James, welcome to the brotherhood. "The object of war is not to die for your country, but make the other bastard die for his". Gen. George Patton. Courage, training and teamwork will go a long way to accomplish this. You will fight like you train so concentrate on training and teamwork. The rest will follow.
Roy Kaufmann, Capt. USMCR
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This is in answer to SSgt Patterson who wrote about the young joining the marines for college money. my son joined the marines in sept 4 2001 and in january of 2003 he and his squad was one of the first to go to Iraq to assemble a helicopter base. their duty was to fly and give you cover so you could accomplish your mission. he was proud of doing his duty and had no gripes about doing so.as for going to college, he knew i couldn't afford to send him so he upped for 5 years ,flying with the hueys, he was a crew chief and door gunner.he was 19 when he joined and 21 when he died. he gave his all. there are various reasons why people join but the bottom line is they know the meaning of the word marine.so ssgt patterson before you make another stupid remark think of the young that have died. by the way are you a pencil pusher or behind the lines mouth. i would hate to serve on the line with you. .........not so sincerely, charles harris
Dear Sgt Grit:
My wife and youngest son leave Saturday for Camp Pendleton to be there when our Marine returns from Iraq. He has had down time waiting for his platoon to re-group and I spoke with him last week. I asked how is was - mainly how was his head? He is fine and told me this: "Dad - this was nasty, evil and dangerous. I was scared, proud and determined to get the job done. I am coming home!!. I hope I never have to return, but if the Corp needs me here I will be the first on the plane." I asked him why? His reply: "Dad, they got to vote". Thanks for the new letter. It helped keep me together.
J Granberry, VERY Proud Dad of a US Marine.
Do not fear the enemy, for your enemy can only take your life. It is far better that you fear the media, for they will try to steal your HONOR.
Dear Brothers and Sister in Arms,
I am about to turn 18 graduate from high school then its off to parris island. I just want to say that when my country calls on me to fight in Iraq I will be proud to serve with you and to serve my country. If I die doing so, I will die with pride and my family will know that and so wont the world. There are only two seniors in my school that have enlisted in the military; myself and another who has also decided to choose the corps, many people say im crazy and that i will die for something that shouldn't have happened...i tell them that im crazy for my country, i will do anything to protect her and if that means to die for her...so be it.
Semper Fi and keep on fighting
Poolie Byers a future female Marine
First to Ashley who's fiancÃ©e' is training and heading for possible deployment, i too was new to military life..and it is just human nature to cry when your loved one is going into harms way. It does not mean that you do not support them, it's BECAUSE you support them that makes you proud, happy and scared all at the same time. My Marine son was prepared to do his job in Iraq when called on to do so, but this did not mean that he didn't have his own time of crying. Not out of fear, but out of leaving us all behind. You will always hold that nervousness in your mind, but if you will trust in god that he will lead your fiancÃ©e' in his time of deployment, it will help calm your heart. This is not easy, god can be my witness on that, and having faith is a full time job while they are deployed. The best advise i can give you is to always be positive in phone calls and emails. and save your tears and fears for you friends and family. You want your Marines mind on his work there and not worrying about you and that alone will be piece of mind for him and in turn will keep him safe. As for the homecoming question, all the info given us on this issue is to keep things simple, and don't make any plans for your returning Marine. He will re-integrate himself at his own pace. Let him call the shots on what he needs upon arriving home, but don't press any issues of parties and reunions etc. We are going up for our sons Homecoming, but are in no way expecting anything more than the biggest, longest hug that i can give him and tell him that i love, admire and respect him, and after that, if he says go home, that is what i plan to do...hope that helps out a little....my heart goes out to all the Marine families.....pmp-in texas
I am not a marine, but my dad was Bravo 1st Recon Da Nang 68-69. I love you guys and prayed for your safety and excellence in battle this evening. My dad had a Zippo lighter when he was in Nam that had some engraving on it, wondering if you've heard it before: "Live by Chance, Love by Choice, Kill by Profession". God bless all of you and I grant you strength and devotion in battle. I will pray for you and be thankful for providing my freedom from here on out. You guys are my heroes. Thanks for laying it down for the only cause.
Everett Fire Department Local 46
I have 2 of your shirts that say "My kid fought in Iraq so yours could party in college". http://usmcshop.grunt.com/grunt/productr.asp?pf_id=ts589 And almost every time I wear it in public, I have people either come up to me with approval or a thumbs up. I have not had one negative comment. I have the same bumper sticker on both cars, and have people honk with their thumbs up or say they approve. You can always tell which ones are the vets. They LOVE it. Dan Alger Sr. Proud parent of 2 US Marines LCpl Justin Alger, just home from Iraq.
