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 #72

"The mystic cords of memory. Stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart should swell into a mighty chorus of remembrance, gratitude and rededication on this solemn occasion." Abraham Lincoln

Submitted by: T.T. Sheaf, Sgt.

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Sgt Grit; Semper Fi to all my brothers out there. I am writing from the big sandbox; second time in two years (not that I'm complaining). It is good to read all the encouraging e-mails from brothers in arms that are over here doing the do. Even though I am with an air wing unit (which means I'm not in the front lines; like the motivators in Fallujah); it is still an honor to serve my country and Corps. During the time the leathernecks were kicking butt and taking names in that heathenistic city; I felt like I should be there with them. Then I realized that what I do for a living enables them to do what they do for a living-kill as many bastards as quickly as possible. My prayers are with all the Marines; especially the ones deployed like me; and their families in the rear. God bless you all!
OORAH! Sgt Harrup; USMC

I have been receiving this newsletter for about 4 months now. Somehow, this morning at work, reading the newest edition, I felt I needed to write you. My husband is a LcPl with the marines. He was deployed in Feb. to go to Afghanistan on his first deployment. It has been very hard for both us. We just got married in Jan.- and then he left the day before our one month anniversary. I worry ever day for him and all of those guys over there-for they are a wonderful group people. I spoke with him yesterday for the first time in about 4 weeks. He told me he had he has not showered in 25 days and he has had to kill. It worries me - but then I begin to think - these guys and girls are trained at this type of thing, and they are trained well. Most of them live for this. But, I wanted to say thank you to all. This newsletter reminds me that I am not alone and of how deep the love of the USMC is. I have felt it already in the short little time I have been a military wife. So, once again thank you for your support, your comments and love for this blessed corp.

Semper Fi,
Vanessa Smith
wife of LCpl Bradley Smith

"Let us recollect that peace or war will not always be left to our option; that however moderate or unambitious we may be, we cannot count upon the moderation, or hope to extinguish the ambition of others."
--Alexander Hamilton

"The fate of empires depends on the education of youth."

Sgt. Grit:
There should be a law that says, "The politicians get to designate a target/mission and then they are through."

Lots of folks are trying to say that Iraq doesn't look like Vietnam. Well, it isn't a jungle but beyond that the Politicians are mucking it up just like Vietnam.

To send our troops in to eradicate terrorists and then interfere in the mission is just unforgivable. To meddle with tactically engaged troops is tantamount to their murder.

A terrorist is a target, as is anyone with him/her. Anyone dancing on a burning American truck is a target. Anyone shooting from a mosk / church / temple is a target. The world will be better off without them and the faster folks learn this the better and safer the world will be.
Thanks for your letters!
Semper Fi.
Scott McClellan
MSgt USMC Ret.

"If you ever injected truth into politics, you would have no politics."
--Will Rogers

Hi Sarge,
I'm gonna make this fast, short, and sweet.
If you want to stop terrorist then fix the "so-n-so's" so they can't be martyred. Make it public knowledge that when a bad guy is killed we are going to take the body to an unknown spot, wrap it in pig hide, cover it with pig's blood, and leave it unmarked and hidden. Let them know that the Marines are going to coat their bullets with pig fat. Start importing hogs so they can see them. Feed the convicted prisoners and those caught red handed pork and beans. Can't go to Mecca if your contaminated by swine!

They want to behead our people, then the gloves should come off! They want to come in from who-knows-where ..... fine and dandy. But let them know, there will be no virgins where they're going. They will not be a martyr. They will be in h*ll for all eternity..... right where they belong.

I'm praying the Iraqi people have a shot at democracy and a taste of the freedoms it will bring to them. Most of them are not the bad guys here. Everyone that craves freedom has a right to live free and without fear .... and I mean everyone. They've got a great opportunity here, let's hope they seize it. And let us hope they soon wake up and learn to help us help them.

Semper Fidelis,

Just in case we needed a reminder: "Not all terrorist networks answer to the same orders and same leaders, but all terrorists burn with the same hatred. They hate all who reject their grim vision of tyranny. They hate people who love freedom. They kill without mercy. They kill without shame. And they count their victories in the death of the innocent."
--President Bush

Marine Corps Counterintelligence Association | 4/21/04 | 1st Lt. Robert L. Nofsinger USMC: Hello Everyone, I am taking time to ask you all for your help.

First off, I'd like to say that this is not a political message. I'm not concerned about domestic politics right now. We have much bigger things to deal with, and we need your help.

It seems that despite the tremendous and heroic efforts of the men and women serving here in Iraq to bring much needed peace and stability to this region, we are losing the war of perception with the media and American people. Our enemy has learned that the key to defeating the mighty American military is by swaying public opinion at home and abroad. We are a people that cherish the democratic system of government and therefore hold the will of the people in the highest regard. We love to criticize ourselves almost to an endless degree, because we care what others think. Our enemies see this as a weakness and are trying to exploit it.

When we ask ourselves questions like, "Why do they hate us?" or "What did we do wrong?" we are playing into our enemies' hands. Our natural tendency to question ourselves is being used against us to undermine our effort to do good in the world. How far would we have gotten if after the surprise attacks on December 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor, we would have asked, "Why do the Japanese hate us so much?" or "How can we change ourselves so that they won't do that again?" Here in Iraq the enemy is trying very hard to portray our efforts as failing and fruitless. They kill innocents and desecrate their bodies in hopes that the people back home will lose the will to fight for liberty. They are betting on our perceived weakness as a thoughtful, considerate people. Unfortunately our media only serves to further their cause.

