My name is Travis Skaggs. Once, and long ago I was Cpl. Skaggs of Golf Company, Second Battalion, Seventh Marines. From late February 1969 until February 1970 I served with Golf in Vietnam.
On the following pages are over 1,400 pictures, maps, several pages from a diary I kept, and other items pertaining to Golf's Vietnam experience. Most, but not all, of these were loaned to me by other Golf company Marines.
In many places there is a lot of verbage along with the pictures because I want you to know what is going on and not just look at old photos of people you don't know. I want you to know these men, what they were doing, what became of them, and just generally what made up our days.
Though I was in weapons platoon most of my tour, through November 1969, was spent with 1st platoon and that is where most of my thoughts and memories lie. Just below is a list of 1st platoon Marines who were killed while I was with the platoon. Each had a family. They had friends both back in, "The World," and in the platoon. Each man's death left a hole in the platoon that we covered as best we could with the false bravado and other machinations of the heart that are so readily available to the young and resiliant.
But even the best covered holes eventually leave a mark on the surface, and so it is with me.
The men listed below are not just names to me. I can still see their deaths, still feel the fear and pain, and know the despair that often so real.
Carson City, Nevada
|Pfc Thomas Yolkiewicz - Roseville, MI - March 18, 1969
LCpl Clyde Saxon - Waynesboro, GA - March 18, 1969
Pfc Daniel Casey - Wilson, NC March 28, 1969
Pfc Elgin Juri - Menlo Park, CA - June 29, 1969
Pfc Cecil Lambert - Columbus, OH - August 15, 1969
Pfc Stephen Cunningham, Cleveland, OH August 23, 1969
Pfc Bobby Roberts - Dripping Springs, TX - August 24, 1969
Pfc Richard Shelton - Los Angeles, CA August 25, 1969
Pfc Joseph Pinto - Chicago, IL - August 26, 1969
LCpl Kimo Peleiholani - Honolulu, HI - August 26, 1969
Pfc Gerald Smith - Ogden, UT - August 29, 1969
Pfc Louis Hermann - Clifton Heights, PA - August 29, 1969
Pfc Jerry Sylvia - Palisades Park, NJ - September 6, 1969
LCpl George Metzger - Kansas City, KS - September 9, 1969
|THE YELLOW FOOTPRINTS.
It all started here. For me this came at about 1:00 in the morning. I was semi-drunk and tired from 2 days on the train partying and boozing. I honestly thought that getting in this late we'd be put to bed to be ready for a good start in the morning. One of a number of notable miscalculation in my life.
This monster got on the bus, he looked like he could have played linebacker for any pro team in the NFL and gave us our first order* as Marines,** "Get your scuzzy asses off my bus and onto my yellow footprints." We started trotting off in, I thought, a right snappy manner. He evidently didn't think so as he sort of grabbed the first six or seven off the bus and pushed them and everyone following them back in and told us to try again. This went on for a bit until we were all standing in some acceptable rendition of attention on the yellow foot prints. That guy was scary. He just had that bad-eye look and we were whipped on the spot.
*Actually our first order was, "Shut your goddamn mouths and swallow that fucking gum."
** Actually we werent Marines - we were maggots.
Over 1,200 pictures
New info added July 31, 2008
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