Sgt Grit Marine Corps Merchandise

Welcome to our Marine Corps Newsletter archives. Read our patriotic stories of American courage sent in to us by Marines and their families. Enjoy!

Sgt Grit American Courage Newsletter - February 8, 2002

We must avoid sloth and complacency, which are too often the aftermath of spectacular wins.----Steve Forbes

Pass this newsletter on to anyone you feel would like it.
To submit your thoughts use

To SUBSCRIBE to the list click here:
Insert your email address in the SUBSCRIBE box

To UNSUBSCRIBE from the list click here:
Scroll down and insert your email address in the UNSUBSCRIBE box

...OR... email me at

some of you do not get a newsletter weekly.
Do this; put this email address in your address book.
Some filters look for an approved address.

Saddle up, lock and load, here we go.


Dear Sgt. Grit
 I'm a Proud U.S. Marine. I believe I was always brought up to be a Marine because my father is also a Marine.  I currently work for a good size hardware store in Wolfeboro N.H. Like the rest of the country after 9-11 we sold out of American flags rather quickly. I was quite proud every time one went out.  I also made it a personnel habit to thank each customer for their purchase. I would tell them I was a vet and I appreciated it.   After about a week we were completely out of every flag we had when a nice older lady came in looking for one. I was sorry to tell her that we were out but we hoped we would get some in on our next truck. The lady jokingly said "then make me one."  Being the proud Marine and American that I am I proceeded to draw her a Flag on a piece of white paper. It had all 13 stripes and 50 stars. Trust me I counted. When I finished I signed Made by a Marine.   I honestly thought this lady was going to cry. She thanked me shook my hand and told me how proud she was to have a flag a vet made for her. I watched her put it in her wallet carefully so it wouldn't get ruined.   I am glad people in our country have started to fly our flag again.  I also glad that I was able to make one person happy with just a simple act.  Jim Savage, Cpl USMC, 87-91

"For the upright will inhabit the land, and men of integrity will
remain in it; but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the treacherous will be rooted out of it." (Proverbs 2:21-22)

Dear Sir,
I am a 8th grade teacher in Lake Wales,Florida.My name is Art Falconer.  I teach at McLaughlin Middle School.We are studying  the Vietnam War.  Last year my students e-mailed Vietnam Vets for information on the Vietnam War.I want to do the same this year.I am wanting e-mail addresses of Vietnam Vets who would like to participate in this project.Thanks for your help.Art Falconer.
My e-mail address is

After getting nailed by a Daisy Cutter, Osama made his way to the pearly gates. There, he is greeted by George Washington.

"How dare you attack the nation I helped conceive!" yells Mr. Washington, slapping Osama in the face.

Patrick Henry comes up from behind. "You wanted to end the Americans' liberty, so they gave you death!" Henry punches Osama on the nose.

James Madison comes up next, and says "This is why I allowed the Federal government to provide for the common defense!" He drops a large weight on Osama's knee.

Osama is subject to similar beatings from John Randolph of Roanoke, James Monroe, and 65 other people who have the same love for liberty and America. As he writhes on the ground, Thomas Jefferson picks him up to hurl him back toward the gate where he is to be judged.

As Osama awaits his journey to his final very hot destination, he screams "this is not what I was promised!"

An angel replies "I told you there would be 72 Virginians waiting for you. What did you think I said?"
Submitted by several

"Those who say that all cultures are equal never explain why the results of those cultures are so grossly unequal. When some cultures have achieved much greater prosperity, better health, longer life, more advanced technology, more stable government, and greater personal safety than others, has all this been just coincidence? Moreover, people from other cultures are constantly migrating to these cultures, which fashionable dogmas say are no better than any other." --Thomas Sowell

Sgt Grit,
I appreciate the opportunity to e-mail you and ask for your assistance and that of your thousands of fellow Marines and friends.  I am on a mission to have the National Defense Service Medal resurrected and issued to all military personnel.  So far I have written to one of my senators and to my representative as well as Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, but have yet to succeed in getting this medal issued to the troops.

I remember getting this award right after basic training in 1968.  It was the first medal troops received and has become part of the three medals most identified with Viet Nam veterans.  The medal was also awarded during the Gulf War.  In November 1995, the medal was no longer authorized and since that time, troops have not been issued this award.

I feel now, after September 11th and with a declared war on terrorism, it is time to resurrect this award and begin issuing the medal to all military personnel, either after they complete their basic training or immediately for those currently serving in the service.  As I said earlier, I have made this my mission to see that service personnel receive this award.  What better medal than one that proclaims National Defense.  After all, isn't that what it is all about now?  I believe that with the help of all your contacts writing to the Defense Secretary, we can have this medal activated and awarded to our dedicated men and women in the armed services.  Please put out the word and ask everyone to write directly to the Secretary or their senator, congressman or all three and request that the Secretary of Defense authorize issuance of the National Defense Service Medal.

