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Welcome to our Marine Corps Newsletter archives. Read our patriotic stories of American courage sent in to us by Marines and their families. Enjoy!

Sgt Grit American Courage Newsletter #86

"If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war."
--George Washington

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The first three stories show you courage and sacrifice.
The 4th cowardliness, the 5th is the best description yet of "the shooting".
Sgt Grit

Hello my name is Julie and I have been a marine corp. wife for a little over a year...although my uncle is in the marine corp. My husband is currently serving in Iraq for the second time. No marine husband knows how much us wives appreciate what they are doing for us and our children.. and other fellow Americans. I pray to God that everyone comes home safe.. he has been there since June 10,2004 and will not return until March 31,2005 if not later. I know and understand it is hard to be there with the scars food supply (other than care packages) and the hot heat day after day.... but sir it is a battle for their families back home worrying about them too!! I do not have children. and I give the wives that do props, I go threw h&ll not hearing from him for weeks.. this is our first deployment from each other.. and honestly I never thought I could handle it. but I promised him that id been hear waiting for him.... I will never break that promise .. he's never broken his..his promise that he'll keep me safe fighting for me and our family back home!!!..... Thank You!!! Semper Fi!!!

Dear Sgt.Grit:
This is our first official newsletter and really enjoyed all the input....our marine is serving south of Baghdad as we speak, and I have to tell you, as parents new to this whole war time sure has been helpful to hear from all the other marine families and retired marines themselves. All the comments and stories and heartfelt feelings coming from the entire Corps family lets us know we are not alone...I don't think that my heart has hurt so much for so long until our sons battalion started losing men, and then my selfishness gave way to so much compassion and understanding for all the lost soldiers, not just our marines. I tried so hard to put myself in the shoes of those parents, and understand what the loss to them must mean, because I think its our duty to the Corps to act as one family and be there for one husband and I have been fortunate enough to get the information on the men lost within our battalion and do our best to send words of hope and strength to those brave parents and I wish I could have done it for all the families of all the lost soldiers.

We feel very honored to be members of the Marine Corp Family, and although these are tough times, we are not alone, and everyday someone in this great united states that we live in lets us know how much they appreciate the sacrifice that our son is making to fight for their right to freedom. Each time I hear this and I have to say that I rarely have a day that goes by that I don't hear it, I am amazed at how wonderfully God is moving thru all these people...

We pray daily for all our Marines/Soldiers and know that our loving God is looking over them and guiding them each day...thanks for all the support...

Proud marine parents from Texas

Dear Sgt. Grit,
After watching 1st. Bat. 4th. Marines fighting in Najaf I turned to my wife and said, "I can't sit this war out any longer". I am forty years old with two beautiful children, 4 & 8. To old to reenlist I have been hired by K.B.R. and will be leaving for Iraq soon. The money is not the point. If my family were financially sound I would volunteer to go to the sand box for free. I have had family members completely turn their backs on me. Telling me I have no conscience toward my wife and children. It hurt. I go for my brothers in arms. I go so that the fight will not be in my back yard and my families back yard. I go because "once a Marine - always a Marine. This war is bigger then one family. If we do not win this war the flag of Islam will fly over what use to be the United States of America. That will only happen when I am guarding the gates of Heaven. Please keep doing what you are doing. It means more to us then I think you know. Semper Fi my brother.

Anthony G. Molnar
Rapid Deployment Force - FMF Pacific under President Ronald Reagan.

Gentlemen: I am a Marine from the Vietnam war. (1960/1969) During the Tet offensive, Many shots were fired. Men died on both sides. Marines were taking back some positions that were originally lost to VC. I saw one civilian cameraman hiding in a shell hole, his pants were pretty soiled: from the inside. Two Marines were protecting his butt. I thought I would share this.
Semper Fi Marines: Jim USMC

In your last two issues as well as in letters to the editor in my local paper, I've read numerous comments on the shooting incident in the Fallujah mosque that was shown (with various editing) on the news channels. These opinions are emotional and intense on both interpretations of what people think they saw..."Kill ‘em, its war." or "That was an execution". Nowhere have I read an attempt to make a reasoned analysis of that videotape. To do so one must view the entire tape, not just part of it. It is also essential to listen to it without some TV newsperson doing voice over comments. It is critical to remember that the enemy in Iraq is known for suicide attacks, as well as the fact that the IED is their weapon of choice. Take out you car keys. See that little key bob you push to open your car door. That's all it takes. If you can move your thumb enough to depress that little button, and you are willing to die, then you can kill a lot of Marines.

Having served in Vietnam as a Marine Rifle Platoon Commander, I remember all too well the tension and danger of combat patrols. So I found the video on the Internet and I viewed it in it's entirety, and listened closely. Here is what I saw and heard: The squad is coming up on the mosque. Clearly they don't know who is inside or what has transpired previously because they are shouting "Are there Marines in there?" "Who's inside?", etc. Once inside you see them walk past what appears to be dead enemy. Then you hear a Marine shout in a loud, tense, and urgent voice "He's f*^king faking dead. He's faking f*^king dead". To anyone who has "seen the elephant" just the sound of his voice will take you back and stand every nerve on end. Next there are two rifle shots. Then another voice says, "well he's dead now". It is not the voice of the Marine who sounded the alarm, and it is not the voice of the shooter. Those of us who have covered our fear in combat with tough talk and bravado understand perfectly that remark. Most of the newscasts cut off the video at that point but it continues. The camera pans to the left and there is a wounded Iraqi lying on his back, waving his arms, and making sounds. No one shoots him. In fact they administer to him. To me this is a critical part of the video that is rarely, if ever seen. The bottom line is this: the wounded combatant who indicated he was hurt was given aid; the combatant who appeared to be hiding among dead bodies with the possibility of being able to detonate an explosive and wipe out all in the room is shot.

