Dear Sgt. Grit: I just want to tell you that daily I am blessed by being the mom of a Marine. He is in Camp Pendleton SOI helping train the new Marines that graduate from MCRD. I am so proud of him, his service, his attitude and his dedication. He came home from Iraq and continues to amaze me with his honor and his dedication to his brothers, and his country. I know Marines are special and I meet others who have returned to civilian life, but they continue to carry their dedication even there. Thank you to all the Marines everywhere for making all of us proud Americans. Semper Fi JD and all you other Marines out there.
Mom Miles

Huge After Christmas Sale

Huge After Christmas Sale

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Sgt Grit's Giant After Christmas Sale starting 12-26-06 and lasting only for a short time! Check out the great savings on some of our most popular items.

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"Pain is nothing compared to what it feels like to quit."

Sgt. Grit,
One day I came home and my Granddaughter, who I have raised, had changed my desktop to a Marine picture. I didn't think much about it until my Wife told me she was wanting to go into the Marines. I then proceeded to bust through my shirt. As it turns out she has had these thoughts for two years and she is in the 11th grade. She is in JROTC and next year she will be the Battalion Commander. The Colonel who is in charge said the he has never seen someone as focused as she the moment she joined. She loves to wear her uniform and has a very disciplined attitude as well as being an honor student. The day before Thanksgiving I took her to Parris Island and she fell in love with the Marines after talking to several WM's that just graduated. She can hardly wait till June to join on delayed entry. She will excel in the Corps and we have high aspirations for her. Upon returning home she started her Grandmother on a work out program. I guess she comes by her attitude naturally as my father-in law was an Iwo Vet and retired a MSgt, my brother- in law was with Chesty at the Chosin and I am a disability retired Viet-vet. Thank God for all Marines!

Semper Fi,
Tom Mintz, SSgt 1964-1975
Vietnam 68-69 Purple Heart, Air Medals, Door Gunner

Chaplains Corner
By Bob Boardman

What Will This Day Bring Forth?

We never know what will happen in any given day. That is never more true than in warfare. But the soldier or Marine has geared his mind for a vast array of unexpected experiences and casualties. Seldom do we think we will be WIA or KIA. We don't say we won't be hit, but subconsciously feel it will be someone else...unless there is a clear premonition, which does happen in a few singular cases.

Simon was a rugged farmer from the countryside of Cyrene. Just looking at him with his rugged build, gnarly hands and deeply tanned features, it was evident that he could carry a heavy load, even a roughly-hewn cross.....Read More

Dear Sgt. Grit (Dr. Benson)

I wanted to drop you a line and thank you for carrying the Corpsman Tees and items. I just ordered several for my Fleet Marine Force Navy Corpsman son's Christmas. He entered the Navy specifically to be a Corpsman and came out of basic and Corps school 100% squared away hard core Sr. Color Guard Navy. That is until he went to the Fleet Marine Service School. A few weeks with the Marines and he had found his call ! To be a Marine "DOC". He's currently going crazy setting in the Navy Reserve Center at Wichita Kansas, and has volunteered for every assignment, deployment and active duty that's been available for the past year. He'll get his chance and I'm really glad I could pick up a few things that let him show his pride and ours in his service in one of the most elite and highly decorated OS's in the Military's history. Today especially, (Dec 7, 2006) I would like to thank you and every other "Devil" and service member for your service! God bless America.

Detective Terry M. Love

He lost more battles than he won. He was second guessed by congress, criticized by his own officers and ridiculed by enemy commanders.

This was George Washington's record in 1781 after 6 years of war and just before the Battle of Yorktown.


All I Want For Christmas

gift Thank You again to all who participated in our "All I Want For Christmas" contest.

We are honored to present Mrs. Connie Stevens with an Oak Shield Sword Display to display her son's NCO sword. Sgt Jonathan Stevens has been guarding the gates of heaven since 10 January 2006.

Mr. Gary T. will receive the USMC Zip Up Hooded Sweatshirt he wanted.

Mr. Phil G. is getting the USMC rugged hat he requested.

And Mr. James N. will receive the Emblem Cross Necklace to present to one lucky lady.

