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 #57

"The value of liberty was thus enhanced in our estimation by the difficulty of its attainment, and the worth of characters appreciated by the trial of adversity."

George Washington

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LISTEN UP MAGGOTS..............Christmas is coming. I know most of you would like orders to Iraq or Afghanistan so you can kill terrorist. For most of you that will not happen. I can offer you the next best thing; thousands of items for you to show and express your support and pride. Order early, drop those all important hints now.

New Items!

Two Christmas designs on t-shirt, long sleeve-T, or sweat shirt. Sizes small thru XXXL.
Orders will be taken only until November 14 and ship shortly after.

Also a limited number of Marine Mom challenge coins.

Coin Display Cases, Large

Wooden golf putter

Swagger Stick

The Navy has awarded its highest unit honor to the Marines who invaded Iraq, pushed north to Baghdad and helped Army troops take the capital. Navy Secretary Gordon England gave the Presidential Unit Citation to the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force on Monday. The award is the highest given by the U.S. military to an entire unit. Marine units have won 40 of the awards in the corps' 228-year history, the last coming in 1968 during the Vietnam War. "This is the Oscar of unit awards," said Steven Mackey, head of the Marines' military awards branch. "The Medal of Honor is the most coveted award for individuals. The Presidential Unit Citation is the most coveted award for units."

The unit oversaw all of the more than 60,000 Marines involved in the Iraq war. Those Marines now may wear the Presidential Unit Citation ribbons on their dress uniforms. The citation commends the Marines for their "extraordinary heroism and outstanding performance" during the invasion of Iraq. The Marines made the longest sequence of overland attacks in the corps' history, moving nearly 500 miles from the Kuwait border to areas north of Baghdad.

C 2003 The Washington Post Company

Soon it will be November 10th . As usual I will have to get up early to go to work, like about 4:00 a.m.. But about 2:00 a.m. my phone will blast me and the Mrs. out of a sound sleep. Since the phone is on her side of the bed, she will pick it up and just hand it to me and say: "Its Goog". (my Viet Nam friend). I will just say a muffled "uh" and the Marines Hymn will blast into my ears. At the end he just says "I love Ya Buddy" and hangs up. Its been this way for years, actually decades. He thinks he is f&%^ing with me......I wonder if he knows how much I expect that call and that short, but priceless conversation

SSGT D.J.Huntsinger

You know not all of our children will want to be Marines, but they can still show the pride in other ways. This is how my thirteen year son did, for the upcoming Veterans Day, his class were to write poems. Here is my son's:

by Caleb Bailey

I know a man, who is strong and brave,
He'd stand up for his country, even if it sent him to his grave.

This man believes in freedom, liberty and justice,
He would fight for his family, country and those not like us.

He took a path that is taken by many others,
He shed blood, sweat and tears to join the Band of Brothers.

To some he is a kind stranger, to some a mean fighting machine,
But to me he is my Dad, who earned the title of a U. S. Marine.

It made me so proud to read this, I had to shed a tear. Also like to share with you about cadences, I have CD of them that I will play from time to time. If you don't think kids hear everything, well every now and then I will hear a cadence coming from them at play.

Thank you, love the good job your doing and love to read all of the articles and stories you have.

Semper Fi,
David Bailey

It is the VETERAN, not the preacher,
who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the VETERAN, not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the VETERAN, not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer,
who has given us freedom to assemble.

It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the VETERAN, not the politician,
Who has given us the right to vote.

Today I turned 53 years old, tonight I sit thinking of all my comrades in arms that can not have that pleasure. I remember Smith and Murphey that died on road security in May 1969, Cpl Tyson, PFC Tyson, PFC Kirshner, HM2 "Doc" Pyle that died on Operation Pipestone Canyon in May and June 1969. I think of my best friend and "brother" Terry Householder that fell to enemy fire on 23 June 1969 and I remember. I remember bright promising lives cut short in the service to our country. I remember a young LCpl I dogged as his Platoon Sergeant in 1970-71. I saw him again in 1979 as we served together on Recruiting Duty in OKC, both GySgts. I mourned his death in the Beirut Bombing of the Marine Barracks, goodbye Leon Hildreth.

I sit here with a glass of Brandy in my hand and wonder what changes they might have made in this world of ours, changes they never had a chance to make. I think of the term "lifer" and realize they , who spent their last moments on earth in the Corps, are the true "Lifers", a title to be forever honored in my mind. This next weekend I will be at another Marine Corps Ball, with my fellow Marines; celebrating another year of our Corps service. As is my custom I will lift my first glass in a toast to "absent friends", choke back a tear and praise the wonder of such great men as these. Without their sacrifice and that of countless others there would be no Corps today.

To all have ever worn the Eagle, Globe and Anchor I send my profound thanks, prayers and good wishes.

May we never forget.

