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The Great Green Beret Raid PDF Print E-mail
on Sunday, 03 June 2007

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The Great Green Beret Raid
by This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it   820th

The day before our departure from several weeks of training at Eglin for the 820th  at Tuy Hoa
and Danang, Vietnam, two cohorts and myself ‘borrowed’ the 1st shirts jeep and paid a visit to a
popular local watering hole. By popular, I mean it was the primary gathering spot for Army Green
Beret’s and Rangers, as well as Navy Seals, all of whom were also undergoing jungle survival
tactics in the Northwestern Florida ‘wilds.’

The primary reason behind this visit was to exercise a devious plan we had devised to ‘liberate’
the establishment from its treasured icon, a Green Beret prominently displayed tacked to the wall
above the door leading to the rest rooms.

This wasn’t going to be easy, given that the place was crawling with the aforementioned elite
troops, but with enough fortification of courage supplied by the Miller Brewing Company, we
pressed on.

At the appointed time, we synchronized our watches (a nice theatrical touch, but completely
useless), ‘Fish left the bar to get the jeep and pull it up close to the rear entrance.  ‘Red’ picked up
his beer and ambled over to the target doorway.  I was nominated to create some kind diversion
or ruckus.

Looking over to see if ‘Red’ was in position, I made my way through the dancing couples towards
the blaring jukebox next to the front door, intentionally jostling as many of the dancers as I could,
drawing a few snarls and glares.

When I reached my destination, I looked across the room at ‘Red’, who nodded his head.  I then
commenced to give the jukebox a hard slam, causing the record arm to screech across the little
45RPM vinyl disk, bringing the music to a sudden and certain dead stop. Everybody froze where
they were, and all eyes seemed to be on me.  I raised my arms, palms up, and declared in my
loudest, faintly inebriated voice that “I don’t much care for the musical taste of Army jackasses.”

In the brief few seconds that followed, three things occurred in rapid succession. First, ‘Red’
reached up and snatched the Beret from its shrine, bolted through the restroom doorway and out
the adjacent rear entrance door into the waiting jeep. Second, ‘Fish’ , with ‘Red’ laying flat on the
rear seat, drove rapidly around to the front entrance door where, Third, I came flying out like all
the devils in Hell were after me (and they were!), piled into the passenger seat and we roared out
of the parking lot and into the night, laughing like lunatics.

Two days later, as we boarded a C-141 for our trip, ‘Red’ marched abroad wearing the beret,
and grinning like a circus clown as news of our ‘coup’ circulated among the departing troops.
Six months later, we returned the beret to its  rightful owners who were frequent visitors to our
compound at the North end of DaNang AB,  bartering captured enemy ‘souvenirs’ for plywood,
sandbags and steaks, the later seeming to be in unending supply .

Last update: Sunday, 03 June 2007

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