The longer I live the prouder I am of being a Marine.
Platoon Sgt, Jim Broderick 1941/ 1945.
A "Pearl Harbor Avenger"
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A GOOD TIME TO GET THOSE GOOSE BUMPS
Morning Troops,I was just reading the news letters and messages sent to you Sgt. Grit I know you have seen my name on plenty of order forms I have sent to you for gear. However this is the first time I have sent you a letter like this. I am glad to see so many good things coming from CORPSMEN or letters about them any Marine knows just how full of FI they are. I knew a lot during my time in the Corps and one former-corpsman and myself run into one another a lot here at home he also was in country. My time in our beloved Corps was 59 thru 69 I was on the field at P.I.65 thru 67 and one thing I always took pride in was talking to the platoons right after taps as they first hit the sack. A good time to get those goose-bumps and lumps in the throat about our Corps and not just theirs for that went both ways ,still does. I would like to bring one fact up and I am sure most see this, Our Corps being the smallest(in troops) only to the Coast Gd. shows more pride think about it look at the cars go by how many stickers with something anything to do with THE CORPS now how many of any other branch. I know Sgt. Grit good business for you but,also good for us too it shows the world just who we were (and always will be), are now or in some cases those that want to be. Semper Fi to all and may you all have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and A HAPPY (228TH.) YEAR.
FAILED TO ACCOMPLISH THEIR MISSION
I was flying back from Raleigh, NC to Charlotte, NC a couple of weeks before Christmas. Our flight had about 80 passengers, about 40 of whom who were young Marines, out of basic training at Parris Island and infantry training at Camp Geiger and on their way to specialty schools. All of them were very friendly, helping the women passengers put bags up in the overhead compartment, etc. During the flight we were all talking (several rows) as I told them about my service in the Corps from '70-'74 and the woman behind us telling about her nephew who tried to get in the Corps but was unable to pass the physical. They were entertaining us with "boot camp" stories. The young man sitting next to me told us that two of his fellow recruits had tried to commit suicide due to the stress of training, one by slicing his wrists and one by slicing his neck. Both lived. He whispered to me, "They failed to accomplish the mission". While trying not to laugh (this was a serious reaction to a temporary situation), all I could say was that it was better they realize in boot camp that they were not meant to be Marines. Each of the young men we got to know on that short flight knew that they might well be in Afghanistan or Iraq sometime in the near future and each of them had the same attitude about it---they were Marines and looking forward to doing their duty.
As we landed in Charlotte and were all getting ready to go our separate ways, I gave them an "OooRah!" and got a loud "Semper Fi!" back in response. That experience reinforced for me the fact that the Corps still trains excellent Marines and that we are in good hands with the young men who join today. I feel good about the future of our Corps and I'm awfully proud of the kids who are becoming men "the simply better way".
Former Captain, USMCR
HATED IT AT THE TIME
Hello Fellow Marines and Corpsmen, as a Corpsman stationed with the Marines from 72-75 I need to say that looking back now I owe most of what I know to what I was taught while with the Corp. I may of hated it at times but in the long run it did me all the good in the world. I want to thank Capt. Dismore for getting me in the best shape of my life. I just wish I could go back and and really thank all the people that did help me. Thanks Marine Corp from this old Corpsman.
HE EVEN TALKED TO A GUY
Talked my dad (Navy, 1944-45; 1952-53) into going to Arlington this year.Took along my son (USMC 93-94) & his girlfriend. We recently lost my mom on Sept. 2002 and my dad didn't know if he really wanted to go. I told him to remember back when he was in and get ready for an all-night ride and staying awake all day.Well,he went and told me later that even though we went to 'The Wall',Korean Memorial,Lincoln & FDR Memorial & Arlington Cemetery that Iwo Jima was the best thing that day..He even talked to a guy that said his father was in the Merchant Marine and loaded ammo onto the Navy ships for the Korean War..We won't even get into the Marines from Henderson Hall that were at the Sheraton Hotel for the birthday ball..
Sgt. Grit: Your newsletter of December 20, 2002 was another winner. I particularly enjoyed the several discussions about various Hollywood and other personalities who made visits to the troops in Vietnam.
