One of my fathers favorite stories to share was about being a DI at MCRD in 1966. The story goes that the new recruits were brought to an assembly area close to the fence facing the San Diego Airport. All the new recruits had their ill-fitting utilities on and shaved heads so everybody looked the same on day one. Mixed in with the recruits was another DI wearing utilities. One of the DI’s was telling the new recruits that going AWOL would get them shot for desertion during a time of War (Viet Nam was going hot and heavy at the time). Well the fake recruit gets up, says he can’t take it anymore and runs for the airport fence. One of the DI’s happens to have an M14 locked and loaded (with blanks) during the desertion speech. The fake recruit starts climbing the fence. The DI with the M14 yells a warning and then Bang Bang, that was the end of that recruit because he falls to the ground and a life changing impression was made on all of these future Marines. S/Sgt Roger D. Marsh (Ret) is now guarding the gates of Heaven. God Bless America and the US Marine Corps.
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