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Kneeling is 'Baggs' Marchese & NC. Look closely behind NC's head and you will see a dark object, that's an M-1, aimed at his head by none other than the illustrious 'JOSE',! So now the world knows why NC has to drink beer, he was MADE TO, by being forced by MR. JAG, or otherwise he probably wouldn't have known what beer taste like.
The other portion, SAD, of the picture, is the next day or two, Marchese was KIA, on June 9, 1951 & all but 4 others WIA.
In This Issue:
There are a lot of outstanding tat photos this issue, Old Corps guys, women Marine's two loves and others. A funny picture on the Blog: "What can stop a Marine in his tracks??".
Two well written boot camp stories, You'll be Sorry, Di Was A Tad Annoyed, and another with drawings. And of course no newsletter is complete without some graveyard history.
Tell me why you joined the Marine Corps. I find many civilians just don't understand any of what we are about.
Fair winds and following seas.
1. LEATHERNECKS MC, my jacket, Commanding Officer of EMPIRE CREW
2. LMCI National Meeting
3. EMPIRE CREW
4. R. Lee Ermey and I
5. 07 Street Glide, Patriot Edition
(see all the pictures)
Semper Fi GySgt Porter USMC/Ret
If You Choose
You'll have to excuse me for not remembering the exact dates of some things due to "CRS". One of my fondest memories of being an Airdale in Japan was my tour with VMA-121 in Iwakuni. It was sometime in the late 1950's and my best buddy, at that time was a great guy named Nick Dubovick. He and I managed to get into some really crazy situations.
The perimiter fence was guarded by Koreans armed with 30 cal. carbines. The word was that these guys were contracted as guards and paid a bonus for anyone they shot going over the fence, no matter which way you were going so we gave them a very wide berth. One night Nick and I felt the urge for some romance so we decided to go into town. The problem was that we both had the duty that day.
We decided to slip over the fence but the problem was where to do it where the Korean guards wouldn't spot us. The Wing Commanding General, at that time was Arthur Binney (I believe that is the correct spelling) and his quarters was half way between our Quonset hut and the main gate. It was the darkest and least patrolled spot on the fence line so was the ideal spot to go over.
Nick and I grabbed our field jackets to throw over the top strand of barbed wire and we set off. The CG had a small putting green installed behind his quarters complete with flood lights for night golfing. Things were going great for us and we were just getting ready to throw our legs over the top wire when the d-mn floodlights came on. We froze and out came the CG and he spotted us on the top of the fence.
His first question was ,"What the h&ll is going on here" ? He then said, "I have an idea why and where you are going and I will not do a thing to stop you but, if you do continue, I promise you I will prevent you from returning". "If you choose to get down from there then I don't want to know your names or squadrons and this never happened otherwise you can continue into town, get l----, and you will be run up with morning colors"
Needless to say, Nick and I headed back to the hut, changed our skivvies, and hit the sack. Never tried that stunt again but gained a terrific respect for that CG.
Sgt. of Marines
Clever Person Came Up
A memorable event. Not necessarily a 'good" event. We all know about "sibling" rivalry, and since we are all brothers and sisters this naturally carries over into squadron rivalry.
While in Danang with VMO2 Mag11, Some person(s) whom will remain unnamed to protect the guilty, Came up with the idea that we needed to respond to another event that had been levied against us by the neighboring jet squadron. They had A-6's with the large radar assembly in the nose.
We had the OV10 Bronco plane. Our call sign at the time was Hostage. Now most people would associate "Bronco" with a wild horse, not the famous/ infamous Denver "donkey's". Ok I'm not a Denver fan.
Anyway, a clever person came up with a double horseshoe design as a squadron emblem. A few person(s) decided it would be a good idea at the time, later on not so good, to use a black lead based paint to stencil the emblem on the nose of the A-6's. Of course as you know, lead tends to block the radar signals.
What was memorable about this, was we had to sand and clean the horse shoes off the nose. More work than what had been intended.
Daniel Boone's and...
While driving through Frankfort Kentucky I saw a historical marker that said Daniel Boone's grave is there in the local cemetery so I stopped to see it, it also had union and confederate grave sites. While looking through the area I spotted the sign with the Marine Corps emblem and walked over to see who was buried there and saw the grave site of Lt. Presley Obannon and have enclosed two photos I took that day.
