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Ray Pistol: A Book About Operation Union?

Porn Valley- On a weekend when thousands were evacuating Florida in the wake of a hurricane, even more were heading to Washington D.C. for the U.S. Marine Corps’ five day re-union.

Arrow Productions’ Ray Pistol,, was one of them. As a marine, Pistol served in Vietnam, noting that his decision to join the Marines was a family tradition.

“My father, my uncles, my grandfather, we go way back,” says Pistol. “Except in the Civil War- we were on the other side. Coming from Texas and Tennessee that’s going to happen.”

Pistol’s father was in the Fifth decision, serving in World War II. Pistol, himself, was a member of the First Division. According to Pistol, his father tried talking him out of enlisting.

“From the standpoint that he was an old Wake Island Marine who got captured by the Japanese,” Pistol explains. “He recommended that I stay in school and not get involved. I, of course, had the attitude that he felt that I wasn’t good enough to do what he did. That gave me the impetus to go ahead and do it. It’s kind of hard when everyone around you has the credentials and you not to try to go out and get them on your own. But it wasn’t particularly peer pressure.”

Pistol served a total of eighteen months. “I got shot up and hurt,” he explains. “At the same time, my father died. That made me a sole surviving son.

“But I served considerably longer than John Kerry did,” remark Pistol, tongue-in-cheek, lending the distinct impression that Kerry was not getting his vote in November. Of his regular tour in Vietnam, Pistol served 10 1/2 months of it.

And as far as the reunion was concerned, Marines from Vietnam, Korea and World War II took part. And Pistol thinks there might have be a survivor or two from WW I but he wasn’t going to swear to that. The Washington event included formal dress balls, memorial services, concerts and a tour of Quantico and the Marines Headquarters.

“Those were the organized things,” says Pistol. “The disorganized things was a bunch of us sitting around, complaining about our lives and talking about how much we were younger and better.” Pistol’s first such reunion- an event that has been going on since time immemorial- was the one he attended last year. “They had been looking for me for many years,” he laughs. “They were looking in Texas and I was in California and Las Vegas. They weren’t finding me.”

Overall, Pistol thought the events were set up nicely. “You could go to the formal things and dress up, or you could just sit around at a bar and drink beer. They had two different deals. They invited us to 8th & I. That’s where the Commandant lives and that’s where the basic Marine barracks is. They’ve got a big square there and they brought out the Marine Corps. band and the silent drill team. They put on a complete show with the firing of the cannons at the appropriate time. And this is in the middle of Washington. They also had a ball with a formal dinner and the black tie. The Commandant spoke to us while the Quantico band provided the music. They had that deal. That was the First Marine Division’s doing that.

“And there was a hospitality suite just for my battalion,” Pistol goes on to relate. “Every year we plant a tree and put down a plaque remembering our war dead. We have a service. We used to try to read their names but now it’s nearly a thousand names so there’s no fucking way that we can read a thousand. Now they put down little flags with each guy’s name on them. The rest of the time we kicked back, drank beer and told lies. The older we get the better we were,” he laughs.

“Through the stories we tell, we actually won that war. The funny thing is, when we pulled out, we were winning. I don’t know what the hell they did after we left.”

With the chances likely that everyone in the adult industry will have written a book at some time or another, Pistol checks in, too, with the possibility of one. Except this will be about his experiences in Vietnam and not about trying to find the new Linda Lovelace. “We’ve decided to write one,” says Pistol, noting that it’s a chip-in endeavor. “There have been all kinds of books written, but nobody’s ever written the book about Operation Union.

“We did a pretty spectacular thing, there,” Pistol goes on to say. “We defeated the second NVA division and a couple of regiments of VC. Essentially we took the second NVA division’s flag off the map and threw it in the trash. That was a big goddamned battle. We took hundreds of casualties and there was a two-month’s fight. Well worth a book but nobody’s written it. One guy was talking about writing it but he wasn’t there. What the fuck was his point of trying to write it? But there’s a couple of us who are writers. I think I’m doing the first research to start writing that book.”


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