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Sgt Grit American Courage Newsletter #63

"Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations."
--George Washington

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USMC Terrorist Hunting Permit

Iraqi Freedom - First Marine Division T-Shirt

Sgt. Grit;
I received the first newsletter from your site; While I was intrigued and spellbound by the stories of the seasoned Marines; there were two submissions that struck me; One from a New Marine Mom ( which I am one of ) and the other from a new recruit waiting to go to PI; I would like to share how I became a Marine Mom.. It was the summer of 2001 July ; a beautiful day; a family BBQ ; aunts & uncles & cousins that grew up more like brothers and sisters; And now the next generation was there; the cousins children - which included my son. And there was the one cousin that drew all the attention; (he always did )My cousin Sgt. John G. Scharf..USMC He was a wonder; with a smile that could light up a night; a sense of humor that was endless; a 29 yr old man; engaged to be married that year; the father of a beautiful daughter that was his life. He was my sons favorite. Then came another beautiful day; the skies were bright ; the air crisp.. September 11th 2001. My son was at school ; they locked down; my 13 yr. old son was sick & home with me; I remember his words" Mom you hate war movies; why are you watching this?" To explain to him it was real was what I thought would be the hardest thing I had to do; I was wrong; the hardest thing to do came on Sept. 12. with one phone call ; My uncle on the phone (also USMC) ; with one word .. "John".. his son.. Sgt. John G. Scharf; lost in the World Trade Center. But we had hope; if anyone could.. John could; he could make it even from the 103rd floor; I told my children that night; that terror has struck at our family; our hearts; our home; My son joined the DEP of the USMC on 17th of Sept 02 when he turned 17; He never wavered; he never faltered; the question that asked why you want to become a marine stated 'For my country; for Myself and for My cousin Sgt. John Scharf" he left on Aug 4 03; and the Recruiter that drove him to where he needed to go..Staff Sgt. David Scharf my sons cousin; brother of John. Those 3 months he was away were the toughest of my life; as I am sure his; while he was at PI; Sept. 11 2003 came; I finally felt able to go to the family site "the pit".. I brought home bedrock from that site; I sent a piece to my son at PI.."remember why you did what you did..when things are tough; remember real strength; like that of John" My son became a Marine Oct. 31 2003; It was the proudest moment of my life ; and I brought a piece of that rock with me to PI we never found John.. but if someone looks close enough; In that Iwo Jima Statue; In front of the parade deck; there is a rock; and it is one of your own ; It is the spirit and dust of one Sgt. John G. Scharf.. and he's home.
(Johns profile can be found in Portraits of 9/11 by Time Magazine)

YoHo Grit and Grunts, Shouse here just getting ready to put in his 2 cents worth. Gunny Art stated that 1/13 did not deploy to the Nam until July of 67. I was in Bravo Battery 1/13 and in April of 67 we were getting our @sses shot off with the 9th and 26th Marines at the firebreak at Con Thien. RLT 26 landed in 66. Headquarters may have stayed in OKIE but the 26th Marines were walking and we were dragging the 05's behind them.
As for the concerned mom, my mother cried when I went to Boot Camp in 66. Dad was proud of me when I graduated. He was in the Corps also. I flew to Pendleton on my way to Nam on Christmas Day. I spent Christmas 67 in PhuBai, I'm sure she cried again. I spent the next 3 months at Khe Sanh and my parents did not know if I was dead or alive. More tears. When I walked into her office upon returning she cried but when she told me how proud she was of me I cried. Concerned Mom, believe me, he would rather be with you but he has a job to do and HE WILL DO IT.
Semper Fi Little Brother
Ron Shouse

To Sgt. Fox
First of all I would like to thank you for being a Marine and proudly serving our country. My 18 yr. old son will be going "over there" very shortly and though my heart is heavy with worry, I know that there are so many other families who are feeling the same way. When I begin to feel sorry for myself I think of my grandmother who had four sons in the military during WWII. Thank God they all came home safe and sound. I don't blame or criticize anyone because my son will be in harms way. I am proud of my son's decision to join the Marines and even more prouder of the fact that he loves his country and is ready to fight for our freedoms. God Bless all our children who are away from home and their families too.

