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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.

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Comments

Thomas Moore - June 10, 2020

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 - June 10, 2020

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 - June 10, 2020

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 - June 10, 2020

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

Jack Wing - June 10, 2020

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….

Jack Wing - June 10, 2020

This is a test: This is my Comment.

Raymond Parker - June 10, 2020

The best places to go over the hill. You did not get or give it was the reward the marines paid for your return an it came out of your 92 dollars a month pay. I think it was SSGT Rodgers that herded us around March my ass we were still in the hippty hop skip stage , Platoon Commander was GySGT joe Louis Jordan , series officer was Capt. E.P.B. ONeal, we had two CPL drill instructors. 1ST battalion A company Platoon 1150 we graduated about March 18,1969 went next morning to Pendleton an with usuall luck got my short ITR at camp Horno instead of San Onafry

john tharp - June 10, 2020

I served from Feb 1959 to Feb 1963 Platoon 309 at PS Island SC . Drill instructer were Sgt Wilson & Sgt Leach. Went to the second marine div. H & S Co. Was in mortars my Mos 0341. Made the Med with the 6TH fleet and spent Christmas and New year in Athens Greece. Then transferred to Rabat Morocco and served in second guards Co. Also Christmas and New year again away from home. Being away from home for the seconds time made it all the sweeter when I arrived home in January 1963. Is there any Marines who served in North Africa during this time please do hesitate to E-Mail me L/Cpl Tharp E-Mail john09751@verizon.net

John T. Durant Cpl 1954-1957, E-2-12 Camp McNair then H&S-10th Swamp Lagoon. - June 10, 2020

CHRISTmas ’54 at ITR Pendleton. After our replacement Bn. got settled in, they had flown us out from PI to San Diego in six MC equivalents of DC-4’s. Our Co. first sergeant said that they should have left us at PI as we weren’t going to do anything until after New Years and that anybody with more than a few days leave coming could get a furlough to fly home. Of course nobody had enough as we all had had 21 days in anticipation of going overseas. So the we all stuck around. Just for Kicks I went into Oceanside to wet my feet in the warm Pacific Ocean. and see the bathing beauties. Well the water was COLD and NO bathing beauties, if there had been their nipples wouldn’t have been erect like erasures they would have been like brand new pencils. After ITR and then “Cold Weather Training’ at Pickle Meadows, just West of Bridgeport, CA, we were “Cattle Carred” to San Diego on March 17th (St. Patrick’s Day) only to wait a few hours to be transported back to Pendleton and then to return to ‘Dago” on the 19th (St. Joseph’s Day) to sail aboard the “Marine Phoenix” (actually USNS Marine Phoenix (T-AP-195) by way of Kodiak Alaska, to drop-off some Sea-Bees, to Yokohama Japan. Mom to a Marine, don’t worry about the tears that’s what all real Mom’s do, as well as Dads and to tell the truth a lot of Marines, it’s just liquid LOVE!!! As the old adage goes…”They also serve who stand and wait”.

Redpatcher - June 10, 2020

I will never forget my first Christmas in the Corps. It was Christmas, 1966. I, along with many other Marines spent it slopping around in the mud north of Hue, Vietnam on Operation Chinook. Not much celebration except for a few Engineers blowing up 55 gallon drums. No telephones up there to call home on.

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