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Sgt Grit American Courage Newsletter - November 30, 2001

"It is a common observation here that our cause is the cause of all mankind, and that we are fighting for their liberty in defending our own." --Benjamin Franklin

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"Patriotism is as much a virtue as justice, and is as necessary for the support of societies as natural affection is for the support of families." --Dr. Benjamin Rush ................................................

As a proud Marine mom, when I find someone from the area that enlists, I call up the parent and offer advice, a shoulder and what to expect when their sons/daughters go through Boot. I've made some wonderful friends this way! I also hook them up to Marine MOms Online so they can ALWAYS find an answer to anything they need to know! Donna Slater
Proud MMO of Sgt. Mike Slater ........

I have been reading the American Courage Newsletter. It's great to have a forum which people from like backgrounds can offer their opinions and feelings. I have registered my name and skills with the Marine Reserves for the involuntary call up of reservists if that were needed. I think a force of old warhorses could be really good. Perhaps we could be used for airport security or some other security positions here within the U. S. the way the marines were used to guard the mail years ago. ( It won't be the first time.) Many of us can still use a weapon well, and using C-4 and Det-cord is like riding a bicycle, you never forget how, when it's necessary. I have all the respect and regard for the young men and women who have earned the title which we have tried to carry on, U. S. Marines. God bless and Semper-Fi! Cpl. Norman (Mickey) Ryan 9th Engr. Bn. FMF, 1st. Mar. Div. Vietnam 1967/68 .....................................................

Message From America: Go to any Circuit City store between November 26th and December 31st and videotape your holiday wishes and messages of support for the extraordinary men and women serving overseas in the United States military. Some of these messages will be broadcast on CBS prime time television and copies will be provided to the U.S.O. and Armed Forces Network so that they may be shown to our military personnel abroad. For family members with a valid military ID, your personal message will be recorded onto a DVD, for you to send to your loved ones serving our country. We are proud to provide this service free of charge. .....................................................

On the observed Veterans Day (Monday 11/12/01), while I was filling my car with gas someone walking behind me said thank you. Not knowing to whom he was talking, I didn't respond. Then I again heard thank you. I turned and a young man (maybe thirty-ish) said isn't that your Marine hat in the back window to which I responded with a proud YES. He said thank you again and I said you are welcome. I asked if he was or had been a Marine. He said no, but I'm glad you were. The lump in my throat was so big that I couldn't respond. I've never had anyone thank me before. Tom Vaughn
Jan/51 - Jul/55

Sgt Grit,
I write this letter to agree with and support the thoughts of Sgt Jack Allen. I too, believe that the firefighters "flag raising" should immortalized in its own right but not connected with our famous Iwo Jima flag raising. No disrespect whatsoever towards those brave firefighters and policeman who sacrificed their lives to save the lives of others, but there really is no comparison as the conditions under which the two fought are totally unrelated. The theme of the two flag raisings is the same however, as they signify the U.S. conquering all who attempt to tread of her and I did not loose sight of that significant connection. However, when people at work e-mailed the picture of the two flag raisings to me, I too cringed a bit, as I felt that the firefighter's flag raising came at a very different price than that of the Corps'. I know this may sound petty, but I agreed with Sgt Allen, and just had to respond. Respectfully Mike Kunkel Cpl, 81-85 ...............................................

I get a big laugh at the dialogue of Osama bin Laden, the Taliban, politicians, and the news media. They say terrorists will hit us again in the oncoming weeks and months. What a joke! You have a better chance of getting killed on Interstate 35E than by a terrorist. Osama has probably seen 100 degree plus summers in Afghanistan, but he doesn't have fire ants to go with it. If he did he wouldn't be sleeping on the ground in his cave. He talks of pain and suffering he is going to inflict on us. He doesn't know what pain is until he gets kicked by a green broke, two year old colt in a freezing rain. Germ warfare? Texas ticks will give you Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lime disease, blister beetles kill your horse, green bugs destroy a wheat crop, and termites eat your house. Anthrax has killed Texas cattle for over 125 years. What's new? Our prairie dogs carry the plague, armadillos carry leprosy, and our bats and skunks carry rabies. We have rattlesnakes, copperheads, and water moccasins. Ho hum. They talk of gas and biological warfare. They have never pulled in behind a cattle truck while its raining, or ridden in the front seat of a pick-up between two cowboys after they have just eaten a big bowl of Texas Red Beans. Texas ain't for sissies! We have posted signs all over the state that say "Don't mess with Texas!" Osama, consider yourself warned. Submitted by: davis1 ..........................................

