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I wanted to share a very proud moment for me, while on leave back home in Washington state. As with a lot of fellow Marines when on leave I run around to see everybody. I was crossing on a ferry to see my dad at Christmas time, and I was wearing my dress blues. I decided to go up to get a paper. When I was in the passenger compartment this little girl asked her mother. "Mommy is that the captain?" Her mother replied "no honey, that's a Marine." My chest swelled, and a smile came across my face. I don't think that I have ever been so proud.

Semper Fi,
A.L. Brown,
Cpl 2131
USMC Ret.
93-99



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CHAPLAIN'S CORNER
By Bob Boardman

Our Mortality

"O death, where is thy sting?
O grave, where is thy victory?"
1 Corinthians 15

A hearty Semper Fi greeting to each of you in the beginning of the year 2006! May it be a year full of spiritual blessings and may you grow in grace and in the knowledge of the amazing ways of our sovereign Lord.

Looking back on the year 2005, I have several deep impressions. One of the most vivid is the number of comrades and good friends who have passed into eternity.

In my daily schedule and business notebook I keep a list of friends who have died. I began keeping the list in 1993 and to date have a total of 107 names. Last year, 2005, there are 24 names, averaging two per month who took the journey of no return........... Read More


Dear SGT. Grit-
I would like to thank you for this letter. I have been enjoying it since my son became a Marine. The other day I was at the store and the checker noticed my "Proud mother of a Marine " pin that I wear. She said something that I never realized bothered me. She said "You must be so proud". I was stunned. I never realized that until that moment, no one that did not know me, had ever said that to me before. I usually get "Oh I hope he doesn't have to go over to Iraq". And that is why I am writing this letter. When my son told me he wanted to become a Marine, I asked why the Marines? After 15 months, I now know the answer to that question. The Marines are a group like no other. When my son joined, the war was under way. He did not join in spite of the challenges that lie ahead, he joined BECAUSE of the challenges ahead. He knew full well that he would be sent to the big sand box at some point. You have to be a member of the Marine Corps family to understand this. I am tired of the media talking about our slain military men and women as if their deaths mean nothing. When all is said and done, pride and honor is all that the families of these fallen souls have left. Some in this country want to take that away. Why can't they understand that our Marines and other military personnel know the situation before they join? We do not have a draft, and yet, each month there are graduations of more Marines. Being a Marine is not a way to get a free education. Someone once told me that the reason the military tell a different story as to what is happening in Iraq than the media is because our men and women in uniform are brainwashed. Let me make this perfectly clear. There are no Kool-Aid drinkers in the Marine Corps. Kool-Aid drinkers cannot think for themselves. They rely on others for their thoughts and opinions. I would like to point out that our Marines are more capable of thinking for themselves than any civilian. This is how the majority of them live for months on end in a hostile environment and come home to tell about it. They know more about thinking quickly and thinking for themselves than any of us. Their very lives and the lives of their brethren depend on it. I found out today that my son has asked to be deployed to Iraq. Yes I cried. Not tears of sadness, but tears of pride like I have never known. This is why my son joined. It is like a firefighter who goes through all the training and never gets to fight a fire. So if anyone out there knows Lance Corporal Matthew Pallardy, next time you see me, ask me if I am proud. Do not waste my time patronizing me with hopes that he doesn't see Iraq. I would never deny him the honor, courage and pride of fulfilling his service to his country.

Extremely Proud mother of Lance Corporal Matthew Pallardy
Kimberly Zinn
Semper Fi


"True patriotism sometimes requires of men to act exactly contrary, at one period, to that which it does at another, and the motive which impels them-the desire to do right-is precisely the same." -Robert E. Lee


Thank You
To all our fellow Marines that are still in harms way; Thank You for your unselfishness. As I type this letter I'm sadden by those Marines who don't go home to their families every night. So maybe tonight we'll give an extra hug to our loved ones to replace the hugs that can't be given by them to their loved ones. As we enjoy life's little moments; sip a cold drink, watch T.V., slide in between clean sheets, take a shower, listen to the laughter of our children or grandchildren, or as we listen to the sounds of quiet night, give thanks to those who give us these privileges now. Let us all remember when it was our turn to serve and protect the ones who agree and disagree with us, as it is today. Remember to give Thanks everyday. Enjoy and value your freedom Marines; it doesn't come without a high cost to all of us.

Sgt D. Ortiz
USMC (HML 267, HML 367)


Sgt. Grit,
On September 27th, 2005 I received a call from my husband (then Cpl) Sgt. Klepper from Iraq where he was serving with G. Co Raiders 2nd Bn, 2nd Mar. He called to let me know he got "one of those d*mn medals". Knowing immediately he meant the Purple Heart, a medal nobody really "wants" to get. He said not to worry he needed a "little surgery". Worried? Uh, excuse me?! Of course I was worried. The man that means most to me was hurt. He was near Karmah when his humvee was near an IED, flipping it into a canal full of water, trapping his leg underneath. The damage? One broken ankle on both sides of his leg, a shrapnel wound about the size of a beer can once it was removed, a burn or two, and seven surgeries, two plates and 16 screws.

We began the long journey of healing together. However, I wanted to have the support of other wives who had been there done that so to speak. I was put into contact with two other wives, who I must say, seem much stronger than I felt. Of course I know that of course my husband's injuries could have been much worse, but nonetheless I was, and am, still going through some of the same emotions and trials that others have been and unfortunately will be until there are no more wars to fight.

In October I met with these two ladies, and we came up with a support group for loved ones of our Wounded Warriors here at Camp Lejeune, as well as the MCAS New River. I want to let everyone know that there is indeed some place that they can go to for support and comfort from people that have walked in their shoes.

