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

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


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LET'S ROLL

Hi Sgt. Grit,
I have been reading your newsletter for almost one year and I feel a
need to share this story about my only sibling.  Steve is 4 years
younger than me (I'm 32).  Steve and I got along great when we were young, but we drifted apart while he was in high school.  Even though we were both in the same town, we barely made time for each other.  I was busy becoming a mother and going to college and he was busy being the black sheep of the family.  When September 11, 2001 occurred Steve suddenly quit his job and gave up his budding new business to join the Marine Corps.  He said he wanted to help make the world a safer place for my daughter (his niece).  He also said he wanted to be one of the best...a US Marine!  I took a deep breath and decided to contact him about his decision and poured my heart out to him regarding my faith and pride in him.  I fully supported his decision and he appreciated it because he was catching so much crap from others.   He cut his long locks and got a buzz cut after 8 years.  Then everybody knew he was serious!  My family saw a positive change in him and will stand behind him always.  It took until February before the 27-year-old was able to leave for MCRD San Diego and it was a long 3 months of boot camp.  I wrote him every 2-3 days and he wrote often too.  I missed him so badly and through the letters we began to know each other as adults instead of the feuding siblings we had become.  He graduated Platoon Leader (Guide) in May 2002 as a Pfc.  Going to the graduation was one of the single best moments of my life.  I sobbed as I clung to him on the parade deck after the new Marines were dismissed.  He was so handsome and he was a new man standing there in his dress blues and cover.  He will graduate leader of his class on Sept 20 from MOS training in Missouri (hopefully as Lance Cpl.) and will spend the next year or more in Okinawa as a heavy equipment operator.  He is 110% Marine and proud of it.  The Corps has brought us back together again after 14 years.  It provided us with a means to forgive each other, mend our past differences, and to finally become friends.  Without the Marine Corps, I wouldn't have a healthy relationship with my brother and for that I am forever thankful.  I am a better American and better person because of my brother and his spirit.  He is a wonderful role-model for my 8-year-old daughter and for my baby on the way.  I love you Bro...you are an inspiration to all who know you!
Mrs. Jane Talaga (sister of Pfc. Steven Kesteloot, USMC)
Kalamazoo, Michigan
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"The way to be safe is never to be secure." --Benjamin Franklin
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Note from Sgt Grit. The following could read:  The "I-missed- the military" Guilt

The "I-missed- Vietnam" Guilt By Bob Greene

"The day I turned 19, I went down for my physical and had my first and only experience of Army life.  I took with me a letter from Dr. Murphy, my childhood doctor, describing in uncompromising detail the asthma that had been a major part of my life up to 16."

Thus begins a article by Christopher Buckley in the September issue of Esquire magazine - an article that should spur millions of members of a generation of American men to question a part of their lives that they had thought they put behind them long ago.  Buckley - the son of conservative columnist William F. Buckley Jr. - describes in the article how he had received a medical deferment from the Army, and thus how he had escaped going to Vietnam.

The article is titled "Viet Guilt, " and it addresses itself to those
millions of young American men who did not go to Vietnam - and who are beginning to realize, all these years later, that by not going they may have proved something about their own lack of courage - their own, lack of manhood, if you will - that ought to make them very uncomfortable.  Enough words have been devoted to the moral issues of the war.  The point that Chris Buckley makes is that, if the truth were really to be told, most of the men who managed to stay home from Vietnam did not do so for reasons of morality alone.  Their real reason for not going was that they did not want to die, did not want to get shot at. And they found out that there were many ways to avoid Vietnam. Young men of my generation got out of Vietnam because of college deferments, because of medical deferments, because of having a "lucky" number in the Selective Service birthday lottery that was initiated toward the end of the war.  Three million men of fighting age went to Indochina during the Vietnam War; 16 million men of fighting age did not.

Buckley was one of the men who did not - and I was, too.  Reading his article made me realize the truth of the emotions I have been feeling lately about that particular subject.  I sense a strong feeling - "shame" is not too strong a word - among many men who did not go to Vietnam, and perhaps now is the time to bring that feeling out into the open.

Those of us who did not go may have pretended that we held some moral superiority over those who did, but we must have known - even back then - that that was largely sham.  A tiny, tiny minority served jail terms - the rest of us avoided the war through easier methods. The men who went to Vietnam were no more involved with the politics of the war than we were. They were different from us in only two important ways: They hadn't figured out a successful way to get out of going, and they had a certain courage that we lacked.  Not "courage" as defined the way we liked to define it; not "courage" in the sense of opposing the government's policies in Vietnam. But courage in an awful, day-to-day sense; courage in being willing to be over there while most of their generation stayed home.  When I meet men my age who are Vietnam veterans, I find myself reacting the same way that Chris Buckley indicates he does.

