In Part 2- Spent all my money on a MASTER PLAN to set up a birthday party that would put me with Kim.
In Part 3- Stupid master plan FAILS!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. Grandma's sitting on my lap crushing my huevos. I may never have children.
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 and a laceration on the forehead. I crawl out and am captured by the ROK Army, then returned to base.
In Part 9- Got stitches/medical treatment at 0130 hours. Later that AM, a meeting with Military Police 1SG Black Thunder Johnson. Made an Ambassador to South Korea. Run to Motor Pool for a jeep.
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 OBAMA, to the Korean OPRAH's (Grandmothers). I SEE KIM! We are returning to base.
In Part 12- I return to Camp with the First Sergeant's, jeep, and bicycle. My squad members, the house boys, and I/we all ponder MY fate. We break for chow (lunch). I opt for a nap and am awoken by my Squad leader SSG OLY. Intro to Staff Sergeant Oly (The Big "O") and the infamous Three Beeps! Time has come...I head for the orderly room.
In Part 13- I report to the orderly room. My fate is suspended until the next day when I must report back to the First Sergeant with my Squad Leader. I am re-directed to the unit supply room and meet Sergeant James Wheeler.
In Part#14- Learn about ambassadorship, love of life, Korean orphanages, and about giving from the US Army's Santa Claus, Sergeant Jimmy Wheeler.
In Part#15- I was to meet my fate. But what was it? I was reassigned and given a "Special Assignment". But what was it? I didn't know.
Yes, I went to the unit supply room, reported to Sgt Wheeler and picked up my gear. It was big orange-in-color rubber gloves, black knee-high rubber boots, a broom handle, a bucket, a screen, and one each...special uniform. It was an OD (olive drab) green set of mechanic's coveralls. I guess the look on my face pretty much said, "What's this crap"? The Korean-American US Army Sergeant James Wheeler, an Asian version of a young Charles Bronson, explained that there was a wide-spread amount of pilfering from the chow halls, P.X.'s, and commissaries throughout Korea and that I was to ride shotgun on the trash truck and check through the trash for anything that was being smuggled out...hence, the screen and bucket to search through sludge, and broom handle to poke around with. Basically my presence would help keep all involved on the up and up, and deter theft. The Black Market was big business in South Korea back in the 1970's. Guess I was on MP duty and my patrol vehicle was a garbage truck. My face said it all and I was one miserable individual. Not only did I not have an off post pass to see the lovely Kim, but I was stuck on a trash truck. I know it was all my fault and I deserved it, but....DAMN! A trash truck! In the supply room Sgt Wheeler gave me valuable advice in his NY accented English...."Sometimes you gotta take your lumps, but you always get back up and learn from it. It shows who we are.... by handling the tough situations handed us. Those kids we visited in the orphanage...they got it tough. Don't you think"? I shook my head "yes" while feeling ashamed of myself. Sgt Wheeler continued, "I knew you had a heart. In some people it's [a heart's] hard to find. Your actions will speak well, or ill of you. The First Sergeant and C.O. are watching you. How are you going to respond, Specialist? Remember, you represent your family. Never dishonor the ones who love you. Good service to our country brings honor to our land and back home to our families". Sgt Wheeler, though only in his early 20's, was wise beyond his years. I sucked it up and headed to the M.P. Station where I changed into my gear and hooked-up with my ride (the garbage truck). As always, there are other M.P.'s, officers,and sergeants around. I am asked (though they already knew) what I was doing with the gloves 'n boots, bucket, screen, and stick? I made the mistake of saying it was my crime fighting gear. One of the senior NCO's said "You mean GRIME fighting gear". The growing crowd of Military Policemen and women guffawed! Awww shit. That garbage truck couldn't show up soon enough. I kept thinking, hurry the hell up, garbage truck. It finally arrived. I think I smelled it before it even entered the camp, really. Reckon it could have been worse, like in the hot summer months, but being as it was only March (1975) the weather was cool and there were no flies, as yet. I stow my gear with the Korean driver and his fellow assistant/partner in crime...then hang onto the back of the trash truck as we take off. We pass by the Provost Marshal's Office and I see my company commander exiting the building. Holding onto the rider's rail with my orange rubber-gloved left hand I salute the C.O. with my right. I must look like General Patton, I think. My C.O. looks like he's gonna laugh, thinks better of it, then salutes me back. Just as I am about to drop my perfect salute, the trash truck abruptly stops, and I see stars. I have just cracked my forehead against the truck's handrail. The stitches I had received only a few nights earlier are broken open and my head is oozing blood...again. The trash truck stopped and I'm sure I heard wild laughter and cuck-koo birds before passing out...in a heap on the road. Feeling woozy and bleeding like a stuck hog...I sit up. A female M.P. dresses my wound with a Kotex. With Kotex to forehead, I am taken to the Evac Hospital. More shots of Novocaine and now I'm up to a count of five stitches on my forehead. While there I hear a radio playing "It's so Easy to Fall in Love" on the Armed Forces Korea Network. I remember thinking, oh bullshit! But I was in love. No. Doubt. Even if I was gonna end up looking like Milton the Monster...I was in love. In love with my Kim.
(To Be Continued)