I hug my Marine every night and thank him for the time he spent defending our country! It takes a special person to be a Marine!
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I have added new areas to the BS page. If you have a vehicle you're proud of, show it to all of us. I know I would like to see more of Kosovo, Somolia, and Beirut, so take a few minutes and send me your pics and share your story.
Hang on....here we go.
FLASH BACK TO SPRING 1950
Was reading your newsletter other day and resulted in flashback for me was back during Jan-May 1950 Med cruise when I was with 2nd Mar, Div (6th Reg) ... received mail that included a magazine ... was an interview in it with some Army General ... subject surfaced concerning Marine Corps. General was quoted saying something about it being time to disband the Marines and incorporate them into the Army and make soldiers out of them. There was more ... sarcasm about Marines being confused over what they are ... talking like sailors etc. No sooner is cruise finished and after a month leave and back at LeJuene, it is June 1950 and the NK army crossing 38th Parallel ... and then August ... and 5th Marine Brigade is rushed into action to save the several Army divisions from doin' a Korean War version of WW2 Dunkirk ... and this Marine Brigade scored the first winning battle for the good guys. Then came Inchon ... and the entire First Mar. Div. turning things around. I recall during lull in action sometime after we liberated Seoul thinking about that magazine article ... and thinking how it all may have turned out had the USMC been integrated into the Army. Do not recall the Army General's name ... best he remains anonymous. LOL
Geo Elsasser (Sgt. 1949-52)
After reading the story in the last newsletter about the Mom who sent her son a care package while in boot camp, which unknowing to her contained a condom, I had to pass on this story told to me by my Dad, Cpl. Robert A. Stutesman. He was at Parris Island in July '58. My Mom's brother sent my Dad a condom in a letter which was discovered by the DI. He made my Dad blow it up, tie it off, and walk around the Bn. area bouncing it in the air with his nose. Of course every NCO and officer that saw this gave him grief. The first thing he did when he got home was give his future brother-in-law a good cussing with some of the new words he had just learned. Another story I like to tell on my Dad is the one where they were on the drill field one hot day. My Dad was in the front rank at attention with the rest of his platoon, when a big ole swamp horsefly started buzzing around and landed on his neck. The DI saw it and walked over to to my Dad and got real close and watched the horsefly as it started to dine on the ol man's neck. Of course the recruit could do nothing but stand there and take it. The DI watched and waited until the little vampire was swollen up with the ol man's blood, then smacked it significantly harder than required to kill it, splattering blood all over my Dad's neck. The DI just looked at my Dad and said "I got'em for ya private!!"
Sgt. Dave Stutesman 79-83
"Scuz Brush Bulk head..............move!"
"Get on my quarterdeck now"
"Scrrrrrrrrrrub that compensator now"
"Get online now "
"Aye sir, F$#K you Sir, some trash like that?"
"OHHHHH!............Daddy's gone now...............were gonna play"
"Get online with two sheets and a blanket.................move"
Hope you like em,
THE COLONEL SHOUTS, 'OH MY GOD'
A true story
Summer of '62
Subic Bay, P.I.
Ist Bn, 3rd Marines, 3rd Mar Div
The Burial Pit
One Marine in the 106mm Recoilless Rifle platoon had been on Liberty too often in Okinawa and had been diagnosed with gonorrhea on two previous occasions. It was the policy of the Battalion commander that anyone with VD three times would be permanently barred from liberty in any town. As you would expect, Ramirez showed up in sick bay with his third dose of VD. SSgt ("Wild Bill") Wiley learned of this by the report from the Battalion Aid Station (BAS) and hit the roof
He ordered Ramirez to fall out with his short handled "E" (entrenching) tool and proceed to dig a 6' deep, four foot wide, 6' long hole behind the barracks. (hint, hint) That's a grave! That's rock soil! That's summer in the tropics! That's hard work!
As soon as the hole was completed, which was about seven hours later, "Wild Bill" ordered the Marine to hit the shower and change into his liberty uniform. The dumb shit actually thought he was going on Liberty for doing such a good job with the hole! Wiley instructed the Private to return back to the hole when he was showered and changed. When he did so, SSgt Wiley posted the hapless young Marine at the end of the hole, and had him remain at attention. Then Wiley turned toward the building and shouted, "Firing Squad, Front and Center!" .
Immediately from around the side of the building marched a squad of Marines in full uniform and weapons. The Squad Leader gave the "Commands:, Halt, Right Face, Lock and Load" and with each command, Ramirez eye's got bigger and bigger. Wild Bill Wiley had enjoyed a reputation for being a crazy sonofabitch and the poor Marine had no idea what to expect. He was sure Wiley was going to have him shot.
Wiley then stepped up to the grave side and displayed Ramirez' liberty card to the ever increasing crowd of onlookers. He then tore the liberty card, once, then again, then again, then again and let the now miniscule pieces float down into the "grave". In his bellowing voice he declared
"Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Before Ramirez gets Liberty again, his dick will rust"!
He then signaled the Squad leader as he was stepping back from the grave, and the Squad leader commanded; "Ready, aim, fire!" The retort of the blank ammo bounced off the walls and echoed through the barracks area. Now Ramirez had pissed in his pants, and just about that time, LtCol. Harbin the Bn. CO and the Bn SgtMaj came by and at the sound of gunfire came on the run just as the bugler began to play "Taps". When he saw the scene, The Colonel shouts' "Oh my God , Sergeant Wiley, what in hell have you done now?" By then all the spectators were in hysterical laughter, Ramirez was running for the Barracks, the firing squad marched off at double time and the bugler simply disappeared. "Wild Bill" salutes the Colonel and stated "solving a little problem, sir." SgtMaj Daniels nudged the CO and they quietly walked away. Ramirez never had Liberty again!
FRAUDS AND WANNABEES
I am retired (68-98) and working on my Masters Degree. I recently had a professor who claims to be a "Former" Marine and claims to have done "two tours in Viet Nam, was a special operations type, and most of his work is still classified." Claims to have been wounded and have a "titanium jaw bone."
My problem with the professor is: He didn't know what an MOS was, didn't know what an 0311 was, and didn't know what a "grunt" was. And after CIA agent, and Brother Marine Mike Spann was killed, came to class claiming to have known "Dan Spann" very well.
