Sgt Grit Marine Corps Merchandise

Welcome to our Marine Corps Newsletter archives. Here you can find USMC articles and memories sent in to us by fellow Jarheads and their families. Enjoy!

Sgt Grit Marine Corps Newsletter - August 7, 2003

"Any enemy out there is smart to be afraid of us. We hit what we aim at. And when we hit you, we mess up your world pretty good."

-- Cpl. Cesar Flores, 23,
(driver, 80-ton Abrams tank, USMC),
Operation Enduring Freedom


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New Items!

Pres. Ronald Reagan Quote Ka-Bar

13" Bear with Desert Camo Shirt and Cover


New Survey!

MOST TOLERABLE MRE

You voting has narrowed the field to 5. Vote. http://www.grunt.com/survey.htm


WELL WE HAD TO FEED THEM

Sgt Grit

Great work on the news letter. I always look forward to it each week. Well after taking your survey on MREs' it brought back memories from Desert Storm. I was with Mike Company 3/1. We were processing Iraqi POW. These poor dumb bastards hadn't eaten for awhile after Uncle Saddam left them to die. Well we had to feed them.. They didn't know what to do with the MREs' so we had to have a class on how to prepare the MREs'. This was after we found a couple of them eating the coffee. I don't know if it was unprofessional or just our great sense of humor(or sick depending who you ask), but we got a kick out of giving them the MREs' with the ham and pork patties... Muslim my ass,,Hell you'll eat whatever is given to you. Some of those poor bastards wanted our Copenhagen thinking it was chow...Sorry so long but I just wanted to share.. Oh yeah we didn't give up the Copenhagen either

Semper Fi,,, Frank Castro

THE SMOKING LAMP IS LIT

"You, you, and you . . . Panic. The rest of you, come with me."

-U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt.


I liked that one. I was introduced to the "You,you and you..." thing at Parris island in 1961. I and about half a dozen recruits were non smokers. It was a "all non smokers up front". Like a bunch on puppies so pleased with selves we couldn't get in front of the Drill Instructor fast enough. Then it hit. "OK , all the rest of you get one cigarette and one cigarette only and get out side. The smoking lamp is lit for 5 minutes.----------"
"You maggots come with me........"

I started smoking. :)
Jeff

IMPRESSION ON THE NEW T--RDS

I had to write when I read the story of the initial recruit pick up and the "planted Marine" that got shot by the drill Instructor. I was a Drill Instructor from June 1961 through September 1963 in the third battalion at Parris Island. I took 7 1/2 platoons though 13 weeks of boot camp. In order to make an initial impression on the new T--ds, I had a nonworking Drill Instructor in civilian clothes mingle in with the new civilian scum. As we put the mob into some type of military formation, I was to call the role. The "plant" was given a name to answer when the roll was called. I explained that when I called out your name, answer loud and clear, "here Sir". That's all I wanted to hear. Well, of course, the first few answered with a pussy voice and had to be reminded both verbally and physically on how to answer. When I got to the "plant's' name he answered "yoo" as instructed. All the Drill Instructors converged on him and begin to physically abuse him in front of all the want-a-be Marines. After he was "beaten around the head and shoulders" until he "passed out". I told my two juniors to s--t can him. They picked up his limp body and through him in the dumpster that was next to our pick up location. I then pick up my clip board and announce that if I got another answer other than " here Sir" I would get pissed. You could see the expression on their faces when I said I would get pissed. What the hell was he then? I told them that I will not tolerate anyone who does not follow my instructions. Headquarters Marine Corps has already sent several people to check on my sanity and I can assure you that I am not crazy. So much for an attention gainer.
Can they do that today?

Mike Hemlepp
Major USMC Ret

LIBERATION DAY 21-JULY 1944

REASON WHY WE CELEBRATE LIBERATION DAY ON GUAM

HILL OF HELL AND HEARTBREAKS

NEARLY HALF MY COMPANY LIES DEAD ON THE BARREN SLOPES OF CHONITO CLIFF. FOUR TIMES THEY TRIED TO REACH THE TOP. FOUR TIMES THEY WERE THROWN BACK. THEY HAD TO BREAK OUT OF A 20 YARD BEACHHEAD TO MAKE WAY FOR LATER LANDING WAVES. THEY ATTACKED UP A 60-DEGREE SLOPE, PROTECTED ONLY BE SWORD GRASS AND WERE MET BY A STROM OF GRENADES, HEAVY RIFLE, MACHINE GUN AND MORTAR FIRE. THE PHYSICAL ACT OF FORWARD MOTION REQUIRED THE USE OF BOTH HANDS. AS A CONSEQUENCE THEY WERE UNABLE TO RETURN FIRE EFFECTIVELY.MOST OF THE CASUALTIES WERE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SLOPE. THEY HAD BEEN HIT AS THEY LEFT THE COVER OF THE BEACHHEAD. THERE WAS PAPPY, HIS NAME STENCILED ON HIS CANTEEN COVER. A BULLET HAD RIPPED AWAY THE FIRST "P" IN HIS NAME.

MY FORMER ASSISTANT SQUAD LEADER WAS BESIDE HIM. HE OFTEN HAD ME ON HIS WORKING PARTIES. I HAD SEEN THOSE ARMS OF HIS, WHICH IN DEATH STILL CLUTCHED A SPLINTERED RIFLE COULD THROW FULL AMMUNITION CASES ABOUT AS IF THEY WERE EMPTY.

THEN THERE WAS THE FIRST SCOUT OF MY SQUAD. WE HAD SHARED THE SAME TENT FOR MONTHS, WHEN I WAS A SECOND SCOUT. HE WAS ALWAYS PROMISING HIMSELF A "WHITE CHRISTMAS IN 1945." HE WAS FACING THE SKY, HIS HANDS BY HIS SIDES. YOU'D THINK HE WAS JUST DREAMING. WILLIE, WHO VOLUNTEERED FOR MESS DUTY SO HE WOULDN'T HAVE TO STAND INSPECTIONS, WAS LYING HALFWAY UP THE SLOPE. HIS FEET WERE DUG INTO THE DIRT. HIS ARMS WERE BENT AS IF HE WERE READY TO CHARGE AGAIN. BUT HIS GRANDE RIFLE WAS EMPTY AND THROWN ASIDE. THE PISTOL IN HIS HAND WAS EMPTY TOO. PERHAPS HE INTENDED TO CLUB THE ENEMY WITH THE EMPTY WEAPON.


