View Full Version : Doc Randall's Revenge - Chapter 2 - Part 4

08-06-03, 06:59 AM
As he approached his designated sleeping area, he noticed that there were several Marines sitting on bunks in immediate proximity to his. It took about a microsecond to identify and label these unfortunate individuals as ****in New Guys or as the Corps was so fond of abbreviating, FNGs. It was clear to Will that they were outbound for Vietnam. The FNGs had also been drinking for some time. Will thought he recognized some of them from his stint at the club earlier that evening. They were concerned and rightfully so about their immediate futures. Even if they had not been talking about these concerns, Will would have been to label them as FNGs because of their very green and very clean “utilities” and wide-eyed stares. As he gazed at them and pitied them, one of them asked him when he was leaving and where he was from.
As easy as it was for Will to label the FNGs, it was equally easy for them to identify him as a veteran heading home. Will had spent the early part of his tour at the Khe Sahn Combat Base and he claimed he could never get the red dirt of that area out of his skin. This, in spite, of repeated showers and scrubbing until he bled. He looked dirty, his clothes were shabby, his jungle boots were old and worn and he appeared quite a bit older than the twenty-one year old who was in the transit barracks thirteen months prior going the opposite way.
“What’s it like?” they asked.
Will responded, “It really depends on your MOS or military occupational specialty and where they send you. But things are definitely heating up down there and our mindsets will never be the same.” Will was taking liberties with his explanation of what had happened and over what time course. Khe Sahn had occurred early in his tour and yes that changed a lot of strategic thinking. The Siege of Khe Sahn as the media had dubbed it had been over for a year now. Granted things were different now. They were different for good reasons, those that might result in individuals living longer.
Will continued, “I wouldn’t want to be going down there now. There will be no more surprises, no more Tet Offensives and while this approach may ultimately save your lives, it will make your tour unbearable. If you are grunts, two out of every five of you might as well kiss your ass goodbye right now or find a way to get out of Okinawa and head to Canada.”
These guys were grunts or in the Marine Corps vernacular, 0311's, rifleman. This kind of information was not what they wanted to hear. Will looked a wreck; he had drank to excess, had been crying in the shower and had tiptoed past a fellow Marine who he had observed jacking off in the shower. Now he was painting an unpleasant picture to some FNGs who were beginning to bear the brunt of his most unhappy day. One of the FNGs who assessed Will’s appearance responded, “Well Marine, it seems to me that if some beer swilling, low class, white trash lifer like you could survive a tour in Southeast Asia, us brothers should have little or no trouble making it through.”
Will smiled to himself as he considered the comment of the black FNG. He had never considered himself a racist even though he had grown up in a household where his father was a blatant black hater and his mother was the closet variety. Thus, the comment about white trash stung, but did not deserve a response or defense. Drinking beer was a sport in the USMC and a way to survive a most unpleasant existence. Cold beers had been few and far between in the “Nam” and Will realized that he had drank to excess here in Okinawa, but there were plenty of reasons for that. Therefore, the observation about beer swilling was equally ineffective at raising his dander. However, the comment about being a “lifer,” that was just too much to let go and one which he could not leave alone. While his internal smile persisted, Will felt a wave of venom rising up from his gut, which he was about to let spill forth on these poor unprepared individuals. In a few days these guys were going to be in **** up to their ears and he could have left well enough alone simply with the satisfaction of knowing that. He could have graciously stated, “Yeah, you guys are right. It’s pretty simple to survive down there if you’re not stupid and take care of yourself and your buddies. After all, I made it didn’t I?” However, given the events of the evening, Will wanted to hurt somebody and hurt somebody badly. He launched his attack.
“You boot camp mother ****ers! You haven’t got a clue! You probably thought recruit training at Parris Island or San Diego was tough. You may have whined your way through Infantry Training Regiment and Jungle Training. They were all a joke! Cold, hard reality is going to be in your face from the minute you get off the plane down there. You are going to be fighting people that have been at war all their lives. You will be viewed as their oppressors, the U.S. warring machine that is fighting them on their turf. While you are getting your black asses shot at, your girlfriends are going to be ****ing your best friends. The only time either of them will think of you is when your best buddy begs your girlfriend to suck his dick because you told him how good she was at giving head. They will have no conception of what you’re doing or why you are doing it. You will be the forgotten man who may or may not show up on that familiar street corner thirteen or fourteen months from now.” The FNGs had tapped into something that needed purging. Will continued.
“You’re going to hump through the jungle all day to set up a listening post somewhere in the boonies. Then you will get to stay up and ‘listen.’ While supposedly listening, you will be terribly tired and want to sleep, but when your turn comes to sleep, you will be too scared that you might not wake up. It could be a mortar attack or a group of sappers, one of whom will slit your throat as you sleep. Every step you take in the jungle might be your last. This will always be in the back of your mind. You will be wondering if you might set off a bouncing betty land mine, a claymore or catch a sniper’s round between the eyes. All this while life in the good old USA goes on without you.”
He was on a roll, in a groove and he had their attention. He was relishing the idea that he had extracted the cockiness from these individuals. He had hurt them in a way that had taken thirteen months to callous himself. He had shattered their false sense of security. He thought that this reality check might actually benefit them in the future. For now, however, it would provide them with something to think about before it might be necessary. They had seen all these guys in the transit battalion headed back to the U.S. and had begun to feel good about their chances. They had not seen all the body bags and the wheel chairs. The bottom line was that they shouldn’t have ****ed Will off, especially on this particular evening. Will did not know where or when to stop his tirade and this inability to truncate the evening lead to a physical confrontation, which further traumatized this highly volatile situation. He simply went too far.
Will rambled on, “Now, let’s start getting you ready for the uncertainty of living in the jungle. I am going to wait until your asleep and cut one or more of you before morning.” This was a definitely a mistake. The brother’s response was coordinated, swift and efficient. They were no longer in the Corps on the way to “Nam,” but back home on the streets of some urban jungle. Their lives had been threatened by some honkey and they knew exactly how to deal with this.
Will was not quite attuned to what was going on. He was still inebriated and wallowing in the success of how he had taken control of the situation. That, however, was rapidly changing. He had threatened and challenged the manhood of the brothers and they were about to introduce Will to some immediate justice. Two of the FNGs jumped up quickly, grabbed Will under the arms and pinned him to the bulkhead. The FNG who had precipitated Will’s tirade presided over the forthcoming events.