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I remember hitchhiking in my uniform many miles on the roads of North Carolina and all the way to NY State on liberty and leaves. Many times, truckers and others would pick me up and express the pride with which they had served with the Corps in Korea and WW II. Lots of good chatter to pass the miles and lots of great feelings between jarheads....
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Calmness and Courage
Your newsletter is the best. Just wanted to let everyone know that we lost one of our brother Marines. My father died at the age of 86 on Jan 12th 06'. He was the finest husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather you could know. He was my hero from the time I could walk. I guess I can say I inherited everything from him. From sports to also joining the Marine Corps.
My father was a true Marine through and through. He was a very humble man. He taught me the values of being a man with respect, calmness and courage. He raised five great kids. he boxed for seven years before entering the Corps and had his own boxing team down in southern Iowa, he quit boxing with an unbeaten record, and entered the Marines to fight for his country. He fought in several battles. To mention a couple, Guadalcanal, Pelilieu and Cape Gloucester. You all would have been proud of his funeral, We had the choir sing the Marines Hymn and the Battle hymn of the republic. There was not a dry eye in the church. At the Rock Island National Cemetery The Marine Reservist were waiting for him in their dress blues. I was sad but so proud. When taps was played again not a dry eye. I lost my father and my best friend. But to let you all Know. "If the Army or the Navy ever looks on Heavens Scenes They will find the streets are guarded By the United States Marines". So to let you all know that he will be up there watching over all of us. His Name Corporal John Brozovich. USMC 42-45.' Thank you Dad for always being there for me. I will Love and miss you forever. SEMPER FI to all.
CPL J Brozovich
No Thank You
When I was a SSgt and my buddy the same, his wife related a Marine Corps Ball story that occurred at NKT (Cherry Point, North Carolina). I am not going to name names so bear with this story. She and husband attended the ball, had a great time, however, toward the end of evening a small disagreement took place over who was to drive home, which was on the base. She wasn't happy with the outcome and choose to walk home! Off she went and was down the road when a car pulled up beside her and asked if she needed a "ride". She immediately told the driver "no thank you" after the driver questioned her about being out alone in the night, she said leave me be, I'm on my way home. By this time the driver was a bit perturbed and said "lady I'm the Commanding General, Marion E. Carl of Cherry Point now get into this car. He was in uniform, out patrolling. She was driven to her quarters and she thanked the General, and he said, "good night" Chivalries never dies in the Corps.
Perhaps we can get this fertilizer off of the net or keep it from replicating itself. It looks like an inspiring story but I'm certain that others also tire of seeing these things resurface.
1. Lee Marvin was wounded on Saipan, not Iwo Jima. He was awarded the Purple Heart but NEVER the Navy Cross.,
2. Bob Keeshan, alias Captain Kangaroo was in the Marine Corps but joined to late and never saw combat in WWII.
3. Mr. Rogers NEVER served in the military.
For further information go to:
Speaking Of Songs
Speaking of songs:
Summer of 1963, as a "Junior PLC" (officer candidate) at Camp Upshur out in the woods aboard MCB Quantico. That Marine who processed some of my papers was right when he grinned at me and said, "You'll be s-o-r-r-y!" The first day was a whirl of activity. Yelling and screaming all around. One man in my platoon "DOR-ed" (Drop on Request--quit) the second day. The second night, we actually had some time to get gear squared away--and to think. "I thought this (USA) was a democracy! What have I done?" I walked outside the Quonset hut, looked up and found the Big Dipper. I thought, "North is that way; Texas is that way. Only about 1500 miles. I'll walk." (Of course, I didn't.) One Friday night during Field Day, I'm assigned to police the area around the Candidates' Club. Somebody inside must have a cruel streak or a severe case of homesickness. The song on the jukebox is Peter, Paul & Mary's "500 Miles." ("...Lord, I'm five hundred miles from my home...") Oh man!
Summer of 1967, as a lieutenant (either as an artillery FO with Lima 3/7, or back with my battery, India 3/11, as FDO) in the Dai Loc area south of Danang. AFRTS radio is playing "If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear a flower in your hair..." Yeah, right!
Once a captain, USMCR, always a Marine
'63-'76, Vietnam Dec '66-Dec '67
In the 1Mar06 Newsletter, Charles Rich asked about the "Sledge" cartoons from the Vietnam era. I think he's referring to the series called "Sgt. Mike." I have a fairly sizable collection I clipped out of the Navy Times in the '60's and '70's. One of my favorites contains the line, "Sledge, if all else fails, we can always use you as a bad example." Another shows a crumpled and battered "green beret doggie" lying on the deck. He looks up at another "green beanie" and says, as a bloused jungle boot exits the frame to the right side, "Lesson Number One: Never call a Marine 'soldier.'"
