Best d*mn company on this planet! You guys are good to go in my books. Keep up the great work. Thousands of Marines out there are depending on you guys! That is all, carry-on.
Semper Fi!
Steve Parker

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Sarge, Just wanted to tell you a story about a chance meeting with an old friend today. It was a Sunday afternoon, and I stopped by a local Wal-Mart to pick up some golf shoe replacement spikes for my golf shoes. I was still in my sports jacket from church, and like with all my jackets and suits, I display an EGA lapel pin, because of my pride of my Corps and the fact that my son is still on active duty with 1/5 Marines. I picked out what I needed and proceeded to the sports department check-out register and laid the merchandise on the counter. As the attendant took my money and gave me back my change, he said thanks and "Semper Fi". I looked up and notice a short, worn- looking, gray hair man smiling at me and I knew instantly that I had walked in his shoes somewhere on this planet...his forearms were tattered with Marine tattoos. I said "Semper Fi" and introduced myself. We exchanged war stories (he served in Korea with the 10th Mtn. Brigade) and I explained that our son, had just returned from his 3rd deployment with 1/5 in Iraq, and was now enrolled in college, completing his degree under the MECEF program. Talk of past times led to an in-depth discussion of the current terror situation around the world. I could tell by the tears in his eyes, and the fact that he directed several check- out customers to the front registers, that I might be there for a while. His main fear was that the American people were too caught up in there own little worlds to have any idea of the present dangers of world-wide terrorism. I agreed, offered my two cents, but before I left, and explained that as long as our Marine Corps was made up of the young men and women that I have met recently, that he didn't have anything to worry about. As I tried to walk away, he grabbed my hand and arm, thanked me and my son for our service...I thanked him, and told him..."Don't worry, God is in control, and as long as America is a God- fearing country, and has its Marine Corps, we are still safe to live our lives. On my drive home, I felt bad that I had not gotten his name, but I have a strong feeling that I'll be stopping back in that Wal-Mart in the future to visit my old friend.
Semper Fi, J. Anderson, USMC '71-'73 (Proud Father of Sgt. Clay Anderson, 1/5 Marines)

"The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind."
--Thomas Paine

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My son, Josh, wanted to be a Marine since he was seven years old, so I wasn't surprised when he wanted us to sign him up in the delayed entry program. Of course, as a parent you want nothing more than to keep them safe and to know where they are at night, but let me just say we have never been more proud than the moment when we went to his graduation at Parris Island. The transformation that these young men and woman go through is unbelievable. Our 18 year old became a man. Right now he is stationed at Kaneohe Bay in Hawaii with orders to go to Iraq in October. Of course, when that day comes we will be scared to death. All you can do is hope and pray they return safe. The training they receive is incredible. We give them wings to grow, then you have to let them fly. If this is their decision, please let me do it. It is better that they try and fail than not to have tried at all. Our son is so glad he followed his dream because like he told me he would have regretted it for the rest of his life if he hadn't tried he always would have wondered could I have done it. One quick story, our son was due home on 12/23 for Christmas. We had all planned to go to the airport with balloons and signs welcoming him home. Well, on 12/21 we were at a family gathering for my nieces 13th birthday when my sister called everyone into the living room so she could video tape all of us well I was in the dining room with my dad when all of a sudden there was all this yelling. I turned to my left to see what the problem was when there stood my Marine, son, standing there in his dress blues with a single red rose.

Josh, my sister and her husband had all worked together to plan this big surprise. What a surprise! That was the best Christmas gift we could have ever gotten. Let your son's be Marine's if they choose so you can be a proud member of the Marine Corp family and the proudest Marine Corp Mom. God Bless.

Proud Marine Mom from Massachusetts

"Imagine this war as a sort of grotesque race. The jihadists and sectarians win if they can kill enough Americans to demoralize us enough that we flee before Iraqis and Afghans stabilize their newfound freedom. They lose if they can't. Prosperity, security and liberty are the death knell to radical Islam. It's that elemental."
--Victor Davis Hanson

Hey Sgt.Grit,
Wanted to share this great picture of my husband who is SSgt. Bergeson and one of our daughters Taylor who is 5 years old, we were at Disneyland and wrapped around her daddy like always! He is due to go for his second tour to Iraq this august, so we are soaking up as much fun time with him before he goes off, he's a great Marine and a terrific daddy of our four children, Brooke, Taylor, Riley, and Chase and a fantastic Marine and Daughter husband! We are so proud of him and support him always. We love your stuff, Sgt. Grit, keep it coming!

Thanks for everything,
From an OOORAH wife who is so proud of my Marine of 11 years!
Leehee Bergeson

Sgt. Grit,
Been reading the newsletters for awhile now and love it. Have also ordered stuff from the catalog and have never been disappointed, especially with Customer Service. Great bunch!

We've been back from my son's recent MCRDSD Graduation. While he was there I sent him a questionnaire - I wrote the questions, he would answer them and send them back in the stamped envelope I provided. The first two questions were "The thing I like best about my DI's is..." and "The thing I dislike most about my DI's is...". He responded to both with the same answer - 'They're making me a Marine."

