"Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have made a difference in the world. Marines don't have that problem."
-President Ronald Reagan, 1985
THE FINAL INSPECTION
The Soldier stood and faced his God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.
'Step forward now, my Soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?'
The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
'No, Lord, I guess I ain't.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.
But, I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep.
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got just too steep.
And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.
I know I don't deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.
If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand.
There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the Soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.
'Step forward now, you Soldier,
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell.'
Sent in by Jim Blackburn, RM3 68-71
Shipmate Vincent Niehaus, Sgt USMC, 68-71 has a vast number of photographs, mostly of the Marine Detatchment, that were made during his time aboard. I am showing the first few here, but I will create a Marine Photo Section to properly display them in some sort of order. I invite all shipmates to share any Marine related photos for this new section, and, of course, any photos at all from the Oklahoma City. -Joe Caruso
Wayne Surface, Captain of the U.S.S. Oklahoma City, inspects the Marine Detatchment in 1969
Lance Corporal Niehaus,(left) and Corporal Duke,(spotter) await results in rifle qualification, Yokusuka, Japan,1969
Sargent Mike Griffin sent us this photo of his very well preserved Shellback Certificate
Mardet Group Photo Courtesy of Tom Kroh
Mardet Display Used For Open House In Various Ports
Captain Butcher Inspects The Marine Detatchment