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Articles By Tom McKenney, LtCol USMC (Ret.), 1997, etc.

June 25 2005 at 5:56 PM
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Articles By Tom McKenney, LtCol USMC (Ret.), 1997

Printed from: Sgt Grit's Marine Forum
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Topic author: GunnyG
Subject: Articles By Tom McKenney, LtCol USMC (Ret.), 1997
Posted on: 06/25/2005 10:07:19
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The following is a series of articles written by Tom McKenney and published in Citizens' Intelligence Digest, the Newsletter of Citizens for Honest Government.

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Citizens' Intelligence Digest October 1996 Issue
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Subject: October Colonel's Corner
by Lt. Col. Tom McKenney, (USMC, Ret)
***

Since my participation in the publication of the book The Clinton Chronicles,

http://www.wealth4freedom.com/truth/3/clintonfiles.htm>

I have gotten to know retired Col. Eugene Holmes, the ROTC Commander to whom Bill Clinton lied in the summer of 1969 in his last dishonest maneuver to avoid military service during the Vietnam War. Col. Holmes and I have become close friends, and he is one of the finest men I have ever known. You may remember that, after promising Col. Holmes that he would immediately enroll at the University of Arkansas and after being admitted to the ROTC program there, Clinton quickly left for England, without a word to Col. Holmes, to organize anti-American demonstrations there.

After drawing a high number in the draft lottery that assured him of protection from the draft, Clinton wrote that now-infamous letter to Col. Holmes in which he admitted that he had lied, that he "loathed the military," and that he admired those who had refused to fight for their country. The Clinton camp thought that all copies of that letter had been destroyed, but one survived.

It may be found in Appendix A of The Clinton Chronicles book. More than once, Col. Holmes has told me the story of another young Arkansas man of the Sixties, one who stands in stark contrast to Bill Clinton and one for whom Col. Holmes still grieves. His name was Tim Johnson. Tim was an outstanding student in the ROTC unit, and because of this he had his choice of duties when he graduated. Because Tim had a wife and two small children, Col. Holmes advised him to choose a branch of service less dangerous than the infantry. But Tim stood at attention and replied, "No, sir! I'm going all the way, sir! Infantry, airborne, special forces, sir!"

A few months after graduation - Col. Holmes says it seemed like only a few days - Tim was killed in Vietnam and Col. Holmes was attending his funeral. Col. Holmes wishes he had never met Bill Clinton. But his heart still aches for young Tim.
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Citizens' Intelligence Digest October 1996 Issue
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The Manchurian President: Bill Clinton's China Connection
By Lt. Colonel T.C. McKenney, USMC (Ret.)
***

There is something strange and profoundly important going on between Bill Clinton and the People's Republic of China (which is still called Red China by many of us military types). To begin with there is China's "Most Favored Nation" trade status, recently renewed. This in the face of China's slaughter of demonstrators in Tiananmen Square (with still no word of regret); the ongoing imprisonment, torture and execution of those with "dangerous" views (free speech, democratic government, etc.); and her ongoing policy of forced abortion. In fact, Red China - where pregnant women are forced to have abortions up to term, are involuntarily sterilized, and may be imprisoned, tortured and murdered for being pregnant more than once - has the worst record of human rights violations on Earth.

And then there is the matter of patented technology, stolen by Red China's espionage apparatus on an ongoing basis. Clinton's unbelievable response? He directed the U.S. Patent Office to turn over to China its entire data base! What was his expressed rationale for this utterly irrational act? "Now we won't have to wonder which secrets they have stolen." But even more unbelievable, and more dangerous, is the export of our most advanced naval technology to Red China. There is in Washington, D.C., a group called the Generals' and Admirals' Mess. It is a regular gathering of officers (both active duty and retired) of flag rank. They meet regularly, have dinner together, discuss military and political affairs, and hear invited, high-level speakers.

Shortly before his suicide death last year, Admiral Boorda, Chief of Naval Operations, was the speaker for the flag officers' mess. In his speech, Boorda reported proudly that our advanced naval technology - highly classified secret information for which a foreign nation would pay millions, and for which any spy would kill - is being voluntarily given to Red China! After the CNO's speech was concluded, Major General John K. Singlaub, USA (Ret.), amazed and horrified, approached the admiral and expressed disbelief. After all, China is a sworn enemy of our nation and all that we represent, and is the only nation on Earth with the power to be an actual threat to our existence. Under certain circumstances, it may be justifiable to share such secret technology with an Allied Nation such as Great Britain.

But to give it to an enemy nation is suicidal madness, and an act of treason for which a member of the Armed Forces or a private citizen could be executed. According to General Singlaub, when he asked Admiral Boorda how such a thing could be justified, the admiral smiled uneasily and said, "It is the President's ... the administration's policy." Nothing in the Clinton administration "just happens," and I assure you that nothing of significance happens (at least not more than once) without the knowledge and personal approval of Clinton himself. Nothing.

Just what is Bill Clinton up to where Red China is concerned? This is perhaps the most important question of this day, and one that has gone unasked by the establishment media.
*****
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Citizens' Intelligence Digest July 1997 Issue
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Freedom Isn't Free
By Lt. Col. Tom McKenney (USMC, Ret.) ***

The battle for Okinawa, fought from April through June of 1945, was the last major battle of World War II. It was also the bloodiest battle of the Pacific campaign. The highest ranking American to die in the war, Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner, the overall commander, was killed in the closing days of the battle. There was a good reason for the protracted ferocity of the fighting. The Japanese knew that if they couldn't hold Okinawa, the war was lost. The Japanese have a word for an all-or-nothing situation upon which everything else depends: tenozan. They applied this term to their defense of Okinawa and fought to the death there with unprecedented ferocity. The American landing at mid-island on the west coast was unopposed. It was 1 April, which happened to be both Easter Sunday and April Fools Day.

Both were portents of what was to come: the unexpected ease of the push northward, and the bloody nightmare that was the push south. Americans clearing the northern half of the island moved rapidly, encountering generally light resistance. A few pockets of heavy fighting yielded surprisingly few casualties. But one of those made hearts heavy around the world. The beloved war correspondent Ernie Pyle, who had covered both the European and Pacific theaters, was killed in the capture of the small island of Ie Shima off the northwest coast.

