Sgt Grit Marine Corps Merchandise

Welcome to our Marine Corps Newsletter archives. Read our patriotic stories of American courage sent in to us by Marines and their families. Enjoy!

Sgt Grit American Courage Newsletter #64

"The press does not give coverage to the buildings that do not get blown up in Iraq. They give very little coverage to the positive things happening. Iraq is not another Vietnam. One significant difference. If we had left or should I say after we left Vietnam they did not attack the USA. Al Qaida and others have expressed their intentions and have in fact attacked the USA. Our Marines are returning to Iraq and Afghanistan. Support them, they are protecting us."

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Fathers Coin
God, Country, Corps Cover Patch
American By Birth USMC Marine By Choice Cover Patch
US Marine Corps Iraqi Freedom Veteran Cover Patch
War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal - Hat Pin
War On Terrorism Service Medal - Hat Pin
Kosovo Campaign - Hat Pin
Korea Defense Service Medal - Hat Pin

Sgt Grit:
As a young marine L/cpl at the Marine Barracks at the NAS Alameda, Ca. I was assigned as the field music bugler for the unit. This was 1968 and my duties were generally standing guard duty or acting as the bugler playing taps for the Marines returning home who had fallen in Nam. Business was good all over California during that period and lot of the guys laughed at me cause I was a Field Music Bugler and not an 0311 or some other more heroic field, and I did respect those guys but I also felt my job was just as important as theirs as I had the honor of playing taps and rendering the last honors to those hero's....I had been dispatched to a Catholic Church along with a firing squad in the city of San Mateo. I was instructed to play taps in the front of the church facing into towards the inside. After which I was to remain at the door and salute the family as they exited the service...This particular service was different because there was no coffin just a memorial service as the fallen Marine was a result of a direct hit of a rocket attack in Nam and there was nothing to bring home....So after the firing squad had fired I faced the sanctuary and played taps...I then moved to the side of the door and saluted as the mother is coming out with other family members carrying the folded flag. Normally I would play at the grave sites so I wasn't that close to the families. Well as the family passes one of the young ladies stops, turns towards me and walks up to me...stares at me and then slaps me across the face and says "why couldn't this have been you instead of my brother". I froze I didn't know what to do. The young lady walks off and then turns around and comes back and she says "I'm sorry" and asked for permission to kiss me on my cheek. I said yes and she leaned and kissed me and walked away.....Later.... I found myself in Vietnam doing the same thing except I was on the other end sending the bodies back...I never forget that moment and I often wondered how that war or any war takes away from this world something that can never be many brave Marines, soldiers, sailors, airmen sacrificing there lives so that we as Americans can live in peace....between my duties in NAS Alameda, and my tour in Nam I played for over 400 funerals or memorials...I guess I'm selfish but I felt that my job in the Marine Corps was more important than any other job I could have had...MOS 5591

God Bless Them All.
Sgt, James E. SMITH
III Marine Amphibious Force
RVN 69-71

"Each individual of the society has a right to be protected by it in the enjoyment of his life, liberty, and property, according to standing laws."
--John Adams

Sgt Grit,
A couple newsletters ago, you posted my question concerning my mother turning her back on me. I didn't bother to mention that I am a female, not that that should make any f********n difference!! Also, I have another mother, in that I am adopted, but never wished to seek any info on her.
Anyway, thank you for posting my message.
Lcpl G

Semper Fi Sarge!!
If you will recall several months ago, I emailed you about my son Sgt. Michael Simmons, Jr. who was wounded while serving in Iraq. I asked if you could post info in your newsletter about his camera that was left behind when he was evacced from the scene. Sadly, his camera and film never turned up so all he has to remember his action by is his memories and the photos his fellow Marines made. We went to Camp Lejeune in September to witness the ceremony where Mike received the Bronze Star with Combat V for his action. He was also selected by the USMC to be the recipient of the Defense of Freedom Award given by the American Veterans Association. This award was presented in Los Angeles in November. The tape of the show will appear on Sunday, February 8th on the History Channel at 18:00 CT. It will be hosted by Gunny Ermey. I hope you can tune in.
Semper Fi!!
Mike Simmons, Sr.
USMC 69-73

"We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude."
--Thomas Jefferson





Hey Grit, I have written a few times to your pause, how about something , sometime about the Canadians that served in the Corps during the Vietnam era. It would be neat to let your readers know. I am on the guard and available to be spoken to if it is okayed by our board. presently am the Sgt. at Arms of the Vietnam veterans in Canada. 1968-1971, 0311 / 8654, stateside, 2nd Recon, Onslow beach, Vn, with 2nd CAG. Our president is woody carmack, thanks, enjoy your newsletter a lot and have used your

"Semper - Fi" Grit,
To Gy/Sgt. Ted "Shotgun" Baker, USMC Ret.
First Battalion
Platoon 253

We had Senior Drill Instructor SSGT Camp and Junior Drill Instructors Sgt. H. Jones and Cpl. John R. Brown who went on to make the movie the DI with Jack Webb.

I also was in Platoon 253, 1st Bn, MCRD, PI from Aug - Oct 31 1956. Check out your Platoon Yearbook - page 75 - 4th row - middle picture (Lewis R. Souder III).

I heard that Cpl. Brown got married to the female that played opposite him in the D.I., after the movie came out. He thought he was Joe Hollywood. That one part in the movie where he caught the fire watch in the hall and asked him his general orders - I remember very well - he did the same to me. As for Sgt. Jones, I haven't heard anything - SSgt. Camp I heard, passed away. I got a swagger stick, when I got out of boot camp, just like the one he use to carry.

Lew Souder
Gy/Sgt. USMC Ret.

