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Shake The Can

You can complain all you want about Ham & Limas, but there was nothing as bad as the Corn Beef Hash that was in "C" Rations while in Korea.
If a box of "C" Rations contained a can of Corn Beef Hash even the Korean Labor force wouldn't take it. They couldn't read English they would shake the can next to their ear and if they couldn't hear anything they gave back to you. That tells you what we all thought of that meal.

John Nolan 1131869
Panama 1950-1952
Korea 1953-1954 (E-2-5)
Cherry Point-1954-1957

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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.

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Seeing an Upside

Recently, a Knucklehead by the name of Steve Benson had a cartoon published in the Arizona Republic that desecrates the U.S. Marine Corps' Eagle, Globe and Anchor emblem and defames the USMC as a collection of wanton murderers. Does this event make me once again desire to choke the living sh!t out of him? Of course it does. However, after having thought on it a bit, I also see an upside.

I picture a future enemy of mine, as of yet to be determined. Who knows, could be Iran, could be North Korea, China. The possibilities of future bad guys are limitless. I picture some soldier of this yet to be determined enemy doing a Google search on his enemy, me. I imagine him reading that we in the United States Marines are murderers and killers, bloodthirsty savages. I picture him reading that a different enemy of ours (the Japs) firmly believed, that to get in to this American Marine outfit, first you had to kill your entire family. I picture him reading how American Marines are crazies, pulled from the prisons and insane asylums, crazy blood-lust parent-killing murders. I can almost feel his resolve to meet this American Marine on the battlefield slip just a little. I can see him continuing his Google search and reading how the Chinese told their troops not to attack the "yellow legs," to let them go by. Our history(fact and fiction) is full of such stories. I finally see him coming across this Steve Benson cartoon, drawn obviously by a man who hates the Corps, but who has inadvertently done us a favor. He has drawn a cartoon that, in the future, an unknown enemy will look at, which will make fear grow in his belly like a cancer. H&ll, this Hippy did us a favor. We should thank him and buy him a beer. He has made our future enemy fear us................and we haven't even gotten off the frikken boat yet.

Gunny Davis

Youngest Marine



On PI in 1984, 3 BTN, H-Company PLT 3093.
We had an old Army Ranger in our class, he wanted to switch to the Marines and was immediately made the Plt Guide because of his marching abilities. Well one day out on the parade deck in August with the deck hot and sticky, our guide turned left on the black belts call or column right march ( a brain fart as I am sure we were in at least Phase 2). But the senior went h&ll crazy on him and took the guidon away from him and asked somebody to get up here and take over. Not a soul moved, (I saw my chance) so this highly motivated Private immediately ran up for my chance to lead the platoon. One problem, we had our go-fasters in our cargo pockets (probably what was causing the guide problems) so every time my right leg went forward, the guidon would hit my go-faster and send it for a twirl. Before I realized that I needed my right go-faster to join my left (about 3 steps), SSGT Rivera d*mn near tackled me to get his guide back. My big chance to be the guide was ruined by go-fasters. To this day, I run in boots, never wear go-fasters for nothing!

Jack Lafferty

Marrying A Woman Marine

Re: To Sgt. Allen's Article

In 1968 after being discharged I married a woman Marine, also I served with Bravo Co 1/9 1965-66 in Vietnam.

So Sgt. Allen, we Vietnam Veterans are certainly aware of our woman Marines and God bless all who are serving at present.

Sgt. WM. Jones
The Walking Dead

3 Drag Before

Just another Marine piping up about H&L. When we loaded our CH- 46's for flight, at KyHa, we always made sure we had as many C- rats that we could pack on board; just in case. It was always the same when it came time to "debrief" and clean up the bird ... H&L was the only ones left! I never could figure out why no one wanted them; through a careful and scientific application of Tabasco sauce (lots), anything tasted good. Usually it was about 5-6 hard shakes and mix them up. If you had been in country long enough, you already knew how to breathe without inhaling through your nose. That trick worked great to subdue the "taste" of those things.

Between the Tabasco sauce and peanut butter we were able to salvage anything that was even remotely palatable long enough to get it down! How many of you out there opened your boxes and found Lucky Strike greens in there? I found 2, both date stamped 1945! They only lasted about 3 drags before they vanished, too dry for 20+ years! BTW I still have about 30 C-rats tops that given to me after I used them for "postcards" to mail home. Remember "FREE" in the upper right hand corner? Surprisingly, not one of them has a cancellation mark on the FREE! Semper Fi! (and we didn't OORAH! in '64) Bill Wilson GySgt. Then and forever a Marine!

Under My Tongue

Some time in 1967, 2/9 was in the mist of a Viet-Nam 90 day field trip. Some stupid supply officer in the rear thought we were setting in instead of making a sweep. For some unknown reason he sent out ammo and concertina wire on our night supply chopper. NO FOOD - NO WATER. The ammo and wire were blown up when we saddled up the next day and started humping. The clouds moved in and no choppers for supply. Due to this we had no food or water for 5 days. Not a fun time. It is strange but when you have no food all you can think of and talk about is food; steak, mash potatoes, gravy, steak, hamburgers, fries, steak.

I found a small flat stone and put it under my tongue, shucking on it for moisture. One day a platoon from another unit passed through our unit and I was able to scrounge a can of something off one of the Marines. Back then we shared things. I believe there were seven of us at the time. I retrieved my plastic spoon, which I kept in its wrapper in my shirt pocket. The can was opened and passed around as we each took one spoon full, put the spoon back in the can and passed it to the next guy. When it was all gone I got my spoon back and we passed the can back around again. This time we each got to run our fingers around the inside of the can once. That was the best meal ever. A day or so later we hit a stream and I drank three canteen cups of water before I ever thought about any purification tablets. By this time I was very close to just peeing in my canteen.

