I enjoyed your article (“The Making of a ‘Military Jew’,” Feb. 10, 2012) very much as it brought back my memories
of the military.
I was stationed in Japan during the Vietnam conflict from 1969-72, during my three years in the army. I initially was at the 249th Army hospital outside of Tokyo. My son, Louis, was born in Japan, and the Army chaplain at the time was the mohel for the Orient (military and civilian). I later was reassigned to Camp Zama, Japan. The only Jewish Chaplain in Japan was reassigned elsewhere, and I became the Jewish lay leader at Camp Zama. We were able to have a kosher home there, since the military commissary carried kosher meat. I was able to help Rabbi Tokayer, the civilian rabbi in Tokyo, get kosher meat for Passover one year. The Army even kashered the officers’ club to have a seder for the 20 Jewish families at Camp Zama.
When I was sent on temporary duty to Okinawa, there was a Jewish chaplain and a Jewish Marine general stationed there.
Thank you for my journey through “Memory Lane.”
Howard Zuckerman, M.D.
Maj. U.S.Army Retired