After breakfast Fernando attended the morning muster and listened to the daily briefing. Work parties were assigned, and by 0800 everyone went to work on their appointed chores.
Lieutenant Skoog announced a pause on politics. “No soapbox discourse . . . keep your political opinions to yourself.” This was like telling Winnie the Pooh to avoid honey. Everyone was itching to put in their two cents on the Presidential election.
During the morning before lunch Skoog came into the mess deck and started hammering a nail into the plywood partition of the Officer/Staff mess. He hung a box marked THE STARS AND STRIPES and explained it was a directive from Division Headquarters to install in all mess halls.
This was the beginning salvo in most Marine Corps mess halls. The walls would be plastered with posters and directives from the Commandant on down the line. I still considered it my mess hall but could see the handwriting (literally) on the wall. There was no way to resist, and it didn’t seem worth the effort.
The engineers continued construction on the washed-out bridge, but our guns were still stuck on Hill 52.