The other day I was shopping with the wife at a local hardware store in our fair town of Alamogordo, New Mexico. As I was about to check out, this young gentleman approached me and stated: "I couldn't help but see your Marine Retired Cap, and I just wanted to say Thank you very much for being there while I was growing up. I asked him what he was doing now and he stated, I will retire from the Air Force, in two years. I smiled and stated to him" It seems that the shoe is on the other foot now son, I want to thank you, for being in the service now while I'm retired and protecting us as we did back then. God Bless you Son, We both left with a big smile on our faces. God Bless our Troops and God Bless the Marine Corps
Fred F Gutierrez
Today we laid to rest a 20 year old US MARINE. Lance Cpl Kevin Smith from Springfield, Ohio Killed 3/21 in Iraq. This young Marine gave his life for his country. Springfield is a small town just out side of Dayton, Ohio. WDTN TV from Dayton covered the entire Funeral to the Cemetery (with family permission) Flags flew at flown at half staff, The fire depts' hook & ladder truck hung a huge flag across the highway, that the procession went under (usually reserved for lost firefighters). I am proud to say I am an American, from Dayton Ohio, and the mother of a US MARINE. (State side right now)
I just wanted to let others know. We care, from small towns to larger citys, we care when we lose a member of our Community, (and Marine Family). I do not know his Mother or Family. I pray for all of our US Soldiers, both at home and over seas and their love ones at home
Simper Fi and God Bless our ENTIRE MARINE FAMILIES
Thankful & Proud Mom of a US MARINE
From Dayton, Ohio
Hey Sgt. Grit:
In response to the post from Cari Chubka, the Marine Mom who was amazed that someone would steal the "Support our Troops" and "Keep My Son Safe" car magnets from her car. It's not necessarily that the Axxhole doesn't support the troops or wish her son home safely - or at least I sure hope not!
Remember shortly after 9/11 when misguided Americans, in their fervor to show their "patriotism", were stealing American Flags from people's homes & yards, sand taking flags or other patriotic symbols from peoples' cars?
I had no doubt then, as I believe in this instance, that in the attempt to show their patriotism that the person/people would steal from another person so that THEY could display that magnet without having to spring for the couple of bucks!
What a "Cheap Charlie #10..."
Semper Fi, God Bless America, and God Bless our Troops!
(and Happy Easter)
Our son returned from Fallujah,Iraq on March 2nd. He had spent 4 days in the same clothes during his trip home so the first thing he wanted was a shower and then a big steak. His father and I traveled from Michigan to California to welcome him home and I can tell you it was the smelliest and the most wonderful hug I have ever received! He was a little off on his time, but soon adjusted, guess they are used to that.
We were joined at dinner by a few family members that live in California and he loved that. He did call it an early night, but that is understandable after the long trip home. He had a 96 as soon as he arrived and then had to report in on Monday. He is coming home to Michigan on the 31st of March and we are having a big welcome party on that Sunday, the 3rd of April, which happens to be his 20th birthday. How lucky can two parents be! He is ready for the party now that he has been home (in the USA) for a month and is well rested. He will be home for about 2 weeks, which is about all he usually can handle of civilian life anyway. Ever since boot he can't understand people not being self disciplined. I doubt that that has changed even after 6 months in Iraq.
Your son and family are in our prayers,
Another Marine Mom
Dear Sgt Grit.
with bombs bursting in air., and the flag was still there.
I just got back from a fantastic trip/vacation to Camp Pen where I got to visits with my Cpl as well as meet up with other Marine Moms and their sons. It was also my greatest pleasure to meet and oh yes HUG, Cpl. John Harrell, Cpl. Harrell is among our Beloved Marines returning from Iraq after having been wounded. I have known John since early boot camp days as his mother and I belong to a great Mother Of Marines web sight. It was like saying hello to a family member. The visit to Camp Pen was awesome in every way.
When I returned home I was heartbroken, As I turned into my driveway I looked for the USMC Flag that has hung over the back stairs from day one. It was there but it looks like someone had taken a razor blade and shredded it. Later that same day I noticed the red, white and blue banner with a large yellow ribbon and USMC Medallion hanging off my mail box had also been destroyed.
I feel so empty having these two displays of support for my Son and the Corps, destroyed. I feel so sad that neighbors had to wait till my back was turned.... before taking these actions (must say we do have some new neighbors! with young teens)
In nay case with the next paycheck that hold a few extra pennies I will be back to by a new USMC FLAG to display with ALL my PRIDE. With prayers for peace,
Camp Pen Mom
Dear Sgt Grit,
The opening lines of your newsletter today by Cpl. James P. Hill (Retired), just blew me away! I could literally feel his pride causing chills up and down my spine. His limbs may have been crippled 53 years ago, but his heart is VERY STRONG!
Cpl. James P. Hill's words scream about his pride of being a Marine and his fervent, selfless, love of this country!
This retired Marine sure got the kick in britches I needed, and I haven't even read another paragraph of your great newsletter!
Thanks, Cpl. Hill (and you too Sgt. Grit)!
I received in the mail today the most important invitation so far in my life. My oldest son MSgt Murphy J La Bouve will retire April 22, 2005, from Naval Base Coronado, California. My only regret is my husband S/Sgt. Carroll (Frenchie) La Bouve will not be present for this retirement. He also retired with 20 years active duty, but God called him home on June 15, 2000, but I know he will be there in Spirit. All I can say is Congratulations and for continuing the Marine Corps tradition in our family. God Bless all who have served this Great Nation of ours and have served with Pride----The Pride Only A Marine Knows. I pray Dear Lord keep all our military safe that is in Harms Way--But especially the Marines! Can't help it if I am a little Prejudice----after 45 years of living the life of the Corps it's kinds hard to change..
A very proud wife and mother of two of the finest Marines I know Jessie La Bouve
To all Marines, fellow Marine family, and friends,
This is in response to R.A. Kiser, Chief of Police request for prayer for 3/25 L Co. 1st Plt.
