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Sgt Grit American Courage Newsletter #36

"We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm."

--George Orwell

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It appears we are very, very close to combat in Iraq. Many of the stories below support that statement. God bless the families and our troops.

Sgt Grit,

Our son is a Sgt with Fox 2/1 which just set sail as part of the 15th MEU. Just before New Year's Day we as a family got to say our last goodbyes before his departure. I remarked that I finally knew how my parents felt when I headed to VietNam. He grinned and with the humor only Marines seem to have stated "Well, almost. You were definitely heading to war, I've only got an 85% chance."

God bless this "new breed" of Marines - they don't differ from our breed.

Bill Hardy Golf 2/5 '69

I receive your newsletter and love reading it, It reminds me that others know what it means to be an American. My son is a Marine and received his deployment orders today. Although the fear is great, my pride in him is even greater. His enlistment was up in Oct. While home on leave looking for a home and job,I came in to find him sitting at the table. All he said was Mom I can't do it. I can't see myself doing anything else, not with all that is going on in the world. I wanted to beg him not to re-enlist, but I knew it was what he was meant to do and I could not stand in his way. Now I know the country truly has the best, because my son will be standing on those lines, for you and for me. Keep him in your prayers.

A VERY proud mother of a US MARINE

Dear Sgt Grit,
I have just recently became aware of your newsletter, and I love it. I wanted to share with you something that happened to me on New Year's Eve. I went to party at my high school best friend's house. I had not seen her for over 3 years, as my husband was stationed aboard MCAS Cherry Point. She is married now, and all of the people at her party were also married. I kept getting asked the question, "Where is your significant other?" or "Why are you alone on New Year's?" It was hard for me to be asked these questions by strangers, but I would just take a deep breath and answer as strongly and with as much pride as I had, "My husband is a Sgt. in the United States Marine Corps. His current assignment has taken him away from his family since August as he is the acting NCOIC of the Harrier detachment's Avionics shop aboard the USS Nassau." I said it this way each time, it was the only way I could keep from crying. It was amazing how these people, Americans, had no idea that there was a boat detachment "Over There" at the moment and even more surprised when I informed them that this deployment was scheduled before Sept. 11, 2001. I really didn't get asked to many question, I guess they could see the pain in my eyes. At the stroke of midnight the most amazing thing happened. These Men and Women who had never met my husband and never met myself before this night made a toast to him and thanked him for making 2003 possible. Needless to say I cried.

I thought that you might like this story.
Thank you for your News Letter -
- Sara

"The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his."

--General George S. Patton

I have been a subscriber to your newsletter for a few months now and for the most part I've enjoyed what I've read. But I have a suggestion. Seems too many of the comments I read are signed with initials or some silly*ss fake name. I feel that if you have an opinion or comment to make, have the chahones to sign your real name, where you live and dates of service. As to all the interservice rivalry BS, it's ok to a certain degree, comrades in arms joking with each other. Beyond that it's just a bunch of blowhards running off at the mouth. To illustrate my point let me tell you this about my time in the Corps. After boot at Parris Island I went to an Army base, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, for my MOS school. There was one company of Marines in the middle of about 10,000 Army personnel. Most of us being boot Marines we were all full of p*ss and vinegar and ready to take on the world. After one memorable brawl at the Enlisted Club, our company First Sgt had all hands at formation the next morning. He was a Korea and Nam vet and no slouch. His comments to us were ," Listen up you dumb bastards! All that BS you heard in boot camp about one Marine being able to kick 10 doggies *sses is gonna get your dumb*ss killed so you'd best forget it fast!" It was a lesson that would serve me well during the rest of my enlistment as I also spent 18 months at Roosevelt Roads Naval Station, Puerto Rico. I ended my time with 2 years at 29 Stumps and caught more BS there from other boots at the C&E school there than I ever did from any Army or Navy personnel. My point being is that a boot Marine usually don't know sh*t until he or she gets some time in the Corps and sees and learns how the services work together. My heart aches for the Special Forces soldiers killed in Afghanistan as much it does for the many Marine friends I lost in Nam and Beirut because it all boils down to this: another dead American who died in service to OUR country. Their branch of service doesn't matter one iota, they made the ultimate sacrifice. So lets moveon from all the interservice rivalry BS. And if you can't sign your name, where you live and dates of service to your comments, I don't care to hear them.

Semper Fi,
Chris Spencer
Tuscaloosa, AL
USMC 1972-76

"There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men."

