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IF IT'S ALRIGHT
June 7th, 1951, (8th in Korea), a person in my squad was given permission by me to transfer to another squad, a promotion, if he desired. The squad leader came to me to ask permission to see if the man wanted to transfer. I let him make the decision. He thought it over for awhile, then came to me and said, "if it's alright I'd like to stay in this squad with my buddy", who came over in the same draft as he. I said, OK,. The next day, the 9th, we came under a hellacious mortar barrage and one round HIT HIM. I remember him everyday and I'll never forget "baggs" Marchese or me letting him make his decision. Semper Fi! NC
hey Sgt Grit: i couldnt help but comment on the observations about PFC's serving as Drill Instructors. i went thru boot camp at San Diego in March 1951 and we had a PFC as a DI...i shall never forget the name, nor the man...he was PFC J.Q Johnson from San Antonio, Tx., he had made the Bataan Death March and had a chest full of ribbons etc., and was the meanest, baddest s.o.b. i ever met...but he made Marines of a group of s---heads! i often wonder what ever happened to him, and for the life of me i have to refer to old photos to find out the other DI's names, but i will recall PFC Johnson until my dying day....i think i can still show you the imprint of his size 14 boondocker on my backside if you look close enuff...haha! David T. McReynolds,
Sgt USMC 117l5014 l951-54
I read your articles regarding Privates being Drill Instructors with much interest. In Platoon 272 at Parris Island in 1944 the number 3 D.I. was PFC Casperone and if ever anyone was cut out to be a D.I., he was. He never physically abused anyone in the platoon, but he sure as hell verbally assaulted every one of us and his voice could carry a quarter of a mile, and that's when he wasn't talking loud., and believe me when he spoke, we listened. He also had pride in "his" platoon by telling us we were the best or at least we had better be.. It got to the point that other platoons recognized us since one of our front boots had two gold teeth and they would say, here comes 272, there's that sonofabitch with the gold teeth and that other sonofabitch with the voice. When I left Parris Island to go to Cherry Point I could still hear Casperone yelling that I was the best and I always tried to be. T/Sgt. D.W.Meyer 543782 USMC
WITH THE OLD BREED
Sgt Grit:Thanks for sending the last order. I just read the book; "With The Old Breed". What a book it is. Written by an enlisted man and from the point of view of the men. He tells a story that holds your attention and it makes you think about the Corps and its men. Its great men. While reading this book I realized that the campaigns of Peleliu and Okinawa were the training grounds for many of the most important men and officers of the Korean War. The Corps favors Chesty but my main Marine is General O.P Smith, Commanding General of the First Marine Division ( retreat hell, we are advancing in another direction) at the coldest fight the Corps ever had, the frozen Chosin. I am in awe of these great warriors and speaking of great Warriors, the book on O. P. Smith; The Gentile Warrior is a great book to read. The man was very intelligent and was largely responsible for saving the Corps against people like Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Omar Bradley and the like, who wanted to do away with the Marine Corps after the Air Force was created. General Smith had a lot to do with the strategy of the Peleliu and Okinawa campaigns. Sledge was a great writer, Smith a great planner and leader. These are the men of the Marine Corps. I know that many more potentially great Marines were serving but were never called upon for acknowledged greatness. If one thinks about that and lets one's mind wander you could have regiments of great men serving in the Corps.The Corps is different and Marines have earned the rank that most Americans give them. I am a Marine long out of service, but yet still proud of the fact that on one September day in '53They said to me (and others) YOU ARE A MARINE MY SON. Semper Fidelis Joe Tirrell, USMC, oos(out of service, not former) See the book mentioned at http://www.grunt.com/books3.asp , #BK431, $15.95.
BIG BRASS BELT BUCKLE
My name is Art Glennon, I work for the Metropolitan Police Dept., Washington, DC.
Marine Corps, 1967 > 1971
Danang, RVN, 1969.
I had the great pleasure of hosting Dave and his compadres over the Memorial Day Weekend here in DC. Although they didn't stay with me, I did make my vehicle available to them for the weekend, and made sure they had a good time when not on some scheduled event.