Sgt. Grit,
Concerning the Mom that was upset because her son couldn't be home for Christmas made me think about my own Mom. She had three boys and from 1965 to 1974 she left her Mothers Flag hanging in the window. All those years at Christmas that one of us were not at home. My oldest brother spent 2 tours in Nam with the Corps and my middle brother was with the Army. I was also in the Corps. Never once did I hear her complain about one of us not being home. All she would ever say is it would be nice to have us all home for Christmas again. I guess what it boils down to is the generation. She was brought up during the depression, worked in the steel mills when all the men were gone fighting in WWII and knew what sacrifice was. I never heard her complain about the Vietnam War or that we were enlisting. All I remember her ever saying is be safe and return home.
Butch Wahley
Cpl 1971-1974

Dear Sgt Grit,
My Marine needs prayers now. He just underwent surgery for cancer for the 4th time. First, he lost his voice to laryngeal cancer, now it is in his esophagus. The doctor said it looked like the cancer had just explored there. They took it off with a laser and placed a skin graft from his thigh on the wound. He has been fighting this killer for 10 years. Surely, God All Mighty does not need another Viet Nam Marine right now. I ask that he be put on all prayer lists around the world. He has family that still needs him for a while longer.
Thanks, Mrs. Gary D. Smith

SGT. in 1967 i was in nam. my mother sent this prayer to stars and stripe paper. but they never printed it. my mother pass away in sep. of last year. ive had this pray for a long time i was always going to send to someone to print it. would you print it? (my marine in viet nam) dear lord protect my son who is so far away. give him strength and health all through the night and day.i miss him so but i also know he must do his part to help his country that is so torn apart. time goes slow as we all know who has some one over there but with you on our side we also know we have some one who cares. so i"ll wait and pray until that day when the door shall open wide. and i"ll hear him say i"m home to stay. then the waiting will be in the past and i"ll know that you have seen him through and answered my prayers at last.
Elouise Guilyard.
( thank you sgt guilyard.nam 67-68)

This was sent to me. It is an excellent read, a bit long but very interesting. Has to do with the planning for the invasion of Japan. As I usually tell myself, the correct decision is usually the harder of the choices I have. Dropping the big one looks pretty good after you read this.
Going to Iraq was a hard decision. Time and history will tell us if it was the right choice, it certainly was not the easy choice.

I am not sure if this is the right avenue to post a message, but at any rate... I, too, am the Mom of a Marine. He returned home in December from 8 months in the Middle East. I worried every day, of course (it's my job!), but I was (& AM) immensely proud of him, and of ALL of those who serve. What his dedication to the Corps has done for my husband and I is to strengthen our patriotism and gratitude for this country, and for all of the armed forces. My father was a Marine, too, and we go to every Memorial Day and Veterans Day parade and event that we know of in our community to show our appreciation. I want only to say THANK YOU to all of you who have served our great country. SEMPER FI!!

Here's a thought: "Go to the wall in Washington DC,look and see if your sons name is on that wall.......No? Then be glad that he is a Marine and received the training to keep his a*s alive---also the discipline and motivation, and next Christmas if he's still not home, invite a Marine who has no family or friends to do Christmas with, to share it with you and know you did a thing that was better than moaning about it. I understand you-but you also have to understand us..usMC..we're the reason half the world has holidays--- "all gave some-some gave all" --door gunner Krusty 1/4 '74-'77

"The right thing to do never requires any subterfuge; it is always simple and direct." --Calvin Coolidge

"If men of wisdom and knowledge, of moderation and temperance, of patience, fortitude and perseverance, of sobriety and true republican simplicity of manners, of zeal for the honour of the Supreme Being and the welfare of the commonwealth; if men possessed of these other excellent qualities are chosen to fill the seats of government, we may expect that our affairs will rest on a solid and permanent foundation." --Samuel Adams

Well it sounds as though the kid has cleared his headgear to a degree, he obviously forgot that a" B!tchin Marine is a happy Marine". He should be happy because he still has the ability to bitch, a lot of our brothers past, present and in the future won't have that luxury. This young Lance corporal needs to remember that he enlisted in our beloved Corps and like a marriage you take the good with the bad, and the bad is always bad, since our only job is to carry out this countries military policies, unfortunately that sometimes involves people getting hurt and enduring long separations, if you can't hack that then you need to re-access the reasons you wanted to become a Marine. hopefully you will decide that the pride, teamwork, and brotherhood of belonging to the Marine Corps will carry you through any future deployments..remember you can bitch all you want, that's your right, but never let the man next to you down under any circumstances it's just not what Marines do. If you feel you can't stay in the Corps then, don't reenlist, accept a honorable discharge and move on with your life with the knowledge that while you served you did it right, no one will ever fault you for that. G.P.Wilson Cpl. 71-75

