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 - May 13, 2004

To my fellow Marines,
As I listened to the news reports about Fallujah, I couldn't help thinking that they need to unleash the Devil Dogs. Any self respecting Corporal or Sergeant knows that ANYTHING WORTH FIGHTING FOR IS WORTH FIGHTING DIRTY FOR. I long to see the day when politicians and the general public SIT DOWN, SHUT UP, AND LET MY MARINES DO THE JOB. And to all Marines, everywhere, I wish God bless and God's speed.
Sgt, Fox 2/14, Desert Shield/Storm vet

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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!
Free Temporary Tattoos and Face Paint for the Kids
Pull-up Bar
Sgt Chuck Gregg's huge Marine collection.


New Stuff!

6" Marine Chopper Decal

12" Marine Chopper Decal

Our National Treasure Painting (ORIGINAL)

Light Up Eagle, Globe & Anchor Hitch Cover

Single Churchill Cigar with black Tube

Angels of Death / O.I.F. II - Black T-shirt

Operation Iraqi Freedom KA-Bar

Recollections of a Boy Marine by Gene Ciliberti

Colder Than Hell by Joseph R. Owen

Hello Marines.
The Corps is back in Iraq, Afghanistan and Haiti in a big way. And making the news. They need all the support we can give them. With prisoner abuse, beheadings, and political nonsense our Marines and troops need to know that we are behind them. Do something! Write a letter, make a call, talk to someone, say a prayer. But do not sit on the side lines and watch. You Korean vets understand indifference. We Vietnam vets understand abuse. Do not let either happen to today's Marines. I get letters and emails everyday boldly stating a desire to re-enlist and kick some ass. Well most of us are just plane to old, that's a fact of life. Just because you can't hump 70 lbs. of gear for 3 days with little sleep in miserably cold or hot climates, and then effectively carry out a combat mission. This does not mean you can sit on the side lines and whine about what's going on. Do something! Get creative!

And no, I am not going to tell you what or how to do it. You remember what your DI taught you; Adapt, improvise, overcome!!

Sgt Grit


Hello Sgt. Grit my name is Skip O'Brien. I have never written a comment to your newsletter, but I read every issue. About a month ago the young marine that lives across the street from me ( LCPL Jim Cullen ) was wounded in Faluja. I had been listening to what was going on in Iraq that day while I was at work and I couldn't stop thinking about all of the men and women over there. I was especially thinking about the young marine that lives across the street, because I had been talking to his mother a few days earlier and she gave me his mailing address and I could see that he was with the 5th marines and I know that his MOS is a grunt. When I came home from work that day, I saw that the street was lined with cars on both sides and I had a terrible feeling come over me. When I got my car in the driveway and got out, I didn't know what to do. Then I saw his grandmother coming across the street, and she told me that Jim had been shot and that he was alive, but they didn't have much more information at this time. I went in the house and told my wife and then all of my emotions started coming out of me. It brought up memories from my time in the service that I had put away a long time ago. Jim's mother lives alone and she is handicapped, with very little mobility. My wife and myself have been shoveling her driveway and her handicap ramp and taking the trash out to the curb for her and she has a lot of family support. I have talked to her a few times since Jim was wounded and she has told me that he is all patched up and that he couldn't wait to get back with his unit. Hopefully this war in Iraq and Afghanistan will come to an end and all of our men and women can come home. I'm looking forward to taking LCPL Jim Cullen out to lunch when he comes home
Skip O'Brien
Vietnam 70


I've just gotten onto this site, and really enjoying it by the way. Reading some of the Boot Camp tales brought back memories of my 3 month stay at P.I. in Platoon 28 back in '49. We started out with Sgt. Croft, Sgt. Swartz and Cpl. Hudson as DIs. Sgt Croft found himself up on charges of Maltreatment filed by a nut that wanted out and who had really stretched Croft's patience to the limits before the idiot was sent to Psycho for evaluation. While there a young Lt. filed charges against Croft on his behalf and defended him in the hearing. When Sgt. Swartz told us about Sgt. Croft's situation, the entire Platoon stood up and volunteered to testify for him (in spite of the fact that he had "bounced" most of us around at one time or another!) Only two were called to testify. Sgt. Croft was cleared of all charges, the nut escorted to the bridge and told to "get." Sgt. Croft, though cleared, was not allowed to return to the Platoon and was sent to Gitmo. We continued on with the addition of Pfc. J.J. Collins as an Asst/DI. Sgts. Croft and Swartz were both former WWII Marine Raiders, and we felt honored to have them as DIs, and had a great deal of respect for them both. Croft's case came up just after we got out to the Rifle Range, which was then and probably still is, a turning point in a Platoons progress. It was for us, as we were all of one mindset, to earn that "Honor Platoon" flag for Croft. We did it too. Afterwards we were twice selected to serve as Honor Guard for the Base CO, Gen. Noble when he welcomed VIPs aboard the base. It became our honor each Friday to escort the Colors out to the Parade Field for the BTN. Review. Oh yeah, we were some proud Boots, marching about two feet of the deck! We respected Sgt. Croft, and even feared him a little, but he was a fair man. Sgt.Swartz we did not like at all. But we respected him as well. Cpl. Hudson we had a different relationship with. He was strict, but allowed some leeway. PFC. Collins had, I suspect for some reason lost his stripes but was allowed to stay on as an Asst. DI as a PFC. He was the one we could talk to, a big brother in some ways. Together, they made a formidable team. When Croft left Swartz took over as Senior DI. It was his leadership during Croft's hearing that changed our viewpoint on him. >From that point on, we were a team working together for a common goal. We lost one leader, but gained another and got on with the task at hand. Such is the way of things in the Corps. There were a lot of guys lined up to shake their hands as we left the Barracks on our last day of Boot Camp. We were all saying "Goodbye" in our own way, but now these many years later I would like to say to Croft, Swartz, Hudson and Collins wherever they may be, on behalf of Platoon 28, PIMCRD June 1949, "Thank You, and Semper Fi !

