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A Different Take on the Marine Hymn « Ted's Polish-Mexican Page

A Different Take on the Marine Hymn

Categories: Local Music, Old Pueblo
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Published on: September 29, 2014

One of the perks of my job is that I get invited to community events that I would have otherwise not even known about. This weekend, a group staged a Gathering of Native American Veterans. Entertainment was provided by the Tohono O’Odham Veterans band, a waila group led for years by Carl Cocido. I first saw them at Waila Festival twenty years ago, when they performed in fatigues.

They opened a lunchtime set with the Marine Corps Hymn. I wasn’t ready for them, but I managed to record a big chunk of it:

The room was more full than this would tell you. I was in a strange spot, so it looks like the bass player (not sure who, but in the past Carl’s band has featured Chuy Salcedo on bass) is hiding behind the stack. The smattering of marines in the audience stood at attention throughout, and you can hear them letting out a “Hoo-Ah!” at the end.

A man named Doug Juan gave a long talk about the work that needs to be done with Native American veterans. He grew up on the Gila River reservation, so Ira Hayes casts a big shadow for him. One of his stories was about the day the family down the road learned that their son Ira had died.

Juan hadn’t served in combat (he joined the Army in 1974), but has been very active with his fellow Native American veterans. He talked about meeting a man who served at Iwo Jima. The man’s unit also went up Mount Suribachi, but their job was to lay down wire. He had seen Hayes go up the hill. Juan said that the man regretted not being one of the marines that raised the flag. Juan told him: “You were there. That is something. You came home. That is something.”

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

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