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Herman Shirley

In June 2012 I was in Victoria Texas for the funeral of my former Mother in Law. I was driving a rental that got a a flat and I went to the local Discount Tire to have it fixed. While there I noticed an older gentleman with a 1st Marine Division cap on his head sitting in a chair waiting on his car. I was a former Marine myself with 30 years in the military. I wanted to thank him for his service as I could tell he was old enough to have served during a few wars. Little did I know that I was meeting a living legend. We talked for awhile and he told me some incredible stories. Eventually his car was ready and I asked him his name and he said it was Herman Shirley. I then asked him if I could take his photo. He said “sure” and proceeded to stand tall and proud and I took the photo with my cell phone. We then shook hands and he left. Still driving at age 92 he was very sharp, no loss of mental or motor skills. Attached is his story and the photo I took that day. Not knowing who he was I researched his name and found a lot on the internet about him. Wow!

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My son, Joshua with Gunny Ermey

Hello Sgt. Grit.   This is my first letter that I have ever written to you. I'm a disabled MARINE and I'm still very proud that I got the chance to serve in the MARINES. I wished that I could have done my Twenty or more yrs. in. Back in 2005 We were a month out from going back to Iraq that would have made my 4th time over in the big sandbox.    Anyhow I'm writing about my son Joshua. He was born at Camp Pendleton, Ca. at the Naval Hospital there on Base back 20yrs. ago Feb. of 1992. I'm very proud of him we almost lost him and I thank the lord every day for him. I'm just getting over my 3rd heart attack back 4 weeks ago and then two weeks ago I lost my Mom. Anyhow on Sat. Feb 11 Gunny R Lee Emery was in town here at Hoover Tact firearms. He was also here two yrs. ago and my son missed him. Well this time I made sure that he was going to get to meet gunny.    When we got there the wait time was 3hrs. long. Having a bad back and everything took its toll on me but I hung in there like we MARINES are supposed to do. He always, when he was little, would watch mail call and lock-n-loaded with Gunny. He pitch one more fit when they took it off the air and put on that ice road truckers. When we got to be the next in line to see Gunny He looked at me and said Dad I don't know what to say to him. I could see a tear in his left eye.    He told Gunny how much he missed his show and how much Gunny meant to him. I just stepped back and let him have his time with Gunny. I told Gunny that tomorrow was his Birthday and where he was born. Gunny grabbed ahold of him and gave him a big MARINE  Hug. He was so tickled to death. My Son on the way out when we got to the car gave me a big hug and told me that that was the best Birthday gift he had ever gotten and that I was in such pain that I waited that long in line for him to meet Gunny.    I said Son that's what we Marines do. We always go the extra mile or 100 miles to help someone or just to give. The next Morning I had my heart attack and my son said it was his fault. I tried to tell him it was not his fault. Anyhow I love and miss the Marines.   Semper Fi to All my Bro. and Sister Marines.  Sgt. Tom Harris ( TomtheMarine) Enclosed is a photo of my Son Joshua and Gunny.   

Mounted Color Guard

I had the extreme pleasure of serving for one of the finest Marine Commanders – LtGen William M. Keys when he was a LtCol Commanding 3rd Battalion 5th Marines  in 1977-1979.  He was also a horseman and allowed me to participate on the Camp Pendleton Mounted Color Guard in a TAD status.  While on the Color Guard I came under the Command of another great man – Major Jim DiBernardo (deceased 2009) who spent 62 months as a POW in Viet Nam.  The Mounted Color Guard came under Joint Public Affairs MCB Camp Pendleton.  After saying all that, here is my OOORAH story ….

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