Sgt Grit Newsletter - 16 FEB 2012

In this issue:
• Anatahan Holdouts
• The Bucket Issue
• MOS Woes

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I remember my first day at PI. This big DI jumped up on the bus and yelled "get off my Marine Corps bus", grabbed the kid in the first seat and asked why he wasn't off yet. I was in the back of the bus and just knew I was in world of "sh-t".

George Slaughter Plt 244 July 1963. Sempers

In This Issue

We've had a couple responses to the surprise MOS question in last week's letter and a recruiter smartly weighs in below. Do any of you having served on Recruiting duty have a tale to report? Any doozies you came across?

Here we go:
A lot of explaining, criminal, came to rest, nineteen Japanese, god loves to play, cattle prod to the wannabe, what has taken you so long?, either sank or swim, they either want to be, Smoking lamp is out, with his swagger stick, Sure enough I was right, 'g g get the fffff outta here.

"I gave you as-holes at ease, not base liberty".

Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

Didn't Have To

Had a strange one today in local supermarket... Old jarheads are out there but not many young ones. Was stopped by probably 20 year old, all hair cut off... brown (Afghanistan I would say) big grin. Dog tags dangling, when he saw my hat I got the biggest Semper Fi I have had ever had. He really seemed happy to see a comrade. Was a tossup as to who was going to bawl first. We both managed to get through it, but did hug. His girlfriend/wife seem totally confused by it all. He probably had a lot of explaining to do. Didn't say much, didn't have to... I told him to "Take care of yourself.", was truly great experience...

Sgt Don Wackerly 53--56

Drew A Picture

Sgt Grit

I was stationed on Guam in 1951-1952 with Guard Company Marine Barracks when nineteen Japanese stragglers were brought in from Anatahan. These nineteen Japanese didn't know WW2 was over. I have a paper where one of the Japanese drew a picture of a soldier explaining to me his name, rank and where he was from. These nineteen were on Guam for several weeks being processed for their return back to Japan.

I'm enclosing a photo of the nineteen Japanese that was in the Navy Times on 1 July 1951. Would you please put this in your weekly newsletter? I would like to see if any other Marines stationed at Guam remember this. Thanks Sgt Grit

Semper fi

Kenneth Coffey
Sgt 1951-1960



I was at PI for the Marine Corps Birthday in 1963. I was in Plt. 179, and owe a real debt of gratitude to Jr. D.I. Cpl. James D. Henry - a truly great man.

Attached is the menu for the Birthday dinner. True to tradition, the meal was OUTSTANDING!

Keep up the good work!

Semper Fi,

James K. Phillabaum
(S/Sgt.) USMC 1963-1972

Face Down

I have a bit of a WM story / cautionary tale.

In 1975, I was stationed in Kaneohe Bay, HI and when November 10th approached, all the commands on base were instructed to submit names of single personnel to serve as cake escorts for the Marine Corps Birthday ball to be held downtown on Waikiki. As luck would have it, I was a single sergeant and was selected.

The cake escort consisted of one each, male and female PFC, LCpl, CPL and SGT. I was instructed to report at a designated place at 1800 to meet a female Sergeant and that I was to escort said Marine to the Marine Corps ball, participate in the cake cutting ceremony and to escort said Sergeant until relieved of duty.

Arriving at the appointed place and time, I found a good looking Sergeant waiting for me and the detail became even more enjoyable duty. All of the cake detail arrived as instructed and we were all waiting for the ceremony to begin, smoking and joking out in the alley behind the venue when I made my big mistake.

Feeling quite full of myself, I said something to the affect that the Marine Corps was really good to me to issue me my own BAM. Witnesses later reported that I executed a perfect back flip and came to rest, face down in my dress blues, unconscious in the ally. When I came to, I asked the Sergeant why she had done this thing to me and she proceeded to explain the origin of the term "BAM" and why it was NOT to be used to refer to a female Marine.

I believe that all the junior male escorts revised their evening's plans and learned a great lesson at my expense.

In later life, when interviewing for positions with Fire and Police departments, I was often asked if I had a problem working with women and I always responded that I had no problem at all as long as they could meet Marine Corps standards. None ever asked me to define those standards.

Val Deutsch
Sergeant of Marines
1970 - 1978

Bar Girls

I keep in touch with members of H&S, 2/9 circa 1961. Your latest newsletter about the bar girls reminded me of a recent email discussion we had about the EM club on Okinawa.

Sure brings back memories... And the army club there... Our EM club was the end of an empty barracks with card tables and folding chairs, electric fans hanging on the walls, the bar a few 2x10s laid over a couple of 55 gallon drums... I can't remember the name of the army club but it was nicer than what we had. Believe our EM club was called the "EBB TIDE".

Dan Suter

I believe we served at An Hoa together in 1969, so I am sending a picture of the bar girls that I have.

I picked out a few other pictures that may look familiar to you. There are 2 pictures of a Marine named Ray receiving his NCO stripes, arms and legs, that should bring back memories. I wonder if they still do that.

There are a couple of pictures of me with shrapnel and a midwife at the orphanage I spent a lot of time at. The rest are pictures of An Hoa and people you may or may not be familiar with.

Norm Decicco
Cpl. 68-70
RVN 69-70

Vietnam History

Dear Sgt. Grit,

For the last ten years I have been asked to give a talk about Vietnam to history classes. A few years ago a teacher told me her class was reading "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien and wondered if I could talk to her students and give them a little better understanding of what they were reading.

I developed a power point presentation I called : The Things We (Really) Carried. Since I had purchased 782 gear when my boys were in scouting, I brought in the gear and at the end of the talk I would ask for a volunteer and let them try everything on. Since I was a Corpsman, they got to try on what I carried: web belt with "stage prop" .45 (weighs 2.5lbs), 1 1/2 gallons of water ( I actually carried 2 gallons), pack, 2 bandoliers of battle dressing, Unit one and steel pot. I pass around an NVA helmet and canteen I "souvenired" along with a poncho liner and a few other things.

Last summer one of the Marines I served with sent me an old "flak jacket" so that was added to what the kids get to try on.

Since I lost some wght over the last couple I now wear my Vietnam era utilities when I can or my "battle jacket" with Sgt. Grit patches on it.

For a few of my talks I was even able to let them try "chow" as my oldest Marine son sent me some left over MRE's.

I attached a few pictures from my most recent talks.

Semper Fi,
Jack Broz, HM2
Alpha 1/4, CAP 1-4-1
Vietnam 1969-70

Why The Buckets?