Meanwhile, the Navy suffered terrible losses offshore due to desperation Kamikaze attacks by Japanese suicide bombers. As the Marines moved up the coast, they found the beaches awash with the bodies of dead American sailors. It was the costliest naval battle in U.S. history. When the northern half of the island was secured, the Marine and Army divisions turned southward and immediately met ferocious, well-coordinated resistance. It was the beginning of a bloodbath. Struggle for Sugarloaf Hill Among the most fiercely defended of the Japanese strongholds in the south was a group of three low hills, mutually supporting and honeycombed with deep tunnels. The key hill in the center looked something like a loaf of bread. In the following desperate days, the Marines came to call it Sugarloaf.

The open, rolling terrain approaching Sugarloaf became a killing field. For almost a week, Marines fought across the bloody valley and up the front slope of Sugarloaf, only to die there or be driven back by by intense supporting fire from the other two hills and counterattacks out of the tunnels on Sugarloaf's reverse slope. A microcosm of the violence and horror that was the battle for southern Okinawa was the experience on Sugarloaf of one lanky young Marine from Illinois, Corporal Jim Day, a squad leader in George Company of the 2nd Battalion, 22nd Marines. During those brutal, bloody days and nights, squads, platoons and companies simply ceased to exist. Individual officers, sergeants and corporals gathered anyone around them who was able to walk, regardless of unit, and organized them into ad hoc squads and platoons to attack what was before them.

When a man's weapon was disabled, the weapons of the dead were picked up and used - and there was no shortage of extra weapons. Volunteers for Hell On 14 May, the call came for volunteers to assist Fox Company, positioned on George's right flank and badly shot up. Cpl. Day and Pvt. Dale Bertoli responded and moved into position northwest of Sugarloaf. But instead of Fox Company, they found mostly dead Marines there. A mortally wounded lieutenant asked Day to take six replacements, just arrived from the rear, and occupy a what he knew would be a key position: a bomb crater on the right slope of Sugarloaf. Day and Bertoli took the new men and moved out. One man was killed before they could reach the bomb crater. Once inside the crater, Day and his men immediately came under a heavy ground attack accompanied by artillery fire. In this initial attack four of the new men were killed; the other was wounded but lived to be evacuated later. It was the beginning of four days and three nights of uninterrupted hell in and around that bomb crater. After the inital attack, Bertoli was struck down with dengue fever and could not function, even to throw grenades. Cpl. Day fought on alone. Hearing wounded Marines crying for help to his rear, Day left the crater, moved through heavy fire and found four. One by one, he brought them to the relative safety of the crater, and then went back for their machine gun and ammunition. All four of them were subsequently killed in the crater. McDonald, the wounded gunner, was killed by cannon fire while helping Day fire the machine gun during a heavy attack. The same round destroyed the gun and wounded Day in both hands, and he was again fighting alone. Four four days and three nights, Day held the right flank of Sugarloaf alone against unremitting infantry and artillery attacks. He was wounded in both hands, the legs and the groin. During the entire time, he had no artillery or air support, for he had no radio.

Although Bertoli couldn't help in the fight, he refused to leave Day. Delirious from pain and fever, and incontinent, Bertoli stayed by him until the end. Counting the Cost When Sugarloaf was finally secured on 17 May, there were found in the crater 8 dead Marines - their bodies literally blown to bits by artillery and mortar fire - and 12 dead Japanese. The bottom of the muddy crater was filled with blood, mixed with water from the intermittent cold rain; body parts floated in it. On the rim of the crater, and stretching for 70 yards to the front, were more than 100 dead Japanese. The air was heavy with the smells of death and decomposing bodies. Recently I spoke with Jim Day about what it was like that last day in the crater of death, 52 years ago.

Now retired Major General Day, ever the master of understatement when speaking about himself, replied, "Tom, it was not a pleasant place to be." By the time Sugarloaf was secured, the hill had been blasted into a lifeless, rocky moonscape. Heroes, most of whom were never recorded; outstanding leaders, struck down in their prime; and countless ordinary kids, terrified but fighting on, had soaked it red with their blood. In the ferocity of the combat, Day's platoon leader was killed, and the platoon leader who replaced him was also killed. His company commander was wounded and evacuated. Even his battalion executive officer, battalion commander and regimental commander were all killed. In the closing days of the campaign, far south of Sugarloaf, Dale Bertoli rejoined the fighting and gave his life for his country.

Jim Day was grievously wounded and medevac'd. No, freedom isn't free. Only God, and those who have paid the price for it, really know its unspeakable cost.
*****
*****
Citizens' Intelligence Digest September/October 1997 Issue
*****
America's Second War for Independence
By Lt.Col. Tom McKenney, (USMC, Ret,)
***

The underlying globalist agenda of the media elite has surfaced in the History Channel's ongoing series "Year By Year." In this series' piece on the year 1943, they used old film footage in the "newsreel" format, as if we were actually seeing and hearing newsreels from 1943. The style, and even the voice of the narrator, were very convincing. But one fatal flaw revealed that these "newsreels" were faked. In describing the actions of our troops in the battles of 1943, in every case the narrator referred to American or Allied troops as "United Nations" forces. What's wrong with doing this? Simply the fact that there was no United Nations in 1943.

It didn't exist until after the war was over, in late 1945! Perhaps the UN existed in the hearts and minds of the globalists, but we the people had never heard of it at that time. Why, then, would Roger Mudd and company commit such a transparent act of dishonest journalism? It is clearly their intention to rewrite history so as to condition us to think positively of the UN. You see, most Americans today are too young to remember WWII, but the popular perception is that it was a "good" war - a clear-cut battle of good versus evil, a war against the tyranny of Hitler, Hirohito and company, fought for the freedom of the world. Therefore, if people can be indoctrinated to think the Allied victory was a UN victory, then the UN gains credibility and acceptance that it doesn't deserve.

But why do this . . . what's going on here? Read on. The American Revolution, our War for American Independence, was fought from 1775 to 1783. The result was independence for the British colonies in America, and the founding of our nation as a unique democratic republic. At a tremendous cost of blood and individual sacrifice, our new nation emerged free and independent. "So what?" you may be thinking, "doesn't every school boy and girl know this?" No, sad to relate, every school boy and girl does not know this. Their grandparents probably knew these things, for they were taught them at home and in school. In some cases, this also applies to their parents.

But for a generation or two now, facts and principles concerning our national history have quietly disappeared from history books and public schools. Many children today will not only know nothing of "Washington's Farewell Address," they may know little or nothing about Washington himself. They will not know of Jefferson's proverb, "That government is best, which governs least," nor of Patrick Henry's flaming words, "Give me liberty or give me death!" Worse still, they are being taught a distorted worldview that sees independence, national pride and patriotism as bad things that must be stamped out, indeed must be abolished if ever we are to have peace and social progress in the world.

