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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 #71

"The heritage of freedom must be guarded as carefully in peace as it was in war. Faith, not suspicion, must be the key to our relationships. Sacrifice, not selfishness, must be the eternal price of liberty. Vigilance, not appeasement, is the byword of living freedoms."

--General Omar N. Bradley, Armed Forced Day, 1950

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I just received notice that orders are in for me to be re-activated on June 2nd. I came home from Kuwait/Iraq in June last year so this will be my second trip. I thank you for your support.
Ooh Rah LCpl Zawol 6th Comm Bn., Alpha Co.

"Without liberty, law loses its nature and its name, and becomes oppression. Without law, liberty also loses its nature and its name, and becomes licentiousness."
--James Wilson

Sgt Grit,A while ago I tried to send a email to you about the fighting in Falligh. Now that the Militia is in for know it appears quite. When the Sheik does not surrender will the Marines attack and set a chain reaction among other Muslims? Attacks, bombings, all the good old stuff. remember when China, Russia, told the U.S. if they invaded Cambodia they would attack. When pres. Nixon gave the word to cross into Cambodia. He called there bluff. No attack. So it remains to be seen what will happen.

Hey Sgt. Grit,
Just finished printing my latest newsletter from you and will be reading it as soon as I finish with this e-mail. This current generation of Marines is the most impressive and, definitely is, the finest military organization in the world. What I have read or watched concerning the Marines fighting in Iraq and/or Afghanistan indicates the Marine Corps is able, and more than willing to, take care of business.

In almost every news story concerning Marines, I witness how effective they are, how close-knit they are with each other and how they can really 'whoop up and chow down' on those 'bad guys'.

I haven't heard the whining of wanting to go home or how bad the condition are for the Marines, as is the case for numerous Army soldiers probably wouldn't do any good, why waste the energy, huh?). I haven't seen or heard about POWs and/or prisoners being harassed and tortured by Marines. What I keep hearing are reports like "The Marines received fire from a building, and it was destroyed" or "Someone tried to kill one of my Marines. He is now dead.". I hear a 19 year old Lance Corporal saying he's there to serve his country, help the Iraqi civilians and will do d-mn near anything to protect his fellow Marines. I say that our Marines need to either be allowed to 'fight it out' with those terrorist or be brought back home. Don't allow the lives and futures of any of these "GOOD MEN" be wasted.

On the subject of those terrorist. Those "things" that killed a bound, out numbered and scared American civilian, and the ones taking other American hostages, need to be sent straight to the Gates of H*ll! Those creatures aren't Warriors! They are not MEN! H*ll, they aren't even Human Beings! They are vermin and should be treated as such. It seems all they understand is violence and that people's lives don't have much value. They pick on the weak and helpless and cower in fear from any one or group that can, and will, defend themselves. Somehow they all need to be rounded up, placed in a small, minimum area and hit with large, maximum ordinance. When completed, do it again. Then again and again... If some innocents get involved and get killed by accident, God, Himself, can grant leniency. If those 'critters' want to die for their cause and be martyrs, I cannot think of any organization better qualified and more than willing to provide the means.

Today, as I send this, it is May 15, "Armed Forces Day". My Grandfather was U.S. Army, WWI. Two Uncles USA, WWII. My Dad and another Uncle, USA Korean war era. Two more Uncles and 2 Brother-in-laws, pre-Viet Nam era USA. Two cousins USA and one that went Navy, Viet Nam. Then there was ME! USMC 1974-78, Kentucky Air National Guard 1978-79. As of now, I am the last Veteran in my family, including in-laws. I will be hanging my 'National Ensign' and Marine Corps flag from my carport. There are a few Marines living in this area. You can tell by the Marine Corps flag hanging high from the house, tree, sign post and/or utility pole, the 24+ USMC bumper stickers, tags and/or decals applied to each vehicle in the drive way, or the occasional "Semper Fi Marine" I hear at the grocery or store. My Wife is amazed how a conversation between 2 men that have never met before, can rapidly develop into stories and tales that cover generations, spans the globe and can contain tales of adventure and exploits far too amazing to possibly be true. And it usually begins with "Semper Fi".

To ALL Marines out there: We are members, past, present and future, of the finest military organization ever. As I mentioned earlier, today is "Armed Forces Day". I commend the current group of "Few Good Men" on duty now and in action. I wish you a successful mission and can honestly say that, if I was 30 years younger, I'd do it again and serve with you. Thanks Marines.

Just a note from one of those "Quick and Dirty Warriors",
Tony Glass (NOAD)
Sgt. USMC 1974-78

Here's a clue from a currently deployed USMC PFC. When the Marines came back to Iraq earlier this year, they were briefed on what to expect from the departing Army. In one camp, they were warned to wear their Kevlar every night from 18:00 - 22:00 because that was when the camp was mortared. The Marines were incredulous but, sure enough, that evening there was incoming live ammunition. The next night, Marines had artillery staked out around the camp. When the bad guys showed up, the Marines took them out.

Problem solved.

