Dear friends, relatives, peace-timers, civilians, draft-dodgers,
and other interested parties,
In the very near future, the undersigned short-timer
will return to The World. He will once more be in your
midst, dehydrated and demoralized, to take his rightful place
again as a human being with the well known forms of freedom and
justice for all; to engage in life, liberty, and the somewhat
delayed pursuit of happiness.
In making your joyous preparations to welcome him back into a
structured society, more polite and less violent than where he's
been residing, you might take certain steps to make allowances
for his exotic sojourn over the past twelve months. In other
words, he might be a little Asiastic from
Vietnamitis and overseasitis, and should be
handled with care. Don't be alarmed if he is infected with all
forms of rare tropical diseases. A little time in the Land of
the Big PX will cure this malady.
Therefore, show no alarm if he insists on carrying a weapon to
the dinner table, looks around for his steel pot when offered a
chair, or wakes you up in the middle of the night for guard duty.
Keep cool when he pours gravy on his dessert at dinner or mixes
peaches with his Seagram's VO. Pretend not to notice if
he acts dazed by your kindness, eats with his fingers instead of
silverware, and prefers C-rations to steak. Take it with a smile
when he insists on digging up the garden to fill sandbags for the
bunker he is building. Be tolerant when he takes his blanket and
sheet off the bed and puts them on the floor to sleep on.
Abstain from saying anything about powdered eggs, dehydrated
potatoes, fried rice, fresh milk or ice cream. Do not be alarmed
if he should jump up from the dinner table and rush to the
garbage can to wash his dish with a toilet brush – after
all, this has been his standard. Also, if it should start
raining, pay no attention to him when he pulls off his clothes,
grabs a bar of soap and a towel, and then runs outdoors for a
Just be patient when in his daily conversation he utters such
expressions as: Xin loi and Choi oi.
And, if by some chance he utters di di with an irritated
look on his face, simply leave quickly and calmly because it
means no less than "Get the h___ out of here!" Do not
let it shake you up if he picks up the phone and yells "Skyking
forward, sir!" or says "Roger out." for good-bye or simply shouts
Never ask why the Jones' son held a higher rank than he did, and
by no means mention the word extend in any context.
Pretend not to notice if he calls the waitress at a restaurant
numbah one girl, uses the floor as an ashtray, and his
hat as a catchall. He will probably keep listening for "House
of the Rising Sun" or "Homeward Bound" to sound off
over AFRS – if he does, comfort him, for he is still
reminiscing. Be especially watchful when he is in the presence of
women – especially a beautiful woman.
Above all, keep in mind that beneath that tanned and rugged
exterior there is a heart of gold – the only thing
of value he has left. Treat him with kindness, tolerance, and an
occasional fifth of good liquor and you will be able to
rehabilitate that hollow shell which was once the happy-go-lucky
guy you once knew and loved.
And last, but not least, send no more mail to the APO, fill the
icebox with beer, get his civvies out of mothballs, fill the car
with gas, and get the innocent women and small children off the
streets – BECAUSE THE KID IS COMING HOME!