We are very excited about this new beginning here. I just wanted to let other wives, husbands, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters know that there are others that know your pain and stresses. Don't feel alone any longer. Please, let your Marines know that we love care and appreciate all they do to keep us safe. In the past, present, and future, we can get through this together.

Semper Fi and God Bless,
Becky Klepper, proud and loving wife!


Tell Sgt. Grit that Sgt. Storm & Sgt. Frank had two Pvt.Boy's
11/27 at 4:30 pm.
Jeffrey J. Butkus--- OKC


Sarg,

The name "Marine" elicits many different images in the minds of many people. Those of us who are members of the Marine Corps Family understand what it means to be a Marine. It is hard for non-Marines to comprehend what the title "MARINE" means. Here are four views of what a Marine is, from four different individuals. These differing views form a wonderful picture of the great Marine Corps heritage. Marines, as you read these thoughts, think about the pride, dedication and hard work it has taken over these 230 years of Marine Corps history to bring us to today.

We talk about the "Old Corps" and the "New Corps". We compare what was and what is and what will come in the future, but there is one distinct difference between the Marine Corps and the other branches of the military: In the Marine Corps, the newest Private and the Commandant of the Marine Corps are both, first and foremost, proud to call themselves - MARINE!

"Marines are about the most peculiar breed of human beings I have ever witnessed. They treat their service as if it were some kind of cult, plastering their emblem on almost everything they own, making themselves up to look like insane fanatics......." An anonymous Canadian Citizen
http://usmcshop.grunt.com/grunt/productr.asp?pf_id=wt2

* * * * * * * "Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem." President Ronald Reagan http://usmcshop.grunt.com/grunt/productr.asp?pf_id=wt1


* * * * * * * "The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank GOD for the United States Marine Corps!" Eleanor Roosevelt, 1945 http://usmcshop.grunt.com/grunt/productr.asp?pf_id=wt8

* * * * * * * "MARINE. You earned the titled "Marine" upon graduation from recruit training. It wasn't willed to you; it isn't a gift. It is not government subsidy. Few can claim the title; no one may take it away. It is yours forever." Tom Bartlett - Leatherneck Magazine http://usmcshop.grunt.com/grunt/productr.asp?pf_id=wt3

Semper Fi,
Bob Lonn, USMCR, 1963-69


"A vote is like a rifle: its usefulness depends upon the character of the user."
Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States


Our son was in the 11th grade, The Recruiters where all over the school. Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines. They wanted to talk to the young, about joining up and going in to some kind of Military after high school. Our son was coming home with all kind's of cards from this branch and that one, he just placed them all in his wallet and went to school as a 11th grader would.

At the end of his 11th grade 2004, our Josh came to us to say that he decide to join the Marines. It would be and early enter program, witch he would have to go and get through high school and then off to boot camp. The recruiter came to the house and talk to us about Josh joining.

Josh was only 17 at the time we signed the papers, he had all ready made up his mind on what he was doing and it would not make a difference on it anyways, because after he turned 18 he would be able to do it on his own.

On the second day of December, 2004. Our son got a Promotion to Private First Class (MERITORIOUSLY). The promotion date was to be effective for June 30, 2005. That was the date that he was to be going to Parris Island for his boot camp training.

Josh was still in high school and he all ready had a lot of his friends join up in to the Marine Corps, Some had all ready came back from boot camp on there 10 day leave. Josh had the right out look on life and what the true filling on living freement.

I am just so PROUD of this young MARINE that I just can not put it all in to words, I just wish him all the luck in all that he may encounter in his next 5 years. (He is training as an M.P.O ) and my heart goes out to all that has served our great FREE country.

Semper FI Mom of a fine MARINE.


"Justice is a certain rectitude of mind whereby a man does what he ought to do in circumstances confronting him."
-St. Thomas Aquinas


Dear Sgt. Grit:
With press still somewhat embedded and still not yet able to distinguish between what to show and what to leave in a war zone, most of the time the only good news and positive comments I read/hear in a week are from your newsletter. It gives me a better perspective, and just keeps me going every week I read it. Thank you for your forum. Thanks you to all our brothers and sisters in arms and most especially thanks to their families who make so many sacrifices that most Americans never see or have a desire see. Our children and grandchildren will reap the benefits of a freer world, as well as accept the mantle to protect, defend, and love the USA. Just wanted to share a story with you that I think you all may appreciate. So here goes...

Just before Thanksgiving this year I picked up a local paper to see that the paper had given bigger headlines to a group of protesters than to the city giving thanks to the veterans on Veterans Day. Needless to say, I nearly blew a gasket, just looking at the headlines, not yet reading the articles or looking at the pictures.

Examining the page further, I saw pictures of the protesters with signs having a great time on the street corner they "party" on every Friday, except if it is "too hot " or "too cold" or if it is "rainy." More information just got me beyond a blown gasket and into just full-speed ahead pi$$ed off. They all said they "support the troops, but not the war." The asinine statements just got worse and worse. So I wrote a letter to the editor chewing his a$$ for over shadowing the vets day with these jacka$$es. He even published my letter with the invitation that they all go to North Korea and throw their party there. The letter telling the editor off and saying if they supported the troops they would be helping deployed troops families, deployed troops and the veterans in veterans hospitals, etc, was published. Of course I had to go "visit" them. Usually, to avoid the filthy bunch, I do my errands a different day then they party. When I parked my vehicle where they could see it, and the attached Grit USMC stickers and plate frames, they just HAD to say something to me and TRY to hand me some PROPAGANDA. The first one came up to me and asked me, "Don't you hate it when people die in war?"

