2010 3/3 Reunion is nigh!

Daylight’s a burnin’ … August is just around the corner.  Have you made your room reservations and completed/submitted your Reunion Registration form?

Approximately 80% of our rooms have been rented already.  Deadline for reservations is mid-July.  After which prevailing rates (about double) will be charged.

Reunion Registrations can be completed by mail using the form in your packet mailed out months ago, or can be completed with a credit card online at:


Only the banquet has limited seating (600).  All other events are unlimited in numbers.  It is vital that you register ASAP if you plan on the banquet.  Once 600 seats are filled … that’s all she wrote.

We are gathering speakers to represent each Co. at the banquet.  It’s an impressive list!

We will have a number of 3/3 OEF-OIF and Desert Storm alumni also attending … a first!  It’s great to see they younger crews getting involved.  They’ll be taking over eventually as we ride off into the sunset.

A database is being assembled and mounted up to handle this influx of alumni from other eras. (I drive Doc Brown nuts with all this! … hee hee hee.)  We’ll also continue with web pages specific to other eras on 33USMC.com and be updating the site to become more all encompassing.

Having made a few trips to the Stumps and one to Hawaii, I can assure you that these younger crews are awe inspiring.  They are one fine legacy!

Vol 1
Isssue 18

3/3 Afghanistan bound

LtCol Holt addresses the Battalion at the end of Mojave Viper training.

On March 18-19, 2010, nearly two dozen “Old Corps” 3/3 vets formed up at 29 Palms to salute and support our young counterparts at the end of a month of training. 

We were treated like royalty, although that was not our intention at all.  We mingled with the officers and staff NCO’s at the O’Club on Thursday night and it was exhilarating as well as educational.  Tales were exchanged, as well as a sea bag full of info!  The base Commandant and the Regimental CO were present too.

Friday night, we were out at Camp Wilson where we passed out 3/3 poker chips to all our young Marines and Docs, plus we collected a substantial contribution to sustain the post-chow “beverages”.  We lined up at the chow line and shook each Marines hand and offered our appreciation.  It was an incomparable experience.  Earlier in the day, we were treated to a tour of weaponry … awesome stuff !
Doc, When ya gonna get tired of this alumni stuff and pack it in?

Answer:  When they pry ….

Truth of the matter is, I simply enjoy it too much.  Similar to Hawkeye Pierce’s request to the Colonel in the Hospital in Japan when he was wanting an OR nurse to work with him on the Congressman’s son ... I just try to work in close and keep my titz outta the way.

With a half dozen computers and an equal number of printers, I’m pretty well set up to do this schtick, and it keeps me bizzy.  From time to time it gets a tad overwhelming, but patience seems to keep everything on an even keel.

However, I can’t, and don’t, do it alone.  There are many people who do many things to keep the big picture in focus.  There are seemingly endless tasks to do and a handful of people are always there to take up the slack.  However, with attrition taking it’s toll on our numbers, we need to broaden our horizons and be inclusive of  all 3/3 alumni.  There are efforts in the works to do so.

Noteworthy:  There are a couple of  Memorial projects in the works.  Firstly, for all eras, a 3/3 Memorial monument at the USMC Museum at Quantico.  Another is by Ripley’s Raider’s for a statue of Col. John W. Ripley (Rip as he was affectionately known) also at the Museum.

