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See all our Closeouts

While on Fire watch at PI, I passed by my buddies bunk, Mind you now none of us has spoke a word to each other in our whole stay at PI, anyway, I whispered to my buddy Jerry Tuttle, around 2PM "I wish I had a cigarette", and Boom he jumped out of the bunk threw the lights on and screamed "Everybody Down For Pushups". IT wasn't my buddy in the bunk it was My D.I. SGT, Hollenbeck, in hiding, I don't know how he planned that one, but he seemed like a DI that always knew what was going to be before hand. But to pick that bunk to hide in and know that was going to happen really amazed me.

PFC. William Russo
PLT 217 Parris Island

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Chaplain's Corner

The Chief of Staff
by Bob Boardman

We are always on the Anvil; by trials God is shaping us for higher things. - Henry Ward Beecher

I still chuckle about my chance encounter with Colonel Amor LeRoy Sims, USMC, almost 60 years ago on Goodenough Island. I don't think as a Private I had ever seen a full Marine Colonel, let alone been "addressed" by one. I had been in the Corps less than one year. In my 19-year-old mind, a Marine Colonel was sort of like the Vice President of the US.

Colonel Sims was the 1st Marine Division Chief of Staff, which means he carried out the administrative duties for the Division Commander, who at that time was Major General William H. Rupertus. The Reinforced 1st Marine Division had about 22,000 men and so the Chief of Staff's responsibilities were quite extensive. You would think he wouldn't want to take time to tangle with a lowly Marine Private from Salem, Oregon....... Read More

Couldn't Allow

Sgt Grit,

Today I played taps over my father in law, former Army PFC William M King at Taunton Ma. He was a Purple Heart Veteran of the Battle of the Bulge in WWII, he earned his CIB and several other campaign ribbons of that era. The Army sent two soldiers to fold and present the colors to his widow of 60 years. I just couldn't allow them to play that make believe bugle so pressed this Old Marine into service.

Marines have always made a difference, our Chapter 207 Viet Nam Vets Chapter Honor Guard is almost 50% Marine and we have performed over 600 funerals for the families of all Vets. God Bless our Marines in harms way.

Semper Fi
Art Caesar,
former Sgt of Marines


Sgt. Grit.
Reference 10/12/05 news letter item MARION MORRISON

Additional information about Duke Wayne and his "failure" to serve. Pearl Harbor was attacked and millions of young, middle, and old men and women lined up at the local enlistment offices to do what they saw as their duty to God and country. Many of them received "deferment" for various reasons.

Many were deferred because they had three or more children - John Wayne had three children. That's one deferment.

Others were deferred because they were sole support of their families - John Wayne was the sole support of his family of four (remember he was not being paid the millions per film stars get today). That's two deferments.

Many were deferred because they were over 36 years old, or would soon pass that milestone - John Wayne was born May 1907, he was 35 in 1942, not quite qualifying for the age deferment, but close. We can be gracious and call that .5, or we can be a$$es and deny that one,

Many young men were deferred because they held jobs the government considered "critical." These included police, firemen, production of war materials and weapons. I do believe being "requested" by the government to make "propaganda" (I chose to consider them patriotic, supporting, encouraging) movies to keep up morale, not just of the troops, but of the nation would be included in this classification. That makes 3 deferments, for sure, 3.5 if we want to be generous.

Above all of these I consider John Wayne to be a man of good character and as much a patriot of this country as Audie Murphy, Alvin York, Jimmy Doolittle, or any others. They all did what they were good at, John Wayne did what he was good at.

Still crazy after all these years
Bush RVN 67-69

Cpl. Steffner's rebuttal to Mr. Weatherbee was excellent. I would like to clarify that "Sands of Iwo Jima" was produced in 1948-49, not during WW2. I was in the 6th Marines at Camp Pendleton at the time. Marines from the 6th & 7th Mar. were used. LtCol. H.P. Crowe was CO. of the 6th sometime during this period. He played himself at Tarawa. The radio operator at his side at the seawall was PFC Gudenau, Naval Gunfire Sect., 6th. Mar. Red Beach (Aliso) was fixed up to resemble the beach at Tarawa. The other war films John Wayne starred in during WW2 were The Flying Tigers and Back to Bataan.

Semper Fidelis
Paul Santiago
GySgt. (Ret)

Manna From Heaven

Dear Sgt. Grit: I can truly say that without the time I spent in the United States Marine Corps 1962 - 1966, I would have certainly been a different person. It has broadened how I view the world and people in the world. For me personally, having experienced the Marine Corps was like manna from heaven. God bless our Marines serving overseas in harm's way. Semper Fi.


Ron Gordon
H & S Company, 3/2
ABC-News Cameraman [New York City]

Was An Airman

The other day I was waiting at my barber shop to get the usual Marine "reg". There are three great barbers that cut hair there, two of them are former Marines and one Sailor. It happens that there was a general discussion that day about the different services and what makes them different. There was an Airman in one chair and a Solider in the other. The discussion went around a few times and experiences were shared, but one comment, made by the owner of the shop who was in the Navy, struck up an air of pride in me. He mentioned that he worked with and around Marines for over 15 years and has been around them since getting out and there was one thing that only the Marines have. He said, "Every Marine I have come in contact with whether they were in for 4, 8, or twenty years, whether they liked what they did or not, whether they feared getting out or couldn't wait to get out, share one thing no one else or no other service has. That thing is the dedication and camaraderie to brother Marines and THEIR Marine Corp."

