"Co Sissi Di"

Discussion in 'The VMBB True Story Tellers' started by Guest, Feb 26, 2003.

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    Mithrandir
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    (5/16/01 2:22:23 pm)
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    “Co Sissi DI”……



    Just before TET…. sometime in December of ’66 we were ordered to take the deuces and go fill some sandbags.

    Awwww Jeeezzzzz do we have too?????

    Anyway… the place we had to go to was aptly named “the pits” and sometime “the sandpit”

    It was about eight or nine miles south of Phu Bai just west of Highway 1…..of course.. I think that EVERYTHING was just west of highway 1!!


    Arriving there was always a trip because now you have hundreds of kids that wanted to fill the bags for you for a price…..usually under the watchful eye of some old hag or man that seemed to control the kids …sometimes there would be two or more of them and it became a shouting match as to which of them would do the work….

    The Sgt. would always haggle and haggle and haggle….

    He was really a cheapskate because a 100 bags only cost us about $5.00 chits …or 500 Pi…

    This day.. while we were waiting for the Sgt. to complete his haggle… Tom noticed that there was a young girl there with about four or five children… the kids couldn’t have been more than 7 or 8 and she not more that 16 or 17. However…. it is very hard to tell the age of a young person in Asia… they normally do not show age until the are in their forties!!

    Two hunner ….500Pi she says……

    Well at this Tom informs the Sgt. and he stops to come check this out……

    As he is walking over to check out the situation, the ones he was talking too start shouting and gesturing and try to get between the Sgt. and the girl…..

    She cowers back…

    The Sgt. evaluates this scene and ends it by drawing his pistol……

    They are beat a hasty retreat, all the while shouting and obviously cursing…..

    As if we gave a flying … well….. you get the picture…..

    So this girl and her little crew start work…..

    About a hour and a half into this little exercise….. she abruptly puts down her shovel and starts walking over to the edge of the pits…

    The guys on guard go into point mode and monitor her movements…..they are up on the trucks, so they can see what she is doing……

    She comes back with a small plastic sack and a water bottle…..then proceeds to distribute food and water to the little ones and they take a break and start to eat…..

    Good Idea….so sayeth the Sgt. and WE go into food mode…..

    Everybody relaxes a bit….

    GOOD GOD LOOK!! one of the guys said…..She has bread and bananas!!!

    Money is offered.

    Goods are exchanged..

    We get fresh fruit.. she had bananas, mangos and two coconuts………

    We split the bread… a heavy brown type bread with plenty of meal bugs in it…… absolutely great!!!! still hot from the sun and you could swear that it just came out of the oven……mess hall bread was always white, pasty and tasteless.

    As the day wore on and it became time to leave, her little crew had turned that two hunner into fif hunner…. and we paid her accordingly… PLUS 5 Pi for extra…..

    The Sgt. tried to tell her that we would buy any bread or fruit she had anytime we came down here… but she didn’t have much of a grasp on the language.. One of our language guys tried French and BE DAMNED she spoke it fluently!!!!

    After many goodbye’s and thank you’s… we pulled out…….

    expecting to never see her again………TET came…… no time for the niceties ……



    wait……..



    Edited by: Mithrandir at: 5/16/01 3:29:22 pm

    dap22
    Senior Chief Moderator II
    Posts: 531
    (5/16/01 2:57:21 pm)
    | Del Re: "Co Sissi Di"
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    Hey Mithrandir......yet another riveting story. Great! and keep them coming.

    2 questions for you:
    1. Co Sissi Di..........meaning of?
    2. Mithrandir......mythological elf? Tokein?? Hobbits and such?


    Edited by: dap22 at: 5/16/01 4:09:24 pm

    Mithrandir
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 37
    (5/16/01 4:25:49 pm)
    | Del Re: "Co Sissi Di"
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    DAP22.....Mithrandir.... Gandalf the White's elfin name......one given to me in Panama, I could ALWAYS find my way out when others couldn't... the other being "Tigre" for the benifit of our Panamainin friends who couldn't pronounce it....and because I always wore a red & white striped pullover shirt when we went drinking (hense tiger)

    as for the meaning of "Co Sissi Di'... I present the rest...






    A couple of months after TET…… we had finally adopted Ben… or rather.. Ben adopted us….

    (told you there was a connection)

    We had moved from the Phu Bai site out and up to the northwest….

