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The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States has in part, "provide for the common defense." Some have stated the probability of their being harmed so small that we should forget about 9/11 and fighting terrorists.
Personally being just about as common as you can get, I take the view that if you harm ONE American you had better cover your six because you should be exterminated. But then what does an almost 79 year old heart patient know? Henry T. (Tom) Cook, Lt. Col., USMC Ret.) (1945-1970)
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Go Christmas shopping in style this season with one of our 3 USMC Christmas design shirts. Only available to order until October 30th, get these ASAP...
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Veterans Day is coming up - make sure you get a Thank you card out to a Veteran this week! Available to ship immediately while in stock are 5 new Veterans Thank you cards.
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OK...Listen up. There seems to be some confusion about the "two" newsletters. It is really just one newsletter, but the subjects alternate each week between Sgt Grit and AmericanCourage.
For the weeks titled Sgt Grit Newsletter - it is Marine stories. If you don't see a story of your event, era, campaign, write one for me. A few weeks ago I got an email from a Marine wanting more Beirut stories. I told him to write me one, which he did, and I asked for more, which I got. And you got to read. By the way, outstanding Beirut stories. That's the way it works.
Alternate weeks are called Sgt Grit AmericanCourage. It started shortly after 9/11. It is patriotic, support the troops, rah-rah for the USA, Love It or Leave It, God Bless America, stop global whining, Semper fi Do or Die, give war a chance, strength, honor, courage, commitment....well you get the idea. Stories are from anyone who support Marines and America.
And yes, I occasionally include an "Anti-everything" story just to remind us there are those among us who do not appreciate what Marines do. Which makes what we do important, very important. Just ask a Korea or Vietnam vet about the importance of support.
Dear Sgt. Grit,
My son is a Marine currently serving his second deployment in Iraq. Last November, he was in the Battle of Fallujah and more specifically Battle of H&ll House. He is back in the thick of things this time around too. Somehow I thought this second deployment would be easier but it's not. I worry that he will be more confident and take more risks because of the added responsibilities he has this time. I put him in God's hands.
I completely support all of our troops AND their mission. I feel so strongly about this that I decided that I had to be in Washington DC to show my support the weekend of September 23-26. It took me an entire day to get there because of hurricane Rita but I was persistent. I was able to stay with another Marine mom close to DC. Two other Marine moms from other parts of the country also stayed and the 4 of us spent our time showing our support. We showed up Saturday morning at the mall area in front of the capitol. We were 4 women with Marine Mom tee-shirts on and support our troops posters. The crowd we found ourselves in was anything but "peaceful". We thankfully made it to where the "normal" people were and were relieved to know that we weren't there alone. Then the march was to begin. We were to stand behind a temporary fence on the sidewalk along Pennsylvania Avenue. In front of the fence were the riot police in full gear, tear gas and all. We were a little taken back at why they were there. The police told us that these people were dangerous and they were there for our protection. The march began and what a spectacle it was, people with horrible signs, they were screaming at us, telling us we were terrible mothers for letting our sons join the military, flipping us off, mooning us, coming after us with flag draped coffins. We were very grateful that the riot police were in front of us. We were so angry and sad at the same time. Our sons are risking their lives for these ungrateful Americans. We even saw signs that said "F*** the troops". Yeah, they support our troops......
On Sunday, we went back to a Support the Troops and their Mission Rally. It started out with a prayer and music. We heard incredible speakers and especially the Gold Star Parents that spoke were so special. They understand that freedom isn't free.
The weekend was a huge roller coaster for this Marine mom but I'm so glad I went. We can't be the silent majority any more!!! Let us never forget the sacrifices that have been made for this great country throughout history. I'm giving America the very best I have, my son, my hero.
Very Proud Marine Mom
"We should remember that it is no honor or profit merely to appear in the arena, but the wreath is for those who contend aright." -President James Garfield
Hi Sgt. Grit,
I just read a article in the Oct 2005 Leatherneck (Corps Athletes of the Past). In the article was about Jack Lummus a Lt. in the Marine Corps who was a end for the New York Giants and left the Giants to fight in World War Two. Lt Lummus stepped on a land mine on Iwo Jima after single-handedly taking out a Japanese gun emplacement. His last words were I guess the New York Giants have lost the service of a Dammed good end to a battlefield surgeon. President Truman awarded Lt. Lummus with the Medal of Honor posthumously and eight months after the 29 yr old Marine was killed a plaque was unveiled at the Polo Grounds ib Ict 1945. The Polo Grounds were torn down in 1964 the Bronze Plaque has never been seen since. In the article it is stated Given Lt. Lummus conspicuous sacrifice it would be appropriate for the Giants and the NFL to replace the plaque in memory of the heroic Marine Lieutenant. This hit me big time here's this great football team the New York Giants who to my knowledge have what no other team in the NFL has a player who cut short his career entered the Marine Corps and made the ultimate sac rice for his country. You would think they would replace this plaque maybe even with a bigger one so people could see it as they enter the home of the Giants. I think the Giants would be honored to honor this great American, great Marine , great Giants player. Maybe he has been forgotten , maybe they were going to do something for a replacement but it got swept under the rug. The only thing that we can do now is to remind them The New York Giants Head Office that the plaque is missing and should be replaced. I'm going to write the Giants and remind them I hope and wish others will do the same. It is something worth my time a few minutes for this great man who gave it all. This is the address I found on the internet for the Giants I hope it is the right one Community Relations Department, New York Football Giants, Giants Stadium , East Rutherford N.J. 07073 they have a email also but it states that emails may not be gotten to they have so much emails. The email address is www.giants.com and also the NFL email address is www.NFL.com I couldn't t find there mailing address sorry maybe someone could post that next letter. Thank you for your time and hope the plaque gets replaced such a simple thing for such a Heroic sacrifice.
