Having left the Lakenheath Experience then arriving Stateside, we literally found ourselves in an alien world! 
These are accounts of  "Culture Shock" and the first awkward transitions to this new world we called, The States!  
    If you have a Culture Shock experience and would like to share, send your story to In the Subject line, put Culture Shock.
    Coming from Texas in Aug 64 all the Brits kept asking us where our horse and spurs were. Lol
    Arriving back in the States Aug 67 and getting my first job people didn’t really talk to me at first. One day at the copy machine a man saw my class ring and asked where I graduated from so told him my Dad was in the military and was stationed in England but there were no schools close enough so I went to a boarding school. He broke the ice and laughed saying we were all told they hired a rich girl who studied abroad. Lol. Nope!
                                                                         Joyce Spraggins 
     I got a job as a soda jerk in a Greenville drug store. When I reported for my first shift the boss told me that if a black person came in for service I could take care of them but only after serving every white person regardless of order of arrival. He also told me that if a black person were to sit down at the counter that I was to reach across and knock them off their stool.     Needless to say I was shocked, having been raised in the military where we lived, ate and breathed in close proximity with all races, but the boss reinforced that edict. 
     During my shift a black man came in and stood behind the seats with his head down and mumbled his order, as soon as it was received he left the store. I quit that job the first night.
                                                            Dennis Green
    We returned to the States in 1977 and went with a youth group to the movie theater to see “ Star Wars”, and, first of all, my sister and I start to stand up for the National Anthem and no one is standing up and they didn’t play it! (Civilian theater). Then it kinda blew my mind a little with the special effects and I was thinking “ Man, what has been going on over here while we were gone!” My sister and I still laugh about this.
                                                     Khrystal Lunsford
Jerry Nicholas  My story:
    We rotated back to the US in July of 1964. Our new duty station was Minot AFB, North Dakota. My new high school, Minot High, was located in the town of Minot, about 15 miles away. I wanted to put my best foot forward on my first day of school. So I wore my greenish pegged Levis (today we would call them skinny jeans) and my Winkepicker boots. Big mistake. The relentless harassment on my first day of school lasted all day. Today they would call it bullying.
    Minot is mostly a farm town and, as such, they were not familiar with the latest British styles. I hated my one year at Minot High. The only good thing was meeting and romancing with Mona Sartwell. But that’s another story.
Diane Evans 
    April 1970-Got back to Del Valle HS outside of Austin Tx. Was there my Freshman year and returned end of my junior year, from Lakenheath. Was always in trouble as a Freshman at Del Valle for short skirts that hit above my knees. You can imagine the trouble when I returned with mini skirts. When my transcripts were received by the school I was told “your grades are good you don’t need to stay for the rest of the year”. True cultural shock- graduated from a school in Austin that let me wear my minis. 
Ruth Ann Spencer
     Our grandmother not recognizing us at first. We hadn’t seen her in nearly two years and we were more British in our manners and dress than our Boston raised cousins. That was a shock.
Jodie Traxel
    Not so much culture shock as language differences. Just turned 19 and went to buy cigarettes...packet o fags brought some looks, and when you need and eraser, don't ask for rubbers. Slightly embarrassing.
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Carmela Gonnella Monahan     When we got back to the states, everyone had been driving for a couple of years already since they were 16. As we all know, the driving age in England is 18.
Ben Sorrels 
    July 1964: small LHS mini-culture, cool England (RAF Molesworth) to large, hot, humid San Antonio TX. Was in culture shock for at least a year.
Carol Armstrong Mitchell
    So true! We came back in the fall of 1962. Our new assignment was Griffiss AFB in Rome, N.Y. (Western N.Y.) I'll never forget how we were really intimidated and overwhelmed by all the traffic (big cars and trucks etc.)! We all cowered down, as Dad slowly drove our little VW Bug from McGuire up the Garden State Parkway in N.J.! Remember, everyone drove small cars in England, and we were used to those narrow, little country roads with hedges. It was a huge culture shock to experience all that traffic and how big everything seemed, not just cars and trucks, but everything!
Nancy Sayer 
    In August '64, we went back to the US & stopped to visit a family that my parents knew from high school. Their son was a junior in high school and was wearing very nice pants and dark socks (not white ones).
Sherry Harnden Kedis
    We came home from England in 62. We had a home in Florida but we were sent to Hill AFB in Utah. Talk about cultural shock. It was also my senior year.
From The Guestbook Friday, 7/25/03

    This web site is amazing. I just moved to New York from Lakenheath about a month ago. I'm 15 and I was a freshman at Lakenheath high school.
    I'm American but America is like a foreign land. I miss England so much. My father was stationed there for 10 years so unlike many of you I haven't had much experience with moving. I lived in Italy (Aviano AFB) when I was 5 and have traveled all over Europe, but Lakenheath is my home (my father retired).
    I can connect with a lot of messages on here. It is so interesting to see and hear about how LHS was in the sixties. I really liked listening to the radio station clip you guys have on here. I'm not used to so many things here in the us. I now understand what my friends meant about Walmart and Dairy Queen, but i'd rather have Woolworths and Fish and Chips. I miss so many things about England. Added on tax, my friends, teachers, admin and of course the military.
    It is so strange not seeing clean-cut slim men and woman wearing their uniforms. Our parents defended our country but many of us feel familiar with everywhere else but our country. Still, I hold my head high and am proud to be known as a Military Brat.
    Take care and God bless sincerely, Danielle Schneider

Dave Williams 
    March '65 we were Banished to Glasgow AFB in Montana. My Dad blamed me. 3 months later I was gone to the Marine Corps. Lookout Hollywood. Hello Vietnam.
Darrell Williams
     Cruising - I was introduced to cruising when I got to California. In case you guys are too old to remember, that's when you drive up and down the town and clog up the streets, hanging out the window making a fool of yourself to the passers by, hoping that a girl would magically hop in your car. Some guys had CBs with a PA that could announce your presence to a car load of girls that were doing the same thing. It didn't work that well
Kathleen Ricks Taylor
    Just reposted stateside from a tour in England and Turkey and used to snack bar prices, went to an Arby's for the first American meal. The prices were so appalling to me that I had to walk out.
I cried all the way from Lakenheath to the US
John Hemersbach
    I only went to Davis Monthan a few times with Mum. I got kicked out of the bowling alley because my hair was too long. Yelled and cursed at when I went to the gas station looking for a job. And was approached by an airman asking if I knew where he could get some weed! LoL Never went back on base after the gas station abuse.
Sheila Lynch Shea
    Returned to the States in 1964 from the Philippines. I had never seen bologna and was quite taken by it. My cousin was incredulous that there were so many things I knew nothing about. The family left for England in 1968 after spending time in California and Arizona. I had been in a convent girls’ school for grades 9-11. Now showing up my senior year at Lakenheath was great, right up to the first class my first day. We were sitting in the classroom chatting and the teacher entered after we were all seated. I leapt to my feet saying, “good morning sir”. I was the only one standing. The only one speaking. I don’t know who in the room was more shocked, me or the teacher or the other students. That was the last time I did that! Everyone ignored my outburst. I had a great experience and met my future husband that same day. Who knew? We are still having fun 45 years later.
Jeanine Krenz
I went from England to Texas... I got off the plane in a mini skirt and everyone in Texas was wearing midi-skirts (mid-calf length). I still had bell bottoms. It was a completely different culture. And Texans don’t like anyone who’s not a Texan... it was a very rough year.