36-year MCRD grad photo search is over

I graduated from the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego on August 28, 1981 with 3rd Battalion, Platoon 3042.

During the latter part of boot camp training, individual photos are taken of recruits for the graduation book. For whatever reason, I never saw or received a graduation book or my photo, until today.

Over the years, I tried finding someone else from my MCRD platoon to see if they had a copy of our graduation book.

This search was the reason I started “The Marine Guest Book” website (1995) and later “THEFEW.COM” (1997). Through those sites, many Marines were put back in touch with their long lost brothers but finding someone from my platoon escaped me year after year.

A few weeks ago, through “Together We Served” website, I found Cpl Jerry Havens, from my platoon. After a few discussions, he searched for his yearbook and confirmed my photo was there.

Today, Jerry scanned it in and sent it to me.

Well, after 36 years of wondering, searching, waiting, my brother Jerry has come through. Thank you my brother!

Now, I can show my Mom!

Wally Beddoe MCRDSD 1981

SEMPER FI!

Cpl Beddoe

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MARINE CORPS CREAMED GROUND BEEF (SOS)

For those of us that remember SOS –Ed Creamer
111111053242-mess-hall-story-top
1 – 1/2 Lb. (24 oz) of lean ground beef (80/20)
2 Tbsp. butter
1 cup chopped onion
3 Tbsp. flour
2 Tbsp. granulated garlic (or garlic powder)
4 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 cups milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Brown meat, drain. Back to the pan, add butter and stir. Add chopped onions and cook until they are translucent. Add flour, stir and cook for two to three minutes. Add garlic, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and mix thoroughly. Add milk and stir until it thickens.

Serve over toast, biscuits, eggs and have some Tabasco handy!

Submitted by: GySgt Joe Shirghio, USMC (Ret)

Source
Photo Credit

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One Marine’s Story

By Richard W. Williams

I was a grunt in India Company 3/5 in 1969. But, this is not war story. This is a story about the Espirit de Corps of the 1st Marine Division. I lived in Boca Raton, Florida. Prior to joining the Marines in 1968, I learned that there was a Marine who lived close by my home.

I knocked on his door and his wife answered. I merely said I was considering joining the Marines and I understood her husband was a former Marine. I was hoping he’d let me ask him a few questions about what to expect. Like any Marine’s wife, she let me in and introduced me to her husband, “Archie.”

Archie was quite old. However, he sat in his winged-back chair with a quiet repose. In spite of his failing eyesight, he fixed me with a steady gaze, politely smiled and simply said, “Welcome aboard.” We talked the afternoon away.

Archie patiently answered my questions about the Marine Corps, Parris Island and careers in the Corps. All he related to me about his exploits in the Marines was that he loved the Corps and every minute he had served in it. As the late afternoon sun dipped on the horizon, I bid him farewell and promised I would return to see him after I finished Boot Camp.

I kept my promise and visited him nearly every day I was back from Parris Island. He and his wife were gracious hosts. As I sat and learned from Archie, his wife would serve us brandy in the afternoon to go with the cigar Archie enjoyed only once a day. I felt extremely bonded with Archie for sharing his ritual with me.

As my leave drew to a close and I prepared to go to Vietnam, Archie’s and my conversations drew deadly serious. He gave me tip after tip on how to fight and even how to win campaigns. As an enlisted snuffie, I didn’t think the High Command would be interested in my opinions on running a campaign, but I listened in utter fascination to Archie’s knowledge.

He told me what to expect in war and what not to fear. After his brandy one evening he said, “Don’t worry if you are ready for the task of war. Because no sane man is ever ready. There is only one thing that makes a good warrior and that is a man who cares for his fellow man. That is why the Marines do so well at making war. We respect each other. We’d rather die than to let down our comrades. You see, there are many reasons a young man marches off to war – patriotism, duty, honor, adventure; but only one reason he actually fights once he is in a war. He fights for the men next to him.

Marines don’t endure the hell of combat for any lofty principles. Marines fight because each Marine acknowledges the loftiest principle of all: he acknowledges and accepts the responsibility of being his brother’s keeper. That’s why you will fight. You are a Marine and you will protect your unit at all cost.”

Archie asked me to write and keep him abreast to what I experienced in Vietnam. He gave me his address. I thanked him and promised I would write as soon as I landed and found out what my FPO address would be. Without looking at it, I folded the paper and put his address in my wallet and marched off to war.

Naturally, I lost his address. However, I sent a letter to him through my father letting him know I landed and providing him with my FPO. I had been in Vietnam less than a month when I got a response from Archie. He simply asked me to tell him how we were conducting the war, what were my impressions.

The name on the return address was General Archer A. Vandegrift, USMC (Ret.). My friend, Archie, was the former CO of the 1st Marine Division (“Guadalcanal General”). He had won the Medal of Honor at Guadalcanal and later became Commandant of the Marine Corps. At PI, we had learned all about General Vandegrift. But being as dumb as a box of rocks, I never really remembered “Archie’s-” last name until his letter arrived. I just remembered it was “Van” something.

