Sgt. Grit Community
Submit Your Story

MARINE TANK OFFICER MAKES HISTORY

Second lieutenant Lillian Polatchek, the first female Marine to attend the Army’s Armor Basic Officer Leaders Course at Fort Benning, Georgia, graduated at the top of her class April 12, 2017.

Polatchek, a New York native, was commissioned in November of 2015 after attending Connecticut College. After graduating The Basic School at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, she reported to the Marine Corps Detachment at Fort Benning, Georgia to attend the U.S. Army’s Armor Basic Officer Leaders Course.

read more

WWII VETERANS, GUESTS REMEMBER THE BATTLE OF IWO JIMA

IWO TO, Japan — At the base of Mount Suribachi on Iwo To, among the most iconic places in Marine Corps history, U.S. Marine, Army and Air Force veterans, families alongside U.S. and Japanese leaders and other distinguished guests gathered to commemorate fallen service members during the 72nd Reunion of Honor ceremony, March 25, 2017.

read more

No Rose Garden Coming Home during Vietnam War

In your newsletter one person in a a comment went to Thailand after the War- my best friend is there too- wound up in Pattaya Beach- ( hope it is spelled correct) – fed up with bullshit here in the states- and a big ex-pat community there- also- one group is in the Philipines too- sorry to say that I can feel for those who found it tough to exist here. I stayed like many others and faced and still face some assholes who still are arm chair quarterbacks as to expounding information – and naturally all wrong it seems. The world is not what it used to be- and now with ISIS and the nut job in North Korea- a President who is a new experience for us- who wants radical changes ( good and bad ) for us. I have no answers– but I would enlist again in a heartbeat if I was younger and faced with the same decision parameters as I was against in 1963- I am proud of Old Glory and the U S of A – and still get riled about the wanna-bees who abuse our Country for silly rhetoric- and thank you Sgt Grit for a place to rave and rant about a chance to voice our opinions- we do not always agree- but enjoy the present- look forward to the future- and remember the past.

read more

Okinawa Invasion Battle Flag

While doing some research on a now deceased 6th Division Marine, I came across a fascinating memento from the Okinawa Invasion which this Marine, Robert G. Sproul, Wilmington, DE, had participated in. Among his souvenirs was a Japanese battle flag taken from a dead Japanese soldier during the battle. These battle flags, popular with many Japanes soldiers, were signed by family and friends with exhortations of good luck. The silk or cotton flags adorned with Japanese writings around the large red sun were worn around the soldier’s abdomen before going into battle. This particular flag has faded blood stains and what appear to be bullet holes. A poignant personal reminder of the Marine’s war in the Pacific during WWII.

read more

Then Tell Me What You Have To Say

Then Tell Me What You Have To Say

Somehow I got the feeling
That when I returned to the World
I should be ashamed.
I didn’t know why
But finally realized that I was being
blamed for the death and dying in
Viet Nam.
In war there is death.
How anyone who has not been in war
Knows what war is really doesn’t know.
If you think you know, you ought to go
And confirm that knowledge and insight.
Engage in a firefight.
Have someone shoot at you,
Be next to a man who is blown away.
Then, come back and tell me what you’ve learned.
Then tell me what you have to say.

