"Go on, then, in your generous enterprise with gratitude to Heaven for past success, and confidence of it in the future. For my own part, I ask no greater blessing than to share with you the common danger and common glory ... that these American States may never cease to be free and independent."
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Here's Your Orders of the Day!
You Will Over EAT!
You Will Spend the Day with Family!
You Will Not Sit Home Alone! If you're alone this Thanksgiving---then go out and Find some one to spend the day with! Lots of Old Vets out there who would Love for you to visit with them.
You may Dress Up in Funny Looking Clothes and go pretend that you killed the Turkey Yourself!
Naps are required after eating!
Have Yourself A Wonderful Thanksgiving! You Deserve it!
THEY WOULD TAKE MORE FIRE
just wanted to share with you a story of the old stereotype of combatants not wanting to mess with the USMC. a fellow marine from my unit here in Hawaii just returned this week from army airborne jump school in Georgia. he was talking to one of the army captain instructors there and the army officer told my friend that he was in Iraq guarding the border to Syria. my friend was in Iraq on the 13th MEU so they got to talking about the war. The captain was saying how funny it was that at the beginning of the war that they never took fire. then after the war ended little by little they would take more and more fire upon their camp and soon it was to the point that it was almost routine, well after the war was over, and noted how odd it was. He continued on to say that before they left they got a small unit of marines in there camp and the shots stopped coming in. so this army unit spray painted all there trucks with USMC and according to this army captain, they never were fired upon again. My friend who is a cpl told the officer that it wasn't odd that the shootings into his camp were nothing at first and heavy towards the end due to the fact that the Iraqis new the marines were still around during the war, and as marines started leaving after the war the Iraqis wanted to see what they could get away with, so they fired a few times, and it continued. A quick side note here, no one from that small army camp ever investigated those shots fired. I can tell you from my unit that was in Iraq, there's no way in hell i hear shots fired at me and someone's not going to go check it out. oh well, that's just my 2 cents proving the old stereotype that other countries can distinguish between the USMC and the US Army and they wont mess with the marines. keep up the good work Marines.
Lcpl Mark Neuman, 3rd Radio Bn
"Ground Communications Techs- its not how big your PRC is, its how where shoot your freq"
THE LOOK ON HER FACE
First off let me say what an outf***ingstanding web site, newsletter & catalog you have. I love the stories. Reminds me of how great my time in Our Beloved Corps was.
For all my brothers out there I'm sure there are a 100 liberty stories apiece but here is one of my 100; While stationed at Cherry Point in 1972, me and a few of my buddies decided to sample some entertainment at a local watering hole for our birthday. We were watching a few young ladies performing on stage, and naturally having some refreshments to cool us off. A buddy of mine name Greg Turner from Texas was chewing tobacco all night and spitting in a beer bottle. Well one particular young lady finished her dance, and as she came down off stage, walked by our table and you guessed it, grabbed the bottle that Greg had been spitting in and took a huge swig, obviously thinking she was getting some nice cold beer. Well the look on our faces I'm sure was comical enough, but you should of seen the look on her face after that huge gulp. First off she needed a pair of scissors to end her gulp, then when she realized what she had, she turned ghost white. She grabbed her mouth, ran outside in the snow, and started spewing all over everywhere. As you can imagine we were laughing so hard our sides ached. She never showed up again that night. And I'll bet, she never took a swig from another strange beer again. I hope she lived through it. I've got 99 more stories like that, of course some have to remain quiet. D*mn I loved those 4 years.
Happy Birthday Devil Dogs!
7U. S. Marine (1971-1975)
JOHN BASILONE STAMP CAMPAIGN
Dear Sgt. Grit
On 19 February 2004, the third annual Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone Day will be held in the Freedom Museum at the Manassas Regional Airport at 1900.
This past year the governors Maryland and New Jersey [along with 11 other cities and counties] proclaimed 19 February as Basilone Day in their respective states.
Thus far for 2004, Governor Mark Warner of Virginia has issued a similar proclamation. The John Basilone Stamp Campaign Committee's goal for 2004 is to see all fifty governors issue proclamations announcing 19 February, as Gy.Sgt. Basilone Day. We are asking everyone to write their governors and make such a request, this will help the letters that are going out to all the governors from the Stamp Cte.
Link to all 50 governors
MAN I'M GLAD THAT
As a retired Sergeant Major of 30 years service I would like to make a comment to the fact that once a Marine Always a Marine. Although my hero has decorations of combat operations in Vietnam I'd like to talk about his courage in leadership. My true life Hero throughout my career as a Sgt Major has been Sgt Major Lewis G. (Gary) Lee. I first met SgtMaj Lee in Japan as he was the base SgtMaj. I learned throughout that tour that he was definitely a man of honor with no room for devious integrity. As a example of this I'd like to relate the following story. It was a little late on a Thursday and Gary and I with the wife's were at the SNCO Club, as we didn't know each other so good we had different opinions and I got out of line. Man I'm glad that was all to it as he was totally more an over powering man as I. The next morning he called me and said "G" I think we need to ban ourselves from the club for 30 days as was the policy for anyone who had an incident of that kind in the club, and I totally agreed with him. After getting off the phone with him I thought maybe not such a good idea, so I called him back and said that by doing that rumors would spread that we hated each other and the best remedy would be for us to belly up after work and buy each other a beer. He agreed and the incident went without flaw. Later thru my career he was selected as Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps and I sent him a congrats email, hoping his answer wasn't my congrats for an early retirement. Gary stood the post as a Sergeant Major with real convictions, you always knew what his policy was and why; and that of his General. He was always a Sergeant Major to me and always kept the Honor, Courage and Commitment of his Marines in thought when making his decisions. Allot of his decisions were not popular with allot of senior enlisted but he had the courage to make them.