Sgt. Grit,
For 31 years I have Lived in a frustrating dichotomy. Pride for having served my country on one hand, and shame for being a war monger on the other. I doubted myself and I doubted the Corps. Then, a few months ago, I came across your newsletter. Yes, tears welled up from time to time in response to so many heart felt stories. The effect has been a cleansing. Guilt and shame being, to some degree, washed away. I even contacted a school chum who had joined the Corps with me on the buddy program so many years ago. We now occasionally have lunch together. So, why write all this? First, I want to thank you, Sgt. Grit, for your newsletter, and all you fellow Marines for your stories. It's been therapeutic. Secondly, I would like to respond to Sgt. Jack Allen's feelings about the firefighter flag raising at WTC compared to the Iwo Jima flag raising. His feelings are totally understandable, especially for someone who is not a firefighter. Just as: there are Air-wingers and there are Grunts; there are Marines and there Firefighters. Having been in the Air Wing I, personally, cannot take pride in being a Grunt. (wish I could) However, there are also Firefighters who were Marines. The first time I saw the picture of those firefighters putting up the flag at ground zero, it was like a flash of light. There was an instant catharsis, a purification in thought. It was like this metal rod had finally joined to complete a ring. My four years in the Marine Corps welded to my 29 years as a firefighter. True, after wearing the uniform of a Marine I never have the same pride in wearing any other uniform, not even a firefighter's. But, I do take pride in the photograph of those battle worn firefighters raising Old Glory. For me, the two flag raisings are forever welded. I would love to have a composite picture. SEMPER FI! Sgt. Bill Ott USMC 67-71 .............................................

Sgt. Grit,
I have been driven to reply to a lot of messages from fellow Marines. I am a strong supporter of our country. I volunteered and served with 12th Marines in Vietnam. I just finished my 26th year as a deputy sheriff. I am a road sergeant because I like being out with the people and have turned down promotions because I didn't want to be stuck behind a desk. I have pity for the misguided who protest against military action when there only basis is if it's military it's bad. That is just a result of poor upbringing and narrow education. I have friends who died in Vietnam and I have lost a close friend on the department in defense of our citizens. I still believe that one of the things I fought to defend was the right of people to protest no matter how ignorant or biased they may be. I might get so mad I can't see straight but I would not like it any other way. When I served in Vietnam I never knew if my Marine buddies were republicans or democrats because who cares. I served under Presidents Johnson and Nixon while I was in Vietnam and I am proud of my service. Things were not better or worse under either president. One last note. Clinton was a draft avoider. Bush was a draft avoider because if anyone was around during the Vietnam era they would remember that the National Guard was what someone joined to avoid going to Vietnam. Bush flew obsolete jets that were not being flown by the military at that time and would never have been called up because of that. That being said I have the greatest respect for the National Guard as it is today. Many fellow deputies belong to the Guard and were called up and went to the Gulf and many have been called up during this time of national need. I have nothing but the highest respect for them. However don't compare apples to oranges. I really enjoy your newsletter and I love reading all the letters by fellow marines, even if I don't always agree with them. The only important thing is that we are Americans and above all thank god we are marines. LZRAZOR .......................................................