I served during a time, as you are very aware, when it wasn't cool to be in the military or former military. Seems these days everyone was former military, (Whether they were or not!).
Do you or any of your readers know of a way I can confirm this guys service? And I swear, if he is lying, I will expose him to the university, if not the press. I was so depressed over this person, that I nearly dropped the course...but it was a "required".
Please feel free to publish my email address for anyone to contact me with info about how to research this. firstname.lastname@example.org. Those that know me, know I am hard headed enough, that I won't let this rest until it is resolved to my satisfaction!
Part of my reputation as an "A - - hole" (Thanks Christobol!)
Note: Any useful suggestions on how to expose frauds will be posted. Sgt Grit
THANKS TO THE LEADERSHIP
My first FMF duty station in 1964 was Mike Battery, 4th Battalion, 11th Marines at Force Troops, 29 Palms. Mike Battery was detailed to mount out for "somewhere" and the unit dramatically changed personnel. We got a new CO and a bunch of Staff NCOs transferred in from other units in the Regiment.
Our CO was Captain James O. BLACK, a mustang who had been commissioned in Korea. Top HAMBLIN, Gunny SWEENEY, and most of the Staff NCOs were veterans of the island campaigns and all were Korean veterans. There were a couple of Corporals and Lance Corporals who were Korean vets as well. Our Lieutenants were all very young men; well-intentioned and hard-working leaders who would listen to seasoned Marines.
We eventually landed in Chu Lai as part of RLT-7 and set up our base camp at the end of what was to become the airstrip. We set out LP/OPs for security and manned them with lower ranking Marines (as one might expect). Captain BLACK did something quite different the first few nights though, each hole had a veteran Staff NCO assigned with a snuffy. The SNCO knew the business of being a Marine and took a lot of the fear of the unknown out of the equation. Mike Battery had no intramural fire fights and never did fight the Battle of the Attacking Bushes, thanks to the leadership of the Old Corps.
Obviously just being a Lance Corporal by the time I left the unit, I certainly didn't become chummy with the SNCOs, but I did get to listen to them talk amongst themselves about previous tours of duty. They were tough, they were hard, they were brave, and they took damned good care of us. As I became a Staff Sergeant, I hope I was able to translate something of what I learned to my troops. I know that our young Marines are just as well lead today as we were then.
SSgt USMC, RVN 65-66, M/4/11
ENJOY THE SHOW
Sgt. Thanks for the great news letter!! My wife and I recently spent several weeks in Florida on vacation from this terrible Minnesota cold. We had a great time and I ran into several former Marines as we went on different outings. But one Saturday evening we decided to attend a concert at the Panama City, Florida Civic Center. I had to buy tickets at the gate and I wondered to myself if any good seats remained. As I approached the ticket window I asked the young man selling tickets if any good seats were still available. He said that there were few really good ones left except in the reserved military section. He then asked me if I was current, retired, or former military. If such was the case, he said, I would have a better seat selection at half price. I stated that I am former military but did not have my military ID card on me. He politely stated that unless I could provide a military ID he couldn't give me the discount seats. I thought for a moment then I pushed up my shirt sleeve and showed him my USMC VIETNAM Skull and Cross Bones tattoo. I then said to him that "Not a lot of people get these to get discount tickets." The ticket seller then smiled at me and said "Semper Fi. Sir; I'm a Marine too; enjoy the show" and handed me my tickets. Needless to say, the show of respect from one generation of Marine to another was the high point of my day, if not my entire trip.
Marine! Semper Fi. Bob Gaskill, Machineguns, 1st Platoon, Fox Company 2nd Bn 7th Marines, 1st Mar. Div., 1968
I WILL MISS THEM
The following is an excerpt from an email home from an Air Force ordnance demolition unit team member describing his first night at Kandahar airport:
"One of the perimeter positions only a hundred yards or so to our left took some incoming fire and we all went to general quarters, taking defensive fighting positions in our bivouac in case they penetrated to our position. The Marines quickly repelled the attack. It will not bother me should I live my entire life without having to kill a man but I have to say I'm glad to be surrounded by a thousand 19 year-old Marines who can't wait to. They will be leaving in a few weeks and turning over the base to the Army. I will miss them.
"The only tents the Marines use are one-man pup tents and they are everywhere. Each foxhole and DFP (defensive fighting position) around the camp is accompanied by two of these humble little tents.
"I have a renewed respect for the Marines. They arrived a month ago, dug in, and have been living out of these ridiculously small, 5 x 5 tents ever since. No heat, no latrines, no showers, nothing but backpacks, weapons, helmets and flak vests, and lots of ammo. And they've been doing it every day. Four man teams at each position, two sleeping, two on watch. God bless them every one."
Submitted by: Many of you
FATHER OF A MARINE
Thought you might like this. I have written 2 other times about my single parent Marine Corps son, but this is about me. Last Sunday I was playing Foosball with my daughter when I got a little excited in a hot and heavy match. Turns out I broke my hand and when I went to the doctor on Monday the nurses looked at my hand and asked if it hurt. It was all black and blue and looked a mess. I told them it hurt like hell and they asked if I wanted some pain medication. I told them no I could live with the pain. They then said you must have been a Marine, I said no but I was a proud father of a Maine son. Also I only lost one game to my daughter.
CRL USAF 1961-65
POAGEE BAIT, GEEDUNK, ETC
In reply to the question about the terms Poagee Bait, GeeDunk, etc...When I left active duty in 1988 they were still in use. Since then I have heard them very infrequently. When I use those words with my Marines now they look at the Battery Gunny like he is an ancient dinosaur. Oh well, I try to keep the past alive, if only for my own memory.
GySgt. A.J. Camacho
BTRY "A". 1/14, Aurora, CO
I haven't had the opportunity to be around many young Marines, but I can't help myself in every day speech, not that I want to. I think some of the civilians I work around get a kick out of some of the terms I use, including military time, and I don't even hold back around my family (but no profanity anymore). Like other Marines, I am proud of our unique terms and many other things. It just shows that we/I am different, and like it! Stay Gung Ho and keep the scuttle butt going.
