Benefits of speaking broken English

Having escaped from communist East Germany into West Germany, I aualified under a special refugee quota to immigrate to the U.S. I had to meet a number of conditions. Among them, I had an A-1 and willing to register for the draft within 6 months of my arrival, or I would be automatically deported. Before the time came, I volunteered into the Air Force with very limited knowledge of English.
While in basic training at Lackland AFB, the instructors from the flight next door hassled me and made fun of my broken English. One day I served at barracks guard at their barracks while they were in between training flights. They called me in while they were still in bed. I reported and they ordered me to turn up the thermostat. I said "Yes Sir" and pretended I did not understand. Instead I pulled up the blinds. They cussed me, and as I left I saw two TI's getting out of bed, one turned up the thermostat and the other lowered the blinds. From then on, they never hassled me again.

Wolfgang Franz, Ellensburg, Wash.

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