Sgt Grit: Just finished reading your newsletter. Over the years it has provided many special moments, but what a surprise when I saw the piece entitled, "Recruit Must Have Cringed". A smile spread across my face. As a matter of fact I'm smiling right now. I can't help it. Joanne Cargill, your husband's dedication to the principles of the Marine Corps saved my life not only in Nam but for the rest of my life. When I came into the Corps, like so many young men, I lacked discipline and direction. I had flunked out of college and joined the Corps for some good old "life's lessons". And did I get them. Let your husband know I served with E-2/7 from Jan 67-Feb 68 as a Sgt. SSgt Cargill was one of my Drill Instructors at PI from Aug - Sep 1966 Plt 2054. As I recall, he was in aviation. One of the other DIs was SSgt Page wounded at Operation Star Light. He too brought out the best in me. These were two of the finest men I have ever known. I really mean it ... tough and fair every single time. I'm an attorney now with a great wife, two sons, and a grandson. Believe me I absolutely know, had it not been for SSgts Cargill and Page I would not be writing you today. God bless you and your family. I'd love to speak with him, if it's possible. Tell him I said, "Semper Fi".
Regards, Mike Watson, Marietta, GA

As I sit and wonder how to get across to you all the importance of doing what is right without being told i.e... wearing the uniform correctly, wearing our hair and nails, shining our boots, and taking initiative in the absence of orders to accomplish the mission. Most of all, following the orders of those appointed over us and not spending all of our energy finding ways to circumvent them, I look at collections of photos like these attached and ask myself, maybe a bullet near the head, a land mind near the vehicle a soldier is riding in, or the fatal loss of a battle buddy is the only way to get across to some, that we are at war, we are soldiers, and we have volunteered to do so.
I quote Robert J. Wagman.
"A military man does not have an allegiance to himself first. You are not taught that what comes first is your individual rights and then your country. If you want to take that option, get out of your uniform and out of the military".

Please don't be afraid of doing what is right. If you see a member of this organization, or any other, out of uniform, fix it! If you walk passed a deficiency, it becomes the new standard set by you.

Please enjoy the slide show attached and remember those enjoying the freedom, and those providing it!

Sgt. Grit:
I'm an old(er) Marine, having graduated Parris Island in late 1961 and am proud to have served in the Corps. Not quite as trim and fit as I used to be, but still in pretty good shape for an old guy, thanks in part to the PT habits I picked up at PI. I am extremely proud to state that my 19 year old son just graduated from MCRD, San Diego, last Friday. It was an impressive and moving ceremony and well worth the trip. I especially liked the part where the announcer asked that any Marines in the viewing stands please rise.

There were quite a few of us. I have to admit that my vision got a little blurry when the Marine Band played the Marines Hymn. We don't know where my son will be assigned, but no matter - he will serve his country proudly and with great enthusiasm. CONGRATULATIONS to one of the newest Marines: Pvt. Ryan P. Brann. Semper Fi, son.
Charlie Brann 1945850 USMC 1961-69

Served two (2) enlistments--- 1957-1967-- Second time was meant to serve a career but circumstances just prevented it. Went on to serve a career in the Alabama State Troopers. Many occasions my Marine training prevailed in some dangerous situations while a Trooper. Just proves "Once A Marine, Always A Marine". Was in Platoon 125 Parris Island, summer of 1957. Often wonder what happened to all those wonderful Marines. Thanks Sgt Grit for an ol' Marine to sound off a little.
SEMPER FI !!!!!!!!! Huey Travis # 1676306

I still have my tattered, yellow sweatshirt from Sand Diego, Feb. 1961. I used to have a bunch of my Dad's WWII issue, as well.

NOAD is good. I also like the acronym straight from MARCORPERSMAN, RELAD (Released from Active Duty).

RELAD Cpl. Of Marines, D. Felsen, 1961-65.

Sgt. Grit after hearing all these stories I feel I probably should share mine. my brother is a Lcpl in the 1st Marine Division and is Infantry he has been to Iraq and many other places around the world. He wasn't able to come home for are grandfathers funereal in '02 and he just left for his cruise when are father died unexpectedly. He was able to come home for that which I thank God for. He has a new wife and a step son, the last time he saw are dad alive was at his wedding. He hates being away from everyone I'm sure but he's proud of what he's doing. Everyone here is proud of what he is doing, my dad served in 'nam in the 82nd Airborne, my uncle which after the passing of my father I now live with is full time Michigan National Guard and has the possibility of being deployed. Just seeing how these stories sound relatively close to mine helps me know I'm not alone. So to all those Marines serving world wide SEMPER-FI!. Thank you

RANGERS LEAD THE WAY! c/MSgt. Josh Gordon, CAPFlight Sergeant MI-257

So many today have already forgot 9-1-1. I was in Viet Nam, my youngest son is now also a Marine in the 1st LAR preparing to ship to Iraq and I'm d*mn proud of him. I know a lot of other families who have sons who have just joined and are going also. They felt a sense of responsibility and pride in their country. My son wrote me from boot camp with a small note I keep in my wallet.

"You not just my Dad, you're also my brother".
Sgt. Ralph Cook, USMC, Chu Lai, RVN 1970

For what it's worth, in 1953 I was on temporary duty with MAG-33 Base Security at K-3 Korea and one Sunday morning myself, a Cpl, and two PFCs drew the duty to raise the Colors. When we raised the colors we had the "Church Pennant", as the Sgt. of the Guard called it, attached directly below. Later, sometime before noon chow, we went back over, lowered the flag, removed the church pennant, and re-raised the flag. I don't know of any other time the US Flag is raised on a military base without an accompanying bugle call. I can also recall seeing the "Church Pennant" flying on Sunday mornings at both MCRD in San Diego and at El Toro MCAS. I find it hard to believe that tradition has been discontinued.

