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Sgt Grit American Courage Newsletter - November 2, 2001

"The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith; and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety." --George Muller "Our whole duty, for the present, at any rate, is summed up in the motto: American first." --Woodrow Wilson

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I look at the current events and the coverage of these events as a Marine Vietnam veteran. That is what I am and the is my reference point. It is interesting to watch the news, read the paper, etc...A lot of the same faces are covering these events. Older, but in my opinion no wiser. There are a few of your observations below that support my statement.  When the military is protecting our freedom, it does not seem to me to be a great inconvenience to be a bit of patriot.  To not report something if asked, such as, troop movements.  Show both sides when showing civilian casualties in Afghanistan, by following with something about the 5000+ killed in the USA.  To wear a flag on your lapel and not be ashamed.  To call the President, President Bush, no Mr. Bush. And on and on.  This kind of thing really bothers me and about all I can do is not watch nor read from these sources.

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
Two new items to help you show your pride in America.
A flag grill ornament and a windshield shade. Take a look.

Operation Arlington Ridge

Some of you remember this event from last year. Tom "Spider" Tanney started this as a way to get Marines together in DC for the 225th Marine Corps Birthday. It was such a success that he did it again this year. He has been credited with increasing the attendance by thousands. It is held at the Marine Corps Memorial (aka Iwo Jima Statue) on Arlington Ridge overlooking Arlington Cemetery.  We have collector Ka-Bars, coins, etc... to commemorate the event.
For more info see

Sgt Grit,
In your October newsletter #4, there were 2 or 3 students who answered the accusation that students in high school were protesting our response to the NYC tragedy, by say "We're all not like that, we stand up for our country"  But I did not read of any of them who stood up to those who were protesting.  Did you confront them and ask," What would you do?"  "What if I went to where YOUR mother or father works and blew it up and in the process they were killed?"  Did you just ignore those students, and walked away without making any comment?  This is what happened prior to 1939-40-41.  That's not OUR problem was said then too!!!  What I'm getting at is, when you hear or see these things going on, SPEAK UP !!  Other wise as George W. says, to paraphrase, either you're with us or your against us.  Choose NOW. There is no middle ground.
I'll get off my soap box now.

GySgt (Ret) Marine (forever)

Sgt Grit,
    I was active duty from 1992 to 1996.  I got out because of a messed up back.  I have been wanting to go back in for sometime now.  Of course I can't.  I have tried.   I would gladly go back in and defend our way of life.  Putting up with my back and all.  I am currently going to college, and it makes me sick to see what is going on.  Students having piece marches and sit ins.  I have to restrain myself, to keep from fighting them all.  I just wanted to drop you a line and tell you that, every newsletter I read brings tears to my eyes.  Keep up the great work.
Semper Fi
Cpl Stanaway, Bernie
USMC 92-96

 Thanks to Richard Puckett for alerting us to idiots like Loren Jenkins of National Public Radio.  I have just finished writing a scathing letter to NPR re: Jenkins.  CNN is next on my list.  I urge all former Jar Heads to do the same.  Reporters who put the lives of our combatants at risk are traitors pure and simple.  News can be reported without jeopardizing our troops in the field.
Semper Fi   --- ( an old Marine )

ABC/CBS/NBC/CNN never mentioned Hillary n her actor friend being booed at the NYC benefit.  So far I have only seen it on FOX.

"The Pentagon as a legitimate target? I actually don't have an opinion on that." --ABC President David Westin

"Perhaps the school systems across the country really should be thinking about renewing a lesson about tolerance." --NBC reporter Ann Curry on New York schools reinstating the Pledge of Allegiance.

"Various media outlets apparently feel a need to give equal time, if not moral equivalence, to Osama bin Laden and others in the terrorist organizations. Would anyone have thought of giving Hitler free time to broadcast his propaganda on networks during World War II?" --Thomas Sowell

The following is the text of my e-mail to the Commandant of the Marine Corps:

Sir, As I'm sure you know there are 100's of thousands of former (not currently on active duty) Marines ready and will to serve to assist our country and the Corps in this time of war.  Most of us have donated blood and made cash donations to an appropriate charity as have many of our fellow citizens.  We Marines are seeking to do more.  We suggest there are duties being performed by active Marines that could be performed by other Marines (such as we, i.e. somewhat older and a few steps slower) that would release the active duty Marines for more front line assignments.  Your consideration is respectively requested to this suggestion and we are prepared to respond to your decision accordingly.  Thank you in advance for your consideration, we await your call.
Semper Fi
J.H. Bradley
USMC 1957-63

Dear Sir:
This is in response to your recent correspondence to the Commandant of the Marine Corps regarding your request for recall to active duty in the Marine Corps.  I am responding on behalf of the Commandant.

