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View Full Version : Nam Vets are Different



badbob
07-18-02, 02:14 PM
This subject has been floating for some time, and so far, most everyone is right.

For starters, there is a difference between the 0311ís and the rest; itís the training

Todayís Corps is a little different from the Corps I was in, and my Corps was a little different from the WWII Corps and so on. But that doesnít change the one constant, weíre all Marines.

What is very different, is the Nam Vet, and thatís the problem here. Only the Nam Vet really understands the Nam Vet.

The Nam Vet was the only combatant to go to war as an individual and not a member of a coherent unit!

In Nam, we were on a rotation system. In about August 1965, they began breaking up our units for rotation purposes. The breakup was logical because at the end of our tour, which was 13 months, they wouldnít have to pull out an entire Battalion. So we were all redistributed from unit to unit. By April 1966, there were old guys leaving and new guys coming all the time.

This had a very negative effect; it broke up our unit continuity. It made us all individuals for a period of time until we were able to reestablish ourselves once again as part of a coherent working unit.

In the Grunts, itís all about the machine, the Fire Team, the Squad, the Platoon, the Company, and to be effective, all must function as one. This is a big part of Recruit training and it continues and personifies in the Gruntís, where surviving really does depend on unit continuity and each individualís function within.

So, for the Vietnam Vet in general and especially for Combat Vets, we have a different prospective from the average Marine. We were forced to live and fight as individuals, forced to prove ourselves to the other combatants within our own unit before we were fully accepted, regardless of our previous combat experience if any.

When I was transferred from Golf 2/9 to Lima 3/3 in October 1965, I was a battle hardened Vet who had already won the Bronze Star. My old Squad leader trusted me and treated me with the respect even though at times I was somewhat of a screw-up.

Immediately upon my transfer to L/3/3, my new squad leader told me to ďsit down, shut up and pay attention, I donít want to die because some FUC*ING new guy wasnít listeningĒ. It took me three months to gain their trust and respect; it was the loneliest three months of my life. Iím certain that every Nam Vet had a similar experience.

In Vietnam, unlike today, we also had Draftees (two year wonders), many did a good job considering their circumstances, some posed issues that were actually detrimental to the mission.

Today and in every action since Vietnam, when a Marine goes to war, itís with a well-trained, coherent unit. This makes all the difference in the world, itís the only edge you need, after all, youíre a Marine.

So, cut us Nam Vets some slack, we believe that we are Special, Unique, Different and a cut above the rest, and after all, isnít that why most of us joined the Corps in the first palce.


Dick, keep your CAR, you earned it Bro!


Semper Fi,

Bob Neener
G/2/9 L/3/3
Vietnam 1965-1966
http://www.3rdMarines.net

LadyLeatherneck
07-18-02, 04:21 PM
Thanks for sharing Badbob. Semper Fi :)


Todayís Corps is a little different from the Corps I was in, and my Corps was a little different from the WWII Corps and so on. But that doesnít change the one constant, weíre all Marines.

Amen to that!

God Bless