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Sgt Grit American Courage Newsletter - November 16, 2001

Sgt Grit, I think the words that, at least for me, sum it all up were displayed in Yankee stadium. "The USA fears no one!!! Play Ball". Semper Fi Sgt. KJT USMC 1965 - 1971


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Our son enlisted in the Marines last year and went to to PI 11.13.01. This after two years of junior college and being pursued by every branch of the military because of his high ASVAB scores. When he decided to become a Marine we asked why, he said because the Marines are the best. He is now with a HW Platoon and is ready to do whatever he has to protect our freedoms. Our other son is a college student that flies the US flag from the back of his truck. And that takes every chance he can to tell people that his brother is a Marine. The Marines are also trying to recruit him. We taught our children that anything worth having is worth working for and the best things in life are not free. The people in this country must wake up and realize that terrorists do not have respect for life not even their own. I am so proud to have a Marine for a son and a son that is a college student that is proud to be an American and to express his view of our need to defend our great Country, even though sometimes it means "walking alone". An American Parent
.........................................

Dear Sgt Grit,
Yesterday I saw an article on CNN online that I could not let pass. Wolf Blitzed had an "opinion" piece entitled, "Another Vietnam?" While this alone was enough to get my ire up, when I read the article the only reference to Vietnam was an oblique comparison made during the Carter era. I have written expressing my displeasure and may I suggest you do the same? Ray Fleckles Sgt, USMC 1969 - 1974 .....................................

I e-mailed you in an earlier issue stating my intention to re-enlist. Well, the Corps has graced me once again with its nobility and as of November 8th, I am once again an active duty Marine (as all of us, I never really left!) I have hung up my police gun belt and took up my rifle once again. If any one else out there is contemplating this, federal law protects your jobs and benefits (check out www.esgr.org/userra.html and www.usmilitary.about.com/cs/sscra ). The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) is a powerful law that gives members of the military many different protections, whether during time of war or peace. I am on my way to joining my Marine Corps brothers at 1st Bn. 5th Marines. I'm locked and cocked, ready to rock! For me, this isn't about anger or hatred towards my enemy. That is his way. For me, this is about duty and honor. I can not sit here and watch my loved ones, my people, be destroyed by our enemy. I have to go back. I would rather be a Lcpl facing my enemy, than to always regret not following my heart. Semper Fi, brothers. I'm coming home. Cameron Lefler, Lcpl USMC .............................................................

Dear Sgt. Grit:
I am glad that our president had finally unleashed the CIA. I must admit that I have not always agreed with some of the actions of the CIA, I do see a need for the agency. It is my opinion that if the CIA would have been left alone September 11, 2001, would not have happened because the threat would have been known long before this ever happened. I can't for the life of me understand why the CIA was not cut loose after the first attack on the World Trade Center or any other threat or attack that had happened in the past since it's for a lack of a better word deactivation. I never felt more safe as I did growing up during the Cold War, I feel it because of those people who served in the CIA and other supporting agencies. Thank you for allowing me to express my opinion. LCpl. Charles N. Postle 87-89 Semper Fi. to all my brothers and sisters present and past .......................................

Sgt. Grit:
--- My name is Phil Carlson, a former but still a Marine, 59 to 64. The other day there was a demonstration in Hartford Ct. non violent, but disturbing never the less. Our so called younger generation, had the gall to take our flag and carry it and fly it upside down. This I find deplorable, who the hell do they think they are. I know they have the right to a peaceful assembly, but don't dishonor or disgrace my/our flag . If they don't like what it stands for go some where else. We did what we had to do for our country, our future, and damn it for them, because they are the future. Semper Fi. Phil Carlson Cpl. USMC. ........................................

Sites of interest:
A Soldiers Christmas Story!
http://makesmesmile.com/inspirational/soldier/index.php http://www.top-greetings.com/cards/299/ http://www.camazotz.com/wtc/1.html Sgt. Grit.
Love the letter as always. I just wanted to send a website to you that your readers might enjoy. My grandfather (U.S. Navy WWII vet) sent it to me. The website is : http://www.deskflag.com/ . On this website, anyone can download a free program that puts a waving American flag in the bottom right hand corner of their computer. It looks good. Congratulations on such a successful newsletter. I look forward to every single one. Thanks again! Sgt Chad Davis 90-97 ....................................................

Dear Sir, I would like to take the time out of my day to say thank you to all the marines past and present, for still being this gung-ho and motivated to this cause. My dad served in the Marine Corps form 61-67 and yes he is an Island Marine about 16 years ago before I was born my dad re-enlisted in the Navy I still like to bother him about that. But on Sept. 28 my dad was called upon to serve at NTC Great Lakes as an M.A. (the NAVYS M.P.'s) my dad called the other day, he said "Son, do not join the navy join the Corps." I would have anyways. So I know this my not mean a lot but I would like to say thank you. I see where your coming from. I am only 14 but if was 18 I would be at the recruiting station before anyone. So thank you very much, and have a nice day. Alex Belz .........................................

