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 - December 5, 2002

Saturday is "December 7th"

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Forward March; right into the stories!!!


Dear Sarge:
Reading your last newsletter with the story about Martha Raye brought back some very nice memories. I was
serving in RVN with 1ST Marines (Headquarters Company,
Comm Platoon). We located south of the airstrip at Da Nang to provide security for that base. I believe it was in late 1966 that Martha Raye and company showed up at our location and put on a great USO type show.  After the show was over and the helos were being readied on the pad to take Ms Raye and company back to their quarters, several 6bys pulled in with some our grunts just returning from patrol in the bush. As soon as Ms Raye found out what was going on, she instructed her crew to unload all the gear
they had just packed up and set it up again. She then proceeded to put on another show for the troops that missed the original one due to being on patrol. Needless to say, those of us that were lucky enough to see the first show also enjoyed the encore. She stated that with all we were doing for our country, she felt that was the least she could do for "her Marines".  Even though that happened over 35 years ago, those memories have stayed fresh in my mind.
Semper Fi
Ed Magee 2195471  Cpl 1965-1968, RVN 8/1966 - 7/1968

To Joe Bell.......I saw Martha Ray at Chi Lai as well, in '67.
And, you are right!  She was one great lady!  I can still
remember her singing Hello Dolly and lifting her skirt up and yelling "What do you think of the old girl, now, fellas?!"
She got whistles, cat calls, and tons of laughter during her
show and it still makes me laugh when I think of how great and funny she was.....and totally NOT "G" rated.....thanks
for reminding me.
Jim Bowden, Sgt.  USMC '66-'69


My name is John Gerber a USMC 1970 Viet-Nam vet assigned to 1st FSR/FLC  Rat. Co . Along with our regular duties and the shortage of grunts we at FLC did all our security, patrols and shotgun duties every day. It was on one summer day when I was assigned to ride shotgun with three other marines, to deliver supplies to an orphanage somewhere in Happy Valley that we were almost all killed. As we past the last artillery outpost I  wondered why we were sent so far out without an escort or a radio, I guessed  this was a secured  area. Miles into the ride as we came up a sharp turn heading into tree line, we ran right into  approx. 25 to 30 vc, they were sitting, laying down and standing ,taking a break. WoW, our truck driver, whom I don't know, stopped immediately and scanned the situation. We were just as surprised to see them as they were to see us, I was locked and loaded and realized we were out numbered and this was the end. As I took aim at the one VC holding the RPG, our driver, a corporal told us to "cool it don't fire" thinking he would put his truck in reverse so we could shoot our way out, he did the unexpected and drove right into them. To my surprise they  made a hole and let us pass without firing a shot. Our driver told us that he only had one speed in reverse, "slow" but forward he had  many speeds, giving us a fighting chance.  In all these years I often thought of that lucky day and why we were not all killed, but the thing that bothers me the most is that we didn't write up this  cool headed ,brave young marine, he saved our lives and should have been given a medal, truly a Marine Hero!!!! He was assigned to seventh motor transport battalion FLC, Red Beach and he used a 50 cal. shell for a shifter knob. So if your reading this corporal  I thank you.
Sgt. John Gerber USMC 1969-75,SEMPER FI


I just have to thank you, your site and store.  My fiancé
fought in Vietnam 1968-70.  For years after returning he
never mentioned his experiences, walked away when discussions began.  Many years later he joined a VA group and that did help some but he was still in some denial. He was part of a Vietnam group for some time. His marriage crumbled for many reasons.  We met a little over 2 years ago, I came across some Marine memorabilia when helping him pack to move to a new apartment.  I encouraged him to talk about his experiences, I wanted him to talk. I noticed when he talked a great pride emerged.  It seems the more he talked, the more he wanted to.  I found your web site and store and ordered him some Marine things.  Well that was the beginning of a proud Marine returning.  The tragic events of September 11th sparked further pride and appreciation for veterans of all wars by all New Yorkers..  We recently opened our own business and the American flags are part of our red, white and blue logo.

To make a long story short, thank you for being there, thank you for your stories and helping my Marine.  I notice every time he talks to other veterans, his shoulders straighten and an immense pride comes out.  Once a Marine always a Marine.  "Future wife of a very proud Marine"

Note: I would recommend the Vet Centers to any vet. It is not the same as the VA Hospitals. Much less hassle and paper work.  I personally called the Oklahoma City Vet Center a few years ago. After a short phone call I was instructed to bring a copy of my DD214 for my appointment. He took one quick look at it and said "you need to be here, sit down."  That was the extent of my paper work. 7 visits helped me tremendously.