No one, myself included, who is sitting safe and comfortable back home should judge that Marine who had been in house to house combat for the past several weeks, and had a nanosecond to decide to shoot or risk his squad. But were I to do so, I'd make him one of my squad leaders! Semper Fidelis, Tom Smith "K" 3/27, "E" 2/4, RVN 6/68 – 7/69

To the Unsubscribers: You feel that Marine was unjust...You are upset by the response here... I say as the mother of a Marine destined for Iraq..Don't let the door hit you in the a$$. See ya.

Sergeant, Sir, I think you do one h&ll of a job and hope that you will continue. As to those who choose to unsubscribe rather than respect yours or my rights to opinion, well, let them go there way. I am reminded of something one of my DI's said in Hollywood back in '62, "We have the Marines, and we have the 10 percenters!" Semper Fidelis brother, I'll watch your back anytime. God Bless our Corps and our Commander in Chief! God Bless America!
A. Dorney, 1946450 Sgt. '60's

Let's all be thankful for the job our Marines are doing. We hired them to do a job and by all reports they are doing it and doing it well. We trained them and we are responsible for them. Do not judge unless you are willing to replace them when the time comes for us to defend ourselves here on our soil. Freedom comes at a price and unless we are willing to pay we can not enjoy it's fruits. I, for one, will not miss "smbeane","Ryan Jackson", or the one unsubscriber that did not have the fortitude to sign off, in my future "Sgt. Grit Newsletter". This is a place for those of courage and not for those without a stomach for the fight we have ahead.

God Bless and keep safe my brother Marines, young, old, active and wishing they were. May we keep the faith and Honor our Corps values.

Dwaine Goodwin, Sgt. 1955382 1960-1964

Good job, Sgt Grit!
Good riddance to those who unsubscribe. They're just civilian pukes that never served. They don't have the first d*mn clue!
Semper Fi, Sgt Grit!
Doc Chuck Hancock
K/3/5 RVN 1971

Please DO NOT un-subscribe me because I'm proud that I am a part of this family and I'm proud that our Marines young and old aren't afraid to say what is on their minds. Isn't that what you Marines have been fighting for since the dawn of America? Isn't that what the fight is for now?
Proud Marine Wife - Jennifer DeLeon

Sgt. Grit,
Shame on you for camouflaging the unsubscribe link! Since the person who said, "F*ck once a Marine always a Marine" obviously couldn't find it, he/she must be asking themselves the same question that they posed to the rest of us since they SUBSCRIBED to your MARINE newsletter. We knew you were up to more than making T-shirts and bumper stickers, but no one suspected that you'd camouflage a link so well. That 'Nam training of yours is awesome!

Praying for all of you in Iraq and Afghanistan and thinking of you and your families during the Christmas season. Hang in there guys. We're all proud of you! And hey Sgt. Grit, there are some "stupid and uneducated" people out here that are d*mned proud of you too, Sir!
Cindy Crook

To Ryan Jackson, (unsubscribed)
It is sorry to see how easy it is to act and work against each other when passions are so high. I am writing in support of Sgt Grit. Not because of what was stated. If you look at the quote, Sgt Grit did not write it. He placed the quote in the newsletter, not because he may or may not have agreed with it, but to not include it would be a form of censorship. I believe you need to sit down and thing this out. How hard would it be to edit such a list in which we can all enjoy, cry and honor those that came before us and after. We brothers of the Marine Corps are to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, not get mad at those who exercise the very freedoms in which we defend.

My hat goes off to Sgt Grit and I find it unfortunate that you have decided to leave this group in protest. I am sure that neither Sgt Grit or Mr. Michalski meant anything against our brothers who just happen to be Muslims.

If you are that thin skinned over someone's comments, I think you should start realizing that there are more important things than be Politically Correct. Honesty, Honor, Integrity and Freedom are much more important. Do not mistake my words above for Political Correctness. I happen to have had parents that instilled manners in me with a leather belt or a wooden spoon. Let me tell you, my mother went through a lot of wooden spoons because I have a hard ....... head? :)

My point to you is to not to take things personally like you did. Continue to allow people who do not agree with you voice their opinions. That is the job of a Marine. To protect and defend the Constitution of the US against all enemies, foreign and domestic. We have never been relieved of that oath.
Mark Sasak

The War Protester:
H&ll he was never a Marine not with that mentality send his ass over to Iraq and let him protest over there, the chicken sh!t. thanks and keep up the great work.
J. Latham S/Sgt USMC

I quit college and enlisted in the Marines during dessert storm. I got so p!ssed off at all the protesters and rallies going on at The University of Texas that I had to join. It was the best decision I ever made. I have a bunch of buddies over there fighting right now that I served with in Kaneohe Bay, 1stBn 3d Marines. I think about them everyday and I cant believe all the BS I am reading about. At least support my fellow marines why they are over there and then b!tch and protest about the war when they are home safely. I would gladly put my self in that marines spot and take all this criticism for him because I know I would have done the same thing....we are the finest warriors in the world and DO NOT question our acts because if it wasn't for those marines over there you wouldn't be flying around this holiday getting fat and sitting on your plump asses!!!!! Semper fi to all of my brothers and sisters serving right now...and don't worry I got your back here on the mainland taking care of these pukes who live off donuts and coffee....and never heard a round coming at them from downrange...but yet know how you should act when you've been living off an MRE and 2 hours sleep each day the past couple months.

one shot one kill.....nothing like saving rounds and not having to get your gun dirty!!!! ha/ha

long live the corps and why the heck did they have to come out with those awesome cammies once I got out????