I am passing them on to you so all the Marines that receive your letter will know where it is at and if they should be traveling through Frankfort to stop and see for themselves.
Cpl. 1962- 1966
With Chesty At The Chosin
To Cpl. Charlie Ducar,
Charlie, I saw your piece regarding the Full Foot Locker Drill. Thought I would let you know that Your DI SS Flynn was my Brother. He was with Chesty at the Chosin where he was awarded the Bronze Star and a Purple heart.
A little info: Wm. J Flynn Jr. Stayed in and retired as a MGSGT. He retired to 29 Palms, where he did his final check out and transferred to Patrol duty with St. Peter.
Bill and I both served in Viet Nam during 1970. He was down south, and I was In DaNang.
I was the fourth Marine in the family, Brothers Richard, and John served in the 50s-60s.
Just a little info.
Cpl. USMC 1969-1971
You Can Take My Life
I finally found the design that I wanted for my second Marine Corps tattoo. And I can say I have the t-shirt too. I have to say thank you to Freak @ Heidi's Tattoo in Orlando Florida, he did a great job on it. I have to say that this tattoo is the way I have felt since I was eight years old. You can take my life but you can't take the title away from me! Semper Fi, Devil Dogs!
Cpl. Hartley, Stephen
2512, 2515 Field Wireman
These Four Stars
Hello this is Gunnery Sergeant Cortez USMC retired. I just wanted to share a photo of my new tattoo which is attached. This was my Father's Day present. If you notice the 2 gold stars on the left side of the tattoo. There is also 2 more on the right side. These 4 stars represent the 3 Marines in my platoon CAAT Red Weapons Company 3/7 who were killed in Iraq in 2004 LCpl Nicholas Perez, LCpl Morris, LCpl Smith and my friend GySgt Elia Fontecchio Kilo Company 3/7.
GySgt USMC (ret.)
Two Of My Greatest Loves
I was active duty from 1991-1997, and got some tattoos while in, but no "oo-rah" tats. For years I played with a few ideas and finally came up with an original design, blending two of my greatest loves; the Marine Corps and Superman. Although I am now a registered nurse, I still wear my pride daily to my left upper chest.
Found your site which helped me have this tat designed and it was done today.
MSgt USMC Ret
When he was honored with a square at the Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood the sand used in the cement was brought in from Iwo Jima, in honor of his film Sands of Iwo Jima (1949). Trivia I picked up reading on the internet, about John Wayne.
In the 26Aug issue
Cpl Pippin asked about the phrase "Caught in the rain"..it refers to the fact of being caught outside when "Colors" went and no chance of diving for cover to avoid them. Haven't heard it much lately but it used to be used a lot...
I await your newsletter consistently and read it line by line. The "giggin frogs" story really hit home as I re-lived that feeling in the gut on those footprints in Parris Island in September of '66 before joining Platoon 1056. Made me break into a sweat and swell with pride all over again.
E. P. De Lise
Sgt of Marines '66-'70
1st Combat Engr Bn-Vietnam
Back in Nov. of "53" 1st Battalion Fox Co. It was called "the smoking lamp is lit" Not the smoking lite.
My junior DI was a PFC from Montana. He picked up Corporal just before we graduated. Those were the days.
I retired in "77" as an E-8 Msgt. Of course you know that an E-8 is a Msgt.
Msgt Bud A Ret
Enjoy your Web Site.
In regards to Cpl. Pippin's question about "being caught in the rain", yes, we were taught the same phrase by Sgt. Greenleaf in July '63. If we were outside of a building when Colors was called and raised at 0800 hrs. We had to stand at attention and salute until the Colors were raised. We were "instructed" to move our a-ses to get inside when we heard the scratching sound coming over the base P.A. as it was 10 seconds until Colors was played and they were raised. We were told we had better things to do than "stand out in the rain" for 90 seconds while the Colors were raised. Either way, I still snap to and salute anytime I hear, or see the Colors pass or being raised.
