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Sgt Grit American Courage Newsletter #19

"It is by risking life that freedom is obtained." --Frantz Fanon


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Just a note here about the L/Cpl and his "demotivation" (now there's a new word) about the rough brown boots. Just an ol gunny here remembering cordovan dress shoes and visor (before corfam) and rough leather boots (authorized care: scrub brush and saddle soap) Hell lad, y'all ain't breakin' tradition, y'all are goin' back to it!  Ya wanna spit polish them high top hushpuppies? Try polish, water, and the neck of a glass coke bottle (ya can still find 'em) and one hell of a lot of elbow grease. Fill in them pores and
smooth out that leather and then spit polish as normal.  Them puppies will glisten like newly polished marble.  I would keep me a rough pair or two to wear in the field though. It ain't much of an epitaph over a body bag to hear, "He's deader'n hell but his boots are sure shiny." Shoot, some of us had the audacity to have the emblem embroidered on our utility jackets at shops out in town. (on our own dime)  An' FMF Navy Corpsmen deserve to wear
that emblem just as much as a Marine does. If it weren't for them a lot of old former Marines wouldn't be limpin' around agravatin' people.  Remember lad, you're a Marine. Improvise, adapt, overcome! Keep the faith!
Semper Fi
Gunny Dunc
................................................................

"These are the times that try men's souls.  The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it NOW deserves the love and thanks of man and woman." --Thomas Paine
.................................................................

SAN MATEO..........

Gee!, does that sound familiar. Sharing a bathroom, how sinful.  They should have it so rough. Semper Fi
James "Trigger" Kadas
FLSG-B, MTM,  Dong Ha, Oct 67 to Dec 69
...................
This e-mail is to address Miss Jennifer Dockrill's reaction to the living conditions that her Marine friend and his three room mates were being exposed to.

First of all, what the hell were you (apparently a civilian) doing in their living area?  Where was the "Duty"?

Second - No A/C?  No sh*t!  They're in the Marine Corps, not the Air Force!

Third - Four Marines to a room, oh what a terrible situation.  Try 20 - 24 to a Quonset Hut!  What's a Quonset Hut?  It doesn't make any difference.  It was approximately 40 - 50 feet long by 14 - 16 feet wide, made of corrugated steel and shaped like an old fashioned aircraft hanger.  By the way, there wasn't a "Head" (bathroom to you) in the Quonset Hut at all.  You had to walk outside, in all weather, 20 - 40 yards, to share the "Head" with the rest of the company.  Three other guys?  No, try 217 Marines.

Fourth - I stayed in these same San Mateo squad bays in December of 1990 during our work-up prior to deployment to the Persian Gulf.  They looked just like the squad bays at Horno area on the other side of 1st Sgts Hill, and down toward Main side.  Those squad bays were not constructed during the 1940's, they were built in the mid 60's to 70's time frame.  I was there in December of 1970 through February of 1971.  I watched as the ones up the road at San Onofre were being completed.  We used to see the progress as we passed by on our daily runs or forced marches.

Fifth - As far as having to pay for their quarters, that's a new one on me. If they are not married, and living off base, there should not be any cost borne by them.  What you saw on their LES is a mystery to me.

Sixth - I agree with your statement that our servicemen/women (Marines, Sailors, Soldiers, and Airmen) should be given the best that we can offer.  I too think that it borders on criminal neglect, that a serviceman or woman should have to go on food stamps in order to support a family.  But you have to ask yourself this:  knowing what the pay scales are in the military, what responsible Marine, or other service member, would get married at a PFC, L/Cpl, or Cpl's pay rate, and then start having children?  I say this not tongue-in-cheek, but am being very serious.  The Marine Corps is the United States 911 Force, and is supposed to be ready for expeditionary service at a moments notice.  Getting married and starting a family under those conditions is not act of a responsible adult.

Should the billeting problems be solved?  Absolutely!  Should the pay problems be solved?  Again, absolutely!  Should four Marines be required to share the same room with only one head?  Hell no!  They ought to be put back in platoon sized squad bays (30-40 men), with the rifle racks down the middle of the squad bay, with the weapons properly secured.  They should not be allowed to get married, unless and until, they have attained the rank of Corporal, demonstrated an appropriate amount of maturity to their commanding officer to assume the secondary responsibility of being a husband/wife and father/mother, and then went through the proper channels to get his/her approval.  I say secondary because their primary function is to be a Marine.  If they don't understand that, then they need to find a new line of work.

