Monday, August 13, 2007


The DI’s pushed us hard for about three weeks without giving the slightest indication they were human. They gave the appearance of being driven, “gung-ho”, and having been born from the womb of the military. Except for us seeing their wives occasionally, as we stood embarrassed in our skivvies, there was no indication they cared about anything other than the military.

However, one day, after an exceptionally long “double time” back from the firing range, we suddenly were shocked by “Lit’em up if you got’em!”

Hell, most of us had long since stopped carrying any cigarettes on us with the hopes of enjoying one at some rest point. There were two or three guys that did have a pack on them and they were quickly passing them out to us bummers!

If I had any since then, I should have never started back. It had been over three weeks since my last and the first puff sent me into a nicotine high that almost brought me to me knees! Still, I puffed the damn thing and ignored the rolling of my stomach. From that point on, we all carried our smokes and many, like me, continued to smoke for over twenty years!

Sometime after the fourth week, we were given a pass to visit San Antonio. It was scary and exciting all at once. I had never visited a strange city on my own, but the rumored possibilities of hooking up with some babe in town overwhelmed any fears of the unknown.

Traveling into town, dressed in our sharply pressed 1505 khakis, with a bus load of other Airmen squelched the “being alone fears” and gave you a since of bravery and need for adventure. However, most of us just walked the streets, avoiding the “strip bars” like the plague, and just sightseeing.

Along the way were dozens of Latino boys hawking their cheap wears, offering shoe shines, which we bought, and generally begging for handouts.

There were even those offering sex for money which scared the crap out of most of us young gringos! “Hey buddy, you wont gurl,” one asked in his heavy Mexican accent?

We all replied in unison, remembering the horrifying sex education films we had seen just a week earlier, “No thanks!”

“Well, how ‘bout a vurgen?”

“No thanks…we’ll pass.”

“How ‘bout me sester…she’s a vurgen!”

Again we said no thanks, but this time we gave it a couple of seconds thought before answering!

“Well,” the frustrated kid responded for the last time, “how ‘bout my grandmuther…She’s a vurgen!”

We had never stopped walking during this exchange and thankfully he gave up at some point and went back up the street looking for his next victim or customer.

As I look back on this, I do not remember even having a single beer on town leave. What was I thinking? Maybe it was “stay sober” and “stay out of trouble,” who knows!

Suddenly we realized we were standing in front of the Alamo…a sacred place to a Tennessean – David Crockett and all!

I looked around, not realizing that the surrounding building foundations were once where the outer walls stood, disappointed in what I was seeing. This cannot be where those brave men stood off 5,000 Mexican troops…too little!

Once inside, the vision of what I thought the Alamo should look like was again dashed against the stone walls of the tiny little building. It was years before I realized the true story, scope, and arrangement of the buildings and walls.

Still, it was the Alamo and I was there standing in history and in uniform myself. I played over scenes from the Disney movie called “King of the Wild Frontier”, staring Fess Parker, in my mine and soaked up the real-life scene before me. The Alamo was featured in the third and final part of the TV movie. It was a proud moment for me to be there, even though it was not anything like the movie set, but I will never forget it.

But then it was time to meet the bus and return to Lackland…no more time for sightseeing, “vurgens”, or history. It was the last time I would leave the base until after I finished two more weeks of basic training and the six weeks of Air Police Tech School heading home on “thirty-day leave.”

However, there was much more to come before that happened.


*Goddess* said...

His grandma is a "vurgen" that's funny;)

Les Becker said...

I'm picturing you smoking that cigarette, trying to look "manly" and green at the same time... :-)

Hammer said...

Yeah They are still peddling their sisters downtown, and yeah I was confused about the alamo when I first saw it too.

Did you know Lackland is the only Airforce base in the country without a runway?

david mcmahon said...

G'day, Mushy,

Must send this link to my brother. He'll enjoy it even more than I have.



PS: Hammer, I didn't know that ....

Scott from Oregon said...

We three were born in Airforce hospitals...

~Fathairybastard~ said...

Man, it was about 6 or 8 years later that I saw the Alamo for the first time, and it was just as confusing to me. Dad was stationed at Kelly, and my school took us to see it about once a month on field trips. It's like trying to go to a Civil War battlefield, manicured like a golf course, and imagining all the carnage. Impossible to do.

And dude, if you keep this up, posting so many of these in a week, yer gonna run out of stuff before you know it. Pace yourself dude. We don't want this story to end too quick.

BRUNO said...

I'm still stoppin' by, readin' and thinkin'!

Hey! I bought the coffee this time! It's Jeff's turn to bring the donuts! And where's Shrink with those fresh-baked English muffins...???

Miss Trashahassee said...

Did you know there's no basement at the Alamo?

Miss T

Mushy said...

Bruno - are you saying these are too long?

You have to go until it finishes itself! Have another cup and keep reading.

david mcmahon said...

Love the new header.

Mushy said...

Thanks David...I've been waiting for comments on that!

Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

I love your love new header, too - but I mostly love this tale of yours Mushy. I'm hanging on to every word. Can't wait for the next installment!

Suldog said...

Mushy, this is truly magnificent stuff. Thanks for sharing!

(BTW, I really like the new header to your site with all of the "Mushys Past".)

BRUNO said...

Naw, man! That ain't what I was sayin'! I meant our "coffee-shop meeting-gang" here needs to get busy, and bring their snacks and drinks along for everybody!

And it worked! See---Shrink just now showed-up with her English muffins! And if Jeff keeps eatin' all those donuts by himself---well...!

Hell no, fella! I'm just readin' along with everyone, enjoying your retrievals! Actually, they are just the right length, just enough to keep you comin' back the next day for the next installment! YOU are my mentor, fella, I can only DREAM about the places and things you see and do, in retirement! Fellas like YOU give me hope and support for what's left of my own future!(Man---I can hear the applause for THAT speech all the way here in S.E. MO!)

But I'm in the minority on the header---I actually MISS your face up there....!

Mushy said...

Thanks everyone for the wonderful comments, and if you liked the old header...scroll to the bottom for a bit of nostalgia!

Bruno...keep working at've got a lot of life left! And, don't model yourself after me...look what's happening to FHB!

BRUNO said...

Well, TOUGH!!! I like "listening" to you!

Yeah, you're right about F.H.B.---he's stayin' YOUNGER than us, he's LOSING weight, and now we've got 'im started on CIGARS!!! Next thing ya' know, he'll be gettin' MARRIED, or somethin' STUPID like WE did!!!

Huh! Maybe we should pattern ourselves after HIM!

Wonder if they sell that Oil of Olay skin-conditioner in bulk-drums...?

GreenHornetM60 said...

USAF Basic 18 May 66 17 June 66.
Those of us who had played High School football breezed through Basic; but the poor out of shape kids almost died with all the running! The BIG shock was 3 months at Amarillo AFN Texas for Tech School; Amarillo the "arm pitt" of the Air Force! Went to Nha Trang AB Vietnam IT was better than Amarillo!
Bob in Louisiana