"Every Marine should look like a Marine. But a Marine looks like a Marine when he's got a bayonet stuck in the enemy's chest."
Gen. Robert Magnus, Assistant Commandant
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Dear Sgt. Grit,
I enjoy receiving your newsletters. My son recently left for San Diego boot camp for the United States Marine Corps. His job he signed for "Security Forces Presidential Guard". My son, Kris was very set on this specific job and took the ASVAB 3 times in order to achieve his goal. Although we were reluctant with his decision of joining the military, it was his decision.
The first few weeks of boot camp it was hard reading his letters, he was homesick and doing a lot of crying. He realized all he had been given and all he had taken for granted. He questioned his decision of joining the Marines in his first letter I received. I wrote back positive encouraged letters every day, but I also wondered if his choice had been a mistake until I received I think it was his 3rd or 4th letter he wrote, (not yet into the 2nd phase) of boot camp, it became clear to me after reading it, his decision was the right one. He wrote in his letter; "they pay tribute to a fallen Marine every night mom and every night it gives him chills." He continued in his letter he knows that his decision is the right one and each night they pay tribute it has reinforced his decision and he can not wait to earn the title of a United States Marine. His letters are getting better and better as time goes on. We are looking forward to his graduation October 12th, 2007.
I would like to say, I have a lot of respect for all members in each branch of the military and would like to say thank you to all those that have served and to those that are serving, THANK YOU.
Proud mother of a (almost) U.S. Marine
"The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave."
I want to share the following from the book, DUTY, by Bob Greene, about Col. Paul Tibbetts, USAF, pilot of the ENOLA GRAY, the B-29 which dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, in August, 1945, thus saving the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans and Japanese as well. Greene wrote:
"There was nothing else in his life that meant quite as much to him. Nothing that came before, nothing that came after, ever seemed to contain the same power....because he was a man among men."
"And when you came back home after the war, it is never the same...and you go on, and the war is over, and you become the person you will be the rest of your life. But inside of you, the time when you were among men among men will never go away."
Submitted by: Joe Baldyga, USMC: 1944-1956, TSgt, member Marine Corps League and China Marine Association.
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"The man who loves other countries as much as his own stands on a lever with the man who loves other women as much as he loves his own wife."
Fellow Marines, I felt compelled to write in today because of events that took place yesterday, My son is due to leave for Parris Island in a few day's and has been in DEP, One of the requirements is that he PT with the other potential Recruits a couple of day's a week. My wife had dropped him off at the local Recruiting station and called me and asked if I would pick him up after work which is on my way home. So after work I went into the station to find that they had not started the PT yet so I stuck around to watch what was going on. They started with Marine Corps pull ups. Before I get into that I need to say that the Pull up bar is right inside the front door to the recruiter station which typically has the other branches of services housed as well. So they begin the pull up's, each man starting by taking turns doing 1 pull up and then progressing onward and upward, What amazed me was the amount of support they gave each other as the pull ups got progressively harder,
These are kids that probably for the first time in there lives that are showing concern for another human being and meaning it. While this fine example of Esprit De Corps was being displayed in a rather loud boisterous manner the other branches of services were walking through in and around the mob of poolies doing the pull ups. One of the observations I made was when a Navy potential recruit stopped as he approached the mob doing the pull ups and actually looked afraid, Afraid to the point he turned around and walked back into the Navy recruiters office, The CPO that may have been this young mans recruiter walked him through the mob, Just as they reached the door outside one of the poolies yelled come on man join the Marines, " Do you really want to be called a seaman the rest of your life" And I am sure this young man felt about an inch tall after the rest of the poolies decided to berate him for enlisting in the Navy. In my experience it does not matter where you go, If there is a group of Marines in the building everyone will know. Unless they have entered the dwelling in tactical mode.
As the rest of the civilians and other braches were meandering through the area I noticed that many were shaking there heads and had half grins on there faces as the PT and encouragements continued. This situation confirms for me something that I have been told many times by different people, While these people grin and shake there heads, Deep down they all admire and look on in awe when a Marine steps up in his dress blues. To me the Marines have this effect because of a bond that each Marine shares with past, Present, and future Marines to come. What I observed at the recruit station reaffirms for me that while some things have changed, the core values for the Marine Corps have not. Both of my sons are in the Marine Corps now and I am confident that they both made the right decision.