Readers might remember an incident where he made a public statement about a whiney SNCO not wanting to go on Drill Instructor Duty, every word of his statement was supported by all of us Snco's who met the mettle but he was edged to change his statement to that of a compromise to that whiney SNCO. I don't know how it played out with the subject SNCO but would expect he didn't meet the mettle. Before SgtMaj Lee left our Corps I was selected as the SgtMaj of the Second Marine Expeditionary Force and was honored to introduce him to all of the Marines and Sailors of Camp Lejeune.
When he left our Corps I truly felt a great loss.
S.F SgtMaj "G" USMC retired
WELL LO AND BEHOLD
I was a 2531 with H&S Co. 3rd Mar Div (rein) in late 69 and 70. I was at Quang Tri, Dong Ha, and Camp Carrol. I was attached to K co 3/4 for awhile with my teamy named Billingsley as their HST . Currently I am 2 months from retiring from the Postal Service. While working in Holmdel New Jersey's PO I met a truck driver, Bill Dalton, from Luicent tech who had a son who joined the "Crotch". He went in the reserves with the 6th MTB out of the Lincroft N.J. area. Later I transferred to the Eatontown PO but kept in touch with the driver. Well his son got called up for Iraq, changed his MOS and shipped out with the 25th Regt as a Grunt. I wrote to him and he made it back ok. Now get this, in the Eatontown PO I got to know a guy named Bob Allen who told me he had a nephew in the Marines. Well lo and behold on Friday 7Nov I told him to ask his nephew if he knew our Birthday was coming up. Not only did he know buts its his birthday too. Our local paper ran some pictures of Vets on Nov11 and on Wed the 12th he showed me his nephews picture. It was a the truck drivers son,Lcpl W. N. Dalton. We'd been talking about the same Marine all along. SEMPER FI
Rubano,G.C. SGT. RVN69
THE RECRUIT SMILED
As a platoon of recruits stood in formation at MCRD, the Drill Instructor said, "All right! All you idiots fall out."
As the rest of the squad wandered away, one recruit remained at attention. The Drill Instructor walked over until he was eye-to-eye with him, and then raised a single eyebrow.
The recruit smiled and said, "Sure was a lot of 'em huh, sir?"
WHEN EVER HE LAID INTO ME
JUST A NOTE ABOUT ONE GUNNERY SGT(AND FOR THE LIFE OF ME, I CAN'T REMEMBER HIS NAME)... I.WAS IN AN HOA WITH FOX CO. 2/5 IN 69-70 AND OUR COMPANY GUNNY WAS ONE OF THOSE GUYS WHO WAS IN THE BUSH AT ALL TIMES WITH THE GRUNTS..HE WAS HARD, BUT FAIR...MEANING HE BROKE OUR CHOPS , ESPECIALLY BEFORE OPERATIONS TO INSURE WE HAD OUR S**T WIRED TOGETHER...BUT HE ALSO MADE SURE WE HAD EVERYTHING WE NEEDED TO GET THE JOB DONE.....WHENEVER HE LAID INTO ME FOR SOMETHING, I WOULD GIVE HIM THE "AYE,AYE, GUNNY!" AND SNAP TO IT, KNOWING HIS "GENTLE" LESSONS WOULD SINK IN AND MAKE ME A BETTER SQUAD LEADER.....WELL, ALL THE LESSONS SANK IN AND MOST OF MY SQUAD STAYED ALIVE LONG ENOUGH TO MAKE IT HOME.....I TAKE A LOT OF PRIDE IN THE FACT THAT I COULD PASS ON SOME OF THE WISDOM WHICH WAS GIVEN TO ME BY ONE TOUGH BASTARD OF A MARINE....THE KICKER
AFTER JUST COMPLETING AN OPERATION, WE RETURNED TO AN HOA AND THE GUNNY RECEIVED HIS ORDERS TO ROTATE OUT...HE GRABBED ME AND MY BLOOPER MAN AND WE DROVE HIM TO DA NANG TO GET HIS FLIGHT AND SAW HIM OFF....ABOUT 2 WEEKS LATER, I RECEIVED A LETTER FROM MY MOM THAT HE HAD CONTACTED HER !! HE TOLD HER I WAS WELL AND DOING FINE AND THAT I WAS A GOOD MARINE......WELL MY MOM INVITED HIM OVER TO DINNER AND HE ACCEPTED !!! CAME OVER AND HAD A NICE DINNER....MY MOM WAS VERY IMPRESSED AS HE CAME ACROSS AS A STERN MAN BUT A TRUE MARINE THROUGH AND THOUGH......I FELT SO PROUD....SO IF YOU EVER READ THIS GUNNY.....THANKS........I WILL BE FOREVER GRATEFUL.......SEMPER FIDELIS......
CPL. CLIFF "CHIP" IVIE -
ROSES AND THORNS
Hi Sgt Grit..
I have noticed a question asked frequently in the wives section is where to find the Roses and Thorns book. Of course my constant reply is in your catalog, but they still seem to be having problems finding it. Is there anyway you can make it more obvious? Or perhaps use it as a featured product in a newsletter. There seems to be a high demand for this book, and it is frustrating trying to hold their hands through the catalog process.
Just a thought.