There is no preset circumstance or event that would mandate such a recall.  If future events or a change in policy results in a change in mobilization priorities, those affected will be notified.

Your dedicated allegiance to the Marine Corps is duly noted and stands as an example for other Marines to follow.  Be assured that if the need arises, and regulations permit, the wealth of knowledge and experience of Marines such as yourself may be called upon to provide support to our Corps in time of crises.

An "Availability for Mobilization Form" can be obtained at  In the event that a prioritized recall system is implemented, notification will be sent to all concerned.

Head, Separation and
Retirement Branch
By direction of the Commandant
of the Marine Corps

(List of Marines Who Gave All For Our Country.)

Sgt. Michael Curtin
PO Vincent Danz
PO James Parham (P.A.P.D)
Sgt. John Coughlin
PO Paul Jurgens (P.A.P.D.)
William Hatton (F.B.I.)


Battalion Chief Raymond Downy
Captain Patrick Brown
Lieutenant Michael Esposito
Fire Fighter Calixto Anaya, Jr.
Fire fighter Matthew Garvey
Fire Fighter Rube Correa
Fire Fighter Joseph Grezlak
Fire Fighter Gary Geidel
Fire Fighter William Krukowski
Fire Fighter Ronnie Hendersor
Fire Fighter Gregory Sikorsky
Fire Fighter Christian Regenhard
Fire Fighter Sean Tallon
Fire Fighter Kevin Smith
Fire Fighter Manual Mojica
Fire Fighter Alan Tarasiewicz

You can't handle the truth.  Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns.  Who's gonna do it?  You?  You, Lieutenant Weinberg?  I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom.  You weep for Santiago and you curse the marines.  You have that luxury.  You have the luxury of not knowing what I know:  That Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives.  And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives.  You don't want the truth because, deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall.  We use words like honor, code, loyalty.  We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something.  You use them as a punch line.  I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it.  I would rather you just said" thank you" and went on your way.  Otherwise I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand at post.  Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to.  Jack Nicholson in the movie "A Few Good Men"
Submitted by: Many of you

I faithfully look forward to your newsletter each time it comes out.  I have laughed and done my fair share of crying with all your other readers, from Mrs. Harvey in Del Mar Ca who upset the good Captain to Mr. Nathan R. Crop who indicated that the military were leaches on our society!  (By the way I did find Mr. Crop's e-mail address and he heard my two cents worth, his simple reply to me was "YOUR RIGHT!" I would imaging those two individuals have a different outlook on their freedom and how they view the military as a whole today, well at least one would hope that they have opened their eyes.  My oldest son Joined the Marines in Oct of 2000 and my youngest son was so impressed with his graduation from San Diego MCRD that he promptly came home, graduated from high school a year early to follow in his brothers footsteps to join the finest fighting force America has ever seen.  On September 21, 2001 my son graduated from Bravo Co, the youngest recruit in Bravo company just barely 17 at the time.  The bitter sweetness of watching him awarded with his Eagle Globe and Anchor with the American Flag right behind him flying at half mass was enough to bring this Mamma to complete humility!  He was selected and screened for a "Special Duty" that I probably should not talk about so I will refrain for now, right from boot camp, you can't tell me that San Diego doesn't put out some fine young Marines.  As for my older son, he in 0311 and ready to be deployed in Jan 2002.  Our family has supported the Marines to the point that we have now been instrumental in 8 young men following and joining the Corps.  We live the Corps values in my home. Every young man who walks through our front door hears about the Corps and
how it would change their lives.  Yes we are the recruiters
best friend!!  I thank God for our young men and women in the Military each and every moment of every single day
for the sacrifices that each one of them make for me!!
American's are soon to forget, soon we won't see all the flags being displayed in their cars, on their tee shirts or at their front doors and as sad as it is, we never, never saw patriotism being displayed to this degree until tragedy found it's way to American soil.  But this family always has and always will fly the American Flag with honor and pride, as we know the sacrifices our young men and woman make each and every day for our fragile freedom.  WE PROUDLY DISPLAY THE SIGN ON OUR FRONT DOOR "MARINES ALWAYS WELCOME, RELATIVES BY APPOINTMENT" And we live this motto to a tee.  God bless America and God Bless The United States Marines.  Peace be with each and everyone of you and your Marines.  My two sons are truly my HERO'S in this generation where there aren't too many hero's for the generation behind them to look up to.  Hero's, yes I have a couple, you see I am the proud mother of Two United States Marines!!
Lcpl Wold
PFC Wold
S Wold, Vancouver, Wa

