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We Heard The Tupe, Tupe

Right after Dewey Canyon we received a new platoon commander, Lt. R. We were his first command and I’m sure he wanted to do everything right. I’m almost positive it was operation Apache Snow, of course the Lt. was the last one on the chopper to lead us off. This was only my second operation but after life in the Valley it seemed I had been in Vietnam forever! Our new Lt. with map and compass in hand stood by the ramp ready to lead us into combat. Thank God it was a cold LZ, we touched down and he walked off the chopper? Still looking at his map and compass, a lowly private ran past him and the others followed to set up our section of the perimeter. That lowly private just happened to be me, little did I know I was about to receive a royal a$$ chewing. After all was secure I was singled out and told in no uncertain terms never to run past my commanding officer(putting it lightly). Later on that day our new Lt. called a break, our 10 minutes was almost up when in the distance we heard the tupe, tupe of incoming mortars. Needless to say we all did the Marine Corps disappearing act. I looked up from my small depression in mother earth only to see the new Lt. still looking at his map and compass oblivious of what was about to happen. Thankfully the mortars fell short of the target and all of us were spared. I’m not sure whether he got a heads up from our NCOs or he just figured it out all by himself but later that evening I received a visitor with an apology, it was our new Lt. He turned out to be one of the best officers I ever served under. Wishing you well Lt. R and hope life has treated you well! Semper Fi
W. Whitley, Corporal of Marines!

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His Eyes Lit Up

I came to the States from Ireland in the Jan.64 and joined the Marines in July and went to Parris Island PLT 267.I served in Nam from Dec 65 to Sept.66. After I received my second Purple Heart I spent a week in Da Nang Hosp. then 3 days in the Philippines and 3 days in Japan but ended up in Portsmouth Naval Hosp, as I had a sister in Norfolk. After awhile they assigned me to the security section to check on the officers rooms to see if they needed anything and empty their trash cans etc.I wore civilian clothes and after about 3 days an elderly gentleman in the end room asked me if I was a civilian but when I said “No sir I’m a Marine” his eyes lit up and said “I’m a Marine myself” and got real excited. He said he retired a 4 star Gen.and was asst.Comandant. His name was Gen.Christian Schilt and said he received The Medal of Honor in Nicaragua in 1928.

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Thousand Oaks

I hesitate to tell this story because of the serious content,unlike most of the stories told here.Sometimes there are events that happen and it’s hard to understand why.I often say when ask why I just say “Why ask why” This one is different to me. Was it a coincidence that a group of Veterans were at that bar? Some of these Vets belong to a group called “The RED,WHITE,and BLUE TEAM” their purpose is to help troubled vets (PTSD etc..) One of the team leaders,a Former Marine,was one of the ones killed.Two other Vets were injured One was another Former Marine that was a survivor of the Vegas shooting.The one Marine killed was a former member of 2nd Combat Engrs 2nd Marine Division and war vet. I do not believe this was a coincidence.(Only my Opinion) The shooter ,ex-marine, Yes you read it right “ex-marine”, had claimed to others that he had PTSD but there is no record of him being enrolled in the VA Health System or seeking help from any one else .Did he have any previous contact with any of the Vets at the bar? Maybe.Now just today I read that another Marine is being accused of killing his wife,also a Marine but,does not remember doing it because he was drunk and “blacked out”and has “Anger Issues”They were both still on active duty and stationed at Quantico . This happened after “The Marine Corps Ball” Everyone cannot be helped! Some will say “I don’t have a problem” My way of thinking is that if you have to say it ” You have it!” 20+Vets take their lives each day.It is estimated that 14 out of those that do are not enrolled in the VA Healthcare System and have not sought help for one reason or another.There is no shame in asking for help.It could save a life or more.Maybe I’m preaching to the choir or just venting but,if you think you might have an issue or suspect that someone you know might, try to get help.We do not have control over everything and we can’t force someone to go,(Only if it is a known threat to themselves or someone else can you force it). How many of these types of crime were prevented because a person got help? There is no way of knowing, is there? “Big Bum Out”? Agree or Disagree Harry is” Bummed ”

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More than 150 U.S. service members arrived on the typhoon ravaged island of Tinian Oct. 29-31 in the wake of Super Typhoon Yutu, led by the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit Commander and Combat Logistics Battalion 31.

Taking shelter at the international airport, Marines with the 31st MEU arrived to support Defense Support of Civil Authorities efforts to aid local leadership and the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency. Before stepping off, the units’ leaders met with local officials and FEMA representatives to gauge storm damage and response approaches.

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Believed Everything I Heard

We had landing nets at 29 Palms. That’s right, landing nets right out there in the middle of the desert. They were at the enlisted swimming pool. The enlisted pool was huge and I remember hearing it said the pool was larger than Olympic size.

At the deep end it had a diving tower (at least that’s what we used it for) with platforms at 20, 30, and 40 feet in addition to the one meter and three meter spring boards on the side. Twenty feet was fun and you could almost do a belly flop from it with no damage. Thirty feet was where you had to start watching what you were doing and from forty feet, you could do some serious damage if you were not careful.

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Aug 1970: Got to Nam, immediately assigned to 1st Recon, two weeks recon training at Monkey Mountain, then assigned to a team.

On day one I could tell the jarheads were leery of this new, untested doc in their midst and were warily checking me out. On day two I walk into our hootch and my team leader is standing there with a couple minor cuts on his abdomen and a seriously deep cut on his forearm.

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