I took them on a tour of the SOCC and JOCC in MPDC HQ. (that's the Synchronized Operations and Command Center and the Joint Operations and Command Center)... You may have seen recent episodes of America's Most Wanted broadcast from the location when they covered the Chandra Levy events. Well, that's where I work. I'm support personnel for them.
I've been wearing a BIG BRASS MARINE CORPS EMBLEM BELT BUCKLE for over 20 years now, since about 1979 when I discovered it. Every Marine in DC has some positive comment on it when they see it. Including some of the various Chiefs of Police here. I also wear an emblem on my collar 365 days a year, for those events when I can't wear the belt buckle. (Though I do sometimes wear it with my suit.). The result of this wearing of the emblem is that I have Marines at all levels of the organization constantly asking where they can get the small emblems for their collars.. Dave will verify that on Memorial Day, in DC I bought a pocket full of them from one of the vendors, and have been handing them out since.
The younger guys that I work with have often commented about my "Attitude", and the buckle and emblem. But over time, they've watched in amazement when a total stranger suddenly holds a door open as we're bringing something in some location, and the stranger gives me an "OOORRAAHH!!" Slowly, they're getting to know the "Comradre" of the "Esprit Des Corps", and learning my interpretation of TeamWork, as taught to me by the Corps.
There are a lot of people in DC suddenly wearing little USMC emblems on their collars... I Love to think that I started it...
LONGER THAN YOU'VE BEEN ALIVE
As a young PFC at Twenty-Nine Palms, I got a quick lesson in military etiquette. I was walking to the PX one afternoon behind two salty Marines. As they passed an oncoming 2nd lieutenant, they continued their conversation without seeming to even notice him. The butter bars stopped and said, "Sergeant, I think that you owe me a salute". I was shocked to see a grizzled old Master Gunnery Sergeant turn and walk back to the fresh faced youngster and from a distance of about two inches say, " Son, I've been in the corps longer than you've been alive, I don't owe you sh**". Needless to say, I cut the now red faced lieutenant the sharpest salute that I have ever mustered.
Brian C. Alexander
USMC 1982-1988-and until death!
I want to say Semper Fi to Cpl Galbraith 69/71. He remembered one thing that all of us Marines share and should be held above all others and that is Honor. I had a feeling some civilians involved in "law enforcement" and some others would have some negative comments about his letter. There are some things that need to be set straight therefore I had to address them. I would have done the same thing if I was in Galbraith's shoes. It seems that those with a shiny little gold badge (law enforcement officers) are letting the power they have over U.S. citizens go to their head and they are violating constitutional rights on a daily basis. The deterioration of values that we are seeing today is spreading over to "law enforcement" as well. Cpl Galbraith used his "Judgment" and made a decision which he can stand by because nothing negative came of it.
It is not proper to compare the uniform of a "Police Officer" to a United States Marine. Police Officers are civil servants and their mission is to "protect and serve" United States Citizens. This is America and they are not in a foreign country that our Nation is at war with and yet that is how I have seen many officers treat U.S. Citizens. If you treat the Citizens with respect and integrity you will get it back the majority of the time. A United States Marine's mission is to defend the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic. A Marine's mission is to locate, close with, and destroy, the enemy and whatever else he is ordered to do while a Police Officer's is to serve the Citizens. A United States Marine has the right to do a police officer's job but a police officer does not have the right to do a United States Marine's job. LOYALTY is to the Corps and the Corps only teena.
I am not an advocate of driving while intoxicated but everyone makes a mistake in one way or another. I liked Sgt. Bot's idea of seeing the Marine under the influence home safely and then discussing the problem until he got the message. There should be limits though and if I saw the same Devil Dog out drinking and driving again I would have to arrest him. It is a shame that there is not more law enforcement officers like Cpl Galbraith. Thank you for printing this email in your newsletter. Its good to some Marines (former and active) still keep it real.