In an industry that feeds on ratings and bad news, a failure in Iraq would be a goldmine. When our so-called "trusted" American media takes a quote from an Iraqi doctor as the gospel truth over that of the men and women that are daily fighting to protect the right to freedom of press, you know something is wrong. That doctor claimed that out of 600 Iraqis, that were casualties of the fighting, the vast majority of them were women, children and the elderly. This is totally absurd. In the history of man, no one has spent more time and effort, often to the detriment of our own mission, to be more discriminate in our targeting of the enemy than the American military. The Marines and Soldiers serving in Iraq have gone through extensive training in order to limit the amount of innocent casualties and collateral damage.

Yet, despite all of this, our media consistently sides with those who openly lie and directly challenge the honor of our brave heroes fighting for liberty and peace. What we have to remember is that peace is not defined as an absence of war. It is the presence of liberty, stability, and prosperity. In the face of the horrendous tyranny of the former Iraqi regime, the only way true peace was able to come to this region was through force. That is what the American Revolution was all about. Have we forgotten? Freedom is not free and "peace" without principle is not peace. The peace that so-called "peace advocates" support can only be brought to Iraq through the military. And we are doing it, if only the world will let us! If the American people believe we are failing, even if we are not, then we will ultimately fail.

That is why I am asking for your support. Become a voice of truth in your community. Wherever you are fight the lies of the enemy. Don't buy into the pessimism and apathy that says, "It's hopeless," "They hate us too much," "That part of the world is just too messed up," "It's our fault anyway," "We're to blame," and so forth. Whether you're in middle school, working at a 9-5 job, retired, or a stay-at-home mom you can make a huge difference!

There is nothing more powerful than the truth. So, when you watch the news and see doomsday predictions and spiteful opinions on our efforts over here, you can refute them by knowing that we are doing a tremendous amount of good. Spread the word. No one is poised to make such an amazing contribution to the everyday lives of Iraqis and the rest of the Arab world than the American Armed Forces. By making this a place where liberty can finally grow, we are making the whole world safer. Your efforts at home are directly tied to our success.

You are the soldiers at home fighting the war of perception. So I'm asking you as a fellow fighting man: Do your duty.

Stop the attempts of the enemy wherever you are. You are a mighty force for good, because truth is on your side. Together we will win this fight and ensure a better world for the future.

God Bless and Semper Fidelis,
1st Lt. Robert L. Nofsinger
USMC Ramadi, Iraq

"Courage is not having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don't have the strength. Industry and determination can do anything that genius and advantage can do and many things that they cannot."
--Theodore Roosevelt

President Bush is the commander in chief and does not need congress's approval to send the Marines any where any time. I have always believed in the chain of command even though I don't always particularly like the top of it-- I would still of followed orders to the fullest and done my job to the highest standard. Civi's and politicians and the world of the un-enlightened keep askin where the weapons of mass destruction are.....let me describe the 250 pound wmd we captured and maybe some will understand better. Mostly water with some of the following ingredients and traits: Part calcium,sodium, magnesium and potassium, with many trace elements. Very mobile and has a voice modem that can cause the death of many and instills fear in those who live next to it. It is greasy and hairy and not pleasant to look at. What's it called ??? Saddam ..wmd! Just as ho chi min was. Any questions??

"Never ever start an argument with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience." CRC

Sgt. Grit:
I think this is very relevant today: Samuel Adams wrote:

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt. He therefore is the truest friend of the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man."
Samuel Adams

GySgt G. O. Gigg USMC (Ret)
Proud member of the "Chosin Few"

Dear Sir,
I am the mother of two Marines and I clipped this obituary out of the newspaper yesterday. Thought you would like to know of this great Marine's passing.

Howard Schnauber passed away on May 7, 2004 at the age of 82. He joined the Marines the day after Pearl Harbor. He went on to fight at Pelellu and was wounded there. He had two bayonet wounds and lived the rest of his life with shrapnel in his head. He went on to serve as a tank commander in Korea where he was wounded severely in the knee. At that point he was sent here to Colorado at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital where he fell in love with the state and decided to stay. Mr. Schnauber volunteered for years driving veterans, from Denver to Cheyenne, to the veterans hospital here. Most notable is that shortly after WWII Mr. Schnauber wrote the poem 'My Name is Old Glory'. It is a poem that is often used at military funerals and most recently was included in the book - Chicken Soup for the Soul of America. The last part of the poem goes as this - "I have been a silent witness to all of American's finest hours, But my finest hour comes when I am torn into strips to be used for bandages for my wounded comrades on the field of battle When I fly at half-mast to honor my soldiers And when I lie in the trembling arms of a grieving mother at the graveside of her fallen son I am proud My name is Old Glory Dear God - Long may I wave"

You may read the entire obituary at
Thank you.
Maryse Osborn

To Michigan Marine mom Lori,
I read your letter and it reminded me of myself. I also raised 2 sons on my own,the oldest becoming a Marine in 2001. I remember thinking nothing could be worse than the 13 weeks of basic. Well,last year brought deployment to Iraq,he made it thru and so did I. They become men and we become stronger than we ever thought possible. My son has taught me a whole new meaning to sucking it up and dealing with it. You are right there are a whole lot of people who support our military. I for one, am not at a loss to point out to anyone how important they are to us.Hang tough,that little boy in your man will always need you.

Sharon Coakley,Very proud Marine Mom
God bless our troops who serve to protect us.
For who they are and will become,
we will have been touched by knowing just one.

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.

