Corpsman with 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, 1966
joined the service right out of high school at 17 years old. I became
a corpsman striker while stationed in Pensacola Fl. in 1964 at a
communications school for Navy and Marines. I went to Corpsman A
school at age 18, had a brief stay at St. Albans Naval Hospital
which was about half hour from my Bronx neighborhood.
made many Marine friends in Pensacola, so I requested FMF training.
Everyone thought I was nuts because I was so close to home at St.
Albans. Off to Camp Lejuene, where I met Fred Gardner.
was sent to Viet Nam in 1966 at age 19, assigned to 1/5. I was wounded,
flown out to the Repose, and then medivaced back to St. Albans (this
time as a patient). Ironically, four years in the Navy, and the
only ship I ever went on was the Repose as a patient.
I think about it, I grew up watching Ben Casey and John Wayne. I
guess it was only natural when I became an FMF Corpsman. I guess
that's it, I had a job and I tried to do it the best I could, just
like all the guys I trained with, and I hope my Mother was proud
of me.~Doc John Colucco
Doc John Colucco
an early morning hike through the woods and swamps of Camp LeJeune
in Oct. 1966.
having some fun, Doc Colucco holding the crab (right)
went down to the beach to augment our Marine Corps chow; not that
the Marines ever gave us anything bad to eat; except for Ham &
Mothers. More crabs; the eating kind. Colucco told me the guy on
the far left is Doc Alvarez. Can't remember names of the others."~Doc
just escaped from the mail bag. He was homesick, so we tried to
mail him home to his mother. Didn't work, so we kept him."~Doc
John Colucco and wife Teddi enjoying the good life in Florida
New Year of Years
Poem by Doc Colucco
Corpsman title emblem by Redeye)
(Pictures courtesy of Doc Fred Gardner and Doc John Colucco)
(1st Bn. 5th Marines emblem courtesy of USMC Vietnam Veteran Snipers Sgt. Greg Kraljev, Bravo 1/5)