Diatribes of a Knucklehead

During December 1987, I ran the Honolulu Marathon.  I met my future wife the same afternoon.

Five days later we went out on our FIRST DATE with a friend and his girlfriend.  We went to a local watering hole named “Gussie L’amour’s.”  We often partied at Gussie’s, which was located just outside the Gate to Pearl Harbor Naval Base.  Due to its proximity, it was more like an Navy E-Club (Enlisted Club); filled with lots of enlisted sailors.

After we had settled in to listen to some music things went to shit.  A sailor walked over to my friend (Kevin) and stood over him; talking shit – I could not hear what was being said.  I noticed the sailor had a few friends that were surrounding our table.  My friend stood up and knocked the crap out of the sailor; and the brawl began.  I immediately took down the closest sailor to me and held him down in a choke hold and began multiple punches to his face.  As I was chocking him out and beating his face, one of his friends tried to punch me in the face.  Somehow, I saw the punch coming and I pulled my head back.  My hands were tied up in my choke hold, so I bit the other sailors arm and held on; to the bite.  Kevin was fighting a couple of sailors and I was fighting two more.  Other sailors came over to jump in, so a young Marine, who we did not know jumped in to help us.  So, then it was three Marines against at least five sailors.  We were doing well, but more sailors were moving in for the kill.

Luckily for us the bouncers helped us get out of there.  At one point during the fight I saw my date get involved.  When we got back to Kevin’s girlfriend’s apartment I notice my date had blood all over her silk dress:

I said, “Are you okay?”

She responded with, “I am fine; it is not my blood.”

Right then I knew I had to marry her; and I did.

I never saw any of them (sailors) again, but I was told the dude I was choking and punching in the face still had a pretty bad shiner (black eye) a month later.  I think I punched him about 18,000 times in one eye.

The moral of the story:  If you are going to jump a Marine, expect the worst.


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By David Devaney

David K. Devaney SgtMaj USMC Retired 2009 City of Hit Iraq with PTTDavid was born in Geneva New York and graduated from Geneva High School in 1980. He joined the Marine Corps on a guaranteed Infantry contract in April of 1983. After graduating boot camp he was stationed in Hawaii with 3rdBattalion 3rd Marines (3/3). While assigned to 3/3 he held billets as a rifleman, fire team leader, and squad leader. During 1986 Corporal (Cpl) Devaney was selected as a member of Surveillance and Target Acquisition (STA) Platoon, 3rd Battalion 3rd Marine. Upon graduation of Scout Sniper School he was assigned to the Scout Sniper Section of 3/3 STA Platoon. During his second deployment as a Scout Sniper with 3/3 he was promoted to Sergeant (Sgt). After a tour on the drill field from 1989-1991 Sgt Devaney returned to STA 3/3 were he deployed two more times. During 1994 Sgt Devaney was selected to the rank of Staff Sergeant (SSgt) and ordered to III Marine Expeditionary Force (III MEF), Special Operation Training Group (SOTG); while at SOTG SSgt Devaney was assigned as a Reconnaissance and Surveillance (R&S) and Urban Sniper Instructor and Chief Instructor. At the time III MEF SOTG Instructors were members of Joint Task Force 510 (JTF 510 CT); a Counter Terrorism Task Force. In 1998 he deployed to Operation Desert Fox with Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 2/4 and was attached to Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) 572/594 as a sniper. SSgt Devaney deployed again, during 2000, with ODA 135/136/132 to Malaysia as member of JTF 510, working with the Malaysian National Police. After leaving SOTG Gunnery Sergeant (GySgt) Devaney was assigned to Company A 1st Battalion 7th Marine, and spent much of his time training the Scout Snipers of 1/7. Just before the invasion of Iraq, in 2003, he was selected to the rank of First Sergeant (1stSgt) and led 270 Marines, sailors, and soldiers during combat – receiving a Bronze Star Medal for destroying the enemy and their will to fight. During 2004 1st Sgt Devaney was ordered to duty as the Inspector Instructor Staff 1st Sgt for 2nd Beach and Terminal Operations Company, Savannah, Georgia. During 2007 he was selected to the rank of Sergeant Major (SgtMaj) and received orders to Electronic Warfare Squadron 4 (VMAQ-4) stationed at Cherry Point, NC. There he trained a CADRE which in turn trained a massive Quick Reaction Force in combat operations. After two more deployments to Iraq SgtMaj Devaney received orders to Weapons Training Battalion, Quantico, VA. SgtMaj Devaney retired from the Marine Corps on 31 December 20013. He now works as an adjunct combat instructor at the “Crucible’’ in Fredericksburg, VA. David is also on the Board of Directors of the Marine Corps Scout Sniper Association. David’s published work: Books Devaney, D.K. (2007). Surviving combat: Mentally and physically (3rd edition). 29 Palms, CA: USMC. Devaney, D.K. (2015). They Were Heroes: A Sergeant Major’s Tribute to Combat Marines of Iraq and Afghanistan. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. Articles Devaney, D.K. (2011) Enough Talk of Suicide, Already! Proceedings Magazine. Devaney, D.K. (2011) Can PTSD Be Prevented Through Education? Proceedings Magazine. Devaney, D.K. (2012) PTSD Is Not Cancer. The Marine Corps Gazette. Devaney, D.K. (2012) Women in Combat Arms Units. The Marine Corps Gazette.

One thought on “My First Date and the Gussie L’amour’s Brawl”
  1. I met my husband at Gussies. He’s retired from the Navy. I wasn’t trying to meet anyone but it happened 18 years ago and then it was pummeled to the ground 😅

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