    August was here and one night Ben had something trapped in the wire….

    Our wire here was a vast tangle foot type of set-up that completely covered the hill in front of us…. and some of it into the grave yard farther up the hill….. mines…. Claymores….. Fougasse…..B-Betties……and other stuff….

    Searchlight came on, flares went up…. and Ben had this same girl… in the wire…….

    Well the SGM got her out, moved her into the CO’s tent and we removed Ben to a safe distance……Errr vise-versa…..

    Strange thing though… Ben wasn’t trying to kill her…..go figure……

    After much yelling and intimidation by the CO/SGM and anyone else with rank…… we began thinking that they would either shoot her or turn her over to the QC’s… which WOULD have shot her………

    All she wanted to do was to sell us bread and fruit……


    The SGM stepped outside…. and after a long pause…. started laughing…… great guffaws and belly busters……The SGM was 6’3” and 220 pounds of HUGE DUDE………he decided that she could sell to us….. and he sent several conditions for her…..
    01. We were NOT to touch her.
    02. She was to use the gate and stay out of the wire…
    03. We were NOT to touch her
    04. All of the food would have to be checked out first (he never told us how we were going to do that!!)
    05. Ben was not to touch her…..she was dearly afraid of him… but he showed no signs of hostility toward her.
    06. WE WERE NOT TO TOUCH HER.. sound a .45 slide racking back and home!!!!!!

    ALRIGHT….ALRIGHT.. we GET it……..

    Someone started calling her “sissy” after his sisters nick-name at home… and “Co” being honorific of “Miss” and the “Di” was added……..supposedly meant “Little”.

    Thus started our own little, local re-supply mission…. by Co Sissi Di ……or our “Miss Little bit”…..

    I still have a picture of her someplace….. if I can get it into digital.. I will post it…..




    BEN!!!!!! quit trying to hump her leg!!!!!!

    WE WANNA DO THAT!!!!

    sound a .45 slide racking back and home!!!!!!


    OK….OK….. Just joking………Jezzz the SGM has eyes in the back of his head!!




    out…….












    Edited by: Mithrandir at: 5/16/01 5:31:45 pm

    Tac401
    Administrator
    Posts: 703
    (5/16/01 5:07:35 pm)
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    Re: "Co Sissi Di"
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    Great stuff, keep'em commin Mith!

    JD
    The Firearms Forum Vietnam Memories Bulletin Board Contact Administrator

    dap22
    Senior Chief Moderator II
    Posts: 535
    (5/16/01 7:02:15 pm)
    | Del Re: "Co Sissi Di"
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    Honest to God Mithrandir, unbelievable stories....I totally enjoy reading your stuff.........more to come I hope!!!!

    ps I've got the scoop on UH-1 Huey's.....I flew them for 23 some odd years, along with OH-6's (loach) and about everything else the Army had.....or used to have.

    homer4
    Moderator
    Posts: 604
    (5/23/01 9:16:27 pm)
    | Del Re: "Co Sissi Di"
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    How colorful the Vietnamee are as a people.Always liked to see the Co's in there Ao Dai's and sandles strolling about on some of the more festive days,holding hands or with interlocked arms.

    As a matter of fact I never had a problem with that very same intimacy displayed between men either.It's oriental culture and I accepted it...wished some others had treated the Vietnamee with the proper and due respect instead of laughing and mocking at the men for this...always burned me.

    Another thing I recall is that out on the Ruff Puff compounds we had Hooch Maids and they were all Ba's...never Co's. They did not want the young unmarried girls/women to be overly exposed to American's...an honor thing.I assume that that wasn't prevalent thru Nam but in our AO it was.

    As a note...had the Papa Sans do the Honey Pots not Mama Sans...another honor or dignity thing with the locals.
    ...and two hard boiled eggs.

    gene29223
    Moderator
    Posts: 125
    (5/24/01 8:33:59 am)
    | Del Re: "Co Sissi Di"
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    Excellent stories. There is something mystical about a young Co in her Ao Dai as she seems to float towards you.

