"He wasn't a hero because of the way he died. He was a hero because of the way he lived" - Unidentified Marine Lance Corporal speaking of his Company Gunnery Sergeant who died in his arms outside Baghdad
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NEXT WEEK - In celebration of the 100th AmericanCourage newsletter we are going to bring you a brand NEW, easier to read newsletter format. Be on the lookout for more pictures and a better layout! Semper Fi!
Corpsman's Bravery Was Not Forgotten!
Marines and friends...
March 30, 1967, Hill 70, west of Con Thien, RVN, the Marines of the "Flaming I" I/3/9 are attacked by a numerically superior force of the North Vietnamese Army (NVA). A battle that became known as the "Battle at Getlin's Corner" in honor of our commanding officer Captain Mike Getlin (KIA-Navy Cross) and was the start of Operation Prairie 3. Specific details of the battle are recorded in a book written by Colonel George D. Navadel and troops entitled A Rifle Company's Tale.
The CP Group and two squads from 2nd Platoon were located on Hill 70 while 1st (rein) and 3rd Platoons are ordered to ambush positions 1800 meters apart and 900 meters from Hill 70. In the ensuing battle 15 of our brothers were killed in action while over 60 of us were wounded. Although greatly outnumbered, India Company held that hill in a battle lasting many hours. I was a Squad Leader and I lost four Marines from my squad while most of us were wounded. Our Corpsman, Doc Ken Braun, kept us patched up and able to continue the fight. In between treating our wounded and dieing, he used one of my wounded Marine's M-14 ultimately killing five NVA soldiers. His M-14 had been damaged by a mortar round requiring him to kick the operating rod back with each round fired.
Doc was treating wounded Marines all over that small hill. Each time "Corpsman Up" was yelled out, Doc was on the move, never hesitating even though mortars and machine gun fire was sweeping our positions. Doc Braun tightened a web belt tourniquet on the almost amputated leg of Lt. John P. Bobo (KIA-Medal of Honor) and had dragged Lt. Bobo up the hill where they lay side by side firing into the advancing enemy. A NVA soldier stood up in the tall grass firing his AK-47 into Lt. Bobo killing him and also hitting Doc Braun three times in the chest and shoulder tearing out muscle and exposing his spine. When Doc regained consciousness he managed to crawl into our final stand position. He instructed me how to treat his wound and made sure all our wounded were receiving treatment. He never moaned, cried, or complained; in fact when it looked like one more attack by the NVA would over run our position due to lack of ammo, Doc never made a sound to give away our position in the dark. I characterized Doc Ken Braun as the epitome of the Navy Corpsman!
India Company killed so many NVA soldiers that night that the NVA could be heard all night long dragging their dead from the field. They left over sixty of their dead plus we captured others. All of our officers on the hill had been killed which meant recommendations for decorations would come from the enlisted. Getlin's Corner produced 1 Medal of Honor, Lt. John Bobo (KIA); 3 Navy Crosses, Capt. Michael Getlin (KIA), Cpl. John Loweranitis (KIA), Top Raymond Rogers (WIA). Silver Stars and Bronze Stars were also presented. Upon my release from the hospital at Marble Mountain, I returned to Camp Carroll with my third Purple Heart. No, not all 3 heart Marines left Vietnam in fact many chose to stay with their brothers. I gave a statement upon my return that Doc, and the others previously mentioned, be decorated.
I did not know if Doc lived or died from his terrible wounds. When the names of all Vietnam KIAs were made known, I was grateful his name was not on the list. Doc was alive but I was unable to locate him. 35 years later I received a phone call late at night and it was Doc Braun calling from Missoula, Montana! After an hour or so I finally asked him what medal he received for Getlin's Corner. His response was, "another Purple Heart just like you." Something had to be done to recognize this hero! Doc had been previously decorated in 1966 with a Bronze Star while we were down south in Antennae Valley. He went out into a rice pattie under enemy machine gun fire to save a Marine from 2/9 who was shot in the leg. This tells you something about his courage! A Marine, not from our company, was wounded and Doc didn't hesitate to save him. Had he been in something besides the Marines (Navy) his Bronze Star would have been a Distinguished Service Cross. As we know, most decorated Marines and Corpsmen received posthumous awards! In 2000 I resubmitted my eyewitness account along with 2 other Marines from my squad and hoped time had not prevented our Corps from recognizing this hero.