The Marine Corps is not a social experiment, a social program, or any of the other garbage that goes on outside of the Marine Corps.  Marines expect things to be a little different than they were when they were civilians, and "back on the block".  They chose the type of life that they are offered in the Corps.  If it offends you, then maybe you should date someone in the Air Force!
Semper Fi
MGySgt R.S. Reynolds
'70 - '01
...................
Sgt. Grit,
When I read this I had to respond. I was stationed in San Mateo @ 1st CEB.  I can attest to the living conditions there. However there is heat in the barracks just not great heat. The AC we had consisted of a fan in front of a small refrigerator, adapt and overcome right? They are in good shape for being built in the 40's.  Marines have a knack for preserving living quarters otherwise known as Field day.  The NCO's at CEB get a little better living quarters, if your lucky you get to live in the high-rises.  If you still are stuck in the flat tops you get a two man room with your own head.  The non-rates get 3 to 4 per room and the community head.  Every Marine knows you spend just as much time in the field as you do in the barracks so it seems like a 5 star hotel after a long field op.  If Marines joined for living conditions we all would've joined the air force.  I appreciate the letter Ms. Dockrill wrote concerned for the Marines.  I survived there for 4 yrs and I am sure that the ones stationed there now would love new barracks but I would rather see money like that spent on new hummer's and line charge trailers and demolition for training. That is what most Marines care more about.  Hell build a new bar that's where we spent most of our off time anyhow.
Cpl. Chad R. Melton
1st CEB 95-99
...............
Sgt. Grit,
When I read this I had to respond. I was stationed in San Mateo @ 1st CEB.  I can attest to the living conditions there. However there is heat in the barracks just not great heat. The AC we had consisted of a fan in front of a small refrigerator, adapt and overcome right?  They are in good shape for being built in the 40's.  Marines have a knack for preserving living quarters otherwise known as Field day.  The NCO's at CEB get a little better living quarters, if your lucky you get to live in the high-rises.  If you still are stuck in the flat tops you get a two man room with your own head.  The non-rates get 3 to 4 per room and the community head.
Every Marine knows you spend just as much time in the field as you do in the barracks so it seems like a 5 star hotel after a long field op.  If Marines joined for living conditions we all would've joined the air force.  I appreciate the letter Ms. Dockrill wrote concerned for the Marines.  I survived there for 4 yrs and I am sure that the ones stationed there now would love new barracks but I would rather see money like that spent on new hummer's and line charge trailers and demolition for training.  That is what most Marines care more about.  Hell build a new bar that's where we spent most of our off time anyhow.
Cpl. Chad R. Melton
1st CEB 95-99
..................
I am the wife of an active duty Marine Sergeant and have been reading the newsletters for a few months now.  In the last newsletter, there was a letter concerning barracks living conditions.  I completely agree with Ms. Dockrill's letter concerning the way military personnel are treated.  There have been some larger raises in the pay, but it is still a long way from being equal to anything offered by the civilian world.   However, I do feel compelled to correct something that was mentioned in the letter.  Unless things have changed in the last year, it does not cost $600 to live in the barracks.  It costs around $10 or so.  If Ms. Dockrill's  friend is drawing $600 BAH, it is because he is married and has a family back home that he is supporting.  And, these guys also get chow cards so they can eat at the chow hall instead of out in town.  I'm not saying that the living conditions aren't cramped and that some of the buildings aren't old, but they are currently making an effort on Pendleton to renovate all housing.  There used to be a Marine Corps poster that said "We didn't promise you a rose garden."  If her friend is complaining about barracks living, maybe he should have joined the Air Force.
Semper Fi!
A proud Marine Wife
...................
Dear Sgt Grit:
     Regarding Jennifer's thoughtful letter regarding the living conditions in the Barracks at Camp Pendelton, I have the following to say:

< face="Arial">1)  Jennifer, it wasnt always this way.     Those barracks most likely were converted from squad bays to 3 man rooms in the 1980's. 

< face="Arial">2)  3 man rooms are the Hilton compared to what we used to live in.

< face="Arial">3)  Try living with 30 to 100 other Marines in one room with a community Head (Bathroom for you civilians and Airmen).
    

< face="Arial">4)  After we had our 3 square meals and a long day's work, the bugs got to eat us at night.

< face="Arial">
 5)  Our idea of an air conditioner was a fan.

6)  Thank God I never lived in a Quonset hut (which had a metal skin) and was like a huge solar panel to attract heat.


     7)  Imagine trying to sleep with LCPL Husquavarna, and PFC McCullough snoring every night for all to hear.


     8)  A squad bay may have been horrible living conditions to a civilian, but looking back, we thought more like a team, we depended more on each other.    I don't miss living in a Squad bay, but I miss my friends.  The fact that you care Jennifer means a lot.     Well, I gotta go.
Goodnight Chesty, wherever you are.

