Bowling and Salutes

Bowling and Salutes

I came home for my first leave after MCRDPI plt 147 and ITR in 1961. My uncle, a 1st Sgt in the Army was also home on leave. He asked me if I would care to go bowling with him and I agreed and also suggested we wear our uniforms, no problem. I had fired 189 at the rifle range with 190 being minimum to qualify which assured me that I would leave PI as a E-1 slick sleeve. So while climbing the steps of Sammy White’s Bowling Alley near my home in Newton, Massachusetts we met 2 young soldiers on their way out. They looked at the seasoned 1st Sgt with many hash marks and then at the young guy with no stripes and decided this must be an officer and saluted me. You can imagine the response from my uncle Roy, he might could’ve made Gunny in the Marines.

Semper Fi,
Tom Piercy
Corporal of Marines

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


  • John B.

    On the same train out of Boston but it was January 26 1969 what a ride. Just the being of a 4 year trip.

  • Jim

    Hell when I got of boot camp I saluted anyone l seen. Asking as it was shining

  • Bob Rader

    Fresh out of boot camp, I saluted a navy chief. Their damn uniforms looked so much like an O’s.

  • Gene T. Deatley

    Great bowling story. I believe it.

  • Ken Bouchard

    I graduate from PLT 137 in 1961 and was considered by my Senior DI to be a turd. In 1966, I was in charge of a Platoon going through gorilla warfare training and to my surprise I was introduced to this same individual and we were the same rank (E 5). The moral of the story is it is not what you learn in school but rather what you do after graduating. In later years, I was a section leader at the Marine Detachment in London and I misjudged the character of one of my Marines who later won the Medal of Honor for diving on an incoming grenade. The lesson here is to do a better job evaluating the character of those you supervise. Semper Fi!

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