This is me and my youngest sister in full dress greens circa 1944. My Dad had them made in Hawaii when he was recovering from a wound received on Saipan.
Buck Sgt Fred Finch USMC 1955-1959
In This Issue
A few weeks ago we did a newsletter survey. Among other things here were some of the responses:
*We need to get more young Marines involved. I retired at the end of 2009, and I seem to be a spring chicken on the site. We need to attempt to bring more young Marines into the community.
*The newsletter could have more of a balance between current operations and older. I enjoy the WWII, Korea and Vietnam stories, but many younger Marines don't feel comfortable sharing their OIF/OEF stories because of a seeming disregard. I know this is not the case, but some feel this way. Maybe more stress on not Old Corps/New Corps but One Corps.
*Updates on Marines that are still active. Would be nice to hear how they are doing.
*I'm an OLD warrior. I want to hear how the young warriors think and feel about our Marine Corps.
See the trend. More stories from the younger Marines. Old guys don't have a lock on sea stories. H-ll half of them can't remember what happened and make up most of it anyway! You younger Marines still have a working brain housing group. So bring us into the 21st Century.
Here we go: I will be 92, keep my fellow Marines safe, bus trip to Mare Island, even if it killed him, world's oldest Gun Club, urge to save humanity, shot in the left nut, I max the sit-ups & pushups, pictures were taken down, trousers and skivvies down, a score of 170, too much to pass up, Corporals are sly and crafty, to properly apply their make- up, biggest red hickey.
"I came here to chew gum, take names, and kick azs... I'm outta gum, and my pencil's broke..."
Reading a few stories about good and not so good chow brought back this memory. I was a pilot with HML-167 in '68-'69 and at that time, the 7th Marines were known to have the best chow in I Corps. We would literally fudge our missions to be near hill 55 at chow time. Later that year after attending FAC school, I was assigned as 14A of the 7th on hill 55. While I was there, the mess Gunny reached the end of his tour and rotated back to the world. Rather than send him to Danang in a 6x6 I was instructed to schedule the Generals HUEY for the trip. I fondly remember the Gunny climbing into the HUEY as the division band played Auld Lang Syne. Now that was a good mess Sgt.
J.M. "Mike" Jeffries
Capt. USMC Ret.
A year or two ago, I met a man online whom I admire and respect very much, Anthony Goddard. We have never met in person and communicate via email and telephone.
He retired as a Gunnery Sergeant after 20 years in the Corps and now lives in Maryland. He was awarded a Bronze Star with "V" for Valor, 3 Purple Hearts and too many other medals and ribbons to mention here (you oughta see his shadow box). He was also a Senior DI at Parris Island.
We've swapped a few stories about the "Crotch" and the following is my favorite.
USMC 1959 - 1963
SDI Story, Parris Island, SC
It was a rainy day and one of my dumb recruits was a real screw- up. He never did anything right and he was always too slow, not to mention he was overweight. I almost sent him to the fat body platoon but decided I wanted to have fun with him instead. I took him out in the rain this day to my Rose Garden (sand pit). I PT'd the crap out of him for about an hour straight.
Then the sun came out and it got hot and humid. I thought this would be great because the sand fleas would be out in full- force. I told him to keep "mountain climbing" and I would be right back. I went in to put on some Skin So Soft (bath oil) to keep the sand fleas off me. That stuff worked better than any bug juice.
I got back and he was flat on his face. Of course, I screamed at him to get up. He said "Sir, the recruit can't, sir". Well, I took my right foot and planted it right up his rear end. I then yelled, "Get up, you fat walrus piece of crap before I recycle you."
He then got up and stood at attention the best he could. I got right in his face and told him to stand at attention for a while because it was about lunch time for my sand fleas and he was their lunch. I also told him that if he killed one of my sand fleas, I would PT him for a week from sunup to sundown and then take him in the broom closet and kick his fat a--.
This fat lame recruit was pitiful. He stood there for about an hour while the rest of the platoon went to chow. He was making the most ridiculous looking faces I have ever seen because the sand fleas were eating him alive. I told him that just maybe the sand fleas would eat some of the fat off his walrus a-- and help him out.
After about an hour of this, he started to cry. Well, this was all I needed to see. I asked him just what his MOS was. He didn't know. Well, I said "You mean to tell me you're going in the infantry, you fat, disgusting walrus piece of crap?" I told him that I for one didn't let crybabies in my beloved Marine Corps and if he didn't stop crying, I would send his fat a-- home to his mama.
I said, "What's going to happen when you go overseas to Iraq or someplace like that and you get shot at or even hit? Are you going to cry for your mommy"? He was yelling "Sir, no sir" the entire time. I told him if he didn't get his s--t together that what just went on today would be a picnic compared to what I was going to do to him.
I told him that I was not going to send his fat a-- home. I was going to make a Marine out of him even if it killed him in the process and I was not kidding with him. I told him that I could do anything I wanted with him, so he had better straighten up. He said, "Sir, yes sir, the recruit will be a Marine, sir." I then told him to go get a shower and I was putting him on a diet and get out of my face.
Believe it or not, the fat a-- dropped about 50 pds and earned a PFC stripe out of boot camp! This was just one day in the life of my DI days. Gotta love it. Semper Fi.
15 Years Old
In April 1957 I enlisted in the 5th Automatic Weapons Reserve Battery in Pico Reviera California.
I was 15 years old. My buddy and I went to 6 month reserve training at MCRD San Diego CA.
Believe it or not My Senior D.I. was none other than Technical Sgt. Lazarko of the Movie The D.I. with Jack Webb. I do believe he was a man of honor and a Marines Marine.
I learned a whole lot about life from him.
When I turned 16 in June 1957, before I was through boot camp (Plt 257) I reenlisted to Regular Marine Corps so I could have Sea School. I was classified MOS 0300, BAR man in ITR and then to Sea School.
In Nov 1957, I finally got my Permanent Duty Station. The USS Helena CA 75 flag ship of 7th Fleet COMCRUPAC. I was elated. Home Port, Long Beach, CA 30 miles from my parent's home.
As Flagship and we had Regulas I missiles aboard they found out how old I was and was given no chance to get a Congress Appeal to waiver my time as we were leaving dry dock to deploy to the Straits of Formosa in Jan 1958.
The Captain Laye said I was still too young to go to a potential combat zone and wanted to know how the USMC could put a 16 year old kid in charge of his life as an Orderly. We both stared each other eye to eyeball and he knew I could and would do my job. I was HONORABLY DISCHARGED with recommended for reenlistment.
Believe it or not... Semper Fi... PVT. Jim Gray
Couldn't Pass The Physical
Just changed jobs so I finally got around to reading the newsletter from a week and a half ago and had to respond to Art Tarsa's question about how many jarheads could claim their mother in law was a Marine. I can't claim that but my mother was one of the first women from Michigan to enlist in the Marines in WWII and was a WM Drill Instructor at Hunter College, NY. She was mustered out as a Tech Sgt at the end of the war but recalled to active duty for Korea. She was recommended for Warrant Officer training but had to decline because she couldn't pass the physical, she was pregnant with my oldest brother...
