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Jones made an instant decision to sign up as the Old Man’s driver, and the next day, after he had been accepted, went back to the beer hall:

“I mean they laid in the suds. That next night you could hardly walk for the cans tossed in the gutters of the company streets, and the men sat around on the hills, drinking their beers after chow. Work never stopped, and morale was humming.”

Puller enlisted the help of Jones in finding another important recruit --- “shotgun,” or bodyguard, to ride in the jeep with them in Korea. Jones found him quickly: Jan Bodey, a San Francisco iceman in civilian life who had spent years in the Corps, and had gone out after World War II, the result of a San Diego street fight in which he had allegedly tied tow sailors together by their arms. He was now back as a Frisco Reservist, and was reputed to be the strongest man in the Marines, as well as an expert with small arms.

Korean_War Korean_War Korean_War

The Colonel found an old friend, Major W.C. Reeves, whom he had known in Nicaragua; this old-timer came in with the regulars from Lejeune, and was soon Puller’s adjutant. Most of the officers around Puller were new to him: Lieutenant Colonels Robert Rickert, his executive officer, and the battalion commanders, Thomas L. Ridge, Allan Sutter and Jack Hawkins.

Old and new, they seemed to blend into one happy team, as Puller saw them from the moment the First Marines were told that they were shipping out for Korea:

“I never saw a more contented bunch of men when they got the word, and knew this was it. All friction faded overnight, and with a real objective all were happy. There were no absences --- and, as usual when war comes, some of the best fighting people came out of the brig. For the last few days we were organizing, and the only missing people I had were those who had been hurt in traffic accidents.”