Aggie mentioned Guiding Light in an earlier post. I’m not much of a soap opera guy… these days.
Lunchtime in the Army ran from 1130 to 1300. Promptly at 1300, each company holds a formation to account for personnel, and update the work to be done for the day.
Eating lunch usually only took about 20 minutes. The rest of the time was supposed to be used for attending to personal business and whatnot. As often as not, we junior troops would squeeze in a quick combat nap. Or sometimes, we’d hang out in the dayroom, and watch television on the bigscreen. But if that was our choice, the channel was not. Our First Sergeant was a warrior’s warrior. Two tours in Vietnam, one as Infantry, one as Special Forces, CIB, medals and scars and just all around an impressive man to 19 year old youngster like me. And he got to choose what channel the dayroom TV was on.
As it turned out, his favorite show as General Hospital, which was on from noon to one. He really, really liked it. And after a while, quite a few of us got hooked on it as well. But since we had formation at 1300, he kept missing the very last bit of each program, where the cliffhanger always comes in.
So pretty soon, the First Sergeant came up with a very common sense answer to his dilema. In Alpha Wolfhounds, and in probably no other company in the Army, lunch ran from 1135 to 1305. That five minute time shift made sure we knew how each program ended.
And if some outsider wanted to know where the heck the First Sergeant was at 1300? “He’s in with the General!” shut up just about all questions. We just didn’t name which general…