Moral Guidance
William Peck, MSgt. USMC (Ret.)

On or about 5 August 1965, a short time before embarking for Vietnam, word was passed that the squadron's Staff NCOs and Sergeants were to attend a Morals Guidance lecture given by the Group Chaplin Lieutenant Commander Howard.  The lecture was held in the Group's training area and we had gathered waiting for the Chaplin.  From the back of the room the Sgtergeant Major called us to attention as the Chaplin entered.

"Good Morning Mother F---ers," the Chaplin stated loudly and then for the next 20 or thirty minutes the cleanest words out of his mouth were it, and, and the.  As he left we again were called to attention and Chaplin Howard's parting words were, "Gentlemen have I made my F--king point!"

Ohhhh we had gotten the point right enough.  I venture to say that this hardened group of Marines had never heard a Hellfire and Brimstone sermon from any church leader like this one.  Further, I can say from the reactions in that room we were slightly shocked that the Padre even knew such language.

Well, we watched our language for about thirty three and one half micro seconds.  When ever Padre Howard was around we were like choirs boys. One hell fire sermon from this man was enough for a life time.

Several weeks later we were in the Nam.  Chaplin Howard would, on occasion, come down to the flight line wearing shower shoes with his trousers rolled up and wearing a clear plastic rain coat.  He would be checking on his spiritual charges.

Well, on one of his sweeps he came upon Sgt. Howard Garcia who was setting cross legged at the bottom of his engine.  Sgt. Garcia was in the process of replacing the chip detector and was putting the final torque on the devise.  Sgt. Garcia was well aware of the Chaplin Howard's presence as the Chaplin had asked  Sgt. Garcia how he was that day.  As often happens when torquing a device the torque wrench will slip.  Sgt Garcia's hand shot straight into the jugs cooling fins.  He was rolling around on the ground turning purple so to speak but hadn't said a word when Chaplin Howard came over and said "Hurts like hell doesn't it?"  What Sgt Garcia replied can not be repeated here.

MSgt. William V. M. Peck's History Index

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