My short bio: I am an 82 year old Marine Corps vet. I served 4 tours in Vietnam. 1st Batallion 7th Marines 1 Marines division is where I started, but I had a bunch of different jobs throughout my career. I joined the Marine Corps in 1955 and retied in 1974 AMA! (He is answering the questions, I, his granddaughter am typing out what he says word for word)

*My Proof: Proof

Comments: 1508 • Responses: 39  • Date: 

SuperPimp1870 karma

Are you aware that your social security number is clearly visible in the second photo?

Jesslf881670 karma

No. I should probably fix that.

glow4905 karma

What's the most important thing you've learned during your time in Vietnam?

Jesslf881650 karma

I guess it would have to be how to stay dry in the monsoons

Jesslf88438 karma

And the beauty of the country the rolling green hills and the rice patties in season. They would grow about a half a mile at a time abs when the wind would blow they would blow like waves in the ocean

glow4119 karma

What about the meaning of life? Did it make you see some things in other light? Did it change your perspective or beliefs?

Jesslf88475 karma

It made me see things in a different light. In the war the killing of people and the killing of civilians was senseless. In the country the people were poor the country was poor and it was all senseless killing. And when it was over they were right back where they started from. It didn't change my beliefs.

Jesslf88879 karma

We are going to be here live for about another 45 minutes. After that I (the grand daughter of Marine) will still be able to ask questions, but may take a little longer to get an answer. Please ask away. He would love to answer questions about his time in the service. He worked at the white house, has been in Vietnam 4 times, has moved all over the country. By asking question I may not have thought about you are also helping me learn more about my grandfather. Thanks!

drifts_64 karma

I know I'm late but could you ask if there's any good stories from working at the White House?

Jesslf88110 karma

There are great stories! We are going to do a video tomorrow and post it here! I'm excited to hear this answer tomorrow. He's told me some stories but even as he started to answer this today, he was telling things I haven't heard so we decided to do a video to answer, but didn't have time today. I just couldn't keep up trying to type it all out.

coryrenton563 karma

who was the oldest person in the military you interacted with when you were serving? what was the strangest WWI story you heard from a firsthand participant?

Jesslf881032 karma

I guess the strangest one I ever heard was about SGT. Alvin York captured 37 German prisoners with a German pistol after his rifle ran out of ammunition.

Jesslf88362 karma

First Sgt in North Carolina John D. Steeley. We called him Big Bad John. He was 40 something and I was just 20. Strangest WW1 story? I never heard many stories about WW1. I don't recall any strange WW stories.

coryrenton497 karma

what was standard practice back when you first joined that nowadays seems crazy to you?

Jesslf88710 karma

The way you had your uniforms hanging in the lockers: winter, spring, summer, fall. Now you have your utilities your dress green and dress blues that's it. Don't have to have them hanging in a certain order.

Yehwein445 karma

How do you feel about advertisements pushing the college/healthcare benefits of service? Wouldn't that lead to a higher percentage of people joining the service for more self-serving reasons?

Jesslf88705 karma

Don't agree with it. Don't need to advertise it. The military does enough advertising without talking about those benefits.

acompletemoron394 karma

Did you ever feel like you received a lack of respect when you returned home from Vietnam? The war was unpopular at home, did you as a soldier ever receive some of that hate?

Thank you for your service

Jesslf88701 karma

Sure I did. I remember Major and I walking downtown in uniform and people yelling at us. We just ignored them and kept on walking.

IntravenousEspresso373 karma

While serving what is the most mundane thing you remember? Mopping rain or Sweeping dirt for example

Jesslf88812 karma

And coming in from the rice patties, taking off your boots, drying off your feet, putting on dry socks. Then putting your wet boots back on and going back out into the rice patties.

Jesslf88232 karma

Sweeping the rain out of the doors of the huts because of the roof leaks.

TheLiberalHunter367 karma

Was Vietnam worth fighting?

Jesslf88919 karma

All we did was get a bunch of Americans killed and we didn't get anything for it. No awards. Nothing. We paid for their uniforms and everything. Would I want to live there? No.

Jesslf88460 karma


AdVerbera302 karma

What's the funniest insult you've heard while serving?

Jesslf88561 karma

I guess when we were in dress blues in the color guard for the general and somebody asked what Halloween party we were going to.

ShamiSloth217 karma

Hi Mr. Fullerton! Thank you for your service!

1.) Did you encounter anything weird or creepy during your service?

2.) Why did you choose to become a Marine?

3.) What's the biggest difference between before and today's Marines?

Thank you!

