Sgt Grit Marine Corps Merchandise

Welcome to our Marine Corps Newsletter archives. Here you can find USMC articles and memories sent in to us by fellow Jarheads and their families. Enjoy!

Sgt Grit Marine Corps Newsletter - April 29, 2004

"I asked Lieutenant David Dobb, who sustained injuries to his hand, why so many of these young men decided to stick it out even though they'd been hurt. 'This is what these Marines signed up to do...and we're going to see this mission through until the job's done the way it is supposed to be done'."
--Oliver North


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ANNOUNCEMENT

Old Corps - New Corps - Family of Marines - Future Marines

1ST Annual Sgt GriTogether!

Saturday, May 22, 2004
11 am -3 pm

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

MORE INFO on the GRITOGETHER


New Items!

Grunt Gear - Book

Arc Light - Book

First Black Marines - Book

Stand By To Fall Out - Book

Baghdad Spring Break 2004 T-shirt

Precious Moments Woman Marine Figurine

Precious Moments Marine Figurine

Precious Moments Marine Figurine




FALLUJAH

first hand Sit Rep from the lap top of 1Sgt Bill Skiles in Fullujah. Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, is in the thick of combat against the bad guys. The 1Sgt speaks of "extreme prejudice and violent action!"

I'm back and here we go..Now for an update.....Currently Co. "E" 2/1 has 40 wounded and 3 KIA's.....wild huh?...mostly small shrapnel and eardrums, but had a Marine lose an arm and 1,a leg ...This place is too messed up to explain...We have been living in the northwest of Fallujah for 3 weeks now....Actually living in some homes we confiscated...across from us about 300 yards is the downtown area of Fallujah...We are shot at every night. We are mortared a lot as well...We always are firing back with our snipers and/or machine guns....It's almost surreal..We could be playing cards..we hear gunshots and booms..we keep playing....no big deal...Today, I have to tell you about TODAY and our gun battle.

We started receiving sniper fire from this Mosque/ tower...then some badguys threw grenades at our pos. on our roofs...Marines got wounded and Marines fought these $%^%$ close in. Frags were thrown and massive 5.56 was used in close prox. Anyway, my main job is causalities evacuation and accountability...So, hearing I have wounded, I jump in my hardened high back with my company corpsman and 4 security guys and rush to the scene...I've never been shot at so much in my life....During the medivac, AK's were firing at us 10 yards away....I would fire my M-16 with one hand while I was running back and forth....OH MY GOD>>> I think Carl Lewis would be proud of my speed getting these boys loaded up. Anyway, 8 wounded today, 1 died....I actually broke down and had the chaplain say a prayer while I hugged this guys head....He was a good Marine.....I am back in the rear tonight to rest my hurt back and rest my %^%$# brain....NEVER have I had so much blood around me....But you know what, PAYBACK is just around the %$#@# corner and I WILL not falter. I WILL get these boys ready to show no mercy and rid this town of this CANCER. Extreme prejudice and violence of action....I really have nothing intelligent to say...Just numb....I take these boys too personal sometimes.....We ARE the purple Heart Company..152 strength, 40 WIA, 3 KIA...1/3 of the company with 5 months to go...H@ll YEAH>>>>> God Bless our Corpsman and our Chaplains...They make a big difference out here....and God Bless Marine Corps fixed wing, Rotary gunships, artillery, mortars, machine guns and Iraqi body bags....
Out for now...
1st Sgt Bill Skiles

God Bless America and the United States Marine Corps
Once One of the Few...Still One of the Proud

RAMADI

I so enjoy the News Letters, Outstanding!! I was reading the evening paper and on the front page my eyes fell on an article about a young Marine Sgt., Kenneth Conde Jr. from my home town, Orlando, Florida. His platoon, engaged in a fierce fire fight in the city of Ramadi, in Iraq, was wounded through the shoulder. He fell to the ground. He said he remembered seeing a red mist come from his back. The article in the Orlando Sentinel stated that as he fell to the ground, he could hear the Iraqi insurgents in Ramadi cheering. The young Sgt stated he was filled with rage. He got to his feet returned fire before falling to the ground a second time. He was treated by a Marine Guardian Angel, a Corpsman, but he was not finished. He grabbed his rifle and returned to battle. Young Sgt. Conde continued to fight with his unit for several days in spite of his wound, only stopping when it became so numb that he could not hold his rifle. I know his father, Kenneth Conde Sr., a Marine Veteran himself, is so proud of him, and I know Marines everywhere should be also, I know that I am.....Semper Fi Young Sgt. Conde and all the Marines in Iraq holding up the traditions of the Corps.
Sgt. Donald J. Tasker, USMC

CON THE MAN

Great newsletter! On a Sunday Morning in June of 2003 at the Sahara Casino while waiting in the brunch line I noticed a man with a cane that seemed somewhat confused. On closer observation I noticed he was wearing a Marine Corps ball cap. I approached this man to see if I could assist him and greeted him with the phrase "Semper Fi".

The man instantly recognized the greeting and asked my unit and time served and I responded.

About that time his daughter approached, I suppose she was fearing that I was going to con the man. But, once she found out what we were discussing she was ok with my presence with her father.

I found out later from the daughter that his wife of many years had died on Christmas day of 2002 and he had recently had a heart attack and they had brought him to Las Vegas for some R&R.

Well he seemed somewhat frail and out of sorts but we talked about the Corps, he had been in the Pacific and apparently had seen some serious combat and did not talk about all that. I was in in Nam and strangely enough with an approximate 20+ year age difference we connected.

We talked about Pogey bait laughed about boot camp at the PI and just things like that for about an hour, laughing the whole time.

His daughter said that she had not seen her dads spirits that high for a long time, we all said farewell and went our own ways.

To my surprise I ran into the same folks the next day and we made plans to meet at the Rivera casino later that day. Again during this meeting we used Marine Corps slang and just enjoyed good conversation about the Corps. Again his family noticed his sprits rise as we agreed to meet later that day.