I too have had that stirring deep in my soul.  When our president declared war on terrorism I thought about it and headed for the recruiter.  I vaguely remember that in times of war men in good health up to the age of 55 are eligible...  A chance to right all that went wrong in Viet Nam.  Alas this talk of war is but rhetoric.  What shall I do when my son now a Cpl. is called?  How can I stand and watch?
Cpl. Russ Moye, USMC 68-70

Sgt Grit,
    I'm writing you in response to all the posts I've been seeing in regards to former marines Re-enlisting to service their country in this time of need. I'm currently a Marine Corps recruiter working out of Somerville New Jersey. Since the September 11th tragedy I've been fielding many calls from former active/reserve duty Marines who would like to re-up.  Ill gibe you the straight scoop because some recruiters might not be up to speed in regards to age guidelines for former Marines seeking re-enlistment.

For a non-prior service applicant to enlist in the Marine Corps the age limit is 28, waiverable to 35 if the applicant is exceptionally well qualified.

For prior-service applicants (not USMC) the age limit is still 28 but waiverable to 35. They must attend Marine Corps Recruit Training though.

For prior service Marines to be considered for re-enlistment they must have been separated with a RE-1A enlistment code (Honorable).  They take their current age minus total years/months served on active duty. This total must not exceed 35. Example:  40 year old, served 12 years active USMC, that makes him 32 for enlistment purposes.

Anyone seeking enlistment past their 28th Birthday must be able to pass a Marine Corps Physical Fitness Test.

3 mile run 28 minutes or less do a minimum 44 crunches in two minutes do a minimum of 3 dead hang pull-ups

All prior service applicant must re-physical and re-take the Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery test to qualify for re-enlistment.

Sgt Lazarus J Mason
Marine Corps Recruiter

Outstanding sites:

Sgt. Grit,
    The Marine Corps League has a detachment in Hummelstown Pennsylvania, the Bob Smith Detachment #784, and besides being their Junior Vice Commandant, I also serve as the Editor to our Newsletter, "The Poop Sheet".  I would like to share with you and the readers of your newsletter a bit of ours.  This is the text body of our front page..."September 11, 2001 - Truly a "9 1 1" day.
    There are no words that can be used to express the horror, the tragedy, and the inhumanity of the deliberate acts of terrorism in New York City, in Washington, D.C. and in Somerset County here in Pennsylvania.  Many of us believe that our government will not stand still, will not roll over, will not stop looking until all those responsible have been brought to justice - be it judicial by a court of law or be it judicious by the swifter retribution of the bullet.
    We pray to God to gather the souls of the victims into His loving and internal care.  We pray to God to protect the lives of our brave militia as they seek justice for those victims.  And may God have mercy on our enemies."

    Our Detachment supports the "Navy-Marine Relief Fund" and I wish to recommend to other Marines serving now in their own Marine Corps League Detachments to mention at their next monthly meeting that it wouldn't be a bad idea to send some of your Treasury to the "Navy-Marine Relief Fund".

    After all, Marines take care of their own.  And we know that is not lip service.
Semper Fi
Bob Hauser

The ballet appears to have been one great event with the Americana theme.  More folks should have the same opportunity as you.
Russ Ripka

To The Inspirational Marine:  Ain't no one laughing my Brother. We stand at attention with you and your daughter thanking God there are even today Marines, who dare to stand between or daughters & grandchildren and those people who would bring us harm. No my brother no laughing, but tears of Pride in OUR God, Country & Corps.  God Bless the Ballet! Dance on Children!!
Semper Fi, Marines!