"Well, of course if they are Americans."

Then the old wannabe hippy leader who has misguided these young small-minded idiots walked over to me. He finally gets a look at my "Proud Marine Mom" plate frame and sticker asks me, "What right do you have to advocate war?"

I asked him, in response, "What makes you think I advocate war?"

He responded with, "Well, anyone who is proud of a son in the Marines has to be war monger! I was in the Air Force during Vietnam and I hate war."

"Well, where were you stationed? How old are you? How long were you in the military ? When were you in??"

And he says, I $hit you NOT, Grit, " Well, I was in 2 months and was in Texas...and I am 40 years old. I was in during the Vietnam police action."

By this time his group of mindless followers had gathered around, along with a few shoppers from the street. Of course, being a shy wallflower I had to tell him what he just told me. "So you did not make it through basic training? If you are 40 you were born in 1965-d*mnation you were a tot then during the war in Vietnam. Right? Yeah, you were a tot because we all know the war was from 1959-75. You were born during the war then Right So were you drafted at an early age?"

By now, we had a crowd staring with their mouth open and their signs down at their sides. So one of the other protesters asked me, "Who the F%$&? are you and how can you talk to him like that?"

I left them with this, "I am from a family that has served the United States since before it was a nation, going back to the French and Indians Wars. Every generation of my family continues to give back to a country that is the best in the world. I am a mother, a mother-in-law, a widow and a veteran of the Vietnam War who has seen death, and held dying solders as they passed from this life to the next one. I want peace and freedom for the future grandchildren I pray for, but do not yet have. AND I HATE WAR more than any of you can ever know. So don't say you believe in something if you aren't willing to sacrifice for it. You people don't even protest on hot or cold days. Soldiers, sailors and Marines don't have that option because they are protecting all of us, even those of you who are ignorant and ungrateful. Maybe you ought to talk to real veterans instead of this pathetic lying piece of worthless pig sh!t who could not even make it through Basic Training! Maybe you should contact some local veterans groups and get some real veterans to talk to and get a real story."

That's my story. Haven't seen the folks out there in three weeks, since my encounter. Sure hope the truth had something to do with discouraging them.

A shy old WAC


"The best and only safe road to honor, glory, and true dignity is justice."
-George Washington


i don't know how to really start this letter, but i lost a son in 1-24-04 while on a training flight at camp Pendleton, ca. he had already served a year in Iraq and we thought he was home safe, were we ever wrong. while on a training flight they hit a power tower in tolega canyon, north west of Pendleton. while on my way to the job site on that morning, on the radio i heard of 4 marines that were killed in a helicopter crash. i knew who was on board.

i did not need to see the marine casualty squad , who came to the job site to report the accident.. can't write anymore


"The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any- price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living, and the get-rich-quick theory of life." -Theodore Roosevelt


Sgt. Grit,
First I must say how much I enjoy the news letters. They all are great and what a way to spend time in the house during these cold dark winter days. It seems that I go from 67 years old to 17 again. (thanks for the memories) Maybe I can say I have double the memories of boot camp, MCRD San Diego. I was first in Plt.#238 and then in #241 because I was sent to sick bay with pneumonia. Now if any of my drill instructors from 1956 February to June read this I say thank you. It wasn't easy but you made it easy for my later years. I have to mention your names because for all these years you were in my sight. (Like watching over me) Plt# 238 Staff Sgt. English, Sgt. Roderick. Plt# 241 Tech.Sgt Brathoud, and Sgt. Gebbia. Late September 05' I had the opportunity to go to MCRD San Diego with a group form the Sea Going Marines Association, to view graduation and believe me I will remember this for ever. What a feeling to think I was once a part of a group like that. An experience all old Marines should do. (I say old because there are no ex Marines) In 2004 I went to MCRD Parris Island also for graduation with the Assoc. I want to invite all Sea Going Marines to get in touch and see what your missing when we get together. Go to www.seagoingmarines.com for all the Information.

Semper Fi
God Bless Our Troops
Ray DeGroot Mar Det USS YORKTOWN 56'- 58'
Rd9252 @ comcast .net


Good day:

The son of some close friends just sent their son off to Navy boot camp. His "A" School will be Hospital Corpsman. He knew he'd serve FMF. He is anxious to get his training behind him and serve with FMF Marines as a Grunt Corpsman. He heard me say several times that being a Corpsman serving with Marines is the most satisfying way to serve in the Military. He is 21 and wanted to move out of his parents house. His parents fully support him. I can't wait to see him after Field Med School in his greens.

OOhrahhh! Get some!
Proud Friend of Jason Bebo
Doc Chuck Hancock
1967-71


Sgt. Grit,

Hard to believe that we've been corresponding and I've been reading your Marine Mail for what, eight years now?

Since I left (retired) Camp Pendleton as Assistant Chief of Staff, Operations and Training in August last year, I've been keenly focused on my new position as Chief Operating Officer for Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. You would really like the "New" Pearl Harbor. It has more Marine influence than ever before.

Below is a short article that I'd like you to consider inclusion of the next "Sgt Grit American Courage Newsletter." It is about Marines, for Marines and for those that love and respect Marines. Please look it over and let me know what you think:

Marines of the USS Arizona

Some big changes have been recently made at Pearl Harbor. If you are a veteran or simply one that wants to honor your country, you will like the changes. If you are a Marine - you will LOVE the changes.

