Area veteran recalls life as a U.S. Marine

SGT. RON ADKINS, U.S.M.C. 1971-1975

The slogan, "Once a Marine, always a Marine," is as true today as it was before. Joining up in 1971, we arrived for basic at Parris Island, S.C. As soon as you leave the bus and stand on those painted yellow foot prints, your life and world changes.


The Marine drill instructors like to tear down the civilian, and train them to be a lean, mean, green, fighting machine.


Every young person of this nation should serve at least one year in the service. I think they would benefit from the discipline and be better citizens for it.


The instructors say, "You don't have to be crazy to be a G.I., but it helps." You are yelled at, screamed at, speak only when spoken to and the first and last words you say are "sir."


Then you are out-fitted with all your gear - uniforms, socks, underwear, shoes, boots, canvas bag and that most important piece of equipment, a rifle. Also, everyone gets the hair-cut, so we all look the same, almost.


Next morning at 5 a.m., a garbage can bangs down the barracks floor, and a greeting of "wake-up maggots," follows. Then you do the 3 (S's), run outside to get information for chow.


After the fastest breakfast you ever had, a nice three-mile run, push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, climbing, crawling, etc., then to classes on military history, general orders, drill and learning to clean and know every part of your best friend, your rifle.


All our days are filled, from sun-up to sun-down, or as our gunny says, "From can-see to can't-see." You are pushed to the limit, mentally and physically, sometimes you think beyond it. But this is necessary, "War ain't no day at the beach," Gunny says. Some of us didn't finish basic.


My four years in "The Corp" taught me a lot. It is good to be part of "the few, the proud," we entered as boys and came out, men. We also had as good of a mentor as we could have had.


My senior drill-instructor was awarded a silver star in Vietnam, calling in artillary fire to save his platoon from a V.C. ambush. "The mortar rounds were coming in close; real close," he said. He was only 25 years-old and his name is Gunnery Sergeant Chris Crouch.


Already a Gunnery-Sergeant, he told us that "No matter what your background, what city you're from, what color you are, on the outside, a marine is green or khaki. One day that man will save your life and will cover fire for you. You're all in this, together. Give your souls to God, the rest is mine."


I want to dedicate this story to all "jar-heads" especially my friends, Luis Peralta (B.B.), Mark Blevins (Homie), Tom Murphy (Too-Tall), my buddy Jim Nieder Meyer (Genius) and all the men of Platoon 1012. Also, to all the men and women who have died in service to this country; "my brothers and sisters in-arms." The bible says, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." We honor their memory. Semper Fi.


The Marines, "First to fight,


last to leave."


Happy Veterans Day!


Thanks, Gunny.








Friday Night Lights


Here is a look at this weekend's high school football playoff games in Kentucky and West Virginia:


Class 1A


(Second Round)


Pikeville (6-4)


at Williamsburg (7-3)


Date: Nov. 10


Site: Yellowjacket Stadium


Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.


Radio: 98.1 FM


Coaches: Chris McNamee (Pikeville); Jerry Herron Jr. (Williamsburg)


Players to Watch: QB Connor Roberts, WR Seth Pugh (Pikeville); QB Alec Poore, WR Eli Mattingly (Williamsburg)


Last Week's Results: Pikeville 47, Harlan 14; Williamsburg, DNP.




Paintsville (10-1)


vs. Bracken County (9-2)


Date: Nov. 10


Site: Memorial Field


Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.


Radio: 94.7 FM


Coaches: Joe Chirico (Paintsville); Dave Brausch (Bracken County)


Players to Watch: RB Tyrese Allen, QB Jake Hyden (Paintsville); RB Griffin Appleman, RB Tad Fisher (Bracken County)


Last Week's Results: Paintsville 41, Nicholas County 21; Bracken County 36, Fairview 6.




Class A


(Opening Round)


Tug Valley (9-1)


vs. Pocahontas County (7-3)


Date: Nov. 11


Site: Bob Brewer Field


Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.


Coaches: Tony Clusky (Tug Valley); Doug Burns (Pocahontas County)


Players to Watch: RB Noah Lucas, RB Chris Ellis (Tug Valley); RB Shane Peacock, QB Briar Wilfong (Pocahontas County)


Last Week's Results: Tug Valley 40, Lincoln County 6; Pocahontas County 28, Shady Spring 17.




Class 2A


(Second Round)


Prestonsburg (7-4)


vs. Lexington Christian (10-1)


Date: Nov. 10


Site: Josh Francis Field


Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.


Radio: 95.5 FM


Coaches: John DeRossett (Prestonsburg); Ethan Atchley (Lexington Christian)


Players to Watch: RB Ethan Varney, RB Ryne Slone (Prestonsburg); RB Dillon Wheatley, QB Logan Nieves (Lexington Christian)


Last Week's Results: Prestonsburg 35, Middlesboro 14; Lexington Christian 48, Leslie County 0.




Class AA


(Opening Round)


Mingo Central (10-0)


vs. Robert C. Byrd (6-4)


Date: Nov. 11


Site: "Buck" Harless Stadium


Kickoff: 1:30 p.m.


Radio: 96.5 FM


Coaches: Joey Fields (Mingo Central); Josh Gorrell (Robert C. Byrd)


Players to Watch: QB Jeremy Dillon, RB Dawson Elia (Mingo Central); RB Malcom Johnson, QB Xavier Lopez


Last Week's Results: Mingo Central 56, Winfield 50; Philip Barbour 21, Robert C. Byrd 20.




Class 3A


(Second Round)


Belfry (10-1)


vs. Waggener (5-6)


Date: Nov. 10


Site: CAM Stadium


Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.


Radio: 93.1 FM


Coaches: Philip Haywood (Belfry); Jordan Johnson (Waggener)


Players to Watch: RB Derek Wellman, RB Justin Adkins (Belfry); QB Alijah Sickles, RB Brandon Jones (Waggener)


Last Week's Results: Belfry 63, Thomas Nelson 26; Waggener 41, Lawrence County 24.






Floyd Central (8-3)


vs. Central (9-2)


Date: Nov. 10


Site: Central Field


Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.


Radio: 100.1 FM


Coaches: Shawn Hager (Floyd Central); Marvin Dantzler (Central)


Players to Watch: RB Josh Whitaker, QB Dylan Caudill (Floyd Central); RB Takaius Linton, QB Rico White (Central)


Last Week's Results: Floyd Central 43, Henry County 35; Central 50, Pike Central 0.




Class 4A


(Second Round)


Johnson Central (9-2)


at Scott (8-3)


Date: Nov. 10


Site: Eagle Stadium


Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.


Radio: 98.9 FM


Coaches: Jim Matney (Johnson Central); Dan Woolley (Scott)


Players to Watch: RB Blake Gamble, QB Riley Preece (Johnson Central); RB Quincy Perrin, RB Nelson Perrin (Scott)


Last Week's Results: Johnson Central 43, Mason County 0; Scott 49, Rowan County 7.




— Compiled by Staff Writer Teddy Paynter. He may be reached at 606-218-4932, 606-794-3609 or by e-mail at: