"[M]uch to be regretted indeed would it be, were we to neglect the means and to depart from the road which Providence has pointed us to so plainly; I cannot believe it will ever come to pass."
--George Washington


love of my life Thank You God for the Love of My Life.
You gave me 45 years as his wife.
You gave us 5 children to raise in Your Name
And 17 grand kids who will be raise just the same
Semper Fi
Faith Hopkins


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As a Grandmother of a Corporal Marine. And since he is serving in Iraq My Husband and I have been making it a point to shake the hands not only the Marines but all we meet that display there emblems from World War Two up to this present day. Both of us feel we should encourage all the troops.

Mary Ann Sturgeon
Grandmother of Corporal Mike Hargis serving in Iraq


MODEST PROPOSAL

Apocalypse again -- call up the Vietnam vets

Where else can Bush get 21,500 trained soldiers for his 'surge'? By Paul Whitefield, PAUL WHITEFIELD supervises the editorial pages' copy desk. January 21, 2007

Read the story

A well written response:

2 February 2007

To: Editorial Staff LA Times

Subject: "Apocalypse again - call up the Vietnam Vets" dated 21 January 2007

Your published editorial by Paul Whitefield suggesting Vietnam veterans be called up to answer President Bush's recent proposal for a troop surge is nothing less than a scurrilous insult to our nations Vietnam veterans. The editorial evokes back to the 1960's and 1970's the worst of the venomous insults and attacks that were heaped upon returning veterans of that unpopular war by the radical left wing of the then anti war movement.

Except for several instances, e.g., John Kerry's recent gaffe at apparent "joke telling", the anti-war movement have been especially careful to avoid direct attacks on today's military and returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. However, Mr. Whitefield seems to believe that Vietnam veterans remain viable targets for the lefts disdain of the military. After-all we were and apparently remain, both morally and intellectually deficit, drug addicts, murderers, rapists, unemployable, homeless and less we not forget history's greatest "baby killers" since Genghis Khan. And in the event the preceding "former indictments" are somehow insufficient, Mr. Whitefield enters as new evidence the "facts" that many Vietnam veteran's ride Harley's and own "gun's" as apparent "proof points" to substantiate Mr. Whitefield's proposal.

I neither ask for nor care for a retraction nor an apology from your paper or Mr. Whitefield. Both Mr. Whitefield and the LA Times have a constitutional right to place into print whatever drivel they believe will sell a dying form of reporting … newspapers.

I would remind Mr. Whitefield that his right to publish such drivel remains today not because of the "mighty pen" of the press. For even those mighty pens of the founding fathers Ben Franklin, John Adams, John Penn, John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson and others were unable to alone achieve our freedom. Ultimately, freedom was achieved only through the selfless sacrifice of our veterans who fought and died. Those very same freedoms have been defended and upheld by our nation's military veterans for over 230 years.

Respectfully

John J. Gugliotta
Selbyville, DE
Proud to Have Served
U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran (1968 -1971)

P.S.

Harley-Davidson's are neither "cheap" to operate nor to buy, I currently own four. The last time I checked, we all still have a constitutional right to own weapons "guns". How many I may own is my own business protected by my right to privacy.


Trena Swanke remembered her Uncles poem but not all of it. I knew I had it somewhere in my foot locker, found it.

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You can have your Army Khakis,
You can have your Navy Blues,
I have another fighting man,
to introduce to you.

His uniform is different,
the finest ever seen,
the Germans call him Devil Dog,
his real name is Marine!

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

He gets up in the morning,
way before the sun,
he'll run a hundred miles or more
before the sun goes down.

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

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

When I die and go to Heaven,
St. Peter I will tell,
Another Marine reporting Sir!
I've spent my time in H&ll!

And as I look around me,
Oh what will I see,
A Hundred Thousand more Marines,
standing next to me!

Hope she'll be-able to get this.

Greg. Kimmins 1973-75
Semper FI, Carry on


I look forward to getting your newsletters. I helps me to get by these days with my son deployed knowing others out there are going through the same feeling. I was reading the letter that the PROUD MARINE MOM from MASSACHUSETTS wrote in. It seems that mom son followed the same path as hers. My son join the Marines in there delayed entry program when he was 17. That was the proudest day of my life. He left for boot camp 2 weeks after he graduated from high school. He was deployed the past October, 4 days before his 21st birthday, to Iraq. He did get married this past July 7th. I wasn't expecting him home for the 4th because he said his orders were canceled. I was sitting in church and looked up, there he was. I had to blink twice. I just started crying. People sitting behind me were crying. I am know just wanting to hold my baby in my arms. He is scheduled to return sometime in April.


