The questions on whether or not Marines should be in Liberia is a moot one, because the only answer is.....
OURS IS NOT TO QUESTION WHY, BUT TO SIMPLY DO OR DIE!!!
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Operation Iraqi Freedom Items:
I have put them all in one area to simplify finding them.
Who Is Your Favorite Marine Survey:
A note about Gunny's and their Marines.
My Marines where not my buddies I was their Gunny. On "boss night" I crunched up to the slop chute with my Marines for a few, Christmas, Thanksgiving even the married ones came to my home for dinner, lunch or barbecue. I played sports with my Marines, even was God Father too their children. They knew the Gunny had their back and no one screwed with my Marines they had to come through the Gunny first. They also did not make the Gunny angry, they knew he would tolerate small doses of ignorance, but never stupidity.
As you have noticed,I am sure, my continues echoing "MY MARINES" all Marines are brothers, its just that someone has to be the big brother. I proudly display photos of my God children and their children and "My Marines" in my home, they are after all family . My proudest moment in the service of my country was to overhear one of my Marines proudly tell another "that's my Gunny!" I've held their hands as they died then and I hold their hands as they die now, And if my Marines where not my buddies then, they are now!
AJ Rodriguez, GySgt of Marines 1955-1976 and always faithful to my Marines, Vietnam 66,67,68
Its not fraternizing its leading.
A LITTLE ON THE PORTLY SIDE
I forget the exact time frame but I think it was in Yuma, AZ. 1977. I was with VMFAT-101. We had to fall out for a uniform inspection in camies. This would be my first inspection in this uniform. Well as in any inspection the CO and SgtMaj was doing the honors. We had our Officer ranks Staff NCO ranks and the enlisted ranks. When the CO and the Sgt Maj where inspecting the Staff ranks one Msgt (Top) stood out. He was what you might say was a little on the portly side. Now you must remember that when we use to have the sateen they did not hide anything so when the camos came out they where rely forgiving and could hide some bulk. Well except in this case. The CO was in front of the Top and said." Top it seems that our uniform is a little tight." The top responded and "Yes sir" The Co said "what do you plan to do about it?" Top replied "Buy bigger clothes sir". The SgtMaj look at the Co and said "He is retiring at the end of this month. Co walked off shaking his head
Otis E. Webster
GySgt USMC Retired
I'M PROBABLY A YOUNG BUCK
I love your newsletter and the Marines that keep writing you. Keep up the great product. In response to the note from Richard A Johnson a.k.a. Bulldog USMC/Retired - I just returned from the Corps' latest chapter in Iraq and I'll tell ya that the infantry units are still doing plenty junk on the bunk - along with wall locker, gear, and uniform inspections - so don't worry - we're not getting off track from what I've seen. And our living conditions - the flat top barracks - were nicknamed the 'crack houses', but I think that Spartan lifestyle fostered cohesiveness vs. individuality. So I know I'm probably a young buck compared to you, but I've taken my guys though years of training and in and out of Baghdad and I have to say I'm pretty d*mn proud of the caliber of Marine we've got on post tonight. They're just as tough (anyone who hasn't done that new Martial Arts Program - it's a few weeks long kick in the ass - I'll tell ya) and they're a bit smarter than me and they have to be these days. Hope that puts some rumors to rest, old Pal. The Corps is in our hands and we know it and we're not going to disgrace the honor and traditions and we're going pass all that on and add our chapter to the next generation here soon. And though I just finished my enlistment after 6 years, I sleep d*mn proud at night of our Corps.
As for FA whose rifle failed twice in Viet-Nam, mine jammed more than a couple times in Nassariyah, so yeah - that needs to be fixed now!
As to all the older breed of VWF's out there - I can't say how much I as a young man and Marine respect and appreciate you all. Your traditions and your sacrifice are what we had to build on and I thank you and the memory of all those that didn't make it. I lost one of the men I respected most in this world overseas and 13 other casualties in my Company and I'm reminded that you guys endured so much more.
So from this Marine to you all, a humble thank you.
Thanks again Sgt Grit. You've got a good thing going here. SEMPER FI!
MARINE CORPS RESERVE ASSOCIATION
Recently the Marine Corps Reserve Officers Association changed its name to the Marine Corps Reserve Association.
