Sgt Grit Marine Corps Merchandise

Welcome to our Marine Corps Newsletter archives. Read our patriotic stories of American courage sent in to us by Marines and their families. Enjoy!

Sgt Grit American Courage Newsletter #50

"Freedom isn't free -- you must pay for it somehow. See your closest Marine recruiter!"

Ken Smalley 1961-1967

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You guys always amaze me. Once the war and the terrorist attacks eased off I figured you might not have much to write in about for the AmericanCourage letter. But as usual you have much to say and you say it very well.

Semper fi!
Sgt Grit

BOB HOPE, thanks for the memories.......

Good news for all those Marines still on duty guarding those gates in Heaven. Entertainment has arrived, Bob Hope is on post.

J.McLaughlin, 52/55
Sgt. Grit:
As this nation mourns the passing of a comedic icon, I can recall sitting in front of the television as a kid during the Christmas Season to watch the Bob Hope Specials. From Steel Beach Parties aboard carriers to the Hot, Humid settings to Korea & Viet Nam to the Hot, Dry climate of the first Gulf War. He has entertained Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Coast Guardsman & Marine for many generations. Now may the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Coast Guardsmen and Marines who have gone before him line the streets of Heaven to Honor & Welcome a man who brought a little bit of Home to those who were so far away from loved ones. A man who brought a bit of happiness to all the servicemen & women. To the GI's Friend I say "Job Well Done!!" and Thanks for the Memories Bob. May you rest with your Friends & Family, for you of all people deserve it.
You would have made a good Marine.

Semper Fi.
Christopher D. Taylor
Cpl USMC 82-86 & 89-93
It's seems like just yesterday, that day that I saw him at the Hollywood USO. He will be missed.

Jesus E. Topete
Thanks for the memories, Bob. I was never fortunate enough to see one of his live shows, but enjoyed the tape ones no matter what era.

USS Bob Hope T-AKR 300 is a "Strategic Sealift" ship launched six years ago.

Semper Fi,
Jim Langdon Sgt, USMC 1988-2000 6521 IYAOYAS
He was one of the Greats, met him in Palm Springs, while on MP duty, he was the same in person, didnt git to see him in Nam, they wouldn't let him come out in the field to us, But I'll tell you what, Martha Rae came out, full cammis, and she was great, came and shook everyone's hand, Now Bob was THE MAN, But MARTHA was the LADY, what a gal, I'll take those memories to the grave with me.

Dear Sgt Grit,
I am just one of millions of Veterans who saw a Bob Hope Christmas Show. He brought a little bit of home to all of us. I remember how we all laugh at his corny jokes but what I remember the most was when we all sang Silent Night I saw many hard assed Marines like myself shedding tears. Semper Fi Bob, and "Thanks For The Memories".

A Nam Vet 69-70
PS When ya see God tell him the one about How you like to visit Washington D.C. every now and then so that you can spend some time with your money
I never was lucky enough to get to see that wonderful, funny and generous man when he came to Vietnam with all of his entertainers and lovely ladies. Anyone who did get to see one of those extra special USO Shows got so pumped up that they did not come back down for weeks.

I did get to see him back in the late 70's at a trade show in Chicago. He was popping the jokes off like a computer. He went on for about an hour. My stomach ached for a week from laughing so much.

EDIT: I read in the newspaper today that his daughter spoke about his final minutes. She said that his wife and his four kids were at the bedside, he kissed each one and simply died.

God Rest His Soul. The world is a better place due to men and women) like Bob Hope.

Semper Fidelis...John.
I, and some others on this BB, can vividly remember the Bob Hope show on radio in its heyday. He was always hilarious. My wife and I were at a meeting in Palm Springs, CA and drove by his 29,000 square foot house on the side of a hill - what digs them was! She and I were just talking over dinner about Bob and I asked her a rhetorical question to which she had the answer - "I wonder if he was the same in his personal life as he was on stage." She said yes. His daughter, Linda, said he used to run the jokes by the family over dinner all the time. He liked to walk every night after dinner and, unlike every other egotistical Hollywood, he never had a body guard.

I remember one time in Japan we heard the Bob Hope USO Show was coming and morale shot sky high just waiting for him. When we found out we got the second or third string sent in, morale plummeted (although the round eyed blondes did pick our spirits up quite a bit).

I will miss Mr. Hope!........"Thanks for the memories-Bob!"

I saw Mr Hope in the first Gulf War, we ferried him and his crew around to see the troops in Saudi, Bahrain, and some of the ships off the coast. I couldn't see him perform, I had to standby the A/C, He looked very frail, and weak........but as we landed he came to life, and looked a lot better, as we helped him out of the bird. He loved the Troops!

Semper Fi,
"Huey Bubba & Co-bro"
That's what I thought! I knew that there had to be a USS Bob, HAD TO! Anyway, if they don't give him a plot in Arlington, he sure as He11 can have mine!

Michael "Cantelope" Corporal of Marines
A WWII Navy Veterans told me the story about a show that Hope put on in North Africa, aboard ship. They were at anchor in some port. There was a huge battle raging some distance away and they were getting some of it sporadically spilling over on to them. There was some shelling, bombing and strafing that would drive Hope to shelter and then he would come back out and do his routine until it started up again. He could easily canceled, and with good reason, but he showed that he had courage as well as talent.

I have never seen him live either but he is one of those people who you think you know personally. But I know that there has never been a better morale builder. He made sure there were good looking women with his tour. He truly cared about the U.S. Military men and women. He will be missed.