Once a Corporal, Always a Marine.
To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.
My Nephew is in the Marines! He sent these pictures to me. The first one gives me chills. He's the Marine on the right.
My son, CPL R J Hernandez, currently stationed at Miramar Air Station has been in the Marines a little over four years. He has been to Iraq twice and is getting ready to deploy again sometime in October or November. Needless to say, his father and I are very proud of him. He has just informed us that he enjoys being a Marine so much that he has decided to re-enlist. He is the youngest of my four children and his brothers and sister are also very proud of him.
I am a member of the Blue Star mothers in San Antonio and am always very proud to introduce myself to the new members as a MARINE MOM. I wear a Marine mom t-shirt whenever I can.
May all our troops remain safe and know that they are in our prayers.
E E Carranza
On August 9th 2007, my sons Marine 3/6 unit came home from Iraq, it was the 2nd tour for them, the first tour was the Anbar province on the Syrian border, we made the trip down to see the return of these heroes, we are from Michigan, it was the 2nd trip to Camp Lejeune for us, after we greeted our son CPL David Somerville, and his friend and roommate CPL Chad Lamb, I must have spent the next hour walking up to as many Marines as possible to say welcome home and thank you, by the way the temperatures that day 115 degrees.
My son David and Chad received the (NAM) medal NAVY AND MARINE, we still don't know what they did, but we do know that both of them had volunteered to be coptered around Iraq to pick up the belongings of fallen Marines, well over 70 missions, I wanted to share this with your readers, we are so proud of all of our men and women, to all the members of the 3/6, welcome home, you are all heroes to all of us, SEMPER FI. JOB WELL DONE
P.S. Here is a picture of Cpl David Somerville (left) and Cpl Chad Lamb (right)
"The mere absence of war is not peace."
John F. Kennedy
I have two sons, both in the military and both on active duty. The oldest is a Naval Officer serving in the Persian Gulf on a mine sweeping ship and the younger one is a Marine who just started his first tour in Iraq about 24 hours ago. He's a machine gunner in the 3/3 Weapons division. Ironically both sons joined the military on the same day without the other one knowing. It's been about 14 months now since they joined the military and boy what a year it has been.
I cannot explain all the emotions I've experienced over this past year.
It begins with:
the announcement of their decision,
then going to their signing;
then counting the days to boot camp,
then the long drive to the boot camp drop off and seeing that last look of a scared little boy's face,
then dad crying all the way home,
then you realize he's all alone and you've lost all contact with him,
then you wonder how he's doing and wonder what the "h&ll" is going on,
then the boot camp letters start to arrive, and you think what in God's name are they doing to my child,
then you want to drive to San Diego and take him home,
then there is defining moment, a moment in one of those letters that you start to see a transformation of that little boy into a young man,
then your heart fills with pride and you get excited about graduation which is probably one of the proudest moments in my life.
His graduation was my first formal military graduation and boy what an experience. Everyone should experience it. It's all so overwhelming. Your emotions are about to explode. Here is your son whom you haven't seen in 12 weeks and he's just 30 feet away from you but you cannot run out there and hug him until the brass does their speech which no one listens too anyway, then finally they are dismissed. And now he's a MARINE. And one of the proudest moment as a parent
How do you explain that experience to someone unless their child is a Marine?
Today I am going through a whole new set of emotions now that both my sons are deployed and at war. I cannot tell you the roller coaster ride my heart and emotions are going through. From one minute to the next you think about where they are at and what they are doing. My only strength is that I know they are both well trained professional soldiers whose backs are covered by their buddies and the rest is covered by God's hands.
I also know that I am experiencing the same emotions that parents have felt over the centuries for every war that took place no matter whose side they were on.
Never forget the United States of America is a VOLUNTEER military.
Brian J. Schmidtberger
Proud double blue star dad
"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway."
"It is impossible for the man of pious reflection not to perceive in it [the Constitution] a finger of that Almighty hand which has been so frequently and signally extended to our relief in the critical stages of the revolution."
