CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- Alumni from Company H, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division who fought in the Vietnam War gathered in the 5th Marines Memorial Garden aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. on Aug. 7, 2014. The veterans visited Camp Pendleton for a wreath ceremony at the garden and visit with the Marines currently with the regiment.
“They are having a reunion with their comrades and experiencing what Marines are like today,” said Sgt. Garret Jolly, assistant operations chief with 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines. “We want our veterans to keep in good faith that their battalion is in good hands with the generation of Marines that they have today and we want them to know and understand we’ll hold their honor clean no matter what it takes,” he added.
During the visit, veterans moved from the Memorial Garden to the Infantry Immersion Trainer to see the Marines within the battalion today in live-action. The IIT allows a squad of Marines to execute a safety patrol while under constant surveillance. Immediately following the patrol, the squad is brought into the reviewing room to talk through the decisions they made and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses.
The veterans ended the day engaged in an informal question and answer session with noncommissioned officers with combat experience within the battalion to discuss the changes in combat since Vietnam.
“There’s a lot of shared experiences, we just sit around and tell stories,” said Maj. Barry Broman who left active duty in 1971. Leaving active duty as a Captain, he was promoted to major in the reserves and later retired from the Marine Corps.
“It’s good to see the guys and meet new guys,” said Broman. “Some of the guys are a little damaged and something like this is very cathartic for them because a lot of people can’t relate to who we were or what we did.”