Kris Forchione
senior LCpl of the marines
0311 / Aco 1stBn 3d Mar 1992-1996

Hello Sgt. Grit and SEMPER FI,

Regarding the statement from snbeane saying that he/she/it was once a Marine and is now a war protester, I say BULLPUCKY! You were never a Marine, just a snot-nosed momma's boy. A Marine would never say that.
Deal With It You Puke.

Louis A. Gilman
USMC 1973-76

Sgt Grit,
With reference to newsletter #85 and smbeane's remarks.
Talk about be stupid and uneducated - I respect his right to disagree - that's what we Marines fought for. However, to slur the Marine Corps and "Once a Marine, always a Marine" proves he never was one of us. I hope he gets to enjoy the freedom where ever he may be hiding. He and Kevin Sikes of NBC would make great bed fellows.
Joe Ahearn
'49-'57, SSgt /1st Lt.

GUNNY T 2291036

To F*#k once a Marine always a Marine: I am the mom of a 21 year old activated Marine reservist who just returned from Iraq. My message to smbean "Good riddance!"

I enjoy your site and thought I would pass along a quote which may be of interest to our fellow Marines.

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something." -- Plato

Sgt. , 1993 - 1998

I strongly suggest that NBC un-embed Mr. Sikes before he meets with an unfortunate accident. (Route-step, civilian puke...)

"It ain't s*it, say fu*ck it and move on". How could the man be embedded with a Marine grunt outfit in combat for any period of time and not understand he concept of "band of brothers" and what close combat is about? No more shared MRE's for him.

As one Marine said, "Civilians back in the World don't have any idea what the Marine Corps is about... if they did, they would be terrified". Hey, you have trained killers at the sharp point... and that's a good thing... deal with it. Better one more dead than any more dead Marines. Hey, dumb-*ss, stop fighting and building IED's and we won't kill you anymore, and we will give your third-rate, sand-box, country back.

No better friend/No worse enemy.
Semper Fi,
Don Kaag

To Debbie Bell...keep praying for them. l thank God that my son will be stateside for now at HMX-1. But, he wants to go to Iraq/Afghanistan. Guess it's a MARINE thing. l cry every time a mom/dad mentions there son in the "big sand box" because l feel like it's my son as well. It's that MARINE CORPS family connection. l'm praying for our heroes over there.

Sgt. Grit
I am the guy that wrote the lead off letter In your Nov. 24 news letter. This is not an apology for that letter but to straighten out a couple of things. First of all this concerned the terrorists who would love to see America destroyed, not Marines of the Muslim religion who are fighting against these Insane people. Also any one who believes our media Is unbiased must be getting there news from the sci- fi channel , I have yet to see or hear one of these media cloned egotist say hey our military Is doing a great job In an Incredibly tough situation , or give them a we are with you or a well done. There are too many people that are forgetting September 11 and that we are at war. I stand by what I Said.
Semper Fi
Chuck Michalski

Sgt Grit,
I guess I have Vietnam on my mind even more than usual this week. I just finished reading a book titled _Down South_, written by William H. Hardwick. I bought the book not only because it is a Marine lieutenant's account of his tour, but more personally because he was an artillery FO for Mike 3/7 in '68-'69, and I spent half of my 'Nam tour "humping the paddies" as an artillery FO for Lima 3/7 in '67. He and I both "belonged" to India 3/11 and have blown away pieces of the same real estate, a year or so apart.

In December of '66, when I arrived at Danang at the beginning of my tour, I shared a "hootch" at the Transient Officers Quarters at the airfield with a Marine lieutenant who was on his way home at the end of his tour. He was worried about being beaten up by protestors when he got back to "The World." In 1969, after I was released from active duty and was teaching school back home in Texas, one of my students called me a "baby killer" when I was sharing some of my experiences with the class in preparation for assigning them a pen pal project to write the Marines still "in country." The way certain elements of our population treated military personnel returning from their tours in that war has always disappointed me.

On 10 November of this year, maybe coincidentally but appropriately, my high school celebrated Veterans Day early with an assembly to honor the veterans among the faculty and staff. Representing the Vietnam generation, it was a somewhat emotional experience to walk to my seat on that stage under arched swords held by members of our JROTC cadets and to be applauded. And it was extremely difficult to hold back tears as we stood while a band member played "Taps" on a trumpet.

Today someone sent me a forward of one of Charlie Daniels's articles, which prompted me to visit his website ( There I found one titled "How Can We Forget", dated 9 August 2004. It is about a mayor who refused permission for a veterans group to fly the POW flag at some municipal function. In case you haven't seen this particular article, I've included an excerpt. To read the whole article at the web address above, click on "SOAPBOX" and select it from among the others there.

Here's what Charlie Daniels says:

"...We not only left brave men behind in Vietnam. We left behind a piece of America's conscience and a good-sized piece of our national honor. "The way some of our Nam vets were treated when they came home from a war they didn't start and were given no chance to win is a national disgrace. Anyone who fought in Vietnam deserves just as much honor and just as much glory as anyone who ever fought a war for the United States of America....

