Okinawans have a saying, “Once we have talked, we are friends.” The saying itself is a nice sentiment, but is it a romanticized idea. In my many years of experience, I do not think I have seen a relationship between S.O.F.A. status personnel and locals that doesn’t include some form of monetary benefit. Whether it is the ever-smiling and “enthusiastic” local girls squeezing a few free drinks from hard-up and lonely G.I.s or the ongoing “friendship” that includes a favor entailing the use of a few base privileges. The local idea of friendship is primarily a business relationship masked as friendly banter between persons of two cultures. I honestly ask if you are a S.O.F.A. status person who does have a friendly relationship with a local that never included the use of any base facility or privilege, please let me know. I would love to hear your story.
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