Sgt Grit Marine Corps Merchandise

Welcome to our Marine Corps Newsletter archives. Read our patriotic stories of American courage sent in to us by Marines and their families. Enjoy!

Sgt Grit American Courage Newsletter #90

In response to the sacrifices which are made on a daily basis and have been given for well over two hundred years, I must say thank you to all my fellow Marines. Semper Fidelis.
Rick Toth 1st Marines.

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USMC T-Shirt Special

Get the standard USMC shirt in a wide variety of colors, and in extended
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Men's Ribbed Fleece V-Neck Shirt

I Am My Brother's Keeper (Journal of a Gunny in Iraq)

My Three Years in the Marines (by a Marine Raider)

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Marine Corps Seal Address Labels

Valentines Day Special:

Marines, don't end up on the couch this Valentines Day!
Check out Sgt. Grit's line of camisoles and underwear!
Now through Valentine's Day (2/14/05) when you purchase a camisole and
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Please use coupon code 500 when placing your order.

And Only While In Stock:

Sands of Iwo Jima Black and White Video

Bustin' Ours Saving Yours T-Shirt

Emblem and Wreath Golf Shirt

Dear Sgt. Grit - I just wanted to drop a note to all of my fellow Marine families to thank you all for being there. I've been in the bleachers at Parris Island twice to watch both of my sons graduate. We are currently in our 4th deployment since 9/11. My sons are a daily inspiration to me. I am so proud of them, and wish that I had one tenth of their courage.

I can't tell you folks how much you mean, how much reading the words of other Marines and their families helps. I proudly wear my Blue Star when one or both of my Marines are out of the country. (This is the fourth trip back to the big sandbox.) I gladly explain to the uninformed what the star means and stands for every time I'm asked. I've even been known to explain to those that haven't asked.

The Marine Corps has not yet seen fit to issue me daughters-in-law, so I am the one that takes care of bills, vehicles, and whatever else during each deployment. So if you should happen to encounter a middle aged woman driving a souped up, off road capable whatever, that's just me taking the wheels out for a spin every week like I've been instructed to do. Those things really should come with a stepladder for us older folks to use just to get in the thing. And, do they all really have to be stick shift?

I've purchased and mailed socks, OD t-shirts, beef jerky, baby wipes, junk food, books, magazines, and even condoms (they keep the sand out of the rifle barrels) to mail every week. I anxiously log on each night after work in hopes that there was time to send Mom an email that day. I avoid the news on TV and gave up my newspaper subscription during the first deployment. We lost their Dad many years ago, but I know he's watching and is as proud as I am.

And my friends, it would be d*mn near impossible, if it weren't for you. You understand without having to have it explained. So for every one of you that writes, for every other Military Parent I've encountered with their child's picture or star proudly pinned to them, a big hearty THANK YOU! You have no idea how much you help. I've been to three homecomings (all on the West Coast, a long trip from the great state of Maine, but worth every inch), God willing I will be at another one in July (or whenever he comes home again). My thoughts and prayers are with you all. And for those that have made the ultimate sacrifice, I only wish I had the words to help you through. Please know that my prayers are with you. Bless you all, and thank you for being there.

Sue R.
Very Proud Marine Mom Twice Over

just checking in with all of the families of marines. I myself am proud to have earned that honor. I would like to let all of you people know how much it means for marines everywhere to know that we are appreciated, loved, and missed. I have been out of the corps for almost 10 years, but at the same time, it feels like just yesterday that I had taken my oath. Just wanted to say thanks. Also, to all of those idiots that have no clue that "freedom isn't free", we defend their rights to be ignorant and disrespectful. I have always felt that a marine has more knowledge about pride because not everyone can be one. Thank God!!!!!!!!!
e-3 mitchell, USMC

"Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Understanding is not enough; we must do. Knowing and understanding in action make for honor. And honor is the heart of wisdom."
--Johann von Goethe

This is a hard charging PFC who loves the corps. Graduating in September from Parris Island 3078, I'm locked and loaded. The spirit of the corps lives and this newsletter is a prime example of the brotherhood I've been taught and seen. If there's ever a doubt about commitment 9/11 will never be let down. We fight for what is right. Don't let go of change we are making in this world.
PFC Noyes 1bn 25th mar

Sgt Grit, I'd like to reply to the note from Sgt. R.M. Wallen:

Sgt. You are Right! Ever since the U.N. started dictating to us, we have NEVER won a war. And just "containing" our enemies gives them time to regroup and resupply. For the U.N. and their apologists, that's great. After all, they are only "being fair."
But for us---Well, you know what that means for us.

