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 #69

"If the lives of a few, save the lives and freedom of many.........
Then the few shall be honored!
The few, the proud, THE MARINES!"

-My unit 1979-1983 Charlie Company, 1st Combat Eng. Battalion 1st Marine Division

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Starting today April 22, 2004 through next Thursday April 29, 2004 all APO/FPO orders will ship free.


Old Corps - New Corps - Family of Marines - Future Marines:
1ST Annual Sgt GriTogether!
Saturday, May 22, 2004
11 am -3 pm

Free Burgers and Hot Dogs!
Family Fun! - Door Prizes!
Free Temporary Tattoos and
Face Paint for the Kids
Pull-up Bar
Sgt Chuck Gregg's huge Marine collection.


New Items!

Glass Beer Pitcher

Blue Mixer Glass

Wine Glass

Welcome Mat

"Lord grant me the strength..." Print

WWII - Korea Veteran Patch

WWII - Korea - Vietnam Veteran Patch

WWII Veteran Patch

Pewter Belt Buckle

US Marine Corps Battle Color Ceremony DVD

Marine Memo Cube

One Shot - One Kill Print

Marine Recon Corps Print

Engaging the Enemy - African American Statue

Engaging The Enemy Statue

Marine Champion Sculpture

Picture Of Honor - Photo Frame

Marine Time - Clock

Hello Sgt. Grit,
I just placed my 1st order with you on Thursday the 1st and has told on April 6th that my Brother, LCpl Travis Layfield, 19 was killed in Iraq....
I never would have thought this news would travel to our home. Travis is loved by so many, he was a true Marine.....
Tiffany B.

And this is verifiable. No matter where you are, when you were there, Anywhere serving or waiting for a friend, relative etc., to come home. No matter what happens to them, They WILL ALWAYS be remembered. When, at one second, they are beside you, and the next, never to return, a PORTION OF YOU has gone also, cause you can never replace what just left you, and you WILL ALWAYS be with us. But under the conditions, your automatic reflection is that you have to go on. Since then every day, for the rest of my life, they have been and are with me.

NC, 1108487
C-1-1, 51 - 52
M'gunner (KO)
Chestys' last reg. command

Just wanted drop a line to let all the other Marines old and young know that 1/23 is on deck to deploy to Iraq. Both of our sister Bns got deployed the first time around, it's our turn. We're going to Iraq and God help anyone that gets in our way, because he is the only one that can. "When you care to send the very best!" To our brethren in Iraq, more help is on the way. Semper Fi, Cpl Jacob C. Bullion A Co 1/23 1st plt "Dirty Bastards"

"The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear -- fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants beyond everything else is safety." --H. L. Mencken

Pardon me gentlemen, I don't post here often, but my husband gave me the ok to post this here. I hope it makes you feel as good as it made me feel.

I am sorry for not getting to this earlier but I am sure the news has sufficiently told you what they "think" has happened here. Without a doubt this has been some of the hardest fighting I ever saw, although the first time through Nasiriyah in OIF 1 was no picnic either. The snipers in all units have been working constantly, sometimes for several different companies because we will come in with our company, see another company going out, and we head right back out with them. In some ways I am afraid, but strange as it sounds I like knowing that the enemy is all around us in Fallujah. It makes taking another persons life a little easier (although I could never call that easy), knowing that they would kill you just the same.

Let me also say that if there was anyone other then Marines at our base in Ramadi there would have been 10X the amount of casualties. It's not just us grunts that can fight, our admin will whip your @ss if you test them!!! Besides exhaustion, I have felt pretty good here, more alive then ever!!! The only bad thing that happened was when an army dog asked me in front of my Gunny "what's it like to have a woman in your scope and have to pull the trigger?" He said it in a way of making me feel like that is something I should be ashamed of. Gunny told him to start steppin' it out before I have him in my scope. I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach. I mean, I expect that crap when I get home from civilians, but not here from a military person. Gunny saw how upset I was I think and it took all my power to keep my bearing and not get emotional. Don't worry about me, I hope people back there don't think that we are just doing this for revenge for them contractors they killed. What I am doing ain't freakin revenge, it's punishment. The enemy deserves what they have coming to them times 10. Kiss the baby for me, and I hope you are getting some sleep. Take care of yourself. Oh, send this to dad, and put it on Sgt. Grits website, dad will help you with that. I think Shooter, Miller, and the rest of those Marines will get a kick out of it.

Love, Me

I'm so proud of him and I hope he makes you proud also. He even remembered a few names of you guys!!!


"While America's military strength is important, let me add here that I have always maintained that the struggle now going on for the world will never be decided by bombs or rockets, by armies or military might. The real crisis we face today is a spiritual one; at root, it is a test of moral will and faith." --Ronald Reagan

Dear Sgt Grit,
We recently lost a member of the brotherhood. Pfc. Chance Phelps 3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Reg, 1st Marine div, 1st MAF Camp Pendleton. He was killed battling insurgents west of Baghdad on April 9th. His father is a sculptor and is working on a statue that will represent him at the veterans memorial in Fremont County, Lander Wyoming. Semper Fi and God Speed Chance.
Steve Simpson
USMC 84-88