Semper Fi Roy
Thank You Mr. Hope! The fighting men and women of this country owe you so much.....

Semper Fi from a few grateful Marines........

"Make no mistake of it: Where America goes, freedom thrives. Where America goes, women's rights expand. Where America goes, things get better. Naysayers will tell you that America is doing nothing but empire building. That is nothing more than a cynical lie. Just as we freed France, Germany and Japan, and gave them a right to abandon us when we needed them most, we are bringing the same freedom to Iraq, Afghanistan and the rest of the world. And we are doing it for all the right reasons. If that doesn't make you proud to be an American on this country's 227th birthday, I don't know what will. Let freedom ring, not only from sea to shining sea, but across the world as well."

--Joe Scarborough

"This decoration authorized by Executive Order No. 9419 on February 4, 1944, is awarded a person in any branch of the military service who, while serving in any capacity with the Armed Forces of the United States on or after December 7, 1941, shall have distinguished himself by heroic or meritorious achievement or service, not involving participation in aerial flight, in connection with military operations against an armed enemy."

"The award recognizes acts of heroism performed in ground combat if they are of lesser degree than that required for the Silver Star. It also recognizes single acts of merit and meritorious service if the achievement or service is of a lesser degree than that deemed worthy of the Legion of Merit; but such service must have been accomplished with distinction."

Now can anyone logically explain to me how and WHY Jessica Lynch received this award?

I am not trying to discredit her. She certainly went through a traumatic experience with being injured, captured and sort of held prisoner. Is this one more thing to appease women? It has yet to be made clear, at least to me, how she distinguished herself by "heroic or meritorious achievement or service".

What about all the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines who actually saw, participated and were wounded or died in actual combat? Continuous combat. Shouldn't those who were wounded or died receive the same recognition.

I can't wait to see the movie.

Martin E. Shapiro
Cpl. USMC, 1/9 RVN, 1965/66

"Mr. Bush did not wag his finger and say 'Saddam Hussein did have radioactive relations with that yellowcake, Miss Niger.' All he did was say that the closest U.S. ally had learned something that it continues to believe to this day."

--Mark Steyn

Dear Sgt. Grit,

I am grateful to our Marines and other men serving the Military. They freely chose to serve a country that provides us the freedoms we take for granted. I have two Marine sons. One served in peace time and one served in Irag. He was in Nasariya during the heavy fighting. He says "when you're out there, you don't really think about what you are doing. You're just doing what you were trained to do." He says, "Mom, people tell me I'm a hero and thank me. I don't feel like a hero, I was just doing my job." My response to him, was that there are some jobs that people just don't want to do, serving the military is one of them. They are just very grateful and privileged to know someone that was not afraid to take arms and get the job done. I thank God my son trained with the best. Lcpl Matthew Rose came home to us June 27.

Proud mom of two Marine sons,

Susan Rose

"Our peculiar security is in the possession of a written Constitution. Let us not make it a blank paper by construction."

--Thomas Jefferson

"As long as I hold this office, I will never risk the lives of American citizens by assuming the good will of dangerous enemies."

--President George W. Bush

The Media and U.S. Marine

Dan Rather, Jesse Jackson, Cokie Roberts from National Public Radio and a US Marine guide were hiking through the jungle one day when they were captured by cannibals. They were tied up, led to the village and brought before the chief.

The chief said, "I am familiar with your western custom of granting the condemned a last wish. Before we kill and eat you, do you have any last requests?"

Dan Rather said, "Well, I'm a Texan; so I'd like one last bowlful of hot, spicy chili." The chief nodded to an underling, who left and returned with the chili. Rather ate it all and said, "Now I can die content."

Jesse Jackson said, "You know, the thing in this life I am proudest of is my work on behalf of the poor and oppressed. So before I go, I want to sing "We Shall Overcome" one last time." The chief said, "Go right ahead, we're listening. " Jackson sang the song, and then said, "Now I can die in peace."

Cokie Roberts said, "I'm a reporter to the end. I want to take out my tape recorder and describe the scene here and what's about to happen. Maybe someday someone will hear it and know that I was on the job till the end.

"The chief directed an aide to hand over the tape recorder, and Roberts dictated some comments. She then said, "Now I can die happy."

The chief turned and said, "And now, Mr. US Marine, what is your final wish?"

"Kick me in the butt." said the Marine.

"What?" said the chief. "Will you mock us in your last hour?"

"No, I'm not kidding. I want you to kick me in the butt." insisted the Marine.

So the chief had him untied, then shoved into the open, and kicked him in the butt. The Marine went sprawling, but rolled to his knees, pulled a 9 mm Beretta from his waistband, and shot the chief dead. In the resulting confusion, he leapt to his knapsack, pulled out several grenades, and fragged the cannibals. In a flash, the cannibals were dead or fleeing for their lives.

As the Marine was untying the others, they asked him, "Why didn't you just shoot them? Why did you ask them to kick you in the butt?"

"What!?" said the Marine, "And have you jerks call ME, "The Aggressor?"

hey sgt grit ...

"On behalf of an ADHD nation, we thank you for whatever it was you did over there,"

Is the media driving anyone else up the f%$king wall?

