"Today, we understand that peace through strength is more than a slogan. In a world such as ours, it's a moral necessity, and in the tough job of preserving the peace and defending our nation's independence and freedom, the U.S. Marines have always been there, ready to do their duty."
--President Ronald Reagan
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All of these newsletters are archived. Every word is preserved for all time, for eternity on the following page. http://www.grunt.com/NEWSLETTER.HTM
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There are more Happy Birthday messages than I can print here. Some are printed in whole below. Here a few excerpts from some of the others.
-Happy 228 Birthday. From Tun Tavern to Iwo Jima to the Iraqi Gulf
-LET US NEVER FORGET THOSE THAT GAVE THE SACRIFICE FOR US ALL
-toasting those who have gone on before and those who continue
SHOWED UP TO GET US
I was a grunt many years ago and can remember the days when the trucks, helo's and cattle cars showed up to get us. What a sight to get a ride, no matter what it was, I never complained. Thanks. I am now in the air wing doing desk time. I respect all MOS's because we are all 0311's to start with. Thanks to all those Marines out there who did the paper work, provided the chow, gave us a ride, and supported the Marines in any clime and place. A brotherhood forever.
An active duty CWO4 LJT
This yrs ball from my hubby's unit will be actually held on my REAL birthday.. I feel so honored and lucky to be celebrating my special day with THE FEW THE PROUD. I keep wondering if ill get to go and cut the cake since its my actual bday hehe.. ok im sure i wont but have to give them a hard time. It will be a nice remembrance of the night to not only spend my bday with him (and LOTS of other cute marines in there dress blues HOT!) but to also be all dolled up in my ball gown and have a nice dinner and dancing what more can a gal ask for on her bday/the marine corps bday hehe! Andrea McCullough San Diego CA
AS I KNELT DOWN
A group from the DC GriTogether visited The Wall. Besides personal reasons, some were there to pay respects to Grady L. Lewis, former partner of our own Bobby Kurtz. As I knelt down at the base of Panel 16West, I rubbed my thumb across his name, from right to left, from the S in Lewis to the G in Grady. I then rubbed the Memorial Zippo Bobby sent me last year across his name. A Yellow Jacket that had been circling us then flew down to the name, touched down on the S, and walked straight across to the G; then went back into flight. Trying to be rational, I attributed this to the Hornet picking up the human scent.
Telling this story to a few Airborne Soldiers from the VVA in New York who joined us later, I heard several responses:
"That was HIM!" / "He just wanted you to know he was OK."
Semper Fidelis...Velcro (From the bulletin board)
OUTSTANDING 7th MARINES
This page has background recordings from Armed Forces Radio, Vietnam. http://www.dennismartinez.net/team/
HIS EYES OPENED WIDE
I've been out for a couple of years now. But, last year for our birthday, I came home to my two kids and wife standing around the breakfast table shouting 'HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" as I walked in. I will never forget it. I've been to my share of birthday balls, but this birthday celebration was really special! My wife and kids baked the cake and decorated it with some left over ball decorations and stuff. She had my sword out on the table. My son was 3 at the time and my daughter not even a year old. My son remembers what I looked like in my uniform (So does my wife... OohRah!) and his eyes opened wide as I pulled my sword. We cut the cake and celebrated one of the best d*mn birthdays I've ever had! Happy Birthday Marines!
Francisco X. Hernandez ANGLICO Marine.
WELL YOU CAN GUESS
Holy S**t Sarge You done it again !!!
Not only was I shocked to see my letter about meeting the "Old Salt" but further on in your letter there was a web site for us Marines with brain tumors.( I know many corpsmen out there will testify that some of us are blessed with a cranial load!!).Yep I got my very own special news earlier this year. Right after my surgery Sept. 4th the report came back positive. I told the doctor "Well ain't that a kick in the N**s". He told me that further treatment might be required after he saw my post-op MRI's. Well you can guess what they showed. Yep Sarge they didn't get it all. It took awhile to sink in. I ain't ready to see my name on the guard duty roster next to all those Marines at them pearly gates. I've looked back on those special days in our Corps and said "what the hell is a little brain cancer to a Marine" I take great pride in that title I earned in back in 1967 and carry it with more pride as the years go by. On our beloved birthday this year I will be sitting there with those same Marines (mostly Nam Vets) that I've celebrated with for more years than I can count. Hell Sarge we even gots us a "DOC".(Don't none of you Marines out there let anybody try to tell you that they haven't earned the right to be called Marines.) This group of old Marines and the rest of the vets here at work are my biggest support group. That old saying "I got your back " doesn't end when they hand you that DD214. I can't thank them enough. Thanks also to the Jarhead out who started up that web site. Think about it Sarge who else but a Marine would start up a web site called "tumor humor". Good night Chesty where ever you are.
"Happy birthday Marines!!" and Semper Fi!
Proud to have been a "Sgt of Marines"
THE BOTTOM LINE IS
To the Still a proud mom of my Son,
Yes your son made a mistake and he's paying the consequences. As for the "sea lawyers" giving him information on what's going to happen to him they should keep their trap hut. He should talk with his 1stSgt and get the straight scoop. During my career I made a mistake I'm not proud of but my Company Commander and Battalion Commander gave me my lumps and a second chance. If your son has no other marks except this one his CO may take this into account and give him a chance that this was a case of extremely bad judgment. I don't know all the details and I've been out since 1997 so times may have changed. He basically violated a trust between him and his CO. If he hasn't been awarded a Bad Conduct Discharge or Dishonorable chances are he will finish his tour. As for re-enlistment, if he shows a true desire to stay on the straight and narrow and stay motivated it may just happen. The bottom line is he screwed up and is paying for it. Whatever happens chalk it up to experience and don't make the same mistake twice. I had a Marine that worked for me and got busted for the same reason. His job performance was nothing short of outstanding. I conveyed that fact to the Bn Commander at the Marine's Non-judicial Punishment proceedings. He was given a second chance and was sent to re-hab and was still an outstanding worker. Unfortunately he fell off the wagon later on and was sent packing. I feel unless you're a habitual offender you deserve a second chance. I've rambled long enough so keep on giving him your love and support and tell him not to lose faith.
