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
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.
Suddenly we realized we were standing in front of the
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
Still, it was the
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.