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I have come to understand that there will always be different opinions and opposing sides to every issue. After seeing it in the media and hearing it from the critics...it occurs to me that the real "war" is not going on overseas. It is going on right here, on U.S. soil.
Very Proud USMC Wife,
I read the newsletter and I see anything from complete support and total nonsupport of the conflict in Iraq, this is what's makes us America, the freedom of speech. As the mother of a Marine who was there I found comfort from total strangers who rapidly became like family as we were all going thru the same emotions. I learned to ignore the remarks against our involvement in Iraq. Our military is doing what they trained for since they joined, they are doing there job. We all have jobs we go to everyday, there's just happens to be in another country. Something they have no control over. I support the decision to go in, more importantly I support our military past and present for going the extra distance to be who they are and do what they do.
Sharon, Very proud Marine mom
I am an Infantry Platoon Sergeant with 1st Battalion, 7th Marines. We returned from Iraq 5 October. I have been reading some the e-mails and must respond to one. My billet in An Najaf, Iraq was Security Chief for the Battalion CP at the University of Najaf. Part of my duties was the daily coordination with the locals who lived at the University and any who came up to the gate. Without exception, over 90% of the Iraqi people wanted us there! When we left, power and water were full time, for the first time in remembered history. People could protest the US, the government or anyone else without fear of being arrested. When a US soldier was killed near Najaf, the Iraqi citizens had a demonstration SUPPORTING the US and expressing condolences. The people of Iraq need the assistance of the US. Without our presence or the presence of peacekeepers, the totalitarian regime will resume is hold on the country and persecute its citizens. I am proud of my actions and the actions of the United States Marine Corps. I ask the citizen's of this country to look at the good we have done and are doing and support the US efforts in Iraq.
SSgt S. P. Perry
H&S Co., 1st Bn, 7th Mar, 1st Mar Div
I think the Australians deserve a big pat on the back. They been with us from the start in Afghanistan and Iraq. And I might add without whining about it.
The American Legion can not hold the values of the Marine Heart. The Marine Heart is found under the Globe. If they do not want to accept you as a member that is their loss, form a chapter of the Marine Corps League and feel more at home. I wish I could get enough "old" Marines here in Jonesville, LA to form a chapter. I have tried and not succeeded as of yet but, I still hold out hope. My main goals are the "Toys for Tots" program and 'mentors' for at risk children. Too many birthdays has taken its life and determination out of this old Marine. I need some young blood to pick up the torch and make this happen!
USMCR '53-'61 active '56 - '58
One Nation Under God
In God We Trust
"When there is a lack of honor in government, the morals of the whole people are poisoned."
"Hospitals are open. Schools are open. Children are back at school. Iraqis are taking more and more responsibility for their security. There is a flourishing free press with over 160 Iraqi newspapers that have started up since liberation. ... Ninety-five percent of the country is at peace and returning to normal daily life. ... Iraq is now a central front in the war on terror [and serves] as a model for the region.... If we choose to ignore terrorists in Iraq, we will wind up hearing from them on our own soil. That is why success in the reconstruction of Iraq is so critical."
--Dan Senor, senior adviser to L. Paul Bremer,
U.S. interim Iraqi administrator
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"To sit home, read one's favorite newspaper, and scoff at the misdeeds of the men who do things is easy, but it is markedly ineffective. It is what evil men count upon the good men's doing."
One question. When they joined the service, drafted, volunteered or otherwise, "Did they join, thinking about which service organization they could belong too when they got out?". (Bet I know the answer). When I joined on April 2, 1950, I didn't have a clue as to what a service organization was and really, "didn't care". For the ones whose tour of duty keeps them from eligibility, they can address that issue with Congress as to the dates for same. I, like they, didn't set the time for a war, skirmish, police action to take place.
C-1-1, 51-52, 1108487
Chestys' last regimental command
It seems this is dump on the American Legion week regarding membership so let's set the record straight on requirements to join the American Legion. Congress sets the dates for membership not the Legion so if you have a beef contact your Rep.or Senator. The Legion is in the process of petitioning Congress to open membership to those who served during the Cold War Period. We are waiting for their decision. The requirement of serving during a conflict will most likely remain until Congress changes them. I feel bad for these "Brothers in Arms" and hope the requirements are changed. For all former Marines there are the Marine Corps League and the Division Associations.
