I just did tours of duty in Vietman, what did the Marines provide to soldiers who left the service?

I remember guys coming home in uniform before and after the war. If they went in young, even if Mom kept their old clothes, they probably wouldn’t fit in them anymore.

Somewhat off topic, a guy I met washed out of basic for the Navy and they sent him home wearing his uniform inside out as a mark of shame.

I’m assuming this is something he told you, cuz I’m not buying it. I knew a lot of guys who were booted out in my 23 years, and that never happened to them. That would only shame the uniform and the service, not the person. Besides which, once he was out the gate, he would ditch the uni and buy some civvies.

I was a Marine in Vietnam.

When I got to Camp Pendleton it took a few days to get me processed out and then it was out the gate and on my way home. I don’t remember if they paid for my flight home or not. But if they did that was about all I got.

Yeah, it’s just what he told me. Now that you mention it I can’t see a service abusing their uniform that way. Now I feel stupid for never questioning that story.

Just wondering if airline tickets were in the Defense Department’s budget back then and not just a bus ticket no matter the distance home. I suppose one could wait for a military aircraft that was going your way to get you close to where you wanted to go.

In the Vietnam era at least, the regulations required payment of a fixed amount per mile from your discharge station to your original enlistment or draft entry station. They did not give you a bus, train, or plane ticket. It was up to you to use the payment as you saw fit.

A similar practice was in effect when you were sent to another station within the US. You were not only given a fixed amount per mile from A to B, but also given a time allowance to get there. This allowance was only a few miles per day, probably a legacy from train travel. If you drove or took a plane to get there faster, the extra days were essentially paid leave.

In the 1990s Army, the choice was a fixed per-mile flat payment, or a plane/bus ticket and the Army would move your personal goods for you, for both ETS and PCS, within CONUS. When I PCS’d between CONUS and USAREUR, no flat payment was available.

BEFORE I got out, there was some counseling and retention chats. Nothing about getting college credit for my training or job assistance.

I walked off the ship with my DD-214, seabag, and a few odds and ends from my locker. Went to my car and drove off the base. That was it.

When I got out of the Navy in 1979, all I was given was my final pay and a thanks for my time. I didn’t get my DD-214 till my military obligation ended about 18 months later.

My father was a WWII era marine. When he was discharged at Quantico, VA, he was given 50 cents for bus fare back to his parents’ house in Manassas, VA.