Fire and Ice
In 1967, the first Marine Combat artist I ran into was in Vietnam. He bunked w/us until he moved to another unit closer to the DMZ. I was flabbergasted the Green Machine knew art existed much less have a real, honest to God combat artist inside a combat zone. I no longer remember the dude's name but he was a cool hand. He had to answer a serious grilling by our team all w/good humor. Are you really in the Corps? How did you get this job? How long are you in country? (six months) but the one important question I wanted answered was..... did they make you go through Boot Camp?....no. I was reminded of all this after discovering a link to Michael Fay's Fire and Ice, a Marine Combat Artist's Blog, at NeoNeo-Con. The first drawing he has today also reminded me of how I never traveled w/out an extra paperback book:
"The drawing I include today shows three Marines who've been waiting hours for a helicopter ride out of a forward operating base. These guys are what's referred to as "assorted cats and dogs". Marines with specialized skills, such as photojournalists, dog handlers with their bomb sniffing canine cohorts, satellite communications specialists and of course, yours truly, who've been attached to operational combat units for the duration of a specific fight. After the operation is over they're detached and left to their own devices to retrograde back to home commands for further assignments. This means signing up for space "A" (A for available) flights and then waiting for hours out in the sun on some rough graveled landing strip hoping that a sortie of helos shows up that's eventually going your way and has enough room for you and all your stuff. Hurry up and wait is the order of the day."
Check it out. It's good stuff.