Plt. 362, MCRD San Diego
In response to Bob Halper, 76-80, (Sgt Grit Newsletter 26 AUG 10) I stand corrected about how the squads performed the c.o.d. maneuver "TO THE WINDS, MARCH". He's probably correct, that it looked good, but it felt GREAT when we performed it correctly.
I suffer from the C.R.S. (can't remember s--t) ailment. I hope he doesn't get it when he turns 62. Thanks, "JJ".
John J. "JJ" Novotnak
I went thru boot camp at MCRDSD Jan-Feb-Mar 1960 and it seems to me we were doing 8 man squad drill and when it was done right it was really cool. But when NOT done right it was like the proverbial Chinese fire drill. That's it for now.
Bob Reiseck Corporal of Marines
Semper Fi & OOOHRAAA
Freddy Fender was a Marine for 3 years when he enlisted at age 16 however he did not sing Feliz Navidad as was quoted. His hits were what we all thought of boot camp "Wasted days and wasted nights", and "Before the next teardrop dries" Jose Montserrate Feliciano Garcia is a blind Puerto Rican singer, known for many international hits including the 1970 holiday single "Feliz Navidad".
Sgt Grit...just reading the newsletter and just read the Memoriam of Marine Bolding...I am a Life Member of the American Legion in Gainesville Ga...the Paul E. Bolding Post 7 American Legion...Paul E. Bolding was the 1st Marine killed at Belleau Wood...just remarking on the coincidence of names.
I wonder if Cpl Allan Bilder of Hammonton, NJ who assigned his dog Ka-Bar the mos of 9999 "useless dog with a bad attitude" realized that the mos designation for USMC Sgt Major is 9999. Knowing some of the Sergeants Major that I have over the years, it sometimes applies.
From Sgt Grit Facebook
Marine Corps Ball--1952 dancing with a Marine recruit, it was 1952 and I was a pfc. at the weapons training battalion MCRDPISC. our CO. arranged to have a platoon of women Marines recruit attend our celebration in the battalion lyceum. as fast as the young ladies got off the bus they were claimed by members of the battalion.
I was too late and was not able to claim one for myself. They wore civilian clothes that I imagine were the attire that they came to boot camp with. not having a young lady for myself I went in and sat across from a friend of mine who had claimed a lovely petite blond. Little did I know what a great friend he was.
Food was served and shortly after that the band began playing dance music. My friend across the table made no move to take his lady on to the dance floor, instead he seemed content on eating all of the shrimp cocktail he could beg from others at our table.
I quickly saw an opportunity and went to other tables and gathered up all the shrimp cocktail I could and gave it to him and asked if he minded if I asked his "date" to dance. He said he did not mind so I led her to the dance floor and we never sat down until the ball was over. The only sour note was her Gunnery Sgt. he kept complaining that we were dancing too close.
When the music stopped and we could no longer dance we were standing my door talking and her Gunny ordered her to get aboard the bus. She did and I went out another door and we talked a while longer. I said I hoped she did not suffer too much and she replied that she didn't care.
After boot camp she was stationed in D.C. and sent me a picture of her lying on a bed wrapped in a towel and inviting me to visit. Alas, a PFC's pay did not allow for such pleasures.
That was, without a doubt, my most memorable Marine Corps Ball out of the forty-five or so that I have had the pleasure of attending.
The Fly Had To Be Unbuttoned
Tell the boss that he done good. In this pic I am presenting LtGen Joe Dunford the K-Bar walking stick that you provided to us. He loved it. The general is laughing because I had a sheath made for the stick out of a camo utility trouser leg. The fly had to be unbuttoned to get the stick out and that was what the laugh was about.
The Chesty bronze bust went to our reunion chairman. He really liked it although he had to lug it back to Boston on an airplane.
We placed your catalogs all over our hospitality room and told everyone that you had donated all the goodies on our table. We had a free drawing and gave all the Marine Corps items to the guys. At one point I heard one guy say, "If anybody wants anything "Marine Corps," he has to look no further than Sgt Grit. They have everything."
Again, all our vets from Kilo 3/1 thank you from the bottom of our hearts... not just what you did for us, but what you do for all Marine veterans.