Any support you can muster on behalf of these efforts will be appreciated.
Rockets at the BAS        May 18, 1967

  I wasn't there, but I have talked to several of the Docs who were. The BAS had an L-shaped trench dug at Dong Ha and were in the process of turning it into a bunker with sandbags.  There were nine corpsmen in the open trench on May 18, 1967 when an NVA rocket hit at the corner of the "L."  Docs' Jacque Ayd, Ted Nelson and Lewis Cook died outrightly.  Chief "Wild Bill" Kelsey lost his left eye and had severe head injuries.  He passed on from cancer a few years back.  Doc Palmieri didn't have outward signs of injury when I saw him last in 1968, but he carries a lot of scars.  I found him a few years ago in Washington State, but he has since gone missing - again.  I can't get Doc Helm out of his bunker in Minnesota.  For the past six years my calls and e-mails to Helms have remained unanswered.  He is still alive so far as I know. Gunner Foland is the same way.  Skipper Green has tried without success to get Dave aboard.  Doc Byron Perkins took some minor shrapnel in his face and arms, but he was not in the trench.  He was near the motor pool and was able to take cover in their adequate bunker.  A lot of this info was from him.  Doc Denver Gray related a lot of this story to me after we returned from Vietnam.  I believe that he was on R&R at the time of the attack.  But he may have been in the trench.  I just don't remember that detail.

  I probably would have been there had I not put in for transfer to CAC.  I first heard about that incident and about Hill 881s from Bob Fallo, who was with me in CAC Hotel 3.  He had remained in touch with men he served with in India 3/3 before he was transferred.

KIA   HM2 COOK LEWIS C    8404 05/18/67 Kilo 
KIA   HM2 AYD JACQUE J     8404 05/18/67 Lima
KIA   HM3 NELSON TED       8404 05/18/67 Lima
Cpl BLAIR STEVEW.               3371 05/18/67 H&S
HM1 HUBERT CHARLES E.    8404 05/18/67 H&S
HMC KELSEY ORVILLE Bill    8404 05/18/67 H&S
  HM1 RIDDLES JAMES N.         8404 05/18/67 H&S 
  LCpl SERJERN JOHN C.            0141 05/18/67 H&S 
  HMC WALLACE IRVING C.      8404 05/18/67 H&S 
  Gysgt WHITFORD MERLE K.    3371 05/18/67 H&S 
  HM3 HELM RICHARD D.          8404 05/18/67 India 
  LCpl WHATLEY LESTER          0311 05/18/67 India 
LCpl BURTON FRED                 0311 05/18/67 Kilo 
  Cpl HUCKINS RAYMOND L     0311 05/18/67 Kilo  
HM3 PERKINS BYRON R.        8404 05/18/67 Kilo
Cpl SPAETH MATTHEW .         0311 05/18/67 Kilo
LCpl WEBSTER RONALD L.     0341 05/18/67 Kilo
  HM2 PALMIERI  S JOHN          8404 05/18/67 Lima 
Cpl FOLAND DAVID L.             0331 05/18/67 Mike
Cpl REAM ROBERT M.             0311 05/18/67 Mike

The previous list is from the Purple Hearts listings on http://33usmc.com 

I had been stationed with Palmieri and Denny Gray at NNMC Bethesda prior to Vietnam.  Doc Mike Brown was there with us, too.  I knew Richard Helm briefly.  He and I arrived the same day in DaNang.  I vaguely remember Ted Nelson, but to him I was an FNG and he kept a distance.  And Chief Kelsey was my "Dutch Uncle" and big brother.  Chief Irving Wallace passed on in 1991. 
Doc Rod Hardin 


  Thanks for filling in the story. Doc Kelsey was with Lima on the March 2nd event when we had 12 or so killed and at least twice that wounded bad enough to get medevaced.

  On the third of March, when we came upon an "abandoned" NVA position, a lone figure stood up out of a hole in the middle of where they had been, two hundred yards away.  Several marines fired and he went down but was still moving.  A Sgt. yelled to cease fire, wanting a capture.  But the company gunny who had a .45 as a T.O. weapon asked me if he could use my M14, then put a half a magazine into the distant wounded man.

  No sooner had we  moved into their abandoned position then an AK 47 erupted from one sector of our perimeter and a chicom grenade exploded.  Freed was hurt bad and someone yelled, "Corpsman up".  An M 60 machine gun behind me opened up over my head joining closer rifle fire into the brush where the AK 47 rounds had come.  I looked back as Doc Kelsey got up into a squat, and with a sick look on his face, ran down into the fire fight, med bag banging against his thigh.

