Brotherhood is what it's all about..we are all brother's to the end..
Cpl. Joseph A. Francis
Nam,67-67 Bronze Star Combat V,
Purple Heart..Point man
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PROUD TO DO THE JOB
"Not all U.S. troops are frustrated with their peacekeeping role in Iraq (front page, Washington Post, June 20). My son is a U.S. Marine in Iraq, and he is proud of the job the Marines have done and are continuing to do there. Because of all the training they received before the war, the Marines are able to resolve most tense situations in Iraq peacefully. My son and his fellow Marines want to come home as much as the soldiers quoted in The Post's article do, but as my son said to me in a recent e-mail, "Marines, we do the job no matter what."
(submitted to Letters to the Editor, The Washington Post,
June 24, 2003 by Gigi Pilcher, Ketchikan, Alaska)
Just maybe, the local civilian population knows of the Marines reputation for appropriate and effective reaction to problem issues...and takes their attitude elsewhere.
Mustang Major of Marines
HE CAN'T UNDERSTAND WHY
Ya'll will get a kick out of this...
I go to the Corona United Methodist Church (CA) every Sunday to report to Sky Six for my weekly Frag Orders, SitReps, and working party assignments for whatever working parties have been posted. I started taking my big green M37B1 for the various trash hauls, hay rides, and other duties that the Police Sergeant assigned me. I've got SgtMaj Ed Lukemeyer, USMC, Ret., keeping an eye on me... Well, I traded the M37B1 for an M151A2 MUTT (that's the last jeep any of us drove before the HummVees showed up... Now the good reverend at our facility, Sky Five, is quite the liberal dove. He can't understand why we even need a military (I've given up trying to explain it to him,) and while we have fundamentally differing viewpoints, we have agreed to disagree, and are on quite cordial terms. The other day, however, I heard something from a source far removed from my place of worship, guaranteed to make the good reverend go up in flames... Somebody happened to mention the Corona United Methodist Church in passing, and somebody else chimed in, "That's the church with the Marine jeep parked there on Sunday..." All I could think was that we were the only House of God with tactical motor vehicle support... The next thing I want to do is outfit the MUTT with a radio, and then spread the word that times, they're a'changin', and that's the FO vehicle for Sky Six's Fire Direction Control Center, so mind yer Ps and Qs...
Semper Fi, and Keep the Faith,
FOR SALE: MCAS EL TORO
Sgt. Grit -
I noticed, in the June 11, 2003 edition of the Wall Street Journal, an advertisement in the business real estate section titled "For Sale - Former Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro - 3,700 plus or minus Acres in Orange County, California". The sale is handled by Heritage Fields (http://www.HeritageFields.com) 800-434-5880. They are proposing:
3,460 residential units
34 acre auto center expansion
2.9 million square feet of office/retail space
2,200 plus or minus acres for mixed-use development
1,350 plus or minus acres of open space, parks and a 45 hole golf course Other uses: education and transit oriented development
I was not aware that a proposal was out there, by the government, to divest itself of El Toro. Heck, I wasn't even aware the base was closed. I don't recall seeing anything in your newsletter regarding this travesty. Where will the 1st Marine Division ship out from now? If any of your readers can shed some light on this subject, I would be interested to know.
THE MARINE CORPS DOES NOT NEED FIXEN
Just been reading in my mail about the Marine corps getting into the foray of special opps groups.I have no gripe in the way special opps groups operate or the way they deploy themselves out in the field ,that is their thing and they do it well to some degree if all your electronic gadgetry is all functioning properly.