My name is Brad Wheelock, graduating class of Parris Island in 1989 Plt.1082. Once arriving at my permanent duty station I became friends with another devil dog by the name of Brian Messer. We both served in the gulf together and afterward lost contact due to other duty station obligations.
3 months ago we made contact again on Facebook to find out we were only a few hours apart. The years have remolded our bodies but the old Corps attitude is still there. It's like no time has passed at all and even my wife feels by him as a brother. It is truly how amazing how the bond between Marines never change.
Blessed be the Corps and for all of the loyalty it instilled in us. Semper Fi!
I Planted Myself
To Sgt John C. Valenti
I'm wondering if your Sgt Paxton is SgtMaj Bill Paxton Ret I met in 1989?
In 1989 I reported in to PHICBONE (Amphibious Construction Battalion One), NAB Coronado, CA where I would spend the next three years on my first and only shore duty. I was in the Seabees at the time and just made Chief, prior to my Navy time (1974-1994) I served in the Marine Corps (67-71).
I went to boot camp at MCRD San Diego, Platoon 288, Fox Company, 2nd RTB. I went to the Staff NCO Club and introduced myself to some of the regulars, one of them being Jim Banks a retired Marine.
On a subsequent visit I planted myself at the bar when an older guy pulls up alongside and begins a conversation with me. "Heard you were in the Marines Chief!" "True story" I replied. He asked questions about where I went to boot camp, when, who was my Platoon Commander, Drill Instructors, where was our Quonset Huts located etc.
This went on for about 5-10 minutes when he finally stated "You got all those lies correct maggot, I was the Platoon Commander in Platoon 287 and you girls took the drill streamer from us", he then smiled extended his hand and said "Welcome back Marine".
John thanks for bringing up a name with good memories.
CPO, USN, RET
You Are Gonna Be Sorry
Hey Marines wake up and grab your socks.
Here's my story, and all you fellow Marines in my platoon will remember this story. Get off the bus right now. I said move it. Hurry hurry hurry. Get your footprints on the yellow footprints. As I was standing there, there were some regular Marines walking by laughing, saying you are gonna be sorry. Little did I know how butt naked I would be in about 20 min. with a shaved head. It was all a blur, take this bag but don't look over here and shut the f--k up. Don't eyeball me you scuzzy little puke.
Man was I excited, I joined the Marines. Did I make a mistake? Hi Mom I'm OK see you sometime in the future. Where am I ? I'm shuffling down this stucco hallway with archways. It's 4'oclock in the A.M. Take a rack and shut the f--k up, Go to sleep, you are going to need it. It was so dark, new sounds, my heart racing faster and faster. I could have sworn I fell asleep. Get the f--k up now. get up get up get up. get dressed now. hurry hurry. Get out outside now. I don't even recall who these troop handlers are. Shut up and listen up. There was an older SSgt and Cpl. We are not your Drill Instructors. For the next week we will take you to receive all that is needed before you start your training and pickup your Drill Instructors.
BOOM I was in shock when we were taken to the mess hall. We were yelled at but everybody there was screaming and cussing inside . What the f--k is this. Don't look anywhere. Holy s--t these people are crazy. This is a machine. What the h&ll did I eat and how fast? For the next week we all went to the doctor. Took test after test and learned to march a little. If you wanna call it that. I don't think the troop handlers were crazy about taking a bunch of dumda-ses around. More like babysitting.
Oh o something is gonna happen. We are standing outside a small barracks for about 2 hours at parade rest. We see DI's walking back and forth inside pointing at us. The door swings open here they come. You know the feeling like you get when you are going to get you're a-s kicked and you can't do a thing about it. Yeah it's worse than that. Don't you f--kin look a me. The first words out of your mouth will be sir and the last word will be sir. Do you understand YES-SIR!
Turn to your right now move out. The Senior DI was SSgt Thompson and the Jrs, Sgt Spivey and Sgt Shaffer. They run us back to the barracks. Told us to get topside and get our seabags and return back to formation. Man we were flying I thought we were gonna fall down the ladderwell. These DI's are all over us. I guess we were to slow getting our seabags. We must have run at least 20 times up and down the ladderwell.