USS ARIZONA Marine Remembrance

Sgt Grit,

We need the help of all Marines, past, present and future and those that support them. In November 2005, (see the December 2006 copy of the LEATHERNECK magazine cover and feature story) the Commandant, General Hagee, and Col Jack Earle, the senior surviving member of the USS ARIZONA MarDet, dedicated the Marine Remembrance on Halawa Landing, in perfect view of the USS ARIZONA. It is dedicated to the Marines that served and died that fateful day. An absolute travesty is about to occur. The lot on which it stands has been passed to the National Park Service (NPS) which is the caretaker of the USS ARIZONA. None of the senior NPS executives have ever served in the US Marine Corps, or any branch of service for that matter. The USS ARIZONA is about to undergo a major renovation (good news) but that will not happen for several years, and when it does, the site of the Marine Remembrance will probably not be an interference. If new plans do require movement of the Marine Remembrance, it should only be shifted port or starboard - NOT REMOVED. The NPS has just delivered a letter saying the Marine Remembrance must be moved by 30 April 2007.

Request that any and all Sgt Grit readers email to the addresses below strong objection to moving this important historical icon. Request you send your thoughts to: Dept of Interior, dirk_kempthorne@doi.gov; Natl Park Service; mary_bomar@nps.gov; NPS Pacific Region: jon_jarvis@nps.gov; NPS USS ARIZONA; doug_lentz@nps.com; and copy me at JRBatesUSMC@aol.com so we can collect them to show that MARINES TAKE CARE OF MARINES.

Semper Fidelis, John R. Bates USMC (ret)

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I recently ran into a WWII Vet and during the conversation I asked him what theater he served in. When he said Pacific--USMC I told him that "if it wasn't for guys like him I might have served in the Japanese air force flying Mitsubishi's"...That really cracked him up and he said he never thought of it that way...
Of course we ended the conversation with "Semper Fi" (Hope that doesn't insult the Marines who read this, but I figure--"Been there-Done that" counts for something.)
P.S.--I owe my a** to two Marines who saved it for me. But that's another story.

God Bless all who serve in harm's way.
"Jake" Jacobsma USAF


"Our political elite and chattering classes deserve a stiff rebuke for ignoring—and encouraging the public to ignore—the truth: In a global war for the Free World, there is nowhere to run."
--Frank Gaffney


Sgt. Grit. As a former Marine I look forward to reading every word in you weekly letters. We have been a basically Marine family. My oldest brother was a retired gunny. He served in Korea with honors during that war and became a DI and MCRD later on. His name was GySgt. Morrell [Mort] Tennant. If anyone knew him or was stationed with him I would love to hear from them. Also my brother that is just older than I was in the Marines at Camp Pendleton and Japan in the mid 50's. He was an MP. I was in the Corps in 1958-1962 and wished every day I had stayed the full 20. I love the Corps with all my being and every one in it. I transferred over to the Air Force and spent the next 16 yrs wishing I had spent them in the Corps. I did have two brothers who were in the 82nd Airborne and the 101st Airborne respectively. So you can see we were a military family. I don't regret one minute of my time in the service defending peoples right to disagree with me but I do regret it wasn't with the Marine Corps. SEMPER FI to all the past, present, and future Marines. God bless you all and may God be with you and your families.

Howard Tennant
VMA-211 & VMA-121
1958-1962


Sgt Grit,
Just to let you know that I love the newsletter & catalogue. I sometimes have to stop reading the letter till later when am at home so I can cry there. I am involved with a Marine & it's not an easy thing - specially our relationship. I've cried many a night when he's been in Iraq & my heart sings when I'd talk to him via internet or phone. He's been home for a while now & is moving up in the ranks & doing well. Will be transferring soon to Ft. Sill, so will be closer & can see each other bit more, hopeful. He'll be training others to do what he does. After getting my car washed I put my magnets on it! I work for the local gunsmith & meet lots of military men & one awesome woman Marine & anytime I know someone is a Marine I tell them "Semper Fi!" Then the usual question is asked - you? No my boyfriend. It's a wonderful feeling to say that & told congrats! LOL Thanks for having the great newsletter! It's nice to know there are others who do care!
Chris in KS, Marine girlfriend


"Nothing is more essential to the establishment of manners in a State than that all persons employed in places of power and trust must be men of unexceptionable characters."
Samuel Adams


Recently, my wife and I were having lunch in a local fast food restaurant and I observed an elderly woman enter the lobby followed closely by her equally aged spouse. He seemed a tad worn and weary but what caught my eye was the USMC cover and suspenders. I waited for my chance and when I had the opportunity, I shook his hand and told him "Semper Fi, Marine." He smiled and I swear, he stood a little taller and even looked younger. Note that I'm not a Marine or even related to one but I sure as h&ll can let one (or all) know I'm proud of them.