Sgt Grit,
I write this letter in response to Mr. Ed Moore's letter regarding Gen Mattis's relief of the 1st Marines CO in OIF. I was a member of the 1st Marine Division in that push, 5th Marines, and proudly served under General Mattis. Mr. Moore is correct in his belief that a commanders concern for his men should be respected, but he must also take into account that there were two other Regiments; 5th Marines, and 7th Marines, that were maintaining the tempo, and depending on 1st Marines to complete it's mission for the good of the whole Division. General Mattis has never struck me as one who gives one whit about who may threaten his career path. He is where he is because he an effective field commander. So while the 1st Marine CO may have been worrying about the lives of the Marines in his Regiment, the General was worried about the lives of the Marines in 5th Marines, 7th Marines, 11th Marines, 1st Tanks, 1st LAR, 3rd LAR, 1st CEB, all of whom were maintaining tempo. I'm sure that the "career" of the Col from 1st Marines did cross the mind of the General, but the lives of the Marines in his Division, and the accomplishment of the mission weighed heavier. I will close with this thought to Mr. Moore, It is a field commanders job to make tough decisions, in difficult times. It is a much easier job to criticize a field commanders performance after the fact from the safety of a lounge chair, reading the Wall Street Journal.
SSgt D M Kirscht
5th Marines

Sgt. Grit,
Just a few words to say tell you that my son joined the Marines in July of 2003. He entered the DEP and was scheduled to ship out in July of 2004. My young man 18 decided to take correspondence courses and get his HS credits early and go to MCRD in San Diego early. He gave up Prom all senior year activities and walking with his senior class the night of graduation. That is what joining the Marine Corp meant to him. Two weeks into boot camp I received a call, a call that probably was the most dreadful and heart wrenching call I have ever received in all of my life. Chris was having a really hard time dealing with all of the things that he was going through at boot camp. I talked to Chris and I talked to his DI. I told his DI to do whatever he had to do to make sure that my son graduated boot camp, never let him give up. The last thing that the DI told me on the phone is that he looked very forward to shaking my hand at graduation. As for my son what could I do? I felt like someone had ripped my guts out in the fact that I couldn't help him. I stayed strong gave him words of encouragement, told him that I loved him and hung up the phone. The point that I want to make is that my son is only right now in boot camp, being taken care of, doing the best thing that he could have ever done with his life. Its been really difficult for me as a mother knowing that he did struggle so I can't imagine how the many families of the men and women that are out fighting for their country are coping with it. My heart goes out to every one of them. Sgt. Grit, I am a very very proud Marine Mom and my son is doing excellent, he is in the top 5 of his platoon, his letters are awesome and you can now see his love for the Marine Corp. I would like to hear from anyone that can offer me some advice about being a new mother of a USM. I will continue to pray for you and yours.
Ronda Ahlin
Elko, Nevada

Saturday night we I ordered pizza. The delivery guy turned out to be a neighbor who I always see running. I see him leave for work in his camouflage. I always thought he was a Marine. With the delivery, I asked him if he is a Marine and he said no, almost apologizing and said he wished he was.
Helen H.

God bless all who stand, with weapon in hand , to defend this land, for all free men. For those who can't, proudly they serve, with iron nerve. They remain standing tall, upon the wall, where their forefathers stood, and keep the banner of liberty unfurled to the winds of war. For they are the best by far, the few, the proud, the UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS! by the father of Sgt. Caleb N. Hooker U.S.M.C. , MAG-14, Cherry Point, N.C.

Howdy, ya'll!

The time really flies out here, because, oh, I don't know...every day is the exact same, maybe. I really have no concept of days of the week, nor can I distinguish the past several days from one another. It's a great little psychological operation that they have running on us! I do know this:

-I pee'd right next to Oliver North the other day in the restroom, (In the urinal, not directly on him).

-The chow hall has run out of water and meat, (Please send beef jerky).

-I'm NOT being re-assigned to Baghdad International Airport like I thought I once would be, (That was my last chance at being around hot Air Force chicks).

-I enjoyed an incredible moment the other night after a spring storm as I drank a cafe mocha, (Yah, it was just coffee with a lot of shelf-stable milk mixed with left-over Easter candy, shut up) and smoked a cigarette, (Yes, a d*mn cigarette, I don't smoke, but it seems to take an edge off the incoming rockets).

-I finally got mail from my family the other day. I had all but chalked my mail up to becoming a "combat loss" as our mail convoy literally got blown up, (Mom, send more Tapioca pudding, please).

The rest is just what you'd think a modern-day war would be like, minus the whole "knowing who the enemy is" thing...and, then subtract the authority to kill him unless he's about to kill you, other than that it's great!!


Sgt Grit,
As an active duty Marine currently stationed in Okinawa, Japan I unlike many other that are currently in the hot zone, have the luxury to leave every night and see my family. Being a Marine for the past eight years has really taught me how to be a man and the value of a human life however, for the Marines and Sailors, Airmen and Solders that are currently in Iraq I would like to say that soon enough there will be a relief force for you. Even though I haven't been in that area since 1998 I have seen the destruction that was left behind from the first Gulf war I know that my brothers and sisters in the corps are doing something that we believe in.But I do have one request one of my very best friends in the world whom also happens to be the man that really taught me how to take responsibility for my actions and stand up for what I believe in and to be a bigger man then the next person is over there with the 7th Calvary. I ask this one request if you could please look out for my Dad Sgt John T. Jones of Phoenix, Arizona. Semper Fi Marines.

