Sgt Grit Marine Corps Merchandise

Welcome to our Marine Corps Newsletter archives. Here you can find USMC articles and memories sent in to us by fellow Jarheads and their families. Enjoy!

Sgt Grit Marine Corps Newsletter - April 14, 2004

I am a Reservist living in California right now. We were told a few weeks back to expect activation soon. I am starting to get prepared to go; wills, power of attorneys, the dentist, a little extra PT...anyways, I have been in for two and a half years now and have volunteered twice, but have been denied each time. It looks like the third time might be the charm. I am anxious to do my duty to Country and Corps, just as many of you have done in the past, are currently doing now, and will do in the future. Thank you for allowing me to live free. I hope that I can uphold the traditional and pass it on to generations of Americans to come. Semper Fi!
LCPL Zygielbaum
N 5/14

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

Just In...

Afghanistan Campaign Ribbon (Medal and Mini Medal Coming Soon)

Iraq Campaign Ribbon (Medal and Mini Medal Coming Soon)

1st Marine Division IRAQ Desert Patch

1st Marine Division 3'x5' Flag

New Stuff...

Just for Corpsmen

See all the new items


Limited Quantities of Marine Corps Items...

Second Annual GRITOGETHER coming up - Get Details...

Welcome Home Marines!

Sgt. Grit,

Please be advised that the 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines has safely returned to Camp Pendleton after serving a tough tour in Iraq. Our son in law, Cpl. James W. Brooks, is one of those returning and has a date to meet his new son for the first time on April 9th when they return to Chicago. This battalion of the finest Marines yet created returned home without 12 of their brothers and at last report had 130 wounded during their tour. This reserve unit gave up their personal lives to go and defend the freedom of people they didn't even know, in a strange and barren land so they could know the freedom we so take for granted. Nothing we can do or say can ease the pain of returning home without their brothers but our deep felt appreciation for their sacrifices is warranted and shall be given when they arrive at their meet and greet return party. Please take the time to thank all of our service men and women who so valiantly go and defend democracy throughout the world.

Welcome Home Marines!
Semper Fi,

Tom Gillespie
RVN Hotel Co. 70-71

Boot Camp Platoon Numbers

Dear Sgt. Grit:
In reply to Marine P. Arnold who asked about the numbering system used at the MCRD's, I can only speak for the P.I. in the late '50's and mid 80's. The numbers were assigned based on the Recruit Training Bns., i.e.: 1st Bn. would start with Plt. 101 at the 1st of the year. When the plts. reached 199, the next number would be Plt. 1001, then 1002 and so on. 4th Bn., then the home of the Women Marines used a similar system: 401, etc. When I visited Parris Island several times in the 80's, I believe they were using the same system then. Hope this helps. .

Ray Abruzzi
Rifle numbers 1136863 and 4318135. They do drill it in. .......... the recruit platoon numbers.....1st digit the Bn, the rest are sequential from forming, starts anew at the start of the calendar year.....ergo, 101 would be the first platoon formed for the 1st Bn in any given year......1001 would follow least that's the way it was in the 50's, 60's, etc. BTW, pls pass on to Jim McMahon of Hendersonville, TN, that if he sees a red dually with a Grit "Semper Fi" front plate pull up in his drive....put the safety back's just me, finally getting around to saying Hi in person..(recent addition to the Hendersonville roster)....Dick Dickerson

Poetic Justice


Most of the stories about Vietnam vets treatment upon returning home are usually sad but this one is funny. A few months after returning from a year in Vietnam I was on leave and visited my parents in suburban Philadelphia. At that time it was not a good idea to wear your uniform in public but I had business at the Philadelphia Naval Yard so I was in my Class A. I meet my parents at a very nice Downtown restaurant and unfortunately we were seated near a table of young professionals two of whom obviously took offense at my presence. I could tell they were lawyers from what they were saying. They were loudly commenting on war criminals and similar tripe that passed for intellectual conversation among the "educated elite" at that time. My father, who was a consummate gentleman but a very big and imposing guy, was about to get up and say something but I told him to ignore the situation as any response would make it worse and the idiots would eventually get tired of their game. Not so and the two kept running their mouths. Just then there was a large crash and I looked around and the two laud mouths were covered in a wide array of food "accidentally" spilled by a passing waiter. This set off an angry confrontation and the group left. Poetic justice, I thought. After we finished our meal and were leaving, I passed the waiter who spilled the tray of food. He nodded, gave a slight smile and said: "Semper Fi, Sir. Welcome home." Marines! You have to love them!

C.W. Mattson
USMCR 1967-70.