I hope you find this cause worthy of notifying your fellow Marines and friends for help.
Alan Abramoske

ps. I have a link to the Congressional site at
Sgt Grit

"It isn't too far a stretch to suggest that the 28,000 new federal employees hired to upgrade airport security will become union members and, while they aren't likely to strike, might tie up the entire air transport simply checking ... each ... and ... every ... bag ... very ... very ... carefully ... in ... the ... interests ... of ... passenger ... safety.  And for higher pay." --Rich Galen

USAFC for Marines no longer on "Active Duty"

    Marines, here is the website for the USA Freedom Corps mentioned by our Commander in Chief, President Bush, in his recent State of the Union speech.
The President asked for our help. Within the USAFC, there is a listing for a Reserve Medical Corps. There is a listing for increased 'security' under the NWP (or Neighborhood Watch Program). Volunteerism frees up local Police Departments for more intensive patrolling instead of taking their time serving subpoena's and providing security at football games, etc. The NWP has been around for years, but the Government is adding a terrorist watch element to it. After you open the website, download the link to the USAFC 'Blueprint,' scroll to page 13 and down.  * Now then, how can we enhance this to allow us, especially those of us that were (are) 'too old' to get back in uniform and serve after the attack on 9.11.01?  We have all read letter after letter posted by Marines on Grit's pages on just how and down right pissed off we all are as Patriotic Marines, that our Precious America was attacked. On 9.13.01 I tried to re-enlist. It was a pipe dream as I have been injured, had 4 major surgeries and am unable to pass a PFT because I can't run.  As Homeland Defense develops, I know I'd love it passionately to get back in my cammies and pull some old fashioned guard duty right here at home. That, I can sure as hell do. Our nuclear power plants, our dams and smaller airports, just to mention a few places that are at major risk. We have all shared that 'feeling' that we should take a desk and release an able bodied Marine to get into the fight. It is a feeling of helplessness, that as Marines, is a foreign and an uneasy feeling to us. As Marines no longer on active duty, we are trained already for this mission. Probably just like you, I am not all that interested in the serving of a subpoena or doing nebulous type tasks, although important as mentioned above to free up patrol time. I want to see this USAFC branch off and develop into a "Homeland Defense Brigade" or something of that nature like a previous Grit contributor wrote a letter about.  Could this be our opportunity? I have read letter after letter in Grit's pages about the desire to serve our Country again, some how, and in some way. How many letters have been sent in by WWII Veterans and even older Marines stating their Patriotism and the fact they "can still shoot straight." We have a REAL President now and I intend to write to my Commander in Chief and to the USAFC contact link expressing my feelings. I hope I struck a nerve and there is potential for this, because I know I am willing to share a foxhole right here at home with any Marine out there no longer on "Active Duty."
Semper Fi & still motivated,
LJ Hayhurst Cpl. USMC

"From the New York Times: ' "I would gladly have him for my own son," said Bill Jones, a family friend, whom Mr. Lindh lived with in San Rafael for two years after his separation from Ms. Walker.' Bill Jones is the former owner of a gay bathhouse in San Francisco. That's right.  John bin Walker's father, Frank Lindh, left little Johnny's mother when he was 16 -- for another man. Anyone mention, among the reams of speculation about 'why,' that his father's sexual disorientation might have had some influence on Johnny's 'problem childhood'."

To Sgt Grit
Thank you for the forum you provide to your fellow Marines. Thank you as well for the services you provide. We have a son at the Citadel that makes use of my NCO sword, purchased through your organization, for sword manual practice whenever he is home on leave.  Our sister service has picked up his contract and I have no doubts that he will serve the Naval officer corps well.

On to the business at hand.

Johnny "jihad" Walker must be held accountable for his choices in life. It is one thing to reap the benefits of our great Nation and voice negative opinions, it is an entirely different animal to participate in active aggression against it. Today's Government of the People must draw a decisive line in the sand that tells our young that actions such as his will not be tolerated by the people.  Whether or not his actions result in the death penalty or life imprisonment (without parole) is in the purview of the politicians
that we have elected. I do not expect to be disappointed.

To the folks in uniform that have not been called to the front lines:  Your service is no less important than the individual humping an M-16 in Afghanistan. "Support in Readiness" should be the operative keywords for the folks in the "rear."

To the families of VMGR-352 under the command of LtCol "CT" Parker:  I was assigned to that command on several occasions during my career and crewed its aircraft. I went to Desert Shield and Desert Storm with you. I have come to know the names of the Marines that died in the crash so far away. I share in your grief. I would just like to know the BUNO of the aircraft so that I can put her to rest as well.

On the subject of Ex and Former Marines: I don't consider myself either.  If service has been rendered honorably the point is moot, a Marine is simply a Marine unless you are a Chesty Puller. If you were a draftee, the same applies.