Hi Sgt grit, just a short story to an article from Cpl Mike Winnie about the use of buckets in boot camp. I was in plt.16 in Jan. 1953.we all had a bucket for washing our clothes. but our D.I. had another use for the bucket. Several times after midnight he woke us all up and made us put the bucket over our heads and in our shorts he had us run all around our bunks and he sat up on the top bunk and with his swagger stick would hit the top of the bucket and had us all yell as loud as we could, I am a SH-T BIRD... that's what I remember most about the BUCKET... good old times...

Sgt Bob Holmes

Regarding Cpl Winnie's question about the use of buckets back in the "Old Corps", as an old Marine whose serial number starts with a one (1), and has only seven digits, I'll try to shed a bit of light on the subject.

Good old, galvanized buckets, caliber 2-gallon, muscle-operated, with bail, one-each, were used for anything a DI's creative imagination could conjure up. The more creative the drill instructor, the more uses for the bucket. There are the more obvious traditional uses for a bucket, such as carrying any substance needing to be contained, from one place to another. One usually thinks of liquids such as water, or in more pleasurable circumstances, possibly beer. But, uses for the lowly bucket in the hands of a true innovator are endless.

According to my own late uncle -a Marine of Guadalcanal vintage- when he was at Parris Island, his outfit was billeted in tents with wood decks. Along with their buckets, they had been issued bricks, one each. The buckets were used to carry sand and water which was dumped on the wood decks, and the bricks were then used to grind the wood smooth and clean.

In 1958 I was in the 2nd Battalion wooden barracks, which had tile floors and, instead of bricks, we were issued big, rectangular, stiff-bristled brushes, and a block of "sand-soap". The buckets carried water, and the brushes and soap scrubbed decks, ladders, ladder-railings, and the occasional platoon-crud who was opposed to personal cleanliness. But, that's another story.

So much for ordinary uses for "The Bucket".

A steel bucket can be used as a seat when cleaning rifles or spit-polishing boon-dockers; they're great for carrying ice-cold water from the DI's drinking fountain, during the dark of night, to dump on the bed-wetter; they are great attention-getters when being thrown, in bunches, along with large, steel GI-cans, down outside ladders, by huge DI's who aren't pleased by the speed at which maggots enter 2nd deck squad-bays; they can be utilized to double-time the DI's sand from one side of his Parade Field (The huge hunk of asphalt I believe you younger Marines refer to as "The Grinder"), and back again, when he decides he liked it better where it was. There were many uses for The Bucket", and it was also used as the best "quit-smoking" aid I've ever seen.

We were somewhere in the second or third week of training, and were allowed to carry-and occasionally sniff-an as yet unopened pack of cigarettes. Details of maggots were daily being sent for necessary dental repairs, normally with one member of a group being made responsible for the group, but this one day just two of our big city wise-guys were sent alone. While waiting for the dentist, they decided to sneak a smoke. No one would know.

After evening chow, the DI's told the two to gather their blankets, buckets, a pack of butts and matches, and the entire 67 of us were herded into the showers. The two were ordered to sit in the center of the shower room, while a couple of the other guys were told to soak the blankets. Each of the two smokers had five cigarettes placed between his lips, and lit. The buckets were upended over their heads, the wet blankets were thrown over them, tent-fashion, and the rest of us stood on the edges of the blankets. When the cigarettes burned down enough to heat their lips, they were to beat on the buckets. The blankets were lifted, the wise guys were allowed a few breaths of air, and the routine was repeated until their packs were empty. We all left the head, formed at our racks, and waited while our smokers cleaned their supper from the shower floor.

Next day, the smoking lamp was lit for the very first time. I think we were allowed one drag before the "How To Field-Strip" lecture. Neither of our two secret smokers lit up that day, or any day thereafter.

I ran across one of them at Headquarters Marine Corps three- years later, and he told me he hadn't smoked since that day. Buckets were a multi-utility tool whose uses were limited only by the imagination under the Smokey Bear cover.

G. Dellinger
Cpl E-4 1958-1962

Read more Bucket responses

Or They Don't

In response to KA "I would be curious to hear some stories from Subscribers who were told by their recruiter that they would get a certain MOS that they had requested, however when they arrived at Boot Camp they "received a BIG surprise". Some of the guys I was in The Corps with had some pretty good ones..."

Having been recruited and being a former recruiter I've seen it from both sides so here's my take. My recruiter was GySgt Lorenzo Casabar, a Vietnam vet and a former Drill Instructor who hid nothing and was sure I knew what program I was enlisting for and what the odds of getting the job I wanted were. He explained that I could get assigned any MOS within that program and there were no guarantees. When I was assigned to Recruiting Duty I took the same position my recruiter did because it was the right thing to do. Besides, if a recruiter cannot sell a kid on the pride of becoming a Marine and serving with the world's finest then he had no business being in the Marine Corps let alone recruiting.

I was assigned to the infantry and became an 0331, M60 Machine Gunner. That was my lot and I was fine with that. I had the option to change my MOS at reenlistment. When I recruited a lot of kids wanted to go into the reserves so they could get a job slot. I had more than a few come home and tell me they went active duty in boot camp when the option was presented. That was their choice and lot. You don't have to lie to an applicant to get them to join, they either want to be a Marine or they don't, plain and simple.

Now the Army is a different story...

Julian Etheridge
'74 - '85

Vietnam Marine Gets Vinyls

We want to share a story with you about Vietnam Marine Howard Mears. He came into the store with his gigantic RV looking for something OUTSTANDING to display, but with no real idea what could be done.

In steps the Sgt Grit customs department, and they pulled out all the stops. They took pics of the RV and made a design mock-up. Upon approval, Mr. Mears' decals were designed and placed on his RV.

The results? Credit to the Corps and a moto machine like no other! The pictures speak for themselves (see more):

Semper Fi
Sgt Grit and Staff

Need Vinyls? We have a selection here

Can't find what you want? Call the Sgt Grit customs department: 888-NOV-1775 and get it made!

Short Rounds

Dear Sarge:

This note is just to pay homage to a United States Marine who passed this month to join the brothers guarding the streets of Heaven.
His name is Richard DeCurtis.

Semper Fidelis

Blood - Gillette Blue Blades, if I remember correctly (memory fading) not enough blood to go to sick call, but enough to keep the sand fleas happy .

Sgt. of Marines 63-67

To you Devil Dogs that graduated as platoon 2057, MCRD San Diego in 1971, It is with sadness that I report one of our Drill Instructors, Master Sergeant Michael A. Bowman (RET) passed from this earth to his PCS on January 17th of this year. We knew him as Sergeant Bowman and his continual reminder to us was "ONLY the STRONG WILL SURVIVE." Service was on February 10th at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego overlooking the Pacific. He instructed us well along with Gunnery Sergeant Overton, Sergeant VanKuiken, and Sergeant Nagle. Smoking lamp is out.

