Tuesday, April 10, 2012

USMC Graduation Day

We interrupt our regularly scheduled entry of Pine Ridge for the following blog.  Twenty years ago today I graduated from USMC boot camp. Twenty years. I can still remember most of it like it just happened a few weeks ago. 

I'm the one in the green hat.


After boot camp I headed to infantry school, and smuggled in one of those disposable cameras to get a few shots of what life was like in infantry school.  The only picture I have left is this one...
That's Mt. Motherbucker over my shoulder. (We called it something else a little saltier that sounds like motherbucker though) We climbed that sucker about every day, and it earned it's moniker.

Following infantry school came artillery school, where I trained to be a Fire Direction Controlman. Part of that was learning to survey with the theodolite, shown here with Chavez and me...

After all of that training, I was off to have many adventures with Delta Battery, 2/14.

Driving the Gypsy Wagon out in the Stumps... 29 Palms.
Dust devil that blocked the road.  We drove straight through it.  It felt like being in a sandblaster!
Haircuts in the desert.  That was a first for me.

Palm Springs airport coming home from 29 Palms for the first time.

This is my rifle.  There are many like it, but this one is mine.

Practicing throwing grenades before we tossed a real one.
Protecting our...umm... hands.

The it was off to the grenade pits.  Above is me, mid throw...
Then it went BOOM. I think I blew up that stick.

A small detachment from Delta Battery went to Norway to help out Echo Battery and teach them how to shoot a bit more efficiently. :)  The four of us wanted to ski, but were too late to rent skis.  We got to the top of the mountain and went down on our combat boots.  It was a hoot!

Wib and Mac above the Arctic circle.

Mac and me, also above the Arctic circle.

Helo ops. They sent a bunch of us back to Ft. McCoy on Huey's.  It was a fun trip!

I love the smell of fresh air at 3000 feet.

Wib and Schutzie, and me too.  Finishing up training in Ft. Knox.
My last Marine Corps Ball when I was in.

Hanging with Dad when we had a family day.

And Mom got to ride in the back of a Hummer.  A real one, not one of those knock offs that can be seen on the roads these days.

Those were some good times.  Hard times, and a few miserable times to be sure.  But mostly good times.  I was fortunate to serve with a bunch of excellent Marines. Really good guys doesn't even begin to describe my admiration for them. There are days that I miss being a Marine. Miss the people I served with. But then I remember that I am always going to be a Marine in my heart.  I earned that title twenty years ago today.

Semper Fi, Marines. Thank you for all you do and have done.  It was a privilege and honor to serve.

More Later

1 comment:

Joe Pressey said...

The haters dont know what pride will always live within Marines. I may have not gone to college but the life lessons the corps taught me, and the places I've visited are priceless! Reading your blog was similar to my expieriences and I share your sentiments about the times and the brothers and sisters I served with (1/10)from 85 to 89. On this memorial Day and everyday, SEMPER FI MY BROTHER!!!!!!!!