Tales From the Tiger

What's in a Word

It was October, 1966 and I was on patrol with a platoon from A. Company. There were two of we Assault Pioneers attached to the platoon because intelligence believed there may be booby traps and tunnels with which we may have to contend with.

I was smacked in the leg one morning and it necessitated me being 'dusted off' to Nui Dat for a preliminary examination. They decided I would have to be sent to the coast and I was 'choppered' to the US 36th Evacuation Hospital in Vung Tau. The Yanks were fantastic and had me on the operating table in no time to stitch up my Achilles Tendon before complications set in.

A few days after the operation, as I was recuperating in the main ward, one of the more gorgeous nurses came to see me. Now you would understand I had not seen a decent round-eye for six months and this Sheila was a knockout.

She came up to me and explained that the nurses were having a baseball match against the doctors the next day and although she knew I wouldn't be able to see her play, she wondered if I would root for her. My eyes glazed, my mouth went dry, and all I could do was nod a very definite yes! and in my naivety asked where and when.

After she had gone away I asked a Yank in the bed next to me if she was fair dinkum. He then explained the different meanings for the same word. Someone must have told her about our meaning because she would not look me in the eye for the remainder of my stay.

© By Bob Alexander
Assault Pioneers 1st Tour

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