By Dave Shows

When Larry Pappert and I found ourselves together in the hospital in Okinawa we didn’t have any money. Our pay records hadn't caught up with us, so we couldn't get paid, The Army gave us special advances on our pay I don't remember how much but it wasnt enough. I remember we would scrounge whatever small change we could until we had enough to buy ourselves a round at the NCO club and would head over and salute each other. What ever was left from buying the round we would feed into the slot machines. We would frequently win enough for another round and start all over again. There were several nights when those machines had us walking home on hands and knees. When I got ready to return to Viet Nam, they gave me a list of all the shots I had to get in about a day, shot records hadn't followed me either. I tried arguing with them that I came from Viet Nam so I must have had all the shots. They weren't buying it, no records, you get all the immunizations including the first ones you received in basic training, all over again within about 24 hours before you leave the island. Larry and I got with a guy who had taken all of his shots and studied his new shot card. We discovered that we could sign shot cards as well as any medic. Three things I learned in the Army:

1. Laminate your shot card and keep a copy duct taped to your body at all times.
2. If you are ever shot, as soon as you get to the hospital, grab the first nurse you see and make her watch you urinate. If you don't you get the catheter. This must be repeated each time you change hospitals. ,br> 3. God Bless slot machines.

One other thing, on your last day in the Army when you have forgotten all about it, you have to pay back all of advances you got while in the hospital, leaving you with just about enough gas money to get off base. Don't worry about keeping records of pay advances, unlike shot records and other records you might consider important, those records do follow you.

By Dave Shows

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