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I quickly realized that this war was like no other war that America had ever fought in the past. How could you fight a war with restrictions? It was like fighting someone with one of your arms tied behind your back. Why would you want to do this? This was not like the John Wayne movies that I had watched growing up. MY CHERRY 47 As the days passed into months, my sensitivities hardened, and I became emotionally colder. I learned not to allow the harsh things that I was experiencing to emotionally affect me.

I figured they were all so drunk that they would never know what hit them. It may sound quite harsh now, but at the time when you are tired and trying to get to sleep it seemed perfectly logical. Then I tried to get some sleep. Luckily, by the time they got Garrett over to the party, everyone was so drunk that they forgot about me. The next morning, on our ride down to the flight line, Israel mentioned that he did not remember seeing me at the party last night. I just sat there silently. I knew by the time it came around for the next newbie party, I would no longer be a newbie and just one of the regular guys.

First, the pilots would build a “carrier deck” of cardboard pieces ten feet long on the concrete floor. If cardboard was not available, they would do it right on the concrete. At the far end of the makeshift carrier deck, they would stack a pile of beer cans as high as they could. The second step was to wet down the cardboard or cement flight deck with beer. The third and final step in preparation for this big event was to get a bunch of guys to urinate into a spray fire extinguisher and mix it with beer.

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