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 #84

"No arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women."
- Ronald Reagan

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Sgt Grit

Christmas is just around the corner. Do your shopping now. Now as in now, today. Early is an outstanding concept this time of year. To help you I have put the following offer together:

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Place an order now through Nov. 28th with a subtotal
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Happy Thanksgiving Marine
Go to the Catalog

New Stuff!

Marine Corps Christmas Cards - Now in 10 packs!

New Iron USMC Bed - Headboard and Frame

"Fallujuh Firefight" link included.
Many pictures and stories have been added to the Iraqi BS page.
Take a look.

This is one story of many that people normally don't hear, and one that everyone does.

! This is just one most don't hear: A young Marine and his cover man cautiously enter a room just recently filled with insurgents armed with Ak-47's and RPG's. There are three dead, another wailing in pain. The insurgent can be heard saying, "Mister, mister! Diktoor, diktoor(doctor)!" He is badly wounded, lying in a pool of his own blood. The Marine and his cover man slowly walk toward the injured man, scanning to make sure no enemies come from behind. In a split second, the pressure in the room greatly exceeds that of the outside, and the concussion seems to be felt before the blast is heard. Marines outside rush to the room, and look in horror as the dust gradually settles. The result is a room filled with the barely recognizable remains of the deceased, caused by an insurgent setting off several pounds of explosives. The Marines' remains are gathered by teary eyed comrades, brothers in arms, and shipped home in a box. The families can only mourn over a casket and! a picture of their loved one, a life cut short by someone who hid behind a white flag. But no one hears these stories, except those who have lived to carry remains of a friend, and the families who loved the dead. No one hears this, so no one cares.

This is the story everyone hears:
A young Marine and his fire team cautiously enter a room just recently filled with insurgents armed with AK-47's and RPG's. There are three dead, another wailing in pain. The insurgent can be heard saying, "Mister, mister! Diktoor, diktoor(doctor)!" He is badly wounded. Suddenly, he pulls from under his bloody clothes a grenade, without the pin. The explosion rocks the room, killing one Marine, wounding the others. The young Marine catches shrapnel in the face. The next day, same Marine, same type of situation, a different story. The young Marine and his cover man enter a room with two wounded insurgents. One lies on the floor in puddle of blood, another against the wall. A reporter and his camera survey the wreckage inside, and in the background can be heard the voice of a Marine, "He's moving, he's moving!" The pop of a rifle is heard, and the insurgent against the wall is now dead.

Minutes, hours later, the scene is aired on national television, and the Marine is being held for committing a war crime. Unlawful killing.

And now, another Marine has the possibility of being burned at the stake for protecting the life of his brethren. His family now wrings their hands in grief, tears streaming down their face. Brother, should I have been in your boots, I too would have done the same.

For those of you who don't know, we Marines, Band of Brothers, Jarheads, Leathernecks, etc., do not fight because we think it is right, or think it is wrong. We are here for the man to our left, and the man to our right. We choose to give our lives so that the man or woman next to us can go home and see their husbands, wives, children, friends! and families.

For those of you who sit on your couches in front of your television, and choose to condemn this man's actions, I have but one thing to say to you. Get out of you recliner, lace up my boots, pick up a rifle, leave your family behind and join me. See what I've seen, walk where I have walked. To those of you who support us, my sincerest gratitude. You keep us alive.

I am a Marine currently doing his second tour in Iraq. These are my opinions and mine alone. They do not represent those of the Marine Corps or of the US military, or any other.

LCPL Schmidt

Petition supporting the Marine in question

Sgt Grit, As a member of the class of 12/24/57 (Platoon 3009) at MCRD, San Diego, I have often felt that the USMCR was the second best decision I made in my now lengthening life. The best decision I ever made was to ask my wife of 45 years, Carne, to become my life's partner. As has been my custom ever since about the tenth year of our marriage, I have always given her cash for her personal Christmas present. (I know this is not considered "romantic" or "personal", but it seems to have worked for us.) A few days ago she approached me with a request. She asked that instead of giving her the usual cash this Christmas, would I please send it to someone who takes care of needy Marine families. She brought a tear or two to these aging dimming eyes with her generous thoughts of sharing her good fortune with my current active duty Marine brothers. My purpose in telling you this is to see if you can recommend a worthy USMC organization whose purpose is to help current active duty Marines and their families. I have not mentioned this to her yet, but I plan on matching her usual gift because I have realized for years that whatever success this nine year retiree had in a business career is owed to a substantial degree to those lessons learned in five years as a Marine in the USMCR. Robert R Wallace (a/k/a Robert Wallace Cieszynski in those days), 1659227, LCpl

