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CaptO

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Everything posted by CaptO

  1. So there are no commissioned officers in USMC bands. . . or are there??!! So when I emailed the band director (who knew I played trombone) to ask when tickets were available for the Christmas Concert (yes, actually Christmas and not "Holiday") he said, "Anytime. Hope to see you there. Do you want to sit in? Please?" The regular bass trombone player was on the sound board so I got to play with the band!! How 'bout that! After 20 years from when I told the recruiter I wasn't joining the USMC band so I could go to college, I'm finally playing in the band!! One more concert to go (Saturday) and I will have done all four concerts. What a shot of motivation for an old guy like me!!! The rest of the photos are here: https://picasaweb.google.com/104745627018165888181/MeAtTheIIIMEFBandConcert
  2. CaptO

    What the major is up to now

    Update time! So I got the job at Lockheed! I'll be working with the rocket launcher programs (MLRS and HIMARS) in Grand Prairie, Texas. Grand Prairie is in between Dallas and Fort Worth on the Dallas side. I start in May. I'll be living a little closer to Fort Worth and we are pretty close to closing on a house! Busy time at the O'Brien house right now. More to follow!
  3. CaptO

    What the major is up to now

    Well, folks - I'm retired. Hard to believe it, really, but it has finally happened. I'm going to create a separate post on my retirement ceremony, but wanted give everyone a quick update. I haven't been around the site a whole lot lately since I've been job hunting in Texas. I had a good interview with Lockheed so hopefully that will turn into something, but I'm not counting chickens just yet. More to follow on that later. My brick on the walk at the Marine Corps Museum. . . The rest. . . https://www.irista.com/gallery/mmjcpl8nntm2
  4. CaptO

    In memory of the children

    I just listened to a book called KL about the whole concentration camp system. It's a hard read (or listen, in my case) but very informative. I would say that almost no one in the US or beyond has any idea about how they were come about or why they were used. They were mostly for the purpose of eliminating opposition to the regime by frightening people (most were released at least early in KL system) or eventually killing them. Jews always got the hardest of treatment, but the main categories were communists, a-socials, criminals, Catholics, Jehovah's Witnesses, gypsys, Poles, and homosexuals. Once the war kicked off, the life in the KL got much worse and as the NAZIs gained more and more territory, the goal began to morph into complete destruction of Jewry. The mass killings really started in earnest in 43+/-, much later than mist people believe. Many in Auschwitz, for example, belonged to the categories I mentioned earlier. The only Jews that were (late in the war, at least) there were saved because they were strong enough to work. The elderly, infirm, and Women with children were typically sent straight to the killing centers and not even registered in the camp. I realize there is a lot of generalization in the last paragraph, but there were enough exceptions to things, to make a "short" synopsis incredibly difficult to get right. It's well within the ball park, however.
  5. CaptO

    1274th Engineer Construction Battalion

    I find it interesting that something, so mundane (morning reports) at the time, become interesting and precious research material decades later. Our morning reports in the Marine Corps have been done an a computer system for years, so they may, ironically, be much harder to retrieve later.
  6. CaptO

    Happy To Be Here Thank You

    WWWWWWHHHHHHAAAAATTTTTTTTT?????????!!!!!!!! How did I not know this about you??!! That is crazy! I'd love to hear some, M1! Bass, huh? I farted around with bass a little when I was a music major at Loyola New Orleans. I was a trombonist so it seemed a natural transition, if any string instrument is a transition from brass! Didn't go very far. . .
  7. CaptO

    Info on 1017th Treadway Bridge Co

    That's crazy! It's amazing that things like this can appear out of nowhere. I, too, am not optimistic that you will get through to the gentlemen who originally asked, but you never know. Now here is the reason for this website and not just living on things like FaceBook (). Were this on FaceBook, it would never be seen a few days after posting. Thank you, Marion!! Thank you for keeping this website alive to make these things possible!!!
  8. CaptO

    343rd Engineer General Service Regiment

    The troopship website is interesting!
  9. CaptO

    2827th Company C

    That guy on the far right looks pretty young for a WWII vet!!
  10. Great work on the topic Gary and Randy!
  11. CaptO

