Memory no. : 5
: Frank Olenski
The Story (in his own words)
Funny thing about being in the USMC unit I was in and going through what
we did in
is, we all came away believing we could conquer anything life threw at
us from that point on. Our team from 41 years ago still meet once a year
as part of the 1st Marine Division’s annual reunion, held
at various locations.
I’ve had a very very successful body of work in computer
technology for over 40 years. At times, we faced problems which we
thought were impossible to solve, some times being awake and working for
3 days straight without sleep. But, after what we went through in
the Marine Corps, it didn’t affect me and we always solved some pretty
hairy problems. Enough said on that. Let me give you this to
put in your newsletter – below – if you want.
, on the Southside, I was exposed to many types of great music.
R&B, Jazz, Country (I grew up 2 blocks from the Union Stock Yards so
country music was played by all the farmers and truckers who brought
their livestock into “the Yards”), Hill music, Polish, Irish,
Mexican music, you name it.
in 1968, after I enlisted in the Marine Corps, I served with my 10 man
recon team, code named “Dublin City”, 1st Recon
. Our job was 5 straight days/nights out patrolling in the
mountainous mist-shrouded rain forests and then 4 days back at the area
combat base to recover, retrain and exercise. One of our guys,
Dave Shafer, from
, had his sister and his girlfriend send us 8 track tapes from the local
radio station. Those DJ’s kept us up to date on the musical
trends back home. Sure, we had radio station AFVN in
which was great but that
radio station recorded music from TV programs, new releases and even
boot leg stuff.
out of the jungle where we would be doing “boop and snoops”,
climbing mountains and fording rivers for 4 days in total silence we
could easily lose 10 pounds each patrol. We’d be dirty and
sweaty, and we’d immediately jump in to the ice cold showers to clean
up then usually have to take care of leech, mosquito and huge horse-fly
that it was two cold beers, read letters from home and listening to the
next new tape from that
radio station. Dave had a dynamite reel-to-reel system back in our
10 man hooch (a 10’ by 20’ plywood hut with a metal roof and walls
made of netting to keep the mosquitos out. He ran speakers to the
4 corners so everyone on the team could fall asleep listening to that
tape playing softly all night long.
Johnny Rivers, Sam & Dave, Archie Bell and the Drells, Spencer
Davis, the Stones, Buck Owens, the Fifth Dimension and Simon and
Garfunkle (hey, I said all types of music so don’t beat me up because
we did listen to some of the S&G songs), the DJ would include
a few songs by the Everlys. We specifically asked for them because
they were U.S. Marines. I vividly recall even today when Don and
Phil appeared in their Dress Blue uniforms on Ed Sullivan’s TV show
immediately after they got out of Marine Corps boot camp.
better than listening to the Everlys and reading a letter from your girl
back home. It really helped us to get through those very very
years later, even my children love the Everlys’ music because they
made the very best music in history. It just hits you at so many
different levels and, best of all, you can understand every single word
guys, best regards and Semper Fi from the guys in the 1st
Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, from 1968,
stationed at Phu Bai/Hue City, RVN.