Sgt Grit Marine Corps Merchandise

Welcome to our Marine Corps Newsletter archives. Here you can find USMC articles and memories sent in to us by fellow Jarheads and their families. Enjoy!

Sgt Grit Marine Corps Newsletter - April 27, 2002

Another one that was used, when "nomenclature" was wrong, was: This is my rifle, This is my gun, This one's for firing, This one's for fun. Keep up the good work -- really enjoy reading the items and remembering. MGySgt Richard A. Swank, USMC, (Ret.)


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ARMED GUARDS AROUND MY GUN

Sgt. Grit,
 I have written once before about my good fortune to have traveled
 to several Pacific battlefields over the last 2 years....Saipan,
 Tinian, Guam, Peleliu, and best of all Iwo Jima. I plan on continuing
 my visits, God willing, to Tarawa and Makin next year. The opportunity to meet and talk to the veterans of these battles has been one of the highlights of my life right along with the pride I felt as I graduated with Platoon 1093 in Oct. 1972 at MCRD, San Diego. I have become very close friends with one Iwo vet in particular here in Charlotte, NC and every time we get together it's an honor. I never tire of his stories, his opinions of today's world, and our shared pride in the Marine Corps. He has asked me to ask of his fellow Marines out there if anyone in the 4th Division remembers coming in on a Higgins boat in the 5th wave,
 Yellow Beach and debarking at the beachhead, taking position right below the airfield, and the Higgins boat going up in an explosion minutes after they got off. He had grabbed 4 other Marines and led them to the beach and in the chaos had forgot his pack on a jeep that was on the boat. Just as he stood to go back to retrieve it, the boat was hit...... throwing the jeep 20-30 ft. in the air and killing the others aboard. He would love to see if anyone remembers that specific incident and could contact him. He was with the 14th Marines and manned a 105MM gun.......I know the odds are against finding those four men but one never knows. He
 also wonders if anyone remembers the heavenly scent of fresh donuts making it's way across the island as about half way through the battle, he managed to scrounge up the ingredients to make a bunch of donuts for the front line boys. They were in such demand that the officers posted guards around his gun! He was one of the lucky ones to survive Iwo and in fact, made it through Saipan, Tinian, Roi-Namur, and Iwo without getting wounded. Quite a feat as so many buddies were lost. Anyway, if by some miracle either of these stories bring back the memory for any Iwo vets out there, please contact me at BCarter436 @ aol.com and I will be happy to pass it on to him. His name is Peter Kakadelis.
 Semper Fi,
 Bruce Carter, USMCR '72-76

Read more here.

UNFORTUNATE JARHEADS

 I was in the locker room of my health club the other day reminiscing
 with another Marine. Our memories took us back to Korea. He said he got out of PI in early summer of '50 and joined the columns of Marines swarming to Camp Pendleton where the various drafts were being assembled for reinforcing the troops around Pusan. He said the brigade had already left. For some reason, lack of housing maybe, he was billeted at Del Mar. One day a WO with more than 30 years in came through the area looking for volunteers. He also had several .45s, holsters and pistol belts. The gunner also had requisitioned several vehicles. He took his "volunteers"
 south of the border to TJ to roundup unfortunate jarheads in the Mexican brig. He can back with 12. Said, "I'll be damned if I would let them stay down there when there is a job to be done."
 BTW. He was quickly sent to Kobe to be "out of the way" and to handle things there when the draft arrived there on the way to the fight.
 Semper Fi,
 Bob Rader sgt '53-'56, 1405534

PERFECT 250

 To answer Bob Orlove who asked if it was possible to find out if a
 Marine shot 250 during boot camp. I was a PMI for several years at Parris Island. During that time I had several Recruits that qualified by shooting a perfect 250. I even had one that shot 250 three days in a row. I don’t know if they still keep records or not but at one time they had everyone’s final score on file at MCRDPI at the Rifle Range HQ. Sgt Robert J Berube 2136841 (1965 to 1974) VN (1966/67) PMI (1968 to 1970)
 ...............
 
 My name is Cpl LeBlanc, I'm currently serving at MWHS-2 (Duece) at Cherry Point, NC. I really love the Corps. I currently have been enlisted for 5yrs. The Marines I work with always call me Moto, because of my Motivation towards the Corps. I work as an administrator (Unit Diary Chief) and would like to shed some light on a recent statement by Sgt Bob Orlove, USMC 68-71, Vietnam 69-70. His concern was about someone that shot a
 perfect score in Boot camp. Right now I'm dealing with a new system that is suppose to be taking over Naturals in 3270. I should be able to look up current, retired and former Marines. Possibly if I had the persons name that shot a perfect score I could look this up in the system. If I am unable to the only thing I can think of is find out where this person went to boot camp and talk to the range personnel. They might have some kind of record of everyone that shot perfect scores on the course. Thank you for your time. Sgt Bob Orlove, you or anyone else needing some kind of administrative assistance please contact me at "leblancjr@2mawcp.usmc.mil"
 and I will see what I can help you with.
 