Meanwhile, there is a growing army of powerful political and social manipulators whose dream is establishment of a One-World Government under the United Nations. These bankers, bureaucrats, publishers and political leaders work tirelessly to bring about the emergence of one "global village," under the benevolent single power represented by the UN. The result is a rapidly growing acceptance of U.S. participation in UN goals and programs, and a tendency to surrender control of our foreign and domestic policies to the UN. While our ever-weakening Armed Forces are increasingly placed under foreign UN generals in meddling "peace-keeping" operations around the world, our State and Interior departments rush to surrender vast areas of our national parks, national forests and private property to "biosphere reserves" under UN control. But what, many wonder, could be wrong with a World Government? Wouldn't it assure World Peace?

The globalists will argue that as long as individual nations have independence, freedom and power, they will fight with one another and there will be wars with their attendant suffering. By contrast, a World Government would retain all the power (tanks, guns, etc.) and would enforce peace, putting an end to wars. Individual nations and their citizens would be disarmed. Other "benefits" would include rescuing the environment from contamination by limiting human population and forcibly excluding people from vast areas of what are now state and national parks, private homes, farms and ranches. The wealth of the rich nations would be taken and distributed to the poor nations, eliminating poverty. This is what they will argue.

But there are inherent, necessary consequences of such a global utopia. The essential ingredient in this recipe for peace and justice is the surrender of national sovereignty. This would mean (literally) nullifying the Constitution and snuffing out the American dream of individual freedom and unlimited opportunity to learn and achieve. It would almost certainly mean the end of our rights, as Americans, to own property, have the children God gives us, keep and bear arms, assemble, speak and write our opinions, freely exercise our religious beliefs, etc. There would necessarily be a UN Police Force (a "Global Gestapo") without the limitations of police power now afforded us by the Bill of Rights. The globalist will reply that such a World Government could offer the very same guarantees of personal freedom that our Founding Fathers codified in our American founding documents. And this is true . . . theoretically.

But the worldview of leading globalist thinkers is decidedly socialistic - antithetical to the thinking of our Founding Fathers. The obvious and insoluble problem here is that if such an all-powerful global government should not be so inclined, there would be no recourse for the member nations (let alone individual citizens) when wrongs occur. Individual nations would have no more ability to change their conditions for the better than did the individual "republics" of the Soviet Union under Lenin, Stalin or Gorbachev. In short, there is this one fatal flaw in the idea of a global government: it would be an instant totalitarian government, with ALL the power, unchallenged on the Earth.

The nature of man and the history of civilization argue conclusively that totalitarian governments do not nurture and preserve freedom; rather, they limit and crush it. Such a World Government would have no more assurance of individual freedoms than did those of Nero, Ghengis Khan, Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot or Saddam Hussein. That kind of power has never failed to produce that kind of corruption and abuse. Tyrants, once in power, don't voluntarily relinquish their power; they protect and reinforce it. No, the degree to which our national sovereignty is surrendered to the authority of the UN is the degree to which our hope of freedom is gone, most likely forever. It is as simple, and as serious, as that.

And if we the people don't rise up and stop the process, this is exactly where we are headed. As the global establishment has grown stronger, and as knowledge of our nation's history and traditions has been progressively diluted, global government is increasingly seen as a noble concept and patriotism as unenlightened, reactionary and dangerous. With increasing approval, the globalists have brought their once secret agenda out into the open. Things that were once spoken only in private corporate boardrooms, and in the guarded secret meetings of the Council on Foreign Relations, are beginning to be spoken publicly.

Two examples will illustrate this change. Strobe Talbot is Bill Clinton's long-time friend. He is pro-Soviet, has lived many years in Russia, and was Clinton's fellow anti-American activist during the Vietnam War. A former Newsweek editor, Talbot became Clinton's Ambassador-at-Large to the former USSR. In 1993, the World Federalist Association presented Talbot with its Norman Cousins Global Governance Award, for advancing the cause of global government. In a letter to the Association, President Clinton expressed glowing approval of the award, writing (on White House stationery), "Norman Cousins worked for world peace and World Government;" Clinton also wished the Association "future success." A more recent example of this "out of the closet" globalism is Walter Cronkite, pipe-smoking pundit emeritus at CBS-TV, selected in a recent poll as one of the "most trusted" men in America. In a Time magazine interview, Cronkite said that "nations need to see the light and give up sovereignty . . . it's necessary for One-World Government, and the only thing that will prevent global war." What could be more plain?

Are we happy and satisfied with our current government, the Clinton White House and the Republican Congress? Of course not! Most of us feel threatened by the former and betrayed by the latter. But blessed be God, and thanks to the visionary wisdom of our Founding Fathers, there is still the possibility of change. If ever we give up our national sovereignty, that possibility will be gone. Forever.
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Citizens' Intelligence Digest January/February Issue
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Dreams and the Freedom to Choose
By Lt. Col. Tom McKenney (USMC, Ret.)
***

The change agents of the Globalist Left continue to launch assaults on our constitutional system and its freedoms. Lincoln observed that "the beliefs and values of this generation's classroom will become the policies of the next generation's government." The radical Left has gained virtually complete control of the public schools (and the Education Colleges that train their teachers) and is turning them into indoctrination centers for global socialism, moral relativism and New Age paganism: in short, for the New World Order.

Emphasis on learning basic subjects has been replaced with self-esteem and politically correct attitudes. Challenging for individual excellence is out; mediocrity and group work are in. The goal is for everyone to be the same. Independent thinking and initiative are out; the herd mentality and "group solutions" are in. Correct spelling and grammar are out; make-up-your-own is in. Well-educated teachers, imparting knowledge gained over many years, are out; the kids teach each other. In fact, teachers are no longer teachers (really); they are now just "facilitators," allowing the children to teach themselves things they don't know. God, of course, is out; spirit guides and Gaia, the Earth goddess, are in.

It's About Control. Ultimately, it's all about control of the children to indoctrinate them. That's why educrats want to start them before kindergarten - teaching certificates are now being issued in education colleges for "Newborn through Primary." That is why they want year-round schools, serving breakfast as well as lunch, and school-based "health" clinics with condoms, birth control pills and abortion referrals. The family (you remember, a father, mother and some children, living together in a house) is an outdated concept. The children are now "commodities," to be raised by the "village." Our traditional system consisted of three levels of education: elementary (grade school), secondary (high school), and higher (college/university).

