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Sgt Grit American Courage Newsletter #52

"My experience in The Corps was and is invaluable. Not for what most people would assume."

Sgt Brice Rapa


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It's official - Chesty is your favorite Marine by 47%. And GySgt Carlos Hathcock came in second with 25% of the vote. Very similar results to the same survey 2 1/2 years ago.
I'm really interested in seeing how you will answer this weeks survey question about Iraq.

I've been receiving some interesting opinions from those still or recently deployed and would really like to know more about Iraq and Afghanistan. Your emails to me differ substantially from what I get from the media. Write me at contact@grunt.com and let me know.

Also, a big thanks to our subscribers for all the great stories they've contributed to our NEW monthly Newsletter Magazine. It's been great to have such different content from our e-mail newsletter. If you're looking for printed stories similar to those you find in this weekly email, but with so much more, you can order it here www.grunt.com or call or write for a free copy or to order.

Sgt Grit


New Items!

Desert Cami Semper Fido Bobble Head


As much as I hate to articulate the thought, this whole issue about Pfc Lynch's Bronze Star, w/o combat V, smacks of sniveling by my fellow Marines. A neighbor of mine went to Air Force recruit training the same time I went to Parris Island back in 1968. Not only did he get back way before I did, even though boot camp was only 12 weeks due to Viet Nam, but he came home wearing the NDSM and three other ribbons I didn't recognize. Moral being, Marines have always been a little stingy with the awards. That's why toward the end of my tour (1994) the awarding authority for NAMs and NCMs was lowered to local CG through Battalion level COs. There was no quota but more Marines were recognized than at any other time during my time. The awarding of the Bronze Star w/o V to Pfc Lynch cheapens nothing previously awarded anyone. Maybe there is some public relations involved. The facts are, this young woman volunteered to serve her Country as a US soldier. She trained and was sent into harms way. Whether as a truck driver or a paratrooper she was willing to go and do. She was injured, rather severely, and was captured. She endured all this, and was rescued and now is being rehabilitated. If she walks into my VFW, American Legion or DAV Post, I'll by-God buy her a drink!

SgtMaj Tom Schlechty, Retired (68 - 94)
A SgtMaj of Marines has spoken. No more about PFC Lynch.


A cbs reporter was interviewing a large group of students at Baghdad UP. not long after the fall. They were raising all kinds of hell about classes not being open. All of them had on nice clothes. There was a large group of American Soldiers picking up trash and cleaning up the campus. The reporter asked them if they were in such a hurry to get back to class, why they didn't help the Americans with the cleanup. They replied that they were students, not garbage collectors. It seems like all the Iraq people know how to do is stand around and b!tch. They b!tch about the water and electricity while they are doing all they can to destroy everything. If they can't help us to help themselves when we have troops dying for them every day, we need to find Saddam and give the place back to him. This seems to be what they all want.

SRG Cpl. E-4 60-64 P.S.
I notice they are not throwing rocks at the Marines.
Why do you suppose this is?


"The States supposed that by their tenth amendment, they had secured themselves against constructive powers."

--Thomas Jefferson


"The battle is not to the strong alone, it is to the vigilant and the active and the brave. So said Patrick Henry in 1775. It was true then, and it's true today."

--Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore


I just wanted to say to Steven Petree that his email touched me and he is right of course. None of us should be criticizing ANY of our troops in Iraq. I think some of us moms just got a little crazy for awhile thinking about Army troops coming home sooner than Marines and we lost our heads. Our Marines will be home soon and we're back to what we first learned in Marine Mom Training: suck it up! Steven...thank you for your words..very well said! And to Mr. Torres who thanked us Marine Moms everywhere....THANK YOU!

Dodi, Marine Mom, Reno, NV (son still in Hillah)


Dear Sgt. Grit,

I would like to pat Mr. Steven Petree (82-86) on the back! I am the mother of a Marine who fought in Afghanistan and is now patrolling the border of Cuba! I am also the mother-in-law of an Army soldier who is fighting in Iraq at this time!