... do you remember those? No one has asked me to send this, but I think it's worth doing. The following is an excerpt from a "Toys for Tots" news release dated just Tuesday, 12/03/2002:  "As of today, the Foundation is experiencing its most difficult fundraising and toy raising challenge since 1994. To date, the Foundation has attained only 75% of its 2002 revenue goal and only 60% of its corporate toy donation goal."  I don't know if you have any plans to help this year, but if so, you can donate on-line at:

Semper fidelis,
Jim B.


To  all
    I just read the story of Erik in Alaska being the youngest
honorary Marine. Erik is not alone in his battle, I served in
the corps from 86-94 when medically discharged from an injury sustained in Desert Storm at the glorious rank of Sgt.
    I have also been battling a so called "incurable" brain
tumor A GBM, since Feb of this year. Two surgeries and Loads of radiation, a trip to UCSF for consult with the "Experts and many rounds of pills, I'm up & about raising my 11 year old l/cpl in the treasure valley young marine unit. I am fully convinced that my MARINE attitude and My commanding officer upstairs have kept me here so far and will for much longer.  As much as I like the tune of taps, I'm not ready for my own.  Sure wish I could find my sword, I cannot remember what I did with it when I got out. My last station was in Yuma Az. The Espirit de Corps here in Boise. Idaho has been very helpful and I am grateful. One last thought, I was also able to march 54 young Marines in the Veterans day Parade. OOOHRAAH.  Semper Fidelis Erik. and all you jarheads.
Sgt. David M. Hartway


I'm glad to hear about the monuments and tributes to Bob Hope.  To me, he's a bigger hero than John Wayne. I saw Bob in DaNang on his Christmas show tour, in 1969. Too bad I was way up on the hill overlooking the show, but I still have the pictures that I took.
Wallace Klekar, Sgt. USMC 1968-1972


My genuine entertainment hero showed up not more than three days after we  landed on Tulagi in the 'Canal Campaign on 9/8/42. There, to my complete astonishment, was Joe E. Brown standing all alone on a small hillside--with absolutely no retainers or females attending him--doing his d*mnest to give us a real laugh . . and he sure succeeded!!!  A well-known comedian in the late 30s/early 40s, Joe E. never got any accolades--except from the troops--for being there almost at the beginning. But---then---he never sought any kind of public attention, either. Said that he just felt he had to be with us.  A truly dedicated patriot!!!  Semper fi,
Dana T. Hughes, Cpl., USMC (Ret.)


Sgt. Grit,
 While reading over you Nov. 21st newsletter I read about
the death of "Daddy Waggs" by Tom McCourt and I decided to share my little story. I was a member of the I & I staff with 4th MAW, MWSS 474, Supply Platoon on the Philadelphia Navy Base in 1992. I was the Supply/Fiscal clerk for the unit. I was informed by my Gunny that a former marine named Daddy Waggs would be by to pick up a replacement uniform in preparation for the Marine Corps ball. He walked in and you should have seen the pride he felt for the Corps. He told me how he had tried to re-enlist for Dessert Storm but was denied. He invited me to his bar Cookies to share more stories.  I was sort of nervous since I am African American and his bar is in the heart of South Philadelphia, but I told him I would try to make it.

After doing a color guard detail for the Seventy Sixers, Sgt.
Tim Wiggins and I decided we would see what this bar was about.  We entered wearing full dress blues. We were uncomfortable for all of ½ a second. We spent no money and tasted every alcoholic beverage in the place. I have no idea how we made it back to the barracks but I did wake up with a smile!

I would like to say God bless Chesty, God bless the Corps, and God bless "Daddy Waggs"!! I hope heaven is ready for
another marine. I know H*ll isn't!!
Semper Fi,
Ronny Johns, Cpl USMC 87-92


Dear Sgt Grit,
Just received my first news letter , thanks for a job well done.  Would like if I could to add my comments about the Doc Lerp situation.  From the first day I hit the company area at my first duty station I was told the first person you take care of is the "Doc", why because when your down he is the one that is going to come get your "a--". Needless to say some two years later in a rice patty in "Nam" these words were proven to me. If it wasn't for "doc" I would not be sending you this E-mail, I would be one of those names on that black granite wall.  So to to all those who think that FMF  corpsman don't deserve the respect and right to wear the Globe and Anchor or to be in the Marine Corps League, Think again Mister!!

