From the Archives
By Marc Levy
For my website (Medic in the Green Time) occasionally I request the military records of prominent veterans on the National Archives PEP list or through an FOIA request. Pending are the records of Senator Joe McCarthy (he faked his valor) and Senator Eugene McCarthy (a genuine hero). The other day the Archives called me about a recent FOIA request. Here is how it went:
"Sir, do you happen to know his social security number?"
"Is he currently alive?"
"Do you have his current address?"
"He's incarcerated. Wait a moment while I go online. Here you go, he's in Coleman II United States Penitentiary in Sumterville, Florida. Would you like his prison number?"
"021820-748. How about his date of birth?"
"We have that. Is this person deceased?"
"Like I said, he's incarcerated. Haven't you heard of him?"
"The guy you're calling about. His name is James Joseph Bulger. He was a notorious Boston mobster. He was on the lam for almost 20 years. The FBI finally caught him and his girlfriend in 2014. It was in the papers. It was on TV."
"I haven't heard of him. How do you spell his name?"
"B-U-L-G-E-R. First name James, middle name Joseph. Junior. His nickname is Whitey. You never heard of him?"
"How do you spell Whitey?"
Marc Levy was an infantry medic with D 1/7 First Cav in Vietnam/Cambodia '70. His website is Medic in the Green Time. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.