Semper FI, Do or Die!
Mike McConnell
CPL 85-93
....................
Sgt. Grit,
I had to laugh when I read the note from Jennifer Dockrill about the appalling conditions she found  at San Mateo, (62 Area) Camp Pendleton.  We thought those guys had it good being concrete barracks.  I was at Telega (64 Area) which is about 4 miles north of San Mateo.  We had Quanset Huts but had to carry 5 gallon fuel oil cans to a pot bellied stove if we wanted heat.  We also had to ford a stream when it rained to get into the area.  For a hot meal we had to drive to  San Mateo in a deuce and a half to eat with the grunts.  Otherwise we ate C-Rats.  We thought we had it pretty good though.  A SSGT in charge of 40 guys with our own enlisted club.  The unit I was with was Hq. Co. (Nucleus), 4th Marine Division in 1970.  All of this was paradise compared to the tents at Mt. Fuji, Japan where I was for cold weather training about a year later.
Semper Fi,
Tom Tilque
Cpl., USMC (1969-73)
....................................................................

Sgt. Grit -
I appreciate the frustration of Renee B. who suggests that U.S. Congress people need only serve 1 term to qualify for a more than $15,000 per month pension, that they do not contribute to Social Security, etc.  I understand her frustration, however this is an urban myth that has been floating around the internet for quite some time.  All can visit this link for an explanation of this particular urban legend:
http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/outrage/pensions.htm
This web site is a great resource and reference for the many bizarre items that we all receive.  Just use: http://www.snopes.com and type in a keyword or two that
identify the matter.
Semper fi,
Gabe Kingsley, A one-time E-5
...................................................................

In the words of President Ronald Reagan: "You and I know
and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery.  [I]s it worth dying for...? Should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the pharaohs?  Should Christ have refused the cross?  Should the patriots of Concord Bridge have thrown down their guns and refused to fire the shot heard round the world?  The martyrs of history were not fools...."
...................................................................

"A State which dwarfs its men, in order that they may be more docile instruments in its hands -- even for beneficial purposes -- will find that with small men no great thing can really be accomplished." --John Stuart Mill
....................................................................

Hello,
I'm a Marine wife in the Air Force.  My husband and I have been separated for a good portion of our marriage because of military commitments.  He's an EOD Marine back in the states, and I'm stationed in Korea on a one year remote tour.  I'd like to say that things have been really easy for us...thankfully we have a wonderful relationship...but sometimes the sadness of being apart from your favorite person is too much.  My sanity has been questioned at times for marrying a Marine...then when I tell them he's a
bomb tech...they know we're both crazy.  He told me the other day that his chances of being sent out are growing every day.  He asked to be sent out TAD in the hopes that he could get back before I come home, and was told, 'no, you need to make damn sure you're here when your wife comes back'.  That is what I call looking out for each other.  I understand that it means someone else will probably have to go in his place.  Someone else will be taken from their family for awhile.  Aside from that, I was deeply touched that he's being looked out for like that..and in turn, they are looking out for me.  That doesn't seem to happen in the Air Force.  My 4 years in the AF has made me see that there are few willing to look out for you like that.  There's just not the 'brotherhood' that makes it special.  I almost joined the Marines right out of high school.  Part of me still wishes I had just to know the trust you all have in each other.  The other part says my body couldn't handle boot camp.  In the end, I guess I chose the harder job.  Marine wife.  I want to thank you guys for looking out for each other (and me)...and here's a salute to all the Marine wives out there...ladies, we have the hardest job in the Corps.
God Bless.
................................................................

"We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing
grounds, we shall fight on the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender. ... Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will say, 'This was their finest hour'." --Winston Churchill
.................................................................

Dear Sgt Grit,  that corpsman isn't the only one who had trouble with their homeowners association.  In northern Virginia, an active duty Gy was having the same type of fight with his association.  Both of his daughters are on active duty, one was on one of the ships, I forget the name, that was deployed to the front line area on Sept. 11th.  He put up patriotic lights and wanted to leave them up until his daughter's ship returned.   The association said it was gaudy, and annoying.  The bad part is that a lot of his "neighbors" on the association board are active duty military themselves. I never heard what the outcome was.  It actually made the local news.   I've noticed that a lot of people have already lost interest in the war.  Something we cannot afford to do.  It's not on a back burner in this house.  My husband worked at HQMC for the Director of Intelligence,  and some people may not realize that HQMC is just across the street from the Pentagon.  He saw the devastation that day, he lost friends and now that he's out, had even avoided his going away party because he doesn't want to see the Pentagon again.   And during his broken time he was a police officer on the wrong side of southeast DC driving a combat car, so this Police Memorial Day is going to be rough on him.  Unfortunately we live in interesting times.  On another note,  BAM is an insult, and really it shouldn't be resurrected.  I've often noticed that "Marines" using it against women Marines, weren't exactly in Marine shape themselves and have problems with women in general, WM's in particular.  As a former WM,  I much prefer being called Marine.  After all I earned the right, and we are fewer, and just as proud.
Semper Fi,  Anna Grabill
................................................................

Sgt Grit,
As the Navy accords us first of foot and right of line, I hereby swear that if ever we meet you will be accorded the same honor as a reward for your continuing service to those who have served. I travel three weeks out of four as an internal auditor for a large trucking company and consider it my "B" billet to sign up Marines as new recruits to your news letter (The industry draws them, and they stick out like flag poles to F. Scott Key - sp?). Like the Corps, your newsletter sells itself.