Semper Fi Phil Townes
After reading your American courage news letter #55, I had to respond to Sgt Bruce T. Meyer and the wife of Cpl Donald G. Boyer and the way they were treated by the American legion and vfw. I would encourage them to join the Marine Corps League,If they served 90 days or more honorably in our beloved Corps, then they are eligible for membership, no dates of service or any of that BS, peace time ,war time , makes no difference, a Marine is a Marine! And if there isn't a detachment of the MCL in your hometown, do like I did, START ONE! It only takes 20 Marines and you can have your own detachment,I started last year at about this time of year and we will be chartering next month! Then we'll see how the American legion,vfw,and amvets handle a bunch of Marines working in this town. Already ,we are participating in the toys for tots program, and have about four or five projects in the works. So if the other vet organizations don't want you the MCL sure does. If you need help contact http://www.mcleague.org/ They WILL put you in contact with your state officers, and they in turn will help you get started. That's how we got started.
Sgt R.T. "bigsarge" Carpenter
"There's something terribly wrong when an American soldier overseas can't receive Scriptures in the mail, but a Muslim chaplain can preach freely among al-Qa'ida and Taliban enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay."
Leave it to a Gunnery Sgt. and former colleague of ours from the Vietnam War,(Grady Rainbow) to sum this whole situation up better than all the expert analyst on any of the Networks.
This is a war on terrorism. Iraq, Afghanistan and (Syria, Iran and North Korea if necessary) are just battles in that ongoing war. I just hope the powers that be will not cave-in to those apologist with the short-term memories
Lastly, I just want to reiterate how proud we are of the current crop. Semper Fi. and our prayers are with you
Nightmare (a moniker I learned years later was used in the Quonset huts by one of my platoons at MCRD)
"The falsely bleak picture [painted by the media] weakens our national resolve, discourages Iraqi cooperation and emboldens our enemy."
--Demo Rep. Jim Marshall
One of the greatest moments is reading your newsletter across time from my brothers in the Corp. Having served my entire ENLISTMENT at MCRD San Diego in a training command, my service is rather obscure compared to my brothers who were in the bush during my tour 61-65. But, I walk a little straighter, stand a little taller, and love my country just a little more and appreciate those who have served and serve today because I earned the title no one can take away from me. As a grateful American THANKS.....the value of your service is beyond measure and your being in harm's way means a great deal to us all, yesterday, today, and forever. A forum like this allows us to share that appreciation. GOD bless you all.
I. D. Mark 1960764 61-65 and forever!!
Understand message from M/SGT McClellan. Even though they are dirty bas...ds, we have to keep the decorum maintained. We sweat more, care more, train more...! They have no move! Pray for the crummy sh..t's , & send our men care pkgs...they're taking care of business!!!
God Bless the Marine Corps & God Bless our President Bush & God Bless America!
Michael J.Morris Sgt. 2D FORCE RECON CO 1968-70
"Have Islamists -- many of whom are backed by Saudi Arabia -- successfully established beachheads in such places as the Pentagon's chaplain corps and America's prisons, mosques and colleges with a view to dominating moderate Muslims and creating a potential terrorist 'Fifth Column' within the United States?"
--Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.
"Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives."
I don't wanna slam the American Legion but, my active duty dates were from 78-81. According to the Legion I don't fall under any of there dates of service. When I first joined, at the Legions invitation, there was no mention about dates of service. When I renewed the first and only time there was no mention of dates of service. I contacted the National office and told them I wasn't eligible according to their rules. I wonder why they continue to send me renewal offers? Did they change their rules? Or are they more interested in my money?
While I'm at it, cudo's to "Coop" and his idea to help George Andres. I for one would be willing to participate in such an event.
Cpl. of Marines 78-81
"And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever."