Sgt. Grit,
I hesitate to write this, because I don't want to take anything away from policemen or firemen and the brave things they do. But, recently a good friend of mine showed me the picture of the Iwo Jima Memorial and the flag raising at the WTC,side by side. He told me that he was going to frame it and give it to me. I declined his gift. He was angry at me, as I can imagine, a lot of people would be. Call it Marine arrogance or pride, but those men at Iwo didn't wake up that morning and pet their dog or send their children off to school or kiss their wife good-bye. They were on ships scared to death, worried about their homes and families. Looking out at that beachhead knowing that they had to take it. I've never run into a burning building, I've never hit a beach , nor have I ever been in a firefight. I was a "Peacetime Marine" from '76 to '80. The biggest thing that happened on my watch was the Embassy in Tehran. The night of the ill-fated rescue attempt was my last night in the Corps . I would have re- upped in a heartbeat if I knew I could go to Iran and help rescue my brothers over there. I work with a man who recently told me his father was on Iwo Jima, the hair on my arms stood up, tears came to my eyes, and I asked him to tell his dad "Semper- Fi " for me. My son is on MSG duty very close to that area of the world. I told him once that those people claim that being killed by an American would be their ticket to heaven. I invited him to usher as many of them to heaven as he could. My brother was a Marine machine gunner in Vietnam. He didn't make it back. A few years later my mother willingly gave her only other son to our corps. My wife was also a Marine. I don't want to take anything away from anyone who is brave enough to put their lives on the line, but let them create their own legacy, and please leave my fore-fathers out of it. This is just my opinion. As an American it is my right to express it. It is a right you fought for, a right that my brother died for, a right that my wife and I defended and finally, a right that our son defends today. These people were very brave and they are heroes in their own right. They do need to be remembered and immortalized in their own way. When there is a national monument, I will proudly donate to it's fund. Semper- Fi Sgt. Jack Allen USMC 1976-1980 ........................................

I agree with the letter writing to CNN and such some of us here have there are just some things that should just be kept quiet and everybody wants everyone to show there support and patriotism and put out there flags but our school systems have a problem with the pledge and the GOD bless America my son is 12 and he raised over 1,000 of his own hard work and odd jobs he did around the town we live in and sent it to New York he felt so good it made us very happy this was on his own doing. ..........................................

Sgt. Grit,
Just a note to say how much I enjoy the newsletter. I am a Firefighter/Paramedic in Marion, OH. On Nov. 17 our Local 379 IAFF will be sending a color/honor guard to NYC for the memorial service. Our unit is made up of both veterans and non veterans. This has hit the F/F and military communities extremely hard. I will be proud to march with my fellow F/F and veterans in honor of those who have fallen. My Eagle, Globe and Anchor will be proudly worn on my uniform. We are getting donations from the community for the trip and support is outstanding. Keep up the great work. Jeff King U. S. M. C. 80-86 ..........................................

"MARINES TAKE CARE OF THEIR OWN" Sgt. Grit;
First of all, thank you for your continued excellent news letters to ALL Marines. Sir, you serve us well and you are appreciated. Secondly, I have enclosed a very worthy article from the Department of Defense (DOD) regarding Scholarships from the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation Inc. This group gives Collage Scholarships from the Foundation to surviving children who have lost a Marine Parent. The Marine Foundation gave scholarships to every single child that lost a parent in the Pentagon Attack on 9/11/01. (Can I get an Ooh-Rah)! This is a charitable foundation with no Government money. With the current demise of the millions of dollars in donations given to the Red Cross, I suggest to ALL Marines who read this, that this is a tremendous way for us Marines "To Take care Of Our Own." Saepe Expertus, Semper Fidelis, Fratres Aeterni. "Often Tested, Always Faithful, Brothers Forever." Cpl. Hayhurst '77-'81 http://www.mc-lef.org/ ..............................................

General Franks was back from Afghanistan last week and going through the routine jerky questions from the reporters. Apparently one was trying to set him up. He finally asked, "why did you start the carpet bombing?" After a slight pause, Franks looked at him and sounding somewhat disgusted and said, "To Kill People." Submitted by: Pat Dougan .........................................

Attention Ohio Marines You may be too old to serve your country on active duty. But, you can still serve your state via the Ohio Military Reserve. Check out our web site: http://home.netcom.com/~zdrummer/ohmr1.html This unit is made up of prior service and retired Marines, Army, Air Force, and Navy personnel. We are a part of the State of Ohio Military Guard. If your under 60 years of age and in good health, your wanted. We may not get to opportunity to interdict them in Afghanistan. But we sure can keep our eyes open and be ready at home. Semper Fi Ron Speer USMC '63-'74 ..........................................

"Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth." (Proverbs 27:1) ........................................

"The media will never admit they were wrong about Mr. Bush, or that they might have focused too much on superficialities and not enough on the man's substance. How is it possible for a 'C' student who was a 'party boy' in college and through early adulthood, to transform himself overnight into someone who thinks and acts like a president should? It isn't possible to instantaneously acquire leadership skills, like Popeye eating a can of spinach for strength. Those skills must have always been there. The question the press should be asking is how and why they missed them. Instead, they are predictably writing about the 'new' George W. Bush." --Cal Thomas ........................................

Sgt Grit: just rec'd latest newsletter and damn near bawled like a baby...just reading what some folks put into words about the Marines is wonderful...and leaves me feeling lonesome in a way...you see I am too danged old to serve the Corps on active duty, but not too old to remember...I love the slogan...Not As Lean, Not As Mean, But Still A Marine... having served back in the 50's kinda dates me, but not my mind... The Corps is still a sacred item to me, and yes, I heard that remark the fly-fly boy said on TV news and almost threw my boob tube out the door...but instead just marked up another guy who would turn to a Marine when he needs help! Always enjoy your stuff, keep it up.... McReynolds, D.T. former Sgt USMC ......................................

Dear Sgt. Grit, I am the proud mom of a marine. My son has been in the Corps for about a year. I just wanted to send you this poem I wrote about him and the Corps. I think it expresses most Marine moms feelings before and after. So many of my friends and relatives served in VietNam. My cousin, Ricky Cistaro was a Marine who gave his life for his country. My brother served in Nam as well (only in the Seabees). I volunteered at Hines Veteran's Hosp. in Ill. I saw many men from all wars in pretty bad shape. Too bad all those demonstrators couldn't have put some time in one of these hospitals...maybe they would have had more compassion for our servicemen than for our enemies. They made me sick then as they do now. Well, for what it's worth here's my poem.... My Son the Marine
"Hey, mom, guess what?" I heard him say.
"I'm joining the Marines today."
He met my laugh with solemn stare,
Which told me more than I could bear.