At the appointed time I was at the Rivera Casino and looked forward to seeing this man and his family, I don't know why because 2 days earlier they were strangers. Unfortunately they never showed up and to this day I wonder if the man got sick or what happened. As I said he was ill and trying to recover from the loss of his wife. I sometime wonder if it was all too much for him.

I am sure that this man dearly loved his Corps as we all do and no matter where he is I hope that he is either well, or guarding "Heavens Gate" I just wanted to say that this encounter with this WW2 Marine made me feel that, yes it is true all Marines are brothers and maybe we have not met but we are not strangers.

Now a almost a year later I feel good about this meeting as I feel that I was able to bring some happiness back into the life of a Marine who had lost so much in such a short period of time.
Semper FI Jim Barr 1961-1973 USMC

SWOOPING

Sgt. Grit.
As a Company 1st Sgt. at Camp Lejeune in 1969 I lost two Marines ( swoopers )in car wrecks. Both cars hit bridge abutments. 1 outside Detroit, ( 5 dead, 1 mine) the other outside Indianapolis ( 3 dead, 1 mine ). As they all were in violation of the UCMJ ( out of bounds ) major problems occurred when relatives tried to collect death benefits including SGLI. I don't know when swooping started at Camp Lejeune, maybe pre 1950, but I do know that many Marines have died swooping. Not to mention all the resulting office hours for being UA. As you can guess I take a dim view of swooping and swoopers. By now, at least an entire rifle company, if not Bn., must be dead as a result or swooping.
DMB 1555134 USMC ( Ret.)

MAGIC

"Marines are mystical. They have magic."
It is this same magic that "may well frighten potential opponents more than the actual violence Marines can generate in combat."
Best-selling author Tom Clancy

TODD T. SHEAF

AND HAITI

To all the Marines in the world especially presently in Iraq and Afghanistan keep up the superior work. Without the Marine Corps where would this country be? No matter what age you are, retired or active, enlisted or an officer, reserve or not, we are all Marines, with the same beliefs and honors, and when our blood is shed it is all red in color. We are the very proud branch of service that members are always proud to say that "I am a Marine".
Semper Fi!!!!!!!!!!!
JM 1980713

OLD MARINE SMILE

The story by "Nate D Corporal of Marines, 1998-present Marine Forces Pacific, Camp Smith, HI" regarding the selection board not standing at attention for the singing of "The Marines Hymn" was priceless. Makes an old Marine smile at the creativity of the young NCO's, and proud to see the tradition continues. All the best to our brothers in Iraq and all over the world.
Semper Fi! Ray

RIPPED OVER MY HEAD

To that 'Ole sh*tbird. Last time I slogged through those PI swamps in 1955 it was located in South Carolina. Remember getting off the train from Boston and staying over nite in Yamasee and having a sheet ripped over my head in the AM by a little red headed Sgt because I had not folded it correctly. Welcome to PI. Just visited MCRD San Diego to witness graduation and retirement ceremony. I was proud to see the Corps is still building men with the best training and DI's in the world. SEMPER FI
Always a Marine G. HUMPHREY 1536401

2nd HAT

Sgt. Grit,
Thanks for the letters; I can't wait to get them and hear from my fellow Marines! All the stories about boot camp and the poor saps that received goodies in the mail brought back one of the funniest memories of my experience in San Diego. One evening, about 3 weeks into training, we were at mail call. The 2nd hat was doing his best trying to knock our eyes out with precisely thrown envelopes when he reached down and picked up a large brown box. Everyone held their breath and prayed it wasn't for them, but we knew someone was up the creek. Sgt. Richardson calls the skinniest guy in our platoon to the mat and tells him to open the box. Now instead of nice, soft, home made cookies, the box is chock full of hard candy. The Sgt. tells us to stand-by and pulls this poor Pvt. into the DI hut. About 15 minutes later the DI emerges and literally has tears rolling down his cheek. He barks out "Get in here NUMBNUTS!" Out comes the poor Pvt. and his mouth is completely full of candy, and I mean completely. He looked like a squirrel storing up for winter. I honestly don't know how he could breathe and you could tell he was in a lot of pain. After about 15 seconds, the DI looks at the rest of us and says "Now, anyone want some CANDY?" and falls back into the DI hut laughing his a$$ off. He must've stayed in there for 10 minutes leaving the poor Pvt. standing there in front of the other 80 of us trying to figure out how to either get the candy in or out. Finally, he secures us for shower/shave time and lets the Pvt. spit the candy out. Needless to say, there were 80 some odd letters going out the next morning pleading for no one to send anything but a letter in a plain, white envelope. That was the one and only time I ever saw our 2nd hat laugh, but he sure made the most of it. Semper Fi and God Bless all those in harm's way.
D. Hanson
Sgt USMC
88-94

CORPSMAN UP

I don't think I've told this story but if I did put it down to old age and love of a good story. Last October I received a call from a man calling by a nickname I haven't heard in many years .He starts out with I've got something of yours and I've been looking for you for over 30 years. He then relates this story which I do not remember I question him if he sure it was me and he says you are the Dan Benjamin who was with M/3/9 in 66 I say yes well here the story just before going out on one of the last patrols of my tour I was awarded a purple heart not wanting to lose it I gave it to Doc Dollar to hold well while we were out he got sent TAD by the time he got back I had rotated back to the world. He has been looking ever since for me about a week after we spoke I received it in the mail. needless to say if I wasn't a hard charging grunt there would have been tears in my eyes ,but since I just had lit a smoke it must have got in my eyes and made my voice kinda raspy as I was telling my daughter. So if any of you run into Jim Dollar in the Seattle area, give him a Semper Fi and a Corpsman up for me
Dan Benjamin,sgt 1965-73

CORPSMAN DOWN

Jim, don't know how many Navy Corpsmen have Purple Hearts but 1963 have lost their lives in combat. Most with the Marines, some say 776 in Nam alone. This will include Michael Vann Johnson Jr. HM2 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines KIA on 25 March 2003. We had our reunion in Nov at Charleston in his honor. God Bless America, the Marine Corps and G.W.Bush.
Chuck Stark Historian, American Association of Navy Hospital Corpsmen

