My wife and kids were at Texas Roadhouse to eat dinner about a week ago. I went to the head to wash my hands. When I got there, a gentleman just a little older than myself and I suppose his young son, or possibly his grandson, of about 6 years of age were washing their hands. The gentleman finished and left the room as the boy was finishing. I have a cover with a very old eagle globe and anchor, possibly pre- WWII, maybe post-WWI. This small boy turns around, sees my cover and asks," Are you a Marine?". I reply, "Yes I am". He says "Thank you for serving my country". I was floored and could only say, "You are welcome very much". I told my wife when I returned to the table, she says, "That makes me want to cry". I totally do not look for nor expect any acknowledgement that I served. I wear my cover in support for our brothers and sisters in harms way. But, that was the third time I had been thanked for my service since I was discharged in 1989. I've got that feeling all over again as I write this. Thanks for the opportunity to brag on this child.
Cpl. Ryan Walden
K Co. 3/1 1985-1989
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My dad, Angelo, was in the hospital in Tacoma, Washington. A former Marine and veteran of the Korean War, he was having his third knee replacement surgery.
A long and very painful operation was going to be made even worse because Dad was going through it alone. There was no one to hold his hand, no familiar soft voices to reassure him. His wife was ill and unable to accompany him or even visit during his weeklong stay. My sisters and brother lived in California, and I lived even farther away, in Indiana. There wasn't even anyone to drive him to the hospital, so he had arrived that morning by taxi.
The thought of my dad lying there alone was more than I could stand. But what could I do from here?
I picked up the phone and called information for the Puyallup, Washington, Marine Corps recruiting station, where I joined the Marines ten years before. I thought that if I could talk to a Marine and explain the situation; maybe one of them would visit my dad.
I called the number. A man answered the phone and in a very confident voice said, "United States Marines, Sergeant Vanes. May I help you?"
Feeling just as certain, I replied, "Sergeant Vanes, you may find this request a little strange, but this is why I am calling..." I proceeded to tell him who I was and that my father was also a former Marine and 100 percent disabled from the Korean War. I explained that he was in the hospital, alone, without anyone to visit and asked if Sergeant Vanes would please go and see him.
Without hesitation, he answered, "Absolutely."
Then I asked, "If I send flowers to the recruiting station, would you deliver them to my dad when you go to the hospital?"
"Ma'am, I will be happy to take the flowers to your dad. I'll give you my address. You send them, and I will make sure that he receives them," he replied.
The next morning, I sent the flowers to Sergeant Vane's office just as we had planned. I went to work, and that evening, I returned home and phoned my dad to inquire about his surprise visitor.
If you have ever talked with a small child after that child has just seen Santa Claus, you will understand the glee I heard in my dad's voice. "I was just waking up when I thought I saw two Marines in their dress blue uniforms standing at the foot of my bed," he told me excitedly. "I thought I had died and gone to heaven. But they were really there!"
I began to laugh, partly at his excitement, but also because he didn't even mention his operation. He felt so honored: Two Marines he had never met took time out to visit an old Marine like him. He told me again and again how sharp they looked and how all the nurses thought he was so important. "But how did you ever get them to do that?" he asked me.
"It was easy. We are all Marines, Dad, past and present; it's the bond."
After hanging up with my dad, I called Sergeant Vanes to thank him for visiting my dad. And to thank him for the extra things he did to make it special: wearing his dress blue uniform, bringing another Marine along -- he even took a digital camera with him. He had pictures taken of the two Marines with my dad right beside his bed. That evening, he e-mailed them to me so I could see for myself that my dad was not alone and that he was going to be okay.
As for the flowers, they hardly mattered, but I was glad for the opportunity to express my feelings. The card read: "Daddy, I didn't want just anyone bringing you flowers...so I sent the World's Finest. Semper Fi."
By Tre' M. Barron
I know you are out there in the Midwest. I live near Chicago and belong to a Marine Family Support Group in Joliet,IL. Last weekend we helped serve a pancake breakfast at the racetrack in Joliet to about 20,000 bikers. They were all there for the Illinois Freedom Run. This takes them from Joliet to Marseilles,IL. It is a pretty impressive sight to see 20 to 30,000 bike rolling down I-80 in a huge run like this. Along the way there are people lined up across the overpasses with flags and banners. It is awe-inspiring.
What is even more impressive is the reason why they are all there! Marseilles is the "home" of the Iraqi Freedom Wall. A memorial to all of those lost in this war. There are seven or eight granite blocks of with the names of the fallen. It is a beautiful site on a bluff overlooking the river. The Freedom Run raises money to maintain the site and add the names to the wall. Each year the names are read out loud by different family members of the fallen.
None of this was covered by the news media, of course! There were thousands of veterans, active duty personnel and military family members riding. I met three officers (a Major General, Colonel and a Major) all riding in their cammies.
I thought perhaps some of the Iraqi vets that are home may want to know about this place. My son is a veteran of this war and is home now. I know he cannot take this trip yet and I know why. It was very difficult talking to these Gold Star families. I got choked up and could not speak every time I saw a t-shirt with "Our Hero..." and their loved ones name. But I went up to that wall and found the names of my son's brothers and I brought those names home with me. Some day he will want them.
