I saw an AK-47 while in Vietnam and it had a 30 round magazine. So I cut the top and bottom off of a couple of M-14 Magazines and welded them together and made a “40” Round magazine for my M-14. It really didn’t work very well when test firing it, several of the last rounds would not chamber with only two springs. So I put “three” springs into the magazine, but then I could only load a little over 30 rounds. There just wasn’t enough room for three springs and 40 Full Metal Jacket rounds in that magazine. I sure received some strange looks while walking around with my 40 round magazine.
Skin color does not determine the level of professionalism of a Marine; so why are visible tattoos judged so poorly? The answer lies within he or she who casts such judgement. It is all based on personal bias. Those who posses such negativity towards tattoos, who at some point – rise to a level of power, begin to implement policy against body art. Of course there was never anything wrong with the original tattoo policy that was in place at the time…the wheel just had to be reinvented I guess.
L to R, Holland, Meadows (RIP), Adcock and Kennedy singing “Folsom Prison Blues” on board LPH8, USS Valley Forge (RIP), Jan. ’68. Holland had received that scotch in the mail and we were feeling pretty darn good. Kennedy and I just spent a week touring Civil War battlefields in VA, MD and PA. As Zell Miller, former Georgia governor and senator, said: “Everything I needed to know I learned in the Marine Corps!”
MARINE OF THE WEEK // “I saw my sergeant laying down and I said, ‘Not today.’”
Cpl. Moses Cardenas
H&HS, 1st LAR, RCT-2, II Marine Expeditionary Force
Iraq, August 2, 2007
Award: Silver Star
While conducting a combat patrol, Lance Corporal Cardenas’ platoon was attacked by heavy automatic fire, a suicide bomber, and rocket propelled grenades after stopping two suspicious trucks. During the initial stage of the fight, a Marine fell wounded in the open between the opposing forces. Realizing that the bulk of friendly weapons were masked, Lance Corporal Cardenas left his safe position behind a vehicle and fought his way across 50 meters of fire-swept, open desert against five armed insurgents to rescue the fallen Marine. After sustaining a gunshot wound to the neck that knocked him to the ground, Lance Corporal Cardenas tenaciously rose to his feet, calmly reloaded his squad automatic weapon, and continued his assault until he reached the wounded Marine. With rounds impacting around him, Lance Corporal Cardenas alternated between pulling the wounded Marine and shooting bursts of controlled automatic fire at the enemy. After pulling the wounded Marine 100 meters, he continued suppressive fire while rendering first aid until medical personnel arrived to tend to the wounds of both Marines. Throughout this close and fierce fight, he ignored his own severe wounds, remained fixed on his task, and saved the life of a fellow Marine. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, Lance Corporal Cardenas reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
During my Tour in Vietnam there were many things that we modified to help us with our missions. I wish I could remember this Marines name, he was with Alpha Company 1st Recon. Top Barker ran “A” Co. and the sign painted was one of his works of Art. 1st Recon’s motto was “Swift, Silent, Deadly”, Top Barker added Surrounded to the motto as you can see.
Stay the course
Hold until relieved
Hold the line
It’s June Sixth 77 years ago
I was there as a little boy 57 years ago I cannot forget
My father a Swiss wanted Us to see this
SAME TERRIBLE WEATHER
YES SOME PEOPLE FORGET AWFULLY QUICK
THAT DAY June 6th 1944
Still is and will be a day that History shall not forget
My Tour of Duty in part … Up to Sandbox getting shot out of the bush.
December 1967—Reconnaissance Duty 3rd Marine Division, 3rd Recon Bn. —1968.
My transformation from stateside FMF Corpsman to field ready Recon Corpsman was about to get its finishing touches.
On any Vietnam era war Map, locate Da Nang, just below the 17th parallel line, half way up the map schematic. That was my first ‘In-Country’ experience, flying into and waiting for transportation to a processing center.
14 December ’67 – “My first Cartoon effort is shown, as I apply Uncle Sam’s postage to my letter from Okinawa, Japan! Darling, today is a wet one. I am barracks bound for the total morning—not much doing. No liberty off base, so the Base Exchange, movie house and club are open to me, while waiting to be packaged up and flown to Da Nang.”