Most any American, high school age or older, can tell you about the horrific attack Japan made on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. Some can even tell you about the 1177 service members that have never left the USS ARIZONA. What few of our citizens realize, is that there was a US Marine detachment aboard that great ship, most of which are still entombed where they died.

For the most part, it is only the sailors that are readily remembered for that fateful day. Although the Marines have not been deliberately ignored, they tend to be forgotten and "out of sight, out of mind."

On 10 November 2005, that "oversight" was rectified.

Up to the plate steps Patrick T. Brent; Marine, hugely successful businessman and consummate patriot. Without asking for a single dollar or permission, he erected the USS Arizona Marine Remembrance to honor the 73 Marines that rest eternally on that great ship, and the 15 Marines of the MARDET that survived.

When our Commandant, General Michael Hagee got wind of the effort, he insisted on personally participating in the dedication. Accompanied by the Marine Forces Pacific Band and Col Jack Earle, the senior surviving member of the Marine Detachment, the ceremony evoked an out-flowing of both emotion and honor for our fallen brothers.

Photos of that now historic dedication can be accessed at the web site: www.pearlharborvisitorcenter.com

We welcome all to come visit. If you have ever worn the uniform of a US Marine, be sure to ask for Col John R. Bates USMC (ret). He would like to give you a personal tour of the flagpole Marine Remembrance and take good care of you while visiting Pearl Harbor. He can be reached at 808-546-1942. Please come spend some time with us during your next tour at Pearl Harbor.

Semper Fidelis, Col John R. Bates USMC (ret)


"All see, and most admire, the glare which hovers round the external trappings of elevated office. To me there is nothing in it, beyond the luster which may be reflected from its connection with a power of promoting human felicity."
-- George Washington


Joe Blanck wrote about performers for the troops. Watch the GAC and CMT channels (country music on DSS and other satellite networks). There are a lot of Country music performers that visit troops, support troops and families and are producing a lot of patriotic music. The Fox News channel has a lot of people that visit troops (Col North et al) regularly. Both here and overseas. I agree though I wish there were more Hollywood types that would get on board instead of trying to subvert freedom and America.
Semper Fi Joe.


DG Ward, Sgt of Marines, 71-75.


I joined the corps in 1969. Having never been anywhere or done anything challenging in my life up to then. R. Lee Ermey once talked of how he could teach a recruit much better if he could put his hands on him. My D I gave me plenty of hands on training among other things and I learned. No other challenge in my life was as hard and I have faced my life since then unafraid. In 1970 I did a tour of duty in Viet Nam. (served in fox 2/7 and kilo 3/5) (just another bush Marine grunt) In 1995 my youngest son joined the Marine Corps and when I went to see him graduate from Parris Island, the place still made me nervous. Now I get together a couple of times a year with my buddy Mike Perdue to celebrate the Corps birthday and just for the h&ll of it. Mike and I were in boot camp together and served together in Viet Nam. We have a few drinks and tell a few lies, and my son joins in. Its great to be a Marine because it made me what I am. Thanks for the Memories. SEMPER FI
Tracy Holler Lcpl USMC 1969-1971


I would like to show my love and pride for a very good friend. L/cpl Jonathan Kyle Price 19 yrs. old gave the Ultimate Sacrifice on Fri. the 13th of Jan., while guarding engineers in Iraq. Kyle was an exceptional young man and had planned many years to be a proud Marine! So many lives were enriched by knowing him and he will forever be in our hearts. We proudly salute and SUPPORT all of our men and w

omen that our in harms way for ALL of us! May we NEVER forget the present and past heroes that gave us the freedom we have today.

Proud to be an American!
Janice Milner, Il


Dear Sgt. Grit,

My name is Sgt. Michael Glovicko, I am currently deployed in Afghanistan, I am part of the Oklahoma National Guard, I am writing this because in 1966 my mom joined the Marine Corps She did her two years and got out but I wanted you to know that even though she passed away in July of 2004 her memory is always with me. She was my hero and still is, the only thing I regret is that she does not get to see her grandchildren grow up to reach their full potential in life. I am a NCO in a Infantry Line Unit overseas and I call myself a grunt I love being in the Infantry and I like your newsletter It is awesome and keep up the good work.

A Proud Son Of A Marine From Oklahoma
Sgt. Michael J Glovicko
B co 1-279INF Oklahoma National Guard


"The foundation of our Empire was not laid in the gloomy age of Ignorance and Superstition, but at an Epocha when the rights of mankind were better understood and more clearly defined, than at any former period."

-- George Washington


OLD SAINT NGUYEN
Well, there's strange things done 'neath the Vietnamese sun, But the time that locked MY jaws-- Was the night 'neath the moon that the Third Platoon, Gunned down Santa Claus.

It started out right, just another night, That we had to spend in the dirt. Security was out, 360 about, with 50% alert.

We had 81's, and Naval Guns, and our tanks were track to track, An Ontos or so, an Arty FO, with barrages back to back.

Well, I froze where I stood, when out of the wood, Eight horses came charging along. This may sound corny, but those mustangs were horny, And I thought, "My God! Mounted Viet Cong!"

He came our way, in what looked like a sleigh, You never know what they'll use-- Our flares had tripped, and our SIDs had flipped, And our Tipsies had blown a fuse.

We let him close, and said, "Who goes?", Like they do in the movie shows-- And the answer we got, believe it or not, Was a hearty "HO! HO! HO!"

Our 90's roared, and our 81's soared, and our Naval Guns raised H&ll, A bright red flare flew through the air, As we fired our FPL.

And then I yelled, "Cease Fire!" I went out to take a real close look, And my memory started to race-- Well, my mind plays games when it comes to names, But I never forget a face.

