Bravo! The Project - A Documentary Film

Documentary Film,Guest Blogs,Khe Sanh,Marines,Vietnam War

March 8, 2012

Meet the Men of Bravo!–Michael E. O’Hara

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In today’s post, we introduce former Marine, Michael E. O’Hara.

I was 19 years old when I arrived at Khe Sanh, and had enlisted in Nashville, Indiana.

Michael E. O'Hara at Khe Sanh

At Khe Sanh I was a Grunt, and battled rats first during my break-in period before we got to the real stuff. I never cleaned the crappers, though. Not even once. I figured that one out right away.

I worked every day of my life 24/7 from the time I was granted a work permit. Mostly construction related before I began to build homes for my own business. I was 50 years old before I decided what I wanted to do. I wanted to retire and did just that. Now I just spend as much time as I can with my grand-daughters. Even that is coming to a close, though. They are, after all, little girls and they are really growing. Hangin’ with Gramps will become less and less a big deal.

I have done some stupid things in my life and a few good things. I have been accused of things I did and some I did not. But I know when they lay me in that hole in the ground in St Louis at Jefferson Barracks when my time comes, no one will ever say I was not loyal to my friends.

Michael E. O'Hara during his interview for the film Bravo!

I am currently working on documenting the history of Veterans Affairs in my county, Brown County, since the Civil War. It is mostly about the different Veteran Institutions but it simply cannot be done without many personal anecdotes. One of my good friends who is getting short, as we used to say, is a WWII Vet. He was wounded serving as top gunner on a B-17. I used to buy bubblegum from him when I was a kid. By the time we were old hands in the VFW he confided how God-awful scared he was up there at age 19. You could see in his eyes what he was talking about. I knew that look only too well from my days at Khe Sanh.

Michael O’Hara served with Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 26th Marine Regiment, before and during the Siege of Khe Sanh.

  1. According to the 35th CMC, “there’s no such thing as a former Marine.”

    A Marine is a Marine. I set that policy two weeks ago – there’s no such thing as a former Marine. You’re a Marine, just in a different uniform and you’re in a different phase of your life. But you’ll always be a Marine because you went to Parris Island, San Diego or the hills of Quantico. There’s no such thing as a former Marine.
    General James F. Amos, 35th Commandant of the Marine Corps

    Comment by Mac McNeely — March 9, 2012 @ 10:45 pm
  2. None of the letters from my dorocts had the words SEVERE AND PROLONGED ILLNESS . I then explained this to my doctor and he wrote me a 5 page letter with these two words in it and I finally got my disability. I know how frustrating it is waiting. It took a lot of my time and each time I got a rejection I got stronger, until I got it. I also got retroative money, because they should of given me the disability on the first letter they received. I hope this tip helps you. Take care Maria.

    Comment by Mike — June 10, 2012 @ 2:39 am

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