From the October 1994 magazine.

Is That You Again?

When I was a young soldier in the Canadian Armed Forces during World War II, I had no problem with alcohol. But in the postwar years my drinking progressed. I had stayed in the army and I soon began to be disciplined for my conduct while under the influence. The military told me I was a "sloppy" drinker, which I now understand to mean I was sloppy in dress, sloppy with time, sloppy with other people's money. Eventually they called me an alcoholic. I was introduced to AA by an army commanding officer on July 15, 1956 and have been sober ever since.

AA helped correct my bad habits, and with nine years' sobriety I was posted to Camp Rafah, in Egypt, for a one-year tour of duty with the United Nations. I expected to be a "Loner" over there so I took a lot of AA literature with me. But somehow on the airplane, my sober thinking began to evaporate. The slogan "Just for Today" completely left me and was replaced by the thought that maybe I had wasted nine years in AA--maybe I wasn't an alcoholic after all. I was going 4,000 miles away from home, and if I drank again, nobody would know. This thinking went on for the duration of the seventeen-hour flight, and by the time I landed in the Gaza Strip, I could almost taste the alcohol. Fortunately for me, when the door of the aircraft opened after my long flight, there were two alcoholics waiting for me.

-- Pat B.

Oakville, Ontario

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