There have been some comments in the newsletter about Women Marines. I want to introduce you to my neighbor who, last month, turned 89. She is sharp as a tack but her body is a little worn. She will always say with pride that she is a Marine. Not an ex, former, used to be, or anything like that.
She recently has moved into an assisted living facility to be safer. When we went to visit her we passed the entry hall. Lining the wall are pictures of former Army, Navy, Air force, Army Air Corps, and Marines. Her picture is proudly hanging there with her in her green dress uniform in 1943. That picture is her pride and joy.
Marine pride is ageless, genderless, and undying. Here is the proof.
SSgt DJ Huntsinger 1968-74
Anyone ever see this phony? Know who he is? Do what you can to help expose this clown, forward this photo to every Marine you know.
Lawrence E. McCartney; Master Gunnery Sergeant of Marines (Retired): 1967 - 1997
Note: this picture and other info has been turned over to the POW Network. They do an outstanding job of tracking down these guys. I turn info over to them often or have them verify. They are a volunteer organization and as such can always use a donation. If you feel the urge to separate yourself from a few $ http://www.pownetwork.org/
I did not spend a lot of time on the photo. But I did notice the Seal Team emblem and the rack of ribbons that would put Chesty to shame. Shooting badges seem to be wedged under the lower part or ribbons. I imagine the precedence is amiss if studied and many other things.
Semper Fi Devil Dog!
A friend introduced me to your web site two or three years ago, and I have been looking forward to your issues every week since. Many, many, treasured memories have been brought back to the forefront of my consciousness as a direct result of your stories submitted by your readers.
Allow me to submit one of my own that may get a chuckle from some of your readers, and maybe a groan of remembrance from at least one of your readers.
I was in platoon 2002 at MCRD, San Diego, beginning 19 May, 1968. In those days, every platoon had to serve one week of either mess duty, or building and grounds maintenance. My platoon pulled mess duty.
During that week of mess duty, we were not required to make a request to make an "emergency Head call" if the need arose and it was not time for a "scheduled" platoon head call. We just went to the head.
During the middle of the afternoon toward the end of our week of mess duty, I left the mess hall to make a head call. I had just finished and was washing my hands in preparation to leave the head, when a platoon came rushing in that had obviously been in boot camp only a few days. One of its members looked at me and said, "Hey man; you've been here for a while haven't you?".
I, of course in comparison, was an "old Salt"! After all, I was in the last few days of my mess duty week! I replied, " yah, I've been here a while, why?".
He looked around as if wanting secrecy, and asked "Is it true we get a shot in the left nut?".
I replied that it was true, but not to worry because it could not be felt. I told him there was only one shot in boot camp that he had to worry about. His eyes grew quite large as he asked, "what shot is that, Man?".
I told him that it was the shot that we got in the right nut! He almost screamed, "We get TWO SHOTS in the NUTS?".
I told him that over ninety percent of our sister platoon passed out because that shot hurt SO BAD! Then I told him that NO ONE in our platoon passed out. Did he want to know why? Of course, he wanted desperately to know why. (How I was able to continue with a straight face I'll never know)
I told him that our platoon got smart. We chose one man to go to our platoon commander and request permission for the platoon to receive nova cane to rub on our nuts. I told him that our platoon commander knew why we were asking for this, and he was glad to get it for us. I told him that our platoon commander was extremely proud of us because none of us passed out with the shot.
I told him that if he wanted to be a real hero with his platoon, he should go to his platoon commander, and to say NOTHING until he had requested and received permission to speak. After receiving permission to speak, he could make a similar request as we had and I was certain that his platoon commander would know what the request was for and would be glad to accommodate the platoon's wishes.
This guy was absorbing every word I said like water on a dry sponge. To my knowledge, I never saw him again, but I have often imagined what the look must have been on his platoon commanders face when he made his request!
May - August 1968
Pans Of Pudding
I have been enjoying the chow stories in several of the past newsletters and wanted to comment. Aside from chow at Parris Island, which I can't say I enjoyed because who can enjoy food when you only have seconds to shove it down the pie-hole, and possibly with your DI screaming in your face, but chow at the Camp Geiger chow hall was pretty decent as I recall. It was not my mom's cooking and it certainly was not four star restaurant level food but it was not that bad either.
I also made two MED cruises during my four years and was on board the USS Inchon and the USS Ponce (after being transferred from the USS Nassau when the rear gate from the well-deck fell off outside of Morehead City) and if memory serves me correctly navy chow was not bad either. Can't recall which ship now, but on one of the two, Surf and Turf was served on Sundays on a regular basis and I recall being able to go back in line several times and some of us would swap each other steaks for lobster so it was conceivable that you could consume several steaks or lobsters in one meal and to this day I smile when I recall those times.
I also recall the huge pans of pudding that were placed at the end of the chow line. I also recall the chow line being open at 1100 for Jarheads and Squids going on night watch at 1200. That meal was usually something simple like grilled cheese or grilled ham and cheese sandwiches with Jello or leftover pudding from the evening meal but at least they took the time to provide us with something.
I remember the ship stopping at the Azores before entering the Med to top off and re-supply food. I was on the working party one day when we loaded on crates upon crates of lobsters, among other types of chow and I was told that it was up to the ship's captain as to the quality of the food and the menu. Not sure how true that is today or was then, but I can attest that we ate much better on one ship than we did on the other. Semper FI Sgt Grit and thanks for the great newsletter!
Lima 3/8 Weapons Plt
You Can Tell
I got this from the author, Barrett Tillman, at a reunion of VMF 214 Black Sheep a few years back at the Museum of Flight at Boeing field in Seattle;
You can tell a bomber pilot by his spread across the rear, by the ring around his eye you can tell a bombardier, you can tell a navigator by his maps and charts and such, and you can tell a fighter pilot, but you can't TELL HIM MUCH!
Once a fighter pilot... always a Marine.
W F Mitchell
One Who Lost Everything
Oh Sh-t! Moment #1 ..or To Take Charge Of This Post and All Government Property In View
Ah those 11 general orders we had to learn in Boot Camp for Sentry duty...they were just the ticket when you pulled guard duty. There's a lot of thought behind them. Read on.
The 1st General Order... To Take Charge Of This Post and All Government Property In View. And recent postings about lost weapons, brings to mind this story.
In 63 or 64 while stationed in Courthouse Bay, Camp Lejeune, not long after I made Corporal, I found myself on Guard duty. I'd been stationed there for a couple of years already, and unless I missed it, no one in my platoon had caught any kind of guard duty. In my sheltered life I wasn't aware anyone was guarding anything. But you know even though Courthouse Bay was in the boondocks of the boondocks the USMC was by God going to guard it.
So off I went one night to help guard the place and keep my fellow Marines safe in their barracks while they slept. I'm pathologically punctual so I arrived a bit early and settled down. I think it was the graveyard shift because there was a shift before me to be relieved.
Fortunately, I wasn't the one who lost anything. But I happened to be there to see it happen, right before my eyes.
I was sitting on my cot, getting ready to do the Corporal of the Guard thing which if I recall was nothing. The Corporal of the Guard was basically backup to the Sgt of the Guard, when he was doing his rounds.
