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"A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul." -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Or

"Reading the newsletter accomplishes the same thing." -Sgt Grit


Jackets and Long Sleeved Tees Sale

Check out our new special, we have these USMC Jackets and Long Sleeved Shirts at 20% off. Over 10 different items on sale!

Friends Don't Let Friends Join the

You know the USMC is the greatest branch of the service! Let your Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and National Guard buddies know it with these "Friends Don't Let Friends Join The ____" shirts. You choose the branch. OohRah! Only available through March 12th...

Last Chance for University Of Shirts

Just added University of "Korea, The Gulf War, Somalia, and Mogadishu!"

If you attended the University of "Afghanistan, Kabul, Beirut, Chu Lai, Con Thien, Da Nang, Iraq, Fallujah, Baghdad, Ar Ramadi, Tikrit, Al Asad, An Nasiriyah, Khe Sanh, MCRD (San Diego), Parris Island, Quantico, or Quang Tri" courtesy of the U.S. Marine Corps - we have a shirt for you. T-shirt, sweatshirt, long sleeved t-shirt, and hooded sweatshirts featuring this new design are only available to order only through February 26th.

Sgt Grit 2007 Marine Corps Calendar Photo Contest

Sgt Grit is gathering photos for a 2007 Calendar! We are looking for photos of Marines (past, present and future), special Marine Corps memories, anything Marine Corps related. Send in your USMC photos. We will pick the best 12 -24 photos and those selected will receive a free calendar and a $15 Gift Certificate.

Cartoons

Have you checked Mark Reid's USMC Cartoon Page lately? Guaranteed to fill you full of Marine Corps Humor...



"There is a rank due to the United States, among nations, which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness." -George Washington


Sgt. Grit,

My son, a Marine LCpl, is currently serving his first tour in Iraq. This past holiday season my daughter's elementary school held a Marine Holiday Drive and collected enough items and money to ship almost 200 packages to our Marines in Iraq as well as other service men and women from our home town who are stationed in other parts of the world including Afghanistan and Okinawa. Although the Marines loved all the "stuff" they received what they felt the best about was the personal hand written letters they received from many of the students at the school. I would like to share one letter from a 4th grader which came from his heart to these Marines.

Front Page:
Picture of an American Flag
May God be with you
From: a new friend

Inside Cover:
Don't give up on hope

Letter:
October 30th 2005

Dear Marine,

My Name is Daniel. I'm in 4th grade. I live on xxx. I'm ten years old. I go to xxx School. I always think about the soldiers in Iraq and how bad it is down there. I thank you for defending our country from terrorists. I hope you come home safely. I hope you restore peace with Iraq. There are a lot of bad things going on in Iraq. I hope you put a stop to it. Halloween and Thanksgiving are around the bend. I can't wait to go trick-or-treating on Monday. I am very very excited to see my family on Thanksgiving. My favorite part of Thanksgiving is the food. I bet your family misses you a lot but I bet they are proud of you. They will be so happy to see you when you get home. Please write back at xxx Road. Best of luck! Sincerely Daniel

Daniel did receive a letter back from a Marine. These kids get it and I am glad they are growing up with the respect they have for our military.

Semper Fi,
Steve - Proud Marine Dad
Wallingford, CT


Dear Sgt Grit...

I felt compelled to write to you. I just received your newest catalog today. A familiar experience in this house.

Anyway I sat down and began to look at each page..... Inside I found so many things my husband had ordered in the past.....from the early hoorah days....to the 1st grandchild days....at which time he ordered all the "Tiny Grunt" wear complete with Teddy Bears....(even though it was a little girl)....

Anyone entering our home could see that I was married to a retired Marine.....and I was proud of it.......

My husband passed very suddenly last year....and as I was going thru your catalog I remembered, laughed and even cried.....I went through each page...and memories came pouring back.....I just wanted you to know that for me your catalog was more than an opportunity to ordered merchandise....it was a memory book....and for that I just wanted to say thank you.......and God Bless

Sincerely,
Geraldine Brakefield


Dear Sgt. Grit,

I just wanted to write you and thank you for posting the letter from Jerry R. Hattox GySgt USMC Ret 1954-1958. It brought me to tears. I honestly never thought about the wives and families of our troops until I began dating a Marine. Here I am today, in Texas, with the love of my life, my fiancé, in Iraq. There is nothing harder to do than to plan your wedding and hope and pray for the best. I have a new respect for military spouses. I admire the wives who have children, work, and still manage to man the fort while their husbands are away. I never knew why they said "Marine Wife - toughest job in the Corps" until now. I am proud of my Marine and would go through a million deployments if I had to do so. I am blessed to have a Marine as my future husband... I have the best.