Semper Fi, Wallen
LAC SSgt USMC Retired

Hi. I'm not sure if this is will make it to the newsletter, but I've been getting Sgt Grit's newsletter for several months. My husband will be coming home in a few months from Iraq (2/24) and I'm excited about that. But I want people to know that it is extremely important to voice your support of our military personnel. I am fortunate to have a HUGE support group of family, friends and co-workers; however, not all spouses, family, and friends have that. This newsletter gives more than people can ever understand what these loved ones, as myself, need to know about such support. Please pass this newsletter on to as many people as you can.

While I wish we did not have to go to war, I also understand the reasons behind it and know that to withdraw would be complete defeat in the big picture. For our children, by then grown adults, we will still be discussing the Iraqi "issue". I have a nephew that at age 10 knows that he is going to follow in his Uncle's HUGE feet and become a MARINE and wants to fight the "bad guys". We have no children of our own as of yet but the tradition has continued anyway. I can not be any more proud of my MARINE and the future MARINES of the family.

There are many, like myself, that may not have expressed their gratitude for it. I can not count the times that I have tears steaming down my face because of the words of others. There have been a few times that people have responded that I know their Marine is from the same battalion. Let it be known that I think daily of our 10 fallen HEROES. Much younger than my husband and myself. I can only thank their families for that ultimate sacrifice and I know that within my family they will always be thought of and prayed for.

I will never be able to truly express how thankful I am for all the support that our military personnel receive. We definitely don't get it from the main stream media. Please keep it up because that is the only way we are going to win the War on Terror.

Proud wife of SSGT Welton
WPNS CO 2/24
Mayhem from the Heartland

To Maria O. Wells (American Courage #89):

Just wait until you make that trip to the MCRD to watch your son receive his Eagle, Globe and Anchor and to hear him be addressed as Marine for the first time. When you go make sure that you take LOTS of kleenex (I had another Marine Mom suggest that I skip the Kleenex and just take a roll of Bounty paper towels), wear comfortable shoes because there will be LOTS of walking and take your camera! You will be amazed at the changes in your son and in yourself while Robert is in boot camp. Try to send a piece of mail to him everyday, even if it's just a cartoon or a joke that you think he'll like and don't be surprised if your first real letter from him is full of apologies for even the slightest of things and his telling you over and over again how much he loves you and misses you. Congratulations on becoming a Marine Mom ! It is a title that makes you walk a little taller, a little prouder!

Proud Marine Mom of
PFC Daniel L. Gruber
Bravo Company 1/5, Camp Pendleton, CA

"Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth."
--George Washington

Hello, I'm writing in reference to the young Marines, Sailors, Airmen and Soldiers. I'm disturbed by the number of you who have been thinking that drug use or suicide and desertion is the way to coupe or cop-out with the stresses of the military. There have been many before you and myself included who had to deal with the stresses of the military and war. 911 has forever changed our lives and the way we go about our every day business. You have Vietnam, Beirut, Desert Storm and Haiti vets all around and military clergy who will listen and help in any way. Remember you are not alone and your families and friends "Love You".

You are the future leaders of the military and of the United States. God Bless each and everyone of you.

Come home safe, we would love to hear some of your stories.

Dear Sgt. Grit,

A comment made in the #89 news letter by Kevin Shea, really touched me! You see my son is doing his MOS right now and will be finishing up in a few weeks, and will be sent to his PDS, and I know it is a good possibility that he could be deployed, with in a few months. I have been asking myself how in the world am I going to be able to handle that, will I be able to suck it up and handle it with the grace and dignity that all the other Marine Moms before me has! I would like to thank Kevin Shea for his commit, (When the time comes, adapt and improvise, Marine Moms do it naturally) your commit helped me to believe in myself, I know when the time comes it will be hard, but with my Marine family watching my back and helping me cope, I will hold my head high and support my Marine and his brothers and sisters! Thanks again Kevin Shea, and my Marine Family!