Hello Sgt,
Our plight with the Marine Corps began on September 13, 2001 when our son walked in and signed up for the Marines and walked away from a full ride scholarship playing basketball. We were proud to an extreme level. We witnessed the MCRD graduation in San Diego, I also attended the SOI graduation, both were heart grabbers for parents. My wife and I spent time with the 81's Platoon at Camp Margarite just prior to their deployment last year and the men were "good to go". They stormed into Baghdad and locked a place in history as the 3/4 yanked the Saddam statue down. Now this group just left Fallujah on their second combat tour again letting the world know that this group of determined, well-trained Marines are there to do a job and believe totally in the cause of rebuilding Iraq and bringing freedom to its people. I was there for the reunion last year at 29 Palms and will be there again this year. It was such a pleasure for me to load up a tub with ice and beer stuffed in the back seat of a rental car and enjoy the first cold one with about 40 Marines. These guys were so humble and appreciative of all the efforts folks made in sending letters and packages to them, although the mail delivery was horrendous. My only wish for the country was that our media would allow us a window on a regular basis into the good things happening in Iraq, the water flows for many who never had it before. Schools with boys and girls attending, food is available in the markets, fuel is more plentiful now. I believe the Iraqi's appreciate our efforts but now they must contend with every deranged insurgent trying to earn his wings into heaven and delaying the peace they so deserve. More importantly for the insurgents, if they travel to an area with Marines, they will be more than happy to help them earn their wings to martyrdom.

Marine Mom & Pops Brandow
our son is L.Cpl Michael Brandow 0341 3/4 Wpns Co

Sgt. Grit,
I found out a few weeks ago that my unit is being deployed June 1st. I have been receiving your newsletter for some time now. I feel that I should share my feelings before I get deployed...just in case.

First course of fire. I was reborn in a hot, humid, INTENSE part of this country that many of us know and love. MCRD PI, 1st RTB, Bravo CO., PLT 1062. The Marine that I must thank the most was a 6 foot something Drill Instructor from Georgia. He wasn't my SDI, but I have never learned so much from a person in my life. Drill Instructor Sgt. Ableman is a legend. I will NEVER forget him for as long as I live. Now mothers of recruits, listen up. When your son or daughter is gone, you will miss them. DO NOT WORRY!!! Your character and strength has been instilled in your child and is obvious in their decision to become a United States Marine. Those words. Every time I hear them, I get a chill down my spine. My eyes begin to water and I remember everything I have done to be called a Marine.

Second. I have something that has been bothering me for a while now. I am a college student. I finished my freshman year at Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania before going to Recruit Training. All that I have heard from people is, "You are going to be an officer...right?" FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WHY DO THEY ALWAYS ASK ME THAT!!! I don't understand why just because I'm in college I have to be an officer. It seems that they think you are only successful if you are an officer. If you have a degree, you should be an officer. If that were true, and all educated Marines were forced to be officers, what would happen to our NCO and SNCO ranks? No, I am not going to be an officer. I don't want to be called "Sir", I will hopefully be called Sergeant Major some day.(GOD WILLING)

Third is what I use as SOP for dealing with some. You see, the people in this country are not that difficult to deal with. The saying, "Don't argue with an idiot, he'll only drag you down to his level and beat you with experience." is very true. Listen to what they have to say. Let them finish. Don't bother interrupting them. They see that and they know they are getting to you. Use your intestinal fortitude and discipline. When they are done, OPEN FIRE. Full frontal assault. If they try to interrupt, ignore them. Once your done, say good bye. Have a nice day. I use it all the time, especially in college. You know how professors are. They hate having a "jarhead" in their world politics class. They can kiss my MFA!!!

Thanks a lot Sgt. Grit. Had to get a few things off my mind. LCpl. Joliet MP CO. B SHOCK TROOP, DEVIL DOG, BLOOD SUCKING WAR MACHINE, BORN TO FIGHT, TRAINED TO KILL, READY TO DIE, BUT NEVER WILL!!!

"The world has no room for cowards. We must all be ready somehow to toil, to suffer, to die. And yours is not the less noble because no drum beats before you when you go out into your daily battlefields, and no crowds shout about your coming when you return from your daily victory or defeat."
--Robert Lewis Stevenson

I live just north of Bethesda Naval Hospital. My boy scout troop is willing to visit wounded Marines (and anyone else there) if we have info about someone who needs a visit. I have already contacted the Marine Detachment at the Hospital and they want people to visit specific patients. If anyone knows someone who could use a visit, please let me know.

K Dolan

"When even one American--who has done nothing wrong--is forced by fear to shut his mind and close his mouth, then all Americans are in peril." -
--Harry S. Truman

"It is a common observation here that our cause is the cause of all mankind, and that we are fighting for their liberty in defending our own."
--Benjamin Franklin

"And now today we find ourselves involved in another struggle... It is the oldest struggle of human kind, as old as man himself. This is a simple struggle between those of us who believe that man has the dignity and sacred right and the ability to choose and shape his own destiny and those who do not so believe. This irreconcilable conflict is between those who believe in the sanctity of individual freedom and those who believe in the supremacy of the state."
--Ronald Reagan

Dear God,
What I wouldn't give to have my eyes back. Be able to put on a set of utilities, and go serve this wonderful unappreciative country of ours. You Marines on active duty really should thank God for what you have.
Semper Fi
Gene Ballew

Semper Fi
As a 'not as lean, but still a Marine' I want to tell all Marines - when one of ours is hurt we all hurt. When one of dies, a part of all of us dies. When one of us kick some @ss we all smile. I'm hurt by the loss of life and limb our troopers must bear, but - we are engaged in a war we must not lose nor give up on. I am disgusted by the actions of a few of some members of our armed forces, but how in God's name can Rumsfeld want to offer payments to the Iraqi's who were 'humiliated' while in custody? - BFDWar is war, it isn't pretty and once you experience it, you can be desensitized to the values of human life. It's tough, but that's what war is. Has any other country who's taken our citizens as prisoners paid them for acts against them? No freakin way. It is absurd to even consider it. It is insulting.