"...Enough is enough. The Vietnam Veterans have faced a heartbreaking set of circumstances, public rejection, emotional and physical scars and the scourge of Agent Orange. They don't need nor deserve anything less than our profound respect and heartfelt gratitude, in whatever ways we can make up to them the disgraceful behavior of a cadre of shaggy hippies and elitist college students who spit on them and called them baby killers...."

Thanks, Charlie.

And thanks to the current generation of Marines who are bringing honor to our Corps while doing a difficult job magnificently. It's good to see our country supporting them. Pray for them continually, until the job is done and they are home.

Semper Fi,
Tom Downey
Once a captain, USMCR; always a Marine
1963-'76, Vietnam '66-'67

While the media nationalizes the "horrible" things we and our troops may fall prey to they never show the same propensity for the other side (not since WWII ie Auschwitz) Trying to stay alive by playing dead has been used for a loooong time. Killing your benefactor is as low as it goes. NOBODY but the one behind the trigger guard has the ability or right to judge what that marine saw or did unless they were shoulder to shoulder!!!
Just my opinion.
Semper Fi!

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

I commend the Marine who did his "job" in spite of the negative media attention. My son is currently in Fallujah, and has already lost two of his good friends, one on Nov. 10 the other on Nov.14 Take out the embedded reporters I say - if you want reliable (and helpful) civilian reporting, put someone like me, a Marine Mom over there. - Just take away my chocolate and estrogen, and the enemy won't know what hit 'em!
PMM Donna S.

I'm the VERY proud Mom of 2 Marines & adopted Mom of USAF Spec. Opps. Son. My "Baby" Marine is currently serving his 2nd tour in Iraq & my Oldest Marine is about to deploy for his 3rd Tour. Adopted Son has flown several missions to the litter box. I have a little different perspective on the Media and our Marines. When my Oldest was deployed & spent 7 months in Fallujah, it was part of his job to keep an imbedded reporter out of harm's way-yeah, right! I won't mention any names, but if I ever meet this man in person, he better run. After falsely reporting that my son and his squad of five Marines had senselessly slaughtered a 12-year-old Iraqi girl and some "innocent insurgents" out for a stroll in a dark alley with their grenade launcher, he told the Boys: "I get paid to report the news, not the truth." After that incident, the reporter lasted almost another week with my Son's squad. While they could not physically harm the guy, they could & did make his life a living h&ll. Imagine getting "stuck" in a metal outhouse for, say, an hour or 2-and it's 130 degrees in the shade. And apparently he had developed a liking to swimming in open sewers, latrines & such. When you watch the news, keep in mind that these reporters are getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to bring you the most sensational, controversial news story they can. And when they get tired of it, they can just quit & come home any time the feel like it. One more thing: when you hear the word "insurgents" bandied about in the media, 9 times out of 10, these "insurgents" are NOT Iraqis-they are Al Quaida, Saudi Arabian, Iranian, Syrian and other radicals-FOREIGNERS-in Iraq to cause chaos and take over. All three of my Sons say for the most part, the Iraqi people are very nice and a lot like regular families back home. They ARE glad we are there, and they treat our Boys like the Heros they are. God Bless them all!
Semper Fi!

As Americans we are "Better" people for helping those less fortunate than ourselves.

It would be nice to see the media actually starting to report the "truth" about these insurgents and about the good that our troops and the coalition troops are doing. As the old saying goes, "No one remembers the good that we do, only the bad."

My heart goes out to all the servicemen and women as well as their families who are serving in Iraq and in Afghanistan. I am very proud of all of you!! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Mr. Tom Ryan

Sgt Grit
Not terribly surprised at those who chose to unsubscribe and frankly, am glad to see them go. They can join the group with Dan Rather who gave up in boot camp after two weeks and still tries to claim having been a Marine, and the has been prize fighter who also gave up after two weeks deciding it was too tough for him...and hasn't won a fight since. There are many more who thankfully can remain anonymous. I was a DI in 58-59 and weeded out my own share of those who just couldn't hack it. And I also cried at the Wall in DC thinking of those young men that I trained whose names were on that wall. I've worked in many parts of the world since I left active duty and have had ample opportunity to see what happens when we don't stand up for our rights and freedom. It IS WORTH DYING FOR and no one supports that more than the United States Marine Corps.

How amazing it is, that Iraq, with one of the oldest cultures in the world, is still so backwards and so dirty, and so in need of our help, and so quick for critics to blame us for not fixing their thousands of year old problems in a few short years. D*mned if we do and d*mned if we don't.

If push comes to shove, and we are threatened here at home, won't hesitate to kill anyone who threatens me, my family, or those I love.

Sgt Kemp 1439323

Just wanted to let all past and present members of the USA Marines know that those in Australia wish you all the very best for this upcoming holiday period - may you all "stay safe behind the wire"

Andy 3RAR '68-'72 and Jody kianok '66 and our families Together then, Together again

As a Vietnam Combat Vet on a PBR in 1970-71, We all would do the same thing as that brave Marine did in offing that so called wounded enemy. Boobie traps are always in the front of your mind as are snipers. Civvies should stay out of the war business and leave it to the Pros!
.....Kenny Smith GMG3 USN

"I have thought of America as a place in the divine scheme of things that was set aside as a promised land ... I believe that God in shedding His grade on this country has always in this divine scheme of things kept an eye on our land and guided it as a promised land."
--Ronald Reagan

