Home for Christmas

Home for Christmas

By: Joe Wasowicz

My 19th Christmas was spent as a U.S. Marine in Iwakuni Japan. This was the first year I did not have the privilege of spending the holiday with my beloved family and friends. I knew that my purpose during this Christmas was to be on the ready for my country as many had done before me. I was a young, proud Marine and very honored to be serving my country as a Lance Corporal in the United States Marine Corps.

This however did not make the Christmas Day phone call to home in the middle of the night (local Japan time) any easier. My father answered my call and being an Army veteran gave me the encouragement and support that I really needed at the time. Then the conversation with my mother – one that will never be forgotten happened. My mom passed away a few years ago and that makes the Christmas conversation from 1976 an even more memorable event in my life. I will spare the readers of this post with not listing any of the sappy details of my conversation with my mother. But I will say that the conversation took place away from my fellow Marines (who were probably conducting similar calls on other phones in our Communication Center). I am sure that the other conversations did happen because quite a few of us were a little crackly voiced and had something in our eyes for a few hours during our shift that night. This is my thank you to my fellow Marines who will be doing (as I did in 1976) this Christmas Day. What you will be doing this Christmas is truly appreciated by myself and my fellow Marines who have had similar phone conversations on December 25th. Semper Fi and Merry Christmas. Corporal Joseph Wasowicz, USMC, 1975 -1978.

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

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

26 comments


  • Thomas Moore

    I was with G Co. 2nd Bn. 4th Marines on my 19th Christmas Dec. ‘ 67. I remember spending the day sitting in a hole I had dug the evening before watching ants in exposed tunnels rebuilding what I had disturbed. The night before I had been on a patrol and was pretty tired. I don’t recall any thoughts about much that day except for watching those ants for a couple of hours. Pretty peaceful day. Now when that time comes to mind I think, wow, Christmas 1967. Who knew what was coming at us in ‘ 68. Sgt T. Moore


  • John Dube

    Christmas at 29 Palms 82, Okinawa 83 , Lejeune 84 . There were long lines just like on Mothers Day for the payphones !! Phone bill Okinawa was $120 for 60 min . USO was great no matter what station. Mrs C and the Fonz visited us in Okinawa


  • Randol Parr Sgt 64-68 Rvn 66-67

    My first Christmas was in Boot Camp MCRD San Diego. The only extra thing we did was marched to the movie theater to ” Scaramouche” 2nd was in Camp Pendleton finishing up war games. 3nd and 4 rd Christmas were in Da Nang RVN and did get to see 2 Bob Hope shows. Ann Margaret – what a babe!!!! Would not trade it for the world. Semper Fi and have good holidays. Sgt R.Parr


  • Marine 0331

    Never heard the term “heard of cats” Ray! Who was your SDI in that platoon?


  • Jack Wing

    I spent Christmas of 1959, on Okinawa at Camp Koza. In 1966 I spent Christmas in Chu-Li Vietnam. 1969 was spent in DaNang Vietnam. 1975 I was at Futenma Air Station on Okinawa. My last tour before retirement was at Camp Courtney Okinawa in 1981….


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