Patriotic dissent is a luxury of those protected by better men than they.
I nearly broke my hand last week. I served 5 years in the MC during the RVN war. When I got home, people actually spit at (and on) me. Called me "baby killer" and other unprintables. We were out for dinner last week and while waiting for a table we went to the bar. A 'gentleman' there was holding forth on our current war in Iraq and noticed my small EGA on my hat. He asked me in light of what happened in RVN what did I think about our young men in Iraq. I told him that if they took 60 year olds, I'd have been there last year. He just snickered and said that we were chumps in RVN and now we're suckers in Iraq. I don't regret to say that my fist acted before my brain. He got up and I asked him outside. The manager ran over and asked what happened and I told him. The manager turned to the other fellow and asked HIM to leave the establishment. Our dinner was free.
God bless and care for all our sons and daughters in harms way.
Robert L Duke
"You're never beaten until you admit it."
Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.
Last week while we were vacationing in the Lake George New York area I met a young Marine in Wal-Mart in Queensbury New York. My attention was drawn to a USMC pillow his lap as he was being wheeled in his wheel chair by his mother. Naturally I said hello, I was wearing a brand New Desert Cammie Marine Vet cap, and asked if he was Marine. Wow,
I met Sgt Eddie Ryan, WIA in Iraq, he had trouble speaking and moving his right arm as he had been wounded in the head, he had scars running down the entire side of his face. When I said Semper Fi and reached out to shake his hand, he grasped my hand and kissed it. D*mn, I had Goosebumps all over this old body. He was uncovered so I gave him my new cover and put it on him.
His mother was overjoyed that I had taken the time to share with him, also met his Dad, also a Marine of years past. Sgt Grit, never was there a moment of whine from him or his parents, they are so proud of their Scout /Sniper son. Eddie wants to get better and stay Marine, Lord help him do it. I'm wearing his bracelet today.
Perhaps some other Marine readers might like to visit Eddie's site, www.helpEddieRyan.com.
When I got back to my car, I was overwhelmed with emotion and cried like a baby for the better of 5 to 10 minutes, thankfully I was alone and not seen by others. This new crop of Marines are awesome, our Corps is in good hands.
Semper Fi, Art Caesar, former Sgt of Marines
NOVELTY ITEMS Sale
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Really fun Novelty items are 20% off - Stuff like a Terrorist Body Bag, Musical Marine Corps Pen, USMC Poker Set, Sports Stadium Seat and more. See Them All!
"In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."
I want to thank you for the contest to win a bag of sand from Iwo Jima. I was fortunate enough to be one of the first 400 to correctly answer all four questions about the Iwo campaign, and I received my bag of sand in the mail today (7/19).
I shed tears when I opened the envelope and laid eyes on that little bit of history, because my father, Jose A. Dominguez, was a 19-year old PFC with F/2/26 5th MarDiv who went ashore and fought for that piece of rock. He was wounded by mortar fire on 14 March 1945 and evacuated with severe wounds. He still carries a piece of Japanese shrapnel in his head to this day, but he's a proud Marine who, God willing, will be 82 in September.
I am humbled, because my father participated in such an important part of our glorious Marine Corps history, and because I now hold in my hand some of the hallowed ground for which he fought.
J.A. (Fred) Dominguez, Jr.
Sgt, USMC 1975-1979
"The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse."
Dear Sgt Grit,
I am pleased to be added to the newsletter. I served in our beloved Corps from 1959 to 1965. I joined the West Hudson Detachment (NJ) MCL thirteen years ago and have proudly displayed my New Jersey "Leatherneck" license plates on each vehicle I've had since then. About a month ago, while at a stoplight, I looked up at the rear view mirror and saw that the man driving the car behind me had gotten out of the vehicle and was walking toward me. I rolled down my window thinking he needed directions. He said "I noticed your "Leatherneck" plates and just wanted to say 'Thank you for your Service!'" Man, that made my day, week and month!
I lost a cousin who was on the 103rd floor at WTC when the jet hit, he was just incinerated. I also lost Father Mycal Judge, Chaplain of the NYPD, who also married my youngest son and daughter-in-law. Her five brothers are all members of the FDNY. I telling you this because I want to acknowledge all of the Service Men and Women who are proudly defending against further attacks by these cowards and how proud I am of all of them. My family all sleep soundly at night because of them. God Bless America!
