Truce Or Trust

Mail bag
Village Below Hill 52

Monday, November 18, 1968

Sleep in Vietnam never came easy.  I woke with cobwebs in my head and had a persistent throbbing.  Fernando’s fresh coffee was the antidote.  The concept of caffeine withdrawal was a real condition I learned from Papa-San. *  He would gesture with his only hand to his head and say, “Ca Phe Nong.”

After lunch Gunny Pavelcek announced he was moving our 50 cal. machine gun to the motor pool OP.  It seemed like a provocation, but I stayed calm and agreed it was a “smart move.”

The weekly staff meeting was a review of our performance during the 100 percent alert.  We discussed the flaws in our communication system . . . Kilo Battery had “wired phones,” but India Company used radios.  This situation would be addressed later.

After the staff meeting, I briefed the cooks over ice cream covered with chocolate syrup.  We all agreed that the loss of the 50 cal. machine gun in our OP was a good thing.  Sumo asked if I thought the Gunny didn’t trust us.  I didn’t question the Gunny or his motives and suggested we just call it a truce.

The subject changed to our plan for preparing the Thanksgiving Day meal.  It had already been decided we would only have two meals (a regular breakfast and an early afternoon holiday dinner).  Although it would be more work, we voted to add corn pudding to the list of food.  It was “traditional” in the South, and many of the Marines we served were from that region.  We were bound by the menu provided to us, but no one said we couldn’t add items.

* See previous blog, “Papa-San” January 20, 1968

Next Edition:  James

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