non vietnam vet

I enlisted in the Marines in Feb.,1966 while I was a senior. I entered boot camp July, 1966. Went to infantry training a Pendleton and then supply school at Camp Lejeune. When leaving school, we were given three choices. Over seas, west coast, east coast. I chose over seas because I thought being in the Corps for four years I would go to Viet Nam sometime I might as well get it over. When my orders came, they sent ten of us to MACS-2 at Kaneohe Hawaii. Next duty was C&E Bat. at San Diego. As such, I never refer to myself as a Viet Nam Vet. I just served during the war.

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21 thoughts on “non vietnam vet”

  1. Small world, I’m pretty sure you were in the same class at Lejeune that I was in BSAC-33 and I also went to MACS-2.

  2. I can’t believe I read this….. WW1 era vet ??? WW2 era vet ??? Korea era vet ???? You apparently served during Vietnam, and you SERVED A PURPOSE in support of our country during the Vietnam War…. Please refer to Vietnam Veterans of America….

  3. You served and did your job, that’s the main thing. You had no control about the bases you were assigned to. Semper Fi, Jim

  4. I served in the Marine Corp from July 61 to April 65. Was in during the Cuban Crisis and went to Cuba at that time. When we returned to Pendleton. I to was transferred to Keneohe Bay M. C. A. S. Military Police for my last 2 years Those of us that did not go to Vietnam served a role in supporting those that did. Without the support that they received from all of us. Things would have been a lot worse over there. I personally have never heard one of my fellow veterans that were in country say anything derogatory about those who weren’t. My son is a retired Master Chief and he was addressing a group of Recruiters and was ask what good they were doing to help those that were in Afghanistan. He replied the you might be the one the enlisted the sailor that had his fellow sailors back and saved his life. Or saw and prevented an ambush. So believe me we all knowing or not knowing made a difference in some way.

  5. Went into the Marines in Feb 66 boot camp MCRD and then Pendleton for ITR and the Artillery school,,then boot leave. Next stop Camp Lejeune for about 45 days and then was transferred to MCB 29 Palms for training and then to Viet Nam. Arrived at the Stumps on 20Sept 66 and was stationed there until I was discharged in Feb68,,first thing the M55 8″ Howitzer was declare obsolete for over seas duty so we were in sort of limbo, I was sent TAD to training 6 month reservist until we were officially equipped which never happened and a bunch of Marines spent there enlistment going to the field training and doing MCI courses (I completed 9) I enjoyed my enlistment made a lot of friends and was discharged a Sergeant E-5,, I tell people I am a Viet Nam era Marine…

  6. I had orders to Nam in 1967 and left for two weeks staging at Pendleton when my only child was 10 days old. Just before I left Pendleton for Nam, my orders were changed to Okinawa. For the last 50+ years, the only thing I call myself is a Marine.

  7. I was in the same boat as Jack. Had orders for RVN ground forces, but when I checked into Staging in 1969 they stamped my orders with a 3, and said I was going to Okinawa instead because the 3rd Mar Div was withdrawing. Of course trying to get the 3 changed was useless. A month before I rotated, a few quotas for Viet Nam came in, but because I was a short timer, I was told I would probably have to re enlist to get one of the quotas. I decided against the re enlistment. I ended up at Camp Lejeune and eventually re-upped for a 2 year “vacation” at Subic Bay. Best 2 years of my life. I must admit that I still regret that I made the team but never got in the game, although I have never had another Marine tell me that I missed anything by not being sent there.

  8. While U did not serve in Vietnam, U still served during that time. Therefore U R a Vietnam Era Vet & can call yourself that. U served where the MC wanted U to serve. Semper Fi

  9. I went to Boot at MCRDSD in June of 1968 and ITR shortly after that. Upon completion of ITR, I received orders to report to Quantico, VA for school. There I learned how to be a 2111 small arms repairman. I honestly thought that my next duty would send me to Na-m, but instead, I was sent to 29 Palms. My next duty was Marine Barracks Panama from January 70 to March 71. Back to Quantico until June 72. Got out until March 73 at which time i re-enlisted. Was sent to MCAS ElToro until April 75. Never got anywhere near Vietnam but would have gone with no question. Joined a local American Legion Post in 2009 and was also asked to join the Vietnam Veterans of America. Was told that it didn’t matter that I hadn’t gone to Nam, just that I had served during the war. I am now a lifetime member, but my Legion post disbanded in 2015 and no other post nearby. I too am a “non combat veteran”, but I served proudly and would have done so again if I could. Don’t feel bad that you didn’t serve in combat, just remember, you served our nation at a time when it wasn’t popular to be a GI no matter what branch of service we were in. Even those of that served “stateside” were not treaded as well as coulld be expected. Thank you for your service everyone. Semper Fi.