Recruiting Slogans

Sgt. Grit,

In response to Tom Couillard's note ( March 31 newsletter ) concerning recruiting slogans, I have but this to say. I don't know the original source of this quote but after several weeks of " watering and raking our grass "

In boot camp at MCRD in 1970, we began to spout " Join the Navy and see the world ; join the Marines and police the SOB ! "

Semper Fi ya'll
Dan Buchanan...the old 2531

I Would Agree

Sgt Grit,

I have been reading some of the emails you share with us and wanted to leave this one with you and my brothers. I was in from 80 to 84 and served with Vietnam Vets who stayed in th Corps for retirement. It was a valuable learning experience for me both then and now. Now that I am older, I ride with an all Marine Motorcycle Club and we have Leathernecks of all sizes, professions, ages, and experiences - from Korea to Desert Storm and coast to coast. Before 9-11 reminded Americans the value of our military and gave a renewed sense of patriotism, I have been thanking and praying for all of those who came before me as well as those who came after me, and still do. While things have changed a great deal in the Marine Corps since I was in, I would agree that today's Marine is carrying the torch and our traditions very well. When riding my Indian Motorcycle out and about I normally have attached to the back an American Flag and a Marine Corps Flag and these colors fly fast and proud! I can't begin to tell you how many former Marines come up and talk to me when I fly these flags. What a great thing, what a wonderful brotherhood!

Semper Fi -

"Dangerous Doug"
Indiana - Root Vet

His Reply Was

I had the pleasure of watching my son follow in my foot steps on Friday, 1 April 05. I along with my family made the grueling drive from Rhode Island to attend his graduation from MCRD Parris Island. He left home a confused young kid and when I saw him on Family Day, what a difference. He was a young man but most importantly - a United States Marine. It was the PROUDEST day of my entire life. I graduated from Plt. 215 in April 72. My son was in Plt. 3028. Of course, as Marine tradition has it, I told him he was not a real Marine as he was in 3rd Btln. and I was in 2nd Btln. His reply was he had the Crucible and I had Elliotts Beach so who is the real Marine now. No matter what, the saying is real - The Change Is Forever. He is now home for his 10 day leave and then onto I.T.R. and then off to Combat Support. To all of the Marines taking care of business around the globe, stay safe as there is no better fighting force on the planet. I wish my son good health and a good stay in the Corps.

Semper Fi

Mason Rhodes
Sgt U.S.M.C.
1972 - 1976

In One Scene

My daughter, bless her, bought me the 5 CD set of the "History of the Marines." I couldn't help but think how ironic it was that at the same time I was sitting in my living room watching the Marine heroes of WWII hunt down and kill the enemy soldiers in caves who were killing Marines and Corpsman, fellow Marines and soldiers were being prosecuted for the very same acts in Iraq! In one scene in the CD, the Marines had smoked out a sniper from a cave. When the sniper came running out of the cave and away from the Marines, one of the Marines killed the enemy soldier with one shot as the narrator said, "there's one more enemy soldier who won't live to kill any more Marines or Corpsmen! I guess in WWII it was acceptable to kill the enemy.

On a lighter note, I too am glad to see more officers contributing to this newsletter. I enjoy their perspective. Even though there have been a few "officer jokes" in the newsletter, it's kind of like teasing your brother; you can do it, but nobody else better say one word, or they're dead meat!

Semper Fi,
Bruce Meyer
Once a Sergeant, Always a Marine

Smiling, Laughing

Hi Sgt. Grit and readers Last night watched 60 minutes they had on Jane Fonda she has a book coming out (boycott the book please) and it went on to show film of her over in North Viet Nam at the unit aircraft guns walking around them smiling, laughing having a good time being with the enemy. Then it showed her with the POWs having dinner with them showing how good the North Viet Nam was treating the POWs a lie as we all know and then they had her voice telling on North Viet Nam Radio telling American Pilots that they were dong wrong etc etc. Well anyways it made me sick seeing her in the past films of Viet Nam and seeing her sitting there today. Here we are going to bring to trial a Marine who shot a enemy terrorist in the line of duty as he has been trained to do (Marines are trained to kill the enemy) here this young man is going through h&ll for doing the right thing. Here Hanoi Jane a traitor to her country , helping the enemy of the United States has never been to court never will be to court but says she's sorry for some of the things she did. I just wonder how many Americans she helped kill with her acts against true Americans. As I listen to her speak it made me sick to think we fought so people like her can talk. May her soul rest in H&ll for eternity.
Hap Holt, Sgt USMC 67-71

What The Heck

Sgt. Grit -

Just one more story about the Corps drafting recruits.
I was drafted by the Army in May of 1968. I reported to 401 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA. While taking the physical, the doctor told us to turn around, drop our drawers, bend over and spread our cheeks, and he then proclaimed "the first one to f@rt is a Marine". Afterwards, forty of us were sitting in a room when suddenly two Marines entered and asked for four volunteers for the Corps. You should have seen the guys trying to hide behind the ones sitting in front of them. I just sat there smiling and one Marine smiled back. Anyway, the two Marines proceeded to select the four "volunteers" as no one spoke up. Well, the ones they selected were four of those trying to hide behind the others. Of course, they were hauled off b!tching and complaining, to no avail. While sitting there I figured what the heck, I'll go volunteer. I went up to the Marine who was smiling back at me earlier in the waiting room, told him I wanted in if it would be a two year hitch. He responded, "yes, it's two years and I knew I was going to get you". Thinking back on it, I probably should have got one of the other four "volunteers" they hauled off and told them I would take their place if they got "Daddy" down there with $10,000 within the next two hours. Ah well, hindsight.....on another note, in response to JimMc, GySgt, Hendersonville, TN, who in the March 31, Newsletter, stated USMC-SS was for draftees and USMC-SSV were for those volunteering for the Marine Corps draft. As I stated above Jim, I was a volunteer for the Corps draft, they did not pick me, but on my DD Form 4, "Enlistment Contract - Armed Forces of the United States" and on my DD Form 214 MC, I am listed as USMC-SS for the "Department, Component and Branch or Class" category. So, I guess what I am saying is just because a Marine is listed as USMC-SS doesn't mean he was involuntarily drafted. The Corps could have made a mistake as they did in my case.
Semper Fi, Marines
Ed Moore, C, 1/5, 1st Marine Div., RVN '68/'69

