Sgt Grit,
A quick story about the continuing service that the Marine Corps provides.

A friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer and had surgery and then went to chemo. As you can imagine she lost all of her hair due to the chemo. A friend of hers bought her a bunch of hats to wear and at the same time put together a care package to go the Marines in Iraq. The lady mixed up the packages and sent the one full of hats to Iraq and the care package to our friend with no hair.

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The package full of hats had a letter in it explaining why she was giving her hats. The unit that got the package, 3rd Bn 11th Marines, Battery K, sent her a wonderful package with an Iraq flag in it signed by the whole group, a picture of the unit and a very nice letter. It is truly a shame that the American public never hears about these kind of things. Everyone here at our work was teared up as we saw the wonderful thoughts and gifts from our men overseas. Again the Corps comes through. Bravo Zulu.
Doc Higgins


"Forget the briefings from generals, the intelligence evaluations and the Pentagon status reports. There is a handy indicator for whether the war in Iraq is going well-its relative absence from the front pages."
Rich Lowry


Dear Sgt Grit,
I just want to let you know how wonderful my parents are. We moved to California in 1968. That's when we took in our 1st Marine. My dad was selling a car, which was around Thanksgiving time. My mom of course told him that he was to come for Thanksgiving. He ask if he could bring a friend or two, of course my parents said yes. From that time on it seem that we where having young Marines over for Thanksgiving & Christmas every year.

Time went by and my sisters and I all grew up, but that still didn't stop the Marines from coming over. My Parents have 4 girls and each one of us married a United States Marine.

My son now 25 is a Unites States Marine and his wife I would just like to tell my parents thank you, And also let everyone out their know that It's Thank giving time and lets not for get our Marines. If you know or see a Marine alone at this time invite Him/Her over let them fell welcome and thanked for all that they do for us.
thank you,
Merry Cubbage
Gysgt Timothy Cubbage(RET)


Send me your Christmas stories. They make a great newsletter this time of year.
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit
info@grunt.com


future Marine This is a photo I took of our first grandson (sent with permission). He was born October 9 to SSgt and Mrs Jeremy Messerschmidt. I think his daddy shows a whole new meaning to "the proud" He was 8.5 years of trying and two trips to Iraq before he arrived. I am so proud of my son and his wife, and of our new grandson. What these families give up and the amazing strength they show is a blessing to all of us. The wives and the families stand behind these brave men and support them 100%.

Lyn Christian
© A Design By Lyn
http://www.adesignbylyn.com/home.htm

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Dear Sgt Grit.

This is the first week that I am receiving your newsletter and I would like to share with you just how I happened to learn about it. I work at part time job at a popular restaurant in Northern Virginia. On Monday Nov. 12, an elderly gentleman came in with his wife to have dinner. Being the proud girlfriend of a United States Marine, I quickly noticed his hat, which read "Retired Marine," and wished him a Happy Belated Birthday. The man smiled immediately and said thank you. As the night went on, I stopped by his table a few times and learned so much about him. He was retired First Lt. Gerald Francis Merna, and he proudly shared his stories and even pictures of his 22 years in the Corps with me! He had served in Korea and Vietnam. His wife of 57 years sat in the booth with him and her eyes sparkled with pride in her Marine.

Mr. Merna told me about your site and your newsletter. He and his wife also shared their story of love and life, and how to deal with a spouse in the Corps. They brought tears to my eyes, as well as several of my co-workers and even a couple of patrons. We had a free dessert sent to his table, with "Semper Fi" written around the edges. He made me so proud of the USMC, but especially MY Marine. My Marine, who has been on 5 tours overseas, who has risked his life time and time again so that we may sleep peacefully each night. My Marine, who sometimes forgets how much he has accomplished.

So I wanted to send out a thank you to all of our Marines out there. To Mr. Merna for being so open with his stories and for serving our great country for 22 years. To my boyfriend, Sgt. Beach, for his courage during all those tours, and for wanting to re-enlist. And to all of the other Marines I know and don't know. I thank you all for your dedication and tenacity, for your courage and strength. We appreciate you more than you will ever know. We think about you everyday, and keep you in our prayers. You are never alone, and you should never forget that. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you.