Bloomfield, New Jersey
Hey Sarge, Thanks for offering this site and all the great Corps products. Speaking of which, seems to me I have been seeing a whole lot of Eagle, Globe and Anchors. On cars, on shirts, every where I go.
The surge seems to be since this old Iraq War. Well, I wondered how many are Marines, (retired and otherwise) Also wondered how many were just supporters Of the greatest fighting outfit ever! So, as I pass people in the Mall or grocery store that had the Marine Corps anything. I silently gave out a "Semper Fi" Wow, the response's I received. In short everything from bragging rights from fathers to tears from mothers and brothers and sisters. Wow, I challenge every Marine or family member of any Marine to do the same. Give out a "Semper Fi" when you see anything Marine Corps. I warn you in advance, be ready for some great even tearful conversation.. I feel so proud as a result of doing this, even more proud to be called a Marine..... Semper Fi from this old Marine R. Casto Corporal of Marines, (now retired)
"There is no such thing as a fair fight."
Scott O'Grady, USAF
I'm a Former Marine Sergeant who served from 1980-1986. I went to Parris Island in September of 1980 as a member of Platoon 2087. First stationed at Camp Lejeune as a Field Artilleryman in Alpha 1/10 and later HQ 1/10. From there, I ended up on Embassy Duty where I served as a Marine Security Guard at the American Embassies in both Reykjavik, Iceland and La Paz, Bolivia. Even though that era is considered "peacetime," I lost a lot of good friends in both Beirut and Grenada.
I eventually chose to leave active duty to pursue a career in law enforcement, which has been very fulfilling. However, the statement "Once a Marine, Always a Marine" is very much true and I consider myself a Marine first even before 'State Trooper.' The longer I am out, the more proud I am of the Corps, and the more I pray for our younger Brothers and Sisters who are putting their lives on the line over in the 'Sandbox.'
I'm enclosing two photos for your web site to show our continued support of the Few, the Proud. My daughter, Ava, is two years old and is featuring the USMC hoodie. The Future Grunt, Nicholas, was born on June 30th. He was 7 lbs, 14 oz. and 21 inches long! He's sporting a gung ho cover to keep his chrome dome warm.
J. Drew Pointkouski
Hainesport, New Jersey
(Sgt Ski, USMC 80-86)
I have this awesome tattoo that I would love to share. I however am not in the Marine Corps....just a very proud wife!
I support my husband 200% in his choice of being a Marine. He has been in for 14 years this July and I'm still proud of him and love the lifestyle and the life we have made together!
Anyways, this is my tattoo....it is his dogs tags to support him. One has his dog tag information and the other one has the same information as the other, only I changed out the SSN on the one and put in our wedding date. The Red Roses are the Marine Corps spouses flower...so the circles around my ankles and falls down the front....to show that no matter what we are always one.....and the cross is to show our faith in our marriage and God!
I hope you add it to the growing display of other tattoos!
Jaclyn K Jones
The biggest supporter a Marine can have is his country!
"Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength." Eric Hoffer
Not that long ago someone new in my life asked why I joined the Marine Corps and when I answered I said to party. I know that's not the true reason but for someone reason that's what I answered with. I later explained to her why I joined but I'm not sure I explained to you. I didn't join for the glory nor the money. I didn't volunteer to be mean but I joined and volunteered for a few reasons. I wanted to prove to myself that not only I could make it in the military but to make it in the branch that's always the tip of the spear and that nobody in the family had served in. Marines are the first ones in and the last ones out. As for the reason why I always volunteered so much is the pride, honor, unselfishness and courage I learned inside the Marines. Marines are taught to help a brother or sister in need, to walk the line when others turn and run and to give their life to keep freedom free. Every time I volunteered I knew I would be going to a place in harms way. I was afraid at first of going and leaving everyone behind but then I always thought about the people that were already there. To be afraid to walk down the street or even look outside their own door. This pushed me to volunteer to help someone who couldn't stand up for themselves. With this being said Mom, I hope this helps explain why I volunteered and joined the US Marines.
"Today, when a concerted effort is made to obliterate this point, it cannot be repeated too often that the Constitution is a limitation on the government, not on private individuals-that it does not prescribe the conduct of private individuals, only the conduct of the government-that it is not a charter for government power, but a charter of the citizen's protection against the government."
i am writing this from Kentucky--- i just wanted to say thank you for all of your wonderful merchandise that is available to the Marine Corps family.... every shirt i put on, or every sticker or license plate that i display---- i do it with pride and honor.... it is MORE than an honor for people to know my son is a Marine---- he is currently in Iraq--- location unknown.... but i can honestly say---when i put on one of your shirts i feel closer to him in some way.... thank you again.....
