My Peace Symbol

22 Jun

A Real Peace Symbol

Monday, May 27, 1968, 79 Days

I got up at 0545 hrs. and broke starch before I fell out for reveille. It was raining this morning, so we had reveille in the barracks. I’m glad, otherwise my starched fatigues would be ruined. I went to chow and sat on my bunk smoking until we started working on the hallway. I helped mop and then finished the buffing after everyone took off for work.

Then just before Top came in, King, who was the CQ told me that I had KP, since Coatmire, who was supposed to have it is now ED, because of boxing in the upcoming post tournament. I knew that I’d get it this week, but I was pissed off anyways. Now I’d end up fucking up my fresh starched fatigues.

I rolled a joint of gold in a stall and took a walk out to the parade field, as I lit it up and took three hits. Then I walked into the mess hall and I traded the rest of the joint to one of the guys in the 4/46th for 6 Christmas trees. I popped 3 of them in my mouth as I floated into the kitchen. I started at 0740 hrs. instead of the usual 0430 hrs. and I lucked out and got DRO, since I was an extra KP.

I actually wished that I had pots and pans, since I was a human dynamo, exploding with energy from the speed. I could see how the Nazi Blitzkrieg storm troopers could go for days without sleep, and still be enthusiastic about fighting. Just pop some pills and the world takes on a whole new meaning.

I called Lt. Colgate this afternoon to see if he could get me off early to go and bowl tonight. He fixed it so I would get off at 0530 hrs.

Angelucci took care of the mail while I pulled KP. When I got off, there was a letter sitting on my bunk. One was from Frank Ryan. It was the first time I heard from him in 5 months. He’ll be getting out of Vietnam a little after I ETS, he said. “Maybe we can hook up?” He suggested.  “That would be great.”  I thought.  After I took a shower and got changed, I wrote Vin a letter. I walked to the laundry depot, just before they closed and got my clean fatigues, the pair that I wore today were still in good shape, since I didn’t do anything to ruin them.

The Monk was sitting on his bunk when I got back to the barracks. We took a walk out to the PT stand, and I lit up a gold joint. I only took two hits, because Farrer and I were ready to go bowling, so I told Larry that he could have the rest. I also gave him a nickel bag of gold, which he could make about 5 joints from.

I borrowed Rublay’s car, since he had SDNCO, and Farrer and I drove to the lanes at 1915 hrs. I had an open free game my first line, but only shot 195, since it was almost all spares. It felt good to have a game without any opens, even if I didn’t hit 200. That was my high game for the night, since I shot 181 my second game, and 169 my last one.  The gash in my head didn’t really bother me on the trip, but for some reason I felt dizzy tonight. I ended up with a 545 series, which was the highest on my team for the night, but we lost all 4 games. Lt. Colgate was in a good mood anyway, but Captain Raddix was pretty upset.

Lt. Colgate and Farrer got into a political discussion about the Presidential elections coming up.  Lt. Colgate says that George Wallace is the best candidate, and he said that Kennedy only had his name. This pissed Farrer off, who started defending Kennedy and telling him how important his election was to the future of the country. 

“His father made all his money off of rum running during prohibition.” Lt. Colgate said.  “His entire family fortune was made illegally. He represents criminals.”

“Wallace made his money off of oppressing Negroes and supporting Jim Crow,” Farrer said, and started to get red in the face.

I finally had to intervene and reminded them that whoever wins, will be Commander In Chief, and that this is the first election that we were old enough to vote in. We got back to the barracks after 2130 hrs. and I started making a peace symbol out of a coat hanger, string, solder and silver paint. After lights out, I went into the latrine to work on it, and finally got to bed at around 2300. 

Then there was noise for the next hour, as people came in the barracks for the night. We got some new guys in the unit while I was gone and some of them were straight out of AIT. Some enlistees are in the army because they chose it instead of jail for stupid mistakes that they made and were caught at. Since I couldn’t sleep I got up and went back into the latrine to work on my short timer’s calendar and peace symbol along with smoking my last Chesterfield King. I finally got to sleep at 0020 hrs.

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