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 #96

Sgt Grit: I had to write...I am a recent widow of a United States Marine who died in his 60's with his Marine haircut still in tact. I marvel at the dedication of the Marines and thank God that with all the wussies around, there are still enough men to fill the corps. I teach in a high school with at-risk kids. I tell them my husband's stories and remind them that you do not enlist in the Marines-you apply, and if you are very, very lucky, they might accept you. You Marines are to be commended and envied.

Pass this newsletter on to anyone you feel would like it.
To submit your thoughts use

To SUBSCRIBE to the list click here:
Insert your email address in the SUBSCRIBE box

To UNSUBSCRIBE from the list click here:
Scroll down and insert your email address in the UNSUBSCRIBE box

...OR... email me at

New Items!

US Marines Rubber Bracelet

Semper Fi Old Brand T-Shirt

Ladies Pink USMC Hat

Matching Semper Fi Earrings and Necklace

Featured Closeout Item:

Marine Corps Golf Shirt

See all of our closeout items:

As a former Marine, I take extreme pride in the fact as a 17 yr old snot nose kid that I made one of the best decisions of my life...Joining the United States Marine Corps in 1955. Outside of my deceased uncle, who was a Lt. Col. in the USMC, everyone of my older siblings had joined the Air Force. I always admired my deceased uncle for he was disciplined, decisive, courageous and honest. He always stood out when our families were together. My point is, this is the second newsletter I have received and I am humbled by the testimonies of present and former Marines. Indeed this is a "very proud" family that I belong too.

Lastly, I would like to say that I am very proud of my daughter, Sharon who left her husband behind, who is serving with the US Army in Balad, Iraq. My heart goes out to all wives, husbands, parents and children who have love ones serving in Iraq and Afgan. I pray daily for all of our military throughout the world as I would encourage each of you to do. God Bless America And Our Troops!

Semper Fi
Jim logsdon,
55-59 USMC

Sgt Grit,

I was browsing your site, enjoying your goodies. I also enjoyed your intellectual section, very much. I just wanted to say thanks for being real. It is hard to find that anymore.

I am a Company Corpsman currently deployed with my Marines CO.B/8TankBN/4MARDIV, and a Veteran of OIF 1 also with my Marines CO.D/2TankBN/2MARDIV. It is funny how the news does not show some of the stuff you have in your site. I have seen some of the stuff, like Saddam and the Towers. This is what motivates me to keep doing what I do.



Doc T

HM2 Glenn Tannahill
Company Corpsman
2nd Provisional Security Company
Here's Health to You and to Our Corps,
Which We are Proud to Serve

Sgt Grit,

This is in response to Sgt. H. S. Bane's intimation that perhaps not all recruiters are 'honest and upfront' in their attempts to recruit potential Marines. As I read 1stLt Merna's response, I couldn't help but think how recruiting relates to real life.

I come from a large family--7 kids--Irish, Catholic. After my first child was born, my daughter, I remember thinking and wondering why had my Mother never told me how incredibly difficult parenthood is??!! Surely she could have been more 'honest and upfront' with me about this life-changing event! Of course, I eventually realized that NOTHING could have truly, adequately prepared me for all that parenthood holds.

My son signed on with the Marines in his senior year of high school. The recruiter was at our home numerous times and answered any and all questions we asked of him. But even with all of that, my son's first letter home was jam-packed with shock at how horribly unprepared he truly was for the Marines.

In his own words--"This is nuts! This is just nuts! No one can really know what this is like until they are here doing it. This is crazy!" In fact, I sent his letter to Sgt Grit, and you kindly ran the whole letter. I consider it a classic.

Who can prepare anyone for anything that life holds? I believe most recruiters do the best they can to answer questions and to prepare potential recruits for the Marine Corps. In the end, it is the recruits' own guts, determination, and maturity that will make or break him or her. This June my son completes his 5-year enlistment with the United States Marine Corps, and I eagerly await his return home.

God bless our Corps and all our Marines!
Proud Marine Mom

Sgt Grit,
A little over a year ago, my son came to his father and me, telling us he wanted to join the Marines. As a mother, I was NOT thrilled, but trying to be opened minded I listened. I encouraged him to talk to other recruiters (only took me 2 weeks to convince him). Though I know he did this to humor me, he finally did. The first recruiter he talked to destroyed everything I had tried to accomplish (only to look at all of his options). This person didn't want to talk about the jobs Mark was interested in only what he wanted him to do, which were not even close!!! Mark was only 17 at the time and needed me to sign--he finally came to me and said I'm joining the Marines and if you won't sign now, my birthday is on Sunday, May 2 and on Monday May 3, I'll sign for myself. Well, guess what--I signed. I know my son and his determination.

As I read the first newsletter I have seen of yours about the recruiters I felt like I needed to give some of these men credit. Mark's recruiter, Sgt. Julian Frank, was GREAT! He took the time to talk to me and answer all the questions I had. Up to this point I have not found anything lacking in what he told me or my son. He didn't sugar coat that it was going to be hard--boot camp, SOI, being away from family and friends (Mark had never been away from home for more than a week at a time). That sometimes you won't get exactly what you want.

