Beirut, Circa March 1983

Beirut, Circa March 1983

Here are three more photos from Beirut, circa March 1983. As is typical with my photos there is a story with each of them. The top two pictures are of a dog that we rescued and one of my buddies, the late Narvel Don Hessen, while we were digging out one of our machine gun bunkers up at the American University. Did I get that correct MSgt. Chuck Outman – can I call it a bunker or is it a gun emplacement? Anyway, the story is that one day while on the post down by the old railroad bridge Tim Wheeler and I were standing guard with two Lebanese soldiers (this was a combined post) and when we relieved the two Marines before us, we noticed that the two Lebanese soldiers had come across this female puppy and had placed her up in one of the shell holes where a trestle abutment stone was blown out, and they were throwing rocks at her trying to kill her. Thankfully their aim was that of a couple of douche nozzle dorks, but Tim raced over and body-slammed the one goof who threw the last rock as I ran over and got the puppy out of the stone hole. We looked her over and she was OK but was still terrified. We gave her some of our MREs and then took her back with us to the compound where the entire machine gun section took to her right away. She mainly followed Tim and I and Narvel Don, but hung around anyone who gave her attention. We all kept her well-fed with snacks and water, and cleaned up the occasional poop and pee on the deck. The attached photos are of the day we were digging out our gun emplacement and fighting holes and we had her following us around. I don’t recall now what month we were replaced by 1/8, but I was just curious if anyone reading this from 1/8 remembers the dog and if they continued to raise her?

2nd photo of Cpl Kunkel and puppy in Beirut emplacement

Cpl Kunkel and Marine Tim Wheeler next to Rambo poster in Beruit

The third photo is of me and Tim Wheeler standing by the column and the Sylvester Stallone First Blood movie poster that we somehow obtained and taped to the column. Tim and I were the ones who hung the poster. Just curious if anyone from 1/8 recalls that poster? Semper Fi Jarheads!

Mike Kunkel
Cpl 0331
Lima 3/8, Weapons Plt

Sgt Grit wants to hear from you! Leave your comments below or submit your own story!


  • Brian Coughlin

    I remember you. You were in 3rd platoon with Crawford. I was in 2nd platoon. Went ashore in April ’84. We drove home ttogether a few times. You dropped me off in Washington CH

  • virgil Howard Jr..

    No, I haven’t but I am starting to look . semper Fi brother.

  • virgil Howard Jr..

    Same to you brother and semper Fi.

  • Mike KUNKEL

    Happy Fathers Day Virg and Semper Fi brother!!!

  • Mike Kunkel

    Glad to hear you are doing well, but sorry to hear that your wife passed away. I am married with a daughter who is a catholic school teacher (3rd grade) and who is now engaged. I keep in touch with Wheeler weekly through text. I found out about Hesson from an on-line obit from his moms funeral that listed her husband Jimmie Don and son Narvel Don as pre-deceasing her. I have located Pete Foss and Efren Mercado but that’s it. Have you located anyone? Glad to hear you are well Virgil.

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