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J. Wilborn
Posts: 29
(2/8/01 3:57:44 pm)
Reply WHY DID YA HAV'TA SHOW ME?
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"Damn it Willie", you remark brashly, "why
did you have to show me that sad-ass
picture--who is that
woman and that little girl kid"? Old military
buddies getting together--so long separated and
so much
to get caught up on. Oh sure, there had been
enough of
the 'whatever happened to old so-and-so' or 'do
you
remember the time we cumshawed that weapons
carrier for
the beer party down at China Beach'--and on and
on. The
conversation never lagged for a moment, and you
couldn't
imiagine why your old friend had dug out that
old
dog-earred article that was a reprint from
SAGA
magazine--hell way back in the issue of October
1967. The
old war horses were sitting by the backyard
swimming
pool in Willie's Phoenix, Arizona home. Though
you were
at least ten years your hosts senior, you had
never let
the age thing come up, no matter what. You had
retired
in about 1967 while your friend Willie had
stayed until
1971--he had served two tours in Vietnam,
eventually
settling in the desert southwest. "You
remember when
we were on instructor duty together at the
Seabee base in
California--that one class we had with that
fool
kid--that blond headed little sucker who was
always
playing jokes--the one that put the salt into
the coffee
urn that time and everyone suspected he pissed
in the
pot--yup, that one, and then he went in during
coffee
break and wrote APRIL FOOLS on the
chalkboard--it wasn't
really the first of April after all--wonder he
didn't get
his skinny little butt kicked that time", you
friend
Willie recalled with a wide grin. You have
listened
intently as you recalled those long ago events
like they
were only yesterday. "Sure as hell I remember",

you exclaim, "he was with that Seabee STAT
group--the
bunch of ball-bustin' bastards that are harder
to break
into than the Navy SEALS--that's what I've
heard
anyway".
Your buddy nods his head absently, and randomly
states,
"that little Dude was always smiling--I
remember that
about him --like he had a big dark secret that
he was
going to yank off on somebody--always
grinning", as
Willie's voice trailed off. "But Willie,
what's that
got to do with you showing me that sorrowful
picture--hell, Old LBJ looks okay--so does Paul

whats-his-name--LBJ's SECDEF until McNamara
come on
board"--you wait patiently for your old friend
to
answer.. You note a sad, faraway look seeming
to cloud
his otherwise pleasant features. "I gotta tell
you a
sad story Gunner--"--that's what Willie always
called
you, because you used to be a Gunners Mate
until you
switched over to the Navy Seabees--"that's that
silly
damn kids wife and young'un--only a few months
after he
was raising hell aound there in our Disaster
Recovery
classes, he was sent over to Vietnam with his
STAT
outfit--at a little God-forsaken place fifty or
sixty
miles out of Siagon--". Your old friends voice

trailed off--a muffled sob--almost as if he
were or had
been there.
"A little arm-pit of the world called Dong
Xoai--they
were building a camp for the Army Special
Forces--the 9th
of June of 65, I think it was-- there was one
hellva of
Donny-brook this night in the mud and rain--the
storys
all here in this magazine article". Your are
reluctant to ask anything though you're
straining to find
out things--you sense more is coming but in
Willie's own
time--at the speed he can handle those events
to relate.
"Just one hell'va fight they put up that
night--did
themselves proud, those young men--damn, I'm so
bouyed-up
just talking about it". "I'll print you up a
copy of this article Gunner that you can take
with
you". Willie offers. "It'll knock your socks
off
when you read it Guns--and hey look at this
picture of
that dumb-ass kid, half a smirk on his puss,
just looking
like he's ready to pull some little shennigan",
Old
Willie states so matter-of-factly. "Actually
Gunner", Willie adds almost as an afterthought,

"Marvin Shields young widow and little girl are
there
with the President to pick up his
medal--posthumously,
was how they described it--and also when Paul
whats-his-name reads off the stuff they said
Marvin
did--what did he say FOR CONSPICIOUS GALLANTRY
ABOVE AND
BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY-- damn Gunner, aren't
those proud
words--huh Gunner--didn't it make you feel good
that you
knew that young rascal--just a stinking shame
about that
poor woman and that little baby--just a
bald-ass shame
Gunner".
Wilborn sends
 

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Yeah chief, You sure know how to evoke emotion.
 
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