After I signed, I asked my son (I had asked this many times) Why the Marines?? He said, "When Sgt. Frank call me on the phone, he took the time to talk to me right then. He didn't spend the entire call trying to get me into his office." Never underestimate the power of a few minutes on the phone.

My son is now with the 2/2 Golf Co. He is at 29 Palms and due to deploy to Iraq in June. He is happy with the decision he made and I can't be any prouder of MY MARINE!!!

Marine Mom
Tracey McNeil
Dubach, LA

On April 7th this year I went to see Ann Margaret in concert in Fort Collins, CO. I took with me an enlargement of a picture taken aboard the USS Yorktown CVS-10 of her coming aboard and going through the Marine Corps Honor Guard. I am the third Marine (Lcpl) on the left. I also was one of four Marines that escorted her up to the stage (forward elevator that was lowered to make the stage)

After the concert I went to the stage and asked the keyboard player if he could get Ann Margaret to autograph the picture. He called the road manager over and I was taken back stage. When Ann Margaret came out of her dressing room she was introduced to me and we spent time talking about her time aboard the aircraft carrier. She remembered the squids spelling out "Hi Annie" with their bodies then getting the h&ll off the flight deck before she landed.

She then autographed my picture and I got a great big hug and kissed on both cheeks. One class act lady. More attention should be paid to her and her support of the troops instead of that self professed wh*re Hanoi Jane.


Re: April Cheek
Your family may not appreciate what you want to do but don't burn any bridges and have patience with them. They may not realize the price you will pay to help protect them but you can have some satisfaction knowing that you will be protecting them in their ignorance (meaning lack of understanding and not a slur).
Also, once you complete boot camp you will be welcomed into a bigger, trusting and more understanding family. You will have hundreds of thousands of brothers and sisters.
So follow your heart, keep your head up and you will be fine.

Semper Fidelis,
"Bo" J Bolin

Sgt. Grit -
I am a Marine Mom, wife and daughter with a son currently serving in Iraq. I can never truly explain to others the pride I feel whenever someone mentions the Marine Corps to me. I believe in all the Marine Corps stands for, and in this case particularly, the fact that each and every Marine serves in order to protect our freedom and our way of life.

I was recently asked to sign a petition in our little town in central Wisconsin. The petition was started by two Moms whose sons are currently in boot camp. They finished high school in December, went to boot camp, and will be back in time to attend graduation with their class. They requested that they be able to wear their uniforms, rather than the standard cap and gown. Their request was denied. Hence the petition.

I am proud to say that enough people in our little town signed those petitions. The first vote was held by the local school board and passed. A second vote is required to make it official. I do believe that it will pass the second time. I was pleased with the news that these fine young Marines will be allowed to wear their dress blues to their graduation.

These young men are training to be the best of the best, and should be allowed to stand proudly with their fellow students on graduation day, wearing the uniform that they earned the right to wear.

I can not believe that their initial request was denied. I say we have to support all of our Marines and thank them each and every day for the job that they do.

May God bless each and every one of them and their families.
Proud Marine Mom from central Wisconsin.

My graduated on September 10, 2004, from the MCRD, with Kathy Guzzo's son, Brian. My son, PFC Daniel L. Gruber is currently with Bravo Company 1/5 in Ramadi, Iraq, on his first deployment. It has been a very long 53 days for us with another five months to go. Deployment is different, you long for those Boot Camp Days when you missed them so bad you could hardly wait until graduation day, but at least you knew that your child was safe. You pray at least daily, if not all the time. It is a time where you just have to place your faith in God that your child is going to be okay one way or another.

Amy Hoffmeier
Proud Marine Mom

I have, with a few of my former military friends across the country, embarked on an internet endeavor to show our support for the men and women fighting overseas to keep our shores free from tyranny and oppression. I have the utmost respect for any man or woman who has the nerve to don a uniform of a fighting man for these United States and was proud to have done so myself. I have begun addressing this support through emails and thought there is no better place than your newsletter to get this message out to those that matter. What I would like to see is for all Marines, soldiers, sailors and airmen from past military conflicts and peacetimes, once again take up support for our troops by digging into their old duffle bags and sea bags, find their dog tags and put them back on until every serviceman and woman returns from Iraq and Afghanistan. Let's all show our support for our troops who live daily in harms way. It is the least we can do as they fight for our freedom and make the ultimate sacrifice for our miserable souls.

Tom Gorgone
USMC 71-75
MCAS (H) New River

Semper Fi....

I will never forget when my son called me and said..."Dad, I'm going to war" that call on 07OCTOBER....well in advance to the March date...nothing like going in to... "set up shop".

Since that call, he's been there and back again. From my own experience, I know full well how important it is to keep the home fires many packages were sent. And on the home front, I had to "engage" the unknowing idiots that feel free to comment..."This war is all about the oil".....I was on a lunch break and heard one of the other cops (young college guys) I work with make this remark one day....he didn't finish his lunch....

Thank God I have my swat brothers to help me.....fighting the good fight...

I don't let the "idiots" get to me.....keep "my bearing" 24 and 7.

Because our Marines and Troops want to make sure that they have a come back to.....

....and mine found a newer Trans-Am to come home to!!!

