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 - November 11, 2004

Don't confuse being self-confident with arrogance...
Marines past and present, seem to walk that fine line between the two...
[Gunnery Sergeant Christopher Andrews USMC Ret]

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Sgt Grit


Corporal Christopher J Lapka USMC, b July 13 1982 - d October 30 2004

My Godson was one of the eight Marines killed in a terrorist suicide bombing while on patrol in Falluja, Iraq, 10-30-04. Christopher Lapka was assigned the Bravo 1/3 and was in-county just two weeks at the time of his tragic death. He did not suffer. Seven other young Marines were instantly killed and several others seriously wounded. This is in tribute to them as well. We all to often see the casualty list and say, "d*mn, another Marine", and go about our day. Yet, how often do we actually know the Marine, watched him grow up and listened to his proud mother and father for hours on end talk about his athletic and academic prowess. This is that story.

Christopher was a second year civil engineering student on a full academic scholarship at Arizona State University at the time of the 9-11 terrorist attack on our county. Christopher's reaction to the attack was immediate and profound. With a sense of purpose seldom seen in youth today, he enlisted in the Marine Corps, finished his fall semester at ASU and reported to boot camp at MCRD San Diego. Christopher's father, Ken Lapka, is my oldest and dearest friend. We were roommates while attending the Phoenix Police Academy and were partners for many years. I was proud to be his best man and privileged to be the God Father to his first born, Christopher.

Christopher didn't tell his mom & dad he was a Marine until he was about ready to ship out to San Diego. I received an unexpected call one day from what I will gently refer to as a "concerned" dad, informing me that "Chris joined the Marines, what should I do?" My response was immediate, that he should let him be a Marine.

My wife & I flew from Dallas to San Diego and accompanied Ken and Tina Lapka to the graduation of their son. The graduation ceremony was awesome. Marine Band San Diego, the aura of professional Marines, the energy of pride in the graduates. We sat in the reviewing stands just meters away from where the Quonset hut I "occupied" during boot camp in 1965 used to be. There's a Head there now, but that's another story.

Christopher just wanted to be a mud Marine. His mom said he was offered OCS. He wanted to be a grunt. His dad said because of his leadership skills and reputation for taking care of his troops, he was called "Gunny Lapka". After being garrisoned on Hawaii, training on Okinawa (didn't we all), and providing seaborne security for ships passing through the Suez Canel, Corporal Christopher J Lapka 0311 USMC, was finally rotated to the Sand Box. He died doing exactly what he wanted to do.

This story is not to solicit sympathy, or generate a response. Many of us know this story, a Marine's story, all to well. It is simply to let you know a little about this fallen Marine who would otherwise just be another name, rank, age and hometown on the daily casualty list.

Christopher was not a hero who won medals or who sought fame, in fact we told him, "Don't earn no medals, don't volunteer for nuthin and keep yer helmet on". (Poor English, but good advise.) Yet Christopher was a hero, to his mother, to his father, to his sister Michelle, and to me. A hero Marine who gave it his all.

J.C. Allen

We don't mourn, we remember.
We don't cry his loss, we applaud his service.
We pray to God for the will of victory and support of our President.
We ask Him for the safe return of our warriors who answered the call and are serving honorably and heroically.
Our way of life and security of Country continues because is his sacrifice and that of his comrade Marines.

This Is Fantastic

Sgt Grit,
You recently had a posting from M. Valois about our traditions being ignored or forgotten and it reminded me of a story from one of our "cousins from across the pond".

I will keep his name out of this but only refer to him as "Jim" as he is still serving.