Semper Fi
Grady L. Rainbow

Dear Sir or Madam,

As a poole for USMC, I am quite young and full of fire, however I believe we should continue rebuilding Iraq but first and foremost I believe we should focus more primarily on our own economy. Yes helping the Iraqi's, will aid us in establishing a firm trade in oil. Although the root of Saddam goes deep within the people. Many want the freedom we offer, and rightfully deserve it. I personally believe it's time for another country to step in and place more effort in the reformation, taking some of the burden off of our backs. Since I am not supplied with information, other than what the news has to offer (which is being made out to be a soap opera). Hearsay has it from some Vietnam vets that such incidents that we receive of one-three men dead making the headlines, such things never happened. Only the catastrophic disasters made the news. While every life is special, and should be recognized I personally don't like the idea of making something large from a minor happening, in warfare statistics that is. It frightens many people to where they do not feel safe, and to where they question the competence of our military force and our president. This is just my opinion, and one that is based on my views from a current standpoint. I'm sure I am not receiving the full story one things so if my info is either outdated, or misinterpreted please inform me otherwise.

Sincerely, J.Jasper (Ga.)

"Do not let us mistake necessary evils for good."

--C.S. Lewis ........................................................

Sgt Grit

Recently read an article by Sgt Prater regarding a helicopter flight in RVN. The pilot that the Sgt refers to is Retired Captain Ben Cascio, known as the ONE AND ONLY ONE EYED UGLY ANGEL, HMM-362. I had the honor of meeting Captain Cascio during a picnic during Labor Day weekend this year of members of HMM-361. The Captain had been invited as a guest.

While speaking to the Captain he answered any questions poses to him regarding his injuries. He answered them all but never digressed to what happened during the actual flight. A class act.

During the party a call was received from Colonel MacDonald Mac Tweed, Commanding Officer of 361 during 65-66. He spoke with all of the members of his staff that were at the party and remembered more than I would have at I believe age 82.

When advised that Captain Cascio was also there, his comment was, " I remember that, they put him in for their Medal of Honor for that. The Captains knees buckled, but he never said a word. He sincerely was totally surprised.

Captain Cascio is currently a lawyer, practicing real estate law and still flying. This man should be an inspiration to anyone on this planet and every Marine alive. If anyone alive can be an inspiration to any individual it is CAPTAIN BEN R. CASCIO.

Respectfully submitted,

Please go to the below website and sign the petition for LtCol. West. He was doing a job to protect his men in Iraq, and is now being court-martialed. The liberals do not understand war and that there are few "rules" when it comes to combat. Please pass on to everyone on your email list.


There are more VFW, American Legion, etc..posts in this letter. This is the end of this issue. I think it has been hashed over enough. Thanks to all of you have contributed on both sides of the issue. I have my own poor experience years ago with the VFW, but since I have started Sgt Grit I have had many, many great experiences with VFW, American Legion, MCL, etc...So I have mixed feelings on the issue. But, again, I think all sides have had their say, so no more.

Semper fi Sgt Grit

Dear Sgt. Grit,

I thought it would be nice to share my touching story with you. My son left for boot camp on July 13th, 2003. The absolute worst day of my life. I knew it would be hard to say goodbye to him but I really had no idea just how hard. I sobbed for two weeks after he left. When he was able to start writing it got a little better. But I will skip all that. I was packed 30 days in advance of my sons graduation! I was not too excited or anything. We are from Maryland so the trip to Parris Island was a long one...we had a 10 hour drive. I was able to reserve rooms at the TLF on base which was awesome. Anyway, we arrived on Wednesday Oct 8th at approximately 1:30pm. I knew in advance the Graduation practice was to be held at 2PM at the Peatross Deck. We ran and checked into the TLF, jumped back in the car and went directly to the visitor' parking lot in hopes of catching a glimpse of our son. I was driving. I pulled into the parking lot, and in front of me I could see Mike Company. They were all lining up on the sidewalk. I pulled up to one of the barricades and parked. I started scanning the platoons to figure out which one was 3082. Finally I spotted the flag. 3082 was right in front of me. I was frantically looking through each recruit hoping to spot my son, when all of a sudden I realized he was right smack in front of me. I burst into tears. My little boy was no longer....he was now a US Marine. Well, within seconds he looked up and saw us...the look on his face was absolutely PRICELESS! He got the biggest smile on his face, it was unbelievable. Then he wiped that smile real quick because his DI was coming. He had changed so drastically. He was taller. He was skinnier but muscular. He had matured! The hardest part of this was, I hadn't seen him in three months, here he was literally within arms reach of me and I couldn't touch him, I couldn't even talk to him. That was reserved for the next day which was Family Day. It seemed like it took forever for Thursday afternoon to arrive. But of course it did. We went to the EGA Ceremony. This is the most touching ceremony I have ever witnessed. Before we knew it the platoons were marching in, they were given their EGA's, (not a dry eye in the house) and then finally dismissed. I am disabled, on crutches so I could not jump up and run to the parade deck like everyone else. I stood at the ropes and waited for him to come to me. This was the first time I saw him in uniform. He made his way through the crowd, grabbed me and I thought he broke my ribs from how tight he was holding me. I loved every second of it. I guess I was holding him just as tightly. We shared "I love you's" and bunches of kisses. Then he informed me that he was to be my escort for the day. I was to hold his left arm and he would take me around and show me what he has done over the past three months. Sgt. Grit, I have never in my life felt so overwhelmed with pride as I did on this day.