MSGT G. D. Dickens
MTU-CO-1, Aurora, CO
FINDING MARINE BUDDIES
SGT Grit: I've read your newsletter for years often through tear-soaked eyes. Your most recent article urging Marines to search for their buddies prompted me ... no "demanded" that I write to you. For thirty-four years I had wondered about the fate of my fellow Marines from E-2/7 RVN 1967-68. Over these many years, more than a few times, I actually made a concerted effort to find the guys who shared themselves too often at the cost of their own lives. As fate would have it my efforts were rewarded. In December 2000 I found the brave Marine who saved my life in the most dramatic of ways. I will not detail his exploits, but let me assure you that I would not be alive today had Cpl Wayne Horne not jumped between me and an NVA soldier. Consequently, I've had a life, a wife, three sons, a career, friends ... memories. So many of our fellow Marines were not as fortunate. God bless them! Since then another Marine sent an email with a simple salutation introducing himself as Mike Ware stating only that my name sounded familiar. He picked my name up on a Marine Website. I called him.
We did know each other. Guess what? Since then I talked with two other guys Jay Keck and Skip Henderson from my unit. As cruel as life might seem sometimes, it's also as kind. Skip lives in an adjacent county in North Carolina next to Wayne. They've never met. The world is indeed a small place. We're planning a three man fire team reunion this month. By the way I went to NC last Feb 2001 to see Wayne and his wife. Words are inadequate to express my joy at seeing him and the gratitude for the life he gave me. We did a lot of catching up. My youngest son will probably work on one of his construction crews this summer. Wayne has become a successful builder. He deserves only the very best that life can give. A more humble man one will never find. This leads me to another discovery. I apologize. I didn't expect to go on like this, but I've got to tell you. I'm excited. Another mystery in my life has been the fate of a Marine I carried out after he was wounded. It happened 15 June 1967 during Operation Arizona. I wasn't sure about his name. As I approached him lying in the sand slumped against some brush I realized, he had been hit in both legs (machine gunned). He was in bad shape. The s@#% had definitely hit the fan that day. As I moved closer I wasn't sure who he was. He was in 2nd Plt I thought. I was from third. As I carried him I asked his name. I thought, he said Dominic. And so these many years here I am wondering where he was, whatever happened to him. This time I was determined to find him. I called the Washington Navy Yard. Spoke with some very helpful folks from the history office. That eventually led me to Quantico and a tremendous man. His name is Lt Col (Ret) Gary Solis. You won't believe this. Solis was the company commander of the Tank unit which moved to our position to provide support on that fateful day in June 1967. After having a reunion over the phone, exchanging "Semper Fi", and bonding as only a couple of grunts can do he promised to help me find "Dominic". A few days later I received a hand typed list of WIA and KIAs transcribed from illegible photocopies. He explained that they were typed because the originals simply would not produce a legible product. Now get this ... Gary Solis went out of his way to arrange to have these documents hand typed. The woman that typed them was glad to help. My God ... imagine she was glad to help. The story expands a bit here. The list did not have the name Dominic on it. However, there was the name Emil F. Domines. Can you believe it? So far I've had little luck locating Emil. That's his name from now on. I'll find him. Believe me. I'll find him.
"Semper Fi" THANKS!
Mike Watson, E-2/7, SGT
(Ret) 1966-68 I told you maggots it's worth the effort. Now start your own search or give me "BENDS AND MOTHERS FOREVER".
DO IT NOW!!
SO ALL IN ALL
I am now in the Marines and have been for 5 years. I hear all these "old" timers talking about the "old" Corps and how the "new" Corps is too soft and all this. I am not going to say that it is not different then when they first came in because it most definitely is. I will say that throughout the 226 years the Corps has been here protecting our country, it has always been changing. Since Nov 10th, 1775 the Corps has been changing everyday of the year. The "old" timers can not tell me the Corps was the same in 1975 as it was in 1775. So all in all, the "old" timers, were "new" timers to Marines once before.
Presently Deployed And Hitting Home In 2 Days!
WHEN YOUR COUSIN OUTRANKS YOU
1974, MCRD SAN DIEGO CAL.
I was in infantry training at Camp Horno, in the big middle of Camp Pendleton. We had just came in off of a PT run, and were getting ready to fall out for chow, when came those words that every boot fears...PRIVATE (your name here...) TO THE DUTY OFFICE, ...So as fast as you can, in a blind rush , you center yourself in the hatch...SIR PRIVATE BLACKSTOCK REPORTING AS ORDERED , SIRRR.!!! Slowly , deliberately, the DI comes from around the desk,"PRIVATE BLACKSTOCK, DO YOU HAVE ANY KIN IN THE MARINE CORPS?" he barks..."SIR , YES SIR, "I reply never looking anywhere except at the picture of Chesty, on the wall," PRIVATES COUSIN, SIR...". "OH REALLY , WELL WHAT RANK IS YOUR COUSIN???" "SIR PRIVATE THINKS HE IS A LT. OR A... CAPTAIN, SIR. " How long has it been since you've seen him?" "SIR ABOUT A YEAR SIR"..."PRIVATE BLACKSTOCK, About-face" I execute an about-face, and standing right behind me is my cousin, 1st Lt. Mike Mosley, (who was the Executive Officer with Echo Battery 2/11 right down the road). Before I could pull the words back I blurted out" HI MIKE!!!". Then it hit the fan, "Oh Hi MIKE ?!YOU BETTER ADDRESS THAT MAN AS AN OFFICER IN THE MARINE CORPS!!!" After a good ass chewing we went outside where he spent almost the entire visit granting "BY YOUR LEAVE SIR, and returning salutes from other stunned recruits ... It was good to see a friendly face, but boy did I pay for that visit, every thing I did wrong, "I BET YOUR COUSIN WOULD BE SOOO PROUD OF YOUUUU!!! I guess I should be glad he didn't send me any chewing gum, or talcum powder ,as a joke...
SEMPER FI Lcpl Bruce Blackstock
Lima Battery, 2/11 , Los Polgus, Camp Pendleton Ca. 1974-1977
AIN'T MUCH DIFFERENT
Dear Sgt. Grit:
Thanks for the mail and thank God for the USMC and may God Bless our America! Love your page and mail. Whenever I feel kinda down, it's good to go here. These guys now-days, ain't much different than we were. I think the USMC is about the only branch that kept their heads during the "warmey, fuzzy feel good" era we went through. (Although, I have to admit...I've actually seen photos of USAF "GRUNTS" , can you believe that???).
