Synonyms and Antonyms of Vignette

A vivid representation in words of someone or something--
--the general's memoirs are filled with revealing vignettes of some of the war's most compelling personalities
Synonyms of vignette: definition, delineation, depiction, picture, portrait, portraiture, portrayal, rendering, sketch, description
Words Related to vignette: account, anecdote, chronicle, narrative, report, story, tale, yarn,demonstration, exemplification, illustration clarification, elucidation, explanation, explication, exposition

Included in this selection will be comments from Sully, short stories or descriptions of his past.

Price of a Coke

I still can't get over paying more than a nickel for a coke. When I had the Guard Company at Quantico in 1953 I had two coke machines in my barracks. The company raised the price from 10 cents to 25. I had the 1st Sgt (who had been my gunnery sergeant in the spring of '45 when I was in the ITR at Le Jeune) call the company and ask where they wanted us to put the machines when we threw them out of G Barracks. The price of a coke quickly returned to 10 cents. Those were the days.

SF Sully


For those interested, the full blown invasion of Cuba including troop lists, timing factors, concept of the operation, and other details were contained in CINCLANT 316. Two other plans, with different CINCLANT numbers were also an option and discussed by the JCS. I was the TS Control Officer of the G-4 Division when the plan was first, and routinely, routed around. Our branches were interested in the annexes rather than the overall plan. If memory serves the plan itself was some 2 and a half inches thick. With the annexes you had a stack well over a foot high. The vast majority of documents such as this and other contingency plans from other CINC's and Specified Commands were simply initialed on the disclosure sheets and the "reader" seldom delved beyond that. Anyway, as the situation "heated up" someone up the chain wanted to know who was actually exposed to the details.

Hence, the famous command. "If the disclosure sheet had the initials of the 'Reader" but the "Reader" had not actually exposed themselves to the contents, they were to erase or blot out their initials, and then initial their erasures."

Sort of like Tienstin in '45 and '46. The Japanese Bridge over the river that bisected the town went out of commission about the same time that the Chinese took over the operation. Ocean going vessels that were able to lower their stacks and desired to continue west up the river would feverishly hustle to take down their stacks, hence the Marine saying: "Don't raise the bridge, lower the damned stacks."

Gunny Gaines

FOR ALL: Gunny Gaines is an old friend of mine. Over the years he's published lots of my stuff. Damned nice of him to republish my Oswald story. I still get a kick out of rereading it, and I hope others will as well. Gaines runs a blog that I'd guess has mostly MC subscribers. My guess is that his distribution list is in the hundreds. Should you desire to be added to that list a msg to the Gunny will surely suffice. He has a wide group of contributors. This includes a Col Sellin. The Good Colonel is an expert on the Middle East and his knowledge and expertise of events in there is truly awe inspiring. This is particularly true in my case since I know nothing of the history and current events happening there. For me reading his articles is truly educational and enlightening.

SF Sully

Wally Reid

Let me begin by saying that Wally became the older brother I was never gifted with. Everyone in 5th Basic knew or knew of Wally. He was by far the most decorated of the 300 2dlts in our year group. Should you ever visit NAS Pensacola the Museum there has the most extensive displays of Navy and MC aircraft in the world. Among those aircraft is the SBD Wally flew in as a Radioman/Navigator/Gunner (twin 30s). You can see the patched up hole through which Wally suffered a leg wound. Wally's only and older brother was a Sgt, and also a rear seat man on a SBD, ( and had been KIA at Pearl Harbor. That made Wally a sole surviving son that exempted him from combat if he so chose. (I and everyone else kidded him without mercy about this when we sailed to Korea, claiming that he'd fink out when we reached Pusan.) From that aircraft Wally was credited with shooting down one and a half Zeros with his twin 30s. Almost unheard of to shoot down a Zero from the back seat.

Wally earned his Silver Star, as well as his Air Medals and DFC. Short story: after we left the SSP 313, Perch, Wally and I reported to Camp Del Mar. We had a new XO who was a grounded aviator. The XO, a 1stLt, every time he had a chance made fun of us lowly 2dLts. One morning I picked up Wally and we drove to Del Mar. Wally had decked himself out with a blouse with all his badges flying. When we entered the office, the XO did a double take but spoke not a damned word. The Company Commander was Kenny Houghton who observed all this with a twinkle in his eye. Wally took off his blouse and turning to the XO he said "And I'll tell you something else, Lieutenant. I was the second enlisted in MC History to be awarded a DFC." Wally= 1. XO= 0.

