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I have one wish... when someone hears that my dear son is being activated, please do not ask if he can get out of it. Yes, he is in college, yes, his father and I want him here, and yes, our hearts burn and ache..... But, he is duty bound, loyal and a true Marine in every sense of the word. He grew up walking in his Daddy's boots, (they were black then), and he now has an eagle , globe and anchor on his right arm, just like his Dad and Grandfather before him.

In honor of our son, PFC Brandon F. Stolley and all of his fellow Marines.
Melissa Stolley

New Special This Week

Beirut Veterans this shirt is for you - only available to order until October 9th! Available as a T-Shirt, Sweatshirt, Hooded Sweatshirt, and Long-Sleeved T-Shirt. Check it out!

Veterans Day Shirt

For a limited time only, we have this design for Veterans Day! Available in a t-shirt, sweatshirt, and long-sleeved t-shirt. Thank you for your service to our Country - Semper Fi!

Last Days For State Bumper Stickers

State Marine Bumper Stickers available through Sunday (Sept 25th) Show your pride in Country and Corps. From Wyoming - every state is included!

I hope Cindy Sheehan reads this. It has been 21 months since my son died because of this war we are in. I guess I know how you are feeling since I have cried every day since his death. I am 53 years old and I still cry like a child. Joshua knew what the possibilities of anything happening was when he joined the Marines and my wife and I had to accept them also. I am sorry your son died but he did it so you could sit here safe and sound and protest until your heart is content. Bring our troops home and you can have one of the terrorist eat breakfast at your house before he blows it up. I only wish the U.S.M.C. would let me finish what my son can not. Keep it up Marines!
Charles Harris

"We'll once again show the world that the worst adversities bring out the best in America."
George W. Bush

On June 1st of 2005 my boyfriend and his younger brother left for basic training at Parris Island, SC. I just returned from going down to the graduation, and I wouldn't have missed it for the world. The pride and patriotism I felt as I watched them both get their eagle, globe and anchor was a moment I will always remember. My boyfriend has dreamed of being a Marine since he was a child, and for him to realize this dream was a huge accomplishment in both our lives. I am so proud of the fact that I know two brothers that are willing to unselfishly serve their country in the United States Marines. It was a long 3 months for us both, but with every letter I received, I witnessed the amazing transformation that took place through 12 weeks of boot camp. I have no doubt that my boyfriend did the right thing in enlisting and that he has become a better man because of it. It makes me sad that these guys don't have the support they deserve. Many of the guys in my boyfriend's platoon lost their girlfriends during bootcamp. Although at times I wondered why my guy joined, I would never EVER think of leaving him because of it. I have all the admiration in the world for anyone who is a Marine. They are my heroes. I tell everyone I come in contact with how proud I am to date a Marine. When asked why I "let" him do it, I simply say that we would both regret it if he didn't. To see him this happy is all that matters. I have always looked up to the girls and wives who would make the sacrifices, never dreaming it would one day be me. I feel unworthy, but honor-bound to stick by my Marine and give all the unfailing love and support that he and so many others need. I pray everyday for you all, and that God will keep you safe as you answer the call to serve wherever it may be. God Bless and Semper Fi!

Darcie DePerno
An extremely proud girlfriend of PFC B. Koenig

"How could a readiness for war in time of peace be safely prohibited, unless we could prohibit, in like manner, the preparations and establishments of every hostile nation?"

-- James Madison

Hi my name is Jodie Bogdan. My brother, Cpl Brad Squires was killed in Iraq on June 9, 2005. He was Stationed out of Akron with Weapons Co 3/25. He loved the Marines. My family and I miss him deeply but, we are so proud of him. We continue to support and pray for the troops. My older brother and I have set up a memorial fund in honor of our brothers name and our goal is to help build and preserve memorials for all the fallen soldier of Northern Ohio and to help carry on there names. My brother gave the ultimate sacrifice and this is the only way we feel we can make sure his name will live on forever. We have a website that includes all the information about our fund if you get a chance please look at it. All of the military men and women work very hard everyday to ensure our freedom so please everyone continue to support our troops.

Columbia Station, Ohio
Proud sister of Cpl Brad Squires

It doesn't seem that long ago that I stood saying good bye to my Marine husband. Viet Nam seems far away now that my son is deployed to Iraq. My son just left 29 Palms, Sept. 4th and I would like to say " Hi" to Shannon Jacobsen, I don't know you , but feel related through the Corps. YOU are all in my heart and prayers....Marine Mom/ wife in Texas. See you at Victory Field!

How are you doing Sir my name is Shane Friend and I just wanted to share my experience about taking the steps towards my Marine Corps dream. I'm 17 and live in Maryland a small town called Oakland. My journey in life has been pretty rough at a young age. My parents gave up raising me almost a half year ago, and I was floating around looking for a place, I was blessed to find a family that took me in and are raising till I graduate. Anyways I just enlisted in the DEP for the Corps in June at the Beckley MEPS. I have always had a dream to become a Marine and I am so happy that a step has been completed. The next is school I graduate in June and leave the 13 of 2005. I also am in the Young Marines Mountaineer Platoon in Oakland Maryland. I was a struggling youth, because of all the family problems but I put my head high and I'm pushing forward for my dream to come true. I've meet many people who have guided me and helped me to where I'm at today, and once I finally get to boot I will understand why I want to be a United States Marine. Well I just wanted to tell you your magazine is the best and your T shirts really do make you stand taller!

Semper Fi Sir.
Shane Friend

"Tis a fine thing to fight for one's own freedom; tis a far sight finer to fight for another man's." -- Mark Twain

This mess in the gulf has been a lesson in self reliance.... We have been asked for many years now to BE PREPARED.... have at least three to five maybe even a weeks worth of food and water and supplies in case of a serious problem.... because it may take that long before help arrives.....and it worked out just like that in Louisiana.....