One of your writers, Mike Koontz, asked the question "Did anyone see (actor) Robert Mitchum in Vietnam?" Yes, Mike, I not only "saw" him, but I was assigned as his escort officer. So if you were there in early 1967, you not only met Mitchum, but probably me as well.
I wish I could say his visit that night was wonderful, as were most of the other celebrities I took around on "handshake tours." But I'd be stretching it if I did. To be fair, he was very tired, so the combination of fatigue and drinking earlier in the evening took its toll. Perhaps he was also living up to his tough-guy image. He was probably fine before he got to our area, but when I met him he was obviously feeling the effects of his activities and was weary. The rest of the night didn't get any better, because in every tent or hutch I would take him to he was offered even more to drink, so by the end of the evening, he was in beyond weary.
Although friendly to the troops he met, he was not what you'd call a "happy drinker." Suffice it to say the troops liked him, --they weren't exactly in a great mood that rainy night either. The fact that he even took the time to come to Vietnam was certainly to his credit. The Marines also made it clear they always liked Mitchum in the movies. He was the literal "tough guy" that gave you the impression he wasn't afraid of anyone. At least that was his image. His background supports a lot of that "image." Raised in New York City's "Hell's Kitchen," that background seemed to set the stage for the off-screen life he led. He was considered a "tough guy" in "real life" because he was not only big (over six feet) but lived up to his reputation for being "blunt." He would talk about some of his earliest movies, including the old Hopalong Cassidy Westerns. He appeared in over 120 movies, notably "My Forbidden Past," "Ryan's Daughter," "The Big Sleep," "Night of the Hunter," etc. Though he only served 8 months in the Army when drafted in WWII, he played in a number of military-oriented pictures. He was an Army Captain in "The Story of GI Joe" (Ernie Pyle's WWII stories) for which he received an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor. Then he became a Marine in "Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison," and, perhaps his best known role was as a Naval Officer in the miniseries "The Winds of War," and "War and Remembrance." He died at age 79 in 1997.
How did I get this unusual assignment? I was then a 36-year old Mustang Second Lieutenant (commissioned from MGySgt). I had the privilege and opportunity to work closely with Major General Bruno A. Hochmuth, the Third Marine Division Commander, until my tour ended on 1 September 1967. He was the only Marine Corps General (and maybe only General in any branch) to die in Vietnam. The Divisions Headquarters was based at Phu Bai, about 4-5 miles south of Hue, 35 miles north of Dong Ha, and about 50 miles north of the buffer zone (demarcation line) dividing North and South Vietnam.
General Hochmuth, an extraordinary human being and Marine at 56 was twenty years older than I was. A tall Texan and graduate of Texas A&M, he had been a Marine for some 30+ years. Quietly religious and well respected by those who knew him, he didn't curse, smoke or drink He was very understanding of the war situation and the times, and was therefore not overzealous about anything, except the well-being of his Marines. At least once a week I would get on a helicopter with him to go to the 1st Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) Division Headquarters. Sadly, on 14 November, less than two months after I left, he was killed when his helicopter crashed on one of those trips. Though reported as "accidental," recalling the hostile fire in that area in those days I have my doubts about that.
In addition to my duties as the Asst. Division Adjutant and Awards Officer, Gen. Hochmuth gave me the additional duty of "escort officer" for celebrities or dignitaries visiting the Division. Unlike World War II and its famous USO shows, celebrity visits to Vietnam were quite different. We still had our beloved Bob Hope, but then a whole new generation of entertainers, comedians, starlets and even sports personalities came over for what we called "Handshake Tours".
This new style of "entertainment" usually consisted of "visits" by individuals or very small groups. No stages, bands or open air theaters were required, nor any of the other trappings of the entertainment world which entertainers or performers normally required or were accustomed to. The celebrities arrived as plain old Joe and Mary Civilian, usually wearing the same utilities and boots we Marines wore. And like us, they were wet and cold, or hot and sweaty, depending on the season, and also up to their boots in mud and muck. They sought no special treatment, and except for being assigned an escort like me, traveled about freely to meet individual and small groups of Marines.
