Old Alma Mater

Old Alma Mater

My trip was short and sweet. I recently revisited "our" old alma mater – the University of MCRD, San Diego campus. I graduated there just over 59 years ago. Coincidentally, I was there on a Thursday, the day before graduation. I guess a lot of the guys got time off to visit with those who came to their graduation.

I visited the Marine Corps museum while I was there, where I ran into a lot of new Marines with their families – the museum happens to be next door to the receiving barracks where I arrived, 24 January 1956. It is housed in a similar building – architecturally – to the receiving barracks. As I walked the museum I got a sense of Deja vu. I could see myself in the haircut line, receiving a cover that was too big for me (never wore a cap before then), then downstairs receiving my "bucket issue" (do they still do that? I forgot to ask), the sweatshirt, and most of all using Brasso (never heard of the stuff) on all the window latches and door hardware, what seemed like all night (just till lights out, anyway).

Now for the real story of my trip. I met and spoke with several of these new Marines and their families. If you have been out of the Corps for a while you need to revisit the place if you still have a heart for the Corps. These young sharply dressed, evenly tanned, young men with their slender, fit and hardened bodies, will make you even more proud. Not only proud for yourself but proud for them. God, I was so proud of these guys – hey Marines don't cry… do they? Someone pass me a tissue. Sad to think they have to go out into harms way against the unconditional warfare that we see today. The politicians need to visit these young guys on a regular basis just keep in touch with reality, for when they have to make their decisions as to when and where to send this men, oh so young and eager to do right by their country.

At the museum with my bride of 58 years.

As you can see I haven't strayed too far from the mess hall.

Through the years my mother lost track of the year book I received with all the dates and pics from boot camp, and I cannot recall my unit. Arrived 24 Jan. 1956 and graduated near the end of April. Drill instructor was GSgt Costello. Best I can recall my platoon 215, 219, 315, or 319 – can't seem to narrow it down any closer than that. I asked if they had any information about this in the museum archives and the answer was, not that far back! D-mn, am I that old?

If anyone recognizes any of my info, I would appreciate some direction. An do, visit the Museum. They are continuing to improve it.

Gotta love that San Diego weather!

Jerry Wilson
1956 – 1959 (3 year active duty enlistment, 3 year reserves)

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