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Sgt Grit American Courage Newsletter #34

"We have discovered that the scheme of 'outlawing war' has made war more like an outlaw without making it less frequent and that to banish the knight does not alleviate the suffering of the peasant." --C.S. Lewis


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Operation Arlington Ridge

This is the last year, so this is your last chance to get commemorative gear. I still have a few Ka-Bars, lighters, coins, and t-shirts left. I have reduced the price and it will first come first serve on what is left. From the Commandants own words this event has increased the attendance for the last 3 years at the November 10th ceremonies. He also told Tom (Spider) Tanney that OAR contributed to the moving of the Air Force Memorial. To those of you who participated: Marine, job well done. I thank you for your support on this project. http://www.grunt.com/catalog/links.asp?cat=10&page=1

New Product.....VoiceAmerica

Perfect if you have a Marine away from home. You can now have family and friends record personal messages that are delivered directly to your loved one on CD-ROM, up to 50 minutes per CD! This is a lasting, digital keepsake that will be treasured for a lifetime. This package includes *10 family and friends message invitations *10 mailing envelopes *Toll-Free "Voice Greetings From Home" message line *Easy-to-follow instructions. http://www.grunt.com/catalog/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=222&cat=Greetings

Battalion hap pins

Many new battalion hat pins in this week. http://www.grunt.com/catalog/links.asp?cat=150&page=1

OK...it's Christmas

Delivery becomes critical this time of year. Please see the attacked list if you have not received an item yet. It is our best estimate of items that will not be delivered before 12-25 or items that most likely will. Backorder list: http://www.grunt.com/backorders.htm Or you can email me at info@grunt.com with questions. Thank you for your orders and your support. Hey....check out our MARINE Christmas tree at: http://www.grunt.com/staff.htm

Now on with the AmericanCourage newsletter.

The jibing between the different branches of service. For the majority of us it's all in fun and in the spirit of competition. I believe that competition is very important. It helps Keep all the services sharp. When your the biggest, baddest mothers in the valley you have to compete with each other to stay sharp, nobody else can compete.

Bob Hope was a patriot who was second to none. He supported and inaugurated more presidents than any other performer, ever. It didn't matter what party they were, he supported democracy. The sad part was he was English by birth. So if Streisand, Fonda or Baldwin want to pack their trash, I'll get the door!!!

J.M. Gigante, Sgt. U.S.M.C.

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Seven mass graves were discovered in northern Afghanistan and contained the remains of an estimated 10,000 Hazara people who were murdered by the Taliban. The Hazara people are descendants from the Mongol armies that invaded Afghanistan over 800 years ago. Apparently the memories of that brutal invasion are still quite strong and this has caused continual friction between the Hazara and other Afghans. Military Magazine, December 2002

Note: 10,000 people murdered and no press coverage? Let one USA bomb go astray and the press goes berserk. I know I'm not the brightest bulb in the group, but am I missing something here? Sgt Grit

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I remember getting the call to report to active duty during Desert Shield/Storm. I was extremely excited to say the least. Our Battalion 1/24, reported to Camp Pendleton and then we were sent to Okinawa. While in Okinawa, we were told that we would be sent to the Persian Gulf but, it never happened. To this day that bugs the crap out of me. Every time I see the license plates with Persian Gulf Veteran (Ohio) I get p*ssed off. I always think, "I too, should have those plates!" I'm 35 now, and I keep telling myself to get over it, but I can't. I doubt if I ever will. Mark A. Long USMCR 85-91

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Hey Sgt. Grit,
Thanks for the great newsletter. I was appalled to hear that the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program was hurting. Here is how my family and I try to combat it: Every year, I put on a Christmas party at my house. I invite everyone I know to join us for some food and fun. I provide the food, drink, and place for the party. I ask every family that is invited to bring a new, unwrapped gift for the Toys for Tots program. I ask the local recruiter (Sgt. Benavidez these last two years) to come out in his dress blues. Needless to say, this very sharp and very professional Marine is the hit of the party. Most of the kids that attend ask for a picture with him, to which he obliges honorably. (I do have to get him to relax on the "No cover on your grape indoors" rule, but it is awesome.)