 OOH RAH and Semper Fidelis
 Cpl Jonathan R. Le Blanc
 USMC

BAR CADENCE

 As Per SSgt Caesar a Bahimian who came to
 the US to be a Marine and was a DI at MCRD in the late
 60's, the proper refrain was:
 
 I don't want a B.A.R.
 I just want a candy bar
 
 I can't keep my rifle clean
 I'm a poggie bait Marine
 
 Don't matter anyway, I remember a loud grunt (about
 like the cough of a mad lion) being what the hooraa
 has been since the movie "Heartbreak Ridge". Grunted
 so loud at an Arkansas vs Auburn @ Auburn f-ball game,
 about 7 years ago, when they intro'ed the Commandant
 (an Auburn grad) that the lady in front of us wet her
 scanties (as in panties). After she jumped I
 apologized and said Marine. Everyone laughed and the
 husband told me when she left what she had done.
 
 Doesn't matter the cadence, when it was used or where.
 Doesn't matter who you are, as long as 9 Marines carry
 you the last time. Six for pall bearers, two for Road
 Guards and one to count cadence.
 
 I kinda like the sound of:
 
 If I die in a combat zone
 Box me up and ship me home
 
 If I die on the Russian front
 Bury my body in a Russian ....
 
 or
 
 Ousama, Ousama where are you
 Come on out we'll kill you too
 
 Why do you not fight like a man
 Or is sending Women your major plan
 
 now you all know why I haven't written the great
 American Novel (or novelette)
 Thomas Paine

PHONIES AND WANNABEES

 Sgt Grit:
 Sgt Reynolds: Yeah, checking the transcript would be a good idea!
 Makes sense. Nowadays, darn near everyone takes advantage of the GI bill/VEAP (remember that one?), documentation has to exist someplace to get that college $$$$, mostly likely in the admissions office of the college. You might start there.
 
 Cpl Taylor: I think we chewed some of the same dirt, Mac! I was in
 Iwakuni on WesPac in 85 and again in 87. You make a good point. Its the "little" things that usually trip up the fakes/phonies/wannabees.
 
 Sgt Orlove: Yours is a relatively easy task, as there are damn few
 who've shot a perfect score on the range, ever. When I was in in the 80's, no one did that I recall. The closest was a 248, I believe.
 Regardless, a perfect score would have made the base newspaper (The Boot, it was called in 82). And, I'm guessing, that anyone who has ever shot 250 on the range would have their name someplace around the range, at the Weapons Training Company (or whatever its called, that one I can't remember, dang it). He probably would have gotten meritoriously promoted, a plaque, and other goodies the rest of us Recruits wouldn't have. So, there you have it, a few real good ways to check this whopper.
 
 A note on this one, though. Its almost going into the "Sea Story" realm, something I'll again touch on. Its not my intention to eliminate the telling of our much cherished Sea Stories. Personally, I enjoy the telling of em, esp. by the masters of the tale. My beef is with those who would claim honor where there is none, rank and privilege that wasn't earned, or our TITLE when it ain't rated. In those cases, the individual gets nothing from me but grief, and should from you, also.
 
 Cpl Campbell: Its a sorry state of affairs when the local PD won't do anything to help you out. Typical, I'm afraid. Some suggestions: Start by letters to the Editor. Pics of this bozo with the license plates on his truck. Post em on a local website. Get the VFW/American Legion involved. Publicity this guy doesn't care about, but I assure you, the lack of response by elected officials, DMV administrators, and the local coppers will cause some red faces. Sometimes, people have to be dragged kicking and screaming into doing the right thing. Adverse publicity is something no pencil pusher ever, ever, wants to see. Give that a shot, and see what happens.
 
 Mr Ross: Violations of Title 18 USC can be reported to the local FBI office. If you are aboard a military reservation/post, you can also report them to the Dept of Defense Police, & or Military Police. I will tell you, though, that most of these agencies are rather lackadaisical in pursuing these losers. Again, publicity and tenacity will pay off, I believe, in the long run.
 
 Well, that's it for this time. I hope that helps. Once again, my email
 is: zebra305@earthlink.net . I'll happily provide information and
 assistance to those who ask for it.
 Semper Fi Jason Grabill
 Sgt USMC 82-89, 97-01

SIR, YES SIR

 To George Helmke USMC 53-57, when I went through boot camp at Parris Island SC, Platoon 166, in March of 1966 we responded to orders with the refrain "Sir Yes Sir"
 Nat Holmes, USMC 1966-72
 ..................
 
 To Geo. Helmke, who commented about Brad Robinsons letter, of MCRD in 1950, as to Sir,No Sir,etc. as a manner of talking to a D.I., I went through MCRD in 1950, plt.35, and can tell Geo. that any maggot who did not address his D.I with the first word out of his mouth being Sir, was in for more than he could imagine this side of hell. And was a mistake that was not repeated. I have no idea what the D.I.'s did in 53, but I can tell you in 50 it was Sir first and last of every sound that a boot uttered. Semper Fidelis
 Cpl C.E. Berry. Marine , 1949-53
 .................
 
 Hey sarge
 I had been out of Boot camp about six months at the time. I was at camp Pendleton with BLT 3/5 getting ready to go to WesPac. It was a fri evening and I was running to the bus stop and the Liberty bus. Half way across the parade deck I heard the voice of one of my Drill Instructors call my name. Ice formed around my spine and I came to a screeching halt in the position of attention. I did a smart about face and sounded off, " Sir Yes Sir" Once drilled into you old habits dye very hard.
 SSgt Rock
 .............
 
