Second to None

Second to None

Arthur R. Cuellar of Rancho Cucamonga honorably served his country in the Vietnam War in 1967 as a Point Man for the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines. He was honorably discharged as a decorated hero with three Purple Hearts. The time Arthur Cuellar spent in Vietnam changed his life forever. Arthur, a resident of California came from a long line of military men. At a young age Arthur knew he would one day also join the Marines. Before that day would come he was a promising baseball pitcher, able to throw a fastball 100 miles an hour. At one point he even played against the famous ‘Rollie’ Fingers (Roland Glen Fingers). Even though as a child Arthur was diagnosed and treated for Polio he did not let this stop him from pursuing his dreams and enlisting in the Marines at the young age of 18 years.While Arthur was engaged in basic training, he celebrated his 19* birthday and was teased by fellow marines because of the number of cards he received from his family. As a joke, a female friend sent him a letter with a kiss imprinted on it. His drill sergeants made him do pushups to kiss the letter. This was his first initiation into the Marines. Once Arthur finished basic training in April of 1967 he was flown to Hawaii and there transferred to a 17 hour flight to Okinawa. From Okinawa he went to Danang, Vietnam. He was assigned his outfit and given a 50 Caliber machine gun as his first weapon, in addition he was given his required mess kit and C-Rations. This, was his welcome to Vietnam.

Before he even had time to acclimate himself, he and his unit were sent to replace soldiers that had been wiped out by enemy fire. Now Arthur and about 1000 men were being sent to the DMZ. He saw action almost immediately. His unit encountered heavy military fire, sometimes 5-8 times a day. His unit finally reached their position at Con Thien in September of 1967. They engaged the enemy at every opportunity, and in one battle Arthur was hit by shrapnel. He remembers being stunned and then everything went black. He believed he was dying. Without hospitalization or anything other than field medic care Arthur was back in action and at one point found himself in the middle of crossfire between enemy and friendly fire. Arthur remembers thinking, “I didn’t feel like being awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously so I jumped back in the ditch”

Arthur was wounded three times before being transferred to Hawaii, where he continued his tour of duty which included, serving as a military policeman where he guarded both President Johnson and Nixon. After his military duty he stated, “I never wanted a civilian profession where he was required to have a gun. ” Today Arthur is a Chaplain and volunteers his time helping veterans recover from their war experience. Arthur believes he survived the war for a reason and believes God wants him to use his experience to help change the lives of others for the better. At a very young and during an unpopular war Arthur laid his life on the line for his country. He served with honor and valor and is truly an American hero. Arthur R. Cuellar of Rancho Cucamonga honorably served his country in the Vietnam War in 1967 as a Point Man for the 2nd’^Battalion, 4″^ Marines. He was honorably discharged as a decorated hero with three Purple Hearts. The time Arthur Cuellar

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  • J. Reyes Jr.

    You’re right! Those damn OD cans were big and heavy. Humping .30 ammo for the M1919 was bad enough. It’s no wonder the M2 is usually secured or pedestal mounted. The .50 cans are great for cleaning gear or tool box.

  • Harry

    Just think of humping all the required .50 ammo!

  • Johnny Reyes Jr. USMC 1958-1964 USAF 1972-2000

    At age 79 years, I still think humping a M2 .50 must have been a hellava job. Recoil is a bitch. Shot my brother’s .50 Barrett in the prone position at the range and after a few rounds the question was, “Does anybody else want to shoot?” At 9.5 lbs my M1 was a piece of cake. I still see the smallest feather merchant in the squad humping the BAR at about 20 lbs and the two smallest feather merchants in weapons platoon humping the 81mm mortar base plate with the two rope handles, their cartridge belts slipping from their waists and heading for their knees.

  • Vic

    I am with you on this one Bob. I don’t believe anyone who went to Marine Corps boot camp would use “Drill Sergeant.” That is an Army term. No Marine would refer to their Drill Instructors as a Drill Sergeant. Other parts of the story sound fishy as well. To many inconsistencies in this story for me. I was in Vietnam in 1970.

  • Robert T

    It takes STRONG Marine to hold a 50 Cal with both arms, aim and fire with no recoil. I’ve never seen a shoulder sling for a 50 Cal either.

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