God bless America and the USMC....
"Public affairs go on pretty much as usual: perpetual chicanery and rather more personal abuse than there used to be..."
Dear Sgt. Grit,
Thank you for your wonderful newsletters! Just wanted to share my happiness and say that my fiancÃ© just returned home for terminal leave after four years of active duty (during which he completed two combat tours in Iraq and was also stationed in Japan). To welcome him home, we rented a sign to sit in the front yard of our home. It read, "Home for good. Sgt. Dustin Leslie. USMC. We love you." He arrived home in the middle of the night & said he could see it from nearly 2 miles down the road because the sign's lights flashed so bright. He was surprised and flattered, then asked me, "How long is that sign going to be in the yard?" He's very humble about his service and doesn't like to brag about the choice he made to serve his country. For him, it was just the right thing to do. I don't think he expected to get so many responses from the sign in the yard, but we've gotten many cars honking and people thanking him. When taking the trash out yesterday morning, the trash man stopped and asked if he was Dustin. He replies, "Yes," and the man took off his glove and shook his hand. What an awesome gesture that was.
God bless all of you who are presently serving and who have served! You are in our hearts and prayers always!
Proud fiancÃ©e of a Marine Sgt.
As the mother of a LCpl with the 3/7 who is currently serving his second tour in Iraq I wanted to share a picture of my tattoo with you. I got it when he returned safely from his first tour in Ramadi. I am truly proud of my son and all of the 3/7, many who have become like sons to me. They and the rest of our Marines are in my prayers daily. Thank YOU and Semper Fidelis!
A Piece of my heart is back in Iraq .. keep prayers winging to the 3/7!
"In politics, there are few skills more richly rewarded than the ability to misstate issues in a way that will sound plausible and attractive."
Hey Sarge, It's always been the same, the Gladiators (Marines) fight and gold bricks complain. The Marines in Iraq are possibly tougher than us that were in Vietnam, support 'em, welcome 'em home, and pray for 'em till they get back.
(Cpl) Doug Scrivner
USMC 1967-1970 Semper Fi RVN 68-69
* Marines I see as two breeds, Rottweilers or Dobermans, because Marines come in two varieties, big and mean, or skinny and mean. They've got really short hair and they always go for the throat.
[ RAdm. "Ray" Stark USN ]
Dear Sgt. Grit,
My family and I just returned from a vacation in Branson, MO. There is a Veterans' Museum there that I had to take my kids to see. As I was paying the admission fee, I was asked if I was a veteran. Never having served, I said, "no" so I paid the full admission price. The museum included uniforms, weapons, and memorabilia beginning with WWI and ending with Dessert Storm. What moved me the most was the walls of the names of the American military who lost their lives in each war, beginning with WWII. It didn't divide them up according to branch, just alphabetical order. I matched the name on my POW/MIA bracelet to a name on the wall in the Vietnam War room.
Now, for a Marine observation. What's a vacation without a trip to an amusement park? Instead of Silver Dollar City, we went to Celebration City. Close to time for the park to close, they have a nightly fireworks and laser show. During the show, there was a segment dedicated to those who served. Of course, each branch was highlighted...Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. When each branch was highlighted, there was applause in the audience. However, when they got to The Marines, it wasn't just a smattering of applause...it was a loud, thunderous applause that put the others to shame! Marine Corps pride is alive and well! Of course, from reading the newsletters, I already knew that!
"If the next century does not find us a great nation... it will be because those who represent the... morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces."
I'm a little late in sending this off, but I felt that regardless of my "slacker" timing, I should send it anyway.
The Minnesota WWII Memorial was dedicated on 9 June of this year in St. Paul. As we are only 3 hours away, we loaded up the car and headed out for the afternoon to take in the dedication. I can't put into words how glad I am we decided to fight the traffic, etc and take in this event.
