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Dear Sergeant Grit:

After returning from RVN in 1966, I was stationed at the Brig, MCAS, Kaneohe Bay. The night of the Birthday Ball in '67 I attended a ball off-station at one of the big Waikiki hotels. I was standing at the entrance to the hotel with a grizzled old Staff Sergeant, both of us in dress blues and smoking a cheap cigar. A taxi pulled up in front and a young Navy Lieutenant JG got out with his lady. He saw the two of us standing there, and in a feeble attempt at humor, said to Staff Sergeant Walker, "Boy, take my bag to the desk."

Sergeant Walker snapped to, and replied "Right away, Sir!" He turned to the Lieutenant's wife, offered his arm, and said "Ma'am?" The lady took his arm laughing and looked over at her husband, saying "Smart A$$!"

Michael Hackett
M/4/11 RVN 65-66

Got GRIT? - only through 11/13

Last weekend to order your Got Grit t-shirts in OD Green or black.

Christmas Shirts Extended - only through this weekend!

Our Christmas Bulldog shirts were so popular that we decided to extend the ordering window until Nov. 13th.

Happy Birthday Marine!

Great little video courtesy of Denise McCulloch. May take a minute to download, but well worth it...


Attention on Deck!


As you were!

Semper Fidelis,


Wooden 8 Unit Toilet

Dear Sgt Grit:

As the saying goes, I'm proud to be an Okie.....I'm glad we share this bond as well as the greatest bond possible - fellow Marines.

In August 1968 I was dropped off by a CH-46 at Chu Lai. I was 19 years old. Farm boy type. After checking into my unit, the next morning the SgtMaj told me to go burn the 'sh!tters.'

I really didn't know what that meant. But as a lowly Lance Corporal, what was I to do. I asked, 'what do I burn them with'? He angrily replied, use the can of diesel out by the 'sh!tters.' As if were some kind of idiot.

I proceeded out to the wooden 8 unit toilet. I advised the 3 Marines using the toilets to evacuate them immediately. I poured the can of diesel all over the wooden facilities and lit it into a huge fire ball of black smoke.

I wasn't long till the SgtMaj arrived by my side asking me, 'what the f... I was doing. I told him 'burning the sh!tters.'

Needless to say - Okie was badly mistaken. I think I had to fill about 1000 sand bags, ugh...

Tim Magness
Sgt of Marines
1967-1973 Semper Fi
May God's grace shine over those in harms way. Thank God for their bravery.


Sgt. Grit,

I was with the Marine Security Guard Company in Saigon, VN on the Marine Corps Birthday in 1969. I have a picture with some of my Marine buddies who attended the festivities. We are in Dress Blues, I am holding a radio phone (civilian type given to us by the State Department Security guys) and standing in front of our "Reaction Vehicle". The vehicle was an armor plated M-37, ¾ ton, 4x4 with a M-60 machine gun mounted in the bed of the vehicle. We were sober and ready for the bad guys should anyone try to interrupt our party. The party was at the Marine Guard compound at Chin Cie Circle in Saigon, VN. A little unusual, but no VC was going to stop us from celebrating "our" birthday.

Still lacing em left over right.

Robert Thomas
Staff Sergeant of Marines
Chief Warrant Officer 4 of Soldiers
Semper Fi

Jarhead, the Movie

The "Jarhead" movie is a disgraceful attack on the dignity and honor of all current and former Marines. The movie does not paint any positive qualities about the U.S. Marines. It selectively amplifies the negative actions of a few, at the expense of the whole. This movie will undoubtedly have an extremely negative effect on recruiting efforts.

The overall theme of the movie paints enlisted infantry Marines as morally depraved people who quickly degrade into insanity, infighting and completely lacking in honor as Desert Shield progresses into Desert Storm. Individual scenes are exceptionally offensive to Marines and civilians alike. Examples of scenes portrayed in the movie include the following:

Forced hot branding / burning flesh of fellow Marines in the barracks. A platoon simulating group sex with one another in the field. "Friendly fire" bombs lighting a live Marine on fire as he climbs out of a truck. A Marine wife mails a video tape of having sex with their neighbor, and the entire platoon enjoys viewing it. Decline of an entire platoon into insanity during combat operations. One Marine threatening to kill another at point blank range with a loaded M16 in an insane rage, and then turning the weapon on himself and asking to be killed. One loyal Staff Sergeant is portrayed as having irrational love for his service. Excessive use of the "F" word. Excessive portrayal of sexual obsessions. No respect whatsoever for fellow Marines.

While U.S. citizens have welcomed Desert Storm veterans with open arms, this movie is Hollywood's way of spitting in their face. Please boycott this movie, tell others to boycott it, and I welcome your comments and suggestions about how to restore and uphold the honor of the U.S. Marines.

From the halls of Montezuma To the shores of Tripoli' , We fight our countrys battles In the air', on land, and sea. First to fight for right and freedom , And to keep our honor clean, We are proud to claim the title of United States Marines.

Sergeant Jeff Davids

Jarhead (The Movie)

Hey Grit! I just got back from watching that new "Jarhead" movie! Been yet?? If not, don't waste your time or money. If you know anybody at HQMC, give them a call & see if they can pull this piece of crap out of the theaters! I think this thing will be very degrading and detrimental to the Beloved Corps! I can't remember when I've seen such a load of "Hollywierd" crap since Apocalypse Now! The more I think about it the sicker I get! GAG! Ya'll can go see it if you're curious! I wanted to get up and walk out! But thought maybe it'd get better toward the end! Sickening!

I have read the book and it is a shame to think a former Marine wrote it. Since I teach very impressionable kids in JROTC who almost certainly will see the movie (as they rushed to see "Full Metal Jacket") I will have to suffer through it so as to be able to discredit it with some insight.


First of all Happy Birthday to all my fellow Marines, present and passed. It is wonderful to have the brotherhood of so many, especially when you get old. ( The Korean War ) This might be trivial to many, however to me it was an insult to me and my beloved Marine Corp. Last night I went to see the movie Jarhead, IT STUNK. It depicted the Marine Corp to being full of Confused bunch of misfits and drinks that had to use F--K every other word. To me it was degrading to all Marines present and past. If you have not seen this trash, please don't waste your time.