Rest assured Chief Kiser, our 3/25 Marines are blessed with the prayers of many individuals. Myself included. While I am a family member of a 3/1 L Co. Marine out of Camp Pendleton...one of my best friends is 3/25. I know someone is def. watching over them tonight...because everyone that I know, I've requested the same prayer from.
L Cpl McCauley has provided me with much insight about their mission and I know they will succeed beyond anyone's expectations of them. They had wonderful yet grueling training at 29 Palms and are ready for their call of duty.
I just want to let you know, there's another 3/25 loyalist out here on the "grit" list. It's always neat to hear other people talk about the group of men your heart is following.
....and to the 3/24 Mother......let us know if you plan to have that Welcome Home event.....because I'm sure all us 3/25'ers would love to celebrate with you. We're Columbus Ohio too.....even though I'm actually a Hoosier!!!! Anyways, Oorah everyone and I know I can sleep tight with 3/25 standing guard.
As a two tour Vietnam Veteran, reading these stories sent by families and Marines make me feel and realize it was all worth while over there (VN), and is more so in Iraq. You and your readers/submitters keep this Marine full of pride.
J. Allen (e-5) served in both the 1st, 2nd (LeJeune) Mar Div's......Thanks again
I am a recently retired Master Sergeant of Marines. I am currently working for the Wisconsin Department of Veteran's Affairs on a project called Mission:Welcome Home.
Currently, this is only a statewide program for Wisconsin veterans or anyone that decides to take up residency after their time is up in the Corps. It's designed to help returning vets understand what the benefits are from the state (they're pretty d*mn good) and to help integrate returning vets into communities.
I have to tell you that when I received a call and then an assignment to this program I was pretty excited. It was a blank canvass to be set up with very few restrictions. Although Wisconsin is a "Blue State" there is overwhelming support for our men and women in uniform and for what everyone has done for our country. My job is to focus the patriotism on the home front into something that's meaningful for a returning vet. I feel that I owe it to my fellow Marines who are out there on the line as we speak (my son being one of you) and to the members of the other branches of the armed forces that are doing their part as well.
In case any of you out there are from Wisconsin and want to know what we are doing or if you are just curious and want to check it out, here's the website: http://dva.state.wi.us/Welcomehome.asp
Semper Fi & Thanks Marines
I have a son, and a daughter in law, that are both Marines. My daughter in law is in the sand box. My # 2 son James, who is married to the Marine, will be going into the Marines, in late Aug. And will be going thru OCS. That'll make it 3 Marines in one family. All I can say, is WOW!!!
vpmm Lance Corporal David
vpmm in law Lance Corporal Jauntianne, deployed
As A mom of a Marine, I am not ashamed to admit that I wanted my son to go to college first. I wanted this war finished before he went in. As most of mom's wishes do not come true neither did this one. My son has now been in just over a year. He is stationed in Okinawa and loves it. He wanted to go to Fallujah, but was told he was going to Thailand for a short time. Even though my son is not in the mist of this war I still pray for every Marine there who is fighting for the right side of this war. I pray for all the military over there and to all the families. The area where we live has a heavy Marine recruitment. I look at those going to Parris Island and tell them that it will make a difference in their lives as well as other lives. And if they happen to run across my son tell him how proud I am of him.
To SSGT Patterson,
Regarding your comments to those potential enlistees, all I can say to that is AMEN. I served in the first Gulf war and remember all to well those who enlisted simply for money purposes. We don't need money-mongers. We need those who want to serve for freedom's sake.
A. Bundren, HM3 1989-1993
It's that time of year again, when young men and women are announcing to their families and schools that when they graduate from HS they will be joining the Corps (or other military choices). Graduation ceremonies will be springing up every few days through May and June and those going off to college will get the bulk of the attention. Those heading off to boot camps will be lost in the masses of the graduating class of 2005. I'd like to ask your reader audience, please, don't let this happen! If your son or daughter or someone you know is heading off into the service of our country, please talk to school officials to be certain these very special young people are recognized for this choice.
I have 5 Marines that I call my own. My oldest son and his Marine (now ready-reserve) wife are currently in Okinawa. He was recognized by his Marine Corps Recruiter when he graduated from HS, both for his service to their JROTC program and for his being accepted into the band. When my second son (currently in Iraq) graduated from HS he was the only one from his class to be recognized for his military enlistment, even though there were probably 4 others going into various branches of the military. (He is married to a beautiful Marine who is currently the Family Readiness SNCO for her husband's deployed BN out of LeJuene.) When my oldest daughter graduated from HS everyone, and I mean EVERYONE thought this brainy, beautiful young woman was going to do great things in politics or the sciences. Instead she followed her brothers into the Corps and is currently in Fallujah, walking the streets with her M16 and her grunt buddies (another story altogether how this happened). She, too, was recognized by her Recruiter. (But because she wasn't going off to college this was the ONLY recognition she received for 4 years as an honor student, president of clubs and organizations, etc.)
What these, my children, and all the other outstanding young people serving our country are doing is so vital. It deserves more than an "Oh yeah...going into the Army, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the Coast Guard...not smart enough for college?" Many of these young people scored in the 30's on their ACT tests and wowed their recruiters on their ASBAV (sp?) tests. They're bright, they're strong, they're learning new skills that will make them productive in civilian life when they have done their service. They are our heroes. Our futures.