Semper Fi
Tom Daly, Sgt

Chow And Dry Socks

In regard to Cpl. Mike Rice's ('58-'62) recollection of then Capt. Stanley S. Warziniack. I was stationed at Camp Hansen (Oki) in '72-'73, assigned to Division Ranges as a Marksmanship Instructor.GREAT duty. up way before dawn and usually done and off duty by 1300, quick shower and off to Koza and Blue Moon Alley (when I had the $ for it). By that time it was Colonel Warziniack. We were to fall in on Saturday for a 'conditioning march' with full field equipment and weapon at 0400, to 'take a walk in the sun' up to Camp Schwab and back. It was hot (as usual), humid (as usual) and raining like a cow whizzin' on flat rock (as usual). When we all fell in, there was Col. Warziniack with full field equipment and weapon.just like the rest of us. Most of us had sort of expected to see him in a jeep 'supervising' the little stroll on the island. By this time in his career, he was in his early 50's, and nobody really expected him to lead us all the way there and back. Well, he didn't quite lead us all the way. He was in front and setting a pretty stiff pace all the way north to Schwab, where we took a short break for chow and dry socks. Then we formed up and he told us that nobody had better finish BEHIND him when we came back through the gate a Hansen. As we moved out at route step he stood and watched the whole formation go by, then fell in at the rear. You could clearly hear him (about 200 yards behind me and LCpl Randy James) shouting encouragement to the Marines in the rear who were having a hard time keeping up. Several times on the way back, he passed us, a couple of times walking backward, and would then fall back to the rear to personally gather up the stragglers. On one occasion I clearly heard him 'encourage' someone in the rear with."You bastards are MARINES.step out and act like you're proud of it!" When we got within about a half mile of Hansen, here he came trotting along just a little faster than us, in the middle of the road, smiling. He stepped it up and the only people in the whole formation that beat him through the gate was the guide and the 1st Sergeant.and he was what most of us (at that time) considered to be an "old man". Soon as we got everybody back inside the base and formed up, he stepped up in front of the formation and said with a big smile (as closely as I can recall after all these years).. "Since I beat almost every one of you back here, you will ONLY get TWO cold beers apiece! Fall out.smoke 'em if ya got 'em." He then lit a cigar and spent some time walking among us and talking to everyone from private to light Colonel. I am proud to have served under him. He could have opened the gates of H&ll and we would have followed him in. He was a true "Leader of Marines". I hope he's still around and gets to read this.
God Bless America, and God Bless My United States Marine Corps.
Dale "Mad Dog" Messmer
Program Director, S.T.O.P.
(GySgt., USMC, Med.Ret.)

No Shots

Sgt Grit,
That story about Beans reached right to the heart. As you will remember some of the units in Nam were lucky enough to be able to have dogs as Mascots.

We were in Chu-Lai and had one that we called Scar. He had either whipped or been whipped by every dog in Nam.

We got a new CO that said no dogs because of no shots. The good old boys at the Dog Plt got all of the troops that had dogs and gave them their shots along with a regulation Dog tag. After that no problem with the dogs. It proves an age old fact that kids and dogs will always find a home with Marines. Thanks for the story on Beans.
Semper Fidelis
GySgt E.W.Wibur
USMC Ret,1955 to 1975

Find Each Other

Sgt. Grit,

I look forward to your newsletter like a Marine looks forward to liberty. The many recent letters about Marines finding each other has let me to writing this letter. In August 1966, I graduated from Parris Island with 80 other Marines. You will recall that the Summer of 1966 saw the beginning of some of the most fierce fighting and the largest manpower escalation of the entire Vietnam War. It was into this phase of the war that Platoon 2027 was dispersed. We left Boot Camp and would not see each other for almost 35 years.

I recall that you posted a letter about the first time we came together. But, very few people know the entire history of Platoon 2027. I had always wondered what had become of the Marines in the Platoon? There was a part of me that needed to be made whole. The only thing I had as a reminder of Boot Camp was the official Platoon picture. Yet, I have to tell you that because of a combat wound I had also loss part of my memory. So, to this date, my personal recollections of Vietnam and Boot Camp are a bit foggy. To that end, I need to thank the many Marines that have come into my life and shared the details of moments that I could not recall. But, few will understand the pain that I have endured because I could not recall the individual speaking nor could I place myself within the scene.

The best example of that pain is this incident: One night I was Instant Mailed by a Marine named Ray Hutchins from Maine. He shared a story with me that placed both of us in Vietnam and he was adamant that we knew each other and promised to send me some pictures. In the meantime, another Marine named Gonzalo Lucio called me from Chicago. For over 30 years, Lucio had been under the impression that I was dead. He had been present the day I was shot and evacuated from Vietnam. The details of his narrative left me totally perplexed but he lead me to a Marine named Val Lawnik in New Jersey. I called Lawnik and agreed to meet at his house the following weekend. My wife and I drove to New Jersey, to say that I was frightened is an understatement. We arrived and Lawnik greeted me like a long lost brother and introduced me to Marine Jim Tegyi, who was also part of our unit. My wife was astonished that I could not recall or related to these Marines and the specific details that they shared with me. You must know that when I meet with Marines there is always a yellow pad next to me. After a day of tears and much pain we returned home. On Monday, the mail came and there was a letter from Ray Hutchins and in it were a bunch of pictures. Excuse me as I dry away the tears; they come every time I recall the moment. I opened the envelope and there was a picture of me leaning on Val Lawnik's shoulder in Vietnam. Lawnik the Marine I had just met with but could not remember or related to the things that he shared. I felt to the ground and cried. So, with this mental fog I started a search for many of my lost brother Marines. Yes, the experience has been repeated many times. Yet, there was still a tremendous challenge that had to be faced.