My other grip is why do so many people feel that the terrorist should be covered under the Geneva Convention. They ARE NOT MILITARY THEY ARE MURDERERS AND CROOKS. Get that thru there heads. They deserve what ever treatment they get and then some. Also why do our politicians feel they have to interfere with the military decisions. Thanks to them we have not won a war sense the Second World War. All they have done it get many of our fellow service men and women killed. I say to the politicians butt out and let the military brass run things.

Once a Marine always a Marine
RMW 1364225

Sgt. Grit

Myself and four other Marines had a Marine Corps birthday get- together this past weekend. It was the idea of the ranking Marine to go out and see the premier of "Jarhead." Believing it would be a tribute to the Corps, we all walked away from the movie disappointed by Hollywood's portrayal of our beloved Corps. Marines were portrayed as blood thirsty, s&xually deranged miscreants with no regard for discipline. It was not the story of a Band of Brothers, but rather the conflict of self interests. The five of us have Marine Corps experiences stretching from Vietnam to the first Gulf War, and having never met until a few years ago we know it was that brotherhood that brought us together. "Jarhead" is not about Brotherhood or the qualities the Corps instills in its fighting men and women, it is about self-interests. There is no doubt that war changes you, but it is family (the Corps) that keeps us together. Sure there were a few good laughs as the drill sergeant slings his blue streak of verbal abuses on the recruits, but that quickly fades as Hollywood magnifies the decadence of the 10 percenters and all they do to malign the reputation of the Marine Corps. Two Thumbs Down!

SSgt Chris McLain '91-'99

Good morning,

I noticed that you do not have the book "Jarhead" in your list of books. I don't know if this is intentional or not but I thank you. I was in Dessert Shield/Storm t/f Papa Bear, Rippers right flank. I could barely get through it. Anyway thank you.

Semper Fi
Eric "Bambam" bame

Note: It is intentional. I could not get through 30 pages.
Sgt Grit

Korea 1953

November 1953, 1st. Marine Division, in the field ,Korea. I'm a nineteen year old buck Sgt. shipped off to division NCO school for some seasoning. We get the day off for the birthday on 10 Nov. and the Army triple A outfit next door brings their band over to entertain us. It's cold as h&ll as we stand around outside in our parka's, laughing like jackasses when they play" how much is that doggie in the window". No appreciation for the fact that these guys are just as cold as we are and still trying to be nice. They offer to allow us to purchase beer in their PX to help us celebrate the birthday. We like that OK. Our Plt. Ldr. gives each squad a chit for a case of beer to be used for that purpose. My squad takes up a collection, puts a one behind his and buys eleven cases of beer. WE proceed to celebrate. One of our members is from the air wing and is a real party boy. I learn many songs that I dearly love but not in polite company. We decide that we should go on liberty and find a village to add some fun to the festivities. Nine of us stick six beers in our parka and set off down the MSR. Find a friendly army sentry who tells us which way the village is. We give him a beer and go there. We celebrate with any and all who wish to party with a bunch of drunk Marines. Time to go and we get outside just in time to see about six jeeps full of MP's pull up and the melee begins. After running in the front door and out the back of a lot of hooches I hide in the middle a large thorn bush and escape detection. The Mp's leave with those they caught. I find two others of my party and we begin walking back to the NCO school. A Marine jeep comes toward us and stops to demand what we are doing out. We claim to be from the NCO school and got lost on a night problem. The tell us we area bunch of lying so and so's as they are instructors there and there are no problems, night or otherwise. They offer to give us ride back to school if we will show them the village. We agree and climb in the back. They drive to the village and leave us in the jeep while they go inside to sample the pleasures to be found there. We sit and wait. Suddenly we see the Mp jeep's coming down the road again. I jump in the drivers seat, do a 180 and race out of town. We find the NCO school and I suggest we leave the jeep beside the road for the instructors to find and we sneak into camp. My buddy from the air wing says "h&ll no, he is not walking" Must have something to do with being in the air wing. we trade places and he roars into camp, making a hard right turn and throwing dirt and stones against the guard tent, parks in the middle of the parade field, blows the horn all the while laughing like a madman as we race for our tent. We just have time to pull our sleeping bags over us when the guard comes in. They take the names of everybody whose sleeping bag is not unrolled and leave. The next day the two instructors are sent packing and a reward is offered for the names of those who took part in the escapade. No one ever told. Whew, I escaped being sent back to B/1/5 in disgrace. My 1stsgt. Would have loved that.

Happy birthday and Semper Fi Marines.
Bob Jennings
MSgt. USMCR {ret]

Worldly Vice

Sgt. Grit and fellow Marines,

My most vivid memory of a Marine Corps Birthday was my first Marine Corps Birthday. Picture this, it was Nov. 10, 1965 and I was in Boot Camp at Parris Island. The day started for me and the rest of Plt. 287 "late". We were allowed to stay in our racks until the sun was up! We were sure that our esteemed leaders Sgt. R.F. Sandmeyer, Sgt John Whitley, Jr., and Cpl M.J. Morgan had screwed up by letting us sleep so late.

We fell out on the road and were informed that today was the 190th Birthday of the Corps, which I was sure that we would have to do at least 1775 "bends and thrusts" to celebrate, and that there would be a steak for noon chow and then we would attend a football game between the Parris Island team, and I believe a team from Camp Lejeune. Up until this point we had not been allowed to smoke and to the delight of the "nicotine brigade" we were told we could retrieve a pack of smokes from our footlocker and take them to the "game". Naturally we assumed the smokes would be for the D.I's for they certainly would not let lowly maggots like us partake of such a worldly vice as smoking!