See Our Help Page

To Mike and Glenda Jackson.......
Thank you for your outrage regarding the woman at The Wall but let me make a suggestion to you. It is not likely that you will ever track her down and, even if you could, her opinions have probably been deeply rooted into her brain by now. There is little or nothing you can do about folks like her, so don't waste your breath. A much better use of your time and effort would be to work with your local veterans organizations to get into our schools to tell our young people the truth. Talk to local Boy and Girl Scouts, get people out to patriotic celebrations. When you do talk to these youngsters, do NOT (as in one Boy Scout session I attended just this past week) spend the entire time talking about our "rights" as citizens. Our children also need to know about their responsibilities as citizens. We spend too darn much time on "rights" and "entitlements". In the meeting I attended, I finally got tired to hearing about "rights" and, when the speaker started on "the right to vote", I had to step in and say............It's not just a right, it's a responsibility - just one of many responsibilities you have or will have as free Americans. Don't spend all your time counting up your rights. Learn your responsibilities, too.

To his credit, the speaker acknowledged his one-sided approach and said he would come back to spend another hour on responsibilities.

Dr. Peter W. Schlesiona, CFE

I thought this was appropriate on the eve of the Marine Corps Birthday and Veteran's Day.

I have written you before about our daughter who is currently serving - she is a 3rd generation Marine - dad Vietnam era and both grandfathers serving during WWII (one on Iwo Jima and one on Guadalcanal and Bouganville). She entered boot camp on 9/17/01 and graduated 12/07/01. (She was supposed to leave for boot camp on 9/11/01 - but that got delayed) Anyway, our daughter (LCpl Sarah Wilder) is currently deployed to Iraq. (I read that women make up 9% of active duty military personnel deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan) She arrived in-country on August 23 and is scheduled for a 7-month deployment (we can only hope). Please keep her and the MP Bn. in your prayers - they are driving and providing security for convoys and things are getting a little dicey over there right now. It's really hard for me to read the newspaper or listen to news broadcasts since we are only hearing the worst of the news (after all, that's what sells newspapers) from over there. It is much more comforting to read some of the first-hand letters of active duty Marines that you print in the newsletter. Thank you - we get a much more balanced idea of the true conditions in the country. When she gets back she is planning to cross to the Navy (I hear you!) since she wants to become a corpsman. She has always had ambitions to become a doctor and going into the military was a way to earn money for college. At any rate, her plans are to get her college education while she is serving as a corpsman then apply to medical school and make a military career as a doc. I'm glad she has ambitions and plans. She does credit her experience in the Marine Corps with giving her a positive goal and thinks she is one of the few of her classmates that is doing something positive with her life. There are 4 from her high school graduating class in the Corps right now. She and one other fellow are in Iraq right now - she ran into him on one of her runs to another base.

Thank you all for your prayers for those in harm's way right now.
Proud MOM and family of LCpl. Wilder

From the proud father of a Marine. My son just graduated from boot on 9/17/04. He began his journey on father's day,and was home on leave for 10 days in time to be with me for my birthday. Since going through MCT and reporting to Dam Neck for school he has let me know he will be home assisting recruiters for part of December and into January. This will not be taken for granted. I expect in years to come there will be long periods of time without face to face communication. My son (18) has desired nothing else but to be a Marine since he was in Jr High. I commend all young service people for their courage to enlist in such troubling times. I will think of the proud parents of soldiers who will be unable to share the holidays with their sons and daughters this year. My son is part of a much larger family now. I pray for each and every member.

Marine proud Parent

hi my name is Lcpl.m.sepulveda i was proud too have served in the united states marine corps and due an injury i sustained while serving on active duty i was discharged, I got out before the first gulf war broke out but my other fellow marines had too go. but i would like too thank all the marines that are in Iraq may god be with all of you and god bless you, and may you all come back home safe.

semper fi 1st marine airwing 86-88 ooh-rah

There can be no greater good than the quest for peace, and no finer purpose than the preservation of freedom.
--Ronald Reagan 1985.

Hello Sgt. Grit, The Marine Corps recruiting Association held it's first Reunion and Conference October 20-23 in San Diego, California. Along with scheduled events, three business meetings were conducted for present and future planning. In addition new officers/directors were elected to serve for the period of October '04 until the reunion of '06. Our second Reunion/Conference will he held at a site on the East Coast during October '05. The site and dates will be determined and published in the near future. For information on our association check our website : You may also contact Dan Johnson, 4112 Driscoll Dr., The Colony, Tx. 75056, (972) 625-0720, or by e-mail at . You may also contact me, Jim Simmons, at Rt 1 Box 153C, Milo, Mo. 64767, (417) 944-2632 or by e-mail at

Semper Fidelis and Stay Safe,
Jim Simmons

"The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave."
--Patrick Henry

"It is the soldier, not the reporter,
Who has given us freedom of the press.