I just thought there may be other Marines (and soldiers) out there who may want to know about this place and your newsletter is the best way to do that.
Marine Mom Jan Strand
LCpl Ryan A Smith,1/3 Alpha Co
Another you won't see in the mainstream media.
Bravo Co. 1/3 Wins Hearts, Minds
Marine Corps News
June 21, 2007
HADITHA, Iraq -- Counterinsurgency operations continue in the city of Haditha with Bravo Company conducting missions 24 hours a day.
"Showing a presence in the area does a lot more than people would think," said Sgt. Joseph A. Cervantes, squad leader, 1st Squad, 3rd Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 2. "We mainly do two types of patrols, one being security patrols, which are designed to have a deterrent effect on anything that happens in the area."
"We also do 'Meet and Greet' patrols. We go out and meet the families, and we start a relationship with them," the 34-year- old explained. "We speak to them and get their feelings on current situations and take their suggestions on what could be done differently in the city."
Marines assigned to 1st Squad, 3rd Platoon, conduct up to three patrols a day. Patrols allow Marines to find the enemy and learn about the populace.
The locals are warming up to the Marines. People in Haditha now talk to them regularly, and they wave and smile while the Marines are out on a patrol.
Lance Cpl. Edward G. Martin, automatic rifleman, 1st Squad, 3rd Platoon, Bravo Company, 1/3, said the people didn't act this way when they first arrived late March 2007.
"They seemed a little distant and cold at first," said Martin. "They've always been friendly, but you can tell we're now winning them over. They're beginning to trust us and (they're) glad we're here."
Martin recalled a recent 16-hour operation when the Marines were welcomed with open arms by the locals. "The people were running out and giving us cold water and allowing us to come into their houses and rest," he added. "This is what lets me know they're thankful."
Due to the large amount of patrols, Lance Cpl. Nathan A. Fanning, automatic rifleman, 1st Squad, 3rd Platoon, Bravo Company, 1/3, said they recognize and know a lot of the people.
"We went firm in a house one day and the locals working there recognized us because we stopped at their house earlier in the week," said Fanning, an Idaho Springs, Colo., native. "He said one of the main reasons he remembered us is because of how respectful we were with him and his property."
The friendliness and openness are a growing trend in this region. Numerous battalions have deployed to the Haditha Triad region and experienced daily fire fights, sniper attacks, improvised explosive device explosions, and other friction. Martin, a Fort Worth, Texas, native thought, at least initially, his deployment to Iraq would involve more of the same.
"I thought at first it was going to be nonstop fighting, but I'm glad it's not. After being here, it's a lot more fulfilling to be helping out in the way that we are," Martin said.
Cervantes, a Pensacola, Fla., native, also believes the area has done a complete turnaround.
"The locals used to be very standoffish, but now they're a lot more vocal," said Cervantes. "I think they're starting to realize we sacrifice a lot to come out here and help them. They are grateful, but they would still like to see their own army move in. It would help with their national pride a lot to see the Iraqi Army out here."
While an Iraqi Battalion is deployed in the region, they are not permanently positioned in Cervantes' neighborhood.
Cervantes expects it to keep getting better throughout the remainder of the deployment.
"I hope things continue to go smoothly for the rest of the time we're out here, but I'll just take it patrol-by-patrol and day- by-day," said Martin. "I'll continue to keep my guard up. So if something were to happen, I'll be ready and able to return home to my wife in one piece."
I'm an 18 year old poolee for South Jersey and I have been reading the emails I have been getting from your web site and it has motivated me so much that I'm trying to move my ship date to June. 25th instead of July 9th so I can do some good for myself and my country. I'm sick and tried of dealing with ignorant people like the ones in my high school that decide to make jokes about a fellow recruit say trash like "hahaha your going to die in Iraq" most people don't understand what it means to do something with there lives at my age so they joke about it and it really p!sses me off. So I really cant wait to get out of here and become a Marine like the rest of the people who right you. I just wish Americans didn't forget about their problems outside of the US so easily and more people would get up and do something about it.
-South Jersey Poolee Mark Ubil
"My kind of loyalty was loyalty to one's country, not to its institutions or its officeholders."
Dear Sgt. Grit:
Love to read your newsletter and there are many times tears silently drip down my face because I can relate to so many stories being shared that touch my heart.
My son joined what has since and somehow become "my beloved Corps" some 12 years ago, giving up two college scholarships. I was devastated then, didn't understand. Of all branches, why the Marine Corps? He handed me a sticker that said "Proud Parent of a US Marine" and while my heart broke, I smiled and asked him to please affix it to my car.
4 years of active duty ... border patrol, Panama, Bosnia ... then came home, joined the Reserves, enrolled in college ... graduated from OCS, but fiddled around graduating from college because there was this intriguing Unitas deployment to Peru ... and then, yes, the deployment of his reserve unit ... 4th Bn 3/25 Co L ...
The unit, being comprised of mostly young, single reservists, shipped out in 2005. Life has not been the same since ... not for our Marines and Corpsmen, nor for their families.
I accepted the appointment to become the KVC (Key Volunteer Coordinator) for Lima Co. and had no idea what was in store. It was the best lesson and experience in my life! Imagine some 150 mothers plus girlfriends to keep abreast.