Once a captain, USMCR, always a Marine
'63-'76, Vietnam Dec '66 - Dec '67
My dad was in the army, too bad huh! His saving grace though was that because he was a soldier he lived through Korea and had a son who became a MARINE...ooo rah!
And way he had this book full of cartoons called LEATHERHEAD IN KOREA.
As I understand it Leather was a big thing back in the WW's through Korea and disappeared sometime before Nam.
The toons were hilarious yet motivating, Like the one where 4 Marines in a deuce and a half are passing a battalion of soldiers. The caption reads something like "A squad of us Marines take the village and it takes all you guys to keep it!?"
Great Day For The Corps
Dear Sgt Grit,
Thank you for your weekly newsletter. No dictionary contains adequate words to describe the pride of being a former Marine when reading this newsletter.
At age six in 1943, while sitting on our back porch with my younger brother, I declared I would be a "Marine like Uncle Bob" some day. My late Uncle was in WW2, and eventually was part of the invasion of Okinawa. Eleven years later, I served on Okinawa.
In 1952, at age fifteen, I peddled my bicycle to the Marine recruiters office in my hometown of Coleman, TX, for the purpose of "joining the Marine Corps to go fight for my country in Korea."
While I don't remember the names of the two Marine recruiters (I'm almost 70 now), I certainly remember them. When this dusty kid in tee shirt & Levi's with the trouser legs rolled up to his knees entered the office, both men greeted me with what I took to be excitement. When I told them I was there to join & go to Korea, they shook my hand and told me it was a "great day for the Corps." Man, was I PROUD!
They asked me some questions, then asked if I had graduated from high school. I told them that I was a junior. They said they were ready to take me right then, BUT if I graduated from high school, I'd be an even better Marine & I would make the Marine Corps so much more proud of me. I told them I'd be back when I graduated, but I tossed in one useless year of college first. Should have listened to them!
My point is this: those two Marines treated me as if I was a Marine already! They did not insult me for being a silly kid; they never asked if my parents knew where I was (they didn't), or if I had their permission for anything.
They did not laugh in my face--though I'm pretty sure they roared with laughter after I was long gone. Those two Marine recruiters made me feel "PROUD TO BE A MARINE." I was that day, I was during the eight years I served, and I'm just a proud today! Thank you for your time. God bless all who publish this newsletter and everyone who proudly reads it each week!
Frank H. Hamby,
Yo Ho Grit, just a quick note to let all interested know of the Khe Sanh Vets annual reunion in Mobile, Alabama in late June. Even if your were not at Khe Sanh, you are welcome to attend.
Sgt Harrison, the M 1 Thumb was still alive when I carried the M 14. Those things will bite you also. Now that I am older and smarter, when I load the M 1's for our American Legion Post for the funerals and other ceremonies, I use both hands to let the bolt go home. I get a lot of flack from the old Army guys about this. What the Hey, adapt, improvise and overcome.
Say a prayer for the guys and gals walking the sands. Where they are, we once were.
FYI. It wasn't the University which said stupid things about Pappy. It was one idiot female who was in the Student Senate. There has been quite a reaction. The most important being the start of a Pappy Boyington Scholarship Fund for children of Marines killed in action. Look up the U of W web page and it is there. I think the best way for Marines and former Marines to respond to these eggsuckers is to contribute to the fund.
Semper-Fi, Ben Newton
Regarding Plain Olive Drab:
In response to Bob Sanders of Plt. 350 MCRD San Diego June - Sept 64, we were one kick *ss platoon. Series honor plt.as well as Loni Robinson the Honor Marine. An era came to an end the day we walked out of Camp Matthews and they locked the gates behind us. There was a lot of duck walking up both little and big agony. Remember guys like Mullins, Kosek, Cummings, Nelson, Tyson, Tasker and many others. And who could ever forget SSgt McAvoy, SSgt Urbina & Cpl McGarry. Mean as h&ll but Great DI's. There are a lot of memories there, like Hollinshead, after watching the planes land next to the little grinder, being told to "bring me that plane " by McAvoy and d*mned if he didn't start climbing the fence.
Can you believe its almost 42 years since those glory days?
