Fort Stewart, GA, sometime in 2015. It was around 0530 and I had just pulled into the parking lot after my drive from Richmond Hill and barracks checks. I had my morning coffee so I was ready to tear into some fuckers should it be warranted. I walked into the unit building and chatted with a few of the other NCOs while we waited for the unit to arrive; which they did minutes later.
At 0550 the unit was lined up for a regular inspection of ID cards and ID tags. Naturally, lined up in alphabetical order. As we go through the line, of course there are the normal knuckle heads and morons who forget things even though, in this day and age, shit gets put out about 1294394823 times via text and phone call. No excuses, right? Well, we get to the letter R. The letter R is important today because what happens next is phenomenally boneheaded.
The Sergeant walks around the table and to his Platoon Sergeant, who we will call ‘Smoke’ as I’m former FA, (and I don’t care that you grunt fuckers hate us. I love my nasty legs). So, Sgt R. walks up to Smoke and snaps to parade rest. Smoke looks right at him and says, “what the fuck do you want? Get back in line.” Sgt R. replies, “Smoke, I have a problem.” He slowly pulls a set of ID tags out and shows Smoke. Smoke looks at them, and back at the Sgt. He does this repeatedly in shock and awe.
What felt like 10 minutes passed before Smoke finally looked at Sgt R. and exclaims, “WHO IN THE ABSOLUTE FUCK IS CHARLES BARNETT?!”
The unit area and Soldiers fell silent. Sgt R. was baffled. He replied, “Smoke, I have no idea. I went to leave this morning and these were next to my wallet and I took them. I thought they were mine.”
At this point I’m sitting there wondering how the hell you have someone else’s ID tags. It’s fairly easy to, as I figured out quickly. You can find them and put them in your pocket to find the owner at a later date. The question was then begged, by Smoke, “how in the fuck did they get in your house? And how do you not know who he is and you have his ID tags?!”
That’s the million dollar question. While you are at work, and your wife is at home, how did Charles Barnett’s ID tags end up in YOUR house, in YOUR spot, and you not know it? Insert confused emoji here.
The letter R is important because it certainly isn’t the letter B. And Sgt R. is not Charles Barnett. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the ‘Mysterious ID Tags’ here at Tales From The Woobie.
We never did find out who Charles Barnett was. 3 years later and that mystery still remains. But alas, I’m retired and don’t fucking care. Until next time…
‘The Ball Pit’