Semper Fi MARINE MOM!
HJ Cooper Sgt/USMC 84-97
Commandant Lehigh Valley Det #296 MCL
EAT YOUR HEART OUT
HAPPY 228th TO OUR MARINE CORPS.
WORKING FOR THE ARMY(DOD) AS I DO, IT BRINGS A SMILE, WHEN I SEE THE LOOKS WE FORMER MARINES GET, FROM SOLDIERS, WHEN WE ACT LIKE "JARHEADS". JUST BEING NORMAL IN OUR LANGUAGE AND MANNERISMS. THEY HAVE NO CLUE. IT'S AMAZING THE NUMBER OF SOLDIERS THAT "THOUGHT ABOUT JOINING" OUR CORPS. EAT YOUR HEART OUT. TRADITIONS DIE HARD AND SO DO THE LEGENDS OF THE CORPS. WE ARE TRULY BLESSED IN SO MANY WAYS. AS FAR AS THE PROBLEMS WITH THE VFW AND LEGION ?? WELL PRETTY SOON WE WILL BE THE "OLD TIMERS". SURE I'VE BEEN TREATED BADLY TOO. HOWEVER, LET US NOT GIVE UP, AND WHEN THE TIME COMES, LET US NOT TREAT OTHER VETS AS WE WERE TREATED. SHOW THEM ALL THAT WE HAVE CLASS. WE NEVER GAVE UP(POLITITIONS DID THAT FOR US) SO WE WON'T GIVE UP NOW. SEMPER FI "HOWDY" RVN MAR67-NOV68
HAVE BEEN CONTENT
Another Birthday Tradition
I am a Woman Marine veteran, 1977-79. I have three brothers, none of which were in the Corps. My dad, also a Marine vet, said I was the best "son" he ever had. My husband and his father are also Marine vets, so you could say it runs in the family.
Every year, my husband and I played a little game with our dads. We would always try to call our fathers before they could call us on 10 November to wish them a "Happy Birthday!". My father died in 1993 and my father-in-law went to join him in 2001, guarding the gates of heaven . In recent years my husband and I have been content to wish each other "Happy Birthday".
This year we have a new Marine in the family!! Our oldest son, Brandon, graduated from MCRD, San Diego in January, 03. His birthday ball was held last night, and we didn't expect to hear from him, as we assumed he would be "celebrating" into the wee hours of the morning. Around 2200, the phone rang and it was our Lance Corporal. He said, "I know it isn't the 10th, but we are at the ball and I just had to call and wish you a "Happy Birthday" Mom and Dad." I cannot describe the pride that welled up inside, knowing that my son will not only carry on our family tradition, but will carry on the traditions of the United States Marine Corps for another generation.
Semper fi and Happy Birthday,
Deanna Long, LCPL 77-79 and Proud Marine Mom
Here's a toast I used to give:
There once was the love of a beautiful maid
And the love of a staunch, true man
And the love of a baby, unafraid
All have existed since time began.
But the eternal love
The love of all loves
Even greater than love for mother
Is the infinite, passionate, tender love
Of one drunken Marine for another.
/0O cg+O+ MARINES /
C ll ! ! ! ____-----'
Submitted by Richard Boyd
LIGHT THE CANDLE
I celebrate the Marine Corps birthday the same every year. What I do is go to the store and buy one cupcake and a candle. When I get home, I put the candle in the cupcake, light the candle, then I sing the Marines Hymn (all 3 verses- from a book). Then I Pray to those who lost their life in War and Peace Time.
I will admit that I do shed a few tears.
SUNDAY FINALLY CAME
One time when I came home to celebrate the Marine Corps birthday, I brought a friend. His name was LCPL Steve Wolfe. The birthday fell on a Sunday that year so we had both Friday and Saturday nights to party hard. Both nights Steve and I came home close to five O'clock in the morning. My younger sister Tanya, not an early riser, would wake up extra early to sound reveille for Steve and myself. (My Father being a musician, the bugle was always available) She knew we would be hung over. I believe she took pleasure in our reaction as we jumped out of our skin at the sound of reveille only to fall back into our beds cursing her under our breath. She would laugh as she turned to disappear down the hall. Sunday finally came and we had a great birthday party. I think because I had spent the previous forty-eight hours drunk may have been the reason I didn't feel many of the effect of what I was drinking on Sunday. The old Marines slowly faded away one by one until only Steve and I remained. We stood out in the bar if for no other reason because we were dressed in our dress blue uniforms. It must have been about ten O'clock when "Sis" finally arrived. She asked me how I felt. My comment to her was "I can't seem to get drunk tonight". "Let me see what I can do about that", she said. She left me for a brief moment only to return with two shot glasses filled with a transparent caramel colored liquid. Whiskey. "You wanted to get drunk so here you are". As is in defiance I grabbed one glass and then the other. In the same order that I grabbed I also slammed down the liquid one after another. She took the glasses from Me and left again only to return with the same two glasses that were once empty, now filled. We repeated this at least two more times until I couldn't take anymore. She sat down next to me with a smug look on her face--silent. She was satisfied with her accomplishment. I was now more intoxicated then I cared to be. I knew I would be sick if I didn't move away from the bar. "I need some air", I said without looking at her and in motion. I walked outside letting the cool November air slap my flushing face. Before long "Sis" was at my side. "You okay honey?" Without a word I started for the garbage dumpster. The fence around the dumpster would conceal my blunder. As I leaned over to heave my evening at my feet I heard a voice say "lean over more honey, you don't want any on your uniform". When I woke up I was in my bed. Next to the bed on an end table was a short cup filled with pink stuff. Beyond that was my dress blue uniform hanging up as if ready for a Generals' inspection. As the fog of sleep lifted from my head and the hurricane of hangover set in I realized that no reveille had been sounded this morning. I finally got out of bed and moved into the living room where my Mother sat reading a book. "Good morning Sunshine!" she said with the all too familiar voice of a sarcastic. "What happened?" I asked. "Ask your Sister." "Where is she?" "In bed if I had to guess", she said without taking her eyes off of her book. As I moved down the hall I realized that Steve was nowhere to be found. I peeked into Tanya's' room where she lay motionless in her bed. Not wanting to wake her I returned to the living room to interrogate my Mother about the happenings of the previous night. I sat down across from her and asked once again what had happened. "You owe your sister big time buddy!" she said. "She not only kept you from puking all over your uniform, she also made sure no one saw you in your moment of glory. She put your drunk ass in her truck and drove you home. When you got home she undressed you and put you to bed." How did my uniform get hung up?" "Your sister didn't want Steve to know how screwed up you were so she hung your uniform and made it look like you did it. She thought if Steve saw his Sergeant looking like you did, he might give you crap about it. No one makes fun of her big brother". I sat there trying to piece together all of the events, wanting to make a false of the truth. I couldn't. I was filled with shame from my actions but also with pride and gratitude of my Sisters'. I had been away for many years and missed much of Tanya's' growing up. Phone calls and letter don't always reveal what one feels down deep. Sometimes your actions have to speak the words for you. With a tear in my eye and half a grin I walked to the entrance of Tanya's' room. Wiping my eyes with one hand and raising a bugle to my mouth with the other, I opened the door. She was lying motionless. I sounded reveille with all that I had in me. She jumped up as if electric shock had been administered. I turned away to disappear down the hall, laughing.