"Let me not criticize another until I have walked a mile in his moccasins."
--Native American saying

John


My son Scott is a Sgt. in the Marine Corps. He was home for Christmas this year which is always a great thing. As a proud father of a U.S. Marine it was bitter sweet knowing that he was heading back to Iraq for a second tour of duty. After his first tour I made plans to do Myrtle Beach Bike Week 2006. I rented a beach house and told my son to let his fellow Marine riders know that if they could attend that they were welcome to stay with us. As I was unloading my motorcycle I heard a rumble coming down the street. When I turned and looked to see my son and a couple of his Marine buddies pulling up on their motorcycles. We all spent the week together doing bike week and having a blast. As I spent the week talking to these young energetic Marines and my son I realized just how close they really and truly are to each other. I also realized just what kind of man my twenty five year old Sgt. son had become, and how those who came with him look up to him. I could not be more proud of my son and all those who serve in the Marine Corps. They truly are remarkable young men and women. At the end of that week after packing up to head back home for me and back to their base for them, they all hugged me and said "Thanks Dad", it was then that realized I have more than one son in the Marine Corps.


"Newspapers...serve as chimneys to carry off noxious vapors and smoke."
--Thomas Jefferson

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Kat,
You have asked for the impossible. There is no way that this will not change you and your son. However, you should not fear this change as it will be a positive change. Your son will return to you more of a man than you could ever imagine. I can't tell you that all of his experiences will be positive ones. That would be a lie. But, even the negative experiences will help him to grow. It is the kind of growth that those who have never been through the Marine experience, in combat and in non-combat areas, will never be able to understand. Unfortunately, you will have the harder part of this experience. He, who has the strength and the pride that you speak of, will have the help and protection of his brothers, who would gladly lay down their own lives to save his. You will, unfortunately, have to get by with the words, thoughts, and prayers that the rest of the Marine family can offer you. This will surely not give you the same comfort level that he will have among his brothers. However, be assured that you will be in the prayers of all of us. And there is immense power in prayer. Be assured that you are not the first or the only one to go through this. And you also will be made a stronger person for the experience. Remain strong in your pride in your son, and your faith, as these will surely get you through this trying time.

Phil (Akabu) Coffman Sgt '72-'82


Dear Sgt Grit:

I've been getting your newsletter for the past year now, and they never fail to bring a tear to my eye. I've enjoyed every letter, story and experience these very brave people have endured. I can sympathize with the family that gets left behind when these extraordinary men and women go off to serve this country.

I've been there, the sleepless nights, the worry, the stress and the tears. Now its my turn. The Marine I Love & miss has been deployed to some where in the middle of no where (Afghanistan.) I'm 5 months pregnant and due in May, of which I'll be alone during the birth of my 1st child.

For any other person that has experienced this, its truly frightening. Someone gave me a poem that has helped over these last 3 months of his deployment, giving me the much needed strength to carry on.
I hope anyone else experiencing this can take comfort in the simple but powerful words.

God make me brave for life,
braver than this
Let me straighten after pain,
as a tree straightens after rain
Shining and lovely again.
God make me brave for life,
much braver than this,
As the blown grass lifts,
let me rise from the sorrow
with quiet eyes knowing thy way is wise.
God, make me brave,
Life brings such blinding things
Help me to keep my sight
help me to see aright
That out of darkness comes light.

-Author Unknown

May God watch those Marines, and the families that endure so much.
B


Let Us Not Forget
let us not forget


Marine Walks the Walk

This is a great story and a tremendous show of local support and camaraderie that should be passed on and applauded. On 20 January 2007 one of the coldest days this year in the northeast, Marine Corps Reservist Sgt. Craig Breiner (inactive) marched across the state of New Jersey from Belmar on the Jersey shore to the Statehouse in Trenton in an expression of espirit de corps and to rally local support for our troops. All along the 50 mile route Sgt. Breiner carrying the stars and stripes was met with greetings and support as many onlookers took up the cadence and even joined him. At the very end after more than 14 hours he proudly lead about 30 or so gathered in a moment of silence and a candle light prayer service in memory of our American troops killed in action.

"With all the negative press out there the troops need to know we stand behind them" said Sgt. Breiner who served in the Marine Corps Reserves from '99 to '03 and was then recalled in '04 to serve in Iraq until May of '05.

Kudos and Semper fi Sgt. Craig Breiner, keep up the good work and for walking the walk!

Semper Fi
Ken Springer
Capt, USMC '62 - '68


"[A] Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States... as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please."
--Thomas Jefferson


As a Marine Mom of a beautiful young lady, I would like to congratulate all of you for all you do. Keep it up!
Maria R.


