When the Platoon Commander was out of earshot, everybody started talking at once. It only took a couple of minutes to figure out who he was talking about and what he wanted us to do. There was another person missing from our blood letting today. It was the "fire watch" who was on duty while the card game was going on. Apparently the platoon commander kept him back with the card players because he wanted us to take care of him. We finally got it, if the fire watch had done his job, none of this would have happened in the first place.
Okay, we knew who the PC was talking about and we knew what he wanted done. He wanted the platoon to take care of him. To a marine or soldier that means it’s time to have a “blanket party.”
When the targeted guy is sleeping, a blanket is thrown over his head. He's then held down so he can’t see who is beating the shit out of him. In this case they majority agreed that everybody would punch him once. I of course seem to have the need to piss people off, and said that I thought that was a chicken shit idea. If he needs to be beaten, then just beat him.
I was in the minority on the subject, so the poor bastards fate was decided. I told them I wouldn’t take part in it. I’d "beat the shit out of the guy myself face to face," if they wanted me to, but I wasn't going to have any part of a blanket party. One of the guys said that if I "didn’t take part, maybe they’d have to deal with me also." I said "do what you have to do, but as soon as it’s over, I’m coming after you first."
I knew it wasn’t going to happen to me. These guys had seen me go through more crap and taken more punishment from Valdez than all of them put together. They knew I wasn’t afraid of any of them, not even as a group. Some other folks who agreed with me, chimed in that they’d have more than just me to deal with if they tried anything. I told them that I wasn’t going to try and stop them from doing it, but I wouldn’t take part in it. Several others now agreed with me. But there was still way more than enough to have their party, and they agreed to do it that night.
The next morning at our first formation it was obvious that the blanket party took place. The guy could barely walk and his face was bruised and swollen. Those idiots should have taken a hint from the drill instructors and avoided leaving marks on the poor guys face. I still feel pissed today when I hear the term “blanket party.” I think it’s a cowardly way to deal with a person, even if he is a loser, or causes other people problems.
I forgot to mention in the earlier entry, that I saw one of the card players many months later in Vietnam and his skin was still discolored, from the beating he took from Valdez in boot camp...
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