After checking in to a unit, assisted by their escort, they would visit the troops out in the open, or visit one tent, bunker, or "hooch" at a time. They'd stick out their hand, say, hi, I'm so-and-so, and I want you to know we all appreciate what you are doing for us in Vietnam. Troop reactions varied all over the place from "wow, I can't believe it's you" to "do you know (naming another star)" which was enough to deflate anyone's ego.
I will always treasure meeting Roy Rogers and Dale Evans in 1966. I'd grown up watching their movies, and here I had Roy and Dale "in person!" The only thing that could have improved on that would be to see "Trigger" trailing along. Dressed in their best cowboy and cowgirl regalia, six shooters and all, they looked so out of place on that cold wet night visiting a bunch of Marines in combat gear in a muddy, tented command post. But there they were, smiling, upbeat, and ever so pleasant. They were so friendly and genuine going from tent to tent for brief visits with the various men not on patrol or otherwise assigned. They would sit and just "talk" to us about their family, their adopted children, and their love for them and God. They "listened" and responded as some of the Marines related their thoughts, concerns and anxieties, and were made to feel comfortable and warm. You could "see" and "feel" how especially "honored" these Marines were by Roy and Dale's humbleness, sincerity, concern, and obvious strong religious spirit. They visited a lot of "hutches" that cold night, and despite their personal discomfort and tiredness, insisting on "just one more" visit to another tent (that turned out to be a whole lot of "just one more), warmed more hearts than they'll ever know. They succeeded in making many of us forget our loneliness and personal travails, and reminded us why we were there in the first place. We would sleep that night thinking of God, family, friends, and the good ol' USA. Roy Rogers and Dale Evans certainly brought "God's Presence" to us that night in a forlorn section of the world that many of us would rather forget about.
Other "stars" I escorted during my 1966-1967 tour included Robert Stack, Henry Fonda, Wendell Corey and Floyd Patterson. Stack, a former Navy gunnery officer in WWII and also former U.S. 20-gauge champion skeet marksman before WWII, holds the record for more than 350 consecutive skeet hits. That made for some interesting discussions, and wanted especially to ride in an "Amtrac," which I accommodated.
Corey, like Gen. Hochmuth was a tall Texan which endeared him to the General. He was an established TV star, and made my life a little more hazardous when he told the General he wanted to go "out in the bush," which resulted in my taking him to visit a returning force recon patrol.
Henry Fonda, an award winning actor and the father of the infamous Jane Fonda, like Mitchum, was content to "go around and see the guys," and seemed to enjoy it very much. Perhaps one of the more popular visitors was Olympic Gold Medalist and youngest (age 21) world heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson, who was also the first to regain his crown. The guys loved him, and he was shy and humble in joking around with them.
Though all of them were very nice, Roy and Dale stood head and shoulders above all of them in the impression they made on us. As cold as it was, they exhaled warmth, friendliness and love, and literally mesmerized us with their presence and their genuine concern and feelings for their fellow man. I had the pleasure and privilege to hear many of their stories as we went from hut to hut, since they knew they had to shorten their time in some of them in order to make as many visits to Marines as they could.
So this is a long way around to answer your question, Mike, but I think these other visits will give a lot of other Marines a good idea of who and what kind of celebrities took the time to visit with us and say "well done." To all of them, I'm sure I send the thanks of Marines everywhere for the minute, hour or day they made us forget our problems, and enjoy the thoughts of home and loved ones.
WHEN THE HYMN BEGAN TO PLAY
Good evening Sgt Grit, and Marines!
I attended my first Marine Corps Birthday Ball just this year, and in our detachment, we have a Corpsman as a full member who saw a great deal of action in Viet Nam. When the Hymn began to play, this Corpsman bowed his head as did we all, and he began to weep. As I was standing there, I, (who have never seen combat), could not even begin to image what he had seen, the blood spilled, the lives saved, and the lives lost. He was sobbing as a parent would sob for their lost child, or as a sibling losing a sibling. I could scarcely imagine how close he came to his Marines, and that by dodging bullets, shrapnel, and above all else, hopelessness, I could imagine him in no other place, recognized as a brother to us all. To him and all others, we should give thanks, and welcome them without prejudice.