I find myself automatically feeling a little lacking. "I have friends who
served in Vietnam..." Buckley writes. "They all saw death up close every day, and many days dealt with it themselves."  They're married, happy, secure, good at what they do; they don't have nightmares and they don't shoot up gas stations with M-16s.  Each has a gentleness I find rare in most others, and beneath it a spiritual sinew that I ascribe to their experience in the war .I don't think I'll ever have what they have, the aura of I have been weighed on the scales and have not been found wanting, and my sense at this point is that I will always feel the lack of it..."  "I will always feel the lack of it."

I think many of us are just beginning to realize that.  I know when I meet those men of my generation who did serve in Vietnam, I automatically feel less worthy than they are; yes, less of a man, if you want to use that phrase.  Those of us who did not have to go to Vietnam may have felt, at the time, that we were getting away with something; may have felt, at the time, that we were the recipients of a particular piece of luck that had value beyond price.  But now, I think, we realize that by not having had to go we lost forever the chance to learn certain things about ourselves that only men who have been in war together will ever truly know.

Our fathers learned those things in World War II; our sons, God forbid, may learn them in some future conflict.  But we - those of us who did not go - managed to avoid something that would have helped form us into different people than we are now.  Buckley writes "by not putting on uniforms, we forfeited what might have been the ultimate opportunity, in increasingly self-obsessed times, of making the ultimate commitment to something greater than ourselves. The survival of comrades."  But I think it may go even beyond that;  I think it may go to the very definition of our manhood. I know that when I meet a man who, it turns out, has served in Vietnam, part of me wonders whether he is able to read my mind.

I don't know how widespread this feeling is among men of my generation who didn't go; but I can testify that, at least for some of us, it's there, all right.

Note from Sgt Grit....what is that saying...What goes around
comes around. Or...he who laughs last laughs hardest.
...................................................................

"Some commentators and so-called experts have been quick to
suggest that we will have to give up rights and freedoms in order
to achieve greater security against the terrorist threat. They
are wrong. The liberties of America's citizens do not facilitate
terrorism -- rather it is the liberties we have wrongly allowed
to noncitizens.  Because so many of us are the heirs of America's
immigrant tradition, we have been tempted to lose sight of the
commonsense truth that we have the right to maintain and enforce
the distinction between those who are citizens and those who are
not. We have the right to scrutinize more carefully the access
and activities of noncitizens, and to bar from our ports of entry
or expel any noncitizens who we believe are involved with or
abet the terrorist  threat. With fairness, but without apology,
we must implement a regime that secures the  borders and gateways of the nation."  --Alan Keyes
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Sarge,
I don't, normally, respond to  newsletters but felt I must reply to the
Marine in the lead story of Newsletter #27. I was incensed by his,
seemingly only, reason for joining the Marines. Revenge for slain buddies and your Navy father are p**s poor reasons for enlistment in my Corps. I enlisted while in high school on delayed entry in March of 1964.  On 22 June '64 I was standing tall and scared in the haunting yellow footprints at MCRD SD,an experience that  evokes memories and still gives me sweaty palms. I was a young, healthy, red blooded, American kid  full of ideals and beliefs and ready to protect and defend those rights and freedoms and beliefs. The Golf of Tonken incident occurred while I was at the range at Camp Matthews and training became a little more serious after that. We listened a little more intently from then on. I enlisted in the Corps out of an 'Esprit de Corps'. I, certainly, did not haggle over terms of enlistment or duty stations. I was raised to respect and with  a feeling of obligation to serve the United States. It was the least I could do as repayment for all the debt owed to the heroes of Tinian, Guadalcanal, Normandy, the 'Frozen' Chosin and all the battles before my time. We, still, owe a tremendous debt to the heroes of Valley Forge, Yorktown and Concord. So to the Marine L/Cpl who enlisted in my Corps for revenge, think again, son.