"History tells us that appeasement does not lead to peace. It invites an aggressor to test the will of a nation unprepared to meet that test. And... those who seemingly want peace the most, our young people, pay the heaviest price for our failure to maintain our strength."
--Ronald Reagan

"The Marines fought hard in Fallujah and took a lot of very evil people out of the fight. That effort, and the associated loss of Marine lives, was not in vain... [However], we're reading that everyone back home is starting to lose faith in our efforts in Iraq. The last CBS poll put the numbers under 50 percent for the first time. I know that doesn't mean a loss in support for the troops, but supporting 'the troops' while not supporting the mission doesn't do much for us."
--Unnamed Marine Corps officer

Sgt Grit, Its sad that we have so many stupid people here in the USA that don't understand nothing about why this war is being fought.. I went to Pat Tillman's funeral service here in San Jose, Cal. last week. He died in Afghanistan saving his men from an ambush. The family is normal American family, great family because money and wealth never ruled them.. Pat and his brother Kevin joined the Rangers to make and difference at a great sacrifice. But love of Country and duty came first.. I had tears streaming down for the 3 hours of eulogy by Maria Shriver and John McCain and all the NFL coaches..Pat was a true American Hero because he chose a road less traveled and gave up millions of football contracts, he had it all. What an example to our youth and all the whining! players who just complain that 6 million is not enough .. He was not a Marine but Airborne Ranger... God bless his family and comfort them.. My heart goes out to all Marines and soldiers that are in the front lines against an enemy that has no rules..

Frank Dias Viet vet. San Jose CA

"The first casualty of war, it is claimed, is truth. I'd say the first casualty is context. Demanding that troops, who are subject on a daily basis to roadside bombs, suicide attacks, ambushes and rocket-propelled grenades, should respond without any cruel or unprofessional incidents would be a demand for sainthood. These troops face resentment and hatred from some of the very people they came to liberate. Most coalition troops feel, mistakenly or not, that they are doing a favor to people with a personal animosity and primitive methods not usually found in Western warfare."
--Barbara Amiel, London Daily Telegraph

I am 17 years old and a C/Maj. in my AFJROTC corps. As I walk through the halls at school and listen to my government and economics teachers talk about how this is a pointless war and that we shouldn't be there in the first place...all I have to say to that is...Did you people forget about that big plane that flew into that big building and made a big mess...after I tell them that they always seem to shut their mouth. Just thought I would put my two cents in!

C/Maj. Walters
Operation Support Squadron Commander
TX-801st Burleson High School

"We make war so that we may live in peace." -Aristotle

I'd like to say to the TX Marine Mom, I walked in your shoes just last year. My 17 year old son enlisted 6 months before he graduated high school. He left for MCRD in October. The night before I couldn't stop crying. Don't get me wrong, I was very proud he was willing to fight and defend his country, but I'm a mom. Hang in there mom, boot camp is hard but when you go to his graduation and see what a proud Marine he is in just 3 months, it was worth the missed birthdays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. It helped me to visit the MCRD website. Go to the recruit info and then the training matrix. You can get a day by day calendar of what they are doing. Subject to change of course. I don't know how it is in Texas, but here in California people are not as supportive of my son's choice as we are. It helps to find a support group of military family and friends.
Semper Fi
Christine D

Sgt. Grit,
I thought this quote very befitting to our Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as all around the globe.

"The hero is one who kindles a great light in the world, who sets up blazing torches in the dark street of life for men to see by. The saint is the man who walks through the dark paths of the world, himself a light." ........Felix Adler

Semper Fi to all our Marines, past, present and future!
Cindy Crook

Sgt. Grit,
First off I want to say a big thank you to the Sgt. who left that "enlightened" UMass grad student's email, I just finished sending some rounds down range.

My time in the Marine Corps was cut short by a pre-existing illness that surfaced about five years into my contract. Ever since the day I was honorably discharged I have felt the need to do something. Heck, if I could grab my M-16 and hop a jet to Iraq I would be there in an instant. It's just that this illness, Multiple Sclerosis seems to have imprisoned the Marine Corps spirit inside a body that is unfit for active service

The kicker for all this was to learn that my reserve unit was called to action in Korea one short year after I was discharged. Ever since, I have found myself thinking about all of the Marines I knew personally, wondering if any had been killed, or what they were doing. This has been a new form of torment for me, and if it weren't for my lovely wife I don't know what I would do.

I try not to watch the news because of the slant I see plastered on every station telling me how the "Iraqi people hate the US", but I turn the TV on anyways because I have to know what's going on with those Marines in Iraq with whom I have that eternal bond of brotherhood. I guess what I really want to say is "Semper Fi".
Cpl. Kennedy (97-02/1391)

This is a first for me - I have been receiving your newsletter and want to thank you for all the info and encouragement it provides. I have one grandson (age 20)currently in Afghanistan who just made Lance Corporal (signed up for Marines last February), his younger brother (age 18) who will be graduating from boot camp at Parris Island next week and then walking with his high school graduating class (just like his brother did last year - both wearing their dress blues!!!!) and last but not least their older brother (age 22) who will be going to boot camp at Parris Island in August - his mother asked him to wait until his brother got back from Afghanistan and the other brother graduated. I want to tell you and all those that read your newsletter how very proud I am of them and all of our service personnel willing to sacrifice so very much for our safety and freedoms. There are so many silly do-gooders out there with out a clue. As long as we are at war and have soldiers giving the ultimate sacrifice it is time for all those who are opposed to this war to shut up and sit down. Time enough to say nay after we have won!!! and we will - right will prevail and they need to know we are behind them 100%.

