Category Archives: Peek Inside

Hail to the Chief (Not)

For those of you who have not read my book (shame on you; don’t know what you are missing), here is a peak at a small part of one chapters. After posting MSgt George Roof’s great commentary and recap of our illustrious past presidents beginning with LBJ, I could not help but think of my memories up close and personal with his first stalwart, LBJ. So for those of you who have chosen to not read my book, here is a small taste of chapter 30. Understand that I do not like to use “Marine talk” here on my blog or in my book, but in this case it is necessary to appreciate the scene. Enjoy. XX

~ 30 ~

Hail to the Chief

Every Marine remembers his first good ass chewing for a variety of reasons. My first as an officer occurred shortly after I had been commissioned and is remembered for who the “chewer” was. I recall quite clearly that I was at Camp David with my platoon and the president was to arrive for the weekend. The weather was bad, so all morning the plans fluctuated between flying the president to the camp, flying him to the LZ in Thurmont, or driving him up from the White House in Washington.

Since the camp sits on a mountaintop, it is fogged in at times. In these instances, the LZ down near Thurmont is often used and the chief executive is then driven up the mountain from there. On one particular day, it was on again – off again in attempting to fly the president and his party to Camp David. Finally, after numerous changes in the mode of transportation, his support personnel loaded the baggage into vehicles and began the hour and a half drive up the mountain. Meanwhile the heavy rains ceased and the fog lifted; the president and his guest, a visiting head of state, were flown straight to the camp.

I was turning over security responsibilities to the secret service when Major Baker walked by and said he would wait for me up ahead. When I finished, I joined him. As he and I were walking past Aspen on our way to the Ship’s Office suddenly the front door of the president’s cabin burst open and out came the “Boss,” President Lyndon B. Johnson. He shouted, “Hold up there!” He bolted over to us—we both saluted. The president began ranting and raving about being “surrounded by incompetent assholes.” He went on and on, cursing up a storm.

Unbeknown to me, Major Baker had terminated his salute. The president was standing between us directing his remarks at us both. Finally, after a barrage of curse words, he leaned over, looked me right in the eyes, and said, “Put your fucking hand down.” I terminated my salute.

He ended with a comment that burned into my psyche and to this very day has never left it: “If you assholes don’t get your fucking act together soon, I’ll send you all to Vietnam.” He then stormed off toward the house. I stood there with clinched fists, jaws so tight I couldn’t speak. Major Baker, obviously accustomed to this sort of abuse, laughed and said: “I wonder what we didn’t do this time?” At the Ship’s Office, we discovered the baggage had not yet arrived since it was coming by car. The president, apparently, was embarrassed that his guest could not change into more comfortable clothes.

There’s more, but you’ll have to get the book. To do so look to the left and you’ll see “Buy The Book,” click on it,  fill it out, I will get the email, and contact you personally.

Have a Cup of Joe on us – BRCC

Admittedly, I am caffeine addicted. Where did I become that way? Come on that’s an easy one, where else but the Marine Corps. When you have the mid-watch (2400-0400)  is bad enough, but when it’s your turn to “dog” the mid-watch and it lasts from 2400 to 0800, how else can one stay awake but to drink gallons of coffee?  Anyway, I digress. I believe I am also a connoisseur of coffee. And since I do drink a lot of it, I could never understand why someone would pay $5-7 for a cup of Joe? Unless, of course, money is no object, and you have no real taste for good coffee, or you drink your coffee from a place you believe adds to your station in life. Anyway, if you have not surmised by now, I do not frequent Starbucks. I am a fan of Yuban, been drinking eversince I discovered it in Newport, RI in 1985. But I will now try to find out where to get  BRCC’s coffee as I must give it a try, and if it is  near as good as Yuban, I WILL switch. I choose where I spend my hard-earned pension, and trust me it isn’t at places run by loud mouth, ant-American CEO’s. Here’s to you Mr. Schultz, you choose to take a stand and so does the American consumer. Keep your $5 cup of Syrian-made Joe

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — As Starbucks positions itself with a systematic decision to hire 10,000 Syrian refugees, Black Rifle Coffee Company (BRCC) and much of America asks why? While their attempts to capitalize on the veteran community have fallen grossly short, is it time now to make a puppet out of the very cultural diversity that founded this country for mere profit over security? Or is it time to put the power back in American citizens who need employment whose love, value and appreciation make today’s freedoms possible? Let’s be clear; the “American Dream” knows no prejudice against race, color, or ethnicity. It knows hard work. BRCC is welcoming 10,000 veterans to seek employment, training and or aid through them directly, as Starbucks has failed the military community in the hiring space.