It Is Unfortunate

Sgt Bane,

Semper Fi my brother,

However, I don't think we can compare the ways that we segregated our brothers 50 years ago to now. Speaking as a retired Marine and one who unfortunately spent 3 years on recruiting in the 80s, the color of your skin had no impact on our Corps.

It is unfortunate that we have a history that allowed that kind of segregation. However, those were the times and that is the way it was done then. I admire your guts, and your drive to claim our title and persevere over such incredible odds.

The anti recruiters do no good to those young men and women who are looking towards any branch of the service. They tell horror stories and try to impact the minds of our young far more than our recruiters. For the most part the recruiters that I have come in contact with say the same thing. The most important thing is that you WANT to be a Marine. All else is secondary. If it weren't for men and women like you and I, they wouldn't be allowed to speak the way they speak.

I can say this because my son is a Cpl on active duty and my daughter is considering it.

Again, Semper Fi, and you will always be a brother however, we disagree on this issue. Those individuals are not doing anyone any favors with their anti military views.

1stSgt M. K. Gordon (ret)

Pvt Zilch

Sgt. Delgado, I have a copy of the PVT. ZILCH booklet. I picked it up on Okinawa in 61-62. It's complete except for the front and rear covers. Somewhat worn, but I've managed to hold onto it. It always gets laughs from those who read it (In my presence; It NEVER leaves my possession).

Paul Santiago, GySgt. (Ret)

Barn Dance

Good for you Cpl. D. Worton. You became a Marine to protect your country, which is just what you are supposed to do ! It always amazed me the way we were treated during and after Vietnam. Like some sort of lower life-form or something. Of course, these "fine people" would never do that to a group of two or more Marines; they knew better. Like most cowards and people who don't have any idea what the truth is, they don't understand that when wars are fought, people get killed, and Marines are trained to kill. We are not going to a barn dance or pizza party, we are going to bring pain and death to America's enemies ! It has always seemed ironic that so many of our fellow Marines died so people could act in stupid and cowardly ways. It is also a shame that it took a horrible act like 9/11 to make Marine Vietnam Veterans "Cool" ! Take care and SEMPER FI !

Louis A. Gilman (GilDog)
USMC 1973-76

I Was Not Thinking

Hay Sergeant Grit,

I must tell you I am still a Marine after being out since 1979. I am a College Teacher and I was in Central California last week staying at a motel on business.

Around 22:00 hrs. two women were being HURT by four men next to my rental car. I was not thinking and I ran outside and yelled at the men to stop, one of the men were stop slapping one of the women. When I yelled ,the women broke free and started running.

However, both of the women ran past me and went into my motel room and "slammed the door" locking me out to face four of then by myself. I did not think I just took action. One of the guys took a swing at me and I put him to the ground , holding his hand up above his head. I also had my foot on the guys neck. The others pulled knives but every time they came close I would increase the pain and the rest would "back off".

The police were in the parking lot within five minutes; the other three men fled the scene, but I held on the man who was slapping one of the females. To sum this up, my training took over not bad for a 49 year old teacher, once a Marine always a Marine !

Semper Fi,

Don Thompson,MA.Ed.
Sergeant Squad Leader- O311 1973-1979

Can You Imagine

After getting out of the Corps, I decided to go into the Army for computers. My time in the Army was okay, but to this day I don't have anything except a ring reminding me I was a "doggie". I never got the platoon picture, yearbook or saved my uniform.

The Army was a strange branch of the service after being in the Corps. While awaiting orders at Ft. Dix, I had to go through this orientation to learn ARMY customs. One that always got me in trouble was saluting indoors. I couldn't bring myself to do it, it was unnatural! I went to the E-Club and met "trainees" who snuck out to have a drink. Dix was an open post that you could drive right in and drive right out.

As I helped out in supply, a "trainee" requested permission to get up after doing about 20 pushups and the "Drill Sergeant" (yup, that's what they called them) let him!! Can you imagine?

I also noticed they brought people from prior services in at E-3 and they wore that rank in basic. At the time, they had to run a mile in 25 minutes and to top it off, no one was even keeping track. Heck, I could skip a mile in 25 minutes.