That part of the military has been trying to reinvent themselves since the Vietnam war a lot of what the marine corps done over there has been incorporated into their rule book on how to conduct your self in the bush, fire teams,squad tactics ambushes calling in arty and air support on targets with out being seen,long range and short range patrols living off of crap and turning it into a gourmet meal.team extractions.you name it we done it out in the bush under combat conditions,it was the real thing not something you learn in the class room. Now the marine corps is going to be under their scrutiny to see if they can hack it with these boy scouts and try to obtain their nod of approval on how best to fight a war. The Marine Corp does not need fixen,it's not broken,never will be ,we blaze new trails for everyone else to follow, we are not followers nor should we ever start,for if we do then it will spell the end of an era that is rich with tradition that the other branches of the military wish they had. Brotherhood is what it's all about..we are all brother's to the end..
Cpl. Joseph A. Francis
Bronze Star Combat V, Purple Heart..Point man
I love you news letter, my father in law(also a marine) and I look forward to reading it when it comes plus your catalog. what I need help with is finding a duty station I was at. I was stationed at Marine Barracks Yokosuka Japan from 92-94.I have looked on the internet and have asked around but I can not find anything about Marine Barracks Yokosuka Japan. do you know if it was closed down because right before I left they were talking of closing it down. If you can get this in you newsletter that would help a lot.
92-96 P.I. PLT. 1044 1992
Mar. Brks yokosuka japan 92-94 Truck co.
HQBN 1st mar.div camp Pend. 94-96
HE SAID THE WORDS
As a young Marine stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC. I went on Liberty in Wilmington. NC. As I heard that church was a good place to meet a girl I went to the Episcopal Church. I was early so while waiting for Mass to start a car pulled up with smoke pouring out from under the hood. I raised the hood to find that the carburetor was burring. The owner didn't know what to do. I took off my Battle jacket and smothered the flame. The owner did not say thanks. He said words that I like to heard by the Army, Navy, it's hear quite often when a marine is aboard one of "their ships",and that other group. Wouldn't you know, a GOD D*MNED MARINE!
Russell H. Evans S/Sgt. USMC (RET)
REAL MARINES DON'T CRY
The day after graduation from Parris Island in 1964, as we were getting ready to board the cattle car to Camp Geiger ,one of our DIs for platoon 160 appeared to have a tear in his eye.One of the Marines in our platoon asked if that was a tear in Sgt, Wargo's eye? SSgt. Plummer, our senior DI ,said" Real Marines don't cry, but what we saw was just Sgt. Wargo's eyeballs sweat-" Sgt Lane affirmed that statement.
Dave Buck 2104405 RVN 67-68 B1/9-
MISSOURI GOLF TOURNAMENT
I have been in contact with the Marine Corp Scholarship Foundation and we are interested in hosting a golf tournament as a fund raiser for them. We are a golf resort at the Lake of The Ozarks, MO. We are located between Kansas City and St. Louis and are the boating and golf playground of Missouri.
I am looking for a Marine Corp Association or group of guys in this area that would be interested in helping us with volunteers or support for the fund raiser. Can you help me along these lines?
Tom Altman - Dogwood Hills Golf Resort email@example.com
Dear Sgt. Grit,
There is a reunion planned for VMFA-115 July 18-20 at MCAS Beaufort for anyone who ever served with the Silver Eagles. For more info, please go to http://www.geocities.com/silvereaglesreunion.
Thanks and Semper Fi!
VMFA-115 Radar '78-'80
In response to Proud Marine Mom of Lance Corporal Ryan P. Holladay, 1 MAW: I remember a little thing about saving sand. I have several baggies still intact from places I was also. I remember everybody on Okinawa trying to organize a mail home campaign. If every Marine that was ever stationed there sent home a seabag full of sand and dirt, pretty soon, Okinawa wouldn't be there and we could all go to Hawaii. Damn, didn't work.
SSgt. Moore, J.C. 2389599 '67-'77
THE MOST INFLUENTIAL MEN
This is just a short note to let you know, the two most influential men in my early life were my Dad, Robert Weathersby and my Uncle, Wayne Searles. Both served proudly in the Marines for 20+ years. As a result of the respect I developed for them, I too joined the Corps in 1974, serving 4 years and then beginning my career in Law Enforcement. My Uncle Wayne died at an early age, I believe related to cancer problems he developed while in the Corps. I just wanted to dedicate this quick letter to Uncle Wayne, who now serves guarding the Gates of Heaven.