Wally, thank God, took me under his wing. He'd gently correct me if he saw me making a mistake, or in an instance where I could have done something better. I loved the man. On the 342 Massif at Ching Dong Ni Wally had been KIA before I was ordered to the summit. With every other officer hit in the head I became the acting 6 as reported in Time Magazine. I was the one who determined that trying to recover our dead who were far down the slop (there were 14) would result in more casualties, and ordered that no recovery effort should be made. The 14 were picked up by an Army Graves Registration Team a week later and buried at Masan. I'll write that story later.

Didn't mean to have this turn in to an epistle. But thinking about Wally opens an artery and memories come pouring out. Later I'll write the whole story.

(My radio call sign when I commanded 1/4 in 1966. I always thought the word "piedpiper" was wonderfully descriptive of what we were doing. Hamlin would have been proud of us.)

The Old Corps...

There is one phrase that every Marine I knew repeats on any appropriate occasion. That is: "Now, Back In The Old Corps." What is an appropriate occasion, you ask. Well anytime you are addressing a Marine with less time in Our Beloved Corps. How much less time you ask? Well, hell's bells, anytime the person addressed has so much as one day less time than you do. Two of my favorites are: "There are three Marine Corps. One is the 'New Corps.' One is the 'Old Corps.' And the last is 'This Mother Humping outfit' There are only two good outfits in The Corps. The one you just left, and the one you've being assigned to" However, my all time favorite is: "I've been in the Corps so long that I made Private First Class on the same Promotion List that Christ made Corporal." Should the reader be able to add a few of his own please send them to Thanks.

Stolen Valor ??

In 1957 I was on my second year as a Supply Tour with the 3d Marine Air Wing. After the usual Friday night festivities at the Officers Club, one of my friends and I wandered into the bar area for a nightcap....not that either one of us needed it. And there, sitting at the bar was a 2dLt in full uniform. He had badges, ribbons, and all kinds of wings on his green blouse. Among his gongs I spied two Navy Crosses, a half dozen Distinguished Flying Crosses, and a hat full of Silver Stars and Air Medals. He also had all the "Perfect Attendance Ribbons." It was either a case of Stolen Valor in spades, or this officer was demented. Sidling up to him I decided to ascertain which. So I said to him, "With all your decorations, I'm terribly surprised you're a 2dLt." He looked at me with his bloodshot eyes and began his story.

"Yeah. And I've been a 2dLt since 1941. Now 16 years and counting. And I have a hunch I'll stay a 2dLt until I retire on 30. But I have no personal complaints because it was all my fault. It's because of a personal tragedy that happened to me on Henderson Field on Guadalcanal in 1942. You see, every night Washing Machine Charley came over at about 0200. With our early version of radar we had at the time, the operators couldn't tell if there were only our friend Charley or a whole flight of Jap Bettys. Whatever, the SOP was for pilots to man their Corsairs, start the engines, and prepare to take to the wild black yonder if so ordered. Well, this got right tiresome after 60 nights. So I decided to go back in the jungle and trap a monkey. Then I'd teach him to run to my aircraft, start the engine, and wait for the All Clear. The next 10 nights were positively blissful. But on the 11th night the aircraft were ordered into the sky. My monkey went with them. In the ensuing fight he managed to shoot down 5 Bettys, thus making him an ace. So, I'm in the fix I'm in through my own fault, and no one else's. But I later redeemed myself and became the 3d ranking ace in the entire Pacific War Theater. Also shot down 5 Russky jet jobs over the Yalu River in Korea. But I do admit to feeling a little bitter because of what happened to the monkey. That damned monkey is now a Major General and commands a Marine Air Wing"

And that's my story and I'm stuck with it. SF Sully

Political Humor

Donald Trump and Barack Obama ended up in the same barber shop. Each was being worked on by different barbers, and not a word was spoken. The barbers were even afraid to start a conversation, for fear it would turn into a political battle. As the barbers finished their shaves, the one who had Obama in his chair reached for the aftershave. Obama was quick to stop him saying, "No thanks, my wife Michelle will smell that and think I've been in a whorehouse all day." The second barber turned to Trump and said, "How about you sir?" Trump replied, "Go ahead My wife doesn't know what the inside of a whorehouse smells like." What do you think? Is it too political in nature for the website? SF Sully