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 - September 30, 2004

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MAG1 - Yellow Ribbon Car Magnet

P14 - 1861 Recruiting Poster

P15 - Prize Money Recruiting Poster

P16 - Black and White Chesty Poster

TS591 - Old Corps Tradition T-Shirt

PC2-33 - 2 Hole Motorcycle Point Cover

PC5-33 - 5 Hole Motorcycle Point Cover

SFIC - Semper Fi Motorcycle Inspection Cover

VTIC - Vietnam Ribbon Inspection Cover

Sgt. Grit
I just finished reading your current newsletter and this is in reply to "If you didn't earn it, don't wear it!" and "Hollywood versus PI Marine."

I am the proud mother of two sons who both joined the marines straight out of high school (1993 and 1996). They were both "Hollywood Marines" but this in no way affected their ability to serve their country. My oldest son is still active duty and plans to make a career of the corp. My youngest son also planned to make a career of the corp. but his plans were changed abruptly on March 23, 2003 when he and nine other brothers were killed at Nasiriyah, Iraq. My youngest son Tommy was a Stinger Missile Gunner with the 2nd Marine Unit out of Cherrypoint, NC but he volunteered to join the 1st Marine Unit out of Miramar, CA who was short-handed the night before he was killed. My son left his vehicle and took up his rifle when his fellow comrades were taking heavy enemy fire and gave cover to his Gunny's back. He was wounded but that did not stop him from loading nine of his seriously wounded fellow marines onto a vehicle and then he boarded to cover his comrades for a trip to a field hospital. They never made it to the hospital, the vehicle they were in was hit by an enemy RPG as well as A10 friendly fire missiles. My son not once but nine times placed himself between the enemy bullets and his fellow comrades who he had just met the night before. As the Major said when he read the commendation my son received post humus, "You have to go against all your natural instincts to intentionally place yourself in front of a bullet and this marine didn't do it just once, he did it nine times." "Hollywood Marine, yes by location?" "Real marines from PI?" The Major also said in his presentation, "Most of us strive our entire career to live up to the title of Marine." "Tommy not only lived up to that title, he surpassed it!"

I too am one of those people you see around town wearing USMC shirts, marine corps stickers are on my vehicle and I fly a marine corps flag in my yard and I have a marine corps flag hanging on my porch that says "Proud to serve." Don't wear it unless you've earned it??? After being a "Marine Mom" since 1993, going through deployments every two years, and then making the "Ultimate Sacrifice" by giving my son to my country, YES, I have earned the right to wear the shirt!!! In fact, when they shipped my son's belongings home from Kuwait there was several "Operation Tarawa" t-shirts included from his command.

Nancy S. Blair, mother of LCpl Thomas A Blair -- 1st Oklahoman KIA in Iraq


Last Thursday (23 Sept) we got 15 Marines together at the Legion Post in St. Johnsbury VT to honor a local Marine just back from Iraq on rehab leave.

LCPL Ryan Borgstrom, 22, and his squad (Charlie Co 1/4) were clearing what was thought to be Mokhtada al Sadr's house in Najaf. As LCPL Borgstrom started up the stairs with his SAW, a Mahdi militiaman appeared and dropped a grenade at his (Borgstrom's) foot. He had no time to dive off the stairs. The grenade exploded but miraculously did not blow off his leg. LCPL Borgstrom's squad headed up the stairs and put "about 25-30" rounds into Mr. Mahdi, who will not have much to satisfy his 72 virgins with.

Another squad member threw LCPL Borgstrom on his back and ran across the plaza some 60 yards under heavy fire to put him in a HUMVEE for medevac. ("I could see rounds kicking up dust all around as he ran with me"). Then the Marine ran back, still under fire, and rejoined his squad. (Bronze star material).

LCPL Borgstrom talked about the battle in the huge "City of Peace" cemetery next to the Ali mosque - "a perfect defensive position" for the Mahdi. He said the Mahdi had a mortar on the top deck of the mosque, hidden under camouflage, and they were pretty good with it (until the Marines figured out where it was and wasted the crew.)

LCPL Borgstrom said "no doubt about it - we are winning. The Iraqi army guys are short on training, but they are really motivated." He thought the Marines could have taken out the whole Mahdi army if given free rein, but concerns about the shrine and collateral damage held them back. (It looks like our side won just the same.)

After the Q&A 1ST SGT Pitman (Gulf War I, ret) offered the "Corps and Country" toast, we toasted Charlie Co. 1/4, and we shook LCPL Borgstrom's hand and told him to hang tough. We had two Iwo Jima vets, two Korea vets, half a dozen Nam vets, Reservists, the local recruiter, and a couple of Gulf War I vets.

LCPL Borgstrom is healing up nicely - can walk without crutches - and left for Pendleton on 25 Sept.
Semper Fi.
John McClaughry MAJ USMCR ret


1stSgt Ray Whirledge,
Thank you for saying what I was thinking about Cpl Tom Flynn. He said he was a "real" Marine because he went to P.I. He does not speak for anyone but himself. He may be a "Real Marine," the rest of us are "Marines." I was just looking through the Parris Island SOP and could not find the title "Real Marine" any where.
Maybe Cpl Flynn was an "Army of One."