Sgt. M. J. "Rich" Richard USMCR


Some years ago, Many, I married and my wife's brother was in the Army. A career man and a Green Beret. Dale was a buck sgt but, received a commission and at that time was a lstLt. Wife and I were visiting he and his wife at Ft Bragg in NC. He decided to take us to their officer's club. I explained that I was just a Sgt but, his mind was made up so off we go. We sat in the first table close to the band and the CG was down about ten tables, I was sorta sweating about the whole thing. I excused myself and went to the "head". Upon returning I sat down and all of a sudden the band played the Marine Corps Hymn. Sweating hard, I knew I had to come to attention which I did. Now there must have been 300 hundred Army officers in attendance and one lone person standing at attention. To my surprise the CG stood at attention and the whole club then was standing and stayed for the whole hymn. How proud I was to be a MARINE! Band finished and every one broke out into applause. My BIL knew that Marines stood for their hymn and put the band up to playing our Hymn. God bless him, he has since died, a true Army hero that would have made a d'mn good Marine! Dave


The Commanding Officer of
Marine Air Support Squadron Three
requests the pleasure of your company at the
Change of Command Ceremony at which
Lieutenant Colonel James D. Gass, USMC
will relinquish command to Lieutenant Colonel
David F. Aumuller, USMC
on Friday, the seventh of May 2004
at nine o'clock
Marine Air Support Squadron Three
Building #120
Blue Diamond Main, Iraq
Reception immediately following
DSN XXX-3402-555
Military: Utilities

Fly the most direct route to Kuwait City International Airport (this will likely involve 2-3 stops and about 17 hours in the air). >From KCIA take the 7th Ring Motorway to Hwy 80N towards Iraq. Once across the international border and UN checkpoint, this will become MSR Tampa. Follow MSR Tampa for approximately 400 miles. The route is well marked but very dangerous. It is not recommended that you travel without adequate firepower, and food and water to last several days. You may also consider some form of 2-way communications in order to contact the nearest available Quick Reaction Force. Additionally, unnecessary stops enroute are highly discouraged. Take the Baghdad Beltway south and west of the city towards Fallujah. Be especially alert when passing through the Fallujah cloverleaf. Follow the signs to Blue Diamond Main. The MASS-3 area will be the last compound on the right. Parking is available in the well-marked but poorly lit Motor Pool area.
*Sponsors are not responsible for damage caused by indirect fire.

Submitted by:
Mark Sasak


Sgt Grit:
Reading the comment about how a young Marine felt about having a woman in his sights, I thought about a comment a friend of mine made some years ago when asked a similar question. Then Capt. John Yancey, a veteran of the Canal and the Chosin Reservoir, 2 Navy Crosses and several Purple Hearts replied "I will never apologize for killing my country's enemies."
Ray Walker A/1/5 1948-53


As the newsletter articles keep coming, and as I read more and more about my fellow Marines in action in Iraq, I find that as old as we are, the better we have become. Marines have fought all over the world, under conditions that would discourage almost anyone, but yet we prevail. The training, the discipline and tradition carry on, and on and on. We just keep getting better and better and better. May God bless every Marine that has made the ultimate sacrifice, past, present and future. Continue to make us proud. OORAH!
Semper Fi


It's great to hear that other Marines remember the names of the ships they hitched a ride on. When I first wrote in to the News Letter about the soldier who couldn't remember the names of any of the troop transports he went to Korea on, other writers kind of put me down and said that doesn't prove he wasn't in korea. Well, he didn't even know some of the jargon and little words we use in Korea that any vet should remember. It isn't hard to figure out when you've been fed a line of BS by a wannabe. I see from the names of your ships that you went through the grinder in the islands. You have my deepest respect as you are truly from the OLD CORPS. Semper Fi, Sgt. Dan Powell


Hey! I have a few words for M. A. Mansfield who "never had the honor of serving in combat." You were where the Marine Corps wanted you to be, when they wanted you to be there and doing what they wanted you to do. Come to terms with it and take pride in what you contributed. Remember, there is no MOS, activity or assignment in the Marine Corps that is unimportant.

