I thought I would pass on a little story about a plane ride I took. I was in Ft. Worth Tx. for about a month from Jan to Feb of this year. My wife and I were helping my daughter at the Ft. Worth Livestock show. When It was over I flew home from Dallas to Reno Nv. I was at the Dallas Ft Worth airport waiting for the flight when I noticed a young lady walk up to the check in counter with a USMC duffle bag. It was black with a gold Eagle Globe & Anchor on it. I walked over and said "Semper Fi" and she smiled and stated that her Husband was a Marine pilot.

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We talked for a few minutes and then she left. The gal behind the counter had heard the conversation and asked me if I had served and of course I stated yes, with the 3/11 in Chu Lai and DaNang from 66 to 67. She reached over the counter and grabbed my boarding pass, punched something into her computer and kicked me up to 1st Class. I didn't know what to say, in fact I almost choked up. She stated thank "you for your service to this country" It was all I could do to say your welcome and thank you.
Curt Hagedorn

Sgt Grit Newsletter VS AmericanCourage Newsletter:

You receive both (alternating weeks)...so what's the difference?

In short...The AmericanCourage Newsletter has MORE family member stories, "support the Corps" stories from Marines, and patriotic quotes. It started after the events of Sept. 11, 2001 to give supporters of the Marine Corps and American patriots a voice.

The Sgt Grit Newsletter is HARD CORPS Marine! If you are interested in topics that delve into Marine Corps history, Corps Stories, Boot Camp and other things that "only a Marine might understand" - then be sure to read the Sgt Grit Newsletter (every other week)

Would you like to know more about the newsletter?

"A nation can survive its fools and even the ambitious, but it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is formidable, for he is known and carries his banners openly against the city, but the traitor moves among those within the gates freely, his sly whispers rustling through the alley and heard in the very halls of government itself. He rots the soul of a nation; he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city; he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist."

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I just wanted to say thank you. I served from 2000-2004 as an 0351 in 1/2. I'm currently trying to plug my way through college and a civilian career. Every day I wake up and can't turn on the TV because of the choices the news stations broadcast. In my classes I constantly argue with hippy professors who are trying to sway the beliefs of 18 and 19 year old minds that are every bit as impressionable as mine was when I joined the Marines. I've had to leave classes, I've been failed, and I've had to drop classes I was acing in fear of doing something that would land me in prison like so many of my brothers have since we've returned home.

I actually started to not talk about my military background, grew out my hair, and let everyone say and think what the news was telling them about the military. One morning I woke up. I was no longer upset about the loss of my friends. I remember them, but I'm not upset. I will gladly give my life any day for anyone in this country that is living it right, so I'm sure they miss their families, but have no regrets. The irony is that living life wrong is still properly exercising the freedoms we have in America.

Thank you to every mother, every family member, every friend, and every stranger that is within our borders. I fought side by side with many Marines who were not citizens of this country. Bullets are not prejudice and the enemy does not discriminate. I just got a sweatshirt that Sgt. Grit had on special order that I wear proudly to certain classes and events. It is the Marine Corps University An Nasiriyah Campus sweatshirt. My brother in law, who got out the Corps in 1994 looked at it and wanted one. Then he realized he can never wear that one. Every time I fly the Eagle Globe and Anchor I hold myself to a higher standard. When I wear my sweatshirt, I remember the fallen, the wounded, and their families.

Oh, just so I weigh in on the (should be demoted and discharged) "hard-*ss" comment about Semper Fi, it is a phrase that few can say. Girlfriends, wives, and other family members who remain faithful to their military members can use it with more conviction with a deeper definition than anyone who is actually in the service. While we were running around playing world hero, they were up at three a.m sick from crying and worry while they watched the news about us. They stayed up writing letters, they nursed you to health when you were sick, they put up with the PTSD and depression, they have to learn to live with the choices we made, and so long as they stay by our side I will snap to attention and give them a salute sharper than any I've ever given an officer!
Semper Fi
Cpl Worthington

Since this story seems to be "no big deal" to the American News Media, I thought I'd share it with all of you; the Band of Brothers. Semper Fi! J.J. Haight, USMC, 60-64 Marine Pilot Given British Honor

YO, Sgt. Grit,

Also; I saw many Marines in DC this past weekend for the Gathering of Eagles. Told them all; If you need it, its' available from Sgt. Grit.

