Vol I
Isssue 17
In 2004 at our last DC reunion, MajGen John Admire (2ndLt John Admire in 1966) was our keynote speaker.

His presentation was basically off the cuff, with only a few note cards as his guide.  After the reunion he kindly “replicated” his speech at my request, so I could post it on our website.  Following  is from the latter section of his talk:
In late 1966 our battalion was issued a “Warning Order” to conduct a “Search and Destroy Operation. “ Unlike the standard, smaller, and shorter duration squad level patrols and ambushes we conducted daily, such operations were usually once every two or three months, normally for three to four weeks in duration, included about 800 Marines and Sailors, and ventured much deeper into enemy territory. The battalion mobilized for a major fight and aggressively searched for the enemy to destroy him.

In the days before the scheduled D-Day we prepared for our departure for an extended time in the field. The day before the operation was to commence, however, the Battalion Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Delong, informed us that a national news media reporter would be assigned to our platoon for the operation. Our primary task was to assure his safety while he wrote an article about “A Day in the Life of a Marine in Combat” or some such title. We were neither excited nor disappointed at having a reporter accompany us, yet hopeful that maybe we’d be mentioned in dispatches. Maybe someone back home, other than our parents and families, would remember that we continued to be involved in a war.

We then helped prepare the reporter for his time in the field. We briefed him on life in the jungle, demonstrated to him the techniques for opening and eating C-Rations, explained a few patrol tactics and immediate actions drills, and equipped him with 782-Gear. He appeared a little nervous by the time we’d talked to him about survival in combat, but we were always a little nervous ourselves. We worried only when we stopped worrying. We guarded against complacency. It’s one basic rule in combat—always worry a little. It helps keep you focused. But worry too much and you become too cautious.

 The next morning at sunrise we were heli-lifted into multiple landing zones in the valleys near Khe Sanh and the DMZ. The battalion then advanced west and north along parallel routes as we began to move deeper and deeper into the jungle and higher and higher into the mountains. The first two days were relatively quiet and uneventful, but we anticipated that the enemy would become aware of our presence in time and would seek to either retreat or engage us. In either event, we suspected that day three would begin to become more interesting and more dangerous. 

We were on the move early on day three and began our assent into the mountains. The open valleys often provided a sense of relative security because of the extended visibility, but once on the narrow mountain trails and into thick triple canopy jungle, visibility became more restricted and the advance more dangerous. Sensing this, about noon the reporter advised us that he planned on returning to the rear on the next helicopter. He knew that we were normally re-supplied about every three to four days and that this was his ticket back to the rear, clean sheets, hot food, cold drinks, and other such benefits totally absent in the field. 

We sort of smiled to ourselves, yet we understood. What was initially planned as a story that would take weeks to research, the reporter had completed in two or three days. He was either a much better reporter than he originally thought or possibly a little fearful as we moved closer to the enemy or simply disgusted with the misery of life in the field. Whatever, none of us could blame him for wanting to return to the rear and a safer environment? Yet, none of us would have left without all of us leaving. We were in it together and we’d finish it together.

As fate would have it, however, that evening immediately prior to sunset the platoon advanced into an enemy ambush. We were somewhat ready because we knew that the NVA would normally try to attack late, surprise us, and then attempt to fade or retreat into the jungle darkness as night fell. Unless totally surprised, the NVA usually fought only on their terms and when we were at a disadvantage. Therefore, we knew that we had to very rapidly gain control with firepower and maneuver. But this was often a major challenge and much more difficult in action than mere words. We knew that knowing what to do and doing it were two different actions. We knew the enemy would do his best to counter our actions as we reacted to his. We did what we had to do.

The stillness and quietness of the jungle twilight were shattered with explosions from mortars, grenades, landmines, rocket launchers, booby traps, and small arms fire from rifles and machineguns. Instantly it was absolute chaos. But we were familiar with chaos. What may appear as total disorganization to the uninitiated was a state we’d learned to live in as well as function in. It was either learn and function or die. We’d been initiated into this chaos time and time again. We learned to function to live.