"Chris" Christeson
2742974 '71 TO '77

With regard to Ddick's bootcamp photo that appeared in the latest edition of Sgt Grit's News: The photo image shows the DI inspecting the recruit to the far right of the formation. In my bootcamp platoon, we always lined up on our "company street" left to right... with the squad leaders on the left. My rusty dusty brain housing group tells me that the recruit in the photo must have been "Tail End Charlie" a position that we always reserved for the biggest S-birds or the Non-quals from the rifle range.

Semper Fidelis,
John Wear
Sgt 3rd Tanks, RVN '68 - '69

To the Marine who said he never knew there were women Marines. I just saw a TV special segment with John Bon Jovi... BOTH his parents were Marines !
Semper Fi
B. McDonald

I'd like to recognize and give kudos to the Navy chaplains. The ones I knew were the picture of professionalism and were much appreciated. They did their jobs with a huge love of God and Country.

Robert Lewis
USMC 1990-1994

Referring to the MCD aboard the USS Mount Whitney: I was on the USS Taconic (LCC-17) (formally AGC-17) from 1967 to 1969. Our GQ was in troop comm also. A few would stay in the non-secure room with the switchboard. The rest would enter the comm room and participate in the same activities as "The Link" described in his article. A secret clearance was required to enter the room so we knew no one would bother us. The Taconic and sister ship the Pocono (both WWII ships) were de-activated in Nov 69 and both replaced with the Mount Whitney.

J McCann Cpl/Sgt at the time

Hey Sgt. Grit, Just a few lines to chime in with my fond Corps memory. I've so enjoyed all other like letters and I cherish my 63/67 time. On a Bltn. Cruise to the Caribbean 1/65,after we and the Navy loaded the ship due to a longshoreman's strike we finally left Moorehead City, NC. Somewhere out in that big pool weeks later the USN. called the Marine Detachment together asking for volunteers to night watch looking for, wait for it, a Subs mail buoy with a beacon light. Also was different movies, Sweet! Well, no need to go any further, fer sure a lesson learned.
Semper Fi, Joe G, The Nam 65/66

In reference to T. Stewert's question (2 Feb 2012) about the "PC" he remembered from his days at Camp Pendleton, I think that he's probably referring to the old M-37 3/4 ton cargo truck. I can't say that I ever remember seeing one with 6 wheels though...The M-37 was a two axle 4 wheel drive truck manufactured by Dodge, and went out of service in the early 70's.

Jim Mackin
MGySgt USMC(Ret)
'64 - '87

Korean Marines

I was stationed in Korea in 54 with the 1st Marines. We were an Advisory Group to the KMC (Korean Marine Corps). Used to watch them drill on a field we had leveled off, like our old "Grinder" in San Diego. If we thought our boot camp was tough, if one of those guys made a mistake in close order drill, I would see the NCO in charge go up and club the guy on the head with his rifle butt. He would fall down and they would march over him. Pretty soon he would get up and run to get in formation again. They weren't the best of fighters at the beginning of the war, but they improved.
Gordon Boike, SGT., 53-56.

You Followed Through

Well, Sgt.
You did it again. Last year, about this time, I responded to the letter from Maj. Dick Dickerson about the filming of Gomer Pyle.

My note to you was I thought he might have been my DI. You followed through and he was my DI. Thanks, I appreciate that. We've been in contact off and on and he put me in contact with our p'toon honor man, John Whipple. So John and I have made contact.

So now you publish the photo of him on the job. Judging from the date on the photo and the two recruits that's my p'toon, 317. That's Pvt. Gambino without the rifle and Pvt. Henry behind him. And that's ddick with the Smokey Bear.

Good job. Hope there's a few other 317 vets out there.

Semper Fi. Bob Bliss, Cpl. '63-'67

Note: Find your buddies, sign up to the Buddy Search page. You won't regret it. Do it now!
Sgt Grit

Latest Tattoos

Still motivated after all these years!
R. Latter

Recently I had my Bulldog "CHESTY" touched up. Maybe if my first picture in the lineup of bulldogs, I can compare before and after. I hope that CHESTY is Proud, God rest his soul...

See the original

More Bucket Issue

Ahhh, the bucket issue. We "filled" ours while in receiving barracks. It contained mostly hygienic products, towel, wash cloth, flip flops, dental products, a scrub brush and the dreaded bar of Naptha soap and of course the infamous razor with double edged razor blades. I remember, very vividly, shaving for the first time with that apparatus and then (at the DI's instruction) immediately writing the "I'm here and things are great" postcard to our parents. While writing my postcard, I held a washcloth to my face to stop the bleeding. I think we hung the buckets at the end of our racks after we had our locker boxes. We placed them at the bottom of our sea bags when we left the comfort of the Quonset huts and moved into the tents at Camp Elliott.

The buckets themselves were primarily used as seats on the platoon street while cleaning rifles or boots/shoes/782 gear. But, they had other hidden uses, too:

Certain members of the platoon occasionally got to wear them as covers - one time the whole platoon enjoyed this privilege.
Sand field days: half the hut filled buckets w/sand, the other half filled theirs with water and we poured them on the floor of the huts and then cleaned it all out.
Strengthening our arms and shoulders by extending the buckets/sand in front of us.
Right/Left shoulder arms to remind us not to move our heads when using the rifle for this Close Order Drill maneuver.

I'm sure there were many other uses that I have long forgotten.

Glenn McAnarney
Plt 279 Oct 1959

Sgt Grit,

Not being versed on the nomenclature of trucks, the picture of the one with tandems is what we always referred to as a deuce and a half. But my main reason for writing is to remark on the buckets. I was in plt 73 MCRDSD Feb 53. One of our issue items was the bucket. The first job with the bucket was to sit down with some steel wool and scrub that bucket 'til it shined... or as close to a shine as you could get galvanized steel.

It had several uses, 3 of which I can recall now. When we held field day in the hut, we carried sand in the bucket, then we carried water in the bucket to wet down the sand. But it seems to have slipped my mind as to how we got the sand and water out of the hut. But we usually managed before we got caught having a mud fight.