Although the city and state were caught with there pants down.... the people themselves are the ones to blame..... Why were they not prepared? Why didn't they heed the warnings.... why didn't they have preparations if they couldn't leave?.... they didn't take anything seriously and many paid for it with there lives.... Granted, not everything can be prepared for but most of the needy now, would be better off if they had taken heed to basic preparedness.

As much as I hate to say it the majority of the citizens of New Orleans have only themselves to blame for this one. Or am I being a hard-ass.

Prepared in Oregon
B. Jackson

(Sunday) will be the fourth anniversary of that awful September day. Let us be especially mindful of those who lost so very much. As time marches on, we have each, in our own ways, weathered the loss of someone close to us. In years gone by, many of us have lost parents. Some have lost a spouse. Friends have departed this life. A few have known that incredible sorrow of the death of a child.

September 11, 2001 the nation lost almost 3,000 parents, spouses, friends and children. Office staffs were almost totally wiped out. Imagine losing ten or twenty good friends in one day. The Fire Department of New York lost entire engine, truck and rescue companies. Police officers, who ran into the buildings to help, were carried out beneath the flag they served. Civilian workers who tarried a moment to help someone else were never seen again.

At the Pentagon, soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines did what they have done for more than 225 years - they died in the service of their country. In the skies over Pennsylvania, true heroes found the courage to sacrifice so that others might live.

It has been said, "Courage Is Fear That Has Said its Prayers," and "A Hero Is Someone Who Is Afraid But Goes Ahead Anyway." On that tragic day, surely Fear said its prayers and went ahead with the tasks that needed to be done. Let us always remember, not only those who were lost, but also those left behind.

This September 11, the U.S. flag is to be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset. As you look at our flag, remember that it is a direct descendant of the flags that flew: at Valley Forge and Yorktown; over the fortress at Derna in Tripoli; from the mast of Old Ironsides; over Ft. McHenry while Francis Scott Key watched; at frontier settlements; above the citadel at Montezuma; while our nation was almost torn asunder in places such as Vicksburg, Bull Run, Gettysburg and Appomattox; at the Little Big Horn; atop San Juan Hill and in Samar; Verdun, Chateau Thierry, Belleau Wood and Flanders Fields; Pearl Harbor, Wake Island, Bataan, Omaha Beach, the USS Arizona, Bastogne and Iwo Jima; The Pusan Perimeter, Inchon and the "Frozen Chosin"; DaNang, Khe Sanh and Hue City; Panama; Grenada; Kuwait; Baghdad and dozens of other places forgotten to all but those who raised it there.

Just as today's flag is a descendant of those flags that have flown before, we are literal and figurative descendants of those of every race and creed who served it. Let us not forget them, and let us not forget those who serve today.

In my 30-plus years as a firefighter, my colleagues and I were often called upon to engage in hand-to-hand combat with Death. Sometimes we were the victors, but many, many times we were not. In those times I would remember a wise teacher who in these frantic moments once said, "Pray if you've got 'em." On September 11, and every time you look upon our flag, remember those who served, those who are serving, and those who will yet serve, and "Pray if you've got 'em!"

Jim Phillabaum

­Sgt Grit, and Mrs Riddle... I'm sitting here crying and remembering doing the same thing for my husband's deployments. I could have written that letter almost word for word. When I deployed I never thought about how hard it was on the family waiting for me, and then I was the one left at home and I realized how really tough that is. Marine Corps spouses need their own motto, Semper Fi just doesn't convey all that goes with being a Marine spouse. The last deployment my husband went on was to Kosovo, we had 2 kids and I didn't yet know that I was pregnant with baby 3. I thought that would be the toughest time in our family, a child that developed a serious medical condition while daddy was deployed and not able to come home, and a new baby. We didn't know that daddy was going to end up at the Pentagon on 9-11, and not seeing him or being able to contact him for days afterwards. So Mrs. Riddle, from one Marine wife to another, a big hug and Thank YOU for everything YOU are giving to this country by being the wife of a Marine.

God Bless You and Yours,
Anna Grabill

"If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking is freedom."


Do I understand it...Maybe. All I know is that my Husband is 11 years older than me and I am trying to understand the Pride. I am 49 and he is 60. I watched television at age 15 while my brother and his friends were watching tv and looking at the draft numbers. Some had high numbers and some low... I just knew that Cheerleading tryouts were coming up and I needed to practice. I didn't make cheerleader that year and my brother didn't get drafted. Seven years later I met the love of my life. He had been in the Marines, not in Vietnam and I have never stopped hearing about the Marine Corps life. He was a Police Officer when we met and very shortly after I knew that there was nothing that would take the place of his Marine Corps experience. We are now in our 50's and 60's and as much as he misses the Police Dept after 30 years it is still the Marine Corps websites he seems to click on to. Just thought the rest of you guys might like to know you are not alone...

Sgt Grit,
I can't thank you enough for your website, your catalog and your newsletter! Since I became a Marine Mom in June of 2000 it has been a Godsend. I have spent hours reading about everything "Marine", I have ordered hundreds of dollars worth of merchandise (you should see my car and our house) and I have laughed and cried over and over again as I read every newsletter that comes to me. To be part of this "family" of Marines, past and present, young and old, leaves me speechless. I send my heartfelt thanks to every Marine out there that has served, in war and peace, in all parts of our world. Without you and your brothers, this world would NOT be the place it is today.

My son is going to be leaving later this week to go to Iraq. This is his first time to the Middle East. He was in Washington DC (8th & I) during 9/11. His twin sister (who is a petty officer in the Navy--sorry guys!) just completed 2 years in the Middle East and is now stationed outside of Washington DC. I know that he is prepared for anything he may encounter. I know he is part of a larger "family" of Marines that will always look out for each other. I know he is now, and always will be, in God's hands no matter where he is.