THE "BEAST"- WE CALLED HIM THAT BECAUSE HE WAS SO BIG-HAD CHARGED HIS BIG FRAME TO WITHIN FIVE YARDS OF AN ENEMY MACHINE GUN NEST. HE CAUGHT A BLAST IN THE CHEST. THE FANCY LETTERING HE ALWAYS PLACED ON THE BACK OF HIS DUNGAREE BLOUSE WAS TORN BY BULLETS.


THE THERE WAS FRANKIE,WHO HAD RECEIVED A SHINY, CHROME PLATED PISTOL FROM HOME. HE BOASTED HE WOULD GET MANY JAPS WITH IT. NOW THE SUN'S RAYS FROM OVER THE RIDGE GLINTED ON THE HANDLE. THE PISTOL WAS STILL IN IT'S HOLSTER.

THERE WAS PETER, WHO HAD A STRONG VOICE IN THE CAMP. HE GOT IT IN THE FACE HE WAS HALF WAY UP THE RIDGE, YELLING SOMETHING ABOUT THE "BASTARDS" ON THE TOP, WHEN THEIR FIRE CUT HIM DOWN. THE LIEUTENANT WE CALLED "CHICKEN" BECAUSE HE SEEMED SO YOUNG, WAS THE ONLY ONE TO REACH THE CREST. A GRENADE SMASHED HIS IN THE SIDE OF HIS HEAD. THOSE SKINNY LEGS WHICH HAD LED ME SO OFTEN TO EXHAUSTION WERE WHITE IN THE DRIED GRASS. TWO JAPS, FIVE FEET IN FRONT OF HIM, HAD HOLES IN THEIR HEADS. AN AMERICAN GRENADE WHICH THE CHICKEN EVIDENTLY HAD THROWN WAS LYING BETWEEN THE JAPS. HOW OFTEN THE LIEUTENANT HAD DRAWLED IN HIS SLOW HESITANT VOICE:" NOW A GRENADE EXPLODES FIVE SECONDS AFTER YOU HEAVE IT." HIS HADN'T.

THERE WAS EDDIE, LYING IN A BED OF MOUNTAIN FLOWERS. HE WAS FOND OF FLOWERS. HE USED TO PUT THEM IN HIS HELMET FOR CAMOUFLAGE WHEN OTHERS USED GRASS. HIS HAND THAT WAS NOT ON A RIFLE WAS CRUSHING A FLOWER.

BEHIND THE LIEUTENANT, HIS FACE ANXIOUS AS IF AWAITING AN ORDER, WAS ANGELO. HE LOVED TO SING- BUT COULDN'T. HE AND I WERE PENALIZED ONCE FOR SINGING OLD GRAY BONNET AFTER TAPS. THE COMPANY WAS STILL UNDER FIRE WHEN, ON THE RIDGE, I TALKED TO THE MEN WHO HAD MADE IT. PRIVATE FIRST CLASS LEON SLICNER FROM NEW JERSEY TRIED TO TELL ME HOW "SMOKEY" COULD HAVE BEEN SAVED HAD THEY PULL HIM OUT OF THE FIRE LANE IN TIME. HIS WORDS CAME SLOWLY. FINALLY HE STOPPED IN THE MIDDLE OF A SENTENCE, LEAVING THE STORY IN MID AIR. HE REALLY DIDN'T WANT TO TALK. BESIDES, HE WAS PRESSING LOW INTO A FOX HOLE AND HE COULDN'T BREATH WELL, FOR A MACHINE GUN WAS SPITTING FIRE OVER OUR HEADS.

SERGEANT CYRIL O BRIEN, 3RD MARINES.

C-RATS

I remember that all the C rats that we had were dated 1943. I was surprised that know one mentioned the Corned beef hash. If I remember right you could use them for Hockey Pucks. Even after heating them they were hard as cement.

Doug Brown HM2 FMF
Korea 1950 - 1952


The worst C Rat in Korea had to be the lima beans with sausage patty! Ugh!! Looked bad and tasted horrible! Although cold and hungry at the time, I couldn't finish my first (and last) can of that crap! And, nobody in my squad would swap to get a can of lima beans & sausage.

Sgt Jerry Kramer 1299852 52-55 USMC


I was serving with the 1st Radio Bn. at Dong Ha in 1970 when a Marine Artillery unit that provided messing services for us was withdrawn. We were informed that the Army was providing chow . We were trucked over to the Army chow hall and had one of the most gawd awful excuses for a meal that I have ever experienced. When we returned, a group approached the CO and begged to be issued C-Rats since the Army chow was so bad. The CO and XO didn't think we were serious about the Army chow, so they decided to check out a meal for themselves. Enough to say that when they returned from that meal, each hooch was issued C-Rats for the rest of our stay in Dong Ha. We got pretty good at cooking up meals with C-Rats and lots of hot sauce.

D. Bergeron (Sgt USMC RVN 69 - 71)


Hi Grit,

Love the newsletter. My favorite "rat" was the ham & mother's. No one else wanted them so I always had plenty of chow. I was with 3rd amtraks, e co. 2/27, & c co. 1/9. I wish I could see all of those guys again.

The Monster Of Charlie Co. 1/9


HOW ABOUT GOOD OLD K AND D? SURE THE CIGARETTES WERE MOLDY AND IF YOU ONLY HAD D BARS YOU GOT THE SH!TS. SO WE FILLED OUR PACKS WITH THESE AND ONLY SPARE SOCKS. MAYBE C RATIONS SHOWED UP AFTER A WEEK.. DURING R&R ON GUADALCANAL WE HAD LOTS OF CANNED TONGUE, OX TAILS,HARD TACK AND POWDERED EGGS AND MILK. UNTIL WE SUCCESSFULLY RAIDED AN ARMY SUPPLY DUMP AND D*MN NEAR GOT OUR WISE MARINE ASSES SHOT OFF.. ON KWAJALEIN WE SALVAGED CANNED FOODS WASHED ASHORE FROM A SUNK US SHIP AND SNUCK INTO CB CHOW LINES.I GOT TOO CLOSE TO A JAP MORTAR ON GUAM SO DON'T KNOW HOW THE CHOW WAS ON OKINAWA..