“Starbucks CEO, Howard Shultz’s refugee hiring statement stems from marketing initiative. It’s unfortunate, maybe, to see that Starbucks is continuing to obsess with banter that inseparably promotes their love for intolerance, hypocrisy, and dominance over small businesses,” said BRCC CEO Evan Hafer.

Founded in 2014 by CEO and former Green Beret Evan Hafer, BRCC was built upon the mission to provide a high-quality, roast-to-order, coffee to the pro-2A and veteran communities. Between deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, Hafer worked to refine both his coffee roasting and firearms skills. He spent over a decade researching coffee, refining roast profiles and of course drinking while he roasted. BRCC stands for more than just a coffee company. It’s a veteran-owned business operated by principled men who have served our country honorably and stand together to protect the business integrity, conservative values, the veteran community, and our families. They are the proud individuals who raise their right hand to support and defend the Constitution, who set aside aggressive social progressiveness to be what’s important, kind, loyal, and protecting what they love: AMERICA. Just as committed to supporting the 15 thriving businesses beneath their umbrella as they are to the act of war, their brotherhood is stronger than commerce.

BRCC has consistently grown well over 700% since roasting their first batch of coffee just two years ago. Plans are in the works to open over 100 brick and mortar stores in the next three years and 500 in six years. Currently, the BRCC compound rests on 3.3 acres in downtown Salt Lake City and is already building an infrastructure for expansion. BRCC has teamed up with 5.11 Tactical and several other vetreprenuerial powerhouses to support its rapidly progressing operation. With escalating growth, comes obvious need to hire more employees. BRCC wants to remind the veteran community, “Starbucks says they are hiring Syrians because it makes for impressive PR. We hire veterans because it’s who we are.” While irate Starbucks patrons have been trading in their gift cards for cash at stores across the nation all week over this controversy, BRCC made a formal announcement on Instagram encouraging veterans to apply for future positions with their company by way of email to careers@blackriflecoffee.com

The inherent reality as a free society is the ability to vote with dollars. Repeatedly, conglomerates play on the emotional component of political prowess, by siding with the market best suited for their business endeavors versus standing for what they believe in as human beings. As a small business consistently faced with “schoolyard bullies” shoving and attacking every successful move BRCC makes, they refuse to stop serving their country, devalue patriotic predecessors, and watch American heritage being washed away in a storm of progressive, loutish intolerance. BRCC’s sentiment of hiring veterans isn’t for marketing propaganda, but how they have built their foundation. BRCC asks America, “Before you decide to vote with your hard-earned dollar, what do YOU believe in?”

Well, what do you believe in?

Table of Contents

scan0004Several folks have asked for more details about the book; therefore, I thought the best way to answer their requests was to show the “Contents” page. So, here it is. Some titles are a dead giveaway as to the content, but then others might be a play on words. Remember I only sell the hard cover, but for much less than you can get anywhere — it will be inscribed as you desire, and I eat the postage. If you are a Marine, or if you know a Marine, It would be a gift he or she will cherish and thoroughly enjoy. I guarantee it will rekindle many fond (and maybe not so fond) memories. The time set of the book is 1958-93.

 

                                   Contents

  1. “Brewed on the Shores of the Chesapeake Bay”
  2. “From the Halls of Montezuma”
  3. Parris Island
  4. Infantry Training Regiment
  5. The Private’s World
  6. Schools Demonstration Troops
  7. Republic of Philippines
  8. Treasure Island
  9. Crossing the Pacific
  10. Welcome to Japan
  11. The Price of a Lucky Strike
  12. The Monkey House
  13. Battery D, 2nd Battalion, 10th Marines
  14. Drill Instructor School
  15. The DI
  16. The Platoon Leaders Course
  17. Schools Demonstration Troops—Revisited
  18. Republic of Vietnam
  19. ”Corpsman Up”
  20. Only a Sergeant
  21. Sparrow Hawk
  22. Sheer Terror
  23. Operation Hastings
  24. Anderson Trail
  25. Bordering on Ridiculous
  26. WAINE
  27. Cpl Gary Wayne Olson, USMC
  28. The Silent Majority
  29. Oldest Post in the Corps
  30. “Who the Hell’s Jim”
  31. Hail to the Chief
  32. My Officer Candidates School
  33. Staff Sergeant “Chesty”
  34. The Special Ceremonial Platoon
  35. Anchors Aweigh
  36. Company “E”
  37. Amphibious Warfare School
  38. Go Army!
  39. Methodist College
  40. Okinawa
  41. Marine Barracks, Lemoore, California
  42. Armed Forces Staff College
  43. Recruiting Station, Chicago
  44. College of Naval Warfare
  45. Huxley’s Harlots
  46. Landing Force Training Command, Atlantic
  47. The School of Infantry
  48. The Consequences