Jim was detached along with another officer to a British Royal Marine unit (sorry I do not remember which one it was). On their 1st day there and he and his comrade went down to the officer's mess to eat breakfast. The only way to do justice to his description of their mess would be to say if we Marines every had a place like this to eat we would have never left the Corps. Beautiful old wood paneling, all kinds of battle trophies, flags, pictures, martial stuff hanging from the walls, you get the idea. It was set up like a restaurant with actual waiters coming around to get their food orders. Jim thought "this is fantastic!" and he and his buddy split up to socialize with their fellow warriors. Jim sat down across from this British Royal Marine Major who was reading the paper and he sat there quietly not wanting to disturb him until it was appropriate. The waiter came with Jim's order and Jim made ready to chow down and said to the Major "Mate, Would you pass the salt please?". The response was a chilling look from the Major, a rattling of his paper and the Major went back to reading the paper completely ignoring Jim. Jim thinking "what is he deaf?" said again, "Oi! Mate. Would you please pass the salt?" Again the frosty look. Jim looks down the table toward his buddy who apparently was getting the same treatment at his end of the table. With that the waiter comes up to Jim's side and whispering says "Sir. It is a tradition in the Mess that not a word is spoken by any officers during breakfast. I'll get you the salt." Jim turns to him and says "Is that right?" He then jumps up onto the table and marches over to the Major and snaps to attention standing in his cereal bowl and shouts "Its a tradition in our mess that when an officer is standing in your cornflakes it means please pass the fooking salt!" Needless to say Jim and his buddy were not eating many meals there. I believe he told me they were sort of banned from eating in the mess after that. Traditions should be adhered to but they should be posted for visitors and new people or something like your cereal being ruined can happen.

After he told the story I said "So what you're telling us is that you're a cereal killer?"

Hey it was funny in the bar.
John Klein
USMC 78-82

Came Down To Visit

Hey Sgt,
Today is our Marine Corps birthday, as you well know. I wanted to personally thank you for your service and all that you do for the Marines today and all military for that matter. I also wanted to tell you a story about a fellow brother of mine. While we were in Iraq he was shot in the left shoulder and it came out of his right. Just yesterday he came down to visit so, our 1st Sgt decided to give him his purple heart and Navy & Marine Corps achievement medal. He could barely stand but stood up through the ceremony and saluted just like any of us would and he still plans on reenlisting. It personally motivated the sh!t out of me to know that Marines like that are still around and that I have the privilege to work with someone like that. Take care Sgt and keep doing what your doing.
Lcpl Pickett
Semper Fi


Plt 81 MCRD San Diego. 1953. Senior D.I. Sgt Mullinex, junior D.I. cpl Podkova, junior d.i.
P.F.C. Watson. Watson had been accepted for O.C.S. I stuck around for several years but never came across him again. Went to D.I. school in 56 and Sgt. Mullinex was back on the drill field again, still a sgt. Same rank as me by then. Small Corps.
Merle Fountain

Colonel Get This Mans Name

I've got a fun story about the CMC. I was in a Harrier squadron out of Cherry Point, NC (VMA-214) and we were putting on an air show in Quantico, VA for a lot of DC brass (the CMC was number 4 in the rank structure in attendance).

After the show General Wilson was walking around talking to the troops, now the CMC was an impressive man, tall, athletic, a CMH winner and responsible for turning around the Marine Corps into a lean machine again. The CMC walked up to one of the sergeants and started talking to him, well the conversation got around to how much time he had left in the Corps and he was ask if he was going to re-up. Well true to form the sergeant said no, he wasn't going to re-enlist. The CMC promptly ask him why and the sergeant stated that he had tried to transfer to MCAS Dallas, which was close to home and that he had been unsuccessful. The CMC looked at him for a long second and ask if he would re-enlist if he could transfer and he stated that, yes he would. The CMC held up his hand and snapped his fingers, "Colonel get this mans name"!

The sergeant received transfer papers a week later!

Only in the Marine Corps!