Semper Fi, reconwife
Click on books, go to page two. #BK420 $5.95
or click here Roses and Thorns
LATER THAT EVENING
As I read the latest newsletter, and have just observed the 228th Birthday of our beloved Corps, I reflected on a previous Marine Corps Birthday, and the memory it has evoked, and where I received my finest compliments. It was the 225th Marine Corps Birthday and my wife and I had flown to Baltimore to stay with my old recon buddy Smitty, (Sgt. B.P. Smith, now a distinguished professor, author, and artist, at the University of Baltimore). We took the train down to D.C. on the morning of Nov 10th, 2000 to attend Operation Arlington Ridge, and enjoy the ceremonies. Needless to say they was outstanding, with the Marine Band, Silent Drill Team, Drum and Bugle Corps, General Jones, General Barrow (guest speaker), and distinguished guests. All Marines should make it a point to attend. Later that evening, we had the privilege of attending the Marine Corps Ball with the 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion in Frederick Maryland, and where I received my finest compliment. Smitty and I were in line at the bar talking casually, and chit chatting with other Marines when a young Marine sitting at a nearby tables asked us who we were. We were not in uniform, but were in suits and ties and we both had our 2nd Recon lapel pins proudly displayed. I turned to the young Marine and responded that we were just two old Recon Marines here to celebrate the Marine Corps Birthday. The young Marine then stood up and said "That's why your here, to show us the way". For me, besides the title of Marine, that was one of the finest compliments I have ever received, and I felt extremely privileged to be a part of such a fine tradition. Later that evening several other young Marines came to our table and told us how privileged they were to have us in attendance at their ball.
They were wrong. The privilege was ours.......
Sgt. Paul O'Brien-Kinsey
United States Marine Corps
MITCH ASKED BOTH
It is with tears in my eyes that I forward this message I just received. Colonel Mitch Paige, one of America's greatest heroes is gone. I know that he and General Ray Davis are up above now talking about "the Old Corps" and where to place "heavens guard force" for today's duty. It has been my privilege to have known Mitch for more than 50 years and to have belonged with him as a member of the Northern California Chapter of the 1st Marine Division Association since it was formed nearly 30 years ago with Mitch as our first President.
Lorelie and I have a wonderful memory of an evening spent in the Skyroom of the Marines' Memorial Club with Mitch and Jim Forney discussing the future of the Northern California Chapter, 1stMarDiv. Mitch asked both Jim and me if we would accept the position of Northern California Chapter. While flattered, we both declined stating that our friend Harry Knox who had worked so hard for the Chapter since its inception deserved that honor first. I have always been very glad I made that decision. Harry was elected, served the Chapter very well and died much too young shortly after his term as President concluded. Mitch stated more than once we had made a great recommendation.
Mitch was also one of the first members of our China Marine Association and was our last surviving Medal of Honor recipient since we lost Doug Jacobson several years ago. Though I am not a "doll collector", I did purchase one of those Hasbro Toy Company's Mitch Paige G. I. Joe dolls. It will now become one of my fondest remembrances of Mitch, along with my two autographed copies of his book "A Marine Named Mitch."
A Marine Named Mitch
By sheer coincidence, one evening this past week I was watching The History Channel and they were showing a 90 minute segment called The Medal of Honor Story. They had a very lengthy interview with Mitch telling the story of his heroics at Guadalcanal. I called Lorelie in to watch it with me. I don't know how long ago it was taped, but we both commented about how frail Mitch appeared.
Mitch's love of God, Country and Corps was well known and will always be remembered and serve as a standard for all Marines to strive for.
AS Chaplain for the Northern California Chapter of the 1st Marine Division Association I will get a condolence card in the mail to Marilyn today May Mitch rest in the eternal peace he has so well earned.
Semper Fidelis, Ed Fulwider
I WAS IN SHOCK
SSgt Conway's story about getting smacked for wearing his cover indoors reminds me of something I witnessed at Camp Fuji Japan in 1979 while assigned to 3rd Recon and on float with 3/4. I was standing in front of a quonset hut that had Admin offices in it (sorry don't remember which company) and was speaking to a LT about something when the LT put his hands in his pockets while speaking to me. At that moment 1st Sgt Berry (I remember HIS name) came out of the offices and approached the LT from behind. Without breaking stride he struck the LT HARD in the shoulder and sounded off in a loud commanding voice "Take your hands out of your pockets ...Sir!" The Lt never even paused in his conversation. I guess he had to be "corrected" on more than one occasion. I was in shock that an officer had been struck in front of me and the sky had not fallen.
John Klein Sgt. USMC 78-82
ONLY MARINES ALLOWED
The red patch I wore as a member of Landing Support Battalion has a purpose and is a part of Marine Corps history. During the Second World War, Marines of the Pioneer Battalion stated the need of a distinct marking or uniform to distinguish the support personnel working on the beach from the combat troops who were landing on the beach and moving inland to assault. Many changes and advancements were made after World War II in the Marine Corps. The Pioneer Battalion became the Shore Party Battalion and during the Korean War, shore party personnel working on the beaches wore a 1" x 1" red patch on their cover, a 1" x 3" red patch on each leg, and a 1" x 1" red patch in the middle of the back of their jackets. Shortly after the Korean War, the red patch for the jacket was deleted but the distinction of being a shore party Marine and the wearing of the red patch became part of the history, tradition, and pride of this Battalion. There has been many changes in unit structure and title since the days of the Pioneer Battalion, but the Marines of the Landing Support Battalion have maintained the distinction of being the only Marines allowed to wear their distinctive marking of the red patch. As a Marine, I took pride in wearing my Marine Corps uniform and the red patch because the uniform bears our glorious history, and the red patch distinguished me anywhere as not only being a Marine, but as a member of the Landing Support Battalion.