I am so sick and tired of "so called" Americans complaining and protesting our military!!! How the heck do they think we have stayed a FREE Country? It is because of OUR MILITARY!!! Not from protesting and complaining!!!

I am very proud of the men and women who are serving their Country so we are allowed the FREEDOM to complain & protest!

Shanna Miller, Ky.


"Liberty, the greatest of all earthly blessings -- give us that precious jewel, and you may take every things else! ... Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel."

--Patrick Henry


Dear Sgt. Grit,
My experience in The Corps was and is invaluable. Not for what most people would assume. Here's the skinny. I am a Police Officer in Chicago Illinois, a Sergeant. The ratio of recruits with Military backgrounds is woefully small, probably less than 5%. The rest of these kids coming on lately are whining, sniveling, spoiled, self centered little brats. They argue with d*mn near every thing that they are told to do. They have no concept of chain of command. They run right into the Captain's office and demand things that veteran Officers are unable to get. They don't know what it's like to do for the better of the whole. When we get recruits with Military background, it is evident and we Sergeants (same in P.D.'s as The Corps. It's the Sergeants that run the day to day) can spend extra good time with them to ensure that they do not lose that edge. Marines stand heads and tails above the others and are very noticeable by their demeanor, confidence level, and the general way that they carry themselves. I usually spot them within 10 minutes of their arrival.

I usually get ball busted about this from other Sergeants who say " You Jarheads are all alike" and I respond "Yes we are. Either you were a Marine or it doesn't matter".

We are The Proud. The Marines.
Semper Fi
Sgt. Bruce Rapa
Chicago Police Department.


"The public cannot be too curious concerning the characters of public men."

--Samuel Adams


Hello:
I am a former Marine (1972-74/E-4; Hon. Discharged 1980/E-6). My late uncle, John "Jack" Hoffman, was an enlisted Marine in the Pacific during WW II. After he died I was presented with some of his personal war time effects which I treasure.

Uncle Jack served with other heroic Marines on Tinian and other combat locations. In his personal effects was this typed letter from another Marine presumed to be a war time friend of his, which Uncle Jack had apparently kept neatly folded. (A copy can be mailed to you upon request after address if provided)

I believe this letter, by Marine Private Charles B. Griffin, is as relevant today as it was then to our brave Marines serving our grateful Nation:

--------

Do you know what "L'Esprit du Corps" means? It is easy to translate - The Spirit of the corps - but it is so hard to live up to.

I am a Marine, one of the many so called cold-blooded, hard-fighting, rugged men who are blended into a fighting unit unparalleled in the history of fighting men. Caesar's Legions, Napoleon's famous Royal Guard, or Alexander the Great's conquering Greeks never put a body of men into action who are comparable to the valiants who comprise the Marine Corps. But oddly enough, I am writing in severe condemnation of those who lead it and not in praise of the gallant Corps.

I write here of so called cold-blooded, hard-fighting, rugged Marines. An outsider cannot possibly conceive how utterly false two of those three superlatives are. True, we are hard-fighting, but then so is everyone who seeks the preservation of his life. A savage, cannibalistic bestiality in the survival of the fittest is caused by the ecstatic desire to live. So true enough we are hard-fighting, but we are definitely not cold-blooded, nor are we rugged. On the country, we are warm, if not hot-blooded. Being Americans, we were taught from childhood to love and respect our fellow man, we have developed an air of friendliness and love to all mankind. The reason that we are not rugged is that either we live as beasts or perish. We do none other than adapt ourselves to the conditions which are prevalent. When necessity demands ruggedness, we must at all costs adapt the only course open to us. I sum up my arguments by saying: "We cannot possibly be cold-blooded or rugged because we are human beings, we were born of woman, suffered the pangs of grief and pain, enjoyed and reveled in happiness, wee reared by the teachings of our Divine God, educated by the doctrine of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and until now, lived smugly behind those unalienable rights of man - The Bill of Rights.