Sgt Grit,
I've been reading the comments regarding Navy Corpsman and if these guys would check with the Marine Corps League, They'll find that an FMF Navy Corpsman can be a full member of any Detachment in the league not an associate. This was a by law change at the National Marine Corps League convention in Detroit Michigan in 2001. This change should have been made years ago, it wasn't but it is a fact now.  They are entitled to full membership. Check it out.  R Wagner USMC 1954-57

Hey Marine: This just was sent to me from a re-tired navy
corpsman- I really have a hard time even thinking that a
"Marine" would hold those corpsman in any other position than respect! This old marine Sgt. on numbers of occasions came to the defense of those "DOCS"  when in trouble! I always knew they were there for us and that was more than good enough for me! I still remember the times that the corpsman would look around and see "Jarheads" then approach Army.  Navy, or A.F. and pick a fight only to back off and watch the Marines come to their aid! Great Show-Great times-Great Life---Semper-Fi Sgt. Jerry L. Henson.  Korea 1953 ----Forever!!

Sgt Grit.  Hello again.  I can't figure out what all of the strife is about.  It's really darn simple.  FMF Corpsman have sworn to do the exact same thing that us Jarheads have.
In times of need, they have often done just that.  I can't
speak for all Marines, but I won't hesitate to say that it's
a very comforting feeling to know that we have them with us.
There's a heap of "former" Marines out there breathing and
living that wouldn't be if it weren't for that doc that saved their butt.  To the men we call "doc," I salute you.  God bless America, and long live the Marines.
SSgt John Pierce

Back in 90 after coming home from the "Persian Excursion", only half of us got leave to go home and see our loved ones. Our corpsman, who had once himself ran thru a artillery barrage to pick me up, having suffered from a shrapnel hit to my orbital bone, was given leave to go home to Illinois from Camp Pendleton. Two days after having departed he apparently fell asleep at the wheel and was involved in a accident that unfortunately, he did not survive.
After hearing of what had befallen our comrade in arms, and after notifying the guys in our unit back home, all 46 guys came back to base, and went to Arizona. From there, we escorted our corpsman back to Illinois, and helped bury him with honors. For those who say that a corpsman shouldn't be allowed membership to the Marine Corps League, should think about how much that a corpsman is like a Marine. They eat with us, the hump the miles with us, they bandage us when we forget to duck, (or in my case, use duct tape, as it was the closest thing he could use to close the wound and me still be able to carry on with the mission). They put in their time, being ridiculed by their fellow shipmates for working with Marines, teased by Marines for "wanting" to be like us, and yet they are always there when that dreaded "Corpsman Up!"  call came out. Whosoever has the audacity to say that they should NOT be allowed membership to the MCL, well, all I can say is this, maybe you didn't serve with corpsman, but I did, and as far as I'm concerned, a corpsman was nothing more than a Marine, who got to grow his hair a little bit longer than the rest of us.  Because without corpsman, Quite a few good marines wouldn't be with us today. Do us all a favor, step back, look at the big picture, re-evaluate, and possibly reconsider your stand on if Corpsman should be allowed to join the MCL. ANY corpsman who wants to join, gets my vote, no questions asked.  W. Stormfeather.
USMC 1987-1995

Dear Sarge:
What's all the smoke about Corpsman and the MCL? Here's my side of the issue. I joined the Navy to become a submariner.  Sissys need not apply! However I did not pass the engineering tests but did score high enough to go to Medical Corps school.  I did well in school but did not do as well later and ran into some problems with my superiors. As "punishment" I was banished to the 2nd Marine Division. The word I got from Navy personnel was so bad I thought I was going to Alcatraz.  That was just not true! From my first day to my last, I never stood duty or bought a beer. The grunts in my company covered my butt.  After FMF at Gieger, it was off to the Med; Italy, Spain, Greece and maneuvers in Turkey.  What a life for a kid of 19. I was treated like a prince.  Bottom line... The Marines "adopted" me when the Navy didn't give a s*it! I have never forgotten that. I, to this day, wear Marine logos; not Navy and will do so till the day I die.  I was asked by a Marine officer friend of mine to join the MCL out of Newtown Square, Pa. (Gen Smedley Butler Detachment) Even though I was an associate member I was treated with dignity and respect. I left the detachment because I retired and moved out of the area.  One of the flag raisers at Iwo was a Corpsman and I often have heard reports that claim Corpsman have an extremely high percentage of Medals of Honor for a unit of it's size. If this is true, they have earned their place in the sun and should so be recognized. With their record in battle, in my opinion, they were and are 100% Marines. Cut'em some slack, grunts. 
Edwin Schofield, HM3
Co. D, 2nd Medical Battalion, 2nd Mar Div.