On the subject of how you sign off: I'm on my third civilian job and I think I've finally found my niche. Regardless, it's always been Semper Fi, Billy (except this time, I want folks to know who is speaking unashamedly). Curious note: I've always had worldwide contacts in my civilian endeavors, they know what Semper Fi means.  Sadly, it's usually the American market that requires the explanation.

To hope for a greater tomorrow for our children: Marines stand ready to defend the rights of Americans.

A rant: To all of those who are not American Citizens and are complaining about the rights that you have lost; I really don't care.  I am tired of seeing the polls on the evening news about how your rights have been violated. YOU don't have any rights here, YOU are a guest in our country, and YOU can go home now to the rights you won't have in your own country. But you won't go, because in the good old USA you won't be caned for expressing your thoughts.

Racial profiling is a hot topic. If you are an American, I suggest tolerance by those of you who feel that you are targets (otherwise see the preceding paragraph). In this new war (jihad) Americans are to be eradicated. For the non-believers there is a parallel . . . Adolph Hitler and the eradication of the Jews.

To the new crew on the job: We won't forget you, your loved ones, or the sacrifices that you and your family face . . . no strings attached.
Semper Fi,
Billy Alvarado

"We have never
stopped sin by passing laws; and in the same way, we are not going to take a great moral ideal and achieve it merely by law."
--Dwight D.Eisenhower

I am currently a Lcpl in the USMC.  I have had to have one spine surgery thus far due to injuries endured during training.  Unfortunately the first one did not correct the problem, and now I will be having to have a second.  The worst part of all is that my unit has now been activated, and I am in no way going with them.  It tears my heart out every day when I think about my brothers going without my support.  I suppose everything happens for a reason, but
I would just like to say good luck and semper fi to all who must serve during this trying and difficult time.
May g-d bless.
LnCpl Phillips
Wpns CO. 2nd Bn. 23rd Marines

"You don't make the poor richer by making the rich poorer."
--Sir Winston Churchill

Ref the following statement from the 2/2/02 Newsletter:

"Attempting to reconcile a lack of understanding of Islam, several California public school districts have adopted a seventh-grade curriculum for the study of Islam which includes learning about historic Islamic martyrs, wearing a robe, adopting a Muslim name, memorizing verses from the Quran and learning to pray "in the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful."  Were is the ACLU now?"

We allowed the ACLU, Mary Madeline O'hare and a few loud atheists to eliminate God, the teachings of Christianity and anything and everything to do with any religion from our schools. Crime has increased, integrity has all but disappeared. Now we are FORCED to teach our children a religion.  This specific religion. THERE IS NO FREEDOM OF CHOICE!!!!  Our schools are banned by the law from teaching any other belief that may constitute a religion.
Where do we go from here?

pre-occupation of some in the media -- and of self-styled human rights groups -- with the way Taliban prisoners are being treated (which is better than they have treated us) reveals that too many among us are still not willing to do what it takes to combat terror." --Cal Thomas

You know the old adage "Be careful what you wish for you might just get it?" Well guess what I got it. I have said on many occasions that I would gladly take on the role of active duty Marine wife, and that somewhere deep inside it was actually my wish for my husband to return to active duty if he felt that was what he wanted and needed. Well on January 17, 2002, my husband came home from work and informed me that LtCol O had called and in so many words was saying that they need my husband to come off reserve duty and return to active duty. After I regained consciousness and replaced my jaw and heart to their anatomically correct positions, I saw this look in my husbands eye that I have only seen on one other occasion. It was the look of excitement and pleasure coupled with utter sadness and distress. I know that he was excited to get another chance to do what he so loved but he was also extremely distraught at the idea of leaving his new wife. (I know it doesn't sound that bad on the surface, but I am at least 5.5 hours away from him with our new house which needs some work, 5 animals which I love dearly and am grateful for the majority of the time, no real friends to lean on or hang out drink a beer with and bs, and my family is 8 hours away.)

Now don't get me wrong I love my husband dearly, and I fully support him because he is my life, but "good lord baby Jesus" this is not exactly how I imagined it would go. I was thinking that we would move a little closer, or I would have some friends or something different. I don't exactly work in a place that is conducive to keeping your spirits up. I'll give you a hint D.O.C. I love my job though. Well back to how this has gone. So news came on the 17th some time in February. Well by the 19th it was report to VA Beach
on the 28th of Jan. and then straight to LeJeune on the 1st of Feb. What sucked even worse was that I had to be at the Academy for training the 20th thru the 25th of Jan. So we did not have much time to be together before the long 12 month separation. I am hoping that some of you wonderful Marines and your wives can lend some advise on how to get by in the beginning when your alone. Please feel free to email me at

Thanks, Semper Fi
Cinq Home Tara Stainback

Russian weapons for sale.