We need to daily keep all of them in our prayers and thank God for them.
Ms. E. Collins

Folks now this is just my opinion, an opinion from a combat vet of OIF and an active duty Marine. I know that this won't please every one, but I'm not out to please every one, just myself in life. I have my own opinions about things, and here recently I can't keep my mouth shut anymore. This whole thing about the "abuse in the Iraqi Prison" has gone to far in my eyes. Since my return from Iraq I have tried to watch little of the news. It has outraged me to hear these desk sitting jockeys try and tell a story in which they have little on no back ground in. Just because a news journalist is there doesn't mean he is always telling the right and whole story. Just that which might make a name for himself or get the big headlines and ratings. I came back and heard and still hear how we didn't find weapons of mass destruction? Really d-mn was I just seeing figments of my imagination then? Because I saw barrels of Chemicals and Biological material. Granted they weren't in large amounts but they were there. Also never heard to much about the other soldiers who where in the Lynch convoy that didn't make it home alive. Did the news bother to show the 15th MEU (SOC) digging up their beaten bodies from a soccer field out side the same hospital where Jessica was rescued? H*ll no they didn't. Folks lets remember this and this is a big one. Never forget the ones who were killed and the ones who did the killing. You can take that in many different forms, but I take it as remember who made the first strike. Because in these terrorist eyes, all they know is violence. We have to bring the fight to them or else the fight will be brought to us here on our soil and we'll be a weak nation. I remember seeing the torture chambers in An Nasiriyah, and what went on there is nothing like what some dumb Army soldiers have done. I believe in this fight down to my very heart. I'm under paid and over worked. I have bills coming out my yin yang from a divorce, I came home from war to a broken marriage and in debt, and barely making it, and still barely making it. I get pay raises people laugh at. But I'm still fighting because seeing images such as Nick Berg, the Blackwater contractors being hung from a bridge in Iraq, and most important I haven't forgotten who started this fight, and I sure as h*ll ain't going to go away with my tail tucked between my legs like a beaten dog. People take being an American for granted and I think that is wrong, everyone should spend some time in the ground pounders boots and know what it is truly like. To all of you who have spent your time in you know what I am talking about, and it is because of you all is why I am here today and believe in this. and why I am d-mn proud to be an American and a Sgt in the United States Marine Corps. Everyone lets take a look at things here and get a grip on this situation. It's not something that is going to go away. We need to fight and not worry about our d-mn big cars and coffees. We need more Pat Tillmans in this world and guys like Pfc Perez USMC who was award the Navy Cross (2nd highest award a Marine can get) for his bravery in combat for charging a Machine gun bunker single handily, if you want check it out in the Marine Corps Times. I might just be a dysfunctional Jarhead, but this is what keeps me in balance in this every day world. We need to get off our fat fast food butts and get behind this fight to show these terrorist that we are still committed to taking down their sorry asses like this nation was after Sept 11th. That is the America I knew and I'd like to see it back once again. If you feel the need to forward this on to your friends go ahead, and if you also feel the need to write me back and tell me to shut my mouth go ahead too, it's a free country and for some of us it does have a flavor other won't know, and that is why I'm like this.

Semper Fi,
Howard C. Wright. Sgt U.S.M.C. (active)

This is a great big thank you to all who wrote to my daddy last month. He received 20 letters and postcards in the mail box and 9 to my e-mail addresses that I printed off and took to him. He promises to answer all of them. It was such a surprise to him to get the letters. He has read and re-read them and has a pen in hand and underlines things?? I guess the items he wants to address in his responses. He has been spending time on his little lawn mower tractor puttering around the yard and is feeling much better. I am proud to be a Marine daughter and mama and love the newsletters. So nice to be part of a great family!! Thanks again, Laurie (

Dear Sgt Grit,
Scholarships for the children of Marines and Federal Law Enforcement officials killed in the line of duty are available through The Marine Corps - Law Enforcement Foundation. MC-LEF is a 501(c) charity that awards scholarships for the educational financial needs of children who have lost a Marine for Federal Law Enforcement official parent in the line of duty. Funds can be used to help defray the costs of college or technical school. Additionally, funds can be used to defray the costs of any type of equipment necessary to further the education of children with mental or physical disabilities in kindergarten through high school. The MC-LEF Board of Directors recently voted to give a $40,000 scholarship to every child of U.S. service members who lose their lives in the war in Iraq. For more information on how you can support this worthy cause, please visit the MC-LEF website,

Semper Fi,
Jenny Potter
Brunswick, OH

Sgt. Grit.
Regarding 1st Lt Nofsinger's previous E-mail. I agree with supporting our troops, but his reference of Iraq's struggle for freedom and our American Revolution, The American's fought for our freedoms during the revolution, I don't remember reading about help from Iraqis nor Afghanis.

As a PROUD Viet Nam Vet, I too am appalled at the fact that my brothers and sisters are caught up in the taking the 2 steps forward and 3 steps back syndrome.

I remember the feeling of WTFO when faced with insurgents by night, and "friendlies" by day, and waiting for permission to fire as we took incoming.

I see this situation as Deja vue.

What I DO find most comforting, is that the American people are behind our troops ( if not the war). I pray that this continues, and our forces are treated with the respect and honor that they deserve.

Semper fi !!
Tom Flynn Cpl 69-71 MAG 16 Marble Mtn 70-71

"MEN 0f CHOSIN" 18th annual reunion
6-27-04 to 6-30-04 at the Sands Regency Hotel, Reno, NV . (1-800-648-3553 )
Side trips to Tahoe & Virgina City possible.
Contact: Bob Holtzer 775-673-3590 or
Bill Schulte 636-272-2068

Dear Sgt Grit-
-I enjoy your news letter and find some peace knowing there are so many families out there who know how I feel. First , thank you to all the men and women who have served our country, with out you we have nothing. My brother Cpl. Jon Flissar in- listed in the Marine Corps. October of 2001 to bravely serve his country and follow in the foot steps of soldiers past. Jon will be turning 29 this June and with gods prayers be returning back to the states from his second tour in Iraq. Although he's always had the urge, Jon decided to join the Marines on the heels of 9/11. Knowing that considering his age this might be his last chance to serve his country. Leaving everything behind and headed for an adventure he may never return from, he never looked back. People can say whatever they want about the military and the war but those people are not there. They don't have what it takes to give up everything for a country full people they don't know.