Semper Fi - Sgt. Marshall DeYoung
As I Remember
The cartoonist who draws or drew Sgt Mike was a living and breathing Marine.
I served with him in the 1st Mar Div from 65-68 in the states, Okinawa and Viet Nam. I don't remember his last name now but his sidekick was also a living and breathing Marine, and his last name was Sledge.
I saw some of his original drawings which he sent to his mother and she submitted them to different publications. As I remember it, when he got his orders from Viet Nam he was assigned to MSG and the last I heard of him he had been sent back to Saigon when he finished MSG school.
He was a fine Marine and knew his job. I am proud to have known him.
GySgt Jerry R. Hattox
USMC ret (1954-1978)
I went thru the summer camp at Parris Inland in 1959 (Plt 284 2nd Recruit Training Bn.) I shot 220 on qual day with an M1 Garand that had been manufactured by a tractor company (International Harvester) and made PFC out of boot camp. I spent six years on active duty (having extended my hitch in '62 in order to be allowed to go to jump school) and never once heard the now ubiquitous cry of "OO-RAH" during that time, though I served in 3rd Bn, 6th Marines at CLNC,2nd Force Recon Company, and the forerunner of the 22nd MEU (we trained at Little Creek with the first SEAL team in the spring of 1962 and then did a black op during the Cuban Missile Crisis) My question is this: when did "OO-Rah" become a battle cry? It was never in use while I was on active duty and I never heard it from any of the guys in the 9th MEB who hit the beach in Viet Nam in 1965. Can anybody tell me when it came into vogue?
Cpl. Ron Inman, USMC 1959-65
Sunny San Diego
Just wanted to reply with a short note to the sergeant that was asking if he was now considered "Old Corp". Unlike a lot of Marines, I don't remember a lot about boot camp, I remember it was December, cold, rainy and I actually saw snow. I remember the snow because I tell people that is what got me into the Corp in the first place. I was living in Michigan and just after my 18th birthday I drove into a "whiteout". I was still in town so I eased the car to the curb and decided to walk home because it was snowing so hard I could not see the white hood of my car. I had my hand on the wall to keep from walking into the street and as I passed the recruiting office there was a little sign, maybe 12 x 4 inches, it had a little sun in the top left corner and the words "Train in Sunny SAN DIEGO". It actually did snow on December 13th, 1967, not much but I have a good laugh over it many times over the years.
Anyway, Sgt. Roberts (I think that was his name), I did see one thing that stuck in my mind, it was at the obstacle course. It was a sign that had a Knights Shield and helmet with spear and sword crossed over the shield. The caption read "If your 782 gear doesn't look like this, don't tell me about the Old Corps!". I think that still applies today.
I was the first Marine in my family, both my sons have served in the Marines, one six years the other twelve. My youngest is due to go back to Iraq within the next couple of months. I adopted a daughter, raised her and now have remarried and have three more kids, two more sons and another daughter, I am looking forward to teaching them the honor and principles I was taught in my four years. Thanks to all of you who remember our Marines in Iraq.
echo4sierra, '67 - '71
Once a Marine, ALWAYS a Marine!
Resort Chief Engineer
"I am 100% responsible"
I just read Sgt. Herman Bishop's letter in the 16 March issue of the Grit Newsletter. He seems a little confused about a "recent" change in the phonetic alphabet.
I served from May 1951 until May 1960. Early on, I was a Control Tower Operator. About January 1953, as I recall, the official American phonetic alphabet was changed from the old WWII alphabet to a new one in consideration of the fact that English was to be adopted internationally (outside English speaking nations) as the alternative common language for communications between aircraft and control towers at all international airports. The new phonetic alphabet was to be used (in any language) better to accommodate the speech patterns of people whose first language is not English. For example, a Spanish pilot might pronounce "Able" as "Aablay," so it was believed it would be better to adopt words that would be easily pronounced by anyone.
Apparently the references to "Fox Company" and "Easy Company" were written by an old timer.
Old alphabet: Able, Baker, Charlie, Dog, Easy, Fox, George, How, Item, Jig, King, Lola, Mike, Nan, Oscar, Peter, Queen, Roger, Sugar, Tare, Union, Victor, Whiskey, Extra, Yoke, Zebra.
New alphabet: Alfa, Bravo, Charlie (originally Coca, but changed back), Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel, India, Juliet, Kilo, Lima, Metro, Nectar, Oboe, Papa, Quebec, Romeo, Sierra, Tango, Uniform, Victory, William, X-ray, Yankee, Zulu.
