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"Someone has to guard the wall to keep the demons out; that's what the Marines do. Marines own the wall."
Major General Ronald G. Richard
United States Marine Corps (Ret.)
Distinguished Marines Stamp Unveiling Ceremony Oklahoma City
National Memorial November 10, 2005
Did you miss out on the State Bumper Stickers?
We ordered an extra or two for every state, so if you missed out on the state bumper stickers , check to see if we still have your state.....From Alabama Marine to Wyoming
Sgt Grit was interviewed recently on Stardust Radio. Check out the interview here.
I wanted to share this special story with all of your readers. My son LCpl Chris is presently in Iraq at Al Asad in the Al Anbar Province on a 1 year deployment till early 2006.
My son was stationed at Camp Lejeune. Not long after reporting there, Chris called home to tell us that he was leaving for California in 3 days and then off to Iraq shortly after that. This was totally unexpected and a shock to all of us. His unit was not going because he was randomly picked to go to replace someone else. He was upset because his fiancÃ©' Danyelle and him had planned for a December wedding with most things paid for, rented, etc....... Right away My wife and I, Danyelle, and her parents packed quickly and within just a few hours we all were on our way to Camp Lejeune from southern Ohio.....a 12 hour trip. Danyelle had packed her wedding dress and they were going to get married before he shipped out. That was the plan !
Upon arriving at Camp Lejeune unknown to us, Chris had just come out of a meeting 15 minute before our arrival with his Sgt. Major. As we greeted him with sad faces, hugs, and kisses, he went on to tell us that he had bad news and good news from this meeting. We all decided we wanted the bad news first. Chris told us "you all made a trip down here for nothing". Of course we were confused because we knew we would get to spend a little time with him before he left..and that was a great thing! Then we asked for the good news which proceeded to tell us he now wasn't going to Iraq, at least in the near future. A wonderful young Marine by the name of LCpl Joshua Godfrey and a friend of Chris' in his unit volunteered to go in his place. He knew of Chris and Danyelle's plans and didn't want them to miss out on their wedding day. This was also going to be Josh's 2nd tour.
Needless to say that ended up being one of the greatest weekends for all of us. We kept in touch with Joshua through his deployment. He just finished his 4 years in the Marine Corps and is heading home to Pennsylvania and going to college at Penn State.
Chris and Danyelle have had a long distance marriage for the most part but his wife and family are anxiously awaiting his return.
I just wanted to share this story and let everyone know what a brotherhood the Marine Corps is. These guys are truly special. I thank the Lord everyday for these brave men and women. A special thanks to Joshua too !
Gregg Cutter Proud Marine Dad
Every year, I go to a Marine Corps birthday luncheon at the Denver Athletic Club. I look forward to breaking bread with the 200+ that come every year.
This year, the most moving moment for me was during the presentation of the colors. The National Anthem was played followed by the Marines Hymn. Total time was maybe 4-6 minutes. At the next table was an 80 something year old man. He was wheeled to the table in a wheelchair. During the Anthem and Hymn, this man stood on his feet, whobling the entire time, being assisted by a 60 something year old next to him. I thought that he would collapse at anytime. But, he didn't. He lasted the whole time at the position of attention. His struggle to stay on his feet was reflective of the collective pride and love of Corps that we possess.
After the luncheon, I went and saw the movie, Jarhead. Hollywood has done it again. They found the biggest low-life Marine and made a movie about him. It was disturbingly awful. Two-hundred former Marines would not take time off during the day to attend a luncheon honoring the birthday of the Marine Corps if it was the Corps presented in the movie. I listened to the audio book last year. Jarhead is an autobiography of an immoral, selfish, "soul-less," person. And boy, Hollywood loves that!
Happy birthday, Marines.
Captain 5/11 (1986-1994)
Just a note of thanks to the Lynchburg VA detachment of Marines who were sent to honorably send my friend and fellow Marine home. The service for John A Perini was performed with honor and dignity. He was a WWII Marine who fought in quite a few "climes". On the way out, I shook the hand of one of the Sgts, and told them that they had done OUR Corps proud. He wouldn't have wanted any great fanfare, but, John wanted the military funeral he had earned. The flag he fought for was folded and presented with the greatest of ease to a mourning wife, but, the taps playing sent quite a few eyes to leaking.
Sgt Grit, in your November 3, 2005 newsletter you posted the below letter I sent to you on October 22, 2005 (in blue color):
I am happy to report that Legacy.com has since posted the tribute with the assistance of Katie Falzone. She called and spoke with directly which shows a lot of class and professionalism. She agreed to post the first excluded sentence about the terrorist and a Marine staring him in the face as is, and with a slight revision she allowed the second sentence to be included.
I think that your readers will be happy to know that Legacy.com does listen and respond to feedback they receive.
November 6, 2005
The Vietnam Memorial Moving Wall is out here this weekend (Nov. 4-6). Friday Nov.4, I went to see it with my mom and dad. I had seen it before about 10 years back, though never really understood much about the importance then.
