Devens Redux

When Medic returned from Vietnam in 1970, one year remained on his military enlistment contract. After 30 days leave, he reported to the 595th Medical Battalion, at Fort Devens, MA. In 2005, New Millennium Writings published Medic’s short story How Stevie Nearly Won the War, which includes this fictionalized account of his time at Devens:

Second day Ft. Devens, First Sergeant says, “Where you think you’re going?”
Stevie heading out the barracks door. “What’s it look like, fat boy? Stevie don’t pull guard duty. See you in three days.”
Stevie returns, they bust him in rank.
One night, 2am, a cook wakes him. “Get up. You got KP.”
Stevie says, “I don’t pull KP.
Cook says, “They’ll court martial your ass.”
Stevie says, “Good. Who gives a fuck? I just want out.”
No KP, no haircuts, no saluting. They hated him. Hated him for going up the chain-of-command.
“Stevie to see Lieutenant Carter. Stevie to see Major Hitchens, please. Stevie to see Colonel Olecki.”
Colonel says, “Why are you making all this trouble, son?”
Stevie says, “Just want out, sir. Out of the Army.”
Olecki eyes Stevie’s Cav patch, CMB, other stuff.
“You Cav boys think you’re hot shit.” He tells Stevie, “Straighten up, son, or I will personally court martial your ass.”
The dumb fuck. Stevie’s Army lawyer waits for him but an MP ejects him from JAG.DEVENS
Stevie says, “You can’t do that.”
MP says, “Get a fuckin hair cut you piece of shit.”
Stevie’s hair so long his cunt cap slides off his head. Stevie hauls ass to the Inspector General. “I’m being court-martialed, sir. I’ve been denied my right-to-counsel.”
“I’ll look into it,” he says. “I’ll certainly will look into it.”
Stevie is chewed out by his commanding officer, restricted to base, put on garbage detail.
A lifer pays him a visit.
“Sign here. Bad Conduct Discharge. Isn’t that what you want?”
But Stevie is smart. He has found himself a slick civilian lawyer.
“No thanks,” he says. “Court martial me.”
A week later Stevie sees the base head honcho, General Richard R. Shultz.
“Sir, Stevie reporting to see the General,” he says to a trim lieutenant seated behind an immaculate gray desk.General Albin Irzyk  photo Ivan Steenkiste 2006
By now his hair is shoulder length; his cunt cap kept slipping off his head. The lieutenant reluctantly calls the General. After a brief exchange he slams down the phone. “The General can’t see you today,” he snarls.
“But sir,” pleads Stevie, I have an appointment. I’m here to get out of the Army.”
In one cruel motion the lieutenant stood and pounded the desk with his fist. “I don’t think you get it, bud. The General will not see you. Now get the fuck out!” he screamed.
And he really said that. GET THE FUCK OUT!

Medic found  General Albin Irzyk in Spring 2009 and wrote himGeneral-Albin-Irzyk-was-a-distinguishe a hard copy letter in which he tastefully recollected the above and apologized for his behavior. General Irzyk replied most kindly. By extraordinary coincidence, a park in Medic’s home town, Salem, MA,  is named after General Irzyk, who attended its dedication around the time our letters crossed paths.