 I went to MCRD San Diego in 1966,If the first three words out of your mouth weren't Sir, Yes Sir you would be wondering why your mouth hurt and you were sitting on your ass.
 Vogel22
 .............
 
 As for the use of the phrase "Sir yes Sir".
 In 1976 we would use it while answering as a group, However whenever we were in a one on one situation with the Drill Instructor we would use a simple "Yes Sir".

MESS NIGHT

 Dear Sgt. Grit,
 I'd like to request that you print this in your next newsletter. I am a
 LCpl stationed at Monterey, Ca learning Arabic. Our school is almost 2 years long, which is then followed up by 3 more months of schooling before we hit the fleet. Well, as you can imagine, being stuck at a school for two years learning one of the hardest languages the school has to offer, it's hard to stay motivated. Well, I am my platoon guide and we are trying to put together a Mess Night for the Marines of our platoon. The problem is we can't seem
 to find a list of things needed or itineraries for the organization of a Mess Night. I hope that some Marines that read this might have the information I need or may know where I can go to get the information. If you do, please e-mail me at: bigd51usmc@yahoo.com . I would really appreciate your help.
 Semper Fidelis
 LCpl Brobst, USMC

NATIONAL MARINE CORPS ENGINEER ASSOC

 A National Marine Corps Engineer Association was formed in Jacksonville, North Carolina in 1991 and is chartered in North Carolina . We are accepting applications from all Marine Engineers and anyone that have ever served in a Engineer unit including Shore Party, Draftsman and surveying, Bulk fuel , Aviation Engineers and other services that have been attached to
 a Marine Engineer unit. Our current membership is over 750 and we are growing fast. We have a reunion each year and will be in Branson, Missouri on 25-29 September 2002 and will travel North to Harrisburg, Pa in 2003. Any one interest in obtaining information and an application can contact; MSgt Garland G. Greer USMC Rtd at KYCOL8@AOL.Com or call 828-437-9329.
 Thank you and Semper Fi Marines GGG
 

TO BAM OR NOT

 Sgt Grit,
 This is in response to "Sgt B's" letter. I was active duty 73-76
 and we were taught in Boot Camp just to say thank you to the expression BAM. We were informed of the derogatory meaning of the phrase, but we were instructed BAM meant Beautiful American Marine. I happen to think any Marine is a Beautiful American. I also took and still take offense to someone referring to me as a BAM. Particularly when they feel the need to express in detail their personal take on the broad a__ __ explanation. I would suggest, the term not be so freely utilized. As a female Marine, I also recall when all WM birthday celebrations had ceased in the Marine
 Corps...when the Commandant removed the Director of Women Marines from his staff...when the WM was dropped from our SSN and we were "fully integrated" into the Marine Corps. We wear the uniform with the same pride, the same honor and the same distinction as any of our counterparts. I beg to differ with Sgt B on the appearance issue of the Women Marines also. Never saw
 one who wasn't squared away. Sgt B may want to contact his local chapter of the WMA (Women Marines Association) sometime and maybe with his mindset they may want him to appear as a guest speaker. I enjoy your newsletter, but quite honestly I did resent that note. Thank you for your time and your consideration in reading my response.
 Semper Fi
 GySgt. D.G. Williams
 ......................
 
 I really didn't want to get into the fray about "BAM", but maybe this will help; I am a WM from the 50's, Currently serving with over 30 other non-active duty Marines in Semper Fi #1 Memorial Honor Detail. Once in a while the term "BAM" is used, but I find that now, and back when I was on active duty, the men using the term said it in a bantering manner. I never heard the term used in a malicious tone. And, accordingly, my response was also in a bantering
 tone when I replied, "I'd rather be a BAM than a HAM"..... they almost always got the meaning clearly!!! and, a good laugh is had by all. Get with it folks, whether our butts are skinny or ample, the operative word is MARINE!
 Denne Howard, Sgt USMC 1953-1956
 ................
 
 It still amazes me that are so many ignorant former Marines around in reference to Women Marines. I was in the Marine Corps from 1968-70 and most of the lady Marines were very attractive. Where the idea ever came from that women that went into the service were ugly or homely most of come from a man that no woman Marine would date. How Women Marines look does not have any
 thing to do with the recruiters. And anybody that had any sense would know that to join the Marine Corps you have to fit a certain height and weight requirement just like the men. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.
 Cpl. B.B. W722106
 ..................
 
 In reply to the old salt (1952-1955)...mind your manners! His quote
 "Now the Women Marines that I have seen have improved greatly, I have not seen one that wasn't very pretty and "Squared Away". The recruiters are doing an excellent job." Are you trying to start a war? What do looks have to do with being a Marine? Squared away is one thing...I totally agree with that, but an effective Woman Marine does not have to be pretty, or slight of frame in the area you seem focused on. Can she do her job? Does she have the class it takes to be a Marine? Is she disciplined? If she is all of these then the recruiter did an excellent job!
 