We finely got resupplied with C-rats and it was like Christmas and Thanksgiving all in one. When we got back to the rear, I think it was in DaNang, the meal waiting for us was unreal. We heard a Lt., a Master Sgt., and a Gunny "ambushed" an army supply truck at a stop sign and told the drive they were never there and he needed to leave the area. We had steak, mash potatoes, gravy, mushroom sauce, vegetables and best of all MILK. All the milk we could hold. I sleep good that night. The case of beer I "liberated" was even better.

I was always willing to try something. I borrowed a Corpsman's emblem, broke off the be-be guns on my chevron and turned it upside down. Shazam...I was a Corpsman. I went to the area where they hung out and picked up my daily ration of beer. While I was in their area I was called Doc and I kept my fingers crossed that no one was brought in for me to treat.

The only thing I regret is that when I returned to The World and college, someone stole my Zippo and my rock.

John Halpin

These Situations

We the Men and Women of the Corps are asked to do jobs throughout the world that are dangerous and at times very violent. Lives are lost, lives are taken, but in areas that are brisling with IUD's and people running in and out of buildings taking pot shots at you, we are asked to maintain a certain decorum. Of course Marines are trained to deal with these situations, but in the heat of battle and in the middle of a fire-fight, things happen. The recent activities, that being the charging of Marines and their Corpsman, have left a sick feeling in my stomach. I pray that the facts, all of them, will be brought to light and that they will not be sacrificed. All I want for them is justice, one of the cornerstones of our Freedom....... they have earned that consideration defending this great country. Semper Fi.

SGT D.J. Tasker
USMC 1962-1967

Warrior Bond

I served as an 0311 for 7 years, won an appointment to OCS and retired as an 0302 Captain, in '75. Everywhere I go in our beloved country I wear a "gung ho" cover and I find Marines or FMF Corpsmen. Actually, I look for them.

In 1994 I attended a Police Tactical Firearms Instructor school, conducted by the NRA, and hosted by the Selma, AL Police Dept. My wife and I stayed in an RV park close to the city, which had a large artesian lake stocked with bass. I enjoyed it so much I took an extra leave of a week to relax and catch a few bass. The population of Selma and Dalas County is about 70% black, 25% white, and 5% other races. The City still had the same Mayor and government as it had during the racial strife in 1965. Distrust and animosity still smolder in that area. (The City finally elected a black Mayor in about 2000.)

One day I drove to the big WalMart Super Center to buy groceries. As I dismounted from my truck I observed a tall, immaculate "dark green" Marine Sergeant in uniform talking to a group of animated young black males, who appeared to be somewhat hostile. As I approached, I yelled (a Parris Island growl) and "SEMPER FI, BROTHER!" The Sergeant turned and with a broad grin returned my greeting. I walked up to the Sergeant, offered my hand and the animated discussion stopped. I noted that he had a bronze star in his Good Conduct ribbon, which indicated he was a career Marine. I introduced myself and asked him where he was serving. We exchanged salutes. He stated he was on leave from Camp Lejeune, and a member of 1st Bn, 8th Marines. "Wow!" I had served with the same battalion in 1963-1965 and received my "baptism of fire" with "C" Company in Santo Domingo.

We began sharing "sea stories" and the now quiet group of youths stood back and stared. Soon a crowd of shoppers, mostly blacks, gathered and watched and listened with mouths agape, to this fraternal discourse between us, two brothers. We were aware of the crowd but we ignored them, and enjoyed ourselves for about 15 to 20 minutes. I noticed that soon, the gaping mouths had turned into smiles and the crowd started to disperse; some shaking their heads in wonder. As we walked into the store together we were greeted with smiles and friendly comments from both black and white citizens, including a white Police Officer sitting in his patrol car nearby.

The warrior bond among Marines and FMF Corpsmen is real, strong, and forever. It absolutely confounds the understanding of mere civilians and is envied by the members of all other branches of our Armed Forces. And that's as it should be.

Semper Fidelis,
L. S. Green
Captain of Marines

A Good Sign

Almost 3 weeks ago, a vehicle was towed overnight into the dealership that I work for. It belongs to a man that listed his residence as a few hundred miles away on the night drop envelope. He was traveling through the city I work in and his vehicle died. He had the vehicle towed to a dealership (the one I work for). We determined that some pretty major engine work was needed. Over the telephone he authorized this work.

Upon completion of the work, he asked if we would please leave the vehicle at a designated parking lot for a car rental company, from which he had rented a vehicle and was requesting that we accept payment for services via credit card over the phone. Not normally a problem but as an employee I do have to look out for the company I work for. We have an unwritten rule that unless the customer has been using the credit card with us previously or we have had many dealings with a particular customer, we need a fax copy of credit card and photo ID to match the names. This customer was a first time customer and as far as we know has never set foot on the property.

Not having any history with this customer I was skeptical about allowing him to charge the repairs and not getting a face to face "visit." He asked if there was anyway I could make it happen.

I really wanted to help him but wasn't sure what I could do. So I started a minor search of his vehicle and came across his insurance card. It was from USAA. As many people know, USAA only insures officers and their dependants but I now understand they also insure staff NCOs as well. This I figured was a good sign. Then I looked closer and saw USMCR Major...

I spoke with our cashier and asked her to go ahead and run the credit card number. My company probably wouldn't like my decision but I know the word of a fellow Marine.

Not having ever met this man, I only have his word that he will pay his bill. As a former Marine I know his word is good.

