Personal Narrative: The Court Martial

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mirror was gone. Smashed to pieces. The entire room reeked with the smell of cigarettes and vomit. There were glasses, beer and whisky bottles smashed all over the floor. The piano we had just managed to get from Tokyo lay in pieces on the floor. It had been totally destroyed. We were told that the drunks, led by Lt. Colonel Ben Long, were the ones who did all the damage. I had recognized Ben as a simple “red-neck, but I really couldn’t begin to understand how anyone could be involved in that kind of mindless, wanton destruction of a pleasant facility like our Club–one that we all used and enjoyed every day. It staggered my imagination. And Ben was one of our new regular Air Force Officer 's too. I wondered what had ever happened to the court martial as appropriate punishment for officers found guilty of destruction of Government Property and “conduct unbecoming an officer”? I heard that “Gabby” was really “hot” about what the derelicts did to the Club. That was, as “hot” as “Gabby” ever seemed capable of getting. He got mad when the idiots burned down the Officer’s Latrine. He hated that kind of moronic conduct, and the abject stupidity it revealed on the parts of the perpetrators, but he never seemed to have quite enough guts to do anything about it. He was really an enigma to me in that respect. I didn’t understand him. “Gabby”, personally, would never be a part of that kind of drunken idiocy, but he repeatedly tolerated that kind of behavior on the part of his

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