4 May 1969
Cacti Blue Takes A Break
OASIS — Company barbecues and a visit from movie starlets, highlighted a stand-down for the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry at the Oasis.
A carnival atmosphere prevailed throughout the three days of the Cacti Blue stand-down. Each company had a barbecue, the most popular feature of which was charcoal broiled steaks.
"The best part of all, though," according to Specialist 4 James Pickerill, of Lyons, Kan., a member of the Delta Company Mortar Platoon, "was the chance to forget war for a few days. No patrols, no guard duty. We just acted like it was peace time."
Although the primary purpose of the stand-down was to provide the Cacti Blue with a well-earned break after ten months in the field, the days also afforded an opportunity to solve numerous administrative difficulties.
The Division Composite Personnel Team handled finance and personnel records problems. Problems with equipment were taken to Maintenance Contact Teams. To the chagrin of some, all shot records were brought up to date.
A mobile PX visited the battalion area and was immediately busy selling cameras, film, radios, and tape recorders.
The new cameras and film were put to immediate use when the battalion was visited by Sharon Hillyer, Suzann Brent, and Sharon Mullikin, three very beautiful and friendly girls with a touring USO show.
Other activities crowded the calendar for the three days the Cacti Blue spent at the Oasis. Volleyball and football were popular but writing letters home filled most of the time. Many took full advantage of the privilege to sleep at any time of the day or night.
At the conclusion of the stand-down, the Cacti Blue executive officer, Major Dennis M. Duggan of Honolulu, pronounced the operation a success.