Sgt P.W. Long
USMC 74-78


I was in country '68. Da Nang, Phu Bai, Dong Ha, Quang Tri. Was there for 6 months and was called home for my dads funeral. Didn't take much with me 'cause I thought I was coming back after a short leave. Lost all my personal items I had including my class ring (my girl sent it back to me along with a dear john letter). Sure would like to have it back, but that's not why I'm writing this. Ever since I left and had to stay home to help mom with the family and the farm, I have had this unbearable feeling of guilt. I can't get over it. It's so bad that the VA is trying to help me with it. I feel like I should have gone back to do more to help my unit. Some says I did my part. I don't feel I did. I lost a lot of good friends and I feel like if I went back I might have made a difference. Who knows? Maybe I would have, maybe not. All I know is this guilt is getting worse. I've been to the Wall and had to make myself go. I hurt all over when I tried to touch it. Went to several museums and the same thing happens. Especially when I try to touch any statues. It hurts really bad and then it turns to sadness. I can feel the sadness in the statues. I just wanted to tell you this. I know I'm not alone in this. Sometimes I feel like I can't go on. God, my wife, kids, and grandkids are the only ones that keep me going. Even with them it's hard to bear. I can't watch any war movies or anything that deals with Nam. Maybe someday. Will always be proud to have worn the Eagle Globe and Anchor. It's been 30+ years, but the pride and honor and respect for the Corps and the Flag is still in my heart. Semper Fi.
L/CPL Dan Lisowe, Ky.
3rd Marine Div.
3rd Tank Battalion
H&S Co. Motor T
Vietnam 1968

Weekend Liberty

I had finished I.C.T, at San Onofre (tent camp 2) Pendleton spring of 1953 and about a dozen of us were still awaiting our assignments before we could have 10 days leave. We were called casual plt and went on working parties mostly cleaning weapons in the armory. Had weekend liberty or were supposed to. We bunked in a Quonset hut and one particular evening we were fighting the civil war or some such thing after lights out. Someone (the O.D.) opened the door and announced anymore noise and no liberty for the weekend. Out of the dark we hear "give me liberty or give me death" The O.D. demands "who said that?" A different voice pipes up with "I think it was Patrick Henry." Guess What?
Spent the weekend "on base"
merle sgt 1953-1961

Wearing 4 Hash Marks

To Sgt Grit:
For whatever it is worth, I would like to submit the following: My service was from 2-48 to 2-52, final rank Sgt. In 1949 we were asked to count off, I was number four. All number fours were asked to step out and we were marched to the armory at Camp Pendleton to be issued a BAR. We spent the next two weeks field stripping the BAR. Finally during the second week I could, blindfolded, field strip the BAR in approximately 25 seconds and reassemble it in about 28 seconds. When the Korean War (Police Action) started we were called upon to fall in. A SSgt, wearing 4 hash marks ( we found out later that he had been in and out of the Marine Corps since 1928) told us that orders would be issued soon. We asked him when we were going overseas. "Where?" he asked. "Korea" we answered. Forget it he said, "We are not sending you people, We want to win this one". All of us at that time were assigned to the Supply area. I was a typist clerk in the Shipping & Receiving building in 11 area. (I always there after told people when they asked what I did in the Marine Corps, I told them I was a Remington Raider 'Remington typewriter'). Naturally we were all Gung Ho, and felt very depressed. At the time I was 18 yrs. old. (Well you are familiar with what happened in Korea because we were not sent there.) Many years later while I served in the Foreign Service, Dept. of State, one of my overseas assignment was in Georgetown, Guyana, as the Administrative Officer at the American Embassy. We had USMC Security Guards. It was, I believe, in Nov 1975, that the Colonel, a Native American, visited the post on an Inspection tour. He mentioned to the NCOIC that he had always heard people mentioned about the Old Corps. He said he had more than 20 years in the Corps and still didn't when was the old corps. FINALLY, it was my chance. I told the NCOIC to inform the Colonel that in the Old Corps it took 4 years to make PFC!
Regards, John Miller

One Proud Grandpa

Sgt Grit: Special Announcement.. Born unto us is future MARINE ; SMEDLEY CHRISTIAN VALLEJOS-MCKINNON, NOVEMBER 2, 2004 eight days too early.. He could not wait until the 10th. Sorry about that. This is one proud Grandpa and get to put his cammy tee shirt and diaper covers as my daughter brings him home. He already looks like a cross between CHESTY & SMEDLEY.
gil vallejos

Just Nuke the Place

Well here we are another Marine Corps birthday ooorah!
With Fallujah heating up, may God Bless our fellow Marines and watch over them. I hope that they can put an end to that mess with the insurgents. They just won't quit. A lot of friends of mind have said just nuke the place. I said the Marines will take care of it on Nov.10th,what a birthday present that would be. It has been a tough struggle with them and in Afghanistan. Let's hope that things go well for them and the rest of our troops in both places. Pres. Bush said that it would be a long hard road in both places. Terrorism is going to be a long battle and will be with us from now on. What we need to do is support our troops and welcome them home when they do come home. Lets all wish them a great Happy Marine Corps Birthday and get the job done, to be able to come back to the U.S. and their families.