Thank you, Mr. Hattox, for your kind words. They encouraged me and made me happy to know that someone cares about me. My friends have not been very supportive during this deployment and do not understand my devotion to my Marine, but your letter truly blessed me. Someone does care and knows exactly why it is I do what I do for my Marine. God bless you and God bless the United States Marine Corps!

Ashley Gonzales
Proud USMC fiancée of SSgt. Elder Gomez
Alvin, Texas


I just wanted to write a little note to all of you to let you know that my Fiancé, LCpl Mattice will be deployed to Iraq on March 1st, 2006. He has been in the Marines for under a year, and is very proud of it. Of course he misses his home and his family, but he has some really good "brothers" that are going through the same thing. I am very confident that they will all take care of each other on their deployment overseas. Thank God for our Marines. Also, my fiancé's brother, Cpl Mattice will be deployed to Iraq in June 2006 . He and his fiancé are pregnant with a baby girl, expected to arrive in the beginning of June. Cpl Mattice may miss the birth of his daughter, but we will remind her of her daddy every day.

Amber,
Fiancé of LCpl Mattice,
1/7 Marines & future sister-in-law of Cpl Mattice


My dad was a dedicated motivated 2/6 Force Recon Marine who passed away on 2/6 of 2003. The first thought I had when I got that terrible phone call that day was of him saying "I'm a 2/6 Marine!", and then realizing that it was 2/6 of '03. Having never served in the Corps I consider myself to have grown up in a boot- camp style household and was drilled with the respect and pride of "being a Marine." On 2/6/03 my Recon dad went home. God needed one more Marine to guard the golden gates of Heaven. And at "The Final Inspection" I knew instantly what HE said. "Step forward now, Marine. You've borne your burdens well. Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets. You've done your time in H&ll!" Semper Fi dad! I miss you and Love you!

Your son, John.
ooorah!


To Ruth Murphy-I wish I had been there when the teenage girl called your son a "war-monger". I would had been proud to slap her for you and then kicked her rear end all the way to the door. But, I just bet that little twit's daddy visited Canada back in the early sixties. You go girl. Not having any sons myself, I don't know your worry or your pride but I do have a husband who is a Vietnam Vet and I am very proud of him.
Thanks
Gary's Wife


Dear Marine Family:

It is often times difficult for me to read the Sgt. Grit American Courage newsletter. It's not because it is disturbing and useless, quite the contrary! The difficulty lays within the reader. At age 62 I have been there and done that as they say, however, reading each and every word of each and every newsletter shakes me to my core.( No pun intended.) The beauty of the emotions and the ability of each and every contributor to express their heart felt and often times gut wrenching story leaves me humble.

It is my belief that the name of any war nor its location, place in time or its significance after the fact means very little in the end. War is war and fighting men and women from all branches of the armed forces have shed the same color of blood on battlefields both named and nameless around the world throughout our nation's history. The courage and sacrifice of these comrades, and their families, often times has come with an unimaginable price but still these heroic men and women of the military have anteed up and paid with their lives. What is important is that on battle fronts near and far these brave soldiers have died defending the honor and principals of the United States of America.

What makes the United States Marine a cut above other patriots is something that is hard to define? Some call it esprit décors while other call it gung ho pride. It is real and it's felt in every Marine's heart from the time of enlistment forward.

From that first "attention maggots" yelled by the DI to the very end of life the Marine bond, no a better word than bond is code of conduct sets every Marine apart and exemplifies their warrior spirit. This code encompasses an understanding of personal commitment. It personifies the profile of courage and patriotism and an answer to the call to duty. Mainly it merges together a strength of conviction and an attitude of selfless brotherhood/sisterhood with your fellow Marines that lasts a life time. This is obvious by the letters written to the newsletter.

The Corps is more than a green machine. After 230 years of existence, from 1775 the United States Marine Corps has accumulated a long and distinguished history yet it has never wavered form its founding principals of God, Country, and Corps!

I am an adopted Marine, that is to say I was chosen to be accepted into this honored fraternity. As a FMF Corpsman it was my privilege to serve with my fellow Marines during the beginnings of the tumultuous Vietnam era. I know first hand the bitterness and confusion of war but I also know the rewards and satisfaction of being one of few and the proud.

I celebrate the Corps and its years of dedication with a head held high, a heart full of gladness and with memories of lost comrades. I salute fellow Marines that are caring on the tradition. Always faithful, brothers/sisters to the end!

Thank you one and all.
Donnel Schmidt FMF/HMN
1961-


"What is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?" -James Madison


"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin.

But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907


Hello Sgt Grit,

Knowing of your amazing Marine network, we wanted to share with you our new project, hoping you could help us get the information out. We are seeking 300 recipes by April 15.