Semper Fi
Mike Newman

Kid In The Early 40's

As a 5 or 6 yr old kid in early 40s, 3 of my heroes were all serving our Republic in the Pacific. These were my big brothers, (1) a Torpedoman 3c son the USS Drexler,(1) a Seabee with the 11th spec Seabee Unit and (1) a PFC with the 7th WarDog Unit of Marine Raiders. The Marine landed on Iwo Jima and also spent time on Guam and in SingTao China and later was one of the first Americans into Japan a l month after the bombs. The Torpedomans 3c was killed in action when his ship was attacked by 6 kamikazes 4 of which they eliminated. The Seabee recently went to be with the Lord after a lengthy illness and now my Marine is retired on Chincoteague Island, Va. His island is full of Marines and even has its own Ret. USMC General. I recently visited Brother Pete Louquet and he was telling of a reunion was it on Iwo? or Guam with 12 other guys from our little hometown in NJ. They were from all the services and their celebration was a blessing. Pete had another un-fortunate experience however on Iwo, that of sharing a foxhole with another Marine from our hometown. It was fortunate however that he got to share that time as the other Marine was killed during the early morning fighting. He was the last friend to see/talk with him. I've tried to encourage Pete to share some of his years with the folks on your site, that perhaps someone else from his years may be reading??? He doesn't talk much about those years but I've heard the National Museum had been trying to record as much as possible of the WW2 experiences from those who lived them. It's an important part of AMERICA, who and what we are and stand for. From the stories he has shared though, it seems that his WarDog saw much action especially on Iwo Jima where he and Christy served with Naval Intel during the day searching out caves etc. and went out on ambush at night with one Sgt or another and his unit whereby Christy always alerted them to enemy movement in time to have the advantage. Great dog that she was, she was not able to be returned to her owner/donator and had to be put down. That he could share anything that would be a help to our present Dog Handlers or anyone on the ground is all I had hoped.

His trip into Japan so soon after the surrender was signed was due to he and 1 or 2 other Marines were returning 1,500 prisoners to their command. He gets all the GritNewz as I copy and forward them to him as I get it. Thank You and all you Marines and others that continue to write in. You are all a Blessing to me.

Frederic Louquet,
USN RM2 57-61

To Be Fair

Dear Sgt. Grit and everyone,

I don't do the news thing, so I really don't know what's going on. I would just like to say that courts are supposed to be all about justice, a healing between factions. So, try these Marines! Two thoughts first though:

1) To be fair the court must reflect the crime. Hence, court should be held in a free-fire zone. The Marines would have their normal armor and weaponry, the remainder of the court would have their robes, suits and briefcases. The witnesses for the prosecution would have their nice oak benches where they would be, of course, perfectly safe because there couldn't possibly be any threat to them. There should be a timekeeper to keep an accurate log of just how long it takes the court to ask the Marines for protection from the "innocent civilians).

2) The Constitution of the United States guarantees a jury of "peers". I maintain that a battlefield Marine has no peer ---- other than another battlefield Marine!

Steven Byars, HM1/USN '63-'67 "E" Co, 2/1 Vietnam, '65-

Even Called ME "sir"

Regrettably, I have to leave out a lot of details in this story. Hopefully, everyone will understand. The other day I was assigned to the security detail for the President of the United States by the law enforcement agency that I work for. My job was to supervise a detail responsible for crowd control and perimeter security. We performed all of our duties during the President's stay without incident. As Air Force One was getting ready to leave, one of the officer's on a gate called the Command Post and requested permission for a vehicle to enter the perimeter! Are you kidding me! I headed directly to the gate in question. I'm going to chew some butt! I cringed as I heard a mic key up again. Then the officer at the gate tells the Command Post that the occupants of the vehicle are the pilots of Marine One. Well, that changes everything now doesn't it? The pilots weren't allowed access, but now I had them right where I wanted them. :) I approached the pilots' vehicle, apologized for their delay and asked them if they were on a tight schedule. They said that they would be OK waiting for a couple of minutes. They even called ME "sir." It was hard not to smile. I couldn't help from thinking, what nice young men! I asked them if there was any way that a former Marine could have a couple of minutes of their time. At any rate, after the operation had been secured, I was allowed to spend a short time with the pilots and crew of Marine One. What a fine group of Marines! What a beautiful aircraft! Guarding the President of the United States is one thing, but spending time with Marines..., now that's special! What a great day!

Bruce T. Meyer
Sgt. of Marines '76-'80

P.S. I never thought that I would describe a United States Marine Major as "a nice young man," but I guess that I'm getting older. (The majors that I remember could chew steel and spit nails - at least that's the way that I remember them!)


I just read of the adaptation of 'Ol King Cole using Chesty Puller instead. It reminded me of a song we sung '69-'71. I think it was sung to the tune of Ghost Riders In the Sky (without the refrain "Yipeeaioh, etc").

You can have your army khakis, You can have your navy blues I have another fighting man to introduce you to.

His uniform is different, the finest ever seen The Germans called him Devil Dog, his real name is MARINE!

He was born at Parris Island, the land that God forgot Where the sand is 18" deep, the sun is blazing hot.

He gets up in the morning, way before the sun He'll run a hundred miles or more before the day is done.

So listen to me ladies to what I have to say Find yourself a tough Marine for each and every day.

He'll hug and he'll kiss you. He'll NEVER be untrue. There's nothing in this world a MARINE can not do.

When I die and go to Heaven, Saint Peter I will tell Another MARINE reporting sir! I've spent MY time in H&ll!

And, as I look around me, oh what will I see? A hundred thousand more Marines standing next to me.

(author unknown)
This is the ONLY poem I've ever remembered in my life!

Semper Fi
Mike Ligon

The Way I Remember It

Sgt Grit,

I am writing in response to Sgt Norton who asked about the Chesty song. I was a Third Battalion Marine, H company, in 1981, platoon 3012. Being in Third Battalion, we didn't stay at the rifle range, but with flash lights in hand, marched out every morning and back every evening. One of our Drill Instructors, a tough little tunnel rat by the name of SSgt White, used to call cadence to the Chesty song on the way home from the range. This is the way I remember it.

"Chesty Puller was a good Marine and a good Marine was he.

He called for his pipe and had called for his bowl and he called for his privates three.

Beer,beer,beer said the privates, merry old men are we.

