Sgt Grit Marine Corps Merchandise

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

Sgt Grit Marine Corps Newsletter - September 4, 2003

They always said, "The Best Way to Pick a Fight with a MARINE is ask him "What Navy Base are you pulling guard duty on".

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Thanks for the huge response to last weeks survey question. Go check out the results to find out what everyone thinks is really going on in Iraq.and while you're there answer this weeks survey question about Saddam's hide out?

There have been some good posts to the bulletin board the past couple of weeks and if you haven't been in there yet - go check it out. always has something interesting to say. (See evidence below. ) Old Salts we need YOU to give some advice to those poolees so go onto the Newby/Future Marine Forum and help them out with their questions. Newbies USE this resource.

Semper fi
Sgt Grit

New Items!

Harley Davidson 3 Hole Derby Cover

Harley Davidson 5 Hole Derby Cover


1/9 is being reactivated due to the war on terrorism.


Young Marine, In the Rain, Trying to light his cigarette, a little bit "sloshed", and up walks another man, the Marine says, "hey Buddy, Do you have a light?" Sure says the man, when he lights up his lighter, the Young Marine sees a General 's Stars, on the Shoulder of the Man, Quickly he "Snaps To" & Says, I'm sorry Sir, I didn't know you were a General". That's OK Son, says the General, "Just be thankful I wasn't a 2nd Lt". With that, he lit the Marines Cigarette, returned his snappy salute & walked on down the street to his waiting limo.

They always said, "The Best Way to Pick a Fight with a MARINE is ask him "What Navy Base are you pulling guard duty on"


I'm reminded of the story were Chesty and other Marine battalion commanders showed up for a dinner hosted by Gen. Almond in Korea. Chesty took one look at all the trappings that were flown in for the Army brass and departed back to the front along with all the other Marines commanders. His opinion was that if the troops don't get special treatment, then neither does the brass.

Semper Fi
Graig M.


Gentlemen: This is a great loss to this country, our beloved Corps and especially to the family of General Davis. His foresight and bravery allowed many of us to return from the frozen hell of Chosin safely to our families. He will be greatly missed by all. A toast to General Davis, may he find peace with his Lord.



Yo Grit, When did Marines start wearing name tapes over the pockets of cammies (name tape over the right pocket, "U.S. Marines" tape over the left)? I think the left tape should say "U.S.M.C." Anyway, in my opinion, it all looks too much like the Army, Navy and whatnot. I went to boot camp at Parris Island in 1975. At that time, we were still wearing the green utility uniform with the iron-on EGA and "USMC" on the left shirt pocket. We were allowed to put this insignia on about week 9 or 10. One recruit in my platoon had the temerity to ask a drill instructor why we didn't have names on these uniforms.The drill instructor pointed to his own left breast pocket and said,"You see this Eagle, Globe, Anchor and USMC, boy?" "Sir, yes, sir!" The drill instructor said,"That's all the identification you need."

Semper fi, Chip Taylor, LCpl (1975-1977)


This is in response to a letter that sent in by Gunny Rodriguez. The quality of leadership in the Marine Corps is something unique in or proud service. I am an oddball at work. I have degree in Nuclear Engineering, and I am a Control Room supervisor in a nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania. I am the only Marine in the place, and I am surrounded by former sailors from our Nuclear Navy. Most were submariners, and almost all the top executives in the company are retired Admirals or Captains. I have a unique relationship with my subordinates that my superiors fail to understand. I consider myself to be a big brother to them. Some of my superiors feel that I am too close with my men, and that it may impact my ability to lead. I will never fit into their mold of "leadership". Leadership to them means a cold, impersonal, dictatorial type of leadership. It seems to be the Navy way. They do not think it is possible to hold people to high standards and still treat them like human beings. They feel that the organization only survives because of their "leadership". What they do not understand is that true leadership inspires people to go to the next level because they want to, not because they are being told to. In the Corps, I held my superiors in the highest esteem. I wanted to do the best I could every day because I did not want to let them down, or let my brothers down, or let myself down. I would have followed them through hell and back. Most people do not understand our beloved Corps, or the depth that our love for it goes. We are an anachronism, a throwback to a pure warrior culture. They will never understand.

The swabbies that work under my charge used to call me jarhead, but only from a distance, and always with a tone of reverence that is truly hard to describe. I would just smile with pride. After a few months of working for me, they began to know that they could truly trust me in a way that they could never trust their superiors in the past. They know that I will never let them down, and in return, they never let me down. It's funny how that works. So, I will continue to lead the Marine Corps way, the only way I know.

My men now call me "Gunny", even though I was a Corporal of Marines in my day. Imagine that, 15 swabbies calling me "Gunny". That, my brothers, is RESPECT!!!