WHILE AT WORK

Dear Sgt. Grit,
I've been reading your news letter for about a year or so and never really felt the strong need to reply to anyone's post till now. I read Don Bowen's post about Pfc. Sekula. It was a very moving post and what has compelled me to write is his last comment;..."One of the people in my office, ask me why I was taking the loss so hard. I replied it is a Marine thing and you would have to be one to truly understand......" You hit the nail on the head there Don. While at work, I read in the newspaper about all the Marines that had been killed, I got a lump in my throat, tears in my eyes and I punched something (don't recall what but it was hard). I got the same question about why am I taking the loss so hard but with the 'you didn't actually know them' added on. The only ones who did understand were the two other former Marines that I work with. Semper Fi and thank you Don.
Cpl Nancy Steele '91-'95
Don Bowman

REPEATING THAT TALE

Sgt Grit,
I am amused at the responses as to what the smell at Parris Island, might be. Born and raised in Savannah, and around the low country SC area, I can attest to the FACT, that the distinct smell at Parris Island is the smell of the Pulp Mill in Savannah, where they make paper. So when the wind is blowing south to north, PI gets that lovely odor! This is the same smell that I smelled when I stepped off the plane in Iwakuni Japan that first night in Jan 71. And the salty LCpl welcoming us to Iwakuni told us it was the smell of the Japanese cremating bodies. In fact, I first heard that tale in 1971, and was amazed at my troops repeating that tale when I was there in the 90's. There was a paper mill just north of the base, in Otake, and when the wind blew north to south, it smelled like PI, Savannah, Brunswick & ST Marys Ga, and all the other places that have paper mills. Semper Fi
Jerry Cox
68-98

MAY HAVE BEEN ABOARD

Howdy Sgt. Grit.
I just read that Marines should remember the names of the ships they were on (in!). I have all of mine listed -- from World War II. Maybe someone from those old days will recognize some of the names; perhaps they too may have been aboard. The list: S.S. Lurline, U.S.S. President Hayes (APA 18), George Clymer, Rixey (Hospital ship), Pinckney (Hospital ship), Talamanca, Zeilin (APA 3), Pennant, Adair, Arenac, Braxton, Boxer (Escort Carrier), Calvert.

I'd like to hear from anyone who was aboard any of those ships during W.W.II.
Semper Fidelis and Gung-Ho from Elmer Mapes
e-mail: semperjag0@aol.com

TO EVER UNDERSTAND

Semper Fi Hard Charger. As I read the current news letter about you attending the Funeral of Pfc. Dustin Sekula it is true you would have to be a Marine to ever understand. I took My 3 1/2 month old son to a Funeral today of Sgt. Michael Speer. This hard charger had the respect of all that knew him. A Marine's Marine. As the lonely sound of taps echoed in the Veterans Cemetery I stopped being sad because this Marine as well as the others did not die they still live as Marines such as you and my new son live. Hopefully my son will not have to find himself in conflicts as did I and many others but if so He will be with the best their is. God Speed and Thanks for the newsletter and all you do. It does make a huge difference when I see the small few that disrespect our Marines by protesting in the streets. I have been passing on your newsletters on to Marines still in the fight. Thanks again.
Respectfully
Cpl. David Osborne Jr.

POGEY BAIT

found on the net............ Origin of the Term "Pogey Bait"
There's an old story going around the Corps - has been for years - about the origin of the term "Pogey Bait".
The Marines in China before WW II were issued candy (Baby Ruths, Tootsie Rolls, etc.) as part of their their ration supplements. At the time, sugar and other assorted sweets were rare commodities in China and much in demand by the Chinese, so the troops found the candy useful for barter in town. The Chinese word for prostitute, roughly translated, is "pogey". Thus, Marines being Marines, candy became "Pogey Bait".
Phillip S.

G-4

SF,NC, 1108487 wrote that "Your message from Shultz in Iraq referred to Intel as G-4. The G designations have not changed. Here is a brief breakdown. G is a prefix designation General Staff such as G-1 (formerly the personnel division of the U.S. War department), G-2 (formerly the intelligence division), G-3 (formerly the operations and training division), and G-4 (formerly the supply division). The letter designations for staff offices are still used in Army and Marine Corps tactical organizations above the battalion level.
Semper fi,
"Wolf", USA SPECFOR

THEIR JUMP STATUS

Sgt. Grit...
I am in a motor home club and due to the fact that we have a retired Marine Major in it, we gain access to Del Mar beach once per year aboard Camp Pendleton. I can't tell you how much pride I feel, as I watch the troops launch out through the surf with amphibious personnel carriers at all hours of the day....a little different from the LCNs (landing craft, nylon with twelve paddlers on the gunnels...launched from a Submarine) we used as FMF Amphib. Recon Marines in the fifties. Watching these young people brought back some vivid memories.

Right out of boot (Parris Island), I was placed in 2nd Amphibious Recon when it was just company strength at Camp Geiger, N.C.and it was quite an experience for an eighteen year old kid. We had a jump platoon which jumped once per month to maintain their jump status (and jump pay).

I remember one particular day at New River, NC when a C 126 with our jumpers aboard flew over the whole company and they threw out a drag chute to test wind direction. Well, the chute didn't open and the contraption hit the ground and bounced about ten times with loud thumps. The jump platoon proceeded to follow it out the hatch without hesitation, a good example of training and discipline, but were scared out of their minds when it happened, as they described it to us later-on.

Another time, while out on a "survival" problem, we came upon a "Moonshiner" who was trying to avoid the eyes of the law enforcement plane which was flying over his still in the piney woods. of North Carolina (off base, for some reason). He asked our young Lt. if we would help him load his gear into a trailer and promised he would bring us some chow back from town later, when the coast was clear. True to his word, he returned and left us with some sandwiches and a bottle of "shine." We sat around in the dark that night (we were "tactical") sharing sips of the shine which just about took the tops of our heads off. Of course, if our C.O. had heard of any of this we would have all done brig-time, and we all were sworn to secrecy and the word never got out.

