13 months in Vietnam as a combat Marine ('68-'69): One step at a time, one day at a time...a life's lesson.

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     I am proud that I served my Country, that I was a Marine, and of my fellow Marines. Even though I didn't recognize it at the time, the Marine Corps had instilled in me a will to win, to never quit, to be responsible and accept responsibility for my actions, and many other qualities that have contributed to me being a better person in this world. I will forever be grateful for these lessons. Something that time and reflection has taught me more to appreciate.
     As far as my time in the Marines, I received above average evaluations from my superiors, went from private E-1 to corporal E-4 in 14 months, fast for Marine Corps standards even in Vietnam, was made a section leader in weapons platoon, was offered sergeant E-5 with an immediate 30 day leave anywhere in the free world plus a $6,000.00 bonus if I would re-enlist, and I was honorably discharged.

    I have been awarded the Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon w/3B*, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal w/4B*, Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation, (Gallantry Cross Medal Color w/Palm), Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Civil Actions Medal, 1st Class Color w/Palm), and Vietnam Campaign Medal w/Device.

    The title, The Mailman Went UA, came from our little song and dance routine that we performed when we didn't receive any mail. It reflected the utter desolation of aloneness and heartbreak that extended beyond the lack of mail to who you were as a human being, and that impact is impossible to shake. The mail was our only touch with any degree of normalcy. It was more than a connection with the “World”.  It was the essential element in preserving our sanity.  We were surrounded by death and destruction and became unfazed by them, but we were always hit hard when we didn't receive any mail.  

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