You may not be interested in war. But, war is interested in you.
Leon Trotsky

Sgt Grit:
Do any of you ever wonder what happens to those of us who fail to become Marines?

In the summer of 1976 and upon the completion of four years of college I stood up and took on the challenge of Officer Candidate School in the United States Marine Corps at Quantico, Virginia. I spent the six months prior to OCS in a very personal and very rigorous training regimen and on that first Weekend in June when I arrived I was physically prepared to the best of my ability. Max PT Score on two out of three tests the first week!

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The weeks went by quickly. My respect for the Marine Gunnery Sergeant who trained my Platoon grew beyond all bounds. Even today thirty years later I think of him frequently. I never wanted to disappoint him! Yet somewhere in week # nine of training I had the terrible self-realization that while I was "tough enough" to complete the physical training... THAT I was lacking something in (or some of) the mental toughness required to become a Marine Officer. To this day I don't know why and I have re-played my actions and decision- making time and again. Perhaps the Marines reading this (my story of failure) will look at me as weak or inadequate, or less of a man. If you must scorn me as you read this, then do so. I have done the same to myself hundreds of times since that day.... The truth is that the Marine training at OCS that summer taught me to recognize my strengths and weaknesses. I Left OCS 12 days before graduation.... And I have carried that bitter feeling of failure and disappointment (in myself) for my entire life.

As a civilian I have excelled in my career and while I clearly failed at military leadership I succeeded at leadership in the business world. Quietly and without explaining my motive, whenever I had the opportunity to create a promotional opportunity for employees who were Marines I have done so. These men and women never disappointed me. As a professional manager, I know that I have benefited tremendously because of the organizational skills, self reliance and "lead by example" training that I received at OCS (much more so than the academic training that I received both before and after my summer as an Officer Candidate). Today I am pleased to realize that in my business career I have led three large companies each with more than 500 employees... and yet that feeling of failure from that summer at OCS in 1976 has never left me. Never. Not for a day.

My life is an open book and my son know my story of failure at OCS. With no prodding from me, this past summer my son chose to meet with a Marine Corps Recruiter following his high school graduation even though I offered to pay his way to the pricey private college that he had been accepted to. You can guess the rest of my story.

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On January 4th of this year I proudly watched my 18 year old son receive his Eagle, Globe and Anchor at MCRD San Diego, CA. The next day at graduation I had the pleasure of shaking hands with the Gunnery Sergeant who trained my son. It seems that my son had at some point told my story to his Drill Instructor. In shaking hands and thanking my son's Drill Instructor for his attention to my son (and my son assured me that he received "lots and lots" of attention!) my view of my own life changed. I realized that I was thanking not only my son's Gunnery Sergeant, but also the Platoon Sergeant who trained me at OCS and helped me grow into a man (recognizing my own limitations) 30 years ago. I never had the chance to thank him in person and how I wish that I could. How I wish I could tell him the story of my son! The hard truth is that I was not good enough to be a Marine Officer. This January, God chose to answer years of my prayers. Without any prodding from me, my son stepped forward where I failed. My pride in him knows no bounds, as does my life long respect and admiration for the United States Marines. Our dreams do not always come true, but sometimes we have the opportunity for them to be fulfilled in ways that we would never have dreamed of.

So in answer to my own question "What happens to those of us who fail to become Marines?..." Some of us are fortunate to have sons that do!

I have been get the Sgt Grit since forever. My Grandson A Corporal is with 2/3 the Island Warriors. At this present time, they are serving in Iraq. I am very proud of Mike and I just want the world to know this Proud Grandmaaaa! of a U.S Marine.

Nice Picture
Nice Picture

We just love reading all the comments you receive. Our 19 year old son, Robert M. Morse, Jr., after two years of college, decided he needed to enlist. My husband, Robert M. Morse, Sr., was a Captain in the USMC in the early 60's and we had hoped that our son would go in after he finished his four year degree. But he decided that it was important to do it now. He left on January 8, 2007 for MCRD in San Diego. Although we miss him, we are so very proud of his decision. We know in our hearts he will be one of the finest in the United States Marine Corps. On a separate note, I think everyone affiliated with the USMC needs to purchase Chely Wright's CD showcasing the song, On the Bumper of My SUV, which tells her story and support of the Marines!
Karen Morse

"The essence of war is violence. Moderation in war is imbecility"
-British Sea Lord John Fisher

My son joined the Marines in December. He left for boot camp on January 2. My daughter has had a difficult time with the separation. When asked to write a descriptive essay in her English class she wrote about her brother. I love what she wrote and wanted to share. God Bless all who serve.