There isn't much to the memorial, when you get there you just notice this wall standing there with nothing around it. As you walk closer you can hear a person reading off names. We get to the wall and all it is, is this cold dark marble with thousands of names carved in to it, most are K.I.A. and few are still M.I.A. I walked by all these names, realizing that some of these people had families of their own, had a mom waiting for them, a girlfriend that swore she would still be there when they got back, a wife that had many sleepless nights wondering, childhood friends that would always be there for them no matter what, and plans for a future they never got the chance to have.
As we are walking by the names, I notice a man about my dad's age wearing a Marine Corps. baseball cap with pins on it and dog tags. I walked up to him and asked if he had served in Vietnam, and he said, "Yes, but it is no more then what these guys over in Iraq are doing." I shock his hand and thanked him, he almost started to cry, but as a Marine he held himself together. We went our separate ways after that. As I was walking back to my parents, I was going over the words he said, and how right he was. Though hopefully the one thing that will be different is the way we treat the Iraq veterans compared to the way the Vietnam veterans were treated when they returned, and for the most part it has been different.
As we where finishing up the walk past the names, a new speaker started reading off names. I looked back and noticed the Marine standing there just looking at the wall. It was at the moment that I finally understood the true meaning to the saying, "Some gave all and all gave some". With this Marine veteran standing next to the wall of his fallen brothers in arms.
God Bless Our Troops,
There is no thing so likely to produce peace as to be well prepared to meet the enemy.
First thing to get clear. You have True Grit -- like John Wayne and Sgt. Grit. Then you have hominy grits, which is Southern Comfort Food. Hominy is corn and it's good for you. You can buy everything from instant grits to 20 minute grits. I understand SSgt Huntsinger's dilemma. My wife is a gourmet cook from CA and she doesn't have a clue what to do with grits. My brother is a food microbiologist in NJ and he says his dog won't eat grits. It's a Yankee dog, so I'm not surprised.
But I remember with great fondness the big breakfasts my grandmother in South Carolina would serve up, and there was always grits. If you've ever seen the movie "My Cousin Vinny", grits was a small but very important part of that movie. Great Grandma was a Lee, and Lee's know their grits.
Grits are versatile. You have to add butter (not margarine) and salt and pepper to taste. That's basic grits. Great grits take a little more effort. My dad loved them with melted cheese (I like garlic cheese).
Way I see it, this is a Marine grits breakfast. Start with fresh fruit, preferably a tree-ripened, sliced SC peach or a big slice of home-grown melon, a mess of buttered cheese grits slathered with country sausage gravy, two sunny-side eggs on the side, two pieces of toast (homemade bread) with butter and fresh preserves, a big mug of freshly brewed coffee and 12 ounces of freshly squeezed orange juice. Add in the option for seconds and thirds, and that, Marines, is a REAL breakfast.
Message to Sgt Grit -- at your next OK gathering, you ought to think about running a contest for the best Grits recipe -- have a cook-off. I bet Quaker Oats would LOVE to provide the grits and the press. You could even assemble a Sgt Grit Grits Cookbook. That is a "must have" in every kitchen, probably even more important than that SPAM cookbook people treasure.
Now, if any of you Marines have a favorite Grits recipe (experiment a bit), y'all send that along to Dennis at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll put them together and batch them to Sgt Grit. And when you put together that next care package for overseas, think about adding in some of those instant grit options in your cereal section.
Hope that helps a bit. I also hope everyone knows what to do with okra and black-eyed peas, and that Southern fried chicken requires lard and an iron skillet, but that's a dinner conversation. Enjoy your grits!
s/f Dr. Dennis Benson,
proud Marine Dad (who loves grits)
You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.
I always knew I had to write about Zimmerman. I had to put him down in little letters and spaces and pen pricked periods and then send him off someplace to become my very own 'Most Unforgettable Person I Ever Met'. I had to do it, but never have. Probably because, after reflection, I've decided that Zimmerman isn't really all that unforgettable. He stood at merely 5'6" tall. His weight was maybe 150 pounds, and he wore eyeglasses so powerful he could see Venus on a cloudy day. He was also unassuming. He couldn't quite disappear before your eyes, but he came close a few times. His voice was soft, barely audible -except when he got excited - like when a female noticed he existed. Zim was what? Forgettable? I suppose so. And he was a Marine. The U.S. type. From the Halls of Montezuma, Semper Fi and Gung Ho to 'This is my rifle, this is my gun. This is for war and this is for fun.
You know - that kind of Marine. Zim and I were buddies. We'd met in Boot Camp at San Diego, California. Both of us were there with our shaved heads, clad in ill fitting green fatigues, and with the knowledge that the Drill Instructor was wrong in his belief that we didn't know our left from our right. (A word on life in a Marine Corps Boot Camp is worth a thousand pictures, but that's a story I may never go into) I can't remember where Zim's home was originally. It could have been the Midwest or California, or even Buffalo, Colorado. It doesn't matter, for Zim had already decided to make the Marine Corps his permanent home when I met him at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Circa The Good Old Days. I didn't know then, in boot camp, that Zim would become the most unforgettable person I'd ever meet. It wasn't until about three and a half years later - at the party - that I'd find that out. I can't, to this day, remember how we came to be invited to that party, but we were. It was a party with females - an oddity for Oceanside, California in 1952. Until that party, Zim was only my buddy. My fellow fade into the background person. Unassuming Private First Class - Morris G. Zimmerman. But then came the party - - and the piano.