Semper Fi...
Doug Rumick

The Wall Street Journal

Best of the Web Today - April 12, 2005


One Marine vs. 20 Idiots--Guess Who Wins?
On Friday we noted that a score of Ohio University students and others had staged a "die-in" to protest the liberation of Iraq. The Post, the student newspaper, carried a letter from Marc Fencil, a senior who is also a Marine currently stationed in Iraq, that is so excellent we reprint it in full:

It's a shame that I'm here in Iraq with the Marines right now and not back at Ohio University completing my senior year and joining in blissful ignorance with the enlightened, war-seasoned protesters who participated in the recent "die-in" at College Gate. It would appear that all the action is back home, but why don't we make sure? That's right, this is an open invitation for you to cut your hair, take a shower, get in shape and come on over! If Michael Moore can shave and lose enough weight to fit into a pair of camouflage utilities, then he can come too!

Make sure you all say your goodbyes to your loved ones though, because you won't be seeing them for at least the next nine months. You need to get here quick because I don't want you to miss a thing. You missed last month's discovery of a basement full of suicide vests from the former regime (I'm sure Saddam's henchmen just wore them because they were trendy though). You weren't here for the opening of a brand new school we built either. You might also notice women exercising their new freedom of walking to the market unaccompanied by their husbands.

There is a man here, we just call him al-Zarqawi, but we think he'd be delighted to sit down and give you some advice on how you can further disrespect the victims of Sept. 11 and the 1,600 of America's bravest who have laid down their lives for a safer world. Of course he'll still call you "infidel" but since you already agree that there is no real evil in the world, I see no reason for you to be afraid. Besides, didn't you say that radical Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance?

I'm warning you though -it's not going to be all fun and games over here. You might have bad dreams for the next several nights after you zip up the body bag over a friend's disfigured face. I know you think that nothing, even a world free of terror for one's children, is worth dying for, but bear with me here. We're going to live in conditions you've never dreamt about. You should get here soon though, because the temperatures are going to be over 130 degrees very soon and we will be carrying full combat loads (we're still going to work though). When it's all over, I promise you can go back to your coffee houses and preach about social justice and peace while you continue to live outside of reality.

If you decide to decline my offer, then at least you should sleep well tonight knowing that men wearing black facemasks and carrying AK-47s yelling "Allahu Akbar" over here are proud of you and are forever indebted to you for advancing their cause of terror. While you ponder this, I'll get back to the real "die-in" over here. I don't mind.

What can we say but "Semper fi"?

April 20th was Earth Day at beautiful Santa Barbara City College. There were dozens of information tables set up on campus about all things earth and ecology related. There was also an informational table staffed by two squared-away Marines in crisply-starched utilities, one of which was recently returned from duty in Iraq.

One of our mathematics instructors fired off a campus-wide e-mail indicating that the presence of the Marine recruiters was inappropriate saying, "They in no way contribute to anything that Earth Day stands for."

After my blood pressure calmed down, I sent out a campus-wide of my own. I reminded the good professor that these Marines volunteered to put themselves in harm's way to allow us the freedom to have an Earth Day. I also guaranteed her that, if she were to go by the area where the Marines were, it would be as clean, if not cleaner, than when they got there. I was pi**ed, but maintained my bearing.

I expected e-mails to follow from others supporting her and blasting me. I was pleasantly surprised.

The president of our teachers' union wrote that we should respect the concepts of freedom of speech and association.

A physics professor lectured her on the billions of $$$ the military spends each year in cleaning up bases and test sites, especially some of the Navy facilities here in California.

Another professor wrote, in part, "the Marines serve our country with their lives and defend the whole earth by it. What more do you want?"

One of the Environmental Studies teachers, and coordinator of Earth Day, wrote to explain that the intent of Earth Day, in part, was to create an environment where "everyone is welcome to learn and explore." He even invited the Marines to have some organic food and hemp soap. Most importantly, there were NO e-mails supporting our misguided mathematics professor. So far, she has not responded to any of our remarks

Perhaps things are changing on some of our college campuses. Maybe all of the talk about "tolerance" even applies to Marines.

I plan on personally thanking all of those who sent those supportive e-mails. And I look forward to Sgt. Caldwell coming back on campus looking for a few good students who might want to become United States Marines.


Tom Mahoney
Cpl, ('67-'71)

Just want to tell all the Marines out there that even the kids know who you are. When the war had started and MSNBC had their 'Wall of Heroes', my grandson (4 at the time) came in and saw it on TV. He said "Look at all the Army Man bosses." Perplexed, I asked him what he meant. He proceeded to lead me to his Uncle Jason's Corps picture and said "The ones that wear that uniform are the bosses of all the Army mans." Needless to say, he is his Uncle's favorite!! My son, SSgt Jason Pagel is in his 13TH year with the Corps and is currently in Afghanistan. My niece Michelle, Army, was recently home on leave before deployment to Iraq and had taken my grandson to have his glasses repaired. Theodore informed the Dr. that Michelle is in the Army and his Uncle Jason is a Marine. Asked if there was any family spats over the two branches, she quickly told him,"I'm not stupid-Jason is a MARINE! You don't screw with the Marines!" So, to all the Marines----rest assured, the kids and the Army know you are the Bosses! God bless all the troops and their families for the sacrifices you are making. We are praying for you!

