Sarge not a quitter
They forgot they had one lit in some ash tray somewhere, and would lite up another. It’s sort of like the guy who’s looking for the glasses he’s got up on his head, and we would find their butts lit up in several different ash trays at the same time.
When I was in Texas there was a sergeant we worked with, whom I remember I never saw without a smoke on his lips. We worked together for two years, before I was sent to the P.I.
Eighteen months later, just before my time was up, I ran into a dude who worked with us. I asked him about Sergeant Hacker, and he said:
“Man, sarge is in bad shape, dude. He’s in the hospital with emphysema, and it don’t look like he gonna make it, man. He gonna croak! It’s only a matter a time.”
Sarge wasn’t a quitter!
Sometime after our trip to Manila, just before my tour was up, they tried to get me to re-up. They wanted me to do another four years, to re-enlist. But I had had it with the military. For the last year, I was counting the days, man. Like a cat in jail, I was counting the days, man.
I had a calendar inside my locker’s door, and every day I crossed out the current day. When we had 365 days to go, we made up the calendar, and pasted it up inside our locker. It’s what we had left to go on our tour there, so every day was one day less. It’s how we counted our days till we went home. When we got down to 60 days, we were considered short timers, every day was an exciting one, and in the mornings some guy would holler:
“45, hea dude!” There was always somebody shorter.