Semper Fidelis, Doc!
Dr. Andrew S. Berry
MCL Life Member
ALMOST LIKE WE HAD JUST FINISHED OUR WATCH
Over the past few years there has been a number of articles in your newsletters about looking up old buddies. Well, months ago, Cpl. Fred Simpson, formerly with the American Embassy, Baghdad, Iraq, decided to see if he could find any on his former watch standers. He managed to find Cpl. Bill Crawley, in Canada, Sgt (later Major) Ken Gardner, in VA, Sgt. Pete Sabat, in PA( later a CWO, USA) and myself, in GA.
This year we all got together at Arlington Ridge for the Birthday ceremony. Then on Sunday we had a reunion at Ken's house. My son, Cpl Doug (a former grunt), was with me, and a bit in awe of the exploits of Major (Retired) Gardner. The really neat thing about it was we all got a beer and sat down and picked up where we left off 42 years ago. Other than the fact that we are in our 60's, it was almost like we had just finished our watch, returned to the Marine House, gotten a beer, and started chatting about the our watch or whatever. Only bump in the road was that Pete Sabat could not be with us.
These Marines are closer now than they ever were. And there is no way we will wait another 40 years to be together again.
Semper Fidelis and Merry Christmas Marines
Gary McAlpin aka Major Mustang (former Sgt and watch stander)
Note: I keep telling you find your buddies. It will be one of the OUTSTANDING events of your life. Do it, NOW!! Or give me 20. I even have a page to help you. What do you want me to do dial the phone and write the letters for you. Semper fi, Sgt Grit
AND AGAIN ABOUT REUNIONS
I want to tell you what a great site to visit. Our reunion has been going on for the last 17 years, and we started from 9 marines in the same co. and plt. back in 75 We are now 456 strong with about 75 to 80 attending each year at a diff. lz each yr. Our web master Richard Hoffman has designed a great site to visit also http://members.tripod.com/Lima35 If you got the time ,come and visit semper-fi
WORST MOM EVER
Dear Sgt. Grit,
This is for the "Worst Mom Ever"
Ma'am, my name is Recruit McAfee from OKC, and frankly I think what you did for your son was the best thing you could have done for him. I am not a Marine yet, but I will be soon. I hope that my Mother would do the same for me in that situation, in fact I know she would. The fact that you took the time to contact your son at Boot Camp proves that you love him very much and want more than anything for him to succeed. I can't exactly speak for your son, but I can tell you that what you did would help keep me motivated. Recruits don't need sympathy, we need a few tough Drill Instructors and an even tougher Mom at home rooting for us. I can almost guarantee that when your son comes home a proud Marine he will thank you for what you did. I think you did the right thing. Keep up the good work.
LOOK AROUND AT THE MALLS
My son is a new Marine who graduated in September of last year. I was luck enough to attend a teachers workshop at Paris Island before he went to camp. I was very impressed with the way the Marines have designed a training program to show your men who have ability to bring it out and become a young MAN. No matter what recruits may think of the Drill Instructors, they watch over each recruit male or female and take on more responsibility than we as parents could ever have had. They are changing their thought process and making them see what they are all about. Of course they train them the way they want them to be also but that's why people all over the world fear the United States Marines. That is also why you can tell someone that spent time in the Marines and other that loafed on corners, lived off their parents and didn't leave home until they were in their late 20's and bad mouth everything. Look at a Marine and look around at the Malls and see what you would want keeping your freedom and who you would want to fight beside you. I was in the United States Air Force in the 60's. I admit, you could tell the difference of who was who. Parents should be aware, the United States Marine Corps do more for your son or daughter in 13 weeks for their future and identity than we could do in 18 years. The Corps has a lot to offer at all levels and they will always take care of their Marines forever. God Bless our Marines and remember, they believe they are doing it for us.
