Index to the William Koch Interview,

Veterans History Project Collection,

Record Group 024

NARRATOR:  William E. Koch

BIOGRAPHY:  Bill Koch, born in Massachusetts in 1959, served in the Marine Corps between 1976 and 1996, and was stationed in Okinawa, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait.  He was a Gunnery Sergeant in the 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion during the Persian Gulf War, 1991.

BIRTHDATE:  February 10, 1959

OCCUPATION:  Insurance

INTERVIEWER:  Jeremy Sizemore

DATE:  September 24, 2003

Date processed: 
  5-2005

Processed By
:
M. Olliff

Initials

Side

Time

Topic of Discussion

JS

1

00:00

Introduction

BK

1

0:50

Goes to join the navy but tricked into joining the Marines

BK

1

2:15

First day in the Marine Corp. was just like you see on T.V.

BK

1

4:53

Drill Instructor rode me hard. It wasn't until I graduated boot camp that I found out the reason he rode me hard was because we were from the same hometown.

BK

1

6:00

Made it through boot camp by referring to the recruiter saying that I would never become a Marine. Always had a competitive nature so it was a must to make it.

BK

1

6:51

After boot camp, went for Field Skills Training Unit (FSTU).

BK

1

7:44

Deployed to the 2nd Battalion 8th Marines in the Caribbean. Trained for war.

BK

1

9:38

Deployed to Saudi Arabia for the Persian Gulf War 1. Moves into desert to carry out mission of clearing mine fields for the advancement into Kuwait.

BK

1

11:00

Desert Storm kicks off. Sorties flying above and it known that the war has started.

BK

1

11:55

No personal engagement is incurred. Iraqi forces that are met just surrender. Artillery bombardment did occur.

BK

1

13:14

Job in the war was to clear paths through the mine fields for troop advancement. Three tanks are blown up in this process but no lives are lost.

BK

1

22:30

War recollection. Did serve six months on naval ship in 1983. During this time the Marine barracks in Beirut were bombed and placed on standby

BK

1

24:14

Keeping in touch with family was done only writing. No phones in the desert to talk on. It took around two weeks to respond through letters.

BK

1

25:00

Military food. On base it got progressively better over time. In the field MREs were eaten.

BK

1

29:16

The war was very stressful. In command of forty Men that must be kept safe from harm.

BK

2

31:26

Almost involved in friendly fire. Commanding officers were coming back into camp on tanks and almost fired upon by platoon.

BK

2

33:45

A sense of camaraderie existed between the men and commanding officers. Each man trusted his life with the one beside him.

BK

2

34:50

Retired on 24 May 1996. Last day was exciting but also confusing.

BK

2

36:21

After the Marine Corp., took a job at West Building supply Company in Dothan. Became a family man.

BK

2

37:07

Keep in touch with two fellow Marines by mainly e-mail and some phone conversations.

BK

2

38:35

Military influenced life a great deal. Carries the Marine code of honor in everything that is done daily.

BK

2

40:30

Recommend everyone serve at least two years in military. Military makes a man or woman out of people. Military teaches independence.

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