I enjoy reading the e mails that are sent in by Marines telling their life experiences in the Corps. Of all the things I have done in my life, the only thing that I am the most proud of, is the fact that I joined the Marine Corps in Nov. of 1973. And that was only because the Navy would not accept me, I had a police record. Not that you could say I was a harden criminal at 17. But it turned out for the best, my only regret is that I didn't retire from the Marines. The Marines made me a better person considering my childhood was not the best, due to lack of loving parents, discipline to receive a good education and a direction to go in life. The Marines gave me all that and so much more. I'm proud to say that I'm a U.S.MARINE
Good Afternoon Sgt. Grit,
I've never sent a comment in, but couldn't help myself this time. I don't know if this is the right place to do so, but here I go- I've been a dedicated reader for sometime now. I was in the Corps from 90-93 as an 1833 stationed at The Stumps. Desert Gators! Yat-Yas!! I don't have the most polished service record, but I am highly motivated and proud of my service nonetheless. Thanks for being there, to all who post comments on your newsletter. I've been sitting here at my desk reading the recent newsletter, and I seen where Cpl. Brangham, Stan 53-55 made comments about attending that Gourd Dance at Window Rock Arizona. I am a Nez Perce Indian, born, raised and living on the Nez Perce Indian Reservation at Lapwai Idaho. Because of my heritage, the Code Talkers are near and dear to my heart. I was proud to "feel" the honor that Stan Brangham felt by being a part of these sacred ceremonies. My brother Erik who is also a Marine, had the honor of standing tall with some of the Code Talkers as well. It was at one of the northwest's biggest Indian celebrations last year, the Julyamsh Powwow in Post Falls, Idaho (I believe there was an estimated 40,000 visitors through the weekend). The host committee asked all Marines in the crowd to go out on the floor to help honor the Code Talkers, and my brother was among them. The pride and honor he felt by shaking their hands was immense. I am always deeply honored to meet any veteran, but have never had the honor of meeting a Code Talker. I thank Stan Brangham for sharing his story and the honor he felt. The Corps, in it's infinite wisdom, has deemed that there is no race, just different shades of green (boot camp 101). However, I am darn proud of being Nez Perce, as well as, a Marine. The Brotherhood, the respect we have for each other transcends race. Thanks for this opportunity to have a say. Since I won't comment again for long, long time...Happy Birthday My Fellow Marines. Nov. 10 is fast upon us. 228 and counting....
Semper Fi. james holt
Hi Sgt Grit,
My son recently returned back to Camp Pendleton from Iraq after being there 9 months. They landed in Maine and were greeted by 60-75 Vets to welcome them home. A couple retired Marines started singing the Marine Corps Hymn. There was an hour layover and my son Rob sat and talked with these former Marines. He felt honored that these men would go out of their way to welcome them home knowing that the returning Marines families didn't know where they were landing. These guys had no idea what they would be coming home to only having heard about the protesters while they were in Iraq. I would like to personally thank each and every Vet welcoming our Marines and soldiers home! Rob was finally able to talk to his brother Michael after almost a year of not being able to speak to him, Michael was stationed in Okinawa for the past year. Yes both of my son's are Marines and I couldn't be prouder of them if I tried. When Michael was able to come home for 5 days before heading off to Quantico he took a taxi from the airport. Michael told the cab driver he would tell him which townhouse was ours and the cab driver told him he could figure it out and pulled up to ours. I wonder if it was the three yellow ribbons hanging on the huge bush next to our porch or the support our troops sign in front of the garden or the 2 star service banner flag in the window, the red white and blue star lights were not on for him to see! The third yellow ribbon in case you are wondering is for Michael's best friend Brendan doing MSG duty in Hong Kong ( my third son). I would also like to that SDI Jacks and DI Polson for their excellent training of my sons. Having a son or daughter in Iraq( or anywhere anymore) is scary but knowing that they had the best training available to them made these last nine months for me bearable. Thank you Sgt Grits for this great news letter it helps to know I'm not alone in this!!
Very Proud Marine Mom of Lance Corporal Robert Ross and Corporal Michael Ross and Sgt Brendan Wheeler God Bless and Stay safe Patty Godin
Semper Fi to Doc Postulka . This should clear up any crap left over about our corpsman being entitled to be in the Marine Corps league. Did any of you see one of the first pictures to come out of the war with Iraq? It was a corpsman bent over a wounded Marine, shielding him with his body he treated him, probably while under fire. That says it all to me my brothers. If the "Doc" comes when the call "corpsman up " rings out then by God he IS a brother Marine.
John Klein Sgt.