DOUG FINNEY,SGT. 22ND MARINE REG. SEMPER FI.


Sgt Grit,

You've left of Omelet with Ham from your list. That was the WORST of all of them. I was an armorer with 2/2 during the Gulf War. One day we came across a litter of puppies that were starving to death the b!tch was so skinny that you could see her ribs through her mangled coat.

I felt sorry for the dogs and had an omelet with ham MRE that hadn't eaten yet. I ripped it open and laid it down in front of the dog so she could eat it. The dog walked over, took a sniff of it, looked up at me, then turned and walked away. She didn't even take a taste of it. The troops and I get a big kick out of that one. That d*mn thing is so bad that a starving dog wouldn't eat it.

Semper Fi,
Gilbert Soria


L/Cpl 3rd Marines FLSG-B Dong-ha, Quang Tri, Sept68 thru Dec69 The story of the midnight requisition of the c-rats brought back this memory.

While at Dong-ha, the sirens went off for incoming. The rockets where hitting on the far side of the base so I decided to hit the mess hall and lift some cans of strawberry. I returned with two large cans and we opened one and had our fill. I was the hooch hero. I put the other can in the rafters and when the all clear sounded we went back to work. At the end of the day we returned to find the remaining can of strawberry had exploded from the heat. Needless to say, my fame was short lived and I received much verbal abuse.

Semper Fi
--- Terrance M Smith SR


I too voted for Beans and Baby Dicks but you didn't include my all time least favorite C-Ration epicurean feast, Ham and Motherf***ers!! I think they were dishonorably discharged from active service sometime in the seventies. Ham and Motherf***ers were a disgusting mix of forty year old ham and eggs, made barely edible with enough Tabasco sauce or similar condiment.

George W. (USMC RET) 1959-1981


Sgt. Grit, thought you would appreciate this c-rat story. Back around 1961 while severing with the 10th Marines Air & Naval gunfire unit. We were at Camp Garcia in Vieques P.R. Our fire team was taking a break and chowing down on C-rat and a couple of Jars of caviar that my folks sent me. A Major walking by spotted what we are eating and asked "Is that Caviar?" As we nodded "Yes sir," He walked away muttering "John Wayne cookies and caviar, what is my Corps coming to?"

~~Al Salvatore, Cpl. USMC, 1959-1963


Yo, Grit......when are we going to hear their defense from the Supply and Food Service Marines whose responsibility it was to ensure that overage stocks of C's were disposed of instead of issued?.......I realize that the aged chow fable is one of the longest lived and most sincerely believed "war stories" around, and also one of the more improbable....this based on about 24 years of chowing down on the canned contents of brown boxes and never seeing anything past its expiration date. The meals in VN were labeled MCI or Meal, Combat, Individual, one to a box, 12 to a case, and only 12 varieties, ever.......prior to that, as I recall, the standard package was about shoe box size, labeled something like Ration, Combat, or the like. These had more variety, and more things to gripe about.....there were something like 24 or more different "heavies" which were the entrees, if you will., a couple of "lights", which contained things like crackers, cocoa powder (which was neither cocoa nor powder), one fruit, and an accessory pack which contained, among other things, an entire pack of cigarettes, and usually a Tootsie Roll. One of the problems with this package was that for a single day in the field, when C's were to be lunch, divvying up among 3 Marines could result in some severe horse trading, and heated arguments . Otherwise, it was 3 meals for one Marine, for one day, and probably well over 3,000 calories., Somewhere out there is the DOD agency which has the whole story, (probably the Army Quartermaster Museum, if such exists)......Now, back in the late fifties, probably the absolute worst, when it had to be eaten cold, was the Sausage Patties....a 3" tall can full of meat patties and white grease.......good, and filling when hot, and when cold, the grease seemed to coat your teeth for about a week.

Dick Dickerson, Mustang Major of Marines......(57-81) ..........

HIGHER STANDARD

This is a reply to John Novak about why the news agencies always say it's a Marine. About 8 years ago I called a reporter at the Arizona Republic to complain. In his stories he always referred to ex-marines in his stories about some criminal activity. He explanation was, he also identified former choir boys. This was because most people held both Marines & choir boys to a higher standard then normally accepted for criminal behavior. Of course 8 years ago there wasn't the scandal in the Church that there is today.

Rick Whittaker

50 YEARS AGO

I enlisted in the USMC. The building in Cleveland, Ohio where we were sworn in is long gone, as is the Pennsylvania RR Station on E. 55th St. and Euclid Ave. Even the RR is gone. We changed to the B & O in Pittsburg and again in DC we switched over to the Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac RR. We are in Yemassee on the evening of the 6th at approx 2000. We spent the night in the Receiving Barracks and were transported to MCRD in the morning...........

We then commenced to be introduced to the nuances of becoming A Marine. They even provided us with a nice haircut which was a bit short but then they were all short. We were given plenty of exercise and food too. It was great In all seriousness.............. where did the time go ??

At any rate I never regretted becoming a Marine( except for maybe the first few days ).

Given the chance I would gladly do it all over again but this time I would definitely stay at least 20 years.

God bless our Corps!!!
Ray Mezo
The older we get the better we were

HECKFIRE....I STILL DON'T

Sgt Grit:

i always enjoy your stuff and today got one which had me falling outta the chair w/laughter!

i thot i wuz pretty well lined out when i joined the Corps back in March, 1951...had several friends who had gone to great lengths to warn me about keeping eyes open and mouth shut upon arrival at Boot Camp. I tried to do so.


One experience i shall never forget...we had just arrived at MCRD, San Diego, and were "sorta formed" in front of our quarters when the DI's arrived to relieve those who had picked us up at train station....one was Pfc JQ Johnson of San Antonio, TX., a veteran of the Bataan Death March and POW for remainder of WWII...he was no slouch...he was then about 6;3" and probably weighed 225 and all muscle...he was "welcoming" us when he stopped in front of the kid in front of me....Vincent Iruli of Oregon...he had a mouthful of bubble gum... "What do you have in your mouth, -----" he screamed!

