When Ed and I Got Together – Thailand (Part II)

I finally got to Korat AB, Thailand after two days of traveling.  It was kind of a miserable trip because of an airline strike which meant an additional two days in San Francisco while the military looked for alternative transportation for the hundreds, maybe even thousands, of military members and their families whose commercial reservations had been cancelled.  I was finally given a seat on a military cargo carrier that had been filled with seats.  When I finally arrived at my destination, I found that Ed had left the day before on his way to his next assignment. I was given his job in the personnel office and I was assigned to his quarters. It sounds silly now, but I thought Thailand would be the place to finally become the straight man I was meant to be.  The country had a culture that, at least around the American military bases, that made prostitution much more acceptable.  .  I thought these talented young ladies might “cure” me. As it turns out, even with the ready availability of inexpensive and easy sex, I had no interest at all in these women and to use them in this way seemed disrespectful. I told the girls and the guys I worked with (most of them living with Thai girlfriends) that I was a good Catholic boy saving myself for marriage. Among the prostitutes I came in contact with, my nickname was “chelly boy” (because of language differences, Thais had difficulty pronouncing the letter R). I really liked Thailand specifically and Asia generally. Within six months, the Thai government asked the majority of American military personnel to leave. As a result Korat was to be closed and all personnel reassigned. The Viet Nam War was over and the Thai government was nervous about having so many American military in their country.  When I found out Korat was closing, I immediately spoke to the personnel center in San Antonio and worked closely with them trying to stay in Asia (Korea, Japan, Philippines, etc).   Because we were one of the last bases to close, all of the vacancies throughout Asia had already been filled.  The personnel center finally told me the only overseas assignment available for me was at a small base in Germany called Spangdahlem. Since that was my only option to stay abroad I readily agreed. Shortly after that, I got a letter from Ed. When he left Thailand, he had been reassigned to Spangdahlem AB in Germany. He was again my sponsor for this new adventure.  Once again I looked forward to seeing him and, this time, believed it would really happen.