Semper Fi
Santa Grit

A few weeks ago I visited our local VA hospital with my husband. My husband is a Viet Nam vet (Army) and our youngest son is a Marine getting ready to be deployed in March. While waiting for an elevator at the VA hospital we met a mom & dad with their young Marine son. The young Marine was in a wheel chair and using oxygen and partially blind, when I saw his hat, Once a Marine Always a Marine I went over to him and thanked him for his service and told him our son was a Marine too. He shook my hand and I saw tears in his eyes. A little while later I ran into his mother in the restroom, she gave me hug and said thank you for not ignoring him, she also said I had no idea what it meant to her that I had done that. I told her that I did know because I pray everyday that our son will come home safe along with all of the other young men and women. They truly are hero's, GOD BLESS them all!
Ethel Hammond
VPM of PFC Hammond

Dear Sgt. Grit,
I served in the Marines from 1963 to 1967 with a tour in Viet Nam in 1965 and then four more in the Army reserves. My son Tom is a gunny currently serving his second tour in Iraq. I did my duty and felt proud to have served but now that my son is there and doing his duty to God and country, he is my hero. He has served 15 years to date and will do 20 with pride. I can only speak with pride and humility every time I talk about him. He makes me very proud and after visiting him at Camp Pendleton and having the honor to watch and appreciate a graduating class at boot camp, I know that we are in good hands and doing the right thing. I am the Sec/Tres. of the Sierra Nevada Chapter of 1st Marine Div. Assoc. in Reno Nevada. This is a small but proud unit of Marine Veterans from WWII and Korea and Viet Nam. May god bless you and yours and our beloved Corps.
Semper Fi
Sgt Roger Ferguson

Unhappiness arises from the difference between the way things are and the way we believe they should be.

Sgt. Grit,

I am sending this email to wish all Marines and their families a Merry Christmas and a wonderful and safe New Year. My brother is a LCpl with the 2nd LAAD Btn at Cherry Point, NC and has been home about a year from his first tour in the sandbox. I couldn't be more proud of him, he has overcame a collapsed lung during boot after fighting to stay in as well as numerous other obstacles along the way. It seems that some Navy doc decided it would be better to process him out due to his lung so he pulled his blouse on over his chest tube and marched down to meet his Senior DI at reception to tell him there was no way he was going home! He finished boot and is now a vehicle commander about to go back for his second tour. He has since gotten married and is looking forward to next November to come home and start a career in Law Enforcement. Our grandfather was a Marine during WWII and soon after followed in his father's footsteps into Law Enforcement. Our Dad was drafted during Vietnam but was released on a medical after they found out he had 6 screws in his hip. I tried to enlist after I had been a cop for three years but was rejected because I have a "significant" hearing loss after a SWAT shootout in 01'.

I just wanted to say every Marine, past and present, has a special place in my heart and always will just for being themselves. I have met a lot of my brothers buddies from Cherry Point and I have to say they are the finest bunch of animals I will ever know. I hope the public realizes the sacrifices that these men and women make just to protect our great country.

Semper Fi
Det. J. Lemming

There is a group that likes to attend military funerals and protest. This is one reception they got.

Clan meets up with a p!ssed off crowd.

"As riches increase and accumulate in few hands, as luxury prevails in society, virtue will be in a greater degree considered as only a graceful appendage of wealth, and the tendency of things will be to depart from the republican standard. This is the real disposition of human nature; it is what neither the honorable member nor myself can correct. It is a common misfortunate that awaits our State constitution, as well as all others."
-- Alexander Hamilton

Sgt. Grit,

Your news letters are awesome. Our son has been in the Corp just over a year now and I read your letters every week. Thank you for what you do.

This is our first Christmas with our son being deployed to Iraq. It is a very difficult time for me as well as other families, I'm sure. I sit in church and cry silently because I miss his so. Our daughters are very comforting and loving and try to understand what I am going through.

I want to take this time to say "Thank You" to every man and woman out there that is defending our country. It takes a strong individual to join the military and I could not be more proud of all of them.

I come from a strong military family, and I thank God every night for each and every one of them as well as the other hundreds and thousands that are doing the same work.

So, no matter where you are stationed, and no matter what you are doing,
for a great job. May each and everyone of you have a very blessed holiday - Merry Christmas - Happy New Year & keep safe.

Cathy - Proud Marine Mom of LCPL Stine, Chris

This is to notify any one who may have served with HMC Paul C helms an FMF Corpsman for 8 years ( MCRD San Diego -Korea "51" Camp Lejeune N.C. and Viet Nam (DaNang and Why Phu Bai (sp) late "65 & 66" ) passed away at age 75 on Oct. 23. 2006 in Ca. At his grave site is the American Flag and the Marine Corps Flag that sits in a holder I just ordered from Sgt. Grit.
Once a Marine, always a Marine..

