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6/21/2017 8:25:40 PM
Posted: 11/9/2001 1:57:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/9/2001 2:21:28 PM EDT by Major-Murphy]
This is a story I tell every year, about an old man that sat with a bunch of young NCO Devil Dogs (myself included), at the 1988 Birthday Ball. This guy was old. Real old. He looked about 99. He was wearing an old VFW hat with the EGA on it. Apparently he was a veteran of WWI. We were young and drunk and started asking this old Marine questions about his service during "The Great War". He obliged us, and described his experiences. He said that he had been with the first Marines over. His memory wasn't all there, but he said he just remembers being in the trenches. There was lots and lots of mud. He said that because of the constant rain, and movement through the trenches, that they spent their days maintaining the trenches. For this, they all had masonry trowells. They used the trowells to make steps, and shore up the sides of the trench-walls. He said they also used to keep the masonry trowells razor-sharp. They would use the trowells as weapons, whenever they invaded another trench, or to fend off an invasion by the Germans. Apparently their 1903s were a little long to be swung around in a tight hand to hand trench fight. He also spoke about the gas attacks. They hadn't yet been issued the new gas masks, so they had to improvise. They had been told that the chemicals found in urine (base, amonia? Maybe for the Phosgene?) acted the same as those found in the filters of a mask. So, each Marine kept a canteen on his belt filled with urine. Whenever there was a gas attack, they would soak a rag with the urine and then they would stuff it in their mouths, to breath. When he finished his description of his experience, a Corporal leaned over to him and asked, [b]So sir, you're saying that the war, for you, was [size=4]fighting to the death in a mud pit, hand to hand, with masonry trowells, and a piss-soaked rag stuffed in your mouth?![/size=4][/b] ..."yep", he answered. "That about sums it up for me".
Link Posted: 11/9/2001 2:36:39 PM EDT
Makes me kind of grateful for goretex and 16s
Link Posted: 11/9/2001 2:37:32 PM EDT
Makes complaining about a blister seem a little weak.
Link Posted: 11/9/2001 2:48:09 PM EDT
One tough old Leatherneck for sure! God bless 'em all! Semper Fi
Link Posted: 11/9/2001 2:56:44 PM EDT
Good story!... The best ww1 account that i have read, though fiction historicaly accurate, is ONCE AN EAGLE. Dont remember who wrote it but it is now available with the history book club. A great read...pat
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