This man of simple origins, a giant of a president, always and unfalteringly did what was right for America. He brought trust, dignity, and humility to the presidency.  He was, as William Bennett once observed, "a man in possession of his own soul," and he restored the nation's values, its character, its soul.  He is a gentleman and a patriot. We, in turn, humbly thank you, Mr. President, for your unselfish and devoted service to our country. Happy Birthday and may God continue to bless you, Ronald Reagan -- All American.

Today I Went to a Marine's Funeral
Jay A. Adams

I went to a Marine's funeral today. Went to say goodbye to a young man I never knew.  Staff Sergeant Dwight Morgan, a native Napan, gave his life for all Americans and me.  He was a fellow Marine and that is what was important.  There were others there who felt the same as me for we are a brotherhood.  The occasion demanded we be there to help send this Marine off to his next duty station.

I had been here before those many years ago, a different time and a different war.  That is all, which was different.  The uniforms were the same.  The faces then, as now, were young.

We gray haired Marines of the past, were here to pay tribute to this fallen warrior and the Marine Corps of today.  We looked on with pride at the assembled young Americans.  In their dress blues with the red stripe down the trousers worn in memory of the Marine Officers and NCOs who died in another war over a hundred years ago.

We sat in the dimly lit church and listened to the eulogies given for Staff Sergeant Morgan.  I thought about this Marine's journey that brought him here today.  He had been given the fire inside to have what it takes to be a Marine. To him the Marine Corps was as much a life's mission as a vocation. He was as his Squadron Commander said, "A Marine's Marine."  When his nation's call came, he left California with his Marine Air Group on a mission to avenge all those lost at the World Trade Center, Flight 93, and the Pentagon. He maintained the helicopters that would be transporting other Marines into combat.  He was due to return home when he was called for one more mission.

In a far off, barren, and cruel land named Afghanistan, Staff Sergeant Morgan along with another Marine, Staff Sergeant Walter "Trae" Cohee met their fate.  Their helicopter went down and they perished.

I could not help but to think of another Marine, a friend who many years ago and in a different war met his fate in the same manner.

My friend of yesteryear and this young Staff NCO of today were Marines who knew they were going in harm's way.  That was their job.  They responded as ordered and followed in the footsteps of thousands of Marines before them.

Staff Sergeant Morgan's flag draped casket flanked by his honor guard passed as the organ sounded the Marine Corps Hymn.  With tears in our eyes and sadness in our hearts we Marines from years past stood at attention.  I know our drill instructors would have been proud.

After the church service we followed the procession out to the cemetery.  Staff Sergeant Morgan's flag draped casket was taken from the hearse and the Marine honor guard carried it to his final resting place.  The graveside service was solemn and though we knew it was coming we all were startled by the rifle salute.  Each of the three volleys echoed out over the cemetery.  The flag was presented to his very young pregnant wife and his four-year-old son. We again stood at attention and saluted with hands over our hearts as Taps was played.  Suddenly, the ground began
to tremble and the sky roared as three giant CH53 Helicopters came into view and flew over the cemetery.    I watched these giant gray machines fly over, and I knew they were the same type helicopters that Staff Sergeant Morgan worked, flew, and rode on that final flight.  This was the Marine Corps final tribute and honor for this fine young Marine.

I looked up in the sky and in my mind I could see the regiments forming up to greet this newest member to their ranks.  There were Marines from battles fought the world over.  They came from the decks and the riggings of the Bonhomme Richard.  There were Marines who had fought on the walls of Mexico City, and Beijing.  They came from the muddy trenches of Belleau Wood, and the beaches and jungles of the Pacific. There were those who had fought on the snowy ridges of Korea, and in the jungles of Vietnam.  There were those from Beirut and the sands of Iraq.  Now from the rocky barren plains of Afghanistan come more Marines to be added to the Corps hall of honor.

Yes, today I went to a Marine's funeral.
I came away proud to be an American and a Marine.
Semper Fidelis

"Until now, the war had been about Sept.
11. The campaign against the Taliban and al Qaeda is a campaign of revenge and justice. That campaign is not yet over, but the war, the real war, is not about last Sept. 11. It is about preventing the next Sept. 11 -- and in particular, a nuclear, chemical or biological Sept. 11." --Charles Krauthammer

For many months, my Toyota Van's back windshield
has sported these words.  USS PELELIU + 15 MEU
= TEAMWORK. I promised the young Marines & Sailors
that I would not wash my van until they came home.
My silver mist van now looks tan.  The USS Peleliu
has turned around and is heading home.  Some
young Marines wonder what to expect upon coming home.

I say not only am I proud of all Marines. I believe
the United States of America is proud.  Many very
young Marines who are experiencing their first 6
month tour on a ship. I thank the Navy for giving them
a ride and I thank God for watching over them everyday.