"It is the soldier, not the poet,
Who has given us freedom of speech.

"It is the soldier, not the campus organizer,
Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.

"It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, Who serves beneath the flag, And whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protester to burn the flag."

-- Father Dennis Edward O'Brian, USMC
(10 November 1775, a Corps of Marines was created by a resolution of Continental Congress -- Semper Fi!)

"We make war that we may live in peace."

dear Sgt Grit,
At the age of 16 years 9 months my oldest son stated that he was joining the USMC when he was done with high school. I just sort of blow it off because I had plans for him to attend Penn State university and get a college degree. Well after months of going around and around with him, he brought a recruiter home to talk to his mother and me. I put that recruiter through the wringer but agree to let him take the asvb test 2 weeks later I had 2 recruiters and a recruiters assistant at the house and we went through all the mos's available to my son. The only one he could not get into was linguist, and he decided on Intel. (after I ruled out amphibious assault, and eod). Now three years have past he's in Ramadi, Iraq a sergeant of Marines and the comm chief for the area. Yes my little boy has taught me a new meaning to the word PRIDE. As I write this my youngest son is finishing up his 2nd week at the lovely resort of PARIS ISLAND. With a little luck I'll be attending his graduation the end of January. With that in mind you need to come up with a new shirt or hat Marine Dad The Proudest Job In The Corps.
God bless and happy b-day to all Marines
Dave Stellfox proud father of two!

"No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave."
--Calvin Coolidge

Sgt. Grit,
Today, as my 18 year old son left for MCRD San Diego, I reflected back 32 years ago when I left as a 17 year old leaving for MCRD San Diego. I have an enormous amount of pride from knowing what my son will accomplish and the absolute change he will go through. I rec'd a quick email from him as he landed in San Diego from the airport to tell me:

Hey Dad,
I just got here in San Diego and I'm a little nervous but I know I can do this so I just wanted to say that I love you and tell Jessica that I love her very much and Hayden. I will keep in touch and ill be back soon
Recruit Cirilo

How can you not admire his courage and candor. We are all looking forward to being at his graduation in February 2005. I especially will as I have not been back to MCRD San Diego in 32 years and to go back to see my son walk the same path as I. It just doesn't get any better than this!!!

Don Cirilo
Corporal of Marines
USMC '72-'76

"Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of the men who follow and of the man who leads that gains the victory."
--George Patton

Sgt Grit,
I'm a former Marine, Cpl 79 to 83 Airwing, HMH 161 sq. Tustin, CA. My son L/Cpl 12-03 is presently in Camp Pendleton working with Helicopters. I've received your letters now for a about year. I enjoy them immensely. We have to support our troops, especially our Marines In Iraq and Afghanistan. I've written this letter and intend to send it to my Senator's and Congressmen. I encourage everyone who reads Sgt Grit to do the same. They may use my letter if they choose. Let's not let them take away a Marines right to fight when they have to. As Marines who've been in this situation, I have not, you know second guesses can cost lives.

I, as a former Marine and a father who has a son now serving, would like to express my deepest concerns about the young Marine of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force in the Fallujah Mosque incident. As it had been written in many articles, he was in a combat situation and merely acting under self-defense of himself and his fellow Marines. I understand that an investigation is underway. I would like to say on his behalf that I support his actions and the actions of the other units taking control of Fallujah during this extremely stressful situation. He had conducted himself accordingly. No one should be in this situation, however it is what we face in the fight against Terrorism. There are unfortunate casualties in times of war and Marines do have to present themselves as humanly as possible. In this event of his unclear position, especially when presented with the choice of do or die, he did what he felt was right. As this young Marine had also been shot in the face a day prior and within his unit, there had been an incident of a booby-trapped body found which killed 4 Marines. It was even reported early Saturday morning that there had been a firefight in the same Mosque. Other concerns are of the Marines and Iraqi forces not being able to do their jobs with this lingering overhead. Please report mine and other statements that have been written to the Investigative committee to assure them we understand and are behind our Marines and the coalition fighting against Terrorism.