He was dressed in red, and he looked well-fed, Older than most I'd seen--And he looked right weird, in his long white beard, And stumps were his legs had been.

Well, he hadn't quite died when I reached his side, But the end was clearly in sight-- I knelt down low, and he said real slow, "Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a goodnight!"

Well, we should have known that our cools were blown, For the Light in the East we'd seen-- I thought it was flares, and it HAD to be theirs, Or the d*mn things would've been green.

Now, by and by, the kids may cry, 'Cause there's nothing under the tree-- But the word's come back, from FMF PAC, That Santa has gone VC.

1/Lt Pat Gilstrad
3rd Plt., "A" Co., 1st Battalion, 9th Marines Vietnam December 1965

via Sgt. Wolf (Bob Rader)


Hi Don,
Please inform our respected former sojourner in the land of the little rice eaters that Dink Adau is actually a real Vietnamese expression, Dien Co Dau. It means dien = mind, co (coh) = has, dau = pain. It means crazy or nutty in the vernacular. I use it all the time to describe my new relatives. They probably use it amongst themselves when talking about me. If you say it fast like they do, it sounds just like Dink Adau. But if I say dink adau they wont understand me. Must be the rhythm or something. Could be my Boston accent too.

Now that I'm on the subject, many of the expressions we used to believe was pigin English is actually Vietnamese translated into English. They often don't use articles and prepositions in everyday speech. Adjectives usually follow the noun modified but can also be used before them. There are numerous Vietnamese words for you and me depending on age, status and where one's order is in the family. This accounts for why they always point to me and say me. You and me are just too simple to grasp.

Em Di Cho, I am going to go to the market.
Anh Di Tam, I am going to take a shower.


Other expressions are exactly word for word. I saw an advertisement for a Sai Gon hotel's rates and 'short time' was used exactly for a non-overnight use of the room. There is also the expression Ti Ti used for something very small, like ti ti tien, little money. Recently a motorbike taxi offered me his services and said Ti Ti Money. I looked at him and smiled because he was an older guy about our age and knew, he knew, I knew. There is Di which means go. To go fast its di di. To go slow its Cham. To go real slow its Cham Cham. Di Di Mau means exactly as we used it, go fast before something bad happens to you.

All the best
Semper Fi
Richard Brown
Da Nang, VN


Sgt Grit,

To answer Tom Downey's question about the term as he pronounced it dinky dow or dink adau. The correct pronunciation in Vietnamese is din (crazy) dau (head). We would point at someone, then point to our head and say din dau for crazy in the head.

Semper Fi,
Charlie Perry
Once a Marine, always a Marine.
'67-'73 Vietnam Jan '68 to Sept '69


DIEN CAI DAU

Sgt. Grit -

In the January 5 newsletter, Tom Downey asked "Is 'dink adau' or 'dinky dow'....actually Vietnamese, or is it some corruption created by Americans?" It is in fact a Vietnamese phrase which I heard many times by Vietnamese adults and children alike. The Vietnamese spelling is "dien cai dau" and when spoken very fast as all Vietnamese seemed to do, sounded like "dinky dow". The word "dien" means 'mad' or 'demented' (crazy). The word "cai" means 'kick'. The word "dau" means 'stamp' or 'seal'. When capitalized "Dau" means 'cock' (rooster), the 10th cycle in the Vietnamese Zodiac. So, if we accept the first definition of the word "dau", we can say "dien cai dau" means you are "certifiably kicking mad or crazy". If we accept the capitalized version, "dien cai Dau", we can say you are "mad as a kicking rooster" or as in our saying "mad as a wet hen"? Vietnamese is such a difficult language with the various tones/inflections and symbols denoting entirely different things depending on their use and where the accent is placed. So, it is quite possible the ladies at the nail salon, where Tom's wife goes, did not recognize the phrase due to his or his wife's inflection. Tom, now that you have the spelling of "dien cai dau", show the words to the Vietnamese ladies. I would be interested in hearing what they have to say about their meaning.

Semper Fi, Ed Moore


Marine in an Army Uniform

To those Marines who are wearing a different uniform now, give 'em h&ll! I served as a Marine SGT 1967-71 with service in DaNang 69-70. I got out in 1971 and after a 10-year break in service I decided to enter the reserves but the Marines would not give me a medical waiver for hearing damage (I suffered as a Marine by the way). So, I joined the National Guard and attended the state's OCS program in my last year of eligibility and became a butter bar at age of 32. I found if you live up to the standards you learned as a Marine you will be very successful. The guard recognizes former Marines and uses the h&ll out of them. My son tried the guard after he spent 4 years as a Marine and found himself giving classes on the SAW and small unit tactics within a couple of drills. As I near the end of my military career, those years spent as a Marine were the absolute best. While I would have preferred joining the Marine reserves, I have no regrets joining the National Guard. I've spent active tours since 9/11 in the Pentagon's Army Operations Center and in a Joint billet with USJFCOM that found me in a little county called Djibouti. Just do your best to bring some Marine culture wherever you serve.

Marine trapped in an Army Uniform
Tom Simpson
Colonel, NJARNG


One of our new members came up with an idea for the 25th Remembrance and I think it's just what we need. He would like to do a walk, not just a small walk, but 273 miles. One mile for each name on our wall. It's called the "Beirut Remembrance Walk" this is all still in the planning stage but we will some how do it. Many of us are planning to walk with him, 11 miles a day till we reach the Beirut Memorial. Our starting point is not yet set, our rout, food, water, and places to sleep are still being worked out. If any of you would like to help let me know. It will be in 2008 and we are going to get to the wall on the 23rd. By doing this we hope to bring attention to our Beirut Veterans and Family Members we want to be remembered.