Semper Fi Uncle Wayne, I miss you!
One has to remember that General Crook, General Terry and even General William T. Sherman have referred to the Native Americans as some of the finest light cavalry that the world has ever seen. Back off the Political Correctness crap, and look at the bright side for a change. By the way, I am part Apache and proud of the references to as "Indian Country!" We gave the U.S. Army a major head ache for years! c32
LIKE DEHYDRATED FISH
It is indeed a small world. I had the honour of meeting Speedy Wilson in 1969 or 1970, I forget which. I was Asst. I&I to 4/14 in Birmingham. I don't imagine there is more than one MOH recipient named Speedy Wilson.
Anyway, there was a big 4th of July Celebration, and that year the honoured service was the USMC. After some stuffy function which ended too early for talkative Marines, we adjourned to my house and told a few tales over a libation or two. Translation: "drank like dehydrated fish and BS'ed 'till the sun came up. Also participating, as I remember was LtCol Tom Simpson and Col. Bully Fowler. There were others, but my memory is less than perfect.
Anyway, it was a wonderful night, and I have always felt honoured to have entertained a Marine of Speedy Wilson's caliber in my house.
And Joe, if you are reading, Speedy was everything, and in memory still is everything you aren't, never will be and can't even understand.
Captain, in active
VOLUNTEERS FOR THE ARCH OF SABERS
My fiancÃ©, Paul wanted to have a traditional, military wedding, but he knows only one Marine that lives in our area. We wanted to emerge from the chapel, before walking through the legendary Arch of Sabers. If there are any Marines that would like to volunteer, please e-mail me @ firstname.lastname@example.org. I am not sure exactly when the wedding is going to take place just yet, Paul is in Okinawa, and he is supposed to return in March 2004. Thank you very much and God Bless,
Amy and Paul, Mobile, AL
YOU HEAR SOMEONE WHIMPERING
I have often read the various articles concerning the use of the term "Ex-Marine". As we all know, once a Marine always a Marine, but there is an exception. A Marine convicted of an offence against the UCMJ in a Court Martial AND sentenced to either a Bad Conduct or Dishonorable Discharge is NO LONGER A MARINE. This individual loses the right to ever wear the uniform, display the Marine Insignia and is a convicted felon.
Any decorations awarded during his service are rescinded and he may no longer legally wear them, including any awards for heroism or the Purple Heart.
Not long ago a young man wrote in and was whining about being discharged with a BCD. Many poor souls responded he was still a Marine having earned the title, again incorrect. His dishonorable conduct was a discredit to all Marines and he no longer has any claim to the title, uniform, decorations, emblem or any other military rights. In fact those so convicted have even lost their rights to "Keep and Bear Arms" under the Second Amendment, for them to even possess a firearm is a felony.
So the next time you hear there are no "Ex-Marines", remember there are such around. To our shame they are the ones who brought shame on themselves and the Corps through their shameful service. At one time these men were "Drummed Out" in a ceremony, their buttons were cut off, their decorations were removed and the Eagle Globe and Anchor was ripped away. Then they were marched away from the base under guard as their Battalion performed About-Face and turned their backs to the offender. Of course this practice was later forbidden under pressure from the liberal factions. They felt it was too harsh a punishment and was "humiliating".
So the next time you hear someone whimpering about still being a Marine, but they were discharged under these circumstances; step up and tell them they are a true "Ex-Marine" found unfit to wear the uniform or bear the title.
Grady L. Rainbow
GySgt. USMC (disabled)
LEHIGH COUNTY PENNSYLVANIA RALLY
Greeting Sgt Grit and All,
The following is an upcoming event in my area. All proceeds from the event will go to the USO. For more information go to http://www.americarally.com.
