Monday, September 24, 2007

Death on Dying

During the Vietnam War, when a young Marine reported into his unit (true today as well), they went through all your paperwork to make sure you were up to date on your rifle range and gas chamber training, health physical, dental, and also your SGLI (Service Group Life Insurance) to determine if you had designated a beneficiary. I think back then if you died you would get 25K, but you could opt to increase to 75 or 100K for an extra five dollars a month. I guess a lot of young Marines opted for the free amount to save money for the Friday beer night.

In one unit (as the story goes), they put a young, motivated Corporal in charge of some of these classes, and they noticed that his sign-up rate for the higher insurance amount was around 100%. The S-1 Admin Officer was curious how this kid was able to convince these other young Marines to spend more money when they hardly made enough to live on in the first place. Mind you, this was during the war as well, so the Officer snuck in the back of the building to hear his pitch.

The Corporal went through the whole presentation, and at the end, when he explained about opting for the higher insurance, he said, “So Marines, think about this. If you opt for the extra insurance and you go over to Vietnam, who do you think they are going to put on the front lines? The guy that is going to cost the Government $25,000 dollars if he dies or the guy that is worth $100,000?”

Of course this isn’t true, but it does bring up a point that I want you to read, then re-read and pass on to everyone. This isn’t just for the Marine or Soldier going over to the War, it’s for everyone, guy or gal. We all believe that we’ll live forever! I mean it. When you are young, you are bullet proof and as you get older, you just never expect that you will die. Well, I am speaking as a guy who lost his sister while in college, his college roommate fifteen months later, and about a dozen guys in plane crashes over my adult life. With this in mind, I came up with a “What if” file.

The “What if” file is a complete folder for my next of kin on what to do if I get whacked by a drunk driver in the morning on the way to work. This is to ensure that my wife and parents would not have to search through old papers, files, boxes in the closet etc to track down my investments, mortgages, car info, work info, passwords etc. Now mind you, the “what if” file is a VERY important document, and should be placed in your fire proof home safety deposit box or gun safe, or with your folks and/or your wife in a safe, secure place. It would be bad news falling into the wrong hands with all that info in one place.

Here is what I did when I married my beautiful wife. I wrote a letter to her, very personal and with the intent that it would my last words to her. I also told her what needed to be done and in what order.
Within the folder, you should have:
-Copies of all bank statements
-All online passwords
-Account numbers
(these are required to cancel credit cards and find out what bills have to be paid)
-Copies of all life insurance policies
-POC’s (point of contact) and correct phone numbers
-Copies of your investments and assets
-POC within the state to get copies of your death certificates, how many copies and who to send them to in order to collect insurance and notify Social Security
-POC (supervisor) at work to notify so they don’t call wondering where you are
-Passwords for email accounts, so that your family can send out an email using your address book to notify all your contacts about your death or serious injury. Otherwise your family will have to provide AOL or MSN with death certificates to get into the mail accounts
-An envelope with $1,000 in cash to cover immediate and unforeseen needs
-Instructions for how you want to be buried, where, what etc.
-Copy of your current (valid) will (if you don’t have one, you can get from your legal department or online for a nominal fee. will do it)
-Copies of your Living Will/Advance Directive/and Power of Attorney (if needed)
-List the value of certain items in your estate that might be worth some money (you don’t want them sold for pennies on a dollar at an estate sale)

This is just a start, a basic roadmap for you. There are many more things you can add to it. I’m death on Marines who don’t have this set up, and so is my Dad who has an extensive “what if” file. I’ve seen too many cases where a Marine has died, and he didn’t switch over his life insurance from his EX-wife who he hates, and she now has won the lotto with a tax-free check while his present wife gets nothing. That is pure laziness and I despise it. Just remember that dying is the easy part of life; it’s the loved ones you leave behind that suffer. If you have your life tied together in a “What If” folder, when that unexpected time comes, it will make life so much easier for the ones left behind. If you care about your spouse/kids and folks, take the time today to start putting one of these together, and store it in your home fireproof safety deposit box(but watch out if you use a banks they will close those up tight till the probate of the will if you don't clean it out fast).

I hope this post helps. Please copy it, and send it to your friends and family. I would be willing to bet you a beer that if polled, only about one out of ten will have anything remotely set up like a “What If” file.

Semper Fi,

Monday, September 17, 2007

Adam KoKesh Busted loser and EX-Marine

Hey guys,

You know, from reading my past posts, that I normally focus on old Marine or Military stories, and try to stay away from the political hatred that bubbles from this war. This is now an entirely different situation than we faced in 2003. That was a war that ended in just a couple of days. Now, the fact is that we are trying to bring peace to a country that has never had freedom in years, and this is worth it, in my opinion. We could sit and chat about the pros and cons of being “over there” for the next decade, and it will not get us anywhere. I will still think we are right, and others will say that they are right. Only time will tell. I mean we are still in Kosavo aren't we? That was Clinton's little war and no one speaks about that years later.

