Last week I had to run all over base to finish some errands. It started off meeting with Jessica about figuring out how to better work my camera and getting feed back on my pictures. The meeting went surprisingly fast so I headed to the post office to check the mail.
Jeremy and I were expecting a package of seeds for our garden and according to the Facebook page for the Post Office it had arrived. As I was leaving Crossroads to go to the post office I noticed that there were several PMO cars blocking the street by the post office. I didn’t think much of it and continued across the parking lot as it started to rain. Right when I started stepping on the stairs leading to the post office a Marine came out and seemed startled to see me.
“What are you doing here? Post Office is closed.” He said.
“I’m here to pick up a package. The Post Office isn’t closed til 5.”
“It’s closed now. You’ll have to leave,” he said almost pushing me backwards.
I turned around and started to walk back across the parking the way I had just came. The Marine stopped me and said I had to walk around the building in the other direction. Since he was once again pushing me in that direction, I did as he said. As I went around the corner in between the Post Office and the library a bunch of Japanese people came streaming out. A Japanese woman rushed over to me and shared her umbrella with me. As we passed in front of the library I tried to break off to go inside. A different Marine stopped me and said the library was closed too. At this point I was getting really concerned.
The Marines (there were are six herding our group at this point) told us to go to Crossroads. I branched off from the group who went to the food court and headed towards SoftBank (our cellphone provider). I figured I would spend this time getting a new cellphone case since mine is broken. I was only in the store for a few minutes when a different Marine came in and said that this side of Crossroads was being evacuated and that we were to head to the food court. I looked outside and realized that Marines were blocking people from going to their vehicles in the parking and forcing them to come back inside.
On my way to the food court I ran into Desirae. She was going to ITT to pick up her train tickets for her trip coming up that weekend. I told her what was going on. We decided to go to the coffee shop to grab a drink and catch up real quick. We had barely gotten our coffee when a Marine came barging in saying the commissary was being evacuated. Since the commissary is in between Crossroads and our apartment building, Desirae and I were really worried. Before we could figure out what to do a Marine came into the coffee shop behind us and told us that Crossroads was being evacuated. Desirae and I headed with the mass of people leaving Crossroads. Everyone was headed to the MCX but halfway across the street, Desirae and I noticed that people were being allowed into the commissary. So we headed over there.
We stood outside of the commissary for about 30 minutes talking to people. We learned from some of the people that a suspicious package had been found by one of the mailboxes outside of the post office. Some suspected that it was a drill. A lot of people were surprised by everything being evacuated for a few hours. Things like this are not the norm on this base. We watched PMO from the commissary for a while. They had their roadblocks up for a few hours.
Once the rain let up Desirae and I walked back home. We don’t know if the package was just a false alarm or not but I do feel safer on this base knowing that they don’t take such things lightly. It was an interesting afternoon.