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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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HE WAS AN OLD SALT.

Since the Corpsmen used to give us short arm inspections, we use to call them pecker checkers. Of course if you needed one he was Sir. I smashed my right index finger under a 20 MM box of ammo and it was swelled up and black and blue and killing me.  I went to see the Corpsman as I needed some relief. He had a big paper clip which he unwound so as to have a single round piece sticking out. He held it over a Zippo until it was red hot and put it to my finger nail. When it burnt it’s way through it went straight to the bone and the blood flew all over and I let out a yell that could be heard all the way to Po Hang Dong, down by the sea. After the blood let up the pressure was off and so was the pain. I had to hold it above my heart for a few days as every time my heart beat it would throb. I also had a few stitches put in by the same Doc and he should have been a surgeon. He was an old salt with tattoos from one end to the other but he knew his business. I was told he was a hold over from the Island campaigns.
Sgt. Dan Powell 52-55

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NCO SWORD STAR

Sgt Grit: I recently looked up the subject of the Star of David
on the NCO Sword.You have two choices as to why it is there.  1. The Star of David is also known as the Star of Damascus.  In ancient times Damascus Syria was known as the fine metals capitol of the world and their trademark was the Star of Damascus aka Star of David.
2. One definition of the Star of David is “Leader of Men”
Take your pick I could not find any official reference
as to why it is there.
Semper Fi
Sgt Ronald (Bud) Albright
USMC 55-60

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THE CO. GUNNY AND THE RADIO WORM

Its a short story about Fox Co. , 2 Bn, 9th Mar, 3rd Mar Div, Okinawa in 1974.
In 1974, I was a LCpl on my first tour overseas and ended up the BN Radio Operator for Fox Co. 2/9. My CO was Capt Shawn Leach. Toward the end of my tour, we went on a training mission to the Northern Training Area (NTA). We were supposed to be on alert all night long and the radios were to be manned all night. I had taken a redheaded LCpl from the battalion HQ radio platoon. He had never been assigned to a grunt company and didn’t know sh*t about us or the way we worked. He was senior to me in rank by a month or so and kept trying to pull it the whole time. I had been with Fox Company through an entire 6 month WESTPAC float. Some where along the way I must have gained the respect of the CO and Company Gunny, because every time ol’ Red tried to run me down, they backed me up.

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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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In Response to “Never Volunteer”

In 1963, we were fresh out of Parris Island,and transported up to NC to Camp Gieger for training at ITR.
It was much better than PI, and everything was going smoothly. Then with about three weeks left, dozens Of us were stricken with some sort of pneumonia like illness, and transported to the Naval Hospital at Camp
Lejune in cattle cars ,I was in the Cattle Car with a boatload of sick Marines with temperatures of about 103* When we arrived, they put us in a large ward, and told us the treatment would consist of bed rest and gallons of fruit juice. Didn’t sound too bad to a bunch of young Marines.About three weeks later they discharged us, and we started to worry about repeating training,the SNCO was pretty good, and said he would put us in companies that were as far as we were at when we left. Well, it was soon realized by the bunch of us that everything was EXACTLY the same ,the sea stories,war stories,and humor ,all repeated verbatim by the instructors. We came to the infamous machine gun course, and we knew what to expect, there were six of us “Veterans” the instructor started with a line about NEVER VOLUNTEER for anything,he said in our short time
In the Corps we had learned that. Then as expected,he asked for a VOLUNTEER! Well all six of us were ready,and up our hands went !! The instructor picked me, and I knew I had made it. After he selected me, he said this Marine will be happy he volunteered for once,because he will be feeding the ammo to the Machine Gun instead of crawling through the course ! It felt so great to have pulled off a little victory over our beloved Corps , and I was happy as could be for the rest of the day. I didn’t volunteer for much for a few years,OOORAH !!

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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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