Sue Pagel

Dear Sgt. Grit...........I just wanted to say a BIG THANK YOU to MCRD San Diego/ see my older son and I had pulled into Diego without reservations and couldn't find a place to stay..well one that wasn't going to cost 146.00 per 3rd to the oldest son (I have 8 children by birth) was graduating boot camp the next day(now Pvt. Matthew Pantel USMC) :) and we had just drove over 14 hours to get there and were exhausted....we pulled up to the Gate and were put threw....directed to Billeting and they graciously gave us a room..adjoining rooms for 36.00 Total!!! (No i didn't bring all the kids..just the 21 yr old and the 7 yr old) Its just incredible the hospitality we received down at MCRD....and yes!.....graduation day was the proudest day of my life :) My son was home for 10 days and then we made the trip back down to So. Cali and dropped him off at Camp Pendleton...from there...well we aren't sure where he's going but lemme tell ya.........the pride and confidence i saw in my son...was amazing....the Corps honestly did take an unfocused 18 yr old and turn him into a very focused man...dang!! We spent a lot of time talking(while he was on Leave) and the changes i saw in him, his attitude and the way he held himself, the way he spoke to the younger kids.....yes...I'm a proud mommy :)

I have a 14 yr old son, 12 yr old girl, 7 yr old son and a 6 yr old son who are ALL SURE AS H&LL they are signing as soon as they turn 17.........meanwhile i am looking into the Young Marines for them( the 6 & 7 yr old have to wait until they are 8 to join the Jr Devil Dogs and are NOT happy about that fact)....they are all excited and Matthew has made a real difference in their lives...sharing his stories and how the Corps can help you develop in life the real characteristics that count....Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!! Respect, Pride and Determination..........they are full of USMC spirit lemme tell you....and some day will make great Marines and make their contribution to Old Glory and those that went before them who gave and sacrificed.

I also wanted to say thank you for helping me keep my spirit while my son was in boot camp........your newsletter i can never get threw without bursting with pride( and tears) that i am an American and thinking about all the wonderful men and women who have served/still serving our Country and helped to ensure our freedoms here at home.....and it has helped me threw some tough times reading others thoughts and all you folks..........Me and Mine Love Ya!

Alright...again thank you for your newsletters and the laffs and even the tears...and oh yes...let me not forget the online store....omg!! i have spent my share and no doubt will continue to do so in the future....semper fi folks

Matts Mom....Katie

In response to Chief of Police R.A. Kiser's assured! More prayers are going up for 3/25...these coming from a little east of Columbus, from West-By God-Virginia! 3/25 Kilo Co. is based in Moundsville WV and is comprised of great Marines from the tri-state area (WV, PA, OH). They, too, had grueling training at 29 Palms before being deployed at the end of Feb. Unfortunately, they lost a brave warrior on March 25...Cpl. Bryan Richardson, of Summersville WV, was killed when his HUMVEE struck a landmine. I know that after their time to mourn, Kilo Co. went back to their mission with renewed resolve!

There is still time to plan, but I am sure that Kilo Co's. Key Volunteers will start working on a homecoming event to rival all others! What a great day it will be when we can welcome these young Marines back to safety and the loving embraces of their families and friends.

To all the other 3/25'ers out there--here is another one on the "grit" list (thanks, Alissa M.). Our prayers are with you and your loved one!

K. Davis
Proud Aunt of LCpl. Ryan Matthew Harris 3/25 Kilo Co.

To the families that have someone over in the Cat Litter box called Iraq, or even Afghanistan. I am a proud veteran of OIF. I was with about 150,000 other troops who crossed the lines into Iraq. The day after the statue came down I was in Baghdad at the Ministry of information building.(baghdad bob's house). I was with 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion and attached to 7th marines during the War. I have been home now for about 2 yrs. One of the things that helped me was comfort items that i had brought with me and sent to me. Hopefully you can use some of these suggestions for your marine over there now. If you can a small personal tape recorder would help especially if you haven't been able to hear from your marine or visa versa. I used it when i was over there and have a audio diary of the time that i was there. Not only that but you can send the tapes back and forth. It does help. Make sure you send a couple of extra batteries with the tape recorder. Another thing was Spices. MRE's get really old really quick. Excuse the pun but they could really help to spice things up. examples of good spices would be. Seasoning salt. mrs. dash's seasonings, garlic spices ,hot spices, lemon pepper, and the list could go on. Most of the MRE"S are noodles and chicken. HARD candy helps when it is really hot to keep moisture in your mouth. Speaking of moisture. I know that it may sound cruel but i had seen friends who got soda and water in the mail. By the time that they had got their mail one or more of the soda had gotten leaks one way or another. DO NOT SEND soda or water. The water they have is not the best tasting but not bad either. You can send cool aid and Gatorade dry powder packets. Another thing you can send is pipe cleaners for their weapons. Even a small paint brush 1" to 2" head to help keep those life savers clean. even cleaning patches for their barrels come in handy. If you prefer to get good patches you can always go to a gun store and ask for patches that would fit a 5.56 barrel. The gun smith will know what you are looking for. keeping it cheap would be a cut up old cotton t shirt. Zip-lock baggys are a friend and go good with the person tape recorders to keep them from the sand. Multiple baggies if not a small box of them would help with sand problems. My tape recorder still works today because of that. One more thing about the recorders. I also used them for my unborn daughter. My wife would put a head set over her tumby so that my daughter could hear my voice as I did not know when I would be home. Magazines are a good thing as well. I does help to find out what is going on back here in this great country of ours. Send only a couple of small picture if you send any. Remember terrorists can use the mail too. I hope these things will help your marine if you can send them to them. before i forget. You don't have to write everything on those inventory papers for when you send packages. I don't know how much the mail has improved but thing s were stolen from packages and then retaped. Like cigarettes. please excuse my spelling as it is not the greatest.

