Riders on the Storm
The truth has to be told, so I’m finally going to tell it.
It was 24 FEB 91. The USS Tarawa was off the coast of Kuwait. At 0430, Gunny Reed shouted, “Drop your cocks and grab your socks.” The berthing area lights blasted on and every Marine jumped. Nylon and canvass hissed, gear popped, ALICE packs thumped on the deck. Murmured talk and laughter rose, undulating. An excited buzz was in the air, like a locker room before a big game. They were going in-country, going to get combat action ribbons.
Corporal Kline was packed. He lay in his rack and recorded everything in the journal he kept in his cargo pocket.
At 0440, they ran through the ship’s passageways and chugged up stairwells—gear swishing and thumping, rifle butts banging against steel bulkheads—and ran into the dim hangar bay and curled around the heavy bulkhead…
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