Oh yes. God - take care of our Marines in Iraq and the forces that are helping them.
Joe Reilly fmr. cpl., USMCR, 4.2-1 Korea 1950-1951


Sgt. Grit,
I saw Greg Andrus' letter about his having to sign up for the Draft after already joining the Corps. My "Draft Board" experience was spread out a bit more. Back in 1948 I set out to join the Corps, but ran into a problem. They were only taking 18 year olds at the time, to build up their Reserve Corps program. The 18 Year Old enlistment program meant I would have to go on Active Duty for one year, and afterwards serve in a Reserve unit for the next 6 years. I wanted to go in on a 4 year hitch. Sgt. Ethridge, the Recruiter at Alexandria, La. explained the 18 year old program to me, and said after my year, I could re-enlist in the Regulars for 4 years, and the Reserve obligation would be canceled. Sounded good, so I waited till my 18th B-Day (a few months away) and enlisted. I was sent down to New Orleans for tests and physicals and afterwards was sworn in at the 8th Naval District Headquarters there. A few minutes after my swearing-in a Sgt. gave me a handful of Streetcar Tokens with instructions to go out into the suburbs to a Draft Board Office, where I was to sign up for the Draft! I asked "Why? I'm already in the Marines ain't I?" but all I got was "Just Go, Now! So I took off and signed up for the Draft. The next day I boarded a train for Parris Island. After Boot Camp I was sent to Yorktown, Va. to a spit and polish Guard Company. When my time was up I got out intending to just "play around" for three weeks, then Re-enlist in the Regulars. Somewhere about week 3 1/2 the mess in Korea broke out and I was Recalled to active duty. My plans for "Re-Upping" were interrupted and I was sent to Camp Pendleton for "Re-Training'." Early in December of 1950 20 of us boarded a MATS C-54 headed for the "Frozen Chosin." We were over the Pacific between Wake Island and Japan when our pilot passed the word "The Marines have broken out and are headed for the sea!" We were diverted to Japan until the 1st Division got down to Mason Korea. I was in B-1-5 the rest of 1950 and until late November of 1951 when I rotated stateside. We made it home for Christmas thanks to a great Merchant Marine crew aboard an old WWII Liberty ship, the USS General Noble. They pushed her hard all the way across, but she got us home. An aside here, Gen. Noble was the CG at Parris Island when I was in Boot Camp there, and in 1950 he was at Pendleton and came down to see us off to Korea. Our ship the USS Gen. Noble had a weekly Newsletter. The first issue welcomed us aboard for our "Cruise to Treasure Island," and it was signed "Lt. Robert Louis Stevenson, Editor." I don't know if that ship was named for the General or not, but I have never had any trouble remembering the name of the ship I was on because of it. While home on leave I got a phone call from the Director of the local Draft Board asking me to come in. When I went in, he started to strut around telling me I had not registered for the Draft, and he was going to correct that. I told him about signing up in New Orleans, but he said, "Well that doesn't count here, and you will register in my jurisdiction!" I said "But as I am already registered, and I served my hitch, was Recalled to Active Duty with the Marine Corps. I am currently home on leave after a years combat with the 1st Marine Division in Korea, after which my orders are to report for duty with the 6th Marines at Camp LeJeune. So I'm going home now, to enjoy the rest of my leave and you can stuff it." He threatened me with an arrest, but nothing ever came of it. I knew his Secretary who later told me that he had some sort of Napoleon complex and that appointed job of his had gone to his head. At Camp LeJeune me and my Squad held Marine Rifle Squad Combat demos for new Corpsmen coming into the FMF. That was a job I liked, as our Corpsmen are the greatest, and those new guys were so Gungho and full of questions it was good duty. We kind of felt like we were paying back a small part of a big debt. I'm now an old Marine of 73 and haven't been drafted yet, so I guess I'm safe now huh? It just hit me, they never did send me a Draft Card either! Wonder how much stuff I'd stir up if I requested one after all these years? Semper Fi !
Sgt. "Rich" Richard USMCR


Hi Sgt. Grit.
It's me again. My dad just sent me this story and I would like to add that he sincerely has a hearing problem and could have been discharged from the Marines but he asked the doc to PLEASE LET HIM GO BACK. JUST SIGN THE PAPERS THAT I'M OK. PLEASE.

So back he went. To Paradise Island.

