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Discussion Starter #1
V.I.P. Member
Posts: 320
(9/6/01 2:15:35 pm)
| Del All A Bad Duty
One of the unpleasent duties I had to perform as an NCO in the Army took place as I was at Oakland Army Terminal, awaiting my flight to Vietnam. Myself and another E-6 was detailed to go to the MP holding area and escort a soldier to his departing aircraft. I understand there was a shortage of MPs there, but an abundance of NCOs setting around waiting, so they used us. While this was a common occurrence, it was a first for me. We signed out a sedan and drove to the MP station. There we took charge of a young E-5 buck sergeant. He was dressed in a sharp set of khakis, looking very military. He was charged with “Missing Shipment” and AWOL. He had come home on emergency leave and had not returned when required to do so. He was being sent back to his unit for punishment. We put him in the sedan and drove him to Travis Air Force Base. Once there, we checked him into his flight and sat down to wait. He was a very polite, although quiet, soldier. He conducted himself with all proper military bearing. I was dying to ask him why such a soldier as he had not made his flight, but was not comfortable doing so. Finally, he looked at us and softly said, almost to himself; “I just could not go back”. I must admit I was more that a little curious, and also concerned he may try to get away again. Almost like he read my thoughts, he said “Don’t worry, Sarge, I won’t put you on the spot. I’ll behave myself and get on that damn plane.”
When his flight was announced, we got up and escorted him to the plane. We were required to stay with him until the crew was ready to close the doors. At this time, we got ready to de-plane. He shook our hands and wished us well. He made a comment something like "Keep your ass down" We could see the others on the plane knew we had escorted a “bad guy” onto the craft. The E-6 with me, a vet returning for his second tour, looked at the troops setting nearby and said “Don’t F—k with his guy.” When someone said something like “Why not, he’s a deserter, ain’t he?” the Staff Sgt replied; “Look at his chest.” There, on that young man’s chest, were 3 items of interest. A CIB, a Silver Star, and a Purple Heart.
We left that plane and it took off. I always wondered what became of that soldier. I wish I had taken the time to write down his name.

Stan H ,, nighthawk

Edited by: nighthawk at: 9/7/01 3:42:11 pm

V.I.P. Member
Posts: 234
(9/10/01 2:54:59 pm)
| Del Re: A Bad Duty
I read a story like that and wonder what was going through that man's head. I know I couldn't possibly imagine....

Just glad that Staff Sgt spoke up and that he had you to "greet" h
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