My heart breaks (and my red-headed anger rises dangerously) every time I see Cindy Sheehan and her cohorts on the TV and news. Are they really so stupid as to not see that there is NO WAY to support our troops and, at the same time, protest what they are accomplishing?! Do they really think that evil doesn't exist in this world and that it will just go away if we pretend it isn't there?! Do they really think WOMD's didn't exist?! (gee, I wonder what killed all those Kurds?!)

I went to Cindy Sheehan's website and sent a little "note" of my own. I don't expect it will accomplish much in the long run, but, boy, it DID make me feel better! If there are any other "warmongers" out there that want a chance to have your say, here it is:

Here is the note I sent.....thought I'd share it: (And KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK. SGT. GRIT!)

My son leaves in a week to go to Iraq as a Sgt. in the US Marine Corps. I pray everyday that he comes home safely to us. I will grieve beyond words if he does not. But.....if it is his destiny to give his life for our country and for people striving to be free in other places of this world, then it is his destiny. He joined the military freely, willingly, as I imagine your son did also. I pray for your family, for comfort during your time of loss. I also ask you--no, I demand of you--that if my son's name is added to the list of killed in action, that you DO NOT use his name in your memorials. I would not have his name, his memory, used as a weapon to disgrace and dishonor the other brave, selfless men and women serving in our military. His twin sister is one of those people. I wish we could live in a world of peace, unfortunately, there IS evil in this world. Wishing it away won't make it disappear. I would have hoped that 9/11 would have taught us that much.

Cinda Burks
PROUD Mom of Sgt Charles Burks, II, USMC and
Petty Officer 2nd Class, Jessica burks

I just want everyone who shares there stories to know how much they help me stay focused on the mission of our Marines. I am engaged to a Marine that is stationed at Camp Pendleton, CA. We met through my cousin who is also a Marine there. When I went to visit my cousin in CA all the way from Alabama...I never expected to meet my future husband there! I always felt sorry for all the families that were in the military always having to leave one another. So, I told my cousin no to even start trying to hook me up with a Marine who would be living all the way in California! Then I met my fiancé' Nick. Of course we started talking and hanging out then before I knew it I was flying to CA every month! Then 3 months into it...I got the news he would be deployed to Iraq for 8 long months. After spending 2 weeks with him....I learned how amazing these men were! All had such good outlook on everything. He assured me he would be back in April 2005. So, I waited 8 long months...getting involved as much as I could with Marine groups. There is a local reserve unit that is very close to my home. It just so happened they were deploying when Nick's unit was. I met a girl names Christine Babineaux at work and we started talking one day and it just so happened her husband Chris was in that unit. She got me involved with their Key Volunteer group so that helped. We send packages galore!! Anyway, Nick returned safe and so did all the guys in his unit. In that 8 months I learned to respect Marines more than anyone else in this world. I became a stronger American that I needed to be. We got engaged July 5th and are planning to get married May of 2006! We are starting to make "future plans". He is suppose to get out May 15th...but I think my uncle has talked him into joining a local reserve unit in Alabama! I will be so proud if he does! Yeah he could be deployed again, but I honestly think it's why we are getting married now! We can make it through anything now! Everyone hang in there...our Marines are doing a great job!!

Stacy Pauly, AL
Proud "future" wife of Cpl. Nick Helland
HMLA 367 A/F
Camp Pendleton, CA

Proud cousin of Cpl. Jon Pauly
HMLA 169 F/L
Camp Pendlton, CA

One good thing to come from Hurricane Katrina and her unwelcome visit to the Gulf Coast. She blew that whiny b**ch Cindy Sheehan off the front page of every print media and every TV news every evening. That's enough to make me support the Hurricane Relief effort. This morning I'm going to donate a pint of blood, number 69 life time, to the American Red Cross. Mark it "For Marines Only". Civilian types could not stand it. Keep up the newsletter. I will be sending an order for the special veterans day t-shirt as well.
Lady Leatherneck.

"We love death. The U.S. loves life. That is the big difference between us."

Osama bin Laden

Dear Sgt. Grit,

Although I have great sympathy and compassion for any parent who loses a child in war it seems to me, given her bizarre rants and strange notions with truth telling, that Cindy Sheehan lost her son long before he departed for Iraq.

MJ Stare
VMA-223 & VMA-211, MAG 12
RVN 1965 - 66

"Can it be, that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a Nation with its virtue? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human Nature." -George Washington

Sgt. Grit,

I grew up in the Marine family since my grandfather fought in the Korean war as a Marine. Growing up we always heard stories about the life of a Marine family living on base. We also saw the swords and were always intrigued by the shinny gold metals and colorful ribbons on Pappahs uniform. Than in 2004 the guy I was dating joined and he now is in Iraq as of 9/1/2005. PFC. Grady is stationed at Camp Pendleton, CA and is one of the bravest men I know. PFC. Grady knew he was going to be deployed yet didn't want anyone to worry so the weekend before he left he came home to send some time with his family and friends and pretended like nothing was wrong. On 8/31/205 Nick went back to Camp Pendleton where he had yet to shed a tear. I spoke to him the night before he had left for Iraq and he was still saying he wasn't scared than it hit him. The next morning Nick was gone.

Along with Nick his cousin PFC. Virag went to MCT training on 9/1/2005. PFC. Virag had just graduated from Parris Island, SC on 8/19/2005. Funny how time has a way of letting family spend time together one last time. Both PFC. Grady and PFC. Virag knew Nick would be leaving yet they talked about the Marines and had such high hopes. They said we will be back after all we have the best training in the world.

Yet another friend left that day RCT. Handel left for Parris Island, SC for his boot camp. RCT. Hanudel was at PFC. Virags graduation so he knew what was in store for him. RCT. Hanudel left also on 9/1/2005.

That is three of our young men serving in Oregon, OH and we are so very proud of all of them. I hope people can see the dedication and courage in our young heroes! After all, they are the MARINES and that is one h&ll of a title to earn.