In Basic training or Boot camp, the military gives you a hearing test, They get the results and the ones with hearing defects get to have another hearing test. well I was one of the ones who got to have another hearing test. They sent me to Beuford Naval Hospital. I was sent there by USMC truck. I was given the first of seven hearing tests. After being in Boot Camp for 4 or 5 weeks you are totally brainwashed as was my case. After the hearing test I was told to go and eat noon chow at the cafeteria. when I got to the cafeteria, I didn't have to get in line or carry a metal tray and eat by the numbers, Not only that, there was all kinda foods you could pick from.
There was even Kool-Aid, which we never got at Paradise Island. it was like I was free. So after chow I had 2 hours to wait for the truck to take me back to P.I.. So being free I was walking around in the hospital complex. I passed by a small PX station where they sold pogey bait (candy) and magazines etc.
I remember I had 2 dollars in my pocket. (I went to Boot Camp with 4 dollars). I saw these M & M's in this display. So I bought 2 big bags. I hid them in my field Jacket. so I went back to the waiting area, to wait for my ride back to Paradise Island. Sitting there I couldn't resist the temptation of having 1 MM. I began eating the M&M 's one at first then before I knew it, I had eaten the whole bag. That nite after I rejoined my Platoon. After light's out I called over some of the fella's that were near my rack and gave them some. after being in training for 5 weeks that candy sure tasted good.


It's been a long time since I said Semper Fi. to the corps that I love so much. I joined up on January 25, 1951 and was in Korea on January of 52. I served in Fox Co. 2nd. Bat. 7th. Marines 1st Marine Division and was WIA on July 4th of 52. Much happened during the year that I was there. Most folks have no idea of what it's like to nearly freeze to death, or to wonder if the next round has your name on it, so that's why I quit trying to tell about it because they think you're stretching the truth. For over fifty two years now I am still a United States Marine and will be until the day I die. I just hope that there will be a division or two of Marines in Heaven because most of us have served our time in h@ll down here. God blessings to all of my Marine brothers,
Semper Fi.
Former Sgt. Thomas 'Willie' Williams


Evenin' Sgt. Grit,
Last night (04-28-04), our Brother-in-arms Leroy Green passed away from cancer. He was a true hero. He survived Guadalcanal and other battles during WWII in the pacific. He made his home in Casper Wyoming. He was loved by his family and friends, and even though I only met him once at a family gathering, he was Marine through and through. I know Chesty will be proud to have "Uncle Lee" on duty at Heaven's gates.
Daniel Miller
U.S.M.C. '74-'76


Sgt. Grit,
I would like to do something I should have done 39 years ago. I want to thank my D.I.s for changing me forever and making me the man I am today. I went to Parris Island in 1965 and was transformed into a Marine by my senior D.I. SSGT. McCue and his second hat SGT. Love. As hard as they made my life during those first few months in the Corps, I give them all the credit for inspiring me and instilling the pride in me that we all share as Marines.
Even today my best friends are those that I met in the corps. I still keep in touch with them and get together with them from time to time.
SSGT. Ken McIsaac
USMC 1965-1969


>From Doc Baty, USN, 1/1 Marines
Semper Fi,

Let me relate a true no sh-t story that is the flip side to these Marine warriors mentioned below.

It is 2300 on a dark night, the weather is overcast, moon phase is new, a nice cool wind of about 15 mph from the NE. I am on the wire looking east over a vast expanse of what appears to the untrained eye to be "flat " ground. It is actually inundated with dips and wadis and ditches of varying depth, good cover and concealment for the wayward hooka huffer. I have no night vision devices. I have no pop ups. I have no early warning devices in front of me. For all intents and purposes I am "blind" after 25 yards. Being the warrior I am I can picture the ground before me in my mind and I know it is a good area for the Burkha Lounger to mount a raid or a diversion (hence my presence at this spot on such a dark night). Sure enough a white star cluster lights up the air about 300 yds out and I hear the report of an AK type weapon, raggie has deployed early ( obviously intimidated.) I call for the Army and one of it's Strykers ( a multi-million dollar LAV type vehicle with either a Ma Duece or a MK 19 mounted, with night vision AND thermal imaging capability.) Mike and I prepare to defend against the unknown, confident that we will put down this incursion with our M16A2's and the help of the Army's new weapon. Here is the good part;

30 MINUTES LATER after they find the right turn off the main road ( total distance from me to them in the beginning was less than 2 clicks, total distance they traveled is unknown since they passed the turnoff twice ) they roll up on me and me compadre, Mike Duarte, with their high beams on and back light the hell out of us!! We duck for cover and to protect our night vision. The TC sallys forth and standing in the head lights wants me to come to him and explain why they have been disturbed on this ominous night, and "why are you down in that ditch?". I politely tell them to turn their f--king lights off and come to me. After they know the story and have lit up their night vision machine which plays out inside the vehicle on something a little smaller than a 20 inch flat screen, they peruse the area and pronounce they can't see anything!!!! They switch to thermal and again after about 30 seconds come to the same conclusion. They decide to "recon by fire" with the Ma Duece ( Browning .50 caliber, air cooled, belt fed, fires from the closed bolt position, heavy machine gun, for those of you not savvy.) You may remember this as a mighty weapon system just when it is mounted on a tripod with a T&E and in front of a competent gunner? Mind you this Ma is mounted in a state of the art cradle that allows the gunner to sight and fire from inside the safety of the beast using the afore mentioned flat screen tv that now has a cross hair the size of the screen in it. They pull the trigger and ? CLICK or should I say THUNK as the heavy bolt slams home on an empty chamber!!! You got it, they rolled out to a possible situation with an empty gun. Mike and I exchange a concerned look but are still confident.