Immediately, the Marines and Corpsmen in the platoon began to function. With minimal orders or direction from me, they functioned as a coordinated team based upon their training and experiences in past firefights. In seconds we were returning fire and maneuvering. It was imperative that we gain the advantage as quickly as possible or we would be at a serious disadvantage. 

One squad held its position and laid down a base of fire to limit or neutralize the effectiveness of the enemy fire. PFC Hossack, my radio operator, despite severe wounds, helped coordinate the actions of the three squads while we called for supporting arms fires and provided radio updates to the battalion for any reinforcing actions. PFC Hossack’s coordinated withering fires enabled the other two platoons to maneuver. 

A second squad on the left flank unhesitatingly charged into the killing zone to protect and recover Marines who had been injured or killed in the ambush. With virtually no protection except the cloth of their uniforms, helmets, and flak jackets, they exposed themselves to enemy fire to assist their fallen comrades.  Time and time again, Doc Leathes would charge into the killing zone, shield a fallen Marine from enemy fire by positioning his body between the casualty and the enemy fire, pull the Marine off the trail into a ravine or camouflaged area, and medically treat the wounded. Concurrently, Lance Corporal Calhoun advanced into the killing zone to support Marines, redistribute critical ammunition, recover Marines and weapons, and destroy enemy positions. Although rendered temporarily unconscious from an AK-47 round that pierced his helmet and grazed his head, Lance Corporal Calhoun regained consciousness and repeatedly attacked the enemy.

A third squad on the right flank immediately executed an envelopment to further distract the enemy, attack his concealed positions, and possibly intercept any enemy retreat or withdrawal routes.  Corporal Wheeler led the attack. With aggressive and accurate fire he first distracted the enemy from delivering fire into the killing zone and then he destroyed them. The enemy quickly recognized Corporal Wheeler and the envelopment as a major threat and turned their attention to him. Although severely wounded and unable to stand, Wheeler crawled forward from position to position constantly confusing the enemy as to his location while delivering extremely effective fire. After about five separate advances by individual NVA soldiers, who were all killed by Corporal Wheeler, the enemy apparently decided to retreat. They’d had more than enough from PFC Hossack, Corporal Wheeler, and Lance Corporal Calhoun.

It was then over as quickly as it had begun. Quiet stillness returned to the jungle as darkness descended. In what had seemed a lifetime, the firefight probably concluded in thirty minutes or so. But such engagements are never over soon enough. By then it was dark, totally dark in the nighttime jungle. No one moved. In this situation you simply held your position.  Anything that moved would create noise and any noise was likely to be fired upon. We stayed alert and we waited, we waited for sunrise.

At sunrise we policed the battlefield and advanced to a helicopter landing-zone to prepare for the receipt of supplies and ammunition as well as to medevac our killed and wounded. Once we arrived at and secured the zone the platoon engaged in multiple duties. We assembled together as one squad redistributed ammunition and prepared to occupy an assigned sector of the perimeter, another squad cleaned their weapons and cleaned themselves from the mud and the blood from the battle the night before, and yet another squad tended to the wounded while eating breakfast and helping ready the WIA for their medevac. 

As the platoon was performing these duties the news reporter walked up to our location. He was still visibly shaken, almost demoralized, from the chaos and killings and bloodshed from the night before. It had been about twelve hours since the firefight, but it remained somewhat of an emotional trauma to him. Then in a somewhat frustrated or flustered manner, the reporter said “I wouldn’t do what you Marines do for all the money in the world.”

Pfc Smith, a rifleman and radio operator, looked up somewhat surprised and simply said “Hell, neither would we, neither would we” as if to imply who would do this for money.  Unfortunately, Smitty was killed a couple of months later by a booby-trapped landmine.

Then Corporal Antoine, a tough Italian Team Leader from either South Boston or Philly, added “There ain’t enough money in the world to pay us to do what we do.” Corporal Antoine was unfortunately killed later that summer by an AK-47 round that pierced his skull.

