I Remember All This

Yes it was a thrill to find your rack after marching around the deck, I was in 2nd Bn Platoon 232 1957 and things did not change much even after Ribbon Creek. I met SSgt McKeon later L/Cpl Mc Keon at Quantico waiting discharged under Medical. What a shame the Platoon backed him till the end but they needed a escape goat and he was it! It was awful cause I felt he was not guilty and a really true “Marine. Gen Mac Call Pate, “guilty until you proved innocent”. The Forced Marches were now called “Fire Drills” out side in PT gear with Bucket and shower shoes to run around the block. Usually this happen around 0200-0300. What fun. I love the Corps and wish I stayed in for 20 but not to be. Only 3 years.
Sgt Grit wants to hear from you! Leave your comments below or submit your own story!

5 comments


  • Rich Townsend

    You’re still in…”Once a Marine always a Marine”.


  • Stan Jacobs

    I was at PI about a year after Ribbon Creek [8/57-12/57], Platoon 253. There was still some physical abuse [where it wasn’t obvious or easily seen], but usually reserved for ‘the deserving’. Sgt. McKeon exercised poor judgement taking relatively new recruits into a tidal swamp [at the start of low tide drainage] at night. I don’t recall how many recruits drowned, but he deserved what he got. Ask yourself whether [given the choice] you would want him leading you into [or out of] a tight spot. The incident was used by critics of the Corps, most of whom [forgetting the sacrifices we ALL made] wanted to end the Corps. Thank goodness that didn’t work.


  • Bill Dugan

    I was a recruit at the time of the Ribbon Creek incident. Ribbon Creek happen 8 April 1956 and I left PI 14 April 1956. I was in Plt 27 4th Bn we lived in Quonset Huts and our drill was squad drill much different drill then than now. I found a desire to serve my country and retired July 1977 with the rank of MSgt.


  • buzz alpert, Sgt E-5

    I went through Parris Island boot camp in June of 1960 and my senior DI, Staff Sergeant Davis preached to us about Sgt. Mckeon and said he was the finest DI, etc, etc. I have no idea one way or the other about Sgt. McKeon, but it was a sad ending for him and the young recruits who lost their lives. I can only say that I personally feel the best thing I ever did in my life was enlist in the Marines. It did so much for me and truly put the grit in my gut and made a man out of me. I don’t think I would have been able to accomplish the things I did in my life if I had not served my country in the Marines. Semper Fi to all the men and women who shared that experience.


  • Donald McKeon

    I went through PI in 1958- Sgt McKeon was still on base working in the PX. He visited our squad bay and dressed me down as my name was the same. That was sixty years ago.


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