There's a Picture I see everyday. It's not on paper, It's not in glossy or matte finish, I can't carry it with me, yet it's with me all the time. It's a sight only I see: It's a memory, a story, a new beginning to a new end. I remember everything about it so vividly, the colors, sound, emotions, everything, It's like I go there all the time, while I sleep, when I pray, at times when I'm missing him, or when I'm feeling so alone. It's always there with me, every time I close my eyes.

Everything is still so clear, the long blue building that stretched to form the little strip mall; it looked like it could've been there longer than my grandmother. I had that stale, almost sticky, feeling in my mouth, the one you always get when you know your life is about to change forever, I felt my face tense up, almost as though it was being inflated with on of those are pumps you used to air up your bike tires, as a tear rolled down my cheek; I quickly wiped it away hoping he didn't see. I told my self to be strong, not to cry but put on a smile, to put on my mask, for his sake. We gave our hugs and said goodbyes; I remember the warmth, the comfort, and the love of our last hug that day.

This moment is where my picture was taken; I see it now as I'm writing, and now as I read, everything so real, so close, and never forgotten. I can smell hid axe, the staleness of the air, and the smoggy smells of downtown Tulsa, I can see his red shirt, with the gold globe, eagle, and anchor, the light wash of his blue jeans, and the brightness of the Nike sneakers he'd washed that night before. He's walking toward the little glass door, marked with the big white block letters, "Marines". I remember the gravel in the parking lot was old and loose; it made this dramatic sound like walking on broken glass as he was leaving. The wind blew through the complex and made a shrill whistle that comforted me in a way I still don't understand. Most of all I remember the last smile, that big golden smile you can only make if you know you're going toward something better, toward a future that you know is for you.

My brother left for the "Marines" on January 2, 2007, I have the picture in my mind but he graduates in April, and there I get to take a new picture. One of my hero, my best friend, my brother, walking across a stage, with his award-winning smile.

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I just finished reading the lunatic, sarcastic, un-American ravings of Paul Whitefield from the LA Times. I'll bet that he was never in the military or never was even close to anyone who was. Something tells me that he didn't do well in his history classes in school either or he would know that our troops didn't lose in Vietnam, the politicians did. His letter is one of the most disgusting unpatriotic pieces of crap I have seen yet which disparages all of our wonderful military men and women, especially those heroes who died in places like Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, Saipan, Chosin, Quang Tri, and Khe Sanh. The truth is, if they would let this 62 year old U.S. Navy veteran re-enlist I'd go in a second.
To our military men and women, past and present, thank you for all you do and all you have done to keep this country safe and free. You will have a special place in heaven. Many, many Americans support you and the job you are doing. Don't let the elitists and media cause you to believe otherwise. Be safe and God Bless You.

Bob Harris
USN 1961-67

"Pious, just, humane, temperate, and sincere... his example was as edifying to all around him as were the effects of that example lasting... correct throughout, vice shuddered in his presence and virtue always felt his fostering hand. The purity of his private charter gave effulgence to his public virtues."
--Henry "Light-Horse Harry" Lee's eulogy to George Washington

I have read some of the most touching letters and they have helped me see through worried times, my oldest son at the age of 19 years old recently joined the Marines, he is in 13 wks of boot camp as of Jan. 2007. I have received several letters from him and I know that times are tuff for him at boot camp, I cry every night missing him and just praying that he makes it out safe, the horror stories I hear about what happens at boot camp has me out of my mind. But thanks to all the letters from your newsletter I know other people have been where I'm at right now. May God bless all the Marines and bring them all home safely.