I didn't see any messages concerning the 20th anniversary of the Beirut bombing that is approaching - 23 October - on the last newsletter. I want to remind your readers that if they have not done so already, to make sure they take a moment to remember the 241 Marines and Sailors lost that day in 1983 to the same terrorist foe we still fight today. The following is from http://www.usmc.mil/ and was written in 1999 - still an excellent remembrance.
This is in response to Mrs. Boyer concerning American Legion acceptance - First of all there is no such thing as an "unqualified Marine". Burns my butt to have people whine. These service organizations were founded for people who served either in Foreign Wars (VFW) or during times of war (American Legion). If he happened to be at the "wrong place at the wrong time" , tough - get on with it. You can't get a combat action ribbon if you haven't been in combat, you don't get operation medals unless you were in the operation and you can't get membership in organizations you don't qualify for - that's life. No one is shunning his service to his country and Corps (except for maybe you and him). We are all proud of any service time to the Corps in peace and war. Has he joined a Marine Corps League? Surely he "qualifies" for membership there. I'm from Indiana and we have leagues all over the State. If by chance there isn't one nearby, tell him to get off his duff, stop whining and form one. I bet there are several Marines in your area that could be mustered to form a MCL. Adapt and overcome -
MSgt G. Lewis (RET)
VFW, American Legion and Marine Corps League Member
"Two things...have staggered me....The first has been the dangers that have so swiftly come upon us in a few years, and have been transforming our position and the whole outlook of the world. Secondly, I have been staggered by the failure of the House of Commons to react effectively against those dangers."
--Winston Churchill, 1936
"All is over. Silent, mournful, abandoned, broken, Czechoslovakia recedes into darkness....We have sustained a defeat without a war."
--Winston Churchill, 1938
The comments made about the war in Iraq, those saying "wrong war wrong time," couldn't be further from the truth. Look at the map dummies. Now only two of the axis of evil countries remain. You know, the ones that sanction international terrorism. The ones that can really put a hurt on us.
Korea is a schizno island, despised by everyone. It is alone, surrounded by water, the Chinese and the South Koreans. It is a small country that with a good dose of electromagnetic shock to knock out their electronics and a few neutron bombs (yes, we still have them) will quickly and effectively end that threat.
Iran is now bordered on two sides, In Afghanistan and Iraq by United States forces. Good, Good, Good. This is excellent. Long barren borders to probe and listen into Iran. A chance for clandestine espionage agents to recruit freely among the populations on both sides of the border. Something sorely missing before 9/11.
Iraq and Afghanistan were a threat. They are no more, and the benefits for our military, our intelligence, and in the long run everyone in the United States is gaining dividends everyday we are there.
USMC, Viet Vet 1968-1969
As a Vietnam vet (two tours) I have some understanding of the hardships that our troops are now facing. The men and women of our military forces who are not now serving in combat areas are prepared to go there and are providing support to those that are there, in harms way.I have the greatest respect for all of them. My son is now serving in the USMC and I could not be prouder of him. When I see him in his DRESS BLUES it brings a tear of pride to my eyes.
I have served as a Post Commander and am now serving as the Sr. Vice Commander of a County Council for the VFW. This service organization has long worked to better the conditions for those that have fought for our freedom. We need the help of our younger vets and active duty military personnel to keep our organization alive. Many have the idea that the VFW just operates canteens or clubs. There is much more to the VFW than these functions. We are very active, on a national level, in seeking improved benefits for those that have served or are now serving in the military. We provide educational service to our schools and communities concerning our history. We conduct essay competitions in the high schools and grade schools for the children. We hope to continue these functions far into the future.
Our numbers have gone down as many of our brothers and sisters from WW2 have passed on to their final resting place. We need the help of the younger vets and active duty military men and woman in order for our organization to continue to exist. The membership requirements for the VFW have been updated, in the recent past. The requirements now include that any that have received "hostile fire" or " eminent danger" pay are qualified for membership. This would include those that have been assigned to duties outside of "combat areas".
If you are in need of our help, please contact any local VFW. If you are willing to join us in our efforts and feel that you may meet the requirements for membership please contact us for details. My home e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
May God continue to watch over our troops.
Captain John E. Lawson Sr.