I'm trying to get some movie stars, singer, entertainers, and news media to walk with us, even if it's for a short time. If any of you know anyone like this can you find out if they would like to do this?

Or if you have any ideas, let me know.

Semper Fidelis

"The First Duty is to Remember"
(Motto of the Beirut Veterans of America)

John E. Oliver
LCpl/0311
H&S Co. ~ C Co.
BLT 1/8, 24th MAU
Beirut, Lebanon 1983


To the mother of a Marine who called this "a useless war" in Issue # 113, I wonder, when the day comes and your son is deployed, will you have the guts to say that to him when he returns? You see, my husband will be leaving for his third deployment soon. Our Marines are trained to do a job. And they are trained to do it well. To anyone who has a Marine in their hearts, do not use words like that with them. Show them you appreciate them. Tell them you love them. With all that you are. And for all that they are. When you lie down at night, tell them you love them. They hear it somehow. Tell yourself with each passing day that you are one day closer. But more than anything, support them. Cook their favorite meals. Listen to their stories if they want to share them. Love them. All of our Marines. All of our military. Just don't tell them what they have and will do is useless. In my opinion, any American who will say this is "useless" is not a true American. You do not have to support it. You do not have to like it. But, do not make our men and women feel "useless". I appreciate you all. Past and Present.

We love you all.
CB


I enjoy receiving and reading the thoughts of my fellow service men and women, and their relatives. It is a refreshing dose of reality in a confused world. It does seem strange that the very people in this country that complain and work against the military can do so because the armed forces has made it and currently are making that position possible. Think about it, it is obvious to all who follow the campaign in the Middle East that the war is being conducted by groups not from Iraq or Afghanistan but from groups brought in and harbored and supported by neighboring countries. The day the US pulls out these terrorists will come in and undo all the good that has been done, then they attack and take over the surrounding nations, and the world loses the entire area. Hate and fanaticism knows no geographical limits. We found that out on 9/11, my greatest fear has been realized for we can see that the protesters have long since forgotten the 3,000 civilians that perished that infamous day not long ago. They could care less, they just want to pursue their agenda.

Dear fellow military, always know in your heart that the majority of the American people are with you in thought and prayer. As far as the media goes they reminds me of a saying my Staff Sergeant Novak, my Senior DI often used, "A lie repeated often enough becomes the truth." I add, especially if it is printed. The sad fact is our detractors would be the first to perish if the fanatics attack us again, they embody every thing the our opponents is against.

Hang tough, Semper Fi.

Jim Borgman
Feb 54 - Feb 64
Sgt USMC


"Natural rights [are] the objects for the protection of which society is formed and municipal laws established."
-- Thomas Jefferson


Sgt Grit:

I enjoy your newsletter. I am a retired Mustang Captain of Marines who wishes I could turn back the clock 40 years and rejoin the ranks of our brothers. I had the privilege of leading four different rifle companies in my career, one in combat in Vietnam , and as a Rifle Company XO in Santo Domingo. I served with 1/8, 3/3, and 2/9.

Others, I am sure would like to serve. Here's how: Join or establish a Young Marine unit. The Young Marines is the best youth development program in the country. We take boys & girls 8 years old through High School and teach them our values and that Semper Fidelis is not just a Latin catch phrase, but a way of life. It is not in our mission to recruit future Marines, but to give our charges the tools they need to succeed in the real world as adults. However, one young man in my unit was selected to attend the Naval Academy, another recently won a four year college scholarship through the Platoon Leaders Class. I accept no juvenile delinquents or those with serious behavior problems, only those who are motivated to get ahead.

The program is run entirely by adult, registered volunteers. Volunteers must pass a background investigation and be recommended, in writing by three prominent citizens not related to them. Then they must pass muster of the C.O. and other officers. I accept no applications of any parents who have a child in recruit training for obvious reasons. Selected leaders must comply with USMC grooming standards and adopt our mind set. Volunteers don't have to be Marines, only the C.O. has to be. I have two civilians and a retired USAF MSgt who is an ordained Protestant Minister and doubles as our unit Chaplain. When we take our kids to the field for training, we don't have to worry about getting them home in time to go to church. The "Padre" holds sunrise services in the field.

For more information, contact www.youngmarines.com
We drill every Saturday morning from 0800 to 1200. Parents must make a commitment to ensure the YM lives Semper Fidelis 24/7. We send evaluations to each parent, and teacher every 3 months to learn how our charges are developing. One big satisfaction to me is getting a call from a teacher wanting to know what we do to these kids; they are the best behaved and most studious kids in their classrooms. I explain we demand they make the grades of which they are capable and to set a positive example to their peers.

I am the C.O. of the Robertson County Young Marines, 1st Bn, Tennessee Regt. I can be contacted at F29Green @ aol .com.

