More “Special K”
Thought that Doc Wheeler – who was proud to call Allan Kellogg friend ? and your other readers, would enjoy the attached pictures confirming that ?wild sea story? he was told by a pink tint-bespectacled, Corvair-driving Marine at the SNCO club at Camp Delmar.
For those that might not have gotten it from the Doc?s letter, the ?Gunny? in question did indeed get what was recommended as a result of that first firefight he described. Not only does he wear our nation?s highest honor, but the crossed rifles were quite deservedly swapped for a star, and the two rockers became four. When I had the honor of serving with him (MAR BKS GDCO PH), nine years after the Doc met him, the glasses were still there (but not rose colored), and as you can see in the picture, the Chevy Corvair had been promoted to Lincoln Continental.
In 1984 Sergeant Major Kellogg did me the distinct honor of selecting me and a few others to be among the Honor Guard assigned to USS Brewton to escort and watch over the Vietnam Unknown en route to Alameda NAS. It would have been an honor either way, but the fact that the Sergeant Major chose us for that particular detail put a bit more glint in our eyes, a touch more ramrod in our backs, and a lot more strength in our pallbearers? arms.
But, that was the kind of influence the Sergeant Major had on all he served with in my time. Despite all the injuries and surgeries that result from jumping on a grenade to save your fellow Marines, he would still do his three mile run every day in the noontime Hawaiian heat, and would never dream of failing to return every salute rendered him despite the obvious pain it caused him to lift his arm. Talk about motivating! If there have been more tough, fair, straight talking, straight shooting Marines in the Corps, they are the names that are uttered with only the utmost reverence.
It was with great pride that I was able to point to his name recently on the CMH wall at the National Museum of the Marine Corps and tell my family that this man was my First Sergeant and Sergeant Major. It is an even greater source of pride to be able to number myself among the many young(er) Marines lucky enough to have served with him, and to be able to call him a brother.