Marine back from Baghdad w RCT-1

This is the most disgusting story I have ever heard. Here is a young Private who ran her truck or was a passenger in a truck that was driven in a ditch, she was captured and now the DOD/Army has made a hero out of her. Purple Heart without bullet holes, Bronze Star for what? POW medal ok I will give her that one. Did the DOD/Army need a hero to help bolster the moral of the American People and the fighting force? It has been reported on all 4 major networks that she did not have wounds from hostile fire only broken bones from a truck wreck. I certainly hope she never comes into a VFW, America Legion post that I am in as I will leave. To me this has cheapened the Bronze Star for those that "Earned" it. I guess that one of the advantages of being in the Army medal for everything. A retired soldier told me last winter that most that serve their 20 years and retire are given at least the Bronze Star some higher. I ask why? he said well we earned it. I know that in the Marine Corps you were not awarded that kinds of medal for doing your job, at least I did not receive a medal when I retired after my 20 with 2 tours in Korea and one in Nam.

R. Jenkins, 7th Marines, Korea 1st FSR Nam.

Reunion-20th Anniversary

October 22-23 2003, marks 20 yrs since the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut on Oct.23, 1983. The formal Remembrance service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on the 23rd at the Memorial in Jacksonville, NC. The guest speaker will be retired Gen. Al Gray, former Commandant of the Marine Corps. Beirut Veterans Assoc. website: Mail:
Mr. Perez
PO Box 556
Coichester, CT 06415-9998

Thank you

"If the purpose of naming an aircraft carrier is to convey the strength and seriousness of this country and our military, then we have certainly accomplished that. Something tells me that any potential adversary of the United States will take notice when word arrives that the USS Ronald Reagan has been sighted offshore. ...Ronald Reagan changed the course of history as few men have ever done."

--Vice President Dick Cheney


The bottom line is this: Things are not as bad as they appear on the news. I can't believe how bad the press is, even Fox news which I don't think is that much better than the Communist News Network (CNN). Why do they only report on the one or two soldiers killed daily? They don't report on the millions of great things we do on a daily basis to make this country better. These people love us for the most part. It is only a very small amount of unorganized Ba'ath left-behinds who are giving us trouble. We have turned Al Hillah into one of the richest, safest cities in Iraq. The only people who probably know this are the Marines and the people of Al Hillah.

I get very frustrated with the media. I have little respect for them and I don't think I'll ever again be the voracious news consumer I was before. Their agenda is all too obvious to the men over here who are actually living and working in Iraq. I have been here for months, in the same d*mn town. These journalists come in for a day or two, never get out of their SUVs, walk around, go into people's homes, or play with kids at schools. They hear that a soldier was killed by a sniper. Power went out. People took to the streets to protest a weapons turn in policy, a pay cut, or a new mayor. Then all of a sudden this place is "unstable" and "a quagmire."

How many American cities are "unstable" and stuck in a "quagmire"? By the media's definition, I'd say quite a few. What would today's American journalists have said about the months after the American Revolution, reconstruction in the south, even post-Nazi Germany? How have these so-called educated journalists become so short-sighted and pessimistic. You can't change a country in a few months. You can't change a culture in years. The months after combat have had their ups and downs and struggles. We expected that.

I remember the day our battalion drove into Saddam City, Baghdad. People jumping and crying in the streets, cheering and throwing cigarettes at us, offering us their daughters and babies. It was emotional for the Marines. It was one of the most intense emotional moments of my life. As intense as combat.

It is sad that the media is not reminding America of our glorious victory. The media has now turned to slinging mud at the president and our military planners. They are doubting our efforts. They say morale is at an "all time low." Well, maybe for the Army reservists. But not the Marines. We are motivated and dedicated to rebuilding Iraq and doing the job right. We are professionals and have already proven to the world that we are 100 times more effective at peace-keeping and nation-building than the Army.

Please relay my thoughts to your friends at work and parties. They need to be critical of the news. We laugh at the news. We sneer at reporters. We are the do-ers, not the passive watchers and critics. We have invested blood into this god-awful garden and we'll be d*mned if we just pull out and let some gang of punks ruin it for the people of Iraq.

I think I'll give some speeches or write opinion articles about all this when I go home. I will declare Jihad on the media.

All for now,

"The way to be safe is never to be secure."

--Benjamin Franklin


I think we need to put the issue of Pvt. Lynch and the appellation of hero into perspective. Firstly, I don't recall her even once accepting, acknowledging, nor even thanking anyone for the honor of being referred to as a hero. Nor, has her father or anyone else in her family, anymore than would any parent think their child a hero who had willingly gone into harms way. Nor have I heard anyone in the Military call for the formal declaration of hero status for Pvt. Lynch. In fact, to Pvt. Lynch I'm sure, the heroes are those who effected her rescue.

As for her status as hero in the media, I doubt for a moment that any who have used that term in reference to Pvt. Lynch have meant to place her in the same company as those upon whom we and History have conferred the title, the status of hero in the truest sense. I don't think our heroes of the past and present would think their own actions diminished by celebrating the survival, and the service to her Country, by Pvt. Lynch, with the use of the term hero. That she might be remembered in history as the soldier rescued by a team of brave man and women during the War with Iraq, I doubt she will be recorded as a hero.

Let her and her family have their moment in history and don't cry foul when some well meaning persons perhaps use a term we hold in trust for a sacred few out of the high standards of historical context. She has reason to be proud for having served her country, regardless of the exact circumstances of her capture. And, I'm sure she will be forever grateful to those who risked so much to bring her home safely. And, I don't believe she feels she has done anything that would place her among the heroes whose names have been raised during this controversy.

There were more un-noticed and un-lauded heroes in this and other wars than we'll ever know about. I've not heard from a single one who has raised their voice in protest, saying that their bravery was greater than hers and demanding they be recognized in her stead. Heroes rarely if ever call attention to themselves or their bravery. Neither has Pvt. Lynch.