It has taken 38 years but on Flag Day, Tuesday evening June 14, 2005 at 1900 hours in front of the Iwo Jima Monument in Arlington, Virginia, Doc Kenneth Braun will be presented his long over due Navy Cross by General Richard I. Neal, USMC Retired. It just so happens that General Neal, then Lt. Neal, lead our 1st Platoon as they fought their way to rescue us at Getlin's Corner.
Doc Braun you are a true American Hero! Your Marine brothers will never forget your courage and your devotion to duty.
My Five Year Old Grandson
I just wanted ya'll to know early training still occurs. My dad a non serving 78 year old Marine bought a CD of cadence calls ( yes 45 minutes of it) My five year old grandson gets into my vehicle and says put on the marching song. He is young but as he sits in the backseat and yells out 1,2,3,4 United States Marine Corp and other calls makes dad smiles larger than usual.
40 Years Later
I know that when we are successful in surviving boot camp at Parris Island or San Diego, most of us hope we will never see another DI again. But as we go along in life, first in our careers as active Marines and later as civilian Marines, things change.
We look back and see that had it not been for the DIs and their unbelievable Esprit D'Corps, self sacrifice and devotion, most of us would not have survived one minute in a combat situation, let alone the rest of our lives.
So when you think about your Drill Instructors and want to contact and thank them, don't wait for tomorrow. For tomorrow may never come.
I thought about contacting GySgt James Prince, who was my DI and received his second rocker during my time in Parris Island, many times over the years but just put it off as I was busy with my life. When I finally got around to it, 40 years later, I was one day too late. My Senior DI had died the day before I called. I was stunned, I had thought him immortal, and shamed at the same time because I had waited. I know that he would have loved to hear that at least one of his "TURDS" had seen him as a Father figure. I am sorry I missed the opportunity to make his day.
Please, don't any of the rest of you make the same mistake. They, DI's, are proud men but men nonetheless. Their pride stems not from themselves, but from what they have wrought from pig iron into steel. We are their children and they would love to hear from us. Don't disappoint them and don't dishonor yourselves. Call them, tell them what a difference they made in your lives.
John K. March
Plt 150 Parris Island, June, July, August 1964
RE. Crossing the International Dateline. As former Sgt. Maling points out in the last newsletter crossing the line was a great adventure. However, he is mixed up with crossing the equator and the Line. Those who crossed the equator became Shellbacks. Those who crossed the Line became Golden Dragons. However, the ceremonies were similar.
"DOMAIN OF THE GOLDEN DRAGON
Ruler of the 180th Meridian
Know All Ye Golden Dragons That on this 28th Day of July 1954 in Latitude 37 There Appeared within My Domain the General E.T. Collins and Know All Ye that Pfc. Robert A. Rader Was Duly Initiated into the Royal Domain of the Golden Dragon.
Davey Jones Golden Dragon
Majesty's Scribe Ruler of the 180 Meridian"
Marine Bumper Sticker
In response to a police reaction at a traffic stop and seeing a Marine bumper sticker.
A couple of years ago I worked at a bar in Washington, DC. After I got off at 03:00, I was driving through the city to Arlington, VA. It was late, I was dead tired, and the street lights were bright so I actually forgot to turn on my lights. While turning on Constitution Ave. I was pulled over by the DUI cops. Thought I hadn't had a drop to drink, I was reeking with bar smell. As I rolled down my window, they instantly caught a whiff of the bar on me. They asked me to step out and started interrogating me about drinking & driving. Needless to say, the police were, for good reasons, very suspicious. While answering the questions, I instantly went into my Marine Corps "respect for authority" mode. Being respectful seemed to have actually caught the D.C. cops off guard. One of them spotted my EGA decal on my back windshield and asked if I was in the Corps. I replied in the affirmative and told him I was a 0331 hvy gunner back in the day. He quickly looked to his partner and told him I was "good to go" and that I was obviously telling the truth about not drinking & driving. I took it he must have been in the Corps as well for as they released me I heard him say, "Be careful Mac".
May God bless our Marines at home and abroad
Just got finished reading Peter Zorba's item in the last newsletter about picking up the two K-9 Marines. Something caught in my throat and smoke got in my eyes while I read Zorba's account of the mission to pick up the dogs. Last year I purchased from the Sgt. Grit catalog the book Always Faithful. I was reminded of it while reading the post. Also obtained the same way Soochow and the Fourth Marines. Seems we Marines have a "thing" for our canine brothers. Thank God we're treating our four-legged Marines better than they were in 'Nam where they were abandoned.