It has worked well, despite the experimentation of educational bureaucrats, relentlessly trying to "fix" something that wasn't broken. But lately a new term is being used by educrats: you will be hearing of something called "post-secondary" education. When I first heard the term, I thought it must be just another trendy expression. "Post" is merely Latin for "after"; therefore, post-secondary education merely means education that occurs after high school. And that just means college, right? Wrong. It doesn't mean that anymore.

What it does mean is perhaps the most sinister threat to our traditional liberty yet launched by the New World Order socialists. The European "Track" System. The plan is to assign children to educational "tracks," preparing them for future work careers, chosen for them by elitist bureaucrats. The tracks will be assigned very early, with children monitored from birth. The vast majority will be placed on a track that will lead to non-academic vocational training - to put it simply, factory work, construction, etc. A small number, undoubtedly children of the controlling elite, will be placed on the track for academic education leading to college, thus becoming the controlling elite for the next generation.

This is the European tradition, with its caste system of peasants and aristocrats, with little upward mobility. Once a peasant, always a peasant. Post-secondary is actually vocational education, but not college or university. Plainly put, it means trade school. And this is the reason for the current effort to remove Kentucky's Community Colleges from the University of Kentucky, for which they have been feeder schools. Genuine community colleges are a threat. You see, as long as we ordinary people have access to accredited, two-year colleges in our own communities, then genuine higher education is within our reach. We can then go on to complete a degree at a four-year university. So, their remedy is to remove the community colleges from the state university system. From academic institutions offering the freshman and sophomore years of college, they would become trade/technical schools, preparing the tracked workers for their assigned fields.

But how would children be assigned to a specific track? Simple: the needs of area industries would determine these assignments to "the workforce." Everyone would be a part of the planned society, serving the planned economy, controlled by the government. If this reminds you of Hitler and Stalin, you are perceptive. Under those dictatorships, only the children of the privileged few were allowed university education; the masses of peasants were controlled by the work permit, and by the Gestapo/KGB. If you did not obey, you got no work permit, which meant no job, and you became a beggar or a criminal.

The work permit is already becoming a reality here in America, through our radicalized public school system. It is called the "Certificate of Initial Mastery." If our high school children don't demonstrate politically correct attitudes and collectivist values, they cannot obtain a certificate. Without a CIM they will not be able to get a job; thus the CIM becomes the work permit of Hitler or Stalin. The modern Gestapo/KGB is already taking shape in the form of Clinton's National Police. Key Words and Catch Phrases. Related key words and catch phrases include "workforce" and "school-to-work." Workforce will be the mass of peasants, told what line of work they will follow. School-to-work just refers to the locked-in track system which will railroad each child into an assigned future.

Now, whenever you hear the need to revamp our educational system to accommodate the economy, you will know that you are really hearing slick propaganda for pervasive government control reminiscent of George Orwell's Big Brother. What is lost in such a managed society? The most precious loss is personal freedom, especially the freedom to become whatever we can dream, whatever our abilities and desire will allow us to achieve. No longer would an Abraham Lincoln be able to work his way out of a dirt-floor log cabin and into the White House. No longer would a George Washington Carver be able to climb up from slavery to become a world-changing scientist and educator. And more important still, the will of God and His plan for our individual lives would be found nowhere in the process.

Yes, it really is this serious and this real, and it is already underway. If we don't know about it, if we don't pray, if we don't act, we have no chance to stop it. But now you know.
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My thanks to Lt. Col. Tom McKenney, USMC Ret. for his kind permission in allowing me to present his writings on this website.
Semper Fidelis
-RWG
This is an extension/satellite site of Gunny G's Marines WebSites
By Dick Gaines
GnySgt USMC (Ret.)
1952-72)

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SPITE HOUSE

BOOK REVIEW

Reprinted with permission from The New American magazine, December 8, 1997

Spite House: The Last Secret of the War in Vietnam, by Monika Jensen-Stevenson, New York: W.W. Norton, 1997, 360 pages, hardcover.

Why Didn't You Get Me Out? by Frank Anton, Arlington, Texas: Summit Publishing Group, 1997, 196 pages, hardcover.

Monika Jensen-Stevenson and Frank Anton have both written explosive and invaluable books dealing with the sordid debacle known as the Vietnam War. Jensen-Stevenson coauthored a previous book on the POW issue, Kiss the Boys Goodbye, which catalogued the U.S. government's betrayal of our POWs. She is a former producer for the CBS news program 60 Minutes, and has been honored for her efforts in supporting veterans' families whose missing loved ones have never been accounted for.

Anton, on the other hand, is a living witness to the horrors of captivity in North Vietnamese Army (NVA) jungle prison camps and the "Hanoi Hilton," where he endured starvation, disease, and humiliation at the hands of our enemy for five years. Why did Anton wait so long to write his story? He explains in the preface to Why Didn't You Get Me Out?: "For nearly twenty-five years ... I have agonized over other prisoners who have not come home, men I am almost certain were in captivity and have not been accounted for. I raised that question many times ... and was told by Army officials in the Pentagon that if I wanted to continue in my Army career I would cease talking about the POW issue. Nearly a quarter of a century later, the question remains unanswered...."

The Big Difference

Both Anton and Jensen-Stevenson describe in similar terms the military and political atmosphere in which the U.S. military fought the Vietnam War. Both also reach similar conclusions about controversial aspects of that war: the abandonment of American POWs at the conclusion of peace talks between the U.S. and the North Vietnamese; the conduct of the Pentagon and political powers back home which doomed our fighting forces to defeat; the knowledge by intelligence services of the whereabouts of almost all U.S. prisoners at all times during the conflict; and the superficial investigations into official misconduct concerning POW sightings and retrieval.

While there is much that the two authors agree on, it is in the details surrounding the conduct of one individual, Marine Private Robert Garwood, that the books differ markedly. Some have charged that Anton's book was written specifically to refute Jensen-Stevenson's treatment of the Garwood affair, but as he told this writer, "There is no connection other than coincidence."

In Spite House, Jensen-Stevenson explores the lives of two individuals who were (according to her) dedicated to God, family, country, and the U.S. Marine Corps. One, however, became a government-hired killer consumed with hatred and the need to destroy the other. Buttressed by testimony given to the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, court-martial transcripts, and personal interaction with veterans of special operations and intelligence agencies, Stevenson shows how the lives of the two Marines, Private Robert Garwood and Lieutenant Colonel Tom McKenney, were inextricably intertwined. Worlds apart in rank, responsibility, duty, education, and family background, they did not meet face to face until 19 years after the fall of Saigon to the communist North Vietnamese. This saga of two men, as related by Jensen-Stevenson, covers a span of 30 years and reveals many carefully kept government secrets.