The piano stood in a corner, much like Zim and I. It stood silent. Again, much like Zim and I. It stood silent until Zim walked up to it, flipped open its keyboard cover and with no pre-warning to me, placed his fingers upon the keys. "Oh God," I thought. "He's lost his mind. We finally get invited to a party - with females, and now he's going to sit down and fumble his way in disgrace through Chopsticks, or Nola, or God only knows what."
He struck his first note - and then the others. What I heard, but couldn't believe, was the finest rendering of 'Bumble Boogie' my ears had ever experienced. Not in a recording. Not on stage. Not anywhere had I heard anything like it. To this day I have never heard 'Bumble Boogie' played any better. He thundered through the tune, fingers flailing away at the keys. He bounced. He gyrated. He rocked back and forth on the piano bench. His binoculared eyes never left the keyboard, until, in a wall shaking crescendo, he finished, stood up, and walked back to stand next to me again. The room, raucously noisy before Zim began to play, and then totally silent as the sounds of 'Bumble Boogie' made its way into everyone's ears, turned again raucous. This time the noise was directed at Zim. They wanted more. And I was all for it, so I jabbed him in the ribs and muttered under my breath. "Do some more, Zimmerman."
I was being bathed in the reflective light of Zim's piano brilliance and I wasn't about to drift back into the shadows again. Zim, wanting no more painful hints from me, walked back to the piano and gave a 'Bumble Boogie' encore. And then another. After which he gracefully declined any further curtain calls; broken ribs or not.
"Geez," I said, after the spotlight had ceased glaring in our direction, "you never told me you could play the piano like that." "I can't," he whispered. "What?" I blurted, trying also to whisper. "It's all I can play," he answered. "The 'Bumble Boogie'. That's it, nothing else. Zit. Nada." "I can't believe it," I said. "Believe," Zim answered. Eventually I did believe. Zim was invited to a lot of parties after that, and he always made sure I was included in the invite. I was there to plead for the indulgence of the crowd. I was there to get Zim off the hook. When he, after Bumble- Boogying it a few times, would retreat humbly from his piano seat, it was my job to inform everyone that - due to a wound suffered in Korea, it was painful for Zim to even play scales, not to mention anything even closely resembling 'Bumble Boogie'. Me and Zim and the 'Bumble Boogie' had an enjoyable place in the sun that Spring and early Summer of 1952, but mid- July rolled around and my four-year enlistment was up. I elected to become a civilian, and Zim, as I've already mentioned had decided to make the Marine Corps his home.
I no longer remember when it was I last saw Zim, but I think of him occasionally. No, it's more than just occasionally. I wonder often how he made out with his adopted home. A home that probably took him back to Korea and on to Lebanon, and other dangerous climes. I think of all that, but mostly I think of the 'Bumble Boogie'.
So, Zim, Where ever you are - upstairs, downstairs, or still with us here someplace. I wish you'd play it for me just one more time. Really, Zim. The 'BumbleBoogie'. Just one more time before we leave.
From Tony Jarosik via Bob Rader
"Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all others" -- Winston Churchill
Dear MARINE MOM in Minnesota
I am 38 years YOUNG and recently joined the National Guard here in Ohio. Even though I have been out of the MARINES (Game) for 14 years, I have always felt as if I still had more to give. It took me a long time to convince my wife to let me join the Military again, and with some reluctance, she agreed. I know our two daughters ages 8 & 2 weighed heavily on her mind as it did mine, but I knew I just had to do it! I have NO qualms about being activated because I did so for Desert Storm with WPNS Co. 1/24 Toledo, OH. I'd gladly take the place of any 19 year old so that he/she may experience some of the things that I have experienced in life, but then again I'd bet some of our SEASONED VETS would love to take my place so that I may experience what they have.
Cpl. Long, Mark A.
Immanuel Kant said "a prolonged peace favors the predominance of a mere commercial spirit, and with it a debasing self-interest, cowardice, and effeminacy and tends to degrade the character of the nation."
First I want to relate to a couple of stories sent in on the last newsletter....Rick Roark's story on his "My son fought in Iraq shirt...., i also wore mine in Austin, Texas to one of our favorite restaurants where we always get great service. But the day i wore my shirt, nobody wanted to wait on our table....my husband and i knew what the deal was, and we don't hold any animosity towards anyone, but trust me, i will not stop wearing that shirt...also, to Mike Damingo, we worried all the time while our son was in Iraq until the next email...so just settle in and know that you must trust a higher power to watch over your Marine.....
Now, my Marine and I (his mom) just ran the Marine Corps Marathon together...and what a great experience that was....Neither of us had ever been to Washington, D.C., and we were there running in Honor of my son's friends that he lost in Iraq....and to see just what our Nations Capital was like, and why he was defending it. The day was Beautiful, all the Marines in the water stations were fantastic....i got to run with Marines young and old, some i encouraged and some encouraged me....this was my 11th Marathon, and by far the most memorable....what other race can you do, and say thank you to the Marines giving you the water and the response it "Hoorah".....i just loved it, and My Lance Corporal said it was nice to see so many Officers out there at the water stations....he was impressed.....