 I come from a family of Marines and am proud of it. My dad was the first one in, around the same time you were sir! His name was Thomas W. Even. He went to boot in San Diego and was stationed in 29 Palms. He passed away in 1977. My three brothers are also Marines (Ricci- named after my dad's best Marine buddy Darrell D. Ricci / Randy, also known as Chuck / and Thomas W. Even Jr.). Both my sisters are married to Marines (Bill Davis and Scott De Kock). I was the fourth in my family to sign up for a tour in the USMC (1978-1981). And last, but certainly not least, my
 nephew Dustin Even (Ricci's son) is now serving his tour. My mother was given a certificate from the recruiting station in Sioux City, IA naming her an Honorary Recruiter. OOOH RAH! and Semper Fi!
 CPL Rachael A. Even

FORMER FEMALE MARINE

 HELLO, MY NAME IS HEATHER WILLIAMS AND I AM A FORMER MARINE. I FOLLOWED IN MY FATHER AND BROTHER'S FOOT STEPS. I REMEMBER EVERY MOMENT FROM THE DAY I ENLISTED UNTIL THE DAY I WAS HONORABLY DISCHARGED. THERE IS NOTHING
 I HAVE EVER BEEN MORE PROUD AND HONORED MORE THEN TO HAVE THE TITLE MARINE. IT TAKES A LOT OF WORK BUT IT IS WELL WORTH IT. I ENLISTED WHEN I WAS 17
 STRAIGHT OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL AND I GOT OUT WHEN I WAS 21. IT REALLY MADE ME GROW UP AND REALIZE JUST HOW BIG OF A PAIN I WAS TO MY PARENTS. ONCE
 I GRADUATED BOOT CAMP I HAD A LOT OF RESPECT FOR MY PARENTS, THEY REALLY PUSH THAT. I THINK THAT THE MARINE CORP IS A GREAT CHANCE AND OPPORTUNITY
 FOR ANYONE YOUNG PERSON OUT THERE WHO IS NOT YET SURE WHAT TO DO WITH THERE LIFE.
 THANKS
 HEATHER WILLIAMS

GOOD AFTERNOON SIR

 Dear Sgt Grit;
 I was sitting outside the office when the company gunny ordered
 me to take a communiqué over to head quarters bldg. after making sure I was squared away, I began to double time to my destination to complete my mission. While at the double time about 30 paces away I noticed a WM. officer approaching from the opposite direction so I slowed down to quick time and composed myself to render the proper hand salute with the appropriate
 greeting as required by custom and regulations of the Marine Corps. I managed to pop off what I thought was a snappy salute and out of my mouth came "Good afternoon Sir." At that point the WM Captain halted me and called me back. I complied
 and again rendered the proper salute and reported as I was taught "Sir Private Williams reporting as ordered Sir." The captain with a smirk upon her face said "Marine cant you see that I am a female and I sit down to P***." I replied "Sir yes Sir." She just shook her head and said "Carry on marine." I saluted on more time and she returned it and walked away, and I continued on my mission and completed it. But I will always remember this encounter to my dying day with a smile whenever I think about it.
 Larry Williams
 USMC 1965 1969, USMCR 1975 1990

VIDEO TAPE PROJECT

 Sgt. Grit:
 As a member of Westfield River Valley Det., 141, Westfield, Mass., a former and soon again to be a member of the Marine Corps Correspondents Association, and a Marine who served in Public Affairs, I have undertaken a mission to video tape all Marines who served in combat, especially WW2 because we are losing them rapidly, in the Western Massachusetts area. We
 are not just limiting the interviews to Marines but they are our initial target. Many have stories to tell that will be lost if we don't get them on the record. Other MCL detachments may have qualified members to undertake a similar project. They might contact their local community cable channel for help. Those interested in being interview or those that know those who should be interviewed call our detachment at 413-562-4850 or email me at fgreal@aol.com. Also looking for those who can help with this project.
 Frank Real Sgt. USMC '56-'59

COL. WILLIAM BARBER, MOH

 Sergeant Grit, I know that normally you do not publish death notices in your letters. However I think the following is of more than general interest to your readers, especially those of the Korean War era and more especially the survivors of the Chosin Reservoir campaign. The following was sent to me by members of the Orange County Chapter of the Chosin Few
 
 On Friday, 19 April 2002 in the early evening Bill passed away very peacefully and in no pain according to his widow Ione.
 Colonel Bill Barber, MOH, Fox 2/7 was a WW II veteran having served our Corps on Iwo Jima, was awarded the Purple Heart and Silver Star for heroism. For his heroic action as commanding officer of Fox 2/7 at Toktong Pass, Chosin Reservoir, North Korea he was awarded the Medal of Honor. Wounded three times, and as he would humorously state "a couple of additional
 nicks", he continued as CO while being carried on a stretcher from post to post. Col Barber is a Marine Corps legend. One of the founding fathers of the "Chosin Few Orange County Chapter". Bill continued to be active in chapter affairs until his latest illness.
 His remains will be sent to Arlington National Cemetery for a service and committal at a date yet to be determined.
 Semper Fidelis,
 G. O. Gigg GySgt USMC (Ret)
 Past President "Coastal Carolina Chapter Chosin Few"
 ..................
 