Sgt. Grit: To the best of my recollection, here is the 12 days of boot camp ditty. I'm sure there were many variations of this On the 1st day of boot camp, the Marine Corps gave to me, a haircut that wasn't worth a f***. On the 2nd day of boot camp, the Marine Corps gave to me, 2 pairs of boots, On the 3rd day of boot camp, the Marine Corps gave to me, 3 Drill Instructors, On the 4th day of boot camp, the Marine Corps gave to me, 4 sets of cammies, On the 5th day of boot camp, the Marine Corps gave to me, 5 o'clock reveille, On the 6th day of boot camp, the Marine Corps gave to me, 6 pairs of socks, On the 7th day of boot camp, the Marine Corps gave to me, 7 Daily Seven, On the 8th day of boot camp, the Marine Corps gave to me, 8 minute pit calls, On the 9th day of boot camp, the Marine Corps gave to me, 9 o'clock Taps, On the 10th day of boot camp, the Marine Corps gave to me, 10 general orders, On the 11th day of boot camp, the Marine Corps gave to me, 11 miles of humping, On the 12 day of boot camp, the Marine Corps gave to me, T-1 again! It always seemed that the 1st day part was sung with a lot of gusto! Semper Fi! Darren Hungness Cpl 81-85

Sgt Grit, Just wanted to drop a short note to you and to all of my Brother and Sister Marines. I have been reading your Newsletter and American Courage for a few years now and have never written to you. I just wanted to say Thanks to all of the service men and women who stepped up to the plate and are doing and did the right job in offering their service and lives in the protection of our freedom. As a Viet Nam Vet, I am aware of the sacrifices that were made and are being made today. As I grow a little older and a lot grayer I have found that my pride of being a Marine has increased. It has increased so much that I joined our local Marine Corps League Detachment and am now the Adjutant. We are: San Jose Detachment #1122, Marine Corps League. If anyone in the San Jose area is interested in the Detachment they can contact me at The Detachment meets on the 3rd Saturday of the month. For now it is at the Santa Clara Elks Lodge on Martin Ave, Santa Clara. Semper Fi Mike Marte, L/Cpl 1962-1966 0341 (81's) 1st and 3rd MarDiv

To Cpl Jon Humbolt, Don't sweat it bro. Political correctness is not one of the better known Marine traits. It's just not in our nature. Thank God for that!! Semper Fi! Ray McKinley

Keep up the good work Sgt Grit. I just wanted to echo the sentiments of Sgt Eric Olson. Military personnel wearing their uniforms would, in my opinion, be a strong deterrent to any terrorists planning future attacks. They would send a strong message that there is someone(s) on board that has military training and has learned how to react to adverse situations. I would go one step further and support reduced air-fare rates for our military guys that fly in uniform. SSGT Mike D. 1973 - 1981

Hey fellas, Sgt. Grit, I appreciate the forum you have given us, and I appreciate the hard work that goes into organizing it, but my name is Rumbolt, not Humbolt. I hate to whine, but Attention to Detail is important to me. thanks. Got your email address SSGT Modesti. here's mine. Anyone who would like to shoot me a line is, of course, welcome. semper fi, Cpl Jon Rumbolt

Sgt Grit, Sorry, I'm sure you'll get many replies like mine below: This is in response to Sgt Cyd's note "statues in the park." I've heard this numerous times before and it certainly makes for very interesting reading, but unfortunately it's only true some of the times. Check out the following site: They do an excellent job of laying out all the facts - almost one statue at a time. It's also an excellent site for dispelling any kind of rumor, story or folklore that you might get in the future over the Internet and might wonder about. Jack Dougherty Cpl USMC Retired Vietnam 1968

On 19 February 2004, at 1100 there will be a wreath laying ceremony at the grave of Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone in Arlington National Cemetery. All those who wish to attend are welcome. This ceremony precedes the third annual national commemoration ceremony that will be held on the same day at 1900 in the Freedom Museum at the Manassas Regional Please let me know if you will be attending. Thank you and have a wonderful Marine Day!!!! Jordan

Sgt. Grit, I would like to share a part of an article I read recently in 12/03's edition of Law and Order (which is a cop magazine). I have CC'ed the original author above so he is aware that I am sharing it with your readers, and I'd like to request that you forward him a copy of your Sgt Grit newsletter. In part, the article pertained to "Five Solutions to Complacency" and how law enforcement leaders need to have higher expectations of their personnel in order to combat complacency. "A recent study highlighted the difficulties that the US military have experienced within the last decade recruiting and retaining qualified candidates. Rather than lower it's entry-level standards, the USMC adopted a different strategy. By raising it's standards without an increase in pay or benefits, the Corps has shown a steady increase in the number of applicants for the past decade." It's true that people want to be challenged, no matter what line of work you are in. I believe this challenge of meeting higher levels of expectations is a key ingredient that keeps current Jarheads and those that are now in law enforcement a step above all the rest. We not only 'talk the talk', but 'walk the walk'- leading by example and from the front! Semper Fi and please continue sending out the Sgt. Grit newsletter- It is 'true motivation'! Cpl. Vepley '89-'93 USS Wisconsin MarDet & 2/8.

