Saigon Warriors

Posted on November 23, 2011

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The following is a story written by Edd Hogeboom. Edd is a Charlie Trooper.

Reggie-Combat Typist

There I sit at the bar in just one of, probably, over a thousand clubs just like it around Saigon. It had been a rough week for me and my guys in the Typing Pool.

On Monday, the word comes down that the General is getting a “round-eye’d” secretary that was bringing a typewriter that actually runs on alternating current… whatever that is! Heck, they say it just plugs into the wall. Are me and my guys who sit around all day long in the typing pool getting typewriters that run on electricity – not on your life!

Then Tuesday we find out the “round eye” is an old stateside girlsan “friend” of the General’s. Yeah, I’ll bet her “state-of-the-art” typewriter is going to get a whole lot of use!

Then on Wednesday, I got a paper cut that you would not believe! I mean, they had to put me on a litter and rush me into the Emergency Area where all those smelly old guys are brought in from where ever it is that they do that “fighting thing” that they do. I mean, I was not the only typist in the pool to pass out at the sight of my own blood that was gushing from my finger! Of course, on Thursday, I had to go on “Light Duty” due to my disabling injury, but what the Hey… I deserved a little R and R after what I’d been through. Friday is usually a down day anyway, because all the Brass are getting set for the weekend.

So here I sit, a heavily bandaged finger and another cluster added to my Purple Heart. You know, the first “PH” I got from sitting down on those scissors someone carelessly left in my typist chair. The other one is a bit embarrassing, but what the hey – this is a war we’re fighting here! I couldn’t help it, I was walking through the door to the bathroom (I refuse to call it a latrine-it just sounds so “Army.”) Anyway, I’m coming through the bathroom door and that “siren” thing goes off. You know, the things those” Army guys” say will “sound-off” when there is some kind of, what do they call it? Oh yes,” Incoming.” How was I supposed to know it was just a “test,” if I don’t get a memo in advance? Well, in the excitement of the moment, I dove headfirst into one of those “urinal things” and got a concussion.

So here I sit, a lonely, injured soldier – thousands of miles from home. Ahh, but here comes Rita (I never understood why Vietnamese parents name their children with American names). She’s sat with me before, but the bartender only serves her those real exotic drinks with the little paper umbrellas and it gets rather expensive. But she really likes me – she calls me her number one G.I. I think part of it are the medals I buy at the Base PX so I can look a little more experienced when I go out on the town. She’s offered to take me home to meet her three sisters, but there’s something about that they live on the outskirts of the city and it costs about $300 in Greenbacks to ” take the ride.”

Oh well, I think I’ll just buy her a drink and then go back to the barracks early. I still feel a little weak from the loss of blood from that vicious “paper-cut” on Wednesday. Maybe, with my heavily bandaged hand, I can manage to scratch out a note to my folks and update them on the war and the dangers we, in the Typing Pool, have to face as Combat Typist!

And we thought we had it bad!

A Salute to the Saigon Warrior: www.daverabbit .podomatic.com  Dinky Dau Blues

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Posted in: Edd Hogeboom