Pictures and A US Marines Tale of Beirut 1982-83
I was apart of the 8th Marine Regiment deployed to Beirut, Lebanon in 1982-83. I took hundreds of pictures and really had no venue to share them. I decided to start a series of hubs with some of the pictures and a few anecdotes about my time there.
I remember we were at an outpost that was away from the main garrison that was beside Beirut International Airport. There were about 20 of us, f I remember correctly, that shared an old blown out building with about 20 Lebanese forces. We had the upper floor and they had the bottom. There were usually two Marines and two Lebanese on guard at the same time. We were supposed to check cars that came through the intersection for weapons or bombs.
My Gun Placement Beside BIA
Not that we did any good. The Lebanese soldiers looked at the papers and searched the cars becaue none of us could read Arabic. They would look at the papers and then do a quick search and let them go there way. We would find a AK47 every once in awhile, but that was it. They would take the weapon and let the person go. That was our life day end and day out until we rotated back to the main garrison by the airport.
Cpl. Isabell My Section Leader
One day, I was on guard duty leaned up against the wall with my Walkman. I was with Ali (they were all named Ali at one point) my Lebanese counterpart and we were listening to Jack and Diane by John Cougar Melloncamp. He was trying to get into the music but he was just not making it happen. All of a sudden I felt dust hit my face and then heard a report from a rifle. We heard weapons being fired all the time but thought nothing of it. I yelled to my lieutenant that we were being fired upon. His reply was to just move to the other side of the street.
Great Video Set To MeatLoaf Showing Beirut Conflict
The Israeli Army would do what is called reconnaissance by fire. They would ride their conveys through the streets and fire into buildings to rouse up any resistance. If somebody fired back, they would come down full force with an attack on that building. The building would be flattened or at least blown up on a few floors.
The day we took fire was from the Israelis firing on a building about a three blocks away. The bullets that reached us were the ones that were meant for the building but missed and made their way back to our outpost. I thought they were meant for us, so I locked and loaded. Luckily, the liutenant found out they were stray rounds and told us to hold our fire. We later learned that there was a convey of three tanks and thirty grunts taking that building on. If we would have fired, we would have been slaughtered were we were.
There were many skirmishes with the Israelis and other nationalities that had invaded Lebanon all at the same time. Most were innocent. Some malicious, but that is what happens when you put UN troops in a country with several factions and Syria on the border ready for war.