God Bless the US Marine Corps and Semper Fi !
A very proud Mom

My name is Julio G. Wilmot, of Corpus Christi, Tx. I will be spending November 10 in my first day at Boot Camp. (Marine Depot San Diego, CA.) OH-RAH !!!

One of your contributors commented that good movies about Marines are hard to find. I agree. Also, good movies about Vietnam are hard to find. A good movie about both Marines and Vietnam is Siege at Firebase Gloria. This is a little known movie staring Lee Ermy and Wings Hauser. Worth watching.

Larry Hornbrook
Sgt of Marines, Inactive

I just saw my 21 year old son off on a bus with his Guard unit this morning. They are headed for Ft Hood and then Ft Polk and then on to join our forces in Iraq. Now I know what my parents went through! This man getting on the bus in his cammies is still, to me, the little boy who would come running to me when he got hurt. Hardest thing I've ever done to stand there and watch him get on that bus.

Ben Allen Sgt Of Marines

Sgt. Grit,

I am amazed at the number of former Marines that say they were rejected by the VFW and American Legion, when they returned from Vietnam. I guess I would be offended too, if I were rejected by a fellow veteran. From the first day I walked into a VFW in 1972, I was welcomed. The first VFW post that I joined was named after my best friend that was killed in Vietnam.

The post I belong to now has many veterans that served both in Korea and Vietnam, besides WWII. However, like many other insults and injuries hurled against us back then, they should put all that behind them, and try joining now. They could make wonderful things happen. Our post has created a local museum, sponsored a Corps of Cadets group, worked with the local Boy Scouts, the local KOPS program, telling school children the "real history", march in parades, we have Honor Guard services for the funerals of deceased veterans, and other community projects. We also created an education fund for the son of 1st Lt. Jonathan Rozier, who was killed in Iraq this past summer. To my knowledge, it's the first fund of it's kind in Texas. We have also named the newly formed American Legion post after Lt. Rozier.

By letting go of the past, which we can do absolutely nothing about, we can do so much for the future. We have already made a difference, by showing the veterans of Dessert Storm, Afghanistan, and Iraq that we support them 100%. The way they are greeted when they come home, is nothing like the way were greeted when we came home. I firmly believe we Vietnam veterans have made d*mn sure that they would not be treated like we were.

Wallace Klekar
Sgt. USMC 68-72
1st Eng. Bn., Nam 69-70




"There is no nation so poor that it cannot afford free speech, but there are few elites which will put up with the bother of it."

--Daniel P. Moynihan

Hello everyone. My name is Jennifer and I just got back from my younger brothers marine graduation in San Diego. It was honestly the most amazing thing I have ever seen! I was so proud! Boot camp has definitely made him a better person. The best part is seeing how much pride and respect he has for himself. Before seeing my brothers graduation, my boyfriend of over 3 years decided he wanted to go to Marine Officers School. I was so hurt that he made this decision and couldn't understand why he wanted to join the Marines and put me though that. I felt it would sooner or later destroy our relationship. I told him that if he choose to do the Officers Program that I could not live my life like that and that we couldn't be together. I then went to my brother's graduation, still with the same attitude about my boyfriend joining the Marines. After family day with my brother and his graduation, I have a new found respect for the Marines and why my boyfriend wants to join. I called him the day of my brother's graduation and told him that I am going to support him 110% in this. I am still well aware of the sacrifices we will both have to make in our lives for this but I know it will be well worth it. I am so excited for my brother and for my boyfriend and want to do anything I can to support them and be for them. If you have any advise for me I would greatly appreciate it. Also I would like to know what to expect for a future Marine wife's life. I know it will be hard but I am willing and ready for it.

Thank You,
Jennifer L

"No legacy is so rich as honesty."

--William Shakespeare

It was the Birthday of 1982, my husband was stationed at Camp Pendelton and we were soon going to be going overseas on a tour, so we wanted to make this Birthday Ball special, so we invited my parents to come with us. Now my parents have never been around anything military, so this was an experience for them. It was for me too, to watch all of the Marine Corps Tradition through their eyes. My parents lived in Costa Mesa, and we lived down in Vista ( outside the back gate of Camp Pendelton). They came down early in the afternoon so we could spend some time with them and so they can see the area since they had never been down to our place as yet. We were getting dressed when my Dad realized that he forgot his pants to his suit, so the evening started with a comedy act, with us stopping at the local mall for my Dad to get a pair of pants and him trying to get dressed in the back of a van in motion on the way to the ball at the Staff NCO club. My parents were wonderfully thrilled with everything that they saw. Our table was pretty close to the stage and when the started the program, my parents were floored and in awe of the years of tradition and honor that encompassed the Corps, and as always I'm always moved to tears with it all. We had a wonderful meal, and danced the night away. It was one of the last times that I would have danced with my Father before he passed away, on our second tour overseas. But this is a memory that I hold very special and dear to my heart. The night that I was able to show my parents the Pride, Honor, and Tradition of the Marine Corps.