Proud Marine Mom, of PFC Chase
Cindy Kersey

Seventy Two (72) virgins for the terrorist? Is there truly a whole breed of folks out there that thinks the Good Lord above would use women and s&x as a bribe to have people murdered for no reason?

to all the families out there with sons and daughters serving and to my fellow brothers and sisters, I send my greetings and best wishes to you, I first joined the corps back in 79 served until 85 took a vacation went back in and served until 91 and desert storm. I have a son serving in the sand box right know. he is LCpl Cory reynante, with 3/5 comm plt in fallujah. he has a young wife that is staying with us until he comes home. we are very fortunate that we get to talk to him about twice a month. we miss him a lot but we also know that what he and his fellow marines are doing is important. we are very proud of him. he hopefully will be coming home soon. the thing that i find interesting is that around his neck with his dog tags he also carries his great uncles from Korea and viet nam (his uncle came back) and he also carries mine that i have had since boot camp. he tells me that with those he feels safer. hang in there mom and dads our kids will be home when the important job that they are doing is done. my heart and prayers go out to all of you semper fi
79-85, 86-91

I have started a Gold Star Moms support group here at Yahoo. If you know of any mothers who would like to join please give this info:

Gold Star Mom Support is a new support group for the Moms and families of our fallen military personnel. This group is open to the families of fallen Airmen, Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Coast Guardsmen no matter when or what the circumstances of their loss was.

Love & hugs.

Sheila Flocco
Gold Star Mom of AG2 Matthew Flocco, US Navy
Lost on September 11, 2001 in the Attack on the Pentagon

My son is a Lance Corporal currently serving with BLT 1/2, 24th MEU in the Northern Babil province of Iraq. On January 15th, a sergeant in his platoon, Sgt Jayton Patterson was killed by an IED. His family, who we have grown close to through a website I run for the families of Bravo 1/2, asked me to attend his funeral. We made the trip to the sleepy town of Wakefield VA, to pay our respects to this Hero. On the way home, I penned my thoughts, which I would like to share with you.

It was cold. Not the bitter cold that drives you inside seeking warmth, but a subtle cold that lures you out, then slowly creeps through your clothes until you are numb. I stood there flexing my toes with my hands in my pockets, a sin for any military member. That's what they issue you gloves for. I slowly looked about at the others gathered with me, and my eyes rested on seven men. Young men. Any one of them could have been my son. I watched to see if they too were feeling cold. They had been there longer than I. But they didn't show it.

They stood straight, at Parade Rest, griping their rifles in a poster perfect pose. They didn't move, save for the occasional blink of an eye. As a shiver traveled through my shoulders, I reflected on these men and their sacrifice in this cold weather. But these were not just men, they were Marines. And this was no sacrifice for them. For they were here to render Honors to one who had made an even bigger sacrifice. A fallen Marine. A Brother Marine. One of their own, literally. Staff Sergeant Jayton Patterson began his Marine Corps career at "8th and I", and these "8th and I" Marines were here for him.

On command, their squad leader called them to attention, then Present Arms. Everyone in uniform saluted, the rest of us with our hands over our hearts.

"AIM, FIRE!" Crack! Seven rifles, seven shots, all at once sounding as one.

"AIM, FIRE!" Crack! The brass ejecting to the ground.

"AIM, FIRE!" Crack! A third volley. The custom when rendering honors to a fallen warrior.

The flags were removed from the coffin, and two Marines began the process of folding them. Not just folding, but lining up edges, smoothing, turning just right. Great care was given to the smallest detail, for this was for Jayton, and nothing less than perfection was acceptable.

From behind me, the bugler began to play taps. The haunting notes reaching to the depths of my soul. "Day is done, God is nigh."

As the last notes played out, I heard the subtle cadence of the Rifle Squad Leader as he led the squad out. I watched as they turned and headed up the gravel drive. A column of two, two abreast, except at the end. The last Marine marching alone, as if to say "Stay here Jayton, your work is done. We will carry on."

As the last crease in the flags were smoothed, Lt. Swantner, Jayton's Executive Officer approached. He saluted the flag, and it was passed to him. Again, a salute for the flag that was part of Jayton's final journey. The lieutenant waited as the same scene was repeated for a second flag to be presented by Cpl Saragusa, a member of Jayton's platoon.

Lt Swantner presented the flag to Stephanie, Jayton's wife. I watched as he whispered words of encouragement and gratitude to her. Though I could not hear, I am sure they included "On behalf of the President, and a grateful nation". He stood, and rendered one final salute before marching off. Don't tell me Marines don't cry. In his words, echoed by the corporal earlier that day, "There is no greater love than that of a Marine, Brother to Brother."

I didn't feel cold anymore. I was honored to witness one of the greatest traditions of the Marine Corps. I know it is played out in much the same manner for every serviceman who gives his life for this country. But this felt different. For these Marines, this was personal. He was one of them. I was warmed by every display of love these men showed. The way they presented the rifle salute, the way the bugler presented taps, the care that went into folding the flag, and the delicate manner that it was handled.