He started working on Freed as the exchange of fire continued, then another chicom explosion laid waste to the doc and the call "Corpsman up" went out again.  I looked back and Doc Russ Jewett stood to a squat with a look on his face like he'd been asked to run into Hell, but he went, med bag banging against his thigh.  I remember thinking," Thank God I'm not a Corpsman".

  He was able to stabilize Kelsey as the fire fight came to a close, but Freed died that day.  I was among those who helped carry Freed and watch over his body as we moved out 'til  2 AM or so when a grasshopper lookin' helicopter came in under the light of pyrotechnic flares, hovered over waist deep water while we loaded Freed's body and our wounded.  When we handed him up, I remember the door gunner yelled over the deafening sound of the rotor, "Is this one alive or dead?".

The chopper lifted into the night, and as the last of the flares went dark, we set our mortars up on likely avenues of approach, (using little red pen lights) began digging into the rocky hillside, waiting  for the halazone to make the water safe to drink and planned our first and only C-Rat meal of the day.

  I think that was the last we saw Doc Kelsey.  Many have asked me, over the years, about Freed.  Unfortunately, I really didn't get to know about him 'til after he was dead.Semper fi,  John M. Solbach
Veterans' Diseases Associated with Agent Orange Exposure

(note:  There are new additions to the list)

Veterans may be eligible for disability compensation and health care benefits for diseases that VA has recognized as associated with exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides:

Acute and Subacute Peripheral Neuropathy     A nervous system condition that causes numbness, tingling, and motor weakness. Under VA's rating regulations, it must be at least 10% disabling within 1 year of exposure to Agent Orange and resolve within 2 years after the date it began.

AL Amyloidosis     A rare disease caused when an abnormal protein, amyloid, enters tissues or organs.

Chloracne (or Similar Acneform Disease)
A skin condition that occurs soon after exposure to chemicals and looks like common forms of acne seen in teenagers. Under VA's rating regulations, chloracne (or other acneform disease similar to chloracne) must be at least 10% disabling within 1 year of exposure to Agent Orange.

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (Now Being Expanded to B Cell Leukemias)     A type of cancer which affects white blood cells.  Currently, only chronic lymphocytic leukemia is a "presumptive" disease associated with Agent Orange exposure; however, on March 25, 2010, VA published a proposed regulation to establish B cell leukemias (includes chronic lymphocytic leukemia, hairy cell leukemia and others) as associated with Agent Orange exposure.  Eligible Vietnam Veterans may receive disability compensation for other B cell leukemias when the regulation is final.

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, that leads to chest pain. On March 25, 2010, VA published a proposed regulation that will establish ischemic heart disease as associated with Agent Orange exposure. Eligible Vietnam Veterans may receive disability compensation for this disease when the regulation is final.

Multiple Myeloma     A disorder which causes an overproduction of certain proteins from white blood cells.

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 a trembling of the hands, imbalance, and loss of facial expression. On March 25, 2010, VA published a proposed regulation that will establish Parkinson's disease as associated with Agent Orange exposure. Eligible Vietnam Veterans may receive disability compensation for this disease when the regulation is final. 

Porphyria Cutanea Tarda     A disorder characterized by liver dysfunction and by thinning and blistering of the skin in sun-exposed areas. Under VA's rating regulations, it must be at least 10% disabling within 1 year of exposure to Agent Orange.

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.
It is of utmost importance that you get SERVICE CONNECTED conditions on your VA medical file..

If you have, or will have, service connected disability compensation, those payments will cease upon your death

Your spouse will not continue to receive your check.

However, she may be able to file for Dependency In Common (DIC) benefits if your death was from a service connected condition., and the VA has it on file.

Alternatively, she may qualify  for a widow’s pension if she is  low-income.

