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I Tell Myself He Is A Marine

My son wanted to become a Marine since his 12th birthday and 6 yrs. later 2005 he went to Boot camp at MCRD San Diego.
Since almost 6 month in Okinawa with the 3D MLG he is going now to Iraq, he said he volunteered for going over to the sandbox. I was in Desert Storm and I understand why he volunteered, sometimes you have to do what you have to do when it is the right thing, I tell myself he is a Marine.

Saepe Expertus, Semper Fidelis, Fratres Aeterni Semper Fi
Kurt Esser USMC (ret.)
and proud father of
L/Cpl. Uwe Esser1

Support the Corps Shirts

OIF Some People Just Need Killing Shirt

OIF Some People Just Need Killing! These shirts are available in Ash Gray and are 100% preshrunk cotton, available as a t-shirt, long sleeve t-shirt, and sweatshirt. . Available ONLY through July 30th.

Family Members Shirts

I Survived Shirts

From the Sands of Iwo Jima to the Sands of Iraq. Show your pride in having survived your time in the Corps with these shirts! The shirts are 100% preshrunk cotton, available as a t-shirt, long sleeve t-shirt, and sweatshirt.
Available ONLY through July 16th.

Sumemr Items Special

Home Accessories on Special This Week

We have some Marine Corps home accessories on sale this week. 20% off for a short time only.

Sgt Grit proudly sponsors:

SemperToon launches Morale Coin!

The first coin from SemperToons is now available! 6 Colors, Diamond Cut Edge, Chrome and Gold Eagle Globe Anchor on back and comes in a protective case! All for the craziest SemperToon price possible.

You have to see it to believe it. Perfect for collecting or that one coin your Marine doesn't have. Supplies are limited. First come first served. 2 Sizes available......Check them out!

1.50" Morale Coin

1.75" Morale Coin

He Was Defusing

SGT. Grit

My name is Justin and I served in the Marines during the first waves in Afghanistan. Myself and many members of my unit were lucky enough to make it home to our loved ones. I just found out that a good friend of mine lost his life Sunday July 2 in Iraq. He was defusing an IED when another on went off next to him. He was 23 and a Sgt In the Marines. He loved his wife, family, and the Corp. I am just asking that all Marines and Family of Marines have Sgt. Justin Noyes's family in their prayers. He is a real Hero!

Until we meet again keep heaven safe Devil Dog!

Only Thing Good

Dear Sgt Grit,

John Nolan (Newsletter June 29, 2006) is so right .... "C" ration meals really sucked! The only thing good about them was the 4-pack of cig's. Actually the ham and lima's weren't to bad if you knew that you had to put your sugar pack into the can before you ate it. This was to kill the unbearable taste of salt. And, just think all the new Marines (my two sons included) complain about MRE's ..... they never had it so good!


Cpl (E-4) Bill Bruneau USMC (1959-1964)
Boston's Own Fighting Irish
"C" Company, 2nd Infantry

Very Proud

Dear Sgt Grit,

Like Lady Leatherneck I too am a very proud Woman Marine. I recently had a license plate holder made for my little red car that read "USMC" "Woman Marine". I've been stopped by young men and told they have never seen a Woman Marine! I also I have gotten polite beeps and a thumbs up from other drivers. I have never been so proud in my entire life as the day I received by Eagle, Globe and Anchor, to this day the memory gives me chills as it did that day. I must share a quick boot camp memory. Picture this, last inspection before graduation. We had been spit polishing our shoes till I thought I'd drop. The problem was I have very large feet, size 12 women's (I'm just a tad shy of 6 ft)and shoes issued were as crinkly as fried chicken skin. One of the DI's had actually taken them home to try to smooth them out. Day of inspection, they looked pretty darn good. As we stood at attention I could feel the sweat trickle down my back, then it was may turn. Lt Col. Jenny Wren came before me. Okay, eyes front, no eye balling, don't lock your knees, and for God's sake don't pass out! She looked at me from the top of my cover, my hair, skirt length down to my shoes. And she stopped! Oh my God! What happened? Did a bird crap on them on the way over to the gym, had I kicked them or was it the shine? She began to slowly shake her head back and forth smiling. Oh Lord, she taking revenge out on me, she's going to hold me back! Still shaking her head she laughed, "It's just not fair, she's got so much more to shine than the other girls." I was so relieved I had to bite the inside of my cheek to keep from laughing. By the way, kudos to your shipping department. I was able to get my USMC ball cap in time for Memorial Day.

A.J. Houghton (Tweedy)

USS Coral Sea Reunion

Marine Detachment, USS Coral Sea Reunion,
All Years Sept. 28th - Oct 1st in Boone, N C
Contact: William R. Moore
2309 SW Olympic Club Terrace
Palm City, Fl. 34990
Phone # 772 / 287-8730

Thank You,
Semper Fi,
SSGT William R. Moore
USMC Retired

Marine Sniper

Sgt Grit,

The author of the book Marine Sniper is Bill Henderson. He's a retired Marine that lives here in Colorado a few miles from my house. When I saw the most recent email newsletter, I sent him an email. My original and his response are below.