--Edmund Burke

Dear Sgt. Grit;
I recently ran across an ad for a resort in "Lake Semper Fi, Oklahoma". Can any Oklahoma Marines out there tell me how the place got its name? It's an intriguing name.
Bob Colclasure
Merrill, Wisconsin
USMC, l968-l972

I've seen a lot of letters in the past few weeks on here about how the branches of the military do and don't get along. Well as we all know camaraderie happens everywhere. With an oncoming war, people will talk trash, but everyone's there for some reason or another. As I'm writing this letter my brother, 5 of my friends are off in the next week to two weeks, and my father leaving sometime this month (I love how we never know), not to mention the 30 guys I already know that left within the past two months. Everyone is sitting waiting somewhere, waiting state side, waiting on a ship in the gulf and waiting in the middle of Kuwait. Who cares if the Air Force cries like babies about their lil volleyball courts, all they are there for is to drop bombs, just like the navy is there with the big guns and the airplanes and the helo's from the Marines sittin on em, and out in the middle of Kuwait...well the army comes in to "take over" what the Marines secured lol, but anyway we all have our jobs, take it or leave it someone's gotta do something, and what fun would it be to not make fun of other branches of the military??? just take it and laugh


Sgt Grit, I'm a 71 year old (YEAH 71 !) former Navy Photographer who then spent three years in the Beloved Corps.

If Dubya needs another photographer to go to Sea or to Iraq, I can be packed and ready to go in fifteen minutes. H*ll, Id supply my own camera and sidearm ! (I'm still d*mn good with both of them !)


Richard G. Wells
Life Member, Marine Corps League
Flint Detachment 155

The cost of freedom is always high but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose is the path of surrender or submission.

eastern paralyzed veterans association

The George Washington quote in context of acting in our own best interest to protect our way of life and freedom is exactly the perspective the rest of the world needs to understand. Having to buy off would be aggressors and world trouble makers such as North Korea when we have people wandering on the streets of America is not what generations have fought and died for. The act of war against us whether overt like Pearl Harbor, or the 911 attack are equally sinister as the subvert activities of countries or groups acting in a world wide conspiracy to undermine and attack our way of life, needs to be responded to in a manner that makes it clear to the world that WE will not tolerate any longer, ANY such activity in our OWN best interest. To expect less, to respond less, to think less, to react less, will only perpetuate and allow this malignant terrorist disease. We have stood up for many other countries in conflicts and have lost too many of our own in the interests of others for too long....America was born by people looking to escape the mantle of oppression and a search for freedom. To all those who oppose us in thought or deed, let it be made clear that WE will no longer tolerate attacks against us, at home or any where else in the world. My father's family fled Germany in the early 1900's, my father fought in the US Navy during WWII and Korea. I am an American by birth and a Marine by Choice. We all need to understand that you find out when you have real friends when the chips are down, not in the good times. Let's stop buying off countries and let them know they either join us or they are the enemy. If my taxes go to defend this country it is all part of the price of freedom, buying protection e.g. north Korea (they don't deserve capital letters) not to arm against us, we might as well be paying organized crime. At least the money would be used here. Bad comparison but sadly true. I am 60 years old, USMC 61-65, not as lean, nor as mean (meaner) so if it comes down to even one nitwit putting their foot into any American territory with even the hint of violating OUR rights and freedom's, I would consider it an honor to exterminate him/her or it.
God bless America and Semper Fi!!!!

"The truth is, all might be free if they valued freedom, and defended it as they ought."

--Samuel Adams

This note is in reply to Art Haggert USMC. TO remember the past does not mean we live in the past. I served in the Marines from 1963 to1967 and served my tour of VietNam from 8/65 to 8/66 in the DaNang area. I live every day of my life remembering those days and the people I served with. Today, it is a group of radicals that want to dictate to the mightiest country in the world how we will exist. To guarantee that will never happen, we must always remember the battles of the past and hope that we have learned our lessons and will not make the same mistakes again. To those in government who want take our liberties, Not Hardly!!!!!! That is why we have elections, so that we can rid ourselves of these officials. If you don't vote, then, don't b*tch. Instead of marching to Washington or wherever you want to march, why don't you sit down and write a letter to a Marine overseas and tell him that you support him and wish him luck and a safe return home.

To all Marines past and present- "GUNG-HO and SEMPER-FI.
God Bless America!!!!!!!!!!
Jim Walters, Cpl. USMC 63 to 67

Sgt. Grit, my name is James Panlener. I am living on the West Coast outside of Seattle. Also I live [in my opinion] in the best country on this rock.

What I can not understand is [YES I know, this is a free country] why the folks who can not seem to get behind our men & women who will shortly [in my opinion] be in harms way & show them that we all support & appreciate their sacrifice. God love this country, our Corps & the men & women in uniform.