Thank you
Debra Hunsaker

"There is no working middle course in wartime."

--Sir Winston Churchill

Monday is our 228th Birthday, but as I'm going to be celebrating in Portland and away from my computer I wanted to wish you all a Happy Birthday and Semper Fi. I hope this past year has found you all well and healthy, for those of you on Reserve and Active duty who face deployment I wish you safety and a speedy return home to your loved ones.

Semper Fi,

I don't know who signed me up for this, but it has started hitting my email since I got back from Iraq. I have got to say that I am not very appreciative of it as I am disgusted with the attitude of our Corps. All my life I have heard of the closeness of the Marines, and when I finally left the Army National Guard, I was VERY disappointed. I have never in my entire life met a larger bunch of thugs, thieves, liars, backstabbers, and con men. Thus far I have served with two marine units and neither the 3rd battalion 4th marines nor the 2nd battalion 7th marines has impressed me. But they did one thing that I am aware of...3/4 kicked *ss in Iraq and of that I am proud. But don't think that I enjoy being a "devil dog" my book the whole Marine Corps is still a bunch of "Jarheads".

-a disgruntled Corporal, Ryan Page
ps- please unsubscribe me from your Sgt. Grit newletter.

Note: "thugs, thieves, liars, backstabbers, and con men"
I will take this as a compliment for myself and the Corps.
Thank you; there is always that 10%.
Sgt Grit

November 10th 1945 the 2nd.Bn. 6th Marines was stationed in Nagasaki Japan.Before daylight the whole battalion was broken out and loaded on trucks. We were not told one thing ,we had no chow, no coffee and for the first time that I could remember no scuttlebutt.After about 45 minutes the trucks stopped and our Bn. C.O. Col. Clark addressed us and told us that chow was ready(the kitchen was set up) and we could order our eggs like we wanted. .He also told us that after chow we would fall in for some information then the rest of the day was ours. After chow we fell in and we broke up into companies then platoons.My platoon,1st Platoon Fox company was lead by Lt."Dutch" Dalton and the Platoon Sergeant was "Ounce" Brown.As we stood on the high ground overlooking that beach that we were to land on "Ounce" looked at the Lt. and said " "Dutch" an armored p*ss ant couldn't get off of that beach. That is one of the reasons that I say God Bless Harry Truman, and the "Bomb".

Semper Fi
Albert "Rebel" Rainey #514218

"The more progress we make on the ground, the more free the Iraqis become, ... the more desperate these killers become, because they can't stand the thought of a free society."

--President George W. Bush

"We should change our attitude toward the United Nations. There has to be some power in the world superior to our own.... We should not have attacked Iraq without the OK of the United Nations.... Now we have to live with that mistake. We're living with it, and too many of our guys are dying with it."

--CBS's Andy Rooney

I personally have not watched CBS for more than 7 years.
Sgt Grit

Sgt. Grit,

I have never written a letter to the editor or called a radio talk show or really ever publicly given my "two cents" but here it comes! After returning home from Viet Nam in '69 I had an incident that has kept me gritting my teeth every time I hear the name American Legion mentioned. My mother-in-law asked me to recover her brother (WWII POW) from the local legion hall. He was out of control drunk again and needed a ride, When I went into the hall he informed the bartender that I was a marine just back from the Nam. The bartender responded by saying that he didn't care much for us Viet Nam vets and that I wasn't welcome there! A few harsh words were clearly uttered back and forth, some furniture, clothing and body parts were re-arraigned, and one drunken WWII vet was rescued from such a foul place. I don't need the American legion or the VFW or any other puke joint that turned it's back on America's bravest. No amount of time will ever heal that wound. The Marine Corps League and Viet Nam Veterans of America will do just fine! I love my Marines from every time and every place. I respect every serviceman and woman regardless of service or place of duty. I will never turn my back or thoughts against them. Ever. That is something the American Legion and The VFW can not say! Thanks for finally letting me get that off my chest. After all these years it was getting heavy.

Semper Fi,
SGT. Patrick "lucky" Kenneally '66-70

"[M]ore and more we need understanding and appreciation of those principles upon which the republic was founded. What were those 'self-evident' truths that so many risked all for, fought for, suffered and died for? What was the source of their courage? Who were those people? I don't think we can ever know enough about them."

--David McCullough

"Over the past three decades, our Founding Fathers have fallen on rough times. Disparaged by liberals and slandered by post-modernists and cultural Marxists, their portraits have been removed from public buildings and their presence stricken from textbooks. It is possible today for American students to pass through elementary school and high school, and obtain a university degree, without gaining any appreciation for the men who founded their country. The horrendous events of Sept. 11 taught Americans that denunciations of their heritage have consequences that go beyond the babbling of crackpot academics and minority 'leaders.' Patriotism and our flag made a comeback."

--Paul C. Roberts

"Not too long ago, two friends of mine were talking to a Cuban refugee, a businessman who had escaped from Castro, and in the midst of his story one of my friends turned to the other and said, 'We don't know how lucky we are.' And the Cuban stopped and said, 'How lucky you are! I had someplace to escape to.' In that sentence he told us the entire story. If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth."