Here is what I have to say about all the back-and-forth about who should and shouldn't wear the EGA. During our deployment, people fell into one of two groups, basically ... those who comprehended and those who didn't. Receiving the word of our first casualties and shortly thereafter our first KIA (Mother's Day 2005!), it became crystal clear ... it's not about us, it's about them! I preached that message faithfully.
Sure, it's hard on us back home! My advice to would be wives of Marines is that they do their homework before saying, "I do." You marry a Marine, or any other service member, count the cost. Yes, you'll be stuck alone at times, have to move, so what!
When I read all that garbage about who is "entitled" the wear the EGA, I just shake my head. Somehow, I get the feeling that people who argue over the "right" have a "it's about me" attitude.
What I've learned from my son's deployment, the hardest hit unit, is that we do not have a clue what it means for our Marine Corps infantry to kick in doors day in, day out. My son told me that there were times he shouldn't have come out alive. So, what do we have to complain about living in our comfort zone?
My advice is ... get over it ... get over yourself ... it's not about us, it's about them! Wake up!
Mom of a great Marine
P.S.: A&E produced a documentary about our unit ... Combat Diary ... The Marines of 3/25 Lima Co.
"Every lesson in history tells us that the greater risk lies in appeasement, and this is the specter our well-meaning friends refuse to face-that their policy of accommodation is appeasement, and it gives no choice between peace and war, only between fight and surrender. If we continue to accommodate, continue to back and retreat, eventually we have to face the final demand-the ultimatum. And what then?"
I met my Marine when we were both 16. Married when he finished boot camp at age 18. Back in 1961 I knew his service #1949392 better than my own SS#. We spent 20 good years in the service. Included in these 20 years were 24 permanent address including Japan, Korea, and most Marine bases in the US. John and I had two children and the four of us weathered the Cuba Crisis, Viet Nam 3 times and the kids and I in Japan while he came back to the states to attend school. I always knew I was safe and loved when he was with us and cared for by our fellow Marine friends while he was away. The Marine family is a good one and even now that John has died after 41 years of marriage, the US Marine family is still taking care of me. As to wearing the Eagle, Globe and Anchor, John always bought jewelry, pins and the Marine Corps Rose (when they first came out) for me to wear proudly. Now our Grandson is in the Marine Corps awaiting orders to go to Iraq.
He has made us a 3rd Generation Marine Family, (my father in-law landed on the first wave of Iwo Jima. As you can tell I have had a good life and wouldn't trade it for one of luxury. Love and take care of your Marine.
Linda L. Rinehart
URW, MSGT John A Rinehart, Retired-Deceased-Purple Heart Recipient
I'd like to respond to Michael Gray's letter regarding inmate Newton.
I have one word for you Mr. Gray...... DITTO.....
I agree with every word in your letter 100%. I have been in Law Enforcement for the past 16.5 years and have had past and present Marines wearing my handcuffs. I too, have pointed out the location of sympathy in the dictionary.
To re-enforce Mr. Gray's point. Don't fall prey to these scam artists, Newton is in prison because he deserves to be in prison.(period)
SSgt of Marines 79-89
"The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have past at home in the bosom of my family."
I had an opportunity, last month, to go to Sunset Beach, Florida to visit an old high school classmate of mine that I hadn't seen for 41 years.
I went down over the Memorial Day holiday.
There is a little bar on the beach called the "KA'TIKI" and every Memorial Day they do "The Stroll". Vets of all ages decorate their cars and trucks and parade the three or four miles along Sunset Beach. Vacationers and homeowners line the streets and the vets throw red/white/blue mardi gras beads to the crowd. I've never been involved in a community celebration like this. It was a real eye opener.
Members of all branches of the service congregate at the bar all day long and just flat out enjoy each others company. There were only a handful of Marines at the party and we were honored by the rest of the crew and made to feel very much at home.
For all the folks in the Tampa/St. Pete area - or vets all over the country, go to Sunset Beach next Memorial Day and be ready to have some fun with folks who understand what Memorial Day is all about.
That's where I'll be every Memorial Day from now on!
Semper Fi Sarge
I had a date with my dad this evening. We went to see "We Were Soldiers" at a local theatre. The movie hit home with my dad and I for many reasons. My father is MSGT John H. (Jack) Quirk. Quirk retired in 1976.
I was born in Montpelier, Vermont, as my dad was headed for Viet Nam. He had brought our family -- two sisters and a brother and, of course, our mom Elaine there to be close to family while he served his country in Nam. My mother was nine months pregnant with me at the time. I was 9 days old when my dad left us there to go serve his country.
When he arrived back home, I was 18 months old, walking, talking and full of %*@&!. I was my father's daughter! There was only one problem. Suddenly this appeared in MY House, sleeping with MY MOTHER and I wanted nothing to do with him! I had been kissing a picture of a man in uniform on top of the TV, and had no idea of what a real daddy was.
After time, of course, I learned to adjust to sharing my role as master of My house! My father and I became very close.
At the movie, it suddenly hit me that I could have never known a real live Daddy. I could have only had pictures & stories like many of the children who lost there Father in the Viet Nam War. I was overwhelmed with grief for those who lost so much and yet thanked God that I got to experience a full life with my Father.