This is our fourth year of such party and man, do we have a good time! Last year we nearly filled the back of a pick up truck. Sgt. Benavidez ensures that the Marine Corps Reserve gets the gifts and I presume they work their magic from there. Our party has been such a success that guests ask us around Halloween time when our party will be so that they can put it on their calendars. Hope this might be a good idea for some of my fellow Marines. Semper Fi
Gerard Torres, 86-90, VMA-513 MCAS Yuma

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Sgt Grit:
In AmericanCourage Newsletter #32, Rick Rios wrote that he got all flustered because the folks next to him wouldn't salute our flag, nor would they swear (pledge) allegiance to that flag. I understand the feelings he had, but I feel compelled to remind my Marine brothers & sisters that Jehovah's Witnesses (and possibly some other Christian denominations) forbid saluting anything but God. The same for swearing allegiance -- to none but God. If the folks next to you are being quiet, and reasonably respectful during "National Anthem" and "Pledge of Allegiance" moments -- even though they may not be saluting a piece of cloth and swearing oaths like you, they are most probably doing one of two things; Either following their bona fide religious beliefs, or practicing their bona fide right, as Americans to NOT have to say anything, nor salute any person or thing. Keep this in mind brothers and sisters. If the folks are being quiet and reasonably respectful during those "moments" they should not be accosted, and our tempers should remain calm. Ken Hepperle
USMC 75-79
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To you Marines of the 2nd Marine Division, GOD speed on your journey, keep your heads down and make those bastards pay! I wish I could go with you, being as how I to was a 2nd division Marine. I would take great pleasure in popping rounds down range and dropping those soulless pieces of camel sh*t. And to the families of those Marines who are shipping out, I say drop on your knees and thank GOD that your are Married to them, and join with me as I pray for their safe return. "Greater is no man who lays down his life for his friends". I don't know the chapter or verse this comes from in the BIBLE but I believe! I believe in this Country and all the Americans in it...SEMPER FI!!!!!!!!!!!! ............................................................

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." --Albert Einstein ............................................................

My oldest son, who graduates on Dec. 13th..had a hard time finding himself. Extremely intelligent, but lacked the maturity and common sense to make the right choices..one small incident led to another, another, another...nothing worked!!!! Then he did the strangest thing...he went into the Corp. How do you thank the DI's..the Recruiters..the SSgts...the Corp, for giving you back your son... and his family HONOR. I knew the that the streets of heaven were guarded by USM, when I was 5...Honor...all those boys,all those young men, all those fathers, all those husbands, all those SONS. The Corp...in the end, it will always be Honor, Public Service, and the Corp. My son will soon be a grunt... when I failed him..the schools failed him..the system failed him...the Corp would not let him fail. Semper Fi..a loving father a grateful American .............................................................

My friend, Irene Savell, sent me this story about her granddaughter, Tara:

Little Tara was learning to sing "My Country Tis of Thee" and she said, "The 'frosting' part is really hard to remember". Her daddy asked her which part was that? She said, "You know, sweet land of liberty of thee frosting". He said, "Do you mean 'OF THEE I SING"? She said, "Yeah, frosting...icing...whatever!"
KUDOS to this parent for teaching his young daughter patriotism...with patience...and a smile.
submitted by Sara Pleso, proud mother of Sgt. Jeremy J. Pleso, USMC; 11th MEU, deployed, (but on the way back to USA) ...........................................................

Sgt Grit my name is Felix Montalvo and I'm a PFC. I recently came off of active duty from 29 palms Ca for M.O.S. school. I am here saying that I'm praying for everyone of our fellow Marines that are deployed or that are going to be deployed. I know I'm young in the Corps but I'm more then willing to learn. We will fight, we will win, we are fewer then the Army, the Navy which makes us more proud to be doing what we are doing. Whatever happens our people will be safe and future history books will have us to thank when they mention the year America fought back for it's freedom. If time comes to meet our maker I pray for the families to understand that they did it for them. Never give up hope, never loose faith, never be scared, the United Sates Marines are here to stay! Sincerely, PFC Montlavo III ..........................................................

