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Vol 8 No. 1 - Online Newsletter
Johnson High School
October 1, 2015

This issue:


  • JHS Reunion 2015 in San Diego
  • Business Meeting Summary
  • Reunion Cruise 2018
  • Johnson Grad Get Diploma 48 Years Later
  • Military Brat Links: Books, Articles, External Links
  • Operation Footlocker

Johnson Grad Finally Gets Deploma

Larry Manson, class of 1962 has a good claim here: the longest period of time to get his JHS deploma - 48 years later!

In 1962 Larry was just six weeks away from graduating from Johnson High when his family was transferred back to the States so his mother could receive immediate treatment for cancer. The school prepared a diploma for him, but when he didn't attend the graduation, it was filed away in a safe. Years later when Johnson closed and that safe was transferred over to Yokota Air Base, the safe was placed in a school store room.

Only in 2008 when Yokota Systems Adminstrator Mark Skelton opened the safe he discover the dipolma; through research, Larry was located through the Johnson High School Alumni Assn. In June 2011 Larry was awarded his diploma during a Department of Defense Educational Activity Conference in Los Angeles.

(Reported by Charlie Reed in the Stars & Stripes.)

Example of Cruise Ship
(shown Voyager of the Seas)


Royal Caribbean Stateroom with balcony


JHS Next Reunion Discussed with VOTE

Are you interested in sailing to Mexico or the Bahamas??

Don't Forget to check out the Reunion Page for the up-to-date information on the next JHS All-Classes Reunion CRUISE!.

2018 will be a cruise to either Mexico or the Bahamas. Be sure to vote for your favorite destination.


Business Meeting 2015 Summary

Bill Elliott (62), Vice President of the Association, announced the completion of the Articles of Organization, Bylaws, and the establishment of nonprofit 501(c) (7) status of the Johnson High School Alumni Association as organized under the laws of the State of California. A majority of members present voted approval.



JHS Filing for Non-Profit Status

As a result of the business meeting held at the 2012 JHS Reunion in Sandestin, FL on 6 Oct 2012, we are filing for non-profit status. Thanks to the assistance of several of the JHS Alumni: Bill Elliott, class of 1962, Bobi Blackstead Tone, class of 1965 and Marilyne Sebastian Ayers, class of 1963, we now have an official name for our organization: "Johnson High School, Japan Alumni Association," which has been filed with the County of San Diego, State of California.




Feeling of different, military brat identity

Many military brats report difficulty in identifying where they belong (due to a lifestyle of constantly moving, and also immersion in military culture, and in many cases, also foreign cultures, as opposed to the civilian culture of their native countries, while growing up) and frequently feel like outsiders in relation to the civilian culture of their native countries. The home countries of a number of Military Brat subcultures have highly mobile (modern Nomadic) lifestyles, or at least significant overseas (or distant-internal) assignments for career military families and their children and adolescents while growing up, including Canada, Britain, France, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand and the United States. These military-dependent subcultures are generations old.

However, some ex-military dependents have found that their mobile upbringing has actually been massively influential in determining their eventual career in adulthood. One example of this is British actress/comedienne Dawn French who discussed her childhood as an RAF dependent in an interview with Radio 4. She stated that she felt that the need to make new friends every few years was one of the reasons she discovered her talent for comedy. She also discusses this aspect of her life in her autobiography

American military brats have also been identified as a distinct, 200-year old American subculture.


Military Brats Registry

The Military Brats Registry was created and is maintained by Marc Curtis from my own need to locate my long lost friends from Ft Bliss, Texas in 1960-61. I knew that others must be seeking their Military Brat friends too, so the Military Brats Registry was developed in 1997 to help everyone with a desire to find others who grew up in the military. The site is supported by advertisers (please visit them!), by the sale of items in the Brat Store, and by subscriptions and donations. The Military Brats Registry is not associated with any government agency. Registry is not associated with any government agency.

Same Kids from Johnson

We are Johnson Alumni. Our high school friends are everywhere; no where else do we call our high school home, unless it's Johnson. If we haven't seen our high school friends at the last reunion, we are sure to see them at the next. We grew up riding the red or blue line bus to the Tachi or Yokohama. Whether we lived in West Area, the quancets, Johnson Air Station, Washington Heights, North Area or off-base Fussa, Japan was home.

