General Schwartzkopf was asked how it was possible to fight an enemy who was ready and willing to die for his cause. His reply: "Accommodate him."
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"We have two choices: Either we change the way we live, or we must change the way they live. We choose the latter." --Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
"All societies must be governed in some way or other. The less they may have stringent state government, the more they must have individual self-government.... Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them, or by a power without them...." --Robert C. Winthrop
Just finished reading the latest newsletter (9 May) and had to add a comment. Since Sr Vice Cmdt Don Tancredi, Cape Fear Det., invited one and all to join the Marine Corps League, I wanted to extend an invitation to all women Marines to join the WOMEN MARINES ASSOCIATION. The only association strictly for women Marines, our membership is small compared to the MCL, but it's a proud membership of women who have served our Corps honorably and some who continue to serve it today. We represent all eras of our history, cover all decades, and come from all across this great nation (and beyond in some cases!). It only takes five women Marines to start a local chapter to add to the 81 currently in existence. And we get together every two years for a convention. This year it's in Minneapolis starting on 29 Aug. Our web page is stationed at www.womenmarines.org. Stop by and visit for awhile!
It will answer most questions you may have and give you any information you may want about the convention. And if you're interested, there's an application form on it to fill out and mail in with your dues. Thanks, Sgt Grit, for your hard work and for the newsletter!
Dear Sgt grit;
I write to you tell you a story about the war in afsuckastan. I am at present a USAF officer. I was a USMC Sgt 85-91. I am in the Air National Guard, who was called to duty in OCT 2001. I am at present a Flight nurse the does Tac-Evac. I was involved in the recover of the crashed USMC CH-53 back in Jan 02. I can tell you the it is true to this day Marines take care of there own. My self and my SSgt are marines who are now in the DeANG. We were at the side of the Marine in the CSH and remained there till we could fly them out to better care, in Germany. I was very proud of those young Marines and their Officers, they looked out of each other and their KIA buddies. We as marine should be proud of our younger Marines that follow in our foot steps. They live up to all of our Values that were drill in to me in the USMC. They are the same one a carry inside of me too this day. Semper FI,
1Lt Brian R. Ackerman USAF NC DeANG
Sgt USMC 1985-1991
We need to get the word out about NHRA Pro Stock racer Larry Nance. The former NBA player is driving a scarlet Cavalier with "Marines, The Proud, The Few" on each side. He hasn't won any races since teaming up with the Marines, mostly because he was driving an ancient Cutlass but that should change with his new ride. He's been a big winner, though, in each town on the NHRA circuit by visiting high schools and conducting basketball mini-clinics and as a recruiter for the Corps. Anyone who sees his 18-wheeler on the highway instantly knows its special. It's also scarlet with a huge Eagle, Globe & Anchor on each side with that word, MARINES. I'm a cynical old sportswriter and I still got chills when I saw it while covering the drag races in Atlanta. The Corps has the smallest recruiting budget of all the services but turns less into more with ideas like this. And Nance probably didn't know going into this that he has a built-in fan club made up of a few good men and women. For more info on Larry, check out www.nhra.com
Not as lean,
Not as mean,
But still a Marine,
Kent Mitchell, Corporal, W-2-9, 1956-60
I have written to you, including articles from the San Diego Union-Tribune, about the apparent future closure of MCRD, San Diego. Many have e-mailed me asking for more information, but most gave no e-mail address, so I have been stymied in answering them.
My purpose in alerting you, and other Marines was to the fact that the future closure of MCRD is apparently 'a done deal'. When the Commandant so indicates, well who am I to disagree? I know that you ran prior info.on this, so I thought that your readers would be interested in the current status.
As you know, the articles that I sent you were all from the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper. Most who have contacted me want more info. Since the articles are very long; maybe it would save time, and space, to tell anyone who is interested that the 'Tribunes' e-mail address is email@example.com. The person receiving at this address is: Ms. Gina Lubrano. This newspaper also has a 'military editor' , whose name, and e-mail address, I do not know.