"I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious."
-Thomas Jefferson

Once again our family enjoyed an awesome turn out for our 8th annual Toys for Tots Christmas party. We were able to gather up over 100 toys for local charities and impressed all who attended with the local recruiters who attended. What an awesome sight seeing my fellow Marines, all three in dress blues, walking to my family's front door. One lady even commented .... "I have been to three parties today but YOURS is the only one with Marines."

Our happiness however turned to reminiscing and condolences as one of our local hero's, Navy Corpsman Christopher "Doc" Anderson, entered into our conversation. Doc Anderson has joined his fellow Corpsmen at God's pearly gates and the funeral procession will be Saturday December 16th here in Longmont, CO. His father, a Navy SEAL, addressed the crowd gathered outside the funeral home when his son was brought into our town. He thanked everyone for their support which brought out a "Thank you" to him and his family.

The church on Saturday is expecting hundreds of family, friends, mourners, and well wishers along with a large contingent of Marines and the Patriot Guard. I know that attending this funeral will bring many tears as I am even tearing up thinking of this young boy who so valiantly gave it all for "his Marines" as he put it.

My fellow Marines, keep him and his family in your prayers this Christmas season. Chesty, welcome him into your fold in Heaven and rest at ease Marines, a fine Doc is on his way to tend to you all.

Corpsman Up

Gerard Torres

I just wanted to take a minute and thank you for this newsletter. I have recently seen your catalog for the first time. I placed and received my order nice and quick. When I opened up the box and started to look at everything, I got nostalgic. I really brought back many memories, some good and some bad. For the most part, I would not change anything about my enlisting in June 1964. I would not trade the experience for anything. I feel it made me a better man and I thank the Corps for that.

Thank you again and I am looking forward to a long relationship.

Robert D. Adams
Sgt July 1964 to June 1972.

"A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious."

A few weeks ago, I went to a reunion in San Diego. Our group attended a recruit graduation parade at MCRD, where I spent two of my 25 years in our Corps. The Depot band played stirring martial music before the parade, then as Adjutants Call sounded to signal the beginning of the parade. Five hundred two recruits stepped off precisely in unison. What a sight! Perfect fitting creases...glistening shoes...rifles carried exactly as per the manual...tanned and clean cut step and aligned all the way...and beaming with pride, rightly I might add.

For me it was a deeply emotional and spine tingling few moments when the band played the Hymn after the platoons had passed in review, soon to be dismissed and greet their friends and families.

Some say, the "Old Corps" never was, is not now and never will be. There's no doubt in my mind that the DI's have shaped these young men, who will soon enter the war, into Marines who measure up to the standards of all who went before them.

Semper Fidelis
Col. Don Schaet, USMC (ret)

Sgt. Grit,
I really enjoy read all the stories each month, it brings back a lot of memories, Marines, are so special to me, we travel all the world with our children, now, they are grown, my husband was 8511/7051 and now he gone to heaven to call row up there, and I know he don't let sleep up there.

In Loving Memory of
GYSGT. Robert A. Grady
8511/7051 Gunny's Wife; Kathy

"We have been imposed on so often that it is understandable how some would think that we had reached the point where we would stand for anything."
-Thomas Sowell

Dear Sgt Grit

I am sitting in my home feeling lonely and quite sorry for myself. Tomorrow is Christmas day. My Marine Corps Captain died almost three months ago at 86 years of age. He spent a little over 20 years in the USMC. I was privileged to marry him only 15 years ago as his first wife died of cancer after 45 years of marriage.

I had JUST completed my own version of The Night Before Christmas in my sadness before I opened my e-mail. I thought it interesting that so many had the same idea in this newsletter. As I read down through the newsletter, I realize how very much I have to be grateful and happy for this year, even though my Captain is resting in the Veterans Cemetery close to me.

Since I married into the Corps long after my husband's retirement, I didn't get to experience the "joys" of military life like most wives. But, I was so proud to be the wife of a Marine. The Veterans Cemetery personnel worked hard to provide an awesome service with LIVE military honors even though it was a holiday (Columbus day). I am so grateful for that; it was so sadly thrilling; I know my Captain would have been SO pleased. He was so proud to be a Marine.

Here's my "rendition" of The Night Before Christmas:

Tis the day before Christmas; no one's in the house but me and my kitty - not even a mouse (I hope!)
No stockings are hung on my fireplace with care, for "St. Nick" is gone - he won't be here this year.
I won't hear any "whinny", no click of a hoof, for "St. Nick" is resting. (And so is my roof!)