There's nothing in this whole wide world that can beat our company."

"Chesty Puller was a good Marine and a good Marine was he.

He called for his pipe,and he called for his bowl and he called for his Corporals three.

Hup two, hup two hup said the Corporals, beer, beer, beer said the privates, merry old men are we

There's nothing in this whole wide world that can beat our company"

The following were added to each previous verse.

"We do all the work said the Sgt's"

"We do all the complaining said the Luey's"

"who's going to clean my office said the captain"

"who's going to shine my shoes said the major"

There were a few more verses, but to avoid offending any air force personnel who may have stumbled across this site and might be shocked to find out that Marines on occasion use course language, I am omitting them at this time.

Dave McCracken
Sgt of Marines

Lives Forever

Last February, I was sitting on a bench in the shop area of Alachua, Fla., waiting for my wife to tour an antique store. I was wearing my cap with Marine Corps insignia. A fellow about my age crossed the street, saw my cap. He was wearing a Corps T- shirt. He said," Oh, you are an ex-Marine, too?" I said, "Ain't no ex, buddy." He grinned and said, "You got me. I know once a Marine, always a Marine. Semper Fi." I Semper Fi-ed him back and we shook hands." The Corps lives forever."

Darrell Simmons
PFC, VMF-144, 1952-53

It Is Rare

I am proud to stat that Medal of Honor recipient SSGT Karl Taylor was one of my Junior Drill Instructors (PLT 258), when I was in boot camp in 1962. He was hard charging, hard Corps and dedicated to making sure we earned the title "Marine" he was a Corporal at the time. The other Junior Drill Instructors receive the Medal of Honor, having to receive that honor is unbelievable. One of the officers in our Bn Headquarters at Parris Island also received the Medal of Honor but I do not recall his name. Would like to hear from the Marines of PLT 258 (1962) if you are out there.

Semper Fi
Pete Seagriff
SGTMAJOR of Marines (RET)


My letter is in response to the letter submitted by Cpl. E.Griffin. I was also a 6492, stationed at Iwakuni and Quantico from '85 to '93 collectively. While I have always been proud of my service to the Corps, I have still felt a little insignificant with regards to the great and brave things our brothers and sisters are doing these days. I made my personal decision to become a Marine in response to the attack on the Marine Barracks in Beirut. Like a lot of young men who join the Marine Corps under those circumstances, I WANTED to see "action", for my own personal reasons. Any way, some opportunities came and went, and I exited the Corps, feeling a little empty. Well, last year I had the distinct pleasure of working at my part-time job with a retired Air Force Sergeant, who was also a Vietman Veteran. Once he found out that I was a Marine, that was all he needed to know, period. That man shows me the utmost respect and courtesy each and every time I speak with him. I explained to him that, while I do understand that I am part of a Brotherhood that is steeped in pride and unity, and forged from courage and integrity, I still feel unfulfilled. Gary said that, in his mind, holding the distinction of being a Marine, regardless of whether I served in the mud, or in the Calibration Lab, was enough to earn every measure of his respect. I, of course, show him respect as well. My hat is off to each and every Marine, male, female, on the ground, in the air, past, and present, and of course those up and coming future Marines. Thanks for hearing me out, I haven't read one of these newsletters yet that hasn't touched me. SEMPER FI!

Wayne Cameron
Corporal of Marines 1985-1993

I Forgot The Rest

This is in reply to the Marine who requested the rest of the Ole King Cole song. We didn't use Chesty's name in Korea in the song just Ole King Cole etc. Ole King Cole was a merry ole sole and a merry ole sole was he he called for his pipes and he called for his bowl and he called for his Corporal see. One ,top threep, said their Corporal beer, beer , beer said the private Merry, merry men are we There is none so fair that can compare with the Leatherneck infantry. Use the above as standard i.e. When you come to part," and he called for his Sgt see We eat sh*t said the Sgt, one, top, threep, said the Corporal Beer,beer, beer said the private. then continue with: Merry, merry men are we etc.The rest follows: We do all the work said the Loowey Ten days p*ss and punk said the Captain I forgot the rest but am checking with an ole buddy who sang it with me.

Sgt.George Maling H-3-5 Korea '52

Hocmuth Avenue

I was promoted to SSgt by General Hocmuth on the drill field in front of the movie theatre in 1964--in front of my recruits. Ironically the street that runs by the theatre is now called "Hocmuth Avenue". He was a fine Marine--married to his high school sweetheart who recently passed away here in San Diego. Gone But Not Forgotten Semper Fi Mike StClair Major USMC Retired 55-77

James Bond Movie

In response to the General's flag story, I was stationed at MCRD San Diego in 1966 at Communications School. General Bruno Hocmouth was the CG. Seems we had a rash of the General's flag disappearing from the roof top of his office building at night. Got so bad that on night, we witnessed a roof top chase by MP's (they were on a stake out). That chase across the adobe tile rooftops, should have made a James Bond movie.

It was rumored at the time, that one fellow living off base had a flag under his carpet. Seems the Provost Marshall or Naval Intelligence showed up one night, and knew right where to look. I was also in Nam, when General Hocmuth was killed in a helicopter crash.

Bob Cusick
65 - 69

But In 1967

Yo Grunts, time to saddle up. Don't forget your bug juice and two extra bandoleers. Point Man out.

I never met General Bruno Hochmuth but I remember the day his chopper crashed into the river and he did not make it back. There was a right nasty little firefight going on and we always speculated that the General was watching it from his Helicopter. I remember it vividly because we also killed a waterboo that afternoon and it cost all of us 5$ to papasan. Not a lot of money now, but in 1967 combat pay was 65$ a month. Roughly 2.50 a day so that was 2 days pay. H&ll of a way to remember the highest ranking Marine that was KIA in the Nam.

Semper Fi to us that are left and TAPS to those who have gone on ahead.

