Should parents of US KIA's pay Federal income taxes?

It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.
George Washington

Don't let schooling interfere with your education.
Mark Twain

Total Pageviews

Monday, December 19, 2011

Another hero made in America

Wayne E. Rollings

In 1980, my family left the closest place to Heaven on Earth, and moved to Norfolk, Va, where my father was to attend the Armed Forces Staff College.  The day we arrived, we learned that an old family friend was also attending, and would be living right down the street from us.  I went with dad as he walked down the street to greet this old friend, and I will never forget my first meeting with Wayne Rollings.

He was young looking to me, and I was only 11.  He had a chew of tobacco in his cheek that would have choked a mule, and he held a yellow solo cup in his right hand, which was missing two fingers.  And the thing I remember most was when he spoke, he had such a pronounced Southern accent that I couldn't understand a word he said.

The Rollings had three children, a daughter my age, a son a few years younger, and then another daughter not yet school age.  Because of the friendship of our fathers, and the fact that we were Marine children (who chew nails while other kids suck on cotton candy), we became good friends.  I was, after a few days, able to understand Major Rollings drawl.

Wayne Rollings was the first person in my memory that I would have described as a PT stud.  He was a physical machine.  He had joined the Marine Corps in 1960, and served until 1965, when he got out and went to college.  He came back into the Corps in 1968 as a second lieutenant, and was almost immediately sent to Vietnam. 

In September of 1969, then Lieutenant Rollings earned the Navy Cross while leading a Force Recon patrol deep in enemy controlled territory.  When his patrol was engaged, he advanced under fire to protect his point man, who had some trouble with his weapon.  Then he charged the withdrawing enemy troops, taking a piece of high ground where he was able to call in air strikes on all the possible escape routes of the enemy troops.  He was wounded by grenade shrapnel and had several bullets go through his clothing, and one hit his gas mask, ripping it off his waist.  He was also awarded two Silver Stars and a Bronze Star, and did another tour in Vietnam in 1972 as an advisor to the South Vietnamese Marines.

In 1981, he would set a world record for sit-ups.  He did 40,000 in 16 hours, and only quit cause he had to pee.  I think I can safely say that I haven't done 40,000 sit-ups in my whole life (in fairness, I haven't done any since my discharge from the Marine Corps.)  For several years, he and some slobbering Soviet traded the record back and forth, but in '81, Rollings put it out of reach.  The Russian later beat his total by doing sets of 5,000.  If Rollings had done them in sets, he'd still be doing sit-ups.

Wayne Rollings went on to become a Major General.  He is still a PT stud.  His son served in the Marine Corps in Iraq, and his second daughter is married to a Marine.  Again, a single family has taken on more of the burden so so many don't have to.  I wonder if Obama thinks this is "fair"? 


  1. I seem to post about heroes, while you seem to post about ICONS. Even though I never served, I still seem to see the greatness of these men. And as I posted, that Southern drawal, brings me back home.

    Great post, keep it up.

  2. Johnny,

    I was blessed to grow up around men like these. These guys were my coaches in football and basketball. They were my mentors in marksmanship. And in many ways, they were responsible for me being tough as nails.

    An ICON I hope to post about soon was actually zipped up in a body bag, and would have been dead except he moved when they matched his identity. He went on to be a Colonel, and when I saw him out mowing his grass without a shirt on, I was amazed that he lived. You couldn't count the scars on his torso.

    Seeing greatness doesn't require that you served. Knowing someone that served helps; being willing to understand things you don't agree with also helps. Mud and his ilk can't get past their opposition to the war in order to appreciate the warrior. And I feel sad for them.

  3. I look forward to more Icons. I know plenty of people that served, and feel priviledged for knowing them. As far as Shit_PILE goes, I thinkwe would be best served never speaking of him again. He is a dispicable form of the human Genus. He shows people what Obama followers truly look like

  4. There were poster portraits on the walls of our barracks of guys like Rollings with a few paragraphs telling their story and how they exemplified being a soldier.

    Mud and his ilk have historically shit in their own drinking water and became minor footnotes of history.

  5. If PT didn't include Running, I would compete;/

  6. Tenth,

    I served for about a year as a Company Commander under LtCol Rollings in peace time. It was an honor. In addition to being courageous he was a compassionate and highly intelligent leader of Marines.

    Something that the Mud_PILEs of this world would never understand is that men like Rollings would be stand-outs in any field of endeavor that they chose to compete. Rather than chase the almighty buck however, Rollings chose to come back into the Marine Corps while the Nation was at war. He didn't have to as you point out he had already served.

    Contrast that with Bawdy Bill Clinton's trying to join ROTC to avoid the draft and protect his future viability as a candidate. Or Barack Obama who grew up hating his country.

  7. CS,

    I think MudPILE does understand that these men would be successful at anything they chose; I think his base issue is jealousy that he will never amount to a pimple on the ass of real man.

  8. Three Fingers Rollins. He came in my comm van in Australia, unannounced, about zero dark thirty, to see how we were getting along! No aide. No BS. Just checking on his Marines. He shot the bull with us for about 30 minutes!

    When the admiral offshore tried to close the beer garden in our camp, Three Fingers told him to mind his own business. Classic.

  9. Gunny,

    Could you understand him?

    Its Marines like him and my father (Mustangs) who do the best job, both in accomplishing the mission, and in taking care of the troops. One of my dad's favorite things to say to junior officers with dumb ideas was "If I was a PFC, I wouldn't like that very much." Every officer should be able to make the comparison from experience.