One of the most vivid memories I have is of watching someone who had gone AWOL get "drummed out of the Corps" while I was in that Recon Co. This individual came back to the base after 90 or more days of absence without leave. He was brigged and got a BCD, I think. The whole company was called out to the truck park one day and we fell into ranks. An MP Jeep came with the prisoner dressed in dress greens and the MPs accompanied him to the front of the formation. As the commanding officer read the charges against him and the resulting discharge without honor from the Corps, the exec. officer tore off all the buttons and anything with the Marine Corps Emblem on it from the greens.

Then, to the sound of a single snare drum, the whole company did an about-face on him, and so....he was "drummed out of the Corps." I'm sure that would never "fly" today in the light of the ACLU and other organizations, but it sure did back then. ...and an image I will never forget.

Keep up the good work...we enjoy reading about our beloved Marine Corps.
Dick Vara
2nd Amphib. Recon Co. FMF, Atlantic
Camp Geiger, N.C.
Sgt. E-4
'56-'59

SOMETIMES MY CONSCIENCE

I just read the note from Don Bowman. I now have tears running down my face. I love all of my fellow Marines. They are my brothers. I never had the honor of serving in combat. I was a radio repairman 2841 and spent all my time fixing gear. Sometimes my conscience feels very guilty for not having been their and the loss of my friends. Its going on 30 years since I was in the Corp and this thing still bothers me.

God bless all my Marine family.
M.A. Mansfield

FORMAL KILT OUTFIT

SGT Grit:
I live in the Idaho Panhandle. About 10 years ago, an old Scot and his wife invited my wife and I to go to see the Black Watch perform at Beasley Coliseum, Washington State University, in eastern Washington, about eight miles across the border from my home in Moscow.

I, as a military Historian, was well aware of the long-standing connection between the United States Marine Corps and the Black Watch, which goes back to the fact that we were honorable enemies at the Battle of Bladensburg Crossroads in the war of 1812.

The performance was exceptional. My wife, whose maiden name is "Stewart", loves the pipes, as do I, an assimilated Scot by marriage.

There were various combinations of the pipe band and the drum and bugle corps (altogether, 250 strong) , and for the final number, the drum and bugle corps, in the arena by themselves, began a medley of the U.S. military services' songs. They saved the Marines Hymn for last, the place of honor, and as the D&B started it, the entire pipe band marched back onto the floor to join them. A crescendo of sound swelled out, filling the Coliseum. and chilling the blood.

In the semidarkness around the arena, scattered throughout the 30 thousand person capacity-crowd audience, a few dozen individuals---old, young, and middle-aged---stood, and came to the position of attention. The rest of the audience looked at us with puzzled expressions, but it wasn't important that they understand why we were at rigid attention. What was important was that, for a moment, all of the Brothers, young and old, shared in the acknowledgment of who we were, and in in the act of rising and standing to attention, honored those who went before us, and those who serve. It was an unforgettable moment.

My wife and I, on our 25th anniversary, are reaffirming our vows at the old stone chapel in the Yellowstone Park Headquarters at Mammoth this June 28th. I will be wearing a formal kilt outfit in the Leatherneck tartan. There will be a piper. He will play the Marines Hymn.
Don Kaag
SGT and CPT of Marines
(... and LTC, Armor, AUS (Ret.))

I DID LIE

Reading and I was reminded of the day1. I walk into a duty hut because I had been re-assigned. Was met by a Sgt Miguel Gonzales. He told me that I was plt. guide. Next day 90 new recruits walked in. Man was I NOT knowing what to do. Sgt Gonzales took me in like a son. Made more of an impact on my life than anyone ever has. You never really know what your doing till way later in life. Effectively training me to be a man. I would have followed him into a fire fight or a bar, or the WTC.My DI changed my life, and I still can hear him yelling at me when he rabbit punched the cr@p outta me for I don't remember what but I can also remember him singing the Hymn to us at night. This goes beyond espirit de corps......yep-I did lie during an inspection by the major---bruises from rabbit punches were from lifting "Garbage cans".....Sgt Gonzales, where ever you are....thank you for changing my life, I have a deep respect for you and you were almost like a father to us......The door gunner Krusty-----air wing rules!!!! "You buy we fly" learned a lot from you just by seeing.
Rusty

GENERAL OF ALL GENERALS

Sgt Grit: The story by Don Geddes, in the 4/15 issue reminded me of when I was stationed at NAB, Coronado back in early 1950. Being a "hard charging 01" at the time, the 1stSgt told me to take some papers up to the "head shed," for signature. While walking between buildings, I looked up and here came, what I thought was the General of All Generals -- gold braid running up the arm of his black suit coat. I was petrified, but came to a dignified walk, back straight, eyes front and tendered a precise military salute, accompanied by a loud, "Good Morning Sir," and kept on walking -- hoping that all was well. As soon as he passed, I began to breath again, only to be stopped when he called me to a halt and came back to talk to me. Ram rod stiff I froze at attention. He then introduced himself as Chief Knight, a USN Corpsman attached to TTU (Troop Training Unit), and didn't require salutes by Marines. When I came back, out of Japan/Korea, I had the pleasure of running into him in Coronado, and the first question out of his mouth was, "How come I don't deserve salutes anymore?" at which we both got a good laugh.
MGySgt R.A. Swank, USMC( Ret) 1949-1972

ALL IS SEE IS TEETH AND TONSILS

In August of 1958 I arrived at MCRD San Diego in the middle of the night. After a sleepless night we were assembled outside in a platoon formation, called to "ATTENTION" and harangued for about ten minutes as to our total lack of intelligence. "Dumber than a box of rocks, lower than whale droppings, if brains were gasoline you wouldn't have enough to start a piss ant's motorcycle", etc., etc...

Then the sergeant commanded "AT EASE", at which point I began walking around, introducing my self to others in this platoon that I did not know. "Hi, I'm Bill Larson from Des Moines, Iowa. Where are you from?"