I would like to comment on the marine who shot the wounded Iraqi. My husband is currently serving in Fallujah with 1/3 bravo co. Although it is nice to know what is going on over there with our loved ones, my personal opinion is that the media is was too involved and are showing us way too much! That marine is a great example of that. It's appalling to me that he is receiving so much flak about doing a job that he is trained to do. The fact is that if that camera wasn't present, no one would have given that marines actions a second thought. Knowing that the insurgents don't fight fair and After seeing and hearing about all of the horrible things that the Iraqi's have done to our soldiers and Americans and even their own people, how can our soldiers be expected to give to give a wounded Iraqi the benefit of the doubt? It could have been them or our soldiers and I believe that he made the right choice. My husband has been wounded and watched many of his friends die right in front of him, and many times could have easily been him and I hope that if he ever found himself in a similar situation he would exercise the same judgment and choose his own life and the lives of his comrades over someone who clearly has no respect for human life. As my husband would say "it's them or us" and I hope for the sake of themselves and all military families with loved ones in Iraq, that them continue to choose themselves and make it home safely. I support my husband, the corps and all troops serving in Iraq and I commend them for their bravery, sacrifice and the outstanding job their doing over there! God bless you all and thank you! I love you baby!
-Janelle (proud USMC wife)

Sgt Grit
Is it my imagination or are we seeing the media retrograding back to another war??? Do these, so called peace lovers and inexperienced people in our country, want to alienate another generation??? Look at those of us that are still angry about our treatment while in and after Viet Nam. The country should be proud of the men in Iraq, particularly our young Marines.(Remember when we were young Marines?) These young men are doing us old men proud. I could conger up many colorful words for these clowns that only take from our country and give back nothing but disrespect. These individuals have the right to voice their opinion against all we hold dear, but then again, we have our rights too. Hopefully, they will live to regret their ignorant ways and ideas. Of course, it will do them no good. I'll never forget nor forgive. We will continue to be the same flag waving, gung ho men we always have been, and be proud of it. Eat your heart's out, you can never measure up to good Marine or a good American. Semper fi
CEH--2531--RVN Mar'67 to Nov'68

Hi Sgt. Grit,
Thank you for the wonderful job you do with this newsletter. I always end up with tears streaming down my face at the end of reading it. Tears of Pride, I am a Marine Mom and tears of compassion for all those who have lost their brave Marines. God Bless the Marines and all those who love them.
Merry Christmas
Christine Dito

Thank you for sticking up for the very ones that are risking their lives for us. I was so mad at our local school board...They elected to use Veterans Day as a make up school day because of all the hurricanes we had here. I felt it was as unpatriotic as any area could be and a slap in the face to our heroes who put themselves in harm's way for us each day. We need so desperately to teach our children to respect the flag, country and the wonderful brave men who each day leave their families and homes never knowing when they will see their loved ones next or if even if they will. I've been the lonely child of a serviceman, the lonely, scared wife of a Marine and now the worried Mom of a Marine and Aunt of a new Army man. If we don't start sticking up for them and standing for what's right, we are all going to live to see America as part of another country with a new leader like Hitler. I've been in a country where people were yelling "Yankee-go home" and yet taking as much of our money as they could get. It isn't a pretty place for our loved ones to have to go and they are not allowed to respond to: being spit upon; yelled at; threatened. Reality check here America--wake up--stand up--if you won't stand for our heroes-what will you fall for??? I think each time we show films and pictures on our news, which one of our hero's are we now assigning to die for our liberty to see war on TV???? If you come to Alachua county-please don't spend any money here for our leaders have no respect for our men and women in uniform.
M. Jones

my wife has asked me to "clean up" my language. now I say,"BULL SIKES"
usar ret

Hi, Sgt. Grit. I receive your newsletter and enjoy it tremendously. However, this is the first time I have ever written. I just had to say something in support of that Marine that shot the Iraqi. "Job well done". I am the mother of a Marine that was just "sent over" and just like I read from that gentleman who said "if it moves, shoot it", I believe if we ask our young men and women to put themselves in harms way, we should let them do their jobs and "leave them alone". Any one of them would kill us if they had half a chance and in this war I would hope our guys would do whatever is necessary to come home safe. I support all our military and pray every day that they all return safely to their families. Let the media and politicians stay out of it and let our military do their jobs. If the media hadn't been there in the first place, you wouldn't hear anything about this and this young Marine would still be doing a great job.
Love you guys,
Marine Mom

Just read that letter from Col.Mike Williams USMC Ret.Not impressed in the least!! I clicked on the crap Sites puts out on his Site. He works hard to sound like a fair and honest reporter. But not hard enough!! He still comes through as an anti-Military a**hole who will dig us anyway and anytime he has the excuse to. I have had a few years in the Corps and have eaten my share of "K" rations and "C" rations and some punk with a camera and no Marine Corps I.D.should never be allowed to pass any judgment on one of OURS. Col.Williams has probably gone mushey between the ears from all that good Fosters beer down under. Come on Col., shine up your emblems and become a MARINE between the ears again.
Semper Fi

"Permissiveness is the principle of treating children as if they were adults; and the tactic of making sure they never reach that stage."
--Thomas Szasz

Department of Defense DIRECTIVE NUMBER 5210.56 is the official US position on the use of deadly force. If you read through, and understand English, you will note that what the US Marine did in the Sikes/NBC video (killing of injured Iraqi) was the appropriate, correct, legal action. As an attorney, please note that this means the killing was an officially protected activity; at least in my humble opinion.
Bill Klocek (MO #38,507; KS #13,515; MS 18,313)

Ironically, we just lost another brother, John Burch G-3-7 Korea passed away on the Marine Corps birthday in Arcadia, FL. Sadly missed by an old squad member, Ed Seaton.

