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Sr Vice Commandant Marine Corps League Detachment 270 Hamilton County OH

10 November 2017 the Marines of Detachment 270 celebrated the 243rd Birthday of the Marine Corps at Montgomery Inn in Montgomery OH. We had an absolute wonderful event. The Emerald Society Fire and Police Pipe and Drum Corps opened our ceremonies with a 15 minute concert of patriotic songs concluding with the “Marine Corps Hymn”. Then followed by the traditional Birthday Ball Ceremonies. Our Keynote speaker was Marine Corps Lt Col Amy McGrath, the first woman to fly an F 18 in combat. She flew 89 combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Her presentation was excellent and inspired everyone in the room. After reiterating some of the difficulties she had early in her career path someone from the cheap seats asked how did she overcome all these obstacles. She replied, “I had my shit together” and the crowd went wild giving her the first of several standing ovations! The evening concluded with dancing and music supplied by Marine D J “Big Daddy Walker”. Most fun I had in years and I can not express my thanks enough to Lt Col McGrath.

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Leadership

Leadership:
When we predict a leader on the basis of glib refinement, civic prowess or academics these indicators often fail. Why is this?
All parts and no engine.

More than a half-century ago Captain John Metas USMC was different – gruff, pitiless and full of thunder. His eyes pierced pretence, not critical of fault, but impatient with too-gradual ferocity.
We Marines in Bravo Company considered ourselves unlucky subjects of his abrasive scrutiny and unreasonable expectations. He was our curse and talisman – he forged our minds into an instrument of his near-demonic obsession. We sensed there was a reason this stern, passionate WWII Combat-Commissioned- veteran of Carlson’s Raiders and Saipan filled our hot, dusty days with endless effort, demand and harsh epithet.
At first we complained. But older Marines and Sergeants just smiled and nodded knowingly. Attitudes changed. We coalesced. We began to ride the fiery wind, to revel in our new Brotherhood. He was one of us after all. Understanding began – a bond among warriors of mythic strength that no one could put into words. We could not; we would not. An alloy stronger than its metals, Leader and Led became the same.

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The Marine Corps made a thief out me

Well maybe not a thief. Allow me to tell my story and you can figure out if my behavior was justified or not. VietNam 1970, my Golf Co. 2/5 was on road security on Highway 1 from Liberty Bridge to our base in An Hoa. My platoon (3rd.) was placed on Hill 34 along this dirt road. We would assist with a mine sweep from An Hoa to the bridge and from time to time go all the way to Division area. And then, provide convoy security back to Hill 34; which was the last Outpost (OP) before you reached our “rear area”. The convoy always carried re-supplies for An Hoa (which included food items!). I’m guessing a few of you are seeing the situation or temptation.

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Marines will share their last drop of water or food with each other

VietNam 1970, we had been having connect with the VC off and on for a couple of days; so when it became time for our resupply choppers to come in—they didn’t. Grunts understand, all too well, that choppers can be shot down with a lucky hit from an AK-47 or PRG round. Also, Cpt. Darling was finding a supply of water from local wells and such but it was the lack of C-Rations that was the bigger concern. Again, any grunt will tell you that you only carry what you actually plan to eat anything else was too heavy. If a chopper didn’t come in on schedule, it didn’t take long to run out of food. Which is what happen to us on this particular occasion.

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A Marine can fall to sleep anywhere.

How often had you hear someone make that statement? Of course, most grunts
will tell you it’s true because you can never tell where you might stop and set
up in to a position or what you will find to sleep on. Am I right? Allow me to
share couple of examples of situation I found myself in. My friends these are
all true—my hand to God. So you know I’m being straight with you—right?

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Sick Bay Commandos Call

Our second day of boot camp at MCRD the drill instructor called for all sick bay commandos to step forward one boot did the Di asked what his problem was an he said he had a ear ache the DI said what ear he told the DI which one he walks around takes hold of it pulls on it looks into it goes back around an say he couldn’t see anything wrong an was the boot sure it hurt yes he said the DI goes back looks again comes back around say he didn’t see any thing wrong. So he asked again how bad does it hurt boot says real bad sir the Di said well tell me which side hurts worse a slaps the boot upside the head his cover goes flying he goes down like a sack of dirt. DI drags him to his feet replaces his cover sideways an ask did he still need to go to sickbay now. Course the answer was a loud NO SIR.The rest of us did at least a 150 to 200 squat thrusts for laughing BUT NOBODY ever fell out for sick call again.

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Chaser for the NYC guy that was AWOL 20+ Times!

In addition to the Story of the Chaser and the NYC Escapee, that may have been the same guy that I was charged with as a Chaser at MCB Twentynine Palms in the early 1970’s. The Judge at this individual’s Court Martial ordered me in the Courtroom to ensure that my weapon was loaded in front of the prisoner, with an order to shoot the SOB if he attempted to escape! I delivered him to the Base Brig. By the time I returned to the Judge Advocate Office on the hill, the guy had escaped out the back door of the brig and out across the desert, while the jail was being swabbed down!

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Semper Fi

Golf Co., 2nd. Bn. 5th.Marine Regiment, 1st. Marine Division out of AnHoa the unit was on Liberty Bridge for our normal rotation. I don’t recall how long we stayed in this one area but I think it was week or two (help if you know). The company Corpsmen tested the river for bathing and reported that it contaminated so bad that we should not use it even to take a shower with. So the company CO made us stop cleaning with it. Bear with me, I mention this for a reason.

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The Gift

As Christmas fast approaches children laugh and adults smile, the gifts wrapped in paper look pretty for awhile. The seasons sounds surround me, I remember when cadence was our song and wrapped in shades of green we sang it all day long. The gift we give is freedom, no greater gift can we impart, for the most precious gift of all is a gift from the heart. Lt. Jansen USMC ret.

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