I my oldest son should be on this tour. Justin
passed away on April 29, 2001in Fallbrook, Ca.
Some of the Marines & Sailors made it point
to e-mail me. They knew I was having a hard
time with my son's loss.  I would in turn ask
them silly questions to make them laugh.
Such as: do they get to paint the ship for the
holidays?  Why didn't they take Martha
Stewart with them?  When they sweep the
deck does it go overboard to feed the
fish?   So to Joe H., John S., Pablo P., Englebert M.,
Joshua W. & Amanda F.  I say thank-you.
for all the wonderful e-mails.  They made my
day each time I logged on and realized I had
Military e-mail.  Best kind of all. :-)

I thought about flying out to meet the ship.
Then realized it is time for me to
gracefully give these wonderful young
people back to their families. I can
pray for their safety and keep them
in my heart but they are not mine
and it is time to let go.

My youngest son is thinking about
going back to Marine ROTC in
his senior year in high school.
Only God knows the outcome.

Semper Fi
Once a Marine Mom, Always a
Marine Mom.
Norma Ford Downes

"Leading is often brutal and thankless, but it has its rewards."
--Wesley Pruden

Dear Sgt Grunt....

Thank you for the opportunity to share our stories with others that are or have been in the same position some of us find ourselves.  I am the wife of a former US Marine who served in Vietnam 1967-1968 in such areas as Hue, Khe Sanh and DaNang to name a few.  My husband dropped out of his 4th year of college to join when a very good friend of his was killed.  It is a decision he has never in his life second guessed and he came back and never looked
back but forward.  We now find ourselves living in a time where our son is now two years in the USMC stationed in North Carolina.  I work for United Airlines and on my may to work on 9-11 saw the smoke after AA flt hit the Pentagon and also had witnessed while watching CNN the plane strike the 2nd WTC tower.  These are dangerous times and today I was stunned when a friend of mine at work complained that the government was going to spend to much money on our military and defense and costing the tax payers to much money, do you want to know where this person was born and fled from 20 years ago...Afghanistan.  I lost my cool, one of the other people in the group discussion who was only crying foul is not even a US Citizen.  I told him while my son may be called on to defend his beloved country and their asses he makes less a month than they I stated I would gladly give anything to ensure that our men and women in the arm services are paid a decent wage so that we can hold onto those that have experience in this time of war and that their lives if lost is not in vain.  Thank you ...Sandy Smith Stiles..Proud wife and mother of United States Marines...Semper Fi

"One of the sad signs of our times is that we have
demonized those who produce, subsidized those who refuse to produce, and canonized those who complain." --Thomas Sowell

Sgt. Grit:
I love your newsletter.  As a busy full-time college student, wife, mother and party-time employee, I have to manage my time carefully.  I make sure I have at least an hour to read your post from start to finish when it arrives in my box.  How grateful I am that such a forum is able to exist in our free nation!

I am in agreement with the majority of your letter-writers.  I suspect that comes from being the daughter of an outstanding father, who did take the time to teach me about our nation's political foundation and what it meant for each of us as Americans.

One point made in this forum and repeated by several persons, has prompted me to attempt to create this letter.  It has been said that "young people" today don't understand service to their country, they don't want it, they seem to be not learning the concepts on which our country was built.  I believe only a small percentage of youth actually fall into this category.

I don't know where some of your readers are finding their young folks, but as the mother of five wonderful children, aged 21 to 9, I can honestly tell you I am seeing an incredible number of youngsters who are intelligent, willing to serve, and ready to do what it takes to protect their country and the freedoms they enjoy here.  Literally hundreds of these youth enter the training facilities for the United States Marine Corps in San Diego and Parris Island every week!  A very high percentage of these recruits make it through their training without mishap or misconduct.  They conduct themselves according to how they have been taught -- not just by their Drill Instructors, but by their parents.  Those who hang around my house would make any parent proud.  Some are heading to the military, some are heading to college, some are heading into the work force.  Some, unfortunately, will be heading into nunproductivity.  Such is the way of life, as it always has been.  The young people of today are no different than the last generation, or the one before it.  Some are being taught morals, right from wrong, how to be courageous and how to serve others.  Some are not.  They have developed their own forms of dress, as did the Jimmy Dean's of the 50's, their own forms of music (and
I am NOT saying I am a fan of it) as did swingers of the 40's, rock and roll pioneers of the 50's and 60's and the hair bands of the 80's.  Each generation does their own thing.  Each group of parents sits in despair of there being anyone worthy to lead our nation into the future.

Before my younger son's departure for boot camp, he was apt to be seen at the mall, wearing his visor backwards, his pants baggy (often wearing a USMC T-shirt), and talking to the girls.  Most of his crowd dressed in this manner.  What should be judged is what is contained in the book, not the picture on the cover.