--Ronald Reagan

By far the most sensible, sensitive and sincere comments I've read in many moons were those of james holt, the thoughtful and proud Nez Perce, Native American Marine and I want him to know I am proud and humbled to be related to him through our Corps.

Semper-Fi Sir and don't wait too long to write Grit again.
ash lilly
Sgt: active 1955-1959

"Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending!"

--Carl Bard

The Mike Conners Show is now broadcasting on the internet at This show is focusing on Viet Nam era vets , but of course all veterans are welcome to participate. The show is a call in show with a talk format with limited music. The show airs on Saturday's at 1400 hrs. Eastern Standard Time. Give a listen and feel free to call in. I you want to change the direction the show is taking, call in and we'll go in what ever direction you want to go. On previous show we have had live guests of special interest to Vet and we hope to have some more in the future.

Semper Fi Mike C. RVN 1967 -1968, 1/3/3, 3rd CAG

"Clearly, a civilization that feels guilty for everything it is and does will lack the energy and conviction to defend itself."

--Jean Francois Revel

Do too all the cutbacks with government the VA is now trying or has proposed too close at least 7 hospitals please go too the website I will list and pass it on and help prevent this from happening this will effect the veterans now and the veterans in Iraq all your help is needed. please accept this as a new article.

"Semper Fi"
Gysgt Angelo VitaloneSr.,retired)

I have been reading Sgt. Grit for awhile and is interesting reading. I to am one of those that joined to grow up and straighten up. IT did the trick. I needed to get away from where I was. I was going to the dogs fast. I looked at all the branches of service and decided if I could make it in the toughest branch (Marines) then the other would have been easy. So I did it the hard way. Nothing better than some Boot Camp discipline. Boot Camp was hell but that is where the wars/conflicts are. Marine Corps taught me I could do it if I wanted to. I later became a DI at PI and learned that DI school was worse than boot camp. Again taught me that I could do it. Marine Corps teaches a life long lesson as college gives you a piece of paper.

Which is best? Both, but do the Marines first. Then school and life will be better. Marines gave me more confidence and determination for life. Helps me every day in my business and life. Wouldn't trade those four years ever. Never heard of this MCL. Would someone send me some information on this as I am one of the in-between times people. It sucks as anyone in service could be sent to war. But like one person in the newsletter said get over it which I did years ago. Joined the volunteer fire department to do community service work. They always need people. Very rewarding also.

Thank God I joined the Marine Corps.
R. Schmitz SGT USMC 75-79

Personal experience with MCL and American Legion:
Both organizations locally seem to be geared to a select few mainly concerned with personal agenda's acting as mini-politicians. American Legion buries you with solicitations and junk mail. Joined MCL as a member-at-large and wanted to get MCL New York license plates. Denied since I was not a member of a local chapter and could not get paymaster verification. >From what I read in the most recent newsletter, way too many negative experiences and/or comments not to look at these organizations with a jaundice eye. I served honorably and was willing to defend every vet's honorable service then and may not be as LEAN but still AS MEAN or MEANER and will fight still for the rights of every vet who served honorably in peace and/or in war. Memberships are down in all such organizations because of the magnitude of poor experiences on a gigantic scale since it appears your newsletter has just touched the TIP of this melting iceberg. Not whining just fact. Members and/or associate membership in vets organizations should be open to any and all who served honorably to the extent and level they choose to participate in.

For those who saw action and gave more in body, mind and/or spirit if you want an exclusive club my hat is off to you with all due respect. However, to totally exclude or refer to vets from my era of service as second class vets.....NUTS..a famous WWII quote. bring it on!!!

I had the honor and privilege of attending the Graduation ceremony of the 1st Battalion Delta Co. MCRD SanDiego on 30-31 OCT 2003. I am extremely proud of each one of those 507 fine young MEN of that class. I am especially proud of my son, PFC Matt Haviland. I would encourage anyone whose son or daughter is going to graduate from Boot Camp, make it a point to be there for them.

While not having been a Marine myself, I am proud to be part of the family.

God Bless all and keep them safe. Semper Fi !!
USN Vet 69-72 & Proud Marine Dad
D. Haviland

"The failures of the Middle East are no more attributable to the wickedness of the West than the triumph of the West is due to the weakness of the Middle East. But comforting lies are humanity's favorite narcotic." --Ralph Peters ........................................................

My son, Aaron, just married Sgt. Erika Stein of Bulk Fuel Co. B. 6th ESB. A more beautiful wedding it couldn't have been. My daughter-in-law served in Iraq as a bulk fuel specialist and returned in June. She had seven members of her company do the sword ceremony and welcome my son with the traditional "smack" of the sword-The pictures were priceless. On the back of the wedding service there was an added announcement from her parents that "The rose petals that grace the aisle today are a reminder of God's love. These roses adorned the altar while Erika served in Iraq earlier this year with the U.S. Marine Corps. The Lord honored our prayers of Erika's family with her safe return."