As memorial day draws near I'd like to get the word out to the Marines of my generation about their local VFW and the great services they provide to the community. To all of the Desert Storm Veterans out there I strongly encourage you to get involved in your local Post. The work that the VFW does on a local level cannot be measured, and just by joining you do a service to the many brave warriors of our Great Nations earlier wars. It took me five years after I marched down civvie street to approach my local post thinking that the Old Breed had no need of a "young Marine" from a recent war. The Sgt of Arms first, and virtually every member since have expressed their disappointment that so many eligible men and woman have not sought their camaraderie. As much as your news letter moves me, it is nothing compared to planting a flag on the grave site of a fallen warrior in the company of his peers, or visiting a fellow Marine preparing for their Final Inspection from the CO before taking post. A great opportunity is being missed by many of my peers that took the "Excursion In The Persian" regardless of their role (All that is required is the SWA). The local post's need your membership to keep them vital in the community, to continue to provide a positive role model to the local civilian populous, and to ensure that when the last brother from the second to last war (God willing) does not fade away unnoticed.  Semper Fi, Teufelhunden.
Sgt James A. Harrison
USMC 1988-1995
..........................................................................

"Experts and the educated elite have...replaced what worked with what sounded good. Society was far more civilized before they took over our schools, prisons, welfare programs, police departments and courts. It's high time we ran these people out of our lives and went back to common sense." --Walter Willaims
..................................................................

Edward J. Townsend
2330 Wenley ave
El Centro, Ca., 92243-3630
4/22/02

Sgt. Grit,
Last week I sent you some clipping from the San Diego Union regarding the possibility of closure of MCRD, San Diego.

My intent was to alert you to the fact that this matter is being discussed locally. I indicated that CMC Jones was mentioned this possible closure.  Well, on April 20 General  Jones confirmed what I had mentioned. See enclosed.

What is strange is that El Toro was closed by Congress after that last BRAC recommended that action. Evidently Gen. Jones believed that he, or the Sec of  Navy, can ignore Congress's dictate on that matter.  Whatever! What is clear to me is that this CMC (He won't be around in '05) has made it clear that he is giving up on MCRD, San Diego. What else could be read into his request to study moving MCRD to the old El Toro base?

Of note: Although this was printed last Saturday, not one comment or letter to the editor has appeared in opposition. In other words, the San Diego local population is evidently in agreement that MCRD should go. And remember, the next BRAC will not occur until 2005.

I thought you, and other interested parties (Marines) would like to know what is going on in S. Cal. My email is cesserdeville@earthlink.net
Very Resp,
Ed Townsend
Maj. USMC-Ret.
............................................................................
.

Sgt Grit,
   I was and still am a Marine, (83 - 92), I have been stationed with all 3 divisions at one point or another, but it breaks my heart to hear all of the scuttlebutt about how bad the barracks situations are and how the Marine Corps is depriving the Marines. Folks just have to remember that the United States of America still has an all volunteer military.  I am an active member in the Veterans of Foreign Wars, AmVets, American Legion and I truly in believe in what the military men and women are sacrificing for our country. I have come to the conclusion that the ones that are complaining are the ones who have never sacrificed a thing in their lives.

 I spent 9 and a 1/2 years in our beloved Corps, and scarlet
runs through my veins... but believe you and me... if it weren't for these men and women in our Armed Forces, God help us all...

I am a Gulf War Veteran, and I recently had the opportunity
meet 4 Marines who just returned home from Afghanistan. As I stated before, I am an active member in the VFW, (Sr. Vice Commander) < . These 4 Marines went to high school together and joined our ranks together. All 4 went to Afghanistan together and came home. I talked to their parents and signed them up in our Post and I realized that if the Marine Corps is anything like the Corps I remember and  these 4 Marines, God Have mercy on America's adversaries. (cause Allah won't ) These young men were nothing but perfect gentlemen and I am  so damn proud to be standing formation in their ranks....God Bless These Young Men, God Bless The Marine Corps, and GOD BLESS AMERICA......
                Rob Absher     Sgt USMC, 83 - 92
........................................................................


RESPONSES TO MS. STEELE............

The response was overwhelming. I could not print them all, so I have take short takes from some.

I'll sign my name, no problem- a Marine protects me from the likes of n.s ...at first i wondered what the hell that mrs steel was ranting and raving about and then i remembered what a nun taught me in the sixth grade....empty barrells make the most noise.

I DO HAVE BALLS like you ask. I regularly vote in ALL elections and also communicate with our elected representatives.

There is enough aggression and terrorism outside of our country; we don't need it from within.

Do you even talk to your son, if you did you might know what we Marines are all about and what we have done for this county and you.

I don't know of many Marines, or Marine families who are silent when they feel they have something to speak out about.