The TX-2 Chapter of the Women Marines Association is gathering recipes for a cookbook project to raise funds for the 2008 national convention, which will be hosted here in Houston. The title of the book is "Cooking with Marines," and we're soliciting recipes from Marines (men and women)....active duty, inactive reserves former (or current) military cooks, etc.

Please help us out by going through your recipes, and sending us your favorites. In the submission, please be sure to include the name of the recipe, a list of ingredients (pay particular attention to the measurements, as we will submit exactly as you write it), the process for mixing and cooking, and any details specific to serving (I.e., serve hot, cold, chilled, etc.).

Please include your name, printed as you want it to appear in the book. We'd also be interested in hearing a little about your time in the service.

Please submit recipes to BJ Huggins (WMA), P.O. Box 1821, Pasadena, TX 77501, or Karen Beatty at kebeatty1961 @ yahoo. com.

We really appreciate your help with this.

Semper Fi!!!!!
Judy Anderson
President TX-2 WMA


Dear Sgt. Grit,

It was really great to see letters from women marines (bams) in your newsletter. I proudly served on active duty from 1981 to 1985. From the beginning of my training at Parris Island, to school at "Outhouse" Bay, to my 1st (and unfortunately only) duty station with MEPS Platoon ( 2nd FSSG, Camp Lejeune ) I met many fine people that I would have missed knowing had I not joined the Corps.

I too get responses like "You were a Marine?!", and after all this time I proudly reply "Yes and still am!", because as "we" all know there are no former Marines. I display stickers, magnets, whatever I can to show my pride and support for the Corps and all the other branches of our armed forces.

I met my ex-husband in the Corps ( we didn't last, too young ) and had 3 wonderful children...the oldest ( a boy ) decided to follow in his parents footsteps. I was never so proud as the day I set foot on Parris Island again to watch him graduate. I was also scared to death because he had signed up knowing that with his MOS ( as it used to be called ) he would be going to war. Due to this, that and Murphy's Laws he ended up in a different MOS but still did his time in the "sandbox". ( It sounds silly to some, but I was always sorry that I couldn't serve my country more fully. ) Thankfully he came home safe and in one piece. My heart still aches though for all the marines ( and other soldiers ) that didn't make it back, and won't make it back.

I don't like war and never will ( most of us don't ), but I always felt that this country was worth fighting for and I would still fight for it today if I could. We would not enjoy the freedoms we do today if people weren't willing to fight for it; because, until mankind can solve its differences with talk and compromise we will need our military with all its brave young men and women to defend us and our rights.

Let me close on a lighter note. While I was in the Corps my ex-husband and 2 of his brothers we also serving. I must admit we got a big kick out of calling each other at work...especially when we would get new personnel in our workplaces that didn't know about all of us and would get confused; especially since 3 of us were the same rank at one point! Did I forget to mention that we did this while we were all stationed at Camp Lejeune at one point?! LOL OO-RAH and SEMPER FI !!!

CPL Tammy S. Kuhn USMC 1981-1985


As a retired Marine (21 years) I would like to thank you for the service you perform by printing these memos from other Marines, both former and present. When reading these comment I feel much closer to my "comrades" in arms even though I do not know them. The hallowed tradition of "esprit de corps" and "once a Marine- always a Marine" exemplifies the proud traditions, the caliber of personnel and devotion they give to their county and families. As I read each article I am proud to say I am a Marine and always appreciate their devotion and contribution to the country.

Richard M. Brown
Captain USMC Retired


Dear Grit,

With all due respect, Bill Clark in last week's letter, misunderstands General Lee and an awful lot about the "Civil War." I read my first book about Robert E. Lee when I was in 3rd grade. That might not be unusual for a child of the south, but I'm a Yankee. And I came away with an enduring respect for a truly great man. Few northerners today could understand the great internal conflict Lee was forced to deal with, his intense love for the Union, and an even greater love for his native Virginia.

Those were different times and we see things very differently than they did. Most people in 1861, especially in the South, saw themselves as citizens of their State first and of the Union second. If one were to look at the original Declaration of Independence you would see the heading followed by "united (small u) States of America. States were viewed as sovereign entities, almost separate countries. Under our Constitution we established a federal union of 13 independent States, who united for the purpose of commerce and defense. Indeed, the Constitution is a document dedicated specifically to limiting the federal government's powers and granting to the States and to the people those powers not specifically delegated to the Federal government (10th Amendment). Most today haven't even read The Federalist Papers, which were the arguments supporting the Constitution, let alone The Anti-federalist Papers decrying the excesses of the Constitution and the reasons not to ratify it. So these sentiments will be difficult to grasp.

This is a totally lost concept today. It is nearly impossible for most to understand even limited states' rights let alone state sovereignty. We see the federal government as supreme and the States as subordinate. It is nearly 180 degrees opposite to those times.

