I have read in the newsletter the teacher whose students were not allowed to send pictures to her son in Iraq by a school principal. I want to add the opposite side of the story. Every Veterans Day I get an 8"x11" drawing (in crayon) saying: "Thank you for your service to our country." It is sent to me by Miss Knavel's class in New York. I served with her father. A grade school kid takes the time to hand draw me a picture. Tell the principal that I do the only thing I can think of....
I frame them and hang them in my home, Very proudly.
SSgt Dan Huntsinger


I read with great enjoyment the stories about the PI Sand Flea. I thought my husband was exaggerating when he told me a recruit swatted one, was made to dig a grave for it, and after digging the grave, burying the critter, had to dig him up to see if he really was dead. He also told me about nighttimes when recruits had 5 seconds to come to attention outside with a left sock. Does that ring a bell? Or the boy who had to eat a 5 lb. chocolate rabbit (in one sitting) sent to him by his family against Corps rules? What fun you guys must have had. It turned my h&ll-raising husband into the best husband, father, and Marine Corps role model ever! God bless all you Marines.
(A widow of a Marine serving a higher commander)


"I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death."
-Thomas Paine


Dear Sgt Grit,
My grandson Billy knew when he was three that he wanted to be a Marine. He spent his four years of high school working out and eating right to be ready. He joined in his senior year as part of the delayed entry program. In October of that year he left for Parris Island. We are so proud of him as he never let anyone talk him out of his dream.
He is now in Ft. Sill. He is very dedicated and is extremely proud to serve our country. He has fulfilled his dream.
Very proud,
Terri Evans


Sgt. Grit,

Another follow-up note to Corporal Worthington, re challenges to be faced when going to college.

I enrolled in college at the age of 33, while I was placed on the Temporary Disabled Retirement List (TDRL). I found that as long as I didn't directly challenge any of the profs, which did include some very fuzzy-headed profs, they would respect any position I took, as long as I could back it up with FACTS, not opinion.

I also found that when joining some of the clubs that my "advanced" age had the young "kids" looking to me for leadership. As a Gunnery Sergeant I didn't have any qualms stepping up; most of the kids were in fact looking for guidance. It also paid off; it gave me leadership experience in the civilian world which gave me a leg up when I eventually entered the civilian job market. Also, on the few occasions when a prof wanted to make an "example" out of my wrong-way thinking, I had many supporters coming to my aid, kids who were members of the various college clubs with me.

I don't mean this to sound like I'm blowing my own horn -- I'm just trying to demonstrate that your time in the Marine Corps will prove to be a plus factor during your own college days. Use the lessons you have learned already about doing the right thing, and taking simple but planned approach towards your goal of getting a college degree. That's what is important. You don't have to prove anything to anybody on a personal level, you are a United States Marine, so how tough can any other challenge really be?

Put your mind to it, you'll find that college is pretty doggon easy, and enjoyable.

Semper Fidelis,

R. James Martin
GySgt of Marines, June 1964 - May 1980
RVN March 10, 1966 - August 15, 1968

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Sgt. Grit,

I was on the Bob Hope Christmas tours of Vietnam as a member of the Les Brown Band from 1967 thru 1972, and I can honestly say that, of all the gigs I've played, including presidential inaugurations, the White House, Carnegie Hall, motion pictures, television, etc. in my 49 years as a Hollywood musician, the ones which I look back on with the most pride are those tours.

We were paid very well, of course, but most of us would have gone for nothing. Being there with you guys at places like Long Binh, Danang, Chu Lai, Camp Eagle, Pleiku and all those other places which are now just an ancient memory or a bad dream to most of you, was the greatest. No other audience has ever been as wonderful to play for since then. Those of us who did those trips still talk about them when we see each other. Even though my four years in the Air Force were during the Korean War, I consider Vietnam to be "my war."