As I knelt for my prayer when I rolled out of bed, I felt heaviness, darkness, my heart was so sad
My thoughts darted swiftly, first here and then there 'Twas hard to keep focused on my weak puny prayer

Then I thought of how others out there in the town - had no "Clause" and no reindeer, nor loved ones around
Only bleakness and hunger - no warm clothes to wear. Feeling lost and abandoned with no one to care

And I thought of the Baby who left family above, to enter our dark world bringing healing and love
He knew what it meant to be cold and alone, completely afar from His Father and throne.

Tho alone with my kitty, my Christmas will be. I know Abba comes down for my kitty and me.
And I hear them assure me as holidays start. Merry Christmas sweet child; we love you dear heart.


I want to thank all you Marines out there, retired and active for what you have done and are doing to keep our country safe. Reading the newsletter has taken me from sad to grateful this Christmas season. Thank you ALL! Therefore, I add a last verse to my poem:

Tis the day before Christmas-in my mind NOW is seen
The vision of heroes -- God bless the Marines

Jodi E. Dodson,
Wife of Melvin C. Dodson, USMC, Ret - deceased

Thank you Sgt. Grit for the Christmas Marine stories. My son, Rct. Brett Kelley, Golf Company, 2nd. BN., is at Parris Island this Christmas. I am a proud mom who is missing her baby very much. He is happy and loving every minute of training, esp. the sand pit. He says since he made squad leader he sees the pits regularly. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to my son and all the recruits in training this Christmas season. I am so blessed!

Proud mom of a Marine

"Great danger lies in the notion that we can reason with evil."
-Doug Patton


When I saw story in the (Denver) Rocky Mountain News, I immediately thought of your wonderful newsletter. Here is a story of what brotherhood, family and Christmas are all about.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all who serve, and especially you, my son, Lance Corporal Alexander (Zander) Behnke who is off to Iraq in March.

Earl Behnke

They call it "Semper fi"


One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, "My son, the battle is between two "wolves" inside us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: " Which wolf wins?

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

get to see my husband for Christmas! he is going to Iraq January 2007 for his second tour...we have been married for only 4 months and he has been gone for 2 of those 4, transferred from nas/jrb belle chasse to MCAS New River, while I am home in New Orleans. I miss him terribly, but I remember all the families and wives and moms before me who have been there and done it, and that gives me strength. thanks for everyone who puts stories and shares experiences on here, it helps a new Marine wife out! i hope everyone has a safe and merry Christmas, and yall are all in my prayers.

semper fi
genevieve b.
wife of the ssgt

"It is the madness of folly, to expect mercy from those who have refused to do justice; and even mercy, where conquest is the object, is only a trick of war; the cunning of the fox is as murderous as the violence of the wolf."
Thomas Paine

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all who have served and are serving currently.

This is a very difficult time for all of you that are away from home this holiday season and for those who have been left to fill the shoes of mother, father, sister, brother, son, daughter, friend, husband, or wife. We here at our home wish to extend our most humble "Thank You's" to all of you. Those two words will never be able to say enough of what is in the hearts of so many of us here at home.

We love you all and please come home safe and sound.

Sharon, Kevin and crew
Proud friends of a Marine

My Grandfather was a Marine who served in WWII. My father was a Marine who served in Vietnam. I was blessed with two sons ( 8 and 10 years now) that will without a doubt become Marines. Every night we sing the Marine Corp Hymn and I wake them up in the morning as my father woke me up: "Get up Marines! Get those warm, warm feet on that cold, cold floor!" My father-in- law discourages the boys when they say they would like to become Marines. For Christmas I purchased off of your website the bumper sticker that says "It can't always be someone else son". I hope he likes my gift!

Semper Fi, is a motto I hope that my boys learn and live by because my father and grandfather did and without the Marines I do not believe that they would have lived the lives that they had/have if not for the Corps.

God bless the United States Marine Corps and thanks to a Marine I can say "Merry Christmas". Not, Happy Holidays!

"What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure."
--Thomas Jefferson

Sgt. Grit, this is another viewpoint of respect and love for our Marines. Having a brother who landed at Normandy, one in England during WW II in the Air Force, and my first husband in the Navy who served on a light cruiser that was engaged in every major battle in the Pacific in WW II when he was 15 years old to 18 years old, I am now the very proud grandmother of a Marine.

