Final Muster: Part I

Long story short:

The Fourth Marine Division Association is folding this year. But first–there’s one last liberty call in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

I got my marching orders from Gunga.

The initial operations plan called for a two-pronged assault, to seize the reunion in the name of Able Company. Gunga and Tracy, old gunner and new assistant. Then the rest of the Smith clan joined forces; we would present a reasonably-sized and thoroughly formidable squad.

And then an emergency. And then another. And suddenly, the guest list was just me. But the orders stood.

So here I am. In the Home2 Suites in Jacksonville. And the past two days are a bit of a busy blur. Despite rental car adventures (don’t go Advantage), tales from the road (I will never take a road trip and arrive before 1130 PM, no matter what the distance or Google Maps estimate), and a sudden and decisive lack of a toothbrush (naturally), I managed to meet Robert Johnston, John Murach, and Joseph Solecki of 1/24. “Iron Mike” Mervosh is here; Domenick Tutalo and Horace Allen are on the registered list.

Short story shorter:

We have a 0630 departure tomorrow. We’ll be at Camp Lejeune when the flag goes up. The place where the First Separate Battalion was formed. Where the story of 1/24 as a whole begins.

There is so much more to say. As Phil Wood might have said, there is so much to remember, and so little time.

Stay tuned.

"Nice lookin' go-to-hell cap." - Gunga
“Nice lookin’ go-to-hell cap.” – Gunga




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