So let's do whatever we can to encourage our schools to make some fanfare for these young people graduating this year. Let's play some patriotic song in their honor. Let's all stand and salute the flag in their honor. Let's have their Recruiters at their awards nights give recognition or commendation. Let's send them off knowing that what they've chosen to do is JUST as important (if not more so) than starting college.
Just my $.02.
Your letter-writing/newsletter-reading audience is the best. I love reading what they have to say and their camaraderie with one another, in spite of generational, ethnic and status (active duty/former active duty) differences.
By Mike Holloway
"Every man's life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived, and how he died that distinguishes one man from another." -Ernest Hemmingway
Looking back on my four years of high school, I don't see the glory of sports, as my father probably would have liked. The pride of curricular success like my mother achieved are absent as well. I can't seem to find the memories that everyone talks about as their fondest. I see four years of inaction and non-involvement. I look at myself and I see a kid who did just enough to get by and not enough to get noticed.
I'm no football player. I'm not fast enough for track or smart enough for Model U.N. I'm not popular enough to make it in the student council, and I'm not reckless enough to run with the troublemakers. My opinions are fairly neutral, so I don't fit in with the political crowd. I'm quiet, I'm shy, and most people I meet aren't really impressed with my persona until they really get to know me.
Those who do know me know about my recent decision to enlist in the United States Marine Corps. When I tell people about my decision, their reactions are typically of concern, or contempt. People assume that my college aspirations are under funded, or that I'm some sort of twisted teenage sadist, in the tradition of Eric Harris or Dylan Klebold.
The fact of the matter is my recent decision came not because I am a cruel character from a Stanley Kubrick film. I didn't join because I can't afford college, or because I'm a Bush supporter. I'm not seeking some sort of foolish Hollywood inspired glory and I'm not a gung-ho warmonger or a disenchanted youth. The truth is, I have trouble explaining my motives. As I explained above, I've never really belonged to anything but I've been searching for something to fill the sense of emptiness I feel. To me, the marines are a means to an end. I'm not ready for college, but I am ready to leave home.
I hope that if the marines give me anything in my four-year enlistment, it will be pride. Pride in belonging to something so vast and so epic that it transcends time itself. Every marine I've met (and I've met quite a few) has shared something. Young or old, whether they've been to war or not, they've all shined with a sort of pride that I don't see anywhere else. Whether they served for four years, or spent their lives in uniform, they all seem to hold the same respect for each other.
To me, the confidence and pride that every marine shares is as good a place as any to start my life from. If I earn it in four years or twenty, I think it will give me the ability to live a life that Mr. Hemmingway would be impressed with.
This a first for me,writing this type of letter. My 19 yr old grandson enlisted in the Marines & left on January 24th,to start Boot Camp, at Camp Pendleton. We are so proud of him & what he has chosen to do. He comes from a long line of military people. He makes #19 in our family,& since the last one retired 3 yrs ago, he is presently the only one serving. I had 5 brothers in the military at the same time during WW11,one was a POW for 3 1/2 yrs,one was lost at sea for several hrs after his ship was torpedoed, they both went on to make the military their chosen career.Again,we're very proud. My grandson is starting next wk on his 9th ski think he may have finished the crucible today. He was anxious for that " WARRIORS BREAKFAST",& to earn the title, MARINE!! He has had this desire in his mind for along time. I'm so proud to see him accomplish it. Of course we can hardly wait for April 21 & 22.I know this ole granny will need a bed sheet for the tears. We all cry every time we get a letter from him. His name is Kyle Willard, platoon 1063.He earned expert in rifle firing, again I'm proud! Thanks so much for letting this ole granny brag. He's the one that gave me your website. I now get catalogs from you,& I also display a Marine emblem on the "Bumper of my S.U.V". If you've never heard that song, it's awesome. Thanks to all the military men & women who have served & are now serving, just to give me the right, to display a bumper sticker.LUV YA'LL,Thelma
Responses to James Bunn's posting in #93. There were too many to post all of them. Thank you for you participation. Sgt Grit
I went through Gods forgotten corner (Parris Island) back in '86 if you get sent to a hot zone listen to your NCOs and any combat vets that are there and you will do just fine.
I've been a Marine officer for 14 years, and while I respect your choice to join us I do not necessarily agree with your email. It's not a good way to start out your Marine Corps career by downgrading the service of those other Marines who are choosing to serve along side you. Whether it is serving in theatre, serving behind a desk, piloting an aircraft or stocking shelves at a supply point, every Marine is just that...a Marine, no better, no worse. Each serves a purpose in his own way and each provides a necessary need of the Marine Corps.
Good luck at P.I.
Major Kyle Tarrant
remember that everything you will be put through in boot camp is designed to make you into a Marine and keep you and your fellow Marines alive. Whatever, they have you do is for your benefit.
James, James, James!
Don't go off to boot camp thinking you're going to go to war upon graduation only to die! If you go, know that you will live! Live, take charge, and keep your head.
Gulf War Vet,
James Bunn, I suggest you don't get on the bus to Paris Island. We don't need YOU.
To become a Marine is a calling; something deep inside of you, something that you didn't even know was there... The pride that swells up inside of you when you first receive your Eagle, Globe and Anchor. There is no prouder moment when you become a member of the most elite military service in the world! You learn you are a part of something much bigger then yourself...And no one can ever take that away from you as long as you live...Obviously you didn't learn anything as a poolie. Go join the Air Force if you want to ride a desk.