Jensen-Stevenson relates how Garwood, who was the personal driver for General Lewis Walt, commander of Marines in Vietnam, was, on September 28, 1965, ordered to pick up an officer at the south end of China Beach. The area was under virtual control by the Viet Cong (VC) who spotted the lone Marine and after a short and bitter firefight during which he was wounded, captured him. Moved from camp to camp in the dense jungles of South Vietnam, Garwood was, Jensen-Stevenson writes, forced by his captors to be useful in a number of ways as he rapidly picked up their language and demonstrated mechanical skills.

Another Story

Frank Anton has a somewhat different story to tell about Garwood. Anton, an Army warrant officer in command of a helicopter gunship, was shot down during an infantry support mission on January 5, 1968. As he relates in Why Didn't You Get Me Out?, he was captured by NVA troops within hours and taken to a prison camp in the deepest jungle where he began five years of hell on earth. Anton had heard stories from fellow prisoners about a so-called "White Gook" who had crossed over to the enemy, but it was not until he was in the second of four jungle camps that he saw Garwood in the flesh. Anton relates that nothing could have prepared him for the sight of Garwood, armed with an AK-47 assault rifle and dressed in VC garments, escorting five Americans into the camp. Writes Anton, "For the next eighteen months, Garwood would act as interpreter, spy, guard, and informant on the prisoners who had once been his comrades in arms. He had made his own separate peace, and by making it at our expense, he had subjected us to yet another realm of despair and sense of betrayal that made our captivity all the more unbearable. Garwood's treachery was the most pronounced when he participated in a political indoctrination course.... It was but another cruel betrayal, and the devastating psychological blow led directly and quickly to the ruination of two of our fellow prisoners. Before Thanksgiving, six prisoners had died."

In Jensen-Stevenson's account, Colonel McKenney arrived in Vietnam in September 1968 where he immersed himself in his assignment as an intelligence collections and operations officer. In that position he received and implemented orders from "an alternative, 'plausibly deniable' command structure made up of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and high-ranking politicos and military officers." McKenney's dedication to the Marine Corps verged on fanaticism, and he placed implicit trust in those giving him orders, wasting little thought as to the morality or legality of his assignments, including the deployment of "hunter-killer" teams.

Two weeks into his tour of duty, McKenney was supplied with CIA intelligence involving Americans listed as deserters or individuals who had been "turned" after capture as POWs. One of those men on the list was Robert Garwood. No photograph was shown of Garwood -- only a general description which could have fit thousands of Marines. From that moment on, Garwood became symbolic of the most despicable traits a Marine could exhibit and a target to be eliminated by hunter-killer patrols under McKenney's command.

As related in Spite House, there were standing orders for McKenney's group to assassinate any non-Oriental individuals seen with, or in the proximity of, VC or NVA troops. These orders were never put into writing -- just word of mouth from commanders to subordinates. The orders were part of the CIA-launched, super-secret Phoenix Program which used assets such as Army Special Forces (Green Berets) and Marine reconnaissance units to carry out its assassination orders. McKenney was a de facto part of the program as he not only received CIA reports, but initiated plans to implement the "kill on sight" orders.

Prisoner or Collaborator

Jensen-Stevenson writes that after Garwood's capture by the VC, he was moved from camp to camp, enduring unspeakable physical and mental torture. Suffering from malaria, dysentery, infections, and edema, his will to resist was reduced to near zero.

Anton, however, tells a much different story. At the second jungle camp where he was personally taken, Anton observed that Garwood "walked easily within the camp with a satchel and rifle by himself. He stayed up the hill with the VC guards and ate with them." Anton writes that he overheard Garwood say in a heated exchange with an American POW, "You have come to Vietnam, Williams, to commit crimes against these innocent people! I hate you, Williams, and all those like you. I spit on you, Williams."

This incident stands in stark contrast to Jensen-Stevenson's conviction that those prisoners who did come in contact with Garwood and thought he was a collaborator were incorrectly influenced by his fluency in Vietnamese and the fact that he was occasionally seen carrying a rifle. Jensen-Stevenson writes that Garwood was forced to do this in order to reinforce the idea that he was an intelligence officer who had been turned by the enemy. If Jensen-Stevenson is correct, the VC strategy with Garwood worked beautifully on Anton.

The last time Anton and his fellow prisoners in Camp 3 saw Garwood was in late 1969, four years prior to "Operation Homecoming." Three prisoners had been selected for release in an effort by the VC to gain political advantage while giant antiwar rallies and marches were taking place in Washington, DC. Of those picked, one was white, one black, and one suffered from serum hepatitis, an infectious disease which the VC did not want spread among the others. After the release of the three prisoners, Anton and some fellow prisoners were moved to Camp 4 in December 1969, and Anton did not see Garwood again for ten years -- at Garwood's court-martial in the United States.

The Court-Martial

Jensen-Stevenson writes that Garwood was moved north from Camp 3 to Camp 776 near Hanoi in 1976. By this time he had been in captivity for over ten years, three years after "Operation Homecoming" when both U.S. and North Vietnamese officials stated that "there are no live Americans left in Vietnam." What Garwood did not know was that Defense Intelligence Agency experts were aware that he was being held by the North Vietnamese. In Anton's case, he learned during debriefings after his release along with 590 other POWs on March 13, 1973 that intelligence agencies even had pictures of Garwood taken by operatives while he was in captivity. Rescue missions were not planned because U.S. assets would be compromised and they were deemed more important than prisoners.

Garwood was released by the North Vietnamese in March 1979 after it became widely known through foreign diplomats that an American was still being held captive. As Jensen-Stevenson relates, upon his return to the U.S., Garwood was treated by authorities more as a prisoner than as a released POW. Even Anton observes that on the trip back to the states, Garwood "was immediately told to 'shut up' and say nothing, and then read his rights."

The Marine Corps investigation into Garwood's conduct lasted for seven months, resulting in recommendations for a series of charges, including: desertion during time of war; maltreatment of other prisoners; and acting as an interrogator for the enemy. After an Article 32 hearing (similar to a grand jury) which included testimony from seven former Marine captives (including Anton), opening arguments in Garwood's court-martial began on November 13, 1980.