I have been a Life Member of MCROA, since the late 70's...during that time I have benefited in many ways from my membership, and certainly have noticed that the association always addressed issues as they pertained to the Marine Corps Reserve in it's entirety.
Why should you think about joining? Recently 22,000 Marine Reservists were activated for Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Marine Reserve is now fully a part of the 'total force'........The issues that Marines in Reserve face today are not just confined to the officers ranks, they encompass all Marines in the Reserve. This Association will now give all of us, a united voice.
Congress knows this, and there are any number of issues that are/will be important to you as a reservist or retiree in the coming years. Better pay benefits, health care, travel, SBP and so on. The numbers of members in MCRA will play a significant role in educating politicians and the public in general of the role of the Marine Corps Reserve in today's society and giving this growing group credence.
The Association also provides professional military education to its membership, group discounts on such things as dental plans (my family belongs) and a bi-monthly slick/full color magazine worthy of note.
Costs for belonging to the now all inclusive MCRA are from $15, Pvt/Sgt, graduated to MGSGT/SgtMaj $25. Captains/Generals $25.-$100. Further information and a application can be had online at http://www.mcrassn.org
The toughest job for MCRA will probably be in getting junior enlisted people to join. Right now there is a 'new' member incentive: Get 18 mos for the price of 12 mos. Not bad...
Consider joining, and pass this on to other Marines?
HEATED TO BOILING MADE IT TOLERABLE
Hey Sgt. Grit,
The C Rat most hated in 1969 had to be "Ham and Mothers" although heated to boiling made it tolerable. I didn't care about the "main entree" so much as long as it was a B-1 unit which usually came with a can of fruit cocktail or sliced pears or sliced peaches. Although a B-2 unit sometimes came with cocoa and pound cake with which you could make an iced cake. My favorite was chicken and noodles. Just as an aside, last week I attended the Evening Parade at "8th and I" with my wife and my son (also a former Marine) and his wife and my grandson. Words don't describe it. Elegant, inspirational, precision, sparkling, spine chilling, goose bumping, tear jerking, back straightening, heart pounding...OOOOORRRAAHHHH!!!!! I absolutely know the most important move in my life (after I married Melissa) was to enlist in the Corps.
Thank God for the United States and God Bless the Corps.
Sgt. 1969 to forever
SIGNED BY THE COMMANDANT
I am sitting here looking at my boot camp picture (San Diego, 1964) and down in front are S/Sgt Valdez, Sgt Harmon and Cpl McClintock. Wow! I can't remember what happened yesterday, but can still recall with clarity those names from almost 40 years ago. On that same wall is an Honorable discharge from the Corps, (June 1970), Purple Heart Award signed by the Commandant for the second award and the Presidential Unit Citation awarded to the Third Marine Division, signed by President Johnson. To read that document and try to remember all the action, I am humbled. Thirty two months in Nam, last with Mike Battery, 4/11 at a dirty little place called An Hoa! Arizona territory, Liberty Bridge, Hill 55, Hill 65, Hill 22, dog patch, I could go on and on. First operation was Harvest Moon, Dec 65, Operation Starlight, Operation Hastings followed! We were kicking ass and taking names. Anyone out there remember? We also lost a lot of good men. I am so proud of the Marines I see in Iraq. Same Corps, doing the dirty work, killing and being killed. My god! What a great organization! Let me hear from someone who remembers those places and times.
Lewis Wood, Sgt, 2107662
OPERATION SHARING FREEDOM
For those of you who purchased a package of decals and bumper stickers to send to 3/23 in Iraq. The following is from a longer update letter I just received.
"The plus in this whole thing is that now when we drive around out in town, every kid that sees a HUMMV comming down the road runs from hundreds of yard away to get to the road before we pass to wave and give us the "thumbs up". I hope the Polish and Ukrainians have the same good fortune." So, as usual Marines make a difference and help each other.
Semper fi Sgt Grit
WAREHOUSE FULL OF C-RATS
While stationed with Naval Forces Korea 1976-77, we were designated as the evacuation point for dependants and civilians if hostilities escalated. We had a warehouse full of C-Rats. Those units coming to Korea for training brought their "current" C-Rats to us and we issued them our "slightly dated" C-Rats. That way we could keep our stocks fairly current. Mr. Cho, our cook, used to take a couple cases each month and use the "heavy" cans to make soup.