"True courage is not the brutal force of vulgar heroes, but the firm resolve of virtue and reason." --Alfred North Whitehead ..........................................................

Sgt. Grit,
I don't recall seeing any mention of the Admiral Nimitz Museum of World War II in the Pacific in your newsletters. The story of his life and his service to his country is described as well as details of the war in the Pacific. There are displays of weapons, uniforms, etc. The museum is located in downtown Fredericksburg, Texas and opens at 10:00 AM. To really do it justice, more than one day should be allowed though only one day makes the trip worthwhile. I figured it should be called to attention while there are still some veterans around. Bob Gaston, StfSgt, USMCR 384564 ........................................................

Hey Sgt., Grit,
Just read the comments about how nice the Air Force has it. They seemed to have all the perks when I was in the USMC in the 60's too. Reminds me of an old saying, "Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes", that way you will be a mile away AND have their shoes, d*mn good shoes too, if your criticizing someone in the Air Force! Ron Roudebush, SGT. 1962-1968 ......................................................

In Vietnam we traded excess comm gear with SeaBees for supplies we could not get. We stole what we needed from the Air Force supply.
Also,Dick Leyden and I would stand outside the Air Force Exchange and intimidate some young Airman into buy us hard liquor using their ration card. Worked every time. In Vietnam Marines E-5 and below could not buy hard liquor.
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit
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Mike Gulliher is correct about Saddam and his weapons of mass destruction; all he has are a few Republican Guards, but not a single U.S.Marine. He might( Saddam ) want to recall how many of his mother of all battles divisions were tied down to face a much smaller number of embarked Marines in Desert Storm. In this case mother is half a word.
Jim Brown 1958-1968
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I noticed a letter to the editor in our local paper yesterday relating to Veteran's Day. It seems here in Seminole, FL at the local Veteran's Day observance at the cemetery one lone protester stood at the entrance with a sign denouncing the celebration of war, etc. Everyone was in shock that an individual would do that on this day of remembrance. The letter writer was a Nam vet who got upset and wanted to react in the good old fashioned way but before he could act one woman went nose to nose with this butthead and stared him down. Never flinched, moved, threatened or anything, just stared at him nose to nose for a half hour until he got tired of being harassed by someone who also believed in her rights to protest an action. He folded his tent and left. Practice your rights but be sure there are others who will return volley for volley.
Semper Fi Sarge, Jon Barrow USMC A-1-12 (Automatic Alpha Battery)65-66 Michelle Barrow USA Medical Field Units 67-68 ......................................................

Sgt Grit, It would have been nice for that Airedale Major to have dropped us some hot food at KheSanh in the spring of 68. On second thought had he done that I would not have had to been up there, he could have won single-handedly. I am part of the Firing Squad for the American Legion here and when we do a funeral we always look for the veteran markers in the cemetery. I remarked to some of my Army vet friends that I always see Veteran markers from the other branches but no one from the Corps. One of the group told me quite frankly he had never heard of a Marine that thought he would die. Me thinks they finally got it.
Semper Fi
Ron Shouse "The Nasty" class of 67/68 .....................................................