Oregon, OH

Dear Sgt Grit

Thank you for the newsletters that you have been sending. They are very informative and let me see what other Marines and their families have to say. The Corps is near and dear to my heart, even though I've never served a day. My nephew is a PFC stationed with the 2/2 in Fallajuah Iraq and I've been saving these newsletters for him. I know he will enjoy reading about his brothers experiences. To all the fellow Marines out there, I sent a heartfelt thank you and lets continue to keep our active Marines and other military personnel in our prayers and thoughts. Signed a proud aunt of a US Marine!!!!
Diane Barker

This is in reference to John Stewarts "The Dialy Show".

They are doing a week long series called "Evolution Schemvolution" and last night they were talking about the days that God created the earth and so on. Then as a joke they started to talk about the 8th day, and what happened on that day. They showed the bumper sticker "on the 8th day God created Marines." They showed like 6 or so other bumper stickers that said different 8th day things like "on the 8th day God created CHER" LMAO!

"Courage is the first of all the virtues because if you haven't courage, you may not have the opportunity to use any of the others." -Samuel Johnson

Indianapolis, IN-September 14, 2005-Support Our Troops Day is Sunday, October 9, 2005. To mark the occasion, a rally will be held downtown from Noon to 2:00 p.m. at the War Memorial on Michigan Street between Pennsylvania and Meridian and extending into the War Memorial Park as needed.

The idea for the rally was borne of discussions at a monthly meeting of Marine Parents when Connie Huse told the others of her son's recent phone call from Fallujah, Iraq. The Marine expressed dismay at the negative stories regarding the War he'd heard from the States and questioned whether Americans supported the troops.

The group asked itself: "How can we send the message to our kids that we do support them." After a brain storming session, the group decided a rally was in order. "We have to let them know there are a lot of people here who do care about them and support them," said Peggy Getty, one of the Marine Moms and the organizer of the rally. "Whether serving abroad or stateside, our military personnel have a very difficult job, one most of us wouldn't do. They have to know that their efforts are appreciated and valued."

Most important about the rally is that it is strictly a show of support for the troops. This is a non-political function and is not pro-War or anti-War. Families and friends of military personnel from all branches are invited along with all others who wish to show their support for the troops.

The Mayor's Office has declared October 9, 2005 as the Support Our Troops Day in Indianapolis. The group's hope is that other cities around the United States will follow suit.

Interview Contact: Peggy Getty

"We have not journeyed across the centuries, across the oceans, across the mountains, across the prairies, because we are made of sugar candy."
-Winston Churchill

I am finishing my second go at OIF. This go 'round I have the distinct honor of seeing our enemy close up as a physician at the Theater Internment Facility, Camp Bucca, Iraq. During the last tour I served with a Combat Support Hospital and got to treat many Marines as well as soldiers. For that privilege, I was honored. This mission, detainee health care, leaves me with other feelings.

Far from the talking heads of the American "Free Press", I see the hearts and minds of those who would see all that we are and all that we stand for destroyed. Theirs is a hatred that transcends the norm of human experience. Like a parasite which destroys its host or a cancer that grows without bounds, they have but one purpose for their lives - killing.

Unlike patients in the US, we have things to consider in this situation. On the occasion of an application for "Compassionate Discharge" it gets very interesting. Once a detainee is deemed terminal or so severely incapacitated as unable to stand trial, the paperwork is submitted. One thing we must consider, even with the paraplegics, is can they be put into a car and pointed at a group of school kids? This is the war ladies and gents.

For all of those like Cindy Sheehan (who I believe, should be referred to like Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter - "she who must not be named), those who "support the troops but not the war" let us make one thing clear. There are no neutral parties in this struggle. The enemy is dedicated entirely to the destruction of all that is not them. That includes the protesters.

On the other hand, just who do they think Zarqawi and bin Laden are rooting for, protesters or Marines. Right now the protesters might just as well be planting roadside bombs. The pen is mightier than the sword and the media seems h&ll bent on wielding those pens against our troops in harms way. Thank you Eric Sipes and Newsweek for your efforts.

I would never say that everything in America is perfect or beyond question but I know right from wrong and I know which side of this war I am on. The consequences of failure are too dismal to contemplate. I count amongst our enemies all of the apologists, "root-causers" and those of the PC Police. As the President said four years ago, "either you are with us or against us..." Mom always liked to say "if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem".

To all in II MEF and all those in harms way in this struggle, keep up the fight, we are winning this, and we will win this fight. Stay focused and take care of your comrades in arms. Godspeed and a safe return to you all.

Semper Fi,
E. A. English, MD
USMC 1980-1999

She paints portraits with words.

This is for Mrs Ryn Riddle, your words are a portrait of feelings from the depth of the heart of a Marine's loved one. It was great. You should begin a journal or diary while Msgt Brian is away and let us know how things are going. You have a gift and should continue to share it with the others who have to say goodbye.

Steve Eslin, Pvt to 1stLt
66-69, 73-78

We all get heavier as we get older because there's a lot more information in our heads." So I'm not fat, I'm just really intelligent and my head couldn't hold anymore so it started filling up the rest of me!

