There were men and women serving in Vietnam commencing in 1954. On March 8-10, 1965, the first Marine Units from 1/9, 2/9 and 3/9 began a beach landing near DaNang and took up positions in and around the air base at DaNang.
On April 10, 1963, the 2nd Battalion 3rd Marine Regiment 3rd Marine Division landed at Red Beach north of DaNang and took up positions 8 miles north of DaNang and had their first major action on May 11, 1965 in and around the village of Le My. There were 3 KIA and 13 wounded.
During the months of July and August, 1965, the 2nd Battalion was reassigned on an individual basis as replacements in 1/9, 2/9 and 3/9. Only 50 Marines remained with their original units. The end of tour duty for those that land as 2/3 was to be December 1965. There was no return to the USA as a unit. Almost all were rotated as individuals. Rotation started in November 1965 and others had their tour extended as far out as April 1966.
The Marine Corps failed to recognize the impact of splitting up a Marine unit that had served together for almost 2 years. Issues were may, however, emotional distress, escalated PTSD and the of loss of personal contact with those who had become “Marine Brothers” continues to be experienced by Vietnam Vets.
In the summer of 2008 a search began for “Lost Marine Brothers”. The initial search was to find veterans of Hotel Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment. As contacts expanded, 90% had medical and emotional issues related to their service. Many stated that they never talked about what they had been through in Vietnam. They seldom talked about their frustrations and for many, failure to reestablish a normal life after discharge from military continues.