I have no idea how I became blessed with the honor of commanding the Special Ceremonial Platoon (SCP) at Marine Barracks, 8th & I, Washington, D.C. The platoon consisted of three sections: the Corps’s Color Guard, the Body Bearers, and the Silent Drill Team. It was my Officer Candidate School (OCS) as I reported in as a SSgt from Vietnam destined to become the platoon sergeant of SCP. However, a combat commission recommendation from my RVN company commander was approved and I became the platoon commander vice the platoon sergeant — quite a strange sequence of events.
I was blessed to be able to see first-hand what these Marines do day in and day out. It is quite a story in my book and worth the read, especially if you are familiar with the battles during my time there (1967-69) — the Tet Offensive of 1968. The Body Bearers were so busy, we had to augment them and the color guard with Marines from the drill team. A very sad time for all of us in Ceremonial Guard Company. While every burial was deeply emotional, it became unbearable when you knew the Marine you were burying.
This link will take you to an inside look at what it is like to be one of the brave souls — it is very emotional to me personally. God bless those Marine s assigned to that duty. Read the book and learn what it takes to be one of these blessed souls, and how they are able to maintain their sanity in such an assignment.
If this video does not touch your heart, perhaps you do not have one.