I am proud to be an American. I am equally proud to be a US Marine. I value what all of you are doing today, will do tomorrow and have done in the past. To all - SEMPER FI.

Tim - Sergeant of Marines

U.S. Anglels is putting together a calendar for 2005 featuring "babes & bikes" with proceeds going to benefit the Fisher House on the Walter Reed Military Hospital campus.

The 2004 International Reunion of the Chosin Few will be held in Nashville, TN from Tuesday 17 August until Sunday 22 August, 2004. The reunion will be held at the Sheraton Nashville Hotel. For further information contact Jack Nolan at 903-595-0556.
Gunny Gigg

Sgt. Grit, On May 26, 20004 I buried my mother in Peoria, Illinois. At the visitation a large Marine Corps emblem was pinned over her heart. My father served in the Pacific in WWII and was recalled to Korea. My uncle spent 26 Years as a Marine and another uncle served during Korea. My mother lived through the anxiety of myself and my brother serving as Marines in Vietnam.

Of course, my only son served in the Corps as did my only nephew. I can't help but think that there was a large amount of "Marine" buried with her that day. God bless all you mothers because only you know how to live through the pain and fear that must plague you as your sons, daughters, and close family serve this beloved country.
Semper Fi! SSGT Brian Beachler USMC (Ret)

Title: Justice Thomas' father-in-law won't remove flag from balcony Written by: Eric Olson (Associated Press)

Omaha, Neb. - Every morning since 9/11, Donald Lamp has hung his American flag from his apartment balcony. Managers of his retirement community want it gone, citing policy on building appearances. The case make Lamp one of many Americans who, because of "housing covenants", are discouraged from flying their flags this Memorial Day weekend. Lamp is holding his ground on flying the flag. "I'm not about to take it down," the 89-year-old WWII veteran said. Cathy Mcgrath, the community's general manager, said Lamp's stature makes no difference to her. "We have a lot of important people here," she said. "The board didn't want this very expensive property to end up looking like a frat house." -End of article-

I am totally outraged. This man is a WWII veteran and risked his life for our country only for his rights to be taken away by some ignorant people who think an American flag makes a house or apartment look like a frat house. This is bs. If that's so then there are millions of people across the United States of America who are promoting frat houses. This community needs to wake up and realize what all these veterans and current military personnel have done for us and continue doing for us today. God Bless our Troops young and old. Continue flying your countries flag proudly!
Poolee Erin Kessler
Cleveland, OH RSS Metro


In March 2004, a group of US police snipers decided to form a support network to address the needs of US military snipers deployed abroad in the war on terror.

The mission profile of police and military snipers have been found to overlap in the war on terror and the gear and supplies needed to accomplish the missions are very similar.

Unfortunately, many American snipers are having to spend their own money and have their families try and procure gear and get it to them in the middle of a war zone. This is due to the enormity of the US commitment in Iraq and Afghanistan and often times these servicemen go without things they need.

Being aware of this and using contacts developed throughout the US police and military communities, the police snipers were able to network with military snipers deployed abroad, obtain their overseas addresses and began sending desperately needed gear and supplies that are specifically tailored to the sniper mission, currently at the forefront of the war on terror.

The entire program is funded by civic donations and staffed by working police officers. Every penny and all gear donated will go to a United States military sniper deployed abroad. Receipts for monies and gear will be sent upon request.

Anyone wishing to assist the program with monetary donations are encouraged to send donations to Gear and merchandise donations should be referred to the police detective below.

For further information, please contact Detective Brian K. Sain of the Port Arthur, Texas Police Department at one of the following:

409-983-8663 police dispatch
409-983-8613 chief of police
409-983-8643 work
409-726-4037 pager

I recently celebrated my 40th birthday. This past February would have been my 20th year in the Corps if I would have stayed in. Now more than ever with the situation in the Middle East, I wish there was a way that I could contribute by emptying a magazine or two on some poor bastard. To all the hard charging Devil Dogs in the Middle East, my hats off to you my brothers. There are people over here thinking of you everyday. And if you're in Iraq right reading this, empty a magazine for this former 0311 from Lima 3/7. OOHRAH!

P.S. To the former USMC Chaplain that questioned God's Blessing to the Marines, just remember the old saying, "Heaven doesn't want us, and h*lls afraid we'll take over". See ya in h*ll Chesty!!!! OOHRAH! Frank Braun, USMC, 1984-1988

Sgt. Grit---
Hi!! My husband is LCpl Blanton, he is with the 2nd Marines, 2nd marine division---stationed at Camp LeJeune, NC. He is currently in Fallujah, Iraq and has been since March 3rd, 2004. We were expecting a baby girl on April 16th and he still had to leave---but we both understood that was his job and he had to do it. Our baby girl will be 2 months old on June 8th---he has never seen her! We are both struggling with it, but we both know that everything will be fine. We keep the faith that God will bring him home in October of this year so that he can see his beautiful baby girl for the first time!!! Everyone makes comments like " I don't see how you do it", and " How do you deal with him not being here?"--- All I can say is GOD- - - GOD pulls me through it and GOD takes care of the three of us!!!! We stay strong for our baby girl, because she is only going to be as strong as we are!! Thanks for listening and remember the Blanton family in your prayers---PLEASE!!!
Jennifer Blanton
Hometown: Spartanburg, SC Active duty Station: Camp LeJeune, NC