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Submitted by Ron Pander

Being a former Marine and proud of it I was wondering if someone could explain to me why so many people think of John Wayne as a hero (or symbol of a hero). What was his military history. What did he do for our brave men and women during all of the conflicts during his life time. I was one of the lucky ones, not having seen any combat, but I am forever grateful for all of those that saved our freedom, regardless of the branch of service. When my grandson was about 9 or 10 (who is home schooled) I asked him to read a book on Audey Murphy and give me a report on it and what he thought. At the library he found only one book on Audey, but several on John Wayne. This country has a lot of hollow heroes and we need to change that. That's why I am always thanking anyone I see who served, be they 19 or 99.I also make a habit of passing along any information from vets to my grandson. I have had the opportunity to talk with veterans from WWII, Korea,Nam,and the Gulf. Even was honored to have a former WWII prisoner of war, tell me some very emotional stories. They have and deserve our gratitude and respect. Thank you for this site. A lot of information is passed on.
Forrest Weatherbee 59-63

Sgt Grit:

What a contrast two of your letter-writers made in the 9-15-2005 Newsletter! One was from LCpl. Christopher Hare, of the 3/25 Marines, H&S Company, a young man that I am proud of just from his letter, let alone his service to our country! I spoke with my son yesterday from Iraq, who is a sergeant in the 3/25th Marines, Lima Co, and on his way home as well. I am glad that he was able to serve with fine Marines like LCpl Hare. The other was the letter from "Pacifist" who claimed that they were happy to be living in New Zealand where they are in a peaceful country. Good! Stay there! Who needs ya and who wants ya! Oddly, I distinctly remember many more than just "one man" who voted to invade Iraq and depose Saddam. There is no desire to "rule the world" here in the USA, just a desire to see freedom in all countries.

Sgt.L. Balla, proud father of Sgt. Sam Balla Lima Company 3/25 USMC

Sergeant Larry Balla
Grandview Heights Division of Police

A few months ago I had the pleasure of meeting up with three Marines who were flying from Japan for some home leave. When I got on the plane I noticed that first and business class was pretty empty but the back of the plane (where they were sitting) was fairly full. I approached the plane's captain and indicated that he had the pleasure of bringing three Marines back home and if it was possible to move them up to the front of the plane, and to some better accommodations for all they've done for us.

All he asked of me was to identify the three travelers, which I gladly did. He shuffled the three of them up front and arranged that they got first class treatment for the flight home. I was glad to do something extra for these special people.

I never had the honor of being a Marine but I'm proud to say that my son is a lance corporal in the 4th Marines, 2/25. I'm proud of him and of everyone who's serving in the USMC. God bless them all.

I love to get your news letters. My husband was a marine and I lived on base with him for two years, having our first child and never forget standing in line for prenatal care and being # 75.

Now my grandson, 19, is leaving for basic training on the 20th of this month and I am in a panic. He is a twin and they are like my children I love them so much.

Lorrie Oliver

There is nothing so sad in my day, as to come to the end of Sgt. Grit's letter...

As the Mother of an infantry Marine I just have to say WOW.

Never in my whole life of 40 years and the Mother of six children have I ever felt the amount of emotions I have running through me right now. I have to say that as the Mom of a Marine the feelings are overwhelming. I remember when he was born. A small baby. A baby I carried for nine months, the whole time wondering what this child would end up being. Who or what he would become. I will confess that Marine was not one of the things that crossed my mind. But to be honest now that our son is a Marine I find it hard to imagine being a Mother of a son, this son anyway, being anything else. Looking at him is like looking at a man that was made to fit the mold of a United States Marine. He is handsome, strong, loyal, patriotic and proud. But most of all he is OUR son. We love him no matter what his choice but WOW, he chose MARINE and we are PROUD. We have lived through a 7 month deployment of thinking we could possibly lose our 19 year old son. He is our oldest of three sons but we kept our faith and for whatever reason we were fortunate enough to be blessed with his safe return.

Now as we prepare for his second deployment I am sad, scared, proud and all that is in-between. But please know that I cannot imagine a greater honor then when someone asks us what it is our son does, for us to answer, He is a UNITED STATES MARINE.

We are forever proud, and forever free, because of the troops that do what some of us can or will not. Their loyalty and sacrifice will never be forgotten and we should all be eternally grateful. THANK YOU.

Proud Mom of a 2/5 Marine.

John Sabia, the History Channel, is producing a show titled, "Desert Storm, History Versus Hollywood," and would like to contact some Marine Desert Storm veterans-retired or still on active duty.

Mr. Sabia can be contacted by e-mail at:

or by telephone: (212) 210-1400

He is aware that the book, "Jarhead," by Marine veteran Anthony Swofford, has been made into a movie--to be released in October-- and wants to get his show out to let the viewing public know what really happened during that war.

Anyone who wants to weigh in- contact John.


Walt Ford
Colonel, USMC (Ret)
Editor, Leatherneck Magazine

Sgt. Grit,

I am a proud MOM of a US Marine. My son had quit school and had gotten his GED. His dream for several years was to be a US Marine. He was fortunate to get in and has been in for 1 1/2 years now. He is now a Lance Corporal and will be heading for Iraq the first of October. Am I afraid for my son? You bet, but I am also so very proud of him. He is fighting for what Americans take for granted, our freedom. I am anxiously awaiting his arrival tomorrow, he will be here for 3 days. He probably won't be home much since he has lots of friends here, but I will get to see him. All he wants is fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, homemade rolls, friends and family at dinner. He will get his wish. I will fry the chicken, mash the potatoes and make creamed gravy, make homemade rolls and our friends and family will be here to share his favorite dinner.

I have never been more proud of my son for voluntarily joining the proudest branch of our Military. God Bless them all!!!

Debbie Hope

My 19 year old son is coming home soon from Iraq this coming Oct. I am very proud of him for the dedication he had for his country. It was a hard decision for me to sign with him that after that I haven't slept good. Right after the high school graduation he went to Parris Island. Three months after I was there to see him graduate and stood out among his peers. I felt so proud of his achievements. Just like any mother, son or daughter, I feel that these people gave up everything to serve for the love of their country. Anybody should give their respect to these people and the families they came from. This will be a very hard journey but a good one. I can't wait to see him and my adopted sons soon.