Re: Remembering your D.I.'s. How in the world could you forget them???
Platoon 1006 Recruit Depot San Diego summer 1968 : Plt. Cmdr. GySgt Johnson, D.I. S/Sgt Rouse, D.I. Sgt. Veras. S/Sgt. Rouse was the "mean" one...he cried when we boarded buses (cattle-cars) to go to ITR at Pendleton. My Lord, these men did things to shape me that No human could have done! God Bless the Corps and God Bless America!
USMC (long time ago)
WENT TO THE ATTIC
As I was reading some of the letters in here about wanting to find out more about peoples fathers and grandfathers and all things of that nature, it struck me. When I was about 11 or 12, I had this neighbor in Oregon. Grants Pass, Oregon to be exact (I don't recommend visiting there), at any rate, his name was Glenn. He was the coolest "old man" I had ever met, The first Marine I had ever met. He had a nice house, a few acres, a pond and ducks even a swan. Well he was the nicest guy, and my brothers always helped him out when he needed things done, and his wife Renee was the sweetest. It was like having an adopted set of grandparents.
Well my brother Matthew, and my foster brother Eli came home one night and just looked like they were humbled to pieces. Apparently Glenn fought in Guadalcanal. At that time I knew the name and I knew there had been a war there, how catastrophic it was I wouldn't know for a few more months. He told them his war stories and things like that, he never shared those with me though, not sure if it was because he thought I was to young or what. But I went over to his house and he took me in this room, a library he had built himself to be exact, and had a few books pulled out, and I'm pretty sure almost every one of those books had been signed.
He pulled down this latter that went to an attic, a furnished attic, and I went to walk up and turned back and there were a few pictures on the walls, him and some of his buddies from back in the day, and a picture that just kind of sticks out, I don't remember the story behind it but it was basically a naked woman carved in wood. he gave me a few books because I like to read and when I came down from the attic about 8 hours later I walked up to him and gave him a huge hug and he had a few tears in his eyes.
Like Sgt Grit said before, it is important to share your stories or your wisdom with your children or grandchildren or children in general, but if you cant find the ability to speak to them about it, books help a little more than you can even imagine. Still to this day I don't know what all happened to Glenn in Guadalcanal, I don't know who his buddies were, how many buddies he lost, what I do know is that he will always be one of my heroes. I lost touch with them some time ago which I regret doing, and I don't know if they are still alive, I just hope they are.
Please don't fear your children's reactions, I know its hard to talk about the things that have happened, I know you hate remembering everything that happened, but it gives us a little more clues as to of who you are.
Proud daughter of a Marine, and "granddaughter" of a Marine
MAGAZINES VS. CLIPS
I could not help noticing in your catalog section under "T-Shirts" item TS216 (the back) your "bull dog" has lost his nut sack. Is this one edition made for the "BAMs" or have you bowed to the powers of "Political Correctness?"
I agree with Sgt. McKay on the Marine's Hymn AND magazine vs. clip. It really gives me a pain in the jibs when I hear some of my young police officers refer to their magazines as clips... as Marine Corps Distinguished with a pistol I feel compelled to set the FNGs straight on the correct nomenclature. But then again I hear them talk about me being so old my first issued mace was a steel ball connected to club by a chain and my political leanings are slightly right of Attila the Hun!
(Former GySgt) S. L. Hose
(78-95 USMCR) 73,
RICHARE SWOSZOWSKI, USMC
Richard Swoszowski, USMC is a retired Marine here in Orlando, Fl. He is in a wheel chair, having lost a right leg to diabetes, but you would never know it. He is on the Mayor's Council for Veteran's Affairs for the city of Orlando, Fl, President of the VVA Chapter 751 and has been the Post Commander of the Goldenrod VFW and many other Military Organizations here in Central Florida. He is the epitome of a Marine and goes to the USMC's birthday party in his dress uniform, he also has a CIB/SS and many other decorations, seeing as he was in the Army during Korea and was awarded the CIB for his tour over there. Why am I writing this to you SGT Grit, just to tell your readers that Wheels is a Marine and one of the best that I know. I am proud to call him friend..
M/SGT (R) Gil Berg
US Army -'53-'93
TENARU INFO REQUEST
NEEDED FOR FORTHCOMING BOOK.
PERSONAL STORIES OF MARINES WHO FOUGHT IN THE BATTLE OF THE TENARU RIVER ON GUADALCANAL 21 AUGUST 1942. ALSO SPECIFICALLY NEED ACCOUNTS OF MARINES AND ENGINEERS WHO WERE ON LT. J. JACHYM'S PATROL TO THE TETERE AREA ON 12 AUGUST AND CAPT. CHARLES BRUSH'S PATROL FROM CO. 'A 1/1 ON 19 AUGUST TO GURABASU.
WE ARE IN GREAT NEED OF THESE ACCOUNTS TO WRITE THE TRUE AND COMPLETE HISTORY OF THIS BATTLE, THE 1ST MARINE VICTORY IN WW-II. PLEASE EMAIL OR SEND YOUR INFORMATION TO:
MUSEUM of the PACIFIC
306 FOREST LAKE DR.
TEXARKANA, TX 75503-1940
All these stories about boot camp got me thinking of a somewhat funny (depending on whose perspective it is) incident on my way to Parris Island in July 1981. I am from Baltimore, so on the morning we were to report, a small group of us met up with our recruiter at his office for a short ride to the AFEES station at I believe Fort Meade. Anyway, it was there that I met a fellow Marylander named Jimmie Cornell. (Jimmie later went on to have a fine career as a hard charging jar-head with 1/8.) Jimmie and I were admittedly pretty nervous, but tried to look as tough as possible. We met another recruit from Maryland who already had a "high and tight" and even a bulldog tattooed on his arm. Puzzled by his haircut and tattoo, we asked him if he was already in. He replied that he was recruit also, but was gung-ho and confident that he would "make it". In fact he advised us that he knew all there was to know about the Corps and that boot camp would be "one big camping trip". He advised us to just follow him and give 110 percent and we would be fine. Well, needless to say, when we got off that bus we were not on those yellow footprints for more than two minutes when one of those "receiving" DI's spied this portly little dude's haircut. One DI called another over and when they saw his tattoo they laid into him with a profanity laced chewing out that I doubt has been repeated this side of the mighty Mississippi. When we finally were assigned our regular DI's, they had already been educated on the "fat little wannabe". The next morning on our very first run (about a mile into it) our gung-ho wannabe drops out and flops onto the deck. The DI leading the run (I'll leave out his name because of a deep respect for him) ran us around the dropout until the corpsman following behind us in the jeep came up to get him. When we started back on our course, it looked like he was flopping around on the ground. Needless to say, we never saw him again. After we graduated, Jimmie and I were sent to Camp Geiger for 0331 machine gunner school. Not long after arriving there Jimmie and I went to Court Street to each get a tattoo. The whole time I was sitting in that chair I kept reminding myself of how permanent this tattoo was, but I couldn't help but think of how that poor sob was going to have to explain why he has a Marine Corps tattoo, but failed to make it one week in boot camp. The more I thought about him the more pride I felt in the tattoo I was getting. I knew I was a Marine and I deserved it! I had earned it!
Cpl. Mike Kunkel
FATHERS MILITARY HISTORY
DEAR SGT GRIT -
REGARDING YOUR LETTER ABOUT "CHILDREN OF MARINES WANTING TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THERE FATHERS MILITARY HISTORY". WELL OUR FATHER HAS ALWAYS TOLD US STORIES AND HIS GRANDCHILDREN - CHRISTOPHER AND MICHELLE - HAVE HEAR THE SAME STORIES. THEY'RE GREAT WHEN HE RETIRED HE TOOK CARE OF HIS GRANDCHILDREN AND WHEN ON TELLING THEM THE STORIES AND DECIDED TO WRITE US A BOOK (WITH COPIES OF PICTURES, MAPS, ETC) ON HIS TIME IN THE MARINES. HE WAS IN VMTB-134 AND FIRST MARINE WING SERVICE SQUADRON IN WWII - HE WENT TO ESPIRITU SANTO, MUNDA, BOUGAINVILLE, GREEN ISLAND, EMIRAIU, PELELIU AND JAPAN. HE ALSO WAS IN THE VMF-451 IN THE KOREAN WAR. HE WAS A GUNNY SERGEANT. TWO YEARS AGO IN WENT THREW OPEN HEART SURGERY AND WAS FINE BUT ON VALENTINES DAY HE GOT REAL SICK AND WE JUST THOUGHT IF ANY MARINES WOULD SEND HIM A GET WELL CARD IT WOULD MEAN SO MUCH TO HIM, PLUS ON MARCH 16 IT WILL BE HIS 80TH BIRTHDAY.
MARLIN J. MILLER
1309 HARTRANFT AVE
FORT WASHINGTON, PENNSYLVANIA 19034
MARILYN J. MILLER, DAUGHTER OF A MARINE
Hey Sgt Grit
Got a kick out of what Mrs. Grafton did to her son in Boot Camp, reminded me of what a bunch of us did. About 10 yrs ago I was a cook at a Mexican restaurant, I talked 2 fine young men into joining the Corp, One had his act together he didn't have a problem in Boot Camp, the other I kinda worried about, he had problems forgetting things & misplacing things you know what happens if you lose trace of or forget things in boot camp, so at work we were feeling kinda bad for this guy knowing he's going through hell , So to cheer him up we send him a care package, I should have known better, But it happened to me by a former Marine so we got his package together consisting of A big container of refried beans w/ lots of hot sauce, 6 pac of empty beer cans pair of eatable panties, last but not least a Army P.T shirt. our reply was. Im Gonna Make It Threw Boot Camp So I Can Kick Your A#*
(see it helped!)
Mike King (77-81)
I read the letter from Jeff Handy regarding DI Sgt. Dauge. I had to laugh Sgt. Dauge was my Drill Instructor also. Platoon 1100. We had a boot that was my Bunkmate named Mc Ginnis that was your classic California beach boy. He was always funny and would let his mouth run off sometimes. One day for Mail Call Sgt. Dauge said something (that I can not recall) and Mc Ginnis pops off with "I'd beat him like a red headed step child". Everything got real quiet and Sgt. Dauge gave him The Look. I could see Mc Ginnis and he looked terrified. Then Sgt. Dauge couldn't help it and started to smile. Whew! man I thought we were going to pay for that one. I also recall having to do 305 pushup for a couple of letters. After I finished and reported to the DI Hut Sgt. Dauge looks up from his desk and says I didn't hear you count. One Sir don't bend the knees Sir, Two Sir heels aligned and touching Sir. Pvt. Sandoval Platoon 1100. Sgt. Dauge must have been feeling good that day he called me back and gave me my letters.
PS Handy you remember this. Ooooh I feel so sorry for you.
Paul V. Sandoval
A Marine buys a round of drinks for all in the bar because, he announces, his wife has just produced "a typical Marine" baby boy weighing 25 pounds.
Congratulations are showered on him from all around, and many exclamations of WOW!" were heard. A woman faints due to sympathy pains.
Two weeks later, he returns to the bar. The bartender says, "Say, you're the father of the typical Marine baby that weighed 25 pounds at birth.
How much does he weigh now?"
The proud Marine answers, "Seventeen pounds".
The bartender is puzzled, and concerned. "Why? What happened? He already weighed 25 pounds at birth."
The Marine father takes a slow swig from his long-neck Lone Star beer, wipes his lips on his shirt sleeve, leans into the bartender and proudly says, "Had him circumcised."