If I am straying from the point, it is only because I am trying to impress upon you the bitter falseness of the suggested superhuman capabilities of the Marines. Like you, he enjoys seeing the dawn of a new day and dreads dying so young, and believe me, we are young. Our lives are still in front of us, and though now the screen of the future is dismal and uncertain, we too laugh when happy, cry when hurt, and love someone dear to us.

Is this ghastly war worth the price all of us have paid in blood, sweat and tears? We, who once were young and gay, but now are crushed in mind and body, ask ourselves: "Is it worth the price?" If you ask any one of us, we would answer: "Yes, it is worth the price. No sacrifice is too great if it means the ultimate victory of our way of life, if it means that civilization and culture will survive the fire of destruction that has consumed the earth."

If you were to ask my answer, it would simply be: "Back home there is a dear lady that I call Mother, for whom I would deem no sacrifice too great. I offer my life so that her remaining days may be serene and placid, so that when God calls her into His domain, she will leave this earth a free woman, who has not been subjugated to torture and anguish. There is too, at home, a dear sweet wife whom I worship and whom I would rather see dead than alive and within the clutches of the sexual maniacs who defile and desecrate sacred womanhood. It is for her that I am a member of the Armed Forces. I will protect with my life, if need be, her chastity and purity and insure her a life of freedom and happiness."

Written by Charles B. Griffin
Pvt. U.S.M.C.
------------

Submitted by:
Mr. Douglas "Robin" Barker


"Politicians and government bureaucrats are not good at recognizing the unintended consequences of their own actions. ...Most people, most of the time, will behave in a relatively rational manner, and thus government should leave them alone unless they are a clear and present danger to others."

--Richard W. Rahn


Veterans Benefits Network is an online community dedicated to the following:
http://pub49.ezboard.com/bvetbenefits
Providing veterans benefits assistance with VA claims for compensation, health care and other entitlements with issues ranging from PTSD to Agent Orange and Gulf War Syndrome


My unit too was given a return date, it too was moved back some time and Marines being Marines let their displeasure be known, but among themselves NOT to the MEDIA, I feel that that is the difference in point that the Marines are putting across.

Now, after a lot of planning conferences and a lot of scuttlebutt a majority of the Marines are Home and some of our Marines are still there.

To the Stay Behind Brigade Platoon: See you home soon, SEMPER FI!!!

Sgt. Michael Ortiz USMC (O.I.F.)


www.OperationMilitaryPride.Org
We are a group of volunteers that send care packages and letters to deployed military personnel world wide. Please check out the website.

Brenda Porter


"There is no greater service that we can render the oppressed of the earth than to maintain inviolate the freedom of our own citizens."

--Calvin Coolidge


Semper Fi, Sgt
Put your sound on and check this out. Very good. Maybe you've already seen it.

http://www.pressaprint.com/som/WeSupportU2.htm

Wally Pfeifer


"Those who would trade our freedom for the soup kitchen of the welfare state have told us that they have a utopian solution of peace without victory. They call their policy 'accommodation.' And they say if we only avoid any direct confrontation with the enemy, he will forget his evil ways and learn to love us. All who oppose them are indicted as warmongers."


--Ronald Reagan


On 26 October 2003, two members from the Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone Stamp Campaign will be entered into the Marine Corps Marathon. One of the members is a former Marine who is visually impaired. We are doing this in hopes of bringing the Basilone Stamp Campaign to light and facilitating media attention on the Campaign.

http://www.johnbasilonestampcampaign.com

JJ


Sgt. Grit, I have several thoughts I would like to share w/you & your readers.

