The MPs’ Tales
By Austin P. Torney
Copyright 2012 Austin P. Torney
Chapter 1: Now and Then
MOUNTAIN FOREST CAVE, OAHU
Juliet, the MP Combat Unit Sergeant, looks about the flowered cave. I, Patrick, the MP Combat Unit Captain, ride my motorcycle down the trail, through a bamboo mountain forest, towards the cave entrance. The sun is setting, my motorcycle headlight is on, and the birds seem to note these goings on. We envision ourselves standing atop the cave, on a cliff, holding our weapons, in a combat scene.
The MP waves me through the gate again, the same man, six months later, although I don't need to use the gate; however, if it’s open I use it, for it’s a shorter and smoother way to the mountain retreat. The other MP stays inside the hut, a good practice. I spend half the year in Oahu. Here is Palm Circle, a ring of palms surrounding a very large, grassy area, and then all the offices and posts, across the road. I head up the mountain path to the retreat. Juliet from Jamaica has been taking care of the place, on and off, and all is found to be in order. No one can find us here.
Long ago, near the end of my Army term, I became the temporary Captain of an MP unit for three months. It was a rare MP combat unit that had returned from Vietnam/Cambodia. MP combat units guard convoys and other times forward installations. My new job mostly amounted to keeping track of them, their needs, and their pay, although there was an interesting incident which I may get to later. I deployed them around Fort Shafter and Schofield Barracks, as many thousands of troops were returning during the Paris Peace Accords. MPs were always needed. If the Army had only two troops, then one would have to be an MP. There was no Major, so I reported to the Colonel. I had an outside office, during the day and part of the evening, a four-posted open shelter with a thatched roof.