D. Scott Breinig
5th Marines Regt.
RLT 5 (Desert Shield, Storm, and Sabre)
WELCOME HOME PARTY
FYI, I spoke with my son last night -- Cpl. Kristopher E. Benson -- with the 1st MEF, 3/7. He was a little animated. Word in channels is that they will be getting the Presidential Unit Citation. He was a Forward Observer in the successful liberation of East Baghdad. He is not sure at what unit level the award will be given, but that should definitely enhance the mood at the Regimental Ball tomorrow night.
We had about 100 people at his welcome home party last month -- from Los Angeles to London, England, along with the Mayor to provide a welcome. Press was present and told we made CNN. We gave him his NCO sword in recognition of his accomplishments (guess where we purchased that??). Hell of a kid, and a very inspirational Marine. How many 27 year olds pulling down 6 figures go to their Dad and say, "Dad, I really need to find this out about myself" and then do it?
My younger brother is working with the Russians, and I'm told that Kris' letters from the battlefield that I share on the internet (actually KobraNet-- his codename is Kobra) have gone into Russia and printed to be used in classrooms for English lessons and to teach Russian children what an American Marine is. That's cool.
Me? I've been going through a crash course learning how to be a responsible and supportive Marine Dad. Keep those newsletters coming. I found out about you from a friend, Col. Richard Mickleson, USMC (retired), who headed the largest reinforced Recon battalion in Vietnam. He said you were the source. Roger that.
My son has taught me a lot the last two years, one of the highest compliments I think a parent can pay to their child. I am very proud he is with the Corps. Happy Birthday, Marines.
Dr. Dennis K. Benson
Was recently in Quantico for our 1st (and only) reunion in 35 years. After a celebration reception out at TBS-Camp Barrett on a Saturday night, I was stopped at the main gate attempting to re-enter the base for temporary quarters main side. Too many cups of cheer and too many toasts to fallen comrades. The Marines at the main gate followed all the rules (which makes us different from the other branches of the service). I was transported main side where the sgt-of-the-guard inquired as to who I was and why I was there (me obviously being a civilian). In the finest tradition of the Corps, they escorted me to my quarters for recuperation rather than turning me over to civil authorities. I was so grateful for the professional courtesy.
The new generation of Marines continue to carry the Faith!
God Bless the United States Marine Corps
Good night Chesty, wherever you may be
EPM, Pvt-Capt, '66-'75
I GUESS I'VE ALWAYS UNDERSTOOD
I was in Platoon 3140 at MCRD San Diego from July 24 to September 30, 1969. (Only 8 weeks long at that time) We did not hear the oooraahh until we went to 2nd ITR at San Onofre, Camp Pendleton. There it was pronounced AHOOOAAH. Our DI's were older, (30 to 35) meaner and more mature and all three had 2 tours of NAM. The "Troop Leaders" at 2nd ITR were fresh back from their first tour. They were younger (early 20's) and more mischievous than "rigidly instructional".
We thought AAHOOOAAH was a "new motivating expression" Didn't know it was part of the Old Corps. I didn't like ITR nearly as much as I "liked" Boot Camp. The DI's had a much greater presence than our 1st Lt. at ITR. But then, I guess I've always understood why that is so. Gunny's run the Corps.
Also, I went to the funeral of Cpl. Ung last Monday. He was murdered in his dad's front yard at a party celebrating his safe return from 5 months in Iraq with a Purple Heart. Due to be discharged in two weeks to go to college he was shot by some slime he took an oath to protect. D*mn shame!
The full military honors at Golden Gate National Cemetery were performed wonderfully by local Marines.
God Bless the Marine Corps and our Marine Corps Family.
LIKE A YOUNG CHESTY
This concerns the message from William D. Broyles - Camp Geiger 1959 and his mention of Captain Holmes. As an Offensive Infantry Tactics Instructor at ITR, I would have Capt. Holmes' Individual Combat Training (ICT) company from time to time. I found him to be tough, all Marine (kinda like a young "Chesty"), but also a very fine gentleman. Several times before or after a class with his company, I would have opportunity to visit with him. He simply wanted his young charges to be combat ready. He always relayed his utmost respect for all combat veterans, especially NCOs & SNCOs. Thanks W.D.B for the reminder and if you read this, I would like the website that you read of Capt. Holmes on. Semper Fidelis,
C.R. Scroggins, GySgt. (1947-1970)
COULD THINK FOR MYSELF
Regarding the story in your 10/30/03 newsletter by Cpl S. Fox (at the time PFC) of 3rd M.P. Battalion, Bravo Co., Security Platoon; I was in that same unit and stood watch in the same area 2 years before when things weren't so hot. I don't remember any ghosts or stories about them. I also stood guard on the front gate and in the compound for the North Vietnamese Navy prisoners we kept from the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. We also carried M16's so none of my compatriots were the ghost; however, I did carry an M14 the year before while with 9th Engineers at Chu Lai.