L/Cpl Crosley - 2511
"64 - '66  Gung Ho
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Sgt Grit,
In the newsletter about a soon-to-be recruit having problems with his parents not being supportive of his decision, I would like to add
something that may help. To the parents of that future recruit, the Marine Corps is more than just a  bunch of grunts learning how to shoot and kill.  It's an  ELITE military organization that teaches DEDICATION, LOYALTY and love towards country, God and one's self.  It's an ELITE military branch that teaches discipline of every degree, teamwork during easy times AND stressful times and pride in EVERYTHING we do from the smallest task to the largest.  The Marine Corps teaches us to make decisions and stick with them regardless if they're good or bad simply because we NEED to make bad decisions from time to time to gain experience from our  mistakes.  The Marine Corps teaches us how to overcome our
mistakes and go on NOT making the same mistake TWICE.
The Marine Corps teaches us how to stand up for what we believe in and fight for it.........even if we have to die for it.  At least we died Honorably for what we believed in.  But above all, for those who choose to get out when they served their time, they WILL have what it takes to go out into the real world and make it simply because they joined an ELITE military branch that demanded emotional
AND physical discipline and responsibility that the real world WILL
demand in it's own way.
Semper Fi, J.S. Elliott, USMC
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Sgt. Grit,
     I was just going over my e-mails from the summer (I'm a school Police Officer/10 month employee) when I ran across the above submission.  I got a real kick out of it because it reminded me of when I was working at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena California.  After a few years at that facility, more guys were being hired that were Marines.  After a while, there were six of us on the same shift.  Each shift we fielded approximately nine officers.  So we made up the majority of the shift.  We were a hard chargin' unit.  We even had a nick-name, "Swing shift gunfighters".  We were all experts on the pistol range and when the sh*# hit the fan, we were there and took control of the entire situation and we were just the officers.  Our supervisors, One "Doggie" Korean vet (Our Sgt.) and one kid (Our Lt.) would sometimes shake in their boots when they would hear us responding to an emergency, back-up call, or what have you.  But after everything was over, they knew deep down that they could count on the Marines to take of matters. Even the Division manager was a Marine veteran.  Every November 10th we would celebrate the birth of our Corps with the reading of the Commandant's message and the cutting of the cake.  It started out between the six of us in the briefing room and before we knew it, grew to 50 to 60 Marines (active and N.L.O.A.D.). "N.L.O.A.D." means "No Longer On Active Duty".  The Birthday finally got so big we had to use one the cafeterias on the facility.  Our chief, a "Zoomie" was a Nam vet.  He would always show us this picture of him standing in front of his air conditioned barracks (or whatever they were called) holding an M-16 at port arms while dressed in his "Battle gear".  We would give him hell about it not being in the "REAL NAM".  He was just a "Zoomie REMF".  He would just look at us and reply "G*#Damned Jarheads" and walk back into his office and close the door and we would laugh our butts off.  Well, that's all for now I guess.  Keep up the good work.
Semper Fidelis,
Daniel Miller
0311 '74-'76
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i can relate to the story about the young man and the flak that he got about joining the corps.  i myself am only the second person in my entire extended family ever to join the marine corps.  my uncle served during the bay of pigs and i served during the persian gulf conflict.  i am the oldest of two children and the only girl. so naturally my parents could not understand why the marines.  i wanted to do something different, something that i can say none of my friends have done.  and i was right and proud.  graduating from parris island is something that i will always cherish.  i am 34 but it feels like yesterday that i was 20 and on my way to a future.  i am now out but am still a marine and will always have the pride of being recognized as one of the few, the proud the marines.

semper fidelis
cpl toni marie beltrano
89-93 (ad) 93-95 (reservist)
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Just wanted to send out a big thanks to the Cherry Point Marine wife.  I too am a Marine wife.  I have planned my children's birthday parties to include young Marines who were homesick.  I have also managed to feed some of these Marines a home cooked meal when they were sick of chow hall food.  (And, I did this on that military paycheck that Cpl Bell and Ms. Grabill were so quick to mention.)  I have had my husband go back to work the day I have gotten out of the hospital after giving birth to our children because he was needed there to do his duty.  I have never claimed to be a Marine.  That is my husbands job and I am proud of him for doing it.  But, I gladly claim to be a Marine Wife.  The opinion of others like Cpl Bell and Ms Grabill doesn't really matter much to me.  I know what my job is even if they don't, so try not to piss me off, ok?
Semper Fi,
Angie, proud Marine Wife
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While traveling last week I saw an ad billboard along I-44 in Missouri that made me let out a loud Marine Corps ooh-rah.  It said; Life, Liberty and in Pursuit of all those that challenge it!!  It was a recruiting ad for the Navy, but the message is clear; F*** with us and we're coming after you!!
Aaron Carriker
Cpl. U.S.M.C.
Jan. '79-Mar. '83
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Sgt.Grit: I very much enjoy your newsletter, it is a source of entertainment and a great forum for Marines to verbalize the fire, passion, and strength that makes them the BEST...anywhere, anytime.

