Edward Douglas was born on May 18, 1948, in Tifton, Georgia. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on January 4, 1967, and after completing Basic Training at MCB Parris Island, South Carolina, and rifleman training at MCB Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, he served as an infantryman and machine gunner with Company G, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment of the 3rd Marine Division in South Vietnam from July 1967 until he was wounded in action on August 4, 1967. After being treated for his injuries at the U.S. Naval Hospital in DaNang, South Vietnam, PFC Douglas was evacuated to the U.S. Naval Hospital at Charleston, South Carolina, where he was treated for his injuries from September to December 1967. His final assignment was at the Marine Barracks, Naval Base Charleston, from December 1967 until he was put on the temporary disability retired list on March 16, 1969.
This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me my rifle is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than the enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will. My rifle and I know that what counts in war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, or the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit.
My rifle is human, even as I am human, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strengths, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel. I will keep my rifle clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other.
Before God I swear this creed. My rifle and I are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life.
So be it, until victory is America's and there is no enemy.