Saturday, January 27, 2007

Long Island Iced Tea

For a real kick in the pants:

Long Island Iced Tea
1 part vodka
1 part rum
1 part tequila
1 part gin
1 1/2 parts sweet and sour mix
Splash Coca-Cola.

During the first Gulf War I was in a garrison unit and it had a lot of officers. A number of us wrangled orders to the theatre and stood in the sand. One of those officers in particular, a major we'll call Vickie, was in the transportation corps and went over as a spare field-grade officer with a transportation (heavy truck) battalion from the Guard. Due to the weirdness of service and medical problems, Vickie wound up commanding that battalion when it went over the berm. She served with distinction, moving things the Army needed to move and she brought the battalion back with nary a scratch.

Vickie loved Long Island Iced Tea. Loved it with a depth of devotion seldom seen in this world. A bunch of us were back at Fort Polk in June of that year and we got notice that Vickie's unit was coming back to England AFB, near Alexandria, LA. We determined to greet her on the ramp with Long Island Iced Tea.

The Air Force had a kind of rally area set up down on the end of the ramp, where buses met returning units and where light refreshment could be had. The refreshment came in the form of iced tea, soft drinks, cold milk and hot coffee. The tea, milk and coffee were in large, 5 gallon thermos devices. We called them Silver Bullets. So, with a half-gallon each of rum, vodka, tequila, gin, and the appropriate quantities of Coke and Sweet & Sour mix, we mixed a huge Long Island Iced Tea into a silver bullet, loaded it into the back of a HMMVW and headed toward England AFB.

Our party consisted of a light colonel, two majors, and a captain. The captain, of course, was designated to drive.

When we got to the air field, we went to the rally area and downloaded the contraband on the refreshment table, dropped the tailgate on the Hummer, and sat down to await the aircraft. It wasn't long before we noticed some activity around our silver bullet, and sure enough an Air Force bird colonel walked over to us with a tall styrofoam cup in his hand. We stood and saluted, as is proper.

The Colonel asked if we were awaiting a flight, and we told him that we were here to greet the main body of a transportation battalion, and specifically, a sunburned, very thirsty Battalion Commander.

He asked if we were knowledgeable about the prohibitions of alcohol on an Air Force flight line. As Army officers, we denied any such knowledge.

He smiled, told us to greet our Major appropriately, and take our silver bullet with us when we left.

Vickie retired three years later as a Lieutenant Colonel. She resides in Texas.


Anonymous said...

Wespac '85 our squadron set a beach det ahead from Hawaii as advance party to secure hanger spaces at Miramar (as usual).

They met us with a banner visible as we manned the rail during the approach to North Island. "WE ARE HERE, ON THE PIER, WITH THE BEER"

Home sweet home.

Anonymous said...

Some 40+ years ago while on a Med cruise, my US Navy destroyer spent some time in port in Greece. The ship threw a beach party for the liberty sections.

They gave us bus transportation, and at the beach provided all the steaks we could eat and all the beer we could drink. They iced down the beer in big galvanized trash cans.

Now, about 200 sailors can drink lots of beer, so the navy provided plenty. In fact, there was so much beer, all 200 sailors got drunk and so did about 200 Greeks who, by a stroke of good luck, happened to go to the beach that day.

It was an exercise in goodwill and International cooperation. Before long, we were having a contest with the Greeks over who could stand with one leg inside an ice- and beer-filled trash can the longest.

I don't remember what nation won the contest, but I now believe that our next war should be decided on a beach with plenty of babes and beer and trash cans full of ice.