Hap Holt Sgt. USMC 67-71
Greetings! My "honorary nephew" is back, safe, sound and newly promoted from his deployment in Iraq with the extremely hard-hit 3rd/25th USMC Reserves. Both he & his dad were very pleased with the items I got for them from Sgt. Grit; they as well as their fellow Marines & families thought my "Strength and Honor" T-shirt very appropriate too.
I enjoyed getting your online Newsletter and thought you might like to see ( & possibly include ) a photo I took form the homecoming parade for his unit last week. As you can see, some of the troops in the last busses in line waiting to unload got a mite tired of waiting & decided to use the roof escape hatches. Next thing we knew, the crowd had supplied them with both US & Corps flags & they led us in a chant of "USA".
One letter this week touched my heart more than the others-which is hard to do. It was submitted by Cpl. Rick Cunningham about his tour in Beirut. He was serving there on April 18, 1983. I wanted to tell him and the other Marines "Thank You". While they stood in harms way, this little girl was celebrating her birthday. To me, it was just a great day full of joy. I never realized the significance of what was going on in the world.
Marines, Thank you for you service and bravery on that day and everyday.
I have 2 little boys. If they choose to honor this country by serving in the military, I pray that they will join you as Marines. May God continue to bless each and every one of you. Lara Johnson
What would you rather do? Go out and FIGHT for world peace for all, or stay home and DEFEND our back yards from terrorist invasion?
God Bless American and all who depend on her!
Wife of a Proud (off-duty) Marine.
I say Off-duty, because if he could, he would be with his brothers on the front lines this moment. 10 years active and 35+ years waiting & willing to be called again.
Patricia A. Cadena
Thank you to all of our men and women on the front, and thank you to their families for your support. It is 6 October 2005, 0600, I just hung up from talking with my son, a Marine Sgt presently serving in Fallujah. He was hit with an IED yesterday.. All of the men in the vehicle are okay. All have hearing issues at the moment, my son has a bloody hand but will recover in time. (left hand, the right index finger is still okay) My own military service was in the Navy submarine service. I had always heard about the camaraderie of the submarine service, but when I talk to my son about the Corps, I realize that he and his men have a cohesiveness and a respect for one another that I could only have hoped for while poking around somewhere under the North Atlantic. I almost wish that I could reenlist. R. Ward, Florida
We have two sons in the Marine's, a daughter in law in the Marine's, and a daughter in law in the Air Force. At no time do I have to question the noble cause that our children and all service men and women are fighting for. We are extremely proud of the path our children have taken. One of our boys have already been to Iraq, and we have a son and a daughter in law that will be leaving soon. We will continue to pray for their safety as they fight for ours. That is patriotism in its highest form. We do not like this war, but we cannot pull out. Terrorist don't understand our freedom of speech, they see it as confusion and weakness within our own country. They use our own weaknesses against us...we can never forget and we can never let them win.
Mike and Dana Barrow
About two months ago my wife and I drove down to Camp Pendleton to see our son L/Cpl Nathan Damigo off to war. I had just gotten my bumper sticker on my pickup before the trip (Some people just need killing. That's why we have Marines.)
All the way down from San Jose, people drove past and honked, giving a thumbs up or a hearty wave. I did get one middle finger thrust upward through a sunroof going through LA, but by the gray pony tail and tie-dyed T-shirt, I considered the probability he had been doing that since the 1960's when he was smoking dope and dropping acid with his other draft card-burning buddies. Just another slack-jawed, ungrateful, Communist puke who has found a haven in the People's Republic of California.
To Nathan and all the rest of "C" Co., 1st LAR, be safe and take care of each other. We're proud of you and pray for you every day.
Sergeant of Marines
WOW!!! It has been a long time since I have replied to one of the news letters....I wrote a few months back explaining that I was aspiring to become a Female United states Marine, but was lacking support from everyone......
Well, as of Monday October 10th, I will Be making a Lifelong dream a reality....I leave for Boot camp on the 10th, and I am very excited!!! I take such great PRIDE in knowing that I will soon belong to that ELITE class of PEOPLE, called MARINES!!! ....
I am now 19 years old and I am soooo excited about getting into the Marine Corps, and Serving my country!!! .....My journey to becoming a MARINE, and a Female MARINE at that, has been to say the least bit easy!! I have been fighting and fighting to show my Parents that I am a Responsible adult, and I can BE a MARINE!!! I know that I have the HEART,DETERMINATION,WILL,HONOR,TENACIOUSNESS,and COURAGE, to become a UNITED STATES MARINE!!! .....My parents have denied me the privilege of being able to go and PT, with my recruiter and the other Poole's.....but I have been keeping in shape by doing my PT stuff here at home...-crunches,push-up's,running....
As time for me to leave gets closer, I get this huge swell of pride in my heart and a lump in my throat,....because I am so excited about becoming someone and something and proving to those that think I am nothing more than a lousy good for nuthin piece of sh!t, that I can do ANYTHING I wanna do, and Once I am United States Marine and I have EARNED,......let me repeat, EARNED...my EAGLE GLOBE and ANCHOR, all I am going to do is say, "I TOLD YOU SO!" .......I wanna be the best d*mn female MARINE the corps has ever seen!! .....and I know that once I set my mind to do something, I DO It..110%!!!!
So Please keep me in your prayers, and please pray that GOD will allow my parents to have a change of heart!!!
I LOVE THE NEWSLETTER!!! and I want to say a very quick thank YOU to ALL of our troops, both at home and far away!!....YOU are in My thoughts DAILY!!! and a quick thank YOU to MARK and STACEY SPRENZ!!!! I LOVE YA'LL and to GySgt.Sherrill, .... YOU're the BEST!!!!! I LOVE YA!!!
