By Garland Davis

I live in Hawaii. My house is on the side of a hill and overlooks Pearl Harbor. I can see Ford Island and the Arizona Memorial from my rear patio. An atomic airburst over Pearl harbor would, in all probability, destroy my house and take our lives.

My wife and I have played the what-if game about an atomic attack on Hawaii. It is just an academic exercise playing, “What would happen and what will we do.” The consensus we reached was, very little due to our location overlooking Pearl Harbor.

This morning, shortly after eight, my wife was changing for a trip to the Commissary and I was reading an article on a local news site when my cell phone chimed the urgent alarm tone. I picked up thinking there is a Tsunami warning, I know there is no storm, not a cloud in the sky when I walked the dog barely an hour earlier… I saw this on the phone:

Emergency Alert


Suddenly the “What-Ifs” we had talked about became a horrifying reality. My wife asked, “What can we do,”

“I told her, “If this is real, we have less than ten minutes. We’ve talked about this and have determined there is nothing to do.”

She called the dog into the office. The three of us were together if it happened.

I got on the phone and called a couple of people in the know. Within a couple of minutes, I learned that a friend was in contact with the Pacific Command and had passed the word that it was “Bullshit.”

My wife and I left for the Commissary and were on the freeway when the “False Alarm” message was passed via cellphone. Thirty-eight minutes after the initial alert! How many thousands of the one point three million residents and visitors spent that time in abject terror.

I was under fire a number of times during the Vietnam War but I never felt the sense of helplessness during those times that I did this morning.


They’ve No Idea

They’ve No Idea

BY John Petersen

San Miguel and Red Horse. Red or green Bullfrog. Mojo! For the tea totalers, sipping a White Castle and Sprite poolside at the Whiterock resort. Chowing down on a questionable pizza at the ‘Shakeys’ on Magsaysay. Engineering Dept party at Tigers Den on Rizal. Losing your butt at a game of pool to a seven year old shark.

Trike races in the mud trying to get to the Barrio. Mamason knowing, somehow, exactly when you’ll grace the threshold of the Iron Horse in the Barrio, and having a feast of shrimp fried rice, lumpia and at least two ice cold San MaGoo’s waiting for you.

Countless warm, cuddly, scantily clad bar girls (or at least you hope they were) vying for an overpriced watered down Coke and some company for the night, provided the bar fine was paid. Peso Shows and other wonders (no description given here) in Subic City, otherwise known as the Adult Disneyland. All this enjoyed before the midnight hour.

Awakened at 0430 to the sound of a bike horn and the sole word ‘Balut!’. The morning screamer (ice cold shower in a wooden cubicle), the mad scramble to obtain the necessary transport to get back to the ship before quarters, somehow just making it. Swearing up and down all day that after work, gonna do nothing but hit the rack, get some sleep. Not happening. Come liberty call, the above sequence is repeated, daily until the ship finally gets underway, finally a chance to actually get some rest. Gonna take a week at least to overcome what has to be the most challenging port ‘o call in the Pacific theatre.

My hat is off, and a slow hand salute is offered, to what is now no longer, that being a port visit to Subic Bay, Philippines. Ships may still sail there, but those who visit now will never behold what this port was all about in years past.

They’ve no idea…