Sgt Christopher J. Gebo
12th Marine Regiment
Camp Hansen Okinawa Japan.

I'm a two tour Nam vet, my father a WWII Pacific an Iwo survivor. My heart and prayers go out to these warriors and to their families.

Never, ever doubt the will nor courage of these lions. I'd give anything to stand by them and provide lead poisoning to the idiots who stand in their way. Have faith troopers - all Marines, young, old and those gone before us are with you everyday. I am so proud to be an American - but Semper Fi runs through my veins.

JW and T Magness - always faithful

My son is a member of the 1st Bn, 5th Mar, Wpns. Co, SSP fighting in Fallujah at this time. I am very proud of my son, his platoon comrades and all Marines fighting in Iraq. My son's second day at Parris Island was 9/ll/2001 and what a day. Since then he has been stationed at Camp Pendelton, CA going to Iraq last spring and now there again. I send my prayers daily for his safety and the safety of all those who are fighting for our country. I have so much pride for my son and my country. God Bless America! Marine Mom-CA

Sgt. Grit: I am from the Korean ( Police Action ) era. I feel that the Washington politician have their nose into this war far to much. I have talked to many retired servicemen and women and they almost all agree. If that Iraq cleric said he was willing to die for his cause, I would see that he did. Why get some many Brave Marine's killed, just bomb his mosque and a mile around it into rubble. I do have feelings for the innocent people however I have seen both women and young boys kill and wound fellow Marine's while in Korea. I am sure this has happened in most wars but it still does not make it right as you are still dead. I am sure many will think me a war monger and many I am but not one of our servicemen or women should die needlessly. I am 70 years old and I still love the Corps and read each of you news letters several time. I enjoy hearing many of the stories and reliving many of my good time in the corp.

Sgt. Robert Wallen Marine first last and always

Sgt. Grit, Hi I am a son and Grandson of Marines. My grandfather served on Iwo Jima in the 5th Marine Division and served 6 months occupation duty in Sasebo Japan. My father, a peacetime Marine never saw combat, but needless to say I'm still proud of him. It seems to me that no matter who I meet from any armed service branch the Marines ALWAYS have that "matter of fact" , "balls of steel " attitude ...I just wanted to write and Say God Bless You to all the Marines past and present ..and SEMPER FI JARHEADS!!!

Grandfather-Cpl. Conrad C. Walsh 1942-1946
Father: L/Cpl. Robert D. Walsh 1981-1983

Sincerely Yours,
Cadet Sergeant Robert C. "Grizzly" Walsh AJROTC

I am very proud of you and would give me "eye" teeth and some, if I could be with you. I served in Vietnam with a proud unit 1/9 " The Walking Dead" plus E2/27 and 3rd Tracs.I may speak as one but I know that my fellow comrades feel the same . "Once a Marine, always a Marine". I miss the smell of combat and would gladly serve again. We are with you all the way. There is no substitute but victory and we know that you shall prevail in the highest traditions of the Corps.

God bless.
LaFayette Bronston

I want to say many thanks to our troops in both Iraq,and Afghanistan. I know there are a lot of us older Vets would like to be there helping them out.They are doing one heck of a job and God Bless them all. I know that they are there,fighting for our and there freedom. There are a lot of people here that don't think they belong there. What price is freedom? There isn't a set price for it.The Iraqi's just don't understand that. The ones that do say many thanks to the U.S. and England. It is the way things go in a third world country. Just too many different groups of people that have different beliefs. I pray for their safe return and that not to many are injured or killed. GOD BLESS AMERICA!

Cpl.,Annis,John C. U.S.M.C. 1971-1974
Semper Fi!

In reference to the article that was written by Ed Moore. I spent 20 plus in the Corps . I was an enlisted and an officer and I was in Vietnam , but I never have seen an Officer treated as the Col. The Gen. who relieved the Col. seems to have had a problem not the Col. When you are leading your men into a combat situation you make the decisions that has to be made at the time. A leader must always have his men in mind when he is moving his men forward. Who was the Gen. to say that the Col's ( tempo) was to slow . A leader never sacrifices his men for the sake of time. I hope that the higher authority looks at this very hard The General had the problem not the Col..

Retired Captain USMC

TO Jeff Bragg, who asked us to pray for our Men and Women in harms way. Sir, I would like to inform you that it is SOP for us to daily remember our Brothers fighting the fight. God Bless them all. Semper Fi, Tad Pie Southtowns Marine Corps League. (past commandant)

It's all well and good that the troops loved Col. Dowdy. He didn't get the mission done the way Gen. Mattis wanted--the Corps has embraced maneuver warfare and Dowdy sat still. He had ample opportunity. Mattis did what he had to do.
Kent M.

Can't let that discourse on democracy by Steve Simpson go unchecked. We didn't grow "to" large (he says he's a teacher) and have to go to "indirect democracy." The Founding Fathers set the framework for a Republic in the Constitution. We've always been a Republic. We'd better hope we NEVER become a democracy. If it happens, uneducated idiots will run the country. Probably can't blame Simpson. Some assistant prof probably filled his head with that crap.
Kent Mitchell, Cpl. 56-60

Dear Sgt. Grit,
If I may respectfully respond to Mr. Simpon's response, I must stand. My reading of the Federalist Papers (on that particular subject) leads me to believe the Founding Fathers designed our Republic to protect us from the factionalism of a democracy. The warned us against a democracy. If anything, our Founders learned from the mistakes of the Roman Republic/democracy/Empire.
Semper Fidelis,
Don Hepburn
USMC "55-"59

My son is a Marine,deployed 2/28/2004 Lcpl Nick H. please keep ALL of our Marines in your prayers Semper Fidelis Mother of a fine Marine.