Semper Fi,
Jeff Mitten
First Sergeant, USMC, 83-01

Might be good to suggest that the man read the book instead of listening to it on tape. Lots left off the tape, and I have never really liked that version of the book. More importantly, the guy needs to read Silent Warrior, the sequel to Marine Sniper, which takes you through Carlos' death, and goes into a good deal of detail about The Frenchman.

Semper Fidelis, Frater Infinitas
Charles W. "Bill" Henderson

I Can Relate

Lady Leatherneck 1960-62

I can relate to your story very well. I too have a Marine Corps sticker on my car and have had people ask me if my husband is a Marine. One person who asked me was a female contemplating going to OCS while I was wearing a Marine Corps shirt standing by my car. My husband was also in the Air Force, so he has learned to step back and just watch. As President of the Women Marines Association OH-2, I was tired of that question, so I came up with a solution. I had a shirt designed that says "I'm the Marine in This Family" that our chapter uses as a fundraiser. I haven't had anyone else ask me that question.

USMC 191st Anniversary Menu


Well Sir

My son-in-law, who retired as a Gunny Sergeant after 22 years, invited me to attend a meeting on his base. At the time he was a Staff Sergeant. The meeting was to be followed by a party at the NCO Club...lots of beer and bullsh!t.

The meeting was to be about 30 minutes long. The main reason for the meeting was to introduce a new Captain who was joining the computer group, where my son-in-law was the lead NCO. The Major, who headed the group, handled the introduction:

"Captain Smith is a Mustang. He was a Drill Instructor and later became a Limited Duty Officer. He was promoted to Captain 2 months ago." The major then asked the assembled group if there were any questions for the new Captain. My son-in-law, a total wise *ss, put up his hand. The Major said, "Staff Sergeant do you have a question for the Captain?" "Yes sir...Captain as the Major said you were a D.I. is that right?" "Right Staff Sergeant."

"And you are also an L.D.O., Captain?" "Affirmative Staff Sergeant." "Well sir, if you were a D.I. and then an L.D.O. that makes you a D.I.L.D.O. is that right sir?"

The audience, including the Major, went ballistic.

The laughter went on for several minutes. The Captain took it like a man. Later, at the NCO party, the Captain came up to me and said, " Sir, you have my sincerest condolences for having THAT Staff Sergeant as a son-in-law." I said, "Captain, you only have the little bastard for a year or so...I have him for life."

"Aye, aye sir."

Commander Dick Dayton
U.S. Navy (retired)

Chocolate In The Winter

Sgt Grit ,

Memories of two Winters in Korea... 53/54...HQ 3/11 communications wireman ...to the OP's...1st /5th/ 7th Regiments.

The C-rations weren't bad except for the sausage patties when you couldn't heat them.

The "extra " patty was the hard white grease on top...

Never heard the corned beef story before...always liked the franks and beans.

K-rations and "assault rations" had the hard chocolate and the cocoa that needed hot water...ate them like candy. When you bit into the chocolate in the winter, it left teeth marks and the chocolate turned white where you bit it.

If we had heat ,I wouldn't waste it on hot chocolate...open the sausage patties !

Remember the gallon cans of raisins, apples and cherries that the cooks came up with...made "jack " or cut the 190 proof alcohol ,provided by our Corpsmen.

I still love the memories of the Corps... ' 52 - ' 60

Now 71 and still a Marine ...member 1st Marine Division Assoc. , Marine Corps League ,and every other group that has Marine in its title. Also VFW, AL, Fleet Reserve...

Got my first EGA tattoo on my 70th Birthday in Annapolis , Maryland.

Also spent a week on Parris Island with the Marine Corps League last year ...going back in October!

Semper - Fi !
Charlie Quick 1364638
Sgt USMC ( never retired )


Sgt. Grit,

In the last newsletter (29 June 2006), Bill Hill asked why, after receiving five Navy Crosses, Chesty Puller never received the Medal of Honor.

According to the book, "Chesty, the Story of Lieutenant General Lewis B. Puller, USMC ", HQMC's response to this query was answered this way, in 1962:

"In the absence of a recommendation and in view of the expiration of the time limit, consideration of the Medal of Honor in General Puller's case is precluded by law."

Rich Cervenka
USMC - 1969-71

The Triple Threat

To John Nolan's comments about Corned Beef Hash in the June 29 Newsletter, add Meat And Beans and Meat And Noodles. During the winter of 1951-1952 I was an FO with a KMC company on the North rim of the Punchbowl. Because we didn't always eat three meals a day, over time we were able to cull the worst cans of C-Rations that we called The Triple Threat: Corned Beef Hash, Meat And Beans and Meat And Noodles. After several weeks we had about a dozen cans set aside. Thinking I'd make points with the KMC CO, I sent them as a gift by my interpreter. He soon returned with all the cans saying, "Captain say if you don't want, he don't want".

Lesson Learned: Nobody would eat The Triple Threat.

Hugh Hunt
C-1-11, 1951-1952

Called Back

Semper fi, I was happy to se the story from Capt.L.S.Green regarding hi service w/1stBn-8th Marines in Santo Domingo - 1965, I was also there but as floating Bn,with 1stBn 2nd Marines HQ Co.we loaded up four or five times ready to go in but were called back due to fear of putting too many Marines ashore.