Sincere recruit,and soon to be female MARINE!!!!! OOOOoooRAH!!!! ~April Cheek
My son recently returned from the sandbox, and is preparing to return again after the new year. We are from Harrisburg, PA and the "Bring Them Home Now" tour bus was in town a few weeks ago to rally at our state capital. There were less than 100 people listening to their songs and chants. Who was representing the other side? Me, with my Proud Marine Mom tee-shirt! I stayed off to the side, not wanting to draw attention or create a scene. Two local media reps found me, though, and asked me for my thoughts on the rally. I told them that I thought it was wonderful that this group could rally on the steps of our state capital, and maybe, because of the actions of Marines like my son, the people of Iraq will someday be able to do the same thing without fear of getting their heads cut off. Further, my son told me that one of the reasons he enlisted in the Marine Corps is because those who have the ability to right the wrongs of other have the responsibility to do so. I think that sums it up! My heart goes out to the families who have lost a loved one during this war. I can't even begin to imagine their sorrow. But let's make sure that their sons and daughters didn't die for nothing. If we leave now, what message are we sending to the Iraqi people? We must continue the fight, so that all our children and grandchildren will be able to truly live in a peaceful world.
Proud Mom of a U.S. Marine
I was watching a program on TV the other day about home comes for the troops. When a noted singer came on stage wearing a jacket made of the flag. Cut up and swoon into his jacket. I don't know how you fell about wearing the flag > But I fought to defend it .I think it should be shone more respect. The flag is not a do rag . It's not a table cloth. It's not a handkerchief. It's not a bathing shout. It is the symbol of the greatest Nation on earth! If you move to Sweden you are not a Swede. If you move to Mexico you are not a Mexican. But if you move to America , you can become an American
I have been receiving your newsletter just a short while, and I have to tell you how much I enjoy it. I do not come from a marine family. All of the men in my family have been either Army or Air Force. However, I have worked for the federal government for almost 31 years, and one of the guys in my smoke group is a Very Proud Marine. He is the one who got me interested in the Corps. I just wanted to say I am very proud of our men and women in the armed services, and particularly the Marine Corps since they seem to be the first in and suffer the most causalities. Bert says that this is because the marines are the only ones who can do the job right. Maybe so. But I am very proud of what they are doing. And I want to thank all of them for the freedom that I enjoy here at home. God Bless our Marine Corp and all of the other soldiers fighting for us.
My husband, GySgt. Jesse F. McCloud, once had someone refer to him as an "ex-Marine". He told them real quick that he IS a Marine- retired but always a Marine. He fought in Korea and in Viet Nam. He was our Hero. Jesse died - a MARINE- July 1, 2004. We had been married for 51 years. It was not enough. God bless all our military! We are so proud of you all !!! Especially my nephew, Scott McCloud - a United States Marine - stationed in Iraq for the 2nd time. We can't thank you all enough. Thanks Sgt. Grit. A proud and thankful Marine widow, Erin McCloud
I hadn't even realized there was a Medal of Honor Winner in Iraq so I looked him up on the web and read the citation. I don't really have the best excuse for not hearing of the award. I was out of the country. But I am surprised there wasn't a greater push from the media machines to make it a public event.
Regardless when I looked for the citation I googled it and came up with 32,100 hits with a very narrow search which shows that the press at large no longer has total control over what the public reads.
If anyone wants to complain on coverage and the media then they should take time to email and write these organizations. It seems media and politics are driven by loud voices and the voices seem to me to be the minority. So if anyone wants change make the effort to be heard or live with the results of your silence.
Cpl I.M. Dudley
Dear Sgt. Grit,
As Veterans day and especially the Marine Corps Birthday is coming I would like to say thank you. Thank you to my Grandfather who, although for medical reasons could not join during WW II, instilled in his four sons the sense of pride that they all joined the service, the oldest, my dad was a Marine at Chosen in Korea, to the youngest, my uncle Joe who served in the Army in Vietnam. Thank you to my Dad who instilled in me the same sense of pride. Thank you to all who have served in all branches of service, thank you for making the sacrifice so that we could all live in this great country of ours. Thank you to all who serve now, thank you for putting you lives on the line to keep us safe. Thank you to all the families who have someone serving, who in spite of many fears for their loved ones still show support of our troops. Thank you to all the mothers wives and husbands who send off their loved ones into harms way and have the courage to keep your chin up, you don't know how much it means to them. (maybe you do) Thank you to all who have made the ultimate sacrifice, know that it was never in vain. And even thank you to those who would disagree with us. The fact that you can disagree with us shows me that our freedoms are worth fighting for, appreciate them and those who secured them for you. I keep saying thank you but in reality it doesn't even come close to the pride and the gratitude I feel but thank you, those weak words, are all I can say.
3rd Tracs '75-'78
After arriving in San Diego on September 14, 2005, I was more than excited. After three months of letters, I couldn't believe that I was going to finally see my boyfriend the next day. Arriving at the MCRD early the next morning, I knew that it was only going to be hours until I could finally see my best friend. Having the opportunity to spend the day with Shane on family day and see his graduation, was an experience that I will never forget. I felt privileged to attend and I am so proud of all the men and women who have earned the title Marine. Thank you for serving! My thoughts and prayers are with you always.
Proud Marine Girlfriend of PFC McClellan, Shane
2106 Hotel Company
This message is for the proud parents of LCpl Edward in the sandbox again HERE HERE I agree with you I would also like to see more of the media giving our boys the same amount of time and to show some of the good thank you LCpl Edward and his family for being so brave I just want to let you know that a lot more people thank you all than what you may feel is out there.
Lisa Robbins NH also a proud mom of a marine
Lima 3/25 returned to Columbus, Ohio today to find not only friends and family, but thousands of cheering people lining the streets in the rain on their route from the airport to Rickenbacker AFB. I think you all know that and how totally emotional it was, especially seeing Marines meeting their newborn children for the very first time.