Semper Fi, H Lane
HERE IS PROOF
That's right! Although technically Corpsman are Navy but when attached to the Marines they justly wear the Marine uniform. These men we call "Docs" also have earned the title U.S. Marine. They live, eat and sleep with us in the field especially in combat. They don't have the time to protect themselves because they risk their life - Yes, RISK their life to save ours! Here is proof: My first cousin was a Corpsman in Nam, he came home with the prestigious Navy Cross, 2 Purple Hearts, and a Navy Commendation! He was agood Marine Corpsman. He justly earned the Navy Cross by going to the aid of a fallen Marine while under very heavy fire in Quang Nagai, Vietnam on 21, March 1966. After he made sure the Marine stopped leeding while dodging bullets Doc. Gillespie picked up the Marine to carry him to safety but took a round in the head. Marine Corpsman Gillespie left a wife who sent him a Dear John while in Nam and two little children a boy and girl age 2 & 3 who never saw their father ever again. As a Marine and a machine-gun team Leader I got out of the Corps some months before my cousin was killed. It bothers me that I was not there to give him cover. Docs Knispel, Wilson and Michael Morris we salute you and all our brother Marine Corpsmen. We owe you are life and respect, love and profound gratitude - Semper Fi! Sailor & Marines! I would appreciate anyone who would know of my cousin to get back to me. Gillespie was with D Co. 1-4 in Nam. Thank y'all and God's Blessings!
Cpl. B Digan USMC 1965
The Albert Schwab Detachment, of the Marine Corps League in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, has offered to provide our new Eagle Scouts with a Marine Corps League commendation certificate. The commendation certificate notes that Eagle Scouts exhibit good citizenship qualities consistent with the ideals of the Marine Corps. We recently presented commendations to two of our Eagle Scouts during our monthly Boy Scout Round-Table in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. The presentation took place immediately after our opening flag ceremony, which the two Eagle Scouts presented. The commendation certificates were presented to Eagle Scouts Ryan Murray and Mitch Neely. SSgt. Stewart Giles, USMC ret. presented the certificates to the two Eagle Scouts. Stewart is the Sr. Vice Commandant of the Albert Schwab Detachment of the Marine Corps League. Our local Marine Corps recruiter, SSgt. Robert Perkovich congratulated the Eagle Scouts and briefly updated the attendees to the fact that Marine Corps recruits, who are Eagle Scouts, perform very well during recruit training.
Stewart has offered to present commendation certificates at the Eagle Scout Courts of Honor. The Court of Honor is held in order to formally present the Scout with his Eagle Scout credentials. I am a member of the Twin Arrows District Eagle Advancement committee and assist with Eagle Scout Service Project approvals and Eagle Scout boards of review. Our District will finish 2002 with 46 Eagle Scouts. Parents and other attendees are always impressed when they attend a function where a Marine, in dress blues, makes a presentation to a young man. The Boy Scout organization has lately had some PC detractors and support from organizations like the Marine Corps and the Marine Corps League help counter some of the very vocal PC supporters.
Lastly, one of the Eagle Scouts, mentioned above, is considering joining the military after high school graduation. Commendations, by Marine Corps organizations, might allow some Eagle Scouts to become more familiar with the Marine Corps.
Thank you, Marine Corps League, for your support of Eagle Scouts.
George Cripps--Tulsa, Oklahoma
MARINE x 3
Happy Holidays to all Marines far and near, God bless you all. I was the second of three Marines in the Keith family, My father was in the Marine Corps when I was born, ( so I had to be a Marine ). My Son is in the Marine Corps now. I have a tattoo that started USMC which I received while I was in the Marine Corps. Then one night my son called from boot camp and told me what faze he was in and I knew he was going to make it. That night I had a dream about adding to my tattoo. In my dream I added Semper Fi From my father to my Son. I now have that on my right upper arm and I am dam proud of it. By the way we all have the same name Donald G Keith Sr. Jr. III
Semper Fi Sgt DGKeithJr. USMC 70-74
THE CORPS IS STILL MAKING THEM LEAN AND MEAN
The Associated Press
MONTGOMERY, Ala.(AP) - A Marine sergeant based in North Carolina who servedin Afghanistan earlier this year shot and killed a would-be carjacker. Sgt. James C. Lowery, 22, returned fire after being shot in the face in the drive-thru lane of a fast-food restaurant. He was listed in fair condition Thursday at a Montgomery hospital. His father, James Eugene Lowery, said the bullet hit his son in the top left cheek and stopped near his voice box. "He comes back from Afghanistan safe and whole. Then he comes home on leave to have rest and peace and this happens," the father said.