Accept that this experience will change you both. Every experience in life will have some effect no matter how great or small. When I returned from Viet Nam I said "I wish everyone could have that experience without having to have THAT experience." Life is so much more precious knowing how fragile it is. The most humbling experience (and the most difficult to accept) is that at any moment my fellow Marines would willingly give their life for me. That is what makes the Marine Corps such a tight family. Every Marine learns in boot camp that his duty is to protect his fellow Marines. I asked my brother, a Marine Corps drill instructor, how they could make Marines out of raw recruits? His answer was "First you have to get their attention, then you have to make them understand that the most important person is the one standing next to them." So don't worry, every other Marine will be looking out for your son just as he will be looking out for them. Yes you will both change because of this experience, but there would be a change if he went off to college, joined a biker gang, or stayed at home and was not allowed to fulfill his mission. You and your son have the support of every Marine and every Marine Corps family past and present. Let your son know that you support his decision to be a Marine and that you will support him throughout his deployment. If you truly support him and accept his decision to be a Marine, this experience will bring you closer.
Remember "Semper Fidelis"
Bill R
L/CPL USMC 67-69


Dear Sgt. Grit,

Greetings and Semper Fi...

While in class as a Social Studies teacher to Jr High students here in the Southwest, the Iraqi War was often on the tele before class, during lunch, and after school. Being a 1st MAW DaNang 2 tour vet and some time here in the reserves making SSgt, I had some keen interest in the actions in Iraq...and anywhere...regarding Marines.

After school one day I had some of the ESL (English as Second Language) kids in for some extra help. Three of them were Islamic with two from Northern Afghanistan tribes and one from Baghdad. The Afghanis were from groups fighting the Taliban. These boys were bright, liked engaging me in class on many issues, and had great senses of humor. The boy from Iraq had seen atrocities committed against his family by Bathists. He has his own "axe to grind" regarding Saddam Hussein. The channel on the tele was usually set to CNN or C-Span. The kids suddenly wanted to see "what was shaking" on the tele (their new idiomatic English jargon learned on TV). Fallujah came up and the story of a Marine grunt squad with heavy casualties and bodies stripped. I was glued to the screen and between being a bit misty eyed and wanting to "be there", I lost focus on the kids. I felt a tap on my shoulder from the older Afghani student. It turned out his uncle was a leader in the fights in his former home. I turned to ask him what he needed and found all three boys staring at me. The Iraqi student asked, "You know these Marines, teacher?" I replied I didn't. He retorted that I still looked very serious about it. The Afghani looked at me closely and asked, "You be Vietnam in Marines, yes?" My response was that it was a long time ago and my experiences were much different then. I just felt like adding a little clarification for them at this point. I told them we were a "Brotherhood or like a tribe, in a way." They nodded and understood that emotional level immediately. As they left for the evening, we briefly discussed what we saw on TV. They asked me what I thought would happen in Fallujah because of the casualties. I just popped off I felt in the next few weeks the insurgents would find out about "our Brotherhood". They smiled broadly and went home.

For about 2 weeks we went about our scheduled class topics. At one of the lunch breaks I was watching the news when they started bringing up the casualties among the insurgents in Fallujah. That "energy" flowed through me and I just smiled to myself a lot. The next morning the three boys came up before class to greet me and allowed me to practice, dismally, Iraqi Arabic and Pashto "Hellos" with them. The Afghanis asked if I had seen the news about Fallujah and the Marine assaults into the city. I replied that I had. They nodded, all grinning, and as they went into the classroom, the older Afghani brother slapped my upper arm and whispered, "Marines are GOOD tribe, you're lucky man, teacher." That day, they went home later with some new vocabulary words... Semper Fidelis (and its translation/tradition), Semper Fi (with its own translation and how used), and "OOOOyah". They used Semper Fi as the traditional morning greeting for the rest of the school year.

Philip in Cactusland


"That poll about Iraq... came out last week and it posed various questions about whether folks thought the 'surge' was a good idea or not. Including the following: 'Do you personally want the Iraq plan President Bush announced last week to succeed?' And here's how the American people answered: 63 percent said yes, 22 percent said no, 15 percent said they didn't know. Let me see if I understand that. For four years, regardless of this or that position on the merits of the war, almost everybody has claimed to 'support our troops.' Some of us have always thought that 'supporting the troops' while not supporting them in their mission is not entirely credible. But here we have 37 percent of the American people actually urging defeat on them. They 'support our troops' by wanting them to lose. This isn't a question about whether you think the plan will work, but whether you want it to work. And nearly 40 percent of respondents either don't know or are actively rooting for failure... What were the numbers like for D-Day?"
Mark Steyn


