Sgt Grit,
Just wanted to say thanks to you and all the other Marines for your support. We are still giving our best here in Iraq. We will keep up the good fight.
Semper Fi - SSgt William (Pappy)

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"Positions are seldom lost because they have been destroyed, but almost invariably because the leader has decided in his own mind that the position cannot be held."
A.A. Vandegrift

The study of history is a powerful antidote to contemporary arrogance. It is humbling to discover how many of our glib assumptions, which seem to us novel and plausible, have been tested before, not once but many times and in innumerable guises; and discovered to be, at great human cost, wholly false.
-Paul Johnson

Hello Sgt Grit:

I don't know if this is the right forum to send this msg but I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge my wife's dedication to the Marine Corps and for her 47 years of supporting me and the Corps throughout the world crisis.

I served two tours in Vietnam, 1966-67, 2/9. My two brothers also were in Vietnam at the same time. My second tour I volunteered for 1stForRecon. My wife was there to support me. We have four sons and two daughters. Our four sons also served in the Corps...The oldest retired in the Corps as MSgt My daughter is also married to a Marine who also has retired recently.

My wife is a very proud and dedicated Marine Wife and Mother. So on this day...Veteran's Day, I want to salute my wife and acknowledge her unselfish devotion to the Marine Corps and to all wives and Mothers who faithfully support their husbands and sons to the very end.

God Bless them all and God Bless our Corps and our Young men and women serving today.

Semper Fi
Don Griffith, 1stSgt, USMCRet

MARINES - Send in your "Sea Stories"
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

Sgt. Grit,

This is a story about a memorable day BEFORE Thanksgiving, 23Nov66 to be exact. The day I graduated from Marine Corps boot camp. And my mother was with me.

Her name was Alice Browning Bruckner, and she'd taken the train from Milwaukee, WI. My dad was a traveling shoe salesman and was unable to accompany her, so she made the long trip alone. She got a room at the San Diego YWCA and did a bit of sightseeing. Family members were allowed to visit with recruits on the Sunday before the "Big Day", and we made the most of it.

On Graduation Day, the men of Platoon 1121 became full-fledged United States Marines, and this slick sleeve private was able to have that honor bestowed upon him in front of his mom. Obviously, other mothers were there as well, but she may have been the only one to have traveled 2,130 miles by herself to witness the ceremonies.

The next day was Thanksgiving and I got liberty. Mom and I had a marvelous dinner at a restaurant in San Diego (for some reason we decided to have ham!), and soon after she was on her way back home.

Mom died in January of 1990 and I think of her quite often. But every Thanksgiving, those memories take on a very special meaning. I remember that sunny day in 1966 when a raw recruit became a Marine, and his mother watched it happen.

Bill Bruckner
USMC, 1966 - 1969

"In the end more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free."
—Edward Gibbon

My son is a Corporal stationed at Camp LeJeune. His MOS is machinist/welder. He served in Iraq in 2005 and will deployed again in February 2007. My husband and I are very, very proud of our son!

The other day, on his way home from work, my husband's fuel pump went out on his truck, stranding him on an off-ramp of a very busy highway in Oklahoma City. He called me and I arranged for a tow truck to go get him. While he waited (for almost three hours), he didn't have just one, but four people stop to offer help. Who were these people? MARINES! All of them said they saw his MARINE sticker on his back window and just could not pass him up without stopping to help a brother. When my husband told each Marine he was not a Marine, but a father of a Marine, one replied, "All in the family"!

We love each and every one of you Devil Dogs! We are thankful each and every day for you and we pray for you and your safe return home.