When I was in Vietnam, I seldom used a helmet or flack-jacket(SP). Yes I was yelled at etc. etc. But I could move fast and it was less cumbersome without the weight. I was with Motor "T" and I and my fellow brothers felt the same way. If we wanted heavily armored vehicles, we would have signed up for "TANKS". We traveled any road(?) with any load. I had an unlimited license. I needed speed. I wanted to travel up hills as fast as down. The extra weight, for you arm chair soldiers, is cumbersome. DUHHHHH?
Semper Fi
PS: I did have two speeding tickets from army Hue helicopters. HA HA

Sgt Grit,
To the father, Edward West, I send my deepest condolences and thank him for having such a brave and honorable son. I do agree with Mr. West on the issue of the Islamic leaders of the world and why do they not speak up or step in to stop the actions of these "militants". Where are their special forces units going in to rescue hostages before they're beheaded? Where is their aid effort to help stabilize the region? If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

Also, God bless the Marine who whacked that insurgent. He did what was right. Nobody who has not been in there fighting house-to-house, door-to-door has the right to judge him. He did what he has been trained to do and his fellow Marines were guaranteed to be alive because of him. I'm guessing this isn't the first time in military history that something like this has happened. It just may be the first time the camera caught it. It's what happens in war. We don't hug them, we give them their virgins.
Chuck Weisberger
GySgt, USMC ret.

"One single object...[will merit] the endless gratitude of the society: that of restraining the judges from usurping legislation."
--Thomas Jefferson

I like many others, whether they choose to admit it or not, enjoy my freedom as an AMERICAN. Unfortunately many don't understand what is involved in keeping that god given right. I served in the Corps 90-96. My wife served in the Navy 89-93. We have very different views on our obligations as veterans and as Americans. But I understand her point of view, she says she loves her country but she loves her children more. I tell her that if we don't do our part and others follow that lead, we won't have a country to love. She asked me which of my children I was willing to sacrifice for that right. My answer is simple... none. But I will gladly sacrifice my own life if it means helping another for the greater good. However if any of my children choose that path on their own I will support them and hope that I have done my job as a parent to educate them, not sway them with bias OPINIONS, let them know that I love them and support their decision. There is no greater gift than a man who lays down his life for another. I believe that we all know of one, his name was Jesus. Not to compare myself to Jesus, but I am a man who believes in helping those who can not help themselves. My wife cautions and complains because I will not hesitate to help a stranded motorist. She says that it will get me killed one day. I say that if I "go out" trying to help my fellow man then so be it. At least I died doing what I believe is right. It is the same reason I joined the CORPS. It wasn't for college, or just to see if I could make it through boot camp, it was because I loved my country. If I don't stand up for her who will and there have been plenty of people both currently and in the past who have supported that theory. Look at how many people have and are protesting our involvement in Iraq. Grow up people!!! I bet you wouldn't be so whiney if it were your family members that are so quickly being forgotten, 9/11 Just remember those men and women who HAVE put their lives on the line are the ones that afford you the opportunity to have an opinion. You should be thanking them and supporting them not protesting them. GOD BLESS AMERICA, LAND OF THE FREE BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE!!!!

As for the media, they know going in that they will be put in harms way. I have never been a news reporter so I can not and will not say whether I am for or against it. It does both good and harm to report the facts of war. If it is indeed the facts that are being reported.

Michael Denney
USMC Sgt 90-96

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

I am a proud mom of A United States Marine. How can anyone be as concerned over the language that is being used in these letters. My son has never forgotten his place when he is in public or the presence of lady he is one of the most respectable people in the room. His manner is of nothing but courteous. Is it not time that we worry more of the death and injuring of our young marines and soldiers both male and female than as to the language they use. Maybe those who worry about the language should remember what it is like to have to kill your first human being no matter where they are from or their religion and the scar it will leave. If it only brings a language problem then God bless them for a little swearing. And God bless them for the work they are all doing.
One Extremely Proud Mom Of A United States Marine

"Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood."
--John Adams

Many of us do good at this time; most of us all mean to, but sometimes good intentions get lost in the hurry and bustle of the holiday season. ...One of the great messages of this season is that it's never too late to touch a life and maybe change the world forever for someone. ...So, now I light the Nation's Christmas tree. May its thousand lights illuminate our best resolves and cast a great glow on our affection for each other, and our thanks for each other, and our love."
--Ronald Reagan

To Sgt. Grit,
As an Army infantryman from WWII I want to put my two cents worth in regarding the Marine who is being persecuted for doing his duty. When you are in combat you do not have the time to think. If you wonder if you should shoot or not shoot you will wind up getting hit yourself. My thoughts and prayers are with all the great Marines and Army infantrymen who are fighting there instead of here. May you all have a blessed and Merry Christmas.
Doug Denman-95th Infantry Division veteran

Outstanding picture and story.