It's getting dark and we are in the squad bay with our seabags over our head screaming at the top of our lungs. Running in place. S--t my bottle of Wisk broke and its leaking all over me. This has gone on for 2 Hours. Everybody is getting slapped and punched. Put your seabags down and get on the road for chow. Thank God I'm hungry.
We lock arms and march to the chow hall. Wow the food smells so good. Keep my chow line movin privs'. Oh man I got something to eat. I sit down and start to eat. All of a sudden I hear Get the f--k outta my chow hall. Get out now you f--kin maggots, MOVE MOVE MOVE. S--t now what.
They run us back to the barracks. As we are standing there being screamed at about how to enter the chow hall and eat the proper way we needed motovation. SOOOOOOO get in the f--kin pit. Oh no! This is gonna be bad. Bends and thrusts READY COUNT.
1231sir1232sir1234sir 12350sir OH NO we don't want to sound off do we ladies. YESSIR No I don't think so let's start over. Needless to say we were in the pit for a good hour. This s--t is rough. So they shower us and tell us a little about what's in store over the next 12 weeks. These guys are not bulls--ting at all. F--kin hard core.
Get up get up get up. Get on line hurry Count off. It's 5:30 am. I didn't sleep or did I. Two are UA Didn't even get to know them. For the next 4 weeks we will drill and pt and pt and pt. tear our racks down over and over. SSgt Thompson was a black guy about 6 foot tall and built like a Marine. For some reason he didn't seem to be very motovated about training. I wondered why. S--t we got our answer Two weeks later we got a new Senior DI. SSgt Lawrence. Oh d-mn this guy was fresh from PI. Big Ba--ard. Loved to run called us Squirrels all the time.
I remember walking into the squadbay and finding my lock gone from my footlocker. Along with about six other guys. So the DIs said anybody with a missing lock get up to the duty hut. They put all six of us in the small closet and said we had 5 min. to unlock the locks that they put together. Funny stuff. It was pitch black and the only light was down at the bottom of the floor. Needless to say they PTed the s--t out of us.
We were at the rifle range and myself and another recruit were sitting on the rack and bullsh--ting. All of a sudden here comes SSgt. Lawrence waking into the barracks so we call the squadbay to attention. Well when we stood up the springs were bouncing. Here he comes staring right at me. I'm busted. He's in front of me, maybe twice my size and asks were you sitting on the rack Pvt. Flynn NO SIR You wouldn't lie to me would you NO SIR You know what I will do to you if you lie to me. YES SIR. He turns to Pvt. Archaletta and say's was Pvt Flynn sitting on the rack. YES SIR
Oh s--t He slapped me so f--kin hard across my face I was starting to black out. Bam another across the other side screaming at me about lying. Crack right into my gut knocking the wind out of me. screaming get up, get up. He keep hitting me for about 5 min. Then he took myself and Pvt. Archalleta into the duty hut for rifle PT.
So anybody remember Boot camp the real way. We got busted smoking at ITS training. We were the first series to go through ITS instead of ITR. But this little snitch told on us that we were smoking. When we got back to mainside The DIs told everybody to bring up there smokes. They put us in the closet and made us put four cigarettes in each hand smoke four at a time, all the time counting cadence. left right left right. Lawrence put a gas mask on when doing this. So every time smokers were allowed to smoke we had to go out and PT. But it was not all bad. But those stories are for another time.
James E Flynn 1972/1975
Parris Island MCRD 1965
David R. Dangleman Jr.
Seldom Do I See
Sgt. Grit, on two of the articles. Freddie Fender was a Marine in the late 50's from San Benito, Tx, having met him he was proud of having been a Marine. Secondly, on Jerry Bleeg that was a Marine 1943-45 , I only can say he is the breed that lives on because of the years he spend in the Corps on believing on himself. Each day I see so many WWII vets passing on & I am amazed that they always have pictures wearing their uniform & NOK's mention service in their beloved Corps. Seldom do I see this in veterans from other services.
There must be a reason, yet going to VFW's others talk so much BS. USMC vet's just fade away!
