The Dead Man in the O-Club

We had just returned to the DiAn after a particularly trying mission. The company had lost four men to booby traps -- luckily none were killed. Booby traps are very frustrating to the troops. On top of the normal fear you are pissed that you can't kill anybody.

We were tired to the bone. All we wanted was to shower and to get quietly drunk. After cleaning up, I went to our battalion Officer's Club to start on the latter when I was joined by my platoon leaders. We started a poker game. The stakes were low as were our spirits. We were playing only as a prop for our drinking.

After a while I heard a commotion at the bar. Chief Jimmino, our battalion maintenance warrant was having an argument with Jack, one of the company Executive Officers. Jack was rather obnoxious and Chief was very direct. I looked up to see Chief cold-cock Jack who fell over backwards, his head hitting the floor with a sickening thud. It didn't look good for him.

Jack lay there for about five minutes. I wasn't too interest ed as Jack wasn't on my morning report and besides, he was an asshole. "Kitch," one of my platoon leaders folded and got up for a refill. I told him he might as well check Jack since he almost had to step over him anyway.

Kitch looked down at Jack, felt a pulse and said, "He's dead" in a matter-of fact tone of voice. One of the REMF officers said unbelievingly "He's WHAT???" Kitch confirmed with "He's DEAD!!!" I got up to look at Jack and what Kitch said seemed to be a fact. Jack's eyes were wide open and fixed and I didn't detect any breathing.

I shrugged my shoulders, said that there was nothing we could do and went back to our poker game. Jack lay there for about fifteen minutes when some medics with a stretcher arrived and hauled him off. A few minutes after that the battalion Executive Officer arrived and closed the club for the night. We felt that closing the club was unnecessary, especially because we were behaving ourselves.

The next morning we found that Jack survived with nothing worse than a bump on his head and a hangover. I slept well that night. Before I drifted off I did think about Jack though. I was sure as hell glad that I wasn't signed for him.

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