It was the testimony of men who had been in the jungle and experienced life with Garwood that the jurors were asked by the prosecution to evaluate. A verdict was reached on February 2, 1981 -- guilty on six counts which did not include desertion. Punishment consisted of reduction to lowest rank, dishonorable discharge, and forfeiture of all pay and allowances -- which added up to $148,000.

TNA / December 8, 1997 (p. 31)

Jensen-Stevenson maintains that the court-martial was a mockery evidenced by the chicanery and illegality that transpired -- witness tampering, collusion, failure to provide needed documents, perjury -- none of which became evident until after the trial was over. The dishonorable discharge Garwood received must have been cruel relief, writes Jensen-Stevenson, and it was slight vindication when General Eugene Tighe, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, stated that the "court martial was completely controlled by the fanatical element of the Marine Corps."

Facing the Truth

Spite House continues the story of Colonel Tom McKenney after he left Vietnam a physical and emotional wreck. After lengthy rehabilitation, he was still left with one gnawing regret: his failure to kill Robert Garwood. Only the march of time and the words of respected military friends began to change his mind and plant seeds of doubt that, perhaps, he had been wrong about Garwood after all. More and more individuals, whom McKenney placed in a special category reserved for proven heroes, began to tell him of events and intelligence indicating that God had prevented him from killing an innocent man and a courageous Marine. General Tighe, Colonel Millard Peck, Captain Sam Owens, General Van Phat, and numerous former POWs all added fuel to a growing horror in McKenney's mind.

It culminated in a period of uncontrollable rage lasting almost 24 hours when he smashed mirrors, burned his uniform, and destroyed furniture, fired by the knowledge his own government had used him as a murder weapon in a war never meant to be won. McKenney purged his guilt when he met Jensen-Stevenson in 1991 and confessed to her, "I directed an official mission to assassinate Garwood behind enemy lines, because I believed what they told me. Would you tell him that I would crawl on my hands and knees to beg his forgiveness?" It was 1994 before the retired colonel and the disgraced private met face to face -- an emotional meeting to be sure.

Both Monika Jensen-Stevenson and Frank Anton agree that orders were given at the highest levels which hampered our fighting capabilities and inflicted unnecessary hardships on our men during the Vietnam War. In at least eight instances, orders were given to abort rescue missions for downed Navy pilots when success was virtually guaranteed. Other orders came from the faceless managers of the Phoenix Program, who commanded assassination teams which exterminated as many as 300 "deserter-traitors" along the Cambodian border in 1973.

Fighting men should never be put in the position of having to question orders or to doubt that their government will spare no means to protect them. It was this writer's experiences in an earlier "political war" which began a decades-long cynicism concerning the symbiosis between internationalist political leaders and like-minded military commanders.

Will the American people be deceived again? Will honorable men and women responsible for our fighting machine prevent any future repetitions of the Korean and Vietnam debacles? The answer to the first is no, and the second yes, if enough true Americans will read the two books under review. Let not the blood of over 100,000 dead young Americans in political, no-win wars be completely without cause. As Frank Anton has written: "War is terrible and ugly, they may say, and bad things happen to good people. But the worst is betrayal."

-- ALTON S. WINDSOR JR.

© Copyright 2005, American Opinion Book Services

Reply author: GunnyG
Replied on: 06/25/2005 10:40:20
Message:

http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/s/stevenson-spite.html>

CHAPTER ONE

Spite House
The Last Secret of the War in Vietnam
By MONIKA JENSEN-STEVENSON
W. W. Norton & Company

Read the Review

Remembrance Day

November 11th, 1991, Crystal City Hilton,
Washington, D.C., Annual Meeting,
Vietnam Veterans Coalition

I sat at the speakers' table and noticed him come through the door. He surveyed the large room with some distaste and just a touch of embarrassment. Several hundred men and women were milling around breakfast tables.

He had never attended a gathering of Vietnam vets before; meetings such as these made up a world he had always heard about with sadness. He hurt for all those guys in their camouflage dungarees and bush hats, growing bald and paunchy, because they seemed unable to move past the memory of the time they spent in Vietnam. To him they were like the Wall, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, which he had never seen and never intended to see: the veterans, it seemed to him, offered themselves up, in perpetuity, as symbols of defeat.

Still, he saluted the flag and sang the national anthem with his usual spirit. He had finally recognized that this was a subculture with its own ceremonies, celebrities, and jargon. But he definitely did not feel part of it--it was too emotionally complicated. He still remembered with puzzled pride the wartime nickname he had been given without his knowledge: "Colonel Smooth." Until the day before he left Vietnam in September 1969 he had no idea that this was the image his men had of him. At a farewell party, his senior sergeants presented him with a small marble Buddha and a note that said he reminded them of the Buddha, because he "always stayed calm, no matter how tense the situation...he was unshakeable." He thought now: they had no idea just how tightly wound he had in fact been underneath. What had made him so seemingly sure of himself had nothing to do with being smooth. It was something much simpler: the belief he had firmly held since his first tour in Korea--that he was just a Marine doing what Marines do.

He had come to Washington to find a man he had hated for twenty-three years. He knew it was unlikely that his old nemesis would be here, but it was always possible. The Colonel, still obsessed by his search, blanked out the meeting, the speakers, the awards. Not encountering his man among the crowd, he would ask my help in tracking him down--Robert (Bobby) Garwood, a former Marine private, captured in Vietnam in 1965. Garwood returned from Vietnam in 1979, six years after the peace agreements were signed, only to be court martialed and found guilty of collaborating with the enemy. He figured in a book I wrote.

Greeting people after my speech, I again became aware of the visitor, a ramrod-straight, imposing figure in a dark suit, waiting patiently, an intense look on his face. He made no move to speak. Only when I began to move away did he step forward and take both my hands in his. He began to weep silently. The silence stretched on and on. Finally he said, "I am Colonel Tom C. McKenney. You must know how to reach Bobby Garwood. I directed an official mission to assassinate him behind enemy lines, because I believed what they told me. Would you tell him that I will crawl on my hands and knees to beg his forgiveness?"

Chapter 2

No Forgiveness

April 1979

There was no forgiveness in the Colonel's heart when Garwood suddenly appeared on a TV news report following his shame-ridden return.

"They've let the traitor come home. After all those months we spent trying to hunt him down and kill him, here he is, getting off a plane in Chicago." McKenney's eyes were fixed on the television screen. Even though he thought the words and said nothing, the anger that boiled up in him was visible, dark, and ugly. It stunned his Bible study group in Wickliffe, Kentucky. They had just finished a discussion and were chatting over coffee or watching the evening news, but now they fell silent. The change in their Bible-class teacher was almost frightening. Some knew he had seen combat in Vietnam.

