Tomorrow is Memorial Day, and today’s column is devoted to a prose poem by my good friend, 1st Lt. Mike Gray. My deep appreciation for permission to publish this special dedication to all those we honor on Memorial Day.
The Silver Boxes
No one told me about the silver boxes!
It was the fall of 1967. I was in Vietnam, stationed in Saigon and assigned to the 69th Signal Battalion at Ton Son Nhut airbase. Having pulled my first Officer of the Day assignment, one of my duties was to police the main gate at 23:00 hours and pick up any late-returning personnel.
But no one warned me about the silver boxes!
I sat in my Jeep with the driver having a cigarette, looking at the Saigon night. The sky all around the perimeter of the city was aglow with flares dropped by aircraft. They would hopefully keep “Charley” from moving about in the night. About 23:15 I saw the headlights and heard the growl of a semi truck and trailer moving parallel to the fence toward the gate. The guards were expecting it and without hesitation swung open the gate to let it through.