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What Did I Do?

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Joined the USMC in 1960 with four of my friends from the south side of Chicago. Had the usual Drill Instructor screaming and shouting on arrival in San Diego. Raced with much encouragement into the Quonset Hut with two recruits standing by each bunk bed with the mattresses rolled up on each bed. Then into the doorway came this relatively short Drill Instructor yelling attention. He looked as if the starched creases on his uniform could cause serious gashes and he had a long cigar in his mouth and I am know the ashes were afraid to fall off. He looked around at the group and then came directly to the back of the hut where I was.

He then addressed me with the forceful thrust of his right palm to my midsection and I fell back on the springs unable to find any air that would go into my lungs. He started screaming at me and asking me where I was from. Still could not get my breath. Then he was on top of me with me laying on the rack on my back. He started screaming again the question as to where I was from. By this time he was sort of “examining” my neck and throat and I tried to answer and say Chicago. He didn’t understand my guttural speech at the time and thought I said South Dakota. He then said as he yanked me up that no piece of -I will use the term human excrement – from South Dakota had ever made it in his Marine Corps. As he was leaving my bedside as I was just starting to stand up he then addressed my mid section forcing me to find some air again. I must say I had the thought at that moment of what the sam hell have I gotten myself into. However I made Guide and graduated PFC and loved the Corps ever since.

16 comments

I love it. Sure made me laugh and remember my days in boot camp July 1953
In San Diego and my time in the Corps 1953-1957. I have a few story’s I remember but I would just make a fool of
myself after the story’s I have read and the way they were presented. Sgt. of Marines

John T. Lefker,

Interesting story Marine. However I have a question, how did you end up in San Diego (Hollywood) from Chicago which is east of the Mississippi River?

Alvin Stokes Sgt.,

In reply to Alvin Stokes Sgt..
I went to MCRD SD in June 1967. Plt 1012. We had several recruits from Chicago in our platoon.

Terry Summers Sgt USMC ’67 / ’74,

In reply to Alvin Stokes Sgt..
Because the Marine Corps in its infinite wisdom, sends good looking recruits to MCRD, no matter where they are from.

Michael Hafrris,

When I went through San Diego in “58” Plt. 308, we had several from Chicago, one from Detroit, one from Tenn., and others from east of the Mississippi.

S Otte, CPL. USMC 58-61, 7113,

Had a bunch of “big uglies” from Chicago at MCRDSD in October 1967

David S. Martinez,

In reply to Michael Hafrris.
My 2 best buddies in Nam were from Cleveland and Detroit areas and went to boot camp in SD. I was from Atlanta and better looking and went to PI. Ha, Ha!

Sgt. Eric Tipton,

In reply to Alvin Stokes Sgt..
I was in boot camp at MCRDSD from Oct through Dec 61 and I’m from Ohio as were a dozen or so others in my series. In my case I requested San Diego since I had heard horror stories about PI and I don’t care that much for the east coast anyway. Besides that my dad lived in Anaheim and Lion’s drag strip was in Long Beach.

S/Sgt K R Thomas,

In reply to S Otte, CPL. USMC 58-61, 7113.
I don’t remember you but I was in the same plt 308 in 1958

Don capellani,

In reply to Don capellani.
I forgot to mention I was one of recruits from Chicago

Don Capellani,

In reply to Alvin Stokes Sgt..
Enlisted in February 1957 in Detroit Was sent to MCRDSD as enhancement to enlist Promised ” Sunny Warm San Diego”

Mike,

In reply to Alvin Stokes Sgt..
I have a cousin from Athens Ohio that ended up at San Diego. I guess it depends on quotas or availability, Harry

Harry,

In reply to John T. Lefker.
John, were you in PLT. 241

Jim Dana,

Chicago is in the 9th Marine Corps District, which falls under the San Diego Recruit Training Command. The only ones who went to boot camp at Parris Island from the Western Recruiting Region would have been sent on their own request, mostly for “Legacies” or those whose Fathers had gone to PI. Former recruiter.

Randy Bjerke, GySgt (ret),

In reply to Alvin Stokes Sgt..
I had a guy in my platoon at Parris Island from Texas. Actually had one from Canada too, but he went home on leave after boot camp and never came back, lol. Don’t know why, the worst part was over.

Joe Rainey,

Aug 67 a bunch of us from Pennsylvania went to MCRDSD

Ed Shilling,

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