Mike & H&S Companies 

Third Battalion, Fifth Marines

Veterans of the Vietnam War
Home Up Pledge of Allegiance Different LtColRichmon Napa Valley Register Semper Fidelis Speech 60s Stuff Heroes of the VN Generation American Coward VA update A trip to the Wall Christmas Poem NorthCarolinaMemorial Disrespect Dinota's talk Mess Night Puller5th A daughter's tribute


Mess Night with H&S 3/6, March 27, 2003

by Denny Dinota

About two weeks ago Gunnery Sergeant Richard "Rich" Medal, Kevin & Merry Kelly's son-in-law and a member of H&S Company 3rd Bn 6th Marines called and invited me to speak at and be the guest of honor at their mess night Thursday 27 March. I never refuse a chance to tell people about our 3/5 Marines and their battles and bravery. And I did again. This time (last time was Weapons Company 3/6) I even named names just to make it more personal. I also spoke about something that has always bothered me. That is, the Marine Rifleman is the purpose for the existence of all others (MOS') in the Marine Corps. That this fact is mostly always forgotten. That the Marine Rifleman and others in infantry battalions such as those we know from Vietnam and the Fighting Fifth who did the HEAVY LIFTING seem to be always honoring others, such as supporting elements. Let say, something like but not limited too, chopper medevac pilots who come into take out our wounded or bring in food and ammo. I do not and did not disparage the courage of any Marine regardless of their duties in combat, but that's their job! When was the last time anybody remembers a reunion or meeting of, lets say, Vietnam chopper pilots inviting a former member of a infantry company to be honored and praised? I can give you the answer, NEVER. These were the Marines who saw the war at a personal level. Not from on high or from over the hill, but face to face sometimes weeks at a time, night and day. NO Air Medals! How many times on TV or at the movie do we see special this and special that? I think that when a unit doesn't engage in direct line combat they call themselves "Special". I recall a movie where a doctor and a chopper crew chief survived being shot down. VC were probing and the chopper crew chief shot a few. The Navy doctor said to the Marine crew chief "Is this the way it is in combat"? The crew chief says "How the fuck do I know, I fly over this shit". Is it that nobody can even conceive it in their imagination? Here in Jacksonville I meet retired Marines all the time who served in Vietnam who haven't the slightest clue (of what we did) of what combat is. Getting up and moving against fire is something WAY beyond their understanding. I also addressed the subject of our American but anti-American war protesters. Want to protest before, okay. Want to protest after, okay. Protest while the troops are in the field? You make little Denny Dinota's permanent enemies list! So anyway that was the tone of my talk. Think they like it too!