Finally, Staff Sergeant Cooper, our Platoon Sergeant and former DI, in a rather direct but dignified crusty ole DI growl said “We do what we do because we’re Marines and it’s our mission.” He paused for a moment for emphasis before concluding “We do it because we care for one another, because we love one another as Marines.” Staff Sergeant Cooper later received a battlefield commission to Second Lieutenant and was transferred to the 81mm Mortar Platoon. Unfortunately, he was killed that spring in a rocket attack near Con Thien. His death touched us deeply. He’d recently been on R&R in Hawaii and later informed us that he and his wife were expecting a child—a child he never saw.

At that point the reporter opened his mouth to speak, but no sound was heard. He had talked incessantly the past three days, primarily to interview Marines and Docs but mostly out of nervousness. Now, however, no words came—only silence. Then, somewhat embarrassed and somewhat overwhelmed by the simplicity and sincerity of the Marines’ comments, the reporter simply turned and walked away. There was nothing to say, nothing anyone could add, about such devotion and commitment that Marines have for their Country and Corps. The Marines had said it all. There was nothing to add to the care and love they shared for one another.

At first it seemed that in the midst of the death and destruction and hatreds and angers of war it was curious that Staff Sergeant Cooper would speak the word “love.” In reflecting on it over the years, however, we probably all agree that it was the only word that could be spoken. There is a Bible scripture that states “There is no greater love than one who gives his life for another.” Many gave their lives that we could be here this evening. While we were spared by fate from giving our lives, we were prepared to do so for our fellow Marines and Docs. That’s the essence of Marine love and that’s why we did what we did. We cared for one another then as we do today. There’s nothing more to say.

~It would be unnecessary or redundant to say that we would trust our lives to one another—simply because we have already have and in more ways that we could ever imagine or recount. We’re alive today because of the quiet and unassuming courage and compassion of those in this room tonight as well as many or our comrades who are unable to be with us or who are with us only in spirit.

~That’s why we’ve come from great distances and, for some, at great expense. We’ll never be able to repay one another. There really isn’t enough money in the world to do that. But we will forever remember each other. That’s why we’re here. That’s why we’re so proud to have been a 3/3 Marine in Vietnam and so proud to be a part of this celebration of remembrance so many years later. We’re here because we love one another.

~Thank you for your service and sacrifices as Marines and Docs and Chaplains. May God bless each of you and your families as well as our fallen comrades who’ve never come back home. Tonight we’re home with our 3/3 family and for that we’re all very grateful and very thankful.

                                                                                       John Admire

The final 3 paragraphs above so eloquently state what so many have been trying to convey for years now:  the importance and significance of joining together to remember our fallen comrades, and to celebrate life with our “3/3 family of Marines”.  To those who have not attended our reunions, I hope that you will join with us at our next one.  Time is slipping by, and our numbers are dwindling.                                       Doc
Saturday, October 3, 2009    Health assessments make us all crazy…
Before we deployed we all conducted a Pre-Deployment Health Assessment, this was to assess our state of health prior to deployment and to assist military healthcare providers in identifying any present or future health care we might need. I suppose it makes sense when used as a benchmark to gauge any changes in our physical or mental health as well. After we fill out the questionnaire we also have to talk to one of our Independent Duty Corpsmen or doctors and answer a bunch of questions especially in the event we answered something on the questionnaire that catches their attention like:

I sincerely desire to go on a five state killing spree and charge all expenses to my Government Travel Credit Card.

If you check Strongly Agree they may want to come back for a follow up.

Currently we are in the midst of the glorious Post Deployment Health Assessment. This is to asses our state of health after deployment in support of military operations and to assist military healthcare providers in identifying and providing present and future medical care we may need. The information we provide may result in a referral for additional healthcare that may include medical, dental or behavioral healthcare or diverse community support services (this is pretty much all plagiarized right off the questionnaire).

Some of the questions simply ask how you would rate your health, if you had been injured or sick during the deployment, and whether or not you have any emotional problems, etc.