Good to see you call for praying for the guy's who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Obviously this is the "weapon" if I may refer to it as such that was issued to All from day one of our lives. I believe we all know what the range and power of this one is.

Semper Fi, ( and we all know the meaning of this )
walt kozier ( 1946 )

- Thomas Jefferson

U.S. Senator (and MARINE) Zell Miller Floor Statement: 'A House Divided Cannot Stand.' Remarks as delivered on the Senate Floor.

After watching the harsh acrimony generated by the September 11 Commission, which, let me say at the outset, is made up of good and able members - I've come to seriously question this panel's usefulness.

I believe it will ultimately play a role in doing great harm to this country, for its unintended consequences, I fear, will be to energize our enemies and demoralize our troops.

After being drowned in a tidal wave of all who didn't do enough before 9/11, I have come to believe that the Commission should issue a report that says: "No one did enough in the past. No one did near enough."

Then thank everyone for serving, send them home and let's get on with the job of protecting this country in the future.

Tragically, these hearings have proved to be a very divisive diversion for this country. Tragically, they have devoured valuable time, looking backwards when we should be looking forward.

Can you imagine handling the attack on Pearl Harbor this way? Can you imagine Congress, the media and the public standing for this kind of political gamesmanship and finger pointing after that "day of infamy" in 1941?

Some partisans tried that ploy, but they were soon quieted by the patriots who understood how important it was to get on with the war and take the battle to America's enemies, and not dwell on what FDR knew when.

You see, back then the highest priority was to win a war, not win an election. That is what made them "The Greatest Generation."

I realize that many well-meaning Americans see the hearings as "democracy in action." Years ago, when I was teaching political science, I probably would have had my class watching it live on television and using that very phrase with them.

There are also the not-so-well-meaning political operatives who see these hearings as an opportunity to "score cheap points."

Then, there are the Media Meddlers who see this as "great theater" that can be played out on the evening news and on endless talk shows for a week or more.

Congressional hearings have long been one of Washington's most entertaining pastimes. Joe McCarthy. Watergate. Iran Contra. They all kept us glued to the TV, and made for conversation around the water coolers and arguments over a beer at the corner pub.

A Congressional hearing in Washington, D.C. is the ultimate aphrodisiac for political groupies and partisan punks.

But, it's not the groupies, punks and television-sotted American public that I'm worried about. This latter crowd can get excited and divided over just about anything. Whether it's some off-key wanna-be dreaming of being the American Idol, or what brainless bimbo The Bachelor or Average Joe will choose or who will Donald Trump fire next week.

No, it is the real enemies of America that I'm concerned about.

These evil killers who right now, right now are gleefully watching the shrill partisan finger pointing of these hearings and grinning like a mule eating briars.

They see this as a major split within the Great Satan America. They see anger; they see division, instability, bickering, peevishness, and dissension.

They see the President of the United States hammered unmercifully. They see all this and they are greatly, greatly encouraged.

We should not be doing anything to encourage our enemies in this battle between good and evil. Yet, these hearings, in my opinion, are doing just that.

We are playing with fire. We're playing directly into the hands of our enemy by allowing these hearings to become the great divider they have become.

Dick Clarke's book and its release coinciding with these hearings have done this country a tremendous disservice, and someday we will reap its whirlwind.

Long ago, Sir Walter Scott observed that revenge is "the sweetest morsel that ever was cooked in hell."

The vindictive Clarke has now had his revenge, but what kind of hell has he, his CBS publisher and his axe-to-grind advocates unleashed?

These hearings, coming on the heels of the election the terrorists influenced in Spain, bolster and energize our evil enemies as they have not been energized since 9/11.

Chances are very good that these evil enemies of America will attempt to influence our 2004 election in a similar dramatic way as they did Spain's. And to think that could never be in this country is to stick your head in the sand.

That is why the sooner we stop this endless bickering over the past and join together to prepare for the future, the better off this country will be. There are some things - whether this city believes it or not - that are just more important than political campaigns.

The recent past is so ripe for political second-guessing "gotcha" and Monday morning quarter backing and it is so tempting in an election year. We should not allow ourselves to indulge that temptation. We should put our country first.

Every administration from Jimmy Carter to George W. Bush bears some of the blame. Dick Clarke bears a big heap of it because it was he who was in the catbird's seat to do something about it for more than a decade. Tragically, it was the decade in which we did the least.

We did nothing after terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in 1993, killing six and injuring more than 1,000 Americans.

We did nothing in 1996 when sixteen U.S. servicemen were killed in the bombing of the Khobar Towers.

When our embassies were attacked in 1998, killing 263 people, our only response was to fire a few missiles on an empty tent.

Is it any wonder? Is it any wonder that after that decade of weak-willed responses to that murderous terror, our enemies thought we would never fight back?