I looked up to see the Sergeants of the Guard changing shifts. One signing out, the other signing on... in the act of "Taking Charge Of The Post etc. This involved a short briefing, passing the word on important stuff, as you'd expect them to do. e.g. jiggle the toilet when you flush or it keeps running"
But the my Sargent of the Guard was doing something else. He had a clipboard. And on that was the inventory of the Post... all that government property in view, and right to the point, what was supposed to be in the Guardhouse. And you know the way the military works, that list covered everything, right down to the desks, chairs, paperclips....and weapons, which included 45's and ammo. A fair amount of them if I recall.
Who knows, perhaps sometime in his past, my Sergeant got burnt signing something he hadn't read, or maybe he was just anal. Be that as it may there he was going over the inventory line by line, checking off the tent pegs, the door, etc... But..as I said right before my eyes is when he confirmed that he couldn't find this, and he couldn't find that, but more important he couldn't find all of the 45's. You could see it in the body English and the face of the Sergeant being relieved... he was having an Oh Sh.t! Moment.
It took a while to do the whole inventory, as my Sergeant was now extra anal. Vigilant. Yes Sir. When he finished the inventory to his satisfaction he told the outgoing Sergeant....that he was only signing off on what was there...and duly noted so under his signature.
Nothing personal. I don't think they knew each other. But the departing Sergeant was not a happy camper. In the eyes of the USMC... he just "lost" a lot of stuff. His signature said it was there when he took over his shift... and was mysteriously gone by the time he ended it. Poof! Disappeared into thin air. "Sgt Lucy joo got a lot of splaining to do" as Desi used to say.
I'd be willing to bet that passing the clipboard and signing off on the inventory as a matter of routine, without actually checking the list. Probably went back to when Courthouse Bay's guardhouse was built. Way before my time. Except tonight.
Couple Of Pictures
These are just a couple of the pictures we have form the last gathering. thank you sgt grit for your donations, hope you can make it this year. thanks a bunch!
Choking Of The Blood
During boot camp while at the Edson Rifle Range, I struggled to qualify. I barely qualified marksman on qual day. I had been a hunter ever since I was 10 years old. I always considered myself a pretty good shot. Perhaps it was that uncomfortable sling choking off the blood circulation in my arm. Or probably the drill instructors screaming in my ear. I was too embarrassed to wear the marksmanship badge.
I jumped at the 1st opportunity I had to get back to the rife range and I managed to do so before going to Vietnam in 1967. With the M-14, I qualified with a score of 240. My 1st expert badge. I was relaxed and no one was yelling at me. My next trip to the range was with a M-16. All the time I carried it in Nam, I was curious as to how I would do on the rifle range. I did well. I don't remember my score, but it was high and I managed to get my 2nd expert badge.
My next trip to the range was my most challenging, even more so than boot camp. I was stationed at Marine Barracks, Hunters Point, San Francisco. We took a bus trip to Mare Island where we were issued M-1s. Those rifles were stored in what looked like an old brig. It actually looked more like a jail from the old west. I must admit; the M-1 I was issued was exceptionally clean. It looked like it had never been fired. The stock was beautiful. The grain in the wood was similar to tiger stripes.
I fared pretty well throughout the week but qual day was a different story. We had a crosswind that must have been blowing at 30 mph, if not more. I had my windage clicked as far as it could go and I still had to rely on Kentucky windage. I fired a score of 220, the minimum for expert at the time. It was my lowest score since boot camp but the score I am most proud of considering the weather condition.
I am proud to say that I have qualified expert with the M-14, M-16 and the M-1.
GySgt John Douglas Foster
USMC 1966 - 1979
I will be 92
Boot Camp - Parris Island May 15th / June 10th 1944. 12th Recruit Bn. Platoon 294. James Hawgood (? - never saw it spelled) Ellison Sgt. Senior D.I. PFC Friedman Jr. Serial No. 969628. Rifle No. 1617788 M1 of course. I have often wondered how many others carried this Rifle before and after me.
We had to turn them in before leaving P.I. in those days. Rumor was that the 12th Bn was for the V12 Officers and that we were the "fill-in" to complete the roster - how true? I have no idea. I do know that we underwent a shortened "boot camp" - just 8 weeks. We were tested at the time to check our progress and knowledge. We had to salute anything with stripes - "Skunks, Tigers and Zebras are not excluded"
There must be a big warehouse "up there" full of buckets and Pith Helmets. I don't remember anyone knowing what happened to theirs.
Sgt Ellison was not one to humble a recruit with some of the things I have read in the News Letter - He was very accomplished in other ways. There was no mistaking what was intended or where you screwed up.
He was very generous in that he translated the Savannah newspaper so us "Yankees" could understand what was going on in the war during the daily briefings and schooling sessions. The platoon was made up mostly of Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Ohio people. (Four of us were from Dayton).I received my "Draft Notice" to report two days before shipping out of P.I.
We were "Voluntary Enlistees" There was never a "Draftee" in the Marine Corps. You were taken to the Recruiting office - "Dismissed from the draft and sworn in as "Volunteers" I can remember the Captain that swore us in, saying "You men (?) are about to embark on one of the strangest times of your life. There will be times when you will feel like going "over the hill". Don't try it - you won't get away - the M.P's. will hunt you down and you will regret it - and I'm not joking.
On the 10th of June, the four of us from Dayton all left P.I. for Cherry Point NAS. We left a land of Platoon Sgts, Gunnery Sgts and Master Gunnery Sgts for a world of Staff Sgts, Technical Sgts and Master Technical Sgts.
Because I had served most of being an apprentice Tool Maker, all schools were either full or discontinued, but there were openings in the machine shops. Later, when I got to Korea I found that I had been assigned to 1st Motor Trans. At least I didn't have an 030S..t MOS. We left two mobile machine shops at Chosin - each with a 50 gallon drum of gasoline and a phosphorus grenade. They weren't much good after that.
So much for the good times. I will be 92 my next birthday - can't wait to see what the next 10 years bring.
Edwin H Tate GySgt ret'd.
I was in Pep boys the other night and was wearing my Marine Corps Sweat shirt as usual and a gentleman came up to me and said, "I see you belong to the world's oldest Gun Club" - I had never heard this term before - thought I'd share
Larry Lovett - PFC-USMC MCRD/SD 1954 - 1500178
Regarding ddick's comment on suggestions in boot camp. He's right; no such animal. The several hundred recruits that knew ddick, as I did, know that the word suggestion was not in his vocabulary nor any other drill instructor's vocabulary. I don't remember ever getting any suggestions for the whole time I was in our Corps. It was do it or do it.
My thanks to MGySgt Mackin for lining out who was what and where. In my year and a half in the far east I started losing track of what MAG I was with. That was in Jan. '65 to Aug. '66. Atsugi to Iwakuni to Danang to Iwakuni with side trips to Okinawa and finally aboard the Gen. D.I. Sultan for the 18 day cruise home.