For weeks I sat in quiet grieving,
Knowing, soon, that he'd be leaving.
I watched with tears as he departed,
Feeling, oh, so, broken-hearted.

But as his training came to end,
I saw boy and man begin to blend
Into a military man
Who wanted to protect our land.

Then one unforgetful day
A madman came from faraway
To start a war that would last for years,
Reminding me of all my fears.

And now our sons are called to serve
To defend us all with no reserve.
Worried, though he fights for freedom,
Forgive me, but I'm still his mom.

Maureen A. Grafton
Fond du Lac, Wi
...........................................

"We do not need more intellectual power, we need more moral power. We do not need more knowledge, we need more character. We do not need more government, we need more culture. We do not need more law, we need more religion. We do not need more of the things that are seen, we need more of the things that are unseen.... If the foundation is firm, the superstructure will stand." -Calvin Coolidge .........................................

The longer the war against terrorism goes on the more often we'll have to deal with apologists for the terrorists who think that somehow this is all our fault. After all, Osama says so and so does NPR, CNN, etc. President Bush has received much grief over his use of the word "crusade". It offends Muslims and recalls that unfortunate time in history when Western Europeans attempted to conquer what is today Israel in order to wrest it from the control of Muslims. The crusades went on during the 11th and 12th centuries. However, I have not heard a single news organization point out that, almost since its inception, Islam has been at war with Western culture. In 711A.D. a Moslem army swept out of North Africa into Spain. The Moslems conquered Spain and ruled it for 700 years. Moslem armies also swept out of the Middle East and into Eastern Europe and were only turned back when they failed to take Vienna, Austria following a long siege. In fact, Moslem armies continued to threaten the West until the breakup of the Ottoman empire at the end of World War I. Moslem armies were quiet from 1918 until 1948 when the United Nations, not the United States, created by decree the state of Israel. Immediately the Moslem nations set out to destroy Israel. We've seen how well Moslem armies are in combat with other armies. The 1967 6-day war and Saddam Hussein's mother of all routs comes to mind. So, they've turned to terror attacks on civilians to achieve their cause. Starting with the 1972 Olympics in Munich and on through countless airline hijackings, Pan Am 103, the 1983 attempt on the WTC, the attacks on our embassies in Africa, and right on through today these people have been attacking us. Just as our soldiers and Marines go prepared and armed into battle, those of us on the sidelines need to be prepared and verbally armed when confronted with soft-headed liberals. I know we'll prevail on the battlefield. Semper Fi. Dan Campbell League City, TX USMC, 68-72 ................................

Last AmericanCourage newsletter I made this statement, and got the following responses. On a more pro-active note, I have put my name on a list to attend "Peace Rallies". That is, to show there is support for our troops and counter the nonsense the peace-nuts propose. Yes, I am willing to be civilly disobedient. I would consider it an honor to be arrested by a former Marine police officer at such an event. I remember the damage this nonsense did in the 60-70's. I will do my part to not let it hinder or threaten the effectiveness of American troops today. Don Whitton aka Sgt Grit
..... OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH RAH! Book me along side of you on this mission, Marine. As a Fellow Marine, and Ret. Law Enforcement Officer, and as a fellow Viet Vet, USMC Scout Dog's RVN 69-70, as you stated , it would be an honor to be booked under those circumstances. Semper Fi, Dano Miller, Sgt. USMC,Ret. .....
Sgt Grit -- If you find yourself attending (or hearing about) a "peace rally" in North Texas, please let me know. A half dozen of my Marine Brothers and I would love to attend. If we get to meet you as well, even better. Do not worry about any rowdy behavior. We would not tarnish our Corp. As it is, these peace-niks already have a biased opinion about us or any other branch of service. Why contribute to their ignorance!! Remember "Illigitimus Non Carborundum" (Don't let the bastards grind you down) Semper Fi RA Reid Once a Sergeant, always a Marine

...... As a former Marine Viet Nam Vet, former cop, former Intel Officer Army. I would be honored to be put in the slammer with you. Mac .....
Sarge I've never written before but read you paper every time it comes out. As a retired cop I'd like to get my opinion in. The Corp. has never lost a war they weren't allowed to win in Nam but they never lost there either, as long as America has the Marine corp. she will stand free.now as for the news media if a news organization causes one Marine to be injured, I don't care if it's just a nick while he's shaving that news organization should be shut down, the reporter fined and the owner jailed. If the Bas****ds aren't on the side of America and the Marine crop move them to Afghanis tan and let them stay there. God Bless America and God bless and keep the Marine Corp. F.L.McKnight SemperFi .........................................