I would encourage anyone who might want a real Marine experience to run this one....the course is beautiful, and you will not lack for things to see on the way....but just getting to run with all these brave young/old men was the thrill of a lifetime for this proud Marine Mom....and knowing that i am healthy enough and lucky enough to have my son to do these with is why i get up everyday...
Thanks Marines for your service, and our country is behind you........
Proud Marine Mom in Texas
I know this comes late, but this is a big Happy Birthday to the fabulous USMC. My son in law is currently in Iraq serving and although he may be an in-law, he is definitely my son and calls me Mom. My heart hurts knowing that he may not come home, but knowing that he's serving his duty with the Marines and protecting my daughter makes me feel VERY proud. Semper Fi and God bless to all out there doing their duties.
Mom of Marine
Sgt Joseph Dickens III
First and foremost, Happy Birthday Marines! I live in the Providence, RI area. Each year about 40 or 50 of us meet at the Hooter's on Airport Rd. in Warwick, RI. We each ingest a modicum of suds, and some food. Sing the Hymn several times, because when we do we are always rewarded with at least two more pitchers for lubrication. So, next year and in the ensuing years any of you out there that happen to be in RI for the birthday are more than welcome to come and visit. Also, this year we had our first Woman Marine, a young Staff Sergeant. She was easily the best looking Marine there. It's a strange thing for me because I'll be 70 in January, and I've had the "pleasure" of three heart attacks. But to meet, again, these men, young and old and this young lady this year, my heart almost burst. It seems that the older I get the more I appreciate what the Marine Corps means and has meant to me.
Dear Sgt Grit,
I'm not sure if this is the right place to be sending this, but hopefully whoever reads it will appreciate its cause. My name is Pvt Higginbotham, and I graduated this morning (10 Nov 2005) from MCRD Parris Island, SC at 0930. I was 2nd squad leader from platoon 2088, 2088 series, Fox company, 2nd RTBN. The pride that consumed me on this windy morning was more than I could have ever imagined. Throughout my 12 weeks of training I could never have fathomed the strength, confidence, and teamwork that I would have gained by this wonderful day. The friends I made at recruit training will follow me the rest of my career and life as a marine, and for that, I am more grateful that anyone could imagine. I learned how to be many things, but most importantly a good Marine and an even better man. I intend to carry this motivation through my 10 day boot leave, through MCT, through MOS school, and onto the fleet. My brothers and I are the future of the Marine Corps, and we could not be more proud. I want to thank god, country, and corps for bringin my family and me the immense joy we have experienced these last 2 days. Thank you Sgt Grit for your motivating site and carry on the tradition for the Marines who will come after me and eventually fill my future billet. Happy birthday devil dogs. 2nd BN "Second to None" and Semper Fi.
Its was 19 May 1999, myself and 18 recruits arrive at the gates of life and death, P.I.S.C..The bus stops and my gut runs cold. The next thing I remember was trying to find my yellow prints in the blackest piece of concrete I have ever seen. The two D.I.'s reminded me of a mad bear, putting the life into me and then taking once again. We under went the best most extreme training you only hear about at the age of 18. I had been transformed and reborn, but I felt better about myself and felt like I could tackle anything that crossed my path.
At graduation I remember all of the family I made and all the wisdom I was taught. And standing before my S.D.I. as he handed me my insignia that would change my life, I suddenly remember my family before me, telling me of the felling that was overwhelming me and what an honor it was presenting arms to my S.D.I. as I had became one of Uncle Sam's Proud Son's. I could call myself a United States Marine! But I could still picture my Great Uncle; Frank E Clemons of Virginia standing in the very same spot. If it was not for our brave fathers, brothers, and uncles before us we would not be here were we are today. Lets continue that honor for our sons and daughters ahead of us. To all of our Veterans out the reading this, and even to the ones that never made it home, Thank you! SEMPER FI
CPL T Thompson OOH-RAH!
Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shat at without result. Winston Churchill
As I sit here the night before the Marine Corps birthday, I remember my first one as though it was yesterday. I was a Corpsman with 2nd Platoon, G/3/5 during 1951 in Korea. We had a rough September and now winter was closing in but we had fresh eggs for breakfast! I'll never forget just how those good eggs tasted. Even though I was in the Navy, I never felt I was a squid but a Marine who had paid his dues, not at MCRD, but in the hills of Korea. Semper Fi and Happy Birthday to all of you, then and now.
Tom Suttles HM3, USN
Cowards can never be moral.
Dear Sgt. Grit, This photo was taken over this past weekend at the 1/5 Marines annual Marine Corps Ball in Las Vegas, NV celebrating the 230th birthday of our beloved Marine Corps. These 3 heroes of 1/5 have stuck together through thick and thin on all three 1/5 deployments in Iraq, from Kuwait to Baghdad in 03, to Fallujah in 04, and Ramadi in 05. Left to Right:
Sgt. Clay Anderson, sniper, Weapons Co. and former Charlie Co. squad leader, Sgt. Clint Hurda, squad leader, Charlie Co., and Sgt. Mike Roper, squad leader, Charlie Co. Think these three have some stories to tell???
