Carlos Hathcock Encounters

This section is devoted to all of those who have met Carlos Hathcock and would like to relay their story or opinions to the rest of the sniping community.

“I met Mr. Hathcock at the Waukesha Rifle and Pistol Associations banquet a few years back. Before he spoke, he walked around, meeting the rifle and pistol competitors that were in attendance (about 600 of us showed up), talking and shaking hands. Then he came by our table. Carlos is one of those guys that you expect to be about seven feet tall, and figuratively, he was! I stood up to shake his hand and say hello, and towering over him I felt compelled to sit back down. You just don’t feel right being taller than this legend! He shook my hand, asked about the firearms that I shoot in competition, and handed me his card. When he finally got up on the podium to speak, and tell the stories, and answer questions, you would have been amazed at the amount of noise that 600 people made…none! I didn’t hear a single chair squeak, or a throat get cleared, nothing but pure silence. This was truly a living legend we all met that day, and he couldn’t have been a nicer more down to earth guy. Semper-Fi Gunny!”

Mike H.

“About 6 months ago I was on aol, talking in the Marines chat room. A couple of guys were on and questioned me about the M40A1. I answered their questions. They gave me Carlos Hathcocks personal phone number. I was a little leery about calling him, but I did. Talk about a complete gentleman and always a Marine. He took my call, I explained that I was also a Marine Corps Sniper and we talked for about 30 minutes. Mostly about the Corps. I understand he has been put in for a Silver Star. I hope he gets it. Carlos loves to hear from fellow snipers.”

Robert C.

“…Since that time in Quantico, all three of us have completed the course in Virginia Beach…and guess who met us at the door…”Gunny” Funny thing, he remembered me and before I could introduce myself he asked, “Stopped your heart lately”. I was floored! I will be forever grateful to “Gunny” for passing on his knowledge and experience to each of us. The training he provided has help to save lives not merely take them. Carlos Hathcock gave us instruction that made us think of not only of the shot but about discipline and patients.”

James C. (SA-FBI)

“…It was against our better judgment to bother him before his meal. But we knew it would be our only chance to meet him. He was patient, polite and extremely courteous. I was amazed at his demeanor. He is one very pleasant gentleman. He is a hero and we let him know how much we appreciated what he did. After our conversation and a photo shoot…which didn’t come out, we retreated to our booth. The gentleman that was with him came to our booth and asked if we were Marines. We weren’t and told him our story. My cousin’s husband was active Army at the time and I was prior Army. He said Carlos was very impressed. Not many Marines know who he is, much less recognize him. He handed us both a gold business card with a sniper rifle and a feather on it.”

Eric Q.

“…Not only that, but I found he lived very close by and as fate would have it I was prodding the isles of a gun show in Hampton VA, when I happened to glance to my right and look into the eyes of a face I knew well: Gunny Hathcock. And not only did I get to shake his hand but got an autographed photo to boot. What a day!”

William L.

“…Carlos and I shot together at Cherry Point in the early ’60s and had a lot of fun kidding the other shooters about being “Yankees”. Carlos broke my long-standing qualification course record there and liked to kid me about it….but I never forgot Ol’ Carlos and his snicky giggle and was real proud of calling him my friend.”

Captain William E.”Doc” L. USMC (Retired)

“…I shook his hand and chatted with him while he ate a bowl of ice cream … I just felt good sitting in his presence. I couldn’t think of any great ballistic or gun questions. After about 5 minutes I excused myself letting the guy finish his treat in peace. He was a true hero and gentleman.”

Mike O.

“…I was very surprised when I met him, he put everyone immediately at ease, his knowledge of shooting was unmatched. I learned more from that one week of training than I had from any of the other training I had ever attended combined. He was definitely a professional and a gentleman. A true Marine. He will be greatly missed. America has lost one of it’s greatest heroes.”

Mike G.

“I was a member of the Coast Guard Pistol Team when he came out to the range at Dam Neck, VA during the All Navy Matches. We listened to him talk for an hour or so while he graciously wished us luck and signed our score books…”

GM1 Mike C., USCG

“My father was one of Gunny’s students @ Quantico in the late 70’s. He has always spoke truely of Gunny and the way he would be able to yell at you without even saying a word. I wanted badly to meet this man since I was little and it finally happened when I was about 9 yrs. old. Gunny came to stay with us at my house for a week when he came up to Maryland to help my dad with the sniper school he was instructing for the police dept. Every night at dinner we would all sit around and listen to stories Gunny had to talk about. I do have to say…There was never a dull moment when he was around. Ever since that week, I have been in close contact with Gunny all the way up to his death. He was even generous enough to send me a new 50 dollar bill for graduation. Talk about someone who revels in the likings of youngsters. He was a great man and will always be in the heart of me and my family. My father still cries when he thinks of how Gunny used to tell him to put himself in his “own little bubble” when he was shooting. Thanks for the advice Gunny and thanks to you…”

Brian B.

“…I went to the infamous marine PMI school. (Primary Marksmanship Instructor), and Carlos spoke at our graduation. It was the most memorable moment of my 7 years in the marines. When he entered the room in his wheel chair, you could hear a pin drop. The whole entire audience was afraid to look at him. He got out of his wheel chair and walked slowly up to the microphone, and then he started talking about how much he hated people that spit their chewing gum on the street. The whole audience started to crack up. And he kept going on and on and on about how he had to pull it off the bottom of his shoes…..

“He spoke to us for about 30 minutes even though he was in serious pain. And when he was finished, he stayed after graduation to chat with his fellow marines, autograph books, and have his photo taken with us.
Semper Fi Carlos”

Sgt. Gregory P. M. 1stBn 2ndMar A Co. 2nd MarDiv

“…So, with no idea at all what to say to him, I called. I simply asked “may I speak to Carlos Hathcock? He said ” this is he”..I replied with…”I hope this isn’t gonna sound crazy, but are you the soldier who was the inspiration for the book “Marine Sniper”? He paused for a terrifying few seconds, and said..”I am he”. The only thing I could do was to say how much I admired him, and that I enjoyed the book. He came back with a statement, that made me speechless..He said…”You have got some nerve calling me”…I immediately got sick in my stomach. Then he said…”But I love a person with a lot of nerve, come meet me, and have lunch”! He didn’t have to ask twice. We talked for about 30 minutes on the phone, and he gave me his home address, which was about 10 mins. from where I lived.

…He acted like he had known me for years. He and his wife were as sweet as anyone could ever imagine…”

Donna H-G.

“I first met Carlos while in the Marine Corps back in 1984 my first year as a young Marine Sgt. assigned to the Marine Corps Rifle Team in Quantico, Va. I had hear stories about the famous Marine Sniper. I remember first seeing him, he was a small framed guy, I introduced myself to him, he was barley able to move around due to his illness. He was wearing the coveted Marine Corps shooting jacket given to all Marines who are fortunate to make it to the big team. Looking in his eyes was amazing! He was very pleasant and loved to talk about the conditions of shooting! I was in awe! I has the pleasure of shooting along side of his son a couple of years later. Carlos will be missed greatly, however he will never be forgotten by this former Marine.”

Thomas C.

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