Yours, a fellow Marine ( 63 years young, still mean )
Butch Wheeler Cpl of Marines

It Sure Brings

A couple of weeks ago I read a letter from someone referencing a "SSGT" Sevene. I was at MCRD San Diego Sept 1962, Platoon 367, and my Senior Drill Instructor was GYSGT Sevene. I wonder if these are the same person? He was short with a shaved (bald) head and built like a brick s&#t-house. He along Cpl Smiley, SSGT Ellis, and Sgt Highhouse, got my mind straight for 11 long weeks. These Marines, along service number, I will NEVER forget. It is great reading all the different letters. It sure brings back memories. I was attached to H&MS-31 MCAS Beaufort, VMA-331 MCAS Beaufort & The USS Forrestal, and VMF 235 MCAS El Toro. Unfortunately, I was not "in country", but God bless all of you that were, and all of our troops that have ever fought on foreign soil.

Semper Fi!
Dan Desmond Cpl, 1962 -1966, 1996893

Not Too Happy

Hi Grit,

Been reading you newsletters for quite awhile now and thought I would finally put my two cents in. First of all, I want to explain to your readers that you and I served together in 'Nam, so we have a different bond along with the guys we get together with every few year. This year's Grit Together was the first we all attended, and I'm sure it won't be the last.

I joined the Marines in '67. Went into boot camp in August and ended up going to radio school and ended up in 'Nam in April of '68, just after Tet. Like Grit, I also extended my tour in 'Nam twice, so I was there until Sept. of 1970. Like Grit, I also was a radio operator with the 11th Marines. Spent some time with the ROKs (Korean Marines).

I remember my parents were not too happy about my choice of joining the Marines. Don't get me wrong. They were not against me going in the service, but the Marines were not their choice for their "little boy" because every day the newspapers carried stories about the Marines in 'Nam and the casualties they were suffering. But they also knew that since I was a little kid, I always wanted to be a Marine. Never wanted to be a fireman, police man, doctor or anything else. Just a Marine. When I came home on leaves, my dad always took me to his clubs he belong to. We lived in the Polish section of our town and they had various clubs they all belonged to. Whenever we would go to the club, he would always brag about me being in the Marines, and we were not allowed to buy any drinks while we were there. I never went thirsty at the clubs and I never had to spend any money there either. My dad and my uncles were all in the service. Some in the army and some in the navy. None of my cousins or my two older brothers ever went in any branch of the military. After I joined, one cousin a couple of years younger did join the navy. I always respected him for that. We would get together after I came home from Nam and he was still in the navy and we always had a good time together.

I will never forget that when I left home before going to Nam. That was the second time I ever saw my dad cry. The first was when I left for boot camp. We did have a couple of talks together but they were far and few between. I found out that he was both proud of me, but also scared for me.

I read all the letters about snow in California and I agree. I was in San Diego during the winter of '67-'68 and it snowed there. But when I was in Camp LeJuene during the winter of '70 - '71, it snowed there also. Of course no one that lived there knew how to drive in the snow, but those of us from up north loved it.

Whenever I hear people against us being involved Iraq, or in some of the other places we have been and still are, I just think of my neighbor and I remember why we are there. You see, my neighbor is from Viet Nam. He is a young man with a wife and three beautiful children. We get along great, and he goes out of his way to help the neighbors with whatever they are doing.

My wife and I have had the privilege of meeting his extended family. I found out that his uncles, who are about my age, were fighting on our side in 'Nam. When they left and came here, they worked hard to be able to afford to bring the rest of their families to America so they too could enjoy the freedoms and liberty that America has to offer. My wife and I considered it a great privilege to be the only non-Vietnamese people at some of their parties, including the one where they celebrate the new child coming into this world. Instead of a shower before the baby is born, they wait until after the baby arrives and have a big party then.

So when people complain about why are we there, I always refer to my neighbor and the reasons we were in the 'Nam.

So yes, this may be another "wrong place, wrong war," but being Marines, we GLADLY go where we are sent and try to right the wrongs that others are doing to their people. So the next time you see a service man, no matter what branch of the military he, or she, is or was in, be sure to thank them for their service and think of those that will benefit from their selfless giving to help others.

To lighten the mood somewhat, I can't believe that someone actually named their brindle boxer pup "Sgt. Grit." Knowing Don, Sgt. Grit, for all these years, I'm not sure I would make the poor dog suffer with a name like that. He has a lot to live up to, to earn the name of Sgt. Grit.

Until next time, take care, love to all, and may God bless America and all who defend Her.