After the Navy decided it would be best if I had a second sea bag... full of better looking green uniforms...I was a Corpsman, I decided it was in my best interest to embrace The Corps as my own. Although I didn't have the privilege and honor of graduating from the University of P.I. or MCRD San Diego, but got squared away at Field Med School @ Pendleton thanks to some great GySgts who had the daunting task of turning a bunch of squirrelly squids into Marines. I truly enjoyed being appreciated by my Marines, as "Doc",  which was a darned sight better than being just one more "sailor" amidst a bunch of "anchor-clankers". Oh yeah, the Navy didn't know what to do with me when the final 3 months of my enlistment were up..."the Marines had ruined a 4.0 sailor", is what one Navy CPO said....Oooooraahh! Jungle boots at inspection really pushed his buttons...they were black and shined!!!!!

I had the joy of watching Mail Call with Gunny Hartman with my 4 nephews last nite and fielded many questions as their eyes got bigger and bigger each time he did an "in-your-face". One of the boys got up to leave the room and when Gunny growled at the audience to not move the boy came to a screeching halt and snapped to...fortunately, I was in the recliner and could not fall out of my chair laughing. They have also decided that the Army, based on the grab-a**ing, lollygagging that they have also seen, is for weenies and all 4 want to be Marines, like their uncles...they also love your t-shirts!

I am still wearing a green uniform and working for a government agency and take care the flag @ my office. Those fellow employees who were never in the service, or worse yet, in the Army, cannot get over the fact that I take this as a very important part of my day. Doing the tri-fold of the flag makes them look...but they are learning, they do give me the tattered flags that are to be retired, to dispose of with due honors.  Semper Fi Mac...and carry on!
"Doc" Wells, USN 1969-1971/USMC 1971-1973 (RVN 71-72
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Sgt Grit,
This is a reply to Jerry Guyles. Jerry as a father of twin 20 year olds I feel I can enlighten you as to why it seems so many of us are not willing to send our sons and daughters off to war.  First  you sign off as Jerry Guyles and make no reference to Marine service.  Also you make no reference to being a father yourself. These 2 points alone, disqualify you from giving an "informed" opinion on the matter.  I have served as a Marine and  As I have previously stated am a proud father of twins that are of service age. I would rather see my corps take me back and I would gladly suffer and die if need be rather than see my children shed an ounce of blood.  Until you are a father yourself don't even think about going there.  My children have been Marine-ized by me. They have listened to me carry on about boot camp , they know Parris Island is not in France and they even know who our beloved Chesty Puller is.  I have not sheltered them from the military. I however know that the military gets their orders from civilian  politicians . Some of them are not , how should I say this, the most honorable people in the world.  They never seem to follow through on commitments especially after some American fighting men lose their lives in some foreign land.  I do not want to see my son or my daughter hurt or killed and then watch as the no guts  civilians decide that the mission is '"too costly" and pull out the rest of the troops without accomplishing anything other than killing soldiers and Marines. (Remember Beirut and Somalia?) I will not stand in their way  if they should try to enlist but I do not encourage it.  Until you have "walked the walk" don't talk the talk.  Until you are a father you don't know shit about it.  Sorry Sgt Grit. But you even have that bumper sticker "It's a Marine thing, you wouldn't understand."  Well this is a Dad thing . Non-dads  don't understand.
John Klein
SGT. USMC 78-82
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WePledge.com is trying to secure ten million signatures for the Constitutional Amendment to save the Pledge of Allegiance and our National Motto. This would be the most people to sign a petition in history! Help save our Pledge of Allegiance and National Motto! Please sign the petition and forward it on to others. To sign the petition and for more information, go to www.wepledge.com.
Submitted by: Many, many or you.
........................................................

I receive your newsletters and generally never feel a need to respond however there were a couple letters a while back that made my blood boil.  First let me say thank you to the proud Marine wife in Cherry Point NC.  All too often military wives are taken for granted because we didn't go to basic training and earn the right to be called a Marine, Naval, Army or Air Force personnel.  I am an ex-Army wife and currently married to a Marine Reservist.  I was in Germany during Desert Storm and worked on the base where VII corps came from every single person I knew in the Military was shipped to Saudi.  To include a single mom with 3 teenage daughters who I volunteered to watch over till she returned, if she returned: which she did thank the Lord.  Back then I was married to an Army dog (as you Marines so fondly call them).  In order for us to even get on base our cars had to be searched and that was after driving pass all the green peacers yelling at us.  Friends of mine had their vehicle grafittied, " No blood for oil " etc or got phone calls calling them killers etc.  We wives as Cherry Point NC pointed out do a lot more than just collect a check.  We make the Military spouses life easier.  Some one to handle their affairs watch the kids and yes move the entire household with little help from the Military spouse.  To Ms Grabill and Cpl Bell I say bite
your tongues.  We wives make a lot of sacrifices so our spouses can be the best at what they do.  We spend a lot of time alone and we are not allowed to show our fears or anger or hurt cause our spouse is away because that would upset our spouse and detract their mind from their job.  Our spouses get all the glory and respect as they should (fighting for our country and freedoms), while we are the shadow beneath their wing which no one ever thanks
or notices for that matter.  I am now married to a reservist and even though he is not gone for long periods of time I still have one weekend a month and two weeks out of the year along with all the PT time without him.  I still make sacrifices so he can be the best.  I had a baby last year and had to have a c-section well it happened on drill weekend so while I lay in pain ( I am allergic to all the good drill.  He would drop in at night after drill for a few hours but then he
had to go so he could be ready for drill the next day. So Ms. Grabill and Cpl Bell before you go mouthing off about how we don't have the right to talk like we are in the Corps you better stop and think twice cause even though we are not Marines when I walked down the aisle and was stopped by the swordsman a Marine welcomed me to the Corps and then promptly smacked my backside.  The Corps as you all know is a way of life and not just a job and it affects every aspect of the Marines life to include their spouses.
A proud wife in Tulsa  OK
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Dear Sgt Grit and to all my brothers and sisters of the USA and the USMC

