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Surfing for Dolphins

A radio story. I hate radios, but this moment will always be remembered fondly.


I think I’ve shared this story before, but I’ll share it again.


The other Marine in this story is LCpl. Lance Clark. He died on his second deployment in 2007.

As the platoon radio operator, I had a number of various responsibilities including changing out all the radio batteries, cleaning the terminal contacts, updating the clocks and crypto. This would take a little while.

One day, when I was doing in garrison, this I pulled all the radios and set them next to my cot. Laying on my back, effectively laying in bed, I pulled the first radio up onto my chest, changed the battery, cleaned the contacts, updated everything, and called battalion for a radio check. Once I knew that radio was good, I switched it to the platoon channel and would check the other radios against it.

Right after I got the first radio ready, Clark walked past the room I was in(the room my whole squad bunked in) and asked if I needed help. Now let me express how awesome and special LCpl. Clark was as helping other marines is not a common virtue in my corps. I told him what I was doing and he suggested that he help and we turn it into a training exercise. Clark was a tube stroker mortarman, and because he was being forced to degrade him self and function as a rifleman that was not letting him improve in his designated career field. (My words, not his) He wanted to practice the mortar teams side of the radio communication. So, he took the known good radio over to the next room where he bunked (with his squad). I would clean and prep a radio, then call his radio with a practice indirect fire mission. I could practice my nine-line missions, immediate suppression missions, and other radio calls and he would get to practice being the person on the other end. He would help me do my job, and help us both become better.

As I have been trying to imply, Clark was a hell of a guy.

So as I am working my way though this stack of radios, I get one ready, and I call in an -faux- indirect fire mission. Practice shifting fire, responding with a battle damage assessment, etc. About three-quarters of the way though the stack of radios I call in a -faux- immediate suppression mission.

Charley Mortars, THIS IS Charley Four Alpha REQUSTING IMMEDIATE SUPPRESSION on grid WON TOO TREE FOOR FIF SEX. How copy?

~Me

As I was saying this, my platoon commander, platoon sergeant, and the squad leaders walked by the door to my room. Almost panicking, they shout, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING‽”. In my most innocent voice I reply, “Calling for immediate suppression on grid 123456.” One of them immediately shouts back, “YOU CAN’T DO THAT!”. In my innocent, child like voice, I softly respond, “But I just did.

Copy, IMMEDIATE SUPPRESSION on grid WON TOO TREE FOOR FIF SEX.

SPLASH OVER

the radio cackled in response

“SPLASH OUT” I responded to the radio.

Oddly enough, the gaggle of superiors there just sorta disappeared.

I don’t know if they realized what was going on, or if they just decided it would be better for them to not be there.

Either way, Clark and I finished our training and all the radios were cleaned, updated, and tested. I got up, got the first radio back from Clark, and put them all back in their respective vehicles or fireteams.


A little more information about Lance Clark is available here:
https://www.iraqwarheroes.org/clarkl.htm


Clark fooling around with an A2

Let me end this story with a photo someone else took of Clark taking a shit. I do regret that I only took a few photos when I was in Iraq. Most of the photos I have were taken by other people. I really wish we had something like the modern GoPro camera back then.

If I were him I’d be worried about getting shit on my drop leg.

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