The question was, "When do you not have to salute the raising or lowering of our flag?" The answer our Sgt. of the Guard gave was, "upon the re-raising of the flag after the Church Pennant has been removed, and that's why it is not signified by a bugle call or the band playing."

I'm not really sure that is the only time, but so far I've never found anything he told me untrue.

T. Stewart, USMC 1952- 1953

Call war glorious
Call war insane
Regardless young men and women
Fight and die
For their beliefs
They bleed
And kill
To try to get back home
To loved ones
While they are scorned
By those who
Have no idea
Of what they faced
Mocked by those
Who were not there
Clueless to the sacrifice
Of body and mind
A soldier must give
To survive
Have empathy for them
To remind them that
You care for their safety
And try not
To form strong
About things
You do not

R. M. St. John

Sgt Grit, I think you publish some of these missives just to p*ss people off and increase interest. The letter from Cpl Rick Wilson, calling Marine Reservists "Draft Dodgers" shows his ignorance of the history of the Marine Corps and the role of the Marine Reserves. The Reserves contribute 25% of the strength of the Corps, at 7% of the budget. They always have, are now, and always will be there when their Country calls. I have served as Regular and Reserve, enlisted and officer, and I am as proud of any one designation as I am of another. Sure the Reserves have their 10%, just like the regulars. But their are d*mned few people who will give up all of their free time and summer vacation just to practice at being miserable. One weekend a month? Hah! During one summer ATD my Motor T unit went to Little Creek for amphib training. I had been an instructor there on active duty, so I still knew many of the staff. When some uneducated PFC's from the Regular "aggressor" unit made some disparaging comments about the part-timers, the First Sergeants of our Company and the Regular unit got together to set up an educational event. Our Company fell out in greens for a uniform inspection, and the aggressors got to watch how the "weekend warriors" performed this task. I believe that they were all a bit surprised to find that there were more combat awards in our first squad then they had in their entire company! We had Korean and Vietnam veterans, with many individual and unit awards, flight and jump wings, and two members with Presidential Security Devices!

Not bad for a bunch of truck drivers and mechanics. That stopped the nasty comments we were getting from the "If you ain't a grunt, you ain't sh*t" bunch, especially those with less time in the Corps than some of our men had in combat. After your tour of active duty, you can sit around the VFW and brag about how bad you were, or you can mosey on down to your local Marine Corps Reserve Unit and continue to march. Most units don't care what your MOS was before. We had grunts, cannon cockers, flight crew, admin bodies, etc. driving and repairing trucks. The same when I served with ANGLICO and 8th Tanks. They will retrain you if you have the same ambition and drive that you had after boot camp. If you want to play the hero, then I'll see you at the American Legion. You can buy me a beer.

Mustang Major

I wanted to write in and THANK everyone who has served, is serving, and will be serving, in the USMC. My husband and I met while he was stationed in Hawaii, and I was working for the DOD at a Military Recreation Camp on the Big Island of Hawaii. It is hard not to fall in love in Hawaii, and boy did we fall. About a year or so later I decided to move back to my hometown in Indiana. He was getting out of the Marines, and decided to move with me. After being in the Marine Corps for ten years he was ready to try out the civilian life, but still wanted remain in the Corp so he join a Marine Reserve Unit. Shortly after we moved he asked me to Marry him, and of course I said yes. Shortly after I said yes his reserve unit went on active duty. He was sent to Iraq in March, and came home at the end of October. We had a wonderful two months together before he was deployed for the second time a few weeks ago, this time for Operation Iraq Freedom II.

We were able to go the Marine Corp Ball this year. Looking around and watching the men and women in their dress blues filled my heart with such pride, I can not explain. I will admit it has been tough. His unit is three hours away, to far to do anything with the Key Wives Volunteer network, I feel that there is no one around to talk to, or who understands. Then on Friday morning I come to work turn on my computer and read your newsletter. Sometimes I cry, sometimes laugh, sometimes I get mad, and when I get to the bottom I am a little disappointed because I have to wait seven days for a new one!

I guess what I am trying to say, in not such a short way is THANK YOU! This newsletter has helped me through a lot of bad times and enabled me to get through them! I have learned a lot about the Marine Corp from reading your newsletters.

Although I am not a marine I am PROUD to be a Marine wife!
Beth proud wife of SSgt Ralph

Sgt G,
The flag (actually pennant) that the writer refers to as the 'church flag' is called the Church Pennant. You can send the link (paragraph 175(c) along to him (or post it in your next newsletter). I have the graphic in the write up as well, but the direct link is

The specifics:
The church pennant and the Jewish worship pennant are the only two flags that ever fly above the national ensign. They are hoisted above the ensign, either at the flagstaff (in port) or the gaff (under way) during the conduct of religious services by a naval chaplain aboard ship. This usage is expressly authorized by law. U.S. Army directives also provide for use of this pennant above the ensign during services aboard Army vessels, but the legal authority for this would appear to be questionable. Although these pennants may be flown ashore, they may not be flown above the ensign except aboard ship. The use of a pennant to signal that divine services were in progress aboard ship is traditionally said to date from the Anglo-Dutch wars of the 17th century. The first mention of such a pennant in the U.S. Navy is in a manuscript signal book dated circa 1827. The earliest depiction, from the journal of a midshipman aboard USS Ohio in the early 1840s, looks very much like the pennant used today.

Semper Gumby (always flexible)
Frederick C. Montney III
MSgt, USMC Retired

The "old" and "new" Marine Corps...