Semper Fi,
Ric Richter
Cpl of Marines '67-'71
11th Marines Viet Nam

Squad Was Able

Recently I've heard a lot of stories about great navy Corpsman, id like to nominate doc toomey. not only did this navy Corpsman show me courage although we were never in combat but while we were on 2nd Bn 5th mar super squad up until may 1984 his devotion never failed. This navy Corpsmen never failed in his duties and was a constant inspiration for his peers, he volunteers for his duty's we were hand picked from the Marines, 1st mar div.His devotion to duty never wavered despite the way we lost the 1984 competition. It was because of his devotion to duty the rest of the squad was able to handle the consequences of the trials. I don't know if the real winner was recorded in history but it was not 2/5 mar div. he taught us to handle the real wounds as well as the imagined and I imagine Sgt hatzenburler and Sgt scarsdale who were my mentors will understand. real combat was real but at the time this was devastating. doc toomey restrained our Sgt and put the world in perspective. I don't know if I agree with col;kilys decision but I do know I don't have to live with the results. I was there and I know who really won.

CPL Kevin B Tikkanen
CPL of Marines 82-86

Look Up At The Stars

I just read the news clip about a Marine sniper rifle recovered by Marines in Iraq. It sent a chill down my spine. This is one of those things that happens that makes the Corps so proud. It makes a Marine stand a little straighter, even a old one. A lot of folks don't understand the way a Marine thinks, acts, or lives. Marines all have common ground. Its news like this that becomes a sea story, that becomes a legend. The Corps is rich with legend.

I've been in some far off places and when I was feeling homesick I use to look up at the stars and think...Somewhere in Alabama there is a old retired Marine sitting on his front porch looking at the same stars and thinking about me. Well, my post is on the porch now. I look at those stars. I'm thinkin about my brothers. I pray for them and their safety. I wouldn't feel safe on my front porch without them.

Semper Fi
C.B. Vaughn
Gysgt. Ret.

I Finally Got Brave

Sgt Grit;

OOhRah! From one former Sgt to another. My husband is presently in Iraq, so all your catalogs to him have been my pleasure-yes, I've sent them his way. Want to put a little something together later for his birthday-provided the good Lord sees fit he come home to me. He's on his 2nd tour now. I finally got brave & signed up for your newsletter, guess I needed to be connected with other leathernecks, and read about what's going on with others. Get the Marine Times, but your newsletter was more of a soother. Rest assured, orders will be forthcoming, so your mailings haven't been a waste of postage. Brian said he loves looking @ the catalogs-keeps him connected to home in between my e-mails. Your selection is outstanding, & I hope to replace some of my old, worn out things one day too. On an EMT's budget/ College Custodian; need to wait until the funds are plentiful to do so. Right now, bills are more important-the house, utilities, etc. Hope you understand. Will read the newsletter with interest.

Semper Fi!
Becky McCann


Forty years ago this Summer, I learned what it was like to "earn" the title of Marine. That summer, I lost my hair, my preppy clothes, my college mind set at a place called Camp Upshur at Quantico, VA. I was a product of the PLC officer training program and served proudly as a Leader Of Men. I will soon visit MCBQ for the first time since I went through PLC and TBS so many years ago. Like it was yesterday I still remember the D.I.s screaming at us to "hook up" (grab the e-tool on the pack of the man in front of you) as we climbed the muddy slopes during forced marches, doing push-ups on the blistering asphalt Grinder, going through "junk-on-a-bunk" inspections in those old (but spotless) Q-huts, enduring lock box drills, etc. I wonder if any of our young officers are still being trained the same way? Is there still a Camp Upshur, a Hill Trail, a Power Line Trail ? I'd like to hear while I still can.

Not as Lean, Not as Mean, Still a Marine.

Larry Chapman, Capt. of Marines
Houston, TX


I love Superman and I'm really excited about seeing the new movie Superman Returns. However, there is a real Superman I admire a lot more and I really wish one of our wonderful political leaders would recommend him for the Congressional Medal Of Honor.

This young man is a combat Marine who lost both his hands in the Iraq War. Even after being wounded he continued to direct his men while they were under fire. Now he continues to serve in the United States Marine Corps as a hand to hand combat instructor.

He doesn't have any super powers to speak of, only the heart of a lion and a great love of this great nation and the U S Marine Corps. His name is Sergeant James Eddie Wright and he is currently stationed at Quantico Marine Base under the command of Lt Col Joseph Shusko. If you agree with my suggestion that he be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor please contact your U S Senator or better yet President Bush.

Jim Curtis

At Times

The grunt that didn't want the hash obviously has never been hungry. If you had been in combat back during WW2 you would have "at times" fought somebody for a can of it. We had K rations on the front lines and nothing else and was glad to have even them. So don't knock the hash. You would be glad to get it if you had nothing else as we did. There wasn't anything else , so we didn't expect anything else. We made out. IWO was my last operation and at times K rations couldn't get up on the line. The Corps got up there as soon as it could with good chow.

Semper Fi Mac
Old Sgt. Robert Nicks
Eco 2nd. Bat. 25th 4th Div.

What this war is

Might be good to remind folks what this war is REALLY all about.

Very Partial List Of Islamic Terrorist Activities:
Full list is pages and pages and pages and pages.

