After my hubby’s second tour in Vietnam, he was “rewarded” with a USMC reserve recruiting/training unit in Southern California, home based in Port Hueneme (Ventura County). Lived on base, he could walk to work and “We” could walk to the hospital where I gave birth to my first two kids, and the beach, we had a lot of fun 😉 We met the best of SoCal, the civilian blue collars, professionals and everyone in between who gave up a weekend a month and two weeks in the summer to, well, be Marines. We even had a party that suggested “dress casually” and they all turned up wearing DRESSES!
Also the days when Marine Reserves Toys for Tots was still making old donated junky used crap toys and dolls pretty again and delivering them to actually “needy” families. I remember the training center being turned into Santa’s Workshop a few weeks in Nov/Dec every year. That was fun too. I do remember being 8 months preggers on Christmas Eve that one year, we loaded up the family truckster (yeah,traded in MY Mustang, not HIS Corvette) to deliver the last of the training center toys to an impoverished family 2 hours away off a dirt road in the bumfuck Ventura/Oxnard onion field somewhere. Family, with caddy in the driveway was kinda embarrassed, but hey, we’ll take the free stuff!
This, ladies and gentlemen, was Cali in 1972.
Also, part of his job was being the CACO (Casualty Officer). That sucked, it was during the waning years of VN. He was on notice 24/7 to “make the call”. It was a team actually. Him, a Chaplain and an armed senior enlisted guy on his staff. Casualty notifications can turn violent, especially in some L.A. neighborhoods. To this day, he says that was the hardest job he ever had.
The war did end and the POWs were sent home. The 24 hours before the world knew who they were, dh was racing around SoCal notifying families…..their child/spouse was on/not on the list.
Anyone (especially media hacks) who’s bashing Gen. Kelly (a Gold Star Dad !), has no clue just how many lives are affected in death, especially their comrades in arms. And the spouses who love and hug them when they return from “work”. As the saying goes, Marine Corps Wife, Toughest Job in the Marine Corps 😉
And, thank you Tomi….