15 MINUTES LATER- they have the gun loaded and are ready to do the "recon by fire". I always thought ( I didn't do many recon by fire missions as a sniper ) that the recon by fire tactic was supposed to be an awesome sight to see, second only to the FPF? You can therefore appreciate my dismay when they fired a 4 round burst off into the darkness so high the tracer burnt out before it hit terra firma. They did manage to hit a steel 2" round fence post 10 feet in front of them with an API round. That started the concern in earnest on my part right then and there. Mike was bewildered, or so the look on his face said. Such incompetence is unheard of in the Army of one, right? I really don't like to be showered with white hot magnesium at 2345.

5 MINUTES LATER- they rolled it up and called it a night and they deserved a break, I guess they were tired with all that "excitement". So much for the reactionary force I thought I had in reserve. I didn't even get to see a decent fireworks show ( the API meeting the fence post doesn't count, I didn't see that very clearly due to me doing the duck and cover.)

Mike and I exchange a look of amazement, bewilderment, and confusion. Then like any good Marine would do we started the time honored tradition of cursing the United States Army and all its mechanized toys and wishing for a good Marine rifle squad sans state of the art equipment but with the Devil Dog attitude. I bet we could have put on one hell of a recon by fire mission that night.

Once again this is a no sh-t story and it happened just this way. Ask Mike Duarte, he is still cursing.

P.S. By the way no Camel jockey insurgents were injured in the making of this fiasco.

P.P.S Camel Jockey, Hooka Huffer, Burka Lounger, and Raggie are not to be taken in the negative sense , lest we offend the enemy. We do not want to rattle too many tea cups. Semper Fi,


upon returning main side from Marine Barracks Pearl Harbor I got to Camp Pendleton and went to my unit 2/7 Fox Co. they had returned from 29 stumps where they had done desert training. the whole Battalion had a 96 so being the bright Marine I was decided to go home to Brownsville, Texas. got home flew into Mc Allen then hitch hiked home to run into my parents who were shopping downtown. what a surprise. i was lucky to get out of the valley and back to my unit on time had to fly out of Mc Allen again. this was done during the air controllers strike back in 83. was i ever lucky. Semper Fi to all Marines may god bless you all


Dear Sgt G
Over the past few months I have written about some to the more humorous events that I saw happen during my tour in the Marine Corps. What I didn't mention was all the hard work that the troops and I went through. I'm probably the only one who has gone through cold weather training at Pickle Meadows 3 times.

Its true I was promoted meritoriously twice once to Corporal and once to Sgt but it wasn't because I was a pretty face or had relatives who had influence its because when there was a tough job to be done the finger was always pointed at me.

You may have had occasion to take off your stripes and go out into the boonies and go to knuckle city with some guy. I know I did. There was a kid from Oklahoma City PFC Terry Allen and I did. And I have to tell you this kid wasn't there for no light courten. We stood toe to toe for about 15 minutes (both of us were in excellent condition) finally I got a lucky punch in and he dropped to his knees. He got up and said " Ok Sgt I have had enough". From then on as often happens we were friends. Once we were at the mess hall for Sunday Brunch and one of the cooks on duty gave me a hard time. I told him I wanted my eggs over easy and he over cooked them. When I complained he said something to the effect that's too bad. Well in the next instant PFC Allen had the guy by the collar up against the stove and he said " Maybe you didn't hear the Sgt, he wants his eggs over easy now I suggest you give him what he wants". Well to make a long story longer I got my eggs over easy.

As I got to know Terry I discovered he was a talented wood worker. His father owned a cabinet making shop. Terry decided he wanted a bow and arrow so he bought the bow but made the arrows. He also made gas powered model planes. He made one for me that I kept for years.

Even though I never heard a shot fired in anger the danger was always right around the corner. Once we made a ship to ship transfer on the high seas I was the last guy off the landing craft and start climbing up the net suddenly I find myself on the back side of the net with the landing craft banging against the side of the ship. For a second or two I thought about dropping my pack and rifle and try to swim away but the thought came to me Marines don't drop their pack. After awhile I finally got back on the right side of the net.

On that same exercise we got aboard this tracked personnel carrier ( it was like 5 in the morning). The driver starts the engine and we drive down the ramp. We hit the water and submerge the driver had forgotten to put all the latches in place and suddenly the escape hatch burst open and a flood of water pours in. Instantly 10 strong men get up and force it back into place. If they had not done that it would have sank in about 40 feet of water. So if there is any Marine out there who wants to make rank just remember they don't give it to you you have to earn it. You have to take the sh"t details and the lousy duty and do it well, you have to look your best at all times walk and look like a Marine even when you are wearing civilian clothes. When you are on the rifle range always shoot to be an expert nothing else is acceptable.

