Click On Photos To Enlarge
" Don't Ride The Clutch "
John Garrout ( we called him Goat Roper or
Roper for short ) was driving a 10 ton truck with an open cab hauling a
dozer. Kevin Bergen was on the passenger side. The truck was in the lowest
gear possible in order to climb a steep hill. At the crest of the hill
instead of shifting Roper pushed in the clutch leaving the truck in low
gear, and started to coast down the hill. As the truck picked up
speed Ropers foot slipped off the clutch and the engine RPM'S went from
zero to Mega Grandisi Maximo Giganto de Humongo
RED LINE !!! You guessed it, the
transmission exploded ! As the truck began to veer off the road Bergen
yelled, get back on the road ! get back on the road ! then Bergen looked
over toward Roper, no one was there! Roper had been blown right out of the
cab, like a James Bond ejection seat, landing on the side of the road on
his feet ( so he says ) and watched as the truck and dozer continued on
their way. Bergen scrambled over to the drivers side and brought the
tractor trailer to a stop. When they told me this story later they were
uninjured but covered from head to toe with transmission fluid and oil.
After the truck was towed back to the motor pool I took a look at the
damage. The explosion went perfectly between the seats of the cab and when
you looked down you could see clean though the transmission to the ground.
Those two dudes were lucky.
At this time, 1976, Major General Patton ( son of THE General Patton ) was in command of the 2nd AD which was then at Fort Hood. The 17Engrs. motor pool was next door to the 62nds motor pool. Late one night General Patton was at the 17ths motor pool. When he left, he drove by our motor pool and noticed that some lights were on. This being a time of great concern about saving energy, the General was pissed. However, he was a good officer and instead of stopping and chewing us out he used the chain of command. General Patton called the 13th COSCOM commander and chewed his butt, the 13th COSCOM C.O. called the 62nd Engrs commander and let him have it, the 62nd Engrs C.O. called the Delta Company commander and raised hell, the Delta Company C.O. called the orderly room got Sec 4 Gibble and rocked his world. Gibble, who was slighty heavier than the rest of us ( fat ) sprinted the 1/4 mile to the motor pool and burst into the guard shack while we were enjoying a friendly game of cards and shouted " General Patton ( huff, puff, wheeze ) wants those ( puff, huff ) @#$%&**&^%$#@ ( wheeze, huff ) $%#@#$%&?:% ( puff wheeze ) LIGHTS OFF ! " We sprang into action but were unable to access the switch of the offending lights because the motor pool building was completely secured, that was part of our job. Another round of phone calls ensued, Sgt. Broussard was called in, the motor pool Chief summoned, there was a massive effort to locate the proper keys and eventually the energy wasteful lights were extinguished. I'm certain that we saved the American tax payers some money that night but I'll bet that the cost of the phone calls alone nullified any savings.
" The Three Legged Deer "
One night me and Dennis Engles had motor pool guard. As we patrolled the rear perimeter of the motor pool we saw that a herd of deer was coming in to graze on a nice patch of grass. Upon closer inspection we noticed that one deer was walking goofy, and in fact had only three legs, the right front leg being the missing limb. It was then that we hatched our plan to catch the three legged deer. Dennis went first. He crept up to a shadowy spot, laid in wait then pounced like a tiger. The herd scattered, and Dennis went straight for the crippled animal. The three legged deer easily out ran him and after about 100 yards Dennis gave up the chase. I went next, laughing at his failure and full of confidence that I was a faster runner, after all I had run 3 years of cross country and 4 years of track in high school. Following Dennis's example I stalked the deer. When I saw my opportunity I made my move. I gave it everything I had and still the deer smoked me. Now it was Dennis who was laughing. We modified our plan. We would alternate chasing the deer not giving it any rest so eventually the deer would be played out then we would tackle the deer and hog tie it with our belts. There was only one problem the deer would not cooperate. We chased that deer all night long and when dawn came the three legged deer had kicked our combined ass, it was me and Dennis who were played out.
"The Mad Crapper "
The initial attack occured in A CO. An unsuspecting truck driver opened the door of his truck and was greeted by a nasty turd that had been deposited directly in the middle of the drivers seat. Fortunately, the driver did not sit on it. The news spread like wildfire. When we heard about it in D CO a platoon was detached to verify the report. Having laid eyes on the log I can vouch that the report was true and the feces appeared to be of human origin but there was no toilet paper at the scene. There was much speculation about how this could happen, a dog , a racoon, aliens, the Russians. No one could say for sure but everyone agreed that only a person could open the door of the truck and possess the accuracy needed for such perfect placement. The next question was why ? Did someone lose a bet ?
Was this some kind of payback ? Was it an emergency ? We chalked it up to one of these explanations, had a good laugh and went about our business. When it happened again we were stunned. It was like the second plane hitting the World Trade Center. It was now painfully obvious that someone in the 62nd Engrs was deeply disturbed. Of course, we gave this person a name " The Mad Crapper ". Attacks continued occasionally thruoghout the battalion motor pool. It was unnerving. When the 62nd moved to new offices and barracks in the summer of 1977 we hoped that The Mad Crapper did not move with us. We were wrong. One Sunday morning, I woke to find that Earth Moving platoon of Delta Company had been targeted and poopified. There was a commotion in the foyer outside my room. I opened the door to investigate and there it was, a pile of doo doo in the exact center of the foyer. Why were the jobs always in the middle of something ? Whats the meaning of that? Everyone vowed they would rather die than clean it up. So, since I was the only one not afraid of raw fertilizer I gathered a large amount of T.P. picked up the Baby Ruth impostor and threw it as far as I could out of the foyer door. This was my worst and hopefully last experience with The Mad Crapper. To my knowledge the perpetrator was never identified.
Staff Sargent Mars was easily my favorite sargent. He knew when to push, when to joke, when to lead, when to loaf, when to get angry and when to give praise. Also, he had a great sense of humor. He made you want to work for him. I got along with him very well and would have done anything for him. However, there was one thing about SSG Mars that was undeniable. He put the "UG" in ugly. Mars had a pot belly but wasn't fat and even at attention he slouched a little. His large bulbous nose was flanked by satellite dish ears that gently brushed the top of his shirt collar. His hair was black and stick straight. Dark eyes looked at you through thin slits and he had approximatly 7 teeth. Apparently, he had an acne problem as a teenager because his complextion had the appearance of number 4 grit sand paper. The Good Lord had definatly not blessed Sargent Mars in the beauty department. One day at morning formation SSG Mars was our acting platoon sargent so he was in front of us with his back toward us while First Sargent Weight read the anouncements, sick call, ect. There were 2 newbies in the front rank. When Weight finished, Mars did an about face and was now facing us to give out our assignments for the day. The 2 newbies burst into laughter as Sargent Mars barked out the morning orders. The newbies tried to hold it in but did a poor job and everyone heard their snickering, snorting and giggling. Mars ignored them. After formation I approached the newbies and asked what was so damn funny? They told me that when SSG Mars had his back toward them, they had noticed that Sargent Mars ears touched his collar and were whispering back and forth to each other making fun of Mars ears. Then when SSG Mars did the about face and the newbies got the full force of his hideousness that's when one newbie saw Sargent Mars name tag and said to the other newbie "is that his name or address"