Tuesday, May 28, 1968
The new mess deck (dining room) made the chow line more efficient. It also increased the number of participants in Sunday church services. Lieutenant Nowicki wanted to use the space at night for training and preparation before patrols. The issue of no electricity was a deterrent to his plans and limited activity to the early evening twilight hours.
A truck from MACV (Military Assistance Command Vietnam) showed up at the mess hall with a new power generator. No one knew who ordered it or where it was to be set up so I directed them to Leggs. The current generator supplied power to our CP and FDC and was maintained by Leggs, the Maintenance NCO for Kilo battery.
After much discussion and debate, it was decided to “electrify” the mess hall. The generator was installed, and the mess facility was properly wired with various wall outlets, light sockets and switches. This new feature would allow us to connect milk dispensers and a small box (ice cream) freezer. We now had 24-hour use of the mess hall.
After the lights were on , Reb could work without groping around in semi-darkness. The brightness allowed us to see opportunities for cleaning, such as the stainless steel table legs, and the ovens needed some work as well.
I tried writing a letter to Jenny in the lighted dining room, but something wasn’t right. I had been writing by candlelight since January, and the bright lights were a distraction. So I continued to write letters in the softer light of the Vietnamese candles in my hooch . . . the ambiance was better and the privacy made letter writing easier.
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