To bring what I have sent you up to date, I copied the following article from the 'Tribune', that appeared today (May 10, 2002)
SHIFT TO EL TORE STILL 'POSSIBILITY'
by Otto Kreisher, Copley News Service.
WASHINGTON - Moving the Marine Corps Recruit Depot from San Diego to the closed El Toro Marine Corps Air Station is "still a possibility", Navy Secretary Gordon England said yesterday. "We're still looking at that option", England said. England said the Navy's April 23 decision to sell most of El Toro 'does not close out' the possibility of using part of the 4,700-acre Orange County property for the Marine Recruit Depot. "The Marines have expressed a potential interest in moving their base, and we have been discussing that," the Secretary told defense writers. "The Marines are studying the issue and a decision is likely in
the next couple weeks...It's still a possibility, he said. The idea of moving the historic Marine recruit-training base from its present location next to Lindbergh Field emerged in March as a proposal from Reps. Randy Cunningham, R-Escondido, and Darrell Issa, R-Vista. The two congressmen said the idea had the support of Gen. James L. Jones, the Marine Corps Commandant. The Marines initially would not confirm that. But Jones recently sent a
small team of facilities experts to San Diego as part of a study of the recruit depot, which is affected by the airport noise, and is too small to handle all the recruit training. That study is expected to be completed around the end of May, a spokesman said. A coalition of government officials and business interests from Los Angeles and Orange counties are trying to overturn the Orange County
voters' March decision against making El Toro a commercial airport. England could nor say whether a decision to relocate the recruit depot would be contingent on the San Diego Port Authority buying the Marine property as an addition to Lindbergh Field. "I don't have that kind of detail", he said, but noted that a relocation of the depot would have a "high cost". "There are some benefits to doing it. There are also some disadvantages to do it, in terms of cost." he said. "It is a consideration."
[Note for those that do not know. The Naval Training Center, which was adjacent to MCRD, is already closed, and is currently being converted to civilian use.]
It seems apparent, from all that has been written, that one way or another, MCRD will soon be no more.
First I want to tell you how much I enjoy your newsletter and.....keep up the good work. The reason I am writing is to ask to have this letter printed in one of your news letter, if you can find some space to ask some of our brothers to e-mail MGySgt Walt Pennington Ret. (33yrs. U.S.M.C.) Walt's wife is my office manager and he is in advanced stage of Parkinson's, but still lives, breathes and bleeds Marine Corps. I know he would be ecstatic to hear from brother Marines, especially any he served with over the years. E-mails could be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org(his wife Kim)or to
email@example.com and I will forward. Thanks in advance Cards may be sent to
Public Defender's Office
Montgomery County Courthouse
Norristown, Pa. 19404
Rich Pachella U.S.M.C. 64-68 RVN 66-67
Hello my Friends,
Today in about 1 hour, this ol' Marine is going to start his second trip to the wall to be part of Rolling Thunder. Last year, there were about 200,000 riders in this Memorial Day parade but this year, after the carnage of 9/11 and the war that we are now fighting, I expect that number to double. The values and message of Rolling Thunder remain unchanged but now we will also be thinking and praying for our brothers and sisters that are again putting their asses on the line to protect our country.
God Bless America and
Remember that the Combat boots are just that. They are designed for combat. Marines built their reputation on the battlefield and our gear should be mission oriented. Spit shining serves no purpose in the field and as any field Marine can tell you, black stands out in the field. It has been demonstrated over and over that the first things you see on a Marine standing still in the field is a) his profile or b) his boots and his rifle. The same rational holds true for the new cammies. Not the prettiest fashion... but who gives a damn? >From what I've seen, they work and that's what I want for my Marines. Marines should look sharp in garrison. That is why we need to follow Marine Regs which state cammies are for use in the field or when doing tasks where the service uniform are inappropriate (this isn't verbatim, you will need to look up the regs for yourself). I agree with the old timers and believe all the Marines working in the office should be in the appropriate service uniform. Always remember, the Marine Corps is not a show piece. We are warriors, first! We should always strive to look sharp... but not at the cost of our mission capability.
