Growing up as children of the military, most of us probably never lived in any one place for maybe two or three years at a time, sometimes even less. There was hardly enough time to make friends when you would have to up and leave when Dad got new orders. It was somewhat of a disruptive life, but it was full of adventure. After all, this was the Navy! Destroyers, aircraft carriers, shipyards! Pretty exciting stuff for a kid.
And yet, the nearly nomadic life deprived us of some things that were, for other American kids, a normal part of growing up. To this day I find it difficult to answer questions like; Where are you from? What high school did you go to? What's your hometown? Long Beach, San Diego, Albuquerque, Bremerton, Newport News, Jacksonville Beach, Los Angeles? How can you say you're from? There is no simple answer! You end up saying, "My dad was in the Navy." And the response is usually a sympathetic but patonizing "Oh, I see."
Then there was Sangley Point.
Life at Sangley was a unique experience. One that we probably didn't appreciate until after it was long over. For most of us, this was the first trip outside of the United States. In fact, for all the traveling we did while Dad was in the Navy, this was probably the only time we had actually lived on a navy base of any kind! It provided us with the small town experience that we probably would never have had. A hometown!