Darla Temple, Proud Marine Mom
Oklahoma City OK

A light hearted young lady of four years of age came up to me yesterday as I was in the checkout line in the PX, and questioned me about my t-shirt that identifies me as a Proud Mother of a Marine Sgt. Little Miss asked, "Do you know any REAL Marines? You have the 'Globe and Anchor picture, so you have to be a Marine!"
Told her about my 9 uncles, WWII, grandfather, WWII, and all the way back to the beginning, 1776. She looked very intently at me and asked, "Hey Lady were you a Marine?"
Told her, "Nope. Went WAC, US Army. I wanted a specific school and duty station and only the Army could make it happen." She got this real disappointed look and said, "Well, my daddy is a Marine. My uncle Jack is a Marine. My Mom is a Marine. AND BESIDES, Marines are BETTER than Santa Claus!"
I asked, "How do you know that?"
Very seriously she looked at me and stated, "Marines can be a Santa guy to help him at Christmas. Marines get lots of toys to help him every year. Marines are smarter than Santa too. Santa can't be a Marine 'cuz he couldn't make it through Boot Camp 'cuz he can't say OOOOORRAAAHHH, only ho ho ho.!"
Needless to say the kid is right. No question about it.
Old WAC in CA

As a Marine Recruiter during the Vietnam 'conflict', I had the honor of comforting families as best I could after having the horrible duty of informing said families of the loss of a loved one. It was the hardest duty I ever faced.

While I was on my second tour in Vietnam, my wife lived by herself. One day, a Marine Corps green sedan pulled up in front of the house. My wife saw it and watched as two Marines in blues got out and started walking up the sidewalk towards our front door. My wife's heart skipped as she could only think of one reason Marines would be coming to her door. As the Marines were almost to the door, she overheard them say, "This is the wrong address. The house we want is across the street." It would seem the Marines were recruiters and had an appointment to meet with a family whose son wanted to join the Corps.

To any of you who think being the wife of a Marine is the hardest job in the Corps, I am here to tell you it is the second hardest job – surpassed only by the mother of a Marine. My wife and I have had the honor of attending three graduations; two in San Diego and one at Parris Island. She has seen one go overseas to Bahrain for 18 months and one go and return from Iraq. The third is scheduled to go overseas the first of the year 2007.

When asked if I was a Marine, my answer is short and to the point. I am a Marine and those in my family are Marines! When asked if my wife was a Marine that answer is always "she has been TAD to the Corps since our marriage in Feb. 1968." She has gone through month long field exercises when we first were married, deployment to Vietnam by me and deployments of all her children. When my daughter returned from Iraq, I thought my wife would never let go of her. My daughter's face was so red as her mom was squeezing her so tight. When asked how she could allow the "kids" to join the Marine Corps much less go overseas to fight she has only one answer. We are Marines and fighting is what we do. When asked if she believes in the war her answer is always "No one in their sane mind would want to go to war; especially no one who has ever been in a war or have trained for war. However, in December, 1941 and again in September, 2001, we were drawn into a war by those who would do away with our rights. These rights are the same rights that allow you to ask stupid questions without having to worry about the consequences."

Each and every night when I pray I ask for my wife to have the strength to put up with me, for each of my children to be successful in their pursuits of life and for all of our service men and women that are in harm's way. I also ask for guidance and compassion for those who have lost loved ones so they may be able to cope with their terrible loss.

Jim Rooth
SSgt USMC 65-77
RVN 66-67, 69-70
If you can read this, thank a teacher,
If you are reading it in English, thank a VETERAN!
May our families enjoy the gifts given by God and never have a Chaplain appear on our door step.

"War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. And I say let us give them all they want."

William Tecumseh Sherman, 1864.

Sgt Grit,
I have seen the movies the Marine and Flags Of Our Fathers and have read the book Flags of our Fathers before I saw the movie. Marine was a waste of time and money. All explosions and John Cena diving into water every 10 minutes (so it seemed.) The movie Flags Of our Fathers is an excellent movie and very closely followed the book.
What surprised me most, was my 12 year old grandson asking me to take him to see it.
I asked him afterwards what he thought of the movie and his response, "excellent."
This is from a kid that doesn't go to se 'war movies.'
Needless to say it made me proud not only to see our beloved Corps in action, but to watch my grandson so engrossed in what those who have gone before us accomplished. a Marine in the making? We will have to wait and see.
I encourage everyone to go an see this movie. It is one thing to read about the accomplishments of those Marines and another to see it in action. I had to wipe my eyes a few times.
Semper Fi,
John C. Emmen
SSgt (Ret)

"Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm."
—James Madison

November is a month of Thanksgiving but we have always seem to forget to thanks those who have given us the opportunity to celebrate this month and that is our veterans past and present and those who are still serving. I especially appreciate this month because it is the Marine Corps Birthday but also a celebration of the people who have fought for the freedom we love. America seems to have forgotten us with just a couple of days a year celebration. I feel Veterans Day is a day that we in America should celebrate everyday for the right to live in this wonderful country. Without the sacrifices of the people in our military things would be a lot different. So today I thank all the members of our military for allowing me to write this short paragraph knowing that they have fought for the freedom for me to do so.

Semper Fidelis
Mark Bradley
USMC Retired

I recently lost my Vietnam-era Recon Marine. He always took it upon himself to welcome his Marine brothers home regardless of when or where they served or how long they had been home. Now that he is gone, in his honor, I have taken up his "mission"; whenever I see a Marine, active or inactive, I welcome him home! (I'm determined to do it one of these days without breaking down and scaring the poor man! After all, I was a Recon Marine's woman--I can do anything, right?!) OOH RAH!
Beckie Mauler, Richmond, Michigan

"There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a secondhand opinion."
Gen. William Thornson, US Army

Dear Sergeant Grit, Our Thanksgivings dwindled from a family of five to just my wife and I after our oldest son joined the Air Force for seven years and then our other son and daughter joined the Marines. Thanksgivings are marked by nostalgic telephone calls and turkey for two. One thing we've noticed through the years is that nearly everywhere our Marines were stationed, a senior enlisted or officer would invite them and their friends to Thanksgiving dinner. It has meant a lot to them, and to us, and we are ever grateful for the support they receive from their fellow Marines. Now our two Marines are both Staff Sergeants nearing the end of their second hitch. The torch has passed and our daughter has her own place and is now in a position to pass on that tradition. Every Thanksgiving finds her cooking dinner and serving other hungry Marines who are far from home. Our pride is displayed for all to see on the license plates on my Wrangler: USMCDAD

On another note, John "Carry" has it wrong as usual. Our daughter graduated Valedictorian of her class and when she joined the Marines, her teachers told her how she was wasting her life. Neither we nor she thinks that at all and she has nearly completed her Associate's Degree while serving. When she leaves the Corps in another year, she will be attending Pre- veterinary college and going on to become a large animal vet with over $50,000 of scholarship money from the Marine Corps. Our son joined the Marines after four and one-half years of college with a major in Biochemistry. He was four credits short of his degree so when he went to Parris Island, we called the college to see what, if any credit, they offered for basic training. He got six credits and received his B.S. when he graduated from Recruit Training.

A proud Marine Dad
Lancaster, NH

The safest place in Korea was right behind a platoon of Marines. Lord, how they could fight.
Major General Frank E. Lowe, US Army

Dear Sgt Grit,

I began getting your newsletter when my son went off to boot camp back in July. What a sad and proud moment all in one. Twelve weeks later, my son graduated on Oct 20th at MCRD. What a fantastic trip! I feel privileged to be a part of the Marine Corps. The patriotism and togetherness were so evident among all of us and our new Marines. I wish every American could partake in such ceremonies, whether it is the Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines. Maybe there would be a new wave of patriotism that would bring us all together as Americans.

I want to share a few incidents that happened as we traveled home from San Diego. People would look at my son and nod their heads in acknowledgement of his service. At the Denver airport, my son was talking to a man as he stood in line waiting to order food. As I was paying for our meals, this man came over to me and asked if I was with my son. I said yes, and he handed me $10.00 to pay for his meal. He told me he was proud and grateful for my son to volunteer for service to his country. It made me cry! The stewards and stewardesses on the planes, plus other passengers, shook his hand in thanks and told me thank you, also. I was overwhelmed with emotion. My heart burst with love and pride for my son and my country.

