From a very young age, Ocean Subiono had an interest in the military—even dressing up as a soldier for Halloween. As a freshman in high school, he joined the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps or JROTC program, with the hopes of enlisting in the Army one day.

Ocean Subiono at his Honolulu Fire Department Academy graduation on March 16, 2018. Photo courtesy of the Subiono family. 

But his dreams to become a service member were delayed by an unexpected complication.

He came to StoryCorps with his father, Russell Subiono, to talk about his journey.

Russell and Ocean Subiono at his Oath of Enlistment ceremony on November 20, 2019 at Hickam Air Force Base in Hickam, Hawaii. Photo courtesy of the Subiono family.


Top Photo: Ocean Subiono and Russell Subiono at their StoryCorps interview in Honolulu, Hawaii on June 14, 2022. By Franchesca Peña for StoryCorps.

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Originally aired August 26, 2023, on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday