Storm clouds were unleashed during breakfast. The driving rain prevented the roads from being cleared, and there would be no Admin truck to Da Nang for our mail. This weather was a serious blow to the rice harvest and would destroy any chance of saving what was left in the fields. We made plans for the return of troops from Hill 52.
Sumo was bringing Reb up to date about our idea of a transient bunker for visiting personnel. The thought of Top Culverhouse continuing to assign “temporary guests” to our quarters was annoying. There was a feeling of ownership after all of the hard work on our hooch, and we weren’t in the mood to be sharing it with strangers.
Reb suggested we invite Fernando to move in with us. His quarters were 200 yards away in the motor pool. We were his closest friends and valued his contribution to our purpose of feeding the troops. Personally, I considered him a member of our team even though he primarily worked for Top Culverhouse.
It was a unanimous decision, so after lunch we approached Fernando with our proposal. It wasn’t a hard sell. He was excited about the concept of relocating to our hooch. All that was needed now was approval from Top Culverhouse.
When dinner was secured, Fernando and I knocked on Top’s new reinforced hooch which he and Gunny Pavelcek had built. Culverhouse invited us in, and I let Fernando do the talking. He was passionate and pitched his case eloquently. Companionship and loyalty were his main points. All I did was smile in acceptance . . . the move was endorsed by Culverhouse.