Boots on the Ground
A worn pair of Marine combat boots presented to the Calhoun county museum took me back fifty-two years. The boots belonged to PFC Sammy Gray Evans KIA (1947-1967). These same US combat boots were issued to all Marine recruits in the 1960’s. Marines were issued two pair and one had to be re-soled with all the marching and hill climbing in sunny California (Marine recruits from west of the Mississippi River train in California). This pair of boots were in Sammy’s sea bag for over fifty years and tell a story of transition from a lowly recruit to a qualified Marine. From the time you stood on the Recruit Depot yellow footprints until deployment six months later those boots were well worn. I was issued jungle boots in 1969, but Sammy, being two years earlier may have worn these boots in-country. In Jan of 1967 Sammy’s company Foxtrot, 2nd Bn, 1st Marines assumed control of a strategic position on Loc Son mountain.
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