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|03-15-2003, 09:41 PM||#1|
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“Got Killer Milk??”
(4/26/02 8:29:24 pm)
“Got Killer Milk??”
I do not know of anyone that went to VN that was inherently cruel….some of us may have turned that way after being their too long… but it still was not “in our nature” so to speak. Americans, as a group, generally support almost any kind of program that is humanitarian based. Even today, after being home in the World for all these years, I know that Americans give…. they give money, time, affection, knowledge and many give the shirt off their back to help the more unfortunate if it would do some good.
We…… are a very naive people…… but we are at our best when things are at their worst….I think Sept 11th proves that. As if we had to be told…..
But ... we are still a naive people....In that spirit…
One very dark night as a group of us were sitting around the “campfire” sharing the days tales …
And just general bull shit…..
When one of the guys told us about his visit to a local orphanage somewhere close by…. He related how the Nuns were having trouble getting fresh food, clothing and just simple things to care for the children…. They also had about 150 children and about 50 under the age of two there…..
The orphanage was run by both Catholic & Buddhist Nuns.
The Nuns seemed to be having just as much trouble with the U.S. support system as with the lack of VN personal involvement. Seems that the Viets don’t like to acknowledge that there were orphans at all… so they either dragged their feet in helping these Nuns or outright ignored them.
So…. We devised a plan by with to provide such needed items and thereby bypass all the red tape and BS that the Nuns were encountering.
We cut our rations so that “C”s could be given to them…..
We cut our fresh water allotment..
We no longer threw away the stuff in the supplement packs that we hated ….
Stuff we got from home such as can goods, which were re-diverted to them….
We even got the cook to divert those damnable powdered eggs that WE hated but would supplement the kids diet…
And……….we started a smuggling operation………which turned out to be a real money maker for us….
(More on that later…..he he he got ya hooked don’t I??)….
Needless to say… our little band was supplying the orphanage with things they couldn’t get …. and they didn’t question where it came from… they just knew that it was stuff that fed them and clothed them….
We even had several thousand cloth diapers shipped in….baby powder…. baby oil….safety pins you name it… we got it…..
And money… so that they could purchase what they needed that we couldn’t get them…..most of it went to grease the palms of the locals for fresh fruit, fresh baked bread and so on…..
Even while most of us had gone on to other units or started other missions… the mill kept turning out for the orphanage…. The whole process had become self sufficient….
Now…. We were pleased with this operation and some time during the sessions that planned out where the items were to come from and how we were going to get them… someone suggested that “maybe we should import some milk for these kids… they have never had any before…only the powdered stuff…”
The Nuns went for it… it was a really good idea because just that week, some unit down south had shipped us fresh chicken eggs… they came in from Okinawa on a flight that I don’t need to get into here… but they were really FRESH eggs and that was like gold to us…..and the kids loved them…
So… milk it was….but were to get it??
And how the hell were we going to get it shipped in??
The answer came from an Austrailian Arty unit…. THEY would do it… they had heard of our little operation and wanted in.… so in four weeks they had purchased the milk in Darwin and arranged for it to come directly into our AO on one of their supply shipments…
Oh..man… everything was working so well….
Fresh… cold…. Whole milk….
Something that any GI in the I Corp region would have shot his First Shirt for…..
Something that all Americans had been raised with….
Knew the taste of….
I wasn’t there when it was delived and consumed… I was on another long mission at that time… way out in the middle of nowhere…..
It wasn’t until after I had come back…that they told me of what happened…..
More then fifty children sick….
Seems that their systems couldn’t take the “Shock” of a pure dairy product…..
That took the wind right out of our sails……
There was no way that we could apologize more…..
Only God could forgive us for our error…
The only good thing to come of it was that the MACV people stepped in and took over… at least the orphange would never want for anything again….
But it would NOT be from us……
Esse Quam Videri
(5/6/02 1:29:49 pm)
Re: “Got Killer Milk??”
Mith.... you guys shouldn't have blamed yourself for that... how were you to know?! You were trying to help... jeeez.... you all did more for those children than anyone had in their lives. You all did a wonderful thing.... you took the initiative to get these kids help. I don't see ANYWHERE in your story that tells me otherwise.
You should be proud of it. I'm sorry for the two children who passed... but just think of the after effect all of your work has had..... and as you said in your story.... "the orphange would never want for anything again" - THAT is because of you and those with you.