Monday, March 11, 1968
Operation Rock officially ended, and the 7th Marines returned to An Hoa and Hill 37. Part of India Company was sent to an outpost near Convoy Road to assist with security. Cobby would be joining them soon.
Gunny Sampson returned to Da Nang, but not before we were informed of the approval of our mess hall expansion. He advised me, “The Seabees will arrive in about a week and will finish the project in five days.” The addition to our current 24’X64′ galley/dining room would be an 80’X80′ mess deck. We would also have a new 16’X16′ tropical hut to use as our new hooch.
Sumo, Reb and I spent some time cooking together and reviewing our routine. In the process we shared our backgrounds. We learned Reb had worked as an apprentice carpenter for his Dad’s construction company. His father was upset with Reb about his interest in Art and thought he was wasting his time taking classes in drawing. Eventually this led to Reb joining the Marines to break free from his Dad’s negative attitude. Reb also had a girlfriend named DeeDee.
Our discussion led to the idea of building our own shower. We had a spot picked out, and Reb thought it was good, but we would need to plan how the water would drain. He suggested we dig a 4’X4′ hole (2 feet deep), fill it with heavy gravel and install a metal pallet on top to serve as the floor.
By the end of the day, we had our shower plot lay out and started digging. Hill 65 was a big heap of sedimentary dirt and rock. As we dug, the rocks were separated and we filled sandbags with the excavated dirt. It was slow going and took two days to finish the hole.
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