Sgt. Brian L. Hartley
I have been reading your news letter with diligence for the past two and half years. During my humble experience as a Marine Corps Reservist, I was impressed by the accommodations and the chow. In fact, I was shocked by the amount of money the Corps must be spending to build and maintain such permanent living facilities. I spent a total of seven months on active duty, training to be a grunt. The humping was such misery, mostly because the "duce gear" and alice packs don't work out well when worn simultaneously. The pack is designed to be worn with out web gear under it! It's obvious that a civilian thought this stuff out because who in their right mind is going to war with no place to keep magazines, canteens and the like in a handy place? And not to forget that the pack hangs completely on your shoulders because the kidney pad and belt are rendered useless by the duce gear (the weight should be on your hips). Having gear that's designed and field tested by grunts, with out any of that "lowest bidder" nonsense or politics of who gets the government contract would be a great starting place and would have been a better investment than barracks and chow halls made out of bricks. The M-16A2 service rifle leaves a lot to be desired for. Yes it's light and you can probably shoot well in match competition, but it doesn't work after you've crawled on your belly through a breaching course. The lower receiver gets clogged with silt and the safety gets stuck. Ever wonder why the SOP for loading magazines is two short, rather than a full thirty? It's because the magazine lips get deformed from the pressure of the spring pushing upward, making for faulty feeding which leads to double feeding, etc. It would be well worth the political turmoil and added expense to design something that is well thought out, simple, reliable under all circumstances and accurate. Please respond with your thoughts. I would be willing to write to my congressman and senator about this if it's worth
Justin I. Chatov, Cpl.
Dear Ms. Steel,
It takes a big person not only to say that they were wrong, put to do so publicly. If you do read this news letter and your letter is true, then perhaps you have learned what your son has joined. Unlike most military services, the key (this is my opinion mind you) is that the Corps teaches esprit de corps and above all honor, honor in self, honor in God, Country, Family and Corps. I have never met a Marine, active, retired, only did 4 years, who did not hold true to the above. I am not saying every Marine is perfect, but we strive to be the best. I can not convey to you the feelings I have for a fellow Marine or service man who has been in combat, when your life is in a fellow Marines hands, as his is in yours.
I do not know anyone who was not angry for what happen on 9-11, I do not know anyone who did not want to strike out, to avenge those who died needlessly. I even drove to Washington to see if I could get back on Active Duty. I did what I could, sent packages out to units I knew were deployed in Afgan., my Grandmother purchased a burial plot in Long Island, we did not discover this until she died and was buried, we donated it to the victims families. Right or wrong, this is our country, I as my fellow Marines have served and died to keep our country free, free from forced religion, free from military dictatorship, free to speak our minds.
If you read this news letter, I hope you will continue to read it, I know you have seen the anger thrown back at you, even after they leave active duty (for once a Marine, Always a Marine) they still defend our country. Many cannot forgive you for your first letter, some like me can understand what you felt, but like many we lash out before we know the whole truth. If you learn anything from this, it should be that your Son has earned a title that can not be given to just anyone and will never be taken away. He has joined a band of brothers that has been in existence before our country became the United States. Support him where and when you can, he is your son, he is a Marine. Read the responses to your letter, no matter how painful, you will see an underlying theme, we love our country, and we are willing to die so that all who live here, have the same rights, including the right to speak their mind.
Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful) The Marine Corps Motto
Richard N. King
GySgt USMC (ret)
I have just finished reading the most recent news letter and found that the comments made by my fellow Marines about the living conditions at Camp Pendleton right on. But I would also like to point out to the "Boots" and any civilian scum that think that living conditions are really bad at Camp Pendleton, "YOUR WRONG"!!!!!!!! I was stationed at CAMP HORNO for almost 7 years and saw the vast improvements they made there and this included the reconditioning of almost all of the barracks and setting up a new Staff NCO and NCO barracks.I also happen to know that as of just a few years ago they were building new barracks at San Mateo and these new Marines were getting brand new rooms that they were sharing with only one other person.
