From an email received Jan. 2, 06
Used with Doc's permission
please forgive the lower case....i am holding a 2 day old baby girl in my left arm.
i first became acquainted with marine recon in feb, 1968, when i was transferred to camp pendleton, ca, from 2nd hospital company, camp lejeune, nc, to camp pendleton for two weeks then onto vietnam, i was told, it was september 1969 when i finally got orders to go to 'nam. at da nang airport i actually volunteered for 1st recon, and why not for i had spent about a year and a half with 5th recon bn in sunny and rainy cal-i-for-ni-a..
I will use upper and lower case now for I have put my 2 day old baby to sleep in her crib for a little while.
Uh, I was a Navy Corpsman who served with the Marines for almost 3 of 4 years. FMF Training in North Carolina, 2nd Hospital Co, Camp Leguene, 5th Recon at Pendleton, 1st Recon, then 1st Med Bn in Vietnam.
feeding time and back to lower case......
4 years in the Navy mostly as a Hospital Corpsman...almost 3 years attached to the Marines including a tour in 'Nam but sometimes I felt like I did nothing at all during those 4 years. But as I think back on those times, I thank God for everything I was not subject to and to everything I did not experience for in the long run, in any run, it is God who controls the lives and paths of we mortals. And try as I have, I cannot blame God for all that I did not do and all that I did do during those times. Oh how good it feels not to have developed hepititis or to be plagued with the complications of Agent Orange and other things. No VD...no visible wouds...no one dying in my arms...what more could a man ask for? In my case... years without guilt from having survived my part in Vietnam. Years of guilt thinking about those bandages I did not put in place. How stupid was I? Pretty darn stupid as I think back! What happened to me then and since then was and is in the hands of God.
Today, I continue to be in the hands of God. Today, at 58 years of age this Vietnam Vet is the father of a 2 day old healthy baby girl free from all those illnesses and ailments and nightmares I dreaded for some 35 years! The health community was right...I was not exposed to all that then, and nor a lot since then. A very healthy 2 day old baby girl!
Gone is the guilt from having come home in one piece! Gone is the worry of having contracted something in 'nam!
Gone and replaced with a 2 year old baby girl... and the health to enjoy life as a father. Thank You God!
I wish all Recon Corpsmen and all Recon Marines could enjoy the same in 2006 but I am aware of all who died in "nam and since then. I am aware of the missing Reconners then and now and I shall always remember them and fight for their return home alive or dead. As long as I live, others could still live.
Why me and not others? God controls all and the answers are his to tell or not tell.
But at this special time and the hours before ... 1220 hours, 30 December 2005...and the birth of a very special and healthy baby girl...all feels quite wonderful with the world! I shall not forget the others who served anyesterday and I shall never forget those who serve today.
Being a Marine was never part of the plan for me for my father and "three" of his brothers were World War 2 Army, three more brothers and Uncles, were WW 2 Army, another Uncle, U.S. Navy, was killed in action in WW 2... and my brother was Army during the early days of Vietnam. And I, U.S. Navy, becomes attached to the U.S. Marines. How ironic... or whatever it turned out to be. Through it all, which was not my plan, all turned out well for beside me in her hospital crib is our 2 year old daughter!
Semper Fi is not part of my Navy vocabulary but what is is "Happy New Year" and God Bless to all!
CHARLIE CO. SEPT 69 TO AUG 70