In Lee's mind he was not "taking up arms against the United States." He was defending his beloved Virginia, and standing for the right of sovereign States to voluntarily secede from the Union. There is nothing in the Constitution forbidding states to secede and they thought it well within their rights. They saw the federal union usurping the rights of Sovereign States time and time again and saw no remedy other than withdrawing from it and establishing the Confederate States of America.

As for the causes of the "War of Northern Aggression" as our brethren in the South call it, entire books have been written and debated over the decades and we can't settle the issue here. Suffice it to say that slavery played a part, if not as large a part as is usually attributed to it today. We forget that Lincoln said that if he could save the Union without freeing a single slave he would do it and the Emancipation Proclamation only freed slaves in the territory in rebellion.

General Lee was being faithful, extremely so, eternally so. His fidelity was to an entirely different standard than most of us understand. He carried the weight of his decision every day. He grieved over the conflict he prayed would be settled by the Union allowing the Confederacy to establish itself in peace, even though he knew it would probably result in war and untold death and destruction.

I would highly recommend reading several books about the man. It would be difficult to judge him harshly after taking the time to know his true character. Not everything about a Northern victory can be seen as a good thing. Abolishing slavery, as our national sin, was justified. Ending state's rights and expanding the scope of federal government is fraught with difficulties that we have never recovered from.

Semper fidelis, Ed Moore

This is the last post on Gen Lee.
Thank you all for you contributions.
Sgt Grit


"Half the work that is done in this world is to make things appear what they are not." -Elias Root Beadle


If it ever happens again, & I hope it never does, ---what kind of answer would you use? "all those guys are just killers"! Well DJR, you got to admit, at least she knows what our trade is. She's just to stupid to know why we are. "There are only two kinds of people who understand Marines" some one once said..."Another Marine and his enemies". I'm from a younger generation that had to learn to live with being labeled "baby killers"! I was once called that by a nice looking girl close to my age. I simply replied; "no ma'am, I never killed any babies. I eat mine raw!" I'll never forget the look on her face or the knowledge that I had just justified every wrong concept she had about Marines. I decided I'd go to college after I was discharged. I was still strung as tight as a banjo. With in the first week I had two Long Hairs, for lack of a better term, give me enough of a ration that I pulled the pin and did some metal work on the schools lockers with their heads. Once again, confirming and complimenting this type of stupidly. Took me twenty years before I tried college again. I have learned through failure to conform to civilization and experienced how uncivil the very ideologies and people who we sweat, bleed and die for won't make a cognitive effort to educate themselves about why they have the freedom to be able to mouth off to any veteran. I can tell you, you can't win in a battle of wits with some one who is unarmed. The very best you can do is simply stand tall. Remember who and what you are and take pride in the very knowledge that your proudest moment in life was perpetuating the continual Freedom all Americans enjoy and more than a few take for granted on a daily basis. I don't know one single Marine who has ever asked for a thank you or a well done from any civilian. We have never expected it nor required it. We did what we know was our destiny, desire and privilege to do. We stood on the wall of Democracy. How, when or where doesn't matter does it? Simply that we earned the title, endured the enjoyment of being as miserable as a person can possibly be at times, slept in places these type people would call the ACLU on us if we allowed our dog to do the same. Froze to death, dropped from heat exhaustion, got jungle rot, emersion foot, marched over half the face of god's green earth and even though we griped and complained we still stood! Ask yourself where these type people stand and what they stand for. There in you will find your answer. The don't and won't stand for anything and fall for all the wrong things. Confronting them will only degrade you and our Corps by justifying their animosities. Just do what I learned to do. Allow them to be content in the ignorance and then...smile, give them a salty wink of the eye and tell them....

Semper Fi Ma'am.
Mike McQueen


"On every question of construction carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the one in which it was passed." -Thomas Jefferson


BRAVE NEW SCHOOLS

Students reject honor to WWII hero

Member of Marines not 'sort of person UW wanted to produce'

Posted: February 14, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com

The University of Washington's Student Senate rejected a memorial for alumnus Gregory "Pappy" Boyington of "Black Sheep Squadron" fame amid concerns a military hero who shot down enemy planes was not the right kind of person to represent the school.

Student senator Jill Edwards, according to minutes of the student government's meeting last week, said she "didn't believe a member of the Marine Corps was an example of the sort of person UW wanted to produce."

Ashley Miller, another senator, argued "many monuments at UW already commemorate rich white men."

Senate member Karl Smith amended the resolution to eliminate a clause that said Boyington "was credited with destroying 26 enemy aircraft, tying the record for most aircraft destroyed by a pilot in American uniform," for which he was awarded the Navy Cross. Smith, according to the minutes, said "the resolution should commend Colonel Boyington's service, not his killing of others."

