Another Guy Story- Buckslip Lashinsky

In 1967, I attended and graduated from the Army Artillery Office Candidate School at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.  During my time with class 25-67, Aka B Battery, I had the opportunity to meet about as diverse a group of guys as was ever assembled.  Because of pretty high entrance standards, the majority of the Candidates were squared away and could really represent what we wanted the Officer Corps to be when we joined that rank. 

That is, except one guy who I was assigned to share a 4 man cubicle with.  For some reason he had hurt his foot and he had a slip that excused him from marching, running, and many of the physical exercises we were required to do.  That slip of paper was known as a Buck Slip.  It was not a thing that you wanted but occasionally were required to have.  Somewhere about the end of the first 8 weeks, it appeared that Candidate Lashinsky was somehow destined to retain that slip until he became associated with the term Buck Slip.  Remember that we were the cream of the crop there at that training center and I guess there is always someone at the bottom of the pile.  He somehow floated there like a turd in a punchbowl. 

For the most part, the candidates were single or if they had been married, their wives were waiting for them at someplace called home and far away from Fort Sill's arm pit aka Lawton, Oklahoma.  Not good old buck slip, his wife was living right out side the gate and during the 8 weeks we had been there, he was allowed to only stand at Parade Rest beside their car and talk.  No contact, no hugs, no kisses nada, zip zilch except the passing of pleasantries.  That alone would have killed me.  The part that was kind of funny about the whole matter was that most of us were not allowed off the post yet anyway.  As we went along, it appeared more and more that buck slip was never going to pass anything near the standards that would ever let him off on the weekend and into the loving arms of his wife.

I had gone straight out of Basic Training to an Officer Candidate Preparatory Battery.  That meant that I knew how to stay straight and had those 8 weeks to get my gear into tip top condition.  Buck Slip had come to Fort Sill straight out of Infantry Basic at some shit hole in Louisiana and his gear was worn,  torn and  so ragged that even on a regular Post would have needed to be replaced.  Put him in OCS and he looked like he had slept in his uniform.  I'll bet he piled up enough demerits each week to carry his restriction on to Graduation. 

One evening, very late at night, I noticed that Buck Slip was not in his bed.  I went down to the latrine where  late night studying was done.   There he sat on the floor reading his gunnery manual, FM 6-40 about high Angle fire.  That exam was due that week and he could not seem to get his head around the subject.  The common story about high angle fire is think about a garden hose.  If you aim it at your feet and start raising the hose eventually the water would move away from your shoes.  At some point out there, the water would start coming back to you as you continued to lift the nozzle.  At that point, all of the effects of elevation are in reverse.  Simple concept, just not simple enough to let Buck Slip pass the test we all would take the next Friday.  I spent about an hour with him and he finally started to cry.  He knew that following the High Angle test would come the Met + VE test the next week.  If you think the concept of High Angle was tough, it was child's play next to Met + VE.

The only thing I could tell him was that there is a world full of guys that would give their right arm to be able to pack up his gear and be home the next night with his wife.  I am not sure if I pushed him over the edge or if I just made sure he knew where it was.  The next day, when the rest of us were leaving for class, I saw Buck Slip standing outside the Orderly Room and by that night all traces of him were gone.  Someone even came in to our cubicle and removed his upper bunk and then there were three of us and soon to be down to two.  Yep, about 50% of us didn't make the cut.  Oh well, Life goes on and I'll bet good old Buck Slip spent the next three or four days and nights making up for the  forced celibacy.


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