Contact a Veteran’s Service Officer for more info.

The calls I get from distraught widows is heart wrenching, but there simply isn’t much I can do for them, other than point them in the right direction.  It behooves us to make some preparations for the inevitable!
Doc Hoppy
Veterans Benefits Administration  Washington, D.C. 20420
November 19, 2009

All VA Regional Offices and Centers

SUBJ: Procedures for handling disability claims based on herbicide exposure for hairy cell and other B-cell leukemias, Parkinson's disease, and ischemic heart disease.


On October 13, 2009, Secretary Shinseki announced that hairy cell and other B-cell leukemias, Parkinson's disease, and ischemic heart disease will be added to the list of diseases presumptively associated with exposure to certain herbicide agents. Although the public announcement has been made, the amendment to 38 CFR 3.309(e) will not become effective for several months. In the meantime, it is likely that regional offices will begin receiving herbicide exposure related claims from veterans diagnosed with these diseases. This letter provides interim procedures for controlling such claims.


The Agent Orange Act of 1991 established a procedure for adding diseases to the list of disabilities presumptively associated with herbicide exposure. The procedure requires the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs to consider reports received from the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine (IOM) and all other sound medical and scientific information and analysis on the health effects of herbicide exposure before making a decision on presumptive service connection. In its latest report, Veterans and Agent Orange, Update 2008 (2009), IOM reviewed new studies and determined that there is "limited or suggestive" evidence of an association between herbicide exposure and the subsequent development of Parkinson's disease and ischemic heart disease. The IOM also determined that hairy cell leukemia and all chronic B-cell leukemiaa belong in the category of "sufficient evidence of an association." This assessment by IOM contributed to the Secretary's decision to add these diseases to the presumptive list and publish the required notice in the Federal Register.

Regional Office Actions

We anticipate that the Secretary's public announcement adding these diseases to the list of presumptive conditions associated with herbicide exposure will generate a large number of new claims.

However, the regulation change adding them to the list at 38 CFR 3.309(e) will not become effective until the required rulemaking procedures are completed.
Rating evaluations of these claims under the new regulation cannot take place until that time. Therefore, regional offices must hold (or stay) these claims and refrain from issuing rating decisions on them until the implementing regulation becomes final. In addition, claims based on any of these diseases should be controlled by establishing an end product (EP) 681 future claim diary with a suspense date of May 1, 2010.

The following procedures are required when an original or new claim for one of the newly added presumptive diseases is received or a claim to reopen is received where one of the added presumptive diseases was previously denied. These procedures also apply in cases where a veteran claims service connection for one of the added presumptive diseases along with one or more claims for disabilities other than the added presumptives. These procedures are intended to avoid delays in adjudication of the other claims and the unnecessary expenditure of resources in handling claims that may ultimately be overturned on appeal. Please keep in mind that service connection for any of these added presumptive diseases should first be considered on a direct basis. If direct service connection can be established, the presumptive procedures need not be followed.

Cases where only new presumptives are claimed

If a claim is received for any of the newly added presumptive diseases and no other issues are claimed, control the claim exclusively under the future EP 681.  This includes the following categories of claims:

* Original compensation claims

* Original dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC) claims in which the claimant is basing the DIC claim exclusively on one of the added presumptives

* New compensation claims for one of the added presumptives when the veteran has already filed an original claim for another disability and a substantially completed application (VA Form 21-526) is of record

* Reopened compensation claims in which the condition was previously denied and there is no basis to establish entitlement except under the new regulation.

Extensive development may not be required in reopened claims where sufficient evidence to rate the claim is already of record. Do not request VA medical examinations unless herbicide exposure has been verified.  Following any necessary development, the claims should be held until the regulation adding the new presumptive diseases is finalized. At that time, a rating decision can be produced and notice of the decision provided to the claimant. If entitlement to benefits can be established on a direct basis, a rating decision should be released without delay.

