Santos, Bernardo, Jr., Cpl

Communications
 
 Service Photo 
 Service Details
116 kb
View Shadow Box View Printable Shadow Box View Time Line View Family Time Line
Current Service Status
Family Member
Current/Last Rank
Corporal
Current/Last Primary MOS
2531-Field Radio Operator
Current/Last MOSGroup
Communications
Primary Unit
1968-1968, 2531, 3rd Bn, 1st Marine Regiment (3/1)
Service Years
1967 - 1971

Corporal

 
 


 Ribbon Bar

 

 Official Badges 


 Unofficial Badges 


 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
Chapter 730
  1971, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 730 (Chairman) (Henderson, Nevada)


 Additional Information
What are you doing now:
Sun, fun and travel!

I retired at an early age. We travel, read, write and do real estate.
I do what I wish. We look for business opportunities online.
We read a lot, Internet, Housework, travel, gardening and whatever.
In 2017, I was declared 100% Unemployable, because of my PTSD.
I have a DD-215, which is an updated DD-214, because of the added medals
to my record.
   
Other Comments:
Also write and photograph.
   

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1967, Boot Camp (San Diego, CA), 20068
  1967, Boot Camp (San Diego, CA), I/2006
 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
3rd Bn, 1st Marine Regiment  (3/1)3rd Bn, 1st Marine Regiment  (3/1)
  1968-1968, 2531, 3rd Bn, 1st Marine Regiment (3/1)
  1968-1968, 2531, 3rd Bn, 1st Marine Regiment (3/1)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1968-1968 Vietnam War/Tet Counteroffensive Campaign (1968)1
 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
Chapter 730
  1971, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 730 (Chairman) (Henderson, Nevada)


 Remembrance Profiles - 1 Marine Remembered
 Photo Album   (More...


Reflections on Cpl Santos's US Marine Corps Service
 
 Reflections On My Service
 
PLEASE DESCRIBE WHO OR WHAT INFLUENCED YOUR DECISION TO JOIN THE MARINE CORPS.
In 1967 my friend Benito, who later turned out to be the biggest jerk, joined the Army Airborne. He fought in Vietnam and earned several great Medals. So, I had to one-up him, and I joined the Marines, despite the protest and concern of friends and relatives. I failed my recruiting effort in Houston because I was honest and told them that I had Asthma, which I did.

So, what then was I supposed to do? Depending on how you look at it, I was either stupid or quite a patriot because I decided to travel to San Antonio and sign up there, omitting the fact that I had Asthma. I passed the entrance exam with a score of 100. I was in and on my way. The first night in USMC boot camp, I quietly cried. I was 18.
WHETHER YOU WERE IN THE SERVICE FOR SEVERAL YEARS OR AS A CAREER, PLEASE DESCRIBE THE DIRECTION OR PATH YOU TOOK. WHAT WAS YOUR REASON FOR LEAVING?
My intent when I signed up was to become a pilot. That was my intent, and I did mention that intent to them most strenuously. To my surprise, those who make such decisions assigned me as a Field Radio Operator. Little did I know what exactly that entailed. Suffice to say that my path became Communications. (MOS, 2531).
IF YOU PARTICIPATED IN ANY MILITARY OPERATIONS, INCLUDING COMBAT, HUMANITARIAN AND PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS, PLEASE DESCRIBE THOSE WHICH MADE A LASTING IMPACT ON YOU AND, IF LIFE-CHANGING, IN WHAT WAY?
A fresh US Marine at the height of the Vietnam war, what do you think? I was sent overseas in January 1967. First to Guam for more training and then to Vietnam in January 1968. I was in something called the 'Afloat Phase' and quickly learned that this was not going to be fun, even though at the beginning I was stationed on a Naval Air Craft Carrier (the Valley Forge) and had hot meals and a bed and no combat -- yet. Much too soon, we were boarding helicopters for our flight into the hot-beds of Vietnam. The shit hit the fan. We immediately received fire rounds, lots of them from everywhere. We'd hit the ground and scurry for cover and fired back. This is the time you realize your true self. Will you shit or be brave.