Bill (from the Bulletin Board)
GET IT OVER WITH
I am extremely proud of you for going back. in our day, they would double time us in wooded areas, at 2:00 am, run us into trees, and dare us to go thru them. that is how i screwed up my knee. if you had to do t he force march from stone bay, to the flame thrower practice area, it was over 2 miles. i did it on crutches. NO, i am not a hero, i just wanted to get it over with. P.I., was NOT 1 of my favorite places to be. there has not been a marine i ever meet, that i didn't admire. we made the grade, no matter what the situation, we are 1st to call, last to fall look at Afghanistan, the corps, where basically the 1st ground forces in. i love the corps, and i love everyone of you, man or woman, that finds a love and respect in the "UNITIED STATES MARINE CORPS"
SEMPER FI mike arnst cpl 67-71
GOD LOVE OUR BROTHERS, AND SISTERS IN THE MIDDLE EAST
I thought I would tell you a funny story that happened to me. In 1976 I was a Staff Sergeant with Lima 3/2 on board the USS Iwo Jima in the Mediterranean and the BLT was tasked with sending in 12 Marines who could speak different languages to help evacuate about 300 American and allied civilians from the fighting in Beirut. I was told I was going to be one of the Marines sent ashore because I am from Canada and logically (to them) I could speak French. I cannot speak French but being a true son of the Corps I also don't contradict Officers who seemingly know more than I. Also it looked like a fun thing. When we got ashore I was assigned to the French Civilian Contingent and was to lead them to the Mike boats when our turn came and they would be transported to another ship. The other groups were comprised of the usual families, crying babies, demanding fathers, rude mothers etc... I, on the other hand, had to deal with 27 young women from Paris, France. They were all high priced hookers. They also had a sense of humor and spoke perfect English. To them this was a "day in the sun." Momma said there'd be days like this, and there were plenty of them during my 22 years as a Grunt.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Dear Sirs, I recently enlisted in the Marine Corps. I leave for MCRD San Diego on March 18 to be trained as one of the worlds finest. The reason I'm writing, is because for the past few months I've been reading your wonderful news letter.
I just wanted to say that even though I haven't earned the title Marine I feel proud to know that I will. I just wanted to say to all veterans thank you for service and thank you for keeping this country free.
Soon to be PFC Adam A. Leidy
Grandson of retired Marine Lt. Colonel Alfred L. Leidy
Note: As Marines even today you're stories make a difference in peoples lives. Sgt Grit
MARINES ARE FAMILY
First of all, thank you so very much for the time and effort you spend in the creation of this e-group newsletter. You do a service to us all. No matter what I am doing, when ever I see the newsletter come in, I stop, sit down and read it. I appreciate you and the letters contributed by other Marines and their families. The newsletter kind of reminds me of "Sgt. Grit's Chicken Soup for the Soul, U.S.M.C. Version."
My daughter is a Junior at the U of Utah in Salt Lake City (SLC). She is in a Marine Officer's Program. She finished 1/2 (Juniors) of her Boot camp last summer and she will finish her final 1/2 (Seniors) this summer. Upon her graduation (of Boot camp and) of College and receiving her Bachelors Degree, she becomes eligible for her Commission as a 2nd Lt., as she will have Boot camp behind her. Yes, I am damn proud.
Not to long ago, I received a frantic, non-legible, phone call from her placed long distance from her cell phone. She had just been in a car accident while on her way to a social visit with her 'new family' at the Marine Officer's Selection Recruiting Station in SLC. Imagine the grip of fear in my heart knowing she was in an accident two states away and was un-able to communicate with me. I had no idea if she or anyone else had been hurt and if so, how bad.
As a Marine, I called 'My Extended Marine Corps Family' in SLC. I told them who I was, what had just happened and that I needed support. The Gunny got on the phone and was able to calm my fears. My daughter, though not quite yet a Marine, had also instinctively called the Gunny and reported her situation. She knew in her heart that I too would call the Marines in SLC for a SITREP.
It took only a few minutes for me get my SITREP from the Gunny. I found out that while she was banged up a bit, she was very much OK and if she needed any support at all, I need not worry as he was there. What a comfort to hear that. What was I thinking? "Naturally he had the situation well in hand."
It's always an Honor to be a Marine. And it's a real privilege to pick up the phone and find that 'family feeling' extended to my daughter.
Thanks Gunny, and thanks USMC in SLC, I am truly grateful.
L.J. Hayhurst, Cpl. USMC
1978 & Forever
Sgt. Grit; The YL-37 Group, of Inola, Ok., has, what we believe to be, the only flyable UH-34d with combat history. This a/c is restored in original squadron colors/markings and makes visits to various Veteran's functions, Traveling Tributes, schools, etc.. We'll be over in the Seminole/Shawnee area the weekend of April6/7 and appear to have a little free time. Would like to make some kind of Vet's function possibly on Sat. or Sunday. Part of Saturday will be spent attending a Memorial Dance (pow-wow) in honor of one of the original CrewChiefs on this a/c. Would like to utilize part of the time making some other appearances. Would like to "play" to as many as possible. Do you have any ideas? Would be nice to find some kind of Vet's function going on. Holler back at me if you can help. Ed Tatman -- Activities Coordinator-YL-37 Group-- HMM-362 -66/67 RVN-- PS ---Are you familiar with the web-site "popasmoke"? Part of our work can be viewed at the HMM-362 page.
Ed Tatman [email@example.com]
THE BEST $15.00 I EVER SPENT!
I have been thinking about writing this letter for some time now and while selecting a cover to wear on my daily walk this morning I started reflecting back on my tour of duty in the Marines and all of the great people that came into my life during this period. I decided that today was as good as any to tell you what one of your catalog items did for me and one of my Marine buddies.
First I have to say that you must be a quality conscious person. I have been purchasing items from you for some time now and they all have been high quality items that have become very treasured to me.
My whole enlistment 58-62 was spent in 2nd Recon Bn at Lejeune where I met two Marines from this area, Dean Dettinger and Chuck Swift. We spent a lot of time together in a unit that at that time had a reputation for being one of the best outfits in the Marine Corps to be a part of .
Dean was a "country boy" from a little town named "the Brogue" and Chuck was originally from the big city of Baltimore, myself, well I was raised in the suburbs of a small city named York, Pa. I remained in contact with Chuck but lost contact with Dean over the years.
Thirty-five years after my discharge I discovered that a woman I worked with at a local Caterpillar plant was Dean's niece and one day she started to tell about Dean's long battle with cancer, the prognosis was not good.
I got with Chuck and we arranged a "reunion" with Dean sometime in January 1997. We gathered up some old photographs and a lot of good memories and trekked down to Dean home for a fabulous visit with Dean, his wife Kay and one of his sons that kept referring to us as his "Army buddies" (about which we very quickly corrected him).
