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 - May 12, 2005

Just this past weekend we lost a good Marine. LCpl. Lance Graham was KIA while serving in Iraq with 3/25. He was a squared away Devil Dog who was motivated to get to Iraq and serve with his brothers. Just a reminder that even though he has past, he has left an everlasting positive impression on all who he met and those of us who had the pleasure to have served with. Please say a prayer for his family and for all of the family members who have lost loved ones while serving our country. For those who have served Thank you and for those who are going forward- Stay Motivated. God bless you and the United States Marine Corps.


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Fun for the WHOLE family

2nd Annual GriTogether is this weekend! Don't miss it!
Sat. May 14 - 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. - After-party at 7:30 p.m
Get details here

I am proud to announce that Sgt Grit is now the
official PX for the 1st Mar Div Association.
Now you can get more 1st Marine Division items all in one place.

Many New Items in this Week - Here's a sample:

Digital Woodland Luggage - Garment Bag, Rucksack, Shave Bag and More!

USA and USMC Combined Flag

Marine Corps Foot Stool

Marine Rank Playing Cards

Heroes Everyone - 5 True Stories from WWII

US Marines Rubber Bracelet

Featured Closeout Item:

For God and Country

See all of our closeout items:


Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
[now nominated to be Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff]

Extemporaneous Remarks as delivered at the
USS HUE CITY'S 11th Annual Memorial Service marking the
35th Anniversary of the Battle for Hue
Mayport, Florida
2 February 2003

Captain Young, to you and to your magnificent crew, thank you. Not only for the extraordinary hospitality that you have given to all of us here, but also for all that you do with your ship of the line to protect U.S. interests around the globe. And it's great to see you're back in the water. And in April when you get back to the sea, it's going to be with the same professionalism and spirit this ship has exhibited since it was christened on 21 July 1990.

Admiral, Captains, Colonel Al Colter, and to all of you who are here today, I've given a lot of speeches along the way and I don't get intimidated very easily anymore. But today is one of those days where my heart is pounding a little harder than it normally does because I need to find the right words. And also because I know there's Italian blood in my body that will rush to my heart, and it's going to be a contest whether my brain gets to rule or my heart gets to rule while I'm speaking to you. So if I slow down a couple of times while I'm up here just bear with me.

First of all, you should know the ground rules of who Pete Pace is. I am here in pride as an observer of those who fought in Hue City, not with pride as a participant because by the time I got there all the hard work was already done. And we should not forget that, if you study military history you know that attacking forces normally like to have a ratio of about three good guys to about one bad guy if you're going to attack. In the case of Hue City, about 2,500 U.S. servicemen, mostly Marines, attacked 11,000 N.V.A. (North Vietnamese Army) in a well-defended city...and kicked their butts. But I can say that because I wasn't a part of it. It would be inappropriate if I had been and said it that way.

But to get there, and to join that magnificent group, I graduated from the Naval Academy and went on to The Basic School like all Marine officers do, and I got trained up to go to Vietnam. If you recall, those of you who were alive back then, in the winter of '67-'68 there was a huge blizzard on the East Coast. And that blizzard closed down training at Quantico. And it happened to be at a time when we were supposed to learn how to fight in cities. "Not doin' it," one instructor said. "Have to learn how to fight in a tight space. And, so it's unfortunate that you're going to miss this training. But if you have to fight in a city, we'll train you up for that before you go."

So off I went to Vietnam. And I still didn't know I was going to go to "Two/Five." So I got into Da Nang and got on a cattle car, which is basically a big old tractor-trailer truck that had seats in it. And it had seats in the middle, and it had seats on the outside. So I sat on the outside, and I was across the way from a major who looked at me and said, "This is your first tour in Vietnam, isn't it?" And I said and I'm wearing my gold bar sand I said, "Yes, sir. It is." He said, "You know how I know?" And I said, "Other than my rank, sir?" He said, "Yeah, see, the veterans sit on the inside so the guys that sit on the outside can take the bullets."

So this is good. This is day one, and I'm saying to myself, "I'm already dead."

Found out I was going to "Two/Five." Still didn't know what the words "Two/Five" meant. Just knew that I was going to be proud to be part of that great, great unit.

Got up to Phu Bai, and then I started realizing that Phu Bai was close to Hue and that all that stuff I'd been reading about in the papers was about to become part of my life. Then-Major O. K. Steele, who is now a retired Major General in the Marine Corps, who was the battalion XO (executive officer), said, "Come on. We're gonna' go." And we got in a jeep. He's in the front seat. We had a driver. We had a guy in the back with a rifle and me, and we take off for Hue City. So we drive from Phu Bai to Hue City with one jeep. And I'm saying to myself, "OK, I didn't die in Danang; I am going to die en route to Hue City."

I didn't obviously. When I got there, my platoon was Steve Hancock's platoon. Steve's here. And instead of 43 Marines, it had 14. Fourteen. I was the third platoon commander in as many weeks. And I learned from those Marines so very much. But before I get to that, I would ask that all of you who fought in Hue City to stand or raise your hand if you cannot stand.

They're my heroes. These are men from various backgrounds: white men, and black men, and Hispanic. Some volunteers, mostly volunteers, but some draftees back then. Some were there because they thought the war was right; some didn't think the war was right, but they were there to serve their country. All were there fighting for their country. But in the final analysis, when it came down to the battlefield itself, it was a very, very different construct.

It's not that Marines do not know fear. In fact, if you show me a Marine who does not know fear then I'll show you a Marine I don't want to be anywhere near on the battlefield. There were many nights where I wished I could get my body tucked up inside my helmet and just wait for a while. But like every other Marine, when I looked around at the eyes of my fellow Marines, I knew that they were depending on me. We did what Marines do: we got up and got the job done. Because Marines do have fear in combat -- but more than that we feared that somehow we would let our fellow Marines down in battle, and somehow we would not live up to the wonderful heritage that we have received from those who proceeded us, and what an honor it was for us to write one or two more pages in the passages of the history of the Corps.

