Morale in the 421st improved daily under Lt. Col. Rackley. The port-a-cabins turned out to be more comfortable than anyone thought they would be. Meals at the o'club seemed to be improving, mail deliveries were steady, and our movie library was loaded with new selections. I ran every other day, went to Mass once a week, and talked to Colette on Sundays and Wednesdays.
When the 4th TFS threw a surprise going-away party at one of the beach resorts for Lt. Col. Scott, some of
my old friends invited me to attend. A big cookout was planned, and Scotty did not know a thing about it.
"He thinks he's going to Al Dhafra AB for a meeting," Vicious said to me. "But the helicopter is going to drop him off here instead."
As the sun began to set, everyone gathered near the beach, awaiting Scotty's arrival. When the helicopter finally landed, Scotty jumped out, and was completely surprised. Everyone shook his hand, eager to
thank him for being such a great squadron commander. The hotel provided a delicious dinner and, afterward, gifts were handed out and toasts made. Scotty, very appreciative, made a moving speech. I had a great time. But, as no longer a member of the unit, I felt out of place. Two months earlier, I had hoped and felt I would someday be a Fightin' Fuujin again. After that night, I realized the place for me was the 421st.