Sgt Grit,
This is in response to the letter from Cpl.Kunkel.
When I was stationed at El Toro with the M.P.'s,we had a either a Staff Sgt or Gunny Sgt. t.a.d.from the air wing.I can't remember how it came about but someone complained that he had bad breath. He was in my platoon,so he came into the squad bay asking for any after shave.So a few of us gave him some bottles.He began to drink them and said that now nobody can say that I have bad breath now. He went on duty and about an hour later came back to the barracks sicker than a dog.It is amazing what some of the old corps would do. Anyway I wanted to share this with my fellow Marines.
Cpl John C. Annis
U.S.M.C. 71-74
Semper Fi Oorah!


Sgt. Grit,
On this date Sept.16, 1957, I spent my first day in the Marine Corps, assigned to platoon 1005, MCRD San Diego. I don't know what Hollywood Marine is supposed to mean. All I know is that Senior DI S/Sgt Hale and buck Sgt's Britt,Warnack,Mercer, and Scrviener sure didn't make it a cake walk. To this day I'll remember boot camp, and the life lessons learned, in the following three years. I won't say a word against the Paradise Island Marine's, because my best friend went through boot camp their. Like the saying goes " Once A Marine Always A Marine".
Semper Fi, former Marine L/Cpl Bardo A. Tranchita


To Cpl. Flynn...I believe in brevity, so here goes. I was in 2ndBn @ P.I. on "Panama Street" back in late '65...First op in RVN was Operation Hastings, ever hear of it? I was with Lima Co. 3dBn 4thMar 3dMarDiv...point company on the 1st Search & Destroy in the DMZ (Up North) in '66, when after about 10 days the scene was set...Gen. Giap's "crack" Division, the 324B, plus the 608th in reserve, hooked up with the first Marines they ever met, my point is, when the pucker factor was off the charts and the remains of dead and dying Marines & Corpsman are all around (and all over you) it's funny, I never asked my gunner, ANGLICO, air and arty FO's if they went to 'Dago or PI. As a former Non-Com in the 'Crotch', I respectfully suggest Cpl. Flynn re-read his "little red-book" and look for names like Dan Dailey, Smedley Darlington Butler, "Manila John" Basilone, "Pappy" Boyington, The Battling Bastards of Bataan (&Corregidor), Danny Sullivan (from South Boston, who jumped on a grenade to save the CP group, etc., etc., etc. By the way, If you ever present yourself in front of the black granite delta-shaped memorial in Wash. D.C., of the 58,000 plus names, I still can find the words San Diego or Parris Island...Honor is a man's gift to himself! Semper Fi to all you ground-pounders, Doc's, Airdales, office pouges, cooks, motor transport and every other Marine that helped us mud-Marines "make it". Cpl. John J. Varian '65-68. Also a descendant of "The Son's of the American Revolution, Varian's Light Artillery @ Natchez,MS, War of 1812, Great-Grandson of Col. (then Mag.Gen.) John J. Varian, NY Vol. 69th Regiment, Army of the Potomac, Great-Grand nephew of 1st Sgt Adolphus Varian, 2nd Mississippi Regiment, "O'Connor's Rifles" War of 1861, Grandson of John T. Varian, 2nd NY Volunteers (under Col. Theodore Roosevelt) Maternal Grandson of Patrick Long, Aide de Camp to to Col. "Wild Bill" Donovan - Medal of Honor recipient, my grandfather was 2 steps behind Donovan when they charged the pill-box & received the DSC & Croix de Guerre, nephew of Ens, Em Varian, who took off in a torpedo bomber from the USS Constellation @ Midway and never was heard from again (DE 789 USS Varian was named in his honor & received the Navy Cross, posthumously), 2 uncles in Korea, me in the 'Nam & my brother in Baghdad this day...a long line, yet only one of us hit those yellow footprints, Flynn...get out of the NCO Club and find a mirror, then take a good, hard look at whose there! Peace with every step...
John Varian


The invitation for our local Marine Corps Ball just arrived in the mail and it always reminds me of a story that the guest speaker related several years ago.

The guest speaker, a Marine Major General, told the story about being asked to address a group of "poolies" on Saturday at exactly 1200. At 1100 the Gunnery Sergeant in charge sent one of the "poolies" outside to watch for the General. Every ten minutes the Gunny would yell out to see if the General had arrived. At about 1150 the General, being a prompt Marine, pulled into the parking lot and was greeted with, "are you the General?" "Well, I am A General, but I'm not sure that I'm THE General." "Well if I were you, I would get my a** inside, the Gunny has been waiting for you since 1100!" And they say that Gunnys aren't larger that life!
Jack Bolton, Sgt. USMCR 2048143


To all you old farts that can't seem to adjust to change, get this, in email that I receive from the active duty Marines I know there is a new trend to sign off with "S/F". It is supposed to stand for Semper Fi! And you thought EGA was irritating!
Franz " SONNY" Creutzburg


When you look back at life and you can smile at your accomplishments, being a Marine is towards the top of the list. By the way, I still get goosebumps whenever I hear The Marine Corps Hymn.

