Living in Okinawa for 15 years was a such a wonderful experience, although very trying at times, while I was active duty.  On one hand, you lived on a sub-tropical island with beautiful weather year round...the other hand was the constant deployment due to my active duty commitments.  That being said, I think we all thoroughly enjoyed our time there.  The people are incredibly friendly and I couldn't imagine a safer place to have a family.

 Yes.  The water is this beautiful.  Okinawa is a sub-tropical island.  If you're from a place with all four seasons, you may find that "winter" in Okinawa is really spring everywhere else ;)

Yes.  The water is this beautiful.  Okinawa is a sub-tropical island.  If you're from a place with all four seasons, you may find that "winter" in Okinawa is really spring everywhere else ;)

 strolling around the streets of Kadena yields a plethora of local delicacy and karaoke...

strolling around the streets of Kadena yields a plethora of local delicacy and karaoke...

 Cape Zanpa Misaki.  The lighthouse draws visitors from all over the world.  During rough seas, the waves crash over the cliffs and put on a mesmerizing show for visitors.  Always good to have some wet weather gear handy when visiting during these times.

Cape Zanpa Misaki.  The lighthouse draws visitors from all over the world.  During rough seas, the waves crash over the cliffs and put on a mesmerizing show for visitors.  Always good to have some wet weather gear handy when visiting during these times.

 The Eisa dance is a traditional Okinawan dance.  It's accompanied by the calming strums of the Sanshin and Taiko drums.  A beautiful mix of music and color.  This photo was snapped at Nakijin Castle in the northern part of Okinawa.

The Eisa dance is a traditional Okinawan dance.  It's accompanied by the calming strums of the Sanshin and Taiko drums.  A beautiful mix of music and color.  This photo was snapped at Nakijin Castle in the northern part of Okinawa.

 Depot Island is part of a larger area in Mihama, Chatan known as American Village.  You can find western styled shopping and a variety of food from all over the world.  

Depot Island is part of a larger area in Mihama, Chatan known as American Village.  You can find western styled shopping and a variety of food from all over the world.  

 A class project for night photography took me to many a location, such as this vending machine, to create my own images of super heroes doing all manner of things while "off duty" in Okinawa

A class project for night photography took me to many a location, such as this vending machine, to create my own images of super heroes doing all manner of things while "off duty" in Okinawa

 Waiting for a street fire show to start, I killed some time playing with long exposures of the American Village intersection...after Naha streets, it's probably one of the busiest intersections in Okinawa on any given day.

Waiting for a street fire show to start, I killed some time playing with long exposures of the American Village intersection...after Naha streets, it's probably one of the busiest intersections in Okinawa on any given day.

 The iris fields of Ogimi Village, in the very northern part of Okinawa, bloom in February every year.  Visitors walk the many paths between patches and plenty of native birds can be seen diving in and out of the fields.  When there's some unseasonal humidity, mama-sans set up stands with cool refreshments for everyone.

The iris fields of Ogimi Village, in the very northern part of Okinawa, bloom in February every year.  Visitors walk the many paths between patches and plenty of native birds can be seen diving in and out of the fields.  When there's some unseasonal humidity, mama-sans set up stands with cool refreshments for everyone.

 It's what Okinawa is really famous for...beaches.  Everywhere.  On the main island...and many more on the surrounding islands.  You can even find beaches to yourself such as this.

It's what Okinawa is really famous for...beaches.  Everywhere.  On the main island...and many more on the surrounding islands.  You can even find beaches to yourself such as this.

 You can always find some local delicacy...tasty and filling.

You can always find some local delicacy...tasty and filling.