3/3 RVN Ass’n  Vol  1  Issue 8    01/01/2007
Page 8-9
His body was far from straight and actually resembled a question mark, but in his eyes and those around him, he was standing tall. He was shaking, struggling not to fall over, but he was at attention when our Colors passed. I can't remember ever seeing such determination and pride. I didn't have to look far to find a hero that night. He was sitting (and standing) just 2 arm lengths away.

Semper Fi, 

Raymond Sturm, Special Agent
U.S. Secret Service

[Posted on MyFamily Sep 9, 2006]


I hope I do not aggravate too many of you Sailors and Marines, but I carried a lot of guilt for a lot of years because I was one of those poges in the rear, except for August and September 1967 when I was with the forward S1 at the Rockpile.   I was there   when India came out to the ambush.  

I was in charge of clerks, supply folks, cooks and anybody else we could round up to take the positions of India between the road and the "175" batteries.   When they came back they wanted to know what in the f--- we were doing.   Like all you grunts, we were just following orders.

I played softball in a VA softball league in Minneapolis until I was about 50, so I know a lot of the VA folks.   I thought all VA employees were the same.   The VA and the VAMC folks are two different breeds of cat.   I was referred to a VA counselor in 1997 because of a bad attitude, argumentive with females in authority, and a heavy drinking problem.   The counselor asked if I had ever had any mental health issues which I had.  

Long story cut short, I had an original C&P physical over two - three days at the completion of the physical I was interview by a doctor MD.   When I moved back to Washington State, I wanted to transfer my records from Minnesota to Washington.   The VA in Seattle scheduled me for a medical interview by the Portland, OR VA hospital.   They then requested that I have a new C&P, hell, I did not care I was not going anywhere.  
I have had both good and frustrating service from the VA hospital staffs in the midwest and west coast.   However, if you do have problems, find a service rep through the VFW, American Legion, Purple Heart Society or other service organization.   They carry the fight to the VA for you and should give the service you deserve.

We all gave something in Vietnam, some gave all.   Maybe I will find enough courage to come to a reunion and not be embarassed because I was a MFITR.
Reply by:   Doc Hoppy - Sep 9, 2006

[Marine]... no embarassment is in order!   Many of us "multi-tasked" in Nam.
After 4 1/2 months in the bush, I knew I was a basket case.   I requested to be pulled from my position and a fresh replacement sent out.   It happened.  
I went on to HQ 3rdMarDiv to the Division Surgeon's Office, becoming the Division Training Petty Officer... mostly title...LOL.   However, my   main duties were basically to insure
that all of us squids had our requirements for advancement up to snuff, ordering and administering exams (yeah we had to do both military and professional course, be recommended for advancement, and take a lenghty written exam - both military and professional to be considered for promotion).

If your score on the exam was high enough, you would be advanced incrementally over the next 6 months.   My job was to make sure all hands possible were prepared and made it up to HQ for the exams.   I also created a newsletter to get out to all the Bn's to keep them up to snuff on all the latest Regs... deja vu.

I also worked a group of meritorious promotions for E-6’s … (rare indeed in the Naivey).

When the Division pulled out, I requested transfer to FLSG-B so I could stay in country for the last few months of my enlistment (4yrs) and  to avoid the risk of being shipped to the grunts down in 1st MarDiv ...  ::>)

Floozie Bravo was skate duty, other than the occasional rockets.   However, we performed our best and took care of our Marines (and a few Air Force at the air strip).   Nothing dramatic, but, nonetheless essential.

Without the REMF's, there would have been no ammo, chow, gear... noddadamthing would have gotten to us out in the bush.   There would have been no mail, pay, rotations, promotions (well, and demotions), etc.   No medevacs, no resupply, no R&R,... not a damn thing... we woulda been in worse straights than the NVA!   There would have been none of the archives, that we have in hand, which have proven so instrumental in getting us all back in touch again, and documenting our 3/3 history.
And no occasional BEER either!
Never slight your service... it WAS most important and vital.   Bush timers occasionally forget the importance of that support, but dammit, we definitely appreciated it... it kept us alive.

Welcome Home Marine, and thank YOU for your service!

From all-hands in 3/3!

“Wyatt Earp” at Ca Lu

(email from Rip in response to this pic) 10/2/06

Doc, As you might expect I know more than a little about this picture of Hugh O’Brian, a TV actor & former Marine.
The picture was taken at Ca Lu, an unlovely outpost 7mi. south of the Rockpile on Rt.9 around April-May 1967.  This was where the road turned due west toward Khe Sanh.                            (Continued next page)