While my son was home on leave, we had family pictures taken with him in his dress blues. Afterward, we all went to the local Vet's Club to eat dinner. He kept his blues on. A few of the old veterans came by our table and told him thanks. A couple of younger men, probably 30-40, came over and said that they could never do what he is doing, but they were thankful for men that do. They wished him well and said, "God bless you". As we were leaving, three Vietnam Vets stopped him and asked questions and told a few "war" stories.

Semper Fi!
Deena Knobbe, Proud Nebraska Marine Mom

If I could think that I had sent a spark to those who come after I should be ready to say Goodbye.
--Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes

Hello Sgt Grit.
I just wanted to let you know that last week my wife was the bx, at Holloman AFB, New Mexico.
Being a retired Marine, I proudly display our United States Marine, decals on the back of our vehicles.
On this day a zoomie [air force dude] came up to my wife and stated, "Mam, I respect your being a Marines wife and all but don't you have enough decals on the back of you jeep?
Looks to me your missing one, the bulldog?
Well my wife came home and told me about it and we both laughed cause I just remembered I had received one from you sometime back.
I rushed right out and placed it on the back window of her jeep, and you should know the rest as she spotted the same individual the next day.
Of which she went up to him and said ,Pardon, me and pointed to the bulldog with the DI cover on the back of the jeep. He stood at attention and saluted her and stated. "Proud to know a Marine's Wife".
Just wanted you know .................har har .

Semper Fi Always
a Proud Marine
MSgt Fred F Gutierrez, Retired

...I wish that I may never think the smiles of the great and powerful a sufficient inducement to turn aside from the straight path of honesty and the convictions of my own mind.
--David Ricardo

Happy Birthday fellow Marines, past, present, and future. I have be reading Sgt. Grit for quite a long time and have read and loved the articles and notes from Marines, Marine families, and their friends. I retired in October 1986 and have severed since as a federal employee at MCLB (Marine Corps Logistics Base) Albany, Georgia. My son was a Marine and my son-in-law is a gunny in the corps.

I wanted all to know that the 2000 plus civilians and Marines here really work long hard hours to ensure that we send only the best equipment possible to our fellow Marines in the war zones. Many of the folks here have relatives or know of someone who is or is serving either in Iraq or Afghanistan. The dedication and effort that these folks put forth only exemplifies their patriotic feelings for their country and corps.

I have seen equipment return from combat and get the opportunity to watch these people transform it from a piece of scrap junk back into excellent equipment. These same people are always looking for ways to improve the equipment's performance while making them as invulnerable as possible to the terrorists who keep trying to blow them up along with our men and women.

We are proud of our Marines and those who put their lives in harms way. When one is lost, we weep along with their families and friends and become more determined to make this equipment even better.

I served three tours in Vietnam and saw what complacency can do when those who supported us send us some pretty bad equipment. There are many veterans who still serve their country whether they are the supply technician, mechanics, sheet metal workers, or the tool room folks that keep up with all the parts new and rebuilt. They have shared the feelings that those in the combat zones feel. These same folks all pray for these young Marines and their safe return. We try to honor them every time we roll a vehicle onto the shipping line by trying to give the best we can.

There are many who bad mouth these young men and women but most of these have never served their country and don't really understand that freedom isn't free. I had a first sergeant tell me when I was a young Marine that the worse place an enemy can get is between a Marine and his country. We must continue to give our Marines our fullest support and remember that they are the ones that stand between those who would destroy us and our country. May all who have served honorably have a blessed Veteran's Day and of course a happy 231st birthday. God bless America and God bless our Marines.