I have never been so proud and honored to have a Marine in my family.
--Kim Jacobs-Sharon, Wi.

James Madison quote about war being better than tribute should be applied the US trade deficit. Every thing you buy today is made either in China or many clothing items are from India, and even VIETNAM. I think our forefathers had more wisdom than we give them credit for. The founders of this country would be ashamed of the state THEIR country is in today. Maybe if Lyndon Johnson had read this quote the world would be a different place today.....Sure hits home doesn't it. "It is a principle incorporated into the settled policy of America, that as peace is better than war, war is better than tribute."

--James Madison

Hi Grit,

Another great letter!

While I was in Vietnam in 1965 I got an invitation to join the VFW as a member-at-large, which I did. I renewed my membership after I got back. In 1968 I went to San Angelo, TX for some training at the Air Force base there. Took a walk with a friend during the day for something to do and found the VFW. Entered said club about 10 AM. There was one person there, presumably the fellow that opened the doors. There were a couple pool tables and a bar in the main room. I said I was a member and would like to play a game of pool and have a soda.

We were summarily refused service and told to leave.

'Nuff said.


Just a short note to weigh in on the VFW/American Legion flap. I too was treated as less than a brother when I first ventured into those organizations. The VFW was especially rude to me and convinced me that I didn't need them as much as they needed me. Many years later I tried again and was welcomed in both organizations by the ten or twelve folks that did the work. Can't say those in the bar accept me fully today. The fact is, the National Commanders of both organizations can gain access to not only the President, but also influential members of his Cabinet when they call saying they represent X-million members. No other organizations can do that. The VFW and American Legion already exist and have a good infrastructure.

Why not take over from within?

SgtMaj Tom Schlechty, USMC, Ret.
Member American Legion Post #15,
VFW Post 4190 and DAV Chapter #11

Two tour Vietnam Vet, 3 time VFW member, 3 chances to respect this Vet, no more tries. SEMPER FI to MCL.

Steve Brown
USMC '67-71

Sgt. Grit

Get your newsletter every week. It's the tops. Also buy a lot of items from your catalog. Also the tops. Have a response to Mike, who had an article in the October 30 newsletter about Vieques,P.R..

I was stationed there from 9-69 thru 2-70 also. My tour there was also after having spent a couple years in Nam. The drink you were referring to was called Blue Blazes. Saw many Marines hit the deck face first after sitting on those bar stools drinking them down. Wasn't much else excitement on that darn island anyway. I was a Sgt. with Supply. Spent many a night posting the guards and fighting off those pesky sand crabs. Another friend of mine from my home town (Cincinnati) was the Special Services Sgt. over with us. He was Gary Laugel.

If you'd care to talk, I'd like to hear from you.

Ed Gruener 1966-70
Always a Marine

Dear Sgt. Grit,

Just wanted to let you know about the big Veterans Day parade in Ponca City this next Saturday, November 8. The parade will start at 1030. Lots of military units, some who served in Afghanistan and Iraq. Also lots of veterans, lots Old Glory. There will be military flyovers of the parade route, including a P-51 and a B-25. Not confirmed that I know of, but some talk of some modern flyovers too. There will be lots of bands and floats. I've been told the parade will take in the neighborhood of two hours. I do know it was an hour and 45 minutes last year. After the parade, there will be a luncheon for all veterans at the American Legion on South Avenue. For more information about the parade or the luncheon call Bob Thomas, the American Legion Commander at 580-763-2832. We are proud of our patriots in Ponca City. Come be part of it.

Semper Fi
Glen Witteman

As a Past Commander, the Legion is a War Time Organization. Your dates must be during a conflict period. However, like my fellow Marines, I would suggest joining or organizing a Marine Corps League.

The Legion, VFW or for that matter the AmVets CANNOT hold the heart of the Corps. If you really want to join a veterans organization I have the following reco:

1). Find an active post where members come to the meetings - Many veteran organizations have been around for a while and although the boast of a membership of 400, some only have 8-10 active members

2). See if you can contribute to the Post - One of the problems with some posts is the age of the veterans and change is terrible thing. These 8-10 regular members are use to running things their way. If that is the case, find another post

3). Find a Color Guard. Most of the time it's the local veteran organization who provides a detachment for burials or parades. See if they want to start one up.

Greg Burlotos
USMC 71-75

"The history of treaties throughout the centuries is such that one should not stake one's life on a treaty."