Good morning, I enjoy the letters in SGT. Grits newsletter and would like to say that I have been sending care packages to our troops in Iraq for three years now and at this time I am supporting two Marines, a Corporal and a Master Sergeant who is in daily combat and I would just like to say it is an honor to be able to do so.
Thank you, Howard Love


This letter is for Kat the mom worried about her son & the way war changes people. I too am a new Marine mom my son joined last February and will soon be leaving for Iraq. I know too well your fears my husband served in Viet Nam and his mother warned me that it had changed him and I never had any idea how much until our son joined the Corps. We are VERY proud of him but scared to death as well my husband is finally going for counseling and after all these years he has just started opening up a little. I pray everyday that our son comes home safe and that GOD will give him and our family the strength & faith to get through this! We find that unless people have someone in the military or have been there themselves they have no idea the sacrifices these young people make and the hardships they endure. I know the only way I am going to get through this is knowing that my son has had the BEST training he could get and my faith in GOD. My favorite saying is "If He brings you to it He will walk you through it." I will keep your son & your family in my prayers along with the rest of our military. GOD Bless & Semper Fi
VPM of PFC Hammond


"If you force me to do violence, I shall be so savage, and so cruel, and hurt you so badly, the thought of revenge shall never cross your mind"
--Machiavelli


I just read in a newspaper that our old pal "Hanoi Jane" made a special appearance at an anti-war rally in Washington D.C. on Saturday, January 27th. Fonda was quoted as saying: "I haven't spoken at an anti-war rally in 34 years, because I've been afraid that the lies about me would be used to hurt this anti- war movement. But silence is no longer an option." I just got to the point that I could hear her name and not spit, and here she goes again. Over three decades and she hasn't learned a thing. I wouldn't be surprised if she visits terrorists camps throughout the Middle East to show her support for the Islamic Extremists valiant attempts to throw off the yoke of the American oppressors. Maybe she can even pose for a few photo-ops with an IED or shouldering an RPG. How can people listen to this traitor and think, "Yeah, she's right."

G. MacIntyre, HM3 AC


Just a quick note to let you know how proud I was to be among some of the finest young men and women at Parris Island this past weekend. On January 26, 2007 I watched my only son, whom I thought already was a fine young man, become a United States Marine. Wow, what a difference 13 weeks makes. Even though he couldn't have picked the worst time of the year, "holidays". I missed him so but it has been wonderful to have him home on leave and recruiter assistance program.

When we arrived on base that Thursday morning for family day I awaited anxiously in the bleachers, cold but excited, waiting to see my Marine across the Peatross Parade Deck as they practiced that morning for the EGA ceremony. As they approached us in platoon formation I looked through my binoculars to find my son, Pvt. Dustin B. Kelley, standing in the front row. He was 3rd squad leader of his platoon. Too see my son for the first time in 3 months made me weak at the knees and the tears started flowing. I raised my hand at him and he made eye contact and through my binoculars my son mouthed the words "I love you mom". My heart was filled with so much pride, joy and love for little boy who was now my Marine. Thankfully his DI's didn't see this. He said he wouldn't have cared. He was so excited to see his family supporting him in those stands at Parris Island!

It was an amazing weekend to say the least!

God bless each and everyone of those new Marines! Golf Company 2nd BN. and Oscar Co. 4th BN. God be with you all!

A very blessed and proud MOM!
Robbin Davison
Sylacauga, Alabama


"We are a nation that has a government—not the other way around. And this makes us special among the nations of the earth. Our government has no power except that granted to it by the people. It is time to check and reverse the growth of government which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed."
--Ronald Reagan


A very special welcome home. LCpl JJ Jones returns this week from his assignment in Iraq. Job Well Done! Welcome home Young Man -

Very Proud Friend and Parent of two outstanding Marines


In re to Patty Lyons. Great article. I, too, am a female Marine, now civilian. There are not a lot of role models for today's 'kinder, gentler' Marines. My local Marine Corps League won't even allow females to apply. But I was lucky, back in 1980, to have a friend whose older sister was already a Sgt. in the Marine Corps. She called me before I left for Parris Island and gave me lots of great tips for getting through boot camp, and for later in the FMF. What she didn't tell me was the fact that her boot camp 'bunkie' was now a drill instructor at PI! Well, you guessed it. I got to PI, became immediately terrified of my DI's and started the journey. It wasn't until a couple of weeks in, when I got a letter from 'SSgt DeGraff' that my assistant DI found what she needed to hound me even worse than she had been. She wanted to know, in front of the whole platoon, of course, why in the world I was getting mail from her 'best boot camp friend'. She wanted to know why I had the nerve to be friends with a SSgt. She wanted to know a lot of things, but I really think she wanted to know if I was tough enough to take it! I was. I loved my time in the Corps. But I did write to SSgt DeGraff and asked her not to send me anymore mail!