As we were driving home, I ask him questions about the war and what he saw. Why he had volunteered several times to go to war. I never understood that. Why would anyone volunteer to possibly loose their life? Why volunteer to leave a wife and four children behind? He gave me his explanations which I accepted and understood. I admire my Father for doing what I and many Americans would be too afraid to do -- Give up his life for his country, if required.
What bothered me the most was that my Father said That the real heroes died over there. As he got out of the car, we said our "goodnights and I love you's" it dawned on me that my Father didn't think of himself as a hero. I began to cry and continued to do so on my drive home.
You see, my Father is a hero. No - he didn't die, No - he didn't receive a Purple Heart. HE CAME HOME! He came home with the courage to go on. He came home and continued his career in the Marine Corps. He served 22 years. He, along with my Mother, raised 4 children, taught us right from wrong, showed us how to love unconditionally and taught us to respect our Freedom, our Rights as Americans Citizens, and, most importantly, taught us to love God & Country.
My Father is a hero. He wears a Full Metal Jacket! It's just invisible!
Proud Marine Corps Dependant
"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."
Response to Michael S. Gray in regard to Newton's plea.
Hear, hear! Thanks for your dissertation and bringing to light the potential of a scam. I find that I get more angry and disappointed when a fellow Marine misbehaves than I do when any other person misbehaves, because I expect a higher standard from a person with MC affiliation. After all, this is MY CORPS that is being humiliated.
I am not without fault either, but I am aware of it and I work to correct it. I often think about my actions and how they portray the Marine Corps. For example, the only advertisements, of any kind, on my vehicle are MC related (this is my most public display of my affiliation) so when I drive a little more assertively (aggressive driving is illegal) or speed (also illegal) I feel so guilty about how poorly it reflects on the Corps that my behavior corrects itself.
Simply surviving boot camp, proving that you can handle the rigors does not make a Marine. Being a Marine, I believe, is in the soul. There are many a great people who may have desired to enlist who just didn't have the means or health to.
Thanks again Marine/Officer Gray.
VM, Mesa, AZ.
Feed back to Cpl Greg 83 - 89 "Out in Public'
First off, I served 3 years on recruiting duty from 79 to 81 and we used our local reserve unit and they did wear their Utility uniform on some occasions. We had uniform equipment and weapons displays set up usually in the mall or maybe at the county fair. We also used them on Career days at schools. This was so that we could show what the Marines was all about. (Some what). So yes this is an acceptable practice for Recruiters.
Second, I don't usually call anyone a liar but I can't believe that a Gunnery Sgt in the United States Marine Corps told you that he didn't know how you could get in-touch with his C.O. That's BS.
SSGT USMC 74/85
Units; G 2/3, I 3/3, B 1/2, MP Co. MCB 2nd Mar-Div, G 2/2, RSS
C 1/1, HQ 9th Marines. HQ 2nd MAW.
"I have lived, Sir, a long time; and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this Truth, that God governs in the Affairs of Men. And if a Sparrow cannot fall to the Ground without his Notice, is it probable that an Empire can rise without his Aid?"
My son lost a brother when he was 13, prior to that he was an average student and a member of the football team since Pony League. A passion him and his brother shared. After the loss, he lost interest in almost anything...including school. after numerous talks with teachers, principle's etc about him needing 1 person to take an interest in him and not label him as lazy and useless, they decided school was not the place for him. I had to sign him out in Dec. of last year. He did take his GED and passed, it was then he had the good fortune of meeting that 1 person who saw him as a useful and definitely NOT lazy person..SSGT "Stevo". He talked with him on numerous occasions, had him take the AS-FAB, which he passed on the high school graduate level, but with the help of this recruiter was accepted. I understand that this is rarely done. He graduated P.I. April 20th of this year, is now in N.C. about to graduate again on June 22nd and then it's off to the fleet. He has excelled. They have begun having graduation ceremony's for GED and his was this month, I had made a DVD of my son form pics and videos he sends me during his "off" time's. I asked the woman who came to get his Marine pic for the ceremony, if she would like to watch it...she did. She was in tears...it was set to the song "Something To Be Proud Of" by Montgomery Gentry. She asked if she could use it at the graduation and when she called me back after graduation she said it was the HIGHLIGHT of the program and asked that they use it in their future graduations, I of course, said "Yes" with a tear in my eye and pride in my heart. I guess I am just writing to say NOTHING is impossible and my son is proof...everyone gave up on him, but him and a recruiter that saw Nathan for who he was..and who he would become...one of The Few, The Proud, A Marine. God Bless the Marines, the Recruiter who looked into my son's soul and my son who had the strength and courage to make the Commitment.
Thanks for your time,
from this really PROUD Marines Mom..
P.S. Now the ones that had no faith in him are the ones he is protecting...ironic, ain't it?
I am sorry to hear that there were few kids attending some of the recent Memorial Day events. I do believe it is our privilege and duty to educate kids on where we have been and where we will go based on the sacrifices of many. As a parent, I have raised my children to know that removing their cover indoors, hand over your heart during the pledge, and greeting Marines with an OOH RAHHH is not only acceptable, but required.
