Thursday, May 19, 2011

Vietnam -- The typical daily routine

There probably isn't a daily routine a soldier in a combat zone that could be called typical.

However, most will agree that there was a routine that you followed every day simply because there was so much to do during the day, if you didn't, you'd fall behind on your duties as a soldier.

In fact, more time was spent on preparing for the day that the average solider slept from 4 to 6 hours.

With that said, assuming the job finished at 5pm, the average solider went from work to the mess hall where dinner was served from 5pm to 6pm.

After eating chow, the average solider cam e back over to the hooch, stripped down to his underwear or a pair of shorts, took off his shoes and socks and wore some sort of slip on, slip off shoes.  Generally, mocassins.

The boots would be allowed to air out and, depending upon up bringing and common sense, the inside of the shoes would be powdered with Dr.Scholls foot powder, baking soda, or baby powder.

Mosqueto spray would be used both on the body and around the bed area. Brasso along with the latest copy of Screaming Eagle would be pulled out to shine the belt buckle.

Clothes would be ironed to produce a sharp edge on the fatigues and boots would be polished to the point where a chome like black finish would be produced. 

Many of us purchased an Amway product that would produce the same effect in five seconds that would take an hour to do otherwise.

The average solider cleaned his gas mask and gun before grabbing a towel and heading over to the shower area. If the water heater staid on, he would have a hot shower.  If not, a quick lathering from head to foot before hitting the stream of icey water was the solution to not having a hot shower.

After socializing from 8pm to 10pm, the average soldier quickly got under the protection of the mosqueto net, took a metal picture of where all his combat gear was located and placed his flashlight close to his pillow. During the fall, winter and spring months, he would get under the sheets and blanket.  During the summer, he would sleep above the sheets and blanket.

Almost every soldier had some means of beating the deamon possessed wakeup call known as checken man. In fact, just before 7am most soldiers were up, dressed and headed for breakfest at the Mess Hall.

Those who were had wished they did. The BAH BAAK BAHBAAAAAAAAAAAK was enough to solicit the use of an M-16 and unload an entire clip into the unfortunate owner's radio.

By 8:30 formation, the men lined up for inspection and were given opportunities to volunteer for various jobs that needed to be done.

Sometimes, the entire formation would work on filling up sandbags or walking the flight line looking for potenial Foreign Object Damage (FOD).

But on any given day, by 9am the average soldier was reporting to duty and peforming the duties of the his MOS.

Lunch time was around 12 noon and the average soldier went to lunch and was in formation again by 1pm. Again, depending pn the demads for that day, the soldier may or may not go back to performing the duties of his MOS.

Regardless of the mid day formation, by 5pm the day was done and everyone went back over to the mess hall for chow.

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