There were Soldiers, Sailors and Marines with us. There were civilians young and old. Relatives, loved ones, friends. Saddened by his passing, but rejoicing in the knowledge, as shared by his pastor, that Jayton had gone home.

Semper Fi, Jayton. Check the roster when you get there. I'm sure some Gunny already has you on the rotation, standing guard at the Pearly Gates.

Bruce Tarleton, USN Ret.
Cumming GA

To Kimberly, from Albany, Oregon - getting ready for boot:

God bless you for your sacrifice and for your enthusiasm/motivation! Don't let anyone tell you women don't belong in the military. Our daughter is a 1st Lt (getting ready to pick up Capt. and deploy to Iraq) Even though her father is a former Marine - or maybe because of it - we had reservations about her decision after college to choose this path, knowing that as a male, being a Marine is a very demanding career; but as a female, she could be facing an even harder time of it coupled with bias and discrimination from male counterparts. We are thankful that 95% of the time, this has proven not to be the case.

We were present as she deployed for the Iraqi war and seeing her with "her" Marines, my husband and I couldn't help but be in awe and full of pride at how being a Marine Officer fit her like a second skin. It was clear she had the respect of the young men under her command as well as the trust and respect of her superior officers.

Although her civilian friends from high school/college support her, I know they don't understand her choice and they can't even begin to fathom the tremendous courage, discipline (mental and physical) and sheer will that it took for her to become a Marine. She is my hero. Nothing you can do or say can make your friends truly understand what it takes. And if they drop you - that's their loss, not yours. Besides, you will be gaining a whole new extended family.

So you go girl and with that type of enthusiasm and determination, you'll make a great Marine! Go for it and soon you'll be one of the fewer and prouder!!

Extremely Proud Parents of a Marine

I am the mother of a United States Marine.

I am the mother of a man who has devoted almost 5 years of his life to defending our country and freedom for all.

And on this day, on the eve of the Iraqi elections, I give pause to honor all that he and his brothers have done in the name of freedom.

They have held one another up in prayer.

They have watched as their best friends were wounded in battle, yet sacrificed themselves to bring them to safety.

They have witnessed close friends dying and still stayed strong in their belief of their duty and their Corps... and God..

They have seen the deaths of innocent civilians and their hearts were broken..

They have seen some of the most vile, evil parts of humanity yet still have a goodness in their hearts that will never die..

I am grateful and thankful for these young men..

And as I watch the news and see Iraqi-Americans crying as they cast their first votes, I cry with them because of the sacrifices that have been made so that they have that freedom...

Freedom isn't free..

God Bless America, and the USMC

PMM of Cpl Jeff
2/5 Fox Company

Hello, Sgt. Grit:

Have been receiving and reading your newsletter for only a short time now, but was glad to see the email from Chuck letting you know about 3/25 shipping out for Iraq. I am the KVC for Lima Company and mother of Weapons Plt. Sgt. Zierk, Columbus, Ohio. Glad to report they are all doing great, morale is very high and they are ready.

Those outside the Marine Corps families can't comprehend our pride. I see this every day in my civilian world at work.

Before my son left, we worked on a yard sign I wanted to put up until their return. My son had a much better idea for it than what I had envisioned. After making a template of the real outline of Iraq, he meticulously transferred this onto a 4" x 4" 1/2" plywood, carefully sawing every bend, corner, line. The finished product has turned out to be quite something.

It will be a long year.

Proud Mom of a Marine and proud of all our Marines, past, present, and future!

Semper Fi!
Isolde Zierk

In case we find ourselves starting to believe all the anti-American sentiment and negativity about our government and its policies, we should remember England's Prime Minister Tony Blair's words to his own people. During a recent interview, Prime Minister Tony Blair was asked by one of his parliament members as to why he believes so much in America. And does he think America is on the right track?

Blair's reply -- "A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in ... and how many want out."