Naturally in the 3 weeks it took for my orders to catch up to me, I was "salty" as h&ll along with the mixture of Air Force and Navy prior service. It was on that fateful day during the third week I met SSGT Johns. I was shooting the breeze while he lined up the Trainees and I didn't move fast enough for him and he very forcefully told me to hurry. Being as salty as I was and prior service I gave him a smart mouth remark.

I swear, he was up my butt faster than anything and he let me have it, up one side and down the other. He told me to lock it up and all of a sudden I was in Boot Camp again. He let lose on me for what seemed like 10 minutes and I he watched me while I was passing out boots and uniforms to the Trainees. It was after we were done and he marched his platoon off that everyone was laughing at me. They told me he was a Marine Chopper gunner in Nam had gotten out and came back in the Army and no one messed with him when he came through here.

I looked him up the next day and when he spotted me, I apologized to him and told him I was in the Corps. We talked and became best friends for years after that. But I can honestly tell you, when he chewed me a new butt, I instantly snapped to attention like a trained dog, salty or not, this was a man who was use to being obeyed.

Greg Bourlotos

I Can Tell All Of You

I was on Active duty for 10 years 75 to 85, I now work at a U.S. Naval Ship Yard where we maintain and fuel the Navy's fleet of Subs. I've been here for 20 years since leaving the Corps. We utilize the Marine Corps for some of our security duties in some of our missions, and having just had a platoon on board, I can tell all of you "Old Corps" Marines that these Marines of today are just as fantastic as we were and just as fantastic as those Marines before us. It makes me Proud to have been a Marine and to see these young Americans carrying on the traditions..

Semper Fi
Sgt. Petro

Respect And Honor

My Dad passed away in Oct at the age of 80. He was my best friend. He had been a Marine in W.W.II landing in the first wave on Okinawa. He brought a disciplined way of thinking to our family and would never let you down. I knew from my first memories that I would be a Marine too. I got my chance in 68-69 in Nam with Lima 3/9 3rd Mar Div.

He taught us kids respect and honor. He supported us even when we failed and never let us quit. Nam wasn't kind to me and I am 100% disabled, but the experience brought us very close and we were able to share things few others would understand.

My sons chose not to go into the military and that's OK. What they endured growing up with me as a Father gave them a unique life experience.

I want to thank the Marines and Doc's that have helped me over the years, bumper stickers have helped me meet many Jarheads. We are a brotherhood.

John Sprague

Many Things

my father MstGySgt Lagman served 27 years in the corps. during his time served 3 tours in Vietnam. once as a heavy machine gunner and the other two in a recon plt. all with 3rd marines. growing up in the shadow of great marines such as this its no surprise when i enlisted as well. as an 8th generation marine, and a competition distance shooter. all i ever wanted to do was be the best, and there is no better shooter on the face of the planet then a marine corps sniper.

i enlisted as a grunt, then moved to be a heavy machine gunner, like my father, before taking the STA plt. indoc. once there, and all my schools complete. i was envolved in many things that i did not think were possible. i owe a great deal to the marines, as far as the person i am today. unfortunately, while serving in Bosnia. i was near an explosion which costs me my hearing. after being discharged, i refused to except my disability for the fact that i was hurt doing what i wanted to do and between the love of my country along w/ the US marines. def or hearing. i wouldn't change a thing.
Drew D.

18th Century

hi cpl;i'm sgt cm stamper and i was in during viet nam.i went to Lebanon instead. my dad thought i was dumb for cossing the marine over my draft card and the army.i just told him parris island may be h&ll in the summer time but,i'm still alive and i'm sure i'd been killed if i had went stuff it old man.he's still living in the 18th century.i'd do it all over again myself.i'm disabled to but,not in wheel chair yet.radion got me.but,my love for my country out weights the pain i'm in 24/7.thank you for wha tyou gave up for me and my family.semper fi

Right Then And There

I was talking with a guy a few weeks back and this is what he said to me when he found out that I was a marine. He said thank for being there, I said where?

In 1966 in Viet Nam I was in communications for the navy. We were up river and cut off by the vc I thought as did the rest of the team which were army, that this was going to be the end of us, when the ammo run low and no place to go we couldn't help praying and all the other things that take place when your in the sh*t

Then we could hear them coming, running and firing yelling, man all h&ll had broke lose as we watched the U S Marines save our life's .

He said, Right then and there I knew that we were going to make it and we did

The VC, they didn't shoot left the area. I didn't get to thank those guys for getting us out. they went back to work in the bush

That day I told God that when ever I meet a marine I would thank them because I knew that the next time something went down who I would ask God too send too help me

THE U S Marines. He went on to say the army is a great bunch of guys and they do there job just like any other branch of service. But when your up too your neck in VC

I want the wild bunch to come running

Now I was not there in 66 but I was in the green machine. he said

You would have been, and too all marines I owe a debt of gratitude thank you

Earvin P.