Unless you were watching the local NBC TV station at the right moment, you would have missed this brief interview.
Reporter, interviewing a newly arrived Marine who has his arm around his girl friend: "So what are you going to be doing tonight?"
Marine: "I'd rather not say, Sir."
Reporters go to college to learn how to ask questions like that?????
Ooorah to that Marine. Welcome Home, Marines of L/3/25. We have missed you. D*mn Fine Job, and do whatever you want tonight. I think the beer inventory in Central Ohio just took a serious hit.
Dr. Dennis Benson, Worthington, OH -- proud Marine Dad
I'm a Vietnam veteran. I was with the 2/26 and 7th Marines 69-70. I have taught school for 30 years and am proud of all who helped to win the Cold War.
I've known early on about how anti-American the peace activists are. They want to destroy American and have all under full control of the Government. While at was at Purdue in 1971 the anti-Americans were recruiting Veterans and students to go to D.C. to protest the War. All were offered a free trip and a "Good Time". For the times it meant Drugs and s&x. Of course, being a Patriot I didn't go. The un-Americans are doing this today. I'm know part of a group called Vets With a Mission, that take medical and humanitarian missions to Nam. It is Cathartic to go back. A highlight of every trip is a reconciliation dinner with Veterans of the NVA and Viet Cong. We share stories and toast each other and some of the warriors have bonded in friendship. One thing they have told us over and over is why haven't the anti-war people helped them, but the former enemy does, such as VWAM. VWAm is open to all who have a calling the share the words of Jesus, not just veterans. Check out our website for more info.www.vwam.com
God Bless all our Warriors, who take up arms to fight evil.
"Accommodation is based on wishing not thinking, and if the wish doesn't come true the enemy is far stronger than he was before you started down that road. The other way is based on the belief (supported so far by all evidence) that in an all out race our system is stronger, and eventually the enemy gives up the race as a hopeless cause. Then a noble nation believing in peace extends the hand of friendship and says there is room in the world for both of us. We can make those rockets into bridge lamps by being so strong the enemy has no choice, or we can bet our lives and freedom on the cockeyed theory that if we make him strong enough he'll learn to love us."
I am the proud father of L/Cpl. Matthew R. Printer. My Hero. Who is currently serving our great country and all those who live here. He is a fire team leader with 1st. Plt. Gulf Co. 2/2 Marines in Iraq. I say hero for not only has he overcome difficult times in his life he has also earned the right to wear the Eagle, Globe and Anchor. I have never loved anyone in my life as I love my son and only child. Our closeness is strong, unique and I am so grateful for having been so blessed as such. He has given me many proud moments in his short life but never one so great as the day I watched him receive his EGA on the parade deck at Parris Island. I am a retired fireman from a large east coast city and spent my entire career in some of the busiest fire companies. I have seen and lived through many tragic events and know first hand what impact these may have on ones life. As my son was getting ready for his first deployment I tried to do my best to ready him for things that he may experience in combat. Please do not miss understand me. I would never compare myself to our great Marines. I am only implying that bad things not only happen on the battlefield but can and do in our cities as well. The most important discussion we had was the impact tragic events can have on ones life. I told him how important it is not told hold these thoughts to himself but to share them with others. In particular with his brothers in arms. Unfortunately he had to put this to practice a few weeks after arriving in country. I received a phone call from him at 03:00 with a tone in his voice and bone chilling news that I will never forget. He wanted me to know that he was all right. That he wanted to tell me what had happened before I read it in the news and that because of our talks he wanted to share with me what had happened. later I wrote him a letter I hoped would help him through this difficult time. I am enclosing the letter for I have just found out that it also helped others in his platoon. I also wish that should this make it to your news letter it will help others going through these same ordeals. My God Bless them all. Steve Printer
Hey buddy, thank you for calling me this morning. Even if it was tragic news, it is always great to hear your voice and to know my son is OK. We talked about a tragedy like this could happen. Even more so since you are at the tip of the spear. Remember that the most important thing now is how you handle this. I am sure you are ready to carry on and get the mission done. I am sure that you all will pull together as brothers who have just lost their father. I am also sure that as time goes by the sting and the gut wrenching hurt that you must be feeling will ease a bit. You will never forget what has happened and you never should. First, because this will the shape the man you are to become and second to make sure that others know there are great people in this country who are willing to go to the wall and risk it all. You have your whole life ahead of you and it is very important to keep on the right course understanding that life is not perfect and does not always play out the way we wish but we need to accept this and look for all the good things that life has to offer. LT. Cathey and the others who went before him are all great men and patriots. The best this country has to offer. They lived and gave their lives in a cause they felt was worth doing. They gave their lives so that others may live in a better world. I am so proud of the way you sounded on the phone. It sounds like you are squared away with this and I am grateful that you have taken the time to talk about it with me and others. The more you talk the faster you can move on even if you feel no one will ever understand what it is like to have experienced such a tragedy. But remember their are people who have and do understand. It is now important to seek them out and take comfort in their counsel. The more you do so the less this will hurt and this is the only medicine I know of that can help at a difficult time as this. I was not there to see, touch, smell, or feel as you were but I have seen the worse of what mankind and nature can to others and it is never easy to comprehend or accept. To this day I can recall images in my mind that touch all my senses as if it happened just yesterday. So I am here to tell you that life will go on and there is a way to move forward. I will never forget your LT. and I promise you and the LT. that anyone who knows me will never forget who he is and what he died for. I love you my friend and wish I could hold you in my arms and tell you this in person. I will end with this last thought. Lt. Cathey gave his life doing what he did best. That was to keep his men safe so you all can come home to your love ones. He did this for many reasons but the one that meant the most to him was the love he had for his men. The kind of love that only Marines in combat can know and share. You guys did not let him down. In the end I am sure you gently picked him up and carried his body with all the tenderness, love and respect that only sons can have for their fallen father and no man was left behind. Take care my friend and know the LT. Cathey, Cpl. Ski, and all the others as well as you are in my every prayer. With love and the utmost respect. Pop, s
"All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth-that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the Ground without his Notice, is it probable that an Empire can rise without his Aid?""
