THE OLD SALT - When asked Just how long he'd been in. Replied The First time I pulled Mess Duty was at The Last Supper.
Joe Hackett, USMC 52/55, 1280932
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The new fall catalog is mailed. Some of you already have it, all others should arrive within 10 days. As usual a lot of new items. Remember: order early for the Marine Corps Birthday and Christmas.
New Special Order T-Shirts - Limited Time Only!
Khe Sanh Vets - Visit the Page just for you.
Major Gen. Natonski
Letter from the Commanding General of 1st MarDiv.
As for the enemy: hurt them, find them and kill them.
Because Of It Sir
Under the radar was never a reality to me. I was born with basketball orange hair(no joke). There I was standing in a squad bay in SD a day early for my series and Sgt ME Gonzales walks up to me and starts questioning me about growing up with this hair color. "did they tease you?", "did they pick on you?"...17 years and a day old, I was scared almost speechless. Then came the question "what did you do about it?" "Sir the private kicked their as*es sir" and he went into the duty hut and left me parked there for about an hour. When he returned he handed me the arm band and guidon and told me to take the single bunk by the door. I didn't have a clue and was scared s&itless. The others arrived the next day and I was told to dress them out and pick 4 squad leaders who were to pick team leaders over the next. Should of seen the look on the DI's faces the first time we fell out and I left the guidon in the squad bay. It had to be explained to me what I was supposed to do and where I was supposed to fall in at !!!!(They don't teach this in high school you know!!) I was the only guy with this bright color hair out of about 320 guys in 4 recruit platoons-under the radar???????? I've had IG's ask me if I had any physical problems that caused this!!! "Sir no Sir only problems because of it Sir" Always use the guide for any thing you can think of-garbage can races between 4 guides in the series-how long can hang upside down and drink water games-showing the rest of the platoon how to use a pugil stick-I bet my guide can do more squat thrusts than yours.....be the dummy at the field dressing for wounded class then send us to chow with out removing said dressings because I might bleed to death... I hear you brother!!! But we had more fun than those recruits that didn't stand out. We got the best bunk. The day we bloused our utilities we got to go first while the others waited. We were last to chow and seems like we ate the least because the cooks put more or bigger on our hubcaps because they knew what we gave up to be platoon guide. They knew we were the first one up because fire watch would get you up an hour before revile, the last one to got to sleep, get up in the middle of the night to watch over fire watch and memorize the hand book to help your Brothers who were having a hard time plus you had to pull 100% on the Knowledge day. My DI's didn't have Bic's-Zippo's were then. So they would pull those and send you to the head to finish the job before IG's!!!--Do not let the eye tear up when one was pulled!!!! God help you if that military ID card made a scraping sound when dragged up your face!!!! and that was single blade - unscrew it and put it indays!!! Miss the ole days do ya??? I feel like I grew up more in boot than in the 17 years before it. Guess I owe it to The Corp and My DI's. NO guess to it.
Semper Fi Brothers and Sisters. Krusty
A photograph of a sign was published in the base newspaper (Sentry, I believe) in the early 1960s at Quantico, va. A very large, gold on scarlet sign, naturally. It read.
United States Marine Core
MCS Quantico Va
Perhaps someone got up close and personal with steel wool, brasso and a Marine Corps G. I. can as a result. You gotta love it. Every day is a holiday and every meal is a banquet. A small price to pay to serve with the worlds finest.
DMB USMC (Ret.)
Back From The Sandbox
I recently came back from the sandbox on 28, july, and got my walking papers 10, august. The re-adjustment to civie life is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I'm bored now, and I really miss the action. I was trying to tell my 'ol lady that I was thinking about going active duty again, but she didn't take it so well.
I told her that it's a MARINE thing (Corps, Unit, God, Country) and she said that she guesses it's something she'll never understand. In the CORPS, I was somebody, a man with a purpose. Now out here in the civie world i'm just a former MARINE with a lot of good stories to tell, and a lot of nightmares to contend with.
SEMPER FI -DO OR DIE.........
CPL. Chris Schaefer U.S.M.C. (1/3) 0311
I'd Be In A World Of Hurt
After reading your newsletter for a while now, just thought I would share this one with you. My parents were traveling out west recently and my father was driving rather fast as he just had bought a new truck with a Hemi in it. Sure enough when he wasn't looking, a state trooper nailed him. So the trooper pulled him over and went through the usual routine by taking his license and registration and heading back to the squad car. My dad figured that it was gonna hurt as he was doing well over the posted speed limit. When the trooper came back he handed my dad a warning ticket and said have a nice day. My dad asked the trooper why the warning and not a ticket. The trooper had him dead to rights. The trooper replied: "Sir, if I went back to my station and told them I gave a retired Marine a ticket, I'd be in a world of hurt." He then saluted my father and sounded off with a SEMPER FI SIR!! and then proceeded to head back to his squad car. It was a couple of minutes before the dust and sand cleared out of my father's eyes.
Doug--proud son of a 20yr retired Marine.
I Felt Compelled
Greetings Sgt. Grit,
I felt compelled to write and comment about the Sept. 30 news letter. First, my sympathy to Nancy Blair for her loss and my gratitude for her son's service. I have no words of comfort for her that might help. only a big hug and a thank you.
Thanks to John Varian for acknowledging we Marines that were not grunts by MOS. It seems lots of folks think that if you weren't a grunt that you were not a real Marine. My older brother was an 0141 office pogue who was wounded in a rocket and mortar attack at Marble Mountain when he was with MAG 16 in 1967. I served as a 2531 field radio operator at LZ Baldy, Fire Support Base Ryder and at Hill 34 during my 1970-71 tour. We both may not have been 0311's or 0331's but we were kn harm's way as well. I loved our grunts for the job they did and I do feel guilt sometimes that I wasn't in the " bush " during my time in Nam. I joined the Corps and volunteered for WestPac orders and went where I was ordered. I think I did a good job and I hurt for the guys that didn't return. Thanks again Mr. Varian for recognizing us.