Charlie Company Dawgs of War
"There's no party like Shore Party"
3rd LSB, 3rd FSSG Okinawa, Japan
I'M GUNGY AS
Hey Brothers! As usual I'm By-God late. Happy Birthday Marines! I spent my day at freakin work. I suppose it beats walking a post in the freezing rain (but not by much). Anyway, there are four of us Devil Dogs at work and every year I do the same thing. Each year I send a copy of C.M.C.'s message for them and give them all a rousing phone call wishing them a Happy F@^*#*g Birthday. Others at work just can't grasp the concept when they learn it's my birthday. They ask how old I am and I reply 228 years old. "No really, how old?" What a bunch of "sticks"! The other three guys think I'm gungy as hell but I still get a motivated oohrah out of all of them. Did I mention that three of us work nights and the fourth works days? When I make my calls it's at 0001 or as close to that as possible but never earlier. That guy and his wife truly have a sense of humor. I tell them it sure beats a s**t can down the middle of the squad bay. As mad as they get I ALWAYS get an answer and an oohrah. I always marvel and am humbled I have the privilege of calling myself MARINE!
Good night Chesty, where ever you may be.
CONSISTENTLY DEVASTATED OUR FOES
Nov 10, 1775, 228 years of Raw PRIDE can there be a better force on this Globe, No!! because we as Marines as the ultimate best at what we do, we have consistently devastated our foes, since our creation.
We have beaten down the Germans during WWI the term DEVIL DOG added to our infamous title!! WWII Guadalcanal we handed the Japanese their first defeat in over 1600 Yrs!!! Korea, our 1st Marine Division took on the Chinese and the word we passed down through the Chinese to stay away from the Crazy Yellowlegs because we would not yield to their WILL!!!! Grenada was a training exercise for us!!!! Desert Storm, Kuwait Militia was on OUR ships instructing us as to how to deal the Republican Guard the ultimate defeat!!! IRAQI FREEDOM, we as Marine used Fire and Maneuver to our advantage and took it to them!!!!! On this day and every day I am PROUD to have served in MY CORPS to each and every one of my brothers and sisters serving and who have served I wish you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY and SEMPER FI!!!! There will never be a finer force and may our enemies fear our name from now until the end of time!!!!!
82 - 92
RLT-5 (5TH MARINES)
GREAT BUNCH OF GUYS
In answer to the Marines question about the Marines who wear a red patch. The patch is a unit signifier for Landing Support Battalion. This is the unit that coordinates and controls the beach. The patch is to let others know who is in charge of the beach and operations for directions and support. Those with wings were a part of ANGLICO Company. They were specialist at air delivery of equipment and supplies.
Great bunch of guys to work with. I was a part of 2d LSB and was deployed with the 26 MEU. Love the job.
Does anyone else out there remember the riot in Lisbon, Portugal when we were in port with the HMS Ark Royal?
HID UNDER HIS HELMET
Dear Sgt Grit
I entered M C R D June 12 1957 Plt 356. Our DI's were S/Sgt Joe Curley, Sgt T J Hayek and Sgt Carson. I've contacted several including Sgt Curley. Some have passed on . all seem to appreciate that I have remembered them from so far back. I remember Sgt Curley telling us when he got to Korea he hid under his helmet. after Chosin he could stand sideways and nobody could see him. that is how he survived Korea. Anybody else remember Sgt Curley? Dale Hartley 1956 1962 at NAS Olathe Kansas VMF 113
TOLD THEY COULD NOT
My son Cpl John Schubnel and 8 other Iraqi conflict Vets recently got the Marine shaft...or tip of the Spear as you may call it. They wanted to reenlist after 4 years of outstanding service and were told that they could but they would have to change their MOS because new recruits have been promised them. What a bunch of crap...sounds like the Viet Nam days. Then John was told..."let your term end and we'll get you into the Active Reserve". All 8 vets were turned down for active reserve. Come on now...these are good Marine's with combat service. How can a new-be take precedence? All are now on unemployment and some are still in Arizona. My son re-applied for active reserve for the second time and we're still waiting. Senator Rick Santorum from PA say's "his office can't do anything unless my son writes a letter to him" that's a big cop out. I wrote the Senator and his reply was that my son has to write the letter not his father. My son is concerned that the letter may do him harm if he gets back in. What's the deal with this nonsense?
Thanks, John Sr.
I HAVE POINTED OUT
I have been explaining to many people over the years that Marines are special. You complain while on active duty but you are, in the fiber of your being, a Marine forever. I have pointed out that there are many cars that have a Marine Corps bumper sticker but you never see a bumper sticker for any other branch of the service. It is as if once they have done their tour of duty they don't want anything to do with that part of their life. Just a thought from a former active duty Marine who went to boot camp 40 years ago come this February.
If my Corporal son were not in Iraq (after having already deployed to Afghanistan with the 15th MEU after 9-11), I'd have him answer your question since he is a "Red Patcher", but since he's not available, I'll do the best I can to answer your question in his stead. Red Patchers are 0481's - Landing Support Specialists. This may include other "04" MOS'es as well, but I'm not sure. According to MCO P1200.7U, "Landing support specialists perform various duties pertaining to the establishment, maintenance and control of transportation throughput systems on beaches, landing zones, ports (air and sea), and terminals (rail, truck, and container) used in support of MAGTF exercises and operations." Or, to put it another way, these Marines are the ones who load things up, tie things down, sling stuff beneath helicopters, and (in general) deliver the "beans, bullets, and band aids" to whomever needs them. The red patch (I'm sorry. I don't know its history and tradition) is at the very least a symbol of the pride they take in their work, and in doing it well. A couple of years ago when my son did not get the MOS he wanted, but was assigned MOS 0481 instead, I was afraid he might develop a negative attitude toward the Corps, and might not do well. Still, he said he would do his best in MOS school. And, sure enough, just before he graduated from 0481 training at Camp Lejeune, he called me and said, "Dad, I've got the best MOS in the whole d*mn Marine Corps. I haven't done the same thing twice and we're always busy. I love it!" (Can you tell? He's not a lazy kid.). It taught me I should have had more faith in my son and our Corps. And to this day, his time in the Corps and his dedication to his MOS continues to be exemplary. Perhaps a real "Red Patcher" can tell us the history and significance of the red patch--especially considering, until my son told me about it, I wasn't aware that any sub-unit of Marines wore any insignia other than the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor we all wear.
