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Pay attention MAGGOTS.....there is a lot of outstanding new product listed below and more to come. The new 120 page catalog is being mailed as you read this. Yes you read that correctly 120 pages of outstanding, motivating Marine gear from cover to cover. Nothing else, no Army, Navy, surplus, camping gear to wade through to get a few USMC items. ALL Marine ALL the time. Enjoy or give me squats and mothers for ever....READY BEGIN!!!!
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More "good" things you will not hear about Iraq. http://www.usaid.gov/
I purchased the gold colored EGA lapel pin from you last year so that I could wear it to show my support of the Marine Corps, as my nephew is a Marine, and a damn good one. Oooraahh!
I am writing because I wanted to tell you that I have experienced some truly beautiful moments that occurred because people see the pin and inquire as to who is the Marine in my life.
I work is a retail jewelry store in a mall in Maryland, just outside the DC area, where there are a lot of retired military personnel. Many of them shop in my store.
There have been dozens of Viet Nam vets who have struck up conversations with me and I have learned so much from them. A couple of weeks ago I was helping a gentleman and his wife, we were sitting at a showcase looking at a few items and he was reminiscing about his time in Nam and his buddies who never made it home, and the Wall, and tears were falling down his cheek......my heart was so full of pain for him....it was a very moving experience. There are so many Vets from that era who have such intense emotions and I am so flattered that they are willing to share their feelings with a total stranger....and this happens often.
It is difficult to express just how I feel when I meet these men and women....as a civilian....I am so honored and feel such respect for each of them.....
And for all our brave men and women who are serving now....my nephew is preparing to deploy to the mountains of Afghanistan in May, and I am so proud.
Sorry to ramble on so, but now that I am part of the Marine Corps family, there have been many endearing moments that will stay with me for all my life.
God bless the Marine Corps....and all the troops overseas....
"God Bless the Marine Corps and all our military....."
Thanks again for another great newsletter. I see by this and the past couple that other past reservists were offended or hurt by the remarks of an ill-thinking brother. I can only say that after contemplating his remarks I too being somewhat dismayed, forgave him in his recollection of the hell he had gone through knowing that some of us who had joined the same Corps were not suffering the same nightmares as he and other brothers and sisters. We of the USMCR know that we all went through the same training and graduated from the same boot-camp and were inducted into the same USMC as were those of the "regulars", and I am sure that the majority of us still stand tall and ready to serve even in our 6th decade if called upon. I pray that all Marines, regulars and reserves, will have a safe tour and those deployed will come home safely to their loved-ones. May God continue to bless our Corps, the rest of the military, our Commander in Chief and his advisors. And may God prevent me from ever coming face to face with this Stephen Durham person who had such un-American remarks such as do not deserve to be on the same page with the others. But for the willingness of the Marines on duty in Iraq and elsewhere, he would not have the freedom to make such remarks. Imagine similar words coming from the mouth of an Iraqi a few months back. Probably would have been the last words from his "garbage pit"... Proud to be a Marine! Semper Fidelis.
A Dorney, Sgt. of Marines, USMCR 1946450, '61-69
Sudan Muslims have killed two million Christians
There is not doubt, from all the intelligence we pick up from al Qaeda, that they want to do away with our way of life.
Gen. Richard Myers, JCS
I want to introduce myself as Adam Fisk, and currently I am a sophomore. For the past year or so I have been reading your newsletter and noticing the unity of those in the Corps. All of the stories I have read have inspired me to do the one thing that will change my life for ever. As of last week when a USMC recruiter came into my school I have decided to enter the marine corps NROTC scholarship. Its something I have been on the fence for since I had to write a paper on the career I'm choosing to follow.. since that time I have read your newsletter and paid special attention to the boot camp stories. though there have been those stories which intimidated me a bit, I have found what I want to do with my life. And I know what I'm going to do because of you all. So pretty much what this is saying is thank you for all your service for our country and for your stories and for showing me what do with my life. I hope that I will do the Corps proud and that I too will have stories to share of my own.
Don't worry about evildoers, never be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they'll soon be cut down like grass and wither away into the dust.
~ King David ~ Psalm 37:1,2
HEY! All you maggots listen up!!
There's a great 8th grade teacher in Lake Wales Florida who's doing his best to educate his students in the realities of what went on in Nam. I've already gotten some email from students in his class who want the straight scoop on what we went through.
I figured that all you ladies out there would want to help in this effort. Contact Mr. Art Falconer at McLaughlin Middle School in Lake Wales, Florida. His email address is:
Get on it!