Have we all forgot how fortunate we are and wrong or right war has always been. It's made us the strongest country in the world and we should stop taking it for granted and start supporting the people who die for us.

Thank you,
Sarah McDonald Flissar

Your post #70.
Captain Hulslander, you bring up good points about "finishing the job". Please remember a part of History. '50 -'53, when Korean was going on, there was another greater menace in Europe, that had to be considered. The number in Korea's, KIA's was 33,000+ in 37 months and 2 days. If MacArthur had been given the go-ahead to go thru all obstacles and into China, I wouldn't be posting this today. I personally wouldn't have wanted to go, for several reasons. One, I couldn't make this statement and two, I never, not one time saw the Esteemed General fire one weapon at the gooks. After the fact questioning certain things is inevitable, but I, personally feel that ALL the KIA's and wounded, knew they gave their best so that south of the DMZ, 50+ million Koreans have had a much different life than the one's above that line.

1108487, '50-'52, C-1-1
Chestys' last regimental command.

My name is JJ and I am a student in high school but have been recently touched by the war in Iraq and even more so by the marines fighting in Fallugia. I hope to become a marine corps aviator so hearing and seeing the struggles of the men and woman fighting this war constantly reminds me of the price so many have paid to ensure my freedom. I attended an air show today and I was fighting back tears as they did the missing man flight and commemorated all who have been killed in Americas wars. Every morning I wake up and await the news of the casualties of that day, the amount of service men and woman who have been killed in this war that is said to be ended is astronomical! My ambition to join the united states armed forces is only strengthened by the hatred displayed by the Iraqi people to the American military. I want to thank every single member of the united states military for their honor, courage, and commitment to their country and I will one day be fighting along side you. Thank you sooo much, and keep it up the fight is not done yet!!

As an Army dog (101st) I have watched intently the news about our boys in Iraq, after several of my friends have returned (Safely, thank God) and reading the postings on this newsletter, I have but one thing to say in regards to the bravery and courage shown daily (If not on the news) of our troops in Iraq

"Yes, this is a complicated struggle with many elements, but one thing it doesn't have, this struggle between us and them, is any kind of moral equivalence."
--Paul Greenberg

Rene Gonzalez about Pat Tillman:
Where do I start? I am sure that you have received numerous emails about the literary sewage that you spilled on behalf of a fallen brother, namely Pat Tillman. He chose to fight for the mere right that you exercised in this editorial. The problem as I see it is that immigrants, like yourself, have no way of judging or valuing the freedoms that are granted to you in this country. You have come to the United States with expectations of a free world country. As a graduate student, surely you have studied a little history and understand that freedom is not free. It is won with blood of the many who strive for it.

I know what you are thinking," how is fighting in Afghanistan ensuring my freedom in the United States"? It is the virtues and ideals that we are protecting. The threat of terrorism is very real in today's world. It can touch any of us anywhere. We are a nation built on the pride of those who work to protect her. Whether he was making 3 million or 30 thousand dollars a year is irrelevant. He felt a need to do his part. The reason we respect him is not because of the money he gave up but because he understood how to prioritize his life. He knew that the freedoms he enjoyed came at a cost. He was not a free loader from Puerto Rico. He was an American. Therein lies the difference between he and you! As much as you try you will never be an American. I believe that you wrote this article out of jealousy and envy. For that I feel sorry for you! Your American Education and the money you make from it will never buy you the pride and esprite de corps that a true member of our society possesses.

I have a suggestion for you...... take all of your education and peruse a career in another country that doesn't have a rich tradition based on the blood shed by its patriots. Write your editorials and live in your little fantasy world. I will pray for you based on this one bit of reality. I hope that you never come face to face with a Marine who understands who you are and what you have written. Because Big or small, Young or Old, they are going to kick your ass!

Ooooh Rahhhhhh.
Steve Simpson
Cpl. MAGTAF 2-88
Persian Gulf

As I sit at my desk, my mind can't quite stay on the job at hand, I think back to a very sweet little boy, smart, happy, athletic, always quick to make everyone laugh and I wonder, where will this wonderful boy be tomorrow? No longer a carefree kid, now a US Marine. As his mother, I have never felt greater fear, I thought High School football was the worst thing I would ever have to go through. I worry, wonder, pray and yet I have the Greatest sense of pride. I know where ever he may go, He is where he is because of his love of family, friends and country. May we all bless and pray for these little boys grown big, take them where they need to go, with their heads held high, and Please bring them home safe.

A prayer from a US Marine Corp MOM
Nancy R. Buck

Thanks for sharing the letter with me......keeping me and everyone informed and in proper spirit of the times we are in. We have a World War actually going on right now. The trick is to recognize it for that. Sneakiest D-mm War in many not even wanting to have cognition as to what price freedom really is. Thank God for my brothers and sisters Marines and their comrades in arms currently sacrificing to insure our winnings......and a big "OOHRAH" to all throughout the world who lay dead in the oceans or in the earth who gave it all for freedom.. "OOHRAH" to all my Marine comrades past and present.
Jim Gooch, USMC 1957-1964 "Kick More Butt"....