Thanks. Robert Bliss '63-'67
Healing Heroes Golf Week 23-27 April
the Warrior Banquet 24 April 2012
View the Press Release with more info about this outstanding event
What ever happened to Tent Camp #2 at Camp Pendleton. When I was recalled in 1950 for the Korean war. They sent us to Tent Camp 2 to prepare for Korea. You were put into what they called drafts. I was in the fifth draft. When my grandson was stationed at Miramar in 2000 we went to visit him. We took a ride up to Pendleton and I did not recognize one thing. All the barracks were gone. At that time each barrack had four bays two up and two down with a head between each bay. I don't quite remember but I think that each barrack held a full platoon.
Pat Campagna CPl then 1950.
I still have my bootcamp big red monster and my shoe brush with laundry #38 still on the handle. And, I still use it.
MCRD PISC Plt. #352
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In response to Dwight Lang and the Pistol familiarization exercises. All Smart Drill Instructors let the PMIs' stand there with the recruits. We all hid behind the hut, discretion is the better part of valor. LOL
G Co, 3rd Bn MCRDPI
I read about SGTMAJ Gordon's suicide at this website. It says it was because of forced retirement papers in 1945, it doesn't mention not being allowed to deploy.
RE: Your DI's Name
When our Senior DI picked us up from Receiving Barracks in February 1957 he said, "My name is Staff Sergeant J. L. Weston and you fellows will remember my name until you die."
He didn't really use the word "fellows," but the word he did use started with an "f."
The story about "The Deuce" in last week's Newsletter is right up there with the best stories I have ever heard about Marine Boot Camp. If I had never been in The Marines I probably would never believe that story, not in a million years! First time I have laughed out loud while reading the Newsletter. I was having a horrible week and needed the laugh. So thanks to SGT. Robert Imm!
Also remember reading about the story of the Marine chow hall in Hawaii. Before turning 18 and sent to Viet Nam I was stationed at Marine Barracks - Pearl Harbor. He was right about the chow. It shamelessly rivaled some of the Navy food at another Marine Detachment at Wahia/Kunia.
Grit; A few weeks ago, you forwarded an email address from a former Marine commenting about the article I had written about my time on Formosa; seems he had been there about a year before I had.
Got to emailing, back and forth, and he commented that he had been born in Hazard, KY, and I replied that my wife was from the Pineville, KY area, and gave her birth place. His mother was born at the same small coal mining town, and he named some of his relatives.
The world got even smaller, at that point. Turns out that this former Marine is one of my wife's cousins.
You just gotta love the Corps!
James R. McMahon
GySgt of Marines
Join the Buddy Search... You might be surprised at who you find!
Fired & Re-hired
Semper Fi to all Marines, past & present!
A special "Ooh-Rah" goes out to everyone in Plt. 2107*, 2nd Bn., RTR MCRD San Diego, from Nov. 84 to Jan. 85; Drill Instructors were Sgt. Schaepe (pronounced SHA-PAY), re-con with jump wings & scuba diving badges, Sgt. Ferguson (who served in Lebanon), Sgt. McConville, (the meanest of the bunch, who frequently thrashed my 17-year-old fresh-out-of-high-school-and-football-team- behind, because I deserved it, with push-ups, mountain climbers, in-place double-time, etc., only to find out that was fun for me, but leg-lifts were my hardest), & SDI SSgt Wesley-Smith, (a real hardcore Devil-Dog, but fair bulldog of a Marine), who constantly fired & "re-hired" me from squad leader, for even the smallest things. Made me a better Marine in the end.
I was 2nd Squad Leader, graduated PFC, and still have the picture of my platoon, and will be happy to submit as soon as anyone from this platoon acknowledges.
Former Active Duty LCpl
'Oct. 84 to Oct. '88
Once A Marine, Always A Marine!
*P.S., my receiving barracks SDI name in Oct. '84 was SSgt McClemore when I was originally assigned to Plt. 3103, 3rd Bn, RTR MCRD San Diego, but got recycled to Plt. 2107 after 1st Phase, for reasons unknown to this day. No hard feelings, changed my graduation day from 841221 to 850105.
Sgt Grit Here is a copy of my certificate of Amtrac School that I went to in Camp Delmar at Oceanside Ca. And that was before P35 I think that is what they were called. I came there from boot camp leave, then to advanced infantry training. Then to Camp Gifu Japan in a comm. Platoon Anglico for 15 months then back the states, 2531 & 0849 mos. Parris Island for 14 months in the Post Exchange and never seen the inside of an Amtrac again. Discharged in Sept. 1957 Honorably.
I made a landing on Iwo Jima in Feb 1956, But not in a Amtrac to play war, we had air strikes and we went over the side of the ship into landing craft So I spent 4 weeks that was never used again. But that is the life of a Marine to get training that you might use. sometime or maybe never.
Bernie Caldwell Cpl 1513313 09/54 to 09/57
I love the newsletter, keep 'em coming. For several years I owned and operated a custom cabinet here in Texas. During that time I would sometimes acquire temporary help from the state workforce commission. These people were usually young men that had been incarcerated at a young age and had been released from the state school when they turned 18 and were looking for a new start.
One particular individual arrived very eager to learn the trade of cabinet making but soon became a distractive influence on the other employees. I brought him to my office and asked him to focus more on the job than attempting to intimidate the others. His response to me was that if I didn't leave him alone he would kick my arse.
In my best DI voice I pointed out to him that as a Marine I had ways of hurting him in places that he didn't even know he had places. After a long stare down he returned to work and became a very reliable employee. I am now 65 but still a 20 something Marine.
Sgt of Marines 66-72
Does Not Look Good
For those who were lucky enough to have just one platoon in boot camp, I can understand why you remember DI names and your number. In my case, at 5'10 and 209lbs when I entered the Corps, I ended up with THREE platoons. I went in Oct 19, 1965 at San Diego and had only 2 DIs in each platoon.
My first DIs were a Gunny and a little bandy rooster of a Sgt. The Sgt decided I was too fat for his tastes and sabotaged my Physical Fitness test. I could Max sit-ups and pushups but could not do a pull up. My 300 meter run was right in the middle time wise. What he did was tell the recruit who was counting my pushups to not count them after I did 12 [the Marines who were used to count at the Physical Fitness tests were in Rehabilitation Platoon - walking wounded. I know I was one later.].
So after his "help" I am sent to conditioning company ? Platoon, do not remember. The first thing they did was have us run the obstacle course in the Morning and afternoon. After two days, it was time for us to take the Physical Fitness test to see what we individually needed to work on to pass the test. Funny thing, I max the sit-ups & pushups and run a middle time on the run - still can't do a pull-up. [It seems my elbow is messed up along with my shoulder - turns out I was 4F] Platoon DI says, "What the H-ll are you doing in my platoon, Maggot?" My response, "Sir my last Di decided I was too fat to be in his platoon, SIR!"
Second platoon, I get two Sgt both very squared away excellent Marines, no BS that wasn't for a defined purpose. They decide that I am OK for a Maggot and put me to helping 3 recruits. We had squad leaders but also fire team leaders, their Idea to get extra help for the "slower witted" recruits. After two weeks, I am standing sanitary inspection and my legs are swollen and red from my calf muscle to my ankle on both legs. DI has me report to duty hut after morning chow. Tells me it does not look good and to go to sick call. Yep, come back to the area with written instructions and pack up my sea bag.
