Re: [MV] Vehicle Security

Ken Boge (
Sat, 2 Oct 1999 11:28:53 -0700

All this talk about vehicle security reminds me of something that happened
to me in Vietnam. While this story involves jeeps and radios, some may find
it "off topic". If you are sensitive to that, please stop and delete now.

My Battery Commander gave me the job of locating a band with dancing girls
to come to our fire base and provide us with some entertainment for an
afternoon to help boost morale. This meant going to the USO in Saigon and
enlisting their aid in finding such a group. The only transportation
available at the time was the Battery Commanders jeep complete with full
radio gear. The Battery clerk was assigned to drive for me.

So off we go, two enlisted men with a jeep heading for the exotic city of
Saigon, looking forward to all the excitement that lay ahead. I think the
BC even gave me $50.00 to seal the deal with the entertainers. God bless
him, what a trusting soul he was!

We parked the jeep in front of the USO building in Saigon. There was a
young Vietnamese boy there who demanded 50 cents to "watch" our jeep and
make sure no one stole anything while we were away. Deciding to put first
things first, we went to the nearby massage parlor for a steam bath and
"massage" before going to the USO. After signing a deal with a band, we
went back to the jeep ready to return to the fire base. My driver took one
look at the jeep and yelled "The radio's gone! That thing cost $2000.00,
they're going to take it out of my pay for the next ten years!" I tried to
calm him down but needless to say I was as upset about this as he was. We
found the kid who was "watching" the thieves steal our radio, but short of
torturing him, he wasn't of much help. The radio was chained to the body of
the jeep and padlocked. I still don't know how someone could have removed
it in broad daylight on a busy street without raising some suspicion.

We reported the incident to the MP's and their basic reaction was "so what,
I'm busy".
By this time its getting dark and starting to rain the way it does during
the monsoon season. We decided the only thing we could do would be to find
another jeep with a similar radio and "liberate" it . After driving around
the city for an hour or so, and having come across several radios too
securely attached to their vehicles to be of any help to us, we finally
found a jeep parked at a hotel with a radio held on by nothing more than a
couple of thumb screws. Ignoring the red license plate with two gold stars
, we made quick work of pulling the radio and beating a hasty retreat for
"home". I guess Generals are arrogant enough to believe that no one would
dare mess with their stuff. This one didn't count on two extremely
desperate soldiers on a mission. Despite the heavy rain and lack of a top
on the jeep, we were probably the happiest travelers on the road that night.

We told our story to the BC and he was amused by the whole thing. He made a
call to Battalion HQ and had the records changed to reflect the new serial
number on the radio.

I make this confession assuming the statute of limitations has run out on
this crime. If it hasn't then please consider this a work of fiction.
"I love the smell of diesel in the morning"

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