There is no short way to tell you this story. My late husband was a 29 year veteran, 9 years in the Army and 20 years in the Air Force. He joined the Army at 17 and was in Germany near the end of WW II. After his enlistment expired, he joined the Air Force and spent the next 20 years there. When he retired with 23 years service, the next day he joined the Army so he "could do his duty in Vietnam" and a little over 30 days he got his wish and was on his way. He spent 6 more years and retired. My children and I always knew the military was his first duty and we learned to adapt, spending nine years overseas with him.

Now, at 17 years of age, my grandson joined the Marines in the DEP and left for MCRD San Diego on Nov. 6th. He is in Phase 2 now and doing very well. He is actually enjoying the physical and emotional discipline but is homesick and hungry for home cooking. He is my daughter's only child and they have lived with me most of his life, so he is just like my own child. We miss him terribly but are so very proud that he took the step to open the door of the rest of his life and become a Marine. We attended his high school class graduation last week when it was announced he could not be there to accept his diploma as he was in Marine boot camp. The audience erupted with applause, hoots and whistles. And, then they asked my daughter to please come to the front to stand in his place. It was very emotional and of course, we cried.

Now are making plans to attend graduation on 2/2/07. My grandson has never been away from home before and, as one might imagine, he was sheltered, spoiled, and loved most of all having been reared by two woman, one a real softie and me, the one who dished out the discipline (sort of). He will turn 19 on December 23rd. We will miss him on those two special days, but when he comes home on leave, the tree will still be us with all the packages under it and the lights will shine outside just under the banner which will say "Welcome home, Marine. Well done.) The tradition I started when he was a toddler of having a small mailbox with the flat raised and a little gift each day December will be there under his very own tree in his room.

When we were stationed in North Africa and my children were 5 years and 13 months old, I was hospitalized on 12/7 with malaria and hepatitis. My children waited for Santa until I came home in February. Not a package was open nor paper torn, no needles on the tree, but they needed me to be there for Christmas. I will never forget that Christmas. And, my grandson will never forget this Christmas nor his birthday celebrated when he comes home in February.

Words will never be able to adequately express the appreciation, respect, and love the American people should have for our military and these young boys who are willing to lay down their lives for their country and all those who live here, all colors, all faiths, those in jail and those who are here doesn't matter for our boys are ready, trained and willing.

May God bless each and every one of them...those who have served, are serving and those who will serve.

G. K. Young
Widow of WO2 Robert W. Young, Ret.

Going to the Ball Dear Sgt. Grit,

This past November, I was an honored guest at the Marine Corps Birthday Ball in 29 Palms. My boyfriend is a Cpl in CLB-7, long side of my little brother. This September, I was lucky enough to have my Marine come back safely from his deployment in Iraq but my brother is still over there. The Ball was like nothing I have ever experienced. During the ceremony, there were several parts where I felt tears welling up in my eyes. I saw a part of the Marine Corp that night that very few Americans will ever see. I looked beyond my own tears and saw grown men weeping as they honored their fallen Marines and Marines that served before them. With my love standing proudly next to me in his dress blues and my brother in Iraq in my heart, I made a mental note not to ever forget that night. I felt like I was there not only as a guest, but in place of my brother who was not able to be with the rest of his unit. I was respectfully greeted by everyone and proudly introduced as "Adams' Sister". Thank you again to all of our Troops for doing what they do for us. My heart goes out to you all.

Loving regards,
Lori Adams

"It is losing that Americans have no patience for-not casualties or a protracted war. Let Bush make it clear that he is serious about victory, and that he will do whatever it takes to achieve it. The political support he needs will follow."
-Jeff Jacoby

Marine Corps Chevrons I just happened to be looking for some Marine Corps chevrons for a display that I'm creating and it looks like you have even more than I had hoped for. My display is now going to be bigger than I initially planned with the help of your store. I was in awe at how much great stuff you have. I lost a lot of my personal Marine Corps stuff over the years and with your help I will be replacing a lot of memories. Thank you and Semper Fi.
Sgt. David Hughes 3rd LAAm Bn. 2nd MAW 1974-80

Forty years ago on June 16, 1966 I put my feet in the yellow foot prints at MCRD, Parris Island. Two weeks ago my wife and I were heading north on I95 from Florida going home to Tennessee and I suggested that since it was 40 years ago that I completed Boot Camp lets stop at Parris Island and see how things have changed. There are no frame buildings where 2nd Battalion is today and a few other things have changed. We were lucky enough to be there on a Friday when 1st Battalion was having a graduation. I don't remember much about my graduation so my wife and I wanted to see one. While sitting in the bleachers 616 Marines, men and women marched on the Parade Deck with precision for graduation. Before Pass And Review all of the age old Marines were recognized by standing to the applause of the entire bleachers and active Marines. Let me tell all of you Old Devil Dogs out there that if you ever get the chance to see a MCRD Marine graduation do it. My eyes did a lot of sweating that day but it was one of the most fulfilling days of my life.