There are several Marines who are not with us today whose names I repeat to myself every day: Guido Farinaro, Chubby Hale, Whitey Travers, Mike Witt, Fred Williams, Little Joe Arnold, John Miller. Those men trusted me. They trusted me as their lieutenant. And in doing what I asked them to do, they did not come home. Because of them and because of the men in this room, I am still on active duty. Because I owe a debt that I can never repay. And for them to die and for so many others to be wounded, and for me not even to receive a scratch in 13 months, I thought it was a message from God that I was supposed to do something for Him...and for them. So I've never, ever, had a doubt in my mind that I was supposed to stay on active duty.

But I tried when I left Vietnam to repay. So I got to my next duty station and was fortunate enough to get another platoon, and I tried to give to those Marines what I could no longer give to the Marines I'd lost in Vietnam. And a funny thing happened: the more I tried to give to the folks I worked with, the more they gave me. So there's absolutely no doubt in my mind that by trying to repay, I received much more than I could have ever given. And that when that lieutenant, or captain or major whose last name was "Pace" made a mistake - which I made a lot of - those guys who were with me made me look a whole lot better than I deserved to look. In trying to repay in one unit, more Marines would do great things and I would owe more to more people. And I am now, after 30-almost-six years, hopelessly behind and terribly in debt. But it is why I continue to serve, and why I never question what job it is I am asked to do because somebody else didn't have that chance. I'm just honored and delighted to have the opportunity to continue to serve.

Being a General is fun. I just thought I'd tell you that. And when they play "Honors," and "Ruffles and Flourishes" ... it makes me feel good. But, when one of these men in this audience comes up to me with a beer in his hand and says, "Hey, Lieutenant"...that's an honor.

This is an amazing country. My dad was born in Italy. His son is the Vice-Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff. You can't do that anyplace else in the world. The reason we can do it is because of battles like Hue City. And many have gone on before that, and many are still to come. Today a lot of our sons and daughters are steaming toward harm's way. We all hope they will not have to fight. We all know that if they do have to fight, they will do what American service men and women have always done, which is deliver for our country.

What I need to tell you is that I have not forgotten what I learned 35 years ago from the men in this room. And as I discharge the duties of my present job, every day I ask myself, "If this war were to start tomorrow, what is it that you, General, should have done to ensure that PFC Pace or PFC Jones, or whoever is out there, has the support that he or she deserves?" I promise you men who have given me the life that I have been living, that I will not betray all you have done. And that as best I can, I will serve you and your sons and your daughters.

This is a great day. Just to renew friendships, and to make some new friends. And again to the crew of Hue City, thank you, for the magnificent way in which you take care of your ship and our ship. And we know that if you do go into harm's way that you will do it magnificently as Navy men have always done.

Captain Young, you all were kind enough to say that you were honored to have me here today. The truth is that I'm honored to be here and to have this additional opportunity to say thank you to the great men in this room who've earned more than I could ever give, thanks to everyone.

Ann Margaret & Vietnam

We were on instant react the only time a USO show happened anywhere near us. We were seriously bent out of shape about not being able to attend. Our CO put us in full battle dress in a 6-by --- right next to the stage, off to one side. We went from the pits to having the very best seats in the house. I was up front, right in the corner next to the stage. It was pretty good until Ann Margaret came out --- in a VERY revealing TIGHT green pedal pusher sort of outfit. To say that she was warmly welcomed is to mention the breeze felt at the heart of a nuclear explosion. ALL the Marines were standing on one leg, spinning and howling at the moon! And her "act" did nothing to calm them down. [ bashful little curtsey sort of movement --- and a shy, "I just wanted you men to remember what you were fighting for."] She had us in the palm of her hand we would have done anything for her.

Partway through her act she came over the truck and asked the sergeant why we were parked next to the stage. He told her we were the Instant React Team and what that meant. She asked a couple of other guys where they were from and stuff. She asked one of the guys why my equipment was so different from theirs and he said, "He' our Corpsman. He's the one that keeps us alive." She walked over to me (Walked? No! She glided, she flew, she danced through the air and entranced me for life), put her arms around my neck, leaned in close and said, "thank you." Then she sang a song. I can't remember it. All I remember was standing there, rigid, entranced, besotted. She really cared. She wasn't acting. She was singing to me, and all my fellow Marines, trying to tell me she truly cared and like a big sister, or a dedicated lover, she wanted me to be OK and to come home.

The Gong went off and we had to leave... But I will never forget. Ann Margaret, if you read this, or hear about it... Thank You. You helped keep me alive, and you helped me keep my guys alive. Thank you. If ever I have something you need or want, it is yours.

Steve Byars, HM1
2nd Plt, "E" Co., 2/1, 1st Mar Div.
RVN 1965-

Bang Another Hit

A little back ground on me: I come from a normal Hispanic family raised in the north part of Houston. Standing a mere 5'2, I pretty much got the feeling of myself as just another Hispanic in the world. Sure I was a little stocky but I always felt 5'2. I had that self esteem problem.

Well I was shell shocked during my first couple of days at MCRD. Still feeling my usual self I was a follower and never saw myself as a leader.

I'll never forget that one day... During 1st phase... standing in the chow line... looking lost, cammies all wrinkled, still freaked out, not knowing if I would get thru this...This giant Dark Green building with arms comes up next to me and just pecks me on the head with his campaign cover and ask me... "How Tall Are You Boy!", so I respond "5'2 and 1/2, SIR!". Bang another hit to the head... "How Tall Are You!", "SIR 5'2..." and BANG another hit... he does this a couple of more times until I reply, Sir this recruit does not understand... he gets in front of me and tells me to look at him and for me to look into his eyes and says in the most motivating voice I've ever heard in my life. "You came here 5'2 and 1/2.... but from now on your 6'2...", "sir?", "From now on your 6'2..." at that point I understood that no matter who you are, where you came from, no matter the amount of money that you have... You are you and that is that, you get out of life what you put into it... I never felt more proud of myself than that day in the chow line. I never knew the name of that Marine but that one phrase has changed my life and since then... I am 6'2.