Farrar A.L. Former Cpl USMC 1979 to 1983

"Unless every man is trained beforehand in peacetime for that role in war, one has only people who bear the name of the business without knowing how to practice it".
--Fredrick the Great

Sgt. Grit
Poolee and future Marine Consue reporting. I want to start by thanking all of our troops whom have made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve FREEDOM in our great nation. And those whom continue to place their lives on the line day in and day out. Thank You.

My family and I came to the states from communist Cuba looking for a brighter future and a better tomorrow. We arrived with only one piece of clothing but moved on and never looked back. Sure the first couple of years it was very rough but we pulled together and today the future looks more promising. My older brother was able to excel academically and received several scholarships to attend a school of Architecture. Unheard off back in Cuba and the perfect example of what hard work can achieve. I've always looked up to my older brother as a father figure and my best friend, over 10 years without seeing my father. In the early years of my High School career I wanted to become a US Marine but was to young to even think about it just yet. After entering my senior year in high school enlisting in the USMC was not even on my mind. Until one day It came back to me and contacted my local recruiter. Within four days I was all ready to go and had DEPped in the Marines with a 7 month waiting list. Many say I am crazy to enlist during an on going conflict in Iraq because I am going to go to war and die. Sure I am scared but someone has to step up to the plate and take charge. I love this country even though I am not a citizen I still love this great nation and all it has to offer which many take for granted. During my senior year many kids talked down on my decision to serve this great nation, some joined the armed forces, but only a few ( 3 including myself) enlisted to become US Marines. My two fellow Poolee went to P.I as 18 year old kids and came back as Marines, God Bless them. I did not joined because of the "benefits" I joined because I feel its my duty to give back to this great nation which welcomed my family and I with open arms. Sure the incentives are an additional plus but its my desire to become a Marine that drives me. Upon reading Marine Corps history I get indescribable rush of emotions which motivates me even further. A bit over six months and a half have passed since I enlisted and in two weeks I would be heading down to P.I. This time I can truly get my chance to earn the title, join the ranks and make history. I'll be honest, I am nervous and scared of the unknown but in my heart I know this is what I want. The next 13 weeks will be like nothing I've ever experienced and at times I might question my motives but I MUST continue even more motivated. My biggest fear above all is not earning the title of US Marine but let it be known that I won't leave P.I without giving it 100% at all times. Sgt. Grit, I would like to thank you and all of those before you who have served this great nation proudly.
Thank You,
God Bless our Troops.

"It has ever been my hobby-horse to see rising in America an empire of liberty, and a prospect of two or three hundred millions of freemen..."
--John Adams

I too had thoughts of not doing my duty to the Corps because of not going to combat. You at least spent 6 months more than me in Nam. I was stationed stateside as a Ground Radio Repairman 2841. While I enjoyed what I did, it took counsel from other Marines to realize that we all have done our part in our own way. Worrying about your parents and mother would probably have made you less attentive while in Nam and cost the lives of other Marines. You went home and did what you had to do just like fixing radios was my assignment. You served honorable with nothing to be ashamed of and if they could, those nearly 13,000 Marines with their names on that wall would tell you the same. I pray that this helps you just like fellow Marines helped me out. Now get off your but and enjoy that beautiful family of yours, and hold you're head with pride Marine.
Sgt M.A. Mansfield
HQ Btry, 2/11

I flew down to San Diego to see my son graduate from Boot Camp. He was a graduate of Golf Company, Plt 2022. I am so proud of him and I am in debt to the Drill Instructors that take time out of their lives and away from their families to turn my son into a marine. I wasn't aware of how much these D.I.s put into everything until I arrived at San Diego.

To all of the D.I.s, I salute you and thank you for all of your hard work and efforts. Without you, we would have no Marines.

Kenneth E. Dameron

Sgt Grit,
The Marine in trouble in Iraq was doing what we were all trained for, it's a time of war and he may well have saved a marine life by killing the wounded insurgent, its to bad that the public has to judge the way things are done as we are trained to do in war.

I support the actions of the Marine and feel that fellow Marines should stand up and support this Marine for the fine job that we are doing in Iraq.

L/Cpl Appling
2315050, 68 t0 70

Sgt. Grit-Thank you for sending the newsletter. I love reading the stories from the troops. My husband is Cpl Pratt. He was in Iraq during the first six months of the War. He was able to come home for a short time, then he was sent to Japan for a year. He was not shot and did not have to shoot at anyone during the time he was in Iraq. However, he was in dangerous situations driving the convoys and the fuel trucks. The guys had to keep their guns loaded just in case they were attacked. Unfortunately, he suffered from nightmares night after night when he was home. I do not know first hand what war does to a person, but I do know that every time he woke up crying my heart ached for him. I wanted to take on every bit of his pain as my own. I still pray for him and I still pray without ceasing for the troops that are still over there in harms way. Thank You, again.
Lisa Pratt
Marine wife, toughest job in the corps!