Capt L. S. Green USMC (Ret)
1955-1975


"Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time, who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done, if we are always doing."
-Thomas Jefferson


Sgt.Grit...
Back in March of last year, my Marine was seriously wounded while at Camp LeJuene..it happened at around 2 am in the morning, and the family did not know until about 8a.m..I was as you can well imagine a nervous wreck. I tried to call the hospital to get information on my son, but he had in his condition (he had a broken neck,etc) forgotten to put down My # on his info sheet..anyway, they somehow managed to retrieve my number from his cell phone, and it was the Marine Chaplain that called me. I was of course terrified, expecting the worse when I heard the words, "Broken Neck, Paralysis, punctured lung, etc."the Chaplain then informed me he was on his way to Greenville to see my son at that very moment, all the while the DE Detachment Marine Corps League had gotten me a round trip ticket to get my son, the Chaplain then prayed with me and said he would get back to me as soon as he could & when he knew something. it wasn't 20 minutes later when he called and told me what was going on, they had to put a halo on my son, and he had tubes of all kinds going to various parts of his body. He assured me he would stay as long as he could and would keep me updated (which he did) in the meantime, my sons Battalion Captain & Gunny Sgt were in touch with me, trying to calm me down and explaining what had happened...The Marine Moms were wonderful to me also and were an awesome blessing, as they had all dipped into their pockets to collect money for me to get up there on and for food etc..This Marine Family is a special BLESSING, they have a bond that is virtually unbreakable. As I was on the way to airport, the Chaplain called me again telling me that Chad had awakened for a couple minutes. could talk a little and looked as good as could be expected for having been in such a serious wreck. and that a Marine Mom had gone in there giving my son a phone card with 1500 minutes on it...I have to tell you this Marine Mom was in tears at all the unexpected kindnesses that were shown to me during this time, the hands reaching out to touch me with the many kindnesses were absolutely awesome & overwhelming. I can never in this lifetime repay the many kindnesses shown to me...Between the Chaplain, the Battalion Captain & Gunny Sgt.calling me all the way to my departure time and on my stops along the way showed this Marine Mom my precious son was being very well taken care of, and Lee Pascasio & his detachment were wonderful also...he had someone to pick me up at the airport and take me straight to my son, as son as Ron entered the room, my son tried so very hard to salute him, and I couldn't help it, I finally burst into tears after telling myself I wouldn't...I was trying to be so very brave for my son...the gentleman and his wife were kind towards me & Chad. as was Lee Pascasio & his wife, for they took myself & Chad's girlfriend out to eat the next night, and they made sure I had a motel room to stay at across from the hospital were my son was...all in all this whole experience has opened up this Marine Mom's eyes & heart as to what the Marine Corps are about. The love & the bond is there...and they are willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to get done whatever it takes to get the job down...I am so very humbled and very proud to know these awesome & wonderful people. and if you don't mind I would like to acknowledge these people here in this letter. The Marine Corps Chaplain, and The Battalion(4th MEB)Captain & Gunny Sgt..& Chad's company. The Marine Moms & Dads, Lee pascasio & the Downeast Detachment in Greensville who also went above & beyond the call of duty, plus getting me the airline ticket & motel room and transportation. Ron & his wife for picking me up and taking me to my son. and to Nancy & her husband who took the phone cards to Chad, also all the Marine Moms who donated me the Money to help me to & from...you all will never know what this has meant to me & my family...Chad is still healing and going thru a recovery process, he is going thru a period of frustrations and anger. Which is as I understand, only all to normal for what has happened to him. I am so very grateful to the Marine Corps Family & friends, and my hat is off to all of ya'll..May God Bless you & Keep you.

SEMPER FI
Kaci Jo Behrens


"[M]y religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to be always ready, no matter when it may overtake me. That is the way all men should live, and then all would be equally brave." -Thomas Stonewall Jackson


Dear Sgt. Grit,

Well, this letter is pretty hard for me to write. I had heard a number of years ago that WWII veterans were dying at the rate of 1000 a day. I found that to be a very sad statistic, but that's all it was: A statistic. That was until 30 November 2005. That was when my father, Lt. Col. Charles D. Corpening, USMCR- Retired passed away.

Sure, Dad lived a good long 84 years of life. Up until the end when he had to have a triple bypass, he was a fighter. He survived the surgery, but unfortunately, his organs started failing, and he passed away a week later.

At his visitation at Bopp Funeral Home in Kirkwood, MO, his buddies from the Marine Corps League came out and did a Pass in Review for him. The Chaplain said some nice words, then they all filed single file past his casket, each rendering a sharp salute to the US Flag, and a soberingly slow, mournful salute to my Dad. There was a lot of Kleenex being used to dry a lot of tears.

The next day at the Cemetery, there was a full detail of Marines in their Dress Blues. There is no service with a more impressive uniform than The United States Marines. When the Hearse entered the parking lot, all of the Marines came to attention, and they offered the same slow salutes, and the rifle detail gave rifle salutes. The Pastor said a few words, and then the Marines fired the 21 gun salute, played taps, then folded the flag and gave it to the Gunny. The Gunny gave the flag to Lt. Col. G. S. Johnston, I&I of 3/24 (My Dad had been the CO of 3rd BN 24th Marines in the early 1960's.) The Col came over to me, kneeled down and said, "On behalf of a grateful nation, the President of the United States, and the Commandant of the Marine Corps..." Then the Gunny came over and gave me 3 casings from the 3 volleys that were fired by the rifles. I had never heard of this being done--I gave one to each of my 2 sisters. There wasn't a dry eye in the house...

The Marines in the honor guard did a magnificent job, especially considering the fact that the temp was barely in the mid 20's.

At the reception afterwards, I had the opportunity to talk with some of the men who served under my Dad during WWII and Korea. They had a lot of great stories to tell me about their times on Guadalcanal, Okinawa, Chosin, and lots of other places they had been, and which I had no idea Dad had ever been to! What really struck me was that here we were 50 years after the fact, 30 years since my Dad had last put on a uniform--and these guys were still calling him, "The Col!" Everyone knows that Commanding Officers p!ss SOMEONE off all the time. I never met a man, woman or child who had anything negative to say about Dad.