The DIs had a special purpose for the bucket, if you happened to be a smoker and got caught smoking and the smoking lamp wasn't lit, they would have you sit on the ground, put the bucket over your head after they had you light up a cigarette or maybe a whole pack then put a blanket over that and let you enjoy a smoke. Sure was glad I didn't smoke at the time

Doran Cooper
Sgt USMC (inactive)

When I read the question of why we had buckets and there uses in boot camp, I couldn't stop laughing at how many uses there was for them. Of course the D.I.'s had numerous other uses that didn't come from the Marine Corps manual. We did two weeks at camp Pendleton, mess and maintenance along with qualifying. One of are bigger s---birds, Pvt Stewart, was a country boy from Bakersfield, California. The pvt decided he wasn't going to shave one day and got caught by one of are more devious D.I.'s. Oh Lord was there h-ll to pay. The pvt was ordered to get his bucket, double edged razor and go to the san pi


Well Guess What

I served in our illustrious Corps from 1973 to 1977 with mostly fond memories except for the following story. You know how that wonderful circle of life can always come back around to bite you on the azs. Well, our new regimental commander came down to our comm center to pick up his traffic and due to his newness his security card had not come in, and guess who gets to tell him as the noncom in charge that the only traffic I could give him was the non-secure traffic at position of attention very politely and full detail... me.

Well shortly after this, due to a late trip to main base, I failed to wake to the staff duty and my trusty alarm and our brand new NCOIC got stuck with staff duty that day and so I got wrote up. Well guess what colonel I have stand at attention for office hours... you guessed it... well at first he wanted 2 ranks and 300.00 bucks but god bless SGM's requested a short recess to discuss it the with the colonel... and back in I go and 1 rank and 150 bucks poorer I departed.

Well here comes the funny part... 30 day later I get called up in front of the company formation in front of the same colonel and SGM for guess what... my good conduct medal pinning. It was very hard to keep a straight face as he is pinning it on me and the SGM is leaning over to his ear saying... Yeah he was one of your good ones... not a mark on his record in three years. Proper salute about face and trying very hard not to break out in loud guffaws... god loves to play his little games...

Former Corporal Einspahr

Donate Money

In March, 1955 I was at MCRD, San Diego in Platoon 123 and we were issued a steel bucket. These buckets were used to wash our clothes at the wash racks, to water the sand around the Quonset huts prior to raking the sand and to place on our heads with lighted cigarettes in our mouths if we were caught smoking when the "Smoking Lamp" was not lit.

Was it a common practice of other recruits and platoons, at the time, to donate money to the DI for a sick friend of the DI; or donate to the DI money to bail his friend out of jail or to donate money to assist the DI's poor mother? The donation to the DI was a weekly event. I always thought that this practice was contrary to the UCMJ, however, all of my fellow recruits and I were scared to report it for fear of being set back into another platoon.

Sgt. E.K. Pennington
USMC 1955-1959

Wannabe Cowboy

I read Bill Arthur's story of the Red Man tobacco "candy" and laughed out loud. It reminded me of yet another Red Man tale...

For many years I was a rodeo clown-bullfighter in my off duty time from the Sheriff's Office and I worked rodeos all over the southwest with my partner, T Texas Terry Bowen, a DEA agent. We were contracted to fight bulls at the Military National Finals Rodeo in 1984 in Yuma, Arizona. Unlike most finals or championship rodeos, the MFR would allow any active duty serviceman to enter, regardless of his experience or skill. There were 136 bull riders entered, and probably only half had ever been on a bull, so you can only imagine the crashes and disaster that ensued.

Walt Alspaugh was the stock contractor and he brought a huge pen of bulls from Colorado, some were fire-breathing dragons and some were what we called "high school bulls" that an amateur bull rider was relatively safe on. Fate always plays it's part in bull riding and it seemed like the experienced bull riders drew the high school bulls and the wannabes drew the bad bulls. More wrecks and more work for us, but no problem.

One young hero, dressed in his best movie cowboy outfit; black jeans, black shirt, black leather vest, and flat topped black hat, was kissed by his admiring girlfriend and entered the bucking chutes. He put about half a pouch of Red Man in his jaw and climbed onto his bull, a big brindle bull with a huge rack of horns and a bad bull to boot. He was wasting time in the chute and the bull was getting pretty agitated. Walt told him to hurry up and get his rope pulled, and the young man looked at him and said something along the lines of "I paid my fee and I'll take the time I want!" That's when Walt started applying the cattle prod to the wannabe cowboy and the bull. Bam! The gate opened, the bull exploded out of the chute with one big leap and our hero landed flat on his back, knocking the wind out him. Terry and I got the bull off him and we dragged him out of the arena. A few minutes later I saw him sitting on the ground, covered in vomit. It seems he had swallowed the entire wad of chewing tobacco when he hit the arena floor. Now that I think of it, I don't remember seeing his admiring girlfriend again the rest of the rodeo.

Michael Hackett

Game He Played

No name on the item "Get Him A Coke" but I wanted to comment back to the writer of that article. I also joined as soon as I turned 17 in 1956 only I arrived at MCRD the last week of June and due to the overcrowding we had to wait a few weeks before going on schedule of our actual "Boot" Oh, we were able to receive some advance instruction at the grinder and privileged to be allowed to exercise and double time everywhere until the day our D.I. arrived and our schedule began. Our Sr. D.I. was Sgt Essex but the real driving force and true Marine was not SSgt but Sgt D. Herbertson (attached photo)

If you think this is the same Sgt Herbertson as the game he played sounds like him he would have just had time to finish with your platoon in time to take our platoon 1st Bn, Platoon 1003. He could hear eyeballs click, I will say he was a Marines, Marine. I give him credit for making the Marine I became. He would give you the butt of the M1 if you screwed up and deserved it or make you put the safety on with your nose if you left it off, but you did not screw up twice! And seeing that safety clicked on with the nose made me always know that my safety was ON!

When we ran on the grinder, he ran, when we did P.T., he did P.T. when he taught us Marching manual with a twirl (with fixed bayonets) and we performed it at closed ranks and a Bird Colonel saw us and called him over, we thought he was dust. Then the Colonel addressed us and told us that he had not seen that maneuver performed so smartly in many years and it made him proud to see recruits doing it so well. Herbertson produced that kind of a Marine.

Art Anderson
Platoon 1003
July 1956

Open Contract

This is in reply to the request for stories about MOS expectations and the surprises that may ensue. I enlisted in 1989. MCT was instituted the year before, I believe, so we did not get our MOS assignments in boot camp. I can remember telling my recruiter, SSgt Messenger, that I wanted 0311. He told me that the Corps does not guarantee jobs, but I could get a guaranteed field. In this case, that would be combat arms. But if I went that route, I was told I could easily end up in artillery, tanks or combat engineers.

He convinced me to enlist on open contract, MOS 9999. All open contracts were assigned 0311, he said, as that MOS is "needs of the Corps" and the Corps always needs infantry. What he didn't factor in was my test scores in boot camp. So I go to boot camp and graduate on time. I was voted "most Marine-like", "most likely to get first kill" and "most likely to do 20" during the gong show the night before graduation. Ahhh, there is NOTHING like being a young, newly-minted Marine. But I digress.