Semper Fi Marine
In the 12 August Newsletter you ran an article about a POW compound just outside Da Nang run by Captain Ron Sanders. In May & June of '69 I was a driver for Maj. General William K. Jones & Sgt. Major Joseph Daley who went on to become the Sgt. Major of the Marine Corps in July of '69.
One of my duties was to go to the POW compound and bring back any useful and relevant Intel Captain Sanders may have gleaned from the new Chu Hoi (SP?) prisoners. That particular camp housed not only NVA & VC prisoners but their families as well. If I remember correctly it was lightly defended with only personal weapons and one M-60 machine-gun for a camp surrounded only with high grass for cover.
Fair winds and following seas to you as well and Semper If.
Kevin R. Anderson
USMC RVN '69-'70
Reading the letters from Marines about the "good ol' days" at boot camp, I thought back to those days of yore and remembered a couple of drawings I did shortly after graduation. I have attached them because I know Marines of all eras will be able to clearly identify with them. One is my depiction of one of my Junior DIs, Cpl J.L. Stelling. The other drawing is me receiving his, shall I say, moment of wrath?
Those were great days and I am thankful to the DIs for turning another gaggle of civilians into U.S. Marines!
Bob Lonn (Platoon 218, 1964)
Wisdom of our Great Corps
I will tell you a short story of the wisdom of our Great Corps, and how I got all the way to MCAS Marble Mountain, Vietnam from MCAS Cherry Point, NC. It's a little long but I make no apologies.
After Aviation Ordnance School at NAS JAX, Jacksonville, Florida, I was shipped off, with all of my new found weapons knowledge, to MCAS Cherry Point, N. Carolina. There, I was assigned to the Ordnance Shop of VMFT-201. I have been told by some people knowledgeable of such things, No. You mean VMFA-201. But I assure them that there definitely IS a "T" on the end of that squadron name. I was in a TRAINING squadron. Not a LEARN HOW TO FLY training squadron, this was a training squadron where the Pilots, and the RIO's learned how to use the Aircraft Weapons Systems.
This was during the height of the Vietnam war, 1969, so munitions were plentiful. As the ordnance shop would load all the weapons on the aircraft, according to the need of that particular flight, so would the pilots fly out to the range and proceed to lay down some imaginary "Air Cover." We were loading 5 inch Zuni rockets, 2.75 inch HAVAR rockets, and everything up to 500 pound dumb bombs. We deployed to Puerto Rico in 1971 for 30 days of fun. That is where we got to load live air-to-air missiles. It was a great 30 days. We at VMFAT-201 were told that our squadron was NEVER allowed to come back again to "ROSEY ROADS" Puerto Rico. But that is another story for another time. We got a LOT of experience working with the Sidewinder, the Sparrow and other missiles and rockets.
Anyway, there, between the knees and in front of the stick was a switch panel that was about seven inches long, and it had two rotary switches. One on either end. The rotary switches were bigger than the panel of which they were a part. We called it the "DOGBONE" due to its appearance. The rotary switches on either end selected what weapons station you wanted to select on the wings, and the belly of the plane. The toggle switches actually turned the juice on and off to your choice of weapons. Be it a bomb rack, a rocket pod, or even a missile if that was what you were carrying..
It seemed that some of the pilots were having a hard time getting that dogbone contraption into their heads. So, they came up with this absolutely phenomenal, in my opinion, idea of getting the experienced (of which I was one) Ordnancemen a back seat license and then we could fly, YES I SAID FLY, in the back seat of those BEAUTIFUL F-4 PHANTOMS and we could "correct" the pilot if he was having trouble. That "correct" thing was a thin line. I was a PFC "correcting" an officer. Diplomacy was the word of the day when you were flying. I'll tell you, Wally, some of those Pilots were SLOW LEARNERS. Some of those officers were great men, and some were jerks. But that is the way with officers everywhere you serve.
So, of course, I volunteered to fly. Who wouldn't!" I was just a PFC. Imagine you are a PFC in the USMC and you are invited to fly, regularly, in F-4 Fighter Jets! Dream come true for me, for sure. What was funny was, I would go over to Marine Corps Property and check out a flight suit, G suit, helmet and mask. I would be walking around the hangar, or outside, and every Marine that walked by me would say, "Good morning/afternoon, Sir." I even got saluted outside the hangar. It got to where it was easier just to salute them back than stop and explain that I was not an officer, I was just flying that day.
