I think that I have matured enough to be able to recount this, but I do so with much trepidation:
I was part of the advance party for the re-deployment of HMM 364 back to Vietnam. About 13 of us departed El Toro aboard a C-130 on October 2, 1967. After a couple of RONs we arrived Da Nang on October 4th, and were then shuttled down to Ky Ha. We check in and are ready for action by 1800 hours.
After chow someone commandeers a vehicle and we head off, after dark, for the Chu Lai Officers Club. At this point I have not seen a map of the area and am totaly clueless (a word I have become increasingly familiar with as a school teacher) about where we are going and how to get back. The Chu Lai Officers Club is the dominion of the Marine fixed-wing flying club. We hear the stories. Impressive. Then comes the "Contest". The contest is to see which squadron commander can lift the most weight. Volunteers are selectively recruited (that was a clue!), and before long there are three or four "teams" of FNGs on the floor ready to be lifted. We should have seen it coming. Not this, not in a combat zone. What a waste of good beer. It was a cold ride back to Ky Ha, soaked to the skin. I am still looking for that part of the Marine Officer's Guide that lists "initiations".