So after going through boot camp at P.I., ITR at Camp Geiger and “A” school at Memphis, Tennessee, I went home for the first time at Thanksgiving. My Mother decided to have a big turkey dinner for all the Aunts and Uncles and cousins. So as we’re all sitting around the table passing the food around, people are talking and having a good old time. That is until I blurted out “Could someone pass me the f**king mashed potatoes”. All of a sudden it was dead quiet and everybody was staring at me. I just then realized what I had said. A little awkward. My father (an Army WWII vet) and my Uncle (a Navy Korean vet) were trying not to laugh out loud but my Mother and Aunts weren’t all that amused! After a long (at least it seemed long) silence, my cousin passed me the potatoes and I just went to work eating with my head down. My Mom never said another word about it!
Leave after boot camp, after leaving PI I went home on leave to visit the folks. Mom had cooked all my favourites. In attendance was my mom, dad(a Raider WWII Gunny, Last action was Iwo Jima. My baby sister and her best friend (my soon to be wife, though I did not know it at the time). Well we sat down to eat and after the blessing, I looked over at my mom and said, This is great mom, please pass the f**kin salt. Out of no where mom slaps me up side the head, an action that illicts the response from me of, what the f**k was that for? followed by another slap upside my head. I turn to dad who is rolling in his chair about to fall on the floor laughing and said, dad why the f**k is mom hitting me? followed by another slap. Now on the floor, barely able to catch his breath, dad replies, son it’s your booney talk. I turned three shades of red and turned to mom and said, shit mom, I’m so f**kin sorry. Mom stands up looks at dad and says, he’s your son alright. dinner was over. Years later we are having dinner with friends and my wife starts telling our friends about that night, I looked at her and said, how do you know about that? She then tells me she was the friend of my sister eating with us that night. I was awed, twenty years later and I did not know she was the friend staying with my sister that night until then.
I was at P I in the summer & early fall of ’56 too; was in 3 1/2 active years & was a Sgt. E4 when realeased from active duty. Am now 82 and the Corps experience is the foundationof my adult life! When I visited the “Island”in in 1997 I was surprised to learn how different it was. I was told DIs could not touch recruits, supposedly were not supposed to swear at them either & the old 3rd Battalion quonset huts were gone! No matter the changes /improvements of boot camp, I know some Marines who were at the “Island” in the ’90s and early 2000s. They are just as good as we were, perhaps even better because they use much more advanced weapons sytems than we did. One thing that does surprise me is that so many entries on Face Book center on boot camp with little commentary about exeriences in the “real Corps” away from tranining commands.
Semper Fi brothers and sisters, LDD Sgt. USMC 1555451
Finally! On leave at home after ITR in 1967. Brand new PFC. Welcome home dinner with everyone there, said Grace, digging in to Moms wonderful chow that I’ve missed so much. I asked for someone to pass the salt in between forkfuls when suddenly all movement seized and no sound was made, utter quiet. I instantly realized what happened. My request for the salt included that four letter word which had become part of my regular vocabulary. My sincere apologies were accepted with a lot of laughter, smiles and a couple of frowns. That “slip of the tongue “ at 17 taught me a lesson I’ve practiced ever since. There’s Marine Corps talk and Civilian talk, Engage brain before opening mouth.
Here are a couple pictures of a friend of mine’s father taken in 1948. He passed away on Easter Sunday April 23, 1986. His name was Richard Leroy Rankin Sr. After the war he went on to Graduate and married my friend’s mother. I know today he stands proud as he helps Guard the Gates of Heaven,
I went to San Diego MCRD for boot camp, and one day the Drill Instructor yelled smoke break, but for the non-smokers We had to continue doing what We were told to do. So one day I requested to speak to the Senior Drill Instructor and inquiring why if you smoke you get a break, but if you don’t you have to work , (of course I didn’t use I or You, that would be hell to pay) but the Senior Drill Instructor stated from this time forward, during smoke breaks all Marines would get a 10 minute break. Also We were wearing Satines Uniforms the ugly ass forest green ones, and after boot camp the Marine Corps upgraded to camouflage Uniforms, for which I had to pay for. A lot has changed in the Marine Corps, but once a Marine always a Marine! Semper Fidelis OooRah!
I joined the Marine Corps in May, 1954 on my 17th birthday..I went thru boot camp in San Diego
The Korean war had ended just 10 months prior…we were told it would start again”any minute”
I ended up in Camp Fuji Japan and was assigned to G Co. 3rd Btn, 3rd Reg.,3rd Div…I Loved
the infantry & was an Expert Rifleman…I rose to the rank of Sgt. & was a squad leader.We were
ready to go, anywhere, anytime…nothing happened during my 4yr enlistment.
I was discharged in May,’58 & had a career in Law Enforcement.
I loved the Marine Corps & still stay in touch with an old boot camp buddy
The highlight of my Enlistment was a landing exercise on Iwo Jima in 1956. We were the
first Marines to set foot on the island since the invasion..You wouldn’t believe the things
we found .
I had a buddy take my picture on the monument where the flag was raised..It was nothing
fancy then…just a simple monument…But as for Iwo…believe it or not…you could still
smell the battle after only 11yrs….Thank You
One of the things I had noticed about my older brother when he came home on leave after boot camp was that his vocabulary had changed. Four letter words seemed to dominate his speech when mom wasn’t around. This transformation seems to be fairly common. After 13 weeks of boot camp, during which about half of all communication coming down from your DIs is expletives, the most common verb, pronoun and adjective in your vocabulary becomes the crude, four letter word most commonly used to describe a most beautiful and natural function of mankind. All Marines have heard the story of the young Marine home fresh from boot camp. Previously quite outgoing, he is strangely quiet during the first, special, homecoming dinner – attended by favorite aunts, uncles, grandparents and siblings, all beaming with pride at their young Marine. Mom, sensing some tenseness, asks “Johnny, you are being very quiet. Is there something wrong?” Johnny responds “No, Mom. I’m just afraid if I talk too much, I’ll f**k up!”
Excerpt from “SH*TIBIRD! How I Learned To Love The Corps”
I too went through Boot Camp at Parris Island, but in 1961. My platoon, 144, had excelled in all phases on the island. A marine in our platoon chose to light up and smoked a cigarette while on fire watch during the night. He was caught by our senior drill instructor who had him arrested and thrown into the brig. I was a squad leader and my drill instructor spoke to me as an equal for the first time asking if I felt his action was too harsh for the violation. I was aware his intent was to impress the marine his unapproved action could get him and his fellow marines killed in a combat zone. I was stunned by his request and honored at the same time treating me as an equal as your senior drill instructor at Parris Island had held a rank just beneath your Lord and Savior.
Having gone through boot in 1956 it’s apparent that things have changed today. We were’nt asked to vote on anything, we were just ordered what to do and replied “Sir, yes sir”. I was a smoker and as I recall hearing “The smoking lamp is lit” was the signal for the only time to relax for 10 minutes away from the constant grind. The platoon was comprised of both smokers and non smokers and when the lamp was lit the smokers smoked and the non smokers did’nt. Of course that was long ago before some people thought that they had the right to impose their views on everyone else. I’m 81 today and thank God for when I was born and for the times I was blessed to live in. Semper Fi.