My old mind plays some tricks on me so if I have erred in the above, I apologize.
J. Himmelheber, Maj. USMCR, 1951-1960
"Unless you are the lead dog, the view never improves."
More Pappy and WWII
Sgt. Grit, Evidently I missed the news someplace regarding UW's decisions (what is a UW ?) regarding Lt. Col. Boyington. My story is similar to the first one in this most recent issue of your newsletter.
It was 20 some years ago, or so, and one of my father's brothers came to visit after too many years. He was a member of Carlson's Raiders at the beginning of WW 2 and was one of the 80-some survivors that originally landed on Guadalcanal. It has been nearly impossible to get much information from him about that time and other times during the war because he wants to block as much of it as possible. He was wounded 3 times during the war and during one of those times, during convalescence, he got hooked up with some of the Marine air people and became not only friends, but evidently very good friends with the then Major Boyington. After the war, my one cousin was named Gregory in honor of "Pappy" Boyington, so this was not something to be taken lightly. Of course, after the war, most men lost contact with the few "friends" that they had made. My uncle was assigned, for a while, to the air groups and gave Boyington and Major Carl's squadron their preflight the day that Boyington got shot down.
For the years that I heard this story, I truly believed that it was just another "sea story" that the "next generation" could never prove or disprove. During my uncle's visit, they also had an air show at Loveland, Colorado and it so happened that Col. Boyington was to be there. It was mandatory that we go to the airshow so that he could meet his "old friend" again. We also waited in a line and when we got to the front, my uncle began by re-introducing himself and asking about "Do you remember Lieutenant..." and it went off from there for better part of an hour. Because I was his nephew and their friendship, Boyington gave me a painting print poster and a hardbound copy of his book and autographed both to me. Just for the print, I have already been offered too much for it, but it is not for sale and will not be for sale ever or until after I am gone.
All of this would be easy to dismiss as matter of fact, but Boyington and my uncle stayed in touch as much as possible and my uncle got a phone call or card from Boyington until that Christmas right before his death. This was not an idle "sea story" like others that we have all heard or read about.
Of recent, the History Channel has been showing recreations of many of the Pacific campaigns and I have learned that what those men did and went through has erased much of my c0ckiness and I now recognize that my time in the Corps and in Vietnam made me a first class wimp in comparison.
Another interesting issue from WW 2, is that my father at that time was in the 5th Pioneers and supposedly was just below the top of Mount Suribachi when both flag raisings took place. After the war, he started our family in the Chicago area and many weekends would go to help his friend, named Ira Hayes. From what I have been told by my mother, it was too often and he would even take time off of work to go to help his friend, often for days at a time. I was also told that he went through a very rough time when Ira Hayes died. This kind of "bonding" had to have a deeper root and it is just supposition on my part, but I believe that Ira Hayes probably saved my father's life at least once or more during those island campaigns.
Service to our Corps and country can also be traced back to the Spanish-American war at minimum. It appears that it will stop with myself.
I am not any hero, by any means, but I did what my country asked me to do. The men and women of 60 years ago were real heroes. Whether they survived or gave their all, it is true that "Uncommon Valor Was A Common Virtue" and that is what marks a real hero. As for myself, the Corps became the first real family that I knew and because of my tattoo, I have been greeted with the same respect today by my brothers and sisters, older and younger, as I had 30-some years ago. The Marine Corps is a family, maybe the world's largest family, and it has stronger bonds that anything else that I have ever known. Many of us lose touch with one another over the years, but it doesn't mean that we are forgotten or forget other members of this family. Maybe it is the blood that is common to us all. You are either born to be a Marine or you are not.
It is a matter of history that Col. Boyington went through a time of alcoholism, that Ira Hayes died a drunk, my uncle and father went through alcoholic spells and another uncle died a drunk, but they did not have the drugs that the VA dispenses today and alcohol was the "drug" of choice that was available to try to forget some of the horrors of that time. I do not condone them having drunken spells, but it is a lot easier to understand why men from each war have gone though these experiences. They were men, first and foremost, and heroes created by extraordinary circumstances. Respect goes with the territory of being a man and a hero, If we cannot emulate the virtues of these men, like Col. Boyington and others, what do we have to look up to ? This country has never given out the Silver Star or Medal of Honor like free popcorn. If they did I was in the wrong line back then. These medals recognize extreme courage and bravery in the face of any enemy.
To those that provided our traditions, and contributed to my values, To those that I walked with, giants all, To those that follow in our footsteps,
Safe passage to all of you, my brother and sisters !