Kathy,
PROUD Girlfriend of a UNITED STATES MARINE.
Sgt. Beach


"Our ancestors understood sacrifice and adversity. In them it produced character and virtue. Today, the mere thought of such things breeds resentment in us. We see pleasure and things as rights. To suggest 'hard times' or sacrifice is viewed as a violation of such rights."
Cal Thomas


I write this small letter to let American's know that I have a patriotic wife. On Veterans Day she was watching the news and began to cry. When I asked her why?. She stated "People treat our troops lower than TV stars and athletes. She remembers the time that I served in the Corps and she remembers every Marine Corps Birthday and Veterans Day. God bless my wife and our troops, Semper Fi.

Cpl S Duckworth
HQ Co 6th Mar
1995-2000

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I have been reading a lot of good stories in the Sgt Grit newsletter. Many Marine moms are showing there pride for there Marine kids.

I would just like to share my Marine mom to all in a short story.

You see, I was at the ripe old age of 17, just out of High School and I was one true Maggot! I thought I was "The Man" and knew everything. My mom would use a switch on me and a belt when needed as a kid.

I was even a little disrespectful at times. When The Marine recruiter came to our home to get mom and dads permission for me to join the Marine Corps. I remember mom saying to the recruiter. "maybe you can do something for him" (me) I remember the recruiter answering her in a tall, bold voice. He told her "We will"

When I returned home after Boot camp in Winter Greens, I remember the look of joy on mom and dad's face.

Well, the moral of this story is, Mom passed away on 10, November 2004. Yep the birthday of our beloved Marine Corps. On her death bed she cried and wanted my forgiveness for having to discipline me as a kid.

My goodness, I told her, It didn't hurt me one bit, and I thanked her for her permission to join the Corps. I am proud to have come back to you as a real Man! She told me soon she would be going to meet my dad, and she could just imagine all the Marines already there in there dress blues to meet her. She then told me she would tell them all that I love them and thank them for there service. Later that evening she passed.

Now, all Marines that read this, love and respect your Marine mom to the highest...May God Bless all Marine Mom's and dad's
Semper Fi Corporal RVC 64-68


"The founding principle of the republic is that the American people are perfectly capable of making life better for themselves, and all you wannabe-king types need to do is get out of the way. That goes for the Canadian people, and the British people, and the Spanish people, and pretty much any other reasonably competent citizenry."
Mark Steyn


Sgt Grit
dress blues baby Sad occasion when I last got into my blues to attend the funeral of my best friend who was also a DI at SDiego. He was in Iraq as a civilian contractor with DynCorp and one year later he was home and dead of a fast moving cancer.

My son Chase was 5 months old at the time of this picture.

Thought you'd enjoy seeing the blues bib put to good use. A lot of what he wears comes from your supply shack. Semper Fi and Happy Holidays.
Sgt Rocky Kemp

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I can remember when I was in high school and President Johnson made the commitment to send the first 15,000 Marines to Vietnam. At the time I was in my senior year and really didn't know what my future would be after graduation, not even contemplating going to Vietnam. At the time no one really knew what Vietnam was all about and a lot of talk was going around about running off to Canada or Mexico and even Sweden.

Having five brothers, and me being in the middle of the pack, I was ripe to be called up. I went and passed my pre-induction physical and waited to be called. One morning I got up and decided to enlist in the Corps. Telling my parents was another story when I got home. My mom was shocked and confused, but also very proud. She was also very worried. I don't want to even say what my father thought about what I had done.

Why did I join? Was it the dress blue uniform? The closest I got to dress blues was the "dickey" they tied around us for boot portraits. I told them that if I waited I would most likely be drafted into the Army and if I were to be killed, my body may not be recovered. I later found out first hand how right I was about making that statement.