On 10 Nov 2004 a group of "renegade" Marines here in NW Wisc(Rice Lake), under the name of "INDIANHEAD MARINES", had a Marine Corps Birthday Party. I read the letter from the "Leatherneck" about Jason Murray and I asked all the Marines there to "Please donate one dollar to this fund, when I pass a container to put the dollars in". Those "renegades" rushed the head table to put in their! God Bless the Marine Corps. Semper Fi
Bob Olson 1957-58-59

This is an excerpt from an article by Bing West.

At the operational level, battle is about killing until the enemy forces are destroyed or surrender. The columnist Patrick Graham, who has reported from the insurgent side, recently wrote in the Guardian that "the U.S. Marines are the world's most lethal killing machine." In my view, that should be a source of pride to Americans. For 229 years (Nov. 10 was the Marine Corps' birthday), Marines have been at the forefront in our nation's battles, implacable in the attack. Training and tradition mold that attitude, which is essential in battle.

Greg Deuerlein 0311 E 2/3 1984-1987

The respect I have for our military cannot be put into words. I strongly support all the military and our president. I pray that the president is making the right choices and I really believe that he has the most respect for those serving the country he so dearly loves - and will continue to protect with the mammoth help of our protectors in uniform.

I worry that those that are out their, the bravest ones, don't know how strong the support is and the true feelings we have for them even though we don't know them. The mere fact that they are there, sacrificing for us at home, says a h&ll of a lot how dedicated to this country they are.

Take care - all of you.
Stefan Erickson

Sgt Grit:
Since my baby boy (all six foot and 210 lbs of Corporal belonging to 11th MEU/SOC) has been over in Iraq, I've turned to my bible several times in search of a little consolation. One night I turned to Exodus, Chapter 15, and found the following in verse *3*: "The Lord is a Warrior [Marine], Lord is his (/sic/) name." It's there! Look it up. It'll put a smile on your face. (I know, I know, I know: It means the same thing!)
Marine Dad.

Our son is there in Falluja, so many civilians "don't get it" asking if we have heard from him, by phone or email. Go figure, anyway thanks to all MARINES out there serving to protect our freedom, and to all who have served. One Proud Family of a MARINE

In response to L/Cpl Dan Lisowe,
Please, please, get yourself checked into a VA residential PTSD program. They are all over the country and the programs vary tremendously from one hospital to the other. If you are up to it, contact the various units to get details of their programs so you can decide what is best for you. If you are not up to it, just get into the nearest program ASAP. You are not alone. Guilt is a major factor for a lot of Nam vets, whether they served part of their tour or multiple tours. There are parts of your letter that could have been written by my husband. My husband was in county from March of 67 to March of 68. He was with 1/9. He has been treated for PTSD as an outpatient at a VA hospital for the past four or five years. He has seen psychiatrists, psychologists, gone to group sessions, been on just about every medication available. He only got worse. Finally, one day I had to take him to the hospital and have him admitted immediately. He spent three weeks in an assessment unit and six weeks in the PTSD program. He has decided to stay for another six weeks. By the time he is done we will have been apart almost four months. He will not be home for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, his birthday, or our oldest sons birthday. None of this matters because for the first time He is making progress. He is getting help. He is learning to deal with the trauma and to understand that he couldn't save everyone and that he shouldn't feel guilt over the fact that he survived. He is learning how to live again.

Over the past 36 years I have watched what this has done to him and I know what it has done to our family. Believe me, I know what this is doing to your family and your wife. You all deserve better. You are at a time in your life when you and your wife should be enjoying yourselves. There is so much ahead of you.

Again, I urge everyone out there who is not getting help or not making any real progress as an out-patient to please, please, please get into a residential program. You are Marines so I know you gave your best and did all that you could. Be proud of your service. Your fallen brothers will always be in your heart. That doesn't mean you shouldn't be happy. Get help. Have a good life..

