On my way out of Taipei following my R & R, I was walking through the customs free area in the airport & spotted a bottle of Kessler whiskey. Hell, that’s Martin’s preferred drink! I immediately purchased a bottle & stowed it in my bag.
After arriving back at FSB Nancy, I unpacked & placed that bottle on a shelf in the bunker that Cossey & I shared. The next morning we were informed the Colonel would be inspecting the men’s quarters. When the hell did the Battalion CO ever inspect the bunkers & hootches? Well, today was the day & he took my bottle of whiskey! I didn’t think to hide it; forgetting of course, that enlisted men were forbidden to possess hard liquor.
Damn it, but interestingly enough, I would later learn when the Colonel walked outside he handed that bottle to LT (Szczebak) & told him to, “Take care of it”. LT then gave it to Lt. Cosper & told him to, “Take care of it”. Later, Cosper (He was a good ol’ boy from the South) would head over to Martin’s bunker with the aforementioned bottle to take care of it…
Someone came to find me that night & told me to head over to Martin’s hootch. I stopped by & was pleasantly surprised to see Martin & the fellas with that bottle. I believe I had a nip myself that night. Those ol’ boys were “lit” by then & the conversation was lively. What I remember most is the warm glow of friendship in a dirty, sandbagged bunker in Viet Nam.
I raise my glass to the grunts of the 5th Cavalry!