My thanks to those Drill Instructors and their families for the commitment they have made to turn raw Recruits into motivated Marines. No matter the character of the young man that chooses the Corps, the DI's do their 'magic' (I'm sure the recruits don't think of it like that!) and they work hard for that title "United States Marine". The EGA Ceremony was the most impressive and emotional to me, his Mom. Words cannot express the pride for this son of mine and the entire Marine Corps. OURAH!

Thanks to all Marines and those from the other branches of the military, past & present, for your service!


"Peace and stability require both a military and a political Solution-but the political rests on the military one rather than vice versa."
--John O'Sullivan

I am the daughter of a Marine and am so very proud of all that the Marines have done for this country. I read these stories in the newsletter each week and I try to hold off until late in the day – otherwise, I ruin my morning make-up. I am grateful for all of our service men and women, but I certainly have a very soft spot in my heart for the Marine. God Bless all the moms, dads, grandparents, siblings and all the rest for knowing these wonderful, terrific human beings we so proudly call the Marines. It is a very strange time in the world today, but I would not want to live anywhere else in this world except for the USA. I thank the Marines for allowing me the opportunity to not only say that, but to live it.

Thank you!
God Bless you!
Semper Fi!
Terri Shough-Mayerhofer

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Dear Sgt. Grit

I read the news letters every time I receive them. I would like to take this time and THANK all of those individuals who serve our country! I myself am a former Marine.

There was a recent story that touched my heart, in a very familiar way, about A fathers son wanting to join the Marines and the father being Retired from the Air Force. I know what the son felt, being that I was once in that same situation with my father. My father is a Korean War Vet. with the USA, and when I told my father that I wanted to be a Marine at the age of 17. My father informed me that I would have to convince him and my mother why I wanted to be a Marine. After 3 days of talking with them about my decision they finally concurred with me and signed my papers and I spent the next several months in the DEP until I turned 18 and graduated High School.

I spent four years in the Corps after I graduated and went to the Persian Gulf. When I returned from the Gulf War as a Veteran, I can not tell you the pride that my parents felt for me and especially my father, who wore a hat that read "Once a Marine, Always a Marine" around our town and was always proclaiming how proud he was of me. I have to say being a Marine is one of the greatest achievements of my life. And I have my parents to thank for that!

I would also like to say GOD BLESS to all the parents out their that have children in the armed services. There service to this great country of ours is greatly appreciated. Especially this Marine.

Semper Fi
Raymond Conway
CPL/USMC 88' - 92'

"War, like most other things, is a science to be acquired and perfected by diligence, by perseverance, by time, and by practice."
--Alexander Hamilton

As a Marine in Vietnam, I often wondered why WWII/Korean War veterans didn't insist that the war be fought tactically sound. It was our turn to fight but soldiers were dying needlessly. I know there are Iraq veterans wondering the same thing - how could we allow this to happen again to them? I understand now and apologize to our veteran fathers who couldn't fix our war anymore than we can fix this one. All of a sudden we need more troops, need to control the borders and need to "change the rules of engagement" so our troops can do their job without sectarian interference. That should have been the tactical plan from day one! But of course we never learn from history and continue to allow our politicians to run our wars. Welcome home.

James Cool
Alpharetta, Ga.
India Co. 3/4
Vietnam 1967

I live in a small town in Oklahoma, we have a few young men and women who are serving our country even as I write this story. My son is one of those that is preparing for his third deployment, he is a Cpl. in the Marine Corps.

Well this story isn't about my son but one of the other young men that he grew up with. So anytime that I see his mother I always ask about him, anyway a few years ago she tells us that her son (Justin) has decided to join the Navy after he graduated from a college with a degree in nursing.

Well Justin, graduates from nursing school with honors, does his training and ends up at Camp Pendleton. All the time tell his mother that he was going to work in a hospital there in California. I think all of you can see where this story is going, anyway she goes out to California to visit Justin over the Christmas time. He finally tells his mom that he has been lying to her the whole time since he was stationed in California. He has been issued a set of diggies and that he was attached to a Marine unit and was due to deploy just anytime. So I can tell you the what ever group of Marines end up with this young man that are getting a great guy and I know that he will take great care of our Marines.

I never thought as my son and Justin were growing up and playing together, that they would serve our country they way that they are. So pray for both of these young men.

A Very Proud Marine Mom.

If not in Afghanistan and Iraq, Then where and when, and at what cost to America?

I'm writing this letter just to hear that things are going to be okay. My 21 year old will be leaving at the end of this month to Iraq. I'm very proud of my son and every man and woman that has made this trip. I am however scared. I know that my boy will come home but my concerns are with how this will affect him. He is a very strong young man and proud beyond words.

I can remember the look on my mothers face every morning when my brother was in Vietnam. This changed her as much as it changed him. Please someone help me with a way to keep this from changing me and my son.

Love and Pride.

My uncle, a former Marine, has inoperable lung cancer. his name is leonard spalla and he lives in ransomville ny. i am also a former Marine, and i have ptsd. we are the only two Marines from the families. i remember the time my uncle found out i had joined the Corps. it was my grandfathers 80th birthday or something like that, we were at a nice italian restaurant, the food was good and my dad says to me, you had better enjoy this now because in a few months you will be eating food in a chow hall faster than you ever have in your life. my uncle looked at my mom and asked her why did my dad say this, she said because i had joined the service and my uncle asked which one and my mom said yours. he looked at me and shook his head and said brownie, why did you do that. i know now why i did it, because of the respect and pride and the special bond i share with all Marines, including but especially with my uncle. please say a prayer for him.

