Sunday, August 4, 1968
It was amazing how efficient the Admin run was on Sundays. The free beer call at 1400 was motivation to make the round trip to Da Nang quickly. It was always a party atmosphere which culminated with the Steak BBQ behind the mess hall.
Top Culverhouse entered the galley as we were finishing preparations for the evening meal. He introduced us to PFC Cruz (Fernando) who had just arrived. He was the new truck driver (PFC Wilson’s replacement) and was assigned the task of making the daily Admin run. Culverhouse asked me to familiarize Cruz with the Hill.
Fernando was a stocky Marine, just under six feet tall, and had a perpetual smile. He was interested in food because his family owned a Mexican restaurant in El Paso, Texas. He understood the importance of the supply chain and logistics of keeping food and provisions flowing. He wanted to be a cook, but maintaining the mess hall supply system was as close as he would get to food preparation.
We toured the Hill and viewed the surrounding area: Charlie Ridge, Arizona Territory, the Song Vu Gia River and the villages encompassing it. We finished the tour at his quarters in the motor pool where Sergeant Thomas took over the task of Fernando’s orientation which included “Rules of the Road” for truck operators. I invited them to join the Steak BBQ at 1600.
Sumo always took Sunday afternoons off, relaxing in the hooch. The Steak BBQ took care of itself . . . it was really more of a social event. We discussed the importance of training Fernando to receive the food at FLC, and I decided to make the trip to Da Nang with him the next day.
Next Edition: Meeting an Old Friend