COMMENTARY Students, Rethink How You Protest By DAVID HOROWITZ David Horowitz is president of the conservative Center for the Study of Popular Culture in Los Angeles and editor in chief of Frontpagemagazine.com September 28 2001
As a former antiwar activist who helped to organize the first campus demonstration against the war in Vietnam at UC Berkeley in 1962, I appeal to all those young people who are participating in antiwar demonstrations on college campuses now to reconsider. The hindsight of history has shown that our efforts in the 1960s to end the war in Vietnam had two practical effects. The first was to prolong the war. Since the war ended in 1975, North Vietnamese generals have said that they knew they could not defeat the U.S. on the battlefield, so they counted on the division of our people at home to win the war for them. The Viet Cong forces we were fighting in South Vietnam were destroyed in 1968. In other words, most of the war and most of the casualties in the war occurred because the dictatorship of North Vietnam counted on the fact that Americans would give up the battle rather than pay the price necessary to finish it. This is what happened. The blood of hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese and tens of thousands of Americans is on the hands of the antiwar activists who prolonged the struggle and gave victory to the communists. The second effect springs from the prolonging of the war, and that was to surrender South Vietnam to the forces of communism. This resulted in the imposition of a monstrous police state, the murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent South Vietnamese, the incarceration in reeducation camps of hundreds of thousands more and a quarter of a century of abject poverty imposed by crackpot Marxist economic plans, which continue to this day. This, too, is the responsibility of the so-called antiwar movement of the 1960s. I say "so-called" because while many Americans were sincerely troubled by the U.S. war effort, the organizers of this movement were Marxists and radicals who supported a communist victory. Today, the same people and their followers are organizing campus demonstrations against America's effort to defend its citizens against the forces of international terrorism and anti-American hatred responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks. I know better than most the importance of protecting freedom of speech and the right of citizens to dissent. But I also know that there is a difference between honest dissent and malevolent hate, between criticism of national policy and sabotage of the nation's defenses. In the 1960s and 1970s, the tolerance of anti-American hatreds was so high that the line between dissent and treason was erased. Along with thousands of other New Leftists, I was one who crossed the line between dissent and actual treason by publishing classified government information in Ramparts magazine. I did so for what I thought were the noblest of reasons, to advance the cause of social justice and peace. I have lived to see how wrong I was and how much damage we did--especially to those whose cause we claimed to embrace, the peasants of Indochina who suffered grievously from our support for the communist enemy. I came to see how precious are the freedoms and opportunities afforded by the U.S. to the poorest and most humble of its citizens and how rare its virtues are in the world at large. If I have one regret from my radical years, it is that this country was too tolerant toward the treason of its enemies within. If patriotic Americans had been more vigilant in the defense of their country, if they had called things by their right names, if they had confronted us with the seriousness of our attacks, they might have caught the attention of those of us who were well-meaning but utterly misguided. And they might have stopped us in our tracks. I appeal to those of you who are attacking your country, full of self-righteousness, who, like me, may live to regret what you have done. ...............................................

Dear Friends, This is what the people of America and Canada are all about. Here's a story from a flight attendant about their return flight from Germany and their stopover in Canada that you may find interesting. The captain handed me a printed message. I quickly read the message and realized the importance of it. The message was from Atlanta, addressed to our flight, and simply said, "All airways over the Continental US are closed. Land ASAP at the nearest airport, advise your destination." The nearest airport was 400 miles away, behind our right shoulder, in Gander, on the island of New Foundland. A quick request was made to the Canadian traffic controller and a right turn, directly to Gander, was approved immediately. We found out later why there was no hesitation by the Canadian controller approving our request. We, the in-flight crew, were told to get the airplane ready for an immediate landing. While this was going on another message arrived from Atlanta telling us about some terrorist activity in the New York area. We briefed the in-flight crew about going to Gander and we went about our business 'closing down' the airplane for a landing. A few minutes later I went back to the cockpit to find out that some airplanes had been hijacked and were being flown into buildings all over the US. We decided to make an announcement and LIE to the passengers for the time being. We told them that an instrument problem had arisen on the airplane and that we needed to land at Gander, to have it checked. We promised to give more information after landing in Gander. There were many unhappy passengers but that is par for the course. We landed in Gander about 40 minutes after the start of this episode. There were already about 20 other airplanes on the ground from all over the world. After we parked on the ramp the captain made the following announcement. "Ladies and gentlemen, you must be wondering if all these airplanes around us have the same instrument problem as we have. But the reality is that we are here for a good reason." Then he went on to explain the little bit we knew about the situation in the US. There were loud gasps and stares of disbelief. Local time at Gander was 12:30 pm. (11:00 AM EST) Gander control told us to stay put. No one was allowed to get off the aircraft. No one on the ground was allowed to come near the aircrafts. Only a car from the airport police would come around once in a while, look us over and go on to the next airplane. In the next hour or so all the airways over the North Atlantic were vacated and Gander alone ended up with 53 airplanes from all over the world, out of which 27 were flying US flags. We were told that e be offloaded, one at a time, with the foreign carriers given the priority. We were No.14 in the US category. We were further told that we would be given a tentative time to deplane at 6 pm. Meanwhile bits of news started to come in over the aircraft radio and for the first time we learned that airplanes were flown into the World Trade Center in New York and into the Pentagon in DC. People were trying to use their cell phones but were unable to connect due to a different cell system in Canada. Some did get through but were only able to get to the Canadian operator who would tell them that the lines to the US were either blocked or jammed and to try again. Some time late in the evening the news filtered to us that the World Trade Center buildings had collapsed and that a fourth hijacking had resulted in a crash. Now the passengers were totally bewildered and emotionally exhausted but stayed calm as we kept reminding them to look around to see that we were not the only ones in this predicament. There were 52 other planes with people on them in the same situation. We also told them that the Canadian Government was in charge and we were at their mercy. True to their word, at 6 PM, Gander airport told us that our turn to deplane would come at 11 AM, the next morning. That took the last wind out of the passengers and they simply resigned and accepted this news without much noise and really started to get into a mode of spending the night on the airplane. Gander had promised us any and all medical attention if needed; medicine, water, and lavatory servicing. And they were true to their word. Fortunately we had no medical situation during the night. We did have a young lady who was 33 weeks into her pregnancy. We took REALLY good care of her. The night passed without any further complications on our airplane despite the uncomfortable sleeping arrangements. About 10:30 on the morning of the 12th we were told to get ready to leave the aircraft. A convoy of school buses showed up at the side of the airplane, the stairway was hooked up and the passengers were taken to the terminal for "processing". We, the crew, were taken to the same terminal but were told to go to a different section, where we were processed through Immigration and customs and then had to register with the Red Cross. After that we were isolated from our passengers and were taken in a Caravan of vans to a very small hotel in the town of Gander. We had no idea where our passengers were going. The town of Gander has a population of 10,400 people. Red Cross told us that they were going to process about 10,500 passengers from all the airplanes that were forced into Gander. We were told to just relax at the hotel and wait for a call to go back to the airport, but not to expect that call for a while. We found out the total scope of the terror back home only after getting to our hotel and turning on the TV, 24 hours after it all started. The people were so friendly and they just knew that we were the "Plane people". We got a call, 2 days later, on the 14th at 7AM. We made it to the airport by 8:30AM and left for Atlanta at 12:30 PM arriving in Atlanta at about 4:30PM. (Gander is 1 hour and 30 minutes ahead of EST, yes!, 1 hour and 30 minutes.) But that's not what I wanted to tell you. What passengers told us was so uplifting and incredible and the timing couldn't have been better. We found out that Gander and the surrounding small communities, within a 75 Kilometer radius, had closed all the high schools, meeting halls, lodges, and any other large gathering places. They converted all these facilities to a mass lodging area. Some had cots set up, some had mats with sleeping bags and pillows set up. ALL the high school students HAD to volunteer taking care of the "GUESTS". Our 218 passengers ended up in a town called Lewisporte, about 45 Kilometers from Gander. There they were put in a high school. If any women wanted to be in a women only facility, that was arranged. Families were kept together. All the elderly passengers were given no choice and were taken to private homes. Remember that young pregnant lady, she was put up in a private home right across the street from a 24 hour Urgent Care type facility. There were DDS on call and they had both male and female nurses available and stayed with the crowd for the duration. Phone calls and emails to US and Europe were available for every one once a day. During the days the passengers were given a choice of "Excursion" trips. Some people went on boat cruises of the lakes and harbors. Some went to see the local forests. Local bakeries stayed open to make fresh bread for the guests. Food was prepared by all the residents and brought to the school for those who elected to stay put. Others were driven to the eatery of their choice and fed. They were given tokens to go to the local Laundromat to wash their clothes, since their luggage was still on the aircraft. In other words every single need was met for those unfortunate travelers. Passengers were crying while telling us these stories. After all that, they were delivered to the airport right on time and without a single one missing or late. All because the local Red Cross had all the information about the goings on back at Gander and knew which group needed to leave for the airport at what time. Absolutely incredible. When passengers came on board, it was like they had been on a cruise. Everybody knew everybody else by their name. They were swapping stories of their stay, impressing each other with who had the better time. It was mind boggling. Our flight back to Atlanta looked like a party flight. We simply stayed out of their way. The passengers had totally bonded and they were calling each other by their first names, exchanging phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses. And then a strange thing happened. One of our business class passengers approached me and asked if he could speak over the PA to his fellow passengers. We never, never, allow that. But something told me to get out of his way. I said "of course". The gentleman picked up the PA and reminded everyone about what they had just gone through in the last few days. He reminded them of the hospitality they had received at the hands of total strangers. He further stated that he would like to do something in return for the good folks of the town of Lewisporte. He said he was going to set up a Trust Fund under the name of DELTA 15 (our flight number). The purpose of the trust fund is to provide a scholarship for high school student(s) of Lewisporte to help them go to college. He asked for donations of any amount from his fellow travelers. When the paper with donations got back to us with the amounts, names, phone numbers and addresses, it totaled to $14.5K or about $20K Canadian. The gentleman who started all this turned out to be an MD from Virginia. He promised to match the donations and to start the administrative work on the scholarship. He also said that he would forward this proposal to Delta Corporate and ask them to donate as well. Why, all of this? Just because some people in far away places were kind to some strangers, who happened to literally drop in among them? WHY NOT? United States Justice Foundation Gary G. Kreep, Esq. ..............................................