Semper fi

M.P. Herrin

The first thing a man will do for his ideals is lie.
--Joseph A. Schumpeter

Sgt Grit,
I was at Lee's Chicken getting my family's supper when this elderly lady came running out of the building and was saying "Ma'am, Ma'am!" I'm like oh crap, did I do something wrong? We'll I didn't. She asked "were did you get your Marine magnet on your car? Sgt Grit, I answered. She explained that her husband is retired Marine, was in for 30 yrs ,Hoo Raa, and that she was real parochial of anything Marine. So I calmly asked her if she would like to have it. What a surprised look she had! Really she said. Yes ma'am I have an extra one at home. It was a little dirty but still bright red and blue when I handed it to her. What a smile I gave to a beautiful lady that evening, made my day

Valerie Bowman

"The tree of freedom is often blessed with the blood of patriots"
Thomas Jefferson

Dear Sgt. Grit,

I want to thank you so much for your wonderful newsletter that you send out each week. It gives me a great opportunity to "meet" other Marine moms, veterans, and currently active Marines. It is motivating to read the stories of Marines from their days in active duty. Both of my sons read your newsletter, too. One is a Marine and the other is a 13 year old Marine wannabe.

My older son graduated from Parris Island on August 18 of this year. I was so proud of him that I thought I was going to bust! Anyway, while he was at boot camp, I prayed for him and his fellow recruits several times a day. When they did the Crucible, I prayed extra hard. On the last morning while they were humping their last 10 miles, I was peacefully sleeping. I suddenly woke up and had a powerful urge to pray for my son, knowing that he was on his final leg of the Crucible. So, I prayed for 45 minutes for the Lord to give him strength, to help him if he is weakening, to not allow him to give up, etc. I then went back to sleep knowing that the danger time was over for my son. When we picked him up from PI, I asked him if he had received my letter about that prayer time on the last day of the Crucible (I wrote to him daily). He immediately became animated and told me that yes, he had received the letter and had something to tell me. He said it was about that time (7 a.m.) that he was dragging his butt, sore, discouraged, and wanting to give up. Suddenly, he said his backpack was lifted slightly so the load wasn't as heavy. He said he looked behind him to see who was lifting his pack…there was no one there. My son turned around a little confused as to why his pack felt lighter, when he realized that someone was praying for him and that God was with him carrying that load for him. Of course, I burst into tears hearing that story. The power of prayer is alive and strong. May the Lord bless and keep all you Marines forever.


Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival.
Winston Churchill

Have we lost the will to win wars? Not just in Iraq, but everywhere? Do we really believe that being nice is more important than victory? It's hard enough to bear the timidity of our civilian leaders--anxious to start wars but without the guts to finish them--but now military leaders have fallen prey to political correctness. Unwilling to accept that war is, by its nature, a savage act and that defeat is immoral, influential officers are arguing for a kinder, gentler approach to our enemies. They're going to lead us into failure, sacrificing our soldiers and Marines for nothing: Political correctness kills.

In war, you don't get points for good manners. It's about winning. Victory forgives. Where is the spirit of FDR, and George C. Marshall, who recognized that the one unbearable possibility was for the free world to lose? We discount the value of ferocity--as a practical tool and as a deterrent. But war's immutable law--proven yet again in Iraq--is that those unwilling to pay the butcher's bill up front will pay it with compound interest in the end.

Ralph Peters, a retired Army officer, New York Post
(Reprinted in Forbes Magazine)

"You cannot exaggerate about the Marines. They are convinced to the point of arrogance, that they are the most ferocious fighters on earth - and the amusing thing about it is that they are."
Father Kevin Keaney
1st Marine Division Chaplain
Korean War

"[H]onesty will be found on every experiment, to be the best and only true policy; let us then as a Nation be just."
-- George Washington

Sgt Grit
I have been reading your newsletter for about a year now and enjoy it a lot. I am a Viet Nam era Marine, but probably one of the few who can say that for his whole cruise that he never left the state of SC. I was at PI from 15 Feb 72 to 3 Jul 72 3rd Btn and STB. I flunked my initial PFT. I am glad to see now that the recruiters are preparing the DEP's much better physically. I was also 21 years old and 3 years of college under my large belt.

After recruit leave I returned to PI for MOS school 0121. Then went to Marine Barracks, Naval Weapons Station, Goose Creek, SC. Where I spent 18 months. Discharged with the rank of Cpl. Should have stayed in but that's water under the bridge.