Thanks for reading...
J. D. Calderon, Sgt of Marines


U.S. Marine Corps, Commandant of the Marine Corp Vision for the Corps

Sing To Her

When my daughter was an infant, there was one time when she was sick, feeling bad and crying. My wife was tired and I took a turn trying to console the child. Nothing was working so my wife said "sing to her." "Sing to her? I don't know any songs" I said. Well I thought for a moment and the only song that came to mind was the Marines Hymn. So, I sang and all was better. Now, my daughter is 7 years old and every night I still have to sing the Marines Hymn to her before she goes to sleep. It's part of the bedtime routine. She did impress the two local Marines working the Toy's for Tots campaign last Christmas when she walked up to them and sang all three verses without difficulty.

Wife Likes To Call It

Last December my wife stated that she was going to Los Angeles for a memorial service for a long time professional associate. It was to be on a Saturday. She ask if I would like to accompany her. I said yes and suggested that we fly to San Diego on the Thursday prior to Saturday , spend the night, and attend a graduation ceremony on Friday at MCRD San Diego. I earned my right to wear the eagle, globe, and anchor on October 12, 1946 and had not been back to MCRD since that memorable day. My wife had never really bought into the "Marine thing". Having told her of some of the "more interesting" experiences of boot camp she couldn't understand why anyone would deliberately subject themselves to that sort of treatment. Of course we had no clue prior to arriving at MCRD as to what was in store for us. However, having survived it made "becoming a United States Marine made it even more special.

We sat through the ceremony and it was, to say the least, very moving and brought back many memories, mostly good. After seeing the reviewing stands completely filled with relatives and friends of the about to become new Marines my wife began to see the "Marine thing" in a different light - especially after seeing the effect that it had on me. I remembered exactly where we had been quartered in the Spanish styled barracks and went there to see if I could take a look inside. I met a D.I., gunnery sergeant, coming out of the building and explained that I had been quartered there 58 years earlier as a member of Plt. 154. He had a slight smile on his face and ask "when was that?" I asked if there might be chance that I could go inside and look at the quarters again. He said "sure, take your time". Nothing had really changed except that it was now being used as a "rehab" wing. As I left to thank him I commented that I didn't think that we were allowed to be hurt when I was in boot camp. He just smiled and said "things change" It was a great experience to be able to go back after all those years.

After boot camp I was assigned to VMP-254 at MCAS El Toro where I spent the next 1-1/2 years. I read in March that El Toro was being sold to the Miami based developer, Lennar, Inc. I wanted to see it one more time before the developer began to demolish it so I took my sons and wife out there on the 21st of April. We had some difficulty getting in initially but were finally granted to permission to go to the hangar and barracks area where we had been located. Since it had closed years ago it was pretty run down. While stationed there I took a number of photos around our squadron and barracks area so I had many reference points. It a brought large lump to this Marines throat. I could see us once again working, "grab-a**ing", standing Saturday morning inspections between the squadron headquarters and the hangar, and doing all the things that 18 year olds do at that time of their lives. That experience was just one part of the "Marine thing" as my wife likes to call it. She has a different appreciation of that meaning after seeing the effect that those visits had on me - and especially after seeing the pride of the new Marines and their families while at the graduation ceremonies in December.

I know that this is a rather long dissertation of the two events but I hope that others who have not been back to San Diego or Parris Island or other stations will have the opportunity. You are not likely to regret it.

Semper Fi to all Marines, young or not so young.

Ray Cox
Former Corporal of Marines

Would Use A Ka-Bar

The message about Tootsie-Rolls reminded me of the SP (Supplementary Packs?) in Viet Nam. I was with CAPs Papa 2 and Papa 3 just outside of Dong Ha in 1967. We would occasionally get SP packs sent out from the rear at Dong Ha and they had foot powder, envelopes, writing paper, cigarettes, but best of all M&Ms and Tootsie-Rolls. We would sit in a circle and our squad leader would divide up the goodies equally. When we got down to the last packages of the M&Ms or Tootsie-Rolls he would use a Ka-Bar to cut up the candy into pieces and then divide up the pieces. It was the same with the M&Ms but no Ka-Bar needed. (grin) Everyone had their own system to derive maximum enjoyment of the goodies. Of course the non-smokers made out trading their cigarettes away for other goodies. Some guys just pigged out on the candy in one feeding frenzy. Others, myself included, hoarded the candy and ate one or two pieces a day to prolong the pleasure. It sure made you appreciate the World back home.

USMC 1965-69

At All Costs

To Mr Mike Damigo,

I am an 1812 that recently served in Iraq. To answer your questions;

1) Apricots are still avoided At All Costs!
2) All the stories that I have heard say that our gunner's controls are made by Cadillac. Don't know if it's true or not.

To let all of you know, we are all still rippin' and tearin' and gettin' some in sunny Iraq. We have not and will not let those who have gone before us down. Semper Fi, and Long live the Corps.

Cpl Nicholas Bausch
'97 - '03

Career Air Force Colonel

On June 2, 2005, it will have been 35 years since I left Omaha, Ne and traveled to San Diego, CA for Marine Corps Boot Camp! My father - a career Air Force Colonel - swore me into the Marine Corps on that day even though he expressed a desire that I go into the Air Force instead. Well, 2 tours of Vietnam and 35 years later, I can still fit into my Dress Blues - the set I received as graduating Honor Man from my platoon. I am still fiercely proud of my time in the Corps and to this day, I see these young Marines pinning on the EGA and the memories swell back to the time that I was finally able to pin mine on after 13 grueling weeks of boot camp and call myself Marine! There is no greater feeling than being able to call oneself a Marine and the chest puffs out when you put that uniform back on, look at yourself in the mirror, and see that you are truly a cut above any other man or woman in any other branch of the service except for the Marines. We are truly a brotherhood because of the bond we share with all our brother and sister Marines! To all Marines out there, past, present and future, I salute you and implore you to remember God, Country and Corps! Semper Fi Marines!!

