Mike Mannell

Mike Mannell, India 3/5 I served in Vietnam in '72, but spent most of my time in the Gulf of Tonkin. My cousin Tim Votaw lost his legs in '66, and between him and my (Navy Chief) Dad, I was destined to become a Marine. 

I was a Sea Going Marine, and my job was to make sure nobody got to the Admiral or Brigadier General (9th MAB). I would get to fly incountry with the Brigadier General (I really looked forward to it) during the spring of '72...Operation Song-Thang '72. They were using the South Vietnamese for Amphibious and chopper assaults...The 9th Marines were there as a back up. President Nixon had mined the harbor by the DMZ, and very few Marines were left in Vietnam.

I was in a very small, elite (sea going) group (3) Marines, so I never was able to hook up with anyone after I returned home. One of the Marines I served with got a hardship discharge. His entire family was killed on a freeway in Texas, so he got to go home early. I hooked up with 'I' Co. 3/5 in Jan. of '73. I was a Squad leader in the 2nd platoon for a year and a half.

Spring ''72


Near Hue ''72

I am so proud to have served with 3/5, but I must admit I was really disgusted with the way we were treated out in town. People treated us like we were rejects out in town, and when I'd go home on leave, buddies that I hung out with in high school pushed me off for being a stupid 'Jarhead' ...I put them in their place at my 20-year reunion, and look forward to doing the same thing at my 30-year this summer (only if I have to).

Anyway, my wife and I have been together since '68...and she has been my best friend. She wrote me a lot, and was there for me when I got out of the 'Crotch'...She still is. My wife is an American Indian, and her name is Ginny. We have two very beautiful daughters...Carly, 17 and Lindsay, 11. I am blessed, and I am thankful.



Carly (left) and Lindsay

I came home with the National Defense Ribbon, Vietnam Service Medal w/1*, Vietnam Campaign w/device, and the Combat Action Ribbon. (June or July of '72). Also sported the Rifle Expert Badge...I only saw combat a couple of times, so my experience wasn't anything like the Marines who preceded me. I cried when Curtis Eidson asked me if I would like to be placed on the 'I' Co. Roster...what an honor! Semper Fi...Mike Mannell, USMC

India 3/5 Website

(Title and by Redeye)