Semper Fi!!
Ray McKinley


Sgt. grit

It's early Saturday morning and I am up to read your always welcome letter. I learn a great deal from other marines about their experiences and am often struck by the similarities to some of my own. The story related today about scoring some fresh eggs from the army caused me to remember when the 1st. marine division was preparing to go back on line in Korea around the first part of June 1953. We were packing up and the advance party of the army unit that would take over our camp was moving in to our area. We knew that much night patrolling awaited us and were aware that we lacked the automatic weapons that would make us safer while on those patrols. The United States Army, God bless em, came to our rescue. They did this by leaving their weapons lying about everywhere. Marines, being Marines, accepted the situation and many members of the 1st. Bn, 5th marines armed themselves for the coming action. I was Cpl. of the guard for the Bn. when a huge army Msgt. stormed into the guard tent demanding that we stop the thievery of his units weapons. He was escorted back out of the tent with the suggestion that they take better care of them. we thought it pretty funny at the time but with the passing of years it does seem a pretty mean thing to take another man's weapon. Mea culpa, mea culpa.God bless America and success to the United States Marines.

Bob Jennings
MSgt. USMCR ret.


Hey Sgt Grit.

The old bulldog here. I read the reply to my letter. The Corps will forever be the Corps and i in no way would ever put down our beloved Corps or brother and sister Marines. Im just an old dog out to pasture now and dream of being younger and back in the Corps. How i miss the sound of the drill and all that the Corps has to offer. I know that our young Marines are doing the job as Marines always have. It is my nature to b!tch once in a while and like all marine NCO's, I sometimes think i could do it better. Isn't that the way? My heart aches for our fallen brothers over there in Iraq.

I have another question. Where did oohhhrahhh come from> So help me Chesty, a young LanceCpl yelled that to me as i said Semper-Fi. Maybe one of you boots can answer that question for this old dog.

Anyway, Semper-Fi Brothers and watch each others back.

The old Bulldog. USMC Retired.


Sgt Grit,

As I was reading the letter by Sgt. Lewis Wood, memories returned to me also. I was there~~ first in Diego, 1964 Platoon 385. S/Sgt. Evans, Sgt Grebaugh, Sgt Risner I remember the same places you talked about Lewis, I was with CMR....Mike 4/11 on my left and 8" on my right. We were all part of the 1st Provisional rifle brigade during Operation Starlight. As you said, it has been almost 40 years and I see the faces plainly. I served 13 months in Vietnam (65-66) and a total of 6 yrs. 9 mos. and 23 days in the Corp. I left the Corp in Sept 1971. I too sit in awe of Our Great Corps....we turn young men and women into The Few The Proud The Marines !!! And yes Lewis we still KICK ASS!!

Sgt. Richard Knowles 2130420
Platoon 365, Diego



I just took the survey on who my favorite Marine was and Seeing Gen.A.M.Gray reminded me of a short story. As a young marine stationed in JAx FLa in 1987 the Biannual Maintenance command was the pride and joy of the east coast. Gen Gray came for a visit and the spit and polish marine did not listen to the fluff and buff marine (me) when I let the spit and polish marine know that the General really liked his Red Man chew and to have a pouch in the vehicle.he did not listen to meand after the spit and polish marine returned to base,he was replaced by me since I had a pouch of Red Man.I got to Drive for General Gray and that was the highlight of my time as a Marine.It was even better than Driving for General Kelly

Semper Fi
Cpl A.K. Brown
3531 USMC, 84-88


I remember the first day of boot camp like it was yesterday. All the training was the best thing that ever happened to me. I went in the day I turned 17 and I went to NAM on my 18th birthday. I was in the Corp from 1968 -1972. I cherish the memories that I have and the discipline it has given me throughout my life. I wish they would make it mandatory for the youth of today to have to serve our country for a least 2 years, it would certainly rid our society of a lot of the little cockroaches driving around smoking dope and playing those annoying boom boom radios and give them a whole new outlook on life... SGT DODSON USMC


I read S.SGT. Modesti's letter in the 8-21-03 newsletter about Pvt Lynch's rifle being dirty and thought I'd give you all another laugher:

In April of '67, I was on temp duty as an MP at Chu Lai. I was paired with an Americal Spec 4 and we were driving up Route One when we saw an army truck stopped up ahead on the side of the road. Rice paddies for ever on both sides of the road with no cover at all around the truck. When we pulled up to it there were about a half dozen soldiers standing around and a Lieutenant with a brand new shiny gold bar (but no clipboard in his hands). I was a brand new Lance Corporal of Marines and the first thing I did was to inform the Lt that he should put his men out in the paddies to give the truck some cover. His reply "They'll just get dirty out there." My Americal buddy began to laugh and just then we heard the first "pinnnng, pinnnng" and of course everyone stopped laughing and hugged the ground. Some bad guys were firing at us from some trees about 2-300 yards away. Of course they were lousy shots, but you never can tell, they might have gotten lucky. The truck had a 50 cal in a cupola and I jumped up into it to start blasting away. God, I loved those 50's. However, this one had so much rust on it that the top of the gun was actually red. I was so mad and frustrated I wanted to cry. I began cussing the army guys and the Lt with all the salty words I had ever heard since Parris Island. Whoever was in the trees must have realized that a Marine was in the area and decided to hit the road. We finally got the truck towed up to Danang. But I'll never forget that rusted army 50 and the look that poor Lt's face as long as I live. Also in '67 while I was temp assigned with the 2nd ROK Brigade and the 1st Anglico's at the Korean Brigade HQ which I think was called Ben Son, we snuck into the army compound at Quang Nai (or was it Quang Tri? I'm getting to the point where I can't remember things anymore) and stole three of their jeeps with mounted 50's. Took us several days to clean them up but it was worth it later. On the other hand, the army sometimes takes really good care of some of their stuff. I was a brand new 2nd Lt at Futenma Air Station, Okinawa. My CO called me up one day and told me that a lot of Marines from Iwakuni would be coming down to stay with us and I had to come up with complete furnishings for about a 100 guys. There were a Maj and a Capt in his office and they gave me a list of furnishings they wanted that was a mile long. I took one look at the list and told the Colonel that there were not 100 mattresses on the entire island. Then the Maj said that they needed to add 2, (not 1, but 2), 1500 lb Mosler safes to the list. I didn't think there were 2 of that type of safe in the entire Pacific. The Col told me to do the best I could. I wouldn't have let him down for anything. There was no use going through normal Marine Corps supply channels so I went to "other" sources. First stop, the big GSA trash dump on Oki. A rather large sized civilian ran the place and he wanted to get rid of everything he had as bad as I wanted to get everything I needed. While I was checking out the piles of stuff in the dump some army flatbed trailers pulled up to the gate. It turns out that the army MP unit is leaving Oki and is throwing away everything it owns. This included chairs, desks, beds and yes, by God even mattresses. I told the GSA guy that I wanted everything they had. He said fine as long as the Col signed for it. I called the CO and told him that I could get a lot of the stuff we needed but needed his signature in 5 minutes. He said that he already signed the paperwork and that it was in my pocket. That was good enough for me, so I signed his name and the GSA guy said it's all yours. I then went to the army drivers and told them to drive the stuff up to Futenma. When we got there I couldn't get hold of the Sgt Maj to get a work detail (I only had a Gysgt and a Pvt). I told the army guys to come back the next day to get the trucks and they took off. Never saw them again. I waited a week and then called the army unit and talked to some guy who said someone would be out to get them shortly. Never heard back from him. Waited three weeks and tried the same number again. Sorry, army guys not around anymore, they've shipped out. Soooooooo, I walked over to our motor pool and talked to the WO. "Gunner, those army trucks are sitting there collecting dust. Don't you think the taxpayers money should be better utilized?" The Gunner said, "Lt you won't see them tomorrow." He was glad to get them because they were in excellent shape and the next day the Marine Corps had five brand new flatbed trailers.
About 3 weeks later I got a call from an army major about the trucks. I said, with an absolute straight face, "Sir, are you talking about the 5 tractor trailers that your people picked up over a month ago?" That was close enough for him. Never heard back from the army again. I wonder if they can still get me for any of it?I would also like to say that I got a lot of really good help from the Navy Bulk Fuel unit at Futenma. Though there were only a few of them there they had access to a lot of supplies through a black book that their Chief kept in his desk. That book got me the 2 safes and a number of other things that were neede. (I think one of the safes came from an army excess dump in Germany.) As a way to repay them, I got most of the furnishings from the newly renovated army NCO club (renovated to the tune of $35,000.00 just weeks before they left), and put them in our NCO club.

Oh, and speaking about stealing food. But then, that's another story.