Cases where new presumptives and other issues are claimed

If a claim is received for any of the newly added presumptive diseases along with other unrelated claims, establish future EP 681 for the added presumptive(s) and the appropriate EP (110, 010, 020, 140 etc.) for the other claimed condition(s). Develop for evidence supporting the newly added presumptive disease claim in the same manner as described above and add the special holding or stay language to the VCAA notification letter. The development and rating methods for the other claimed issues can generally proceed in the normal manner. However, when the rating decision for the other issues is released, it should contain a deferred issue for the newly added presumptive disease. The  narrative should state that entitlement to benefits on a direct basis was considered but cannot be granted and that entitlement on a presumptive basis will be considered when the new additions to 38 CFR §3.309(e) have been finalized.  Continue to control the newly added presumptive disease claims under the future EP 681.

VCAA notice language

The VCAA notification letter will require modification to inform claimants that a hold will be placed on releasing a rating decision for the new presumptives pending finalization of the regulation governing presumptive diseases associated with herbicide exposure. The following language may be used.

"We have received your compensation claim for (insert the newly added presumptive disease) based on herbicide exposure. However, this disease has not yet been added to the Department of Veterans Affairs regulations governing diseases presumptively associated with  herbicide exposure.  In order to add this disease, we must follow a series of legal requirements, including publishing a notice in the Federal Register. We have begun this process, but are holding your claim until these legal requirements have been met. When the process is complete, we will make a determination on your claim and provide you with a notice of our decision."

Further Guidance

This fast letter provides the basic procedures for handling claims based on the newly added presumptive diseases associated with herbicide exposure. Compensation and Pension Service is working with the Office of Field Operations to develop additional procedures that may be warranted. Further guidance will be provided to regional office personnel as necessary.

Bradley G. Mayes  Director, Compensation and Pension Service

The above is posted for reference use in submitting service connected disability claims to the VA for the afore mentioned conditions.

There is also a tie in here for Dependency In Common (DIC) claims by surviving spouses.

If you now have, or have had, or have in the future, any of these illnesses/conditions, start the ball rolling in putting together a claim, or appealing a previous claim that was denied.

However, do realize that these claims will be put “on hold” until all the rules for dealing with them are in place.  Note the underlined sections.

The list of conditions associated with Agent Orange exposure keeps on growing, it seems.  ALL of us who served with 3/3 in Vietnam were exposed … this is a fact, not a supposition.

We were directly or indirectly sprayed, or ate/drank the chemicals from our water sources and dust in our food.  Some were exposed longer and/or more directly than others, but none the less, we ALL had exposure.

Unfortunately, some have succumbed to one or more of the conditions associated with AO exposure in the interim.  However, you can receive treatment at the VA and may be eligible for disability compensation.
Doc Hoppy
From the pen of America's 1stSgt

Ask America's 1stSgt Edition # Does It Really Matter?

Applegoat, a Soldier's Angel (we won't hold it against her) asks what's the difference between Oorah! and Hooah!

The main difference is Oorah! is a battle cry associated with the World's Finest United States Marines where as Hooah! is a discomforting sound usually emanating from an Army latrine. I think it is related to some kind of gastrointestinal disorder but I may be wrong.

There are those who suppose that Oorah! comes from some kind of Turkish or Russian remark meaning "kill" or "kill them all". This is utter nonsense so don't believe it. Frankly, trying to associate the Marine Corps with any other nation except AMERICA should be considered heretical and violators immediately water boarded.

Oorah! is thought to be derived from an old Reconnaissance growl properly pronounced "AARUGHA!" This term originated from the dive warning on board a submarine. Over the 1MC the warning, "Dive! Dive! Dive!" would be given along with the Klaxon horn before a submarine would dive. The sound of the horn of course is, "AARUGHA! AARUGHA! AARUGHA!"