So in closing I want to thank you for the good work that you are doing with your newsletter, and to say that the pride in the young Marines that are out there today is overwhelming. That are the finest example of the youth of America. I come from a family of Marines. My father landed on Iwo with the 5th Marine Division. He was in the 11th Amtrack Bn, Co "C". Cpl John C. Caylor.

Cpl John "Rodney" Caylor
1972 to 1974

It was thanksgiving 2005 i was stationed at camp Fallujah Iraq, i had a convoy that night like most nights.. all went well no disturbances well when i got to camp TQ i called my girlfriend of 3 years and i could tell something was wrong with her... so i nagged and nagged and got it out of her the dumb b!tch cheated on me...none the less i carried on as if nothing happened fv*k'em if they cant stay faithful while i am off fighting and defending freedom they she aint worth a d*mn.

LCpl. Allen

Alas, how many have been persecuted for the wrong of having been right?
--Jean-Baptiste Say

One Thanksgiving I was attached to the 1st Marine Division with General Myatt's Staff. We had been out in the Saudi Desert for about two or three months during Operation Desert Shield when we were told that we would have a special guest for Thanksgiving. We were told President and Mrs. Bush would be joining us for Thanksgiving dinner. Having the President and First Lady visit us was pretty special but we figured we would have a great meal. Well the week and days prior to Thanksgiving was like getting ready for an IG add to that I was told the Humvee assigned to me would be used to drive President Bush around so it had to be cleaned. We spent the better part of two days scrubbing the Humvee down with buckets of water and toothbrushes. Thanksgiving Day came and my Lance Corporal and I spent the day fasting so we could eat all of that great chow. We fully expected there would be a big to-do around the President but we were not prepared to see the huge line of Marines and Sailors waiting for chow. The Lance Corporal and I got in line with other Marines from the General's Staff when we started looking around to see who else was in line we didn't recognize the majority of the Marines and Sailors in the chow line. About that time two Marines in front of us said, "I bet they put on this dog and pony show out here in the desert just for Presidential publicity," I asked the Marine were he had been stationed and he told me they had come from the Airbase in Bahrain and he asked where we had come from. The Lance Corporal and I informed these two "air-wing" Marines that this was no dog and pony show that we had been living out in the desert for two or three months. Later President Bush decided to answer some questions from the Marines and Sailors while he ate his Thanksgiving Dinner on the hood of "my" Humvee. I tried to get in the back of the Humvee but the Secret Service Agents wouldn't let me on the Humvee, anyway President Bush dripped some turkey gravy on the hood, later I took a permanent marker and circled the spill and wrote "President Bush spilled gravy here." Some other Marines "stole" Mrs. Bush and got some photo-ops with her, sent the Secret Service Agents into a tizzy. It was a nice visit but the hot meal, what was left when the 1st Marine Division Marines finally got in line, was GREAT!

Mike Gerdau
GySgt, USMC(Ret)

Hey Sgt...
I'm sure you'll get a lot of Thanksgiving stories about being in the field somewhere and the chow that was (or wasn't) eaten on Thanksgiving day. I myself could tell a couple also, but my favorite Thanksgiving while I was in the Corps was at Camp Lejeune. I was a CPL in Comm Co, 2D FSSG. There were many Marines that would swoop home for the Thanksgiving 96, myself and my ex stayed put. We had a place out in town and decided to invite our plt's stay behinds for dinner. Wednesday after work I got busy cooking, it was going to be a basic menu, nothing out of the ordinary. Turkey(s), stuffing, potato filling (PA Dutch), corn, mashed taters, sweet taters, green beans, gravy, rolls, pumpkin pie, apple pie, cherry pie. Dinner at 3. We invited about 15 over, but telling them that if they new of someone who was by themselves, bring them along. Our 15 turned into 30+. I wound up cooking 3 turkeys for that dinner. It was a lot of work but so worth it for my "family" at the time. They started arriving around 1, now you know as we've all matured, we realize that if you're invited for a dinner, it's customary and polite to bring something like a bottle of wine. When your a young jarhead, it's a 12 pack or a case. (If we got wine, it would've been a box so someone could go around squirting wine into open mouths.) As they started arriving, the cases of beer began piling up. The fridge was just about full with food, so it was a trip to the local mini-mart for a bunch of ice. So now with the bath tub full of cans and ice, a house full of Marines, myself and few other females at the helm in the kitchen, we set- up a buffet as best we could. We had people eating anywhere there was a flat surface. It was a beautiful day outside, once everyone was done dinner a game of football ensued. We moved the TV outside so no TV games were missed. By about 7 all but a handful had gone back to the barracks. The kitchen was a wreck, not much food left with the amount of people we had and also the invitation to leftovers was opened. The few that stayed behind wound up staying over for the night.

