First some back ground. We just lost a friend last week, Sam. I met Sam when I was 15. When I was 16, Sam helped me forge/change documents to show I was 18 and I tried to join the Corps with Sam, who was 17. Just before the swearing in, the SBI took me away. They threatened to charge me with several things including forgery, etc. Sam continued the trip and spent his hitch in the Corps.
I joined one day after my 17th birthday. I had no idea what life would be like. (thinking Lucy’s GGson) Slowly I learned. I had no idea how men in the field got their food, etc. I learned you the food came in one tightly fit box per day. It went into or on your pack when you moved the responsibility was yours.
For each day you got three cans of solids. Tuna, Spaghetti, beans, sausage patties. etc. There was always a can of fruit. I loved the peaches. There was a can with round crackers, round candy and round cookies.1-3 of each. Everyone had a can opener on their dog tag chain. Then there was the ‘soft pack’, in it was a pack of cigarettes, matches, salt and pepper (if it was summer, salt tablets). Then the subject for tonight: 3 napkins (not for wiping your lips!). I know, all this time you have wondered about the toilet paper. There were three napkins. Not enough? YOUR problem not the Corps. You done it you take care of it.
To be honest this was little or no problem for most of the boys who were hunters or from the country, but the city boys? They didn’t know about corn cobs, leaves, bark and smooth sticks. The guys from the coastal areas and Florida preferred the Spanish moss. No matter where you are from, you learned to save those valuable 3 napkins for the final paper work.
I know you guys thought these men had toilets with rolls of paper with them out in the field.
Oh, you ask, “Where did you do it?” It was called a split trench, about a foot wide and you straddled it. That was one of the ‘work details’ divided among the lowest rank. If you were alone, you dug a cat hole.
Smile, I know most folks on here have had to improvise at times in your life.
Thanks for coming this way.
True statement, “Necessity is the mother of invention!”
Sherry on our 1955 Ford, Jack Jr. trying to give her the phone. Loved the whitewall tires until you messed them up against a curb.