Somewhere in my stash of photos from those days I have a picture I took from the tower near the main entrance to the 3rd MP compound of a sign that read, "No Pictures Allowed". I had used a small camera about the size of a pack of cigarettes to take the picture.
Another memory from those days was the night I reported for guard duty at midnight without having shaved. I was told by this newly in-country sergeant to stand my duty and report to him afterwards with my razor and no shaving cream. I guess he didn't like my salty attitude - he was new to Vietnam and I had just come back to serve an extended time over there. Well I realized that he was going to have me dry-shave. Now, I normally used a safety razor like most others but knowing he would order me to dry-shave I took my electric razor to our meet. Fortunately for me, he laughed, said, "You got me this time" and asked why I was so salty. We discussed my previous duty and parted somewhat friendly.
I got in more trouble in the Corps by my attitude toward what I considered to be uneducated losers who happened to outrank me. I had gone to college a couple of years, could think for myself and looked down on stupidity. The idea of having to be busy at something all the time when your normal work for the day was finished, never set right. I asked for and received an early out once back in CONUS because of the attitudes of those above me. I wish I had learned to cope because I sometimes regret getting out of the Corps. I'm the guy who when he hears "DUCK", he searches the sky rather than grab the ground.
One exception to my impression of cocky, ignorant NCOs was the Sergeant on Okinawa who asked those of us returning to RVN to volunteer for his detail at the morning assembly. We were wearing jungle utilities so we stood out from the FNGs in their new stateside utilities (didn't have camies back then). The 8 to 10 of us discussed the volunteering and decided against our better judgment to volunteer. The sergeant asked for volunteers, we fell into formation and were marched off to a barracks area. He halted us, told us there were probably a couple of cigarette butts that needed to be picked in the area, told us to pick them up and to disappear for the rest of the day. We promptly carried out all of his orders and spent the day at the PX, club, etc. while others had to work at places like the base laundry all day. The next day I headed for Vietnam and 3rd MPs at Da Nang.
Look in the 1st MarDiv picture section of Sgt. Grit's web site for pictures of 9th Engineers at Chu Lai.
LCpl James T. Harris
RVN 67 & 68, 9th Engineers, 3rd MPs & 11th Engineers
THAT REALLY SUCKED
BACK IN 1991 MY BUDDY AND I WERE STATIONED AT CAMP LEJEUNE, ONE MORNING WE WERE LATE FOR FORMATION SO FOR OUR PUNISHMENT WE HAD TO BE THE "WAITERS" AT THE OFFICERS BALL. AFTER THE DINNER AND THE CAKE CUTTING CEREMONY WAS OVER. THE GENERAL CALLED FOR US TO COME IN AND JOIN THEM, THE GAVE MY BUDDY AND I A CIGAR AND WE DRANK ALL NIGHT WITH THE GENERAL.THE NEXT MONDAY OUR SGT. IN CHARGE ASKED US HOW IT WENT? WE SAID: "WE'LL NEVER BE LATE FOR FORMATION AGAIN!" THAT REALLY SUCKED! THAT WAS SOME PUNISHMENT YOU GAVE US! WE NEVER SAID A WORD!
HARRY N. USMC 1988 - 1992
Dear Sgt. Grit,
My name is Phil Barnett. I was in the Corps during the early 50's, Served as a PI DI as a PFC.
Got to Korea at the tail end with E-2-1 and matriculated back to civilian life in Nov. 55. After several jobs I finally hooked up with IBM and spent 27 years as a peddler for them. I am long retired and am spending my time living the "good life". The reason I'm writing is to see if I can locate a Marine I met in Washington National Airport in 1967 or 1968. I was on an assignment with another IBM'er that took us to Washington. We finished our work and were waiting to get on a plane to Newark, NJ. To pass the time we were checking out the uniforms of servicemen to see who looked sharper. My partner was a former squid and the first Officer we checked out was particularly sloppy navy Lieutenant. He looked as if he'd slept in his uniform. With that John Spotted a Marine butter bar without a belt on his green blouse. I walked in a circle so that I could get a look at the front of this out of uniform miscreant.
>From the front you could see that the uniform was brand new and had 4 or 5 rows of ribbons above the left breast pocket and a rather older and weather beaten face. I took the liberty of walking over and introducing myself. I remarked about the lack of a belt and he explained that he was home from Nam on emergency leave on the way to No. Carolina to get Divorced. During our conversation I found out he was a former Gunny of RECON Marines and had received a Commission only days before. He said his nickname was "Tiger Gunny". As we walked toward the departure gates a group of Marines arriving from somewhere stopped and greeted the Lieut.(Gunny) animatedly and proved to me he was genuine. We waited around and chatted and told war stories waiting for our flights. We were finally told that all flights were cancelled. We three got our gear back and looked for a hotel. We ate and looked for a package store to find a jug of good Scotch. We then repaired to the room and proceeded to ha a good bull session prior to getting to sleep. We went to the airport in the morning bid good bye and got on our respective flights. If any one knows who the "Tiger Gunny" is (the last name was of Germanic origin) Please write to email@example.com and let mw know.