I spend time in the hospital and finally the swelling goes down. I am sent to a specialist at Balboa Naval Hospital who says, medical discharge. That is over ruled by the doctor who sent me to the specialist. I then report to Rehabilitation Platoon. We run the obstacle course and act as counters for the Physical Fitness Tests.
Third platoon, two DIs one Sgt and one Corporal and a whole platoon of 6 month reservists from Arizona plus 3 of us who were active duty. Myself, a tall really skinny black kid who had broken his arm and a "You can join the Marines or you are going to prison for 1-5 years." Very uneventful time for me as the Dis used myself and broken-arm as helpers. We ran at the back of the formation during all runs and were not to allow anyone behind us no matter what.
In 1980, washing machine flooded the shed it was in and where my then wife had put all my stuff that she didn't want in our closet. Ruined all my High School and Marine stuff including my Boot Camp book.
Sorry so long but SH*T HAPPENS and I was often in the middle of the Storm.
Cpl Pete Gratton 2163XXX
RVN 11/68-10/69 Dong Ha ASRT radar tech 5961
General Cushman did not become Commandant until 1972. He was fat, to the point of being overweight by Marine Corps standards and would have been booted out if he were a SNCO. (he used a speed bag?).
When he became Commandant, the usual pictures (8x10 photo) sent to every command (several thousand dollars or more) showed a dirty collar, like he hadn't changed shirts in several days.
A month later all the pictures were taken down and replaced with one showing a clean shirt. (More thousands of dollars).
He, along with Gen Chapman before him, went along with Admiral Zumwalt (Chief of Naval Operations) encouraging long hair and the Afro Haircut. only, luckily, in my opinion, neither one allowed the troops to grow beards.
When he was replaced in 1976, discipline and moral improved 100%, though it took a couple of years.
Uhh? He served 6 months in Vietnam as Deputy Commander with only a couple of those months as III Marine Amphibious Force Commander. He missed Korea altogether. Meaning what? You need to have a high up mentor to become Commandant.
No telling what kind of stories you get. I have been mentioned by a couple of my recruits in your letters. Their memories must be completely shot. I never did any of those things.
Jim Stelling, 1stSgt, USMC, Retired.
Don't Break It Off
In the first story of the 05 April 2012 newsletter, I noticed that Sgt. Don Alexander was stationed in 24 Area about 1966.
Upon my return from Viet Nam, I was stationed there from late May or maybe early June of 1966 through 22 June 1967. I remember General Cushman very well as we crossed paths in the 2400 Bldg. nearly every day. He was very friendly and I remember he liked to joke a little bit if there weren't a lot of people around.
Just down the hall from his office was the dispensary and a HN 2 Allen was working there. "Doc" Allen's Chief Petty Officer was named Rhodes.
Major General Cushman had just been selected for Lt Gen and preparing to go to Viet Nam to take command of all West Pac Marines.
Chief Rhodes ask me to go to Base Medical Supply in 13 Area to pick up some meds and when I returned to the dispensary, Maj. Gen. Cushman was leaning over the counter with his trousers and skivvies down around his knees and "Doc" Allen was standing behind him with a 5 cc syringe full of gamoglobin vaccine getting ready to give the General a shot.
"Doc" Allen says, It isn't every day that I get a chance to "Stick it in a General's azs", I thought "Oh No" and ducked back out of sight as Gen. Cushman replied: "Just don't break it off, Doc". And they were both laughing. I recovered my composure and entered with the med. supplies. feeling relieved that "Doc" Allen wasn't going to get a court martial of something like that.
Semper Fidelis Don,
Dale Strawn 2108037
Best Shoot You'll Ever Make
I served in Plt. 3084 at MCRDPISC starting Aug. 26,1966. LBJ was beefing up forces in Nam so we were going through the abbreviated form of boot camp- eight weeks of Fun in the Sun instead of twelve. I'm not sure of what we missed out on as far as training but rest assured we did twelve week's worth of 'bends and thrusts' ' side straddle hoppy-twos' and push-ups. In fact, I am surprised to hear that boots who followed me had to do any 'bends and thrusts' 'cause SDI SSgt. "Moon" Mullins ordered us to do "all of them". But I digress...
We were at the range, week 5 I believe. On the first day of shooting I was having trouble sighting in on the 'fuzzy' thing sitting on the top of my front sight blade. I'd gone for a pair of glasses in week 2 not because I couldn't see, but because I'd been told in my young teens that I had a vision deficiency and by going for glasses I got out of training for a few hours, got to deal with 'real' people, and I got free glasses compliments of Uncle Sam. They'd gotten stowed in my foot locker as soon as I got them. Now I needed them.
On day two the 'fuzzy' thing turned into a little dot- the 20 inch 'bull' at 500 yards. Day 4 was a Thursday, and pre-qual day. Our platoon had been shooting bad to date. I found out about a year later from my Company Gunny, GySgt Connelly, that he'd been SNCOIC of the Range when I went through and I asked if we'd had a bad 'Lot" of ammo. He confirmed that this had occurred about the time I was at the range.
The day had progressed from the 200 yd. to the 300 yd. and now we were at the 500yd. line. However, my score was not progressing well. In fact I found myself with two rounds left to fire from the prone position and a score of 161. I sighted in carefully on the fly speck sitting on the front sight blade, took a breath, held it and squeezed very slowly. BANG, recoil and recover. And a long wait for the target to be pulled and marked and rehoisted- in the 'four ' ring. D-mn, thought for sure I had a 'bullseye'. Nothing to do but repeat the process. Now I needed nothing else but a bullseye. Sight alignment, breathe, hold and gently squeeze. Bang, recoil, recover- and wait. BULLSEYE, and a score of 170. My range 'coach' said quietly "Best shoot you'll ever make" "Yes, Sir" and I was out of there.
We cleared the range and headed back to our barracks. Quick clean up and form up for evening chow. When we returned the 's**t began to hit the fan. The SDI called for all of his "Unq's" while he was walking up and down the squad bay and stopped in front of me and said" and maybe I should get you 170 shooters too" and shot a glance my way. (He'd heard!) But I knew I was safe. Even sadists weren't THAT sadistic.
The rest of the platoon went outside and sat on our buckets and cleaned rifles. The last we saw of the "Unq's" they were duck- walking to the showers with their rifles and wearing their ponchos and doing "up-and-on-shoulders" and quacking. But, thank God, and a great trigger-squeeze, I was outside breathing fresh air and relaxing. And rejoicing in the "shot heard 'round the Range" - at least for that day.
We returned to the range for Qual. Day and I breezed through for a score of 122. We only had one 'Expert' out of the whole platoon and about 1/3 of the platoon went 'Unq" on Qual. Day. There were no further ramifications for them. The damage was done. The marks were in their records. As I indicated above, it seems that we had a bad lot of ammo. S%%t happens, but fortunately not to me. At least one round found it's mark when I needed it to.
