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Date Posted: 08:59:33 03/14/12 Wed
Author: Ron Gramazio
Subject: Re: 84th Engineers-Enewetak -Lojwa Animal
In reply to: Steve McKee 's message, "84th Engineers-Enewetak -Lojwa Animal" on 07:04:28 10/10/08 Fri

I was a surveyor in the 84th out of Hawaii. I was the recon crew that explored and built the infrastructure that housed all the future workers. Good days. I lived on a 40 acre island with the highest elevation being 14 feet. There was nothing but brush and birds when I got there. We lived in tents and had a simple mess set up near the bridge. Salt water bathing for the entire time. Eventually roads were built, water purification plant, power generation, and a baseball field...I did all this in early 1977. When I went to Runit for the first time I was given a pair of rubber boots and a pinch nose mask for protection. I believe there had only been less than a dozen visitors to Runit at that time. I held a small glass jar of plutonium 6 inches from my face....how many people have done that? I remember Marlin Perkins coming to see the islands. Nurse sharks and flying fish....I walked the reefs picking my way through thousands of "killer clams". While dragging for sharks on the way across the lagoon, we hooked up an eight foot barracuda. I think the advance crew was only 40 people, and it grew as we completed more of the infrastructure. Salt water cement....that was all we had for months. I still have my enewetok tshirt. I am guessing that it may be the only one in existence. It's in a box marked "sacred" along with my American Samoa shirt. I was also advance party there for the Mt. Alava road project. I was lucky....19 years old and experiencing indigenous cultures for the first time. I hated the military, but loved my experiences. Hence; all the article 15's I got. It didn't matter to my work crew....I was the best they had. My favorite line: evey time I saw Capt. Ono, I would salute and call him Capt. Oh...no. He hated me.

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