Determined to Earn the EGA
At the age of 17. I left home to join the MARINES.So I could help my mother.I was sent to MCRD. Parris Island SC. My hometown is Columbus GA. It’s an Army town you might say its the home of Ft.Benning Ga. The 101stairborne rangers train here this is where we train foreign officer’s in the school of the Americas and the world’s largest infantry school.General George S Patton Jr.had a home at Fort Benning during WWII.So it seems strange that I would want to join the MARINES coming from an Army town but I knew I wanted something more to challenge me.I didn’t know at the time how much of a challenge it would become.At 17 when I joined I went in weighing around 250 lbs. So before I could receive regular training I had to drop quite a few pounds.So I was sent to a place I’ll call the fat farm where we did nothing except P.T. Physical Training I had no clue to what I was about to endure. From the time revelry was called till taps were sounded, we had P.T. when we went to chow whether it was morning, noon or night it seemed like we were just allowed to look At the food and maybe smell a little of it. because being on the fat farm you were there to lose weight and I surely lost every pound that I was told to lose.When I was allowed to start my regular basic training I had got into pretty good shape so I thought. I was sent to 2nd training battalion things were really tuff for me I kept wanting to give up but for some reason earning that title of Marine keep me going until the week before graduation.when the unthinkable happened the day before my accident we were running 100 yard wind sprints when all of a sudden my left leg started hurting so bad I wanted to cry but I managed to hold back the tears I had never encountered so much pain I thought someone had a torch and was holding it to my leg . We then proceeded to run back to our barracks my squad bay which was on the top floor of our building I knew those steps I was going to run up would be my downfall, to this day I can still feel every step I climbed.My Senior DI. Sent me to see the Dr. I was told I just had bad muscle cramps .when I came back to my barracks the pain had eased up some but no one caught the hairline fracture I got from running wind sprints.The next morning we were to run the obstacle course, on the very first obstacle that I approached is when the unthinkable happened I attacked it like I had done so many times before but this time the obstacle won I had broken my left leg both bones the tibia and fibula.At that moment of my break, I had so much adrenaline in me that I could Cleary see my leg was broken from it shape that it was. I knew my leg wasn’t supposed to look like that, for the life of me it didn’t hurt the DI seen it and made everyone get into formation while I laid there screaming let me finish the obstacle course. I can see the DI’s face now how he looked with amazement at what I just said. I didn’t realize at the time that adrenaline wears off but I soon found out when I arrived at the Naval Hospital in Sumter SC. Before the Dr. Straighten my leg out he said to me recruit don’t you know your leg isn’t supposed to look like that that’s when the adrenaline wore off the Dr. started pulling on my leg the pain was so intense I started screaming so loud I’m sure the whole hospital knew I was there with a broken leg .I actually passed out from the pain they could have given me everything for pain but it wouldn’t have done any good anyways from the severity of my break.So now I’m in the hospital with a broken leg they inform my mother that I’ve been injured in a training accident so she comes to SC.to the Naval Hospital to see me.When she last saw me I was fat and out of shape. I was standing at the foot of my bed leaning on crutches when she walked right past me. I said, momma, where are you going? She turned around and it took her a moment to realize who I was when she finally recognizes who I was she started screaming they killed my baby, they killed my baby a nurse had to come calm her down. So after my mother found out they hadn’t killed me, she went back home and after about 2 weeks they sent me back to P.I. where I went to a place called MRP Medical Rehabilitation Platoon when I arrived I was in a long length cast so as you can imagine how I had to get around there were recruits their with broken arms legs and all other things I still can’t explain but we had a DI their that was not going to let peoples injuries get in the way of Physical training so recruits w/broken legs we had to do push ups the one w/broken arms did sit ups no matter why you was there recovering he found something that you could do physically. I was their so long that I got to go home on leave. When I returned back to basic they wanted me to take a medical discharge and I refused so they finally sent me back to training except this time I was sent to 3rd recruit training battalion I started out on Mar 5 1974 my birthday when I returned to duty it was 1st week of 2nd phase .So again to state I arrived at P.I. Mar of 74 my birthday when I finally graduated Dec 17 of 74 to 9 weeks of training turned into 9 months but with nothing but determination I Finally earn the title MARINE. Now 43 yrs later I’m telling this story I’m still as proud today at 60as I was when I was 17 because when i earned the EGA EAGLE GLOBE &ANCHOR I. became not only a MARINE but a man and as for the time I spent at P.I. I’ve never heard of anyone being their longer than I. Really hope you enjoyed my story . to all my Brothers & Sisters Marines I just want to say SEMPER FI DEVIL DOG’S Carry On.