Two branches met in the middle.
My husband, GySgt Thomas Reichard has been a US Marine all his life. Tough, strict, hard-core all the way. Well raising three boys in the military lifestyle and being married to one, is rough on a mom. But the boys soon obtained their sweet revenge when dad was TAD in Germany (just after 9/11). Both our oldest sons joined the Army. Dad was livid. As a mother and wife, it was difficult to agree with either side which branch was the best. Who is the roughest in all this....mom!
Now six years later. We are proud of all the family Army and Marine Corps alike. Dad, GySgt Reichard and middle son, Sgt Patrick Trujillo are both currently in country. This is the second tour for both. The oldest son, Sgt Ron Trujillo is stationed close to home in Barstow, CA. His oldest son is now 17 and planning to join the service....the question is which branch?
We love our country, our military and our freedoms. Many Americans take for granted these freedoms, servicemen/women don't. They defend them with their lives and with the lives of their families left behind. Take the time to thank a serviceman/woman for their dedication, commitment, loyalty and sacrifice. I do. God Bless
Blue Star Wife and Mother
Yucca Valley/29 Palms, CA
"Now I know what a statesman is; he's a dead politician. We need more statesmen."
Dear Sgt. Grit.
Wanted to take a moment and add to Brian Porter's remarks in the last newsletter. I am a former Corporal, 0311 from Kilo 3/8 back in 1980 through 1984. Received my honorable and raised a family. Lost two friends in the WTC attacks and was never so sad in all my life as I was on 9/11. I let 6 months go by while I tried to decide what to do. Well, nearing 40 I tried to get back in the Marines, but I missed the age cut off. So I was pretty upset about that, until I saw an ad for the Navy Reserve two years later. Seems the age limit was three years older then the Corps'.
Joined them and was able to become a Seabee and came in as an E-3. In 2006 I was deployed to Kuwait and Afghanistan and came home in November. I am now a Petty Officer 2nd Class and have just re-enlisted for 6 more years! Not bad for an OLD grunt. Point is when I got my chance I jumped at it and do not regret it one second. My family has been a great source of support and love. Although they would have liked if I just stayed a Former Marine. But they do understand that this was something I had to do. Thank you for your time?
SEMPER FI and CAN DO
CE2 (SCW) NMCB-21
NAES Lakehurst, NJ
I found this on myspace! my wife wrote it to some little tag chaser going after one of our friends. Gentle men this is what our wives think about us. Or maybe I'm just a sap.
I enjoy being married to the wonderful man that I am married to, not the Marines. It is hard to be a Marines wife. You'll never truly experience what it takes until you have to do it. It means them not being there sometimes when you need them the most. Them coming home at random hours. Them not being home when they said they would and they can't call you and tell you that they'll be late. Deployments... 6 or more months at a time, (A deployment is yet to happen to us but it's a reality) Being in the Corps for them holds a great deal of pride, and it has rules that honestly don't make sense. Being in the Corps gives them manners but also at the same time leaves them rough around the edges. The term "married to the Corps" doesn't mean what it sounds like. You are married to the man who has the Corps values, traditions and mentality so ingrained in them that they are a lot the same at work as they are at home with you. It's rough sometimes, but the man has to be worth it. Us wives don't do it for the name "Marine" (the wives that are worth anything anyway), we do it because we have to for the man that we love. We don't enjoy how rough it is, it's a sacrifice. Marines are not status symbols, they are something rare, to be honored and appreciated for who they are and the sacrifice they are willing to make for our country. They say that the hardest job in the Corps is being a Marine Corps Wife. They have the action, we sit home and worry about them having the action. If you do marry him, be warned, it is not easy, and they need you to be true to them, and support them. Don't be like so many other wives. The divorce rate is 80% in the Corps. That's the highest of any military services. It's not easy. Be careful, and most of all, be careful with him.
PFC Bricelyn Towne Matsg-21 Ams-2 AUG 07
"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded s&xual and emotional maturity."