-- Benjamin Franklin
I'm a Viet Nam combat Marine veteran and as proud of that fact as I am proud of today's Marines and the job they are doing maintaining the highest traditions of our beloved Corps. I have had the great fortune and esteemed honor of meeting first hand many young Marines recently in activities associated with 8th & I in D. C. Meeting General Peter Pace was truly a special honor but what was especially meaningful was seeing him personally thanking the Marine honor guard present for the function. Not only are our Marines well led by the General, but our entire military will be led by an exemplary Marine and individual. My pride for our current Corps is justified tenfold whenever I talk to a young Marine and hear the pride they have for their country and the Corps. They thank me as a Viet Nam vet for what I did, I thank them for what they are doing and what they are still to do. If anyone in this country doubts for a moment our commitment to freedom and democracy, talk to a young Marine and they'll be as proud as I am of the youth of our country who serve it with honor.
Ray "Frenchie" Quesnel
The flames kindled on the 4 of July 1776, have spread over too much of the globe to be extinguished by the feeble engines of despotism; on the contrary, they will consume these engines and all who work them."
-- Thomas Jefferson
Dear Sgt. Grit, I am leaving for boot camp tomorrow(20051011) and would like to put in a few words before I go. First off, I am proud to have signed up to become a United States Marine. I am honored that I have the chance to do something special with my life. I am thankful to those already in the service and can't wait to be able to join them. I signed up in the DEP program and have been in for two months. Now I am finally beginning a journey that will change my life forever. I am proud to live in this country and have the chance to defend it. Well I will let you all know how boot camp went. Keep up the good work.OOORAH!
Future Marine, Brent
Several weeks ago I wrote your newsletter about the losses that the Ohio based 3/25 had suffered and the funerals I and my fellow Leatherneck MC members had attended. Today I write a much lighter letter.
On Thursday, 6 October, I and Dale, another Leatherneck, rode to Cleveland to be in a procession welcoming the H&S company of 3/25 home to Cleveland. It was over 100 miles one way for me and 250 miles for Dale and it was worth every mile of the trip. We joined with several other Leathernecks and a large contingent from Rolling Thunder and quite a few other bikers to escort the Marines to their families.
The parade route was only a mile, but people lined the streets 4 and 5 deep the entire way and sometimes 15 or more deep. Thousands of people were waving flags and holding signs of welcome. I was overwhelmed by the turnout. It was an incredible event.
On Friday, 7 October, I met with another group of Leathernecks in Columbus to welcome Lima Co., the hardest hit company in 3/25. Because one of the Leathernecks is a Corpsman in Lima Co., we were able to meet with the returning Marines before beginning the procession. At 1030 we left Port Columbus heading toward the Reserve Center where the Marines would see their families for the first time in months. We expected to see some people lining the streets, but it was cold and raining and I didn't expect very much. Man was I WRONG!
The ride was almost 20 miles and almost the entire route was BURIED in people. A 5 lane street had barely 1 lane open because of the crowds. The police escort in the lead was over 1/4 mile long and included every suburb of Columbus and surrounding area. There were approximately 30 motorcycle police, 25 Leathernecks and about 35 more bikes. Car dealers had turned on the headlights and flashers of every car in their lots. Schools had emptied to line the route. Several school bands were formed up and pouring their hearts out in song. Traffic was at a dead stop and people had left their cars to cheer. Several fire engines had hoisted US and Marine flags over the route on ladder trucks. I don't think I've ever seen so many flags in my entire life.
I think the best part of being in the ride was the actions of the crowd. I was the last bike, about 50 feet in front of the buses and I don't have loud pipes so I could actually hear snatches of conversations as I went past. The crowd would glance at the bikes as we went past and then invariably I could hear someone say, 'Here they come' and a deafening roar would begin. I have never felt so good about being ignored in my life.
I have never been proud nor ashamed of what I felt was Columbus' attitude toward the military. The city always seemed to me to be indifferent toward the sacrifices made. I've lived nearby most of my life, but I got a serious attitude adjustment on that ride. Today I am proud to call Columbus, Ohio my home.
Thank you, Columbus.
Except for ending Slavery, Fascism, Nazism and Communism, WAR has never solved anything.
I just wanted to share something that recently happened to me. My brother is a Marine and he was in Iraq for nine months. He was supposed to come home on Sep 19th, but it was postponed and then postponed and then postponed again. His recon unit was responsible for many many wonderful things...destroying wmds and tracking down many insurgents, as well as capturing the #2 most wanted man! Well, LCpl Lowe, my brother finally called us late last Thursday night and told us that he was in the US and would be home early Friday morning. I had to work that weekend, and told my managers that I wouldn't be able to work (I work at Red Lobster), since he was going to be home for just 4 days, and then he was back to work training other Marines who were about to deploy. When I arrived home on Sunday there was a message from my manager saying that my shifts for the upcoming week were pulled from me and that i needed to come in to talk with him. I came in, only to be fired. My manager said that it wasn't fair of me to request time off with such short notice. My mom called him to verify to him that I was being honest, and he hung up on her. I just wanted to let all the true patriotic people out there about the bad-apples our families are fighting for. God bless them.
