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Everything posted by CaptO

  1. I heard about this the other day. Very sad, but it is getting to be an older structure and has been hit by ships in the harbor before. Here are pictures of the Arizona memorial and the other things to see in Honolulu that I took on my visits: https://get.google.com/albumarchive/104745627018165888181/album/AF1QipPnVav3sfNyIxLvFIN5vKjt4P7FWQq89EakkIEF https://get.google.com/albumarchive/104745627018165888181/album/AF1QipNfx5RcBSAVCZ2P_8fHaQkoCGriF5xkD8Y1zvtM https://get.google.com/albumarchive/104745627018165888181/album/AF1QipMNRRgOs9ItPIdkM9ZF85K01-_TdYKUhdrtjqHw It's a lot to go through, but there is a lot to see. I'd post some highlights, but even the Google Photo Archive doesn't allow direct linking now (it used to). Have to find a new photo posting site!
  2. CaptO

    Late introduction

    I've been posting for a while but I have yet to "introduce myself" so here it is. I am a Captain in the Marine Corps serving with the Second Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune. I am married with two boys (3 and 6 [six and a half he points out.]) I have deployed to Iraq once in 2004 as an augment to 3/24 (Third Battalion, 24th Marines.) As for future deployments, nothing is certain. Individuals get sent out without a great deal of warning all of the time. I am working (slowly) toward a Masters in Military History with a concentration in WWII through American Military University online. My grandfather was LTC John C. O'Brien of the 2832nd Battalion of the 540th. It was perhaps the fact I knew he was in WWII that sparked my interest in it in early grade school - if not before. He never talked much about it although I did interview him once on what he did. Even then he wasn't very specific as most real vets are. He was a great man and I miss him. Cheers to him and the rest of the vets who have gone before. I enjoy plastic military modeling although I don't have much time for that with the crazy three year old running around! I have to set up my modeling stuff after he goes to sleep and put it up every night so I don't do it often. I also enjoy photography - my undergrad major. I have a Graflex 4x5 press camera but in order to process and print I have to mail off my film because Jacksonville, NC does not have a that sort of service here. I also am a big music fan and have a very eclectic taste. As I write this I am listening to Beethoven's 9th Symphony but I am just as likely to listen to Rush, Pink Floyd, Mannheim Steamroller, BB King, Gipsy Kings, or Alice in Chains. I also am a big talk radio devotee. I've enjoyed reading and posting here. My postings for my classes are mostly graded so I don't feel as structured here! Thanks for all of your comments. Capt Todd O. The first photo is of my grandfather as a captain which would indicate being relatively early in the war. I'm not sure who the man on his left is. The other is me after a long night guarding a weapons cache a squad from the other platoon found but didn't have the supplies to sit on overnight. We found more weapons and ammo with some metal detectors over night and we were feeling pretty good by the time we blew it all to bits later that day.
  3. CaptO

    Late introduction

    Yes indeed. Even in my experience in the Marine Corps, change is an ever present reminder of the passage of time. I noticed that even from the start. As a lieutenant, I left my first unit and noted how most of the SNCOs had moved on and that Marines that had checked in as PFCs (in the Marine Corps and E-2) were now corporals. I visited that unit a few years later and didn't know anyone! Right now I'm struck by the fact that my Marines are closer in age to my elder son (17) than they are to me - by far! The youngest Marines are 1 year older and the average is probably only 4 years older. By way of contrast, I'm older than them by an average of 21 years! Just looking at the command board is another indicator of this. Our command board has pictures of the CO, SgtMaj, company commanders, and staff heads (for the S-1, S-3, legal team, chaplain, etc.) What I am noticing now is the surprising lack of stars on the National Defense ribbons people are wearing. The National Defense Medal is authorized during times of conflict. The fact that it is awarded as soon as you join gives it the moniker the "Fire Watch Ribbon", The latest time period it was authorized was following 9/11 and is still issued to the current day. The previous time period it was issued for (and for which one would have a star on the ribbon or medal) was Desert Storm and the inclusive dates were August 2, 1990 - November 30, 1995. As I went to boot camp in Feb of 1995, I rate it and so have the star. On the rack below, it is second row, second from the right (red on ends yellow in middle). So what this means is that the majority of people who are in senior positions in this and most battalions joined after November of 1995 - even the first sergeants! Just another reminder of time gone by! And pretty soon, my star will be gone from the board as well!
  4. Glad to hear he is still doing well. Pretty darn tough for an old guy!
  5. CaptO