May God Bless them and God Bless the U.S.A., and the U.S.M.C. OOORAH!
Cpl. John C. Annis U.S.M.C.
Semper Fi Happy Birthday to the Corps!

Couldn't Stop Smiling

Sgt Grit,
Just wanted to say Happy Birthday to all Marines young and old, who are here and who have passed. My Husband and I went to a very special Marine Corps birthday luncheon at our local Elks, it was the first time in a long time for my husband to celebrate and the first time for me. I felt honored to be in a room surrounded by Marines of many generations, my husband couldn't stop smiling. We were surrounded mostly by WWII Vets. One I sat next to lasted the whole battle of Okinawa and made it home. My husband asked him "what rank did you leave the corps?" he replied "the same one I came in with!" He is a very cool old Marine. We ended the celebration with the oldest and youngest Marine in the room (88 and 24) to receive the 1st pieces of Marine birthday cake. Then we sang the Marine Corps Hymn. Very, Very cool. We plan on going again next year.
Happy Birthday Marines!!
Jennifer DeLeon & CPL Ricardo DeLeon (88-92)

Chills Ran Up

Last night, 6 Nov 04, I'm standing in the passageway at the Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Marriott Hotel, in my "dress canvas" talking to a WWII Marine Corsair driver when a bit of a hush comes over the crowd, I look to the entrance and see a frail lady in a long white evening gown and following right be hind is Col. Myers with his Medal of Honor around his neck. As I reach out my hand he looks up and smiles and winks said, Hiya Doc". Chills ran up and down my spine as he gripped my hand! He was later introduced at the Ball to a standing ovation and lots of OoooRrrAaaHhhh's. Still in awe........Chuck Stark Hospital Corps USN

HEADLINE: "Lejeune Marines continue to make strides in local Iraqi villages"

AL MEDENA, Iraq - While American and anti-Iraqi forces are gearing up for a possible showdown in Fallujah, Marines here continue to bring aid and hope to the local Iraqi populace.

The Marines of 2nd Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, have been conducting civil affairs missions at Iraqi villages neighboring Camp Taqaddum, Iraq, in an effort to improve the quality of life for local Iraqis.

The Camp Lejeune, N.C.-based unit provides security on and around Camp Taqaddum, the headquarters base for the 1st Force Service Support Group, located west of Fallujah.

The Marines have been working with village leaders here and in other areas in an effort to build relationships and identify ways to improve the village's living conditions.

Read the full story and download high-resolution photos.

Please feel free to use the story and its accompanying photos for publication. If used, please respond to this e-mail so we can update our records.

Service members from the following hometowns are featured either in this article or an accompanying photograph:

  • Coronado, Calif.
  • Massapequa Park, N.Y.
  • Santa Isabel, Puerto Rico
  • Ft. Stockton, Texas
  • Norfolk, Va.

Additionally, the combat correspondent who wrote this article is a native of Virginia Beach, Va.

Semper Fidelis,
Staff Sgt. J.M. Goodwin
Public Affairs Chief
1st Force Service Support Group
Camp Taqaddum, Iraq

Happy Birthday Marines!

Although time carries me further and further away from the days when I wore the combat garb of my Country, it does not diminish the pride that I carry for our beloved Nation. Not unlike the sea, many memories drift down through the years, to be lost in the depths, but one shining beacon still glistens; the remembrance of my service to the Corps. The flames of glory, once brightly burning, now glow steadily, and the white hot fire that was my devotion to Duty, to Honor, to Country, now warms my old bones with satisfying recollection, that I answered when my County called, and stood the line with those who would shed their blood with me, my Brothers and Sisters, my fellow Marines.