On Sunday June 29th, 2003 there will be a rally called "America Thanks and Supports Her Troops". The rally will be held at the Macungie Memorial Park, Lehigh County Pennsylvania. The time for this event will be from 12 noon until 3 PM. This rally is being organized by a group of citizens and veterans who have come together for a noble cause. Our mission is to show our continued support for American Troops and to remember their daily sacrifices. We cordially invite each and every one of you to join us on this special day of support and patriotism. Please join us as we share a day of support for our Armed forces serving both on our own soil and over seas. Together we will carry our flags high and show our patriotic colors. We'll unite under Old Glory as one and there will be no mistake... WE ARE PROUD TO BE AMERICANS AND WE SUPPORT OUR TROOPS!
Howard J. Cooper
Sgt USMC 84-97
Lehigh Valley Det # 296
RESULTING IN A FEW CASUALTIES
I have been searching for anyone that was stationed on Hill 10 Quang Nam Province or Hill 22 in 1968 before, during and after the TET Offensive. My name is Don Enea, I was a Lance Corporal during this time. It's been 35 years since my tour of duty there so pardon my loss of memory. But, I do remember is I arrived on Hill 10 and was assigned to H&S Co H&S Bn. My MOS was 3371 (cook) yes it was me that served you all powdered eggs. Anyway my 1st assignment was Battalion Burnerman I was the one that got up at 3 am and lit all those burners for the other cooks so you all could get a hot meal and was a prime target for snipers & incoming. My first night on Hill 10 I remember sirens going off and Marines yelling incoming.
So many memories but don't want to reflect on all of them. However, If anyone one was there and can remember when an Air Force fighter pilot screwed up with the wrong co ordinance and peppered a couple of Marine Huts (tents) & the mess hall resulting in a few casualties. This all happened in 1968. If you or anyone you know served on Hill 10 please e-mail me @ email@example.com and let's chat.
I was later TAD'd to Hill 22 just before the TET Offensive, I believe Alpha Co. was headquartered there. I replaced the Mess Sgt cause his tour of duty was up and he went home. His nick name was Ski. I remember a PFC Pate & PFC Beach both 3311s was temporarily assigned on mess duty as cooks. PFC Pate & Beach never returned from the TET Offensive one was KIA & the other WIA. If anyone was on Hill 22 prior, during and after TET in 1968 please contact me. Does anyone remember the day of the ambush? When the supply truck was ambushed in a blind spot on it's way to the battalion to drop off marines for sick bay, etc. Well, I remember that morning the M/T Driver drove in the to the area dropped of a couple of marine passengers, loaded up marines and told me he'd only been in country 24hours. One of the marines that came in with the driver was assigned as the chief cook. So, we decided that with the extra chief cook, one of us would go with the driver to pick up Mess Hall supplies so we flipped a coin & I lost I stayed back and the new chief cook got back on the truck and went to go get the supplies. I started to climb the 106 tower to visit my marine buddy when all hell broke lose. The truck was ambushed leaving the driver KIA and the rest wounded including the new Chief cook. The only one without a scratch was the Corpsman. Please, if anyone was stationed on Hill 10 or Hill 22 at that time please write.
Thanks - Don Enea USMC/Sgt - 1966 - 1973
WHEN DID THAT CHANGE
With a little (too much?) time on my hands I took a stroll through the pages of the current Uniform Regulations linked to your site to see how much has changed. The first thing I looked into was see what they say about the wearing of civilian clothing these days. How many of your readers remember when prohibited "eccentric clothing" included blue jeans and cowboy boots?
I left the Reserves at the time the "light-weight greens" were coming in to phase out the summer "tropical" uniform. Now I see them being phased out, along with officers' mess night and summer white dress uniforms. (The only occasions at which I ever wore my whites were at Basic School, for mess night and graduation, and maybe at HQ FMFLant, Norfolk, for a reception.)