"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
As I hear of Marines returning Home from Iraq, I can only recall my experience getting back from Desert Storm. We flew from Saudi Arabia to Germany, Maine and finally California. At each stop we were greeted by Vets of Wars WWI to Grenada our faces filled with pride knowing that we did the right thing by Liberating Kuwait.
That feeling of "doing the right thing" stayed with us throughout the whole conflict. Even returning to the States. I just want to say one thing. To our Marines returning home:
I am proud of each any everyone of my Brothers and Sisters. I may have left the Corps a few years back, but who can argue with our Legacy!!!
"Marines" the name is feared by All our Enemies/Long Live the Corps!!!
5TH MARINES/RLT-5 (DESERT STORM)
SGT USMC, 82 - 92
Dear Sgt. Grit...I was proud to serve my country in the war against Iraq...we are only trained soldiers and marines...we're not paid to think!!! Thank God for our safe return...
USMC, unknown devildawg
Hello Sgt Grit
I have been reading with interest about the reactions of veterans groups to new members.
I served in 1/9 Delta company from about 3/67 to 11/67 in 'Nam. Two or three months were in a really lousy place called Con Thien, starting with Operation Buffalo, so I obtained at least a modicum of combat experience, even in that un-war.
Three times over the years I have entered a Veterans hall to see if I wanted to join. The queries were not satisfactory since the overall attitude of the older Vets was/is that Vietnam veterans are really second class members. Except for an incident that I will mention shortly, nothing was overt, just an underlying current of attitude - especially if lubricated by a few hours in the bar.
My second experience was very unpleasant after some comments by a Korean vet about our "only lost war". In fact, by that time I had "had it" and informed him that according to my history lessons, North Korea and China did not surrender unconditionally to the Allies and if we had left a hundred thousand troops on the DMZ then South Vietnam would still be South Vietnam.
I know that a new member of a squad doesn't just suddenly get taken into the buddy system until he proves himself, but neither do you assume that the new guy is a dud until he has been around awhile.
I keep seeing news items where local Veterans halls are shrinking rapidly with the loss of the vast number of WWII and Korean vets and need to enlist new blood or disappear.
They can't have it both ways.
1/9 Delta, 1967
While I respect SSgt. Nygaard's comments about the VFW, I believe it is an organization that can pass with its dwindling membership and leave the environment without loss for its passing. I along with every other Viet Nam era veteran I know had similar experiences of going into the VFW hall and being roundly rejected because "Viet Nam was not a real war" or "We weren't in the big one." Well that's OK, like the protesters, anarchists, and drug users of the '60s, they had and continue to have the right to their opinions. And yes, I mean exactly that - the VFW types are of the same ilk as the rag tag mobs that demonstrated against us while our we and our buddies were standing up for the country that shielded them from the indignities of the world at large.
Their current motif of crying that we Viet Nam vets ought to join that which despised us 30 plus years ago is a pathetic and true portrayal of their complete lack of character and dignity they so amply displayed in the '60s. I think they have picked the wrong audience to whine to. I believe their despicable cries would more likely achieve their aims if they were heard by the Jane Fonda's and Hillary Clintons of the world.
Semper Fi to all Marines of any time and any war.
Dick Hulslander Capt., USMC, inactive
"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic felling which thinks that nothing is worth war, is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing that he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
Found on wall of American Legion post, author unknown.
Thanx for allowing me to pass this on.
Mark S. Madson
MSgt. U.S.M.C., Retired
"If it isn't raining, it isn't training."
I can't believe all the fuss over joining the VFW or American Legion. Why wouldn't any hard core Marine search out the nearest Marine Corps League? I belong to one of the greatest MCL Detachments, the Sunrise Detachment in Massapequa NY. We have 276 Marines from all eras, with all unique experiences that get shared at our bar every night we're open. This is where Marines belong, shoulder to shoulder with Iwo survivors, Chosin Few Vets, Beirut, Grenada, Afghanistan Kuwait, Iraq, and every other battle the Corps has been involved in, along with Marines that served during periods between conflicts.
No, I don't get a kickback for new members, I just feel that as members of an elite Corps, we should continue our camaraderie in an organization unique to us.
"He serves his party best who serves his country best."
--Rutherford B. Hayes
"Money will not purchase character or good government."
God Bless America!!