A couple of weeks ago, I got a letter from Liliane, telling me that we had a beautiful blond haired son, and that when she got to the hospital things happened so quick that the nurse told her to hold him in until the doctor could get there.
She said everything was fine, but I knew better. My wife has the habit of not writing when something is remiss, and she never did understand that no news was worse than bad news. And I was climbing the walls because of that.
[Years later I found out that she hadn't written because she was worried about the billi-ruben count in our son, and that it had been high, and the hospital was taking a blood sample every four hours out of his heel.]
I had written back, demanding to know what was wrong, and asking what Baby St. Clair's name was. Finally, yesterday, I got a letter. His name is John, which means "Gift of God," which was quite appropriate. He was big, he was home, and he was squalling!
On the job, it has been more of the same old, same old. Day after dreary day of putting in time at the battalion, being useless because they didn't need me as a combat engineer advisor, and they wouldn't listen when I told them their night defense idea of putting out outposts and listening posts before dark so they wouldn't trip across the VC was absolutely the wrong thing to do.
Our friend, Kay, the MILPHAP's civilian nurse went home a couple of days ago, leaving a void in our evenings. Kay was a USAID employee assigned to the Navy medical team that advised the province military hospital. The USAID compound was tied in to the MACV compound, and they used our messhall.
I hope they didn't think that this worse messhall in the military, anytime, anywhere, was the example of military messhalls. It really wasn't.
Kay lived in an air-conditioned pre-fab, had two rooms, with real furnature. She had a slew of board games, and rather than drink our nights away, Ron and I spent most our evenings with her, and Gayle, playing Stratego or Monopoly. It was fun, it was mindless, it was sexless (I have to put that in to let you know than not everyone screwed their way through Nam). And it kept our minds off the war and the loneliness that being away from our families meant.
But, as friends and acquaintances left, it meant that we, too, were coming closer to the end of our tours. YEA!
Tonight, I met a captain from the Dustoff unit at the airfield at our bar. He said he wanted to come over whenever he could to get away from his unit to forget. Bob's his name. He said most his missions involved ARVN casualties. Nice guy.
Oh, yes. Division Advisory Group tells me that it looks like it will be several weeks before I get a replacement for Sergeant Bell. In the meantime, the senior advisor told me I didn't have to go out on missions where there were no other Americans, if I didn't want to.