Anyway the point I'm trying to make is for you parents of Marines to always and I mean always be proud of your Marine son or daughter. By reading this fine newsletter I can tell that you all are. Mine were, even though my dad had a funny way of showing it. We didn't have the technology at that time whereby mothers could say how proud they are of their Marine. I'll have to say, I don't know if my mom would have gone as far as getting a tattoo. Like they say, times have changed and whatever floats your boat.

By reading what moms have to say really makes me think at 60, the stress I put my parents through by voluntarily extending my tours of duty. How disappointed they must have been when I wrote and told them I wouldn't be coming home when they expected.

Was I young and stupid? Many at the time thought so. I considered myself patriotic as our young men and women of today do. Forty-one years later I'll get all kinds of questions about how Vietnam was like from the very same people who dodged going there. They seem to think there was a certain mystique about the whole experience. I just tell them they had their chance to go and leave it at that.

Moms, many of your sons and daughters will not come home the same as when they left, but always stick by them and ALWAYS be proud that they will forever be MARINES.

Semper Fi!
Joseph Alvino, Sgt., USMC


Sgt. Grit,
moto tat Just got my first "moto" tattoo. Four other Marines and myself decided to "get some" this past weekend - 3 of us graduated Recruit Training on the same day, 21 Dec 06. OORAH!

Semper Fidelis,
Stephanie Gobrecht
Corporal
United States Marine Corps.

EARNED. NEVER GIVEN.

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I think back to those years of the late 70's and early 80's. There was the Fuji Fire, the Beirut bombing, and Grenada. I was young and crazy and proud to be a part of the USMC. Now, approaching 50, I look around and see a new generation. Stephen Seuver, Brian Loose, and Jonathon Vanholder have taken my place. Young men who could have done something else...but they chose the hard road. May God bless them. Brian is in Iraq now. Stephen is soon to go. Jonathon just finished boot camp. I pray for them all each day.

Sometimes I fear for America. There are SO many who are ingrates, unthankful for what they have. They do not appreciate the freedoms we enjoy. Yet, I see hope for America in these young men who have taken up the mantle of Marine.

Americans need to understand that there is a LARGE segment of the world's population that are h&ll-bent on taking away our way of life. We need to get it through our heads that these people will NOT STOP. They do not think in terms of a "troop surge", or months or years. They think in terms of a THOUSAND GENERATIONS. They will not stop or grow weary. There is only one way to deal with them. Stand fast and fight for what you have or watch it all slip away.

I'll get off my soap box now. But, thank God for the Marines, for these three young men, and for America. Long may Old Glory wave!

Carson Jr. L. M.
Sgt. of Marines
1977-1987


Hello!

My name is Sandy Tuzinski and I just wanted to share a quilt I was able to make to honor a WWII USMC Marine Raider in our church congregation.

His name is Edmund Lawrence and he served in the Pacific Theater in WWII.

This presentation was a TOTAL surprise for Ed as he had no idea I was making this quilt for him and I was able to locate three Semper Fidelis US Marines to take time out of their busy lives to help present this flag quilt to Ed during the church service.

flag quilt We all honored a great living American that day to thank him for his service to our country.
It was a BLESSED day!

Sandy Tuzinski
Bloomington, MN


"Train yourself never to put off the word or action for the expression of Gratitude."
Albert Schweitzer


I got this tattoo for my husband when he graduated his MOS at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.
It was at Show Me Skin. The guy drew it up to look like a steel rose and barb wire. I LOVE IT!

tattoo My first but certainly not last tat. He ended up going and getting an EGA but with our wedding date underneath as well. SEMPER FI MARINES!

OOOORAH!

Crystal M. Sexton
Wife of PFC. Tom Sexton II


In 1981 I was asked to coordinate a dinning in for the NCO's. While sitting at the bar at the VFW I was telling the bartender about the dinning in and he said why don't you have it here, I can give you a package deal. I discussed this with the NCO's and everyone agreed that was a great idea. My next task was to find a guest speaker for the event. The Iran hostage situation was winding down and one of the Marine hostages had just returned and was living in Milwaukee. I made a call to Sgt. Kevin J. Hermening and introduced myself, told him about the dinning in and asked him if he would consider sharing his experience as a hostage with us. He agreed and things were going well.

