Saturday, January 21, 2012

The malingering warrior

Before going to a combat mission, unit leaders perform the so-called operations brief. This is accomplished to ensure that all soldiers understand their specific roles as part of the team and as part of the platoons.

One day in our jungle lair in Basilan island, I supervised the final inspections done by our team leaders. Our unit was tasked to reinforce an Army platoon  which was heavily engaged against more or less 50 bandits in an upland village of Upper Manggas in Lantawan town.

My sub-unit leaders were busy with the final 'equipment check'. They made sure that everything was in order before we plunge into the fight.

From our location, we can hear the thunderous explosions of mortars and machineguns. Most of us were excited and ready to help our friends, some of whom were already wounded.

We had started loading in our trucks when my Platoon Sergeant, SSgt Kulapu came to me.

"Sir, Pfc Kulas, the Lead Scout of Team 3 suddenly became ill. He has diarrhea. I will find a replacement," he said. 

I was frustrated and mad. I noticed something fishy. I remembered that this guy was always 'sick' right before our combat missions.

I devised a countermeasure. I summoned the 'sick' soldier.

As he walked near me, I sensed that he was okay but was 'making faces' to exaggerate his 'suffering'.

I ordered everyone to disembark from the vehicles to hear my announcement.

"Gentlemen, let us delay our movement for a few minutes. For many times over, our comrade here is sick before a combat mission. Since he is having loose-bowel movement, I will personally inspect his shit just to make sure he is telling the truth and nothing but the truth," I explained, believing that my decision to allow the soldier to skip from our delicate mission must be based on a prima facie evidence. 

Amidst the excitement for the upcoming combat action, most of the soldiers smiled. They knew that Pfc Kulas suffered 'malingeritis' (a fake illness among soldiers who claim to be warriors only during drinking sessions).

Sensing that he was being cornered and that his stupidity exposed, Pfc Kulas stood ramrod straight and delivered his piece: "Buddies, I am going with you now. No need to see my damned ass in the toilet!".

Pfc Kulas' action drew boisterous laughter among my soldiers. He just wore a smile on his face as he rejoined his teammates.

"He can not 'one' me because I was not born yesterday (Di nya ako maiisahan kasi di ako ipinanganak kahapon)," I told SSgt Kulapu who was grinning from ear to ear.

From then on, he always stayed beside me during our various adventures in that island. I slept in the same bushy ground where he slept and ate the much-loved sardinas with him.

I never heard him complain about his illness since then.

I effectively cured his 'malingeritis'.

1 comment: