There were a few guys returning for their second tour of duty in Viet Nam. What ever made them want this was beyond my scope of knowledge. There was good money to be made legal and illegal. They usually had the ear of about everyone in the barracks. They knew and understood our fears, that lurked inside us all. It sort of reminded you of a group of kids around an old man giving away candy. There was a lot of talk about M.O.S or jobs that were assigned from this location. Usually we found that a lot of your past training was either forgotten by the army or they had another job lined up for you. This sort of made you wonder what all the past related to the future. Anyway what it all boiled down to was the fact that you were still open free bait. You could be assigned to anywhere the army needed you. Most of us finally found out that you would have it either good or bad or middle. So, that left us all in more confusion than before.
At about seven o\'clock I had woke up after having fallen asleep without even realizing it. My stomach was empty along with part of the barrack. There seemed to be an eerie air in the surrounding atmosphere. There was a quiet tension that filled my thoughts. Though, I felt better with a few hours of sleep. The new reality was focusing in my mind as the sleep left my eyes. There was the sound of laughter coming through the night air. The bleariness of the moment seemed to fade with the sun. Looking around my first impressions was that of a make shift camp built upon the sand of a beach. There seemed a mystery to the place, sort of the mystery that first appeared through the window of the plane. It held you than disappeared with the change of thewind.
I walked over to where the laughter was coming from. There was a large army tent staked out in the sand. There seemed the allurement of the Arabian Nights coming from it. It was funny how certain images, that were once seen on television, could be transposed to alternate situations. Inside the tent was a make-shift bar, there were a few garbage cans with some unknown beer floating around in the water. One of the guys in the barracksgave me a ticket , for one beer in the club. The beer tasted like the label that was printed on it. The temperature seemed to have remained about the same even though the sun had set for awhile. A cool breeze flowed off the ocean.
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This gave some sort of movement to the heat. There were many stars in the sky. It seemed they were suspended from all eternity. There was a feeling of excitement running through my veins. For the first time in my life there was a new person walking inside of me. I went back to where my bunk was located and decided to get more sleep. While laying in my bunk many new thoughts started to formulate inside my mind. There was a reality of Viet Nam actually being in total existence. A place of reality was there. Though the thought of an illusion passed over my brain. Maybe this was all one long continuous dream. The thought of isolation away from any know reality. Sentenced to a new way of life for the next year.
The next morning we woke up to get our new issue of jungle fatigues. There was a casual air to the entire procedure. We put on our new clothing and most of the guys just slept in them. We marched over to breakfast, after everyone had unfolded themselves like butterflies from caterpillars. There was a lax air of command that shrouded the base. The form of military life was there but with a more lax attitude. We got to encounter our first meal in Viet Nam. There was some joking and the air of tension was fading from the air. The mess hall was itself was on the same structure and style as the barracks, but much larger.
Inside there was the traditional lines that made any army mess hall theline of waiting. There were the brown trays with the indented portion trays in place. There were the knives and forks that held the plain and bare military style. The food itself was good to taste. There was a choice of eggs or pancakes that was being served. Also bacon or ham was presented as a side dish. This whole breakfast was the same as served back in the states. There was a milk dispenser and a vat of cool-aid over by the table. The milk had a K.P. standing guard over it. Inside the vat of Cool-aid there was a large chunk of ice floating like a raft upon the sea. The early morning temperature was well into the eighties and rising fast. The thick humidity stayed right with you all the time. The ice in the cool-aid was mighty tempting
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