Sp here's a hearty oooooooorrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh for all those before me and for the new pups of tomorrow!
Vivian Shaw, Jr


Yo Ho Grit and fellow grunts, Shouse here just wanting to comment on what Mr Dorgan had to say about his being the only Marine around a pack of Doggies. I am the only Marine in The American Legion,Post 290 of King,N C. Guess who is also not the sharpest knife in the drawer. I was asked if I knew what to do if a Marine throws a grenade at you. You pick it up, pull the pin, throw it back at him. Number 2 I understand that they are teaching the Marines in Boot Camp that they have artillery so they can stop charging machine guns. If I wasn't so "dumb" I would probably be insulted, nah. If I remember correctly, The Corps keeps a dog for a mascot. See there, doggies are good for something after all. Semper Fi Gang, say a prayer for little Bro and Sis in the Sandpile, also the bros that are out in front of the Hurricanes in the Southeast. God Bless and Keep 'em Safe
Ron Shouse


Something to ponder on folks. Our Corpsmen now have an official device indicating their proud standing. It's the Fleet Marine Force Corpsman Badge. Be that as it may, that's only a recent innovation of the U. S. Navy.

WE, as Marines, for many many years, have been honoring them with the title "Corpsman". I've done several seagoing tours and been assigned to Naval Commands. The Navy refers to Hospitalman (HM), Dental Technician (DT), etc. However, we Marines only have 'Corpsman'.

The Navy has their Medical Service Corps; but in the United States Marine CORPS have our CORPSmen.

Semper Fi
Joe Armstrong
SgtMaj, Ret


As the sun rose over Parris Island, the senior drill instructor realized that one of his recruits had gone AWOL. A search party was dispatched immediately. After a few hours the recruit was discovered hiding in some bushes. He was sent back to the base and promptly escorted to the drill instructor's office. The instructor asked the young recruit, "Why did you go AWOL?"

The recruit replied, "My first day here you issued me a comb, and then proceeded to cut my hair off. The second day you issued me a toothbrush, and sent me to the dentist, who proceeded to pull all my teeth. The third day you issued me a jock strap, and I wasn't about to stick around and find out what would follow that SIR."
Richard Mullings


Outside the base barber shop at MAG-11. Our SgtMaj was standing outside the shop asking which outfit each Marine was in as they went in for a haircut. Any who were in our outfit were then written up for hair length being out of regulation and sentenced to fill 100 sand bags. Someone from another outfit reported this to our XO, who came along and brought the SgtMaj to assist in the "bunker fortification" project until all the required sandbags were filled.
JD Wallace Plt 1017, 1967 & MAG-11, 1969


Ok, being a Marine makes us one of the most elitist self-centered bunch of rag tag SOBs that ever lived. SO why is it that when I read this letter about Corpsmen that I always seem to cry. I thank the Lord above that I never had to serve in a time of war (though I would have and will go if called upon) and had little experience with a Corpsman. In my first post-active duty Marine Corps ball, I saw the respect and love poured out to the only Corpsmen in our little town and was taken aback.
G Torres


Dear Sgt. Grit Newsletter Readers:
I have posted my thoughts here before and would like to share an additional story. My son graduated from boot camp at Parris Island on Friday, September 17th (an experience I shall always treasure). He is currently home on a 10-day leave before he reports to 29 Palms. Like all Marines, he wears his uniform proudly (and I must say, mom and dad are pretty darned proud too). Yesterday, we had plans for him to come to my office for lunch. He arrived in his dress blues. I wanted to cry when he walked into my office. He is now a man in an 18-year old, baby-faced body. Our "luncheon" started with the manager at the restaurant not charging us for our meals. Then the parking lot attendant waived our parking fee. Walking along the street people were stopping to shake his hand and thank him for his commitment to our country. People would slow in their cars as they passed us. The day culminated with him taking his girlfriend out to dinner. Someone had anonymously given the manager $20.00 to put toward their check. Having a Marine for a son has been a life-changing experience for our entire family. I am so proud of my son and all the other Marines who have chosen this path in life. God bless all of you and your families. And thank you, Sgt. Grit, for giving us this "tool" to tell our stories!
Suzanne Brown
Proud mother of new Marine - Pvt. Samuel L. Breckenridge


A Marine is relieving himself when a sailor walks in to do the same. The Marine starts to leave and the sailor says, "In the Navy we are taught to wash our hands after peeing." The Marine replies, "In the Marines we are taught not to pee on our hands!"


