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MARINE RETURNS JAPANESE WWII FLAG TO ORIGINAL FAMILY

Deep within the mountains of Gifu Prefecture, in a small farming village hidden away from the fast-paced city life, the family of a fallen Japanese soldier eagerly waited for the return of a precious heirloom. For the first time in 73 years, the Yasue family can finally receive closure for the brother that never came home from war.

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The night I became a RadioMan

In 1970, I served with Golf Co., 2nd. Bn. 5th. Marine Regiment out of An Hoa. The company was attached to another outfit as a blocking force in a weep operation around Liberty Bridge. At night, we were moved in to position on an old railroad bed and placed on line. The 3rd. Plt Lt. sent three men out on an LP per S.O.P. and, in about an hour, one of the men radio back that there was movement to they front. Well, the weep had not started yet so the Lt. was wondering what might be going on. He ordered the LP to move forward in order to determine what or who was out there and how many. No respond! After while, the young Marine radioed back that they took a vote and decided not to move. The men were ordered to return to the company’s line—NOW!. The Lt. questioned each of the men and learned that the person on the radio was on first watch. The other two had no idea what was happening or why they had been called back. I happen to be next to the Lt. when he took the radio away from this young Marine and informed me that I would be the squad radio operator henceforth. I can not recall the name of the equipment that was used by the C.O. to send secured messages to our rear area but I do know it was heavy and the guilty Marine hump that thing the whole time I was there. On the up side, he was never sent on rovers, sting sites, o.p. or l.p.. He never went outside the C.P. once we were settle in a place. Maybe the Lt. understood what this Marine was experiencing out there in the dark and gave him a way to save face. I’m
certain that no one else wanted to hump that thing or considered him lucky !

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A Run For the head

Private Capps had to be the shortest guy in our platoon. Our drill Instructor placed him in the rear of first squad. Capps had a tough time in the beginning trying to keep up his pace up with everyone else. After a few weeks though he was able to keep in step and in stride with the rest of us. Until then, it was a hoot to see him just walking around with his short stride. He didn’t look a day over 9 years old. Put that together with the utilities we had to wear in first phase. Remember? Nothing fit right- all clothing items had only two sizes: Too small or too big. His “too big” cover had a clownish appearance. And those damned yellow sweatshirts- I had a tough time keeping my laughter inside when, standing in formation, I caught sight of another recruit with little yellow fuzz balls clinging to his recently shaved melon. Humor was everywhere.
Into our 3rd week at MCRD San Diego in August of 1964, I drew midnight fire watch one night. While “…walking my post in a military manner…”, I had just completed the first circuit at our platoon’s Quonset Hut when I caught sight of a flash exiting the hut headed for the company head. The flash was PVT Capps who had awoken with a sudden case of the green apple two-step, probably from the pork and beans we had that night for evening chow. Anyway, there he was sprinting for his life with one hand holding his cover in place, while the other had a death grip on his baggy, white, skivvies-clad butt running hell bent for the head.
It was all I could do to keep walking my post at right shoulder arms and stifling a laugh with the vision of Capps running around with a firm grip on his stern end. Lucky for me, the OOD didn’t show up with a surprise visit.
Capps must have answered the call that night- I didn’t see him return but, he was standing tall, so to speak, in morning formation.

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Gig Line

This isn’t a story, really. It’s an observation, and I guess a gripe. In September 1967 I arrived in country on the day that my recruit Platoon Commander (MCRD San Diego, Platoon 356, April 1966 ) GySgt Robert C. Roper was killed on Con Thien while serving as company gunny of H/2/9. Gunny Roper was the inspiration for the current DI Statue on the edge of the grinder at MCRD. Then SSgt Roper was the poster quintessential image of a Marine, an infantry veteran of Korea who enlisted in the Corps at 17, and the first Marine I saw at 2100 hours when I stood on the yellow footprints and began to wonder what I had gotten myself into. I write this to draw attention to a situation that to my eye, is all to prevalent in the way Marines of today present themselves in any uniform other than utilities. Call it bitchy if you wish, but here it is: we learned, well, we were forced to learn, that pride in the uniform we were about to earn the honor of wearing was paramount in how we viewed and would present ourselves as Marines. We shined our brass every day, and spit shined our boots every day, and, when we were given them before graduation, spit shined our dress shoes, and the visor of our barracks cover frame. Our gig lines, when first standing final inspection in, for me, the tropical uniform, was perfect, from the platen of the tropical shirt, through the belt buckle, and through the fly. I recently attended a “welcome home Vietnam veterans” ceremony at the DLI in Monterey where I observed two Marine sergeants, recruiters, both of whom had gig lines that made me cringe. Then, in the recent edition of Leatherneck, the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps appears on the cover with his belt buckle completely off the gig line. GySgt Roper is spinning in his casket, and I, for one, long for the day when the one thing, in garrison, that caused us to stand out from all the other services was the absolute perfection in the appearance of our uniforms. we had no anodized anything, including decorations. It was a difficult mindset to reacquire, after returning from Vietnam where we shined and polished nothing, and wore no rank insignia except on our soft utility covers, and of course never bathed, but reacquire it we did. I guess the old Corps is gone forever. Why? Stateside Marines are supposed to be perfect in uniform, from the Commandant on down. That is apparently not the case any longer. Do current Marines find that acceptable, or am I just an old fart learning for another era?

