where the writers are
Memories # 19


The day before we jumped in for the survival operation in Thailand, we decided to mess with the CO of the Engineering Company where we ate, the same one I had already had a run in with.

As a courtesy to the company CO following my confrontation, the lieutenant had us at least put on fatigues when we went to the mess hall for chow.

That day though the team had all dressed in their grubbiest clothes, strapped on their web gear with all of their pistols and knives, then each slung their weapons over their shoulders and headed for the mess hall.  None of us except the lieutenant had shaved or gotten a haircut for the entire time we were there, we looked more like a gang of river pirates than the highly trained combat unit we actually were.

When we reached the mess hall, the line of men waiting to enter the hall reached nearly the full length of the building.  Now normally the team would have fallen in at the end of the line and waited our turn to go in, but that day the lieutenant and his motley looking crew walked up to the front of the line and just stood there staring at the men in the front of the line.  After a few seconds the men stepped out of line and motioned us to enter.  Once inside we picked up our trays and made our way through the chow line.  Then we walked up to the very front table and proceeded to stand, staring at the troopers seated there.  The men at the table rose as one, picked up their still half full trays and walked out of the mess hall.  Within a matter of thirty seconds all of the remaining soldiers in the mess hall got up and left also.  Except for the cooks, we ate lunch in the empty mess, then we got up and strolled out.

The troopers who had earlier left the mess hall, as well as the men that had been standing in line, were still waiting outside the hall staring at us in total disbelief.

As we were leaving, the Major came storming out of the orderly room and was nearly running across the parade area.  We strolled out of the company area making no attempt to hide our laughter.

The next morning by daylight we were a hundred twenty-five miles back in the Thai jungle.