Sgt. Grit. I have a interesting story that just happened this week to me as I was driving & was pulled over by one of our town Police Officers. It seems that I had a temporary brain fart & didn't see a traffic light change to yellow before I went through it. Well, as it happened, a Police Officer saw me &, you guessed it, I was pulled over. Let me say that these guys are true heroes in my eyes & I accepted my fate with malice. After taking my license & registration, he went back to his car to "check me out". When he returned, I was told that the next time try to make a safe effort to stop for the yellow & then after looking again at my license, told me to have a nice day (with no ticket). I told him thanks & that we're all proud of the job that they do. He turned away & I rolled up my window. About ten seconds later & heard a tap on my window. I roll in down again & he was standing there with his hand out. As we shook hands he said " I saw the sticker on your window (gold & silver Marine emblem) and your bumper sticker (In Country Ribbon) and just wanted to thank you guys for the job you did in Vietnam. This was the first time that anyone had ever said this to me. I mumbled my thanks & he walked off. I had to sit there for a minute to get the sand out of my eyes. To all of my fellow Marines during that war & all others since, I pass this along, as it was meant for ALL of us.
Semper Fi !!!!
Jack Walls, LCpl. 4th MAW, 70-73


Eagle Globe and Anchor. Does any one really know what they stand for???? So ya ran 3 miles in 21 minutes or did 80 sit ups in 2 did I. Way back, did ya crawl up a 200 foot mast and protect a squid from fire from an English ship at all costs????? Boot will make you or break you.The next 20 years will make you or break you also.30, 40, 50..............combat will also do that. NO, the dude didn't deserve the tat, but I keep see'ing hats and pins and stuff that were not earned the way we got them. What we goin to do about that???? This world we live in is a very strange one ,if that tat made one person join the Corps-I would have no complaints. Then again ...he didn't earn it either....... .............BTW-no diff b-tween combat vets and non-coms- WE WERE ALL MARINES AND STILL ARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Two things in life I always wanted to do. One was to fly and the other was to be a United States Marine. As a small boy during World War II, there were two men from my home town who were in the Marines and they were, to me, 10 feet tall and heroes. From 1946 until 1954, there were no Marines from my hometown in Indiana. Then, there were three of us going to our beloved Corps. I was one of them. I got to fly and got to be a Marine.

The warm August morning that I stood on my front porch with my dad, waiting for the car to pull up to take me and my friend to Indianapolis to the induction center, I remember clearly him looking at me and saying, "You and I are done here, son. I will always be your dad but today I am no longer your parent". It was a right of passage for my life. I know, all over this land, there are those who chose the pathway to taking that step to our Corps that will forever change our lives. It did mine.

That same dad was on the phone with me from MCRD San Diego, after 6 weeks of boot. I was homesick, scared, wanted to go home and told my dad I wanted to leave here and come back to where it was safe. While talking, he was silent. After about 15 seconds, I said, "Dad, are you still there?" He said yes and then told me "you back out of this, now, where do you stop". I told him I would see him when I was finished with boot camp and ITR and El Toro's indoctrination flights.

I went on thanks to him and Sgt. James D. Adkins and made both of my goals at that time. That was 1955 and I am still proud of this Corps, these Marines and their mission.
Semper Fi.
Gene Bone, former Marine


Hi Gunny,
How do I start this letter? Last week I was able to purchase a M-1 Garand rifle like I had in the Marine Corps in the 50"s. My whole family must think I've lost it. At the age of 69&1/2 I buy an M-1. Today I purchased a helmet like we had back then, liner, camouflaged cover and all. This old Sgt. hasn't lost it! I want to put together my own little Memorial in my recreation room, dedicated to all who served and died for our freedom. I'm on a mission and buy God before I move on, I intend to complete my mission. Today I watched the news, and saw that we had lost another brother in Iraq. Needless to say, it brought tears to my eyes. Marines don't shed tears do they? BULL!!!! In spite of all that is said about us over sexed, under paid, professional killers, we do have human feelings like everyone else. RIGHT?
Take care,Semper-Fi
God Bless our Troops
Jim N. Sgt. U.S.M.C. (and d@mn proud of it.)


My oldest daughters husband was admitted to a hospital in Spring Texas on the verge of death. I am in Oregon taking care of my 87 year old mother.

I was worried sick about Reggie, my oldest daughter, because she is five and a half months pregnant with her first child. Now she was going through this traumatic event with her husband.

I received a phone call from a neighbor of hers the next day. He informed me that I didn't have to worry about my daughter because he and his wife were going to make sure that she was well taken care of.

I was relieved but puzzled until he informed me that my daughter had shown him my purple heart I acquired during my service in Vietnam. It turned out that he was a Marine for ten years and we Marines take care of our own.

God bless Chesty, My country and my Corps.
Gene from Portland Oregon


Jesse Altman is dead. He was a mountain of a man. Six seven and 240 pounds. He joined the Marine Corps at 17. He participated in the invasion of Okinawa in 1945 and Korea in 1952. He served as Aide to General Greene, Commandant of the Marine Corps-who was 5'5" tall. He retired in 1974 and was elected Sheriff of Beaufort, SC. Jesse made a lot of money in SC real estate.