Probably the best soup I have ever eaten.
SgtMaj Tom Schlechty, USMC, Ret. SNCOIC, USNFK Det. Pohang 1976-1977
When I was with HQ Battery 4/11 & 5/11 we had a slogan, "If you can't truck it, ____ it!" Anyhow, I used to keep a cooler in my truck with tortillas and other stuff to make burritos, etc. out of my MRE's. Also, mixing the cocoa, coffee, creamer, and sugar all together as a drink.
TOLD BY AN OLD GUNNY
For the past several days I have been trying to remember when the EGA [we used to call it the "Bird & Turd"] changed the banner. Could you help me on this?
Another thing I noticed is that all Marines are now using the "Oohrah", but do you know where it came from? "Oohrah" is a bastardized version of "Ah-u-ga" which was used by recon and was supposed to imitate the klaxon on the old submarines. Anyway it changed over the years to Oohrah and from recon to all Marines. This is what I was told by an old Gunny who has recently passed away. To the best of my knowledge, he is the last of the WWII Recon Marines and saw many changes in it. I know that his first title was "Pathfinder" and that he lived his live every inch a Marine. In case others would like to know about it his name was John R. McNair.
Thank you for your time and courtesy.
Sgt Grit: Do you have room for one more chow story? While stationed in Korea in D-2-11th Marines, we were in a place called artillery valley. The entire 11th plus an Army unit about a quarter mile SW of Dog battery was in support of the 7th Marines. We noticed that every time we started catching incoming fire, those GIs would head for their bunkers. Since we were always hungry, myself and a couple other Marines got a jeep and went back to their supply tent. We knew exactly where it was as we watched the unloading of food and supplies every day. The first time we made our run, we crawled under the side of the supply tent and grabbed several large cans and headed home. Can you imagine our surprise when we found that every can was "Sunny Jim Orange Marmalade"? Everyone of us had our fill of marmalade in boot camp. A few days later just at sun rise they were receiving supplies when we got a mortar barrage. We went hunting once more. This time we got a crate of fresh eggs that were sitting on the ground in front of their tent. We took them to the mess Sgt. He got a visit from our CO who told him he had a call from our Battalion CO that whoever had the eggs to cook 'em, eat 'em and burn and bury the wooden egg crate. That crate held 30 dozen eggs. Every man in the battery including officers had the first fresh eggs since Camp Pendleton. We had a visit from a couple of Army officers after we had a hearty breakfast.
Jarhead157 Korea 50-52
I ALSO WITNESSED
Wonder how many of your readers remember tie ties. Do they still use them? They were cords made of carpenter's string used to tie clothing to the wash lines near the wash racks. The cord as issued had metal clamps spaced at intervals and could be cut into strands with a razor blade. A triple length was cut and we would tie the key of our foot locker around our necks. You had to get down on your knees to fit the key in the lock. The other key was given to the DI who kept them all on one length of cord. Woe to anyone who lost his key! The DIs had some neat tricks for this one. I remember hearing of recruits having to place the locker on their lap while on the concrete deck and doing sit-ups and reaching over the locker box and trying each key until they found the right one. I also witnessed one recruit on a hot August day in 1952 walking up and down the company street among the old Quonset huts carrying his locker shouting "Locked my locker lost my key!" "I'm a sh!tbird from Yemmassee!" For all the Parris Island guys, Yemmassee is another story. As far as C rats are concerned, I remember the sausage patties as being beef patties. They probably weren't too bad if you had a frying pan to heat them in. Pretty tough to dissolve that grease heating the can. I'm surprised I didn't hear anyone grumble about the beef hash. --Disgusting!
Semper to all.