Mr. Bunn - You'll be one of the finest - you'll be forever proud - one day you'll be one of us - the "Old Breed" -- Make your memories worth while - earn everything you accomplish.
Gung Ho --
Plt. 718 3rd Rct Bn.
Parris Island, S.C.
Class of "43"
Guadalcanal Guam Okinawa China
James, I am 36. I served from 1986-1991. Extended 1 year when we stormed into Iraq the 1st time around. It is a genuine pleasure to hear the generation behind me have such a positive mature attitude towards world affairs today. Keep your head low and your ass moving. If your headed for Parris Island, please convey my greetings to ALL the DI's. Semper Fi
Thomas " Ski" Jurkiewicz Cpl.
You should feel very proud indeed. My son Chris went to PI when he was 18. He did a tour in Iraq as well as Haiti. I am very proud of him.
Unfortunately my son Chris was killed in a car crash while on leave in August 2004. I have always said that Marines are the safest when they are with one another. If you do go to Iraq you will be safe with your brothers.
It helps my heart when I hear stories like yours. You keep the faith and oooohrahhhh.
Proud MMO late
Lncpl Christopher Custer
In response to James Bunn's post: I too am a future recruit. I leave for Parris Island 20050801. I have signed up to be an aviation electronics tech. I have always had an interest in airplanes and electronics. The fact that I could do that in the Marine Corps only made the deal that much better. I would proudly serve in battle if I had to. The question would only have to be asked once and I would already be on the plane there. There are many other jobs in the Corps that have to get done and I would proudly do any of them.
My dear Mr. Bunn. You are joining the United States Marine Corps, not the Army, Navy, or Air Force. according to some, Soldiers are supposed to die for their country. Not A Marine!! A Marine's job is to hunt down his enemy on his own ground and make him die for his country, cause, or God. A Marine's job is to be better than his enemy, know him as well as he knows himself, protect all fellow Marines and gear. If he dies in combat, it should not be willingly or even have the quise of willingness, only that his enemy fought from ambush or possibly he was a good shot. I know what you meant by your letter and statement, but to be willing to fight and take a bullet, only if fate deems it so, is the creed of a Marine. You will be trained to kill the enemy, break his cause, and protect your fellow Marine as he will you. Not like the "Army of One", you will be a "link in the chain" that goes all the way back to Tun Tavern, and only you can determine how weak the weakest link may be.
If it hasn't changed too much, you will forget everything you've learned to the day you reach the Island and it will be replaced with the stuff that will make you a Man Among Men. Good Luck and Hard Work. Keep you nose clean and your ears and eyes open and straight ahead.
Welcome to the Brotherhood "on the other side"
Sgt. D. H. Gilmour U.S.M.C.
16 April, 1964 to 22 July, 1968
but still a Marine, for eternity
Some free advice for Isolde concerning homecoming... When my son's unit returned, most of us wanted to greet them at the airport with cheers, posters and banners and take them home. The Marine Corp s had their own plans. Due to security we they were not allowed to tell us their flight number and the Marine Corp s let us put together a homecoming at the base. That would be the first place to contact, through your key volunteer. We didn't stay at the base long. The Marines were ready to turn in their gear and go home. For quite some time, my son was more comfortable with close friends and family. We had a BBQ the following weekend at home and my son chose who he wanted to invite. He was very shy at first about his "Hero" status. Also loud noises were a problem. NO FIREWORKS. Don't try to force him to tell his war stories until he's ready. Some people say it's not good to hold back but he will probably talk when he is ready. It took my son nearly six months to chill out. Something's he still doesn't talk about to me, because he knows I worry. Sgt Grit has some great homecoming gifts. We got my son an NCO sword and his father-in-law bought him a K-bar. I wanted to share his pic with the Sgt Grit team but he doesn't want his pic on the internet. Says he's not a hero, that he just did his job. Adding Isodole and her son to my prayer list.
Another of the"Few" Proud Moms
Thank you for joining our corps and of course your enthusiasm, I felt the same in Jan. 1968 as an 18 year old with a boot camp departure date of early April, they changed it to late March and at the time explained that the Corps owned me and would ship me out whenever it suited them. That was the first of many interesting things in my life over the next 4 years, no complaints, I joined and wanted to go. All of you out there know the feeling! Anyway James the part of your letter I want to comment on is about not coming back, of course we all knew that part of being a Marine is being in harms way and we still joined anyway, thats we've done since the Corps began. My advice James is lets concentrate in your mind about you and your fellow Marines helping as many of our countries enemies meet Allah or whoever they find it good to die for and you concentrate on knowing that Marines are willing to give their lives for our country and our fellow Marines( even squids-no offense "doc corpsmen", soldiers airmen etc), BUT we will only do so at the greatest price we can extract from the enemies of our country. Good luck young man, you and all the rest of our servicemen/women make a lump appear in this old Marine Sgt's heart/throat when I think of your willing sacrifice for all of us. (even the dips that don't appreciate our Marines/military and their families.) Got kind of longwinded its the first time I've written like this.