Bob Rader #1405534
I'm not the first to question John Wayne's influence in "saving the Corps" via the movie Sands of Iwo Jima. The Marine Corps 1st Prov. Brigade and the 1st MarDiv saved the Marine Corps in Korea in 1950. Pusan, Inchon-Seoul and Chosin ended the political move to disband the Corps. If the Marines had not gotten there until mid September the Pusan Perimeter would have been the evacuation point for the army and a worse slaughter than they'd already suffered.
Ray L Walker
This ole Jar head is trying to locate the ole Tanker who was wondering if any ole tanker is still out there. He had asked about the Guiberson diesel radial engines that where in our light tanks in 1942. I went into tanks right out of boot camp, very early of 42. You could hear them tanks coming a mile away and they laid down a smoke screen that would put a navy destroyer to shame.
Let me know if you are still out there mate.
Semper Fi --------Adirondac Jim
Sgt Grit, I was in from 62-66;served first with 2nd AMTRACs at Courthouse Bay; thought I was going to Okinawa but the 1st Sgt told me I was too young and shipped me to E-school at MCRD San Diego! Being a graduate of 1st RTR ,1st Bn,at Parris Island; was prepared to make fun of the H-Wood Marines!Thank God I didn't go thru Boot there!E-school was bad enough! Wound up with 2nd LAAM Bn.at Cherry Point.Went to Da Nang with 1st LAAM Bn,Was with B Btry at the airstrip from March'66 to July '66;then went with Echo Btry to Hill 55 till December 66.Hope all the Echo's made it home. My thoughts and prayers are with the New Corps in the sandbox. Thanks for all you do; good to know that there are still some ol'timers out there! Dave(SWAMPRAT)Lindsay Sgt.1962-1966
I Am Grateful
Sgt Grit.....I am on my way to Branson Mo for the Operation Welcome Home Vietnam Vets National Celebration. I just want to thank you for carrying all the items related to Navy Corpsmen...The Marines took care of Us and we took care of Them....to the best of our limited abilities and experience. It is emotional for me to express the honor I felt as a Combat Corpsman who did not know is #@@ from a hole in the ground. The Marines trained us in FMF School and we had a rough hard road to tread to live up to the time honored tradition of "Doc". I am grateful for all the sacrifice of Marines and Corpsman who served and now serve in Combat. Thanks for the remembrance through your items. I am proud for anything I did to help in Vietnam, even if I felt ill trained for the important job. I have seen the bravery and honor Marines carried into battle. I would never want to serve with any other branch (except Navy Seals....maybe) than with the U.S. Marines. ooorahh
Right on "Doc" Simoneau.
I too can only stand in admiration of "our" Marines. I fiercely love "my" Marines that I am blessedly in contact with at a young adult Bible study here in SE Georgia and would surely pass through h&ll for any one of them as well as any other Marine for that matter. Just one "Hey Doc" from those guys makes my entire week! We are all here on this earth for each other as brothers and sisters in the Corps and to say that I am an old FMF Corpsman is truly a point of pride for me.
Getting lost in the shuffle ain't all that bad sometimes. The last three months of my enlistment sent me to Naval Hospital Newport. The Chief in Personnel Division saw me as a ruined sailor due to my association with the FMF and put me in a far corner of the compound for the rest of my tour...kinda a skate thing to say the least. Guess that my jungle boots with Navy dungarees was too much for him to face on a daily basis!!!
To all you FMF "Docs", thank God each day for the men and women that you are with. They truly are the absolute best. You can not find any better to cover your "six."
Semper Fi and God bless the Marine Corps!
p.s. Grit, I just put the motorcycle license plate holder that y'all sent on my Harley Deuce the other day and within an hour, I got two waves from passing Marines and a salute and a "Semper Fi" at a stop light. Thanks for another great product! I shared the catalog with another Marine and he is really stoked about what he saw, stand by for more business.
