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Richard McGuinness Richard McGuinness from North Port wrote on December 20, 2020 at 11:09:
I am the pagemaster for Athens. Served in Athens 1965-66 just before the fireworks in 1967. Just wanted to pass a letter from the first Marine assigned to this post in 1949.
1949

Yes we were the first Marines in Athens. Those of us who went out were
the first at all the places we went to. We had total of 2 1/2 days
briefings at FOREIGN Service INSTITUTE, tOOK US TO bONDS STORE DOWN TOWN on E ST TO GET OUT $300 of clothes. TOOK US ON A BUS PRIOR TO OPENING OF THE STORE. our orders had the security classification of Restricted on them. THAT CLASSIFICATION WENT AWAY IN THE EISENHOWER DAYS. wE WERE NOT TO TELL ANYONE WERE WE WERE GOING AND WHAT WE WERE GOING TO DO. WE FIRST HAD HAD PRIORITY TWO FOR MILITARY FLIGHTS. sINCE HE BERLIN aIRLIFT WAS GOING ON THEY HAD TO CHANGE IT TO priority one. They told us it was the same as a CONGRESSIONAL PRIORITY. aH CRAP i AM NOT MUCH OF A TYPIST AND i HAVE THIS IN CAPS. GONNA LEAVE IT THAT WAY. It is 0330 and I haven't been to sleep tonight. Did fall asleep in my Lazy Boy as usual. I use a mask when I am in bed as I have sleep apnea.
When we got to the Embassy we got to meet a bunch of women who worked
there they were all single they picked out our names. I got a gal named
Virginia Workman, in her 40's, a nice gal my mother's age. Some of the
guys got younger ones. I forgot who got Imogene Ficklen. She was about
50, nice but had some problems. I was taking some courses from MCI
history etc. She would always volunteer to help me. I think she was
medically retired after Athens. She lived in WDC. We were the
Ambassadors Marines. Orders read to report to US Amb and remain there
until we recd orders to return to HQMC. there was a Marine LtCol with
the US Military Mission to Greece. He came by and told us that we would
be in dress blues and take part in the Greek holiday ceremonies at the
Tomb of their UNKNOWN SOLDIER in front of the Parliament. we tried to
tell him we couldn't do it. He told us that were Marines and he was the
senior Marine in-country and we would do as we were told. We went to the
Amb and bitched. He had his secretary Helen, forgot her last name now, a
great gal we got along really well together.Amb was president of Dollar
Steamshipline in San Francisco and he brought Helen with him. He was Amb
in India before Greece and went to Iran as Amb from Greece. To get
MajGen Van Fleet the head of the Military Mission on the phone. He told
Van Fleet to get the Marine LtCol over to his office NOW. LtCol came
over to the Amb office and was told by the Amb that these are his
Marines and they only took orders from him. If he had a problem with it
he would have orders removing him from the country within the week. The
LtCol never spoke to us again. I think the asshole went on to make
general. We wore blue trousers, khaki shirt on duty with white cover
and had one 45 cal pistol. Also had 38 cal pistols, some made out a of
stamped metal that was given to the underground in WWII.
I hope I haven't told you this stuff before. I sent you some emails from the
library yesterday. I told you that I lost all my photos due to yahoo
making some kind of change. I had photos of the old Embassy etc. A man
named Don Brown who came out in about aPR 51 AND WENT TO SALONIKA WHEN HEY OPENED IT SENT THEM TO ME. h RETIRED DURING NAM DAYS AS 1ST LT i BELIEVE. hE LIVES IN cALIF. HE IS NOT COMPUTER LITERATE AND HIS WIFE SENT THE THING TO ME. i SENT THEM SOME EMAILS AND THEY BOUNCED BACK. APPARENTLY they have me blocked. I'm gonna leave this in caps. I sure loved my days of doing investigations when all I had to do was dictate the reports. Let some GS-3 do the typing. Need to read some of the 18 unread emails I have on webtv. Nuff for now. 0420.

All the best and Semper Fi, Frank
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