Those who don't think corpsmen should be allowed to join the Marine Corps League should take a trip to the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD.  In the lobby is a magnificent statue of a corpsman, in full combat gear, holding a wounded/dying Marine in his arms.  Wake up Marines!  Don't let jarhead become synonymous with bonehead.  Semper Fi...
 Carole P.

Just a quick sound-off.  We just started a Marine Corps League here in Muncie, Indiana #1100 and as Paymaster, I'm sending in Corpsmen applications just as I do Marine's.  I was in "the Nam" in 67-68 and always knew the Corpsmen to be Marine's.  I remember one Corpsman coming up to me and asking me how I just hurt my back and I asked, truth or lie.  He said, let me hear the lie and I told him I was blown out of the 34 I was riding.  He laughed and said he had seen me fall out, but he liked my story better. His humor was as good as his service to his Marine's.

To The Marines Who Support Us FMF Corpsmen.Thank you for your
support! FYI = If you're interested there is a poem about
Corpsmen on
Best Regards
Doc Lerp

I am sitting here with tears in my eyes and a sense of
grief and shame having just read all the letters in response to the "so called gunny" that didn't want to be part of a Marine Corps League that admitted FMF corpsmen.  If I can write a ps to this sorry affair let me address this to the sorriest excuse for an unsquared away corpsman that ever wore the EGA (and to every other corpsman, as well):  You sir, are head and shoulders above that miserable low-life that calls himself a gunny and a Marine.  Please accept this apology for his actions.  I know that you already know that his opinion is not representative of the Marine Corps.  But I also know that you know  he is not alone.  There are probably one or two more like him.  For this I also apologize, and I know that I speak for nearly all Marines.  You don't have serve in a foxhole to understand the brotherhood that we share.  The selection process for the Corps is less than perfect and we will always have those in our number who are an embarrassment to the Corps.  The rest of us are proud of our Navy brothers and proud that we wear the same EGA.
S/F  Gary Brainard  SgtMaj (ret.)

NOTE: The SgtMaj has spoken and he gets the last word.
      No more Corpsman and MCL stories.
      Sgt Grit


Sgt Grit......................Just got word from Sasabo, Japan,
that a swaby there had bought copy of my book "My Life As a Jarhead" from Sgt Grit of Oklahoma City. He tells me that
reading my book (part is about sasabo) has cleared up a mystery for him, in which he had come into possession of some old (pre dated) coca cola bottles. In that section of book, I relate my experience of guarding the huge "coke dump" which was slowly and mysteriously disappearing ; all of which happened immediately after WW II initial occupation.
Ralph (Sgt)Willis,  San Jacinto, CA   S/F

Book #BK410, $9.95, 120 page, soft cover.


The letter from Chuck Sarges witnessing "Drumming Outs" from the 2nd Service Rgmt. at Camp Lejuene brought vivid memories back to me.  The sight of a downcast sh*tbird followed by a solitary Drummer and MP  marching out of  1 MarDiv, Camp Pendleton by the main road past Tent Camp II was not an uncommon sight in 1955.  A sobering reminder to those of young Marines ( like me) in the Replacement Drafts waiting for our ships to come in. (Rumor also had it that upon physically leaving Pendleton and crossing the boundary into Oceanside, they were immediately picked up for "Vagrancy" by Oceanside PD--in those days, I believe it!)

Equally sobering: Avoiding approaching, looking at or showing any interest WHATSOEVER in the activities of 3rd Marine Brig, located in the center of Middle Camp Fuji '56/57- --lest you be "invited in" for a day or two to satisfy your curiosity!  You'd  Better Believe It!
Semper Fi!
James Underwood
Sgt.,  1497560 USMC,  '55-'59