Hi Sarge:
Just picked up on your site from my brother, who was Navy while I was Army, awhile back. Great stuff. Seems like people are getting more involved in patriotism. Hope it doesn't get stale for them when things are not going smoothly; you know that'll happen, though. Sunshine patriots are a fact of life here, and have been for centuries. We have to kick some ass, and keep on doing so wherever it needs to be done, and damned be those who oppose it. Can't serve actively anymore; passed the age 62 mark awhile back, but haven't lost too much of my deep-down moxy about how to do the basic small-arms stuff, if nobody asks me to do the "manual of arms." Can't do the fancy rifle-handling, but still know which end is which, and if necessary will dust off all my iron to defend this great Constitutional Republic. Corny? Maybe so, but still have the fire in my belly. Best regards. Tom Sharland, MI .......................................................

Faith Matters...
Cockpit voice recorder tapes from 9-11 United Flight 93 confirmed that the first combat-related casualties from the war on terror were patriot-passengers led by Todd Beamer, who fought their hijackers once they learned the Islamics were going to crash their plane into a Washington, D.C., target -- most likely the U.S. Capitol. After reciting the Lord's Prayer and the 23rd Psalm, Beamer said, "Let's roll." The Federalist has advocated that the current "war on terrorism" should be code named "Let's Roll" in Beamer's honor. The Federalist [] .......................................................

Veterans Day
By Father Denis Edward O'Brien, USMC

It is the soldier, not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the campus organizer,
who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the soldier
who salutes the flag,
who serves under the flag,
and whose coffin is draped by the flag,
who allows the protester to burn the flag.

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.

"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,

"My father died on a foreign shore,
In a war they said would end all war.
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,

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,


I thank each of you for your tear jerking e mails. Marines and other military people that have commented. The civilians who have never been there just really can't understand our feelings. As far as I am concerned the draft should have never been eliminated. I have always held a residual negative feeling for those healthy Americans that immediately after high school chose the almighty dollar over service to their country. Its very easy to attach a flag to your car or pickup. That just doesn't impress me at all. Most of you have been separated from your loved ones and the good life (or at least what we had made of it) and know the feeling of having to at any minute for a number of years put your very life on the line for this country, and many of you by your e mails are willing to do so again, myself included. These mall shoppers and fancy car driving Americans who were unwilling to do so when they were able to, gall me with their now pro-military rhetoric. Where were they when we needed them by our sides in service to this great country? I better get off my jag before I state how I really feel. J. L. Ezell Cpl. USMC 66-68 ...........................................................

I'm a WW2 navy vet married to marine who served several years in the usmc nam time, women did not go over then but she allowed some hero to go to nam. . Im writing this because yesterday the local high school who has a jrotc program invited vets to their school for a morning brunch and join with them in a recognition day with the whole high school.. never in my 60 years from my 8 years in the navy and reserves had I ever been honored for being a vet.. Old men don't cry.. I did these young ladies and gentlemen even the different style hair doos different types of baggy pants. stood at attention and clapped and cheered as about 50 unsung heroes of the past walked by,, their program would make squids proud. the army jrotc did a splendid job.My36 months on P.T. boats during WW2 and my time on Tin Cans during the start of Korean conflict I was finally appreciated by someone.. made me feel proud finally that some one cared to let us know that we ,Nancy Staff Sgt USMC and myself Parker Miller RMC usn. ooohah I feel great. .....................................................................

Sgt Grit - My brother is a former Marine; my son is a recent graduate of the Navy boot camp at Great Lakes; my dad is retired AF and I have relatives who have been in every branch of the Armed Services including the Coast Guard. I myself am 4F otherwise I would have been in the service as well. While this is a Marine site, I wanted to let you know that my family has a proud military record and I'm very proud my son is carrying on that tradition. Semper Fi and Anchors Away! God Bless each and every one of our service men and women. ................................................................

Sgt Grit,
First of all I want to thank you for the great newsletters. I look forward to each one and love to read the stories submitted by everyone. I am finally writing to get the word out on what we have done here in Phoenix, Arizona for our fellow Veterans this past Veterans Day, 11/11.