Semper Fi!
Forrest (Mike) Reber
Plt. 174, P.I
Battalion Recon, '67 - '68

Sgt Grit,

I have been reading your newsletter for over a year now and silently agreed, argued, laughed and cried with many of the old sea stories I read. Today I have to add my opinion to what I am sure will be a hot topic on both the website discussions and the newsletter.

While watching "Good Morning America" this morning I heard that not only is the state of West Virginia giving Private Jessica Lynch a hero's welcome, but the United States army has awarded here the Bronze Star. To this I must ask, "for what?" My understanding of the criteria for earning a Bronze Star are heroic or meritorious achievement or service not involving participation in aerial flight. How does Private Lynch meet this criteria? She was unfortunate enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I agree with many others, she has done nothing heroic or meritorious. In fact, my understanding is that she does not even qualify for the POW medal, since she was in captivity for less than 30 days. In my humble opinion, the media frenzy and correlating response from both the American public and the US army is not only a disservice to Private Lynch, but is also a disgrace to the other men and women in uniform; especially to those who have spent time in captivity. I think a simple thank you, pat on the back, and welcome home is all Private Lynch or any other service member needs. Throw in a few VA benefits for good measure. It is sure a hell of a lot better than the welcome home our Vietnam Vets received.

Cpl Marohl, 0351/8152 1994-1998

Moves a little slow, but worth the time.

Sgt. Grit,
i would like to ask you to please post the following in your newsletter about a future reunion for Marines stationed at Marine Barracks Morocco.

looking for all Marines that served at Marines Barracks Morocco. a reunion is in the beginning stages and we are looking to see how many we have interested. we are planning the reunion in San Diego Ca. on 10 November, 2004. if you are interested or know someone, please feel free to contact me. thanks for you time.... Semper Fi.....

Bouk Morocco 75/76

On June 12th and June 26th 2003, the House and Senate of the 108th Congress [respectively] brought legislation to the floor that stated "it is the sense of the House and Senate that a stamp should be issued honoring Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone." These are S.Con Res. 56 and H. Con. Res. 218

Please contact your senators and ask them to support this legislation. Their information can be found at

These bills mimic the 107th legislation H. Con Res. 4 and S. Con Res. 154, let's get this legislation passed.

Thank you
Jordan Jaffe
project coordinator
703 642 2099

All Hands:

This "inquiry" is from Col George Dodenhoff USMC (Ret.) The Colonel is a retired Marine Corps fighter pilot.

He asks if anyone on the All Hands can answer his questions on the Humvee vs LAV going on in Iraq at this time.

His e-mail address is If anyone chooses to contact the Colonel, I would appreciate a "cc" at

Semper Fi, Colonel,


Nice long letter, pal. There's probably 3 to 4 million Marines of the "elder persuasion" who'd give their left nut, right arm, and first born son to be there with you. Sorta like history repeating itself, too. These days they have tours going to VietNam for us old timers. Imagine yourself in thirty years being invited to go on a tour of Iraq! That's sorta like us non-jumpers saying, "Why would anyone want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane?" At the end of your letter you point out that it's family that matters. Well, son, you have lots more family than you realize, so remember to keep your head down! We want you back here to teach us old guys how to down a few beers! Semper Fi!

Ken Smalley 1961-1967

Dear Sgt Grit, It's great to be home! I've been back from Iraq for about a week now. This is wonderful. In spite of all of the crud that I went through over there, I still have the utmost respect for the Marines that went before me. If anything, I feel an even greater sense of awe. I wasn't in the rear with the gear; I was up front where all the fun was. That was enough for me. I'll finish doing my 20, but I hope I never have to do that again. Shame on the pukes in the Army for griping about how long they've been there. What in the heck did they think their job was? Did they really think that they were in the business of helping little old ladies across the street? I'm tickled pink to be home, but if I was still there, so be it. That's what we get paid for. Suck it up.

Thanks for letting me vent.
Semper Fi, and God bless the Marines.

SSgt John Pierce
1st Tank Bn, TOW Plt

to all the marines out there be safe also all the warriors in Iraq please return without any more casualties.


Sgt Grit,

Keep up the good work.

As a former Marine SSgt(Vietnam Era)(65-78), and one that was lucky? enough to stay out of Vietnam, I still saw what, and how my fellow Marines and other Veterans were treated upon their return to this great country. We had no Parades, no Country Singers doing song related to 911, and what is going on today, which I think is the great tribute to the stars, and to today's veterans doing a great job! Continued good will, and success to all.

Thanks, and Semper Fi!!
Carl Buffington, SSgt - 65-78

My name is Susan and I am the daughter of Ralph White, Korean War Vet, who "decked the protester on Beacon Street". I'm so glad that you posted the article. He is a great guy. All is grandchildren think he's a hero.

I have a son Chris, serving with the Army, 2nd Inf, in Korea. It's just amazing - my father was in the same town 50 years ago..

Thanks again
Susan R

At OU there is Jacobson House Native Art Center....This is an Indian art museum along 609 Chatauqua,Norman,Ok. On this Sunday,July 20th, from 1 to 5 p.m. the opening of "A Marine's Life In Vietnam" The exhibit will conclude August 17th,2003. These are the personal photos of Blas Precindo and Leland Parker, two Marines from SW Oklahoma who are described as American Indian Warriors....I would guess that Precindo is Comanche. Obviously these are 'Nam photos. The phone number there is (405) 366 1667.

