Last month I had one of those moments where I wondered what happened to a guy who was stationed with me at Scott AFB, Illinois, 31 years ago. So I used my Internet search engine skills and found that he now lives near Washington, D.C. Since I was headed there I contacted him. He was happy to hear from me and we got together for one evening where we recalled all the really, really crazy stuff we did back then. As we relived those moments I mentioned we were fortunate we didn't have cell phone cameras and Web 2.0 back then.
"We would've gone to jail," he said. He also described our antics as stuff you can't make up but sounds like it was. I'll provide some examples.
One young man typed a fake letter to Penthouse Forum describing a wild sex party held in a four star general's office. He typed that letter on a typewriter in that general's office not knowing that the single-use plastic ribbon was reviewed to ensure no classified information was on it.
Two guys--best friends actually--got in a fight and one suffered a nasty punch to the jaw. As was often the case the situation was alcohol fueled. In an attempt to even things up the other guy offered to take a free punch to the face. He ended up with a split eyebrow (still has the scar to this day) and now they had to go to the hospital. Since it was an alcohol related incident the commander ordered blood drawn from both to determine their blood alcohol content. The medical technician drawing the blood poured theirs out and used his instead. To their dismay "their" blood came back with alcohol in it but it "wasn't that bad".
When the fire department came to give us fire extinguisher training in which we would put out real fires we showed up with hot dogs and coat hangers.
Our First Sergeant's room was decorated with toilet paper and cologne. The powers-that-be never found out who did it. In spite of the persistent and heavy questioning nobody broke.
The "Reserved Parking" signs for our commander and First Sergeant moved from our parking lot to about twenty feet inside the lake on base. Our flight chief said he knew we did it, "we" meaning someone from his flight, but he never wanted to know who did it. And he wanted them put back immediately.
One flight chief loved to visit the ladies during the quiet midnight shifts. The patrols--I should mention we were Law Enforcement Specialists--made a game of scouring the base to find him, maintaining radio silence the entire time. Once he was found in the carport of his own house where his wife slept, blissfully unaware.
After a long night of drinking four guys drove to Missouri to beat up the former boyfriend of one of the guy's girlfriend for some reason or another. Having no clue where to go they drove around aimlessly, finally coming through some trees in a rural area and finding a burning cross, a huge semi-circle of cars with headlights shining inward and a lot of people wearing white robes. A quick one-eighty and they got the heck out of there, drove aimlessly some more until they were almost out of gas. They parked at the pump of a closed gas station and slept until it opened.
Various types of fireworks set up with long fuses and aimed at gate guards and hopefully no traffic pulling up to the gate when they went off.
So in spite of the many opportunities we took advantage of to sink ourselves, we somehow muddled through, matured, and over time became mostly responsible adults. And if you're surprised, you should see the people who knew us back then.
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Good times and lucky indeed it was not caught on film.
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