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Publisher Mare Pacificum
Published in Biographies & Memoirs
Punchy Company is an expose of the day-to-day life lived by soldiers, sailors, and airmen, recounted with directness, feeling, and truth. Adeptly written, it describes in great detail what service in Korea looked like, sounded like, smelled like, but most of all of what it felt like. Mr. Solstad addresses the simple realities of soldier behavior, both on and off duty; how their actions circumvented behavioral guardrails they would not otherwise dodge at home. With a frankness seldom encountered, the story is told just as it happened.
The Ville, as it was, thrived on the money of soldiers, alcohol, and lots of beautiful yet impoverished women, so the youngest and most naïve of soldiers soon discovered their advantage: they had the money, so they made the rules. They knew it was fleeting, so they enjoyed it. The Ville was therefore an actualized state of mind wherein shameless revelry led the way. Career soldiers have even more advantage in every way. They have more experience and intimate knowledge, having encountered the Ville before, and are not at all beyond temptation. This includes even the most senior field-grade officers, although the latter were certainly more discreet. No matter, boys will be boys, and “a great many of those who talk most eloquently…about decency and self-restraint…live in pursuit of every sort of lust.” Indeed, licentiousness dates from time immemorial; witness the birth in ancient Greek poetry of the f-word, dating from the sixth-century BC, 2,600 years before it entered our language through By Love Possessed. It has since achieved the singular distinction of becoming the most hackneyed English term in usage today.
As to alcohol, Ogden Nash got it right when he penned his insightful truth on breaking ice: “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.” And so it is that booze energized the Ville and gave it life. For some, however, this all led to ruin; for others, near ruin. I witnessed this more often than I would care to report, yet as that is the purpose of this chapter; I will do so after making a definition from the Oxford English Dictionary (OED): “transcribe… 1. a. trans. To make a copy of (something) in writing; to copy out from an original [my italics]; to write (a copy).”
In that regard, what follows is an honest and faithful effort to transcribe original events without modification, literary license, or untruth.
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As a graduate of the University of Minnesota, the author served as a commissioned officer in the U. S. Army Signal Corps, and then as an Information Technology Executive with the U. S. Air Force for a period spanning forty years at various assignments and locations: the Pentagon; Fort Knox, KY; Fort Riley, KS; Fort Gordon, GA; Fort Snelling, MN; Fort Richardson, AK; Fort McCoy, WI; Camp Ripley, MN, and overseas in Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Germany. After service he formed DS Information Systems Corporation with a friend and business partner in Aiea, Hawaii. He is now largely retired and resides in Ewa Beach, Hawaii, where he continues to write and consult.