("No Such Thing as Former") Marine, Patrick ..............................
i am writing this in regard to CPL.Galbraith. drinking and driving is a no no but, we are marines and we should always look out for each other, because if we don't no one else will!!!! i think he should have driven the other marine to his barracks, but in the marine corps we have the work hard, play hard motto. As a grunt we use to drink and do crazy things, but that is how we burned of steam and made the best out of the little time we had off. Remember we don't sit behind desks and work 9 to 5 hours. D.J. Ryan SSGT USMC 1986-2001 .............................
I have just finished reading your June 6th letter and would like to add my two cents worth about policemen letting someone off that has broken the law. I have witnessed first hand, one officer letting another off without issuing him a ticket for speeding. Why do you think officers have that wallet with the place for their badge right across from their drivers license? I'm not saying letting Marines off the hook is right, but neither is giving fellow officers a break . I would bet my last dollar that more police officers have been let off by fellow officers than have Marines. I commend Cpl. Galbraith for the LOYALTY he showed his fellow Marine, also for the HONOR and COURAGE he displayed in admitting what he did in such a public forum. I would like to see if any officers who are not Marines display such TRUST in their colleagues as to admit what they have done as openly as Cpl. Galbraith. SEMPER-FI
Sgt. J. L. Allen
I am writing this late on a Thursday night. Tomorrow my son of 18 years and 7 days graduates from high school. Just yesterday I was graduating high school, he was being born and I was leaving for MCRD, San Diego myself. One messed up left leg, Two years of Marine marriage, me and his mom divorce. Thirteen years of me driving from the Twin Cities, to Menomonee. He calls and asks for my help in getting him away from his mom, who is starting divorce number 3, and still drinking to much. He spends two years wrestling, honors classes leaning toward accounting, working part time at Menards (one year), Sears (one year, one month), mentoring with the city of Burnsville, learning automotives from me (he didn't even know where the dipstick was at) and, learning how to ride and care for a motorcycle. We come to the point of the first line. By the first part of that paragraph my son should be famous, and not in a good way. I am totally amazed all my neighbors and friends they keep telling me the great job I have done with him. I am hoping that you can sneak this into your newsletter. He also reads it but tries not to let me know, reading the same thing your father does just can't be cool. Even though he signed his name on the contract in late September last year and surprised me when he asking for mine. For two years he told me he was going Air Force for educational reasons. And when I responded "Tell the Air dales they come to me" he informed me no he had just spent the day with the Marines. We sat down and talked about his decision and he had good reasons. I made a grave error in leadership and fatherhood today, by gigging you in front of your girlfriend. When my you arrive home from the movie with your girlfriend I will stand proud and admit my error, as all Marines are taught. I just couldn't think of a way to let you know, other than in terms that you don't understand yet OUTSTANDING JOB!!! Keep up the great work and you will achieve your goals and possibly surpass them. The reason for the title is that I hope you never view any of the short comings that we have encountered were because I didn't care. In 3 months and 17 days you will leave to join the brotherhood you have heard about all your life. Just remember I'll always be there to help however I can. And yes you have done your job, and made me proud to admit
"THAT'S MY SON".
L/Cpl. Ray Koser (med), 84-86 3/2 comm.
The mail you got from the young Marine regarding the "OOORAH"!, thing is exactly correct based on my experience. I was in 2D Force Recon Co 68-70. At that time, we were the only Marines, as I remember, that had a "shout" like that...and it was exactly how he described it...more like "Ahoooga!"...kinda like the klaxon of a submarine in a dive.
Thanks for a great USMC site. You know, I used to wish there more Americans like us...you know what?...there's a billion tons of us! We just don't have loud mouths.
Actions write volumes while words write sentences! Damn...that sounds good! Maybe I should have been a writer instead of a Marine...yeah, right!
God Bless the USA and all our Military! Respectfully submitted, Michael J.Morris Sgt. temporarily inactive (hell, I'm 53) Still a MARINE! ..............................
Here's another answer to the question "Where does OOOORAH come from?"