Cut to Labor Day Weekend, 2000. I was standing at Parris Island once again, watching my oldest son graduate on the Parade Deck. When the call went out for all members of audience who had served in the Corps to please rise, I hesitated, but my very proud Mom practically pushed me up. I felt a little self- conscious, but my son said later that he immediately recognized my bright blue dress and from that point on could see where his very proud extended family was sitting.

Cut again, to Flag Day, 2002. I was standing at Parris Island yet again to watch my second son graduate on the Parade Deck. This time I was wearing a bright red dress in honor of this son's platoon. Again, the call went out for Marines in the audience to rise and this time I didn't hesitate.

While I don't have any daughters, I like to think that my example was the reason that my boys decided to serve in the Corps. My oldest son did his time and entered the civilian population once again, married and has two daughters and a son of his own to follow him. My second son, Sgt Bryan Christensen, recently returned from Iraq and immediately re-enlisted for another four. He is a Marine's Marine and loves what he's doing. I could not be prouder. And yes, my car is a rolling tribute to the Marine Corps. Everyone who knows me knows the minute I see another Marine, we are fast friends. It's something others can't comprehend, but those of us who've served understand.

Former Lance Corporal, Always a Marine
Ruth Murphy
Now very proud Mother of Marines


"I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle."
--Winston Churchill


Sgt. Grit,

Viola D. Withey 1908-2007 (Wife and Mother of Marines)

I want to pass on to my Marine Brothers the passing of my Mother, Viola D. Withey age 98 1/2 who died on January 25, 2007. She married my Father in 1938 in San Juan , PR when he was a Sgt. attached to Marine Fighter Squadron in Port Au-Prince, Haiti. My father, Harold E. Withey Sr., (015045) retired as a CWO-4 with 31 1/2 years in the Corps in l960 and passed away at 1981! He joined the Corps in 1929! (Old Corps) My Father, Mother (Vi), and Sister were stationed at the Ewa Mooring Mast, U.S. Marine Crops Air Station, Ewa Beach, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941. My Mother and a few other Marines Wives waited on the beach with an old shot gun, expecting a Japanese invasion. I would like to salute her and all the other Wives and Mothers of Marines, who stood by their Marines in good and bad times! In reviewing my father DD 214, he was away from our family for over seven years in his 31 years of services. My Mother did the Job! Thanks Mom, and thanks to the other Moms and Wives of Marines that also got the job done.

Simper Fidelis,

A proud Son and Marine,

Sgt. Harold E. Withey Jr. USMC
1968-1969 RVN


"I suppose, indeed, that in public life, a man whose political principles have any decided character and who has energy enough to give them effect must always expect to encounter political hostility from those of adverse principles."
--Thomas Jefferson


SGT GRIT
Please send this out to out to our fellow Marines Sign me your Sister in Green Semper Fi, Jean

Subject: "The Marines", on PBS 21 February 2007 Don't know who can get this and who can't on TV, but it should be good.

Please pass this along to ALCON Thanks to the sponsorship of Founder Sal Alfiero and PBS, WNED -Buffalo-Toronto has produced a 90 minute HD documentary entitled "The Marines". Under the direction of noted producer and writer John Grant, "The Marines" examines our unique warrior culture and includes a visit to the National Museum of the Marine Corps. It premiers Wednesday, February 21, 2007 at 9 PM Eastern Time on PBS.

Synopsis:
"Semper Fidelis, always faithful. You'll take the corpse off the battlefield even if it means your own life ... Alive or dead, they come back with you."
- Nancy Sherman, professor and author of Stoic Warriors THE MARINES, airing Wednesday, February 21, 2007, 9:00-10:30 p.m. ET on PBS, examines the unique "Warrior Culture" of the smallest but fiercest branch of the U.S. armed services. With significant access to Marine Corps training facilities in Parris Island, South Carolina; Quantico, Virginia; and Twenty-nine Palms, California, THE MARINES reveals what it takes and what it means to be a Marine - from the first moments of a recruit's arrival at boot camp.

THE MARINES offers extensive coverage of the often grueling Marine Corps training, including the Martial Arts Program, confidence course and intense rifle range instruction. The program also demonstrates how the Marines evaluate and shape their future leaders with the rigorous Officer Candidate Leadership reaction course and infamous "Quigley" exercise.

More than 30 current and former Marines of all ranks, authors and military correspondents were interviewed to tell the story of the rich history, traditions and continuing importance of the Marine Corps and the warrior ethos it instills.

"How the Warrior Culture is engrained and how it sets the Marines apart from other armed services branches are critical aspects of Marine development and understanding," said producer/writer/director John Grant. "This program offers an in-depth and unvarnished look at the rigorous physical and psychological training employed to create this tenaciously loyal, highly skilled breed of combatant ready to defend country and comrade at any cost."