Dear Sgt Grit,
I have truly enjoyed reading your newsletter. I have never been in the armed services but my son I'm proud to say is a Marine in the 1/7 Weapons Co.,81's Plt at 29 Palms. I'm hoping that he will be able to come home over Christmas. In February he will go to Okinawa for his overseas tour, that is if things don't change between now and then. My main question to you and your readers is, what could I possibly get him for Christmas that he could really use over there? I'm sure that your subscribers have a lot of suggestions that would be very helpful. Please e-mail me or write me with any ideas you have.  I would also like to thank all the Marines who have served our country and hope God continues to bless you. I would also like to mention that my daughter, who is a senior in high school, enlisted in August in the Marines and will be going to boot camp in June. I'm sure she will also represent our country with honor, courage, and commitment the same way my son is.  As I said at the beginning of the letter that I have enjoyed reading all the comments in your newsletter. They have been a great inspiration to me. As I read them they give me comfort in the knowledge that our country will prevail in this war over evil. Thank you Sgt Grit and God bless the United States of America.
Lary Hawkins
1415 S. Oak
Ottawa, Ks. 66067

October 2001
Taliban supreme leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar:
"The situation where we are now, there are two things:
either death or victory. To those who are fighting and
bombarding us, they should understand the Afghan man
is a fighter willing to die for jihad."

June 1944
General George S. Patton:
"I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war
by dying for his country. He won it by making the other
poor dumb bastard die for his country..."

"The time to guard against corruption and tyranny is before they have gotten hold of us.  It is better to keep the wolf out of the fold than to trust to drawing his teeth and talons after he shall have entered."  --Thomas Jefferson

"Freedom from fear and injustice and oppression will be ours only in the measure that men who value such freedom are ready to sustain its possession -- to defend it against every thrust from within and without." --Dwight D. Eisenhower

"The time is now, my fellow Americans, to recapture our destiny, to take it into our own hands." --Ronald Reagan


Broken Arrow, Oklahoma School officials remove "God Bless America" signs from schools in fear that someone might be offended. Channel 12 News in Long Island, New York, orders flags removed from the newsroom and red, white, and blue ribbons removed from the lapels of reporters.

Why? Management did not want to appear biased and felt that our nations flag might give the appearance that "they lean one way or another".  Berkeley, California bans U.S. Flags from being displayed on city fire trucks because they didn't want to offend anyone in the community.

In an "act of tolerance" the head of the public library at Florida Gulf Coast University ordered all "Proud to be an American" signs remove so as to not offend international students.

I, for one, am quite disturbed by these actions of so-called American citizens; and I am tired of this nation worrying about whether or not we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on September 11, we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Americans. However, the dust from the attacks had barely settled in New York and Washington D.C. when the "politically correct" crowd began complaining about the possibility that our patriotism was offending others.

I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by coming to America. In fact, our country's population is almost entirely comprised of descendants of immigrants; however, there are a few things that those who have recently come to our country, and apparently some native Americans, need to understand.  First of all, it is not our responsibility to continually try not to offend you in any way. This idea of America being a multi-cultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. As Americans, we have our own culture, our own society, our own language, and our own lifestyle.

This culture, called the "American Way" has been developed over centuries of struggles, trials, and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom. Our forefathers fought, bled, and died at places such as Bunker Hill, Antietam, San Juan, Iwo Jima, Normandy, Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf, for our way of life.

We speak English, not Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society - learn our language!

"In God We Trust" is our national motto. This is not some off-the-wall, Christian, Right Wing, political slogan - it is our national motto. It is engraved in stone in the House of Representatives in our Capitol and it is printed on our currency.

We adopted this motto because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation; and this is clearly documented throughout our history. If it is appropriate for our motto to be inscribed in the halls of our highest level of Government, then it is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools.

God is in our pledge, our National Anthem, nearly every patriotic song, and in our founding documents. We honor His birth, death, and resurrection as holidays, and we turn to Him in prayer in times of crisis. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture and we are proud to have Him.

We are proud of our heritage and those who have so honorably defended our freedoms. We celebrate Independence Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Flag Day.  We have parades, picnics, and barbecues where we proudly wave our flag.

As an American, I have the right to wave my flag, sing my National Anthem, quote my national motto, and cite my pledge whenever and wherever I choose.  If the Stars and Stripes offend you, or you don't like Uncle Sam, then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet.

The American culture is our way of life, our heritage, and we are proud of it. We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don't care how you did things where you came from. We are Americans, like it or not, this is our country, our land, and our lifestyle.

Our First Amendment gives every citizen the right to express his opinion about our government, culture, or society, and we will allow you every opportunity to do so. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about our flag, our pledge, our national motto, or our way of life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great American freedom, the right to leave.
By: Barry Loudermilk

21 October, 2001 15:12
Subject: Fw: Pentagon
Subject: Great letter by Lt. Col. Rick Jones HQ USAF/ILMY
Subject: So Proud To Be An American

I just witnessed something I don't think I'll ever forget. I was down near the cafeteria in the Pentagon meeting a friend for lunch and I see a very large crowd of people inside. I walk in and soon find myself standing less than three feet away from our  Commander-in-Chief and right beside the Secretary of Defense (and a bunch of Secret Service folks).