1968 Robert Kennedy assassinated
1972 Munich Olympics Sep-5,1972 (Black September)
1976 Entebbe Hostage Crisis, June 27, 1976
1979 Iran Hostage Crisis, Nov. 4, 1979 444 days
1979 Grand Mosque Seizure, Nov 20,1979
1981 Assassination of Egyptian President, Oct 6,1981
1982 Assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister, Sept 14, 1982
1983 Bombing of US Embassy in Beirut6, April 18,1983
1983 Bombing of Maring Barricks, Beruit, Oct 23,1983
1984 Hizballah Restaurant Bombing, April 12,1984
1985 Egyptian Airliner Hijacking, Nov 23,1985
1985 Rome Airport murders
1985 TWA Flight 847 hijacked, U.S. Navy diver murdered
1985 Achille Lauro hijacking, Homacidal maniac lived in saddams Iraq
1986 Aircraft Bombing in Greece, March 30, 1986
1988 Pan Am 747 Flight 103 Bombing, Lockerbie, 100's murdered
1988 Berlin Discoteque Bombing, Dec 21,1988
1992 Bombing in Israeli Embassy in Argentina, March 17,1992
1993 Attempted Assassination of Pres. Bush Sr., April 14,1993
1993 First World Trade Center bombing, February 26th, 7 Killed, Hundreds injured
1994 Air France Hijacking, Dec 24,1994
1995 Attack on US Diplomats in Pakistan, Mar 8,1995
1995 Military Installation Attack, Nov 13, 1995
1995 Kashmiri Hostage taking, July 4,1995
1996 Khobar Towers attack
1996 Sudanese Missionarys Kidnapping, Aug 17,1996
1996 Paris Subway Explosion, Dec 3,1996
1997 Israeli Shopping Mall Bombing, Sept 4, 1997
1997 Yemeni Kidnappings, Oct 30,1997
1998 Somali Hostage taking crisis, April 15,1998
1998 U.S. Embassy Bombing in Peru, Jan 15, 1998
1998 U.S. Kenya Embassy blown up, 100's murdered
1998 U.S. Tanzania Embassy blown up, 100's murdered
1999 Plot to blow up Space Needle (thwarted)
2000 USS Cole attacked, many U.S. Navy sailors murdered
2000-2003 Intifada against Israel - 100's dead and injured
2000 Manila Bombing, Dec 30,2000
2001 4 Commercial airliners hijacked, 250+ murdered
2001 World Trade Center attacked, 2800+ murdered
2001 Flight 93 murders
2001 Pentagon attacked, 180+ murdered
2002 Reporter Daniel Pearl, kidnapped and murdered
2002 Philippines American missionary, Filipino nurse killed
2002 July 4, El Al attack Los Angeles LAX, several murdered
2002 Bali bombing - 200 dead, 300 injured
2002 Yemen, French Oil Tanker attacked
2002 Marines attacked / murdered in Kuwait
2002 Washington D.C. sniper
2002 Russian Theater attacked, 100+ dead
2002 Nigerian riots against Miss World Pageant, 200 dead, dozens injured
2002 Mombasa Hotel Attacked, 12 dead, dozens injured
2002 Israeli Boeing 757 attacked by missiles, fortunately no one injured
2002 August Hotel bombing in Jakarta, Indonesia. 12 dead, dozens injured.
2003 Rusian concert bombing
2003 Phillipines airport and market bombing
2003 Foiled SAM plot in the USA
2003 UN Baghdad HQ Bombing

Homesick Heart

Grits and Jars--

You guys are awesome, I got my jacket here in the UK ON THE FOURTH OF JULY, being da only American in da village, I can't tell you how my homesick heart was cheered when I was handed a Grit Box.

Am here working on a anti terrorism university, so its all good, but gosh I miss my America.

You guys rock.

One Young Lieutenant

Sgt Grit,

The Marine Corps birthday is only four months away and for some reason this recollection just popped into my head.

About ten years ago I was attending a Birthday Ball in West Palm Beach, Florida, hosted by the 4th ANGLICO Marines and the General A. A. Vandegrift Detachment of the Marine Corps League. I was at that time the Commandant of the Tamarac Detachment in Broward County, Florida and was attending with about thirty members and spouses. We were all in our "formal" uniforms of red blazer, tuxedo trousers, cummerbund, etc. and were introduced as visitors/attendees from a sister detachment. The party had over six hundred in attendance, active duty, reserve, civilians and veterans. As the evening progressed we wished a lot of Marines a Happy Birthday.

One young Lieutenant came up to me, shook my hand told me "you guys motivate the dog sh!t out of me!". I believe that was his way of saying that he was following in our footsteps and appreciated our continued participation in the Marine Corps community. I think that has been about the nicest compliment I have ever received from another Marine!

Semper Fi everyone!
Mike LaBozzetta
Cpl 1964-1967
Sunrise, Florida

I Come In Contact

Sgt. Grit,

Marine Security Guards serve without question.

Many Marines who fight for the injustices, be it any part of the world, finally find themselves among those who may or may not understand the atrocities our armed forces witness first hand.

I come in contact with U.S. Marines who have served in Iraq or other areas of conflict, as United States Marine Corps Security Guards (MSG) in our Diplomatic Missions worldwide. Many of the fine Marines that are chosen to be 10% of the Marine Corps finest for the MSG program, are. They may be new to Corps or have been there among the conflict, they serve among people who have no idea what they have been through or do in their present duties. They serve overseas willingly without boasting about there past, no matter what each Marine does; they are there to serve, defend and be ready, as they give so much of themselves each day.