I wore my recently purchased (from Sgt. Grit) green utility cover during and through the entire moonbat demonstration.

Green Utility Cover I'm telling you, I and 30,000 other Vets and supporters of our Military had a great weekend in DC.

Thank You for getting me my new cover in time for the event!

What a great country! Now, we have to work on getting these, college age, young Americans to appreciate the noble actions of others in defense of our Rights.

Semper Fi,
Roy Kaufmann
S/Sgt. of Marines

Fours Wars
The strategic stagnation in Iraq results from the fact that we are fighting four wars not one. According to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, "One is Shia on Shia principally in the south; the second is sectarian conflict principally in Baghdad, but not solely; third is the insurgency; fourth is al Qaeda and al Qaida is attacking at times all of those targets."
Military Magazine, April 2007

Last Weekend to Order
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Mother's Day is May 13th

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Military Spouse Day is May 11th!

Marine Spouse Bear

Get your spouse this bulldog keepsake that's dipped in a scented french vanilla wax - a constant reminder of your Marine! Only available to order only until April 8th!

on march 17th of this year i was in washington d.c. and i can only say that it made me even prouder then ever to be a Marine. where the march on the pentagon began there was a contingent of veterans and hangers on who some how forgot that those of us who had given s potoin of our lives and others who gave their lives and some like myself [i draw 100% from my tour in nam] gave parts of their bodies and minds,so people can let the government know i they feel in thinks like the march on the pentagon. as i approached the meeting place i heard hollering and name calling of all types and this is what again made me proud to be a Marine. while Marines were lined up with army vets with signs proclaiming their support of the troops i did not observe one Marine holler any obscenities or any insults, they maintained their honor and dignity not show by other vets. part of defending the constitution of this great country is to allow others to voice their opinions without being harassed in any way.

semper fi
a proud Marine
ssgt raymond r gadreault
oct.26th, 1965 nov.3rd, 1971
sept, 1967 nov, 1968

Our son just deployed for his second tour in Iraq. When he deployed the first time, my wife understandably had some stress and fears over her son being sent to war. In some ways it was easier for me. I was a Marine tanker for ten years and have been in law enforcement for almost twenty and being "in harm's way" or very close to it, has been my norm for a long time. As a deputy sheriff with about 14 years SWAT/sniper experience, I spent some quality time with him after infantry school to help prepare him for close quarter combat, dynamic entries into structures, and to assess what he had already learned from the Corps. Most of what he showed me were some of the most up-to- date and effective tactics being taught today. The bottom line is that I believe our Marines are the best trained our Corps has ever produced.

After our son deployed the first time, my wife joined Blue Star Moms. This organization meets a couple of times a month for a few hours. They pass on information about their son's/dad's/husband's deployment, updates, what the current needs and wants are, what to send overseas and what not to send, the best and/or cheapest way to send care packages, etc. Sometimes just being with other moms and wives of deployed servicemen and women eases a lot of stress. If you have not already done so, I suggest looking up a local BSM group and going to a couple of meetings and see if it could fill some of your needs.

Mike Damigo
US Marine

"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."
George Washington

Claims that the CG of Walter Reed didn't know about all the bad situations there. After 6 months? And the Chaplain didn't know either?

The only good chaplains I have met in the field, taking care of their flock.

As for the CG, ignorance is no excuse. With a Colonel in actual command of the hospital, the General had plenty of time to make the rounds of ALL the patients and facilities. He could have fired the Colonel to encourage the others.

In a better world, the General would be shot. I would be happy to run the firing squad, if the Army can't take care of business itself.

MgySgt Gerald Starkeson, USMC (ret)

It was late June and my 17 year old son was on his way to Parris Island. And as being very loving and extremely supportive parents we gave him a big party, loved on him and sent him on his way to become the United States Marine he had been wanting to be! Even though we were extremely close, there was one thing he did not know. Three days later me, his loving, supportive mom went into detox and then rehab. As the summer went on I continued to screw up time and time again. It was getting very close to his graduation date to which he had no idea I, his biggest an, may not be there. I put my problems in God's hands, worked the program, straighten myself out and then sat down and wrote the most difficult heart wrenching letter to my son. I had to tell him what had been going on all summer and that my court date was 4 days before his graduation and that I may not be let to go by the courts even though I had finished the rehab program. God bless him, his response was "mom at least you are getting well and if you can't make this event at least you'll be well enough to make others I will have" Pretty powerful from a 18 yr. old Well by the grace of God, 4 days before my family left to go to Parris Island the Judge let me go, and my son didn't even know if I was going to be there or not until he saw me very early on that first motivation run. He picked me out of that huge crowd. I can't tell you the pride I had that day. Especially when I got to hug him. He is only 11 into the Corps. But what a fine young he was when he went to Parris Island. And now I can't describe the fine young man and Marine that he has become.
"One extremely proud mom"