I, for one, will cut you some slack for your BS. Not for you or because in our Country you have the right to speak your mind, but for your son, a Brother Marine.

What a contrast your letter was;  instead of proclaiming your pride in the achievements of your son, you insist on bashing the very American system which he (and all other service people, living and dead) has pledged to protect:  your right to say it !

Thanks for publishing her letter   It was a wake-up that our Freedom of Speech is intact    Betting that Marine Steele will re-enlist, don't you?

...don't try to twist this around anymore and take credit for his being a Marine.

I have to respect  your son, for he has what it takes to be a Marine and he will always be one.  There's nothing you can do to take it away from him.

YOU MIGHT WANT TO THANK YOUR OWN SON FOR BEING THE KIND OF PERSON THAT HE IS AND THAT HE DOES HAVE "B A L L S" TO BE A MARINE AND FIGHT FOR HIS COUNTRY WHILE YOUR SAFE IN THE COMFORT OF YOUR HOME.

Anyone that can defend an outright traitor like Jane Fonda obviously hasn't the foggiest idea where her freedom to talk and express herself comes from.

I am the mother of a Marine and I am embarrassed that you wrote that letter as the mother of a Marine yourself.

There are  countries in which your letter to Sgt Grit would have guaranteed you a visit from the men in dark glasses.  Not this one!  That is because of Men like your Son and old complainers like me and the rest of Sgt Grit's readers/contributors.

. Maybe lugging these balls around for over 70 yrs. has put a strain on my thinking. I guess if I didn't have any  balls I would understand, but this I do know, She has the right to her thoughts, and So Do I.

Is your brain-housing group scrambled?

You should be directing your anger at the politicians of this country, as many of us do.

Jane Fonda is a traitor, and had this country been in a declared War, instead of a "Police action" she could have(and should have) been tried for treason.

The comments made here most of the time are politically incorrect, i.e. they are about honor and morality and the things this country USED to stand for and what MOST of the people that read these boards STILL stand
for.

Keep your eye on CNN, I'm sure those bastards will have Christine Armanpour somewhere in the middle of the people who created the mess in New York, telling America "their" story and how rotten the U.S. is. Wherever you see dead Taliban/Al Qaeda, a U.S. Marine is nearby and you can imagine it was your son that sent the godless bastard to his eternity in hell. I hope that brings you comfort, it does me.

I bet you practice yoga.

You could probably learn a lot from your son. There must be something left in this country worth defending.

I personally think you should be in Afghanistan somewhere with a rag on your head, then you would know what were fighting for.

.............

Sgt. Grit, You may or may not have the room to print this
in your column but I have sent a copy to Ms. Steele in
case you see fit not to print this. This is one of those
silent idiots that MS. Steele mentions in her diatribe. I
am a long time reader and first time writer. I could not
pass up the invitation to provide a response to her
drivel. It is people like her, who do not care about this
country, whom we protect and preserve HER rights to free
speech such as this. I do not agree with everything that
our politicians do, but that is why we have rule of the
majority. As for Ms. Fonda and Streisand, they can kiss
my ass. "Hanoi Jane" will NEVER in this Marines lifetime
gain forgiveness from me. I REMEMBER, DO YOU? Streisand is just another Hollywood left-wing communist who is all talk and no action. Don't like this country? Move to Afghanistan and put on a burqha and see where your loud mouth gets you. "Backbone of a man?" I think that she has no idea what a real man is composed of. Ms. Steele, have you ever been in the military? Do you have ANY idea what it takes to become a Marine? I applaud your son for
having the good sense to join the Marines. I suspect that
he will be VERY embarrassed when his buddies find out
from reading this column how you actually feel about your
country and the U.S.M.C. If your son reads this, I salute
the "New Breed" and ask him not to judge you harshly, as
you are still his mother. All those "degenerate fags" and
"pathetic jailbirds" have exactly the same rights as you
do. Like it or not, it is a price we pay for free speech.
Otherwise the "jackboots" would be coming for you in the
middle of the night for the words you have spoken. I
believe that Sgt. Grit has proven his guts, much as I did
in 'Nam. I got there in late '68 and the shit was still
hot. In my time there as a 2861 Radio Technician, I got
to see more of the country and bush than I really wanted
to. I earned 2 'Hearts and a Bronze Star. I never thought
I did anything to earn them, just the job I had
volunteered to do and looking out for by buddies. I will
carry my wounds proudly to my grave as a Marine and not a
day goes by that I wonder why I came back and so many
others didn't. If you want to do some real good in this
world, do as I have and get involved in the Marine Corps
League, Navy Relief, VFW or better yet, go to your local
VA hospital and tell your story to those in there and see
what they think.
SEMPER FI
Signed Proudly:
SSgt. Moore J. C.  U.S.M.C.  2389599/2861
1967/1977    RVN '68/'69
Honorably Discharged/Medical disability/WIA
..................

