Ho Chi Minh

February 26, 1968

One of our responsibilities was to provide a beverage and snack to the five outposts standing guard duty at night.  On a normal night we prepared thermal containers of hot soup, coffee and 30 sandwiches.

The Sergeant of the Guard would pick up and distribute the snacks to each OP throughout the night.  We received a lot of feedback regarding the snacks, and one morning we had a special request . . . OP #4 was being visited regularly by a nocturnal animal (a wild mongoose), and the Marines had been feeding it pimento loaf from the sandwiches.

The guards of OP #4 named the mongoose Ho Chi Minh and called him “Ho Chi” for short.  Their special request was for a separate ration of pimento loaf.  It seems Ho Chi had a fit the night before and squabbled with the Marines on duty all night over a substitution of Spam.

This routine lasted for weeks and then one night Ho Chi stopped showing up.  We continued sending the ration for a while until a rumor started that Ho Chi had died from “Ptomaine poisoning.” *

*  See previous “My New Nickname” blog

Next Edition:  Writing By Candlelight

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