One Book Chapter

I am not sure what the finished product will look like but I intend to write at least a chapter about several people I have met along this trip I call life. One is dedicated to Griseldis or Chris as she was known. I named a poor little dachshund, Grissy, in her honor. Hard headed German females are just too much fun to not love.
One of the first times I met Chris, we were at Summer Camp with the National Guard. We went to Camp Guernsey, WY and were going to set up an exercise with a Field Artillery Brigade Headquarters. I had been transferred to the State Headquarters and was right out of a tactical unit. That time in a field unit gave me experience in working the radio along with the Standard radio procedures. The Headquarters soldiers just did not have any experience doing that so I was roped into teaching a class or doing all the radio work myself. OK boys and girls, listen up!
One part of the procedure is the phonetic alphabet that is used to make sure that letters are understood. A = Alpha, B= Bravo down to Z= Zulu. We made a game of this and I sat the students down in a circle. We went around the room and I would give them a letter and they would say it phonetically. The first time we got to Chris, her letter was H (Hotel) she said she wasn't sure but she thought Howard was correct. "No, Chris, Hotel." The next time we got to her the letter was U (Uniform). She said that she didn't have any idea. I told her she had it on. She said, "Oh, Oh, Oh, Underwear!" Of course everyone wanted to know how she thought I would know she had it on. So that incident was from then on known as Howard's Underwear.
The phonetic Alphabet from WWII changed somewhere between 1947 and 1966. I thought the old system was great. One of our Sergeant Majors was SGM Reveles. Under the old system his name was "Romeo, Easy, Victor, Easy, Love, Easy, Sugar."
A little later on when I actually took that rag tag group to the field, Chris was left in the base camp to run the Headquarters there. There were a lot of visitors coming and going through there and there were also a lot of messages from Topeka. We had the State Headquarters in Topeka or "STARC", I was STARC Forward out in the field so she began to call the base camp unit STARC Rear. "Dis is da STARC Rear" just killed us. Instead of "STARC Guernsey", she appointed herself as the "STARC Rear." That just made us all laugh for the entire time we were out in the field. Chris didn't even blush when I explained to her later on what she did. According to her, she learned to speak in German and they talk and think different. She said she thinks in German and translates so things just come out "bass ackwards."
The last time I saw Chris, she was a newly promoted Master Sergeant and I had just been promoted to Colonel. She agreed that we both had come a long way in the intervening 15 years. She told me that she had had a pretty bad run on her health and had been subjected to a lot of surgery for cancer. She said, " I have had so much removed that I could shower with the guys."
Chris is a wonderful person with an open outlook on life. We both have retired from the Active Guard and I hope she is living a full and rich life.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:46 PM

    I hope she is living a full and rich life as well. Cute story.