A Marine Mom
Semper Fi

Chris, Mamma Gunny says--
It is not hard to be a Marine Girlfriend. Just ask my Sons Wife! Who now has my 4 Grandchildren! It is ok to stand by your man, But, it is very different to stand by, and up for your Marine!
Take that SEMPER FI Seriously!
Stand tall and proud!
You mentioned FT. Sill.
My Father is of Onondaga, Deer Clan, First Nations, Iroquois, Confederacy.
I come from a long line of Marines!
My Grandfather served in World War II, My Father, Korea, Vietnam, and called back to the Gulf.
Me, I am a Gulf war vet, bosnia, somalia, afganistan, am now ret.
My Son, an Iraq Vet!
Hang on GirlFriend!
You are going to be just fine!
You have us here at SGT GRIT!

"I learned from my father the value of hard work and ambition, and maybe a little something about telling a story. From my mother, I learned the value of prayer, how to have dreams and believe I could make them come true... I was raised to believe that God has a plan for everyone and that seemingly random twists of fate are all part of His plan. My mother... told me that everything in life happened for a purpose. She said all things were part of God's plan, even the most disheartening setbacks, and in the end, everything worked out for the best. If something went wrong, she said, you didn't let it get you down: You stepped away from it, stepped over it, and moved on."
--Ronald Reagan

Sgt Grit,

My son came home on leave from Okinawa. This morning my son, my wife, and I were having breakfast at the local diner. This elderly lady came over and said to my son "you must be a Marine". He said yes ma'am. She said I could tell because her grandson used to be a Marine, he had been in Iraq and wanted to know if my son had been there yet. He said no. Then she said something that really touched my heart. She said "You know, God doesn't take something away from you that he can't give back, and he just gave me my Marine back". I took it as her grandson had maybe passed away in Iraq. I myself am former Air Force, but I was beaming with pride for my Marine. I pray that business gets taken care of quickly in Iraq, and every Marine there and elsewhere returns home safely to their Mother's and Grandmother's.

Proud Marine Dad

I have read many of your articles on a weekly basis and seeing how this is February Black History month. It is regrettable that this country is not aware of the contributions of the Mountfort point Marines. Colin Powell, in one of Veterans day address mentioned them, but there are no movies or acknowledgments of there contribution. I was at Firearms convention several years ago and mentioned that my father now deceased was a Mountfort point Marine and described his red f.m.f. patch pacific with a gold circle on it. The gentlemen became excited and asked if my Dad William Streets Jr. could write something or donate his uniform to the Marine Corps museum. Unfortunately, my Dad became sick and passed away, before I could ask him about this request. "Once a Marine always a Marine" is very true he instilled integrity and a deep respect in us all. I am sad to say this living history is being ignored, and we are loosing many of these fine men as each and every day goes by. This but a small contribution to these forgotten hero's.

Derrick W. Streets

"I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious."
--Thomas Jefferson

From A Proud and Grateful Dad

My son is serving with the 2nd MLG and is about to wrap up his first tour in Iraq. He was scheduled to come home last September, but elected to extend his tour. His mother and I were not happy about this, but in the last few months have come to understand more of what he is doing and how he has matured. Thanks to prayer and the grace of God, we will be face to face in about a month. Although many in my family served in various branches of the military, most of us did not see combat (although I have an uncle who was at Pearl Harbor and another who was a Wake Island survivor). I am very proud of my son's choice to serve his country and although my wife and I were Army, we are both extremely proud of the fact our son is a Marine. Since Shawn's enlistment, I have had been a customer of your products on several occasions. The most recent was to order new rank items so Shawn's uniform will be updated and ready for him when he returns from his deployment. Most of all though, I enjoy reading your newsletter. Each edition has entries that cause my pride in our country and its military personnel to swell and gets the emotions flowing. From other parents who discuss what they are going through to the stories of Marines, today and yesterday, who are noticed by others in the public and told "Thank You" in various forms. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your service (then and now), to thank all those who have or are serving, to thank the parents for supporting their children and to thank God for allowing us to live in a country that is second to none.