There was so much more he had never spoken about, never been allowed to speak about. He had once directed some of the assassinations that eliminated thousands of South Vietnamese suspected of working with the enemy. And that was only half of it.

Tom McKenney's mind flashed back ten years, to June 5th, 1969, and the aftermath of the battle of No Name Island in Vietnam, when he had gone to interview the survivors. He imagined once again the battle scene they described. In his mind he saw the wreck of what was left of a platoon of K Company, Third Battalion, First Marines, and the mutilated bodies of the young Marines made him wince. He could hear the screams of some of the injured while the enemy taunted them in English, "Marines, you die tonight--no sweat." He remembered the strange, listless way the few American survivors repeated the phrase, "they had us whipped."

McKenney was convinced that the man who led the enemy on that raid was the same man who now appeared on the screen--not a Vietcong, or a North Vietnamese Army officer, but an American. McKenney would never forget his name: Bobby Garwood. On the day of the battle, Garwood wore the enemy's uniform. Now, here he was on the television screen, at the Chicago airport dressed as a Marine Corps private. For a whole year Garwood had been McKenney's top target in Vietnam, and McKenney had used all the formidable resources at his disposal to hunt him down. He failed and his failure still tortured him. He had been consumed with hatred then, and he was driven by it now. It made no difference that the man on the screen was carrying a Bible.

For the sake of all Marines whose blood was on Garwood's hands, vowed McKenney, justice would be done.

Chapter 3

Drummer Boy
Dreams

For as long as he could remember, Tom Chase McKenney wanted to be a soldier. The first question he recalls putting to his father went something like this: "Can I be a drummer boy when I grow up?" His father answered, "I hope not." He was only three at the time, inspired by a picture of rag-taggle American revolutionary soldiers carrying two drummer boys on their shoulders as they waded across an icy stream in the middle of winter. That brief exchange between father and son seems to have little relevance to Vietnam; yet it reveals the personality of a small boy who, from that moment forward, never changed his mind about wanting to become a soldier, and who became so single-mindedly a Marine that he would go way beyond the call of duty to live up to his own personal code. That such a code, based on traditional American values, might be twisted to make him, finally, a man committed to assassinating fellow American soldiers, denying them a trial or defense of any sort, would have been inconceivable to the boy's family and his mentors.

Everything in McKenney's early life contributed to the building of old-fashioned character. His parents, grandparents, uncle, aunts, and cousins all lived within a sixteen-mile radius of his family home in Kentucky. They believed passionately in education, the more classical the better, and the discussion of ideas. They instilled in McKenney the sense of being blessed to live in a country where so much was possible and to have had ancestors who created it through blood, sweat, and tears. With this privilege went the responsibilities to do one's best and to be patriotic. McKenney's father added something else: "Always choose the most difficult path, it's sure to be the right one."

McKenney was taught to believe and trust his country's government and elected leaders. Even when he learned that some leaders were unworthy of their offices and that few seemed to match the brilliance and moral fiber of his political and intellectual hero, Thomas Jefferson, he never stopped trusting the highest levels of government.

Growing up in Lexington in the 1930s and during the war was like a dream. The city had a small-town feeling, with long, white fences and stonewalled roads everywhere--even downtown. The population was fifty thousand, a figure that hadn't changed much in 150 years, and when McKenney walked down Main Street he recognized almost everybody. Prosperity depended on tobacco, whiskey, and horses. The town's leaders deliberately resisted industrialization. Lexington was secure in its identity, deeply rooted in history.

Founded in the nation's earliest expansion from the eastern seaboard, Lexington soon became known as the seat of culture and civilization on the raw frontier. Every Kentucky schoolboy learned it was once called the Athens of the West. McKenney still thought of it that way. Where the Viaduct intersected with Main Street there was a bronze statue with direction markers called the Zero Milestone. To McKenney, it was the center of the universe.

Lexington was decidedly "Old South" in its values and customs, a kind of time capsule where women wouldn't dream of going to shop without dressing properly, which included wearing gloves. Gentlemen tipped their hats, stepped aside, opened doors, and walked on the outside of the lady. Gentility was an absolute virtue and honor a tangible thing. Business deals were sealed with a handshake. A gentleman's word was his bond.

The city was also a place where a boy could go to jaw with Will Harbut, the groom of the greatest horse of the century. At least that's what everybody in Kentucky thought in those days of the mighty Man o' War. Lots of famous people came trekking through Lexington to see Man o' war, known to racing fans as Big Red, but few impressed Will Harbut and few got the chance to see the horse he called "d' mostest hawse." McKenney was there, though, when Will made an exception for the man he figured was a bigger stud than even Man o' War--the father of the Dionne quintuplets. Taking Dionne round the stable after hours, Harbut shrugged off the famously prolific father's effusive thanks: "Heck, I wanted the horse to meet you," he said.

Man o' War's name evoked all the heroic military role models that haunted Lexington's town squares and the University of Kentucky, where McKenney's father, one of the founders of 4-H Clubs of America, taught agricultural science. The boy picked up the pride Lexington felt in its military history beginning with the conflicts with Native Americans. In his own childhood, they were still called the Indian Wars. McKenney was reared on stories that don't make American school books any more: heroic tales like that of Bryan Station, where the women saved the fort by risking their lives to go for water. Names forgotten now were banners in his school days: Blue Licks, the last battle of the Revolution; New Orleans, the last battle of the War of 1812, where Kentucky and Tennessee volunteers along with a small force of Marines fought with valor; Mexico City, captured by a small contingent of Marines after they put a thirty-thousand-strong Mexican army to flight; and other names that lacked a Shakespeare to write them into permanent legend--Perryville and Chancellorsville, San Juan Hill and Belleau Wood. Each rang in his ears like a call to arms. The idea that America could ever involve itself in a war without honor was unthinkable. In his mind victor and vanquished were honored equally. It did not occur to him until much later that no honor was ever accorded to vanquished or victorious Native Americans no matter how bravely they had fought.