Semper Fi
Miriam , Mother of LCpl Tom Sarmiento

Sgt Grit, If any of our citizens of these United States ever question our need to be in Iraq, Afghanistan or elsewhere I suggest they look back at the history of terrorism directed at the United States. In 1983 I had the privilege to serve with the 22nd Marine Amphibious Unit then deployed as the United states contingent of the Multi-National Force Beirut. Our unit arrived in Beirut in the fall of 1983 to relieve the 24th MAU who as you know had taken an attack by a suicide bomber which resulted in the loss of almost 300 Marines. Since then there have been more attacks of terrorism against The United States. Should we forget the USS Cole, the twin trade towers(twice they were attacked) or the pentagon? Today we have memorials there for the purpose of remembering and respect. Today I feel as strongly as I did in 1983 about our commitment to perpetuate or freedoms thru the military. I'm thankful to all the men&woman of our armed forces who are serving to perpetuate this freedom. David Mattila Cpl USMC

Have been reading your newsletters for a while now. A few months ago you published a letter from a proud former Marine and Okey who just dropped his daughter off at the airport for her trip to P.I. We had just sent our daughter off to P.I. as well, and so we printed up the letter and mailed it to our daughter. Yep, these recruits were in the same platoon and both thrilled to know that their folks were on the same page, even though one was a former Marine and one wasn't. We got to meet at our daughters' graduation on 9/2/05--the 60th anniversary of Japan's declaration of total surrender. Your forum does more than inform, it brings together families who support the next generation of the finest military force this world has ever known!
Thank you and God bless!

Proud Marine Dad

I went to San Diego MCRD September 1993 to watch my son graduate from Boot Camp. It has to be one of the proudest days of my life. 25 years had not erased any memories of the day that I graduated in 1968. While talking to the Drill Instructors, with out telling them I had been, it only took them a few minutes for them to pick up and ask me when I was there. One DI had been 2 years old and the other had not been born when I graduated. I wish you and your son the very best memories. It comes back over and over again. Once a Marine always a Marine.

Semper Fi
Sgt. Mike Bernard.

Worth while POW/MIA web site.

From the spring into the summer the delegates met, suffering through apparently endless setbacks and angry speeches. Some key leader refused to participate in the debate, as did one entire state. Division and delay was the order of the day, as warring factions fought over minority rights, the balance of power, and the influence of religion on the revolutionary young nations constitution. Some critics predicted that the compromise would be rejected by the people before ratification; others said that it would lead toward outright civil war.

This was not Iraq 2005, but Philadelphia 1787. And despite all the doubt and pain of the four-month process, a Constitution was created that ultimately change the world. None of it was easy.

John P. Avlon, New York Sun

You just don't realize the pleasure it to get your news letters it makes me fell like I know you and you help me through some good and bad times. First of all I have a brain injury so if I don't` write in the correct manor please for give me...I know that you will.

My son LCpl MComsey P joined the MARINES after he finished graduation in 2005 he told me that he must go to protect his mom and his country. I was always proud of him growing up in life and all ways proud that he is my son...when he became part of the Marine family it was as though it was Christmas day. Yet and scared as he was going on his own he never regretted it. He has seen so much of other countries and has learned so much to their cultures and in pressed himself which mad us happy for him. My son has grown to a man in such a short time...I All ways tell him That the Marine are proud too have him as a Marine family. My son just returned from Iraq and told me all he was aloud to tell, I became so worried and scared of him (like all others) he told me that is why he waited to tell me , yet I know that yet scared he still was proud. Chris told me that now I know what real friends are. Chris was on the phone with his step dad and they were talking about the car he just got, said dad this is the biggest thing I ever had to my husband so no ,joining the Marines was ..My son said you are so right thank you!

Marine mom
and thank you all our fellow MARINES

Sgt. Grit,

I just want to take the time to thank you for providing the email newsletter. My husband is currently stationed in Fallujah with his unit (2/2 Fox Co. 1st Plt.) Like many of the wives of his unit, I elected to stay home, in my case in the state of South Carolina. I'm only 4 hours out of Camp Lejeune, but I've felt very, very far away from the Marine Corps family. The words of wisdom from the "old Marines" and from wives who have been in my situation have really helped me get used to the separation. This is my husband's first deployment. I've been through the separation of boot camp and through SOI, but this is completely different. I go through my everyday routine praying that I don't get that unexpected phone call, or that he's not late in being able to call. I know that there is a real danger where he's at, but I try not to let him know how worried I am about his safety, because he doesn't need to be worrying about me while he's "over there." So, I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart and urge the experienced wives to add a little more input for the benefits of us first-timers!

Amy Baker

Proud wife of L/Cpl James Baker Jr.

The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. Winston Churchill

"Pacifist", Responses to:

There were too many responses to put them all in. Sorry. But here are many of them. Sgt Grit

Good afternoon Sgt. Grit,
In response to Joanna & Tim Pearson of New Zealand I would like to quote an author that we all know:
"People sleep peacefully at night only because rough men stand to do violence on their behalf." George Orwell
Semper Fi !!
R. C. Knight
RVN '66-'67

Dear Sgt.Grit;

If I decipher the email address of the "Pacifist" correctly, her "Paradise" is New Zeeland. She cannot be aware of the ANZAC and US blood spent to retain that country in WWII.

Most New Zealand troops were far away in North Africa when Japan threatened their homeland. It was the US who stepped into the "Breech!"

No place on earth will be a "Paradise" if the Terrorists have their way. "A coward dies many times. The Brave but once..."

Theodore J. Fox, Cpl, VMR-253, 58/61,1820985

Hey Grit, was this a joke? The closest thing to a 'lamb' I ever ran into while on active duty were the wolves-in-sheep's-clothing in the NCO Club on Saturday nights. "Lambs"? WTF!? Even us WMs are about as far from a 'lamb' as you can get!
Elizabeth Tribelli

After reading the letter from "A pacifist", I actually laughed. She is frightened, supposedly by letters written to this newsletter? She is frightened, in reality, by the fact that she does not have the courage to stand up for her own rights and needs someone with more fortitude to protect her. The "pacifist" is glad she lives in another country. So am I! Wonder if she has room in her home for a few other 'pacifists'? We could buy them one way tickets.