According to James Webb (in his 1991 novel "Something To Die For"), "uhruh" is Turkish for "kill".
This seems to agree with my own experience. I graduated from Parris Island in April, 1969 and recall to word spoken by my drill instructors and others more as a grunt than something spoken. And the context in which it was used at that time seems apt. It was always used like "get some" was used in Vietnam, as in "get some kills". Of course it was applied before, during and after any goal oriented endeavor. Pugil sticks: UHRUH! (KILL HIM!) Getting an infantry MOS: UHRUH! (GOOD MAN!) Climbing the ropes: UHRUH! (GO FOR IT!) Marching in to take the Third Phase Academic Test: UHRUH! (GOOD LUCK IN PASSING!)
I have notice subsequent generations of Marines have lengthened the word, sometimes to three syllables and seeming like it could take up an entire line of type if it was printed out. I even have noticed "doggies" imitating it for their own use! Neither of those instances are a problem in my mind. Anything that works is fine by me--even for "doggies".
For those Marines who are not familiar with James Webb and his excellent books, you may be interested to know he is a graduate of the Naval Academy who served as a junior officer with the 5th Marines in Vietnam and won the Navy Cross as well as other decorations for bravery. His second Purple Heart brought an end to his active duty career. He has worked in and around the active services and veterans affairs since then and has written a number of novels that tells it like a Marine tells it. His first book, "Fields of Fire" was the first book I ever read which told the truth about what it was like to be a Marine grunt in Vietnam.
Grit, I'm addicted to your newsletter. I enjoy hearing from Marines both older and younger than I am and am glad I finally have a "place" where I can feel that old Marine Corps spirit and brotherhood once again. Thank you very much for creating this conduit for all of us.
"India" and H & S Co., 3/1 1969 - 1970
CARRYING A FLOWER
I just wanted to tell you something that made me very happy. I was at our high school graduation and as we all filed outside to shake hands and hug the graduates I happened to see a younger Marine dressed in his blues carrying a flower like he would carry his M 16. I watched him for a few minutes just out of curiosity and saw him approach a graduate. When she saw him she started to cry. I admit having to hold back tears too. I can only imagine what a surprise it must have been. He handed her the flowers and came to a solute as another Marine passes by. This one also in dress blues only he was higher ranking. My attention was then given to the older Marine. He walked over gave one of our graduates a hug and then took his little girl in one hand and walked back to where the cars were parked with his wife. These events made me so happy, because I know that one-day that will be me and my Marine. Sadly he will not be able to attend my graduation next year, because he is going on a 6-month float somewhere in the Mediterranean, but I know I'll be in his heart like he's always in mine. And one day he'll hold our little boy or girl by the hand. I love you Jay Always and Forever Tara Ottena Marine Girlfriend Lance Corporal Jason Huyghe Camp Lejeune 1/8 Bravo I
A Navy SEAL walks into a Marine bar near Camp LeJeune, N.C., and announces loudly, "I hear you Marines are a bunch of drinkin' fools. I'll pay five hundred dollars to anybody in here who can drink 10 shots of Jack Daniels back-to-back." The room falls quiet and no one takes the SEAL's offer. One Marine gets up and leaves. Thirty minutes later, the same Marine who left shows back up and taps the SEAL on the shoulder. "Is your bet still good?" asks the Marine. "Yep," replies the SEAL, and he asks the bartender to line up ten shots of Jack Daniels. Immediately, the Marine slams all ten shots, drinking them all back-to-back. The other bar patrons cheer as the SEAL sits down in amazement. The SEAL pays the Marine the five hundred dollars and asks, "If ya don't mind me asking, where did you go for that thirty minutes you were gone?" The Marine replies, "Oh ... I had to go to the bar down the street to see if I could do it first!" -- Contributed by Gunnery Sgt. Dick Gaines, USMC (Ret.)
