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MARINE OF THE WEEK // “These insurgents just came at us with everything they had that day…”

Staff Sgt. Jeffery V. Escalderon
Husaybah, Iraq
November 2004
Award: Bronze Star W/ Combat “V”

Staff Sgt. Escalderon’s men came under numerous attacks in Husaybah on a near-daily basis during the deployment. The Marines of Company B nicknamed a certain area of the city of Husaybah, ‘mortar thirty,’ because everyday at around 4:30 p.m., they received incoming mortar fire from insurgents.

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Marines from Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort competed in the Marine Corps and Chevrolet Freedom Fight exhibition at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. April 14.

Lance Cpl. Keandre Blackshire, Cpl. Malik Collins, and Cpl. Oubigee Jones fought in the exhibition on behalf of the Marine Corps Boxing Team and two of the three Marines emerged victorious.

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One Old Marine meeting another

I met Gunny R Lee back in 2003-04 at a motorcycle show in Boston, ask if he was a “Hollywood Marine”, he laughed and said he was. I then asked why he hasn’t done a show about the M-40 Ontos, he said that he saw them in Nam but they were not very safe as a 50 cal. could go right thru them. I explained that they were not designed for that kind of war, the were designed to hide in the brush at cross roads etc.and hit Soviet tanks then screw fast out of the area. They were equip with 6 -106 recoil-less rifles with 2 – 4 50 cal. spotting rifles mounted with tracer rounds, on the top 2-4 Rifles. I knew this as I was a member of the 2nd Anti-Tank Bn. Camp Lejune, NC in ’59-’61. Sadden to hear about the beloved Gunny. So young as I am 4 years older than he was. Semper Fi, Godspeed & Rest at Easy Gunny your brothers and sisters will miss you and remember you for the Corps you loved.

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The REAL movie D.I.

I remember seeing Full Metal Jacket with my first wife the third day of its release in Covina, Ca. We didn’t get there early enough so we were seated in the 4th or 5th row from the screen and the theater was packed. During the the bootcamp segment of the film, there was one other guy in theater aside from me that was laughing during R. Lee Ermey’s initial confrontations with Joker, snowball, cowboy and Lawrence. My wife nudged me and asked me “Was bootcamp really like that?” My reply was “Yup!” She asked me why I was laughing and I told her “It may of been scary at the time but since I lived it, I can laugh about it now.” You just can’t script a D.I. because I remember our D.I.’s, Sgt. Thymes (Plt. Commander), Sgt. Parrish, and Sgt. Brundage using a lot of the same language R. Lee Ermey used. Then one wife and 29 or so years later, my Grandson and I went to Brea Ca. to a police equipment store and met R. Lee Ermey in person. He was a friendly man and had a great admiration for first responders AND their Grandkids. Semper Fi, Gunny! You have earned your place in Heaven. OOhhhrrraaahhh! Daniel Miller, Plt. 3105, 3rd bn., RTR, San Diego, Ca. 9/74-12/74.

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Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, the first complete Marine air group to be transported by sea to a combat zone, launched from the USS Princeton to the shores of Vietnam, Sept. 1, 1965. Immediately, they began providing troop lifts, air strikes, medical evacuation, resupplies, and reconnaissance insertions and extractions in the southern area of operations.

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Semper Fi Gunny, Godspeed!

Statement from R. Lee Ermey’s longtime manager, Bill Rogin:

It is with deep sadness that I regret to inform you all that R. Lee Ermey (“The Gunny”) passed away this morning from complications of pneumonia. He will be greatly missed by all of us. It is a terrible loss that nobody was prepared for. He has meant so much to so many people. And, it is extremely difficult to truly quantify all of the great things this man has selflessly done for, and on behalf of, our many men and¬†women in uniform. He has also contributed many iconic and indelible characters on film that will live on forever. Gunnery Sergeant Hartman of Full Metal Jacket fame was a hard and principled man. The real R. Lee Ermey was a family man, and a kind and gentle soul. He was generous to everyone around him. And, he especially cared deeply for others in need.

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Lou Farigno

My son enlisted in the U. S. Army, served as an armored recon scout in the lst Gulf War. While attending Basic Training at Ft Knox, KY, he was nic named Lou Farigno, (remember that Green Giant TV serial?) He had contracted a kissing disease, I forget the name of it, while graduating senior at high school, lost some weight, and I had to design a physical fitness regimine so he could handle his forthcoming Army training. While in Basic, his DI’s were on his case to “take more chow; bring extras back to the barracks. (That was “officially” forbidden) At the PX, no one was allowed to purchase candy: he was TOLD to purshase candy and anything else edible (he weighed in at about 120 pounds, was 20 years old but looked 15). Well, anyway, the RAMBO thing brought back this funny memory of my son’s introduction to the U. S. Army. While serving in Desert Shield and Desert Storm, I will add that he thought that the Marines were “Awesome!!”

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1st ANGLICO, Camp Catlin, NGF Platoon

Sgt, Grit,
The Marine Raiders were in old Camp Catlin, TH, during WW2. They practiced going ashore from submarines in heavy rubber boats. They mocked the sound of the sub’s Klaxon shouting, “Arroogah”, but it was the Force Recon Marines who heard this and started saying, “Oohrah”. Now it became serious.
In March 1952 Quonset Huts were put in at the old supply depot next to old Camp Catlin, and the new Camp Catlin was born, home to 1st ANGLICO (First Air and Naval Gunfire LIaison Company) formerly from Camp Pendleton, CA. Barracks #42 was for the Air Platoon (spotting for aircraft close support), and Barracks #43 & #44 were for the Naval Gunfire Platoon (spotting for Naval Gunfire & Artillery).
We had long hikes with field marching packs, or went out of Pearl Harbor on a destroyer to make rubber boat landings on the island of Kahoolawe and firing 5″-38 shells at targets on the island (usually old junk cars to get rid of). We participated in 1st Marine maneuvers at Camp Pendleton, CA in May 1952, and a huge amphibious landing on the island of Maui, TH in December of 1952 after which I was headed to North Korea.
Sgt. Max Sarazin, 1194xxx
Cape Cod, 508-240-4658

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He Flashed His Light

I guess my favorite sea story occurred while I was a young Grunt with the 4th Marines in Hawaii back in about 1962. We had been doing the unthinkable…drinking in the squad bay. My little Cajun buddy Ralph Dagle ad been getting really hammered and was snooping and pooping around, over and under the bunks and footlockers when Taps sounded. We were still pretty well wired and laughing our butts off about Ralph’s antics when the OD came in to do his squad bay check. He made it about 15 feet into the squad bay, just where it started to get really dark. He evidently heard a noise from on top of the wall locker. He flashed his light up to check it out. There was Ralph, on hands and knees, bare a**naked on top of the wall locker growling at him. The ODs only remark was “Well, I guess you guys are safe tonight.”
We also pulled one of the best pranks while in the 4th. A Corporal would sleep in and we would all hang for his sloth. We decided to fix him and brake him from his wicked ways. He slept in a single bunk toward the end of the squad bay closest to the stairway going to the battalion parade ground. Slept real heavy too. He woke up still in his bunk at morning formation in the middle of the parade ground. The gunny didn’t think it was too funny.
Semper Fi
Bob Granberry

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