Friday, November 30, 2012

Commandant's Award Photo

Just today I got an email from a Marine buddy, Duku. Over the years we all kind of lose touch, reestablish contact, lose touch and reconnect again! There is a web of us out there, so usually if you can  get in touch with one you can eventually get back in touch with the whole of us.

He had come across a newspaper clipping from back at the Defense Language Institute and emailed it to me. I had previously posted this clipping, but the one Duku sent had the entire piece including the names of other graduating classes and award winners! So, I thought I'd post it up here for posterity sake ;)

Funny thing is that I don't remember the "Korean Donor Book Award" although I do remember receiving a decorative Korean vase near graduation from some important people at the school. I actually think it was from the Korean Consulate...I wanna say it was called the Korean Consulate Award, but it may have been the Korean Donor Book Award", it's all a blur ;)
Three things that stick out in my memory from this picture are:

1) I'm wearing a LCPL Goodley's (Baby D) dress blue uniform as I was one of the last boot camp graduating classes not to receive them as part of the standard issue for uniforms. He was one of the only other Marines as thin as me, actually thinner, so the collar was squeezing all of the blood into my head! I had previously borrowed his dress blues to march in the Special Olympics opening ceremony the year prior. I wish I still had photos of that event because I met the sweetest little Special Olympian in 1990 and 1991 at that event.

2) I was waiting in the wings of the stage to be presented with the Commandant's Award and I actually felt a little nervous. Leading up to the decision as to who would receive it I had been pretty "whatever" about the whole thing. Award or no award, we would still walk around the joint service base thinking we were the baddest mama-jammas around! A little nerdy perhaps, but still felt indestructible and superior (inter service rivalry is like that!) Marine Corps pride! The look on my face...who knows...perhaps similar to the face I'd make in the chow hall waiting for breakfast, in line with sailors, airmen, soldiers and other Marines. It was like a little game to glare at members of other services until they averted their eyes...inter service stare downs in the chow hall, mature!! Hahahaha!

3) Looking out over the 800ish other students of other languages, other members of our military, "Agency" types and my peers was pretty overwhelming but awesome! We were all in it for similar reasons and we were all finally graduating. We would soon be off to complete the more technical part of our training and be assigned our duty stations. Many of my friends and classmates from other services ended up stationed in Korea. I ended up in Hawaii, making yearly deployments to the Land of the Morning Calm. I've always been very proud of this service and always took pride in the job itself, from learning the language to using it for military intelligence purposes. Heck, I can still order lunch in Korean ;)

7 comments:

Kris said...

Good times! You definitely deserved it and were a very dedicated student, always hauling around those flashcards. The instructors tried to console me by telling me the Provost Award was almost as good. And I don't recall receiving my book award either.

Here I sit working on translating some hanja for a grad school course. I should send it over to you. Things have changed but still kind of stayed the same.

mardenheyjude said...

What a beautiful story of another one of your proud accomplishments. I would very much enjoy hearing more about your military service in the USMC. I am working on researching my father's (your grandfather on your mother Betsy's side of the family)military history. He was in the US Army during WW2. It is a slow process but I am enjoying the project. Hi to Pae. Love always, Auntie

Pae and Guy said...

Yeah Krissy, great memories! We both worked very hard between NPG experiences, haha! You certainly deserved either of the top two awards and I'm glad that both went to our section...All I really wanted throughout the course was for Ross not to get the award ;) Was that the kid's name who was super Army, super competetive with the Marines? He was pissed that I beat him out at Goodfellow also! The kid was right up there! Wonder how his career panned out? You keep in touch? Hanja? Hahaha, I know about 5 of those dang things ;)

Pae and Guy said...

Auntie, that's cool and must be very interesting research. How do you record all of your research? Is it on paper? Computer? I know you make those cool photo books ;) Have fun, Love ya!

mardenheyjude said...

Guy: I actually have copies of important documents like census, birth, marriage, and death certificates, military information, and any other document that would have been special to the person. Those I keep in 3 ring notebooks that are indexed and protected with glassine (sp) protectors. I also have 3x5 index cards showing what I have and the source of the information. I use Ancestry.com for the old stuff and I visit historical cemeteries where the Marden and Wescott ancestors are buried. The NARA in St. Louis is a great source for military information on my WW2 relatives. I also use Family Tree Maker software to record relationships, etc. and that is on the computer. I use this software only for relationship reports. Pictures of past and present family members are in my Family Photo Books and I have 11, so far, of those cool books. I also have my Special Family Photo Books which include your races and a nice book of all of the Family Military. I am still working on these 2. In addition I have recorded historical and current information that I have collected on family members who shared information with me. That’s a tough one because some people are very private and I respect that. I love doing this and I find it very exciting when I am successful in my quest for information. Anyway, that’s my story. Hope I didn’t bore you too much. Hi to Pae. Love always, Auntie

mardenheyjude said...

Hi Guy; I just wanted to wish you "Good Luck" running in the Banana2U Marathon on Dec.9th. I look forward to your blog post after the race. Hope you can get a picture or two. Love always, Auntie

Pae and Guy said...

Thanks, Auntie Judy!
I haven't run for a week already so this run should be a good stretch of the legs. Guessing we'll finish as a group at around 7 hours...good training! I'll try to get some pictures if possible, it's a small, inaugural type thing ;)

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