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Interview with Raymond Joseph Alcon [4/17/2005]

Juan B. Salazar:

Today is April 17, 2005. This interview is taking place at 1409 East Fourth Street, Pueblo, Colorado. My name is Juan Salazar and I am interviewing Ray Alcon. Mr. Alcon served in the United States Marines Corps. For the record, would you please state your name, rank, and branch of service?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

Ray Alcon, LCPL Lance Corporal, USMC.

Juan B. Salazar:

Were you drafted or did you enlist?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

I enlisted.

Juan B. Salazar:

Where were you living at the time?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

I was living in Pueblo, Colorado.

Juan B. Salazar:

Why did you join?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

I needed a job and the military provided that.

Juan B. Salazar:

Why did you pick the branch of service you joined?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

I decided I just wanted to be a Marine.

Juan B. Salazar:

Do you recall your first days of service?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

Yes I do.

Juan B. Salazar:

What did it feel like?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

It was scary. I wondered what I got myself into.

Juan B. Salazar:

Tell me about your boot camp or training experiences.

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

It was pretty standard stuff. I liked boot camp.

Juan B. Salazar:

Do you remember your instructors?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

Yes. Two of my instructors were Sgt. Flatter and Sgt. Brooks.

Juan B. Salazar:

How did you get through it?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

It was easy. You did what you were told and put up with the mind games. Experiences . . .

Juan B. Salazar:

What war(s) did you serve in?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

I served in the Persian Gulf War.

Juan B. Salazar:

Where exactly did you go?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

I was sent to Kuwait.

Juan B. Salazar:

Do you remember arriving and what it was like?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

We arrived at a port. The scenery was beautiful. The temperature was extremely hot.

Juan B. Salazar:

What was your job or assignment?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

I was assigned to protect nuclear weapons on the U.S.S. Missouri.

Juan B. Salazar:

Did you see combat?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

No.

Juan B. Salazar:

Were there causalities in your unit?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

No.

Juan B. Salazar:

Tell me about a couple of your most memorable experiences.

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

One image that still stands out vividly is that went 112 days without seeing land.

Juan B. Salazar:

Were you a prisoner of war?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

No.

Juan B. Salazar:

Were you awarded any medals or citations?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

No. Life . . .

Juan B. Salazar:

How did you stay in touch with your family?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

Primarily through writing letters.

Juan B. Salazar:

What was the food like?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

Gross. Don't believe anyone who said it was good.

Juan B. Salazar:

Did you have plenty of supplies?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

Yes, at the beginning. The longer we were there, the harder it became to get supplies.

Juan B. Salazar:

Did you feel any pressure or stress?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

Not really.

Juan B. Salazar:

Was there something special you did for "good luck?"

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

No.

Juan B. Salazar:

How did people entertain themselves? Ray We read a lot or watched television.

Juan B. Salazar:

Were there entertainers?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

No.

Juan B. Salazar:

What did you do when on leave?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

Only one thing to do-relax.

Juan B. Salazar:

Where did you travel while in the service?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

I went to Spain, Italy, Portugal, Egypt, Panama, and Australia.

Juan B. Salazar:

Do you recall any humorous or unusual events?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

No.

Juan B. Salazar:

What were some of the pranks that you or others would pull?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

We didn't pull any pranks.

Juan B. Salazar:

Do you have photographs?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

No.

Juan B. Salazar:

What did you think of officers or fellow soldiers?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

We were unified. We watched out for each other. Unity is part of being a Marine.

Juan B. Salazar:

Did you keep a personal diary?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

No. After Service . . .

Juan B. Salazar:

Do you recall the day your service ended?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

Yes I do.

Juan B. Salazar:

Where were you?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

At home port in California.

Juan B. Salazar:

What did you do in the weeks and months afterwards?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

I went to work at the United States Postal Service.

Juan B. Salazar:

Did you make any close friendships while in the service?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

Yes I did.

Juan B. Salazar:

Did you continue any of those friendships and for how long?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

We lost touch after my enlistment ended.

Juan B. Salazar:

Did you join a veterans' organization?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

No. Later Years. . .

Juan B. Salazar:

What did you go on to as a career after your service?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

I continued working for the United States Postal Service.

Juan B. Salazar:

Did your military experience affect your thinking about war or the military in general?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

No.

Juan B. Salazar:

Do you attend reunions?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

No.

Juan B. Salazar:

How did your service and experiences affect your life?

Raymond Joseph Alcon:

Not much in terms of my day to day life. We thank you, Ray Alcon, for participating in this interview today. Your interview will become a permanent part of the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress so that future generations will understand your service to our country.

 
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