Other segments of THE MARINES focus on the Wounded Warrior Barracks in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; the new Marine Corps Museum in Quantico, Virginia; and women in the Marines. The program also travels to the country's largest Marine base in California, where Marines are seen training in mock Iraqi villages just weeks before deployment overseas.

Underwriters: Alfiero Family Charitable Foundation, Public Television Viewers and PBS.

Semper Fi, Bill


I would like to respond to the letter that Linda L. submitted. As a former active duty Marine (1993-2000), I can empathize w/ her concerns from a son's perspective. My mother witnessed it not only w/ me but w/ my brother, sister & then recently w/ my nephew (her great-grandson). My younger brother always wanted to become a Marine since he was a little boy (I used to make fun of that). I joined up nine months after attending his graduation from MCRDSD. My older sister (older then both my brother & me) joined seven months later after attending my graduation. When my brother & me joined my nephew was six & seven years old. He had seen all three of us in our uniform and that is what he wanted to be. Although my mother was extremely concerned about her two sons joining it was so much easier for her to see her daughter and then her great-grandson join, still w/ great concern. You are a blessed Mother of two who are going to become great Marines and men when it is all said and done. I decide to leave active duty to complete my education which I did achieve and would love to go back on active duty but unfortunately I was not able to go back in. My brother, sister and nephew are still in and all plan on making it a career and I couldn't be more proud of them as is my Mother. In time you will get used to it because then and only then will you become part of a close knit group/family. In joining that family your worries will still be there as most mothers have but not as bad. Mark my words. I love to see my mothers eyes light up when she talks about her kids who are all serving in the Marine Corps and of all the stickers she has on her car. Good luck Linda L & Semper Fi.

Michael from Texas


"Journalism is popular, but it is popular mainly as fiction. Life is one world, and life seen in the newspapers is another."
--Gilbert Keith Chesterton


Sergeant Grit, The Washington Post has a piece that runs in their Style Section on Sundays called "Life is Short / Autobiography as Haiku" where readers are invited to give an insight to their life in under 100 words. My entry ran March 5, 2006 as follows:

"For months my son and fellow Marines have been in Iraq. At long last, hundreds of family and friends stand silently awaiting their arrival. Time seems to slow as I try to will the clock too move forward. Cheers. The convoy of buses arrives. How will I find him? Suddenly, he's there and a flood of relief punches my heart. Tears of Joy flow as I embrace him, feel the warmth of his body pressed against mine. I hear him say 'It's okay, Dad, I'm home.' A cloud lifts. My son is home. Please, time, stand still."

He is currently serving his third tour in Iraq; we pray for his safe return.

Respectfully submitted,
Edward R. Sims Jr.
Gaithersburg, Md.


This is in reply to Linda L. that wrote in the Jan 11, 2007 newsletter that she would like help accepting that both of her two sons were contemplating joining the Marine Corps. She asked how to deal with both of them going into battle. As a military child, sister, wife and mother I answer this by saying you have no control on life. You could have one go into the military and the other stay home. The one that stays home could get in to a car accident and be maimed or killed. Just because they want to go in doesn't mean they will see battle. The probability is there, but there are some that never go to battle (even during wartime). Know that they are receiving the best training. Know that your prayers will help them stay as safe as possible. Be proud of their choice in life. I tell people that I would rather my son be in Iraq for 2 yrs where I can't see him--then for him to have chosen a path of crime that would put him in a prison I May Look Harmless, But I Raised a U.S. Marine T-Shirt where I could go see him often. (some of his classmates are there now). Sgt Grit has a t-shirt that I just had to have. It says it all. It says "I may look harmless but I raised a U.S. Marine". To me that says by letting them chose this that you are strong, that you raised them right. Pull on that inner strength and hold on tight.
USAF BRAT (and sis), USArmy SIS, (dated a sailor or two) But I SAVED THE BEST For Last
USMC Wife And Mom

I May Look Harmless, But I Raised a U.S. Marine Bumper Sticker
I May Look Harmless, But I Raised a U.S. Marine Bumper Sticker


My name is Bryan Seay. I'm part of the dep in Spokane WA and to say that I am a Marine is the least to say. my father and grandfather and I'm sure my great grandfather were all Marines and my last name I'm sure has been in ever war that our great nation has ever been involved in and I'm Very proud to say that I will be leaving for MCRDSD in July of 2007 I will be doing something so incredible everything people are telling me like your gonna change.... I hope that I do.. that what I've wanted since I was 8 when my father died well what they don't know is that I cant wait to go. thank you
Bryan Seay


Pride, every body wants it.
Only the MARINES have earned it.