To all Marines, I would hope that the past year has brought prosperity and good health, but we have seen Marines, both young and old, who have given the last full measure of devotion. May we remember these Marines, mourn their loss, comfort their loved ones, and celebrate their lives. May we strengthen our own resolve, to live life for them, to seek that honorable peace that has is bought and paid for through the blood of the fallen, and maintained by the living.

While we have earned the right to enjoy satisfaction in a job well done, let us not rest upon our laurels, but, befitting the tradition of the United States Marine Corps, continue to inspire our fellow citizens to at least contribute to the prosperity of our Nation, and, at best, to take up the very same gauntlet that drew us to challenge ourselves, earning the title, "United States Marine".

God Bless you and your family on the birthday of Our Corps! God bless the United States of America and success to the Marines!

Semper Fidelis,
William R. Benson
Sergeant of Marines

Willing And Able

Sgt. Grit,
I have been receiving the weekly newsletter for over a year now and can't wait to read it. I might add that the quarterly magazine is equally enjoyable and I highly recommend it. Besides the same kind of stories, there are old photos etc., and keep in mind there are some "old salts" out there that don't use a computer, so you don't want to miss hearing from them.

I enlisted after high school graduation in the summer of 1972. San Diego was d@med hot in August. In that day almost all wore their hair at least over their ears if not longer. It was pretty funny seeing everyone with sun burnt and peeling ears the first week or two. Plt 1112 from Aug to Nov 72 was lead by Sr. DI SSgt Hicks, SSgt Cross and Sgt Gomez, and I will never forget you Gentlemen.

About March 1973 arrived in Okinawa and joined India, 3/9, 3rdMarDiv, Fleet Marine Force Pacific. Since most of the troops were being pulled out of Nam by then, I never had the honor to serve in combat, but was trained for it and ready, willing and able.

My dad, Gene C. Calahan, was with the 1st MarDiv. in the Korean War. Dad didn't talk about it much other than he told me Chesty was his boss. Dad wanted to stay in the Corps, but 2 purple hearts later he was medically discharged. (Don't tell my Drill Instructors, but they didn't really scare me much. I was raised by a hard fighting, hard drinking, cussing, scared of nothing, UNITED STATES MARINE). Dad and I attended many Marine Corps Birthday Balls, parades etc. over the years. Cpl G.C. Calahan reported for duty "On Heavens Scene" 11-28-95.

My Great-Uncle, Urban Skinner, was with the 1stMarDiv when we landed and took Okinawa, in 1945.. Unlike my dad, Uncle Urban was a calm, kind, God fearing man. I didn't even know he was a Marine until I was an adult. His son, my cousin, told me that he never talked about it either, except Audie Murphy and the like were not the heroes. The heroes to him never came home. Uncle Urban reinforced my dad's position, summer 2003.

Tomorrow, 11-05-04 I will attend the 229th Birthday luncheon here in Oklahoma City. This is sponsored by the United States Marine Corps Coordinating Council of Oklahoma. The guest of honor will be General William L. Nyland, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps. My guests will be my wife, and a friend who is the proud Mom of two active duty Marines. Last year at my table were 2 Viet Nam vets and ones wife, a Tarawa vet and his wife, and 2 active duty Majors. I am so looking forward to seeing old and new friends.

I raise my glass, hey Dad, Uncle Urban, all United States Marines past, present and future.

May God continue to watch over our brothers and sisters and their families, and God Bless America!

Semper fi
Cpl 'Cal" Calahan
72-74 USMC and Forever.


A Marine and some old Army guy were boasting to each other about their old military days.

"Why, my outfit was so well drilled," declared the old Army guy, "that when they presented arms all you could hear was slap, slap, click."

"Very good," conceded the Marine, "but when my company presented arms you'd just hear slap, slap, jingle."

"What was the jingle?" asked the old Army guy. "Oh," replied the Marine offhand, "just our medals."