Erika Koger--- Proud sister of a U.S. Marine
Hi Sgt First want to relay to all my brothers and sisters A HAPPY 230th. We have a small group made up of MARINES from many times many battles. We met every year at a small restaurant in West Haven Ct. BUT regardless of the time in, the era of or the health of some of our attendees you can see the pride, the look in their eyes and power of their voice when we sing OUR HYMN. They stand a little taller, chests puff out a little more. When talking about their times in and reeling stories you can feel it in their words and actions. There is no other BROTHERHOOD like ours. My prayers are with all the families of our Fallen comrades. I know when my time comes I will join them in heaven (or elsewhere)where the streets will always be under guard The FLAG will fly with pride and old times will be new. Semper Fi God Bless Sgt JD RVN 73-75
My son just returned from a seven month tour with 1/5 from Ramadi, Iraq. I just wanted to say Thank You for a Job Well Done Marines and Welcome Home !
One of my son's buddies from DEP is currently with 3/7 who replaced 1/5 in Ramadi and they are carrying on. My son left his buddy with two pieces of advise. The first was to stay on his toes 24/7 and the second was to pray. If he did these two things he'd be ok.
Proud Marine Mom of Lance Corporal Daniel L. Gruber
Today's Marines are the cream, that has risen to the top, of a society of spoiled, indulged, pampered, selfish young men and women. To quote John F. Kennedy, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country!" Today's youth have no concept of sacrifice, commitment, courage, honor and dedication to something outside their own personal space.
It angers and pains me to see the degradation that is occurring in the fabric of our society. Teen pregnancy, drug abuse, violence in the home, at school, and in the streets, poverty, homelessness, disease, famine, epidemics in 3rd world countries...Everywhere you look there is unnecessary waste, needless loss and a sense of hopelessness. My son is currently deployed in Iraq, and made a choice three years ago, to make a commitment to something bigger than himself, by entering the Marine Corps. He was honor graduate for PLT 2101, H Co. at MCRD Parris Island, SC. He was also honored by being platoon guide, received the platoon high PFT (296), the Leatherneck Award, and a Commendation from the 2nd Battalion Commander. He was meritoriously promoted to LCpl and received his first set of dress blues, prior to graduation. He received his "Yankee White" clearance while still in boot camp and went on to SOI and Security Forces Training at NSA Chesapeake, thereafter. His infantry MOS is Motarman (81mm), but his other MOS is Presidential Support. He made Corporal approximately a year and a half after graduation. He started studying for the Corporal of the Guard test even before he advanced in rank; and within two weeks of attaining CPL., he took the test and made COG. He's also taken over 20 MCI's towards college credit. Now he's part of a QRF (Quick Reaction Force) in Iraq, with the 2/7 WPNS Co. and won't be home until next year. He'll miss Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, his birthday, his brother's birthday, and many other family events, but he made a commitment to the Corps. and won't shirk his duty, or let his fellow Marines down. As their Squad Leader he sets the pace; when they sleep in the dirt, so does he; when don't get to shower for two weeks, neither does he; when they only get two hours of sleep a night, so does he, but with one eye open; when they are attacked by IEDs or suicide bombers, they all have to defend themselves and protect each other, because they always have each other's back. They may be tired, hungry, sleep deprived, and dirty, but they have a job to do and nothing will prevent them from seeing it through. I'd like to challenge some of the "cream puffs" being cultivated in the suburbs, to do 1% of what they do in one day and not complain... I'm sure, with a fair amount of certainty, that they couldn't or wouldn't do it, because that is the way spoiled brats behave. All I have to say to them is "SHAME ON YOU!" They should be extremely thankful, grateful and appreciative of all the sacrifices being made on their behalf; for the freedoms they enjoy everyday, without giving it much thought. Would they give their life for another? There is a special place in heaven, for all who have served, honorably, in the military. The gates where Marines enter will be crested with the Eagle, Globe and Anchor! May God Bless my son and the USMC. Please pray for the safe return of CPL. Daniel J. Stewart 2/7 WPNS CO 81's PLT.
From the very proud mother of a Marine,
A response, short and terse to Gary R. Mosier, GySgt retired.
Gunny, you ask what gives the media the right to their opinion. The answer is::: your loved ones and their devotion to country and duty. Your family fought and died so that those a..holes could say what they want. God bless your family for that. Without them, and all fellow Marines who have fallen, we would be in anarchy.
John K. March
former Sgt. of Marines
"Why has government been instituted at all? Because the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice without constraint."
-- Alexander Hamilton
My grandfather was a SSgt in the Marines. He loved it and served in World War II, he left the Corps with honorable discharge. He didn't care to speak of that because it was a long n painful three months on his stomach; he was burnt very badly on his back and was on bed rest for three months. He gave me the buttons from his uniform when I was about 2 yrs old. I still have them to this day. He passed away 5 years ago, that was the longest week of my life. I was very close to my grandfather. In July I had decided to join the Marine Corps to follow in my grandfathers foot steps and hopefully become a SSgt just as he did. I leave for boot camp on June 6th. CANT WAIT!!! HOPE I MAKE YOU PROUD GRANDPA!!
Sgt. Grit, Just a short note to say that our son is safely back to Camp Pendleton after completing his 3rd successful deployment with the 1/5 Marines in Iraq. We never get tired of being a part of a 1/5 Homecoming...its so special, knowing that this battle-worn unit always comes home with their chests out, and their heads held high. Congratulations...1/5, on a job well done, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and love ones of the 14 who gave the ultimate sacrifice this go-a-round.
J. Anderson, USMC, '71-'73 and Proud Father of Sgt. Clay Anderson, Sniper, Wspns. Co. SSP, 1/5 Marines
I just had to drop you a line and tell you all my son, a Marine has come home from his deployment to Iraq. This was his second one. The first was in Afghanistan. I can only thank the good Lord for bringing him home. He is a Corporal and has been in for three years. It has taught me so much to have a son in the military. I have taken my active flag down for the second time. I also put up a new Marine flag, as the other one flew in my yard for all the Marines. I also have to say that I have enjoyed reading your site. It has taught me so much. We all need to give thanks for our men and women serving our country for where would we be with out them. I will continue to pray for all that is doing there part and always have respect for you all. A Marine Mom that loves her son.