Police said Lowery got out of his Chevrolet Suburban when approached by a gunman in the drive-thru lane of a McDonald's restaurant Tuesday night. The gunman shot Lowery, who was then able to get his .45-caliber pistol from the car and shoot his assailant multiple times. Dead at the scene was Thaddeus Antone, 19, of Montgomery.
The fatal shooting is viewed as self-defense and no charges were filed, police spokesman Lt. Huey Thornton said. It will be reviewed by a grand jury following routine procedure.
Lowery, who was on leave until Sunday, serves with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252, based at the Marine Corps Air Station at Cherry Point, N.C.
Lowery's father said the unit flies tankers than can refuel aircraft in flight. Lowery, who got married in January, went to Afghanistan a week later and served there for about two months.
Three quick ones.
Sept66 Oct67 FLC Danang. Driving a jeep, picked up a hitchhiker. Martha Raye. Started to take her to the O Club. No thank you, take me to the EM Club. She did an impromptu hour and a half. The stayed to drink beer with the boys.
Second time. I was security chief. Escorted Martha Raye into the EM Club for a scheduled performance. Looking down from the makeshift stage, she saw the seating arrangements. Officers up front, then SNCO's, then junior enlisted. She left the stage, walked to the back of the hall, the troops cleared a place for her, she did another hour and a half, and stayed again to drink beer with the boys.
Third. Nancy Sinatra, following her performance wanted to go to the john. We passed by one, painted pink, just outside the EM Club, on our way to the VIP john. She wanted that one, because it was closer. I told her no, that one was for Martha Raye. She looked around, found an officer and complained to him. The Major told her, the troops built it, and painted it, and named it Martha's Outhouse. He was afraid of a possible mutiny if he authorized anyone else to use it.
Martha Raye was a LADY that no Marine who had been there, done that, will ever forget.
1st Sgt USMC
CHRISTMAS IN THE CORPS
Christmas in the Corps. My first was in 1941 in boot camp at PISC,the fun had begun.Christmas day 42 we spent the day in a warehouse in Pago Pago American Samoa painting over the label on wooden cases of cigarettes "From American Red Cross for American Prisoners of War" and stenciling on the cases "To PXO Strawhat." Which was the code for British Samoa, where I was being assigned to 22d Marines. We had the privilege of buying some of those cigarettes for 50 cents a carton. If they were moldy when you opened the carton, you owned them no refunds. Many cartons were. Christmas 45 I had just arrived back in the states from S. Pacific. I was at Quantico, we had a terrific snow and ice storm and we spent the day on the back of trucks shoveling sand on the streets of MCB Quantico. Many other Christmas's come to mind, Oki a couple times, HQMC, Greece, Miami, CLNC. Comments allegedly credited to Marilyn Monroe. I heard the same things credited to Eleanor Roosevelt in WWII. I have serious doubts she ever said such a thing. It is another one of those tales that get recycled over the years, with a new version.
Ref Bob Hope, I had the pleasure seeing him at the Gravel Pit on Guadalcanal in 1944 and at Camp Courtney Okinawa in 57. While I was in a Navy Hospital in May 45 on Tinian recuperating from wounds from the Okinawa campaign, Gertrude Lawrence, the British actress, came thru the Quonset Hut wards visiting with us. She had the knack of making every one smile and singled out the most seriously wounded to talk to. It was really appreciated. Sgt Grit this is too long, edit it if you wish.
S/F, Francis K. "Huck" Wetzel USMC
This is in answer to Tom T's note about Marilyn Monroe. I don't know who may of claimed she said " Marines are a bunch of under paid, over sexed, teenage killers." But there is no way I or any Marine who left from San Diego for Korea will admit to that, nor any of the fellows she wrote to. She always claimed on the docks and on TV. That "THE MARINES WERE HER BOY'S", and she NEVER missed a sailing from San Diego if Marines were on the ships. I'm dam proud to have known her.
