Another Hawaii Story – “No, I Do Not Return Your Salute. Neither Does She, She Isn’t My Wife.”

Another quick story from my time in Hawaii.


We had some great neighbors in our quad-plex housing in Hawaii – Chris and Cheryl Boyd.  Cheryl and I spent a lot of time together – we each were the primary stay at home parent, and we would often shop together – both on and off post.  We were both military spouses.  And we were all great friends.

After driving back and forth through the front gate many times together (in a single day) eventually the new guard waved me over.

“Sir, do you know that it is customary for you to return a salute when I welcome you to post”?

Me: “I am not in the Military”.

Him: “Then your wife should return my salute, sir”.

Me: “She isn’t my wife”

Him, flustered: “Uh well then sir, never mind.  Uh, I’ll mind my own business, sir”

He assumed one of us had to be in the military since we had an officer sticker on our car that told him “we” lived on base.  Then he assumed we were doing something naughty.

Assumptions are often my favorite basis in humor.


  1. @Paul – screwing around with armed Military Policemen is something that I still avoid today 🙂

  2. Which would get it into the “Does your dog bite?” category!

    Guy1: Does your dog bite?
    Guy2: No, my dog is real friendly.
    Guy1 pets the dog and gets bitten.
    Guy1: “I though you said your dog doesn’t bite?”
    Guy2″ “True, but this is not my dog”.

  3. Or .. you could have confused him more by responding to:

    Him: “Then your wife should return my salute, sir”.

    With: “You’re absolutely right! My wife SHOULD return your salute!” .. and move on.

  4. @Paul – you are quoting general rules – gate guards DO salute any vehicle displaying an officer sticker, regardless if any occupants are in uniform.

  5. You could have given that guard a lesson in what is ‘customary’:

    According to official Airforce rules:

    1. The salute is given to someone of higher rank, thereby looking AT that person. You never salute a GROUP of non-uniformed people ASSUMING one of them could possibly be of a rank higher than yours.
    2. Do not salute any person INSIDE a PRIVATELY owned vehicle.

    Also, since you always salute someone of HIGHER rank, lecturing them of what is customary about salutes is hightly inappropriate.

    Furthermore, if two non-uniformed people, both acknowledging to be non-military, try to enter a military post in a vehicle visibly belonging to an officer, maybe further inquiry is called for. (Okay, I know, this was pre 9/11, but still)