Semper Fi, L/Cpl Dan Buchanan
You Guys Coming Home
Just want to say to ALL you guys coming home that this time the military is trying to do it right this time around.PLEASE don't think your the only one not able to understand you feelings.Don't think you can keep your emotions bottled up.There are so many of us from the Nam era that will gladly lend a ear to what you might want to get out of your system.And PLEASE PLEASE make use of any VA bennies you might be entitled to.I've worked for the VA off and on since '75'.It really has improved over the years,and although still BS,it's NOT like it was in the movies Coming home and born on the forth of July. And though you will remember your experiences for the rest of your life,life DOES go on.Remember you are NOT alone in this,You've brothers that will listen,but it will come down to you how this experience shapes you life. God speed,and best to you all my fellow Marines.
USMC '67-71'RVN DaNang '69'
U,S. Army '86-93 Somalia '93'
After boot camp, at Parris Island, we were sent to Camp Geiger for ITR Training. Having made Honor Man and promoted to PFC., I was selected as one of the Platoon Sgt?s. One day we were first with chow and on our way back to the barracks. First back gets first head call and no waiting in line. We were almost there when a rival platoon came us behind us and we heard the order, ?Double Time?. We ended up second and waiting in line. The gauntlet had been thrown down and I picked it up with a smile on my face. It was going to be sweet.
That evening we were first out again. Again were almost there when we heard the other platoon coming up from the rear. Again the sound of, ?Double time!?. I got several side mouth request for, ?Give the command for Double Time?. I yelled, ?Listen up. Hold on?. One Marine said, ?Look out guys this is got to be a good one?. I had been know for a few pranks in the past, so he knew something was coming.
I waited and I heard the steps getting closer. I again yelled, ?Hold on?. Then the command, ?OPEN RANKS?, when the other platoon was within 10 yards of us. It was the most beautiful executed maneuver I had ever seen. There are no words to fully describe the sharpness, the snap and the smile on everyone's face as they executed the move. The move covered the entire roadway. I only wish the guys could have see the look on the face of the other platoon Sgt. He was so shook up about the move he did not give any command and the ?Keystone Cop Effect? took place. It was great. The front of his platoon started slowing down but the rear kept going. Soon his entire platoon was all bunched up behind mine, as we held the formation the rest of the way back.
An army GI and a Marine are in the head at the urinal and the Marine finishes then zips up and is about to leave when the GI says, "Hey, aren't you gonna wash your hands?", to which the Marine quickly replies, "In the Marine Corps. we don't p!ss on our hands." and left.
I am a Police Officer at the University of Texas Medical Center and St. Paul University in Dallas. One evening, while posted in the St. Paul ER, I heard someone using profanity in a very loud voice in the waiting room. Just as I entered the area I heard the patient tell the Charge Nurse, ?I can't help using d@mn cuss words. I'm an ex-Marine and a f***ing Vietnam Vet. It is the way I f***ing talk?. I stepped in and informed him he needed to curb his language. The guy just looked at me and, having not noticed when I entered the room, made the same statement to me.
I asked, ?You were in the Marine Corp? Where did you go to boot??
?I went to San Diego, CA?, came his reply.
I asked, ? Where were you in Vietnam??
?I was a gunner in the 3rd Division, 2nd Air Calvary, in 1976?, came the wrong reply.
I had all I could do not to laugh in his face.
The Charge Nurse knew I was a Marine and I took him aside and told him the guy was a d@mn liar. The patient wanted to know what I was telling the nurse. Since it was about him, he had a right to know. I told him he was not on the need-to-know-list.
I asked the Charge Nurse who the patient's nurse was going to be and went to find her. I told her the guy would tell her he was a Marine, however, he was a liar, so be careful of what else he may tell her about his ?aliment?. She asked how I knew. I informed her I was a Marine and I had served in Vietnam. I broke it down for her. The patient stated he went to boot in San Diego, CA not ?Diego? or ?Hollywood?. All Marines give Company, Battalion, Regiment and Division as in Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines. Or just Fox 2/9. There was no such unit, that he stated, in the Marines Corp. I told her if he gave her any trouble, let me know and I would be more than happy to arrest him for Disorderly Conduct, if he processed with the mouth.
Needless to say he was put in a back room for treatment. He later walked, since he did not get the drugs he requested for his ?ailment? and he was not, ?... treated as a Vietnam Vet should?.
I was outside in the ER driveway when he departed, and he told me it was not the way to treat a Vietnam Vet. I told him I had informing the Nurse that he was a d@mn liar.
He just looked at me for a moment and said, ?You can't talk to me that way?.
I looked him in the eyes and very slowly stated, so he would get the full meaning, ? Sir, I am a Marine and a Vietnam Vet. And you sir, are a d@mn liar? The Marines have no use for liars nor do I.
He never said a word as he slowly walked away, limping on the other leg.
My Uncle, John Esposito, celebrated his 80th birthday a few weeks ago with a surprise party arraigned by his children. As the only other living Marine in the family I was chosen to arrange The Marine Corps tribute. My uncle, served with the 4th Marine Division, along with my father, from its inception at Camp Pendleton, on 14 August 1943, all the way through Roi-Namur, Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima. He still carries a fragment a Japanese bullet in his elbow as a result of being wounded in action on Iwo Jima. A color guard from his own regiment 25th Marines, came down to surprise him from the reserve center in Plainville, CT. to Danbury, where the surprise party took place. A SSGT, in full dress blues also read a certificate of appreciation from the present day commander of 25th Marines. I was also able to obtain a birthday greeting letter for him from CMC, on their website. Thanks to your catalog, I was able to obtain all the necessary patches for his Marine Jacket, that we gave him as a birthday gift. The men from Charlie Company, 1st. BN. 25th Marines, gave up several hours of their time on a Sunday afternoon to honor one of The Regiments "Charter Members." Over 150 guests, including state and local politicians sat in complete silence during the color guards ceremony, and my oral presentation of the 4th Marine Divisions proud and distinguished W.W.II history. My wife told me that you could of heard a pin drop, it was so quiet. Needless to say, my uncle will always remember this particular birthday, and the present day Marines who came to honor his W.W.II service.
