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Tracings in the Sand

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Richard R. Wright

Date Posted:December 21, 1996
Personal Website:Not Disclosed

I was in the Persian Gulf from September 13, 1990 to April 5, I think, 1991. I was with 3d platoon, TOW Co, 1st Tank Bn, 1st MarDiv. I was a driver for A TOW hummer and a boot with only six months in. We floated out of Okinawa on August 19, or somewhere close to that. I know I spent my 19th birthday in the Philippines on Aug 26. We arrived and debarked ship, the U.S.S Schenectady, on September 13th. We were stuck with a bunch of airwingers at a camp called Smedley D. Butler. The helicopters were just about annoying as all the airwingers bar-be-que pits and big screen T.V.'s. After finally getting away from those guys, we got attached to 1st Bn, 6th Mar. We were affectionately known as the bastard platoon, because we were initially just supposed to spend six months on Oki. We got volunteered to go play in the sand and noone knew where we were supoosed to go. We spent a couple of months around some big concrete factory and then got attached to either 1st LAI or 3d LAI. All I know was that it was Bravo Company and they had a huge CO. Some black guy that was about thirty feet tall. Anyway, they always gave us good grub. They "acquired" a whole load of those big t-rats that take about an hour to open with a John Wayne. After our platoon commander, Timmy Conrad, the most infamous wrestler to ever come out of some podunk college in Nebraska, whined to our parent unit enough, they finally yanked us away from the land of good food and endless supplies to go back to our wonderful TOW Co. I dreaded the return to the big cluster, but it was inevitable. Murphy was with us. Eventually, and thankfully, we got dished off to someone else, this time it was 3d Marines. We sat around on "the Berm" for a while, watched a few Cobras dust some Iraqi's "unofficially", and eventually proceeded across the berm. After growing up watching too many war movies, I was under the impression that the event would be at least somewhat organized. Right! Sure it was.

If anyone knows Curt Groves or J.P Wilson from TOW Co, 1st Tanks, tell them to get in touch. Curt should live in Missouri, J.P in Oklahoma. My address is 1501 Harvey Rd. Apt 828, College Station TX. 77840.

I developed a large fatty growth in my lower back known as a lipoma. My personal doctor informed me that it is hereditary. However, noone in my family has ever had one. I also developed a case of shingles. My doctor informed mee that this is rare in anyone under the age of 50, which I definitely am, at the time of diagnosis I was 23. I also went through a bout of chronic fatigue, this occurred whilee still in the Marines. I complainrd about, a corpsman sent some blood off, and I was told nothing was wrong. I haven't really had a problem in the last year or two, though. I also have a hard time sleeping, I mentioned that at my Gulf War registry exam. They said it was sleep apnea. I had an appointment for a sleep lab. It got cancelled and I haven't called back, after a year and a half. I think overall that I'm o.k.though.

I got centerspread in a Time-Life book, the Marine Corps Association has a book club and I just happened to notice it. It's called remembering the Gulf War, mainly just a bunch of pictures. Other than that, my participation in the gulf War has only served to worry me about possible diseases later in life and worry for children my fiance and I might have in the future. I am also the owner of a medal that fell apart and a pair of Desert Storm license plates offered by the state of Texas.

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