Sgt. Grit Community

MARINE HELICOPTERS SOAR FARTHER THAN BEFORE WITH AUXILIARY FUEL TANKS

Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 267 used new auxiliary fuel tanks to fly the AH-1Z Viper and UH-1Y Venom helicopters farther than ever, during flights based from Okinawa, March 10-14.
The helicopters demonstrated a 25% range increase, according to Capt. Christopher Millar, a UH-1Y Venom pilot with HMLA-267, a squadron deployed to Okinawa from Camp Pendleton, California.

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FORMER INTERPRETER VISITS UNIT 51 YEARS LATER

A former Vietnamese soldier who was assigned to the 12th Marine Regiment during the Vietnam War recently visited the command to pay tribute to the unit he served with nearly 51 years ago, here in Okinawa, Nov. 7.

In 1966, Sonny Wong joined the Vietnamese military as a military interpreter. During the war, the U.S. military was in need of Vietnamese interpreters for operations, so they began to train soldiers to interpret for the U.S. military, said Wong. After the completion of the training, they were officially recognized as “NCO Interpreters.”

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BIG BEAR LAKE HONORS SERVICE MEMBERS ON VETERANS DAY

On June 1, 1954, the United States Congress declared that the 11 of November would be known as Veterans Day, a federal holiday for Americans to pay homage to those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. On Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017 the residents of Big Bear Lake did just that, in a ceremony that included numerous veterans from past and present conflicts.

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Liberty call in “OLD” SAN JUAN…..

So anyway, still on that float in the Caribbean in 1969 with Fox Company 2/2, we were on Liberty in San Juan, P.R. Well actually, most of us were in “old” San Juan enjoying life and liberty call. For those of you who didn’t get to make this float allow me to summarize what Old San Juan was like. My brother served in the Navy when I was in the Marines, we never talked about Old San Juan while home on leave. We just looked at each other and smiled until we looked foolish. Ok. Back to the story. Cpl. McDonald and I were standing at the bar spending our last dollar before having to return to the ship(aka the boat) USS Guadalcanal.

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Determined to earn the EGA

At the age of 17. I left home to join the MARINES.So I could help my mother.I was sent to MCRD. Parris Island SC. My hometown is Columbus GA. It’s an Army town you might say its the home of Ft.Benning Ga. The 101stairborne rangers train here this is where we train foreign officer’s in the school of the Americas and the world’s largest infantry school.General George S Patton Jr.had a home at Fort Benning during WWII.So it seems strange that I would want to join the MARINES coming from an Army town but I knew I wanted something more to challenge me.I didn’t know at the time how much of a challenge it would become.At 17 when I joined I went in weighing around 250 lbs. So before I could receive regular training I had to drop quite a few pounds.So I was sent to a place I’ll call the fat farm where we did nothing except P.T. Physical Training I had no clue to what I was about to endure. From the time revelry was called till taps were sounded, we had P.T. when we went to chow whether it was morning, noon or night it seemed like we were just allowed to look At the food and maybe smell a little of it. because being on the fat farm you were there to lose weight and I surely lost every pound that I was told to lose.When I was allowed to start my regular basic training I had got into pretty good shape so I thought. I was sent to 2nd training battalion things were really tuff for me I kept wanting to give up but for some reason earning that title of Marine keep me going until the week before graduation.when the unthinkable happened the day before my accident we were running 100 yard wind sprints when all of a sudden my left leg started hurting so bad I wanted to cry but I managed to hold back the tears I had never encountered so much pain I thought someone had a torch and was holding it to my leg . We then proceeded to run back to our barracks my squad bay which was on the top floor of our building I knew those steps I was going to run up would be my downfall, to this day I can still feel every step I climbed.My Senior DI. Sent me to see the Dr. I was told I just had bad muscle cramps .when I came back to my barracks the pain had eased up some but no one caught the hairline fracture I got from running wind sprints.The next morning we were to run the obstacle course, on the very first obstacle that I approached is when the unthinkable happened I attacked it like I had done so many times before but this time the obstacle won I had broken my left leg both bones the tibia and fibula.At that moment of my break, I had so much adrenaline in me that I could Cleary see my leg was broken from it shape that it was. I knew my leg wasn’t supposed to look like that, for the life of me it didn’t hurt the DI seen it and made everyone get into formation while I laid there screaming let me finish the obstacle course. I can see the DI’s face now how he looked with amazement at what I just said. I didn’t realize at the time that adrenaline wears off but I soon found out when I arrived at the Naval Hospital in Sumter SC. Before the Dr. Straighten my leg out he said to me recruit don’t you know your leg isn’t supposed to look like that that’s when the adrenaline wore off the Dr. started pulling on my leg the pain was so intense I started screaming so loud I’m sure the whole hospital knew I was there with a broken leg .I actually passed out from the pain they could have given me everything for pain but it wouldn’t have done any good anyways from the severity of my break.So now I’m in the hospital with a broken leg they inform my mother that I’ve been injured in a training accident so she comes to SC.to the Naval Hospital to see me.When she last saw me I was fat and out of shape. I was standing at the foot of my bed leaning on crutches when she walked right past me. I said, momma, where are you going? She turned around and it took her a moment to realize who I was .when she finally recognizes who I was she started screaming they killed my baby, they killed my baby a nurse had to come calm her down. So after my mother found out they hadn’t killed me, she went back home and after about 2 weeks they sent me back to P.I. where I went to a place called MRP Medical Rehabilitation Platoon when I arrived I was in a long length cast so as you can imagine how I had to get around there were recruits their with broken arms legs and all other things I still can’t explain but we had a DI their that was not going to let peoples injuries get in the way of Physical training so recruits w/broken legs we had to do push ups the one w/broken arms did sit ups no matter why you was there recovering he found something that you could do physically. I was their so long that I got to go home on leave. When I returned back to basic they wanted me to take a medical discharge and I refused so they finally sent me back to training except this time I was sent to 3rd recruit training battalion I started out on Mar 5 1974 my birthday when I returned to duty it was 1st week of 2nd phase .So again to state I arrived at P.I. Mar of 74 my birthday when I finally graduated Dec 17 of 74 to 9 weeks of training turned into 9 months but with nothing but determination I Finally earn the title MARINE. Now 43 yrs later I’m telling this story I’m still as proud today at 60as I was when I was 17 because when i earned the EGA EAGLE GLOBE &ANCHOR I. became not only a MARINE but a man and as for the time I spent at P.I. I’ve never heard of anyone being their longer than I. Really hope you enjoyed my story . to all my Brothers & Sisters Marines I just want to say SEMPER FI DEVIL DOG’S Carry On.

