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Story of Beruit

Story of Beruit

Hey Sgt. Grit

I wanted to send you this picture. My mom saved it for me and I have never shared it with anyone until this year. I showed it to my daughter (29) and son (33) was trying to show them or explain to them what those of us in the military face. I got tears from them and the best d*mn hug I ever had. Maybe just maybe some do get it at least my daughter and son did. The real heroes of Beirut were those who never came home. GySgt. Dennis West, 1st Sgt Tandy Wells, Captain Mike Hatcher were all close friends. Wells and Hatcher were hats with me on first tour at PI 69-73. Dennis was the closest thing my kids had as a godfather and served at OCS with me 76-80. I have never been able to go to the memorial or for that matter the memorial in DC for Vietnam. Just can’t hold those emotions like I use to. Anyway working as IC in Iraq now for past two years seen the “New Breed” of Marines and it makes me proud to know the torch is being carried so high by so many harden warriors. The only story I can think of about that time is how d*mn proud I am to have been a member (1st Sgt MSSG-24) of that MEU. There was and never will be a better commander that LtCol Tim Gerrity and Sgt Maj. Dudly. They were the best of the best and because of the politics at the time Col Gerrity paid the price. We were put into those bombed out buildings not at his call but higher up yet when the finger pointing began it fell to him. I will not mention the names of those who did this deed, but the almighty will reckon with those on their final day I am sure. The Marines of MEU 24 and BLT 1st Bn 8th Marines were and will always be the finest bunch of Marines I ever served with and to those still living as well as the fallen hold a special place in my memories and heart. God Bless them all.

Ken Bell
1st Sgt. USMC Ret. 1965-1985

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