Former grand old Lance corporal of the marine corps Robert Kent. Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran. Semper Fidelis to my brothers and their families. God speed home.

"Our hopes for the future are high. Despite the hectic pace of change in today's world, we know that by allowing the freest expression of individual human aspirations, we can surmount our challenges and build a more secure and peaceful future. We know this because of a simple truth which makes our societies strong: Freedom works."
--Ronald Reagan

I graduated in 67 and wanted to join the Corps (a wannabe) but my Dad (Navy Seabee) said no. I respected him and joined the Air Force at his request. Spent 2 tours in Nam anyway and met many fine grunts. My son decided to go military after high school as he was tired of school and turned down several scholarships. One of the proudest days for my wife and I was when he graduated from MCRD San Diego. He has carried that bearing ever since and it has made a difference. He was a good kid with no direction. The Corps changed all that. I want to thank GySgt John Anton for riding herd on my son and the "Fab Four." He still speaks of Gunny with respect, honor and humor. He was in LAV's at Pendleton and had his share of "Pirate watches."

Semper Fi
Very Proud Dad

I was with the first all-female USO show in 1969-70. We spent six weeks flying to remote sides in Alaska, then went to Japan, Korea, Okinawa, the Philippines and Guam. We were supposed to spend two weeks in Vietnam, but our visas were canceled at the last minute because of the dan danger flying there. We were so disappointed, because Vietnam was where we thought we could do the most good (plus my father was there). Instead, we spent the two weeks doing extra hospital shows for guys wounded in Vietnam. While in Japan, we got a telegram from USO offering us a "Christmas" tour of Europe. It is my understanding that we were the only USO show out at Christmas, other than Bob Hope, and we went places he couldn't. We traveled to Belgium, Holland, England, Germany (where we spent Christmas Eve/Day) and Spain.

Though it has been 35 years, we are just now planning a reunion for the five of us. We know where four of us are, and think we can find the fifth. We had such a wonderful time, and such great experiences during those two tours. I just wonder who might remember us. Our show as called "Arizona Jamboree," a name USO gave us. We were anything BUT a Jamboree--we did blues, light rock, jazz, and had a comedy act as well. We wanted to call our group "Trouble," picturing advertising posters reading, "Trouble is Coming!" USO decided that wasn't such a good name, so changed it. We did a US television show in Korea, and appeared in a variety show on Korean National Television. We were on numerous radio shows. We had several write-ups in Stars and Stripes, and had a large article that appeared in the Sunday Parade Magazine.

I would love to hear from you. Would just really like to hear, also from anyone who remembers our GREAT show!

Sincerely, Sandy (Vaughan) Welford.

After reading the news letters that I receive from grunt, I just can't help but reply. I am a college student who has decided that I would be honored to serve my country. When I was in high school I thought about joining the Army, but I received a lacrosse scholarship. These few years in college have made me realize that my interest in the military is not a phase that will pass, so by doing research on all the branches I found that the USMC struck me like none other. Those that support the Corps tell a history of unwavering faith and devotion. The ideals and standards of the Corps is unmatched by any other. It is through reading the many news letters from Grunt, and by my own research that I decided on the Marine Corps as my future family. This summer I have been accepted into OCS, and God willing, I will pass the test and after my final year in college become a true Marine. I would like to thank everyone who has ever written in the new letters and giving testimonies, because even though I have been called crazy by many I know that there are people out there still in support.

Semper Fi,

Amanda Childress
(a college kid who wants to serve and not party)

Sgt Grit; this URL is a great one to share with the troops, you know us old f#rts..Chaplain Paul R. Renfro, MCL/USMC

Dear Sgt. Grit:
I am a former Sgt of the Marines (80-84) and d*mn proud of all Marines that are serving or have served!! I've noticed on many websites that there are groups sending packages, letters, etc to our servicemen/women - however, what concerns me is that I don't see any assistance listed for them when they come home from overseas. I worked with a Marine wife whose husband was in Iraq for the 2nd time and she told me that his first tour home was quite stressful. She said that they give the Marines a 3-day "detox" movie, but that was the extent of any mental assistance. They had to find help on their own, out of their own pockets. She told me the reason they had to find some help was due to an incident where she was preparing dinner and opened a Pillsbury biscuit roll (they can pop pretty loud) & her husband almost took her down. He was having nightmares & life was pretty stressful. I know the training that the Marines go through (been there, done that) & you turn out lean & mean - but going into the war situation that they are and then coming home - I would think that more than a 3 day "detox" movie is in order.