As if by magic the sergeant appeared in front of my face yelling "What the F**k do you think you are doing?"etc., etc. Now all I see are teeth and tonsils, while receiving a liberal spray of the sergeant saliva on my face. I reply "Sergeant you just spent ten minutes telling me how stupid I am and that I know absolutely nothing, HOW THE H@LL am I supposed to know what "at ease is"?"

When I regained consciousness, not only had my attitude been properly adjusted, but also this very savvy sergeant had instantly established complete military discipline and respect in platoon 375!

Thank you S/Sgt Sandvee for turning a self impressed wise a** into a United States Marine.
L/cpl Larson 58-61 Semper Fi

HE APPROACHED THE DAIS

Regarding the poem "Love" The wonderful love of a beautiful maid (etc).
The author is not unknown.

On the occasion marking the Birthday of the US Marine Corps, 1978, onboard Camp LeJeune, and in the presence of several Hundred Marines and their ladies, General Louis H. Wilson, CMC, arose to deliver his long awaited address to the troops. He approached the dais, nodded to the CGs and proceeded to explain to the captive masses that he would be short on words that night-then turned to his bride, Aunt Jane, took a glass and , amid absolutely DEAD SILENCE, offered this Toast- and promptly SAT DOWN! The WHOOPIN' and HOLLERIN' went on for a good 10 minutes.
And in case you missed it;

THE WONDERFUL LOVE OF A BEAUTIFUL MAID,
THE LOVE OF A STAUNCH, TRUE MAN,
THE LOVE OF A BABY UNAFRAID,
HAVE EXISTED SINCE TIME BEGAN.


BUT THE GREATEST OF LOVES,
THE QUINTESSENCE OF LOVES,
EVEN GREATER THAN THAT OF A MOTHER,
IS THE TENDER, PASSIONATE, INFINITE LOVE,
OF ONE DRUNKEN MARINE FOR ANOTHER.

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

HALTED US TWICE

RE: ZERO-DARK-THIRTY
THE SAME THING HAPPENED TO ME. I WAS A SQUAD LEADER AND KNEW SOMETHING WAS WRONG. SSGT. NOAKES, OUR PLATOON COMMANDER, HALTED US TWICE AND LET ME KNOW ABOUT IT, BUT I STILL COULDN'T SHAKE IT. HE FIRED ME, THEN MADE ME DO "UP AND ON SHOULDERS". IT COST ME MERITORIOUS PFC-MY SADDEST MOMENT.
JON RODGERS
PLT. 3137 I CO. 3RD BATTALION
SAN DIEGO-1969

ARE REALLY WARRIORS

God, this reminds me of the days in Vietnam. I was with the 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division in Vietnam and see them also in Fallujah. I really feel for these younger brothers, and see that they are really warriors. I am very proud of what they are doing and would like to help them in anyway I can, but do not know how.
Daryl Paulson Sgt. USMC 1968-1969 An Hoa, Vietnam

HIS UNIFORM IS DIFFERENT.....revisited

An Ol' S--t bird from Yamasee, N.C. recently wrote his recollection of the lyrics they sang to the Marines Hymn. In 1961, my comrades in 2nd Bn, 7th Marine Rgmt, taught a somewhat different version to me but sang them to the tune of Ghost Riders in the Sky.

You can have your Army khaki, you can have your Navy blue. There is but one uniform I'd introduce to you. This uniform is different, the finest ever seen. The Germans called us "Devil Dogs", Our name is plain Marine.

We fought on Okinawa and on Iwo Jima too, The Japs thought they were fighting Gods, when we conquered Peliliu. We loaded boats, we hit the beach, and dug into the sand, and many a brave Marine, my lads. lie buried in those lands.

Now girls, here's a little tip, I'd like to pass to you Get yourself a good Marine, there's nothing he can't do And when he goes to Heaven, Saint Peter he will tell, Here's another Marine reporting, Sir, I've spent my time in H@ll!

L/Cpl Tom Campbell, '61 - '65

I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL

I wanted to thank you for doing what you do. I just found Grunt.com a couple of months ago and I have felt like it was a connection to a family that I have been away from and missed terribly for too long. As I read the last newsletter (the first I have received) at times I laughed and others I cried. I won't even try to explain that because since you are a Marine as well, I know I don't have to.

My father is also a Marine, of the Viet Nam era (in country '62-'63), and there was a rifleman's prayer in his Boot Camp annual that I copied onto a drawing of a rifleman I did when I was in high school. I have seen various Marine prayers but never this one outside of that annual. There is also a piece about what exactly a Marine is, that I will send to you once I retype it. The original is in my father's scrap book from 'Nam. For now, here is the rifleman's prayer.

A Rifleman's Prayer

Dear God my Father through Thy Son
Hear the prayer of a warrior son.
Give my eyes a vision keen
To see the thing that must be seen
A steady hand I ask of Thee
The feel of wind on land or sea
Let me not ever careless be
Of life or limb or liberty
For justice sake a quiet heart
And grace and strength to do my part
To God and country, home and Corps
Let me be faithful evermore
Amen

Again Thank you and Semper Fi.
Donald Austin
Cpl. USMC Camp H.M. Smith MP/SRT
1992-1996

HONOR WWII VETERANS

Marine Barracks To Hold Special Evening Parade to Honor World War II Veterans

Marine Barracks, Washington D.C.-To honor World War II veterans visiting Washington D.C. for Memorial Day weekend, Marine Barracks will host an Evening Parade on Thursday, 27 May, 2004. This parade is in addition to the regularly scheduled Friday Evening Parade. World War II Veterans and their families, wishing to attend this event, are encouraged to make reservations by May 24th. Individuals with fewer than 10 guests in their party can register for the event may visit www.mbw.usmc.mil. For Individuals arranging groups of 10 or more, may send requests with names, a point of contact with address and phone number to protocolrsvp@mbw.usmc.mil. These requests can also be faxed to 202-433-4076.

The Evening Parade features "The President's Own" United States Marine Band, "The Commandant's Own" The United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, and the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon.

Marine Barracks Washington D.C. will also be hosting a concert by the "President's Own" Marine Band from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m., Saturday, 29 May at the Marine Corps War Memorial. Reservations are not required and parking is available for a nominal fee at Arlington Cemetery Visitors Center. There will be a shuttle for transportation to and from the visitor's center. Guests may bring folding chairs and blankets for seating.