A Marine Wife
Semper Fi

Note: I have been to the VA Vet Center in OKC for a bit of PTSD and can vouch for the programs effectiveness. That goes for you young bucks just coming back from Iraq. A lot of you can get some good there also. Do it! Today! You will not regret it.
Semper Fi, Sgt Grit

"Every Man Feels Meanly Towards Himself For Not Having Been A Soldier".
Dr. Samuel Johnson, English philosopher, eighteenth century

Sarge, a nearby middle school asked for vets to volunteer to come speak to students about Veteran's Day. I am not an eloquent speaker but I thought I might speak for those fallen brothers who could not speak for themselves. The kids were great and asked many pertinent questions. I was asked to return next year and of course I agreed to. I left the school around 1030 hours and noticed the visitor log in sheet. A dozen or more Vets had logged in and I know of two men that were going to be there all day long. We had Nam , Korean , World War 2 , Desert Storm and Iraqi vets in attendance. I would ask all vets volunteer for this was outstanding.
Semper Fi brothers and sisters,
Dan Buchanan

Sgt. Grit,
Wanted to share a tribute page I set up for my husband who is currently in Iraq for the second time. He's with 2/11 Kilo Battery out of Camp Pendleton. He checks the site when he gets a chance, and I know it would make his days better reading messages from other brave Marines (past & present).

Thanks for all your support, I know many Marine wives who greatly appreciate it, including myself.

Shawnnelle Hazard
Proud Wife of Cpl Hazard (2/11 Kilo, OIF I & II)

Sgt. Grit,
I want to thank you so very much for your news letter. It is something I share with all of the Dormant Marines here in Omaha, NE. where I work. I work @ Cox Communications and there are quite a few here. We are a "TRUE" band of Marines....not brothers...Marines are much closer. One of us is a Desert Storm veteran. What he did there is amazing. His other tours in Somalia, Panama, and Liberia were amazing as well. He is 10 years my junior.

He is the spitting image of a Chesty Puller and as I watch our young Marines of today in Fallujah, I would say that the blood stripe...err...I mean line... is just as pure today as in 1775. May this second day of the 230th year be the best of many more better days to come. May God's Strength and His Wisdom guide them in this struggle against evil. May His Strength let them kick the living sh!# out of all those murdering pigs as well.
Semper Fi!!!
Corporal of Marines
Kenneth R. Yagodinski 75-81

"Your Honor is more valuable than your life, if the inverse is true, then your life has no value."

Hello Sgt. Grit,
When my son was in boot camp he saved up his bottles of Tabasco sauce out of his MREs during field week. He had 4 bottles stashed.

When the Crucible came about, he put his tobacco in his pocket. When he would start to get really drowsy he would pop open a bottle and dump some on his tongue. It would set his tongue on fire and certainly wake him right up.

He says that no matter how sleepy you are, you WILL stay awake with a good Tabasco mouthwash. He made it through the Crucible and is now one of the Few and the Proud!

Thank you for the wonderful newsletter. I read it all every time. Good job!!
God Bless America and God Bless our Marines,
Denby Stutz, PMM of PFC Matt

Sgt. Grit Staff-
I first want to thank you for the wonderful service that you provide to families of the Marine Corps. I have been ordering items from you since July of 2003, that was when my little brother left for boot camp. I have usually only used your website to order more t-shirts, pins, license plates or anything else I think I can sneak past my husband in the mail. :) I recently came across your BS Pages and I must say I have felt comfort and unity when I viewed the Iraq Volumes. There was entries that led to other wonderful sites that showed pictures of soldiers helping civilians and the civilians wanting the US there. These are pictures I needed to see. My brother has been deployed in Iraq since June 19 and I have had a difficult time coping with this. Seeing the pictures that I saw a great since of pride of my brother came over me. I knew he was away from all his family for a reason--those civilians. Before this I knew why he was over there, but being the visual person that I am, it clicked to put children's faces, innocent women's with reason. I want to thank you so much. There was another entry that deeply touched me and has stuck with me since I read it 3 weeks ago. At this time my brother had called us, which was exciting, but he informed us that he had been in a mission to Falluja and there was a good chance that he would be going back over there for a "big mission". He said that if it were to happen it would be a battle that would go down in history, it would be a turning point. Well, seeking comfort I turned to your website and found the BS Pages. I was looking through amazed at all the info. when I came across an entry titled Injured Marine. It contains a picture of a Marine laying down and many others around him. The entry is about the fellow Marine holding his hand and the importance of a buddy. I have always felt a since of family since I went to my brothers graduation from boot camp out in California. I knew that he was with his fellow Marines day in and day out, but this picture and the thoughts that were shared about the picture just hit a part in me that took my breath away. I don't know how many times I have gone back and read it again, to many to count. Well, Monday that was my brother. His platoon was sent into Falluja, one of the first. Snipers pinned them and then shot mortars. My brother was hit with shrapnel, or however you spell it, in the left elbow and in the right shoulder. An artery was hit in his left arm by his elbow. He was down, his platoon was down. But there was someone there for him. A buddy. I couldn't be there, my mom couldn't be there, my dad couldn't be there, but that buddy was there. And that buddy helped him and comforted him. I'm so thankful for that buddy. And I think of how important all his buddies are to him, and therefore they are important to me and our family. I just want to thank you, thank you for sharing everything you share.
Thanks again-
Alisha Lamatsch