There has been a considerable amount of speculation and lots of time spent attempting to determine exactly when the "Old Corps" ended and the "New Corps" began. I shall endeavor to end the speculations, innuendos and rumors for all time.

After extensive research, which included trips to the National Archives, the Marine Corps Historical Center at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, DC, and many hours spent on the website of the United States Marine Corps, History & Museums Division (a great site located at:,
I finally discovered the answer.

No. It was most certainly not when "the crucible" began in boot camp. It was not when the Eagle, Globe & Anchor emblem switched from the double "banner" in the eagle's beak to the one "banner" design of today. Nor was it when young Marines in Korea were being led by salty WW II vets. Alas, it also was not the switch from the M-1903 Springfield to the M-1 Garand nor even the switch from the boarding cutlass to the Mameluke sword for.

Here is the coveted answer:

In 1775, as you all know, the Marine Corps was formed at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia.

In the beginning they announced that any new recruit would get a free tankard of rum.

Unfortunately, they didn't get as many recruits as they wanted, so they announced that from now on, all recruits would get TWO tankards of rum.

A Marine in the back ranks yelled, "We didn't have it that good in the Old Corps!"

Semper Fi! Forrest Cornelius Former L/Cpl of Marines HQ, Btry., 14th Marines 1983-89

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well preserved piece. The intention should be to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out and defiantly shouting, "Wow! What a ride".
Author Unknown

She gave me dog tags.

I am a Marine 60-66 1/6 bravo company. I have raised 2 sons now 31 and 36 who did not join the military and a daughter who is 20....well who is dating a marine. I have moved away from my children 5 years ago to enjoy my retirement in Thailand. My children have been angry with me for leaving, but we all make mistakes. I came home this past December to only realize on how much I've missed out. My daughter e mails me frequently, pretty amazing given the fact she has been mad at me the most. She's been with a marine for awhile now and kept me informed while he was over seas, and sent me the pics of his return and all I wanted to do was meet this marine since the first time she mentioned she was dating a marine. She has always been interested in the corps ever since she was a little girl, I remember her being 4 years old trying to walk with my Kevlar on her head, trying to hum the marine corps hymn. til this day it brings tears to my eyes. The night after Christmas I had dinner with my son and his daughter and my daughter came with her marine. I must say, even though he is out of active duty, he's one fine looking marine, and he can take my daughter hand any day, I can still remember the glow on her face when she said " Dad, this is my marine I've been telling you about." It was pretty sad I had to salute the kid, the little s.o.b got out a Sgt. and I only got out as a Cpl. Dinner was amazing, even though my other son and his daughter could not make it, it was still one of the most memorable Christmas dinners ever. When the table was being cleared off, my daughter excused herself, and came back with a box and handed it to me. It was a small gold box, with a maroon bow on the top, and she had written marine corps terminology all over it. My heart started to melt. I remember her marine putting his arm around my daughter and she told me " Since your visit was a little unexpected I didn't know what to get you, I know its nothing big but I hope you like it." I didn't know what to say. She insisted that I open it. I opened the box and to my surprise there was a pair of dog tags, It was the most precious moment in my life, other than the day she was born. I left 3 days later back here to Thailand. On the last night, my daughter came to say goodbye. A father always remembers the glow on their little girls face when she's happy and I saw that on my last evening with her and her marine. The way she looked at him, and then looked at me, I could read her mind and could tell how happy she was and how badly I wish I could stay longer and be with her. At the end of the night they were ready to leave and I shook her marines hand and said " Semper Fi son, you take care of my daughter ya hear" he said " yes sir" and saluted me. He waited in the car while my daughter and I said our last words. When she hugged me I started weeping like a baby, she stopped hugging me and she said " Daddy, if there is one thing I have learned about being with a marine is that when he leaves, we don't say good bye we say see you later. so suck it up marine" ok, now. I think I stopped breathing there and my heart skipped 3 beats. She said "whenever you start to miss me, you hold those dog tags to your heart, and know that I am always thinking of you and I love you this much" and she spread her arms out as wide as she could and she hugged me again and kissed me on the cheek. she then looked at me with a smile and said "ill see you later daddy, ill call you" she got in the car with her marine and drove away. When I got home to Thailand I checked my e mail and saw one from her and all it said was "when I drove away I saw you holding those dog tags, I love you papa" little girls sure know how to melt your heart.

Semper Fi !!
Cpl. Antonucci
1/6 Bravo Company

"But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever."
--John Adams

To the person who wrote in your last newsletter the word "grunt" is offensive to him when referring to Marines I say the following.

When people refer to powerful cars they say they have a lot of "grunt". When people are pushing to the limits of strength and endurance they "grunt". When a huge line man takes a hit in defense of his team he "grunts".

This is why no Marine should ever find being called a grunt offensive, being a grunt means power, pushing to the limits and defending others.

Ben Scott
Adelaide Australia

"The centralization of power in Washington, which nearly all members of Congress deplore in their speech and then support by their votes, steadily increases."
--Calvin Coolidge

Semper Fi !!! US Marine 0331 90' to 94'. From life taker to life saver. I'm a professional firefighter these days. I feel fortunate to serve my community as I had my nation. Be PROUD to have earned the title "MARINE". Only we, can truly contemplate its worth. My Corps nickname of "G-man" follows me to this day. Funny thing is, I was given this because no one could say "Gutierrez". I had always said that my closest friends were my Marine buddies. There is something about being in danger and relying on the guy next to you. I feel that same type of brotherhood in firefighting.
To all my Marine brothers, GOOD HUNTING.

