Sgt. Grit Community
Submit Your Story

Chaplain

Reunion time, is just around the corner.

I served as an Marine '66-'72, reaching the rank of SGT. This week I will gather with my fellow Marines from Vietnam. I haven't seen most of them since 1967-1968 when we served in HMM-364, Purple Foxes, a CH 46D Squadron out of MCAF, Tustin in Santa Ana, California.

read more

Men At Prayer

This had hung in my room for years as a kid, I recently got it back after it had been misplaced after my father passed away. I have never seen it anywhere else. "A painting by Capt. A.G. Raymond, USMCR, depicts in its impressive sincerity, the worship and reverence that our fighting men carry to the very battle lines… The strength of manly character typified by the American Marine is vividly portrayed in this factual interpretation of men at prayer."   Thought that I could share it with others.   Semper Fi Bob Belles '76-'78

Father (Fox Hole) Kelly

Father Francis W. Kelly, Chaplain, U.S.N.served with the Marines at Talagi, then at Guadalcanal. After Guadalcanal he went with the 2nd Marine Regiment to Wellington where he officiated at Masses, Confessions, and problems common with MIlitary men at Wellington, New Zealand. His duties included going on Practice Combat Landings with the Marines as they prepared for the next Island Battle. 

read more

A Little Biblical Help

My brother graduated from West Point back in 1971.  He never made it to Vietnam.  My son is a 10 year Marine veteran with a tour in Iraq for Uncle Sam and 1 tour in Iraq for Honeywell.  My brothers graduating class at West Point were given shirt pocket sized bibles to take with them to wherever they were to be assigned.  The nice thing about those bibles were that they had a steel front cover.  So by putting that bible in your fatigue shirt breast pocket you were reinforcing the power of the bible and helping to protects yourself at the same time.  Couldn't something similar be done for all our grunts who are sent into harms way?

read more

Once a Marine, Always a Marine. A Marine Comes Home.

Few earn the title United States Marine. Once earned, the rest of their life they are a marine. A marine on Active Duty, A marine reserve, A retired marine, or as is most common a marine who served his country and returned to civilian life as a marine on-demand, whose skills if needed are always ready.

read more

Reunion at MCRD after 40 years

Hello, Sgt. Grit,

On 27 October 2009 (coming up on a year now), two of my Marine Corps brothers and I had a great reunion at MCRD. Inseparable during boot camp and ITR, we’d lost touch over the years, and “found” each other through the internet. We promptly decided a reunion was in order, and that the only place to have it was at MCRD where we met, and the only time to have it was from 26-28 October, since 27 October was to be the 40th anniversary of our first day of boot camp, to the day.

read more

Raise the Banner

Chaplains corner

Raise the Banner
Victory Over the Enemy

Formosa (now called Taiwan) was the original mission objective, but at Admiral Mitiz's recommendation, the invasion was changed to Okinawa to allow more rapid movement for the Allies toward the Japanese mainland. We who made the landing on April 1, 1945 expected the same kind of deadly Japanese reception as at Peleliu-an intensive, life-and-death struggle on the beaches. Instead it was a relatively peaceful landing.

read more

The Alphabet Men of C Co. First Tank Battalion

The Alphabet Men of C Co. First Tank Battalion

Fate is the same for the man who holds back, the same if he fights hard. We are all held in a single honor, the brave with the weaklings. A man dies still if he has done nothing, as one who has done much.Homer in The Iliad, 800 BC

At Camp Elliott in San Diego after Boot Camp in early 1943, we were "volunteered" alphabetically, A, B, C & D, for Marine Corps tank training at Jaques Farm. The Alphabet Men, of whom I was one, were Alvarez, Atkinson, Backovich, Bahde, Barwick, Brenkert, Christensen-and many others too numerous to list. Even today, almost 60 years later, I continue to ponder the mysterious fate of being thrown together with some of America's finest, only because of the alphabet.

read more

The Gyrostabilizer

The Gyrostabilizer

The men who followed Him were unique in their generation. They turned the world upside down because their hearts had been turned right side up. The world has never been the same. Billy Graham

After an accelerated wartime seven week Marine Boot Camp in early 1943, hundreds of us in our new green uniforms and our equipment packed in khaki-colored sea-bags were sent by ten-wheel trucks to Camp Elliott on the outskirts of San Diego for infantry training. Camp Pendleton had not opened yet. In other chapters I've told how after initial infantry training, we were "volunteered" alphabetically for tank school. I sometimes wonder what would have happened to me if my last name was Zaring! As new prospective tankers we were sent off to Jaques Farm, an old fruit orchard, for training. Never mind that some of us were well over six feet and could hardly squeeze into the 15-ton light tanks of that day.

read more