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Raymond L Britt
Branch: Marine Corps
Rank: Sgt
War or Conflict: Vietnam War, Cold War
Years of Service: 7
My father enlisted in the Marine Corps when he was 17 years old. He quit high school due to a serious brain concussion while at school, during his gym class.

He arrived at Parris Island, SC on January 21, 1965 and assigned to Platoon 207, K Company, 2d Marine Recruit Battalion. He graduated from Parris Island in March, 1965 and went on to Camp Geiger, NC for Advanced Infantry Training.

On July 1, 1965 dad arrived at his first duty station, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California with Marine Observation Squadron Six (VMO-6). Within six weeks of his arrival, VMO-6 packed up, came aboard the USS Princeton, LPH-5, and left Longbeach, California heading for the Vietnam War, arriving at Ky Ha, Republic of Vietnam on September 1, 1965.

My father was in the Vietnam War for 13 months, serving as an Infantry man, guard, Administrative Clerk, and then volunteered for one of the most dangerous jobs there in Vietnam; that of a machine door gunner on the Marine Corps UH-1E Armed Attack Helicopter. This squadron would later produce two Marine Corps officers that were connected to two Medal of Honor Earners; Captain Stephen W Pless and that of a Recon Marine, SSgt Jimmy Howard. The Commanding Officer of VMO-6 in addition, earned a Navy Cross, posthumously, attempting to rescue the SSgt Jimmy Howard team, off of Hill 488 in the Republic of South Vietnam.

My father, earned the Air Medal with # 1, two Navy Achievement Medals, the Combat Action Ribbon, two Good Conduct Medals, the Marine Corps Combat Air Crew Wings, the Marine Corps Marksman Badge, the Marine Corps Expert Pistol Bade, and other Unit Awards, totaling 20 Marine Corps Awards and Decorations in those seven years, which were all during the Vietnam War Years.

Though my father is a true Patriot, this country, both the federal government and the citizens, rejected him while on the battlefields of Vietnam. Seventeen years after he left the battlefields of Vietnam, he began to suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and came into direct contact with agent orange. He suffers from both today, into his 68th year of life.

Even after being rejected by the federal government on several occasions, my father still sees himself as the Patriot he was during his years 17 to 24. Today he would still risk his life for those that could not fight for themselves. He would no doubt today take a bullet for this country.

My father, at 68 years old, is still a U. S. Marine. You may take the boy out of the country, but no one will be able to take the Marine out of my father!

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