    Late introduction

    Just read over this again. Wow - it's like a time capsule! I miss all those WWII vets!!
  6. Awwwwwww. . . shucks!
  7. That link will give you a great amount of information on requesting your family member's records to include awards. My father did this for my grandfather and they not only sent a document with what he had earned, but also brand new medals for all of the ones he had earned. By way of general instruction, here is the gouge on medals and ribbons. The simplest way to put it is that every medal has a corresponding ribbon, but some ribbons (e.g. Presidential Unit Citation, or Navy Combat Action Ribbon) do not have a corresponding medal. Medals are only authorized for very special occasions. In the Marine Corps, for example, medals can only be worn with our dress blues. They cannot be worn even with our equivalent to Army "Class A's". Ribbons, however, are worn with all uniforms that are not designed as fighting uniforms, in other words, with service uniforms. Army Service Uniforms Note in the picture above that medals are only worn on the best dress uniforms. Marine Dress Blues In the photo above, you will notice that Marines are wearing medals and ribbons (as some of the Army folks did in the photo above). In the USMC, when wearing Dress Blue Alphas (dress blues with medals), ribbons for which there is no corresponding medal are worn on the right side of the uniform. If medals were not being worn, all ribbons (those for medals and those that don't have a medal) would be worn on the left. Maybe there is someone smart on Army regs who could say why the Army has some ribbons on the right hand side even wearing a ribbon rack on the left. This Jar Head don't get it. . . This is me in my "Alphas" (as we call them in the Marines). All ribbons (those that are ribbons only and those that have medals) all on the same side. Ribbons with no corresponding medal in this picture are the Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Citation, Meritorious Unit Citation, and sea service deployment ribbon.
  8. Well, I know I've not been hanging around the site much, but I've been pretty busy. I had assumed that after my job as HQ Company Commander (they still have my picture up as of now) they would ease me into something else that wouldn't take so much time as I wind out my time before retirement, but that was not to be. I have been made the Operations Officer for the HQ&SVC Battalion, Marine Corps Base Quantico. As such, I have been running on all engines since I took over in March. Also, the Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon is coming up (20 May) in Fredericksburg, VA and the Battalion runs that so that means that I run that! Fortunately, I will be running it with a great Ops Chief and 350ish other Marines, but it does keep me busy. Soon, however, I will be replaced with a guy who is sticking around longer (I was just the Band-Aid to get the Battalion through the Marathon). So hopefully, I can start winding down and work on getting a new job, because. . . . I retire on November 29th! That's actually my terminal leave day and my official end of service is 1 Feb. That will make for 24 years in the Marine Corps. Hard to believe it will be coming to an end. Anyway, I just wanted to check in because it had been a while and I wanted to share that news. I'll write more later, but I gotta go!
  9. What is also hard to believe is that I've been hanging around here since 2007! I do miss the old days, sometimes. Remember when we had probably 5 or so regular WWII vets posting almost daily? Dems were da days!
  10. CaptO

    Holocaust Fading from Memory

    I know that over the years, historical facts fade into history (Remember the Maine, anyone?) Wake Island was as much a rallying cry in the early days of WWII as Pearl Harbor was and yet I doubt many people have ever heard of it today (or perhaps even Pearl). Sometimes, however, there is a monumental event that shapes history going forward. I would hope that people would agree that WWII and especially the Holocaust would count as one of those epochs (and therefore teach it), but it doesn't seem it is the case. It seems there is a purposeful willingness to forget it. I would bet that the WWII crowd would have had much more knowledge of the Civil War than the young'uns of today have about WWII. 1941-1865=76 years 2019-1945=74 years I don't want to sound conspiratorial, but I can't help but think that this (seems to mean deliberate) failure to educate the last few generations about history benefits someone. I could suppose a few guesses as to who, but that's not for here! The fact remains that this is pretty sad. Why, why, why. . .
  11. CaptO

    Cape Cod Military Museum

    Lots of good stuff, M1!!
  12. I saw this. I grew up on Beetle. .
  13. If there is a rugged man alive, it's him!! Stay healthy!
  14. CaptO

    WWII Museum Center for Collections & Archives

    I'd love to have a week of uninterrupted time in there! The Museum is interesting enough, but all of that would be awesome! https://get.google.com/albumarchive/104745627018165888181/album/AF1QipNAy4vtSp3PP5dd9DDvBAKXMhzZ5uzN7KGehJDl
  15. Interesting story. You hear a lot of people talking about finding war time relics after a relative dies, but to find a box of things that aren't even your relative's would be very odd.
  16. Very cool! Thanks for posting an update and stick around!
  17. Rest in peace, sir!!!
  18. How did this become the Merry Christmas posting area? That's OK, I'm easy! Merry Christmas (it's currently the 6th day of the Octave of Christmas so it's still the Christmas season!) Also, Have a great and prosperous New Year!!
  19. Rest well, sir! Thank you for your service.
  20. Yep, that's me in the back right. Since the majority of my photos from that trip were digital, I changed the file name for all of the pictures (several hundred!) with either the place or name of the individual/s therein. I made sure to do this within a few months of returning so I would not forget names. I also have a headshot of each of the Marines in my platoon with their name tape showing. I knew that I would want to be able to put names to faces some day!
  21. Wow! I have a hard time remembering people I served with two years ago! I will say, however, I do remember guys from my platoon in Iraq a lot better than others - and that's been 13 years (hard to imagine it's been that long). I imagine that being with the same set of guys for 2-3 years would really sear details into your memory. I was only with my guys from 9 months.
  22. CaptO

    Observing Veteran's Day

    For the Veteran Community, I will say thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Our service is for the country and what is the country if not the great folks in it. People like you Marion - and the other great people I've met here on the forum - are what make the country worth fighting for.
  23. That was really cool! I love the old "40s guy" announcer. On a more serious note, I just wonder how many people were hurt or killed during those early tests and demonstrations. If that thing flips over, you're pretty much done for if your aren't thrown clear - not that that is very good for you either. When we were in Iraq, I always told my guys to buckle up - even in combat. You're not good in a firefight if you are concussed from banging against the inside of the vehicle.
  24. I saw the Lt Dan band while on TAD (TDY to you Army types) to 29 Palms, Ca in 2007. It was really awesome - he does a great job!
  25. CaptO

    Interesting Articles

    The DPAA (http://www.dpaa.mil/) are really unsung heroes of our day. Every week I am hearing about US servicemen being returned to the US after being missing for 75 or more years. It is truly remarkable. I am glad that we in the US still have the will and desire to search for all of our missing servicemen.