"I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country."
--Nathan Hale

"Beyond those monuments to heroism is the Potomac River, and on the far shore the sloping hills of Arlington National Cemetery with its row on row of simple white markers bearing crosses or Stars of David. They add up to only a tiny fraction of the price that has been paid for our freedom.... Their lives ended in places called Belleau Wood, The Argonne, Omaha Beach, Salerno and halfway around the world on Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Pork Chop Hill, the Chosin Reservoir, and in a hundred rice paddies and jungles of a place called Vietnam. Under one such marker lies a young man -- Martin Treptow -- who left his job in a small-town barbershop in 1917 to go to France with the famed Rainbow Division. There, on the western front, he was killed trying to carry a message between battalions under heavy artillery fire. We are told that on his body was found a diary. On the flyleaf under the heading, 'My Pledge,' he had written these words: 'America must win this war. Therefore, I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, I will endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on me alone'."
--Ronald Reagan

"It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived."
--Gen. George S. Patton

Sgt. Grit, this is in response to the posting from Archbishop (formerly Captain, USMC) Holy Transfiguration Skete on your May 27 Newsletter.

Dear Sir, as a Marine ('59-'65) and a Christian I felt compelled to respond to your posting on the Sgt. Grit Newsletter May 27th concerning God not blessing the Marines. You referred to an often misinterpreted scripture (Exodus 20:13). The reason for the misunderstanding is that the Hebrew meaning of the word translated as "kill" actually means "murder" or "to slay someone in a violent manner unjustly." So, in the Ten Commandments God is saying, "Thou shalt not murder." Unjust premeditated killing with the wrong motives of hatred, vengeance, greed, jealousy, etc. is murder. Killing in self defense to protect oneself and/or in the defense of others is not murder nor is executing condemned killers. The very founders of this nation were known to carry a Bible in one hand and a musket in the other in order to defend the freedom they sought here. The freedom to worship God was one of those freedoms they fought for and died for. God bless all our service men and women who are serving our country and may He reveal Himself to all those who do not have a personal relationship with Him.

G. Stone, CPL, USMC 1959-1965
HQ Battery, 1st Battalion, 11th Marines, 1st MarDiv

"My policy has been, and will continue to be, while I have the honor to remain in the administration of the government, to be upon friendly terms with, but independent of, all the nations of the earth."
--George Washington

If you're going to quote the Bible at least quote it correctly! The meaning of the word "kill" in that commandment is "murder". God, in fact, blesses those who stand up for the weak. By your reasoning there are no Christian warriors and that means that the Roman Centurion couldn't possibly have been blessed by my Lord.
Jerry Lape, former S/Sgt. of Marines.

My oldest brother, Cpl. William N. Britton, was KIA 7 March 68 at Hoi An. Bill was assigned to II CAG III MAF DELTA 4. He wrote home to say being part of the Combined Action Program was the second most important decision of his life. Being a MARINE was NUMBER ONE. Would like to hear from any one from his basic training. San Diego MCRD, First Battalion, Platoon 111 commenced training 16 January 1966 graduated 14 March 1966.
Steven Britton

Quite a few years ago when my daughter was attending Summer Vacation Bible School, the kids made a plaque that read, "God could not be everywhere, so he made Moms." Maybe there should be one which says "Moms can't be everywhere so he made Marines."
Sgt. Joe's Mom

To unworthy + sergius (Formerly Capt, USMC),

I don't want anyone to get offended, but God, in the old testament, kills or has people kill other people more than you can count. Thou shalt not kill is a wonderful phrase but one that has to be taken in the context of reality. I'm sure that Archbishop worthy and the other St John's people that live in the snow are probably good and pious. If they live in peace and piety and religious contemplation, it is because someone killed someone so that they could be free to do their own thing. For someone to say that God would not bless the Marines, or any other service person who had to kill in the service of their country, is not correct.

I was going to go on, ramble a bit about religion and how it has been at the center of wars and death for thousands of years, but my oldest daughter called in the middle of my doing this. She let me talk to my granddaughter who is 2 ½. As I talked to her and heard her laugh and sing me a song on the phone, I knew why I had killed people in war. It was so that she could laugh and sing and be a happy child. And I know that she will grow up in a land where her children will be happy and will laugh and sing. Perhaps she or her children will have to go to war to ensure that the next generation is free to live and be happy. It is as God my ordain. And if He requires them to kill, then it is as it shall be.

God, if you're listening, don't pay any attention to unworthy + sergius, go ahead and bless the Marines. They deserve it, perhaps more than unworthy does.
Steve Eslin
Pvt to 1st Lt, 1966-1978

ps: unworthy, I wanted you to know that my granddaughter signed off our phone conversation by saying "Bless you Grand Dad". You're blessings come up a little short after that.





This chap needs to get educated. The correct translation of the Commandment, is "Thou shalt not murder" i.e., an unjustified killing. Taking this former Marine at face value, I think he needs to get off his knees and think about his statement. Whether God blesses anyone is pretty much a moot question.

When a friend and I were being interviewed at a Chosin Few convention, the reporter suggested that we must've been praying to God the night the Chinese attacked. My friend replied, "That night I thought God was a Chinaman." I agreed. It's all a matter of perspective.

My wishes and prayers go out to all my Marines wherever they are. I worry not whether God hears me or not. My heart aches at every casualty report, and memories of long ago come to the fore. Be we blessed or d-mned none of us will know until we're gone. A clean heart and mind, and I may be d-mned but I will NEVER apologize, to God or man, for killing my country's enemies.