I look back at that now and think about how young we were and how close we were. I was 21 years old making Thanksgiving dinner for 30 Marines. We had such a good day that day. I hope those troops remember that. About 10 days after that we flew out for Saudi. We had Christmas dinner at the Port of Jubail in an actual chow hall, a few of my guys came up and said how much better their Thanksgiving dinner was...a few days later we headed north into the desert...That's one Thanksgiving I won't ever forget...I became "mom" to a whole bunch of Marines that day.

Michelle (Keim) Christman
Cpl of Marines
87 - 91

"With their survival as an institution and as individual human beings at stake, the Marines have had to ruthlessly and endlessly examine, discard, define, refine, and redefine their approaches to achieve the ultimate in rapid, effective response to dynamic challenges."
David H. Freedman, Forbes Magazine

Just finished your outstanding news letter and it brought back some memories from NAS Meridian. It was Thanksgiving 1977. I was a brand new instructor in the Navy Aviation Logs and Records School with 27 students (both Marine and Navy). I had asked my wife about bringing a few of the students home for Thanksgiving and since she was prior Navy herself, she told me that would be a good idea.

The next day in class, I got to thinking that if I asked only a few, then I would run into the idea of showing favoritism so I asked the entire class if any of them would be interested in coming over to the house for dinner. I expected a few, however, I should have known better. Twenty-seven sets of hands went into the air. I spent the rest of the day trying to decide how to tell my wife how many were coming. She only said outstanding.

Thanksgiving morning around 1000 - 1100 there were 26 students standing on my porch. I have never seen a 30 pound turkey go clear to the bone along with all the extras that go with an outstanding dinner. After the meal, the girls in the class took charge of the clean up and moved my wife into the living room to rest while they and some of the guys cleaned every pot, pan, dish, etc., When they left, one could not tell there had even been a meal cooked.

The next day, there was a very large assortment of flowers delivered to my wife with a card signed by all of the students. Some outstanding Marines and Navy personnel went on to serve in the fleet when they graduated a few weeks later.

Thanks for the memories.

Gary L. COON
MSgt USMC (Ret)
1970 - 1994

Nowhere at present is there such a measureless loathing of their country by educated people as in America.
--Eric Hoffer

Sgt Grit:

I was returning to Camp Pendleton CA from Heber Springs Ar by plane, after having Thanksgiving at home and just as we were landing the lady next to me asked if I had anyplace to spend Christmas? I told her no and she asked if I would join her family for Christmas dinner? She just had time to give me her phone number. I went and had a good time from strangers now are friends. thanks to the Marine Corps.

This is not only a war of soldiers in uniform; it is a war of the people, of all the people. And it must be fought, not only on the battlefield, but in the cities and in the villages, in the factories and on the farms, in the home and in the heart of every man, woman and child who loves freedom. We have buried our dead, but we shall not forget them. Instead they will inspire us with an unbreakable determination to free ourselves and those who come after us from the tyranny and terror that threaten to strike us down. This is the people's war. It is our war. We are the fighters. Fight it then. Fight it with all that is in us. And may God defend the right.