Come noon-time we were marched to the chow hall and low and behold we DID have a steak, with all the trimmings. In fact even the "fat bodies" were allowed to deviate from their salad- only diet on this special occasion. After chow we marched to a football field, that until that time I never knew existed, and were seated in formation by "series" (we were in the 284 series). As the game started Cpl Morgan noticed that 3rd Bn had lit the smoking lamp for their "hogs" and not to be outdone he authorized us to "light 'em up". The command to "smoke 'em hard...DO IT" was then executed since he observed that 3rd Bn was sending up a bigger cloud of smoke that we were. Needless to say Plt. 287 DID out-smoke 3rd Bn, even if it meant having at least 2 cigarettes lit per Plt 287 smoker at the time. The day was completed with Birthday cake after evening chow.

The memory sticks in my head because for a brief moment we were actually given a one day reprieve from being "lower than whale sh__, scum ba_s". Although we paid dearly the next day for "hogging it up like a bunch of civilian pukes". For a brief moment in boot camp we were treated like "Marines" even though we hadn't yet graduated and certainly had not earned the honor. For that same moment we knew what it was all about...a brotherhood, a "family", an elite "club", and as Jack Webb said in the movie "The D.I.", Parris Island was the initiation. Thanks Sgt. Sandmeyer, Sgt. Whitley, and Cpl. Morgan for treating us like "one of the guys" that day. Also, thanks for showing me that I could make it to graduation day.

To all Marines, past, present, and even future, especially those deployed in harms way, Happy Birthday! To the members of Lima 3/25 that just returned from a devastating tour in Iraq, "Thank You and Welcome Home...we are proud of you and your service".

R.A. Kiser
Chief of Police
Grandview Heights, Ohio

Deep Dark 30

December 23, 1966. Somewhere in the boondocks. Around deep dark 30, a FO (forward observer) checked in. In a very low voice he stated, "I see three VC on waterbo's, following a three star cluster, which is slowly drifting to the east."

November 10, 1967. 2/9 was on the outside edge of Chon Thien at the time. I saw a convoy coming up the road towards our unit. Nothing unusual about it, however, it was strange when it stopped close by the CP. Eight Marines slowly unloaded a 4 X 8 sheet of plywood. On it was a three layer, 300 lb., Marine Corp Birthday cake. The CO made sure there was enough for everyone in the unit to get a slice. As we sat around, slowly eating our cake to make it last longer, a "Birddog" flew over head. It did victory rolls with red and blue smoke coming from its wing tips. As it flew off towards unknown parts, we heard over the radio, "Happy Birthday Marines, from the Air Force".

During the handing out of the cake the CO had some promotions to hand out as well. That was when I learned about the Plexiglas Operation. An operation is preformed and 9 sq. inches of the stomach is removed. A 1/2" piece of Plexiglas is inserted, so the officer can see where he is going when his head is up his a@*. Our sides were hurting from laughing so hard.

John Halpin 2/9
12-66 / 12-67


The physical setting was the 6th week of boot camp, in my rack, sometime after midnight. At that time of night the only movement in the squad bay was the fire-watch (wooden two-story barracks) walking his post.

That early a.m. on the 11th of NOV the Senior DI showed up in dress blues talking in low tones to the fire watch. This was all viewed via available moonlight and shadowy figures.

I'm sure SSgt Mowatt had his share to drink, and by regulation, not to be near any recruits under the influence. This night I witnessed the reflective side of my Type A, 2-pack a day, 2 gallon a day coffee drinking DI. He slowly walked by each set of double racks, and paused several times to make sure his recruits were covered by a blanket. "He wasn't so tough after all". Or, was it because his mind turned to the frigid nights at the Chosin Reservoir. A private named Mowatt was very cold at the reservoir.

I guess I'll never know what he was thinking that night. He passed away in August 1995. Captain Donald L. Mowatt is buried at Riverside National Cemetery, CA. Thanks SSGTs D.L. MOWATT, M.J. FURMAN, and D.E. HOLT (PLT 277, 1961, MCRD PISC). Staff NCOs do care, they just have to show it in their own way.

Happy Birthday MARINES

Semper Fi
MSgt M.D. Smith, USMC, Ret.
1962134 (1961-1986)

10 Spot On The Bar

Sgt. Grit

Thanks for offering this forum. It has helped bring back memories of my service (Senior Corpsman-Infantry)in the finest fighting machine God ever allowed to exist.

While living back home for a year in Buffalo, New York (my wife was on a Med Cruise on USS Vulcan)My brother (motor T--4 years) asked me if I had plans for the Marine Birthday. I told him other than lifting a few pints at a neighborhood bar(where nobody would even know it was the USMC Birthday) I had nothing solid. No date for the Ball as my wife was out to sea. He said--I got just the place for us to go.

At a bar in Tonawanda NY, along the Niagara River, the owner happened to bea former Marine. He closed the bar @2000 to everyone except Marines and Corpsmen. That included tossing out the barmaid, who thought she would actually be allowed to stay. HA!

Everyone tossed a 10 spot on the bar. that was the extent of what we would pay for the evening.

The owner set one of the regulars to work moving the big screen TV in front of the tables set up for us, while he brought out the cold cuts, rolls and condiments for sandwiches. After a suitable quantity of libations were pumped and poured, We drank a series of toasts to Flag, Country, The Navy Department and last but not least to The Corps.

We then watched videos of our Landings on Tarawa, Iwo and Okinawa,as well as Marines in action in Korea, Vietnam and Lebanon. Good food, drink, fellowship with other Marines and Corpsmen, and the living history of the Marines. Couldn't think of a better way to spend an evening. And the beer flowed, and so did this wonderful night's entertainment. I've attended many a Marine Birthday (including a rather subdued one on a ship off Okinawa in'83), but none as fine as that night in 1988.

When I first got orders to attend Camp Johnson to become an 8404,(field medical service tech) I felt relatively "safe" as a Pharmacy Tech that I would never serve with the Corps. 7 years later I had a "disagreement" with my CO, who decided that the best way to re-school me in discipline was to send me to the Corps as a Doc in the Grunts. He had no idea what a favor he did me. I lost 60 lbs in 7 months--the Grunts seem to have their ways of doing that--- and had the honor of serving with and caring for some of the finest men I will ever meet. They were my Marines, and though they enjoyed joking me from time to time, and especially if they were sick or upset about something, I was their "Doc".

