Tuesday, February 27, 2007

And there I was...

We all know the difference between a war story and a fairy tale is, one begins with "once upon a time", and the other starts with "and there I was!".

I served in the Green Machine for a few years, I missed road building in Nicaragua by a couple of weeks, and missed Jones Town Guyana by a month. ( Shut up and drink your cool aid punk!)
I was at the largest military installation in the East for my entire tour, and didn't reenlist because of family. There were a lot of things I might have done, none I regret. Some, however, came really close.

I worked in the motor pool of an aviation company as a generator/ heavy equipment mechanic. We were blessed with a real bunch of characters. We had some folks that would do anything and then sit right where they finished, even if it was the back of a 2 1/2 in the sun and a hundred degrees. We had a few average guys, and one army brat that got so stupid with a Full Bird, they called his dad, to drop in, from the other side of the world, as a courtesy. Then there was our barracks thief.

This dude was fairly nice, to me, but not too smart. Door knobs could teach this dude a lot. He got in trouble for stealing a truck from the motor pool, and then giving someone a ride from the company. No, he wasn't hard to find. He was on active duty because he got tired of the Guard and wrote his CO a letter, saying it was too hard and he didn't think it was for him. So they naturally snatched him up and sent him to us.

Thanks much.

The dude tried so hard to be one of the guys, but didn't have it in him. He did so many things wrong I can't even tell you, our First Sargent wanted to throw him through a wall (Top told me this himself) for a gaff so stupid it had to be, simple ignorance. He presented Top with a hand written receipt for the car belonging to one of our soldiers who drowned in an accident. Bad idea.

One day we were hanging around the truck bays, trying to get in trouble, and about to do better than planned. I like to tie knots, so I had found a piece of line we used to hang rotor blades on the helicopters and was randomly tying knots. I had just tied a hangman's noose, when the Motor Sargent walked out and said "Oh finally gonna hang 'im eh?" At this point the dude made a cardinal mistake. He said "Ya'll don't have the guts." You would think we rehearsed. The rope goes over the rafters, a chair appears, and the dude is placed on top with his nylon necktie carefully adjusted for effectiveness, if not comfort. The proper usage implies a long drop and a sharp stop. A chair doesn't qualify as a gallows, unless you want it to take a long time. I snugged the rope around a long bolt, and waited for the signal that the prank was over. At this most inopportune time our contingent from Wisconsin strolled in, he absolutely hated the dude, took one look, and kicked the chair out from under him.

I almost had a heart attack! I literally threw the rope up into the air! The dude grabbed the rope at the back of his neck with both hands. All well that doesn't end with me having to explain why I hanged a dufus for fun, whew!

Shortly after the truck theft, the dude was off to new digs at Leavenworth, probably didn't fit in there either. When they cleaned out the dudes locker, every theft for months was solved. Buttons badges, transistor radios, every thing that shined.


Flo said...

Yep, every unit has to have at least one bad apple in it. Usually there's also a brown-noser somewhere, too. I found, especially in aviation units, they tended to be dealt with--unofficially.

HollyB said...

"The largest installation in the East"? Hmm?
I grew up in Killeen, TX. It is home to Ft.Hood, which I always thought was the largest installation in the Continental U.S. Maybe it's been the victim of reallocations. Or maybe I was misinformed, or maybe I misunderstood your meaning.