Planting Seeds

I was unsure where to post this but due to the nature of the event I decided this is as good a place as any as It underscores the powerful influence officers can exert on their subordinates even when you don't think they are paying any attention or even at times actively rebuff it. I do not post this to try to impress anyone about me but rather to perhaps remind those officers still serving of their opportunity to do good by their subordinates in ways that may not manifest themselves for decades afterward.

Some months back I was called literally out of the blue by a fellow who had availed himself of the wonders of the internet to track me down. It turned out that he had been a Lance Corporal in my recce (at the time the USMC special forces) platoon in Vietnam over 40 years ago. I had not had any contact with any of the platoon for most of those 40 years, the only post conflict one being a visit from several as I recuperated from wounds that had required my being medevaced ("casevac" in more modern parlance) from the field such that I never saw my men again as a unit.

In any event this fellow had (to my mild surprise as I recalled his near constant testing of my authority) gone on to a successful career in business and was now a happily retired grandfather. After reacquainting ourselves and ending the call he continued his detective work and located several more of his mates from the platoon--sadly 6 were subsequently killed in action and several had died during the 40 year interval.

He kept me loosely apprised of his efforts although I confess I did not think of it much as I found it difficult to cast my memory back to those difficult times. Earlier this year he contacted me again to tell me that our parent unit was having a reunion this summer and that he and his fellow platoon members had chipped in to buy my ticket to attend--not that I needed them to do that but because he sensed that I would not attend unless I was "forced" to.

In due course I did go and renewed acquaintances with a number of Marine veterans I had the privilege to lead or otherwise serve with. I was very humbled to hear my former charges tell me of the effect (positive thank goodness) I had exerted on them both in combat but perhaps even more poignantly on the rest of their lives after the war. At the final night's dinner, I was flabbergasted to receive from the CO of the current active special forces unit that had evolved from our early days so long ago a memento secretly instigated by my former platoon members who had learned that during one of my many moves over my 34 years as a career officer that the standard unit departure memento, a personalized paddle representing the amphibious nature of our clandestine operations from rubber boats ("inflatable boat small" as the supply people referred to them) had be pilfered.

The memento they gave me was a beautifully hand crafted paddle replica adorned with knot work that would have made even a grizzled bosun's mate envy and personalized with a plaque indicating the gift was from the members of my platoon, living and dead, whose lives were changed for the better by virtue of their having served with me in very intense combat operations usually involving 4-6 man long range patrols north of the Demilitarized Zone or as it wS affectionately known, "Indian Country."

This is the gift I shall forever cherish:

image.jpg
image.jpg
 

Vasco

War Hero
You must have been doing something right, then, Colonel - an outcome I have very rarely achieved, so I congratulate you. Much respect to you and your Marines!
 
D

Djelli Beybii

Guest
You obviously left your mark on those men, for them to track you down after all that time.;)
Good on you, that oar is a lovely bit of work.
 

spaz

LE
The memento they gave me was a beautifully hand crafted paddle replica adorned with knot work that would have made even a grizzled bosun's mate envy and personalized with a plaque indicating the gift was from the members of my platoon, living and dead, whose lives were changed for the better by virtue of their having served with me in very intense combat operations usually involving 4-6 man long range patrols north of the Demilitarized Zone or as it wS affectionately known, "Indian Country."
Fair dos JJH I can see why you were such a good recce soldier if the plaque indicates all that to you.

All I see is "From X to Y".
 
They should have presented you with your own trumpet therefore enabling you to blow it constantly.
 
That's fcuk all I got a £10 plaque from my last Battery and a card that most of the lads had drawn some splendidly detailed penises on.


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When they had the whip round did the dead ones relatives have to chip in?

You could of phoned the family up and demanded cash as "The cnut still owes me a fiver"


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spaz

LE
That's fcuk all I got a £10 plaque from my last Battery and a card that most of the lads had drawn some splendidly detailed penises on.
Not wanting to "two shits" you mate but I believe that in the garage somewhere I have a unit plaque with a cheap clock attached.

It's one down from the "Elvis, Dambusters, Toutankamoun" commemorative clocks advertised in the back of Viz.
 

alib

LE
I was worried you'd taken to a contemplative life of gardening.
 
Not wanting to "two shits" you mate but I believe that in the garage somewhere I have a unit plaque with a cheap clock attached.

It's one down from the "Elvis, Dambusters, Toutankamoun" commemorative clocks advertised in the back of Viz.

Did anyone etch a erect pen one five mit spiky pubes and three blobs of **** on it. If not then sorry mukka but the lads viewed you with contempt not like JJH who is so loved 40 years on the lads clubbed together for something in the mid price range from the unit PRI.
 

spaz

LE
Did anyone etch a erect pen one five mit spiky pubes and three blobs of **** on it. If not then sorry mukka but the lads viewed you with contempt not like JJH who is so loved 40 years on the lads clubbed together for something in the mid price range from the unit PRI.
No I'm afraid not and I will now have to bow out of this chadgift toptrumpathon.

Personally if I was looking at a mid price PRI presentation I think I'd plump for the beautifully varnished, handbuilt by the CQMS' boy, bass broom mit wobbly head and harry black wrapped ineffectually around the join.
 
The usual suspects never disappoint with the bitter and jaundiced jabs as a sort of Greek Chorus. I thank you for your punctuality and as my dear departed grandmother always said, "look to the source."

Have a great day men...or boys as the case may be.
 

jarrod248

LE
Gallery Guru
The usual suspects never disappoint with the bitter and jaundiced jabs as a sort of Greek Chorus. I thank you for your punctuality and as my dear departed grandmother always said, "look to the source."

Have a great day men...or boys as the case may be.
Welcome to our country.


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Just a reminder for those who are clearly a bit hard of thinking that this is not the NAAFI
 
Just a reminder for those who are clearly a bit hard of thinking that this is not the NAAFI
I see nothing more than a bit of lighthearted piss taking.

Get over yourself.
 

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