"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
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Womens clothing, covers, rank insignia coins.
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We arrived at Taqaddum yesterday. It took us a week to get here. The trip was uneventful until 11 March, when we spent the entire day running through a gauntlet of IEDs, (Improvised Explosive Devices). Four in all. These were big rounds, not soda cans. They were mortar rounds and 152/155 mm artillery rounds. Big explosions. I was inside the blast radius on the first one, but no scratches. By the Grace of God we have no casualties.
We put armored doors on all of our vehicles, and the reinforced glass on the windshields worked. I pulled golf ball size pieces of shrapnel out of the windshield that were stuck in it, but did not penetrate. Death came knocking at our door that day, but we denied him access. All of you need to be aware that the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force has up-armored all of it's vehicles, and it works. Myself and several other Marines are alive and uninjured because the Marine Corps saw fit to protect our Marines. I am grateful to you all for spending the money. One of these IEDs was covered by small arms fire, that is they started shooting at us right after the bomb went off. They discovered quickly the fury of p!ssed off Marines.
Sergeant Major Dale W. Miller
3rd Bn, 24th Marines
If I told you that I'm NOT sending this from one of saddam's former palaces, I'd be lying to ya,,,,I'm a ways out yonder west of Baghdad right about now, just off of the Euphrates river, about to head out again in a couple more days to my permanent spot. Yah, I've got your "dangerous" convoy right here, CNN!
A 2 day convoy throughout war torn Iraq certainly puts things in perspective though. In the south, I could have stepped back in time 2000 years, no sh!t, 2000 years and life would have been same. It's the same mule carrying water back to the mud brick home from the canal that floods every year to irrigate. People don't have any mode of transportation, save their donkey cart. It really makes one ponder how much of their situation is by choice and how much of saddam's rule and the baath party has prohibited their advancement. I mean, this is Biblical Babylon that i'm eyeballing here and i can't help but think about how unfortunate they are, as they beg for food from the Americans that stepped in and saved their *sses.
I'll now stop boring you folks back home with my political empathies. I had dinner with my buddy Mike Callaghan the other night when I ran into him at Camp Udari, purely by chance. He looks really goofy with a bald head. I'll send pictures via Snapfish soon. I'm on 2-4 days of R&R, no lie, while my detail, headed by a Lt. Col. that is p!ssed off that we got shuffled around, soaks up the amenities of 'Camp Champion Main' before we head to our final stop. Life is good, Ma!
Semper Fi--------- Reserve or regular?? Does it matter when that roadside bomb went off??? Did the reservist only get 14 days worth of dying or a weekend worth of dying??? Did the regular get a six year tours worth of a bullet??? or weekenders only get wounded while regulars die from the same??? STOP IT!!!! There's only slight differences between reserve and regular--reserves will have a loused up life to come back and be shoulder to shoulder with regulars, when they could be home being pfc's in the world!!! To think someone who had home duty and would take the call to be in a sand trap with u reg's--thats a Marine, and if need be he'll take a bullet to save ur a** and keep oppression at bay......res or reg--always a Marine! Remember those who are away and those who gave all--to my brothers Krusty the doorgunner 8-'74 8-'77
"Never ever start an argument with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience."
"Tyranny, like , is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."
Dear Sgt. Grit
I just barely started receiving your news letter but I keep reading about this individual Marine who wrote some stupid crap about reservists. I served in Kilo 3/7 from March 19 1998 to Sept. 7 2001 when I EAS'ed and after just a few months away from the Corps I realized that I missed it. In November 2001 I joined Fox Co. 2/23 and a few months later I was activated for a year and half. The last six months we were attached to the 1st Marines and we saw a h*ll of a lot more combat than a lot of the active duty units. I am d*mn proud to be a former active Marine but even more proud to be a successful combat reservist. Once again reservists served with distinction just like they did at Iwo Jima. To me it sounds like someone needs to review their history and learn that a Marine is a Marine wherever he/she serves.