Once a Marine, always a Marine
Terry Rickert Sgt. USMC 1963 - 1970
People Not Very Proud
My Dad served in Vet Nam. He told me once that there were people not very proud of him for going over there. I told him that his family was. I was, he is my hero. Very few people that live in our small town served during that time. Now all they talk about is the current war and all the young men that are serving from here. All I can say is I'm VERY PROUD to say my dad served in Nam. Good Luck to all..
Proud daughter of a United State Marine.....
Tun Tavern: 1775 First recruit signs up "on the drum" outside and goes into the tavern where they give him a free tankard of ale and a shot of rum...
Next recruit comes in a few minutes later. Has a tankard of ale. First recruit says... "Say, where is your shot of rum?"
"They didn't give me one, " the second recruit replies...
"That's odd... Back in the 'Old Corps' we got a shot of rum... ..."
MCRD San Diego August 1967, 4-5 weeks into Boot Camp and we are 2 days away from moving to Camp Pendleton's Edson Range. When one recruit approached the DI and requests permission to report to Sick Bay.
When asked the reason the boot replies.."Sir the Private has CRABS SIR!!!!
The DI (backing away) asks "how do you know a**hole"? "SIR the Private caught one SIR" comes the reply!
Permission was immediately granted for Sick Bay where a whole bunch of Corpsman with tweezers conducted a "Search and Destroy". I never did find out where he got them but his squad conducted a thorough field day of their Quonset Hut, bedding, and clothing.
MCRD San Diego 1967
Yo, Grit...reading about the DI who was estimated to be part Indian...reminded me of a real 100% full-blooded Cherokee I worked for as a Junior DI back about '63....one SSGT Penniston (would have to dig out the book to recall the plt #, not important now, but L Company, 3rd RTBn at San Diego...)....anyhoo, we Juniors had taken the Plt out to Echo range at Camp Matthews (now buried under part of the San Diego campus of UC)... Penniston had driven out to the range (rank hath its privileges, as well as its responsibilities, thou knowest....)...anyhoo, he needed something fetched from the duty tent, so gave me the keys to his big black four-door Ford barge (AKA Galaxie) (they were huge...this was probably a '62 or so).....was absolutely amazed when I got in, turned the key, and proceeded to get some very authentic Indian music out of the radio....now this was in the day before cassette tapes, much less CD's, I-PODs, etc.....in fact, probably had only AM radio....figured the boss really had got his stuff together and also remembered where it was....ran the errand, and asked him how he "did that" when I got back ....he had no idea what the H&ll I was talking about....seems it was just the time for the local predecessor of NPR to be playing some Native American music...spooked me for sure...so, SSGT Penniston, if you're still around out there, no doubt retired at a higher rank....there was a day when you sure made an impression on me...
Dick Dickerson..retired Mustang of Marines...
Now's Your Time
It was september of 1982, mcrd San Diego. i was on the obstacle course overlooking the fence line of an airport that was nearby(ha) i had just completed my journey from ground to the top of a (A) frame they called it?? when i froze! i remembered i had a very noticeable fear of heights...... i couldn't move..... paralyzed!!! i kept looking down(bad idea) then, i noticed a instructor making his way up towards my location(humm) what could he be doing?? as this person was making his way towards my position .. i noticed that this was not my drill instructor (but) that this was the series commander hummmmmmm. upon arrival, i knew that this was not good! i expected a *ss chewing beyond comprehension to say the least ... but i was froze and couldn't move. much to my dismay, a calm and well demeanored lieutenant said: what's the problem private? i replied "sir" this private is afraid of heights...... at which time the lieutenant replied: well, nows your time to overcome that! for the life of me i'll never understand what overtook me then. i simply stepped onto the frame base and jumped out to the rope and made my way down without hesitation......no problem..
to this day i have no fear of heights and i contribute that to the sunny day in september, the moment in time stood still. i guess i took that statement the lieutenant gave me and applied it to many situations in life since then. and how that simple statement has made a difference..... any problems i have faced throughout the years since i still remember.............".now's your time to overcome it"
who say's the di's didnt make a difference
1stmardiv/1st fssg/ mp co
Found An American Flag
In October right after 9-11 I made a trip to Charleston, SC where the USS Yorktown is at final anchor. I served aboard her with the Marine Detachment 1964-1966 with three trips to Viet Nam. We were a very proud and tight Marine Unit aboard a Navy ship with one h&ll of a history going back to WW2. 30+ years since I walked on her decks and I still knew where everything was on that ship. One h&ll of a day spending time on the old "Fighting Lady"
When I returned to my car in the parking lot I found an American Flag in the upper right hand corner of my windshield. Under the driver's windshield wiper was a flyer. It stated that the flag had been placed there by the local Boy Scout troop to support our Armed Forces. They did not ask for any donations but there was a statement at the bottom that if we did not want the flag on our vehicle it would be taken off as we left the parking lot.
As I left the parking lot there was a Boy Scout standing there. As I drove by he gave me the biggest smile then held up a sign "# of flags removed-O" I donated $20.00 to the Boy Scout troop. I wonder how much they pulled in for those flags. Mine is still on the car and won't come off until it wears off. Semper Fi to those kids who most will probably wear the Eagle, Globe and Anchor after they leave the Scouts. What a thing to happen after 9-11.
A day later I was allowed to go on Camp LeJuene, NC. They were on Bravo Alert but a simple explanation that I was a Marine who had served there in 1966-67 in the Division Military Police my pass was signed and welcomed aboard. Once a Marine-Always a Marine. As I left the base I had my sun visor pulled down against the sun. It has my ribbons, Sgt Chevrons, 2nd Mar Div Arrowhead, and Country Sheriff's of Colorado Star pinned to it. The Marine at the gate saw it and gave me the sharpest salute I have ever seen as I left the base.