I will never forget the earth shaking cheer that would go up when Bob was introduced, or watching your faces when Ann-Margret or Raquel Welch or the Gold Diggers were on stage, or trying to play "Silent Night," our final number, with tears streaming down our faces.

God bless every one of you. And God bless all those who live on only as names on that sacred wall in Washington.

Jack Redmond


"'One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.' That's a catchy phrase but also misleading. Freedom fighters do not need to terrorize a population into submission. Freedom fighters target the military forces and the organized instruments of repression keeping dictatorial regimes in power. Freedom fighters struggle to liberate their citizens from oppression and to establish a form of government that reflects the will of the people... [O]ne has to be blind, ignorant, or simply unwilling to see the truth if he or she is unable to distinguish between those I just described and terrorists."
-Ronald Reagan


This is to inform anyone who wants to know that my dad, Bennie Lee Colley, a Marine, passed away on Thursday evening May 3rd, 2007 at his home. He was 83 years old. Even though he did not want to be known as a hero, dad was a hero in every sense of the word. He fought on the battles for Iwo Jima, Tarawa, Okinawa and The Gilbert Islands among several others. He earned the Silver Star on Iwo by helping to take out numerous machine gun nests. he also earned three Purple Hearts during these battles.

He was SO PROUD to be a Marine. On his next to last birthday I bought him a shirt from Sgt. Grit that says. "Not as lean, not as mean but still a Marine." The next day, he wore that shirt, along with a Marine Corps. hat that my sister gave him to eat breakfast. The entire restaurant looked up when he came in and stared at that shirt and hat.

Dad will be missed greatly by all of us but his memory will live forever in our hearts and through the USMC. Our family would like to say a special thank you to the USMC group from Houston, TX. who folded his flag with such dignity and honor and then presented it to my Mom. And also a special thank you to the VFW group from Angleton, Tx. who came out and honored dad with the 21 gun salute and the playing of Taps. Words cannot express how much your presence meant to us and I know also, to him. It was what he always said that he wanted. Thank you again.

Sincerely,
David N. Colley and Family

FATHER'S DAY is Sunday, June 17, 2007

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Dear Cpl. Long
I am the mother of a 19 year old deployed Marine "Iraq" wpns co 2/6. My father is a Marine Vet. Korea/Chosin, My sister was a Navy Chief on the Mighty Enterprise when 911 happened, I may have been one of the last people to send a e-mail on to the ship before It redeployed. I know it was before the 3rd plane hit And I could see we were at war with someone! Her reply was we can see what is going on and I'm not sure when we will talk again but we have a job to do now, I'll talk to you when I can. "Don't worry about us" Marine you did the job that was asked of you! I THANK YOU ! AND ALL OF OUR VETS. What we need now is the SUPPORT from this Country to stand behind your Brothers and Sisters. Our very little town has 10 people in service now 5 Marines 5 Army class of 2005 and 20 others before him and after him still in service. The one thing I know about my Son , He would die to save the life of one of his Brothers and he alone made the choice to serve this Country.Please know Sir you did your job, My Dad did his, My sister did hers and now my Son is doing his job. I'm Very Proud to be called the Mother of a United States Marine I will do what I can to support our Military" Past,Present,Future". Thank you for your Service All !
Semper Fi
Tracy Mom of Andrew United States Marine


My son joined the Corps in September of last year. He graduated from Parris Island in January, and is now training with 2nd RECON in LeJeune. That he is going to be a Force Recon Marine makes me as proud as ever. I love getting Sgt. Grit because there is not a lot of support for the military where I live, and in my son's family. I have supported his decision since he first spoke of it, and while part of my heart and brain are ALWAYS in NC, he knows that his mother is behind him 100%. The letters I read in the newsletter are so encouraging. I forget sometimes in the atmosphere I live in that there are plenty of people out there who understand what the Marines are really all about. I feel supported by total strangers as I support and very unpopular profession. Thank you for being there for me, and God bless the Corps.
Leah Ross, Newark, Delaware.