Semper Fi,
Ray Walker
USMC 48/53

Sgt. Grit: Nice "page", great stories. Concerning "Old Corps vs New Corps"...I joined for four in 1960 and was told that unless your arms were a sword and shield, you were in the New Corps! Semper Fi and God Bless our troops. Too h*ll with the press.
Richard 60/66

Dear "Sgt Grit",
Just wanted to thank your all your and effort and time you have to given us. This past weekend has brought back memory's and tears--- but time marches on. Again, thank you!
Jack Bateman Sgt., United States Marine Corps 1961-1968 Semper Fidelis.

Hi Sgt. I'm an avid reader of your online site and have ordered a lot of stuff..I recommend your site to a lot of Marine stalkers who envy my Marine clothing. ( LOL ) Also I'm a 4 year MMO member.. I recently saw on the news a story about a local contractor who is looking donations of money, building supplies and even lots of land all across the country, to build homes for our disabled military that are coming home now... He's currently building a home for a Sgt Damon who lost both arms in Iraq in Brockton Mass... He was on NBC news last nite with Sgt Damon... I've volunteered to help with fund raising, That's the least I can do to help these guys who've made such sacrifices.. My son finished his Marine enlistment 1/2002 ( he served in 2 war zones ) and is currently on active duty with the Air Force. at Otis on Cape Cod.. He's had to use the Veterans Hospital locally and God help these guys that are coming home,, They better fix these places real soon..We'll have to work on those places too !!! LOL.. The builders name is John Gonsalves I just spoke to him and he tells me the DOD even put his site on their web page.. So I think the wheels are starting to spin in this MUCH needed project.. So if you could check out his site and could maybe put some thought into how your site could get the word out about this wonderful project it would be so much appreciated.. I know the public is so appreciative of our military, its the war a lot don't agree about and many would give....Thanks again.,,
Janet Romsey in Mass....
PMM if Lcpl Ryan Romsey
"Semper FI" "God Bless Our Troops" ... "
Home of the Free, because of the Brave !!!"

"There is a true glory and a true honor; the glory of duty done -- the honor of the integrity of principle."
--Robert E. Lee

Sgt Grit,
This is the first time I have taken the opportunity to reply to one of your news letters, as such please know that I have just read the long list of the names of the young Marines and Sailors who have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have to tell you not only am I saddened, but also my eyes are filled with tears.

If I may, and By Your Leave, a brief letter to their Loved Ones.

While grieve you must for a while, know that every Marine, everywhere grieves with you in this time of your loss. Thirty years have past since my war and with this new encounter it seems like yesterday when I would read the names of those that I knew, who had lost their lives and made the ultimate sacrifice.

Still now as then, we pay homage to those young brave men, our children. Resent not those who go in protest this war, for it is that among other reasons why you're Sons have died. Pray only that God that He grant them the wisdom to find it within themselves to fall on their knees and pray for your Sons who have given up their lives so they can act out their lack of courage and demonstrate their ignorance for they know not what they do.

Go to bed tonight and give thanks to God All Mighty our Lord and pray in Jesus name - Thank you for my Son - I pray you keep him safe for no more will he suffer - for now he guards Heavens gates, and there he awaits my arrival.

Some tells me that nearly all of the young men I went thru Boot Camp with are gone. This I would hope is not true. If you were in Platoon 339 Parris Island March 28, 1968 to mid May 1968 Sr. D.I. M. Crawford, please let me hear from you.

Cpl. Charles H. Schneider
Semper Fi.

"It is inevitable, that eventually the people will demand absolute security from the state... And absolute security is absolute slavery."
--Taylor Caldwell

I would just like to add another one of our fallen brother's to this list. Sgt Denton, Hotel Co. 2/8. He was killed during Operations Provide Comfort and Hope in March of 1991. Our unit was part of the original contingency force in Northern Iraq after the Persian Gulf War to help aid the Kurdish refugees that were forced out of their homes by Saddam Hussein and were living in the mountains..

Most of us new Sgt Denton as "Chesty". Yes, a pretty big nickname to live up to. This Marine was as true as can be, and was also a "lifer"
Semper Fi

"They will remain forever young; and we will remember them with the rising and the setting of every sun"
GySgt. T. Karczewski (USMCR, Ret'd.)

On May 30, 2004, the original date of Memorial Day, former Private Raymond Michael "Mike" Clausen, USMC departed this temporary earthly life of trials and tribulations on a trip into an eternal life of heavenly happiness. It is indeed fitting for this True American Patriot and Veteran's Veteran to pass from this life on Memorial Day, a day set aside to honor the many veterans who have paid the supreme sacrifice for our freedom. Mike, a Medal of Honor recipient, was a personal friend and I looked up to him, viewing him as "A Marine's Marine". Mike's war has finally come to an end; and, he has joined his fellow veterans. I miss him greatly.

Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful, especially to My Friends)
Yo Ole' Bro Loyde P. "Snake" Arender Monroe, Louisiana

just to let you know, your fellow Marine, Sgt. Elmer Raymond Carr passed away on May 29, 2004.. sincerely, his loving wife, judy

Sgt Grit, I just read though the names of gallant Marines and Sailors, who gave their lives in Iraq. It is very sobering, to say the least. Thank you for honoring them, with this Memorial Day Special edition. Just prior to reading this list. I, along with 3 other members of Umpqua Valley Detachment #1089, Marine Corps League, Roseburg, Oregon, had the privilege of presenting the colors at the Roseburg National Cemetery. All of the military service organization in the area played a significant role in the ceremony. I was especially please with the VFW's special armed salute with M-1 rifles. Seven veterans fired three folly each. A very fitting tribute.

