Ballad of G.I. Fro
by Charles D.J. Deppner
The Early ’70’s…
The War wasn’t going well. Ol’ Government Issue came home to a less than sympathetic public. He was pretty damn sure he?d heard the words “baby killer”- if not several- at least a few times since getting back. That was the thing, they never said it to your face. It was always out of the sides of mouths or in the furthest reaches of your periphial vision. What he wouldn’t give for a “head on” fight. After a couple of tours “in country”, that’d definitely be a change.
World War II. Now there was a war you could sink your teeth into. None of these Kalashnikov-carryin’, black pajama-wearin’ freaks. Germans – now there’s AN enemy! You could just as much respect ’em as much as you could take an incendiary grenade and melt the pretty blue eyes outta their pretty blond heads. But the recruiter never promised anything ’bout pickin’ enemies.
Not that Joe ever even saw a German. Joe was an instrument of the Spring and Summer years of the Cold War. Joe’s fight began within months after someone started stirrin? up shit in the Gulf of Tonkin and only a couple of years after the Cuban Missle crisis. Whether or not he wanted to admit it, Vietnam was his war.
Nonetheless, not many parents were going to buy War toys that Christmas and the anticipated Kung-Fu grip technology had been shelved indefinitely.
He had to do something. He had to do something fast.
No sooner had he disembarked before he?d gotten word from some of his buddies, pretty far back into ?the World?, that few of ?em were getting teaming up and putting together a covert ?Adventure Team.?
His initial reaction was somewhere along the lines of, “I’m assembled to blow up bridges and take out sniper’s nests! What the hell do I need with wrestling pygmy gorillas in the jungle, or searching for underwater treasure? I’m a soldier goddammit!?
But what choice did he have? Life-like hair only takes you so far.
Besides, for all he knew, Adventure Team might make a pretty good front for all kinds of political intrigue and mischief. Amidst saving baby white tigers and making time with the Abominable Snowman, there?s gotta be plenty of chances to run guns, smuggle heroin, train murder squads, or even take out the occasional pinko leader. You never can tell.
Two things were certain. First- he and his fellow Joes were definitely gonna have to lay low for a while. And second, he was gonna have to get a haircut.