After stammering around Vincent said "Bubblegum" with no "Sir"....a long whacking process upon his bod and lecture about using "Sir" ensued....then Pfc Johnson screamed at him to spit the gum into his hand....Vincent opened up his right hand and did as instructed...Pfc Johnson then grabbed the hand and rubbed the handful of gum all over Vincent's head.....the pore guy had gum in his long hair for the rest of that day and until the big haircut the following day..... I don't think any of us ever tried chewing gum again!... Heckfire, I still don't chew gum and that was 50-odd years ago!

Semper Fi, McReynolds, DT Sgt USMC 1951-54

WHINEY-BUTTS

With regards to the news stories that mention a Marine, former or otherwise, I have to say that I've viewed that as a small price to pay for having such high standards. The flipside is exemplified by the William Donaldson story (being a Marine garnering a highlight over civilian accomplishments).


As for the whiney-butts, I can't help but think that it is due to A.) reporters always looking for the extreme viewpoint and B.) the fact that it was the Army. I would think that any military personnel who has more than six months in would have come to the conclusion that nothing is written in stone. How many times were you told that "libbo" was "locked on"? Just another of Uncle Sam's misguided children...

Michael A. Thornton
Former TOW Cpl. USMC

I'VE ALWAYS FELT THAT IF

Sgt. Grit:

I've been reading your newsletter for several months and really enjoy reading about other Marine's exploits. When I started receiving it, I would often go through it 2 or 3 times, not because I'm a slow reader, but to make sure I didn't miss anything. I've always felt that if you're a Marine, you have stories to tell, some good, some bad, but all interesting and many times very informative.

With this in mind, I ran across a saying a few years ago on the Internet that all Marines could all relate to and it goes something like this, "Time alone moves to the next scene, but memories live in the heart forever."

J. Del Mare, Cpl. E4
1958 - 1963

I HAVE BEEN BLESSED

I am a fifty-five year old Vietnam combat veteran (Seabee-MCB 5 & MCB 1). I served three tours in Nam (67-69) and can only say by the grace of God and the USMC I am here today to express my pride and love I have for all Marines. I served in Dong Ha - Hue - Quang Tri - Danang . It was always the USMC who provided us with protection from road mines and security on the outer perimeters. I have been blessed to have raised five children, enjoyed five grandchildren and two good marriages. I can only say thanks to the USMC every day in my prayers as I kneel and remember those men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice as well those who were diligent in their daily missions and duties in protecting us.

My oldest daughter Bridget (32) who I adopted from an orphanage in Danang in "72" also prays daily for the USMC as they too protected her during the war.

Thank You to all MARINES.
Danny Crawford
Trinity, Florida

IT AMAZES HIM HOW

My brother, recently back from deployment of Operation Iraqi Freedom, is a SFC in the US Army- and over 20 + years often questions me on why is that Marines take care of each other so well and always looking out for each other even decades after service of just one tour. It amazes him how supportive we are of each other no matter what. In a small subdivision that I live there are about 5 Retired Marines and several others still serving, though reaching retirement soon, and all of us fly our Colors High. As I talk with young men and women about serving in our beloved Corps, I often ask them that the next time they drive through their neighborhood, examine how many Marine Corps flags you will see flying. You will very seldom see US Navy, US Army, US Air Force and Coast Guard flags- just Devil Dogs. Its so true they often reply- no one is more proud than to have served in the Corps.

Thanks for your time.
Semper Fi Sgt Grit from all the Marines of Recruiting Station
Kansas City GySgt Scott Dotson

HE OPENED THE CAN

Al saw combat at Saipan, Tinian, Roi-Namur, and Iwo jima with the 4th Division. The fact that he came out of all unscathed is a blessing he is always thankful for. Seems he was on patrol on Saipan towards the end of the battle and he and his biddies came across an abandoned hut with some canned goods in it. Fearing it may have been contaminated, they carefully opened one to see what was in it. To their surprise and glee it contained fresh fruit, an absolute delicacy on that island. They all grabbed what they could and as they returned to their unit, shared their booty with the others. Al, still remembering the sweet fruit, decided to stash one extra can in his pack, feeling guilty that it should have gone to another but thinking of how good it will taste a few days down the line. He didn't get an opportunity to dig into that last can until they had just about secured the neighboring island Tinian. With a lull in the action, he snuck away by himself to enjoy that last little treat......still feeling guilty but dying for that fruit. He opened the can and was greeted with the most unpleasant odor of fish heads and rice..........looking back and smiling now, he said "that's what I got for trying to screw my fellow Marines out of that fruit"!

Bruce Carter
USMC 72-76

BOB

This is in response to the letter from Christopher Andrews.

Hell yes a Gunny can hang out and even conspire with his junior enlisted. The best Gunny I ever had was one of my best friends, we were able to work well together and both of us were more pliable in our duties that we performed as a result.

Hell I can even remember going to his home and eating with his family. While stationed with the Gunny the next person in our chain of command was a CWO-4 who told us that if we called him anything other than Bob unless someone that outranked him was around the payment would be painful. I loved that unit!

At any rate my opinion/point is that if you never made friends with any of your subordinates you missed out on a lot of really good Marines.

P.S. I am quite aware of what the manual says about fraternizing with junior ranks, but do you want a friend working for you and watching your back or just some lowly Pfc. your forcing to do it?

LCpl Givens 1991-Forever
Semper Fi

"EAST BERLIN"

July 7th 1953, Just took over from Turk Brigade near East Berlin.

Behind the MLR in a head(outhouse by any other name). CCF decided to give us a Mortar barrage. Shrapnel embedding in the walls of the head. Figured it was time to depart but no T.P.. Ripped off my skivvies and used them for T.P.. Left the head for the relative safety of my bunker and also to put on skivvies. It had been raining for 3 days and everything I owned was wet. Couldn't get myself to put on wet skivvies. Hung up couple of pair an decided I could go a day without skivvies. That night on East Berlin I was hit all over. The next day at the mash unit as they were cutting the clothes off me a nurse asked me what I was smiling at. I told her that my Mom always told me to" wear clean underwear because you never know when you're going to be in an accident". I messed up, Mom!

Sgt. R.(Bob) A. Seel
Fox Co. 7th Marines

Note: For those of you that thought: Marines in "East Berlin" what the hell is that about. So I asked Bob about it. Here is the rest of the story. Very interesting stuff.