One: Here is a story that to this day I find interesting. Upon reporting to my new duty station (MCAS Yuma, Az ) in April of 70 after my return from Vietnam I went to the local VFW hall to join. When I asked how much the dues were I was told that I had to be a veteran of a foreign war. I told him that I had just returned from Vietnam. His reply was "That conflict is not a war". I laughed, he offered to buy me a beer, I said no thank you & walked out. Thirty-two years later as I am coming out of a local grocery store in Washington state where I live there are these two VFW types asking folks for Christmas donations. I have on a short sleeve T shirt & a tattoo denoting my tour in Vietnam is visible. One of the VFW members asks me if I had served in Vietnam I relied yes sir I did. We talked for a while, then he asked me if I would like to join the VFW? I chuckled, said no thanks wished him a merry Christmas & walked off. I guess they need new blood as the WWII & Korean vets are becoming fewer & fewer. Maybe I took it a little to personal but at the time it really pissed me off, if you know what I mean.

Two: Sometime ago I tried to join a VVA chapter in Seattle, WA. When I brought my DD214 in I was told that I was not eligible. When I protested they guy told me that he did not see a combat MOS designation (I was stationed w/MAG-36, Headquarters Bn.). Since I was not a combat vet I would not be able to join. This also really pissed me off. When I was billeted in a office right out of Boot I was disappointed, BUT I did not question my orders. Now it seems that some folks look down their nose at me for my service & contribution. What ever happened to the statement that my DI's yelled & drilled into our heads day in & day out "I don't give a sh*t what you are assigned to do in my beloved Corps, you will FIRST, LAST & ALWAYS BE A MARINE CORPS RIFLEMAN"? Without the office folks the grunts on the line would not have chow, ammo, first aid supplies etc... Just a thought.

Semper Fi
Cpl. James F. Panlener, 2436296


"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined."

--James Madison, Federalist No. 45


Dear Sgt Grit.

I am new to the military, my husband (of two years) served in the Marine's for 8 years before I meet him.

In November 2002 my family learned my 21 year old nephew was being activated by the National Guard to serve "over there". In complete grief I said to my husband " I wish you could go over there to protect him".

My nephew was deployed Jan 2, 2003, as the days wore on I found myself glued to CNN. My husband comforted me with his experience of being a Marine. March 18, 2003 my husband joined the National Guard .

We shopped around for the items he would need for the guard, each time he was drawn to the Marine items. I stood by him as he picked up each item, he would explain to me what it was for and how he used it in the Marine's with pride and respect in his voice. When he found the items he needed for the guard he would stuff them in our cart under the Marine items.

Time went on and I paid very close attention and tried to understand his pride for the Marine's and his lack of respect for the Army. I asked as many questions as possible, I read military articles and I watched documentaries. Still no matter how hard I tried I just didn't understand.

We went to get our military ID cards Aug 22, 2003 (it took the guard 5 months get what we needed to take with us). We entered the main gate at the base with out showing any identification.We drove all around the base looking for the proper building, no one ever questioned why we were there. We entered a make shift office, papers were everywhere people were sitting around taking it easy, and no one was in a complete BDU. We walked up to this table were a very over weight guardsmen is sitting all sprawled out. He said "yeah what da you need". That very moment I understood completely why my husband was so proud to be a marine. I was in military shock. "Where was the discipline, where was the saluting, where was the politeness, why were all these people so fat" I asked. My husband replied "In the Marine Corps".

I told my husband to take of any stickers on my SUV that referenced the Army and replace it with Marine stickers. I will now be displaying proudly " My husband is a Marine".

I now understand the slogan "There are no ex-Marines", "Once a Marine always a Marine".

I wanted to share this with you Sgt Grit, so maybe other new military spouses will understand being a Marine is an honor that they earned with blood, sweat and tears!

Sincerely,
Mrs. Proud to be Married to a Marine.


"The only way to make sure that government doesn't abuse its power is to not grant it in the first place."

--Tom DeWeese


Remembering Our P.O.W.s & M.I.A.s September 19th comes and goes, and what it means, few people know.

But those that do, remember well, just what it's like to go through "Hell". They've lost a loved one oh so dear, and now they wait with hope and fear. It's a painful task, the waiting game, the families must endure, and one that sometimes lasts for years, and only has one cure. The days go by so very slow, with hardly any word, and when the family asks for one, they're told..."We haven't heard"!