I have been reading your news letter for several months now. I print it and mail it to my son, who is serving his third tour of duty in Iraq.
I hope you will let me share a few of my thoughts about being a Marine Mom. I originally wrote this to a gal who's son was going through MCRD/SD. Her son was doing very well but she wasn't.

Marine Mom

I understand you will soon be a Marine Mom. Congratulations and welcome to a very elite group of women. I have been a proud Marine Mom since September 3, 1996 and I would like to share a few thought with you.

Marine Moms Are The Few - not everyone's son/daughter is cut out to be a Marine, not everyone who applies makes the grade. Few women are born with that special gene that they pass on to a son/daughter enabling him/her to become a Marine.

Marine Moms Are The Brave - we sign the papers so our son/daughter can become a Marine. We bake and mail cookies and write letters to our Marine to help keep up his/her spirit and moral. We are the ones who pray day and night for their safe return when they go to war. Marines are "The first in - last out".

Marine Moms Are the Proud - we gave birth to this boy/girl, we watched him/her grow up as we instilled in him/her right from wrong, a pride in self, a pride in this wonderful country. As we watched his/her failures and successes our pride in him/her grew. Now he/she is a Marine and as he/she matures our pride in him/her continues to grow.

Yes, we Marine Moms are also The Few, The Brave, The Proud.

God Bless America and Our Troops, Past and Present.

Ooorah !
Beverly Kay
MOM ( Mother of a Marine)
July 2004

Sgt. Grit- Some of you may recall a Cpl Rumbolt writing to the newsletter regarding how he could not wait to go to Iraq and kill. From his message several of us (including me) wrote back telling him how once he was in combat or had to kill his life would change forever. I have built a relationship with Cpl Rumbolt over the past couple months... for one, I contacted a friend (the great Ms. Laura Beveridge & Family) who is sponsoring him as well as talking to his girlfriend every once in a while to make sure she is ok. They are both young but are doing well. Cpl Rumbolt is now in the sandbox of Iraq. I wanted to forward his address should anyone want to contact him. He is young but strong. Thanks Sgt Grit.

Semper Fi...
PB Modesti
Desert Storm Vet.

Sgt Grit: I've been busy working my butt and just now have read about a Maine who is under investigation for killing an "unarmed insurgent". What the h#ll is this? Are these lefty anti-Americans now on the front trying to make our guys act like their in training or at a picnic gathering? This has the feeling of Nam with a lot of rules and just not any support for our guys!

The rules of warfare (whatever they are) are usually referred to as the Geneva Convention. Tell me how these insurgents come under the Geneva convention? Explain to me how these creeps who rape, murder, and be-head civilians should be treated as under a code of rules that they themselves don't have and don't respect?

I posted a statement some time back on the issue of "atrocity". The left through its media is out to take the guns out of our warriors hands. They lost the election but they continue to undermine America any way they can.

I can say this immediately without seeing the tape of the incident. If people looking at it haven't been in combat they have no idea what they are looking at. They don't feel, smell, taste, have the "eye" or the hearing of what that situation is. This keenness can't be taped! How can anybody know that the insurgent wasn't moving weirdly or other wise unusually? This really su#ks!

Pray even harder for our guys now people! The unholier than thou socialist left is about to unleash another barrage of anti-Americanism.

James Joseph Hoagland USMC '64-'68. Chu Lai '65'-'66.

General MacArthur did not like Marines; so when he arrived at the Pearly Gates, he asked St. Peter if there were any Marine there.

St. Peter assured him that there were none.

The general then asked directions to his quarters and was told that they were three blocks ahead and to make a right. That would take him to his lodgings.

The general, corn cob pipe gripped firmly in his teeth, boldly strode down three blocks and turned right only to see a Marine in dress blues directing traffic at the next intersection.

Upset, the general stormed back to St. Peter saying, "I thought you told me there were no Marines here."

St. Peter said, "Let me guess. You saw a gunny in dress blues with a lot of hash marks directing traffic?"

"Correct," replied MacArthur.

"Don't worry," said the saint, "that's God. He always wanted to be a Marine."

