Ice Cream

by SGT Larry Carr (11B)



On a hot, dusty, miserable day during the dry season where the sun would almost cook your brain, we were told that the commanding general of our division was coming out to see and meet his troops. I believe his name was General Burke. All of this really meant something to our captain and his lieutenants but to us sergeants and privates this meant nothing at all. To us it was just time for our officers to kiss a little butt. It was in the afternoon, because we had just set up on a small hill for the night when a small helicopter landed and out stepped General Burke all spit shined from head to toe. Our officers ran to meet him as if the Pope had showed up. All the rest of us just went on about our business.

After a brief meeting with his officers, General Burke made his way around our perimeter, making small talk with everyone. I was digging my foxhole and getting ready for the night when he stopped and asked me my name. I told him "Sergeant Carr." He asked a few more questions, and then asked me if there was anything that I needed. For some reason unknown to me, I said, "Yes sir, I sure would like some ice cream for me and the rest of the guys." He replied, "You would?" I said, "Yes sir!" He then says, "Okay Sergeant, I will see what I can do about that."

After telling me to take care of myself, the general turned and left. It was the very next day, or the day after that, when a chopper landed with Marmite cans filled with ice cream. When word got out that there was ice cream at the CP, everyone started breaking out their canteen cups, helmets, or anything they could find to hold their ice cream. There was plenty for everyone. It was the best ice cream in the whole world.

About two weeks went by and I was once again digging my foxhole for the night when I heard a voice from behind me say, "Is that all you do Sergeant Carr; dig holes?" I turned around and there stood General Burke. I said, "Yes sir. I am trying to dig myself all the way home." He just laughed and asked how I liked the ice cream. I told him that it was the best ice cream we had ever had, and thanked him. He said that he was glad to help his men in the field. I was hoping he would ask if there was anything else I needed or wanted, because this time I had a long list. Instead he just talked for a few minutes. He told me to take care of myself and headed back to his chopper and flew away. Now when I eat ice cream, I always think of General Burke and his generosity to a bunch of hot, dusty, and tired soldiers, who just happened to like ice cream.





Charles  Ames


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