I didn’t realize that I had so many old Marine Corps stories to tell until I started putting them on paper. Anyway, here are a couple more tales from my years in the Corps. Semper Fi
The Coke Machine
I was temporarily stationed at the U.S. Naval Air Station, Millington, Tennessee being prepped for an aviation technical school. The Navy and the Marines fly the same model aircraft so all of the flight and maintenance crews attend the Navy’s schools. Except for the one-off Marine instructor and a hand full of Marine students the schools are run by and attended by squids, our name for sailors.
The small Marine contingent was housed in a white-washed, second-world-war-era barracks wedged between endless rows of squid barracks. Our little Marine unit wouldn’t have been noticed on this huge Navy base if it weren’t for our old Gunnery Sergeant. Gunny ran us at a double-time around air station every morning, chanting and yelling our rowdy Marine Corps marching songs, while the squids were still asleep in their bunks.
Our un-air-conditioned barracks were sweltering on the Saturday afternoon that I was stuck with Duty NCO duties. I was watching the sweat seep though my tropical uniform when two boots (a boot is anyone with less time in the Corps than you) came through the door whining about the squids, our neighbors in the next barracks over. They explained how the Petty Officer of the Deck (the squid equivalent of a Duty NCO) had kicked them out of the squid barracks. They were only trying to use the squid’s coke machine. We didn’t rate a coke machine in our barracks; someone must have thought it wasn’t Marine-like.
I went into the squad-bay and yelled for six volunteers. Every one jumped up and I chose the six biggest Marines I could find. All I said was “Follow me,” as we headed for the squid barracks. We were a shabby looking detail, me in my summer alpha, tropical uniform armed with an official duty belt and my volunteers all in shorts and skivvies.
We marched into the foyer of the squid barracks. I stood guard at the door with my arms crossed like I was actually in charge and ordered my men to unplug and pick up the coke machine. The Petty Officer of the Deck and a couple of other squids just stood there with their mouths agape afraid to say anything. My guys hoisted the machine up on their shoulders and headed out of the door while I brought up the rear.
Later, I put my feet up on the Duty NCO desk and chugged an ice cold soda from our “recently installed” coke machine.
Guard Duty Again
The Marines are really big on guard duty. Guard duty for the sake of guard duty. Since coming to Marine Corps Base, Twenty Nine Palms I’ve guarded abandoned buildings, outhouses, barrels of motor pool sludge, and a host of other important stuff like that. I’ve never once had to challenge an intruder let alone fire a round at some criminal or an enemy of the state.
This week’s guard duty is something new. I’m to guard two prisoners in our make-shift brig we call a detention barracks. We house prisoners here while they await court marshals. Once sentenced to hard time we transport them to the real brig at Camp Pendleton.
My prisoners are both recently apprehended AWOLs who desperately want a discharge out of the Corps. Who knows what these yoyos will get, hopefully a boot in the ass and a return to duty.
They are both scared to death and try hard to disguise their fear with adolescent, macho bullshit. The minute I come on duty these two assholes start ragging on me. I don’t want to hear it, not a word from these two shitbirds. I don’t know what to do short of whacking them with my nightstick when I notice that they haven’t showered in days and are still wearing their dirty civilian clothes.
I march these two assholes to the head, make them throw away all of their civvies except their underwear and shove them into the showers with a box of laundry soap. I stand at the shower door with my night stick at port arms while they scrub and scrub. I yell for them to get out when they’re “pink and shinny.”
I order my bare-ass prisoners to scrub their skivvies at the scrub rack and put them on wet. They hadn’t mouthed off for some time when one starts on about how they’re going to escape tonight. I know they’re just making macho noise but they keep at it. Saying things like “You better keep a close eye on us tonight, chaser, (the Marine name for a brig guard) we’re out a here.” I can’t shut these assholes up.
After enough of their escape bullshit I get a pair of handcuffs from the sergeant of the guard and have the shitbird in the top bunk stick his arm down inside of the bunk frame to meet the stretched arm of the shitbird in the bottom bunk. I handcuff them like that, the top guy with his arm straight down handcuffed to the bottom guy’s upward extended arm.
I say, “OK assholes, go ahead and escape. I hope dragging this rack with you won’t slow you down too much.”
I never heard a peep from them for the rest of the night.
It’s a lazy Saturday afternoon, too hot to do anything. I’m lying in my bunk trying to read a book while some guys play cards on the table in the center of the barracks. Simpson drops his hand and yells, “Look at Walker.” We all turn to Walker’s bunk. Walker just looks like Walker. He’s in his skivvies asleep on top of his bunk just like any number of other Marines in our barracks. What is Simpson yelling about? It’s then that I see Walker‘s full born erection staring at me from the open fly of his skivvies.
“Damn, do we have to look at that all night,” bemoans Morgan.
“Nah, I’m going to whack it with my entrenching tool,” says Greer
I jump up and grab Greer before he can unbuckle his entrenching tool. “You can’t whack Walker’s pecker, you could ruin him for life.”
“Screw Walker, he waves his little red dick at me it’s gonna get whacked.”
I don’t know why I’m defending Walker but I respond with, “Walker didn’t wave anything. He’s sound asleep”
“Then cover it up with something so we don’t have to look at it.”
No one wants to get close enough to Walker to cover him with a towel or a tee shirt so we just sit and stare at the thing we don’t want to have to look at.
Morgan jumps up and grabs one of Walker’s boots lying next to his bunk. He stretches a boot lace out to about three feet and ties a little noose at the end. “Watch this,” he says as he slips the noose over the head of Walker’s pecker and snugs it up tight. He holds the boot as far over Walker’s chest as the lace allows and giggles as he tells us to, “Watch this,” again.
Morgan drops the boot on Walker’s belly and dashes for his seat at the card table. Walker jerks awake, unsure of what’s going on as he grabs the boot. Seeing Morgan in flight, Walker heaves the boot at Morgan with all of his might.
©2009 by Bob Rockwell