Gas & Oil

Fire Support Base Washington was located close to the middle of nowhere in the world’s poorest country (or close anyway). Outside our wire the world was hostile during the day and deadly in the dark. A trip to a retail store was impossible and there were no food markets anyway. We were stuck with the 13 basic meals of our 1943 packaged C-rations and some food from the mess section. Locals had no food to sell, so packages from home were diamonds. Smoked oysters, sardines, tuna, peaches, cookies, crackers and string cheese were our only change. Packages took 10 or more days to reach us and often arrived with spoiled food.

Time passed slowly with so little variation in 24 hours that a week seemed like a month. My 377 days stuck like glue and seemed like jail time; there was no escape. Writing letters, reading books and games of chance were the best ways to make time pass.

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