I think that if any Marines have the right to complain about their living conditions it would be those Marines that didn't have the opportunity to live in the Hilton's that are now being put up at both Camp Pendleton and LeJeune. As most ground pounders will confirm there was always a bit of hate and discontent at the ADMIN pukes and the Air Wingers on the main side of the base that had the better barracks while we had the open squad bays that shared a common HEAD with everybody and having to yell "FIRE IN THE HOLE" before you would flush the sh*tter because the water would get extremely hot while taking a shower.
GIVE ME A BREAK MARINES. If you want to get maid service and wake up calls at 0600 you should have joined the AIR FORCE.
I got out of the Corps in 1998 and have been working for a company that sells furniture to the federal government, I know exactly what's going into the Barracks at Camp Pendleton and Camp LeJeune. I can tell you this, the furniture is a lot better than what most of had in the past 20 years.
Marine Barracks Subic Bay 1991-1992
Charlie Company 1st Bn 9th Marines 1993-1994 (CAMP HORNO)
Golf Company 2nd Bn 1st Marines 1994-1996, 1998 (CAMP HORNO)
HQBN 1st Marine Division G-& Division Inspector 1996-1998 (Main Side "White
Frank S. Sellin
SEMPER FI.....To the lady who complained of her friends barracks i.e. home and garden at SAN Mateo...lets get a grip here....granted it ain"t great BUT I will bet you that he thinks it beats the alternatives a shelter half or the Quonset huts at TALEGA or even no field shelter at all just a poncho liner in the field. LADY he signed on as a MARINE not a interior decorator, if he did not know this was a possibility he learned it for sure in boot camp and AIT. ITS THE WAY IT IS he expects and accepts it why do not you.....FMFDOC from 1st, 5th MARINES and 3rd TRAC AND 1st brigade 75 to 94..HM1 AND DAMN PROUD TO SERVE WITH MARINES
A few comments.
First, on living conditions in the Corps. On a drive north with my wife and 12 year old son a few years back, we passed through Camp LeJeune. At the southern end, we stopped at the gate house, and I took my son's photo with a thoughtful pleasant LCpl. As we traveled on, I drove to Main side, to show my son where I had once been billeted. In 1960, when I was at LeJeune, the brick squad bays were stark but accommodating. On this later visit - in 1998 - I noticed curtains on the windows, and many parked vehicles close by. If I recall correctly, this squad bay was stark by contrast in 1960, and enlisted personnel below E-4 were not permitted to have vehicles on base. I also recall that the Corps served up excellent food and in unlimited quantities. We all would surely agree that all military personnel deserve the best, but complaints about current billeting compared to what I recall, seem like whining.
Don't be so offended by our living conditions. Marines are just happy when no one's shooting at them, and they have a roof over their heads that doesn't leak, and hot, running water.
When I was with the Third Tank Battalion, Third Marine Division, in 1973, we did a company float up to Japan on a couple of LST's, landed at Numazu Beach and then HET'ed the tanks up to Camp Fuju for a couple of weeks of maneuver and gunnery training that turned into four months due to "diplomatic problems" with the Japanese government (They wouldn't issue the road permits for us to return down the Tomei Expressway to the beach to back load for Okinawa.).
