This photo was taken on Thanksgiving Day 1967 sitting on the marston matting next to the fuel pits at Quang Tri RVN. We had been flying resupply and medivacs all day, and took a break to refuel. Since we already had missed Thanksgiving Dinner at the mess hall at Phu Bai, I gave our crews the first pick of a case of C’s we had on board, and you guessed it, I got stuck with the last pick, the infamous “Ham & Mothers.” Ham & Lima Beans, the most vile, vilified can in the case. That was my Thanksgiving dinner in 1967, although probably better than most of the grunts experienced that day. So much for “swing with the wing.”
I keep a copy of this photo on my desk to remind me of that day and how lucky I am to be able to celebrate Thanksgiving every year since with my family and friends. I remember making a vow to myself as that photo was taken, that if I ever survived, I would always CELEBRATE Thanksgiving and would share it with family, friends and those less fortunate, which I have continued to do, and look forward to doing so again this Thursday. I call it my “Keep me Humble Picture.” Whenever I get a little too full of myself, it brings me back to reality and reminds me that things could be worse, and how much I have to be truly thankful for, especially the friends whom I have made & continue to cherish over the years.
So, I am wishing you a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving, and only ask that you take the time to reflect and thank God for everything we have to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving.
Capt. USMC Retired
The One Eyed Ugly Bastard
Saepe nefas, quod numquam pro dubio
“Seldom wrong, but never in doubt”
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