Semper Fi Once a Marine-Always a Marine
Raymond J. Buss
Sergeant of Marines 1963-1967
@ss Chewed Out
I just read the newsletter and the subject was who was a real Marine, PI trained or San Diego trained. I want to add my two cents . I have had my @ss chewed out by Gunnys, tops, and sergeant majors in: San Diego Camp Pendelton Camp Lejuene Viet Nam Iwakuni El Toro LTA Santa Ana and various other stop overs, It appears to me that they are all the same.
World Of Sh!t
I arrived at Parris Island in March 1966. One evening after chow the DI said he knew we all hated his A**. However, if anyone wanted to take him on he would oblige them. He said he would take off his stripes and we could go at it, without any problems later. He asked if any "ladies " were interested in taking him on.
As luck would have it my bunk mate leaned over to me and whispered, "Go on and take him." The DI, with his ability to hear all sounds, tuned in on the sound source and made a beeline for us. He asked my bunk mate what he has just said. "I told Halpin to take you on," came the reply.
The DI looked at me, then back at the other and asked why he thought I could take him on.
"Halpin is a karate instructor, Sgt."
The DI focused his attention me and ask me if that was true and what style of karate.
"Yes, Sgt., Tai Kwon Do, Sgt."
"So you think you can take me, do you?"
I knew I was in a world of s*** and soon to be in a bigger world of hurt. I answered, "I don't know, Sgt, but I can sure as h&ll try."
The DI told me, "Fine, come with me."
We walked to the center of the squad bay and as the DI put his arm around my shoulder he asked, "Who in the squad bay thinks he can whip me and my friend here?"
Not a word, however, I did see some grins. I was never so relieved to hear those words. Especially the, "Get your a** back to your rack."
John Halpin 2/9
Can I Dip Out Of Your
At Pendelton w/ 1/5 Around 1991 or 92. We were at the repel tower one day and everyone had was kind of just milling around. Everyone had completed the minimum repels and the instructors were letting anyone that wanted, to go again. The Gunner was standing around talking to everyone and observing the training. A young Lcpl. pulled out a brand new can of Copenhagen and started thumping it. Then broke the seal and lipped a pinch. The gunner was attracted by the thumping, like nearly everyone that I ever knew that dipped. He asked the Marine if he could have a dip. The Marine was only to happy to share with the Gunner. He handed the Gunner the can and then Gunner thumped a little then looked at the young Marine and asked, "Can I dip out of your can like I do mine?" The young Marine looked a little confused but said that he could. The Gunner takes off the lid and holds the can up to his mouth and sticks his tongue into the can taking out a big ole honkin' dip. I had never seen anyone do that. I thought that was one of the coolest things that I had ever scene and at the same time the funniest because of the look of disbelief on the Lcpls. face. The Gunner handed the can back to the young Marine and said "Thank you son." The young Marine was shocked and surprised. But he managed to hold up his hand and said, "no Gunner, you just go ahead and keep the can." To this day I don't know if the Gunner did that on purpose just to see what the young Marine would do or to see if he could get the can or what. Later we all got a good laugh out of that, and when someone would bum a dip, someone would always have some wise crack about not putting "your tongue in my can" or "can I dip out of your can like I do mine".
The last one is really gross. We were aboard the U.S.S. Okinawa in the Persian Gulf on 1987-88 doing escort duty for Kuwait oil tankers. Another Lcpl. from out plt. was put on mess duty. He naturally caught flack being one of the only Marines on mess duty. Apparently the sailors started talking trash and they decided to make a bet. The bet was that the Marine could not drink a cup of tobacco juice and keep it down for 30 minutes. They even managed to come up with some money to sweeten the deal for the Marine. He decided to take the bet. After all, he told us, he was defending the honor of the Corps. He did it and won the bet. Good thing for him was that it was near the end of his shift. He had quite the green complexion when he came below. When our Corpsman found out what he did he rushed him to sick bay for shots. I think he gave him some extra just for being stupid. Anyway, the honor of the Corps was up held.
God bless the Marine Corps and God bless America,
James Bolin "Bo", Cpl.
1986-1992 Wpns 1/5, 81's,
Oohraa, Semper Fi. Boot Camp Plt. 2074
A Marine was going to the dentist to get some teeth pulled. The dentist was about to give the Marine some local anesthesia to numb the pain.
"Don't give me any drugs doc, I can take the pain." the Marine said.
The doctor pulled the first tooth out and the Marine just grunted. Then the doctor attempted to pull the second tooth, only this one snapped in half. But again the Marine just grunted. "Wow, that sure is a lot of pain just to grunt at, have you ever felt pain like that before?" asked the amazed dentist.
"Well, twice actually." said the Marine, "The first time was when I was out in the woods and had to take a crap really bad. I pulled down my pants and jumped over this log. Just then a bear trap closed on my balls and I started running...."
"D*mn that must have hurt." the dentist interrupted. "What was the second time?"
"Oh, that would have been when the bear trap came to the end of it's chain."
Korean War Recon
The Korean War Recon Marines held their 19 th reunion from Sept. 29 to Oct.2 at Portland , Maine. We had 106 at the banquet. We had a wonderful time. Vince Iacopino was the reunion chairman. Him and his wife, Lorraine, did a wonderful job. We had a bus tour of the area and stopped at L.L.Bean to spend our disability checks. T he high light of the week was the LOBSTER BAKE on House Island. While we were there, our Chaplain, Howard Davenport, conductor Memorial Services for our fallen Recon Marines. The speaker for Saturday's banquet was, Col. Gerald J. Boyle, USMC Ret. If any of you readers served in Div. Recon or know some one who did-- Contact Glen Kastdorfemail@example.com
One Last Time
PI Marines vs. "Hollywood" Marines? This has been good natured ribbing between Marines since Boot Camps opened. Anybody that really knows about real Marines, knows one thing; we can argue and compete over just about any point. Any truth to it never seemed to enter into the picture, platoon vs platoon, company vs company, batallion vs battalion, the competition never ends. Does it mean that one is better than the other? No way! We are all Marines, combat vets, pogues, wingers, and all other MOS's had to earn the Eagle, Globe and Anchor the hard way. What is that the recruiting posters say, 'Earned,never given', keep that in mind. To paraphrase an old saying, ' injure the least of my Marines, you injure me', or something like that.