Jesse and I lived next door to each at Parris Island (PI) for 3 three years. I beat his *ss regularly at handball. His regularly response, as he slapped me on the head, was, you lucky little sh!t. My ribs hurt for years from trying to play basketball with him (Hey, I'm only 5'9".)

Jesse was very funny.

(1) At PI , we had a Major who was a notorious homophobe. One Friday afternoon, Jesse announced to our regular group, "I'm going to fix that SOB. Be at the club tonight at 1800. The club was unbelievably crowded. Jesse said down beside our Major at the bar, smiled and said, "Hi Sir."

The Major looked up at him and said, "Hello Jesse." Jesse leaned over and whispered, "Did you hear who they found was queer today?'" The Major looked from left to right, and said, "No! Who?" Jesse grabbed him by the head and kissed him hard on the mouth.

The bar erupted in laughter! Our Major wiped his mouth with his sleeve and said"F--k you son of a b!tch." He walked from the club as some 50 junior officers, laughed, hooted, and clapped loudly. The enlisted employees, turned away and tried to hide their smiles.

Jesse, like most Marines of our time never talked about combat. He did, however, compare-humorously-life as an enlisted Marine in combat and as an Officer at Parris Island. He would say:

"There, I was. PFC Altman, charging ashore on Okinawa with a .45 in one hand and a Kabar in the other, spreading death and destruction in all directions. Now look at me. Captain Altman, waddling out of the officer's club at Parris Island, with a bourbon on the rocks in one hand and a scotch & soda in the other spreading lies and Bullsh!ts in all directions."

I last saw Jesse in 1991. Geri and visited Parris Island and went into downtown Beaufort. I was a policeman and asked, "Do you know of a retired LtCol named Jessie Altman?"

He responded, "Know him, I work for the big son-of-a-b!tch." Receiving directions, I went to the Police Headquarters. (It never occurred to me that the first policeman might have called ahead on his radio.)

Geri and I entered the Police Station. I identified myself to the Desk Sergeant. He stood at attention and shouted, "Attention, an Officer is on deck!"

Jesse ran downstairs three steps at a time, grabbed me with one arm and Geri with the other. He lifted us and ran back upstairs. He plopped us down, looked at Geri and said, "Well you little sh!t, you really married above yourself this time!" He gave Geri a big kiss while the entire Beaufort Police Department applauded.

God, what a man. I shall miss him.
George Goodson


Hey Marines,
Get over it. The EG&A, or EGA is an acronym just like USMC, and every unit in our beloved Corps has a similar acronym designation. You can just about write a complete sentence with military acronyms, so get a life.

On the issue of others wearing, saying or displaying USMC closely held tradition, it equally bothers me but, guess what, that is one of the rights that we served to protect. Imitation is highest form of flattery. Just feel proud and smug that you actually earned it, or, that civilian is showing you great respect. Either way, they recognized you and that is an improvement.
Semper Fi.
Jim Doud, Marine since 1973


The General went out to find that none of his Marines were there. One finally ran up, panting heavily.

"Sorry, sir! I can explain, you see I had a date and it ran a little late. I ran to the bus but missed it, I hailed a cab but it broke down, found a farm, bought a horse but it dropped dead, ran 10 miles, and now I'm here."

The General was very skeptical about this explanation but at least he was here so he let the Marine. go. Moments later, eight more Marines came up to the general panting, he asked them why they were late.

"Sorry, sir! I had a date and it ran a little late, I ran to the bus but missed it, I hailed a cab but it broke down, found a farm, bought a horse but it dropped dead, ran 10 miles, and now I'm here."

The General eyed them, feeling very skeptical but since he let the first Marine go, he let them go, too. A ninth Marine jogged up to the General, panting heavily.

"Sorry, sir! I had a date and it ran a little late, I ran to the bus but missed it, I hailed a cab but..."

"Let me guess," the General interrupted, "it broke down."

"No," said the Marine, "there were so many dead horses in the road, it took forever to get around them."

Sent in by Daniel J. Szymanski
U.S.M.C. Viet Nam Vet. 1972/1973


A Couple of Issues Ago There Was Mention Of The 3rd m.a.w. In North Miami Fla., It Was Actually In Opa - Locka Fla. About 13 Miles From Downtown Miami.It Was The Original Miami Airport.I Was There In 54-56 Was In Food Service, And then T.A.D To The M.P.s Stood Main Gate Duty,And At The P.M. Office.Liberty was Great Miami Beach Was Our Playground. When The Hotels Had Conventions With A Lot Of Females the Base Was Called . Those That Were Off Duty Got A Room Free But Paid For Food ,Drinks. We Sure Had A Good Time In our Off Duty Hours.If There Are Any Out There that Where There It Should Bring Back Great Memories. Our General Orders Where For The Protection Of The Panama Canal. It Was A Good Time Down There. Not Too Many Fellow Marines Ever Heard Of Opa-Locka.They Thought The Third Was At Beaufort Before It Went West.
Joe (Robby) Robinson 1422921 Sgt. Of Marines.