President Bush was walking around shaking hands and thanking all of us for what we do. He kept saying to people "Don't Worry" - as if to say, I've got it under control. He must have shaken 1000 hands or more. What particularly struck me was his presence - not a particularly large man in stature, but he had an aura of a giant - a smile on his face, yet you can sense he was a man on a mission - a man of purpose and conviction - there was just this feeling that he is THE MAN, and he is in charge - he had a quiet
confidence that was deafening!

Then, a group of folks just behind me started singing God Bless America and, in no time, the entire room - which was packed - was singing the song. It  was enough to give anyone goose bumps.  If there was a dry eye in the place, I couldn't see it (probably because my eyes weren't too dry). It was just one of those once in a life time experiences that I shall never forget.

After God Bless America, there were a few chants of "USA - USA- USA", followed by a lot of applause.

When President Bush finally made his way toward the entrance, he turned with his confident smile and waved at everyone, and the room just erupted in cheers and whistles and applause. I've been to professional football games where the noise wasn't that loud. It was just such a wonderful experience - and it made me:

1) so very very happy that George W. Bush is our president and Commander-in-Chief, and 2) so proud to be an American.  Just thought I'd share.
Rick Lt. Col Rick Jones HQ USAF/ILMY

Dear Dad,
Well, we are still out at sea, with little direction as to what our next priority is. The remainder of our port visits, which were to be centered around max liberty and goodwill to the United Kingdom, have all but been cancelled.  We have spent every day since the attacks going back and forth within imaginary boxes drawn in the ocean, standing high-security watches, and trying to make the best of our time. It hasn't been that fun I must confess, and to be even more honest, a lot of people are frustrated at the fact that they either can't be home, or we don't have more direction right now. We have seen the articles and the photographs, and they are sickening. Being isolated as we are, I don't think we appreciate the full scope of what is happening back home, but we are definitely feeling the effects.  About two hours ago the junior officers were called to the bridge to conduct ship handling drills. We were about to do a man overboard when we got a call from German warship that was moored ahead of us on the pier in Plymouth, England. While in port, our ship and theirs got together for a sports day/cookout on our fantail, and we made some pretty good friends.  Once at sea they called over on bridge-to-bridge, requesting to pass us close up on our port side, to say goodbye. We prepared to render them honors on the bridge wing, and the Captain told the crew to come topside to wish them farewell. As they were making their approach, our Conning Officer announced through her binoculars that they were flying an American flag. As they came even closer, we saw that it was flying at half-mast.  The bridge wing was crowded with people as the Boatswain's Mate blew two whistles - Attention to Port - the ship came up alongside and we saw that the entire crew of the German ship were manning the rails, in their dress blues. They had made up a sign that was displayed on the side that read "We Stand By You". Needless to say there was not a dry eye on the bridge as they stayed alongside us for a few minutes and we cut our salutes.  It was probably the most powerful thing I have seen in my entire life and more than a few of us fought to retain our composure.  The German Navy did an incredible thing for this crew, and it has truly been the highest point in the days since the attacks. It's amazing to think that only a half-century ago things were quite different, and to see the unity that is being demonstrated throughout Europe and the world makes us all feel proud to be out here doing our jobs.  After the ship pulled away and we prepared to begin our man overboard drills the Officer of the Deck turned to me and said "I'm staying Navy."  It was a beautiful day outside today. We are no longer at liberty to divulge our location over non-secure e-mail, but we could not have asked for a finer day at sea.
I'll write you when I know more about when I'll be home, but for now, this is probably the best news that I could send you.
Love you guys.