Jim Winston,
Father of CPL. Shawn Winston
Manteca, CA 2-8-07

I am the Proud Father of a Marine who served in Fallujah Iraq in 2006 as a Machine Gunner. One of the first family events he attended upon his return was his cousins wedding at the Naval Academy Chapel. It was quite and emotional experience for his Mother and me to see our Marine in his Dress Blues.

After the Wedding my son a Lance Corporal was walking, in his Dress Blues, in the old part of Annapolis with his several of his cousins. A small boy and his mother were coming out of a shop and the young boy pointed and asked his Mother..."Is that Superman?" She answered yes.

But the real answer is yes, he is one of many. All Marines are heroes in my eyes. We are proud of our Marine from Kansas and proud of the many fine men and women who serve for us. Matt Dolan

"If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy."
--Thomas Jefferson

Dear Sgt Grit,
Maybe it was the apricots?-- can someone explain to me about the apricots- what's the story about them?
I sent my beloved son his favorite snacks, dried apricots, while he 's doing his extremely hard job in Baghdad Iraq.... I sent them twice.
I know my son is busy, and has a wife to phone & e-mail, but now he's not e-mailing me at all..... and only phoned here ( he told me that my home is NOT HIS HOME ANYMORE ) 3 times since he's been in IRAQ......3 times total..... I feel that I've lost my son.
I'm trying not to fall apart, he doesn't want me there when his boots arrive on USA soil.....Please someone give me some advise. I want to give him space, but thousands of miles seems like space enough, my heart is breaking.
Tell me I didn't lose my wonderful Marine son, a Sgt, over APRICOTS??
California Vietnam Veteran Widow, Marine Mom

"His integrity was most pure, his justice the most inflexible I have ever known, no motives of interest or consanguinity, of friendship or hatred, being able to bias his decision.

He was indeed, in every sense of the words, a wise, a good, and a great man."

--Thomas Jefferson (on George Washington)

Sgt. Grit,

I just wanted to let Michael Pino CPL-USMC 1998-2002 that he is not the only one that really enjoyed the fireworks in San Diego. My son graduation Sept 8, 2006 from MCRD. But just like you Michael the fireworks they set off every night brought him the same kind of peace he needed as it seems to have done for you. He talked about how he also thought about his friends at home and the fireworks they used to watch together. And there were also some tears of being so tried, hungry and home sick. But when he wasn't on fire watch he would watch them from his bed and then he would be able to go sleep. But like you they were a symbol of freedom and that what he was going threw was for his country that he loves and that this is where his Lord God wants him at this time in his life. You know Michael the more I lean about the Marines I do believe they are God's chosen warriors.

You might not be much of a letter writer but thanks for writing it. It gave me a chance to share something with my favorite kind of person a United States Marines. I'm proud of you. By the way in case you were wondering my son's MOS is Combat Engineer. He is training right now at Camp LeJuene.

Sharon from Virden, Illinois
Semper Fi

Sgt Grit,

Many might not consider "The Wind And the Lion" to be a Marine Corps movie, but it is my favorite movie having Marines in it. For the scenes the Marines appear in, they kick serious butt in spite of the views of the waffling political weenies. And does "waffling political weenies" sound the least bit familiar to anyone?

Charles P. Barnes,Jr.
Corporal of Marines

"The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble."
--Proverbs 16:4

Parris Island Band - YouTube video

Marine Corps Recruiters Association conference/reunion
at MCB, Quantico, VA, Crossroads Inn,
the 21-23 of June 2007.
POC'S: Jim Simmons, 1705 N. Main St.,Nevada, MO. 64772-1137,
(417) 549-6391, jimandsally @ sofnet .com
or Jerry Scoggins, gr8habujerry @ aol .com (505) 294-2941

Remember Me? - YouTube video

FYI if you've not heard yet. Anti War activist are intending to stage a "peace" rally beginning at the Vietnam Wall March 17th 2007. Check out the Veterans website, gatheringofeagles .org

Veterans from across the country are heading up caravans, convoys, etc. and plan to counter protestors and protect the Memorial from desecration. Never would have guessed "Jihad" Hanoi Jane would be involved, huh?

"What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset."

