The Hand That Held All Knowledge

The Hand That Held All Knowledge

I entered boot camp at MCRD in July of ’65. My last name, the name I used until that point was different from the last name I used in San Diego because, I was informed, my step Dad had never legally adopted me. You can imagine where this is headed. That’s right. My new name was called for mail call and, like a dummy, I just stood there in a daze until the slap upside the head cleared the thinking part of my brain to make room for more important stuff.

Being the complete idiot that I was, the second time my name was called, about two minutes later, I was too busy trying to get the buzzing out of my head from my first letter, and failed once again to speak up. Just as the hand that held all knowledge applied itself to the brain housing, I realized my new name had been called once again. Too late. It sounded like a rifle going off beside my ear.

After that I never missed listening for, and answering to, the sound of my last name. Now a days I’m a little deaf so I do not always answer quickly. Thank God no one here has the hand of correction. I couldn’t survive it now.

CPL. ’65-’69

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


  • Kevin Whitmore

    I remember the hand of correction. Good times.

  • Kevin Whitmore

    Are you from the Quirk family in Bangor, Maine?

  • Raymond Fuston

    Hey what PLT where you in at San Deigo in June 69???? I was there in June 30- Sept 12 69 Plt 2122 Raymond Fuston

  • Mike Collins

    There were three Collins in my platoon PI 1972, all I remember is three of us trying to be first without running each other over.

  • John C Quirk

    I had a experience with the name thing. All my life I was called Jack even though my real name was John. When I got in Boot I signed every thing Jack and after the DI found out my real name was John all hell broke out. I can’t remember everything I was called but I never signed Jack again to this day and I am 75 years old. 1960 to 1966

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