Friday, March 5, 2010


I held a meeting in my office this morning and, during my address, noticed one of the Marines focusing his attention at the wall directly behind me. He made no effort to guise the fact he was paying no attention, even going so far as squinting and turning his head the way a dog tries to make sense of the words being said hoping to hear words like "walk" or "food".

Following the meeting, I pulled that Marine aside and asked if everything was okay. He went on to ask, "I apologize Master Sergeant, but what is a 'Rockabilly Cat'?" Having no clue what prompted this question and wondering how he even knew how to form the word "Rockabilly," I looked back and it dawned on me.

At the end of your tour with a unit, it is tradition for the personnel within a work section to send you off with a memento which almost always contains a phrase describing you. Over the past fifteen years, I've received plaques from my various units and apparently I was the "Rockabilly" guy while serving with the 5th Marine Regiment (I didn't know that until receipt of this plaque). It was something new to them as there aren't very many Marines into Rockabilly that I've run into. I think it's pretty neat, nonetheless.

I guess my style is infectious among the Marines I serve with. I received this shadow box some years later while at Edson Range. It contains a vintage jar of grease, that brand of which I've never seen before. My Marines went so far as to win the deadstock jar on eBay, because they knew I was always shopping for vintage and always wore tons of grease - still do to this day. Gravity took its toll on the full jar of grease, so I used Gorilla Glue (GG). Sure GG works, but I guess you're only supposed to use it sparingly. What resulted is an overflow of excess GG foam. Oh well, still a neat memento.

I learned on my first tour back in 2006 that Iraqi sand is very unforgiving, especially to those individuals wearing grease. I made sure I didn't make the mistake my second time around and went with a less tacky grease, thereby avoiding gritty hair. I went with Hawleywood's products. Here they are in Iraq right out of the postal service box.
This Iraqi sandstorm was preceded by at least a hundred foot wall of sand.  I don't think i wore grease the rest of this week. Look at the incredible difference between this and the photo above.
After a sandacular phenomenon, the sky is turned into a red hue and the sand just lingers for days.


  1. Grease and sand tempest ! oh la la I don't have enough fingers on my hand to count shampoo necessary.