"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish." --John Quincy Adams ..............................................

Isn't It Strange..... ....That you have not heard one peep out of the Gun Control crowd lately. (Even complete idiots that wet their pants at the sight of a .22 rifle know that if even ONE American on each of those hijacked airliners had been able to exercise his Second Amendment Rights, today we would have an intact World Trade Center, an undamaged Pentagon, 4 intact airliners, over 5000 more Americans alive - and 19 dead terrorists.) ......That no Democrats have said they are prepared to hold the Defense Budget hostage to damage the Bush Administration. Instead they are prepared to vote billions more money for defense than Bush asked for .....That all sorts of politicians file into multiple televised church services and no one voices any worries about separation of church and state? .......That over the past week we have heard not one word about reparations for slavery, the Social Security lockbox, free drugs for senior citizens, the Microsoft lawsuit, or Gary Condit? ......That numerous nations that were sniping at us as well as some that were downright hostile now say they are standing firm by our side? ......That you can't find an American Flag to buy - because every store is sold out? ......That now the only "air rage" is why we have not turned Afghanistan and Iraq and every other piss-ant terrorist supporting state into replicas of the Moon? .....That a National Missile Defense System now sounds like a good idea to just about everybody - even the Russians? ......That the most liberal Democrats now look like they are to the right of Jesse Helms? .......That when the shit hits the fan - the bullshit stops? Wayne Eleazer, Lt Col USAF (ret.) ....................................................