Semper Fi, J. Anderson, USMC 71-73
Howdy, Sgt. Grit! Just wanted to relay something to you. I work at a community college near Denver,CO. The folks at the Student Life office couldn't be bothered with any kind of recognition of Veterans Day. They didn't even bother to put the day on their calendar posted outside their office. Well, I was talking with my supervisor about how the school never does anything pro-America or pro-military, and she asked if it bothered me. I said that it does, but that I was used to it. The next thing I know, she is getting all kinds of military and veteran's stuff together to put on a great display for Veterans Day in our office. It was so cool! Some instructors and staff even brought some of their memorabilia to the office. We never did get official recognition or thanks from the higher-ups, but we did get a lot of "thank you's" and a lot of "war stories" from folks stopping by. Just wanted to pass this on. Thanks for all your service, Sgt. Grit, in the past and continuing to today!
-- Anson Rohr.
My Marine returned safely from Iraq in April, and even though life is getting back to normal, and my sleep pattern is getting better, I was unable to keep from almost falling to the floor crying when I read the "You might be a Marine Mom" article. It caught me so off guard, and I thought all those emotions were put into a small area in my heart never to be touched again. I was Wrong, Wrong, Wrong. It was a strange relief to know that my feelings were shared with other moms', and that someone was able to put it into words that made sense, and that someone else understood..cause if you are a mom that hasn't been there, you really just don't get it..i have even distanced myself from a couple of friends that never once asked me about my son or myself while he was deployed because I felt that they couldn't be very good friends if it never occurred to them to ask or even see what it was doing to me, so this article was a god send for me.it helped me to confirm that I was not crazy,,,,thanks so much, it hangs on my wall at work along with my sons pics from Iraq.
-Mom of Marine Lance Corporal Daniel Cysewski
-2/24 weapons co.
"And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God?" -Thomas Jefferson
Protest at the funeral of fallen soldier.
The time is near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves. George Washington
This year I have put in my schools main display case an exhibition called America's Closet. I was in the Marines from 1987 to 1993 (Gulf War-TF Papa Bear 1/1 Wpns Plt) and used much of my own gear and uniforms. I got donations from other staff members and we proudly showed our colors. I want to wish all the Marines past and present a hearty OOHRAH for the Marine Corps Birthday and happy Veteran's Day!
Eric A. Eaton,
Sgt. 1/1 Wpns Plt
"If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace." -Thomas Paine
My brother was killed in VietNam. He was a Marine when he died. My husband was a Marine and contributed to the evacuation of VN. My son, Elliot, just graduated from Boot Camp at Camp Pendleton. He is home on leave for a few days and then off to California for more training. I am happy to be a Marine sister, wife and mother. I feel safe because of the men in my family. That makes me have confidence in all the Marines and compassion for their families. God bless the Marine Corps. Everywhere I go today, I will wear my Sgt. Grit T-shirt and let people know it is the Marine Corps' birthday.
"It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived." General George S. Patton, Jr.
My most memorable Marine Corps birthday occurred at Ft. Myer, Virginia in 1971. A newly minted Marine Security Guard, I was invited to the Ball hosted by the Assistant Commandant, Gen. Raymond G. Davis. While waiting in line to be welcomed by Gen. Davis, I could see the MOH glinting at his throat as I remembered his heroic exploits at Chosen Reservoir. A sergeant had supplied the General with our names so he could greet us personally. I nervously shook his hand and mumbled a response to his greeting and tried to get away without tripping over my feet. Just as the General was about to turn his attention to the next marine behind me, his wife said, in a loud, very southern drawl, "Gibbutt?, Gibbutt? Why, Are You Of The LOO-U- VULL Gibbutts? Everyone in ear shot (especially the General whose middle name, I later found out, was Gilbert) stopped what they were doing and waited for my response. I said, too loudly, "No, Mam, I'm from the South Philly Gilberts."
VMA-311, DaNang, '70
"Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for, I have grown not only gray, but almost blind in the service of my country."
-- George Washington
I normally refrain from pomp and circumstance, preferring to be more "settled" in my pride of the corps. But the time has come for a bit of "glitter"as I prepare a tribute.
My father was career army, serving full duty in WW-11 and Korea as a Combat Engineer. My older brother was in the Air Force with SAC, another brother in the Air Force with TAC, another brother with the Rangers. I however chose the Marines and as such feel a tremendous amount of pride for my enlistment as well as time spent "In Country."
Sitting around the table one night and telling tales of long ago the subject came up about "Tom Selleck" and the cover he wore on Magnum-PI. The baseball cap had "ANGRY-TWO" on the front and I informed my family of my association with VMO-2, Marble Mountain, and Cobra Gunships. This was the first time I had shared information with my brothers, although my dad and I had our special moments in the past. This would be the last time I would have such a kindling of spirits as my father was killed in an automobile accident.
