Home Another Vietnam Story Cherry Point Windsock/Informational Services Office | Next | Previous

The woman Marine was a Warrent Officer (WO.) Like all professional women in the Corps she was ignored and push aside for incompetent male officiers. The Gunny Sergeant was a real scumbag.

Here is a story that involves myself, the woman WO, Tweedledumb, and the gunny.

Again the collective, narrow minded asses of those behind the green door decide that I, the photographer who never worked in the office, must have a desk in the office and he must sit at that desk whenever he is not busy.

I was always busy so I never sat at the desk. In fact the only time I sat at the desk was when I would come to the office just before lunch to get the rest of the crew for our weekly get-together lunch and if they weren't ready I would wait at my assigned desk.

In the beginning the desk had a desk-lamp, a chair, a phone, a trash can, and a nice desk-pad. But because I never used the desk things started to disappear from my assigned space in the office. First the chair. Then the desk-lamp. Followed by the desk-pad. Finally the desk was gone. Where it went no one knows. In my two years at Cherry Point ISO that is the only desk to disappear from the office.

So one day I walked in to get the crew for our lunch and the only thing left in my assigned work area was the phone (remember they were hard-wired in those days) and the trash can. I think the trash can was still there because is was full of trash. Nobody wanted to steal a full trash can. Better to swip an empty one. In frastration I droped the phone into the trash can and waited for the rest of the crew.

Now I must must state a rule about U.S. Marine officers. If they look up an office number in the official Cherry Point Phone Directory and there is a phone number listed then when they call that number someone will answer at the other end. It doesn't matter that the Cherry Point Phone Directory was out of date when I got there in October 1965. It was now spring 1967. If there was no new directory then the old one was accurate. I mean why would they put a number in the book if on one was going to pick-up the phone? This meant that whenever a phone would ring it would continue to ring until someone answered it. Several years later I learn that this rule applied to any U.S. military officer. I learned this at the Pentagon. That's all you need to know about that experience. Are you starting to get the idea why we lost in Vietnam?

So, off to lunch we all go leaving the phone in the trash can. An hour later we return and the woman WO wants to speak to me.

The woman WO asks me if I know anything about the phone and trash can at my assigned work area. I tell her only that I am supposed to have a desk and chair for the phone and trash can. The woman WO grufly dismissed me. I had no idea what her problem was. She was usually a very nice person.

Remember the rule about officers and phones? Well after we left for lunch the phone at my assigned work area started ringing. And no one could find it. The worman WO looked for it. It kept ringing. The gunny looked for it. It kept ringing. Tweedledumb looked for it. It kept ringing. All three were now looking for the phone that was ringing. They couldn't find it and it just kept ringing.

Apparently someone did find the ringing phone. They found the phone only because officers will never hang-up a ringing phone.

Now here is the real kicker. The number for the phone at my empty work space was once occupied by the Windsock editor. That was long ago. He, never a she, was now at a different desk and a different phone number. The whole time that phone was ringing the Windsock editor, Cpl Lovelace, was sitting just 20 feet away at the new desk and different phone number.