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TUSLOG Det. 28 Experiences

Ed Sachs

2004-2011 by Author

Editor's Note:  This letter came into our mailbag, as the most pleasant of surprises. My wife and I attended the Turkish-American Associaton of California's incredible annual Turkish Cultural Festival in August, 2004, which was held in Monterey, California. If you're able to get to Monterey at that time of year, the scenery's gorgeous, the weather's perfect, i.e. cool, and the Turkish festival is the most fun you can have. You'll be instantly transported back to your memories of Turkey!

Anyway, I ran into Ed and Elaine and we had a great chat, re-striking up friendship from 44 years ago! We met several former military people who had been stationed in Turkey while at the Festival, and we handed out hundreds of merhabaturkey.com (now merhaba-usmilitary.com) business cards. So it was with extreme pleasure we heard - via postal mail - from Ed Sachs the below memories and what I hope will be just the first of his many tales of his time in KARAMURSEL and Yalova, Turkey.

Jan Claire
merhabaturkey.com

(NOTE:  Jan Claire's "merhabaturkey.com" has been transferred to me, George W. Durman, and the new name of the website is Merhaba-USMilitary.com, which you can access here.)

Ed Writes:

I was in the Navy and assigned to TUSLOG Detachment 28, KARAMURSEL, Turkey, from 1960 to 1962.

My wife, Elaine, and I were married in September 1960. I shipped out and she joined me in late November. Elaine is a native of the Monterey area and we met while I was a student at the Army Language School.

Base housing was not available to us so we had to live in either Golcuk or Yalova. Golcuk being the Navy group and Yalova was mostly the Air Force. We had to live in Yalova as we had no car, and there was bus transportation to the base, both Air Force and Turkish. Those were interesting bus trips since most of the guys I knew were the married ones living off base. In Yalova, Elaine and I lived in a fourplex and upstairs were our landlord, Mustafa, who owned the bakery and us. Downstairs was the manager of the Power Company and an Air Force family.

Not much conversation but we all got along great!

Some of our remembrances:

•Power or the lack thereof (it was DC current and would go off with the slightest wind)
•Our first meal cooked on an Aladdin kerosene stove of canned hamburgers, etc.
•Getting together at the Holidays with other families
•Attending movies at a house the Air Force set up along the beach to act as a family center
•Being queried on how I made E-5 so fast since most of the Air Force guys were either E-3s or E-4s with hash marks
•Remembering not to plug the Christmas lights directly into the wall socket rather than into the transformer
  (It did get interesting)
•Going to Mass (Catholic) at the Base Chapel and meeting others
•Trying to get used to 2-2-2 or 3-3-3 shifts
•Walking the streets of Yalova on a summer night, music blaring from street corner speakers and not
  worrying about being mugged or accosted
•Traveling to Ankara to pick up my new daughter and wife at the Air Force/Turkish Hospital.

One morning as I returned from a Mid watch, I found Elaine pretty shook up. During the wee hours of the morning a person dressed in black had walked the streets beating a huge drum. This was our introduction to the Muslim Season of Ramadan, and the drummer was waking the faithful so they could eat - as the devoted must fast from sunup to sundown.

I could go on and on, but as you can tell we had a good, interesting and educational tour of duty. But, not having running hot water, a stove, and other comforts did made us thankful that we were Americans and could return home to our conveniences. My wife left for home before me, as she was again pregnant -which we blamed on our lack of television!

All of the families we knew were pretty much in the same boat:  Newlyweds, most were their first time away from mama, struggling, but it did solidify the marriages. Most are still together today.

If you have any questions or need some info, let me know.

Ed Sachs
Marina, CA


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