And don't think when you are discharged you leave the Corp behind you are no longer a Marine because as we have all learned ONCE A MARINE ALWAYS A MARINE.

S/Sgt. Norman Barnes 1435350 (1953-1965) H&S COMPANY 1st Bn 5th Marines.


Sgt Grit,
Here's another funny PI story to keep everyone in good spirits and as usual it involved my favorite DI Sgt Mazenko and platoon 2063. I know every PI vet recalls taking a crap for the first time on that long line of sh'tters with no stalls and then having to share three rolls of toilet paper for the ten or so sh'tters, but if that wasn't tragic enough having to rush through a good crap was probably one of the more shocking changes for me and my introduction to the Corps! Just kidding.

Anyway, one night after evening chow and during our hour of free time, I was enjoying a peaceful crap, when some recruit decides to screw up and be called to the quarterdeck by Mazenko. For some reason he wanted every other turd "on line" and had the fire watch "clear the head". Well, much to my dismay and that of the other 3 fellow recruits enjoying a dump, we had to cut it short, but we weren't quick enough for Mazenko and he came banging into the head and screamed for us to cut it short, yank em up and get on line. Like any other normal human beings we decided to clean ourselves first and thought that he understood this most basic human hygienic function not to mention our predicament and would allow us to finish! Wrong! Mazenko, in his usual blood curdling, vein-bulging scream yelled, " Did I tell you stinking-@ssed #$%&#@$ to wipe? Get your &%$#@&* trousers up and get your %$^&*$# foul-@ssed bodies on line now! Move!" So.....we dutifully yanked up our trousers, sans proper cleansing and got our stinking @sses on line! We had to stand there for about 10 minutes while the offending turd banged out "bends and mother&*^%$#@" till Mazenko got tired. Afterwards, the three of us waddled back into the head to clean up before lights out!

Every time I think of Sgt. Mazenko, I smile. I have so much respect for him, even to this day, but now I can laugh at a lot of what we went through, but I'd be willing to bet we gave him plenty to laugh at back then. Sgt Mazenko, if you are reading this...thanks for making us MARINES!!!!!!!!!!
Mike Kunkel
CPL. 0331, 81-85


In reference to Jerry Cox' "paper mill" odor, when I reached Iwakuni in the summer of '61 I thought the putrid odor was from the open sanitation (binjo?) ditches. I couldn't eat for a couple of days! After 2 years in Iwakuni I could handle almost anything. Then again, the same thing happened in TJ. Both "illnesses" were cured by the old Marine penicillin....booze!


SGT Grit-
I have been called many things in my life, I can't even remember most of the titles I have earned, but the one I most remember is that of Marine.
Most people don't know what that means, but the few that do respect the thought of what that word means.
The pride that comes with a person earning the title goes to the grave with him or her.
It's hard to explain.
To those that know, explanation is not necessary.



Dear Sir:
I took one of my kids at Phoenix airport yesterday. While I was waiting for my wife saying goodbye, I was sitting there. To my delight, I notice boot's walking around the airport with their love ones. I didn't say anything. But, I though that this the first time ever that I have ever seeing anybody in uniform enroute to their next duty station. And it have to be Marines in uniform.
Talking about pride...


Hope you can pass this on. On June 19 2004 starting in Summit, Illinois and going to Marseilles, Illinois about 150 round trip. The Illinois Motorcycle Community will be dedicating a memorial to all US service members killed in the Middle east from 1980 through current times. The memorial will have the names carved in granite and be along the river that runs through town. The cost of the memorial is estimated to be around 1.5 million and is being done through donations. More information can be found at We are hoping if the weather is good to have 15-20 thousand people attend. Everyone is welcome. If you know anyone killed in the Middle east this memorial is for them. There courage and sacrifice will never be forgotten.

Semper Fi,
Cpl.David S. Lis
USMC 84-88
War: Mankind's oldest contact sport


President Lincoln said, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." (17 June, 1858) The President was quoting Mark 3:25, "And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand." Clearly, he recognized the infinite truth in the Bible because what he said 146 years ago is still very much the truth today. I would challenge my fellow Marines to look for other words of wisdom from the source used by President Lincoln if they want to make sense of this world and what is happening. Today's active duty Marines are protecting us against those who would, like Nazis of WWII, burn all books that contain the truth and murder all those who believe in the one true God, not some dead prophet. Pray for their safety and for strength to their family and loved ones who worry constantly about what might happen or has happened to them.

Semper Fi
Joe McCoy
Corporal, 2nd MAW, RVN 69-70


Sgt Grit,
I have received your newsletter and purchased from your catalog for years. In all this time I have only read the stories and letters, because they serve as a great reminder to me of the importance of being in the US Marine Corps.

