Why it started

By: Don Robinson

Sgt Grit,
I have been reading these post for years and have responded once but thought it was time to chime in again. In the spring of 1975 I was about to finish high school and was trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life. My oldest brother had already joined the Marine Corps and of course I couldn’t be less of a man then him. I told the recruiter that I was interested and got a couple of burgers out of him before I signed up. I was in the delayed entry program which was great since I got into a motorcycle accident right after graduating from high school and broke my wrist. I reported to boot camp the day after Thanksgiving that year. Ok let me give you a little back round info me. I was a B+ student who was into all sports and excelled at them and of course I was poor. With that said, I reported to boot camp without my glasses because I had broken them a few weeks before and couldn’t afford to buy new ones. One more thing I should mention was that I was wearing colorful overalls when I reported in. Well as you can imagine the DI’s were really happy to see me and the fun soon began. I enlisted in Seattle WA and landed in San Diego that night. I couldn’t figure out why it took all day for us to get to San Diego but we didn’t arrive until 2 am. Of course everyone knows what happens once we arrived, off the bus onto the feet and snap to attention whatever that is. Lots of yelling and screaming that didn’t make sense and then sent to get the proper attire and footwear. Finally we got to sleep in a bed and then guess what yeah you guessed it at 5 am were woke up with trash cans and lots of yelling. So with that said I will end this post and continue the story later.

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7 comments


  • Larry J Olson

    March 28th 1968, as we dragged our sorry asses away from getting gear, yellow footprints and a few pops in the face while waiting for our haircuts the sun was coming up and I was dumb enough to think for a moment we would be getting some sleep(future name rack time). Because we were a gaggle of scummy civilians we had to hook our arms together to make it some type of formation. Reveille sounded and I new we were further screwed. Marched/flounced/walked to chow hall. Got trays of food were strongly instructed as to how we would eat at attention. Guy across from me ate alot with DI screaming in his ear, then he promptly threw it back up into his metal tray. DI went bugfuck said he was going to eat it again. I think time was up and somehow we were back out trying to get in a formation. At this point I had been thinking for about 4-5 hours that I had seriously screwed up and this didn’t seem like what my recruiter in South Chicago told me. I was 18 and dumb as a box of rocks
    10 weeks later 72 boots graduated with only 47 of us out of our original platoon and off to Pendleton. Next 4 years were another story of craziness, Semper Fi to you all, OLY, SGT, 3/68-1/72


  • SSgt G. McCleery

    I did pick up on the “bed” vs rack statement and you didn’t mention the yellow foot prints, did you miss them?


  • SGT JAMES OTIS 1833

    IF YOU WHERE A AMGRUNT YOU HAD NO PROBLEM.


  • Joebob Ledbetter

    For a minute there, I thought I must have been sleep writing some night and submitted this story, it follows me almost verbatim. As for the Hollywood Marines, I had two brothers that were Hollywood Marines and I went to PI, that gets fun at reunions. I figured out the “I’m better than you” pecking order at the ripe old age of 17 in Oki. Go into a bar, if you are a track rat and it’s a grunt bar, it is tracks against grunts; if you are grunts and tracks (all FMF) and it is an air wing bar, it’s fleet against air wing; army bar and you’re a jarhead, army against jarhead. It’s all fun because we were on the same side, God help you if it was Soviet bar (it happened in Naples, Soviet bubbleheads) and jarheads. That was a mess.


  • Nick 0311

    Gonna let you slide on the “Bed” reference, considering you are a left coast Marine.


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