"And you will, by the dignity of your Conduct, afford occasion for Posterity to say, when speaking of the glorious example you have exhibited to Mankind, had this day been wanting, the World had never seen the last stage of perfection to which human nature is capable of attaining."
-George Washington


Sgt. Grit,
Just want to let you know that I have been on base at Parris Island for 4 graduations. I am proud to say that 3 sons & now a grandson are serving our country. You can be sure I have a lot more grey hairs but I am so proud of my sons & grandson. We must all keep our men & women in prayer that they will come home safely.
Alyce Schuhlein


I'm a proud mom in Pittsburgh, my son has been in going on 13 years and in Iraq 3 times every time its heart wrenching but the pride is so deep, he lives for the Marines and he is so proud doing his part to keep us safe in America if people on knew what the military families sacrifice my daughter-in-law has also been in 13 years so its double heart wrenching, they have both been in Iraq at the same time. they now have 3 children, we are so proud of what they have both done for our country, they are both Gunny Sgts. We do a lot of praying for all Military families, Our Son and Daughter-in-law are stationed in North Carolina, We make sure we see them off and greet them home.
We Are PROUD To Be AMERICANS
Be safe Pittsburgh Mom


"All of us denounce war—all of us consider it man's greatest stupidity. And yet wars happen and they involve the most passionate lovers of peace because there are still barbarians in the world who set the price for peace at death or enslavement and the price is too high."
-Ronald Reagan


Kimberly Harvis,
I think you rate to have the E.G.A. If you look on Sgt. Grits website for gifts to the wives and mothers of the Marines all the stuff pretty much has the E.G.A's on them. Besides when I was in my ex wife had one done with all the support from my unit. Like they say the toughest job in the Marine Corps is being the Marine wife. So in my opinion you rate it.
LCpl Howe
2000-2004


Let me first say that my wife and I enjoy your weekly newsletter each week. We enjoy reading all the stories from past and present Marines, plus their families and friends.

We usually buy something from Sgt Grit at least once a month if not more. My wife and I met back in 2004 right when I got out of the Marines. At that time, I had 16 different Marine Shirts. Three years later I only have 2 left and she has close to 30. (she took 14 of my shirts as her own and the rest she got from you. Her favorite one is the one she got from you that says "My Husband, My Hero.") She never knew me when I was in the Marines and that upsets her because that was a part of my life. I told her that if she ever has any questions, I will answer them for her. Well lets just say now that everyday she has a new question for me and that's what I love. She will actually read about Marine Corps history or if there is TV show or new movie that involves Marines, she wants to go. Heck, when she found out about the Marine Corps Ball, she told me we are going every year till the day we die. Not many wife's want to know about their husbands military past, but my wife does and that's one of the reason why I love her and married the girl. If it deals with the Marines, she wants to know.

We read the letter email from May 2, 2007 from Sarah Ruby and it inspired us to write one too. Both my wife's car and my own is decorated with Marine Decals and Stickers everywhere. On her car, she has Proud Marine Wife, Love My Marine, Red "Support Our Marines" Ribbon, Yellow "Support Our Troops" Ribbon, and a license plate frame that says "I Love My Marine." On my car, I have a Iraqi Veteran sticker, Combat Veteran Decal, The classic "Semper Fi" window decal and the circle Marine Emblem you get from Recruiters, my rank on my front windshield, and I have a magnet that says "If you enjoy your Freedom, Thank a Veteran." About a month ago my wife and I went to the mall to do some shopping. When we came back, all of her magnets and decals were thrown down on the ground and torn apart. We called Mall Security, but they said there was nothing they could do except write up a report of what was done. It upset us that someone could do such a thing and not care about it. We are proud of the Marines, Sailors, Soldiers, and Airmen who are serving our country, protecting our freedom, and the ones past and present who are giving their life's so we can be free.