Recently a reporter, Suzanne Schrobsdorff, interviewed me for a article on returning vets some of whom choose to be anti-war protestors. I think they are TURDS with a capital “T.” No “if’s, an’s or butts” about it. The article focused on Adam Kokesh, one of these vets who are getting their fifteen minutes of fame. You know what will become of him ten years from now? Nothing. He’ll be a fat, bitter former war protester. He is a “Turd” of a former Marine who has been let go from the Corps with a “general discharge under honorable conditions” even though other officials recommended an “other than honorable” discharge. He has no integrity, in my opinion. He was busted from sergeant to corporal for trying to bring back a gun that he “bought” from an Iraqi. Hell, he is lucky he didn’t get the BCD, “Big chicken Dinner” or Bad Conduct Discharge. This NCO knew better then to violate general rule number one, you do not drink, no porno, and no smuggling guns back. The funny thing is that he was in a CAG unit. They did not go around and sand bag “innocent” Iraq’s; they were the guys with the money. One of the Officers in my unit just came back from doing that job for a year. It is dangerous, no doubt about it, but it requires trust. Makes me wonder if he’s lashing out at the Corps because he was busted down in rank? What do you think? Maybe he is a disgruntled grunt?

Well, Adam, I hope you enjoy your short fame and fortune because when you finish your degree, there will be a limited number of folks out there that will hire you. Here is what I see may happen to you in the near future. You go for an interview and don’t get the job because A: the HR person also served in the Military and had an honorable career there. B: They may have served in Iraq and hate you for what you have done. C: They had a child that served and hate you for what you have done. D: They lost someone during 9-11. E: Would they want to hire someone who has a “General Discharge” and was busted down in rank for trying to smuggle a weapon back which reeks of questionable integrity? Just remember, you are associated with the same scum who vandalized the Vietnam Memorial last weekend with acid spray.

Who knows what the case may be, but when they Google your name, guess what they will find? All of your Anti-War protests, and a number of Male Gay websites that love you. That’s sad if you ask me. Maybe someone from “” will put you to work in the mailroom. Yes, folks can blast me all they want for not liking him or what he stands for, but bottom line, he is a loser. Now that I have vented, those of you that have found my site from the article, stay tuned for the regularly scheduled stories.
Semper Fi,

PS, just saw in the paper that Sire Records just gave your group $100K, I hope that you don't screw that up end up in jail for tax evasion or misuse of funds...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


We will never forget…God Bless all the Men and Women who died this day and all the Men and Women who have died since to ensure we have the freedom to pray to our God without an Imam telling us what to do.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

How to screw a single guy...

How to screw a single guy:

Now I’m sure that anyone who “Googles” some words relating to this post will be very surprised to find out that it has nothing to do with SEX. Actually, all you young Officers and Enlisted Marines out there, take heed, this has to do with you. See, for some reason, there is a prevailing wind in the military to shaft the “single” guy and or gal when it comes to entitlements that the Government owes them. There’s bound to be that awkward moment when it comes out that you are not married. The clerk will check the block on the right that says “single” and move on. As you get older and wiser, you learn that you just got screwed over. Here are some examples:
• DLA [dislocation allowance].
While living in lovely New Bern, North Carolina, I had to kick out my two civilian roommates (you’ve already heard some of their stories), and find some replacements ASAP. During a Wing safety stand-around at the base theater, I met two single Lt’s; one who realized the full potential of living on a beautiful lake away from base; and the other who needed some extra incentive to feel the same. Lt. Dan was living on base in the BOQ, waiting for his orders to attend his MOS school in California. I explained to him that if he didn’t move out of the “Q” [Bachelor’s Quarters] most “Ricky Tic,” he would lose his DLA which in the 90’s equated to roughly two months of “BAQ” [Basic Allowance for Quarters, a.k.a. Basic Allowance for Housing, or BAH] which equaled six hundred dollars, and helps offset the cost of moving off base. All he had to do was sign the lease, turn it in, leave me three rent checks and the six hundred dollars was all his since I already had the deposits paid on the gas, water, phone, and my first born child.