Semper Fi
Daniel J. Szymanski

Private Num-Nuts

BOOT CAMP- When I was in Boot Camp we had finished one many marches in full battle gear. This guy decides that he is thirsty and commences to drinking from one of his two canteens. The drill instructor sees this. The DI says, private num-nuts here wants to be an individual and drink from his canteen without permission. Everyone take out one of your canteens (both were full because we were not allowed to drink yet). The DI says o.k. you have 15 seconds to drink all of your water from your canteen, when I call time you will hold the canteen over your head bottom side up. If you are not finished with your canteen and you end up pouring water over your head you will be doing bends and thrust, mountain climbers, side straddle hops and double timers until your hair is dry. The more wet your hair is the longer it will be. Well many of us finished and many did not. The DI told us to pull out the other canteen and we did the same thing. READY DRINK! ...............YOUR DONE! Some finished some ended up pouring it over their heads. Well we ended up drinking FOUR canteens of water before it was over. Next we had an outside class with another DI that was not aware of the situation. We were about 30 minutes into the class when the pain became overwhelming. Everyone was looking at each other but no one wanted to raise their hand to use the head. Well finally one guy raised his hand "Thank God" and asked "Sir, can this recruit go to the Head Sir"? The DI looked at him in disgust and asked if he could wait, "SIR NO SIR". So, the DI said, GO!" Not long after he left another Private raised his hand and said "SIR, can this recruit go to the head SIR"? Any way he let him go and before you know it many other guys are raising their hands. We end up explaining the situation and he put us in formation to march down this VERY bumpy STEEP hill to where the rest-rooms were. When we arrived there were only eight "Johnny on the Spots" and about sixty recruits. As they let eight go at a time and after about 15 seconds the Di's began to bang on the walls and yell and scream, YOUR DONE, GET OUT!. It wasn't enough time to finish, it was only enough time to get the pressure off. As I was waiting in line I noticed another guy returning to the end of the line and I told him his fly was still open and he said, "I know" and then I noticed that all of the buttons were missing. He then said "I couldn't wait". Evidently he didn't bother to undue the buttons, he just ripped them apart. Needless to say I think that is the worst that I have ever had to go "P". Just a note, my hair never got wet and my buttons were still intact!

Keith Rogers, USMC, 88'-92'

Happy Birthday

To Marines world wide.

As we enjoy another Marine Corps' Birthday.
Eating cake and swapping stories.
I ask you all, say a little prayer for Marines around the world that may be in "harm's way" at this very moment, particularly, those in Iraq.
Just maybe, A silent prayer as this is what helped get us through some of those "tight spots" in the past, such as Iwo, Chosin and Khe Sanh.

Happy Birthday Marine Corps,
And Happy Birthday Marines.

God luck,
Good Health
And may God Continue to Bless us all.

Semper Fi,
H. S. Bane
Sgt-USMC (Marine At Large)

The Battle of Tripoli Airs Again!

Here's your chance in case you missed it...
The Battle of Tripoli will be re-broadcast at 11pm ET/PT on Thursday November 11th, 2004, and also at 3am ET/PT on Friday November 12th. The History Channel.
Enjoy the show!

Like The Punk

This is the picture and response after we got it on our web page. Sgt Grit Rosen

Thank you so much. It does my heart good. I love that picture of him. He looks so grown up, so tough. Nothing like the punk who refused to clean his room or stop beating up his sister.
Sgt. Grit is awesome!!
Beverly Rosen

Read the full story on this USMC Iraq BS Page

His Dad Is a Colonel

Sgt. Grit, I am not a Marine like my two sons, but would like to pass on a story. When my youngest (Braden) was in boot camp in CA, his brother (Travis) and brother's Marine friends, were tormenting Braden with letters. The letters were highlighted on the envelopes with messages to the Marine Drill Instructors about Braden. One I later head about stated "Dear DI, be nice to Braden because his dad is a Colonel in the Army!" (Not true) Most were very colorful and each one resulted in pushups, trips to the sand pit, etc for Braden. I was not aware this was going on. The older brother later described it as character building. After awhile Braden was praying not to get mail while everyone else was hoping for mail. At one point Braden had to open his mail in front of everyone because the brother had sent cookies. Meanwhile, at home, a post card from the Navy recruiter's office showed up in our box. Jokingly, I told his mother to put it into an envelope and send it to Braden. Unfortunately for Braden the DI had him open that letter when he got it. Braden said he had never seen a DI lose his bearing till that moment. When Braden pulled the navy recruitment postcard out of the envelope, the DI exclaimed "Good Lord, even your mother is out to get you!" Travis and the Senior DI had a good laugh at graduation.