Frank Athis Plt 475 1952-55
HALF AN EAR MISSING
GREETINGS TO ALL MARINES: I JUST FINISHED READING THE AUGUST 7TH NEWSLETTER AND THOUGHT ABOUT SHARING ONE OF MY GREEN STORIES. I ENLISTED INTO THE MARINE CORPS IN MAY 72'. WENT TO MCRD,S.D. FROM THE AIRPORT TO THE YELLOW FOOTPRINTS. EARLY MORNING AROUND 1AM .D.I.'S RAISING HELL WITH ALL OF US FOR ALL KINDS OF THINGS. MEN GETTING GRABBED AND SLAMMED ON THE ASPHALT. BLOODY NOSES, SLAPED ON THE BACK OF THEIR EMPTY GORDS, CLOTHES AND BAGS RIPPED OUT OF THEIR HANDS. CIGARETTES EATEN ON THE "SPOT", COMBAT BOOTS ON THEIR ASSES. FORTUNATELY FOR ME I WASN'T "ONE" THAT DAY. HOWEVER, MY TURN WAS COMING UP ALL NIGHT AND ALL THE NEXT DAY. NO SLEEP UNTIL THE FOLLOWING DAY. TWO-WEEKS OF IN-PROCESSING. ROLL-CALL FORMATION AT 2 MAYBE 3 AM. TOP-BUNK RECRUITS PULLED OUT OF THE RACK AND DROPPED ONTO THE CEMENT. NEEDLESS TO SAY INJURIES OCCURRED, AGAIN VERY FORTUNATELY FOR ME I MANAGED TO BECOME INVISABLE THROUGH THIS. AFTER OUR PRETTY HAIRCUTS AND UTILITY GEAR SUPPLIES WE WERE PROCESSED INTO PLATOONS. MINE BECAME 1116. PLT.1116 WITH THE GYSGT.STRONG(LOOKED LIKE BORIS KARLOFFT)FINGERS SHOT OFF IN VIET-NAM)2OR3. HALF AN EAR MISSING. 40ISH, MEANER THAN THREE KINDS OF HELL. THEN THERE WAS SGT. DORNAN, ABSOLUTELY IN TOP FORM AS HE CALLED EVERY-ONE IN THE HUT TO MAKE-IT PERFECTLY CLEAR,DOES ANY-ONE HERE THINK, THAT THEY CAN KICK-MY-ASS??? PROGRAM, SO TO SPEAK. THEN THERE WAS SGT.WINSLOW. (WITH ONLY A FIRE WATCH MEDAL)THE NICEST DI AT SAN DIEGO (MAYBE) THEN AGAIN NO-ONE CHALLENGED THIS MARINE EITHER, AS FAR AS I KNOW...THEN IT HAPPENED AROUND T-10 THAT IS TRAINING DAY TEN. I WAS CALLED INTO THE DRILL-INSTRUCTORS HUT FOR A LITTLE EXTRA-PT. BENDS AND THRUST WAS ON THE MENU. I'LL NEVER FORGET SWEATING ON THE CEMENT UNDER MY FACE, A PUDDLE WAS FORMING. I COULD JUST CATCH A REFECTION OF MY HEAD NOSE AND FACE IN IT EVERY TIME I DID A (HIT THE DECK). LATER ON I WITNESSED SOME OTHER RECRUITS COMING FROM THE OUT-DOOR HEAD,HOLDING THEIR FACES,STOMACHS,ARMS, SEEMS THEY WERE BEING TAUGHT HAND TO HAND COMBAT A LITTLE PRE-MATURELY. M-14 RIFLES WERE OUR TOYS. AND WHEN WEW WERE BEING INSTRUCTED ON THE MANUAL OF ARMS. WE FOUND OUT WHY GOD GAVE US ARMS!!!WE WERE SORE-ARMED THE REST OF BOOT-CAMP... WE FOUND OUT THAT THESE RIFLE'S WERE NEARLY AS DANGEROUS WITH AMMO. AS THEY WERE WITHOUT ... WHILE DRILLING ON THE GRINDER, I THOUGHT IT WOULD NEVER-END... TOUGH, TOUGH, TOUGH,!!! DID I SAY TOUGH??? FINALLY 2ND PHASE BEGAN AROUND T-26. FORCE MARCH TO SAN-MATEO. 