ONE ONE '56 TO '58

I was glad to see Chuck Sarges letter about "Drummed Out" as I also was part of one of these Drumming Out Ceremonies. The details are fuzzy as Chuck said but one thing that I can't forget is a show of amazing loyalty, or maybe stubbornness displayed by one of the Marines there.  My experience took place at Camp Pendelton it was I believe 1957 but it could have been 1958, it is not one of those memories that I recall with any fondness. I was with the 11th Marines and the order came down that the entire Regiment was to be present in our "Greens" for the Drumming Out of a Marine. "No Exceptions!"  Just as Chuck said at the Ceremony in which he took part we were all present and the Commanding Officer and a Legal Officer read the charges, the man was in civilian clothes and flanked by two MP's. The order was given "About Face" and then to my amazement and I'm sure to all present one man did not turn around. It happened he was standing in formation about two or three rows away from me. It was a warm day and we all wanted to get this over with. We were standing at attention waiting for the drums to start when the silence was broken by a Sgt. walking up to the Marine and in a firm but not loud voice saying "What's your problem Marine" and the Marine, a PFC belted out in a loud voice "Sgt. this man is a friend of mine and I will not turn my back on him". The Legal Officer came rushing up and both he and the Sgt. started to bark out on all the things that this man was charged with, but the young Marine was unmoved by them. It was a "surreal situation", here was a whole Regiment standing at attention in total silence, this went on for about 5 minutes but it seemed like forever to us standing there because this
was Marines on Marines. Then I could hear footsteps and out of the corner of my eye I saw our Battery Commander come up and in a very calm but firm voice called the Marine by name and said "PFC (so &so) "About Face", the Marine again repeated that the man was a friend and he would not turn his back on him. The Capt. turned to the Sgt. and said something like "Sgt. have this man fall out and take him back to the barracks pending charges" he then addressed the drummers and said "Carry On" and the man that was to be drummed out was drummed until he reached the end
of the drill field where a jeep with MP's was waiting to drive
him to the gate. We were told later that the local Police drove him to the bus station in town.  We all marched back to our barracks, and although the event did not take long very long we were all drenched in sweat and to a man we said "That Sucked" We now knew why when the order was given "All must attend, No Exceptions" it was very empathic. This was not the something a Marine wanted to witness again.  I was glad to see Chuck Sarges mention of "Drumming Out" because of all the Marines I have talked to over the years I have never met anyone that had taken part in a "Drumming Out" and I often wondered if  I had been present at the last one or if it was even legal. I would like to hear from other Marines and also when did the Corps do away with "Drumming Out".  The Marine that would not turn his back got a few days in the Brig, I have no idea what happened to the man that got Drummed Out.
Tom Tafel, USMC 57-63

I had forgotten about that until I read the letter.  In summer 1951 at Camp LeJeune we were read the orders of the day at morning battalion muster. That day they included the discipline formation orders. Our Platoon Leader threatened lifetime mess duty if anyone looked around after  about face  was given. We changed from dungarees to suntans and reassembled in the company street about an hour later. We marched without arms to the main parade field. It was a big formation. I think more than one regiment on front. You could hear cadences calling from all over. The prisoner was escorted front and center by two MP's and a lone drummer
behind them. My memory is that he was wearing sun tans and had no luggage.  It was a dishonorable discharge and specifically included the phrase "drummed off the post" which I could hear when the officer read the charges. I couldn't see that good but the officer tore something off the prisoner's shirt---emblem, stripes or something. Then we were all given about face by relayed regiment, battalion, company command. At the order "execute" we could hear the drum start a slower than normal cadence. We stood there at attention for a long while, and could hear the drum going on toward the main gate. When we dismissed we were given right face so we still had our backs turned to the prisoner and we marched straight back to our battalion area. By the time we fell out it was almost chow time.         J B Bell   Sgt    1950 - 1954

Chuck Sarges wrote in News Letter #32 about the "Drumming Out" experiences he had in the 2nd Service Regiment in 1956.  I was there and saw both of them, but like Chuck 56 years fogs the memories.  Chuck says the man being drummed was in civvies and had his suitcase.  I remember at one, if not both, the man was in uniform and has his suitcase, but as part of the ceremony we watched as he was stripped of all insignia, this included cutting the buttons off his blouse and the EG&A from his lapels.  The regiment was then given "About Face"  and the man was then drummed out of the area.  I for the life of me cannot remember where the bus depot was, but I do remember them going around the traffic circle.  Chuck mentions Col. Cooper,  my barracks was the first one in line with  HQ and on occasions we heard the Colonel shout ""Get off my grass".  He had a bit of a hang-up about people cutting the corner on the walk coming up to HQ and his office which was on that corner of the building.  He was a "mustang" and I've often wondered if he made brigadier.  Every recruit should be shown a film of the "Drumming Out" ceremony and all recipients of "Bad Conduct Discharges" should be honored with that ceremony.  I cannot think of anything more humiliating.
Ron Aich, Sgt. 53-56


...just a note about SEMPER FI...when I was in this was the
term of choice to answer someone who asked for a favor you did not wish to provide. You would say, "Semper Fi, mac (or buddy)." Because of the negative connotation of that message I have avoided using it.
Warmest regards,
Norman R.  48-52


