Not a moment to soon!
By: Sgt Michael Yannutz (Lcpl) B company, MarBks,
1st Platoon, Head of the Spear. Apr 92 to Dec 92
I was stationed with B Company, Marine Barracks back in 1992 all the way to the closure of the base. Of course, like many, I used to drink a little beer and venture outside to Olongapo.....a lot. Well, one night a friend of mine and I went out to hit most of the clubs with dance floors so we could show off some moves. As soon as we crossed shit river we went to exchange some dollars to pesos. While in transit, my friend started to talk with one of the local ladies and she ended up giving her address to him and told him to come over. Of course my friend took it and promised her that he would see her. NOT! So we took off on our trek around town.
We hit the clubs and danced with some girlfriends we knew from before and had a blast all night. 11pm came around and curfew was approaching, so it was off to Tip Tops for the all night dancing. We stayed there for a while and the girls we were with, took us to a nearby hotel (somewhere near Rolling Stones and Johnny O's). It was a Thursday, so this was our last night out before we left for a week in the jungle the next day. We put a wake up call at the front desk for around 0430 because the gate opened at about 0500.
Well, we did our thing that night and I was awoken the next morning by the sounds of banging on the hatch and my friend screaming to wake up. It was quarter to 0700! A quick time line: It would take about 5 minutes from where we were at to the front gate, about 20-30 minutes to wait for and travel in a taxi to Bco's Barracks, and we had a 0730 formation before we cattle-car out to the Naval Magazine, to include changing, packing, getting our weapons, and showing up 15 mikes before formation. Oh yeah, bring on the challenge!
Well, after I got dressed, I went outside my room and we both headed out. As we past the front desk we knew why we were never woken. The girl my friend had promised to see that night was working the front desk and had saw our names on the list. She knew we were with some other chicks, and she just smiled at us and said to come again! What goes around comes around, I guess! Well, needless to say, we couldn't flag down a trike, so here you see the only 2 Marines out in town still, running down Magsaysay to the front gate.
As we approached the taxis, one pulled up to us right on cue, like we called in reserve or something. We flew in and gave the pare all the pesos we had, which probably totaled about 500 pesos. We plainly asked him to get up to B company as fast as you can! This was the first time I saw a taxi driver on base drive like this, he was speeding, weaving, and turning like a race car driver!
It was 0735 when we reach the backside of the barracks. We peeked around the corner to the front of the building to see if everyone was in formation, but, no sign. No sign of a cattle car either. We ran up to the third deck on 4th section's side (side to the chow hall and PX) and peeked through the door window. We did see a few Marines walking back and forth in the halls. The platoon was still here! We quietly knocked on the hatch and another buddy opened it up and asked "Where the hell were you guys at???" It turned out the 1st platoon had the formation at 0800! Of course our rooms were at the other end of the 80-man hallway, with 1st section. The platoon commander's office was right in the middle with doors wide open. We started to walk quietly, but, our wet sneakers made that famous squeak-on-waxed-floor sound, so we just broke out and sprinted down the hall as fast as we could without stopping. Picture us running full speed down this hall, squeak, squeak, squeak!!! I bolted into my room and as the Sgt came into my room I had already had my trousers, tee-shirt and one boot on when he asked where I was. Luckily we had some great understanding NCO's at the time, and he just told me to hurry the hell up and we did make our formation to the second.
Peck, if you read this story, you better get in touch with me ASAP. Yannutz@hotmail.com