After boot leave, it was off to MCT and Lime City, San Onofre. We had an Irish national in our platoon that snored so loud, hardly anybody got any sleep in the Quonset huts. After that month of watered-down SOI was over, we had to run the O course to get our MOS assignments. Once we hit the top of the rope and slapped the traverse, we would then yell out our rank and name, and the Platoon Sergeant would repeat what we said and then give us our MOS.

"Private Raines, Paul D.," was what I yelled when I slapped the traverse log and got 3451 in reply. I almost fell off the rope, I was so surprised. The first thing that went through my mind was "that's not 0311." My test scores were high and the Marine Corps needed Accounting Techs more than they needed infantry at that point, I guess. Once I got down, I asked Sgt. Black just what the heck was 3451? I got the inevitable "what the h-ll do I look like, a career counselor?" in reply. I did my entire tour at CFAO WESTPAC, Okinawa. Extending my tour was easy. HQSVCBN just kept offering me good stuff to stay, and as a result I got two months of leave each year. Force draw-downs made re-enlistment virtually impossible. My MOS was so top- heavy that a Master Gunnery Sergeant had to die or retire, quite literally, for anybody to be promoted at all. My cutting score was so d-mn high that no monitor would touch me as I would take away two promotions from their people if I were granted a lat move, which they refused to justify. I don't blame them and I have no regrets.

Paul D. Raines, LCpl
MCRD San Diego, Plt. 1045
SSgt Ira Stanford, SDI
SSgt Frank Tedtautau
SSgt R. Pflugh
Sgt. D. J. Carpenter

Thank you for everything, gentlemen. I know you were only doing your jobs, but you did them so very very well.

He's Going To Jail

Sgt. Grit,

The night we arrived at MCRD San Diego in May 1971 to begin recruit training, we were standing on those "hallowed" yellow foot prints. The receiving barracks D.I.'s were going from man to man screaming at them to sound off with their last name. One of the recruits bellowed out with "James, Sir!"

The D.I. let loose a volley of profanity screaming that he didn't ask for first f---ing names! The recruit responded, "that's my last name sir!" The D.I., then asked him, "what's your first name sweetheart, Jesse??" To which the recruit answered, "Sir, Yes Sir!" I thought the D.I had lost it.

He started screaming how he didn't believe this POS and he'd better be able to prove it, so the recruit pulled out his driver's license and handed it to the D.I. He looked it over and went absolutely nuts! He began screaming at the top of his lungs, "Oh My God, I've got a criminal in my Marine Corps!

Who's your recruiter boy?? He's going to jail and you're going with him!" The rest of us were doing our very best not to burst into laughter believing that we'd pay a price for it if we did. I can't recall ever hearing that recruits name through the rest of our boot camp experience, but I do recall the D.I.'s yelling for "Criminal" an awful lot. I believe "Private Criminal" graduated as his Platoon Honor Man.

C.E. Scott
1971 - 1991

Let Me Ask

I was a Lieutenant back from my first overseas tour and proudly sported my "been there" salad at MCRD SD. I met a great gal and we dated for a couple of years when I got orders. I told her I had orders, and she calmly asked, "am I going with you?" Ouuugh , sure, let me ask your dad if I can marry you.

Her Dad was Sgt Maj "Bad Jack" M. I get to knock on his door, ask permission to enter, and then ask if I could marry his daughter. Bad Jack is about 5-5, wounded at Chosin, wounded in RVN and he just smiled and said, "what has taken you so long? We knew you were going to do it"

What a relief-like passing the IG personnel inspection!
Skip, retired


I wanted to write you a short note to tell you that your crew is the most put together outfit I have seen in many years, especially in this day and age of customer appreciation and customer care being all but non-existent. I placed an order for two each of your Marine Corps flags along with one American flag this morning at around 09:30 a.m. I just got my tracking number at 14:38 showing it has shipped. This type of service is as good as it gets. Please tell them all thank you and keep up the good work. Whomever you have as a runner over there running orders he needs a good pat on the back. I would have said a rest but we all know that grunts never rest they just keep humping.

Semper Fi,
Bobby L.

Meticulously Arranging

At some point in the beginning of the fourth quarter of the last century, there existed on Okinawa, at Camp Schwab, a unit designated as 1st Tracked Vehicle Battalion (later changed to something like 'combat vehicle bn')... this unit was a 'tenant' unit, since Ninth Marines, being the senior command, 'owned' the camp. The Bn consisted of two companies of LVTs in the '7' series... LVTP-7 for 'passenger', LVTC7 for the Comm version, etc. Today, they are known as 'Assault Amphibian Vehicles'... same ones, up-graded, re-powered, up-gunned, but the same hulls, and two companies of tanks... M-48's. (we changed those out for M-60's during the year).

This being right after the end of Viet Nam by not long, things were somewhat ragged. The Supply Officer and the Maintenance Officer had plenty to do... like 15-16 hours every day, some slack on Sunday. The Supply office was in a concrete building, the warehouses in Butler buildings across the street. SupO and MaintO would have evening chow, go back to work.

Then we got a new Captain in, transferred up from the Philippines, and he brought along with him, his wife. The Bn CO, having no other billet available, assigned him to be the Maintenance Management Officer... at the time, a brand new field in the Corps... nobody, including the guy who had the job, really knew what it was exactly that the MMO did, but it did involve a big stack of IBM print-outs being delivered most days.

The MMO's desk, and SupO's desk were both on the open mezzanine level in the concrete building. Now, Captain Cartblast (variation on the real name), was a fuss-budget... and, being a 'brown-bagger' departed for his off-base quarters and the comforts of home every day promptly at 16:30... after meticulously arranging everything on his desk 'just so', and saying 'See... see... ssee yo you tomorrow!" (hint...he had a pretty bad stutter...) This did not sit at all well with the other two. No problem with the speech... just the idea of bailing out... daily.

The building had a big roll-up door, which was open a good part of the time, and as a result, there were quite a few birds nesting in the upper reaches of the ceiling. SupO, evil genius (and today a retired Colonel) that he was, had acquired a couple of those ubiquitous white glass saucers with the blue rim, and some rice (not too hard to find on Okinawa, for some reason)...

after returning from evening chow, these would be placed on Captain Cartblast's desk... one with water, the other with food (rice), and in a different position each time. The lights in the building remained on all night, and as expected, the birds would avail themselves of the freebies. SupO would be at work early the next morning, remove and stash the dishes... leaving two neat circles of bird crap on MMO's desk. He would come in later, struggle with getting out a string of expletives (takes longer when you stutter), ending with "wh,wh,why me? and only here'? (I think he at one point tried moving his desk to a different spot on the mezzanine deck... same results. We never did tell him...