FUBIJAR (F#$% You Buddy I'm Just A Reservist)
Sgt. Brett Edwards USMC/USMCR
July 7 1997-Oct 12 2003
As far as this business of the Reserves not being real Marines, I can't believe any Marine would actually make that statement. I'll tell you about my experience with the USMCR. In 1976, about a year after my last active duty tour ended, I joined H&S Co., 1st Bn. 25th Marines based at the old Boston Navy Yard. I was really impressed with those guys. They were the toughest, most squared-away Marines I had ever met in my life. All of the officers above the rank of 1st Lt and all the NCOs above the rank of Corporal were Vietnam vets. They had the greatest morale and the best sense of humor (mostly Boston Irishmen) of any unit I ever encountered. Several years after I left that unit and moved to Virginia, My friend and former C.O., Col. Steve McCartney, led the 25th Marines into combat in Desert Storm. As you can imagine, they fought like tigers and amassed an enviable combat record. Anyone who says that Marine reservists are not real Marines is totally ignorant or crazy.
John G. Hogan
Major, USMCR inactive
To all of those who write in:
I have recently been receiving the new letter and the messages and information have been great for this wife of a 19 year Marine. My husband has recently been given orders to go to Afgan. to serve for a year. I can say that I'm not worried or scared. He accepts this mission with honor and knows that his fellow men will be there to cover his back.
I keep all our troops in thought and prayers, and know that one day, they will all be home.
"Our Country won't go on forever, if we stay soft as we are now. There won't be any AMERICA because some foreign soldier will invade us and take our women and breed a hardier race!"
LT. GEN. LEWIS "CHESTY" PULLER, USMC
"He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself."
Dear Sgt grit, I am the mother of a Marine , very proud. My son is leaving for Iraq in June, and ask all the families and friends , to pray for my son, Michael, He is my only son, and I will miss his so much. He is 40 years of age ,has 2 children, 12, 14, and a wife. I shall also pray for all our Marines. United we stand. Semper fi.
A marine mom Francie Kostalis.
God bless you all.
Worry less about offending foreign sensibilities and more about protecting Americans.
Information wanted on KIAs of 2/23:
In February 2002, 2/23 was activated from its active reserve status to active duty in support of the global war on terrorism. The Battalion was ordered to stand up a quick reaction force, which could deploy by aircraft within four hours of notification. The Battalion was nominated for a Joint Meritorious Commendation for its service.
In January 2003, 2/23 was reassigned to the 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Regiment and in February started deploying to Kuwait. In March 2003, as part of Regimental Combat Team One, (also comprised of 3d Battalion 1st Marines and 1st Battalion 4th Marines) we attacked Iraqi along Route 7, north. 2/23 distinguish itself fighting several battles suffering only about 80 casualties. A small number in comparison to other wars, but too many knowing that they were the finest of America, US Marines. The battalion moved into Baghdad on April 8, 2003, and seized a Republican Guard Headquarters and liberated the United Nations Building. The Battalion was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation. Members of the Battalion was also nominated for the Humanitarian Service Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Global War of Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medals.
We made much of our wounded and dead upon our return and rightfully so. But, shortly after returning from Iraq, I decided that we should have a place of honor in our reserve center for all the KIA's of the battalion. My deserves were shaped by my experiences in three wars. Serving as an infantryman in Vietnam with 3/4, during the 1968 Tet and post Tet offensives in Operations Lancaster II, Kentucky, Scotland II, Counterinsurgency Operations, and Kentucky II, in the 1st Gulf War, during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, as a Forward Observer/Forward Air Controller with 3d Air Naval Gunfire Company and as the Battalion's Weapons Employment Officer (Gunner) in Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom, I know how important it is for our young Marines to see the history of their unit.
I would like to put together a list of all the Battalion's killed in action by name, rank, and any other information I can obtain. I will be doing this at my own expense and out of a love for my fellow Marines. Please forward the information to my e-mail address (Tomkatoy@aol.com). Semper Fidelis.
CWO5 Thomas G. Tomka
"The name of American...must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations."
