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His Eyes Lit Up


I came to the States from Ireland in the Jan.64 and joined the Marines in July and went to Parris Island PLT 267.I served in Nam from Dec 65 to Sept.66. After I received my second Purple Heart I spent a week in Da Nang Hosp. then 3 days in the Philippines and 3 days in Japan but ended up in Portsmouth Naval Hosp, as I had a sister in Norfolk. After awhile they assigned me to the security section to check on the officers rooms to see if they needed anything and empty their trash cans etc. I wore civilian clothes and after about 3 days an elderly gentleman in the end room asked me if I was a civilian but when I said “No sir I’m a Marine” his eyes lit up and said “I’m a Marine myself” and got real excited. He said he retired a 4 star Gen.and was asst.Comandant. His name was Gen.Christian Schilt and said he received The Medal of Honor in Nicaragua in 1928.

He said the Marines had to run out and grab the wings as he didn’t have any brakes but on his third trip to get the wounded out he brought a case of whiskey and boy the morale shot up. He was very interested in Nam.and enjoyed hearing stories first hand so we talked a lot. When I was getting a haircut he came in and sat with me while we waited. When I left the I had to report to Marine Barracks to await orders but when I was checking in a Staff.Sgt.said “The Sgt.Major wants to see you” so I was trying to figure out what I did but when I reported to him he asked me if I knew Gen.Schilt so I said ‘Yes Sir’ so he said well he called over here and said he was really impressed with you and told me to take care of you so he assigned me to Motor transport with my own office for 2 months and 45 days leave back to Ireland before heading back to Camp Lejeune. What a great man he was.

Sgt. R.D.O’Connell USMC ’64-’68.
Thanks to all Marines wherever you are for your service.

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Refugio Salinas - April 27, 2020

Great story!!! Semper Fi

Marilyn Gerhardt - April 27, 2020

As a Woman Marine, 1950-53, I am always proud to read stories of others during their USMC lives. Keep ’em coming!

Everett Noll - April 27, 2020

Great story and very interesting. You had an experience very few ever had, loved reading about it and thanks Sgt O’Connell Semper-Fi brother Ed

Harry - April 27, 2020

Sgt O’Connell The General you speak of was one heck of a Marine! I just read his bio. after reading your post He has quite a history Thanx for the history lesson Harry USMC 67-70 1371

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