(and proud father of Cpl. Andrew Quave)
IT WILL ONLY HAPPEN ONCE
Article Stars and Stripes Viet Nam; l969 Many of us here in Vietnam have been following the stories about unrest on the Nations' campuses with subdue anger. It is demoralizing to read about our underprivileged counterparts vandalizing campus buildings, manhandling institution leaders and generally making "asses'" of themselves. It is painful to the thousands of less pampered "students" here who have taken their lessons from instructors in black pajamas and scandals; where classrooms were sandbagged; hot sweaty jungle clearings; where the Saturday night date is a cold beer and a letter from home; and where grades are not A"s, B's, or C"s but sudden death crippling wounds or maybe victory. But we didn't expect you people back in the world to be concerned. You did your share in "44 or was it 52 and now your too tired to do more than mutter "Well"' what's this world coming to?"
Well don't worry people, because someday soon this war is going to be over and a half a million angry young men are going to descend on the 50 states with dreams of homes and families and education and jobs. When those men hit the campuses, I sincerely hope that someone tries to stop an ex-Marine from going to class, or that some sorry, flakey, social reject tries to plant a Viet Cong flag next to an artificial leg of a Seabee, or spits in the burned face of an Army medic.
I guarantee that IT WILL ONLY HAPPEN ONCE.
Sgt Fred Masso
2282317, 1st Marine Division
Viet Nam 1969-1970
In reading your news letter a question was asked about a red patch on a Marines cover. The red patch is shore party 1381 MOS.
The only Marines allowed on the beach after landing are the red patch shore party. We run the beach. It started in WWII due to Marines that were supposed in combat but were sneaking back to the beach.
I ALWAYS GRIN
Great job as usual - enjoy the hell out of them. Couldn't pass up AJ's query about the red patches. For him and anyone else who may not know, those are the distinctive markings (or used to be anyway) of what was called Shore Party. I always grin whenever I think about that particularly distinctive marking because, while in Japan in '53, we told all the jo-sans that it meant they were "cherry boys". I'll leave it to the readers to imagine what happened then. (I was in 1st Bn., 12th Marines at the time, so didn't have to suffer the consequences.)
Semper Fideles! J.J. '52-'73
Old habits die hard, thank God, but a recent comment about proper usage of a cover focused a question I've had. As a former active duty Marine, would it be considered improper to wear a hat inside a German beer hall? Typically starting this time of year I will wear a hat when I'm out but have never felt comfortable even with the notion of remaining covered indoors. Yet it is normal, if not customary, to leave your headgear on while quaffing some cool, quality suds. And speaking of which......with regards to our birthday, it is heartwarming to read the various tales and yet bittersweet as I have never attended a Ball. For those puppies out there, you would do well to disregard those superiors who treat it as a mandatory function and not what it truly is, a celebration of our history and everlasting fidelity. Life is too short; go out there and make some memories of your own!
Michael A. Thornton
Cpl. USMC 82-86
TOW by God!
THIS INFORMAL GATHERING
This year, as we have done for the last 28 years, Marines former and present celebrated the 228th Birthday of our Corps at Giovanni's Restaurant in San Diego. Our guest of honor was the legendary Major General Ray Murray. The General, now 90 years old, was a great guest and fascinated the attendees with stories of his amazing career, particularly his heroics in Korea. This informal gathering each year has brought together Marines of all ages and experience for the common purpose of celebrating the Birthday of the finest fighting force the world has ever known!
Happy Birthday Marines everywhere!
..."Once A Marine... Always A Marine!"...
THE MARINE CORPS EYE
Just read your latest newsletter, which, naturally, contained a lot of Marine Corps birthday stories. As usual, couldn't help but stir up more memories of time in the Corps that could never be forgotten. Thanks for all of the work that you put into the newsletter. Great job, Marine!
I was a young L/Cpl stationed at Camp Smith, Hawaii (HQ-FMFPac) in 1970-71 when I served under MGySgt Grammig. The MGySgt was, hands down, the most memorable character that I met while in the Corps. It seems that, when he was a young Marine, he was probing for a mine with a bayonet and the mine went off, leaving the MGySgt pretty horribly scarred and taking one of his eyes. Luckily, the Master Guns was no match for a landmine. On the Marine Corps birthday, he would wear his 'Marine Corps eye', which was a glass eye with a gold EGA where the iris normally is on the eye. MGySgt Grammig & his wife also had twin children, born while stationed in Hawaii, when the Master Guns was well into his 50's: a boy that he named Marino Corey & a girl that he named Marina Cora. Also, just wanted to add my name to the list of those who agree with you that trying to find old Corps buddies is worth all of the time & effort that you can muster. Although I have had contact with several Marine buddies since leaving active duty, there are still several others that I would give anything to find but still haven't (as of yet!).
L/Cpl - U.S.M.C., active 1969-71, inactive 1971-forever!
I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY
As a former Marine, I had the opportunity to celebrate our Marine Corps Birthday with my son and the Marines of the 3rd ANGLICO who had returned from Southern Iraq earlier this year. The Marines of his unit were outstanding and we got to shoot the Sh - t and do some things that Marines do well.... drink and have fun.I felt VERY HONORED! It was my first Marine Corps Ball ! As a father of a third generation Marine, it was an experience I will remember forever !
