While Others Sleep

Marines from the 8th Engineer Support Battalion out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., try to start a generator that they will use to pump out floodwater from a street in the Queens borough of New York City. The Breezy Point neighborhood was hit especially hard by Hurricane Sandy, and then again by a nor’easter.

A United States Marine Looks Back

Despite the jokes on these “pages,” I’ve nothing but respect for the Marine Corps. Going back early in my memory banks, a glimpse of Camp Lejeune sits. All happy. My father, in the Navy, was stationed there when I was a baby. I don’t remember if we just drove through at a later date and I have this memory of trees from then. But still, it is an early memory and I save it like an old fuzzy polaroid.

Also saving his memories is OkieRover, who joined the Marine Corps (Department of the Navy) thirty years ago:

My heart will always be draped in dress blue. I wasn’t the best Marine. I was not a poster Marine like my good friend Jason, who in 2008 was promoted to E-9, Master Gunnery Sergeant. I didn’t always fit in, but I love being a Marine. The looks of surprise on people’s faces upon them learning that I was a Marine still entertain me. Each and every day I wake up and know that no matter what I may encounter, I am a Marine, and I can adapt and overcome whatever life presents me.

God bless our Corps and God bless the United States of America.

Most definitely, God bless the United States of America.

Gunnery Sergeant John Crazy Bear

I am insatiably curious about the military. I know that sounds odd, considering that I am inside. The military. But I will talk to anyone in the service about their job/rating/MOS. And I frequently do. I particularly like chatting up the folks whose jobs I am not often around, for obvious reasons.

For example, I have a friend. She reads this blog every now and then (ahem) and she is close friends with a local SEAL. He is an OIC, over at some unit, and I keep telling her, Hey when are we going to roll over and chat your buddy up?

Random readers should encourage this sort of nosiness. It gives you more schtuff to read on this here blog. Every day, I will find something to post. Do you want to read that Elle Macpherson is a socialist or do you want to hear about a SEAL’s exploits?

Or would you prefer to read of this great American:

John Crazy Bear, a three-war veteran and retired Marine gunnery sergeant, shakes hands with Brig. Gen Thomas A. Gorry, commanding general, Marine Corps Installations East

It is a story of distant travels, perseverance and time, but one more name has made it home from Vietnam; John Crazy Bear.

The three-war veteran and retired gunnery sergeant, was reunited with the dog tag he lost during the Vietnam War in a ceremony held aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, March 17.

Crazy Bear, a Lakota Sioux Native American who was orphaned as a child, enlisted in the Marine Corps at the age of 14. He hitchhiked more than 400 miles to join a service he admits he knew almost nothing about.

And what did Gunnery Sergeant Crazy Bear say when he got the dog tag back?

“It looks like it’s been through heck and high water,” exclaimed Crazy Bear. “But I think I’d rather have it than a Navy Cross.”

Errr-rah! I wish he lived locally. So I could buy him lunch. And chat with him about Vietnam.