Back on August 7th I was asked to attend a meeting to put together a FREE picnic our Veterans. It was something that I felt needed to be done to not only Honor all Veterans, but to unite them as well. This first meeting consisted of eight men and six of them were Marine Veterans. We felt that we could go out and get donations from all the businesses in the community to put together a Free All Veterans Picnic. Things were going okay for awhile, then Sept. 11 happened and it seemed to bring out the patriotism in people all the more. Initially it was expected that we might get about 1,500 people to show up, but after the cowardly act of September 11 we changed that number to three to five thousand. We had the buns for 1500 hamburgers and 1500 hotdogs promised to be donated for the picnic on Nov. 11, but no meat to put in them.

As God watched over our efforts, he led us to a fellow Veteran who has his own business. This man had other contacts in the business community that he was able to call upon for more help. Through his contacts, we met with a man who said that he himself was not a Vet but his dad was and he wanted to help. Meanwhile the buns had been increased to 2500 of each and this caring man said that he would supply the 2500 hamburgers and the 2500 hotdogs, but the Friday before (the 9th of Nov.) he informed me that he had changed his mind and was going give us 3000, that's right, 3,000 of each. All I could say was "God Bless You". Well the bakery we were going to be getting the buns from were in contract negotiations and the deal fell through on the 8th of Nov., but my good friend and fellow Marine and Brother union member told me not to worry as they were working on getting them sent in from California. Needles to say he came through like any good Marine would and we had the buns on Sat the 10th, in time for the picnic on Sunday Nov. 11, Veterans Day. We had 110 donated door prizes as well as the food, the live entertainment and financial support for this First Annual All Veterans Picnic. This was the businesses way of saying "Thank You" to our Veterans for all that they have done for our Country. I guess I should at this time to tell you of the amount of people who turned out for this great event. We had 6,234 plus fine folks come out and enjoy a nice day in Phoenix's newest city park. This was free to all Veterans and their families and 1200 Veterans signed in for the door prizes. I am writing this in hopes that others out there might like to get something similar going in their area. We here in Arizona would be more than happy to help others get started. It is time that all of our Veterans get recognized for their service. I hope it's not too long to put in your newsletter. Semper Fi and God Bless and protect our Marines everywhere. Dick Collis Check out the Website at not completed yet but running ...................................................

Samuel Adams said - "Were the talents and virtues which heaven has bestowed on men given merely to make them more obedient drudges, to be sacrificed to the follies and ambition of a few? Or, were not the noble gifts so equally dispensed with a divine purpose and law, that they should as nearly as possible be equally exerted, and the blessings of Providence be equally enjoyed by all? ...You have now in the field armies sufficient to repel the whole force of your enemies and their base and mercenary auxiliaries. The hearts of your soldiers beat high with the spirit of freedom; they are animated with the justice of their cause, and while they grasp their swords can look up to Heaven for assistance. Your adversaries are composed of wretches who laugh at the rights of humanity, who turn religion into derision.... Go on, then, in your generous enterprise with gratitude to Heaven for past success, and confidence of it in the future. For my own part, I ask no greater blessing than to share with you the common danger and common glory ... that these American States may never cease to be free and independent." Submitted by: Steve Chauncey .......................................................

LA Times November 20, 2001 The Library of Congress wants to collect the stores and recollections of World War I veterans, most of whom are more than 100 years old, before it is too late. The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates there may be 2,500 World War I veterans still alive. The library plans to collect oral histories beginning Monday. A team from the library's new Veterans History Project will take calls on a toll-free line at (888) 371-5848, from veterans and their friends. "There is no more fitting way to show our gratitude to our nation than to preserve the memories of those who have served us in wartime," project director Ellen McCulluch-Lowell said in a statement. ......................................................