Sgt. Grit,
The article by Rene Gonzalez
( ) regarding Cpl Pat Tillman's death is Unbelievable!!! Rene is a "graduate" student? Most everything that can be said about this poorly written, loathsome and defamatory article has been expressed in previous postings on the net. However, since I've been afforded the right to add my two cents, I'll do so.

The reaction to Cpl Tillman's death by the media and the nation is not at all a "knee-jerk" one, as asserted by Gonzalez. Many have stated that Cpl Tillman would be made uncomfortable by the attention he has been given. However, his sacrifice is worthy of examination & emulation because it was rather extraordinary (NFL lifestyle and $3.6 million) in comparison to the genuine sacrifices made by the over 130,000 men and women, in particular the over 700 that have died to date, serving our country in the middle east. Cpl Tillman's example illustrates with clarity that they are all heroes.

And what gives with the Rambo / Clint Eastwood supporting references??? Is that the best research and fact finding to support a thesis that can be expected of a UMass grad?

God Bless all of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coastguardsmen and Civilians serving us in harms way in Iraq, Afghanistan and other far away places.

Semper Fi!
M. Zamora, former Sergeant of Marines, MSG Bn, 81-86

Whenever some yellow bellied "peace now" puke tries to start anything with you, remember this: YOU have done something that not one in 10,000 other men or women could do. You have succeeded in accomplishing something that 99% of the population would not even think of trying. What is it? you ask? YOU ARE MARINES. Yes, we were born in a Tavern some 228 years ago. But we were then and always have been the ELITE FORCE in our country's military.

There are other units who call themselves "Elite". But , the United States Marine Corps always has been and always will be the GOLD STANDARD by which the "others" measure themselves.

We are in Iraq, for a reason. Yes, oil may be a small part of it. The greater, more important part of it is to help the Iraqi people in their quest for the rights and freedoms that we enjoy in our country.

The insurgency is all about control. These so called "clerics" are nothing more than semi educated thugs, who control people by manipulating the information that they are given. If all you ever read, hear, or see any one talk about is how evil the USA is, then you will begin to believe it. There is a reason that most of these people do not go to school. If they went to school and learned to think and were exposed to ideas and teachings , other than those of the "clerics", then they would see the world as it truly is, and not as some demented thug would have them believe.

If you control the information, you can control their minds. In a society that values freedom of the press and the freedom of speech, this does not occur.

Keep up the good work over there, my brothers and sisters in the Corps. Keep your wits about you and your heads and asses covered, and come home to those you love.

Anthony E. Sero Jr. Cpl, U.S.M.C. Former Active Duty. Mass 4, 4th MAW, 4th MARDIV. SEMPER FIDELIS.

Greetings all (and thanks Couv).
Attached is a job description that provides more background. You can get a good handle on what we've been doing at Having in country people reflects a substantial increase in the scope and scale of our efforts. Couv provides a scenario below.reProjects will be funded at higher levels, too and we will be implementing a micro loan program. Our goal, working in partnership with Coalition forces, is to achieve the greatest immediate improvement in the lives of ordinary Iraqis.

This in-country representative will be embedded with the US 1st Marine Division in Al Anbar province. I will be going over to work through the final details of structure and operation before May 24th. If good fortune shines and we find the right person before then, he'll join me on the trip - not mandatory, but desirable.

This is the perfect opportunity for the right entrepreneurial person - who has a fondness for and desire to help the Iraqi people - and who sees the potential for what we're doing to help turn the tide in Iraq with the application of the resources to do the job.

All the best,
Jim Hake

To New Marine (Recruit) Mom in Texas ... You're right! Not only will you see a big change in your son after boot camp, you'll also notice a big change in yourself. Try not to be too overbearing with pride around your friends, but it's d-mn hard too resist. Do not, I repeat, do not miss graduation. It was the best 2 days of my life. Every American should go to at least one. If you haven't already, check out their website at
Proud Marine Mom in Washington State

Just a note to thank you for the web site. I am a MOM (Mother of a Marine) and although he was honorably discharged in 1998, he will always be a Marine. He is currently serving six months (not what you think) in the New Jersey State Police Academy. It was ALWAYS his dream to be a Trooper and he is living he dream which always makes a MOM happy. I enjoy the website and hope you all have a great reunion. OOhRah!!!

Know that so many of us already go quietly about our business doing exactly what you request. A quiet word in the grocery line, reminding some that do not want to think about what the truth is really like where you are, and of course, never forget that sometimes the perception of the truth can end up seeming as important as the truth itself. The media crowds around those who will give them a 'show' for the evening news, especially college age kids who seem to need to protest whatever the hot topic is that week but turn the mikes and cameras away when our troops missions are calmly and reasonably justified, or even worse their reporters and camera crews make no attempt to find someone with a military perspective in the crowd who could possibly lead some young naive do-gooder to understand that when your whole street is burning you do not wait until the flames are scorching your eyebrows before you fight the fire. Maybe a better analogy for these sweet young things would be to remind them how quickly one sorority sister will go on an aggressive offensive mission against the other when it looks like her boyfriend may be a target of acquisition. I guarantee you that angle of explanation will have them thinking of the phrase 'pre-emptive strike' in a whole new light.
Elizabeth Tribelli

Hey Sgt Grit!