Michael E. Flick,Tulsa,Oklahoma
USMC-'66-'68 RVN
Univ. of Oklahoma Class of '64

I've been hearing a lot in the media lately about the "soldiers" in Iraq complaining about still being there and questioning why. They whine about having been deployed since September - boo hoo. This morning on Good Morning America, with that crybaby Charles Gibson, they actually interviewed several "soldiers" in Baghdad and the reporter, not Gibson, asked them if Donald Rumsfeld were standing there right now, what would they say to him. The first "soldier", a sgt, demurred that he wasn't sure he could say but the second, a spc, said that he would tell him to resign! You will notice that I consistently referred to these whiners as "soldiers" because no Marine would ever embarrass his unit, or his beloved Corps by denigrating the office of the Secretary of Defense much less show disrespect to the memory of those warriors that paid the ultimate price by pissing and moaning about being deployed a little longer than they originally thought. Don't be fooled, the media recognizes that there is an election coming up next year and they know that as long as this war is viewed as a success, their candidate will not stand a chance of defeating "Our President". They will take every opportunity available to portray this noble cause as a mistake and these few wannabe warriors are playing right in to their hands. There is a reason most of the attacks still occurring in Iraq are against the army, they know where the weak will is. They also know if they try that crap on the Marines, the last sound they will hear will be "GET SOME". Get the army out of Iraq and replace them with a group that can get the job done without whining - send in The Marines!

Semper Fi,
SGT James 'Hollywood' Tullos

"People and nations are forged in the fires of adversity."

-- John Adams

Great website, I registered this morning!. I am director of Oklahoma not-for-profit corporation that provides money for treatment and restoration of health to veterans of 1991 Gulf War that are sick.

Veterans Health & Wellness Fund address at
Romero Health Services, Inc.
5401 East 71st Street
Tulsa, OK 74136
918) 524-3737, Fax (918) 524-4050.
Contact Tom Murray (exSSgt USMC DAV Member) 830AM-630PM Monday-Friday, 10AM-2PM Saturdays for information or to schedule start of treatment. We will pay for treatment.

No strings attached, we just want to get our heroes healthy.

Semper Fidelis, Thomas M. Murray

Hey Sarge, here's an excerpt from a news story I just read about Marines in Iraq. I thought maybe you could use it in your next newsletter, especially the quote about the Marine Corps way of dealing with Iraqis.

Semper Fi
Chris Spencer

The the Marines in southern Iraq have not lost one to hostile fire since April, Lt. Gen. James Conway, commander of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, said in an interview.

The Army has been trying to get its 3rd Infantry Division home, but the increased violence in central Iraq has forced them to put off the return at least twice. Last week, officials said the division's 2nd Brigade would probably go home by Sept. 30 rather than in August, and even that is a target date that could slip if the security situation worsens.

The outlook for the Marines is more straightforward. If international forces are ready to take over their areas of responsibility as expected, all 18,000 Marines could be out of Iraq by Sept. 1, officials said.

Conway cautioned that no return date is guaranteed, but he indicated he is confident that the Marines have taken the right approach to establishing security in their part of Iraq. One key, he said, is interacting continually with regular Iraqis - especially children.

"U.S. Marines have lost a lot of soccer games," he chuckled. "We don't really consider that we truly lost - a lot of goodwill was gained."

Conway's staff gave Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz briefings Saturday on the security situation and the fundamentals of their approach to stabilizing southern Iraq.

Maj. Gen. James Mattis, commander of the 1st Marine Division, summed up for Wolfowitz what Conway called "the U.S. Marine Corps way of doing business" with Iraqis.

"No better friend, no worse enemy - it's your choice," he said the Iraqis are told.

"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win great triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."

--Theodore Roosevelt

Vietnam found me in combat with The United States Marine Corps. twice my rifle jammed while engaged. The AR 15. Now with the ambush of Jessica Lynch's Company apparently after almost forty years that situation has not been rectified The M 16!


Operation USO Care Package Enables Citizens to Show Their Support for Troops Overseas

"We continue to press hard, and the Lord is preparing the enemy before us. I pray daily that the Lord will melt the heart of our enemy forces and warm the hearts of the many innocent Iraqi civilians that we encounter; and I see it happen every day...GOD Is Faithful."

~Marine Captain Mario Schweizer~

"It's easy to trust GOD when things are going well, but it's hard when things are uncertain and scary. Having no alternative but trusting GOD can strengthen one's faith. We poured out everything to GOD, who listens, cares and comforts."

~Marine Wife Jenni Schweizer~

"Please Pray Daily for our Brave Troops as they FIGHT for their lives, the Freedom of others around the Globe, and Your Right To Choose. Thousands are alone in a dark, strange place and their hearts ache to be home in the Arms of Liberty. Please ask GOD to comfort them with His Love and Peace and to give each Warrior the Courage to smile in the face of death as it bears Evil Fangs to strike our sons and daughters. Pray for their protection. Please Pray Hard and Please Pray Now. Your "single prayer" could be the only Line of Defense between just one of our Brave Men and Women Warrior's Life and Death."

"All Give Some. Some Give All."

Thank You Sgt Grit.
GOD Bless & Semper Fi.
Prayer Warrior Mark N. Johnston
USMC Veteran 73-76

I thought you might enjoy reading the email I just got from my son in Al Hillah in response to ABC News printing the reports of some of the Army's 3rd ID troops whining about not getting to come home "as promised"....