There's not a better feeling in the world then when you are driving down the road and a passing car honks their horn at you and waives. Or if my wife and I are wearing a Marine shirt, someone stops us to tell me thanks.

We want every one to know that you can keep ripping those decals and stickers off, but we will keep replacing them. My wife and I are proud of my fellow brothers and sisters in the Marines and every other service out there and we will keep showing it any way we can.

Sgt James Ross
1998-2004


"There ain't no ticks like poly-ticks. Bloodsuckers all."
-Davy Crockett


In response to Kimberly Harvis, very proud wife of Cpl Harvis. Newsletter #147

Get the tattoo! Even though you didn't spend 13 weeks at PI or that other 'boot camp', 4 weeks at ITR, 13 months in Viet Nam and the balance of your time at various duty stations, I can and will say that you are most definitely deserving and have earned the privilege of our emblem in your own right because you married a Marine. The fact that you're still married means you probably qualify for a "gold emblem". If you don't believe me, I'll have my wife send you an email saying that without a doubt the toughest MOS in our Corps is 'Marine Wife'.

Semper Fi,
Rick Leach, CWO-3
USMC Retired


Hi Sgt Grit -
I love your newsletter. I read it all the way through, as soon as I get it. I would like to take a brief moment of your time and tell you about a recent experience. Your newsletter is always full of great quotes, as well as stories of pride and sadness and inspiration, all rising from the amazing members of the Marine Corps and their families. My story concerns the Red Cross. My Grandmother died less than a week ago. My son, who was very close to her, is currently stationed at Camp Pendleton. It was suggested to me that I contact them, to see if they could facilitate leave for my son to come home and pay his last respects to his Great-Grandmother. She died on Saturday, I called them on Sunday and my son came into town on Tuesday. He was in time for the Tuesday night viewing, as well as the Wednesday funeral.

After my call, apparently the people at the Red Cross got right to it and called my son's superiors and they okayed his leave so he could make airline reservations and get home in time. Thanks to the Red Cross and my son's Marine Corps supervisors (sorry, I'm not that familiar with the Marine Corps hierarchy), he was able to come home and say his final good-byes, and be a part of the family activities surrounding laying his Great-Grandmother to rest. The family really appreciates how the Red Cross and Marine Corps worked together to make this happen.

Thanks for your time.
Leslie Burkett,
Very Proud Marine Mom of Cpl Adam Burak


"If you're going through h&ll, keep going."
-Winston Churchill


In the last newsletter, Kimberly Harvis, asked about getting a tattoo of our emblem because she is the wife of a Marine. I know that there are many out there that will say she should not because she did not earn it.
But, I say go for it. I also note that you, Don, our host here, offer bumper stickers and other items for family members that included the emblem. Let me quote from one, "Marine Wife, Toughest job in the Corps."

Semper Fi,
Bob Rader aka Sgt. Wolf

God Bless America and the United States Marine Corps Once One of the Few...Still One of the Proud


Just wanted to clarify a misconception. The EGA, whether it be an emblem, ring, patch or a tattoo does NOT make a Marine. It is not EARNED, it can be purchased in stores everywhere.

For the opportunity to become a Marine, one must volunteer and be accepted at one of two Marine Recruit Depots. When you have successfully completed (graduated) from the Marine Recruit Depot you will have officially earned the title of MARINE.

As for the tattoo; Do whatever is necessary to keep peace in the family.

Sam Goody
Sgt USMC 1959 - 1960


"The main problem with pacifism is that it doesn't work in all situations. The main problem with pacifists is that they're convinced it does."
-Burt Prelutsky


Dear Sgt. Grit,
I am a very proud mother of a Marine who is serving his first deployment in Iraq as I write this. He is in communications, a POG, as some like to call him, but he is doing what is expected of him and I am inspired by his allegiance to his country and to his fellow Marines.