I have a question that perhaps our current Marines will answer for me. What is the difference between a "combat utility garrison cap" and a "combat utility field cap"? In my day, the term "garrison cap" referred only to the "fore-and-aft" cap (called by some a "p--- cutter").
I also have a couple of "when did that happen" questions:
(1) The medal I received after my first three years in the Reserves was called the "Organized Marine Corps Reserve" medal--it says so on the box. When was the name changed to the "Selected Marine Corps Reserve" medal? (It's the same medal.)
(2) As a brand new second lieutenant at The Basic School in 1966, I was taught to tie the sword knot so that it appears on the outboard side of the sword. According to the diagram in the current regs, the knot should be on the inboard side of the sword. When did that change?
once a captain, USMCR, always a Marine
1963-'76 (Vietnam '66-'67)
EVEN WITH HIS PHYSICAL LIMITATIONS
With all of the talk about being a Marine! I wanted to write and recount an experience of mine concerning that subject. Now keep in mind that I along with most of the fateful I consider it an honor beyond description to be a Marine. My story is from boot camp. We, like most had a hodgepodge of different types of people in the process of becoming a Marine. We did have one individual who was different; his name was Walton (like most of us he didn't have a first name in boot camp). Now Walton wasn't much to look at, he was a real live version of Zero from Sad Sack. He seemed to have more difficulty grasping things than the rest of us (of course as green as we all were we all struggled). Now the Platoon Commander took a liking to Walton and started calling him, "My Boy Walton" and as I've since understood the platoon commander saw something we didn't. Even with his physical limitations and the difficulty understanding things, no one tried harder. In retrospect I never remember him holding the platoon back or causing one of the infamous pit calls (few could say that).
Well we went through the first stages of testing, the practical, learning how to march, chow duty and generally getting squared away and Walton never missed a beat. We go to the rifle range and Walton qualified. We go to hump hills and Walton never fell out. Then we start the last phase of our training and Walton's still there with us. Still a little behind, but still hanging with us. Well with a couple of weeks left, during one of the platoon commanders common tirades, he yells at Walton and asks "damn it boy have you ever been to a mental institution". Well in a loud crisp voice Walton replies, "Sir, yes Sir"! Well as seldom as it happens in boot camp, everything stopped for that instant. The platoon commander looking somewhat shocked asks him to repeat himself and in the same loud crisp voice Walton replied, "Sir, the private's been to a mental institution, Sir"! The disappointment was visible on the platoon commanders face, he ask Walton to sit down at his bunk and went into his office. The next day Walton was gone.
Now at that point Walton had gone through the most demanding part of Marine Corps boot camp and passed. Two weeks left and we graduate, short timers as far as boot camp was concerned. Sorry to those who disagree, but Walton is a Marine!
Walton did, more with less, than any Marine I've ever known. To me that's what being a Marine is all about.
P.W. Long, Sgt '74-'78
UNFORTUNATELY THERE ARE SOME WHO FAIL
For John H who wrote that Real Marines Do Cry.
When you heard that "real boys don't cry, and real men don't cry" it was an admonition not to be a crybaby. A crybaby cries for themselves; I hurt, I want; I feel; I need; etc. etc.
When a Marine cries, he is expressing his feelings for someone or something outside of himself.
Re:J. McCoy & Capt. Hulslander, CBH and Jose Nunez's comments.
The title "Marine" is earned at MCRD. Unfortunately, there are some who fail to live up to the highpoint of their lives. They degrade themselves, but ONLY themselves. Our Corps still stands tall.
A General or Undesirable Discharge is an admission by the Corps that we made a mistake and we don't want you associated with us.
The choice now becomes theirs. Officially, little can be done. However, do they want to reclaim their honor in the eyes of their family and friends?
Just as a second or third generation American has no documentation to prove he is an Irish-American, or a Polish-American, or a Mexican-American, or a ?????-American, they are judged by their behavior if they choose to be identified as a ???-American.
