I joined the Marine Crops in July 1967, about two weeks after graduation from High School in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. I served in the Marines Corps from July 1967 to February 14, 1969. I arrived at Parris Island Marine Corps Recruit Depot in the early morning hours of July 30, 1967. And after a wonderful 8 week training regime, I graduated on October 2, 1967 with Platoon 1017 First Battalion. My Drill Instructors were SSgt S. A. Murray SDI, SSgt J. W. Emanuel, JR ADI and SSgt D. S. Bosch ADI. After boot camp it was another 8 weeks at Camp Gieger in Jacksonville North Carolina. Then it was back to Pittsburgh for a short vacation.
December 16 found me in Camp Pendleton for more training and staging for WestPac. After more training it was off to Okinawa for final staging, I don't remember much going on at Okinawa , except for shots and packing one bag for storage and getting ready for a flight to Vietnam.
I arrived in Da Nang Vietnam on January 12, 1968 and a couple of days later checked in at 1/9 Headquarters at Camp Evans. I guess the rest is history, starting with our departure to Khe Sanh on January 21, 1968. After leaving Khe Sanh about the 19th of April, it seemed like we crisscrossed the DMZ from one end to the other. On February 8, 1969 I said goodbye to my assistant FO and headed home.
God was with me those 13 months, I came back without a scratch. Many of my fellow Marines weren't so lucky, some paid the ultimate sacrifice, others came back with many emotional scars. All in all we did our job, just as we were trained and did our best to take care of each other. Those of us who survived must now keep alive the memory of those who did not.
Today I live in Canton Ohio, have a great family and o good job and everyday I thank God for looking after me then and all these years.
God speed John Sweeney