By: Tom Furry

I joined the Corp right after my 17th Birthday in August of 57. I went through processing in Cleveland Ohio and then our group went by train to PI. We got off the train at Yemassee and a Greyhound Bus was waiting. Piled on for the ride to PI. When we arrived we went to Receiving and that’s when the fun started. We all remember Receiving and getting off the bus and there were no yellow foot prints. I remember when the bus stopped and the door opened this screaming tornado wearing a Campaign Hat instructed us to get off HIS bus in no uncertain terms which we did rapidly. We formed into 3 rows of tall corn on HIS deck. Our group leader had our paper work which one of the DI’s took and as it was about 3AM we were put to work doing menial jobs as our DI’s wouldn’t set upon us till later. I was wearing a sport coat which my Mother insisted I wear when I left home and one of the DI’s spotted me and said “Here, you look like a college man” and where upon he gave me a push broom and told me to sweep down. I think we were given breakfast at some time but I’m not sure of exactly when.
We started out as Plt 256 which I was not with very long as I was a “fat body” at 198! Ha! I wish I weighed 198 now but that’s another story. Anyway, I got sent to the “Strength Platoon” which was a FUBAR as I should have gone to the “Fat Body Platoon” but it was full up so I ended up in Strength. The only difference as far as I could tell was the fat guys were on a diet whereas strength could eat all we wanted. Didn’t take me long to figure out that I should be on a diet too.
We did PT all day long. In those days fat and strength were in a barracks out by the rifle ranges
and we did our PT behind that barracks. There was an oval asphalt track behind the barracks with a grassy center. We would do PT and then take a lap, PT and take a lap all morning long, break for noon chow then back at PT and laps till supper time. We took showers and got ready for supper. That was the day at that time. Have no idea what goes now!
Anyway, after 20 days I passed the PFT and transferred out to Plt 276. In those days the Corp was forming a Plt a day.
So, I arrive at Plt 276 which as in what was called the 3rd Bn area, I think. May have been the old 4th Bn area. After 63 years some memories fade.
Anyway I was dropped off in front of a Quonset Hut and told to wait. As I waited I could hear cadence being called and the sound of double timing feet. They were weaving in and out of the rows of Quonset Huts and after about 10 minutes or so they came around to the front of the hut where I was waiting and the DI looked at me and said “Who the fuck are you”? I squeaked out “Pvt Furry, Sir reporting as ordered”. He said fall in at the rear. As I did he yelled “Double Time” and off we went. That was my introduction to then SSgt Robert Rubachko! The finest Marine I ever knew. He retired as a Major but that’s another story.
To be continued if I can find this place again.
One thing I would like to say is being a Marine is a state of mind! I imagine Soldiers, Sailors, Air Men and Coast Guards all feel the same way about their Services. Could be wrong.

Sgt Grit wants to hear from you! Leave your comments below or submit your own story!


  • Andrew Gardner Cpl 1371

    For some reason my replies wind up in the wrong spot. Unfortunately I got to carry a demo pack or mine detector as well as bend nails

  • Andrew Gardner

    Thanks, I’ll check out the site

  • Andrew Gardner

    Thanks, Ill check out the site.

  • D. D. Thorin

    Tom Furry, I served with Robert Rubachko 67-68 in VN, he was a WO-4 at the time and though I met several outstanding Marines in my time on active duty, I have to agree that he was one that was at the top of the list. You probably knew that he had passed away back in June 2018.

  • william j topham

    The Marine Corps is more than a State of Mind. In my 26 years, 11 mo., and 22 dys.. all the places I went and duties I served – you couldn’t have more fun with your cloths on! The longer stayed the more I learned personally and professionally it was a great education of what you can do with little or nothing to accomplish the assigned mission – from SW Asia to the Deserts of the .Middle East to the War College.

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