   I sit her on September 11th 2002, in the background I have the TV on as they read the names of all who gave their life on this fateful day one year ago.  It's an eerie sound because the wind at "Ground Zero" keeps blowing into the microphones making a rumbling sound, and every once in a while you can hear the sound of an emergency vehicle siren wail in the far off distance.

  Following 911, I along with many others went back to the recruiter, it's been 10 years since I last wore my class "C" as I checked out of Camp Lejeune.  Now I have the opportunity to go back and do a job I love, Fire Fighter.  When I first got the call from my Gy Sgt, I was tolling weather to follow through and re-up in the reserves, or to think about my wife and the stress my family went though when I served during the Gulf War.  Even in the foreground of what most likely will be another major offensive against the same man and in the same place, I can proudly state that Once a Marine, Always a Marine.. I'm going back in!!!

  Semper Fi to all Marines everywhere, and God Bless all emergency workers in the world.  Remember on September 11th 2001 terrorist tried to make the U.S. a nation that lived in fear, well if you ask me it's time to make the terrorist afraid of us.

Ross P Fire Fighter/ EMT - MARINE
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"Our contest is not only whether we ourselves shall be free,
but whether there shall be left to mankind an asylum on earth for civil and religious liberty." --Samuel Adams
.......................................................

"Again and again, the West has waited till the Gates of Hell
were opened and the flames were at our doorstep before taking action against a clear and all too present danger.  In the '30s, Hitler marched into the Rhineland, and the West shrank back, only emboldening him for further forays.  Not until Pearl Harbor was turned into an inferno did the United States enter that war.  Could we please just this once act in time?" --Paul Greenberg
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Sgt. Grit,
While I certainly understand flying our nation's flag and do so myself, I do not understand why someone would break laws to fly his flags then blame 'the government' for the process to make it legal. I work for a public agency and know how and why laws are enacted. Ideally, public agencies have the mandate to make streets, buildings, sewers, storm drains and other facilities safe and durable. I am referring to the letter from Vito in your 9/7/02 newsletter regarding his complaints against the City of New York for illegally installing flag poles.

By Vito's own words I know what the City's concerns were. First, the flags were installed without a permit. Secondly, they were placed at one foot, or too close to the curb. Third, at 7-feet high they impede pedestrian traffic.  And he didn't say but I suspect he broke up the sidewalk rather than core-drilled and cleanly refilled the holes. Flag poles if not properly designed and installed with strong enough poles on sound foundations, can become flying spears in the wind. Too close to the curb they can impede access to parked cars, street sweepers, etc.

He complains about needing a permit to fly a flag when he says the fine was for obstructing the sidewalk and doing so without a permit. I suspect he has exaggerated the fees involved. Most cities have standard plans for flag poles, tree wells, block walls, etc. So, if the standard plan is followed an engineer's (architects design buildings not structures such as flag poles) services would not be required. As for going in front of a planning board, that doesn't make sense either as planning boards or city planning departments are concerned with on-site changes not changes in the public right-of-way like where a sidewalk would be.

To Vito: Quit griping at your city, New York has enough problems without yours, follow the rules, get off your soap box and properly fly your flags.  How about using smaller flags in holders on the front of the building? Or hang the flags on horizontal arms above where pedestrians would be. Be creative rather than antagonistic.

Jim Harris, LCpl '66 to '69, Semper fi to God, Family, Country and Corps
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"Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory
however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival." --Sir Winston Churchill
.......................................................

