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SGT Reckless

The story of Reckless is not only remarkable – it is unusual.  And once you learn about her, you will see why the Marine Corps not only fell in love with her – but honored her and promoted her every chance they got.  And it wasn’t just the Marines that served with her in the trenches that honored her – her last promotion to Staff Sergeant was by Gen. Randolph McC Pate – the Commandant of the entire Marine Corps.  You can’t get higher than that in the Marines.

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Thank You to My DI

This past October I went on a 3-day bus tour of Parris Island sponsored by the Marine Corps League, Sgt Jason M. Ileo Detachment 1147 of Centerville, MD, along with a few other detachments from Maryland. There were about 40 Marines who went on the trip. We had a great time seeing first-hand all the training the recruits undergo in becoming Marines. It brought back a lot of memories for me. One of the proudest moments for me was seeing 509 Marines graduate. This really reinforced my belief that the Corps is in good hands.

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The Most Decorated Marine Officer in World War II

How many Marines remember this Marine who had the Courage to challenge the Enemy in his own town of Occupation?

Peter Ortiz (1913-1988) Colonel Ortiz spoke 5 languages fluently and was the most decorated Marine officer in World War II. He served in the O.S.S. and, before that, was the youngest Sergeant in the French Foreign Legion. In 1940, he was wounded and captured by the German invading army, he escaped and joined the U.S. Marines. Parachuting into France, he became a Maquis (French underground) leader in 1944. He frequented a Lyons nightclub to gain information from the German officers who also frequented the popular club.

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In This Issue

FNG stories, we all have one, what is yours. Here’s mine.

I got to Nam March 3, 1969 along with Goog, Hunts and Kelly. (now Ret. SgtMaj Kelly) The four of us remained the FNG’s past June ’69. Towards the end of June we got a “new guy”. I go running down to the hootch area yelling something about FNG’s, I slash open the hootch door with much bravado and what do I see? I see grizzled 13 months in country with 5th Comm. Cpl “Dirty Dick” Leyden. I don’t say a word to him. I just turn and leave the hootch leaving some explicatives behind knowing the four of us are still the FNG’s of the Comm Plt. Towards the end of June the 3rd MarDiv was pulling out and going back to Okinawa. Some of them extended and got reassigned to 1st MarDiv units. Dick is the reason I am a Sgt and a good friend to this day.

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L/Cpl R. W. Hoffman, and all of Charlie 1/13 who missed their hot turkey Christmas dinner,

As one of those tasked with bringing your hot chow to the field, I apologize for missing you. It’s a pretty good bet that we were diverted to pick up med-evacs in hot LZs or extract recon teams in contact. I putted around in a Huey covering -34s and -46s, and know that every time we were promised a holiday meal, most if not all the helicopter crews who were tasked with missions to deliver food made did as many as we could, and at the end of our day – after we’d post-flighted, serviced, and repaired our battle damaged aircraft, – we went to late chow (if the mess hall was still open) and ate cold spamwiches. Since we had a mess hall we didn’t have much access to C rats, so most of us hoarded a can or two when we did get rations for those many late nights when the mess hall closed before we could make it.

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Frost Bite?

I got to Korea Christmas day 1950, No Christmas dinner there, peanut butter sand, cold coffee

3rd bat 7th Just got out of Kotare and moved to nesaun we landed at Pusan from a Japanese ship, Christmas eve spent from Sasabo to Pusan, we stacked rifles put cig. pks on for decorations and they played white xmas over and over again. I went out on deck and there coming in to Sasabo was the prinston, My best friend was on the prinston hadn’t seen him for a couple of years, That really made me home sick, my first Christmas away from home.

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It Didn’t Matter

In my experience, this was one of those fads that didn’t last long… don’t recall hearing it much after 1966, nor before… do recall, however, hearing the term used by a Brigadier General.

One of the standard expectations of those in leadership positions at the platoon and lower levels is that those so privileged is that they will know everything about those Marines in their charge, down to each Marine’s Mother’s maiden name, and her boot size… The CG of the forces involved in operation Hastings was General English, and the operation’s name was most likely chosen because it was to occur on the 900th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings in England… the original having been in 1066 (you can look it up…)

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Dirty Laundry

Sgt. Grit,

Remember in boot camp the scrub brush and the soapy water and the tables we scrubbed our clothes on. Some guys did this in Camp Geiger too! I went home after Camp Geiger on a bus from North Carolina with my sea bag and dirty laundry.

My mom went apesh-t when I emptied my sea bag on the Persian Living room carpet! She made me take it to the Chinese Laundry around the corner. Major cities had these Chinese hand laundry’s – that did predominately linens – table clothes – and shirts. The old Chinese gentleman spoke little English and gave you a receipt with Chinese characters on it for a stub. He weighed the sea bag – and bowed to me. Two days later I went to pick it up – and my mom paid back then like $20.00 (which was very expensive for those days – when a regular laundry would cost less than $5.00.) The Chinese guy went berserk yelling and screaming and pointing at me – the guy’s wife came out of the back to quiet him down – and calmly explained to me that my skivvies and utilities were so dirty I clogged the pipes when they cleaned the dirty clothes. My utilities were now sparkling – and my skivvies were bright white – rough socks were smooth to my skin. A rare treat for a Marine after boot camp.

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