Dear Sgt. Grit:
Thank you for posting my comments regarding my support for Cpl. Gugliotta. Not wanting to continue to exacerbate this a argument, I do however feel obliged to respond to my brother Marines, Brown and Bishop.
While I do agree with fellow Marine Brown that we need to exercise a reasonable amount of faith in our government I do not believe it should be blind faith. After all we are talking about giving one man (The President), the option to declare war and continue that war solely at his whim. The duration of the war is also left up to him. This is my point.
I was a only a Lance Corporal in when I left Vietnam. I wish I was for at that time Congress did the same thing for Lyndon Johnson when the Senate approved the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution 88 to 2. That action also gave one single man a blank check to wage war.
Dissenting the way I am know does put a bad taste in my mouth. I do not have a very short memory and I remember the dissension and the bad press back in the sixties that undermined what we all of our efforts as Marines fighting a war. The difference is I do believe that as Vietnam Veterans it our responsibility to leave a legacy to future generations. That before you commit America's children again, we better be able to win and the government better be telling the truth.
As for Sergeant Brown, I feel we cannot draw a parallel with Adolph Hitler. Hitler invaded the Rhineland, Czechoslovakia, and Poland while we did nothing and England was more concerned about making peace with Germany. Saddam Hussein is no Adolph Hitler. Correct me if I am wrong, but Saddam Hussein hasn't invaded anyone in the last ten years.
I am glad the UN inspectors are going in. I believe that if we wage war with Iraq it has to be sanctioned by the UN. In that case I am for it because in the words of fellow Marine Brown "one does not have to be bitten by a snake to know the inherent danger". However I believe this view is not enough to wage a unilateral war which I cannot support.
As Marines we know better than anybody that if in reality we are not so much concerned about the supposed stockpiles of WMD's in Iraq, than we are of removing Saddam from power, then their will be some very hard fighting. Air power can only do so much and that eventually it will come down fighting in the streets, house to house in Bhagdad, and other Iraqi cities. This time we won't be pulling up short several hundred miles from Baghdad we have to go all the way. I believe it will be a protracted fight. H*ll, apparently we haven't even got Osama yet. How long can it possibly take to get Saddam?
While we are on the subject, what about North Korea (the other nation that is a member of the so called "Axis of Evil"), and the fact that they have claimed that they already have nuclear capabilities? I don't hear any saber rattling in their direction.
So much for Iraq and current events. Semper Fi and I hope everyone has a great holiday season.
Barry DeLong
USMC 3/1, RVN 69-70 .......................................................

I've been receiving your news letter for a while now and really enjoy it! I served with Hq Co 5th Mar Reg 1st Marine Division as a Corpsman 1966-67 in Viet Nam and I am very proud to have served with the Marines! That pride continues and will be forever! We all joke about inter service stuff but when it comes right down to it we are all Americans who served because it was our duty, honor, and sacrifice for our country and for those who served and died before us to defend Freedom and our Constitution. We are a great Nation....Semper Fi HM3 "Doc" Knispel .......................................................