“Yes, I’m still in Okinawa and probably will be for the rest of this week. Incidentally, I am writing this letter Monday, it would be delivered in the states, which is a day later or Tuesday over here! I am scouting around the exchange for some good buys for when I return here, next year, I can make some purchases then. Please send me a cost list of items that I write in this letter. 357 magnum pistol, a 45 caliber pistol, China dishes, and crystal, price them. I will try to pick some of these items up, as well as, everyday dishes, while I’m here.” (Peanuts cartoon come to mind as I practice drawing some cartoon character.)
“Well, the whole lot of us have gotten our shots, and clothing issues. Now we are waiting to be notified of further orders—maybe three or four more days yet. Friday, December 15, 1967, I was given a loading number 90, with which I get on the plane and go “south” to (RVN). I am sending this money order from this month’s check.”
“Hm3 Smith and I have become pretty tight, while we wandered about the base. He drew an earlier flight out for ‘Nam. I will be going later, at 1800 hrs this afternoon. By Sunday, I should have an address for you sometime after my arrival and assignment. So, in the meantime ….”
The plane made some maneuvers over the sea as it made its landing pass over the airstrip. At this point, I was wondering, ‘so, when do we get issued flack jackets, helmets, and rifles?’ As the plane taxied near the terminal, I was still asking myself this question.
About the recent event that took the the lives of Marines and Corpsman aboard the amtrac that sunk. I didn’t know who to write to with my idea so I decided to post it on Sgt. Grit because many people read the stories. I’ll make this short and sweet. I was assigned to 3rd Amtracs in Nam. I remember being on many river patrols. Anyway I also remember launching off LSTs and LSDs. The crewchief always, always made sure that a crewman was down below with the troops on board to make damn sure no one touched the escape hatches and there was always a new guy that thought about it. I know nothing about the new tracs, nothing about the training the Corps gives new amtrac crews or the grunts etc. who may have to ride inside the cargo hatch. If I was the Commandant, I would sink an Amtrac somewhere, pool, surf, etc etc and train everyone on how best to escape one of them. I’m sure there is one somewhere that is deadlined that the Corps could use for such a purpose.
In March of 2012 I submitted a story about my foolish act at MCRDPI rifle range back in 1958, which appeared in Sgt Grit newsletter of April 5, 2012. Surprisingly, another member of my boot camp Platoon 281 happened to see it and requested my contact info. After receiving notice from Sgt Grit I promptly and eagerly replied and days later I received an email from that Parris Island “boot camp buddy” Richard “Rich” Robbins on the west coast. We both thought it a little amazing, that after 56 years, we once youthful, 17 year old Marine recruits, now 73 and 74 year old senior (Marine) citizens, were suddenly re-connected by an electronic device called email. Needless to say, this mutually unexpected reunion has been enjoyable for both of us, engaging in nostalgic boot camp recollections and typical USMC scuttlebutt. Comparing notes we find our civilian lives and interests have many similarities, plus we both still adhere to certain Marine Corps habits, such as grabbing our shirt-sides, pulling them tightly-in backward then stuffing them into the backside of our trousers and also, aligning the edges of our shirt-front, belt buckle and zipper flap of our trousers. And don’t even think of stepping on our shined (for the most part) shoes.
Staff Sgt. Nathan Hervey
Scout sniper section leader, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines
Helmand Province, Afghanistan
May 21, 2011
Award: Bronze Star w/ Combat “V”
After establishing an overwatch position in support of an interdiction of enemy forces in the area, then-Sergeant Hervey directed his Marines to engage with precision and machine gun fires as insurgents attempted to occupy a position to ambush a Marine squad. As the engagement continued, the enemy reinforced with heavy machine guns, recoilless rifles and rocket propelled grenades. Seeing the adjacent Marines’ situation deteriorating, Sergeant Hervey began moving his snipers north, personally sweeping for explosive devices, and attempting to establish an attack by fire position as Marine reinforcements arrived. As he continued to move, enemy forces began engaging with automatic grenade launcher fire while he discovered an explosive device in his path. With the insurgents now in platoon strength, the sniper section began prosecuting multiple targets despite intense enemy fire in order to protect an isolated and exposed adjacent unit that had struck an improvised explosive device. As the enemy began reinforcing, Sergeant Hervey coordinated with his company headquarters to provide the critical guidance for multiple aerial and indirect fire strikes that destroyed the enemy’s heavy weapons and forced the insurgents’ withdrawal.