Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Harrowing Cold War Experiences of a Marine Reservist Pogue

I almost got rocketed one night in Saudi Arabia. The Iraqis forgot to fire their missiles, though. Damn near spilled my coffee when I heard about it later...a spine tingling hot war moment to be sure.


I've never shared this before with anyone other than my brother Cold War comm buddies, because nobody else would understand...

Here's a vintage photo of me protecting the telephone poles of Camp Geiger from bloodthirsty commie savages and termites.

The pain still lingers...

We would often climb poles with our covers on backwards. Doing this would sometime get laughs from other pogues like the guys in Motor-Transportation.

What the fuck does a Motor T puke know about tactical telephone pole scaling or pole/line construction? Fucking nothing...that's what!

That's how we were trained to climb...the cover on backwards...and we were always training and climbing...climbing and made it easier to tie a variation clove hitch.

My finger tips still bleed just thinking about it.

I still have the scars from wearing the gaffs too. I'll always have those scars. I show 'em to all the guys at the VFW. You don't know suffering until you've worn razor sharp gaffs all day and you have splinters in your hands from the pole.

Sometimes, I'd even get metal burrs stuck in my hands while handling 36-pair assault cable...but I don't like to talk about it.

It makes me go to a dark place...


Another time, we were at Bridgeport, California rappelling down a sheer rock face. Down below, our Alice packs and other non-essential gear was staged in neat platoon formation. From the mountain side, we watched as marauding commie ground squirrels overran our lightly guarded perimeter and rat-fucked through our shit...running off with all our pogey bait.

I never felt so helpless in all my life.

Them squirrels was just laughing at us as they tore apart our Snickers bars....mocking us as empty Zagnut wrappers blew across the ground, and there was absolutely nothing we could do about it.

I never felt such pain before or since...

Luckily, it wasn't night time, and we weren't all zipped up in our sleeping bags. Otherwise, those rodents might have snuck up and bayoneted us, or something.

Scary times, bros.

Scary times.


I forgot to tell you about the time I should have been awarded the Purple Heart but the admin pogues lost my paperwork.

See...a bunch of us hard-as-fuck reservist comm killers were playing volleyball one day out in the common area of the squadbays at Lejeune. This kind of dangerous training prepared us for all combat eventualities, and we knew that, so we got all fucked up on beer beforehand.

I was playing close to the net, 'cuz that's what hard-chargin' reservist NCOs are supposed to do...lead from the front. The Marine playing next to me is a motivated ex-Anglico bubba, and he's got the gold jump wings and meat-tag tattoos to prove it.

The ball comes at us from the other team...high and close to the net. Ricky Recon and I both jump up high in order to serve the ball directly into our opponent's face...thereby rendering him defenseless. Well, Ricky the Anglico bubba undercuts me as we go up, and I fall backwards on to the steel truck wheel which supports the net pole....crushing a vertebrae, mis-aligning my spine, and doing incalculable damage to several discs.

I staggered to the sidelines and passed out from the agonizing pain a short time later. I was then taken to the hospital for tests. No problems were found, and I was given an ample supply of pain pills. I walked it off and continued training.

That's how we rolled back in the day...combat volleyball. Later on, the Commandant removed Combat Volleyball from the training schedule because it was too rough and took an unnecessary toll on USMC assets.

I never received my Purple Heart.

Marines today don't know how easy they have it.


This one time, I protected Camp Ripley, Minnesota from the Communist hordes who were maybe going to come pouring over the Canadian border in a horde-like fashion.

It was cold too.

I served during the winter campaign...on cross-country skis, pulling ahkios and shit.

Once, we almost ran out of mo-gas for the arctic stoves.

Sometimes, the Docs would sneak out to our OPs and bring us hot chicken or beef broth. God bless those Corpsmen!

We had to piss on the bolts of our M16A2s to keep the actions free so the blanks would fire.

It was so cold, we had to keep the engines running on our Hummers and 5-tons, or they wouldn't restart later.

I still have flash-backs of pulling off all that cold weather gear to take a shit in the porta-johns @ 50 below zero...

The battle of Stalingrad paled in comparison.


Cold War Collage
My art helps to heal the pain