  10. Ijoined the corp in 1961 until 1965,and for all that time I was told that my prinary mos was 0311 grunt but some of us went to other units, mine was motor transport,and Iwent to ok.3rd.motort.and after that Iwent on flot for about 3 mounths to the phipiens and back out to sea during which we were just off the coast of china,and we could have been called too vn. at any time as were intheir starting in61 until 75 ,my point is we go where we are sent.Iwas then ordered back to the us and sent to Quantico verginaia in63 stated there till I was discharged,but before I got out in may of that because I was driving a staff car I got to meet the one and only Lt.Generial chesty puller who Ipicked up at his invirginia and took Quantico HQ.and back to his residence think about that I do every day. And I still am a time wise not land wise.look at how many ran off to canada and very little said about them.

  11. My Sister’s husband spent the entire WWII as a flight instructor training cadets to fly large 2 & 4 engine bomber’s and transport type airplanes in our country. He never had to leave. But, we considered him a WWII veteran. His job was essential to the war effort as far as we were concerned.

  12. You do not owe an apology to anyone! “According to the needs of the service” means you go where they send you. Vietnam Era is not an embarrassing title. Semper Fi, Marine!

  13. I am a combat veteran of Vietnam, I served with Bravo 1/9, from the time the battalion was reactivated in March 1965, until I was rotated out in March 1966. During that time, we inflected so many casualties on the enemy, General Giap promised he would destroy us by his birthday, March 17, 1966, he we were “Di o Chet” meaning Walking Dead. We proved him wrong. I only tell you this so you know we all did the job we were ordered to do. For every combat Marine there are at least seven other Marines in support of him. Their job is necessary to keep the combat Marine supplied and cared for. The job you were ordered to do, you had no control over. You did your job. Be proud of it, we needed you to complete our mission. Thank you for your service. Semper Fi Marine.

  14. Much the same story with me. Served from 11/61 to 03/66. Got as far as Iwakuni with numerous trips to Okinawa but never to Nam. Obviously I wanted to go to Viet Nam, but now I am just glad to have served and am proud to be a Marine.

  15. I signed up on 12.27.72. Volunteered for Nam. Made it to 4th FSR, 3rd MarDiv. I was willing able and ready to go. Never met a “Korean Era Vet”. What the hell! Volunteered for Desert Storm, sent to England for Welfare and Casualty Support. I would do it again. There was a Marine who was counting on someone to have his 6, that would be me. Screw labels. Semper Fi

  16. When I enlisted in November 1966 I was told that 90% of Marines leaving boot camp would have orders to Vietnam. So when my wife, mother and grandmother asked me not to volunteer for Vietnam I agreed knowing I would be going anyway. Who would have thought that I would be part of the 10% who would get orders elsewhere. In my case I spent two years a sea going Marine. I left there a sergeant and again thought I would receive orders to Vietnam. Instead I was sent to Califorina and to my surprise was ordered to work at the base brig. After serving there 10 months I finally received orders to Vietnam and served in I Co 3/5.

  17. I was drafted in Feb 66. Thought I would die at MCRD. Went from 155 lb. to 185 lb. Radar school, then MACS 2 in Hawaii. Discharged Feb 68 during TET. The Marines in Nam did not need me.

  18. Wearing a uniform in home town USA in 1970 meant I was a rapist and a baby killer, it didn’t matter if I wore a single NDR or a full chest w/VSM at least to those calling me those horrible names. It meant that the proudest thing I had ever accomplished up to those early years was denied. I learned to wear civilian clothing in the streets of Jacksonville, Oceanside and in my home downs while on leave. They were difficult times for VietNam veterans and non VietNam veterans alike. The public didn’t or couldn’t recognize the difference. After being discharged I returned home not expecting any fanfare from the public. But, what I did not foresee was the treatment I would receive from my own peers who served in VietNam. I didn’t fit, didn’t belong, wouldn’t understand. My friends and my own brother w/ 6 mo.’s in country couldn’t recognize my service and never spoke to me regarding his experiences. As a Marine I simply followed orders and did as I was told.
    So what am I? A Vietnam veteran for being treated like one from the public, or a Vietnam era veteran because that is what my brothers call me! I never called myself a Vietnam veteran and still bitter for what took place during those times. I am now proud to be called a Marine and grateful for those who make us and the public feel proud in that way.
    Many thanks to those who submitted their stories in this regard and supported those who were not in country.


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