I spend many sleepless nights just looking at the faces in the yearbook and wondering. But, the hardest thing was trying to remember each Marine and how we had interacted with each other. Then, one night it just started like a raging river that would not be stopped. I made a name list from the yearbook and began to copy next to each name what was in the notes from my conversation with Francisco. Within in a week, I was certain about my task and my investigative training started to put things together like a puzzle. I did something that left me shaking in my shoes and I had to share with someone quick or it was going to tear me up. I could not wait to see Francisco; so, again, I drove the forty miles to his house. I looked at him like a child that had just been given the greatest gift. I hugged him and said, "NO ONE from Platoon 2027 DIED in Vietnam." We stood in total silence for what seemed to be an eternity.

I had matched the 81 Marines of Platoon 2027 against the 58,000 names on THE WALL. Reassured by that finding and inspired to seek more information I went to see Francisco. Right there and then, we vowed to do everything humanly possible to account and reunite Platoon 2027. So, my next stop became the Commandant of the Marine Corps, I wrote a letter that was never answered. But, I had to re-learn Marine Corps strategy and take the hill under all circumstances. I started dial numbers listed within the Marine Corps Headquarters in Quantico. I was referred from one place to another but finally came upon a Marine that heard me out. I truly regret that in the excitement of the moment, I did not take down the Marine's name and hard as I have tried there is no recollection. So, wherever you are I and Platoon 2027 owe you a tremendous amount gratitude. I have since noted that the Marine had to be an "old timer" and had to a lead from the front Marine. He heard me out and calmly explained that under the current privacy laws much of the personal information of each Marine has to be guarded. Plus, due to the length of time the most likely source of information would be St. Louis. He wished me, "God's speed" and proudly said,"You got to be a member of The LUCKIEST Platoon in the MARINE CORPS. So, it was that Platoon 2027 became "The LUCKIEST Platoon in the UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS."

When this search was started the odds were against us; yet, with some tenacity and Marine stubbornness we took the high ground. We are currently planning our "Return to Parris Island" to remember and celebrate 40 years of having earned "The Title of United States Marine." After so much and the fact that no one died in Vietnam we are working to place a permanent Memorial at Parris Island that honors all the members of Platoon 2027 and all those that have chosen to be Marines. Part of the tribute will be inscribed with the quote from the book "A Fellowship of Valor."

That Links All U.S. MARINES,
Past, Present and Future."

Therefore, every Marine is encourage to seek out each other. The value of the memories and worth of your efforts will be realized the day you meet.

Semper Fi, always.

Sgt. J. Solis, USMC
Platoon 2027..Parris Island..June to August 1966
Golf Company 2/8 Camp Lejuene
Alpha Company (Weapons) 1/3 Vietnam 1967--1968
St. Albans Naval Hospital..New York 1968--1969

I Remember Those Words

I was trained in Plt 252, "F" Company, 2Rtbn, PISC in the summer of 1976.My Drill Instructors had allegations of recruit abuse filed against them from a unknown source. I was the platoon scribe for Plt 252, and as such spent above average hours in the DI hut. After the inquiry I suffered the wrath of my Drill Instructors, who later were cleared of all charges. My father was a former Marine, and he told me before I went to boot camp," Never accuse your Drill Instructors of anything short of murder!" I remember those words seemed kind of strange when I stepped on the yellow footprints, but when they did the investigation, it all made sense. My DI's were some of the best in the Corps. We found out who the "alligator" was. I was a h&ll of a lot stronger though due to P.T. The D.I. 's found the actual person who tried to rat them out, and three days before graduation, one by one, in their own way, each apologized to me. They knew then I had protected them as best I could. My SDI was up for Gunnery Sergeant and made it. Thanks to Pvt Wilson for keeping your mouth shut, even when you were screaming.

Pickle Meadows

Mike, what a surprise when I read your experience at Bridgeport, Calif. I to was there in 1968, but it was mountain climbing school. Lt. Colonel Ski took us (a reserve unit, 3rd Force Recon, Mobile,Al. ) there for a two week demanding climbing school. Lt. Colonel was a Marines marine, tough but fair. Colonel Warziniak was an expert mountain climber and he taught us well. The last time I saw Colonel Ski was in 1971.

Thanks for the memories,
Patrick McDonald
USMCR 1966-1971

100 Pounds

Dear Sgt Grit,
I am send this letter is to tell you a great Marine Died yesterday. His name was SSgt. Steven Spangler of Kane, Pennsylvania, and he was my brother. He joined the Marines in 1977 at 100 pounds and only 5 foot 5 inches tall. He went to Parris Island for Boot Camp. He had a hard time of things because of his size but was not a quitter. I saw him two years later when he was on leave and he was 5 foot 10 inches tall and 145 pounds. He spent nearly 15 years in the Corps and was so very proud to be a Marine. He work on Radar. When he got out of the Marines he joined the National Guard until he retired with 22 years of service with the military.

