Mortarman

By: Martin Spann

My fondest memory of Christmas in the Marine Corps was 1976. I was assigned at the Infantry Training School (ITS), at Camp Pendleton. A year prior I was assigned to Camp Horno where my mother had sent me 2 pounds of fudge and I handed out pieces to my fellow Marines including my Company Commander, Captain Martin Shimick. During the early months of 1976 we both transferred out of the unit. He was promoted to Major and sent to the 5th Marines and I moved to ITS. A few days before Christmas in 1976 my mom sent me 2 pounds of fudge and like the year prior I passed out pieces to my fellow Marines. On Christmas morning 1976 I was in my room reading when there was a knock on my door. The staff duty said I had a visitor and to get dressed. I followed him to his desk and sitting at it was Major Shimick. He saw me and asked if my mother had sent me more fudge for Christmas. I went back to my room to retrieve the fudge. I sat with Major Shimick and the staff duty and ate my mother’s Christmas fudge on Christmas morning in 1976. It has become one of my fondest memories of Christmas in the Corps. To all those Marines serving or have served, Merry Christmas. Sergeant Martin Spann, USMC (1974-1977).

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

4 comments


  • Tony Woconish, SSgt. ’76-’82

    My mom would send me fudge too and I would pass it around to the men in the RADAR shop. VMFA-333.


  • George Williams

    Marines in dungo’s at CP….on skis…During cold weather training at Pickle Meadows we had snow gear…(as I recall), and not dungo’s.


  • Don ramsey 1961 to1965

    Picture looks like cold weather training camp pickle meadows was there in1962


  • jbbuttsjr Lt..- USMC – RVN

    In my time as a Company XO & a CO of Echo company -2nd Bn-2nd ITR at Horno area, Camp Pendleton; I can’t ever recall seeing troops in cold weather gear wearing skis. Good story, Wrong photo.


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