Arriving home Monday early evening after an all day surgical procedure at a state-of-art Sandhills N.C. Medical Facility, and thru a prematurely darken sky dumping Monsoon-like torrents of rain over the 60 mile harrowing ride, I open iPad to discover a conspiracy between Mrs. Ma and #1 Violet bringing me face-to-face with an old photo of an 18 year old Jarhead-wannabe in Marine Dress Blues complete with teenage zit where grows the past 45 years a treasured imperial beard of, as many people have been pointing out, a silver grey color!
Now, had I been appraised of the conspiracy, the photo posted of my and my faithful companion “Kawasaki” (referring to the village some of which can be seen beyond the motor pool fence), the 3/4 ton truck, would have been my choice. The main difference of life 60 years in the past is the absence of cell phones and the daily photo people take today of themselves, their pets, plates of food, children and myriad grand children, rocks at their feet, cloud formations above, and martial art classes showing the same people in same pose but perhaps different outfits; all the photos I take today. Few were taken then, fewer survived. So, before I get to Beloved truck “Kawasaki,” and Okinawan escapades here’s a bit of background of the dumb kid in the Dress Blues.
At some point during middle to end of our 13 weeks of boot camp introduction and terror our 80 member strong Recruit Platoon # 250 was marched to a building that once in we were lined up in single file and shuffled to a portrait camera set up in front of a back drop. As each “boot” reached the front there were 2 blouses (jackets), sm & lg and 2 covers (hats) also sm, and lg. The blouses were open in the back like a hospital gown. The assistant to photographer tightened the one or loosened the other that you stepped into. The cover either fit atop your head, fell down over your ears or, like Goldilocks, fit just right. The camera clicked, “next’ stepped into the spot. We order, all had to, a graduation book with our photos in it. The action photos were generic and not of the 80 man platoon. So, to clear the record. This was NOT my uniform. Only certain MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) we’re issued this uniform: Embassy Guards, Shipboard Duty, Band and Drill Teams. You could buy one to wear once a year at Marine Corps Ball on Nov. 10th, at $50 to $75 a months pay, not many Marines had a set of Dress Blues. I admit, as many kids do, to coveting a set, but once in quickly lost all desire whatsoever. There were more varied and better things yo spend $50 bucks a month on. 30 loving and intimate years spent with Mrs Ma and I just discovered she thought this was MY uniform and I wore it all the time! So, I believe this disclaimer necessary to dispel the possible belief I HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH ITS PUBLICATION! Now onto Kawasaki...
Before touching the only other photo I have of my 5 year enlistment, another photo of me in the Dress Blues shot has just surfaced, of a very handsome Hasidic Rabbi, doctored I may add. I must say I agree with Rich Martins response: “THIS IS JUST WRONG!” But funny as all hell ... and I can’t stop laughing! Laughs that are just, if I may add, what is needed in these days! I will have to write about L/Cpl A.R. “Frenchy” Lamoureux and his beloved 3/4 ton personnel carrier pick-up truck (only vehicle smaller was a Jeep!). FB just might penalize me for excessive wordage here as it is...so let me close this apology!