Here in my fifth decade of life God has blessed me with a wife 30 years my junior. We've been together now for about 5 years. When times became hard for us (we actually experienced homelessness for a few months!), the only thing which bound us over safely was the grace of God, and do you know what He used to do that? He brought back to me the mental toughness, tenacity and adaptability I learned in the Marine Corps 'way back there in 1967. I was a self-centered punk back then and did not appreciate what was being given to me. Years later, after I was out of the Corps, I found myself time and again returning to the values they tried to instill within my mind and heart: a sense of duty, honor and courage. I guess I just wasn't ready earlier.
Well, now my young wife is herself a Marine recruit and will be shipping out to boot camp in a very few days. Eight months ago, after the Marine recruiter told her she was too fat and that she had failed the preliminary pre-ASVAB test, she undertook to get into shape mentally and physically. Now she is 25% lighter and scored *very* well on the ASVAB. So she's on her way. The youngest of my six children from the previous marriage just re-upped in the Corps (they assigned him to HMX-1!) and he is being very supportive of her.
It is indeed astounding to listen to the ignorance of those who have always been safe and secure but have never lifted a finger themselves to ensure that safety and security. There are those whom I have heard mouthing off the most senseless and offensive thoughts (if you can honor them with that word) about our Commander-in-Chief and about his decision to take Mr. Hussein out of the picture once and for all. My advice to those of you whose spouses and/or children are serving this nation in the Corps is this: turn a deaf ear to such conversation, knowing that it is not the result of thoughtful meditation. More often than not, those people are simply parroting what they have heard someone else say on the television; they have done no real research themselves into that about which they so vehemently preach.
They say now that, "The change is forever." In my case that is certainly true, even if that change doesn't take effect until after the fact! I thank God for the U.S. Marine Corps. Not only did it teach me how to a real, honest-to-God man (not some macho ignoramus), but it has also provided a home and career to my youngest son and his family, and hope and a future for my new wife.
May all your loved ones in the Corps abide under the shadow of the Almighty, and may they return to your arms safely and in perfect health.
PFC (twice!) USMC '67 - '70
Our responses to terrorist acts should make the world gasp!
I've been reading your newsletter, on and off, for a little over a year now. I'd just like to say thanks to all of you for giving your support to my brothers and me alike. I'm in the USMCR and we're being deployed to Iraq June 1st. I'm happy that we're going over to relieve the other troops that have been over there and that I get to join in the fight to help someone. I also am pretty scared because I've never actually thought about having to go and leave my loved ones.
I trained for this and I will do what I have been trained for. Sorry to whine but again thank you all.
Success will be forgiven.
Even the best-intentioned failure will not.
From Military Magazine:
Of the 650 really bad guys being held at Guantanamo Bay about 25% of them are from Saudi Arabia. Next comes Yemen and Pakistan. Other are from Afghanistan, Egypt and Jordan.
Gen. Vo Nguye Giap
In 1985, North Vie-Nam's top strategist said that if it hadn't been for the anti-war movement in the U.S., North Viet-Nam would have surrendered
Making a Comeback
In Afghanistan, southwest of the capital of Kabal, the Taliban is attempting to make a comeback in the area, and is using terror tactics against those who refuse to voluntarily support restoring Taliban rule.