Hey well time has come again for deployment and the love of my life has gone for tour 2 in Iraq having your newsletter gives me a lot of comfort thanks for everything. May the lives of our Marines be safe and welcomed back soon.
Marine Wife to be
Dear Sgt Grit
I would like to reply to Denise "Scared but Proud Marine Mom" Just want to tell her that from one "Proud Marine Mom" to another.... My thoughts and prayers are with your wonderful Marine.. they are all very special..I have 2 and couldn't be any Prouder.. as you know how that feels.. Just wanted you to know we are prayin for yours as well as ours.. Blessings to you and yours.. Sheri Lloyd another Proud Marine Mom.(of 2)
DEAR CANDY:... AS A 60YR OLD FORMER GRUNT MARINE 62-66,
VIETNAM -MAY 7/ 65 - MARCH 7/66 ... I CAN STILL UNDERSTAND THAT FEELING OF NOT WANTING TO LEAVE MY BUDDIES.......IN THE BUSH....! LEAVING NAM.... "HELL YES"... LEAVING YOUR FRIENDS THAT YOU JUST SHARED 13 MONTHS OF GOD KNOWS WHAT.... NO WAY....! THAT FEELING WAS MULTIPLIED BY THE KNOWLEDGE THAT YOU KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING... AND THESE POOR F.N.G.s HAD TO LEARN THE HARD WAY.... I HAD A RELATIVELY NEW FIRE TEAM FOR ONLY A FEW MONTHS WHEN IT WAS MY TIME TO "ROTATE"... TO THIS VERY DAY...38YRS LATER... I AM SCARED TO DEATH TO KNOW HOW THEY DID AFTER I LEFT... CAN NOT TELL YOU HOW MANY TIMES.... I WISHED I STAYED WITH THEM + PASSED ON MY KNOWLEDGE TO THESE GUYS TO MAYBE GIVE THEM A BETTER CHANCE OF MAKING IT THROUGH THEIR 13 MONTHS...!
IF YOU EVER SAW THE MOVIE "PLATOON".... NEAR THE END OF IT JUST AFTER A BIG BATTLE... A SLIGHTLY INJURED BLACK GUY WAS DUE TO ROTATE BACK TO THE STATES.... ALL THROUGH THE MOVIE .. LIKE MOST OF THE GUYS, HE WAS BITCHING ABOUT THE HELL THEY WERE GOING THROUGH ... BUT AS HE WAS READY TO CLIMB ABOARD THAT CHOPPER TO TAKE HIM OUT OF THAT MESS.... HE TURNED AROUND AND LOOKED AT HIS FRIENDS.. AS IF TO SAY "D@MM.. I DON'T BELIEVE THIS BUT I'M GONNA MISS YOU GUYS...!!! " my favorite part of the movie + so easy to relate too..!
PLEASE DON'T BE MAD AT YOUR SON.... HE WOULD PROBABLY FEEL GUILTY FOR A LONG TIME [for his own personal reasons] IF HE DID NOT RETURN TO HIS BUDDIES...! EVEN THOUGH I AM A MARINE... AND WE ARE THE BADDEST OF THE BAD... I HAVE NO DOUBT THAT THE FEELING THAT YOUR SON IS FEELING IS PROBABLY SHARED BY MANY OF THE ARMY GRUNTS DUE TO LEAVE OR HAVE THE OPTION OF RETURNING... ALSO..!
JUST CONTINUE TO GIVE HIM A WHOLE BUNCH OF LOVE, + LOTS OF SUPPORT, THEN WHEN HE COMES HOME SAFELY... JUST TELL HIM "GO TO YOUR ROOM"...+ DON'T LEAVE ME LIKE THIS AGAIN... YOUR GROUNDED FOR THE WEEKEND....!"
I MIGHT SUGGEST YOU TALK TO SOME OF HIS BUDDIES THAT HE SERVED WITH THAT HAVE COME HOME... AND I'M SURE THEY CAN GIVE YOU A WAY BETTER REASON THEN I AM FOR HIM STAYING THERE FOR ANOTHER TOUR. IT WILL MAKE YOU THAT MUCH MORE PROUD OF HIM..... GIVE HIM A BIG HUG AND A MIGHTY " SEMPER FI ".. FROM ALL US " NAM MARINE GRUNTS"
" GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR SON, + ALL OUR TROOPS, SHALOM + SEMPER FI. J.V.