The senate's decision was reported first by Seattle radio talk- host Kirby Wilbur of KVI, whose listeners were "absolutely incensed," according to producer Matt Haver.

Brent Ludeman, president of the university's College Republicans, told WND in an e-mail the decision "reflects poorly on the university." "Pappy Boyington went beyond the call of duty to serve and protect this country - he simply deserves better," Ludeman said. "Just last year, the university erected a memorial to diversity. Why can't we do the same for Pappy Boyington and others who have defended our country?"

The resolution points out Boyington, a student at the UW from 1930-34, served as a combat pilot in the 1st Squadron, American Volunteer Group - the "Flying Tigers of China" - and later as a Marine Corps combat pilot in charge of Marine Fighting Squadron 214, "The Black Sheep Squadron."

Along with the Navy Cross, Boyington was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Franklin D. Roosevelt for his heroism. He was shot down and spent 20 months in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp.

The resolution says, "Be it resolved . [t]hat we consider Col. Gregory Boyington, United States Marine Corps, to be a prime example of the excellence that this university represents and strives to impart upon its students, and, that we desire for a memorial for Col. Boyington be commenced by the University of Washington by 11 January 2008, the twentieth anniversary of his death, which will be publicly displayed, so that all who come here in future years will know that the University of Washington produced one of this country's bravest men, and that we as a community hold this fact in the highest esteem."

Commenting on the decision, a blogger who says he met Boyington on numerous occasions at a museum and air show over the years noted the famous flyer "was no rich boy," having grown up in a struggling family in which he was forced to work hard to make it through school. The blogger, who hosts the website Paradosis, also pointed out Boyington was part Sioux.

Boyington was open about his marital problems and alcohol abuse, saying notably, "Just name a hero and I'll prove he's a bum."

The blogger wondered, "have our Washington youth revised history so much as this? To compare Boyington - or for that matter any of our WW2 vets - to murderers? What are these kids being taught today? They don't deserve those 20 months Pappy spent being tortured and beaten in a Japanese prison camp ... They don't deserve any of what our grandfathers and grandmothers sacrificed to free Europe and the Pacific."

Boyington wrote a book in 1958 that reached the best-seller list, "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep." In 1976, he sold rights to Universal, which aired a TV series for two seasons of the same name.

Boyington, who died Jan. 11, 1988, is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.


Hey Chino,

I want to tell you about some Marines that feel the same way you do and are doing something about it. This would be the Marine Riders Group. We are a group of Marines who like to ride Motorcycles and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow Marines. We are not a Motorcycle Club or a Gang, we are a Riders Group and "Ride with Pride" and do good things in our communities.

The reason I feel you would enjoy hearing about this is because one of the requirements for membership is proof of membership in the Marine Corps League. If you are not already a member of the MCL, if you can become a member and show proof of recent membership, you can be accepted into the Riders Group. In fact membership dues have been kept low to help new members afford the cost of dual membership. Wives are accepted and encouraged to join as well but must be a member of the MCL first! So as we grow so does the Marine Corps League. Since we are an international organization we are having a positive affect on the MCL regardless of location. Marines helping Marines and having fun doing it - What a Concept!

For more information on the Marine Riders please visit www.marineriders.org

Semper Fi and Ride with Pride!!

Silver Eagle
National Vice-Commandant
Marine Riders Group


Iraq combat vet tired of hearing hypocrisy from home

Two weeks ago, as I was starting my sixth month of duty in Iraq, I was forced to return to the USA for surgery for an injury I sustained prior to my deployment. With luck, I'll return to Iraq in January to finish my tour. I left Baghdad and a war that has every indication that we are winning, to return to a demoralized country much like the one I returned to in 1971 after my tour in Vietnam. Maybe it's because I'll turn 60 years old in just four months, but I'm tired.
I'm tired of spineless politicians, both Democrat and Republican, who lack the courage, fortitude and character to see these difficult tasks through.
I'm tired of the hypocrisy of politicians who want to rewrite history when the going gets tough.
I'm tired of the disingenuous clamor from those that claim they `Support the Troops' by wanting them to `Cut and Run' before victory is achieved.
I'm tired of a mainstream media that can only focus on car bombs and casualty reports because they are too afraid to leave the safety of their hotels to report on the courage and success our brave men and women are having on the battlefield.
I'm tired that so many Americans think you can rebuild a dictatorship into a democracy overnight.
I'm tired that so many ignore the bravery of the Iraqi people to go to the voting booth and freely elect a Constitution and soon a permanent Parliament.
I'm tired of the so called `Elite Left' that prolongs this war by giving aid and comfort to our enemy, just as they did during the Vietnam War.
I'm tired of anti-war protesters showing up at the funerals of our fallen soldiers. A family whose loved ones gave their life in a just and noble cause, only to be cruelly tormented on the funeral day by cowardly protesters is beyond shameful.
I'm tired that my generation, the Baby Boom - Vietnam generation, who have such a weak backbone that they can't stomach seeing the difficult tasks through to victory.
I'm tired that some are more concerned about the treatment of captives than they are the slaughter and beheading of our citizens and allies.
I'm tired that when we find mass graves it is seldom reported by the press, but mistreat a prisoner and it is front page news. Mostly, I'm tired that the people of this great nation didn't learn from history that there is no substitute for Victory.