Lt. Dan was excited to think that he could pay down some of the debt on his uniform loan he took from the Marine Shop in Quantico for his dress blues etc. On Monday, we moved him in, signed the lease and off to work we went. He went to his admin guys to drop off the lease and await his check. I get a phone call about an hour later. “Captain Bell?” I’m not sure who is calling and say “yes.” “Hey, this is Lt. Dan, and Sir, I have to tell you that I’m pissed off that you screwed me.” You could tell he was very annoyed. “What is the problem, Lt?” He proceeds to tell me that the Gunny, in charge of the admin shop, denied his DLA because he was single.

This was lesson one for the Lt. “Hey Devil Dog, do you think they just give pilots DLA every time we PCS (Permanent Change of Station) because we are better-looking than our grunt counter parts? I’m telling you that he is full of crap! You rate it, and I want you to go back in there and tell him to show you in the “JTR” (Joint Travel Regulations) where it says you don’t rate it because you are single. If I’m right, you buy me dinner tonight with some of your cash, if I’m wrong, I’ll cut you a check out of my own pocket for six hundred bucks. How does that sound?”

Lt Dan did go back and confront the Admin NCOIC. About an hour and half later I received another phone call. “Sir (very happy voice), you were right!! I do rate it. He spent about an hour reviewing the manual and making phone calls. Turns out that he has been screwing over all the single Lt’s who checked in for the last three years and it’s too late for them to go back and claim it.” He is on cloud nine, so I say, “Great, I would like to have dinner at “Monte’s steak house,” say about 1800?” The answer for most things in the Corps are found in the “ABDTW” manual (always been done that way), located in some far off office that they could never find. I So I just live by the adage of “Show me in writing.”

“Ditty Moves” [where you move yourself].
When I PCSd to Okinawa Japan, I put my household stuff in storage, like a bed, couch etc., and then set up a small mini-move, the “Ditty move.” It weighed a certain amount and was shipped pretty quickly, in around two to three weeks. This included my clothes, uniforms, flight equipment etc. Well, after a year on the island and buying my TV, stereo system, blue lions and a ton of corny stuff from the year there, I had enough for a regular household move from the Island. How much weight you rate goes along with your rank.

I went to the “TMO” [local traffic management office] guys on Camp Foster and filled out the proper paper work in triplicate. When I was able to meet with Corporal Smuckatelly, my official councilor, we discussed the move, and as I looked at my calendar in my trusty “week-at-a-glance,” I asked the typical questions. “O.K., the house-hold move takes up to forty-five days to float back on some freighter, huh, and the small ditty move is less then two weeks?” He nodded his head as he was reviewing my paperwork. “Well then, I’d like my household move on this date, and my Ditty move on this date which is two days before my scheduled freedom bird off the Island.”

Cpl Smuckatelly looked at my dates, then at my paperwork, then at my left hand. I could see it coming a mile away. “Sir, are you married?” “No, I reply.” “Well then, I’m sorry Sir, but you don’t rate a Ditty Move back to the states.” Normally, this type of silly red-ass game gets my blood pressure up, but I wanted to see where he was going with it this time. “Well, Cpl, if I don’t rate it, then how did I get all of my stuff sent over here from the states that way?” He looked over at my paperwork again, and then said, “Sir, not sure how Cherry Point TMO got away with it; maybe it came from a different pot of money.”

I just looked at the dates again, and told him without looking up, “Go refer to the JTR and find that reference for me will you? I’m going to buy a coke while you check things out and if I’m wrong, I’ll buy you one, too.” He went and produced the JTR, spending the next twenty minutes flipping pages as he mumbled, “I could swear on my life that it was in here.” He even called his boss, the Gunny, and they put their heads together in the next office looking for another ten minutes. They then consulted their boss, the Chief Warrant Officer. The Chief Warrant Officer came in shaking his head with his Cpl in tow. “Sir, I can’t find it in here, but I’m sure that we are right.” I looked at the two of them and then said, “Well gents, if it’s not in your Bible there, I’d like my household on this date, and the Ditty move on this date and in the future, please don’t screw over the single Marines.”

They complied, and I went back to the “Q” that night explaining to the other Officers who were also leaving on the same plane. Two of them looked at each other and laughed, “Those bastards did the same thing to me and I fell for it.” The other guy was fired up and told us he was going back there in the morning to correct his move.

There are other stories like this I could tell. I don’t want to come across that I’m the “dickhead Officer,” but it drives me nuts when I hear of guys not getting what they’re entitled to. Last week, I was visiting Gunny Lewis, the Marine that got me back into the Corps, and as we were talking in his office, one of his new Sergeants came in talking about this DLA thing and how he didn’t rate it because he was single...

So for all of you “TED’s” (Typical Enlisted Dudes) and “TOD’s” (Typical Officer Dudes) just remember, for as long as you are in the Corps, if there is doubt, then there is NO DOUBT, so ask for it in writing before you accept it at face value.
Semper Fi,