Sgt. Grit:
I'm not sure this is where to write for your newsletter contributions, but hope it finds its way into your next release. Recently I was watching CNN, and something the commentator was reporting on rubbed me in the wrong way. In our effort to place firmer controls on who is in our country, and to punish those who have bad intentions prior to their creation of events such as Sept. 11, our fine President has agreed to, what is in effect, Martial Law for those who are in this country illegally. Now, this has apparently ruffled the feathers of those who would prefer to love and subsidize the enemy than to seek justice for atrocities committed. The ACLU, among others, feels that we will violate peoples rights with this new authority; calling the action 'implementation of a horrible dictatorial process' in this country. At NO TIME did they enforce what was stated by the President, when he mentioned it would ONLY AFFECT those here illegally! This act, fully warranted and justified, is being condemned as too harsh and brutal on those who would be in our country illegally. The consensus being presented made it sound like we should just run them through our civilian courts and let the punishment fall as it may. At no time did the commentator take into account a few things: A) If legal actions presided as he suggested, then the maximum punishment would be to remand the perpetrator over to the appropriate national embassy. B) They could not be questioned without due national representation of the country they were from. C) If they returned, or aided others to return, the only subsequent punishment would be to send them back again to their country of origin. Now, if we pictured this being doled out to the likes of an Al Queda representative who had killed or conspired to kill thousands, it just doesn't sound right. If a politician allowed it to happen, he would be heckled out of office. If a president had proposed it, the Liberals would have changed to the other side of the street and hung him out to dry with the public from the very thought of such an obscene notion. >From my knowledge of our Constitution, I DO KNOW that its protection ONLY APPLIES to Citizens of this Great Nation. It is not a safety net for terrorists and criminals from other nations which wish it harm. It does not, and never was designed to protect those who want to destroy it. On the contrary, it is as strong as gun steel, as powerful as the atom, and as honorable as the very colors of the ensign which flies proud over the millions which it protects. Bottom line: they do not have protection from military action except provided by the Hague and Geneva conventions (this is declared war), they do have basic humanitarian rights, but only as far as is not limited by international treaties. Just as our constitution does not protect Libyans in Libya, nor Russians in Russia, it does not protect illegal foreigners in Our Nation! If they wish to be protected under our Constitution, I recommend a modification to allow the full use of the UCMJ, during wartime, and that any found guilty of sedition or terrorism be provided with General Courts Martial for Treason. This would suffice, at least in my book. Larry Cochran LCpl 1991-1993 .......................................................

Those who stand on our nations streets protesting our involvement to climate those who perpetrated the vicious horrific attacks on our soil, and way of life, killing and injuring not only our citizenry, but those of our trusted allies, need to take a course in Machavelli, the author of "The Prince." This current campaign is a battle over good verses evil. Secondly, they need to visit a VA Hospital Center to witness for themselves those who've gave of themselves for the price of freedom. Listen to them tell there stories of terror and evil. "The Price Of Freedom Can Be Seen There." Thirdly, they need to support our Commander-In-Chief, the president, and all his delegates. They need also to be ready. Perhaps, their time will arrive to serve instead of drifting into the realm of Yippie. I applaud the Marine brother who wrote to the Commandant offering to serve where needed. Count this Marine in also. Semper Fi brothers. We will defeat this cancer that threatens our country. Perhaps, this time us "Nam" Era veterans will be finally welcomed home. Leon J. Heinen (USMC ret.) .......................................................