While there, I had the opportunity to speak with a Marine from the 4th Mar Div, and one from the 5th Mar Div--both had served on Iwo Jima. I also spoke with a Raider who was on Guadalcanal with Edson, and several other Marines form WWII. It was truly a humbling experience. I was wearing a USMC shirt, and to a man, each one of these gentleman singled me out and greeted me with a "Semper Fi, Marine!" as I walked by. More often than not, I was tongue tied and speechless--my wife said I was "star struck", which I suppose I was--it meant more to me to meet these gentleman than any celebrity-period. I tried to explain to my wife just what it meant to meet these men, but I was so flabbergasted, I'm sure she didn't understand my rantings--she knows what the Corps means to me, so she at least understood how deeply moved I was.
Funny thing--all of the guys (no exception) were humble, regular guys--most were more inclined to ask about my service, and how the fishing was, then they were to speak about their time. More than one grinned and said something to the effect of, "Slow down Marine, I know you've got questions, but I'm not going anywhere!"
These great Americans, whom Brokaw correctly referred to as "the Greatest Generation" are leaving our ranks rapidly. I can only hope that all that have the opportunity to shake one of their hands and sit and talk with them, whether they be Marine, or any other branch, do so--they are truly amazing people.
We can all be proud of our service, and can be proud today's young Marines, who are continuing the proud traditions of our Corps, but I close with this old toast: "From the oldest Salt to the youngest boot at MCRD, to anyone who has heard the words, 'If you think that was something-you should have seen the Old Corps'..., Ladies and Gentlemen--to the Old Corps!"
Cpl "Huggy" Hungness
I recently received a Sgt Grit Gift Certificate for a B-Day present.
Well, I filled out my order, put it in the mail on Monday, and I'll be ambushed if that package was on my door step on Saturday! Man, yall are Great! Really on top of orders! My new American and Marine Corps Flags look Great on my RoadKing! They will be Proudly displayed everyday! Thanks again........pat on the back to ya! "Semper Fi"
"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not."
I don't think my Bro. has a computer at this time but I had been sending him copies of the Newsletter and on occasion someone from that Iwo era would be in it.
Certainly I don't have the details he would relate but just the few stories he shared, which happened to be 50+ yrs after the fact. He never talked to anyone about them, even his wife. She said he talked with the other Marines at re-unions etc but would shut up when anyone else was around.
He did tell us a few tales of his time on Iwo and that he spent the night in a fox hole with a friend from our hometown only to find out that he was killed shortly after. He was the last friend from home to see him alive.
Another time there was a NJ re-union around a bomb/mortar crater of about 10=12 Marines Army etc. He did serve as a member of a War Dog platoon/Raider Battalion land when the troops were being readied to leave the island he was kept back to search out caves with a Lt Navy Intel officer. They'd searched caves by day and by night he and his dog Christie would go out with ambush patrols. The dog always warned them with a movement to enemy approaching w/o fail. After 3 weeks straight the patrol Sgt. told him he and his dog could catch a few winks and he and the rest of the unit would pull guard.
He'd also spent time on Guam but it was secured and only enemy would come out of caves and raid the dumps for food. He said most of the guys would leave something as they knew what was happening.
Before returning stateside, he and another Marine or 2 were the first American troops in Japan after the bombs. I think he said it was about a month after. Oddly 50+ years after he was having a medical checkup and the Dr asked if he had ever been Radiated? My Sis-in-Law said he surely had been. They had gone into Japan to turn over 1500 or so Japanese prisoners.
Before returning the War Dogs were put thru a de-briefing? Before returning them to their original owners, I believe his dog was one of a few that weren't able and were euthanized. He is at this time writing his Auto biography I guess you could call it? and this would all be formally described. I'd hoped he and my other older Bro. (SeaBee) would write down their experiences?? for the veterans WWII info being collected by Smithsonian. The Seabee bro. served on Okinawa around the same time as did the oldest of the 3 that was killed at Okinawa as a TM3 on the USS Drexler, one of the many lost to the Kamikazee attacks.
Sarge, I wish more of the WWII and all veterans would write of their service for future generations. I served as well 4 yrs in the Navy but fell in between Korea and just at the start of Viet Nam.
Thank you for your service to Marines, Families and all our Military,
The biggest battle since the invasion of Iraq is getting very little coverage in the media. Paris Hilton has gotten more coverage, than our brave warriors. This battle is called Arrowhead Ripper. Have you heard of it? 8,000 Americans and 2,000 Iraqi troops are involved. Early reports are positive, but if ultimately Arrowhead Ripper is successful, you may not hear much about it. A USA victory would be too embarrassing for those who have staked their reputations on defeat.
"A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people."
