Navy Sailor sets example of good citizenship
A dark unfamiliar alleyway is not the best place to find your self lost, without money and without a cell phone.
This was unfortunately the case for 12-year old Japanese girl, Makoto.
Luckily, a Sailor stationed aboard the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) was there to help this Japanese national.
“I was on my way to More’s City Mall here in Yokosuka, and we took the route between Tulley’s Coffe Shop and Mikasa Plaza,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Jordan Bolar, from Death Valley, Calif. “She was in the dark and frantically looking through her book-bag so I stopped to see if she needed any help.”
Bolar learned Japanese at the age of 12 and continued taking classes through all four years in high school, which was blessing in disguise for Makoto, who was far from home.
“I asked her if she needed help, and she told me that she lost her Suica card to take the train home, her phone was dead and she needed to contact her parents,” said Bolar. “ I offered her money to get a new Suica card, but she told me that as a student she was not allowed to be out in the city without an adult after a certain time. So I offered to take her home.”
Makoto travels by train everyday from her home in Yoyogi, about an hour northeast of Yokosuka, to her school in Kurihama, about 20 minutes southwest of Yokosuka.
“When we arrived at her residence, there was a Japanese policeman standing outside with her parents gathering information,” said Bolar. “When her parents saw her they were clearly upset. They asked her where she had been and why she didn’t answer her phone; that’s when she told them what happened and what I had done for her.”
Makoto’s parents offered Bolar a home-cooked meal, a place to stay for the night and compensation money for the train fare. Bolar graciously declined and expressed that he was just happy to return the girl safely to her family.
“Not a lot of Sailors can really say they’ve done that,” said Bolar. “I think it shows the better side of us, as U.S. military members, that we can do more than just go to a bar, pick-up a glass and head back to the boat. It shows that we are capable of helping our allies and showing them that we are a good asset.”
At age 22, Bolar recognizes that he set an example of what a good ambassador should be.