3 January 2000

Gunny Bowers

Clyde Queen 

Staff Sergeant, United States Marine Corps, (Honorably Discharged) 

After we left the Chosin Reservoir, we were sent to a place called Masan for about two weeks for regrouping, and supplies.  We were then sent into another battle against the Chinese called the "Spring Offensive."  It was there, I was taken out by concussion from an incoming artillery round.  

When I left the hospital, I was sent back to Masan, and assigned to an MP unit to await my normal rotation back to the states.  This particular MP unit guarded Marine Prisoners who had been "bad boys." They were awaiting their trial at a General Court Martial for various heavy duty offenses they had committed, ranging from rape to murder in the first degree.

Master Sergeant Bowers, "Gunny Bowers," he preferred to be called, was in charge of the MP unit. He was quite a colorful, and salty old Marine at that.  He found an old Korean walking cane that he carried around with him, everywhere he went.  One morning a brand new Second Lieutenant fresh out of Quantico had arrived in the first Replacement Draft. 

One morning as we were standing around a bonfire we had going in the yard and drinking coffee, the young Second Lieutenant walked up to Gunny Bowers with his hands in his pockets, and said: "Sergeant, I've been here for three weeks now, and every time I see you, you've got that God Forsaken looking stick in your hands.  Do you feel the need to carry that damn thing around with you every where you go?"

Gunny Bowers took his pipe out of his mouth, looked the brash young shave-tail up and down, and said:  "Well, no Lieutenant, I don't feel the need to carry it around.  The only reason I do is, "IT HELPS ME KEEP MY GOD DAMN HANDS OUT OF MY POCKETS!"  The Second Lieutenant (jerking his hands out of his pockets) turned, and darted away like a puppy dog that had just been kicked in the rear end.