HOW TO BE MARRIED TO A MARINE FIGHTER PILOT--A Marine Corps pilot's wife: F-4s, F/A-18s and aviators from my perspective.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Aviator Brief XII: Yen Roll

One O-Club competition, known as the Yen Roll, began on base while stationed overseas--in Japan. Usually later in a drunken evening than earlier, someone collected the yen. Typically, they anteed up 3000 to 5000 yen per aviator, about 10 to 15 dollars. Starting with a number--often the squadron number--say 232, the aviators took turns rolling five dice. Each ace rolled subtracted from the original number. 

The aviator who rolled the last ace, grabbed the money and hai-yakued to change out of his flight suit and make for the bars and girls in the ville. The lucky aviator had to spend the yen as fast as he could in places unlikely to be discovered--if found by any squadron-mate or -mates, he had to split the remaining funds. $300 US could buy a real good time in Japan in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Half that, half as good a time. Find the bogey and shoot it down was a time-honored tradition in air-to-air combat. Not surprising the fly boys figured a way to play it on the ground.

The games aviators play and the games wives play have very different objectives. Find the bogey. I've had bogeys in my life: problems presented by marriage, children, other women--other wives. Chasing after a problem to destroy it while hoping to get rewarded not only didn't work, it was counter-productive. Marriage, family, wives: we were all in it together and needed support, not competition. Bless all the wives and girlfriends who supported me on my run through life.

By the way, there are many games I enjoy playing with my husband, but not to shoot him down. I need him flying high and feeling lucky. Then we both get lucky.

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