Page 27 - Scene Magazine 41-12 December 2016
P. 27

guys, and to several of our foxholes around the perimeter, plus numerous radios for communications with our Companies and Brigade. Woody would knock off at midnight, and retire to our beloved foxhole for a good night sleep, assuming we were under no heavy shooting. I would cover until noon the next day. That was our life for a year in Vietnam.
Any old trooper will tell you that in a combat zone, the date, or the time, or the day of the week become irrelevant. Day operations went on every day, and night ops as well. The only real marker that Christmas of ’67 was approaching was the word by radio that the Bob Hope Christmas show was coming to Chu Lai. A few of our guys actually got to go, bringing back stories about the jokes, and especially the American girls. Raquel Welch was reported to be there, wearing a very short red skirt. We all huddled around a little Brownie photograph of Raquel taken from about 20 rows back to experience a moment of home.
Just before December 25, I received a care package from home which included a delightful range of goodies. My little sister Pam wanted to send me a Christmas present, so she tucked a small box in the bigger box. Inside that tiny box I found a “Swedish Angel.” I had loved these as a kid back home. You could assemble the little base, place the angels on small hangars suspended above four tiny candles. When you lit the candles, heat rose from them, turned a propeller that spun the suspended angels around and around making them ring little bells. I can still hear that high, sweet pitch going, “ding, ding, ding, ding.” Pam also sent some homemade brownies. This was a huge treat. The brownies were very hard, probably even a little moldy, but wonderful. C-Rations did not include real desserts, especially brownies. As midnight approached on Christmas Eve, the radios remained quiet. Woody and I plunked down in the Operations Bunker, poking into my care package. I did a little test set-up on the Swedish Angel and Woody loved it. The candles burned down quickly, so I kept it a

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