HM2 "Doc" Wells
"Blessed be the Lord my Rock, Who trains my hands for war and my fingers to fight". Ps 144:1
Blood Soaked Socks
How John Wayne saved the Corps? That may very well be true Colonel, of that I have little doubt. But Sir, As a youngster in those days, I had my own Marine Hero, my uncle who was about to board a ship for the final invasion of Okinawa. As my uncle limped towards the gangway, the First Shirt pulled him out of the line and said sit down and take your boots off Marine, which my uncle did. As he poured blood out of his boots, and the First Sergeant saw his blood soaked socks, my uncle was sent for medical evacuation to Australia for cure of his advanced case of jungle rot. He was cured and came home just before the war ended with the A-bombings. My uncle never talked to anyone about his several combat landings on several (I believe seven major battles) in the Island Campaign, but he did talk with me and my brother and showed us hundreds of photographs, many of which we had seen in newsreels of some of the fiercest fighting in the Islands of WWII. Yes, we heard his war stories and he pulled no punches for two wide eyed spellbound young boys. But he had a lasting impact for we both became Marines in our own right. My uncle is gone now, as is my brother but, neither is forgotten. That is not the story I had planned to tell in response to John Wayne's Sands of IWO Jima, I did see the movie but to me, it was nothing compared to what my uncle had told us about the fighting. Later when I left the Corps and as a Federal Auditor in the Office of the Comptroller General of the United States, I did have occasion to review the legislation concerning the formation of the Department of Defense. Why I was doing it is of no consequence but I did happen upon the Congressional hearings concerning the saving of the Marine Corps. Colonel if you ever get a chance to read that testimony, by our General Officers of the time, I am certain you will agree that finer testimony before our Congress has never been made. A better story you will never read. I served ten years in the Corps and when I read one of the impassioned speeches of one of the Generals, I had trouble finishing it for the humidity around my eyes. I recall the words to the effect, "all we Marines have ever asked is an opportunity to fight for our country". The response was," as far as this committee is concerned, there will always be a Marine Corps and you will always have that opportunity". Indeed Iwo Jima and that flag raising has ensured that there will always be a Marine Corps and if we Marines have anything to do with it Congress will always know it. Semper Fi Colonel, and all Marines everywhere.
Richard E. Nygaard, SSGT, USMC 1953-1963
Commandant, Marine Corps League
Umpqua Valley Detachment 1089
About the story from Peter regarding his assist with the fallen Marine pick-up. I had the same heart felt feelings reading that story, just as though I was reading about any story of my brothers and sisters in my beloved Corps. It wasn't JUST a dog! That was a fallen brother, one who would have my back just as I would have his. It's hard to realize a difference between it being a dog or a human.
K-9's have been with us for many years, however, I never had the pleasure of working with them in Force-Recon. I have always had dogs in my personal life and can well imagine the closeness the handlers develop over time with their K-9 partners. My heart goes out to the young corporal who lost his brother.
Cold War Victory Medal
Cold War Victory Medal has been added again to the 2006 National Defense Budget and has survived the first step by the House. The bill is H.R. 1815 and will need all our support by urging you Representatives in the Senate to pass the resolution and make it mandatory for our Cold War Veterans for 1945-1991. They have all earned it.....Semper If.
Would Buy Tickets
I am responding to the letter that appeared in the 9 June 2005 edition of the Sgt. Grit Newsletter by Joe Newman who claims to be an "inactive" SSgt of Marines. In this letter, SSgt Newman describes his experience at a Memorial Day weekend graduation for a friend's daughter and his actions educating a moron (you know, one of those people who should not be in the gene pool) with respect to protocol one should follow when the Colors are presented and the National Anthem played. SSgt Newman, by his own report, decked the individual and was then escorted from the premises and thanked by the local police officials present.
SSgt Newman -- two comments. First, you did something that there are easily 100,000 Marines and Family in this country that would buy tickets to stand in line to do what you did. Second, what is the BS about claiming to be "inactive"?? Your story sure sounds active to me!
Semper Fi from a very active Dad of a very active Sgt of Marines 3/7
Dr. Dennis Benson
Find Myself Wanting
"Bravo Zulu" Sgt Grit! I'm a retired Marine ('58-'88) and retain a love of our Corps equal only to my adoration for my "first wife" of forty years, Linda. I can't express how much I enjoy reading the Newsletters. Between reading the Emails from our Marines who are in "harms way" to the responses
and information provided by the families, I find myself wanting to put a Sousa CD on the system, crank up the volume (louder than some of the "crap" heard from vehicles on the streets) and awaken my neighbors to the "real world." When I threaten this, my "Bride" reminds me that we Marines do the job assigned, as professionally, expeditiously, and lethally as required, without fanfare. Still, it remains a "sore on my ass" that the media will not conduct balanced reporting about the current situation in our two primary areas of contact. The "negative reporting" in our national media must be abated and more reporting of what our people are actually accomplishing in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mose
To the Mom wondering how to respond: The Marine Corps is truly timeless. It is not a trend, nor hip, nor cool in one moment and square in another. The Marine Corps is a time-honored, hard-earned, blood-stained, heartwarming, soul-baring standard bearer of this nation. Why do people become Marines? Because they feel a calling in their spirit to be more... to matter... to become part of something that will truly endure.
