Thoughts during a few moments spent standing, staring at a vertical slate of black marble; only vaguely aware of the rain drenched figure standing, staring back; unable to move any closer; unwilling to turn away. All the names in chronological order, left to right, as need dictated. All needed on a given day clustered together. He was there, but it was so much easier not to look or find. Surrounded by the others, he remained silent. When identified, he would cry out. Raindrops fell and a gentle, cold wind chilled my finger as it traced a path down the dripping slate.
I enlisted in 1976 in the Marine Corps, went to boot camp at San Diego, went to admin school at Camp Pendleton. did a tour in Okinawa, and reported to MCDEC Quantico, Virginia in 1978. While there I was assigned to mess hall duty. One day, I received verbal instructions from either a gunnery sergeant or a master sergeant who was in charge of our kitchen detail. My response was a prompt “Yes,sir!”. The senior enlisted dutifully reminded me to not call him “sir”, that he worked for a living. I responded with a thought from my upbringing in Texas: “With all due respect, I was always taught to respect my elders.” There was nothing more said from the E-7/E-8.
Marine vet Jim Barber has compiled a collection of very funny stories about Marine Corps boot camp as told by those who were there. More than 90 very funny stories submitted by Marines, following the age-old tradition, who innocently left their secure, teenage life to blunder into the upside-down world created by the need to transform them from their soft civilian selves into the proud brotherhood they became. This book will be appreciated by all vets who went through some form of boot camp, as well as by civilians. But it will be most enjoyed by Marines who, wherever they congregate, find the conversation always goes back to who had the toughest D.I. While not always so funny at the time, we can now look back, laugh, and say “Yeah. That was me. A real shitbird.” GREAT BOOK FOR VETS. Ask for an excerpt.
Freedom Eagle clawing out of my shoulder.
16-Apr.-2019. Former Marine and Vietnam Veteran L/Cpl James Stogan received the Navy Cross for heroic action in Apr 1967 while serving with Charlie 1/9 as part of machine gun team. He was originally nominated for the Medal Of Honor but there were not enough of the required witness’s available. He is credited with the rescue of his gun team leader who was captured and dragged off by 4 NVA and using only a K-Bar to fight them off. There is a lot more to this story that can be found in the citation SEMPER FI !! Harry 1371
This story is about my Dad Ssgt Kenneth D. Havice ret. He spent 3 terms in Vietnam, receiving 4 Purple Hearts, I’m not for sure where he was but all I know him and the men under him was under heavy fire, one of his men got a non life threatening wound, his Lt. told him as soon as the fire calmed down they would get his wounded Marine to safety, my Dad said no sir, I will get my man now, so on the way back after getting his fellow Marine, my Dad was shot in his arm, not knowing because of his adrenaline, his Lt. said are you in alot of pain, my Dad replied no why? Lt. responded look at your arm, my Dad said he shrugged it off, because it wasn’t his first gun shot wound, Lt. then said I don’t know if your crazy or just brave as HELL, but when we get back I’m putting in the paperwork for a Congressional Medal of honor, well before they could get back the Lt. was K.I.A. so the paperwork never happened, but he did recieve his Purple Heart from a full bird colonel by the name Patton, and after some research he was the son of General George Patton