Hey Grit,
Last night I watched "H&ll in the Pacific" on one of the "Discovery" channels. During this hour long program they interviewed Marines, soldiers, sailors and surviving Japanese. Also showed movies of Marines and soldiers killing wounded Japanese. Because they were known to hide grenades on their selves. Or if not totally disabled to still try to kill our people. For shame, actual film of this happening. How could we win a war this way? Oh I get it. The photographers were on our side. We were at war. They were the bad guys. They would fight to the death, use deceit, bobby trap their selves, fake surrender to get close to our people.
Sorta like what is going on today in the Sandbox. Only then there was no ACLU or bleeding hearts full of wishful thinking.
Good thing or we might not have won that one.
Semper Fidelis
Lloyd "Pappy" Reynolds
3rd Tanks, RVN 66-68

If anyone thinks the reporters can't influence a war, remember TET '68.
"Fratres Aeterni"

Joe O'Brian wrote that moms read this site too therefore, clean it up. I think that is a very kind and decent thought but just have to add..Who the h*ll do you think raised those marines! I saw a bumper sticker in Ca while visiting my son; (and Sgt Grit, have not seen it on your site yet but keep looking) Ain't nothing meaner than a Marine...'cept his momma! Thanks though Joe!
Beth Harper PMM

I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for all of the comments from Marines & former Marines. Their stories are truly touching. I am the( Nanny( Grandmother) of a Marine with 3/5 India Co. in Fallujah right now. I believe that we just need to pray earnestly for our troops and their safety. I realize that the media doesn't understand one iota of what these brave troops are having to endure and if they don't, then keep their nasty judgmental comments to themselves. This is my grandson's second trip to Iraq(age 21) and yes, 3/5 led the group into Baghdad also, along with some other units. Our youngest son, Brian USMC, was in Desert Storm in the same area several yrs. before so I do know the heartbreak of having family in harm's way. We have sons,grandsons,son in law, and my husband who have all been in the Marines + we live in a military town. When they aired the story on Fox News several days ago, we didn't see Justin in the pictures, but he is there nevertheless. When they said on that story that these troops had probably aged 5 yrs. since they have been there, it is sadly & most likely very true. We surely do miss Justin and pray daily for his safe and swift return home, unharmed. His very good buddy that was killed there, Shane Killeon,may he rest in peace. Unfortunately, Justin saw his buddy get killed and I know it will leave a lasting impression on him. Thanks again for your paper and all of those who care to share their stories with the rest of us.
Sincerely yours, Mrs. Patricia Fortney--Jacksonville, N.C.

hello and Merry Christmas from marines from mwss 472, serving now for 6 months deployment in Iraq. thanks again and happy new 2005, will be home soon.
(lcpl) lorenzo parco

Check it out. Marine Corps Museum of the Carolinas. I have met SgtMaj Joe Houle, USMC (Ret).
He is the executive director of this effort.
Semper fi
Sgt Grit

By Michael Marks

I had no Christmas spirit when I breathed a weary sigh,
and looked across the table where the bills were piled too high.
The laundry wasn't finished and the car I had to fix,
My stocks were down another point, the Chargers lost by six.

And so with only minutes till my son got home from school
I gave up on the drudgery and grabbed a wooden stool.
The burdens that I carried were about all I could take,
and so I flipped the TV on to catch a little break.

I came upon a desert scene in shades of tan and rust,
No snowflakes hung upon the wind, just clouds of swirling dust.
And where the reindeer should have stood before a laden sleigh,
eight Humvees ran a column right behind an M1A.

A group of boys walked past the tank, not one was past his teens,
Their eyes were hard as polished flint, their faces drawn and lean.
They walked the street in armor with their rifles shouldered tight,
their dearest wish for Christmas, just to have a silent night.

Other soldiers gathered, hunkered down against the wind,
To share a scrap of mail and dreams of going home again.
There wasn't much at all to put their lonely hearts at ease,
They had no Christmas turkey, just a pack of MREs.

They didn't have a garland or a stocking I could see,
They didn't need an ornament--they lacked a Christmas tree.
They didn't have a present even though it was tradition,
the only boxes I could see were labeled "ammunition."

I felt a little tug and found my son now by my side,
He asked me what it was I feared, and why it was I cried.
I swept him up into my arms and held him oh so near
and kissed him on the forehead as I whispered in his ear.

There's nothing wrong my little son, for safe we sleep tonight,
our heroes stand on foreign land to give us all the right,
to worry on the things in life that mean nothing at all,
instead of wondering if we will be the next to fall.

He looked at me as children do and said it's always right,
to thank the ones who help us and perhaps that we should write.
And so we pushed aside the bills and sat to draft a note,
to thank the many far from home, and this is what we wrote:

God bless you all and keep you safe, and speed your way back home.
Remember that we love you so, and that you're not alone.
The gift you give you share with all, a present every day,
You give the gift of liberty and that we can't repay.

I am the very proud father of Lance Corporal Glen R. Bullock 2nd Bn. 4th Marines, Fox Company 3rd. Platoon.

On August 13, 2004 while serving with the Magnificent Bastards in Ramadi, Iraq my 20 year old Marine team leader was shot in the back by a coward. I say that as only a coward hiding behind a mast would shot someone in the back. I thank God that his squad leader and team rushed to his aid along with every Marines friend their Corpsman. Within a matter of minutes an evac was called in and he was on his way to a med center to be taken care of. A short helo ride later and he was in an Army Hospital in Baghdad. August 30th we arrived at Camp Pendleton to pick up our wounded Marine and bring him home to Michigan to recover.

The entire time he was home with us he was only worried about one thing. Any Marine should be able to guess what that was. You are correct it was his fellow Marines still in Iraq. Luckily they came home shortly after he was wounded.

Well he's back at Camp Pendleton awaiting his medical discharge from the Corps. The doctor's don't give him much hope of ever regaining the use of his right foot due to nerve damage. At this point they feel the drop foot will always be with.