WWII Memorial
I took my husband and son to Washington DC this past weekend, neither had been there before. Arrived on Friday afternoon, checked in and hoped to get in some site seeing before most things closed down. We walked down and saw the White House (from outside the fence), then past the Washington Monument. It was only about 4:30 at this point so we decided to continue. Around the huge fence at the Washington Monument we saw arrows pointing towards the WWII memorial, so off we go. I am here to tell you that the monument is phenomenal! I know that it is way past due, and many WWII vets have passed before being able to see it's completion, but it is definitely a great memorial. There were many, many WWII vets there and I believe in their glory. They were talking to many visitors and in passing, you could here them talk of some of their experiences. We saw one vet who was obviously brought there by his son, just standing there staring. Many stares...from olden eye, reflecting on the past, reading the names of the different battles, whether on the Pacific or Atlantic side. Most wearing their VFW or Legion hats, or their Navy hats with ships name or just WWII Vet, to the Marines displaying our colors so that I could render my heart felt Semper Fi, most not being returned because I think it's hard for them to realize that there are female Marines who can offer and receive a Semper Fi. (Not saying that to be smart, it's actually fact from my many experiences with the "Old Corps", and I know that it's not intentional or malicious...) Marines it's worth your trip to see it. We also visited the Korean Memorial, and The Wall. Saturday we went to see Arlington and saw the changing of the Guard and then we walked down to the Iwo Jima Memorial. Wow is that thing big! Spoke with a Ret. Gunny who was at the landing of Iwo. He told us that the Air Force is looking to build a memorial to the tune of $30 million plus. The Air Force had apparently decided that they would build their memorial across the street from our memorial. Apparently we have pull somewhere in Washington because they were told they'd have to pick another location away from the Iwo Jima memorial. Put a smile on this Marine's face! It was a great way to be able to explain to my 10 year old some of this country's past. He was amazed at the Wall because you're able to see the names of our fallen...It is a visual that you can't imagine until you're standing there in front of it.

Semper Fi Marines
Michelle R. (Keim) Christman
CPL of Marines, 87 - 91

Looking for Pusan Perimeter Vets to answer my history students in Oct-Dec 2004.I have about 155 students eager to talk to Vets over the net.Hopefully I can get 150 to participate.Have had good responces in the past with Chosin and Inchon Vets.Thanks.
Art Falconer
McLaughlin Middle School
Lake Wales,Fl.33853.

"If all the world were just, there would be no need of valor."

Sgt Grit, a humble 'Nam RECON Marine's opinion..
The only way to save the Nation is to have a bloodless Marine Corps coup. When the U.S. is run by the Marine Corps, anybody that ticks us off will be dragged out into the street and shot. Women of child-bearing age will make themselves available to Marines whenever and wherever the need arises. Nations that tick us off will be turned into huge parking lots. The Saudi ruling family will be put to work in the oil fields, maintaining drilling equipment. All Ayatollahs will be crucified. We have millions of Marine veterans that will rally to our cause. We cannot lose! Chesty Puller will replace George Washington on all legal tender. Lew Diamond will replace Ben Franklin. Marine Corps History and Traditions will be taught in elementary schools. The Army will be reduced to an auxiliary force. The Air Force will have to live in open squad bays, and will eat MREs and sleep in shelter halves when deployed. R. Lee Ermey will host the Acadamy Awards, and only pro-American movies will be considered. Every liberal puke that starts the whining, cry-baby routine, will be thrown into an arena of sex-starved, Aids-ridden homosexuals. If this doesn't work, we'll have to resort to extreme measures. The civilians will have to learn to form up, and peel off in a column movement - and get their crap together or be sent to the fat body platoon.

Semper Fidelis,
Nick Smith
3rd RECON, Delta Co.
Phu Bai - Quang Tri, Vietnam

"I hope I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man."
--George Washington

A couple of years ago, I made my second trip to West Point for a football game. At the Saturday morning parade, I approached four cadets to ask about seating. I was wearing a red baseball cap with USMC. Obviously, the cadets had been told to salute anybody wearing anything military. All four came to attention and executed perfect salutes. I was shocked, but I managed to shift my walking cane to my left hand, come to attention and render a reasonably good salute. First time I had the privilege of saluting anybody in thirty years or so. I did not have the heart to tell the cadets that I had served as a Sergeant E-5 and did not rate a salute. This incident was the highlight of my visit. A visit to West Point is well worth the effort. At stadiums and coliseums around the country, I constantly see disrespect during the National Anthem and Moment of Silence. Not at West Point! You got the impression that anyone showing disrespect would be escorted off post. Walking around and talking to cadets, one is impressed with the quality of these young people.
Semper Fi!
L.A. Reynolds

Hi! I am a Marine Mom and was reading your newsletter dated April 27th,2004. Toward the end of the newsletter , a man asked why there were no support our troop rallies for our Marines and USA troops. He signed the letter RCD. Please let him know there are support our troop rallies in Washington state for all our military!! I belong to a grassroots organization called "Operation Support Our Troops" (shortened version OSOT.) We started this in January 2003 and continue supporting our troops! We do rallies, welcome home the military as well as be there when they are deployed, send out care packages Holidays From Home), attend services for our fallen soldiers, and much more. Please visit our website and ask RCD to do so as well. We do care about all our troops and support them and this is our way of doing our duty from the homefront . Our thanks and appreciation to the troops serving and protecting our country!
May God Bless Our Troops And Keep Them Safe!!
Semper Fi!
Norma Anderson
Operation Support Our Troops

"Nothing is more certain than that a general profligacy and corruption of manners make a people ripe for destruction. A good form of government may hold the rotten materials together for some time, but beyond a certain pitch, even the best constitution will be ineffectual, and slavery must ensue."
--John Witherspoon

I have not been on line lately so I have missed out on a lot of news. I know we have apologized for the terrible things we have done to the Iraq prisoners, like making them stand naked in front of other people ....but I did not know if the Arab world had apologized yet for the beheading of the prisoner they had kidnapped.......
.....I'm sure its on its way. DJH

