Being from a poor black family, after I finished college, I had to do four years in the Army to pay back what my ROTC scholarship didn’t cover. . I was commissioned a second lieutenant and assigned as a platoon leader in an infantry company. I had married LaShonda while in college and I lucked out managing to get a small married-officer quarters on the base where I was stationed.
Things were pretty tough and money was tight. One night our commanding officer, Colonel Rose, treated all the junior officers to drinks at the ‘O’ club. Rose turned out to be quite a drinker and was soon blitzed. I offered to drive him back to his quarters so he wouldn’t get busted by the MPs and he accepted.
I have to admit I was kissing his ass a little, but you have to do such things to get ahead in the army today, especially when you’re black-it’s still a white man’s army.
En route home I thought I’d stop at my place and introduce Rose to LaShonda. I had this vision that my wife and Rose’s wife would soon meet and become friends, which wouldn’t be bad for my career, either. I thought my hospitality would do no harm to my career prospects and I knew that LaShonda wouldn’t mind.
Colonel Rose is about 38. He’s a very big, imposing man about six feet three and probably around 300 pounds. He is white and played football at West Point. He always seemed aloof to the junior officers but I figured this was just the way Colonels had to act.
I drove Rose back in my old car to find that LaShonda was still out clubbing with her friends. I offered Colonel Rose a tumbler of scotch and sat in the living room chatting with him. It seemed strange seeing him in such a relaxed mood, as he was always so stern when on duty. We sank a couple more scotches and then LaShonda got back.
She is usually shy, had obviously had had a lot to drink and was very giggly and talkative when she staggered into the room. I thought, “Oh God! Don’t let her do anything to embarrass me now!”
At first she was taken aback by the unexpected surprise of Colonel Rose, but she soon broke the ice by saying, “Just what I need… two lovely men!” I could see Colonel Rose’s face light up immediately. Sensing that LaShonda was probably more than a little drunk I suggested quietly to Rose that, perhaps, I should take him back to his quarters now.