Second to None

Arthur R. Cuellar of Rancho Cucamonga honorably served
his country in the Vietnam War in 1967 as a Point Man for the 2nd
Battalion, 4th Marines. He was honorably discharged as a
decorated hero with three Purple Hearts. The time Arthur Cuellar
spent in Vietnam changed his life forever. Arthur, a resident of
California came from a long line of military men. At a young age
Arthur knew he would one day also join the Marines. Before that
day would come he was a promising baseball pitcher, able to
throw a fastball 100 miles an hour. At one point he even played
against the famous ‘Rollie’ Fingers (Roland Glen Fingers). Even
though as a child Arthur was diagnosed and treated for Polio he
did not let this stop him from pursuing his dreams and enlisting in
the Marines at the young age of 18 years.While Arthur was engaged in basic training, he celebrated his 19* birthday and was teased by
fellow marines because of the number of cards he received from his family. As a joke, a female friend
sent him a letter with a kiss imprinted on it. His drill sergeants made him do pushups to kiss the letter.
This was his first initiation into the Marines. Once Arthur finished basic training in April of 1967 he was
flown to Hawaii and there transferred to a 17 hour flight to Okinawa. From Okinawa he went to Danang,
Vietnam. He was assigned his outfit and given a 50 Caliber machine gun as his first weapon, in addition
he was given his required mess kit and C-Rations. This, was his welcome to Vietnam.

Before he even had time to acclimate himself, he and his unit were sent to replace soldiers that
had been wiped out by enemy fire. Now Arthur and about 1000 men were being sent to the DMZ. He
saw action almost immediately. His unit encountered heavy military fire, sometimes 5-8 times a day. His
unit finally reached their position at Con Thien in September of 1967. They engaged the enemy at every
opportunity, and in one battle Arthur was hit by shrapnel. He remembers being stunned and then
everything went black. He believed he was dying. Without hospitalization or anything other than field
medic care Arthur was back in action and at one point found himself in the middle of crossfire between
enemy and friendly fire. Arthur remembers thinking, “I didn’t feel like being awarded the Medal of
Honor posthumously so I jumped back in the ditch”

Arthur was wounded three times before being transferred to Hawaii, where he continued his
tour of duty which included, serving as a military policeman where he guarded both President Johnson
and Nixon. After his military duty he stated, “I never wanted a civilian profession where he was required
to have a gun. ” Today Arthur is a Chaplain and volunteers his time helping veterans recover from their
war experience. Arthur believes he survived the war for a reason and believes God wants him to use his
experience to help change the lives of others for the better. At a very young and during an unpopular
war Arthur laid his life on the line for his country. He served with honor and valor and is truly an
American hero.Arthur R. Cuellar of Rancho Cucamonga honorably served
his country in the Vietnam War in 1967 as a Point Man for the 2nd’^
Battalion, 4″^ Marines. He was honorably discharged as a
decorated hero with three Purple Hearts. The time Arthur Cuellar


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20 thoughts on “Second to None”

  1. Go easy on this one Harry, G might like it. There are not to many Pros who can throw 100mph. To me, three purple hearts, unless hospitalized, always drew a red flag, it was a way out of country. At least this story is written by someone else and not the Marine, they always seem to add to it to make it sound good. They forget we were there, I was at Con Thien in the middle of Aug 67. Did he walk point with the 50 caliber he was issued?

    1. I will give this one a pass since info seems 2nd hand.Sure would hate to have to hump a 50. Cal through the bush! Former SOS JK got PH for getting hit with a piece of rice! Needed band aid.If I would have claimed PH everytime I got hit with flying dirt,rocks and wood etc.. I would have been home in less than 3 months! Are we too opinionated? I need to get out more.

      1. No, we are not opinionated. They don’t know how stupid and funny their stories are to us, who know first hand. If I say no one even walked point with a M-60 I am sure some will say I am wrong. Oh ya Rambo did.

        1. May 5, 1967 Echo Company 2/3 in taking Hill 881N NW of Khe Sanh, used our M-60 machine gun teams to walk point because of the newly issued M-16 (XM-16E1) would jam at the third round fired leaving an empty cartridge stuck in the chamber.