Sgt Grit. I know this letter is a little late but I'm just now catching up on my news letters. In response to the Semper Fi issue I had to write this on my wife's behalf. She is a supervisor for Busch Gardens here in Tampa. Her area is at the entry to the park so she sees a lot of guests as they arrive. Whenever she sees someone wearing a cover, shirt or uniform of our beloved Corps on it she proudly gives them a Semper Fi! When she comes home I will get a report about the great responses she gets back. She does this because her brother and husband both served their time in Vietnam as Marines. She is the one who had to sit in front of the TV every night for two years wondering where we were and if we were alive. She is as much apart of our Corps as you and I ! So if any of you Marines out there ever visit Busch Gardens and a lady says Semper Fi to you please thank her.

The Husband of 33 years
CPL Glenn Zak
RVN 69/70


The Gunny and his wife were traveling home for a few days and became so tired that they had to stop to get a little sleep. After 4 or so hours of rest The Gunny goes to the desk to settle his bill. $350. I was only here for 4 hours he says and demands to see the manager. This gentleman comes out and informs the Gunny that this is a state of the art hotel with a 4 star restaurant. I did not eat in the restaurant the gunnys says and the manager says "But you could have." We also have the greatest shows all the way from Vegas for your entertainment. But I did not use them, "But you could have" says the manager. The Gunny sees that he is licked and starts to write a check. The manager takes the check and says this is made out for $100. Yeah I know says the Gunny, $100 for the room and $250 for sleeping with my wife. The Manager says I did not sleep with your wife, and the Gunny says "But you could have"


I do not remember when I haven't drank coffee, and I am 56. In the fall of 1965, while in casual Co. at Camp Griger, awaiting orders, someone had to make coffee at the Company office building. One day I was sent to make coffee. This required getting up at 0500. Reville was 0530. The 1st Sgt. liked my coffee so well I had to make it every morning. One morning the 1st Sgt. asked me how come my coffee was so good. At the time I chewed Days Work plug tobacco. I told the 1st Sgt. that I put the coffee grounds in the pot, then bit off a corner of the Days Work and put it on top of the coffee grounds. He said "your joking". I smiled. I never had to make coffee again.

Walter E. Seneff
Gitmo Nov. 65-March 67
VietNam Oct 67-April 69
37 Months and 10 Days overseas on a 4 year enlistment


Dear Sgt. Grit, I have been reading your letter for quite some time. I noticed you were looking for some stories. Here is a fond memory I have from the gulf war in 91. I was a combat engineer with 1st ceb 1st mardiv. While assigned to task force ripper. We had move several more miles closer to the Kuwait border. My 60 gunner was jim stewart and I being his a-gunner were digging our pit for the gun. We had taken a little break and were sitting around our track when a pack of dogs came in the area. This particular pack had a momma dog with a litter of 5 or so pups. These pups decided to move into our little hole. It such a site to see a belt fed weapon being manned by these pups. Talk about little devil dogs. Some where in my gear there is a picture of this sight. I have lots of good memories from my years in the Corps. One more thing I have to say Cpl. Flynn. You should by thankful for the honor and I mean great honor to serve in the finest group of brothers and sisters in the world. If you are such a great Marine you would realize that when your *ss is in a sling it will be a Hollywood Marine or corpsman that will pull you out.

Semper fi
Jason Chittenden Cpl of Marines (noload) '87-'91


I hadn't been on the field(as a d.i myself) when in 1956 I witnessed this little scenario. While checking the area after morning routine I hear a commotion on the grinder. Marching along was a recruit wearing "the bucket" on his head, closly followed by another recruit with a length of broomstick tapping on the bucket in march time. At some prescribed interval this little procession would stop, recruit one would remove said bucket and announce at the top of his lungs, "There are 100,000 men in the Marine corps. They have rifles. I am a sh!tbird. I have a gun." Bucket replaced, right face, continue routine. Never knew what platoon or the d.i. who came up with that one. second funniest thing I ever saw.
merle (sgt. U.S.M.C.)


I'm a grunt, never really played with the air wing, but was told this story during a night of drunken revelry with two other Marine vets who said they were there:

Seems that a Marine Harrier squadron was invited to participate in one of the "Red Flag" exercises at Nellis Air Force Base.

In keeping with the Corps expeditionary nature, the Marines had their birds prepped and ready to go with the same equipment they used in the field, while the Air Force birds (on the opposite side of the flight line) pulled out all manner of rear echelon type APUs and other such equipment to start their birds up. So it looked to onlookers like the pilots simply walked up to their aircraft, kicked the tires, turned the key, and lit the fires. This seemed to offend the Air Force folks, and they began to cut loose with the usual "You jarheads are nothing more than grunts that know how to fly..." (Ain't it true?)

Anyway, the squadron commander and his First Sergeant decided to make the most of it...