John F. Kennedy
"Liberty is not to be found in any form of government; she is in the heart of the free man; he bears her with him everywhere."
I am very touched by the posting from Herbert Pelaez, a 15 year old LEGAL immigrant from Columbia who wants to be a Marine. He is a young man with honor and courage who takes great pride in America. If only ALL Americans could have this patriotism! Herbert, thank you for wanting to serve this country as a Marine and for your humbleness and integrity.
God be with you!
"Patriotism is easy to understand. It means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country."
"You can claim you support the troops all you want, but your actions speak louder than words."
A Day In The Life Of A
Blue Star Mother
As I awaken, I thank God for allowing me a few hours of sleep and the prayers for all my military family members begin. "For Sue's son injured last week, for Donna's son who weeps nightly because he carries the horrors of war; for the wife of my son's friend who now must raise their sons alone; for all those who have asked for prayers, and most especially for my own sons, that God be with them. AMEN".
The coffee pot is on and as I reach for the remote, I again, ask "God, please no casualties today". Alas, my sorrow, another Soldier has died today. I wonder, does he have a wife, brother's, sisters, I know he had a mom. I weep for his mother's empty arms, and silently and selfishly thank God, it could have been me!
Hubby is awake now, as he passes our military wall of pride, he stops, silent and calm, and lowers his head, no doubt saying his own special prayer. The flags go up, the dog is let out, and we share a hug. Breakfast is simple, and before I know it, he's off to work.
While the second cup of coffee sets in, I read the emails from Navy moms, Marine Moms, and all my other Blue Star family members. Wow, others slept fairly well last night, only 378 emails this morning.
My phone rings and as I carefully look at the caller ID, it's only the veterinarian calling to re-schedule the annual check up for the family dog. My heart begins to calm. I return to the emails, reading each one carefully, responding to those I can, and holding each and every one of my military family close to my heart!
Another call, it's okay, it's my daughter in law, how wonderful. An update on the granddaughter, and of course, my Marine. All is well! Now I hear from the Sailor's wife, what lovely daughters my sons have given to me. They always seem to know when 'mom' needs a hug.
So the day has now officially begun. House cleaning, laundry, and a trip to the bank, oh yes, the post office too! Several care packages and letters to our young heroes. One special packages goes out today, a Comfort Book and quilt to a Gold Star Mom. Her son was killed last month, and she was not up for visitors, but she will receive respect and honor from us all. Wow, this book is heavier than most, over 250 messages in this one; poems, prayers, and words of comfort from families all over the country. The quilt is lovely, made by a few moms and sent with love. The Eagle, Globe and Anchor that sits in the center, crisply sewn, I weep as my hand passes over this symbol of courage and pride.
Okay, the packages are sent, the letters written, all deposits made, now it's back home to start dinner. As I approach the entrance to my subdivision, I carefully scan the area for cars that appear "not to fit in". No strange vehicles, no black sedans, I continue towards my street. Again, my eyes strain to the end of the cul de sac to check for a vehicle in my drive way, it's empty, another good sign.
As I exit my car, I gaze up at the flags, waving ever so slowly in the wind. Old Glory is a wonderful flag, I am so proud, I am an American. I enter the house, the dog greeting me as if I'd been away for months, and now dash to answer the phone. It's a friend from back home, the soldier who died today, was someone we both know. I weep, and immediately begin to prepare for what will be one of the most difficult days, the funeral for one of our American Heroes.
I locate the CAO information, make the initial call, and ask if my friend and her family are accepting calls. I make that call, and together we weep for our loss. "He'll be here in two days, and they say I can't see him. How can I let them bury him, and I not see his sweet face one more time?" We pray together, and I let her know that I will be at the service and funeral and I am always here as they need me.
As I make the necessary arrangements to travel, I order the Gold Star Banner, as her Blue Star has now turned Gold. I wonder how I can make it through another funeral, another loss, and this one so close. I can, I'm a military mother, and we're strong! We moms are made of tough stuff, but losing a child is not the way life should be for us.
Hubby is now home, and I must tell him. We cry together, and as we each look into the faces of our sons pictures, we both selfishly pray, "Thank you God, it wasn't me today." Dinner is light, neither of us can eat much, but life does go on. I'm off to my Blue Star Mothers meeting; I must tell my sisters they lost a son.