Braden is now in Iraq with the HMLA 169. He is a lance Corporal and works in the air wing helping to keep the helicopters in service and ready to fight. My military experience was basically a 3 year non-event. I did not experience the camaraderie and selflessness that I see in today's Marines. I envy my son's their experience.

Rod Getting

Change Fidel's Mind

45 years ago today on the Marine Corps Birthday I was on mess duty at Parris Island in the NCO mess hall at the rifle range. Can you imagine how scared we boots were but actually the nco's treated us rather well and we ate the heck out some steaks. I was in K-3-8 for three years, never saw combat but we did change Fidel's mind about invading Nicaragua. I still fly the Corps flag, keep a license plate holder "Semper Fidelis" and I will always be proud to have been a Marine and these kids in Iraq made me even prouder.

Jim McCuen, Dublin CA

Rifle On Safe

hello all. my name is toni marie beltrano and i have a story about boot camp. it was towards the end of February beginning of march in 1989 and my platoon was at the rifle range. only one more month to go and i would be home, so as you can understand i was a little bit anxious. i know that every marine out there knows the rule for the range, always have the rifle on safe, no matter what, always have the rifle on safe.

i did this and without fail i might add, until one time. i remember i was either getting into or coming out of the prone position and my elbow hit the ground, my finger hit the trigger and the round went off up in the air. let me tell you something, i have never seen a pmi hit the ground so fast. needless to say, i ended up behind the tower and on my way to another platoon that was 2 weeks behind us at the time.

i graduated, and by the way i only shot marksman at the range with my new platoon.

ooh rah and happy birthday marines
cpl toni beltrano, 1989-1993, 93-97 usmcr

Women In The Marines

Sgt Grit
I have been reading your newsletter for quite awhile and have enjoyed it immensely. I served in the USMC from 75-79. Women in the Marines at that time made up about 2% of the Corps and things were pretty tough for us at times, but being Marines we adapted, improvised and overcame most obstacles. I am writing today as I wanted to wish all of my brothers and sisters a great 209 Birthday on November 10th. We have come a long way since 1775, but still hold true to all of our traditions and customs. I am very proud of my service although I never left the States, I did meet and married my husband, also a Marine, and had my son who 20 years later became a Marine and served in Afghanistan in Dec 2001-April 2002. I will always be proud of my Corp and my family.

Louise Tamayo, Sgt
USMC 75-79

Happy Birthday and Veterans Day

As of this writing I have received 600+ responses to my Happy Birthday msg. Here is a sampling. (And yes, it is "harms" not "arms". Hey...I'm just a radio operator.)
Sgt Grit

Absolutely. I have the privilege of taking care of our wounded Veterans every day. They are an inspiration for all of us here.
Dr. Barton Lane
Chief of Neuroradiology
Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Palo Alto, CA

Happy Birthday and thank you for your message. It is very difficult for a marine freshly retired to pass the torch as I am sure it was for the marines before me. I can only hope they are as proud of us as we are of them and the Jarheads of present keeping the peace and destroying all those who oppose our brilliant country.
ATD Carpentry
DJ Utter

Thank you from one of the moms whose son is "over there" for the second time. I don't know where he is and it sure isn't easier the second time around. Thanks for the support!
Linda, Mom missing her Marine.

Same to you. It is a special day for all of us, especially those going from door to door in Fallujah. They are in my thoughts and prayers as I go through my daily routine of being a free American. Semper Fi....M.C. Klein, 1480816, Sgt of Marines, 1954/1958.

