Doctors Mike and Sam were determined to escort and stay with the three nurses. They parted one drunken officers who made a crude comment.
“Three gals and they’re not round eyed.”
The racist remark infuriated Dee. As a child she had been dressed in pig-tails and long dresses and received hurtful remarks against her Memmonite background.
“Excuse me ‘long nose,’ Dee used the Vietnam derogatory word for Americans, “but you are representing America here in Vietnam. Please stop the racist remarks.”
Mike intervened. “She’s just arrived after a long flight. She’ll change after she’s been here a while.”
Sam and Mike escorted the nurses to an empty table. They made a point of bending close to the women to take their drink orders, but really it was sending a message to males everywhere.
The juke box played, “Are you Lonesome Tonight?” Dee and Sue soon found themselves on the dance floor and it wasn’t with Mike and Sam!
Dee hated slow dancing with men. Boys at school had dragged her onto the dance floor for slow dancing. She hated the feel of a throbbing penis against her. Mennonite suitors prayed with her father, and later pawed her. Refusals led to anger. She was accused of being Satan’s temptress amongst other names.
In the smoky Officers’ Club, Elvis sang, while Calvin moved his hand lower and lower until it came to rest on Dee’s bum.
Dee broke free. “Too hot,” she exclaimed. “Need a drink.”
Glancing around the room, there were women laughing and having a good time. Booze flowed freely and as the night wore on the loudness of partiers became noticeable.
Dee watched as Sue danced with a handsome Afro-American officer. They were dancing happily with respectful distance between them. Sue was laughing. Dee was happy for her.
Drink up,” Mike had pulled his chair close to Dee. “If it gets too noisy we could go over to my place. I’ve lots of booze there. We could get to know one another.”
Dee glanced at his wedding ring.
“Want to dance?” Mike was on his feet.
“I’m exhausted, Mike.”
“O.K we can talk quietly. I’ll borrow a jeep, but first let me get you another drink.”
Dee watched him walk to the bar. Mike was far from subtle.
”Hi. Mind if I join you?”
Dee looked up at a tall lean man with round glasses.
“I’m Jack from the Chemical Branch. We do the Agent Orange thing. It may destroy vegetation but it also clears a path for our guys. The choppers can spot Charley once we burn the damn jungles down.”
Without warning, Jack had tears in his eyes. “They tell me it’s horrific to watch, but we have orders.”
Dee looked as he produced a second glass. He brushed away the tears, closed his eyes and gained his composure.
“I was at the bar when Mike was ordering you a rum and coke. Well, here it is, but its from your good friend, Jack!”
Dee took a good swig. She would have a few more and leave this pick-me-up party. She was wired and maybe a few shots was what she needed to sleep soundly. After a couple of drinks, Dee remembered Skip and her eyes. Where was she? She had called Dee ‘sweetheart’ in Vietnamese.
“Say, do you need assistance?” Jack from Chemical Branch asked, as Dee stumbled as she rose from her chair.
“Nah. Leave me alone!”
Suddenly, she saw Captain Skip and the Captain saw her.
“Dee,” laughed the Captain holding steadying her, “I see you’ve tied a few on.”
Dee slurred, “I just wanted to see my Skippo. Have another round of Army versus the Air Force.”
Skip looked at Dee.
“Something unexpected is going to happen. They are going to announce my engagement.”
“Fucking whoopee, Fucking whoopee.” shouted Dee, luckily her voice drowned out by the noise. “Why did you invite me here? What was all that eagle shit and asking me to fly higher. You made a fool out of me!”