He enlisted in November of '05 and the war in Iraq was very much underway. This did not stop him from committing himself to becoming the very best. It's the reason he chose the Marine Corps. I have supported him since he told me he was enlisting and I support him now as I do every man and woman who is in Iraq serving their country. Other than the day he was born, my proudest moment was when he received his Eagle, Globe & Anchor and became a Marine. I have even been accused by his Marine buddies as being a Moto Mom. I love that nickname and burst with pride when I hear it.

I am a truly proud American and I love what we stand for. My son, LCpl Clements, of the USMC is a proud warrior and honored to be a Marine. What he is doing is important. What he is doing is his choice.

I support our president, I support my son, and I support each and every service person who is doing his or her duty at this time. I am proud to be an American, and I am proud of the choice my son has made in becoming a Marine.

I look forward to my son's safe return and will be at his homecoming not just because I'm his mother, but because I want to thank him and his fellow Marines for what they are doing. I thank all Marines, first in/last out, for the true honor, commitment, and courage you show the rest of us. I thank all of the families of the Marines who have died and the families of those whose Marines are now serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. I am humbled and most honored to be a part of your Marine family.

Semper fi and God Bless,
Melodie Clements
Extremely Proud Marine Mom of LCpl Clements


class pictures I'd like to share these pictures with your readers and especially with the ignorant principal who wouldn't let the children of Connie's class write to soldier's in Iraq. These pictures were in the local newspaper which prompted several other schools to contact these Marines to ask that they speak to their classrooms. They've spent several days of their leave doing just that!

The 2nd grade class pictured is in Spartanburg, South Carolina. They wrote to my son and his buddies while they were deployed, sending goody boxes and letters and cards. Their teacher made it a history lesson, a writing lesson, a spelling lesson, a geography lesson and most importantly a lesson in humanity and love for these children who were THRILLED when the Marines came home and visited their classroom.. That principal should be ashamed of himself!

Marilyn Miller, Proud Marine Mom in SC


"Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism."
-George Washington


Cpl Long,
We did do it right the first time. Our mission was to liberate Kuwait and that was done. No one says much about Desert Storm, maybe because it lasted just over a "96" and most of the casualties we had were the result of "friendly fire". It's tough, even for our news media to slam success.

Maybe the job isn't being done right at this time because of disunity within our leadership structure (congress, not military)and because of incomplete, biased press coverage. If you want to read about what is going right in Iraq today, pick up a copy of "Leatherneck" magazine.

D.C. Peterson (Sgt Pete)
1st LAI Bn. 1st Mar Div


I'm writing for Kimberly Harvis, whose Marine husband doesn't want her to get an EGA tattoo. One intrudes in a marriage like in a minefield, VERY carefully, but I am sorry he doesn't want you to honor him by wearing the Marine emblem. Perhaps, like me, he's just not a fan of tattoos, especially on women, which in my old-fashioned view is too often like drawing graffiti on God's greatest creation.

My wife proudly wears EGA earrings, pins and pendants, both to honor me and her Dad, who served from 46-50. And I made sure her stocking this year had a surprise from Santa Grit. I have no time for wannabe fake Marines wearing our gear and symbols, though even that is a kind of back-handed compliment, because they wish so hard they had what it takes to be one of us & every day those pitiful critters know in their hearts they don't. But I have no problem at all with Marine family members or girl/boy friends wearing the EGA to honor us. This morning on the way to work I was behind a car with a bumper sticker with the EGA and "Proud Mom of a US Marine" on it. Motivated me. If you raised or married a Marine, you earned the EGA in a lot of ways, for Marines would have a harder time doing their already tough job without the love, pride and support of family members. Especially with so many politicians ready to wave the white flag now that the going has gotten rough and there are votes to be had through advocating surrender.

Former SSgt Robert A. Hall


"I have sometimes asked myself whether my country is the better for my having lived at all? I do not know that it is. I have been the instrument of doing the following things; but they would have been done by others; some of them, perhaps, a little better."
-Thomas Jefferson


Mrs. Harvis,
Army wives support their soldiers. Navy wives support their sailors and air force wives support their air men. If any of those wives wanted a tat of the EGA, would it be right ? No of course not, they did not earn it, just as you did not earn it. What you do, is no different than any other American Military wife.