Dear Sgt. Grit - This is a suggestion to NOAD Marine L/Cpl Larson whose letter I just read concerning Marines who are no longer on active duty but are not retirees. I served in the Women Marines during the Korean War - stationed at 100 Harrison St. Depot of Supplies, San Francisco. I am prouder of that service than anything I have ever done since. I'm now 71, 3 children, 9 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren - I'm active with my American Legion post - the only woman member, and the only woman on the post Color Guard/Drill Team. In parades I usually carry the Marine Corps Flag - I dare anyone to try to take it from me! Often I'm one of the rifle guard in programs. I proudly wear the Marine Corps emblem, my Corporal stripes, and my original collar devices on my uniform. On Veteran's Day this last year I had the honor of introducing our speaker - another Marine who fought bravely on Bougainville in WWII - U.S. Senator Howell Heflin of Alabama. When they played the Marine Corps Hymn we stood together and belted it out at the top of our voices. The last sentence of my introductory remarks was, "As one proud, lifetime, inactive duty Marine it is my privilege to introduce another lifetime, inactive duty Marine, Major Howell Heflin." I will NEVER be an ex-Marine - I will always be a MARINE. My husband of 42-1/2 years, (retired Navy Chief - 25 years service, now deceased for 5 years) was always proud of my service, and so were my father and four brothers - all of them Navy. My oldest grandson was Marine Corps Recon in Desert Storm - his unit was the 1st American Unit into Kuwait City, and from there he was in Mogadishu. I also have 1 son who was Navy, and 2 grandsons Navy. We have right at 100 years all volunteer service, in which I take tremendous pride. Semper Fidelis, Barbara J. Judd, (Cpl. 1951) Sheffield, AL Photo attached

A Messenger from God An atheist professor was teaching a college class and he told the class that he was going to prove that there is no God. He said, "God, if you are real, then I want you to knock me off this platform. I'll give you 15 minutes!" Ten minutes went by. He kept taunting God, saying,"Here I am, God. I'm still waiting." He got down to the last couple of minutes and a Marine just released from active duty and newly registered in the class walked up to the professor, hit him full force in the face, and sent him flying from his platform. The professor struggled up, obviously shaken and yelled, "What's the matter with you? Why did you do that?" The Marine replied, "God was busy; He sent me." Life is good. Semper fi! Submitted by many of you.

"Understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand." --St. Augustine

Have you mailed in your request to the US Postal Service to approve the "Chesty" Puller stamp yet?!? Here's the address: Citizen's Stamp Advisory Committee US Postal Service Room 4474E 475 L'Enfant Plaza SW Washington, DC 20260-2437


Spring 2004 A Turn in Iraq The Marines Are Back Birds are Singing Flowers are Blooming Spring in Iraq Means Marines are Looming The War wasn't Over And it's not Over Now But Iraqis are Enemies or Iraqis are Friends Marines will give them the Option of New Beginnings or The End Semper Fi! James H.

"...[M]uch to be regretted indeed would it be, were we to neglect the means and to depart from the road which Providence has pointed us to so plainly; I cannot believe it will ever come to pass." --George Washington

Keep up the great work you do in your newsletter. I look forward to each and everyone. It is great to see the MARINE spirit still alive and well. I make a printout for a old Marine who has no computer, it makes his day when I show up with your newsletter. So thank you from both of us. Nick Somarelli

I'm married to a former Marine (if there is such a thing......once a Marine, ALWAYS a Marine!), and we raised three sons; the two oldest went straight into the Corps from high school and the youngest went to the Navy. Having been so thoroughly indoctrinated into military life and ways, I decided to do my part by learning to become a service officer. My husband and I are active in the DAV and love being able to 'give back' a small portion of what's been given to us. I've helped veterans with their claims for the past 10 years and will continue to do so as long as my mind is operable! Thank you for this terrific newsletter..........I've just subscribed! Semper Fi and God Bless! PJ Perry

