Living In The Past

Last week SSgt Jim Leonard asked if anyone had ever seen the type of dog tag he mentioned. Myself and several other guys in my outfit were issued them on a trial basis. Enclosed is a picture of it, alongside my regular tag I was issued in boot camp. Nobody ever took our picture for the new tag, and nobody I knew ever even wore it on the chain with their regular tag. Continue reading “Living In The Past”

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47 Years Later

MIKE 4/11 1st Marine Division. You can not make this stuff up, you only access, adapt & over come. I once responded to a article that appeared in Sgt Grit from a person that I served with in An Hoa Vietnam, 1969. Have left my email in the sponge box, I received a phone call from Sgt Grit that a marine known as Mike Paul was trying to contact me. The years have clouded my memory but what the hell, I gave the go ahead to call me. At first I did not remember Mike because we used nicknames until he said they called me Top because his father was a Top in the Corps. That name hit the right bell in my head. After a long talk the past 46 years seemed as if they never happened, we were back there as 18 – 19 years olds covering any fears with a laugh. Well we decided to meet in Sanibel, Florida 4/2016. I have to say we didn’t look the same, the apprehension that was felt left as soon as our eyes locked our hands shook and a rather tight hug. The feeling between two Marines from serving in combat never changes, that bond is not breakable. The day and a 1/2 that we were together was something that gets written about, the wives shared their own stories about their Marine. We departed by saying let’s not wait another 47 years.

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Why The USMC & 3/25/69

Flashback Friday & to 3/25/69.


It’s the third week of June 1968 and I have been out of High School now for 2 weeks. Cruising west Toledo on this beautiful day ( more Later ) my mind is thinking of all the paper work and if it’s in order for me to start Toledo University this coming year and the career path I wish to choose when the news comes on the radio addressing the Vietnam War. Up to this point in life I owe everyone, my Mother, My Father, you get the idea again I am only 18 yrs old. I had or wanted for nothing, drove new cars ate at the best places in town wearing Botany 500 suits of which I had plenty in the closet. It hit me at that moment that it’s time for me to pay back for this great life of mine. My Father paid back in WWII as a Merchant Marine fighting the Germans then enlisting in the Navy and going to the pacific to fight the Japanese. Ok then I’m on Monroe st in West Toledo and am heading east to enlist in the Marine Corps.

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Lost Mine On Hill 37

My dad passed in 2004 and I was cleaning out his gun cabinet when I came across the Zippo lighter I had given him after returning home from boot camp and ITR in 1969. I had forgotten about it. I’m sure I bought it and one other identical one at the PX at MCRD in San Diego. He obviously never used it as it is new in the box. I had mine engraved at Continue reading “Lost Mine On Hill 37”

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War Pets

The mongoose and pet puppies stories made me go back and look for this pic that my uncle Sgt. Major A. M. Solis sent home to my grandparents in 1965. He had written a note on the back saying it was his little horse he had gotten to save a lot of walking. He never told me what happened to the pony. He was also there later with VMCJ 3 and on a later tour with VMO 2 before retiring. We served at the same time frame but not in Viet Nam. I was assigned to F4 Phantom squadron VMFAT 101 after radar school at Millington NAS in 1969. Supposed to have been a 6 month OJT assignment before orders to Nam. Well after I was on the job trained as radar tech I stayed on at El Toro MCAS training F4 pilots and rios to go to Nam but us avionics snuffies couldn’t buy a ticket over there, too many people already coming back.

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Reached The Rank Of Sergeant

Boot Camp San Diego ’69, trained as a jet engine mechanic, arrived in country Sept. ’70 assigned to the HMM-364 Purple Foxes, never got to work on one engine… assigned as a door gunner, and crew chief in training, reassigned to HMM-165 at Futema MCAS and qualified as crew chief, after an overseas tour I was assigned to HMX-1 from ’71 to ’73, served 4 years, and reached the rank of SGT E5. Continue reading “Reached The Rank Of Sergeant”

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Keepin’ The Faith

A Marine Corps Christmas Story

The story regards a small group of Marines, haggard and tired from the day’s events, sitting at their jungle outpost as night approaches and attempting to find solace after the loss of friends in battle. Ceremony, designed to sooth, and which normally surrounds loss of those close to us is not to be. Mingling among family and friends at the wake, kind words from the preacher, the funeral procession to the cemetery for more kind words and capped off with roast turkey, drinks and even a bit of laughter as the pleasant memories take over. To be able to pay respect. In a proper way, to a friend. None of this was to be. Simply there one moment, with talk of the future and, of course, tales about the incredible babes back in “The World”. And gone the next moment, with the unceremonious zipping of a body bag.

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