page 8 typed manu
There were two buses coming toward the plane from one side and others were coming from different directions. Now the moment had arrived, I was planted on the land of Viet Nam. There seemed to be many F.N.G.s which stood for FUCKEN NEW GUYS. That meant that you were in country for a short duration of time. The guys that had been in country for longer periods of time were short timers. It was sort of a rank and class system. Much time went into telling each other how short they were at different moments. Usually long verbal battles and personalized wit ensued the bottom of each phrase.
The buses were green and had no windows in them. There was a cyclone type fence that was put in place of the glass. It did allow for greater ventilation and would also not shatter if a fast moving projectile should happen to hit it. The air and temperature were well into the hundred degree range. Along with this came the torrent humidity. It was funny how the weather could change so radically after a plane flight. The sun seemed to pick each person out individually to release its intensity.
We walked toward the buses in a casual formation. There was the typical army fashion of loading onto the bus. This meant ass in face and arms and elbows all over the place. Not to mention the sweaty armpits and knees in chins. You had to be in the service to really appreciate this form of existence. We remained on the ramp for about fifteen minutes, the temperature and irritation inside the bus was growing. After some passed words the buses were began to roll. It was only a short time before the buses came to a halt. We were told to unload the bus and stand in formation. The unloading of the bus was in the same process as loading, but in the reverse order. Still it all came out the same way.
There we were met by one of the personal of the replacement center. He told us that we would receive further orders in a few days. He welcomed us to Viet Nam in a way that was only unique to the whole situation.
page 9 typed
It was sort of funny the air that persisted at the replacement center. There seemed to be a constant movement of people throughout the area. Sort of the nest egg of an ant colony that is hidden within the protective earth. Here was the heart of the operations to which I was now becoming part.It seemed most of the guys were of the eighteen to twenty-one year old category. This was the prime eligible draft age of the people in the United States. Each had there new jungle fatigues on and walking around in a proud fashion. There the proud manner of countless Americans was being replayed over again. That dawning of the robes of battle that played throughout history.
Our clothing was still stateside, so we were the F.N.Gs at the present moment. Even the guysthat were in country only a few days, began that humorous road of being short. Three hundred and sixty three-SHORT-were the typical words. It was funny to think that there was even a war in existence at the present time. There was no rifle fire or any remote semblance of war, except the sandbag bunkers, scattered throughout the area. Only that massive scramble of F.N.Gs throughout the area. The heat and humidity placed the final spice to the present situation.
In about ten minutes we were marched across a sandy area to where there new barracks, that had been built only a short time ago. They were two floors open wood construction. There were slots on the sides and screen on top. We proceeded to file into the barrack in singleline. There we would pair off two to a bunk-bed. There was a mattress rolled up at the end of the springs. What in reality ,all this was ,was the basic essentials of survival, which was shelter. Everyone placed their a.w.o.l bags on top of the springs. This usually gave in to the fatigue that enshrouded us all. Some of the guys had found some of the permanent personnel at CHAM RHAN BAY. They were being swamped with questions which came from every mode of thought. Whats it like ? Was the number one question that all asked. Where are we going ? Do you know anyone in records ? Onward this persisted until sleep caught the person and duty was assigned.
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