Bus rides to Johnson from Yokota was our high school way of life. We found happiness at a high school that provided our education and the opportunity to make long lasting friends in a place very far away from our previous home in the States. We wonder at the feeling we have when we meet these friends and teachers at a Johnson High School reunion, after so many years. The feelings we had growing up in a land with so many cultural differences. Trying to explain a place like Johnson to kids that grew up in the States -- it's impossible. Yes, we had homecomings, Yes we had proms. But did these kids get to go to the Ginza in downtown Tokyo or climb Mt. Fuji. What about our roots? Yep, strong and deep as you would find anywhere. We were nurtured by a Japanese culture, willing to provide us with life long experiences that you can't get from a two week vacation in a far away land.

Like most of our fellow students, we learned the language enough to communicate and travel to the far reaches of our Service Club tours. Our moms' made us promise not to ride in the 60 Yen cabs, because they were too dangerous. We carried a matchbook with directions to the USO in downtown Tokyo, which allowed us to get from the train station to a familiar landmark by cab. We went to movies with Japanese sub-titles, we saw sumo wrestling and attended the Kabuki Theater. We bought lunch by pointing to plastic food in the window and had a thrill riding the Japanese trains at Rush Hour. These were just a few of the adventures we had as teens in Tokyo.

Being a rolling stone that gathers no moss is true, but we do gain a certain polish, us kids from Johnson. Our travels have taught us to be open;. that not all people think and believe as we do. There is no wrong, just different. We have touched many and allowed their cultures to touch us. As Johnson High Alumni, we have learned to see the many things that make us all the same, which has also taught us to celebrate the difference in others.

Just as there is happiness at the start of our JHS Reunions, so is there sorrow in parting as it nears its end. There is no way to prevent these eventual Good-byes; our tansportation awaits; the Farewells are ineventable and never easy. Yet, even in this state comes the strength to face tomorrow, knowing that another is just a few short years away.

As a JHS Military Brat, we go out with an extending hand and heart, with friendships formed in hours and kept alive through the decades, reunion after reunion. We will never know the feeling as a youngster living in one place, but we will have been nurtured by the many bases we called home. As we "Pay it forward" the help that we offer today will be returned.

In the poem by Robert Frost: "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by." Our paths may have been separate, as in the poem when we left Johnson High, but we have come out on the otherside of that wood and finally meet again, to find deep inside, we are the same kids From Johnson.

Hope to see you at the next reunion.

Military Brats External links

  • Military Brat Life - an online magazine" This website has articles, essays, poetry and blogs about growing up as a child in a military family.
  • "Brats: Our Journey Home" Award Winning Documentary about Military Brats Funded and produced by the Nonprofit organization, "Brats Without Borders"
  • Military Brats Registry Podcast Military Brats Registry sponsored a series called "Every Brat has a story." These are interviews with famous and not-so-famous military brats.
  • 17 Ways to Help Army Brats (Third Culture Kids) from TCKID, the community for TCKs


Military Brat Links

The lives of children of military parents -- military brats, as we have always been called -- involve constant uprooting and relocation. The question, ''Where are you from?'' can induce silence or a string of place names that sounds like bragging. There are few who know the wrenching upheavals and fears that go along with a parent's duty to country.

The Internet is providing an assortment of sites where brats can register, like www.military-brats.com, and search for past friends. There are also newsgroups and specific school groups.

It is like coming home to people you have actually gone to school with and who share the unusual experiences you have. --Gail Gunther, Concannon, NY -- Sept. 11, 1999

Third Culture Kids is the home page of TCK World. In addition to being the host of Operation Footlocker, the site is for "Third Culture Kids." The term refers to brats whose world is neither the military one inside the fence nor the civilian one outside, but a "third."

Military-brats Registry is the Military Brats Registry, a way for brats to locate other brats from childhood, as well as articles by brats on aspects of the brat experience and links to other sites.

Operation Footlocker The traveling footlocker, full of objects and photos donated by military brats, is certain to uncork memories and prompt story-swapping. This is how we brats connect to our lost childhoods, and celebrate the unusual way we grew up.


Cool Links about Military Kids




American Overseas Schools Historical Society - The overseas education of more than four million American children and youth since World War II is an unwritten chapter in the history of American education and represents the schooling of several generations under circumstances unique to human history.

