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

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


  • Mike McManus

    If memory serves (more often than not these days), at MCRD SanDiego in late ’64 (3rd RTB, Plt 3006) we got 5 minutes to S.H.I.T Shower and Shave. We soon learned to leave our dopp kits in the sinks and take our shaving cream and razor into the showers and shave at the same time as we showered.

  • Oscar Gamez Marine Corps DI 83-85

    In reply to Arnold Cabral.
    Hey Arnorld Cabral i belived that Frank Everett said he went to Marine Coprs boot camp in San Diego. He did not have Drill Sergeants, he had Drill Instructrors.

  • Oscar Gamez Marine Corps DI 83-85

    In reply to Mike McManus.
    We had the same time limit to complete the triple S in 79, but I would take the last firewatch, that way I would be up before I had to wake the Drill Instructors and I could sit in peace and take care of business before everyone else was was up and given 5 minutes to get dress, make your racks and make a head call. It took a while before everyone else realized the benefits of volunteering for last firewatch every morning.

  • Kelly

    In the summer of 1967 It was liquid Wisk and a scrub brush for the dirty whatever needed cleaned. Some times that meant some a lot extra scrubbing to get rid of the racing stripes on your whites.

  • LCpl Richard E Jenkins 1959-1965

    In reply to Oscar Gamez Marine Corps DI 83-85.
    And you did the shit, shower and shave in the evening at MCRDSD

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