At our recent Veterans' Park dedication, we had WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm vets IN ADDITION to the local Boy Scout troop. While I understand the discouragement we feel about the lack of respect and knowledge of our forefathers, I also understand it is my job to teach them.
I don't care if it is a kid I know or not, if the kid is disrespectful during the Anthem or other appropriate event, I more than willingly correct them.
Who is going to argue or condemn me for that... is my motto.
G Torres 86-90
"The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind."
My son just returned in May from his second tour there. I do not know all that he saw, all that he did or witnessed while over there. Maybe someday he will tell me, but for now, he won't, he shields me from it although I have watched enough on TV to know it hasn't been or is very pretty over there. I can honestly say I am so very proud of my Marine, LCPL Gil Travis, Camp Lejeune (he was born there back in 85). To all of our young men and women serving, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for keeping us FREE
I am the proud Father, and son of a West Point graduate, who is about to serve his second your in Iraqi. I grew up with a father who had a the EGA on his arm and was a Mounfort Point Marine during wwll." I can honestly say once a Marine , always a Marine. He would tell me stories of the Pacific and the things he went through as a Marine. I was so impressed as a child I grew reciting the rifleman's Creed. When I first heard that a Marine was killed in a Iraqi I took it personally, and felt a very deep pain. My summers were spent on Camp Pendleton in I am not sure if I am spelling it right (Deluz Homes) with my Dad's Corpsmen Named Barry Woods. What the cadets at West Point did not know when they hazed my son while in the Academy for a Post card I sent him with Marines dressed in their Blue's was He is the product of a grandfather who was a proud Marine, and what they put him through was not going to phase him. I have always felt very proud to have a dad who was a Marine, and he was proud to have served as a Marine up until his death in 2000. I remain proud to have had a father connected with such a fine organization. I am in Law Enforcement for the past 22 years, and the saddest times in my life is when I have to deal with a Marine professionally.
Derrick W. Streets
"Marines walk a fine line between self-confidence and arrogance... the line is often blurred"
Gunnery Sergeant of Marines (Retired)
I read your news letter every time I receive it. And a lot of times it's not with a dry eye.
My Daddy is a retired Marine. And I remember always worrying about him when I was growing up. I didn't want him to do what he was doing, I didn't want to lose my Daddy.
But I was always very proud of him and still am. He was when I was growing up and always will be till the day I die my hero. My Daddy served 27 yrs. in the Corps. and in my eyes he is the greatest man I know.
Not only is he my Daddy but he's my best friend. And I am so very proud of him!
My husband always ask me who's the Marine, you or your Dad. What can I say I have a soft spot for The Corps.
Grave Sites Of American Veterans Vandalized
U. S. Flags Replaced with Swastikas
James H. Lilley
Spineless cowards sneaked into a graveyard on Orcas Island off Washington's northwest coast and burned dozens of small American Flags that had been placed to honor veterans who had served our country. Members of the American Legion replaced the burned flags with new ones on Sunday afternoon May 27th, but the vandals struck again, creeping back into the graveyard on Memorial Day shortly after a guard departed at sunrise. This time they replaced the American Flags with hand drawn swastikas.
The actions of you spineless bastards aren't your right to free speech as you might think or claim it to be. You desecrated the graves of those who so gallantly answered the call and served our nation. Yet, your actions go far beyond defiling the graves in a single cemetery on an island off our West Coast. By your cowardly act you've spit in the faces of every man and woman who has served or fought for this nation all the way back to George Washington. America became a free land because of those who were willing to sacrifice everything- including their very lives to guarantee our freedom. And vermin like you sneak around in the darkness and dishonor their memory and mock their bravery. You don't deserve to breathe the same air or walk the same grounds as these men and women who died to make it free air and ground.
I only wish that a combined Military Honor Guard had arrived at the Orcas Island Cemetery to pay homage to those servicemen and women buried there and caught you in the act of desecrating their graves. I doubt that you would've stood your ground and faced angry Marines, Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen. No, the sniveling cowards that you are, you would've run away crying and begging for mercy, hurrying to find an ACLU lawyer to defend you. Still, it would've been a pleasure to watch a Marine, Ranger or Seal stomp the snot out of you. Indeed it would've been a much better form of homage for those men and women whose graves you debased.
Once again this was a transgression overlooked by our mainstream media. I only learned of this act of cowardice from a military newsletter I receive weekly. The mainstream media made their obligatory appearances at ceremonies around the nation and vanished to cover car races, ballgames and the latest exploits of Lindsay Lohan. It seems they always have a camera crew ready to go anywhere in an instant when one of Hollywood's stars or starlets pukes or makes a fool of themselves in public. How many hours have been devoted to Anna Nicole Smith, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, David Hasselhoff, Mel Gibson and others?
But, FOX, CNN, NBC, ABC and CBS will hurry to the funeral of a serviceman or woman killed in Afghanistan or Iraq-not to cover their burial or to honor them, but to publicize those who attend to protest and degrade a fallen hero. They are more than willing to keep the cameras rolling while protesters jeer the family and friends of a Marine or Soldier who gave their life in service of their country. They make sure the crude, vulgar signs held by the protestors fill our screens while a family tries to the mourn the loss of a loved one. And they have the nerve to call this news when it's nothing more than openly supporting terrorist nations. Yes, by airing this trash the media is giving our terrorist enemies ample free propaganda for their anti-American training videos.
