Old, Fat and Busted Up

I was in Nam for all of 1970. Made Sgt at age 18 due to doing well in boot camp and ATR. I was in charge of a weapons platoon, M-60s and 60 MikeMikes.

We all have stories from boot camp. Stuff we will never forget. WWII Marines telling the same tales today’s privates experience. Ain’t it great watching some poor bast-rd in the airport heading off to San Diego or P.I.

The story I want to share is from the trip I made to London several years ago. I was 60, limping around from old wounds and getting fatter by the year. My wife and I went to the theatre district to see “War Horse.” During intermission, we went out to stretch in the lobby. A young Brit around 26 years old came up to me with his gorgeous date and asked if I had been a Marine. It really caught me by surprise. I told him yes and I had served with many great Marines in Viet Nam. I asked him what tipped him off. He said he was SAS and had worked with some Recon Marines in the desert and that there was something special about how Marines carried themselves and he could recognize it. I can tell you I stood a little taller at that moment. After the play he and his date insisted on taking us around the center of London for a little tour and some champagne. It was a great night.

So, there you have it. Once A Marine Always a Marine, even when you are old, fat and busted up.

Sgt RA “Hog” Hougher

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