The phrase "Once a Marine, always a Marine," is best exemplified by your website. No matter when or where they served, Senior- Marines would gladly serve again. What other service has that degree of dedication? The Corps never ceases to amaze me-but then, that is what makes a Marine- a human with extrahuman qualities.
A Marine's wife.

On my last tour of Iraq (Eastern Baghdad) I met a gentleman named Tony Like. Like is a LT in the United States Navy. I took a liking to the LT, because he was the Only Navy Guy among Army Soldiers. I am a SSG in the Army now. I was in the Corps from '92 - '96 and then again from '03 to '05. I ribbed LT Like because he is not a Shell-back. I earned my covenant Shell-back honor in 1994 while on the USS Pelilu sailing back from Somalia. I would see him several times a day because I worked in the Targeting and Effects shop and he was our assigned Electronics Warfare Officer.

One day while browsing the PX I seen the book "Flags of Our Fathers". I simply loved the book. There are so many things I can Identify with in it, being a Marine myself and knowing what a personal loss can do to the soul. I would talk with the LT about the book everyday. He goes on to tell me about his time on the USS Iwo Jima. The book was part of the Capt.'s reading list for all officers. He was there 6 months after the dedication and got to meet the Bradley family.

To make a long story short, right before we left "The EWO" presented me with a coin that was pressed from the remainder steel used to build the ship. I was at a loss for words. All I could do was flip it over and over and continue to look at it and study it. It is by far one of the greatest gifts I got over there that I will cherish forever.

To LT Tony Like USN, where ever you are, I wish you the best of Luck and Godspeed.

Semper Fi, to all My Brothers and Sisters around the World.

SSG Matthew D. Hembree - USA '05 - Present
SGT Matthew D. Hembree - USMC '92 - '96 , '03 - '05

"Freedom is not a luxury; it is a very powerful instrument without which no person and no country in the world can have sustained prosperity, security, development or respect. Free countries are certainly more prosperous than non-free countries. The lack of freedom always destroys wealth."
Andrei Illarionov, Former Chief Economic Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation

Operation Hero Miles allows people to turn in their frequent flyer miles so troops can fly home on leave from Iraq and Afghanistan or family members can visit their loved ones in military hospitals.

Sgt. Grit,
I've have proudly been serving in the Marine Corps for two years now. I have heard many people say that the military must be a easy way of life, "roof over your head, food in your stomach, and a steady paycheck." Well for those who have said that, you should also know about the girlfriends, mother, fathers, nephews, sons and daughters we leave at home to defend our country. The Birthdays, anniversaries, funerals, and births that we miss. The constant loneliness, depression, and frustration. But one thing you will never hear is a Marine complain. We go threw all this willingly, and without asking for anything in return. So for those of you who have ever walked by a Marine and thought, "I'm in a rush, I'm sure he hears thank you enough." or "Why should I thank him, I didn't ask him to fight." I have this to say, We leave our families and fight so you don't have to. The very least you could do is stop and shake our hand and tell us thank you, because trust me it NEVER gets old! Semper FI!
LCpl Gutzmer
Headquarters Marine Corps Aviation ASCO Pentagon Washington D.C.

The absence of war doesn't mean the presence of peace.

My heartfelt thanks to Mr. Robert Boardman for his stories. In his book, C-Rations for the Warriors Heart, he wrote about another great Marine in our Corps History. Colonel Walter "MUMU" Moore who I had the great privilege of serving with in Vietnam.
Although I was only a Lance Corporal when I met the Colonel, he was an officer that was to say the least, very unique for the Marine Corps.
He was one of the "Old Corps Marines" who did what he thought was best for his men rather than what policy dictated. Many times he and I were in situations that were life threatening and he had the coolness and bravery of a Marine half his age.
C-Rations for the Warriors Heart Unfortunately for the Marine Corps and for Colonel Moore he did not have the "Political Correctness" of many of the officers and would never attain the rank of General.
I strongly urge those in the Marine Corps today or veterans to read about our nations hero's of past years. Mr. Boardman has stories that will make you proud to be in the military and most of all, proud to be an American.