"They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong. There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right."
--Ronald Reagan

As a twenty year Marine with two tours in Vietnam (and begged to go back a third time) who retired, went to seminary and became a Baptist minister ... I really enjoyed the following joke from the last newsletter (although I do not condone the whores or getting drunk!). I went to my guy's parties, and even smuggled in some booze for them when they were shorted out of a party in their honor because of a rapid deployment. They drank their beer, I drank my soda, and when they got wild, I went home. We had a great respect for each other.
Gunny, 1961 - 1981

"There is not a single instance in history in which civil liberty was lost, and religious liberty preserved entire. If therefore we yield up our temporal property, we at the same time deliver the conscience into bondage."
--John Witherspoon

In response to SSGT Mike D. 1973-1981. I am a flight attendant for a major airline. My son is in the Marine Corps and I am extremely proud of him. I wear a picture of him in uniform around my neck with my crew ID badge. I also wear pinned to my uniform a USMC flag pin and a US flag with a yellow ribbon. When my son was serving in Iraq I wore the Mother's pin. I meet many Marines on my flights including Gunnery Sgt. R. Lee Ermey. They see the picture of my son or they notice the USMC flag pin, because of this many of them will stop and chat with me. I always love to see the ones in uniform. I feel much more protected when I know they are on my flight. I have seen the airline I work for upgrade our military personnel to First Class. I can't do much about giving these men and women a reduced fare but I can offer them my thanks for serving our country so proudly and I can offer them a beer. Many civilian passengers will also stop and ask me about my son and the Marine Corp. I am so proud to take the time to tell them how proud I am that he is serving our country. I sometimes think that when passengers are able to speak with someone who has firsthand experience of having a loved one serve in Iraq, they are a little more thankful for what they have here in the US. God Bless to all of our military personnel. You are always welcome on my flights. Thank you for letting me share.
June S. Proud Mother of a Marine

Dear Sgt Grunt;
As a father of three Marines, two are out one is active at Camp LeJuene in the 2nd LAR, I would like to pass along to you the tremendous job that radio station WBAB on Long Island,NY has done to help an injured Marine.

Lance Cpl. Ian Lennon of Lindenhurst, Long Island, New York was badly burned in Iraq, and the radio station has raised over $94,400.00, to date, for his family to assist in his care while he is in a burn center.

If you would like to check out this story go to the radio web site, and go to the DJ's Roger and JP support our troops site, and see the support these people have gathered to help this injured Marine.

I think your readers would like to know that there is tremendous support for our servicemen and women in this country.
Yours truly; John L. McMahon III

Sgt Grit
Just wanted to thank you for posting my note in the last American Courage Newsletter #63. I have already heard from one Marine once he figured out the email address. I don't want to be pictured as a whiner or anything, but my email address is wrong. One letter was left out. It should be I would appreciate it if you would correct it. Thanks Sgt Grit, keep up the great work. I look forward to your newsletters, and I keep the tissue's handy.
Semper Fi
Mike Marte
Adjutant, San Jose Det. #1122, Marine Corps League

thanks to the freedom we cherish a very important side effect is ongoing... we will never be able to defeat the terrorists until we start applying the same motivations that the terrorists have.applied towards the usa. in other words we have no fire in the belly.if you consider history every great nation has a weak underbelly and ours is no different from what happened to Rome and the great empires of the middle east.

Sgt. Grit,
USMC Motor Transport Association will be holding their 8th Reunion at Denver, CO. Sept. 19th - 22nd, 2004. POC is Hal Clapp, (910) 346-8797; PO Box 1372, Jacksonville, NC 28541-1372; Email: For membership contact Terry Hightower via Email:
Semper Fi and Keep On Trucking,
Terry Hightower

Dear Sgt Grunt:
I hope you can help us get the word out. Your email address was given to me by Jim Reed in Dallas, an Iwo vet. Thanks, Helen McDonald - Admiral Nimitz State HIstoric Site- National Museum of the Pacific War, 340 E. Main, Fredericksburg, Texas 78624 The Admiral Nimitz State Historic Site - National Museum of the Pacific War, located in the hometown of Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz (Fredericksburg, Texas) is planning a 60th anniversary recognition for veterans of Iwo Jima scheduled for 17-18 -19 -20 February 2005. Known for other such events as the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II (V+50) and the official mainland site for the 60th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The museum together with the community of Fredericksburg will offer veterans an opportunity to tell their stories with oral history recorders, tour the museum that is dedicated solely to the story of the Asiatic Pacific War (1941-1945) be a participant in the parade in honor of our Iwo vets, tour sites in the beautiful Texas HIll Country, also planned are living history demonstrations and flyovers, the event will conclude with a Memorial Service on Sunday 20 February with a reenactment of the Flag Raising at Iwo Jima.

Cpl Rick Wilson, I cannot say anything for the reservists of the Nam era, as I was not born until Christmas Eve 1970 and did not go to boot camp until October 89. I did not know what or where Vietnam was until I was in junior high (my step father, who was drafted into the Army in 67, did not speak of his time in Nam at all). I can say that the reservists of today stand a very good chance of being activated and sent to war, especially in the Select Marine Corps Reserve (we are not nasty reservists or DRAFT DODGERS, WE EARNED THE TITLE THE SAME AS EVERYONE ELSE WHO WENT ACTIVE DUTY for 4, 6 or 20-30 years). I, myself spent 6 years on active duty before being HONORABLY DISCHARGED in 95. Not wanting to end my marriage I decided to join A reserve unit, vice returning to active duty, here at the Port of Tacoma, Washington (now aboard Fort Lewis, Wa) in August 96 (missed the camaraderie of the brotherhood too much). My battalion was activated Jan 14th (that is 2003) and sent to Kuwait Feb 8th. Our mission was completed by May and we were returned home in early June 03. So you need to update your thinking about Reserve Marines, we serve just like Active Duty Marines in time of war, in fact our Corps CANNOT COMPLETE ITS MISSION WITH OUT THE RESERVE COMPONENT. WE NOT ONLY GIVE UP BEING WITH OUR LOVED ONES WHEN WE DEPLOY, WE ALSO HAVE CIVILIAN JOBS THAT ARE LEFT TO BE DONE BY SOMEONE ELSE.
SSgt John A Warren

Sgt Grit,
Advise all military retirees, their spouses, widows/ widowers, and family members that each major military installation has an office specifically designed to assist them obtain benefits and entitlements which they earned by their faithful and honorable service to our nation. In the Marine Corps this office is called the Retired Activities Office and is found within the Marine Corps Community Service department aboard each base/air station. All can be contacted by accessing the web site of each installation and clicking on the appropriate "box".