Crowfoot, Blackfoot Warrior and Orator
Kimatra Taylor

Sgt. Grit, I was stationed in Mag-16 DaNang 70-71 flew as a gunner once in a while, meaning did a little traveling over the jungles over there. Always very proud to have served and I volunteered to go to Vietnam. Since my older brother made it out of Khe Sanh in 68.. I know we both suffered from Post traumatic stress or what ever you call it. My brother, I think still suffers but we talk about it many times since I have recovered completely from it.. A good friend of mine joined the Army back then and we became friends until this day, we are close. He gave me a book called (don't sweat the small stuff) by R. Carlson. After reading it over 10 times or so, a miracle happened. I know longer suffer from it, and my wife of 37 years was very proud when I marched caring an American Flag on veterans day parade in my Marine Corps Uniform which I never wore since getting back from Nam.. We had thousands of people cheering along the route downtown. I had tears and joy at the same time all through the march. It was my parade I never had, My Home Coming...

I will put on that uniform very proudly and march every year. Yes I love the USA. Lets Pray for our Marines in Combat every day and their families. After all I had a son at home 3 months old and still had 3 month left in Nam..By the way he served in desert storm a proud Marine and has you know it. We all love the Marine Corps. Let not the Congress steal the HONOR of our Marines again..

Frank Dias Cpl
Viet Vet 70-71 Combat Helicopter squadron-16

"Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do."
--Benjamin Franklin


Recently I attended the funeral of Lance Cpl Brandon Van Parys. He died of his wounds from an RPG that hit him while on patrol in Al Anbar province. It has been since the first Gulf War that I have attended the memorial service of a fallen Marine. Spending time with his mother and siblings the day after we received the news and working closely with them in preparing for the service reminded me of how much these men and women on the front lines of our nation's diplomacy are HEROES. Today, Brandon's body is being laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery along side HEROES past and present. Our nation should be proud of the brotherhood of HEROES that have willing defended our freedom.

John 15:13 Greater love has no man than this, than that he lay down his life for his friends - that is a HERO. That is why I am proud to be a Marine.

Semper Fi
SSgt McLain

"Before there can be much character and courage in Congress, there must be a great deal of it in the American people. We shall look in vain for these treasures in Washington if they are not scattered widely everywhere from Boston to San Diego... Our national character will determine whether our legislators will be courageous or cowardly, and our politics good or bad."
--Allan Nevins

We have something curious happening.
Someone on your site is doing good deeds & showing random acts of kindness to Marine families.
One of the ladies I work with brought in a letter her son got from an ex Marine along with ten dollars.
It's a Chesty puller certificate & tells of a lone ranger type of Marine.
I don't say I was a chesty puller or something like that? He was badly hurt in an attack but gives out money and the certificate to Marines in town.
My coworker's son was home after a tour in Iraq.
He shook hands & got a envelope with the letter and cash.
The exMarine said to the kid remember I love you or something like that.
Any way this man comes in the store and always stops to speak to "Marine mom"
Does the good deed undo the hurt of the past why does he do these things?
He speaks clearly but gets choked up easily.
AS he leaves he always says the same things "God bless you Marine mom Semper Fidelis she says ooh ahh and smiles the rest of the day.
God bless him and all Marines I only know this one guy but I sure do like Marines.
For being a BABYKILLER like the letter says; he sure seems nice.
He makes us cry, his respect for a Marine mom is touching but we are always happy to see him.

Thanks for listening and thank you to chesty in flint michigan

My Grandson, CPL Christopher S. Krusinski of II MEF FWD/8th Comm DET Force Protection UNIT 73920 is in Iraq at this time. I am very proud of him. He is a wonderful Grandson. He make ours country better. I am with him and all the men and women that are over there saving us. Thank him and them all. I pray for all of them.......Great Job........

His Grandma
Betty S. Krusinski
Winston-Salem, N.C.

"General Douglas MacArthur, a leader I deeply respected, is said to have written that no man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation and vigorous in its defense. Well, it's all up to us now. We are the heirs of MacArthur, Pershing, Jefferson, and Washington-and of those Americans who put their lives on the line from Bunker Hill to Belleau Wood, from Normandy to Khe Sanh. We will be vigilant in the preservation of freedom and vigorous in its defense because we will not let down those who came before us or those who will follow."
--Ronald Reagan

I have seen numerous references to the taliban and Iraqi's as Towelheads. This is absolutely incorrect. Those are not towels on their heads, they are little sheets, so the correct term should be little sheet heads!

