Any Camp Smith Marines in here?
I served as an MP at Smith from 1991-1994. Have you served there? Drop a line here about your experience at Howlin' Mad's fine slice of Hawaiian hillside...
Yup. I was assigned to Camp Smith, Hawaii (HQ-FMFPac) from December 1969 - May 1971. It was a great tour except that, if you got paid on a Friday and went into town, you were broke by the end of the weekend (and for the rest of the month, as well!).
I was an IBM System 360 mainframe computer operator (trained at Quantico, VA) and I worked the overnight shift. I tried several times to be transferred to Red Beach (the USMC computer installation in Viet Nam) but my captain would always laugh and say there was no way the Corps was going to send me there after all the training that they had given me. So, I've always wondered...who DID they send there to run those computers?
It really was a beautiful place to be, though.
Funny thing: When I was being discharged from the Corps, the Honolulu P.D. was begging me to stay and be a cop there (this was in 1971, don't forget...not too many guys wanted to be a cop back then!) because they were doing anything to hire a Marine. I turned it down because I hadn't been to the mainland in 17 months and I was homesick. The twist is I wound up on the Chicago P.D. in February 1973 and retired from there in April 2004. What a dummy! I could have stayed in Hawaii!
I've often wondered if I should have stayed, too. What would I be doing? Working for HPD, too, since I was an MP for the Corps? Hard to say. Went back ten years later to find our old 'house' abandoned—it was WWII vintage concrete block construction near the rear gate of Pearl Harbor. We peeked inside the back door to see hundreds and hundreds of dead cockroaches on the floor. Apparently someone had exterminated. Big time. But hey...we always laughed that roaches were the state bird in Hawaii. That nasty thought aside, I miss Hawaii very much. Beautiful place, beautiful gracious people...
My old surfboard is suspended from the ceiling in our Hawaiian-style kitchen as a reminder of that wonderful time...
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