As America’s 1stSgt filled out his assessment the building veritably shook with the deafening running commentary that accompanies nearly everything that goes on in the company office.

For any of the following symptoms, please indicate whether you went to see a healthcare provider, were given light/limited duty (Profile), and whether you are still bothered by the symptom now.

Fever- NO!

Cough lasting more than 3 weeks.- NO! I guess that two-week phlegm festival I had doesn’t rate!

Trouble breathing- NO!
Bad headaches- I’m having one right now!

Generally feeling weak- I’ve never been weak a day in my life!
Muscle aches- NO!

Swollen stiff or painful joints- Is this the geriatric test or what?

Back pain- NO!

Numbness in hands or feet- NO!

Trouble hearing- Can YOU hear me now! 

Ringing in the ears- Why do you think I turn off the phone?

Watery, red eyes- Only after I watch Sands of Iwo Jima!

Dimming of vision- NO!

Dizzy, light headed- NO!

Diarrhea- Well I haven’t had a solid one in seven months!

Vomiting- I can taste it right now!

Frequent indigestion/heartburn- Have you eaten here?

Problems sleeping- Only when idiots knock on my door!

Trouble concentrating- What was the question?

Forgetful or trouble remembering things- If I didn’t write it down then it never happened!

Hard to make up your mind or make decisions- No, it’s hard to get anyone to listen!

Increased irritability- You’re kidding me!

After the entire battalion does this questionnaire on line they line up daily outside the Battalion Aid Station where they shuffle past the Battalion Surgeon’s desk like POWs answering a battery of questions the majority of which are answered with a sigh and resounding, No Sir or What! Why would I want to kill myself? I’ve been eating ice cream three meals a day for the past seven months.

The only thing that could possibly be more banal is being the poor guy that has to ask these questions to over 1200 Marines and Sailors. My sit down with the battalion surgeon went like this:

Swaggering into the office I found my doctor had begun to slump down the back of his chair in despondency and could barely be seen over his monitor.

“You ready to get this over with 1stSgt?”

“Is that one of the questions sir?”

Anything resembling humor had completely evaporated from his system 400 interviews ago. By now he had more or less degenerated into a bio-mechanical automaton whose fist had grown around the mouse on his desk forever chaining him to the demon possessed machine residing there.

“Do you have any medical or dental problems that have developed developed over the deployment?”

“I may have chipped a tooth while repeatedly head-butting the corner of my desk.” This comment completely missed his funny bone as the nerves surrounding it had turned necrotic and died.

“Over the past month have you been bothered by thoughts that you would be better off dead or hurting yourself?”

“That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of. You do realize who you’re talking to right?” At this point I was just another social security number the idea of America’s 1stSgt having been completely burned from his memory.

“Over the past month have you been bothered by thoughts that you would hurt someone else?” The sound of my breath hissing through clenched teeth finally got his attention. His head lolled in my direction.


“Oh! No.”

“During this deployment have you sought or do you intend to seek counseling or care for your mental health?” Having had Marines in the past with PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury this issue isn’t one I normally joke about as my feelings concerning it are rather passionate.

Considering how much violence we endured this deployment though (that is to say NONE), it was the question that made me roll my eyes.

“Do you have concerns about possible exposures or events during this deployment which you feel may affect your health?”

This is the question that my medical professionals just love to ask as there are always a few Jarheads that are worried about the effects of being exposed to the Electronic Counter Measures devices on their vehicles or concerned about how many metric tons of dust they may have inhaled over the last seven months. These are usually the same ones who have no issue with having a cell phone surgically attached to their face or smoking five packs of cancer sticks a day.

The conclusion of the Post Deployment Health Assessment is by no means the end of the story though. Much like sequels to bad horror films, health assessments rise again and again. Some months after we get back there will be the Post Deployment Health Re-Assessment where we will answer all the same questions again. This is ends with one or two of the medical Corpsmen being staked in the heart to ensure they don’t become one of the living dead.

