In July 1968 I arrived at Hill 861s and was soon met by a couple of Marines who took a look at the new Corpsman who delighted in calling me a “squid”. I thought for a moment as I had never been addressed in that term. I then asked them if they knew what a “squid” was. They replied,no and I informed them that a squid was something floating in the ocean sh–ng on Marine life. They then called me Doc for the rest of my time there over looking Khe Sanh. My second item to address is very close to my heart. It concerned a Marine serving with me in 1/26 Company C. We were patrolling the Ah Shau valley one day when my radio operator, a black Marine from somewhere back East turned to me and began trying to take off my Caduses. I asked him what he was doing? He stated he was taking off my insignia , so the VC would shoot him instead of me as there was a $250 bounty on me by the VC. At the time I laughed and told him thanks for the thought but reminded him that the same bounty was on him as a radioman. Al I remember was his name we used as SCOTTY and I do not remember where he was from. The thought of what had transpired Did not hit me until much later. This Marine was willing to sacrifice his life for me. I cannot think of a greater gift. Loved my Marines….RIP DOC John GOTT, Kia 1/26 Marines 18 DEC 1968 Hai Van Pass VN.
Sgt Grit wants to hear from you! Leave your comments below or submit your own story!


  • G Willard 0311, 8651, 8511, 0142

    Not one PH but two Harry, even the Silver Star DB is inaccurate, and more than one recipient PH in the family. If you’re looking at the listings on the Military Order of The Purple Heart (which are posted for a fee) you won’t find it; I don’t need to pay for what I know, anymore than I need a tattoo. As far as the Vietnam comment, I was alluding to the fact that a lot of us served in other theaters that were not declared conflicts. Yes, there is an inordinate amount of BS, but they’re not all lies anymore than yours and Murray’s. And you are dead on the money about PSD groups. PTSD since retirement, 100%. Now a Certified Recovery Peer Specialist serving fellow Veterans like us. Yes, I know; a far cry from Grunt, RECON, D.I. (Parris Island, 3rd Bn), and a NCOIC. After all those years, and especially as a Drill Instructor, I’ll take Doc at his word. This will be my final post on this. Upon posting, this newsletter will be deleted, and it will do no good to try to slide any further comments in under a future Newsletter post

  • Harry

    Is G from your first name or is it from middle name? Found one G Willard in PH database Glenn Willard USN WIA 1943 your name must have been left off buy mistake.

  • Harry

    G Willard. Please help me out.What negative comment did I write? I was referring to a memory I had from Boot Camp! With a joke about Marines and Army and that I also had been to Hai-Van Pass! I think you are reading too much into some comments and I am speaking for myself. With that said, If I read something that does not seem true I will call that person out! Some disclosure, I have been a member of a PTSD group since 1995 and have heard some wild stories over the years. Some of these guys would come with fake DD-214 and were trying to get comp. You have no idea how many posers are out there and I AM a self proclaimed skeptic and doubter and make no apology for that . I have been lied to so many times that I can’t remember! Feel free to call me out and disagree. Maybe Grit should remove the Comment portion of the newsletter and then we could read all of the unfiltered BS without speaking out. Harry

  • G Willard 0311, 8651, 8511, 0142

    Ditch the attitude??? LOL. When you two get over yourselves! You are correct about viewpoints/opinions, it’s just seems that you two reserve the right to pass judgement, mostly negative, on these posts. Things like this don’t happen? Of course, you were there. World theater is a lot bigger than just Vietnam, but as far as the ‘Nam goes for me: 8 combat decorations including 2 PH’s (AK 47), my MOS’s speak for me. Good luck again Doc! Sgt. Conkwright, your comment is why I read the Newsletter, just a great heartfelt reply. I read it twice for a feelgood night. Hope to see more of your posts. SEMPER FI

  • Murray hermanson

    G Willard read the story again. I think we were meant to be impressed by the $250 bounty and I can’t figure out if the guy who is writing this died 18 Dec 1968 or Scotty. Who wrote it some unknown author who puts a lot off this kind of feel good stories on this web page. Sorry if we offend you, but we never run anybody else down to make our selves feel good. We just voice our opinion and don’t claim that you or any body else has to like it. I hope the story made you feel real good about yourself that’s why they put in. I read between the lines and it makes me sick, things like this just don’t happen it would be nice if they did. In country Dec66- Aug68 back in May69 to Aug69 went with 1/9, 2/9, 3/9, 2/26 and others on many operations. C co. 3rd Eng Bn

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