In the 1990's is when Dick Clarke should have resigned. In the 1990's is when he should have apologized. That is when he should have written his book. That is, if he really had America's best interest at heart.

Some will say, "We owe it to the families" to get more information about what happened in the past and I can understand that. But no amount of finger pointing will bring our victims back.

So, now we owe it to future families and all of America now in jeopardy not to encourage more terrorists, resulting in even more grieving families, perhaps many more over the ones of 9/11.

It's obvious to me that this country is rapidly dividing itself into two camps: the wimps and the warriors.

The ones who want to argue, assess, and appease, and the ones who want to carry this fight to our enemies and kill them before they kill us. And, in case you haven't figured it out, I proudly belong to the latter.

This is a time like no other in the history of this country, and this country is being crippled with petty partisan politics of the worst possible kind. In time of war, it is not just unpatriotic; it is stupid, and it is criminal.

So, I pray that all this time, all this energy, all this talk and all this attention could be focused on the future instead of the past.

I pray we would stop pointing fingers, assigning blame and wringing our hands about what happened on that day David McCullogh has called "the worst day in our history" more than two years ago

And instead, pour all of our energy into how we can kill these terrorists before they kill us - again.

For make no mistake about it. They watch these hearings. They are scheming and smiling about the distraction and the divisiveness they see in America. And while they may not know who said it years ago in America, they know instinctively that a house divided cannot stand.

There is one other group that we should remember is listening to all of this - our troops. I was in Iraq in January and one day when I was meeting with the 1st Armored Division, a unit with a proud history known as Old Ironsides, we were discussing troop morale, and the Commanding General said it was top notch.

And I turned to the Division's Sergeant Major, the top enlisted man in the division, a big, burly, 6-foot-3, 240-pound African American and I said, "That's good, but how do you sustain that kind of morale?"

Without hesitation, he narrowed his eyes, and he looked at me and said, "The morale will stay high just as long as these troops know the people back home support us."

Just as long as the people back home support us. What kind of message are these hearings and the outrageously political speeches on the floor of the Senate yesterday sending to those marvelous young Americans in the uniform of our country?

I say Unite America! Before it is too late! Put aside these petty partisan differences when it comes to the protection of our people.

Argue and argue and argue and debate and debate and debate over all the other things - jobs and education and the deficit and the environment - but please, please do not use the lives of Americans and the security of this country as a cheap-shot political talking point.

"Not until I went into the Churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the greatness and the genius of America. America is good. And if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."
--Alexis de Tocqueville

"The real victory is not to live in safety, to evade trouble, cautiously and prudently to preserve life; the real victory is to face the worst that evil can do, and if need be, to be faithful unto death."
~ William Barclay


4 types of terminal cancers, are winning, but my dad The Rock...once a Marine ..Always a Marine, clings to life every morning , listening to the Marines Hymn!
God Bless You All!

"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." --George Washington

a am currently a recruit but i spend all my time at rss springfield. when i am there we tend to talk a lot about what is going on. when i talk to all the marines i see they all say the same thing. more or less it comes down to - our boys are dieing over there and i want to go. it doesn't seem right that i am sitting here and not doing what i was trained to do save other marines and protecting our country-. yet when i talk to other branches not to make them seem less but they all say is- thank god i am not there.- all i have to say about this situation is good job guys and keep it up i cant wait to be fighting next to you and be part of the family part of the brother hood. semper fi
rct. kunze rss springfield ma

I like to send a letter to all Politicians to read and I hope they get it. Well first of all we the United States of America have declared War on Terrorist and Iraq. So to the President of the United States of America please let our Marines fight this war. Don t hold them back when there kicking ass big-time. Don't call a cease fire when we have the enemy on the ropes or they may come back to bite you in the ass. The politicians never never get it War is Hell. Not to many of them know this they have never served , they serve as Politicians so do your political thing and let us do our thing. You the Politicians over the years have caused many of us to die. I hope your not going to do this to us again, I pray your not going to do this to us again. To me it looks like you've already started. I hear the lies, I see what is happening cease fires which you know is helping the enemy???? Troop shortage ????? Not using tanks etc where these weapons should be used. Stopping us when were on the move, you don't stop a fighter when he has his enemy on the ropes to let him get away to maybe kill you or a buddy another day. Where is your mind set (Politicians )??? You causes us more deaths at times it seems than the enemy does. So Mr. President, Politicians of this great country start doing your part You guys sure can talk but you definitely can t do the WALK.. Let the Marines do the walk , there Boots are made not just for walking but for Stomping. We have waited along time to avenge our Brothers the ones lost and hurt in the Beirut bombing of the Barracks, our Love Ones lost and hurt in the 9-11. So to the Politicians one more time if your calling for a War let us fight that War like my father use to tell me Sh!t or get off the Pot. Semper Fi to all my Brothers in harms way my prayers are with you , my heart and soul is with you and I hope these Political People remember you when you get home and need that little bit of help with getting a job, getting health help etc again there not doing there job ask many Viet Nam Veterans Hap Holt Sgt USMC 67-71