As the days past I am reminded of that special evening with our guards down. The family has wandered these past years and now seldom see each other but pictures and memorials serve the purpose well. I have a display case of ribbons and badges awarded to my father and am preparing one similar for my son. But feel it will forever be incomplete. For no matter how much my display may reflect memories of long ago it pales without the presence of the "Angry-Two" cap.
Granted no amount of materialism can reflect the honor and pride I felt by being part of the USMC. But for those special moments shared between a Father and Son as veterans, albeit different times, there is an unspoken bond. The cap was the thread which led to conversation.
If at all possible could you please assist me in locating such a cap, a supplier or even a contact would be helpful. For I fear mine has become part of the vast contents long ago stored and now painfully remembered but never to be found. I shall be forever in your debt....Semper-Fi
"If individuals be not influenced by moral principles; it is in vain to look for public virtue." -James Madison
I've received as many responses to this topic as any before. I was not able to include them all.
I recently saw the movie "Jarhead." I also read the book a few months back. The movie & book depicted Marines from 2/7 (Task Force Grizzly) during Desert Shield & Desert Storm. I was with 2/7 during Desert Shield & Desert Storm and I do not recall any of that undisciplined crap happening nor do I remember hearing scuttlebutt about it. And we all know how scuttlebutt can run rampant sometimes.
Wpns. Co. 2/7
Sorry to tell you all... but................ Anthony Swofford is in need of some serious mental help. I was there, I was a Marine Grunt with India 3/9, Task Force Papa Bear for the first Gulf War. Swofford's novel (if you want to call it that) is soooo beyond fiction, tall tales, exaggeration, false bravado, and very likely the only truth from the book is that Swafford was smoking crack cocaine while writing it.
For others that were there, what a disgrace Swofford brings upon us with his book and NOW, someone is funding a movie of this trash.
I put this book (and upcoming movie) up with GI Jane, and all that Jessica Lynch mumbo jumbo that we are exposed to with Hollywood in charge of a movie with a military theme .......... complete BS.
There you have it, Sgt Rock's opinion of Anthony Swofford, his hallucinations, his book and for the love of God, I still can't believe it....... funding for a movie. A VERY detailed review of this book can be found below.
Mark A. Rocco
Sgt Rock - Former Sergeant of Marines
Dear Sarg, I saw, with my bride of 48 years, the movie Jarhead. I can't believe that this movie was ever made! The Corps has a history second to none an memories I shall cherish until the day they throw dirt in my face. I hope one day to walk Heavens scenes with my brothers and to give them all a big OOORAHH! I have already called all former Marines that I am in contact with and asked that they save their money to purchase the new stamp presentation.
72 year old Korean Marine.
I have to say that my brothers in arms forgot about half the crazy stuff that all of us Marines did when we were young jarheads. The movie "Jarhead" portrayed a great deal of stuff that I can remember doing. If any of those guys didn't get a chuckle out of the Christmas incident or a twinge in their heart when playing full MOPP football, then I ask who they served with, because a lot of that stuff is very familiar.
Merritt, USMC 94-99
Although I cannot claim to know Marine life, but I know plenty of Marines ( active and veterans alike - many I have had the privilege to work with) and nothing could be farther from reality than the depictions from this poor excuse for a movie. I was angered and saddened by what I saw.
VERY accurate responses to "Jarhead." I kept shaking my head and my wife couldn't understand why.....the unloading of the automatic weapons straight up was the most BS thing they could have cooked - up. Also, the responses from privates and PFCs. to NCOS and officers made me mumble more than a little bit. No military bearing whatsoever!
That movie was just what we don't need...there is more than enough BS out there for the people to absorb. I kept telling my wife that "that isn't the Marine Corps I was in!" But then, she wouldn't really understand, I guess.
...and the squadbay bullsh!t with the initiations was ridiculous! The producers of that piece of crap film should be ashamed of themselves.....
Last Friday evening my bride called me at work and suggested we go see a movie that night. Being a Marine brat herself and me being a former Marine, living in a Marine town (Beaufort, SC) we thought ok. We had not graced a movie theater in over two years but we'd try a movie about the Corps. Oops..big mistake. We sat in a theater full of my fellow Marines, their wives and in many cases their young children (lack of qualified baby sitters) to endure two hours of that slime. There were no "OooRahhss" from the assembled, and few laughs at the crude attempts at humor. When the movie was over the theater was dead silent and remained that way as the two hundred or so quietly filed out. Shock best described it. I hope that the word gets out quickly to avoid "Jarhead" and when it comes out on DVD in nine weeks we avoid it also.
Thanks to all of our troops on this Veterans Day and Semper Fi, Happy Birthday to my fellow Marines..Once a Marine Always a Marine. After my tour in the Corps, I remained in Beaufort and have served on the Sheriff's Office for the past 22 years with a large number of my brothers from the Corps.