Sgt Grit,
I think that I am in the unique position to reply to this post from Maj. Monahan. You see, I spent four years in the Air Force before I became a Marine. Everyone has a right to complain, but the zoomies always expect the best wherever they are. This makes them whine more than most branches. I spent four years in weapons storage area's in New Mexico, plane ramps in New York and a remote radar installation in Alaska. I was what the Air Force calls their version of the ground pounders (I won't even try and call them grunts because frankly, they don't deserve the honor). I was a Security Policeman who spent my whole four years on guard duty keeping the weapons and airplanes safe from harm. This is the same Air Force that in my experience had only 10% of the officers that were worth a d*mn. Compare that to the Marine Corps who has 99% of the officers that are better than anything the Air Force has. But compared to the Air Force, the Marine Corps comes out way ahead. There was only one officer in the Marine Corps that I would not have followed into a sh*t house let alone h*ll. But the other 99% of them, I would follow without question. Compare that to a maximum of 10% of the officers in the Air Force that I would follow. The Air Force does not understand leadership and teamwork to the level that the Marine Corps does. The ultimate argument of the Air Force is that the smartest people join the Air Force. I would say that last time I checked, the Marine Corps has more than a 98% average of high school graduates and one of the highest requirements (If not the highest) on the ASVAB test. Couple that with someone who can only graduate out of boot camp by proving that they can handle a lot of mental and physical pressure and pain, and you have one dangerous weapon. I was continually asked why I joined the Marine Corps. I always (and still believe) that the Marine Corps treats its personnel better. The Air Force gives you good treatment by nice facilities and clean sheets on your bed. But the real truth is that the Air Force doesn't give a d*mn about you if you are not on flight status or in direct support of the zoomies! I challenge you to work a week with the Security Police on the flight line guarding your planes during the worst weather at the air base. Try walking a sentry post during freezing rain or snow for 12 hours without getting relief to take a p*ss or get warm. I've done it at -53 degrees weather (not to include the wind chill), and yes, it was for 12 hours on post. No, the Air Force did not see fit to issue enough warm weather clothing. The Marine Corps defines good treatment as your brother Marine watching and protecting your body when someone is trying to place nasty holes in it. Or making sure that you have clean socks, a place to sleep, some food and most important, your mail. You see Major, the Marine Corps doesn't blow smoke up your *ss, it tells you the straight sh*t. A Marine officer and Staff NCO will not eat until their Marines do. You will be cold, in pain, bleeding and sit in a fox hole for a long time. But they will make sure you have enough napalm to keep the enemy fires going and enough lead to fill the cavities in the enemies head and they will make sure you know how to dig your fox hole the right way so it can protect you. There is a fundamental difference in attitude between the Marine Corps and the Air Force. It all boils down to money. The Air Force has more money than they can count so their attitude is that if you have a problem, fix it by throwing money at it. If it doesn't work, then pencil wip the paperwork and bury the evidence. And I have seen that numerous times. The Marine Corps gets their money from the Navy, but only after they take care of all their requirements (both real and unreal). So the Marine Corps has had to become penny pinching and inventive. So before you think the Air Force really cares about you, walk a couple of miles with the Marines _AS_ a Marine. You will see that the Air Force doesn't know jack sh*t about taking care of it's people. In my book, the Marine Corps may not have the nicest barracks or the best chow halls, but they make up for it by caring about the Marine under the uniform!
USAF - Sgt 1982 - 1986
USMC - Sgt 1987 - 1994 (and proud to have reenlisted) ......................................................

Please remove me from your subscription list as I have become a sincere pacifist since I came back from Vietnam. This "WAR" mood we're romancing depresses me, and your messages neglect to point out that no war has been declared by congress. I truly believe that Saddam Hussein is one bad SOB, but I don't want to see or hear of anymore of my buddies dying for a phony reason. The phony reason is for a bad decision a former president made not for the security of the world. We should have finished the job the first time. when we had a better advantage. WE now have to face an all out war with the whole Arab world to get back at the bad SOB. I still believe in defending the USA, but on our ground, not his. So please remove me from your mailing list as it disappoints me. BW .........................................................

HEY SGT. GRIT, I WAS SHOCKED THIS A.M. ON FOX TO SEE WILLIAM SHATNER ACTUALLY LOOK INTO THE CAMERA AND GIVE HIS FULL SUPPORT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR ACTION AGAINST IRAQ. THIS IS SO UNUSUAL TO SEE SOMEONE FROM HOLLYWOOD BE ON THE RIGHT SIDE AND NOT BASHING OUR PRESIDENT OR OUR MILITARY. KUDO'S TO YOU MR. SHATNER. ON THE OTHER HAND ALL OF THE ALEC TALIBAN BALDWINS AND BARBARA AL-QUIDA STRIESANDS SHOULD BE DROPPED IN BAGHDAD AND LEFT TO FEND FOR THEMSELVES..EVEN THAT WOULD BE TOO GOOD FOR THEM. MAYBE IF THEY HAD CHILDREN IN THE MILITARY THEY WOULDN'T BE SO QUICK TO RUN THAT USELESS HOLE IN THEIR HEAD KNOWN AS A MOUTH..OH YEAH..AL-QUIDA STRIESAND IS TOO HATEFUL TO EVEN HAVE CHILDREN. WHEN OUR SON MADE THE DECISION TO BECOME A MARINE I WAS SOMEWHAT SURPRISED BUT EXCITED FOR HIM. KNOWING THAT HE WOULD BE JOINING THIS BROTHERHOOD AND BE A PART OF AN ELITE FORCE MADE ME CONFIDENT THAT HE WOULD DO WELL. HERE IT IS 2 1/2 YEARS LATER AND HE HAS DONE JUST THAT. HE WILL BE LEAVING WITH THE 15TH MEU SOON. I HAVE BEEN FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO GET TO KNOW SEVERAL OF THE MARINES IN HIS GROUP. THEY ARE ALL WONDERFUL YOUNG MEN. WE WISH THEM ALL THE BEST IN THE NEXT FEW MONTHS AND OUR PRAYERS WILL BE WITH THEM AS WELL AS ALL OF OUR MILITARY!! GOD BLESS OUR MARINES!! WENDY MEADOR ........................................................