My son was just deployed to Iraq 3 weeks ago for the first time he joined when he was 19 and he just turned 20. At first I was so scared when he left to boot camp last August, but now I'm one proud U.S. Marine Mom. PFC. Harrison is not only over there for me he is over there for all of us, and I could never ask for a better son, he joined the best of them all a Marine.
I recently attended a showing of "Superman 3," here at LSA Anaconda. We have a large auditorium we use for movies, as well as memorial services and other large gatherings. As is the custom back in the States, we stood and snapped to attention when the National Anthem began before the main feature. All was going as planned until about three-quarters of the way through the National Anthem the music stopped.
Now, what would happen if this occurred with 1,000 18-22 year- olds back in the States? I imagine there would be hoots, catcalls, laughter, a few rude comments; and everyone would sit down and call for a movie. Of course, that is, if they had stood for the National Anthem in the first place.
Here, the 1,000 Marines continued to stand at attention, eyes fixed forward. The music started again. The Marines continued to quietly stand at attention. And again, at the same point, the music stopped.
What would you expect to happen? Even here I would imagine laughter, as everyone finally sat down and expected the movie to start.
But here, you could have heard a pin drop. Every Marine continued to stand at attention. Suddenly there was a lone voice, then a dozen, and quickly the room was filled with the voices of a thousand Marines, finishing where the recording left off:
"And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?"
It was the most inspiring moment I have had here in Iraq. I wanted you to know what kind of Marines are serving you here.
Chaplain Jim Higgins on 5/14/07.
In Iraq, north of Baghdad.
"You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips."
I enjoyed reading the comments in the last newsletter by Joyce Miller Roethler. I too served as a Woman Marine (WM as we were called then) from 1969 - 1971.
It is true that all women were volunteers to the Corps (as our DI's liked to remind us each time we complained!) And we are just as proud of our service as the men are. Our mission, at that time of the Vietnam "police action", was to free a man to fight.
I too salute the women of the Corps that proceeded me and those that have followed.
Peggy Blum Brigham, Sgt of Marines
Re.: The "Tell It To The Marines" Poster Tell the s.o.b. who thinks it's racist: "Take an aeronautical intercourse on a motivating piece of pastry!" Semper Fi !
I'd always heard that one as: May you indulge in aerial copulation with a circumambulating toroid.
"If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy."
My father proudly served for over 20 years in the Corps. He is a Marine through and through. We had a tradition to say Semper Fi every time we saw a Marine symbol, which my husband and I have continued (and will teach my newborn son) since my dad passed. My mother, a hard core Marine wife, was looking for a jacket to replace the one that is, well, rather used! Ironically, I found the Red/Gold US Marines Jacket that my father had bought well over 15 years ago with absolutely no changes! My mom was in heaven when she opened the box to find the exact same jacket she was looking to replace.
When I ordered the jacket, I was unaware of the Sgt. Grit Newsletter. I explain to my husband that what we hear on the news is nothing to what is going on. Being a "brat" when my dad was in the Gulf, I remember quite clearly that nothing is what it seams. When the news did cover what was really going on, the idiot newsman gave coordinates where the Marines were located. My mom and I always watched to see Dad or a dear "family member" we knew. My husband wasn't in a military family and was influenced by the news as well. That was until I started reading letters in my email to him. Thank you!
In response to the Sergeant from Texas, I suggest to print Huns- From Wikipedia and tape the reference under the poster. For those who are ignorant (that was even including myself until I looked up the history) to know EXACTLY what HUN means. It will state the history to show there is no racial issues. As for the word kill... death comes to us all. How we choose is another story... "I'd rather die on my feet than live on my knees..."
"On July 27, 1900, during the Boxer Rebellion in China, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany gave the order to "make the name 'German' remembered in China for a thousand years, so that no Chinaman will ever again dare to even squint at a German". This speech, wherein Kaiser Wilhelm invoked the memory of the 5th-century Huns, coupled with the Pickelhaube or spiked helmet worn by German forces until 1916, that was reminiscent of ancient Hun (and Hungarian) helmets, gave rise to later English use of the term for the German enemy during World War I. This usage was reinforced by Allied propaganda throughout the war, and many pilots of the RFC referred to their foe as "The Hun". The usage resurfaced during World War II. (Huns-From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)"
My heart to those who have served, are serving, and will serve, and those who stand beside them.
