Hashers might enjoy this e-mail exchange about starting up a hash on an American military base overseas, in an area where hashing was once discouraged by military authorities.
I hope all is well back in Tucson. I’m currently stationed with the Wolfpack at Kunsan Air Base in South Korea. The Wolfpack Hash died off about a year ago, but I’ve found about 30 people in just my first 3 weeks in country who are either hashers or have heard about it and are dying to try it. The previous GM of the hash, from what I could find, was actually a group commander . . . but he’s since transfered to Holloman.
I want to cover my ass and get approval from wing leadership in advance, rather than trying to explain where all the flower and chalk marks on the base came from. The only problem is the flower and chalk marks. We can down-down at the squadron “hooches.” We can’t hash off base here because there is an OFF-LIMITS within 3 miles of the base. Up at Osan Air Base they have A-town right outside they gate to hash thru. Any advice or ideas you have to offer would be greatly appriciated!
On On Alarm Cock!
Sorry to hear the Wolfpack HHH died out. You might have a hard sell on your hands there at Kunsan, but maybe not.
A few years ago there was a lot of heat on hashing in Korea and throughout the Pacific Command. Some stupid things had happened at hashes in Korea and Japan, and the military command structure came down hard. Things may have died down by now. Last I heard, Okinawa HHH and Osan HHH were going strong again, as are the hashes in Seoul.
I haven’t started a hash on a military base, but I have thought about it. I’d try to sell it as a recreational/morale activity. Not sure what you can do about trail marks. Chalk shouldn’t be a problem – Osan usually runs in the ville, but they sometimes run on base too, and I don’t remember chalk and powder being a problem there.
FYI: the military’s problem with hashing, several years ago, came from some officer/enlisted adultery cases. The biggest beef they had with hashing was fraternization. Even hash names were suspect, because you might have some two-striper calling a captain or major by a hash name – that sounds awful petty, but that’s the level it was at then. There was also a messy homosexual incident in the Okinawa hash (which, I hasten to point out, was about a year after I was GM). This is just so you know what not to stress when you make your pitch!
Good thing about hashing in Kunsan is drunk driving won’t be an issue! I’m surprised to hear you can’t hash off base, though. There are several off-limits establishments off base in Osan, and as you know they normally hash off base there. Ditto the hashes in Seoul. Is everything off base prohibited at Kunsan? It would be way good if you could hash off base, because then you’d have fewer problems. Then again, Kunsan being as small and isolated as it is, the commander there may keep just as close an eye on off base activities as he does on base.
Yeah, I’d pitch recreation, physical fitness, and morale building, and I might even be prepared to offer to clean up trail marks afterward, if that’s what it takes. If the CO does ask for that, you can mark trail with post-it notes taped to buildings, or something. Innovate and survive!
Good luck, and let me know how it works out!
So sorry it took me so long to get back to you! We’re having a wonderful peninsula wide exercise so I’m working nights all this week.
Thanks for your insight, I honestly didn’t even think about fraternization being an issue. I figured the trail marks would be the ONLY issue. Kunsan is a very small base so I figured we would have to clean up our trail marks every Sunday morning, otherwise we’d be running over old trail marks every weekend. The base is just way too small to hash on weekly without running over old trail.
I spoke with the previous GM who’s now at Holloman and he said they would always start and finish at the officer/enlisted club. They don’t have separate clubs here at Kunsan, it’s just one club for everyone. But I talked to a few of the Hooches and they said if we have a big enough crowd they would open early on Saturday evenings JUST FOR US. Which ensures we won’t be offending anyone singing in the club or out in a barbecue area.
I’ve got about 45 responses so far and our first hash is scheduled for 11 Aug. It’s mostly Airmen and Jr NCOs… But there are a few junior officers here TDY who want to give it a try. I don’t think I’m going address fraternization with the wing king unless he brings it up first. I’m confident I can keep an eye on how things are developing as the Hash takes off.
Of the 45, there are only about 10 TRUE hashers that are named and have experience at all. I figure I’ll be haring for as long as necessary until others are ready and willing.
There is no ville here right off base. The town is actually 5 miles off base. The base here is surrounded by rice pattys. We actually have a 3 mile “off-limits” radius off base. They say it’s to prevent businesses from building close to the base. Since we wouldn’t be allowed to use them anyway.
I’m confident I can get this up and going. There is a strong enough interest that I’m sure if I pitch the recreational/morale side of hashing, the wing king will at least work with us. I’ll certainly keep you posted on how things turn out.
ONE LAST QUESTION.. Since I’ll bascially be assuming the role of GM and RA until this thing is up and running and we can hold hash erections . . . could you point me in a good direction for finding jokes/sermons? I really appreciate all your help!
Damn. I used to have a great collection of jokes, but a few years ago I deleted them all. Can anyone give Alarm Cock a hand with his request? I’ll be happy to foward your responses to him. Thanks!
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