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Marine Corps Diary

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This photo is from Okinawa in 1985.

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Written by stevesheppardphotography

June 29, 2011 at 3:33 pm

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Marine Corps Diary

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That’s me with the 2nd Battalion 6th Marines First Sergeant Reifinger at Mount Fuji, Japan.

The first sergeant was born-again hard. He had been in the Marines for about 20 years by the time I met him. Not long after I hit the fleet as a semi-young second lieutenant – I was 24-years-old when I graduated from college, and 26 in this photo – I needed a haircut. The first sergeant volunteered to cut my hair.

Being the trusting soul that I was and having the butter bars on my shoulders, I didn’t want to make the first sergeant mad. Let’s face it, I out ranked him but not really. Who would you want to follow into battle, a crusty first sergeant or a 2nd Lt.? Check out all the ribbons. He had been around for a while. I had none. Lt. Hugh Kitzrow, another 2nd Lt. in the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines, and I agreed to let him cut our hair.

I was the first victim. The first cut began at my forehead and ended at the back of my neck with a double-00 razor. With that first cut, his dirty deed was done. The rest of my head had to be shaved. I looked like I did the morning after I arrived at Officer Candidate’s School. I normally wore a high and tight. That was shaved on the sides and a little longer on top. Sometimes I would get an LZ. That was shaved on the sides and down the middle short of the forehead that created a horseshoe shape on the top of the head. It was called an LZ for landing zone.

When he finished, he just laughed and said, “Now that’s how a lieutenant should look.” I smiled and thanked him for the cut. Lt. Kitzrow, having watched in horror, sat down and got his dues. As an aside, Lt. Kitzrow make coffee every morning and threw in coffee grounds after the coffee brewed. It would definitely wake you up. I loved the first sergeant because when he came to you and started a conversation with, “lieutenant”, he was giving you a piece of advice that you had better listen to. He kept my -you know what- out of a sling a number of times.

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June 2, 2011 at 8:52 pm

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I shot this photo in 1986 in New Orleans. I was on a weekend road trip with a couple of other Marines. We were training at the time in a Florida swamp. We had the weekend off so we rented a car and started driving. We ended up in New Orleans. It was shot with a Konica FT-1 on Ektachrome and converted to black and white.

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April 7, 2011 at 1:06 pm

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Notice the white area at the bottom of the photo? This is what it looks like when the camera’s shutter is bouncing (aka, time for a repair). By the way, never stand in front of a mortar tube when firing live rounds. Mortar fire can be your best friend unless you are in front of it.

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February 11, 2011 at 9:29 pm

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This photo was shot in New Orleans in 1986. By this time, I was a platoon commander in the 2nd Light Armored Vehicle Battalion, and we were training in the swamps of Florida. We got a weekend off so a couple of other Marines and I rented a car and drove to New Orleans.

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February 4, 2011 at 2:11 pm

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I shot this train station photo somewhere between Mount Fuji and Tokyo, Japan in 1984.

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January 29, 2011 at 3:59 pm

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In this photo, the company first sergeant, me, Lt. Wasielewski and Lt. Kitzrow apparently are playing cards. The photo was shot in 1984 in our quonset hut at Mount Fuji, Japan. I probably used a foot locker for a tripod.

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January 26, 2011 at 2:52 pm

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