I haven't seen any individual doctor or clinic that advertises pro bono to help these Marines and/or their families. I would think that our government should provide this service FREE of charge for as long as the family/individual needs it. Aren't we protecting their asses, too???? If there is some sort of extended program for our Marines, then I stand corrected, but from what I have been seeing & hearing, I don't know of any. Please let me know of any, so that I may pass the information on to friends that have family in the Marines.

Semper FI, do or die!!
J. Daun, USMC 1980-1984 Sgt

I wanted to share a great story-that gives me hope for today's youth.....
My husband broke his neck last year, and was hospitalized for a while. (both of our fathers were Marines, and Vietnam Vets)
We have two young Army friends, who had returned from Iraq just a month before. They had drills one weekend, and came to the hospital dressed in Class A's (?)
They were so handsome, and I was thinking my husband would be so happy they came. Before they made it down the hallway, a nurse ran up to them, and said "who are you here for?" and she looked terrified.
With a little twinkle in his eye, he politely explained, "I'm just here to visit a friend, Maam"-(not to bear bad news) The nurse apologized, and scurried away.
Although we all got a chuckle out of it - as they came into my husbands room-
I heard applause- (and remembered)......and really understood.
*Semper Fi *
USMC -"Live by chance, Love by choice, Kill by profession"

Delgado- CA-USA

Sgt. Grit,

In response to Sgt. H.S. Bane's letter in the March 31st newsletter regarding Marine recruiters, I would like to add a few thoughts. Armed Forces recruiters have gotten some bad publicity lately, but one can't judge the whole by the actions of a few. I happen to know several Marine recruiters well enough to be familiar with their work ethic and practices. Sgt. Bane made the recruiters sound like the stereotypical image of a used car salesman, saying that they are "super salesmen" who are "filling quotas and trying to get warm bodies on board". Recruiters are assigned their duty, and they do have quotas that they are expected to meet. However, they are still Marines, and from what I have seen, the things they stand for as Marines are first and foremost in their actions and in their work. These recruiters act with integrity, determination, courage, and pride. Many are war veterans and all are enlisted and know what it means to serve our country. They are vested in the Marines and in the welfare of our country.

Recruiters put in more hours than most careers require. Of course, they strive to meet their recruiting quotas. Every job has goals that should be accomplished. They don't work toward their mission for monetary compensation like a salesman would, however. They do it because they believe in the cause of the Marines and what that means to our country. They don't lie to the kids they are trying to recruit. Why would they? They don't want someone joining the Marines under false pretenses. What kind of a recruit would that be? How would that Marine perform under pressure in a wartime situation? Why would they want to recruit people who would not join if they knew what the Marines were really about? They may indeed have to fight next to that person someday.

I have seen Marine recruiters put in 15+ hours a day, seven days a week for two weeks straight to accomplish their goals. They don't lie or "omit the truth" to meet these goals, they just work harder. Their job doesn't end when they have signed recruits, either. They work with the recruits and serve as role models for them, getting them prepared for boot camp, working with their parents, doing what it takes to make sure each recruit is prepared and knows that he/she isn't going it alone. These recruiters have to work harder than any other branch's recruiters because Marines work harder, and it is more difficult to get people to make that level of commitment. That is what sets them apart. They strive for excellence in all that they do.


Whitney Buckendorff
High School Teacher

3rd Reconnaissance Battalion Association
September 8-12, 2006
To the Marines and Corpsmen who served with, or assigned to, the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, (Rein) Republic of Vietnam, to supporting units, to the family and friends of those who served, and to the men of honor with "Wings of Gold". All are invited to join their friends and comrades in San Diego, California
Wednesday September 8, 2004 for the
3rd Recon Association's 2006 Reunion
Arrive: Wednesday September 8, 2006
Depart: Sunday September 12, 2006
Battalion Harborsite: Red Lion Hanalei Hotel
2270 Hotel Circle North, San Diego, CA 92108
Tel:(800)882-0858 or (619) 297-1101
FAX: (619)297-6049,

For More Information: go to our web page

Or contact
Len Rapuano, 2006 Reunion Chairman

Steve Rotchstein, 2006 Reunion Co-Chairman
Darlene Schneider, Reunion registration
Evening phone (859)-342-6456

As the mother of a two year Marine, I hope that they do "still teach that". I would hope that he, my son, would be protected by his older "brothers" and feel the same responsibility to his younger "brothers". I am a child of the 60's. My nearest relative serving during Viet Nam was my uncle. I remember the news cast every night with the body count. I wish I could remember more important things than the wonderful presents my uncle brought home to me, but they were so foreign and so wonderful that the "gift" sticks out in my mind rather than the gift of his service. My uncle served for 20 years and still bares the physical and emotional scars. I am still indebted to him and to those of his generation. God bless the USA and God bless our Marines.

Randie DeArment
PMM Cpl Brian/31st MEU

Lcpl Zygielbaum,

My advise to you is carry a lot of ammo. Grab as many hand grenades as you can hold, and use them. If you have to go into a building don't use the door but blow a hole in the wall, If you have the money buy yourself a pistol, a K knife. keep separated and don't bunch up and most of all don't trust the enemy. semper fi long live the Marine Corps God Bless America


Mike Damigo,

lmao, I was in 79 - 89 and five of those years I spent with M-109's (155mm self propelled howitzers). We had the same fear of apricots, it's a track vehicle thing.