Sgt (ret.) USMC, Capt. (ret.) USA
My name is John Alvarado, and thru the years of 68-70 I was fortunate enough to serve with our beloved Corps in the west pac, and the following air squadrons vmfa 232 "red devils" and the vmfa 334 "fighting falcons. This west pac tour started at Chu-Lai and ended at Iwakuni, Japan. Iwakuni was where I met Sgt Maj Carl, all 6'9" of him when he became our Sgt Maj. SM Carl was with a tank unit on the invasion of Okinawa in wwII, I didn't know we had tanks that large! Anyway as a young nco and a softball player, SgtMaj Carl and myself made quite a sight with him pitching and me catching, I am 5'6". I would call a meeting at the mound just to see how big this guy really was, and he would tell me what the h--- did you come out here for??? I would laugh and go back behind the plate. SM Carl loved his enlisted men, he backed them, protected them, and stood up for them at all times. For example, two fellow Marines and myself got caught in a tornado in Iwakuni and all service personnel were ordered to report back to base, well we were in a slop chute and there was no way in h--- that we were going to go back to the base... we held our position until daybreak and all was well with the weather, we started our journey back to the base and got picked up by the MP's who proceeded to take us to our duty officer. This officer screamed and yelled and took our liberty cards. We then started our search for the Sgt Maj, found him at the staff club. I was senior so I got to go in and relate the tale to the SGT Maj and what my decision had been about staying in town. SGT MAJ asked who the duty officer was and when he found out, he mumbled something and got on the horn, after a couple of minutes of chewing the O, SGT MAJ said" go pick up your liberty cards from that @#%$ and stay out of trouble.
Needles to say we cleaned up and were back out in town within the hour.
Sgt USMC 67-71
mag 33;mag 13
vmfa 232 el toro: chu lai rvn
vmfa 334 chu lai; Iwakuni
vmfa 451 Beaufort S.C.
Now For A Korean Story
I've noticed that you usually have a lot of Viet Nam era Marines sharing their stories with us as well as the WW 2 brothers. I also enjoy hearing from our current Heroes that are now fighting to preserve the freedom, and to set free those that have lived under oppression for so long. I have talked to as well as listened to many Marine, and Army personnel that have returned from Iraq, and some for the second time and as yet NOT ONE has spoken against the mission that they were sent to do. America remains free today not because of the Politicians, or the News Media, or those that demonstrate against the War. America remains free today because of those that have in the past, those that do now, and those that will in the future fight for it. Now for a Korean story. I arrived in Korea in January 1952 off of the east coast and we went ashore in landing craft. Within a few short but very cold days my outfit, F/2/7 was rotated to the front, ' I think the first combat Infantry to do so by Helicopter.' To say it was cold would be an understatement. Our positions were across the top of a very high mountain I think in the Punchbowl area. Anyway when I exited the Chopper there stood one of the largest, ugliest, filthiest Marine that I had ever seen, and the very first thing that he did was to say how glad that he was to see me and then he shoved a B.A.R in my arms. Well as any Marine of that era will tell you the B.A.R was not their favorite weapon and they was always glad to pass it on. Here I am, a five foot five inch 127 pound Marine with a weapon that was as tall as I was and one that no one else wanted. Well over the next few months I grew to love my B. A. R. and I refused to pass it on when I could have done so. After I was wounded on July 4, 1952 and spent a couple of months in the Naval Hospital in Japan I was returned to my outfit where I was reunited with my B. A. R. The hardship and brutal cold that we endured, along with the enemy in Korea was equal to any other war before or since. Only the combat Soldier should have the right to protest a war, any war because He and She are the ones that will ultimately stand between freedom or slavery. For over two hundred years the combat Soldier, Sailor, and Marine has been the first line of defense of the freedom that is America. And finally, yes I am proud to claim the title of United States Marine, and yes I am proud of the part that I did in preserving the freedom of all Americans then, and now, and for the future. Simper Fi.
Thomas F. Williams
Fmr. Sgt. USMC
Note: If you do not see a story from your era, send one of your own. I can only print what I'm sent.
3rd 8" How Btry Reunion
For: Sgt Grits actual
The 3D 8" How Btry is having a reunion in Chicago, Sept 13,14,15 2006. They have published a rooster of known members and there are some names on it from 1st Guns.
Thought you might be interested.
E-Mail address, smigp @ up.net Home Phone Paul Smigowski (Ski)
M.C.Wood USMC Ret.
