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Sadly but proudly, I have to announce the passing of an old Marine buddy, Eddie Vice. Another good Marine pal I also served with in the Marine Barracks at Atsugi NAS Japan in the mid sixties, Bob Griffin, chased him down and relayed the news from Eddie’s son. Eddie succumbed to prostrate cancer in 1969.
The three of us were stationed outside of Atsugi at a small and now defunct Naval Security Group Activity, which is a mouthful for ‘VERY classified’ in Kamiseya, about 30 km from Atsugi. The Marine Guard at Kamiseya had some legendary moments. On the 24th of Sept, 1965, building 25 burned to the ground and took the lives of 10 naval personnel and two Marines. Several of us were involved in pulling people out of that fire, and my close friend Paul Arcand labored unsuccessfully to save the life of a Marine SSgt (Paul C. Rodrigues). I managed to burn the celia out of my bronchial tubes and severely overheat my utes earning myself a repremand and meritorious commendation all at once for leaving my post to go into that fire. (Two major fires have followed me in my life.) The story of this tragedy is detailed in the copy of the base paper, “The Kamiseyan” preserved for history online: http://www.navycthistory.com/forbes_kamiseyan.html
As something of a poet, I exchanged my work with the base Chaplain R.E. Jenkins, who chose to read one of them at the memorial service and it was published on the back of the Kamiseyan: http://www.navycthistory.com/forbes_kamiseyan_8.html
Eddie was always the life of the party, a profound humorist and pianist easily winning the base talent contest at the EM cracking us all up with his rendition of a popular cajun humorist in his home state of Louisiana. Eddie was vital to our rescue efforts that dark September night and in this capture of his memory, I shall remember him.
Semper Fi !
Kent M. Yates