    Homer, I agree with your assessment there. Your statement about male handholding brought this memory back:

    My extended family (friends jested - my tribe) arrived in late October 1993. This was matriarch Grandmother, four married couples with a total of sixteen children ages 7 thru 21. I look back on that time and thank God for some of the military trainning in logistics. I mention this because as we took our "tribe" out for Christmas shoping at the Mall - what a sight! These were country people from Hue - hadn't seen anything like this in their lives. Some of the older teen age boys were holding hands - just as naturally as they would have in Vietnam. Rather than subject them to ridicule my wife and I had an imprompto class on culture differences right in center mall! The rest of the shoppers that day were pretty cool about it, most were respectful and Santa Clause had a field day! Even the VN adults (don't think any weighed over a hundred pounds then)had to sit on his lap, he was jolly old Santa that day.

    Take care, Gene

    Edited by: homer4 at: 5/24/01 9:22:25 pm

    106RR196LIB
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 109
    (5/24/01 3:29:27 pm)
    | Del Re: "Co Sissi Di"
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    This topic jogs a lot of memories.
    Our heavy weapons platoon had two teenage house girls from the village of Phuoc Hoa in the summer of 67. They were exempt from the normal village rules of no young ones with the EMs because they were hated minorities and no one cared about them. One was Eurasian (French/Vietnamese)named Lon and the other was a Nung Chinese named Tan.(pronouced tahn) We agreed in advance that no one was to touch them because it would cause trouble in the platoon. They were nice girls.
    Lon was ridiculed openly in the village because she was very busty. This is considered ugly by the villagers. They would make mooing noises when she walked past. Tan was beautiful but reviled as a Chinese and the villagers did not talk to her at all. The racism in the village was way worse than the stereotype of the America south. The two girls were inseparable. They were also reviled by the VC since they were racially impure. The VC are more like Nazi's than you would imagine. They worked for us doing maid type work. During that time we had no security leaks. We held a company size perimeter with a platoon and the word never got out. We juggled men and equipment to fool the enemy into thinking we had a whole company. I feel certain that treating the girls with respect won us a lot of loyalty. Later, when I was given disciplinary guard duty near Phuoc Hoa, I was never fired on. I had two weeks of 18 hour a day duty sitting on a hill all alone in view of the snipers. No shots were fired. I had hour on and hour off for the remaining six hours of the night.
    We were heart broken in January of 68 when the Chaplain's Assistant told us that both girls were raped and murdered by Americans. We moved up north and our AO was taken over by another unit. The two girls had approached a daytime OP thinking they would be treated the same as in the past. It must have been difficult for them to endure this way of death after experiencing equality of treatment for the first time in their lives from our unit. This was one of the most difficult things to accept about that war. There is nothing that caused more bitterness or more tears than those two rape/murders. No one was prosecuted.
    Mike H
    BTW -- I can't remember if it was two weeks or three weeks of guard duty -- it was all a blur of fatigue.


    dap22
    Senior Chief Moderator II
    Posts: 585
    (5/24/01 8:31:24 pm)
    | Del Re: "Co Sissi Di"
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    Mike:
    Very sad and very ugly.


    homer4
    Moderator
    Posts: 637
    (5/24/01 8:39:34 pm)
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    Sad Mike! Very Sad! What an absolutely terrible tour you had to pull Mike...I don't know if I could have sholdered the things that plagued the 196th.

    Glad you made it bud.

    Every people have their prejudices...true for the Vietnamee as well. There are alot of Cambodians the closer you get to the Cambodian border and their is mutual dislike for one another between the two and even more so for the Cambochi mixed bloods from both Viets and Cambos.

    The same was true I heard for Nungs,Chineese and even Montagnards.

    People are people...everywhere huh.Bet their were some raised eyebrows for sure Gene. I'm glad it went well for you's at the Mall.People can be so ugly as Dave says.

    Good posts.

    ...and two hard boiled eggs.

    Edited by: homer4 at: 5/24/01 9:42:25 pm

    106RR196LIB
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 115
    (5/29/01 1:46:18 pm)
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    Hand Holding
    When we first observed this in Vietnamese men we thought they were gay people. We asked trusted villagers about it and they explained that those guys were not gay but just friends. Due to a language problem, they sent someone to get a real gay person who wanted to have sex with a GI. They thought we wanted to engage in gay sex!
    Oops!
    I seldom saw hand holding in big cities but it was common in the countryside. Vietnamese who are exclusively gay are
    exempt from the draft but that is a rare category. It was amazing to us that Viet men would read poetry to each other and hold hands as friends. Stateside Viets tell me that no hand holding is the first rule they learn here.
    Mike H