Semper Fi, Devil Dogs.
John Hernandez
Facility Manager, American Consulate General,
Sao Paulo, Brazil - July 04, 2006

Marine Dog Tags

One day and long after my ten years in the Corps, I was on lunch break and a coworker said I was "clinking" and why was I "clinking". I explained that I was still wearing my dog tags. She replied, "Most people, when they get out, they put away such things."

I looked at her and said, "That's because, the "they" you are talking about, "they" weren't Marines".

She turned up her nose and asked, "What's so special about the Marines?"

I laughed, and as I was sitting at her table, I began:

"My dog tags clink for those who can't. My dog tags speak for those few, those chosen, those proud Marines - how they sacrificed all and left the torch burning for the rest of us to carry. They were in the very first war, fighting with long guns atop mastted war ships with cannon blazing. They were in Santo Domingo fighting the French and on the "shores of Tripoli" where they won the right for all officers to wear the Mamaluke Sword. They were at Chapultepec in the "Halls of Montezuma" earning the blood stripe for the NCO's dress blues and they were with Andy Jackson in New Orleans in 1812. They were in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines earning the respect of the world.

In World War I they distinguished themselves on the battlefields of France as the 4th Marine Brigade earned the title of "Devil Dogs" for heroic action during 1918 at Belleau Wood, Soissons, St. Michiel, Blanc Mont, and in the final Meuse-Argonne offensive. In World War II they were first on Guadalcanal, then on Bougainville, Tarawa, New Britain, Kwajalein, Eniwetok, Saipan, Guam, Tinian, Peleliu, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. Here is where they earned the phrase, "uncommon valor was a common virtue", and they earned the respect of America.

In Korea, they were surrounded by 200,000 Chinese troops at the "Frozen Chosin" Reservoir and it was heard to be said that they had those 200,000 Chinese troops right where they wanted them. Here they earned the fear and respect of the Chinese and the North Koreans. The North Koreans refused to sign any peace treaty which allowed Marines to be stationed in South Korea and it is that way to this day.

They defended Khe Sanh in a hostile Viet Nam and then turned around and rescued the crew of the SS Mayaguez. The 1980s brought an increasing number of terrorist attacks on U.S. embassies around the world and as Marine Security Guards, they continued to serve with distinction in the face of this challenge. This I know as I was one of them. In August 1982, they were in Beirut, Lebanon and we lost many to that land. In 1990 they took back Kuwait and gave the middle east a reason to fear the look of the "Devil Dog", so much they renamed them the "Angles of Death". And now, they are in Iraq and were the first to make it to Bagdad.

The army has the Special Forces and the Navy has the Seals and these veterans tend to request at their funerals and memorials that special mention be made of their accomplishment into those heady ranks. The Marines, they don't have a "special forces" except maybe for Force Recon, they don't have a "seals team", they don't need them. When a Marine dies all he asks is that he be remembered as a Marine.

As we lay flowers and flags upon their graves, they know that we still stand tall and have never wavered in our duty to our God, our Country, or to our selves. They are my Brothers and Sisters, and though their hearts beats no more, their story lives on forever in the still beating hearts of we few, we chosen, we proud Marines.

And yet, my job is not done. For when it is my time to die, I will present myself - dog tags intact - to Saint Peter for duty in front of the Pearly Gates. I will await on bended knees, the Almighty when He says, "Well done, My good and faithful servant, My Marine!" and then from the President's Own, I become part of God's Own and my dog tags will clink ever more. Finally when Jesus makes his return, we few, we chosen, we Marines will be by his side and carrying out his orders still. You see, when we Marines become Marines, it is for life and when we give that life to God, well, . . ." I left the sentence unfinished.

She stood up and said, "You are just an extremist, a mean, heartless, and evil thing".

I said, "No, not really, I'm just a Marine."

Bob Laws
Sergeant of Marines 1977 to 1987

I Can Remember

On your recent newsletter some one asked to hear from a "43" Marine. I was sworn in the Corps on June 9th 1943 one day after graduating high school.

Here are just some of the memories I'd like to share with you. We didn't have Camouflage utilities, we had dungarees. State side at Christmas and New Years, it was an unwritten law that married Marines went home for Christmas and us single Marines went home on New Years. When ever possible Senior ranked officers eat last and junior ranked enlisted ate first stateside. PI was tough in those days. I can remember standing at attention on the parade ground when a green head horsefly landed on my cheek and started munching away. It was painful. The DI saw me flinching my face and screamed,"You had your breakfast, let the fly have his!" To this day at the ripe old age of 80, I still wear my Marine Corps Cover. And at least twice a week I meet a fellow Marine or someone coming up to say,"Thank You For Serving." I have many more memories that I'll submit later. Semper FI to all former Marines and Marines serving in the "Sandbox."

I remain, once a Marine always a Marine

Eugene Mazzie USMC 539252

For myself I am an optimist-it does not seem to be much use being anything else.

