The Atabrine Tablet

One scene that I remember very vividly was of a morning chow although I can no longer place it in location or time. I only recall we were in a flat wooded area and it was a cool morning in the fall. The kitchen was with us as it always was when they could set up close to us.

I came to the coffee pot and drew a canteen of hot coffee. Two ROKs were in front of me and though I used sugar in my coffee at that time, I did not use it as they did. They had each spooned about a third of a canteen cup of sugar into their cups and then topped it up with coffee. When I had put what I usually used in the coffee I went on down the line. They were passing out atabrine tablets, I believe to guard against malaria. I took the tablet and since there was no water nearby I popped it into my mouth and followed it with the hot coffee to wash it down. It melted instantly and the bitter taste was very nearly more than I could handle. I gagged and thought I would upchuck right there in the chow line. I learned a bitter lesson that morning, never take medicine with anything hot!

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