Did ya know that there's apparently a pitot tube that sticks out of the forward end of an AV-8? Did ya know that it's apparently the size of the barrel ring of a bayonet? One of the crew chiefs came up with the idea of welding a "bayonet lug" on those screw type hose clamps. These were affixed to said pitot tube in the wee hours of the morning.

By the dawn's early light, the Air Force types watched as the Marine pilots marched, in column, to their posts in front of their planes. The squadron commander gave the command, "Fix Bayonets!", and each pilot proceeded to attach a bayonet to these "bayonet lugs". They then got in their Harriers, and lifted off into the wild blue, with bayonets still fixed.

Dunno if it's true, but never let the truth get in the way of a good story.
Semper Fi,
Bill Benson


Hi Top, get over y'self. All Marines are aware of the internal rivalry between San Diego Marines, and those REAL Marines from PARRIS ISLAND. It's like any sports team/frat house rivalry anywhere else on the planet. So get off your high horse and leave ole' Flynn alone. Then take his comments as humor just as they were meant to be, and as the rest of us took them. Just don't forget that we are ALL Marines, east or west coast trained, and just let someone else mess with us, you'll see em' come together like no one's business. Oh, and stop gettin personal. Flynn made a general comment, and you replied with he "Should trade his Eagle, Globe, and Anchor for a turban?". Now whose unprofessional??? As a matter of fact, you should apologize to the man. I'll tell ya, all you office pouge's are alike. And to you Cpl Flynn, don't worry son, I got your back from that nasty ole Hollywood boot 1st Sgt. Thanx for letting me put in my $.02 worth Sgt. Grit, and I hope this makes it to print. Semper Fi to all my "Devil Dogs" out there.
Master Gunnery Sergeant Ryan, U.S.M.C.


In response to the ongoing discussion of non-Marines saying "Semper Fi", wearing Marine garb and even a Marine father having an Eagle, Globe & Anchor tattoo... When this brouhaha started, I felt guilty because I wear Sgt. Grit USMC shirts and will ALWAYS approach anyone I see with a USMC identifier. Is that wrong?? I'm not a Marine... I didn't earn the title... I'm just the mother of a Marine. After all, even my son, who decided in his early teens that he would earn the title, didn't have the Eagle, Globe & Anchor tattooed (plain black, no fancy colors because "I'm not a d@mn wall to hang a picture on - I'm a MARINE!") on his arm until after boot, after he had earned the title.

So I pondered on this for a few minutes and came to the conclusion that I raised that boy to become the raw material that the Corps could mold, I cried when he left for boot, I prayed for 13 weeks that my baby wouldn't be hurt and that he would be the best Marine to ever come out of Parris Island. When he blew out his ankle with 1 week of basic left, I cried because he might not graduate on time and when he completed the Crucible in spite of the ankle injury and being on light duty for the 4 days before, I was the PROUDEST mom at graduation.

In the past 7 years, I've lived every minute if every day with full understanding of the risks he's taking and that my child didn't just learn to be a soldier, he wasn't just trained to fight, he doesn't just put on his uniform, he IS, in every cell of his body, a UNITED STATES MARINE.

No, I didn't earn the title *Marine* (I think that's a misnomer - Marine is not a title, it's a force that binds itself to the soul) I never could, but I understand who and what a Marine is, and through that understanding and my love for my child, some of that force has leached into me. Maybe not a lot - but enough to make me the next best thing: a Marine Mom and trust me, while a Marine may show restraint when the peaceniks spout their nonsense, a Marine Mom will NOT. Lack of respect for my Marines (heck, any branch of the military) will be met with swift and fierce justice from this Marine Mom!

Sooo... I will continue to wear my USMC shirts, I will continue to accost people wearing the Eagle, Globe & Anchor (by the way, I have never been rebuffed, on the contrary, every encounter has been incredibly rewarding) and I will continue to cry and pray and give thanks to God for every Marine to ever pin on the Eagle, Globe & Anchor.

God Bless America - Land of the Free Because of the Brave!
Katherine C. Domorod
Very Proud Marine Mom


Drill Instructor Sgt. Vreland was part Indian I think. Anyway he had high cheek bones that made him look like the devil and he played the part. I'll never forget him. Anyway, one day in boot camp after midday chow we were back at he barracks getting ready for what ever training we were about to do. We were allowed a head call before we fell out. I was the last joker out of the head. I had a hocker in my throat. I loosened it up with a good "Haaack" then "thuuuuuh" into the last sink on the way out. The D.I. heard it all the way from the squad bay and started storming. "Who did that, who is that?!" Uh Oh I thought what now. I thought someone in the squad bay was under the gun. But to my surprise he came storming into the head and like I said I was the only joker there. He looked in the sink and gave an ultimatum. "Eat it or thrash." I had one of these moments in life where time seems to slow down and you can think about things. I remember thinking,'I don't want to thrash, so I'll eat it and not think about it or I will not be able to do it.' So without missing a beat I scooped up the hocker and stuck it in my mouth. It was unintentional, but when I pulled my finger out of my mouth, it made a slurping and popping sound. I will NEVER, EVER forget the look on my D.I.'s face. I would not take a million dollars for that memory. I was a look of shock and disbelief. "Get out" he yelled. Anyway, I didn't have to thrash.
James Bolin "Bo", Cpl. 1986-1992 Wpns 1/5, 81's, Oohraa, Semper Fi.
Boot Camp Plt. 2074