Of course, she could also just say that her son became a Marine for the huge salary, luxurious living conditions, and fancy meals.
That Day Rang True
I'm at the end of 22 years. I retire 30 September of this year. Went to boot 6 sept, 1983. 23 Oct, in the "butts" at Edson rifle range at Camp Pendleton and I remember clear as day when the DI's got called up to The Shed. They came back with grim faces and we didn't know what was up but that
we were "in for it". The Marine barracks in Beirut was bombed that day, one of our recruits, his brother was there. He lived, but that day rang true as to why I joined and why we ALL were there training for.
My father joined the Army, I read everything I could about the Army and so wanted to join and follow my father's footsteps. When he got a wiff of what I was doing, he told me "Son, the Army isn't now what it was then (he was in during Korea, and the Army didn't do itself any favors then either)."
He told me that the Marines were THE game in town. And that is from an Army dad. He did duty at Ft Huachuca, Az as a radar tech, and later in Fontana as an Army Radar tech rep.
I spent my Marine career as a jet engine mechanic. Memphis, Tennessee, Tustin SoCal, then Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. Rough duty. After that, I spent 11 years at MCAS El Toro, my favorite station by far. Closed that base down in '97 and moved to MCAS Miramar. Spent almost three years deployment time in Iwakuni, Japan. I am proud to say that I had THE very best training and instructors. Most had their Vietnam service bar. They did their job through sniper bullets and mortars in Danang and Marble Mountain air bases. I learned terms like Beauceau and such. War terms earned through what these Marines endured during their time "In Country". The closest I ever got to "In Country" was 45 miles off of Kuwait in '95 of the USS Constellation (Crusty Connie) during Operation Southern Watch. My combat record shows time, but if anyone asks me if I did time, no. There are far too many that have fought, sweated, and died in the sands for me to take any credit for "being there".
The only credit I will honestly take is that when building F/A-18 F404 engines during '90-'91 in Iwakuni, Japan, and testing F402 Harrier AV-8B engines since 1999 I have given the ground Marines the BEST possible protection platform possible. I wish I could have been there, but if I couldn't, quality support is next best, if unrecognized.
For all of you out there doing the deed, my cover's off to you. Live large and be safe!
Paul R. Steinhoff
The Challenge Continues
You asked how to answer people who ask you why your son joined the Marines, as if he were out of his mind for doing so.
I suppose the most direct and perhaps most accurate answer would be, "If you have to ask, you are incapable of understanding." Some people might think you rude for saying that. If that bothers, below are some additional thoughts and suggestions.
I and nearly every other Marine I have known have become Marines for reasons that fall into two areas. First, there is the opportunity to serve the greatest country on the face of the earth and in the history of mankind. Second, there is the challenge. I doubt that anybody ever went to Parris Island, San Diego or Quantico knowing for sure that he/she would make it clear through to graduation. However, one of the great things about the Marine Corps is that the challenge continues. It may take the form of making sure that the Marines in the parade look better than those of the other services. Or it may be combat and the challenge of living up to the standards set at Belleau Wood, Iwo Jima, Con Thien or Baghdad.
There is a feeling that only Marines have to the degree that we have it. That feeling lets a Marine do incredible things when the chips are down and brings tears to his eyes when he/she sees the 8th & I parade.
From the tone of your letter, I think you understand, but like I said at the beginning, "If you have to ask, you are incapable of understanding."
Sincerely with best of luck to your son,
Richard E. Hulslander
USMC 1966 - 1970, Con Thien
Thank Goodness For
hey sarg i was on my way to grand rapids mi the other day i live in niles. my son lcpl dustin horton had just called me from iraq on my cell. i was talking to him and not paying attention to my speed when a officer just hit me with radar. he started to pull out and what do you know apparently he saw my usmc plate on front of my pick um up truck. he backed down and waved for me to slow down. thank goodness for the usmc plate id had a big ticket 85 in a 70 pvt horton usmc 70,s
I Didn't Ask Permission
Semper Fi Sgt. Grit,
I've been trying to find out what became of my D. I'S . I graduated from P.I. in October, 1965, platoon 170. My Senior DI was SSGT Perry Smiley and my two Junior DI'S were Cpl. M.J. Granto and Cpl D.S. Bosch. I will never forget these Marines. We had a school circle one night and Cpl Granto had the duty and was telling a joke (can't remember it) and I was the only scum bag that laughed at it, I didn't ask for permission to laugh. "Front and center sh*t bird", he commences to smack me in the face, it still sting's. He was wearing English Leather cologne and to this day I get a flash back if someone is wearing it. I was in 1st Bridge Co., 7th Engineer's from Feb.1966 to Oct. 1967 in Nam and I met up with Cpl Granto. I think he was in B company. He was still an E-4 and so was I, no hard feelings, he was just doing his job. I did hear he got wounded and got sent to Japan.