"Hey can write those guys and tell them that the Army units that are whining have only been here since the war ended and they are such bitches they wonder why they get ambushed and we don't! The bad guys smell their fear! Not one single Marine here wants to go home if it means that the Iraqi people are not completely free and safe. The oath we took didn't say we would always be home and comfortable but we still enlisted and the Army guys weren't drafted either! They are pissing us off!"

This from a 20 year old Lance Corporal..I assured him that EVERYONE noticed the Marines are not whining!!! :)
Thanks for you newsletter...I love it!

Dodi B

Good Morning: I am somewhat a "new Kid On The Block" as I received my first catalog from y'all and have already phoned in my "first" order. Permit "please" , a brief prologue as I do not want you to think that I am a wide or wild eyed extremist with a large ego that wants to add to the political and belching that seems thankfully to be absent in our wonderful and still popular "old Fashioned" Semper Fi. I am , in fact , a WW2 Marine married to a WW2 Marine. We were married in the General's quarters , in Camp Pendleton going on 60 years ago. Had some inside help there as My wife was General Joe Fagan's Chauffer and he was the commanding Officer at that time . I have just finished working very hard to assist the Veteran's Medical situation here in the Ft. Worth , Texas area and have met (as a one man band) with satisfying (but not quite complete) success. Having said the above self serving and self satisfying comments , much is still to be done and unfortunately the ugliness of a bureaucracy or bureaucratic mind set seems to taint the good efforts of the Veteran's Medical programs throughout many areas in our great Country. Which is a long way for me to exercise a huge and Country-Wide Complaint about our Media. When we boast and promote our marvelous freedoms and way of life , we seldom mention the constant glitch we live with--- That glitch today , is prominent with the loud and Un-American screeching of the Anti-war and Anti Bush advocates. With every negative comment by Hollywood-type Nutcakes Reporters and Questionable Media Stars and their ring in their noses followers as they fortify the erroneous thinking of the many that do not like us. The very recent texture of the questions asked England's Tony Blair and our President , Mr. George W . Bush by the ego driven Media Clowns was loaded with controversy--witch hunting-innuendo's and Patriotic doubts. The Prime Minister and Our President did admirable jobs in the fielding of the "gotcha type" questions. A very sad state of affairs. I can write reams about that subject in general and at my age I d*mned well write what is fact and truth and without fear or trepidation. So I write the above that lets you know that you have a new client from the WW2 era --still lucid enough to remember my 10th birthday and also what I had for breakfast yesterday Morning-- Have a great day and thank you for the opportunity to write and say the above.

Pete SanFilippo

Hey all,
I had a bitter sweet experience today. I am a Proud Marine wife. Last August was to be the beginning of my hubby, Sgt. Harts, third 6 month pump to Japan...The Rock. Well, as everyone pretty much turned into a much longer deployment because everyone else went to Iraq. I was very lucky in May that my hubby got to come home for a few days before his unit sent him to school for 15 weeks. It was fabulous to see him. It had been almost 10 months. He will finally be home-home sometime around the 1st of October (after 14 months total). Yeah right....I hear there is a CAX scheduled....oh well..such is life in the Corps you either deal or you don't! I am one who deals...well, most of the time anyway! LOL!

Anyway, as I said to begin with today was bitter sweet. Much more difficult that I thought it would be. I am the KVC (Key Volunteer Coordinator) for Kilo. It is my job to inform the wives of various things going on in the Battery and Battalion that affect them or their Marines. Well, today Kilo came home! God Bless them for surviving the ROCK for so long...a deployment some of the guys dubbed "Operation Enduring Boredom". It was great to see them all make it home safely and reunite with their families who were waiting so patiently...and anxiously...for their men. The bitter sweet part was the rush of adrenaline I got waiting with them. I had no idea those feelings were so contagious. I had been through this before and I knew what to expect....but I wasn't ready for the let down that would come when my husband didn't step off the bus with all his buddies. It actually almost made me fall over sick to my stomach...not recommended to anyone!

Enough pity on was great to see the guys. Hibbert came over and said hey...commented on how good I looked...I have lost 50 pounds since they left! Then I found my hubbys roomie over there..Stankis aka Johnnie..he gave me a big ole hug and it was great to get to "officially" welcome someone home! Then he felt bad when he realized that one of the two "hot chicks on the back of the truck" that they were all staring at was one of thier buddies wives, me and my girlfriend September. Talk about an ego boost for me! They are a great bunch of guys and I cannot wait for my hubby to get home and get back with the guys he has grown so close to! So...Welcome home Kilo 3/11...the "Forgotten Battery"...from "Operation Enduring Boredom"...we love ya and missed ya!!! Here is to not having to go anywhere for a while...well, until CAX, and Steel Night....and whatever comes after that until you have to go back to Japan next!!! WELCOME HOME!!!

Proud USMC Wife of Sgt Hart,
Melanie Hart
29Palms Kilo 3/11


i would like to say first off i am sorry you went through such hell during and AFTER nam - and having had family there i know you did. the after treatment really messed up one particular family members emotional life god rest his soul. but i have to least for us it was not just those who "HAVE "BEEN THERE AND DONE THAT" that were there for this family member - our whole family supported him and all our troops. as well as i now, though not having "BEEN THERE AND DONE THAT", have and will always support my son who recently returned from the front lines of this hellish war. never will i forsake what he did and i also know that if anyone i know turns their back on him well they just aint family and friend but foe. and i will not ever back down on the fact what happened was right either even if folks do belittle or rant and rave or turn on my boy - then they will see how a mommy defends her boy. i have done it already and will do it again. but please do not generalize and say only those who have been there and done that will stand behind our kids - cause i know this is absolutely not true. and i have raised my son in light of the trouble my family member had after nam, some folks can and will make life a living hell for him if he lets it, or he can remember they are just the fools and the rest of us are behind him all the way. thanks - anyhow that is my opinion on the matter.

