Christmas Dance

~Tom Smith, aka, Cpl. Crusty~
India Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines
Vietnam 1968-69

Due to an odd twist of fate, I became NCO In Charge of the NVA / USMC Mutual Friendship Society. My job was to organize social events that would bring us all together in peace. One of the many events I organized during my tour was the Christmas dance on Hill 65. I sent out invitations thru the Village chief at Dai Loc, he was openly communist, but a friendly old guy. I also invited the 1st Americal Division from a little bit south of us because they had a band.

On the night of the dance, the band members were engaged in a firefight, so they couldn’t attend. Their Battalion Commander told them, “Hope you guys can hold out till mornin', we’re goin dancin' with the Marines.” The NVA were really disappointed that there was no live music, and even more so when they found all we had was a cassette player, and three Perry Como tapes. 

I guess, I have to give the Army credit for saving the day. A few of their junior officers came dressed in mini skirts and fishnet stockings, this made the NVA very happy, they had never seen a mini skirt. At one point one of the NVA officers, I believe his name was Phouc Hu, got so drunk he tried to have sex with the Skipper's “Rubber Lady.” He was really embarrassed when he saw the polaroids the next day. When I traded him the pictures for his 9mm Makarov, he felt a lot better, but still tried to steal the Rubber Lady. 

We had to go on ambush the next night a little hung over. Our Company Gunny was a cross dresser, and would occasionally go out with us. This time he wore a tight fitting little green strapless outfit that was at least tasteful, and at best downright sexy, depending on your tastes. I still have flashbacks when I smell Chanel No.5. We got hit about 2100 hrs., just a little bitty ambush, no one got hit, but the Gunny got two marriage proposals, and a box of chocolates. 

Three nights later, we got overrun, but it turned out they were just lookin' for the Gunny. I’ll continue this on my next installment, right now I have to leave for my appointment with the VA Shrink, the guy is really in bad shape. 

Semper Fi, Ya’ll...  Cpl. Crusty


Doc Emerson (left) and Tom Smith (Cpl. Crusty) on Hill 65

India 3/7 flag courtesy of LCpl. George Sager's India 3/7, Vietnam 68-69 Website