Submitted by: many, many of you

When in war, whether one is fighting a cause, a faction, a nation.. I t must be made clear from the outset, before the hostilities begin, to the common soldier and the leaders, that this is how it will be:

I will KILL your mother and your father. I will KILL your brother and your sister, your cats and your dogs. I will KILL your horses and your cattle. I will KILL your sheep and your pigs. I will POISON your water and BURN your houses to the ground. I will KILL your kids and your wife.  I shall show NO MERCY to anyone or anything aligned with you. I shall inflict so much personal GRIEF,  PAIN,  SUFFERING, and OUTRAGE, that to a person, you will have but two choices:


Submitted by: Frank Emerson

from Winston Churchill's "My Early Life" - 1930

"Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy...The Statesman who yields to War Fever must realize that once the signal has been given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events. Antiquated War Offices, weak, incompetent or arrogant Commanders, untrustworthy allies, hostile neutrals, malignant Fortune, ugly surprises, awful miscalculations all take their seat at the Council Board on the morrow of a declaration of war. Always remember, however sure you are that you can easily win, that there would not be a war if the other man did not think he also
had a chance." He had his faults but I think this was the greatest man to span the late 19th through the mid-20th centuries. He understood the conflict among nations and was a champion of the freedom of man.

Submitted by: Jim Burke

        Please explain to me why our news media are trying to undermine the efforts of the United States government and military by producing stories that create sympathy for the Afghan nation and Muslims around the world.

        This is not hate mail. I just  want to know how this sedition can take place on our own soil. I'm not seeing pictures of the American orphan children left behind when the Taliban government and their terrorist network killed 6,000 innocent people.

        I'm not seeing pictures of our civilian children, men and  women burned beyond recognition. I'm not seeing pictures of our military service members who recently died in the line of duty trying to save American civilians from future terrorist attacks.

        I do not see pictures of the postal workers who died of  anthrax.  Instead, I am seeing unfortunate acts of war to the Afghans.

        What about the great tragedy that just occurred on our soil? Has everyone forgotten about it already? I haven't.  I am one very angry military wife. I am looking for lawyers who will be willing to rise up and fight the news media in court for the way it undermines and endangers our government and our military personnel with sympathetic reporting of the enemy.

        We are at war and war is not pretty.  The reporting that is currently taking place is called sedition. Where are the stories about those missing in action from the attacks on American and the poor families left behind by this horrendous tragedy?
Linda Komo
Tucson AZ

Sgt. Grit:
I am a retired Marine Master Sergeant "58-79" ,combat veteran and patriot that would like to tell David Bounds, who wrote you in your October news letter, that I would be proud to have him on my right, in any situation or conflict, bad leg or not!  Our teachers are our future, and those with their head on straight make the difference!  David, read the news letter, those letters from the enlistees, high school students and new Marines are a product of teachers like YOU!!! I thank God that we have patriots like you that tell our young people the truth and give them the knowledge and faith to protect and defend our great nation. In my twenty-one years+ of service I spent more then nine on foreign duty, no complaints just a fact! I would not trade one day of that duty for safety and comfort of the homeland and hearth.  I will tell you this David, not all that have served have upheld the honor of the title of MARINE and many that have supported us have! YOU are one of those and I for one am proud to call you BROTHER! Semper Fidelis!
Mervyn L. Conrad
Master Sergeant of MARINES

Sgt Grit,
 At 41, despite my willingness, The Corps won't have me back. However, once a Marine, always a Marine, I can still be of service to our Country. Our National Anthem has always brought a tear to my eyes. With the events of September 11th, a renewed cense of patriotism has swept our populous. My continued service to our Country, will be to keep this fire burning. I will stand whenever, and wherever, the National Anthem is played. I will  snap to attention at the raising, or lowering of our Flag.

 Our fellow Marines, that are currently in uniform, deserve our every respect. We must be ever mindful to encourage and thank them for their service. I call on everyone, that has worn our uniform, to wear a symbol of The Corps to identify ourselves to the world that we are still MARINES at heart. Semper Fi I'm not as lean, or as mean, but I'm still a MARINE.  Once a Marine, always a Marine. Semper Fi
Pete W Artcliff
USMC 1979-85

 I appreciate the comments to the letter I wrote in response to the interviews of teenagers in a California high school.  None of them (that were interviewed) said they were not willing to serve their country for various selfish reasons.  One person wrote that I put down all teenagers, but I did not say all teenagers, I said the ones that were interviewed from this particular high school in California.  No where did I say all teenagers.  There are lots of wonderful teens that would totally disagree with those few.  I can't understand why there were no teens interviewed who were willing to show their patriotism or if there were, why their remarks weren't highlighted.
Joyce F