Sgt. Grit
I have just returned from a graduation at my alma mater MCRD San Diego. I did not know any of the graduates personally but due to the fact that I was in LA on a two day trip meant that Friday I was going to spend the day among the finest individuals on the planet.  I was up at 0300 hours in order to SSS and beat the traffic south. I was proud to be back near the Yellow footprints.  I was looking forward to a fine breakfast of SOS and as soon as I was parked in
the parking lot I noticed a Senior DI ready to get out of his POV (Privately Owned Vehicle for those of you from Rio Linda.) I approached and asked for directions to the Chow hall used for Families on Graduation Day.  The SSGT saw my High and Tight Haircut ( cut by Bill May USMC VIET VET  and commander of Southern Illinois Leathernecks) and said hop in I'll give you a ride to the restaurant.  On the way we discussed SOS and the sad fact that this delicacy is no longer served. He reminded me that the chow is now  prepared by civilians.  I had been aware of the Civil service
cooks with no feeling either way until this SSgt who is active and will remain nameless informed me that many recruits were made ill by possible food poisoning caused by the lower standards that they adhere to.  He stated that the Recruits kept a cleaner and more efficient chow hall and the quality of food had been diminished.  The Quality of recruits however definitely up to standards.  The new uniforms (Computer generated) look odd in photos but are very effective in their job of disguising the body. It was highly motivating to welcome 426 new marines to the Brotherhood. also one of the Graduating Marines broke the base record of pull-ups doing 76.
Semper Fi
Abbott, JD lcpl


This is in reply to Chuck Sarges comments about falling out to witness a Marine being "Drummed Out". I was also in the 2nd Service Regiment, H&S Co. Engineer Maint. Plt. Building #308. In fact I was sent to Lejeune the day after my graduation from P.I. I spent the next three years there in the same squad bay, April '54 to Jan.'57. I only remember one such incident. The reason I do is because the pvt. getting the D.D. had been someone I had to
pick-up at the brig and march back  to his company to take care of some private matters before he was discharged. In those days whenever you pulled guard duty , you had to serve as prisoner chaser also. I was only a PFC at the time and the whole matter made a lasting impression on me. I remember being given a clip of 8 rounds for my M1 Garand and being instructed by the Sgt. of the guard to load my rifle as I left the brig and march three paces
behind my prisoner and to allow no one to get between us. I had arrived at the brig at noon chow so I had to wait for my man to finish his work detail. While I was there one of the brig guards asked if I had chow yet. It was something I'll never forget. Being a PFC I was not used to being waited on .I can still see those prisoners waiting on me as if I was "Chesty Puller".  What is still vivid in my mind was the way they moved about, it was a half step ,it was called of course a brig step.  Before I left the brig I got more instructions from the duty warden that made me realize how serious this duty was. He told me that this man was under my command, he only did what I said he could do. He said no one was to talk to him while in route and once we got to the company only those in command there could talk to him. The warden continued telling me that the circle on his back was my bull's-eye and if he tried to escape , well that's what the 8 rds. were for, and if he did get away I would have to serve his remaining  time. I don't know if that last remark was true, but it impressed the "h*ll" out of me. Anyway it was a long walk from the brig[ in those days it was across the street from the base theater] to the 300 area.  I started out at port arms but before I got out the gate one of the brig guards told me it would be a lot more comfortable to rest the butt on my right hip and hold the rifle by the pistol grip with my right hand.  This I did and I got through the detail
without a hitch. The man getting the D.D. was in a company down the street from mine, I was in  building 308 he was in 310 or 312 and some times he would act as regimental bugler. I remember his name but I don't think it would be proper of me to mention it. I don't know what he did to warrant his D.D., but I hope he was able to get his s-it together in later life.  He wasn't a bad kid, thats what we all were 18-20 year olds, he was  little to wild and had a problem with booze.       
Jim {Hap} Harrington  Cpl USMC


Hey Sgt Grit
 For the past several weeks I've been reading about the debate whether Navy Corpsman should be allowed into the Marine Corp League, Well here's one for you, I was a FO for Naval Gunfire, our OIC was Naval Officers, & you could tell they didn't volunteer for the job. My guess was they were sh@# canned by the Navy & was sent to us instead of getting the boot. You could tell the majority didn't want to be with us, One Officer does stick out, A Lt.Jg Jerry Hall, he on the other hand should have joined the Corp, really enjoyed being around Marines, had a high & tight & all, a real squared away Naval officer, I was his jeep driver when we were in the field, loved to go snake hunting at 29 Palms, got a rattler once. But anyway he's no Corpsman but he'd have my vote!  And while I'm going, On the subject of just Reservist. After I got out of the Corp, I joined an Army Reserve Armor unit, they sent us to Gowen Field in Boise ID, for transferring from the M-60A3s to the M-1 tanks, this was after the Gulf war, They were very Proud of the fact & bragged about training a Marine M-1 unit who went into the Gulf war & really kick some Iraq A#*, Said they advanced so fast they had a problem keeping them supplied! I'm also Proud to have been a Army Reservist also. we had a squared away unit, our 1st Sgt was a Marine also.
 Semper Fi
Mike King