He will be buried on Monday the 17th of October in Kane, Pa. He will be wearing is Marine Corps Uniform because he was so happy to make it in the Marines like his brother, Me.

He is leaving behind his Mother(who was so very proud of him), three Brothers, Two Sisters and many nieces and nephews and many, many Friends. Steve was 46 years young and had a heart of gold.

Semper Fi my Brother,
You will be missed by allot of Marines that knew you and also by your loving Family and Friends.

Oah Rah,
Frank Spangler

I have allot of tears in my eyes so I hope all is spelt right and sounds ok. Thank you so very much for letting tell you about my younger Marine brother.



Dear Gang,

What a crazy time it is over here. The Elections are a couple of days away and we have a whole 'buttload' of Iraqi election pollsters. 'Buttload' by the way, is a Marine term for MANY of something. These folks all come from the South and they ship them up North to keep the bad guys from intimidating the folks or threats to their families. We have a base camp set up for them which is protected from the bad guys outside the wire, but also it's a little POW looking setup to make sure that some of the guys in there aren't insurgents and could get out to attack the base. They are paid $500 dollars to perform their duties which is a fortune over here. I have to laugh though, being the guy out there with a brick in his hand is the one directing the C-130's to the proper parking spot to offload the Iraqi's. The back opens up and out they come, and come, and keep flowing out. All said and done, there were 112 Iraqi's on that plane and I didn't know the C-130 had that many seats for them to sit on. They came running to me in a big mob, scaring me a bit to have a bunch of hot sweaty guys screaming, "Blah Blah Blah Blah" which could have meant "Kill infidel Officer with radio in his hand" About that time "Bob" our Iraqi interpreter pulls up next to me and starts shouting something that gets them all into a single file line. They are still dancing around, teeth chattering and acting peculiar all the way around. Turns out that these guys (who I'd say were not the top of their class) had stolen anything that was not tied down off the Air Farce C-17, their newest birds, o2 bottles, life rafts, all sorts of crap. So, they locked the head and wouldn't let anyone use the bathroom. By the time they got down here to me on the C-130, these boys' eyeballs were swimming! They also ate their foamy earplugs they handed out. Thought it was candy I guess. We got them to the porta-potties and then started the In-processing, ie, back ground checks to see if they had been picked up for any terrorist acts, etc. They moved into the tent city after that. Now we have to be sensitive to their needs, so they only contracted for two meals a day since it's Ramadan and they aren't suppose to eat during the day. Funny thing is, this isn't a hard and fast rule and one that can be bent. So, if a Muslim is in a travel status, he can eat and boy were they hungry, but no one told the Iraqi's in charge of this. They were really hot when all they had to offer was a traditional Muslim meal which looked like a bunch of bird seed. I'd be mad too if that's all I got. All this was set up by the Iraqi's and not the American's, so I don't feel so bad. It's neat to be associated with such a historical event like this. Talk about getting juiced by your own bubba's. We were hauling a load of bad guys, (really bad guys) to prison and THEIR truck was hit by a roadside IED that blew it apart and messed up those guys up something awful. We were all torn up over it, but to show you what the Marines are all about, we helo evac'd these guys to our hospital and OUR doctors operated for hours on them. We even had a walking blood bank call for B+ blood, that's where people come in and give blood to help out a person. We put 30 units into one of the guys. He was so messed up that he later died, but not before having all of his blood replaced by our Marines good ole American blood. This kind of stuff NEVER makes the newspapers. Heaven forbid that they show we saved the lives of so many of Iraqi's bad guys who were just in the middle of trying to kill American's or Iraqi's. Crazy place sometimes. Now for the life of me, I can't understand this one, but any Marine under the age of 30 seems to be inclined to shave his entire body in the shower. When you go in there, you have to wear platform shower shoes to get on top of it all. We have this survey going on and it seems that all the 30 and under crowd will be clean shaven and us old guys, well, lets just say we're old and hairy. I mean if you eat the hotwings and shave, how would you know if it put hair on your _ _ _???? (chest) what I left out! Anyway, life is good here and I'm proud to be associated with such a fine bunch of Marines. We control the launch of the aircraft, and it's called the golden hour. When a Marine or Iraqi is wounded, we get notification from the field and we can see this via the battle room chat. They send us what is called a 9 line order, telling us who, what, where, when call signs, freqs the whole nine yards. Once we see stuff happening, and someone gets hurt, we give the chopper guys a heads up that a missions coming. The fastest I have seen a launch is in 3 minutes. That's from notification to the Battle Captains authority to the birds taxing off. It's so impressive! They can reach all of our sectors in about 10 to 15 mikes and transport them back to the docs in the same amount of time. We have saved thousands of lives this way. That's my job in a nutshell, I love it. No movies, haven't had time, no books and far little time to do much. I miss you guys and will keep up the reports.

OOOhhh RRRhhaaa
Semper Fi,

Last Official Act

Hey Sgt Grit,

I officially retired from our Corps on 1 August of this year. My last position was as Asst Chief of Staff, Operations and Training, Camp Pendleton, California. Did the ceremony on 26 May. Eight of us, known as "The Flying Leathernecks" jumped from a 46 at 10k ft, did a 5k freefall, then deployed mains sequentially and landed in front of the stands at the 1st Marine Division parade field. here is the good part. I ordered my son "front and center" from the stands, then promoted him to captain of Marines. Then, LtGen Chip Gregson, Commander Marine Forces Pacific, retired me. What a day!