Pat Connell
Corporal of Marines 1970-1973
1st Marine Division, Vietnam, Republic of

His Little Part

Reference "LIMP" message below.

I was also in platoon 1004 at MCRD San Diego during the summer of 1956. I remember the incident Cpl Richardson describes below as though it was yesterday. Of the three Drill Instructors we had, Sgt. O'Neill was probably our favorite. He was tough as nails, but we admired him. I have a copy of the movie, "The D.I." and I still like to watch Sgt. O'Neill in his little part. When I think of boot camp I can still hear Sgt. O'Neill in that short, clipped Puerto Rican accent of his calling out, "1004 on the road." He told us on several occasions that he wanted to be in the movies some day, and he finally made it. That was a summer I will never forget. I saw the D.I. movie while on duty at Camp Pendleton. I was a Corporal in "I" Battery, 3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Artillery Regiment.

I have often wondered what ever happened to Sgt. O'Neill later on, i.e., did he stay in the Corps, what was his final rank, etc. I often think of him, as well as Staff Sgt. Reid and Sgt. Egglehoff (one of our D.I.'s we picked up later that summer in boot camp), as well as all of my old friends in Platoon 1004.

Just remember, there are no "Ex-Marines" once a Marine, always a Marine.

Frank N. Johnson

Ken Reiser

Sgt Grit, I have just finished reading the newsletter. The article about the Corsair with his prop was named Ken Rieser. He is currently living in Milwaukie Oregon. He attained the rank of Col. and served in WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam. He recently had a stroke that has set him back some but he is still a great fighter. I recently met his son who has joined our American Legion Post in Canby Oregon. I had the honor (although I didn't feel that way at the time cause he had just given me ten days restriction for fighting in Santa Ana, Cal. VMF-312 was stationed at El Toro and I only had a month to go before I was discharged from WWII. The Col and I have been together and had some long talks about the Corps and a lot of good laughs. I say once more I am proud to be a Marine. Semper Fi
Cpl. Lyle Voth, Newberg, Oregon

I Snapped To Attention

While you are keeping your head down and if your watching your 6 at the same time, remember where your head is and don't hiccup. You may end up with "head-up-buttitis"

One of the best memories from boot camp other that grossing out the Drill instructor. On graduation day we were standing in formation at parade rest waiting to march onto the grinder for the graduation ceremony. All of the Drill Instructors were walking around checking recruits. We were still recruits at this time even on graduation day. If I ever forget anything about being a Marine I will never forget this. Senior Drill Instructor Staff Sergeant Johnson stopped directly in front of me and said, "Bolin, you're a mean Mother ****er." Blew my mind! I didn't know what to think but training and discipline kicked in. I snapped to attention and said, "Sir, yes Sir!". I'll never forget that.

Semper Fi.,
J. Bolin
Wpns 1/5, 86-92

Physical Readiness

To Sgt. Moore: You advance what I think is an excellent idea. There is no need to measure and weigh Marines. Let's just use or return to, I'm not sure which, the physical readiness test. As I think about it, "Who gives a rat's @$$ how fat or skinny a Marine is so long as he/she can carry the load in combat." Further, if they require remedial training because they can not pass the physical readiness test and weight is the problem, the remedial training will take off the weight. The Marine Corps has always operated with a concentration on results as opposed to means and process, and it seems that would be a good approach to Marines' physical readiness for combat.

Thanks Sgt. Moore. As usual, a Marine officer should listen closely to all Marines, especially the NCOs.

Dick Hulslander
USMC forever
Former Captain


To "Anonymous Marine / Cop Texas":
I must be totally misunderstanding your letter or its intent so help me out here. You rant and rave and sound ticked off. You go on to ask for help, but then sign your letter "Anonymous". I don't get it.

Here's "my" point. Marines are always anonymous in that they never strive for individual attention. On the other hand we have always been in a fish bowl. We never say or do anything that will bring discredit on our Corps and there is always someone with a camera or notepad trying to make a case against our Corps.

So what was the point of your writing? I sincerely hope you were not trying to make a point to these old grunts that you really want to go to war and no one will let you and then sign your letter anonymous.

Sgt and Major of Marines
Ed Peek

VMF 312

RFR: I was in VMF 312 from the time we left the States until after the surrender. The officer in question was lst Lt. Klingman, and the Jap ship was, I believe, a Betty. All of this was in a story I wrote for the July 2004 issue of Leatherneck.

If you punch in VMF 312 in your browser, you'll get a list of stories many with pictures. And there's one of Klingman showing half a foot of prop blade missing. I pulled some pieces of Jap plane out of his. He made it back to Kadena just in time for a deadstick landing. A Captain Ken Reusser was with Klingman and also chopped at the Betty's tail. He was also awarded the Navy Cross.

Since you only used your initials, I don't know if I ever knew your father, and I'd have to find the roster of the squadron. It's included in one of the stories on the squadron. I think the title is "The Checkerboarders." Look it up. Semper Fi.

Al Meadows (Corporal of Marines, 1943-1946)

I Was Very Popular

Sgt. Grit, I have been reading your newsletters for several years. Some Marines talk about leaves from boot camp, training, etc. I enlisted in April 1942 and received my first leave in December 1945. Oh, I had a few 3 day passes while stateside. The CO learned I had an Ohio liquor ration book and came from a family of non-drinkers. He saw to it that I got to go to Ohio each time a ration stamp became good. I got a train in PA on Friday evening and returned on Sunday night with a suitcase gurgling with 5 fifths of "any good blend". The Penn. ration was not nearly so generous. I was very popular on Monday morning.