--Ronald Reagan

Dear Sgt. Grit,

I hate to get in the middle of a discussion (ahem) on membership and veterans organizations, but your last news letter has made me think I might have some insight. I'm a District President in the Ladies Auxiliary VFW, and I've really seen both sides of this issue. My husband and I transferred out of a post that had made it plenty clear that they didn't want Viet Nam or Desert Storm vets as members, because we were bringing in too much change. A lot of the posts like that one are just what the public has stereotyped these clubs as- smoky, dark bars where the same old vets tell the same old stories night after night. It's very true that these are the ones who are in trouble with membership right now. But...The posts that have been able to endure and change, are a completely different story. We were lucky enough to find such a post close to home, and couldn't have been made to feel more welcome. Membership is always going to be an issue since the eligible veteran pool just isn't as large as the WWII generation. But here in the state of Illinois, for example, our Department (State) Commander is a Viet Nam vet, as is the Sr. Vice Commander and the Quartermaster. Our Judge Advocate isn't, though- he's a Desert Storm vet. The Commander-In-Chief of the entire VFW is a Viet Nam vet. I'm very sorry for those veterans who didn't get the reception they deserved when they came home. It's a shame, and it can't be changed. But I think this can be put in the Lessons Learned column, because the VFW's leadership today is completely committed to all veterans past and present, and as John Lawson mentioned in the last newsletter, our children's programs and so much more. I would bet the same is true of all of our fine veterans organizations.

Thanks for letting me speak freely, and by the way, the USMC cake topper that my daughter-in-law ordered from you was wonderful!!!!

Picture coming!
Marty Fay, proud:
wife of SSGT Larry Fay, USAF(ret)
mom of CPL Robert Preston, USMC 1998-2002
PFC Daniel Preston, USA
PFC Joel Fay, USA

So now our troops do not have the correct body armor. It does not surprise me since during Desert Storm my M60-A1 Tank had fake add on armor. We only had real armor around the main gun. The rest was set in place so that once the real stuff came in we could easily put it on. I was interviewed by CNN and purposely knocked on the armor hoping people back home would hear the hollow sound and note it would be fake. Since a captain was standing behind the interviewer I opted not to mention how fake it was and possibly freak out family members back home. Luckily we never took a hit since we finished the war still without the real stuff!

Semper Fi Forever!

SSGT PB Modesti

Sgt Grit,

The Tamarac Detachment #755 of the Marine Corps League will be hosting a "Renegade Party" starting at 1930 on 10 November to celebrate the 228th Birthday of our Corps. This is an informal, come as you are gathering of Marines and friends of Marines to have a few drinks and share a few Sea Stories. It will be at the Fast Times Restaurant & Bar 1388 State Road 7 Margate, Florida in the Hollywood Video Shopping Plaza. Free admittance. 954-975-3809

Semper Fidelis & Happy Birthday Marines!
Mike LaBozzetta, Past Comdt., Det 755

Dear Sgt. Grit,

I certainty don't know much about the VFW or the American Legion but I want to put in a positive plug for them. A few years ago when my oldest son was in between his Jr and Sr. year of high school was chosen to go the Kansas Hwy. Patrol Cadet Academy in Salina, KS. This was a great honor for him and our family as he has always since he was old enough to talk be a policeman. The American Legion paid his whole way. I'm a very grateful mom. He will always remember it. Now he and my youngest son are U.S. Marines.

Thank you for all you do Sgt. Grit

Nancy Burgett
Wichita, KS
A very proud Marine Mom of PFC's Jon Security Forces,
and Brandon Reservist. April 2003




Yesterday I spent the day selling raffle tickets with a Retired Marine for the Marines annual "Toys for Tots" drive. It was a wonderful morning. I have truly never laughed so hard in my entire life. I believe that Marines have a colorful way of remembering things. Even if it's not completely true... Just look in their eyes! (It's true to them!) So, we're standing at the little makeshift booth that he had erected when all of a sudden a man in his 70's walked up. The Marine that I was with said....
"You look like an old Marine!"
Then the Marine said, "Oh, that's right... You're a boatman. You were in the Navy!"
Then the Marine said, "Maybe I'm thinking that you were in the Coast Guards!"
Then the Marine said, "I bet that you served in the Army!"
Then the Marine said, "Boy Scout! Were you at least a Boy Scout!"

I've been laughing since yesterday!
"Boy Scout! Were you at least a Boy Scout!"

Gina (PFC. Gippner's mom)

The United States gives out $13.3 billion tax dollars in direct Foreign Aid annually. The United States is above and beyond the single most generous benefactor of the United Nations, donating $2.4 billion dollars of YOUR money, to primarily third-world dictators. This amount is 25% of the United Nations budget. In addition, the United States also gives another $1.4 billion tax dollars to United Nations' programs and agencies. The American taxpayers fund more for the United Nations than ALL of the other 177 member nations COMBINED.

What most Americans do not realize is that the vast majority of the recipients of the of US Foreign Aid routinely vote against the wishes of the United States in the United Nations at an average rate of 74%. In other words, of the $13.3 billion tax dollars invested in direct Foreign Aid only about 26% or $3.5 billion went to support people who! endorsed American initiatives or causes. A staggering $9.8 billion tax dollars went to causes and people who were and are in open and direct opposition to the United States' interests and objectives. Listed below are the actual voting records of various Arabic/Islamic States which are recorded in both the US State Department and United Nations' records: Kuwait votes against the United States 67% of the time.

Qatar votes against the United States 67% of the time.

Morocco votes against the United States 70% of the time.

United Arab Emirates votes against the U. S. 70% of the time.

Jordan votes against the United States 71% of the time.

Tunisia votes against the United States 71% of the time.

Saudi Arabia votes against the United States 73% of the time.