Semper Fi to all,
Joe Henderson

Sgt Grit..
The Marine in the recruiting poster (last weeks Newsletter) is Sgt Owens who was working out of Recruiting Station Cleveland Ohio. He was Public Information NCO and had a fondness for Strols Firebrewed suds...
Joseph E. Bock
SgtMaj USMC (Ret)

"Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries."
Winston Churchill

Cayenne Hot Sauce Dear Sgt. Grit,
A Semper Fi Thank You to you and your staff on the excellence of service and products that I've received! I have and will be placing many more orders I'm sure. The Semper Fi Cayenne hot sauce is great!

I've also enjoyed the newsletter. I've only read two, #'s 143 & 144. It is encouraging to see intelligence and patriotism that isn't always seen outside the Corps.

Having been granted some wisdom from God that comes with age, I appreciate and am more proud now, to have earned the title United States Marine, then the day of graduation from boot camp. It is my opinion that none of us, (those who have earned the title and our families), will fully understand the honor bestowed upon us by Almighty God to be Marines this side of heaven. As your one bumper sticker says, "All Men Are Created Equal, Then Some Become Marines." I do believe that it is a "call" to become a Marine. And only those who heed the call and are serious, are then enabled and strengthened by God to make the transition and earn the title.

In response to some of the people who have written in regarding "wannabes" and those misguided souls who don't understand that not only is, "freedom isn't free" but "with freedom comes responsibility", we should pity those individuals. For perhaps they too were called but rejected it, or deep down they envy us and wish they had been called. I know the "stress", (stress = the repressed desire and urge to beat the : out of someone who DESPERATELY needs it!), that comes with confronting such people.

Having been out of active duty for almost 18 years, (wow, has it been that long already?), I value the change that comes with the title Marine. There are far too many things to mention that those who aren't Marines don't have. I have struggled, as I'm sure we all have, in living in society that doesn't know or understand the excellence that is acquired in becoming a Marine. (I've been fired twice, however I've not fired back! LOL.)

It was most encouraging and uplifting to read the book, "A Table in the Presence" by Lt. Carey H. Cash, Chaplain serving with the U.S, Marines. It was refreshing to see his perspective, not having earned the title by becoming a Marine, although I'd called him an honorary Marine for his service and experience in battle with us, to the uniqueness and honor to which we Marines have been called. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. A Table in His Presence

I would say that we Marines do not "desire" war, as far too many good men and women die or are wounded in them. However, being called into the great Elite Warrior Marine Corps that we are, God has called us for such times and places as needed to defend freedom, to liberate captives and oppose evil. I forget who said it at the moment, but "All that evil needs to triumph is for good men to nothing."

Thanks again for excellent service and products!

Rodney Noll
Cpl 85-89

Sgt. Grit,

The Gift of Valor I can not explain how moving this book is. I had heard about it awhile back and have seen it in your catalog, but hadn't paid too much attention to it. A very good friend of mine, a Marine, LCpl James Almanza of 3/6 Kilo Co had been looking for it in a book store on his leave before he left for his second deployment to Iraq in January. A few weeks later I found it and was going to send it to him right away until I read the back. The brave Marine whom this book was written in honor of, was from 3/7 Kilo Co out of 29 Palms. I knew at that moment why James wanted to have it. The Marine, Cpl Dunham, was his 'brother', part of his Company...Kilo Company and 3rd Battalion. I started reading the book and couldn't set it down. I think the author, Michael M. Phillips, captured the life of Cpl Dunham during his career with the Corps and honored him the way a true selfless and brave Marine should be honored. I have always been very fond of the military and those who serve and have great appreciation for their courage, but after reading this book I have an even greater appreciation and a new found love for the Corps and those who have earned the title, past and present. The young men who brave the battlefront, not knowing if the patrol they are on will be their last, deserve so much more respect than they get. Also, the "heroes" in the background, all the corpsmen, nurses, and surgeons who treat these men on the battlefield...wow...you are all truly amazing and play such a huge role in whether or not our friends, boyfriends, husband's, sons and daughters arrive home alive or not. Thank you! I am really at a loss for words here...I am that touched and moved by this book. And even though I never knew Cpl Dunham or the other Marines mentioned in the book, I feel a closeness to them. And I want to thank them all for doing their job. I am told that no Marine wants to be thought of as a "hero" for saving the lives of their buddies; they just say they are doing their "job". I highly recommend reading this book. Just remember to grab the tissue when you near the last two chapters! April 22, 2007 marks three years since Cpl Dunham has given his life to save his "brothers"...I think it would be nice to remember him with a prayer for him and his family on that day, as I'm sure three years passing hasn't made it any easier on them.

