Brad Hobb's Part

Group of MK revelers walks into the Ancon, and there's this white guy semi-passed out at the bar.  Somehow, they make the connection that he is  one of "theirs", and decide to help out by loading him in a cab to take him  back to the hotel.  In the process of carrying him (Cosgrove) out, he wakes  up and starts struggling.  A common glance is exchanged by the four  carriers, and as if on queue, they all drop him.  He passes out again. 

 They  pick him up, and manage to get him out front.  One of the guys negotiates  the deal with the cab driver, while the others load Cosgrove in the back seat of the cab.  Cosgrove wakes up again, and begins kicking the crap outta the back door of the cab, at which point the cabbie starts yelling to get him outta his cab. 

  All the ruckus alerts the Guardia that usually hung out on the corner of Av  d.l. Martires and Calle J, and they stroll down to check out the commotion. 

  By this time Cosgrove is outta the cab, sorta on his feet, and while the MK  brethren try to explain the situation, Cosgrove endears himself to the Guardia so much, they decide to take him off to their place for a while.  (Not sure if he tried to slug one of them or just cussed). 

  Nobody knew where Cosgrove went, and the Guardia wasn't really talkin about  it...but the end of the tale was that Cosgrove was back on a plane outta Panama less than 48 hours after he got there. 

  The guy that told me the story (Bob Lucas), was one of the shanghai'ed  volunteers in 81-82 - he convinced someone he could understand Spanish (and got Rick Valdez to vouch for him), and being half Japanese, half Italian,  Bob almost looked hispanic, so....free 90 days at Howard from Okinawa, with  per diem!  He told me the story, and about 6 months later, we're on the ops  floor at Torii Station, and Bob stops dead in his tracks, grabs my arm and  starts pointing "that's the guy, that's the guy!" and there stood the newest  PCS'd MA into the 6990th......Michael Cosgrove.

Vernon Lee's Rendition

You got the story pretty good, considering it's second- or third- hand (I see some things haven't changed).  I was one of that "group of MK revelers," and I know Juan and Luis Valdes were there, too, as well as Mike's drinking buddy that night, Bruce Kilty.  I think when we arrived, Cos was already on the floor and had bitten one of the waiters in the hand.  Since they knew he was associated with The Moscos, they didn't want to press charges, just get him the hell out of there. 

I don't remember who actually put him into the cab, but I do vividly recalling him kicking the door and screaming, "I'll kill you motherfuckers!" at the top of his lungs.  It was the yelling, I believe, that attracted some of Panama's finest to the scene.  And Juan, maybe you remember, but I also think Cos punched Bruce Kilty in the face as we were trying to get him out of there. 

Oh, yeah!  Now it all comes back to me!! 

That was the night we threw a birthday party in the Howard NCO Club for Chief Bell!  If memory serves me, Juan and I jumped in a cab after the guardia took Cos away and raced back to Howard to find the chief.  The NCO club was closing, and Jimmy Bell was sitting there with a couple of guys absolutely toasted.  I remember he had this wide shit-eatin' grin on his face, and gave us a little "Hi there!" wave.  That night, I gained a new facet of the immense respect I already had for Jimmy Bell.  As we told him what had happened to Cos, the grin slowly melted away, and within a matter of minutes, the chief was in complete control of himself and deciding what to do next.  I think he wound up going to the guardia station himself. But it was very impressive.  The chief had been drinking kamikazes or B-52s or something like that since about 9 o'clock, but the minute something involved one of his charges, it was almost like he willed his body to overcome the effects of the alcohol (much like he used to do with the Block III!).

 Here's to you, Chief, wherever you are!


 Comandante Hugo



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Last updated: 01/26/07.