Another tribute to 1STSGT Tandy Wells

I got to Paris Island the same weekend as Woodstock. I don't remember the date, but as it happens it was late at night. Anyone who was lucky enough to get to Paris Island knows the rest of the story. However, this is about then Sgt. Tandy Wells. He was a junior Drill Instructor Platoon 1038. I was 20 years old when I went there in 1969 and I bet the then Sgt. Wells was about the same age. He was pretty short for a Marine I thought, about 5'-6" at the most, young enough looking to be perceived as baby-faced, I was 5-3 or so, shortest recruit in the platoon. A size  6 1/2 or 7 set of boots was not to be had for me at the time, and as it turned out, never. So I did everything with what was available. Well, we know what large ill-fitting boots can do to a pair of feet! It was hard to do anything with bad feet and of course that gets the wrong type of attention from the Drills. When I explained to Sgt. Wells what the problem was, he gave me even more hell for not letting them know. Then he went to the Drill Instructors office and came out with a set of the  shiniest  boots I had ever seen. He told me to see if they fit, they did, and fit great. He said,"they're yours", and that may have been followed by some derogetory expletives as only a Marine Drill Instructor could spout  out.   His next words were  "I expect you to be the best G_ _ D_ _ _ recruit here now. Those are my best boots". I took home the "Blues". Of course I was grateful but didn't have a full grasp of what I was experiencing. I didn't need any special treatment, tutoring or favor to earn the honor of being the best recruit in my platoon, I simply needed the right "tools" of the trade. Sgt Wells made sure I had the right "tools" and the right training to become a Marine. I am certain I am not the only "lower than plant life scum " that he went that extra step for. I know some will enjoy this and some not, but I hope his family gets to see it, every word true to fact. Whenever I think of "Courage, Honor and Commitment" I think of Tandy Wells. Thanks again, Semper Fi

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