Some People You Never Forget


Some people you meet you never forget. I remember “Tiny”. I can’t remember his name, but I’ll never forget “Tiny”. He was about 6 and 1/2 feet tall at least. He had broad shoulders–l don’t think he could squeeze through an average door in my house. He and I were in the same Marine Battalion right at the DMZ in a base camp called “A3”. Everybody knew “Tiny”. He was a good Marine in every respect. One day as two of our companies were patrolling an area near Con Thien , I happened to be following directly behind “Tiny” as we followed a narrowly defined path. On his back was a load of mortar rounds. They looked half as big as me on his back . I wondered how he could carry such a load when I had to struggle to keep up with him–and I had only a light pack on my back. We had contact on that trip, and “Tiny” was one of about a dozen who were injured. When we had opportunity to put them on an evac-helicopter, a crowd surrounded especially “Tiny”. It would be his third Purple Heart and not life threatening, but they knew that it was a ticket home automatically. There were tears in some eyes as we said goodbye. We knew we would not see him again in Vietnam. However, about 45 days later, when another helicopter landed with new replacements for us, there was “Tiny” jumping out of the door. He was surrounded by many who knew him. All asked the question: “What are you doing here?” “You should be home–why are you here?” I’ll never forget his answer–“Why should I go anyplace else? This is where my friends are!” Again, there were tears in some eyes as we realized what he was doing. ” I will remember “Tiny” when I say on November 10, 2015 this year: “HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the MARINES”!


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