WITH HIS SABRE
I was in the hospital at Camp Pendleton waiting to be sent to a casual company where I would soon receive my discharge, our birthday cake had been baked by Navy cooks and was ready to be cut in walked Pappy Boyington, sabre and all, was introduced after the applause stopped he proceeded to cut the cake with his sabre, that was 1953
DUE TO MY VOLUNTEERING
For the past several years Eileen, my wife of 60 years, and I attend the Marine Corps Birthday Ball hosted by Bravo Company 4th Tank Bn. located in Yakima Washington. This the same company I was privileged to belong to from the time it was first activated until it was deactivated, after WW2. We enjoy meeting and talking to the young Marines of today and comparing how things are now and were in 42/46. We think the country is in good hands with the caliber of the Marines we meet. After attending Tank Training School at Jacques Farm in San Diego in 1943 I left there as a tank operator Mos 736 and was sent to Camp Pendleton with about 50 other Marines. We were the beginning of Baker Co. 4th Tank Bn.4th Mar.Div.which was just starting to be organized. The same thing was happening on the East Coast where Able and Charlie Cos. were being formed. When we arrived at Camp Pendleton we were housed in a new barracks building. The galley and mess hall was still in construction so we had to march to Area 16 for chow. Training and crew assignments were started while awaiting new tanks to be shipped in by rail car.The galley as finished the second week and L.G. Perry the tech sgt. who was to be the company mess sgt was anxious to get the galley going. The problem was their were no cooks as yet on the rolls. He came through the squad room looking for someone to help him out. As I had not yet been assigned to a tank crew I said sure I'll help you out for a few days.It's easy to see what happened, from then on (due to my volunteering I was from then on a cook). In a few months I was promoted to Assistant Cook with the rank of PFC. and an MOS 060. several times during the the time the Division was in the Pacific, I approached the 1st sgt about being assigned to a tank. Each time his answer was It's easy for me to replace dead tankers but it's hard to find good cooks. When the siege of Iwo Jima was over and the war soon ending it was hard saying good bye to Co B 4th Tank Bn. and watching all the fellow Marines being discharged. I still had 5 months to go on my enlistment.
Jim Johnson Fld.Ck. 375170 42-46
WITH A GRIN
Vieques Island too........
This is a reply to "Mike" from Vieques Island....
The name of the drink, 2 shots of 151 Rum and 2 shots of CrÃ¨me de Mint is called a Blue Blazer. For me, and the rest of Motor T, it was our initiation and Rite of Passage to Puerto Rico.
The same happened to me a and a few other. It was lit on fire and blown out and went down smooth....I wound up in the Officers Shower being awakened by the Provost Officer (Capt Garcia) who promptly wrote me up. At my Office hours I told the CO what happened and with a grin, gave me my extra duty and fine. After that was concluded, he had me stand at ease and told me that was the same drink he had when he first got down as an enlisted man.
But he woke up in the arms of some girl in the canyon. He said he only gave me extra duty because he knew what I felt like the next day and that was punishment enough.
NOW HERE'S A CAKE
Marine Birthday in Viet Nam
I was very young at the time but I remember receiving tapes from my cousin who was stationed in DaNang during the Viet Nam war. On his first Birthday away from home he sent us such a sad tape telling my Mom (his Aunt) how he missed her Hungarian Nut Torte. In that tape I'll never forget we could hear the fighting going on in the background and it about broke our hearts. David was going to be celebrating his 19th Birthday. My Mom and Grandmother baked the cake and went to a local bakery and packed in Dry Ice. They called the local Marine facility and got ideas how to get it there. Now here's a cake where the frosting is made with nearly a pound of butter and there are 12 eggs in the cake itself. Believe it or not that Birthday cake made it to Viet Nam unharmed and those
Marines had quite a feast. Now my Mother and Grandmother are gone but my Daughter and I always make this cake and it brings back such memories. When my husband was active during Desert Storm and other conflicts I knew how to send him a little bit of home.
My Love and Prayers to all, Monique Ellis-Marine wife
THE NEXT THING I KNEW
I'm going to add my two cents about the Birthday and General Chesty. At the Camp Lejeune officer's club "Birthday" ball in 1954, I was a mustang lst. Lt. wearing my dress blues for the first time. The only other time I had them on was when I picked them up at the tailors and I was now about 10 pounds heavier. Anyway, my wife and I were at a table near where they were to bring in the cake for the General to cut. I drank two grasshoppers (really only two.)
When they played the hymn, and brought in the cake we all stood (of course.) As I was watching someone hand the General a sword, I passed out. The next thing I knew I was in an office with my CO. and Exec. shaking me and a bird colonel yelling that I was to be in his office the next morning. Well, I won, I didn't go to the colonel's office and never heard anything about it again except by friends who suggested that the General would never forget me.
YOU LOOK KIND OF DOWN
For the first year since I joined up, I won't be able to be around at least one fellow Marine to celebrate the birthday. You see, my wife and I will be traveling to China over that time to pick up our daughter. We are adopting a very beautiful 10 month old little girl and couldn't be more excited. If there was ever a reason to miss the festivities, this is it. Rest assured, I will find somewhere to get a Chinese beer and hoist one to the Corps on the 10th - as I'm sure many an old China Marine did in the past!
I do have a story about the birthday back in 1994. I was playing rugby for the local college side about a week before the birthday when I herniated a disc in my lower back. I went under the knife on the 9th of November. The next day around the noon meal, a nurse was checking my vitals said, "You look kind of down, what's the story?" I replied, "It's the Marine Corps birthday and I can hardly move, let alone celebrate as I should."
"So you're the guy from the recovery room I heard about. You were coming out of the anesthesia singing the Marines Hymn. Don't worry, everyone knows you re a Marine. Now tell me, what does a proper celebration consist of?"
""Well," I said, "It usually involves at least 2 Marines having a beer, toasting Marines of the past, present and future, and swapping a few sea stories."
She said something to the affect of "I see", continued with some small talk and took off for the rest of her rounds.
After supper, she poked her head in my room and said, "Happy birthday, Marine." She then pushed a wheel chair in the room with an old gray fella sitting in it with a brown paper bag on his lap. It turns out the old gentleman was a Marine from WW II-Okinawa and the paper bag contained 4 beers-2 for me and 2 for the Old Corps Marine. She had cleared the beers with both our doctors. That old-timer and I had a great old time-me mostly listening, of course.
