This is Jim Carrabis Bravo Co. Feb. 69 – Nov.70. I would like to invite you to join us for the second gathering of Bravo Brothers in Las Vegas. I thought we could all celebrate the 232nd Birthday of The Corps together. I can give everyone a room rate of $35 a night, starting November 8th – November 14th The Riviera Hotel/Casino on the Strip. I will be hosting a Birthday party the night of November 10th. So far Chuck (Pappy) Bauer, Dave Marlo, Don Souther, George Douglas, Dennis Atchison, Pat Kerivan and myself are committed to the November 10th dates. If you have any question you can call me @ cel 702 325 5712 home 702 562 9714 or email me. I am always looking to locate more of our Recon Brothers. Most of the guys are from 68-71. Even if you cant make it shoot me an email. Semper Fi Jim Carrabis firstname.lastname@example.org
LCPL Floyd Ruggles 7/68-7/69
Michael Dimino 2/68-12/68
1st Lt. Brian Riley 11/68-5/69
More Photos Coming Soon
In Bravo Co.’s World:
Hello again to our family and friends. October has finally arrived and Bravo Company will soon be back in Camp Pendleton before you know it! We are winding things down here and eagerly awaiting the arrival of 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion. Things continue to go well, recently Bravo Company finally was able to operate as an entire company for the first time and the men performed admirably. Once again we got to visit our favorite abandoned lakefront casino; it seems the company can not get away (literally) from this place (there is a story behind this, but there is no way I could possibly do it justice here, you will have to wait for your Marine or Doc to tell you about it). We were able to (finally) take a company photo, Master Sergeant Hans Gruber was the catalyst for getting this photo taken and set up all the logistics. Those of you that know Hans are aware that he is a man of pomp and circumstance, spit and polish, and a keeper of tradition (and if you believe this, then I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I will sell you). 'Congratulations to Sergeant Richard Fitzgerald, Sergeant King Ritchie III, and Sergeant Jason Westerman on their selections to Staff Sergeant! Congratulations also to their better halves, Stephanie Fitzgerald, Jessica Ritchie, and Jennifer Westerman. Their selections are well deserved and a testament to their dedication and commitment to our Corps!' Kudos to Corporal Mike ‘Drews’ Andrews on his reenlistment. We recently promoted the following Marines to Sergeant: Rich Baldinell, Travis Bell, Clayton Dykes, Michael Lopez, Josh Matthews, James ‘Mac’ McMillin, Taylor Morgan, Aaron Tenorio, and Jeremy Yingling. We also awarded Good Conduct Medals to Sergeants Rich Baldinell, Michael Lopez, Josh Matthews, James McMillin, Peter ‘Petey’ Nealen, and Corporal Brian Kolo. A bunch of the company’s senior leadership (AKA: the really old guys) were also awarded Good Conduct Medals: Master Sergeant Hans Gruber (6th award), and Gunnery Sergeants Jimmy Stahl (5th award) and Rodger Turner (5th award). Sergeant Garrett Scharffer was recently selected as the Battalion’s Noncommissioned Officer of the Quarter this past quarter for his outstanding performance and awarded a Certificate of Commendation! This marks the fourth consecutive quarter that an NCO from Bravo Company has been awarded this prestigious honor, it seems that Bravo Company has taken ‘ownership’ of this award. As, I have mentioned time and time before, Captain Nichols and I are truly spoiled, and we have a great bunch of Marines and Sailors, you should be very proud of them, we are! Sadly we recently said good bye to A-3 (as the British said in WWII, ‘we were glad to see them come…but then we were bloody glad to see them go’) who is under the leadership of Captain Jay Armas and Staff Sergeant Brett Penner. It is almost like the 13th MEU never left, we hear from them time to time. The Marines and Sailors here are excited that their beloved Red Sox finished with the best record in MLB, they all have pennant fever! They are more excited about the Battalion Ball that is just right around the corner (November 9th). Gunny Turner claims he can get the Tampa Bay Buccaneer cheerleaders to attend the Ball, but we’ll see? During the past year Bravo Company has trained hard and worked even harder, soon it will be time for them to party hard! They are all looking forward to putting on their ‘Blues’ and tearing it up in downtown San Diego, we should be OK, as we will have TWO Sergeants Major to keep us out of trouble! Just in case, does any one have a number to a bail bondsman for the San Diego area? Thanks again to the KVN and the RBE for all their hard work, particularly on putting the Ball together. As always, please feel to contact me, First Sergeant Carlo Gaita, at email@example.com if you need anything from our end. Go Patriots! First Sergeant Carlo Gaita, at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need anything from our end.
