LCpl Morris Dwaine New, USMC


Palmquist1Palmquist3In 1967, an Austin man named Morris Dwaine New (“Dwaine”) was killed in an ambush on a bridge in Vietnam. The next fire station in Austin built after his death was the third (current) Station 8 in 1971.

A pecan tree was planted there in his memory and a memorial plaque installed next to the tree. Generations of firefighters have worked at 8’s through the years with the vast majority not knowing who Dwaine was. Nevertheless, the tree was always watered and taken care of, and an American flag was always present. When a flag became threadbare, blew away, or disappeared, another soon replaced it. No one knew the story behind the tree or the plaque, but it seemed like the right thing to do.

Palmquist4Palmquist2Earlier this week, an older man knocked on the door of Station 8 around noon, and asked if he could take some pictures of the tree and plaque. His name is Dick Palmquist, and he and his wife were visiting Austin. He explained that he and Dwaine had been close friends, and that he was with him on the bridge that day in Vietnam when Dwaine was killed. He walked to the tree, put his hand on it, and lowered his head for a moment. He then asked the crew if they would mind if his wife took a picture of all of them in front of the tree. Of course, they obliged.

Palmquist5After they took the pictures, they spent a few moments speaking with Mr. Palmquist and his wife. It turns out that Dwaine was not just an Austinite, but was also a firefighter at our Central station. Many of the firefighters he worked with were WWII and Korean War veterans who knew the horrors of war all too well. They urged Dwaine to rethink enlisting. In Mr. Palmquist’s words, “If you get drafted, well, all right then, but don’t volunteer!” Dwaine did anyway and you know what happened after that. We also learned that Mr. Palmquist has been corresponding with AFD Lt. Jerry Cohen for about a year; Jerry works at Station 8 and runs the Austin Fire Museum.

In another interesting twist, Dwaine’s wife, Vickie (who passed away last year) remarried seven years after Dwaine’s death—to the Austin Fire Department’s photographer, Firefighter Erwin Haddon, who served in that role from the 1960’s to the 1980’s, and was at the dedication of the tree and plaque to record the event. In October 2014, they celebrated 40 years of marriage.

We’re so grateful to Mr. Palmquist for taking the time to share his story and these photos with us; opening those old wounds can’t be easy, but we are honored and humbled that he did so. Special thanks to Battalion Chief Rob Bredahl, who got permission from Mr. Palmquist for us to post this and for sending along the details.

Postscript. I was very fortunate to have served with both Marines about which this article was written. We were together in Echo 2/1 in Vietnam 1966-67. I was their Platoon Commander for a short period of time. I rotated in March 1967, and the incident occurred two months later. I know the exact bridge where the incident happened, always a danger area. What the article does not mention was that LCpl Dick Palmquist was also wounded in the incident. As always in actions such this, there was a hero.  

From Dick Palmquist himself, “What hasn’t been mentioned in all this is about a true HERO. Larry Hample shed his fighting gear and weapon, sat down with bullets flying everywhere, took his boots off, dove in the water, and help me out. He then jumped back in and tried to get Dwaine but couldn’t.”

Dick  was eventually medically retired, and Larry Hample was awarded the Bronze Star with combat “V”. I see Dick and his bride every year at our company reunion in Prescott Valley, Arizona.

Addition. Please read the comments below from Sgt Ed Benavidez who was the platoon sergeant at the time. He gives a good picture of the actual events from his diary. Ed’s diary has been extremely valuable to all of us at our annual reunions as we try to remember events, Echo Signtimes, and places–all of which have helped so many close some old wounds. Ed was one of our squad leaders when I was the platoon commander of second platoon. He is one helluva Marine. He made a name for himself with the Galveston Police Department, retiring as a Captain.

A Congressman Takes Action

FINALLY, an elected official from, of all places, California, is not willing to sit back and allow the Kool Aid drinkers of the current administration to destroy 240 years of faithful service to our once great nation. Honorable Congressman (there are not many of them where I would ever consider using that term when addressing them) Duncan Hunter, thank you kind sir! It is an absolute shame that you seem to be the lone wolf howling in the halls of congress. Please sir, do not back off on this issue. Although he is not my congressman, I have emailed him a sincere thank you from one Marine to another. Would you consider it?Hunter's Ltr

Your Presidents and More

Very interesting, but not surprising. Scroll down to read what Kessler thinks of the presidents he served. Snippets from Ronald Kessler’s book about our presidents. Amazingly, none of this surprised me, and I was not even there for any of them but one, and that my friends was enough!