Of the nearly 10 years I served in the Navy, the only service that made me truly proud was my time in the Grunts. The experience of serving with the Marines changed my life forever. One of SNCO's in my BN told me "Doc, you're one of us now, you're gonna stomp your way through life to Valhalla right along with us."

I've now been away from the military for 22 years, and my wife has retired from the Navy. And no matter what happens to me for whatever time I'm allowed to remain, I know I did something that mattered, and served my Marines and the Corps with Pride and Professionalism. And when Muster is called for me for the last time, I know where I'm goin' and who I'll be with, and that's a d*mn comforting feeling. Perhaps that's why Marines are so fearless in the face of death.

Tun Tavern--there began a tradition of honor, duty and service that will linger on long after all who read this are gone.

Hank Kaczmarek
B Co 1/2
Corpsman of Marines

At The Head Table

I served from 1966 to 1969 as an 0311/0341 from Camp Pendleton to camp Lejuene, Guantanamo Bay Cuba, Okinawa, And in Viet Nam served with Charlie company 1/9, " The Walking Dead." Then it was back to Pendleton and out. My Most Memorable Marine Corps Birthday occurred last year,2004, when I attended the Ball as the guest of Honor in Tokyo, Japan. By virtue of our local recruiter being sent to Camp Fuji and being on the ball committee he suggested my name, among others, as their guest of honor and I was chosen, much to my surprise as these are spots usually given to Generals and the like. This whole thing was an honor for me, and to think that FINALLY after 37 years I was getting that R & R to Japan! Well, I have to say how nice everyone was and that I did get to see some of the sights. We rode the train all over Tokyo, went to shrines, parks and also hit some Museums. The night of the ball I never had to buy a drink and really felt at home with all these young active duty Marines, except for the fact that they are all so young. Man did I feel old! I was further honored to sit at the head table with the C.O of camp Fuji, the SGT Major, Generals of the Japanese military and other local Japanese political dignitaries. Then it was my turn to give a SHORT speech and the theme encompassed the Idea of " Once a Marine Always a Marine", and that the Marines of today are the legacy of every former Marine and of the Corps. I avoided war stories in that most of these young men and women have either been to Iraq or are on their way. They will have plenty of time to forge their own. They presented me with a fantastic plaque with Mt. Fuji in the background of the Camp. I will never forget how well I was treated, and how honored I felt to be among these Warriors of today. Rest assured that the Marines of today have everything well in hand. One Sgt. said it best when he said, " You had your time and now its our time, our time in the Corps."

Semper Fidelis and Happy Birthday Marines

Cpl Tim Haley
Charlie company 1/9
60 mm mortars
Viet-Nam 67-68


I am a 1371, build it and blow it up. I loved my MOS then and still do to this day. My (Navy) dad asked me one day why I chose 1371 as my MOS, my reply was simply this : If I don't do it then some junkie will be dumb enough to think he can do, So I will do it right the first time and get the job done right. I would not do any part of my Marine Corp years over again, I loved it then and Love it now. Like many of you I will be Buried in my dress blues. I was born a civilian but will die a Marine. ONCE A MARINE ALWAYS A MARINE SEMPER FI and God Bless The marine Corps. God Country and Corps fella's remember that.

LCpl Gary D. McComis aka Victor " Deathrider" Morris

Ten Minutes Longer

Oh what a time April 1957 ,San Diego,Platoon 141. I remember our series was 139 140 and 141. The old salts were in 139 and 140 because they had been in the Corps ten minutes longer. As I recall were chosen to begin a new drill from an eight man squad to a twelve man squad. Close order drill was a real experience when you had DIs learning along with you. A 12 man squads right is something to see on the first effort. It was actually not much better after the tenth effort. Our senior DI actually would not let us march in formation to chow two nights before graduation, because he said that we were the first platoon who could not march after 13 weeks. Many good memories of the Corps,,, no bad ones. First C O Capt Alfred M Gray in Japan. No liberty cards, just be at work when you are supposed to. Well I could ramble on for days.... SEMPER FI


Good Advice

It was early October 1955 and Platoon 86 was almost ready to become Marines. Only a few days remained until we graduated/ shipped out of Parris Island. So we weren't "maggots" or "turds" or "s___t-heads" any longer. Our Sr. D.I., SSgt. R.H. Massey fell us out to the grass strip just outside the wooden H-shaped barracks that housed us and three other platoons. We were "at ease" when he gave some advice that has stayed with me ever since. Massey said he would be proud to fight alongside any of us, that he knew we would hold up our end in combat. We had come far and done well, but that we were just beginning as Marines.

He went on to advise us that we were not the "baddest SOBs on the planet" just because we had completed the famed "P.I." boot camp. He said there were lots of guys tougher than we in a street fight, so "don't go out there and pick a fight with your uniform on. If you want to get the sh!t kicked out of you, do it in civilian clothes. On the other hand, if you ARE in uniform and someone picks a fight with you, you better win for the Corps.

Over the years, those circumstances presented themselves - in and out of the Corps - but I never let SSgt. Massey down. I never picked a fight, but if someone picked one with me, I never lost while in uniform. In civilian clothes, I found out that paratroopers are a tough bunch, too! I'm glad they're on our side! But they aren't quite Marines.

John B. Tonkin, USMC 1520443
Platoon 86 MCRD - Parris Island
July - October 1955

1st Lt Jack Lummus

After having read some comments in the newsletter abut 1st Lt Jack Lummus, I made contact with a Young Marine CO that is near where the Giants are headquartered. Attached you will find some information that I have received from him about the Jack Lummus plaque that you might want to publish in your next newsletter.

Semper Fi,

Michael Wilson
Lewis and Clark Young Marines
POB 220205
Milwaukie, OR 97269-0205


The Giants' organization does have the original plaque which it had to purchase from the construction company that brought down the Polo Grounds. It was located many years after the demolition. I have been in touch with the Mara's (Giants owners).

In fact, the communications were started when I was on Jury Duty with Wellington Marra's son who is their legal counsel and a Westchester resident.

