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Nakhon Phanom During The Secret War 1962-1975

PCS: My Last Day

Show Me The Way To Go Home!

I was a bit leery stepping onto the ol C-130 headed to Bangkok my last day at NKP as I recalled only to well how my first day began in SEA on the way over. Well, the trip was uneventful, except for the fact when we stopped (CRS) to pick up more guys headed in - low and behold there is my old fellow "Road Guard" Brother Mott from our basic training flight at Lackland - September 1966. Here we were almost four years later to the day! Who would have ever thought it....stranger things have happened however. As I recall (yes - see, I can remember something!) he informed me he had married a Thai. I began to get a bad feeling about meeting ol Mott. Seems my first day at NKP I ran into a guy named Green who was in my basic training flight and at Lowery with me as well for Tech School. First Day - Last Day??

When we hit Bangkok it was off to the Trocadaro Hotel. What a crock is the Troc! Except it got worse. I entered the place with my duffel bag on my left shoulder and approached the desk. Just as I was about to speak I heard this all to familiar bellow of bitching from the bar to my left. It couldn't be! My first sgt had left three days before me!! I won't tell you his name.

There was no doubt about it. He was in the bar and had been there for sometime. He was a mean drunk and hated "slopes" as he referred to all Orientals. There was a bar girl on either side of him and he was getting ready to strike! They had no idea of what they were up against.

The desk clerk was a middle aged Thai who had turned his attention to the commotion. I passed over my duffel bag from my shoulder in one motion - told him to watch the bag and went to get the girls away from him.

Now, I was a young Staff Sgt. and he was SMSgt. so I had to be careful. Just as he was rearing back to let a fist fly at the girl on his right, I yelled out "Hi Sarge! Let me buy you a beer and forced myself in between the two of them on bar stools. It took him a couple of seconds to recognize me and then I got a big smile. While this was going on, rather than gratitude the bar girl behind me wanted revenge for the almost punch and tried to reached around smack him in the back of the head with her pocketbook. This failed because I leaned out fast enough to my left to prevent it. However, right on que, the other girl joined in and did whack him in the head spilling the beer in his hand.

Things went downhill real fast then when he elbowed the bar girl on his left in the face. The two of them ran out of the bar crying and screaming in Thai. I thought it was over and proceeded to drink the damm beer and relax. Wrong! Out of no where in comes Momma Son and slams him in the head from behind with a real big black fan shaped pocketbook! Wham!!

In less than a second he turned and delivered a left hook straight to her chops and she fell back on her rather hefty butt with a very suprised look on her face which turned to sudden tears as she got up and fled out of the bar entrance behind her. So far so good. It's over, I turn back to finally drinking my beer and tell the First shirt it's time to get out of the bar. No. No go, he says he owes me one and it's his turn to buy me a beer. Ok, fine.

Well, I had maybe a sip or two of the second beer, I don't recall exactly when I heard a screaming Thai guy from behind us. Turning around on the bar stool I saw a very Mak Mak MoHo Thai in a white shirt, black pants and pointed plastic shoes about eight feet away. But what is really drawing my attention is the 38 jammed in his pants behind his belt buckle. I think he got out about two sentences before drawing the gun, but it may have been three. Cocked and two handed shaking like hell.

I stepped off the bar stool and stood in front of the first shirt, drunk or not he did not deserve to die for whacking a bar girl and this guy did not want to shoot me. I was counting on it. While this is happening all at once - suddenly there is another American standing next to me, shoulder to shoulder blocking the Thai from having a clean shot at the First Sgt. He is blonde, wearing a white shirt also and a bit taller than me. Boy, was I ever glad to not have to stand there alone!! Neither one of us spoke a word to the Thai who then screamed a couple of more sentences and ran out of the bar.

While this was going on, the First Sgt. was screaming at the Thai and trying to fight his way off the bar stool and between us. Thank God since I had not stepped fartherout from the barstool there was no room for him to get down!

That was it. Except we took him up to my room so they could not find him after he had exhausted himself and then he locked himself in. The desk clerk would not or could not give me another key, nor let me in my own room, so I ended up sleeping in the lobby. What really pissed my off is in the morning the First Sgt. was pissed off at me for not letting him "punch out the slope". Go figure.

Thank God the rest of the flight was uneventful. I figured my last full day in Thailand fulfilled the requirement. So thats why I will always remember exactly my first and last day so help me God!

456th MMS