Dirty Laundry

Sgt. Grit,

Remember in boot camp the scrub brush and the soapy water and the tables we scrubbed our clothes on. Some guys did this in Camp Geiger too! I went home after Camp Geiger on a bus from North Carolina with my sea bag and dirty laundry.

My mom went apesh-t when I emptied my sea bag on the Persian Living room carpet! She made me take it to the Chinese Laundry around the corner. Major cities had these Chinese hand laundry’s – that did predominately linens – table clothes – and shirts. The old Chinese gentleman spoke little English and gave you a receipt with Chinese characters on it for a stub. He weighed the sea bag – and bowed to me. Two days later I went to pick it up – and my mom paid back then like $20.00 (which was very expensive for those days – when a regular laundry would cost less than $5.00.) The Chinese guy went berserk yelling and screaming and pointing at me – the guy’s wife came out of the back to quiet him down – and calmly explained to me that my skivvies and utilities were so dirty I clogged the pipes when they cleaned the dirty clothes. My utilities were now sparkling – and my skivvies were bright white – rough socks were smooth to my skin. A rare treat for a Marine after boot camp.

Went to a few nice restaurants and met a nice girl at a military dance in the great city of New York – then alas – my leave was up – went to the Port Authority Bus Station in New York City – and the Marine went into survival mode carefully watching his wallet and his gear aboard the bus – as we trusted only other Marines to watch our backs.

Bruce Bender
1963-1967
Cpl USMC

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

16 comments


  • Victor G Peary Cpl. E-4, 1958-62.

    Thanks Marine for the memories. I was there in ’58 for Teletype Operator school (mos 2541). I remember the good times we had in the barracks, My bunk was next to the coke machine. And I took that bus home to Maryland.


  • Gary Chandler

    In reply to Cpl Daid Roth, 1956-1960.
    I have to agree, what kind of Marine would let his shit get that dirty. This has to be a “pull your chain” story. If not he should have been in the Army


  • J. Davis

    Great story Bruce. One of the better memories of that time. Thanks for sharing.


  • Roger Dale Stewart

    Though Fellow MARINES have ‘the six” of another MARINE’s; today some of Our Brothers need to be “watched” for they will stab you in “your six” ( from experience ). OoooRah & SEMPER FIDELIS to all My Brothers & Sisters….. ” Stew “


  • Cpl Daid Roth, 1956-1960

    Is this story a dumb joke or something? What kind of Marine would take a seabag full of dirty laundry on a bus from North Carollina to New York? Only kind that comes to mind is what we used to refer to as a “crud”. Personal hygiene was a high priority item at P.I 1n 1956. Hard to believe a Marine would do what this one did. And dumped it on his mom’s rug? And didn’t get kicked out of the house? And it was so filthy that it clogged up the Chinese Laundry’s plumbing? And this ‘sh-tbird thinks its funny?


Leave a comment