Note: I would like to hear more from WWII, Korea and Cold War Era Marines. Semper fi Sgt Grit

Relating To Discipline

Sgt Grit;

Recently there have been two letters relating to discipline for putting hands in pockets in boot camp. I just wanted to add my experience to the pot. But first let me give a little of my background:

I was drafted into the Marine Corps during the Korean conflict. At the height of the conflict there apparently were not enough volunteers to meet the need so the Corps resorted to the draft. The draft for the Marines started on 1 August 1951 and I was drafted on 6 August in Indianapolis Indiana and shipped by train to San Diego. We arrived at the receiving barracks late on Friday afternoon and slept there over night before being assigned to a platoon (228). On Saturday we were issued all of our clothing, bucket, etc. and instructed to dress in Utilities (the herringbone twill, solid green ones with stenciled logo on the pocket) and boon Dockers (rough out, ankle height). These utilities came from the manufacturer with a stiff paper tag stapled to each and every piece of cloth that went into the garment. We were told not to take off any of these tags until told to do so. We also had to pull our covers (caps) down to our ears, I guess to let everyone else know we were green boots. One day, after chow I had fallen back into formation while we waited for the stragglers and I reached into my pocket to remove one of those pesky staples that was digging into my leg with every step and my drill instructor saw me from some distance away. The punishment was for me to fill my pockets with sand, sew them shut and wear them that way until he told me I could empty them. After three days I quietly emptied my pockets and hoped he would not notice. Eventually he did notice but I explained that I understood it to be for three days and he let it go.

Even though I was drafted into the Marine Corps I was treated just like any other boot and later was given schooling, etc. just the same as if I had volunteered. That may have changed after the higher ups got wise to the fact that by the time these draftees finished with schooling they did not have enough time left to serve in Korea. However, I am just as Gung Ho as anybody else and maybe more so. I did not succeed in producing any Marine Corps children. I do have one son that is a graduate of the Naval Academy and is now a Navy Captain (25 years) at SHAPE Headquarters in Belgium and another son that is a helicopter pilot in the Army (20 years), I have two granddaughters at the US Naval Academy now and a grandson who is a Corporal in the Marine Corps at Quantico VA. So you see I really do have a military family, even if they are not all Marines.

One other thing: All this chatter about earning the "Eagle, Globe and Anchor". I cannot remember ever hearing anything about that back in the early 50's when I was in nor have I ever heard anything like that since until I started getting this newsletter. I never thought it was any big deal, they were simply emblems we wore on our uniforms. I don't think the average person today treats it any different than that. I cannot see any problem with parents or relatives wearing these emblems in support of their Marine Corps service members.

SSgt Merton Bushong
(Active 1951-1953, Reserves -1959 )


The below entry on the American Courage newsletter is not mine...it is Josh Wright's. Josh is a fanatical Marine supporter who has send hundreds of Care Packages to the Marines in the Sandbox. If Josh had not been born with "Hep C" he would be an active duty Marines today. Josh is good to go with me and hundreds of other Marines. Josh gave the flag to the Wounded Warriors Barracks. Josh deserves all of the credit.

Ooo-Rah Lil Josh Wright!

Semper Fidelis,

Regarding My Displeasure

After looking up said cartoon, I emailed Mr. Steve Benson of the Arizona Republic regarding my displeasure. He was rather curt in his reply about my right to voice my opinion, but then I replied again and simply told him,

"We are proud of our Corps, and we are very protective of it. It's kind of like saying something bad about our mothers. You would get the same response. "Semper Fidelis" is not just a couple of words that we say, we really mean it!"

Again his reply was rather curt. I am guessing that he is getting a lot of flack as a result of this issue being reported in Sgt Grit. I hope that others keep it up. He needs to hear from us.

Semper Fi,
Angelo Lema Jr.
MSgt., USMCR, ret.
Alumni: 1st Bn., 24th Marines (SOC), "1991- World Tour" -


P.S. 1/24 has been mobilized again, and is preparing for deployment. To all, "Stay Safe!"

Fear In My Heart


The Air Force Surgeon's, Col. Wyrick, story about the inured Marines he treated in the hospital actually struck fear in my heart. Can you imagine what a PFC checking into that Sgt's unit and when he reports in to find a stuffed human arm on his new Sergeant's desk? I don't think that new PFC will even blink without permission...I've had MGySgts and Sgt Maj with K-Bars, replica battle-axes, even a donkey's jaw bone but nothing like that!

Everyone knows that no better friend and no worse enemy as a Marine. That and we hold integrity and honor above all else. We also don't tolerate imposters either. In fairness to all of the Proud Marine Mom's, family members and Patriots out there, verbally beating them just because they want to show their pride is actually a little over the top. Almost all of the Marine Pride gear for our families and supporters in your catalog have an Eagle, Globe, and Anchor on it. Those that would keep our Emblem under lock and key might want to think about biting the hand that supports us. Besides, any a Marine Mom, Wife, Husband, Brother, Father, etc has earned at least a small place in our Corps by being there with us through it all. If you don't think so just try taking their pride, and their gear, from them...

