President Barack Obama paid a visit to Osan this week, that lucky bastard. Some of my friends who have views of the flightline from their balconies got excellent views of Air Force One, out on the tarmac. Alas, my view is of the dog-walking area, so I didn't get to see it, but if your dog poops on the grass and you don't pick it up, I WILL NOT MISS IT. Also, I get a high quality snapshot of everyone coming home from the commissary, so if you walk up the sidewalk with your stash you might want to put all those Little Debbies in a brown paper sack. Otherwise I might judge you, then show up at your door looking for snacks.
It was really interesting to see the effort that goes into security for his travels. The Secret Service was here far, far in advance of his visit, securing everything they could find. A lot of coordination and work goes into making it look as if he moves about freely, without fear of an attack.
The President addressed a group right here on base, a couple hundred yards from my house. Lloyd was there but I had to watch it on AFN, as seats were at a premium and I am VERY unimportant. But you knew that. Oh, and also? They locked me in my apartment. I think they might think I'm crazy.
The event opened with the Wing Chaplain saying a very long prayer to a non-denominational God. Then the music played. And played some more. And then stopped. Still no Obama. The wait went on and on, and the military 'newscasters' were clearly unprepared for a delay because they had few facts at their fingertips to fill the dead air. They did know one thing: that Obama has now visited twenty countries in his first year in office, more than any other president. George H. W. Bush (1989) and Gerald Ford (1974) both visited fifteen during their first year in office. Fascinating, yes? They thought so; I heard it like ten times. The crowd was getting a little unruly when someone finally took the podium to introduce him, but when he did show up they went wild. His speech was good, if not especially memorable; it was about what you'd expect from a President addressing the troops. Only he's a good speaker.
Then, he got to get on his big blue airplane and LEAVE. 'Take me with you,' I cried, 'I'll even leave my precious cat behind!' But no, off he zoomed without me, leaving nothing in his wake except for a restraining order fluttering in the wind. Ah, well, back to the drawing board, my friends. Got any Little Debbie snackcakes? I always think better with snacks.