Then of course there is the Periodic Health Assessment which the military does with or without a deployment. At the rate we deploy now days I could be asked as many as five times in a year by a medical professional if I’m OK without there ever being any sign that anything is wrong with me in the first place. A lot of times the deployment schedule is such that the Re-Assessment for the last deployment and Pre-Assessment for the next one are conducted at the same time. How’s that for mind bending?

The next time I hear an “expert” on some news network talk about how we’re not doing enough to identify troops with medical, dental, or mental health issues I will openly wonder if he has ever had to interview an entire battalion five times in a year.

Even now there are units experiencing fare more strenuous and combative deployments than we are this trip. With any luck the health assessments coupled with assertive leadership will be able to identify those who haven’t realized they need help or too stubborn to seek it themselves. If it were a simple matter of paperwork we’d all be inoculated by now. 

Things 1stSgt’s deal with include…

Other people’s marriages:

Everyone just HAS to get married right before deployment. These individuals are always lined up outside my office with their marriage packages in hand; oblivious too everyone who is getting divorced right before deployment who are waiting in another line to see me. There is a mysterious phenomenon occurring here where these two groups of people are utterly blind to the existence of the other and will heed no one’s advice about waiting until after deployment or at least until he gets to know her better.

Then of course there is everyone who is getting married during post deployment leave (at least they waited for the deployment to be over). This is followed closely by all those getting a divorce immediately following the deployment. The classic example is the Marine who returns home to an empty house having had no idea his spouse had left him. His chain of command and all his buddies no doubt told him it wasn’t a good idea to marry a stripper he had only known for four weeks but did he listen?

Once I had a Marine get a divorce right before we deployed. When we came back seven months later, one the guys from his platoon ended up marrying the girl on post deployment leave. I think I broke at least three of my own teeth during this episode.

 If you don’t trust her then maybe you shouldn’t have married a woman that was sleeping around with you behind her previous husband’s back when he was on deployment. Sometimes people just get what they deserve.

Other people’s parents:

Then there is the odd Marine who writes home to his mother that he doesn’t get to eat. She naturally writes her congressman in concern which starts a whole chain of e-mails with a subject line containing the letters W, T, and F. Now of course there is plenty of food for this Marine and his delicate palate to consume he just doesn’t like it. Here’s a news flash: NONE OF US LIKE IT!

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that military food is just plain rancid. MREs, Tray Rations, and UGRs are only slightly less foul than what passed for chow back in the Old Corps. But guess what? There is plenty of it so there is no reason to complain about hunger. I remember once the little heathens ate everything in sight and my Company Commander and I were left eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches made out of shelf bread. So Mom, check it out: your son is being fed plenty; he is just being a sissy because you are not cooking for him anymore. Tell him to man up. I already did, that is why he sent you that whiny e-mail.

Most mothers want their sons home from combat. I don’t blame them. I want their sons to come home from combat too; right now in fact. Here’s the problem, we all signed up to do a job. It’s called a contract. When you don’t live up to it then you are called a dirt bag. So Mom, please stop sending the command emergency Red Cross Messages requesting the presence of your son because you are having a bunion removed. No one in the entire theatre of operations is going to approve that emergency leave request. There’s like a war on.

Self inflicted wounds:

In the Marine Corps we have standards; standards of conduct; standards of dress; even height and weight standards. The weight standard is particularly amusing especially when the fat Marine in question is completely mystified by the fact that you want to break a park bench over his back. Of course it is never his fault; no one told him he looked like a beach ball with lips. Maybe when that gigantic orb of flesh called your gut began to affect the tides it should have given you a clue. Listen, when Japanese fishermen start licking their lips when you walk by it’s time to cover your blow hole and run.