As for me... I'm stayin the course. I haven't eaten an apricot in 25 years and I wont. Far be it from me to cause a track somewhere in the Marine Corps to break when the crew may need it the most.

Semper Fi,

"Freedom had been hunted round the globe; reason was considered as rebellion; and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing."
--Thomas Paine

Last March I had the extreme pleasure of returning to MCRDSD were I graduated from boot camp Dec. 1949 Platoon 39. The occasion was the Graduation of our grandson Pfc Kenneth K. Jahn who also set a new Kilo company record on the rifle range 241 out of 250. He also received a plaque from Leatherneck.
Bob Hennings Sgt 49/53 Korea Chosin Few 5/2/05

"Conquer yourself and the world lies at your feet."
--Saint Augustine

Its great to see all of the support for our troops overseas. Its also great to see the welcome home groups forming to meet the inbound flights on the east coast.

Recently, I attended the funeral of an area Marine ( WWII) and someone came up to me and asked ..Gene did they really spit on the returning Vietnam veterans? My reply was ...NO ONE AND I REPEAT NO ONE EVER SPIT ON THIS MARINE.

Keep up the great work!

Semper Fi
Gene Spanos
Lieut. RPD Ret. 72/95
Sgt. USMC 66/71

Sgt. Grit,
In late March 2005, H&S Co. 1/23 returned home after 8 months in Iraq. I wrote you last year around October and you sent a package that was very well received by the men of this Battalion when it hit Iraq.

The GRILL INSTRUCTORS BBQ Team, went out to 29 Palms, Ca. and took 4000 lbs. of Texas style BBQ along with 10 kegs of Shiner Bock beer and 180 gallons of Texas Best Ice Cream, Blue Bell. When the Marines from 1/23 saw that there was BBQ, beer and ice cream it was all over but the clean up. The beer was gone in 2 hours, the bbq gone in 5 hrs. and the ice cream about 3 1/2 hrs. 1/23 was expecting the bbq for the Marine Corps birthday but the attack on Fallujah took precedence, so it was given to them for their WELCOME HOME party. These guys worked hard and they got a well deserved home coming. It was our pleasure and honor to give these HERO'S the welcome home they got.

Thanks for you support and for the letters that you send out each week.

Semper Fi!
Mike Hamby
Spring, Texas

Sgt Grit:

As a Marine Veteran of Vietnam, I would like to mention my son SSgt. James Davis USAF. My son has been deployed to Afghanistan three times so far. He is Career military. I am very proud of him and what he has accomplished.

We do not hear of what's going in Afghanistan much, but our people still are fighting, dying and being wounded there. My son is a crew chief on a Pave 60 Blackhawk helicopter, and has received the "Air Medal" for "Heroism" along with several other awards. D*mn if I didn't know better I would swear he was a Marine.

Semper Fi

Jim Davis
Sgt. 68 - RVN
Scout Dog Handler

I want to share my wonderful few days with some awesome Korean War combat veterans as well as other active duty military personnel this past week. I just returned from attending the Marine Corps Reunion for the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, Korean War Veterans, 1950-1953 (my dad's unit). I never knew what a hero my dad was growing up. It wasn't until after his death in 2000 that I learned about my Dad's role in the Korean War and the Chosin Reservoir. My Mom and I, along with my oldest brother and his wife attended and had a wonderful time. The first night we were there, about 20 plus Marines from Sheppard Air Force Base had been invited to attend our BBQ. It was quite interested to see these young Marines interacting with these Korean War Vets. Two of the young Marines had done at least one tour in Iraq and I thoroughly enjoyed sitting there listening to these Marines sharing war stories with these living legends, survivors of the Chosin Reservoir Campaign. One of the young Marines I spoke to told me that when he was on the Crucible, he tried to pull his arms up into his sleeves to keep warm and got yelled at and reminded in so many words of the extreme conditions that the "Chosin Few" had to endure and not to even THINK about doing it. What an honor it was for these young men to meet these vets who are heroes in their eyes.

I was reacquainted there with my dad's best friend in the Marine Corps, Bob. He and dad did not know each other until they joined the MC Reserves, but became fast friends and found out they were born 2 days apart in the same hospital. They looked so much alike they were often mistaken for one another and quite often my Dad was put on guard duty or KP because of Bob's infractions. Our families used to get together often when we were kids and they have remained friends always. There was not one story that he told that night that did not include my Dad, some I had heard, many I had not. They were both Machine Gunners with Baker Co. (now Bravo Co.).

The next day, Friday, we were taken on a tour of Sheppard Air Force Base with lunch at the Officer's Club. We were then taken to the base elementary school where we were greeted by 200 plus children waving flags and thanking these veterans for being heroes. They put on a short program honoring them.

