bells, Mortar shells,
in the grass
your fucking Xmas tree
shove it up your ass!
remember the Christmas Package from home. It was beat up but a welcome
Brown paper wrapped with that rough hemp string. Wrinkled up as though
it had been
crushed under the foot of every Marine who handled it just before they
tossed it into the
cargo plane that was headed to Phubai. Anticipation, I kind of just held
the package for awhile.
that it was prepared by my Mothers hands, lovingly packed and wrapped
for the long trip
to this place which had caused her more than one nightmare. Other
jarheads gathered around,
we shared everything, no one held out on anyone. I cut the string with
my K-bar and peeled the
from the box. I guess the first thing we smelled were the chocolate chip
cookies, then the
bay rum aftershave which could never be worn, specially in the bush. I
never told my Mother of
course. Then there was the pint of Canadian Club whiskey she so
carefully wrapped in tin foil...
thought if they x-rayed the box it wouldn't show up. Anyway it was the
first item to be
shared by all. Popcorn balls were next, heavy with molasses. Then the
box of chocolates. A couple cans of Ravioli, some cans of Franco
American Spaghetti. She had sent a package of T-Shirts and skivvies,
along with some white socks. Man they were the highlight
the package. I looked forward to having the opportunity to put them on,
it would be a touch
of home as well as warmth.
Eve, believe it or not a couple of us decided to go to midnight mass. It
held in one of the newly erected hard backs. I guess we thought it would
get us in good standing
with God, so we went not piously but as a good luck charm more or less.
We got in and settled
down, it was a peaceful feeling, almost as though we had a touch of
heaven. We sang a few carols, had communion, listened to the priest talk
and left to head back to our tent for the night. It was quiet and to
we neared the tent there was a pungent smell coming from it. Others were
outside shooting the
bull waving blankets around. Either some one cut the cheese big time or
something was up. As I
the flap of the tent I was hit with the unmistakable smell of tear gas.
While we were
wearing church as a good luck charm someone rolled a tear gas canister
into our tent. It had
been entered, and the food was gone that was sent. The T-shirts and
skivvies were so permeated
with the smell of tear gas there was no hope of ever wearing them. The
popcorn balls, cookies
and anything that was unwrapped was ruined. It sucked big time. I think
of the sacrifice made
to send it to this godforsaken place and the love and care of a mother
and to this day I get
pissed. I never told her...It was Christmas, everything was supposed to
be perfect on Christmas.
was everything I expected it could be in Vietnam, every thing it should
Tear gassed by our own and ransacked,
Fidelis my ass!!