Alcohol is the perennial villain in many a tale of liberty gone awry and is usually prominently featured in any and all of the above scenarios. Its uncanny ability to cripple what is already questionable judgment is legendary. Lessons like it is against the law to operate a motor vehicle under the influence are usually learned the hard way vice simply listening to your 1stSgt tell you it is EVERY WEEKEND. That fact that stumbling around Waikiki blind drunk at 0300 in the morning will make you a victim is another good one.
Even as you read this I am probably standing in front of a group of Marines getting ready to fly home from Iraq. I am more than likely trying to convince them that all the alcohol in America will still be there the day after they get back and that there is no need to attempt to drink it all in one night. Will they listen? That remains to be seen this trip.

Semper Fi

Michael Burke
America’s 1stSgt
HS/3/3 2009

There have been cases where Marines have deployed while neglecting to make sure their spouse had any money to live on while deployed. No ATM card, no checks, no direct deposit. Hey stud, do you think she might need to buy food and pay your rent?

My favorite is forgetting to mention to your spouse that you are going to be gone for seven months in Iraq at all. This is more common than you might think. I’ve even had Marines forget to tell their mothers that they were deploying. Awesome!

Now with the advent of 21st Century technology you can fight with your loved ones a dozen times a day and still be 8,000 miles from where they are. We’ve got clowns that call multiple times a day and then get belligerent if the wife hasn’t answered the phone on the first ring. Brain surgeon, she has to go to the crapper some time.

I received an email from a Marine who was with 7th Marines, laying some kudos on Corpsmen.   I responded with the following:
“I wear our 3/3 reunion shirts daily ... kinda my uniform I guess.

It's a "badge of honor" for me, and I hope it demonstrates my heartfelt connection with my Marines, who got my sorry butt home in one relative piece..

Occasionally I get asked by people who notice the logo on my shirts: 

"Did you serve in Vietnam?"

Of course I respond with "Yes".

Then comes the inevitable ... 
"What service were you in?"

This, of course, gives me an immediate mental quandary.   
So I respond with:

"Well, I enlisted Navy, but most of my four years was
 with the Marines."   

This garners a "deer in the headlights" response from 
the questioner ...

I add "I was a Corpsman".

Response:   "Oh" ... {then more ‘deer in the headlights’).

So, to illuminate them with what a Corpsman was, I begin with:

"Okay, in civilian terms let's do this..."

"Imagine that you are at the County Fair."


"In the carnival there is a shooting gallery"

"Okay" (with some lessening of the ‘deer in the headlights’)

"At the back of the shooting gallery, there are a row of ducks laying down."

"Those are Marines shooting."
"Got it."

“Okay, when one of those ducks pops upright ... that's a Corpsman"

"Yeah."   (but then a full return to "deer in the headlights", not having a clue of what a Corpsman actually is).

Only a Marine would really "get it".   LOL   We squids just did what we were trained to do, same as you Marines ... and for those really big bucks!

We didn't (and don't) view our services as anything spectacular.   In truth, most of us are plagued by the "need" to have been able to do more.   We are haunted by those we couldn't help (even though nothing could be done).   

I guess it's just part of the territory.

Many of us were "draft dodgers" ... attempting to avoid Vietnam.   The Navy seemed to be the logical choice, and most of us were unaware of the FMF connection ... at least until we were in boot camp (then it was too late!).

But to a man, we revere our service with the Marines above all else, identifying with them regardless of that USN stamped on our SRB's.   And amazingly, we will still go the full 9 yards for our "Jarheads".   It's been an honor, and always will be!

Thanks a million for the contact.

Semper Fi”

Doc Hoppy
M/3/3 1969
Personnel Repairman


 The Veteran’s Administration in October 2009 has begun the processes to recognize the above listed conditions under the banner of Agent Orange.

  These qualify (or will) for treatment, and assumedly, compensation.  Details are sketchy at this point (11/1/09) but if you or a comrade is afflicted with these, please advise them to contact the VA ASAP.

  Claims should be filed forthwith so that when the bureaucracy get all in place, the claims can fly through the process with as much dispatch as possible.

  It is important to get the word out to all hands so that they may be aware.

  All who served in RVN (and immediate offshore) are assumed exposed to Agent Orange … so there is no question of Service Connection.

