Anyone ever been to/lived in: Guam?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Michael D. Bunting, Feb 9, 2003.

  1. Michael D. Bunting

    Michael D. Bunting Screenwriter

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    I'm in the military (Air Force) and I'm thinking about putting in for another assignment overseas. I previously served two years in Turkey - and absolutely loved it - for the most part anyway.

    One of the choices out there for me right now is: Guam - a tiny Pacific island near Hawaai and Japan.

    Just wondering if anybody here on the HTF has ever been - or perhaps maybe knows someone who spent any time on this "tiny Pacific island"?

    Thanks for any and all information!

    Here is a map of Guam.



    Moderator action: edited your enormous picture out, and made a link instead - Cees Alons.
     
  2. Christopher P

    Christopher P Supporting Actor

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    Hi Michael, my dad went there on business years ago, but not sure how much time he spent on the island, he primarily stayed aboard a fishing boat his company had docked there I believe. I'll try and ask him about it next time I talk to him.

    Chris
     
  3. Mark Romero

    Mark Romero Second Unit

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    I have been there a couple times, most recently about 2 years ago. I heard the island was pretty much wiped out during their last typhoon and some people are still without power after about 2 months or more.

    Guam is cool if you like beaches and scuba diving. There is some high dollar shopping as well which caters mostly to Japanese tourists.

    Andersen AB was desolate the couple times I went there. Just doesn't seem to be much going on. Also, it is very hot. Even though it may be in the upper eighties/low nineties, I swear that sun is over 110. It is HOT!

    I may be working there in June or July for a few months so let me know if you make it there.
     
  4. Dheiner

    Dheiner Gazoo

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    I was there while in the Navy. Like Mark said, it is hot. FWIW, I was stationed at Pearl Harbor for a couple years, and I got sick of being "stuck" there, so I know that being on Guam for two years would make me crazy. Also, while I was there, we "enjoyed" a 7.5 (IIRC) earthquake.
     
  5. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Ask one of your pals what the acronym GUAM stands for....[​IMG]
     
  6. Michael D. Bunting

    Michael D. Bunting Screenwriter

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    Hey guys - I appreciate all the feedback/info on Guam. Thanks so much - and keep it coming if you can!

    The way I look at it is this way:

    It would be a 2 year (with an option for a 3rd year) assignment. I'm looking for somewhat of a relaxing assignment this go around - I don't want to be on the go 24/7 (like it seems I am here in Seattle), for my next assignment.

    Typically, with a 2 year tour to Guam - I probably would not have to deply for months on end (can you say 6-7!) to places like: Kuwait, Afghanistan, and more than likely sometime here soon: Iraq.

    I just returned from 4 months in Kuwait (a few months back). So, been there - done that & got the T-shirt.

    I previously spent two years in Turkey - and I never realized until now how good we (my wife and I) had it there. It was very relaxing - despite what is/was going on in the world. Not much to do really - but there was ample time to take college courses, travel, or just plain relax.

    The travel aspect is: Getting to visit places like Hawaai and Japan via hops (military flights) from Guam.

    I'm thinking an assignment to Guam would allow those same things.

    I do understand it's HOT & HUMID in Guam - as this is what I do for a living in the military (Weather Forecaster). I have never been through a Typhoon - but I'm sure if I were to get orders to guam I wouldn't be able to say that anymore [​IMG]

    Dennis: What does the acronym for GUAM stand for? You can PM if need be [​IMG]
     
  7. Michael D. Bunting

    Michael D. Bunting Screenwriter

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  8. Matt Stryker

    Matt Stryker Screenwriter

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    A friend of mine is there with the USAF now, and he enjoys it; the only problem is that no one in the states seems to care what goes on there. They had a typhoon a while back that wreaked havoc on the island, and his parents had no idea until he called them and told them. The pictures hes shown me make it look a lot like south Florida.

    If it keeps you from getting a TDY to the Middle East, it can't be all that bad.
     
  9. Mark Romero

    Mark Romero Second Unit

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    Michael, if I were you I would ask for Misawa or Yokota even. I lived in Japan for 3.5 years and really enjoyed it. And you can go to Guam on vacation if you want.

    I really enjoyed Misawa even if just for a few days. It has that small town atmosphere. Plus they get over 200 inches of snow annually.
     
  10. LewB

    LewB Screenwriter

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    While I've never been there, I did see a TV show (on PBS I think) that said that there were no birds on Guam. Something about a certain species of snake that they think came to the island in a cargo shipment. I guess that the thing has no known predators on the island and then proceeded to wipe out ALL the birds. They said that the island now had millions of these suckers and that they had special dogs to sniff out snakes in outgoing cargo shipments. They are afraid that the snakes might make it off Guam and on to Hawaii and do the same thing there.
    Very weird [​IMG]
    Best of luck to you in whatever you decide.
     
  11. Michael D. Bunting

    Michael D. Bunting Screenwriter

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    ahhhh...that would be the BROWN TREE SNAKE I keep reading so much about....

    No birds...hmmm, that can't be all that bad - can it? [​IMG]

    I really have not had much desire to be stationed at Yokota or Misawa really - and my wife would probably leave me if I did.

    She only has a few places on her - "No, I won't go there" list and I think Misawa and Yokota are both on that list. [​IMG] We have nothing against Japan - it's just that we really aren't interested in living there at this point in our lives.

    The Only other place that is available near Japan or Guam is: Osan AB, Korea - and that one is on my wife's "NO" list also [​IMG] And I'm not allowed to ship my vehicle here either - which would make it difficult.