Ma'am,
We as Marines and US Citizens fight for causes apparently unknown to you.  We do not question or doubt the authority that is during the time of conflict and war.  We do as is needed, then dissect, inspect, and learn from our past.  We do not have blind faith, we have eternal faith.  Faith in our God, our country, our families, and our Corps. We are willing to lay down our lives for these causes for which each night you take for granted.  We use our voices to scream out injustice in any way we can to all who will listen.  We use our weapons to ensure that this freedom and freedom of others is not subrogated.  We have been instilled with a sense of pride, honor, and duty which we pass on to our
children, our friends, our families, our communities.  We are, as Marines, a band of brothers and sisters, who, in the face of adversity from the likes of people like you, continue to do our job.  We defend these rights and freedoms of our great nation and other nations as well, without the luxury of anonymity or the fear of prejudice.  We wear our colors and our pride openly, honestly, and vehemently.  It is who we are. A Marine: past, present, and future, is all the things that you will never be.  In the immortal
words that fall on your deaf ears-
Semper Fidelis
Gerard Torres, 86-90
....................
After 19 long months of being gone from my wife and newborn son, returned home for two months only to be sent back to Somalia. I never once complained and neither did my wife. Nobody made me join the marines, and I never felt once that I had to prove myself by joining. We are a proud group of people, we have earned the name, and the honor that goes with it. Im sorry that you feel that you raised your son to "unfortunately be a marine", because your son has already made it into the ranks of, in my mind, a
hallowed band of brothers/sisters who are recognized
the world around. We ask for no medals, no parades,
nor signs of recognition, for we alone, know what
we've done. When I walk thru a shopping mall, wearing
my Marine polo shirt, I always get a knowing nod, or a
handshake, or someone who walks up to me saying "thank
you". I hold my head tall, shoulders back, and walk
with the confidence that I know the future generations
of Marines who took my place, will always guard that
way of life that I so personally enjoy, as I am sure
that you enjoy as well. You, as a Marine Corps Mother,
have the distinct honor of having a son, who is
willing to lay down his life if necessary, so that you
may hate us. As ironic as it is, the very thing you
despise about us, Is the very thing that your son is
willing to fight for to preserve. You may not agree
with us, nor like us, or even believe in what we as
Marines do, But without Marines, Army Soldiers, Navy
Sailors, or Air Force Pilots, do you really think you
would be free enough to express your opinion as you do
now? I think not.  I only have one more point to make Mrs. Steele, never say a Marine doesn't have the guts to do something, because without our intestinal fortitude, we wouldn't have won what we have in the wars of the past. My hat is off to you for being willing to write your feelings
and convey them to Sgt. Grit, not many people are
willing to lay bare their personal feelings about us
Marines. But I am inclined to say, please don't judge
us too harshly, for it is your son, Sgt. Grit, myself,
the crossing guard at your local school, the police
officer that patrols your neighborhood, that nice
little kindergarten schoolteacher lady, who have
earned this title, and generations in the past, who have paid the ultimate price, it is us, that allows
you to judge us as you do.
Sincerely,
William Howlingwolf
Cpl. USMC 1987-1993
................

Nancy, I hope that your son has some influence on you. Obviously he is a very strong individual who thinks for himself. As are many if not all the Marines you read about in this newsletter. As Marines, we are somewhat touchy about the idea of patriotism and the sacrifice made by those who serve, have served and those who have not. We are used to serving a country that, while appreciative in time of war, is forgetful in times of peace.  Understand this, being a Marine is dangerous I have lost men to training
accidents and know some who were wounded in combat. Seeing a friend and fellow Marine with burns over 3/4 of his body after a helo crash in TRAINING is frightening. Knowing that he will carry the scars, and disfigurement  for the rest of his life is disturbing. Yet, he served.  He received no medals or recognition, just a pathetically small disability check. Believe what you will about our country but also know this. I am proud of your son and the contributions he is making. I appreciate what a sacrifice he is making.
Thank God for young men and women who are not afraid to challenge themselves and in some cases their parents belief's and ideals to continue to make my country safe.
David Frick, 03Humpalot, Cpl. C 1/5,  '86-'00
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Thank you, Nancy,
Thank you for using the freedom of expression that so many Marines died and bled for in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Bosnia, Desert Storm and all past and future conflicts and wars.  I am pleased that the Marines were able to maintain the freedom that you have to voice your opinion and to degrade the very persons that gave you that freedom. It is obvious that YOU have never been in harm's way, have never had men die in your arms, have never had to protect your rights with your life instead of your keyboard.  "For
those who fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected shall never know".  You, my dear Nancy, shall NEVER know what freedom is; you will only USE it to degrade those men and women who were willing to give up EVERYTHING
for YOU, and that is alright, because that is WHY THEY DID IT!

As for Jane Fonda, I'm sorry, but I just cannot admire YOUR heroes.  "I'd like to shoot down one of the pigs myself" or words to that effect, so said Fonda.  Your son is in aviation.  Perhaps HE would be in the plane she would get to shoot down. My heroes all left blood and some left their very lives lying on a beach or in a jungle or on a desert somewhere.  Your heroes are counting the money they made off the blood of my men.