Lexington was steeped in Civil War history, and intensely Confederate. Banks closed on Robert E. Lee's birthday and Confederate Memorial Day was observed on May 10th. At football and basketball games, people stood for "Dixie" and "The Star-Spangled Banner." It was ill-mannered and unpatriotic to remain seated for either. There were two statues in the courthouse yard, both of Confederate generals idolized by McKenney: John Hunt Morgan, the dashing cavalry commander, and John C. Breckinridge, the great-grandfather of Colonel Jim Breckinridge, who would later become McKenney's good friend. John C. had commanded the Third Kentucky Confederate Brigade, better known as the Orphan Brigade, because after Kentucky was invaded and had formally joined the Union side in the Civil War, the brigade never received replacements. He had been vice president under President Buchanan and had run against Lincoln in the last presidential election before the Civil War. After commanding the Orphan Brigade, John C. became minister of war for Jefferson Davis. What particularly thrilled young McKenney about Jim's great-grandfather was that he was the only Confederate cabinet minister who did not go to prison. He escaped to Cuba in an adventure so heroic it sent shivers down the boy's spine just to think of it. That Breckinridge had been on the losing side did not detract one iota from his glamour.

McKenney carried the name of his own ancestor, Salmon P. Chase, who, in 1864, at the time of Breckinridge's Confederate exploits, became chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Chase flirted with impeachment by frequently dueling over matters of honor.

McKenney was a great reader of history and the classics, but nothing he read ever filled him with more wonder than the history of his own family and the families of his friends. His reading reinforced an upbringing that taught him that honor, duty, and country were the only principles to live by. It was common knowledge to McKenney and his friends that a portrait of Jefferson Davis in his Union colonel's uniform still hung in West Point's Washington Hall. They also knew that Benedict Arnold's name had been chiseled off the chapel plaque that honored America's revolutionary heroes in that institution. They understood the difference. Davis acted on principle; Arnold sold his country for cash. In his later life McKenney would often think his was perhaps the last generation (even in Kentucky) to care about such things as honor, principle, and duty.

There was a downside to such dedication, but this never occurred to Tom--not until late in life, when his military career was over. That the Civil War had ruined the lives of the majority of men who fought it, on both sides, was not something young McKenney considered: John C. Breckinridge, an exception, was the kind of man he wanted to emulate. Breckinridge gave his all for the Confederacy, but once the Confederacy was defeated, he devoted himself to the Union. He had come back from Cuba when it was safe to do so, and had brought up his son to respect the Union he had tried to defeat. His grandson, J. C. Breckinridge, became a famous Marine Corps general, father of the fleet Marine force concept, serving in the Spanish American War and World War I. Breckinridge's great-grandson, Jim, would serve in Korea and Vietnam, wars that brought him close to Tom McKenney.

*

McKenney would later think that his overriding desire to become a Marine--because the urge to become a soldier had soon translated itself into a specific attachment to that branch of the armed services--started with his admiration for the Breckinridge clan. A greater influence, however, may have come from his reading. When McKenney was eight or nine he read Mack of the Marines in China. Mack was an idealized sergeant, and after reading about him, McKenney wanted nothing more than to be a Marine sergeant and go to China. Later he read Leatherneck, the publication for enlisted men put out by the Marine Corps. Leatherneck was full of stories about men who, in the words of historian Andrew Geer, "had the will to win and curses on the man or unit who lacks it; the moral stamina to stand and fight when all seems lost; the courage to charge a hill when death warns to stay."(1)

His family environment was not at all military, certainly not warmongering. McKenney's father tried to stem his son's fervor for soldiering. "There is an ugly, inhuman side to it," he told Tom, "that men who have been through it can never forget." He told of his experience during World War I, about reaching under a fallen comrade to turn him over. The wounded man had five or six machinegun wounds, and his fingers slipped into the bullet holes "as they would into a bowling ball."

Young McKenney listened to such admonitions, but they had little impact. He idolized his father, "the most self-disciplined, reliable, and honorable man I ever knew." But what impressed him most about the elder McKenney, who was blind in one eye, was that he had tricked World War I recruiters into signing him up despite his handicap. He had simply memorized the eye chart. At the time he had just signed a lucrative contract with the Cincinnati Reds, and he figured if he was good enough to pitch professionally with one eye, he was certainly good enough to shoot with one eye. The fact that he was giving up the possible fame and fortune of a baseball career meant nothing next to doing what he saw as the honorable thing.

From his father, McKenney learned that if he worked harder and got up earlier than the rest of the crowd, he would succeed. McKenney liked this challenge. His creed became: "When it gets too tough for everybody else, it's just right for me and my guys." It did occur to some of his friends that perhaps the only institution that could provide constant challenge to such a young man was precisely the one he wanted to join--the Marine Corps.

McKenney was fifteen years old when World War II ended, a conflict, with its clear delineation of good and evil, that had a big impact on him. He would have given anything to be six years older, like his next-door neighbor Bill, who joined the Marine Corps as soon as he was able, in 1943.

McKenney's cousin Floyd was the person he most wanted to emulate. When war broke out Floyd was thirty-three, old enough to sit it out. What's more, his health was precarious. As a highway patrolman, he had stopped one night to offer his help to a man walking along the roadside. The man, an escaped convict, shot Floyd in the stomach and left him for dead. Bleeding profusely, he drove himself to the nearest hospital. McKenney always figured that this incident alone proved Floyd's mettle. When his cousin joined the USMC, first talking reluctant recruiters into giving him the okay, and then choosing the tough path of a "recon" (reconnaissance) Marine, McKenney was overwhelmed.

Floyd was the oldest in his platoon in boot camp. The other men called him Pop or Grandpa and knew instinctively that he was the one they could count on. Floyd, along with a small team, was assigned the dangerous work of reconnoitering small islands held by the Japanese. One morning on one of those islands in a "safe" area, Floyd stepped on a mine. When he awoke he found himself in a strange, silent world, on board a ship headed for home. There were no medevac planes in those days. The ship, part of a convoy that adjusted its speed to the slowest landing ship among its vessels, and zig-zagged to confuse enemy submarines, progressed only fifteen knots a day.

Once home, he traveled from hospital to hospital, but there was little remedy for someone who, Tom's father said, "was torn asunder and broken, but didn't even get the Purple Heart because he did all his bleeding on the inside." Like McKenney's father, Floyd tried to impress upon him the reality and horror of war even though he didn't talk much about his own wounds. But Tom McKenney determined that somehow he was going to make it up to Floyd. He believed fervently that men like Floyd, and all the thousands of others who had fought and died during the war, had saved the nation and deserved its gratitude.

(1) Andrew Geer, The New Breed: The Story of the U.S. Marines in Korea. Nashville: Battery Press, 1989.

(C) 1996 Monika Jensen-Stevenson All rights reserved. ISBN: 0-393-04041-0

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R.W. "Dick" Gaines
GnySgt USMC (Ret.)
1952 (Plt #437)--'72

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