War Stories

In a lot of cases, the only difference between a war story and a fairy tail is the opening line.  Yep, tales start "Once upon a time."    The veracity of a War Story has no basis on the truthfulness of the person telling the story.  What it does rely on is how long it has been since it was told and how many times it has been told with minor embellishments.  I swear the further from the actual event and the number of times it has been told blurs the actual event.  Yesterday I mentioned that the VA had in Leavenworth a place for old soldiers to go live when they need help.  Barb said it would be a great place for an old soldier who likes to tell and recount the telling of war stories to spend his final days.  I am pretty sure she was looking right at me.  Not sure why.

Some of my stories are actually War Stories but some are just the recounting of humorous events that happened in uniform.   One year we went to Fort Riley to do our spring shoots and it had rained all week and the place was so muddy that we could hardly get off the road and into our firing positions.  I spent the day up on the Battalion Observation Post and trained the Lieutenants how to shoot artillery.  I really loved that job and was pretty good at it.  I could also tell war stories about my time as a Forward Observer in Vietnam so it was mutually a good time. 

After waiting until about 3 in the afternoon, we finally started shooting and shot the heck out of things out there in the Impact Area.    There was a mortar crew right at the base of our hill that was shooting at the same time.  It was a pretty clear and sunny day and the temperatures were in the 60's.  After shooting until dark, we closed the OP and I went back to B Battery where I was assigned.  My Recon Sergeant came to me and asked if I was going to go anywhere that night.  Nope, we could sit around and talk and then get a nice night's sleep.  He took my jeep out "Mushroom Hunting."

The next morning, I woke up to the smell of bacon cooking at the mess hall.  They cooked all the bacon and were cooking Morell mushrooms in the pan the bacon had cooked in.  Seems like the hunt went well and the result was a breakfast fit for a Kid from Kansas.  They cooked the mushrooms and then put all the eggs in the mushrooms and made a scrambled egg mixture that was wonderful to smell and even better to eat.  They had lots of coffee, two slices of bread with a big slice of the egg and mushroom mixture and two sliced of bacon.  I was in hog heaven. 

After a couple of canteen cups of coffee, I started back over where my tent was to start packing my duffle bag.   I looked up and saw that my jeep hadn't returned  and started to look for my Recon Sergeant.  When I found him, he said the jeep was over at the maintenance section and did not run.  I went over there and found out that my jeep had been fished out of a mud wallow and it had stopped running.  I started to examine the jeep and found that it was just covered with mud.  The drain holes in the bottom of the battery box were plugged and the water had no way to drain out.  It had shorted out the battery and once the holes were cleaned out, the jeep could be jump started so we could take it home. 

On our way home, I got the rest of the story on the adventures of mushroom hunting at Fort Riley.  It seems the guys took a couple of jeeps out and were driving through the mud holes on the tank trails.  Seems like my jeep was the winner as it made it almost all the way across a very large and deep hole. Not all the way, but most of the way. 

We did drive to a car wash in Ogden, KS and cleaned out the radiator  so it didn't overheat.  We then went back to Horton where our home base was.  My Sergeant then took it to the car wash and spent most of his money to clean the jeep up. 

The only person that was mad about this was the owner of the car wash as we made one hell of a mess.  Oh well, that was what he put it there for and he got over it.

Have a great day and good hunting if you are a fan of Morell Mushrooms.

MUD  In case you are curious, the nick name MUD is short for Mean Uncle Denny - A story I will tell again someday. 

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