Dear Sgt. Grit.
My name is Jonathan Lemke and I am 15. I am a Sergeant in the Young Marines and I cant wait to get into the real Corps. Both of my parents are in the Marine Corps and they are such a big influence on me. About one year ago this past March my mom's unit (IandI Staff, New Castle County, Delaware) was called up and she was going to WAR. I found out that day after Lacrosse practice that she was going. I didn't know what to feel. My brother and I were told that we were going to have to move down to Virginia with my dad while my mom went to War. My mom left March of 2003 and came back in July of 2003. She was so happy, but I knew she was a changed woman. One day after Lacrosse practice she picked me up and everything was fine and then she turned on this song from Lonestar and it had all this women talking in it about how they were waiting for there husband's to come back from war and my mom just starts cring and she pulls over and asks me "is there something wrong with me?" She says "I cant stop thinking about it." I didn't know what to tell her. I mean I said that everything will be fine and that its just normal but I wasn't sure what to say. Really all I'm trying to say is that I am so proud of my mom and she was some of the few women over there and she was requested from a Colonel to go over there. She is the best mom.
Sgt. Lemke, Jonathan

For all Marines serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, I need to hear from you if you are serving in a Civic Action or Civil Affairs billet. I am gathering info for a new book and would like to hear about your experiences. For all Vietnam Veterans, if you served in a Civic Action billet with an aviation or ground support unit other than the Combined Action Platoons (CAP) I would also like to hear from you. Please check out my book, Civic Action, available from Sgt Grit's catalog. You can email me at Semper Fi, MSgt Gene Hays, USMC (Ret)

#BK487 $19.95

Dear Sgt. Grit,
I'm with Capt. Raymond Roman, I strongly believe in a follow through. I don't know why we stopped either. We have done that a number of times now to the detriment of our men and women. I've never been in the military, but as a parent, I know that when a parent fails to stand their ground, the child gains some.
Jo Weber - USMC Mom

Howdy, Sgt Grit! This last newsletter was the best one yet. I was particularly taken with the words from the stewardess. Thank you for sending it. My prayers and thoughts go to the Marines (and Soldiers, too) in Iraq. I heard "Letters from Home" on the local Country station, and it reminded me of the sacrifice our guys are making for us. God bless them all and their families, too. A quick reminder, United Airlines (and the other airlines, I suppose) will let you donate your "frequent-flier" miles to military members trying to get home. Remember them and donate your unused miles. Thanks again, Anson Rohr.

I attended to funerals of our brothers this weekend, PFC Geofrey Morris (2/4), Gurnee, IL and LCPL Phillip Franks (2/1), Elk Grove Village, IL. These parents truly have the hardest job of motivated Marines as we are, but what was more amazing in separate ceremonies is that Kirk Morris and Mrs. Frank said that even though they new this would be the outcome, they would let their sons, our brothers, be Marines. They believed in principles that we hold dear to us in the Corps.
Semper Fi!
Mike Ruffner
GySgt USMC Retired

In response to the item regarding Pfc. Dustin Sekula, our collective hearts go out to the Sekula family. It's a tragic loss and one not easily reconciled. Let it be known, it is because of brave Marines like Pfc. Sekula, that author George Orwell said, "We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us". One last thought: "They will remain forever young, and we will remember them with the rising and the setting of every sun".
Semper fi, Pfc. Sekula. May Good keep you in His loving care.
GySgt. Ski

Thank you for your newsletter!
I was wondering if you could post this for me...
Mike 3/7 Viet Nam Association, ' 65-' 70 Reunion.
Date: August 11th- 15th, 2004
Place: Double Tree Inn at Sea-Tac, Seattle, Wa.
Contact: Dave "Doc" Bryson
3805 Upper Samish Road
Sedro- Woolley, Wa. 98284
Phone: 360-856-0917
We will also have in attendance Lima Co. Marines and Corpsmen, as well as Marines and Corpsmen from other units that have never attended a reunion of our Brothers.
Friends and family are also welcome to attend!
Thank you for the consideration.
Semper Fi

"Contemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen, and then say, 'What should be the reward of such sacrifices?' Bid us and our posterity bow the knee, supplicate the friendship, and plough, and sow, and reap, to glut the avarice of the men who have let loose on us the dogs of war to riot in our blood and hunt us from the face of the earth? If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!"
--Samuel Adams

"The world looked to us -- not just because of our military might -- but because of our ideas of liberty and freedom. And, they knew we were willing to defend and promote those ideas in every corner of the earth. We rebuilt a demoralized, under funded and unappreciated military. And we made it the most modern and respected force in the world. And who can forget those so-called 'experts' who said our military build-up threatened a dangerous escalation of tensions? What kind of fool, they asked, would call the Soviet Union an 'evil empire'? But as events have shown, there was nothing foolish in my prediction that Communism was destined for the ash heap of history. After decades of struggle, and with the help of the bold leadership of Margaret Thatcher, democracy won the Cold War and the Berlin Wall came tumbling down. The world watched with amazement as we put our house in order and took our rightful place as the most dynamic country in the world. And I firmly believe that history will record our era as one of peace and global prosperity. However, our task is far from over."
--Ronald Reagan (1994)

