Monday March 8th, 2010 I was part of a small working party at our local shooting range here in Stuart, Fl. While there, a shooter arrived and I was introduced to him by the Range Officer (another retired Marine) who wanted me to meet him as the newly arrived man had also been in the Marine Corps. We talked over some coffee and the normal questions ensued, "where did you go to boot camp". I answered Parris Island. He asked if I ever went back there and I answered "yes", and told him I was there as a Drill Instructor for two years from 1957 until 1959. I added I was married at the P.I. Chapel in 1957.
The guy got a strange look on his face and seemed a little "intense" before the next question which was; "were you in the 2d battalion?" My answer was "yes", then he said "I was in Platoon 222, does that mean anything to you?" I said; "that was one of my platoons in 1958" Next, he said "my Drill Instructors were S/Sgt. Bantleon, S/Sgt. Payne and Sgt. Roy". Suppressing a big grin, my next comment was simply; I am that S/Sgt.Payne.
We talked a very long time and he just kept shaking his head and saying "I don't believe it", ...I just can't believe it". "Fifty-two years and here we are face to face."
He wanted to know what my rank was when I retired and if Donna and I were still married and basically what I had done with my life. We filled in the years of what we both had been doing. We now are going to try to get together plus do some shooting together.
Dave, this is the second recruit that I put through Parris Island and have seen and talked with, but,... that's another story. This gentleman's name is Dr. Dan McCarty and I must tell you the pleasure of meeting this fine man was all mine. I might add he is still all Marine.
You have a narrative I wrote on my 50th anniversary of going to D.I. School. I was visiting Parris Island when I wrote the piece a while back. It is under my name on the Purple Fox web-site entitled "Parris Island Plus Fifty-years, A Reflection"
Major Courtney B. Payne USMC (Ret.)
2207 NW Pine Lake Dr.
Stuart, Fl. 34994