|Ron Shaver at Chu Lai.
Evidently table manners were
not part of the Marine Corps
training at this time.
|Ron Shaver at the Chu Lai
|David Faz in the hospital in Japan,
Below is a letter he wrote to Lt. Henry
Barnett about his trip to the hospital.
|When we got back from Harvest Moon I had a fever for a few days and didn't feel good.
About a week after our return I started to feel weak and listless but stayed with my squad and
continued to go on patrols around Chu Lai. Toward the end of January I started to throw up
and got the "GIs" and felt weaker than a kitten. Just before you guys went on an operation in
January I was pulled off the line and sent to sickbay where I did nothing but drink broth and
run to the head. Just before you guys got back from your operation I got medivaced to the
Philippines and then to Yokuska, Japan. Test on my stools, if you could call them that,
showed that I had contacted a very infectious intestional parasite and was very dehydrated.
I remember being loaded on a chopper and then walking into a military transport airplane, but
when we landed in Manila about midnight I was forced to get into a wheelchair and was
wheeled to my, "Private Room."
Early the next morning I was wheeled onto another military airplane and was unloaded about
24 hours later, on a stretcher, at Yokohama Air Base, Japan. My group of people were driven
to the US Naval Hospital in Yokuska where I was given my own room, lavatory, and laundry.
I was not to have any physical contact with any of the other people in the ward and they were
not to us my toilet, sink, or towels. Talk about getting scared about my ailment.
After a week of tests, stool, blood, saliva, and urine they gave me large doses of antibiotics and
a huge black pill and I was "drunk" for the whole day. I had a little chicken broth and some
dry toast, but I wasn't hungry, I just wanted to sleep. The next day I didn't feel much better
but I was able to eat some thin soup and keep it down. I slept a lot for the next 3 or 4 days.
Each day I felt a little better and was able to eat a little more at each meal. After about ten
days of little improvement they gave me the same black pill but a little stronger I think. And I
went through the same drunk and hangover process. I was getting to enjoy the stupid feeling.
All this time they kept me on antibiotic and penicillen.
After the third pill and drunk show I was starting to feel much better and starting to keep most
of my food down. They kept drawing blood and checking my stool until the end of April when
the doctor decided I had recruperated enough to get back to Okinawa and possibly rejoin my
They shipped me out in May and in a week I was in Okinawa. While I was there I happened to
see Pvt. Mexico, one of the Marines who had beat me up, being escorted through the chow line
by three SPs. Our eyes met and we both recognized each other but did not acknowledge our
meeting. It was a wierd feeling, Mexico and I had gotten along in the platoon setting back in
Pendleton. He later apologized, during a break in the trial, saying they had meant to beat up
Cpl. Armstrong but got the our bunks confused.
Sometime, about June, I was waiting to get my orders back to my unit when the Top asked me
if I would mind going Stateside earlier than my unit because he needed two armed NCOs to
escort back to Treasure Island in San Francisco. I was more than glad to help out the First
Sergeant in this unpleasant chore. Well about the end of June I was back in California and
had thirty days leave and a bunch of cash in my pocket. I hopped a military flight out of
Oakland, I think, and caught a flighe to Edwards Air Force Base in New Jersey. I caught a
train to State College, PA and spent a week with my sister's family.
Then I got another military hop, from Edwards I think, and flew into Kelly AFB practically
next door to my mom's home. I got to visit my history teacher's summer school and recorded
several tapes about my "war experiences." It was fun and Mr. Schrade really appreciated my
efforts. Last week he sent me the letters that I had sent his class from RVN - quite a revelation.
When I got back to Camp Pendleton in early July I was supposed to have a discharge ready for
me. But Uncle Sam decided he needed my services for another three months and extended me
until October. I was assigned to Weapons School in San Onofre, just next door to Los Plugas,
and had a great time teaching recruits how to be John Wayne. I do so love to teach.
I was discharged October 31, 1966 and caught a Greyhound to San Antonio, Texas and St.
Mary's University - thanks to Uncle Sam's GI Bill.
Thus ended "John Wayne" Faz and started "School Marm" Mr. Faz.