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The Value of Beer
By: Larry Leroy McFall

     This may be an interesting story at least for us who were part of it.
     It involved Sp6 Clayton Rollins, Sp6 James Pittman, Sp4 Gerald Sherette, Sp4 Clyde Mier, PFC Douglas Wallace, PFC Dennis Beppu, PFC Joseph Citak and myself, Sp5 Larry Leroy McFall. We were all members of the 226th Ordnance Detachment (GMGS) at ASCOM, South Korea.  In August of 1962 we were informed that we were going to be sent far south to the 30th Ordnance Detachment (GMDS) at Camp Holiday, APO 301, near Taechon-Ni, South Korea to do something which we weren't sure what.
     On September 05, 1962, with all of our equipment packed into a jeep, a 3/4 ton and a 2 1/2 ton we proceeded on our trip. I don't remember how we got there and I was driving the 3/4 ton but I do remember to get there, we had to be hauled over a river on a raft. Once we arrived we soon discovered that the sleeping quarters weren't much and our leadership, i.e., Sp6 Rollins made the decision that we would sleep down on the local beach. The site was on the ocean somewhere near what was later to become “Sea Range” where Nike and Hawk Annual Service Practice (ASP) firings were conducted
     To no great surprise we all chose to drink beer instead of the crappy water available on post so we made sure we had plenty of it iced down all of the time. One night we were awakened by the sound of choppers which we soon discovered were evacuating sick troops. The story was that the troops were being evacuated with jaundice resulting from a Korean contractor who was suppose to travel to the cleaner river water to obtain the drinking water supply (Of course the contractor would have to treat the water) which was a considerable distance away.
     The understanding is that the contractor would get paid for the mileage to the river which made it attractive to go less miles and pocket the additional funds. So as all good contracts provide, the contractor decided that the water out of a good clean rice paddy much closer in distance would do just fine and he would be well rewarded for his efforts.
     However, it appeared that the water just could not be chlorinated enough to prevent decease but the story on us of the ASCOM 226th is that drinking beer is not always a bad thing. It saved our cookies and as far as I know we all made it home healthy before the snow set in. Got to say, we had great leadership during a period which I believe was around 45 days or so.

Larry Leroy McFall

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