Cpl Randall Clark
Nam 2/26 67-68

"Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one..."
-Thomas Paine

Sgt. Grit:

I am the daughter of a Marine and the mother of three fine young men. My middle son has always known he wanted to be a Marine ....that's all he has ever wanted to be. When he was 16 years old in high school he went on the Marine website and was doing research on enlisting (if he could have managed it he would have enlisted at that age) However, when the Marines sent a recruiter to our house to talk with our son they got the name of my oldest son who was also a student at the same high school. So when my 16 year old answered the door and the recruiter asked to speak with his older brother he knew there had been a big mistake. I might need to mention that my oldest son is profoundly disabled. My son tried to explain to the recruiter that it was him she needed to speak to and not his brother, she however was determined to speak to the older boy in the family because as we all know Marines don't make mistakes. After debating this for several minutes my son gave up and called for his older brother to come into the living room. My oldest son walks into the room with a big smile on his face, wearing a T-shirt and an adult diaper and nothing else. My 16 year old points to him and said, ok go for it. The Marine recruiter began to stutter and handed my son her card and asked him to have his parents contact her. She left very shortly after that. When I got home I did call the recruiter back and jokingly informed her that if the Marines didn't mind changing diapers I would have his bags packed and he would be in front of the house in about 30 minutes. She declined signing him up. My middle son did enlist two days after his 18th birthday and is currently in Boot Camp in San Diego. I am looking forward to seeing him graduate on January 12th. It will be the first time my father has been back to San Diego since 1955.

Nannette Novak
Proud Daughter of a Marine
Proud Mom of a soon to be Marine

Marine Mom Coin
MOM - Mother of a Marine

"A government is the only known vessel that leaks from the top." -James Reston

"Time and money spent in helping men do more for themselves is far better than mere giving." -Henry Ford

"It is only when men begin to worship that they begin to grow." -Calvin Coolidge

Thanks to Kristy in customer service who sent my uncle a catalogue!
I felt that it was my obligation to tell you of how honorable a man he is. Uncle John was in the first division on Guadalcanal; At 5' 5:", the little guy, was the cover guy; The man with the BAR. He told me how he ran up and down the lines all night, firing from different positions so that the enemy wouldn't know their strength. He told me how the enemy fired wooden bullets to inflict infecting wounds.
A proud Marine, like his father before him,. and like his eldest son, who served in Vietnam, my Uncle is proud of being a Marine. Why, after having dinner in a restaurant here in Ferndale, and at age 78, we walked 2 blocks so that he could touch a USMC flag that was hanging outside of someone's home. I cannot stress to tell you how proud he is to be a Marine! I am writing you because I believe that our veterans should be honored, much more than they are. Those who offered their lives to defend the Republic of the United States of America are heroes, as you, and my uncle John are.
May GOD be with you, and SEMPER FI!