Upon arriving at home after the visit I discovered a package on my front porch from Sgt.Grit. I opened the package and took out the black baseball type cover with "USMC recon" embroidered on the front. My first thoughts were if anyone deserves to wear this cover, it was Dean. He may not have served in combat but his battle with cancer was fought in the fine tradition of the Marine Corps. I placed the cover back in the box and along with a letter forwarded both to Dean.
It was June 1997 when Dean lost his battle with cancer. His battle lasted more than twice as long as a tour of duty in a combat zone and was as traumatic but in a different sense.
Chuck and I attended the viewing service. Dean came from a large family and I'll bet everyone of his relatives and friends were in attendance. I don't ever remember seeing so many people at a viewing. Walking towards the open casket I saw these two black baseball type covers placed at the bottom of the casket. One had the emblem of the Baltimore Orioles on the front and the other was the "USMC recon" cover that I had given him.
Talking with his Kay I found out that he wore that cover with pride during his last few months. It was one of those moments in life that give so much satisfaction to ones self that something so small that you did may have brought a little sunshine into another's life.....
I have since replaced the cover with one for myself and it is the favorite in my collection of USMC cover but the purchase of the first one was " the best $15.00 I spent in my life".
Keep the catalogs coming.....
Corporal USMC 58-62
My name is Pamela Rodkey, and I live at Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands, where a very historic event in the history of the 4th Marine Division occurred in 1944.
We have a man here by the name of Edward "Ted" Burris who has lived on Kwajalein or Roi-Namur since 1961 and has become quite an expert in local history, culture, the influences of the Germans and Japanese and ultimately the United States. Because of his love for history, and sharing of this knowledge, he is called upon frequently to conduct tours for visiting dignitaries.
Ted has served the atoll in various capacities from furniture warehouse manager, merchandising manager, boy scout leader on an outer island, and radio announcer, to name a few. Currently he is in the supply area of one of the island's radar tracking antennae. He conducts these tours at the request of various command designees, sometimes, several times a month. This weekend, in fact he enjoyed the company of 42 Marines (from the 3rd Division) here on temporary duty for an upcoming mission. He spent nearly eight hours with them, imparting his knowledge and sharing antidotes of life on a small Pacific atoll, to some very nice young men.
I'm sure they left here with a new appreciation for all the accomplishments of the 4th Marine Division in 1944 throughout the Pacific as well as Roi-Namur.
This morning Ted came by my office to share his enthusiasm in receiving a commander's coin from the 3rd Marines. (An addition to three others he has received)
I am sure you would agree, that you have a wonderful public relations ambassador in Ted and perhaps you would consider recognizing his efforts on your behalf.
Pamela Rodkey, R.N.
CALL FROM RECRUITER
My good friend Mike recently got a recruiting call from the Marine Corps. Although he is not interested in the Corps, he really got a kick out of the call, and I thought your readers might too.
Ring Ring Ring
Sgt.: This is Sgt. (can't remember name), US Marines. Mike, do you like the idea of blowing sh*t up?
Mike: Sure, I guess that's cool.
Sgt.: Of course. Everybody does. What are you planning on doing after high school, Mike?
Mike: Well, sir, I plan on going to college.
Sgt.: College?!?! Mike, I bet you're going to pay for your college. And I bet your university won't give you any chances to blow shit up either. You deserve better. Go to boot camp after high school. The Corps will pay your way through college and you can blow some sh*t up.
Mike: Thank you, but I've already been accepted and I don't think I'll change my plans.
Sgt.: Fine. What are you gonna be doing on your weekends at college, Mike?
Mike: I don't know...probably hanging out with friends.
Sgt.: I got a better idea. Sign up for the reserves. Go to school full time, then come blow some sh*t up with the Marine Corps on Saturdays.
Sgt.: Mike, I think you lied to me about enjoying blowing sh*t up.
Meanwhile....the Army signs on civilians to do recruiting for them in high schools...
For 23 years, I've have been working to get Hollywood to say something positive about Vietnam Veterans. I witnessed first-hand numerous acts of kindness that American military personnel showed the Vietnamese People. I served on a CAP Team and lived in a Vietnamese peasant-farming village under the Marine Corps' Combined Action Program (CAP.) Although these Anti-Terrorist Teams experienced tremendous combat, we were known mostly for our kindness to the Vietnamese families that we lived with, protected and helped. CAP Teams had the nickname: "The Peace Corps Volunteers with Rifles." It is considered by many historians to be the most successful anti-terrorism unit in the Marine Corps' History. (But it is said that only half of us survived.) CAP was just one of many American military teams known for their kindness to the Vietnamese People. All American military branches had humanitarian and civil action units. CAProductions is being formed by a group of these same Vietnam Veterans, their families, their friends, and many appreciative Americans, who have similar qualities of kindness, dedication and pride. Some of these caring people have many years of experience in the Entertainment, Motion Picture and Television Industries. It's time for America to hear another part of the truth.
CAProductions is interested in co-producing a television series on American humanitarian and civil actions during the Vietnam War. Currently, we have a number of CAP Survivors, Military Nurses and other Vietnam Veterans writing their humanitarian and civil action stories. CAProductions is a non-profit production company that will finance a Veteran Honor Roll Foundation that will help various veteran, military and community charities.
Our Veteran Honor Roll Foundation is located at:
And our main website is located at: http://www.CapVeterans.com
Please pass this email to Vietnam Veterans, their families, their friends,
and appreciative Americans.