Secrets of the Secret Service

Kennedy“A philanderer of the highest order.
She ordered the kitchen help to save all the left-over wine from State dinners, mixed it with fresh wine and served it again during the next White House occasion.”


LBJ“Another philanderer of the highest order. In addition, LBJ was as crude as the day is long. Both JFK and LBJ kept a lot of women in the White House for extramarital affairs and both had set up early warning systems to alert them if/when their wives were nearby. Both were promiscuous and oversexed men. Lady Bird was either naive or just pretended to not know about her husband’s many liaisons.”

NOTE from me: If you’ve read my book, you know the many stories of my time with LBJ, the sort of hilarious episodes one never ever forgets. He gave me my very first ass-chewing as a fresh-caught “Brown Bar.” If you’ve not read about it you don’t know what your are missing!

Nixon“A ‘moral’ man but very odd, weird, paranoid. He had a horrible relationship with his family and was almost a recluse.
She was quiet most of the time and gave us no trouble.”


Agnew“A nice, decent man. Everyone in the Secret Service was surprised by his downfall.”



Ford“A true gentlemen who treated the Secret Service with respect and dignity. He had a great sense of humor. She drank a lot! Often observed drunk out of her mind.”


Carter“A complete phony who would portray one picture of himself to public and very different in private e.g. Would be shown carrying his own luggage but the suitcases were always empty. He kept empty ones just for photo ops. He wanted people to see him as pious and a non-drinker but he and his family drank alcohol a lot! He had disdain for the Secret Service and was very irresponsible with the “football” with nuclear codes. He didn’t think it was a big deal and would keep military aides at a great distance. Often did not acknowledge the presence of Secret Service personnel assigned to serve him. She mostly did her own thing and didn’t like the limelight t all.”

Reagan“The real deal, moral, honest, respectful and dignified. They treated Secret Service and everyone else with respect and honor, thanked everyone all the time. He took the time to know everyone on a personal level. One favorite story was early in his Presidency when he came out of his room with a pistol tucked on his hip. The agent in charge asked: “Why the pistol, Mr. President?” He replied, “In case you boys can’t get the job done, I can help.” It was common for him to carry a pistol. When he met with Gorbachev, he had a pistol in his briefcase. He was the nicest most honest and genuine president I ever had the privilege to serve under. She was very nice but very protective of the President and the Secret Service was often caught in the middle. She tried hard to control what he ate. He would say to the agent, ‘Come on, you gotta help me out.’ The Reagans drank wine during State dinners and special occasions only otherwise they shunned alcohol. The Secret Service could count on one hand the times they were served wine during family dinner. For all the fake bluster of the Carters, the Reagans were the ones who lived life as genuinely moral people.”
Bush“Extremely kind and considerate, always respectful. Took great care in making sure the agents’ comforts were taken care of. They even brought them meals. One time she brought warm clothes to agents standing outside at Kennebunkport. One was given a warm hat and, when he tried to say ‘no thanks’ even though he was obviously freezing, the President said ‘Son, don’t argue with the First Lady. Put the hat on.’ He was the most prompt of the Presidents. He ran the White House like a well-oiled machine. She ruled the house and spoke her mind. They were genuine good folks.”

Clintons“Presidency was one giant party. Not trustworthy. He was nice mainly because he wanted everyone to like him but to him life is just one big game and party. Everyone knows about his flings and sexuality. She is another phony. Her personality would change the instant cameras were near. She hated, with open disdain the military and Secret Service. She was another who felt people were there to serve her. She was always trying to keep tabs on Bill Clinton.”

Gore“An egotistical ass who was once overheard by his Secret Service detail lecturing his son that he needed to do better in school or he would end up like these guys, pointing to the agents. He is so full of himself!”


GWB“The Secret Service loved him and Laura Bush. He was also the most physically in shape who had a very strict workout regimen. The Bushes made sure their entire administrative and household staff understood that they were to respect and be considerate of the Secret Service. She was one of the nicest First Ladies, if not the nicest. She never had any harsh word to say about anyone.”

