Best Duty Stations For Halloween

A family is dressed as the Incredibles for Halloween.
A father and his children sport matching costumes and prepare to trick or treat during the 6th annual Trunk or Treat event at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Photo/DJ Borden.

One of the good things about moving so often is that you get to take in all the holidays in all the places in all the world. This can be a good thing. This can be a suckfest.

For Halloween, the worst places are the ones in which nothing happens. No trick or treaters. No parties. No church group Harvest Festivals. No houses in the neighborhood dressed as if Tim Burton lived there. Zippety skippety means a bad day.

While I watch Frankenstorm loom over our Washington DC festivities, I’m thinking fondly of some of the best duty stations in the world for Halloween. Will your new duty station make the list?

Monterey, CA. Our first Halloween with Kelsey took place in the ultra-safe military housing at NPGS in Monterey. The toddlers all peered at each other in the dark as if they could not believe their friends were dressed that way. Which was cute. So much cuter were the active-duty parents acting like their toddler was the first child ever born to wear a monkey costume and collect sugar.

New Orleans. Our civilian neighbors in New Orleans wanted to make sure we knew how to do Trick or Treating just right. “You know to bring a cooler, don’t you?” The parents and kids moseyed up and down neighborhood streets to chat up the neighbors. People offered plates of hors d’oeuvres and cocktails (to adults) while they handed out candy. When costumed adults outnumber costumed kids, that is something to see. Even the single people on the ship dragged in kinda slow the next day.

Sasebo, Japan. Our Hario neighbors told us that eight bags of candy would not be enough. I could not imagine that. In my mom’s suburban neighborhood, she gives out eight pieces of candy a year. Four to her own grandchildren. So it was dumbfounding when hundreds of Japanese kids whose parents worked on base showed up for our crazy American holiday. Some of the kids would come dressed in kimono. Others had just a mask. Plenty of kids had nothing but their school bags. The looks on their faces when you actually handed them free candy was a delight. And the way the American kids got caught up in the excitement of the Japanese kids still makes me smile.

What are your favorite duty stations for Halloween festivities?

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