To: Sgt Grit: From: Woman Marine (1965-1971)(Vietnam era) Recommendation: ACTIVATE A VETERANS/RETIREES MILITARY DIVISION TO SERVE IN AMERICA ONLY Keep your newsletters in print! It's American! It's Freedom of Speech by "true grit" Americans! I applaud every submission. They motivate my Marine heart and inspire my American pride to fight the terrorists at every level, even if I can only be there in Spirit with my Marine (and other Armed Forces') brothers and sisters, overseas. Fly those American flags and shout the loudest, "God Bless America!" We are a united nation and a family of diversity who believe in freedom. I strongly support President Bush's actions and commend all Americans who display their flags. New York's finest did just that...raised the flag... on that fateful day. Thank you, all, who rescued and who supported the rescuers at the WTC. God bless you. I am saddened by the loss of innocent lives. I am angry at the cowards who celebrate the terrorists' acts across the world. To those who disgrace our flag: you're just as guilty as the terrorists who took away the freedom of every victim on September 11th. You are either American . . . or terrorist (God forbid)! Handle our flag with care. Our history glows in every stripe, color, and star! Handle it with care . . . or leave America! As President Bush said in so many words, "You are either with us or with the terrorists!" Do not infringe on my freedom or on any other American's freedom to fly our nation's flag. It is my symbol of unity, of history fought with blood to keep me free, of my right to be American! Don't step on my American rights. I've earned every breath to be American and to use my flag as a symbol of free speech in America. It is one symbol, one icon, that endures all wars with the message of FREEDOM. Americans: hold your flag HIGH so anti-Americans can see our strength, not only in numbers, but in Unity. I regret I am in my 50's and cannot serve as an active-duty Marine again . . . yet. I will gladly put on my uniform, now, and be there to protect America. Mr. President, please recall your veterans and retirees. We have the experience to serve in America while our younger Marines answer your call overseas. Why not have an active-duty veterans/retirees Division during this national emergency? Courage, Honor, Commitment. Just know I stand ready, I stand proud, I am American, I'm still MARINE! Semper Fidelis, Lorraine ..............................................

The Terrorists' Error You have made us grieve. You have made us cry. You have taken our loved ones from us. You have assaulted our homeland and destroyed our buildings. You have enraged and angered us. You have resurrected feelings, long dormant. Our tears will continue, likely for a lifetime. But our tears are not strangers to us. We have shed them for generations, during battle and long after. Every day, there is an American, remembering a loved one lost or a friend deceased as they visit the Iwo Jima Memorial, and a tear falls. A Korean Veteran bows his head at the Korean Memorial as tears run down his face. A nurse wipes her tears at the women's Vietnam Memorial, remembering her sisters, fallen in the battle for Freedom. A long granite wall bears the names of fallen Americans, a most visited memorial, and the site of tears for generations to come. The meadows and hills of Valley Forge are watered with tears daily, bearing reminders of the cost of freedom and the price we paid for being free. Our memorials are far reaching and our tears cleanse them daily. These are tears of freedom and victory. Tears of resolve that awaken the determination of America and her patriots. These tears cannot be stopped. You have rekindled a dormant feeling. You have rekindled the wrath of the American Patriot. You cannot hide. We will hunt you down. If we die during the hunt, those who come after us will hunt you down. You cannot escape. You are not safe in our neighborhoods. You cannot be disguised as an American worker. Look behind yourself often. Which American Patriot is close by? Have you made a mistake? What did you leave behind? You cannot hide by living next to us because now, we live next to you. You have tried to hurt America. How foolish. We are not American because we live in America. We are Americans because America lives in us. You are not safe where you are. Your once friendly neighbor is now the American Patriot. Look around closely. You are not safe where you are. Who is in the car next to you? Is there a tear in his eye? You are not safe where you are. Was it me who just walked by you on the street? Was there a tear in my eye? You are not safe. You cannot hide. Sleep well tonight, I am still awake, and I live next to you. Yes, there is a tear in my eye. The American Patriot Submitted by: Thomas Williams ...........................................................

Sgt. Grit:
I have put off writing to you because it seems that everything I feel has been expressed by my brother Marines. I too want to be reinstated back into the Corps, but I realize it is not going to happen. Still, I made a last ditch effort and e-mailed President Bush. I requested that he consider my request. I told him give me the green light and in two days I'd have thousands of Marines ready to stand another watch, and help in any way possible. We could do field mess, help at field hospitals, serve as armorers, work radios, do paper work, etc. We should be issued weapons. Just in case the situation calls for bringing us old farts to the fight. Sgt. Grit, there is no better fighting man in the world than an American fighting warrior and the Cream of the Crop is the United States Marine. We the Americans who are at home in the states must support our warriors, pray for them. I guess by now we've all heard the adage "Freedom isn't free." Now we know exactly what that means. As of today 10/22/01 two of our brave warriors have been killed. As I said freedom is the most expensive commodity in the world. I am going to put together a goodies package for our warriors who will be/or are in harms way. Being a Marine this is not good enough, but people tell me that your doing what you can. Well, that is not good enough as far as I am concerned, I want to do more like every other Leatherneck. I guess I rambled on long enough. Thank you for letting me get some things off my chest. I say to my brother Americans we must now stand guard and observe for anything that appears out of place. We must understand that what terrorist do best is infiltrate amongst the civilian populace and then plot and strike out in cowardly ways. Fellow Marines this is our watch. God Bless America, and we Marines will protect her. Semper Fi Marine John Barrera, 1958-1964 ........................................................

An open letter to Bin Laden I wonder if you know what you have done? Yes, you have killed innocent people, but you have brought out the best of what America is. I am a mom...no one important ..just a mom.. but sir..and I use this term for the lack of anything decent to call you...my blood is RED..my knuckles are WHITE and my heart is BLUE...yes...my very essence is RED WHITE AND BLUE!..I have raised a son ..a fine son of faith..courage..and passion..passion for what is right...and sir you have made him and his brothers mad...mad that you have released the monster under the bed, we moms have fought so hard to kill...now sir, our sons will find the monster and destroy it...you think you have made us shrink back in terror?...Yes we are just moms..but...have you seen a mama pit bull when you threaten her pups? we are not scared of you..oh yes we fear for our sons and daughters..but the pride in our hearts is something you can never touch...we have instilled the pit bull heart into our children as they go forth to face you...we send them with love in our hearts for what they represent to us.. and courage..something you will never know..did you have a mother? is she sitting somewhere huddled in shame and remorse for what you have become? well sir...we shall never know that shame...we are a nation of mothers rich in pride and, honor...steeled in our knowledge that our sons and daughters will prevail...we have raised from this land something you can never kill..never stop..never touch...we have raised honor ..also something you will never know..for you are a coward..you sit far away and have others do your dirty work..and take credit for being powerful..your power is little..you have taken lives but not spirit..do not be fooled by a mothers tender heart..it is not something you can destroy..we have passed it to our children..we have strong arms , as I speak to you they are stretched across America ..to all other Military moms..Do not take this lightly..our arms are strong..we have held these men and women from babies to present day..our bond is tight..something you can never break..our spirit and love goes with them ..across the seas ..to other lands..always holding them tight in our hearts.. What have you done...nothing...we are strong..we are proud...we wave our flag at you, to show you have not broken our bond..we have RED blood...WHITE knuckles from anger..BLUE hearts for those who were lost at your hand...we are America..you will never take what you can not understand... Sandi Foster PROUD mother of a UNITED STATES MARINE... WE ARE SEMPER FI MOMS .........................................................................