"At the height of Stalin's terror in 1937-38...more than 40,000 persons were shot per month.... You know the words from the Bible: 'Build not on sand, but on rock.' ... Lenin's teachings are that anyone is considered to be a fool who doesn't take what's lying in front of him. If you can take it, take it. If you can attack, attack. But if there's a wall, then go back. And the Communist leaders respect only firmness and have contempt and laugh at persons who continually give in to them. ... America...they are trying to weaken you; they are trying to disarm your strong and magnificent country. ... I call upon you: ordinary working men of not let yourselves become weak." --Alexander Solzhenitsyn

"Those who want to take our money and gain power over us have discovered the magic formula: Get us envious or angry at others and we will surrender, in installments, not only our money but our freedom. The most successful dictators of the 20th century -- Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Mao -- all used this formula and now class warfare politicians here are doing the same." --Thomas Sowell

"American's solemn duty is to constantly renew its covenant with humanity to complete the grand work of human freedom that began two hundred years ago. This work, in its grandness and nobility, is not unlike the building of a magnificent cathedral. In the beginning, progress is slow and painstaking. The laying of the foundations and the raising of the walls is measured in decades rather than years. But as the arches and spires begin to emerge in the air, others join in, adding their faith and dedication and love, to speed the work to its completion. My friends, the world is that cathedral. And our children, if not we ourselves, will see the completed work -- the worldwide triumph of human freedom, the triumph of human freedom under God." --Ronald Reagan, 1991

In response to LCpl Craft and his e-mail about all his heroic exploits I must take exception to his comments about the Marines at Khe Sanh. I was with 1/26 up there during 1967 and luckily flew out on 12-24-67 to the real world as my tour was up but there were no such things as starched utilities and above ground bunkers, In fact we were required to tear down our above ground accommodations when the Commandant paid a visit one time. And marching to chow give me a break. I do not think things changed that much in one month after I left. He has a great imagination. Joseph Boyd Cpl USMC 1966-1968 Vietnam 1967

Sgt Grit, Between 22 and 23 Jan 04 we lost five Marines. One famous and known to millions of children, myself included, and four not known by many but a select few. I did not know any of these Marines personally but I feel their loss. 22 Jan 04 Capt. Adam E. Miller Midlothian, Illinois, 1st Lt. Michael S. Lawlor, 26, Timonium, Maryland SSgt Lori Anne Privette, 27, Zebulon, N.C. Cpl. Joshua D. Harris, 21, Holiday, Florida 23 Jan 04 Bob Keeshan a.k.a. Captain Kangaroo 76 Semper Fi! Godspeed. A Marine in mourning.

Let's face it all parents are concerned about their children and wish they were home. I'm sure my parents felt the same way. I joined the Marine Corps Reserves on my 17th birthday (June 13, 1950) I had never been away from home and all I wanted at the time was to go away for the two weeks in the summer. Little did I know the Korean War would start ( June 25th, 1950). A month later (July) our reserve company was activated. 15 months later I became a regular Marine enlisting for six years while stationed in Panama. I Spent the first 4 Christmas Holidays away from home, two in Panama ( 1950-52) and two in Korea (1953-1954). Did I miss being home for the holidays? You dam well know it. Did my parents miss me? You bet they did. Did I do the right thing ? You dam well know it. Did I have fun? Yea. Went in as a kid and came home a young man and proud at what I had accomplished. As they say, once a Marine always a Marine. Semper Fi. God Bless all our Marines, God Bless all our servicemen and God Bless America. Jack Nolan, Former S/Sgt USMC 0311


This is Gunnery Sergeant Davis and one of my boys ( Sgt Mortenson) and a recent NBC school. He decided to get his first Moto Tat and I was getting my Fourth. I told myself a long time ago when I had the great misfortune to stand in front of the old man and get a backwards promotion( Lcpl to Pvt) that some day I would be a Gunny and when that happened I would get Gunny Stripes tattooed on my *ss. Lucky for me I did make it and also lucky for me I matured and decided to get it on my arm instead. Gunny Davis. We currently serve with Fox 2/14