Did I spell that right, your honor?
Its not a word I would use very often. But then I didn't have many words to use for the last 24 hours or so. My jaws hurt from clenching down on the expletives. I was thinking just now about national reaction and the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the destruction of the World Trade Center and one video-taped murder by decapitation. Its no less heinous.
Its no less an act of war. The gravity of the crime is no different if its 3000 souls or 1. Its murder, its the worst perversion of religion and its cowardly. I was thinking too about Admiral Yamamoto's words when he learned the Japanese ultimatum had been delivered after the bombing of Pearl: " I fear we have awakened a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve."
Where is our terrible resolve? Or didn't we wake up yet? What will it take to wake up to the fact that Al Queda and all the other little groups are not the enemy. Fundamentalist Islam is the enemy. Plain and simple. It wasn't enough to say Germany was our enemy or Japan was our enemy. Fascism was the enemy. Now its not just Iragis or Saudis or Jordanians or Syrians, its Muslims.
I slept late this morning because I was up late. But I still woke up with some feeling of terrible resolve.
Mine boiled down to a cold fury.
And as warriors we all know what that is like. I know that Nick Berg's family feels it and I feel sorry for them. They will feel the cold fury for a lifetime. We Viet Nam vets have only felt it for thirty-five years or so. Now maybe a few civilians do, too.
Mike Florey India 3/1
RVN '69-'70

"The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get-rich-quick theory of life."
--Theodore Roosevelt

Sgt. Grit,
Just a quick comment on all the media coverage on the "miss-treatment" of the Iraqi prisoner's. I am really tried of hearing about how are boys were wrong for what they did. All right, they may have been, but we are not in Iraq, we are not watching our brother's being killed. Most of those boys are young, emotions are high. War is war, mistakes are made. I wish all these anti-war as@#$*!^ would just shut-up and let our soldiers do what they are trained to do. For all those Marines fighting for our freedom, keep up the good work and come home safe!
Semper Fi ! God Bless.

"I love a dog, he does nothing for political reasons."
--Will Rogers

"When our troops are putting their lives on the line for this country, thousands of miles away, surely it is not too much to ask of the rest of us back home to act like adults and put things in perspective -- even during an election year. That includes the media. Sometimes the fourth estate seems more like a fifth column."
--Thomas Sowell

Sgt. Grit,
Subject: In Memoriam
We as Americans have lost so many Members of Our Armed Forces in Afghanistan & Iraq.

But do you remember our 1st & how it hurt .. (they all do).. The Dutch / Netherlands Coalition Forces have lost their 1st. He was so happy to serve with the US Forces.

Would you sign this guestbook & share with your friends. I want so, for his Countrymen & his Family to know that we care about their loss..

Sergeant 1st Class Dave Steenstra was the 1st Netherlands / Dutch (Coalition) Soldier to be killed in the line of duty in Iraq . He served with the Royal Dutch Marines & then changed to be with the 12th Infantry in Iraq.

I am asking if you would sign the Guestbook set up for his family & friends.. Semper fi... Inga


After reading the news it looks like politics has stuck again. The Marines will not attack falla. They were ordered to back off and patrol with exSaddam soldiers. This way a lot of Marines are spared for now. This conflict has more ups and downs then a roller coaster. Big question is. what is going to happen June 30 when a new government takes over. Who is going to give orders New Government? or the U.N. that will over see the transfer of power.

Sgt. Grit,
Did it ever occur to anyone that the Media is aiding the enemy?

I cannot stand to here, read, or watch what the media has to say about what is happening in the Middle East. During WW11 they would have been obliged to censor themselves. What they report is "traitorous" to say the least. They give information that enables and encourages the enemy to continue their "Jihad".

Even so there are those of us who will defend to the death the right of their "FREEDOM OF THE PRESS". And FREEDOM OF SPEECH, and all the FREEDOMS that this country stands for. Even our enemies can come over here and enjoy these Freedoms.

I thank you for your newsletter where I can get the right information about what is happening in the Middle East.


This is the first time I have written to you even though I have enjoyed reading your newsletter for years. I learned of it from an old Marine several years ago.
G.D. Olson, Sgt. USMC

I was reading through the new newsletter, and their is a Sgt. Thomas "Willie" Williams that wrote a piece titled "I Quit Trying". Its said that the true heroes of this country are set aside, ignored, or doubted. These Marines and every other branch have seen, heard, and felt experiences that are indescribable to someone who was not there. I'm currently 21 and my generation, other than a few proud Americans are letting this history, country, and there HEROES down. This country was givin to us by men now set aside. We don't know the power or knowledge that we all can obtain by just listing and heeding the advice of the knowing. The WWII vets are going fast, and soon the Korean vets will follow. It hurts me that people I went to church with, school, work, and etc.. just don't know... Well Sgt. Williams, I know the truth and I talk to everyone that I see with a USMC bright red hat, if not just to give them thanks. If they want to share there lives with me I would never doubt them, for they are men of honor, and most have the scars, holes, and missing parts to prove it. I give my Thanks you all for the gift of freedom that I am forever grateful for everyday.
former Pfc Griffiths

Our Women Marines deployed in the sandbox are in need of sports bras, small and medium sized hair gel, non aerosol hair spray, brown and black rubber bands, hair ties and bobby pins to keep hair off their face. Personal toiletries are also welcomed. Many times care package drives forget our Women, so this is just a gentle reminder. I have compiled lists of needed items for both men and women.

