Reflections on Christmas

Vietnam 001It was 1966 in Chu Lai.  Assigned to the 7th Motor Transport Battalion, we’d just come in from a four-day run.  It was quiet and we were taking turns cleaning our weapons.  One of the guys suddenly stopped what he was doing, sitting there with a dumb-ass look on his face.  He said, “Hey, Christmas was two days ago.”

We all stopped what we were doing, and I remember that we all just looked at him for a long moment; nobody said a word.

And then we went back to cleaning our weapons.

Chuck McCarroll
Corporal, U. S. Marine Corps

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Retired Marine, historian, writer.

19 thoughts on “Reflections on Christmas”

  1. I hope Chuck takes comfort knowing that while he was in the bush, hungry, sweaty, smelly, and dying for a cold beer, the Washington elite were attending lavish parties dressed in $1,000 tuxedos and gowns, drinking the finest Champaign, and laughing about what a bunch of saps the American people are … much like people today are doing. And wow … what a surprise that both groups were Democrats. Is there any veterans voting democrat? Any at all?


    1. When I looked up at the news on TV earlier this evening, there were two pictures that were side-by-side — Christie and Clinton. Makes me wish I was back in the bush.


  2. I agree with John. Much is said in this short reflection. Thank you for posting it.


  3. Man, Mustang, your blogs keep making me cry.

    Marine4 is Chuck? Did HE do that wonderful drawing?


    1. No, I didn’t do the illustration, Z. Colonel wanted to pay me with chickens to illustrate the story. He ended up swiping it from some Chinese clip-art book.


    2. … and of course, Chuck wonders why I won’t drive over to the Sheriff’s Department and bail him out on Friday nights. Now you know.


    3. It’s okay. I’ve gotten to enjoy those nights in the holding cell… fighting to stay in the corner with my back up against the wall and sleeping with one eye open. It keeps me in condition for when I finally get let go and have to go home and face Mrs. Gunny.

      Happy New Year, anyway, Colonel… SIR!


  4. Puts into perspective on what our men have to go through – it is more important to survive than to be concerned what day it is..sad really since nobody appreciates the sacrifices our military especially our Vietnam Veterans. My dad would always buy a beer for our returning Vets, so although I am not a drinking woman, on New Years when you have a drink remember those who appreciated your service

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