A few days later a received a call from the bartender at the VFW and he said he had the name of a guy that he thought I should talk to. He was a former Marine and a pretty colorful guy. I took down the number and gave him a call. Again, I introduced myself and we chatted on the phone a while. I said we were having a dinning in and invited him to stop by. He was a bit reluctant but said why don't you come by the house and we'll talk some more.

When I knocked on Mr. Bush's door that Saturday morning I had no idea what I was in for. Dick was about 6'2" and could have easily fit in a set of dress blues. When I shook his hand I noticed he was missing several fingers and he was blind in one eye. His first remark was "what are you drinking"? I said I'll have whatever you're having. As we sat there drinking martinis with several olives, we swapped sea stories and proceeded to get very drunk, but not without finding out who this gregarious old Marine was. After a short while we went down in the basement where he had a small bar and I noticed a wall full of pictures. The one that I remember most was a picture of Dick Bush with former president John F. Kennedy. There were many photographs of Dick with prominent dignitaries and politicians. Again, I'm thinking who the h&ll is this guy and why all the photos?

Cpl. Richard E. Bush my good friend was in fact a Marine Raider, and if that wasn't enough he also was the recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor. My God! I had just met God himself and shook his hand! Words cannot describe the feelings of pride, respect and honor that I felt.

Dick gave me several mementos when I left that day. A Raider lighter, a copy of his CMH citation, and a gold leaf reproduction of the Iwo Jima flag raising. We kept in touch over the years and we had few drinks during the world war II memorial ceremony in New Orleans. That was the last time I saw Dick. My good friend passed away in 2004. I will remember this great Marine and true hero always.

Best Regards,
Robert B. Cullen, Former Marine


"The multiplication of public offices, increase of expense beyond income, growth and entailment of a public debt, are indications soliciting the employment of the pruning knife."
Thomas Jefferson


This is an open letter to Angie Bare and all of the wives, moms, and girlfriends out there that have sent their men off to war.

You also serve who stay at home and pray for us, send us letters, packages and encouragement. I came from a Marine family. My mother sent my dad off three times in her life not to mention the deployments, missile crisis, cold war, and a hundred others in the 30 years that dad served.

She watched my sisters husband go to Vietnam, then my dad, then me, then my cousin, then my sisters husband again, and his brother. That is a lot of Marines in country from 65-70. She prayed us all home alive. Not that there weren't a couple of scrapes and bumps along the way. But she also had a network of other wives who helped with us kids, kept each other from feeling alone, lent a few bucks when needed, gave a free place to stay when folks traveled. It truly is a family like no other.

My current wife is still married to me even though she has been to several of my Vietnam reunions. She has seen the tears come when you see a buddy you put on a chopper 40 years ago walk through the door. The belly laughs when you tell some of the pranks that were pulled. Shook her head in disbelief when hearing about the close calls and how the Lord smiled on a lot of us. She has also marveled at the pride we all share in the flag, the taller stance when the Marines hymn is played, and that stare when trouble is around the corner and the "don't mess with me and mine" face comes out.

Your letter got to me. I had to reply and thank you for your service to that fine Marine and the rest of us. We all pay it forward so to speak even though it is not expected, required , or asked for. Like the man says---Its just what we do. Semper fi and you all will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Ben Dickson
Lt. of Marines 1968-71
RVN Fox Co. 2/1 1968-69


Dear Sgt Grit,

My Dad was a Marine and my son is currently serving with the Marines in Iraq. It was once reported to me (by a Generals Aide) that close to 40% of these brave soldiers get no mail, e- mail, phone calls or packages from home. I don't know why, or even pretend to understand it, but it is true.

I decided to try to send each of the soldiers in my son's platoon a little something for the holidays. I mentioned it in the office and had many people ask if they could help. That was the beginning of what I called "Semper Fi Stockings for the Soldiers".

