Getting a full Marine Corps Class-A green uniform together took more work than I expected. My report date was for the next day, as there were no free or lull days in Marine Corps life. I had been determined to be available for duty and ordered to my duty station. Whether I was somehow entitled to more recuperation time, I did not, and could not figure out how to know. That was it. The PUHLES report was to be ‘appended’ to my orders as available, whatever that meant. For the time being, no matter what the state of my wounds or recovery, I was deemed fit for full, albeit temporary, duty.

My uniform, which had been nearly too tight prior to my leaving for the Nam, was now too loose, and there were no tailors either available to work on such a specialized outfit or the money to pay for the needed adjustments. My wife and I decided that bandage packing was the only way I could pass even the most cursory of inspections, and there was little doubt, from Trainer’s nickname, that I would have to go through such an inspection.