I just wanted to say that my son has been in the Corps since 1986 when he graduated from high school. He is a 1st Sgt now waiting to deploy to Iraq, he volunteered for the 1991 war in Afghanistan, been just about everywhere a Marine could go and now he is anxious to get to Iraq. I have three brothers that were in the Corps, one retired as a Sgt.Major. As a mother of course I worry, but my son always tells me that that is why he joined the Corps. He doesn't think twice about giving the "ULTIMATE" for his country, and it saddens me to think that people just don't care about our military people! They haven't a clue, as long as it doesn't affect them in their everyday simple life! I am proud of my son and I tell him all the time. His wife is a former Marine and I thank God for her FOR HIM! Keep up the good work,
A Marine Mom
Our number 1 son is presently serving in country. He is a third generation Marine following his grandfather (Msgt Ret.) and myself (Sgtmaj.Ret.).We are quickly closing in on 50 years of service to our Corps of Marines and our Nation. Might is right when tyranny threatens the very way that we live. Our family stands with the Commander- In -Chief and we (the Stamper family) remain committed to the security of our nation. As all parents of those who serve in Harm's Way, we would ask for thoughts and prayers of not only our Marines but all who wear our nation's uniform.
SgtMajor (Ret.) James J. Stamper
To Ester Souze
That could have been my story. I too am sick to death of people (some at work) who force their political views on me. When I tell them that my son is a Marine they have the same answer "I hate Bush" "What are we doing in Iraq anyway?" Well I just cringe because I don't need to hear that. Why would you say that to a mother who's son has just very recently been deployed? I don't particularly care what someone's opinion of President Bush is or their opinion on the war but use your head and keep those comments to yourself. We don't want to hear that our sons and daughters are there "for nothing." I could not imagine loosing a child in a war "for nothing." When I hear someone talk like that I just tell them Look, I'm behind the president and his decisions and I'm extremely proud of my son and all the other ones who have the guts and the heart to go and do their job for us ! There are idiots everywhere Ester so don't get too upset and just know that they are ignorant and stupid ! Be proud and hold your head up ! Hey, you raised a Marine !
VPMM of Pfc Mark
Months ago you passed on to your troops my meeting of the "Old Salt" from WW 2. Then the letter about the brain cancer that attacked the old noggin. Thanks again.Not long after all these tests this young doctor shows up with my plan for treatment of the tumor. Same old s--- surgery, drugs, radiation and a whole lot of good luck. This is when "The Spirit of our Corps" took over. I knew it was going to be one hell of a fight but to quit wasn't going to get it. The first thoughts were "IMPROVISE, ADAPT AND OVERCOME". He said " what"? I tried to explain but he just didn't get it. He left the room with a stupid look on his young face.The nurse said, "Can I use that with my other patients"? I told her to "pass the word". She wrote it down and said thanks. Well I just happen to have one of your bumper stickers at home with our beloved "Eagle, Globe, and Anchor" on it and those exact words. The next visit I handed it to her and told her to put it up for all to see. It's been there for all to read as they enter the treatment room. Once again "Sgt.Grit." has landed.
God Bless America and Her Warriors!
"[T]he germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of the federal Judiciary."
My brother is in the USMC. Growing up we never had a father, so he was my role model. Now I like to think of him as my hero, along with everyone who is sacrificing their lives to keep America safe. Americans shouldn't oppose the war, they should defend it. If we don't stand for something, we'll fall for anything.
"The foundations of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality, and the preeminence of free government be exemplified by all the attributes which can win the affections of its citizens, and command the respect of the world."
I am currently stationed in Iraq, and will return home after my six month volunteer duty in late April. My son, also a US Marine Riflemen with 1/7, has already served 6 months in combat and will return most likely in the fall. Marines take care of their own, and will continue to do so, so be of good cheer.
I consider ALL of the Marines junior to me here as my sons and daughters as do all of the senior Marine leadership, and since I am serving on a joint/coalition staff, the same goes for all the soldiers sailors and airmen I serve with.
We, as Marines, though tend to be more engaged and lean forward to take care of our own. Your son will have the benefit of outstanding leadership at all times, and our traditions will not waiver, or allow us to fail.
God bless you and your son,
Oliver M. Grant
LtCol (Col sel) USMC
I just finished reading the latest installment of Sgt. Grit newsletter # 65. Phillip Fields wrote about sitting with an old MARINE in the mall and talking for two hours. I have picked up a new habit in the last year and that's anytime I see an older gentleman W.W. II vintage I ask if he was in the service during WW II. Almost all answer in the affirmative. I simply ask Europe or Pacific and what branch? The answer really doesn't matter for I then THANK them for my freedom. I've had many a humble old gent tell me he was only a weatherman or a ferry pilot of bombers from home to Europe a Coastie in Massachusetts and one that hit the beach in Normandy. It doesn't matter what these men did what matters is they did it. The next time you see an old timer ask the question and give your thanks I've even seen eyes well up and gotten a hug or two. I'm a Squid from 68-72 and really appreciate the SGT Grit newsletter it's great reading. I'm not sure a Squid can say this but here goes SEMPER FI MARINES keep up the good work.
