Retiree returns to visit Okinawa 55 years after first of three tours there
Retired Sgt. 1st Class Robert R. Bross, who was assigned to Torii Station, Okinawa, for three separate tours, returned with his daughter Susan to meet with relatives as well as to honor the recent passing of his wife, Fumi. Bross and Fumi met during his first Okinawa tour in 1957. During the visit, Bross introduced his daughter to the customs and traditions of Okinawa and met with senior Army leadership on the installation.

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.

Page last updated Thu September 6th, 2012 at 00:00