Donna Bordelon Hessmer, La
Oct 27th is the 76th Birthday of a Marine who is one of the Frozen Chosin. He also is the movie star that played the "Gillman" in the movie the "Creature From The Black Lagoon". He was our guest for a weekend last year.
In response to Cpl. Steffner's otherwise good report on John Wayne. If one reads some of the testimony, one might find that McCarthy was not quite the villain he was made out to be.
It is my understanding that John Wayne, along with Gary Cooper, Ward Bond and Ayn Rand, and some others, testified against the communists in the McCarthy hearings before the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Wayne was a friend to the HCUA.
Sgt. Of Marines, "55-'59
I've been trying to catch up on your news letters, ever since the last Katrina/Rita came dancing at my door. I'm not sure if I ever set you this story but in you newsletter 9/29/05 "Semper Fi" from Dick I thought I would send it any way. My MCL McLemore Detachment #324 started "The Fallen Marine Program" in March 2004 from a outline by the Galveston MCL Detachment. Anyway we preformed a Fallen Marine Presentation for a Marine who had his last roll call, in a very well to do Funeral Home. At the conclusion my Team come to attention and rendered a salute to the family and I said "Semper Fi". Then we proceed to leave the room, well after my team chatted for a few minutes in the parking lot, they left and as I was removing my Red MCL Blazer a couple in their mid forties came up behind me and ask,"Sir may we ask you a question?" I said sure how can I help?. They asked "What does Semper Fi mean?. Now the thought ran trough my mind, What Planet Are You Two From?, but being polite, a Marine, a Chaplain, and with a smile on my face, I said "well sir/mam, Semper Fi is a short version of SEMPER FIDELIS which is Latin for ALWAYS FAITHFUL, which is The United Stated Marine Motto, which means to any other Marine, your my brother and I've got your back covered, if your hit on the field I'll bring you to safety, The USA is my Country and I'm always going to be faithful to it, my God, and my family. In short sir it's a Marine thing",. To which they said OH!! turned and left in their Navigator. I smiled again as I got in my car, then wondered if that was over kill.....
Where ever I'm at and another person walks by me or hollers from the car driving me, or stops me and says Semper Fi, I know there is another brother I'm proud to have met. I'll close this by asking all of you PRAY for our family in Iraq/Afghanistan and the other duty stations around this world. Semper Fidelis/Semper Fi, orah and what ever...
Dear Sgt. Grit,
My husband is a Purple Heart Vietnam Veteran and we joined the Fallbrook, CA Charles Swisher VFW and Ladies Auxiliary, Post #1924. As you know, we are located very close to Camp Pendleton and so many of our young Marines who are going to Iraq for their second, third, and now....fourth tours. These proud, young people are involved in our everyday lives, every day.
The Fallbrook VFW decided to Adopt-A-Unit through the Military Assistance Program. One of our own Fallbrook VFW members, SSgt. Timmi Willoughby, is now on her second tour in Iraq, EOD, near Baghdad. Timmi is 29 years old, married, and her husband will be leaving for Iraq at the end of October. We have been sending care packages over and Timmi has emailed tremendous appreciation from her unit.
We have had great fun with this project! So far, we mailed 54 packages full of candy, cookies, hot sauce (they say their food is bland), canned chicken and beef jerky (they also want more protein), nuts, chips, trail mix, etc. The school children sent cards for Halloween and we just received cards from a Brownie Troop making cards for Veteran's Day. It is amazing how the community becomes involved.
Anyhow, I just wanted to share with you the great satisfaction that we have received knowing that maybe we made the EOD unit just a little bit more comfortable in their difficult task. We are thankful for what they are doing, and this is just a small effort compared to the huge effort that our troops are making in Iraq.
Positive thinking...positive results.
This is not about Marine Corps Balls, or Christmas after, it is about honoring our returning Veterans from IRAQ. Not long ago, our National Guard unit was activated and participated in IRAQI Freedom. Two received purple hearts one of whom was a former Marine. Another Guardsman received a Bronze Star for valor while deployed. When they came home, their ride back to our little town in Oregon was punctuated most of the way by overpass signs welcoming them home and road signs from miles out of town and through out the town welcoming them home. They were just blown away by all of this hometown support and rightly so. One of the local VFW's put on a cookout and picnic for them at which they were just overwhelmed by the support of older veterans. But they were not the only one's deployed. There was a Marine reserve Engineer Group that was also deployed and they too just arrived home. When I learned that five of them were from our town and one was a member of our Marine Corps League, I decided that we should also honor them. As Commandant of our Detachment, I decided that we should give them a real welcome home. Our Detachment is giving them and their families as well as our own members and families a dinner at which we will honor each of the Marines with Two medals from the Marine Corps League and two special challenge coins one of which was made up in just their honor, the other engraved with their name and rank. More importantly, we have invited the local TV, Newspaper and radio to attend and take note of the event so that the entire community can also honor these fine brave Marines. I have to tell you grit, I would not have done what these Marines of today did in IRAQ. I particularly hate mines and it is just not in my makeup to go out there and go hunting for them and then to dig them up and safe them. These Marines did that and one of the five has had two tours in IRAQ. They may not be old Corps but they sure are Marine Corps and we love them all. So we honor them, support them and salute them for their willingness to uphold the tradition and defend their country, their community, their families, their Corps. Semper Fi to all.