ADJ2 Druan 68-72 VP-26
We are having our annual regimental gathering at red mountain park in E. Mesa on April 24th from 10 am to 4 pm all the units around Arizona will be there. Also, 3 three big dogs from Wash, DC. : Col. Kessler, Joe Bles and another whom I am not privy to the yet, for security purposes. We have also invited R Lee Ermey who comes to the young marine events on a regular basis. This is a once a year event and it is huge. Please call me if you guys are interested. Valerie Ruppert PH# 480-964-4929 My EX O is Mrs. Danette Reed @ 480-898-7129 My CO is Mr. Salizar @ 480-560-4707 please call me or my EXO if you guys are interested.
Our website iswww.theyoungmarines.org
Thank you very much!
Hey, To "Scared but Proud Marine Mom, Denise"
My son just volunteered as well, and is now in Iraq.
I think it's amazing that we have sons and daughters who think more about their country, and The Corps, than about themselves. Course "young and dumb" could also be used to describe them. (laughing) You have to laugh, you have to cry, and yes, you have to be scared for them. God love em', and the hundreds of grey hairs I have because of em! Proud Marine dad.
On another note I non-confrontationally asked a peace protester the other day if he was learning impaired.
He asked me what that was supposed to mean. I asked him, "When was the last time you saw a Muslim 'protest against terrorism parade'?"
Dear Sgt. Grit,
My father was a Marine, won best shot 1959, M1, won $40 pre 64 model 70 Winchester and a gold medal , I have rifle and medal, pinned by I think later commandant Wilson, then a Colonel. My Uncle won the silver star on Pelileu (sp?)
Growing up I always had Marine Corps things in my room always wanted, no desired to be a Marine...after high school meritorious PFC 1984 2069 D, Parris Island, Did my tour, studied a lot of martial arts, under a retired master sergeant, for the last 19 years.
Here's the main reason for my letter, my senior black belt and close friend son is a mustanger, Navy lost, misplace his medical records so he didn't get pinned at college graduation, but the good thing is they let him pick where and when. He chose the d day museum in New Orleans last Saturday 28feb2004.
My instructor Top Advincula was in town, he received a black belt emeritus from the commandant as 1 of the few forefathers of the current Marine Corps martial arts program. I told Lt. Cothern if he needed anything, hotel, restaurant, anything let me know, he's like my son.
I walk into the D day museum and he says" Can you do something for me?" I say sure, he says " I'm a Marine today because of you, will you pin me with my dad?" GULP.
What a day, my entire family was there, and his, at the D day museum, WOW, later that night on Bourbon st. He told me and his dad, that when he was 7 and we met and I told him to look me in the eye and give me a hand shake I could feel, he knew there was something different about me, and later he realized what it was, I was a Marine, he wanted to quit karate training at one time and I told him don't ever think it or say it, and he heard my voice on a 25 mile hump with lead legs and a stomach virus. One of the greatest honors of my life pinning that new mustanger officer.
Needless to say, we didn't buy a drink that whole night, all sorts of people men and women came up to say thanks for serving and bought us beers, Top Advincula did 3 tours in "Nam , 1 full, 2 shortened. He said it's great to see how our Marines are treated in our country today, and I say Amen to that. It was real important for my 2 sons and daughters to see that ceremony and this summer when we go to P.I. to celebrate my 20th anniversary of graduating I hope they feel it even more,
Cpl. MIchael B. Storms
Dear Sgt Grit,
The letter from"Devil Doc's" Wife in your Feb 26 newsletter struck a chord with me. My dad is a career Marine, retired a Sgt Maj in 1971 after 30 years active duty. My mother was the consummate Marine wife - raised four daughters, moved our family from state to state without complaint, held our family together through some difficult times. My dad is a hero, and I'm proud of him. My mother supported him completely and that makes her a hero, too, in my eyes.
It wasn't easy. The Sixties were a decade of turmoil, and we often lived in civilian communities where the military was not popular, to say the least. Civilians don't understand what it means to be a Marine family, to rally around those whose loved ones are in harm's way. But my mother coped and persevered, helped us feel safe, taught us right from wrong, raised us to be survivors.
