Tuesday, May 7, 1968
As I was getting into the truck to Da Nang, Top Culverhouse told me to take my travel gear for R&R. He wanted me to stay in Headquarters an extra night and not risk missing my flight. As it turned out, Sergeant Paige was in the truck and on his way home to CONUS. Both of us were scheduled on separate flights on the 8th. I said goodbye to Sumo and Reb before leaving and trusted them to keep the fort (mess hall) in order.
Wilson dropped Paige off at Headquarters, and we continued to FLC. There had been excitement the night before with rockets hitting in the Da Nang area. We maneuvered the truck to Freedom Hill, and I picked up my new cleaned and pressed uniform. I also bought a new tin of Kiwi shoe polish and some white boxer shorts.
Returning to Headquarters, Wilson and I ate lunch together before he retrieved the mailbag. When we picked it up, I asked permission to check it for a letter first, and the clerk said, “No, the bag is sealed.” I asked for the Sergeant Major, and Lossie came out to see what was going on. When I explained about R&R and that I was expecting a letter from my wife, Lossie broke the seal and checked the mail . . . and sure enough, there was a letter from Jenny. Breaking the seal on the bag was a big deal, and a new seal was made with log entries explaining why.
Later in the evening I opened the letter and learned we would be staying at the Reef Tower Hotel in Waikiki. Sergeant Paige came into the transit hooch; he had been watching a “Three Stooges” (16mm) film in the Rec Room and was anxious about going home.
Later in the night a siren went off at the observation tower (OP “Tiger”). Paige and I went out to see rockets overhead gliding toward Da Nang.
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