You, my dear, may go to hell.  (I fought for the right to say THAT, too) R. Dye, United States Marine Corps (Then and Forever)
...................
Sgt. Grit,
I'll be brief, as I know you're inundated with e-mails.
My guess is Nancy Steele:  Has hairy armpits.  Spends hours at a time in intimate relationships with trees.  Wears Birkenstocks (sp?).  Has a 'significant' female friend.  Is divorced.  Watches Rosie O'Donnell.  Thinks Jane Fonda is a role model.  Has a hyphenated last name.  And, above all, she would be the first to bitch about losing her freedoms which she so freely uses to bash those who so dearly gave of themselves, so we can all enjoy our freedom.
Semper Fi,
Tom B. Marine Corps Brat of a Mustang Major
packer@ixi.net
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I just finished reading a couple of rants in the newsletter from "Nancy Steele".  What a moron she is.  I suspect her Marine son is not very proud of her.  I sent an e-mail response to her, telling her that she has absolutely no idea what she's talking about.  Her audacity in questioning the courage and activism of the current and former active-duty Marines is shameless.  I'm a woman Vietnam-era veteran, and I always say, with great pride, that I wore the uniform of the United States Marine Corps.  I did something that many, many males of my age absolutely refused to do.
(Wasn't one of them named Clinton?) I think it's appropriate that part of her e-mail address is "yahoo"; I know quite a few "yahoos" and she fits right in.  Semper Fi sisters & brothers.
Carole Plouffe, Capt.
1966-1971
..............
Ms. Steel, You don't know a darn thing. My husband served 3 tours of duty in 'Nam and was wounded 3 times and so did a lot of these Gentlemen on here .Korean Vets, World war 2 vets Desert Storm. Where ever they served they did so to keep your freedom to write such gibberish as you did and by GOD they earned the right to get on this site and bitch about any darn (being nice) thing they want to . What have you done that is so great. Oh, I will give you one thing ; Your Son is a Marine !! I bet he would be ashamed of what you have posted. Also if you don't like the sight these Gentlemen and Ladies here have bought you the FREEDOM to LEAVE . Frances Knight Semper Fi Wife
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Sgt. Grit
   At first, I was puzzled.  Then I began laughing.  After I wiped my tears, and my laughter finally subsiding, I realized that Ms. Steele is one of "those" whom most of "us" protected so she could find your website and spew her thoughts and opinions, no matter how slanted or distorted they may be.     It's  nice to hear from someone who has a sense of humor.  And it's nice to know that her NA/AA meetings are working.  king rat
................

I am one of (I'm sure) many Marines who would rather be over THERE kicking a** than over here having to take it from people who don't know what they're talking about.  I know of many MANY who wanted to get a chance to be over there. I am a reservist at the moment, but I requested from my company commander to be activated, as I know that many others did, because he had to get up in formation and say this:  "For the last time, and so that no one else asks...  No one gets activated unless we ALL get activated... this unit needs every one of you to function as a unit!  So, no more requests for activation."  I know of so many of us that were disappointed when we heard that.  But, as many, I tried to continue, and I've written notes to my congressman and others, trying to convince them of some of the issues that we have all been so vocal about here.  However, many of the statements that are written either
never get back to the general public or are completely misquoted.  I know I haven't seen any response to some of my letters yet, and only a cursory explanation to others.  We don't only sound off here, but we all know that in this newsletter others will get to hear our voices, and many will agree.  We also know that sometimes action can result from it.  Keep up the letters and everything, and maybe people who don't understand, will at least come to accept
Semper Fi!
Trevor Marsh, Cpl, USMCR 1999-present, C Co 4th LAR Bat.
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I would like to respond to the letter from Nancy Steele first I would like to say I feel sorry for your son how dare you shame him like this I understand it is hard when our Marines are deployed but my goodness have you lost your rocker. Second I am a Marine Wife with BIG BRASS BALLS. If you weren't an old lady I'd kick your ass up and down the streets of NEW YORK right to Camp Lejeune. Maybe then you will remember what we are fighting for
I read her letter 3 times because it was so ridiculous Don't take it out on our military.I think you need some Paxil. My husband has been activated with the Marine Corps Reserves and has been gone for 4 months He was in Desert Storm unfortunately it appears our Marines  and Air force might wind up there to make a parking lot out of it.I have 4 children 11,10,6,5.All girls.  IF WE ARE WILLING TO MAKE SUCH SMALL SACRIFICES FOR OUR COUNTRY WITHOUT BITCHING TO SGT GRIT SO SHOULD YOU .Yesterday a pack of Cub Scouts on there way to a fishing field trip stopped in front of my house to say the Pledge Of Allegiance in front of our American and Marine Corps Flag I was so honored that they chose our home I cried silently while I video taped it from my
window for my husband to see.  We don't know where our Marine will wind up but you better believe we support the FOX CO 2/25 GOD BLESS THEM ALL.  GOD BLESS
AMERICA .Our Thoughts and Prayers are with the Fallen Heroes and their families WE SUPPORT OUR TROOPS    SEMPER FI    SHARON MARTINO
..................