I put up a few flyers in a throughout URLMutual, the privately owned company I worked for. The response was immediate and MORE than Overwhelming. I actually had the first of many donations before the end of the day. People went shopping during lunch and donated money to help purchase items and shipping costs. I've never questioned the support and generosity of my URL Mutual family but this time they have really gone above and beyond. Some employee's asked for copies of the flyers to give to their spouses to take to work. Others took copies to give to those on their bowling and dart leagues. Still others asked their own families to help. Because of all of this, we have sent each Marine their own box of goodies as well as sending several additional boxes to be distributed to other soldiers on the base and stationed elsewhere. The boxes contain a variety of snacks, toys (good ones- like Nerf footballs and handheld games!), toiletries and cards signed by all the wonderful people who donated. Since the items no longer fit in the stockings I also included a letter from myself to let them know of the outpouring of support for them.

Nice story but that's the End --right? No- not at all. People keep asking for addresses and want to be "Pen Pals". Still others ask for information on how they can send additional items over to "Their Boys". They ask on a regular basis how they are doing and if there is anything they need. The owner of the company found out what we did and he has given me a check to purchase PX gift cards to send to each of the men in my sons platoon. He asked how many boxes we were able to ship (remember- we sent extra's!) and is matching each box we shipped with a gift card of $100! Yes- that is One Hundred Dollars for each of the 60 boxes. This man is not rich and has 5 young children, but he feels it is very important for our soldiers to know how much he appreciates their service.

I don't consider myself an emotional person but I can't talk about this without tearing up. Please make sure you let all of our soldiers know the vast majority of the people do love, respect and honor them. Unfortunately, that doesn't make good news so you'll never see it on TV.

Peggy Cadwallader
Proud Daughter of Sgt. Armin Vaihinger
Proud Mom of a Corporal Joseph Cadwallader
Proud Employee of URLMutual


"O Lord, that lends me life, lend me a heart replete with thankfulness."
William Shakespeare


Sgt. Grits, Your messages are titled "American Courage". May I share with you the examples of courage I witnessed Sat., 10 Nov? {In addition to the many Happy Birthdays I received?}

I am a member of the Patriot Guard Riders. I am not going into the PGR but for those who would like info go to patriotguard.org. I don't ride a motorcycle, just drive the cage that covers the rear of the riders. But, wear a motorcycle riders vest with the Marine emblem.

The PGR was asked to escort the local 25 mile ride of the Wounded Warriors Ride. Of course, we showed up with bikes shined. There we met some of the MOST COURAGEOUS men and women of our Military services. Most were Marines, some army. I don't know if any others were represented as all wore the Wounded Warrior shirt. These people, yes, ladies included, had lost an appendage and were setting out for a 25 mile bicycle ride. EVERY one of them had a smile on their face, a firm grip for us, and a backslapping hug from the Marines. Even had a doggy slap my back and thank me for my service and him standing on a prosthetic leg.

One had NO legs, one had paralyzed legs, one had one leg missing {no prosthesis}. The first two used bicycles with hand pedals, the last a regular bike.

As we were moving around meeting these wonderful people and their escorts, I had to turn away several times and get myself back under control. They weren't looking for tears or sympathy, just the opportunity to go, go, go.

Every one of them started and completed the trip. One of the female escort riders, wife of one of the Wounded who had delivered their child only 2 months earlier had to give up on the last 3 miles. May I add this on a hill that taxes the most seasoned riders. And we speak of "COURAGE"?

This has gone on for a lengthy time. What I am trying to say is "If this group comes to your town, be sure you go out and meet these Wounded Warriors. I am under the impression that these are people from your area who are recuperating from the sand box and deserve a Well Done".

I know that I will be there next year if that Gunny Up Above allows.

Sgt. Grits, Thank You for this newsletter and the opportunity to hear the reports and yes even the whining of others. Semper Fi, Brother.

Charles Umberger
USMCR '53-'59.