Worked for a VP in CivPac who had a really severe stutter, yet was remarkably successful in Sales/Marketing... I had screwed something up, got called in for a well-deserved admonishment... and when he was done, told him "Bob... with 24 years in the Marine Corps, have been chewed out by world-class professionals at chewing, and I got to tell you, you're not half-bad at it... but I really hate to have you chew me out"... when he said 'wh whw why?'... had to tell him... 'cause it takes three times as long, and I got a lot to do today'

He said something along the lines of 'g g get the fffff outta here"... we remained friends...

Sleep With It

Sgt. Grit,
I read your articles every week with great enjoyment. your gear decorates my Jeep Wrangler and myself very well.

As to Cpl. Mike Winnie's inquiry to the Bucket Issue, from what I remember at MCRDSD 54 years ago, it consisted of a bucket, toothbrush, toothpaste, a razor and blades, towel, bath soap, laundry soap bar, scrub brush, ties, deodorant, and shaving cream. We used the bucket when washing our clothes on the clothes rack using the issued scrub brush. We used the bucket to water the lawn around our Quonset huts every morning (there was no grass, so we sprinkled the dirt after raking it.) We used our buckets to sit on when we wrote home on Sundays, when we cleaned our rifles, and shined our shoes/boots.

More interesting uses of the bucket were as follows:
1.) Soon after entering boot camp, our DI got pi--ed off at us for something. So he had us fall out with our buckets, fill them with sand, and then get in formation. He then double-timed us back and forth for what must have been an hour while holding our buckets. After a while recruits were falling down with exhaustion and some passing out. We just kept on going. I thought I would just run until I passed out, but, I made it to the end.

2.) After a recruit receiving a pack of cigarettes from home, the DI instructed the recruit to get his bucket and his blanket and bring it out to the mail call. When the recruit returned, the DI had him smoke all the cigarettes sitting on the ground with his head under the blanket over the bucket. He smoked the cigarettes until he became sick enough that he used the bucket to vomit in.

3.) We had to "duck waddle" with our bucket filled with sand for punishment.

4.) Because I had ADHD, I was put in Incentive Platoon, we daily ran the sand dunes by the navy base with our buckets filled with sand. One time another recruit and I had to drag a fat guy as well until he got up and ran.

Regarding SSgt Huntsinger: I was just 17 when I enlisted. Because I only had peach fuzz at that age, I thought that I didn't need to shave yet. Ha Ha! Well, you guessed it. I was ordered to the duty hut where I was told to bring my razor and blade. I was told to toss my blade on the concrete floor where I scrubbed it against the concrete with my boot. I was then told to put my face up to the hut wall and to dry shave until ordered to stop. You can bet I bled a lot that time!

Remember having 8 guys on a team lying on our backs lifting telephone poles by the numbers. Once had to do it with 4 guys because of being short of numbers. Oh to be a Marine! Love it.

Remember qualifying in the pool? You either sank or swim. And getting out of your harness under water. Made a Marine out of you.

Remember if you dropped your rifle, you had to sleep with it? Remember having to strip your M1 down blind folded and put it back together? When I was in the Corps (58-63), I never heard Oohrah, but it sounds great.

One last thing, while in bootcamp, I snuck an apple out of the mess hall one day. Well, someone saw me do it from my platoon. So when we get back to the huts, they all grabbed me and carried me to the dumpster and through me in, shutting the door behind me. It was pretty dark in there while I waited for them to leave. Soon I could see enough to see there were package in the dumpster (it was around Christmas). Looking around I found a package with my name on it. I opened it to find cookies and a fruitcake. So, I sat there and ate the cookies and most of the cake. For once I got one up on it! Never told anyone of the story.

Semper Fi,
LCpl Roy Gillard
Sept. 1958-Sept. 1963
MCRD San Diego Plt. 1004
Camp Pendleton 1st Tank Btn.
Camp Hansen 3rd Tank Btn.
Camp Lejeune ASD Bn 2dFSR
Btry D 2d Bn 12th Mar 3d Div (Float)


Sgt Grit
Remember you talking about Ontos, well here is the Ontos park at MCAS Kaneohe Bay in 1962.

We got to fly over the USS Arizona as the memorial was being built, Weapons Carrier too

Here Bullseye

Sgt Grit
Rifle vs Gun
Sgt; yes I know the difference. This is my rifle. This is my gun. This is for shooting and this is for fun.

Rifle Range Fact
I was a small rifle / shotgun person at age 19 going into shooting a loud M-14 for the first time. The DI put his foot between my legs and said you will not flinch when firing now will you. No Sgt. He stopped my flinching and I shot 247 out of 250 and now have a Rifle Expert Medal.

Shower Clean
The DI had several of us naked on the shower floor with our M14 in hand crawling around saying "Here Bullseye, Here Bullseye". Must of been for morale training for sure. Thanks Sgt. for setting us straight

Thanks Sgt.
Boot camp 1966 Hollywood Marine

Makes A Great Story If It Is Not True

I don't know if this story is actually true, but I've heard Marines swear that it is...

A strapping young man stepped off of a plane at the San Diego airport and being unfamiliar with where he was, he followed the flow of people. As the group dissipated he found himself in the company of other young men headed for a bus. He wasn't sure if this was the bus to take him to his destination, but before he could ask, a small fierce man in a Smokey Bear hat started yelling at all of them to get on "his" bus right now, right f- ing now! They all scrambled to comply.

As the bus pulled away from the airport, he began to feel that this bus wasn't taking him anywhere that he wanted to go. He stood up, "Excuse me, but I think I'm on the wrong bus." He was then instructed, loudly, to sit down and shut up. When the bus finally pulled to a stop the man in the hat started shouting at them once more something about "yellow footprints." As the other young men scrambled off the bus, he tried once more, "I'm not supposed to be here." This was answered with laughter and yet another string of profanity that did not cease until he was in fact standing on a set of painted yellow footprints. Wide eyed and completely freaked out the young man proceeded to follow the ongoing instructions that he was given by yet more angry men in the same type of hat.

Sometime later he was pulled aside by one of the men and asked, "What's your name, son, and why don't I have your paperwork."

He couldn't help it, he burst into tears, "I told you I wasn't supposed to be here!"

Now the man looked worried, "Then why did you get on the bus?"

"When a very scary man starts screaming at you to get on a bus, you get on a bus. Where am I?"

"Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego" the Drill Instructor responded with pride.

"You mean people actually volunteer for this sh-t? You're crazy, you're all crazy!"

After a great many apologies, the unfortunate young man was returned to the San Diego airport. He would never be a Marine, but I dare say he maintained a healthy respect for those crazy volunteers from that day forward. I like to think that maybe he's grateful that his homeland is protected by extraordinary men such as these.