Steve Eslin USMC
Pvt to 1st Lt, 1966 to 1978

NOV. 22, 1963

Sgt. Grit,

I was USMC 64-68 and was a Hollywood Marine. There was some conversation regarding Drill Instructors being referred to as Drill Sergeants. Not in my Marine Corps. I had a S/Sgt, two Buck Sgt. and Cpl. as my DI's. S/Sgt Pickler was the Platoon Commander and since he was 6''7" and about 170 lb. we called him the Jolly Green Giant (behind his back of course). Cpl. Patty was the smallest, but also the meanest. He used to stand on things and tilt his head when talking AT us. We were their Turds, maggots etc. and we loved/hated/feared them. As far as least liked C Rats Ham and Mother-f@##$@kers had to be my number one hate. You always tried to find some southern boy in your squad to "volunteer" for those little babies. Hated them, loved the cigarettes, used to swap for the filtered ones.Chewing gum, canned fruit, cookie and of course good old C-4 to cook with. Can't remember the different designations and what they contained, did then tho'. But do remember that a HUGE number of our Rats had packed date of Nov. 22 1963. I always felt that was ominous as we all remember to this day where we were when Kennedy was shot.

Former Sgt. S. Bosshard 2095724


Sgt. Grit,

I have to tell this story and hope you will post it where all active duty and former active duty Marines will see it. On June 20, 2003 I visited MCRD San Diego with my daughter who is a recruit with the Young Marines. I have always told her that the Marine Corps is a spit a polish outfit. Leather shined so that you can see yourself in it and brass shined to look like gold. I told her that when I went through MCRD before going to Viet Nam in 1969 I had been assigned to polish the brass Marine Corps Emblem on the front of the base theater and at the Commanding Officers Headquarters. I told her that seeing that emblem shine in the sun made you proud to be a Marine. As we drove through MCRD we stopped at the Headquarters building and took a picture of the Marine Corps Emblem in all of its glory, shining in the sun. I told her that the emblem that I was most familiar with was at the base theater so we went to the theater to take a picture. I was totally shocked!! The emblem was dull and tarnished and looked as if it hadn't been polished in weeks. If I had some Brasso, a toothbrush and a rag I would have shined it myself. Upon returning home, I wrote a letter to the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps in Washington and asked that they either keep the brass shined or take the emblem down and put it in the museum. I have been informed by a source at MCRD that they now have a new Sergeant Major at MCRD San Diego and that the brass is being shined daily and is looking good.

Semper Fi


I told my husband this morning the story of a young Marine I met in Syracuse, which I thought would please him. I noticed that in getting out of the car at the university and moving about from place to place there was always the same young Marine opening 'the door, so I finally stopped to ask him whether he was connected with the university. His answer was: "No, ma'am. I'm home on furlough, but I heard you were coming in town and they teach us that wherever you and the President are, the Marines have to look after you, so I came right on down to do that till you leave town." The President remarked that that was truly the spirit of the Marines!

Eleanor Roosevelt


Sgt Grit,

Your bumper sticker 'Mess With One Marine and You Mess With Them All', and the others I ordered are going to my Marine pen pal whose team has moved out of the hot zone in Iraq and are now in Kuwait. His unit is the group that Lt.Col. Ollie North was embedded with at the start of the war. I figured the men might want to leave some mementos to remind everyone that the Marines had been there...and won't hesitate to come back if needed.

Aunty Dinda


Sarge: you can tell Maj. Dickerson that maybe he told his people to "dispose" of those C-rats, but I will never forget my first ones that were labeled 1943, they had a four pack of unfiltered Pall Malls that were so old they had brown spots on the crinkly paper and the cocoa powder had dried worm hulls that floated and let you dip them out. I think the "disposal" of those beasts was by issuing them until they were all gone.


Hello Sgt. Grit

My name is Paul Gilbert. I graduated from the Island in 67, Platoon 3017. I would like to know if you know about any reunions of Platoons from Parris Island? Every time I think about the Corp, I wonder about how many of my platoon buddies made it back to the states after the Nam. Do you have any information?After graduation I went to Camp Geiger for Anti-tank training. From there to Camp Pendleton for the jungle training with the sand fleas. Off to Okinawa for more jungle training. We flew out of Okinawa to Da Nang, Vietnam on a C1-30. When they opened the back hatch of the plane, and that 120 degree heat hit us, we knew we were in for the long haul. That night while in out tents, we received our first taste of the war, first the incoming, then the small arms fire. Still trying to pop our ears from the flight over, we are running for cover, in our skivvies, no protection from the pieces of scrap metal falling around us, or the rounds flying pass our heads. I will never forget my first night in country. In the morning, with no sleep, we were being assigned to our companies. My company was stationed on a little mountain near the DMZ. I was told that we were to be flown in. Did I mention the date....January 29, 1968? Yes, that's right I was assigned to the First Battalion 26th Marines 3rd Marine Division, Head Quarters and Security. The little mountain was Khe Sanh, the date, January 29th, 1 day before TET. And as they say, the rest is history.


Did you survive or have a family member survive the BattleOf Iwo Jima. 59th Anniversary Reunion in Wichita Fall, TX. February 18, 2003.