In Bravo Co.’s World:
Bravo Company, 1stSgt Gaita I hope everyone had a safe and happy Labor Day weekend; I am sure all the mothers are excited that the children are getting ready to go back to school! Things continue to go well for the Marines and Sailors of Bravo Company. We recently returned to Camp Fallujah after a stint with the 13th MEU. While with the MEU we were able to link up with Alpha-3 (our platoon attached to the MEU) under the leadership of Captain Jay Armas and Staff Sergeant Brandon Penner. I am pleased to report that A-3 is doing well; we worked with them for several weeks and did some great things. Captain Armas was a gracious host and I must admit he is truly the ‘Mayor of the MEU’ and TQ, everyone seems to know him. Bravo Company totally abused him and enjoyed writing checks that he will have to pay back!
I am not sure how A-3 acquired a sorry game board, but this helps them kill some down time. The highlight of the game is getting a sorry card and then swatting one of your opponent’s pieces as far as you can as you yell “sorry”. A-3 seems to enjoy ganging up on Sergeant Nick Orlando to make sure he never wins; this appears to be both a great sense of amusement and entertainment for the entire platoon, particularly Sergeant Sigi Apodaca. The sorry game is pretty addictive, B-1 has also been playing, but they call it “Los Sientos” – so they yell “los sientos” whenever they swat an opponent’s piece. B-2 has taken it to a higher level with a form of combat sorry in which they don’t even look for an excuse to swat each other or various items while playing the game. We can’t print what they yell in mixed company, thankfully they have Captain Agur “The Apostle” Adams, or they all might have a ticket to an even hotter place. (Speaking of hot, how about those Red Sox!) - I am hoping to get the guys a Chutes and Ladder or Candy Land game next, I will see if my fourteen year old nephew has any of these games that he outgrew about 7 years ago.
While with the MEU, we acquired Captain Brent “Sugar” Winslow from the MEU staff. The most popular theory on the origin of this acquisition is that we fed him once - and like feeding a stray cat - could not get him to leave. His expertise and efforts contributed significantly to the company’s success, his eagerness and work ethic was remarkable, he did not consider any task beneath him and volunteered countless times to drive, serve as a gunner, and send traffic back to the MEU for Captain Nichols (all of which were denied, but that is not the point). Much to Gunny Stahls’ dismay, Sugar was prone to wander off after IED wires without a radio and the most accident prone Marine in his platoon, (Gunny requested one of those wind up leashes and is securing it to Sugar’s seat in the HQ’s Hummve). We have deservedly bestowed the title of Honorary Bravo Company Marine on him!
Bravo Company recently spent several weeks at a lakefront casino resort on Lake Thar-Thar, but I think we had a bad travel agent, because the place did not look like the pictures on the travel brochure! The casinos, all the buildings, water/plumbing systems, and electricity had all been destroyed about four years ago. I told the Marines, ‘look at the bright side, you still can tell everyone you got to go to a casino resort!’ – they are not buying this…. It was great to link back up with B-3 under the leadership of Captain Glenn Baker and Gunnery Sergeant Marty “the one man party” Williams. The platoon did some great things out in the AO that we can’t really talk about, they did tell us that next time we leave them ‘Home Alone’ they will continue to give up the CO’s office to anybody that wants it!
Kudos to Captain Bryan “B.A.-Bad Attitude” Abell on his promotion, well deserved! (We had to remind him that just because he has a cool call sign, he is not a pilot). Congratulations to Gunnery Sergeant Rodger Turner, Staff Sergeant John Bottema, Sergeant Stephen Geiger, Sergeant Evan Williams-McIntosh, and Sergeant Amish Smith on reenlisting for four more years in our beloved Corps! (Gunnery Sergeant Turner requested that his wife not spend his reenlistment bonus before he gets home).
Sadly, we said good bye to Sergeant Peter “Cold Rod” Rodriguez and Corporal Jeffrey Tolentino as they returned back to the states last month. Sergeant Rodriguez is getting ready to go to OCS and Corporal Tolentino is separating from the Marine Corps and is off to college. Thanks for your service to Bravo Company and the Marine Corps, good luck to both of you! Rod & T, we don’t need anything from the states, but thanks for asking, that was very thoughtful of you both (oh, never mind, you two ungrateful $%&^#)%# guys didn’t ask us, we just figured you would have by now)! (How soon they forget)! Master Sergeant Jimmie Jakes (I know you are laughing some place), you were 100 percent correct, Master Sergeant Sid ‘Hans’ Gruber has turned into you! He takes his frustration out on the platoons, particularly when they breach his trailer and take his supplies! Thanks so much to all our friends and families for their thoughts, prayers, and patience. I know I sound like a broken record, but I would like to personally thank the RBE and the KVN, every request we have made has been fulfilled beyond our expectations. Special thanks to Master Gunnery Sergeant Jim Keely, USMC ret, and Warrior, on your thoughts, letters, and packages, first cold one when we get back is on me! As always, please feel to contact me, First Sergeant Carlo Gaita, at email@example.com if you need anything from our end.