Or the "Saga of A Company's Cow"
by Hamely Wadkins and Ted Yates
1ST SGT HAMELY WADKINS and 1ST LT TED YATES, CMDR
FRESH BEEF ON THE HOOF
As you can imagine, we were starved for something fresh to eat.
Everything was tasting like the OD paint on C-ration cans! Anyway,
we decided to do something about it. I arranged for our "agent" in An Khe
to have a farmer bring us the cow to the village square. I sent an NCO
and another troop to pick it up. Can you believe that when they started to load
it on the truck, Col. "E" drove up and stopped! I don't know what the hell
he thought and what all he said, but he did not countermand my orders to
the men. So they brought it on to the Company.
The reason the "cow" had to be cooked "well done" was that LTC "E" got
wind of us having it and ordered me to have Dr. Benjamen inspect and okay
it. Dr. Benjamen looked it over and approved it but with two stipulations.
1.) The meat must be cooked well done. 2.) He got a steak out of the deal.
...not hearing anything more from Lt. Col. Edelstein,
You know the rest of the story except for me waiting for the "shoe to drop"
for about six days. I even thought that Company "A" may have a new First
Sergeant! Col. "E" finally put a letter out to the effect that the 70th
would no longer be eating "local" cows and he quoted Veterinary & Cold
Storage requirements. He never did call me "on the carpet" for this.
C Company wasn't to be outdone. They bought a hog!! LTC E said, "No more"!
COOKING THE COW, MESS SGT. SHEPARD,
LT. ARVIS DENNIS AND UNIDENTIFIED ASSISTANT
Sgt. Shepard, our mess sergeant, was a very fine cook. He took the
extra steps to please the troops, with "soul", "cajun style" and "southern
style" food". Hamely also stated that Supply Sgt. John Couch was very resourceful.
If you look close, you will see that the "grill" is an Army bed. Couch was able
to secure one to be used for our grill. The pieces of beef were big enough that they
didn't fall through the springs. The middle was supported with a steel fence post.
Charcoal for grilling was purchased in An Khe.
Hamely pointed out,
Before Battalion came to An Khe,
I hired one interpreter who could speak, read & write English and had a Masters
degree in business administration. I hired our Company "agent" in An Khe for
intelligence and general information. I had to communicate with him in German!
He could speak French & German, but not English. I hired three barbers, too.
Col. "E" required me to fire the interpreter and barbers after he arrived. But,
he was not aware of our "agent", and we kept him.
Left, COLONEL EDELSTEIN IN JEEP - Right, DR. BENJAMEN, COW INSPECTOR
AN KHE MEAT MARKET, FDA APPROVED
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