 Korean War hero and career military man Col. William E Barber, a
 Medal of Honor recipient, died Friday in Irvine, Calif., after a long
 battle with bone marrow cancer. He was 82. Barber is best known for his heroism in one of the Marines' most brutal struggles, the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir in 1950. Barber's Fox Company was outnumbered by a ratio of more than 5-1 at the reservoir south of the Yalu River, which separates North Korea from China.
 In the weeks before Thanksgiving roughly 120,000 Chinese crossed the Talu River into North Korea. Barber was hit by a bullet that fractured a bone near his groin. Commanding his men from a stretcher, Barber, then a captain, refused to obey orders to leave a hill. He believed retreating would trap about 8000 nearby Marines.
 After five days and six nights of battle, more than 1000 enemy troops were dead. Finally, Ray Davis, who later became a general, overwhelmed the Chinese with his Marines and came face-to-face with Barber. The two men were so choked up that neither could speak. Davis later recalled. Barber earned the Medal of Honor partially for disobeying the retreat order.
 Semper Fi
 J. A Gardner
 Korea 51-53

MORTAR ROUNDS

 Hey Sarge,
 There were a couple of inputs that brought a grin. I wanted to comment to Cpl. Acciavatti about those mortar rounds. He said that they were getting thumped by 81's. They were probably 82's (the Chi-Com version of the 81). I had the unfortunate displeasure of treading on one and when I got my gear back (six months later) there were pieces of shrapnel stuck in the little photo album that I carried in that little pocket inside the right pocket of my jungle utilities. The pieces actually has Chinese writing on them. They could use ours but we couldn't use theirs. Anyway, just thought I'd throw my two cents in. Keep up the good work.
 Semper Fi Mac
 Frank Biddick USMC-RET 64/69, 2121554

PI GRADUATION

 Just wanted to say thank you to 3 Marines that made a difference in my life. March 23, 2002 made it 30 yrs to the day since I went to PI to become one of the few.( plt 334 3rd batt.." get some"...To SSgt Wildenhaus,SSgt Hart, and Sgt Smith...thanx for the memories...Last April I traveled back to PI for my stepsons graduation from 2nd battalion, first time since 72, and has the island changed since I was there..new receiving barracks, new yellow footprints, gone are the old wooden H barracks from years ago . but the third herd barracks are still the same..Stood on the edge of the parade deck as a Sgt was drilling his platoon, and as he walked by he asked "Are you alright sir"?...Told him
 "Yes Sgt, was just having a flashback, you sound like my old senior DI from 30 yrs ago...pointing upwards I said " that was my squad bay"....As I turned to leave he had his platoon march by and he gave them "eyes right" as they went by..The Sgt and I saluted each other..and they were gone, cadence fading off across the parade deck. We then drove over to 2nd battalion to find Fox Companys squad bay., where I thought my stepson would be killed..As we walked by the barracks my wife started to call out his name...Two recruits looked out the window and asked who she was looking for..she told them his name and they said "oh that skinny guy, we'll get him for you.About this time a big black SSgt comes out of the barracks and sees us, He asked if he can be of some assistance, told him no my wife's son is in Fox Company...that's when he said he was the senior DI from Fox..I'm trying to tell my wife shhhhhhhh don't do it and she says " you don't understand Patricks at the window"...looking over I see raised eyebrows,,told her
 YOU don't understand this is his senior DI...Well the SSgt then asked his name and she says Rud..and he says Rud huh good marine good kid wanna see him..Gimme a minute he says...omg the next thing we hear is "Get the hell away from my windows ..who the hell gave you permission to look outside..Rud what in the hell is your family doing on my parade deck..then taps him on the shoulder and says "come on lets go meet your family"..What a difference 13 weeks can make in a man..now I know the feeling and the teary eyed my parents got a long time ago ..pride at seeing your son/daughter become one of the few. On Thursday morning at
 0530 the whole series falls out for one more motivational
 run......Looking around the senior Di says ..I don't want anyone screwing this up...because Ruds stepfather is taping this and since he is a former Marine if you do screw this up ..I know he will let me borrow that tape and I will show you where you screwed up!!...Families getting on base to see this now has changed since 9/11.. .
 Mike Redfern Cpl USMC 72.- 76 ,,78--80
 Plt 334,3rd batt

MARINE MOM

 I am a proud Marine Mom who has two young Marines. My youngest son enlisted in 1998. He has been stationed at 29 Palms with one deployment to Okinawa for 6 months and is doing another 6 months at Okinawa. Since Sept. 11th he has wanted to put his training to use. His 4 years is up in Sept. and is in
 the process of reenlisting. He is waiting to hear if he has been accepted to embassy school. My eldest son is stationed at Camp Pendleton and will be getting out in May of 2003. He and his family will be coming home then and hopes to go into law enforcement. When people know that both my sons are in the Marines they respond with,"Oh my, you must worry." I have always responded with,"No. I worried more about them living here in their home town
 and not having knowing what to do or where to go." After they graduated from basic at MCRD I saw something in them that the Marines instilled in them. They were proud to wear the uniform and carried themselves with pride. The decision to join the Marines was something I supported from day 1. I am honored to be a Marine Mom. Carol Hutchinson Yakima, Washington