Sgt Grit
Sorry if it sounds confusing I guess when you are there you figure every body knows where it is. East Berlin was an outpost located 1/4 mile North of the MLR, in No-Mans-Land in Korea. We also had an outpost called Berlin nearby. Also at one time had Vegas and Carson but I believe they were both lost earlier in the year. This event was 20 days before the cease fire, July 27,1953. I have read that there were 17,000 casualties during the last 20 days before the cease fire was signed (includes all the United Nations countries). The CCF(Chinese Communist Forces)made a big push just before they signed the cease fire agreement. During 1953 the 5th and 7th Marines had the western sector of the MLR, spelled occasionally by the Turkish Brigade. We could see the big spot lights of Panmunjom from our positions. Hope this clears it up. Heading out for vacation on 8/6 until 8/23. Don't carry a lap top.

Bob Seel

REFUSED TO GIVE UP

Dear Sgt. Grit,

I could not log on to your web page, so I will try this way. I discovered your newsletter, after inquiring about a globe and anchor charm. I am the daughter of a Marine, who is now guarding the streets in Heaven. I lost my Dad last October, after a long battle with Parkinsons. My Dad was in the first Marine division in the South Pacific in WWII. He had already been to Hell. Before he became sick, he had taken care of my Mother who has Alzheimers disease. He never asked for help and never faltered.

She is still in a nursing home and I promised him, on his death bed, I would take care of her. They were married 57 years. My Dad had a full military funeral. It wasn't easy. The funeral director had a long battle to get it, but refused to give up, knowing how much it meant to me. I will never forget when I saw those marines at the gravesite and when they handed that flag to me. I was raised by a Marine and that pretty much says it all. I always thought he was the biggest, strongest man in the world. Never though there was a thing he couldn't do. He retired after 40 years at a construction company as Senior Vice President. He started there as a time keeper. I also made sure that the Marine's hymn was sung at the funeral, along with The Star Spangled Banner and my grandson (7) sang My country tis of thee.

I am having a very hard time dealing with his death and I just felt, after reading through your newsletter it might help to write to you. Someone, who really understands what this Marine thing is all about. I wish there were some way to find out if any of his buddys from the war are still around. I suppose he has already met of with most of them once again.

I am not a writer, as you can tell. Only wished to get a few things off my chest, that someone might understand.

Thank you for your time,
Sharon C. Smith

THEY WERE COLD

my wife and i were going over some pics. in my Marine album she saw me at the front of a tent, this was PI Boot camp she said she thought we all had barracks, i said well we had tents . i went through in Jan. 1951 we were wondering if you knew when they started with barracks. i know they were cold, cold in the tents , our DI would after having one two many early in the am. would yell and call plt. 55 in front of my tent. with only skivvies i want to here you sing Dixie, i still laugh at that...

Semper Fi,....Bud

TATTOO BELOW THEIR ELBOW

Sgt Grit,

I am a Cpl (0311) currently deployed to the Philippines. While on my off time, I came upon an article in the Marine Corps times on the new tattoo policy. The Corps has just come out with a new order that anyone with a tattoo below their elbow, or have an excessive amount of tattoos are not going to be accepted into the Marine Corps. As much as I thought that was bull sh!t, I felt bad for those trying to enter the Corps, and could not. As I read further into the article, I read about a former active duty Marine, who dislike the civilian life and decided to re-enter active service. Well the corps has denied his re-entrance because of the Tattoos he had received while on active duty. Now I was out raged once I read this because I was planning on getting out for a little while to complete college, and was going to re-enter active duty once college was over. Well now this rule effects me! I think that for a service which started in a Tavern, and expects men of our service to be a little rougher, tougher and bolder then the rest of the services, this tattoo crap is none sense. Since when does body art effect the way we conduct our selves, and hinder our ability to do our jobs? I can understand that certain body art which may be offensive to race(Nazi symbols, etc)may be an exception. But come on, this is going to far. This just goes to show you where we are headed today in the Corps. I have been schooled in SOI, Infantry Squad Leaders Course, and Scout school, and a few other infantry schools and now because of the tattoos which will be seen when I wear my khaki shirt(which I have wore about three times since I have been in) will decide whether or not I can re join the most awesome organization in the world. I don't know how others feel about this, but pretty soon, it's going to start effecting many former Marines who want back in.

Semper Fi
Cpl Froncillo
0311/USMC

REALLY ALL ABOUT

To all of the Marines and their wives at the Kilo 3/9 reunion in San Antonio I'd like to say Thank you for your thoughtfulness. I was taken to the ER at a San Antonio hospital the morning of our intended departure with food poisoning. Several of the guys and their wives either came to the hospital or called to check on me before they left for their own homes. You have no idea how that gave me a new insight into what Marines are really all about!! Again thank you and see you next year. By the way I'm fine now and back at work.

Sharon Krukewitt

KEEP OFF THE GRASS

True memories of Parris Island Nov'44.. When I joined Our Corps.. You'll Be Sorry !! by GySgt D.H.Newton

USMC "You'll be sorrrrrry" ! "You'll be sorrrrrry "! Were the jeers that greeted me.
As off that Tonerville Trolly, I raced at Yamasee.
"Keep off the grass!!" Keep off the grass"! Bellowed that slim tanned man.
But for the life of me, all I could see was sand , sand, sand.
Up until that day of life of strife.
It was the longest in my life. There would be others worse, during my years of roames,
But that I'll cover later, in some of my other poems.
On this first day "DI" Rosen, took us to be deloused,
Which of course would take place in a Quonset House.
On entering, we were told that The Legend was there, and was temporarily in charge.
And we could look, but not speak, as we ran pass, The Old Sarge.
At that split second, I knew what I would do.
I would pause and say "adieu"
Not many know of this great man it seems,
So what ! , we knew him, his fellow Marines.
As I ran near him, I stopped, I had forgot.
"Keep moving you knucklehead", and a boomdocker, on my rump I got.
Friends, Islands, caves and beaches have now gone, and rest, at long last I have had luck to find.
But not one day do I remember more clearly, then when MasterGunnerySgt Lee Diamond kicked me on my behind.

GunnyNewtonUSMC

MAKING A MOVIE IS BORING

My ITR company was in a couple of the outdoor scenes in the DI. Cpl. John Brown was a mean little s...t!