Sgt. Grit,
I'm not submitting a story at this time, however I was just wondering if any of the stories that are submitted to you or the remarks from family members and friends of Marines are ever sent to the members of Congress to read that is if they would even be interested in them. I think they should read the stories and remarks, it might make them think about the American Military Personnel differently. I think they have forgotten that the military today is Volunteers Only. The only thing the Congress for the most part wants to do is TUCK THEIR TAIL AND RUN.
Obviously none of them have been that care have ever been in the military.
GOD BLESS OUR SERVICE MEN AND WOMEN and may they come home safe.
Dan Douglas
SGT USMC 69-76
Active & Reserve

"[T]he importance of piety and religion; of industry and frugality; of prudence, economy, regularity and an even government; all... are essential to the well-being of a family."
--Samuel Adams

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. - Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

If you haven't read the SOB, don't you think it's about time. The simplicity of the document is genius.

Declaration of Independence

My father took his basic training in the early 1940's at Parris Island. When I was a child he would recite a poem from basic training. I can only remember the beginning and hope that you can help me with the rest.

I was trained at Parris Island
The land that God forgot
Where the sand is 14 inches deep
and the sun is scorching hot

That's all I remember.
Thanks for any help.

Trena Swanke

Sgt. Grit
When I graduated from high school I was a "rebel". I thought I could follow and make my own rules. I decided one day to check out the armed forces. I went from one recruiter to another, until I came upon the Marine Corps. I was so interested that I signed up right then and there. When I went home and told my mother she cried. I thought I had hurt her or something and I asked her why was she crying. She said that there was nothing better than a Marine. I did not quite understand her until I was at MCRD, San Diego. I was totally surprised how much of a person and a man that the Marines had made of me. I met a lot of very good men while in the service and to this day I thank the Lord for taking me to that office that day. I will never forget how to be a Marine and although I am over 50 years old I would gladly strap on my M-14 and head out. As you grow older you may forget things but you will never forget how to be a Marine.

God Bless all of our service men and women Past, Present, and Future.
And before I go I have to say..
Thank you all for the peace of mind knowing that myself and family are truly safe.

Randy USMC Semper Fi... oorah!

Letters To Linda L.

I received over 40 letters responding to Linda. I apologize for those that are not included.
Sgt Grit


Hi Grit,
Couldn't help but notice in your newsletter the note from Linda L. She says:
"I have always prayed for the Lord to show them and lead them in His plans."
It seems unmistakable to me that her prayers have been answered. I can't even say "be careful what you wish for" when most can only wish for one Marine in a family; she gets two! The Lord has indeed been generous in answering her prayers.

Semper Fi,
Scott McClellan
MSgt USMC Ret.


For Linda L

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down life for his friends. John 15:13

Marines are willing to do this for strangers, how much more does the LORD love Marines?
Be not troubled that your two sons want to become Marines, rather be grateful for the great honor that has been bestowed on you to raise and care for two future United States Marines.
L/Cpl Larson 58 - 61


This is in reply to Linda L. who is struggling with two sons contemplating being in the Marine Corps:
I am a Marine Mom, and very proud of it. My son, since the age of 7 has wanted to be a Marine. I thought it was cute, until he signed onto the DEP (Delayed Entry Program) in twelfth grade. I remember him coming home after his weekend of physicals and signing paperwork...actually hearing the words, "I've signed up." I was so messed up, like you, feeling panicked. I couldn't speak to him, every time I did, I wept. Needless to say it was rough. I remember continually praying, asking God, why? It was the continuation of bringing all my fears and worries to the Lord that finally, on that one Sunday, He brought such a peace to my heart and said this was too big for me to handle, and He could take care of my son better that I could ever imagine and I felt such a heaviness lifted off of my shoulders. I knew then that I finally surrendered it all to the Lord. From one mom to another...God is bigger than us, and WILL take care of our boys better than we can. We have to let really already answered your own have got to let go and allow God to work it out..I did...and I can say I am a proud Marine Mom! My son graduated from Parris Island, September, 2006 and is stationed here in the U.S. I know there is a chance of him being deployed...but I trust God with this. I support our troops and continually pray for them and their families.

A Proud Marine Mom, Always
Kelly W.


Mother and Marine Sons I am the Mother of not one but two Marines. LCpl Justin A. Baker & his brother Pvt. Tyler J. Baker. Justin just started his 2nd tour in Iraq in January of 2007. We have a special place in our garden to celebrate all the men and women who serve in the military. The boys grandfathers on both sides are military men. Their maternal grandfather was career Air Force and their paternal grandfather a Marine. Oh, even me their Mother wore combat boots, I served in the Army where I married their father 29-years ago this year! This site brings me great comfort and joy. Of course we are proud of both of our Marines!