They are willing to have a re-dedication of Lummus' plaque but it cannot be haphazard. Also, it cannot be placed in the playing area.

The appropriate time for the re-dedication would be the February anniversary of the Iwo campaign.

Lu Caldara

I Still Think

I keep reading and watching for Marines I served with. I come from a Marine family. My oldest brother was drafted in 1950, the next oldest joined in 1953 then the one just 3 years older than me joined in 1955 and I joined in 1958. I did many jobs in the 23 years I served, security guard duty, D. I., Plt.Sgt., Plt.Cmdr.,Co.Gy., Co.1st.Sgt., Univ.Instr., Squadron SgtMaj. but the one that was most rewarding was Drill Instructor at Parris Island (Dec.63-Sep 66) (Jan 68-Jan 70). I still think about the different walks of life of the young men we trained and often wonder if they made it back from Nam. I know it wasn't easy going through Boot Camp but I also know it wasn't easy getting through Nam. I was there all of 67 with 1/4 and 1970 as M.P. Chief of Chu Lai. I just retired from teaching the JROTC program here in Texas.

S/F J. C. Davis SgtMaj USMC (Ret)

Everyone To Gather Around

In 1970 I was with M.T.M. Red Beach just outside of DaNang (yes I am a R.E.M.F.) The 1st. Sgt.comes around on 10 November and tells us to secure early go to the hooch and get squared away and report back at 1600 Hrs.

Not knowing what to expect a lot of us thought we were in trouble for something. But being good Marines we did what we were told to do. Anyhow come 1600 Hrs there we are smoken & joken and in comes the 1st. Sgt. Orders us off our lazy butts and to form up in our platoons.

He then starts to tell us how bad things are back home and how we are the best in the world no matter what the scumbag protesters say. Next he tells us a lot of the Corps history, all about our officers who are all mustangs and at one time were enlisted like us. Before long we are all feeling Prouder of being a Marine, and about the job we are doing, as well as where we are.

Then he calls us to attention barks fallout and for everyone to gather around and starts to pass out Styrofoam cups. Next out comes several bottles of scotch and everyone no matter what is going to drink a toast to his Marine Corp on this special day.

Their were three platoons of us and by the time the toast was made the rot-gut he had was actually eating the bottoms out of our cups.Well the toast was made and the rot-gut burner all the way down and a few got sick on the spot.

Every birthday since then the first toast of the day for me is in private with a Styrofoam cup and a lot better scotch. Then I set and think of old memories, good people, bad times, and just where did the 1st. Sgt get that rut-gut from???

Mikell P

Motor T.
We may not be the Pride of the Marine Corp but without us the Pride does not ride with Pride.


Dear Sgt. Grit:

Each year at a small church outside Saluda Virginia, a service is held to remember General Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller. This year it will be held at 2 PM, Sunday, 13 November at 1400 hrs a Christ Church Virginia on Route 33.

A large number Leatherneck Motorcycle members visit and there is a reception following. Chesty's daughter is always there as well.

Semper Fi

Tommy Neuman
1964-1967 RVN '65-67

Talk Him Out Of It

Hey Marines,

I am a Marine airwinger from 3014 P.I. I served for 4 years 1982-86. I'm still in contact with old marines I served with. We get together and talk good old marine stuff. My son always listened and paid close attention, after 2 years of college he decided he needed a change. He told me he joined the Marine Corps , he ships out Nov. 7th. He told me he is going to 3rd bat. like his dad and his brothers. Well all the family is upset they told me to talk him out of it. I told them he is 20 yrs. old and a man , he can make his own decision on what he wants to do. They are p!ssed at me... I told them when he becomes a Marine you all can look in his eyes and tell it was the right decision. I am really proud of him and cant wait to see him on the parade grounds.

Semper fi.
1 proud marine dad...
cpl Tavarez usmc

NaaaH, Can't Be

Last week my wife, Denise, and I flew to San Diego to watch our youngest son graduate from Platoon 1113, Charlie Company, 1st RTBn, MCRD San Diego. This was 28 years after I graduated from Platoon 1140, 1st RTBn, MCRD Parris Island.

I expected memories to flood back, but was surprised by the directions they came back from. While we were riding the shuttle from the airport to the rental car lot I kept looking at another one of the passengers, thinking he sure looked familiar. Long ago I stopped playing the "Hey, I think I know you" game, especially anywhere near a Marine Corps base.

I could always remember the face, but not the name, even if I just passed them on the street once. (Gets embarrassing after awhile.) However, in this case the name popped right up. "SSgt Rutledge". Why did I remember that name? Here it was, 2005, and the last time I had seen SSgt Rutledge was as Sgt Clayton on Okinawa in 1985. SSgt Rutledge? Naaah, can't be.

Well, curiosity always was one of my biggest faults and I simply couldn't resist. I leaned forward and said, "Please excuse me, but is your last name Rutledge?" The gentleman looked at me, looked at his wife, looked back at me (only this time with a slightly more suspicious look) and tentatively said. "Yes."

With a broad smile I said, "My name's Steve Clayton. We served together on Okinawa", which brought out the I'll be darned look from him as well.

(It gets funnier.)
He asked me what I was there for and I told him my son was graduating from MCRD San Diego in two days. Here came another broad grin as he said his was too! "Platoon 1113?" "No, Platoon 1120."

Anyway, to make a long story short, here we were after not seeing each other for 20 years both attending our sons' Marine Corps graduations. We spent an evening together going over old friends; laughing about things the wives could only half understand and reminiscing about friends lost. The saddest moments included me having the sad duty of reporting to him that our old and very dear friend GySgt Jerry Engelhaupt had passed away from cancer several years ago, telling him about my losing another great friend earlier this year when Maj Chuck Colvard passed away, as well as me having to accept the realization that the fine figures of young American optimism standing before us "used" to be us. D*mn, we sure looked good once!

Anyway, the next time you get that familiar feeling that you might know the gent or lady sitting across from you, what the hey. Say hi. You never know where it might take you.

