Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Love American VS Korean Style #12
In the beginning...
In Part 1- I met the girl I would marry. Her name is Kim. Love at 1st sight (for me, anyway).
In Part 2- I spent what money I had to set up a birthday party that would put me with Kim.
In Part 3- Kim gets puked on by drunk Birthday Boy. Kim leaves. I am miserable.
In Part 4- Korean Grandmothers (Shaman) take pity on me. We Kamikaze in a taxi to Kim's.
In Part 5- I survive the taxi ride. The Grandmothers tell me they will fix all. I must return to base. I can't beat the midnight curfew but I damn sure try.
In Part 6- Suicide ride on a bus bumper. Crash. Injuries and more. Concussion too! Police chase. Escape & Evade.
In Part 7- Climb a telephone pole. Steal a bike with one wheel. Make my Great Escape.
In Part 8- Ride bike into a Banjo-Ditch (sewage). Another concussion. I crawl out and am captured by the ROK Army, then returned to base.
In Part 9- Medical treatment at 0130 hours. AM meeting with Military Police 1SG Black Thunder Johnson. Made an Ambassador to South Korea. Run to Motor Pool.
In Part 10- Bicycle recovered. I fall into the banjo ditch. 1SG YOON/1SG Johnson/Me and the Korean Grandfather have a Pow-wow. Intercultural relations rebuilt. Valuable lessons learned.
In Part 11- The First Sergeants have a meeting. I am cleaned up at a ROK Army wash point. We go to Kim's. I am Elvis, to the Korean Grandmothers. I SEE KIM! We are returning to base.
BACK AT CAMP
So....It's in mid March of 1975. It's kinda cold and I am a wet 20 year old male soldier who has fallen in love with the pretty Korean girl named KIM. I am wet because I slipped and fell into a Korean banjo-ditch and had to be hosed off/cleaned up. I'm driving an M151A1 (Jeep) with 1SG B.T. (Black Thunder) Johnson in the front passengers seat and 1SG Yoon, K.Y. (Kill You) is in the back. The infamous one wheeled bicycle is in the trailer we are towing. We drive on in Gate#1 (main gate) of Camp Hialeah, located in the southern port city of Pusan, S. Korea. My fellow MP's at the gate wave us in while searching my face for a clue as to what would be my fate. I had no idea. 1SG Johnson told me to drop him, the bicycle, and 1SG Yoon off at the Orderly Room, turn in the jeep, change into dry fatigues, and report back to him after chow (lunch). "Roger that", I said... while wondering what he was going to do with me and the bicycle. Everyone in the company orderly room came out to see the bicycle. I drove off, headed for the motor pool. All heads and eyes followed me as I departed the company area. Was I gonna get an Article 15? Oh shit, I hoped not. Was I gonna get some kind'a fine and maybe reduction in rank? Was I gonna get to spend the rest of my Army days cleaning out the grease traps in the mess hall or worse...were they gonna change my MOS (job skill) to a damned cook in the mess hall? At that time most cooks in the mess hall were the guys too stupid to qualify to be truck drivers (no offense to truck drivers). Ooooh crap. All these thoughts were going through my battered brain and the gang back at the orderly room were all asking these same questions themselves. The First Sergeants went in to see my Company Commander. The bike was left in the supply room. My fate to be decided after lunch.
HOUSE BOYs, KATUSA's and THE MOD SQUAD
I turned in the jeep and trailer. The Motor Pool Sergeant said nothing...but he did keep looking at me like I was some kind of a circus side-show act. The sergeant held his fire, so to speak. I returned to the barracks. My fellow squad members (Katusa'a and G.I.'s) known as the Mod Squad and the house boys saw the bicycle and all agreed that it was not worth salvaging. Bent frame and handlebars. Rear rim badly damaged and many missing spokes. The one tire on it was really shot-out too. But why would the First Sergeant's bring the bike back to the Company area? Did they not know what a wasted mess it was? Maybe Black Thunder, since he was American, didn't know so much of bicycles...but surely the Katusa First Sergeant Yoon knew the difference between something worth saving and a piece of trash?! Now everyone was surrounding me asking me these things, these questions of which I had no answer for. The house boys, my fellow squad members, and I... all shook our heads in puzzlement. Screw chow (lunch)...I took a nap.