Those who has earned the title of Marine, can, by their behavior, earn unofficial recognition as one who exemplifies the attributes and qualities that are instilled in Marines.
Personally, I have befriended or relied upon those who talked the talk of Marines. If they demonstrated the honor, commitment, and integrity that Marines are noted for, I never asked for documentation as to their previous status.
IN MY YOUTH AND EXUBERANCE
Concerning this whole affair of who is entitled to be called a Marine. Jose Nunez is a great example. I believe I know this Marine and if he is the one I am thinking of, he is a fine Marine. I have my own General Discharge. I have no regrets. I come from a "Hard Corps" family. Myself, Father, 2 Brothers, Sister, and 3 Brothers-in-law, all Marines. I was hard charging, hard Corps, and gung ho. I was a young "Lion" who ran into a few to many old "Lambs". In my youth and exuberance I didn't always make the wisest choices in how I dealt with certain situations. As a young Corporal, my extreme motivation and dedication, along with my old Corps leadership style, must have been seen as a threat to a certain Staff Sgt. who just wanted to be friends with the troops. The problems started when I would give a Lance Cpl an order only to have him walk to the Staff Sgt's office, complain, and be told to forget it. One clash with the Staff Sgt. (privately and non-physical) and too many lambs in the chain of command, and one Corporal is guaranteed to lose. But to this day, you will be hard pressed to find a more highly motivated, highly dedicated, Marine who still loves his Corps and still lives and leads by the good old "JJ DID TIE BUCKLE" And for any of you who don't get the whole "Lions and Lambs" thing, I believe that Sgt. Grit has Major Duncan's "Green Side Out" and "Brown Side Out". Read them!
Cpl USMC 1988-92
NOTE: I do not have Green Side Out nor Brown Side Out.
THE TITLE MARINE IS A PRIVILEGE
I am writing concerning the letter titled "BUT THEN YOU HAVE PEOPLE LIKE ME", in the June 12 issue of your newsletter. He wrote about how people should not say that if someone were to get an "other than honorable discharge" they should not be called Marine. Yes there are exceptions but in the case of the person that "found a girl" and didn't think it was important to report back in the seven days,he should not get the honor of the title Marine. He chose to act selfishly, and therefore proved that he is not dependable, a Marine is dependable. If his unit was to experience unexpected complications then in his selfishness he would be shirking his duty to his brothers and friends. They all put forth the effort to do their duty to the unit (which he was supposed to be a part of) and he let them down because he wanted to lay about with some girl. A real Marine would never put anything before his unit. In his selfish acts he not only let his unit down but he also let down his God and his Country, he let every one of us down because we are depending on him to help in the defense of our wonderful country and all he could think of was himself. I appreciate the fact that you are a police officer Mr. Nunez, but if you found this girl and didn't show up for work because you were with her, I'm sure you boss would fire you. Then you would no longer be a police officer in any sense. You shirk your duty, you lose your privileges. The title of Marine is not a right, because by definition a right cannot be taken away. The title of Marine is a privilege that is earned and if you do not uphold your end of the deal then you lose that title.
I am not yet a Marine but I will be. Sadly I think that I (a future Marine) have more of an understanding of what it means to have the honor of the title Marine, than you (a retired Marine) have. I would think that having already been able to serve your country as a Marine, and then again as a police officer, that you would be able to understand this.
Matthew L. Stevenson
Every time I ended up with MRE's post-Desert Storm I almost always had Spaghetti. I think they had either M+Ms or Maple Nut Cake, IIRC. I don't even remember the "flavors" available in '91 but about a year ago I pulled out the half-case that I had left and realized they'd gone funky in the intervening 11-12 years. I kept a few "accessory packets" and dumped the rest of it.
At MCRD in '88 they were still experimenting with the MREs, so we ended up with such bowel-clenching foods as "Beef Patty, Dehydrated" and I believe "Pork Patty, Dehydrated" One of the few times I was able to listen to AFRTS radio in the Gulf they were reporting the results of a contest to see what you could do with the MRE other than eat them.