Dick J, cpl
"Marines are a bunch of under paid, over sexed, teenage killers"
The story I heard from my brother, Cpl. Edward L. Gallagher Jr., a Korean Marine was this:
In 1951 while Marines waited on the docks in San Diego, CA to board ship for Korea a guest speaker arrived. As they came through the assembled Marines they had to break ranks to get to the speakers stand.
One enterprising Marine "Goosed" the speaker as they passed through ranks.
On the stand she made the infamous statement "The Marine Corps is nothing but a bunch of under paid, over sexed, teenage killers!" All Marines cheered as Eleanor Roosevelt left the dock
Marine 56 - 64
ALL IN THE FAMILY
I am a female Maine stationed at Camp Lejeune. My husband is a Marine as well. This letter is not about myself or my husband. It is about my Mother. She has supported me 100% from the beginning. I will be leaving the Corps in September because I believe I gave what I had and now it is time to pursue other things in life. My husband will remain in so I will still live the Marine Corps lifestyle. Ok this is about my Mom right.... Anyway, she doesn't want me to exit the Marine Corps. I want her to know my time in the Corps has been extremely rewarding but extremely challenging. I will carry forever what I have learned in the Corps. I will always stand a little taller when I hear the National Anthem. I appreciate the loyalty my Mom has shown to the Corps. I want her to know that I love and miss her and technically I will just be leaving active duty because "once a Marine always a Marine" right??? Sgt Grit is you put this in your newsletter my Mom is sure to read it because she is extremely motivated about the Marine Corps and digests anything and everything about it. Thank you.
Semper Fi Mama
Cpl Traci M Dash
THEN TO TOP IT ALL OFF
It seems we remember the dammed things this time of year. I was just a L/cpl at the time, we had been in the 'root about 2 months after a short side trip to Grenada. I was pulling the sh*tter detail one day, you salts will remember the diesel sh*tter detail, take a book and nose plugs !! well my squad leader came by to tell me that a news crew from my home area was doing interviews for everyone back home, I said my part and made the 1800 news back home on Christmas eve, then to top it all off, It was Christmas Day and I was pulling duty out on the line manning the .50 when our CO, who was one nutty s.o.b to begin with, but cool as h*ll !! came by dressed as Santa doing mail call for the guys on post, how he got the suit is beyond me, but he gave me the best "present I ever got , a letter from my dad, it was the first time I really heard from him in almost 15 years, I was mad as h*ll at first, but the spirit of the season got to me, Been best buds ever since...It really is a time of forgiving...
Semper Fi to all Marines, past, present and future.
WE WERE DENIED ENTRY
Wanted to share a little story about an Air Force chow hall experience. In Jan 1987, a group of us Motor T Marines saddled up from Camp Courtney in our Humvees before dawn and traveled down to Kadena Air Base Okinawa to pick up some cargo arriving later in the morning. Well we sat around most of the morning next to the tarmac awaiting this transport plane, watching (bonus!) a SR-71 make a landing, when noon was approaching, we informed the 2nd Lt that none of us had had breakfast that day. Well he immediately sprung into action and arranged for us to eat at the nearest chow hall. We left 2 Marines to watch the Humvees while the rest of us marched over to eat. At the door, where we were presenting our chow cards, we were denied entry by the Air Force mess Sgt. He said the last time Marines had come to his chow hall they had wrecked the place and reached into the aquarium and grabbed fish from it and ate them raw sushi style hehe. But the mess Sgt was outranked by our 2nd Lt thus we were able to dine in luxury in Kadena's chow hall.
Cpl Hale 86-90 recalled to active duty 21 days Feb-Mar 91
EMOTIONAL TWO DAYS
On 19 December, 2002 my family and I attended the ceremony where my Grandson received his Eagle, Anchor and Globe at MCRD, San Diego. Fifty years ago on 27 December I had graduated from MCRD, San Diego.
One statement was repeated throughout our two day stay was "Once a Marine Always a Marine". Not ex, former, veteran or any other misnomer but "Marine". It made me feel welcomed and appreciated, that I was still a part of the Corps.