LOVELY COMMUNAL HEAD
I was an 0151 Remington Raider (careful...I'm typing up your leave paperwork!) working for 3rdMarDiv HQ G-1 at Camp Courtney, Okinawa in 1973. Heck yes, we lived in luxury! One story cement shotgun hooches (open doors on both ends and shoot a shotgun straight through!). 8'x10' cubicles, 20 on each side, each separated by a half-wall (lots of privacy!), 2 Marines per cube, with a lovely communal head in the center. I guess we had maidservice...Mama-san from Kin village would wash your socks and shorts for 8 bucks a week, maybe starch your A's for a couple bucks more. Some local honcho would also put a great spit-shine on your shoes for a buck or two, and leave them under your bed. It was always either hot and damp, or cold and clammy, but we knew we had it great! Not like the recon pukes up at Onna Point! Oh, to be 18 again, far away from home and learnin' about the world in the mean green machine! LCpl. Gene Brugger HQCO, HQBn 3rd MarDiv '73 HML-167 G-1, MAG-26 MCAS New River '74
SELECTED PHRASES FROM LIVING CONDITION STORIES
I'm wondering if any other St. Grit correspondents feel the same way. Lush accommodations aren't right because they just don't feel right. They just don't feel "Marine." To the Air Force guy who served at Da Nang.. I served three tours and as I remember the Air Force had two story barracks at Da Nang and Bien Hoa. Marines could not even go into an Air Force compound because we had "guns". I miss my buddies from the "old" days, the open barracks, no A/C with 80+ degree w/80+ humidity at 2000 hrs, gathered around a bunk, two guys playing a guitar, a case of beer between us all (Bud) shootin the bull,playing cards. Sharing ourselves/our lives with each other, every day....as brothers do. First let me say that this all started over a civilian lady, who obviously knows absolutely nothing about being a Marine, or being a man! Of course in Vietnam, if you were in the bush, well those conditions you can imagine, and even if you were in the rear, it was cots in huts made of plywood...once again, sorry, I didn't complain...I don't know of any Marine who was too worried about the living quarters.....we accepted what we had and made the best of it....there were a lot bigger fish to fry. But we survived, even with an oil heater, and windows that were drafty. We were always told that it "Builds Character", and it did. We always had food, whether c-rats, a-rats or the chow hall, I don't ever remember being hungry. I don't remember being paid much money, but it was always enough. There was always someone to have a beer with. I was commended when I did well and had the s**t kicked out of me when I screwed up (which I limited as much as possible). I always had a job and I always knew what was expected of me. ADAPT IMPROVISE OVERCOME.....everyone thinks his place is horrible but horrible to one is great to another. Complaining is futile, but the defense of our nation and the freedoms we enjoy is a price that will rest on the shoulders of the few who are willing to sacrifice all to protect it.
THINK WE ARE CRAZY
SGT GRIT I HAD TO WRITE IN RESPONSE TO THE COMMENTS OF FORMER MARINES WHO JOINED THE ARMY I CANT FATHOM IT SO WHEN THEY ALL CALL YOU SARGE WHEN THEY WALK AN SMOKE WEAR THERE LITTLE BLACK HATS INDOORS WHEN YOU SEE THEM AT THE PX AN THEY HAVE NOT SHAVED BIG GUTS STICKING OUT OF THOSE UGLY UNIFORMS WHAT DO YOU DO HELL THERE SNCOS DO IT TOO WHAT MARINE WOULD JOIN THAT TYPE OF GROUP I WILL TELL YOU PEOPLE WHO ARE OUT FOR THE COLLAGE MONEY THE FREE LAP TOP COMPUTERS THE SIGNING BONUS A SPECIFIC JOB I SEE IF EVERY DAY WHERE I WORK THERE IS NOW WAY IN HELL I WOULD JOIN ANYTHING ELSE BUT THE CORP THE PRIDE WE HAVE AS MARINES WOULD NOT ALLOW IT I