Former marine returns to Okinawa with photograph exhibition and baseball glove
May 11, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo
Dick Bruce, a 77-year-old former U.S. marine who was stationed for a 13-month duration on Camp Courtney in Uruma City in 1958-59, visited an elderly welfare center called Day Service RyCom in Okinawa City on May 7 to display his photographs and mingle with attendees. Throughout his stationing he kept a camera on hand and recorded the scenery of daily life, children, and the like in photographs. As he gazed upon his photographs with those at the center, he fondly recalled those days.
Bruce was first deployed to Okinawa when he was 20 years old, and took about 500 photographs during his deployment. Fifty-three years after his return to the United States he came to visit Okinawa again in May 2012. During that visit he exhibited his photographs in Kitanakagusuku Village, and Day Service RyCom also requested an exhibition from him. He was able to fulfill the request on this visit.
According to Bruce, in places surrounding Camp Courtney like Uken, where he used to frequently walk and take photographs, just about everything has changed. Thinking about how people used to interact, he mentioned that in those days everyone seemed to know each other and get along well.
On this visit to Okinawa, Bruce came with the purpose of putting right a regret that he had from the time he was stationed on Camp Courtney. One time he had given baseball equipment like gloves and balls to some children, but he did not have enough; one child did not receive a baseball glove. Bruce wanted to come back and present a glove to that one child. He pointed out that in the photograph with those children there was only one child not smiling. Yet he still hopes to make it right.
Bruce will stay in Okinawa until May 19.
(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)
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