It was an especially emotional two days, it was the proudest and toughest two days of my life. It was comforting to see a Master Gunnery Sgt. whose son also graduated that day along with a Sgt. Major who had two sons in the Corps (one graduating and another stationed at Camp Pendleton). Air Force General Chuck Yeager was Honored at the graduation ceremony, his grandson was also graduating. My grandson is in good company. The tradition carries on.
Over the years there may have been some changes at MCRD but I was glad to see that much has remained the same.
H. Frederick, Sgt. of Marines
THEY KNOW WHO THEY ARE
Dear Sgt. Grit,
I have been reading your newsletter for a few months now and I would like to put my spin on things.
I was treated by Corpsmen while serving in the Corp and they seemed to care a lot for us Marines. I also had some throw my records away instead of putting them into my file. I like the good ones and dislike the bad ones. they know who they are.
While serving in the Corp I met officers who were concerned about the men and some who didn't give a sh*t about us. I like the good ones and dislike the bad ones--they know who they are. We were served horse meat in the chow hall at new river air station for years and they called it roast beef. I knew better but the others didn't believe me. The nco in charge was arrested approx. 12 years after I got my honorable discharge---they called it inferior meat--I know what it was. I like the good cooks and dislike the bad--they know who they are.
I was not allowed to eat chow in the chow hall because I was wearing the flight uniform I was issued by the corps--they know who they are.
I was rifle whipped at Edson range California by my platoon commander--I was given the decision to send him to the brig, or nam or anything I desired--I chose to have them forget the whole thing and I proved to him that I still was a qualified expert the next day at qualification--he knows who he is--on his behalf I must say that I was the only one in the platoon to smoke a cigar after the qualification. He gave it to me and lit it for me--I wish him the best.
I met a lot of good men in the Corp and a few bad ones--they know who they are.
I have visited with some of my ole buddies in the last few years and they are still pretty much the same. We love our country and are still willing to fight for it, although we don't have a lot of fight left in us.
As I scan this news letter of yours I see that most of the fellow Marines who use it are Gung Ho and look down on the other branches of the service--some of this is justified and some is misplaced--they know who they are.
My dad served in wwII, and again in Korea, as an army medic. no one is more patriotic than him, including myself. He is 83 years old and still willing to fight for this country. Not all of his generation is willing to do the same--they know who they are.
So, in a nut shell--the Corp is made up of good men and not so good men--they know who they are, and the other branches are made up of the same--they know who they are.
It seems like a waste of time to even discuss it! doesn't the country have enough to deal with without it?
Jamey Jamison, ole Marine, 2 nd Marine air wing, HMM-162, 68-72
HE WAS A PATRIOT
Dear Sgt Grit,
I am writing to tell you that my family had to say goodbye to a good Marine and Dad on Saturday, Jan 4. His name is Mickey Sutherland. He passed away on Sunday, Dec 29 after a heroic fight against cancer. He was a patriot who loved his country and his family. He fought in Vietnam in 1966-67. He made it back to his home and started a family that loves him and will miss him very much. My greatest memory of him will always be the time I stood next to him at the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. I was so proud of him and what he stood for and for the father he was to me and my brothers. Dad was there when I graduated from Boot Camp in April, 1994 and for my eventual graduation from the Police Academy in Virginia in 1998. I know that Dad will be with me always. I am who I am today because of my Dad.
Semper Fi Dad, I Love You.
Sgt Casey R Sutherland
Not too long ago my 3 year old grand-daughter came into the den where I was sitting and looked at my small replica of the Flag raising statue the I have.
She asked..." Grand-pa" why are those men fighting over that flag?' PRICELESS !
ALAN WARE, Sgt of Marines (52 - 55}
Considering my email was the opening item in last weeks newsletter (Dec 20th), I forwarded it to my new wife. With a puzzled response she congratulated me, but stated, "This whole newsletter cracks me up. You all speak in code....and I have yet to decipher it". WHAT code, it all makes sense to me! Sgt. P.W. Long 1974-78
Welcome Home, Job well done!!!!