Ah, high school reunions. The event that most people dread. For me, it's different. As a military brat I went to two high schools - one in Japan and one in the US. I spent three years at Yokota High School, a DoDDS school in the Pacific rim. I left the summer before my senior year and moved to the US. My time at Yokota HS was phenomenal and some of the best memories from my life come from that time.
So, when the official alumni association announced plans for the 2009 All Years Reunion, my BFFs (Heather Ivey and Amanda Stangl) and I jumped up and down in excitement.
For my non-military readers, I hear you asking, "All Years Reunion? What?" The greatest thing about going to a DoDDS school is that it doesn't matter how long you attended or if you had the opportunity to graduate before the military made you move. You will always have a strong connection with that school.
And why do military brats find these reunions so exciting? Because, for most of us, we can never return. It is a world that we can never touch; it is only a memory. For me, Yokota AFB and our high school will always be just a memory. We can never walk the halls again. Never go to a football game. Never go to our favorite high school hangouts. It's on an air base in Japan and most of us are now civilians. Not military? They won't let you in. So, reconnecting with old classmates allows us to reconnect with that world we can never touch.
So for Yokota High School, an all years reunion is fitting. If you were ever a Panther, you'll always be a Panther. Walked the halls as a student at any point in your life - you're invited. DoDDS reunions tend to be big and have alumni in a wide variety of age ranges.
This year the reunion is based in a place I like - San Antonio, TX. I've done an okay job in keeping in touch with the people I used to roll with back in the land of the rising sun. With Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and the likes our network is pretty strong. Granted our school was tiny; my class had less than 60. (btw when I moved I graduated at a school that had a class of more than 500. can we say shocker?)
So my girls and I have made it our mission to spread the word about the event and show up with a good crowd of people we know. Yesterday, I created my first Facebook group for the event. Fingers crossed. If our plan works, we're going to bring the party to TX.