The keynote speaker, Jody Davis, a Marine Sgt. and veteran of Iraqi Freedom, was unable to attend (stuck in traffic on the I-5 Freeway), so the activities coordinator, Jim Hewitt, a Marine Veteran who is theVeteran's Administration Veterans Service Representative for the Umpqua Valley MCL Detachment, volunteered to stand in. Although he said, 'he couldn't start to fill Jody's shoes', he went on to do a very good job. (Adapt and Improvise). Jim started with his great,gr---,gr---,gr---grandfather contibution,to America. His great-grandfather deserted the British Army and went over to fight with the Colonials, under George Washington. He had family that fought with the Union, in the Civil War, and in the 1st World War. His father and uncles fought in different theaters of WWII, and up through the Korean War. I just wish I could truly express, the contribution his family has made to making America free. His family's sacrifice, need not take a back seat to any one.

And his heritage, is what makes him strive to make America, a better place for veteran. It is a privilege to serve as his deputy VAVS Representative.

Tom Fedder
Junior Vice Commandant, Umpqua Valley Detachment # 1089 Department of Oregon, Marine Corps League

The Wedding in Question

- Weddings traditionally held on Thursdays in Iraq to take advantage of Friday as a day of rest - raid took place on Tuesday night.

- Dwelling at the site held large stocks of food, bedding, medical supplies (lots of these - was the wedding going to hold a cage match or were the caterers just bad cooks?), ammunition and weapons, as well as an apparent document forging set up. Meat was still frozen solid

- Not prepared for a wedding feast and there were no stocks of dishes, plates, etc.

- Contrary to media reports, no "Nuptial Tent" was found and a 1KM area around the site was searched - any further away would be just too far for the catering staff to walk carrying all those huge platters of food.

- No evidence of any means of support for the house (like sheep farming which is most common in that area). All evidence pointed to a smuggler way station - fit perfectly the description of several other found in the past.

- "Wedding guests" (deceased of course) were almost all men of military age, only a couple of women, no elders at all and only one child (wounded) noted. All dressed as city dwellers, not Bedouins who would hold a wedding at such a location. All of the deceased were sterilized, as in none had any form of ID on them at all. Only ID's found were in a nice neat stack inside the house - and then quite a few less of those than there were people at the site.

- Weapons were varied and included RPG's, there were also military binoculars (when they separate the men and women they have to look at each other with bino's I guess), and IED making material (party favors?).

- Lots of clothing prepackaged in pants and shirt sets.

- There were also no gifts, no decorations, no food set out or left over, and the good bit of money recovered was all in the pockets of the "guests" (maybe they were just cheap guests).

I strongly suspect that after their Foreign Fighter way station got whacked, they tried to set it up to look like what happened in Afghanistan when a wedding was actually hit due to celebratory firing being taken for ground fire by orbiting aircraft. I also would not put it past the scum bags to sweep a local village for appropriately aged "guests" to kill and display for the TV cameras. Our BDA assessment was made by people on the site just after the schwacking and they took their time to count and exploit the site. This is just speculation on my part.

Bottom line assessment: Good hit - no wedding. These were foreign fighters that had just crossed into Iraq and got an early trip to paradise and the martyrdom hall of fame.

LtCol Bill Mullen, USMC
Executive Assistant
J-3, Deputy Director for Regional Operations
2D921, The Pentagon

Sgt. Grit;
These "Marines" are so young and have given a gift so precious to all of us. They lay down their lives for us. They lay down for thousands of people they did not know, people that deserved to be free, they gave the ultimate sacrifice, their lives! These young men and women "Died" protecting me and my own from evil doers who want to hurt me yet don't even know me! Right now I would give my own life to bring each and every one of them back to their families, back to the lives they knew before this horrible event!

To each and every Military person out there.... We Thank you from the bottom of our hearts and will never forget you!!
God bless you all!!!

Sgt. Grit,
I can't thank you enough for this e-mail, My Fiancée was Cpl. David Vicente, KIA in Iraq March 19. It's just nice to know that neither David or any of the other Marines and Sailors are forgotten, especially on this day.

Alexandria Jacobs
Proud Fiancée of Cpl. David M. Vicente

As I read the names of these Marines tears run down my face, can't help it. So many, from my old unit 1st.Bn. 2nd Mar. ( Desert Storm ) Lord, please bless the Marines today , tomorrow and always and may we never forget our fallen brothers, Semper Fi!

Sgt Grit Thank you for displaying the names of our fallen MARINES I read every name and gave them my respects, they are gone but not forgotten... Semper fi my Brothers and may God be with you...
Denny Leathernecks MC Michigan

I remember growing up and seeing flags on almost every house. That has all changed now ! Now Memorial Day is a time of picinics,swimming, and going to parks. We have forgotten the true meaning. It is the time of respect; and to reflect,remember,and honor those who gave their lives in service of their country for our freedom so we can do these things. It is reported that 28% of the people in America do not know why we have Memorial Day. If you would listen to the Billy Ray Cyrus song "Some Gave All" you would know the true meaning. So next Memorial Day lets us remember the true meaning of Memorial Day. Also lets us not forget Veterans Day.