WORRY ABOUT MAKING OUR CORP BETTER NOT THE ARMY THE YOUNG PEOPLE I TALK TO EVERY DAY THAT JOIN OUR CORP IS BECAUSE THEY WANT A CHANGE IN THEM FROM WITHIN A CHALLENGE SELF DISCIPLINE COURAGE SELF CONFIDENCE LEADERSHIP AMONG THE MOST THE PRIDE OF BEING A MARINE NO ONE WILL EVERY KNOW THAT BUT MARINES WHO ARE AROUND MARINES PERSONALLY I CANT RESPECT THAT FROM A FORMER MARINES BE PROUD OF BEING IN THE ARMY BUT HOW CAN YOU WHEN YOU ARE DEALING WITH A BRANCH THAT HAS TO HAVE DIFFERENT UNITS WITHIN A BRANCH TO FEEL SPECIAL IN MY OFFICE THE OTHER BRANCHES THINK WE ARE CRAZY BUT ITS OUR PRIDE OF BEING A MARINE THAT THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND THAT'S WHY WHEN SOON AS THE MARINES LEFT AFGHANISTAN THE ARMY STARTED GETTING FIRED ON A HAS LOST SO MANY FROM THE GROUND COMBAT THEY FEAR MARINES. WE DON'T TRAIN WITH WOMEN IN BOOT CAMP BUT THE WOMEN WHO CHOSE OUR SERVICE SPEAK THE LANGUAGE OF THE INFANTRY EVERY MARINE IS A RIFLE MAN NO DISRESPECT MADE BUT I THINK IF YOU LOVE THE CORP YOU WILL TAKE WHAT IT GIVES YOU CAN NEVER GO FROM A MUSTANG TO A GEO METRO SO RIP OFF THOS ARMY NAME TAPES AN GO SEE YOU LOCAL MARINE CORP RECRUITER. SSGT HARPER RS SEATTLE RSS BELLEVUE WA RECRUITING DUTY
HEAD ON STRAIGHT
Dear Sgt Grit,
I read your newsletter with great interest. I am not a Marine, but I have the greatest admiration and respect for the USMC. But I only need one newsletter, not the two I have been receiving! I am a former Scoutmaster of Troop 270, Aquila District, Chief Seattle Council. Last week a scout from my troop joined the Marines and went up to his house to say goodbye to him. I figured it was my duty to support his decision and let him know I considered him to be a good candidate for the USMC. We talked about old times Scouts and where he saw his future going. I was pleased that he saw many parallels between Scouts and Marine service. I was also pleased to note he was signing up for the right reasons: duty to country and enthusiasm for defending his nation were paramount. So from yet another guy who wishes he had put his head on straight and joined the USMC after high school, as my Scout has done , Semper Fi and God bless the United States Marine Corps!!!! WW
I STILL GUARD MY HOME..............................
No World Wars or a Vietnam
No Korean War but I fought Saddam
No jungle rot or a fierce beach head
No Frozen Chosin but there were dead
Iâ€™ve walked my post from flank to flank
Not for money, medals or even rank
Not for seeking glory or front page news
Not for barber shop gossip or political views
I fought for the freedom that others donâ€™t
And faced the chaos so my children wonâ€™t
Itâ€™s been some years since I left the Corps
I still have the traits of a Marine forever more
I still guard my home front at night
Pacing the floor till early light
11pm, midnight, and one oâ€™clock
I check and double-check every window and door lock
With my wife and son nestled down in bed
And war torn dreams racing through my head
I recon the perimeter for movement or sound
I keep seeking and searching till nothing is found
A stray cat crosses the street with care
As I watch the street light glisten and glare
No shadows moving out the window I stare
No sound heard from the nightâ€™s calm air
The black night warms to a yellowish glow
The sun peeks through its ray start to flow
With daylight upon us and all worries away
Its time to get ready for dawns new day
My post is now through with the rising of the sun
All dangers and worries are now all done
Another night of protecting my love ones so pure
This Marineâ€™s duty is upâ€¦itâ€™s all-secure.
Semper Fi Brothers,
U.S. Marine 1989 - Present (89-97 active duty)
IT'S STILL GRUNT AND HUMP.....................................