Sgt. of Marines
Nam 5 / 66- 10 / 69
Some Real Food
I was with a small detachment from 7th Comm, assigned to the 2nd ROK Marine Brigade in Nam in 67-68. We were moving from 20 miles south of Chu Li to 20 miles south of Da Nang when the Tet offensive hit. By the time we got set up, without back to the South China Sea, we were low on everything (especially mail). So the Lt. sent several of us up to Da Nang to stock up.
We took the jeep and trailer and headed north. We had two ways to get to Da Nang. At low tide we could drive up the beach on the hard sand, which was the quickest, but not the smartest. Or we could work our way back to Highway 1 (4-5 miles) and then go North. They both had there pros and cons. We chose the beach that morning.
After getting what we came for we came upon a USO club on our way out. Since we lived on C-Rats 24/7, the opportunity for some real food was too much to pass up. Unfortunately, they wouldn't let us in with our weapons. So we left them in the jeep and went in and chowed down on some real food.
To make a long story short, when we came out our rifles were gone. To say we were a little upset, would be a gross understatement. I was trying to think of some BS story to tell the Lt. I wasn't too keen on driving back unarmed, but I didn't see much choice. As we were pulling out some MP's stopped us and asked if we lost anything. I let loose a big sigh of relief, realizing they had taken out rifles. Unfortunately, I think they were Army MP's, so it was a little embarrassing.
A month or two later we was up in Da Nang again, and hoping to get some real food, we stopped at an Air Force mess hall. They had a no weapons policy also. So we all agreed we weren't really that hungry anyway.
Sgt. Bill Michell
7th Comm, May 67-June 68
Chosin Marine Passes
Master Sgt. Ken Benson passed away on Friday, March 23, 2012. He was 80 years old when he passed. He entered the Marine Corps and fought in the Frozen Chosin. He was awarded the Silver Star. His unit was Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Regiment. He retired from the Marine Corps Reserve, G Company, 2nd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division located in Picatinny Arsenal, Dover, NJ in 1971. He was a member of the Chosin Few Organization, a member of PFC Jeffrey S. Patterson Marine Corps League of Sussex County Detachment #747, a member of The Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation, and a member of American Legion Post 86 in Andover, NJ.
Iwakuni Dead Man
No, it's not what it sounds like. Back in about 1956-57 or so, I was an aircraft mechanic with MARS-17 at MCAS Iwakuni, Japan. We had a variety of aircraft, one of which was an AD-6. This aircraft was a Douglas built Attack plane with a tail wheel. Had a 14-foot, four-bladed prop driven by an engine (The engine was an R3350) producing almost 3,000-horse power. When standing near the aircraft at full power you could FEEL that sound in your very bones, it was that powerful.
The spaces required for aircraft maintenance and parking in the MARS-17 area was crowded, so the high power turn up spot (dead man) was right beside the road that ran between Wing Side and Main Side. Not too far from the VMR-152 nose docks for those of you that were stationed there back then. The dead man had a ring in the concrete to chain down the AD's for full power turn-up and there was a high blast deflector fence behind made from welded planks of Marston Matting. But the blast fence was not built wide enough and us mechs quickly found out that if we parked the AD at an angle part of the prop blast of wind at full power went past the side of the blast fence and would literally knock over people on bicycles and move small vehicles passing by on the road. The Japanese on bicycles learned real quick to stop when they saw an AD turning up.
Now, most of you remember that old homily, "Corporals are sly and crafty and bear watching at all times." One Saturday morning this other Cpl. and I parked and chained down an AD on the dead man. It had rained the night before and there was standing water lying on the concrete apron. It was the other Cpl.'s turn to run up the engine so he was in the cockpit and I stood on the ground by the wing with a clipboard. Made me look important. He had the engine warmed up and was beginning to use the check list when I saw a jeep approaching coming from Wing side. Canvas top was up with open sides. I wiggled the aileron to get his attention and on signal he shoved the throttle to full power. The powerful blast of wind lifted all that water lying on the concrete in one huge splattering sheet and soaked the driver and the inside of the jeep. Almost ripped the top off the jeep. Spectacular!
Unfortunately-- the driver was a LtCol. I saw him drive to the hanger and storm inside. I knew we were in trouble and sure enough shortly here came the Maintenance Chief with fire in his eyes. He gave the signal to shut down the engine, stood us both by the wing and let us have it with both barrels.
In those days MSgt.'s must have went to some kind of school for azs-chewing because he was good! By the time he was done our hair and dungaree jackets were smoking. He had us get a tug and reposition the AD on the dead man and warned us (again!) about watching for passing traffic on the road. That was the end of some of our fun, but I'm willing to bet others later discovered the same possibility and used it on other unsuspecting travelers on the road between Wing and Main Side.
Captain Thomas Mix USMC Retired
Apply their Make-up
I must say that the uniforms look much better these days! :) and this picture looks like it maybe an early re-enlistment oath in the early 1920s based of the fact that the females depicted consist of at least 2 Corporals and 3 have already been awarded the national defense ribbon meaning they had already served at least 30 days or more during a time of war not to include training.
The first female to enlist in the Corps was Opha Mae Johnson in August of 1918, whom was the first of 305 women to enlist that day. Most of those who enlisted became either secretaries or cooks rather than the stereotypically represented billet of nurses during WWI. To this day, all of the Marine Corps medical attention is essentially provided by Navy Corpsmen.
Additionally, female training has come along since then back in the 1920s, Boot camp consisted of learning how to properly apply their make- up and the upkeep of their uniform, rather than the physically demanding training that female recruits receive today.
Just a little bit of Female Marine History for ya!
Always Just Laugh
Dear Sgt. Grit.
Late 1965 my section of 4th plt. Bravo Co. 1st. Amtrac Bn. was operating out of the water point just south of Marble Mountain, in support of 1/9. I think it was Delta co. that was set up near the leper colony even father to the south.
One day we get a call that the grunts need water and ammo and mortar rounds ASAP. So out of our 5 tracs in the section 1 was changing trac, 1 was getting engine work done and the one full of mortar rounds had just caught on fire. So while still burning we unloaded that trac and put it all into mine (B-43). The one other operational trac was loaded with water cans and small arms ammo.
During all of this we were not wearing any shirts flack jackets or such. We just cranked up the tractors & headed out. That was when 1st.Lt. Bennett our Plt. Commander comes running up, stands in our path. He then executes the hand signal to halt and cut engines. Now with all quiet He yells at me.
CPL. HUNTER, GET your self and your crew into your GOD-D*MNED HELMETS and FLACK JACKETS OR I'm not going to let you go to the field!
Of course I replied with a very quick AYE-AYE SIR and we got the gear on in next to zero time. headed out and completed the mission.
I have over the years. told this story several times to non- Marine friends and they always just laugh and comment to the effect of "right, you can't go out to get shot at unless your dressed right, hahahah, I bet you told him where to go".
They just don't get it that the very worst thing you can threaten a Marine with is to not let him do a Marines job. And it never entered our minds to talk back in any disrespectful manner. His orders also (to my mind) showed that he really did give a sh-t about us. It certainly did motivate us!
I guess it's just a Marine thing
Amtrac Marine 1963-1967
Digging Out Of A Hole
It is the conclusion of Basic Warrior Training at Parris Island and Platoon 3120 is packing up for the cattle car ride back to the barracks. I discover my E-Tool is missing and there is that "sinking feeling". Knowing the fate that awaited my return. I packed the rest of my gear and fell in line for boarding.
