LZ BALDY — Many units stationed in Vietnam are adopting pets as
mascots. Specialist 4 Tony Robertson (Shelbyville, Ill), a squad leader With
the 3rd Brigade’s 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry, currently operating with
the Americal Division, recently told of just such a mascot, a small dog
which makes his home with Company E’s 2nd platoon.
The dog, which answers to the unlikely name of Griswald, was obtained
in a trade between the men of Company E, and the dog’s original owners,
the children of the village of Que Son in Quang Nam province.
Rejecting the soldier’s initial offer of a box of
"chop-chop" (chewing gum), the high-pressure tactics admirably
executed by the kids eventually netted them a box of gum and two comic
books. This made Griswald one of the higher priced mascots in recent Army
history and established his position as a dog to be reckoned with.
Griswald adapted quickly to the Army way of life. After eating and
then carefully evaluating all the different meals contained in a box of
C-rations, he soon displayed a definite preference for chicken and noodles
— followed by a can of warm cocoa. The only ration he would have
absolutely nothing to do with was ham and lima beans.
Griswald suffered a few moments of anxiety when the company came under
heavy mortar fire last month but he easily overcame his fear by burying
himself in SP4 Robertson’s hip pocket.
"It couldn’t have been comfortable but Griswald didn’t seem
to mind It too much," added SP4 Robertson with a grin.
The dog, just plain mutt, has one habit that is not particularly
endearing to his admirers.
"Griswald wakes up at three every morning," said SP4
Robertson. "That wouldn’t be too bad except that he wakes everybody
else up too."
Anyone who fails to respond to the dog’s personal reveille must face
the righteous wrath of an irate pup deprived of his chicken and noodles.
The prospect is frightening.