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
220XXXX
1966 – 1970
RVN 1968 – 1969

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

49 comments


  • Cpl Ret

    Yes cattle.car took us to drown proofing and THE GAS CHAMBER


  • B. K.

    Who can forget the cattle car transportation. At Parris Island, the D.I. wouldn’t even let you look up to see where you were on the base. Had no idea where anything was and where you were headed. Interesting ride. A trip down memory lane 52 years ago. Semper Fi.


  • Dominguez Gunnery Sgt

    Lol!! Unbelievable day!! I was 23 after college I went to be a grunt. I wrote home to my wife and said WTF!! I thought at that time I might of made a bad Decision!! But it truly was my true birth place that made me the man I am today. That was 26 years ago!! ???


  • Richard Chase

    I remember the “cattle carrier” all too well. It was horrendous in the So Cal summers.


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