I also read with interest the stories of apricots and tankers. I had a civilian driver license when most of the new England states did not issue licenses to people of our age. As a result I was drafted to drive a truck with two steam shovel buckets loaded on the back. My pals asked me to give them a ride ashore on Guam and I asked them to raid the LST's stores for food to take with us. They came back out of the dark with some cases which we discovered. when we tried to eat the contents, consisted of eight one-gallon cans of prunes. It's hard to stop when telling war stories so this is it for now.

Semper Fi,
SSgt Bob Gaston, 384564

Samoa , New Zealand, Guadalcanal, Bouganville, Purata Atoll

As they keep saying "Once A Marine Always a Marine" and I would like to think once a Medical Corpsman with the Marines always a Marine. I served as a PhM2/c Corpsman with the Third Marine Division from September 1942 until January 1944 in Samoa , New Zealand, Guadalcanal, Bouganville, Purata Atoll. During that period I spent time with the 3rd Marines, 3rd Raider Bn. and F. Company, 2nd. Bn. 19th Marines. After spending several months stateside as a patient in the Oakland Naval Hospital and approximately four months as a member of the Hospital's Ships Company. I returned to the Naval Receiving Station Guadalcanal and was assigned to the USS Noble APA-218 as a member of "H" Division. I spent 1945 doing Sea Duty and was a member of the Ship's Shore Party landing with Units of the Sixth Marine Division on beaches adjacent to Yontan Airfield in the invasion of Okinawa.

As you noted our group gets smaller & smaller day by day. I have always been proud of my service with the USMC and know that I helped a lot of guys when they were helpless and in great need. God Bless You and God Bless all Marines. Semper Fi. Samuel W. Rowland

Who Stand Up

I agree, You don't join the Marines you apply. We all have our own reasons and as diverse as they may be the results are the same. The Marines build men of character. Men who stand up for what they believe in and can't except what they don't. They are a mans man. They are independent, accountable for their actions, dedicated to family , and follow common sense rules of life. It is not easy to look in the mirror and judge yourself each day. It is harder to do what it takes to change what you see when you don't like what you see. There is the easy way to just go along and do nothing and the Marine way to stand up and say the truth and change the outcome no matter how much the average man can't understand the motivation. This will become evident to young Marines who go to work and are applauded for their drive and positive results , however the applause will disappear when they become a threat to their boss. The biggest problem they will have is fitting the Marine inside into the society outside. The Marine inside never goes away . God bless the special ladies who choose to live with us. We all didn't go to war, many of us are far from heroes, but never make an old Marine choose between helping a young Marine and being socially accepted. The world needs good old Maine dedication and common sense. The Marines stand tall even though we are animals until the word needs us and then we are heroes till the problem is solved. Once again we are animals and our existence is questioned. It only shows how dedicated and unselfish Marine are.

God Bless the Marines. They truly are THE FEW, THE PROUD , THE MARINES.

Sgt. Jim Pombo
6th Motor T

3rd LAAM Reunion

Date: May 27, 2005 - May 30, 2005
Place: The Sheraton Hotel
City: New Bern
State: NC
Person to Contact: David L. Mortensen
Email Contact Person: Send Email
Phone: 310-489-5913
Comments: Those that served in B Battery, 3rd LAAM (between 1981 and 1993) are planning a reunion for the weekend of May 27, 2005 (3 day weekend). Plans are still being finalized but we have blocked 50 rooms at the Sheraton Hotel in New Bern. So far, approximately 50 people have been contacted and are interested in attending. Anyone from 3rd LAAM is welcome, particularly if you were assigned to Bravo Battery. This will be a great event and everyone is excited. Please contact David Mortensen for more information at (310) 489-5913.

Not Tonight Marine

SEMPER FI .......In Response to Marine Don Ryan's Letter below:

Hope I'm no Chesty either Don but I am a Marine all the way....

Don, I too had a nice experience from a Marine brother upon returning from in country. Although, no spit on me or got the chance I seemed to slip through the cracks of the hate I guess. I arrived at MCAS El Toro in late 1966 and after all was said and done on base we were turned loose to the streets to go home or where our hearts sent us. I remember getting a motel room and wanting to get a good meal in me. Yah, some good American food burgers fries maybe a nice steak dinner. It was late evening and I was walking the downtown streets of Santana just looking around at everything and soaking it in. Wow, back in the world again I kept thinking. I would take a bus out the next day to head home in Oregon. As I walked alone that evening, my head was filled with the thought of seeing my wife and my folks and what would they be thinking when they see me home safe again. I kept looking at my watch for some reason and noticed it was about 22.30 hours time had slipped by and most places were either closed or closing. I was hungry and knew I needed to get some serious chow in me soon. About then a patrol car pulled up along next to me as I walked down the street. An officer called out to me "hey are you a Marine"? I smiled and said yes, just got back from Vietnam waiting until morning to catch my bus to Oregon and home. He called me over to the patrol car and asked me what I was doing, just walking around I said. Told him I was looking for a place to eat and that I was staying at a local motel. He then said not tonight Marine, get in the car.

I asked him if I did something wrong and he said h&ll no Marine you are coming home with me for a home cooked meal and your not sleeping in no motel. I just smiled and let him lead the way, I guess I was too tired to say no thanks. He took me back to the motel and got my money back and then to the station while he checked off duty. What a guy and what a great brother Marine; yes, he too served and believed in the brotherhood of brothers. I had a great meal that night and a real soft bed. His wife and kids took me in as one of their own. The next day I had a breakfast like no other and then a ride to the bus depot where they all waited with me and gave me a family send off.