It seems that news, which would outrage a great segment of our nation and bring cries for justice falls by the wayside. Surely every veteran, their families and friends and so many others across the country would have been angered by the desecration of the graves on Orcas Island-if only they were informed. Instead citizens around the nation will be choked by the Lindsay Lohan soap opera, while families weep as they bury a fallen hero amid the jeers of well-publicized anti-war activists.
If it's true that our country is spiraling into the depths of h&ll, the media is doing its share to speed the process.
"History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives."
Hi Sgt. Grit – Just a note to "Old Grunt" in Florida who left his Memorial Service with a heavy heart. I agree, it's sad if families and children are not there to share in the service.
But, it was very different at the Memorial Service my family and I attended in Palos Verdes, California. I would guess about 1,500 people were in attendance – the majority were families
With young children! They covered all ethnic backgrounds, some did not even speak English. But, what we shared was a love for our service men and women, past and present. So, Old Grunt, maybe it
Was just the area where you live that no children attended your service. I was so impressed with the service we attended and will be there again next year with my Sgt. Grit tee shirt on! By the way,
We stopped for a Starbucks on the way in our full size, four door Chevy pick-up. We don't watch much tv – and never watch American Idol! I like to identify myself a proud American Marine Mom and
Even had my USA flag and USMC flag flying from the truck.
Lynne Clarke – "Devil Dog Mom"
To Sgt Grit, with my thanks for your newsletters. I have just finished (and enjoyed) reading the latest issue. I look forward to each issue, and read them through tears of Memory, Pride, and Joy. I am USN Retired, and I have a son that is Active USMC, and who just recently returned from his 3rd tour in the sand. He and another Eagle Scout from our little local Boy Scout Troop had the privilege of being in the Same Marine Detachment that were privileged to be included in the First Bombing after 9/11, and also included in the first bombing on that fateful day on Baghdad. We are very proud of our sons contribution, as well as our other local Hero. Our public thanks go to Sgt. Farmer and to Major Brandt. Thanks again for your great Service to all who are truly grateful.
Jim Farmer, USNRetired
"It is a fair summary of history to say that the safeguards of liberty have been forged in controversies involving not very nice people."
My son Kyle's EGA
Lance Corporal Kyle Enser 3rd Battalion 3rd Marines heading back to Iraq for a 2nd tour soon. Kyle's EGA Tattoo
God Bless our Marines!
I recently purchased your "Proud Mom" t-shirt and absolutely love it! I first wore it to a local 'mom' meeting and I received compliments on it. Last night I wore it to the Berlin Raceway Park, local park for car races, and heard a few "Semper Fi's". My son is currently serving in the Iraq and the communications from him are few and far between. When I wear my new shirt (also have your necklace I wear all the time) – I show I am extremely proud of my Marine.
Proud Mom T-Shirt
I am a Canadian, that proudly served in the USMC. A few weeks ago, I was at a Baseball game in Toronto Canada. To see the Blue Jays and the Yankees play. A gentleman from Indiana thanked me. I forgot I was wearing my USMC jacket. He said to me that he worked with Marines from Camp Pendleton. He wanted to thank all Marines what they have done for America. It's a small country.
Semper-Fi. Cpl. Nugent USMC 1957/ 60
There is an awful lot of talk in your newsletter condemning Darryl Newton. I'm sure that he regrets what he did. Does anyone actually know what crime he committed? If he were on active duty and did brig time and then returned to his unit, would we still condemn him? He could be the worst villain in the world or could have done something out of desperation. Enough already, please. The guy needs help. I hope none of us ever winds up in his shoes.
Cpl. of Marines
"We Americans are the best-informed people on earth as to the events of the last 24 hours; we are not the best informed as to the events of the last 60 centuries."
Will and Ariel Durant
Love these newsletters each week and the fact that it is relevant to everyone in the Marine Corps Family.
I must apologize for not writing sooner to thank you for the wonderful quality of the personalized coin that I purchased from you for my son-in-law's birthday. He received some nice gifts but he LOVED the coin engraved with his name, rank, and dates of service. IT is a FIRST CLASS piece!
Since it is his first birthday as a civilian in many years I thought he would appreciate a small token to remember his years as an active duty Marine.
He liked the shirt too, but he LOVED the coin.
Thanks for keeping up the great quality!
An old WAC
Custom Marine Corps Coin
This is in response to Michael S. Grey's comment, about an EX- Marine named Darryl Newton who is having a hard time in jail. I agree with Mr. Grey's comments, "I am against villains trafficking in good men's' honor". Mr. Newton, I appreciate that you so proudly severed along side the rest of us. I am also sure that your Momma, was very proud of you when you got out with an honorable discharge. However, I am a firm believer in the statement, "Once a Marine Always a Marine!" That is until you disgrace yourself, disgrace Our Marine Corps, or disgrace Our Country. I don't know what you did to get yourself a room at the Hilton, nor do I give a rats a**. I'm sure I can speak for a majority of us in the Marine Corps Family, until you have served you time, properly redeem yourself, (repenting couldn't hurt either), and become a functional tax paying honest part of society, you are now an Ex- Marine, not a Marine not even a Former Marine. Just because you earned the title at one time, only gives you the perks of being a Marine, if you live up to the highest standards of the Marine Corps. Another thing Mr. Grey mentioned was that, "in some ways, a former Marine should be considered for more jail time, because he was trained to know better." Hmmm!