17 MILES OF HOT, HOT, DID I SAY hot??? ONLY STOPPED ONCE TO CHANGE SOCKS. EACH RECRUIT DRANK WATER OUT OF THE MAN'S CANTEEN IN FRONT HIM. COLD, COLD, DID I SAY COLD NIGHTS ON TOP OF OLD SMOKEY??? ONE NIGHT WHILE ON FIRE-WATCH, I GOT BRAVE. I SNEAKED INTO THE DRILL-INSTRUCTORS HUT AND STOLE A CIGARETTE FROM HIS PACK. THANK-GOD I DIDN'T GET CAUGHT.!.! OR IT WOULD HAVE BEEN TAPS...TWO-WEEKS AT EDISON RANGE. SCORED SHARPSHOOTER 210 BULLETS OUT OF POSSIBLE 250 HIT THE TARGETS. THE NEXT DAY I HAD MY LEFT LEG BROKEN WHILE PT ING ON MOUNT-MOTHERF!!KER.AGONY-LANE,THEY CALLED IT. A JEEP CAME UP THE MOUNT AND THE DRILL-INSTRUCTORS PUT ME ON THE SIDE GURNEY STRAPPED ME IN AND OFF TO BALBOA NAVAL-HOSPITAL I WENT. RETURNED TO THE (NEW) BARRACKS SQUAD-BAY WITH A CAST ON MY LEG FROM HIP TO ANKLE ON CRUTCHES AND FEELING LOUSY, I MET WITH THE OTHER RECRUITS AND THEY KIND-OF SORT-OF SHOWED CONCERN. ABOUT A HALF HOUR LATER DRILL-INSTRUCTOR SGT. DORNAN CALLED ME IN THE OFFICE AND EXPLAINED I WOULD BE TRANSFERRED TO M. R. P.. MEDICAL REHABILITATION PLATOON, NEAR THE THEATER AND PIG-FARM WHERE MOTIVATION-PLATOON HELD THEIR DAILY MUD-BATHS. OVERWEIGHT-RECRUITS HAD LETTUCE SANWICHES. THERE I STAYED TWO-GRUELING MONTH'S HAD TO EXERCISE,EVEN PUSH-UPS.THE BAD-LEG OVER THE GOOD. PULL-UPS, EVERYTHING EXCEPT THE GRINDER WE DID.FINALLY THE CAST CAME OFF AND IT WAS 2(WEEKS) THERAPY AT BALBOA. I WITNESSED SOME MARINES FROM VIET-NAM. BODY PARTS COMPLETELY MISSING, TERRIBLE, I'LL NEVER FORGET THOSE MARINES!!!!MOST DIED IN THE HOSPITAL. MEAN-WHILE I WAS ASSIGNED TO PLATOON 1143. WITH A WHOLE NEW SET OF RECRUITS AND DRILL INSTRUCTORS. LIKE TALL AND RAZOR-BLADE THIN, SGT. BLACK. CAN'T REMEMBER THE OTHER TWO-MEANIES.AFTER-5-F!CKING MONTH'S OF BOOT-CAMP. I WAS READY LIKE FREDDY. FOR ANYTHING. FT.GORDAN D-11-4, THE ARMY HAD ME NOW. NICE BUNCH OF FELLOWS THOS (DOGFACES)MOST OF THEM MORE EDUMECATED THAN THE GIRENES TRAINING WITH THEM. I BECAME THE FOURTH SQUAD-LEADER AND MADE PFC MERITORIOUSLY. I EARNED IT THOUGH, IT WASN'T A FREE TIME AND GRADE PROMOTION. IT WAS EARNED THE OLD FASHION WAY, BUY GETTING THINGS DONE. WHEN ANY OF MY SQUAD WASN'T DOING IT I DID IT... BOY OL BOY I CAME AWAY FIT AS A PROFESSIONAL KARATE,JUDO,BOXING, NOT TO MENTION ANY EXTRA WEAPONS-TRAINING. FROM THERE IN GEORGIA. IT WAS A-CHOICE OVER-SEAS. I CHOSE JAPAN. WELL IT REAL DOES GO THIS WAY -------. I SAW IT.
THANK YOU SINCERELY...SSGT RENFRO
For more years then I can remember (and before the Corps, as my father was retired Navy) we have referred to that little piece of metal to open cans with, a "John Wayner". It as also said, when asked "Why?" that it was because he used it in the Sands of Iwo Jima. Well after about the umpteenth time of watching Sgt Striker, he never uses one, he used a pocket knife to open a can. So I pose this question in hopes of an answer....why do we call it a John Wayner?