read more

Return from carrier quals

In the early sixties the aircraft carriers at Pearl Harbor docked at the old Battle Ship Row in front of the Arizona Memorial on Ford Island. I was a plane captain on A4Ds in VMA-212 based at Kaneohe Bay on the other side of Oahu from”61” to “63”.  On return from one of these qualification cruises and after 20 or 30 hours of constant flight quarters, without a break, we plane captains were tired and dirty and taking a break on the hangar deck in the number two elevator opening. The elevator being up gave a huge picture window to the passing scene as we passed down the “slot” around Ford Island.  Somebody broke out a deck of cards and several of us were playing eucre on an overturned box.  The ships’ crew had been ordered into dress whites and lined the flight deck, shoulder to shoulder.  As we passed outgoing ships the Captain would announce “Attention to Port”, or “Attention to Starboard” and all the swabbies rendered hand salutes to the outgoing ships, which did the same in response with their crews.  Needless to say, a bunch of dirty, tired Marines looking at these passing swabbies all spit shined and rested did not appreciate the tradition we were observing.  We had our own version of the hand salute that got passed to the outgoing vessels.  This made for very astonished expressions from one sub as I recall.  Sailors in a row, from fore to aft and up the conning tower, mouths agape at the dirty, green humanoids disrespecting their ship.  Anyway, as we rounded Ford Island preparing to dock, the captain announced, “Attention to Starboard” and there coming into view was the new (at the time) Arizona Memorial, flying the stars and stripes as a still commissioned ship of the Navy.  Every man jack one of us stood at attention and saluted that beautiful flag and as we passed slowly by and into the slip just in front of the memorial.  No way could we not honor those brave men. Still brings a tear to my eye remembering. Cpl. Norm Spilleth 1960 to 1964 Sgt Grit wants to hear from you! Leave your comments below or Submit your own Story !

Inspiration Before The Battle (GySgt Walgren)

Take yourself back almost three years to February of 2010.  What were you doing then?  Were you in school, or at your last job?  For the Marines of 1/3, 1/6, 3/6, and 3/10, they were about to begin what was dubbed as the most dangerous combat operation since Fallujah with the commencement of Operation Moshtarak.  Their mission: clear the Taliban-infested city of Marjah, in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.  While I have never set foot in Marjah, I did deploy just next door in Nawa district, having gone on many a patrol just outside of Marjah in the “friendly” area of Trek Nawa.  Before you watch this legendary speech by Gunnery Sergeant Walgren of 1/6 (1st Battalion, 6th Marines), try and imagine yourself as one of these young Marines that’s about to climb into a CH-53 helicopter and begin the assault.  Can you imagine the mental preparation you have to do to really prepare yourself for a mission like that, especially with all of the intel/news reports on how heavy the enemy activity was?  That’s where good leadership comes into play, and the video speech you’re about to witness is spine-tingling good.  You don’t have to be a good public speaker to be a good leader, but it is a good quality to have, and Gunny Walgren possesses it in spades.

read more

Godspeed, John Glenn

Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert B. Neller presents the flag to Annie Glenn, wife of retired U.S. Marine Corps Col. John H. Glenn Jr., during his funeral at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va., April 6, 2017. Glenn passed away Dec. 8, 2016. Glenn was a U.S. Marine Aviator who flew 149 combat missions during World War II and the Korean War. He later became a NASA astronaut and was the first man to orbit the earth aboard the “Friendship 7” in 1962. He was then elected to the U.S. Senate for the state of Ohio in 1974 and served four consecutive terms. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by CWO4 Jonathan C. Knauth)

read more

“Who Replaced You?”

I’ve been writing poems ever since I returned from VN. Why? Beats me. They just show up in my head and I write. Some were written after I had a drink or two and I am sure I will never with the Nobel prize for literature and I almost never share them, I still write though rarely drink now. I thought I’d drop one off here. I suppose my poems are a way for me to express many things I’ve thought and felt about being in the U.S. Marine Corps and having spent ~13 months in VN; also, some poems described my experiences when I returned. Semper Fi! Who Replaced You?

read more

PFC Dan Bullock

PFC Dan Bullock was born in Goldsboro ,NC His mother died when he was eleven years old and,he was sent to Brooklyn NY to live with his father.He always wanted to be a pilot,policeman or a Marine.He did not like New York so,when he was 14 he altered the birthdate on his birth certificate and enlisted in the Marine Corps.On Sept 18 1968 at 14 he was on his way to Parris Island He was a member of Plt.3039;Some of you reading this may have trained with him.On May 18 1969, at the age of 15, he arrived in Vietnam.He was assigned to Fox 2/5 and,on June 7 1969 he was KIA at or near An-Hoa. At 15 he became the youngest Serviceman killed in Vietnam .If anyone out there knew him please post a comment. SEMPER FI and RIP PFC BULLOCK. Harry

read more