I received an email today from Scott Laidig who is one of General Al Gray's biographers.
Part One of Al Gray, Marine has just been published. The hard copy version can be purchased from the publisher for $50 here ...
I just bought the Kindle version on
Amazon for $10.
Our 2nd Battalion 94th Artillery connection goes back to 1966-67 when Gray was a Major and ran the 12th Marine Regimental Artillery Fire Direction Center that had operational control over our Army battalion of 175mm Guns. After we were first attached and found ourselves fighting with the Marines, I remember having heard sarcastic comments from some Marines like "we're safe now the Army's here." But we earned their respect and the Marines - particularly Major Al Gray - came to depend on our massive, long-range firepower. Some of us got to know Gray very well while serving with him when he was the commander at the Gio Linh combat base - where we were attacked constantly and suffered our greatest casualties. During quieter times, he would stop by occasionally and participate in a softball games with us at Camp Carroll and Dong Ha. He was a good friend of the battalion and a valuable connection to the 3rd Marine Division.
When I organized the 2004 reunion in Washington, DC, our own GEN Trefry helped me get Gray as the speaker at our reunion dinner. After Vietnam, he went on to become a four-star General and the 29th Commandant of the Marine Corps. He was a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during Desert Storm in 1991. GEN Gray was always rather informal. Every time I talked with him on the phone, he always identified himself as Al Gray; so, I guess it's not surprising that Scott titled the book, Al Gray, Marine. Scott interviewed some of us who are honored to be included in the book.
"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem." -- Ronald Reagan, President of the United States; 1985
"The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!" -- Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States, 1945
"Take me to the Brig. I want to see the 'real Marines'." -- Major General Chesty Puller, USMC - while on a Battalion inspection.