Just wanted you to see this piece in "Sgt. Grits" website...........Even though we were in Vietnam at different times and "humped" different hills, I still consider you a good friend and fellow "Marine".
(included this posting from Sgt. Grit's site:)
I WAS WORKING TRIAGE...................................
Dear Sgt. Grit
I served my country in the Unites States Navy from July 1965 to August 1969. The part of my service that I'm most proud of, however, is the 13 months I served with the Marines Corps as a corpsman. September 67 to October 68 in Viet Nam, were the hardest, saddest, yet most rewarding months of my life and I'll always be thankful for the opportunity to serve my country and the Corps.
The reason I'm writing this letter is because there seems to be some question, on the part of some, as to whether or not I should call myself a Marine. I served with the First Hospital Company, First Marine Division in Chu Lia and Danang. During that time I had the honor of providing medical aide to our brave Marines, many of whom gave their lives for our country. There are two situations, 35 years apart, that I feel give the right and privilege to call myself a Marine.
The first was in Chu Lai 1967. I was working in triage and we had received over 30 seriously wounded Marines. There was one Marine in particular that we all knew wouldn't make it. Though he was only 19, he exhibited the courage you only see in heroes and he also knew the end was near. I comforted him as best I could and told him "your a good Marine, your parents and your country are very proud". His response to me was "Doc, your a good Marine too".
He died 30 minutes later. I was there for him when he took his last breath. I've never forgotten his face or his words. Fast forward to May 26, 2003, Memorial Day at the Viet Nam Memorial Wall. As I stood at the wall I noticed three men looking at my vest and insignias.
One asked, "hey Doc, where did you serve?" I explained to them where and when and 2 of them told me that they had been through First Hospital Company the same year I was there during the Tet offensive. It was a very emotional moment for all of us. We hugged and talked and they showed me their wounds, one a leg amputation, the other an arm, and the third multiple facial wounds.
One of them took my shoulders and looked me in the eye and said "Doc, don't you ever forget that you're a Marine first and that if it weren't for you and others like you, our names would be on this wall too." Those 2 incidents, 35 years apart are examples of why I'm proud to say "I'm a Marine and always will be." I display my Marine Corps colors proudly, and am a member of the local league.
Any questions, ask my buddies at the wall.
Armand Riendeau HM2 (ret)
1st Hospital Company
1st Marine Division
1967 - 1968