The Marine Corps Years
Rick Swan

Camp Geiger, Jacksonville, NC, 2n Radio Bn.
Apr 68 - Dec 68

 Marine Home Next Duty
  Updated April 3, 2003
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Table Sanding Made Easy Gunny Fitzgerald assigned four of us extra duty for screwing off at muster.  Job was to sand down this table in the barracks that had  a number of gouges in it, then paint it Marine Corps red.  I got us to drag the table behind a car.  Three of us sat on the table, the fourth drove the car.  We dragged it the length of the barracks then looked inspected it.  Seemed to me to have a few more gouges on one end than the other.  So we, of course, dragged it the other direction to "even things out!"  Gouged the crap out of it!  I mean it had divits a golfer would be proud of!  I tried to paint it but the holes were just too deep.  So, being an enterprising Marine, I poured red paint on it until all the gouges were filled level and we placed it back in the barracks.  That evening someone sat down at the table and attempted to write a letter.  Ha!  Smeared the shit out of the wet paint.  Next morning Gunny took one look at the table and told someone (else - not any of us four!) to order a new table.  To his credit we saw a smile in the corner of his mouth.
Ike and Fighting Joe ""Ike" Eisenhower and "Fighting Joe" Armstrong in a portable radio intercept station.  Most excellent people to be on a team with.
The Four Guerrillas Sgt Robert "Jake" Bowditch, LCpl _?_ (met again in Spanish language school - he went to Puerto Rico), me, LCpl _?_ before we set out to be the People's Liberation Army on Viegas.
Radio Rick Me, again, in Viegas
Scruffy in Viegas On a Viegas hill, looking scruffy, I saw a bolt of lightning the thickness of my index finger hit a tree that I and one of the LCpls had been holding onto.  I jumped clear but my buddy didn't hear and was tossed back about 8-10 feet.  No damage, just the smell of ozone thick in the air.


My clearance was still not processed so it was off to the motor pool except for an occasional field trip to set up antennas and test the gear.

Memories from here:
Did learn a lot about the equipment side of things - got a "license" to run a field generator.  Now that's worth being honor man in ditty school!

Trip to Viegas for a war game.  Much more fun to be the bad guys - 200 of us and 3,000 of the "enemy".  When Jake, pictured above, and I got shot, I learned from a few of the 3,000 that one needs to do a second recon IMMEDIATELY before entering a previously recon'd site.  Later, a different set of real recon guys were embarrassed when we ambushed them and took their radio batteries and water.

Dragging the table shown above brought down laughter from everywhere.  Gunny Fitzgerald looked at it and just ordered another table.

After waiting six months, seeing Joe Gagliano and others go off to Language School but not getting those orders myself - I wrote the Commandant of the Marine Corps directly.  His response came back through channels - there were a lot of generals between him and the major of my company!  Then I was off to learn Spanish.

Jan 4, 2002 - Learned from Jake that Gunny Fitgerald died on Nov 27, 2001 - RIP. He was a good man.

People I have found:  Joe Gagliano, Ike Eisenhauer, Joe Armstrong, "Jake" Bowditch

People I want to find:  The other two on Viegas for sure and my table sanding mates.

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