Lest we forget ...
It's Memorial Day ... and memory can be a fickle thing. What runs
through my mind, today, are transient thoughts of the funny things that
happened throughout my ASA days. Back at Phu Bai ... this one time,
there was a SP5 TA guy getting ready to DEROS. I can't remember his name
but I remember that he was tall, slightly plump and balding w/brown
hair. The closer he got to his port-call date, the more
nervous he became. The morning that he actually was to board a 130, he
was a basket case ... sure that the VC were gonna get him, or the plane,
before he left the country. We got him through breakfast, into a jeep,
and on board the plane without too much trouble. He was, finally, stateside bound with orders for VHFS.
Seems that some things don't change much ... From the book, "The Long Walk," by Brian Castner:
(A tale of his time in Iraq with EOD.)
"It was bad luck to die at all, but getting schwacked with three weeks left, two weeks left, one week, would be the height of tragedy."
That ol' "short-timer's" attitude is still around.
Seems most all the TA people from
the 8th were going to VHFS.
I ended up there in July of '68 ... Det "A,"
doing the Wide Band shuffle ... along with all the others. ( It was like Old Home week.) When I walked
into the shop and looked around, I finally asked where (?) was working. Everybody started laughing ... then told me that he'd just been
sent for 6 months TDY back to Saigon. He'd not been a happy camper
I laughed 'till tears came from my eyes.
(Dear (?), if you
are here and reading this, you have my apologies for laughing at your
discomfort ... though, at the time, it was very funny to us all.)
humor here is in the irony ... this one guy being sent back to a place
he feared and hated ... when there were plenty of others willing to take his place
... but the army wasn't listening. It happened lots of times ... there
once was an 05D who was scheduled to
transfer to The Bahamas. He didn't want to go, had found a new girl
friend and planned to marry. Another fellow, an 05D, was willing to
re-enlist just for the Bahama assignment ... the army wouldn't let them
swap. We could never figure out the whim of the assignment gods.
Just finished watching Channel 19, MeTV. They're having a Memorial Day military-show marathon.
Was watching "Combat." Good show ... for the 1960's ... though still full of Hollywood bullshit. Germans and Americans, a fire-fight at night. They can still see each other across a field ... Huh? It's night, it's raining. There are no lights. It should be pitch black. It's not. If I step out onto my back deck right now, turn out the lights, I'll not see a thing past the railing. All else is gone ... black night. Hollywood ... dipshits.
(Another thing ... why is it that veteran German machine gunners cannot hit what they aim at, while an American GI private, firing a semi-auto M-1 Garand, kills entire squads of the enemy?)
Finished reading the novelized version of the movie, "Battleship." More Hollywood bullshit. It's clear that the author never spent time with anybody in the navy. He continuously refers to the inflatable boats as "ship." He has the ad hoc crew of the USS Missouri manhandle a 16" shell through the narrow passageways, up into a turret and place it into the breach, ramming it home! Never occurs to him that a 16" shell has NO handholds and weighs 2000 pounds. Hollywood dipshit.