No disrespect intended but, if you did not earn it, you would be taking away from the EGA's meaning and the personal accomplishment it stands for. You support your husband and his buddies, but you don't walk in their boots.

There are plenty of options to the EGA for you. A tat of the USMC in old English with wife under it comes to mind. Or something of that nature in tribal or Celtic runes would be cool also.

You asked for our thoughts.... those are mine.

Semper Fi
JRS
former SSgt of Marines 79-89


Cowards die many deaths, the brave die only once.


Grit,
This is in response to the request for opinions, from Kim Harvis (wife of Cpl Harvis).

Kim,
There are many tattoo designs that you could get to indicate that you are the wife of a Marine, and a proud member of our Marine family, that do not include the Eagle, Globe and Anchor. Any one of these would make the same statement of your pride and support. But, I do agree with your husband that only those who have earned it should get a tattoo with the emblem as part of the design. Wearing something with the emblem on it is OK, as you have earned that right with your support. But, getting a permanent tattoo with it would be stepping over that line. Just the opinion of one old Marine, since you asked for it.
Phil "Akabu" Coffman
Sgt '72 - '82


Kimberly,
I have the rare pleasure and pride to belong to three fantastic organizations. I am a member of the Hospital Corps. I am a member of the US Navy Chief's community, and I am a member of the Fleet Marine Force. As a member of these organizations I know that without our support groups (whether they are family, friends, or the active duty in the states) that those of us in the field would not be able to do our job. Those people supporting us in the field really make it all happen. The Marines that I have had the pleasure of serving with have graciously admitted me to the "Corps". While active and attached to Marine units I was "Marine Standard"

I even reported to several commands in my greens. The pride and privilege was mine (even if those units did frown on the doc showing up like that).

My ramblings boil down to this. the only two people that you have to ask if you should get the "Tat" is yourself and your husband. My wife is just as much of the three communities as I am for without her support and love I would not have been able to do the job that I did.

Doc Higgins
HMC(SW/FMF) 1975-1997


"May the father of all mercies scatter light, and not darkness, upon our paths, and make us in all our several vocations useful here, and in His own due time and way everlastingly happy."
-George Washington


Sgt. Grit, I would like to respond, from the May 2nd email, from the mother whose son name is Adam and has just been deployed to Iraq. My husband and I just returned from 29 Palms to see my son return back from Iraq. He was deployed for 7 months in Iraq. It was a tearful reunion. I gave my son a Blue Star Mothers portion of a necklace I had. It has a blue medallion and in the middle a little star is cut out with its own chain. I told my son to bring it back to me. After the hugs and tears on his return, he told me "Mom I have the star you gave me. I carried it everyday in my pocket." I have it now. It is a treasure to me.
To the mother of Adam. I know this will be the longest, hardest and proudest time in your life. You will have sleepless nights, days that you cry for no reason and you will even take the phone to bed with you every night, just incase he calls. Your son will come home and he will be change. I am know waiting for my son to come home for his 3 week leave with his wife. You are and will be so proud of your son. What helped me through this time is my faith in God, I didn't watch the news or tried not too and of course the mothers of the Blue Star Mothers Chapter that I am a member of. If you have a chapter in your area, JOIN. These ladies have gone, are going or about to go through the same thing you are. It is a mom thing and it is a feeling that only a mother has. After all, you carried this Marine for 9 months and knew him first. I will be praying for your son as well as for all of our troops.

A Proud Marine Mom from Oklahoma


4th Annual National Marine Corps Family Conference
"United in Spirit"
July 26-29, 2007
Anaheim, California

"United in Spirit" truly represents the Marine Corps family. The weekend offers many activities: a variety of workshops, entertainment, exhibits and vendors, military displays, speakers, authors and much more. The weekend is a nationwide conference open to spouses, parents, children, veterans and all interested. Online registration is available at: www.marineparentsunited.com.

