Ok I had my political Bitch Session Yesterday. Today I woke up and ran into all kind of reminders that it is a day set aside to remember and honor my fellow vets. As with most instances in my life I have not made much effort to keep in contact with them so I pulled out my few old photos and thought maybe I could show them and even remember some of the names. Not all the memories I have or may share are pleasant but no disrespect to any person is intended.
Let’s start from the beginning. At least this is where it started for me. For the literally millions both before and after me it started at their own time and place. They will have to tell their own stories if they want it told. I don’t have their info or memories.
Bottom left black shirt (probably faded olive drab) sorry I don’t know his name squad leader. I think he rotated shortly after my arrival. To his right rear, Whitehead. Didn’t know him well and he may have rotated shortly after I arrived as well. To blackshirts left rear, Kirkland, maybe another squad leader and another short timer when I arrived. Move to his left is Hannah, a gunner I think. Good guy. Usually very calm and laid back if you know what I mean. Some would say mellow. Not long left in country either. Then a guy whose name I am not at all sure about I know it at but can’t recall. Seems he was married with 2 kids. Sure hope he made it home alright. To his right rear Opel or Opal not sure of spelling. Starting wih Opal we are are just gun crew. Opal was big and muscular. Into Isonmetric excercise. Funny what we remember. Right of Opal with the blond hair is Dunsford. He and Duquane to his right were school buddies from Louisana I believe. Dunsford’s name was Mike. Maybe? Duquane was Duke of course. The guy to Dukes right and slightly behind I can’t name, sorry, he too may have gone home early and that was seldom good. Over Dunsford’s left shoulder is Porter . Good guy there for a short while it seems and may have gone home underless than ideal conditions but am not sure with him either. Then Henry June from Sanford FL. Used to help him with the wording of letters to his girlfriend back home. Wonder if he married her and if I just dumped him in hot water LOL. Then there is a fell0w on your left side no shirt and a bandage around his right. foot. That was the first time they threatened to write me up for destruction of government property. Playing Volley Ball bare footed stepped on a piece of buried metal. Boy it makes you feel good to find out you are government property. Directly behind me is Woody good guy quiet and shy. Know he went home under poor circumstances. Back full, and I do mean full of shrapnel. Same day I earned my Purple Heart. They cleaned our clock that day! Took out both our gun crews with two mortar rounds of their own. I wasn’t really wanting a purple heart though. It just kind of found me. Back and to my left is Rhoner. He contacted me on several occasions during the mid to lage nineties to invite me to a gathering of vets he attended. Being my normal not so social self I never made it. Next, back row left side is Bob or Robert Shooks I think, he was good guy to stayed to himself much of the time. Then Chief. Bet you would never guess he was Native American. Lot of imagination we had huh. Left of the Chief is Joe Sloss if I have it right. From Conneticut. We were stationed together stateside as well. Then last but not least Sexhauer. Hailed from Wisconsin. Maybe. And no he was never ragged about that last name either. Sure he wasn’t. Again I apologize for the names I forgot but I do remember the People.
Don’t think I did to badly after about 50 years. Only 3 names missing assuming I am right about the others.
While stationed Stateside after liberty was called on Friday afternoon usually from about 3 to 5 PM we were allowed to come and go as we pleased so long as we were back and in Monday morning formation at 7 AM. And stayed within a 300 mile limit of the base. I routinely went home. Fort Pierce FL. About 12 hard hours driving from Camp Lejune. Roger and Ray made the trip with me a couple of times on seperate occasions. I visited Rogers home in CT a couple of times as well. About the same distance the other way. We may have stretched the limit a little.
Roger visited me in SE FL once and I tried to run him down a couple of times a few years later but never could. Same story with Ray. He came and stayed a couple of days but I could not find him thereafter.
You have time for a couyple anecdotes I hope.
Remember now: I was raised in SE FL. So far out of town we joked that sunshine had to be pumped in. It hasn’t changed much yet Until I flew home after basic training I had never even seen an airplane other than flying over or on a little private airport for crop dusters. After our second phase of training at Camp Peneldton CA we were flown nonstop by one of the major airlines of the day to Okinawa. Nothing but the best. Nonstop no less except for refueling in Hawaii where we were allow out on the Tarmac while refueling was done. There just coincidently happened to be armed guards standing around us to insure we didn’t get lost while in formation I am sure. Afterwards we reloaded and arrived in Okinawa 2 hours BEFORE we left CA. A little hard for me to get my head around at that young and tender age,
Back Stateside after Vietnam. The battalion I was assigned to upon return was being reformed of about an even split of boots right put of basic and troops that had just rerturned from Vietnam. Boots? That is someone just out of boot camp or basic training. Their first duty station. One morning dureing the 7 o:clock morning formation I mentioned earlier we were all standing straight and tall at attention when a Six By, truck went by on the road behind us. Not an unusual occerence in itself but this morning it backfired. Very loud and pronounced. Half of us found ourselves lying flat on the ground, or deck as it was called then, and the other half still at attention no doubt wondering what was going on. I looked left and right to find it was just about even staggered one standing at attention and one lyung on the ground usually with their hand over their head for protectionto against the incomeing fire. The Officers and Staff NCOs didn’t see the humor I’m afraid.
Sure would like to know about these guys so I could contact or be contacted by any or all of them. Or just know if they are still arouynd or how life has been for them.
Should anyone wish to contact me feel free to email me at email@example.com . I will get back to you.
hobbyfarmlife.com Hope you enjoyed it.