If you would like to write an email or letters or cards to our wounded, please visit Each empty bed has a love letter from home and we are hoping it is the first thing a wounded military member sees upon arrival.
Mary Ellen Salzano

i hate what was happening to our marines being restrained and in danger i agree with letter on this page let the usmc solve the problem and no civi interferance let the recon ambushes at night snipers plug any body with a weapon in his hands,any body dancing around our burning vehicles while being in cameras by reporters should be made an example of their stupidity with a single round. And their supporters should be reminded of what will happen if they drag our dead they will pay a higher price, for their stupidity no matter who it was doing that. call in the spectors and those drone planes load them with antipersonnel bomblets or rockets and go after the snipers killing our troops. use recon by fire if that what it takes.revenage!! H*ll yea!!!! alls fair in love and war.
dogjar semper fi usmc72-78

I wish to thank you for the weekly letter. Our Grandson is over there, so anything we hear about what'going on helps us much, we worry, say prayers for him and all the boys , gals. They are all so young to go through this horrible war.I think our Grandson is in lima co. , his name is Daniel Berry. We are so proud of him and , his buddies and very proud of our wonderful country. Love and Prayers to all,, Ann Bully-Berry

Question for you: which is worse: being dressed up in woman's panties or beheaded? Notice that the brutal murder of Nick Berg has been buried by the media. They dwell on the prison scandal and don't even show the beheading pictures, although this is the essence of what we are fighting. It is classic medieval barbarity that we can expect from the children of Ishmael. Yet the media says "Well, it's normal behavior for them in the cultural context." As if that excused it and was some sort of comfort.

We are in an epic struggle with Islam that will last for decades and in which millions will die. The fundamentalists DO represent all of Islam, and the secularists who think it's all a joke will be the next beheaded!

Capt Dave Petteys
HMM165/HMM 265

Not only on Fallujah...but these idiotic pukes who rant and rave over the abuse over POWs,... not that I condone such an dishonorable display from men and women in uniform. These 'week end warrior' National Guardsmen MPs really f-cked us! And now the media eg. CBS, ABC, the BBC and Al-Jeezra along with the help of others are going to milk this incident like the My Lia incident in 1970 - till its dry.

Semper Fi, Mac
Felix Erazo, Jr. Cpl USMC
Aco. 1/6 1991-1994 and Eco. 2/4-1994
Second Marine Division, CLNC

I could not agree more. I am a Viet Nam vet who saw first hand how the corps was crippled by the big house guys in Washington. we could have won that war in no time if they left us to fight as American marines that we were trained to do.
Cpl. Mike Ferraraccio golf 2/3 3rd mar div 68&69 0331 yel super grunt semper fi mac

To my fellow Marines,
As I sit here and we prep for rotation for OIF, one thing comes to mind about the prisoner abuse. You think back to the Jessica Lynch and Shoshona Johnson. Were those two soldiers rape and humiliated? This picture of the soldier with the naked rag heads makes me wonder, what would happen should one of our Woman Marines fall into enemy hands? Can you ponder what those maggots would do? I say we tell all the civilians in Fallujah they have 24 hours to vacate then we call in CAS for a while and then turn us loose so we can kick some ass, the mosque, we can let the army rebuild them after we kick the bad guys out.

Semper Fi
Mguns (Killer) Miller

Dearest Sgt.
I am not a marine. I do not have that honor or distinction. BUT as it is proudly displayed on the back of my USMC red VW bug MY DAD IS A MARINE! (a top quality Sgt. Grit Bumper sticker I might add) To say I am proud would be an UNDERSTATEMENT. My father has thought me so much in life. to walk to CHEW SLOWLY! or you'll choke. but it was the things he DID that left I feel the largest impression. Walking up right with pride. Standing for the anthem with your hand on your heart and singing. and to watch my father When the hem is played? And try not to tear up. because of the love and pride that shines through in him. Seeing that in him made me love these things even more than I think I would if he were not one of THE FEW. But What is this thing that happens when you become a Marine? then I got a small view. I have gotten to feel JUST a TOUCH of that amazing bond. that you are NEVER flying solo feeling I have had over the past 3 years gotten the honor of meeting some the Fine Gentleman OF the 2nd Recruit Training Battalion Company K, Platoon 236 (the Stoner Riffle Test Platoon) They are my fathers brothers. Not just in arms but brothers of the soul. These men are a family. And we (my mother brother and sister) were welcomed into this family with Widely open arms. on May 4, 1964, these boys entered another world and on July 15th they walked out men.. No brothers. No Marines. So to (uncle) John Antignano, Paul Curry-Mills, Mark Manley, Steven McDough, Ernest Laroche (who is remembered on the wall), Christopher Anselmi, William Trelinski (we miss You!), Robert J. Molski (MY DAD!) and to all the other "Stoner" guys we have not found yet. Happy anniversary and thank you! for making me who I am today.

And to all of our Ladies and gentlemen who are now taking up arms to protect us me and my freedoms. Thank you! and COME HOME SAFE!!!

One Proud Daughter of a United States Marine!
Flora C. Molski

I need to get this off my chest. We are seeing, every night, on the news all this stuff about prisoner abuse. Ever since time began and mankind started fighting against each other there has been some sort of prisoner abuse. The Japanese did not respect the Geneva Convention in WWII nor did the Germans. The North Viet Nam and the Viet Cong tortured prisoners. It comes down to this. If you could save the lives of 5,000 of your troops by abusing a prisoner you are going to do it. I am sure that our military leaders as well as our political lea