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January 18, 2006

Remembering Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Back in 1983, I found out that I would be deployed to Honduras for about four months. At the time, I was just embarking on my military career and the thought of going to Honduras was both scary and exciting all at once.

I wanted to share some of my memories and perhaps connect with others who have visited some of the foreign cities I have to encourage travel and rekindle good memories of those travels.

When I went to Honduras, it really wasn't a vacation. I want you to understand that. But even so during our travels around the country in the course of our duties the sightseeing becomes an attractive sideshow from the stresses of military life. Honduras was, at the time, a neutral country surrounded by guerilla warfare and consequently became a haven for the Nicaragaun Contras. I arrived there in the summer of 1983 and was sent to a small base in southern Honduras just outside of the beautiful city of Comayagua south of Tiger Island. Incidentally, Comayagua has some of the most beautiful colonial architecture you ever wanted to see.
There we set up tactical operations in support of the 101st Airborne's rotor wing aircraft. The days were long and the nights were short. For me, it was culture shock. Poverty, or what struck me as poverty was widespread. Our camp, called Tent City, became a haven for Honduran kids looking for "John Wayne Bars", the candy that came out of our C-rations. Yep, that was before MREs. The other thing that happened was that the girls came around to hook up with the soldiers, even though we were warned NOT to have sex with them because of diseases. You could get your clothes washed and some sex all for a few JWB's. At least that's what my hootch mate, Martin told me. I'll never forget one night we got a pass to go out on the town and a group of us guys walked to look for a club. We finally found one and it ended up being a nice time. The music was good, they even played Shannon's "Let the Music play". The strangest thing I ever saw while in Honduras: a girl walking a pig on a leash.
The US military pulled out a decade later, but Honduras hold many fond memories for me.

Well, eventually after a lot of hard work, we got to make some trips out and one was to Tegucigalpa. Shortened to Tegooch by the soldiers, it was the capital of Honduras and its largest city. Here are some contemporary facts about Tegooch. If your planning on visiting Honduras, Tegucigalpa or Comayagua here are somehelpful hints.

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