It is believed Marines began to use the AARUGHA as part of a running cadence and from there it caught on becoming a Recon battle cry.

Former Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps and Reconnaissance Marine, John Massaro is often attributed with bringing AARUGHA to MCRD San Diego where it spread to the Drill Instructors and thus to recruits. From then on Marines shouted "AARUGHA" or other guttural variations at each other, the enemy, or their Ball dates as the situation required.

From what I can tell, some time between then and the late 80's or early 90's some clown (probably an officer) decided we needed to spell the growl and Oorah! was born.

For the record, America's 1stSgt hates Oorah! I can't stand it for a number of reasons. Let me just reiterate if Oorah! had a mouth I would put my fist in it. Can I make it any clearer?

Let me explain why.

As a kid growing up around Marines never once did I hear an Oorah! or any variation thereof. Marines growled at each other like predatory beasts. My father, a Reconnaissance ninja and friend of SgtMaj Massaro, encouraged all Marines to "give him a growl" if they saw him on the street. "I don't care if I'm with my wife and son! I'll give you one back." Sure enough, my parents and I would be downtown and suddenly a booming growl would emanate from somewhere and my dad immediately thundered in response. To me they were like lions greeting each other on the savannah. It was primal and savage and suited Marines like a fine set of dress blues.

When I enlisted in the early 90's all of a sudden there was this Oorah! garbage permeating the air. This wasn't the savage roar I was raised on. It was the sound of fairies pollinating each other in a flower garden. It was also spelled out! Heresy of heresies!
What happens when a term becomes institutionalized is the disgruntled members of that institution begin to use it in mockery and derision. "Go clean the head." "Oorah!" See what I mean? Then it loses its original meaning and intent.
Now days I am on a one man campaign to eliminate Oorah! from my Marine Corps lexicon wherever I go. I encourage Marines to growl and great each other like prehistoric cavemen were meant to. Primally. I find acceptable nearly any guttural vocalization as long as it doesn't resemble Oorah!

I also refuse to spell out any growling as in my mind it is too primitive an ideation to be encapsulated by the trappings of civilized "letters".

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Cyborgs and other terrors... The School of Infantry 1992

Getting exactly what you asked for is always such a revelation.
My first day with Charlie Company, Infantry Training Battalion had been adventurous to say the least. Shuffling through the evening chow line I could barely hold my tray and was so physically wrecked I was more nauseous than hungry. Completely dehydrated I set up an intravenous tube directly to the Gatorade dispenser and prayed I wouldn't pass out in the middle of the chow hall. This is the absolute truth, I was completely useless and had nothing left to give. If the Zombie Apocalypse were to have gone down that day I would have been eaten.

What could have caused a vigorous young Marine fully convinced of his immortality to be so utterly destroyed? What sick and depraved mind could so thoroughly blast my brain and body to bits?

Let me tell you of the days of high adventure… (insert Conan theme music)

I remember anticipating my attending the School of Infantry (SOI) with some excitement. After boot camp I had spent about a month in Marine Combat Training (MCT). We renamed the course Mass Consumption of Time, as compared to our boot camp experience, MCT seemed to be an exercise of standing around waiting for something to happen. We didn't PT much so we got out of shape and when we did train it was mostly familiarization with weapons systems most of us didn't get to fire anyway.
It was a real let down for young Marines who were used to the fast pace of boot camp and those of us who were slated to continue on to SOI couldn't wait to start our "real" training as grunts.

Worse still were the two weeks we spent in the receiving barracks waiting for our SOI course to start. Those of us awaiting training were mixed in with all the legal/medical cases who were being discharged due to their fundamental character flaws or their fragile genetics which caused them to be so physically brittle they could not continue service in the Corps. In our lexicon these individuals are known as dirtbags or $#!%-birds. Even as a young Marine it amazed me the Corps would allow fresh young Marines to live with these malingerers on a daily basis and risk being infected with their poor attitudes. I remember this as a particularly low and unmotivated period of my career and could not wait for SOI to start.

