Dirty Laundry

Sgt. Grit,

Remember in boot camp the scrub brush and the soapy water and the tables we scrubbed our clothes on. Some guys did this in Camp Geiger too! I went home after Camp Geiger on a bus from North Carolina with my sea bag and dirty laundry.

My mom went apesh-t when I emptied my sea bag on the Persian Living room carpet! She made me take it to the Chinese Laundry around the corner. Major cities had these Chinese hand laundry’s – that did predominately linens – table clothes – and shirts. The old Chinese gentleman spoke little English and gave you a receipt with Chinese characters on it for a stub. He weighed the sea bag – and bowed to me. Two days later I went to pick it up – and my mom paid back then like $20.00 (which was very expensive for those days – when a regular laundry would cost less than $5.00.) The Chinese guy went berserk yelling and screaming and pointing at me – the guy’s wife came out of the back to quiet him down – and calmly explained to me that my skivvies and utilities were so dirty I clogged the pipes when they cleaned the dirty clothes. My utilities were now sparkling – and my skivvies were bright white – rough socks were smooth to my skin. A rare treat for a Marine after boot camp.

Went to a few nice restaurants and met a nice girl at a military dance in the great city of New York – then alas – my leave was up – went to the Port Authority Bus Station in New York City – and the Marine went into survival mode carefully watching his wallet and his gear aboard the bus – as we trusted only other Marines to watch our backs.

Bruce Bender
1963-1967
Cpl USMC

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5 thoughts on “Dirty Laundry”

    1. Bill, we remember the laundry at Gieger very well. Our Plt was pulling guard duty before forming up for ITR. A Cpl marched us to the laundry, told us to get our laundry done, and stay out of the pogey bait machines and left. We all had a fine time with the pogey bait as none of us had any since before boot camp, as for myself, I had several Hershey bars and a Coke. After a period of time the Cpl came back to get us back to our barracks, Seems like after a few minutes of stowing our gear, we got one of the worst PT sessions since the middle of boot camp. The 3 mile run cleared our systems of most of the pogey bait.

  1. Ahhh….Camp Geiger. I was there from 81 to 85 with 8th Marines when not in Beirut or on float. I recall that we had base laundry for a small fee and then there were a few places along Highway 17 where you could do your own laundry as well . Used to get dress uniforms cleaned at the Geiger laundry, but did my cammies PT gear and civilian clothes myself off base.
    Mike Kunkel. Cpl. 0331. Lima 3/8

  2. Remember arriving home after discharge and bringing my utilities to local chinese laundry. Thought I would get them cleaned and starched one last time for storage. I was totally speechless when I picked up the laundry and found the EGA on the pocket was gone. When I asked about that, the little chinese lady explained that “they had worked hard to get the grease stain out” but were successful and hoped I was satisfied.

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