My mother passed away eighteen months ago at the age of 80, after 56 years of marriage. My dad struggles every day to heal the tremendous hole her death has left in his life. But he follows her example, carries on, does the next right thing. I know she'd be proud of her Marine.
So, "Devil Doc's" Wife, carry on the fine tradition of the Marine wife. Your family is depending on you. Give your "Devil Doc" peace of mind knowing you are protecting the home front while he does his best to send his Marines home to their families.
Proud Marine Brat
P.S. No one ever told me so, but as a child I always thought Marines were superior to civilians, that civilians would have been Marines if they had been good enough. Think about it!
Last summer the City of Derby, Kansas held a memorial service for one of their own who had fallen in Iraq, Lcpl. Ryan Cox. As a city employee and Vietnam marine "grunt" I wanted to wear something that would let people know that I was a Marine and was honoring a fallen brother. Being too hot I could not wear my Marine Corps League jacket, I settled on my 1st Marine Division, Vietnam cover. Standing in the hot sun that morning I spied a small tree with some shade where an older couple were standing. I strolled over and requested permission to stand in the shade with them. The older gentleman was wearing a 2nd Marine Division, WWII cover so being Marines we struck up a conversation about the corps. He had served at Tarawa and Saipan among other beach heads. A few minutes before the service started a 1st Sgt in dress blues walked up and stood in front of us. I don't think he knew we were behind him. A minute or two later a young Cpl walked over and stood beside the 1st Sgt. When the colors were presented a few minutes later all four marines snapped to attention and rendered the flag salute. 60 years of Marine Corps tradition paying tribute to one of our fallen. The 1st Sgt and Cpl never knew we "older" Marines were behind them but I'm betting that young Lcpl Ryan Cox, standing guard at Heavens gates, knew that all Marines living were standing tall for him that day.
Sgt Daniel J. Connolly 2579384
1/5 Vietnam 69-70
Concerning the articles on Marine Corps Reserves; it is a little know fact that some reservists (from Illinois, at least) served in Korea and DID NOT GO THROUGH boot camp at all! They trained, as such as it was, aboard ship, and then into the "fire". Would someone call them non or lesser Marines than others? I think not.
Richard Schwahn (Cpl 1960-66)
I am the extremely proud mother of a Marine. I love shopping your online store and receiving your newsletter. My son is a little too busy right now to be buying his mom Marine stuff but that doesn't stop me from wearing a different Marine pin every day as a reminder to everyone I meet that our fine young men and women are still in harms way, doing what they believe in. Admittedly I didn't know much about the Marine Corp before my son enlisted and like so many others just took our military for granted. That certainly isn't the case now. I have read books, surfed the web, sent cards and letters to as many Marines as I could get addresses for and adorned my yard and cars with Marine flags, stickers, etc., and adopted my sons recruiting station! I am so proud of my son and so proud to be a part of the Marine Corp family. Keep up all the good work!
Proud Marine Mom in Texas
I have read the responses to Mr. Rick Wilson's trashing of Marine Reservists. As the wife of a reservist of ten years, I felt an obligation to respond. I feel such intense anger when I tell people I am married to a Marine and they respond with "oh, he's JUST A RESERVIST". I watched my husband fall into a deep depression when two dozen guys from his unit were called to Iraq in the beginning of the war and he was not one of them. I saw how angry he was that he could not be there with his brothers. Since the beginning of it all, he has prayed for the phone call so that he could be a part of it. Members of my family and my coworkers did not understand when I said I hoped he would get the call, too. They are not married to a Marine. His sense of duty is so strong and his dedication to the Marine Corps is immeasurable. The Marine Corps may only be his part time job, but it is a full time addiction. I feel sure that any critic of the Marine Corps Reserves does not know a reservist. They do not know that a reservist is ready and willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, just as any active Marine. I challenge Mr. Wilson to join in the training one weekend at his local Reserve unit. I feel sure that he would have nothing but praise for our men and women..that is, if he still has the strength to speak.
Proud Wife of a Marine SGT
Regarding the letter from "Devil Doc's wife, please tell that wonderful wife and mother that there are thousands of people around the country that go to church every Sunday and pray and offer their masses for the safety of all who serve in the military and to give thanks to them for that service. At every mass or service at our church in Congers, New York, the prayers are offered out loud so no one forgets.
17th Marines & Signal Batt.
First Marine Division
1947 - 1951
My son is in Kuwait now waiting for the move to Iraq. My heart is with my son and all the Marines just deployed. I firmly support them as I have all our service men and woman though out the years. When we send them into harms way a piece of me goes with them. Never more than one of them is your own. God Bless our troops and may they always know we stand squarely behind them as a nation. My hopes are they all come home just as they left. May the Magnificent Bastards do their job with honor.