The people need to hear stories like this instead of the crap the media is feeding us. Making our Marines and Soldiers look like the bad guys when they report on beatings and such of Iraqi detainees or when Iraqi civilians get killed or injured, its the big bad Americans who are at fault. We need to know what our men and women are doing over there that is productive and we need to realize that they are dieing...not in vain...not for you or I, but for the men fighting beside them.

I also want to say how proud I am of my two friends who are in Iraq right now, both on their second deployments. LCpl James Almanza - 3/6 Kilo Co gone since Jan 18th and Cpl Justin Moppin - 2nd Maintenance BN gone since Feb 18th....you are both thought about and prayed for every day. I am waiting for you to come home safe and sound. Love and Support Always!

The Gift of Valor - A War Story by Michael M. Phillips

Very Proud and Patriotic Marine Corps Friend, Krystle

This is in response to a line dropped by Debbie Hope in the last newsletter. I appreciate the fact that she has seen the positive improvement in her son's demeanor. I also appreciate her view on how dangerous it is here in America. Most importantly I admire her outlook toward the enemy being in harms way and not the U.S. Marines!

Glenn Russ

Dear Sgt Grit

This is a thank-you first off for your news letter. I have order several times from your catalog and love it. Some of the reading in your news letter has led me to other areas and was able to keep up with my son while being deployed to Iraq, March 06 - Oct 06. In one of e-mails to me after getting back to his duty station in Okinawa, commented on how very, very lucky he was to be alive. He was one of the few guys on the 7-ton going everywhere doing all kinds of things from hauling snipers to patrolling, with very little sleep the majority of the time. He was apart of the 3/3 while deployed. Your news letters kept me going!
Also a BIG thanks to JOHN HAROLD Ship Driver '72-79 and his wife. Some of us folks have a hard time getting are guys home for leave time before deploying or back on combat leave. You see my son has no luck what so ever with airlines. Military has a way of changing leave time at the last minute, leaving us in financial dismay. Some airlines will not reimburse in situations like this, I have found. So at present my son and I both are paying on 1 single airline ticket that had to be change. He is still paying for 1st ticket and I for changed one this time. So with all that knowledge THANK-YOU for being there and giving those rides to those young people who are without one. God has blessed me so that I was able to pick my son up from airports, even if it is 4-6 hrs away. If there was only more like you.

Semper Fi
Proud Praying Mom, Pam of LCPL Grahl

Gathering of Eagles / God Bless America

Sgt. Grit
In 1969 I met a Marine while I was at a convention in Honolulu. Before I left for the mainland two weeks later I was engaged to this Marine. He did not have the ability to get me an engagement ring at the time but pinned his Sgt. Chevrons onto my dress and asked me to consider that my engagement ring until he could get me a "real engagement ring". For over six months I wore those chevrons with great pride. When I did get my "real" engagement ring I offered to return the chevrons but he refused and asked that I keep them always as his love for me was second only to his love for the Marine Corps. We have been married 36 years and I still cherish those chevrons. I have always known that Marines are bigamists - they marry the Corps first and never divorce her when they marry a mere human wife.

May God Bless all Marines and members of the other services as well.

Wife and Mother of Marines,

Let the American youth never forget, that they possess a noble inheritance, bought by the toils, and sufferings, and blood of their ancestors; and capacity, if wisely improved, and faithfully guarded, of transmitting to their latest posterity all the substantial blessings of life, the peaceful enjoyment of liberty, property, religion, and independence.
Joseph Story, 1833

Marine Mom Sisters

We are Marine Moms who are also sisters. We decided to show our support to our Marines, SGT. Bradley Etzweiler and LCPL Amber Waterland by getting Marine Mom tattoos.
Marine Mom Tat 1 Marine Mom Tat 2
We were very fortunate our Marines were able to be home to spend some time together before Brad had to leave for Embassy Guard Duty.

