A Christmas dream come true
The arrival of two American girls dressed in red and white “elf” costumes was a stunning occasion. Most of us hadn’t seen an American girl in months. I’m sure I stood there with my mouth open when they arrived, along with everyone else.
My second reaction was to look around and wonder who was standing rear security.
CAP 2-7-2 had gotten pretty serious about day site security since July, when a sleeping Marine was killed by a grenade in broad daylight. I was especially sensitive about daytime security since our “actual” had left that responsibility up to me. I was determined not to lose anybody on my watch.
The USO volunteers were there to give each of us a little bag of goodies (cards, candy, sundries) and a peck on the cheek for Christmas. While everyone else was lining up for their treat, I ducked around in back of the Pink Palace to check on the man posted on guard. I think it was Steve “Frenchy” Pelletiere, who asked what the hell was going on.
I told him the USO had landed with gifts for all good Marines and he’d better haul ass to get his while I watched his post. In five minutes Frenchy was back with a gaily wrapped bag of goodies and a big, shit-eating grin. I handed him his M-16 and walked around to the courtyard in front of the house.
The girls were saying goodbye when the dark-haired one caught sight of me emerging from behind the house. Her face fell.
“Didn’t you get your present yet?” she asked.
I admitted I hadn’t gotten one, and it turned out they had no more with them.
“At least I can give you a kiss,” she said, stepping towards me with a smile.
I grinned, looking forward to the same harmless (but much-welcome) peck my teammates had gotten. Instead she stepped up and put her arms around me, raised her face and pulled me into a long, deep kiss that took my breath away. I tried to return the kiss with spirit, and I could hear my fellow Marines hooting and catcalling in the background. She smelled wonderful.
That’s about all I remember, and that’s enough. Thinking back, I know it wasn’t a fantasy because that kiss would have been just the beginning of a good fantasy. Still, I felt a warm glow the rest of that day and many days after.