It amazes me how ignorant some people truly are, and what amazes me more is how heartless some of them can be. The other day I was walking around a local store with two of my friends, 1 wife and 1 girlfriend who's men are in Iraq right now. This lady walks up to us, mainly because we're all wearing yellow ribbons, me and the girlfriend wearing black on top. She has the audacity to say "it can't be that hard having your guys gone, it's not like you're the ones over there being shot at, or dying". Now granted I've never been shot at nor do I ever plan on it, but how can she say it's not hard and add that it's their fault? I guess it lit a fire under me after watching all the hippies in this state griping about everything going on. So I lay into her as I start crying "How dare you say it's not hard on our end, granted we're not them, and we're not over there, but how would you like to turn onto your street, panicking not being able to catch your breath as you turn the corner, praying there's not some new car parked on the street or in your driveway. Praying there's not someone there in their dress blues to tell you oh sorry, your husband, brother, boyfriend, whoever has been killed. You try living with that every day, every time the doorbell rings, every time you watch the news, every time there's a new car on the street and you cant see your front door because you already have tears welling up. You tell me how that's not hard." I was bawling by that point, I don't know why, I guess it just brought back all the feelings of when my dad and brother and boyfriend, and a good majority of my friends were all over there for the beginning of the war. Needless to say she had a shocked look on her face and walked away. It just amazes me how they can even approach someone and ask them a question like that or make a statement like that. Maybe she'll think twice next time, if she doesn't she's going to come across someone who will take her down where she's standing. To everyone who has someone over there, God bless you and God bless them.

daughter, sister, niece and girlfriend, Semper Fi


Sgt. Grit,
I was with the 1st Air Cav. in Vietnam in 68 and 69. My son was a Marine and was one of the first to enter Baghdad and was all over the place before he got to come home. He made Sgt. in less than four years. I am very proud of what my son did and am proud that he was Marine. I have the utmost respect for the Marine Corps and pray for all our troupes every night. What they are doing is the ultimate price for freedom. May God be with them all. Sam Sullivan

Sgt grit,
How much longer will the Marines have to wait before they move into town? the administrator stated they will not wait much longer for the Shite to surrender. In the mean time more terrorist are coming over the boarder. This means the marines are being attacked by more rebels then they are facing. the build up of the enemy if the cease fire goes on any longer is going to be staggering. Does not any body see this? Are they that blind? Kenneth Kaplan


hey juanita! yes it has been a long time. i've been in for about 3 and a half years now. this is my second tour in iraq. i'm trying to be safe as i can but the life of a grunt is no bed of roses. if we keep up the good work we been doin over here there wont be anyone left to fight, or kill for that fact. haha. i remember the first time i met you i was 16 and logged on to the room to get info on joining the Marines and now look were i'm at and don't regret one bit of it. so how have you been? gotta go we just got called out on a mission.
yours truly
Lcpl Tincher

Recently received an order I placed thru the catalog and I have to tell you the quality was excellent. The catalog really doesn't do justice to the product. Thanks for filling the order so fast. Now to a question. I read your newsletter faithfully and I can't help but wonder why you never hear anyone mention our Marines in Afghanistan. I know that Iraq is far more dangerous for our guys, but we have young Marines in Afghanistan that have been injured badly and are going thru a lot also. Let's not forget to hold them up and commend them for the job they're doing for their country. Now I hope one of the higher ranking Marines can answer a question for me, and please no laughing out loud okay. Anyone have any idea how much notice the Marine Corp. will give a family that a Marine is coming home from deployment in Afghanistan. I know it's never set in stone but I saw him on the bus to leave and I sure would like to be there to welcome him home. It's just kind of hard for a single Mom to tell your boss " I'll go went they tell me he's coming home and I may only give you a couple days notice" If any one can shed some light I would be forever grateful!
Marine Mom 2/8 Echo Comp.

"Face it America. There will be more terrorist strikes against the homeland, not because our government is incompetent, but because evil is relentless."
--David Thibault

I've been getting this newsletter since my son was "living" in a tent in Afghanistan. He is stateside now, teaching other Marines. He got those orders when 11,000 other marines were being sent to Iraq. He called home just miserable because he was NOT going with his buddies to Iraq! We did our best to convince him that his expertise was needed to train others, but we knew his heart went with his buddies. Sometimes I skip through the newsletter, NOT this time. I read every letter, every poem. The book suggestion about Vietnam by C.G. Abby I will read. Our Marine's father, who died 4/3/1999 was a Vietnam Veteran, maybe this book will answer some unknowns for us. The letter that I cried, and CHEERED the most, was from LCPL Bueti, USMC, 6th Comm., Bn, 3531.I agree with him!Although I never thought I'd get to the point I would agree, but I have. Sgt Grit, There truly is something special about MARINES!! The story about the homeless man & the parking meter is "priceless" you have a book with some of these stories in it? GOD BLESS YOU, and ALL WHO SERVE!
Marine Mom in California

I am angry; it is 12:45 am and I just returned home to find my flag stricken by vandals. We all remember vandals, they were the uncivilized barbarians that sacked Rome. Uncouth, dirty and mindless. Someone has stolen my Marine Corps Flag; and had the gall to hang my American Flag upside down from my flag pole.

I have flown a flag on a constant basis since 9-11-2001, first from a rusty pipe (some may remember my previous article concerning this in Sgt. Grits paper). The original flag was replaced with a 13 star flag 9-11-2003 as the original was becoming frayed and faded. The 13 star flag was a gift from the National Rifle Association for my support, and reflected the ideals of our founding fathers; their ideals of freedom.

