Ham and Lima beans. Nobody wanted them so I took all four boxes. It was preferable to the sliced ‘spam’ I’d had before. The boxes had already been picked through for sugar and fake cream packets. I got a carton of cigarettes. Lucky Strike. I sat back against a big bamboo tree, waiting for Gunny’s order to move out. I opened the Lucky Strikes and found the hand-written note I’d been told would be there. “What you are doing means so much to my husband and I. He fought in the big war. Here’s our address. Come visit when you get back and we’ll make our best stew.” It was signed William and Maude Collins, with an address  somewhere in Iowa. I wondered if Vietnam would end up being a ‘little war’ later on. I’d have fought in a little war. Not a real one. Certainly not a big one. I folded the piece of notepaper from home and put it in my wallet.

“Don’t do that, sir,” Fusner whispered in my left ear.

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