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Thread: CHRISTMAS CHOW, then and now

  1. #1
    Campaign Veteran MSG Laigaie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Philipsburg, Montana

    CHRISTMAS CHOW, then and now

    Since Congress cried "ENOUGH!" to George in Seventy Six,
    Americans have stood at arms on Christmas Day at some beleaguered post.
    Lonely and cold or lonely and hot, it is always the wrong place however right the reasons in the books.

    The agony of Valley Forge,
    and all that went before,
    has dimmed with time and legends;
    fiction filled,
    But Yuletide Cheer and frozen feet
    cannot be reconciled.
    So history records that Washington
    reversed the Hessians Christmas plans
    to raise Colonial hopes from despair.

    In Mexico the refried beans, tequila,
    and the other vast array,
    killed more invading Troops than Santa Anna's guns.

    Black eyed peas and turnip greens
    sow belly pork and goobers peas
    may be evolved into a Kings repast.........
    when time is a lazy cat.
    But with the Yankee guns just down the pike,
    the feast was pone and branch,
    And don't fall out!!

    Exotic Cuba in the Spanish War
    was never Grandma's place for Yuletide joy.
    Mosquitoes armed like kamikazes came to lunch
    and left a Yellow calling card.

    Slumgullion was an all purpose name
    for what the cooks could bring to pass.
    When "mess" was all to rel a word
    for what was slapped on eating gear
    as fare in nineteen seventeen.

    The claim is made that Sailors have
    a better chance to live it up on Christmas Day.
    Which may be fair to say.........or not.
    but all it took was one clean hit at the water line
    and all on-board could soon be chewing knuckles on a raft
    if they got lucky.......quick.

    C-rations, never made for Christmas Cheer
    until you saw them pounced upon
    By orphan kids, no matter where you were.
    A stick of chewing gum in grubby hands
    was candy cane and stocking filled.

    Python roasted on a jungle flame
    is not the Ritz deRitze,
    but being whole was condiment enough.

    Korean food is famous (in the books)
    but Pork Chop Hill was not the proving place,
    and feasting under fire is not digesting at it's best.
    Plum Pudding a la Chinese bugles in the dark
    redlined those Christmas days forevermore.

    When VietNam was just a travel folder name
    the thought of Yuletide cruises sounded great,
    but Spam among the rice paddies didn't taste like Home
    and mortar rounds could wreck a silent night.

    Then came Somalia, Kuwait, Saudi and Iraq.
    and now Afghanistan, Africa and Iraq again.
    MREs for the season will come in tan plastic packages.

    So as we celebrate the traditional feast together, take a moment.
    Just a moment, to remember our Brothers and Sisters at Arms
    Who, right at this minute guard Freedoms Gate...........
    and the tan package from which they will feast.

    My Mother sent this to me when I was in VietNam. It was a sunday paper cartoon called Steve Canyon. Years after the original cartoonists death, I traced down the new owners of this prose to Sweden. They graciously gave me the rights to it and I continued the lines to add the inevitability of additional conflict.
    Like many of you, I have partaken of MREs, c-rats, K-rats(remember the green lucky strike cigs) and the python in the jungle.

  2. #2
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    North Chesterfield, Va.
    Lucky Strike "green" went to war - at least that is what the advertisements said.

    Hot sauce made c-rats, K-rats and MREs more palatable. Some GIs even learned to like the sauce that is.
    Better to not open your mouth and be thought the fool, than to open it and remove all doubt.

    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  3. #3
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    United States


    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Lucky Strike "green" went to war - at least that is what the advertisements said.

    Hot sauce made c-rats, K-rats and MREs more palatable. Some GIs even learned to like the sauce that is.
    Very good post. It has been 30 years since my first Christmas away from home. Basic at Ft McClellan Al. Bad ice storm, no elec so chow hall closed C-rats for Christmas all day long.

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