A Few Photos And Memories From:

It was January 1969 and we had just arrived in country from Ft. Riley. The weather was wet and cold. Field jackets were the uniform nearly every day. We were busy repairing and modifying the hooches, filling sandbags and digging bunkers. There was no flying till all of us took training with other units. I don't think anyone was really happy. Most difficult, was getting used to the ever present smell of burning shit.

During the first weeks of our stay many of us spent a substantial amount of time sitting in the four holer down by the showers. Later I noticed that all the new guys got the shits upon arrival. Maybe it was just something in the air……………

The latrine had screen on the door and side windows providing one with the minimum of personal privacy. A corrugated tin roof kept the users dry. I am told that this special construction was later adapted perversely to literally scare the shit out of the new guys. The perpetrators, of course, will remain unnamed.

The new guys would hurriedly make their way to the latrine while contemplating the horror of not being fast enough and shitting their pants prior to arrival. After a quick glance in the hole to see if there was a snake laying in wait for some new guys ass to appear overhead, he would quickly be seated and fire the first of many salvos.

The sight of a new guy racing for the latrine was the command of execution for these perverts. Three of them would sneak behind the latrine and gather several large rocks in both hands. At the same time, two other perverts with camera flashes would sneak to the sides of the latrine and on a prearranged signal the rocks would land on the roof just as the camera flashes went off. The effect, was at least that of a 122mm rocket landing next to the latrine.

As I recall, our newly arrived company commander, Major Karjalla, found little humor in this little trick after he himself was victimized.