We are in the process of organizing our first reunion for Marine Air Control Squadron Nine (MACS-9. This will be the first time that we have seen each other since we left Nam in ' 65. So far we have been able to contact 35 of the 196 Marines that were this Squadron, but we are still looking for the others. Anyone that was a member of MACS-9 from October, 1963 to October, 1965, is invited to this reunion. It will be held at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in Silverthorne, Colorado, beginning the evening of 15 August, through 18 August, 2002. Please contact Tom Boyle at for information, or write Tom at 621 34th St NE, Cedar Rapids, Ia. 52402 or call 3


Sgt. Grit,
I'm proud as h*ll to say that we've been given a "good to go" on supporting the 11th, 13th and 24th MEUs for the holidays!  With this said I'd like to ask that your readers take a moment and consider sending a card or letter to these Marines, some of which are very far from home.  We've got a big order to fill for "Holiday Mail" and I don't want to let our Marines down.  Please invite your readers to visit our "Holiday Love" mail campaign page at

We look forward to supporting our Marines!
Semper Fi,
Ms. Melguizo
Public Affairs Officer
eMail Our Military Campaign (eMOM)


Sgt. Grit,
To add even more support to the fact that "Once A Marine, Always A Marine", I'd like to share a few of the events that we have hosted in the recent past for active duty members who happen to visit our lovely island for training or MEU visits.  On Nov 1st, 2002 we hosted 70 members of 1/6 who were here for special weapons training, on Nov. 2nd we hosted 51 members of the FAST group who were also here for training, on Nov. 9th ( a day early) we again hosted the Marine Birthday Ball since we have no organized Marine unit stationed here on Guam.  We were pleased that both the FAST group and Maj. Gen. Weber of 3rdMarDiv, Okinawa was able to join us for the occasion.  On Nov. 16 we hosted the local Marine Recruiters and their superiors from Orange Country, CA.  Last year we had the pleasure of meeting Gen. James Jones when he transited our island.  We may be a small organization of less
that 50 old Marines, but we still feel we can do our part by showing those Marines who happen to visit us that we care. Our association is proud to provide this service to our fellow Marines since so many of us remember that it was the 3rd Marine Division and 1st Provisional Brigade that liberated this island from the Japanese on July 21, 1944.
Semper Fi,
Dr. Clyde R. Sauget (Sgt. MABS12/MAG12/1MAW-55-58)
3rd Marine Division Association


Hey Sarge,
 All this flap about other branches of the ser vice is
baloney. I belong to the Marine Corps league and am on the honor guard. We are a new MCL and do not have our own building. So we made a deal with our VFW to use there building. When the Honor guard meet there to go to a Funeral, or a  parade or whatever we have our dress blues and high and tights we always get comments from the bar area. ha Some of the guys comment on how squared away we are and a few try to make fun. We all try to smile and bare it. But, some carry it to far. One day us old salts
had been going to parades and funerals and toys for tots
appearances and we was a little tired and Irritable ,One
of the inhabitants of the bar area is a 20 year Army guy
who always laid it on us pretty hard and was slightly
drunk and I asked him in the nicest way I new how to lay
off a little? He replied that the only reason he gave us
so much bull was he spent 20 years wishing he was Marine
and was jealous of our nice blue uniforms and our air of
superiority when we had them on.  After 30 years I finally got it. All those other branches don't hate us they are jealous and they really don't know why because they haven't done what we have and they only know that they have missed something but they do not really understand what it is.  So all of you elite out there don't argue with these want to be's! Just smile tilt your head slightly and go about
your busisness.That shows them you know what they are
about and you understand, it kills them.
Semper FI   Roger Hays  Marble Hill Mo.