Semper Fi, 68/72 & 75/77
Jim Panlener

To all those Marines serving away from their loved ones during the holidays, please remember that you and your families are kept in our prayers and thoughts. I can confidently tell you this because I was in your boots during Desert Storm/Shield. Now I get to watch TV and see my fellow Marines preparing to Kick *ss again, only wishing I was there with you. Marines everywhere, look out for your fellow Marine and remember that others that have gone before you are also there by your side, and also taking care of your loved ones at home. Take care of business and come home.

Semper Fi

"Not all the treasures of the world, so far as I believe, could have induced me to support an offensive war, for I think it murder; but if a thief breaks into my house, burns and destroys my property, and kills or threatens to kill me, or those that are in it, and to 'bind me in all cases whatsoever' to his absolute will, am I to suffer it?"

--Thomas Paine

Sgt Grit,
In response to Mr. Art Hagget's letter:

In general I understand and agree with his frustrations and sentiments. However, there are people in this country who understand what's going on.

I have a friend who plays the piano at a local pub here in Columbus, Ohio. One night I took my girlfriend down to see the show. In the middle of the evening Joe called all military personal and civil service workers (cops, fire dept, and EMT) up onto the stage. He told everyone in the bar to get off their *sses and stand up. He then proceeded to play "Proud to be an American" and was quickly drowned out by the loudest unified chorus I have ever heard. It didn't matter who you were or what you knew, or didn't know, those of us on stage were going to die for everyone in the audience, and Joe made that fact clear. On that night, in that pub, Evil shivered as Americans lifted up one unified voice and said, "F*** with us, and we'll end you!" It was so loud, and the message so clear, people came off the street to offer their respects.

So just remember, while there are those who do nothing but stand in loud opposition, there are those who move quickly and quietly to get the job done. And they are noticed and appreciated.

- LCpl S.R. "Pusher" Davis
Wpns Co 1/24 - JAVELIN Plt

"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile hoping it will eat him last."

--Winston Churchill

It's TIME !
The 20,000-man 3rd Army Division and USMC Force Recon, as well as the Navy's Hospital Ship COMFORT are on their way.

It is TIME NOW for all red-blooded Americans to STOP THE D*MNED PEACENIKS!
No more flag-burnings.
No more Protest-Marches.
No more "aid and comfort" to the enemy!

I am sick and tired of those gutless, pansy-*ssed "males" who refuse to pick up a rifle and step up to the plate to defend our nation. I am sick to my gut with the media whose constant diet of "military bashing" has hurt us so painfully in the past.

Our young men and women deserve something Viet Nam veterans NEVER HAD.....and that is HOME SUPPORT!

As for me, personally, if I see just a hint of the "red" gutless *ssholes I referred to above, they will personally experience the worst miserable day of their worthless and useless life. I see them in ONLY one light - that being an enemy of my country now. And you can take that to the bank!

I ask that you pass this one to as many as you can...and ask them to pass it on. If anyone lives near or knows of a military family whose loved one has been deployed, or is on the slate for deployment, make a personal note to stand beside them, daily, to help them in everyway possible. Let us NOT forget THEM.

And finally, if you have an email address for any deployed military man or woman, pass this on to them. Let them know that they will NOT face what Vietnam veterans faced when they returned "home". Let them know that THIS nation, one nation under God, is here for them...and will be there for them when they come home.

It's TIME to show our true character as a nation.
One nation...under God...fighting for the "right stuff".
And it is our military who are going to pay the bill.

Hey all you warriors "over there" ...KILL ONE FOR THIS OLD JARHEAD!

Semper fi,
Major Bill Donahue USMC Ret

"Professional peace processors are not likely to be put off by a minor inconvenience like North Korea's brandishing of nuclear weapons. They will just see it as one more reason to redouble efforts at 'engagement' (a nicer word than 'appeasement')."

--Max Boot

This is in response to "toni beltrano corporal (former)", who capitalized NOTHING but the word Iraq.

Thank you for your wonderfully uneducated input. It really made my day as I generally have to look for something to chuckle about. Perhaps it would behoove you to take a moment and look at the situation at hand.

Saddam (or So-d*mn, as I prefer) has a wonderful track record for showing both of his faces. You may or may not recall how the weapons inspectors had to leave before because of his failure to cooperate. Or perhaps you may recall how he has used his weapons on not only the people of neighboring countries, but also on his own people. This should be sufficient to show how important it is to insure that he has no weapons of mass destruction.