The recruits in front of me are already packed in and more are being loaded. As bodies are jostled and adjusted, I begin to board. An E-Tool falls to the deck in front of me. I pick up this gift from heaven and smile at my good luck. Since there is no way to know who it came from (and I do not dare speak) I decide if someone does not have one during inspection, I will give them this one and take the punishment.
Upon returning to 3rd Battalion, the Drill Instructors have us dump all our gear and spread out ponchos to inventory all 782 gear. Three recruits do not have ponchos and are sent to the pit to get "dug". It already does not look good for me. As the informal inspection goes along, we are instructed to hold up each item as it is called out. It seems as if everyone is missing something. Coming up one tent peg short is just as bad as a missing shelter half.
The Drill Instructors check each recruit and the items are placed on the poncho or the recruit is sent to the pit. "One E- Tool" is called out and that sinking feeling returns. I raise my newly acquired item while doing a subtle glance around the platoon. Every recruit has one, on to the next item.
Those two themes are a recurring lesson in the Marines and in life. 1) If you find a $20 bill on the ground and it is not yours, do not keep it. That money probably belongs to a PFC with a wife and kid who need it more than you. 2) Always keep extra gear: you never know when you, or another Marine, may need it.
E-Tool Trifold Shovel with Case
But I Do Know
In response to Grandle Sterling's comment about remembering his DI's or Platoon Number. Maybe because I was a Nam Grunt, or a Hollywood Marine, or 80% PTSD disability, but I do know that I went by train (another short story for a green 17 yr. old out in the world by himself for the first time) but I know that I went in - June '66 - seem to recall that we were right on the Grinder, believe 2nd Bn. 2066 Platoon comes to mind, but not sure. Wish there were some way I could know that with any certainty. I do know that our Platoon was the Honor Platoon for the series.
Echo 2/9 1969
Biggest Red Hickey
I was living the dream ( nightmare ) at Parris Island back in August 1975. 3rd battalion, Platoon 336. We woke one morning and were sent off to take a battery of tests to see how smart we weren't. Apparently I scored fairly well on the tests and was asked to come back the next day for some "advanced" placement testing. That additional testing got me into cryptologic school. I eventually became a 2621, Morse code interceptor.
Anyway, after the tests were complete, I ventured back to my squad bay only to realize that my rifle was not locked to my rack. My heart didn't sink, it just imploded. About 2 minutes later my senior calls for me to come into his hut. As I approach the hatch I see my weapon standing in the corner by his bunk.
After several never before heard expletives, and him making a couple of references to my heredity, he stands in front of me and hauls off and belts me in the stomach. I swear his fist touched my spine. I felt like a bit of a prize fighter at that point. I was 18 years old and in such good shape that I just absorbed the blow. The one he hit me with after that, doubled me over and I flew backwards into the door. A little more butt chewing and a few million bends and thrusts and I was allowed to go back to my rack with rifle in hand.
As I sat on my footlocker, I pulled up my T-shirt and saw the biggest red hickey of my life. That was the extent of my war injuries. Needless to say, my rifle was never found unlocked again. I ended up graduating in a couple of weeks and made meritorious PFC right out of Parris Island.
Before graduation we were visited by someone from the adjutants office and they asked us if we had been abused or even touched by our DI's. We could have them brought up on charges. Are you kidding me? I was thinking, you must be taking insane pills If you think I'm going to stay on the Island for another 3 or 4 months awaiting trial for a DI belting me. I kept my mouth shut.
I had a great 4 years and look back with lifetime memories. I met my best friend and a future and ex-wife ( Naval Officer ) in the Corps. I don't have any regrets. I'd do it all again the same way. I would like to get a shout out for my son though. He's a Navy corpsman HM2 Justin Paul Hillery and he deployed with 2 / 6 in Helmond Province in Afghanistan. Did a tour with the same jarheads in Iraq before that. He told me he grew quite attached to his Marines. How could you not. We are such a lovable bunch !
Semper Fi DevilDogs
CPL Brian M. Hillery
' 75 - ' 79
Women Marines have been around since August 13, 1918. The picture posted in the April 5th newsletter is on the Women Marines Association web site
No disrespect intended but you have to admit, the Marines in the picture all look like they're requesting a head call.
GySgt. F.L. Rousseau USMC Retired - As a 'career Marine' you look at your Marine experience through different eyes than do we 'one enlistment and out' Marines. Boot camp had a huge impact on me in my single enlistment. I do remember other experiences beyond boot camp. Many of them, some good, some bad but boot camp was a big rock in a small pond and my Drill Instructors were larger than life. I've noticed with most career Marines I've talked to, boot camp memories seem to be diminished by the overwhelming experiences of a 20-30 year career and boot camp becomes a much smaller rock in a much larger pond.
Re: Mr. Rigiero's story about the creepy crawlers on Okinawa. In the fall of '64, when we went to Spain on Operation Steel Pike, we set up close to the coast and it was very sandy there. There were quite a few scorpions in our camp area so we stuck a couple of sticks in the sand by our racks and each night we hung our boots on them upside down.
Sgt. Grit, thank you for everything you do for Marines, past, present and future.
Forged on the anvil of discipline.
The Few. The Proud.
Oderint dum metuant
Let them hate, so long as they fear.
A Little Scrounging
Just one more from a long list of fishy things... y'know,... Bass, of the Dum variety...
Early 1959, Camp San Mateo (Pendleton, NW quadrant), 2/1 is 'locked on' (no transfers, no TAD), and 'training up', getting ready to sail (today, we'd say 'deploy', but this was in a previous century) to Okinawa to replace 2/9. Ammunition for training, the real stuff, not 'training round(s), was allocated by calendar quarters and for whatever reason, the BAT (Battalion Anti-Tank) platoon of H&S Company, had three quarters worth of 106MM Recoilless Rifle ammo to burn.
At the time, there were only two kinds of live rounds... the HEP-T, or High Explosive Plastic-Tracer, and the HEAT, or High Explosive Anti-Tank)... These had slightly different means of engaging the rifling in the bore... one had a 'pre-engraved rotating band' inset on the projectile, and the other had two titsmice (minus the 'mice') sticking out, located 180 degrees apart, which had to be aligned with the rifling groves before the round could be fully seated. (that should clear Grit's effete filters... titmouse being a cute little bird... you could look it up)
We had dismounted the weapons from the jeeps (M38A1C for you OD gearheads out there), and were putting rounds down range, somewhere north of San Mateo and east of Talegeda, shooting south... and we had a LOT of them to shoot up... managed to start a brush fire out about 1500 meters... then blow it out with a bunch of HEP-T rounds. Somewhere along in there, somebody came up with the idea of "speed-firing" to see which of the eight squads was best at 'servicing the piece' (old-timey talk for loading/firing that sucker... ) This was probably something the ordnance design engineers had not envisioned, but we were banging and booming away like the Russians holding St. Petersburg against the Wehrmacht. The guns (OK, "rifles") themselves were getting so hot they could be heard 'ticking'...