Sgt. Larry(OLY) Olson, March 1968 to Jan.1972, Semper Fi
Having read a posting on your newsletter regarding registering for the selective service, (the DRAFT), I must make a comment. Even if you have enlisted in the military, and completed your enlistment, if you have been discharged before your 26th birthday, in order to qualify for numerous employment related training programs offered by the US Department of Labor, you must still complete the selective service registration. I have been confronted with numerous situations when veterans have been denied training benefits because they have not registered and it is difficult to receive a waiver from this requirement. If anyone has any questions they may contact me at email@example.com I am the supervisor of the Veterans Employment Program for the state of Pennsylvania. Served in III MAF RVN Red Beach 70-71. Semper Fi
Sgt Grit, For anyone in the Mid-South area, the Vietnam Memorial Moving Wall will be coming to Oxford, MS from April 23 to April 30, 2005. This is being sponsored by the Rolling Thunder Club of Oxford, MS and many local businesses and individuals. Anyone desiring further information may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . Thanks to you and your staff and all you do for us.
Chu Lai RVN '67-'68
Greetings ,Hope all is well, The news letter is wonderful and it keeps my faith in America alive and well, I would like to take a minute to say THANK YOU, To The United States Marine Corps, and every Marine who has helped mold my son,over the past 6 months, into a Marine. He has just graduated from S.O.I., Camp Lejeune, S.C. He made it home for Easter,and after mass, many people came up to him and thanked him for serving, a very proud moment for me his father, but what really made a tear come to my eye was his response to these people, he said " I am very proud to be a United States Marine, but the thanks and prayers need to go to my Marine brothers who are in HARMS WAY right this minute, on Easter Sunday" Well, I guess that says it all, The corps has done an outstanding job with my youngest son,
God bless All, H.G Lewis, Proud Father of PFC.Philip J. Lewis
Hello Sgt. Grit and readers. I have been reading your newsletter for 3 years now, since Cpl. Bill Riecke and I have been together. "we" have been through 2 tours to Iraq, and a possible 3rd in August. Cpl Riecke is a proud Marine who, like the so many others, has made so many sacrifices for his country, his family and sacrifices of his own. I am writing, not to brag about him, although it's easy to do....I am actually writing to make you aware of something that happened a couple weeks ago at McKay High School in Salem Oregon where Bill graduated in 1998. His younger sister, 15 years old, and so proud of her brother, took a picture of Bill, when he was in Iraq, to school to hang in one of her teacher's rooms, also a former teacher of Bill's. The school principal refused to hang the photo due to the fact that Cpl. Riecke was holding a weapon. This has gone to the school superintendent and has been refused by them. How can this be? How can they not teach these children the realities of war? When Bill called the school principal he was asked if he had a picture with no weapon....the answer being "no".....he always had a weapon...it's WAR! I would like to pass on the website of Bill's moms that has letters that others have written to the school along with the email addresses to express opinions. Thank you for your time. The website is Marinecorpsmoms.com . It is a wonderful website that Connie, Bill's mom, and 2 other marine mom's started. They have been on the news several times, even on MSNBC. Way to go ladies! I am so proud of Shea, Bill's sister, and his entire family. I love them all....especially my Marine! God bless.....Anjee in Arizona
...About 2-3 weeks later i was at work when my phone rang. It was None other than Ssgt.Mark Sprenz, with the Marines,(SouthernPines,N.C.) and he asked me, " i see you have been on our(Marines) website. Do you have any questions, that i can answer for you?" I told him that i was interested in joining. and he asked if i could come by the Recruiting office that evening, well i had plans that night, so the next day i went down to the Recruiting Office and it was just the most amazing thing. The Very SECOND that i met my Recruiter, and set foot into that office, i knew that this was something that i wanted! well, while i was at the Office, i received a phone call from my mom. and she asked me where i was, and all i told her was that there was something that i wanted to talk to her about later. Well i left the office and went too work, when i was at work my mom called again. and asked me where i had been, so i finally broke down and told her, i said i was at the Marine Recruiting Office. and she said Why? i said we will talk about it later. well that is when all of my problems began. for the past 7 months i have been trying to receive support from my parents-Mom and Stepdad. but it has been a failing process. My parents think i am too irresponsible, and they don't think i can handel it! I have also currently moved out of their house and i am living with my older sister. My Parents are making me pay my tuition at school-375$ my car insurance 352$ and the light bill at the house 180$ i don't know what too do to make them see that i am a responsible adult, i have been taking care of a house hold and everything else.My parents think that i am useless, and disrespectful, and irresponsible. they think that My decision to join the Marines is A "phase". Over the past month, my parents have taken my car away, and my car keys. because they thought i had been spending too much time at the recruiting office. and Last tuesday my stepdad cused me out the whole way too school, telling me how irresponsible he thinks i am and how i am not really much of a person right now and how i am not a Marine just because i went and enlisted. and that is how things have been for the past 7 months and i was sick of it, so i left. i just wish that my parents were more supportive, and not so negative. since i have left home i have been able to put alot of things in perspective. I want too be a Marine for several reasons, for those Intangeables- pride, honor, comittment, integrity. and Marines are Raw-sweat, blood and guts! Heart, Determination, Tenaciousness, Courage. i am a person that is very strong-willed! if someone tells me "YOU CAN'T" i do it with all i have-110% and i prove them Wrong! I know that Bootcamp is going to be a Challenge! But i am someone who like too push myself that extra mile, and I know i have what it takes too Become a United States Marine! in fact i wanna be the Best d*mn Female Marine! and i will give it everything i have got when i get too bootcamp! i am excited about going to bootcamp! i want to Earn the title Marine! and I want my Eagle, Globe, and Anchor! my parents are not the only ones who have been trying to discourage me from my decision.it has been my entire family except an uncle, my brother, and my sister, and my Recruiter! I am ready to get too bootcamp and Prove ALL of these Negative people wrong! I would appreciate Any advice that you or Anyone else may have to offer!