I will never forget that nurse-she really went out of her way to bring a couple of Marines together to celebrate our birthday.
FYI: All Warrant Officers are 'Gunners'. The ones that are real Gunners are in a "Combat Arms" MOS and have a certificate signed by the Commandant of the Marine Corps. I noticed in in the late 70s the troops were starting to refer to all Warrant Officers as Gunner. It is a technical point, sort of like calling a Staff Sgt. a Gunny.
Willard E. Harn II, CWO 'Gunner' retired, 1962 07 18 to 2004 11 01
I'M THE GUY
This is absolutely the best time of year for me. I get to celebrate the Marine Corps Birthday on November 10, my birthday on November 11, and the fact that I am a Veteran all on the same day. I am the rarest of all Marines in that I have never been to a Marine Corps Ball. There is no complaint, only pride. I'm the guy who always volunteered for duty on Nov 10 so everybody else could go (somehow still managed to hoist one or two :-) ) But I always got the next day off to celebrate my own birthday and to give thanks for all those who gave more than their time on guard duty. Happy birthday GSgt Robinson, SSgt Withro, Sgt Clark, Recruit Platoon 3152 (Honor Series 3149 MCRD 1969), and every Marine that I served with, came before, and serves today. So this is a little sappy, get happy Marines and thank GOD that you live in a land that has people you were proud and honored to protect. Then go look in a mirror and know that you are one of those people.
Cpl S. Fox 1969-1972
I ain't lean, no where as mean, but proud to be an AMERICAN MARINE
BE WITH MY BROTHERS
Since my discharge in 1972 i have celebrated my marine corps birthday in many ways but this year i will be at the wall and be with all my brothers who gave all for this country, i hope people will stop and say thank you to a veteran who gave so they could be free to say and do what ever they want thank you for all you do for all the marines every day
william c watson 1966-1972
I think you need to do an article on license plates, I have seen some good ones, of course, mine reads X GRUNT. Love Ya, Thank You, Be Good, Be Careful if not, Be Quick.
Pete Rubus, ATFE, DOJ, Pittsburgh, Pa. (BY the way, this is my 34th year with the Bureau I would like to thank Lt. Kaheny for helping to put me on line with you If you ever need any photos,or VCR from Hill 55, Khe Sanh 1966-68 let me know.
This is a good idea. Send me you license plate saying. Better yet, send me pictures of you plate. See my plate.
DI CREED (MODIFIED VERSION)
These are my maggots. There are many like them, but this gaggle some nasty herd is mine.
I am not their best friend. I am their life. I must master them as I have mastered hundreds of other little maggots before them.
These little turds, without me, are useless. Without these turds, I am having a fine-a** day. I must train my herd true. I must teach them to shoot straighter than the enemy who is trying to kill them. I must make them DIG until I am tired. I will...
My herd and myself know that what counts in this war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, nor the smoke we make. We know that it is the score in Final Drill that counts. We will dig again until I am tired...
My maggots aren't human, even as I, because I am already a Marine. Thus, I will train them from the ground up. I will expose their weaknesses, their strength, their parts, their unbloused boots, the 'sights' of Mount Mutha and its hills. I will ever train my herd against the ravages of weather and damage as I will ever guard my legs, my arms, my eyes and my heart against damage. I will train my herd to be clean and ready. We will unblouse again in Third Phase and DIG again until I am tired. We will...
Before God, I swear this creed. My herd and myself are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life. So be it, until victory is America's and there is no enemy, but peace!
Yuccaman (from the bulletin board)
A GOOD GUNNY
Go ahead and put me down for Cpl Page's copy of the newsletter via email... I won't mind getting two copies as I always read it twice anyway, and I am in that 90% group.... disgruntled Corporal Ryan Page must have had a good Gunny that chewed his *ss and kept him grunting... and my guess is that he could not hack it. My say, my hard won freedom of speech used, as was his.... R. Dye, USMC 66-76 and forever
YOU GUESSED IT
Horaah Sgt Grit,
I met a retired surgeon recently who saw the Marine Corps tag on my truck. We started talking about it and he jokingly said that during WWII, he was a coward and had joined the Navy. Well of course he went into the medical service, and every 11th man was assigned to the Marines. You guessed it, he was the 11th man. He served with the Marines in the Pacific, Island hopping in some of the bloodiest battles ever. Well to you Doc and Corpsman everywhere, this is your Birthday too. Thank you for your gallant service to our Country and our Corps.
Happy Birthday and Semper Fi
Cpl "Cal" M.G. Calahan
This is chilling!!! I sent you a message concerning a coincidence of myself and the follow up of another concerning service in K., that was in your last newsletter. NOW, comes Jim Manning in your letter of 11-6-03, relating about the banner being flown in front of his Co., C-1-1. on 11-10-51, I had transferred out of the Co. in Oct. and was back at H&S where the hot meals he referred too were prepared for them. Weird!!! Wasn't lucky too long. A MGunner in Weapons Co. was KIA in Dec. and they grabbed my young butt up at 3:30 in the morning and said, "You're going up on the lines, Now!!. I think you can guess when I developed my ulcer. At least they were kind enough to let me ear morning chow before they jeeped me up to the lines. And at that time, until I left at the end of January, we were attached to C-1-1, on our left. They were on hill 749 and directly in front of them was "Luke the Gooks Castle", which some of my buddies gave me pictures of.
Birthday to all, and
Just want to sound off on Pecker head Ryan Page, how did a scum bag like that end up in such a GLORIOUS organization like our Corps!! If this numb nuts was in my PLT we would have a great party with him. Oh Well you can't win them all. Anyway to all my brothers and sisters HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEVIL DOGS!!!!!!!!!
Semper Fidelis, Fratel Aerteni, Sempre Paratus!!!
SSgt Jacob Urias Forever Marine!!!