Contact: Howard "Phil" Phillips
978 Orangewood Dr.
Brea, CA. 92821-2514







Sgt. Grit...

I have enjoyed reading your Newsletter's for over a year now. I appreciate your great work. There was a entry in your August 21, 2003 signed Jarhead157Korea(50-52). Would you be kind enough to send a message to this Marine and any others that ever served with Delta-2-11. There is presently a Delta 2-11 Allumni Association and all who served with Delta 2-11 are invited to join. Please visit our website and contact John Hetrick at (402) 493-0322 or myself

Mike Weber (715) 478-3177.

Mike W., D-2-11 1965-66


My boyfriend, Robert, recently graduated from boot camp. I wore a Semper Fi shirt to his graduation (got it from Sgt. Grit's site and it is so awesome!) I felt really special to be one of the guests at such a amazing event. The graduation was beautifully done... ok one guy passed out... but the young Marine's around him made it unnoticeable. The marching was so GORGEOUS! Of course, you Marines already know this, but I just thought I'd comment. The real reason I'm writing is because of something I witnessed. While my boyfriend and I were getting seated at a restaurant (Outback... I made his ten day leave full of steak and fatty foods) one man was leaving. As he passed Robert he said Oorah in a low voice but loud enough for Robert to hear and acknowledge him. He must have seen the USMC shirt he was wearing ("Terrorists don't bother running from a Marine, you will only die tired), or the high and tight haircut. I had heard that the Corps was a brotherhood, but it was the first time I witness it and I was touched. I have been a die hard Marine fan since Robert left for bootcamp. You are all wonderful and I love each and every single one of you! Thanks for keeping America safe!!!

Marine Girlfriend,


I know Grit but I just have to do it! This is in response to L/cpl Givens. 1. You must have been assigned to an Instrument Repair section in a Service Co which was part of an FLSG attached to the Air Wing to have those notions. Their are very good reasons for the enlisted rank structure and the Policy of non Fraternization. Somebody dropped the ball where you were at. 2. As long as it's a Marine I'm comfortable with any rank watching my back. Even a 2nd Lt.

J.A. Monteith
65-77 SSgt


A reply to Sgt. Lewis Wood,

I was with "B" Co 3rd Recon, Chu Lai. 7th May 65 to Feb., 66. I remember Hill 65, Bull Fisher, Hill 661 and a lot of other hills. I also remember Star Light and numerous other operations. And occasions when our 4 man team were glad to see the grunts come in so we could break contact with the enemy in order to continue a patrol. I would hate to think where our team would have been on more than one occasion if the grunts from 2/4 did not chopper in and continue the fire fight so we could continue with our mission. I did get to spend the Marine Corps Birthday back at base camp. I was WIA on the 9th of November in the early evening and Med Evac to "B" Med the following morning. A hell of a way to get a piece of cake, but after two weeks in the field hospital and a month of light duty I was back on point for our team.

God bless the Corps.
Semper Fi!
Tony De Bellis 2050665
Recon (First in Last out)



I'm a Marine through and through! I passed the test, went to Viet Nam, was a Drill Instructor (MCRD) then a Troop leader at Camp Pendleton.All I have to say is that I'm proud of all the Young Devil Dogas that do us proud through out this world! God bless em' in Afghanistan too! One thing is all I have to say, Pass your professionalism and guts to all our young Devil Pups coming up. Keep the tradition going, it's a special club!

We love you all!

Kelly Christensen, Sgt USMC
VietNam 1967/1968


Dear Sgt. Grit:

While summering at MCRD, PI, SC in 1960, my fellow recruits of Platoon 356 and I were called upon to perform a spell of KP during our delightful stay of thirteen weeks. I spent my tour as a DI waiter. What a privilege this was. During the days and nights we were blessed with the accompaniment of our three assigned DIs: GySgt. Alvarez, Sr. DI, GySgt. Goodman, and SSgt. Smith. However, during my tenure as a DI waiter I was fortunate to acquaint myself with what seemed to be every DI on PI for meals. Every day. What a joy that was. We were required to wear paper "p-s cutters" and were provided with little menus, three by three inches that could be stuck in our paper gords. One day in particular stays with me. I vividly remember when I presented a DI with the little menu. He inquired what the vegetable de jour was and I proudly announced "peas and carrots, sir." "Great," he replied, "I'll have the peas." I stammered and stuttered for a moment attempting to make a reply, when he queried, "Is that a problem private?" I sensed all of the other DIs at the table looking at me. I gave a loud response "NO SIR." did a sharp about face and retreated to the galley where some of my fellow campers and I began dishing out the meal ordered.In a frenzy, I scooped out spoons of peas and carrots, spread them out on a plate and began to separate the peas from the carrots. I then put the peas in a small serving bowl and did the same with the carrots. I then loaded up the serving tray with the meal ordered, pushed the bowl of carrots to the side and told my 'colleagues' not to let any one touch that bowl of carrots or there would be bodily harm inflicted on someone. I raced back out into the mess hall and served the meal to the gunny and observed his, and the other DIs, reaction as they all looked at his tray and the bowl of peas. I could imagine what they were thinking as I watched them smiling. Thank God they didn't know what I was thinking.

