Foreign Friday

Billeting office
Misawa AFB
Misawa, Japan
August 1979
When I arrived at Misawa AFB, I was taken to the Billeting Office for temporary lodging. I was allowed to stay in billeting for 30 days, while I searched for off-base housing. The building in the photo offered rooms with two beds: my roommate was Carol Ackerson, a DODDS teacher who had transferred from Germany. Carol gave me tips on dealing with the military red-tape. I grew to appreciate her advice. The rooms were small and had a small wardrobe. We had things piled everywhere as we had luggage that contained items we'd need until our household items arrived on base, which could take more than a month. The restroom was down the hall and resembled a dorm bathroom with numerous stalls and showers.

Carol advised me to add my name to the list for BOQ (on-base single housing). BOQ's were assigned by rank: whenever my name got close to the top of the list, officers ranking higher than me would transfer in and bump me down the list, lower than where I started in August. It took eight months for my name to reach the top of the list.

Previous posts on my housing while in Japan are outlined below:

Off-base housing
     •  Be it ever so humble

On-base housing
     •  Surprise Move to On-base housing
     •  BOQ location
     •  Winter on base
     •  BOQ housekeeper
     •  Celebrating Sakura blossoms at BOQ


  1. I keep thinking that this was an amazing adventure, even with having to endure "dorm" living.

  2. Nancy
    As I read about your learning curve during travels and teaching I am so reminded of my Zach. You are both very adventurous teaching souls. Zach delights in meeting new people as he teaches in Mexico.

  3. Enjoyed going back to your previous posts to see your other dwellings. A few years ago our son taught in South Korea for a year. His apartment was essentially the size of my kitchen (which is not huge). Amazing!!

  4. Having been on Misawa I found your post very interesting and I went back and reread the previous ones you linked. So interesting. I am amazed with the amount of snow that falls in Northern Japan. So many people think that it's a tropical island with no cold. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I popped over to read about your off base housing and started laughing about the sign you took from the bathroom wall. I can't imagine why they thought it was necessary to tell anyone how that worked and they left out the part about the guys putting the lids down after use! Maybe that was in the written part. Great post Nancy!!

  6. That must have been so frustrating to be bumped .... YIKES! On the other hand ... sounds like you had a very nice roommate.

  7. Nancy, I loved reading about your Japanese housing, although I breathed a sigh of relief when you finally got into a proper housing unit. What a sweet friend Betty was - a heart of pure gold! So glad God blessed you with her.

  8. Didn't you love getting bumped especially when you were almost up next! I traveled MATS with my dad once and we ended waiting an extra day or so at a US air base while we tried to get to Spain. We made it eventually and it was a wonderful trip. He was a fairly senior officer so we didn't get bumped by many but anyone traveling on orders came first no matter what rank. (Maked sense to me!)


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