We were a salty bunch, out of boot camp about a month and were lollygagging around Jack Webb's movie location waiting to go on. He screwed up while calling us to attention and a few of us were standing there with smirks on our faces.

Brown went right into his DI platoon and among the things he told us was, "I can have you right back down there." That got us sober very quickly.

It was an interesting experience and one that made me know for certain I wasn't cut out to be in the movies--too short of an attention span. Movie watching is fun and exciting. Making a movie is boring.

One other thing: The core group of recruits who were in the movie were Hollywood Marines from MCRD San Diego. Our group, Quebec Company, 2nd ITR, was the REAL thing. We had been shipped over from Parris Island and went to Japan right after training.

I have a copy of The DI on VCR and it's entertaining to show my grandkids how their "Papaw" looked when he was an 18 year old killer.

Kent Mitchell, Corporal, 56-60.

BOB HOPE

THANKS BOB HOPE FOR SUPPORT IN VIET NAM WHEN IT WAS UNPOPULAR WAR ,AND USMC MARINES AND OTHER ARMED FORCES WERE DYING AND OUT IN JUNGLES GETTING EXPOSED TO AGENT ORANGE.MY HAT GOES OFF TO YOU AND ALL YOUR USO GROUP.

SGT. PHIL WATFORD USMC VIET NAM 1968-69


Dear Sgt. Grit.

Caught Bob Hope In Japan 1950 Recuperating in Tokyo. A great show featuring in addition Marilyn Maxwell. He never let the troops down.. He deserved a Marine escort into heavens gates.

PFC Phil Grafe G-3-7


Sgt. Grit,

I was one of the lucky ones who were able to see MR. HOPE and his USO show. I was on my last two months in Chu Lai (I rotated home in early Feb 69) when this great man blessed and honored us with his 68 Christmas show. I can remember MS. Ann Margaret, Mr. Rosie Greer, Miss. World (Miss Australia), MR. Jerry Colona as if it was just yesterday. The impression that he made not only on me; but upon the other thousands of my brother Marines, and our other brothers and sisters in uniform is indescribable. We, not only as a nation, but as a whole world on July 26 2003 lost a man of great stature, comedy, and humanity. I have a picture from my local paper hanging up in my office, with MR. HOPE with angels wings standing in front of a large group of servicemen saying; " When I got up here, I told Saint Peter that I didn't have any idea how to spend eternity...He said Just wing it...." "But, seriously, it's really great to be with all of you terrific guys and gals again...."
DATED BOB HOPE 1903-2003

It kind of says it all. I know it brought tears to my eyes when I saw it
John R. Wright
U.S.M.C. 4/66-12/69 (Actually Forever)
R.V.N. 12/67-2/69


For The Kids of the 30s & 40s..we all remember sitting by the BIG ass radios, with Grampaw & Gramaw. {and a note here} [listening to The Bob Hope & Francis Langford Shows.. Especially when Uncle Floyd was a POW in Stalag VIIA & XIIA (44-45).. Yes & holding Gramaws hand.tightly.]

Ed W. NICHOLLS
SSgt-USMC, 1273428
CWO-USArmy Ret.
USMC: RVN '65-'66/'69-'70
K 3/3; RLT-7; BLT 3/3
H 2/3; SLF Bravo; SLF 2/3; 1stCAG;
USMC-IIIMAF-CID..USACIDC
[former LAPD 59-64]
I walked with giants

DARK BROWN BAG

These must be the new MRE's. The ones I ate when I was in were in the dark brown bag, and didn't come in any of those wonderful varieties that are listed on the survey (with the exception of spaghetti). There were 12 in a box, one of each. Now I think there's 2 or 3 different boxes (24-36 meals?) Any plans on a survey for the older ones?

Heath Hunter
Cpl USMC

OLD CORPS GUYS WILL UNDERSTAND

I have recently come to realize that the further I get from the Corps, the closer to it I become. This is something that the "Old Corps" guys will understand and that the "boots" will learn about.

I'm a Viet Vet, 66-67, 69-70 and I consider the three years, eight months and three days, not that I was counting, as the single most defining time of my life. When people ask if I was in the military or if I was in the service I say "no, I was and still am a Marine." The Marine Corps is a totally unique fraternity that molds boys into more than men, they're made into "Marines."

I was a grunt on my first tour in Nam, D/1/26 and was medivaced out of Khe Sanh shortly before things became really interesting. My second tour was as a Sentry Dog handler and my partner, King 1A90, is still in Nam. Unfortunately I can't remember most of the guys names that I served with and my counselor helped me get through the fact that I can't remember the names of a number of the guys that died there. Their faces will always be with me and I will always honor them.

PTSD is a bear but if that is part of the price for being a Marine then "bring it on." I have far more positive memories than nightmares. We Viet Vets are no different than those that served in other wars. It was hell, but a hell worth going through to keep this country free.

I would gladly have went through Desert Storm or Enduring Freedom even though I am now a bit out of shape, over weight and have titanium knees. I've had my turn and know that I can sleep well because today's Marines are guarding my front and back side as well as my flanks.

I saw a true American hero, Bob Hope on Christmas Day, 1969 in DaNang and that was one of the highlights of my time on active duty. I know that he is surrounded by Marines in heaven because they wouldn't have it any other way.

Marines will guard Heaven and take over Hell but only after doing their best for the Corps, God, Country and Family.

Semper Fi Mac!
Butch Stuart, One proud Marine!

PROUDEST POSSESSION

Just this past Friday I was shopping a my local grocery store. I had on my "Once a Marine Always a Marine-Semper Fi" cover. As I was passing my favorite aisle (ice cream) I heard an unmistakable "Semper Fi".

I soon found myself in a conversation with an "Old timer" 1950-53 who served in the air wing at Cherry Point, N.C. He even showed me his proudest possession from his wallet, a leather patch with his name and United States Marine Corps with the propeller in the center embossed in gold. We talked about the "brotherhood" of Marines. Whether a combat vet or a peace time server there is no distinction we are all Marines. Not a title to be taken lightly.

I know the training I received was most beneficial in my civilian career as a State Trooper. And the friends I made are life long friends.

