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Choppers are better

Much preferred being a crew chief/door gunner on a UH-34D (“Dog”) than humping on the ground. Good thing is that the bad guys usually didn’t lead us enough while we were flying so rounds hit the tail section without causing much harm. Bad thing if they had auto weapons or we were stationary on the ground or taking off. As for tanks… we came into a hot zone for a medi-vac and a guy was sitting on top the tank taking pictures of us, guess he thought the VC didn’t have the balls to open up on him or us.

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I Did the Same Thing-Quit School and joined the USMC at Age 17

I joined the USMC at age 17 and it was the best thing that I could have ever done at the same time, just like you. It actucally led to me getting my GED and eventually getting a BA and MPA degree later. I don’t think I would ever have made it into college without joining the Marine Corps at age 17 and I have always been very proud of my service in the USMC.

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Why choppers and tanks are alike

South Vietnam, Republic Of; I was a radioman with the 7th Regiment, 1St Marine Division from September1967 through October-1968 at Hill 55. One day we were walking back from a daily patrol and when we reached the main highway, we hitched a ride on an Army tank that was passing through. Never got inside it, but looked down into it. A few days later I was heading out on an operation in a CH-46 helicopter and got shot down. Luckily I survived with just a couple of sprained ribs-it made me realize that tanks and helicopters had the same problem-they’re both fucking bullet magnets! To all of us and those just like us-Damn Few!!

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The Good Life

The year was 1963 I was a 15 yr old junior in High School in Riverside, CA the previous year I had attended the 3-week summer Devil Pup program at Camp Pendleton which made me even stronger in wanting to be a Marine. We had just arrived at school when someone got the bright idea to ditch and go to the beach around 60 miles away. My father was a deputy sheriff on the Riverside Sheriffs Office and I was afraid this was not a good plan, but this one kid drove his mothers car so we knew we would make it down and back without car troubles and could get back in school with a tardy slip before the day was over. Upon arriving at the beach and after walking down a steep hill to the sand we realized we had no swimming trunks another kid said no problem we’ll skinny dip! Great idea until the police car arrived and took us to the Newport Beach Police Dept. Our parents were called and had to pick us up at the station( for skinny dipping and truancy) my father screamed at me the whole ride home that my car was taken away and I was on restriction until I was 18 I begged my mother to let me enlist in the Marines when I turned 17 and a day. In those four years and including Vietnam I was never unhappy that I quit school to join the finest fighting outfit in the world!

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From Hell to Heaven

We were all scared out of our wits after the first day- and the ability of the D I to strip you of any sense of reality- ” I am – your your mother- I am your father- and I am your worst nightmare.” In reality they had a short time to break you down- rebuild you into a Marine and wash off that former self you were at before Boot Camp. Er were called all sorts of names- some we learned what was meant of these epithets later on- we fought to be the apple of the D I’s eye. We were punished severely for screw-ups and were rewarded for sometimes inconsequencial things. In a nutshell we were remolded to a fighting unit- thinking as one and of each other – accomplish the mission at all costs- blind obedience to a point. We were called Girls to embarrass us – and after graduation we were called Ladies- My best feeling of pride as a Marine – my D I ‘s recognized us as ” United States Marines” — Semper Fi- and you are always a Marine- as I am still in tyhe Marine Corps League- and can honestly voice my opinion and have no fear anymore- as you do not want to piss off a old cranky 70 something male- ” Love the Sgt Grit newsletter-

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NEW WORDS

I arrived at MCRD San Diego, 18 years old from the midwest and we were gathered together and issued a sweat shirt and a cover (hat) fitted to our head with a full head of hair, a pail and a brush. Then we went to the barber shop and all our hair was cut off, the cover became to large for our heads, but went down over our ears. Our DI’s shouted out the word “Shit Bird” I had never heard that word before, but I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt I was one standing there at attention, cover over my ears, a pail, a brush and a sweat shirt, still in civilian pants and shoes. Not sure of the timing, but we were marched to the quanset hut where we would spend 3 months and with the pail and brushes we scrubbed everything from top to bottom, in the meantime being sprayed by water type fire extinguishers by the DI’s, who were shouting some brand new words that I had never heard before…I had not been a prissy person, but I was shocked at some of the new words we heard and learned.

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Boot Camp & A bit after

When I first arrived at MCRDSD at 2330 hours, on 16 Nov. 1961, I can remember one thing. Two other recruits and I arrived and we were told to “take off everything that you were not born with and …” put our clothes into a locker and put the key, on a shoe lace, around our necks. We stood there. I was naked and the other two guys still had on their underwear. A Marine yelled at them and their underwear just disappeared. They did not take them off, their underwear just disappeared.

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The Hat From Hell

He was a North Vietnamese Regular. HE CAME FAST AND FURIOUS. HE HAD SKILLS. MAD SKILLS. I Had ” THE HAT FROM HELL” . I’m here to tell the story because that HAT, RAN, PUSHED, SCREAMED. ADJUSTED AND YES MAN HANDELED BOYS, NERVOUS TERRIFIED BOYS WHO WERE GOING OFF TO WAR. Unknown to us at the time he had Two Silver Stars And a Bronze , Purple Heart. He would sneak around at night and choke you till you couldn’t breathe ” Because That’s when they will come” THE HAT FROM HELL”

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Corpmen

There is no higher respect to be given than that to a CORP MAN. As this is typed there are still tears in my eyes from reading what a CORP MAN wrote about Viet Nam and going to ” The Wall ” with his daughter with recommendations that others who haven’t been need to go. It’ been said MARINES guard heavens gates. What’s not been said is: ” Behind every MARINE is a CORP MAN in case he’s needed. MARINES may carry a lot of memories about combat and etc. but NO ONE knows what a CORP MAN carries……for he carried MARINES in his heart and soul. DOC, YOU ARE MY BROTHER. Semper Fidelis

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