Joe Repya
LtCol, USArmy
101st Airborne Div


"You vote yourselves salaries out of the public funds and care only for your own personal interests; hence the state limps along." -Aristophanes


hi my name is mary and i am a VERY proud mom of a navy corpsman he is deployed right now for the 3rd time.. and he tells me all the time .." mom my guys watch my back " he loves " his " guys and so do i . he is currently stationed @ camp lejuene , and i can not wait until he comes home. then i also have a 20 yr old that just left mon { 2/13 } for camp pendleton.. to be a grunt . i feel like i could just bust wide open sometimes .. thats how proud i am of them and ALL of the others serving.
God speed & hurry home ALL of you.

thanx for listening ~
mare g.
very proud mom


Dear Sgt. Grit,
It is with great sadness that I inform you of the passing of a great Marine. Col. Arthur E. Cofer, USMC Reserves, Retired passed away on February 9, 2006. He was a Lt. in WWII seeing action in Okinawa and Guam, where he was wounded. It is said that men never served "under" Col. Cofer, they served "with" him. He was a man of character, integrity and gentleness.

Col. Cofer was my father and I am sincerely, Proud Marine Daughter Carol M.


"The ruling class has the schools and press under its thumb. This enables it to sway the emotions of the masses." -Albert Einstein


Sgt. Grit,

There is a great article in the January 2006 American Legion Magazine, titled Sheep, Wolves, And Sheepdogs. I think this article should be published nationally.

The sheep hate us sheepdogs, spit on us, and call us names, as long as they feel safe, but when the wolves come, the sheepdogs are the greatest thing on earth.

I'm proud to have been a sheepdog.

Semper Fi,
Wallace Klekar, Sgt.
USMC 1968-1972
Nam 1969-1971


Sgt Grit:

I thoroughly enjoy your Newsletter. Marines have played a very great role in my life. My service started as a Squid in June 1949. I was mid Pacific on a Troop Ship bound for Guam when the Korean War Started. When we arrived in Guam we were all disappointed that the Navy was not going to send us right on to Korea. In the 18 months I spent there, I was seconded to a Marine Provisional Bn. for training. I will never forget the Gunny bemoaning his fate when we fell in on the runway of NAS Agana in July of 1950. His words were to this effect, "I don't know what I have done to displease Almighty God.....I have been tasked with teaching you Squids how to be Marines so that you can defend this Island". "The difficult is easy, but the impossible will take us some time". The process that we went through for many months, at 2 or 3 days a week out of our regular jobs was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I learned to understand why the Marines ARE the BEST of the BEST.

The things that we were taught have stuck with me all my life. When I did finally make it to the War in Korea I had a reality that very few of my comrades understood. I learned what was troubling about a Marine who had to train Squids...He had been required to remain behind as cadre to instruct us, while all his fellow Marines went on to make the invasion at Inchon. I was in Korea 1952 and 1953 and was sitting in Wonsan Harbor when the War ended at 2200 hours. While there, we supported the Marines who held Yo-Do Island, which at that time was 250 miles north of Enemy Lines. I remember how often they were Shelled from the Mainland. Our Ships returned fire whenever we were in position to support them. I finished up 12 years of Active Duty in 1961 having returned to Korea one more time in 58-59. I pulled 5 years in the Navy, 3 years in the Army, and 4 years in the Air Force. I can therefore attest to the Value I place on any service. Each and every man or Woman who puts on the uniform of our Great Nation is due a loud UURAAAHH and God Bless each and every one.

But I must tell you, the Semper Fi I hear echoing in my old mind and heart tells me that none are better than the United States Marines, UUraahh and Semper Fi to all who wear the Eagle Globe and Anchor. One of the proudest moments in my life came when the Marines I worked with, during a 17 year tour with Civil Service, made me an Honorary Gunnery Sgt in the United States Marines. They produced a set of chevrons and a lot of good will. I am prouder of that and the Certificate of Promotion which accompanied it, than most anything else in my life.

Good Night Chesty, Wherever you Are.........You are One of the greatest of Marines

Semper Fi
J. J.