What a memorable "last official act of active duty."

We are now settled in Hawaii. I'm the Chief Operating Officer for the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. Any Marines (past or present) heading this way, have them give me a heads-up and I'll show them around and take good care of them.

Semper Fidelis,
John (Bates)


Dear Sgt. Grit,
just few lines to share with all of you what I have deep in my heart, but before please let me tell you a little bit about a story of 42 years ago in spite of my simple American language. My name is Massimo Russo I'm Italian but I was born in Tripoli Libia on 31st March 1963, Libia was a former Italian Colony. I'm alive and I can be here writing this letter because when I was born I received supporting medical equipment from the Hospital of the Air Base Wheelus at Mellaha, but mainly because 8 young American Marines volunteer gave me their fresh blood waiting fast for several hours and several others done the same in the followings days. I don't know their names and now is practically impossible to find them but now it's time for me to use any occasion to say thanks. I have just few information's, they where Marines ( may be someone from Montana but I'm not sure), they came up to the call of Father Abele the Maltese Father of the Base Chapel for this great action that saved a baby form the death. I live in Vicenza Italy now with my wife and a daughter and another one coming soon, Ive been to USA four times and work for an American company. if any of you would like to contact me can send a e-mail to .

Best Regards
Massimo Russo
Vicenza Italy

Seasoned Marines

Dear Sgt Grit
Most of us out here are seasoned Marines, with a touch of combat under our belts. The term maggot is used in basic training to those wanting to be a part of Americas best, The United States Marines. May I make a suggestion , to address the salts as either Leather Neck, Jarhead, that is fine but never a maggot. I am sure every Marine out here enjoys the News Letter as well as your catalog as I do and will continue, with that said " Semper Fi "

Rick Fonner
USMC Retired

That Title Doc

Dear Sgt Grit
As a former FMF Doc, my nephew is now one of us and I would like to share his comments with our brother Marines. We who have served with the Corps cannot be happy with being assigned back to the Navy. We too are your brothers and will forever be. When a Navy Corpsman earns that title Doc from the Corps, the transition is complete. I have heard from every Marine I know how glad they are to have us. The inverse is true. Never did I imagine the brotherhood I feel or the esprit de Corps I hold at being a part of the Corps When I went out for a wounded brother, I had every weapon to bear over my head to protect us. I spent many hours telling Henry of how it is to be with the Corps. When he was assigned to a unit in Iraq and went into combat in Fujallah, he knew and performed in the highest traditions of the Hospital Corps. The Marines he was with were now his brothers and would have sacrificed his own life for them as I was ready to sacrifice mine for any of mine. No questions, no hesitation. The Marines are our brothers.

Semper Fi
Roger M. Rodman
HM2/usn "Doc"

Remember A True Giant

White Plains: Jack Lummus was an end for the New York Giants who left to fight in World War II. Lt. Lummus stepped on a land mine on Iwo Jima after single-handedly taking out a Japanese gun emplacement.

His last words were, "I guess the New York Giants have lost the service of a d*mned good end to a battlefield surgeon." President Harry Truman posthumously awarded Lummus the Medal of Honor eight months after the 29-year-old Marine was killed. A plaque was unveiled at the Polo Grounds about 1945. The Polo Grounds were torn down in 1964. The bronze plaque has never been seen since.

Hey, Giants, how about putting a new plaque up?

William Hall

Powdered Eggs

Who you calling a maggot? you hairball! I was a lady and don't you forget it.

For Nov 10th 1967, I refused to shake the hand of LBJ when he visited Pendleton. Saw him as a crooked politician. For Nov 10 1968, he got his revenge, I ate what we called Waterbuffalo Steak for dinner. Breakfast had been powdered eggs. Xmas eve 67, I stood guard duty in the woods guarding India 3-10 cannons in Camp Lejeune from 8 to midnight. Nam Vets brought me coffee. I didn't have the heart to tell them I didn't drink the stuff so I used it to warm my hands. Next Xmas eve 68, I was standing guard on hill 55 til midnight. I did manage to get drunk both New years. I was on R&R in Hawaii. Two year enlistment. so that's all.

You know in the Marines there were all these really mean guys, always yelling for no reason. They all had the same first name, Sarge.

Semper fi Sarge
Snuffy (Joe) Jackson

The Moral Of This Story

I recently went to Phoenix, Arizona to attend a motorcycle poker run and to visit my friend from My Nam days, Jim Fuller. Jim and I met at the restaurant and had breakfast and a great conversation. I do not eat potatoes so the waitress asked if I would like some fruit or grits instead. I had never had grits before and did not know what they were ( hey, I'm from California) so I figured.........what the h&ll. When breakfast came I looked at the grits and asked Fuller: "what the h&ll do I put on these things?". I wondered if I should put milk or sugar, or what. Of course Fuller didn't have a clue what you put on the stuff. We looked at each other and started to laugh and both chimed in at the same time.........Call GRIT. We called Don and asked him what you put on grits. He DID NOT Have A Clue.

The moral of this story is twofold. Don is nicknamed grit because he is from Oklahoma like his bio says in the front of the catalog. Secondly, If you have friends from the Corps that you haven't seen, find them. search high and low for them. The friendship is a great asset to yourself. Its well worth it.