About one hour later, the last of the battalion was coming into the mess hall. The DIs from their respective platoons came over to the DI's area and seated themselves with the contingent of the prior group still dining. I went through the drill again and presented the little menu as I had done so many times before that afternoon. The SSgt. looked at the menu and asked what the vegetable de jour was. I proudly responded "peas and carrots, sir!" There was a moment's pause as he looked around the table to see the other DIs plates with their servings of peas and carrots. The sergeant then looked up at me and stated piercingly, "Private, I'll have the carrots." The silence was deafening as everyone at the table stopped eating and looked up at me. I responded sharply, "AYE AYE SIR, ONE SCOOP OR TWO?" "One" he retorted with a surprised look on his face. I couldn't wait to get back to the galley, load up the tray, and serve his meal in record-breaking time. As I placed it in front of him I could sense all eyes on me, and then the tray as they eyeballed the 'bowl of carrots.' Again, the silence was deafening as I walked away with my own soundless laughter resonating in my head with some other thoughts of what he could do with the carrots. Thank God they didn't know what I was thinking, or I would have been 'set back' and still on PI today. It was precious moments like these that helped us all get through, and I wouldn't change those experiences for anything in the world.

Semper Fi,
Tom Tumilowicz.
1885075 - Cpl.


Sgt. Grit,

Great newsletter. Wanted to share an experience my son and I had this last Labor Day weekend in the north woods of Wisconsin. My son wanted to take old dad on some R&R fishing. Poor kid thought he could out fish this old Marine. Anyway, here we are driving across this lake and we are watching this guy in a boat trying to land this fish. Knew it had to be a muskie, when all of the sudden he stands up and steps backwards and he's gone, with the boat flipped over. Directing my son to an immediate Search and Rescue Operation we head over there at break neck speed and find the guy hanging onto the back of the boat, and, his muskie. Tossing him a life vest we take the muskie and secure him. Being concerned he might capsize our boat he decides to stay in the water while we tow him to his nearby pier. During the coarse of the tow he notices my hat and asks if I'm a Marine. Telling him yes, although an old Marine, he says he should be embarrassed being an old Air Force pilot, having a Marine pull him from the drink. I told him that is what we are here for. Further conversation gave way to his name, Fred, who ironically, lives 20 minutes from my home in Illinois. Fred also served in Vietnam in 69, a year before me, flying C147's out of DaNang. Since I was also stationed outside DaNang we had a few minute talk about "the old days." Fred was insistent in getting our names and addresses but we told him there was no need for that and we were on our way. Fred's a good man and I'm glad a Marine was around to help him out when he needed it because I know he helped a few of my brothers out in Nam with his flying.

Tom Gillespie
USMC 70 -71


Sgt. Grit,

I thought you, and many others, might find the following item from the San Diego Union-Tribune interesting. To me it epitomizes the Semper fi spirit and brotherhood.

John F.

For those without relatives in the military, war news can become a blur of daily press briefings and TV news reports. For Teri Merickel, the conflict got up close and personal during a flight from Chicago. She walked aboard her United plane to San Diego behind a Marine captain who was with a young woman. The officer was carrying what appeared to Merickel to be a beautiful trophy in his arms. The two passengers were seated directly across the aisle from her. Merickel admired the "trophy" but didn't have a chance to ask what it was because another passenger quickly came back from the first-class cabin and invited them to come up to that section. After they moved, the passenger returned and took one of the empty seats. He started sobbing. After a few moments he composed himself, apologized to Merickel and explained: He, too, was a Marine en route home from Iraq. He informed her that the beautiful "trophy" she had seen was actually carrying the remains of a fallen Marine. The wife of the deceased and the urn were being escorted home by the officer. The story doesn't end there. Merickel soon learned that the fellow who had done this good deed was returning home to San Diego on a brief 26-hour turnaround for the first time in nearly a year. His 9-year-old daughter had saved all her money to help buy a first-class ticket for her dad. But when he saw the grief-stricken widow and her Marine escort sitting in coach seats, he asked a flight attendant if he could give his seat to the woman, and if the captain could take the empty seat next to it. When the plane touched down, the pilot announced that a fallen Marine was aboard. Everyone was silent and the passengers remained in their places while the widow and her escort disembarked. As Merickel said goodbye, she asked the Marine passenger next to her if he was going to tell his daughter he gave up his first-class seat. He thought and then softly replied, "Maybe someday."