It Got Stranger
I was in the Corps from 67-70, Basic at PI. Only thing I could never understand was why, the Corps issued us "boots" M-14's to train and qualify with. Upon leaving PI, went onto ITR "Infantry Training Reg." where we underwent more training, except this time were issued M-1 Garand Rifles. After leave I reported to Lejeune where I was once again issued an M-14.
It got stranger when I went to War Dog School at Ft.Benning Ga. I was again issued a M-14 When training was over we went to Benning's Rifle range to familiar ourselves with the workings of the M-16. Confused yet?
On a lighter note: While at Benning, the 1st payday arrived, the paymaster was a "butter bar" 2nd Lt. When the first Marine stepped up, this yo-yo demanded a salute. To which the Marine responded and explained the only times permitted to salute, and paycall was not one of them. He did not pay this Marine same results from ALL Marines. An hour or so later a Marine officer appeared and paid the Marines. I think the Army got an education about USMC protocol.
Sgt. USMC 67-79
Plt.149 PISC Feb-Mar 67
Well, if you can see by the photo, today I'm a cop in the Air Force. However, I originally spent time in Marine barracks, Naples, Italy, Wpns. Co. 3rd BN./6th Marines and Wpns. Co. 1st Bn./6th Marines from 88-92. I like to think it gives all airmen, (especially officers) a fair warning of the individual they are dealing with and serves as a reminder to never forget where I came from.
Scott A. Bartz
My name is William E. Miller. I was in the Marine Corps from June 1964 till Oct. 1967. I was only in the Corps for almost 3 and a half years. We had studied about Chesty Puller in boot camp at Paris Island. While a Cherry Point I hurt my back, I was in the hospital there for just a little over a month. I was then taken to Camp Lejeune Hospital.When you hurt your back no one really believes you. I had laid in bed for well over a month and the nurse came by and told me I had to take a shower. I told her I couldn't do it, she got a couple Corpsmen and they took me to the shower. While in the shower my pain went off the charts and it took the nurses and doctors quite a while to calm me down. The next day the doctor came in and told me I was being air vacted to Portsmouth Navel Hospital. One day, between operations, while riding the elevator up this older man with his arm in a sling and a woman got on the elevator. The elevator was pretty crowded and the women told a guy to watch out and not bump her husbands arm. The man told his wife to "shut up I can take care of himself". After the older man and his wife got off the elevator a Marine asked me if I knew who the old man was, I didn't. He told me that he was Chesty Puller. That was my one and only time seeing the greatest Marine to ever to ever live. I can remember this chance meeting like it happened yesterday and I will never forget it. Also I told my step son about meeting Chesty and about the Marine Corps and all my stories. When he graduated from high school he also joined the Marine Corps. He said he loved every moment.
William E. Miller
cpl. medically retired
3/8 Beirut Reunion
3/8 Beirut to Geiger
Washington D.C. Evening Parade, 8th & I Sts. SE
June 23-25, 2006
C. Eric Tischler (Wpns.Co.Dragons 83-87)
tisch @ 38beirut.org
C.Eric Tischler Nam Phong "Rose Garden Marines" Reunion
May 26-29, 2006
To view more information about location
To view more information about Nam Phong Group
For more information or questions contact reunion coordinator David "Rock" White (MCAW 533)
Ruthdave @ ix.netcom.com
The 15 March 2006 issue brought back some great memories! Sgt. Robert Sanders letter mentioned Camp Mathews and the "forced march" back to MCRD. What a trip that was!
The letter triggered a 1964 "flash back" of Platoon 218 on a Camp Mathews Sunday evening. After cleaning our M-16s for the umpteenth time, SSgt. Bridges (SDI) and Cpl Stelling (JDI) became "red faced and frothing at the mouth" enraged at the condition of our weapons and had us, with buckets in hand, march off to the wash racks for an "attitude adjustment" session!
After filling our buckets half full of water, the "Open Ranks" command was given. We were then ordered to dig a 4X1 hole, and with beaches open, place our weapons in the hole, fill it with sand and then pour the water over the "grave". We then dug up the weapons and marched back to our tent area. We were given 30 minutes to clean them for the final inspection of the day! "And they had better be spotless", yelled SSgt. Bridges!
After racing to the showers to rinse the rifles, we commenced to perform the fastest imaginable cleaning job, with the fear that we were actually "doomed" to a horrible fate because the task seemed impossible. Well, after "falling in", the DI's came out of their tent and announced, "Lights Out!" They then gave us their calm salutation, "Good night, girls!" No death march and no PT from h&ll that night! I imagine those DI's had a real good laugh at our miserable expense.