Richard E. Nygaard, SSGT, USMC 1953-1963
Commandant, Detachment 1089
Dear Fellow Beirut Veterans of America Members in the DC/MD/VA Area:
I am writing to let you know that this years White House Commission on Remembrance / No Greater Love Annual Beirut Remembrance Ceremony will be held this coming Sunday, October 23 at 12 Noon, Arlington Cemetery in section 59. You are cordially invited to attend.
"The First Duty is to Remember"
(Motto of the Beirut Veterans of America)
John E. Oliver
H&S Co. ~ C Co.
BLT 1/8, 24th MAU
Beirut, Lebanon 1983
Marine Corps Birthday Stories
Dear Sgt. Grit.since you asked:
We have been doing this for over 15 years now.
A group of Marines decided it would be fun to gather at the Benicia Yacht Club in Benicia, Ca for morning Chow complete with the ubiquitous SOS. That grew into a few guys talking a few other unsuspecting yacht owners into a neat cruise on the bay and that led to a turnout of up to 80 who meet there on the 10th and chow down then board 8 or 10 yachts over 35' so we can get them all on and cruise to Pittsburg Yacht Club for a great Mexican luncheon and muster colors and cake cutting ceremony. We then cruise back to Benicia via the mothball fleet in Suisun for a look at a few of our old ships.Point Defiance LSD 31 is there as is the BB 3 USS Ohio. Last year we had a Marine who cruised her. I was on the Point D back in '67 .Y'know when yer an Old Marine (never ex)?...When you take your grand kid fishing down by the "fleet" and look up and see your ship Aww Maaan!
Anyway here's a few shots and I have more if your interested.
Anyway we sure have fun.
We're doing it again this year.
Dave Selvy, Cpl. 1976889 1831MOS
2nd, 3rd, & 4th Armored Amphib Co's.,(Bn). FMFPAC
Marine Corp Birthday Party I am Having on Nov 10, 2005 in Chestnut Hill Pa.
Marine Corps Birthday Ball, Marine Barracks, Naval Weapons Station, Goose Creek, SC, 1973. I took a blind date to the ball 2 months 12 days later we were married and have been married for 31 years 10 months. We celebrate a anniversary on the 10 of Nov and 22 of Jan
I remember the first Marine Corps Birthday that I attended, Nov 10, 1969, San Diego. I was in school there. There was one fellow that had a van and would give several of us a ride if we paid for gas and booze. Most of us weren't old enough to drink then but being young and wanting the opportunity to meet young women we agreed. They had rented a hall and invited young ladies from a local "beauty" school. The ladies were lovely and about 10-15 Marines for each lady...kinda of hard to pick one so I just sat back to watch. We would go out to the van to drink....weren't allowed to but we did it anyway. Tom, the driver/owner of the van, managed to pick up a nice looking lady, he also got pretty drunk. Any way he danced, had some chow and chatted with this lady for several hours. Once they were sitting down at our table, another Marine came over slapped Tom on the back while saying "How you doing, Tom?" Tom proceeded to empty his stomach all over the table in front of that young impressionable lady, you had to be there it was just too funny for words. She left right away, and I don't think Tom ever knew why.
Semper Fi Marines,
two years ago myself and four other former marines, we are currently all Camden NJ police officers went to "Cookies Tavern" 10th and Oregon in Phila Pa. a gathering place on the birthday for about five thousand or so marines throughout the day, as you know phila is the birthplace of our corps. Well we saw this one marine who had to be at least 90yoa he was wearing alpha's and looked d*mn right squared away. well this old marine served in the banana wars with chesty puller, what great stories we heard from this old warrior. Unfortunately we haven't seen him the last two years, good luck and god speed to this old warrior and all the new marine warriors, oh rah Kevin Strang
Howdy, I am engaged to a US marine, stationed in California for now but to ship out in September of 2006 and he formally asked me to marry him at last years Marine Corp. Ball. we live in Houston Texas and this was my first ever military anything. I knew I loved him but for him to ask me in the midst of officers and marines and wives and all in the Marine community, I felt like I was saying yes to more then just him, I am marrying a US Marine and I will stand by him, his platoon, his friends and all he is asked to do for our country. I read this newsletter every chance I get, and I get goose bumps and teary eyed each time I read letters from moms and wives of these Marines. thank you for all you do and for all of us you tie together thru this newsletter.
soon to be Mrs. Christopher Ryan Pate, PFC USMC
Hi I have never written to you before. My son is due to graduate 10 November, 2005 from Parris Island. While going through the rifle qual's his PLT. scored the highest for Fox Co . My son was chosen to carry the CO guidon for the 3 mile run to represent the whole Fox Co. This made me proud( as a PEACOCK( not knowing what it means) I am still proud. I am proud of my son for his decision to become one of The PROUD the FEW the MARINES. God Bless the Marines. Earned-NEVER GIVEN
First off, I'm not a Marine...I'm a civilian. I'm married to a former Marine (I don't think there's any such thing! He says he's still in but just doesn't go to the meetings. LOL)
We had been thru a lot of good times and bad times together, the worst was when he developed throat cancer. It's a true testament to the mind-set of a Marine because the doctor originally gave him a 40% chance of survival BUT he told the doctor before starting treatment "Doc, you just do your job and I'll do mine." He rarely complained as he insisted on driving himself to the 2 daily treatments of radiation and 1 day of chemo 5 days a week for 3 months.
When all was said and done he not only had beaten the cancer (it's been 7 years) he came out of it without scaring and with his vocal cords intact. You would never know he was gravely ill. Even the doctor was shocked at how well everything worked out.
The other part of this story is when we were in the process of setting the date for our wedding he said "It has to be on 'The Birthday' because I'll never forget it!"
Proud wife of Sgt. Stephen Clay
I am the proud mother of a United States Marine. We had the privilege of attending his "military"