Cpl of Marines, RVN 69'-70'
MYSELF AND THREE OTHER
I am writing this on the 35th anniversary of my falling in on the "YELLOW FOOTPRINTS". My brother, myself, and three other Marines are celebrating and not ever regretting our time in the "Corps". Ooohrah ! Semper Fi to all you Leathernecks throughout the United States and the World.
Our hearts and souls are with you all.
Good Luck and May God bless you all.
Cpl. Phillips, J.L. 1968-1971
AFTER THE NAMES WERE READ
This year our birthday celebration took us to a small town in Virginia called Saluda. This was the home town of our beloved Chesty Puller, my wife's cousin. We arrived at Christ Church Chapel on the afternoon of 9 November to find there was only parking on the street as the other parking lots were already full and we were 30 minutes early. Outside the chapel were active duty Marines from Williamsburg area as well as a number of Marines well beyond my Vietnam vintage. Several still wore their uniforms with great pride and on my part with great envy as I can't imagine what it would feel like to be able to fit into my dress blues again. A large number of Marine Veterans were members of the Leatherneck Motorcycle Club and a few were recently separated from the Marine Corps. My wife Anne introduced me to her cousin, Virginia Puller Dabney...Chesty's daughter.
His other daughter Martha was not present this day. The service was short but very spiritual and then we went outside to remember our fallen comrades. After the names were read of the Marines in the local MCL who now guard the streets of heaven, various names were sounded off of those we wanted to remember on this beautiful afternoon. Each time a name was mentioned the bell was struck. When the names ceased to be given, an honor guard stood at attention while "Taps" was played by a high school bugler and a rifle salute completed that part of the ceremony. Individuals were then to proceed to the cake cutting event at the church hall but the band kept playing the Marine Hymn completely stopping the migration as we all stood ramrod still. Finally the band director got the idea that when he plays our hymn, we aren't going to move and he switched to other patriotic music.
This ceremony has been going on for five years now and Anne and I plan to be there next year too. I invite all Marines who live in this area to join us again. Later that night our MCL Detachment had a private dinner at a local restaurant. It was a great affair as well.
Semper Fi, Tommy Neuman Vietnam Class '65-'67
HONOR IS A FOREIGN CONCEPT
Re: Cpl. (Really ? His thoughts disqualify him from even thinking "Marine Private") Ryan Page. Some few months ago we had an "e-discussion", which I believe is a modern day bull session, in these pages about Honorable Discharges and lesser discharges. One of the few low lifes who managed to slip through a recruit depot was upset because he got a general discharge because he deserted his buddies in the Philippines to spend some time with some slut. Well Ryan Page, you need to look this person up because it seems to me that you two are two pukes in the same pail. Clearly, you never truly were a Marine. Oh, some how you managed to get the title, the uniform, etc., but in your heart, such as it is, your just lace pants puke. Marines are warriors - not thugs or gangster or the like - but warriors as in people who fight for there society, their values and their honor. You probably don't understand that because no decent society would have you; you have no values beyond yourself, and clearly you honor is a foreign concept to you.
While your remarks in and of themselves are offensive in the extreme, the fact that they are made by a being of your ilk actually turns them into a compliment. It is rather like when Saddam Hussein refers to the USA as a nation of infidels. So, please keep on with your foolish, childish pratings, because to anyone who matter, they obviate the good things of our Corps.
Richard E. Hulslanderz
Former Captain, USMC
RVN '67 - '68, Con Thien
UNIFOUR AREA OF NORTH CAROLINA
A number of Former Marines have expressed interest in forming a Marine Corps League unit in the Unifour Area of North Carolina (A four county area in western NC including Alexander, Burke Caldwell and Catawba counties). If you are a former Marine and are interested, please call GySgt John Grindel, USMC, Ret, at (828) 322-2541 or e-mail me at email@example.com. We are planning a meeting at the Golden Corral on Lenoir Rhyne Blvd. SE, ( a quarter mile norh of I 40 exit 125) in Hickory NC on Wednesday December 3rd, 2003 at 7:00PM. We can eat and have a meeting and maybe tell a sea story or two.
We plan on having the Commandant of the Statesville NC League there to tell us what we need to know about forming the League and can answer any questions we might have.
A belated Happy 228th Birthday and Semper Fidelis!
Gysgt John Grindel
SINCE 1898 WE HAVE BEEN
The American Association Of Navy Hospital Corpsmen had their reunion in Charleston on the weekend of 8 Nov. We were invited to the Marine Corps Birthday Ball and 6 Corpsmen and their ladies attended. As it is always with the Marines we were treated better than we deserved. Thanks to Col. Tice and all involved with the Marine Corps League in the Charleston area. On behalf of my fellow Corpsmen it has been a honor to have ought and cried, bled and died with the finest fighting force in the world! Since 1898 we have been by your side. We honored a fellow Corpsman Michael Vann Johnson HM2 who was KIA in Iraq on 25 March while serving as a FMF "Doc". Thanks to the Corps for naming a building in MCRD SDiego after him.
Best Regards, Chuck Stark Riviera Beach, Fl.
Hospital Corps 58-62
WE ALL HAVE THAT REMINDER
This is a letter to respond to MOMMA DICKS' question; "How can I show enough appreciation to the Marines and Vets?"
MOMMA DICKS, for some, words aren't required at all. Just the twinkle in your eye when you stare us face to face is enough to give a U.S. Marine shivers that can't be explained. Most of us didn't join so we could be told that someone is proud of us. We joined to defend our beloved God, Country and Corps. We all have that reminder with us everyday when we wake up for reveille; the name tape that is sewn on our left breast pocket which states U.S. MARINES. So don't feel down on yourself when you hug a Marine and tell them "Thank You!" We understand.