Wade Gex

Dear Sgt Grit,

I love reading the stories, and quotes you put on each newsletter. I thought it would be appropriate to share my story of how I got involved with such a prestigious organization also known as the Marine Corps. In high school I met a very lanky, skinny guy who kept me on my toes as far as wit goes, his name was Pierre DeForest. He would joke about my family being German, and how they were involved with the Nazis, and I would just make fun of how awkward he was, and what a strange name he had. After graduating from high school we lost all contact. About a year later I received an e-mail from him stating that he signed up with the Marine Corps, and he would be in boot camp. I responded and waited for him to call me. Four months later he ended up calling me, and again we picked up with war again. We created a phone relationship, and the more and more we talked we both discovered how much we liked the same things, and how we wanted the same things out of life. He came home for Thanksgiving in 2005 and that was the first face-off since 2004. We caught up even more talking all night about our families and what we've been doing in a lot more detail. He introduced me to his family, which I guess what VERY unheard of for him, and I got to know his family. During the times of leave he tried to explain to me the training he went through, and the weapons he handled which sounded like Chinese to me. We talked about starting a family, and all the serious stuff and planned on doing that a couple of years down the road. Well, one thing I found out is that the only person who can plan things like that is God. After he left to go back to 29 Palms when his Christmas leave was up, one week later I found out I was pregnant! We were so excited! I planned to go out to California to see him, all his Marine brothers and the barracks he lived in. When I went out there seeing all those men and women being apart of the Marine Corps either being a soldier, or a spouse of one, I saw such pride in what they were doing it was contagious. Meeting Pierre's officers along with the guys he lived with, and them telling me everything they had been taught, I had such unnatural amounts of pride for Pierre and what he was involved in. He found out that when I would deliver our son he would be in Okinawa, and by the time he got home our son Dominic would be four months already. This deployment would be the longest time he would be away from me since we reunited, and I knew that it would be the most difficult. He would not only miss the birth, but the first Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Trust me pictures don't do any justice. I ended up giving birth to our son on September 20th, three days before mine, Pierre would call every chance he got just to make sure I was okay. During his current deployment he was told that he would be going to Iraq in either September or October of 2007. I was devastated. He would again miss the holidays, and Dominic's first birthday. Although having a partner in the military is extremely hard, it really teaches you how to appreciate the time you have with them. It forces you to realize what's really important in life, and gives you an immense amount of strength. Pierre has two more years in the Corps, and although I want him to be around all the time for the little things in life, I honestly want him to extend for another four years. Knowing that the Marine Corps is protecting our freedoms as American's, and our right to live life as we want it helps me sleep at night. I would go through everything again in a blink of an eye just so that Pierre would be able to be in the Marine Corps. Although he will always be my man, and our son's father, he will forever be a Marine.

Girlfriend of LCPL J. Pierre DeForest
Melanie Hazel

Sgt. Grit,
My children have connected with a group of local people called the S.O.S. (support our soldiers). The children have come up with a Idea to have a candle light service in our town to show support to all . They can't stand to see the protester's in our town every Saturday . They have a lot of people that are coming . I just wanted to let all the MARINE'S know that even the young think your great. And Thank the past and present. If anyone in the area reads this please join us . Friday December 29,2006 7 p.m.. in the town of SAUGERTIES ,N.Y. (near woodstock)..

Tiffany, Melissa, Vinny Barbier

From this wonderful website I ordered a Corps Flag! The GOOD one - weather resistant etc. Absolutely Gorgeous! It HUNG (key word here) on my support post for the awning on our front porch. Last night after 10 p.m. some low-life-piece-of-dirty-rotten-sh! t-a$$hole-from-hell, stole my beloved Flag! In our front door - is a single blue star - around that support post is a yellow ribbon - next to our porch is a sign "SUPPORT OUR TROOPS" - never mind the yellow ribbons on our bushes and a big yellow one for my MARINE. I called the police - yeah, we all know how that one goes. BUT THE D*MN AUDACITY! Our daughter is in Anbar Province risking her life - so some low life can run free and steal A CORPS FLAG! Piece of sh!t! Sorry! But thank you for letting me vent! What that idiot doesn't get - they didn't steal from me - THEY STOLE FROM HER! Thanks for letting me vent my spleen! SEMPER FI!

Proud Parents of
LCpl. Brenda N. Silcock
This is her Mean Old Mom - Marilyn Kiefer

It's quite fun to fight 'em, you know. It's a hell of a hoot. It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right up front with you, I like brawling.
~Lt. Gen. James Mattis, USMC

Hopefully your Thanksgiving with family was a blessed one Sgt Grit. I enjoy reading the exploits of former Marines; old Marine veterans like me who often think about the good old days. I do it often; being apart of Fox Co. 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines FMF, 2nd MarDiv (1960-1966). We spend a lot of time in the MED. I don't believe there isn't a port in the MED that we have not visited.

The greatest experience I ever had and witnessed, is an entire Company of Marines being high-lined from one ship to another ship over night while passing through the Straits of Gibraltar, after leaving the Canary Islands, on our way to Cuba when the Cuban Crisis broke out. We had been in the MED for six months (2nd tour), and went ashore when Lagos, Nigeria was engaged in a Civil War. Also, we took supplies to schools and Medical facilities in Sierra Leone during that time. Sierra Leone is where the ships docked to take on supplies. Our mission was to patrol the West and East Coast of Africa, making stops in Cape Town, Simons Town, Madagascar, Elizabeth Town, Bafu Bay, Monrovia, Liberia, just to name a few. Med 2/6 is known as the unit that never returned home due to the outbreak of the Cuban Crisis. We were in Gitmo for almost 18 Months.

