Let me start by saying that I know the Grunt's had
mixed emotions about Tanks. They were noisy, smoky, got stuck in the mud, and had a
tendency to draw a lot of fire.
But, I also know that the Grunt's knew it wasn't the fault of the
Marines inside but it was the nature of the Horse they rode, and that the terrain was not
conducive for Armour. I think that there were times that Tanks were very useful and might
have saved a few lives. Having said that, let me get to what this page is all about, the
I would like to personally recognize, thank, and congratulate the
Grunts, Corpsmen, and all of the Support personnel who walked the turf in Vietnam;
especially those of the 7th Marines for the sacrifices they made for a job well done in
the worst of circumstances. They had the toughest job of all in Vietnam. I can say this
because I was there.
"Bravo" Company, First Tanks was attached to the 7th Marines,
and my Tank (B31) a part of the 3rd Platoon, was assigned to Hill 37 in support of the 3rd
Battalion 7th Marines. Through the Gunners scope, and later the Tank Commanders hatch, I
personally witnessed the daily activities and acts of bravery. My butt was saved on more
than one occasion by the Grunt's, they were the Eyes and Ears for my Tank. Spotting RGP
Rocket launchers so I may have the pleasure to destroy them, or neutralizing them before
they became a threat to us. RGP's were the Tankers worst enemy.
I never experienced ambushes or recon patrols for obvious reasons. I did
however experience Convoys, Road Sweeps, Search and Destroy missions, and Reactionary
Strikes on more than one operation in support of the 7th Marines. They did one hell of a
job and were second to none.
There is no doubt in my mind that the (0311) GRUNT is the backbone of
the Marine Corps, he was then, he is now, and will always be!........all the other
personnel from the Air Wing to Office clerk are there to support the Grunt! In the end it
is the Grunt who fights his way to the objective, takes it, and holds it. He gets lot's of
help from other Marines, just as able, brave and willing to sacrifice their lives in his
support.....but that doesn't change the facts.
So I say again, Thanks, and Semper Fi.......