How many teenagers do you know, in this day and age, that are so selfless?? Love them, be proud of them, and congratulate yourself for raising such honorable, devoted, and humble sons! SEMPER FI!
Karen A., WV Marine Mom-to-be


First, your two sons are yours temporarily. Give them back to God and He will protect them through and through and your fears will be erased. The faith that God will ALWAYS be with them regardless of the circumstances is our only hope. He will guide them and put them in a path which you and I do not understand, but His will, will be done. Love them all you can and cherish every moment together. But also remember, that as much as you love them, they love you even more. That love that a son has for his Mom is tremendous. We men hold our Moms in the highest of places. That alone should ease your fears. Secondly, you should know that if they do in fact, decide to join the Marine Corps, they are enlisting in the finest organization in the world. They, and you, are joining a huge extended family where they will become one of the few. Our motto has always been, GOD, COUNTRY, and CORPS, in that order. If God is first, what better place for your young men. Fear for those who will face your boys, they are the ones that will need help. Holding them back will cause resentment and they will never truly know what it's like to be a Marine. If it's meant to be, it will be, if not, then your fears are for naught. God will be with you and them forever, rest assured, and right behind them will be the Marine Corps as well.

Chito Ramirez
CWO-2 (76-85)


Dear Linda L.,

My son, LCpl. James P. DeNapoli II, was deployed with the 26th MEU on January 4th; I wanted to pass on something that a fellow Marine Mom said to me that helps me with my "Mom fears"...she told me that the same God who watched over my boy as he was growing up doing things that would have gotten any normal child killed ten times over would be with him now as he serves the cause of Freedom. It is totally normal for you to have these fears; but just remember that "Courage is fear that has said it's prayers". Remember what it is that your wonderful sons have chosen to defend, and thank God that their hearts led them to respond to it by enlisting in the finest fighting force the world has ever known! After seeing glimpses of the training my own boy went through prior to his deployment I can assure you that the Marine Corps does not send our young people to battle without giving them every bit of training they need to ensure their ability to get the job done and come home safely. Our media doesn't bother counting the success stories, which far outnumber the casualties they bemoan constantly (and demoralize so many by so doing). The letters you see here in the Sgt. Grit Newsletter are living proof that Marines are tough enough to take it and survive to tell their tales! Believe in our God, our Country, and most of all, our Corps! May God Bless you and your sons, as He has proven that He blesses America by giving us the United States Marines!

Kate Troy
Proud MOM


Dear Linda:

If both of your son's choose the noble path to becoming United States Marine, it would stand to reason that you gave them the basis to be outstanding members of society and that God has plans for you to spend their time in service and beyond as one of the proudest parents to walk this earth! That is no exaggeration. I have always been proud of our men and women serving, but when my son earned his EGA, I entered a new world I never imagined. The Marine Corps family is phenomenal. We'd welcome you to our ranks!

Proud Marine Mom of LCpl Derek, on 2nd tour in Iraq
Proud Adopted Marine Mom of SSgt AJ, Sgt J, Sgt Chad, LCpl Sean


Sgt Grit,
I would like to reply to Linda L. who has two sons ready to join the greatest fighting men in the world. Be thankful Linda that they have chosen the Marines we would NEVER want to send our children into battle unprepared. If they are going to be in any branch of the service it should be the one that will prepare them the best that they can be and that is the Marines. When my son told me that he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his Dad and Grandfather I was sad because I thought that I was losing him instead I gained a well mannered man. I am so proud of him. He gave me a copy of a quote to make me feel better about his decision and I thought that you needed it as well.

It is by Stonewall Jackson "Captain, my religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. GOD has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to be ALWAYS READY no matter when it may overtake me... That is the way all men should live, and then all would be equally brave."

Proud Mother of LCpl Jeb Stuart Sayer
and Wife of Cpl Stuart E. Sayer
Kimberly Sayer


Dear Linda L.: I was a Marine Corps Platoon Leader in Vietnam - I commanded both tank and infantry platoons, in 1966-67. If you have given your sons to the Lord, He will take good care of them, most especially if they are answering His call for their lives. If that call is to the Marine Corps, as it appears to be, as you have already asked Him to lead them, be assured that they will be in the hands of the most competent people on earth - Marine Corps NCOs. I had the best NCOs' in the Corps - but I know they're all that good. My youngest son was shot and killed while on an outreach mission for our church. I can assure you that the Lord will comfort you and be with you while your sons are on active duty, and will grant you the peace that only He can give, whatever the outcome. And remember, don't borrow trouble from tomorrow - our worst fears don't ever really come about. Trust Him that He knows what He's doing. Looking back at now age 64, I can also tell you I have deepest satisfaction that I answered the call, and did what I yearned to do - be a United States Marine. Try not to get in the way of your sons' destinies - be strong, be steady, let your faith be the Rock on which you stand, and He'll grant you that strength. Mal Garland


My son comforted me with the words, "I'm as safe as I can be in God's Hands." That reminder was what I needed. I firmly believe a mother can only "let" her child become a Marine if she trusts God to take care of him, now and forever. Not that as a mother, we really have any choice in the matter. Your sons are going into the best training possible. Trust them, they will find the words you need to hear and comfort you before they deploy.
God bless you for allowing your sons to become Marines, and God bless your sons for choosing to become Marines.
Sue W., Proud mother of LCpl. Andy of Alpha Co.