Is this freedom of speech? To come on my property and steal my flag? The vandals that did this were wrong; they crossed the line. If they have the courage to try to desecrate the flag in my yard, in my sight they will be treated to what they deserve, a swift dealing of justice. Instead they come like our countries enemies, sneaking in the night, afraid to face a Marine in the light of day. I fought to preserve the right to freedom of expression, I bled for it in Vietnam; but I will be d*mned if a coward will treat our colors this way and not feel my wraith.

I have raised the colors again and I will defend them as they stand. So come pull them down again, but have the guts to do it in front of me. And have the courage of conviction to protest in the light of day. And if you do, pack a lunch; because after the event is over your own momma won't recognize what is left of you, you bastards.

Semper Fi
Grady L. Rainbow

"Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant."

Someone said to me after 9/11 that Americans will never forget and will stay the course until our response is complete.. My response was as follows. We have a very short attention span..any response must be completed quickly or we forget why we responded at all. We want our wars to be free of pain for the American forces, for the enemy forces and civilians and we want it to be without cost. If the above mentioned goals are not met, we blame the person who authorized the action. Our foreign policy often leaves other countries doubting our long term loyalty. We have been guilty of "pulling the plug" after promising to stand by our neighbors...many people in Iraq died because we left them to face the music in the early 90's. I wish I could be proud of my country and have confidence that when we go to war, by d*mn, we go to war. I don't want innocent people to die but we must conclude that reality tells us that people are going to die..We need to understand that we don't have to be civil to the "scum" that we are facing daily. We need to make war so horrible that "would be" enemies would seek out ways to cooperate. But first, we Americans had better get our "guts" together and support the leaders who will stand and fight if necessary. Just had to vent!!!

My yard fence needed painting. The first step was to remove the old paint. Yet as the orbital sander removed the paint, some fence posts simply fell apart. The wood underneath was rotten. Although the old paint was undesirable, it was the only thing holding the rotten wood together. So what started out as a painting job turned out to involve rebuilding the structure itself.

That's what we have discovered in Iraq. In removing the old paint, we have discovered that the old paint was the only thing holding the country together. What lay beneath had no cohesion. The events of this past week is testimony to this. It's been a tough week in that area of the global neighborhood.

So what do we do? Take our paint brushes and go home? We could. But at the moment we are working hard to rebuild the structure. Sure the fence looks in disarray at the moment. . . but be patient. . . even in the darkness light dawns for the upright (Psalm 112:4).

Friday Cheers!
Written by Pastor Wes Beavis





Last week someone talked about the Leatherneck club in Las Vegas Nevada. I am a frequent visitor to Las Vegas and would like to know the following: How far is it from the strip and do they accept out of town members.

Semper Fi
Jim Barr 62-73 USMC

Dear Devil Doc Wife,
First let me tell you, you will never be alone. Wherever there is a Marine, you will always be with Family. I spent 8 yrs in the Corps. Some of the most valuable men are Navy Corpsmen. Your Husband will come home because Marines take care of their Docs.

Let me also thank you for enduring the hardship of military life. It takes a special woman to endure the bull sh## that comes with Navy/Marine life. Keep your chin up and I will pray for the safe return of your husband. I know some don't understand the military way of life, and if you ever feel the need for comfort, rest assured you can always call on the help of your nearest Marines.
Tim Pedregon

Brother and Sister Marines, there is a Viet Nam Veteran who is battling canser.and he would love to hear from his brothers and sisters. his name is jack and he served with 2/3/3 echo co. the site to send him a card is
thank you
J.C.B. Cpl of Marines
Nam 67-68 B/Btry/1/12 Mar.

Dear Sgt. My wife and I just returned from the Houston National Cemetery where we attended the funeral of the son of close friends of ours, (Army Ranger, who was gunned down in an ambush last week in eastern Baghdad.) The fallen soldier was quite a popular young man in the community, and about 2000 attended the memorial service at his church, and about half continued on in procession to the cemetery. For most in attendance the Army Honor Guard, folding of the flag, gun salute, and taps being sounded was quite a site. But after the ceremony, my wife and I introduced ourselves as parents of a 1/5 Marine now in Fallujah to a 2-star General who had just presented the flag to the soldier's mother. He seems very gracious, and said the following to us, "I hope the Marines do a better job there (in Fallujah) then we did. Tell your son to kick there tails." Its pretty bad that the 82nd Airborne was in and around Fallujah for 12 months, and not once had the balls to enter the city and clean it up. The Marines are doing just that now, and are playing a big price in terms of injuries and deaths. Just last week, there were 8 KIA in 1/5. Fortunately, there were only minor injuries in my son's squad, and being a young squad leader, I know the safety of his men, along with completing their mission is number one on his mind. This is their second tour over in Iraq. The 1/5 Marines were the first ground combat units to enter the country from Kuwait to secure the southern oil fields, and swiftly made their way to Baghdad, were they encountered one of the bloodiest battles of the war. In all, only 2 in the entire battalion were lost. Its so different over there this time...but if the powers to be would just turn our Marines loose, they would make dust of these "insurgents" in no time. Anyway, lets all our Marines in our prayers. And for our son, we couldn't be more proud. His name is Cpl. Clay Anderson, 1/5, Charlie Co, 1st Platoon, and you can read more about him in the March issue of Leatherneck Magazine, as well as, in a new book out A TABLE IN THE PRESENCE, by Lt. Carey Cash.
Semper Fi, J. Anderson