I BEGAN TO BREATH AGAIN

Sgt Grit: The story by Don Geddes, in the 4/15 issue reminded me of when I was stationed at NAB, Coronado back in early 1950. Being a "hard charging 01" at the time, the 1stSgt told me to take some papers up to the "head shed," for signature. While walking between buildings, I looked up and here came, what I thought was the General of All Generals -- gold braid running up the arm of his black suit coat. I was petrified, but came to a dignified walk, back straight, eyes front and tendered a precise military salute, accompanied by a loud, "Good Morning Sir," and kept on walking -- hoping that all was well. As soon as he passed, I began to breath again, only to be stopped when he called me to a halt and came back to talk to me. Ram rod stiff I froze at attention. He then introduced himself as Chief Knight, a USN Corpsman attached to TTU (Troop Training Unit), and didn't require salutes by Marines. When I came back, out of Japan/Korea, I had the pleasure of running into him in Coronado, and the first question out of his mouth was, "How come I don't deserve salutes anymore?" at which we both got a good laugh.
MGySgt R.A. Swank, USMC( Ret) 1949-1972

NOTHING IN THE WORLD

Sgt Grit,
Even though I left the Corps, the Corps will never leave me. I got out in '97 and have never stopped thinking about -what if? I signed up in early Jan 1991 when Desert Storm started for a 6yr enlistment. I chose an administrative MOS trying to be career minded. Yes, a pogue...0151. Nothing in the world could have prepared me for what was in store. I was TAD before I even picked up my school. My duty was to be a civilian during Oceanventure 92 for 82 Airborne. I got my first ride in an Army Blackhawk as a "POW." An old salty Army SgtMaj got in and we were off like a shot. I couldn't get my seatbelt tightened fast enough! We were sideways over New River with open sides and what seemed like inches above the water! Little did I know that this was just a taste of what the Corps had in store for me. The last day of school they hand out orders and wouldn't you know this pogue got sent to the grunts! I couldn't believe it! 3d Battalion 6th Marines. The unit was just getting back from Iraq. I was with the unit for a couple months and was sent TAD to the CE of SPMAGTF. It was a unit that was started from scratch and deployed on the USS Theodore Roosevelt. Bosnia, Saudi, the Equator (Shellback Certified), Greece, Rota, Turkey, Naples Talk about being in the right place at the right time. When we returned CONUS the unit prepared to be disbanded and we were given a 96. My buddy and I got all the way to his parents house in King, NC only to be told that we had to go back to base. The SPMAGTF was leaving in 12 hours and was now JTF-120. We were flown by C5 to Gitmo to pull duty cutting gator squares off the coast of Haiti on the USS Nassau. After about a month or so I was ordered back to my parent unit 3/6. And wouldn't you know, it was now BLT 3/6 and in the middle of work ups to go to Somalia. Hello USS Inchon. Bosnia(again), Mogadishu, Naples, Haifa Not done yet...once we were back state side I received orders for HQMC. By this time I considered myself a slightly salty Fleet Marine and can't imagine anything else. I tried everything to get out of the orders. My requests were denied. But then 3/6 was called up to go to Gitmo to help handle the influx of Cuban and Haitian refugees. I went with them! I was in Cuba before the Adj realized what was going on. He fired off a message stating I was command essential and saved my skin. I was deployed for almost 2 yrs and when I got back from Gitmo there were a fresh set of orders to HQMC. I could run but I couldn't hide. D.C. here I come! I spent the rest of my enlistment working for the Deputy Chief of Staff for Aviation at the Pentagon. It was there that I learned to appreciate all that I had done. There I had met a LCpl who had been sent to HQMC out of school and that's all he experienced in 4 yrs. I guess I got lucky. That could've been me!
Semper Fi
Jason Leisenheimer
Sgt USMC 91-97

HOW TO HELP

Sgt. Grit
Our organization is putting together packages to send to the Marines in Iraq Information on the organization and how to help is located on our web site If you can pass it along to anyone willing to help it would be appreciated. The web site can be accessed at www.leathernecksmans.org
SF
Jim Yeaton
yeaapp@earthlink.net

THE PX WAS STILL OPEN

Dear Sgt Grit.
One day the 1st Battalion 5th Marines decided to go on nights maneuvers at Camp Pendleton. I'm in H&S company. So we just got our tents put up and are starving. The Lieutenant, (whose name I can no longer remember, but a super nice guy) Sgt Mc Millinan, Sgt Peltar and me we wondering how we are going to hold until chow which wasn't till midnight. Just about then the battalion commanders Jeep drives up and he goes over to the Company Commander tent pretty soon we hear Sgt Pelter, Sgt Barnes get your gear your out of here your going to the Western Division matches at Camp Mathews.

Well it turns out Sgt. Pelter is the 4th best shot in the battalion and I'm the 5th best shot each of us had fired expert 3 times so now we going to the Western Division matches not as shooters but as score keepers.

On the way back to base I get this bright idea so I ask the driver if he was going back to the field anytime soon and he said yes. When we got back the PX was still open so I went over and bought a bunch of stuff like potato chips and all kinds of snacks and told the driver to make sure the Lieutenant and Sgt Mc Millian got them.

Then Sgt Pelter an I got in my 49 Plymouth and went to Camp Mathews for 2 weeks of fun.

The best shots in the Marine Corps were there. Possibles (perfect scores) from the 600 yard line was expected.

We had these spotting scopes that you could actually see the bullets in flight and watch them all the way to the target.

We worked until around one in the afternoon then had the rest of the day off talk about good duty.

After 2 weeks we returned to Pendleton. I had forgot about the potato chips the Lieutenant and Sgt Mc Millian hadn't. Both of them came over and thanked me. Afterwards the Lieutenant would ask me to drive his car some place to do something. It had a blue sticker indicating it was an officers car and guys would salute and me looking very officer like would salute back.