1st Bridge Co.
Forever He'll Remain
I carry my best friend in my heart because he was one of the first ten Marines killed when deployment was in order for Iraqi Freedom. I see his picture everyday for it is on my file cabinet and forever he'll remain till I get to Heaven and relieve him from his post guarding the gates of entry. Being the best, doing the best, and protecting our country from harm, it is what we do best and his life ended as many Marines before have done in doing the same. No war comes without casualties and this one no different, as having served my heart goes to the ones grieving their loss.
Master Gunny Sergeant Davis
A Marine General retired after 35 years and realized his life-long dream of buying a bird-hunting estate in South Dakota. He invited an old friend to visit for a week of pheasant-shooting.
The friend was in awe of General's dog "Sarge." The dog could point, flush and retrieve with the very best, and the friend offered to buy the dog.
The General declined, saying that "Sarge" was the best bird dog he had ever owned and that he wouldn't part with him at any price.
A year later the same friend returned for another week of hunting, and was surprised to find the General breaking in a new dog.
"What happened to ol' "Sarge?" he asked.
"Had to shoot him," grumbled the General. "A friend came to hunt with me and couldn't remember the dog's name. He kept calling him Colonel.
After that, all the dog would do was sit on his ass and bark."
Submitted by: John Wear
He Is A True Marine
This is Mrs. Carl Deer (Eileen). Just a note to let you know that Carl is dying with Lung Cancer and doesn't have much time. We live in Jesup, GA. Carl has shown "True Grit" in his fight with this disease over the last year and a half. He is a true Marine and will fight to the end. He belongs to the Marine Corps League and VFW on St. Simons Island which is about 42 miles from here. His Marine brothers are coming from St. Simons to see him next week. Some of them are also suffering with cancer as well. Please keep them all in your prayers.
Eileen B. Deer
Wife of Carl S. Deer
To the Mom of the 19 yr old baby Marine who was asked if her son was patriotic because he joined the Corps, next time you tell her "Yes and because he cares". I am a heathen, a Buddhist, who went to Nam as an atheist, who only believes in the Country part of God & Country, a Black Man who listened to crude comments from a foxhole when MLK was assassinated, who was still riding the back of the bus in Birmingham when he visited his Grandma, who had spent 6 years in the Corps before he even saw a Black Lieutenant, who told his White classmates that he turned down the job, they all got hired for but he didn't, who when asked by intelligent, worldly Vietnamese, why he was in the Corps when Black folks were getting police dogs & fire hoses turned on them, that no matter what they saw on the newspapers, America was a great country and would be a greater country in the future. I'm a United States Marine, no matter, what my political beliefs are, no matter who I pray to or don't. When the call went out for a Sparrow Hawk team, I ran to the chopper, rifle in hand because Marines were being ambushed & needed my help. Regardless of the racial undertones of the Vietnam War, no Marine would ever leave another Marine in a bind. Even though, there was racism is Nam, we never let each other down. Our pride is in the caring & concern for our own. It never dies. On a job with over 5000 employees, we all know each other, male & female. I also spent 10 years in the Army & it didn't amount to 1 day in the Corps. Army, Air Force, Navy are anonymous but every Marine has a decal on his car, an Eagle, Globe & Anchor on his desk or car, a bulldog on his cap. Our pride in the Corps is eternal. I ran across an old Korean who runs a tobacco store in Lexington Market with his daughters, who noticed my USMC on my cap and told me his son was in the Corps, in Iraq. Despite the fact, that I don't agree with Bush & our being there, I returned the next day & gave him a copy of the Marine Corps League Magazine and an application for the Baltimore Detachment, Marine Corps League with my name & phone number on it. I thanked him for letting his son be one of us and told him as soon as he got back, to give me a call. His son is a Marine. Last year, our Detachment Commandant got mugged outside the meeting hall and all the old farts at the meeting, Korean & WWII vets, did a muster on the nearby bars, until they found the hooligan and held him for the police. Our commandant was black, they were not but they are all Marines. We look out for our own because we care. We visit the wounded returnees at Bethesda Naval Hospital & Walter Reed Hospitals, we collect cans & coins, volunteer to sell beer at the Oriole games, to feed & help out the families of our Marines across the ocean. We are Marines, first, last & always because we care. President Ronald Reagan said it best. "Some people spend their whole lives wondering if they made a difference, Marines don't have that problem". We all support our Jarheads in Afghanistan, the Philippines, Iraq & any other h&ll hole our government asks them to go to because first & foremost, we are Marines. Since 1775, for 230 years, those who wore & still wear the Eagle, Globe & Anchor and willingly, without hesitation, answer the call, Muster, guns on line. So the next time, you get asked a dumb ass question from an ignorant idiot, who can protest, is not forced to speak German, Russian or Japanese, who enjoys the liberties won by guys like your 19 year old son, you look them straight in the eye, with your head held high and tell them, "He's Your United State Marine And He Cares."