Now I realize that those Marines who served for less than 20 years and did not retire are going to ask "What about us ?" The Marine Corps has a program which can help them, it's called "Marine4Life" and also may be accessed on the web. Semper Fidelis,
A. J. Sandy Antonik, GySgt USMC (Ret)

YoHo Grit and Grunts, Shouse here.
Gunny Art, relax the muzzle cover is on, the trails are closed and the tar and feathers are secured. I have never thought that historians wrote down the whole truth. An example is on Okinawa, when my dad's platoon was on Kunishi Ridge, "the Book" says they took it. Dad said they did but the Japs pushed them back 6 times before they got to the top. He laughed and said that is the reason he volunteered to be a cook.

RLT 26 landed sometime around the end of the summer of 66, I joined the battery in Danang in March of 67, about half way through the original Battery's tour. Doc Griffin was our head corpsman at the time and right after we went back to PhuBai they sent us down to PhuLoc. It rained one night and somehow I ended up with a leech stuck to the best part of my anatomy. I got it off with a cigarette but being only 19 I was concerned that there might be a problem later on. I said something to the doc, he says let's see it. I whip it out, he says "yep, looks like a bug bite to me," and walks off. By the way Doc, I still have that patch you got made for us in Okie, and I wear it on my vest every Veteran's Day, Memorial Day and any other special occasion for the Vets. Come on Down to Dallas in July for the KheSahn Veterans Reunion and see some of the old battery guys. I think that one of MR WHITTON'S staff (aka SGT GRIT) will be there.

Guys, our little brothers are not walking in the big sandbox now but say a little prayer for all the military that are there. It must be tough for young kids to be away from home the first time, knowing that there is someone out there that wants to kill them.

Semper Fi and God Bless America
Ron Shouse

Mr. Torres,
Let not your heart be troubled, your son is in the best of hands. I was nineteen when I went into boot camp at Parris Island and my mother was a puddle as she saw me off that cold January day. She was further worried and concerned from some of the letters describing what I was undergoing there. If you were to ask her today, she would tell you with every confidence that it was the best thing that I ever did. I can't begin to describe both the pride I feel to this day, and the strength I gather from my experiences in the Corps. As a testament to this...I recently visited the recruiters office regarding reserve duty. I have a wonderful family now and am very successful monetarily (which I also largely attribute to values learned in the Corps). He asked what I did for a living and wondered why I wanted back in. I suppose it was a leading question as I suspect he knew the answer; "I miss it" I told him. You'll find that your son isn't a different boy than you remember, he will be the man that you had hoped, he will be a Marine. It will not come easy to him however, so be as supportive as possible with your letters. Sorry to hear that you couldn't see him off...BE SURE not to miss his graduation, as it is a moment you'll never forget. Don't feel sorry for your loss, feel excitement and pride for both of your gain!
In Solidarity.
Philip Deitsch
USMC '94-'98

Sgt Grit,
I just read with interest your last newsletter where a Staff Sergeant outlined the requirements for the Combat Action Ribbon (CAR). He mentioned that the affected Marine would have to be fired upon by direct fire weapons, not indirect fire weapons.

I was in the first Gulf War as a Criminal Investigator with the 1stMarDiv, MP Co. The company's objective was the Kuwait Airport, and later the processing of POW's in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Our company may have been in the neighborhood of some harassing mortar fire, but we never fired a shot.

If I recall correctly, the criteria to receive the CAR was to merely be in Kuwait during the 100 timeframe of the war, direct fire or not. Seems that the boys from 1stFSSG even jokingly referred to the award as the "further North ribbon".

Can anyone else who was in-theater shed some light on this?
Semper Fi,
Jeff Flaugher "Stretch"
MP/CID 83-93

Sgt. Grit
I am going to take exception to the statement by Rick Wilson concerning Marine Corps reservist. His demonstrated ignorance is almost as large as his childish ego. I was privileged to spend eighteen years in the reserves of the United States Marine Corps after four years of active duty and a tour with Baker Co. Ist. Bn. 5th. Marines in Korea. The history of the Marine Corps Reserve and the heroic actions of its members during the second world war and the Korean and the fighting in Iraq give the lie to Mr. Wilson's immature labeling of "draft dodgers." We were ready to go with wills and powers of attorney filled out. President Johnson would not sign the order for reasons no one understood. I had men in my company of reserves that were the equal of any I ever met in the regular establishment and some a d*mned site better. Get into your history ace, you just might learn something.
Robert Jennings MSgt. U.S.M.C.R, [ret]