NOBODY MENTIONED THE MOVIE
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the movie The D.I. with http://usmcshop.grunt.com/grunt/links.asp?cat=113&page=1 Jack Webb as being one of the best. The movie is one of the best I've seen, made in the 50's with a real Platoon of Marines (Platoon 104 Parris Island). There's a Marine that gets into a barroom fight with Jack Webb, Louis Lazarko that was our acting First Sergeant then a Gunny in 1965. He was with HMM-262 in New River. In May of 2002 we had an HMM-262 All Eras Reunion in New River, I knew the Gunny would be there so I brought my copy of the movie with me; the Gunny autographed it for me. He's still tough as nails! We also had the honor of having LtGen Fred (Crazy Fred) McCorkle as our guest speaker and LtGen Mike (The Rifle) DeLong, both former Vietnam pilots with HMM-262. It was a great reunion, and like you always say contact your buddies and keep in touch you'll cherish the memories.
Semper Fi, Tim McMahon HMM-262 RVN 66-67
SAMUEL NICHOLAS, THE BARTENDER
Here's my letter on the Birthday, published in the local Moscow -Pullman Daily News here in the Idaho Panhandle. Note that it has one of your bumper stickers in it.
It's November 10th, and the United States Marine Corps is 228 years old. Not bad for a military organization whose first recruiting office was a bar named Tun Tavern near the Philadelphia docks, and whose first recruiting officer was Samuel Nicholas, the bartender.
As you read this, as usual, there are Marines getting shot at in a faraway land. Again, as usual, the Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan are doing their best to "improvise, adapt and overcome". There have been no Marine casualties in Iraq since the active phase of the war ended, a tribute to superb training, superior execution of orders, and Marine leadership.
There, and in any other place in the world where there as few as two or three Marines (There are no "former" Marines.) together tonight, the Commandant's annual message will be read, along with General John A. Lejeune's immortal 1926 message to Marines. For those Marines off-duty, glasses will be charged, and toasts proposed and drunk to the United States, the President-Commander-In-Chief, and the Marine Corps. A bit later, someone will propose one "to absent friends", and there may be a few surreptitious tears.
Marines never forget. The ghosts of all those who have worn that forest green dress uniform, the dress blues, and all of the variations of combat uniforms over the 228 proud years of Marine Corps history watch over their shoulders to insure that the new guys do it right. It is a comforting feeling in a firefight to know that there are ghosts watching you, and over you.
My brother has a bumper sticker with an eagle, globe and anchor emblem and: "We Promise You Sleep Deprivation, Mental Torment, and Muscles So Sore You'll Puke. But We Don't Want to Sugar-Coat It."
Happy Birthday, Marines,
LTC, Armor, AUS(Ret)
(...and former SGT and CPT of Marines)
I FEEL AS THOUGH
Sgt. Grit, I am a former Marine. I Served the Corps with the Military Police and the Criminal Investigation Division. I was in during the first gulf war. I feel as though I served my country, yet you don't see much about us. I lived in 29 Palms for six years, as Barbara Bush said when she visited us. "the trip here was enough for anyone". Please publish something about the CID, a lot of Marines don't like us. They do need to consider We keep the druggies off the firing lines. Would you or any Marine you know like to be on the range or in combat with a "crack wh*re?"
Semper Fi B. Kelly
SO WHAT HAPPENS AT THE BALL
When I was in MP school down in Aniston, AL all the NCOs were ordered to wear their Dress Blues to the Ball. Well one of the sergeants in my class decided that he wasn't going to wear his Blues because most of us non-ranks didn't have them yet. Further more the man got totally obliterated put cami-paint all over his face, teeth, and hands and started low-crawling around on the dance floor singing the Marine's Hymn. I can't put in words how awesome of a site that was!!! Then when an Army officer (remember we are on an Army Base) thought this Sergeant had gotten out-of-hand he tried to stop him. Now picture in your head what a Marine is supposed to look like. Because the Sergeant was about 6' 4" probably weighted in close to 250 and was just Thick. Anyways this Sergeant didn't appreciate what the officer had to say so he poked him in the chest pretty hard and told him that the officer shouldn't even have the right to be there and that he "wasn't going to listen to no snot-nosed Army Puke like you." Never the less our Staff Sergeant came and removed the Sergeant and took him back to the Barracks. The next day with a lot of hangovers we PT'ed the Alcohol out of our systems and nothing was ever said to the Sergeant. He just said one thing that I will never forget "The Ball is our Birthday Party and no one will ever take that away from us. So what happens at the Ball stays at the Ball!!!"
Hope you enjoy my experiences about as much as I did,
1st Mar Div HQ Battalion MP CO.
THEN AS USUAL
SEMPER FI SGT GRIT...
WHERE WILL I BE FOR THE MARINE CORPS BIRTHDAY?...WELL I'LL BE IN JAIL...WHY?...BECAUSE I'M A CORRECTIONAL OFFICER..THERE ARE ONLY THREE MARINES THAT WORK HERE..ONE IS A LT. AND THEN THERE IS OFC. GREEN AND I....I WILL ARRIVE AT THE JAIL FOR BRIEFING AT 1950...I'LL BE ON POST AT 2000 AND BY 2030 I'LL BE ON THE PA SYSTEM SINGING THE MARINES HYMN...BY THE TIME I'M DONE ALL THE INMATES WILL KNOW WHO IS ON POST....THEN AS USUAL I WILL WALK THE TIERS CALLING CADENCE LOUD AND PROUD....WHY YOU MAY ASK?...JUST TO REMIND THE INMATES NOT TO PISS OFF THIS MARINE SEMPER FI AND HAPPY 228TH BIRTHDAY TO ALL MARINES....
V.M. SWOPE FORMER CPL OF MARINES
While stationed at Camp Pendleton, CA in the early '80s, there were Marines that wore a red patch on their cammie covers and trousers and also wore jump wings. I would like to hear from anyone out there who could tell me what unit, mos, etc... they would be attached to and what does the red patch mean??
Thank You and Happy Marine Corps Birthday and Veteran's Day.