LCpl Richard Jennings
1st Bn(Rein), 12th Marines
I HAD THE PRIVILEGE
I was sorry to read of the passing of a fine individual, and solid Marine Officer, Colonel Mitchell Paige. I had the privilege of meeting him, when he was the guest of honor at our B-Ball ceremony in 1991, when I was with MPBn in CamPen. He was a true inspiration, with plenty of stories to go around. Semper Fi.
C. E. STEMP
CWO-3, USMC (Ret.)
REST IN PEACE BEN
It is my sad duty to report:
Benny Braun USMC
October 24, 1924 - November 18, 2003
We buried an Iwo Jima Veteran today. We lost Ben after a long battle with cancer. Benny served in the Pacific on the Islands of Guam and Iwo Jima where he was wounded in battle and was awarded the Purple Heart. Rest in Peace Ben.
Your newsletter puts a lump in my throat. Military farewell and homecoming scenes on TV, a military band, a parade, the color guard, all bring tears to my eyes. But above all, a Marine in uniform creates in me an incredible feeling of pride and admiration.
I am a proud Marine Brat, born and raised in the Corps. My father, SGTMAJ Charles C. Awkerman, enlisted in April 1941, and retired in June 1971. The SGTMAJ is going strong, still as much a Marine as he was 60+ years ago. Once a Marine, always a Marine...not just a slogan, but a way of life!
Through several Marine associations, my dad has been able during the past 30 years to keep in touch with many of the Marines with whom he served during those 30 years of active duty. However, I'm sure there are others with whom he has lost touch, perhaps someone reading this message right now. Perhaps you! I would like to give my dad the opportunity to hear from anyone who might have served with him. If you would like to contact the SGTMAJ, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll surprise him with your message. Thank you all for your service and dedication.
Semper Fi! Pamela Awkerman
BEIRUT WAS A LITTLE MORE
As a retired Master Chief Fleet Marine Force Corpsman, I do enjoy the Sgt Grit very much. Probably because my background is mostly Marine Corps. During my 23 years of active duty, I did 2 tours at Lejeune and one on Pendleton & Okinawa. In addition, as an FMF corpsman, I was in Vietnam in 1970 - 71 and in Beirut in 1983. I can tell you that Beirut was a little more difficult for those of us ashore than most people knew. From the end of May to early Dec 1983, there were about 1600 members of the 24th MAU ashore. As the American Contingent of the Multinational Peace Keeping Force, we were mostly all huddled around the Beirut International Airport. During that period (little over 6 months), one in every four of us were either killed or wounded by rockets, artillery, mortars and snipers. As you know, on Oct 23rd 1983, 241 young men died and 127 of us were wounded. I was very fortunate to be on the WIA Vs the KIA list. Well, enough war stories, Thank you again for your news letter. Oh by the way, I am the CHAMPUS Rep for TRICARE for South GA & FL. If I can provide any service to you in that area, please let me know, i.e. ; if you ever need TRICARE info for your news letter.
I'm a Gunny and have been for almost two years now. Every rank in the Marine Corps has a story behind it. Since I got promoted I've been trying to find out the story behind "Gunny". Not the rank Gunnery Sergeant, the name Gunny. Can anyone help? Thanks for your time.
GySgt Bryan P Brown
Combat Service Support Chief
I HEARD A LOUD
One more birthday story if I may. This past Monday (Nov. 10) I was on my way to the VA hospital in Asheville, NC (Not the best way to spend a birthday) I was sitting at a red light when the car next to me beeped and motioned for me to roll down my window. The driver obviously saw the various Marine decals and bumper stickers. As I rolled down the window I heard a loud "Happy Birthday Marine." This made the drive a little shorter then normal. When I arrived at the hospital I lost count of the birthday wishes received and delivered. Although I could think of more entertaining past birthday celebrations I can't remember a more meaningful one. Everyone from doctors to old salts remembered what a special day our birthday truly is. God Bless every one of them.
Gysgt Dave Galant 71-81
MARINES IN VIETNAM
Dear Sgt. Grit
My name is Casey Hawkins, I'm 16 and I live in a sleepy little town in Ava, Missouri. My father served with the Marines in Vietnam, and I have always been proud of him. I know he appreciates your newsletter, and when I asked for his help, he pointed me to you. Recently, the honor classes I participate in was granted a great honor by our school district.
We have been asked to put on two special programs in January. As you know, January 27th marks the 31st anniversary since combat ended in Vietnam. My class is trying to desperately create a program that will 1st honor these Veterans, and 2nd inform the students at Ava, what Vietnam really was. Personally, I don't understand a lot that happened with Vietnam, and maybe through this experience, I can learn. One program will be for the students and for them to learn. The second one will be for the veterans to be honored. We need two speakers, one student friendly, one Veteran friendly. And we need pictures, memorabilia, anything that will help us create a better film, and a honorable program. I need you help. You have the ability to reach many Vietnam Veterans, and we don't. So, now I ask you, will you please help us by posting something about this program in your newsletter? And if you are unable to do so, could you at least help point us in the right direction? Maybe you know of good speakers? Please we desperately need your help. We have exhausted all other efforts.
Rt.2 Box 270
Seymour MO 65746
If you would like to contact my teacher...
(417)683-5747, this is the office number
Ava High School
c/o Mrs. Pat Henry
PO Box 338
Ava MO 65608
1961 The Everly Brothers are inducted into the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, reporting to Camp Pendleton, Calif., for duty. I never knew they were in the Corps. Just thought you might find this interesting and maybe some other readers of your newsletter might know more about it. Take care and I hope you, your family and staff have a wonderful, blessed Happy Thanksgiving. Take care.
