Back in 1994, while still in the Air Force, I went on temporary duty (TDY) to Las Vegas, Nevada for a military exercise. Now just like every TDY I went on, while I was away from my now ex-wife, I drank my ASS off and Vegas was no different. Seriously, I was like a fish when I was TDY. I literally grew gills and breathed alcohol. Oh the good ole days. Anyway, while yes we were there for official military business, we weren’t working 24 hours a day, and I have this uncanny ability to be able to drink every second I am off work, sleep for an hour, get up, get dressed, and go work a full day, with no problems. You say I have a problem? Yea well I do…..my problem is work keeps getting in the way of my fucking drinking. Anyway, me and a buddy of mine decided to go down town and check out the strip one night.
It was great, bright lights, casinos, gambling (I left $80 in the positive), very large alcoholic drinks that you bought the entire glass and could walk the strip with and take the glass as a souvinear. Then of course there were the many flyers of call girls, escort services, strippers, and prostitutes that lined the ground you walked on. It was like having your own personal red carpet everywhere you went only it was made of paper and pictures of women instead of being red.
Now, let me go back a few days to our arrival. When we arrived on base we had to get a briefing. This briefing consisted of us being told about the local gangs and the different areas around the strip that they claimed. Also they informed us about one group in particular, that to become a member you had to do something that made the paper. Now this could be anything but it had to be front page, so the popular thing was to try to either assult or kill a military member because that was a sure fire way to make the front page of the news.
Now back to the paper pretend carpet of half naked women. So, me and my buddy are walking the strip, gambling, etc etc for hours. It gets dark, and we decide, hey lets take a shortcut down this well lit road to the other side of the strip instead of walking the entire length. For some reason there were no cars out. No one out walking. Doors and windows were closed. As we get 3 quarters of the way through we see the lights of the strip ahead of us, a car comes driving by. Next thing I hear is wizz, loud pop in the alley and the car speeds up. Well it took a minute to realize we had just been shot at and that bullet just wizzed by my head like a hornet. We said “Fuck This”, I’m sure verbally but mentally too and took off running, towards the strip. Unfortunately it was the same way the car went. Luckily we didn’t see it again.
We made it, continued on our drunken spree and eventually made it back to our room. We reported what happened the next day and then found out we had walked right down the middle of that gangs territory, the where you who have to make front page to join. Needless to say that gave us pause after that. We stuck to the lights and never strayed again. We continued to have a blast there and was not about to let some punk ruin it for us. Overall I feel that was one heck of TDY and I can’t wait to go back to Las Vegas.