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Home For Christmas

21 Dec 1965, I had just finished my specialist training at Schools Bn, Camp Del Mar, Camp Pendleton, Calif., and was given 25 days leave before reporting to 2nd AmTracBn, Camp Lejeune, N.C. I caught a ride with a classmate up to the Los Angeles area where we stayed the night with his Grandmother, then we’re given a ride to LAX to get a flight home for Christmas.

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Christmas Dinner 1966

No presents, no Santa Claus, just rain and more rain. Christmas day December 25, 1966. Convoyed from Dong Ho to a site that later became Camp Evan. Spent the afternoon digging in and laying our howitzers. Instead of Santa, we got mortared and the grunts, a ground attack. Then the rains came. Wet powder, swollen ammo boxes and fiber containers. The call for illumination coming from every direction. Then a night move that put us in a river bed. During the night The dry river bed became a river. Morning found my section on an island. Some positions were flooded. Unfortunately the Howtar (mortars mounted on pack howitzer chassis) had been located below us, but no one knew that an earthen dam was there and since water seeks its own level, the battery was completely submerged.

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Marine Joke

A Marine is traveling home on Christmas leave in his blues and the airline puts him in first class when he checks in.

He boards the plane and sits down next to a Catholic Priest – also traveling in first class.

The stewardess comes over immediately and offers the young Marine a drink. The young Marine asks “ma’am, may I have a glass of scotch… Read More?” The flight attendant replies with a smile “absolutely, sir.”

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THREE MARINES WITH SPMAGTF-CR-CC EARN PURPLE HEARTS

Cpl. Tyler A. Frazier, a mortar Marine with 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, who recently returned to Twentynine Palms following a deployment with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command, was awarded the Purple Heart Medal by Lt. Col. Steven M. Ford on November 7, 2018.

All three Marines received the Purple Heart for wounds sustained in Syria, while attached to Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command, operating in support of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve in Syria, during the month of October. Each Marine has since fully recovered and returned to full duty status. Cpl. Rousseau and Cpl. Hendrickson both returned to Syria to rejoin their units. Cpl Frazier redeployed back to the United States with 3d Battalion, 7th Marines.

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MARINE OF THE WEEK // “When you inflict that number of casualties on the enemy and none of us were killed, that’s a pretty successful fight”

#MARINE OF THE WEEK // “When you inflict that number of casualties on the enemy and none of us were killed, that’s a pretty successful fight”

Gunnery Sgt Brian Blonder
Force Reconnaissance Platoon, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines
Shewan, Afghanistan
August 8, 2008
Award: Navy Cross

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THE FIGHT FOR TARAWA: 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF ONE OF THE BLOODIEST BATTLES IN THE PACIFIC THEATER OF WWII

It was photographs and video scenes of American casualties lining the beach that would stun the American people in the aftermath of the Battle of Tarawa. Imagery of significant casualties floating in the surf disturbed the public, setting into motion public protest and angry letters from families mourning loved ones lost in battle.

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“THE PRESIDENT’S OWN” REMEMBERS GEORGE H. W. BUSH

As the nation mourns the passing of one its finest patriots, current and former members of the Marine Band remember President George H. W. Bush as a man whose love of music and uncommon graciousness elevated the unique relationship between the Chief Executive and “The President’s Own.”

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Funny How You Never Forget

Early 1967, I arrived at the An Hoa Combat Base from FLC (Fork Lift Command) at Red Beach, attached to the LSU (Logistic Support Unit). One of the first nights there, I attended the outdoor movies that were famous, or infamous, for showing war movies especially from the TV series “Combat”. There I sat watching the make-believe combat scenes on the movie screen while just a few hundred yards outside the perimeter real-life fire fights were taking place. We’d watch as our tracers crisscrossed with theirs. Strangest thing, the grunts sitting on the ground watching the war movies would break out in cheers when our tracers (I think) would engage the bad guys.

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Uncontrolled Hysteria

When my buddies back in the United States were studying for their mid-terms, I was walking point for the first platoon of Bravo Company in the tropical jungles of Vietnam. Unlike the many occasions students are afforded leisure time – it was a rare day in Vietnam when we were given time off to relax and have fun. Therefore it was a marvelous treat when, one day, we were given the opportunity to spend a couple of hours swimming in a muddy river. We placed guards on either side of the river for security and the rest of us went swimming in our birthday suits.

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When The Old DI Emerged

As a life-long believer in personal responsibility, decided that even as a field grade officer that if I was going to get kilt in a MVA (Motor Vehicle Accident), it was going to be because of something I did (or failed to do?) and not the fault of a Lance Corporal who was still using zit cream as after-shave. In other words, if I was in a Marine Corps vehicle, tactical or non-tactical, the Major was going to be driving. This occasionally caused some consternation among my brother officers, who would have questions like “how do you get the vehicle washed (or fueled, or ???)”… you know, that is sort of manual labor, which in garrison, is somehow deemed not fitting for officers… and somehow, the critics never quite made the connection between the fact that they had driven themselves into work that day… probably in a car that they had hand-waxed in the driveway of their quarters the preceding weekend… at any rate, at the Stumps in the mid-70’s, duty occasionally called somewhere off base, which meant a vehicle from the Commercial Motor Pool (10th Street, still there last time I flew Google Earth over the base)… The C-Pool had quite a mixture of civilian vehicles (including the CG’s sedan)… pickups, flat bed cargo trucks, cattle cars, MP vehicles (Plymouth Belvederes… four-door sedans, with a 318 Mopar)… and for some odd reason, exactly one Ford… a two-door small sedan, Marine Corps green on bottom, white on top… can’t say for sure but it was either a Pinto or a Maverick… and usually available, as it was just not cool for trips off base, when you could reserve a sedan, sit in the back and look important while PFC Johnny 35XX drove. It was my first choice every time, for trips to Pendleton, LA, the San Bernardino County prison (to deliver pothead/dopers BCD papers… always timed to be there at lunch in the guards’ mess… prison guards eat well… very well… and they like Marines… “what would you like, sir? T-bone be OK?, how would you like that? etc.”)… and the reason for the Pinto/Maverick? It’s a long way from the Stumps to anywhere… and this was the ONLY vehicle in the C-Pool that had a radio… AM only, to be sure, but a radio nonetheless. At the time, the radio was a ‘delete option’ meaning that if the buyer didn’t specify “no radio”… the car came with one.

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