The military's timing stinks
The military has a horrible sense of timing. During the fall of 1968 I was in 98C training at Ft. Devens, Mass. Our class graduated around Thanksgiving and got our orders; practically all of us were assigned to TUSLOG DET 4-4, Karamursel AFB, Turkey; shipping out a week before Christmas!
We had about 2 weeks leave, celebrated Christmas a week early with our families, and flew to Istanbul. Now, I could understand the timing if we were to replace some guys that had been there 1.5 years or longer and were to go home for Christmas. No. The guys we were replacing left Karamursel sometime in February. The Army, in its infinate wisdom, had screwed up Christmas for 2 groups of GI's.
I can remember a bunch of us being at the club on Christmas eve, having several (many?) drinks. About 11:45 Eddie Kurrocka says "Midnight Mass starts in a few minutes." So Eddie and I went to midnight Mass half drunk. I still laugh about that with my pastor today; I tell him at least we went to church.