SSGT Huntsinger
USMC 68-74

The New "Old Corps"

November 10th, the Marine Corps birthday. Me, Jack and John are back together again; It seems like only yesterday, I can still remember when...

The year was 1966, we're standing on yellow footsteps. The place is MCRD also known as PI. Ten weeks into eight; They tried to teach us all the tricks. The next stop was Vietnam where one of us might die.

The training was tough! I'm glad it was, and that's not a boast. One by one the three of us went off to do our tours. Now thirty-nine years later we can sit here and make a toast, and call ourselves... The New "Old Corps"

Happy Birthday MARINES...

Semper Fidelis,

Your Pal... Sal

* USMC *
Vietnam 12/66 to 1/68
Ser. Co. (Disbo) 1st Mar. Div.
Chu Lai and Da Nang
TAD 7th Comm. Bn. (attached to)
5th Marines Hill-63 Tam Ky
HQ Co. 5th Mar. Reg. Hoi An

Run This Person

After graduating from high school in 1959 I joined the Marine Corps, after 4 years of playing football,track,golf and working out I thought I was in excellent shape, while waiting the 2 months before I reported to Parris Island I engaged in a strenuous physical conditioning program because of the tough training Marines go through, I thought I was ready, after being assigned to Platoon 119 Sgt Hynie introduced himself, he was about 6 ft tall and weighed about 250 lbs, he appeared to have a lot of fat around his middle, the next morning at 0530 we formed in front of the barracks for a morning run with Sgt Hynie, I looked at him and thought "I will run this person into the ground" well about 30 minutes later as I and most of the platoon were lying in the grass puffing and puking and feeling miserable after a very hard run there was Sgt Hynie running around us yelling "Get Up, we have just started" so much for my supposed great physical shape. A lesson well learned and God bless Sgt Hynie, a superb marine who taught me a lot of lessons about being a Marine.

Cpl. Ron Schulz,
Platoon 119, 1959-1963

Tun Tavern Dedication

Hey Sgt Grit! Here's some info about a dedication for Tun Tavern on Vet's Day in Philly! Hopefully you can get it in the next newsletter!

Semper Fi,
Michelle Christman
A little broader, just as mean...100% US Marine

Attached please find an invitation to attend an historical marker dedication honoring the birthplace of the U.S. Marine Corps, Tun Tavern. If you can attend this event, please RSVP to my office at 717-787-3820 or

Thank you.

Marilyn Levin
Legislative Liaison
Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission

The Beach

Hey Sgt Grit,

When I was in Boot Camp at MCRD San Diego in 1972, we were at the Rifle range at Camp Pendleton. The DI's said we were going on a march(OH What JOY)! We headed out and they told us we were going to the beach. OORAH!

We marched and when we got to the beach we stopped. The DI's told us to do a right face. This is the Pacific Ocean for those of you that don't know it. Then we did an about face and marched back to the barracks at Pendleton.

Michael R. Dubala

Happy Birthday

OK Grit
Here it is and If I don't see it in the letter, I am going to pay you a little visit, and well see how many Bends and thrusts you can do! The year is 1970 I am home on Leave Its my first year In the Corps. I started Boot in July and its the last week In October, I am on my first leave. The second day I am home I go down to the Post Office to see the recruiter. He was a big guy, An O3 who had done several tours in Nam. had a M79 hanging on the wall in his office! never did know if it was real or replica. I walk threw the hatch and he picks up the phone and makes a call. He motions me to sit as the call goes threw. He Says into the phone. " He just walked into the office in his alphas, he looks good put on a few pounds and the zits on his face are cleared up" He hangs up pulls two ticket stubs from his desk and hands them to me. " Marine Corps Ball be there with a date, your the youngest Marine and will be in the ceremony. get there A half hour early". He then stuck out his hand to shake mine. said welcome home I may need you to go with me on a couple of visits. Then someone else came in and we had coffee and did what Marines do best. We shot the sh!t for about half an hour and then turned too on work. Went to the ball was lucky enough to get a date. Had a great time and got threw the ceremony with very little trouble except for getting cake on my uniform! The Year is 1999 My last Birthday Ball on Active Duty. I am sitting in my Office at MALS 12 MAG 12 MCAS Iwakuni Japan. Its the first week of November, My Wife is back in the states on a family emergency. My phone rings and its the SgtMaj. We exchange the normal greetings and then He says. " Your the Oldest Marine for the Birthday, practice is tomorrow at 1600" and he hangs up. No way am I the oldest I know of two other Marines who are older, A fellow Master Gunney who just reported into Station two weeks earlier and A WM Gunny with broken time. I go over to his Office to get more info. Bottom line is the MGySgt at Station is older. A lot older, and was also sicker then a dog, with the Iwakuni grud. And the Gunny believe it or not refused the honor of being in the cake cutting ceremony! So, I got to be in the Marine Corps Birthday Cake ceremony my first year in the Corps. And My last year. I was not at all nervous the second time. I didn't get any cake on my uniform. I did get some on the General!