    My only choices this time around are:

    - 4 different Army bases in Germany (Weisbaden, Hanau, Heidelberg, or Illesheim).

    - RAF Mildenhall, United Kingdom

    - Incirlik AB, Turkey

    - Enrique Soto Cano AB, Honduras

    - Fort Buchanan, Peurto Rico

    - Osan AB, Korea

    - Andersen AB, Guam

    My wife and I would both LOVE to live in Germany - however - those 4 Germany assignments listed are not ideal for my career. They are all 4 Army assignments (as with my job, Weather Forecasting, we do the Weather for the Army) and they would all 4 involve deploying quite a bit to various locals, not leaving not much time actually being in Germany.

    My wife would also like to live in England (RAF Mildenhall U.K.) - but I'm not too high on this assignmnet either. For starters, the weather absolutely sucks (and in turn - makes my job trying to forecast it twice as hard/difficult/ and frustrating as it already is. remember - I want to relax a little bit [​IMG] Plus, I would spend some time away deploying from the UK as well.

    I could probably put up with the weather in the U.K. (as it is much like it is here in the Pacific Northwest) - but I'm not so sure I would like it all that much.

    I dunno - I guess I have alot of thinking to do here in the next few days.. (My assignment preferences are due on the 20th)
     
  12. Mark Romero

    Mark Romero Second Unit

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    Well, trust me when I say your wife would love Misawa. It's a great base. Stay out of Osan. I am currently in Kunsan as I type this. Talk to your wife and see if she will reconsider. Japan is a great country. You both will enjoy it.
     
  13. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    I was flying on Cont. Micronesia on my way to Kwajelien (Marshall Islands)...next stop was Guam.
    One of the many stops was on Johnston Island. They made an announcement that you could only get off the plane if you had special orders. I noticed the half track had a machine gun pointed at the door of the plane... I later found out that was where we have our chemical weapons stored and we were burning some.
    Lovely place.
    I also saw a documentary one the 1st atomic tests. A airblast went off early ....right above the island instead of 50 miles away....ooops!!!!
     
  14. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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  15. Jonathan Burk

    Jonathan Burk Second Unit

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    My sister and her family lived in Guam for three years. They just recently moved to England, and their kids are having a heck of a time adjusting!

    Having never visited them, I can't speak for the island, but I really enjoyed reading this site:

    http://www.heptune.com/guam.html

    My favorite quote from that page:
     
  16. Michael D. Bunting

    Michael D. Bunting Screenwriter

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    Jonathan

    Yes, my wife and I found that same website you linked to above - it really did help us out by answering alot of questions we had.

    Right now, I do think we are probably going to put in for an assignment to Guam. But we still have a couple of days to think on things and see where those discussions take us.

    If it turns out that we get Guam as an assignmnet (should know sometime in early march), I may indeed contact you to get in touch with your sister.

    Mark

    Still have nothing against Japan - but we aren't really interested in Japan at this time. That coupled with no available assignments to Japan means we can't even go there right now. Pehaps down the road a bit - we will have the opportunity - and then talk over things and maybe she will change her mind. My Aunt lived in Japan quite awhile - I know she loved it - I'm not sure where she was exactly though - maybe Okinawa (sp?).
     
  17. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    The Naval Base is in Yokosuka Japan, right about the middle near Kyoto. You would probably be assigned to Okinawa
     
  18. Matt_Marlow

    Matt_Marlow Stunt Coordinator

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    I spent one year in Guam when I was in the Marines. At the time, I couldn't wait to get back to the states--and after only 3 months in the US I had to turn around and go to Okinawa for six months--but I also kind of miss the place in some ways. I remember that Anderson Air Force base had the nicest beaches on the island with beautiful white sand and nice blue water.

    I remember there was a rainy and a dry season. The dry season was ridiculously hot and humid. I'd say you'd like it if you like swimming and snorkeling, and you could also take up scuba diving. Plus, the air force base had the nicest facilities on the island. I was stationed at the Naval Magazine, guarding "special weapons", where it wasn't as nice, but it still had some deep jungle area where we did training every third week--2 weeks guard duty, one week infantry training. Overall, I had a pretty good time when I was there. Before I went, I heard some bad things about Guam, but it wasn't too bad really. It's just that you get tired of being on such a small island, but if you can travel a lot I'm sure that will help. I was supposed to be there for a year and-a-half, but left after a year when they closed part of the magazine down due to cutbacks. I remember on the base I was on there were caribou (sp?) roaming around all the time, which are large water buffalo I believe. There were also strange looking small deer out in the jungle that barked like dogs. Scary sounding at night when you're out training.

    One part I loved about the Guam jungle, though, they would send us on four man patrols to look for "poachers" on base, and we'd go through thick jungle. I know it sounds silly, but you felt like you were in Vietnam or something...being the Platoon and Apocalypse Now fan that I am, I used to think of stuff like that. There were some nice waterfalls out in the jungle, too. And we found a lot of old canteens and other WWII items out there. Sorry for rambling like this...

    Those are my impressions of Guam, for what it's worth (probably not much)...
     
  19. Mark Romero

    Mark Romero Second Unit

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  20. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    My great-grandfather, Dr. A.D. Drew, was hired by the Presbyterians to establish hospitals in Korea beginning in the 1880s. He and the guy who hired him, Dr. Reynolds, were the first two white guys ever to visit southwestern Korea and specificaly Kunsan. I got as far south as Osan when I was working in Korea in 1982.
     

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