A Seabee's Tribute to His Marines and FMF Corpsmen

We received this from one of our favorite "Can Do" Seabees, Art Roe, had to share it!
15 January 2002

For some--- I suppose that I am just one of the old Geezer guys that sits around all day on the keyboard and doesn't do much. Frankly, the best years of my life were in the Navy. And the best of those years were the years I spent with the USMC. It all started back in Inchon, Korea as we Seabees put Marines ashore. After the beachhead was established some Marines and 20 Seabees one night conducted the World's Largest Train Robbery. It was like the Old West, really. We actually stole a whole freight train and took it far into our lines. The whole Freight Train. The Marines provided our security, and the Seabees moved the train.

In Viet Nam I was attached to the Marines 1/5, and had a Navy STAT team. (STAT---Seabee Technical Assistance Team ). It was there I worked with and met Docs John Colucco and Fred Gardner. That was in 1966. Of course I did not really realize all that was happening as we got together with Fred last Navy Day in Detroit. I more than appreciate that visit now.

Then during the late 50's I was stationed for about 18 months at Court House Bay at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, NC. I was on instructor duty with the amtrac boys. Prior to that I was stationed at Little Creek, Va with the amphibious Seabees. I have been with the Marines during invasions in the Caribbean. Marines and Seabees went to the Med on several times. Marines were with us and the 12th Amphibious squadron during the Cuban situation. We came close to invading Cuba if Pres. Kennedy had not halted the operation in minutes. We were within 4 hours of putting Marines ashore at Havana, Cuba.

Now here it is--- a wee few years later, and I get into my 70's. I look back on my years of life during the Navy Seabees. Of my 20 years, I was with or associated with the Marines about 1/2 of my military career. I do not know all the names of the Marines I served with, but I know that they are a different breed and not just what has been said. Words are easy. Prior to going to 1/5 I was with MCB 40 at Chu Lai, and took a hit in the hip as we were working at night to build the Marine runway. The FMF Quacks got me straight in 4 months and back to duty. It was all done in a field hospital incountry.

Now after 34 years-----On 25 January I will enter the Sick Bay and have a total hip replacement. I will be there for 4 days and then about week for therapy. Now what I am saying is the Navy FMF Quacks did a put together job on me that lasted 34 years. How can I not think about the FMF Quacks. The bottom line. I am just one of the silly folks that have the greatest respect for the USMC and the many guys that I have served with from General Nickerson USMC down. I am proud to display a personal commendation from him. This means the world to me, and only me. Because I can take it and with a 1.25 go to the diner and get a coffee. 

There are some of us that really think about the events gone by. I'm one who does. There are many Marines who did some things just so I could get home in one piece. There are some Marines who didn't make it home. I think about them all at times during the year. Brad Reynolds (M/3/5) and Doc John Colucco (1/5) both have done something so that I can be home in one piece. I don't forget any of the things that are closest to my heart.

Many Thanks to You. MAY THE GOOD LORD CONTINUE TO WATCH OVER YOU. Till next time...Art Roe

Art Roe's Fighting Seabees website

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