Sgt. Grit Community

47 Years Later

MIKE 4/11 1st Marine Division. You can not make this stuff up, you only access, adapt & over come. I once responded to a article that appeared in Sgt Grit from a person that I served with in An Hoa Vietnam, 1969. Have left my email in the sponge box, I received a phone call from Sgt Grit that a marine known as Mike Paul was trying to contact me. The years have clouded my memory but what the hell, I gave the go ahead to call me. At first I did not remember Mike because we used nicknames until he said they called me Top because his father was a Top in the Corps. That name hit the right bell in my head. After a long talk the past 46 years seemed as if they never happened, we were back there as 18 – 19 years olds covering any fears with a laugh. Well we decided to meet in Sanibel, Florida 4/2016. I have to say we didn’t look the same, the apprehension that was felt left as soon as our eyes locked our hands shook and a rather tight hug. The feeling between two Marines from serving in combat never changes, that bond is not breakable. The day and a 1/2 that we were together was something that gets written about, the wives shared their own stories about their Marine. We departed by saying let’s not wait another 47 years.

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Camp Matthews and Little & Big Agony

Regarding Bob Lonn’s mention of Big and Little Agony at Camp Matthews. You mention running up and down them. In 1957 (Plt 243) we had to “Duck-Walk” them in the July heat and dust. That was with steel helmets on and our Garand M-1’s behind our neck. It was brutal, but every one made it. I also have to mention that we had two (2) JDI’s. I swear when we started out with them they had a pact going for the entire 13 week boot camp. For the first half one of the JDI’s played good cop while the other played bad cop. The second half of boot they switched. This was a real blow to all of us as we were just getting to like the “Good Cop” JDI. However, this we all survived too…!

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Ride Across America For The City Of Refuge Veterans Center Inc

Watching my parents spend their last days here on Maui has been very satisfying, at times very stressful, and in the end extremely painful. I am thankful for the time I spent with them and am truly humbled to be their son. When my father, who was also a Marine Corps veteran, was still alive, I promised him I’d start a new veterans treatment facility providing medical and psychiatric counseling services. I was working on this project when my mother suddenly became ill and passed away too. Settling their estate, getting thru their most treasured possessions has been a priority and has left me feeling drained and completely lost. The only thing that remains is a promise to bring their ashes back to Cape Cod, Massachusetts where they raised their six sons. To honor my father, and all veterans past and present, I’ve decided to bring my parents on their final motorcycle ride across America to help raise funds for my non-profit veterans organization known as the City of Refuge Veterans Center Inc. I encourage any veterans out there that are bikers to join me on a ride across America, and to raise funds to build a one of a kind treatment center for veterans located on the island of Maui. I am seeking financial sponsors to help make this trip possible. If you’d like to become a trip sponsor, contact Capt. Keith Lambert directly at 1-808-344-4604 or email me at keith@cityofrefugemaui.org.

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MCRD SD Plt 3156

I arrived at Lindbergh Field San Diego on Sunday 27 December 1972. No one was there to meet or greet me so I found a SD policeman and asked him how to get to MCRD. He told me to wait out front of the terminal and he made a call to MCRD. I waited for about an hour and had several of the long haired types drive by and try to get me to “get the h_ll out of there” before it was too late. After waiting and wondering for the hour or so, a green Dodge van pulled up and the driver was the finest looking female (WM Sgt) I had ever seen and would ever see in my career. She told me in a very nice manner to get in the van and I did. While driving over to the base we talked about all types of things I would soon experience. She let me “burn a couple” (Marlboro) , but as we approached the gate to MCRD she told me how to field strip the butts and get rid of them. She dropped me off at Receiving Barracks and I saw my first YELLOW foot prints. I was directed to by the Sgt. to go inside and wait and someone would be with me in a little while. I proceeded to lean against a wall, and soon had a short and very angry SSGT jump up in my chest and proceeded to tell me to get the (deleted) off his bulkhead!!! Well I wasn’t too dumb and I figured real fast what a bulkhead was and stood at what I thought was attention. And I learned I wasn’t doing that correctly either. To cut to the chase now, I and a whole bunch of young men that had arrived on Saturday (I was the ONLY arrival on Sunday) were moved to a barracks and assigned a bed that I soon learned was a rack. We didn’t pick up or get picked up by our Drill Instructors until 2 January 1973 so we did a lot of swabbing and cleaning of the barracks. We were issued our sea bags and clothing, told to box up our personal clothes, got a haircut, etc., during that time. If memory serves me correctly, Our DI’s, Sgt. Schweigler, Sgt. Van Bibber, and Sgt. Jamieson picked us up very early on the 2nd and all h_ll broke loose. I don’t have any horror stories to tell about our 12 weeks in their care, but I was jacked up a few times for failing to do EXACTLY as told. All my DI’s were VN vets and they taught us well. They said they didn’t know if we would go to VN but they were going to teach us to survive if we did. I didn’t go to VN as I was a reservist (about half of our platoon was I think) but they made me a better person anyway. I do know that Sgt. Jamieson was a “short” American Indian and I had never seen any one his height jump straight up in my face and give me “love-tap” like he could. When we went up the road to Edson Range we were issued M-14’s and I learned to love that weapon. In fact I have the M1A now cause I loved it so much. I shot expert every pre-qual string but on qual day I blew it and got a toilet seat. I still insist that it does snow in Southern California cause I froze my young butt off that day. Shivvering doesn’t help in qualification with a rifle!! Anyway, I could go on for a while and I suppose I will close this out by asking anyone out there that was in Platoon 3156 to holler back. Oh yeah, Plt. 3156 took final drill comp and we were herded over to the mess hall and told by our senior DI to “drink the soda machines dry!!!”, and we did………then paid for it by doing bends and thrusts until the DI’s got tired.

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