This gesture has stuck with me all my life and I have always exemplified it in everything I do. For the last three years I was the Chaplain of a Marine Corps League detachment and as a Marine and Chaplain I never let any brother down. When I can I am with a Marine when he is ill, when he wants to take his own life I stay with him until it passes, when he needs help for his family I jump in to do what I can. Whatever it takes Don, that's what we do as true Marines. H&ll no Don, I'm not perfect far from it however, I am a Faithful Marine!!!!

However, Don don't be fooled, there are Marines that don't believe as you and I and so many others. These are a few Marines who just don't get it and never will because they are bitter about everything and live pathetic lives only unto themselves. However, I know the majority of the Marines we meet and know believe as you and I Don, as the Marine who took you in and dressed your wounds. We are brothers and we don't leave a brother behind or when a brother falls we need to be there to pick him up and insure he is back on the road safe and secure. We should exemplify this in everything we do in life so that those who don't know, "We are Marines". Marines who stand for Honor, Courage, Commitment, to our loyal brotherhood. God Bless you and Semper Fidelis.

Sgt. Donald A. Yoder, U.S.M.C. Ret. 63-71
Vietnam 65-66/68-69 3rdMarines

Did Not Go

Sgt. Grit:

Enjoyed the last newsletter read here on 28 Apr 05. Rhuecker's reply to Lcpl Zygielbaum was particularly interesting to me and brought back many old memories. I, too, was in the USMCR and did not go through boot camp, but, rather, attended my 6 plus "summer tours" of training at Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base or at Camp Lejeune. Did not go to Viet Nam either only by the Grace of God as during the summer from public school teaching, I was a carpenters' helper in construction work; but as my company was a 105 Howitzer unit(and d*mn important there) we were expected to saddle-up most any time so I continually told my foreman that I might not be at work by the end of the week. Didn't go though.

To this day, I would have been a better Marine (some might even say that I am still not a Marine) had I gone through boot camp or died trying - but, you know, I would give anything to support, recognize, and defend my country and a fellow Marine. Personally, I took the oath, put on the uniform, and served my 6 years in the reserve and was there for the calling.

As for all of those other Marines who ran the full course - Semper Fi

Went in as a Pvt and was discharged as a PFC.

Sensed The Ugly Mood

Sgt Grit - I was touched by the article " I can't say I was Chesty Puller" written by Don Ryan. I vividly remember returning from Vietnam in Sept of 1969, spending several hours at San Francisco International Airport waiting on a flight to Atlanta. There were 6 of us who had taken a bus from Norton AFB - where we had re-entered "The World" and when we walked into the airport bar, we encountered 2 young fellow Marines - PFCs in uniform - standing at the bar, but with nothing to drink in their hands. We Semper Fi 'ed our brothers and they informed us the bartender was ignoring them, and would not serve them. We stood there for about 5 minutes also being ignored, when the senior man in our group, a Force Recon Captain barked an order to the bartender to "Get over ASAP and get these Marines something to drink". The rest of us quickly and loudly chimed in and gave the barkeep the same "order". About then, one seat emptied on our side of the bar, and the Captain told the youngest Marine there to take that seat. Then the Captain told the bartender to bring the young Marine a cold Anchor Steam and a frosty mug. He brought it in a hurry. The civilians sitting near us sensed the ugly mood we were in, quickly finished their drinks and left. We took their seats, then we all sang a chorus of The Marine Corps Hymn. We "held our position" at that bar until the last 2 of us left to catch our planes. Yes, we Marines stick together and we look out for one another. It is the strongest brotherhood I have witnessed in my 60 years on this earth and I am proud to be part of it.

I travel quite often in my job, and whenever I encounter fellow Marines in any airport, I give them a Semper Fi, and invite them to be my guests at the Delta Crown Room - or I buy them a drink at the bar if there is no Crown Room available. No matter what age or station in life, we all share that USMC bond. Blood is thicker than water, but Marine Corps Green is thicker than both. I tell them all that they are my brothers and it's an honor and a privilege to buy them a drink. You said it Brother Ryan, "Young Marine, This is all you have to know, this OLD Marine loves you." God Bless The United States Marine Corps!

S. Van Tyle
former Capt. USMCR
1966 - 70

That John Wayne Stare

Sgt. Grit,
Just wanted to add a bit to Gerald Merna's comments in the April 21, # 95 Newsletter. We sure don't need any "counter recruiters", the media already does enough of that.

My buddy and I enlisted with a recruiter in Paterson, N.J. in early 1951. He didn't have to sell us on the Marines. The march from the Chosin was still fresh in our minds -- & how the Marines had distinguished themselves, while the Army just bugged-out, leaving wounded, equipment, everything, behind. We just asked for one thing, 30 days before induction -- we had some issues to deal with, like cold beers & warm young ladies [hey, we were 18 yrs. old]. "No problem, no problem". Within days we each got a letter to appear for induction, New York City, Church St I believe. We rushed back to the Recruiter, "Sergeant, you promised us 30 days before we had to go". He gave us that John Wayne stare & said, "Lads, we only promise you one thing -- you'll see Moscow, or lie in some ditch along the way". (but we did get our 30 days).

As it turned out, after Parris Island, Plt. 255, 2nd Btl, I went to Sea School, then Marine Detachment USS Roanoke, CL-145, where I saw a lot of places a lot more pleasant than Moscow. And learned the value of pride & loyalty which, though I only served 3 years, paid off again & again in my business career & personal life.

As I remember, a recruiting poster of that time [1951] said "You're Not Good Enough!". The natural reaction to that of course was, the h&ll I'm not. Sure would like a copy of that poster if anyone out there has one.

