Friday, October 25, 2013

A Crock of Hooey

Ed Stuever

   More from the hospitality room at the 1993 Orlando, Fla., reunion of the 712th Tank Battalion:

                      Ed Stuever

   At Fort Jackson, South Carolina, when we became the 712th Tank Battalion, we had to go for a physical before we went up north. And we stripped naked, walked up to the desk of this doctor, and as I approached him, he says, "How in the world did you ever get here?"
   And I says, "I walked here, Sir."
   And he says, "Don't get cute with me. You're not fit for this man's army. You've got the flattest feet I ever saw. Did you ever make a five-mile hike? Did you ever make a mile hike?"
   I says, "I made 'em all, even the 30-mile hikes, and I carried my buddy in the last couple of miles so that we could all get a pass to go to town."
   And he says, "Aww, you're not fit for this man's Army. We can use you in a hospital carrying bedpans."
   And I says, "Why, I'd be on my feet more than ever."
   He says, "Don't get so cute with me. I'm going to send you back with this report."
   And when I took it back to the office, I didn't even knock, I just walked in there and threw it on Sergeant Bennett's desk, and he says, "Get out of here and come back in here like you're supposed to."
   I says, "I don't give a damn what you do to me."
   And then the captain says to me, "What's this all about?"
   And I says, "Here's my medical report. The man there says I'm not fit for this man's army."
   So the captain says, "Why, you're one of our best soldiers."
   And I says, "This report is a crock of hooey," I says, "There's nothing here I can't do."
   He says, "You're up for sergeant. Didn't you put it up on the bulletin board, yet, Sergeant Bennett?"
   And he says, "I was just about to."
   And he says, "Steuver, what do you want to do? Do you want to carry bedpans or do you want to stay with us?"

   And I says, "I sure as hell don't want to carry bedpans."
   So he tore up that medical report, and he says, "Congratulations. You're gonna stay with us." And then he dropped it in the wastebasket. And then when I was ready to leave, I apologized for the way I came in and I saluted him. Then I reached down and I picked up that report out of the wastebasket, and Bennett says, "What do you want to do with that?"
   And I says, "I want to remember that S.O.B.'s name so if I ever see him again, I'm gonna avoid him, or I'll run over him with my tank."
   That's the end of it.
   Oh, when we got to England, I didn't care to make some of them overnight affairs that we had, so I'd say to Sergeant Bennett, "Boy, my feet are killing me."
   And he says, "You son of a gun, you still got that report? I'm gonna shake you down till I find that thing." So he says, "You stay in the office here and run the office overnight." So I had to stay on duty all night. I didn't get away with it.
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