Tess Elliott

it was great to get the letter from staff sgt.Nate Welton from fob St.Micheal- Mahmudiyah-this is where my son is stationed and it was good to hear more of life around there...We don't hear much, and this was a god send. I also wanted to pass on a very special thing that my husband did for me and one of our Marines. We were going to dinner on the river walk in San Antonio, Tx, with a number of very important clients of my husbands, when we came upon a fantastic looking young Marine in his dress blues out to dinner with his young wife. My husband asked me if i wanted to talk to them and although i wanted to, I also did not want to start crying and ruin their dinner, so i asked him to give them my thanks. My wonderful husband proceeded to tell that wonderful young man how much we appreciated his service and that our son was in Iraq serving. Unknown to myself and the Marine and his wife, that fantastic man i married paid for their dinner. He did not tell me this, but the young Marine insisted on knowing who bought his dinner and he tracked my husband down to thank him and to get a chance to meet me and tell me that he would look for my son when he got in-country. I of course was just a bowl of mush by this point and could only thank him and hold his hand and hope he knew how much that meant to me. Well, when i turned to look down the table at those clients who witnessed this, there was not a dry eye among them. This in when i truly realized that in this great United States, you don't have to know someone personally, to be touched by the sacrifices that our soldiers are making. This Marine turned a table of strangers, into friends, by just coming to thank us..I don't know this Marines name, but i will always think of him....he has a special place in my heart.

Proud Marine Mom
Beth Smith-Texas

Sgt Grit;
Thanks again for your great weekly news letter, the four main things I read are the Bible, Leatherneck Magazine, Marine Corps League Magazine and Sgt. Grits weekly news letter. I really enjoy the Old Corps Marines comments and stories, I guess its something we never forget but often fail or don't want to share with those outside our parameter. Reading the front line stuff from these great young Marines in and from Iraq/Afghanistan make me d*mn proud I'm a Marine.

First may I share some more humor, in the last newsletter; Tough Old Bird wrote how he saluted a Delta Airlines Pilot, I laughed so hard it hurt and I said to my self that just like a PI Marine, BUT then I remembered back in 51,(that 1951) my platoon Sgt took six of us young pups to a small town just south of San Diego that was in a foreign country of Mexico. Shortly after we arrived we lost the Sgt. in some bar. As we were walking down the main street we saw two Mexican soldiers coming towards us. They had a high slanting barracks type cover , ropes of different colors on both shoulders and more shiny brass than a five year sergeant /major in the US Army, and at lest two rows of ribbons. Well we didn't know just what they were officers or what. Guess what we did? Your right we saluted, guess what they were Sergeants in the Mexican Army, seems they were part of a company of Mexican soldiers in this little town on tour also.

In 1951 my first assignment to a Marine Corps unit was with the 3rd Marine Brigade activated with Gen. "Chesty" Puller, which shortly afterwards we became the reactivated 3rd Marine Division. Of which I was assigned to C Co. 1st Bn, 3rd Mar. Reg. 3rd Mar. Div.. Wednesday, Jan 26th I was preparing Marine Corps League Certificates for a Fallen Marine who service was going to be held on the 28th. While listening to the news on the radio I heard about the CH-53E Helicopter crash and about the IED that had killed four more in Baghdad, When I went to church that Wednesday night I ask the church to prayer for those Marines that we lost today and their families. That night I cried a little, and prayed a lot. Then a few days later I start getting the list of names killed from my daily DOD Report, and to my great sorrow I saw that those 33 Marines and a Corpsman where from C Co, 1st Bn. 3rd Mar., and read their name and their ages, this ole Marine cried again. Yesterday 2/03/05 my McLemore MCL Det. Fallen Marine Detail, along with the Eastex MCL Det. assisted in the funeral service for L/Cpl. Fred L. Maciel, USMC with Full Military Honors, Today Friday 2/04/05 we will be assisting in the funeral services for S/Sgt. Dexter S. Kimble, USMC, Full Military Honors I personally could not attend either of these service because of a relapse from a physical problem, but I my heart in with my Detail. But to day I'm starting to send out 36 condolence cards to the families/wives/children of these GREAT MARINES.

Now I understand that the last company I was attached to "G" Co 1stBn 3rd Mar. are now or on their way to Afghanistan. As a Marine I really don't have to say this but I'm going to anyway "Keep our Brother Marines and their families in your prayer and thoughts daily." Semper Fidelis
Paul R. Renfro, Cpl. USMC, 51/54, 3rd Marine Division
Chaplain, McLemore Detachment #324, Houston Texas

Sgt Grit,
We need your help! Please post this announcement as soon as possible. We are looking for any IWO Jima Veterans (doesn't matter what service) who can attend our event. This may be our last opportunity to honor these heroes personally. We also could use some gifts (IWO JIMA coins preferably) to give to our honored guests who are able to attend. That is if you could possibly help us out in this respect.