Thank You & Semper Fi
Schwarz & Semper Fi Guy are Marines to the core
There is something that you and I may not understand about Marines: There are no ex-marines, just former Marines. And that's why former Marines Guy Molinari, the ex-borough president of Staten Island, is ready to put his own house on the line for former Marine Chuck Schwarz â€“ who spent five years in hell because our justice system went mad. Chuck â€“ who served in the Gulf War after postponing his wedding so he could serve his country â€“ finally had his conviction in the Abner Louima case tossed out last week by a federal appeals court. Molinari wants to make certain Chuck isn't kept in a federal cage while he waits for the new trial that will clear him. "When Chuck makes his bail application, I am putting up my house for his bail," Molinari said. "I told my wife, Marguerite, who is not in the best of health, and she rolled her eyes â€“ but she knows," said Molinari , who served his country in Korea. "I believe, we believe, that Chuck Schwarz is innocent." "Molinari knows that he'll never have cause to regret his gesture. "It's Chuck's decency as a Marine, his discipline as a Marine that kept him going inside solitary confinement when he knew, you knew the world knew, he had nothing to do with" what happened to Louima," said. "That was Marine discipline. "No, I have no worry about my house. Chuck is not going anywhere, except home." Andra, Chuck's wife who knows what loyalty means â€“ said: "Mr. Molinari, like the New York Post, has been there from the very first day. "Oh, yes, other people picked up later when it became popular, but it was Mr. Molinari and the New York Post that saw what was happening." Andra and Chuck lost their own home on Staten Island because of the enormous legal bills they rang up. "I can't believe the house is gone," a distraught Chuck wrote her in December 1999. They were kept going by people like lawyer Ron Fischetti, who walked into the case and never charged them a dime. Chuck is finally now coming home. Forever? Well, we'll see what happens when he finally gets a real trial â€“ one where the judge isn't a senile fool who falls asleep on the bench. Former Marines like Guy Molinari take the Marine Hymn seriously. They don't abandon their comrades in the Halls of Montezuma, the Shores of Tripoli. Says Guy Molinari , "We have the shores of Staten Island here. We won't leave a former Marine alone." Here's what Andra Schwarz says about Marines: " Mr. Molinari is a rare man. He is like all of them. Rare men."
New York Post, Wednesday, March 6, 2002
SOUND OF TAPS
Saturday, March 11, 2002
At 1400 on this date, S Sgt Shirley L. Laird, USMC was buried with full military honors in a small coastal range cemetery at Dora, Oregon.
This lonely pioneer cemetery is surrounded by low foot hills covered with towering fir trees. There is a small white cross pointing off into the timber; the path is a narrow two track gravel road leading our way into a rain drenched and foggy opening for the service. He is in good company as many stones honored other patriots who had served in at least three wars. Two vans arrived with the Marine burial detail from Eugene, Oregon, all in their dress blues and quite somber.
At the graveside, the USMC Tankers Chaplain, white haired and in his red jacket, stood ramrod straight to deliver the service. His raspy voice, he explained, came as a result of being shot in the neck on Okinawa. He assured the assembled group it was not contagious. He comforted the family and friends with words only a Marine could use about another Marine. The NW Tankers tank commander with his parade ground voice got a chuckle as he told of his first meeting with Shirley Laird.
For one nanosecond, the sound of the rifle volleys flashed up a picture of a similar dark, rainy, foggy and squally morning as the landing forces looked down the beach at Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima.
The two Marine flag detail performed above and beyond as they carefully and with great precision removed the American Flag for presentation to the family members. The Marine at the foot of the casket never wavered, looked down or lost his balance as he moved to the head of the casket. Most of the time his right foot was centered over a gap in the wood decking under the fake green turf. Not once did he take his eyes or attention from the American Flag he was folding.
Suddenly the clear and haunting sound of "TAPS" flowed out over these mourners. At first it seemed to just come from the fir forest, but the bugler was at the edge of the clearing. Those beautiful and riveting notes were accompanied by the gently "drumming" sound of the rain drops on the sea of umbrellas. All sound was muffled by the rain and wind; rifle volleys seemed to come from down the beach, taps crept out of the foggy timber. Orders to the different details seemed to be inaudible, just seen.
Corpsmen never seem to get over losing a Marine. Even after 56 years the loss of one, either in Oregon or Afghanistan, affects them.
If there is any comfort in this loss, it is the realization that SSgt Laird's heavenly Tank Park will have tanks in perfect condition, Crown Royal on tap, and many large, mean looking cigars to chew on.
US Navy Corpsman, PhM3/c WW11
USMC Tankers Association
I read Terrance W. Stewart's letter about Camp Matthews with a lot of interest. I have many fond memories of my time at Camp Matthews in the winter of 63-64 while I was a boot (Plt 365, MCRD San Diego) and later, while I was waiting for a Basic Electronics school class to form when the C&E School Bn was alive and well at MCRD.
Stewart's source was correct, Camp Matthews is now part of the UC San Diego Campus. The old A range is the I-5 freeway. I did my three weeks of rifle range there during the last three weeks of December, 1963. It was not a place to spend Christmas. The first thing our DI did when we got there was to double time us around the perimeter, pointing out all the holes in the fence where we could go over the hill, if we wished. Back in those days, we went to the rifle range via a forced march up Rose Canyon, so no one in out platoon had any idea where we were nor where to go if we did go through the fence. Had I known then that La Jolla was just a mile or so the other side of 101, well, those holes might have been a bit more tempting.
When I was waiting for school, we traveled to Camp Matthews on work details to help close down the place and to open up the new rifle range at Camp Stewart Mesa, at MCB Camp Pendelton. Truth to tell, closing down a base where so many fellow Marines learned their basic trade was sad.
Anyway, because our recruit platoon had the worst record at the range, we did our week of mess duty at Camp Matthews, instead of back at MCRD. As mess men, we lived in three Quonset huts in the main area of the camp. After the Camp was razed to make way for the university, I pretty much thought all the old Marine Corps buildings would have been torn down. However, in 1988, when my son was a senior in high school, we visited several UC campuses prior to his settling in on one school to attend. While we were checking out UC San Diego, we made a wrong turn and ended up in the campus maintenance area. While trying to find my way out, I was surprised to see the same three Quonset huts still standing.
My son settled on UC Santa Barbara, which, it turns out, was built an old Marine Corps Air Facility. There are still some old buildings on campus left over from the old days there, too. Does anyone out there know anything about the Marine Corps Air Facility at Santa Barbara?
Art Tarsa Sgt. USMC 2051777 '63 - '69
Camp Matthews is in deed now part of the campus of one of the institutes of higher learning in Diego. What I remember most about it is every platoon had its own light bulbs that were guarded as if they were made of gold aned gems...duck walking up the fire breaks in the rain because it was "duck weather, sir"...having to dig "cat holes" in the butts because there wasn't a head... the leaky tents...and, of course, snapping in with a DI or instructor "helping" you get into the correct position for firing from the seated position.
Semper Fi All,
Bob Rader 1405534 sgt 53-56
Here is all of the info for those Marines who were at Camp Mathews. Myself being one of them in 1959.
Walter Leach 1877030, 1959-1963