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Debbie Sharp Loeb, teacher by training but full-time mom to a disabled son, craftsperson, bead artist, great cook, creative homemaker & terrific spotter of cool new products for everything under the sun, presents Hodgepodge: recipes, household hints, stories about children, friends & relatives, cool stuff, music, & much more.

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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Whatever You Start Out For, May Just Well Not Be Where You End Up (Part 1)

My brother was to have graduated from college in June of 1968, but a change in majors left him needing additional 12 credits. As a result, he didn't graduate until January of 1969. He was home but a few months, when he was drafted into the Army. After completing his basic training at Fort Dix in NJ, he was sent on for his specialized training to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. He became a Preventive Medicine Specialist and his major duties were to inspect the sanitary conditions where servicemen ate and test the potable water supply on the various bases. His class of 24 was divided into 3 groups of 8 and he was sent on to Korea to the 43rd M.A.S.H. in Uijongbu (A.K.A. 4077th ...yes, the same as the TV show). The other 16 in his class went to Ft. Knox and Vietnam.

The men in my brother's unit lived in those corrugated metal huts, and had a Korean house boy (man) named Chung. One of his dutes was to do the laundry. He would scrub their shirts with a brush on the floor of the shower. One time he scrubbed so hard, he broke the buttons off his fatigues. He used heavy starch on his fatigues and lots of bleach on his whites.

Now, my brother knew he didn't live under the most sanitary conditions in his village. So he tried to explain to Chung that he could add just a small amount of bleach to his water supply to kill the bacteria. Chung replied, "Oh no, no can do. make my insides all white!"

Copyright © 2006 Deborah Sharp Loeb


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