Before we left Okinawa to come home, we got to spend
time in the enlisted Men's Club there at Camp Hansen.
This was a group of guys in the club in Okinawa. 3/15/70.
They were all going home too. I didn't know them, but
they saw us taking pictures and wanted a picture. One guy
gave me his name and address to send him the picture.
Once I finally got the pics developed, I had lost his name.
If anyone knows anyone in this picture, please let them or
me know. I'll send them the picture.
This picture was taken on 3/15/1970.
This is my liberty card from Kilo.
Give me liberty or give me death!
Don't leave base without it.
They're not required anymore, but
back then we couldn't get off base for
liberty without our liberty cards.
After Vietnam
Kilo Company
3rd Battalion 3rd Marine Regiment
5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade
Camp San Mateo at  Camp Pendleton California
April - August 1970
"Men will fight long and hard for a bit of
colored ribbon." - So said Napoleon
Bonaparte before the Battle of Waterloo
These are the awards I earned
from going
to Vietnam. From left to right, starting at
the bottom:
Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with
palm & frame, Vietnamese Civil
Actions with palm & frame, Vietnam
Service, Meritorious Unit Citation (the
star denotes a second award), National
Defense (commonly called "the fire

watch ribbon"), Vietnam Campaign
(stars denote successive awards
for
campaigns
), Navy Achievement with
Combat "V", Combat Action
Ribbon
I have the documentation for these.
After I got back from 'Nam and went to
Kilo, I had to requalify with a rifle. Like
staying alive in Vietnam wasn't
qualification enough. I qualified as a
sharpshooter with the M-16. In boot
camp, we had qualified with M-14's.
Contrary to what you see in the movies or
on wannabe expert riflemen, not everyone
shoots expert when they qualify. Out of
about 80 Marines in our platoon, maybe
10 or 12 shot
expert, 20 to 25 shot
sharpshooter, and the rest shot
marksman.
I qualified as a marksman in boot camp
with an M-14. I never did get to qualify
with
the .45 pistol because I got out
before I was due to qualify. Machine
gunners also carry a .45.
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After I left 'Nam, we stopped in Okinawa for a couple of days to collect the gear we
had left there before going to 'Nam. It was also a time for more paperwork and
physicals and anything else that needed addressing before we got back to the states.
Once we got to the states, they took us to Camp Pendleton for final administrative stuff
and to collect our pay. A lot of guys were getting out of the Corps, so they had to be
processed out.
I wasn't getting out and I got orders to report to Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd
Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade at Camp San Mateo in Camp
Pendleton to finish my active duty time after my leave.
I went home on leave. I think I got twenty days. Then, I had to report to Kilo Company.
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When I got to Kilo, they already had enough people in their machine gun teams. They
were short rocket men so they put me in rockets. That meant I carried the 3.5 rocket
launcher and I had two other people in my team - my assistant gunner and my ammo
handler. I had only fired a 3.5 a few times in training. I wasn't very happy because I
wanted to be in machine guns.
When we went to play war games, I would kneel down and the A gunner would stick
his rifle in the tube and shoot a blank round to signify we fired a rocket round. That's
the way they wanted us to do it.
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After a while, they finally
transferred me to the machine gun
team. This is the weapons card I had
to carry with me and give it to the
armorer when I checked out an M-60.
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While I was with Kilo, we did a 2 week operation where we were aboard the USS
Okinawa LPH 3. We were practicing helicopter assaults from the ship to land. We
cruised from San Diego up to where we were off the coast of Camp Pendleton.  LPH
stands for Landing Platform Helicopter.
The Okinawa has a bit notoriety. There is a often seen photo of people pushing a
helicopter off the deck of a ship during the end of the VietnamWar. That ship is the
Okinawa.
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This is in our barracks at San Mateo. We were painting something in the barracks. I
don't remember what happened with the paint. I just know I ended up with paint on me.
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Looking out the window of the barracks.
In 1970, Nixon was President. He spent some of his time at his house in San Clemente
which was called the Western White House. We were just across the highway from the
WWH. Many times on weekends,we would have our liberty cancelled because of
anti-war protests due to take place at the WWH. If you look at the lower right of the
picture above of the WWH, there are ra
ilroad tracks and right above those there is a
dirt road. If you followed that road to the right, it would lead to another dirt road that
went under the highway to Camp Pendleton. We would load up on "6 by" or deuce and
half" trucks and get driven under the highway to the back of the WWH. There, we
stood by all day as a quick reaction force should the protesters overwhelm the police
and try to breach the perimeter of the WWH.
The 1st Sgt for our sister company in 3/3 was Jimmie Howard. He was awarded the
Congressional Medal of Honor for actions in Vietnam. I
didn't have much conversation
time with him but I
was always in awe when I saw him with the blue and white ribbon
on his chest.
Sometimes, I had guard duty and was the Corporal of the Guard. I would have go out
and check the guard posts and when I did, I had a radioman
, a driver,and a jeep at my
disposal. Since the base drive-in theater was on my route, sometimes we would make
our rounds and check the posts and then go watch the movie for a while.
Sometimes, I had duty NCO at night. The NCO's took turns manning the company
office 24/7. I used to turn on the radio and listen to music to help pass the time. A
radio station out of Mexico called XERB had a DJ on the air who not many people had
ever heard. He called himself Wolfman Jack
and he became a part of history.
One thing that bothered me about our duties here was the civil disobedience training.
We did a lot of it. I had been to Vietnam to fight a foreign enemy and now I was
training to fight a domestic enemy.  
This was 1970, a year of anti-war protests.
It was the year of the anti-war protest at Kent State University in which people threw
stuff at the National Guardsmen and the Guardsmen fired at them and people died.
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Jimmy Collins (JC), who
I had been in Vietnam
with, had become a troop
handler at ITR when he
got back. 3/3 wasn't very
far away from ITR so he
and I hung out a lot and
went on liberties together.
He was from Arkansas,
but his Mom and Step-dad
were in San Diego and his
Step-dad was a Master
Chief Petty Officer in the
Navy. We used to go
there sometimes. Other
times we would go to LA.
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The pics above are from the last liberty I had before I got off active duty on August 28,
1970. I'm in the top two and JC is in the bottom two. JC and I went to the Los Angeles
Transportation Museum (Also known as Travel Town). We were able to get around in
California because he had a car. If it weren't for that, we would have had to hitchhike
or take buses, trains and cabs. I did do a lot of hitch hiking out there, also.
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This is the photo they took of me for my ID card when I got off
active duty and got my inactive card. My active ID card was
green and white and the inactive one was pink and white.
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