THE DRIVE WITHIN

 I was with my son on a visit to a local nursing home. The home school group of kids were singing Christmas carols to all the residents. While we were waiting for everyone to arrive, I decided to talk to some of them. There was one man in particular that caught me eye. I went up and started to make conversation with him. After a brief conversation I asked him if he had ever served his country. Now keep in mind that he could just barley be heard. His voice was weak and you really had to pay attention to him in order to understand what he was saying. After I asked him that question, he nodded yes. I then, being to proud Marine that I am, asked
 what branch. He looked up at me from that wheel chair, and with a
 determination from deep within, sounded out with all of his might,
 "MARINE CORPS!". Needless to say I responded right back in like fashion. I hope we made his day the same way he made mine. MOTIVATED!
 JOHN PAUL

SHE'LL THINK I'M GETTING SOFT

 Like I don't give my wife enough things to gripe at me about; when your newsletter gets here, I have to sit in front of the computer and start reading it. She tries to talk to me and gets the occasional, "uh-huh" but more like an unintelligible grunt. Now I cannot complain about this woman. She started dating me 15 years ago while I was in comm school in the stumps. She has since endured the ego, attitude and colorful language. She has also mastered
 most of those. i.e. - don't ever pull out in front of her - sheesh.
 I was in the passenger seat when someone cut her off, she had me in tears I was laughin so hard. We were married in '90. Sent to the Gulf later that same year. She was pregnant with our first child, my son. When I got home it was time for me to take care of my family and let the next breed take on the next war. That was one of the hardest decisions of my life. Miss it dearly to this day. However, my wife/ mother of my now 3 children, is still by my side. I am now in law enforcement. She knows that, to me, the color of the uniform does not matter. Whatever uniform it is, I will wear it with the same professionalism and attention to detail as my dress blues. Because of this, she takes the time to make sure every patch is on correctly, every crease is right and that I don't ever walk out the door looking unsat. You may be wondering why I am sending you all this. Next month is our anniversary. I never know just how to tell this woman how much I appreciate everything she does. So I thought that by telling all of you how much I think of her, maybe I would be able to loosen up and tell her. Naaaaaaaah, she'll think I'm getting soft. Marine grunt gettin all mushy and talkin about feelings. She'll suggest I enlist in the Queen's Beret's...sorry doggies, couldn't help it.
 
 Anyway, thanks for listening. And, wife, thanks for everything.
 J. Hill, Cpl
 1st Bn 25th Marines
 Wpns Co Dragons
 85-91

MEMORIES

 Sgt. Grit,
 I'm a 66 yr old Marine standing by for orders, no such thing as "ex" or "former". Like most Marines I have a million stories I could tell but respect the space. I served from Nov 53 thru Nov 55 and get a special thrill reading your Newsletters with the Marine jargon of terms such as the Head, Smoking Lamp, Slop Chute, 782 gear, the Deck, Trousers (not pants), Covers, and hundreds of other terms that are still part of my own utterances.
 
 Boot Camp was at MCRD and of special interest has been the talk of Camp Mathews, tent city, cold showers, and the thin mud running down the asphalt trail leading to the Rifle Ranges. We had the "pleasure" of duck walking with our sea bags down that trail when the mud was up to the tops of your boots, fun, fun, fun.
 
 The training was so intense in Boot Camp that I still remember the serial no. on my M1 Rifle -3056009. Our DI handed back our Rifles from the stacks one time by serial no. He called out 3, ought, 5, 6, ought, ought, 9 (I always gave it as 3, zero, 5, 6, zero, zero, 9) It took me just a few seconds to convert the oughts to zeros. I was too late. I paid the price.
 
 I completed my 20 yrs with the Reserve System. While on active 2 wks training at Sub Base Bangor in Washington State I attended the Marine evening Tattoo Parade. A beautiful performance and when it was approaching completion the Band struck up the Marine's Hymn as the formation commenced to march of the
 Parade Deck. All of we Marines in the bleachers immediately jumped to attention and two young teenage Girls in front of me looked around at us a little puzzled. One of them asked the other what was going on. I don't know she said "it must be their fight song". She was absolutely right.
 
 It took me a few years to really fathom the total impact the Marine Corps has had upon my life but I can truthfully say it is one of the most important things that has shaped my character. To carry on the tradition I belong to the Steven Dee Merrell Detachment of the Marine Corps League here in Pocatello, Idaho. It is true what they say about us "Once a Marine always a Marine", the Corps lives in your soul forever. Semper Fi.
 
 By the way, does anyone know where you can get the "Blitz Cloths" we used to shine our brass?
 Cpl Stan Brangham 1416656/5591