I have noticed a lot of reference to the term SARGE, If I had called, or if someone would have called me SARGE, there would have been hell to pay. A SARGE is in the Army, A SERGEANT is in the MARINE CORPS. Where did all this Sarge crap come from. Oh yea one more. What the hell is this about the NEW MARINE CORPS. BS, its the same Corps, training may change a little, but it always goes back to the good old tough stuff after the Big Boys in Washington have said go easy on the recruits. Go easy hell, you go easy you die in combat, besides if it were easy it would be the Army. That's why the tough or plain stupid join the Corps. Its the UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS, new, old, past, present. Some say it was harder 20-30 years ago, some say its harder today. Well I'll tell ya it was pretty damn hard for me in 1984, so maybe I caught the middle of the change, "Change" ?, there was no change. The Technology we have today makes things a lot easier in the field, but its still grunt and hump all the way for the Marine. New Corps, I don't think so, just the same Corps with a slight face lift to comfort all the mama's wanting their little boys to be treated fair, and just enough to keep the Washington pricks out of our hair. That's my two cents for now, not all will agree, but you cant please them all, and the ones that cant be pleased can kiss my a**.
MEMORIES SWEPT OVER ME..........................................
Hey Sgt. Grit,
I did my time at MCRD, Parris Island in 1965. As happened with many of us, that experience changed me forever and made me a Marine forever. As important as that is, I had never taken the time to return to the island for a visit until a few months ago. My friend's son was graduating from 3rd battalion and I took the opportunity to return to the place of my birth as a Marine. I was amazed at just how much 37 years had changed, and yet not changed the island.
Those infamous old wooden barracks have been replaced by newer brick barracks. The snack bar (where we devoured all we could eat on graduation day) has been replaced by a food court consisting of several fast food offerings of burgers, fries, pizza, and the like. The rest of the Parris Island facilities remain pretty much the same as they were when I first stood on those yellow footprints 37 years ago.
On graduation day we arrived in the early morning hours and those lasting memories swept over me in waves as I listened to the D.I.'s calling cadence while they continued to "inspire" the new recruits in the way of the corps. A sense of pride came over me as I realized that the new Marines of today were getting the same grueling training that we all endured and I was very impressed by the spirit with which these new recruits approached their training.
There were two things about the actual training that have changed. Today's recruits wear sneakers when they are out for a run. We always had to run in our combat boots. The other difference is a big one. 37 years ago we did not have the Crucible. My D.I.s took us out on a "forced march" through the swamp and the sand as each platoon had their own "crucible" as defined by their senior D.I. This was our defining moment much like today's Crucible is our new Marine's defining moment.
I would highly recommend that any Marine who has not taken the time to return to their MCRD do so as soon as possible. Do not be like me and wait too many years. You will never get back the sweat and blood that you left there, but you can visit all those locations where you shed your civilian attitudes and changed your life forever.
SSgt. "Mac" McIsaac
NEVER GAVE HIM UP.......................................
Such a wonderful forum for Marines to say what has been on their minds for years. Much of it is scuttlebutt, some is squad bay humor, lots of it remembering time and place. I grew up in the Corps literally from the time I was born. My father was in the Navy, the Army, the National Guard before he joined the USMC. My earliest memory of him in dress blues and a photo of me looking up at him when he was a corporal and hash marks about 1940. Then to see his date of rank as a Master Sergeant in 1943. How things have changed! When I joined the Corps on my 17th birthday, it was kind of expected and boot camp was just as expected. I was a squad leader and ended up with a black eye doing what was expected at the time. One of my squad members beat hell out of me but I still was the squad leader. Never gave him up when asked how I got the mouse. Don't have a clue it that ever made any difference. Obviously it did to me. Living conditions are what we deal with daily. For those who think it should be a condo and roughing it is when the air conditioning goes out need to see what the real world is like. I visited the MCRD San Diego a while back and was kind of shocked to see the differences from my youth. I wondered how the Marines of today would compare or measure up to today's needs. Well, I don't think they will do any better or any worse than those of 1775. We do what is required to meet the current challenges. While I am an old mossback Marine, I frequently hear people say, "You must be a Marine" just the way I carry myself or how I act. That is a fact. Yes I am a Marine.