It doesn't matter if you agree or not that the President has the authority to go to war with the Muslims. It doesn't matter if you want a war. It doesn't matter if you're a Jew, a Christian, an agnostic, an atheist, or a secular humanist. You're going to be a participant in this war. You and your family are going to fight this war to the bitter end. You're going to fight this war in Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, France, Kenya, Mexico, Canada, and the United States. You can only choose where the preponderance of the fighting and dying is going to be. Over there, in the allies and fields of the enemies home town, or in the allies and fields of Texas and Georgia, and New York, and California. You can choose to fight it now on your terms, or you can mouth your pacifist anomalies, stick your head in the sand and wait for the "Muslim Militants" to come kick your *ss. There are lots of bad Muslims that are good people. All good Muslims are bad people. Only five of the hundreds of Surahs in the Koran are not about sending Christians and Jews to h*ll, or helping them on their way. Those five are about the great sex you get when you die as martyr killing Jews and Christians. Sex with from 2 to 72 virgins depending on whether you die a convert by saying the words "There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is his messenger" or die in an act of suicide killing Christians and Jews. H*ll is filled with Christians, Jews, and female Muslims. Show me a Muslim Cleric that tells you Islam is a peaceful religion, and I'll show you a liar. Oh wait, that's what their Bible advocates in the war on Christians and Jews. No deceit is too low, no act is beneath them, when it comes to the war on the infidels.
"All will be converted, by the word of Allah, or by the Sword"
What part of that sentence don't you understand? MB Love .....................................................

"The Hand of providence has been so conspicuous in all this, that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked, that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations." --George Washington .....................................................

As a Army veteran of 5years,in combat areas WW11,North Africa and Italy with the Fifth Army, and a son a former Marine, Viet Nam era, I will pray for all service people for their safety. Vic Kovacs Post Adjutant VFW #9111 South Brunswick, New Jersey 08824 .....................................................

"In the 112 days between Sept. 11, 2001, and Dec. 31, 2001, there were at least 450 news stories in the American press about a possible backlash against Muslims in the United States. ...That's just about one story for every single instance of anti-Muslim violence or harassment in 2001, according to just-released FBI data. That year, there were 481 instances of 'hate crimes' against Muslims, people of Middle Eastern descent or people who looked like they might be Muslim or of Middle Eastern descent. The crimes themselves were anything from leaving a nasty message on someone's answering machine to murder. There are reportedly 7 million Muslims in the United States. My back-of-the-envelope math reveals this amounts to 0.0069 percent of the Muslim or 'Muslim-looking' population of the United States being the victims of hate crimes. Now, nobody's in favor of crimes of any kind -- even the ones dubiously called 'hate crimes.' But, truth be told, that statistic sounds pretty good to me. And again, when I say good, I don't mean to say that there's an acceptable level of 'hate' crimes. But when put up against the bleating of the media and the hysteria of various Muslim activists and human rights groups, this sounds like a problem that has been handled well rather than a crisis. ...But the most important point that sometimes get lost in all of this is that hate crimes against Americans truly soared in 2001. A group of religious bigots and fanatics murdered thousands of Americans solely because they were Americans on Sept. 11. And they're still doing it. They're immensely proud that they got away with their hate crimes. We're paranoid that we might be vaguely responsible for a few similar crimes. And therein lies all the difference." --Jonah Goldberg From the Federalist .......................................................