Fuji-San makes its own weather. The training camp is at the base of the mountain, and most days it rains if it doesn't snow, and it is usually windy, regardless. We were billeted in old WWII surplus Quonset huts that leaked, built on level concrete pads constructed by bulldozing flat spots in the volcanic sand slope, and then putting in railroad tie retaining walls behind them to hold back the sand. Picture having to open both doors at the ends of the hootch on really rainy days so that the water could flow in and out unimpeded. Picture a Marine in skivvy shorts, roped up and being pulled up to the top of the Quonset hut from the other side by three or four other Marines, a bucket of tar in one hand and a wooden tentpeg in the other, trying to find and patch leaks. Sometimes we got them patched, sometimes we didn't. So all of us slept on the bottom bunk of a double rack, with our ponchos draped over the top one. We set our footlockers up on bricks to keep our gear dry. And, here's the kicker, THESE WERE THE OFFICERS' QUARTERS, AND WE WERE PAYING BAQ! In the Corps, the officers live the same way as their troops.
The showers were a quarter mile away, across rain-whipped black sand and rain-swollen gullies. All but one of the ModDuce field burners in our mess hall went down for parts after the first week of training, so the Mess Sergeant was trying to turn out two meals a day (lunch was "C's") for a reinforced company on one stove. Oatmeal for breakfast, stew for supper. Every day, for four months. There was a tiny PX, and most of us subsisted on candy bars, instant coffee, canned vienna sausage, and "Fuji Noodles" (Dry Ramen) with water heated on the little kerosene stove in the hut. We were fat... WE HAD A STOVE!
And here's the kicker, Jennifer... We were glad to be there, with a roof over our heads and nobody shooting at us! Marines are simple creatures, really. A sort-of-solid roof, hot water and hot food are much-appreciated luxuries. If being a Marine was easy, everybody would want to do it.
LTC, Armor, USAR(Ret.)
...And former Marine
I have been reading your two newsletters for the past two years and really enjoy them. I currently am a member of the Operation Enduring Freedom Support Group of Berks County Pa. We are a group of individuals who have sons or daughters or friends currently serving in the Armed Forces of our country. We support each other as well as supporting the individuals serving in the military. We have gotten care packages together to send to our sons and daughters which they could share with their fellow service men and women. We have included letters from a local elementary school written by the students. We are hoping that the service personnel will answer the letters. The individual who started the group Simone Freeman, did the same during the Gulf War. We are holding events to raise money so that we can continue our efforts until the war on terrorism is over. We march in parades to show our support and
let people know that we still support our troops. It appears to me that the gung ho attitude that happened right after 9-11 has started to fade. I don't see as many American flags flying on cars. I have gone through three already. My son is currently a member of the United States Marine Corps. It appears he maybe making a career of the military. He has made his mother and I very proud. I am especially proud that he chose to follow in my footsteps and serve with the best, just like I did during the Vietnam War.
Sgt Arlan Remaly 71-73
"Moderation in war is imbecility." --Admiral John Fisher
have you seen/heard of this looser (FORMER PFC. I use former because he does not DESERVE the right to still be called a Marine) in Wisconsin. He wrote an article saying how the Marines do not allow any freedom and how much he realizes what freedom is now that he's out. He spent four years in the Corps and is still a PFC! Should say something about the punks character right there! The article is titled "No Rights In the Marine Corps" and the losers name is Troy Leffler. Mitchell T Faught
In response to T.W. Stewart's concern in the April 27 newsletter about his rank being listed improperly on his headstone. He can do one of several things; download the request for headstone and fill it out himself (http://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/40-1330.pdf this is in Adobe Acrobat). If he doesn't have Adobe on his computer he could request the form from the VA; VA Form 40-1330, Application for Standard Government Headstone or Marker for installation in a Private or State Veteran's Cemetery, by calling 1-800-827-1000 and fill out his information. Or direct his spouse or next of kin, to ensure that it is filled out with his proper rank. Block 6 of the VA form asks only for highest rank attained, not pay grade, so it shouldn't be a problem. His DD214 should list both his rank and pay grade. The VA changes with the times as far as pay grade vs. rank. It would no doubt be confusing for the paymasters if they had different ranks for different pay grades for different service members who served at different times. They stick to the pay grade and most current title for it.
Hope this helps.
