Once a Marine...(Semper Fidelis ~ Always Faithful)byBonnie McGuiren 1975 our daughter Cheryl enlisted in the Marine Corp for two years. We still laugh about the first letter we received from her. It started out something like this. "I made a mistake... Get me out of here!"Cheryl did basic training at Parris Island, South Carolina boot camp, and was later stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina where she completed her service as Chief of Staff driver.Ready for the Change of Command below where she popped the flag.Communications and Commanders in 1975.These five are staff drivers for Commanding Generals and Colonels for 2nd Marine Division, Force Recon, Headquarters Battalion, at Camp Lejuene, North Carolina. They're all in Dress Blue uniforms because the Commandant of the Marine Corps was at Lejuene for the 200th birthday for the Marine Corps November 10, 1975. The Marine Corps celebrates a year earlier than the U.S. birthday in 1976, because they formed the corps in preparation for the Revolutionary War and our independence from Britain.
Pvt. Chief of Staff Driver Cheryl getting instructions from Colonel Fox. I have to mention a very funny story about how she became a Staff Driver. Her unit commander told Cheryl that she was to go to General Poggemeyer's office for an interview, because he was looking for a driver. Cheryl was warned to be on her best behavior, since the new women's marine unit was already in trouble. During the interview Private McGuire was very attentive and proper. Then the General asked her if she had anything she wanted to say. She paused and quietly stammered, "Uh...yes Sir. I hope no one will smoke, because it might make me throw up." When she drove the General would tell the other passengers that Mac (as he called her) wouldn't let them smoke.Colonel Fox, Cheryl and Major General Poggemeyer in 1975.Honoring oldest, youngest and all past Marine uniformed.RanksMarine Corps celebrating their 200th birthday in 1975.Camp LejeuneIn September 1941 the 1st Marine Division set up camp in the middle of a sandy pine forest, along the Atlantic Seaboard of Onslow County. It consisted of a tobacco barn, farm house and temporary tent cities that grew into a 246 square mile premier military training facility. World War II had started and military planners were posturing forces for America's eminent entry to the fight. The need for an East Coast amphibious training facility was answered as the War Department purchased an initial 11,000 acre tract of land. With close proximity to ports at Wilmington and Morehead City, Lejeune was a logistical gem. When planners added the remote pine forests and miles of beach the value of Camp Lejeune as a home training base for Marines was unbeatable.
PFC Cheryl and Base Sgt. Maj. Alls display a bicentennial afghan made by E.D. Shaw, Chief Telephone Operator for Camp Lejeune. Mrs. Shaw made it because "I'm glad that I'm American and think it's something we should all be proud of."Once a Marine, Always a Marine(Author Unknown)I was that which others did not want to be.I went where others failed to go.And did what others failed to do.I asked nothing from those who gave nothing.And reluctantly accepted the thought ofeternal loneliness should I fail.I have seen the Face of Terror,Felt the stinging cold of Fear,And enjoyed the sweet taste of a momentslove.I have cried, pained and hoped...but mostof all,I have lived times others would say werebest forgotten.At least today I am able to say that I wasproud of what I was....A United States Marine.