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MARINE OF THE WEEK // INSIDE THE HELL HOUSE

MARINE OF THE WEEK // INSIDE THE HELL HOUSE: “We had to get them out. That became the mission – the only mission.”

Cpl. Robert J. Mitchell, Jr
Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines – Home of the Thundering Third, RCT-1, 1st Marine DivisionI Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF)
Operation Phantom Fury
Fallujah, Iraq
November 13, 2004
Award: Navy Cross

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A Veteran’s Poem

The following is by my friend, a fellow Marine, Rick Waller. He wrote this for the Veterans program at his church.

Who I Am
by Richard Waller

I venture far from home, family, and friends;
I go to places I’ve never been;
I encounter people I’ve never known;
I see and hear things I’ve never imagined;
My days do not end with the setting sun.
Where I walk I do want it to be known.
When I speak I do not want to be overheard!

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29 Palms Bast Training tank

I was TAD at the 29 Palms Base Training Tank in the summers of ’64 and ’65. I visited the base two years ago and the same training tank including the lifeguard office was still there, however, they had civilians working the facility. I worked as an instructor and lifeguard the first year and the second year I was in charge of all three pools (tank, officer’s pool and dependent’s pool for enlisted personnel). The reason for the name and strange size of the pool, we were told, was that an earlier base general had sought funds for an Olympic-size pool for the men but the funds were refused. So, he resubmitted a request for a base training tank and that was approved. However, when the plans were submitted and the pool was 50 meters (Olympic size) he was questioned again. So they added three meters to the plans so that the pool ended up being 53 meters long. I swam on the base swim team and when we had meets, the fifty-meter swims were always stopped short by a rope across the pool at the fifty meter mark. To make some of the reservist marines mad, when we ran overboard drills where the men had to practice jumping from the tower, we only made the reservists jump from 40 feet. This was because many of them would boast (at the EM club) of their great jobs and careers when they were off active duty and they thought we were dumb for being full-time Marines. Sometimes I would tell one of them, “You will see me again before you leave here.” However, Vietnam changed my duty in swim trunks to humping with 2-9 as an artillery Scout/F.O.

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That reminds me of a story—I swear to God this is true….

We had set up a position so that we could get badly needed resupplies. I was
just standing around wondering, if I started yelling “short” would the CO
believe me and send me back to An Hoa so I could get orders for the states. The
Platoon Sgt. decided that I needed to do some work in order to get such
foolishness out of my head. I volunteered to “off load” the supply choppers. I
have no doubt that every Marine who reads this knows what it’s like to stand in
the open as the chopper is landing in a dirt clearing. After the first one came
in and we managed to push and pull the large crate out of the back of the
chopper; three of us took the plastic sheet and held it up in front of ourselves
for protection. Man, you would have thought we invented the light bulb. We
stood there laughing at the fact that the plastic kept us from being belted.

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