I told them the story of the time when Dad came out to MCAS El Toro, CA to promote me to Captain. We went to the Officer's Club where they had a waitress who had been a Penthouse pet. This was the ONLY time in my life I ever heard Dad say anything about another woman's looks: "Yeah, she's kinda cute!" HA! A former Penthouse pet, and she's only kinda cute?!

He was a great Dad, a great father in law, a great husband, and a great Marine. Let me tell you, I really miss him. I'm sure that he and Mom are together again...and I'm pretty sure that my Dad is now guarding the streets in Heaven!

Thanks for letting me share this story. And please give a special thanks to all the Marines--past, present and FUTURE--for their service to our country and to the Corps.

Semper Fidelis,
Major Chuck Corpening, USMCR-Retired


If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, go from us in peace. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!
Samuel Adams


This is in response to Renee Prince about her son's possible deployment.

Renee, I too am a proud mother of a Marine. My son Cpl. Jason Santa Maria enlisted in July 2003. Jason is currently in Iraq on this second deployment with his Marine family from the 1st LAR Bn. Alpha Co. I have been told by his LAV commander Ssgt. J. Lepper that Jason is the best D--- LAV driver he has ever had! The reason I mention this is because it is one thing for a mom to be proud of her son, but it is another thing for me to see the pride he has in himself as a Marine along with the respect he has earned from his Marine family.

Your referring to "Operation Iraqi Freedom" as a USELESS WAR, I hope you do not mean this as a slap in the face to all who have served. I am sure you have not forgotten what happened on 9/11. The United States of America is the leading force of the free world. The U.S. is refusing to be held hostage by these terrorists. I am proud of all of our service personnel that are working hard to keep these terrorists off American soil. If we do not take a firm term stand against these terrorists they will slowly over take each nation that does not take a stand. The war on terrorism will never end. Try not to let the media and politicians convince you that they know what is best for our nation and world. Have Faith in God, our Nation and the President to keep these terrorists out of our cities and schools by fighting them abroad.

The best thing that has ever happened to my son is the Marines. I am sure your son will be better man because of his service to his Nation.

"Freedom Isn't Free"

Keep my son safe!
Proud mom of a Marine!
Janet Fernstrom
Scottsdale Az.


"They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
-Benjamin Franklin


First, God Bless each and every Marine who is and has sacrificed for our country. I couldn't be any prouder to be the mom of a Marine. My only son, Lcpl Christopher Phelps, is one of the proud and few who serves with the 25th Marines currently in Africa. It seems as though he has been deployed for such a long time, and we are eagerly waiting for his return. The loyalty and dedication Marines have is just incredible. We were a little nervous when he decided to join in 2003, but, now know it was the best thing he could have done. When we look at the character our son has , well, I can't even find words to describe how we feel. I also am one of those moms who proudly displays stickers and a Marine flag on my suv. I am one of those moms that loves to talk to Marines I come across and always Thank them...I wear my Marine bracelet etc...I also probably brag a little too much.. I want to thank you for this web site. I look forward to reading all of the letters. Sometimes with tears. I always forward them to my son for him to enjoy. God Bless all and hopefully bring all of our men and women home soon. Prayers are with you.

An Incredibly Proud Mom
Semper Fi
Rhonda Phelps


My stepson, Cpl. Brian T. Jackson, Echo Btry 2/11 is on his 3rd deployment to Iraq. He didn't need to go but he extended his enlistment to make the trip. The pic is him on the road into Baghdad at the start of Iraqi Freedom, I guess he knows what's important. Myself, I were a Gunners Mate USN, '73-77. No trips to the Nam for me, my brother and friends handled that. I spent time on the Nashville, an Amphib. My experience with the crotch was you always slid down ladders and left black heel marks on freshly waxed decks. All I can say is the Corps helped my son become a Man. I am glad you guys are on our side. Oohrah.

Stephen J. Essex


Semper Fi Sgt. Grit:

While we are all brother Marines, and share a love of our Corps and our Country, it is certain that we will not always agree with one another. I must take exception with something written by Gary Cagle in the January 19 newsletter ("Asking My Dad"). I feel the point important enough to warrant a response. Referring to Col. Oliver North, Mr. Cagle asserts that "They brought him before their committee and tried to dishonor him and the President he was sworn to protect." I would like to note that when I enlisted in May of 1973, I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, not the President of the United States. I believe this is the same oath that both Mr. Cagle and Col. North would have taken upon induction, as well. Accordingly, I would have to assert that when Col. North was undertaking his operation to fund and support the Nicaraguan contras from his office in the basement of the White House, he was actually subverting the Constitution he had sworn to defend; he was at that time violating the oath he had taken, not fulfilling it. Col. North is a decorated and respected Marine who served his Corps and his Country with distinction, so I would not presume to judge him for his actions at that time. But I believe the point an important one that deserves clarification. The oath we take as Marines is to defend our country's way of life, to support and defend that document, so revered throughout the world, that breathes life into our system of government and provides hope to oppressed people everywhere. It is the Constitution, and those who have defended it with their blood and with their lives, that makes us a free people today. We may hope to remain so only so long as we remember where our loyalty lies, what it is that we serve. Semper Fidelis.

Robert Shirley
Sgt USMC 1973-1976


"I pronounce it as certain that there was never yet a truly great man that was not at the same time truly virtuous."
-Benjamin Franklin


I am a Marine wife and my husband is currently deployed to Iraq for the first time. We have been married for nearly eight years and this is the first time we've been apart for longer than a few weeks. We have two beautiful daughters, ages 1 and 6 1/2. I would like everyone to read a poem that my 6 1/2 year old wrote all by herself. We are having a hard time dealing with daddy being gone. Semper Fi!