Sergeant Neil Baxley
VMFA 115 (1979 - 1983)
I don't want to get into a p!ssing contest with you and some of the Marines who commented on the movie "Jarhead", in your November 10th Newsletter, but something has to be said. First and foremost the movie "Jarhead" is not about the Marine Corps and it's definitely not some recruiting aid like you all had hoped for. I'm guessing that you all went into the theater expecting to see the next "Saving Private Ryan" and were bitterly disappointed when you found out that you paid seven dollars to see the story of ONE Marine's woeful experience during Operation Desert Storm. That's all "Jarhead" is! It's the true story of former Marine Anthony Swofford's experience in the Marine Corps. I should not have to explain something so simple, but apparently some of you don't get it.
All six of you write that "Jarhead" is a disgraceful and dishonorable portrayal of Marines. I don't know what part of the Corps you served in, but I feel that "Jarhead" couldn't have hit the nail on the head any better. In fact, every Active Duty Marine that I've talked to, whether they liked the movie or not, felt that "Jarhead" did an excellent job of portraying how Marines conduct themselves, and that's coming from everyone from 03's to 01's, PFC's to Colonels. Everyday at work, or should I call it something more noble and honorable such as, "while selflessly serving my beloved Corps and country", I must cuss about ten times a minute; tell or hear a s&xually or racially oriented joke almost twice an hour; make a homos&xual, racial or otherwise very "unbecoming" comment about my coworkers almost every ten minutes and I receive the same from them. That's how it's been since I've been in the Corps and we are still the tightest "band of bothers"!
To reiterate, I don't know what part of the Corps you came from, but it must have been the kinder gentler part. Marines are crazy. We have to be; we're the tip of the spear, and it is our job to KILL people. You act as though your entire Marine Corps career was some four-year-long recruiting poster. You are astonished that they portray Marines being hazed; disgusted that they showed Marines "field f**king" to get their SSgt. off their backs; you act dismayed that a Marine joined the Corps to go to war, and then went crazy because he never once got to see action. My recommendation to the six of you is that you go back to staring at yourselves in the mirror, draped in the Marine Corps colors, fantasizing about Chesty Puller and Smedly Bulter while watching Full Metal Jacket on a continuous loop.
The point I'm trying to make, is that the Marine Corps is not some shining beacon of moral purity, nor is it an example of cleanliness and honor for the whole world to follow, like you think it is. Not only is the Marine Corps none of these things, the movie "Jarhead" is not either. I expect that as Marines you would have done your homework on this simple story about one of your fellow Marine's experience in war. However, only one of you made it through the book, while our own beloved Sgt. Grit could not even finish it because it did not proudly "wave the colors" and he now chooses not to carry it because it might tarnish our reputation.
Do not misunderstand me, I do not hate the Marine Corps and neither does Anthony Swofford. "Jarhead" is simply his story; his experience. It does not matter if you thought "Jarhead" did not show the Marine Corps in an angelic light, because that was not Swofford's experience. If you did not like the movie, then that is fine. But just because you have absolutely no idea what the movie is about, I do not think that you should be running your mouth to thousands of people who unfortunately choose to listen to you. Sleep well tonight knowing that it is because of Marines like you, that we are stuck with the nickname: Jarhead.
Sgt. Barron, Alex W. (USMCR)
That yardbird that wrote that book (Jarhead)? must have gotten a section 8. He couldn't have gotten an honorable discharge, not knowing what USMC represents. Son of b!tch ought to be keel hauled! Want to help? Thank God Chesty didn't have to be here for this.
J. L Keck,
670495 USMC, June 1948 - June 1952.
Don, Vicki and I went to see Jarhead last night. I thought it was a little over the top. It reminded me of "Apocalypses now". If that was our Corps, I wasn't very impressed, actually, I was disappointed. See you in May.
I never thought I would see the day when I would WALK OUT of a movie about Marines. Well, it happened the other day when I went to see the new movie, JARHEAD...... It also needs to be brought to the attention of the general public, preferably "By A Few Good Men," that Hollywood has stooped to an unforgivable new low.
Sarge; As one of the "Old Ones" (1943/1950), I too have an opinion on "Jarhead" the book. I got through about four or five chapters before I threw the rotten thing into the trash can. Nice going Swofford, enjoy your fame and money, you sold us all down the river.
Semper Fi Sarge,
John de Leeuw
The Corps would be better depicted in a movie about it's overall history, like the victory over the Barbary Pirates of the Mediterranean in the early 1800s. It ties in with the battle against Islamic Militants today...for the Pirates were Islamic terrorists of that era of time. The USS Constitution, with it's contingent of Marines bombarded the Pirate stronghold from the sea. Marines and sailors captured a pirate ship, sailed into the pirates port with it, pulled up along side the pirate's main ship and the swash buckling Leathernecks went to work slaughtering the pirates. And 7 (seven) Marines lead a group of the Mamulukes across 500 miles of the northern African desert and attacked the Pirates from behind. The Marines lead the Mamulukes into vicious hand-to-hand fighting. The Marines and Mamulukes were the victors. The Mamulukes presented one of their swords to the Marines. A replica of the sword is now worn by Marine Officers. "...to the shores of Tripoli" Ooh Rah!.
