Friday, July 18, 2014

The Original Walking Dead

I saw this door at Camp Lejeune and loved the bright red color against the muted tones of the bricks. 

The phrase painted on the door - "The Vietnamese called them The Walking Dead" - piqued my interest.  Ed, a former Marine, didn't seem to be able to recollect anything about it so I turned to Google. 

I found that The Walking Dead referred to the 1st Battalion 9th Marines infantry battalion formed during World War I.  During the Vietnam War, the "One Nine" as they were known, sustained the highest casualty rate in Marine Corps history.

Betty Jean Pulliam, former National President of the American Gold Star Mothers, who lost her 21-year-old-son in Vietnam on Mother's Day 1967 said, "Ho Chi Minh told them that he was going to kill them all, so just consider themselves dead walking.  So they called themselves the 'Walking Dead'."  

According to Wikipedia, "The battalion endured the longest sustained combat and suffered the highest killed in action (KIA) rate in Marine Corps history, especially during the Battle of July Two. The battalion was engaged in combat for 47 months and 7 days, from 15 June 1965 to 19 October 1966 and 11 December 1966 to 14 July 1969. Based on a typical battalion strength of 800 Marines and Navy hospital corpsmen, 93.63% (747) were Killed In Action (KIA) and 0.25% (2) were Missing In Action (MIA)."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: Hey! It's A Million Degrees Outside. Wanna Help Me Move?
2012: Kind Of Like A Virtual Celebrity Bodyguard
2011: Things Are Going Just Swimmingly
2010: A Real Truck Driver Meets A Real Housewife
2009: Stars Glowing, Wine Flowing, Sax Blowing
2008: Western Ed Friday
2007: Salena Kandinsky
2006: Bam! Traumatized.
2005: Swing Low Sweet Chariot

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