The previous administration sat idly and did nothing after numerous attacks on America and American interests (ie: the first attack on the WTC, the USS Cole...). This is one of the reasons there are currently over 3,000 less Americans with us today (remember 11 Sept. 01?).

I think you have attempted to give the impression that it is us who are the aggressors, which is not the case. It is our responsibility as a people to insure that Saddam does not have the ability to attack on a large scale. It is our responsibility as a people to insure that he cannot use chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons to attack a peaceful nation.

And I proudly support our President if he should determine it necessary to take military action to achieve these goals. I will be there if my country calls, ready to fight for freedom. That is part of the burden carried by those who proudly call themselves Americans.

By the way toni (lack of capitalization intended), I have reached the point in my life that my children are now having children and I have no intention of letting some madman come in here and tell them how to live or harm them. I'll die first.

Semper Fi
Wayne "Road" Halstead

"There was a time when our national security was based on a standing army here within our borders and shore batteries of artillery along our coasts, and of course, a navy to keep the sea-lanes open for the shipping of things necessary to our well-being. The world has changed. Today, our national security can be threatened in faraway places. It's up to all of us to be aware of the strategic importance of such places and to be able to identify them."

--Ronald Reagan



Daughter had grandson 30 Dec 02
2 granddaughters (5 n 3 year olds) pinned Major leaf on Son in Law 31 Dec 02 Scott AFB
General gave daughter Lt. Col leaf n informed new Major that she was 2 b saluted.

Semper Fi
Steve (AKA) Ski
end of mission

Just got the word that HQMC has issued a Stop Move and Stop Loss that goes into effect 15 Jan 2003. This is going to have a big impact on the people who thought they were getting out. It looks like we are moving ever closer to war with Iraq. Please pray for the politicians who are seem to be so willing to sacrifice others for their own causes. And, especially pray for those in uniform.

Thanks for listening.
Proud Marine Wife

It's been awhile since I e-mailed about my single parent Marine son but just to let you know he left this week with the 15th. Great thing about e-mail is you can keep in touch with each other and not have to wait for the mail. I have sent him some digital pictures of his son and him on departure day and he said keep them coming. My wife and I will take care of his son until he returns from his deployment. We will keep sending pictures so that he can see his sons progress and growth over the next 6 months or so. Got an e-mail from my son this morning saying that he was almost tossed out of his bunk yesterday from the rolling of the ship. I e-mailed back that I hope he does not gat sea sick as he is on the 3 bunk and the Marines below might not take kindly to someone getting sick. He said that this Marine has a cast iron stomach and would not get sick. I e-mailed back and said yea that's what they all say. We will pray for our son and all in uniform until they are all back safe and sound.

USAF dad 61-65

On 2December President Bush ordered the creation of the Korea Defense Medal. For more info contact
Paul McKenna
"... Always a Marine!"



Sgt. Grit
I have been reading your news letter for a while now and enjoy thoroughly. I just had a recent experience I needed to share with all. I spent ten years active duty with the Corps and now although I am out inactive I still am a Marine now and forever and then some if the Marine Corps hymn is true. But what I wanted to write is about A young Marine Named Nate who is a reservist I work with. We work for a couple hours early in the morning by ourselves and talk about the Corps and all that is going on in the world. This morning he told me he was just activated and was heading out. As a Gulf war veteran we talked about climate and all the other things that he might encounter. I gave him my address and told him to write when he got to wherever he was heading. I told him to send word with what he may come across needing down the road and I would get together a care package for him. I remember how much that meant to me when I was over there. He was having a hard time as he just had a baby girl about three months ago. He knows his duty and will do it for all of which we have all fought for at one time or another pride in ourselves, our god, our country and most of all our Corps. So I just wanted to salute another Marine going off to defend freedom and our way of life. God speed and God Bless you all who are fighting for it come home soon we are all proud of you no matter the branch you are in. I would also like to say to those who are left behind Mothers, Wives and children I know it's hard but what we all do and have done, the sacrifices we make are for the greater good stay strong for the men and women out there we support you as well and are there when you need us.

Stay proud and strong Marines we are all brothers now and forever John A. Jones Cpl/USMC 1984-the end of times.