I'm a former Marine that served in Viet Nam. I will always remember what my Mom went through. I live in San Diego County now and try and go to at least one graduation from MCRD each month. I walk around after the ceremony and shake the hands of my new brothers and sisters and welcome them to the Corps.
I have a picture taken of myself and my Mother on my graduation day. The look on her face in April of 1966 is the same one I see on the faces of the mother's of today's Marines.
I want all of you ladies to know that myself and thousands of former and active duty Marines are praying for your sons and daughters.
May God be with them and keep them safe. They're making the sacrifices like so many before them! Without men and women like your sons and daughters we wouldn't know the freedoms we enjoy each and everyday.
Thank You and God Bless
Steve "Bull" Allbritton
USMC 1965 - 1969
The WW II National Memorial is being dedicated 29May2004. The American Legion, Department of Oklahoma has made up a Certificate of Recognition for those WW II Veterans who served and now live in Oklahoma. Today, the Oklahoma American Legion is trying to locate any Oklahoma WW II Veteran so that they can be given a Certificate. Certificates can be obtain by calling your local American Legion Post (they will order them for you) and make a presentation to those Veterans. Veterans that do not have a local American Legion Post can obtain a Certificate by writing The American Legion, Department of Oklahoma, PO Box 53037, Oklahoma City, OK 73152 or calling at (405) 525-3511 or email email@example.com and leaving their Name, Rank and Address. These certificates will be mailed to them. For more information call Chuck Gregg, Pubic Relations (918) 785-4705 or firstname.lastname@example.org or American Legion Head Quarters.
My husband and I just recently got married and also just recently left for Iraq for his second time. Two months being married and he's gone for at least seven months. It is so hard to keep myself busy and stop myself from crying every night. If there are any suggestions on better ways to cope with being away from a loved one I would love to know. Thank You, and my heart goes out to all the marines and their families who have been to Iraq or will be going to Iraq. Thanks
In response to Dick Masters' question of the newspaper on Lejeune:It's called The Globe. They also distribute it all around town.
I am a Marine Mom and very proud of my Daughter. She was in Iraq Jan. through Sept. She came home got Married in Dec. and now she has gone back to Iraq in Feb. Her new husband also a Marine was there the same time as she was. But this time he had to stay home and watch her leave. I know how hard it is for all Marines and I'm proud of each and every one. I love my daughter and new Son, I am so lucky to have them in my life.I am the proudest mother in the world.
Marines do not win any decorations. Your piece on Lee Marvin and Bob Sheehan stated they did not win Navy Crosses. The information is correct, but the win part is wrong. Marines are awarded, received medals. Never ever refer to a Medal of Honor recipient as anything but recipient. To win something refers to a contest, you win a Nobel, Pulitzer, Academy Award because it is a contest. To say win you imply there is a contest and a loser. Marines are not losers.The letter from a Marine saying he served with a true Gunner, who wore a Master Gunnery Sergeant chevron on one collar and a bursting bomb on the other is incorrect. Gunners are Chief Warrant Officers, bar with red on one collar and bursting bomb on the other. During World War II Sea going Marines aboard ships could earn the gunners mate gun and could wear it on the sleeve between the chevrons and hash marks.
Master Sergeant of Marines, Retired
My son joined the USMC on September 11, 2001 when over 3,000 of our citizens lost their lives. He then got in with the wrong crowd and almost really messed up his life. He finally did leave for boot camp at Parris Island on August 21, 2003. It was the longest 13 weeks a single mother could endure. November 14th, 2003 was one of three of the proudest days of my life. If any of your readers haven't had the chance to see a Marine Corps graduation, they need to. He is now out of SOI (school of infantry) and is based at Camp Lejuene, NC My son just got word that he will be leaving to guard POW's in Cuba for 6 months. Although I am extremely sympathetic to the mothers who have children over in Iraq, I am thankful daily for them and I am also thankful daily that my son isn't going yet. He is supposed to come home in October from Cuba and then go to training for Iraq and then probably be there by next November. Even though my son will one day be in the midst of all the mess in Iraq, I totally agree with this war and I want all Marines and other Military to know how much I appreciate their dedication and sacrifice!
Nanci Rae Scott,
Mother of PFC R A Smith II
3rd Bat. 2nd Marine Div.