Steve Clayton
Captain, LDO, USMC, Retired

Selective Service

While a senior in High School in 1978-1979, I was a poolee in the Marine Corps delayed program. Boot Camp started three days after graduating. All males who are 18 years of age, after graduating high school, must register with the selective service. I thought that signing up for the Marines, I didn't have to register. Well some time went by, and in 1983, I received a letter from the Selective Service, stating that I must register with them. If I did not register with them, I could do 10 years in prison, and have a $10,000 fine. I received the letter on my third trip into Beirut, Lebanon, while serving with HQ 32/22 MAU. They even used my FPO unit address, when they sent it to me. I still have not registered at the age of 46 years old.

Former Cpl. John Soper
Hq 32 and Hq 22 MAU
Beirut, Lebanon 82-83

Sound Of Running Feet

It was my first night in the Marine Corps, at the receiving barracks at MCRD San Diego. It was Nov. of '70. As we were standing on the yellow foot prints outside the barbershop, (having been marched there at about 2300 hrs), we were being instructed how to point out mole, scars, etc. so as not to be filleted by the barber, when receiving the first of many buzz-jobs to come over the next couple of years. The barber shop was situated near one of the taxi-ways/runways of the San Diego airport. Suddenly, we heard the sound of running feet.. And then, a long, loud scream."AAAHHHH".. And out of the darkness came a young man running. He hit the fence at a full run, and was over the chain link and barbed wire in about 2 seconds. He disappeared, still yelling, into the night darkness as he fled across the vacant runway. A few seconds later, more running feet, this time belonging to the two pursuing DI's. They stopped at the fence, uniforms perfect, (hats tilted forward and still in place, with that strap across the back), and stared out briefly into the now silent darkness of the still vacant runway. One of the DI's turns to the other, and, in that full-diaphragm voice of all DI's, laughs, "HA HA HA".and says, "AH, THE MP'S AT THE AIRPORT WILL GET HIM". They then both turned, nodded at our DI/chaperone, and walked smartly back into the night from which they'd emerged, leaving us all standing in wonder as to what we had gotten ourselves into.

D. Smyser (Platoon 3151)
Cpl - Co G, 2/7, 1st Mar Div ('70-'72)

Until The Tallest

Sgt. Grit,
Just read your last news letter. The Marine that went to the beach at the rifle range, I've got one better. Sept-Oct64 we went to the new range at Stewart Messa on Pendelton. The brought us up to, if I remember right, Del Mar. From there we force marched up the beach to Pendleton. On the way our DI's got the bright idea that they would give us a left flank and marched us into the Pacific Ocean. They marched us out until the tallest "Boot" was up to his neck and then gave us a "to-the-rear" back to the beach, then continued on the range. Being only 5'8" I didn't get too far into the water before I had to grab onto one of my compadres' to stay above water. What will our DI's come up with next? Back at MCRD and doing our 300yd dash, one of our ptl. members was caught watching a plane take off from San Diego Airport. Our DI lined us up against the chain link fence (That didn't keep us in, but the Skuzzy Civilians out) with our nose through the links and had us waving at the air planes as they left. We were doing this for about 30min waving and saying, By-By Air Plane, By-By Air Plane! I still wonder how a DI's thought process comes up with this stuff on the spur-of-the-moment.

Semper Fi

Gary E. Truman
SSgt of Marines 64-68/77-00

My New Name

Sgt. Grit,

My son in law returned from Iraq along with my neighbor in April and one day he introduced me to a fellow Marine and referred to me as Old Corps. I have to admit it was an honor because during my tour Old Corps was held in high esteem and we felt guilty just looking at them let alone talking to them. Times have changed and our New Corps is the best that has ever been forged. Although in the Old Corps it was acceptable and probably expected that the DI's knocked you around to toughen you up. I hope it worked in my case as I spent most of my time picking myself up off the ground. And you learned to have thick skin because the words being shouted into your ear from less than one inch away were not words which would be used in worst of locker rooms. Thirty five years later I sit here today with the pride us Old Corps Marines have in that we not only survived boot camp we came home from Vietnam.

I must say I agree regarding the term maggot. Although for a couple of weeks in boot camp I thought that was my new name. Along with pregnant pile of puck, ladies and some I don't even remember. What I do remember is this - the first time our drill instructor addressed us as Marines. It is our bond. It is what bridges the Old Corps and the New Corps and it is that feeling of instant credibility when we meet each other. Would I change anything? Not a single moment, then or today.

Semper Fi,
Cpl. Tom Gillespie
USMC RVN 70-71

You're One Of Us

This is for HM2 Roger Rodman,
I am in full agreement with all of your statements. Once you are an FMF Corpsman you are never satisfied with going back to shore duty. We became part of our unit, not just someone along for the ride (our chief made us all run the PFT's and made sure we qual'd with our 45's and that we could handle an M-16). As one Top told us. "You're not just part of the Corps, you're an Amtracker, you're one of us!" We even had t-shirts made which said. "I'm not a squid, I'm a gator and proud of it!" And for anyone who questions it, we FMF Corpsmen are part of the Corps, just as faithful as our Marine bothers. And like the rest of the Corps we Corpsmen were often under equipped and the phrase, "we who have done so much with so little that we can now do anything with nothing" was also our motto as an FMF Corpsman. One funny story, When I was stationed at Camp Pendleton someone came up with a bumper sticker which said."The Marines already have their few good men: Navy Corpsmen." Well the base MP's did not have a sense of humor about the whole thing and banned any car with that bumper sticker on base. Although there were some Marines who objected to the sticker, most of the Marines in my unit bought them to show support. Pretty soon the little parking lot was over flowing with cars. Word came down from Division Surgeon to take them off so we did but seeing all those cars parked with that bumper sticker made us all feel great. But it wasn't until I joined the First Marine Division Association that I found that we do have a home and that our Marine brothers were there with open arms to welcome us. Doc Rodman, I can see you're a good man and I know that your nephew will continue the proud tradition we FMF Corpsmen have. From one Doc to another. let me please thank you for your service and let thank your nephew for the choice he made to be one of the best. I know that he has earned the title "Doc" and that on his watch no Marine will ever receive anything but the best care possible.