On February 19, 1945 Marines of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Divisions landed on the volcanic island of Iwo Jima in what would be one of the bloodiest battles of World War II. The battle would last for 36 days and claim the lives of nearly 7,000 Americans and almost all of the 22,000 Japanese defenders. It would mark the first attack on Japanese home soil and provide the most enduring image of American heroism to emerge from the war: the raising of the American flag atop Mt. Suribachi by five Marines and one Navy Corpsman.

On Saturday, February 19, 2005 the Brigadier General Austin C. Shofner Detachment of the Marine Corps League will commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the assault on Iwo Jima with dinner and a program at the American Legion, 1816 North Washington Street, Tullahoma, TN. Invited guests include Iwo Jima veterans, Tullahoma Mayor Steve Cope, and the Marine Corps League Department of Tennessee Commandant, Dave Gardner. The Guest speaker for this historical event will be Brigadier General David L. Stringer, Commander of Arnold Air Force Base (Arnold Engineering Development Center) Tullahoma, TN.

The Commemoration will begin with a social hour from 6:00 to 7:00 PM followed by posting of the colors, introduction of guests, dinner, and presentations by commandant Gardner and Gen. Stringer. Cost is $20.00 per plate except for Iwo Jima veterans, their wives, and invited guests whose dinners will be complementary.

Additional information can be obtained by contacting League members Buddy Smith (931-455-3265), Jeff Ready (931-455-2349), Ken Wilson (931-649-3263), or Dave Uselton (931-455-0516). League members are asked to RSVP no later than 14 February, 2005.

Semper Fi
D.W. Uselton, Commandant

Brig. Gen Austin C. Shofner
Marine Corps League Det. 1128
113 Cumberland Trace
Tullahoma,TN 37388

Just finished reading Martin Russ's book about the Korean War as it related to Chosin Reservoir. I had not read this book before and when I saw it mentioned on Sgt. Grit, I called my library and ordered it. Came out of Marshall County, Tn. I wish I had had it while I was writing my book: "Korean War Veterans of Wayne County, Tn." a compilation of stories by and about the brave men from this small county who served on active duty during this time in America's history. It gave me a whole new insight into the war and the terrible conditions our brave Marines encountered at Chosin. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about our veterans. I am now working on volume three, Vietnam War Veterans of Wayne County, Tn.
Thank you and God bless.

Sgt. Grit
This week's news contains 3 or 4 stories about civilians treating Marines or servicemen like they were treated after Viet Nam. I don't see that happening in my community in Texas, but is there developing an anti-military feeling in the US such as during Viet Nam? I hope not.
James Carter, Cpl. USMCR

Sgt Grit,
Thanks to all my Marine Corps brothers for their service and sacrifice during OIF! I so enjoy reading about the exploit in Iraq a well their return stateside... Many of us support you (even though the media does not show it) You are forever in our prayers.

CPL Matt Lehn
Desert Storm & Somalia

I am a Marine from the Viet-nam era. I served two tours of duty in the grunts. When I came home I was treated like a dog and I retreated into a factory type job for 35 years. My daughter recently spent a year in Iraq driving and transporting tanks. She is safe now but her unit will return in a few months. Please all of you out their support our troops and praise them when they come home. Life is so short and to hide in a shell is a complete waste of life!!!!!!
Semper Fi Sgt John

For LCPL John Voracek...My husband made that landing in Chu Lai on May 7 of 65 and was there until Aug of that year when he stepped on a land mine. You were probably there then when they renamed the camp Camp Mitchell after LT Jim Mitchell who was killed from that same land mine. We have only one picture from that ceremony that his wife gave us. We keep in touch with her since she found Ed in 1999. She was searching for information as she was writing a book about her husband which is called The Last Stamp. Ed was in Delta Company.

He carries the memory of Jim Mitchell with him always and through him and Jan I feel as though I also knew him. We are also in touch with the daughter he never got to see...and her three lovely children. We feel like they are "extra" grandchildren and see them every chance that we get.