In closing, please remember that many of those now serving active duty in Afghanistan were, not so long ago, listening to loud music, dressing comfortably, hanging out with friends and not looking or acting as they do today.

Thank you for allowing me to say these things.  Your newsletter is an outstanding forum.  And I appreciate all that has gone before that makes it possible to voice an opinion.

S. Bennett
Proud Mom of a Cpl., a Recruit, USMC
and three daughters (2 of whom plan to become US Marines)

Sgt Grit,
Yesterday, I went to the funeral of SSGT Walter F. Cohee III USMC, the first Marylander killed in the war in Afghanistan. I did not know SSGT Cohee nor his family, but in some ways I wanted to pay my respects and say thank you. My name is Ken Crotty, I'm a former Marine and a current federal agent. Like thousands of other families, my family was devastated by the events of 9-11. My oldest brother, Thomas G. Crotty, age 43, was lost in the attack on the World Trade Center. Tom was a husband to a great wife and father to two beautiful girls, ages 6 and 2.  In my job, I work on a drug and gang task force, but soon after the attacks I went up to NY to hold out hope and look for my brother. Like so many others, I searched in vain for my brother. I will never forget that when I went to the area of the World Trade Center, I identified myself to a NYPD detective and asked where I could park my car. He asked where my command post was set up, and I told him that my brother
was among the missing and that I was just trying to locate my cousin, a NYC Firefighter, to get an idea of what I could do. I had worked in NYC, so I knew the area, but when I asked the detective how far I had to walk down to ground zero, he just pointed down about a half block and said that was it. With tears in his eyes he put his arm around me and told me he hoped I would find my brother safe and he would pray for my family. I never got the name of the detective, but in hindsight, I realized he knew of the devastation and loss I would soon be facing.  I sincerely appreciate his gesture of kindness and empathy.

When I got out of the Marines and became a Police Officer, I did so in thinking that I was taking a job that was protecting the public.  Taking violent criminals off the street, and protecting the public.  But, in early September, as I searched for my brother, I realized the obvious, our military has to be the lead element in keeping our nation safe. I've started reading in newspapers, articles beginning to question of what our goals are and how long our troops will be gone. They say that the men that go into harms way are the biggest supporters of peace, so I do not harbor any ill will towards those who call for peace. But, I will say this, After my first day at ground zero and looking for my brother, I went home to my brother and sister-in-laws house. Covered in the dust and dirt of ground zero, my 6 year old niece came up to me and asked me if her daddy was dead? My brother, a dedicated father, husband, brother, son and accomplished businessman and athlete was murdered that fateful day in September because he went to work in a building that symbolized the success of America. So, when people ask me how long do I think the war will go on for I say that it will go on until we can ensure that a little 6 year old girl never again has to ask if he daddy was murdered by terrorists.

Obviously, I support our Marines and troops in their fight. I hope they all come home to their families soon. I was saddened when I read of the death of CIA Agent Mike Spann. I was in the Marines with him and was in the same TBS Company. I cannot begin to say that I know what the Spann family or the Cohee family is going through. But, I hope they know that their deaths were not in vain. Though hollow that may sound, they both were working toward keeping the future of our nation safe.  I pray for their families and that we should never forget their lives.  I cannot begin to express my appreciation for the job the Marines, Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen are doing. What they are fighting for is a just cause and a necessary one if we are to be safe.

In early October, I was at work one evening when I got a call from a NYPD detective who informed me that my brother was found. Its' hard to say my family has been fortunate in any of this, but we were able to bring Tom home and bury him. In this regard, it has brought closure to us. Tom was not a Marine, police officer or anything like that.  He influenced so many people and his achievements were numerous.  He instilled in me qualities that had led me to the Marines and a life in law enforcement and I thank him for doing so. Tom is buried in a cemetery next to a dozen NYC Firefighters. At his gravesite, I noticed, one of the firefighters headstone had the eagle, globe and anchor etched into it. I asked that Marine to take care of my brother and my brother would take care of him. Tonight, I know our brothers Marines, deployed in harms way, are taking care of our nation. Take care and God Bless. Semper Fidelis.
Ken Crotty
Crofton, MD

'Islam is a religion in which God requires you to send your son to die for him. Christianity is a faith in which God sends his son to die for you.'