SSgt Brayton

Made The Mistake

Dear Sgt.Grit

I just wanted to say Thank you for the emails that you send out. My husband was in the Marines from 98-04. And then we made the mistake of joining the Army. I share with him the stuff I read from your news letters, and I can see how he misses the Marines. The two are so different that you would think that military is military. But Marines have, and always will carry a pride with them that no one can take away, and a brotherhood that runs deeper than the ocean . If you want to know what h&ll is like , its a Marine in a soldiers outfit. That is a quote by my husband, he had a bad few weeks. I want to say Thank you to all that are still in, be safe. We miss you USMC.

The Fishers

Dear John

Dear Sgt. Grit;

I joined the Marines in September 1955. My girl friend was always talking marriage and although I thought I loved her, I really wasn't "ready" for the"big step" yet. Need less to say, she was not very happy with me

I was in boot camp MCRD San Diego just four week's and I was told I had a letter at the base post office. When I went to pick it up, they told me the letter was "over weight" and I had to pay them 26 cents. When I opened it up, it had 14 pictures of my girl friend in a bathing suit. That wasn't the bad part, the bad part is, I had to pay for my own "Dear John"!

Marine Cpl. 1955 - 1959
Larry R. Sams

Note: I'd like to see more "Dear John" letter stories. Sgt Grit

A Few Calendar Contest Participants

Even if they didn't make it to the calendar, these entries are still winners in our book!

Sgt. Adam T. York, Echo Co. 2/8 greets his son Logan, 4 upon his return to Camp Lejeune following a 7-month deployment to 17 countries in the Central Command area in September 2005.

Photo by Sarah York

This was taken a year ago today. Saying my final goodbyes to my wife Ashley before I deployed to Iraq.

I think this picture sums things up. A lot of folks forget we are in a war right now and that there are families separated from one another and possibly will never see their loved ones again.

Thanks for all you and Sgt Grit do for us Marines here and abroad.

Semper Fi,
Russ Meade

Dear Sgt. Grit-

This picture was taken during some training at Camp Grayling MI.

I just happen to snap it at the right time. I am serving with A Co. 1/24 Wpns Plt. Mortars Sec. and preparing just like everyone else for another trip to the sand box.

Thanks Cpl Osborne B,J

Thought it would be cool to see some junior "Jar Heads" in your calendar!

Picture taken of Ponchatoula Young Marines preforming Color Guard Duty at the New Orleans Zephyrs baseball game. Date of photo is 6/24/05. Picture of (from front) Staff Sgt. Jesse

Rizzuto (age 12) Lcpl. Ashley Marullo (age 13) Lcpl. Frannie Marullo age 12) & Lcpl. Blaine Cutrer (age 11).

Taken by: Jennifer Marullo (me)

Short Rounds

General Bruno Hocmuth....Good! Resorted to my boot camp book to see the General's picture.....Truly a Marine's Marine.

Ham and lima beans......bad!
Beans and franks........good!

Semper Fi
John H. Allen, 2043651
MCRD, San Diego,
1965, Plt 360 "Regimental Honor Platoon"

Sgt. Grit; during my years in the Corps, I picked up a response to greetings, when someone asks, "How are you, today?". For these many years, now, my answer has been, "I'm excellent to outrageous!".

Jim McMahon
GySgt of Marines (1949-1970)
Semper Fi

God bless you JIM DAVIS, You are a man among men and a Marine among Marines. I hope I have the same courage you have when it comes time for me to meet my maker. It will be a pleasure to shake your hand on the other side when it comes.

Semper Fi
Curt Hagedorn 2118300
Sgt USMC 64-68
The Nam 66-67

Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you, Jesus Christ and the American G.I.

One died for your soul, the other for your freedom Anonymous

Gunnery Sergeant
Michael W. Davis USMCR

Mr. William T. Funk Jr., of Mound City, Ks. who was known as "Bill", served with the United States Marine Corps, During World War II. He spent 30 days on Iwo Jima during the invasion of the Island.

Pasted away on June 8, 2006.

62 - 66

Don't know what's wrong with all my brothers. When I was in Nam, we fought over H&L. They were better than anything else we could get.

SSgt of Marines
"Jeep" Howell

Being ready is not what matters. What matters is winning after you get there.

Lieutenant General V.H. Krulak, USMC: To a Marine unit leaving for Vietnam, April 1965

Cmdr. Dennis Rocheford, A Father in the field.

A little something for you motorheads.

U.S. Marine, We Don't Suffer
U.S. Marine, We Don't Suffer

In 1969, This is the only...
In 1969, This is the only...

Welcome Home, Job Well Done!
Semper fi
Sgt Grit

New items!

Iwo Jima Birthday Ball Coin
Iwo Jima Birthday Ball Coin

Marine Corps Tapestry Throw
Marine Corps Tapestry Throw

Lite Up Shot Glass with EGA
Lite Up Shot Glass with EGA

Semper Fi Rocks Glass Set
Semper Fi Rocks Glass Set

Marine Corps Sleeveless Jersey
Marine Corps Sleeveless Jersey

Digital Woodland Marines Hat
Digital Woodland Marines Hat

Warfighting, US Marine Corps
Warfighting, US Marine Corps

All New Items!