Battalion Emblem

Thought you would like some information regarding the battalion patch for 2/1. I was the Battalion Draftsman at the time and the Battalion Commander LtCol Frank Breth, now a retired Major General, wanted a design to fire up the troops. I designed the battalion emblem in 1978 and actually painted the emblem on the side of the Battalion CP. I also created the battalion ribbons using wood and paint to carefully reproduce the battle ribbons the battalion had won. I was on recruiting duty in Chicago in 1981 when a Sgt Anderson reported aboard. We found out he was from 2/1 and we had some great sea stories to tell about them emblem and the ribbons. Seems 2/1 carried them with them where ever they deployed. Semper Fi.

SSgt Julian P. Etheridge

Regulation And Discipline

In response to the lady who was complaining about her husband possibly getting discharged for being over weight: I admire her loyalty to her husband; her arguments do make some sense; however, she has completely missed the point.

The point is following orders or regulations and discipline. Her husband is not following the regulations and apparently has not exercised discipline. She says he has 4 days, March 27 until April 1 to lose a "couple of pounds." Assuming those dates are correct, it is misleading to write that he only has four days left to lose a "couple of pounds." The fact is that he has only a four days left to lose the weight because he did not deal with the deficiency earlier. I do not know where this lady learned her mathematics, but 12 pounds is a dozen pounds, not a couple of pounds. A dozen is six times as much as a couple which is two.

She states that the Marine Corps is losing a good Marine because of a ridiculous regulation. Well, perhaps she should consider how many rounds of rifle ammunition, how many grenades, how many canteens of water, etc. her husband could carry in place of the 12 pounds of excess weight. Again, using her data, 12 pounds is not a couple of pounds; using her figures, it is 5.6% of the Marine's total body weight. Stated another way, one of every 18 pounds of this Marine is excess.

This would be no big deal in most situations, but the Marine Corps is not most situations. Each Marine has a sacred duty to render himself as fit for combat as possible. The Marine in question has apparently failed to fulfill that duty.

Unfortunately, this appears to be a bigger problem than just one Marine failing to exercise sufficient self discipline. Where were the NCO's and officers as well when this Marine was supposed to be exercising? Almost without exception, a Marine who has completed boot camp does not fail because of personal deficiencies; he fails because of a lack of leadership. It sounds like the Marine's NCOs and officers have failed him. Why was he told that he was an "outstanding Marine" when he was headed for not being allowed to reenlist? If in fact, the Marine's fitness report or whatever it may be called, rated him as outstanding, then the writer of the fitness report should be given a letter of reprimand as a minimum and all of those who signed over the writer knowing that the Marine was unsatisfactory should also be given letters of reprimand. If the writer of the fitness report was clearly knowledgeable of the Marine's deficiency and rated him outstanding, then he should be court martialed for falsifying a government document.

As a combat veteran, I feel very strongly about Marines keeping themselves in a high state of physical fitness. Further, during my period on active duty, my CO and I had to strongly discipline a Staff Sergeant who never should have been allowed to reenlist the first time. He had seventeen years in when the incident arose, but for all those years Marines in leadership position had been ducking the problem and passing it on to somebody else rather than dealing with it.

It takes a lot of courage to be a Marine. It takes even more courage to be a Marine in combat. However, my message to any NCO or officer reading this is that it takes just as much courage and is just as important to insist that your Marines keep themselves physically fit and to fill out evaluation forms accurately. Let the slackard skate, and sooner or later you'll get somebody killed.

Dick Hulslander
Former Captain
Marine forever

Old Stompin Grounds

Just found your web site as I am sitting in a super 8 motel here in San Diego, California. Had to come down to see the old stompin grounds again since it has been 35 years ago this week that I graduated into one of the finest fighting units in the world. There just happened to be Fox Company's graduation day here this week unknown to me but went over to see these young men become Marines. I have to tell you when the Marine platoons passed by a lump in my throat swelled to the size of an apple which only confirmed to me that "Once a Marine, Always and I mean ALWAYS a Marine. Keep up the great work and god speed home to our boys in Iraq.
Cpl.Denny Henchal
Plt.2109 1970
Semper Fi

Better Than Any

To Marge from Colorado,
Thanx for everything. And most of all thanx for caring.
My old man was a hard rock Jump Master during WWII with the Army, earning a Bronze Star while serving. Was totally pissed when I joined the Corps.
The only time I ever saw an emotion out of him, other than that, was when I came home from Nam. He cried!!
Better than any parade I could have had.
JK March
A Viet Vet

Tootsie Roll Drop

Hi Grit
This is from an old Korean Marine 75 years young, I remember the bitter cold but most of all the bravery & dedication of all the Corpsmen who took care of our wounded they carried the morphine capsules in their mouths to keep them from freezing, I wear my marine caps & they always bring a comment from folks. I read your Newsletter faithfully every week keep up the good work, PS Any old marines out there who remember the tootsie roll drop.
Ed Melco 2nd Batt. 11th Marines

Gratifying As An Old Hat

Sgt. Grit

A couple of old MC buddies and my wife informed me that my name is occasionally mentioned in your news letter. The latest was around March 4th by a Cpl William Watson who said he was in one of my recruit platoons way back in 1966. Sure enough I found William Watson in Platoon 2007 who graduated recruit training in July 1966 at Parris Island. Watson also said he was going to see his nephew graduated from recruit training on March 24, 05. Since my wife, Joanne, is a devoted reader of your news letter she insisted I send you my email address to be passed on to Cpl. William Watson. Therefore, hereon is my email address which you may pass on to Cpl. William Watson. You may also tell Cpl. Watson I would be honored to correspond with him. I have been contacted by 5 or 6 other former recruits though your news letter, which I am maintaining a round robin email exchange with each month.