Sgt. Ray Vaughn
III MAF; 1st CAG, 2nd CAG, 1st MarDiv; H&MS 15, 3rd MAW Baltimore
Detachment #545, Marine Corps League UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
As Another Testament
In response to an email of encouragement addressed to a Marine serving with 3/4 in Iraq reinforcing the historic links to the Vietnam and WW II battalion...
Your words of encouragement are much appreciated. I am not a 3/4 proper Marine, I regret. Just TAD to the battalion for the deployment. But I do feel like a part of the 3/4 family now. Been setting my boots down in the same sand for 5 months now and I can't even remember what it was like being with a base unit anymore. In fact, after being with these motivators, I don't think I'm going to like my old unit anymore. The legacy of 3/4 is not lost on these Marines I can assure you. This battalion, now on it's third tour in Iraq, has Fallujah in an iron grip. The terrorists are on their heels, the people are living freely and we haven't lost a single Marine to enemy attacks. The battalion will be coming home in August for the third time. As another testament to the professionalism, tenacity and fighting spirit of this battalion, 3/4 has the least casualties of any infantry unit that's fought in Iraq. A considerable feat when they were the first Marine battalion into Baghdad and the first to assault Fallujah in April 04'. Again, thank you for the thoughts and prayers. The Darkside is still going strong. Semper Fi! Respectfully Submitted, Lance Cpl. Paul Robbins Jr. Battalion Public Affairs Officer 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines 3605-205
The Corps Instead
Brothers and Sisters in my Corps:
A little while ago I wrote in about my GBM battle. For the last three years I have been in a battle with Brain tumors, the nasty ugly malignant type. I had three removed along with the right temporal lobe. In March I had my one year clear off Chemo. Well on May 31 the war begins again. I went in for my armor today the head gear made to fit me exactly each time I lay down for a treatment. Next Wednesday the 22nd of June I begin another round of radiation. My Marine Corps ATTITUDE has long been an advantage to me, I am so glad that Air Force recruiter I had an appointment with twenty years ago never showed up. I joined the Corps instead. I have not updated it in awhile but go to my website www.tumorhumor.com for any info you or someone you may know could use. Sign my guestbook and let me know who, where you are and when and where you served. I was medically released in 94 due to injuries in Desert Storm so I have little contact with the Corps except for our reserves here in Boise and they are currently in Iraq. Semper Fidelis Marines. The battle is not over yet.
Hi. I would like tell about a lady, tho never in the Corps, is possibly more Marine than any of us. She is the granddaughter of a WWI Marine vet, the niece of a Korean War Marine vet, married to a Marine (me, for 26 wonderful years), the mother of a Marine reservist who just graduated from PI, is the mother of a Marine Officer Candidate who is at Quantico now!
CC Leatherbury, Sgt. USMC 72-77 8th Marines 'Fi and Oooragh!
Please Don't Tell Me
When I enlisted in 1969 everyone I knew was being drafted. I was aware military service would be in my immediate future. I chose to become a Marine and have never second guessed my decision. Recently a neighbors son returned from a deployment as a Marine with a combat engineer battalion and his family had a welcome home get together at a local watering hole. When he and I were introduced he said, "Please don't tell me you were in the army too." I told him I was a Marine and had severed two tours with 1st ANGLICO in Southeast Asia.
His eyes lit up and I had to remind him his family was waiting for him. It does not get any better than being a Marine. Only a Marine can understand, it cannot be explained to anyone else.
Semper Fi, Joe
ALL OF THEM
Each night as they read the name of another fallen service member on CBS news; I can't help but let the tears flow from our loss. As a Vietnam War Veteran it is sometimes hard to remember that we were all that young and innocent when we went off to war. Many of us (Vietnam Vets), feel such a kinship to those who are serving and a deep loss for those who have given their lives for true freedom in this century. As I read the stories of those Marines still on duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and the jobs that they are doing for the people there and for all of us at home; my heart is truly full of pride for all of them.
