Kwaj Can Be Hard

March 6, 2013

  I've said before that people will come and go from Kwajalein but I don't think I've written about when people have to leave because they've been barred.  Barring is the USAKA (US Army Kwajalein Atoll) commands way of punishing people who break the rules here.  It's not used for small infraction, like traffic tickets or not turning your Christmas lights off by midnight but for big things, like shop lifting and breaking and entering.  Bars are for a set length of time, anywhere from a week to a lifetime, and they prevent you from interacting with RTS (Reagan Test Site) in any way. 
  The reason I'm explaining all that at the outset is because someone here on island has been barred.  It's not me, but it's someone that I know and have worked with and someone I will be very sad to see go.  This person, usually very smart, made a poor personal decision. The decision broke a well-known rule here (and anywhere in America) and the results of that decision caused someone else to be physically harmed, which led to the commands involvement. 
  This command seems to feel very strongly about enforcing Kwaj's rules and hasn't been very lenient in its decisions.  The person in this situation received a 5-year bar.  Because they are barred from Kwaj, they were also terminated from their job, which means they lost their house.  This family has lived on Kwaj for over 20 years and they have to pack up their lives, sell what they can and donate what they can't, and leave in two weeks. 
  Kwaj can be a magical place but it can also be very, very hard.  This person made a poor choice and if it had happened in America, they might have faced civil or even criminal prosecution but they probably wouldn't have lost everything all at once like this, with almost no chance to get it back.  On such a small island, the ripple effect of our actions seems to cover a lot more ground.

1 comment

  1. Wow! would make you think...almost seems like Old Testament Law.

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