Semper Fi
Stephen A. Mangiameli Sr.
MSgt USMC (ret)

I just had to write and let you know that as I was leaving for work at 0700 there on my porch was my Sgt. Grit order. I was so excited that I wanted to drop everything and open it. But that would mean being late for work. I can't wait to get home and open that package. I have been receiving your newsletters since (I think) 2002. My son has been a Reservist since 2000. He entered boot camp at Parris Island fresh out of high school. He had been working out with the poolees since he was 15. He was so excited that one day he would be a Marine. I have to tell you, I didn't think he would make it out of boot camp. Those 12 weeks were the worst of my life and his. You see, he had never been away from home, nor had he ever slept over anyone's house. I must tell you though, seeing him at graduation was the proudest day of my life and that of his father. The Marine Corps is the best thing to ever happen to him.


"Patriotism is as much a virtue as justice, and is as necessary for the support of societies as natural affection is for the support of families."
--Benjamin Rush

I am a PROUD Mom of a Marine "over there" right now and a VERY PROUD Mom of my veteran Marine. I had to share: yesterday I received the most beautiful roses I have ever gotten. A wonderful surprise but even better, they were from my son who is in the sand box. Don't let anyone say that Marines don't have a heart!
Anne (Chicago)

Dear Sgt. Grit:

From the bottom of my heart I just wanted to thank you for everything you do for your MARINES. I have always supported our military, but now having my own son in the MARINES, well, I am their biggest supporter. My son was home at Christmas and to show my support I got a tattoo that says "U.S.M.C MOM OORAH!"

I bought him and his fellow MARINES the Shield of Faith necklace. We all have an agreement that we can not take them off until they all come home.

He is getting ready to go do his first tour over in Iraq. I have my bumper stickers all over my car and wear my t-shirts on the weekends. With him and his friends getting ready to leave, last week I hung in our windows the MARINES flag and the AMERICAN flag.

I got a phone call today from my landlord telling me I cannot hang them up 24/7. he said if I want to hang them up on the weekends, that's ok, but neighbors have complained. He said it is not aesthetically pleasing. Well, I am not taking them down! I know I am going to be evicted, but as far as I am concerned, it's well worth it. I have always taught my kids to stand up for what they believe in and never back down because you might be scared.

He told me that he is patriotic, but with my unit being the first one, it does not make the street look nice. He does not have a patriotic bone in his body. What has happened to this country?! When 9/11 first happened, everyone wanted us to go kick some a**! Now that things may not be going the way everyone wants it to, the war is wrong. I don't think so! Everyone has forgotten the lives that were lost on 9/11.

Our MARINES are giving up their lives for our freedom and rights everyday. My son has already lost friends over in Iraq. What don't people understand?

I could not be more PROUD of my son and his fellow MARINES! I have watched him become such an awesome fighting machine and man. You know, people always say that the MARINES are cocky, which by the way my son is, but I always tell people they have every right to be.

Thank you again for everything you do.

Liz McCloskey
San Pedro, CA

"Honesty is often very hard. The truth is often painful. But the freedom it can bring is worth the trying."
--Fred Rogers

Read in the 02/07 newsletter from the proud mom of PFC Hammond, whose Marine vet husband recently starting counseling for issues with Viet Nam and is finally opening up to her a little about those years. Hang in there, sister, I know your road will get rockier along the way. I knew my husband had been in the Marines and in Nam when we got married 2 years after his return. It was 11 years before he told me anything about it and then it was just "It's not your problem!" It was about to break us up, so I told him it was our problem. I called the Vet Center in Dallas and he starting going to group sessions. While he was in his session, I was in a wife's session. This was all 24 years ago. He was in sessions off and on for 5 years. Things continued rough on and off as the years went by, and there have been times he anguished over something that had happened there and said the kids would be ashamed of what he had done but he didn't give them enough credit.