A/1/7 Vietnam Reunion

Reunion: Alpha Company 1st Bn, 7th Marines Viet Nam.
May 30, June 1, 2003 San Antonio Riverwalk Marriot Hotel , for more info contact Ron Fieseler Alpha Company Clerk (self-appointed!) Home email:
Work email:
Home Phone:  (512) 288-6542
Work Phone:   (830) 868-9196
FAX:               (830) 868-0376
Or Nat Holmes


Last week we lost a brother.  Cpl Thurman was assigned to a new post after a long battle with leukemia.  Cpl Thurman was assigned to HMX-1 Security and was retired from the Corps after spending months in Walter Reed receiving Kemo therapy.  Cpl Thurman went back to Tuscan Arizona to receive more treatment and to be with his family.  Last Tuesday I received word that he had passed.  I caught a flight and met up with another Marine from HMX-1, a
fellow Sgt and a good friend.  Also with us were the Chaplin and Medical Officer from HMX-1.   Last Wednesday the day before Thanksgiving we all spent time with his family, squaring away his dress blues and talking about how much he loved the Corps.  We said goodbye that night in the funeral home and went back to our hotel to pack.  We all spent the next day in the airport, waiting for our flights back to D.C..  I got back to D.C. around 1900, my girlfriend picked me up and we drove home.  This year I really
didn't think I would be spending thanksgiving sitting in an airport.  I didn't think that I would have to help with the burial of a fellow Marine and brother.  But we didn't complain, we were there for Cpl Thurman, his family and each other.  That is why we are Marines, and that is how I know Cpl Thurman is now standing post at Heaven's gates. Semper Fi


Dear Sgt Grit,
I feel like the worst mom ever.  My son is in boot camp (Marine Corps) of which I am very proud.  To make a long story short, he left in September, got hurt after 3 weeks, went to MRP, was kept there for 3 weeks and was told off and on that he would be sent home.  His moral dropped to an all time low.  After being given a clean bill of health he was picked up by another PLT and regained a good deal of his motivation.  Last week he failed his rifle quals and was told that if he failed again on Friday, he would be set back two weeks.  He wrote me stating that he would not be set back if he failed because he would just go to MRP and
tell them he was going to hurt himself and then they would send him home.  He also went on to complain about how he had just set too high a goal for himself on becoming a Marine.  At first I was shocked, then I became enraged.  How could this knucklehead son of mine come up with this pile of sh--?  It didn't sound like him.  I couldn't sit back and let him quit.  A Marine once offered that if I ever had an emergency he would help get me in contact with my son.  I explained the situation to him and although this wasn't an emergency he said he would do what he could.  He spoke with the SDI and they agreed to let me  speak with my son.  I think they were all expecting me to give him some words of encouragement but I was so consumed by my anger that I just let him have it.  I can't even remember all that I said but I do remember some statements such as "You will NOT F-----g quit.  The only way you're getting
off that island is broken or as a Marine!  Suck it up!"  etc.
Now that it is all said and done I feel like total crap.  I never
once asked him how he was, or wished him a happy birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Years.   I used up my one favor on yelling at my son!  I'm sure it didn't go too good for him having his mom called either.  I wrote him a letter but I don't think it will get there by Friday.  I want to know if any of you Marines were ever yelled at by your mom in boot camp when you were low and if so how long it took you to forgive her.

Worst Mom Ever
PS Sorry about the language.  I was in the Navy for 10 years.

NOTE: I told her she did the right thing.
Sgt Grit


Gentlemen:  What is it about the USMC that turns young
men into poets?  Must be something they put in the
creamed-chop-beef-on-toast at Parris Island and San Diego.  Happy Thanksgiving!   WHITAKER

At DaNang, we had a saying that" God wasn't dead, He just
lived on the Air Force side of the runway".  Also as far
as close air support goes, I've only seen "Ringnecks" come
back with tree branches jammed in their bomb racks.
Chuck 2458335


Mac McCourtney
Btry F, 2/14, 4th MarDiv 1986-1993

I never thought of it as "bashing"... maybe razzing? I greet
Navy personnel with a smile and a "hi squid". They know.
Air Force gets the same treatment, "flyboys", "wild blue
yonder wanderer". They know. Army... no different. And they
know. We all understand that each branch does its job. I am
d*mn glad to have met (and fought with) these members of
Americas Armed Forces.... but we all know that Marines are BEST.
Semper Fidelis.  E8Road

MARINES: Heads will be shaved.
ARMY: Stylish flattops for all recruits.
NAVY: No haircut standard.
AIR FORCE: Complete makeovers as seen on the Jenny
Jones show.
David Ray

When I was in Okinawa (57-58) a story of Marilyn Monroe on tour of the Far East developed. While in Japan she supposedly said "Marines are a bunch of over sexed teenage killers".  Can anyone vouch that she said this?
Semper Fi!
Ernie Hall
Grunt 56-58

God Bless America!!
Semper fi!!
Sgt Grit

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