Once a Marine Mom, Always a Marine Mom
Semper Fi,
Barb Etzweiler and Sandra Waterland

A bit of Gung Ho patriotism

Sgt. Grit,
Last Saturday, the 17th, I had the immense pleasure of attending the Gathering of Eagles with my dad. It made me proud to see all those vets and volunteers there peacefully defending the monuments and statues. Unfortunately (but not surprisingly), newspapers and broadcasts misreported the event, or even lied about it. It's a shame that our troops might hear that we were outnumbered, when the truth is that we outnumbered them 3 to 1. Anyway, I promised you pictures, so here they are. I took way too many to send them all, but if you decide you want more than this, let me know and I'll send them.

Gathering of Eagles Picture Thank you to everyone who spent their own money and time in Washington, D.C. in order to protect our monuments! It was a great honor to me to join you, and I'm sure my heart grew bigger with pride that day.

Kate Coffman
(Daughter of a Marine)

Sgt. Grit;
I received the shirt "Attitude Is Everything" in Friday's mail order. That was the highlight of my day and have wanted to wear it since, even though it's not logical.
It makes a person want to show off some, (even at my age) when something that great is being worn and people stop and ask where I got it, and I'm proud to say "Sgt. Grit's Marine apparel and similar products.
From day 1 at MCRD, until the present, my time in the Corps has been the best years of my life (right along side of my wife). A woman at my work even came to me and said she was impressed with the shirt, and where can she buy one, because her son wants to be a Marine when he's old enough to join.
Attitude is Everything T-Shirt Keep the fine line of products coming! Just liker the Marines teach "YOU CANNOT Quit Without PERMISSION......Semper Fi Marines

Ralph E. McKinney

Attitude is Everything T-Shirt
Attitude is Everything Shooter Shirt

"Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."
Declaration of Independence, 4 July 1776

I would like to commend Chaplain John L. Kallerson for the article he wrote in the March 22nd Newsletter, finally someone standing up for our troops and the way they are taken care of at Walter Reed Army Hospital, just because there is one bad apple on a tree does not mean that the whole tree is bad. Thank you Chaplain Kallerson for telling it the way it is. God Bless you and all our troops and may you be home soon with your families.

Lloyd L Lewis, Corporal
1954 to 1957
Always proud to be one of the few

"Oderint, dum metuant" - Roman Army
(Let them hate, so long as they fear.)


I have received an overwhelming response on tattoo issue. Here is the first offering, next week will be more.
I apologize if yours does not get in. Just not enough room to print them all.
Sgt Grit

MARADMIN 198/07 replaced MCO P1020.34G, para C, only tattoos that are visible or have racist, gang affiliations or other prohibited symbols are not allowed. Also sleeves are not allowed but if you already have one you are grandfathered in.
David Rumley

I was a Captain in the Marine Corps during the late 60's and early 70's. I have the USMC Bulldog tattoo on my leg. I see nothing wrong with a tattoo as long as it is not visible while in uniform.
Capt. RACY

Be advised!
EVERYTHING it takes to be a MARINE happens on the INSIDE !
Since 1775, when you and your fellow MARINES are doing the job that the CORPS has trained you to do, tattoos have NEVER had an impact your ability to protect YOUR country!
Be more concerned with keeping morale at it's peak in a time when factions both in and outside this country are doing anything and everything they can to rip the heart and soul from our fellow MARINES!

GL Stelzig
SGT. USMC, 66-70

I think this whole idea that the Marine Corps came up with about tattoos is f^^ked up. I remember the Gunny that signed me up at the Post Office had quite a few on his arms and that sure as h&ll didn't detract anything about him. He looked like a Marine Corps Poster, and a d*mned good one. Semper Fi and carry on

Yes, allow tattoos. It has been one of the traditions of the Corps forEVER. It's part of the mystique of the Corps. It's like a coming-of-age symbol. You get to Okie, you go out into the Ville and get a tattoo. SOP!

L/Cpl F. J. Billington, #1910900 / 2533
20 JUN 60 / 19 Jun 64
Comm Plt, H&S Co 3/5 Pendleton
Comm Plt, H&S Co 3/9 Okinawa (plus a short stint in Thailand)
Comm Plt, Hq Co, 7th Marines, Pendleton

I just finished reading the news earlier this evening concerning the idea of tattoos in the Corps. The Commandant said there would be NO excessive / excess ink of any kind showing on Marines any longer. Guess maybe the Corps is changing because I am hearing a great deal of b&^%*&%$ and griping about "my" rights as a man. I was under the impression that when one completed boot camp (either SD or PI,) they became Marines and not "cry babies" and their "rights." One Corporal said he was thinking about getting out of the Corps because he was told that he could not get more tattoos. If wearing ink means that much to you, then get out and become a worthless civilian.