Sgt Grit,
I recently had the pleasure of again after close to 33 years (1971) seeing and talking to my recruiter. He retired as a MGySgt after 30 years, just as I did. I have only spoken to him via email just a few times over the years since he retired in Hawaii. He and his wife came to the main land to visit some family in PA and dropped by his old recruiting town in Oneonta, NY to see some close friends he made while a recruiter here. By chance he called my parents and was told I was in town. So after all these years we met again and it seemed like old times. I met his wife and again thanked him for getting me in the Corps. That was the best thing that had happened to me back then and I am grateful to MGySgt Bob Daniels USMC (Ret) for taking the chance on me. You do not get a chance usually to hook up with your recruiter after all those years. It was great seeing him again.
Semper Fi,


I went through basic training at Parris Island from Aug 75 - Nov 75 and served as a Drill Instructor at San Diego from Aug 78 - Aug 79. I used to tell the privates that basic training at Parris Island was much tougher than San Diego but it was not. In my opinion, there were no significant differences in the training. Hey, a push-up in South Carolina is the same as a push-up in southern California.
Matt Brzycki
Sergeant (1975-79)


As a young PFC I was assigned at the Correctional Facility at Cherry Point. One morning I felt terrible and asked to go to sick call. My SGT explained to me that all personnel E-3 and below had to see Top before going to sick call.

Now Top had a picture of Gen. Puller on the wall of his office and after entering and explaining my request, he went to the wall and pulled down that picture. Top had me sit in a seat and place my hand on the picture and then he yelled "HEAL" at the top of his lungs. Afterward he asked me if I felt any better.

Being a bit slow that morning I said no and the whole process took place again. I had it figured out this time and told Top that I was beginning to feel much better when he asked. He explained to me that his door was always open to the sick and infirm and as you can guess, I did my darnedest to make Corporal as fast as I could. Semper Fi and God Bless.

Chesty could do anything!

SGT Grit -
During my time at Parris Island (2nd Battalion, F Company) I broke the most basic rule of a good recruit - I failed to stay "under the radar" and found myself a squad leader from about the 2nd day after being picked up by our DI's. Later on, just before we started 2nd phase, I ended up as Platoon Guide - and that's when the fun started.

I haven't heard anyone else mention this in the newsletter, but I'm sure other's have had the same experience. Squad leader, Guide - you become the "chosen one" for experiments, fun, and vigorous demonstrations by the DI's. You name it, I was the "dummy" with which the DI's tried out new ideas or demonstrated (often painful) exercises to the other recruits. In Medical, I was used as a pincushion by a group of new Corpsmen learning to give shots...the list goes on and on. I was on "automatic pilot" for so long I'm sure I spent more time on the quarterdeck than most Navy guys do in a career. Being the last into the chow hall, I didn't eat a full meal on the island until my last week there. My favorite though was when my DI's had a theory about Bic lighters and its relative merit as a tool for the removal of nose hairs before inspection. I'll leave it to your imagination, but suffice it to say I stood VERY still.

I went into the Marines at 165 lean pounds...graduated at 147 - something about all that quarterdeck time and lack of calories I guess. To Senior Drill Instructor Gy Sgt McNair, DI Sgt Miller, DI Sgt Lane, DI Sgt Allen - all I can say is thanks for creating the foundation for what I am today.

Looking back, it was the best time of my life.
Semper Fi!
Scott A. Len
CPL 1811 '82-'85


I can tell Mr.. Kunkel for a fact that aqua velva shaving lotion tastes like sh!t.Bay Rum is much better.
Jim from Elk River.

SEMPER FI...Good job get your boots on and get out there and kick some more commie/satanic *ss....

I remember as an old salt in Nam (that's when the black polish wore off your boots and turned to soft tan leather) we would tell the FNGs to "go cut me a huss, get me a box of grid squares and a can of slack and I'll make you the finest hootch in the Nam!"
Dave Hunt, Cpl
68-72, RVN 69-70.

How do you make a D.I. smile?
F&%k up!

Semper Fi,
Dr. Andrew S. Berry

noload marine will be in surgery 1000hrs 30sept04 gettin his back put back together,mabe you men out will give this one a little prayer to the man upstairs that all goes well
Semper Fi,cpl E4 J.R. nelson 3rd Marines

Boot camp lines:

Uniform of the day: Dress blues, tennis shoes and a light coat of oil.

I have worn out more sea bags than you have socks.

Sir I cant find my bucket.


hey sgt grit an oldie but goodie not really a joke but still gets me smiling...
"You cannot spell lost without the LT!"
Mark A. Neuman CPL/USMC
3rd Radio BN, EM PLT, MCBH

Semper fi
Sgt Grit

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