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!
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7 comments


  • Raymond Caouette

    God I have a similar story. I was 13 and my cousin was 15 and we went to a state fair during our summer together. The fair had a Marine Corps pavilion. Although the fair was full of other good things me and my cousin never left the Marine Corps exhibit. We talked with evry Marine there and tried all the show exhibits they had. My the end of the night we both said lwe were going to join. We were honest and my cousin joined at 18 and I joined at 17 we never served together but he has a purple heart and I had the luck of not getting hurt. We both served in combat and we lived our lives happily ever after. I still love the Corps even in these days of controversy. Semper Fi to all my brothers and sisters.


  • Scott Powell

    In reply to Walt Warren.
    I was in Platoon 255 at MCRD. After graduation and ITR, I got assigned to RTOC class (radio telegraph operator course) and our barracks was across the grinder from boot camp area, second floor over the arched walkway and near the main grinder flag pole. Spent five months there and most of our graduating class was assigned to start forming up 1st Composite Radio company at Kaneohe. Arrived Hawaii in May 1959 and it was still a territory, gaining statehood in August. Our operations officer was then captain Al Gray. He went on to be commandant of the Marine Corps..


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