Rocky Kemp USMC 1439323 53/63
Robert Kemp 304034 MSGT retd
NAME OF MATTING..................................................
For Michael "Andy" Anderson - I believe that the interlocking steel matting that you saw all over the place is called Marsden Matting. Probably that name of the manufacturer, but that is what we called it at Chu Lai (1968-69), Vietnam. It was used on the short east field for the A-4 Skyhawks. We were VMA(AW)-533 and flew off of the west runway.
Don Maxon, USMC (Retired)
Complaining is futile, but the defense of our nation and the freedoms we enjoy is a price that will rest on the shoulders of the few who are willing to sacrifice all to protect it.
LOVE IS IN THE AIR................................................
Pammie & I are sending you our invitation as a memento of our meeting & â€œ courtshipâ€ via your Bulletin Board. To our knowledge, this may be a first. Iâ€™m certain that you & Ken have followed the details as theyâ€™ve progressed on the Board. Many details were by personal e-mails, so we will gladly fill you in, if you so wish. DEVIL DOG BILL is and ordained minister & will officiate. My Best Man will be BOB KURTZ, former RECON. Pammieâ€™s sister, GENIA, whose husband is a VN (Vietnam) Marine, will be her Matron of Honor. The names that are capitalized are all members of your Board. Having never met Pammie, I proposed to her on Yahoo Voice chat, with GENIA as our witness. The wedding site is owned by a former Marine fighter pilot, & it was the wish of him & his wife that our ceremony be held there. Thanks for providing both of us this meeting place.
Bill Weiler (VELCRO)
In regard to Mrs. Roosevelt's assessment of marines, morals will win more battles than guts. For the Lord will fight for those who will live uprightly and give them wisdom and favor in war.
I would just like to chime in with my thoughts for the IntelGunny. I served with HMLA-369, MAG-39 in the Flight Equipment shop as a 6060 parachute rigger-and no we did not have parachutes in the UH-1N or the AH-1W) from 1987-1993. We had both 6060's and 6088's in the same shop, and we never once had anything that came close to a rivalry. As a matter of fact we (the 6060's) made it a point to cross train into the seat mech MOS with no animosity from the seat mech guys whatsoever. And I would also like to throw in also that there are all kinds of "cartridges" in today's modern aircraft, including helicopters (that was for Roman "ski" Milanowicz). Anyway, keep up the great newsletter and keep all of us "former Marines" in the loop so to speak.
James M. "Bull" Samuel
The story of the new Marine meeting his DI outside MCRD, reminded me of how, even years after leaving the Corps, when dealing with Admirals and Generals of various branches of the service, I still stood at attention and said "Sir" whenever talking to a Marine General. It was just a built in reaction from an E-4 corporal. I finally got so I could stand at ease with colonels and below. There was always a special bond of camaraderie whenever I mentioned that I too was a Marine. There still is.
Send italy my way grit!
Sgt. Grit, Did I ever tell you how much I love Pizza? Semper Fi, Bob Chatigny-Weatherford,Ok
RE: a letter from Fred Lewis USAF 1969-73
HE SAID: "...So stop comparing and whining. I was being DRAFTED into the Army when I ENLISTED(which?)and looked at all branches of the military. I liked what I saw as far as education and career fields. ..
Sounds like what Mr. Lewis is saying: "Think not what you can do for your country; think what your country can do for you" Some of us enlisted to serve.
An Old (really old) Sgt
Ho boy, did this bring back the memories. I did the same thing when going to the C&E Battalion Radio Telegraph Operators Course at MCRD, class 15-60. Exact same reaction from my Drill Instructors. We also enjoyed the salutes of boots (who apparently thought we were officers...LOL).
All best and Semper Fi!
God Bless America!!