Sgt Grit, same to you Marine! The Marines will get the job done and that is a fact of life.
Semper Fi!
Captain "Shifty"

Semper Fi!!! Happy Birthday sir, and to all in Iraq. Nuke the joint!

3/5 is kick'n butt

Good NY Post Picture

Hey...thanks...just got word that my Marine son was injured in Fallujah...Got shrapnel to legs, arm & face from fragmentation grenade. He left for Germany today...Thanks for your thoughts & prayers for our troops over there...They are a brave bunch!

Happy Birthday Marine Corps Brothers and Sisters, Past, Present, and Future!

R.W. Tandy, USMC, Sergeant, 2519263, active duty -12/68 to 7/73

Amen to that! And don't forget our sisters in harms way also. My Marine daughter is just outside of Fallujah and also needs prayers.

Happy birthday to all my brethren out there! "Semper Fi" devil dogs! And a big f**kin OooooooooHhhhhhhhhh-Raaaaahhhhhhhhh! May God bless you all and our brothers in foreign lands.

I just know that Chesty's looking down at us all and smiling today! May God watch over all of our Marines in Fallujah, Iraq and everywhere else that they're in danger on this day and every day.
Semper Fi!
Rich Cervenka

Happy Birthday to you too, but we need to pray for those who this day occupy positions OPPOSING the Marines for they will soon be in the presents of God...

Roger on the happy birthday. The insurgents in Fallujah better be glad it's the MARINES birthday, after all, the Marines could be in a bad mood. God bless our fallen brothers.

happy birthday to you too. i was in fallujah from feb-sept. i feel what everyone of out brothers are feeling there. i am in lima 3/11 but we was a provisional rifle team there. i was wounded in ramadi, Iraq a few miles west of fallujah. thank you and have a good birthday
CPL Jessie, Jonathan W.
Lima btry 3/11

And right back to your duty station Sgt Grit. I enjoy reading all the scuttle butt in your articles, and cant help laughing at some of the replies. Sgt Ben Ford 1128208. 1st. Marine antiaircraft Bn./Korea 1950-1955. Too bad they wouldn't let us go into Manchuria and kick the gooks @sses for good.

Let's keep givin'em h&ll. Semper Fi.
R.L.Frazier Jr. S/N 2130390 RVN 65-66

Short Rounds

I Have been retired fro the Marine Corps since 1974. And I still act, talk, think and walk like a Marine. Once a Marine always a Marine.
S/SGT Allen

The best "Old salt" story I ever heard, was the old "Gunny" in 2nd Bn. 6th Marines, who said he was so salty that when God said " Let there be light", he was Duty NCO and he turned 'em on!! F.T. Walsh Sgt. USMC E/2/6 1954-57

Anyone from Camp Fuji remember a deal from the same era where we packed our sea bags for storage rigged full packs and set on our helmets along side 6 bys for 2 days to see if we were going to bail the French out in "Indo China" needless to say we didn't go.

I just wanted to give a BIG OOHRAH to ALL the Devil Dogs out there and their Families.
I Pray for Everyone's Safe Return.
Happy Birthday to ALL of YOU !!!! Thank You!!!
Dave Smelser
CPL. 88'-92', MOS-1142

I have to smile when I hear someone called "Maggot." I went through boot camp at Parris Island beginning February '46 and we would have considered "Maggot" a complement.
John W. Brooker

Thanks for your newsletter. It makes me proud to see this generation of Marines carrying on our proud traditions. Teel them to keep safe and proud.
Hamilton, TL
SGT, USMC 1987-1993

Recent news tells of the dozen soldiers of the 317th who let Iraq insurgents make off with explosives that they were guarding at a bunker. Is there anyone out there that thinks a dozen Marines would have let them do that without a fight? Once again this war shows the difference between Marines and others. Happy Birthday!
Semper Fi,
Tom Fearns
3/7 69-70, LZ Baldey, ROV

"Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway"
John Wayne

"There is a time for all things, a time to preach and a time to pray, but those times have passed away. There is a time to fight, and that time has now come."
--Peter Muhlenberg

U niversity of
S cience
M usic and
C ulture

Semper fi
Sgt Grit

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