The Good Life

The year was 1963 I was a 15 yr old junior in High School in Riverside, CA the previous year I had attended the 3-week summer Devil Pup program at Camp Pendleton which made me even stronger in wanting to be a Marine. We had just arrived at school when someone got the bright idea to ditch and go to the beach around 60 miles away. My father was a deputy sheriff on the Riverside Sheriffs Office and I was afraid this was not a good plan, but this one kid drove his mothers car so we knew we would make it down and back without car troubles and could get back in school with a tardy slip before the day was over. Upon arriving at the beach and after walking down a steep hill to the sand we realized we had no swimming trunks another kid said no problem we’ll skinny dip! Great idea until the police car arrived and took us to the Newport Beach Police Dept. Our parents were called and had to pick us up at the station( for skinny dipping and truancy) my father screamed at me the whole ride home that my car was taken away and I was on restriction until I was 18 I begged my mother to let me enlist in the Marines when I turned 17 and a day. In those four years and including Vietnam I was never unhappy that I quit school to join the finest fighting outfit in the world!
Sgt Grit wants to hear from you! Leave your comments below or submit your own story!


  • Bill Beam

    Semper Fi, brother!

  • Mrs. Judy Burne

    I don’t suggest quitting school but I’m glad You’re a Marine! My husband is also,and was in Vietnam too!! Thank you also for defending our country,and welcome home!!”SEN PER FI”. BY the way I know there should me an “M” in there but my phone has a mind of it’s own sometimes. Ooh rahhh!!! GOD BLESS THE USA and OUR SERVICEMEN and WOMAN!!!

  • Sgt. Steve……

    Interesting, I did the same thing after getting out of detention in Detroit. Never looked back! Obtained my high school GED, went to college, became a police chief, and after 28 years of faithful police service I now combat terrorism! All because of the Corps giving me the discipline I so needed back in the 70’s! SEMPER FI brother….

  • Scott Powell

    I was a senior in high school in Boise, idaho in 1958. About two months prior to graduation, about 90 or so of us went on a traditional “senior sneak” for a few days R&R. It was located in McCall, Idaho and we rented rooms in a lakeside resort hotel (they actually rented rooms to teenagers back in those days!) Naturally, beer got involved. A small group of rowdies started raising too much hell and the hotel called the cops. It was fairly late at night and I was already in bed. A cop came into the room with a passkey and told me to get my ass on the bus with the rest of the malcontents. I probably could have gotten a pass but there was still a few beers in the room.. We were hauled off to a small jail in a nearby town. Since I was only 17, my dad was called to come get me out-a 100 mile drive for him. He was also a teacher at the high school I went to in Boise. Not a happy camper. Anyway, of my group, three of us were 17 and got put on a moderate probation for a few months. The other guy, who was 18 only had to pay a small fine. Several weeks later, he had gone down to the Marine recruiter about joining up. He ran into the other three of us and mentioned we should join too. The recruiter, upon learning of our probation, said we would not only need our parents permission to join but also that of the juvenile judge. We trooped over to the nearby courthouse and tracked down the judge. We told him of our plans and said we needed him to take us off the probation. He said “that is a capital idea!” and signed us off. Arrived at MCRD in San Diego on July 1st, 1958. Stayed in for four years active duty, main duty station at MCAS Kaneohe, Hawaii for three years with lots of TDY to the far East. MOS 2533/2571. Semper fi !c

  • Walt Warren

    In reply to Scott Powell.
    I was also at MCRD San Diego on July 1st 1958. Our DI had warned us that “we were getting too salty”. On July 4th we fell in on the grinder and began to get rid of the salt. “Right face, port arms, forward march, double time”. We had done this many times as we always double timed to where ever we were going only this time we took a tour of the grinder around the outer edge. On the 9th time around the platoon was stretched out a bit with those who were in better shape in the lead. Suddenly someone “turned out the lights” and I ended up on my back wondering what happened. The next voice I heared was familier but was soft and concerned, it was our DI. He asked me if I could hear him and I tried to say that I could but all I could do was grunt and I still couldn’t see. He comforted me and assured me that everything would be OK. He told me to let him know when I felt ready to resume the “tour” and after a time I said that I thought I was OK. He told me to wait and he then stood up and went into full DI mode. From that day onward I knew that no matter how hard he was on us he wouldn’t harm us. Walt Warren 10th Infantry Battalion USMCR

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