Dear Sergeant Grit, As a FMF 8404 Corpsman, I always appreciate being accepted as a brother by Marines both Active and In-Active as I travel around the country. I find the decals, t-shirts, and other goodies I have ordered from you as a pretty good ice-breaker in meeting the Semper Fi Alumni. It has been my good fortune to speak at the Arkansas Ozark Folk Festival Park in Mt. View , Arkansas. On my first trip there I encountered a bear of a guy who turned out to not only be the Superintendent but also a Marine. Bill has recently learned he is battling Cancer and from what I hear from one of his many friends, he's fighting it as you would expect a Marine to. I know he'd appreciate your readers prayers and thoughts. I'd like to include some brief info about his service and I know he'd like to hear from any of his former comrades. Bill graduated from Boot Camp, May, 1968; Plt. 244, Co. F; San Diego as Plt. and series honorman. He completed OCS in Quantico, va. in Dec. 1968. Bill served with "Lima Battery", 4th Bat., 11th Marines, 1st Mar. Div from Auust 1969-August 1970. He served as Series Commander, Company CO, 3rd Battalion from September 1969-January 1972 at Parris Island, South Carolina Bill was discharged as a Captain in January, 1972. His e-mail address is: Bill reads your column regularly and I know he'd like to hear from any of his old buddies. I'm writing this because that's what us Corpsman do. Semper Fi Doc Mullins

Sgt Grit, At the end of the newsletter of Jan 22, 2004 there was a request to decipher a Marines comment to a reporter. I think I have found out what he was talking about when he said "Bar Base Bastogne". I believe he was talking about Fire Support Base Bastogne. I'm also thinking that an accent the Marine had was not understood by the reporter. There is a map at this URL ( that is maintained by some Army guys from the 506th Infantry Regiment. This is the same regiment whose WWII story was told in the book and mini-series "Band of Brothers". As you can see from the map FSB Bastogne is just south of Hue and in Thua Thien Province. Keep up the good work. Love to get these newsletters every week. Semper Fi, Tom Tilque Cpl. USMC 1969-73 Freedom is NOT Free!

Hi Sgt., I am writing in response to the Marine who's mother has turned her back on him. I can only imagine the heartbreak that this all causes for you and your family. I can only say that people react very poorly sometimes when fear is involved and it is most probable that your mother fears you being killed in action. It can be easier for parents to just "ignore" or turn their backs on that individual instead of facing the possible pain that may come. Most of the time they do not even know they are doing it. Be reassured that you were ever in a hospital bed with severe, or even not so severe wounds....she would come to your side. You are her son, flesh and blood. She loves you and that's why she can't handle the fact of you being in the Corps. She does not want to lose you. Keep trying to reach her, but remember that this may be all she can give...for now. Hope this helps. Pete Fecteau, Former SSGT USMC 1986-1997

Sgt. Grit, I just wanted to say that I can sympathize with the Marine Mom who wrote to say she was not exactly thrilled when her son informed her that the recruiters would be knocking on the door. I also had that reaction when my son informed me, "By the way...guess who's coming to the house tonight!". Like her, my experience also impressed me with the recruiter's manner, pride and willingness to talk to a panicked parent. I am so proud of my son, Ray Flores, who will be leaving for Parris Island this July. He has talked about the Marine Corps since he was 11 or 12, and never have I seen him so full of pride in himself, his country and his future since signing those enlistment papers. I am still a little nervous to have a son go so far from home, but I am glad he will be surrounded by such an amazing group of people. Thank you. Laurie Poland Findlay, Ohio ps.., and to the young man whose mom has turned her back-your family is in my prayers. Just keep on praying that her heart will be freed-nothing replaces the loss of family. Hang in there.

Sargent Grit: I noted the article about Ricky Nelson. I do believe he attended Boot Camp at MCRD during that time. The Everly Brothers were also at the Depot during the 1960-1961 time frame. I was a series commander in the 2d Battalion from April 1959 to May 1961 and then the OIC of the tent camp at the rifle range( Camp Matthews) from about June 1961 to June 1962 .( official title was RTR Liason Officer) Co RTR was first boss; Co Weapons Training Bn was concurrent boss) I was never in better physical condition than when I was OIC of that tent camp. Wake up the recruits at 0400 and put them to bed at 1900. Between those hours, plenty of time to "work out" the body. On top of that, because of the fog in the rifle range area, I spent many a night at Camp Matthews on a cot in the tool shed. Fun times for a single Lieutenant of Marines!! I believe Nelson and the Everly brothers were in the six months active duty program and then back to a reserve unit in their hometowns. That was one way to get it done in that time frame: ye olde "six months active duty/six years in reserve unit" program. Dave Rilling LtCol USMC (Ret)

