The Marines had assigned tasks in the Marine house to keep us busy. Responsibilities included the preparation of food, cleanliness of the quarters and uniforms, being a bar tender which every Friday night the Marine house was where the Diplomats came to party, dance and drink. Since I made it known that I didn’t drink, I was told that I was the best candidate for the job as a bartender.
Every Friday night I would clean up the basement area for the party. I arranged for the music on a Sony real to real tape deck and cranked it up loud for everyone to dance. I would inventory the liquor and put the beer on ice. As the doors opened the people poured in and the diplomats brought in other guests which were usually other foreign dignitaries. Since I was behind the bar I herd it all and watched it all.
I was a good bar tender and the tips were great my goal was to have the best talked about party, get them drunk and stuff my pockets with their money.
The diplomats would quietly stand around cut deals with other dignitaries from other Embassies, exchange information and nervously drink and smoke like they couldn’t get enough scotch and nicotine in their veins. Their nerves were on pins and needles.
I’m sure they had a lot on their minds as they dealt with the world of politics and the reality of what was going on behind the scenes.
Wives of the embassy staff that would hang out at the bar and would pour out their hearts to me and tell how unfaithful their husbands were and five minutes later they would be dancing their butt’s off and in the arms of another man.
I heard War stories from Marines who had actually spent time in Vietnam.
One Marine who had too much Scotch to drink one night was a former tank commander in Vietnam, he told me they figured out one night that the Viet Cong sappers were slipping into the base as the tanks rolled in through the security gates under the cover of a massive cloud of dust from the tank formation entering the base.
One day they all stopped short of the second gate and waited for the dust to blow over. They had called ahead to lock the second entrance gate and the first as soon as they rolled in. They arranged for Marines to line the fence line for the big event. Trapped inside the fenced in area were 16 enemy combatants. They rounded them up and one by one dropped them off of the tanks and ground them into the dirt with the tanks until they could get a few of them to talk. This guy had no reason to lie and his medals where everything from Purple Heart, Combat- V to the bronze and Silver Star.