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Shore Duty Charlie Joseph CharlieJ cajoseph@us.hsanet.net A salty Navy Chief and a crusty Army First Sergeant are at a bar arguing about who had the tougher career.

"I did 30 years in the Rangers," the SFC declared proudly, "and fought in three wars. Fresh out of boot camp, I hit the beach at Okinawa, clawed my way up the blood-soaked sand, and eventually took out an entire enemy machine gun nest with a single grenade.

As a sergeant, I fought in Korea alongside General MacArthur. We pushed back the enemy inch by bloody inch all the way up to the Chinese border, always under a barrage of artillery and small arms fire.

Finally, as a Staff Sergeant, I did three consecutive combat tours in Vietnam. We humped through the mud and razor grass for 14 hours a day, plagued by rain and mosquitoes, ducking under sniper fire all day and mortar
fire at night. In a fire fight, we'd shoot until our arms ached and our guns were empty, then we'd charge the enemy with bayonets!"

Looking straight ahead, the Chief says nothing. Then after a deliberately long, slow drink, the Chief says, "Yeah, figures...all shore duty."

Charliej



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