Sunday, June 14, 2015

Fighting at Tarawa. November 21, 1943

I have had this scar on my starboard flank for years from an infected bug bite that actually required knock-me-out surgery.

Some years ago at a rifle match I was pulling off a hooded sweatshirt and it rode my T-shirt up and was noticed by the guy next to me.

The guy next to me saw the scar and asked where it came from and being a smart-ass, I told him I got it on Tarawa back in '43 from a Japanese bayonet.

He proved to be a history teacher that really knew history but, alas, could not count.

I'm a '51 model and the battle was fought 8 years before I graced the planet with my presence. He asked me if I would like to give his classes a talk about fighting the Japanese Empire.

The guy on the other side was an actual Saipan veteran and looked over incredulously at what I said.

"You look like you were born the years after the battle was even fought," he said, indignantly.

"I snuck into the Corps with my big brother's birth certificate," I countered.

"Wait a minute! You were not even born then!" He shot back.

"The phoney birth certificate trick worked pretty good, didn't it?" I asked.

"But you were not even born!" he protested.

"The recruiter didn't know that," I answered. "Besides, if I wasn't there then how did I end up with a nasty Japanese bayonet scar on my side?"

"Because you're full of $hit and he's a dumb-ass for believing you," he laughed. 

He then turned to the teacher. "If he goes to your class to tell the kids about fighting the Japs, can I come in and listen to him? I'll bet you his stories would be better than mine and I was at Saipan!"

Then he turned to me. "Over the years I have told a few tall tales to my grandchildren," he said. "However, I am a rank amateur bull$hiter compared to you. It is a true joy to listen to a real professional in action. Please carry on." 

The old goat and I got along pretty good after that. He later suggested I change the story to having caught a Hun bayonet back in '18 when I went over the top with Blackjack Pershing. 

I did. That story later on.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

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