      I have read with sinking heart the comments of some of this country's teenagers and younger "adults" about the attacks on their country. You've quoted a few in the last couple of newsletters, and I've seen more than a few in the newspapers and television reports.  "It didn't hurt me or anyone I know, so why should I worry or care about it?"  "Here we go again, bombing some poor peasants who never hurt anyone just to show off our muscle and scare the rest of the world." "Why should we be attacking those poor people? This was all our own fault! We should try to understand the causes that drove them to it, and then we simply MUST apologize to them for having driven them to such horrible acts." (Incredibly, that comment is the gist of a long letter written to the newspaper by a local San Antonio, TX college professor!)  My God! What on earth has happened to the American education system? Is it now producing people who simply refuse to see any evil in the world except, of course, the "evils" of the free society in which they live)?  Have our schools completely abandoned teaching love of country? I have the sinking feeling that we have begun to produce a generation of sheep waiting to be led meekly to slaughter. Will the protection of those poor people fall once again to us old farts? Those of us who still remember the words to the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem, and can say them without feeling self-conscious? Those of us who know that you can love your country without being a warmonger? These people have enjoyed a free ride all their lives, while someone else has pedaled. America is a potluck dinner.  We all bring something to share and we all help when the time comes to clean up and do the dishes. They've been coming empty-handed, and then have the unmitigated brass to criticize the chow the rest of us provided. We've all come to expect that sort of thing from the lace-panty sillies at Berkley; what would we do for political humor without them? But this Me First odor seems to be arising from some of our heartland schools and colleges as well!  I can't escape the feeling that our education system is failing somehow, and miserably.
Dan Stires
SSgt. USMC 1966-76

Dear Sgt. Grit,
It has been a while since I wrote anything in to your News Letter, however, I am compelled to do so now.  I read allot about how many places in our country are trying this "politically Correct" crap in schools and counties businesses and Fire Departments. Such as not displaying the Flag on Fire Trucks, it may offend some, not saying the Pledge of Allegiance in Schools, it may offend some kids, Not mentioning our God anywhere it might offend some other religious group. My take on this is this: If Anyone, and I do mean anyone...dislikes my God and His Son, Hates my Flag, or is offended my America, then there are over 100 different countries they can move to!!!  I am NOT a politically correct person and I let everyone know it. I spent 2 tours in Nan as a Combat Marine and I will be damned if I will let anyone crap on My Flag, My God, or My America!!!  In other News, here in Roseburg, Oregon we have just started the New Roseburg Detachment of the Marine Corps League..OORAHH!!! & Semper Fi..... We are for the first time making the Roseburg Veterans Day Parade this year the biggest ever here.  If you remember my truck, it will be behind the Color Guard this year. Our Color Guard this year will have 2 Police Officers, 2 Firemen, 2 Paramedics and 2 Military (Marines), of course.  Our theme this year is "Freedom Is Not

On the back of my truck I will have a sign and at the top of it, it will read:  Veterans are more than just the Military, (below) there is a blown-up split picture one side has the flag raising on Iwo and the other side has the flag raising at ground zero by the Firemen in New York...below this will be Americans Standing Together and God Bless the U.S.A..  I will have 3 helmets on the rear toneau cover Police, Fire, and military (Marine of course).  All this and 2 outside wired speakers playing Lee Greenwood's Song, God Bless The U.S.A..  I wish you could be here for this Sgt Grit (Please come if you can), November 10th, Saturday 10 A.M.. You can ride with me.

To all the active duty Marines out there I send you all my very best and my prayers are with you and your families. God Speed and God Bless America.
SSgt. Donald A. Yoder, U.S.M.C. Disabled Ret.
Roseburg, Oregon

Dear Sgt. Grit,
A few weeks ago, I was witness to a former Marine express his pride in his country and in his Corps.  I myself had never served in any of the armed services, but have always backed and supported our troops when their country called them in to action.  A very good friend of mine, who was a truck driver in an infantry battalion in the early nineties, and I were in a book store in Grand Junction, Colorado.  He had just purchased a copy of "Marine Sniper."  As we were coming out, we noticed a news crew interviewing people as they came out of the store.  Neither one of us wanted to be interviewed, but we had to get going and sure enough as we walked out the door, we were confronted.  The reporter asked us what we thought about the bombings in Afghanistan, this being the first day of those bombings.  Before I could reply my buddy stuck his chest out with pride, stared right into the camera lens and said, "The United States WILL conquer terrorism with the help of God...and a few Marines.  We will NOT cave in!  Today we have done what we had to do, he counted on America to be passive...he counted WRONG!  The media portrays Bin Laden and the Taliban as intelligent, educated people.  Obviously they never studied history.  On Sunday, December 7th, 1941, Japan, a far more formidable and honorable adversary, chose to attack the United States, a few years later, they regret having ever gotten involved.  While I can only pray this war doesn't last many years, I do hope the end result is the same.  Semper Fi and God bless America!"  With that, he walked off without waiting for a reaction from the reporter.  I, however, did catch the reporter's reaction... eyes wide open, as was her mouth in amazement.  I also caught the sly smile on the camera man's face and then noticed the USMC tattoo on his arm.  while I may never know the pride in one's self that Marines or any service member feels, but I have a better idea now.  I almost regret having never signed my name to a contract, but I know that I would have joined the Marine Corps if I had.  Marines just have a certain aura about them that no other person carries.  Sign me- a little closer to understanding