 

Boot Camp — The First Day

~ 3 ~

Parris Island

Several hours passed as we sat quietly in our chairs. Some dozed off, but I was much too apprehensive to sleep. Suddenly the outside door burst open with a loud bang and in walked three Marines wearing those same strange hats. They were screaming at us to sit up straight with our hands folded on the desk. I thought to myself, Why does everyone here shout?

One of them spoke in a loud and forceful voice. “My name is Staff Sergeant Bresnahan and I am your senior drill instructor. The two Marines standing to my left are your junior drill instructors, Sergeant Collins and Sergeant Handschumaker. For the next four long months, we will be your father, your mother, your preacher, your teacher, and your girlfriend, but I can assure you, you will not screw us. You will run everywhere you go. You will not speak unless spoken to and the last word out of your sleazy civilian mouths will always be “Sir.” Do you understand me?” We all answered, “Yes, Sir!” which was not loud enough so he asked again and again until we were all screaming at the top of our lungs “Yes, Sir!”

SSgt Bresnahan continued his instructions to his new recruits. “When I call your name you will sound off in a loud, clear voice “Here, Sir!” and get your slimy civilian asses up out of my chairs, grab all your belongings, and double time outside where yellow footprints are painted on the deck. You will plant your two slimy civilian feet on two of the footprints. You will stand there with your head and eyes glued to the back of the head of the sleazebag civilian in front of you. Do you understand me?” We went through the same routine again repeating “Yes, Sir!” numerous times until the windows rattled.

As names were called, Sgt Handschumaker was at the door screaming at each recruit to run faster. Once outside we were cantankerously greeted by Sgt Collins who pushed and shoved us to the front of the four lines of yellow footprints. Since our names were called alphabetically, I was one of the first to endure the junior DI’s wrath. I could hear screaming and yelling from inside where recruits had not sounded off, “Here, Sir!” at the decibels SSgt Bresnahan required.

The rest of that day was total chaos. From that initial site, we were herded to a building quite a distance away. When I say herded, I mean herded—like animals. SSgt Bresnahan was leading the way at almost a runner’s pace while the two junior DIs yelled and screamed at us to keep the formation closed up. We were tripping over one another and falling down; some even walked out of their shoes, but did not dare ask if they could go back to retrieve them.

We entered a building with large bins, a towel laying in each. We individually stood in front of a bin, undressed completely, and wrapped the towel around our waist. We packed all of our belongings into a box addressed to where it was to be sent. When I say everything, I mean everything went into that box. We could keep nothing even though many of us brought toiletries. Watches, rings, necklaces—every item we brought with us from home went into the box.

While all this was being done, the DIs were running across the top of the bins screaming for us to hurry, shoving stuff into the boxes, and creating more chaos and frustration.

The senior drill instructor demanded, “While you’re about it, stuff all of your slimy civilian ways into the box as well. You won’t need them anymore!”

While we were all standing naked, except for the towel wrapped around our waist, someone came down the line and wrote a number on our chest. We were told to remember it. We then entered a room where several barbers eagerly awaited. When the kid in front of me got in the chair, the barber asked if he wanted to keep his sideburns. He hesitatingly answered, “Ye … ye … yes, Sir.” The barber told him to hold out his hand whereupon he laid each of them in the kid’s palm. Each shaving of our heads took approximately one minute to complete.

We then were treated to a cold shower and issued our new Marine uniforms and other gear. (Marines call their field uniform “utilities,” not fatigues like the Army.) From there we were herded across the huge 1st Battalion parade ground to our barracks. However, we were now carrying a heavy sea bag stuffed with all of the items we had just been issued.

We were designated Platoon 129 of the 1st Recruit Training Battalion. I learned that the hat DIs wore was called a “campaign cover.” Girls wear hats; Marines wear covers.