Six months later, around Christmas of 1962, Elliot came home on leave. He'd just finished basic training and some other hush-hush CIA sponsored school at Ft. Bragg and was going to be on his way to Vietnam the morning of New Year's Day. His head was shaved. His ears stuck out. The leather band around the edge of his green beret made a red, painful-looking groove in his scalp. His face was tan. His nails were clipped. He had a few crisp, new ribbons above his shirt pocket and had already earned himself something of a reputation. The guys he'd been in boot camp with called him "Deacon Felton" or "The Deacon" or "Deak." He was the only Mormon in the elite, newly created branch of the military they called "Special Forces." None of the big Bible belt Baptist bruisers who were his comrades in arms had ever known anyone who belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and Elliot talked to them fearlessly about The Book of Mormon. He told them the whole story of how this Moroni guy, this sort of angelic fellow who glowed and walked a foot or two off the floor, told some New England dirt farmer by the name of Joseph Smith where to find some gold tablets hidden under a rock, along with a secret magic decoder device, and that the tablets explained how, shortly after the resurrection, Jesus came to North America and turned a bunch of naked savages into Christians. Elliot's army buddies took kindly to him the way people take kindly to the incurably insane.
Ginny Good, Chapter Seven, (North Beach)