The year was 1972, in the Month of October, and what had taken me from Vietnam was now the beginning of a longer association with the 554th RED HORSE SQ. stationed at Utapao, RTNAS, Thailand. Processing In was for others and me a very short turn around and then we were sent off with PCA Orders without PCS status. A way to keep from paying us TDY pay. Takhli RTAFB had been closed for nearly 1 and 1/2 years before and the need would come about when the War took a certain turn and MACV would leave Saigon, Vietnam and reemerge again in Thailand. The air war would be conducted from Thailand Royal Thai Air Bases. The base at Takhli was stripped of all electrical and communications wiring and a general rundown of facilities and base structures had been allowed to happen at this base closure site.
We were sent there to rehabilitate the base buildings, workshops, and harden all flight line assets by building revetments on the parking ramp. It was more of the same, which RED HORSE was well capable of doing. A deadline was established and we pressed on with a mission now so familiar that the leadership could close our eyes and work the daily task assigned to them. Some projects were assigned to those having the skills and rank to lead the troops on specific tasking. Being a TSgt in Structures, I was given the task of refurbishing three Modular dormitories for crew quarters. The work was typical with Sheetrock applied to walls no longer an open bay style but made into individual crew quarters. My Thai workers were all men who possessed the knowledge and skills to accomplish the tasking in the time allotted and producing quality as well quantity. I had little difficulties in reaching our self-imposed schedules. Materials and manpower was sufficient to achieve success, but it was the interactions with the Thai worker that I enjoyed the most. As the days passed and we got to know and respect each other there was the usual feats of joking and sharing the small stuff that relaxes the position of being boss in relation to being the worker.
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