Semper Fi
Master Gunnery Sergeant
Robert G Hodson Sr.
United States Marine Corps (ret)

Greeting from Northern Minnesota

Marine Birthday's are indeed a kick.....but at times sobering

Lyle (Navy Cross) burning out machine gun barrels on the hordes of enemy in Korea (Lyle humbly calling it half a horde)

Nick Z. (Marine Raider WW11 BAR Man 2 Purple Hearts).......joking about sump pumps and air-conditioning in their jungle fighting positions old Marines that "Stand Tall" and sharply salute our colors and U.S. Marines everywhere...old and young

Sgt. Rock (Ole) Vietnam 68 & 69

My first Marine Corps Birthday. November 10th, 1956 Platoon 296 4th Recruit Training Battalion. Arrived at PISC on September 1 and outposted December 10th. Our DI's took us to the outdoor movie. Double Feature Sands of Iwo Jima and Battle Cry.

At that time most of the recruits were two year reservists so the next day we all got reenlistment lectures and a large percentage shipped over to the regulars for three or more years due to the Gung Ho movies and the lure of an extra $100 reenlistment bonus to spend on Boot Leave. Remember at that time a Private got $78.00 a month.

M. A. Oakes

CWO4 retired but still serving in my mind.

Sgt Grit,

My birthday is 11/9, and of course the Marine Corps Birthday is 11/10, followed by Veterans Day on 11/11. So in November, 1961 I trotted over to Captain Murphy's office and requested all three days off. He said "Why do you want these days off?"

I said "All three days are personal holidays, to me, to all Marines, and to veterans everywhere."

He said "Granted, but you be sure to attend the Marine Corps Ball (which was held in a MAG 13 aircraft hangar at the other end of the base)."

Later on I and many other Marines were shuffled to B/1/4, and some of us were then transferred to A/1/4 (I guess to even out the numbers in the companies after many other Marines of the battalion were transferred to the newly formed 3/4); I was a Corporal by the time I got to A/1/4, but no matter what company or what CO I had I requested all three days off, and none of my CO's denied those requests.

Larry J. Bowden, SSgt. USMC (Ret.)

Des Moines, Iowa

Sgt Grit:
Every year a group of marines that have been together for 40 years since boot camp 1966 get together November 10 in Nags Head N.C for a gathering we talk about old times and Viet Nam. We also support each other with places to get help if needed. We also tell jokes and the wives get together with us. We cut the cake with the oldest and the youngest marine present. Semper Fi.

WE are the luckiest Marines alive because we all went to Viet Nam and we all returned safely. PLT 2027 is the name and we are from Parris Island. We also buy stuff from your online store and exchange with one another during our stay. Some of us come from as far away as Arizona and California.

Semper Fi Always
Peter Holt (SGT)

I don't really have a story per say, but I think u should have someone go check out the Marine Corps Ball for the reserve unit in Louisville, Ky. I went to one with a friend when I was stationed out here in sunny San Diego and it was crazy, they do this song and dance ritual type thing where all the Marines end up in a dog pile of blues , ribbons and Blood stripes. It brought a tear to my dry eye sockets, kinda reminded me of the Iwo Statue. Check it out seriously.

Cpl Ryan K. May
1st Civ. Div.

Here's one for you - a bit on the different side: November of 1957 found me at MCAS Kaneohe Bay, as NCOIC of Station Special Services. As such, part of my job was announcing at Hawaii Marine baseball and basketball home games.

A staff sergeant from another outfit did an off-base radio show for a Honolulu station and because of his broadcast experience he was given the task of preparing a Marine Corps birthday program to be presented at the Officers' Club. He needed someone to join with him in a reading of Marine Corps history, and apparently I was recommended to him by someone who had never heard me at the ball games.

He wanted to record the program ahead of time instead of doing it live at the Club, so I met with him one afternoon to get it on tape. He had a great radio voice and he read the opening lines and spliced in some strains of The Marine Corps Hymn at strategic points. Sounded really impressive. My turn came and I read my lines okay. Then the playback --- Shazam and gee whiz, Sarjint Carter, was that really my voice or had Gomer Pyle made his debut? I sat , red-faced listening to my twangy drawl while the staff sergeant squirmed, trying to think of a way out of this unexpected dilemma. He cleared his throat a time or two; suggested that we try it again but got the same result and since it was nearly liberty time, he said we should knock off for the day.

I am assuming that the staff sergeant completed the program by himself -- very satisfactorily. To my immense relief, I never heard from him again.

Semper Fi now, Y' all.
Jack Mayberry (1954 -1958)

.. OK, try this. I had the privilege of attending the USMC Birthday Ball elebration at the Sanno Hotel in Tokyo on 12 November 2004, as the guest of ike Michalak and his lovely wife, Yoshiko. At that time Mike was the Deputy hief of Mission for the US Embassy in Tokyo, and delivered an eloquent eynote speech, extolling his gratitude to the Corps, in particular based is up close and personal experience with the Marine Embassy Guard in akistan during a firefight for control of the embassy. It was a hard act to ollow, but Ambassador Howard Baker appeared and attempted to follow up by ntroducing a friend of his from California, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, ho entered the ballroom to much enthusiastic reception. The Governator" ade a great stump speech which included some lines to the effect that "Ihave played a lot of roles in my life; bodybuilder, action hero, politician.You Marines do not play roles. You are real action heroes, in a world thatreally needs them." Pandemonium ensued.

A proud Marine brat, who ended up in the Seabees.

Dr. Michael James Leineweber, AIA

Ok Don,

This one's never making a newsletter, but I'll share. Around 1988, we went to Morehead City. About 12 of us. We drank the finest wine, we ate the finest meal. We had crabs, clams, steak, lobster, etc.. Then we attended the Ball. We performed all of our duties. It was a great night. We then retired to town to wrap it up. A dozen NCO's in Dress Blues.