I happened to catch you apology about some inaccurate info on Marines. It said that you made a mistake of stating some individuals had "won" the Navy Cross that had not. I really don't think anyone won the Navy Cross. It, as all awards, are earned. Especially when it comes to awards such as the Navy Cross, there was not a contest for it. I don't intend this to berate, it is simply my opinion of how it should be stated as to how some one earns an award.
I live a few short miles from Luke AFB, so I am continually treated to the sound of freedom. The sound of those jet engines is music to my ears. This month I have an extra treat. The Marines are here in the Valley of the Sun training for urban warfare insertion via chopper. The whop, whop, whop of rotors is a welcome addition to the music of freedom. Both sounds are a constant reminder that Freedom is not Free.
L/Cpl Larson 58-61 Semper Fi
Thank you so much for putting my letter in your newsletter. This morning when I got up and checked my email and saw that some people wrote in about me I was excited and happy. I would love to talk to them and it is good to know I have people I can talk to. This truly shows how much of a family the Marine Corp is. My husband left for the sand box on the 2nd of March. He has a lot of people that will be praying for him and I know that makes him feel good. Oh by the way I did take my youngest to a recruiting office. It was so cute when she was asked if she was ready to join the Marine Corp and she looked up and said yes with out even stopping to think about it. She then told them thank you for protecting us followed by a strong OORAH . Not bad for a three year old! Anyway, I just want to say from my girls and me Thank you for everything. God Bless you.
Dawn " Devil Doc's Wife"
Although my son's not a Marine but a Special Forces, Sr. Sgt., He's just finished his third tour over in the "Stand." God Bless and Watch Over All Of Our Service Personnel!! Glad Yours is home, I've got two more months to go before Jeff is back again!
T.P.Oates, Former RVN SF SR. Sgt, '63-65'
Dear Sgt Grit:
I also want to comment on the love and brotherhood of the Corp. In all my 57 years, I have never had the bond with anyone as intense as I hear these "young" men have formed with one another, in the USMC. It is an enviable relationship, without doubt. I hear it in my son's voice, when he speaks of his fellow Marines, especially those he spent time with at FT. Sill. (Yes, there were a handful of them there.) We spent Thanksgiving together, several of us and they were a wonderful bunch of young men. Of course, I understand they were displaying their best behavior for one of their own's mom, but despite that, I was (and still am, of course) proud he had chosen to join the Marine Corp.
On another, more somber note, I want to share some of my own experiences with young men belonging to another branch of service. Army. I am a Red Cross military caseworker. I help with communications to and from service persons and their families. This is not always an easy task. Information shared with me, is always confidential. In this case, I was given written permission to share what I know with the various media of an account relating to one of our local boys. However, in dealing with this young man, I came across several others, all at Walter Reed Army Hospital. Several are double amputees. The young man from our town, Robbie, had half his face blown off, though the flesh remained. If not for modern medical procedures, he will, after a year's surgery be near himself again. What I have found truly amazing though is that these young men were disappointed they would not be going back to "finish" the job that they were taken away from. They have a tremendously positive attitude. Heath, one of the double amputees, just competed in a skiing competition for the handicapped in Vail this weekend.. Already trying to get his life back together. He said the most difficult thing he's had to deal with, is that without his prosthesis, his 4 year old son is now taller than he is. I know that despite their positive attitudes, there will be times when hopelessness and discouragement will set in. On three occasions that I've called Walter Reed to talk to Robbie, I've been connected to wrong rooms and have had the privilege of speaking with other young men who are there. All were very happy to have someone to talk to and grateful that I didn't just hang up when I discovered being connected to a wrong room. I guess God may have felt they needed it more than Robbie does. My point is, the war is not easy on any given branch of service. Some may be more efficient than others at their jobs, but they all fight proudly for our country. So, out of respect for these young men and women that I have become acquainted with. Oorah. (I probably said that wrong) There's more that I cannot share, that motivated this letter, but please understand that I am proud, we can all be proud, of all those who serve proudly and have sacrificed much.
