Grunts and Wing Wipers

Grunts and Wing Wipers

In reference to some grunts having a lack of respect for wing wipers, they eventually grow out of it. In August 1968, I reported to Staging Battalion, Camp Pendleton and was assigned as squad leader to a group made up of young grunts straight from ITR/High School. Even though I gained respect by being a Cpl, holding my own during field training and pulling the ham & limas out of the C-Rats before they had to pick, they still ragged me a little about being from the Air Wing. (Saving them from the ham & limas carried the most weight.) Fast forward to October 1969 and I ran into 3 of them outside the Deli at Camp Butler, Okinawa on our way home. They had been humping mortars for 13 months and had a new appreciation for the Wing. Seeing the Marine Air-Ground Team work together with sacrifices on both sides does wonders for the attitude. Today www.popasmoke.com , the reunion organization for Marine Helo crews, receives emails from grunts offering thanks for saving their lives and the Wing Wipers have tremendous respect for those grunts who serve on the ground. MAGT is the ultimate team.

Wayne Stafford
USMC 66-70
RVN 68-69

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