It is vary gratifying as an "old hat" to know that some of your recruits have a kind word to say after so many years. I have been somewhat humbled meeting many of my former recruits over the years when I to learned what they accomplished as Marines and in their lives beyond the Corps. I have also found the names of other former recruits on a "slab of black granite" in Washington, D. C. For them I pray I did not let them down.

Semper fi,
D. W. Cargill
1st Sgt. USMC Ret.

Dear Sgt. Grit

As is the rule...Nothing else gets done until after I have read everything in your GREAT news letter...

To Mike Holloway...
Gee Mike you sound like my double...
Even though I was older (25) I wasn't much wiser when on May 13, 1968 I planted my feet in the yellow foot prints on PISC...Plt 362. My first though was...I really screwed up and should not have immigrated from Canada...
Well I am now 62 and have been totally and permanently Service Connected disabled since 1972 from Vietnam and will unabashedly tell you...
"The Change Is Forever" !
What I learned as a Marine Boot has gotten me through a lot of Bad times...both in and out Vietnam. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't Thank GOD that the Army wouldn't take me...
My Fellow Marines are with me every day...
The Fellowship of Marines is Forever...
No such thing as a "Former Marine"...
You are about to embark on a journey that will change you for the better, the principals and self discipline never ends !

My Prayers go out to all our armed forces, especially to those in HARMS WAY!!!

Glen A. Smith,
Sgt USMC Med Ret.
RVN 68-70


What ever happen to:
EAT some~
GET some~
KILL some~

Are we getting away from the basics?

-Do or Die- "When your the finest, it's hard to be humble -- U.S. Marine Corps"

I never worried about dying, when it's your time, it's your time and YOU Mr. Bunn will have the best brother's in the World around you if it should happen. Mr. Bunn, if you want to be the best, the U.S. Marine Corps is the way to go. If you feel you need something a little less than check into the other branches of the military. Marines don't half-step, We take the full 30" step!

Thousand's of Marines have lost their lives and NOT ONE is ever forgotten. No one will ever understand what the U.S. Marine Corps is all about, unless you become one of the best. U.S. Marines that I served with are the very best and I would give my life for them any day - night of the week. My brothers that departed early in life -- Rest in Peace!


G-man (former sergeant of Marines 1/5, 1/6, 2/6 and 1/7)

Root 1983

I was in the Root in 1983, from February to May as a member of the 22nd Mau. I was a Dragon gunner with Weapons Company, 2/6. I have read all the after action reports, how the truck came from the civilian parking lot, etc. Based upon what I remember, and the map I still have, the truck with explosives had to pass through at least two checkpoints, manned by the Lebanese army, armed with 50 cal machine guns. They traveled down a main boulevard, that we were not allowed to control. They obviously were given free passage by brothers-in-arms that agreed with their agenda. Bass

One Night, One Battle, One H&lluva Fight

C wrote:

By the way you served in Korea, didn't you NC. Where and when did you serve? I was in Kimpo (K14) in August 54. Did you happen to participate in the Inchon landing and the Chosin Reservoir action?

Nope, overseas time, 2-15-51 -- 2-21-52. Joined 4-2-50, before I knew what Kim Il Jung was going to do. If he'd been kind enough to let me know, would have given another thought to it. We were activated, along with 12 other units in July and sent to Pendleton for processing. The one's that fit into certain categories were sent to Diego and then to Inchon and Chosin. But, first they had to teach me how to spell Marine. Boot, combat, and cold weather training, then went on my vacation. Wound up in C-1-1 and a friend of mine that went on over was XO and later CO of the Company. In fact one time I told him at one of our reunions, how lucky I was, to have been over there when I was. He looked at me kinda funny, as if, "have you lost your frigging mind"!! Then I clarified, that I didn't get the pleasure of the invasion or the humping it out of that trap. Our's came later. I never saw an airfield all the time there, as we were in the mid to eastern part of the area all the time there, but got to see some of everything close up, when they were supporting us.

Knew another person later, that flew Corsair's as a Sgt. Odd thing happened in his circumstance. His name is Bill P. His folks received the notification of his death in '50. Within blocks of where he grew up in Dallas was another Bill P, who was a Warrant Officer. As said his parent's got the notification of the other. A couple of years ago, he and I were talking at a VFW and I mentioned the name of Pete. He said, "PETE", where did you know him? Gave him a run down on our meeting and gave him Pete's #, and he called from there. They knew each other at the Dallas Naval Air Station in the mid '50's. And they live only about 8 blocks from each other now. Small world isn't it!!! Sending this to a friend of mine who lives in Seoul and was, I think he told me, an interpreter for the Marine Air Wing at one of the K's.

