It had been over a month since visiting Staff Sergeant Lopez at the Hill 37 mess hall. * In an effort to trade the extra immersion water heater, I made the short trip. The renovations to the Battalion Compound were obvious, and the mess hall there was much improved. A new GI (trash) house had just been completed and was exactly the same as ours.
Somehow 1/7 had managed to hire four Vietnamese women workers to replace mess duty Marines. It was a similar situation to our Battalion Mess on Hill 34. The women were locals from Dai Loc.
The new immersion water heater was an easy sell to Lopez; he needed it to sanitize the trash cans so we made a trade. Lopez exchanged four new fiberglass chairs for the water heater.
Back on Hill 65 we assembled the bucket-seat chairs and presented them to Gunny Pavelcek for use in the new club. To our surprise, the Gunny was hesitant . . . the chairs were pink and didn’t fit the proper image of a staff club. Top Culverhouse solved the problem by suggesting camouflage seat covers be made from poncho liners.
Mama-San agreed to have the seat covers sewn in Dai Loc by a seamstress. The arrangements were made, and the covers would be ready in a week.
* See previous blog, “Staff Sergeant Lopez” December 3, 1968