It sounds like your husband has the kind of family he needs to stand by him as his ghosts from the past come forward, but with his counseling and your continued love and support he will be able to get them into a place where he can tolerate them without them disrupting your lives. I know my Marine's ghosts are still there, but he now also has God's help in keeping them at bay, He was baptized this past Sunday at the age of 57. I feel for you and I will pray not only for your new Marine but also you and your old Marine.

wife of a crazy mix-up VietNam vet, and a Marine to boot

I appreciate the newsletters that comes in for my husband but I need to inform you that he past away a year ago today. Since he is not here to read the letters anymore I would like to have my address removed. He loved the Marines.
He finished serving his time in the National Guards because of us having a family. He was buried in Dress Blues.
He looked so handsome. He was 65 years old.
He retired after about 26 yrs. service. I miss him daily but I know he is with the Lord now. Thank you for this consideration.
Semper Fidelis

Thank You

NEWS RELEASE - For Immediate Release - 12 February 2007
Contact info: Jason Dreweck 720-933-1608/ Jordan Schneider 571-259-4624 Arizona Fine Art Expo

Local Artist Creates USMC Award for Courage and Commitment

For the next two months Studio 28 at the Arizona Fine Art Expo is home to the Teresa Hansen Art Collection. Hansen, a Colorado based artist has been awarded for her fine detail in portraits of stylized realism and figurative sculpture. Much of Hansen's work focuses on children and animals. Particularly well known is "Star Struck," a limited edition life size bronze sculpture of child with starfish, "Healing Touch," a bronze sculpture depicting mother and child and "Gifts of Nature," a limited edition life-size bronze sculpture of three girls.

Jason Drewek, Hansen's representative says that they have participated in many art shows over the past twenty years; but this year's art show in Scottsdale will undoubtedly be the most memorable. Hansen is the first artist to design the Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone Award for Courage and Commitment. Hanson is donating the relief that she has created while working at the Art Show.

The Award is given annually by the Basilone Award Committee on 19 February-Iwo Jima Day. However, the recipient is picked by the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps; currently Sergeant Major John L.Estrada. The Award is in memory of GySgt. Basilone, who was a nationally known and widely loved World War II Marine hero. Basilone received the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross. The purpose behind the Basilone Award is to honor an enlisted Marine who resonates the same courage, commitment and excellence that Basilone exhibited.

2007 GySgt Basilone Award for Courage and Committment The Basilone Award Committee, located in Manassas, Virginia was unaware of Hansen's talents and had struggled to have previous awards made at local award shops. Drewek and Hansen spend time in San Diego, California and were intrigued as to why a stretch of Highway 5 in the San Diego area was named after Basilone. Researching Basilone's life moved them to contact the Committee and offer to contribute. Originally the plan for the 2007 Award was a drawing. But Hansen felt that a relief would be more appropriate in honoring Basilone and the 2007 Marine recipient.

Chuck Tatum, Honorary Chair of the Award Committee and Iwo Jima Survivor who served with Basilone feels that his Gunny would be proud of the Award. Tatum says "that Basilone was from a large family and wanted to have lots of children with his wife Lena; so he is sure that Basilone would have liked Hansen's work."

Those wishing to see Hansen's work and maybe take a sneak peak at the Basilone Award can do so seven days a week from 10-6 until March 25, 2007 at 23023 North Scottsdale Road and Pinnacle Peak; Scottsdale, Arizona- Studio 28

For more information on Basilone's life go to

By Pete Bosak
BELLEFONTE -- Centre County's U.S. Marines are rallying to the aid of a fallen brother from Bellefonte who is fighting for his life in a military hospital in Germany after suffering severe wounds while in Iraq.

U.S. Marine Cpl. David Emery's legs and left arm were shattered on Feb. 7 by a suicide bomb attack in Anbar Province. The 21- year-old from Bellefonte also suffered a severe abdominal wound, has lost kidney function and is on a ventilator after the onset of pneumonia, according to recent reports from the family.

His wife, Leslie, who is seven months pregnant, and his mother, Connie, have been flown by the Marine Corps to be at Emery's bedside in Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

Meanwhile, local Marines have established a fund for the community to help Emery and his family.

