On Sunday, February 25th, Karl Bischoff started his first stop at becoming a United States Marine after signing up with them at the U.S.M.C. Recruiting Sub-Station in Rockaway, New Jersey.
Karl and his family were at the recruiting station to receive the latest news on how the next few days would be going for him. His mother and father, Christine and Tom Bischoff were accompanied there by his grandfather, Al Bischoff and Al’s lady friend, Florence Cottone. Al is a long time member of the Slattery Detachment, Tom Miller also joined them during the talk by Karls recruiter, Staff Sergeant Brendan Gagnon.
S/Sgt. Gagnon discussed what would be happening to Karl in the next few days, what should happen regarding the family and when graduation would take place. He also discussed the who, what, how and why to call should something happen that would be needed to know by Karl and where his first duty station would possibly be. This is just a short list of what he discussed.
A lot has changed since Al (1943) and I (1963) went into the Marines regarding enlistment. I remember going to the recruiter and enlisting all in the same day. Then the next stop was going and being sworn in at the federal offices in Milwaukee. The following day going to the airport and flying out to San Diego and meeting the first of our drill Instructors, S/Sgt Baker. Then being told to go out “that” door and wait for him. He should have been called “Sgt. Barker” as he came out and outpoured, “Get on those yellow footprints you maggots” and then, “Get on my f#$!@^& bus, move, move move.” What happened next is somewhat of a blur.
A lot of new and “exciting” things will be happening to Karl and the two other recruits who were joining and going to boot camp with him. In the coming weeks and months ahead there will be a lot of new things that he will remember for the rest of his life. We wish him the best and hope that when he returns he will give us an up-date as to how they are running things in South Carolina. Al has promised to bring us “news” of Karl at one of our meetings. That’s one proud grandpa.
I will be trying to get S/Sgt Gagnon to come a give a talk on how they handle recruits like he did for Karl. It was a very interesting day.