Amber in Maine with vintage posters of Rosie the Riveter in her kitchen and computer room.
"The merit of our Constitution was, not that it promotes democracy, but checks it."
I was in the service in the early 80's. I am now in my late 40's and still remember being a Marine. I wouldn't trade it for anything. I went in when I was 18. Learned to grow up really quick! Best move I ever made.
Mary L Ritchey
Injured Marine link....good video
Your company is the only one I have come across that has such a large amount of items for Corpsman.
I am a Viet Nam Vet and believe it or not in January 2003 I was mobilized and was assigned to the 2nd MEF at the age of 52. My claim to frame is I was there for the invasion of Iraq. And I am proud of the fact that my Marines came back with all their fingers and toes, cause ole Dad made sure the boys watched me and did what I did. It worked. You know young Marines, they like to see where the bullets are coming from. I grabbed a lot of them by the seat of the pants and pulled them down.
We are all familiar with the slogan The Few The Proud The Marines. I came up with one for Corpsman that serve with Marines. The Fewer, The Just as Proud, The FMF Corpsman.
"We are apt to be deluded into false security by political catch-words, devised to flatter rather than instruct."
James A. Garfield
I have watched with interest the conversations of the use of Semper-Fi by someone who had not been a Marine. I just want to share this incident that happened to me yesterday at the Barbara Davis Diabetes research center in Denver CO.
I was sitting with my grandson who is 5 and is diabetic, when a man in his 40's came up in a wheelchair. It was clear that he could not walk as his feet and legs were very shaky from a nervous disorder. My grandson was playing with a little boy of about 2 and was playing cooking with some toy's provided. The 2 yr. old offered this man some of his "food" and the man thanked him and said "Semper-Fi".
I asked if he had been a Marine and he said no. I was thinking of the idea of using this term without ever serving. Then He asked me if I was a former Marine. When I answered in the positive, he got teary and excited and grabbed my hand and thanked me for making it possible for him to have the freedom and the opportunities that he has in this day and age. He expressed to me that the USMC was the nearest thing to his heart and that if he had been healthy that he would have been a Marine. I knew that this came from his heart by his emotions. NOW, how could I or any Marine condemn this very grateful person of using the term "Semper-Fi" in a conversation? I now that prior to this incident I would have taken the person to task if they were not a Marine, but in this instance I just could not.
Thanks for listening.
USMC "66" thru "68"
"When they call the roll in the Senate, the senators do not know whether to answer 'present' or 'guilty'."
Monday, I set out early not knowing for sure where exactly the services were to be held; not knowing whether protestors would be outside. The Patriot Guard was in attendance; holding our American flag upright quietly as we all walked by.
Marine Alex is not a "Casualty of War" although upon his signature on the line to serve our country, he earned the medal given to all who sign during this "War on Terrorism".
There is no draft so those that serve go in with an attitude of wanting to make a difference. They may not go in with the attitude of patriotism for our country, but as they make their goals in Boot camp or Basic training, the individual accomplishments set in. The love of our family and country grow.
Marine Alex graduated high school in 2005, already looking forward to being a Marine. He is like everyone else's son or daughter, he just chose Military instead of college or a civilian job. The biggest fear we as military parents have, was him going off to war.
Pictures of him growing up were made into collages; a video was shown during the ceremony. At the request of the parents, with words typed out for all in attendance, the Marine Hymn was sung.
Upon graduation from MCRD-San Diego, he was one of the chosen few to serve in the "President's Special Guard". You may have seen him if you attended the Friday night service held in the lawn of the Marine Commandant's home at 8th and I. He was one with the "Silent Drill".
I watched with respect as the Marine Honor Guard "silently" walked holding Marine Alex ever so gently in his casket. They had flown in from Washington, D.C. to show their respect for the last time to their "brother". They folded our American Flag ever so slowly, to remind us of our Nation that is kept free by the service of these men and women. The same Marine who has stood high atop the 8th and I Barracks, in the dark with one spotlight beaming, played "Taps".