I expressed my concerns to my ONLY child, he said: Mom, I understand your fears, but I can not live them. So, if they call on me I will go to war. I will never forget his comment. I decided that he needs to lead his own life and I hope and Pray that if and when he does deploy he will come home safely. He is married to a Marine and we both support him on his decisions. I am a VERY PROUD mother of a Marine.

Semper Fi,
Klara Nira Cahill


Dear Linda L.,

Welcome! I also live in a panic, quandary, pleased, mixed up state. My 18 year old son wanted to join the Marines. We are mild people. My husband farms, and I teach 1st grade in a church school, probably as far a job from the Marine Corps as is possible. We told our son to wait. He got an opportunity to be a semi mechanic and become a member in a strong union with a promising future. For a year and a half he was the most miserable, unhappy truck mechanic the world has ever seen.

He decided to join the Marines and the transformation has been amazing. The lazy high school student has given up leave time to study his job and move up the ranks. He has become so happy, so strong, so capable. It's obvious he's found his place in life.

But from the moment he was born, every fiber of my being has screamed 'PROTECT, PROTECT, PROTECT!' I want the whole world to share and play nice! So I have told him the truth since day 1: I support you. I love you. I'm so proud of you. You just can't see it because it's all covered up by my FEAR. You live your life. I will learn to deal with it.

For my part, I have found support among other Marine moms, just as rabid as me. I pray as always, with all my heart. I remember the day my son was born, the first time I held him, I told God that I put this child's life in His hands. That is what I'm doing now, just as I said I would 22 years ago. That gets me through the dark nights.

His twin brothers, 17, are seriously considering the military. I ask them, "Do you all need bullets? Can't one of you manage a grocery store?" They reply that the military is probably safer than a city convenience store.

Love and prayers to you and yours.
Susan M.


Linda L
Our Dad died when I was 15. Both myself and my older brother joined the Marine Corp and we are fine! We ended up on the same Radar Crew, of seven Marines, to us it was no big deal, Mom may have not liked it but we did!


I am the proud grandmother of PFC Henry Sanchez. Henry was on his second deployment to Iraq when he was killed on July 27. 2007. He was a machine gunner with 3/8 Weapons out of Camp Lejeune. I am writing for several reasons. We are very proud of him and have been for his entire lifetime. His mother and I were at the homecoming for his unit in September to welcome 'his guys' home safely. It was hard for them and for us but it is what he would have wanted. For Linda L whose sons are looking toward the military, Henry wanted to be a Marine and a warrior from the time he was 10 and fought hard to get to the physical and mental state he felt would be needed. He succeeded far more than he ever felt possible. This was his choice and looking back I am so grateful we were supportive even though it ended the way it did. He would have made his decision whether we supported him or not but now we can remember we stayed very close with no bad memories/disagreements between us. He felt it was his duty and calling, not for everyone, but for him. He gave all as well as did the two other wonderful Marines on his humvee. The remaining two on the truck were severely injured but are slowly recovering. They, as well as all of the others, have to face life without their buddies and remember all they have seen. They are so young to have to carry these memories but everyone of them are dedicated to each other. They are Marines! Many from his unit still call and visit me and Henry whenever possible. They can call on me for whatever they need and I can depend on them for support at any time. I miss Henry so much and it hurts every day but as he said just before leaving last March, "My choice! I am doing what I want to do and I would do it all over again even knowing what I know now. I do it for my guys (fellow Marines), my family and friends. Remember this if anything happens. I love you more!" The last was a running thing with Henry, his mom and I. He was right. He loved us more! RIP Henry! Semper Fi!

Proud Grandmother of Her Hero!
Grandma (to the grunts of 3/8 Weapons)

"It is very imprudent to deprive America of any of her privileges. If her commerce and friendship are of any importance to you, they are to be had on no other terms than leaving her in the full enjoyment of her rights."
--Benjamin Franklin

"I bet after seeing us, George Washington would sue us for calling him 'father."'
--Will Rogers

After he graduated from MCRD, I was quite simply amazed at the transformation. I sent the Marine Corps a good kid and they gave me back an excellent young man.

You will never lose the fear you have for your sons. Every parent feels that fear, whether they are Marine parents or not. But you will have a sense of accomplishment that most people will never feel. Your sons will become Marines. Truly the finest individuals in the world. Sure they are rude, crude and prone to excess, when they are together on liberty. But I have never meet such courtesy, kind and gentle (to children, aged and family) people as Marines.

You will be part of the Marine family. I have meet some of the greatest people and the "only" thing we have in common is our sons are Marines.

God has blessed you with two fine out standing sons (as I have been blessed). I guarantee that when your sons graduate from Boot Camp you will be so proud, so happy that you'll realize that this is God's plan.

God Bless you and your sons.
Semper Fi.
Ryan P.