Semper Fi
LCpl. Richard J. "Finner" Kane

SWEET MARIE

Sgt Grunt:

In my August Leatherneck I read a very good letter from a Marine regarding the Marine Corps salute. It reminded me of my Senior DI's instructions at Parris Island in October 1942: "When you people salute, I had best see your upper right arm in a perfect horizontal position, your right elbow and armpit straight out to your side, your right forearm at a 45 degree angle up to the front edge of your cover, your fingers tight against each other, all five, your hand straight in line with your forearm. You are not waving at Sweet Marie! You are executing a Marine Corps salute! If I ever see you doing it any other way, you'll be on piss and punk (bread and water) for the duration! You WILL do it THIS way, period! And I mean for the rest of your life, not just for today! Understand, people?!?" I understood. When I see some salutes these days, I think of Sweet Marie first, then Sgt McCoy.

Orville B. King, Carmichaels, PA.

3rd MARINES SCOUT/SNIPER PLT

Upcoming reunion. 3rd Marines Scout/Sniper Plt. (Viet Nam), 6-8 Feb 2004, Las Vegas, NV. Contact Jim O'Neill, 760-749-2792 or taraniall@msn.com

Thanks, Semper Fi, Jim O'Neill

THAT'S MY BOY

In one of the earlier letters we received from him he told us how "Cool" Pugil Sticks were. That has been his favorite event next to swimming and M16 assemble/disassemble. Anyway, one day they were doing Pugil Sticks on this bridge thing (as my son called it) and he hit a guy so hard he made him bleed! As I was reading the letter aloud to my husband I paused at that part and said "Yeees! That's my boy!" My husband just looked at me and shook his head!

Oohrah! Proud Marine Mom-to be,
Sheila Schwertz

TED WILLIAMS

Sgt. Grit,
I enjoy your newsletter. Thanks for making it available.

In your 24 July 2003 newsletter a Bill Wyant asked about Ted Williams' tour at K-3. Ted flew with either VMF115 (tail code AE) or VMF311 (tail code WL) from February 1953 until late June of 1953. (admittedly a rather short tour) Both fighter squadrons were flying F9F5 Panther Jets as part of MAG-33 and were based at K-3.

I was at K-3 from October '53 until late November '54. There were a great many stories going around about Ted and his flying. Most were supposedly from the ground crew that serviced his plane. (There had to have been an awful lot of guys on that ground crew) The stories must have grown and fermented as time passed, as they tend to do and especially at the "slop chute" over a bottle of ASAHI beer. In the winter of '53 and '54 the stories were that he would skip his pre-flight inspection of the aircraft and as a result had two "crash" landings due to hydraulic failure where he ran off the end of the runway.

I should point out that K-3 reportedly had the shortest runway in Korea and that was even after the SeaBees had added a bit to each end. So hydraulic failure usually meant brake failure and coming to a stop somewhere passed the end of the paved runway and down the rather steep embankment. Something that was not all that uncommon, as a couple photos I still have will attest. I feel quite certain of these dates of his service, but as to whether or not he was a hero, I cannot say. I can assure you he wasn't the only one to go off the end of that runway. Either end for that matter.

Also, as for Drill Instructors/Sgts. ............ I still have our graduation photo of Platoon 451 MCRD SD in the summer of 1952 and it shows Sgt. K. W. Wright, Cpl. D. W. Elkins, and PFC. O. H. Mc Clelland as our DI's. So, obviously they were not Drill Sergeants. By the way, Sgt. Wright was an E-4 and was then often called a "Buck Sgt.". There were no Lance Corporals or, for that matter, Gunnery Sgts.in the early fifties. The Marine Corps always has been able to do more with less than the Army ever thought of.

T. Stewart, USMC 1952 - 1955

THIS ONE IS BEYOND ME

Hi Sarge, Maybe you can explain something to me, How is it Jessica Lynch is awarded a Bronze star for basically not doing a d*mn thing and HM3 Michael Johnson , who was killed in action on March 25 tending to a wounded Marine, doesn't get jack sh*t.? I was in for 4 years as a Doc with the 1st and 3rd divisions and I thought I pretty much knew how the military worked, but this one is beyond me. Any of you grunts out there care to comment?

Doc Lunsford 80-84

OLD DOG

Sgt Grit, What's the scoop? No more junk on the bunk inspections, No more mess duty...I hear that they will privatize the barracks. What is wrong with the old way?

I'm Corps retired...Korea and VietNam vintage and do not understand all of the changes. The Corps has always been squared away and kept that way with the good old fashion discipline. I guess this old dog cant be taught new tricks and does not like the changes in our beloved Corps and like any other Marine have a right to B!tch once in a while. Keep up the good work and Semper-Fi

Richard A Johnson a.k.a. Bulldog
USMC/Retired

KHE SANH REUNION

SGT GRIT,

Many thanks for the competent PX you ran at Khe Sanh Vets Reunion in Charleston; really quality gear, first rate service & follow-up. I'm originally a simple Low Country Boy from Charleston and truly enjoyed what the KSV Reunion Committee put on. Parris Island has obviously changed, 'cept for the skeeters, humidity, rifle range & grinder. Unfortunately PI Museum was closed day we were there due to 4th of July holiday situation. Anybody visiting any Marine installation really should visit the museum; a lot of great Marine tradition reinforced by that. Concur w/comments that the one ISO was really not a good rep for Corps; she wanted to be elsewhere & handling us was a pain (and I can call her that since I had been a Capt. myself). Not so w/any of the real Marines that shepherded us around the base. We've got a great Marine Corps and they keep trying to make it better. And we have to be 'stand up' about it. All the best & Semper Fi,

BLACKIE

See pics of the event at http://www.grunt.com/reunionsbs.htm

TIMBUCKTOO, NEAR BIG RAPIDS, MI

Attn: Marines,

All Marines, members of area Marine Reserves, or any former Marines!! Old Corps or new Corps, WW1 or Persian Gulf/Afghanistan - we want you there! We are shooting for at least 100 couples.

Party starts at 12 noon, Sept 6-7 at Timbucktoo, near Big Rapids, MI. If we get a large enough response we will attempt to secure a block of rooms at a motel in Big Rapids, for those of us among the crowd, who prefer to rough it a little more in style!!

Bring a dish to pass for Saturday night, chips or other finger food and whatever your beverage of choice will be.