John Ashcroft - Attorney General of the United States

Sgt. Grit,
I have been reading your news letter for several years now and find it hard to wait for the next.  Since 9/11, I find it even harder.  After reading the last few and the information about John Walker and the Flag raising flap at the World Trade Center, Two item's concern me,  As a Cold War Marine, 75-79, E 2/3, K-Bay.  it down right bother's me.  1st- John Walker, If indeed he left this country to join the Taliban, than he gave up any and all rights as a US citizen and should be handled as such, hence END of problem.  2nd- Flag
raising at WTC by NYFD,  To change the race of these men just to be politically correct is wrong,  But their is another solution,  rather than change the looks of these men to appear racially correct,  Just obscure any appearance of race, make the monument represent FIREMEN only and keep race completely out of it.  Let's keep the fighting directed towards the enemy, we don't need and friendly fire casualties.  By the way, Love the wallpaper/Screen savers.  Semper-Fi,  Keep up the good
David L. Noe

All this talk about John Walker makes me sick.  He is not some "misguided youth" or whatever else they say to explain why he is a traitor.  He knew exactly what he was doing when he joined the terrorist group, got on the plane, and went to terrorist camps to join Al Queda.  He knew this because he was old enough to make that decision.  He was about the same age as me when I made the decision to join a group, get on a plane, and go to training camp to join my "group."  The difference is that he betrayed America and wants us dead.  I defend our constitution and am proud to be a U. S. Marine.
Semper Fidelis!
LCPL Robin Mason

Sgt. Grit,
I must agree with Thomas Marple. I don't see any choices in the John Walker survey that really fit. I think there are two:

As an American, John Walker chose to become Sulyaman and change his allegiance. He has that right. He became a soldier of our enemy. He was caught fair and square as a prisoner. He should be tried as such.

OR............simply revoke his passport, set him free and NEVER let him set foot on U.S. soil again. (my choice. we'd save millions and be spared all the liberal rhetoric)

Suggested reading:   "Man Without a Country" by Edward Everett Hale.

Denied the privilege and honor to be a U.S. Citizen, Sulyaman, upon reaching old age would "love his country as no other man has loved her; but no man would deserve less at her hands."

Send him on his way and never mention his name again. Even the press would forget him in two weeks.

Semper Fi!
Tom Masles
USMC 1969 to forever

     One more interesting note concerning that lowlife Walker.  My wife pointed out to me that every US passport has some interesting information on page 4.  It dictates the conditions where one can lose one's citizenship:

    LOSS OF CITIZENSHIP.  Under certain circumstances, you may lose your U.S. citizenship by performing any of the following acts: (1)  being naturalized in a foreign state; (2) taking an oath or making a declaration to a foreign state; (3) serving in the armed forces of a foreign state.....

    It goes on, but after reading #3, it seems pretty cut and dry.  Revoke his citizenship and let him rot in the Muslim country of the judge's choice.  I would suggest Somalia.  Let him try to explain to those people how he's "finding himself".
--- Semper Fi,
--- Bud Giguere, 78-90

Thanks for the newsletter, thoroughly enjoy it, and am looking forward to it every week. Sorry to sound off but am tired of hearing a distinction being made between a Marine that joined of free will and one that was drafted. I freely joined the Marine Corps on July 68 and went through boot camp at Parris Island. I was in Plt 298, no distinction was made of the men there as to draftees or enlisted. Of course we knew none there had chosen Canada, or would need amnesty. Those that finished training came out Marines, most of which ended up in Nam. No distinction was made whether we were there (Nam) as draftees or voluntarily enlisted, we were just there as Marines. I was in Nam in "69," Mike 3/7 based on Hill 10 near DaNang. If there were any draftees there I don't have a clue, but am very grateful for their presence. Might as well continue, in regard to walker the Taliban, capital punishment is the only appropriate sentence. The title Marine was earned, and I will be proud of it till the end. Not former or ex, just Marine.
Not as lean or as mean, but still a Marine.
Semper Fidelis
Al Moya, USMC 68-70 2491779

Sgt. Grit;
I read your news letter all of the time.  This last one gave me something to write about.  All of the ideas about what to do about Walker really surprise me.  Some people don't think about what they are going to say before they put it in writing.  Thomas K. Maple - USMC 1966-1969 had the right idea.  His statement was the first statement that I have read that any sense. I also believe that Walker left the U.S. on his own and joined the Taliban, weather he believed it was Islam or something else.  I do believe that, legally, he might still be a U.S. citizen, if he renounce his citizenship
before he was captured.  His choice to become a Taliban was his own.  You can't tell me that after awhile he didn't know what was going on - that it was not an Islam belief.  As Maple stated, Walker should be accountable for his actions and be treated like the other Taliban prisoners.
Gy/Sgt. Lewis R. Souder III
USMC Ret. 1956-1976 RVN 66-68-69

I simply loved the poll survey that decides this traitors fate.  He is in fact guilty, of treason and should be made an example of for other wanna be rebels to view.  If we could speed up his fate up and have him shot by a firing squad during half-time at the Super Bowl.  We could lay him out on a 4 X 8 sheet of plywood in his traditional attire and have U2 play "Sunday Bloody Sunday".....