... from Mrs. Miniver, 1942

BEING away from family and friends during THANKSGIVING and CHRISTMAS in the military either in the barracks on your rack thinking or out in the bush can be depressing if you let the HOLIDAYS get to you. YOU go thru the HOLIDAYS with a sense of ease and concentrate as you truly know that you being where you are is making a difference in world peace. EVERY place I was at during THANKSGIVING and CHRISTMAS was a time to bond to fellow MARINES ever more as we were all going thru the same things. PLUS every where I was at during the HOLIDAYS the MARINE CORPS cooks made the chow halls very nice for just us and we had so much in HOLIDAY food that it put a tear in your eye knowing that the MARINE CORPS does take care of its own. HERE is my true story of a special THANKSGIVING about 38 years ago. MY unit, INDIA Company 3RD Battalion 4TH Marine Regiment left DONG HA in QUANG TRI PROVINCE and were redeployed to OKINAWA {THE ROCK }. DURING our time on THE ROCK we trained aggressively in the jungle of NTA. WE had already been in the bush of NTA for three weeks training in the jungles day and night for a possible return to the DONG HA area. WE were hearing that a MARINE grunt battalion was in fierce combat with a large NVA unit. WE figured any day we would be flown back to NAM to help our fellow grunts. Well, one day we were told that we had to hurry and reach a clearing in the bush that was about 15 clicks away. IT takes a while to travel in the bush as the jungle is very thick. WHEN we got to the clearing there were three CH-46 CHOPPERS in the LZ waiting for us to load up. WE were almost 100% sure that we were going to NAM to help our fellow MARINES out of a tight spot. THAT was our job and other MARINES needed us we thought. So we were ready to go. WE felt like for sure that we were going to fly on the choppers to MARINE CORPS AIR STATION FUTENMA {OKINAWA} and from there flown to NAM. WELL, our choppers landed in a clearing near several wooded buildings that was still in the NTA area. WE did not know what to figure as this sure was not FUTENMA. WE were told to get off the choppers and get our rears inside of a building not very far from our LZ. WHEN we unloaded from the choppers they took off to go pick up the rest of our company. WE still did not know what was going on. WE went in to the building that we were told to get inside of. IT was a well decorated and well staffed MARINE CORPS mess hall full of all kinds of THANKSGIVING how. OUR company CO said to us "HAPPY THANKSGIVING ." MAN it hit us right in the heart and it felt so good to be thought of. SEE the MARINE CORPS takes care of its own ! IT was such a big change from the regular C- RATS we ate all the time. THE MARINE GRUNT battalion near DONG HA in NAM did not need our help like we thought and they did a good job on CHARLIE. GOD bless the CORPS.

Sgt USMC 0351 Dad -- Steve

"The dustbin of history is littered with remains of those countries that relied on diplomacy to secure their freedom. We must never forget... in the final analysis... that it is our military, industrial and economic strength that offers the best guarantee of peace for America in times of danger."
—Ronald Reagan

Hi Sgt Grit, I want to thank you so much for the wonderful products you put out for all of us to get our hands on. Parris Island only has a limited amount to pick from! My identical twin sons are both deployed to the same area in Iraq. They aren't together but they think they might be able to see each other for a visit within the next month. They are both in areas of upheaval so, being the Marine Mom that I am, I worry a lot. Your newsletter keeps me going and reminds me that all those Marines over there are watching my sons' backs. Thank you so much for your website..
Thanks a bunch! USMC Mama Carol

It is the duty of all men in society, publicly, and at stated seasons, to worship the SUPREME BEING, the great Creator and Preserver of the universe. And no subject shall be hurt, molested, or restrained, in his person, liberty, or estate, for worshipping GOD in the manner most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience; or for his religious profession or sentiments; provided he doth not disturb the public peace, or obstruct others in their religious worship.
-- John Adams

All Men are Created Equal Then Some Become Marines
All Men are Created Equal Then Some Become Marines

I Fight What You Fear
I Fight What You Fear

God Bless America!
Happy Thanksgiving.
Semper fi
Sgt Grit

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