Incident at Thanh Giang Dong Dao: Chapter 6 – The Soldier

They were marching in cadence. Martin was calling cadence. He had the soul for it. Getting ready for the morning run. Ft. Bliss Texas, 1970.

Lebensraum was a road guard. He was strong and a good runner, but he always doubted his strength.

‘Ooh say Ungawa Bravo’s got the Power! Ooh say Ungawa Bravo’s got the Power!

We are Bravo, mighty mighty Bravo!

We are Bravo, mighty mighty Bravo!

Straight Shooting Bravo!

Straight Shooting Bravo!

We ain’t Alpha!

We ain’t Alpha!

Ass Ass Ass licking Alpha!

Ass Ass Ass licking Alpha!

We ain’t Charlie!

We ain’t Charlie!

Chicken, Chicken, Chickenshit Charlie!

Chicken, Chicken, Chickenshit Charlie!’

They started to run:

‘Out jumped the monkey from the coconut grove

He was a mean motherfucker you could tell by his clothes

He wore tiger stripe fatigues with a three-button stitch

He was a cock-sucking motherfucking son of a bitch

He lined a hundred monkey ladies up against a wall

He bet five dollars he could fuck em all

He fucked ninety-eight till his balls turned blue

Then he backed off, jacked off and drowned the other two

When he died he went straight to hell

Where he fucked the Devil’s wife and his daughter as well

On his tombstone engraved in green

It read U.S. Army Monkey Fucking Machine!

Am I right or wrong?

You right!

Are we going strong!

You right

Here we go

All the way

on the run

to the sun

One mile, no sweat

Two miles better yet’

And so on and so on. Martin quit cadence to guard the road. What a life, sun coming  up over the desert. What could be better. He felt the generations of his family in the Army back to the Spanish War and here was his chance to be etched in stone. His great-grandfather and his two brothers in San Juan and Manila. His grandfather in France in WWI. His dad in WWII and in Korea. And now Martin had his turn in the sun.

50 Brighton First Road, Brooklyn, New York, November, 1979

“This thing sounds crazy. Are you going to stay out there? I have family in Overland Park. It’s where all the Jews live in Kansas City.”

Said Rachel, as they drank their coffee. The doors to the balcony were open despite the cold. They both liked the sound of the ocean.

Emmanuel looked out over the dark Ocean. He had wanted to be a Wall Street Lawyer, before that he wanted to be an ACLU lawyer. Now he was stuck at a family firm. This was his chance to do something. Something relevant. He and Martin were very different people. Martin had a death wish. The file wasn’t promising. Lots of missing witnesses and no time to work with at all. Was he good enough?

“I’m going to stay in Overland Park then. I’ll need a car though.”

Emmanuel sipped on his coffee. He and Rachel always had a cup at night.

”I have to work. I can’t take a leave from teaching. The Principal at Lincoln can’t  lose people right now.”





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