Listen Up RECRUITERS:

The Marine Corps Recruiters Association looking for "more present, retired and formers recruiters" to join our ranks.

We have our 3rd Annual Conference and Reunion scheduled in Quantico, Va June 21-23 2007. All members requested to attend, and those interested in joining are welcome. For more information contact: Jim SIMMONS S/T Jimandsally@sofnet.com or Jerry SCOGGINS, Pres Gr8habujerry@aol.com. Hope to see ya in Quantico.

Semper Fidelis

Jim SIMMONS Sect/Trea
Marine Corps Recruiters Association
1705 N. Main St.
Nevada, MO 64772-1137
417 549-6391


"There is a time for all things"

A C-130 was flying on a mission when a cocky F-16 pilot flew up next to him.

The fighter jock told the C-130 pilot, "watch this!" and promptly went into a barrel roll followed by a steep climb! He then finished with a sonic boom as he broke the sound barrier..

The F-16 pilot asked the C-130 pilot what he thought of that.

The C-130 pilot said, "That was impressive, now watch this!"

The C-130 droned along for about 5 minutes, and then the C-130 pilot came back on and said "What did you think of that?"

Puzzled, the F-16 pilot asked, "What the h&ll did you do?"

The C-130 pilot chuckled, "I stood up, stretched my legs, went to the back, hit the head, then got a cup of coffee and a sweet roll!"

"Gotcha"


"Battles are sometimes won by generals; wars are nearly always won by sergeants and privates."
--F.E. Adcock, British classical scholar


Folks there is an outfit called the Marine Corps League out there, filled with "old Marines" (you know "once a Marine"). Anyways, the Galveston post 668 started something that is beginning to spread called the "fallen Marine Program", it's to provide "final respect" for Marines young or old that have passed on to guard the streets of heaven.

http://www.mcltexas.org/fallen_marine_program.htm is the web page that explains the intent, purpose, and the "how to" of this great program started by the now commandant of MCL #668, Joe Vickery of Texas City, Texas...a Korean Vet in the Corps back in 2002. It has brought joy and comfort to many family members of departed Marines.

The idea has taken hold and is spreading to many other MCL locations

Semper Fi
Richard (Doc) Anderson


"It is a doctrine of war not to assume the enemy will not come, but rather to rely on one's readiness to meet him; not to presume that he will not attack, but rather to make one's self invincible."
Sun Tzu
The Art of War


My husband passed April 1, 2006. He was a Marine back in the 1960's. He was 17 or 18 at that time. He did his 3 or 4 years, got out and went on with his life. He always identified himself with the Marine Corps. When he was 35, he decided he wanted to get back in. Well we all know he was too old for the Marines so begrudgingly he went in the Army. He went to boot camp at the age of 35. He said he took the Marine Corps to that army boot camp. I probably won't get this exactly right but he came out of boot camp in the top 5 of the battalion. That is over all those 17, 18 and 19 year olds. To say the least, they were not happy with him. He was in the army for 12 years. He spent the greatest majority of that 12 years in Germany. When he decided to get out he was in Germany. He started working for the U.S. Postal Service in Germany and then worked in the commissary system in Germany until 1997. At that point, they sent him to Jacksonville, AR. That is when I met him.

Diane Reynaud


Sgt Grit, I received your newsletter and came across the story from Gerald Lockee telling about his story that he picked up the Marine hitchhiker and his girlfriend got mad. I am not a Marine but a mother of a Marine that is serving in Iraq. I understand what Mr. Lockee is stating. When I see a young Marine, it is like seeing my son. I would do anything for the young Marine. The Marines have a brotherhood that I don't even understand but I have seen it in my son. When he is in his civilian clothes he looks like any other young man BUT there still is a different air about him. He walks different than he did before he left for boot camp. When he puts his uniform on it is like a completely different person. He is 6' 3" but when wearing his uniform he looks 10 feet tall. The biggest change that I saw in him was when he came back from his deployment to Okinawa. His platoon was getting ready to come back from Japan but needed a few to stay back about 2 months longer. At that time my son was single. He volunteered, he just turned 20 at the time, to stay back and let his fellow Marines go back home to see their wives and children. I was even, if possible, more proud of my son than ever. You just don't see that in young people today. I am so proud, as you can tell, that my son is part of this brotherhood. THANK YOU Marines Past and Present.

(Let's give Jane Fonda to the Al Qaida. A day with her and they will come out of hiding and give up)

A VERY PROUD Marine Mom


Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran
Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran




Once A Marine Mom Always A Marine Mom
Once A Marine Mom Always A Marine Mom




Welcome Home, Job Well Done!
Semper fi
Sgt Grit

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