January 28, 1986

I woke up with a mean hangover from a party that ended just a few hours before. In other words, it was a normal morning. I was stationed on a remote US Air Force base near the DMZ in South Korea. There were maybe 1,000 US airmen on this sprawling base filled with indigenous foreigners. I was 20. The Challenger explosion occurred in the middle of the night where I was. When I saw the news on the only English TV station we had (military TV) I just sat and watched it explode over and over. As a kid growing up in Florida and watching the old Apollo missions lift off into space from my front yard, this event moved me. It was my JFK assassination moment. Before 9/11, it was the tragic American moment of my lifetime. Around noon, I contacted our base commander and asked whether we were going to put our flag at half-staff. A half-hour later, it was.

Time just gets away from us. All of us. Eventually. 

When You Go Black, You Never Go Back. Ever.
Marketing to Influence

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.