I don't know if this will make the news letter, but it would be Cool if it did! I take Great pride in knowing that i will join a Brotherhood that is everlasting and always there! Semper Fi! Oooorah! i love the Newsletter! Sincere Recruit! April Cheek
"Without justice being freely, fully, and impartially administered, neither our persons, nor our rights, nor our property, can be protected. ... [A]nd men may as well return to a state of savage and barbarous independence."
"The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions."
Charlie Company 2nd Platoon 3rd Combat Engineers in Vietnam
Sure enjoy getting the news Letter and reading all the stories and comments. I wanted to ask if you would print this letter in hopes that I may hear from a few of the guys I served with in Vietnam in 65-66. I am getting on in age now and have heart disease and now my time here on this earth is getting limited and I would like to hear from anyone who served with me in Vietnam if they read your news letter.
To anyone who was with C Company 2nd Platoon, 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion, 3rd marine Division (Rein), FMF. On our Platoon Flag that we made it said 2nd Platoon, 2nd to none and had 3 Cherries on it and said "We Makem and We Breakem" Then I was PFC Donald A. Yoder. One of our most beloved Platoon Sergeant was Sgt. Prommisberger who died there saving the lives of three of the guys in our platoon. I can be contacted at this e mail address: email@example.com or this phone number 541-679-0472 pacific standard time evenings or 541-58-2012 pst days. I know you are not a locater service Sgt Grit but, I hope that you will print this in hopes of hearing from any of the guys in my platoon there in Vietnam. Message to the guys: I know it has been allot of years but I hope one of you will call or write me, I would like to hear from any of you, we had some good times and bad, now time has past and I hope you will contact me and just chat and heal the old wounds.
God Bless and Semper Fi, Donald Yoder, Roseburg, Oregon
As I was reading this months newsletter it brought back to me the story that my recently return son from Iraq told me. He had asked me to buy him a ticket home so that he could spend a little time with us here in Oklahoma, we were unable to meet him when he returned from Iraq in California. Anyways, our son had gotten on the plane removed his jacket and sat down. Josh is a slender, tall built Marine. He has tattoos on his right arm that are visible. He said that no one would sit beside him or that they bypassed where he was sitting. Finally something was said and the passengers of the plane learned that he had just returned from Iraq. Josh said that the whole plane's attitude changed from that moment on. But you know don't judge the book by the cover, you could very well be sitting by a Marine or a vet. It still hurt at times that we as a nation do look at the outside instead of stopping and finding out what the real story is. I'm very proud of my son and I wear a EGA ( that Josh brought me for Christmas) on a chain around my neck. It is never off. We are enjoying our time with him state side as I know that he will be deployed again sometime this year. I just wanted to pass this story along.
Proud mother of a Marine~Lance CPl. Josh Jolly
"Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power."
--Lucius Annaeus Seneca
This is to the lady who encountered the uninformed, idiotic poor excuse for an American in line at Wal Mart in the Sgt Grit newsletter dated March 31. Ma'am, my husband also served in the Corps in the 80's (peace time) and now our oldest son is a Marine, in 2 yrs, stationed at Camp Pendleton. While he has not deployed to either sandbox as of yet (non-infantry), I know his time may well be coming. I don't know how you maintained your composure after such a back stabbing comment, but I totally LOVED your response. I applaud you for keeping cool and educating that poor excuse for an American citizen as to "why" our military is in Iraq or Afghanistan or wherever they may be deployed to at this time. I can't even begin to understand how people in our own country can still be so ignorant to it all and not realize that they are where they are and doing what they are doing for US! Even if they don't agree with this war...STOP placing blame on the very ones who are there to do a job. Furthermore, to miss high and mighty, would she rather we waited until "those people" stepped onto our land and invaded our country with their terrorist ways, which they had already done? Would she rather this war be fought in this country? Heck no because then she just may have had to don a rifle to protect herself and her own, just like our guys and gals are doing FOR her so she doesn't have to. My hat is off to you, Marine Wife, and that gentleman behind you in line, for speaking for all of us!
PW of a former/always Marine
VPM of a Marine
Two hours ago I received the phone call I have been waiting for. My son LCpl Joe Barkovich called to tell me that the plane he is on from Kuwait stopped for fuel in Maine on their way to Camp Pendleton. Joe and other members of 1st and 2nd platoon Truck Company 4th Division have been with 3/5 in Fallujah. Joe, like many of the reservists of his unit are returning for the second time from Iraq.
I am so proud of my son, the MARINE. Joe's plans include finishing the last 17 credits at the University of Pittsburgh and marring a wonder young lady, Beth.
It is true. The MARINES of today have kept up the tradition established in 1775.
greetings, sarge wanted to let you know i liked the story about the lady in the wall-mart who responded so efficiently to the other lady who called Marines murderers. a buddy an i were buying beer one day and while in the parking lot attaching it to our motorcycles a man and wife (both burley devils) walked over and seeing our simper fi license plates made the comment, ' you guys are nothing but a bunch of baby killers." to which i replied.." seeing you two here, its obvious we missed a couple."
that beer tasted extra special that night.
l/cpl j w james lll usmc 1960-64
"Remember, these reporters were being stuffed into wall lockers in high school by the types who now run the military. They're just trying to get even.'
