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That Was Then, This Is Now

That Was Then, This Is Now

I read in your column recently someone said he was a Real, Real Old Marine of 85. I've always thought age was a figment of the mind and if you let it get to you you'll worry about getting old and infirm. I never had time for that, I only had time to do my job and think about what I had to do next.

I remember going to the Navy Mess Hall at Treasure Island during World War II, the two Navy Chiefs running the Mess Hall had been either called back from Retirement or requested Return to Active Duty as both were in their Seventies wearing ribbons from days of long ago and Wars fought long ago, but here they were calling out to you if you stepped out of line or violated any of their commands.

As I am well into my Eighty Eighth year of my life and being in reasonable health, no I don't run around the block nor whistle at the girls when I go to the store (though I have been tempted), but I still enjoy a beer while watching Marine Movies of whatever/whenever time period.

I find that the new writers for Movies/TV have no sense of history and get it wrong most of the time. While I never served in Europe during WWII, I still have memories and a sense of history, Memories of friends from school after the war sitting in a Bar telling about our times. I clearly remember a friend who landed at Omaha Beach and cursed the Navy because the Peter boat wasn't close enough to shore, and they ran off the boat into deep water (some drowned because they couldn't get out of their pack and equipment fast enough)… finally getting ashore and picking up the rifle of a Wounded or Dead Soldier, finally laying down on wet clothing carrying a rifle with no ammo and looking for another casualty to get a cartridge belt. He made it all the way through the war
without a wound though he had been in some tough battles.

I ran into this picture years ago that our Old Friend Joe Rosenthal took. It establishes more memory, to Me, than most other pictures during WWII.

Oh! I remember those Good Times and Hard Times, when time seemed to go so slow and wishing for days end, and then the days start,  BUT… Who cares now, that was then, this is now.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired 

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