My definition of a 'pacifist': a politically correct word for someone that is afraid to fight, hides instead of defending themselves, expects someone else to defend their 'rights', and whines when people laugh at them; i.e. a schoolyard sissy.

"Teufel Hunden"
Herbert McKinley
Except for ending Slavery, Fascism, Nazism and Communism, WAR has never solved anything.
"Semper Fi"

Thank GOD that there are two (2) less of you nuts here in the GOOD OLD USA. Patriots stay and do what has to be done to protect our freedoms and COWARDS run for it. I just wish the rest of the PACIFIST NUTS here would join you. If you wanted a reaction to your piece to Sgt Grit...YOU GOT IT!

Dick Mullins
59 - 63
"Defense of a Nation is the Duty of its Citizens... Service as a Marine is the Honor of its Elite"

Are you happy in New Zealand? Perhaps you might consider renouncing your U. S. A. Citizenship and your status as an Expatriate in a gesture of support for Cindy.

God Bless America!
Semper Fidelis,
Swing with the Wing
1969-78 S/SGT 2559318

. mr./mrs. pearson;
It's because of pacifists like you that we had 9-11. The only reason you live in peace is because of this country. Our men have and will continue to die so you and your pitiful kind can live in peace and tout your pacifist ways.

Your type is responsible for more deaths as a result of your ways. You will never realize, comprehend or acknowledge this because you are too involved in making yourself feel better by claiming to be a pacifist and trying to feel important about it. But you really are murderers.

I work for a small Army base in Southeast Arizona and periodically we have soldiers here from New Zealand training, as well as other U.S. military bases. They are not like you. They realize that someday they may have to defend your country or go elsewhere in defense.

By the way, just exactly where have you been to spread your pacifism? N. Korea, Iran, China, Northern Ireland, Somalia, Bosnia, Sudan (do you know how many innocent Christians have been killed by the Arabs), Uganda, Burma, Haiti, Iraq under Saddam to praise him on wonderful treatment of Iraqis, Libya, Serbia when they were killing innocent Moslem men, women, children, East Timor when they were slaughter by Indonesian troops, Rawanda when tribal warfare killed over a million.

Were you part of the peace group that went to Iran after Saddam used poison gas on Kurds? Maybe you were part of the peace group that tried to talk the Taliban out of blowing up the Buddhist statues. I know, you and your husband are personally involved in talking Iran and N. Korea out their nuclear program. And you are also leading a group of pacifists to ask China to give back Tibet.

So what do you do to bring world peace to some of the most murderous countries in the world? How are you pacifying their leaders? Or do you just sit back in your pristine community talking about this terrible country. If for some unknown reason a country invades or threatens New Zealand, who do you think will be asked to protect it's citizens? And our soldiers would die to protect even people like you. Aren't we GREAT?

Martin E. Shapiro

Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm--but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves." --- T.S. Eliot

Your letter read like it was the juvenile prating of an ill formed, starry eyed, freshman going to some institution on daddy's dollars. However, I still agree with a major portion of your letter, the portion where you mention that you are glad to have moved to another country. In that regard, I can think of no better nor more accurate observation than Winston Churchill's words, "Madam, not nearly glad as I."

Richard E. Hulslander
Capt., USMC, inactive
RVN '67 - '68

Well it is America, love it or leave it and thank God you're gone.
B.J. Hunt

I'm an old worn out Vietnam vet, and I don't think you or I want to deal with that issue. But, sometime, perhaps 10 or 20 years in the future, you will see what our (your former) country is trying to do for the world. We are doing, at great expense of our finest youth and a fair amount of our tax dollars, what the rest of the world is not doing. We are fighting the great Muslim horde intent on killing all of us "infidels".

It's awfully nice to sit back on your wallets and rear ends and criticize us for doing this. It's also not a sure thing that we are going to succeed. Having said that, I'm convinced that we will conquer this bunch of zealots before they can kill my sons and their children. Each day when I wake up I think of this and review the track we are on. I think we can probably succeed if we maintain our resolve. So, pardon me for disabusing you of your idyllic notion of what peace is all about. Peace has always been achieved at great cost in terms of young men's lives and tax dollars.

Festina Lente,
Rod Shaughnessy
5th Battalion, 42d Artillery, RVN, 1969-1970

You are not welcome in the US because you are a coward...but at least you have the right to be a coward thanks to the US Marines and other brave fighting forces true to their country. Thank god for THAT gung-ho attitude - its what separates US from THEM.

Sgt Braun - FCT Team1 / Anglico USMC
Lightning from the sky - thunder from the sea!

After reading Joanna Person's letter of how brainwashed every reader/contributor to Sgt. Grit is I had to ask myself "Why would you walk into a pack of wolves and start making sounds like a lamb"? Dumb? Looking for a fight? Just wanting attention? Cause people to stop and think? I'll go with the stop and think.

I'm thinking that there are 3,000 plus people from the World Trade Center towers that wish we had not been such pacifist prior to 9-11. I'm thinking that there were 1,700 servicemen that wish we had not been such pacifist prior to Pearl Harbor. The French were pacifist when Hitler came to power. Once they lost their country, they did NOT want to be pacifist anymore! How long would New Zealand remain a peaceful country if they were invaded by Australia? The one thing I do agree with her on is that I'm thankful that they live in a country far remove from America.

"young men and women are being sent like lambs to the slaughter to satisfy one mans desire to rule the world". Even I had to laugh at this one. I think this is an exact quote from the Pacifist handbook. .

(never a pacifist when it comes to MY country).
Former Marine (69 - 71)
Lifelong American
Cpl. Flattem

The only reason pacifists exist is because some Marines are willing to die so they do not.