We ended up at a Country bar north of Woody's in Havelock, NC. I cannot remember the name of the bar. The owner was awesome. He let any Marine run a tab until payday and he had the best sautee'd onion smothered cheeseburgers in the state!

A group of civilian losers decided to challenge us to a few games of pool. After the third game, the lead loser threatened Sgt. Saylor with a cue. Sgt. Saylor calmly told him to relinquish the cue and stand down or bad things would happen. Said loser refused, and yes bad things happened. I've never seen cops in my life that helped me out like that. We slept soundly in our racks that night while some locals explained their actions to the local Police. God Bless Marines. Semper Fi is not just a couple of Latin words!


Hey, Sgt Grit:
When I was at Camp Pendleton in Nov of 1968 going to Field Medical School, the Corpsmen's barracks was across the street from the enlisted club at Del Mar. That was very fortunate for several corpsmen, especially me. I had consumed plenty of beer and was "over the top" in the ability to handle it. The MPs politely threw me out. I knew I'd had it. So I started crawling across the street toward the barracks. A bus happened along about then. I knew I was dead meat and collapsed in the street. The driver laid on the horn. Eventually some Marines came out to see what the noise was. They kindly carried me off the road where I was eventually able to crawl into the barracks. That was the first time a Marine saved my life.

Later a buddy came back. He crawled into his top rack. During the night he rolled over and fell out of bed breaking a rib and puncturing his lung. He didn't go to sickcall for a couple days. When we ran thru the soft sand during PT, he dropped out. We knew he was seriously sick then. He went to sick call and was admitted. He finished up with the next class.
v I plan this year to go easier on the beer this year with my Marine pals. Besides, I'm too old for a hangover.

Semper Fi!
Doc Chuck Hancock

11/10/51, I was serving with C-1-7(yes, Suicide Charley) and we were on the lines. We owned a horseshoe shaped set of hills, and the Gooks owned a razorback that came right down the middle of the horseshoe. Sometime in the middle of the afternoon, we heard a lot of noise and I came out of my bunker to see what was going on. There was a Marine observation plane, with an approx. 150 ft.streamer trailing, which read in very large letters' Happy Birthday MARINES'. One of the doors had been pushed to the rear and a Marine was leaning out and hanging on to a wing strut, waving to us and shouting 'happy birthday'. He continued up the line, out of my sight, when I heard small arms fire. We heard (not official) that he cut over the razorback and was shot down. Never heard anything more. That year, we didn't attend a birthday party, THE MARINES brought it to us.

Semper Fi ........
Reedville, VA

Sgt Grit

We will be having our annual Tom Grosvenor Memorial Marine Corps Birthday Breakfast for Toys for Tots on Saturday Nov 12th. We started this in 1983. In the past 22 years we raised more than $25,000.00. All the money goes to Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots. The menu is SOS, eggs, toast and a lot of coffee Marine Corps style.

This started because Tom came home in 1970 and we would call each other on Nov 10th and wish each other happy birthday. Tom suggested we should have SOS and eggs for breakfast on Nov 10, 1983. So in 1983 we got together and invited 13 Marines for breakfast. We had an old Army cook fix us our SOS, eggs and toast. Now we have over 150 Marines and the cook is a Gysgt retired Marine.

Semper Fi
Ken L. Grosvenor, USMC
361 N. Alleghany Rd
Grayslake, IL. 60030-1439
Home 847-223-2468

Parris Island, 25 December 1962. Fantastic feast of excellent food in the First Battalion Mess Hall. We of course stuffed ourselves, and only about half the platoon was in formation when the Drill Instructor came out. After returning to the Squad Bay, those of us who had returned on time stood at attention and watched the late ones do 227 side straddle hops. Afterward they had to swab up the vomit.

Lamar Reynolds

Short Rounds

Squat thrusts until you see your reflection in a pool of sweat dog breath.

Semper Fi
Sgt JD

Sgt. Grit,

It has been over 38 years since I have done a squat thrust. I completely forgot about this former favorite activity of mine.

Thanks for reminding me! I have now included this exercise in my daily workout routine. To date, I have almost completed one for the Corps.

Semper fi
Jim Collier

Thousands of them......Ready, begin....Those were actually Bends and Woopies, if you recall.


Remembering PI in ' 66....I never got the ok to quit the Squat Thrusts when I got tired......

Mark "RAMBO" Gallant

They are Terrorist, NOT insurgents!

Just learned today 20 Oct that MOH recipient Col Reggie Myers was in a nursing home. Myers got his MOH in Korea on 29 Nov 50. Last time I saw him was during Mess Night earlier this year and he was quite frail then, I think a prayer sure wouldn't hurt.

"Doc" Stark Riviera Beach, Fl.

Sgt Grit Happy Thanksgiving to you and all the Marines so far from home. I would have appreciated a note Of best wishes during WWII- a lucky Marine

Bob Burton

col cook, my sentiments exactly. gung ho! for you younger grunts. incidentally, gung ho was IT before oooraah. so, anywhere you hear "oooraah" just plug in "gung ho" and you're in the crotch of the 40s and 50s. in fact chesty and the china marines would have been familiar with the expression while in shanghai in late 30s.

michael crane

Git'R Done

We don't promise you a rose garden.

Gung Ho
Welcome Home!
Sgt Grit

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