Gunny’s custom-made Victory High-Ball motorcycle was unveiled at the International Motorcycle Show in Long Beach, California. PHOTO COURTESY VICTORY

TK: Let’s say you’re flying first class, like you usually do, and suddenly there’s a guy, or two, threatening flight attendants and trying to break into the cockpit. What would you do?

First of all, you have to use good common sense. If you’re killed or wounded, you’re no good. You can’t put up a fight that way. First of all, I would look around for something I might be able to use as a weapon. One of the steak knives they use with first class dinners might be available. But basically, I would have no weapon and be pretty helpless. If the guy is walking past my seat, I might decide to take him on right then. I would bide my time, watching, observing, trying to find their vulnerability. Perhaps I can get help from someone sitting close by, set up an ambush. Perhaps there would be a tray I could use to hit the guy right in his Adam’s Apple. Think…then act! That would be my plan.

TK: We were reminded about knife fighting when we were reading about Marine Staff Sgt. Richard Hale in Vietnam. He won the Distinguished Service Cross for charging a VC emplacement with nothing but a Bowie knife and his pistol. He killed two in hand-to-hand combat then regrouped his squad. He was hit by a sniper bullet, but crawled to the enemy position and killed two more with his pistol. Are Marines today being trained to fight hand-to-hand?
The Marine Corps is—I guarantee you. I don’t know about the other branches, but the Marine Corps still teaches bayonet fighting. They take it very seriously. That’s why many of the recruits are in the Marine Corps and not some other military unit.

TK: The Punji Stakes made by the VC in Vietnam caused a lot of casualties, taking combat troops out of action for an average of three weeks.
They were sharpened bamboo shoots placed in the ground so that with a misstep you found yourself impaled. A lot of people think they had poison put on them, but that’s a bunch of baloney. What they had on them was urine and human feces. So they resulted in infections, and the victims had to be med-evaced. If you were walking along a trail, you’d probably spot them. But in the dark, if you were running, under the stress of a firefight, they might get you.

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Gunny’s custom-made Victory High-Ball motorcycle was unveiled at the International Motorcycle Show in Long…