The day is done, and as I lay my head upon my pillow, prayers filling my heart, my final prayer is, "Lord, thank you for allowing me one more day as a Blue Star Mother. I pray that my stars never turn to Gold. Amen"
Andria M. Mocek
Two Star Blue Star Mother
HM2 Jonathan, US Navy
Cpl Gabriel, USMC
"It is fooling and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God such men lived."
Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.
i joined the Marine Corps in sept 55 and spent my investment in calf. when i got out i bummed around for a year then joined the army because i wanted to see some of the world, I signed up for armored Europe and went to fort knox for training i loved it but while there we were standing full dress inspection when the officer got to me he saw that i had 3year prior service with a good conduct ribbon and said i see your were in the nave i said no sir US Marine Corps then he asked me which service i like best i said us Marine Corps sir he just walked away, i was in Germany for 2 1/2 years and loved it when i got out in 63 i joined usn cbs an a heavy equipment operator but after a year got out i never even seen a jeep,3years as a motor sgt in usa res. went to us air force for 1 year but could not reenlist because of back injury at a light & power co, so i have an honorable discharge from all 4 services But I AM a MARINE
FREDERICK (JERRY) HAWK
Dear Sgt. Grit,
It is always a pleasure to receive something I have ordered from Sgt. Grit. The box is sure to hold something to help our family show the immense pride we have for our son and his brother and sister Marines. BUT, the envelope that arrived at our home from you far surpassed anything else that has come Sgt. Grit. I opened the envelope to find that I was fortunate enough to be one of the 400 people to win a bag of sand from Iwo Jima.
I just sent an email to our wonderful son, 1st LT. Patrick Ryan Mahoney of the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines H&S Co. He is the Communications Officer and currently deployed in Iraq. In the note, I wrote to him that I had won a bag of the sand and that when I opened the envelope, I couldn't believe I was holding something so sacred! I told him that the bag will be waiting for him beside the little jar of Parris Island sand (from the Pit!) that I "collected" on Family Day back in April 2004.
Patrick did boot camp at PI, went into the Reserves, applied to OCS, and then became an officer. He has taken us on a great tour of the Marine Corps! Patrick is the grandson of a Marine and I'm sure that his grandfather is standing guard over him from heaven while he is so far away from home.
Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to give our son such an incredible gift! The time and effort you put into your newsletter and your website is greatly appreciated by myself and our family. I am so privileged to be able to witness through our son the timeless brotherhood of the United States Marine Corps! God bless our Marines - past, present and future!
Rita A. Mahoney, Braintree, Massachusetts
Immensely Proud Marine Mom of 1st LT. Patrick Ryan Mahoney USMC
"There is a rank due to the United States, among nations, which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness. If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war."
Thank you for writing me! I loved hearing about your stories to! It's funny because they still do that about the rain (lololo) Well as my son tells me, my son who is only 19 yrs old is the one in the Marines he is stationed in Hawaii which he loves very much (except for being away from us ) and now he is in Iraq YUK only a Mother would say because he couldn't wait to go! I am the proudest Mother of a Marine as any Mother should be BUT SCARED CRAP for him ! He is my youngest and I still can't see him as he really is GOD HOW He Has GROWN in body & mind! The Marine Corps. Has done a great job in training my son L.Corporal Justin C. So I know he will come home safely! I will be there for him when he gets off that plain in 13 months ! He has no idea that I am going to be there (Hawaii) he thinks we are going to wait to see him when he gets to come home a few weeks after that, NOPE I WILL BE THERE to bring in are troops! Well nice talking with you and PLEASE send me some more stories I enjoy them VERY MUCH!
Semper-If Mother of L.C Justin C
Last year my youngest son became a Marine. It was the proudest moment of my life watching the graduation at MCRD San Diego. So far he's been stationed in the US but I know he wants to serve over seas. Once I got back home from he's graduation I ordered a bunch of stuff from your catalog, including a bumper sticker that proudly proclaims "My Son is a Marine". This bumper sticker went on my truck the minute it arrived. My son knows I'm proud of him because he also knows I hate putting bumper stickers on my vehicles. The Sgt. Grit bumper sticker is right next to my USMC bumper sticker his recruiter gave me.
The other day I was driving home from work. The flow of traffic on the highway was moving at a steady 80 MPH. When this little red car pulled up along side my truck and stayed even with me. I glanced over at the other driver and saw a young man in Marine camo. He made sure we made eye contact and then he snapped off the smartest salute I've ever seen going 80 miles an hour.