Such purity in their service to their country without much complaint. Each time I meet one who has returned home I am compelled to not only shake his or her hand but give them a big bear hug and thank them for what they have done for us all. I pay no attention to the protesters any more and the others who degrade our country and commander and Chief; as they all fade away. However, I know that those who fight and die with honor and courage to keep terrorism away from our countries door, will never be forgotten as so many of us. They live on and will in our hearts and our minds so long as we remember their names and sacrifices for us all....
I ask that all of you Retired Marines, navy, Army, Air force, and Coast Gaurd; to always remember all of them, our brothers and sisters who made the ultimate sacrifice to their country and never forget....I ask that when you can seek them out and let them know we love them and thank them for their honorable service. God Bless them one and all and God Bless America which will always stand free because of "ALL of them"....
Semper Fi Marines...
Donald A. Yoder
Sgt, USMC Ret. Disabled
Past Chaplain Marine Corps League
Vietnam 65-66 3rd Marine Div. 2nd btn. 9th Marines
Her Name Was
Your story about the War Dog (true Marine) hit home. I am the chairman for the Grave Site Flag Detail for Lancaster(PA)County Detachment Marine Corps League. It was brought to our attention there was a Marine Dog in the pet cemetery. After some checking we found the last owner of our Marine. Her name was " Bam ". She was a War Dog through most of World War II. Since that day , on the following days we place an American, and a Marine Corps Flag on Bams grave along with 35 other Marines graves. Memorial Day ,Flag Day, Independence Day, Marine Corps Birthday, Veterans Day.
I remember when John Wayne died on this date June 11th, 1979, he was a big movie idol with the Marines and at the USO Club at Camp Lejuene, NC we signed several very very large get well cards for him over Memorial Day weekend and they were sent to him, I do not know if he ever received them, God Bless John Wayne - aka... Sgt. Striker (Sands of Iwo Jima)
Jim Runyan II -
USMC - 78 - 82
A Little Hyperbole
I hold the record for attendance at University of Southern Mississippi Football games, 257, home and away, over 21 years. Everywhere in the country (except when we played at West Point), we have encountered a lack of respect during moments of silence and the National Anthem. When my wife chastised a boy, age about ten, for talking during the National Anthem, he clearly had no idea what he had done wrong. Clearly, parents, schools, churches, et al, are NOT teaching children to show proper respect. Our own students misbehave during the National Anthem at home football games. I have advised them on our athletic website that if we find them we are going to kill them (A little hyperbole here, but all this makes me quite angry.) Thousands of National Guard troops are training at Camp Shelby prior to deployment to Iraq. Many of them attend our athletic events as guests. THEY stand at attention during he National Anthem. A group of them were at a pre-game picnic, in uniform, standing in the back of a long line. I told them that I had stood in too many lines to allow them to do so, directed them to go to the front, and advised them to tell anyone who objected to see Sgt. Reynolds, USMC, and point at me. Then, an elderly lady took charge of them and escorted all to the front. A few of the troops who trained at Shelby have already been killed in Iraq. At one baseball game, we witnessed at least one encouraging event: Local Boy Scouts stood by players at all nine positions and saluted during the National Anthem. As I flew my flag on Memorial Day and Flag Day, I was reminded once again of the need to somehow convince the people of this country to show the proper respect during moments of silence and the National Anthem.
Commiskey-Wheat Detachment, MCL
Yemassee Marine Reunion
From a friend in the defense industry.
Talk about super-intelligent secretaries... there's a retired-marine project manager here who was introduced to me as ' colonel '. I called his secretary to find out his first name ,She simply replied " Lieutenant Colonel " !
Just went through my second heart by-pass surgery.
Healing is day by day so reading up on Sgt Grit gives me comfort.
My best to my buds who served with me in Iwakuni
61 & 62 VMGR 152
Paul Belanger CPL 1821707
TO SGT DANIE: And your Marine Corps SISTERS??????? Thanks for your
never-ending support of us as well, there, Devil Dawg...
Cpl C. A. Curtis
Sgt. M.E. Danie,
We are all in this together.
And thanks for your service devil dog .... spent 23 years in the naval service and the best of those years was with the FMF .... hated to go back to the navy
SEMPER FI SGT
No better friend, no worse enemy.
Some people just need killing
That's why we have Marines
Real happiness is having two ammo carriers.