Never lose sight of the fact that we are all Marines and we had no choice about our MOS's or where we trained. The only choice we did have was to earn the right to be called "Marine" and to serve honorably.
One More Last Time
It makes no difference whether you began your life in Parris Island or San Diego, we all earn the title "Marine" equally. My only regret from going to Parris Island vs. San Diego is that I went in the summer and the sun was very bright, I sure could have used the sunglasses that the Hollywood Marines got.
Jim Doud, Sgt. Marine since 1973
I'd like to take just a moment to inform you and your readers (Marines, Sailors, and those associated with Marines), that Southern Illinois has lost three (3) more in the past ten (10) days. Those Marines Reporting for Duty to guard Heavens Gates;
LCpl Drew Uhles, DuQuoin, Illinois - Iraqi Freedom
Sgt Benjamin Smith, Carterville, Illinois - Iraqi Freedom
Dwight "Jed" Clampet, Murphysboro, Illinois - Iwo Jima Marine (and Naval Reserve veteran of Korea)
They are all in a better place now.
Robby J. Hookham
MCL #812 Chaplain
I Don't Think Soooo
All this talk about PI or Diego..... Hey, it doesn't matter... We are all Marines.
I was scheduled to go to PI from Cincinnati, in Sept 66; but a week before I left for boot camp, I was informed that PI was full up, and we were going to Diego.
When I got there LIFE as I knew it ceased to exist.. 1st Battalion, Plt 1124 ( Any of you guys out there???) Our Gunny was mean, but our SSgt. G E Myrick was even Meaner; Force Recon, 2 tours in Nam already, and our Sgt, J B Huey , not to tall but like a pit bull.
They were going to make us better, than all the other platoons. Everyone else ran the Obstacle course once, we did it twice. If you F*@ked too often, off to motivation platoon.
Dirty rifle?? One guy lost some teeth over it...
Didn't Qualify at the range?? Some met a blanket party
One guy screw up?? everyone did 1500 up and on shoulders with the M-14
Kill a Scorpion (w/o permission)? march 5 miles to bury it
Got so bad, one "draftee", tried to get out by cutting his wrists... didn't work.... Next time he came back from range, and he put a round through his foot... I guess he thought that would get him out... well maybe, Lost his foot, court martial, 2 years hard labor...
If you think PI was tougher, I DON'T THINK SOOOO...
Semper Fi Jarheads........
Bill George Cpl USMC 1966-1970
RVN Class of 67-68 9th Marines
Five Will Get You Ten
Sure was glad to hear that someone else remembers Opa-Locka Fl. I Was there in 53 and little of 54. There was a bar near there called the "Pepper Pot" that we would go to and there was a gang of "Rough Necks" they called the Pepper Pot Gang, they were pretty tough especially when all 10 of them were in there and just 3 or 4 Marines, we did have a few civies that would help us Marines, most of the time Johnny Cash and his brother were in there and if the Marines were short handed and needed help, the Cash brothers would always jump right in there and help us, I don't know why we kept going back to that place except that no one would ever call the M.P.s or the law. There was also a pizza place just outside the gate that we gave a lot of business to especially the night before payday. Back in the old Corps the night before payday, guys would go though the squad bay saying "Five Will Get You Ten" and if you would loan them five dollars then when we got paid the next day you could collect the ten dollars, sure wish I could have had a lot of those fives to change into tens. I can still remember the Hotels calling for "Escorts" when there were lots of females staying there, I don't think I ever bought any drinks or food, I would go there with five dollars and always make it back to base in a couple of days with at least that much, sometimes with more. One weekend I met this lady from Pa. Her husband was in the Army (A major) she was about forty years old and looked nice and hadn't seen her husband for 11 months, sometime that night I remember her saying "I think I married into the wrong branch of service" I told some of the guys back at the base and they hung a bad nick name on me.
Semper-Fi Sgt. of Marines W. Hahn
Make Me Proud
These letters and postings continue to make me PROUD AS H&LL to be a former MARINE! The letters and postings in this edition are some of the best and most inspirational to date.
God bless America, God bless the Marine Corps and all Marines past and present!! OOOO-RAH!
Vietnam Veteran 66/67 (E-5) 0811/105's/"G" 3/12
In newsletter #81 Cpl Turner discussed the problems he is having after getting out of the Corps. Cpl. you have now joined another fraternity that of the combat veteran. You are not alone with these thoughts. Many of us suffer from the same guilt today we did when we left the Corps, so many years ago. I understand your need to be with your unit. I wish to be with my Marines everyday. Civilians will never understand that it is not alright, yes we were doing our job, but it does not make it any easier.
I and several of friends still suffer. Take heart, there are other Marines out there you can talk to. I am one. If you need to talk. Brother Marine the road for a warrior, is long and hard. It is even harder when you can no longer by an active Warrior, but can be made easier with friends that are willing to listen and not pass judgment.
Good Luck and Semper Fi
Lawrence "Larry" Trujillo
MSgt. USMC (Ret.)
August 6, 1946
Sgt. Grit - A couple of newsletters back you ask for some "Old Corps" stories. I'm not sure where the line is drawn between "Old" and "New" but since my enlistment date was August 6, 1946 and my MCRD San Diego graduation date was October 12, 1946 perhaps I qualify as "Old Corps". Here are a few interesting tid bits from that era:
1. DI's carried tapered swagger sticks with a 50 cal. shell casing on one end and a 30. cal. shell casing on the opposite end. Many a boot who had gotten out of step while marching in formation felt the sting of that stick across the rear of his calf.