"The most important service rendered by the press and the magazines is that of educating people to approach printed matter with distrust." -Samuel Butler


Please remember the Barnes family in your prayers. My cousin, Mathew Barnes, was killed on Valentine's day, Tuesday. He was extremely loved and he will be missed. We are all so proud of him. He did what others dream of, but don't have the guts to do. He was part of an elite group of 20 that guarded the colonel. He operated the 50 cal. gun on top of the tank and was killed when a suicide bomber ran his vehicle into the tank. Valentine's day will forever be daunting. He is a hero and he will always be remembered.

Sincerely,
Eyes


Sgt Grit:

Have you seen the deplorable political cartoon which appeared in the January 29th printing of the Washington Post?! I have attached it, along with a curt response letter from the US Joint Chiefs of Staff.

While I don't recommend US service men and women torch the embassy's and burn down the Washington Post building (see Muslim reactions across the globe over cartoons in periodicals), I believe a strong and sustained boycott of the Washington Post and especially of any publication that engages the sick, dispicable,and mean spirited humor Tom Toles directs at millions of US veterans who have paid the ultimate price for the world freedom.

I thought that you could encourage and support such a boycott by reaching out to the many readers of the Sgt Grit newsletter, and perhaps hurt the WP where it counts (for them apparently) the most; in their pocketbook!

God Bless America and especially our Marines, soldiers, and sailors who are 'on the wall' and giving all when necessary to protect the very freedoms that others spit on and attempt to poke fun at. SEMPER FI

Gordon Nichols
USMC 1974 - 1978


"If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it." -Thomas Jefferson


Dear Sgt. Grit,
We (my former Marine husband...Vietnam, my son, active duty and Sgt. And myself) all read your newsletter on a regular basis. Our son and his Marine Corps wife are currently stationed in Hawaii at KBay. Sean is a Sgt and his wife, Twyla is a Staff Sgt. They are both credits to the Corps. We recently visited them and were fortunate to be able to stay on base while there. I was totally impressed with the base and the demeanor of all the Marines whom we came in contact with. I felt like I could adopt them all. We were privileged to attend a briefing about our son's future deployment to Iraq (this March). The "higher ups"...so to speak were very warm and came and spoke with us personally that night. They made my husband feel even prouder than he already was of his time in the Corps. I received hugs and well wishes and compliments on our son's capabilities. It's hard to put this all into words. These young men and women are laying their lives on the line for our country...they have a fire in their bellies for the beliefs that made this nation what it is today. We can disagree with our government about policies and such. But, think about it...We CAN DISAGREE because of all the Marines and soldiers and sailors who have given their lives for freedom. I am proud of my husband for the sacrifices he made while serving in Vietnam. I am proud of my son and my daughter- in-law for the way they are conducting their lives and for serving when it isn't always popular. We need more young people with this fire. I regret that I was never a Marine...but, I'll tell you this...I feel like part of that family because I have been touched by their loyalty and love.

Keep telling the stories,
One very proud Marine Mom, Wife and Mother-in-Law
Cheri Sitek


MCL Web Site Correction

In the last Sgt Grit Newsletter (16 Feb 2006) Marine Mead talked about the need for all Marines and FMF Corpsmen to join or start a Marine Corps League Detachment in their area. I couldn't agree with him more except for one thing. The link presented in his message (www.mcl.org ) will take you to the Mercer County Library System in New Jersey, which is certainly a fine organization, but not the one he intended. Clicking on the following link, however, will get you to the National Marine Corps League site: http://www.mcleague.com. To Marine Mead's message I would only add that, although our organization is currently in excess of 60,000 members strong and was started by General Lejeune back in 1937, the organization still seems to be a pretty good secret to many Marines out there. I thank Marine Mead for his good intentions. Perhaps we'll run into each other at the Marriott for the 83rd MCL National Convention in Quincy, MA during the week of 6 August 2006. Semper Fi.

Jack Dougherty, Quang Tri, 1968
Judge Advocate, Dept of CT, MCL
Adjutant/Paymaster, Housatonic Detach. 1129, MCL


"Government cannot achieve the efficiencies of a business. Trying to get government to be as efficient as business is as hopeless as trying to teach cats to bark and dogs to meow." -Walter Williams


Sgt. Grit - this is for the "Marine Concerned With Soldiers' Lives" who wrote in American Courage Newsletter #113 of 29 December 2005.

Just as you were true to yourself in your desire to serve in the infantry and did it in the only way you thought possible, you can be true to yourself in your desire to help your fellow soldiers. First, I am sure you will lead by example. They have already recognized your quality by making you a team leader, so you are on your way. You do not have to try to re-make the Guard into the Marine Corps. Just let them know that the tips you give them are made out of concern for them as well as yourself and that you want them to be as physically and mentally prepared as possible for what they will face, so they, too can return home to their loved ones. I'm quite sure they will appreciate it! We do things like joining the service (any service) out of some undeniable compulsion to do so. They are there because they care, same as you. I firmly believe that in helping them to "be all they can be", you will make friends and positive impressions for life.

