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One for Noel (birdguy)...

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A Farm Kid Joins the Marines

Dear Ma and Pa,

I am well. Hope you are. Tell Brother Walt and Brother Elmer the Marine Corps beats working for old man Minch by a mile. Tell them to join up quick before all of the places are filled. I was restless at first because you get to stay in bed till nearly 5am. But I am getting used to it so I like to sleep late.

Tell Walt and Elmer all you do before breakfast is smooth your cot, and shine some things. No hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, or fire to lay. Practically nothing. Men got to shave but it is not too bad, there’s warm water.

Breakfast is strong on trimmings like fruit juice, cereal, eggs, bacon etc. But kind of weak on chops, potatoes, ham, steak, fried eggplant, pie and other regular food.

But tell Walt and Elmer you can always sit by the two city boys that live on coffee. Their food, plus yours, holds you until noon when you get fed again. It’s no wonder these city boys can’t walk much.

We go on “route marches”, which the platoon sergeant says are long walks to harden us.
If he thinks so, it’s not my place to tell him different. A “route march” is about as far as to our mailbox at home.

Then the city guys get sore feet and we all ride back in trucks. The sergeant is like a school teacher. He nags a lot. The captain is like the school board. Majors and colonels just ride around and frown. They don’t bother you none.

The next will kill Walt and Elmer with laughing. I keep getting medals for shooting and I don’t know why. The bullseye is near as big as a chipmunk head and don’t move and it ain’t shooting at you like the Higgett boys at home.

All you got to do is lie there all comfortable, and hit it. You don’t even load your own cartridges. They come in boxes. 

Then we have what they call hand-to-hand combat training. You get to wrestle with them city boys. I have to be real careful though, they break real easy. It ain’t like fighting with that ol’ bull at home.

I’m about the best they got in this except for that Tug Jordan from over in Silver Lake. I only beat him once. He joined up the same time as me, but I’m only 5’6″ and 130 pounds and he’s 6’8″ and near 300 pounds dry.

Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join, before the other fellers get onto this setup and come stampeding in.

Your loving daughter,

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I remember reading this tale many years ago. I still got a huge chuckle from it. Thanks for posting this!

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Fr. Bill    

AOPA Member: 07141481 AARP Member: 3209010556

Interests: Gauge Programming - 3d Modeling for Milviz

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Ha-hah-hah-hah!  I've seen it before but enjoy reading it again.  I had forgotten it.  Thanks for posting.

This is a true story.

When I was getting out of the Marine Corps I was a buck sergeant at the casual company at Treasure Island in San Francisco.  One evening I was CQ (Charge of Quarters).  There wasn't much to do since most of us were jut waiting for our discharges to be processed.  So we played Pinochle all night.

We had this Mexican kid who was getting a BCD (Bad Conduct Discharge).  I asked him what his BCD was for.  He told me he kept getting into fights with NCOs.  He was happy he was getting out.

I mentioned that having  BCD on your record was going to hurt him trying to find a job.

He told me he didn't care.  He was going back to the farm.  He said '"My cheeckens don' care I have BCD, they steel lay eggs.  The cow don' care I have BCD, she steel geeve milk.  The dirt don care I have a BCD.  Thee peppers an tomatoes steel grow."

Ya know?  He Had a point.




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I'm first generation Norwegian American.  You know what they say about Norwegians.  You can always tell a Norwegian, but you can't tell him much.

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1958 "No Time for Sargeants"


Nick Adams became Johnny Yuma the Rebel on ABC TV the next year and the year after that Andy Griffith's long run started on CBS about Mayberry.


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