ObummerClinton all over again – hates the military and looks down on the Secret Service. He is egotistical and cunning. He looks you in the eye and appears to agree with you but turns around and does the opposite. He has horrible temper tantrums which include childlike throwing of things and breaking things. She is a complete bitch who basically hates anybody who is not black, hates the military and looks at the Secret Service as her personal servants. They are two of the phoniest people ever to set foot in the white house.”

A ‘TRUE STORY ABOUT’ General McChrystal’s resignation in Obama’s office from General McChrystal’s book!
McCrystalSome men carry and handle their diplomacy better than others.
When former U.S. Military commander in Afghanistan, General McChrystal, was called into the Oval Office by Barack Obama, he knew things weren’t going to go well when the President accused him of not supporting him in his political role as President.
“It’s not my job to support you as a politician, Mr. President, it’s my job to support you as Commander-in-Chief,” McChrystal replied, and he handed Obama his resignation. Not satisfied with accepting McChrystal’s resignation, the President made a cheap parting shot:
“I bet when I die you’ll be happy to piss on my grave.”
The General saluted and said, “Mr. President, I always told myself after leaving the Army I’d never stand in line again.”

Mabus Issues CMC Harsh Orders

This memo is one of the nastiest I have ever seen coming from a political appointee. No one needs to read between the lines to see where he is going with this tirade. I am certain he received an ass whipping by a Marine somewhere in his lifetime, probably some free-spirited Young LCpl Infantryman. At least I hope some Marine got some licks in on him. I would certainly not pass up the opportunity; he is a fool, an idiot dressed in a fancy suit. Read the memo and you decide.

PS, I Had a copy of his memo, but lost it and am trying to retrieve it. If anyone has a copy, please send it to me so I can post for all to read,

Mabus Destroys Your Marine Corps

This post is now OBE as the idiot, Kool Aid guzzling SecNav has “seen the light.” He changed his mind “before” he had to appear before the Senate where he was finally beaten up rather harshly by some friends of the Corps. He needs to be fired for the idiotic words that consistently spew from his mouth!


Many have tried over the Corps’s 240 year existence, but all have failed. Even President Harry Truman attempted to dismantle the Corps, but found their popularity and following too strong to fight to the end. The Corps’s colors are draped with more streamers and ribbons from fighting more enemies, more battles, and more wars than one dare to count, and still the Corps survived all comers. But what about today? Can we survive the political onslaught of an administration hell-bent on reducing our military to cannon fodder?

It appears from Mabus’ January 1, 2016 memo to our Commandant that he has purposely come after us. Why? I suspect it is because we are the only service that seems to have any common sense about these dangerous actions being taken in the name of “diversity.” One does not need to read between the lines of his memo to understand Mabus is out to see our destruction. This from a two-year Naval officer who’s only military experience is aboard a ship that spent most of his tour in the yard getting refitted. Wow, that must have been really tough on him sleeping on clean sheets in his own stateroom while having his meals served in the officer’s mess by a  ship’s steward. Maybe he is after us because he got his ass beat by a young Marine Lance Corporal. Who knows why he is so hellbent on dismantling the Corps. As a retired thirty-six year Marine Infantryman, I am sad and absolutely horrified for what is about to happen to my greatest love. If this imbecile has his way, I will become a retired Marine “Infantryperson.”  The following article at the link below is one of the best that I have read on the matter. How can anyone read the author’s well-written piece and still think this is a good idea.

Where are our followers, where are our elected officials, where is the so-called silent majority, where is someone, anyone who has some intelligence, some common sense, some feeling of pride in America? Where the hell are you? If you are there, get on your computer and write, make phone calls, ask question as to how this is going to make our Corps stronger, scream, bellow, holler, do whatever it takes before YOU lose YOUR United States Marine Corps. Semper Fi, Jim Bathurst

PS, Be sure to check my post on Mabus’ aka “the idiot’s” Memo. I am sure you will be shocked, especially by his timeline. Marines are currently deployed all around the world, and this is to happen in three months. Mabus, you are an idiot that should be fired; and if Trump wins, as I hope he does, you can bet your days will be numbered and you’ll have to find someone else to beat up on – you imbecile!

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