Sgt. Grit,
     I just read your most recent newsletter and I was quite upset by one of the articles I read.  Sgt Raymond Boyd, I am young and/or female as you put it BUT I have a huge amount of respect for Old Glory, just as you do.  Oh, and just to let you know, my Grandfather served in the Navy, my Uncle served in the Marine Corps, and I am the fourth grandchild to follow in his/their footsteps and join the military ( I leave for Parris Island Oct15).  I've spent
a great deal of time visiting nursing homes/retirement homes talking to our country's elders...and some happened to be veterans.  But I can guarantee that I am not the only female like this.  So please refrain from saying that just because somebody is "young and/or female" that they do not have respect for the flag, or veterans.
Poolee Dana Olson
...................................................

My husband was a 46-crew chief, and the imperial battle phrog continues to be my most beloved aircraft. I hold crew chiefs high on my list of heroes.  Until now... Sgt Boyd you are WAAAAY out of line. You said "Most were young and/or women.  Because of this, they did not have the respect for the flag, or veterans."

I happen to be a woman AND a Marine Veteran. How DARE you disparage my service to my country and make assertions that Women don't understand.  Being "old Corps" is no excuse... I earned the title the same as you, and now, 17 years later, am just as proud of my time in the Corps as any other vet.
Semper Fi,
Teena Hubbard
...................................................

wally storekeeper, that's exactly what they told me then, my comments on a rusty rifle were uncalled for and very much understood. you see, i heard that shit when i was 19. but on a more serious note. i feel your pain. i been throwed on a
chopper more than once. "rusty" grunt.
...................................................

Sgt. Grit;

Although I read every issue and often mutter comments to myself about one letter or another, never have I felt the need to reply to one. That is until I read the letter submitted by Mrs. Wortmann & published in newsletter #27..
(Debbie Wortmann PMM of PFC Wortmann)

It is worth sharing with our Brothers & Sisters because as long as young kids like this (along with my son and newly enlisted Nephew) feel this way, our beloved Corps is in good hands!

We all know of the inter-service rivalry that exists between the others and 'The Corps', but what really matters is that young people like PFC Wortmann can still find the patriotism and the internal courage to take a stand.

That aside the letter made this old grunt sit up and take notice! The other services are run as military services or businesses , it is ONLY the Corps that is a cult!

Semper Expertus,Semper Fidelis,Frates Aerteni
'Often Tested,Always Faithful,Brothers Forever'
Alan Pincus
Sgt. USMC RVN '68-70
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Sgt.I got to get this off my chest.Tonight at work this couple from New York City made a comment that made me sick.They said not enough is being done for them and there friends in the city for 9/11.Then said the Pentagon was not as important as the Towers.The reason was " that is a Military Place they expect to get shoot at or even bombard,that's what we pay them for".  Please tell me why we are fighting to protect these kind of people? Why are we letting our young go to war if we are looked upon as some kind of low life that wants to get killed?How does someone think the Twin Towers had people in them,but the Pentagon had only military in it?Did not the Pentagon have humans in it?  When they walked away,they could only look at me like I was a crazy man.I wish now I could have been calm and try to talk to them.I guess no one wants to hear us old veterans and how we feel about the Pentagon and our Military People.
LCpl.Nick Somarelli,1970-1973
.............................................................

Sgt G.
In your recent letter you state:
"It pains me to listen to weak, timid people with too much education, ramble on with weak, wimpy, over- intellectualized arguments."

To my way of thinking the pain also comes from listening
to strong, bold people with INSUFFICIENT education.

Some the education of which I speak is of an academic
nature, however most is gained from reflecting on
experiences from an honest, moral life. Experience in
battle gives much upon which to reflect - such as
courage, duty and fear (ask a "lucky" grunt "fortunate"
to have participated in the first wave on White Beach 1,
Peleliu).

Old (Really Old) S/Sgt '43-'46
(Also MIT graduate '50)

Note: My comment was more toward the "talking heads"
      on television. Sgt Grit
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"In cases of defense 'tis best to weigh the enemy more mighty than he seems." --Shakespeare
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Sgt G.
This is to endorse some of the comments by MSgt Scott
McClellan wherein he states:

"I think we should back away from the whole region and
let them sort things out.  ....those people have been
fighting for 600 years."

"We will lose more American lives. Expend billions of
dollars .... And they will be at each others throats,
again, first chance they get."

A most reasonable and succinctly expressed
recommendation.