Ron Shouse
Nam Class of 67/68

I Just Wanted

Sgt. Grit

My wife and I were driving north to Massachusetts from Florida in Feb. 2003 and saw a sign for Parris Island. In Feb. 1953 I was in Marine boot camp at the island. We drove over to the gate and a young Marine guard approached the car. I jokingly said " I don't want to enter . I just wanted to let someone know that I was trained here 50 years ago this month and I'm available if needed." He responded ," Sir, I wasn't born 50 years ago but, now that I think of it ,my father wasn't even born 50 years ago". Needless to say I felt old.

Tom Lee

Can You Imagine

Sgt Grit;

The many stories of exotic foods Marines have enjoyed brings back memories. I have always had a stomach that is the envy of every billy Goat in the country. In December,1950 after moving to Hungnam for evacuation, I was told to "saddle up" as I was going back to Yonpo airfield as rear guard. I was told there were no mess facilities of any kind, so take my own chow. All I could find was a gallon of cheddar cheese and a gallon of raisons. That was my food until I flew out to Itami, Japan Christmas Eve. I must say, I had some interesting bowl movements. In 1968, while stationed at Subic Bay, RP, we started the Philippine-American Boy Scouts, one activity was to reenact the Bataan Death March. The 1968 march was like the original, the boys and leaders marched until nightfall, ate what they had, slept where they were, and got up and marched on the next day. Our son, Steve was lucky enough to get a can of ham and Limas every day! After three reenactments, we had an awards ceremony, you got a pin for each year. Everyone was told to hold up a finger for how times you had made the march. One of the Philippine Scout leaders held up four fingers, the speaker said "we have only made three marches", He kinda smiled and said "I made the original one". Can you imagine what a can of ham and Limas would have looked like to those guys.

Jim Reed S/Sgt 1948-56
Haditha Marines, Stand Tall! We believe in you!

If I Did As

Dear Sgt. Grit,

On an early February morning in 1972, I awoke to the gentle greeting of "Good morning ladies, get your smelly back sides out of the rack" from a short skinny Marine named Homer Collins. He became what I wanted to be, a Marine. I learned over the next several weeks that if I did as Homer said, I would always be able to do what he ordered.

I arrived a skinny little kid and left a lean, compact Marine ready for all of life's trials. Good night Sgt. Collins, wherever you are.

Semper Fi,
Marine Sgt. Rob Reyes
MK1 Rob Reyes, USCG (ret)

I'll Cross Over


With regard to Dress Blues. After looking around quite abit I finally found a set that if I don't eat and use the restroom facilities "Liberally" I can fit into. No crying, no PFM's, only one comment why is it I want to buried in a Marine Corps Dress uniform? I can answer that, after thinking back many, many moons ago, it was the loyalty of each Marine for one another.

On top of heart failure. I was diagnosed with a tumor in my right lung, which is really not operable, they can only keep watching it and chemo. No Chemo for me. I'll cross over and join our band of brothers on the other side, same guy's who saved my azz many times, I somehow feel more comfortable thinking about it.

All I need now is a set of Sergeant Chevrons for the Dress Blues, and I'm set, I made my own arrangements and have been closing up loose ends. Sgt. Grit your newsletter has truly been inspiring to all who read it and pass it along to other Marines both present and former.

God bless all and God bless the U.S. Marine Corps. Semper Fi !

Jim Davis
RVN 68 Scout Dog Handler.

Getting Back Aboard

Was glad to hear that someone else didn't get the traditional Thanksgiving dinner either or maybe this is some sort of tradition in itself.

Jim Hickman "The Gunny" Vietnam, 66-67 and 67-68 wrote in his story about sauerkraut and wieners for the meal after capping some non friendly types. Ours wasn't after anything like that but we had been out on the water since zero dark thirty looking for anything that we could find of a helo and its crew that had gone down in the Med along side the LPH, I think it was the Iwo Jima but not sure. We were on the LPD Trenton that cruise as the Raid company boat platoon. The helo had gone down with two Marines on board. As soon as word was passed to us about it we were in the well deck getting our Rigid Raiders ready to launch. We stayed out on the water for about 8 hours just looking for anything that might have belonged to the helo, it didn't take long to realize that this was a recovery mission and not a rescue one. After being out there for that long and picking up debris the thoughts of turkey and dressing waiting on us back aboard ship was getting better by the imagined mouthful. After getting back onboard with our boats and stowing them away in their cradles we all trooped up to the mess deck for our meal. But lo and behold we are greeted by a squid (he wasn't no Corpsman) and informed that our Thanksgiving dinner was to consist of knockwurst and sauerkraut, heck I don't even eat it as a topping for a hotdog let alone as a real meal. Needless to say I informed Mr. Sailor what he could do with his horsec_ _ _s and sauerkraut and went back to the berthing area and crashed. May be a good thing I didn't eat that day because I ended up with food poisoning twice on that float.

Chris Stokes
Cpl 1/8 Boat Plt

Highway I-4

being a nam vet .i own a old toyota pickup truck that have stickers i purchased from sgt.grit i have a no. of nam stickers all over the truck one proud Marine ,well i let my son drive it from orlando to land o lakes while they are building his house, save on mileage and gas on his own veh...nice Marine dad , well driving on highway i 4 he got a blow out on a tire went to the side of the road to change the tire ,a trucker pull over and pointed to the stickers and ask did you earn those ,my son said no but my dad did ,he than said semper fi move over and change the tire for my son.he told my son he also served in nam and semper fi and took off with a salute...

Frank Rosa
Land O Lakes FL.

Calm Voice

Sgt Grit.

In 1964 while serving at Base Motors, Camp Pendleton, the dispatcher told me to be in the uniform of the day the next morning. I would be driving a bus down to MCRD San Diego and haul young recruits to Edson range at Camp Pendleton.

