The date was Feb 67. I was on my way back after a 30 day free leave for extending 6 months. Flew in to DaNang with a E-7 sitting next to me asking a billion questions. Now at that time transit was in hardbacks near the airfield, no Hilton yet. It is night and I am BSing with a team from 26 Marines. They there for rabies shots. All the sudden we hear a “freight trains” going over our heads. Then loud explosions on other side of airfield. Well this same E-7 runs in yelling about getting into the trenches. So being good Marines we get up go out and proceed to watch the FNG’s jump into a trench 1/2 full of water and mudd. We did not say a thing, just walked back to the hootch a went to sleep. Funny, never saw that Gunny agian. Semper Fi
Remember in boot camp the scrub brush and the soapy water and the tables we scrubbed our clothes on. Some guys did this in Camp Geiger too! I went home after Camp Geiger on a bus from North Carolina with my sea bag and dirty laundry.
My mom went apesh-t when I emptied my sea bag on the Persian Living room carpet! She made me take it to the Chinese Laundry around the corner. Major cities had these Chinese hand laundry’s – that did predominately linens – table clothes – and shirts. The old Chinese gentleman spoke little English and gave you a receipt with Chinese characters on it for a stub. He weighed the sea bag – and bowed to me. Two days later I went to pick it up – and my mom paid back then like $20.00 (which was very expensive for those days – when a regular laundry would cost less than $5.00.) The Chinese guy went berserk yelling and screaming and pointing at me – the guy’s wife came out of the back to quiet him down – and calmly explained to me that my skivvies and utilities were so dirty I clogged the pipes when they cleaned the dirty clothes. My utilities were now sparkling – and my skivvies were bright white – rough socks were smooth to my skin. A rare treat for a Marine after boot camp.
MARINE OF THE WEEK // FIRST BLACK MARINE GENERAL & PILOT:
Lt. Gen. Petersen Jr., the #MarineCorps‘ first black general and pilot, fought through racism to complete his flight training and a storied 38-year military career. He served in combat in Korea and Vietnam, completing more than 350 missions and 4,000 flying hours. During his deployment to Vietnam, his F-4 Phantom was shot down over the demitilitarized zone, sustaining injuries for which he received a Purple Heart. Among many awards, he also received a Distinguished Flying Cross. Petersen Jr. recently passed away at age of 83. (U.S. Marine Corps photos)
U.S. Marine firefighters arrived on scene to support firefighting efforts for the Slink Fire near Coleville, California, September 4.
The Marines, Crash Fire Rescue personnel with Marine Wing Support Squadron 373, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force, joined the interagency firefighting force that has been battling the Slink Fire since it started August 29.
I was in Boot Camp at Parris Island in 1955 we started out in the wooden barracks 1st bat. The Sr DI came in and said we were moving the 3rd Bat we moved in Quonset huts then we went to the rifle range we had the M1s while we were at the range one of our JR DIs cured me of smoking we were in Quonset huts after lights out like I said one of our JR DIs caught a guy smoking and the DI his name was Sgt Hatchel he told us to get out scrub buckets he marched us to the head and told us to light up I told him sir I don’t smoke and he told me tough sh,t one of the guys gave me a cig. And we had to put the bucket over our heads and smoke the cig. And cured me from smoking.
I caught the Bob Hope Show in Da Nang 1967.
THE FIRST WORDS THAT YOU WILL HEAR FROM YOUR SENIOR DRILL INSTRUCTOR
My name is (Rank/Name). I am your Senior Drill Instructor. I am assisted in my duties by: (Rank/Name) and (Rank/Name). Our mission is to train each one of you to become a United States Marine.
MARINE OF THE WEEK:
SHOT IN NECK, KEEPS FIGHTING
Lance Cpl. Cody Goebel
3rd Battalion, 5th Marines
Sangin, Afghanistan, Nov. 22, 2010
Award: Silver Star
While in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, Lance Cpl. Goebel was manning a security position in the southern Green Zone of Sangin District when he was struck in the neck by enemy small arms fire. Knocked to the ground and severely wounded at his post, he quickly picked himself up, remounted his machine gun, and engaged the enemy’s firing position with full knowledge that his position was critical to his squad’s defense. For seven minutes, he ignored his life threatening wounds and delivered devastating machine gun fire on the enemy’s position, all while refusing medical attention until he was properly relieved. Finally, but only after a fellow squad member had manned his machine gun, Goebel moved 25 meters under his own power and under heavy fire across the observation post’s roof and down a 20-foot ladder to the casualty collection point. Upon reaching the ground, he collapsed due to the loss of blood and had to be carried to a helicopter landing zone for subsequent medical evacuation. His courage, heroism, and dedication to duty after sustaining a life threatening injury resulted in the successful blocking of an enemy attack and six enemy fighters killed. (U.S. Marines photos by Sgt. Timothy Lenzo)
I don’t like to swim in the ocean. Sand gets in places it was never meant to be. That may be ironic since I wound up in the Marines. I had never been on any water craft bigger than a 15-foot fishing boat when I joined the Corps in 1958, so I had never experienced sailing on the deep blue. By the time I shipped over to Okinawa I had only flown commercial a couple times on Bonanza Airlines between San Diego and Phoenix – the first time on a DC-3, the second on a small turbo-prop. I hadn’t experienced air sickness either time so I was unprepared for what was ahead.
Bound and Determined
It was in the late summer or early fall of 1963, when at the age of 17, I got my parents to sign the consent form needed to enlist in the Marine Corps. With the consent form and pocket full of promises from the local recruiter I went down to Whitehall Street in lower Manhattan, NY to join up.
During my physical exam the Army doctor, who looked like he was about 80 years old, mixed up my paper work with the poor guy standing next to me. This guy had rheumatic fever as a child and should have been classified 4-F.Unfortunately he got my 1-A classification and I got the 4-F classification.
I was not a happy camper! To let everyone know they made a big mistake I shouted, cursed and threatened everyone around me until I was given the “bum’s rush” and escorted out the door.
Not willing to give up my quest to join the Marine Corps, I waited about two months and went to a different recruiter and started the process all over again. Remember this was the pre-computer days and you could get away with it.
On the day of my physical exam I had a different doctor. I passed the exam without a problem. As I was mentally congratulating myself I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around and was stating at a chest full of ribbons. I’m 6”1” but I had to look up about six inches to see a face that belonged to a very large MP. Behind him was an even larger MP. I was informed that I was about to be arrested for fraudulent enlistment. Of course I denied I was ever there before and tried to convince them they were mistaking me for someone else. One of the MP’s laughed and said that I made such a big stink he actually put a photo of me on his wall in the MP office.
After some desperate negotiations on my part the OIC at Whitehall Street told me to come back at 7:30 AM the next morning with an overnight bag. He told me I was going to be shipped over to Governor’s Island for a series of exams to see if I would pass a more stringent physical exam.
The next morning I boarded a ferry boat to Governor’s Island. There were twelve passengers going for physicals. Eleven of them were trying to get out of the Army and I was trying to get into the Marine Corps. I never regretted getting on that ferry boat.
Fast forward from that point on….I went to Parris Island in the first week of January 1964….made PFC out of Boot Camp…..and was attached to the one of the first combat units into Vietnam- 1st Battalion 3rd Marines in 1965.