Richard N. King
GySgt USMC (ret)
I have been reading the C-Rat stories for the past several Newsletters and have persuaded myself to join the fray. Many have given Frank & Beans the number one spot (and so it should be), and some have given Ham & Lima Beans a good report....Well hear my story: November 1950, Hagaru-ri, North Korea, I made the fatal mistake of eating 2 cans of Ham & Lima's. That very night we moved into U-dam-ni, the very night the Chinks decided to close the trap. About 0200 we were up with tracers both red and green going every direction and guess who had the "screaming meemies alias Montezuma's revenge", you got it right ME! So I said the devil with the tracers, I must relieve myself (several times). Oh! but was that fun (30 degrees below zero and all). It goes without saying, I layed off the Ham & Lima's for quite a spell even though I liked them very much. The worst C-Rat? Have any of you out there ever tried the old WWII "Pork & Rice"? We had these in Korea. It was like looking at a small brown can of Crisco.
Keep up the good work.....Semper Fi,
C.R. Scroggins, USMC (Ret.), 1947 - 1970.
ELEPHANT GRASS LOVES IT
It was 1958 and I was issued M-1 rifle number 4552809 as well as serial number 1838728. The M-1 rifle stayed with me for six years, wherever I went it went including different duty stations.
Then came the M-14 and I enjoyed the new firepower. Sometime in 1968 we were issued the AR-15 replaced by the M-16. It met with unfavorable attitudes. The front flash suppressor was a disaster, looked like a big fork and the elephant grass loves it. Aluminum magazines were to soft a metal to deal with the rigors of combat. There were changes.
As far as C-rats go...I remember the four pack of Lucky Strikes in the green box and none of the cigarettes had filters which made for easy field stripping.
In Vietnam, acquired regular Chesterfields in the four pack. We were resupplied every four days with C's and water stinking of chlorine. Rice paddy water with halizone tabs tasted better.
Without chow for seven days during the monsoons in the Que Son mountains because the birds couldn't fly. Tried boiling grass and putting chili sauce on it. It didn't work. Finally an emergency air drop from C-130's. The first was a pallet of Carlings Black Label beer. Blew that entire pallet in place. The second drop was an entire pallet of C's for a platoon of 45 Marines. Had to blow in place what we couldn't carry.
S/F Nick Cominos, 1838728/0311 Sergeant of Infantry Marines.
IT IS NOT JUST A JOB
A Big OOOOORAH to GYSgt. Dotson of RS Kansas City!
Thanks for touching on a subject near and dear to my heart. I am the wife of a recruiter, and I totally agree with you. We are even stationed near an Army base and you still don't see any "Army Pride." No Army flags flying in front of homes or even very many cars with bumper stickers. I am always amazed when I drive around town with all my Marine Corps stickers on my car. Former Marines come out of the woodwork to wave and say hello or ask me about my connection to the Corps. We have even seen some Marine Corps flags in front of homes of retirees here....I love to see that Eagle, Globe, and Anchor! I always tell the families of the poolees that their son or daughter is gaining an extended family in joining the Marine Corps. It is not JUST a job..... We take care of each other now and forever. I do not see that happening in the other branches. How can you be "brothers" in an "Army of One?" Even my Army wife neighbors do not understand the Key Volunteer Network and why we have it. Some of them barely know the other wives and families in their units.
Often, that is one of the few things that makes this duty bearable...knowing that I have the other wives to talk to and that my husband has his team of fellow recruiters right there with him. We will try hard not to let each other down and to support one another. And also knowing that there are retirees and former Marines in our community who care about us. The brotherhood of the Corps is a priceless and enduring thing.
Thanks again, for visiting this subject.
the Proud Wife of a USMC Recruiter
HOW RUSTY AND DIRTY
FA said his rifle failed him twice in Vietnam and so did Jessica Lynch's rifle.... I believe I saw a story on how the rifle issue was corrected after a review of seeing several failures in Vietnam. The difference here is that Lynch's rifle was dirty. Obviously she is not a Marine. I remember once utilizing the Army's M1-A1 tanks as we waited for ours to be delivered. I was amazed at how rusty and dirty the Army let their tanks get. If those were Marine tanks we would have been written up... now I know why they let us use them, they knew the Marines would return them looking brand new!!
SSGT PB Modesti