One of the winning ideas was to take the Cookie Bar and, by using peanut butter as mortar you could build a fairly explosion-proof wall...
Yucca-Man (from the bulletin board)
Eating them Cs is what will make us live to 100,them was good, I gave up smoking for 3 years, never had a problem guiting,then I went camping,at that time I still had a couple of cases of Cs,so would treat myself to a meal now and then,well It was one of the good ones that had the cigs in them,It was a four pack of Pall Mall straights, well I never waste anything,so I lit up,these had been packed in 1943,I was walking around my campfire,and after about the 3rd drag on that Pall Mall,I fell down,Man that was the best high I've ever had,I smoked the other 3,and then drove 30 miles to the nearest store to bur a carton of Pall Malls, been smoking again ever since.
(from the bulletin board)
SUPERSTITIOUS ABOUT APRICOTS
Hell, I liked both the C's and MRE's.......some more than others. Missed having canned fruit like Peaches, Apricots, Fruit Cocktail. Air Wingers unlike our "Tracked" Bro's were not superstitious about Apricots. Missed the Cigarettes too! They improved the MRE's as the years went by. Carrying a P-38/John Wayne can opener was a sign of an old salt by the Gulf War. Still carried them though......you might run into some "T"-Rats! I was always amazed at the recipes, I came across for both C's and MRE's....there were some good cooks and imaginations out there.
"Huey Bubba & Co-bro"
SOMEWHAT AWED BY THE HASHMARKS
I have enjoyed reading the newsletter for a long time, especially the letters from '"old-timers". I was a FMF Corpsman in the Pacific in WW11 - discharged when the war ended - recalled when the Korean War started and then served as a FMF Corpsman in Korea until discharged in 1952. Recently there was a letter from a Marine Corpsman in the newsletter who was really angry over some newsman having referred to a FMF Corpsman as a medic (as they are called in the Army). There has always been a lot of misunderstanding of the exact status of a FMF Corpsman. (Actually they are Navy Corpsmen who volunteer for the FMF and are then transferred to the FMF). There have even been times when Navy SP's and MP's (other than Marines ) have been confused. The Corpsman's letter brought back a memory of an incident of many years ago. Some Marine buddies and myself were seated around a large table in a bar in San Diego. We had all served together and known each other for a long time. We were simply drinking beer- relaxing and talking among ourselves when three young Sailors , obviously not long out of boots, rather hesitatingly approached our table. They were no doubt somewhat awed by the hashmarks,rates and ribbons worn by each of us seated around the table.They had spotted the dark Navy rate and hashmark on my Marine uniform - had never seen a FMF Corpsman before and had a lot of questions. My Marine buddies around the table were all listening as I tried to answer their questions. Finally one of the Sailors asked, "Well, are you a Marine or a Sailor?" The Sgt. seated next to me turned to the Sailors and ended the conversation by growling, in no uncertain terms, "He's a Marine ! " I've always been prouder of that than any of the medals.
An old FMF Corpsman
My wife and I have just returned from a trip to The Naval Historical Museum in Washington D.C. and MCB Quantico. On Thursday June 19th I was privileged to participate in a panel discussion honoring the members of the U.S. Naval Services who served during the Korean War. 1950/1953. Over 200 guests came to honor these true heroes of that war. Among the guests was Retired General Al Gray, former Commandant of the Marine Corps who gave an awesome tribute to these men and women. Present were Doctors, Nurses and Corpsmen. One Doctor stands out, Dr. Litvin who was Battalion surgeon on the fight from Yu-dam-ni to the sea during the Chosin Reservoir Campaign. He shared some very personal experiences with those present.