Bob Rader #1405534

I appreciated very much in the update from Col. C. A. Tucker, that he acknowledged the Sailors who are serving along with his Marines. My young brother-in-law (Navy) was hit with shrapnel along with nine Marines in the unit he was with. He's on the second surgery for his leg, but he has that Terminator attitude of "I'll be back!", so no doubt he will be. Thank you Colonel for your acknowledgment and your update. I sent it to my brother-in-law. It will mean a lot to him.

To our troops in Falluja, our prayers are with you! Keep your heads low, your faith high, and come home safely.

Proud of my Marines, my Sailor, all who are serving, have served, those who gave all, and their families who gave with them.
God bless you all and God bless the U.S.A.!
Cindy Crook

On this Veterans Day, I am reminded of the following sentiment:

"From a Marlboro Soldier, England 1640:
God and the Soldier we adore,
In times of trouble, not before.
When the danger past, and all things righted,
God is forgotten and the Soldier slighted.

" CWO-4 John Barone USMC (ret.) '74 - '95

To all Mother's of Marines,
My 18 year old son, Michael, left for USMC Boot Camp 11 weeks ago. Just a few more weeks to go! The hardest thing I have experienced as a mother. I took a teenage boy to the airport, said our goodbyes with lots of hugs and tears, and watched him walk through the gate to his plane. Off to Parris Island. I was very unhappy with his decision to enlist in the USMC. College plans were set and he had a change of heart. The first 7 weeks of letters from boot camp were heart breaking as I felt my son wanted to "stick it out" but also regretted his decision. Yet I never felt like "I told you so" I just cried as I read each letter and heard him pour out his heart. Over the last few weeks, I have watched (through letters) my son become a man. He is turning into a proud Marine and proud man. He spent his fair share of time in the "sand pits" and being "quarter-decked" yet always says - mom I deserved it and I won't make the same mistake twice. I have done a lot of soul searching about how I feel with Michael's decision to join the USMC and yet I tried as hard as I could to be supportive of him prior to him leaving, I know that in his heart he knew how I felt. Tonight I read a letter from him and yet the ones in the beginning were difficult - this one hit home for me. He tells me how appreciative he is for everything I have done for him and how he loves me and his siblings. No mother wants their son to go through what he has but - to see how he has matured and how proud he is of himself just begins to re-assure my that the decision my son made has helped him grow into a proud mature man. I am proud of him for this unselfish decision to want to defend our country. Yet I worry - I know in my heart that this is where he needs to be. I look so forward to seeing him graduate in a few weeks. It is hard to imagine the emotions and proud feelings I will have for my son.
Pam Love

It is regrettable to hear about our young brothers who have suffered wounds and even death. I pray for those in "harms way" daily as someone prayed for me when I faced death in RVN. However, only those who have worn the Marine Corps uniform honorably can understand how we feel toward our fellow Marines. I served proudly for 22 years and still serve as a federal employee doing whatever it takes to support our "warriors" who are on the cutting edge of the sword.

My deepest sympathies go out to the families who have suffered losses. I want to personally thank you for allowing your Marine to join us and serve his country. Freedom is not free! Unfortunately, someone must pay the inevitable price to keep the light of freedom lit.

As we approach Thanksgiving, may we all reflect on how truly blessed we are to have such freedoms and of those who paid the ultimate price so that we can remain free.

God bless America and all who serve her honorably. Semper Fidelis !

Michael Herrin
MSgt USMC (Ret)

TO LCPL Dan Lisowe:
Dan, you share a burden with an awful lot of Marines, present and former. Your loyalties were split between your Corps and your family. You served your Corps well and your loyalty to your men was satisfied with your service there. No one will ever question that except you. We all have to make choices in life, often very tough choices. Circumstances beyond your control determined the choice and there is nothing to be ashamed of.

Guilt is a terrible burden to carry, even more tragic when there is nothing you've done that you should feel guilty about. The net result of your inability to shed this feeling is a lessening of what you have that you can give to your kids and grandkids, all your love. There's a part of you that has shut down that they cannot reach. Now is the time for you to let go and accept reality for what it is, kill the gremlins and open up with your family and enjoy what you have left in this life. You deserve it and all of us who have traveled this road will tell you it not only can be done, it must be done. You paid what you owed Country and Corps. Now give the rest of all of you to those who love you.

Semper Fi and God bless!
Ray Walker USMC '48-'53

"A man who thinks of himself as belonging to a particular national group in America has not yet become an American."
--Woodrow Wilson

"God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it."
--Daniel Webster

When we do our job
People shoot at us.
Semper fi
Sgt Grit

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