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CaptO

Late introduction

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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.

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Capt0; Roger on the above, Welcome. This WW 11 dogface salutes you. Roque

(Rocky) :armata_PDT_37:

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:clappin::clappin:

 

aptO

 

Just to make it official - Welcome and let's hear about your

experiences in the Corp.

 

Sgtleo

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Hey Captain. The other man in the photo is Tom Rice. You will find him in several of the photos. Make sure you check out the photos page here:

 

http://www.6thcorpscombatengineers.com/Web...eers/Album7.htm

 

There's a ton of other photos too, so enjoy.

 

Thanks for filling us in on your background and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family. :armata_PDT_01:

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I checked out the slideshow. I guess my dad gave you those pictures because they actually had my grandfather's handwriting on them. I knew he had a lot of his WWII pictures but I haven't seen all of them. I have many from his infantry training in 1936.

Sgtleo, you're actually asking a Marine about his experiences!? Be careful what you ask for, you may get! Actually the story of what I am doing right now wouldn't be very interesting unless you wanted to hear about the implementation of the Automated Message Handling System at II MEF, Active Directory, Navy Marine Corps Internet woes, server replacements for the MCNOSC, Security + certification, the SharePoint 2003 or 2007 debate, mandatory Personal Identifiable Information training, FITREPS, the return of the 22 MEU from their Med Float, the return of the MEF and Division from Iraq, and a myriad of other details that require constant attention. Maybe I should just stick to talking about my life as an artilleryman, my brief stint as an infantry platoon commander in Iraq, or as the Commo for 2d Tank Battalion! Those stories are more interesting.

 

Here is a picture of JCO in '36 in his Class A's. The funny thing is that I have a picture that was taken moments before or after this one where some funny-guy has put rabbit ears over his head. Some things never change! I'll scan that one and post it later.

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CaptO:-

 

Scratching my head and asking "What did he say he does"!!!!!

 

My story is a funny yet kinda weird about my friend at work who had

been a member of Carlson's Raiders and stayed in the Reserve and had

risen to the Rank of a "Bird" Colonel.

 

He had a son and a daughter and he was ecstatic when his son joined the

Corps. and he requested time to go to Parris Island for the Graduation - no

problem. Day before Graduation he decided to see where he would be seated

when a Lance Corporal jumped his *** for being in a restricted VIP area.

 

About that time a Master Gunny, who Jake knew from old, approached and

before he could speak Jake grabbed his hand and said your remember me

don't you Gunny? Gunny caught on real quick so there was no salute ,no Yes Sir,etc.

 

Jake asked the Lance Corporal if he would be there the Graduation day so he

could show Jake where to sit and he wouldn't be out of order. Stupidly the Lance

Corporal said "don't bother me old man if I'm here I'm here". Gunny indicated to

Jake that he would be there.

 

Graduation day Jake shows up in his Dress Blues complete with the sword and

a ribbon rack that was awesome. He strutted up to the Lance Corporal and

presented himself as the "old man from yesterday". The Gunny was almost

choking trying not to laugh out loud. The Lance Corporal almost fainted.

 

Jake told the Lance Corporal he'd get back to him but he told the Gunny I'll just

let him sweat for a few days and then let him off the hook. I always considered

Jake to be the Gen. Patton of the Corps. groups in this area.

 

Sgtleo

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Capt O : Welcome aboard from this old WW 2 3rd Inf Div. dogface Infantryman .

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Hey Todd:

 

Was sitting here going through the 540th's regimental book, Overseas with the 540th, and when I came across one of the photos of your grandfather again I exclaimed this time, " Good morning Lt Col, I now know your son and grandson. Pretty grand!" :armata_PDT_37:

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I just realized today that it's been over a year since I've been here (year +10 days exactly)!

 

Let me say that I have really enjoyed myself and have had a great time meeting everyone and making so many new friends from around the world.

 

And a big thanks to Marion for hosting this (not a cheap or easy thing to do.) This site and its sister keeps the deeds of these great men alive through extensive research and personal stories.

It also creates a place where likeminded people can sit around and shoot the bull when we aren't delving into WWII topics!

 

It's been a great time folks, and here's to the next year!

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Feelings mutual. You sure have made your mark on this forum, and it's a pleasure. I feel as though you ARE a member of my family, since we have the 540th in common. I bet you feel as I do; wouldn't you love to be a bee or bird and spend a day with the 540th and see and feel all they did? What a thrill that would be! Ah to go back in time. If I find a time machine, I will be sure to send an invite your way.

 

Here's to you, your family and especially your grandfather!

 

Many hugs,

M1

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Just read over this again. Wow - it's like a time capsule! I miss all those WWII vets!! :(

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That's for sure. So many names of folks who are no longer with us. We were so fortunate to make their acquaintance, weren't we? 

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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).

Rack.png.2d8b5c7ebeac015492435756110c55be.png

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! :o

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Does put things into perspective. Some days when I'm in the midst of people I wonder, how the hell and when the hell did I get so old. I certainly don't remember it happening! 

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