And if your plea to the rest of the readers, was as suggested just a scam, or an attempt to elicit monies from the warm hearted, then you should be ashamed of yourself. If that was the case, Please never, never again consider yourself a Marine, just say you were on a quest, or traveling during the time you were in.
Corporal - Honorable (and until I am called to Protect the Gates of Heaven)
'88 - '92
"At each epoch of history the world was in a hopeless state, and at each epoch of history the world muddled through; at each epoch the world was lost, and at each epoch it was saved."
hi all, im from south africa and just one to say something. i respect each and everyone of you for fighting in iraq and doing what's got to be done. every time something bad happens over there it affects me to. good luck to everyone of you, godspeed.
I noticed in your last newsletter that there are quite a few stories of young people (people around my age, I should say) that surprise servicemen and women with a "Thanks." It really is a sad statement that it's such an occasional thing. That sort of thanks should not be a surprise. I'm 19 years old, and unfortunately I know too many kids that are anti-war and such. But I wanted to let all those active and retired Marines that not all of us are like that! I am a Marine's daughter, I have a friend serving his first tour in Iraq, another friend who is going off to boot camp this summer, and another friend who really wants to be a Marine, but unfortunately can't because of her health problems. We support the armed forces completely, and I for one would like to say THANK YOU! Thank you to everyone who has ever put their life on the line for another. Thank you for all the military personnel that are fighting to protect our freedom, a freedom that so many Americans take for granted. To all those veterans who came home from wars only to be greeted with ridicule, jeers, and worse, you all deserved much better. To all those who are currently serving, always remember that there are still those of us back home who stand behind you and your cause 110%! We pray that you get the job done soon and you all come home safely.
And just because I feel like I can't say it enough, I'll say it one more time:
Thank you. You are all heroes.
"Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all others."
I am a Young Marine and I would like to say thank you to all veterans for fighting for my freedom. i hope to join the Marines and fight for freedom as my father did in Vietnam and all of you. i would like to share something with you that i have no told my family. While in D.C. for my school's D.C. trip we went to the Iwo Jima memorial and i simple broke in to tears then we went to the "wall" and walking through the line i simple cried the whole time remembering the men and women that died for my freedom and my life. so thank you veterans
PFC.SANCHEZ Young Marines
"There are not fifty ways of fighting, there is only one way: to be the conqueror."
I read Lawrence D. Morrell's story and saw the Ph.D. after his name. I also noted that he was enlisted. I can relate to that - I served active (enlisted) from 1959 - 1963 and received my Ph.D. from Syracuse University in 1971. I have a story - about how the Corps influenced my journey. I am wondering how many other "grunts" are out there that went on to achieve academia's highest award and give credit, in some measure, to their Corps experience? Talk about an alternate rise through the ranks...
I am thinking of writing a book profiling these Marines. Could you put out a call for these "Doctor Jarheads"? Thanks
Anthony A. Zenner, Ph.D.
Cpl. E-4 USMC 1959-1963
I would like to introduce a new Marine to you and the rest of our Marine Corps....... PFC Patrick R Miller - Parris Island SC - April 6,2007
Yes, I am the Grandpa, Doris is the Grandma. We are very proud of him. I heard recently that PFC Miller is on some "real tough duty in K-Bay Hawaii!" Oh well, it's a terrible job but somebody has to do it.
The Ole Gunny
"Pay attention to your enemies, for they are the first to discover your mistakes."
Sgt Grit. Thank you for having put together a fine collection of Marine Corps items for sale. Living near Ft Carson Colorado it is hard for a jarhead to find anything that has to do with the Marines. I served with Bravo Co 1st Bn 1st Mar in Desert Storm as a E-4. Again, I would like to say thank you and SEMPER FI
Robert "Heavy D" Dyleski
P.S. great newsletter
Thanks to your monthly letter I have been contacted by several of my platoon members who went through PI in 1958. I found out that two of our Drill Instructors are deceased, one of whom earned a battlefield commission and medals in Vietnam. I have corresponded with another DI and the daughter of one. Brought back some great memories of a great bunch of Marines who grew up together during those boot camp days.
Jim McCuen Dublin Ca
"Anybody who believes that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach flunked geography."
June 22, 2007
I do not know if anyone has mentioned it yet, but, we are having a Marine Corps Reunion for the men & women who were ever stationed at Naval Ammunition Depot, Hawthorne, Nevada. This reunion will be held on Sept 14, 15 & 16, of this year 2007. I have gone for the past 20 years, since the inception. It really has been enjoyable for my wife & I. What is great is to see some of my buddies I was stationed there with. The men & women come from all the United States, as far away as Connecticut. Just an example of those who attend, we had a Marine who was stationed there in the late 1930's (when they patrolled on Horseback). It happens every 3 years. I look forward to it all the time.