A little known grave yard of Marines who died in those Pirate battles is located on a small Spanish Island in the Mediterranean Sea. Found by Commander Daughtery (of Oklahoma) on a Navy Seal training operation years ago. It was overgrown with weeds. He and his Seal teams cleaned up the grave sites and head stones, and gave honor in the naval tradition to those first "special forces", those soldiers of the sea - the fighting Leathernecks, the United States Marines. When I heard the Commander tell the story, my eyes swelled with tearful pride. For that story and many more truly tell the truth about the Few, the Proud, the Marines.
Major Mike Holmes, US Army, soon to return home from Iraq, said "...Marines fight!" He served as a Liaison Officer with Marines and knows they mean business. He should know, he's served in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and among the various coalition forces in Iraq. His view of the Corps is the one for which a movie should be made.
The movie JARHEAD is blasphemy. Even from a cinematic point of view, it's a lousy movie overall. On a 4 star rating, I would barely give it one tip of one star. But then that's just one Jarhead's point of view.
Hey "Sgt Grit" (whatever)
I recently read your review of the movie Jarhead, and unlike you, I thought it was a very good movie! My memories of the six years I spent in the Marine Corps (1986-1992) resembled closely the scenes portrayed in the movie "Jarhead." Civilians and Marines alike seem to forget that the majority of the Marine Corps is made up of young, horny, wild, aggressive, and insecure male kids! Moreover, Marines are trained to be killing machines! You can't expect a 18 or 19 year old kid to go through some of the most demanding military training in the world (mentally and physically), and have them conduct themselves as British Gentry once they complete it! Furthermore, if I remember correctly from your posting, you were on active duty from 83-87. So, what the h&ll do you know about what went on in Desert Storm? If you ask me, I think one of the biggest problems the Marine Corps faces is that people like you (and of course the higher ranking officer establishment) will not let Marines be Marines! An 18 year old kid from the Midwest doesn't join the toughest military organization in the world to become a "choir boy." Get it? Good.
Brent E. Whan
SGT USMC (1986-1992)
I would like to respond about all the criticism and misunderstanding about the movie "Jarhead". Sergeant Jeff David's 1983-1987 made a few comments in his comments and I have to wonder where he was during his time in the Marine Corps that he didn't witness anything he saw in the movie? While on deployment to the Gulf in 1990, I witnessed a fellow Marine insert a VHS tape into the VCR, thinking it was his wife sending him a hello tape and it turned out to be his wife having s&x with his friend back in the states. Did we all cheer and celebrate? No, he freaked out and was transported back to the states to deal with his problem. Sgt David's stated that in the movie, all the Marines cheered when they seen the Marines' wife having s&x. The Marines didn't even know it was his wife when he put the tape in, you couldn't see her face. They were cheering because they were able to see porn, not because they knew it was a Marines wife. So, it's ones interpretation of the scene but it goes to show, people are sooooo quick to pass judgment without actually watching the scenes. Next, Marines being branded and tied to racks in the barracks. As a Grunt, I can tell you these traditions went on during that time. Yeah, I went to 29 Palms, blind folded and thought to be hitting my e-tool onto a quarter but actually hitting my cover, becoming "e-tool" qualified. Next, Sgt David's says it's far fetched that a friendly fire bomb catches a Marine on fire as he exits a truck? My guess is that Sgt David's spent his time in the Corps at Main side, behind a desk, never deploying or going to a live fire range. You have to be blind and deaf to not believe friendly fire exists. Lets revisit Iraq, during March of 2003 when II MEF lost two Amtracks An Nasiriyah after being bombed by an A-10. But yeah Sgt David's, friendly fire bombs doesn't exist, does it? Let's move on to a Marine pointing a weapon at another Marine. Lets revisit Kuwait in March of 2003 when a Marine pointed his weapon at another Marine and pulled the trigger, maybe it was the stress or the pressure. Maybe Sgt's David's should have served in a combat zone to fully understand why Marines get stressed and do things the ordinary Marine wouldn't understand. For those of us that have served in combat, we understand certain aspects of stress, fatigue, insanity and losing control, it's all part of the "Fog of War". After three Combat Tours in Kuwait, Somalia and Iraq I can tell you, unless you have been there, you don't have a clue of what it's like. But you have to leave your desk, pick up a rifle and put yourself in a Combat Zone to understand alot of what happened in the movie. Yeah, the movie sucked but DO NOT criticize the movie unless you were a enlisted Marine, serving during Desert Storm and those times in the Corps. The movie is not a portrayal of the Marine Corps, it is a movie about how two individuals dealt with Desert Storm and it's affects on THEM, not the Marine Corps. So instead of criticizing the movie, go get a loan and make your own movie about the Marine Corps the way you see it and hopefully, just hopefully, it won't get criticized the way "Jarhead" did.
1989 - PRESENT
Sgt. Grit. I have seen my share of military movies in my life time. I went and seen the movie Jarhead. I sat there in total disbelief in what I was watching, as I was sitting there I over heard the couple behind me, (the woman asking the man) are they really like that. I have never felt so embarrassed in my life. I am extremely proud to call myself a Marine and to have served my country! I want everyone to know that the movie is not worth the money you have to pay to get in.
Cpl Foote, E. R.
2Bn 4Th Marines, 1976 - 1979
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