Semper Fi and THANK YOU.
Allison McKowen


Sgt. Grit and Fellow Marines,

This year will be my 35th wedding anniversary. Upon returning home from Vietnam in 1971 after 101/2 months in country my dream was fulfilled when I married my high school sweetheart who I had met on a blind date when we were 16 years old. Educated people would tell you there is no such thing as love at first sight. They're wrong and I never tire of telling the story. I've never believed in fate but do believe your choices today determine your tomorrow. My choice to accept the offer to go on a blind date from my best friend determined the last 39 years of tomorrows. The only other "better" decision I made was joining the Marine Corps for it gave me all the tools I needed to survive not only Vietnam but all the challenges I would face for the next four decades and beyond. We were engaged on Halloween Day 1968. Even before the Corps I seem to have had a warped sense of humor. She remembers my telling her I would not marry her before shipping out as there was a high likely hood I would not return. I've experienced several good byes that I wish to never feel the pain of again and having her drop me off at the induction center was one of them. My tour was personally difficult and dangerous at times but nothing like what my brother Marines experienced who preceded me. Thanks to then President Nixon my tour was cut short and the 1st Marine Division was sent home. Our wedding was scheduled for August so my arrival home in mid May 1971 somewhat disrupted the process. Since my wife was raised properly nothing was going to go on until we were married. Having been deprived of her beauty for so long this was going to be problematic so on a Monday afternoon I looked at her and said "How about we get married this Saturday?" She said yes and in less than a week I was standing at the front of the church in my dress blues watching the girl who's memory gave me the will to live for the previous year walk down the isle and say I Do. We were both 20 years old.

Three children, six grandchildren and 35 years later I have planned on reenacting that moment this June as a surprise for her, including dress blues which will require serious workouts on my part as I will not bring dishonor to the uniform by pouring an out of shape chubby body into it. This beautiful young girl had dedicated her life to me and our family and spent many years nurturing my spirit back to the man I was before I left for Vietnam and if I live to be 100 years old and tell her I love her everyday, which I do, I could never pay her back for bringing me home long after my physical self showed up. Love at first sight does exist and I have 35 years of waking up and seeing the same 16 year old girl I fell in love with and I fall in love all over again.

Semper Fi, Marines
Cpl. Tom Gillespie
Hotel Co. 2/1
RVN 70-71


First Deployment

I am the fiancé of LCpl Justin Moppin who is leaving Camp Lejeune Feb. 21st for his first deployment to Iraq. His orders say he'll be there for 270 days, but I know that could change at any moment. Gotta love the unpredictability of the military! Anywho, I've heard from others that the first deployment is the toughest. And I must agree. I'm freaking out. My emotions are all over the place. I'm trying to stay as strong as I can for him. Justin is in the 2nd Maintenance BN at Lejeune, but is detaching and going over with an Infantry Unit to do security and patrols. I am so scared for him, but know the only thing I can do is love him and support him and his brothers/sisters. How does one prepare for the time when you must say goodbye to the man you love and will soon be marrying? Well I just want to say that I am proud of Justin and everyone who serves this country. May the Lord bless you all and keep you safe in his hands. Thank you for your selfless acts of courage. Semper Fi Marines! God Bless!

Love and Support to mine and all Marines, Airmen, Soldiers, and Seamen!

Soon to be wife of LCpl Moppin


Tokyo Rose

During WWII, the Japanese were searching for a way to demoralize the American soldiers that they faced. There Psychological warfare experts came up with a message that they thought would work well. They gave the script to their famous broadcaster "Tokyo Rose" and everyday she would broadcast this same message packaged in various ways hoping to have an impact on American GI morale. What was the message? It had three main points:

1. Your President is lying to you.
2. This war is illegal.
3. You cannot win the war.

Sound familiar? Maybe it's because the some Americans have picked up the same message and are broadcasting it to our troops. The only difference is that they claim to support our troops before they demoralize them. Come to think of it, Tokyo Rose used to tell the troops she was on their side.


"His integrity was most pure, his justice the most inflexible I have ever known, no motives of interest or consanguinity, of friendship or hatred, being able to bias his decision. He was indeed, in every sense of the words, a wise, a good, and a great man." -Thomas Jefferson on George Washington


Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid - Ronald Reagan


"It is certainly true that a popular government cannot flourish without virtue in the people."

-- Richard Henry Lee 1786



Honk if you love a Marine




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God Bless America!
Welcome Home, Job Well Done!
Semper fi
Sgt Grit


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