Well Sgt. Grit Here I am with my 2¢ worth.
As a loyal reader ( and one time contributor) of your fantastic news letter I am here again. This time to comment on these "Protesters" , Young, Old, Male, Female, Educated, Uneducated, News Media and any other category one can think of. I am but 58 years young but history tells me that at no time during WW-I, WW-II or Korea did any true American Citizen ever act in such a manor as to willingly give aid and comfort to the enemy in a time of war such as the "Protesters", "Anti-War Activists" or what ever these Political Correct Weenies care to call themselves, have done sense Viet Nam. I do believe that our great President G. W. Bush and Congress declared an act of War on the Terrorist that perpetrated the murderous deed on September 11th, 2001. If memory also serves that if one commits a treasons act ( giving aid and comfort --physical, physiological--or military secrets etc. during the time of war. ) the punishment is Death by Firing Squad. Now we have the "Scholars" ( a lot aka Educated Idiots.) that argue about the First amendment to the Constitution ( Freedom of Speech). True. This IS one of the many "Freedoms" our forefathers fought and died for so their ancestors could enjoy and keep alive these freedoms. That's what America is all about. Life, Liberty and pursuit of Happiness. Now you can "Vote" these so called War mongers ( i.e. our elected officials ( You did vote didn't you?)) out of office. OR If you don't like the way war is conducted after we were maliciously attacked and thousands of innocents viciously murdered, you also have the "Freedom" to seek citizenship in any number of OTHER countries on this Big Blue Marble ( aka-3rd Rock from the Sun.) suggestion---Why not go to Afghanistan or any other of those wonderful countries where I'm sure they will let you live the life and have the Freedoms you have here in America. I do believe the below definitions meet the criteria of which I speak.
Semper Fi Henry H. Hight Cpl-USMC MOS:2533 ( Communications) -- Recon, Wing & Artillery ACTIVE 1961-1965 + AMERICAN & MARINE FOREVER! ( Not as lean, but just as mean and forever a Marine.)
PS. I volunteer my time and services for any firing squad any where any time. I will supply my own transportation, weapon and ammunition.
ter·ror·ist [térrrist ] (plural ter·ror·ists) noun somebody using violence for political purposes: somebody who uses violence or the threat of violence, especially bombing, kidnapping, and assassination, to intimidate, often for political purposes
en·e·my [énnmee ] (plural en·e·mies) noun 1. unfriendly opponent: somebody who hates and seeks to harm or cause trouble for somebody else 2. MILITARY a military opponent: a person or group, especially a military force, that fights against another in combat or battle. aid [ayd ] vti (past aid·ed, past participle aid·ed, present participle aid·ing, 3rd person present singular aids) give help to somebody: to provide somebody or something with help or with what is needed to achieve something. and [(stressed) and , (unstressed) nd , n ]CORE MEANING: a conjunction used to indicate an additional thing, situation, or fact. "And" in this case links words and phrases of the same grammatical value. com·fort [kúmfrt ] noun (plural com·forts) 3. relief from pain: relief from pain or anxiety They brought comfort to the wounded. trai·tor [tráytr ] (plural trai·tors) noun betrayer: somebody who behaves in a disloyal or treacherous manner. ............................................................

Dear Sarge;
In regards to the below article on the NT Times, The NY Times slogan should be All the news that fits, we print. In the more than 175 years that the Times has been in business, they have only printed 6 retractions, all of which were forced by court actions, after slander trials. The Times still hasn't gotten the correct number of Police and Fireman who died on 9/11/01 who were also members of the Marine Corps Reserve. Mr. McCourt has it right, boycott the advertisers, and maybe they clean up there act. LTC. B.H.Mally USMCR (ret) 1961-1991 ........................................................

Dear Sgt. Grit,
As always, thank you for an super newsletter. I always love to read it. I wish to compliment Sgt. Jack Allen for putting into words a nagging discomfort I had about the Iwo Jima Flag Raising/WTC Flag Raising picture. He his the nail smack on the head. Thank you Sgt. Allen. I have huge respect for the rescue workers, fire fighters, police officers, and deceased civilians from the 9-11 attacks. But I was bothered by the attempt to paint a parallel between the two scenes. It just made me uncomfortable. But Sgt. Allen has helped me understand why it bugged me so much. It's not just Marines that feel as Sgt. Allen does. I'm not a Marine. I was an officer in the Royal Canadian Navy. But more importantly, I am the very proud father of a United States Marine on active duty. I have spent the past year, ever since my son started to express his desire to become a Marine, reading USMC history. Please understand that for a Canadian, raised in the shadows of nineteenth century forts built to protect Upper Canada from the threat of invasion by the Americans, this has been a long journey. It is one that gives me an abiding respect for the Corps. I think I understand what it is that has drawn my only child to become a Marine. I must say is it is truly a calling worthy of the finest we can give. So Sgt. Allen, please don't feel awkward. Your words are valid. There is a difference. It does not detract from those who labor in New York. It simply points out that there is a vast difference between the men who stormed the beaches of Iwo Jima and the rescue workers. To ignore the superhuman courage and personal sacrifice expressed in the Iwo Jima flag raising is to ignore one of the finest moments in the history of Western Civilization. If you will allow me, SEMPER FIDELIS! Bruce Rogers Dallas/Fort Worth .....................................................