It motivates me to no end to know that the military is appreciated by our fellow Americans. I was approached near work a couple weeks ago by a WWII Veteran and he asked, "Son, are you in the Corps." I told him proudly that I am and when he asked how long I told him I had been in for seven years. He then grew quiet and said the following, "Thank you very much. It means a lot to me." I was completely awestruck that a gentleman who served in WWII would thank me for what I am doing today. After I collected my thoughts, the elderly man had already gotten back in his vehicle. I walked over to him and told him thank you for his service and for his gratitude. Ever since that day, I have thought about that and how much it has influenced me.

I have yet to serve in a forward deployed unit. I know I will get the opportunity. In the meantime I want to thank each and every one of you. The service members overseas, veterans, civilians, family members, mothers, fathers, spouses for your time, your effort, and your support. Continue to let the service members that you appreciate them and the tireless work that they do. I will continue to serve you all proudly for another 23 years.

Sgt Stephens, JM
MCCES Instructor
USMC 1997-present


In your last newsletter someone mentioned about getting politicians out of the military's business. I agree. A good example of their "Rules of War" is as follows;

It was around 1830 hours when the mortar rounds started coming in. I had only been in Viet-Nam for about three week and I had not gotten accustomed to the sounds. I was on watch in the Battalion bunker when I heard the, "Incoming!!!!!!!!!" yell. Over the radio I heard someone from the 105's, "Got them breach sighted. Permission to fire!". We were all surprised when the CO grabbed the mike and yelled, "Permission denied! Permission denied!" He then called Hotel Company and told them to go take care of the situation. As we all looked at the CO in disbelief he explained the situation.

The VC had entered a friendly village and set up inside the area. That was where the rounds were coming from. The politicians, in their infinite wisdom, deemed it necessary to hand down a mandate which stated, if we received fire from within a friendly village, we were to first surround the village. Second, we were to use a PA and request all the villagers come out and the VC were to stay. Third, after all the villagers were out, then we could go and get the VC. As if they would still be there.

Well we sat and did not fire back - as the mortars hit a hooch, killing 3 and the mortars hit the hospital - killing 2 and wounding 6. However, pay back is a mean mother, Hotel company set up an ambush on the back side of the vil and eliminated all the VC when they came out. There was no excuse for this to have ever happen.

Like the sign says, If you have not been there you don't know S***. Keep the politicians out and let the MARINES do their job. We know what we are doing.

J.E. Halpin
2/9, 1966-1967


Some air bases the Air Force is on one side of the field and civilian aircraft use the other side of the field, with the control tower in the middle.
One day the tower received a call from an aircraft asking, "What time is it?"

The tower responded, "Who is calling?"

The aircraft replied, "What difference does it make?"

The tower replied, "It makes a lot of difference...

If it is an American Airlines flight, it is 3 o'clock.

If it is an Air Force plane, it is 1500 hours.

If it is a Navy aircraft, it is 6 bells.

If it is an Army aircraft, the big hand is on the 12 and the little hand is on the 3.

And If it is a Marine Corps aircraft, it's Thursday afternoon and 120 minutes to "Happy Hour."

USMC - 73 - 80


Sgt. Grit -- I take this opportunity to pass on to you the death of one of our Marines, a man I never met but for whom, as a regular contributor to the Washington Times Civil War Page for the last 10 years, I felt I knew pretty well. He knew I was a Marine mom, and we shared that love of the Corps.

His name was Richard "Woody" West, and he told me early on he was a Marine, a fact of which he was very proud. He was Associate Editor of The Washington Times and the originator and editor of The Civil War Page in that paper. Woody was born June 6, 1934 in Helena, Montana and lived there until he moved to California with his family after World War II. He was in the Marine Corps from 1954 to 1957, serving in Thailand and Japan; his last duty station was at the Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C.

Woody was only 70 when he died, he had been diagnosed with lung cancer a month before and had announced his retirement for April 30. He died on May 1, 2004.

He worked for many newspapers throughout the country, having graduated from American University with a degree in history. He worked for the Lincoln (Neb.) Star, and the Omaha World-Herald, before joining the Washington Star here in Washington, DC. When that paper ceased publication, he along with many other former Star folks joined the newly created Washington Times.

Woody was a consummate history buff and a knowledgeable one, an avid reader, a true gentleman, and a mentor to many newspaper folk who were privileged to know him. I regret that I do not know his unit or regiment with the Corps, and perhaps your sources can provide that information to augment this. As Times editor in chief Wes Pruden said, "he was the go-to guy for everyone on the staff. Woody was our rock."

He's survived by his wife, JoAnn and his sister-in-law, Suzanne Wochos, both of Hagerstown, MD; services and burial will be private as was his request. He wanted no fuss about his retirement, and wrote his own obituary a few weeks before his death so that he could control the content. However today's Washington Times features on page 15 an entire page of tributes to this wonderful newspaperman and fine individual.

Memorial contributions can be made to the scholarship fund of the 3rd Marine Division Association, Inc., P.O. Box 297, Dumfries, VA 22026-0297. He even remembered the Corps to the last.