It's an awful thing to picture, but it sometimes goes for years, and families keep on living, with their anger and their tears.

It's a subject seldom talked about, as time clicks on its way, but to a family with that loss, it's on their mind each day.

Whatever pain a mother bears, she hides deep down inside, and when she speaks about her loss, it's always with great pride!

The soldiers lost at such a cost, are "Heroes" in all ways; they can't be seen or spoken to, but still we count the days. To write them off as dead and gone, is not the way to go, because we still believe in them, and forever it will show.

And if by chance remains are found, of "Heroes" left behind, our "Nation" stands to mourn their loss, and honor them in kind. So let us take some time this year, to think about that day, and remember those that fell from rank, and honor them some way!

And when you see those flags around, remember who they're for.

They fly for comrades missing, or captured during war.
By Bob Beskar Vietnam War Vet.
8-23-2003


Sgt. Grit Greetings!
Please pass the WORD about our new association.

We are looking for recipients of the following medals for HEROISM:
Navy and Marine Corps Medal
Soldier's Medal
Airmen's Medal
Coast Guard Medal

http://www.aamha.8k.com/

The Association of American Military Heroism Awards, Inc.
P.O. Box 656
New Market, Maryland 21774
(301) 990-5314

Thank you and Semper Fi,
Gary A. Gruenwald
Former Sergeant of Marines


After serving 4 years active duty, my son started school but remained in the Reserves. The TOW Missile Platoon out of Amarillo Texas was called up in January and returned the 1st of June. He was proud to be a part of Operation Endearing Freedom which took him to Baghdad. Although he is back in Texas my heart and mind is with those still deployed - where ever they are. God Bless you all and your wonderful work! Stay the course. You are not forgotten, you are in my prayers! I love you guys!

THANKS!!!
One Proud Marine Mama
Jan Spencer


Sarge,
The following is a reply to the comment made by SSgt. Davis:

Regarding deployment of Marines in Liberia-or anywhere for that matter--we should remember that in the United States, as active duty or reserve Marines, we are the employees of the civilian sector. As we all know, this country is subject to Civilian control via an exquisite, time-proven and battle-tested design (the best on the planet).

If you're still active duty, yours is admittedly not to question why. However, if you're now civilian, you're actually higher in rank and your role has changed. Your responsibilities have been significantly expanded. In fact, you're a member of the board of directors who elect and empower the individual chosen as Commander-in-Chief of all our military forces. Thus, it is your sacred duty to continually question such actions as Marines being deployed in Liberia. You would be remiss if you did not.

MLS, 3rd MAW
1968-1972


Sgt. Grit,
This is in regards to Martin E. Shapiro, #50 31 July 03. First of all, I think he owes ALL WOMEN an APOLOGY. Who does he think he is anyway? If he will take time to look he will see that all of the POW's received the Bronze Star. YES, Shapiro, THE MEN ALSO!! Next time, I think he needs to engage his brain, and think before he makes the rude, sexist comments he made. So what if they received a medal, are you jealous or what? The MOH is the one that is awarded for "duty above and beyond" your everyday acts of heroism. I'm not sure (as I haven't checked), but have any others been awarded the medal? I don't think she asked for the medal or anything else, so why did he comment "Is this one more thing to appease women?" He has my blood pressure going through the roof every time I read his whiney-%ssed story!!!!! I think he needs to get down and do some heavy duty apologizing to ALL of the women of the United States Military that he offended with his statement. I guess there is 10% in every bunch.

Thanks for letting me vent there Sgt. Grit.
SEMPER FI, a Marine until I die!!!!!
Susan K. Allbee, CPL of Marines


"No man is a good citizen unless he so acts as to show that he actually uses the Ten Commandments, and translates the Golden Rule into his life conduct."

--Theodore Roosevelt


"Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficial. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greater dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding."

Justice Louis Brandise
Olmstead v. United State
2787 U.S. 479 (1928)


God Bless America!!
Semper fi!!
Sgt Grit

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