For Thanksgiving the cooks were able to obtain some frozen turkeys from the Army. The cooks put the turkeys on steel tables, the cooks then sat on the other tables. We gave them all the heavy scrub brush heads we could find. The cooks spent two nights throwing the scrub brushes at the rats to keep them fom getting the turkeys. Worked. We had a good Thaksgiving… Anyone who was on Okinawa at that time can tell you the size of the rats, like medium sized dogs… No cats on the rock, I guess the rats got them…
I was with 1stMarDiv Forward in Saudi when we were all told to clean our vehicles for a visit from President and Mrs. Bush, who were coming to have Thanksgiving Dinner with us. We cleaned our vehicle as best we could using brooms and a little bit of water.
Every Thanksgiving, I think about the Thanksgiving I spent in Vietnam. One of the few I spent away from my family during my life.
For some reason, this year made me think about the meal we had on Thanksgiving Day, 1970 at Force Logistics Command just north of Danang. So after the confusion of dinner yesterday, I pulled out my old boxes of Corps keepsakes and found the Thanksgiving Day Menu.
By Ken Zebal
In the early 1960s, 2nd Tank Bn had a well-established fire watch program at the tank park. Generally speaking, two lower-ranking Marines from the flames platoon and each gun company were posted at the tank park inside their respective tool sheds from about 1800 to 0600. I was a PFC at the time and was assigned fire watch for Charlie Company along with Pat Rogers. Pat and I went to boot camp at Parris Island together (Aug-Nov ’63) and then to ITR at Camp Geiger (Nov-Dec ’63) before reporting into Co “C”, 2TkBn (Dec ’63) and then going on boot leave. This was my first fire watch and may also have been Pat’s. We were nominated by our Platoon Sergeant, S/Sgt “Gunny” Jandrozits, and then hand-selected by the Company Gunny, GySgt Sam Fullerton whose sea bag read like a WWII war novel. After everyone else went on liberty call Pat and I were briefed by the Company Gunny, went to Mess Hall 207 across the street and were issued mid-rats. In those days it was a brown paper sack filled with a sandwich, hard-boiled egg, apple, container of milk and a napkin all lovingly prepared by one of the cooks.
Post from 4 years ago;
The Greatest Generation just keeps amazing…
I have an update for you and your readers about my Uncle Marvin, the WWII Pacific grunt. He celebrated his 90th birthday in June… his son and sister-in-law planned a surprise party for him. Had to make it 3 days after his actual birthday though, it was the first opening in his social calendar! He still works full time too… has to have “play money” for all that socializing!
The attached was sent to me on Facebook. I re-did it so it would look nice and I have it hanging in a frame. Don’t know who sent it, I’m sure something can be done with it. When I read it, it kinda struck a cord deep down.
I was in the Corps as a Reservist during the Viet Nam War. I was assigned to H&S Company, 4th MP Battalion, 4th Marine Division. I know there are no MP Battalions in the corps today, they’re Law Enforcement units.
Regarding November 10th: Sometime in mid to late November 1967 Hotel Company returned to base at Quang Tri. We were advised an MC birthday party/thanksgiving feast was in the offing, choppers arrived overhead and supplied us with vats ham, eggs, turkey, gravy, potatoes and fresh bread. Coffee and 3 cans Falstaff bear was made available for each Marine present. Armed forces radio was piped throughout the perimeter. Ms. Noel the dj for the Armed Forces radio could say “Hi, Love” like no other female on earth. Ms. Noel had a female voice to die for. In the aftermath of the birthday feast disaster struck. Marines were up-chucking and suffering a severe case of the s****! The scene became something of a full scale “Barf-A-Rama.” We wished we had never eaten the hot food or drank the coffee provided to us. And, the Falstaff beer was far less than top shelf. To top it off the beer was luke warm. The Marine Corp birthday during 1967 in Vietnam was a total disaster.
When I received orders to Okinawa (Camp Foster) in 85 I was married at the time and had my wife with me off base at Cherry Pt. N.C. I guess I was somewhat spoiled with having someone to come home to at the end of each work day, have a meal ready, and I took “clean clothes” for granted as my wife did our laundry. Once I got to Foster I tried doing my own laundry for a couple months but soon found out that with the long work days of being deployed it left me little time to keep a decent looking uniform for each day. Gunny would, and did tell you, that a lack of time was not an excuse to look like a “dirtbag”. I soon found out about MaMaSon and my days of TRYING to keep my laundry clean and uniforms pressed were over. For a small price (I believe at the time it cost me $10 a week) I could leave my dirty laundry hanging in a laundry bag on my rack in the morning and when I would come back to the barracks each day my VERY CLEAN AND PRESSED clothes would be waiting for me on my rack!! MaMaSon made life much easier for a bunch of kids 10,000 miles away from home and kept Gunny off our back. Best $40 a month I have EVER spent!
MARINE OF THE WEEK // WARRIOR DOG HANDLER
Sgt. William B. Soutra
Company B, First Marine Special Operations Battalion
Helmand Province, Afghanistan
July 11, 2010
Award: Navy Cross
While patrolling with Afghan commandos in Helmand Province, Sergeant Soutra’s unit became pinned down by a complex ambush initiated by an improvised explosive device that mortally wounded his Staff Sergeant element leader. Sergeant Soutra unhesitatingly took charge, and with complete disregard for his own life, moved across open terrain to each commando’s position, orienting their fires on the enemy. Under intense fire he fearlessly moved forward with the team Corpsman to reach the fallen element leader. While the Corpsman rendered aid to the element leader, Sergeant Soutra placed a tourniquet on a nearby severely-wounded commando and pulled him to safety. Repeatedly exposing himself to enemy fire, he again moved from position to position to orient and direct friendly fires, accurately relayed enemy information that enabled aircraft to provide suppression, and calmly coordinated a successful evacuation of the casualties – personally carrying one of the wounded 75 meters. Nearly 70 minutes after the ambush began, Sergeant Soutra rallied the platoon and maneuvered them safely out of the kill zone with his military working dog still at his side. By his decisive leadership, exceptional courage in the face of heavy enemy fire, and complete dedication to duty, Sergeant Soutra reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.
My dad’s second tour of Vietnam was from May 1968 until June 1969. He related a few stories about his time in country when he thought about them. One story had to do with celebrating Marine Corps Birthday in 1968. He told me his unit was out in the field and he was acting field first sergeant. He got a call on the radio letting him know that bad weather was expected later that week and that they might not be able to fly out hot meals and beer for the troops in the field to celebrate. He was told they could fly out the next day (not MC Bday) with the supplies. My dad says he replied that if they were to do that, then it would just be another beer party. He said mid day on November 10th the weather broke just enough and they heard the helos inbound loaded up with hot chow and beer for a proper celebration