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Spit shined boots and boondockers

Yes I remember those days. Boot camp MCRDSD 1959. Being the only Japanese American recruit in boot camp, you can imagine what it was like. Yes I did got thumped by a Jr DI, because his older brother was KIA on Iwo Jima. The senior DI took care of him prior to graduation. My boot and boondockers , dress shoes were always shining When I joined my battalion after bootcamp and ITR, my boots and boondockers were the brightest you ever saw. My platoon sargeant and platoon commander always asked me how I did it. Just told them, spit/polish and a good polish rag. Was like that for 10 years.

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Cruise books

Semper fi brothers , if there is any marine out there who has a cruise book from 1bn3rd marines west PAC and one from 2nd bn 3rd mar that they have to sell that they found , I need them to complete my career in the corps. Or if you know someone that has them . Mine were thrown away by mistake. And you don’t know how much I miss , the memories. The time would be 77-78 and alpha co 1/3 and headquarters plt 2/3 were the cruise times. To Philippines , Thailand Cebu , Singapore , Pusan Korea tawain .the ships were the uss. Cleveland , the uss tarawa .Stationed in Hawaii marine corps air station . Both under the command of Col. Bommer. Please if any one out there can help. The 1/3 book cover was cammo and the2/3 book cover was white with red writing on the front . And also trying to find a graduation book from Paris island platoon 140 1st recruit Bn. MCRD Parris Island S.C. Graduated July 27th 1976. Drill instructors ssgt Turnner. SSGT Saunier. SSGT Pitcher, and a Sgt Bell. Have a terminal illness and I have about 7 months left , and would just like to leave my son some awesome memories. He is in the army and is EOD, a sapper . Deals with explosives did two tours in Afghanistan and one in Kuwait . And there are know words I can say how proud of him for all he had done, and I just want to leave him with my memories . Has 9 years in and making a career of it. God bless him I wish and hope that the lord in some way will let me be around to see it. But we have a huge collection of or time served. But it’s those three books I would love for him to have. If anyone can help in any way to locate the books please contact me by email. Milomiles89@yahoo.com. God bless to all our troops past present and future, for all they gave , have given , and will give. Hope to hear for someone soon . Thank you to Sgt. Grit for having a way to reach out to all my brothers out there. Semper fi do or die! Respectably CPL R.J,miles. I will pray every chance I get the this will happen. And I don’t expect anything for free. What ever it takes, believe it or not the boot camp is the most important, but would love to locate all three.🇺🇸

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vietnam veteran of Fox2/5

Corrections to story about the youngest Marine KIA,June 7,1969. Dan Bullock was killed in a bunker along with Larry Eglindorfer,,Bunn,and Hunnicutt by a sachel charge thrown in the bunker by a VC/NVA soldier. That explosion was the first sound of battle that lasted until almost daylite when the remaining enemy withdrew toward Duc Duc. Montgomery was killed some distance away by mortars.I was with Bullock most of the afternoon when our squad was ordered to stand bunker duty as we had for several days. He said nothing about his weapon being turned in,,his age,,or anything else. I was in the bunker just beside Bullock,,,your story is scuttlebutt,,H&S was not there. I saw the idiot fat-ass with the tommy gun. He also shot one of the dead NVA with his 45,,to which I replied( Ain’t he dead enough for you you dumb ass,and told him to get the hell away from my dead people,,he was a Major and not a LT. (See Fox2/5 Assoc Spring news letter for the facts). Dan Bullock was no hero,,he was dead before the battle started as was all four in that bunker. The idiot Major I hope is still living and he reads about just how close he came to really pissing me and several others off.He also told me I could not have the belt and other items I took off a dead NVA,so I asked him If He thought him and his toy gun were bad enough to stop me,and that if I were him,I wouldn’t step in the blood with his shiny boots. He left.I stayed until my buddies were bagged and gone.