MARINE WIFE

 Hello Sgt.,
 Hope all is well with you and your ballerina. I am a proud Marine Wife. My Marine is Sgt. Martino of the Fox Co. 2/25 . He has been called to active duty with the Reserves Based in Albany. I am so proud of them they have been training in Camp Lejeune since Jan14. They have been competing for a sword. A few days ago I was sick and rushed to the hospital on my way out in an ambulance I gave orders not to tell my husband I was ill. Well, some a hole
 told him when he called home to check on the kids. Needless to say he called the emergency room. But before that the American Red Cross called and asked if I want my Marine to come home. Of course I said absolutely not the World War 2 commemorative was the following day how can I ask him to leave. I know how he was looking forward to that for weeks. He got to display his weapon
 and talk with the veterans about Chesty Puller and other great Marines. My friends ask why didn't you yes and my reply was because they got the sword. I find that people do not understand why Marines are so dedicated to each other. Since my husband has been activated I receive calls from a Marine named Frank Grille (1st Marine div) who is a Vietnam veteran at least 1 a
 week He always lifts my spirits his Marine Wife always seems to know what to say to make me feel better when I miss my Marine. I drive him crazy with question like do you think they will be deployed and his reply is don't worry Sharon Marines never leave anyone behind and we are professionals its the other people who need to worry. So I would like to say to the Fox Co. congratulations all of us at home are so proud of you and we support you.
 Keep up the good work Marines Semper Fi

LEE MARVIN & BOB KEESHAN

 In reply to the letter by Brian L. Hipwell, Re: the "scuttlebutt" about
 Lee Marvin & Bob Keeshan. I received, more than once, the supposed story about Lee being shot in the butt at Iwo Jima, and Bob being a hero. Being somewhat of a skeptic, I usually check one of the hoax sites. My favorite being www.snopes.com which is a good site to check on the many rumors that people send out with out checking. According to "snopes" Marine Lee Marvin was shot in the butt at Saipan, and Bob never saw any action, having enlisting in the Marine Corps just before the atom bomb was dropped. For anyone that would like to see the Lee & Bob story that has been going around, and snopes reply to the story, go to:
 http://www.snopes2.com/military/keeshan.htm
 
 Semper Fi, and God bless the Corps and the Corpsman of the Corps.
 Peter A. Beauchamp
 1950-1955

CLIP vs. MAGAZINE

 Dear Sgt Grit,
 There still seems to be some confusion over the nomenclature of "CLIP" vs. "MAGAZINE", and current dictionaries don't seem to help the matter much. Consulting: Merriam-Webster, 2002 online edition Clip (noun) 2: a device to hold cartridges for charging the magazines of some rifles; also : a magazine from which ammunition is fed into the chamber of a firearm.
 
 I personally feel only the first part of the definition sentence is correct, and the 2nd part refers to "slang" usage. Correct nomenclature usage could save your keister. If you were out of ammo during a firefight while equipped with an M-16, and yelled "Toss me an ammo clip!" you might get exactly what you asked for; a 10-round clip of 5.56mm ammo from a buddy's bandoleer without the magazine charging adapter, instead of what you *really* needed; an already loaded magazine! The extra time required to
 load the magazine from the clip just might cost you and your fellow Marines dearly.
 
 Older service rifles, such as the 03-A3 and M-1 Garand, have magazines that are a permanent part of the rifle's receiver, and are loaded using a "clip". The current M-16 service rifles are loaded using a detachable magazine, which may be loaded either by inserting a single cartridge at a time, or by using a "clip" and a magazine charging adapter.
 
 Perhaps the following definitions would be more clearly understandable and useful when applied to service rifles:
 "CLIPS" - hold cartridges together in a compact unit, and are used for rapid loading of magazines. "MAGAZINES" - hold cartridges together in a compact unit, are nearly fully enclosed, and have a spring-loaded cartridge follower that positions the cartridges for loading into the chamber of the rifle.
 
 But I've only been shooting for around 40 years, so some of the real "Old Corps" readers might have some better definitions.
 
 It's only the rounds that hit the targets which count.
 The rounds that hit the targets quickly save lives.
 
 Great newsletters, keep 'em coming!
 Semper Fi,
 Steve "Wookie" Wilke, SGT, USMCIR (29MAR74-30MAR80) MOS 6657 (Airborne
 Weapons System Specialist, F-4J/S)

WITHOUT THINKING

 In July of 1954 while attending summer camp with the 7th Special Infantry Company out of Louisville, Kentucky my company was going through the infiltration course at Camp LeJeune. We had gone about 20 feet into the course with half pound blocks of tnt
 blowing up all around us, light machine guns firing live ammo 36 inches off the ground, raining in buckets and we come up to this log running horizontal across the course, anyway the Marine ahead of me put his M1 Garand over the log keeping low and out of the way of the live machine gun ammo and all of a sudden he started to raise up out of the prone position, being behind him I knew he would get zapped, so I grabbed the back of his battle fatigue shirt and slammed his head into the mud all the while screaming cease fire. After the guns stopped firing I found out from the Marine ahead of me between spitting out mud that there was a timber
 rattlesnake on the other side of the log. Thank God I helped him without thinking, it was just a automatic reaction on my part and caused me to get a meritorious promotion to
 Corporal.
 James R. (Bob) Detheridge
 TSgt USAF (Retired)
 Former Cpl USMCR
 Vietnam Combat Veteran

