Winner Of The Losers

One man's life experiences and lessons

My “Tour” Hat Collection

Posted by admin On May - 21 - 2013

My “Tour” Hat Collection


From June 1997 to June 1999, I served in Korea.  In the restrooms where Americans would frequent (ok mostly bars outside the military bases), there were various names that included the word “tour” (short for tour of duty), usually 12 months remote (which means without any dependents/family) or for some, 24 months if you were approved to take your family.


Here were some of my favorites:

My Liver Hurts Tour 1997

Kimchee Tour 1997

Sogu? What Happened Tour 1997

Golden Gate 1996

Face Down in a Benjo Ditch Tour 1995


So after having spent a couple weeks on the road in Korea, a few of us created the first hat, Road Crew Tour 98.  I thought this would be fun to create a hat with a few of my friends.  After that I created others with the embroidery shop at the corner of  Aragon Alley and the walking street in Songtan.  All of the hats except for one, were made in Korea and created manually by a master sewer.  The highest number of one hat design was 33 of Thunder Run Tour 99 and 14 of the Gater Tour 98.  You can see the design on the front, several of the hats had messages sewn on the left and right sides and your nickman on the back.



KOREA (4 hats)

Road Crew Tour 98

This was the first hat.  MSgt Goodman, 1Lt Dugdale, Cdr Rowlands, Capt LaBenne went between Pusan, Taegu, Seoul and Osan for US Army EXEVAL via car.  We had a chance to go to Texas Street in Pusan and Iteawon in Seoul.  We got lost almost everywhere, but it was a hoot.


Right Side: Seoul, Songtan, Taegu, Pusan.

Back:  Pacific Kid.



Centennial Tour 98

This hat celebrated the 100th Anniversary of Independence of the Philippines.  The logo was the official national marketing design.

Back:  Pacific Kid.


SINGAPORE (3 hats)

Celebrate Singapore Tour 98

Celebrate Singapore was the logo of the official marketing campaign.  I went TDY to visit NRCC Singapore and DCMC Singapore, where Lt Col Mike Maceyko was the Commander.  I replaced Mike in Korea.

Back:  Pacific Kid.

guam island

GUAM (12 hats)

Island Tour 98


The  USAF contracting and finance contingency competition (COPE BUCS) was held in Guam every other year.  I served on staff and actually organized two teams from Korea:  Osan and Kunsan.  They were joint teams, Army contracting civilians and USAF finance.  The winner would go to AF Top Dollar as the PACAF representative.

Left side: Andersen AFB Guam.

Right side: COPE BUC$.

Back:  Pacific Kid.


USA * FLORIDA (14 hats)

Gater Tour 98


The only non-Asia hat in the collection was for the AF Top Dollar Competition held at Camp Rudder, home of the Phase 3 (Swamp) of the US Army Ranger Training in Florida.

Again I was on staff for this premiere event at the time for both the Contracting and Finance community.  Staff worked and played hard.  Surprisingly they had a bar in the compound staff could drink after the day events ended.

Left side: Camp Rudder, FL.

Right side: AF Top Dollar.

Back:  Pacifickid.

amazing thai

THAILAND (3 hats)

Amazing Thailand Tour 98


Amazing Thailand was the logo of the official marketing campaign.  I went to Thailand for the Tandem Thrust Exercise.

Back:  Pacific Kid.


THAILAND (2 hats)

Nana Tour 99

I had a chance to go to the Cobre Gold Planning Conference.  Nana Plaza was one of the nightlife districts in Bangkok.  I just thought the snake would be a nice touch.


Left side: Bangkok Thailand.

Right side: Cobra Gold 99.

Back:  Pacific Kid.


KOREA (2 hats)

Transition Tour 99

My two year tour in Korea came to an end and my replacement, Maj Ron Story and I criss crossed the Peninsula in 5 days and 5 days in the office.  We worked all day and drank at night. Farewell Korea.

Left side: My Liver Hurts.

Right side: Everybody Loves A Parade.  Back:  Pacific Kid.


thunder run

KOREA (33 hats)

Thunder Run Tour 99

Twice I organized a Joint Contracting and Finance Conference for Korea.  We would have nearly 100 participants — Army, Navy, Marines and USAF.  Thunder Run is going bar after bar, one drink only, in a rapid manner, of course all had to be done by curfew (midnight).  On the sides of the hat were all the names of clubs in Songtan (outside Osan Air Base).

Left side: Young Chun, Gissamo, Wide Wing, Mirage, Top Hat, Eagles, Stereo.

Right side:  Golden Gate, OB House, Phoenix, UN Club, Apache, Playboy, Utopia.  Back:  Pacific Kid.



Farewell Tour 99

Before I left Korea to go to the Pentagon, I took my last trip to the Philippines, hence the Farewell Tour.

Back:  Pacific Kid.

green bean

KOREA (3 hats)

One Legged Green Bean Tour 2003

I returned to Korea to attend a war planning conference. I took Chief Teeter and MSgt Godsey down to Osan AB so we could go out in Songtan.  Since this was the Chief’s first time to go out in Songtan, he was considered a “Green Bean”.  The Chief also was an amputee, having lost his leg in a parachute accident, hence the One Legged reference.  The Jolly Green Giant image (Green Bean) was used with the prosthetic leg.  What a hoot!

Left side: Yongsan / Seoul.

Right side: Osan AB / Songtan.

Back:  Pacific Kid.



You’re My Mate Tour 2005

Mark Teeter came with the family for his first trip to the Philippines.  So we had to come up with another hat!   The name comes from the song by Right Said Fred called ‘You’re My Mate’.  Which Mark and I would love to sing when we went out to play pool.


Coz you’re my mate and I will stand by you

You’re my mate and I will stand by you

And in the face of things that could hurt you

You’re my mate and I will stand by you


Music Video “You’re My Mate” by Right Said Fred


Left side: Manila, Angeles City.

Right side: I Think It’s Your Round.

Back:  Pacific Kid.


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