59. Mefloquine Dispatches: SGT Leanne List, 1998
It is late 1998 and the Army is hunting me.
Not for the crimes that I will plead guilty to, many years later. The crime they hunt me for is embarrassing the Army. I read my old SCMA records and I laugh.
The memory comes back about how I walked out of Signal Platoon with my Sulla face and the CSM came out of BHQ, took one look at me and walked back into BHQ. I might have even screamed and pointed at him. He looked comical in his neck brace.
In 1998 the Army doesn’t know what Quinism or lariam derangement is. PTSD wasn’t even on the radar. No one talked about mental health.
My Quinism comes with acute paranoia. The phone starts ringing almost straight away and won’t stop. When the uniforms knock on my door I don’t answer but I’m ready. They go away. I reach out. If I see another uniform I’ll meet them with knives. I don’t get another knock.
I have a go-kit. Basics. Webbing. Blades. Black hat with its dagger. Need to get rid of it. Don’t know why I do things but I cache things every couple of years. This is just the first time.
The coast is clear so I pack the locked half-trunk in Harley’s car and drive over to my last Sergeants place. She lives in a flat with her partner. My memory is not clear here but I rush to explain things to her. Can she look after my trunk? She agrees. She was a good Egg.
I think that was the last time I saw Sergeant Leanne List.
When I got back a big tranche of memories in 2018/19 I did try to find you but it was all so long ago and I’m not sure you are even alive. Getting new stuff after reading some recently redacted files. I’ll post this out via the RAAOC network in the hope you are well. If you are, I’d love to chat but no expectation. I can be reached via the Gympie Sub-Branch. Just leave a message and a number and I’ll reach out.