March 1, 2019

Float Tapes: Part – 3

My Float Tapes… Back in August of 2001 I was in the Marine Corps with Bravo Company 1/1 out of Camp Pendleton. I was a young Sergeant, a squad leader in a line company. I was set to head out on a Westpac (Western Pacific) deployment with the 15th MEU SOC (Marine Expeditionary Unit – Special Operations Capable). The plan was to make our way over to Djibouti, Eastern Africa, do some training and come home. Plans changed on September 11th.

I set out back then to create a Float Video, following my experience on that deployment. I had a little Sony HandyCam that used MiniDV tapes. Over the course of the next 6 months I captured about 19 hours of footage. Following myself from start to finish on that deployment.

When I returned I didn’t know where to start with all of the footage and was busy with life. The Float Tapes, 19 of them, got misplaced in the shuffle and lost until I finally found them about 18 years later. This will be the story of that deployment…

Part 3 picks up back on ship. After 72 hours of liberty it is time to weigh anchor and head out. Which of course means manning the rails… …forever. After some sage advice from Gunny we get cut loose to ship life.

On that initial leg over to Hawaii they laid a number of veterans to rest out in the ocean. Taps, at the end of the ceremony, always has a way of moving me.

Lots of time aboard ship was filled with grappling as well. Until we finally reached Hawaii…


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