Semper Fi
Ron Rosener
Cpl, 1951-54

Over The Years

Dear Sgt. Grit:

I have seen a couple references to Sgt.Major(Ret.) Cargill and was pleasantly surprised to see a direct response from him in a recent newsletter. This exemplary Marine was also one of my DI's and I want to convey my sincere appreciation to him for setting an example for his recruits that is second to no one. I clearly remember his commitment to excellence and his dedication to insuring that future Marines under his guidance would uphold the strong values of the USMC. Over the years, I have often thought of this Marine and the highly professional image he conveyed. This is why we should all be on alert in our actions and behavior as we never know who we will have a profound effect upon. Myself, along with I am sure many of my brotherhood comrades who had the benefit of this Marine's guiding principles, salute you for tasks well done. May you enjoy retirement knowing that your purpose was honorably and notably accomplished. It comes as no surprise that you reached the top during your active commitment to the USMC.

Ken Bougher ("The Draftee")
USMC 2546794 March 1969-71

Right Or Wrong

To: (Ret.) Lt. Merna:
FYI - You may have been a fine recruiter in KY, but get your facts straight in '05. Sgt. McKeon did nothing at PI, differently than many other DI's had done before him. Right or wrong. Certainly so in the mid-late 40's, and importantly, I expect most officers were fully aware of this training tactic. Most unfortunately, the results that day were tragic, and that ended that maneuver. I never knew McKeon, but perhaps you should reconsider your wording. He too is a Marine.

Been there, done that.

Stan G.

Harry the Horse

Sgt. Grit.
I recently read that too few world war 2 veterans are contributing to your news letter.....The following should be of interest, particularly to Raiders and Marines of the 28th Marines on Iwo Jima.

Then Colonel Liversedge, known affectionately as "Harry the Horse" after commanding the 1st. Raider Regt. in World War 2 for the New Georgia operation in 1943, commanded the 28th Marines in the battle for Iwo Jima and it was Marines of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 28th Marines who battled their way up and raised the flags on Mount Suribachi in February of 1945.

Question.... What little known lore occurred on that island?

Answer.....There were two Olympic Medalists involved in that battle. One was our own Harry Liversedge who won a Bronze in the shot-put in the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium.

The other was equestrian Gold Medalist in the 1932 X Olympiad in Los Angeles, Takeichi Nishi who perished at Iwo Jima because he refused to surrender to Marines coincidently commanded by his fellow Olympiad.

Colonel Liversedge, later Brigadier General also participated in the 1924 Olympics in Paris France but did not medal.

The late general was born in the small hamlet of Volcano, California where his boyhood home still stands and is currently occupied. He is buried in Pine Grove, Ca., some 3 miles from his birthplace.

He was awarded a Navy Cross for his heroic leadership in the New Georgia campaign and was awarded a second Navy Cross for his leadership at Iwo Jima.

Since I had served under him and not knowing of any memorial to this unsung legend of our Corps, several years ago I took it upon myself to raise money and created a bronze plaque some 18X28 inches which I donated to the Marine base at Quantico where it is permanently mounted outside the main hatch of the B.O.Q. which is named in his honor.

Liversedge was a life long bachelor.

Besides his vital statistics, the plaque features the Iwo Jima flag raising as well as our emblem.

Any comments will be welcomed.
Semper Fi....Al Careaga C Company, 1st. Raider Btn. Later C-1-4.

Sent To Us In Bales

Last weeks newsletter had several items concerning Tootsie Rolls. After the cease fire in Korea I was assigned to the 2nd Bat., 5th Marines transferred from Easy Company. This transfer was a blessing in disguise. I had just made Fire Team Leader and really did not want to go. Being assigned to Battalion Supply as Clothing NCO. I was able to barter (trade) with different outfits. The Australians had canned butter, the Greeks and English always had food & liquor to trade. Our cooks needed towels & "t" shirts. These items were sent to us as "reconditioned" which meant they were used clothing. They were sent to us in bales. All this lead to the 10 supply unit to be treated fairly good. One thing we did have was plenty of candy, not Tootsie Rolls, but Chuckle bars. These were jellied fruit bars. At the time they were the real treat. I missed many of Chow Calls just so I could have my Chuckle Bar. Funny how after reading the weekly newsletter it brings back memories of long ago.

God bless all our Armed Forces and may they all return home safe & sound. Semper Fi.

Jack Nolan 1950-1957. A former Reserve & Regular.

Parris Island 1943

I really enjoy your news letters. Keep them coming.
I guess I could qualify as a member of the OLD CORPS as I'm 79 years old and joined the Corps in 1943. And after Parris Island I joined the 2nd Mar Div and on to the Pacific and ending up in Nagasaki Japan. But that's a story for another time.
When I graduated from P I we went to and from the Boot camp by barge. No causeway in those days. I will never forget the sign you had to go under that read, "LET NO BOYS GHOST SAY IF THEY HAD ONLY DONE THEIR JOB." Over the years I thought about that sign and wondered if it's still there. By the way it was my son who saluted the Air Line pilot. But I'm still proud of him.

GySgt Gene Mazzie 539252

In prosperity our friends know us: in adversity we know our friends.

Recruiting Duty

I would like to respond to Ms. Whitney Buckendorff a High School Teacher in OKC,OK. THANK YOU! My husband is currently a recruiter and we are counting down the very last 8 months of this 3 yr duty! Yes my husband puts in 13+ hrs a day 7 days a week. When we first started Recruiting Duty I was preg. The only time off he has had during these past 28 months was the 10 days off after our son was born. I have felt like a single parent most of the time. However I don't complain because he could be in Iraq! Don't get me wrong.......I give lots of credit to all the families whom loved ones are over seas and dealing w/the family. What I wanted to say Thanks for is.......most "civilian" people don't understand the pressure and hours these guys/women go through. Even close family members are like......"oh he don't work that many hours"........."why can't your husband come to family functions!?" I have given up and trying to explain his job and the demands that the "higher up's" demand. This has been a hard 28 months but we are getting through it and will come out of it with a stronger marriage. The pressure is HUGE (it affects the family life as well)& sadly most come into Recruiting Duty married and half leave divorced (so we have experienced @ our RS) Oh before I forget yeah the Army & Marines have missed overall Mission for the past few months. However the Army, Navy & Air Force recruiting offices to NOT put in half as many hours as the Marines! They all have their working hours posted.......M-F 9am-6pm and Sat/Sun By Appointment. Then half the time they are not even in the office. I don't know how many times my husband has gone outside to see a kid waiting for the other Recruiting offices to "open". Over half of them land up joining w/the Marines! I told my husband you need hours posted on your door saying OPEN 24/7 7 DAYS A WEEK ! Anyway thanks again Ms. Buckendorff for posting your thoughts!

