What my dad was doing at age 18

My father enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on his 18th birthday, in the fall of 1971.

This photograph was taken to commemorate Boot Camp graduation. Most of these young men shipped out to Vietnam shortly thereafter. Many never returned.

Toward the end of Boot Camp, Dad was selected for additional training as a 0331 Machine Gunner, so he never made it to Vietnam; at the conclusion of his training, new Marines were no longer being deployed.

I keep his USMC yearbook on my coffee table; I store his dog tags in the top drawer of my desk; I carry his patriotism in my blood.

Thanks, Dad.Dad USMC 1971 jpg

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