On Saturday 21 June we attended the Navy Nurses of the Korean War luncheon held at the Clubs at Quantico. This was my fourth year of acting as MC for this event. We had seven Nurses and three Corpsmen who served aboard the Hospital ships during those three years. Also present were two Corpsmen, one who served with F-2-7 and one with G-3-5. Several members of the Chosin Few were present along with Marines from the battles of 1951/1952.
I think that sometimes the real heroes of these battles fought so long ago are not given proper credit and respect. Many medals were awarded during those three hellish years, but unfortunately not enough to the Corpsmen and Navy surgeons who shared our grief. We tend to think of ourselves and of our agony. Frostbite affected almost everyone to a man at Chosin. But we don't read too much about the Corpsmen who suffered along with us. They too had to cope with the same weather as we did, the same frostbitten hands and feet, the same wounds. Yet these men continued to treat the wounded. These men are and were heroes. Please remember them in your prayers. The surviving Nurses now number in single digits. And the Corpsmen who served in Korea are also fast disappearing.
A quick afterthought. One of the Nurses attending the program at Quantico, LT. Sarah Chapman MC USN lost a leg in a shipboard accident. The Navy said she had to leave the service. She fought hard and won. She stayed on to serve at several prosthetic rehab centers teaching Marine amputees how to cope with their problems. Giving them a living example of what you can do if you try.
GySgt Gary Gigg USMC (Ret)
Proud member of the "Chosin Few"
I SCREWED UP MY BACK
I will share this story with you - back in the OLD CORPS - I mean back in 1977 when I went to recruit training, the women only went for 8 weeks. (Hey, I didn't make the rules back then). All my JROTC training is the ONLY thing that kept me from getting recycled to another platoon that graduated AFTER Christmas. The 2d day after we were 'picked up' (got our DI's) I screwed up my back, come to find out the slight fracture I had gotten the year before pinched a nerve so they tossed me in the hospital for a week. I got out on Friday, on SATURDAY I almost passed out standing at attention because I didnt feel well, so I got sent to sick call and come to find out I had Ruebella (German measles), so back to the hospital I went for ANOTHER week. One cuz I was sick and the other because there was still a possibility that any of the other girls could be pregnant and it is VERY bad for a pregnant person to be around anyone with rubella. So I was quarentined. Long story short, I missed almost 2 weeks (1/4) of recruit training but didnt get recycled because of the knowledge and experience I brought in with me. That would never happen now days. Different world now......
(from the bulletin board)
This is in reply to Ron Patrick's letter. Devil Dog if you ain't dead your not a former Marine.
SSgt James J. Marker, 3rd MARDIV
MARINE COME VISIT YOUR MUSEUM ON LINE IT WAS PUT TOGETHER BY MARINES FOR MARINES . JUST PUT IN http://www.mclmuseum.com AND YOU WILL SEE THE ONLY MARINE CORPS LEAGUE MUSEUM AND THE FIRST SEMPER FIDELIS DOMINIC DENUNZIO PAST COMMANDANT OF NORTHEASTERN DETACHMENT SCRANTON PA.
Just got back from a reunion in Mosquite Tx with Korean 1951 Am-Trac vets we looked pretty good for old fa-ts and enjoyed old """yarns"" if any others get "grit" let me know "New Jersey Jack"
FROM AMERICAN CADET ALLIANCE NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS...
PLEASE ASSIST A NAVAL CADET, MARINE CADET OR ARMY CADET EXPERIENCE RECRUIT OR ADVANCED TRAINING!
Felix de Weldon, War Memorial Sculptor, Dies at 96
by Claudia Levy, Washington Post Staff Writer
Felix de Weldon, 96, whose sculpture of Marines raising the flag on Iwo Jima is a well-recognized Washington sentinel and one of the world's best-known memorials to valor, died June 2 of congestive heart failure at a nursing home in Woodstock, VA.
To stay "regular," we'd eat the C-ration peanut butter for a plug and then one of the canned fruits for opening the plug. It seemed to work pretty well.
Give War a Chance!!