Lt Gen James Conway, USMC
(From the "Marine Corps Times)
Dear James: I can't imagine being in a wheelchair for so long. You must be very brave and very strong. We take y'all for granted sometimes and I am sorry for that. I sorta remember the Korean conflict. I turned 11 the year you were wounded. I do remember Nam and how the evening news worried me so. My grandfather was in the National Guard (never thought to ask him why he did not go into the war); my dad was in WWII; both my brothers went into the Air Force; my husband tried to go, but was refused because we had a little son; one of my three sons was a Marine in Saudi. So, I feel I am a military person and have always been grateful for all you all do for America. I have always loved America and felt blessed to have been born here. You will be in my prayers. May God continue to hold you in the palm of his hand. Mary in Nebraska
To Cpl. James P. Hill
Thank you for the tremendous sacrifice you made in Korea. It's positive attitudes like yours that make this nation great. My son is currently on his way to Afghanistan on the USS Kearsarge. I couldn't be more proud - I couldn't be more scared. He wouldn't have it any other way.
MOM - mother of marine
You were wounded the year I was born. I salute you, sir, and thank you from my heart for serving this country, and me as a baby, and for giving your all, unselfishly. Jesus said, "Greater love has no man than he give up his life for his friends..."
In His Love,
Hey, Sgt. Grit. Outstanding newsletter, as always. But something has been bothering me. Why do we say "We are fighting for your right to say ignorant and hateful things about us and our Nation?" I know it sounds catchy to say that, but I don't believe that anyone would really sacrifice their son or father so someone else could go around acting like an ass. Maybe we could change our response to something like:
"Marines fight to protect your right to say stupid things, but that doesn't mean you should. Unless you have something intelligent to say, shut the h&ll up!" That, I think, would make more sense, and would be respectful of our wounded and fallen Marines and other Servicemen and women. Thanks, Anson Rohr.
Sgt. Grit,I am 35 years old and have been a police officer for 11. Just started my re enlistment paperwork to go back into the Marine Reserves. I spent 4 years active and 1 in the Reserves. I believe a big problem with this country is we rely to much on the sacrifice of others. I want to do my part again. I love America and the Marines. My family supports me. All you old ...but not too old Devil Dogs. Pick up your boots an let's go. Semper Fidelis....Sgt. Miranda
I just got through reading your latest newsletter and I felt I had to write.
It was really the mention of the "Moving Wall". I am an officer in the United Naval Sea Cadet Corps, Kings County Squadron, Lemoore NAS, Lemoore,CA. My daughter was a Sea Cadet for three years. We had the honor and privilege to be a part of the opening and closing ceremonies for the Moving Wall at West Hills College in Lemoore. It was really awesome and my daughter was quite moved by all of it. She graduated from high school and joined the Marines. She graduated from Parris Island on January 14, 2005. I made sure I was there for her graduation. I am so proud of her! My father was in the Navy during WWll and the Korean War. He was a Machinist Mate 1st Class. I grew up listening to his Navy stories and watching "Victory at Sea" on TV. Two of my cousins were Sergeants in the Marine Corps. So now my daughter is carrying on. She is at Pensacola for her "A" school right now. I belong to Marine Moms Online and feel very happy to be part of the Marine family. They say, "Once a Marine, always a Marine." Therefore, once a Marine Mom, always a Marine Mom. My brother was in the Air Force during 'Nam. It was absolutely shameful the way our Veterans were treated when they came home. We can give a lot of the credit for that to the media, with their bias and misleading journalism. I remember when Jane Fonda went to North Viet Nam to give aid and comfort to those who were killing our fine young men. OK, I'd better stop right there. There's a lot more I'd like to say about that. Hopefully, we'll never see days like that again, although there are still remnants crawling around. I hope my daughter never has to face anyone like that, but I know if she does, she'll respond with poise and dignity and give them h***. God bless the United States Marines!
Eileen Forcier, Proud Marine Mom!
To Sgt. Grit: Please log on to www.nhwalkofhonor.com to see what a group of veterans, including those who served in WWII, Korea, Vietnam and Gulf War are doing for veterans of all the branches of the Military and those men and women who are now serving all over the Globe. I think you will appreciate our efforts. The project is being well received by the veteran's community, the military, and the business community throughout the state.
Thank you for your attention.
Chairman/Media & Fundraising
Veterans Memorial Monuments Fund, Inc.
and, a Korean War veteran.
Anyone happen to catch Hanoi Jane on Sixty Minutes 4/3/05. She talked about her trip to Hanoi to try to set the record straight. The Sixty Minutes host even said she was going to apologize for her actions. She could apologize from now until H#!! freezes over and never get things straight with me. As a matter of fact she never did say she was sorry or I hope the Nam Vets can forgive me. She's still the same lying maggot b*##% she was then. I guess her new hip replacement must have been buggin' her. If she tries to protest the war in Iraq I swear! You know what I mean. To all the Men and Women doing their duty in Iraq, God speed and we won't let people like Janie conspire with the enemy like she did in Nam. Get a bunch of bad guys for me.
Semper Fi Ern 65-69 lstMarDiv 66-68
"It is the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigor. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution."
God bless you and all the
amputees and Corpsmen.
You are the real heroes...
The KIAs have no more
problems We who made
it as mental WIAs have
to learn to deal with it.
Those of you that over
came your physical handi-
caps and made a life of it