Additional conditions associated with Agent Orange are:

Acute and Subacute Transient Peripheral Neuropathy A nervous system condition that causes numbness, tingling, and motor weakness. A rare disease caused when an abnormal protein, amyloid, enters tissues or organs. 

B Cell Leukemias  Cancers which affect B cells, such as hairy cell leukemia. 

Chloracne  A skin condition that occurs soon after dioxin exposure and looks like common forms of acne seen in teenagers. 

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia  A disease that progresses slowly with increasing production of excessive numbers of white blood cells. 

Diabetes Mellitus (Type 2)  A disease characterized by high blood sugar levels resulting from the body’s inability to respond properly to the hormone insulin. 

Hodgkin’s Disease  A malignant lymphoma (cancer) characterized by progressive enlargement of the lymph nodes, liver, and spleen, and by progressive anemia. 

Ischemic Heart Disease  A disease characterized by a reduced supply of blood to the heart. 

Multiple Myeloma  A cancer of specific bone marrow cells that is characterized by bone marrow tumors in various bones of the body. 

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma  A group of cancers that affect the lymph glands and other lymphatic tissue. 

Parkinson’s Disease  A motor system condition with symptoms that include trembling of the limbs and face and impaired balance. 

Porphyria Cutanea Tarda  A disorder characterized by liver dysfunction and by thinning and blistering of the skin in sun-exposed areas. 

Prostate Cancer  Cancer of the prostate; one of the most common cancers among men.
Respiratory Cancers  Cancers of the lung, larynx, trachea, and bronchus. 

Soft Tissue Sarcoma  (other than Osteosarcoma, Chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, or Mesothelioma) A group of different types of cancers in body tissues such as muscle, fat, blood and lymph vessels, and connective tissues.

Spina Bifida (in offspring)

All the above are eligible for treatment, and may be VA compensable.  

However, please remember that this does NOT infer that you will ever be afflicted by these conditions, only that if you are/do, the VA will treat you for them and in some cases may award a disability compensation.

Everything is now in place for the reunion next August .... barring any unforeseen changes.

You should have received your invitation in late October 2009.  Just a reminder that all events are optional.  Choose which, if any, that you want to do within your budget constraints and/or desires.  It’s an impressive lineup!

The only set fee is the Registration Fee, which covers the costs incurred by the Bn over the course of the Reunion (and printing and mailing the invitations).

Items for donation to the 3/3 Auction are always appreciated and also assist with costs.  Please bring them with you to the Hotel, or ship them so they will be there when you arrive.

As of  November 1st, as I write this, 60% of the rooms are already booked (and this is after we expanded to 400 rooms).  Considering all the positive responses to emails and mail,  it is likely we will have over 1,000 attend this reunion!

This was unforeseen, and may lead to a shortage of banquet seating.  It would therefore be a good idea to get your AFRI registration forms returned ASAP.  There is seating for 600 in the Ballroom … Those who were at the 2004 reunion will recall that the Ballroom was under construction at the time, and we had some 535 at the Banquet then.  Not sure how we can deal with requests beyond 600, but we’ll attempt to make secondary arrangements as possible, which most likely will be utilizing the Hospitality room (maybe seating another 250).  This would be difficult since the speakers and ceremonies will be upstairs in the Ballroom.  

I expect we will sell out the banquet fairly early on, and later requests will be dealt with either by “waiting list”, alternate seating, or by refunds.  We’re kinda the victims of our own success in this situation.  It is something we will need to consider for future reunions.  Location, facilities and logistics … all very important in planning.  We’ll be taking a poll at this reunion in order to get an idea of needs for Branson in 2012.  Hotels are already being sized up (and priced) … but contracts need numbers in order to avoid over/under commitments.  It’s a lot of dollars on the line when a contract is signed!