Connie Beesley

To LMH Lt.USMCR 76-80
I was in the 3rd MAR. DIV. 3rd TNK. BAT. H&S CO. Motor Transport. Nam '68. I took my training at MCRD San Diego and Camp Pendelton. May God go with your son and watch over him. I know that pride. As the old saying goes, it's better felt, than told.
L/CPL Dan Lisowe

Dear Sir,
I have never been able to forget our fallen Marines. I lost my husband Cpl. James Coleman, Jr., June 26, 1966, and it is as if it was yesterday. I pray for the ones that we lost in Iraq, as well as other locations. I think it was so tragic that we lost 31 all @ once. My heart for the families, wives and children that are left to cope and start over.
Linda D. Coleman
Semper Fi

Dear Sgt. Grit
I am currently a U.S. Sailor ,

I was in the Marines from 1995-1999. served with HQ CO 4th Marine Regiment. and 7th motors which was turned into 1st Transportation Support Battalion. after that I turned my sights to college with my new found life style. As a civilian I found myself missing the uniform, so with that I decided to join the National Guard. Our unit the 270th MP. CO. from Sacramento CA was activated for Operation Noble Eagle. I then got out looking ahead, and leaving the military to those younger and more able then myself. although yet again I looked to the TV and saw those fighting, for freedom, and for those who need our help I chose to come back, Because I put my faith, and trust in the American way of life. Helping those oppressed, and showing them they can have a society without dictatorship. I saw my brother Marines in the fight, and how I wished I was there to have their backs to assist in the task of helping a democracy form and take flight. However sadly I was unable to get back, and rejoin the Marines in the fight. So I am now a U.S. Sailor. I have traveled the footsteps of those who have gone before me in numerous campaigns and battlefields I have crossed several rank and file structures. I thank the lord everyday that I am able to serve with pride and honor.

Semper Fi
Lawrence Perlman
USMC 1995-1999
CAARNG 1999-2003
USN 2003- present

Good morning Sgt. Grit,

I was dismayed at seeing the note from the 69 year old MCL member who saw an opportunity to show the young Pfc. what the Marine Corps family is all about, and how his gesture of family and fraternity was coldly repaid.

If that Pfc. is as selfish as I think he may be, I'm surprised a DI didn't catch his character flaw during boot camp. I'm only 41, but even in my generation if I had done such a thing, I'd have caught h@ll from my folks, my recruiter, and most likely my CO.

However, to briefly give the Pfc. the benefit of the doubt, as an immature 18-ish year old he may well suffer from (aside from "values" leading ultimately to conduct unbecoming), a fear of hanging out with those he perceives as being "old," whatever that might mean, believe it or not. I'm one of the youngest members of my MCL Detachment, and a couple of members have spoken with me about the urgent need of having to get some new young blood in the MCL, and they agree with me that sometimes young Marines like this Pfc. just don't know how to deal with so-called "older people" (which I am rapidly getting to be, as are we all.) Our culture glorifies youth and does not at all treasure those who are "older."

Despite giving the Pfc. the benefit of the doubt, the end product is sadly the same, however. This Pfc. cannot see past his own nose or needs right now, and cannot see the immense value in the family of Marines that stand before him. And if this blindness and selfishness exists in his conduct with whatever MOS he signed on for, the 138 dollar loss the 69 year old Marine and Detachment suffered (while absolutely inexcusable), will tragically pale compared with the potential loss of life on the battlefield.

Semper Fi,
Dr. Andrew S. Berry
MCL Detachment #993
Springfield, MO

It took a long time for us to understand why our son chose to place himself in harm's way, but now we understand. You can bet that we will honor his service by NEVER letting the opportunity to vote pass us by.

We got a call from the boy on Monday after the elections. He is well and his 6 day patrol ended. He got a shower and some down time. His spirits are high and he seems to be doing well. We sent him a box of junk food and we hope it makes it in time before he starts home. We are pretty sure it will. Thanks for the prayers and good thought. He will be home soon.


Good Evening, Sgt Grit...I wanted to comment on the letter Karen sent from her son...

I a very proud Marine son CPL Tyler F. Slabey is with the 1st Tank BTN and they were the first to go..they went up the east side of the Euphrates. He was on the HG M1A1.....his letter stirred a lot of strong emotions in brought tears to my eyes...his letter was right on the money.

I sent his letter to a lot of people telling them to pass it on to people who need a lot of ENLIGHTENMENT...I also sent it to my son who is still in the Marine Corps but was severely injured in a tank accident. He wrote me back on the letter and couldn't Thank me enough for sending it....he thought it was "AWESOME"...I know it is what he is also feeling...he also sent it out to everyone he knew including his Marine buddies....

Karen...your son's letter was awe inspiring and I wanted to Thank you for raising such a wonderful son...I as well as many other people support him and all our fellow military...please, please, please tell him he made a difference back here with his letter....he really did...his letter....Thank You So Much for sharing it with us.