Statement from Charlie Daniels. There are probably some of you folks out there who are wondering why we didn't appear on the CMT Country Freedom Concert for the Salvation Army to benefit the victims of the September 11th Attack on America. We were announced and scheduled and had every intention of doing the show, until we gave the CMT folks the lyrics to a new song I had written and wanted to perform on the show. After receiving the words they informed us that we could not do the song on the show and when we asked them why they said that the show was a healing type show and they were afraid that the song would offend someone. I would never do anything to hurt the show but I knew that they had the very epitome of country stars and didn't particularly need us to sell tickets. With this in mind, I decided to pull off the show for personal reasons which I would like to share with you. Let me preface my remarks by saying that I respect CMT's right to not allow anything they don't agree with to go out over their airwaves. And in all fairness, I guess they were taking the sensibilities of the victim's families into account. But I respectfully and vehemently disagree with their stand. First of all, I don't feel that this is the time for healing. I feel that this is the time to rub salt in the wounds and keep America focused on the job at hand. We lost almost seven thousand people in the Trade Towers and Pentagon and we're worrying about offending somebody? We have seven month old babies infected with Anthrax and we're afraid we'll hurt someone's feelings? Brave Americans forced a plane down in a field in Pennsylvania and we're worried about ruffling someone's feathers? We're sending our sons and daughters off to fight and perhaps die in a war we had nothing to do with starting and we're concerned about insulting somebody? I felt to give into this political correctness would be to turn my back on the people who lost their lives on 9-11 and on the brave men and women who defend this country. The title of the song is
"This Ain't No Rag It's A Flag"
and I don't apologize for a word in it.
I'll let you all decide for yourselves:
This ain't no rag it's a flag
and we don't wear it on our heads
It's a symbol of the land
where the good guys live
are you listening to what I said
You're a coward and a fool
and you broke all the rules
and you wounded our American pride
Now we're coming with a gun
and we know you're gonna run
but you can't find no place to hide

We're gonna hunt you down
like a mad dog hound
and make you pay for the lives you stole
We're all through talking and messing around
and now it's time to rock and roll

These colors don't run
and we're speaking as one
when we say united we stand
If you mess with one you mess with us all
every boy, girl, woman and man

You've been acting mighty rash
and talking that trash
but let me give you some advice
You can crawl back in your hole
like a dirty little mole
but now it's time to pay the price

You might have shot us in the back
but now you have to face the fact
that the big boy's in the game
The lightning's been flashing
and the thunder's been crashing
and now it's gettin ready to rain

This is the United States of America
the land of the brave and free
We believe in God, we believe in justice,
we believe in liberty

You've been pulling our chain,
we shoulda done something about you
a long time ago
But now the flag's flying high
and the fur's gonna fly
and now the whole world's gonna know

This ain't no rag it's a flag
old glory red white and blue
The stars and stripes
and when it comes to a fight
we can do what we have to do

Our people stand proud
the American crowd
is faithful and loyal and tough
We're as good as the best
and better than the rest
you're gonna find out soon enough

When you look up in the sky
and you see the eagle fly
you'd better know he's headed your way
This ain't no rag it's a flag
and it stands for the USA

What do you think?
God Bless America
Charlie Daniels

Dear Sgt. Grit,
We need more vets or volunteers to visit vets in the VA hospitals across this country. Many are very lonely and have no families. We here at VFW Post 2468 and the Marine Corps League here in Roseburg, Oregon ask that people purchase gifts for them for the holidays and help with collecting Toys For Tots. If any of you have experience at helping vets with their disability claims we ask that you help them in this area also. Remember we went to war as strangers and returned as brothers. Don't forget to help your bother vets during this time of great need. Most of all start a drive for Christmas gifts and letters to all those Brother vets in ALL services over in the Middle East and in other countries protecting our freedoms. God Bless you all and God Bless the U.S.A.... SSgt. Donald Yoder , Roseburg, Oregon U.S.M.C. 63-71 Viet Nam 65-66/68-69 3rd MarDiv/at.9th Marines ..........................................................