Semper Fi
HM3 Luis M. De La Cruz "Doc D"
3rd tracs 75-78

230th Marine Corps Birthday Berkshire Hills Massachusetts

Around 1971 or 72 a couple of Vietnam buddies met in a restaurant in Great Barrington to celebrate another meeting at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, Nov. 10, 1775. within a few years, several other close Marines were added. those were difficult years and the war was still on: we just couldn't forget.

We moved the Slop/Shoot to The Shed Restaurant in Sheffield in 1975. Bob Scaglarini (died: 1991) owned the place. he was in the corps in Korea. During one of the sea stories we decided to have a party for all the area Marines: so it began. Now there are over 200 Marines who celebrate our common bond and semper fi from the surrounding area!

November 10, 2005 1800 hrs Don't be UA for roll call. Blues Cafe route 102, Lee MA Marines Only

Semper fi - Happy Birthday

Being Young and Obedient

When I was a younger Marine the Birthday Ball didn't have as much meaning as it did later. I was deployed to the Philippines with 3rd Recon Bn in November 1979. Not many in our company were signed up to go to the ball until the company 1st Sgt told us that we would have shore patrol unless we went to the ball. Being young and obedient those of us that were not signed up to go, signed up and went. As another stipulation we were not allowed to bring local bar girls as dates, less we would tarnish the reputation of our beloved Corps. When the meal was done and the ceremony was finished we headed to Olongapo City in our uniforms. The 1st Sgt was not real happy but he understood that we were young and rambunctious. I'll never forget the way we were treated in the local bars, we were a hit with all the ladies who told us, "We love the Navy on payday but we love the Marines everyday! Semper Fi to Retired Sgt Major Wildenhaus, where ever you are.

Former Marine Gale Owen

Find Your Buddies

Sgt Grit,
The opening letter in your October 27th Newsletter was from a William Russo. In it he mentioned his buddy, Jerry Tuttle. Well it turns out that Jerry is my father! I was floored after reading that. I called my Dad and read him the letter. That started my quest to find Billy and get the two of them back together. I emailed you and asked you to forward my email address to Billy. I want to say THANK YOU to you Sgt Grit for doing just that. My Dad and Billy have been in contact for only a day or two and they are both very happy. They've both been looking for each other for years. Thank you, thank you, thank you!


Never Forgot The Sweetness

My only USMC Ball...well.. It was me and my Marine, in Saigon Nov 1973. Not really a great setting for a "Ball". He found a (battery powered)record player and a Frank Sinatra 45 rpm to celebrate my birthday-a few days before the 10 Nov Corps Birthday. We danced to "Fly Me to the Moon" until the batteries ran down. We were dressed to the "Nines" both in really pathetic fatigues, and of course jungle boots. We even had two cans of COLD Budweiser. The next day I went back to "the world". Not long after that he was killed. Never forgot the sweetness of that night. It still lights me up when I think of it on my birthday and the Corps Birthday each year. My son-in-law is a Marine (thank God) and he will escort my daughter her first USMC Ball this year. Three days ago I finished making her ball gown. It was a labor of love that made me shed more than a few tears during the 50+ hours it took to design, cut a sew it. She kept asking me why I was crying. I told her it was happiness for them after their three years of marriage he is home and they are well enough to go to the best Ball anywhere.


My Son Followed

SGT Grit:

I became a Marine 1967. My most memorable birthday ball was 1995. My son followed in my footsteps and joined the Marines right out of high school. He did extremely well, making PFC right out of boot camp and eventually a member of the 3rd MARDIV winning super squad in 1998. In any event, the local Marine Corps League and Marine Artillery Battery held their joint Marine Corps ball as usual and I stopped in the battery ahead of time to get tickets and talk with their first shirt. I told him I'd be attending with my son who was still in boot camp and he told me my son would be the youngest Marine there and would be selected to participate in the traditional cake cutting. Armed with this information I had to run around like a wild man to but him a set of dress blues and have them ready for the big night. He graduated on 3 November 1995 and turns out it was 28 years exactly to the day that I had graduated on 3 November 1967. We attended the Ball a week later with our family, to include our new son-in-law. It was a proud night for this old Marine to walk around the room with my son in his new dress blues. He commented to me about how friendly everyone was and how they all came to speak to home when after they saw him as the youngest Marine during the ceremony. I got to admit I got a little "sweat" in the eyes as my son represented the future of the Corps during the cake cutting. I'll never forget it. We both remain very proud of earning the title United States Marine.

PS Please bring back the T-shirt "God Bless the Corps"!

SGT Thomas W. Simpson - active 1967-1971 SGT Thomas A. Simpson - active 1995-1999

He Was Shocked

. When trying to decide on a good date in which to get married, my fiancée (Former Marine) and I were throwing dates back and forth... After much frustration on my part-because 'whatever' date was good for him--I finally said... 'You'd better pick out a date you are going to remember, because the first time you forget our anniversary-- I'm going to be really, really mad! I got an immediate reply-November 10. I believe the reply was so quick that I was actually speechless for a second or two. When I asked 'why November 10?'--he was shocked that I didn't know what date that was. Unfortunately, the priest would not marry us on that date, as it was Sunday-so we had to settle for November 9. That was the best date ever-because he hasn't forgotten an anniversary yet-and this year will be our 20th wedding anniversary. In turn, we don't forget the Marine Corps Birthday--we celebrate with a cake and Marine Corps memorabilia. Happy Marine Corps Birthday to all Marines.