May the Marine Corps never change! The experiences of "boot camp" were life changing for this old Marine! A youngster with little confidence became a man in just 13 weeks, thanks to the Drill Instructors and their "special way" of communicating!
Bob Lonn, Sgt., USMCR, 1963-69
Sgt Grit: Another great book - "A Table in the Presence" by Lt. Carey H. Cash (a Chaplain serving with the U.S. Marines). Now I can see how we were able to make such an impact on the Iraqis and see it for ourselves on live TV. We need to honor our Chaplains and their dedicated armed escort and always remember, "IF God be with us, who can be against us!"
LNelson, Cpl USMC 1966-69.
Won't or Can't
I never really intend to read your entire newsletter...just scan it quickly for possible names and units I've known or been a part of. It never quite works out that way. I find myself reading every word, especially the letters from the moms and wives of Marines and of their strength and pride. I have so much I'd like to tell them personally and want to do whatever possible to support them as their Marine is deployed.
Keep up this great service. It won't make a difference to everybody...but it is not for everybody. It is for Marines.
Our son, Capt Josh Bates has just returned for his second tour in Iraq. He is now at Camp Fallujah. Once again, he is doing what other citizens of our country either won't or can't do. Keep him in your hearts and prayers.
Semper Fidelis, Col John R. Bates USMC (ret)
OK...this has been bugging me for years, maybe you or one of your readers can shed some light on this subject. I graduated Platoon 247 at Parris Island in October of 1962. At that time (and currently if I'm not mistaken) the first digit represented the Battalion. On a recent trip back to PI I noticed that a platoon that was drilling on what we called the First Bn. Grinder had a four digit number that started with the number 1. When did they start numbering the platoons and have they continued to number them consecutively since I was there?
Sgt. Bob Pierce 2016343
Dear Sgt Grit,
I just want to share my thoughts on the foolish, misguided, unpatriotic behavior of the University of Washington students who do not want a tribute to Pappy Boyington erected on "their" campus. I feel a need to comment because General Boyington was not only my Marine Brother but my Fraternity Brother as well as members of the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. Pappy Boyington was a varsity wrestler at UW who graduated with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering. Gregory Boyington was a tough, competitive, disciplined, intelligent, courageous man who, even if he had never served in the United States Marine Corps, deserves to be honored by his university. Now add the facts that Pappy was a leader, a mentor, a hero, an outstanding, heavily decorated pilot - an Ace who shot down 28 confirmed enemy planes ( 2 more planes than the famed Eddie Rickenbacker shot down), and a Marine's Marine who won the Congressional Medal of Honor and achieved the rank of Major General. Pappy Boyington was one in a million, and ANYONE with even a modicum of intelligence, respect for our military and love for our country our freedoms should be PROUD to pay tribute to Gregory "Pappy" Boyington.
It is unfortunate, both for the University of Washington and for the United States of America that there aren't MORE Pappy Boyington's and FEWER cry-baby, unappreciative, self-centered, UN-patriotic, misled individuals. The attitude of those U of W students typifies all that is wrong with so many college students today. If it weren't for the Pappy Boyingtons stepping up and helping win WW II, those ungrateful U of W students might now be speaking Japanese or be involuntary member's of the Hitler Youth Organization instead of exercising their right to freedom of speech - a right paid for with the lives and the blood of thousands of "Pappy Boyingtons" through out our history. SHAME ON YOU, U of W students and SEMPER FI Pappy Boyington !
S.R. Van Tyle
Capt. USMC 1966 - 70
This is one great site. I truly enjoy reading the letters with a hot cup of coffee on the mornings of my days off. I never thought I'd be writing my own thoughts, but there's something I'd like to say. First "SEMPER FI" to all my brothers and sisters serving in the Gulf. Come home safe. I joined the Corps right after my 18th birthday, a day that I'll never regret. The pride and honor that the Corps instilled in me is everlasting. Those four years on active duty as an 0311 made me the man I am today,and how well I have succeeded there after. I am a gulf war veteran from the first in 1990 and 91.I spent 8 and a 1/2 months in that sand box with some of the finest men I've ever known. The loyalty and brotherhood we shared for that time has remained in my heart. My wife (whom I married right after basic) loved being a Marines wife. She took me out on a date recently to see that movie "Jarhead".We went to the late show, for she was not sure how I would react, for she knows there have been nights when I've prayed not to go back to sleep. I must say, that was a very disrespectful movie to any Desert Storm Veteran. To me, it portrayed it as one big drinking/fondling ourselves party. Let me assure you, the Marines of Task Force Ripper earned our Combat Action Ribbons for those four days. Whether it was clearing out bunkers/trenches on the outskirts to forcing the Iraqi Army out of Kuwait. We saw things that will remain with us thru out our years. We did our job as warriors and most of us came home in one piece. Hopefully, one day our sacrifices will be noted honorably. Thank you for the opportunity to express our thoughts and a way to hear from past and present "Devil Dogs".I look forward to my next news letter and order of Marine memorabilia.
