It is around 1800 and I’m still at battalion CP, got to get moving up the hill to OP-6. Just made a PX run and now making my way up passed OP-5 and getting crap from by platoon mate Poole. The sun would usually set around 1830. Still had plenty of time to get there before dark. Did not want to get caught between 5&6. Here I am with a .45 w/3 mags, and a sack full of cigarettes and pogeybait, hope none of those nasty rock apes come out. Huey just flew right over me ,looks like he’s heading through Elephant Valley. Starting to get dark and have about a quarter klic to go . I hear something in the grass, hope it’s just one of those mongoose. Almost there. Someone popped a flare! Are you kidding me! Crouch down until the flare goes out. Got about 50 meters to go. Ah, made it, without getting shot at from friend or foe. Tonight I’ll get the first watch on one of two LP’s. I can still hear the mix of music drifting up from the compound below. A couple flares go up near the the wire , the guards at the bunker open fire on something ,or nothing. Just another day in the neighborhood
Capt. Samuel Nicholas announced on the first day of recruitment at Tun Tavern that all new recruits would get a tankard of rum.
The next morning he announced that since there wasn’t as many recruits as expected that all new recruits would get two tankards of rum.
Gunnery Sgt Brian Blonder
Force Reconnaissance Platoon, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines
August 8, 2008
Award: Navy Cross
Gunnery Sergeant Blonder was leading a dismounted patrol through the city of Shewan when his platoon came under intense rocket propelled grenade, mortar and machinegun fire that destroyed a vehicle and trapped several Marines in the kill zone 150 meters away from the enemy. Gunnery Sergeant Blonder exposed himself time and again to heavy fire as he coordinated the suppression of the enemy so that the Marines could be recovered. Later in the battle, Gunnery Sergeant Blonder personally led a flanking attack on the enemy trench system through countless volleys of machinegun and rocket propelled grenade fire. He continued to press the attack as the platoon penetrated further into the trenches in order to defeat the enemy. Gunnery Sergeant Blonder’s tactical ability, superior marksmanship and aggressive fighting spirit inspired the platoon to continually advance on the enemy despite being highly outnumbered. He was a driving force during the eight hour battle and pushed the platoon to gain and maintain the momentum against the enemy until they were destroyed. Gunnery Sergeant Blonder’s valorous actions helped reduce a major enemy stronghold as his platoon killed over fifty enemy fighters, destroying several Taliban cells and opening the highway in Shewan to coalition convoys. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, Gunnery Sergeant Blonder reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
In 1980 I re-enlisted after being out of the Corps for 13 years. As a police officer, during most of the 13 years, I took a lot of surveillance and suspect photos. Some Disney characters toured the housing areas aboard Camp Pendleton, promoting Military Night at Disneyland. An MP SNCO escorted them and he asked me, an MP Pfc, to go along and take photos. We had lunch at the San Luis Rey Officer’s Club and this is where I took the photo of Mickey & Goofy assuming “the position”.
We all came from different places and all kinds of walks of life, then We all stood on the yellow foot prints at MCRD San Diego, California. The worst thing that happened to all of us Newbies, was after boot camp We had to purchase our BDU’s because they issued Us “Satines” (the olive drab colored uniforms, which were out dated,) so We Marines, had to purchase our BDU’s, Welcome to the Marine Corps. I now know what it means to be Old School, but, back in’78, We were looking for something, and We got it, but it wasn’t what anyone was expecting. Running all all over the place in our 3059 t-shirts, and combat boots. When firing our M-16’s doing figure 8’s with the barrel to get the best shot. I wouldn’t change those days for nothing. Semper Fidelis
Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan – U.S. Marines here are protecting their, um, assets with new, state-of-the-art ballistic underwear.
The undergarments, which are similar to spandex shorts, have a special material that helps protect their private parts from shrapnel and debris during a blast.
I arrived at Lindbergh Field San Diego on Sunday 27 December 1972. No one was there to meet or greet me so I found a SD policeman and asked him how to get to MCRD. He told me to wait out front of the terminal and he made a call to MCRD. I waited for about an hour and had several of the long haired types drive by and try to get me to “get the h_ll out of there” before it was too late. After waiting and wondering for the hour or so, a green Dodge van pulled up and the driver was the finest looking female (WM Sgt) I had ever seen and would ever see in my career. She told me in a very nice manner to get in the van and I did. While driving over to the base we talked about all types of things I would soon experience. She let me “burn a couple” (Marlboro) , but as we approached the gate to MCRD she told me how to field strip the butts and get rid of them. She dropped me off at Receiving Barracks and I saw my first YELLOW foot prints. I was directed to by the Sgt. to go inside and wait and someone would be with me in a little while. I proceeded to lean against a wall, and soon had a short and very angry SSGT jump up in my chest and proceeded to tell me to get the (deleted) off his bulkhead!!! Well I wasn’t too dumb and I figured real fast what a bulkhead was and stood at what I thought was attention. And I learned I wasn’t doing that correctly either. To cut to the chase now, I and a whole bunch of young men that had arrived on Saturday (I was the ONLY arrival on Sunday) were moved to a barracks and assigned a bed that I soon learned was a rack. We didn’t pick up or get picked up by our Drill Instructors until 2 January 1973 so we did a lot of swabbing and cleaning of the barracks. We were issued our sea bags and clothing, told to box up our personal clothes, got a haircut, etc., during that time. If memory serves me correctly, Our DI’s, Sgt. Schweigler, Sgt. Van Bibber, and Sgt. Jamieson picked us up very early on the 2nd and all h_ll broke loose. I don’t have any horror stories to tell about our 12 weeks in their care, but I was jacked up a few times for failing to do EXACTLY as told. All my DI’s were VN vets and they taught us well. They said they didn’t know if we would go to VN but they were going to teach us to survive if we did. I didn’t go to VN as I was a reservist (about half of our platoon was I think) but they made me a better person anyway. I do know that Sgt. Jamieson was a “short” American Indian and I had never seen any one his height jump straight up in my face and give me “love-tap” like he could. When we went up the road to Edson Range we were issued M-14’s and I learned to love that weapon. In fact I have the M1A now cause I loved it so much. I shot expert every pre-qual string but on qual day I blew it and got a toilet seat. I still insist that it does snow in Southern California cause I froze my young butt off that day. Shivvering doesn’t help in qualification with a rifle!! Anyway, I could go on for a while and I suppose I will close this out by asking anyone out there that was in Platoon 3156 to holler back. Oh yeah, Plt. 3156 took final drill comp and we were herded over to the mess hall and told by our senior DI to “drink the soda machines dry!!!”, and we did………then paid for it by doing bends and thrusts until the DI’s got tired.
Though it’s been thirty + years that I retired as a Marine I found my Platoon 3331 year book, secondly it’s been fifty years come September that I as you and counts of thousands after us arrived to challenge our body, mind and spirit and to having it broken down so that we could be taught courage, poise, self-confidence and pride of belonging to the worlds finest by earning the title Marine that no one can take from us. These words written at the side entrance to the Receiving Barracks do represent our fighting spirit as a Team and Our Marine Brotherhood.
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.