He left this earth like any other young person may, attending college or heading to work. At the height of his life, being a Marine with earned respect that may take 25 years of community service for most of us; ended in a motorcycle accident at the young age of 20.
Marine Mom Karen
"Restlessness and discontent are the first necessities of progress."
Dear Sgt Grit,
Hey Sergeant from Texas, here's a Sergeant Major from Texas who would like to recommend you pass your story about that dumb sh.t supervisor of yours to Bill O'Reilly of Fox News at: Oreillyfactor.com. This fellow will tackle your story and the country will know about your supervisor in no time at all. That sup' ought to convince you the Marine Corps would have made a better career for you. You won't find better people to work with and hang out with then our own Marines. Good luck to you and thanks for upholding the Marine traditions John Basilone and Guy Gabaldon laid out for us. Your generation has made my generation of Marines (1956-1982) proud as can be of you all.
Semper Fi Marine!
I'm a Marine Mom of two Marines and very proud of it. My two youngest sons are currently serving. My son Jerry, who is a Cpl. will be on terminal leave as of next Friday, Aug. 17. He will be leaving Cherry Point to come home to Schenectady, NY. He told me he has mixed emotions about leaving, but is excited about coming home. His younger brother Johnny, who's a Pfc. is currently on the LSD the USS Gunston Hall headed to the Middle East. He is a data Marine and keeps in touch by email so we know where he is and how he's doing.
As a Marine Mom I wear pins and necklaces honoring my sons everyday. I love wearing my gold Eagle, Globe and Anchor charm on a chain around my neck. People who are familiar with it ask who I wear it for and I proudly respond. I have a two blue star banner on my front door, and believe me I would love to keep those two blue stars up, but I know I will only have one son in the Corps after next weekend. Once a Marine, always a Marine that's how I think. I will always honor the Corps with stickers on my car and jewelry to wear.
My dad is a Marine veteran of WWII and loves to hear about his grandsons. I hear stories now that I never heard growing up. I never knew why me and my siblings always had a lot of respect for our dad. I think I know now why. He was a sergeant and a kind of authority seemed to surround him. God bless the Marines and keep them safe always in everything they do.
Thanks for the letters.
Marine Mom, Jean
"To live in the presence of great truths and eternal laws, to be led by permanent ideals-that is what keeps a man patient when the world ignores him, and calm and unspoiled when the world praises him."
Honore De Balzac
Welcome Home 3/6 Kilo Co.
After 7 months of dodging bullets and mortars and fighting in the hot heat, your service to this country is now complete. You have done your duty as men and Marines once again and although I know your service is not yet done, I want to Thank You and Welcome You Home. My heart goes out to those who did not make the return trip home but let's remember them and honor them for the sacrifice they made. I'm glad you made it back safe and sound LCpl Almanza. Looking forward to you coming home on leave! Thank you Lord for keeping James and his Company safe and bringing them home!
Love and Support,
Proud Marine Friend...Krystle
Thank you for all you do and have done. My grandson is a Marine (a new Marine for one year now). You know when he first enlisted, I thought "why are you doing this when we are at war", you are only 19 and have your whole life in front of you? But he is happier than he has been in a very long time and he is so very proud to be a Marine and I am very proud of him and very proud he choose the Marine Corps. He will be going to Iraq the end of September/first of October. We pray for all our military and want them to come home soon. Again, thanks for all you do. Have a wonderful day!
"It is a happy circumstance in human affairs that evils which are not cured in one way will cure themselves in some other."
I May Be Harmless Coin
Attitude is Everything Coin
God Bless America!
Welcome Home Marine, Job Well Done.
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Sgt Grit Newsletter VS AmericanCourage Newsletter:
You receive both (alternating weeks)...so what's the difference?
In short...The AmericanCourage Newsletter has MORE family member stories, "support the Corps" stories from Marines, and patriotic quotes. It started after the events of Sept. 11, 2001 to give supporters of the Marine Corps and American patriots a voice.
The Sgt Grit Newsletter is HARD CORPS Marine! If you are interested in topics that delve into Marine Corps history, Corps Stories, Boot Camp and other things that "only a Marine might understand" - then be sure to read the Sgt Grit Newsletter (every other week) - More about the newsletter