Proud of my Marine Husband
8 months until we are back to the "military" life

I Enlisted

Remembering I enlisted in the USMC in June 1954, graduated from high school May 31, 1954, traveled to Pittsburgh on June 1, was sworn in and on my way to Parris Island June 2, 1954.

I enlisted as Pvt. was promoted to Sgt. Jan 1957, and as I look back I can remember almost every day of Boot Camp (hated it), but my Marine Corps experience was probably the best thing that ever happened to a young man. I am still a USMC and always will be. Love the Corps.

Ex-Sgt Bryan R. Goodrow - 1495659, 2nd and 3rd Marine Divisions.

Pack The Gear

Sgt. Grit: I served in the Corps from 1965 to 1969.
There have been messages about recruiters; and I would like to report that my own, (then) S/Sgt John W Lowe, USMC, was an outstanding Marine, and pulled no punches. I appeared at the Marine Corps recruiting station (Glendale, California)on my 18th birthday (1965). I was still in high school at the time and planned on dropping out of school and immediately enlisting in the Marines. When I poked my head around the door of his office, Sgt. Lowe, a "poster-board" looking Marine combat veteran of the Korean War bellowed out: What do YOU want?!!
I replied: "I think I'd like to join the Marines".
Sgt Lowe responded, at full throttle: You Think You Pack The Gear?!
I was hooked, and the Sgt knew it, but when I told him I wanted to drop out of school he snorted, and announced: "I Don't Want Any DumgSh!t In My Marine Corps..." and told me to stay in school and graduate and then come see him. I did.
I was wounded in action during my first tour in Vietnam and was hospitalized at US Naval Hospital, San Diego. S/Sgt Lowe visited me there--another example of Marine Corps camaraderie and loyalty. I realize that every Marine has a peculiar "recruiter" story. "My" recruiter was a great man and Marine. If he's still around, I wish him Godspeed and Semper Fi!

One Of There Own

Sgt. Grit.

At the age of 56 the Texas Leathernecks have lost one of there own. Leaving a loving wife of 30 yrs, two daughters and a granddaughter, Timothy Lee "Doc" Cobb passed away after a long bout with a tumor. Doc served with the elite U.S. Navy FMF Corpsman and the Marine Corps during Viet Nam and upon returning home graduated from Duke University "Magna Caum Laude" and took a commission with the Air Force which he retired from. He was a member of the Viet Nam Vets of America, Military Officers Association, Leathernecks Motorcycle Club International, Military Order of the Purple Heart, and the American Academy of Physicians Assistants. A memoriam is posted at for all to see. He truly was our Brother and will be deeply missed. Semper Fi, Doc Cobb tell Chesty we love him.



A week ago I was honored with a Mess by the 1st Battalion, 23rd Marines, Charlie Company. Our brothers were just home from Iraq and they spent part of their evening giving a 66 year old Marine the honor of his life. I had a deep feeling of humility and couldn't imagine they would be honoring me. They were just back from fighting the terrorist and they deserved all of the spot light. This is to remind each of you that Marine brothers never forget another brother. When I left the Mess the tears were flowing from my eyes and my feet were on a cloud. I still have a hard time sleeping when I think about the evening. The pride last for ever but also the brotherhood. This old Marine now stands straighter but also with a bigger smile. How much better can heaven be? All Marines active, retired, inactive and those that have gone to be with our Lord are remembered in my prayers daily. My hand and home is always out to my brothers.
Dan Bowman

Thought I Was Nuts

Sgt Grit,

I served from 96 to 00 I was with MCSFCO Naples and then 3/6 Marines weapons then H/S after a injury.

I joined the Marines after spending 9 years as a police Officer, I worked with officers that were in the Marines and always respected them. From the start, the recruiter, my DI, my instructors and NCO's.

All thought I was nuts to be 28 years old and a police officer to join the Marines. I sold my house, left my retirement plan behind and left both my girlfriends but I knew what I needed to do. I never once looked back. I was treated with respect by most (except my DI that got a speeding ticket and came in the next day and made me pay in sweat for the ticket). I was always proud of my service. When re-enlistment time came up I explained to my Co that I wanted to return to law enforcement and I did my 4 years with honor (actually I extended for 6 months to go on deployment). My last 6 months I was the Company Co's driver (I never had a humvee license) a Gunny gave me my card as he knew my background.

I married my wife while in the Marines and she is still active duty navy. I was offered 3 law enforcement positions right away, everyone said the same thing "we love hiring Marines with their training", and how Marines never drop out of the academy. I explained to each one, after the Marines the truth is you cant give us anymore crap than we already had so nothing you do or say can bother me. I made a decision not to rejoin the police department due to swing shifts, working every holiday and weekend and court days. I became a private investigator. My instructor was a retired Marine, a class mate was in the Marines, and we became best friends, we also took highest shooting scores, he and I have been together 5 years as partners now, I was hired first and got him his job, we each make over $40,000 a year and have good lives, we both own nice cars, nice houses and I would take a bullet for him, we locate people on the run, and we don't fail....Failure is not a option. When we set our sights on someone we always get our man. When we sit for hours doing surveillances we talk about marine stories. When we need any assistance we seem always to run into police officers, deputies or someone who served in the Marines. I will always be grateful for what the Marine Corps did for me. They don't owe anyone anything you need to earn it. Also let me say when I first went for my interview for private investigator, I was told "if you served in the Marines