As proof of this, read the following release from Reuters
news service today:   KABUL - At least 16 people have been killed in fighting between two rival Afghan tribes in the southeastern
province of Khost. The clash was part of an old feud
over land between rival tribes. Violence was initially
prevented when elders from the two tribes intervened.
But a spokesman for the governor of Khost, said fighting
was continuing and many wounded from both sides had been brought to the hospital. The rival tribes are the
Balkhel and Sabari. The intensity of fighting was
increasing. More men, weapons and ammunition have been sent in by the rival tribes. Several hundred families
have fled since the fighting broke out.  Government efforts to end the fighting have not succeeded. U.S. forces were carrying out searches for arms and ammunition. Residents and local authorities complained, saying U.S. troops have used heavy handed tactics and had INVADED THEIR PRIVACY. Holy #$&%!

Old (Really Old) S/Sgt
........................................................

Sgt G,
Just a reminder that anyone can send email to any service member at http://www.anyservicemember.com
Semper Gumby (always flexible)
Frederick C. Montney III
MSgt, USMC Retired
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Sgt Grit -
We have "Homeland Security" now. What the h*ll is
that!! Does anyone know what they have done or what
they really intend to do to make us "safer".

Perception is everything and our government is no different from very large corporations.  They have a message to get out about one of their "services" and we need to be made to feel good about what they are doing.  If we don't feel good about what the government is doing to make us safe, we may not perform the most important function our government requests from every citizen: shopping or otherwise spending money on services like air travel.  Because of the way our economy is structured, our tax dollars aren't enough.  The government expects that we make purchases and travel so all the large companies can make money and donate more to the politicians and their parties.  It's the American way, don't you see?!

But I sidetrack myself... to answer the question, the Homeland Security folks have employed two proven tactics in trying to show us how well they are doing.  1. They have spent one heck of a lot of money! (Gotta be doing something good, right?) 2. To make sure we know how it works, they provided us with those easy to remember graphical "color alert levels" so we know whether to be scared, cautious or just watchful.  I think by the time they get around to issuing a "red alert" we might all be toast.

My opinion is that we are getting a large scale, costly dog and pony show so those who are not impressed by our military action and political rhetoric can have something to make them feel better, like colors.  At least, they can say the Homeland Security bunch is doing something about those pesky terrorists who want to do us in.  Don't all those new security folks at the airports scanning 80 year old women and turning kids upside down to shake out the explosives make you feel a lot more secure?  And thank goodness they are stripping people of their finger nail clippers!  Imagine the many high jackings they have prevented. When the National Guard guys with their spiffy new berets and M16s were waltzing around the airports staring at the girls, I know I sure felt safer.  Just what we need; some guy who may fire a weapon once a year unloading a burst after some suspected "terrorist" in a crowd.  They should have given those guys baseball bats.

For years, we have been trained by professionals (ad agencies) to be influenced by bright colors and hype and well produced TV messages that have little to do with reality (Buy Tide in the new blue box).  Our government is trying to get advertising savvy.

Thinking for one's self and asking, "what's really going on here" will probably be the best way to strip the emperor of those supposed new clothes.
Semper Fi,
Gabe Kingsley
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Every month or so I include something from Military Magazine.  I think it is an excellent magazine. The following is from an outstanding section called "G-2". If you would like to try a free sample copy of Military go to www.milmag.com .
Sgt Grit

This report comes from a soldier currently serving in Afghanistan and is in regard to our media. "For the most part the Afghan want us here and appreciate what we've done. This is a culture of violence and it takes very little to get the shooting started. We've found ourselves responding to lazy, incompetent media with personal agendas. After an operation they go up to the first local the see, ask question and write it down as fact.  As you may have guessed this is about the so-called "wedding party" incident. When we took the press into the area, they refused to publish anything about the murals on the locals walls showing them shooting at our helicopters. The journalists laughed it off as being leftover from the Soviet days. the truth is the Soviets didn't have any double rotor helicopters and the paint they used fro the murals was still wet. If the truth be known, we've been shat at every night for three weeks from those same compounds. There was no mistake and we hit what we aimed at. If the locals insist on placing their families around the weapons systems they use to shoot at us, then the fault lies with them when family members get hurt. These people will hurt their own families if it gains them some propaganda. Yes, this is another dirty little war and our media just doesn't get it. We already sense that the fickle American mindset has forgotten the travesty of 9/11 and its consequences for the American way of life.
Military Magazine
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"This year will go down in history.  For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the whole world will follow our lead into the future!"
Adolph Hitler, 1935
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Dear Sgt. Grit,

A couple of years ago I was at our local high school football stadium for the Homecoming game.  During half time, they were announcing all the new young boys playing football in the grade school league, so my wife and I naturally went, as our 10 year old was in the league. Just before the game started they were playing the Star Spangled Banner, so I stopped where I was, stood at attention, and placed my hat (cover) over my heart....damn, I still feel like saluting!  Two punky kids, around 18 or so, were walking past me and just continued to do so, without stopping, and just chattering to beat the band.  I believe you know the type....tongue studs, piercing in their eyebrows, purple hair, etc.  Anyhow, this really P*ssed me off!  Now I'm not one to normally care what anyone else does, but I guess I just got fed up with the disrespect shown these days.  We see it at games all the time, wherever the Anthem is played.  Anyhow, I excused my self from my wife, told her I'd be right back (didn't want to embarrass her), and walked a little quicker to catch up to the boys.  When I got there, I tapped one of them on the shoulder.  When he turned, I asked him if he had heard the National Anthem being played?  He replied with something like..."Sure, dude."

