DIEGO AND YENKIE: THE FUTURE OF DOD LAW ENFORCEMENT

Across the Department of Defense, military working dogs serve many purposes. K-9’s are utilized to subdue suspects, find specific items, and people. Most are only capable of one or two of these functions; Diego and Yenkie, residents of the Marine Corps Base Hawaii Provost Marshal’s Office kennels, are a bit different.

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Yellow Foot Prints -San Diego MCRD

I was in Boot Camp in August of 1953, and could not remember if there were yellow foot prints there at my arrival…others during the same area couldn’t remember if they were there either. I called MCRD and talked to a nice young lady in the Museum there. She confirmed that the first they could establish that the Yellow Foot Prints were there was in 1963, in fact JFK visited the base and stood in the foot prints. Also she told me that in 1953 the first recruit graduation books came out. Thought others would be interested …. guess we are now ready to report to the museum at 84 years old….

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I learned to fear amtracks (Not their firepower but getting stuck in the mud).

April 10,1965 we landed in Vietnam as a member of the 9th MEB, I was a rifleman with Fox 2/3 fast forward a few weeks our reinforced Company had just boarded amtracks for a river landing 15-20 minutes later the operator had been tossing us around underwater when he said were stuck in the mud at the bottom of this muddy river, I can’t remember how many of us for sure were stuck inside 15 or more but it was hot, sweaty, and scary! One of the other amtracks had finally pulled us out.

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Duck for dinner

I entered the Corps on February 3, 1970, Parris Island, Platoon 218, A few weeks into training, I was introduced to “duck for dinner.” At first I thought wow wonder how these cooks are going to F _ _k up this meal. No not the case at all, the term means, that because the training schedule was tight, the platoon would “rangewalk” through the chow line and what ever each recruit could grab and eat and drink on the way to the exit was what you had for that meal. Our Drill Instructors would herd everyone through the process. What ever happens you wouldn’t want to be the last recruit to make formation. The Drill Instructor would take a quick head count, call everyone to attention, RIGHT FACE, forward march. At this phase there were 82 recruits, the entire event took under 25 minutes. I tell people about “suck for dinner” many can’t believe stuff like this happened.

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Hard way to get to Boot Camp

Six of us flew from Kansas City in the Spring of 1962 on our way to S.D. MCRD. Our flight took us to Los Angeles and we had tickets in our package to catch a bus from there to San Diego. However, we got on the wrong bus and ended up at the Greyhound bus station in downtown L.A. We didn’t know what to do so I looked up the Marine Corps in the phone book and called the number. I explained our problem to the guy who answered and he said he would send someone to give us a ride to MCRD. What they sent was a Navy Shore Patrol paddy wagon! The the Navy cops shoved us in there and drove us to the receiving barracks. The optics were terrible. The D.I.s must have assumed we had gone AWOL and were captured and brought there. It was a very bad start.

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Regarding the “Really Old Corps”

Just read the article about the “Really Old Corps”. Made me smile with a strong inner sense of pride for having been in THAT Marine Corps, 1952-1955. I was not issued a Sam Browne Belt or Dress Blues but everything else in the article I remembered. I distinctly remember being one of about 6-7 men in my company in Korea still wearing boondockers and leggins in 1953. I had a Green Battle Jacket and wore it on R&R in Japan where I stood out like a sore thumb. Good memories all. Thanks .

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Starting out from -zero

When I joined the Corps in July of ’57 we were flown from Portland,Or. We landed at Los Angeles and one of the guys asked the stewardess if we could get off the plane and stretch out legs. The nice lady said sure; long story made short the plane took off without us, we had to catch a later flight and when we got to San Diego we were already in deep ****. Helluva way to start out!

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