"Mouse" Hughes (Richmond, IN) was loading... picked up a round, and speedily inserted it into the chamber... most of the way... the metal had expanded somewhat from heat, and the engagement with the rifling was always by 'feel'... and the round was stuck!... couldn't be rotated to find the rifling, so it couldn't be moved forward... and with less than 2" of it sticking out of the breech, couldn't be got hold of well enough to pull it back out... and the gun continued to tick and give off waves of heat. The Lt. and 'Banjo Eyes' (our Gunny) decided we'd all clear the area for a while, have 'lunch' (C- rations... 3 meals in one box, always fun to divvy up) while things cooled a bit.
After temps got more reasonable, further attempts at extraction were made, to no avail, so after mucho radio traffic, EOD was contacted, and the situation was explained to them. Their response was "let us know when you get it out, and we'll come take care of it"
Okey-dokey... after a little scrounging around, came up with a white oak board off a pallet... maybe 3' long, 4" wide, 3/4" thick, or so... took the axe off the tool rack on our jeep, and Mouse and Benscoter (St Paul, Mn.) held the board so as to catch the rim of the round... and I, every bit of a E-3 Corporal, swung the poll of the axe against the board... ("You guys ready for this????"... I think the rest of the platoon was busy placing bets... and not necessarily on whether or not the procedure would be successful... with friends like this, etc..) It took a couple of whacks, but that was enough to get the round free... we set that one aside, the Lt got hold of EOD again, and we went back to shootin' practice... but not for speed...
As the head wrench for two-niner trees (OIC of the Equipment Allowance Pool), and having some of the very best (MSGT Ski, Gunny Anderson, and CWO-2 Jerry) to run the joint and get the gear fixed, was free to roam the desert, keeping an eye on 'our' rent-a-wreck assets, find/fix problems, do whatever we could to facilitate "CAX"s... (Combined Arms Exercises... today called Mojave Viper... I think..)
Had contacts at the Base Motor Pool (all commercial equipment, no tactical 'M-series"), and had the only International Harvester Travelall (well... it was the previous century) 4X4, on permanent dispatch to me... good vehicle for the task, and to the dismay of my Infantry Ossifer friends (1/4 was the first resident Infantry Bn at the Stumps) drove it myself. "You drive your own vehicle!!!????"... yeah... and how'd you get to work this morning???... "Well... who PM's and washes it???"... I do... just like my own car.
Younger Marines, especially, would be non-plussed to see a Major at the wheel... was rolling up Alpha area one day, came upon a single duece and a half setting alongside the track, not another vehicle in sight, and a LCpl sitting on the driver side running board, looking pretty dejected. As I stopped and reached over to roll down the passenger side window to enquire, he got to his feet, then did a double-take, and saluted. He promptly proved to be exceptionally articulate, for when I asked 'something wrong with the truck, Marine?", he, in six brief words, not a one of them tetra polysyllabic, and jerking a thumb in the direction of his recent seat, told me everything I needed to know about the truck... "Sir... this f'eckin, fk'er is f'ck'd"...
Upon examination, and seeing where the crankshaft dampener had gone into the radiator, had to agree with him. 'C'mon, son... we'll go find you a wrecker'... Not unusual at all at the time to find Marines driving trucks that were as old, or older, than the driver...
Units arriving to draw equipment would conduct a joint LTI with us (Limited Technical Inspection), and two weeks later, as the gear was being returned, a second LTI would be conducted... it was always amazing how much the definition of "serviceable" could change in so few days. Had a MT Lt turn in a M-54 5-ton once that had been in an accident... it was all there, including the right front fender... and the air cleaner... still attached to the fender... was in the cargo bed. The intake side of the turbocharger was breathing good desert air, sand and all. The Lt had his investigation form all done... said the accident had happened on the second day they were there, so "we kept this truck in, and just used it around the motor pool"... result was one 'dusted' engine... off to third echelon for an engine swap...
For the guy who thought I should 'lighten up', as he had intended 'suggested' from his DI in a jocular vein (that's the second one over from the jugular)... dude... most of the time when I'm typing these things for Grit, I must look like a chipmunk at an all you can eat buffet, from my tongue being stuck in my cheek... or... is it a case of 'the guilty flee when none pursue' ? (Scriptural reference there...)
The year is 2016 and the United States has just elected the first woman president. A few days after the election the president-elect, whose name is Debra, calls her father and says, "So, Dad, I assume you will be coming to my inauguration?"
"I don't think so. It's a 10 hour drive."
"Don't worry about it Dad, I'll send Air Force One. And a limousine will pick you up at your door."
"I don't know. Everybody will be so fancy. What would your mother wear?"
"Oh Dad," replies Debra, "I'll make sure she has a wonderful gown custom-made by the best designer in Washington"
"Honey," Dad complains, "you know I can't eat those rich foods you eat."
The President-to-be responds, "Don't worry Dad. The entire affair will be handled by the best caterer in Washington - I'll ensure your meals are salt free. You and mom just have to be there."
So Dad reluctantly agrees, and on January 20, 2017, Debra is being sworn in as President of the United States. In the front row sits the new president's dad and mom. Dad, noticing the senator sitting next to him, leans over and whispers, "You see that woman over there with her hand on the Bible, becoming President of the United States."
The Senator whispers back, "You bet I do."
Dad says proudly, "well - her brother is a Marine!"
Marines Never Die Posted by Steve Campbell For a Fallen Brother
EGA Tattoo Posted by Carl Alexander
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-9th Engineer Bn.
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"Old men declare war. But it is the youth who must fight and die. It is youth who must inherit the tribulation, the sorrow and the triumphs that are the aftermath of war."
--President Herbert C. Hoover
"The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a MARINE CORPS for the next 500 years."
--James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy
"The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it."
--American writer H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)
"Absolute power corrupts even when exercised for humane purposes. The benevolent despot who sees himself as a shepherd of the people still demands from others the submissiveness of sheep. The taint inherent in absolute power is not its inhumanity but its anti-humanity."
--American author Eric Hoffer (1902-1983)
"I can never again see a UNITED STATES MARINE without experiencing a feeling of reverence."
--GEN. JOHNSON, US.ARMY
"Objects of the most stupendous magnitude, and measure in which the lives and liberties of millions yet unborn are intimately interested, are now before us. We are in the very midst of a revolution the most complete, unexpected and remarkable of any in the history of nations."
--John Adams, 1776
"(G)overnments are not always overthrown by direct and open assaults. They are not always battered down by the arms of conquerors, or the successful daring of usurpers. There is often concealed the dry rot, which eats into the vitals, when all is fair and stately on the outside. And to republics this has been the more common fatal disease. The continual drippings of corruption may wear away the solid rock, when the tempest has failed to overturn it."
--Joseph Story, 1829
"To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it."
"The MARINES have landed and have the situation well in hand!"
--Richard Harding Davis
"Casualties many; Percentage of dead not known; Combat efficiency: we are winning!"
--COL David M. Shoup, USMC
"Make a hole and make it wide, part like the red f----n sea."
"This is my rifle. There are many other, but this one is mine."
God Bless the Marine Corps!