Yemen votes against the United States 74% of the time.

Algeria votes against the United States 74% of the time.

Oman votes against the United States 74% of the time.

Sudan votes against the United States 75% of the time.

Pakistan votes against the United States 75% of the time.

Libya votes against the United States 76% of the time.

Egypt votes against the United States 79% of the time.

Lebanon votes against the United States 80% of the time.

India votes against the United States 81% of the time.

Syria votes against the United States 84% of the time.

Mauritania votes against the United States 87% of the time.

US Foreign Aid to those that hate us:

Egypt, for example, after voting 79% of the time against the United States, still receives $2 billion annually in US Foreign Aid.

Jordan votes 71% against the United States and receives $192,814,000 annually in US Foreign Aid.

Pakistan votes 75% against the United States receives $6,721,000 annually in US Foreign Aid.

India votes 81% against the United States receives $143,699,000 annually in US Foreign Aid

With so many Marines - current and former - I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the birthday of America's oldest national fighting force. Yes, the Army recently amended its heritage to reflect an earlier birth date than the Marine Corps, but the fact remains that this was a stretch (no disrespect intended to the National Guard). The Marine Corps was the first national fighting force authorized by Congress and placed under the leadership of our Commander-in-Chief. As our founding fathers struggled with the task of crafting our Constitution, U.S. Marines were trained and ready to defend it. Our national forces have been all over the globe in recent years, often in places whose names and locations are not known by the common person. Marines, on the other hand, have been going to nameless and unknown places since their inception. Just listen to their hymn. How many of those places do you recognize? I must confess my envy. While I'm quite proud of my own Service and its history, we've done little (nothing, really) to embody any of that heritage in the Soldiers we recruit, train, and send in harm's way. I don't mean to imply that our Soldiers aren't proud of what they're doing. Perhaps a metaphor will help: My first block of instruction at basic training was on rank recognition and saluting. Every Marine recruit's first block of instruction is on the history and, most importantly, the heritage of the Corps. I was taught to salute officers and stand at parade rest for NCOs. Marine recruits are challenged to become a member of an elite fraternity by owning up to the legacy laid before them. See the difference? If I were only Chief of Staff for a day . . .In any event, please take time to recognize the Marines in our office and those among your friends and neighbors on their special day -- November 10th. It's a great opportunity to say 'thank you' to a group of great American patriots. They were, are, and always will be the first to fight.

Congratulations and thanks for 228 years, Marines. Here's to 228 more!!

Brian Lindamood
Rm 606, Crystal Plaza 5

Several characteristics of the US Constitution have contributed to its relative success and survival as a body of foundation law. The preamble, for example, describes the objectives of the Constitution in only 52 words of forceful, declaratory and quite general prose, which by itself, provides no authority for any specific political decision. The main text, in only seven articles, describes the powers authorized to the several branches of government and the powers denied to the federal government or the states as few, brief and well-defined. All residual powers are reserved to the states. And the Bill of Rights, with one exception, is a list of the rights of individuals against the state, not a list of claims by individuals on services to be provided by the state; the one exception is the right to a trial by jury. All residual rights are reserved to the people. William Niskanen

As we have reported before, it is the sum of the parts, not the "Big Score" that adds up in Iraq. Plenty of pieces have been found: part of a centrifuge used in uranium enrichment was found buried in a scientist's garden confirming Iraq's commitment to a nuke program; mobile labs; long-range missile parts; biological organisms (used to make agents); numerous labs and so-called safe houses to produce these weapons in...the list goes on. It will all add up, and David Kay is not done yet. Military Magazine, November, 2003 issue

Sgt Grit,

I just wanted you to know how I am going to spend the Marine Corps birthday this year. I have to work that day since I am no longer an active member of America's finest, but I am going to make sure that a Marine Corps Flag is going to wave over a Marine's final resting place. This Marine was (at the time of his death on March 20th, was believed to be the oldest living Marine. Bob Newbury was a Corporal that was told to either join the Marine Corps or go to jail. He saw service At Gitmo through 1914 and after. He was 103yrs old at the time of his death.

This Marine was proud to be one of America's finest and knowing him helped me get through my tough times when I was in the Corps. He was my motivation to keep going and to never give up no matter how much I hurt. So with this and future birthday's, I am going to makesure a Marine Corps Flag is flying above his grave. May God watch over all my brothers and sistersthat are in harms way and know that many Marines arevery proud of you serving in our beloved Corps.

Semper Fi and God Bless,
Mark Sasak

On November 10.1951 I was on line on a hill in Korea. A small plane like a Piper Cub flew along the line towing a banner that read "HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARINES." Later they took us off line in groups for a hot meal. I bet no other Service would do that. 52 years later I am still impressed.

Jim Manning C-1-1-1

"We fight not to enslave, but to set a country free, and to make room upon the earth for honest men to live in."

--Thomas Paine

Relentless is the word. If we stop or slow down, they win.
Kent Mitchell

Coalition Provisional Authority....Iraq
Take a look. No need for media filters.

God Bless America!!
Semper fi!!
Sgt Grit

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