Ohrah Sgt. Love the newsletter. it motivates the hell out of me to hear so many of my older Brothers and Sister itching to take the fight to those SOBs in Afghanistan. my school's staff and student body are just the opposite however. in response to the unpatriotic nonsense that has spewed forth from the chapel and the faculty my buddy (national Guard, hey, nobody's perfect) and I wrote the attached letter and had all the military personnel on campus sign it. Semper Fi Justin VonBehren LCpl, Wpns 2/24
To the Editor We are writing to express our deep feelings of insult upon reading the recent articles by members of the Trinity faculty. As the possibility of being mobilized and sent to a far off land to fight for this country grows, our minds are filled with a great deal of strife and concern already without the addition of Professors whom I respect and other members of the faculty, staff and student body telling us that God wouldn't agree with this course of action. If that weren't enough, they insist that since we are members of the United States Armed Forces, and are therefore trained to kill the enemy, that it is more than likely we are not Christians! While some superficial mention was made of the Old Testament battles, these were generally brushed aside as being unique to the Covenant God shared with Israel and is therefore no longer relevant to us today. Apparently God changed his mind at some point. What is neglected is that a new covenant was created and the new Israel is the Church. We have a Christian President who seeks strength and guidance from the same God David praises in Psalm 144. His authority is derived from the Holy Scriptures in passages like Romans 13 ".but if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing." While the United States is clearly not a perfect country, even today, we follow the traditional Judeo-Christian ethics. Only the U.S. would bomb a nation and then drop food and medicine on it. At best there is only a mild contrast between the articles by Dr. Fratt and Dr. Moulder. One prohibits the possibility of Christians engaging in war and one allows for only the exceptional possibility of it. What about the obligation we have to this country? Does a father neglect his family in the name of God? If the pacifist position is to be upheld, then they must stop paying taxes. At least that would be respectable, because there is little difference in funding a war and actually pulling the trigger. Otherwise, to enjoy the liberties of this nation and then to criticize those who protect them, they are guilty of the grossest hypocrisies. Should one or all of us fall in the coming conflicts, what will those at Trinity have to say to our mothers? That their little boys were not in God's will protecting you and since we went to fight, we probably were not even Christians to begin with? That sentiment will go nicely with the neatly folded flag she gets. Perhaps it is unreasonable for us to expect any more from those who don't know what it is to take up arms in defense of our nation. But worry not Trinity, regardless of what you think of our beliefs, we will still do our duty to God and country and put our lives on the line for you.
"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." George Orwell Sincerely Justin VonBehren, Lance Corporal, United States Marine Corps
J. Michael Vosnos Specialist, United States Army
Rustin Billings Specialist, United States Army
Stephen Blindt Private First Class, United States Army
Chuck Zimmer Private First Class, United States Army
James Allen Senior Airman, United States Air Force
Robert Coy United States Navy, Retired .............................................................

Sgt. Grunt: Several of my Marine buddies suggested that I E mail you the piece that I mailed to many of them concerning my displeasure of the House Of Representatives Closing down. My letter was entitled the House Of Wimps, maybe you'll find it worth printing. Semper Fi & God Bless America former Marine Cpl. Charles A. Robinson 1847685/1811-------2nd & 3rd Tanks -- Marine Corp League Member SgtMaj Charles Hlas NJ Post---Marine Corps Tanker Association----VFW Post # 9198 Andalusia, Pennsylvania.
Hey Troops how about our House of Representatives? Or should it be the House of Wimps? They tell America to go about our business and don't let the terrorists win but what does the House of Wimps do? They close all government business until Tuesday. Shutting down the American Government. I can't believe they call themselves leaders. Even the Senate would not shut down. It don't take much to knock government on their collective asses. The real heroes and the American Forces doing their jobs in the Middle East, the passengers that save 1000s from getting killed by taking over the flight that crashed into PA, the NYC fire, police and rescuers and the true Americans that continue to go about as Pres Bush says the "Business of America." The House Of Representatives as I said the House of Wimps. Charlie Robinson USMC .................................................