SEMPER FI!! AJ USMC 1982-1986
CALLED MY DAD
I have for the past 35 years always called my dad or sent him a card for the Marine Corps birthday, sadly he passed away 5 days before Christmas last year. So, this year I called the General's office at MCRD and talked to another retired Marine and wished her a Happy Birthday and am having red and gold flowers placed at my father's site at Ft. Rosecrans....to all Marines everywhere.... Happy Birthday...Semper Fi!!!
True to the Corps forever, Nancy
ANY MOTHER WHO SENDS
This is a message for the Marine Mom who had a son who failed a UA test. First of all, we all make mistakes in life. And those of us who are old enough to have children know that sometimes our children do stupid things - you are not alone. This is going to be a big test for your son,you are going to find out what he's made of. Even if he does get discharged, he can still take his punishment like a Marine, learn from his mistake and go on to lead a productive life. He's going to need your support, but don't be afraid to give him a hard time if you think that he's feeling sorry for himself or blaming others for his situation. (you know - the mom thing) Individuals do not become Marines by taking the easy road. Secondly, it is my opinion that any person who successfully completes boot camp, then serves honorably during a combat tour, deserves to retain the title of Marine. Additionally, any mother who sends a child off to Marine Corps boot camp, then sends that same child/Marine off to serve the interests of the United States of America in combat, deserves much more than our understanding and respect! You will always rate the title "Marine Mom"! And don't be in too big of a rush to take all those bumper stickers off your car or quit wearing Sgt. Grit's shirts! Even if your son is discharged, you both have an enormous amount to be proud of. There are many of us who can no
longer meet the standards of an active duty Marine, but still retain our pride, i.e. "Not as lean, not as mean, but still a Marine." If anyone asks, you simply say "My son is no longer on active duty," then tell them a story about something that your son did that you are proud of. If they persist in prying, tell them that it's none of their business. You bore the burden of sending a child to war - I cannot begin to comprehend how parents like you survive this trauma. You do not need to explain yourself to anyone! Also, regarding you not wanting to sign your name for fear of retribution from Marines. Please understand that Marines feel that they have a duty to keep each other honest. Sometimes it's not pretty, but it's because we care about each other and the Marine reputation that we have all worked so hard for. Hopefully, nobody would've chastised a Marine Mom for bearing her soul regarding a mistake that her son made. However, if anyone does want to make any sharp-tongued responses to my e-mail, please respect this Marine Mom's feelings and write me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bruce T. Meyer
Sergeant of Marines
GROW MORE CYNICAL
As I grow older, I also grow more cynical. In the '40's I read with pride the exploits of MgySgt. Lou Diamond in Leatherneck magazine. He was purported to have been in the Corps so long, no one was sure just how long since his records were destroyed when the British burned down Washington, DC. His hash marks covered his left sleeve and continued on his left blouse pocket. To old to be allowed to join the troops in the Pacific, he stowed away on a troop ship headed that way and then managed to set up and fire mortar shells at the enemy at Guadalcanal off the ship's fantail. References to him during WWII no longer appear. Could it be that he was the Corps mythical answer to the Army's "Kilroy" in Europe?
Sgt. Walter Dodd '43-'46 & '49-'53.
4 X 8 PIECE OF PLYWOOD
The time is near, once again, for the celebration of the birthday of the Marine Corp. The one I will always remember is the one I celebrated in 1967, in Viet-Nam. We had been on a large operation and had set in for a short stay, up by the Z, before we started on the move again. A crazy fly-boy was up in a "birddog". He flew over us several times, rocking his wing as red and blue smoke came from the tips of his wings. What a sight it was on that cloudy, drizzly day. Then we noticed a six-by drive up to the center of the unit. Out of the back, carried by eight Marines, came a large 4 X 8 piece of plywood. Upon it was the most beautiful three layered cake I have ever seen. The cooks took tow days to make it and it weighed around 300 pounds, so we were told. The cake was cut and served and enjoyed by EVERY Marine in the battalion. Happy Birthday USMC.
Also, along with the celebration were a few promotions and presentations. The one that has always stayed in my memory was of one Lieutenant. He got promotion to Captain and the Colonel informed him he also was to receive a Plexiglas operation. He was told that eight square inches of his stomach was to be removed and a 1/2 inch sheet of Plexiglas was to be inserted, so he could see where he was going when his head was up his ass. It was one of the few times I really laughed while in country.
I may be getting older, but I have noticed that I walk with a different gate and stiffer back on November 10. They are right - you can never take the Marine out of us!!!!!
John Halpin, Sgt.
2nd BN / 9th MARINES
Sarge.....the age-old question of what to call "Old Corps" Marines has been around for a long time. Are we Veteran Marines, Ex-Marines, Former Marines.
Past Marines or what? I just read a definition by Dr. Daniel W. Pollard whowas a Corpsman with the 1st Battalion, Ninth Marines (The Walking Dead). Dr. Pollard said, "WE BELIEVE WE ARE MARINES UP UNTIL THE TIME WE DIE, AT HICH TIME WE BECOME DEAD MARINES."
DICK WHITAKER F-2-29
SIXTH MAR DIV
I'M NOT SURE OF THE SPELLING
Also in response to Mike (Oct. 30) and Ed (#57) newsletters about Vieques and it's supply of killer drinks, I was there for 3 months in '55 and for 5 months in '56 with VMO-1. Isabel Segunda was famous for a somewhat loony lady called "La Cachaca" and her talent for feeding unwitting Marines one of two drinks (or sometimes both, depending on the Marine's endurance level!). I'm not sure of the spellings, but the mildest of the two was called "Roncaya" if you could call it mild and the other was "CoÃ±ayoca", "lights out" on this one! They would leave the bar and do whatever was to be done, for I never found anyone who could actually remember. The next day was pure HELL, though. Enough said! Corps to the Core . . . Tom Harp Sgt. of Marines '53 - '59
I'LL SLAM A FEW
Happy Birthday Marines. I want to wish you all a Happy Birthday and a Happy Veterans Day. Carlo I'll slam a few for you. Take Care of yourself out there. Hope that all of yo