"European nations protesting Saddam Hussein's death sentence, as they protested against forcing secrets out of captured terrorists, should tell us all we need to know about the internal degeneration of western society, where so many confuse squeamishness with morality."
--Thomas Sowell

What Thomas Jefferson learned
from the Muslim book of jihad

By Ted Sampley

U.S. Veteran Dispatch
January 2007

Democrat Keith Ellison is now officially the first Muslim United States congressman. True to his pledge, he placed his hand on the Quran, the Muslim book of jihad and pledged his allegiance to the United States during his ceremonial swearing-in.

Capitol Hill staff said Ellison's swearing-in photo opportunity drew more media than they had ever seen in the history of the U.S. House. Ellison represents the 5th Congressional District of Minnesota.

The Quran Ellison used was no ordinary book. It once belonged to Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States and one of America's founding fathers. Ellison borrowed it from the Rare Book Section of the Library of Congress. It was one of the 6,500 Jefferson books archived in the library.

Ellison, who was born in Detroit and converted to Islam while in college, said he chose to use Jefferson's Quran because it showed that "a visionary like Jefferson" believed that wisdom could be gleaned from many sources.

There is no doubt Ellison was right about Jefferson believing wisdom could be "gleaned" from the Muslim Quran. At the time Jefferson owned the book, he needed to know everything possible about Muslims because he was about to advocate war against the Islamic "Barbary" states of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Tripoli.

Ellison's use of Jefferson's Quran as a prop illuminates a subject once well-known in the history of the United States, but, which today, is mostly forgotten - the Muslim pirate slavers who over many centuries enslaved millions of Africans and tens of thousands of Christian Europeans and Americans in the Islamic "Barbary" states.

Over the course of 10 centuries, Muslim pirates cruised the African and Mediterranean coastline, pillaging villages and seizing slaves.

The taking of slaves in pre-dawn raids on unsuspecting coastal villages had a high casualty rate. It was typical of Muslim raiders to kill off as many of the "non-Muslim" older men and women as possible so the preferred "booty" of only young women and children could be collected.

Young non-Muslim women were targeted because of their value as concubines in Islamic markets. Islamic law provides for the s&xual interests of Muslim men by allowing them to take as many as four wives at one time and to have as many concubines as their fortunes allow.

Boys, as young as 9 or 10 years old, were often mutilated to create eunuchs who would bring higher prices in the slave markets of the Middle East. Muslim slave traders created "eunuch stations" along major African slave routes so the necessary surgery could be performed. It was estimated that only a small number of the boys subjected to the mutilation survived after the surgery.

When American colonists rebelled against British rule in 1776, American merchant ships lost Royal Navy protection. With no American Navy for protection, American ships were attacked and their Christian crews enslaved by Muslim pirates operating under the control of the "Dey of Algiers"--an Islamist warlord ruling Algeria.

Because American commerce in the Mediterranean was being destroyed by the pirates, the Continental Congress agreed in 1784 to negotiate treaties with the four Barbary States. Congress appointed a special commission consisting of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin, to oversee the negotiations.

Lacking the ability to protect its merchant ships in the Mediterranean, the new America government tried to appease the Muslim slavers by agreeing to pay tribute and ransoms in order to retrieve seized American ships and buy the freedom of enslaved sailors.

Adams argued in favor of paying tribute as the cheapest way to get American commerce in the Mediterranean moving again. Jefferson was opposed. He believed there would be no end to the demands for tribute and wanted matters settled "through the medium of war." He proposed a league of trading nations to force an end to Muslim piracy.

In 1786, Jefferson, then the American ambassador to France, and Adams, then the American ambassador to Britain, met in London with Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja, the "Dey of Algiers" ambassador to Britain.

The Americans wanted to negotiate a peace treaty based on Congress' vote to appease.

During the meeting Jefferson and Adams asked the Dey's ambassador why Muslims held so much hostility towards America, a nation with which they had no previous contacts.

In a later meeting with the American Congress, the two future presidents reported that Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja had answered that Islam "was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Quran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman (Muslim) who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise."

For the following 15 years, the American government paid the Muslims millions of dollars for the safe passage of American ships or the return of American hostages. The payments in ransom and tribute amounted to 20 percent of United States government annual revenues in 1800.

Not long after Jefferson's inauguration as president in 1801, he dispatched a group of frigates to defend American interests in the Mediterranean, and informed Congress.

Declaring that America was going to spend "millions for defense but not one cent for tribute," Jefferson pressed the issue by deploying American Marines and many of America's best warships to the Muslim Barbary Coast.

The USS Constitution, USS Constellation, USS Philadelphia, USS Chesapeake, USS Argus, USS Syren and USS Intrepid all saw action.

In 1805, US Marines under Lt. Pressley O'Bannon along with 40 Greek mercenaries marched across the dessert from Egypt into Tripolitania, forcing the surrender of Tripoli and the freeing of all American slaves. After capturing this fortress the US Marines raised the American flag for the first time over a defeated enemy in the Old World.

During the Jefferson administration, the Muslim Barbary States, crumbling as a result of intense American naval bombardment and on shore raids by Marines, finally officially agreed to abandon slavery and piracy.

Jefferson's victory over the Muslims lives on today in the Marine Hymn, with the line, "From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli, we will fight our country's battles on the land as on the sea."

It wasn't until 1815 that the problem was fully settled by the total defeat of all the Muslim slave trading pirates.