Jesslf88397 karma

1) I can't remember anything weird or creepy. Ran across a coral snake in the rice Patty, shot him with my 45.

2) I had an uncle who was in the marine corps during WWII this and that, always said if I joined that's probably what I would do. My parents weren't happy. I came home with my papers and told my mom and she was crying when dad got home and he was upset I didn't talk to him about it before I signed them.

3) too many politics now.

Thank you.

Jesslf88202 karma

Feel free to continue to ask questions. We will answer you when we can. Thank you for all the questions.

digganickrick175 karma

Oorah, Gunny.. former Marine here myself, was with 1st Bn 8th Marines 2009-2013.

What was your MOS when you were in Vietnam? Did you ever lat move, or hold any B Billets while you were in? During your time in service, what notable differences did you see between the "old breed" and the "new breed"? Say, comparing the recruits when you went through Recruit Training and comparing the new boots hitting the fleet when you were a gunny.

Semper Fi.

Jesslf88143 karma

My MOS was 0369 infantry. Never changed MOS. Well, that depends on what you call B Billets, yes I did security at the White House and was an operations officer at basic where they train the Leuitinants. The old breed I think was the stronger one, because they were all volunteers. The new breed were young.

busrid3r168 karma

How'd you deal with all the insects and wildlife?

My dad was 1st Marine Tanks, did 3 tours in Vietnam. After hearing all his stories of what it was like I just want to say you're one badass dude. And thank you!

Jesslf88203 karma

There wasn't that many insects or wildlife. The only thing I saw were snakes and dogs and chickens. (He did say in a previous answer that he shot a snake with his .45) but some guys said they saw Tigers or elephants... maybe they did, maybe they didn't, but I didn't.

Meeseeks82162 karma

What is your opinion on how much funding the the military has, how it's increased since you were in service and if we are actually helping with our presence in the Middle East or are we consistently creating new ways for pockets of people to really not like us?

Jesslf88429 karma

Outside of the military and the government the companies that are building the equipment are raising their prices. And then I read the army bought 50,000 pistols for 6.something million dollars for the pistols that will sit in the armory. So they buy foolish things and spend the money and then they have to come back and ask for more money. They send the soldiers over to Afghanastan and the barracks are trash when they leave so they just throw it away. So much money being wasted. Our presence isn't making them not like us. We just don't need to he there. We help them and they just waste the resources we give them. If we leave uo our temporary quarters they just move in and start sleeping in them. I think our federal government should have tours set up where U.S. civilians go see how it's all set up and the government should pay for it. So Americans will appreciate what they have more.

Beemer2157 karma

Semper Fi Marine!

I had a close friend of mine in 1/7 during Iraqi Freedom/Enduring Freedom. He was in Charlie company commonly referred to as "Suicide Charlie" He gave me one of his shirts, and its one of my favorites.

Question - Five Marines from the battalion were responsible for the only war crime attributable to the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. On 19 February 1970, in the village of Son Thang-4 just southwest of Danang, a five-man patrol from the unit executed five women and eleven children.

Where you in country when this event occurred? What was your reaction to it?

Jesslf88264 karma

No I was at Camp Pendleton and our reaction to it at that time was they need to take those 5 Marines and Court Marshall them and lock them all up. Not a happy time.

ObscureCulturalMeme84 karma

Just an aside, granddaughter, it's court-martial. And thank you for doing all this, your granddad is a good man.

lyan-cat26 karma

She also keeps getting "paddies" wrong, but I'm just happy that she's helping him answer questions. Good thread, good people.

Jesslf8845 karma

Thank you both! I will correct "martial" and "paddies" for future answers.

PradBitts144 karma

Did growing up during World War II impact your view of war or being a soldier? How did you deal with the emotional effects of war?

Edit: sorry, should have said Marine. Was wondering if soldier was appropriate.

Jesslf88195 karma

I was too young for it to effect me and growing up we played war as a game. After the war (Vietnam) I kept busy when I got home with a wife and children and getting straight to work. Growing up you always knew somebody who was serving.

the_drew84 karma

What do you make of the F35 vs A10 debate?

Jesslf88172 karma

The A10 wasn't even being developed when I was in the service. The F35 is too fast and too heavy, but I'm not sure of a debate.

gummywrmz73 karma

What's your opinion on the current state of VA hospitals?

Jesslf88155 karma

Poor. Too many veterans not enough hospitals or doctors. Takes too long to get an appointment. Took me 6 months to get an appointment that was then out out 3 months so 9 months for a physical.

ALinkttPresent43 karma

Thank you for your service! Have you met any Presidents? If so, what were they like?

