DARLINGTON – The military wasn’t Gary Mosely’s first choice but he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do when he graduated Darlington High School.
It was 1964 when he graduated and followed his good friend Dave Larson into the Marine Corps.
“He was a die hard Marine and he kept bugging me about the Marine Corps. I had to do something after high school. He was going and I said ‘okay Dave, I’ll go with you’,” Mosely said.
At age 17 both Mosley and Larson enlisted and were sent to Camp Pendleton in San Diego, Calif., for basic training.
“They were hardcore. Everything was hardcore.”
They spent a year at basic training before they got sent over to Vietnam.
His first thoughts of going over were a few choice words that can’t be written, but might be words that many had thought.
His unit was the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, H&S Company. They were sent to an area near Da Nang and Chu Lai, near the South China Sea. Their mission was to collect enemy intelligence in the mountain approaches to the Marines’ tactical area of operation along with the Laos border, and to report any findings directly to the general staff of the III Marine Amphibious Force.
They were there for 10 months. Mosley worked as a clerk for the unit.
“I didn’t have that much paperwork there while in Vietnam.”
He said there would occasionally be the soldier that needed to be brought back to the camp so he had the chance to go out in the field “and get shot at.”
“It was a war that shouldn’t have been fought to tell you the truth. The only ones that won were the Vietnamese.”
After his time there, he was sent to Garden City, New York working as a clerk at the Marine Base there.
“We mostly typed up papers of people that got out of Vietnam or if they got out with an award we would type that up. Or if they died, we had to type up special papers on them.”
He wasn’t the fastest typer so he had help to make sure there wasn’t a mistake.
“You couldn’t make an error on the whole thing or we had to start all over again. I got almost done once and I made an error and I would just groan because I had to do it all over again.”
He was there for a little over two years and then he left the military.
He came back to Darlington for about two years when he met and married the absolute love of his life (Patricia) Gail Beasley. Gail caught Gary’s eye at a party.
“I went there with a different girl to the party. Then I got to meet Gail and I got rid of that girl I was with and took on Gail and had her for almost 50 years together.”
While together they raised their family in Argyle. They had three children together, Gretchen, Joseph and Shannon. Gary drove semi trucks for a living. He began working for Argyle Industries then he ended up buying his own semi and driving anywhere.
“I never went all the way out west or out east. Stayed mainly in the Midwest. I did go to Canada and Mexico and covered quite a bit of land. He did that for about 25 years.
He and Gail had planned to find a place to stay together after Gary retired. Unfortunately. Gail passed away in 2019 after 49 years together with Gary.
Gary never knew what he wanted to do after graduation. His favorite subject in school was math but his absolute favorite thing to do was play baseball. He played third base all throughout his high school career. He said it killed him when he got kicked off the team his senior year for getting caught smoking.
“I hated every minute of it because I missed my whole senior year except the first two games.”
A teacher warned him that if he caught Gary smoking, he would kick him off.
“At least he warned me ahead of time,” Gary joked.
He happened to have a cigarette in his mouth while eating at Mary’s Café during lunchtime when that teacher walked by the window.
“All my stuff was taken out of my locker when I went up there for baseball practice. One of the coaches couldn’t believe what happened and tried to get it all straightened out.”
Unfortunately they weren’t able to get him back on the team.
But during his time living in Argyle, he participated in the Home Talent games for 15 years. He moved positions to first base but remained a solid hitter.
“Like I say, I enjoyed playing baseball. If the MS wouldn’t have hit me, I think I’d still be able to play baseball, even though I’m old.”
Gary is currently living at the Lafayette Manor, enjoying his days playing bingo, winning candy prizes and giving the candy to a young boy who lives across the street.
He sometimes remembers his time in Vietnam but says, “it wasn’t fun and none of it was exciting.” He would rather talk about baseball, his wife and family and the great memories that come with them.