"It is customary in democratic countries to deplore expenditures on armament as conflicting with the requirements of the social services. There is a tendency to forget that the most important social service that a government can do for its people is to keep them alive and free." --RAF Air Marshall Sir John Slessor ......................................................

I respect the Air Force and even think most of its people are pretty good folks. I especially appreciate Puff and Arc Lights around Con Thien in the summer and fall of 1967. However, I am older than the USAF, and as much as I'd like to get a hold of that "MAJ" (Good grief, are you kidding?) and give him a good old fashioned @$$ whuppin', he's not worth the effort. He apparently has to prove something to himself and others. We do not have prove anything to anybody. Those who went before us already proved it from the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli to Belleau Wood to Iwo Jima to the Chosin Reservoir, to Con Thien and Khe Sahn to Desert Storm and to any other place our country may need people who do the job, do it right and without complaint today's active duty Marines will do it too.
So, pity poor "MAJ" but don't let him rile you up. He probably wishes he could be a Marine but deep inside know he doesn't have what it takes to be one of us. Semper Fi,
Dick Hulslander
Captain, USMC (formerly) Viet Nam, 1967 - 1968 .......................................................

We know that, by virtue of your patronage, you are already standing on many frontlines in honor of our patriotic allegiance to our nation's heritage. You are grandparents or moms and dads raising the next generation of patriots. "Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!" --George Washington .......................................................

When I read Maj. Monahan's article in issue #32, I saw an arrogant man whose cavalier attitude is nurtured somewhere, somehow in the "kinder and gentler" Air Force of today. This is not the Air Force (former Army Air Corps) of WW II or Korea. Even Vietnam. These pampered service members are supported by our tax dollars and if too many people, like Maj. Monahan, brag about how easy their life is, it can be taken away once the general public wakes up to this. He, and many like him, are a blot upon the rest of the Air Force who are good, hard working service members. They know they have an easier, softer life but are wise enough not to brag about it, especially to a Marine. I have heard too many Airmen (and women) crowing about how much smarter they are then Marines. There is nothing smarter about them at all. In fact, if they really were smart, they would know enough to keep their mouths shut like Maj. Monahan should have. They just choose an easier path in protecting this country. There is one big difference though. We are highly respected! They aren't. We are respected for our courage, fortitude, ability to endure hardships and quality of character. I never heard an ex-Airman brag about being in the Air Force. But I always hear former Marines do so. Because we have something to brag about. Pride in our accomplishments. Martin E. Shapiro U.S.M.C. RVN 1965-66 1ST Bn, 9th Marines ...................................................... I don't disagree that troops should be taken care of, but comfort breeds complaisance. The more comfort that one is given, the more one comes to expect. If you eat steak dinner every night, you will come to expect it every night. My experience has led me to believe that the Corps is so successful because Marines don't get a lot of comfort, don't expect a lot of comfort, and learn to live without some of the most basic things. If we train 365 days a year with nothing but our rifle, the uniform on our back, and maybe an MRE-along with the Marines to either side of us, then, in combat we already know what we have to work with to overcome any situation that may arise. You do your job and we'll do ours. P*ss in your own wheaties if you can't get an air conditioned room, don't p*ss in ours.
Semper Fi
SSgt. Scott(0848)
1775-present .............................................................

"Weapons inspectors: I can't see why everyone seems to be so critical of them. They've barely had enough time to unpack their bags and stick their heads in the sand." The Federalist .............................................................

I am not a Marine, however I have been loved by one my entire life - my grandfather Clyde Norman was a Marine in the Philippines during WWII. As long as I can remember Clydie called me every year on December 7 and said " Big baby what day is it ?" I would answer December 7th and he would ask me again "Big baby what day is it?" and I would say "It's Pearl Harbor Day" and with that he would tell me that's right and don't you forget it, this was followed by an I Love you and talk to you soon. He wasn't always the most emotional open individual in the world but those phone calls always reminded me of how much he loved me. I lost Clydie at 11:30 pm December 6, 2001, 30 minutes before the 60th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor, this will be the first year I don't get that phone call and I know my life has been forever changed. As the anniversary of his death and this day has approached I wasn't sure how I would start my day this year, but I just received my e-mail newsletter from you and I could hear my former Marine granddaddy saying " Big baby what day is it?" He is right and it is a date I shall never forget nor will I let anyone else.
Thank you for all that you do keeping our country safe so granddaughters like me can sleep safely knowing you are there to protect our lives and our very freedom. Kimberly B ...........................................................