1/5 and 3/5
Talk Every Week
I would like to thank your staff for helping my buddy find me after all these years, He had seen my quote in the mag and contacted your staff and they got in touch with me and I made the contact. It was great getting in touch with by buddy after all these years. Mark Moots and I talk every week and I am finding out about all my other buddies that I had not talked about in years we are planning our first get together.
Thanks so much for all the help and also thanks for the newsletter which keeps so many of us in touch with each other.
A Marine always
Harold L Ramer
2nd Battalion 9th Marines Reunion
Contact Gabe Coronado
member3107 @ aol.com
Aloha Sgt. Grit,
Recently some one in your newsletter inquired about the Old Corps, and when exactly it was.
When I was a young Marine back in the 1940s there was a lot of reference to the Old Corps It was "in the Old Corps this and in the Old Corps that".
So we asked the old salts what constituted the Old Corps? There was not a unanimous answer. For some you had to be with the 5th or 6th Marines in France in WWI. For others it was service in the Banana Wars of the 1920s and 30s in Central America with Chesty, Edson and Big Foot Brown. Some held you had to be stationed in China prior to WWII. The most recent allowed was being on Guadalcanal between August and December of 1942.
It looked as if I would never qualify. Then this last September I attended a reunion, in San Francisco, of the 21st Special Basic Class of 1953. As we gathered, at the Marines Memorial Club, I overlooked a room full of grey hair, glasses, canes, hearing aids, walkers and even a wheelchair! At that moment I knew I had arrived finally I was in the Old Corps... the Very Old Corps.
Lt. Col. USMC, ret.
I found pictures of my outfit and a name of a friend on this web sight. We last saw each other in Aug. 1965. We went to nam together and when i called him it was great. now I'm planning to go see him in April 2006 in Md. I think that would make a good story. Thanks Grit Semper Fi
Kenny McCauley (sgt mac)
. Just wanted to say thanks for having such an OUTSTANDING web site to do business with. Don't do much Internet business but you guys have the lock on a secure, professional and easy to operate site. Just makes you proud to do business this way and I usually come by your site in south OKC to get my gear... Its just like that feeling when my DI said those bone chilling words in San Diego that evening many years ago------ "EXCELLENT TO OUTSTANDING !"
CPL. H. H. ARMER, 59-65
What's all this BS about BAMS? HE**! AS far as I'm concerned you are All BAMS. That's BAD A** MARINES And that's from a ZOOMIE who KNOWS!
God Bless the CORPS.
I Love Sgt's Grit Web Page, my wife said that I spend more time on the web Page than with her, she's right. But HEY! It's a Marine Thing, and I'm 57 yrs Old, that's LIFE!
That brought back some memories, being a Hollywood Marine, MCRD Platoon 379 SEP 1965 we qualified with M14's at the rifle range and then used M-1's at ITR.
I think all of us with serial numbers are of the Old Corps. And I believe that all of us are of the Breed. Semper FI to all Marines forever.
'65-'68, RVN '66-'67
When I was in the Marines it was "WM's" but as I got older and I hope wiser it, became Female Marines! I am just as proud of you as I am of all Marine, and I tell everyone the same. Ask the Indianhead Marines! God Bless us all!
Cpl Bob Olson 1654407 1957-58-59 MKT!
MarDet USS America CVA66 Reunion
The Marine Detachment USS America is having a reunion this August outside Washington, DC. We have located over 60 of the early crew and are looking for more. Contact Les Holzmann at yoboz.jr @ att.net for reunion details.
Les Holzmann, LCpl USMC 1965-68
40th Reunion MCDR/PI Platoon 246 (April 1967)
Scheduled for Next April @ PI
Wes Bland (the guide)
Nitehawk @ verizon.net
jdcroom @ leggmason.com
Semper Fi, MAC!
Welcome Home, job well done!
Digital Desert Cargo Rucksack
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