I found this poster online the other day as I was and thought I would share it. I am sure it is quite apropos for many of your readers. Semper Fi!!! Top Pro
While enjoyable to read stories of family members carrying on the
tradition and old friends reuniting, it’s even more fantastic when
you get to experience this:
1985 in Korea, 2nd Lt. Taggart on the left, Cpl. Thornton, M.A. on
Fast forward 27 years…
MARINE OF THE WEEK // He refused to leave a fallen Marine behind…
Sgt. Eubaldo Lovato
1st Battalion, 8th marines
November 11, 2004
Operation Phantom Fury, Fallujah, Iraq
Award: Silver Star (upgraded from Bronze Star)
During the second battle for Fallujah, then-Corporal Lovato and his squad was ordered to clear a house. What the Marines did not know is that insurgents had barricaded themselves behind sandbags in one room.
When a fire team entered the room, Cpl. Travis Desiato was killed immediately by a barrage of AK-47 fire and fell to the floor. The insurgents put up such a volume of fire that the other Marines could not retrieve their comrade. The Marines fired blindly, unable to see the enemy fighters behind their barricade.
Lovato and the others in his squad could see Desiato on the ground. They tried calling out to him but he didn’t answer. A group of five Marines including Lovato made several attempts to reach Desiato ’s body. They threw C4 plastic explosives into the room, but it generated so much smoke that the Marines could not see anything. Then one Marine attached part of a shattered mirror to a stick, which allowed him to see where the insurgents were.
Pinned by enemy fire, Lovato manuvered to retrieve more grenades, with bullets passing through his pants pockets and sling.
Eventually Lovato was able to crawl to reach his Marines and asked a tank to blast the back of the building. The Marines stormed the building and killed the enemy inside. Lovato retrieved Desiato’s body.
I’ll never forget when we finished boot camp at Parris Island in 1966. Our drill instructor called 3 of us over to tell us we were going to radio school. After he told us where we were going he said, and I quote: “I just want you boys to know that once the shootin starts the average life of a radio operator is 30 seconds.” That was not something we wanted to know. Thanks be to God I lived much longer.
We called it “The Rock” and counted the days when we would rotate back to the land of the big PX. Hawaii wasn’t exactly the paradise we expected. The Marine Corps Base at Kaneohe is on a peninsula that forms Kaneohe Bay, with the Pali mountains as a backdrop. The Air Wing enlisted barracks was a group of two story, flat-roofed, stucco buildings with open squad bays that were connected by breezeways. The 212 barracks had the MPs on one side and the helo boys from HMM-161 on the other. Next to the 161 barracks was the mess hall. I arrived with a group of replacements for the guys whose two year tour was over. The barracks had an upper and lower open squadbay arranged in cubicles marked off by green metal wall lockers, and a central corridor. Each cubicle had six single bunks (or racks), as I recall. Each rack had a mosquito net which was a necessity on that side of the island, called the “Windward Side”. The mosquito nets were needed because of the mosquitos that were bred in the swamps between the base and the mainland. Those bugs were huge. One night, I forgot to put my net down. About 0300 I felt a thump on my chest. Looking down, I saw a Kaneohe mosquito turning over my dog tag to check my blood type. Not only were they huge, they were picky eaters.
Myth: Common belief is that most Vietnam veterans were drafted.
Fact: 2/3 of the men who served in Vietnam were volunteers. 2/3 of the men who served in World War II were drafted. Approximately 70% of those killed in Vietnam were volunteers.
9,087,000 military personnel served on active duty during the official Vietnam era from August 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975.
We arrived at the San Diego airport at 2AM, three days late, leaving Houston after a hurricane. Everyone was herded off onto “cattle cars”. While standing on the “yellow foot prints”, a couple of guys in the back row were whimpering like someone who had just got a spanking from an angry Mother. When questioned by the DI, using a lot of colorful descriptives, “What do you mean you’re not supposed to be here?” one of them said, “We joined the Navy!” Naturally, we all were “invited” to do 50 push-ups for laughing. Our next experience was a not-so-professional haircut by the DIs, because there were no barbers there that early. The only thing I can say different about being a “Hollywood Marine,” is that we didn’t have “sand fleas”. MSgt (Ret)
Today, this 79 year old Marine was reminiscing about the old days and wondering what type of communication equipment the Marine Corps uses now days, its got to be high tech. In the mid-fifties we used field radio equipment like the AN/PRC-8, 9’s and 10’s and the AN/GRC-9 which used a hand cranked generator for power to transmit. Cranking that thing was fun, not. We even had the AN/PRC-6 (walkie-talkie) in our inventory but don’t remember using it. For mobile comm we had the MRC-6, the MRC-38 and other vehicles depending if you ere infantry, artillery or armor. For the old timers I stand to be corrected.
A squadron of these babies appeared on our C-130 flight line in Cherry Point the day after Kennedy was killed. Ready for war with Cuba or Russia. Every Air Force crew chief had a full, brand new tool box whereas us poor Marines were lucky to steal (or rather com-shaw) a screw driver here or there. Needless to say the fly boys had a 24 hour guard on their planes for fear of Marines, not commies.