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Ron Holley, SMSgt, USAF, Retired Ron Holley, SMSgt, USAF, Retired from Chandler, AZ wrote on February 11, 2020 at 13:17:
Greetings โ€“ I was stationed at the Embassy in Dublin Ireland from 1973 to 1979 as a USAF NCO Veterinary Technician. Our Air Force Unit was responsible for inspection of Carcass Beef products produced in several Irish towns โ€“ that were then shipped to the US Forces in Europe.

Being single, I once attended a Christmas program one year with one of the other single Marines that was held in the old YMCA in downtown Dublin โ€“ and actually noticed a girl in the front row of the Christmas Choir. My Marine friend told me she looked to be 12 years old (actually she was 21 at the time and I would eventually meet and marry her 5 years later.)

I went out running one day with one of the Guards โ€“ at that time the Air Force required only a one and a half mile distance โ€“ while the Marines 3 miles. Had a hard time keeping up with him. I remember that a Marine Officer would come over from Europe to Dublin once a year for an evaluation (distance run, pull-ups, sit-ups, push-ups, etc.). One story goes that one of these Officers was in a local pub with the Marine Guards. Somehow he was challenged by a civilian for some reason โ€“ and to quell the conversation โ€“ the Officer took a bite out of his glass holding his Guinness โ€“ true or just a good story?

I recognize a few (but not their names) of the Marines in the photos on this sight dated 1978. Some of the Air Force Personnel in my Unit were: Rychner, Wise, Fritchie, Blackard, Stokes, Nichols, Stillman, and Reed among others.

One year the Air Force guys were asked to cover some of the early Sunday morning guard duty shifts โ€“ so the Marines could โ€œreallyโ€ enjoy the previous Saturday night celebration (believe the Marine Corps Ball) that was held within the rotunda of the Embassy.

I had the shift โ€“ that when I arrived there were instructions that I would have to raise the American Flag outside. I looked around the first floor of the Rotunda and sure enough there was an American Flag available โ€“ in fact there were two โ€“ one larger than the other. Fortunately I choose the correct size โ€“ the bigger of the two โ€“ and did not lock myself out of the Embassy. Perhaps I have the honor of being the only Air Force member to raise the American flag outside of the Dublin Embassy?
This was also the time frame when there used to be a person who would sometimes hide in the bushes and throw stones at the Marine Guards while they were outside performing their duties. Fortunately - the local Garda would intervene if needed.

We Air Force guys had great โ€œDarts and Ping Pongโ€ competitions with the Marines. And the Marines knew how to throw a party at the Marine House. I was once in a Dublin taxi when I told the Irish driver that I was assigned to the Embassy. His first response back to me was - โ€œare you going to the Marine House party next Friday?โ€

Like myself, I believe that the majority of the single Marines stationed in Dublin during my tour of duty ended up marrying an Irish colleen.

The assignment in Dublin to me โ€“ was the best of my career. Besides my job โ€“ I really enjoyed the camaraderie that we shared with the Marines in several different ways.

Ron Holley, SMSgt, USAF, Retired
1964-1991
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