Immediately upon dropping to SOI we were treated like garbage again: "What are you looking at idiot?" In our minds this was a good thing. We knew how to survive this environment and what was expected of us.

As soon as we staged out gear by our racks in the new squad bay our Platoon Sergeant made his grand entrance. On the white board just inside the front hatch was a caricature of him as half man and half machine saying something
derogatory to us. He was known to young
Marine infantry hopefuls as the Cyborg. You
may recognize him from this famous picture:

Hint: He's the one in the middle.

Or you may have read his book.

At that point in his career no one had actually
ever seen Sgt. Kasal perspire. In our eyes he
was a rugged veteran of the first Gulf War
capable of feats for exceeding average humans.
On a hike no Marine could match his pace.
I remember being directly opposite him on a hike and deliberately trying to match his stride. It was, of course, impossible and I ended up having to run to keep up with him.

It was related to me by another Marine that Sgt. Kasal had once been diagnosed with a bad case of the flu and was ordered to go home and rest. Cyborg told the platoon on a Friday he would defy medical science and be back on Monday to run their junk into the dirt. True to his word, a platoon of Marines were casually destroyed Monday morning as well as a number of immutable laws of medicine.

Sgt. Kasal never worked his jaws while talking. He spoke to us through perpetually clenched teeth punctuated by an impressive use of profanity. Imitating the sound and cadence of the Cyborg's speech was considered a high art.

In the squad by he selected someone to be the platoon guide and said: "Whoever wants to be a squad leader go stand outside my office." Immediately 28 of use stood up and went out into the hall. I remember thinking my chances were slim to none that I'd be selected: "They'll just pick another cro-magon and us midgets will be left on the side."

Although in boot camp I graduated as the platoon guide and honor man, in MCT leadership was based on your ability to intimidate everyone else. Usually the meat heads were selected and at 5'9 and 140lbs soaking wet America's PFC didn't quite fit the bill. So I wasn't holding out much hope for myself this time.

Seeing us all in the hallway Sgt. Kasal barked: "Who runs under a 285 PFT? Get out!"

About half of the guys left the room including many of the gorillas who sadly dragged their knuckles back to the squad bay with them.

"Who runs under a 295?" At the time I ran a perfect score of 300 and was feeling pretty good about myself as wannabes fell out left and right leaving about a dozen of us in the office.

"Who has been a squad leader before? Guide before?" Score for me! Only eight of us were left standing in the office and I noted I was probably the smallest one there. One of the guys had been a kick boxer before joining and some others wrestlers and just plain studs. In my memory they seemed to be tough company.

Sgt. Kasal looked out his window and said: "See that hill? See those two bushes at the top? Run to those bushes and back. The first four in my office are squad leaders….you're still here?"

Eight Marines immediately tried to exit through a doorway designed for one. Untangling ourselves we mobbed down the stairs to the foot of Mount Olympus outside the back of the barracks in full view of Sgt. Kasal's office window.

Skeletons of Marines who had gone before littered the hillside. We were heedless and sprinted upwards trying to avoid tripping over any loose bones. Little did we know Mt Fuji there suddenly took and 85 degree angle up. On our hands and knees we continued the climb. I passed nearly everyone except for the two Marines in front.

I ran through two layers of clouds before I reached the top. If memory serves I may have even seen the hole in the ozone from that vantage but I had no time to linger and took off back down the hill.

My legs felt as big as tree trunks and my knees began to bend both ways. For a while I skidded down the slope on my behind in an effort to put out the flames that had spontaneously ignited there. One of my buddies tripped and tumbled head over heels past me. I decided that mode of travel wasn't  physically sound and didn't try it.

I was the fourth Marine to charge in Sgt. Kasal's office but not before I pushed a washing machine down the stairs on the Marines behind me. There was no air to be had in the office as the other three had already sucked up any oxygen there was. I was completely wrecked and would remain so all night.