Nancy Rios
(Wife of Ernesto)

SgtMajor Douglass

I know this is a bit late, but I just read the online version of the newsletter for November 3. The last and most memorable Birthday Ball I went to was in 1982 for the Marines at NAS South Weymouth, Mass. I'm not a dancer, but after a few with my husband(now ex-husband), I danced with his SgtMajor. Sgt Major Douglass was an imposing figure, a big, barrel chested man who looked like he stepped out of a recruiting poster. When he laughed, I swear the twinkle in his eyes could be seen from across the room. I remember his wife as well, a strikingly beautiful woman who made other women exclaim "WOW" when she entered the room. It wasn't until 11 months later, that the night became more memorable to me. Sgt Major Douglass was killed in the bombing at Marine Barracks in Beirut. When I go to Jacksonville to see my daughter stationed at MCAS New River, I make it a point to stop at the Beirut Memorial and pay my respects to the Sgt Major and all the others who died that day. When I am there, when I close my eyes, I hear the echoes of a full belly laugh, and see the twinkling of the stars that were the eyes of SgtMajor Douglass. Semper Fi Sergeant Major, Rest in Peace.

Linda Schroder, Former Marine
Former wife GySgt L.H.Laney, USMC, Ret
Proud Mom
Cpl Sean Laney, Veteran USMC (OIF1)
Cpl Jen Laney, USMC, MCAS New River

Straight To Inchon

Each 10th, a motley crew get together. Stories, BS and all the other things that go with the meeting. From 20 to 25 of us meet at a local "establishment", go over the same stories that we've told for 50+ years, (and they do get better with age), remember the ones that are in our memory that gave more than enough and the ones who've left us since. The unique makeup of this group is that we all were raised in the neighborhood, went to school, grade and through university, together. And have been in touch with each other for the total period. The grunts, all, were called up in 1950. Some straight to Inchon, others boot, etc., and a couple of us lucky enough to wind up in the same company, at different times. A good portion went direct into the 11th Marines and the others in the other regiments as 0311, 31's, etc. As said several paid the ultimate, but, each 10th, THEY ARE NOT FORGOTTEN! So from all the above, Cheers to you and, SEMPER FI, to ALL THE OTHERS!

C-1-1, 50-52,
Chesty's last regimental command.

Marlboro Soldier

On the upcoming Veterans Day and US Marine Corps Birthday, I am reminded of the following sentiment:

"From a Marlboro Soldier, England 1640:

God and the Soldier we adore,
In times of trouble, not before.
When the danger past, and all things righted,
God is forgotten and the Soldier slighted."

CWO-4 John Barone USMC (ret.) '74 - '95

Like So Many

Dear Sgt. Grit;
Happy Birthday 230th! As I prepare to leave for Arlington National Cemetery to attend my uncle's burial, I am moved by the tradition of the Corps and the support that all Marines give one another. My uncle, a retired 20 plus Marine, served during the WWII and Korean "campaigns"...if one could call it that. He was an exemplary Marine, as all Marines are, but like so many, he never complained, never spoke of his combat days but would smile when the Marine Corps hymn was heard. He died at 93 years old, after my own Marine husband of 22 years died earlier last year. The Corps was everything in their lives and my life. Happy Birthday, Marines....with gratitude and love.

from a widow

This Continued

Sgt. Grit,
Since it's birthday time I'd like to relate a short story about my young innocence. As a brand new Corpsman dressed in my Marine greens with Navy insignia, I was walking around San Diego back in Nov.1969 awaiting orders to Viet Nam. I was born on Nov. 7th, 1949 in Los Angeles. I didn't know a sole in San Diego. A lot of people said happy birthday to me as we walked passed each other and I couldn't figure out how they new it was my birthday. This continued until Nov. 10 when I finally learned it wasn't about me at all. What a dip*hit!

Proudly served while scared half to death - 1/3, 3/1, and 3rd Recon '69-'71.
Happy Birthday Marines,
Doc B

Short Rounds

From Old Corps to New Corps, to the only Corps worth my sentiments, Happy Birthday one and all!

Ray Walker

11-10-70: HMM-263, Marble Mountain, RVN. No cake, no drinks, no round-eye dates and no ball. Just staying alive and getting short. Went home 12-23-70....and yeah, I would do it again!

Sgt R.D. Johnson 2425733

We have just lost another buddy. Jack "Doc" Holtz,a Corpsman on Pelilu where he was awarded the Silver Star & also served with G-3-7 in Korea. He will be buried in Arlington cemetery November 6. Semper Fi, Doc.

Ed Seaton
G-3-7 Korea

Sgt. Grit: A further addendum to the "Sands of Iwo Jima", in one of the scenes at the landing on Tarawa, a young-looking David Shoup appears as himself. For those who might not know, General Shoup later became Commandant of the Marine Corps.

James R. McMahon
Hendersonville, TN
Gunnery Sergeant of Marines

Never underestimate your Drill Instructors.... In many cases the things they teach you will be the only thing standing between you and your maker. Trust in the Marine Corps to teach you and GOD to bless you. GOD bless you all.

Dick Smith
1954 to 1957

Regretfully, Billy A Carter, passed away August 27,2005. my brother and I assisted his 11 grandsons as pall bearers, I told the group to look sharp....we were carrying a marine to his final rest.....

Sgt. Grit,
In 1981 I became a Marine making the age limit by 6 days. I was 28 years old when I went to P.I. I was home on leave on Oct 23 when Marine Barracks in Beirut was blown up. All of my Marine buddies I went to Atlanta with cancelled leave and volunteered for the Root. I was the only one who was chosen but still my brothers from 2/4 were gonna go. They bought me dinner before I left and I remember that forever. Marines are competent in war but they can keep the peace too.

C.Nat Wallace
3/8 STA Sniper

God I hated squat thrust, must have done a million of them. But that's what happens when you step on the grass and then call your senior drill instructor you "a female sheep"

MCRD San Diego,Plt.3043,1965
Glenn Durham

Keep the faith and always aim low. A ricochet is as good as a hit and hurts just as bad.

Semper Fi

I would just like to thank my DI from PI July 1959 Plt 246

SDI A.S Sgt Wa Wells Jr
JDI A.S Sgt WB Kilpatrick
JDI AS A.A Darnback

Thanks Marines
Semper Fi
Pvt Jimmie Caudill, USMC 1959-1965

here is to all the squads in hmla. job well done

Charles Harris

The change 'is' forever.

Honor, Courage, Commitment

Marines Always Welcome, Relatives by Appointment

Welcome Home!
Job Well Done
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

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