I asked  both of them if their parents or anyone else had ever taught them the proper respect for it.  The reply was "Dude, that shit is sooooooo bogus....".

My reply at that point was that I and many others had fought for the rights they were taking advantage of and many had died preserving those rights from others who would have them banned.  I also informed them if they wanted to make spectacles to themselves, that was their right.  But, if they wanted to offend me and possibly many others at the stadium or elsewhere, it was getting kinda dangerous for them, as someone might really take offense and kick their little butts clean to Cleveland.  And, if I ever saw them disrespecting out country like that again, I would personally put my shoe so far up their butts they'd be using those tongue studs to lick shoe leather, understood?  The response was "Yes, sir."

As I looked around, to make sure my wife didn't follow me and get embarrassed, I noticed a police officer not too far away, but he seemed to not have heard what I had said to the boys.  I went back to my wife and took her arm.  As I was assisting her into the stands, a voice behind me said "Ooooooorah!"  I  turned around to the police officer with a gigantic grin on his face.  As he turned away, he said "Wish I could have said that to those punks."
Semper Fi!
Jim Bowden
Sgt. USMC Vietnam 67-68
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I found the letter from the young Marine's Mom very interesting but did you not know EVERY Mom with her son in the Corps feels that same proud feeling.  My son too was a Marine and served in Vietnam where he gave his life. I too am so proud to say my son was a Marine. I am very proud to add that I have adopted the 1/1 Marine Vietnam Vets.T  hey along with a few 1/5ers are "my boys" and I love each one of them.
Semper Fidelis,
Mom Pederson
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Re: Jerry Gulyes

It is with dismay that I read your disapproval of a
preventive attack on Iraq. Be advised I am one of the
Many Marines that served in Desert Shield/Storm under
Powell- He was against military action then and was in
favor of stopping short of the action that was needed.
I Consider Powell to be Namby Pamby at best and am
looking forward to his retirement. What would you like
to do about Iraq's WOMD Weapons Of Mass Destruction
for those of You from Rio Linda. Wait until he hits a
Football Stadium and Wipes out in less than one minute
a Greater Number of Americans than were KIA in Viet
Nam?  Grow a set of Testicles.  I look at it this way- If
you Don't remember your Rank or You do remember and
Don't bother to sign it you are probably a non Marine.
Abbott, J D LCPL
89-93 O311
Proud to Stand behind Bush, Proud to be a Marine

MARINES NEVER FORGET WHO AND WHAT YOU REPRESENT
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Sgt Grit,

I am just a young girl who receives your newsletter.
Every week I read the stories of hope and courage.  I
just wanted to say THANK YOU to all of the men and
women who have served and are serving for our great
country.  That you are all appreciated and are kept
close to my heart. It is the men and women like you
that make this country great!
Regards,
Jennifer D.
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My wife and I attended the Tulsa Union versus Jenks football game in Tulsa on Friday night.  The football game was played before  25,000+ fans in Tulsa Oklahoma.  During the pregame ceremonies, the announcer introduced several Union High School graduates of 2002.  These four graduates had joined the Marine Corps and had all attended Boot Camp at the same time this Summer, graduating on September 6th. Three of the new Marines, one could not attend, marched onto the field in their new Marine Corps uniforms.  Their recruiter, a Marine Corps Sergeant in Tulsa, accompanied them onto the field.  The fans attending the game stood and gave these new Marines a rousing ovation with sustained applause.  I can assure you that Patriotism is alive and well in the state of Oklahoma.
Thank you,  George Cripps
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Please publish in the Sgt. Grit Newsletter the following Notice Of Reunion.  1st Marine Div, A Co.1st Bn. 7th Reg. Veterans of Guadalcanal- New Guinea- New Britain- Peleliu-Okinawa & China annual reunion will be held in Savannah Ga. April 2nd,3rd &4th 2003 On April 4th a tour of Parris Island will be conducted.  Contact Lou Clabeaux 17725 Gulf Blvd. Redington Shores Fl. 33708
Phone No