Tattoos are alright and I know many Marines that have them. Having served on Barracks Duty, Instructor Duty, and Recruiter Duty, as well as being a driver for a few COs, I know that being squared away is mandatory always. I see nothing wrong with a decent tattoo, however, when one wishes to show their "art" off to the world and have it all over their arms, backs, necks, etc., I strongly believe that they are insulting our uniform. One does not need "extra art" when they wear the uniform of a Marine. Wearing the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor to ones grave is fine and there is nothing wrong with that. Just leave ALL of the "extra art" for the Navy and Army pukes.

One does not need to prove they are tough by getting their bodies covered in ink. All they need to do is qualify for and earn the title "MARINE" by completing boot camp. That is being tough enough. Any civilian can go a tattoo (and maybe something they do not want if they go to wrong tattoo parlor.) Not everyone can earn the title MARINE.

Gary L. COON, MSgt USMC (Ret), 1970-1994

They have been around as long as the services. They are personal body art that should be examined on merit.
My first tattoo was a medical caduceus dated 1965. Every other Marine I came to know had a bulldog or EGA. It seemed to all go well with our tattoos in a sh!thouse war, in a constitutional United States. In some strange way, I could scream that the 'LIFERS' are behind this. Somehow I bet hundreds of thousands of former Marines would agree with me.

Doc Nottoli
I Co.. 3/4 66-67

In my opinion the tattoos are a part of Marine Corps tradition and should not be held against a Marine unless it makes the Marine look like a sh!t bird or something. Dennis

I think that only the EGA on the lower arm or shoulder should be allowed at minimum. That, I feel, is tradition. Displaying large tattoos on the neck legs or back are questionable, as it draws attention. It is the Navy that has the tradition of too many tattoos.
Doc Perry
CAP 1-2-5, 3rd MAF, 69-70.

Marines should read the MARADMIN 198/07 on Tattoos and no one is going to get kicked out, if you have a Tattoo now you will be Grandfathered to the policy. Not too many Marines have a full sleeve EGA or other Marine Tattoo's. I know if I'm on a board and most of the Marines I know will still promote you and not hold a Tattoo against you. This is not new it's been talked about for years but it's now in writing.
MSgt of Marines
Camp Taqaddum, Iraq

I think they should be allowed to an extent. When I was in back in the 70's policy at the time was if you wanted a tat you had to get the CO's permission and it couldn't be past the sleeve of your khaki shirt sleeve...Upper arm, shoulder, back etc was allowed..No tats on fore arms. Had this one guy think his name if I remember right was Steve Mc Connell or something like that that had a tat done on his fore arm. Falling out for inspection in khaki's one day he had a bandage covering it. A WM Lt. saw it and asked what was wrong...nothing ma'am ...why the bandage Marine...I had a tat done ma'm...let me see it...um no ma'am...That's an order Pvt remove the bandage. Well when he did he got busted right on the spot as the tat was a bloodied middle finger walking away on 2 legs...
So the subject of tats I would have to say is that yes they should be allowed as long as they are in good taste.

Mike Redfern
USMC '72-76
Semper Fi

USMC tattoos should be allowed as long as they aren't s&xually explicit or highly visible with short sleeved blouses on.
Certainly none on the face, hands, neck or any exposed part of the body.
Semper Fi
Gil Snodgrass, E-5 1962-1966

I am a Wife to a very Traditional Marine. Yes, up one arm and down the next is his life's history in tattoos. He has served for 17 years in his beloved corps and now like yesterdays trash he is being told he will "no longer be promoted" because he's followed a honorable tradition of Marine tattoos. 17 years of dedicated service and his dream of retiring as a Gunny has been stolen! In this day and age were freedom of speech, self expression and political correctness is the law of the land, why has the Marine Corps let some Non-Marine crush a beautiful tradition to shreds! This new Law is not progress it is a GIANT LEAP Back into the Dark Ages! What's next?