Julie VPMM

Sgt. Grit,

I am a MARINE MOM who sat here last Wednesday wondering if there would be a car coming up my driveway. My son had called me on the Monday just prior to that helicopter going down to tell me he would be moving to a different location further west of his present station. Needless to say, I had a pretty rough day on Wednesday wondering. I just wanted to pass on my condolences to the families of those MARINES who were lost on that horrible day. I can only feel a very small part of the pain they must be going through. Please let them know that the rest of their MARINE family has them in our prayers and thoughts. If they have any needs we can help them with - WE ARE HERE for them. My son is with the 1/3 but is in Alpha Co. If you have any knowledge of how the rest of us parents could possibly be of some help, please let us know through your newsletter. Thank you for all that you do for our families. God bless our men and women in harms way. Watch over them and the loved ones who wait for their return. May God comfort the families of our fallen "angels".

Jan Strand
Proud MOM of LCpl. Ryan & Sgt. Matthew Smith

After watching that moment during the President's speech the other night and several times on replay, it brought tears to my eyes. It is a moment like this that defines why our Marines and Soldiers are in Iraqi and why the President has put them in harm's way.

No parent wants to see something like that happen to their son. But the pride the Norwoods feel for Scott must be immense. After seeing what his sacrifice has brought to the Iraqi people after the years and years of oppression - To have the freedom to vote and to have a voice after so long has got to be an incredible feeling. I am so proud of the Norwood's to be able to show their pride in Scott for what he did accomplish. I also know that 99.9% of the people in Iraqi will not forget the sacrifice that Scott and all of our Marines and Soldiers have made It is something that we as Americans now take for granted. Freedom is NOT FREE ! It never has been. Marines have been paying this price for over 200 years. It has gotten to be a cliche but, I know it is something that Marines in Iraqi and Afghanistan don't take for granted. They are there for a purpose and as Marines, they will get the job taken care of.

We are all extremely proud of what Jordan is doing. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and the two of you everyday. We are looking forward to him being home very soon.

Semper Fidelis
Bob Bergin

"Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled, or hanged."
President Abraham Lincoln

Attention all Marines, Corpsmen, and Attached Personnel of Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment:

The 2005 Company Reunion will be held June 9, 10, 11, and 12, 2005 in Kansas City, Missouri. Get it on your calendar.

For more info contact the company clerk Ron Fieseler

On Jan. 28 2005, 2d MP BN lost one of their best small unit leaders. Sgt. Andrew K. Farrar Jr., or "Gary" as known by his friends. While in Iraq he was on foot patrol and was electrocuted by a high voltage wire that he stepped on. "Gary" had just turned 31 on the day he pasted away. He will always be remembered by his friends and family. While I have only known Sgt. Farrar for 2 years to the date of his memorial service, 02 Feb. 2005, I thought of him as a brother. He is survived by his wife and 2 boys. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.
Cpl. Bigham
Camp Lejeune, NC

"I suppose, indeed, that in public life, a man whose political principles have any decided character and who has energy enough to give them effect must always expect to encounter political hostility from those of adverse principles."
--Thomas Jefferson

Check this out. I myself is pushing 50(actually it will take me 8 years). But for all of you who want to join the service you have options out there. There is the Army National Guard. Yeah, yeah I know is not the same trust me. I have being doing this for over 12 years. But you can do this and act like a Marine anyway no matter what kind of uniform you wear. Put it this way, you are a wolf wearing sheep's clothes. The Marine Corps wants kids, period. They don't want grandpa's or dad's in their forty's. So you old farts, why not the National Guard? If not them, some state's have what they call The State Military Reserves. Is volunteer and you have to purchase your own uniform. And guess what? you still have to keep your military standards, so you have to get in shape and loose that beer gut. Last year for my annual training, most of our instructors were State Military Reserves volunteers and they did an outstanding job. This individuals were in their 60's & 70's retiree's and so on. Some of them that I met were in their 30's and 40's but due of medical reasons they could not go active duty nor reserves. So, why not? Give them a try and see the rewards. You still be serving your country at the utmost of your ability. Yeah, I know. You want to wear the Cammie's again, especially the new one's they look cool. Yeah, I know too. You want to do the "O" course with your grandson too. I know the feeling. Beggar's can be choosy either. Take any opportunity whatever comes your way. In two days, I'll be en en route to Ft. Carson and after this to the "sand box". Is my turn now. You can have your turn too.
SF...SGT Rolon
USMC 80-87...CAARNG 92-Present

"The high-minded man must care more for the truth than for what people think."

Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.
--Abraham Lincoln

We don't care how you do it in the Navy.

God Bless America!
Semper fi!
Sgt Grit

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