Vietnam Vet and My Resume

Vietnam Vet and My Resume

As a Marine Vietnam vet, I had a somewhat different experience than Gary Neely. I got out of the Corps in 1968 to go into politics and, I thought, fix things. (Okay, I was pretty naive at 22.) At Mount Wachusetts Community College, I ran twice for student council and then for council president, and, though I didn’t have a group of high school friends there going in, I won every time. I used pictures of me in Vietnam on my posters. At the University of Massachusetts, I decided at the last minute to run for the student senate, on write-ins, against a kid who had lived in the dorm for a year. I won. I never hid that I was a vet.

I graduated from UMass in June, 1972, and in November of that year I defeated an incumbent Massachusetts Democrat state senator by 9 votes, in a 4-1 Democrat district last won by a Republican in 1938, the first of my five wins. (Including being nominated by both parties in 1976.) I always used pictures of myself in the Corps in my campaign flyers. In 1982, I was fed up with politics and retired undefeated to become an association executive.

For 31 years, I held increasingly responsible and better paying jobs. My resume always had a section on my service in the Corps, including the six years I spent in the active reserves while a senator (’77-’83). If it hurt me, I didn’t know it. And if they were biased against Marines, I didn’t want to work for them. Looking at the later results at some of the jobs I didn’t get, they could have used a little Marine discipline.

I had to retire October 1, 2013 due to pulmonary fibrosis, but I’m hoping the lung the VA gave me on December 23, 2013 will improve to the point were I can return to part time work as a consultant or substitute teacher. If so, my resume will still list my USMC service proudly. No compromise, no surrender.

Semper Fidelis,
Robert A. Hall
Once a SSGT, still a Marine

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6 comments


  • ArtyMgySgt

    I relocated to Texas in 2010 to get away from crazy California. Every time I am out and about here in Wichita Falls and I’m wearing a USMC cover or a shirt with a USMC logo. It is not unusual for others to thank me for my service. I think respect for the Corps is still alive. Especially here in Texas.


  • Harry

    Hey Murray,I have a mixed bag of opinions on this topic 1) Some are sincere. 2) Some harbor some guilt. 3) I overheard a person say that they did it because it made THEM feel good.Personally speaking I don’t give a crap if someone thanks me or not! Thank the families of the ones who “Gave It All” But, that’s just me.As far as giving me the “Welcome Home” after 50 years Forget it!


  • FRANK M VANACORE

    How about the ones who did care. How do you pick and chose? If they thank you for your service, I believe they care, otherwise they wouldn’t. Just my opinion.


  • Michael P. McManus

    They didn’t care then and I don’t think they really care now. The “thank you for your service” sailed a long time ago.


  • Murray Hermanson

    This brings to mind a story I read in 1968 late in fall, when stationed at Pendleton. It was a Dear Abby letter, a girl wrote she was getting married, and wanted Abby’s advice about telling her future husband about her family. She had already told him about her father being a drunk and her mother a prostitute, her sister and oldest brother in jail for the rest of their life and many other unthinkable things. Then she came to the question that was brothering her and she didn’t know if she should tell her future husband, cause she didn’t want him to call of the wedding. She said Abby my younger brother is in the United States Marine Corps, do you think I should tell him? This is not exactly the wording used but it is close, the meaning was there. The worst thing in the world was being related to a Marine. I always hoped it was Joke, but they did spit on us. My how times have changed. Some of you might not like this, but when someone Thanks me for my service, I tell them they didn’t thank me then, there’s no need to thank me now. What do you think Harry? Vietnam Dec66toAug68 back inMay69 to Aug 69 went with 1/9, 2/9, 3/9, 2/26 and others.


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