Is there anyone who was there, who could verify that this story is true?

Cpl Kat Adams, USMC '97-'01

Fancy Colored Ones

Ever heard of an Officer Working Party? Served with the gentleman twice (it's been a while, and there may be some ancillary, not too egregious time/assignment errors, in this tale)... King David Thatenhurst, long since standing Command Duty Officer watches inside the Pearly Gates, was an Artillery Officer, and since the bigger caliber pieces on the left side of the country tended to be at TwentyNine Palms, that's where he was when I knew him.

In one instance, he was a Battery Commander in Fifth Field Artillery Group... from memory, M53 155MM SP Howitzers... anyway, the word went out in the group that he would appreciate some volunteers to come help lay a concrete block wall at his quarters on the north side of Two Mile Road (out in town)... He was well liked and respected, and his lady was a sweetheart of a Southern Belle, so come Saturday morning, there was no shortage of Captains and Lieutenants assembled on Two Mile.

The footings had already been poured and were cured, so the task was mostly moving block, mixing mortar, setting block, etc. Although today's school of thought on hydration had not yet come along, we were all aware of the importance of adequate fluid intake when working in the desert sun. If you look carefully at that wall when driving west on Two Mile, you can estimate with some accuracy how far west block-laying had proceeded when we opened the second case... the wall has, not incidentally, withstood the rigors of around 44 years, a lot of sun, and probably 3-4 earthquakes...

Did I mention his top ribbon read "continued on the other side"??... at a later time, perhaps on a second assignment to the Stumps, he was the Lt.Col Bn Commander of the Base Headquarters and Service Battalion... and due to back problems, the Docs had prescribed special footwear, including when in uniform... and in the day, it was not at all unusual to see this three-war vet in Summer Service, ribbons and badges... and cowboy boots... fancy multi-colored ones...

(you can find some links to the name on Google... one being Eric Hammel's book on the Chosin)

Other memorable Marine names come to mind... States Rights Jones for one (a tanker), and his sister, Liberty Bell... think she was a WM Officer...

Sure Enough

Mr. Jones

I read your letter in Sgt. Grit 2/9/2012 newsletter and remember well the feeling you described... I arrived at the Lindbergh Field Airport in San Diego from Indiana at 16 years old, soon to turn 17 in Sept 1956... Once all of us guys from all over the country were inside the Airport we had to wait for someone to pick us up from the base... That's when it got funny... funny now not then...

I remember a kid from Ohio who later turned out to be Pvt. Anthony said I'll get someone out here to get us... He got on the phone and called the base... When someone answered the phone he said... Hey Sarge there's a bunch of us guys over here at the airport, is anyone going to come get us... I still cringe when I think back of it... He said all they said was... We'll be right there...

When those buses arrived and that Marine S/Sgt came strutting into that airport I knew I had stepped into a world of crap... He started out with every cuss word I had ever heard and a lot I'd never heard... He called us every name in the book and proceeded to herd us toward the buses waiting... That's when I thought if he walked into that airport with the public coming and going using the cuss words he used there we were in big trouble once we got to the base...

Sure enough I was right about that... At that time there were no yellow footprints to stand on... On the flight out to Calif. I sat with a black kid from Chicago who told me he had killed guys while in a gang back home, and those DI s wasn't going to run over him... funny, funny, funny... Once off the buses and after forcibly being put into formation I found myself standing at attention right behind the same black kid from Chicago... About that time a short but powerful and sharp dressed Marine approached him and started chewing him up one side and down the other... He was either lying about killing as a gang member, or the Marine in front of him was too much for him, because I looked down and could see he was shaking so bad his pant legs were quivering... and so were mine ha,ha

It no doubt was rough going through boot camp, but I'm so glad they never one time ever let up on us... When I received my EGA I knew I had stood the test and could now take pride in being called a Marine... Now 55 years later I still believe joining the Marine Corps was the best thing I ever did in my life...

Howard W. Kennedy USMC 1956-1962


oooohrah Cpl Thompson, sorry about how you feel regarding the way WMs were/are treated back in the 80s. But you have to remember, a lot of us MM's didn't have a whole lot of contact with WMs in the grunt units. Admin, chowhall, base supply, base motorpool to name a few places that I can personally recall ever encountering the highly elusive but equally qualified Lady's in camo. Didn't see many at the eclub on Lejeune either, but I'm certain the awesome Sgt Grit newsletter would be even a little more interesting (if that's possible) if you would be so kind to give us MMs a story or 2 on what it was/is like to serve in the finest fighting force in the world as one of the FEWER AND PROUDER. I have had the honor to know a Woman Marine after we were both out and in the greasy civilian life, she is of the Brassy sort. Gang way my Senior Drill Instructor, make a hole and make it wide, part like the red f--------n sea. as you were. Thanks for the Thursday motivation Sgt Grit. gotta love it. Cpl Radtke TA 85-89

I only remember seeing WM's a few time while in boot camp. That would be out of the side of my eye while marching somewhere. Seems as if the DI's always had some remark for us about "only in our dreams" after each sighting. I don't remember any other contact with a WM while I was active.
Sgt Grit

Aircrew Helmet

Sergeant Grit, I need a little help.

In the late '70's, VMA(AW)-332 was flying A-6E's out of Cherry Point. This was before all the paint jobs were toned down to make it harder for the enemy to see the airplanes in flight. The helmets were toned down, too.

I'd like to find a photo of the aircrew helmet paint job for this time. I remember the entire helmet was red, with stars on the sides.

The problem is that I can't come up with stars of the right proportions, and I'm hoping a photo would help. If I can get a look at the paint job, I plan to paint my current skydiving helmet the same way. If you might publish this request in your newsletter, it just might bring a photo.

Thanks and Gung Ho/Semper Fi/Ooh-RAH!
Earl Needham

Not Reported To Me

I was in from 1959 to 1963 and I went through a "bucket issue" in Boot Camp. It was a galvanized bucket and all of the items that you needed for personal grooming and cleaning clothes and other odd things that would later go into the foot locker and such was carried in it. We all sat in a big room and the buckets were in front of us. This took place during the first few days of arrival as I remember.

To make sure you had everything you were supposed to have the D.I. would hold up an item and call out what it was and you would respond by holding up the same item. The bucket stayed with you and was used for field days in the Quonset huts, or for doing your laundry and sometimes as discipline techniques for the smokers. I remember a guy who has been caught trying to sneak a smoke and had to light up as many as his mouth could hold and then stand and smoke them with the bucket over his head. I think he was about as green as his dungarees.

