. Without introducing myself, I immediately asked him if he was aware that abandoning a vehicle on Okinawa is a crime. There was a pause, a few uh, uhs, and finally he said that he didn't abandon a vehicle. When I reminded him of the gray van that was parked nearly five miles away from his home with expired JCI, he gave the following lame explanation. Apparently, the van had broken down, so he parked it there intending to fix it. I reminded him that the citizens living in the local area were highly suspicious that his vehicle was abandoned. He replied that it was not and that he would remove it soon. We ended the conversation on a good note, and I was even thinking that my scheme had worked. Lesson two: Never believe inconsiderate people, for they are often greedy and will do just about anything, even if it brings discredit to their service, to save just a few pennies.

About one month passed, and I finally decided to follow up on the case. Being fed up with the sly Co. GySgt, I decided to call his Company Commanding Officer. Unfortunately, he was not in, so I asked the Lance Corporal who took my call for his Colonel's phone number. After all, I'm not in the military, so I don't have to go through the chain of command. Unfortunately, he was not in either, so I asked to speak to the Executive Officer, who is kind of like the Colonel's Vice President. After a few minutes of waiting, the XO took the call, and I proceeded to tell him the situation. By the time our conversation ended, the XO had all the relevant information needed to take action against a law-breaking subordinate. Ending the conversation on a good note, the XO said, "I'll have my guys look into it." Lesson three: Don't ever believe that a Marine unit would take action against one in a leadership position, for the Marine Corps wants the world to think that only junior enlisted Marines cause trouble off-base.

Well, it has been nearly seven weeks since I spoke with the XO who dismissed me as a nuisance. The sly Marine's van is still here. Most importantly, I'm here, and I'm not going away until the van is taken away. My next step is to call Mr. Sly Marine's general. General, sir, I hope that you are reading this. After all, you should be aware of the lack of respect that one of your Marines shows for the Okinawan people and their land. Furthermore, you should be aware that Ginowan City's Mayor knows of this case and is sending a letter to your office. This van is in your hands. If you choose to let it sit and rust, you will only add to the apparent mistrust that Okinawans have against the military. Co. GySgt, the van has to go. You cannot and will not get away with this irresponsible behavior. Lesson four: Action Pending.

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