I was just reading the letter and Ms. Steel message kind of struck a nerve!!!  And I wanted to get mad and write her some venom spewing email asking her who the (bleep) she thought she was!!!  Then I got to Thinking (which is what WE Marines are trained to do).  Why is she so mad???  then it hit me!  Everyone I'm sure has heard the phrase "Hell has no fury like a women scorned!" well what about a Marine Mom worried about her baby boy?  So all of you plan on sending Ms. Steel a letter just remember she's
probably just scared like your Mom was!

Semper Fi
Lcpl Cokel JL
Motor T 88-92
.................

Dear Sgt. Grit,
Please don't hang up on me. Have you ever gotten angry at someone and then took it out on someone else? Yelled at the wrong person?  That's what I did. For one month all my wires got crossed, I became angry and frustrated at our system. Since 9/11 the volume got turned up, and March was a killer.  I resented the fact that once more we were sending the best of our men out to war. While others like Fonda reap the benefits. I resented that we house people in jails with HBO, drugs, expensive exercise equipment, etc. While the men in service sometimes do well just to make ends meet.  I saw the system protecting the child molesters, murderers, child porn makers, etc.  I didn't come home and yell at a wife, husband, dog. No, I yelled at you.  Like going to a town meeting and instead of going through the front door, I drove a tank though the plate glass window.  I wanted to shake everyone and say stop being silent. Lets do something. I tried to make you mad. But I made myself look like the very people whom I dislike.  I don't expect you to accept this. But I am truly sorry, and I humbly apologize to you and everyone else.  I don't even expect you to believe when I say I do and have always loved our military, now especially the Marines.  Though it is the truth.  I can't undo what I did, I wish I could. I went about it so very wrong.  By
all rights, I, should be hanged for it.
nancy
........................................................................

"Wisdom comes alone, through suffering." --Aeschylus
........................................................................

Dear Sgt....and others.  As usual, Rush Limbaugh has run his mouth before putting his mind(?) in gear.  While he tries to make it look like he cares for the services, he's really using his comments as an excuse to make trouble.

What he overlooks, in the differences between awards made to civilians who died in the 9/11 atrocity and service people KIA, he conveniently forgets that those of us who served and are serving, were volunteers.  We went into service knowing what lay ahead of us, knowing of the chances we were taking and, most important, not because we wanted to make money.

I knew one of the victims of 9/11 and there may have been others I knew but don't know of.  I can assure Limbaugh, that the mother of the one I knew would gladly have given a million to have her daughter.  I think, too, that holds for most of the others.

When I joined the Corps, there was a war on.  I knew what could have happened, and money never entered my mind nor my parents.  There was a need and we did what we could to fill it.  Limbaugh's candy-ass politics don't belong in any mention of 0/11.  Or about the services.
Semper Fir
Al Meadows (Cpl., 43-49)
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"Nothing emboldens sin so much as mercy." --Shakespeare
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Sgt. Grit, I really enjoy the newsletter!

It was interesting to read Ms. Jennifer Dockrill's statements reference visiting the Camp San Mateo barracks at Camp Pendleton. I was stationed there from 1980-84 with 2/7 and lived in those same barracks. They were kept crowded then as well. Oddly enough, there was never a media encampment outside the perimeter and Amnesty International never cried foul over our living conditions, unlike Camp Xray in Gitmo. We never complained about cramped quarters because we were a family, a band of brothers. You know we must have the Taliban and Al-Quida on the ropes when the liberal press and Amnesty International are coming to their aid.

I also enjoyed Sergeant Shane Arnwine's submitted poem. My 'brother' Shane is absolutely correct that the poem probably best describes Marines in any era. I now have it printed up and posted on my desk. Perhaps a more eye appealing poster from your store with the poem should become available (hint-hint).

Unlike Ms. Nancy Steele, who found it necessary to moan, groan, complain  her Marine son should already know- That her son has other family members now- The Marine Family. For all her ranting and raving, Ms. Steele also forgot one of the benefits of the First Amendment, which by the way has been protected by Marines for more than two centuries, that Ms. Steele has the fundamental RIGHT to stop reading material that gets her panties in a wad!

Finally, Sgt. Grit, I'm also originally from Oklahoma (Marietta, Love County) and it does an Okie's heart good to see the good work you do.  Keep it up.
Semper Fi,
Ruben Navarro, Sgt. 0311/8541, 1980-88
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"Self-respect is the root of discipline: The sense of dignity
grows with the ability to say no to oneself." --Abraham Joshua Heschel
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