GySgt USMC (Ret)
"Freedom is the right to question and change the established way of doing things. It is the continuing revolution of the marketplace. It is the understanding that allows us to recognize shortcomings and seek solutions. It is the right to put forth an idea, scoffed at by the experts, and watch it catch fire among the people. It is the right to dream--to follow your dream or stick to your conscience, even if you're the only one in a sea of doubters." --Ronald Reagan
"The First Amendment...begins with the five loveliest words in the English language: 'Congress shall make no law'." --George Will
I would like to say that as a grunt who lived at Camp Horno it was an honor to live in those barracks with my fellow Marines in those so called "conditions" that others find difficult. It was what bonded our platoon into a fighting unit and made us into the Marines we are today. I say to those that have never endured what we Marines have endured serving our Beloved country and Corps. Secure your nasty pie hole. will always be grateful to my Drill instructors for the values and pride they instilled in me at Parris Island as my Senior D.I. told us on graduation day in June of 1993, From this day forward you are no longer recruits you have earned the title U.S.Marine. Where ever you go every Marine is your brother never forget it Semper Fi. The conditions we live and train in are what makes us the finest fighting force in the world. My father who was in the army told me that it was the proudest day in his life to call me Marine. It is an honor to have served with so many fine Marines. Semper Fi
D.W Keesler Cpl 0311
1/1 Bravo Company
Hey Sgt Grit
Its me again! I was reading in your newsletter last week about the living conditions at San Mateao, That's nothing compared to the helo problem I read about on Military .com you know were still using the CH-53s& 46s, which were 1st put to use during Viet Nam, when I was in (77-81) they were considered old, Now I guess they're considered ancient, the Marines that keep them up in the air should get a big pat on the back! or something. The sad part theirs nothing coming along to take their place, the V-22 was but due to it being plaque with problems mechanical as well as political might as well scrape it. If their was something on the drawing board it would take at least 10 yrs before it made it to the fleet.But theirs nothing on the boards so its liable to be around 15-20 yrs of holding our old work horses together now I ask you? which would you prefer to fix first. The barracks which Marines don't stay in long. Or something that's about a few thousand feet in the air with our Marines on board
My God, if Jennifer was horrified to find 3-4 in one room sharing a "bathroom" I wonder what condition she would be in if she walked into 120 man squad bay that probably measured, I would guess, 120' x 30'. The "head" was a collection of sinks, urinals and toilets all without the benefit of dividers as well as communal showers. The closet space was a wall locker and foot locker. Now, if you were in a weapons company the tops of the lockers may have held a variety of weapons. The configuration of the squad bay was two tier bunks spaced against the walls with wall lockers back to back down the center. Rifle racks were also in line down the center. Only staff NCO's rated rooms.
Surprisingly no one that I know of suffered any long or short problems with this obvious "mistreatment". It appears to me it's the outsiders (observers) that have the most complaints. Lets quit trying to civilianize the barracks housing and concentrate on how to provide our Marines a living salary with medical benefits and dependent housing adequate to meet their families needs.
The young Marines of today are as adaptable to changes in living conditions as the "Old Corps' whether main side or in the field. As in the past they will adapt to living conditions in desert, jungle, snow ,swamp and other nasty situations as they arise. Nobody promised them a "Rose Garden".
Sgt. Grit, I just wanted to say "Ditto" to Mgysgt. Reynolds on his remarks about the poor misfortunes of the Marines at Del Mar. A little reflection, upon returning from Vietnam in "73" ( 9th Marines) I was stationed at 33 area on the hill, Margaritaville. We also had the flat tops and I had no complaints. Hell, we had one of the best views on the base as far as that goes. We a/c'd when the breeze came up and during the winter we through on an extra blanket or dove into the mummy bag. As the Gunner was saying, we did not join for the comforts of the Hilton, we joined because we wanted to be Marines and we knew what we were getting ourselves into. It wasn't until 76 when stationed at Geiger, NC did I have the luxury of having my own room as by then I was senior Sgt. and Acting Platoon Sgt. I found myself more than once waking up in the squad bay with the rest of my men.
