Off to sunny Parris Island

On July 17, 1962 I went to the train station in Baltimore, now the site of the Orioles baseball stadium. Arrived at Yamase, S.C. in the dark around 4 a.m.. Took a cattle car to Parris Island and then all hell broke loose. After some paper work we got an hour of sleep before the DIs were booting us out. The next 12 hours were a blur: haircuts, receive clothing and boots and accessories and off to the barracks. Second floor of a wooden barrack. DIs screaming the whole time. Thirteen weeks of being torn down from a civilian to become a Marine, if all goes well. Physically gained 10 pounds of muscle. Mentally had to learn to suck it up and persevere. At the rifle range learned to shoot better than I did already. Qualified expert with the M14. Survived to get my EGA. After a leave, I reported to Quantico Va. for EOD school. We were on KP while awaiting for a full class to form. Enjoyed the KP but got word that the class was cancelled due to too many in that MOS. Was transferred to an 81mm mortar platoon on Quantico. We were used for officer training as the bad guys, along with training a mortar platoon.

My Captain called me in to his office one day and said I had qualified for electronics school. Did I want to go? Decided there was more use in civilian life for an electronics background than 81mm mortar experience. Off I went to MC Bootcamp in San Diego, Calif. The electronics school was at the other boot camp for Marines. Enjoyed it in California, except the fact that anyone under 21 yrs. old could not drink beer, as I was used to in Quantico, Va.

Eight months later I graduated from electronics school, second in the class. Was then sent to Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station, N.C. where I spent 16 months with a great group of Marines in Marine Air Support Squadron-1. After 16 months. I was transferred to MACS-7.

Two weeks later we were notified we were shipping out for Japan. Took 30 days leave and returned to Cherry Point for a flight to California for a flight to Japan. We were notified we were going to Okinawa instead, because the barracks in Japan had caught fire, and we were going to Camp Schwab in Okinawa. Had a great time on Okinawa and then flew to Vietnam. Arrived at Chu Lai air base and trucked to MACS -6 to help set up out radar/communications equipment. It was a new site bulldozed out of the red dirt. Was sent to Phu Bai/Hue.

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