2. The Marine Corps' recruitment slogan at that time was "Only One Hundred Thousand May Serve". It made you proud to think that you were one of them (the Corps strength at the time was approximately 70,000).
3. When we entered boot camp we were being issued WWII style left over(but new) fatigues. Some had grenade pockets while others were a standard trouser style. All had the eagle, globe, and anchor on the pocket as well as on the cover. The DI's, however, constantly made it clear that we had not yet earned the right to call ourselves "Marines".
4. When we graduated boot camp we were issued a full compliment of uniforms,including dress blues, but no dress shoes. They didn't become available until months later. In the meantime, you either wore boon Dockers or bought "dress" shoes in Santa Ana (I was stationed at MCAS El Toro) and wore those off base only.
5. We were also issued the "Ike" jacket (still have mine).
6. The DI's all wore dress shoes with taps and cleats on the soles. They resonated over the entire grinder (or so it seemed) and you cringed every time you heard those shoes coming in your direction.
7. Our senior DI was a corporal although I suspected that he had had a higher rank previously. Our junior DI was a sergeant. They were as different as night and day. The corporal was stocky and of medium height and loved to scream obscenities in your face and frequently resorted to physical discipline. The sergeant reminded you of Alan Ladd and was tough but I don't recall that he ever struck or screamed at any one. We also had a "babysitter" that was a 6'-6" behemoth, former China Marine, with the rank of gunnery sergeant. He only showed up a couple of evenings each week and entertained us with stories of his experiences while in China during WWII.
Maybe this is a little long but they are subjects, for the most part, that I haven't seen mentioned previously in your newsletters. Those were great days.
PLT 154, VMP 254
You Are Not Forgotten
I remember my days at MCRD San Diego, the obstacle course, tin Quonset huts and all of the running, shouting, marching and rifle work, but mostly I remember Sgt Mercer and Staff Sgt Marr. Both were Marines right off the poster. Sgt Mercer always neat as a pin and Staff Sgt Marr tough as nails and both Marines putting the fear of God into each of us boots. Both men were dedicated to the development and growth of future Marines, Marines who would wear the uniform and emblems with pride. After boot camp and a number of months later I ran into Staff Sgt. Marr in the Philippines. He was no longer a Staff Sgt. and oddly enough I out ranked him having earned my Sgt Stripes. We talked for a while before parting but no matter what his rank was on his sleeve, nothing could diminish the respect I hold for him. The things he taught me and the expectations he held for each of us was greatly responsible for my promotions and the pride I hold for the USMC. If he or Sgt Mercer should read this, I want them to know I am grateful for the professional effort and concern they held for each of us in the 1st Battalion, Platoon 186. All that training came in very handy in the years to come. Again, Thank you Marines Marr and Mercer, you are not forgotten.
Former Sgt Stanley W. Kearney A Co, 1st Bn, 1st Mar, 3rd Mar Div.
FMF July 57 to July 63
I Was Stunned
Recently having several terrible long weeks. Wearing my leathers with Marine Corps insignia including USMC, 3rd Marine Division and a large Eagle, Globe, and Anchor on the back of the jacket I rode my motorcycle to a local tavern and ordered a beer and something to eat. I was lost in thought and did not notice anyone near by. When finished I attempted to pay the bill but the waiter took it away and said it had already been taken care of. I was stunned as I couldn't imagine who would have paid my bill. I asked and the waiter reluctantly pointed out a couple probably in their 50's and sitting right behind me. The woman knew I couldn't understand why my bill was paid.
She simply said, "I'm a Navy Captain and I take care of my Marines"
Immediately my formal responses came back just as they would have years ago. That incident made more that my day, more that weeks even. I memory I'll not forget.
John A. Lejeune Major General Commandant
The following is the Marine Corps Birthday message authored by General Lejeune. It is Marine Corps Order No. 47 (Series 1921), dated 1 November 1921.
759. The following will be read to the command on the 10th of November, 1921, and hereafter on the 10th of November every year. Should the order not be received by the 10th of November, 1921, it will be read upon receipt.
(1) On November 10, 1775, a Corps of Marines was created by a resolution of the Continental Congress. Since that date many thousand men have borne the name "Marine." In memory of them, it is fitting that we who are Marines should commemorate the birthday of our Corps by calling to mind the glories of its long and illustrious history.
(2) The record of our Corps is one which will bear comparison with that of the most famous military organizations in the world's history. During 90 of the 146 years of its existence the Marine Corps has been in action against the Nation's foes. From the Battle of Trenton to the Argonne, Marines have won foremost honors in war, and in the long eras of tranquility at home, generation after generation of Marines have grown gray in war in both hemispheres and in every corner of the seven seas, that our country and its citizens might enjoy peace and security.
(3) In every battle and skirmish since the birth of our Corps, Marines have acquitted themselves with the greatest distinction, winning new honors on each occasion until the term "Marine" has come to signify all that is highest in military efficiency and soldierly virtue.
(4) This high name of distinction and soldierly repute we who are Marines today have received from those who have preceded us in the Corps. With it we have also received from them the eternal spirit which has animated our Corps from generation to generation and has been the distinguishing mark of the Marines in every age. So long as that spirit continues to flourish Marines will be found equal to every emergency in the future as they have been in the past, and the men of our Nation will regard us as worthy successors to the long line of illustrious men who have served as "Soldiers of the Sea" since the founding of the Corps.
John A. Lejeune
Major General Commandant
God, Country, and Corps!