Love your Website Sgt, In 1959 My older Brother joined the Marines He was taught when he went in.Tougher when he came Home.1963 I took the test Mom signed the papers I was on my way to MCRDPI. The Day before I took my test my other Brother took it an Failed it. So little old me was going throw Parris Island One Day I was a chowgard and some Marine came over to me and told me that some Recruit wanted me to look at him a few table's over(not when you're at Boot Camp in The Marines a recruit don't S--t until your DI tells you to.So I looked up and saw My Brother setting at a table .What a feelin ; What I wanted to do I couldn't. I just watched him and saw he was in Platoon 223 I was in Plt 123 so all you Marines know what we went throw for the next 12 week's, When we came Home together on that Leave The town of Fairfield,Maine Had two of the Proudest Son's in the World. My Mom & Dad were proud Parent's of Three UNITED STATES MARINES .We never saw each other after that Leave.He went to Camp Pendelton and I went to Camp Lejeune. Then I went to Kaneohe bay, Hawaii. And He went to Viet-nam.He got hit by a mine .No He's home today dealin with it. and my older Brother that was in before us was sent to Nam to. He to is home dealin with it. Myself after my Brother came home wounded then guess what the Marines sent my a-- to Nam The third Brother to go I beat you can't guess what I went throw for a tour in Nam.But I came home to all the protest and Draftdoggers.Now all three of us are Home in Benton Maine Dealin with it one Day at a time Three of the proudest Marines on the Planet. I'm trying to write this all down maybe I'll finish it someday GOD BLESS AMERICA & OUR MARINE CORPS John B. Spencer Benton,Maine

Cpl. Foss, My Compliments; I felt the need to reply to your posted message. Hi Sgt. Just wanted to say I still have my Original issue PI sweat shirt. Issued in November 1965. Wonder how many other older Marines can say that.. Peter F Foss Cpl USMC Nov 02,1965 - Nov 01,1968 2182070 I have to say that your raggedy alpha sierra sierra ol sweat stained sweat shirt isn't squid squat. On 4 Oct. 1977, shortly after standing on the infamous yellow footprints of MCRD 'Diego, Our Corps issued me a handy little Gillette Track II razor. That old razor has been scrapin my handsome Marine mug on a daily basis for these past 27 years (Good lord! Has it been THAT long!?) 'in every clime and place.' Over the years I have found it necessary to change out the blades on a few occasions but that's OK because Our beloved Corps gave me a whole pack of them at the time. Go to: t=522&page=1 and you can see my old friend being put to use, it knows my face better than I do my own self. Semper Fi Cpl. Foss! Richard W. Lowe Gunnery Sergeant of American Fleet Marines, (ret.) 4 Oct '77 - 31 Jan '98'

Regarding the item last week from the Marine talking about the Church Flag, he said he thought they weren't used after the 40's. However, I was stationed in Sasebo, Japan from 61-63 and a flag like he described was still flown there on Sunday mornings but it was called the Chaplain's Flag. The purpose of it was no booze could be sold on base till after church services. I first learned about this one Sunday morning when I was returning from town to my barracks at the Station Hospital. I stopped at the bowling alley and tried to get a beer to "get well" and was told they couldn't sell any beer till the Chaplain's Flag came down. I made it a point to check it out a couple of weeks later and sure enough there was a pennant like the old Marine described flying from the flag pole on the base, Naval Station, Sasebo. His letter sure brought back memories and I don't ever recall seeing the Chaplain's Flag flown anywhere else on any Navy or Marine Corps base. Semper Fi, Jerry Griffin, HMCM, USN (Ret)

LCpl G - I really can understand where you're coming from. My mother was never happy with my decision to join the Corps. Her last words to me when I left for Recruit Training were "Well, Go ahead..You'll be miserable." She wouldn't even drive me to the bus station to catch my bus for MEPS. When I graduated in 1 October 1993, She even had the audacity to show up at my graduation! I would just as soon have had nobody show up than her show up with some fake smile. I needed the Corps so I could grow up and get my life straight and if she couldn't understand that, then to hell with her. As long as you are happy with what you're doing and who you have become, then that is all that is important. If she can't recognize the fact that you are a man now and making your own decisions, then the problem is not with you ! I can understand you wanting to have her respect for what you have done and you wanting to respect her, but your life has taken a different path than hers. Semper Fidelis Sgt Steve Miller USMC 93-97 USMCR 98-04

As far as what Marines should call themselves after discharge. I prefer the term "Prior service Marine". Your still a Marine, not a use-to-be. This term to me signifies that although you are still a Marine, your time of service to the corps is over. God bless the Marine Corps and God bless America, J. Bolin "Bo" 1986-1992 Wpns 1/5, 81's, Semper Fi. Boot Camp Plt. 2074

