Halloween Gut Punch

My day at the rifle range was finished when First Lieutenant Tarry (my executive officer) handed me my orders.  I was stunned and remember feeling sick.  “This can’t be right, I have a year retention of duty.”  Immediately I went to headquarters and confronted the Squadron First Sergeant.  He explained that I had re-enlisted as a Corporal and my subsequent promotion to Sergeant meant all future orders would come from Headquarters Marine Corps . . . I basically hadn’t read the fine print in my contract.

How was I going to explain this to Jenny?  We had only been married five months and were not prepared for this turn of events.  I knew she wasn’t going to be happy with this news.  When showing her the orders it was all code to her so I explained, “These are orders to Vietnam.”  She looked at me as if it’s a Halloween prank but reality sunk in quickly.

Kids started coming to the door with their Trick-or-Treat bags and I passed out treats while Jenny stayed out of view.  She was grim faced and puffy eyed with a growing pile of Kleenex.  It was the most miserable Halloween we have experienced.

We didn’t sleep much that night . . . Jenny made a decision to return to Fresno State and finish her degree while I was in Vietnam.  In retrospect it was a relief for me, as I had guilt feelings about her not finishing college after completing her junior year.  We now had 50 days to make a plan and get things in order.

Next edition:  How did we get here?

2 thoughts on “Halloween Gut Punch

  1. I got you blog from the MACV site. I was a dog face assigned to MACV Adv Tm 1 Hoi An. I was there from 0367 to 0967 when I returned to Ft. Bragg NC. I had previously been in the central highlands at An Khe from 0266 to 0267 in the 1 Cav. I have enjoyed reading your blog. You are an excellent writer. Your recollections bring back so many memories, that I had forgotton or misplaced. I started reading your blog, when it occurred to me I was reading backwards. So I have now rewound, sort of speak, to the beginning. You guys saved us at Hoi An back in 67 when you arrived at night and chased the bad guys away. I found the MACV site because I never knew what happened to the guys I served with after I went home. It had eated at me for years, well decades if you will. I have learned a quite a bit from following the messages posted there over the last few years. I still have not talked to anyone I actually knew or served with from either MACV or the 1 cav. Anyway, I wanted to thank you for your writing. Thank you for your service.


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