Cathy Schoon
260 -349-0302
4th Annual USMC Family Conference- Anaheim, CA July 26-29,2007


C.S. Lewis on War

"Does loving your enemy mean not punishing him? No, for loving myself does not mean that I ought not to subject myself to punishment - even to death. If one has committed a murder, the right Christian thing to do would be to give yourself up to the police and be hanged. It is therefore in my opinion, perfectly right for a Christian judge to sentence a man to death or a Christian soldier to kill an enemy, I always thought so, ever since I became a Christian, and long before the war, and still think so now that we are a peace. It is no good quoting, "Thou shalt not kill." There are two Greek words: the ordinary word to kill and the word to murder. And when Christ quotes that commandment He uses the murder one in all three accounts, Matthew, Mark, and Luke. And I am told there is the same distinction in Hebrew. All killing is not murder any more that all s&xual intercourse is adultery. When soldiers came to St. John the Baptist asking what to do, he never remotely suggested that they ought to leave the army: nor did Christ when he met a Roman sergeant-major - what they called a centurion. The idea of the knight - the Christian in arms for defense of a good cause - is one of the great Christian ideas."

P.S.

C. S. Lewis abandoned a scholarship to Oxford in 1916 to serve in the British army as an officer with the Somerset Light Infantry. He was wounded at the Battle of Arras and suffered depression during his convalescence.

Submitted by:
Nolan Nelson


"[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


Team Semper Fi

These guys are truly amazing, and I think my children realized that there is "nothing" a person cannot accomplish if their mind is truly determined to do so... Team Semper Fi


I can understand your son's disappointment. I have a friend formerly with the 101st Airborne in the Cold War who was a Ranger and got out because there was not action. It is important for your son to remember that it takes anywhere from 7 to 11 Marines behind the scenes to support a front line combat Marine.

If the paper work isn't doesn't done, properly, timely, those combat Marines don't get fed or supplied. It may not seem to him that he is part of their life line, but he definitely is and it is truly a job not everyone can do well.

In reality, all Marines are Combat Marines. It is a team effort. Many volunteer, but only a select few can serve with the Best of the Best. Your son is one of those. Just tell him the beer is always cold here for Marines.

s/f Dr. Dennis Benson, proud Marine Dad.


"Let us make a vow to our dead. Let us show them by our actions that we understand what they died for. Let our actions say to them... 'I will not fail thee nor forsake thee.' Strengthened by their courage, heartened by their valor, and borne by their memory, let us continue to stand for the ideals for which they lived and died."
-Ronald Reagan


I am a 100% disabled Marine Veteran who served 3 tours in Nam. I have been told so many times that I am a survivor. I guess there is some truth in that. My memory is not as good as it use to be but I remember that many years ago after this country abandoned Vietnam, a politician made the statement that if any good can come from our involvement in Vietnam, maybe it will be that we will be that we never will get in the same situation again. Does anyone remember who made that statement? It doesn't really matter as it appears as if we are in the same situation again. Maybe this time the GD politicians will allow our young men to do their job and win the d*mn war. James B. Herring


Good luck on your outing. I really want to get to one of those and cook up a mess of Southern grits for your attendees. However, tomorrow I will be at Kent State University attending the graduation of my son's Sergeant from first tour. I have arranged a private photo op and meeting for Sgt. Goehler, his family and his fiancée with the university president. His family is very proud of him, as am I.

You know, I thought I knew what "family" was and then one day in 2001 I found myself a Marine Dad. And then I got a graduate education on what real family is -- Marine Family. And that education has enriched my life in ways that would take a couple of hours and some serious adult beverages to explain to anyone.