I am constantly in touch with all of my "brothers" from my days in the Corps, as well as ones I have met in my 30 years since. An interesting controversy has recently arisen between us and the "headquarters brass" about our motto. They disregard and dismiss our claims that "Semper Fi" was drilled into us as always faithful to God, Country, and Corps! I would enjoy the input of some other Marines out there. This is pretty important to us, as it appears to have disappeared in a cloud of "political correctness" somewhere over time and I, for one, would like to see it once again proudly honored.
I have been reading this newsletter for a short time, but was immediately hooked when the first one began to make my eyes "sweat". I love this country, and everything that comes with it. I warms my heart to see all the letters spilling out the feelings I shout to the "miscreants" I work around here in Southern California. I recently joined the adopt a Marine platoon, Operation Santa, and am getting so much enthusiastic assistance and donations that I am beginning to realize that a lot of people are proud of the job being done but just don't know how to show it. So, get involved and let everyone around you know about it and just sit back and enjoy the responses you will undoubtedly receive.
The subject of non-marines seems to come up a lot so I want to throw in my 2 cents as well. I take it as the highest form of flattery for anyone to "sport our colors" as long as it in respect. I constantly encounter people who will say, "so you were a Marine?" in response to the numerous stickers etc.. or the t-shirts purchased from the 'sarge. A surprising percentage, maybe 25%, are from people who were never in the Corps, but just wanted to meet me and thank me for my service without even knowing what that service was. So when some one like that will throw a "semper fi" my way I simply thank them and ask them to pray for our servicemen in harms way. If people support our troops and pray for them, then they have my vote to wear what ever they choose, and advertise the greatest brotherhood in the world!
Well I gotta get busy now, but I will send another letter around the first of November to let everyone know which companies did, and did not support my efforts to send our thanks to the Marines currently in the sand box.
Corporal of Marines
Semper Fi - God, Country, Corps.
You Now Know Why
To Cpl. S.W. Turner Jr.: Brother, you now know why so many of us cannot talk about our combat experiences. Sometimes not even to our fellow Marines. Mine still resonate sometimes in the dead of night after almost 40 years. I know of others from WW II that still cannot articulate their feelings. The one thing that helped me tremendously was my local Veteran Outreach group. Talking to others about how I felt took some time but I finally opened up and spilled my guts to other vets with pretty much the same feelings. It still hurts sometimes and I seldom mention it to others, but that group kept my sanity, I think, although there are some who would beg to differ.
SSgt. Moore, J.C. 2389599 RVN 68-69
Semper Fidelis Marine and may God bless
I just finished reading Jayne Wood's post about her son, LCpl Will Stevens, being injured in Kufa. My son served alongside Stevens, and has nothing but good things to say about him. He is a great Marine. And Jayne, you're an awesome Marine mom. I'm proud to know you and pray with you and cry with you.
1/4 is lucky to have Marines like Will.
My Aging Badge
A few months ago I was enroute back home to North Click from Mesa, Arizona following a two week visit with a fellow serviceman with whom I served in the P.I. back in '59 - '63 and was passing through New Mexico on I-40. As part of the tour, my buddy and I met with a construction roadblock and I slowed my ride down for the conditions but, apparently, not slow enough according to the radar in the PD on the side of the road. It looked like I was doing about 38 in a 30 zone. As soon as I saw him pull out behind my Bronco, which, thanks to the goodies from Sgt. Grit catalog, looks like a rolling USMC recruiting billboard, I safely pulled over to accommodate my new found friend. Out back I was pulling a flatbed utility trailer that carried my motorcycle which was also plastered with decals and regalia advertising the Corps. Being a retired Police Officer from Suffolk County (NY), I opened my aging badge case to present with my license and registration as he approached the passenger door. I opened the window and when he got to the appointed position, he leaned on the door, kicked his hat back on his head, took my documents, looked them over and smiled. "You have two things going for you, sir" he stated. I looked at him and had a big question mark on my face. "Not only are you a police officer, you are also a Marine. Semper Fi, brother." He then went on to tell me that my tires were probably oversize and gave me an incorrect speedometer reading and sent me off for a completion of a safe trip. To that Marine, I can only say, thank you and Semper Fi.
PO 944, Ret. ('64 - '86)
USMC 1841530/2571 '59 - '63 SE Asia
Old Corps An elderly retired Marine moved into a retirement community where good looking eligible men are at a premium. After he had been there for a week he went to confession and said, "Bless me Father, for I have sinned. Last week I was with seven different women."
The priest said, "Take seven lemons, squeeze them into a glass and drink the juice without pausing."
"Will that cleanse me of my sins, Father?"
"No," replied the priest. "But it'll wipe that grin off your face."
This recruit requests permission to make a head call sir.
This recruit needs to wash his hands sir?
WHAT THE F^&K?
This recruit has CLP all over his hands sir!
CLP is good for you.
Once Upon A Time
Sgt Grit you have requested Marine stories so that you can post them for our reading pleasure. Bear in mind there is a difference between Sea Story and a fairy tale. A fairy tale always begins with "ONCE UPON A TIME" a Marine Corps sea story always begins with, " NOW THIS AIN'T NO SH*T". with that in mind I will proceed with the following Boot Camp story from a fellow Hollywood Marine. My Jarhead buddy Hank is 6' 3" and 250 lb Boot. He has never backed down from anybody, never walked away from a fight and was pretty much used to bullying people. We all know the drill in boot camp and the "physical discipline" we endured during basic training. circa. 1957. Hank, pretty much had his fill of abuse from Drill Instructor Sgt Pat. Information after a thorough A$s chewing Hank blurts out." Sir, would the drill instrustor like to step OUTSIDE and settle this like MEN? You have a very girlie sounding name Sgt Pat. let's see if you can fight like a man. At which point Drill Instructor with the girlie sounding name kicked Boot Maggot Hank in the shin and scraped his boot all the way down to his instep. Hank howled in pain, bent over and started to rub his ankle to relieve the pain. Drill Instructor with girlie sounding name proceeded to kick Hank in the other shin and scrape his boot down to his other instep.
