John Walters in barracks
John Walters was a cool breeze that blew into Ft Bragg from Los Angeles. He was tall, quiet and stoned to the bejesus most every time I saw him. We went to Panama together with the 1/325. He was almost the perfect soldier in that he looked like a soldier was supposed to look -- Except that 'stoned' part.
John and I enlisted about the same time but he went in for three and I did four years for a $2,500 bonus paid after Infantry school. At his ETS (Estimated Termination of Service) party we doused his bus driver hat in lighter fluid and lit it. Six of us stood around a circle and peed on the flames giving real meaning to, "If you were on fire I wouldn't pee on you to put you out."
John bought Bob Claggett's '63 Dodge Dart with push button transmission and that was just as well. John had borrowed my '68 Dodge Charger one afternoon and rear ended a parked army pick up on main post.
He was of course stoned and I learned, at 19, never to loan your car to someone who is stoned. A buddy in JAG made the claim disappear. Anyway, the morning after his ETS party, John loaded up the Dart with everything he owned and left Bragg long before any of us woke up.
Two days later the Texas Highway Patrol found the car abandoned on the side of the highway. They were looking for John and tracked him to us. A couple days later he called from L.A. and explained the engine blew. He crammed a few things in his Alice ruck along with his ETS orders and hitched home.
We never heard from him again. Not that that was unusual. But he was the only guy I ever knew in the army who wore pajamas. That was most unusual.