USMC 1972-76 Forever
In no way did i mean to sound like i was "whining" and never once have I ever blamed anyone other than myself for my own hardships...I was NEVER disillusioned by the fact that this was definitely harder than the National Guard, and never once in Iraq did I ever care about comforts...
All I was saying was that I have yet to see all the "loyalty" to each other that we pride ourselves in. I am VERY proud of what i have done and of the marines I have served with. and most importantly, I am very proud of what the Marines have done for this country.
No where in my writings, did i ever expect to be so misconstrued like i was with the reply of Mr. "I served 2 years but wasn't man enough to stay for a full twenty". To make this perfectly clear... I have already served 9 years for my country and fully plan to Re-Enlist into probably the most dangerous field of the Marine Corps...I am trying very hard to get into the Explosive Ordnance Disposal community.
And God willing that I am able, I plan to serve a FULL twenty years or more in "my beloved Corps".
Anyways, if in any of my writings have offended anyone, or I have in any way "hurt someone's feelings" (I can't forget that nowadays you have to be very careful of others feelings) then I am really sorry. Please Mr. "An Hoa" accept my full fledged "Devil Dog" apologies. Hopefully, we can get together on the fact of Veterans Rights and other things we DO share in common.
-Cpl Ryan B. Page Iraqi Freedom Veteran
In response to the inquires of one of our readers, about movies of the corps, there is quite a listing (if I can remember the all), that may be found in video stores, Turner Classic Movies,or some of the military magazines that have special listings in said magazine. Listed below are "Hollywood" versions about exploits of our beloved Corps. Actual released dates are uncalled on some, and are not listed in any particular order. Just good motivational, and enjoyable viewing.
World War Two Era. Sands of Iwo Jima, (John Wayne & company)
The Out Sider (Tony Curtis) the story of Ira Hayes.
"Devil Dogs of the Air" (James Cagney)
"The UN believer" (1918)
"What Price Glory" (James Cagney, Dan Dailey) 1952 .
"Tell it to the Marines" 1927 Lon Chaney
"The Singing Marine" (Dick Powell) 1937
"To The Shores of Tripoli" (John Payne) 1942
Guadalcanal Diary (Wm Bendix, Lloyd Nolan) 1943
"Gung Ho" (Randolph Scott, Sam Levine) 1943.
"Marine Raiders" (Pat O'Brien, Robert Ryan(a real life Marine) 1944,
"Wake Island" (1942) Brian Donlevy, Wm. Bendix, Robert Preston.
"Halls of Montezuma" (1951) Richard Widmark. Jack (Walter)Palance.
"Beachhead"(1954)Tony Curtis, Frank Lovejoy.
Korean War / and others
"Hold Back the Night" (52 ?) John Payne, Chuck Conners.
"Retreat Hell" (1952) Frank Lovejoy Richard Carlson, Ned Young
( A real Company Gunny),Russ Tamblyn.
"Flying Leathernecks" (1952) John Wayne, Robert Ryan(out of sequence )
"Battle Cry"(1955) Van Heflin, Aldo Ray.
"The D I " (1957) Jack Webb.
(1978) "55 Days at Peking (1963) Charlton Heston.
Viet Nam era: "The Boys in Company C"
"A Rumor of War",
"Fire Base Gloria",
"Full Metal Jacket".and!!!!!!!
"THE GREAT SANTINI" Robert Duvall,(1979) filmed at,"Beautiful Beaufort by the Sea"
"Salute to the Marines" (1942 ?) Wallace Berry.
"Pride of the Marines" (1944 ? ) John Garfield, Dana Clark, Anthony Caruso.
Story of, "Pvt. Al Schmid", machine gunner at Guadalcanal, Navy Cross recipient.
This is all I can remember. Semper Fi to one and all.
"Line em up and "squeeze em off".
1st.Sgt. B.J. (Pete) Petrisky 1350340 ' 52-' 72
JOE STATED TALKING
Good Morning Sir,
I wanted to share with you some personal information about my stepmother's uncle, Joe Villareal. He was in the Korean War in the same outfit as Chesty Puller, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division. His feet were frost bitten all over. Joe lives in a nursing home in Frankfort, Illinois and has glaucoma; he's completely blind and his memory isn't that great. Joe's sister, Alice visits him weekly and they sing together (he had a nice singing voice as a young man).Yesterday my step mom went to visit him with her uncle Sam (Joe's brother). While there, Sam talked of his own son who was also in the Marine's some years ago and then Joe started talking of his day in the service. (It's amazing how the elderly can remember such specific things about military service.) Anyway, they asked him his serial number and he said it with NO PROBLEM. The man is about 76 years old. Some years ago, my dad asked him about the Chosin Reservoir but all Joe said at the time was "that was a long time ago". (I think those are some hard memories to have to live with.) History. This man was part of history and it's so sad that so many are forgotten.
Thank you all for your service. I haven't forgotten.
Thugs, Thieves, Liars and Backstabbers:
Yeah, and you ought to see those brig rats perform in combat, absolutely Fan-f**king-tasticly. I'm dmned proud to have known and worked with these Thugs, Thieves, Liars and Backstabbers.
In Philadelphia we Raised the colors at Independence Hall. Tun Tavern was torn down in 1781, but people still ask to see it,
I think your words are just perfect. A simple heartfelt "Thank You" does it all.
Former Cpl. of Marines
There is no way that my need for stomping out terrorism has died down. I am leaving for Parris Island in 5 weeks and the entire reason I joined the Corps is to rid our country of those bastard hajis who only want to destroy our freedom simply because we are the best. We truly are the best and if they want a showdown, I'd d*mn sure give it to em.
"In everything give thanks." (I Thessalonians 5:18)