Retiree returns to visit Okinawa 55 years after first of three tours there
September 6, 2012
TORII STATON, Okinawa (Sept. 14, 2012) -- Fifty-five years, ago a young Soldier came to Okinawa for the first of three tours. Late last month, he returned here to reconnect with relatives of his late wife and help his daughter gain an appreciation for the culture and traditions of the Japanese island.
Robert R. Bross, a retired sergeant first class, first came to Okinawa in 1957 for a one-year tour. He served mostly as an intercept officer until he was promoted, after which he was transferred to post headquarters to work in the human resources department. It was during this tour that he met Fumi, the woman he later married.
Bross returned to Okinawa twice more while in the Army: the first time from 1967 to 1969, then again a few years later from 1973 to 1976.
During the tour of Torii Station along with his daughter Susan, Bross reflected on the changes the installation has undergone since he was last there.
"An old adage comes to mind when I reflect back on my tours on Torii: 'The more things change, the more they stay the same,'" said Bross. "The physical changes from my first tour to my last tour, such as the number of people stationed to post and the addition of newer buildings, were numerous. However, one thing that has remained the same is the sense of camaraderie among the Soldiers and family members stationed here, regardless of what branch of service they are assigned to."
Bross also met with Col. Sheila Bryant, commander of the 10th Regional Support Group at Torii Station. He presented her with a flag from the Army Security Agency, formerly assigned to Torii Station, which is now the Intelligence and Security Command.