The radio music transmissions were supposed to stop at night but it was not full dark when my small team of scouts and radio operator went to work setting up shelter halves around them. I was afraid of the radio transmissions giving our position away. I smelled heavy cigarette smoke wafting in the slow-moving air around me. The air felt like cobwebs passing over my face, as it was so full of heated moisture. I folded my Iwo Jima flag-raising envelope in half and stuck it into my right front thigh pocket. No matter what happened in the night I was determined to make sure that I sent the letter off aboard the resupply chopper supposedly coming in the following morning.
Stevens had a small transistor radio playing the Armed Forces Radio Station. “Ninety-Nine Point Nine FM,” the announcer said in a tinny voice, followed by one of Brother John’s short baritone comments: “Here’s Chicken Man.” There was a pause in the transmission. I wanted so badly to order Stevens to turn the damned radio off but I was afraid to order anyone to do anything. And I was afraid of the feeling it gave me to be afraid of doing that.
“Chicken man?” I asked, quietly, instead.