I have never written to anyone that I've never met before but, I feel that I have a little bit in common with those that have written before me. You see I am new to the Marine Corp as my son is currently in Boot Camp at Parris Island, SC. It was very tough the day he left because his Dad and I had not been away from him for long periods of time. As the van pulled away taking my son to a place that I have only read about, I remember him learning to ride his first two wheel bicycle, hitting is first home run during little league, going on his first date, and many other "milestones" that have taken place during his 19 years on God's green earth. I felt like I was the only person feeling this way until I spoke to the mother of the young man that accompanied him as part of the Marine Corp. "Buddy" system. We both "temporarily" lost our young son's that day but we know that what they are doing is something that they truly wanted to do - deep in their hearts. They are scheduled to graduate in February 2003 and yes, I will be there. I will be the proudest mother there in my eyes! I received a letter from my son on Monday of this week informing me that he had been promoted to Private First Class which I take as an excellent accomplishment while still undergoing training in Boot Camp. I am very proud of my Son and thank God everyday that he blessed me with this child. His whole family plans on attending graduation because we feel that he needs to see his whole family behind him on this great day and to let him know that we are proud of this path he has chosen and to show that by him choosing this path in life - we have chosen it also. Semper Fi to all those recruits with the 3008 Platoon, 3rd. Battalion, "L" Company! This Marine Corp Mom is proud of every single one of you!

Kiera J Rustay
Suffolk, VA

In a free country like our own... every male brought into existence should be taught from infancy that the military service of the Republic carries with it honor and distinction, and his very life should be permeated with the ideal that even death itself may become a boon when a man dies that a nation may live and fulfill its destiny."

--General Douglas MacArthur 10 January 1949

Dear Sir,
I just read your commentary on the revisionist history of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and I must say I totally agree with you. The fact is there are many civilizations on this globe that want supremacy over us but not every civilization can be number one and set international rules. Japan tried it and lost. Germany tried it and lost. Islam wants supremacy but they'll be defeated too. Winston Churchill was right when he said it's as much a battle over minds as it is over territory. I lived in Japan for seven years not far from Hiroshima. I was never asked why we used the atomic bomb on them and on the anniversary of that date my Japanese friends and I would usually be too busy talking about something else to even remember it. All Japanese who chose to enter my school, Alamo, already knew where I stood on the issue. Our friendship was able to grow because they could trust that I would always tell them the truth and not make up a lie in order to come across as their "true" friend who hates the "evil" American actions. I was and remain their proud American friend.

Nevertheless, I am as concerned as you are about this growing trend to revise our history to condemn our wartime policies and to allow our enemies into our country and let them sue our pants off us if we so much as utter an insult about their beloved Koran. Things have gotten out of hand. Recently a very proud and young Japanese imperialist, a man living in Los Angeles, told me he thought Japan never lost the war because a mainland invasion had been thwarted and the emperor had remained in power. To him and his imperialist Japanese buddies do the deaths of those at Hiroshima and Nagasaki belong. The man cannot admit his country lost the war. To him those killed at Hiroshima and Nagasaki are like martyrs I suppose. I would never do anything or say anything to encourage this type of thinking and I told him so. But when I was young and looking at the pictures of the Japanese emperor decked to the nines at the surrender ceremonies, I couldn't help but wonder: Is this country truly ready to come to grips with her loss? Defeat is not an easy thing to accept but many have learned that the only way forward for the Japanese is acceptance and understanding not revisionism and suppression of facts.

Sincerely Yours,
Blake Austin

Hello I am the wife of an 0351. I receive your newsletter and always read over all the bits on the pride that is felt by our fellow marines. But I never hear from wives. Now keep in mind that I may not be the typical wife. I have taken it upon myself to understand to the best of my ability what my husband faces everyday. I understand and thank god everyday that I am not on the battlefield. But at the same time my knowledge of the ethics and the history of the corps gives me so much pride and respect for all of these men and women. Recently my three year old son and I were at a parade for the new year. When he saw the USMC float my son was so happy. He began barking and sang the hymn. At that time I was unaware that there was a RET. general aboard the float. When he saw what my son was doing he stopped the float and came to shake his hand. I was so proud. My son shook his hand and replied Semper Fi! He was amazed that he knew the hymn. When asking how he knew my son told him that I tough him so that he could honor all the heroes like his dad. I was in tears. We have actual taught our child about the way of the world and what my husbands job is. I never knew to what extent he cared. You know every time our husbands go on a pump they have a job, but so do we. It is our job to instill the pride and understanding into the next generation. After all that is all we have. I feel that there are allot of wives that are dropping the ball. And for that they will never feel that pride that I felt when a Ret General took the time to shake my son's hand while they sung the hymn.

God bless all of our troops
Semper Fi
S. Booker

Sunday's edition of Parade Magazine (delivered with most local papers or click on web site above) will feature the the new Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, Marine General James L. Jones. His photo on the cover of Parade should make every terrorist world wide take a long thought about his or her next move.

Gunny JG

"Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations."

--George Washington

God Bless America!!
Semper fi!!
Sgt Grit

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