WAS IT WORTH IT?

As we approach our country’s 244th birthday and I approach my 80th, it has been over 62 years since I signed away 4 years of my life and took an oath to protect and defend America and the U.S. Constitution. I was proud of that oath then, passionate about it today. Now, as I watch what is occurring on the streets across the nation, I am compelled to ask myself – “Was it worth it? Do these people deserve what we have preserved for them?”
Was freedom of religion, speech, assembly and a free press worth it? I see churches being vandalized. I see powerful corporations, politicians and individuals cowering before those who threaten their livelihoods dare they speak in opposition. I see universities aid and abet the silencing of speakers whose views don’t concur with those of a student body still too young, inexperienced and ignorant to see what they risk losing. I see a vast news media that has largely lost its integrity, the art of great journalism lost in the muck of partisanship.
Was it worth it to protect the right to the opportunity to own a home or business, or to an education? I see law enforcement having their hands tied by elected officials, forced to stand by as private businesses are looted and burned, innocent citizens threatened, all while they are subjected to be spat upon, hit by rocks or bricks, their vehicles burned, all to appease a rabble that will not be appeased, does not intend to be appeased, that Intends to destroy what we sacrificed to give them.
Was it worth it? I know that without our sacrifice – that of my Marine Corps, all the other services, cops, firefighters, our intelligence services and federal agents – those who now threaten to tear down what we have preserved would be facing a harsh justice unencumbered by the restraints of our Constitution.
Was it worth it? When I see mothers in crime ridden minority neighborhoods crying over the bodies of toddlers, or teenage sons and daughters slaughtered in their streets. I cringe for them as their kids get processed through schools to face a technological world as illiterates; opportunity denied them by long embedded corruption in the system.
But I have lived free for a third of the time our country has existed and we have survived crises multiple times. This one is different. Those who would do us harm believe that their moment has arrived, that our form of government can be taken down. But I have grandchildren and great-grandchildren that still have a chance to live as free as I have as long as there are still men and women who take that oath. We have taken them this far. I believe they will ensure we survive again. I believe that my children’s children will know the blessings of true freedom. So, yes, it was worth it.

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Sgt E5, `1959 -1968

I understand the meaning of being a mechanic on the F18. When the program first started on the F18 at Northrop I was selected as one of the managers to review areas of the F18. Was reassigned to other departments as a department managers, but eventually in 1992 was assigned to the F18 A/B/C/D line as manager as ME support manager. What a transition from other assignments over the years back to the F18 program. Yes, you can be proud of what and how we made this excellent fighter become and the military members (Marines) who proudly maintained, flew and continue to keep it in the air. I am proud to have worked on the F18. To all Marines that worked on this fighter, Semper Fi. Be proud, you did a great job and those that came after, keep them FLYING.

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Stars & Stripes Article 1969

(Article from Stars & Stripes 1969)

MARINE RIFLE CO MIXES IT UP WITH REDS
By Sgt. Bill Dahl

DA NANG, Vietnam (Special) – Headquartered at Red Beach, eight miles north of Da Nang, the Force Logistic Command (FLC) provides supply and maintenance support for Marine air and ground units throughout Vietnam’s northern I Corps area. Providing the main security for the sprawling headquarters complex at Camp Jay K. Books is the job of the Provisional Rifle Co. The company is composed of volunteers from units within FLC. The Marines who volunteer for the four-to-six month stint may be an office clerk or a forklift operator, but regardless of their jobs, these Leathernecks live up to the old adage that all Marines are basically riflemen. Men of the Provisional Rifle Co. conduct patrols and set up ambush sites. Often accompanying the Marines are Vietnamese scouts and Rangers. The “Kit Carson” scouts are former Viet Cong who have rallied to the government. Both the scouts and the Rangers have extensive knowledge of Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army tactics and have proven invaluable in aiding FLC Marines on patrol. The many villages surrounding the FLC compound pose special prolems for base security. Communists try to infiltrate these villages, posing as civilians. Marines and their South Vietnamese counterparts check identification cards of villagers who do not have the proper identification.

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Boot Camp 71-72 MCRD PI

Two days after Christmas 1971 I went to Paris Island to follow my brother and uncle. I was in 1Bn Plt 101. One of the funniest times was a few weeks before Graduation, nothing could bothers us the, our SDI S/SGT Haskell liked getting in your face telling the recruit to get in it. This meant to lean over into his fingers so he could squeeze your breathing tube. Like I said a few weeks before graduation he would that to a recruit and the platoon would all lean forward to see who was getting the breathing treatment.

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Look for proof of service.

I need some help
I was in the USMC from August of 62 to July of 65. I went to Okinawa with 1/9 and from there I went on the LPH Iwo Jima. My records show I was on the Iwo Jima and during the time I was on the Iwo Jima , the Iwo Jima was in Vietnam. I was also on the Iwo Jima when President Kennedy was assassinated. This was right at the beginning of the war. Problem is the VA says they don’t show me as having been in Vietnam. I do remember in the 80’s I received a letter from our commanding officer then Lt. Col Kenneth McLennan stating he had gotten our records to show we were in Vietnam. I just would like to know if anyone can help me prove to the VA that I am a Vietnam Vet. My email is drudroff@gmail.com and phone is 713 540 2544. If anyone can help me, I am willing to pay for the time.
Cpl Daniel J. Rudroff

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Jarhead

I’ll never forget when we finished boot camp at Parris Island in 1966. Our drill instructor called 3 of us over to tell us we were going to radio school. After he told us where we were going he said, and I quote: “I just want you boys to know that once the shootin starts the average life of a radio operator is 30 seconds.” That was not something we wanted to know. Thanks be to God I lived much longer.

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Dark Glasses and Suntan Oil

We arrived at the San Diego airport at 2AM, three days late, leaving Houston after a hurricane. Everyone was herded off onto “cattle cars”. While standing on the “yellow foot prints”, a couple of guys in the back row were whimpering like someone who had just got a spanking from an angry Mother. When questioned by the DI, using a lot of colorful descriptives, “What do you mean you’re not supposed to be here?” one of them said, “We joined the Navy!” Naturally, we all were “invited” to do 50 push-ups for laughing. Our next experience was a not-so-professional haircut by the DIs, because there were no barbers there that early. The only thing I can say different about being a “Hollywood Marine,” is that we didn’t have “sand fleas”. MSgt (Ret)

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