The Day We Were Born

The Day We Were Born

How many of us can remember the day we were born? The actual day I mean. I can with crystal clarity. Tomorrow, 30 June 2016, is my 50th birthday and I remember every detail of the occasion. I was born into the loving arms of my new family members and the legendary yellow footprints at MCRD Parris Island. Oh how well I remember the day. My new father/mother/girlfriend greeted me with love in his eyes, open arms and comforting platitudes. It was a soft, albeit hot summer southern evening with a gentle breeze carrying the gentle aroma of swamp. Ah the memories of all the wonderful things that my new life was going to bring to me. The anticipation was delicious. My favorite and most unforgettable memory of that evening long ago was the screaming inside my head that said repeatedly: “What the **** have I done?” I’m sure we all remember the terror as a new and wonderful awakening occurred. FIFTY years? How the heck did that happen… I was 19 just yesterday.

Anyone remember this picture of our comfortable and welcoming mode of mass transit?

Semper Fi my brothers, sisters and friends and happy birthday to me… I think.

Gerry Zanzalari
1966 – 1970
RVN 1968 – 1969

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


  • Art

    I served in reserves with a Cunningham from 1962 to 1967 10th Motor Transport at Phila Naval Yard

  • T Montana

    YUP ! Sure do remember thee ol’cattle car , Every ride the ol’ DI had us keeping our covers over our face .. LOL Went thru boot at PI Grad 14 AUG 1972 1st Bn PLY 154

  • Ernie Strong

    October 1966, 1 st Battalion,Plt. 105. Got so tired you could fall asleep in one till the DI caught you

  • Donald G Keith Jr.

    Aug. 2nd 1970 MCRD San Diego was the day I started boot camp. I remember where I first stood on the yellow footprints. I stood on that same spot when my Son graduated ,29 years later. Oh yeah I was born in Camp Lejeune when my father was in the Marines. Semper Fi to all my Brothers and Sisters.

  • Don Frewin, Cpl

    All these stories of young boys off to become Marines and “The first day of their life”. It just reaffirms me of the love and pride that we still have for our Corps. I thank God on a weekly basis that He allowed me to become a United States Marine.

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