Located 2100 miles southwest of Hawaii and 1400 miles northeast of Australia and 900 miles north of the equator, Kwajalein is truly a long way from the rest of the world. And, that is a good thing. It is a tropical paradise, almost, there is still work to do to pay the mortgage, but it is a grand and glorious place to be. It is a safe place mostly (wear your hat and sunscreen). There is much to do, outside. It is like living in a very small town where the people you work with are the people you live with. Some people get bored and acquire a disease known as rock fever, but if you know how to make your own fun you will have much to do. Most weekends there are too many competing events to choose from.
Kwajalein Atoll is the largest lagoon in the world (see Wikipedia for more info), Kwajalein Island is the largest island in the group (okay technically it is an islet, but no one ever calls it that). Roi-Namur is a pair of islands to the north that have been linked by a land bridge first constructed by the Japanese and expanded by the US. People living on Roi are called Roi Rats and those on Kwaj are known as Kwaj Cats.
Kwajalein Atoll is part of the Republic of the Marshall Islands which are part of Micronesia, a name that means "small islands." Kwaj is 3 .5 miles long and only a half mile wide, so it is pretty small. Though we are part of the Marshalls, Kwajalein is more of a microcosm of all things American, because the whole island is an U.S. Army base. Yet, the military presence is minimal. Civilians run almost everything. There are a couple of colonels and their support staff. You can hear reveille and taps from the Big Giant Voice which are loudspeakers mounted on top of the water tower.
Residents come from everywhere in the US. Most have been on tours here more than once, a few were born here others have lived here for 40 years...and a few who got off the plane took a quick look around and returned home on the next flight. It is a very idyllic life here but not for everyone. Yes, there is work, but there is a sense of safety and one of belonging to a community.