Hi, there! Welcome to our “Life of Leko” blog. My name is Jess, or Jessie, and I have collaborated with my parents to start this blog for my brother, Max. Keep reading to find out more about why this is for Max and to learn more about my brother.
Max lives in Atsugi, Kanagawa, Japan and is stationed at the Atsugi Naval Air Force Base (NAF). He’s an AO (aviation ordinance-man) and has lived there since February 2016. He’s only 20 years old. He enlisted in the United States Navy the summer before his senior year of high school when he was only 17. About one and a half months after he graduated high school, Max left for boot camp in Great Lakes, Chicago, Illinois.
At that time, Naval Boot camp was 8 weeks long. He had very limited communication with us and us with him. If you have a sibling or family member in the armed forces and you’ve been supporting them since the get-go, you know how hard it is when, all of a sudden, you have no way of communicating with them on a daily basis. For my parents and I, we knew he was going to survive, but we missed him every SINGLE day… A LOT! I’d say, any armed forces boot camp is a test to the family, too.
We wrote letters to him and whenever he had time he would write us back. It was the BEST DAY EVER when I would get a letter in the mail from him. He was rarely given a chance to make phone calls, but when he got the chance, he would call my parents first and if he had enough time, he would call me. Those 8 weeks passed by SO SLOW, but we all managed through it as a family, together.
This blog is a compilation of stories, thoughts and memories written by myself, our mom – Karen, and our dad – Ron. The purpose is to basically journal or record our memories, thoughts and family times for Max to read, see and know that he was always with us in spirit even though he couldn’t be there in person.
I had this idea of starting this blog after my mom told me about my brother’s upcoming “cruise.” The Navy call’s a deployment on a ship a “cruise.” Max has only been out on two cruises, and this one will be his third. With all the craziness going on in the world right now and where my brother is stationed, he was told to prepare for up to a 7-month deployment without port. (“Port” is basically just what it sounds like… when the ship ports at land, the seamen can get off the ship if they want.) That is a LONG time on a boat. I hope that Max will be able to read these posts and possibly watch a few vlogs – oh ya! Go check out and subscribe to our family YouTube channel at Life of Leko! – We hope you will tag along and enjoy these memories with us as we document our life as a “Navy Family.”
Our posts will be sporadic in terms of when we will post things. So, make sure you follow this blog and check out YouTube channel (Life of Leko) and SUBSCRIBE!