Free copy of Military Magazine go to: www.milmag.com/newsite/subscribe/sample.html
HI THERE SGT GRIT I JUST READ YOUR NEWSLETTER #66 AND I HAD TO RESPOND TO LETTIE, MY HUSBAND IS A MARINE ALSO AND HE WENT TO IRAQ BACK IN FEB 2003 AND RETURNED HOME JUNE 2003, AND GRANTED ITS VERY HARD, (WE HAVE 2 SMALL BOYS). THE BEST WAY I FOUND FOR ME TO COPE WAS TO GET BUSY. SOUND CRAZY WELL ITS NOT, IF YOU DON'T HAVE A JOB OR HOBBY NOW IS THE TIME TO FIND ONE. GET IN TOUCH WITH SOME OTHER MARINE WIVES OR MOMS WHO'S MARINE IS OVER THERE WITH YOUR MARINE, GO ON LINE TO MARINEWIVES.COM AND CHAT WITH OTHER WIVES. I PAINTED MY HOUSE, HAD A NEW DOOR PUT ON, HAD CARPETS CLEANED ETC. MY HOUSE HASN'T BEEN THAT CLEAN SINCE HE'S BEEN BACK THAT'S FOR SURE. YOUR GOING TO CRY THAT'S NATURAL DON'T BEAT YOURSELF UP OVER THAT, BUT CONTINUE ON WITH LIFE DO THINGS, GO PLACES, DON'T JUST SIT AT HOME AND PINE AWAY UNTIL HE IS HOME. AND HERE IS MY NUMBER ONE REMEDY AND I LIVED BY THIS. MY MARINE HAD ENOUGH ON HIS PLATE OVER IN IRAQ THE LAST THING HE NEEDED TO THINK ABOUT WAS HOW ME AND THE KIDS WERE COPING. SO FOR ME THE IDEA THAT I HAD TO BE TWICE AS STRONG SO THAT HE WOULDN'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT ME REALLY KEPT ME STRONG, IT WORKS. AND LAST LEAN ON YOUR FAITH IT WILL GET YOU THROUGH. AND IF YOU JUST NEED A PAL TO EMAIL MY EMAIL ADDRESS IS THURMAN@GBRONLINE.COM. TAKE CARE LETTIE AND SMILE CAUSE YOU HAVE A HERO WHO WILL BE HOME SOON AND A LOT TO BE PROUD OF. SO HOLD YOUR CHIN UP AND GET BUSY.
A PROUD MARINE WIFE LUCRETIA
"Eventually, of course, as the genocidal nature of the Islamist fury becomes manifest even to the most obtuse, all will rally to the resistance -- as eventually they did in occupied Europe against Hitler. The question that remains is how many more must die before the maximum war-fighting effort is mounted by the united civilized nations."
Dearest Sgt. Grit,
I have been coming to your site now for over a year. I don't know what I would have done without all of these wonderful Marines, their family and friends. Grits has been such a comfort to me and my family this last year. On March 23, 2003, we joined Terry and Stan Cooper in grieving the loss of their beloved son, L/Cpl Thomas J. Slocum, who was killed in Iraq. Our friendship has deepened and will forever be the best part of my life. I know that Grit's has brought them a great deal of comfort and a sense of belonging to the most wonderful family in this world. The United States Marine Corps. On March 23, we will honor Tommy's memory and reaffirm what he means to all of us. We will remember his sacrifice as well as all who have gone before him and all that will give their all after him. We will never forget and we will always love him. On March 15, 2004, my son will join the ranks of many brave young men and women to become a Marine. He begins boot camp at MCRD /San Diego. No words can express our pride in our only son and his choice to aspire to the finest and most elite branch of the service in this wonderful USA. There will be no prouder moment in our lives than when we look at our son and say, Welcome Home Marine! Our heart felt thanks to Grit's for all of the support we have received this last year. Our deepest appreciation for the support Terry and Stan have received. God Bless our United States Marine Corps.
Becky Van Hout
(Mother of a Future Marine)
Just a thought. You know the Corps has been fighting Radical Muslims ever since Tripoli. Makes one wonder.
We are beginning to throw the word "democracy" around like it is something to be worshipped. We need to get back to basics and see what our Founding Fathers thought of democracy. We may be making a big mistake in Iraq!
Don Hepburn, Sgt., USMC, '55-'59 (HD)
The United States of America is a REPUBLIC not a democracy.
1.The Constitution of the United States of America
(Article IV, Section 4)
God save our Republic!
Sgt. Grit, My daughter, a L/CPL.,has been in the Marine Family now for 1 year, has just been deployed to Iraq and will be there till September '04. I just wanted to say that I believe in this war against terrorism & I stand behind our troops. May God Bless all our Marines & bring them home safe. Thanks for all that you do. All my support & prayers...