Sgt Grit, I just got disturbing news at the beginning of this week. My brother has just been diagnosed with stage 4 Colon cancer. He was a "Hollywood" Marine back in the mid 80's and spent his entire enlistment in Hawaii, lucky dog. He also took me in to meet the Marine Corps recruiter and much to our mother's horror I enlisted immediately. Nicest thing he ever did to me in our entire relationship. Now I'd like to do something nice for my brother and fellow Marine, I'd like to ask all of our Marine family out there to pray for (LCpl) Edward Ramirez, Merced, Ca, or maybe even send him written support to the following address.... Ed Ramirez, 2413 P Street, Merced, CA 95340. It's serious enough that he had surgery on Monday, and he asked his ex-wife has talked to the Marine Corps about a military funeral. Thank you, and Semper Fi. Anna Grabill Cpl 86-91

On January 21 2004 My father in law passed away ,He was a 1st Lt. in the army air corp.He was in W.W.2 in the pacific fling low cover support for us the Marines,He died a small meek man weighing about 84 pds. All of it heart!I know that in our branch of the service we some times forget the other heroes above us keeping the sh!t off our back so we can regroup.I don't really know why I'm even writing this ,I guess I feel our country seems to be forgetting our heroes of yesteryear or WW2 I just thought I would remind us and the new breed of Marines not ever to forget the heroes of the past that make up our standards in the corps today.Well standup and salute 1st. lt. Herbert Tucker being laid to rest this Sat.25th of Jan. thanks for reading. Retired gunny g. Herkins

Sgt Grit: To hear from any 1950'S CAMP GIFU MARINE with and interest in adding their names to a group database and/or attending an October 2004 reunion is Charleston, SC, which would include a visit to PI. Contact: Marine Walt Sandberg, 9764 Madsen Road, Suring, WI 54174-9611; 920-842-4117; Semper Fi, Camp Gifu Marines

I would like to take this moment to comment on a magical property that occurs when wearing my Sgt Grit Jacket. It attracts other Marines of every size, shape and age. Living here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, we get many retired "snowbirds" that come for the better weather and the dozen different casinos. I've met enough fellow Marines to fill out a Battalion. Just last night, ran into an elderly gentleman who had been on Guadalcanal and several other various islands he rattled off that I could never hope to pronounce. I've met WWII, Korea, Vietnam & Kuwait Vets,from 30 year men to 2 draftees, all off them proud to be Marines. Additionally, all conversations start and end the same way, "Semper Fi!" Dave Hunt, Cpl, 68-72

Just remember boys: my son had to have a tattoo removed so that he could get IN the Marines!!! It took plastic surgery and $1800! and a waiver from the Marines. Remember that colored tattoos DO NOT come off 100% through laser and is costly as well. Please remind, especially the younger guys, these facts! Just a thought! Mom

Lcpl G, First things first. You, your fellow Marines, everyone else in the world, including your Mom are all trying to make it in this world the best they can. Some make it and some don't. We all have our problems that sometimes spill over and affect others. Not knowing what makes your Mom the way she is, I can't give you the 'wonder drug' advise to 'fix' her. There probably isn't one available. However, you are not alone. You have your Corps and your God. You have already turned to your fellow Marines. Now you must decide if the God who created you and everything else will be allowed into your heart to comfort and strengthen you. You were placed on this earth to accomplish a task. Just as joining the Marine Corps has given you duties that you would not have had otherwise, God has plans for you if you will simply find out what His orders for you are. Your Mom may be breaking your heart, these days. But, you must make sure your head is screwed on tight and your heart is filled with love and understanding for others. You were issued one Mom and one only. Find the good in her and celebrate it. Even if it is how she used to bake your favorite cookies. Tell her how much you appreciated anything, no matter how insignificant, she did that made you feel good. Concentrate on things like that and keep the lines of communication open. It just might help. Life is full of 'bad duty stations' but don't feel that there isn't anyone who doesn't care. Your brothers in arms do and so does God. Semper Fi Joe McCoy NOAD Corporal of Marines '67-'71

Sgt. Grit, I would appreciate your posting this message as I wish to apologize to you and to the Corps for my thoughtless intended joke about a bumper sticker reading "Will work for food - USMC Sniper." It really was meant to be humorous, a joke, but in this case the joke, and shame, is on me. I deeply and sincerely apologize to the Corps. L/Cpl H Coleman '61

God Bless Amerca!!
For those of you who have returned: WELCOME HOME!!!
For those of you going over:
Sgt Grit

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