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Mac and Hai Chong Lee

Story ID:5912
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Organization:retired
Story type:Poem
Location:Hemet CA USA
Year:1945
Person:Mac, Hai, and Chelsea Kansas Kid
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Mac and Hai Chong Lee

Sgt. Mac and Hai Chong Lee

Mac and I were the first two replacements
To the 29th Gen. Hospital, in Nov. “45”
Since they moved from Guadalcanal
Those who survived.

We were treated like kings
Each old GI thinking that Mac or I
Was their replacement
They were happy to say goodbye.

They moved us into the third floor
Of the Empty building where
The room was steam heated
The cots were great with clean sheets there.

One day while returning from Mess
We saw Hai Chong Lee
Sitting in a corner
Mac said to him, “Come with me”

We took him to our room
It was cozy and warm
Fixed the Kid with a pad of blankets
Fed this starved kid we were his lucky charm.

He shines our shoes
Cleaned the floor
Remade the beds
And wanted to do more

He was so thankful
To be in out of the cold
He would do anything
That he was told.

He was about nine years old
We asked him to do nothing
But he was our houseboy
And he knew we would do anything

To give him shelter
To keep him fed and warm
To keep him out of the cold
To keep him safe from harm.

We only made 100 bucks a month
But we had a uniform tailored for him
Cost us twenty five bucks apiece
But now he looked neat and trim.

He soon learned enough English
He asked about every word he heard
We could almost carry on a conversation
He soaked up every English word

After three months
We three were walking down the hall
Hai Chong Lee was talking to us
Behind us we heard a call

Corporal where did you get this kid?
You know it’s against regulations
To have a Korean Kid in your room
This Hospital is for serviceman or patients.

While Mac and I stood at attention
Colonel Rigdon took Hai Chong Lee by the hand
From then on our Korean orphan
Was the Colonel’s right hand man.

Mac and I were sick
All the things that we had done
Just to have the Colonel
Suddenly be number one

To Hai Chong Lee our prodigy
Our tender loving care
Go by the wayside
Was almost more than we could bear

From then on if we saw Hai Chong Lee in the hall
He would throw his nose up in the air
Wouldn’t speak to us
Seemed to be unfair

But the Koreans respect authority
Now this kid looked down on us
He was the Colonels boy
He’d thrown Mac and I, lowly Corporals, under the bus.
True story, Monte L. Manka 04-07-10