Reported in the Diane Bell newspaper column, 30 August 2003, San Diego Union-Tribune.


Training in the USMC boot camp taught me lots of discipline but none better than the time that I was found with "letters from home" hidden in the bottom of my sea bag while I was at the range at PI, 1959. I was required to go out into the road in front of the Quonset huts, grab my opened sea bag by the bottom and spin in circles doing a "To the winds, March!" Then I was sent a package of chocolates for Easter while I was at mainside in Plt. 215 and when I was ordered to the DI's hut for a package inspection. I foolishly tried to hide some of the candy in my utilities. When my ploy was uncovered, I was required to eat every piece of candy. I no longer eat chocolate! Mike Mooney Cpl. E-4, 1841530/2571, Co. I MarSptBn, HqMC USNAVCOMMSTPHIL San Miguel, Philippines, '59 - '63



I have something to share with you & other Marines out there. In Feb of this year I was at Parris Island. The MCL out of Fl had set up a sorta reunion of lot older Marines. They had it set up so that we stayed in a barracks in 2nd Bat, just like the recruits had. Well anyway there was about 25 or 30 older Marines in the barracks. A bus pulled up out side to unload some young recruits. The recruits were told to go thru the doorway and proceed thru the head to the other side of the barracks. Well they went in the barracks and instead of going thru the head they went into the squad bay and there we all stood old , heavy set, with lots of gray hair. We all joked as to just what these young recruits thought when they saw all of us standing there. One thing we discussed was that they probably thought that, wow if we don't pass this course we will have to stay here like those old guys have had to do. We all had a good laugh over this. Just figured I'd share this with everyone.

M.P. Post
GySgt retired (1977)


Mornin' Sgt. Grit,

My computer here at school has been down for a awhile and I just caught up on the C-Rat Survey. During my tour in ITS (Or whatever they call it these days) and over on the "Rock",

I had two favorite C's. They were #1: Tuna. This consisted of a small can of tuna fish like the one you could buy at the market. I think you got some kind of fruit and a chocolate disk. The next one was spaghetti. You almost had to eat it hot because when you opened the can, all you saw was about an inch and a 1/2 of orange fat on top of the spaghetti. It you ate it cold (Like I had to on numerous occasions) you MIGHT be able to stir the fat into the food. If not, your whole mouth would be coated with this orange film that you would be able to taste for days after. The all time worst c's where the dreaded "Ham and Eggs". This stuff looked worse than any can dog food I feed my dogs today. I probably would have enjoyed a few dog biscuits more that H&E c's. Thought I would add my 2 cents to this topic. I yield to the floor once again.

Daniel Miller U.S.M.C. '74-'76


Dear Sergeant Grit:

In today's newsletter, Sergeant Lewis Wood wrote about his time in RVN and particularly with M/4/11. Mike Battery landed in Chu Lai and immediately began firing on Operation Starlight and continued on with the operations mentioned and many others as well. Members of Mike Battery will be meeting in San Diego on 22-26 October 2003 for a mini-reunion at the Bay Club. Primarily attendees will be those who mounted out from 29 Palms with Mike Battery and served together until rotation home, but all Mike Battery personnel are invited, welcome and encouraged. Our original skipper, Captain J.O. Black will be there and will explain a lot of what we did and why (most of us were so low on the food chain that we had no idea of what the "big picture" was),

Semper Fi,
Michael Hackett, CJM
Assistant Sheriff (Retired)


To: Sgt Grit

I have a question for you or the group....I was at PI 1969 plt 3088 it was our 2nd week and we received a new recruit. He seemed to already know the drill and was never picked on, nor was his picture ever taken and he never spoke to us. Many times he was never around doing bends and M#$@&&** but was always around for evening chow and hit the sack with the rest of us swine. The only reason I remember him is because he stood next to me but was not in our graduation class picture or the boot camp book nor any graduation ceremony but I never knew his name and the DI's never called his name, but they sure called mine. At the very end of boot camp the day you leave or Camp Lejuene the DI who told everyone where they were going most to Infantry he told the mystery guy well you know where you're going. Who was he?