Semper Fi Sgt. Grit One thing people can do is get their place of business to donate for the Toys for Tots. For the past several years I have had the agency (CSC, USDA), here in St. Louis get involved with the program. As of last year we have collected almost 3000 toys and cash donations of 2000 dollars. I know it seems that everyone is giving something or has been asked to donate and maybe getting tired of all the solicitations, but all the money and toys stay in your community. Another idea would be to talk to the children in schools and try to get them to understand what is happening in today's world. Or even talk about more personal things such as drugs, alcohol, peer pressure or life in general. On another note I read your letters every time I get a chance. As a retired Gunny, I would go in a heart beat if called. The majority of Marine. When I joined in 1970, I was a good student but had no direction. My sister keeps reminding me "that if it wasn't for the Marines I would probably ended up in jail or worse". They took a kid and taught him how to be a man among men. There was a movie years ago that had a line in it that said having Indian blood in your veins doesn't make you an Indian, it is how you live. It may not be the exact quote but close . It is the same for a Marine, it is not the uniform that makes a Marine but his ideals, his thoughts and his way of life. I believe in my country, corps and god and will protect them till my last breath. One last note to the sailor that wrote in about how the Marines think we are the best. Yes every branch has their own special forces that are excellent in what they do. The Marines are a force of their own. The president can send us anywhere without permission, usually we are the first to fight. We are capable do completing a mission with little or no help from anyone. we have persevered cutbacks in manpower and money. We get what the others services don't want and make it work. I could go on but that is what makes the Marine think we are the best. Enough of my soapbox. Take care, God bless protect all our service members Gysgt Jim Stokes, USMC ret, 1970-1991 ..............................................................

Sgt. Grit,
I recently started a unit of the Young Marines in Springfield, IL.. We have been doing a wide variety of activities and are currently working on the TOYS-FOR-TOTS campaign. I have several dedicated staff members and we are all volunteers. For more information on the Young Marines program, go to Semper Fidelis, John F.Hoyt ............................................................

Sgt. Grit, Another great issue! Another gamut of emotions while reading. Thanks. Isn't it interesting that bin Laden can go on TV interviews, after launching his sneak attack, and call the Muslim world to Jihad against America/ns - and condemn us for launching a crusade? Wherein lies the difference? Semantics. Who struck the first blow? We are entitled to self-defense. The whole world understands that and has made it apparent with their support. They have also come to realize that folks of this sort are not desirable neighbors or residents (perhaps just from considering our alternatives). The Police and Intelligence agencies of the world have turned their efforts toward eliminating this element of society, with considerable effect. Bravo! for them and for us. The only problem for us old hands is that it looks like the military campaign will be over before we can get our uniforms out of mothballs. We are doomed to sit on the sidelines and cheer on our team from the bench. Soon, the diplomats and aid societies will be taking over. Well, congrats for an excellent live those executing the mission. God Bless them and America. Scott MSgt USMC (Ret) ...................................................

"No. You don't have a higher duty. No. No. You're a reporter!" --CBS's Mike Wallace on whether "journalists" should have any loyalty to their own nation when at war. ...................................................

THE NY CITY FLAG (courtesy of BrigGen Andrew Davis, Director of Public Affairs, HQ-USMC) You are all familiar with the now-famous flag raised by firefighters in NY City and which now flies over the carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt which deployed from Norfolk. What you may not know is that the first strike against Afghanistan was made by a United States Marine Corps FA-18 Hornet. The pilot carried that flag in the cockpit of his FA-18 when he dropped the first bomb on the Taliban "for the people of New York". VMFA-251 .................................................

Let's NOT send the Afghans food and money. Just send them luggage and taxi cabs so they can all move.....It's a desert...NOTHING will grow there! Just what the hell are they fighting over? Barren mountains, sand and scrub brush...that's a real no-brainer! Semper Fi USMC, 1965-1969, Brian L. Hipwell ...................................................

"Every victory for human freedom will be a victory for world peace." --Ronald Reagan ................................................

God Bless America!!
Semper fi!!
Sgt Grit

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