The Whiskey in AWOL

By Rick Magnuson

While going to “A” school in Great Lakes, Illinois, I use to go home a lot on the weekends. I was telling a friend from my Boot Camp Company, that I was going home for the weekend and that my high school football team was playing for the Detroit City Championship (Pershing HS vs U of D), he asked if he could come along. I said yes, and off we went.

Photo Credit: Military

Photo Credit: Military

Before the game we decide to pick up something to drink. “So, can you handle your whiskey, or what?” I asked him.

“Oh yeah!” He assured me. “No problem…drink my dad’s whiskey all the time.”

“Okay!” I said, and went into the Package store to get some whiskey.

We were all having quite a good time at the game and when the game was over we all ran onto the field to celebrate our team winning. My friend got lost and eventually we had to leave without him. The next morning my Mom asked “where is your friend?”

“Not sure.” I said with a shrug. “He just disappeared after the game.” Then, on the low down, I said quietly, “too much to drink.”

She suggested that it was time to start calling around to see where he might be. After a few calls we found him…

Locked up at a downtown police station, not to happy about it, and not feeling so good either. It turned out that he left, and quickly got lost. Staggering off the street and up onto some stranger’s porch, apparently looking for directions, he started pounding on the door. The women inside called the police and he was arrested for an attempted break in.

I wasn’t his family member, so they wouldn’t let me visit him at his cell.

Without seeing him, and needing to leave without him, I had to return to the base right away, alone. My whiskey-drinkin’ buddy showed up a couple of days after me. It wasn’t long after, he went to Captain’s mast. Lucky for this sailor who put the “Whiskey” in “AWOL” –It turned out the Captain of the base was from the same area in Maine where he was from, and their High Schools were rivals in sports.

They had a nice chat about their rivalry and he was let go with no penalty.

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