Scared but very Proud Marine Mom,
A couple of years ago, my wife and I joined a senior group and signed up for a dinner cruise on the Ohio River. Another couple we didn't know joined us at our table for dinner. He noticed my hat that said Korean Veteran on it and said he too was a Korean Veteran. He ask me what outfit I was in and after I told him he said he was with the 24th infantry division and fought along side the 1st Marine Division at Chosin. He knew all about every outfit in Korea and where they fought. I ask him if he belonged to the VFW or the Legion. he said no, I don't join clubs like that. I ask him the name of the troop ship he went over on and he couldn't remember. I then ask him the name of the ship he came home on and he couldn't remember that one either. I've never met a veteran who couldn't remember the ship that took him to Korea or the one that brought him back. I knew right then he was a bullsh-ter. I ask him what he did for a living and he said he was a history teacher. I figure he was a military history buff and thought he could fool a veteran with his knowledge of the Korean War but it isn't hard to tell when you ask them a few questions.
Dan Powell 1330210
"How prone all human institutions have been to decay; how subject the best-formed and most wisely organized governments have been to lose their check and totally dissolve; how difficult it has been for mankind, in all ages and countries, to preserve their dearest rights and best privileges, impelled as it were by an irresistible fate of despotism."
We are a brand new veterans facility located in Georgetown, OH. Help us get the word out to many veterans who would benefit from this facility.
Ohio Veterans Home-Georgetown
2003 Veterans Blvd.,
Georgetown, OH 45121
937-378-2900 Ext. 2739
My concern is about the wars we are facing today, and around the world. They are not understood. Their are not what we are accustomed to; they are not shooting wars. They are the state of the art Guerrilla War fare. The meaning of this can only be understood by those who have been involved, I only can speak for us Cap Marines in Nam. We fought both. I was in 1st Cag, Cap 3/3/5, Lima 10. Fighting Guerrillas will always be on the job training. I have read many of the news letters and have come to the this conclusion, if we are to continue, we need to get rid of the confusion that this kind of fighting causes, and try to ease the hardships by the many comments made at home. This is also part of their tactics. This has to be done by the decision makers. Many of the methods we used in Nam worked, and through them off balance. Wish I could say more it would not be wise to talk about our tactics for obvious reasons.
For those men and women around the world and their wives, husbands, children, parents. They are not out to practice democracy, they are out their to protect it and us. They are keeping the fight from our beaches. God bless them and be with them with each step they take.
The oldest university related veterans organization is looking for Alumni to help establish an endowment for veterans returning to the Pennsylvania State University. The organization is currently headed by two Marines and are determined to provide veterans the opportunity to attend school and decrease the ever growing costs. If you are a Penn State alumni or would like to contribute please contact me. Thank you and SEMPER FI!!!
C. Eric Tischler
USMC 3/8 83-87' Beirut Veteran 84'
2038 Mary Ellen Lane State College, PA 16803
email@example.com OR firstname.lastname@example.org
While in Vietnam I learned that God's gift to women inspire men to live! Let me begin by sharing my journey in discovering God's Will for my life and God's Will for my marriage. God revealed His Will for my life while I was training at Paris Island, SC. I knew he was calling me to an evangelist first. God called me to serve my country and to evangelize veterans. I was baptized in Vietnam on May 17, 1968. About twelve hours later a sniper almost shot me in the head. I felt the wind of the rounds as they brushed my right ear and head. I surrendered all that morning, and that night God gave me back more than I gave Him! God taught me the first lesson veterans have to learn. Then, God taught me the second lesson. I watched many Marines getting dear John letters. The power of women kept some of us alive, while their rejection caused others to give up. God began to reveal to me the gifts of Eve and the purpose of marriages.
Next to God, the most inspiring force in a man's life is a woman.