We were it. Sgt. Kasal explained he expected his squad leaders to be more physically fit than the rest because we would be pushing everyone on the humps. Every day we'd hump our guts out to and from classes and ranges. If you're ever near Camp Pendleton just look at the hills. It's enough to make the average person weep. The four of us pushed and pulled Marines to exhaustion. On top of that we had PT runs before and after the hikes as well as getting our butts thrashed by the Cyborg for whatever we did wrong.

The entire time I was at SOI I remember being totally whipped and in the rack by 1900 and waking up tired. It was tougher than boot camp by far. I have never before or since so thoroughly abused myself physically.

Whew! I'm just tired thinking about it.

                          Michael Burke                                       America's 1stSgt

3/3 Reunion August 3 - 8,  2010

ROOM RATES FOR PERIOD:     AUGUST 1 – 8, 2010       $109.00(+TAX PER DAY)

    15 50   250 375 400 400       400 25   

Note:  Crystal City DoubleTree hotel has free  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. 19, 2009.

07April 2010

Final muster total:     (known)          2,173

H & S

GROVER E. LEWIS       12/17/09
LYNN R. LEWIS     11/21/09
PHILIP W. DEZAN           10/31/09
BRYANT R. NOBLES Jr. 10/28/09
HERMAN L. TATE           06/14/09
ROGER W DAY      05/24/09
LANCE S. DUBE     03/01/09
WILLIAM D. HALL           02/19/09
DANIEL E. HENDERSON        02/16/09


JAMES A. SIMMONS      03/29/10
MICHAEL L. KRAUSE     09/04/09
MAURICE CUNNINGHAM         08/29/09
JOE D. TURNER       06/06/09
ALBERT L. PAULSON     02/08/09


DALE E. ALBRIGHT        04/20/09
JAMES E. GROGAN       01/29/09


JOHN Jack KIRCHNER    11/05/09
DONALD E. HAWLEY     10/20/09
RANDALL W. WEBB       08/24/09
FRANKLIN FLANARY      05/04/09
GEORGE P. PETRI         04/17/09
ROGER F. MILHOMME   03/29/09
CHARLES E. JORDAN     01/25/09
JOHNNY M. MEDDERS   01/01/09


Doc TERRY E. GEE        03/01/10
DWIGHT L. GRIFFIN        01/14/10
MICHAEL A. GODSEY    11/08/09
Doc BARRY CRAVEN     10/25/09
JIMMY L. WOODS          10/13/09
THOMAS T. LIDSTER      10/03/09
DONALD B. DAVIS         08/01/09
MICHAEL J. SYLVIA       06/09/09
GASTON L. WALKER     06/06/09
JOHN W. COLEMAN       05/04/09
DAVID L. BARROS         04/06/09
ARRIE LEE HARRIS       01/31/09
This newsletter is supported basically from donations and from the full net gains from 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
No one is compensated one cent for their efforts. 
3/3 RVN and ThirdMarines.net have NO dues (we all paid those long ago!).
3/3 RVN Reunions and activities are supported independently.

All issues are at:  http://33USMC.com/0NewsLtr/NwsLtr.html
The main site is:  http://33USMC.com    (roster access via this page)
India Co. site:     http://www.homestead.com/dochoppyshelp/indiaco.html
Kilo Co. site:      http://www.homestead.com/dochoppyshelp/kiloco.html
Lima Co. site:     http://www.L33namvets.com/index.html
Mike Co. site:     http://33usmc.com/33USMC/MikeIndx.html

There are other sites by our alumni, found in the Links pages of  33USMC.com (ThirdMarines.net) … as well as 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 5,600+  have been contacted at this writing (04/08/2010), 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 1,520 who are known deceased since Nam. 
That last group is growing all too quickly (up 60 since the last newsletter).


Semper Fi