Jay A. West
GySgt USMC (Ret)

Sgt. Grit.
Pease send this out to your mailing list. Mike was a good friend and did so much for Vietnam Veterans with PTSD here in Louisiana. He lived 15 minuets from me and helped myself and hundreds of other Veterans understand how to deal with the VA for our benefits.
We will miss him dearly.
Gordon Bos~ Boswell
USMC, RVN 69-71

Dear Sgt. Grit,
Thanks for remembering my buddy in the list below. SSGT AARON DEAN WHITE was like a brother to me. He left behind a wife and a child. In fact he died on his little girls first birthday. Memorial Day has always been an honorable holiday for me, but now it means even more because I know one of the men that gave the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.
Shawn T. Smith LCPL USMC 94-96

Rest in Peace MARINES.
Secure the gates of Heaven...I'll relieve you after I spend my time in H*ll!! We FEW. We Happy FEW. We Band of Brothers. For HE today that sheds his blood with me, shall be my BROTHER. Semper Fi Brothers.
1/8 2nd Mar Div

Hey Sgt. Grit, and all my Brothers (old and new) reading this, Happy Memorial Day. I have written to the newsletter before, stating my anger on the situation in Iraq. I'm the Motor-T Lcpl, from 6th Comm Bn. Well, I come before you now, brothers, on what "should" be one of our country's most Important Days, Memorial Day, to say Thanks to all Fellow Veterans and Thanks to all the Civilians that support us. From the bottom of my heart, I have so much respect for all of you. But now my Attention Falls on those Select few that Dishonor our Forefathers, and Fallen Brothers, past and present. These so called "Men of honor" that bring shame to my Country, and Kill it from the inside, these poisonous politicians that release their venom into America, by giving the media more ammo against us. You should be ashamed of yourselves, and when the time comes, and you stand before the Lord, May The Heroes of Our Past, "VETO THE BILL" that let's you in. May they Slander your name, as you have one done to them. And may You Suffer the same fate they once had to and serve your time in "h*ll". There is nothing more that I wish for, but for all that I said to happen, but it won't, Because the Heroes and Warriors of our past, are a Better Race of Man, They are what this Country Should Model itself after, and they are what America's Youth should look up too, not over-paid Athletes and Pop-Stars.

Well, I'm done ranting, thanks for listening brothers, Semper fi, and God Bless!!!
LCPL.Bueti 6th Comm Bn. 3531(Motor T Op) OIF Vet

Dear Sgt. Grit:
I love your website. (My user name is Georgia) I have just been in touch with the woman who created the website - I think she is doing a wonderful thing and, even though I served the Corps in peacetime and after Vietnam, I still feel a tug at the heart when I think about what happened over there and what happened when our people came home.

I thought about you and hoped you might be willing to let her post some information on your website about her website and what she is doing. She recently went to Vietnam and discovered American dog tags are being kept by the Vietnamese as souvenirs. She went all over Vietnam and, I think, Thailand, buying all the dog tags she could find. She has more than 1,000, I think.

She has created this website and lists the tags by their owner's names alphabetically. She is trying to reunite the tags with their veteran. I think it is a nice thing to do. At any rate, hopefully she will email you soon. I was hoping you might be willing to let her post some information about her website to help get the word out. I love your site and wish you much continued success.
SEMPER FI! Sincerely, Carol McLeod

Sgt. Grit
I am looking for someone who might have some information to flesh out what I think I don't know.

Several weeks ago as our marines were about to administer peace to Falujah the powers that be loudly proclaimed that it would continue to be administered until the killers of the Americans whose bodies were hung from a bridge were turned over for trial and the militia gave up their heavy weapons. Then I read in the local paper that someone in the state department demanded to know "what the h*ll the Marines were doing?"

I'm quite certain the marines know what they were doing. Does our government's left hand know what it's right hand is up to?

Can anybody shed any light on the situation where no one has been turned over and no heavy weapons surrendered and yet they called of the Devil Dogs of War?

Bob Jennings
B-1-5 Korea and for a skoshe time the DMZ Co.

Simper Fi Sgt.Grit.GOD BLESS AMERICA FIRST & ALWAYS Being a Jarhead myself a Combat Veteran,Viet Nam 66 I Salute this Marine Sgt,Howard C. Wright I to have that taste in my mouth.The Freedom to set here and Stand behind a Fellow Marine.With Tears in my eyes.Yes this 270 lb Marine has a tear in my eyes they've been coming ever since my return from Nam in 66.I thank God I can do this. If not I would be so angry I know I would Hurt Someone.I pray these Troops Don't have to go throw all the Hatred we did People like Jane Fonda .Pi-- on her and all she stands for.Us Americans up here in Maine are at every Plane that comes Home from over there. We Great the Troops(WELCOME HOME) to everyone of them.WE never got one. Sgt.Wright You are a Marines Marine And this Marine If needed will be behind you over there or ON our own Beaches.I pray to God & every American had better Pray with me if not you had better find that Veteran that lives beside of you that's underpaid,overworked,and ask for his help when the sh-- hits the fan (ON OUR OWN BEACHES) ENOUGH SAID CARRYON AMERICA.
A Marine in BENTON, MAINE John S.

On May 25, 2004 at 6:39pm -0400, "Thomas A. Holloran" wrote:
On Sunday, MCL Northshore Queens Detachment #240 Commandant, Barney Cohen, led a detail out to Shea Stadium at 1100 hours to help Marines from the Brooklyn Reserve unit and the Marine Corps League collect goods and donations to help send packages to our Marines deployed in hostile zones around the world. More than two full truck loads of goods were collected from the fans, as well as, over six thousand dollars in cash donations for the package program. Oh-rah and Well Done, Barney & company! Kudos are also in order for Detachment PM, Ira Goldberg and Bugler, David Hill. Let's all try to keep those