501 CHRONICLESnLetter From ‘ThenMajor’s’nby James E. TrehernFor God, Country, and KatenSmithnTo that select few who have frequentednits precincts, it is simply “The Major’s.”nIn reality it’s the “Globe and Laurel,”nalong Virginia’s Route One near thenmain gate to the U.S. Marine CorpsnBase, Quantico, Virginia. Its proprietornis a sandy haired, crewcut, toothbrushmustached,nimmaculately turned out,nretired Major of the U.S. MarinenCorps: one Rick Spooner. A lionheartednWorld War II Veteran, who as a ladnof 16 survived such horrors as Tarawan(over a thousand dead on the beach innthe first 48 hours), the Major alsonrecalls with quiet satisfaction hisncamaraderie-in-arms with the RoyalnBritish Marine Commando; hence thenappellation “Globe and Laurel,” insignianof those stout Brits who were thenprecursors of our very own Leathernecks.nThe tolerantly stern majordomonof a very proper hostelry of almostnBROWN WATER, BLACK BERETSnCoastal and Riverine Warfare in Vietnamn”A definitive history of tfie U.S. Navy’snbrown-water sailors in Vietnam, witfinpowerful, intimate accounts of individualnexperiences and unit actions.”n- Stephen Coonts,nA-6 pilot in Vietnamnauthor ofnFlight of the IntrudernWATER,nBUCK $9195n21n320 pages.nIllustrations.nIndex.n”Commander Cutler’s book fulfills the highestnpurpose of written history by recording, forever,na forgotten corner of the Vietnam War It isna vital reminder for all who think that navalnwarfare is far removed from shore, the enemy,nand the thick of things.”n- Paul Dean, Us Angeles Times reporternVietnam correspondentn”This is the best work I have seen on the navynin Vietnam for the period I was there.”n- E.R. Zumwalt, Jr., AOM. USN (Ret)nCommander Naval Forces VietnamnAvailable from thenNAVAL INSTITUTE PRESSnToll-Free: 1-800-233-USNInIn MD: (301) 224-3378/9 nwn19th-century milieu (“A Touch of Tradition,”nas its Inn sign proclaims) is anKiplingesque curator of a veritable hallnof memorabilia of the U.S. MarinenCorps, the British Commandos, andnthe FBI, whose Academy for the pastnalmost 50 years has been located on thenbase.nDecorum fitting a watering hole forngenriemen, soldiers, and others is denrigueur at the Major’s, who has only tonfix a cold eye on a temporary miscreantnto restore propriety. Every inch of thenwalls (and the ceiling) of the Globenand Laurel is covered with the memoriesnof war, battle flags, regimentalnhonors, photographs of Field GradenOfficers and heroes of lesser ranks, ofnpoignant mementos of battles old andnrecent — and a couple generations ofnMarines and FBI Agents hold thenGlobe and Laurel in the same esteemnin which the Foreign Legion heldnSidi-bel-Abbes. In keeping with the setnand the setting, the menu is restrictednto prime rib and veal cordon bleu andnblood-red steak broiled black. Thenpouring whiskeys are Jack Daniels andnJohnny Walker Red, and the unfortunatenordering anything less than Beefeatersnis held in slight suspicion ofnfailure to meet the Globe’s requirednstandards. But for all its refinements,nthis is not the’habitat of the effete. ThenMarines, even in mufti, have the miennof men who have been through thencrucible of war, and in uniform wearnribbons of most of the conflicts of ourncentury, and the FBI Agents are veteransnof those alley wars which arenequally demanding, but for which ribbonsnare not issued. Good company innwhich to be, in the extremities justndiscussed, or when the glow is high—nthe imported beer flowing and thensteaks charring, the Major at his paternfamilias best, and the sea stories at highntide — and a powerfully good place tonbe when that company and moodnprevails.nAll of which fond reflections werenevoked with the recent news of thendeath of Kate Smith. Strange convergence,nto be sure, but herein lies thennexus of a singer, a song, and thenvagaries of a rather whimsical Inn.nA few years ago, during a bestnforgotten era in which demonstrativenpatriotism — among a host of othernlong honored virtues — was lookednupon as rather an embarrassment tonnnthe sophisticate, a quartet of interestednbusinessmen, some stock brokers, andna network TV executive toured thenFBI Academy with one of the Globenand Laurel’s initiates. The entouragengravitated, eventually, to the Globenand Laurel for repast and refreshments.nThe company evolved, as it sonoften does at the Major’s, to what anpoet once referred to as a “goodlyncrowd,” of the usual genre — Marines,nFBI Agents, visiting professional soldiersnof various foreign military missions,nand a sprinkling of law enforcementnofficers attending training sessionsnat the Academy. As counterpointnto the rough but fraternal badinagenof hard guys from tough professionsnwere heard the melodies of old, seeminglynincongruous to this clientelen—“I’ll Take You Home AgainnKathleen” and “Moonlight Serenade”nplayed by a unique pianist, Ray Baker,nordained Minister of the Gospel andnmarvelous entertainer — and the occasionalnrecorded rendition of “AmazingnGrace” by a bagpipe ensemble.nSometime along that evening ofnyore, the music, erstwhile largely ignored,ndrifted into the strains of “GodnBless America.” Uncontrived andnspontaneously, that goodly crowd wasnon its feet in unforgettable concert,npewter mugs lifted to the ceiling, andnnot a few wet eyes among men whonknew the essence of that anthem—nmen who knew the blood and tearsnthat sired that song. A visiting Brit,nsomewhat bemused, gently observed,n”Not abashed at all, are you, younYanks, about loving your country?”nI guess not. I hope we never are.nMemory warms, things past beguile—nbut I wish there were more MajornSpooners, more Globe and Laurels,nand more Kate Smiths — and that wenas a nation will forever sing and pray,n”God Bless America.”n]ames E. Treher is an ex-Marine andna retired FBI Agent of 25 years servicenand was recently director of thenAllegheny County Police TrainingnAcademy, Pittsburgh, PA.n