I was a linguist and codebreaker in Vietnam, and one of the guys in my language class went home to South Philly before shipping out and got shot in the shoulder. His name was Rod Schmell, and was a real clown.  In his first week we had guard duty the same night.  They issued us 50 HE rounds of 30mm ammo and some flares, and told us to make a lot of noise. Rod was in a tower that night, and around midnight radioed in to request more ammunition.  surprisingly, they sent it to him and for a week or more he had a huge bruise on his right shoulder.
PinksWoman PinksWoman
61-65, T
2 Responses Dec 27, 2012

Just following orders right?

Rod always had a way of making the most of any situation

It's amazing the stories & the people we remember from our days in military service. I left the navy in 1972 but certain events are as fresh in my mind as it they happened last week. The people, "characters", buttheads & just good guys, are indelibly inked in my mind. I never made "in country" but was close by in the Tonkin Gulf in '69 & '71.

I was on the Kitty Hawk was over there 65-66-67, welcome home bro.

I didn't get there until early in '72, and left on the last plane out in March, 73. I still remember all the names of the guys under my command and most of them in language school

Two years ago I found some of the guys that I worked with on the flight deck and we had a reunion, still seven of us kickin.

Same to you brother, it has been a long time coming

Yes it has.

Late in language school, we were all standing around waiting for one of our two weekly formations to be called to attention when this same fool came out on the third floor balcony of our barracks wearing only his overcoat and a large floppy hat he'd bought in Juarez. He called loudly to the troops and said, "I suppose you are wondering why I called you here today," Then he opened his coat to expose his naked body. and said Whaaa. We cracked up while the brass just shook their heads. I have never met a more colorful character

One of a kind. I heard just recently that he suffers from the effects of agent orange, though I have no idea how he came in contact with it, unless he wandered off into the jungle one day. I wouldn't put it past him

I knew Yokusuka well. I served on a minesweeper out of Sasebo for a spell in 1970 on what was to have been a 2 year stint. When it was decommissioned I was returned stateside for another ship.

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