I was a boot Marine on my first Combined Arms Exercise in Twenty nine Palms California Oct of 1988 CAX 8-88, we had been training for our 30 plus days in the dirt and we were on our way to the rear to head back to Hawaii. I was a artillery man on a M198 towed howitzer. I was told where I was to sit in the truck as all the good seat were taken by higher ranking Marines so I sat on the floor against the tailgate. We were traveling at a good 40 plus mph in the desert so it was very a very rough ride. I had my back against the tailgate when it falls open at this speed. I was able to flip over onto my stomach and hole onto the tailgate for awhile but eventually was thrown off, striking my head on the cannon, receiving a head and brain injury and then my right leg was run over by the cannon cause only soft tissue damage but closing the artery in the leg. I was medivaced via helicopter to Mainside then to Balboa in San Diego. I fought hard to recover and carry on with little to no help from the Corps, I had problems both physically and mentally do to this horrible accident but was able to recover enough to finish my enlistment and serve honorably in Desert Storm as a assistant section chief on my own gun. I made a driver after the accident, I guess the Corps figured hell he cant fall out if he is driving. I was the gun truck driver, as well as the plugger and A-Chief on the gun. We fought in the artillery raids before the war and in Khafji during the Air War, we were attached to task force ripper for the ground war. I received the many medals and ribbons for my service. I am proud that I was able to regroup enough to finish my enlistment and not taking a medical which is what I think everybody thought I would do. Thats defines the spirit of the Corps. I may of fell back on runs and humps when I returned but I never fell out.
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