End of story no more challenges to the Drill Instructor. This is the best boot camp story I have ever heard. My eyes are still wet from laughing so hard.
submitted by the ol' jarhead,
Lcpl G.D. Vallejos USMC, 1960-1966 SEMPER FI.
He Sent An Aide
Just to let you know.I sent your t-shirts--Saving yours--Busting Ours, to some Marines in Iraq.I had them signed by local veterans.They loved them.One Marine wrote me back and said it brought tears to his eyes.He hung over his bed and every time he got down he looked at it and the names of those men from WW2-Korea-Vietnam-Desert Storm,and it gave him renewed strength for the battles ahead.I even got the chance to read it to President Bush at a rally here.He sent an aide over and asked for the letter and my name.
Your shirts are serving a valuable cause to our fighting men.
Kevin Hussey Sr
I read these words each Friday without fail and today I found one that I can really relate too. Although I don't personally know Mr. Cunningham I can remember the dates which he is speaking of very clearly. I was with HHC 2nd Bn 6th Marines, 22nd MAU deployed to Beirut in 1983. I was with the Air Alert Force which flew back to Beirut when the headquarters building was attacked. I will never forget the sights, sounds and smells that met us when we arrived at the embassy or at the H.Q. Building. To this day I raise a salute to the people we lost and to their families every Oct. 23. I will do so every year till I make my final duty station wherever that may be. My son is 16 years old and I have finally allowed him to see the photographs that were taken of the embassy and HQ bldg. By me or others in my Plt. I agree there should be a stamp and have asked, yelled, screamed, cussed and begged for it. It has done no good so far. To any who read this, please help to remember the fallen peacekeepers. To Rick Cunningham I say give'em h&ll Marine!
Paul Lowe USMC
Prior Military Experience
I'm writing with deepest regrets to report the loss of a great young man and Marine. LCpl. Andrew Halverson was killed in action on Sat. Oct. 9th while on patrol in the city of Ramadi. LCpl. Halverson was assigned with 2Bn/5rReg Weapons Co. CAAT 2. He was the driver of the command vehicle. The insurgent that took his life with an RPG as well as wounding the other occupants is no longer. None of the national press reported this or many other daily incidents in Ramadi. I had the pleasure and honor of getting to know Andrew through my son Pfc. Michael Abeloe CAAT3. They were very close friends and spent a lot of time on liberty together prior to deployment. Those of you out there with prior military experience know how close you can become when your going through something with someone who has the same trials, tribulations and triumphs as you. My son is a 0352, tow missile gunner, LCpl Halverson was a machine gunner converted to a CAAT team for Ramadi. These brave young men are in a shooting war that sees combat action almost daily. They are fighting street to street in the toughest kind of situation. Lcpl. Halverson was the 1st Weapons Co. Kia and the 4th Bn Kia in 6 weeks. This seems like a lot and it is. Battles are taking place daily and the insurgents are paying a 100 to one price. The Marines own Ramadi and soon will be cleaning it out as they did in Samara.. I'm very proud of LCpl. Halverson, my son and all the Marines in country. They are as tough as any Marines ever and are getting a tough job done with honor and discipline like only the Marine Corp can claim. My son is to speak at LCpl. Halverson's memorial tomorrow and isn't sure what to say. He's going to call me back tonight and we'll talk. Everyone please pray for Andrew's family and all the Marines around the world fighting a nasty enemy in an even more nasty war.
Very proud and sad Marine dad,
Bob Abeloe, AC2-USN 73-77, USS Kitty Hawk.
The next story will be in the Sgt Grit Newsletter Magazine.
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A Firefight High
Another average day in North Korea. A 20 knot wind was blowing dry snow across the narrow dirt road with the real temperature reading something below 0 deg. No Marine cared what the wind chill factor was, just too cold to care. B-1-7 was climbing toward Toktong Pass. At first light we had moved out. The usual 10 mm. break every hour just hadn't done the job. The hills were too steep. The ice was too slick. Our packs were too heavy. We were just too tired. Gaps were forming throughout the Co. column. Lt. Joe Owen and I were front troops of our 60 MM Mortar Section. We were both packing ammo and packs from our tired troops so they wouldn't fall out. He and I were joking who should fall out first. In my mind, then orally, I declared this 5 ft. 9 in., 25 year old Marine Cpl. wasn't going to let any 6 ft. 5 in. Lt. walk faster nor longer than I. This friendly banter continued until we were both ready to drop.
Then it happened!! Heavy fire from the right front!! Who was tired? Nobody!! Man, this is living. Somebody up there to receive our anger, our frustrations, our just plain meanness. We love it!!
Guns up!! Perkins and Bifulk bring up their gun and set it up in the middle of the road. The first round is fired and the base plate slides back about a foot. That round probably landed in Manchuria. Perkins grabs the tube, resets the gun, and Bifulk drops in another Willie Peter. I get the rest of my squad up to feed Bifulk ammo. The range was about 150 yd. Incoming fire started centering around these crazy Marines. Bifulk dropped rounds into the tube with his left hand while firing his M2 Carbine with his right. What a field day. Lt. Owen positioned himself to help Perkins with his fire control.
The strong wind kept the Willie Peter smoke clear of the impact area. That burning W.P. got to the Chinese and they fled the hill. Our riflemen didn't have much work to do. The Perkins-Bifulk team did the Job. What Marines.
When we got dug in and squared away we found a number of dead Chinese with WP still burning on their bodies. We also found several indications of small arms impacts on the mortar tube. That doesn't sound like much of anything, does it? Just a minute! This is the real picture. Perkins is sitting at the left of the tube close enough to sight the tube onto the target - his head directly behind the tube. Bifulk is seated to the right of the tube dropping in rounds, with his left hand, firing his weapon with his right--yelling and cussing at the Chinese. A number of incoming rounds bounce off the tube between these two Marines. They could tell the tube was being hit - incoming small arms rounds are NOT silent. They do what they are trained to do! THEY ARE MARINES!