Third Culture Kids

According to Wikipedia, TCK is a term used to refer to children who were raised in a culture outside of their parents’ culture for a significant part of their development years. The experience of being a TCK is unique in that these individuals are moving between cultures before they have had the opportunity to fully develop their personal and cultural identity, cultural nomads.

You may be a TCK, if:

  • To everyone’s confusion, your accent changes depending on who you’re talking to.
  • And you often slip foreign slang into your English by mistake, which makes you unintelligible to most people.
  • You’re really good at calculating time differences, because you have to do it every time you call your parents or your friends
  • But you also have your computer programmed to help you out when your math fails.
  • You start getting birthday wishes several hours before your birthday, from your friends farther east than you.
  • Your passport looks like it’s been through hell and back.
  • You have a love-hate relationship with the question “Where are you from?”
  • You definitely know your way around jet-lag recovery.
  • Your circle of best friends is as politically, racially, and religiously diverse as the United Nations.
  • So when you do see your best friends, you lose it a little. (JHS Reunions)
  • You’ve had the most rigorous sensitivity training of all: real life.
  • You know that McDonald’s tastes drastically different from country to country.
  • You’re a food snob because you’ve sampled the best and most authentic of every possible cuisine.
  • You often find yourself singing along to songs in languages you don’t speak or understand.
  • The end of the school year was always bittersweet because so many people moved away.
  • No matter how many you say it, good-byes never get easier.
  • But the constant flow of new friends more than made up for it.
  • Now you feel incredibly lucky to have loved ones and memories scattered all over the globe.
  • You know better than anyone else that “home” isn’t a place, it’s the people in it.
  • And you can’t wait to see where your life adventure takes you next.



Brat Articles

    • Price, Phoebe (2002). "Behavior of Civilian and Military High School Students in Movie Theaters" in Ender (2002)
    • Tyler, Mary (2002). "The Military Teenager in Europe: Perspectives for Health care Providers" in Ender (2002)
    • Watanabe, Henry (1985) "A Survey of Adolescent Military Family Members' Self-Image" Journal of Youth and Adolescence Vol 14 No 2 April 1985
    • Williams, Karen and LisaMarie Mariglia (2002). "Military Brats: Issues and Associations in Adulthood" in Ender (2002)

More Brat Articles

      • Cottrell, Ann (2002) "Educational and Occupational Choices of American Adult Third Culture Kids" in Ender (2002)
      • Eakin, Kay Brennan (1996). "You can't go 'Home' Again" in Smith (1996)
      • Eakin, Kay Brennan (undated). Accordong to my Passport, I’m Coming HomePDF (666 KiB), U.S. Department of State. Retrieved October 17, 2008.
      • Ender, Morten, "Growing up in the Military" in Smith (1996)
      • Ender, Morten. "Beyond Adolescence: The Experiences of Adult Children of Military Parents" in Ender (2002)
      • Jordan, Kathleen Finn (2002). "Identity Formation and the Adult Third Culture Kid" in Ender (2002)



Brat Books

  • Bonn, Keith. (2005) Army Officer's Guide: 50th Edition, Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books. ISBN 0-8117-3224-X

  • Ender, Morten G. (ed.) (2002). Military Brats and Other Global Nomads: Growing Up in Organization Families. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger. ISBN 0-275-97266-6

  • Ferguson-Cohen, Michelle (2001). Daddy, You're My Hero! and Mommy, You're My Hero! Brooklyn, NY: Little Redhaired Girl Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9729264-4-7 and ISBN 978-0-9729264-3-0

  • Smith, Carolyn (ed.) (1996). Strangers at Home: Essays on the Effects of Living Overseas and Coming 'Home' to a Strange Land. New York: Aletheia Publications. ISBN 0-9639260-4-7

  • Truscott, Mary R (1989). BRATS: Children of the American Military Speak Out. New York, New York: E. P. Dutton. ISBN 0-525-24815-3

  • Wertsch, Mary Edwards (1991). Military Brats: Legacies of Childhood Inside the Fortress, New York, New York: Harmony Books. ISBN 0-517-58400-X. Also, Saint Louis, MO: Brightwell Publishing, 2006, SBN 0-9776033-0-X.




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Johnson High School, Japan
Marilyne Sebastian Ayers, Class 1963 - Webmaster
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