Tracie T.

"The Bronze Star may be awarded to individuals who, while serving in any capacity with the Armed Forces of the United States in a combat theater, distinguish themselves by heroism, outstanding achievement, or by meritorious service not involving aerial flight." Someone tell me when did those of the 507th Maint. show heroism, outstanding achievement, or meritorious service. Just because the public distinguishes them as "Heroes" does that mean that they rate the Bronze Star. My opinion is no. They received the appropriate medals for the being captured: The Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon and Prisoner of War Medal. What about the two Marines who were killed coming to the aid of the 507th when they were ambushed. I could only image those individuals who have been awarded the Bronze Star for their deserved actions would be extremely offended by this current wrong. I know the medals we wear on our chests don't necessarily show the mettle of our souls but if there is going to be Criteria for awards, then they should be followed. PS. I guess I'm just tired of the media frenzy regarding the 507th. When are people going to realize that they were made a wrong turn and ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time, Nothing more nothing less.

George S. Brown, CPA
'90 - forever

My son n law left today for Musol, Iraq.....please keep him in your prayers......Barb

MSNBC Hardball with Chris Matthews,

The Army's 101st Airborne Division are patting themselves on the back about killing Odai, Qusai, and two other Iraqi's. Give me a break, it took two hundred of the 101st Airborne, plus rocket and machine gun fire from Delta Kiowa helicopters, Six (6) hours to take out 4 Iraqi's!! What were they trying to do create another Alamo?

They should have sent in a Marine Platoon (18 warriors). They would have took them out in an hour. Less than an hour if they didn't stop for lunch.

Stephen M. Claunch
USMC 1962-1965
Long Beach, California

Another awesome slide show, turn up the volume anyhow.

Donald Nelson

I just had to write in about the letter in the newsletter a few months ago from Bob Radar concerning the 4 Marines returning home on the same plane he was on. My son, LCpl. Torriono A. Hailey was headed home at the exact time & although I know he wasn't one of the 4 he could have been & I still cannot read this letter without crying. Tory joined the Marines 1-26-2002 when he was 19 and left for Iraq 1-27-2003. We received 2 letters in March and a letter in early April which was written 1 day before the war began. In it folded up very neatly (as I'm still trying to get the wrinkles out) was his paper where he received his LCpl. stripe and he was tickled because his paper was one of the few that would show his stripe was received in Iraq. We also got 2 very short & sweet phone calls while he was there. I would like to thank reporter Chip Reid and unfortunately Tory cannot remember the name of the other reporter who allowed him to use their phones. I'm sure for the reporters this was a routine thing but for this parent needing to know that her son was alive & well it meant so much. We got to pick him up at the airport in Tulsa May 31 and took 14 family & friends with us. I had warned everyone ahead of time that I was to get my hands on him first. He had said he was fine but as a mom I just had to get him in my arms to know that he was truly okay. My older daughter said later that she wished they had put me on valium because they were all afraid I was going to pass out, but not til I got my hands on my son I wasn't. But this is the same daughter who a few weeks into the war asked me if I thought is was okay to pray that Tory get injured just a little so he could come home. While I kinda agreed with her my husband said that he prayed Tory would come home without a scratch on him and that's exactly how he came home. I was also concerned about the way he would be treated. We live in a small town but I also realize not everyone approved of this war so this mom was all prepared to become a banty rooster and defend my son but all he got when we went out were thank yous and proud of yous. I had also purchased a black T-shirt from our War Mothers chapter here in our town that was pretty neat. It was black, on the front said "Thank You From the People Of The United States" and on the back said "I Came Home Through Baghdad". He didn't talk much about anything over there except he did tell me "Mom, I saw & did a lot over there I would like to forget but once I saw how these people were living and the way saddam was treating them I knew we were there for the right reasons." While over there he lost his girlfriend of almost 2 years but while home on leave got reacquainted with a girl he's known for 12 years and I think this ones a keeper. So just wanted to let Bob Radar know how much his letter meant to this very proud Marine mom. Please continue to keep our troops still over there in your thoughts & prayers. And if anyone happens to run into a Marine or Soldier returning from Iraq tell them thank you and let them know you're proud of them because that means a lot to them and its certainly something they earned.

Debbie Hailey
Bartlesville, OK
Give it a minute, it is worth the wait.

Dear Sgt. Grit

I write this note with great sadness and grief in my heart. On July 2, 2003, Cpl. Travis J. Bradachnall, 21 of Multnomah County, Oregon, was killed in an explosion during a mine clearing operation near the city of Karbala. Travis was assigned to the Combat Service Support Group 11, Camp Pendleton, California. Corporal Bradachnall was my son Lance Corporal Daniel Cashs' best buddy, who is also with the CSSG 11. Travis and Daniel became best buddies shortly after boot camp 1 1/2 years ago. As you well know Sgt. Grit, the Marine Brotherhood is unlike any I have ever heard of, They watch out for each other 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They are the few and the proud. I never had the opportunity to meet Travis, but I feel like I knew him because he was such a good friend to my son. Travis and Daniel were deployed to Kuwait on January 28, 2003, and were moved into Iraq on March 18, 2003. After the major part of the war was over, Travis and Daniel volunteered to stay back a while longer. They are my heroes!

