The first week at my command, VFA-87, was mostly spent getting checked in and aquainted with the rest of the command. I was on day check during my first week and as the weekend drew closer, two squadron mates from my shop invited me to hang out with them when we got off work that Friday. I agreed to go along and made my way back to my barracks room after work to shower and change for the evening. I was excited to meet new people in the area as well as find some of my friends from A-school that came up on orders after graduation in Pensacola. My friend came to pick me up and we made our way to the liquor store at the mini NEX on base. I was not twenty-one and told my friend to grab me a bottle of Mad Dog, because I was still a realatively unexperienced drinker and I could not come up with anything faster to tell him at the time. He chuckled as he got out of his tiny Honda and made his way into the store.
After securing our purchases we made our way to our destination for the evening and I was immediatley uncomfortable upon entering my other friends home; I was the only girl there. My friends baby was there and his fiance was not yet home from work. We started drinking and visiting for a bit and I began to relax. I was enamoured by a three foot long lizzard my friend had as a pet and barely realized that the missing fiance had arrived. At first there was tension because she was unaware that visitors would be at her home after work, but she quickly relaxed as well. Before I knew it we were looking through photo albums, dancing and singing, visiting with neighbors, and grilling out in the yard.
Andy had gotten off work and called to check in, as he usually did, and was disturbed to find that I was drunk, especially with two men I barely knew. He was more relaxed once he realized that my friends fiance was also present as well as a mixed gender group of neighbors. As our conversation continued I began to feel nauseated. I ran to the back corner of the yard and vomitted profously for several minutes. My friend’s fiance began to become annoyed at my sudden sickness and expressed disdain. I was given a ride back to base and taken to my room, horribly embarrassed.
I recovered the rest of the weekend by staying close to the barracks and sober. Andy and I reconciled over the phone and when Monday morning rolled around, I got out of my rack and proceeded to get ready for work. Upon entry to my shop I was greated loudly, “Heyyyyyy, Mad Dog,” “How’s it going, Mad Dog,” “Mad Dog, YOU ROCK!” My face immediately flushed and began to burn while my lead petty officer shot me an unimpressed glance knowing that I was not a legal drinker. I shrunk inside my uniform and tried to blend into the rest of the shop until shift change that afternoon. That was short lived as maintenance meeting revealed we had a 42 day inspection in the hanger bay.
I made my way out to work with the rest of my assigned team and began pulling and cleaning parts of the aircraft as I had been instructed the previous week. During our work my buddy leaned over and whispered to me, “You know Lana hates you, right?” I stopped working and looked at him shocked. He was referring to my friends fiance from the previous Friday night. I quizickly asked him, “Why?” He then told me that after he took me home and returned to their house to finish the evening, that he and my friend were discussing different girls they thought were attractive. Somehow my name came up and my friend said that if he was given the opportunity he would definately have sex with me. His fiance, obviously did not approve of such statements, and abruptly told him that I was no longer allowed to participate in the weekend group activities at their home any longer.
I felt dirty and guilty; I was sad that I was not welcome to spend time with my new comrades but I had other friends on base. I was mostly confused. Why would another man say they would have sex with me in front of their fiance? I was semi relived at the prospect of not having to be uncomfortable around her, however I wish I had followed my instincts for a bit longer. I was moved that day to night check and told that I would be able to learn more on that shift because the flight schedule ended and the maintenance began. I was not upset at all, especially since I hated getting up early in the mornings and my legacy of the “Only female to survive night check” was in the making.