Which unit I don't remember but he knows all about the K's and their locations. We were in a situation in April '51, that is described as the largest fight of the total 37 months and 2 days of the war. That's because the N.K's, and Chinese decided to start their spring offensive and hit from one coast to the other. All units held with the exception of one division. The 6th ROK's. They headed south. We had gone into reserve on the morning of the 22nd, along with the other two battalions of the 1st Regiment. Ruben had joined the company about the 6th or 7th of April. That's why no one had a remembrance of him. And to this day he still carries the MIA classification. But we have not forgotten him!!!!!!

When they hit that night, we were on trucks before midnight and the next day put as far north as necessary to give some stability to the opening in the line. The other two batts., were south and west of us, plugging up additional access. The next night and morning, on the 23rd and 4th, we had quite an experience. Our gun, alone put over 10,000 rounds through the barrel that night and didn't have one misfire!! Talk about lucky!!! But the morning of the 24th, I saw what the folks in those flying contraptions could do. We had direct support from bombers, P-51's and Corsairs. Dropping bombs, strafing and napalm immediately in front of our position. In fact, which you can understand better than most, one Corsair dropped his napalm, which looked to me, about 10 miles behind us. Here it comes, end over end and as it got closer it looked as if it was going to hit us. We got out of holes and started running backwards as it went over our head and hit no more than 50 yards in front of our position, and splattered the stuff all over the area!! Guess what!! It didn't ignite, but with the pilot doing a 180, and hitting it with his 50's, singed a few of the folks who were trying to do us harm. When we left the hill the next morning my Company had about 15 KIA's and 110 WIA's, included in that is the 2 MIA's from Charlie Co, and they also had one each in Able and Baker. Charlie had to take the brunt of what they had, due to our position on the hill. Eight fox holes took the brunt of the 14 hour fire-fight. I guess if anything is FAIR in combat, the next morning a Colonel flew over the area in front of us in a spotter plane and told our CO that if there was 1 dead gook out there, then 2,400 was a closer count. Some in the 2nd and 3rd squad, no more than 20 yards from us didn't fire a round all night. I walked up the hill the morning before, the last man in a 17 man section of MG's. Came down the next morning as the section leader of the unit as there was myself and one other in the squad that was all there was left from the whole section. Every time I saw one of the planes up close, was sure glad they were on our side, cause they made it one h&lluva lot easier for us doing our job.

Several times they would come in lower, or even with us, as we were on top of the mountain, to give us support. Once, after they had completed their mission, they made another pass, just to wag their wings to us. As said, sure glad they were on our side!!!!!!
"Off the soap box"

1108487, C-1-1, Chesty's last regimental command

Mom Started Crying

When I was a senior in high school, with about three months left I signed up to join when I graduated. I believed they called it a delayed enlistment. I came home that night and at the dinner table I announced to my mother and father that I had signed up to join the Marine Corps, but because I was only 17 I needed their approval. My mom started crying, and my father simply said "it would do my a-- good. That's all that was ever said, and they of course approved. My dad was right, It was one of the best things I ever did. It showed me the way to have good work habits and responsibility for the rest of my life.
Semper Fi
Forrest W. 1959-1963

My Body Only Allowed


I went through the same challenges that you did. I was the first in my family to be in the military in any capacity since WWI. All the adjectives used to describe you, I heard as well. I enlisted during the 1st Gulf War, with absolutely no support from my parents. They were both educators by profession, Ivy League schooled. I was the embarrassment that would never amount to anything. I aced the ASVAB's and was offered a great tour with the Security Force Company. My mother and stepfather went as far as to write a letter to our congressman to get me out before I went to P.I. I obviously declined and had very little contact with them.

You sound very brave, intelligent, focused, and noble...keep your course. While my body only allowed me to perform the initial four year stint, I will say I had a very successful Marine service reaching the cutting score for infantry sergeant just prior to separating. So this worthless, good-for-nothing, lazy, non-educated redneck proved everyone wrong.

The main reason for writing is to let you know....When I graduated PI...both parents made the trip to the Island for my graduation. Both parents were prouder than I can even begin to describe. When my father passed away, as a very public figure, he had hundreds of people at his service. Everyone had plenty of good to say about the man that had given so much to his community. But I cannot tell you how much was also said about that good-for-nothing son of his who stood tall and proud in his dress blues, holding his bearing as he held together his family.

I have seen a good part of the world and been paid for it. I have learned life lessons and leadership skills that have allowed me to succeed as a supervisor in the private sector unrelated to 1000 yard kills. I am constantly befriended by those I never met that served in the Corps. Even a trip to the local mini-mart gets me honks for my "Semper-Fi" license plate. I will also say I am closer to my family after the Corps than I've ever been. People just see the negatives. And to be quite honest, most if it probably isn't even negative to the Corps...they may just be afraid to see their baby girl in harms way. They will see in the end that it has made you a strong, successful woman that can overcome any challenge. Here's one grunt that is betting on this horse to succeed...strong willed, determined, proud, challenged, and just the right amount p*ssed....Yup, sounds like a stellar Marine to me. You'll do great.

