Friday, March 17, 2006

St. Patrick's Day in the K.S.A. 15 years ago today!

Hard to believe it's been 15 years since Desert Storm.

March 17th was Sunday, and the first HOT day of the spring.
The war was decided, we were scaling down the 410th Evac.
and since the OR was quiet, in the afternoon, our section
rolled up the sides of our barracks tent to allow a dry breeze,
and lazed in lawn chairs or on our cots.

What made the day really memorable was something that
arrived in the mail that morning- as Sunday was just another
work day for most, and mail is a lifeline for soldiers.

Erik Dillard , a reservist from Omaha- like me,
got a small package from his sister containing
a cassette of Irish folk music, what perfect timing!
We must have listened to it for 2 or 3 hours,
resting in the shade of the tent,sipping lukewarm
diet pepsi or near beer, and chatting.

Erik's wife Julie was expecting a child, she had sent him a
video of the ultrasound which we saw a few weeks before.

John Cordry and Trent Mengel talked about their plans for
school when they got home, Jim Torbett was regular Army,
and ready to get back to family in ,Germany, I think.

Travis and Dave were from a reserve unit in Lubbock,
great Texans , both.
Curtis told some wild stories of his experiences in an
orthopedic hospital in KC.
Ron was a young kid easing his stress with quotes like,
"If only I had a shotgun, things would be different!"

Reid , Bob Roberts, and another guy
whose name I'm blanking on were from the Topeka area.
I never knew till I met these guys that there is such a
thing as a Kansas accent. Remember Ken Curtis as
Festus in Gunsmoke? That is a Kansas accent,
and these three had it in spades .

Oh, and spades? Yes we played that most days
(I have a deck of cards we about wore the spots off of
playing 'spades' and 'hearts') but not that day .
That day was for talking , thinking of home ,
and hearing songs from a green, green place.
The only green near Quasuma was on our uniforms,
it was refreshing to think about the Emerald Isle,
and the sweet green grass of Home.

Good Grief, it's been 15 years and I still
remember some of the words to "Nancy Whisky" ,
sort of an anti-drinking song when you look at
the lyrics, I remember it mainly for the distinctly
Irish sound of it .
Thanks to Google the lyric follows.

This time of year reminds me of the 100 or so days I spent in
Saudi Arabia with the 410th.

There's no place like home.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day.

I'm a weaver, a Calton weaver
I'm a rash and a roving blade
I've got silver in my pocket
And I follow the roving trade
Chorus: Whiskey, whiskey, Nancy Whiskey
Whiskey, whiskey, Nancy-o
As I rode in through Glasgow city
Nancy Whiskey, I chanced to smell
I went in, sat down beside her
Seven long years, I loved her well
The more I kissed her, the more I loved her
The more I kissed her, the more she smiled
Soon I forgot my mother's teaching
Nancy soon had me beguiled
So I rose early in the morning
To slack my thirst, it was my need
I tried to rise, but I was not able
Nancy had me by the knees
So, I'm going back to the Calton weaving
I'll surely make them shuttles fly
For I made more at the Calton weaving
Than ever I did in a roving way
So, come all you weavers, you Calton weavers
Come all you weavers, where'er you be
Beware of whiskey, Nancy Whiskey
She'll ruin you like she ruined me


Anonymous said...
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Trent Mengel said...

Just wanted to report in that I am alive, living in Omaha, married with two great boys. When I came across this link I was taken back to the tent playing spades and talking about the life we wanted when we got home. I am not sure what happened to the others but it would be great to get together sometime. Trent Mengel

Terry_Jim said...

Glad to hear from you.
Write me at
so we can get together sometime.
Mary says hello.