HOW TO BE MARRIED TO A MARINE FIGHTER PILOT--A Marine Corps pilot's wife: F-4s, F/A-18s and aviators from my perspective.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


     My last post was not in the finest tradition of military wives. Anniversaries of death are private. Remembering the one who’s gone by crazy stories of times past is supported and lauded. So here's one story:    

     My brother Don, a first lieutenant in the Marine Corps, was coming to MCAS El Toro on his first cross-country from VMFA 333 Beaufort SC in 1969. We knew he was on his way home; he’d told us he’d let us know when he was close. 
     About the time he was supposed to arrive, we heard a jet. Not unusual, except this one got closer and closer, louder and louder, way too close and way too loud--so close we were sure it was going to hit the house so we ran outside. We stood on our front lawn in Claremont, California and watched a Phantom F-4 divebomb to within a hundred yards of the ground, then turn up into the sky, great gouts of flame spouting from its twin engines and as it arrowed into the sky, afterburners lit.   
     A neighbor with experience in the Korean War threw himself on his wife, knocking them both to the ground, certain the plate glass sliding door was going to shatter. Not one person had the presence of mind to get the tail number or remember the trefoil design on the tail. When MCAS El Toro was contacted, they responded with, “None of our jets are in the air.”  

     My brother had let us know he was close. He was almost home.   
     The picture at the beginning of the post of Don with his wings in his Marine green uniform isn't my favorite. He's smiling, but not his smile of appreciation for crazy antics in the air and on the ground. Here's a picture of him at the training command before he got his wings.
Wouldn't it be fun to hang out with him? Yep.


  1. Marcia,

    I loved your last post. I see nothing wrong with speaking of grief in a public forum. I do it all the time.

    I equally love this story of your brother getting away with flying too close and letting y'all know he was almost home. Glad no one got the tail number.

    Love you and love your work!


  2. Just stumbled across this blog via your Twitter page and loving it. Wonderful work.

    Project 365 Vets

  3. Thank you. I've added your blog on my list. I love what you are doing. So many stories of members of our fine military.

  4. However you choose to deal with grief, it's just good that you are...your brother deserves your loving memories. :)