I had been having a bad day up till that moment. That young Marine, who wanted to show his appreciation for the service my son was doing. Made my day, heck he made my whole week. Any time I'm feeling a little down I think of that young Marine and my son and I swell with pride.
God Bless the USMC.
Proud father of PFC Jacob Pridgeon
"Nothing brings out the lower traits of human nature like office seeking."
Rutherford B. Hayes
Sgt. Grit as I read the newsletter and saw the boot camp picture of the Marine that graduated on 21 October 83 it brought back memories of a different kind for me. I remembered 23 October 83 not that I could ever forget that day or that part of my life. The thing that brought back even more memories was going to my son Jason's graduation at MCRD San Diego on 29 June 07 to see that everything is as I left it in 1981. The yelling the parade deck and now my son carrying on the tradition of our Marine Corps Family. I'm actually twice as proud because my youngest son is in second phase at MCRD Parris Island as I write this letter. So Semper Fi and keep our family strong OOHRAH. In Solidarity,
Alan D. (Big Al) Opra
National Veterans Advisory Committee,
UAW Region 1 Veterans Council/Chairman
UAW Local 961 Veterans Committee/Member
Non- Commissioned Officers Association/Life Member
Marine Corps Association/Member
Beirut Veterans of America/Life Member
USMC 1981-1986, Semper Fi
Dear Sgt. Grit,
My name is Angela, I am 20 yrs young and live in Texas but originally from the Windy City of Chicago IL. I am the proud girlfriend of a U.S. Marine, LCpl Rodiguez. Upon reading your newsletters with all the amazing stories that people publish in there I came to remember a story that happened to me when I was "down in the dumps" one afternoon while dealing with my very own Marine being deployed. This story took place about a year ago I had just bought my very first car, on my own might I add, and of course problems started to occur, as well as finding out that my mother was in stage 3 of 4 with Ovarian cancer. I had called up a local mechanic and told them I needed a wheel-alignment, I step up an appointment to take my Jeep in and get an estimate. Well, that afternoon in mid- December it was extremely cold for a Texan like me, so of course I was supporting my future husband by wearing my ever so faithful Grit "Loved By a Marine" hoodie that My Marine had bought me before he left, I stepped into the mechanics shop. While standing at the customer service desk waiting for them to come back in from the cold to tell me how much this will cost me on top of my already bad news of the day, an older gentleman walked up to me. At first I was sort of skeptical seeing as me and himself were the only two in the office at the time. He took off his very old and tattered baseball cap and with wide-eyes said to me "Ma'am I know this may come off as strange but is that your Jeep out there with the sticker on it" Assuming it was mine indeed I nodded, with his baseball cap in hand and a tear in his eye he took my hand and said "you are one of the women other women should look up to, you are the reason your Marine WILL come home, If I hadn't had mine to come to, I wouldn't be here talking to you today" He took a step back with a stiffened back and with hand to head he faced me with a salute. At that moment I knew as he put back on his baseball cap, only to get a glimpse of his U.S. Marine Corps Veterans Embroidered on that old hat, He himself had once came home to a women like myself, that waited for him. From that moment to this very day, the vision of that man had stuck in my head and probably will for the rest of my life His eyes gave a story of bravery and depth. He gave me the strength and courage to keep on keeping on til the day I saw the old familiar smile of my Marine running into my arms. Thank you for all you have done and all you continue to do!
With best Regard,
"There are some that only employ words for the purpose of disguising their thoughts."
Good Morning Sgt. Grit.
On the subject of IWO JIMA, our committee "The Honoring All Veterans Memorial" is building a memorial in Richfield, Minnesota. The first part is scheduled to be completed next July on the 100th birthday of Richfield. An image of Charles "Chuck" Lindberg will be sculpted and caste in bronze that will be the focal point of the memorial. Mr. Lindberg who was the last survivor of the first flag-raiser passed away on June 24th two days from his 87 birthday. Mr. Lindberg, however, was able to see the dedication of the rock on Memorial Day May 28th. We would like to see you, your friends and your customers names engraved on the memorial. Please check out our web site at www.richfieldveteransmemorial.org.
I need some help from your members. A great many years ago, 1961, while in MCRD PI, and at Camp Geiger ITR, during chow call, I remember placed in the center of each dining table in the Mess Halls, there was a placard holder and (I think) a non- denominational "Grace" prayer. I seem to remember words like "We thank thee for this non-day meal, as we speak the grace we feel..." I would like to have a copy of that blessing if any of your folks have, or remember it. Thanks for the time.