Dear Pacifist,

I applaud your decision to live somewhere other than our America. The same America my Retired Marine husband defended. The same America that our men and women are defending now. The same America that came under attack on September 11, 2001. The same America where men and women have given their lives so the likes of you can say their piece in this newsletter. Thank You for not staying in our country. Proud to be an American and the wife of a Retired USMC

Wife of GySgt(Ret.)

Thanks Joanna, what a great opportunity

I just love it when a "pacifist" gives me the opportunity to respond. You live in a wonderful peaceful country, (New Zealand I think), and it is beautiful, and far away from most troubles and you are very, very lucky. And one of the reasons that NZ is so peaceful is that US Marines died on Pacific islands to make it that way. And US Marines will continue to guard the world if need be so that pacifists like you can go to bed in peace. The world is not so little anymore, those that would disturb your peace are never more than a few minutes away. And if the US and it's allies go after those peace disturbers, then you call us war mongers and world conquerors. You have just got to love the naiveté of some people to make those kinds of statements. No offense Joanna, but you are the water cooler laugh of the day.

I was going to ramble on but it is people like Joanna and our girl Jane that make me tired all over. Not tired enough to stop the desire to kick butt when it is needed, but tired of trying to convince the naive people of the world that Shangra La is a distance in the future. Our planet is not ready for John Lennon's Imagine yet. Until then Joanna, us warmongers will do our best to make sure you live in peace and security.

Steve Eslin
USMC Warmonger

As a 2 tour Vietnam veteran I want to extend my thanks to you for validating my service. The fact that you can freely express your hate and contempt for the American military is solid, unquestionable confirmation that we (and the military of New Zealand and all free thinking peoples) ARE doing the right thing. I see from your email address that you are in New Zealand. It would behoove you to talk to REAL New Zealanders about how the American military and especially the U.S. Marines protected them from Japan during WWII. My mother was ANZWAC (Australia New Zealand Women's Army Corps) and boarded one of the last ships to leave New Guinea. She could tell you stories that would make your skin crawl. Or are you one of those who think it is ok to fight this war, but not that one; firemen should fight this fire, but not that one; police should stop this criminal, but not that one? You may have run from your motherland, but you can never change your past. You are and always will be American. Your American military men and women are pacifists, too, Jo and Tim. They don't just talk the talk. They are REAL pacifists for they believe so strongly in peace that they willingly put their lives where their mouths are.

New Zealander by birth, American by choice, Marine by the Grace of God.
Cpl. Bush, RVN 67-69

Joanna, Tim and Cindy,

When I hear stories such as yours proudly announcing that you are a pacifist, brings back memories of Jane Fonda and the rest of her followers during the Vietnam era. I'd like for you to understand that what you practice and what you believe in, was made possible by those unsung heroes that have gone forth to fight for this country, when our country calls us. The warrior tradition goes even further than before this land became America. I am a full blooded Native American of Lipan Apache ancestry. I wasn't brain washed as you people so often say. I joined the Corps because the Corps parallels the warrior teachings of the Apache. We use our military training as a final step in becoming full fledge warriors. You see with some of us, if not most, being a warrior is a tradition, a way of life, it's too bad we have to carry the weight of wimps such as you. Now, Cindy I feel for her loss, but I guarantee that her son is turning in his grave. He died for a cause and if nothing else, that's where he wanted to be. His death is not in vain. It's better than him, dying in the hood in a gang fight or in a car accident because he was drunk. When I joined I simply wanted to be a warrior and serve my people I wasn't paying attention to politics. I wasn't afforded that privilege, I was a simple everyday American with a purpose in life that my grandfathers had set for me. They said my son everyone must have a purpose in life, we no longer can send you on the war path to make a name for yourself, as in times of old. Now, this Great Nation has afforded the opportunity to finish off your warrior training by joining it's military forces. The Navajo people and the Apache come from the same stock. Joanna and Tim, If you're not familiar with the Code Talkers and their exploits than that's the reason you have the crappy attitude toward the military and Cindy has confused her true cause by interacting with wimps such as you. I did two tours in Vietnam I fought in some of the toughest battles of that war I barely made it out and I wear some of the top five highest awards that this Great Nation can bestow on a Marine, plus two purple hearts and I'm dam proud of it. My last battle was in the hills of Khe Sanh, I was severely wounded while getting two wounded Marines onto a medivac. We lost several excellent Marines, in and around those hills. Their efforts were not in vain and we won that war, contrary to what people like you say, if you don't believe this, lately Vietnam is coming around and slowly injecting the spirit of freedom into their way of life.
I just can't say enough and it's too bad that you people feel the way you do. What the h&ll are you doing in Sgt. Grits life mine, get your wimp behind out of this territory and let us continue to be the best. Sgt. Grit excuse my anger, but we all know what happened during and after Nam, how our returning heroes were treated by the likes of these people. My grandfathers kept it simple. They told me, " The reason this mother earth is sacred, is because the earth is mixed with the blood and bones of our ancestors. For this reason if this mother earth is not worth fighting for, than nothing else is." This was my sole reason for becoming a Marine. Aho (Amen) Nilchi Naa (Whispering Wind) Ipa Indeh Lipan Apache. Apache by birth, Marine by choice.

As your letter so eloquently pointed out, you live overseas, in a peaceful nation where you do not have to listen to the ramblings of US Marines. And I THANK GOD YOU DO! Thank God you are from a country, where young men and women have drawn their last breath so that you may move where ever your pacifist heart desires. If only you could come down here to Texas, I would love to take you for coffee and tell you of my fathers years in the Corps and my years in the Corps and my sons first few months as a US Marine. I would love to hear your tales of woe and hear of your sense of security living in a country where you feel so safe. And some day, when your safety is threatened, you will be welcomed back into the safe arms of our country. Our young men and women will protect you from whatever the world throws at you. And whatever country you are in, next time you walk past an