Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Monday, September 22, 2008

Maxing Out Ration Cards

I had a nice note from Steve Segall a few days ago. Steve was assigned to USACC from 1974 to 1976 and he had a humorous story to tell about the Embassy Shop piece I wrote back in August:

I enjoy reading your website with stories and photos of Taiwan. I was stationed with the Army and worked out of the USACC Headquarters at the HSA compound in Taipei from June 1974 to June 1976. Bill Thayer was in charge of Personnel at the time and a wonderful and wise fellow he was.

I unfortunately got hooked up with a young lady who took my Embassy Shop card, bought expensive liquor, and sold it for many times the amount on the black market. She also maxed out my cigarette rations. I didn't realize what was going on until Colonel Ashby and the Sergeant Major checked ration cards during a troop formation and noticed that mine were maxed out. I should mention that I neither smoked nor drank.

The Colonel ordered the Sergeant Major to have me see the Alcohol Abuse Sergeant at headquarters every week to be swayed from my wayward ways. I would go every week and deny that I ever drank alcohol and every week the sergeant would tell me that I must admit my drinking problem.

I enjoy telling the story about my alcohol abuse classes to friends and family members since they know I never indulged.

Steve Segall USACC TDC and TME Microwave 1974-1976
Great story, Steve! Thanks for sharing it. I rarely used my liquor ration card, but I'll bet there were a lot of other guys who found themselves in situations similar to yours.


Anonymous said...

Question for Steve,

Interesting story. OK, I've been wanting to ask, so I'll ask:

Who was this mystery lady?

Was she worth the troubles you had?

Anonymous said...

Not exactly sure how I ran accross this, but I too have some great stories from USACC, Taiwan. I served there 1974-1975. I ran the MARS Station for Maj Barnum, first on Gold Mountain, then later at the OpCom Station on Grass Mountain. I also founded the 1st Sino-American Explorer Scout Unit for children of the Soldiers. You can contact me at My name is Jim To verify my story, Johnny Walker Black was much more valuable than Johnny Walker Red hahaha