Dark Glasses and Suntan Oil

By: Sam James

We arrived at the San Diego airport at 2AM, three days late, leaving Houston after a hurricane. Everyone was herded off onto “cattle cars”. While standing on the “yellow foot prints”, a couple of guys in the back row were whimpering like someone who had just got a spanking from an angry Mother. When questioned by the DI, using a lot of colorful descriptives, “What do you mean you’re not supposed to be here?” one of them said, “We joined the Navy!” Naturally, we all were “invited” to do 50 push-ups for laughing. Our next experience was a not-so-professional haircut by the DIs, because there were no barbers there that early. The only thing I can say different about being a “Hollywood Marine,” is that we didn’t have “sand fleas”. MSgt (Ret)

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8 comments


  • JIM OTIS SGT

    THE EASY PART OF MCRDSD THAT I CAN REMEMBER WAS GETTING ON THE BUS GOING CAMP PENDLETON FOR ITR.


  • Harold Allie

    You haven’t heard anything at MCRDSD until you hear B36s take off .


  • G. Willard 0311, 8651/0321, 8511,….

    Boot camp at MCRD San Diego, D.I. 3rd Bn MCRD Parris Island ’70-’71. Everyone remembers these: “Would you like to keep some of this hair?” “Yes”, at which point they dumped a pile in your lap. Military funeral at P.I. for that sand flea you just smacked and killed. Ever tried to find a dead sand flea on black asphalt?


  • Henry young

    H.Young, 0311/2311. Thought I was the only one with that haircut story. I’m a Calif. kid USMC 64/69 RVN 65/66/69. MCRD, San Diego. Yellow footprints,2am, how you want your hair cut “turd” the rest is Marine Corps history. 1st night attitude adjustment😂. Semper Fi brothers.


  • A. Mac.. 1/9; 3rd…1/5; 1st….’53-‘57

    I remember the haircut because the DI picked out the guy with the really nicely combed duck tail to be first. The “real” barber asked him: “how he’d like his cut”. Reply was a little off the sides, slight trim on the top and square on the collar in back. At which point the barber proceeded stripping his locks from front to back and side to side right down to his scalp.


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