mess deck
Entrance to Chow Line

Sunday, December 1, 1968

Sunday morning brunch opened at 0800, and we usually managed to get an extra few hours of sleep.  Reb woke me up at 0500 with a problem.  Lieutenant Handley was demanding his platoon be fed at 0600.  I got up and went to the mess hall to see what was so urgent for this last-minute request.

India Company 3/7 was leaving Hill 65 permanently.  Handley wanted his troops to eat before they moved out at 0700.  Also he pulled the three India mess men, and we would be short staffed for brunch.  I told him, “Yes Sir, we’ll feed your platoon at 0600.”  After Handley left, Reb said, “You’re crazy Sarge, how are we going to feed them without enough staff?”  I answered, “You make the coffee, and I’ll do the rest.”

Before Handley’s platoon lined up for chow, we set up a table blocking the entrance.  It had a thermal container of coffee, a case of fresh oranges and 30 fruitcakes.  I said goodbye as I handed each Grunt a fruitcake.

Handley was angry, and I told him it was just too short a notice.  He knew I was right and felt bad that he had put us in a bind.  He then smiled and said, “Good luck with Bravo Company” (Bravo 1/7 was replacing India 3/7).

Top Culverhouse assigned two extra “volunteers” to help us through brunch.  There was no church service on Hill 65 that Sunday, and we would not see Chaplain Starling again because he was with 3/7.

Next Edition:  Transition

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