Contraband at the Front Gate
While being assigned to the MAA staff and doing my stint on gate guard duty, the now Chief of the steward mates at BOQ was leaving the base. This was the former Chief cook of the EM galley also known as Mother. He had on his dress blues with gold chevrons for many years of good behavior and was driving a station wagon with an ice chest sitting in the back and in clear view. I thought that he was not headed for a picnic and asked to inspect the chest and its contents. He got out of his car and opened the back lift gate. He had a scowl on his face and his lips were quivering with anger, but he was obligated to obey my request. The only reason that I was inspecting his vehicle was to annoy him by exerting a meager amount of authority that I now had as a gate guard. Given what I thought was in the ice chest, I was anticipating a very uncomfortable time for the Chief. I knew very well that the chest probably contained some goody from the BOQ galley because I had watched items leave via the back door of the EM galley. Cumshaw was an acceptable trade commodity, whatever the source. The Chief became more livid when I asked him to open the ice chest, but he honored my request without comment. I could just see the anger in his eyes. I was being very professional, respectful and outwardly cool. I had achieved a new level of communication with the Chief. The chest was filled with ice and several packages that were neatly wrapped in white butcher’s paper. This was a moment of decision for me. Should I ask the JOOD to come out and inspect the contents of the packages or should I just let him be on his way?Needless to say I was enjoying the Chief’s extreme discomfort and was sucking up every millisecond of it. I dared not smile. The Chief knew me well from my galley days and I can only imagine what he was thinking. Perhaps he thinking that this gate guard was going to get some measure of revenge. After a time with no conversation passing between the two of us, I told him that he could be on his way. I never had any intention of turning him in, but to this day I mull over that decision. -- Rodney Martin
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Revised: June 30, 2010