Dear Sgt Grit,
  I have been reading your letter for a few months know, as I read each letter I can see the determination that each letter has in it.  For me the events of 9/11 are now just coming full term, I was in the field training when this happened.  We received all of our news second had.  It was difficult to remain focused on the mission at hand and deal with all of the rumor that were going around.  But with the training that I have received in the past, I used that to keep my men focused on the mission and it went without a problem.  I ran into a former U.S Marine (WWII vet) and he asked me how he could get back into the Corps...this motivates me and makes me work harder everyday.  One of the things that bothers me is the news media, I understand that they want to be first with the "breaking news story"  but they need to be more careful.  They have all these military experts and I watched this ret. general tell how many personnel were in this particular special forces unit...hello lets just send the freaking taliban a by name roster of every body coming over to kick their butts.    I'm proud to serve this great country that we live in, and the reason why I serve it is not for the money, its not for the awards and it is not for the glory, the reason I put on that uniform is for all of the Marines that have gone before me...and to see every child grow up and have the same opportunities that we all did growing up.  So they can make their own choices for themselves and not be told what to believe. That is why I serve everyday and that is why I'm re-enlisting for another four years.  I've dedicated 10yrs of my life to this, and everyday I drive to work I see the people that I have sworn to defend and protect with my life if necessary, and it makes me proud.
Semper Fi,
W. E. Lower
P.S.  Good night Chesty!!!

I had 1 son go the gulf war and now I have another
son in the new war, if that's what you call it. I just
wish I new where he was or if he was Ok. In the gulf
war I new ? he was OK? but in this war they will not
say anything to the parents, but yet you here
everything on TV. It is very upsetting to me and it
was upsetting to him also to know that everybody else
new everything that was happening before he did. He
said that is what would doom him if anything would. I
hope he will be OK as I raised my 2 boys a little
hard, as they always said that is what made them
survive being in  the service., and in life. It is to
bad that the way people are raising there children now
a days. The kids have the last word, even with my
grandchildren. I am very disappointed with the way
adults raise there children.
          Sgt Beebe U.S.M.C.

Dear Sgt.
 It is up to you to post this in your weekly leader
but I just needed to tell someone what is on my mind.

I am writing to say thank you for all of your time
spent into reading all the letters sent to you.  I
would also like to take this time and say thank you to
all the marines out there (yes yes and you Navy and
Army and AF boys two) for your commitment to your
Country and CORP. and to say I will be joining you
soon, GOD WILLING!  I am only 16 years old and in my
junior year of high school but ever since I was 10
years old I have wanted to own the proud title of US
MARINE.  I went to my Big brothers boot camp
graduation on PI in 98 and it was there and then when
I saw all those soldiers on that parade deck in there
uniforms that, I knew that after high school I am not
college bound nor going on any kind of road trip but
I am south Carolina bound for the beginning of my life
as a marine (and hopefully of a USMC sniper also).
Since the recent attack on America my family and few
friends have been asking me What I think about
joining the marines now and why I would want to do
so?  My mother has even been as selfish to say that
she will not allow me to join if the war is still
going on, at that time of my graduation. All I have to
say about that is shame on her.  I would proudly go
and join the United states marine Corps. tomorrow I'm
sorry let me correct myself tonight if I knew that
they would except me without a high school diploma and
the factor that I am only 16.  I truly wish that there
was something that I could do right now for my country
but I am afraid that there is not too much that I can
do besides pray for it and for the Corp.  If in fact
this war is over by the time I can enlist I will still
join, as I will if it is still going on and do as much
for my country and Corp. that I can.  I'm not a very
smart kid so there isn't too much that I can say to
make people want to go out and join the Marines or any
other branch of the armed servic