I must say that in all my battles there, I never shitted once nor did I cry, although I did lots of praying! A field radio operator is an easy target because of the little 3' antenna waving proudly for all Congs to zero on. I had many rounds (bullets) zinging by my ears and some that actually cracked, which is WAY too close. Someone up above was watching out for me because I did not suffer a round hitting any of my extremities. However, I did get hit by shrapnel as I minded my own business on top of an Amtrac. Oh, and yes, eventually, the helicopters would come back and pick us up, and we'd repeat the same thing every month or two. I left Vietnam in December 1968, still in the height of the TET offensive. I had been in 9 major Operations. Mostly in the province of Quang Tri.
OF ALL YOUR DUTY STATIONS OR ASSIGNMENTS, WHICH ONE DO YOU HAVE FONDEST MEMORIES OF AND WHY? WHICH WAS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
It is tough being in the Marines for 4 years and having a 'FOND' memory. I was a really good soldier but not a good Marine. I hated the hierarchy. I did have a fond or proud memory while I was in Vietnam. There was a time that I had to call in Medevac. I did it exactly by the book, and the wounded soldier was safely picked up. The pilot gave me glowing praise for how I handled the situation. And word got back to the Command Center. I am proud of that to this day.
FROM YOUR ENTIRE MILITARY SERVICE, DESCRIBE ANY MEMORIES YOU STILL REFLECT BACK ON TO THIS DAY.
I am very proud that I served my country with honor, bravery, and patriotism. Even to this day, I am a long time member of the Military Order of Purple Heart, the DAV, American Legion, and VFW.
WHAT PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENTS ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF FROM YOUR MILITARY CAREER?
This was touched upon earlier. My purple heart was really not for Valor as I was with my Lieutenant on top of an Amtrac (think Tank) when the lieutenant was hit by Shrapnel on the cheek, and I received shrapnel to my back-right-shoulder. Many of the Valor times occurred when we were pinned down, and I tried my best to get others out of harm's way. Our Unit received the 'Cross of Gallantry' for our actions. One becomes very religious in such 'valorous' moments!
OF ALL THE MEDALS, AWARDS, FORMAL PRESENTATIONS AND QUALIFICATION BADGES YOU RECEIVED, OR OTHER MEMORABILIA, WHICH ONE IS THE MOST MEANINGFUL TO YOU AND WHY?
The Purple Heart, The Cross of Gallantry, and the Four Major movements in Vietnam during the TET offensive. The Purple Heart is the most meaningful as it indicates the height of Patriotism.
WHICH INDIVIDUAL(S) FROM YOUR TIME IN THE MILITARY STAND OUT AS HAVING THE MOST POSITIVE IMPACT ON YOU AND WHY?
The Drill Instructor's biggest impact, as, within a few short months, they instill discipline and fear. I still remember boot camp and all of my Drill Instructor's names. Other than that, for the rest of my years with the Marines, I cannot think of a single individual that stands out as having a big impact on me.
CAN YOU RECOUNT A PARTICULAR INCIDENT FROM YOUR SERVICE, WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE BEEN FUNNY AT THE TIME, BUT STILL MAKES YOU LAUGH?
No. Okay, I remember one. I was stationed on Adak Alaska, an island in the farthest part west of the Aleutian chain. I was on Security detail and drove a truck around the island. A mini-inspection is done before one takes on his security drive. It was dark, and I was inspecting and hopped into the driver's seat to do my checklist. No sooner was I in the driver's seat than I was out in a flash! Why? Some joker had put a Giant Alaskan King Crab on the passenger's side and still alive! I was not humored! That King Crab with its legs outstretched spanned the length of the seat.
WHAT PROFESSION DID YOU FOLLOW AFTER YOUR MILITARY SERVICE AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW? IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY SERVING, WHAT IS YOUR PRESENT OCCUPATIONAL SPECIALTY?
I fell into whatever I could. As everyone knows, the VietNam Vets were not very well received coming back from the war. We were 'baby-killers' or worse. Being in the Communications field, there was not much available. I floated from Texas to California and got a job working with my cousin in a restaurant. Luckily I decided I needed schooling and got an AA degree in Electronics. Living in 'Silicon Valley' near San Jose, I secured electronic jobs and flourish. At the same time, I jumped into Real Estate sales and investments. I consider myself an Entrepreneur and have tried, some not quite successful, many ventures and plans to make added income. I enjoy this immensely.
WHAT MILITARY ASSOCIATIONS ARE YOU A MEMBER OF, IF ANY? WHAT SPECIFIC BENEFITS DO YOU DERIVE FROM YOUR MEMBERSHIPS?
I am a member, most of them, lifetime memberships. The MOPH (Military Order of Purple Heart), the DAV (Disabled American Veteran), Veteran 'Hall of Fame', the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars), and others I can't place at the moment. I LOVE my MOPH membership! We help out at Veteran Nursing Homes and Hospitals, at the Vet Cemetery, at Senior Homes, and much more.
IN WHAT WAYS HAS SERVING IN THE MILITARY INFLUENCED THE WAY YOU HAVE APPROACHED YOUR LIFE AND YOUR CAREER? WHAT DO YOU MISS MOST ABOUT YOUR TIME IN THE SERVICE?
The military is Military, especially the Marines. Those who survive boot camp and war are indeed special. It affects everyone differently. Some commit suicide, others have mental problems, while others are somewhat not affected. I have had mental problems -- PTSD. It's not as bad as some other Vets that I know. Basically, I believe just about everyone should be required to take a year or two of Military Service. Why? It conditions you. It hardens you and humbles you and matures you, and you could learn a very good trade. A LOT of people NEED that right out of high school?especially punks, homeless kids, or those that wish to serve their country.
BASED ON YOUR OWN EXPERIENCES, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO THOSE WHO HAVE RECENTLY JOINED THE MARINE CORPS?
To try and think clearly and use common sense. There are many opportunities. Can you grasp them and use them to your advantage. In the case of being in a war, it's just perseverance, one of stubborn denial, and a headstrong 'forge-ahead' mentality. You either have it, or you don't. This is about Hot Warfare, not a desk job. Once one signs his life away, there's no turning back. Be the best you can be. Semper Fi!
IN WHAT WAYS HAS TOGETHERWESERVED.COM HELPED YOU REMEMBER YOUR MILITARY SERVICE AND THE FRIENDS YOU SERVED WITH.
Cpl Bernardo Santos, Jr. (pvamigo) - In what ways has TogetherWeServed.com helped you remember your military service and the friends you served with.
Good flow of information to others. Good feedback.


DS 12/23/20

Copyright Togetherweserved.com Inc 2003-2011