Rose Cruz Wife of SSGT David C. Cruz VMFAT 101 Miramar San Diego

D*mn Straight that you should be able to have and wear a Marine Corps Tattoo - as Do I and Did for my entire time in the Corps and displayed it proudly - then and now every day
Semper Fi Bill Dalton, 81 - 93

I personally have two tattoos, but unless I am shirtless no one sees them. The presentation of a professional image is what I believe General Conway is after with this policy. Marines set the example and probably should not look like some street gang thug with jail house tattoos all over their arms, legs, neck and face. When have you ever seen a recruiting poster showing a heavily tattooed Marine doing PT, as Marines we are the best recruiting poster there is. Just my two cents, but if you can not hide your tattoo and present a professional image, maybe you should not have it.
Semper Fi,
MSgt "Top" Cosby

I agree with new rule, any tattoo below the sleeve's should not be allowed. I does make the poor impression of the individual and of the Corps. I myself have 4 tattoos and none can be seen when I wear a short sleeve shirt. Just like CMC is now saying, excessive and eccentric tattoos are no longer allowed. I think this will improve the public's option of the Corps since that is what this is really about.
Brian G Owens
Corporal, 1991-1997, 1st BN 11th Mar

The only tattoos I want to see in our Marine Corps are our Drum and Bugle ensembles playing in one!
A tattoo on one's body too often hides a lack of self image. Such tattoos do not a Marine make!
HVBucknam, LtCol Ret Vietnam 62-63, 68-69.

I just heard last night on the news that the Corps was banning "large" Tattoos after I separated from the Corps 9/11 occurred I took a little trip to the prior service recruiter some months later and was told that the Corps would no longer welcome me due to the fact that I have an EGA on the inside of my right forearm, the recruiter a gruff old SSgt. told me that I should come back after the new Commandant was in charge, things would be better. well I guess he was wrong things have actually gotten worse, but at least I still get a "Thank You" from the majority of the people who see it.
Everyone Dies, I Just Want To Die Standing Up!

I think the Brass is trying to get the MC to be PC. I have the carried my EGA tattoo since 1963 and will go to my grave with it. Spit and polish is important to the Corps but warriors come in all shapes, sizes and colors. All are marked differently than those they protect.
M. Thomas, Cpl. USMC

i think tattoos should be appropriate and not offensive. i as a female Marine have a tattoo that represents how proud i am of serving. I don't think tattoos should be a factor in getting promoted or being discharged.


This post by Marine mom Gina was posted on the Marine mom site and I thought it should be shared with readers of this newsletter:

Today I went to the gym and on my way home I had to get gas. So, I pulled up to the first pump. I then jumped out of my car and walked around to the other side of my car. Within a minute a Corvette pulls up behind me. I couldn't help but notice the car, and then the WOMAN!
I watched her get out of her car and she was dressed to the "nine".
Her suit must have cost at least a few grand, and she had her ear piece in and was chatting on her phone.
Now, I wasn't trying to listen, but the woman was beginning to speak rather loud.
"Who does she think she is? I don't care if her son is graduating from boot camp next Thursday. She will not get the day off, and she will not say those unkind words about me! After all... I am the CEO of the company!"
At that moment I walked over to her and tapped her on the shoulder.
The woman turned her ear phone away so she could hear me. I took one look at her. I brushed off my (ripped) sweat pants, pulled my ratty hair away from my face and said, "I too am the CEO of my company, and if you don't let the woman have the day off to go and watch her son graduate from boot camp than I'm going to send my colleagues over to your office and we are going to negotiate this with you." She immediately said, "Who are your colleagues?"
I said, "Marine Mom's!"
The woman put the ear piece back to her ear and said, "Tell Sally she can have the day off, but I will expect a written apology on my desk in the morning!"
At that moment I walked over to my car and grabbed a piece of paper and wrote the woman a note. I took the note over to her and said, "Excuse me." She said, "What do you want now?" I said, "I have Sally's apology note for you!" The woman opened the note and it read:
"I'm sorry you have no heart. Maybe if you ask the "Wizard" nicely he will give you one!"
I got in my car and I drove away. I was saddened to hear that the Grinch is alive and well, and not at all green as I suspected. Some even drive Corvettes!
Praying for Sally today. May she enjoy seeing her son graduate from boot camp next Thursday!

Semper Fi,
Bob Rader aka Sgt. Wolf

My Dad Put The FI In Semper Fi
My Dad Put The "FI" In Semper Fi

Always Ready, Always Willing, Always Faithful
Always Ready, Always Willing, Always Faithful

God Bless America!
Semper fi
Sgt Grit

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