From Omaha to Da Nang Reflections of a 2-Yr Marine
Michael J. Schneider, author
From OMAHA to DA NANG Synopsis Not everybody can be a hero but everyone can have an adventure. This book takes you through the rigors and humiliation of Marine Corps Boot Camp and onto the life afterward. What could an enlisted Marine serving during the years 1969 – 1970 expect? Well Vietnam for sure; but this Marine avoided combat even though he served over 14 months in Vietnam. Life in a rear based unit did have its challenges whether it was trying to stay on your feet patrolling the perimeter wire or avoiding embarrassment while dancing with the Australian Girl in a USO show. This book presents the humorous anecdotes, grim realities and bonds of comradeship experienced by a Marine whose primary job was that of a Company Clerk. It is intended to guide those contemplating enlisting in the Marine Corps realistic expectations. For other readers, the intent is to entertain. The incidents related are true and truth is, indeed, sometimes stranger than fiction. From Omaha to Da Nang is the story of my two years of active duty after enlisting in the Marine Corps. The reader is taken through the rigors of boot camp and the four weeks of infantry training required of every Marine at the time. I also describe my specialized training as an Administrative Man and my fourteen and one-half months of service in Vietnam. Although I spent most of my tour of duty in Vietnam working as a company clerk, I did have the opportunity to participate in the training given to the Reconnaissance Marines newly arrived from the States and a short period of duty on a Marine Recon team. In the book I endeavor to give the reader a sense of the circumstances under which a Marine served. The Draft was still in force at the time and most who enlisted voluntarily probably did so out of economic necessity as the Vietnam War was not popular at the time. I believe the Vietnam was a “poor man’s war” in that the Selective Service provided exemptions for those who could afford to attend college. There were also racial tensions among black and white Marines. I also deal with the more amusing aspects of military service, from the crazy things the DI’ forced to do to some of the pranks in which I was involved. Then there were also some perks like the USO shows and R&R. I really enjoyed the opportunity to go to Sydney, Australia.