What can I say it was fun.
S/Sgt Norm Barnes (1953-1957)

DREAMT UP BY THE DI

To Mark "Sacks" story ... I didn't expect Mark's story to end the way it did. I was in Platoon 1017, Parris Island, 1967. The standard procedure in that platoon for any "out of the ordinary" mail was to open it at mid-squad bay in front of the Drill Instructor. In the case of the nylons in the mail I am sure Mark would have had to put them on and parade around the squad bay for a while and then be subjected to something embarrassing dreamt up by the DI. Some of the things eaten at mail call because they were in a letter were cigarettes and whole packages of Kool-Aid. Ah, the memories...
Semper Fi
Sgt. J.D.Wallace
'Nam 1969-1970

I REMEMBER A BOOKLET

I went to basic at PI in 1977. I seem to remember a booklet we carried with us and studied every time we were standing in line waiting for something, I think it was called the Little Red Monster. It had all the history/general orders/etc in it that we had to learn.
Tony O

WHY SO MANY RESERVES

Marines, with regards to the criticisms of our Marine Reserves, you might want to hear a recent NPR interview. If you have some time (about an hour) you can listen to the recording of the Tuesday, Diane Rehm Show (National Public Radio). She interviewed Buzz Williams (see below for his info). This is an interesting interview and further exemplifies the traditions of the Corps. He points out major improvements that have taken place in the Marine Corps Reserves' training since the first Iraq War. Also, he explains why so many reserves and guard units are being called up instead of increasing the active duty ranks.

You will also hear some lame callers. I loved to one from an airman who criticized the Marine boot camp. After 20 years since his Air Force boot camp he is still traumatized. Poor boy! Good interview. Check it out.

Take this link to her page ( http://www.wamu.org/dr/ ) and slide half way down to the April 20, 11:00 time slot. Then click on the LISTEN link. If you wait until after April 25, you will need to click on the 2004 Archives link to get to the April 20 show.

11:00 - Buzz Williams: "Spare Parts" (Gotham Books) A former Marine reservist talks with Diane about his training, the special challenges of serving in the reserve military, and going to war in the Persian Gulf in 1990. Buzz Williams, author of "Spare Parts," former National Teacher of the Year, and secondary school administrator
Semper Fi,
D Mathias
Sgt 67-71, Platoon 150, RVN 1970
Marine Corps League Det 750 Charlotte, NC

AN INJURED MARINE

I don't know how many other Marines saw the picture of an injured Marine laying down on his side and a bunch of other around him. It looks like he got wounded in the lower back. I pray he is safe and recovering well. What captured my attention the most was there was someone holding his hand. No doubt a buddy. Someone who knows him well possibly for years or maybe just a few months. It doesn't matter. His buddy was there for him. Holding his hand, giving him comfort during his pain. Maybe saying, hang in there, your going to be ok. This is comfort that only a Buddy can give other than your mom. Your buddy know all about you. How you smell after two weeks with out a shower and what you girl friends name is. All about your mom, dad, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and anyone else that you love. What your hopes for the future are and what you want to happen in your future. He knows which MRE's you like and don't like. You usually eat together and you automatically swap components in your meal because you know he'll eat something you will not. He knows your favorite restaurant for libo. and anywhere else you like to go. He knows if you like to read and what literate you like to read. He know if you sing and what your favorite songs are. He also knows if you can't sing worth a hoot because he lets you know every time you cranks up a tune. He knows what your favorite songs on the radio are and if your drunk enough you both sing together, and sound good. He knows what the first thing your going to do when you get back state side. I don't read a lot between the lines but I just couldn't help having a lot of thoughts run through my mind when I saw the picture.

God bless the Marine Corps and God bless America,
J. Bolin "Bo",
Cpl. 1986-1992 Wpns 1/5, 81's,
Semper Fi. Boot Camp Plt. 2074

ABANDON THE CAR

Yo, Grit: was in NYC last Saturday on bidness.......showing a colleague around Manhattan (his first time there), was driving down the Henry Hudson Parkway (I think that's what the street is called...), just past the Intrepid museum complex.....and here they came, in formation..out running.....to the educated eye, had to be poolees, with a couple of NY's finest recruiters out working with these tigers- to-be.....(.was tempted to abandon the car right there and join them, then realized that probably wasn't a great idea at my age......)good stuff, that!.....enough to cause some minor eyeball sweating, and sure made the rest of my day!!
Semper Fi!....Dick Dickerson, moldy Marine Mustang...(57-81)

DVD'S

Aloha and Semper Fi,
We are also working on a DVD drive to send to our Marines everywhere that they go. Currently we are focusing on those inside the perimeters in Iraq. This is the second trip over in less than a few months for many of them. We are keeping the DVDs in a " unit library" if the copies come back and will continue to send them with everyone deployed from the unit. We are currently supporting approx 9 different locations and most of our Marines are out.
Please support this effort. Thank you to all.
Email me at cinchouse4@aol.com
Mahalo and Semper fi.
Key Volunteer 3rd Radio Battalion MCBH Kaneohe Bay,Hawaii

"WINGS OF HOPE"

by Francis X Curra

THEY STORMED ASHORE ON A BEACH NAMED H@LL
BULLETS AND SHRAPNEL HUMMING DEATHS SONG
LOOKING OVER TO WHERE A MARINE JUST FELL
CALLING FOR A CORPSMAN IN A VOICE ONCE STRONG
PRAYING FOR A HELPING HAND
STARING INTO A FADING SMOKE FILLED SKY
LIFES BLOOD STAINING THE HOT WET SAND
MARINE I WILL NOT LET YOU DIE
AND AS HE STRUGGLES WITH LIFES FADING BREATH
A YOUNG MAN RACES TO HIS AID
DODGING THE STINGING MESSENGERS OF DEATH
DOING HIS D*MNDEST TO PLY HIS TRADE
THIS HERO KNEELS IN DEATHS DARK DOOR
TENDS THE WOUND AND PULLS HIM FROM THE SEA
KNOWING THAT THIS DAY THERE WILL BE MANY MORE
BUT TODAY GOD WILL HEAR THIS BRAVE MANS PLEA
AND AS I LOOKED AROUND AGAIN
MY MIND FILLED WITH MANY THINGS
BUT I WANT TO MAKE THIS ONE THING PLAIN
DESPITE THE PANIC AND THE FEAR THIS THING
I SAW I STILL HOLD DEAR
THE BRAVEST ACT I'VE EVER SEEN
BY THIS SAILOR WHO WEARS MARINE CORPS GREEN
AND THIS I SWEAR AND SWEAR AGAIN
THE CORPSMAN TURNED HIS BACK AND THEN
THE SIGHT I SAW I STILL SEE YET
AND I PRAY TO GOD THAT I WONT FORGET
AS THROUGH DANGER ZONES I GROPE
THE DAY A CORPSMAN SPROUTED ANGEL WINGS OF HOPE/