Sgt. Grit, I had no way of knowing if anyone else would get this info to you, and surely Woody had many friends in the Corps around the country who would want to know.
Thanks for letting me pass this on.
Martha M. Boltz
Vienna, VA


USMC Motor Transport Association 8th Annual Meeting/Reunion September 19 - 22, 2004. POC Hal Clapp; (910) 346-8797; Email:; PO Box 1372, Jacksonville, NC 28541-1372. For membership information; POC Terry Hightower; (910) 293-3264; Email: You must be a member in good standing to attend.


My wife and I are both involved with the Marine Corps League & the Ladies Auxiliary, The Aux. had a fund raiser to raise some money and send some boxes to our troops in Afghanistan. She got in contact with a unit commander from the Army & The Marine Corps, they sent wish lists from the troops, The Army wanted new DVD's, cigarettes, new Cd's ,a laptop and pda's. The MARINES wanted shaving cream, razors, toothbrushes and some candy. That's the difference between the Marines and the Army. We adopted 1/6 BLT and we sent them plenty of boxes, everything from toothbrushes to shaving cream to candy. Inside each box was a letter to all of them!! The support was overwhelming when we were doing this, we received donations from everyone! Let us not forget that we have troops in Afghanistan! We sent our 1st round of support packages out on Friday, each one weighing over 15lbs.
SEMPER FI! MY BROTHERS! Desert Storm Vet! Harry N.


I am not one of the official organizers for this event (to be held starting Wednesday, June 16th at the Tahoe Biltmore) but I thought if it hadn't been already posted somewhere, one or two of your readers/comrades might be interested... The last reunion we had was in Ennis, Montana and almost 300 showed up! And lots just walked in without pre-registering.

The official contact at this late date would be Scotty O'Connell at (775) 423-9633. The hosting hotel is sold out, but there are many bed & breakfast type places in the area more than happy to accommodate anyone willing to pay a fair rate for a room.

This event is family oriented, sort of, and is well organized with bus trips, etc. And a big reunion banquet on Friday night.

For anyone serving in the 26th Marines, it is an event not to miss. Ron "Swede" Swensson, M/3/26 ('66-'67)


This time every year I purposely pause to reflect on and remember the Marines of 'Screw Crew,' Heavy Marine Helicopter Squadron 462, Marine Aircraft Group-16. Some were my friends, one very close. As we grow old they are forever young men.
Respectfully Submitted.
R.W. Lowe, GySgt (ret)


A Terrible thing happened in May
A tragedy occurred one day
Something that cuts into you like a knife.
For on this day your friend lost his life.

An emptiness fills the air
Faces appear with blank stare.
No time for good-byes, no time to pray
Our buddies are gone on the sixth of May.

Let no man question when we must cry
Till he understands the reason why
No less of a man if you shed a tear
No less of a man if you've known fear.

Many a good Marine lost his life
One had a new baby, one a new wife.
Sadness fills the hearts of their mothers
They were more than Marines They were our brothers.

Your legend will live forever
We all remember your past endeavor
And let no man cast shadows on you
The brave fallen Marines of 462

A song reminds us of who guards Heavens scene
He's a very brave man he's a Marine
The guard will shout as they grow near
Open the gates Screw Crew is here!

by Sgt Rick Applegate, USMC

In memory of

Capt J. R. Reese
Cpl T. S. Tulenko
Cpl S. H. Blates
Capt. D. E. Sellers
L/Cpl A. G. Bunn
1stSgt F. J. Jones
Capt J. H. Tuset
L/Cpl R. E. Hughs
Sgt E. Eddie
Cpl R. J. Murray
PFC T. J. Agnew
Sgt J. M. Lizana
Cpl P. M. Saleedo
Sgt. D. S. Thom
Sgt. R. A. Piper
MSgt J. H. Gruber
SSgt D. Mello


my dad says during boot camp....."MY D.I. ASKED ME IF THERE WERE ANYMORE TURDS LIKE ME AT HOME."

Sgt. Grit, I really feel horrible about the way Iraqi prisoners have been treated, then again they could have gone to boot camp at MCRD or PI in the sixties, talk about torture !!! Ok , Ok , they did have to do some of there exercises butt naked. Geeezzz !!
T. Marti 3rd 8"/175 (SP)RVN 68-69

Dear Sgt Grit:
To Marine M.A. Mansfield who regretted that he never shared actual combat because he was a radio repairman. Did it ever occur to him that he may have saved Marines' lives because the radios he repaired worked when they were desperately needed? Have no regrets, Marine. You did your share and your duty. Semper Fi. Larry Malby, USMC Ret.

I just learned of this fine organization set up to help the children of men and women killed in action. 100% of every dollar donated goes to the children and the volunteers pay all administrative expenses themselves. Donations rage from $1.00 up. Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation Semper Fidelis

Stop Global Whining!
Semper fi!
Sgt Grit

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