Well, I did not forget it, I was just too busy yesterday and did not get to the computer until today.
First off, it seems we forgot the Coast Guard, of which I am proud to be a veteran. I was also in the Navy, but that was before the Coast Guard. I wanted to join the CG, but it was nearly impossible in 1972, so I joined the Navy.
And, because I was young, dumb and wanted to prove something to my dad, I became a Hospital Corpsman just like he had been. At the time, with a draft lottery number of 2 or 3 (IIRC) it seemed like a good way to sit out the ending war in Southeast Asia.
Of course, the recruiter neglected to mention the intimate connection between Hospital Corpsmen and the Fleet Marine Force and it never occurred to my 17-year-old mind to research anything.
I am sure you all are seeing where this is going.
There are those who will tell you that the war for US forces ended in 1972, or 1973 when the last flag officer moved MAACV from Saigon to Clark Air Force Base. This is not the case.
The US Embassy was defended by 3 Battalions of the 9th Marines, of which I was a lowly Hospital Corpsman. We did various things like recover helicopters the Navy wanted, snatch and grab operations for CIA assets and enemies, and good old embassy guard duty.
I was there for operation Frequent Wind, which was the diddy mau off the roof via helicopter. I left Viet Nam with the clothes on my back, a pistol with no bullets, someone else's M16, a helmet and my Unit One (medic bag.) Oh yeah, and a grenade, which we threw at a NVA tank as we blew out of town.
We landed on the USS Coral Sea where I slept for nearly two days on the hangar deck. Slept so long and so hard, I thought the non-skid marks on my skin would be there forever.
Two weeks later we were honored to get sent into Cambodia, under cover of the "Mayaguez Incident" to bolster the CIA's drug dealing, and "help" those who escaped from Viet Nam across the border. We were also "searching" for Pol Pot, and had orders to arrest him.
Of course, if we had looked where the CIA met with him, it may have helped.
Am I bitter? No. I am past all that. I got out of the Navy and joined the Coast Guard where I had many more great adventures during the "War on Some Drugs." More on that another time.
Sorry I missed the day, and sorry for being long-winded.
Semper Fi and Semper Paratus everyone.
Frontpaged by Anglico . . . in honor of the Coast Guard which I am embarrassed to have left out of my introduction to BlueNC Veteran's Day