RISE AND SHINE or MEET MY SQUAD LEADER
I would have woken up feeling refreshed however my Squad Leader, Staff Sergeant OLY, from the great state of Maine was shaking me awake after about 10 minutes of snooze time and saying in a loud and panicked voice, "What in the name of Satan have you done, Spc4 (Specialist 4th Class) Jihad"?! Now SSG Oly or "The Big O", as we called him, was only the 2nd person I had ever met from the state of Maine and just like the first guy I'd met from the state of Maine he was no exception...he was a complete asshole. SSG OLY was a big man in size...taller than me by one inch...he was 6'4", and outweighed me (then) by 40 lbs at 250. Those mother's in Maine must feed their mutated vaginal discharges (babies) yellow snow or moose milk, or something...whatever. So OLY is panicked, like always. Scared for his own ass in some way, shape, or form. Perhaps he is a US Senator now , or lives in the woods. Anyways, he says he heard about my curfew violation while at the PX with his Korean wife (the poor thing) and he demanded to know what happened. I told him an abbreviated version as to how I was late returning to base and broke curfew. He told me I was really doomed and deserved to be placed in Fort Leavenworth for such a horrendous crime and that HE would take absolutely no heat over this! I reassured him that he had nothing to do with this and that it was all my fault. OLY and our squad were on days off when I broke curfew. I told Oly the First Sergeant probably didn't want to bug him until he returned to duty/work tomorrow. It was now time for me to go see the First Sergeant and I told SSG Oly this. Like a scared rabbit, he split. I remembered six months previously when I was brand new to Korea and on MP patrol duties with him...
ON PATROL WITH SSG OLY
I was assigned to SSG Oly's squad and new in Korea. Pusan is a big city of 2 million people. It's a major port city. Many ships, sailors, and Marines drop by often to partake of al-key-hall (alcohol) and hookers. As an MP it is heaven on earth! We get to patrol the Red Light Districts! Bar fights and all kinds of shit! Great place for a young man to figure out how things work (I'll leave it at that). It is September 1974 and I am on patrol with SSG Oly. We are on the graveyard shift (midnight-8AM). MP's usually patrol/do a drive-by of these bar& red-light districts right after curfew (midnight). There are two "comfort" areas we check on a regular basis...Texas Street and Green Street. Big O tells me to go to Green Street and gives me directions there as we drive. He seems pleased that I don't know where it is. I was new in country and I'm still scared from all those VD briefings they gave us. It was basically gross slide-shows of guys peckers or possibly broccoli or cauliflower, that's covered with katsup. It wasn't pretty and for a new guy it would usually last for about 2-4 weeks until the PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) wore off. For guys from Tennessee or North Carolina their new-found celibacy would last about 2 to 4 hours, if sober and it's a Sunday. Where was I? Oh...well we go to the red light district of Green Street. I pull up to a place that Big O tells me to go to, and he tells me to honk the horn three times. I give three quick beeps on the horn and out the door comes a plain looking Korean girl of maybe 20-25 years old. That means she could'a been 35 easily. Big O asks if she's busy and she shakes her head no. I have just seen THREE BEEPS! Big O thinks I don't know who she is. Big O is an idiot. 3 BEEPS...or BEEPS...is the most infamous BJ queen of the Orient! Even a newbee like me had already heard of her. She never used her hands...Bill Clinton should have been in the Army...she was... and in my mind, is still a legend. Some say she was a technical advisor for the movie Deepthroat. SSG OLY must think I live in Fresno or something...he tells me, "Jihad, I'm going in to take a SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) complaint. So stay in the jeep and if you need me just honk". I say, "OK Sarge" like a good soldier. So I'm sitting in the M151 (jeep) waiting, like I don't know what the hell my Staff Sergeant is up to, when along comes a cutie. A Korean hooker. We talk but I really don't know much Korean and her English isn't so hot. I am sitting in the jeep behind the wheel. She cocks her ass sideways, sits on my lap, puts her arms around me, and sticks her tongue in my ear. I admitt it...I'm excited...but I'm scared. She wants me to kiss her but all I can think of is what BEEPS does for a living and what my tongue would look like if I made out with her. She immediately pegs me...."You cherry boy!" Well of course I say no. I lie and say I am married. She kind of respects that while grinding her butt in my crotch. She then begins pointing at the instrument panel on the jeep and says things like gas...speed...and battery. While I'm all into this English lesson/crotch grinding she suddenly begins to honk the horn. Beep! Beeeeep! At first I just smile and then I quickly grab her hand away from the horn and say no. It's too late. Out the door comes SSG Oly with pants and pistol belt down around his ankles, boxer shorts half way on and trying to get to the jeep asking where the problem is. The girl is still on my lap laughing and saying beep-beep! Big O tells me to get rid of the girl and not to touch the fu*king horn. He goes back inside. 5 minutes later he comes back out apparently unsatisfied and pissed off. Seems I had broken his train of thought while conducting the investigation. I chuckled inside. Asshole.
NOW...BACK TO THE STORY
After the BEEPS flashback... I began putting on my jump boots and tried to imagine what it was I had possibly waiting for me in the First Sergeant's office. It wasn't good, but what was it? I was sort of uptight so to speak but I had been 100 per cent honest with Black Thunder. He seemed to understand. He showed some humor in it all. Took interest in my story, so much so that he even went out to investigate the incident for himself. My First Sergeant wanted me to be a good Ambassador and I did just that. I just didn't want to end up as a good Samurai falling on his sword. I had already thrown myself at the mercy of the court, so to speak. My gut rumbled...I had to take a crap. I took care of business then headed to the orderly room wondering if I would be given a blindfold and last cigarette? (To Be Continued)