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NO I DIDN’T WRITE HIM UP

Ah, the military salute. Why is it such a thorn in so many people’s side? According to the Guidebook for Marines ( May 1, 1966 edition), on page 20 it says: Courtesy is the accepted form of politeness among civilized people. Courtesy smoothes the personal relationship among individuals in all walks of life. Civilian rules of courtesy are generally applicable to the military life. However, military courtesy has developed certain special forms of politeness and respect which you as a Marine must be thoroughly familiar with and must practice. The most important of all military courtesies is the salute. This is an honored tradition of the military profession throughout the world. The salute is a custom that goes back to earliest recorded history. It is believed to have originated in the days when all men bore arms. In those days warriors raised their weapons in such a manner as to show friendly intentions. They sometimes would shift their weapons from the right hand to the left and raise their right hand to show that they did not mean to attack. Just as you show marks of respect to your seniors in civilian life, military courtesy demands that you show respect to your seniors in the military profession. That, plain and simple, is the history of the military salute and why the junior initiates the salute and the senior returns it. The salute has always only been intended to be a sign of courtesy and respect, not a sign of subservience. To repeat a phrase above, it is an honored tradition of the military profession. Courteous civilians say hello, nod, smile, or wave, when they meet, but only military people get to give and return each other a snappy salute. And it would be as much a discourtesy for a senior not to return a salute as it would be for the junior not to render it. When I enlisted in the Marines in December of 1966, it was my intention to apply for the Enlisted Commissioning Program as soon as I could. After that expecting one day to be an officer myself. I made it a point to render to every officer I ever encountered (yes, even the jerks) the snappiest salute I could come up with. Later, after I earned and received my commission as a second lieutenant in February of 1968, I made it a point to return every salute I received with just as much snap. But never once did I feel I owed someone a salute nor did I feel someone owed me one. As a military man, it was simply a courtesy I was proud to be able to render. What few times I encountered an enlisted person (or a junior officer, as I advanced in rank) after that who failed to render me a salute, I generally ignored the incident unless I was familiar enough with the person to know that the discourtesy truly was intended to be an insult and was not just an oversight. By doing that, I never gave some old salt (who had clearly forgotten the history and tradition of the military salute) the opportunity to say and gloat, Lieutenant/captain/general, I don’t owe you s**t! The best salute I ever gave to anyone, though, was the one I gave to my son upon his graduation from MCRD-SD in September of 2000. He just looked at me and blushed and forgot to return it. (No, I didn’t write him up.) Larry Quave a proud enlisted and commissioned Marine, ’66-’71

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PAINT THE HEAD GREEN

While going through Boot Camp at S.D. in November 1950, everyone knew we were headed for Korea. What a relief to get to the Rifle Range at Camp Mathews at last, even if we had to live in tents due to the influx of recruits. Camp Mathews was on the East side of old highway U.S. 101 near Leucadia, CA. The first weekend there, the Junior D.I. had us all fall in on Sunday morning and selected 10 “boots” for a working party. Another NCO no one had ever seen before was standing by to take us to our work detail, whatever that was going to be. On his command, we were marched off to the “Easy Range”. At the range maintenance building, we were each issued a bucket of beautiful glossy Marine Green paint and a four inch brush, and told simply, “paint the head”, and the young Corporal left.
We painted the outside of the Head. He did not return. We painted the inside of the head. He did not return. We painted the urinals, the commodes, (including all the seats and porcelain, valves, and handles) the sinks and faucets, the deck, the screens and the windows. Everything was totally “Marine Corps Green”.
He did not return. We put the Paint cans beside the locker, jammed all the brushes in the solvent bucket and marched ourselves back to the platoon area.
About four hours later the DI had us fall in. The Range NCO was there who looked each one of us square in the eye and asked if we were on the working party to paint the Head, and we each individually answered “Sir, No Sir!”
I think the Range NCO came back two or three more times looking for green paint traces. Once to look at our boondockers, once to check fingernails. Neither he nor our Jr. DI ever found out who “painted the head green”.
p.s. A note to now Retired Sergeant Major M.A. Delgado, still living in Oceanside CA; The truth is out. Yessir, I was one of them!
Brad Robinson

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Marine of the week // Kyle Carpenter

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an automatic rifleman with Company F, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, Regimental Combat Team One, 1st Marine Division (Forward), 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom on 21 November, 2010.

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