I just read another fine edition of your newsletter is the first thing I read when I check my e-mail and it is there. As usual I print it off and send it to my brother. In reading about the name calling of Srg. Vs: Sergeant. I recall the time I ended up in the San Diego brig. I think it was called the 32st Navy brig and guarded by Uncle Sam's best. The U.S. Marines. It seems that in those days before I found my brains, I liked to fight a lot and that was the reason I was there. There was another Army "Grunt with me whom I knew from my post and he was an Army brat if there ever was one. He made a serious mistake of opening his mouth and calling a sergeant E-5 three stripper Sir. The Sergeant nicely said to the brat don't call me sir I work for a living and of course the brat said" Right Sage" I thought his life support system was about to be turned off when the three stripper picked him up by the throat. I didn't think that was right but that must have been about the time I developed a brain because I wisely stared at the white wall in front of me while all of the rest of the dummies with us turned around to look and it was all down hill from there for them. I on the other hand was left entirely alone Maybe it was my Medic insignia or perhaps because I was doing what I had been told. But from that day on I never ever called a Sergeant Sarge and was so very glad to get out the next Am I never went back and I also brought my fighting days to an end. It was at that time I also developed a new and healthy respect For the Marines. They were and always have been all business be it a smart mouthed Army brat or some sort of a sand digger in the mid East. Sergeant Grit, you keep up the great work you are doing with your newsletter. I am always glad to get and read it. I also forward it to any Marines I know and there are a few around town, so it gets widely read here.
Sgt. ( E5) "Doc" Fenimore - Medic

Listen Up!! You Barbwire Bitin' Bulldogs!!
Here's A New Obstacle For Your Course!
Let's See How Many Rounds You Gung Ho
Gorillas Can Get In One Tight Group!

We Know That "ALL" Marines Are Famous Just Because They're Marines! Oorah!! But Here's The Mission! Recon And Name Every "Media Made" Famous/Infamous Marine From 1775 To Present. Men And Women! Actors, Writers, Artists, Sports, Musicians, Celebrity Types And The Like. You'll Be Surprized At Who's A Jar Head!

I'll Fire Off The First Round For Ya! "SGT GRIT!" One Of The USMC's Finest!

Whoever Names The Most "Factual" Names, Wins A Free Trip Back To The Yellow Footprints To Begin Boot Camp All Over Again! OORAH! An' Your Lef' Roight Lef'!! HUHH!! Alright! Move Out!!

Pastor Mark N. Johnston
Marine For Life!

"Go tell everyone The Good News!" ~ Mark 16:15 ~

Just a couple of thoughts from a young air-winger.
In the world as I knew it - GySgt's were called Gunny, MSgt's were called Top, MGySgt's were sometimes called Master Guns, but Sgt's were NOT called Sarge. (I think because it was too much like the Army, but I'm not sure.) I had a DI that used to sarcastically say "How about an Okie-Dokie Sarge, or something" when she was waiting for someone to say "Aye, Ma'am". NO ONE was stupid enough to say that.

As for what to call a non-active Marine, my two personal favorites are Marine veteran and Marine No-LOAD. (No longer on active duty.) Or just Marine works very well too.

Love the newsletter, love you Marines that write in, and a thank you to all of my brother and sister Marines.

Sgt. Grit,
Tell Alejandro in Houston not to miss his son's graduation from MCRDSD. If you have to walk to get there, please start now because it's worth the trip.... and take lots of Kleenex. Our son graduated 1/9 and it broke my heart to see a few new Marines with no family or friends there to share in the moment. Shaking the hand of a new Marine and thanking them (in advance) for their service was very appreciated and probably did me more good than them. Upon returning home to Seattle we stopped at an electronics store near the airport where an "ol Salt" approached my son and said "In this big ol' store you're saving lives Private and you don't even know it.
Wear that uniform proudly." Out came the Kleenex!
Proud Marine Parent
Tom Shepherd

When I enlisted in the Corps, Feb 54----I told my Father--Who was a retired Army First Sergeant, who's last assignment was as a personnel SgtMaj prior to his retirement---he ask me why in the h*ll I joined the Marine Corps----my response-- Dad, I didn't want to make the same mistake you did-----he didn't speak to me for a month---the shock wore off, and he began writing letters to me at PI, He got me back good too---sent me a letter with this spelled out on the return address. His name of course---after the name---came First Sergeant U. S Army Retired Went thru living h*ll for the next few weeks---Until my senior DI ask me where did I learn to shoot like that, Told him my father taught me, end of the harassment. The old 1st Sgt passed away, Feb 2001, and we buried him on the 7th of Feb, His 74th anniversary of his enlistment in the Army

GySgt Walker---MNLOAD----Marine No Longer on Active Duty

I suggest the USMC (and all other) veterans donate their uniforms, etc., to museums/war museums. I hauled my things (except for 1 uniform of USMC greens to be buried in) to the Gold Star Museum, Camp Dodge, Johnston, Iowa. (The curator said most veterans wear out their shoes/boots, so there is a shortage of those items.) Donating to museums eliminates having your next-of-kin wondering whatthehell to do with all that "stuff."

My donated items included a "Dear John letter" I received from my (1st) fiancée two months into my first of two winters in Korea. The curator checked with other museums and said it was only the third one in museums ... seems as though other guys had disposed of theirs in various ways!
Sgt JJ Kramer 1299852

"If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war."
--George Washington

Can anyone shed some light on this version of history?
Sgt Grit

FORT HOOD - Cecil Hamm is one of the "Chosin Few."
As a member of the 3rd Infantry Division, he was among those soldiers sent during the Korean War to rescue U.S. Marines who had been surrounded in the Chosin Reservoir by communist Chinese troops. "What I remember most was the bitter cold," said Hamm, of Copperas Cove. "What kept us going was that what we were doing was the right thing."

Another outstanding job as usual and as expected. Thanks. Loved the quote from our second Commandant. And we thought/think the UCMJ or "Rocks & Shoals" were/are tough!!