DEDICATED TO ALL U.S. NAVY CORPSMEN
SSGT FRANCIS X CURRAN 647398 USMC (RET)

BUT I HAVEN'T SEEN

Sgt. Grit
Just a quick question...Why is it there are no support rallies for our Marines and USA Troops, or am I missing something? Every Tom, Dick and Harry has got some input on the down side of the war but I haven't seen one support demo for our Troops. What about a march pass the White House to let the politicians know they need to cut the BS and let our troops kick some ass and get home. Lets give those Shi-ites and other little gangs a body count they will remember.
Retired but still a Marine, God Bless America, Our Marines and Troops.
RCD

FROWNED UPON

Claymores Grady!
Claymores with a CS Grenade taped to the front so you can find the survivors of the ambush easily. Although it may be frowned upon by the local law enforcement. Gotta take the bad with the good.
John Klein

WHERE IS IT?

I am the only Marine in the family. My sister's kids call me "Drill Instructor Aunt Tree." A Marine is a Marine. I was reading the boot camp stories and my favorite is still the day the trash recruits gave our trash to the babies. We were in third phase and we had first phase recruits (babies) living above us. We got the one minute call and the trash recruits grabbed the trash and ran out. When the drill instructor came out and yelled to get on line, we were all there. She was furious because the trash recruits were back, they didn't have time to go to the dumpster. She threw the trash can over, she opened all the washers and dryers and slammed them closed. She started shaking all the empty foot lockers and throwing them around. When she couldn't find the trash anywhere, she finally yelled for the trash recruits to step forward. They stepped forward and she yelled "Where is it?!" They calmly answered "These recruits gave it to the babies maam." She looked at them thunderstruck and in a surprised tone asked "You did what?" The responded the same way "These recruits gave it to the babies maam." She looked at them and asked "And they took it?" The answer was "Yes maam." She looked at them for a few more moments and went stomping into the duty hut. We stood on line waiting for her to come back and we could hear laughter coming from the duty hut. She came back out and yelled "They took it?" The response was "Yes maam." She slammed back into the duty hut; more laughter. This happened about three more times. The trash recruits lost their bearing and we all lost it then. When the DI came back out she saw all of us pushing she yelled at us to get up and then set us on free time.

I hope you all enjoy this story as much as I do. It still makes me laugh when I remember the look on the DI's face.
TL

No. 363-04

IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Apr 23, 2004

Media Contact: (703)697-5131
Public/Industry Contact: (703)428-0711

Military Phone Card Donation Program Goes Public

The Department of Defense announced today that any American can now help troops in contingency operations call home._ _ The Defense Department has authorized the Armed Services Exchanges to sell prepaid calling cards to any individual or organization that wishes to purchase cards for troops who are deployed. The "Help Our Troops Call Home" program is designed to help service members call home from Operations Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

For those wishing to donate a prepaid calling card to a military member may log on to any of the three Armed Services Exchange web sites: the Army and Air Force Exchange Service http://www.aafes.com/, the Navy Exchange Service Command http://www.navy-nex.com/, and the Marine Corps Exchange http://www.usmc-mccs.org/, click the "Help Our Troops Call Home" link. From there, a prepaid calling card may be purchased for an individual at his or her deployed address or to "any service member" deployed or hospitalized. The Armed Services Exchanges will distribute cards donated to "any service member" through the American Red Cross, Air Force Aid Society and the Fisher House Foundation.

The Armed Services Exchanges operate telephone call centers in Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, and other countries and aboard ships -- anywhere service members are deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. All of these locations stay busy around the clock to keep up communication between deployed troops and their loved ones. The cards available through the "Help Our Troops Call Home" program offer the best value for calls made from the call centers, never expire, and there are no added charges or connection fees.

Individuals and organizations also can show their support to deployed troops and their families with gift certificates. The "Gift of Groceries" program allows anyone to purchase commissary gift certificates at http://www.commissaries.com or by calling toll free 1 (877) 770-GIFT. The Armed Services Exchanges offer the "Gift From the Home front" gift certificate for merchandise at these exchange web sites: http://www.aafes.com and http://www.navy-nex.com or by calling toll free 1 (877) 770-GIFT. Gift certificates may be purchased to be mailed to service members and family members or will be distributed to "any service member." Only authorized commissary and exchange patrons may redeem the gift certificates at military commissaries and exchanges, including those stores supporting deployed personnel around the globe.

WHAT IS WORKING IS

I just finished the April issue, and once again I went through some tissues. I served with weapons co. 81 plt. 1/3 90-93. also TDY with 3rd marines security det. al mashab/ al jubayl. saudi arabia. I salute our brothers of today for keeping up the proud tradition of a United States Marine. lets skip the politics of a peace talk, it's not working. what is working is the constant reduction in force of the insurgents whoever they are. SEMPER FI and keep the rounds going downrange! any mortar men remember this phrase blaring from the radio's? "FIRE MISSION"
lcpl simon

A FEW SYLLABLES

Charlie,
Why is it that so much that is said about the Marines is in so few words? Maybe it's because the eternal verities of our lifetime need only a few syllables to be expressed? Things like "Semper Fi, The Marines have landed and the situation is well in hand, and last--but surely not least--a few good men." If you'd like I have a toast from sailing days that I would be happy to share with