KAHUKU, Hawaii – Marines serving with Communications Platoon, 1st Battalion, 12th Marines say they were treated to a show of field theatrics last week when their platoon leader unleashed an impromptu shadow puppet display during midnight downtime.
Second Lt. Warren Schillinger decided to make the most out of a mundane situation, and share his talent with the bored Marines. Sources say he made no announcement of his plans, instead opting to unfurl his poncho liner, tie it to some trees, and contort his hands into a pterodactyl while cawing like the long extinct beast.
The Marines were instantly awed and aimed their flashlights up at the poncho liner like pseudo spotlights, sources confirmed. Many of them oohed and aahed with every flap of the wings, as their leader gave life to a land before time deep in the Hawaiian fields.
“I honestly couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” said Cpl. Lonnie Rochester, a radio tech from Logan, Utah. “All this time I thought this guy was just some college dolt with no military purpose, and then he drops this little ditty on us.”
A native of Mercer, Wisconsin, Schillinger said he perfected his craft as a boy under the blanketing darkness of the Northwoods, and knew the day would come when he’d look at his Marines and know it was time to break it out.
“It’s always been my ace in the hole,” he said. “I mean, I’m a leader of Marines first and foremost – but I am also a proud entertainer.
The Marines laughed and cheered wildly well into the early morning, as their formerly disregarded leader earned their respect with flawless renditions of spiders, ostriches, and even a shapeshifting were-rabbit.
“For real – who shadows a damn were-rabbit?” Rochester inquired. “I tell you who: Lt. Schillinger; and he’s going to lead a battalion one day – mark my words.”