I was the first bus in line at the depot, looking at the series who would be going North. I heard a calm voice ask who authorized me to wear a short sleeve shirt aboard the depot? I turned and there was Maj Gen Bruno Hochmuth and the depot SgtMaj. I saluted so fast and told the General that my CO at base motors allowed us to wear them. I was informed never to enter the depot without out a long sleeve shirt and tie.

When I returned to the motor pool. I went in to the 1stSgt and told him what the general had said. The 1stSgt ran me into Major Barkley's office and I repeated to the Major what the general had told me. Major Barkley called MajGen John C Munn, Base commanding general. General Munn called his old friend at the depot and advised him if he disliked the way general Munn's troops looked, to march the recruits up 101 Hiway. I made one more bus trip to MCRD and being on the safe side wore a long sleeve shirt with tie. General Hochmuth was very polite in the way he talked to me.

Semper Fidelis,
Sgt. Johnnie D. Markley
1961-1965 Active
1974 USMCR, Tacoma, WA

Gunny Hathcock

Dear Sgt. Grit, I just finished listening to the book on tape "Marine Sniper." I was sorry to just find out online that Gunny Hathcock died in 1999. Would you know of any other sources of info that would elaborate on his life? I wondered who the Frenchman was in the book that there were sinister insinuations about and also who the Viet Cong General was that they sent then Sgt. Hathcock after just days before he was due to leave Vietnam. Also, why didn't they put him on leave or something and let him get his full retirement instead of the disability route? The book ended with him being preoccupied with shark catching but gives the impression that $610.00 a month was all he was going to get disability and even back then that wasn't a lot. Did they have an okay life until his death? Did anyone help them until Carlos III was old enough to join the Corp? And last but not least, why wasn't he nominated for the Medal of Honor? P.S. You have a great web site.

Pat McGee

Send Your Stories

Now hear this !...We are fading away, if there is any Marines around that joined the Corps. in 43, send the info. to Sgt. Grit, we of the Old Corps. will be glad to hear from anyone.

Semper Fi.
Stan Waslasky
platoon 425 P.I.

Is Your Wife In The Air Force

I have a USMC decal in the window of my Sport Trac. Every one who sees it asks, "Was your husband a Marine?" When I tell them, "No. I am a Marine", I can see them take a mental step backward and give me a sheepish look. Thanks to Sgt. Grit, I now have a United States Woman Marine decal in the back window of my truck and have not had to field any more questions about my husband being a Marine.

Bless his heart, the boy is retired Air Force and just does not "get it": the OOHrahs and the whole Marine thing. Oddly enough, when hubby had an Air Force decal on his wussy car, no one ever asked him, "Oh is your wife in the Air Force".

Lady Leatherneck 1960-62

Tabasco Was Essential

Ham and Limas. During my tour in the Corps I was usually the only one that could or would eat Ham and Limas. I guess others just never got hungry enough before. Tabasco was essential. I learned to hang on to the items others threw away, crackers and peanut butter taste mighty fine when that's all you have. My birthday cake in Camp Fuji Japan, (cold Weather Training) was a C-rat pound cake! Semper Fi to all Marines, those of you with 3/3 in 1964, I remember you fondly.

Jim Bennett,
Cpl 62-65

Correction, not Unknown

" To observe a Marine is inspirational, to be a Marine is exceptional." - Unknown

Can you pass the word that this is my quote. It's on the my Iwo Jima print you carry.

Semper Fi
Gunnery Sergeant Charles Wolf

My Credentials

Dear Sgt Grit,

My credentials are affirmed in these numbers, 1515476. Being a Marine is not unlike being a Catholic Priest , a Knights Templar or even a gangster, You don't get out.

I am 67 years old and pray every night to be informed that my Corps needs me again. I would be at the Kahului airport within thirty minutes. Let the cops take my truck. I will be on the first flight, to go where I'm told, and do what I can to the best of my ability.

There are a great many of us, like me, who know we are the same. What helps keep me so proud are the number of us who have that bond.

I met a guy, a tall, lanky, black guy, at the grocery store just the other day. We said, Howzit, to one another. Shook hand and said goodbye. I saw him at the gas station again today. He had a bumper sticker that said, "Marines", on his back bumper.

I got out of my truck and asked in my best DI voice, "Are you a fucking jarhead?." He replied, "You've got that right ,sir'. I said, "Don't call me sir, I used to work for a living ". We shared one of the best handshakes and hugs I' have had in years. What is it about the Corps that makes us this way? I guess that is a better question for philosophers than either you or me. Because of today is part of why I'm writing.

I raised a flag on the new, yet unpainted, front deck of my little place here in what is left of really country here on Maui day before yesterday. I recalled the last year and a half on active duty at NAS Barbers Point on Oahu. I was in the guard company and we pulled color guard duty. I recall that as we raised our flag in the morning, some office pogue deck ape would press a button in headquarters and "colors" were played over loud speakers. The process was repeated in the evening with, "retreat". My reason for this sea story is do you know an appropriate CD I can add to add to I-tunes that can let me play colors and retreat as I raise and lower my American and USMC flags?

One more question, is there a way to write to members of C-1-5 in Iraq without compromising security? I proudly served under the command of Captain Bob Mathias in the last two weeks of his command of C-!-5 at 33 area, Camp Pendleton. The old Corps guys had just returned from Korea and had what they called bunker eyes.

With Aloha and Semper Fi, from Hawaii,
Bob Hale

The Birdcage

This is in regard to John Tonkin's comments in the last Grit: He signed in as

John Tonkin
Birdcager 1956 - 58
A Co. 1st Plt.

When the U.S.Navy turned over the Clarksville Navy Base to Fort Campbell, KY, they also turned over a parade field/athletic field. In the corner of that field is a memorial plaque, cast in bronze and mounted on a brick pedestal that reads...

See Pictures...