Jesslf8888 karma

He has a lot to say about this question... does anybody know if I can record him answering this and post it?

hawleywood25 karma

You can record him using your phone and upload it to YouTube!

Jesslf8870 karma

Awesome. I will definitely do this tomorrow! He is excited to answer this question. He has a lot to say about this.

AlteregoCate5918 karma

Looking forward to reading/hearing his answer! I am widow of VN era vet, he didn't tell many stories of his service (before I met him), but interesting to read your answers. Thank you. Granddaughter, are you doing this for a school project, because you are an excellent human, or both?

Jesslf8849 karma

I got the idea from my history professor in college last semester. I had never heard of an AMA prior to that. I am doing it to learn more about my grandfather. There are questions being asked I wouldn't think to ask myself and he gets excited to talk to people. It's nice to see him smile. My grandmother passed away last year and he hasn't been coping well.

Alicricity41 karma

Thank you for you service. What did you do after you left active duty?

P.S.: you look crazy young for 82!! haha

Jesslf8858 karma

I went to work for a transportation company shipping piggy back trains on the railroad.

bureX37 karma

These days you have military worship, while back in the Vietnam days you had military hate... Is the current state of affairs concerning the military OK with you, or do you feel like there should be a middle ground?

Jesslf8841 karma

No I think it's fine right now. Cause they turn around take these guys over to Afghanistan and people cheer them when they leave and cheer them when they come back home.

Jesslf8836 karma

We are taking a break for the evening. I'm blessed to live really close to my grandfather so I will be back over there tomorrow after church probably around 3 central time.Thanks again for all the questions!

Brock_Samsonite17 karma

First, Thanks for your service. I'm an Army vet with only one deployment. Secondly, thanks for your service to us, the veterans.

How have the changes in behavioral/mental health treatments changed over the years? One of my doctors told me I have you all to thank, and it made me curious on the stigmas of BH/MH. It's already bad now, but I couldn't imagine it back then.

Also, have you told your stories yet? It's important to document this stuff just for records. There may come a day where people try to discredit or devalue what you have done and the sacrifices you and your brothers made. There also may come a day where we need to learn from past experiences instead of blindly trudging forward. I guarantee if you contact any AFN or public relations thing, they'd be more than willing to do a story, but they'd also be willing and wanting to hear yours. (I used to to work in that field and we loved vet stories)

Jesslf8870 karma

I don't think behavioral or mental health effects everybody. The only ones you hear about are the ones who go crazy and make the news. You don't hear any stories about me. Because I had my wife and children and went right to work. If you come out and have something to do I think that helps when you come out with nothing to do it will get to you. I don't think they've invested enough in the mental health for those who needed it.

Seaciety11 karma

What do you think is the appropriate role of military leaders in a time where the Commander in Chief seems incapable of discharging his duties responsibly?

Jesslf8840 karma

Be that the leaders understand what their tasks are and doing what their tasks and duties are that are assigned to them, because most of those orders didn't come from the Commander in Chief. I got my orders from my company commander, who got his orders from the batallion commander, who got his orders from the regimental commander, who got his orders from the division commander who got his orders from the area commander. And you can see how through that many people how the order can change. They showed us this experiment by standing 10 men in a line and telling the first one a message and by the time it got to the last person in line the message was different. That holds true in an office building. Just do what you're assigned tasks is to do.

deviantpixel-13 karma

My father was also a marine. He used to say the only thing you can spell with USMC is scum. Is that true?

Jesslf8825 karma

Scum is dirty and you were taught to shit, shower, and shave daily. And every barracks had 8 showers. They'd shower one after another.

Jesslf8818 karma

No. No.

klobersaurus-58 karma

you're 82 years old, and the single defining characteristic that you present to the world is that you were in the marines once a long time ago. doesn't that ever make you sad? your life seems so one dimensional.

Jesslf8815 karma

I'm gonna go ahead and answer this one. My grandfather has lead one of the most fascinating lives you will ever have the privilege of hear a piece of. This is the piece of his life he has allowed me to allow people to ask him questions about right now. A small piece of 82 years that he chose this media to open up about and this is the stupid question that I'm going to choose not to ask him, cause I already know enough to answer this for him.

MisinformedTrumper-34 karma

And that he killed a bunch of people that had in no shape or form threatened or attacked the United States. Military vets are the worst

Jesslf883 karma

There is a question another person asked about whether or not the Vietnam war was worth it. And he replied "no" and stated it was a bunch of senseless killing of innocent lives. He signed up to protect your right to demean him, unfortunately part of that jib included protecting himself and his comrades. It's not his favorite part, but he agrees with you that the killing of people was senseless.