I had been transferred to a different unit in the battalion, and been assigned the job of Dispatcher. I was on 6 days a week, with liberal time off, in case I needed to go to Saigon to take care of paperwork to bring her home with me. The permission for us to marry had been granted, and I was neck deep in getting her passport and visas, now. I would be notified through the Company Office, and the 1SG or the clerk would inform me of what was needed, and when, and I would go and get it took care of.
As dispatcher, I was in charge of the cleaning crew, and the tire shop. We had 2 people on the cleaning crew, a VERY old man, who we nicknamed “Dead Man,” and a teenage girl named Wan. There were 3 boys in the tire shop, ages 16, 19, and 20. They fixed tires for the whole battalion, so were kept fairly busy. The older we called Dim. It was what his name sounded like when he told us. He was an orphan, and had a place just outside of the airfield to live. He and I became friends almost immediately.
I went out to check on them several times a day, to see if they were okay, or if there was anything they needed. I had invited him down to our house several times, where Linda would fix him food, and we would visit. She had grown to like him as much as I did. He was always very polite, and called her “Big Sister.” She was the same age as he was. He didn’t have much, and she started looking for things he might need when she went to the market downtown. She had bought him a couple of sets of clothes and a new pair of sandals, so she told me to bring him down to the house that evening.
We finished work at 1700, as usual, and went to get his ID at the gate, and catch a taxi to the house. We had moved to a larger house several months before. It had a Living Room, a Bedroom, a Kitchen, and a Private Bath, with shower. The other had been a single room, with a communal bath and toilet facility, outhouse style.
Linda had our evening meal fixed, as usual, when we got to the house. Vietnamese food for her and Dim, and prawns and french fries for me. Four of them, each near the size of turkey legs cost about 25 cents. The potatoes were about a dime. For them she had fixed rice, greens, and some Red Snapper fish. Something they both loved. We ate and visited, laughing about something that had happened in the tire shop a day or 2 back, and she told us about what she had seen at the market that morning. She told me that there was something she wanted to show me when we went together the next time to the market.