Saturday was the Memorial service for those lost during the Chosin and for all of their "brothers" who have since died, including my dad. I had the privilege of singing 2 songs for them, including "God Bless America", and managed to do it without crying. After my last song, the spokesman for the group said he just wished my Dad could have been there to hear me. Of course, I lost it then!!! You see, my dad passed away a few years ago and although he had always intended to go to one of his reunions, he never made it. Many of them came and thanked me for singing, some with no words, only tears and hugs. I was so amazed that after 55 years, the pain is still so fresh from the loss of so many. Another of Dad's friends sat and told us his story and had to stop in the middle to compose himself. He had just come down the hill, barely escaping an offensive from the Chinese, when his Sgt. asked volunteers to go back up the hill to help the Machine Gunners who had helped them escape (Bob and my Dad), he was the only one who volunteered to go, but did so because they were his friends. He never made it up the hill. Something exploded and he was struck in the neck by shrapnel. He was lucky to be alive and a piece is still embedded in a nerve in his neck. Of course, Dad and Bob did make it out anyway. I was so shocked to find out that out of 175 Marines in Baker Co, only 27 remained when they finally made it out.

All in all, it was a wonderful, insightful trip and I'm so very glad I went! I intend to go to the next one. I wouldn't miss it! As the mother of a son in the Air Force, a son-in-law who is an infantry Marine, soon to go on his 2nd deployment to Iraq, and the daughter of one of the Chosin Few, I have a great deal of pride and respect for our servicemen/women. God bless you all, young and old, active and retired, and THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for your sacrifices for our freedoms.

Becky Williams (Houston Marine Moms)
PAFM of A1C Matt Williams, Keesler AFB
PM(MIL) of LCpl Travis Peaco, 3/7, 29 Palms
PMD of SSgt J.T. Dearinger, Jr., 1/7, Korea

Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of the men who follow, and of the men who leads, that gains victory.
- George Smith Patton

Sgt. Grit.
It has been a while since I have written to you. I read your news letters all the time and share them with my hubby. The reason I am writing you is well cause I just want to know if I am doing the right thing. My husband is a corpsman and has done two tours in Iraq. This is the first year he hasn't gone over. He wants to go over there so bad and we talked about it last night. I gave my blessing even though I am worried. Today he is putting in a request to go back over for a third time. The past few months have been hard on him. In 2003 and 2004 he was in Iraq at this time of year. So he feels that he should be over there right now. He has just over a year left in. I guess I am just wondering if it was ok for me to support his wanting to go. He has been through so much and seen so much. He was at a STP near Fallujah in 04 which got a lot of patients. In 03 he was with a Marine unit. Our brother-in-law who served in the Army (in Vietnam I believe) died in March suddenly. That was his go to guy when he would have bad dreams or just need someone who understood to talk to. I don't understand what he has gone through or seen. I just understand that he loves his "brothers" and wants to be over there with them. He has been "stuck" blue side since Sept of 03 but he got to go with the Marines from Cali in 04 and he was so happy to do that. He really is not happy on a Navy base. I just want him to be happy. I love him so much and I am so proud of him. So our are two little girls. His spirit seems to brighten up when he is around Marines. Ya'll are the reason he re-enlisted while in Iraq the first time. The honor system and family bond that a Marine shares with his Doc is just amazing to me. That sense of family is probably why our youngest wants to be a Marine and why he so wants to go back to Iraq. So please if you or any one else has any words of wisdom for me or for me to pass on to him. I would be most grateful. Thank you so much
Dawn "Devil Doc's Wife"

Iowa-Illinois Quad City Area

We are starting a new Marine Moms group for the Iowa - Illinois Quad City area.

We have had one meeting and are looking for more moms, dads, family, friends, and Marines to join us. The next meeting will be May 22, 2005; 3 - 5 p.m.; American Legion Post 26; 1111 1/2 West 35th Street; Davenport, Iowa.

Our first meeting gathered family members of Poolies, Recruits, Reserve, and Fleet Marines. Some of the active duty Marines are in Iraq, some just arrived home. We hope to offer support to each other and to our Marines as they serve our country.


Thea Welke - PMM LCpl Brian Welke
Dawn Stelly - PMM PFC Brian Stelly
Mary Lou Keester - PMM Cpl Curtis Keester

Let us remember. Let us put the "memorial" back into Memorial Day. The tranquility we enjoy was purchased dearly. May we never forget.
-Boyd Lewis

Dear Sgt. Grit:

First, thank you so much for the "inspiring" news letters. My son, just recently, returned from his second tour in Iraq. He is a reservists with 1st and 2nd Platoons, Truck Company out of Ebensburg, PA. During his last tour he was attached to the 2/5 stationed in Ramadi. OK, I know the saying about reservists, but when you are over there, I really don't think you care who's driving the 7 ton you're in, just that he is good at what he's doing. I just wanted tell you about the experience my son had this weekend. He has been attending the different local churches on Sundays to thank them for their support and prayers. This Sunday, at our local Church of God the pastor introduced him to the congregation and Thanked him for his Service, when the pastor was finished, the whole congregation gave him a standing ovation that lasted, what my son said, seemed forever. I think this one simple act of support meant more to my son than any medal or ribbon that he wore on his dress blues that day.

One Proud Marine Mom.

I Survived my son's Marine boot camp.

It's not an attitude problem, we are that good.

God Bless America!
Semper fi!!

Sgt Grit

Back to Archives Menu - Back to Scuttlebutt Menu - Subscribe to Newsletter