No one at Fort Campbell knows anything about PFC Tyler, or how he "died in the performance of his duty" Do you think any of the "Birdcage Marines" have any information?

Charles S. Bloodworth

Vietnam Era

re.: agent orange and mr. fearns note:

all vietnam era vets are considered "at risk" for hepatitis c exposure and should have the blood test to detect the antibody for it. serving in the vietnam era is a risk factor whether you served in country or not.

other risk factors are tattoos, body piercing--even earrings-- having more than 6 s&x partners in your lifetime, s&x with prostitute(s), having other s&xually transmitted diseases in your lifetime, having blood transfusions prior to 1986, having other forms of hepatitis or "yellow jaundice" (a redundancy), i.v. drug use, and any exposure to another person's blood or body fluids in combat or elsewhere. hepatitis c is not transmitted by agent orange.

g.f. nye, d.o.
lcdr/mc/usnr (ret.), 5/10, 3/6, 10th rgt.
physician, v.a.

The Other Barber

I was stationed at MCAS BEAUFORT SC back in 74 or so and one day while at the barber shop got a laugh that still tickles me to this day. So I thought I'd share it with Sgt. Grit. As I was waiting for my hair cut a Major was getting his cut along side of a SgtMajor. The barber finished with the Major and asked if he wanted some of that sweet smelling stuff on his neck. The Major replied that No he didn't because he didn't want his wife to think he'd been to a French whorehouse. About that time the other barber finished with the SgtMajor and asked him if he wanted some of that sweet smelling stuff on his neck. The SgtMajor replied. Sure lots of it. My wife has never been in a French whorehouse. Needless to say the embarrassed Major left quickly and quietly but had the biggest grin on his face. The rest of us in the barber shop just roared and as we each got our hair cuts the barbers asked if our wives had ever been to a French whorehouse..

Tom Strait SSgt
RVN 67, 68, 69 72

A Tear Ran

On sat I leave Clev oh to go to CT &NY. To visit two friends. One a civilian and one a Marine I had the privilege to meet and serve with from 64 to 67.Don is a friend I have cherished ever since we first met. 2 yrs ago I had an open heart go terribly wrong. When I woke three weeks after surgery the nurses keep telling me how lucky I was to have a friend who cared so much. Seems my daughter called Do and told him the doc wasn't sure I would live. He jumped in his car and arrived in clev 12 hrs later. He walked into my hosp room and sang the Marines Hymn. Every monitor on me went off and a tear ran down my face. It was the beginning of my recovery. Thank God for old Marine friends.

Ed Waldeck
L/Cpl, 64 to67

Known As Doc

Thank you and Semper Fi from a Nurse who used to be called Doc

Even though I was a real sea going squid (Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist) I got so sick of Sailors I did back to back sea tours and cross decked to the FMF, 3rd Mar Div and First Mar Div, 1st Combat Engineer Bn, Task Force Ripper for Desert Storm.

I got out as the higher you go in the Navy the less patient care you do. HM2 SW and I had my full of REMFs.

Now I am an Nurse, but rather a warrior Nurse in the Emergency Department if you will. Some give me sh!t for my EGA I proudly wear. Vets love it, instant bonding.

It was an honor to serve in the Corps, an honor to be known as Doc.

To be honest, I hate war but loved combat, go figure. I hate this war but wear my shirts with pride to remember the men who did not come home from the Sand the first time, the men and women of the Corps who are toast this time and those deployed.

From the bottom of my heart, I cant thank you enough for the Corpsman shirts etc. You can take the Corpsman out of the Corps, but you cant take the Corps out of the Corpsman.

Just tonight as I was walking a former Marine ID'd my shirt, asked if I was a real Doc and shook my hand. We gave each other an Ooh Rah and Semper Fi. Band of brothers. Thanks for not forgetting former squids like me who every two weeks go to the barber shop for an FMF haircut.

Semper Fi,
Mike Pasley

Still Have It

As a kid, I was just another under achiever. I played high school sports as a bench warmer. I didn't have good grades. Now and then I got into trouble. One day, the thought can into my head to join the Marines. My dad who fought in World War 2 said I needed to do something to make my life better and gave me his blessings. From the first day until the end of boot camp, I feared failure more than anything else in my life. I could not let the drill instructors that believed in me watch me fail at anything. I had to be the best every day. I made it. Some time later, I made Sgt. and carried that same trust with me for my troops. I still have it today.

God bless us all, every Marine.
Marine Rob Reyes


Hey Grit- Tell Ben us Marines, type/female really LOVE what he has to say. I almost had my second case of the 'vapors', the first case being when Jack Lucas saluted little ol' ME at a parade in Fredricksberg, TX last year.

Maybe "Toys for Tots" should auction off Ben as a date for the Birthday Ball, with proceeds going to "Toys for Tots".

At a minimum, please let him know how much his words meant and how powerful the message was.


We All Know

semper fi,
always faithful,
gung ho,
working together.
these are our mottos and our honor

yet we are allowing are fellow Marines to live in for some the death penalty others life imprisonment while some of our brothers in the army are there for 10 to 15 years. all Marines sailors airmen, and soldiers should ban together and demand their release. you should know i was in nam from 9/67 until 11/68. i also was a prison guard and the prisoners are constantly playing games with guards and we all know what happens in combat and civilians do get killed these men and women did not ask to be there but answer the call from the good old U.S.A. people want to be free without worries and ask us as warriors to protect god help when they find out how. i call on all warriors to demand the release of all.

semper fi
raymond r gadreault
65-71 2186392

Cell Mates

I have finally reached the straw that broke the camels back. To prosecute the seven Marines and one Corpsman for murder goes beyond rational thinking. I am a former Marine who served our country in Vietnam in 1968 and 1969. If these people are found guilty of murder, I also will plead guilty and will either take their place in jail or be "cell mates" with them. Killing is not murder when your county, that you cherish, is on the line. With complete sincerity, Chris H. DeSpain

3rd Marine Division, 3rd. Tank Battalion
Charlie Company, 2nd Platoon

Not Because He


I haven't seen "patriotically-challenged" Steve Benson's political cartoon desecrating our Marine Corps Emblem and attacking the accused Marines and the United States Marine Corps, but it appears that another leftist jerk has used his Freedom of Speech to take a jab at Marines in particular and Patriotism in general.