I also want you to know that our town of Grand Junction Colorado, only has Reservists, and National Guardsmen based here, most of them were deployed early on, some are now just departing. One Reservist group, I have to tell you, was led by a Marine of 13 years. He became a Reservist just to be connected to the military. His unit of course, behaved more like Marines than army but I didn't know why until he was killed a few months ago when I read it in his obit. His burial, was led by Marines first and Army second from what I heard tell. It must have been impressive, in any case. But let me share one more gem with you. I belong to a group called Home Front Heroes, which consist of military mom's, dad's, brothers, sisters, wives and children. We send packages of much needed items to troops we have addresses for. In spite of the fact that, though we only have Reservists and Ng's here, it has been our local "ex" Marines and Marine recruiters who have come out to support the families of these Reservists and NG's when they have needed it most. It was a Marine, GySgt. Greg Merschel who helped me get the wheels in motion to get Robbie's mom to Walter Reed, when he first arrived in DC. (She lived in a remote area where it was impossible to reach her) It was the Marines, who coordinated the Marine "Aloha" Ball event that gave the 143rd Signal Corp a warm send off before being deployed to Iraq. It was the Marines who, in our Veterans Day Parade, coordinated with us (HFH), to collect toilet paper for the troops, on a long flatbed semi and truck float. (For those of you unaware, TP is a rare, and much requested commodity and packages we sent with TP in them, were relieved of the TP, so we launched a huge, "Let's TP Iraq campaign). It has been our Marines that helped us build shelves in our storage unit for the supplies that Home Front Heroes collects to send to those in Iraq and in other areas. Last, but not least, Toys for Tot's helped give the children of those troops a special holiday without their loved ones. Thank goodness, we have had the Marines to help us get the job done. The enviable bond that makes the ex's that are not ex's but always Marines.
We are all a brotherhood and in our town, the rivalry between the services will always exist, but for now, we are working as one for the good of all troops away and those left behind.
In gratitude. Jo Weber - Marine MoM
Grand Junction, CO
"What's tidy is dictatorship. That's gone, and they're glad it's gone. Now, we have democracy, and it's untidy. It's complicated."
Paul Bremer, Iraq
Sent: Tuesday, February 03, 2004 9:43 AM
Story of the week;
So we are up in the mountains at about 0100 hrs looking for a bad guy that we thought was in the area. Here are ten of us, pitch black, crystal clear night, about 25 degrees. We know there are bad guys in the area, a few shots have been fired but no big deal. We decide that we need air cover and the only thing in the area is a solo B-1 bomber. He flies around at about 20,000 feet and tells us there is nothing in the area. He then asks if we would like a low level show of force. Stupid question. Of course we tell him yes. The controller who is attached to the team then is heard talking to the pilot. Pilot asks if we want it subsonic or supersonic. Very stupid question. Pilot advises he is twenty miles out and stand by. The controller gets us all sitting down in a line and points out the proper location. You have to picture this. Pitch black, ten killers sitting down, dead quiet and overlooking this about 30 mile long valley. All of a sudden, way out (below our level) you see a set of four 200' white flames coming at us. The controller says, "Ah-- guys--you might want to plug your ears". Faster than you can think a B-1, supersonic, 1000' over our heads, blasts the sound barrier and it feels like God just hit you in the head with a hammer". He then stands it straight up with 4 white Trails of flame coming out and disappears. Cost of gas for that: Probably $50,000. Hearing damage: For certain. Bunch of ragheads thinking twice about shooting at us: Priceless
"Hard work is what it takes to build a democratic society. Other forms of government are easier."
--Clifford D. May
"O Lord, we have long known that prayer should include confession. Therefore on behalf of the Marines, I confess their sins:
Lord, they're just not in step with today's society. They are unreasonable in clinging to old-fashioned ideas like patriotism, duty, honor and country. They hold radical ideas believing that they are their brother's keeper and responsible for the Marine on their flank. They have been seen standing when colors pass, singing the National Anthem at ball games, and drinking toasts to fallen comrades.
Not only that, they have been observed standing tall; taking charge and wearing their hair unfashionably short. They have taken Teddy R's and JFK's words too seriously and are overly concerned with what they can do for their service and country instead of what the country can do for them.
They take the Pledge of Allegiance to heart and believe that their oath is to be honored. Forgive them, Lord, for being stubborn men and women who hold these values as genuine. They are aware of the price for honor and with total command of their spirit, they have been willing to pay that price.
After all, what more can you expect? They're Marines!
O Lord our God, bless these men and women of ideals, continue to raise up in this nation strong leaders and deliver us from "me first" managers and "don't ask me" followers.
Be our honored guest this day, Oh Lord, and join with us in laughter, good food, good drink, and the telling of tall tales and legends that occasionally exceed the truth.
We bow our heads to those who were lost in places that had names meaningless until the mud-Marines landed, and in that mud reaffirmed the one legacy that brings all Marines together, the blood and tears shed for service and each other. Watch over and keep safe all those who wear this nation's uniform with special attention to their families and loved ones everywhere.
With brandy and cigar in hand, I salute you all for through this day and all the following nights and days ahead, God bless you, God Bless this great nation and God bless the Corps.
God Bless America!!