Daniel called home on July 3, 2003, to tell us of Travises death, and you could hear the grief and sadness in his voice. Thankfully, when Travis died, Daniel was at another camp site and did not witness what happened to his precious friend. I know Daniel will always miss Travis and will never forget him or the sacrifice he made to make sure that me and my family could continue to live free in this God blessed country. Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friend (the Bible). That is exactly what Travis and all of the brave men and women of our military, who lost their lives protecting us, have done. God Bless America, land of the free because of the brave.

Thank you, and may God bless our Military.
Donna Cash, USMC Mom

I have to relate how the people of Northeast Florida have welcomed back one Marine. Our son LCpl Rudy Smith returned home with Taskforce Tarawa on 22 June, and has been home on leave since 03 July. He served in Iraq with 3/2, India Company.

The Marine League showed up at our small church in Orange Park, Florida, giving Rudy a fine welcome from the vets. Local churches and at least one school (private) took Rudy off their prayer boards, signifying his safe return. Old Marines buy him beers, neighbors come into our yard at all times and thank him personally, and little kids just want to be around "The Marine." People in my office were actually upset that they missed seeing Rudy when he came by to say hell-o. His girlfriend's dad was a Navy Corpsman that served with Marines in Vietnam, and you would think that this Marine is his son.

Finally, a Gunnery Sergeant named Hecht called the other day. It seems that Gunnery Sergeant Hecht is Rudy's platoon sergeant, and was just checking to see if his men ware doing OK. We chatted for a few minutes, and I still have the impression that Hecht is truly concerned with my son's welfare, that Rudy is important to him and to the Marines.

God Bless the United States Marines.

Dennis & Bettye Smith

Semper Fi Sgt Grit, I enjoyed the 1st issue of the newsletter. I have some info to pass on to fellow Marines. This October marks the 20th anniversary of the bombing in Beirut. It will be held in Jacksonville,NC. Need to see plenty of supporters. The Beirut Veterans Of America are trying to get a stamp for peacekeepers in Beirut through the post office. We are meeting opposition and deserve to be recognized too! Please urge everyone you know to sign the petition at and could you print this message in the following months issue.

Semper Fi
SSgt J W Ponder USMC Retired Beirut 1982

Just got back from Hawaii where I met my Marine Sgt. son and came back on the USS Tarawa on what they call a Tiger Cruise. My son was with the 15th MEU 161HMM, shipped out on 1/6/03 and got back on 7/12/03. After spending a week on the Tarawa I feel for our Marines and Sailors. I was on the bottom rack, not a prime location, of a 4 high rack. Had a small locker about 18" square and had to keep my bag on the rack and use as a pillow. The Marines sure liked having us Tigers as they said the food really improved that last week. The Navy and Marines put on a good show for us Tigers and we could go anywhere on the ship, which I did from top to bottom. Had one small incident where a Marine jumped overboard about 23:30 one night. Luckily someone wearing night vision goggles spotted him 45 minutes later ands a helicopter rescue crew pulled him from the Pacific. In Hawaii I went out and tossed a few with my son and some of his buddies and those guys can put it away. I asked the bar lady if all the Marines where like our group of 7 and she said we were the exception. We had $300.00 of stuff in 1-1/2 hours and got back to the ship about 02:30 and crashed. My son left his backpack in the cab so if anyone comes across dirty shorts and new CD's he would like to get them back. As I said I feel for these fine Marines and Sailors having to spend 6 months in these conditions.

CRL USAF 61-65

Sgt Grit,
Thank you for your newsletter, historical and entertaining for this Marine mom.

Got a son, a Sergeant with the 352 out of Miramar, came back from serving in Iraq short his camera. It appears that when his C130 helped to transport some "reporters", it came up missing. He would have given the camera to any of them, but the 100 pictures he had on disc were invaluable to him and now are gone. Anyone who reads your newsletter that may know anything about this occurrence I would truly appreciate the help in retrieving those pics for my son.

Thank you and God bless you.
Semper Fi, a proud mom of a US Marine. OOH-RAH

Dear Sgt. Grit,
I am grateful to our Marines and other men serving the Military. They freely chose to serve a country that provides us the freedoms we take for granted. I have two Marine sons. One served in peace time and one served in Iraq. He was in Nasariya during the heavy fighting. He says "when you're out there, you don't really think about what you are doing. You're just doing what you were trained to do." He says, "Mom, people tell me I'm a hero and thank me. I don't feel like a hero, I was just doing my job." My response to him, was that there are some jobs that people just don't want to do, serving the military is one of them. They are just very grateful and privileged to know someone that was not afraid to take arms and get the job done. I thank God my son trained with the best.

Lcpl Matthew Rose came home to us June 27.

Proud mom of two Marine sons,
Susan Rose

Sgt. Grit:
On Tuesday evening July 8, 2003, I had the pleasure of being an audience member at the San Francisco Marine Memorial Hotel to listen to a panel of 5 American reporters who were 'embedded' with the U. S. Marines in Iraq. Joe Galloway, (co-author of We Were Soldiers Once and Young) was the facilitator for this 1.5 hour presentation and concluded with a Q&A period. These five reporters were from all the corners of this great land (from the Miami Herald to the SF Chronicle) and each were allowed an 8 minute opening 'report' of their experiences. What I found most interesting was their reply to this question: "Sir's, which of you served with the best Marine unit?" Each answered, one by one, from left to right, this: First reporter: "No doubt, I had the honor of being embedded with the finest Marines