As some of you may already know, I have been trying, for the past couple of years, to reconnect with my shipmates from over 40 years ago on the USS Trigger SS-564. I located one of them in Alberta, Canada and would like to share the biography of this remarkable person with my present U.S.S.V.I. Long Island Base shipmates.
Wave (we knew him as Frenchie back then) left his home in Canada while still in his teens and wandered the lower 48. Whatever it was that he was looking for, Wave found himself enchanted by the dress uniform of the United States Marine Corps and decided to enlist at the height of the U.S. involvement in Viet Nam (it should be noted that, being a Canadian citizen without U.S. residency, he was under no obligation to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces). He was discharged from the Marines after a few tours (and wounds) in Viet Nam. Shortly thereafter he enlisted in the United States Navy, trained as a Commissaryman and volunteered for submarine duty. He qualified on the Blenny and then served for six more years on the Dogfish, Entemedore, Trigger, Trout and the Gudgeon. He was once again discharged and subsequently returned to the Marine Corps.
Wave eventually served a combined 27 years in the U.S. Armed Forces retiring as a Company Gunnery Sergeant (E7). He was awarded a chest full of medals but always proudly displayed his Dolphins on his Marine uniform. Since retiring, he has spent 15 years working in the Middle East and Africa. He has also worked for the Union Pacific Rail Road, the RCMP and the Wounded Warrior program in Huntsville, Alabama, all of this while serving on the executive board of the Third Marine Division Association.
Wave told me recently, “Having been a submarine sailor was, in fact, my greatest achievement and the most difficult. Throwing yourself out of perfectly good airplanes is not that hard and getting shot three times is not that smart. As for the Silver Star and the three Bronze Stars, well, I was just some place where I shouldn’t have been and did what I had to do to get out.” He went on to say, “I am SS qualified. What more is there to say. My Dolphins mean more to me than anything I ever earned, well, maybe the Silver Star works in there some place, but I didn’t have to be too smart to get that”.
In my opinion, Wave is a true American hero even if he is a Canadian. It is an honor to share his story and to call him “shipmate” and “friend”.
Semper Fi and Green Board, Brother!
PRIDE RUNS DEEP
P.S. he was also a pretty good cook!
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This page last updated: June 13, 2010