Church Services

Sunday, March 24, 1968

The earlier brunch hours were popular, but the cooks would miss the Sunday briefing.  The Gunny was annoyed about our not attending the formation, and I suggested he work it out with the Chaplain.

Sumo was thrilled with the new grill.  It was already seasoned and perfect for frying eggs and making omelets.  He made two-egg omelets using a 4-ounce ladle and had various fillings:  bacon, sausage, onions, peppers and grated cheese.  Some Marines were suspicious that we were using dehydrated eggs in the batter although we never did.  Sumo would whip fresh eggs in a bowl for eggs to order.  Reb was flipping pancakes (which were supplemented with dried eggs), and no one questioned the ingredients in his cakes.

During brunch Cobby and I were cutting steaks and prepping baked potatoes for the dinner meal.  This was his last day on mess duty; he would join his platoon in India Company in the morning.  He was anxious about leaving and I reassured him, “Just follow your training.”

As brunch ended we arranged the tables for the religious service.  There was a good showing (maybe 40 Marines and a few Seabees).  Reverend Starling would not stand still and was constantly moving, making eye contact as he spoke.  His sermon was about Jesus and his 40-day patrol in the desert while fasting — “Man shall not live by bread alone.”  Leggs was looking down in deep meditation, and I had to look away . . . I knew he was thinking of PB&J sandwiches.  Starling’s sermon touched everyone; he talked at our level.  We sang and prayed for the dead, and it had a completely different meaning in this environment.

We moved outside and gathered around him at the exit door of the mess deck.  He turned and faced the new building raising his hands.

Heavenly Father, of all things holy,

Hear our prayers for our new Church.

Send forth your spirit that we may humbly be guided

by your Divine Will.

We ask this in Jesus’ Name


The church crowd quietly dispersed, and the moment lasted briefly.  The horseshoe championship was about to start but was interrupted by a fire mission . . . 30 rounds of HE (high explosive) and 23 rounds of WP (white phosphorous).  We added 1 secondary explosion and 3 buildings destroyed to the tote board.

Fire mission march24
Command Chronologies Kilo battery March 1968

Next Edition:  Rock, Paper, Scissors

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