My son is coming with his fiancée from Chicago, which affords me the opportunity to transfer custody of his NCO sword to him since he is driving. I would not try to get on an airplane with that. He was moving so much, it was much safer in my office on my wall. I just packed it up in the original box your staff sent the sword to me in, and that reminded me how incredibly helpful your staff were to me in 2003 when I ordered that. It reminded me of the party in October 2003 I held when he returned from Iraq and where that sword was handed to him by his mother in front of the Mayor and about 100 people. I wanted that sword to come from Sgt. Grit, and it did, and I will miss seeing it on my wall, but it belongs with him.

Amazing what thoughts run through your mind from a simple action putting a sword back in its box. There are about 100 others.

Good luck tomorrow. I have no doubt there will be tears and cheers aplenty.
I will be there in spirit.

s/f and Thank You -- Dennis Benson


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


The best way to serve our great nation is by joining the MARINES but, ... What happened when the Marine got retired or medically discharge? All you have left is your hearth and motivation to serve our country and your dreams and pride to stay Marine (That's a lot). I am a medical retired Corporal with 40% service connected-combat related injury but, I have never seen combat (things that happened in our beloved Corps)

That's not the point.... the message to my fellow Marines is that we have to make America a better place to live, every day of our life, doesn't matter if we are active, reserve or retired Marines. When I got retired in 1996, I started to work for the Boy Scouts of America as a District Executive in Kings Bay, Georgia and today I am the Program Director for the same organization in San Juan Puerto Rico. That is my way to serve America and that's all I can do right now but, to dream about Boot Camp this is what I do ( funny,but it works!) Every morning when I shave I use Gillette Foaming Cream. The same brand the recruits have to buy at the PX. When I put the foam in my face I close my eyes and that alone will transport me back to the head, at the barracks, at 2nd Battalion, at Parris Island, the summer of 1991 without having the Drill Instructor yelling at me. (Funny and a little bit crazy,,,but it works)

CPL. Daniel "Dan" Muñoz
1991-1996 USMC Retired


It's going on 0530 May 13th 2007 & I feel like I've been on an ambush all night. Awake at least every 45 minutes or so, I can't turn my mind off, it seems to happen every year.

May 10th 1967 was Mothers Day, it was also the day I arrived home from 13 months in Vietnam, a day I'll never forget. As I stepped off the plane I saw my parents standing about 200 feet away, and yes all three of us had tears on our faces. It was a small airport & it took very little time to get my gear packed & start for home. During that hour long ride home I realized more than ever that it was all worth it, there was no other place on earth like this country of ours & there never will be.

I lost my Dad 9 years later & my Mom 7 years ago, I was their only child so I guess that means this memory will be gone when I am, but that's ok after all it did belong to us. I will however save this so our 2 daughters & their families will know what a special day that was in 1967.

Another memorable day in the Marine Corps was on my 21st birthday, it was on that exact date 2/26/66 that I reported to Camp Lejeune for FMF training, I was a Navy Corpsman.

During those weeks in school I recall there was a sign in one of the rooms, above a door that made reference to a relationship that included God, Marines & Corpsman. I won't even try to recall how it went but if anyone out there remembers what it said I'd like to know.

Semper fi
Larry Spohnholtz Kilo 3/7/1 1966-67


"Sometimes politicians get things upside down. They ignore problems that are plainly staring them in the face, while they focus on dangers that are at best speculative."
-Michael Barone


Future Marine Hey Sgt.Grit,
here is our 8 month old baby Chase Bergeson, after having three daughters whom we adore, our fourth child was a boy! of course daddy is an active duty Marine, 11 years now, and here is our future Marine, following daddy already!

Leehee Bergeson
wife of active duty SSgt. Bergeson USMC




God Bless the Marine Corps
God Bless the Marine Corps





You can take the MARINE out of the CORPS But you can't take the CORPS out of the MARINE
You can take the MARINE out of the CORPS
But you can't take the CORPS out of the MARINE!




Welcome Home Marine, Job Well Done!
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

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