The Marine Corps Made A Thief Out Me

Well maybe not a thief. Allow me to tell my story and you can figure out if my behavior was justified or not. VietNam 1970, my Golf Co. 2/5 was on road security on Highway 1 from Liberty Bridge to our base in An Hoa. My platoon (3rd.) was placed on Hill 34 along this dirt road. We would assist with a mine sweep from An Hoa to the bridge and from time to time go all the way to Division area. And then, provide convoy security back to Hill 34; which was the last Outpost (OP) before you reached our “rear area”. The convoy always carried re-supplies for An Hoa (which included food items!). I’m guessing a few of you are seeing the situation or temptation.

I was often assigned to provide radio service for the sweep up and the ride back even when we weren’t doing the whole distance. This was in order for a few of us to make a run to the PX for cigarettes and other items of importance to grunts. I don’t smoke and always brought back items or the money or would do almost anything to fill the list for my friends. OK! I was dependable and trustworthy and everyone knew it.

So, guys from my platoon and myself were riding back from Liberty Bridge when we notice several cartons labeled hamburgers and more ice cream than anyone one unit (or rear area) could possibly eat. I mean that much food and ice cream will make them sick. So, as the trucks rolled a long passing our Listen Posts and Hill 34, we would throw container of ice cream and cartons hamburgers off. This was done for the goodwill of those in An Hoa who would try to eat too much and get sick. Man! That ice cream was good!! The only problem we ran into was not having ice to keep the ice cream on. One of the ladies who would ride along the road selling ice got caught with razors (or something) in the ice and Battalion would not let the grunts in the brush buy the ice after that. We also learned that it takes a long time and a lot of water to rehydrate (bone hard) hamburgers. We eat what we could and got rid of the boxes and any other evidence—I mean items so the enemy couldn’t get them.

Well, there it is—I admit that I suggested that we help out those poor soul in the rear from eating too much ice cream and making themselves sick. My kindness and concern for those Marines were never mention to anyone beyond the Platoon Lt. (who really liked ice cream). What’s the moto for the Marines? Semper Fi—Always Faithful—especially to those who fought next to me.

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


  • Mgysgt Russ A.

    You are not the only one to help your brothers in need. My runs were at night and no one suffered from a little bit of help we gave. SEMPER FI

  • Lee Sain

    yep did the same thing in MCAS Rose Garden. Went in on Liberty to Udorn and borrowed things from the AF that they didn’t need in the AC barracks. Kind of came in handy when we go back to the hooch.

  • Mike Betts

    It is common knowledge that the Corps is at the very ass-end of the supply chain and ofttimes this requires a “reallocation of military resources” in order for Marines to accomplish their mission with the materials necessary to do so. This would also include items considered essential for the health and morale of the snuffies. In this regard I would like at this time to commend the SeaBees in Vietnam, as they had lots of good stuff and didn’t watch it very well. With proper application of their resources we could accomplish our mission in an exemplary manner. For instance, a sheet of plywood could not only be used to make essential furniture, one sheet of plywood = one bottle of booze.

  • GySgt Bobby Yarbrough, Retired,

    yup speel check and fingers f’d up again. last word should be “own”.

  • GySgt Bobby Yarbrough, Retired,

    As the old saying goes,”We take care of our own”. I think you did an admiral job of taking care of your won. SEMPER FI.

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