Sgt. Grit;
I haven't been up on the bulletin board for a while. Just checked in and it d*mn sure has changed. I'll be looking in now and again. I made it to the wreath laying at Arlington Ridge again this year. I flew from Boise, Idaho and changed planes in Minneapolis/St. Paul. A fellow sat down in the seat next to me, and we began talking. He asked me what was bringing me to Washington. D. C. I told him that the Marine Corps Birthday celebration at the Iwo Jima memorial was my destination. He told me that was where he was headed also. He served in Viet Nam with 2/9. His outfit was having a reunion. We passed the time oblivious to all the other folks around, swapping stories and such. His were far better than mine. We parted company at the baggage claim, and I headed down to southern Maryland to my cousin's place. On Saturday, my cousin, his oldest son (17) and his daughter (10) accompanied me to the wreath laying. I usually prefer being alone at those Marine activities but at the end of the ceremony I was real happy that they had come along. My cousin's son requested that me and him pose for a picture at the base of the memorial, and at first I didn't want to do it, him not being a Marine and all. But later I felt honored that he would do such a thing. I later thanked them all for accompanying me. I had heard that my cousin's oldest daughter was expecting a visit from a boyfriend fresh from Parris Island, and d*mn sure, late afternoon that newly minted Marine appeared. Seventeen years old, and locked on bigger than sh*t. I had been practicing my speech to him in my head all day. I told him of my affiliation with the Marine Corps, and what it meant to me. I continued to say that currently talk was cheap and that there was plenty of it, but that he had stepped up, unlike a lot of folks his age and older. I told that him that having only known him briefly, I was proud of him and respected him. We told him what the former Commandant Paul X. Kelly had said that day at the ceremony. That was, if you are worried about the youth today then attend graduation at Parris Island, as he recently had. Of course our new Marine was courteous and referred to me as sir. I gave him my phone number and told him that if the required any thing from me, I would do my best to help him. I also told this new Marine that I could not support him if he disrespected the Marine Corps. He understood that immediately. He is headed to Camp Geiger and then Motor T school. It wasn't later that it finally hit me and that he was only seventeen and facing what comes next. Than only increased my respect for that this young Marine. Thanks for your time. Doc Wilson, Sr. Corpsman, Lima Company, 3rd Bn. Eighth Marines (Uhh, yeah. Some years back) ......................................................

This Air Force guy must have been in rear-very rear outfit. I never saw ice cream in VietNam until I talked my Captain into taking a flight to my old ship the Iwo Jima LPH 2 with a medi vac patient of mine. Upon return to my unit "B" Company 3rd Recon Battalion I brought back a jeep full of milk, ice cream and some fresh bread. This was the first real food we had tasted in months. The Air Force can have their fancy stuff I will take my Marine gear and my Marine friends. I was one of the Navy Corpsman that came home to live another day. The reason was--my Marines that took care of me and I in return did my best to take care of them. I will never forget my Marines they are at the top my good guy list and always will be. I will be 63 in Feb. My weight while with the Marines was 196lbs. I am now 212lbs. and still ready to go with them should they need an old 3rd class Corpsman. Michael "DOC" Morris 1961-1966 ...................................................

Quit beating a dead horse Marines. Leave the Air Force Major alone. It's his opinion. Respect it. The Air Force of today can no more relate to the Marine Corps than a butterfly can relate to a scorpion. Your talking about two different species. Sgt Stewart 2685449 7/70 - 11/76

God Bless America!!
Semper fi!!
Sgt Grit

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