I sat down in the sweaty jungle rot and stench and began what would be a long series of letters from one snuffie to the ex-Commandant and the most famous CO of my Marine Division. I started it out simply, Dear General Vandegrift, Vietnam is like a large island where the enemy has kept a seaway open. The enemy also has a secret weapon. The seaway is the Ho Chi Minh trail. The secret weapon is their ability to use re-supply themselves using technologies that existed since the stone age. We ignore the seaway, leaving it open and try to use high technology to cause collateral damage to their stone-age production capacity.

It’s like dropping firecrackers on ants. So the enemy will continually be re-supplied. And we will continually be re-supplied. That means this fight will go on until one side or the other tires of it.

On the ground, your Marines are just that, Marines. We are doing just what you predicted, fighting for the guy next to us. Other than that, it don’t mean nothing but, what does mean something is that for all those months you never let on who you were. It was just two Marines, no rank. That’s why I serve, because of men like you who have made the Marine Corps something worthy to fight for. Semper Fidelis

The General wrote back and agreed that an enemy must be denied re-supply. A war of attrition is less costly to a Third World country then it is to a high-tech country. He said that the bombing and blockading of Haiphong Harbor and an end run up the Ho Chi Minh trail coupled with a staggered attack due north would end this war in a few months. But, without a Pearl Harbor, the American people don’t have a heart for war. That was America’s greatest strength, he said. We only like to fight when we are mad. And, when we are mad we fight like no other civilization in the history of the world.

This story isn’t about famous people I have known. I was then and am now a nobody, just a simple grunt. But, the most famous CO of the 1st Marine Division would sit down and talk to a lowly private just shows what the Marine Corps is made of.

It shows that the Corps’ motto, Semper Fidelis, is more than mere words.

It is a way of life ! ! ! !

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Touch A Name On The Wall

During the USMC Vietnam Helicopter Association’s event at “The Wall South” in Pensacola (1998), we had several flyovers by helicopters. I was in the H-34 as it flew over (2:04 into the video, piloted by Larry Turner and Ben Cascio) and it sure got a warm reception from the crowd, most of who hadn’t seen an H-34 since Vietnam.

It was an honor to part of this memorial service especially since my good friend Gordon “Bos” Boswell, 1st Force Recon, Vietnam, was riding in the H-34 with me. Bos was medevac’d on several occasions during his tours in-country; the helicopters and those who flew and crewed them hold a special place in his heart. My good friend Jim Hatch sang “Touch a Name on the Wall”, it’s a great tribute to those who never made it home.

Semper Fi!
Cpl. Beddoe USMC 1981-1985

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Rules for Dating a Marine’s Daughter

If you pull into my driveway and honk you’d better be delivering a package, because you’re sure not picking anything up.

Remove your hat when entering my humble abode. I may think you have something terrible under it and will do my best to exterminate it quickly, efficiently, and fatally.

You do not touch my daughter in front of me. You may glance at her, so long as you do not peer at anything below her neck. If you cannot keep your eyes or hands off of my daughter’s body, I will remove them.

Rules for dating a Marine's Daughter
If you make her cry, I will make you cry.

I am aware that it is considered fashionable for boys of your age to wear their trousers so loosely that they appear to be falling off their hips. Please don’t take this as an insult, but you and all of your friends are complete idiots. Still, I want to be fair and open minded about this issue, so I propose this compromise: You may come to the door with your underwear showing and your pants ten sizes too big, and I will not object. However, In order to ensure that your clothes do not, in fact, come off during the course of your date with my daughter, I will take my electric nail gun and fasten your trousers securely in place to your waist.

I’m sure you’ve been told that in today’s world, sex without utilizing a “barrier method” of some kind can kill you. Let me elaborate, when it comes to sex, I am the barrier, and I will kill you.

In order for us to get to know each other, we should talk about sports, politics, and other issues of the day. Please do not do this. The only information I require from you is an indication of when you expect to have my daughter safely back at my house, and the only word I need from you on this subject is “early.”

I have no doubt you are a popular fellow, with many opportunities to date other girls. This is fine with me as long as it is okay with my daughter. Otherwise, once you have gone out with my little girl, you will continue to date no one but her until she is finished with you. If you make her cry, I will make you cry.

As you stand in my front hallway, waiting for my daughter to appear, and more than an hour goes by, do not sigh and fidget. If you want to be on time for the movie, you should not be dating. My daughter is putting on her makeup, a process that can take longer than painting the Golden Gate Bridge. Instead of just standing there, why don’t you do something useful, like changing the oil in my car?

The following places are not appropriate for a date with my daughter: Places where there are beds, sofas, or anything softer than a wooden stool. Places where there are no parents, policemen, or nuns within eyesight. Places where there is darkness. Places where there is dancing, holding hands, or happiness. Places where the ambient temperature is warm enough to induce my daughter to wear shorts, tank tops, midriff T-shirts, or anything other than overalls, a sweater, and a goose down parka zipped up to her throat. Movies with a strong romantic or sexual theme are to be avoided; movies which features chain saws are okay. Hockey games are okay. Old folks homes are better.

