In honor of a good friend’s birthday I present something he will appreciate: Lieutenant General Lewis Burwell “Chesty” Puller.
Chesty Puller was the ultimate Marine.
If you haven’t heard of Chesty Puller, stop what you are doing and start reading about him. Now! Click the links in this post or search the web yourself. Ideally you should find a Marine and buy him (or her) a beer. Do whatever it takes to hear the stories. Do it immediately. You must. It’s an order damnit! If you haven’t heard of Chesty you haven’t heard of the mightiest testosterone soaked Marine warrior of the 20th century. And you’re probably a big whiny loser hanging out in a patchouli of hippies. Put down the arugula and tofu salad, rip open an MRE with your teeth, and get with the program!
You’re back. Already? I hope you really read the stories because I wouldn’t want to piss off Marines who revere him. You were warned!
When I think about his exploits they seem so superhuman that they almost defy explanation. If you wrote a screenplay of his life it would sound unbelievably exaggerated. If it was a book it would be an over the top pulp fiction kill-fest. If I describe him as a Superhero hybrid of Captain America, the Hulk, Thor, Chuck Norris, a herd of Ninjas, and possibly Godzilla…well that’s understating the case. There is an unhinged level of badass toughness that you just can’t type without pounding the keyboard to dust. Puller was that tough when he entered boot camp and he pretty much kept getting more unkillable each year.
I ran though all the adjectives I could muster but words fail me. Finally I gave up. All I can say is “Holy Shit”.
Puller truly was unstoppable. He put hurt on anything in his way. Whenever there was a chance to get threatened, attacked, bombed, shot at, or otherwise maimed and pummeled Puller was in his element. It’s as if the guy couldn’t enjoy breakfast without being out gunned and attacked in overwhelming numbers. Then, having annihilated everything that threatened him and his soldiers, he’d be ready for a brisk cup of coffee.
- “We’re surrounded. That simplifies our problem of getting to these people and killing them.” — November 1950, during Chosin Reservoir campaign
- “Alright you bastards, try and shoot me!” (to Korean forces)
- “Where do you put the bayonet?” (upon seeing a flamethrower for the first time)
- “You don’t hurt ’em if you don’t hit ’em.”
- “Hit hard, hit fast, hit often.”
- “Retreat! Hell, we’re just attacking in a different direction.”
- “There are not enough Chinamen in the world to stop a fully armed marine regiment from going where ever they want to go.“
- “Don’t forget that you’re First Marines! Not all the Communists in hell can overrun you!”
Puller was the most decorated U.S. Marine in history. Including five Navy Crosses and a Distinguished Service Cross, the Army’s second highest decoration. What does that mean? It means he was steel…inside and out. He probably scraped shit off his boots that was tougher than me. I suspect all those medals were merely a distraction from his real love; which was apparently kicking ass and outliving incredibly bad odds.
I am not a Marine but I heartily applaud Puller’s balls out studliness because it reminds us that real heroes exist. This isn’t some bullshit fictional character. He really was all that and a bag of chips.
Good night, Chesty Puller, wherever you are.