On the Beach

Me flipping the bird behind the Grande Anse Holiday Inn

I spent the next several weeks working in the Corps HQ, which was located in the bombed out remains of the Holiday Inn on Grande Anse beach. (Our squad’s mission was to provide communications between the XVIII Airborne Corps and the 82nd Airborne.) As would later be the case in Bosnia, we were not allowed to socialize with the locals, drink alcohol, shop in civilian stores, eat at their food stands, or otherwise do anything to reduce our cabin fever.

I saw numerous tickets getting punched in that HQ. One admin sergeant got a CIB because he was infantry-qualified, even though he saw no combat. (Combat infantry badges are only supposed to be awarded to grunts that are in actual combat.) On another occasion, a captain used my radio to call Ft. Bragg and tell his buddy to get on the next flight so he could get his medals too. The clerk who typed up awards for the HQ sat next to me. I saw him type bronze medal citations for meritorious, valorous, above-and-beyond, ad nauseum when the only thing the person had done was chase a stray dog away from the Corps commander on the beach. That shit wascommon.

Before I had left, I filled out some paperwork to ensure that my bills — including child support — got paid while I was gone. After I had been in Grenada for about a month, I found out the support wasn’t getting paid. They had just shit-canned the paperwork. And no one on that island gave a damn enough to help me get the problem straightened out. (I eventually got the support paid, but did it totally on my own.)

Invasion! On the Beach Article 15