On the battalion rotation. After I got out of the infantry Alpha Company 1/5 I was working at the Division headquarters doing what was called the Division strength report and every month all Regiments would send in a head count and the report would be compiled and note the battalion that was on rotation to Okinawa with the 3rd Mar Division. Everything was going along fine until I lost a battalion (1,083) Marines. Kind of hard to misplace them but a battalion had shipped out and they had not reported it to me. We were stressed for a few moments.

In those days it was the plan to have a battalion rotate with 3rd Mar Div so we left as Alpha Company 1st Bat 7th Marines, became 9th Marines on Okinawa and returned to become 5th Marines after our tour. Hope this answers your questions.

Semper Fi
Bill Fortune

I Have No Idea

Sgt. Grit,

In reference to the last article in your 2/2/12 newsletter from Sgt. T. Stewart 1952-55.

I believe he is talking about the WW-II Dodge 1-1/2 ton 6x6 (PC) Personnel Carrier. It had a 30 gal. gas tank with a 1/4" piece of sheet steel under the tank for protection. The drivers side door had the spare tire mounted on a rack outside the door which had to be opened first. What the "M" number was, I have no idea, even though I drove one for 6 months in early 1951 in Korea. It had seats on each side of the cargo area which could seat 14 men.

I later graduated to an M-5 6x6 dump truck and then on my second tour in Korea, I drove a White 6x6 tractor pulling a front end goose neck trailer hauling bull dozers and heavy equipment. All had gasoline engines.

Semper Fi and Gung Ho. Never head ooorah while I was on active duty.

Al Debnar, CWO-2, Retd.
USMC 1949 - 1971
"C" Co. 1st Engr. Bn. 1st Mar Div. Oct 50 - Oct 51.
"H&S" Co. 1st Engr. Bn. Ist Mar Div. Mar 52 - May 53.

Uneven Number

In the early sixties, at MCRD SD, the week after the rifle range was "mess and maintenance week" ... so labeled in the DI's Bible, also known as the 'BRTI", or Basic Recruit Training Instructions... the 'basic' having to do with the content thereof, not 'basic' as in 'basic training" (and all this time, you maggots thought we just made stuff up as we went along... it was scheduled, to the minute)...

Depending on the time of year, the size of platoons would vary, but usually one of the platoons of a series would remain at Camp Matthews for mess duty, and another for maintenance (working parties, other unskilled labor tasks). The other two platoons in the series would return to MCRD, and one would have mess duty in the Bn MessHall, and the other would have maintenance on the Depot.

Mess duty was a break of sorts for the DI's, in that only one would be needed on duty, during the day. Get'em up at 02:30, march 'em over to the messhall, and more or less turn them over to the Mess Sergeant, pick'em up in the evening... just time for showers, mail call, and Taps... Change over occurred on Saturdays, when the platoon being relieved and the newbies would work side by side for OJT...

Sunday was an easier day, but things got right serious come Monday morning. DI's knew that trouble would come on Thursdays... little things like butcher knives being pulled, fist-fights in the scullery, etc. The hours were tough, sleep time was very little, and by Thursday, tempers were short. The grind was beginning to seem un-ending, but. by Friday noon, relief on Saturday was in sight, and things eased up. (besides which, a little bit of 'we're salty!" would begin to set in.) (there are cures for premature 'salt'...)

The galley ran on steam from a central plant, and other than the grills and ovens, this was the only source of cooking heat. The mixers were industrial-strength, had rounded-bottom bowls, that probably held close to 50 gallons. Now, eggs, for whatever reason, came in an uneven number of dozens of eggs per case...39. One of the evening chores after chow, besides cleaning the joint, was prep work for the next morning's breakfast, which, in the event that the master menu called for scrambled eggs, was to... you got it... break eggs!

So, here we have a re-enforced fire team, seated on milk crates, on the red ceramic tiled floor, around one of those rounded bottom mixing bowls, carefully breaking eggs into the bowl (a little egg shell now and then won't hurt you... good thing, that...) Since the messhall was feeding around 1100 meals an hour, it took quite a few eggs. On the occasion in question, it was five cases worth, or, if you want to do the math... 2.340 eggs, which, scrambled, probably worked out to about a two-egg individual serving.

The task was nearly done... and one of the messman, in standing up, knocked over the big bowl, sending most of its content cascading across the galley deck. (and at this point, some will readers will swear that they, personally, ate some of those very eggs...) The immediate need was to get the mess cleaned up... trust me when I tell you that you cannot sweep up, mop up, nor successfully squeegee, 2.000+ raw eggs on a ceramic tile deck, nor get them to flow into a floor drain...

Cooks, being Marines, will also improvise, adapt, and overcome... after some early futile attempts at corralling both yolks and whites, one of the cooks got a steam wand and hose... and proceeded to more or less cook those eggs where they lay, making them firm enough to be scooped up and chunked into the wet garbage bins (picked up daily by a local hog farmer)... with the deck clean, there was only one thing left to do... go to the reefer, get five more cases of eggs, and start over... think the platoon may have gotten as much as two hours sleep that night... not sure, but it may have been plt 317, early 1963.

A common noon meal on the master menu of years back was 'cold cut sandwiches'... probably accompanied by beans of some sort, cake for dessert, whatever (any Food Service folk out there please chime in with any details you may remember)... One of the Officer of the Day's routine duties was to inspect the mess for cleanliness, service, portion size, adherence to the master menu, etc. Happened to have that duty on fine day, had a good breakfast, signed the cook's worksheet (required), found the place to be running well... asked the Gunny who owned the joint what was for lunch?

He replied: "well sir, the troops are having horse c-ock, the SNCO's will have donkey d-ck... but... for you officers, (making the two finger sweep away from the lips commonly recognized as meaning delicious, etc.) there will be pen-s e'stallone!" (baloney, or, bologna, any way you cut it...


Davis tramped in among the men, reminding them that although they were surrounded by the enemy, this was not a retreat. He pointed toward the barren heights.
"Fox Company is just over those ridges," he said. "They're surrounded and need our help. They held the road open for us, and now it's our turn to return the favor. Semper fidelis."

"Where there is no vision, the people perish."
--Proverbs 29:18

"The loss of liberty, to a generous mind, is worse than death. And yet we know that there have been those in all ages who for the sake of preferment, or some imaginary honor, have freely lent a helping hand to oppress, nay to destroy, their country... This is what every man who values freedom ought to consider. He should act by judgment and not by affection or self-interest; for where those prevail, no ties of either country or kindred are regarded; as upon the other hand, the man who loves his country prefers its liberty to all other considerations, well knowing that without liberty life is a misery..."
-- Andrew Hamilton, The Trial of John Peter Zenger 1735

"There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism."
--Alexander Hamilton

Courage is endurance for one moment more...
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

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