In response to a request by MSgt Mullins. Lets go Top. The worst football team playing, or the smallest Army marching will say (the best defense is an aggressive offense) we are defending the American way of life. FREEDOM. There is always Rules of Engagment and Areas of Operation. But, only the military has to honor theses rules. Many of us have lived a good and happy life, Lets do it, take the fighting to the bad guys. as Chesty Puller once said " Retreat Hell!! we are attacking from a different direction" Let the Generals form proper battle plans so the sweep can be decisive with minimal loss to our young. We the old and sure will attack from a different direction Head On in a V formation Moving into an envelope. I drive a truck for a living, Everyday I see and hear the good the bad and the ugly. I see young and old banding together for the display of American Unity. I see the young and old banding together to protest war. I hear the young and the old speak in reverence for and against war. I can go on and on but it will accomplish no more than each of us already know, It just falls into a final nutshell. FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER TASTE. We as veterans of the American Armed Forces fought for the American way of life, and this is directed by the Constitution. Whether we like or dislike the actions of many, we fought for them to have the right to do what they are doing. Today we as Fathers, Grandfathers, Brother, Uncles and yes the most important of all Mothers, Husbands, Wifes and Children are beginning to feel as our families did when we went to war. Scared. We raised our children the best we possibly could, we as veterans, even today, after basic and on to previous battlefields offer as much advise as we can to our soldiers. We as Marines have loaned our sons and daughters to various branches of the Military (my son is a Recon Scout with Atrp 1/1 Cav, Germany) already been to Kosovo, training now for battlefields of Terrorists and soon to be moving on to Army Special Forces. To this day calls and asks his Marine Dad advise. My future son-in-law soon being deployed with Patriot Batteries calls and asks the old Marine advise. An adopted son (grunt Ft. Hood) knows he will be going asks the Marine for advise. As, my wife says at least we are to advise, hopefully it is a help if know more than a Veteran to talk to and support. We can't go, so we send our young, 9-11-01 showed America can be attacked. We will be here to Protect America on the home front , it is the home of the free, the Brave is not only over there but we are here as well. Freedom Till Death Do Us Part. SEMPER FI!!!!!!!! JL Taul SSGT USMC 1968-1977 VietNam, Long, Long Ago ...........................................................

Dear Sgt. Grit, Your web site was passed along to me from a former-marine in Florida, the above newspaper article is from the Morning Journal newspaper in Columbiana County, Ohio (the Northeast quarter of the state on the PA line) I know how much those rings mean to those boys, thanks for any help you can give, Mary F. Bowyer, Schenley, Pa. WEST POINT - Former U.S. Army veteran William Humphrey would have liked very much to have presented a missing military service ring to the right person on Veterans Day, but it didn't happen. Two years ago, Carl and Patty Hoppel discovered a U.S. Marine Corps service ring during their annual July 4 rodeo. They held onto it and, after some general contacts were made, came up with nothing. "They held onto it for that period time," Humphrey said of the Hoppels who, consequently, asked Humphrey just two weeks ago to start looking for the owner. This year's rodeo this year did not yield any results, either. For Humphrey, who is a relative of the Hoppels, the request made sense - and dumbfounded him. "They wanted a veteran looking for a veteran, I guess," he said. Humphrey said that the Hoppels had contacted a Marine Corps station in Youngstown. The station claimed that they could easily locate the owner, but they never called back. "After that," he said, "they didn't know what to do with it." Humphrey has since made contact with local VFW and Legion posts. He even went on the radio, station 1490 AM out of East Liverpool, in his quest. Still to no avail. He's contemplating going on the Internet with a picture, but has no idea how to go about it. He is beginning to assume that the owner is from out of town, but that's not stopping him. The ring depicts what appears to be a large birthstone in its center, with initials etched on the inside. The owner's service years are also given. "I would have really liked to have just walked up to the guy on Veterans Day and given it to him," Humphrey said. "My son said to me that I might get a reward, but just knowing the guy has it back is reward enough." Anyone with information can call Humphrey at 330-424-9358. .....................................................

The Soldier
A protest raged on a courthouse lawn,
Round a makeshift stage they charged on,
Fifteen hundred or more they say,
Had come to burn a Flag that day.
<<...>> A boy held up the folded Flag,
Cursed it, and called it a dirty rag.
An old man pushed through the angry crowd,
With a rusty shotgun shouldered proud.
<<...>> His uniform jacket was old and tight,
He had polished each button, shiny and bright.
He crossed that stage with a soldier's grace,
Until he and the boy stood face to face.
<<...>> "Freedom of speech", the old man said,
"Is worth dying for, good men are dead,
So you can stand on this courthouse lawn,
And talk us down from dusk to dawn,
But before any Flag gets burned today,
This old man is going to have his say!
<<...>> My father died on a foreign shore,
In a war they said would end all wars.
But Tommy and I wasn't even full grown,
Before we fought in a war of our own.
And Tommy died on Iwo Jima's beach,
In the shadow of a hill he couldn't quite reach
Where five good men raised this Flag so high,
That the whole world could see it fly.
<<...>> I got this bum leg that I still drag,
Fighting for this same old Flag.
Now there's but one shot in this old gun,
So now it's time to decide which one,
Which one of you will follow our lead,
To stand and die for what you believe?
For as sure as there is a rising sun,
You'll burn in hell 'fore this Flag burns, son.
<<...>> Now this riot never came to pass
The crowd got quiet and that can of gas,
Got set aside as they walked away
To talk about what they had heard this day.
And the boy who had called it a "dirty rag",
Handed the old soldier the folded Flag.
<<...>> So the battle of the Flag this day was won
By a tired old soldier with a rusty gun,
Who for one last time, had to show to some,
This flag may fade, yet these colors don't run!

Grantland Rice
Submitted by: Hobart L. Cobb .....................................................

I'm currently a principal of a Middle School and the staff enjoys getting me all sorts of memorabilia from the Corps. We sometimes start our staff meetings with trivia questions with inexpensive prizes. Sometimes the questions are pertinent school information, other times general trivia. My staff does know the birthday of the Marine Corps. At one of our elementary schools, a Veteran's Day program is held every year for over 20 years. We are asked to give our name, service branch, years served, and a short story if we like. I first attended the program 3 years ago and I will never miss another. Over 80 veterans, including Pearl Harbor veterans, attend the event and it never ceases to amaze me the camaraderie of this group. A WWII Marine approached me after the event and shook my hand. He had been in so many major campaigns of WWII that my mouth dropped. At the end of our chat, I thanked him for his time. I somehow don