RC Bailey Jr (61-81)
"I should like to adopt political doctrines that would live longer than my dog."
Early morning as the sun starts to rise over the golden hay fields a man aged beyond his years slowly walks towards the well-manicured plot in a small New England cemetery located in Limington, Maine. The stone, surrounded by the beauty of many flowers bare the names of three little girls. Three roses adorn the top of the dark marble with an inscription that reads "Cousins Forever Young In God's Loving Care."
One can only wonder who were these precious children? What could have happened on that tragic winter day? As a career Marine the call of duty often kept me far from home and the ones I loved so dearly. Yet on a cold winter night during 1975 I started my long journey east towards that little New England town, for a message received stated my child was about to be born. To this day I warmly remember my long journey east stopping every hour and phoning home to insure all was well. It was during one of these frequent calls that I was informed my daughter was born and she was healthy and doing fine.
The joys of watching her learn to crawl, walk and talk seem like only yesterday's happiness. A happy child Misty Renee' was so full of life that it often reached out and touched all those that came in contact with her. Over the years many of the Marines that came to know Misty were quick to add yet another nickname to her already lengthy list. For her long golden curly blond hair a Marine from Georgia quickly added "Cotton Top," another was "Daddy's little Frenchman.
After twenty years of being away even I was longing to return home to be near my family once again. For this I decided that I would finally hang up my uniform on July 1, 1991. Saying so long to my Marine family was a very hard thing to do. After years of endless traveling, as I, Misty Renee' was eager to be home once and for all and to be beside the family she so longed for.
Soon after my retirement of July 1, 1991, I found myself battling that retched feeling of being alone and forgotten. To say the least I was totally lost without our Corps. Daily I prayed for the Colonel to call ordering me back to base, unfortunately that call was never to be. In short time I found myself once again in uniform, now as a member of the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office.
Returning from duty on that tragic day, a note awaited me on the kitchen table that read "Dear Dad: Have gone shopping with Michaela and Jessica will be home by 9 P.M. Love Misty Renee." After school that day sixteen year old Misty Renee' had gone shopping with her two cousins, seventeen year old Michaela Lee and fifteen year old Jessica Ann.
With 2100 hours coming and going my heart started racing. No headlights coming up the long dark driveway, not even a call. You start thinking the worst but pray for their safe return. Many phone calls were made to local police dispatchers and hospitals, nothing reported, thank God! Surly they only broke down, they will call soon or walk in the door laughing about another adventure.
As the wife and I viewed the late news update at 10 that evening the Newscaster solemnly reported, "At 8:26 this evening a two car accident claimed the lives of three teenage girls on the Whites Bridge Road in Standish, names pending notification of their families." My stomach hurt, my head wanted to explode. There is no way this can be our girls; they only went to the Mall.
Racing to the local Police Station I was soon confronted by a fellow Officer that quietly said, "I am sorry, " no other words were needed. My world collapsed then and there. This to me seemed like a terrible nightmare, please Lord wake me up; don't let it be true;
Leading the long procession, during the twenty six mile journey from Saint Joseph's Cathedral to that little plot of ground over looking the golden hay fields, were our little girls. The trip covering five towns was a very solemn trip, one that saw many people beside the road. Folks taking their hats off and children waiving a final fair well to Jessie, Misty Renee' and Michaela.
Arriving to their final resting spot our girls were placed side by side atop of the hill. Walking the small hill to their final place of rest was a battle in it self. I remember my legs shaking, wondering if ever I would make it to the top. As our little girls were being laid to rest I realized I had been wrong, for not once had I ever been alone, forgotten or without camaraderie and Esprit de Corps. As I looked around I saw the familiar faces of many fellow Marines who had mad a very long trip to be by our sides. As always the United States Marine Corps had rose to the occasion, helping a fellow Marine that was down hard.
Accompanied with my trusted partner, Canine Apollo, I continue to patrol the very same roads that claimed the lives of our little girls. Responding to accidents such as I have described, I fight to find words of wisdom as I make notifications to parents. There are no words that will ease the pain, I can only hold them and pray that God will comfort them.
Larry F. Cote Sr
MSgt USMC Ret
President Reagan Quote Bumper Sticker
Father of a Marine Coin
God Bless America
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