Jeff Snyder

Marine Reserve Band

Sgt. Grit:
If you are about to send out another newsletter before Friday, please mention the U.S. Marine Reserve Band (from New Orleans) appearing at Norman North High School's new Performing Arts Center at 7:00 P.M. on Friday, April15th. Admission is free, first come first serve (seating a little over 1,500). It is sponsored by the Norman Transcript, Norman Public Schools, and It will be an unabashed display of Marine Corps pride and fantastic music. I hope as many Marines and their families that can make it and want an enjoyable evening show up to support this tremendous Marine band, and show the public what we are all about.

Semper Fi,

John Fears
Ser. No. 0110226
former 1st Lt., always a Marine

Training Seminar

Hello Sgt. Grit.
I'm a Tx. Correctional Officer. Lieutenant for Building Security. Not long ago I was a training seminar for Ethics and Integrity in corrections. The topic was "What Is Brotherhood?"

I stood up and said " The Marine Corp." All fell silent. That is one big Brotherhood. Of course I began to explain and all in the room were quite awe.

Aronold Salazar 2531/2533
72-76, Nam in 73.

No Thank You

After visiting a sick friend in the hospital, and coming down the elevator with an elderly lady, and young boy who was probably her grandson. We walked out of the elevator. allowing her and the young man to go first. As we walked through the lobby to go out, I passed them. At the time I had on my Marine Corps jacket from Sgt Grit. As I passed them I heard the young man ask his grandmother, what does that say on the back of his jacket? She said he is a United States Marine. When I heard this I stopped to say yes I am, thank you. Then she said "no thank you Marine for everything" Semper Fi Cpl Jerry Leyba 2531 c/1/12 58-59

Short Rounds

Noted the comments about drafted Marines. Served with several in the early 50s. Most all were good Marines. Major difference was they only were in for 2 years. M. Fountain Sgt USMC 1953-1961

Sgt Grit:
I served in the Corps from '64-'68. Now, both my sons are Marines. One, a Major, is stationed at Quantico and the other a SSGT just returned two days ago fro a tour with 2/24 (THE MAD GHOSTS) in Iraq. Thanks for sharing your newsletter and the opportunity to acquire great Marine Corps products. My BOC will celebrate it's 40th reunion in Quantico this Fall.

Carl Burtner
Captain USMC 1964-1968

I got a catalog from a friend and just spent some bucks at your shop. I was in Hué and Phu Bai in 1967. Was in the 1st CAG, Combined Action Group. Back in the States in '69. Got my E-5 stripes in "utilities" just back from 'Nam. My Khackies were still rotting away in Da Nang! Mustered out in '70, a year early due to losing an eardrum in combat. But I made it!
Semper Fi! Terry

well said captain we don't go into battle to die we do our job then go home i would never want any on my watch who had any different idea
old corps (shadow stripes)

You see, that is what it's is all about, not about doing it for Me, but doing it because you want to do it, for your buddies, for the Corps and for your Country. Then if you do have something happen to you, you don't question it, you move on and have no thoughts that you would have done anything different and most of time, if you had to do it again you would. Thanks to all that have served and will serve. JARHD62. SEMPER FI

About five years ago I was out to my Mother's place and she surprised me by asking (my older brother and I were on the same GCA crew of 7) "Why did you and Dwayne join the Marine Corps?" I just about s---! I said "Mom, we wanted to be the BEST!!!" He joined in 1956, I joined in 1957 and this was in 2000! Cpl Bob Olson SOES-GCA-38M


Just sat down to do a little rewrite on one of the stupid books I have written sometime past and threw in a line that might be twisted around into a decent bumper sticker but since I don't make or sell bumper snickers I am sending it to you.

"There are things worse than death, all of which Marines can do."

Gary Lyn Harp

It was not a police action, a conflict, or whatever, Korea was a full blown War.
Anytime you have people being killed, wwounded, etc., its a war.
Andy Anderson
USMC 1948-52

I was a 2533 or radio-telegraph operator. CW stands for Continuous-wave. Tough to learn, but once it's in there, it's in there.

... /. /-- /.--. /. /.-. //.-.. /.. //

All you old combat operators who used a knee key will know what the above means.
If not, Semper Fi.

JK March, Cpl. 2533/31
A/1-12 with Miller,s Forward Observers

Funny Story

While in Korea I was a wireman 2511 with 5th Marines. One day in the HOT CHOW LINE I heard a couple of Marines behind me talking in dot-dash to each other, They were CW Operators. Cas Costello and a guy named Creeper. Funny as h&ll.

Hugh Shockey
SSgt USMC 1947-57

"If you want to win a war, send in the Marines........but don't be astounded by the carnage".
Golden Breaux
Father of Marine
Cpl. Barrett Breaux
Scout / Sniper 2/5 Irag

Peace through
Superior Fire Power

Semper fi!!
Sgt Grit

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