John P. Beasley
USMC Desert Storm Vet
Hooray God Bless

Hi' Sgt.
As an Ex-Korean Veteran from Liverpool in England - I would like you and your fellow Americans to know' that the "So called Brits" that are now in custody at Camp.X. are being treated far too kindly.! Speaking on behalf of 99% of your TRUE British Cousins over here - we do not wish to be associated with any of them - they chose the bed they now lay on' and it is to be hoped that they remain there to rot - and fester with all the rest of their Taliban Friends.! John Walker looks to be getting treated somewhat different! but if he aint given the full "McVeigh Treatment" then someone in your justice department has to be as bent as a Nine Pound Note' and it would not come as a surprise to anybody to learn - that O.J.Simpsons team are actively engaged in figuring out that he and the rest are innocent.!!
Terry Lyon

Perhaps we should let the "poor, misguided youth"
visit Parris Island when there is a Platoon of new
Marines graduating.  With all that testosterone
flowing I'm sure "justice" would be accomplished.  To
be honest with you he should never have been returned
to the U.S.A.  after all he denounced it, didn't he?
R. Kiser
former Marine
retired police Sergeant

Sgt Grit,
    I just finished reading your latest NL and as usual its awesome.  With each one, I find myself laughing, crying and now getting pissed off even more. In the last NL, you received an email from LD, Sgt USMC 66-69.  I for one do definitely agree with LD. Walker is old enough to be accountable for his actions. During Vietnam we had enough BS with Jane Fonda. Was anything done with her? No. Let's not make the same mistake twice.  Also, like LD, I entered our Corps at 17 years old, one week out of High School. I PROUDLY served my tour and would do it over again if I would be accepted.  I may be a broken down 51 year old disabled Marine, BUT, I know
that I and many of my Brother and Sister MARINES will always give it our all.

Semper Fi!
Roman "Ski" Milanowicz
Sgt USMC 68-74

First of all I would like to say that I truly enjoy your newsletter.  I myself have never been enlisted but as an non active duty Marines wife I still get to feel the pride of the Corp!!!

As I said I read your newsletter faithfully and there are a few
thing I would like to touch on.

!. American Taliban!!!!!! Complete oxymoron. John Walker gave up all rights to be called an American the day he shook hands with Bin Laden and was accepted in to the Taliban fighting forces. As for if we should put him to death, I have mixed feeling upon that. However I do feel strongly that he should not be put in to an American prison for life, simply because I do not feel that hardworking American tax dollars should pay for John Walker for the rest of his life.

2. The issue of draftee verses enlisted, As long as they are serving their country why does it matter how they got there. Although I do appreciate Cpl.James Bell's apology to those draftees.  I also understood his point.

3. On the matter of former Marine/ X Marine vs inactive duty. Only one thing to say if you live with a Marine long enough you learn that ONCE A MARINE ALWAYS A MARINE. OHRAHH and SEMPER FI.

I think that is all I want ed to sound off on right now, thank you for allowing me to display my opinion.
Miranda Postle
Marine Wife

"From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step." --Denis Diderot

Sgt. Grit,
Does anyone out there remember a story called "The Man Without a Country"?  I know I am dating myself, but that used to be a standard about the time when I was what is now called "Middle School" aged.  Its setting was post-American Revolution, and the main character was a fellow who had chosen to publicly support the British during that war. After the establishment of our nation, he had been deported--by sea--to England.  After all, we were a
free country, and no one should be forced to remain here as a citizen.  Unfortunately for him, the Brits didn't want him.  His ship was forbidden to land, so it sailed back to the States.  Our government refused the ship permission to land, as well.  I gather that the ship was allowed to resupply, at either side of the Atlantic, but the sole passenger was never allowed to disembark.  The message of the story was this--now elderly--man's grief at his lack of faith in his native land, and its people, and his rediscovered love of country, now that he was forever outcast.  I seem to recall that he finally died, blessing America with his final breath.

Obviously, they don't read stories like that one, in public schools anymore.

Still, the story had a profound effect on me, or I wouldn't still remember it, and it suggests a solution to the problem of what to do with John Walker Lindh.  I suppose that it wouldn't work anymore, in our modern, technologically sophisticated age, but I draw a certain mental comfort, thinking of him, condemned to forever shuttle between America and the middle east, forever outcast; forever homeless; forever unwanted; forever alone.

Probably the closest we will be able to come to that state is isolation in a high-security Federal penitentiary.  Too bad his nit-witted parents don't have to share his sentence.  What in the world were they THINKING of, to allow him carte blanche to go to YEMEN, for Pete's sake, paying his way all the time???  My kids don't get to go away for Spring Break, unless I say its okay--and they pay their own way!

Isn't it wonderful to hear from his father that, "John loves America."  Don't we all feel reassured now?
Roni Gehman,
Proud Momx5, including
Pfc. Matt Gehman, USMC

Sgt. Grit,
I, as just about everyone else that reads your news letter, would like nothing more than to see Walker pay for his traitorous a