CAMP PENDLETON VISIT

 As I said, this was an Iwo Jima event for the entire weekend but I
 only attended the banquet Saturday evening as a guest on my nephew. My nephew's dad was a cousin of John Basilone and a year and a half ago he dug up Basilone memorabilia, including the Navy Cross Basilone won on Iwo the day he was KIA on Iwo. All items were donated to Camp Pendleton. Incidentally the entire length of Interstate 5 that borders the base on the coast for 20 miles has been renamed "Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone Memorial Highway." To avoid any rush, my wife and I went down Friday and got a room in Vista near the base. That Friday afternoon we visited the base unannounced. I can't tell you anything about "How the base has changed" because in both of my tours there I entered by way of the main entrance only twice. All of my (2) stays was in the Tent Camps at the northern end of the base, and I used the secondary entrances. The 1st Mar Div is located there now, and I
 sought out the 5th Marines for obvious reasons. I found the two story 5th Marine Headquarters building out in the boonies and walked in while my wife waited in the car. In a minute a Major
 found me wandering and asked if he could help. I introduced myself and told him I'd like to bring my wife in, he said "Fine, there's a hallway upstairs with photos on the wall that may be of interest to you." When we returned another Marine greeted us, introduced himself as Lt. Colonel Craig Baker, XO, 5th Marines and "What can I do for you?" This man stopped what he was doing and was ready to cater to whatever I wanted. I told him I was a "Korean" 5th Marine and he treated me like a General. We talked about a lot of Marine things. His dad was a Vietnam era Marine. The CO's office had pictures of his (The CO's) dad on the wall, taken in Korea. The CO's dad was a Korean era Marine with last name Dunford. The
 CO's name was Joe Dunford, a Colonel. I was beginning to feel a little uneasy for taking the XO's time. The XO sensed that, and put me at ease. In plain English he said "You guys are our Heroes." [They do know their history.] I damn near broke down. It was a very pleasant experience, lasting about two hours. The banquet Saturday evening was held in a 1000 seat capacity dining
 room at Mainside. We had two Iwo guys at our table and all we talked about was Liberty in L.A., no bang bang stuff. One of them knew Basilone, so he and my nephew hit it off good. After dinner the Base Commander, Maj. Gen. David Bice, came to our
 table and the first thing I wanted to do was give thanks to him for the great treatment I got at 5th Marines. When I introduced myself and my outfit the first thing he said was "Did you go out and visit the 5th Marines?" At the time I couldn't remember the names of either the CO or XO of the 5th and he quickly rattled them of for me. This surprised me, as he was Base Commander, not 1st Mar Div Commander. He said to be sure and tell the Division Commander my story. I later crossed paths with the CO of the Division, Maj. Gen. James Conway. The same thing, he treated me like a hero, asked a lot of questions, and of course knew the names of his 5th Marine officers. There were two others I wanted to talk to but I completely forgot about them in favor of chatting with our two table companions plus other Marines, young and old, who we got involved with. All of this was totally unexpected as I thought I wouldn't have that much in common with the Iwo guys.
 The two that I missed making contact with were 2nd Lt. Tara Burkhart, Consolidated Public Affairs Office, Base Command and Mrs. Faye Jonason, History & Museum Officer, Base Command. [I think those are both good addresses; ---Camp Pendleton, California. If any of you guys want to get in touch.]
 A sidelight to my Pendleton, visit which I planned in advance and
 thought was going to be a major element of the trip follows.
 By way of introduction; during WW II one of the older guys in the
 neighborhood who I was close to flew P 38s in the Mediterranean Theater. At that time he told me the AT-6 was the most fun airplane he ever flew. So: I made all the arrangements to fly in one the Saturday of the Pendleton Visit. This was at Palomar Airport in Oceanside. Appropriately the airplane was the Navy version designated SNJ-4, with Navy two tone blue colors and 'Marines' painted on the side. To make a long story short it was exciting, we did all the aerobatics over the ocean and I even got
 to take the controls of and on. (The pilot briefed me on the basics prior to the flight. I am normally a white knuckle flyer.) I took along a
 mini-disk recorder and captured all the sounds, it was awesome.
 On the trip home Sunday the subject of the flight never came up
 between my wife and I, our entire conversation was about the Marines we encountered. Anybody can pay a few bucks for a thrill ride, but all the money in the world cannot buy the friendships and other we experienced as UNITED STATES MARINES!!!
 John

MCRD SAN DIEGO--MOVING?

 Sgt. Grit,
 I know that you probably prefer e-mail to discuss your newsletter; but I’m not too good at sending attachments, so decided to rely on U.S. mail.
 
 A little bit back you had lots of comment about the possibility of MCRD, San Diego closing. There were plenty of comments of keep it going. With this in mind, I thought you might be interested in the attached recent articles that appeared in the San Diego Union newspaper. I believe that they speak for themselves. In the April 14 article they mention ‘ North Island’. In case you do not know, this is Naval Air Station North Island. It is across the Bay, opposite San Diego Airport. It is also the only place, in this part of the world where ‘carriers’ can be berthed. (There usually are 3 there.) So chances of that being ‘ converted’ are nil to none.
 
 There is another aspect on the MCRD question. Back in January CMC Jones and Congressman Randy Cunningham made a public announcement that MCRD would never be closed. Within 60 day both of these authorities did a 180. They now both say it would be good for the community, and the Corps to close MCRD. In fact both have stated that it might be OK to relocate MCRD back to the El Toro base. (Based on political opposition in Orange County, That to is nil to none.)
 
 Although I do not want to see any base closed, I must be realistic. The Corps is the only force with 2 freestanding recruit centers. The old NTC at San Diego went with the last BRAC, and it was just across the fence