So, we entered a decompression chamber along with some others, and they began sucking away at all the air. We went "up" to a simulated 42,000 feet. And when we were done with that, we went to the "seat shot." Imagine you are at a carnival and one of the rides is, you get strapped into an ejection seat and you are "Shot" up this inclined ramp that is just a taste of what a real ejection event feels like. That completed our education, and now we were slated to go up for our first flight. We had to take a "barf" bag with us, and if there was anything in that bag when we came back down, we obviously did not get issued a "back seat license."
Well, I have been blessed with an iron belly. I enjoyed that flight like you cannot believe. Wally, it was as good as s&x. Well, maybe not s&x, but it was close!
I did not mean for this to be a book, but I had to set the scene. unerstanwatimsayin?
We happened to have the second highest ranking CWO-4 in the whole USMC as our Ordnance OIC. I'm not sure, but I think his name was spelled "Broullard." His family was French. We called him "Frenchy" when he was not around. He was a great Marine. We even bowled leagues together in town. One day he told me, "Brewer, you are going to do your entire Marine Corps tour right here with me, at VMFAT-201 Ordnance. That scared the hell out of me. You know how chicken s--t stateside duty can be. Inspection this, parade that, make work... No thanks!
In 1967 or 1968 the Army got the new Huey Cobra helicopter. The Marines thought that was pretty neat, so they ordered up a bunch for the Marines, too. But they had no one to service them. So, a program was initiated for all the Marines that wanted to, they could apply for training on the Cobras. Then, as soon as training was over, STRAIGHT TO VIETNAM!
This is where I learned about the Chain of Command. Without telling "Frenchy" I was going to, I applied for, and was accept for, Ordnance Training on the Cobra program. Well, when my orders came down, Frenchy was not Frenchy anymore! He was my OIC. And he was Pissed. He told me, "Brewer, I was going to promote you F--KING Lance Corporal but now, NOW you can just F--CKING leave here a PFC! And that is what I did.
I went to Hunter Army Air Base in Savannah, Georgia for 30 days of fast training, then I went home for 14 days, and then it was off to the war. A bunch of Marines on an Army base? That was fun to say the least.
The point of this whole story is, After all that, I got to MCAS Marble Mountain, where all the Cobras came out to play, and I was the proverbial "NEXT WARM BODY" thru the door, and they assigned me to the H&MS-16 Ordnance shop. Guys, I know you will understand what I am about to tell you, cuz YOU'VE BEEN THERE! I never so much as TOUCHED A COBRA the WHOLE TIME I was in VIETNAM! Yep! Not even ONE SINGLE fingerprint. You just gotta love the Corps!
I WAS gonna make this short, but one thing led to another and I just could not stop writing. Sorry! But I hope it as a much fun to read as it was to write. Some great memories I have of THAT adventure.
Chuck Brewer, Sgt of Marines, Nam 1969-1970
Proudly Served and Fought for America With Courage, Honor, Faith, and Dignity
DI Was A Tad Annoyed
There was the time our DI was a tad annoyed. He had the whole platoon dump our footlocker contents in a pile in the center of the squadbay, then gave us 15 minutes to sort it out. That was 1964 and I'm STILL missing some sh-t!
"I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and a constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold."
--1st. Lt. Clifton B. Cates, Navy Cross, 2 Distinguished Service Crosses, (later Commandant), USMC, July 19, 1918 commanding 96 Company, 6th Marines, near the French town of Soissons.
"Casualties: many, Percentage of dead: not known, Combat efficiency: we are winning."
--Colonel David M. Shoup, USMC, MOH, (later Commandant) Tarawa, 21 November 1943.
Freedom is not free, but the U.S. Marine Corps will pay most of your share.
We fight not for glory, nor for riches, nor for honour, but only and alone for Freedom, which no good man lays down but with his life.
--Declaration of Arbroath, Scotland, 1320
In the end more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free.
Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.
--Frederic Bastiat, French Economist (1801-1850)
Welcome Home Marine, Job Well Done!