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)

Submit your own Story>>

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

8 comments


  • the deuce

    I remember PT’ing on the asphalt by the airport very well. I still have my PT shorts with blood stains where my tail bone got rubbed raw from doing sit ups forever. 1968


  • John M Mason Sgt E 2/27 D 1/9

    PI Marines didn’t have aircraft taking off from San Diego airport every couple of minutes. Which meant we couldn’t hear a command from our DIs, resulting in pushups and squat thrusts as punishment. On a sunny day the asphalt would get pretty darn hot. Had a few blisters on my hands from the pushups, of course the sun tan lotion helped make them feel better!


  • Kapena

    I’ve often heard about the sand fleas at P.I. and how easy we had it at Hollywood! Thank goodness no sand fleas, I do remember at infantry training school at Camp Pendleton we had hills to climb and one in particularly that we called Mount mother***her! One memorable moment is when in the field the whole battalion is woken up by our drill instructor hollering and screaming “where is our guidon!” WHERE IS OUR F**KING GUIDON FLAG!” Apparently a drill instructor from our other platoon 2014 stole our guidon flag during the night and our drill instructor was embarrassed! He called all the fire watches into the pit and PT’ D them for 30 minutes straight while we broke camp and marched off! Thank goodness I was not on firewatch!


Leave a comment