Renee Butler


Sgt Grit -

I was with the air wing (2nd MAW) when I was in the regular Marine Corps ('83-87). I got out, started missing the Corps, and decided to join the Marine Reserves. I reported aboard A Co, 8th Tanks, 4th MarDiv in 1987, at Ft Knox, KY. In my naive youth, I had the mistaken impression that interservice rivalry was somewhat exaggerated - something like, "Okay, I can't expect Marine standards, but, what the hell, we're all fighting for the same country, right? The Army might be looser, but they gotta have something going for 'em..." Big mistake. God help us, the worst sh*tbird I saw in the wing would've been "Soldier or the Year" in the Army. The most squared-away Army people I saw were all combat vets. The highlight was at the Armor School when I went to their orderly room and saw a recruit sitting on his butt with his feet on the desk. (If I'd've tried that at Parris Island, SSgt Howard would've made me wish he'd kill me.) The only thing I could say was, "Sorry to disturb you, recruit..." I overheard him report his post to his DI and he complained that I had "yelled at him" (HUH?!? What would Abdul have done to him if he'd have caught him lollygagging while he was supposed to be on watch?) Fortunately, I didn't have to deal with the army much after armor school, and I could associate with my brother Marines (regular and reserve) again. And Kuwait (in the first Gulf War) drove home the lesson that if you don't have discipline and esprit d'corps in peacetime, it's too late to get it in combat. Summing up, when I was forced to deal with the army, I saw maybe six real soldiers - and ten thousand doggies. And I have to wonder: why does it take a war to teach the army the same things that Marines learn before they ever leave boot camp? And why do they have to make themselves pay in blood and waste their kids instead of taking the lesson to heart for the next war?

Semper Fi
"Kenny Doyle"
fmr Sgt USMC


What's in a "nick" name? The female Marines during the Second World War had not abbreviation of secondary title. The Commandant at that time said that no Marine is ever of auxiliary status, a Marine is a Marine, female or male. Therefore the females who enlist and serve for us should be called what they deserve: the title United States Marine

Semper Fi,
Michelle R. Christman (Keim)
CPL of Marines, not male Marines, not WM's, not BAM's, not dark greens or light greens, simply put CPL of Marines


In response to both Kent Mitchell, (Corporal, 55-60) Newsletter of August 7th and GySgt Ted "Shotgun" Baker Newsletter of August 21st, maybe I can add some clarification to their accounts of the making of The DI with Jack Webb and a number of active duty Marines in late 1956. I was a recruit in Platoon 351, 1st RTB at Parris Island from 1October56 through December 31, 1956. Among others, my DI's were (then) Sgt E-4 Eugene Alvarez as SDI and Sgt's Strickland and Jones as JDI's, until Cpl E-3 John R. Brown joined Plt 351 at the rifle range, probably in early November. I recall it pretty well because a slightly (sic) inebriated Cpl Brown summoned the fire watch (me) in the middle of the night and "gut-checked" me before turning on his heels and walking off. To say that he was unusual would be a grievous understatement. To know him was to never, ever, forget him. As Gy Baker said, we probably picked up both Sgt Jones and Cpl Brown from platoon 253 when they "outposted" at the end of October. You're right Gunny, Brown supposedly went "Hollywood" appeared in the DI as Sgt O'Neal, met and married a French starlet while there.and sometime later went off the radar. No one with the DI Association can turn up any further news.

By the way, Platoon 351 also had a recruit, named Vincent Sheehan, called "Shotgun" because his rapid-fire string looked about like that. He was made to grab a GI can lid in his left hand as a shield, fix bayonets and charge the targets to prove that was the only way he was going to kill anything. Another Brown legacy! Agreeing with Kent Mitchell, Brown was, indeed, a mean little s..t! I can see him taking immediate action during the movie filming. By the way folks, our SDI (Sgt Alvarez) a retired PhD from the collegiate system of Georgia will be at MCRD PI and MCAS Beaufort 3 & 4 October for a book signing with John Stevens (Court Martial at Parris Island, The Ribbon Creek Incident). The event is the reunion of WWII DI's. Wouldn't miss this one for the world! How would you like to see you SDI after nearly 47 years.? Joe Featherston (1647380), rifle number 441380 (doesn't everybody remember their rifle number?)

Major, USMC, Ret.


Why do we call it a John Wayne? Simple...It can do anything!

Dave Galant Gysgt 71-81

I also have had a great experience as a Marine and because of that experience has made me a better and more production person.

Semper Fi, Sgt. Richard Olsen, 1952-1959

In regards to the article from Sgt Walter Dodd about the low serial number. His was 800,000 area mine was 444596 Aug. 27, 42 Oct. 24, 45

Pfc Herbert Jacques. Semper Fi.

My platoon had a saying: "Put the page 11 in the typewriter and don't stop typing until I stop talking..."

Sgt. Schmitt JK

Welcome Home!!
Semper fi!!
Sgt Grit

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