Jefferson had been right. The "medium of war" was the only way to put and end to the Muslim problem. Mr. Ellison was right about Jefferson. He was a "visionary" wise enough to read and learn about the enemy from their own Muslim book of jihad.

More on the Barbary Wars

"Strive to be the greatest man in your country, and you may be disappointed. Strive to be the best and you may succeed: he may well win the race that runs by himself."
-Benjamin Franklin

Dear Sgt. Grit,

In May 2006, I had the honor of attending the G/2/5 (WWII) reunion. I was invited by Corpsman Frank Corry when he read in The Old Breed News that I was looking for Marines who served with my Dad. I was and continue to be awed by the brotherhood these Marines still share, after sixty-plus years! The respect and love the men have for each other is inexplicable. They welcomed me as one of their own. Since then, I have made many friends. I write, phone and visit them. I will be attending their next, and sadly their last, reunion this year.

Since then, I visited Brigadier General Gordon Gayle (Retired). He took my husband and me to The National War College, the Navy Academy and Quantico. I especially wanted to go to Quantico, because my Dad taught machine gunnery at the OCS in 1945, after he returned from his tour of duty.

While we were there, Colonel Robert Chase took time out of his busy schedule to give us a tour. I remember being startled when we entered a building and I heard a shout, "OFFICER ON DECK!" and everyone snapped to attention.

My heart bursts with pride and warmth as I remember walking in my Dad's footsteps.

Are there any Marines out there that remember 2nd Lt. Charles A. Hutchings? His nick name was "Hutch." He served in the Pacific in World War II. 1st Marine Division, 2/5. He was in Hdq., E, F, G and H companies. He spoke of and fought with Lewis Walt, Gordon Gayle and Lou Diamond. He also spoke of and fought alongside Chesty Puller at Peleliu. He also fought at Tulagi, Guadalcanal, New Britain and New Guinea.

I have always been extremely proud that the Corps blood runs in my veins. I didn't think I could be any prouder -- but my pride grows more every day.

By the way--I encourage all of your readers to thank any military personnel for their service -- regardless of the branch in which they served. MY Dad taught me that when I was a little girl -- and I'm glad he did.

Sincerely, Semper Fi,
Carolyn "Hutch" Carino

Dear Sgt. Grit,
Being the mother of an active duty Marine and his twin brother active with the Army (He didn't see the light) I was so proud of the entire Corp recently. My husband and I live in Manzanillo Mexico, where we volunteer at an orphanage. The USS Denver and the USS Cleveland were coming into our town for some government assignment. The Chaplains of both of these ships asked the men and women if they wanted to help an orphanage or spend their leave time on the beach.....we waited as the first group came....25 and then the second group...62. Tears rolled down my face as these Marines (and a few sailors) gave up their free time to help us and help they did. Walls were knocked out, lights hung, a trench was dug, grass and weeds were tended too and time was spent with the children. I felt like my boys were with me. God Bless You All
Diana Stout
Manzanillo, Mexico
Washington, Iowa

"The famous Roman peace of ancient times did not come from negotiations, cease-fires or pretty talk. It came from the Roman Empire's crushing defeat and annihilation of Carthage, which served as a warning to anyone else who might have had any bright ideas about messing with Rome."
--Thomas Sowell

Hi to All, I just finished reading Matt Heslin's story The Making of a Marine. I smiled the from the first word to the last word. On Oct. 8th, 1999, I was a proud parent admiring my son, and all the son's and daughters who so proudly marched that day. I will never forget the ceremony, and many times I have relieved it in my mind. I remember that on that particular day, the world stopped, it was just me and my son. There was not another thought or wish in my mind. It was the most amazing ceremony to be a part of. I have not heard many stories about my son's experience in boot camp, just a few, but he tells them with such conceit, and pride, his ego is doing the story telling! Eight years later, I still see the pride, and a commitment that will never age through time. There truly is "something" spiritual, an unspoken promise, that once a Marine, always a Marine. God Bless to all Marine families, and a special prayer for those now serving. Semper Fi A very proud, and smiling Marine Mom

Muchos Gracias--and Semper Fi from the platoon of Marines I am with in-country Iraq. I deployed in December, much to the chagrin of my Marine sons. Said-- sorry Dude's your turn to worry now. Mom is going to the suck. They had to laugh despite their worry. Serious straight up though, I am with 13 of the best guys I ever have met, turned em all on to the Sgt. Grit Newsletter and they all send their Semper Fi to the maximum.

Sgt. Grit kept me sane while sons are deployed, (two still out in Afghanistan) baby Marine son home right now at Miramar, and is still keeping me sane in this red diaper doper baby world. You guys rock, and God bless.


"Only after the Roman Empire began to lose its own internal cohesion, patriotism and fighting spirit over the centuries did it begin to succumb to its external enemies and finally collapse."
--Thomas Sowell

I read with interest the letters concerning the Sao Mai Orphanage. I was a member of the 5th Comm Battalion from January '66 until February of '67. Our camp was "next door" to the orphanage and a few of us would occasionally take food to the children and stay and visit for awhile. My wife and I attempted to adopt a little four month old girl but because we wouldn't sign papers agreeing to raise her as a Catholic those in power in the church wouldn't approve us for adoption. To this day I still don't understand that reasoning. I was happy to read that someone was able to adopt a child and give her a chance for a better life.

