RayK

A few pictures

39 posts in this topic

After reading and writing some comments in the "ragged flag" thread I started thinking about my time in the Marine Corps. While thinking about what I have done and the accomplisments I obtained I started looking through some of my awards and pictures. Here are just three of the pictures that I came across.

The first picture is of me in my dress blue uniform almost 18 years ago. The second picture is of me while stationed on Okinawa, Japan in December of 1990. I was out in the field for around a month when this picture was taken. That is an M-16A2 service rifle with attached bayonet. I also have hundreds of rounds of ammnuition in my pack along with food, water and a first-aid kit. My cammies are clean looking because I would go down to the ocean and clean the mud off of myself every day. In the background is the Pacific Ocean, where the sun came over the eastern horizon, different. You can also see the clouds, as it rained almost every day that we were in the field. Do not let people tell you it does not get cold in Okinawa as I was cold almost every day from the wind and rain. The last picture is while I am receiving an award from my battalion commander, Colonel Kelly, during May of 1997. Notice the beautiful flags?

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Semper Fi. You look great in the uniform, Ray. I'm glad I'm on your side!! :)

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Paul, thank you for the kind words as they are appreciated. And I am also glad that we are on the same side.

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Your pride is obvious and well earned, Ray. I dig the second shot, with the fatigues and M16. Ready for battle!

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If they all had your philosophical spirit Ray, the Marines would be even more of a force to contend with.

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Fantastic, Ray! The more time goes by, the more I wish I had gone into the service.

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FC, that look is what Marines call the "thousand yard stare." Chaos could be all around you but your still focused on what has to be done. I am sure you can guess what has to be done.

Thales, I like the picture also. In that picture I am stabbing and slashing an imaginary enemy.

Arnold, I agree and thank you.

Brian, the pride has never left and it never will. When I started my boot-camp training there were 103(?) people around me. When I finished 13 weeks later there were only 38 of us left. Long after most fall by the wayside I will still be around fighting.

Piz, thank you. John Wayne chose not to go into the military, he fought in another way and is still considered a hero.

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I greatly admire your discipline. I couldn't stop thinking about how I would never be able to not flinch with a mosquito chomping. I can't stand to even listen to them buzz. I itched for 2 hours over your disciplined mind. There's tough and then there's total wimps like me.

BTW, my admiration for the Marines is so great, I bought stock in a company because a former Commandant sits on the board of directors. I ask my Sailor dad if he could imagine being in the director's meeting. He said that's all he could do - imagine. :)

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Thanks, Lady Brin. While going through the School of Infantry at Camp Geiger, North Carolina the bugs were even worse. As funny as it might sound I bought ladies panty-hose that I wore under my cammies as it was the only thing that kept the chiggers from eating me raw. Ticks, fleas, chiggers, mosquitos and many other nasty little insects crawled all over me while going through different training exercises during my time in the Marine Corps. I learned to hate them all, but they never won as I never flinched, swatted nor moved during inapporpriate times.

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Thanks, Lady Brin. While going through the School of Infantry at Camp Geiger, North Carolina the bugs were even worse. As funny as it might sound I bought ladies panty-hose that I wore under my cammies as it was the only thing that kept the chiggers from eating me raw. Ticks, fleas, chiggers, mosquitoes and many other nasty little insects crawled all over me while going through different training exercises during my time in the Marine Corps. I learned to hate them all, but they never won as I never flinched, swatted nor moved during inapporpriate times.

How were you able to do this Ray? I once got covered in seed ticks and poison ivy and was miserable for a week. In fact after 3 days of torture, I finally went to the ER late on a Sunday night for a shot of cortisone. It lasted exactly 8 hours, but it was the one of the best 8 hours in my life.

Also, I lived in S.W. Louisiana for 11 years where the WWII war games were held. The mosquitoes there make the ones at Parris Island look like midgets. I heard the mosquitoes hauled Patton off the field one day and he was in a very foul mood as he had to trample back 4 miles. :) Okay, I exaggerated..it was only 3 miles.

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How were you able to do this Ray?

I had a huge motivator, I did not want to die. Quick movements can alert your enemy to where you are, so none of it. When a person swipes at an insect they usually move quickly and smack with a loud noise, both can bring attention. And although the times I mentioned were just training, one should train like it is the real thing.

To haul off Patton is a demanding feat, those mosquitos must be huge! :)

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FC, that look is what Marines call the "thousand yard stare." Chaos could be all around you but your still focused on what has to be done. I am sure you can guess what has to be done.

I always thought that was a kind of shell-shocked, traumatised, inattentive look; it clearly means exactly the opposite of what I'd thought.

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FC, that look is what Marines call the "thousand yard stare." Chaos could be all around you but your still focused on what has to be done. I am sure you can guess what has to be done.

I always thought that was a kind of shell-shocked, traumatised, inattentive look; it clearly means exactly the opposite of what I'd thought.

Unfortunately, and hence why it is sometimes confussing, it actually means both, each apporpriate to a specific context. But in the context that I meant it to mean it is a look of being brutally harsh and focused on one's objective. While going through boot-camp many drill-instructors get right in your face and start yelling at you. As a Marine you are taught to overcome all this by creating a mindset that demonstrates you are looking and thinking about one's long-term objective. Right before I had that picture taken my drill instructor yelled "boy, give me that thousand yard stare" which he would also sometimes call a "war face."

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Ray,

Those pictures are awe-inspiring. Not only do they display such a sense of pride and patriotism, but in a way they comfort me. It is reassuring to know that while I sit here, learning in a University, there are men like the ones in your picture who are out protecting me and fighting to preserve the wonder that is America. Thank you so much for what you have done for your country.

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Twenty years ago today a 19 year old girl went to Navy Boot-Camp, her name was Sharon Thompson, who later became Sharon Kilmer.

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Twenty years ago today a 19 year old girl went to Navy Boot-Camp, her name was Sharon Thompson, who later became Sharon Kilmer.

Here's wishing a happy anniversary to Sharon, Ray.

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Ray, here is something for you and Sharon.

Well Met

Sharon and Ray

Each went their own way

To fight for their country supreme.

How they met I don't know,

But they followed the glow

Of our forefather's glorious dream.

The facts are but few

That led up to "I do"

(At least, they are few to me),

But they must have been tough,

And shared the "right stuff"

To have married so happily.

Sharon and Ray,

And their family of day,

For them I do sing it aloud,

May your spirits stay true

To the red, white and blue,

And as soldiers of freedom be proud!

_____________________________________

Brian

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Brian, thank you for the wonderful poem.

Sharon and I actually met for the first time during the fall of 1982 as we were in the same science class. After more than 2.5 years of knowing each other I asked her on a date, 12 June, 1985. After some time in college Sharon decided to go into the Navy which kept the two of us apart for close to 7 months. When I joined the Marine Corps less than 2 years later we saw each other only once in the first 10 months. Tough? Yes, she is tough, she would have to be to deal with me. After more than 19 years of marriage, traveling around the world, mutiple military seperations by both of us and 3 children later, we are still together.

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Those are some wonderful pictures, Ray. Congratulations on the career and family. May you have many years of happiness to come.

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