This is what I wrote to OCTA in support of my bus driver, Gunny.
I ride the last 701 bus out of Downtown LA daily. I only know my driver as “Gunny”, but I’m sure you can find out who that is.
Gunny is a safe driver, something I can’t really say about some of the past drivers we’ve had. He is also always courteous to us regulars as well as others.
Once we picked up a couple of foreign tourists. Gunny was extremely helpful in clarifying where our bus was heading and if this was the right bus for them. Once that was figured out, he even helped them figure out how to connect from the Golden West station to wherever it was they were going.
One other occasion of extraordinary service from Gunny was when the bus was ordered to reroute. Something happened in Downtown and he said we had to take a detour. But instead of just leaving the folks at the stops we had to bypass behind, Gunny asked if we’d mind being a little late getting home so that he could go around and pick those folks up. We didn’t have any problem with that at all. And so we took another 15 minutes to go around the blocks to pick up at least 2 more riders who might have been left stranded if it wasn’t for Gunny coming back for them.
However, I did overhear one of the riders we came to pick up complained about the bus being late, not acknowledging the fact that a) traffic was horrible on its own, b) we were ordered to go around, and that c) we DID come back for him. I’m sure that guy would have complained a lot worse if he was stranded.
I just want to let you guys know that Gunny followed YOUR order to detour and yet still went out of his way to make sure he didn’t leave anyone behind. Once a Marine, always a Marine. It’s true. (My husband is a Marine as well.)
And that brings me to the most recent praise I have for Gunny.
If I can speak on behalf of everyone on the bus on July 3rd, I would like to say that OCTA should be extremely proud to have Gunny as your driver. There were American flags hanging on the bus along side the USMC flag. I’m not an American citizen and even I puffed up with American patriotism and pride. Here’s a man who fought for this country and for our freedom. Of all of us on the bus, he’s probably the only one who actually earns the right to fly the American flag on the bus, and not only on the eve of Independence Day. It was such an honor to be driven by a Marine.
I just want to drop a line and let you know that of my two years on the bus so far, Gunny might just be the one I trust most to get me home safely.
– Your 701 regular
ETA: Just a little back story. Us on the bus got words that someone has called OCTA to complain about Gunny’s display of flags on the bus on the eve of Independence Day, specifically the USMC flag. OCTA reportedly checked that off as a complaint against Gunny, 3 of 5. The other two, although unreasonable but that’s a story for another time, are actually related to his driving. This one is not.
I’m married to a Marine. Bill on The Bus has son who is currently serving in Kuwait. The rest of us that we talked to support Gunny…and the 1st Amendment. Bill showed his support on the bus today by posting up a picture of his son and other Marines on the window next to him. If I had known, I would’ve brought my USMC shirt (thanks, Justin!) and hang it up on my window too.
ETA 2: I texted Brandon of the whole shenanigan on Wednesday, and Brandon texted me back this: “Tell gunny to tell the commies that they can fucking walk home”.Â Well said, honey.