Campers/Motorhomes/Tents for those who want to Camp on the Property- folks there is plenty of acreage there to accommodate all of us. Trails to hike, lots of nature to commune with! Plenty of Room by a nice Pond. Those that wish may bring a fishing pole and enjoy the pond.

Marines may bring a guest. However, no children and no pets. Don't forget, lawn chairs & mosquito dope almost a must.

Cost is just $5 per person, and covers port-a-jon, and corn on cob. Reservations are a must by 20 Aug. Call or Contact 1st Sgt Blevins (ret) at hunttimbucktoo@yahoo.com 1-231 823 2944 or Gunner Flynn (Ret) at flynnms2@msn.com

Semper Fi,
Gunner

SHOT GUN

Sgt Grit,

I was in Platoon 253, 1st Bn, MCRD, PI from Aug - Oct 31 1956.
We had a Drill Instructor by the name , Cpl. John R. Brown who went on to make the movie the DI with Jack Webb. I know that Cpl. Brown was one hell of a Marine, but can not figure out how he was a DI for 2 Platoons at the same time. The other DI's were SSGT Camp and Sgt Jones.

I have tried many places to find out where Cpl Brown is to no avail. To me he was not only a great DI, but after boot camp became a comrade.

Ted "Shotgun" Baker
GySgt, USMC Ret
Shotgun was the name Cpl Brown gave me at the range.

A TENNER

Just got around to reading the May 30th newsletter. Seems to me like the Marine who got an "Other Than Honorable" discharge after he met some broad in the Philippines and "forgot" to come back for seven days is entitled to retain the title of Marine and should never have been discharged. Unless of course, after serving three years, there was some other reason for his discharge. Maybe the Corps has changed but that seems like a minor infraction to me. I've got a total of seven years in the Corps and while my serial number (831403) isn't the lowest, I'll bet it beats most. Incidentally after my return from the Pacific in '45, I got the normal 30 day leave. Feeling that was not adequate I wired the Commandant requesting an additional 30 days. I got a wire back granting me 14 days, but since I had asked for 30 I split the difference and took 21 days. On arriving at my new post (railroad station) late at night, I phoned the base, told them I was there and if the wanted me, come and get me. A truck duly arrived to pick up me and my sea bag. I was escorted to the Sgt. of the Guards office, who checked my orders and told me to find an empty bunk in the squad room and report to the CO in the morning. At 0800 I was at the CO's in my Greens with appropriate ribbons. He asked me why I was late reporting in and I relayed the above explanation. It was now December 31, so he asked if I wanted liberty that night. I replied in the affirmative and when he told me my liberty card (ID card) would be at the Sgt. of the Guards desk, before he dismissed me, I quickly said I was broke and needed a loan of $10 till payday. He pulled out a tenner, handed to me and told me to get the hell out of his office.

Sgt. Walter Dodd 5/43-5/46 and 5/49-5/53

AN ACQUIRED TASTE

C Rats. Delicious, fantastic, good for you. Everything a growing boy would need. YEAH RIGHT> The only way that we could eat Ham and M/F was to cover them in a Barbeque sauce that some Gunny Sergeant brought back from the rear. I swear that this goo was delicious. I know that it had to be an acquired taste but what the hell, whoever said that a Marine was the Sharpest Knife in The Drawer. I did not gain any weight while we were up on the Mountain, but for the Grace of God, I did not lose any either. I even thought about cooking a rat. They were big enough and as all the Yankee Guys thought, us Southerners would eat a Possum, so why not a rat. My how times have changed.

Ron Shouse
Khe Sanh class of 67/68
God Bless our Bros that did not make it.

MOTOR T HAD ITS GOOD POINTS

On October 17, 1961 my platoon, number 151, REGIMENTAL HONOR PLATOON. I graduated from MCRD San Diego and became a US Marine. My first duty station was with A company, 3rd Motor Transport Bn. 3rd MarDivision.

I was assigned an MOS of 3531 motor vehicle operator. I had a gun truck, so my A driver and myself always carried two cases of C rations in our truck. We would take cases of rations remove the beans and donkey......... keep the fruit, along with beef steak and potatoes.

Being in Motor T had its good points. For cooking the rats, I used the cracker can and dipped it into the fuel tank about half full. then a couple hands full of dirt and bingo, you had a cook stove. The grunts use to come begging for gas, and we had to turn them down.

I still have my old P38 issued to me at the Marine Corps Rifle Range, Camp Matthews, California, in 1961,
Semper fi,
JD Markley Sgt forever.

REGARDLESS OF THE MEAL

It is interesting to find that marines had and looked for their favorite c-rat meals. When I was stationed in the Nam as a young Marine private we looked for b-1, b-2, b-3, etc. as that denoted which ones had the can of fruit or the candy. As time has marched on I can't recall which one had the can of fruit but that was the one regardless of the meal contents we all strived to get. After all the meals were barley edible anyways.

CSM(ret) Gary Crooker

SHORT ROUNDS

I haave been reading the articles on the closing of El Toro MCAS.

I was there in 1944, and we were living in tents. I was with VMSB 464. Had a tour in the 80, and it had changed so. I hated to see it close.

Semper Fi
George "MAC" MacKender


"Quality of Life is making sure you and your Marines have one at the end of the day."


--Major F. G. Mittag, USMC


"They're 20 feet tall and invincible. That's why the company commanders have to keep telling them to wear their flak jackets, helmets and gas masks. Most of them are itching to go out and fight someone."

-- Maj. Gen. Jan Huly, speaking of Marines in Kuwait


Thank you, Sgt. Grit, for making me proud everyday to have served my country. Also, my neighbor, Ralph Willis (My Life as a Jarhead), makes me proud each day to have served as a Marine. Outstanding information.

Dick Vara

"My Life as a Jarhead"


My rifle failed me twice in combat in Viet-Nam. Apparently with the situation surrounding The Jessica Lynch situation the faulty rifle situation was never corrected. What the hell is going on?

FA


Had a Gunny, in Korea, that asked a poignantquestion!!

Why give a person a medal for doing their job??

Think about it!!!!

SF
NC


The future Devil Dawg Brandon Matthew was born on July 14th at 9:36 pm and weighed 6lbs. 4 oz. and was 18 inches long.

The proud parents are Brian Young and Denise Toebes


Welcome Home Marines!!
Job Well Done!!
Semper fi!!
Sgt Grit

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