This guy has the right to say whatever he wants, not because he is a brilliant journalist/cartoonist, but because of men like these eight Marines who have been declared guilty by former Marine, John Murtha, and the media morons. I know that "Once a Marine - Always a Marine" is imprinted in each Marines brain, but this guy Murtha must have tripped and hit his head and has brain permanent damage, because he is almost frothing at the mouth in his attacks on these Marines.

It's interesting that when a United States Marine is accused of something by the enemy and the media, the Marine is termed "guilty". But when the bad guys (those are the terrorists, Steve) slaughter (this means torture and behead for the left wingers who don't understand the English language) an American, they, the bad guys, are treated to an "innocent until proven guilty" prime time diatribe by the Murtha's and the media. What crap!

I remember SSgt Bridges, SR. DI, Platoon 218, 1964, telling myself we newly arrived "boots" to "watch out for the 10 per centers"! Hmm! I guess he was referring to the John Murtha's of the Marine Corps!

I salute my brother Marines. Keep up the good fight, Leathernecks! Because of you, our Corps is in good hands!

Semper Fidelis!
B.Lonn, USMCR, 63-69

Vietnam Vet-want-a-be

The Vietnam Vet-want-a-be have gotten better with their information bull sh**t. I am a police officer with the University of Texas Medical Center at Dallas. Today I was dispatched to one of our buildings, in reference to a homeless person soliciting in the area. When I arrived I asked for his ID and he advised me he was a Vietnam Vet. Having been there I asked him who he was with. "2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division." Not just 2/9 like I do. Interesting! I asked where he went to boot.

"San Diego at Camp Pendleton." Notice wrong answers here? I asked when he was in Nam. "I was there in 1975-1976." Interesting still. I asked where he was in Nam. "I was in Recon. I was assigned to 2/9, Echo Company. I was in a fire squad. I went thru DaNang, ever hear of it, where they issued me my M-16, a cartridge belt, two canteens and a poncho liner. Then the Rock Pile and all up north." I asked if he was in Camp Carroll.

"I don't believe I ever heard of that camp. I've heard of Camp Pendleton, but not a Camp Carroll." His date of birth would put him at 17 when he was in country. I had had enough. I issued him a criminal trespass warning and advised him I would arrest him if I saw him on property again. Then I informed him, "I WAS in Viet- Nam. I WAS with 2/9 in 66-67. Camp Carroll was a major fire base. The Corp has no use for liars nor do I. Now get off MY property!" (Learned a lot at Parris Island) LOL Harsh words I know, however, I was from Viet-Nam before it became popular. Another way to spot a want-to-be is ask for their tag (dog tag) number. If they can not shout it of instantly, they were never in anything.

J. Halpin

Short Rounds

After what? - 5 Navy Crosses, I'm really curious why Chesty was never awarded the big one. Does anyone have any insight into this.

Bill Hill
1966-69, lstReconBn - C Company (you know where)

Dear Sgt. Grit,

God bless all the vet's that took the journey to the Wall. A sad bit of memory, but a wonderful memory to those who past at such a young age.

Cpl. (E-4) Bill B.
USMC (1959-1964)

Sgt. Glen Griswold's mention of same in the last newsletter reminded me so much of my time at Tent Camp #2 at Camp Pendleton where I and so many others went for ITR.

That was more than 52 years ago, but I somewhat fondly remember the hillsides near the huts being covered with this "grass."

BTW. Re. Ham and lima beans. I would trade for 'em.

Semper Fi,
Bob Rader aka "Sgt. Wolf"

Ham & Limas,

Pretty bad when the Vietnamese kids threw them back to us.

Semper Fi
Bob Cusick

General Cates was one of the few officers of any service who had commanded a platoon, a company, a battalion, a regiment and a division under fire. in two wars. He also served as the 19th commandant of the Marine Corps from January 1948 - January 1952. Did he have a nickname or pseudonym ?

Hank Stoddard - Co. B,
1st Bn. 23rd Reg, 4th Div.

I never heard the story about the General's flag while in, or after my tour in Vietnam. I can however, vouch for the fact that Major General Hochmuth did indeed die in a helicopter crash in Vietnam during my tour between June 1967-August 1968, suspected of being sabotaged by his own interpreter but never proven.

Bob Bowman
CWO-3, USMCR, Retired
HQ III MAF in Vietnam

While visiting The Vietnam Veterans Memorial "Moving Wall" yesterday I stopped by the Marine Corps League tent to say h&llo and as usual I was asked if I was a former Marine, I have to say you all I am not dead yet. I am a Marine until I die. Then perhaps you can call me a former Marine.

Sam Welman

Haditha Update from NewsMax


In regards to LtCol.Russ Jamison, USMC. LOVE IT!

Unfortunately, I live in Phoenix Arizona....I'm hoping that the ignorance of one "Benson" will not taint the rest of us...........who As always, I remain........a U.S. Marine fan!


Sgt Grit

I am deeply disturbed by the way it appears that the higher levels of the Corps are not backing up the grunts in the field. I think this stuff about charging Marines and other service men & women with so called crimes is ridiculous.

Ben Newton

Sgt. Grit,

I don't remember where I got this, seems to be happening far to Often. Do not fear the enemy, for he can only take your life. It is far better to fear the media, for they will steal your honor... Regards from The Rogue Valley

Dick Korea, 50-52

It Can't Always Be...
It Can't Always Be...

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

Welcome Home, Job Well Done!
Semper fi
Sgt Grit

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