Roger Ashworth, SGT, USA (1969-1970) - 2
Larry, The roof top story is the one I was talking about! You were nuts! Even as screwed up as I was, I would never try that (of course I'm terrified of heights even drunk)! As I remember Bob Lawrence was cheering you on as he polished down number 10 or 11 at least. Fun nights up there. Helped forget where we really were and what was going on. I think Tony Lyons and Steve Rutt were up there also that night. The Banks story is classic! I NEVER got along with him either! MSG Raymond Banks. I just backspaced and erased what I typed after "Banks." Gotta get use to the rules here on the site. Perhaps I can speak my peace on him on the freefire site when Bob approves me. There are but a couple at the network I didn't care for, and he was one. Can't think of anyone really who would say different! Perhaps so.
Well here's my story with my views and what I remember. I stayed at the Plaza BEQ and my roommates were Tony Lyons and Steve Rutt. Our room was on the 6th floor. I was on an extension leave in the states when the Lawrence thing happened, watched in horror the CBS news story along with the video of the TV set that that Gary Shepard had filmed of that newscast. This was five days before I was to return to AFVN. When I got back in country I called the network and was told "don't go to the Plaza all your stuff has been moved and we will send a jeep to pick you up". Tony and Steve had moved all my things for me to the barracks. I then asked what else has changed, do I still have my show "Million Dollar Music in the evening"? NO! Everything has changed! You doing the Dawnbuster starting tomorrow. They informed me I was also two days late getting back and were not happy about that (was AWOL 2 days). Wow! Didn't get much crap over that though. But multi-crap was to come. MACV of course over-reacted. They brought in new brass and NCOs. Moral went down the tubes fast! There was a Marine Gunny Sergeant they assigned to administration. His "JOB" was "Weekly inspections of the troops." This included weapons, hair cuts, uniforms, and boots". Never thought I would have to spit shine my combat boots. Yep we had to bring our M-16's in on inspection day. He was also in charge of "GUARD DUTY." Yes! you heard me right. Guard Duty! Out back in the bunker behind the station. Bottoms and I had guard duty on Saturday nights, 12 to 6, because we were on the air all week. We would sit out there and yuck it up all night. To bad we couldn't bring along a couple six packs, it would have been even funnier. If you knew Paul and me, and our humor, we could turn anything into something funny and stupid. To bad they wouldn't give us flare guns we could have really had a good time. This crap lasted a couple months till the investigation was over. I well remember when they interviewed me. I let them know in no uncertain terms what they were doing was over reacting and bringing the moral of the staff to a new low. We, as far as I was concerned, were there to give our troops a little bit of the real world, something to make them feel a little bit of home. The music, the sounds, and the announcer in that speaker who was their friend and shared a common bond with them. I told them your not only ----ing with us, the troops who we try to make feel better can hear it so you are ----ing with them also. You are making a big mistake. They must have listened, because things relaxed a little. Heads rolled again with the brass and the NCOs and we got new ones. Lt. Col. Price became the new Officere-in-Charge of the Network, Capt. Rowdy Williams, was the new OIC of the Network News, MSG Paul Van Dyke was Senior NCO of the Network, and I was promoted to Sgt. and made NCOIC of the radio network. We still lived at the barracks though through the day I left. The moral started getting better everyday and the network sounded really good again. The on air staff was the best and did a great job, all of them. The news and sports guys were equally as good, I didn't mess much with the TV types, but they also were great. The administration staff, the engineering guys were great also. I have nothing but praise for everyone who went through that period. Hell, I'd better stop, this things turning into a book (which I could write with all the stories in my head). Later Guys.