2010 is looking like 10% of our roster of contacts participating.  This is the largest number of alumni ever, and it’s gratifying to be involved.  Thanks to all who have participated over the years, and to all who have been instrumental in putting these reunions together … and to those who work in the background making it all possible.  They are unsung, unpaid and overworked!  ::>)


3/3 Reunion August 3 - 8, 2010

Crystal City DoubleTree
300 Army Navy Drive, Arlington, Virginia 22202-2891
Reservations: 1-703-416-4100
Be sure to give group code BTR

ROOM RATES FOR PERIOD:     AUGUST 1 – 8,2010       $109.00(+TAX PER DAY)
Rooms 60% booked 11/15/2009
 15 50  250375   400 400       40025
Note:  Crystal City DoubleTree hotel Shuttles to and from Reagan Int’l

Hotel Registration Info 

Reservation Terms (incomplete) 
Check in is 3pm. Check out is 11 am.
Room-only reservations require the first nights room/tax as a deposit to guarantee the reservation.
DoubleTree cancellation policy is FIVE days prior to the date of arrival for a full refund of room deposit.
Reunion Registration forms were mailed out to all hands Oct. 17, 2009. 
H & S

LANCE S. DUBE03/01/09
JAMES D. TERRY12/24/08
Doc WM D. BECKWITH05/03/08
DAVID B. PRUE04/16/08
LARRY D. SMITH02/24/08


GARY M. RENTCH06/06/08
Doc JACK O. THOMAS03/28/08
TERRY A. HILL03/06/08


ROBERT C. COOK08/03/08
(Kilo continued)

W. ALAN CAWLEY02/03/08


DONALD E. HAWLEY      10/20/09 
JOHN W. RIPLEY       11/02/08
Doc DAN R. CARIGNAN03/03/08
EARL M. RAY02/26/08
TONY E. AGOSTI01/08/08


JAMES D. HOLT09/13/08
RUEL E. ORDWAY04/17/08
JIMMY D. VANCE04/17/08
Doc "Dutch" VANBENCOTEN01/29/08
This newsletter is supported by donations and from the net sales of our 3/3 Coins/Chips. It is mailed out 3 times per year to our 3/3 alumni, to those requesting it, who do not have Internet access. There is no compensation for printer costs or computers, etc.  All funds are used only for basic costs of paper, inks, envelopes and postage. From day one, no one is compensated one dime for their efforts or equipment.  

3/3 RVN Ass’n and ThirdMarines.net have NO dues (we all paid those long ago!).
3/3 RVN Ass’n Reunions and activities are supported independently.

All issues of the newsletters are at:  Newsletter button on 33USMC.com

3/3 main website is at: http://33USMC.com (roster access via this page)  Note, this is a new address, but the site remains the same and can be reached at www.ThirdMarines.net as well.

India Co. site: http://33USMC.com/indiaco.html
Kilo Co.   site: http://33USMC.com/kiloco.html
Lima Co. site: http://www.L33namvets.com/index.html
Mike Co. site: http://33usmc.com/33USMC/MikeIndx.html

These and other sites by our alumni, can be found via the
TMLinks page of  33USMC.com  then click on 3/3 … 
plus links to most USMC Nam units, and other sites of interest …

If you have online access, and email, please let us know so that we can control our mailing list and keep a handle on costs. The online version is basically identical to the printed version, and all issues are archived and available online.  Conversely, if you haven’t been receiving this newsletter and would like to be added to the mailing list, contact Doc Hoppy.                

I hope you enjoy our efforts, and please contact us for info on old comrades that you may wish to get in touch with. We are locating more every day, and would love to be able to send out a roster to everyone… however, more than 5,560+  have been contacted at this writing (10/08/2009), and the list grows daily. The roster is too large to print, however it is  updated daily online, accessible to all alumni via the internet.

Call, e-mail or write Doc Hoppy for a specific individual. Additionally, we may be able to provide documentation to assist with VA Claims, or obtain un-awarded PH’s. We have documented over 3,400 individual Purple Hearts, 650 who were KIA with 3/3 (or subsequent units), and have documented over 1,460 who are known deceased since Nam.  That last group is growing all too quickly.


Semper Fi