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In the 71st, everyone believed that these parties, along with the newbie 30 R AT T L E R O N E – S E V E N harassment, were great for morale. This may had been the case for the old guys, but not for the new guys. During my first few months in the 71st AHC, it was our company’s tradition to hold award ceremonies. In these ceremonies, the company commander would get up in front of the pilots and present plaques to the pilots who were finishing their tours. These plaques were carved in the shape of aviator wings, with a brass plate attached showing the pilot’s name and the number of hours flown in combat.

One night, during one of the frequent drinking parties, the pilots brought in a Vietnamese whore. She was fourteen at the oldest, probably more like twelve or thirteen. Sure enough, more than half of the pilots there that night were lined up for that little girl. Now, right in the middle of the line stood one of our commanding officers. I guess he was showing his good example of leadership. There were more married guys than singles in that line. I personally could not imagine being the 29th or 30th person to have sex with that little girl.

You could not just pull into a Seven Eleven and run in to use the john. We got this new warrant officer assigned to our company, named Robert Terry (name changed). I guess no one bothered to tell Robert about the effects of taking the malaria pills, or else he chose to ignore the warning. Being a good soldier, Terry took his malaria pills and went flying. What a big mistake! Sure enough, he got diarrhea. There was only one thing worst than having the runs while flying, and that was to be a newbie with the runs.

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