AS you know, I am working for the Government (US Army Corps of Engineers); having been deployed to Iraq for six months. I am getting ready to go home for a while, then redeploy to AED (Afghanistan Engineering District) Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for one year. I get a lot of compliments from the Army Troops when I wear my Marine Caps or sweaters that I purchased from your on-line store. Most Army Troops want to know where I got the attire from. I tell them Sgt Grit; knowing that they don't know who Sgt grit is, although I might be surprised.

Sometimes I engage in conversation with them about the war, and surprisingly the feed back that I get is, this War in Iraq is not a war for Marines to be fighting; Marines have no business fighting a war as such. I must admit, I have to agree with them. If Marines are allowed to be in Iraq and fight this war, the let us fight it the way we have been trained, and that is not happening.

Semper Fi.

J Kemp Myers
USACE-Ground Region North (GRN)
Tikrit Resident Office

Sgt. Grit,

I always look forward to receiving your news letters. I read the letter from the 3rd platoon not forgotten anymore. My heart and praise go to these WWII men. My son is currently serving in Iraq, Marines, and is in the 3rd platoon, D co. If it wasn't for men and women like this group of Vets, we couldn't be reading or sending emails to you. It is going to be a long Christmas with my son being deployed. Also, my hat goes off to the mom that shared their Thanksgiving dinner with the 31 Marines and thank her. My son hasn't been home for the last three years for Thanksgiving. His first year he was in boot camp in San Diego. A family took him and two of his buddies home with them to share their Thanksgiving. I was so thankful for this family. Last year he was in Japan and this year my heart broke again. He was in Iraq and had a MRE for his Thanksgiving dinner. He didn't realize that it was Thanksgiving. Thanks to the Blue Star Mothers of Sand Springs, he did receive a Thanksgiving box from them earlier and had a small special dinner. I am so proud of my son and all military men and women including their families. The public now some what the military gives up to serve but I do not feel that they fully understand what the family has to endure also when their loved one is gone serving this great country. I know it is harder on our military but when I see an American flag or hear a patriotic song, my eyes water up and I walk a little taller knowing my son is serving. Merry CHRISTmas to all military past, present and future and to their families.

A proud Marine Mom.

A young man who does not have what it takes to perform military service is not likely to have what it takes to make a living. Today's military rejects include tomorrow's hard-core unemployed.
--John F. Kennedy

Dear Sgt. Grit,
I have been an avid reader of your newsletter for some time now. The stories are always interesting. I would like to share my story with you.
Last week I had the distinct honor of watching my stepson, Brice pin on his EGA. As a matter of fact, our whole family attended. My husband, Ron a former Marine, my daughter, (age 5) and my son, (age 2 1/2 yrs). I must say it was an emotional two days. You see Ron also went through Parris Island 18 years ago. My father also came through PI many many years ago. Unfortunately he could not attend the ceremony. But I know he is proud just like us of Brice's accomplishment. I have the utmost respect for these men in my life. I am indebted to this fine institution that has produced men of courage, honor and loyalty to this fine country, The United States of America.

I would like to leave you with this quote from Edmund Burke, an Irish orator, philosopher and politician who lived from 1729 to 1797. " All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

I am so thankful for these brave men and women who are serving over there. They are always are in our thoughts and prayers.

From a proud daughter, wife and stepmom of a Marine,

I was at the local Bob Evans restaurant here in the Dayton, Ohio area on November 10th of this year. I was in my Marine Corps League uniform. We had just done one color guard detail and one 21 gun salute at two different high schools in the nearby community of Springfield, Ohio. I stopped for lunch and was leaving to pay my bill. In front of me was this small older woman (I'm 6'1") waiting to pay her bill. She turned around and saw me in uniform and said "You're a Marine, aren't you?" I said yes I am. At that point this little lady reached up and snatched my bill out of my hand and stated in a bit louder voice... "I'm buying this Marine's his lunch" I tired to object and started to say something, but she look at me with this ice cold stare, but with a gleam in her eye, and said "And I wont' take no for an answer." Well needless to say I accepted her kind offer, thanked her and left the restaurant feeling great that some people out there still appreciate what Marines have done and sacrificed for this county. She made my day.

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Welcome Home, Job Well Done!
Semper fi
Sgt Grit

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