I'm not complaining or looking for any sympathy nor is my Marine. His attitude is extremely bright and optimistic. To use his words, dad that's only one person's opinion so I'm not giving up. We've lost far too many young in this conflict as well as all of those wounded far worse than my son. He is thankful as we are that his wound wasn't more damaging. He knows first hand what could have happened to him.

Well I'm here to say that my son may have joined the Corps but after spending sleepless nights and terrible days for six months his parents it seemed were just as involved. I am thankful for the many Marine mom's, dad's and wives of Marines serving with my son. The 2/4 had a great private web site were we shared news, tears and laughs during that time. Once a Marine parent always a Marine parent is my motto.

Semper Fi to all those serving and a heartfelt thank you goes out to all.

Proud Marine Father
Glen Bullock II
Holland, Mi.

This is in response to Col Mike Williams' recommendation for all Marines to visit Kevin Sites' web log and read his version of what happened in Fallujah. Colonel; I read it, and while I respect your rank and service in the Corps, I cannot respect your decision to stand by a reporter who is an obvious wordsmith, attempting to "tell" his side of the story by creating the impression he was the only voice of reason there. I know spin and BS when I read it and though he attempts to spin that he did not want to release the video until the Corps was ready, he employs every excuse in the book for why it was released as it was. His web log was designed to make those of us unfortunate to read his garbage believe that he is "sympathetic" to the young Marine. Once again, all we hear in the media is the media's side of the story. No wonder the Muslim Insurgents feel our media is their best source of information and propaganda. Now you are propagating the same. And as for my background, in a few of your listed fields of operations, while you were flying overhead, I was on the ground below.
Gunny G
74 - 86

Col. Bill Lucius, the last Marine survivor of the battle of Midway, (Santa Rosa Press Democrat) has died at age 90. Bill joined the Corps in 1933 and served 24 years. He was a Pearl Harbor survivor, stationed at Ewa Air Station. More recently he was a member of Santa Rosa Detachment 686, Marine Corps League.

Bill served as Mayor of Healdsburg, CA. Gov. Reagan appointed him to the state transportation board; his contributions are recognized with the naming of a 23 mile stretch of Highway 101 named "Col Bill Lucius Highway".

Services are December 18 at Lafferty and Smith, Santa Rosa, with full Marine honors.

The family suggests donations to Kaiser Permanente Oncology Fund.

Respectfully submitted by Rob Jackson, Mustang, USMCR 1952-1972, Commandant, Detachment 686.

I totally support this young Marine and his actions. He was doing his job and that is all we can ask. Sadli, I read in today's newspaper where a Soldier was tried and convicted of shooting a wounded enemy soldier after coming under attack. He was stripped pf rank, sentenced to 3 years imprisonment and given a dishonorable discharge. How long can we expect our young men and women to continue with this type retribution hanging over their heads. I truly feel "instant" news coverage is a great detriment to our troops.
Roger Tison, Sr. USMC Viet Nam era
Semper Fi

I received my first Sgt Grit newsletter today. What a thrill to read the letters. I just wanted to comment, on the gentleman and his wife who were saluted by the bikers on the highway. I am a Marine Mom, my son enlisted while a senior in high school, I had to sign my permission for him to do so. He's been in two years now and is a Lance Corporal, was sent to Haiti earlier this year with the Peacekeepers, and will be going to Iraq in February.

Anyway, to the point of my letter, my younger daughter and I were traveling back from visiting my older daughter at Texas Tech, and as we were driving down I-20 headed for Dallas, a semi passed us in the left hand lane and as they did so, they blew their horn, at first startling us, until I saw the Eagle Globe and Anchor emblem, and the thumbs up from the lady in the passenger seat. I have put the Proud Parent of a US Marine bumper sticker that the recruiters hand out as well as my Before Boot Camp There was MOM sticker that I got from Sgt Grit in the back window of my car. Nice to know that there are others out there that support the young men and women who are putting their lives on the line for us.

Hey Sgt. Grit,
Another Proud MARINE Mom here. l just finished reading the latest newsletter and wanted to comment on a few entries.

First l would like to say to Ed West how it grieves me every time l hear of yet another MARINE lost. My son is also 19 so it hits very close to home but there is no way l could empathize w/your grief. l pray God will be very close to you and your family during this time. Thanks to your son and countless others we live free. Land of the free because of the brave!

Secondly to Jim O'Brien...first l say to you Top O' the mornin' to ya. lrish that l am. Anyway, l appreciate your concern for moms reading the newsletter and some of the language but like myself we all probably understand. l have been around cops and dispatchers for a number of years (I'm a dispatcher) and have heard just about everything you can imagine, even tho l don't use the language myself. This site needs to be one where MARINES can vent, so don't worry. My fiancé' is a deputy and l have to allow him to vent and sometimes it is very colorful, stress does that.

Third to R. A. Wulff. in your entry you ended with "...I'm no one special." On the contrary, you are a MARINE. That in itself makes you someone special. You are one of the FEW, the PROUD, a MARINE! Thank you.

Just an update on my MARINE, LCpl Mac. He is now stationed at Quantico w/ HMX-1. l am one very Proud MARINE Mom. And so is his sister!

SEMPER FI to all and to all an OOHRAH!
Merry Christmas to all MARINES wherever you may be. Victoria

Sometime back a young man came to the chatroom that had enlisted in the Corps...Well he came back to the room, this last week and he had become a Marine and oh he was so thrilled to now be a Marine... I asked him how he liked boot camp and he