I enjoy reading the letters that come in from all aspects of the Marine Corp. I served in the 3rd MAW in El Toro ,CA from '82-'86. I spent three wonderful years there working on the old war horse, the C130. I met, trained and befriended many Marines there. I have kept in contact with some of those Marines and we still either call or visit to this day. I recently came across a Marine whom I had lost touch with years ago. I am in the Marine Corp League and was looking up some info for Toys for Tots and a name jumped out at me. I said to my wife "Can this be Chris whom we lost contact with?' She said email him and by the grace of God it was him and he was living 1 1/2 hours away from me and still in the Corp. He is now a 1st Sergeant and commands the respect of his rank. I can't express how proud I am of him and the dedication he and his family have given for the past 20 plus years. Well of course we met after Christmas and it was like we never lost contact. That is what is meant by "Once A Marine Always A Marine" I can't begin to tell you how much that get together was for all of us. It truly was the best Christmas present I received. Thank you all. And Semper Fi to all my fellow Marines Semper Fi, Vincent Poandl IV, Sergeant USMC 82-86
Upcoming reunion of the 11th Engineer Battalion, 3rd Marine Division (Vietnam - '66-69)? It will be held at Quantico, Va., 24-29 August 2004. Contact Bill Lyell - email@example.com.
I just wanted to say how proud I am of our Marines. Thanks to you ALL for stepping up and giving your best. And a special thanks to the love of my life Cpl. S. Brasher (1st Marines, RCT 1) who volunteered to step into the fire once again over in Iraq. God be with you all. C.Bissell Aliso Viejo, CA
I have just started getting your news letter from my father a retired Marine. He served 21 years for all us to be blessed with the freedoms we take for granted! He IS still a Marine today, to his very core.
The reason I'm writing this is because for a long time we didn't see eye to eye. When I was young I couldn't think like a Marine, I wasn't one. I know it let him down that I was not a Marine. I was a strung out punk with a bad attitude. I'm sure in hind sight it crushed him.
As I sobered up and began to listen to him when he did talk about his time in h*ll(which isn't often) I could feel his pain!! The things he had to do as a 1st Sgt. are terrible and I know they still haunt him to this day, as many of you I'm sure!! You see it's one thing to be a man, But ALL of you are heroes!! The places you went and the things you live with, and you did it all unselfishly, because you love the Corps.I still can't understand it, but I am thankful to each you for it.
GOD BLESS OUR UNITED STATES MARINES AND EVERY THING THEY STAND FOR!!
Philip S. Ciofalo
I was a 13 year old kid when my oldest brother was at Parris Island. I wrote him religiously and once I put "P.S. I love you" on the flap of the envelope. The next time he was able to write home to our parents, he said, "Please tell Cindy not to write anything on the outside of her envelopes." My father, a Korean Marine, wouldn't tell me why. He said that I could ask my brother when he came home on leave. That in itself was double punishment since my father knew exactly why. When my brother came home, he said that he'd had to do 100 pushups before he could get my letter, as well as receiving a verbal thrashing which I will leave to your imagination since you've been there/done that. He did 100 pushups and got his butt chewed, I did 1000s of tears and got my heart broke. I'm 45 now and to this day, when writing any Marine, I put nothing on the envelope but his address and mine....and I don't cry! Can you guess who owns a October 1971 letter written by a Marine boot from Parris Island, South Carolina on Marine Corps stationary that contains a stinging one liner about his sister? As well as the envelope that it was received in?
Semper Fi! Cindy Crook (daughter, sister, wife of Marines)
Sgt Grit, Perhaps you can help me once again. As part of a book I am writing, I am looking for a story about the heroics of 1st MarDiv Band members in Vietnam, who served with valor at Danang.
Also, as I near completion of my book, I am once again soliciting names for the lineage section I will have in the book. To date, among many, I have received two four-generation lines of Marines. Two generations, of course, is the minimum. I need the successive generation of serving Marines submitted in the following format: Corporal John C. Doe (father)-Sergeant Charles J. Doe (son)-First Lieutenant Jane M. Doe (granddaughter), etc. Please include a mailing address for verification purposes. If I don't get that, I won't use the input. This will be a unique opportunity to share your Marine Corps lineage. Thank you.
Greg Johnson, LtCol, USMC (Ret)
God Bless America!!