THE Passions of Viet Nam page 94
We moved into the new tower about two or three months after working in the old worn out tower.There was much to do to arrange house in the new nest. The civilians were still on HongKongmountain.Working en-route control. There were three containers at the base of the tower. They contained vast amounts ofradio equipment which cost vast amounts of money. They were air-conditioned for saving radio parts from theoven like heat.
In the tower there was a trap door which, lead up to the roof. We would in the future go up there and smokegrass at nights while on duty. The traffic stopped at nights, but for rare occasions of medevac or gunships from gulf-port.You could look all around the surrounding country side. On moon lite nights it was something out of a fantasystory book magical land. There was a silver glow, when stoned it was tranquil and had a nest like quality to it.Yet, in the recesses of the mind the war did exist, but the beauty of the country side null-ed the mind.
The new tower was roomy and gave more elbow room. There were lights to read by and there was twoair-conditioners, a real gem for the heat. They still weren't connected yet but the future gave promise. Soon thenew tower was the focal point of social activity. The day shift was wanted most and nights - well-. But, the heat of theday was cooled down and there was work to keep you busy. A very important factor in forgetting the war.
During the real late hours, you could half-sleep by aligning the stools and reposing. It usually ended up in awkward positions and stiffness. If the tower Sargent would walk up the wood stairs the vibrations could be felt.For that matter anyone, including Viet Cong. It gave ample warning and you could move fast and look like youwere doing your mission.
In the last week, we had gotten a new tower Sargent. He was from the south. He was all army, and had atattoo BUZZ on his arm. Reminded me of a bee, but such was life and people. The army was now his career,having re-enlisted and passing that point to become a LIFER as career personnel were designated. He had a familyback in the states and was just plodding time now.
Though when he took control of operations of the tower there was change. Though little did we the enlistedpersonnel know the changes. First thing was sneak inspections and fast looks into tower operations at allhours. So, we were put on our toes. If you were caught in delinquency of duty, you went on sand-bag detail. This wasthe big project of securing the radio containers and the base of the tower. It was a big, big job that had to be done.The officers wanted a ten foot wall around the base area. Plus a sand-bag roof on the top of the radio canisters.Assuring protection from mortars and b-40 orsmall arms fire.