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A Dakota FARM KID in the Marines (Paris Island Marine Corps Recruit Training)​

Dear Ma and Pa,

I am well. Hope you are. Tell Brother Walt and Brother Elmer the Marine Corps beats working for old man Minch by a mile. Tell them to join up quick before all of the places are filled.

I was restless at first because you get to stay in bed till nearly 6 AM, but I am getting so I like to sleep late. Tell Walt and Elmer all you do before breakfast is smooth your cot and shine some things. No hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, fire to lay, practically nothing.

Men got to shave but it is not so bad, there's warm water.

Breakfast is strong on trimmings like fruit juice, cereal, eggs, bacon, etc., but kind of weak on chops, potatoes, ham, steak, fried eggplant, pie, and other regular food, but tell Walt and Elmer you can always sit by the two city boys that live on coffee. Their food, plus yours, holds you until noon when you get fed again. It's no wonder these city boys can't walk much.

We go on 'route marches', which the platoon Sergeant says are long walks to harden us. It's not my place to tell him different if he thinks so. A 'route march' is about as far as to our mailbox at home. Then the city guys get sore feet and we all ride back in trucks.

The Sergeant is like a school teacher. He nags a lot. The Captain is like the school board. Majors and Colonels just ride around and frown. They don't bother you none.

This next will kill Walt and Elmer with laughing. I keep getting medals for shooting. I don't know why. The bulls-eye is near as big as a chipmunk head and don't move, and it ain't shooting back at you like the Higgett boys at home. All you got to do is lie there all comfortable and hit it. You don't even load your own cartridges. They come in boxes.

Then we have what they call hand-to-hand combat training. You get to wrestle with them city boys. I have to be real careful though, they break real easy. It ain't like fighting with that ole bull at home. I'm about the best they got in this except for that Tug Jordan from over in Silver Lake. I only beat him once. He joined up the same time as me, but I'm only 5'6" and 130 pounds and he's 6'8" and near 300 pounds dry.

Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join before other fellers get onto this setup and come stampeding in.


Your loving daughter,

Alice
 

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My father was a Marine during WWII and The Korean Conflict, in 1974, me and my older brother thought we were the young invisible and started saying we would like to quit high school and join the Marines. My dad was a hardcore Marine and kept telling us we would never survive boot camp and be crying like a baby to go home after a couple nights in camp. He said during his years in the Marines, he seen many a new recruit crying for their mother at night. He scheduled a summer vacation in August and we went to South Carolina and one of the stops was the Parris Island Marine Corp Base. I remember coming to the check point on the island and my dad getting out of the car and talking with the guards and showing them his Service papers and ID, the young soldiers were quite respectful and let us proceed onto the island for a tour. During our tour all the soldiers went out of their way to accomodate us. It was around 105 degrees that day and we watched soldiers drilling in the heat, drenched from head to toe in sweat. We left the base and started for our trip home in a 1963 Chevy Belair, no AC, Dad turns around in his seat and ask us if we still want to sign up, he will drive us to the recruiter, me and my brother both replied at the same time, we are gonna finish high school. I imagine nowadays there is no way they would let anybody enter a military installation like we did back then.
 

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Yut.... it's funny how being @ parris island was the worst time of my life, yet I want to take my family there and show them everything... I remember leaving that place thinking there was no force in the universe strong enough to get me back there yet, here I am wanting to vacation there........
 

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It is exactly 50 years ago this year that I joined the USMC and right now - 50 years ago - I was in the 2ed week of a then 13 week recruit Training at Parris Island. A half of a century ago. And yes PI in July is a hottie.
We started with about 125 guys and of that number perhaps 18 of us made it through without getting hurt or even worse - being sent home. And that did happen; every week the Senior DI (SSgt. Cullison Plt 158) would ask "Who wants to go home to mommy?" and guys would step out onto the quarterdeck and then sent packing in disgrace. Some guys got sick or hurt and were put back in the training cycle and got "Picked-Up" by another platoon.
That whole experience changed my life and put me on a path that I will never regret taking.
To SSgt Charles Cullison Senior DI First Bn. Plt 158 and Sgt's Ronald Combs and Michael Stewart Semper Fidelis and an never ending and sincere Thank You.
 
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