    American Legion turns 100

    I haven't joined the Legion or VFW yet, but I will at some point. Once I figure out where the heck I am going to be living (contigent on getting a post-Marine Corps job!) I'll figure out what has a stronger presence near by.
  12. I remember seeing articles about him in the past. Remarkable man. Rest in Peace, sir!
  13. I agree, Marion, the color photos are awesome!
  14. Wow! This is awesome, Marion! I'm glad you've gotten to talk to him. Hope he continues to do well!!!
  15. Yes, I knew this news would be coming, but it still hurts to hear. I'm glad I got to meet him - he was a great man (as all of them I met were).
  16. CaptO

    Info on the 1277th - John Priest

    Very cool! Will be looking forward to the pics. Also, homemade honey is the best! I got hooked on having local honey when I was at 2d Battalion, 10th Marines. I was talking to our SgtMaj one day and he started mainlining honey (i.e. he upended a squeeze bottle of honey into his mouth). I commented that it must be good and he said he kept bees and let me try some. It was darn good. From that point on there was no more Honey Bear in my future. I was very glad to find a local honey store in Okinawa that I frequented for the four years I was there. SO GOOD! https://okinawahai.com/kohama-hachimitsu-小浜のハチミツ/
  17. CaptO

    RESEARCH ASSISTANCE - PLEASE READ FIRST!!!!

    That's a pretty comprehensive list of insignia. I found the 540th and its battalions on 80, 103, and 123.
  18. Yes, these are great photos. Seems like with WWII you see a lot of the same photos over and over despite the volume of photos shot in the war. It's always good to see private photos because a) by their nature, haven't been seen by many and b) usually they are taken of things that may have seen "mundane" by the people who put together "Photos of World War II!!" books. It adds a visual dimension to the war you would otherwise not have.
  19. CaptO

    What the major is up to now

    I also forgot to mention I played with the Marine Band in Quantico, too!! This was August of last year. In Fredericksburg town square: And at the Marine Corps Museum
  20. CaptO

    What the major is up to now

    Wow, it's been a while since I've posted this! Since then, I've now been made the S-3 (operations officer) for the Battalion and will soon be running (in the operational sense, of course) the Marine Corps Marathon in DC. During that event, October 28th this year, the Marines from Quantico go up to Washington D.C. to provide most of the manpower to facilitate the race. We man water/Gatorade points, food stations, and the start and finish activities (such as giving medals to all finishers). This year, I get to be the operations officer for all of the Marines involved - yay. It's a lot of work and a SUPER early morning, but it's a good time and mostly a lot of fun - at least when you are at a water point of food station. the ops section will be locked in some building somewhere so I'm not sure how fun that will be. Lastly, other than running the marathon (once again, not in the jogging sense!) I'm running other events here in Quantico for the Battalion. We always want to get Marines out of the office to "Marine things" and this was one of those efforts. My portion starts at 1:30: https://www.dvidshub.net/video/623944/saved-rounds-episode-11
  21. CaptO

    V-Mail Newsletters - WWII Museum

    Interesting - I hadn't heard of Ernest Childers, but it is quite a story. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Childers
  22. There are a lot of feelings I had when I first read "Farewell Tony Stefanelli". I would love to be able to tell you all of them at one time, but since that isn't possible, I'll try to break them down. I had that heart lowering, sad feeling when I first read the words but I don't want really want to say that this is necessarily sad for a couple of reasons. First off is my belief in God and that this life isn't the point, if you follow me. Secondly, he was 102 and you certainly couldn't say he didn't live a long, fruitful life. What I do feel is that sense of loss that we all get when someone we knew (regardless of how long) that we really liked. I only met him the once, but I really enjoyed my time with him. I only regret I didn't get to hang out more since he was such a great guy with awesome stories to tell. I would have really enjoyed spending more time with him, but it was not to be. I know he would have been surrounded by his children and grandkids at the end and that is the most important. I'll just have to wait until that great everything reunion in the sky. Farewell Tony. You were certainly one of the good ones and you can't do much better than that.
  23. CaptO

    OPERATION HUSKY

    That was the only place that both of my grandfathers were in the same place during the war. My paternal grandfather's history is known to many here, but for those who don't know, he was with the 540th, Marion's father's unit. My maternal grandfather was from Oklahoma so he was in the 45th Infantry Division as an Infantry officer (a captain, I believe). He was injured pretty seriously three days from the conclusion of the battle and was sent home for the duration. He came back to Europe following the war in the occupation troops. Here are some pictures I found looking up Operation HUSKY. Thank goodness for the internet! You can always find new WWII pictures! (Well, new to me!)
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