          1. I believe you, and not to upset you, but assaulting a position and walking point are a little different. We all know about the M-16.

  2. Hey don’t forget, Rambo could fly a Huey and drive a Tank! How many did he blow away in the back of the Huey with the back blast of the LAW he shot?

  3. Too may details don’t appear to be true. From boot camp to RVN without a stop at ITR? His unit took four months to go from Danang to Con Thien? How many ammo carriers accompanied him on Point? No Medevac? Smells to me, Semper Fi brothers

    1. I’m not sure how things were in 1967 but in 68 at 17 years old, boot camp then ITR at camp Geiger north Carolina as a 17 year old was sent to getmo bay cuba when I turned 18 had orders for Vietnam as a 0311. before you went to nam we had to go to camp Pendleton cal and trained for jungle warfare with the M 16 we practiced on the viet cong trail just like on patrol except targets of viet cong would pop up instead of the real thing and you would open fire on them. went to Vietnam may 1969 until end of june 1970 was with 3/1 india co 1st marine division, walked point also and never saw any body carry a 50 cal at all but once on patrol did carry an m-37 that’s the shotgun while walking point but normally the m-16. ive been on many patrols and night l shaped ambushes 90 days in the bush at a time never encounter a fire fight 5-8 times a day maybe 1 to 3 times a week search and destroy ina 20 mile radias out side of Danang operation ,pipestone canyon thru dodge city Quan nam province. sorry marine for rattling along I get carried away sometimes SEMPER FI Gary

  4. i was a scout with 2/4 from April – November 1967 working with Echo, Fox, Golf,and Hotel companies. during that time 2/4 was NEVER on Con Thien, but did get overrun between Con Thien and Cam Lo on Oct 13 1967. i walked point many times and NEVER , EVER saw any point man with anything larger than an M-14 or a “borrowed” AK 47 …

    1. Anybody remember someone packing a Shotgun on point with the “flesette rounds” ? you know the shell packed with those little darts. I think they were called “bee hive” Harry

  5. Please do not discourage the story tellers. I enjoy the readings, and they make my daughter, a Navy Chief, deployed five time to the middle East, drop her jaw and cross her eyes. She seems to think Marines are full of shit anyhow.

  6. Drill Sergeants in basic training instead of Drill Instructors?….From basic training to Vietnam without ITR or indoctrination at Camp Pendleton?…..Carried a .50 Cal walking point….How do you hump a .50, especially in the summer in Vietnam?….No 782 gear except a mess kit? – No canteens or First Aid Kit?….Did Arthur and his unit walk from Danang to Con Thien…Where was 3rd Motor T? A field medic cared for his wounds. Where was the Corpsman? And finally, how do you carry a four months supply of C-Rats? “Nuf Said”.

    1. I am with you on this one Bob. I don’t believe anyone who went to Marine Corps boot camp would use “Drill Sergeant.” That is an Army term. No Marine would refer to their Drill Instructors as a Drill Sergeant. Other parts of the story sound fishy as well. To many inconsistencies in this story for me. I was in Vietnam in 1970.

  7. Maybe his CO was Richard Blumenthal from CT……. nuff said….. too much BS…. glad he is now helping Vets…..

  8. It takes STRONG Marine to hold a 50 Cal with both arms, aim and fire with no recoil. I’ve never seen a shoulder sling for a 50 Cal either.

  9. At age 79 years, I still think humping a M2 .50 must have been a hellava job. Recoil is a bitch. Shot my brother’s .50 Barrett in the prone position at the range and after a few rounds the question was, “Does anybody else want to shoot?” At 9.5 lbs my M1 was a piece of cake. I still see the smallest feather merchant in the squad humping the BAR at about 20 lbs and the two smallest feather merchants in weapons platoon humping the 81mm mortar base plate with the two rope handles, their cartridge belts slipping from their waists and heading for their knees.

      1. You’re right! Those damn OD cans were big and heavy. Humping .30 ammo for the M1919 was bad enough. It’s no wonder the M2 is usually secured or pedestal mounted. The .50 cans are great for cleaning gear or tool box.

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