Do not lie to me. I may appear to be a potbellied, balding, middle-aged, dimwitted has-been. But on issues relating to my daughter, I am the all-knowing, merciless god of your universe. If I ask you where you are going and with whom, you have one chance to tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I have a shotgun, a shovel, and five acres behind the house.
Do not trifle with me. Be afraid. Be very afraid. It takes very little for me to mistake the sound of your car in the driveway for a chopper coming in over a rice paddy outside of Chu Lai. When my Agent Orange or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) starts acting up, the voices in my head frequently tell me to clean the guns as I wait for you to bring my daughter home.

As soon as you pull into the driveway you should exit your car with both hands in plain sight. Speak the perimeter password, announce in a clear voice that you have brought my daughter home safely and early, then return to your car.

There is no need for you to come inside.

The camouflaged face at the window is mine.

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Cpl. Kent Cagle, USMC

Today America lost a warrior, the Marine Corps lost a Brother, a family lost a loved one, and I lost one of my best friends. In the early 1980’s, Cpl. Kent Cagle honorably served his country as a United States Marine. I was proud to have served with him and call him a brother.

In 1983, the NCOIC of my shop at the Marine Corps Air Station in Tustin, California sent me to headquarters (Receiving) to pick up the new guy, his name was Kent Cagle. I drove over to admin, walked in and announced to a room full of newly-arrived Marines, “Which one of you is the 5982?” Kent smiled, raised his hand, and said “That’s me”. I said, then let’s go!

A 5982 is the military occupational specialty (MOS) for a computer repair technician. Our H&MS-16 shop desperately needed another 5982 to support our UNIVAC computer systems to keep the Marine Sikorsky and Boeing helicopters flying.

It didn’t take long for Kent to fit in. He had a somewhat sick sense of humor like only Marines can appreciate. He was always laughing or making the rest of us laugh about something; and, he was a good technician. We had a small tight Automated Data Processing (ADP) shop on base; a family who operated 24 hours a day to provide support to the Marine Aircraft Group (MAG-16).

Kent was passionate about many things but his love was basketball. I remember going to a Mater Dei High School basketball championship game with Kent in Santa Ana. While we were sitting midway in the stands, one might think Kent was coaching the team from up high. I’ll never forget that game only because I was so excited to see Kent’s enthusiasm for the game. When we had friendly basketball games on base with the guys, Kent would automatically be a player and a ref and he’d let nothing by without speaking up.

Whether it was impromptu trips, playing a game of Spades, video games, or working serious tech issues, Kent was always the one we wanted around us. He added value to our experiences, love to our gatherings, and support when we hurt. Kent was always there for all of us with his smile or hand on your shoulder. His smile and laugh are as visible today as they were when we were young Marines. Writing this is the toughest thing I’ve done in a long while but I’m also glad that I can help others to remember Kent; he would have done the same for me.

After 9/11, Kent, J.R., and Paul sent me flowers to express their condolences for losing one of my work colleagues in the Twin Towers. That really touched me that my Marine buddies did that for me.

J.R. Haecherl, Paul Harrington, Marcelo Quiachon, Bob Thompson, Gunny Ransome, and the rest of us will keep your memory alive! We love you Brother and we’re better because we knew you.

Kent Cagle, Marcelo Quiachon, Wally Beddoe

My heart goes out to Kent’s family, loved ones, and friends. I’m so sorry for your loss. Kent was loved so much and he loved and talked about his family and kids every time we spoke.

My good friend and Marine Roger Herman once shared the following, which I think is very fitting and would like to include it now as I remember one of my best friends, Cpl. Kent Cagle.

“I now know why men who have been to war yearn to reunite. Not to tell stories or look at old pictures. Not to laugh or weep. Comrades gather because they long to be with the men who once acted their best, men who suffered and sacrificed, who were stripped raw, right down to their humanity.

I did not pick these men. They were delivered by fate and the U.S. Marine Corps. But I know them in a way I know no other men. I have never given anyone such trust. They were willing to guard something more precious than my life. They would have carried my reputation, the memory of me. It was part of the bargain we all made, the reason we were so willing to die for one another.

I cannot say where we are headed. Ours are not perfect friendships; those are the province of legend and myth. A few of my comrades drift far from me now, sending back only occasional word. I know that one day even these could fall to silence. Some of the men will stay close, a couple, perhaps, always at hand.

As long as I have memory, I will think of them all, every day. I am sure that when I leave this world, my last thought will be of my family and my comrades…..such good men. ~from “These Good Men” by Michael Norman

Semper Fi and take it easy on Chesty, let him make a basket or two when the two of you aren’t guarding the streets of Heaven.. And I’m certain Jessica is thrilled to see her Dad. R.I.P. Brother. See you some day again.

Cpl. Wally Beddoe

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USMC Patches

Cpl. Beddoe’s USMC Patch Collection:

Patches collected (over 600) during the past 14 years while webmaster of POPASMOKE.COM

or click here

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