If any wishes to find out any information about the reunion and/or wish to attend, they can contact Ed Engels . His phone # and e-mail are 1-775-945-3563 and ene833 @ sbcglobal .net. I am sure he world like to hear from those interested.
Thank you, and my you keep up the good work.
Robert D. Adams (Bob)
I just wanted to thank you very much for your Services. My Father, who spent 26 years in the Corps, lost all of his belongings to that D*mn Hurricane Katrina. However thanks to you Sgt GRIT, we were able to start replacing some of his Marine Corps life. It still brings a smile to my face whenever I think of him opening the box of Patches and the RETIRED hat my sister and I gave him for Christmas of 2005. I realize that the Letter is a Little Late however better late then never... I thank him every day for his Choice in Making the Marines a career and for the opportunities I received just By being a "military brat" during my childhood and its the least I could do but to thank you for supplying Marine items to the public..
Thanks Again from a Katrina Victim
"Only when we know little do we know anything: doubt grow with knowledge."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Dear Sgt. Grit, I am married to a former Marine, very proud of that fact. I have heard all of the stories and thought that most were probably exaggerated, but after reading stories posted here and in the Legion Mag. I know that most were probably true. I now have a son serving in the Marine Corps. He just left Monday the 18th of June for boot camp, he is stationed in San Diego Ca. at the MCRD station, that is where I understand, that his training will take place. I pray that God keep him safe. I just wanted to let you know that you now have a new brother among the ranks. I love to read the stories of all the Marines that write and look forward to one day posting some of my son's stories as well. My son's name is Josh and I ask that all of you other moms and dads as well as former Marines pray for him, as I have for all of our troops since the war started. Thank you.
Proud mom of a soon to be Marine.
I am a past commander of my VFW Post in Blue Springs Mo. on Memorial Day we have a parade and march from down town 11th, and main to the cemetery at 25th and walnut close to two miles, then have a service to our fallen brothers, this year I called all of the recruiters from each branch of service and asked if they would like to or could march with us as we like to have as many in uniform as we can get as many of us can no longer fit in to ours. the ONLY branch to come out was the MARINE CORPS. three SSgt's, one a WM. just shows that you can always count on the Corps.
Cpl.Joe Mowry 6511/1963-1967.
"Movement is the safety-valve of fear."
B.H. Linddel Hart
Japan changes Iwo Jima name
By Hans Greimel - The Associated Press
Posted : Wednesday Jun 20, 2007 13:27:08 EDT
TOKYO - Japan has changed the name of Iwo Jima, the volcanic island immortalized in one of World War II's most brutal battles, to reflect the original name given by its inhabitants, the Japanese Geographical Survey Institute said.
The new name is Iwo To, which will retain the same written characters and meaning - "Sulfur Island" - but is different when spoken.
The name change was approved Monday by a joint geographical naming committee meeting between the survey institute and Japan's coast guard, a statement from the institute said.
An official map with the new name will be released Sept. 1.
Iwo To, about 700 miles southeast of Tokyo in the Pacific Ocean, was inhabited by civilians until 1944, when they were evacuated as U.S. forces advanced across the Pacific, said the survey institute's Mitsugu Aizawa.
The residents were not allowed to return after the war, when the island was put to exclusive military use by both the U.S. and Japan.
"These people are now scattered nationwide and are not able to go back to Iwo To," Aizawa said. "These people have said that the place is originally called Iwo To and their claim led to this revision."
Today the island's only inhabitants are about 400 Japanese soldiers.
The 1945 battle for Iwo Jima, made iconic by the famous photo of U.S. Marines raising the American flag on the islet's Mount Suribachi, pitted some 100,000 U.S. troops against 22,000 Japanese deeply dug into a labyrinth of tunnels and trenches.
Nearly 7,000 Americans were killed capturing the island, and fewer than 1,000 of the Japanese would survive.
The Americans occupied the island after the war, and returned it to Japanese jurisdiction in 1968.
The U.S. Navy still uses an Iwo To airstrip to train pilots who operate from aircraft carriers.
The yellow footprints were at MCRD San Diego on 11/12 Feb 1969 and I was standing on two of them. My grandson will be standing on two of them on 4/5 Sept 2007. My brother served in the Corps 1963-1967, and I have a nephew who is into his 14th year in the Corps. Service in the Corps is becoming a family tradition of which I am very proud, and one I hope continues for a very long time.
Once A Marine, Always A Marine
L/Cpl N. C. Helfer
"Where does a family start? It starts with a young man falling in love with a girl; no superior alternative has yet been found."
Dear Sgt Grit,
Just a small footnote to the letter Gerald Merna sent. That Marine who reached up to feel the stars on General Kelly's shirt is LCPL Jeff Nashton of TOW Company 2nd Tank Bn. Not only did he reach up and feel the stars, but unable to see he still was able to write down Semper Fi in a piece of paper. As a son of a Marine, and a Retired Marine myself, and a proud Marine dad, I know where we find such men. God Bless the Marines of yesterday that I tried to make proud, and the Marines of today that make me proud.
GySgt Art Goldman 77-99
My name is Lynn StGermain, VERY proud mother of USMC Sgt. Brian R. StGermain, Killed in Action on 02Apr06 while serving his country in Operation Iraqi Freedom. My reason for writing