All this discussion about what to call whom made me wonder if certain "traditions" are still followed regarding the addressing of officers.

Back in the early fifties while I was still trying to get the cosmoline from behind my ears, I was given to understand that "sir" was to be used for company-grade officers only (Capts/Lts) and that field-grade officers were to be addressed by their rank (Major, Colonel, General). Further, when referring to the officer, it was done in third person fashion (i.e. "Would the Colonel like cream in his coffee?").

Just wondered what the protocol is today.
J.J. Leist
MSgt., USMC(Ret)

Last summer a good friend of mine from a little, tiny country town up the road (New Bloomfield, MO) asked me for help. She was planning a pro-America rally and wanted me to get some Marines to attend. There were going to be all the branches there and were all going to be recognized for their past effort throughout the years in keeping America free. All my Marines I asked were more than glad to participate.

One of the speakers there was the past governor of the state. During his speech Governor Wilson continually spoke of jarheads, devildogs and leathernecks. He also threw in several 'OO-rahs'. "As you can tell I am somewhat partial to the Corps as my son is in the Marines". I whispered to my men that his son HAD to be an officer. You just know there are no governor's or senator's boys in Marine Corps boot camp. As soon as the speakers were finished we all gathered with the Governor to welcome him to the Marine family. He immediately said his wife still can't believe how tight the Marine family is. Then he gave us details on his Lance Corporal son that was in Baghdad when that ugly statue came down. Urrrahh.

In October I talked with the Governor & invited his family to our Marine Corps birthday ball in November. Unfortunately he was going to San Diego to see his son off and his unit was headed for somewhere in the Pacific.

During this rally in the little town in Missouri all the various branches of service stood together in front of the crowd & were recognized. Lastly, the Marines all marched up in detail formation, did a left face and went to parade rest with no commands. Everyone in the crowd was staring with amazement. We had not planned or practiced any part of this detail. Some of these Marines have been out of the Corps for many years. Marine training and self-discipline never fades. Urahhhh.

Immediately after the ceremony several elderly women met us after we marched off and said "You can sure tell who the Marines are, God Bless you all."

Semper Fidelis;
J. T. Bryan, Junior Vice Commandant,
Central Missouri Detachment, Marine Corps League

Just a little correction to you - young buck of the Corps. Check your facts again about no Master Sergeants in the infantry. They are 0369 Master Sergeants - used in weapons company and in battalion training. Just like there are 0369 Master Gunnery Sergeants in the infantry. I am glad that you did get the fact right about the true infantry "Gunner." Keep up the good work! Remember - A Marine on duty has no friends...
Brett A. Wurdinger, GySgt, USMC, Ret.

Sgt. Grit,
Thanks for your continued outstanding newsletter. It is second only to Leatherneck Magazine in our home. I recently had the honor of speaking at my brothers funeral service here in Chicago. My brother was a retired deputy chief police officer and served our beloved Corps in 53-55 in Korea. Our other brother who preceded him to guard heavens gates was called to his final duty station 15 years ago. He had served our Corps in 63-67, with a tour in Vietnam in 65. I followed in 70-71, serving in DaNang in 70.

At the service there was a police honor guard stationed at the front of the room with one of them being released from the Corps in 96. He seemed especially proud to be pulling this duty. In addition there were half a dozen Marines who were retired from the police force. I wanted to convey to the friends and family who had joined for this special remembrance why each of my brothers and I were bound to be "always faithful" to each other. I tried to explain that although I was just coming out of diapers when he sailed to a little place called Inchon, I was just coming out of diapers and although we did not grow up together he demonstrated throughout his life how a Marine behaves, whether in service or civilian life. The relationship I had with my brothers was unique. We were bound by blood, in name (James Francis, Michael James, and Thomas Michael James), and perhaps the deepest bond was as United States Marines, each having served in a hostile environment we understood each other and over the course of the last 32 years, spent zero time judging each other. We knew we each stood the test, wore the uniform, and fought for the freedom of others.

Today there is a display case representing each of our times in the Corps and will stand as a testament of what "Band of Brothers" really means for all of our grandchildren, and if lucky, great grandchildren to learn from and perhaps one day be a part of. Lest we never forget!

Semper Fi,
Cpl. Tom Gillespie
USMC RVN 70-71

I am a retired Navy E-7 (CTRC(SS) and presently own a beer tavern in Missouri. I have a man working for me that joined the Marine Corp in 1972. At the time he joined in 1972 he had a 1968 felony against him that the recruiter said he would get removed from his record so he could join. Steve thought his record had been cleared and he went in the marines !

About three weeks ago a local policeman that doesn't like anything that has to do with any kind of drinking gave BOTH OF US tickets because I hired a convicted felon & Steve got one for being a felon working in a tavern.

I was in the military before the all voluntary force (1953-1972) and believed that a felon couldn't join at all. In the old days we did have the "Join or go to jail" judges. Can you enlighten me on the military law in 1972?
Tks. Jere A. Harms

Good Evening, Sgt. Just wanted to drop a line about a visit to Camp Pendelton I made with my MCL Detachment. On the anniversary of the 1st Marine Division, we went to Camp Pendelton for our yearly visit. We were treated very well considering that components of the 1st Marine Division are getting ready to deploy back to Iraq. After morning chow in the 33 area chow hall, we went to "Main side" for the battle colors ceremony. Many dignitaries in attendance. It was a GREAT! My eyes were even sweating a bit. Next we were loaded back on the cattle cars (Buses) and taken back to the 33 area for noon chow. Then we were split into two groups. One group was taken to the L.C.A.C. (Landing Craft Air Cushion) area and the other went to the M.O.U.T. training area (Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain)near Edson range. After our briefing with the Major and SSGT., we were