W. W. McFarland, Jr.
Sgt USMC - June 1960-November 1969

Dear Sgt. Grit,
After reading the latest newsletter I had to comment one two stories...... First, to Sgt. Robert D. Koenning, whose cousin- in-law didn't make it through boot and yet displays a 2nd Div. sticker and claims to be a Marine ..... As a proud parent of a Marine, I would have NO problem telling this yahoo that he is out of line. But then again, I'm not in the family.....someone that has a good relationship with him should tell him that what he is displaying and how he is acting is disrespectful to every Marine serving presently or in the past. Why someone in the family hasn't confronted him before is beyond one likes a "poser"! If it gives you any comfort, most people will know that he BSing just by the way he's acting. Marines have an "air" about them that is most distinct! Thank you for your service!

OK, second in Littleton, Co. I could REALLY relate to Sgt. Phil Coffman....blizzard....travels....loved ones coming home....My son was coming home from Camp Pendleton to Littleton after spending last Christmas in Iraq...luckily it was TWO days before the Denver Airport shut down! He brought with him his girlfriend to "meet the family" for the first time. Being a Calif. girl, she wished for a white Christmas......we blame the blizzard on her...LOL I could really relate to moving any obstacle to make my Marine's visit the best it could possibly be.....If I had to I would have bribed a snowplow driver to get the mission accomplished. I guess you could say that the Marine determination really rubs of on the family of the Marine! But to add to that, Marine families stick together.....What I would do for my son, I would gladly do for another family with a Marine. This news fact was broadcasted here in the Denver area, a woman driving from a town back East, heard on her news of a Marine trying to get to Denver and was stranded due to DIA being closed. She went to the airport, picked him up, and drove him to Denver so he could be with his family for Christmas. Once a Marine always a Marine....but once you have a Marine in the family, your a Marine family forever!

God Bless our Troops, Recruits, and All Retired Military Personnel!

Sharon McManus, Littleton Co.
Proud Marine Parent of Cpl. Edward, back from his 2nd tour to Iraq

"Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage moral and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled or hanged."
--President Abraham Lincoln

Sgt. Grit,

I need some help in contacting anyone in 2/4 in 1966. I am working on a college memorial to 2dLt Steve Snyder USMCR, KIA 8/24/66, who won the Navy Cross near the Rockpile, RVN. I would be grateful for any contacts with Marines who may have served with Lt. Snyder. He was a friend of mine in college and had some influence on my interest in the Corps. By sheer coincidence, I attended his funeral at Arlington National Cemetery on the very same day I had an appointment to apply for the Platoon Leaders Course. Any assistance would be appreciated.

Keep up the great work with the newsletter.

Bill Anderson
Colonel of Marines (Ret.), 1966-1999.
Binche57 @ yahoo .com

"One of the scariest aspects of our times is how easy it is for glib loudmouths to turn us against each other, weakening the whole framework of society, on which we all depend."
--Thomas Sowell

Sgt. Grit: I appreciate so much the news letters and information. You keep adding to your inventory and have everything any Marine would want. I appreciate what you have done and have offered the Marine Family.

Being a 'Viet Nam Marine, I envy every day those brave young "devil Dogs" who are standing in the breach for all of us. I wish every day that the Commandant would allow this 61 year old vet the opportunity to allow the enemy to meet his maker. I want those heroes to know that there a lot of old salts around that are very proud that they are upholding the standards and history of our beloved Corps.

Paul with Retired Chief and Mayor I remember spending Thanksgiving and Christmas on hill 881 south and couldn't wait to get home for some home made Fried Chicken, Okra and home fries. How hurt I was to have tomatoes thrown at me, and profanities, while being called a "baby killer" "War Monger" etc. It's even more sad for me to watch the news and discover that those same idiots who condemned us are now in Congress, Lawyers, Doctors and some even Presidential Candidates and past Presidents. You know what though? I would do it all over again knowing that at least America has the freedoms we do have whether I agree politically with their motives or not. I say to those brave heroes now serving and protecting us "SEMPER-FI, continue in your faith in our country, and you are representing those core values and tradition that so many men and women have done now for going on 232 years."

I have included a photo taken Memorial Day in 2006 with a retired Navy Chief and the Mayor of Jacksonville.

Paul Hout

It Runs in the Family

I am the proud father, and also the son of a United States Marine. My father served from 1950 to 1973 and spent (2) tours in Viet Nam. He often told me of an operation called "Harvest Moon" anybody else out there remember? My father (GySgt H.C. Gootee) raised me in the Corp with high hopes that one day I too would join. I don't know what got into me, but I opted to take the school route and didn't enlist. I can only say that I truly regret that decision and always will.
You see, I lost my Dad in 2001 after a (2) year battle with Colon Cancer. My oldest son enlisted last year and my other son is on a deferred enlistment for after graduation this year. We recently went to visit the new Marine Corps Museum in Quantico this past holiday while my son was home on leave. I was looking at the bus and the video clip commentaries about new recruits. When, much to my surpr