So, these new young Marines should enjoy the fact that they only have to put up with 3 other snorers instead of the 30-40 in the squad bays.
You new Marines suck it up and overcome the new problems of today's military. We have in the past.
A Big Semper Fi,
Sgt. K. A. Dove
The following is a little something I would like to dedicate to all of the women who have ever had to know what it is like to have a husband or son or father be apart of our beloved corps. As we all know, the hardest job in the world is not that of the marines themselves, but being a wife or mother or daughter of a marine. I would like to give my mom special recognition for accomplishing a truly extraordinary feat. Not only is she a marine corps wife, but also a marine corps sister, and most importantly to myself, a marine corps mom. She has had quite a bumpy road of it as they all seem to have. My father and my uncle were both stationed in Beirut, Lebanon on October 23, 1983. In addition to this, I myself am now serving as part of VMFA-212's mission in Operation Southern Watch. We are currently deployed to Al Jaber, Kuwait, which by the way is not the best place in the world for a United States Marine. Yes I feel that my mom deserves special respect because of all of the hardships and troubles she has faced not only with myself but with my father. You see, my father has PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. My mother has stood beside him through it all, and when I told her I wanted to join the corps, she backed my decision 100%. My mother is my best friend, and without her I know I would not be the man I am today. I just want to say thank you Mom. And to all of the women out there who are apart of this special breed, you will always have my full respect and
LCpl Walsh, Joseph Michael
Al Jaber AB, Kuwait
SGT. GRIT, I JUST WANTED TO WRITE AND SAY THANK YOU TO THE WHOLE MARINE FAMILY. I AM A NEWLY MARRIED MARINE WIFE. I HAVE BEEN WITH MY HUSBAND SINCE WE WERE KIDS, BUT WE DECIDED TO GET MARRIED JUST THIS YEAR. HE WAS SENT TO OKINAWA RIGHT AWAY AND I WAS PREGNANT AT THE TIME. I WAS SO UPSET BUT SO PROUD TO BE A MARINE WIFE AT THE SAME TIME. I UNDERSTAND THE SACRIFICES THAT HAVE TO BE MADE AND EVEN THOUGH I MISS HIM DEARLY, I AM SO DAMN PROUD OF THE TITLE HE HOLDS AND THE MAN HE HAS BECOME. IF IT WASN'T FOR THE CORP I DON'T THINK WE WOULD BE WHERE WE ARE NOW. YES I GET SAD, ANGRY, AND JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND AT TIMES, BUT WHEN I READ SOMETHING LIKE THE POEM WARRIORS THAT WAS INCLUDED IN THIS NEWSLETTER, IT MAKES ME WANT TO SUPPORT MY HUSBAND AND WHAT HE IS DOING THAT MUCH MORE. EVEN THOUGH I AM ONLY TWENTY YEARS OLD AND AM JUST STARTING TO ENDURE WHAT MANY WOMEN HAVE FOR MANY YEARS, I JUST WANT TO SAY TO ANY NEW MARINE WIFE, HANG IN THERE YOUR MAN IS DOING THE HARDEST MOST DEMANDING JOB IN THE WORLD! AND TO ALL THE MARINE WIVES WHO HAVE BEEN A PART OF THE CORP FOR YEARS ALREADY, MY HAT GOES OFF TO YOU. I AM HONORED TO BE A PART OF
THIS EVER GROWING FAMILY. GOD BE WITH YOU ALL, CHRISTINA GARCIA, MARINE WIFE
In reading Nancy Steele's (most likely not her real name ....) message to Marines, I'm wondering if I know her? In '97, I attended a USMC Delayed Entry Program family dinner in Louisiana with a poolee of my own at my side. The mother of another poolee (Ms. Steele?) stood up and, with no regard for the embarrassment of her son/poolee sitting next to her, attempted to blast our speaker, a super-tight GySgt.