The Marine Corps League's Nittany Leathernecks of Centre County have established a fund through Nittany Bank to help the Marine's family offset expenses they are sure to incur in the near future, said the group's commandant, Marty Kaschalk.

Checks or money orders can be made out to the "Nittany Leathernecks Detachment" and sent to Nittany Leathernecks, Attention: Cpl. Emery Fund, P.O. Box 956, Lemont Pa., 16851-0956. Donations also can be made at any Nittany Bank branch.

"The same prudence which in private life would forbid our paying our own money for unexplained projects, forbids it in the dispensation of the public moneys."
--Thomas Jefferson

The National Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) has issued a press release stating that a large group of anti-war protesters plans a demonstration March 17 at Vietnam Memorial. He has also stated that they may attempt to deface and vandalize the memorial much as they did recently to the US Capitol. This is blatantly unAmerican and we need to protect that memorial to so many soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who gave their lives in honorable service to this country. As the Commander stated, "That memorial is hallowed ground".
Please email or phone your elected representatives and ask that the memorial be protected against these senseless acts of vandalism proposed by a bunch of anti-war scumbags. They shouldn't be allowed to protest there.

Bob Harris
USN 1961-67

Vietnam Vets

I have some news for Paul Whitefield at the LATimes, and his patronizing remarks about Vietnam vets. A large number of Vietnam Vets served in Desert Storm, and some are serving now as Technical Representatives and in other important jobs. Many have sons and daughters serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Vets did not lose the Vietnam War, they won every battle, but you cannot allow sanctuaries. In Korea the enemy had Manchuria; in Vietnam they had China, Laos, and Cambodia. In Iraq they have Iran and Syria as support and sanctuaries. If we had fought World War II like we fought in Korea, Vietnam, and now Iraq, We would still be fighting the Germans in North Africa, and the Japanese on Guadalcanal! In WWII if you had a Haditha type incident, several blocks in the area would have been destroyed, and all involved would have gotten an attaboy! Can you imagine Iwo Jima, if, after the battle, a Marine was charged with murder? (I saw you use that flame thrower to burn 20 Japanese soldiers to death in that cave) In Vietnam, we were very careful not to have civilian casualties, so the North Vietnamese put SAM sites in villages, oil and ammunition storage near dikes, etc. After Congress refused to ratify the Paris Peace Treaty, 3,000,000 people in Southeast Asia, mostly civilians, died at the hands of the Communists. War is War, it is not a time to make nice!

Jim Reed S/Sgt 1948-1952, 1954-56

First let me thank everyone for sharing their stories. Now I would like to share mine. I have been married to a Marine for 9 years this July. We met when he was home on leave and I had just graduated high school. After 1 year of letters and phone calls and one short leave half way thru we married in Honolulu. It was just the 2 of us and one of his guys. It was beautiful. Well, in 2000 our first son was born and I convinced my husband to leave the Marine Corps and go back "home". After being out for almost 6 years my husband is back in and with my full support! However, I am now alone. He is in Iraq for a year. I am VERY PROUD of my husband and what he does. I am older now and can do MY job in the Corps. (Toughest job by the way!) With my two boys (4 and 6) I stay busy and stay positive. The hardest is when the boys are upset missing Daddy. I just wanted to let everyone know just how proud I am of Cpl Eric Wilson! He is A Marine and I am A Marine Wife. Nothing in my life could make me prouder. I love the Marine Corps as much as he does and I hate the Marine Corps as much as he does. Those who have not lived it can not understand all it takes for both.
But, I am SO thankful for those who try. Please keep all of our active duty in your prayers!

Don't Confuse Your Rank With My Authority!

Proud Marine Wife!

"Freedom is the right to question and change the established way of doing things. It is the continuing revolution of the marketplace. It is the understanding that allows us to recognize shortcomings and seek solutions. It is the right to put forth an idea, scoffed at by the experts, and watch it catch fire among the people. It is the right to dream-to follow your dream or stick to your conscience, even if you're the only one in a sea of doubters."
--Ronald Reagan

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