"What about all the hazing of recruits we've been hearing about? I saw on 'Oprah' how badly Marine recruits are treated!! Why does the Marine Corps have to treat them so bad?!! It has nothing to do with making them good Marines and I don't want my son to have to go through that!!"
The GySgt maintained excellent composure and gave her that "The-US-Marine-Corps-does-not-and-WILL-not-tolerate-hazing" answer that we all know is, well, all we civilians really need to know. Although he was calm, I was HOT! I was already the proud mother of a LCpl and was about to send another son off to MCRD for Boot. The confused mother was only a few tables from mine so, after the GySgt moved on to other issues, I strolled over to her and said, "Ma'am, I'm about to send my second son to MCRD. Whatever the Marine Corps does to recruits to turn them into Marines, it's all good. Perhaps it's BECAUSE of their training that you and I are able to sit home on our comfy couches and even watch 'Oprah' at all."
Her son gave me an "OohRah" with his eyes and I never felt prouder of my Marines. And all the rest of ya, too.
Mother of 2 Sgt's, a Cpl and a PFC
With your permission, I would like to share some recent experiences of mine. I have just returned from an 8-day assignment on the Penasco Fire in Cloudcroft, New Mexico. I was assigned to the Base Camp, first as a Status/Check in Recorder then as a Demobilization Unit Leader Trainee. I wear a ball cap that carries the words "Apple Valley Fire Center," "Fire," and "BLM-CDD" (Bureau of Land Management-California Desert District). I have always adorned this cap with Fire Captain bars, a miniature BLM badge and a miniature Riverside County Fire Department badge. After 9/11 I added a scarlet/gold Gunnery Sergeant's insignia, an American Flag pin, and a gold Marine Corps emblem. Between the cap and the Marine Corps Emblem tattoo on my lower right arm, I was constantly being "Semper Fi-ed" and "OOORAHed" where ever I went in the camp. Sometimes I had the time to stop and chat with my fellow Marines, but if not, I would respond with a "Semper Fi" or "Welcome Home, Brother" of my own. One young Marine working in Comm even called me "Gunny." That was interesting in that my body started to turn in the direction of the voice even before my mind realized someone was talking to me. One gentleman, a former Air Force Para rescue type, stopped me and told me of his assignment training Marines as Type II Handcrews. He was amazed at their, esprit de corps, can-do attitude and dedication to duty. I just smiled and nodded my head, because I would not have expected anything less
from Marines. Having that Marine connection made a week of living in the dirt among total strangers much more enjoyable than would normally have been the case.
Gunnery Sergeant (USMCR)
7th Marine Division
I completed rifle training at this location in April 1943. At the time I was quartered in one of several large wooden barracks. The bunks in these barracks were made of wood and were double deckers but the top bunks was much higher than the regular steel racks. The DIs slept in single bunks in the front entrance way. Others tell me they stayed in tents while at Camp Mathews. Another question I have: Do you know the name of the Gunnery Sergeant that met
the trains at the San Diego station during this time. As I remember he had an arm full of hash marks and was red headed. Several years ago I saw an article in some magazine about him but I'm unable to locate anything at all now. I tried "Leatherneck" but they couldn't help me unless I had a more information.
"The real problem is in the hearts and minds of men. It
is not a problem of physics but of ethics. It is easier to
denature plutonium than to denature the evil from the spirit of man." --Albert Einstein
I cannot believe that a so called "Marine Mom" would have the audacity to make such ignorant statements. Ms. Steele obviously has a lot of research to do and should have kept her mouth shut before talking about things she can't possibly understand. There is a bumper sticker that is perfect for her, (For the protected, Freedom has a flavor they will never know.) Maybe she would rather have the Taliban patrolling her neighborhood. I hope her son got his genes from Pop because if he learned from her, He's in big trouble.
They shall not grow old,
As we that are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them..
Nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun,
And in the morning,
We will remember them!
This war is not over.
As a nation we seem to
have lost a bit of the energy
we had a few months ago.
Stay strong, stay focused,
this war is not over.
God Bless America!!