"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined."
Patrick Henry


Sgt. Grit....39 years ago, I was a 3rd Class Hospital Corpsman, assigned to FMF, specifically, to Lima Co., 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, and 3rd Marine Division. In 1969, I took part in Operation Virginia Ridge, and Operation Idaho Canyon. My Company CO was Capt. Charles Krulak.
I have really enjoyed reading your Newsletter! I see that there are a great deal of statements of support, from, and for, Mothers of Marines, that's GREAT! I just have one question, of the families, of FNG Marines....do you know what the number one priority, of an 0311 Marine is?? I hope that the families, of these fine young men, understand that killing the enemy, is their number one duty, and that in a battle, with the enemy, being wounded, or killed, by the enemy, is possible!
The fine, brave, young Marines, that I treated in Viet Nam, were willing to give their lives, to save a buddy, or complete their mission!
For some, going into 'harms' way', was a rude awakening. PLEASE.....families of new Marines, or families of future Marines....supporting these fine men, is OUR #1 responsibility!
NO NEGATIVE NEWS from HOME!
With ALL my love....and respect....DocGreek


Good morning Sgt Grit!
After much thought I decided to write in to see if someone could give me some words of wisdom. I am a VERY PROUD military mom! I have one son serving with the 3rd ID currently in Iraq for his second tour. I have one son who just signed up for the Air Force soon to leave for basic, and I have another son who is a former Marine.

The reason I write is my Marine. I can't go into full detail as it will take up too much space, but the gist is, he was administratively separated after two and 1/2 years in the Corps. I still fully cannot figure out why, he was stationed in Okinawa the whole time he served with the Marines.

My Problem is since he's been home he tells people that he was wounded in Iraq. He says he went over for two weeks had a buddy shot and killed next to him, he was wounded, and then he was sent back to Okinawa. He never told me he was being deployed, for that matter no one told me, the Marines never gave me "the call" to inform me he was wounded... and the story goes on.

I know in my heart he is lying to me and the others. I have even gone thru his "chronological medical records" to see if I can find anything and there is nothing in there, to support what he is telling us all, only that he was receiving counseling for delusional behavior. During this "time of deployment" I was still receiving calls from him on his Okinawa phone.

He tells people that I am in denial about the whole issue, when he has no paperwork to back up any of his statements. As a matter of fact he won't talk with me about it any more as I've confronted him on it. It's come to the point if anyone says anything to me about it I tell them the truth, to me this is making the Marines look bad and not the Honorable people they are.

How do I go about proving that this is all made up? Why would someone who served make up stories anyway? He has received nothing but support from all of us here at home. I am so proud of all my boys. Even though I worry, I know they are doing what they believe in and I fully support them. Can any of you Marines out there help me to understand and help me to deal with my son? I am so proud of what he did to serve our country even if he didn't go to Iraq he still sacrificed his life being away from his family, home, and friends.

Finally, I want to thank any and all who served, it is your past that my boys are building on, I really appreciate all you've done! Thanks from one very proud mom in Arizona!


"Excessive taxation...will carry reason and reflection to every man's door, and particularly in the hour of election."
Thomas Jefferson


The training and discipline, I received in the Corps [49-52]was a major factor in my successful 30 year law enforcement career.

After the Corps I returned home, started college. My first job started 1-5-55 as a Deputy Sheriff. From the first day on the job, it was obvious that I was different from the other Deputies. I was the youngest by ten years. I was the only former Marine. My uniform was always sharp pressed, my shoes and leather was spit shinned. I was complemented many times, when walking into the courthouse and business's in town, on my bearing and dress. I was promoted twice during the eight years. I was the Undersheriff, when I was offered a position with a State agency, as a special investigator.

In 1964 another state agency was interviewing investigators for positions. I went to the interview, there were six people at the interview. While in the waiting room. A man walked in, went to the door, entered and spoke to the two men conducting the interviews. He said, there is one man out there, who I want on the job with us, and I'm sure you are both smart enough to know which one he is. With that he left. I was the second one to be called in. I was being interviewed by the Deputy Chief and the Area Administrator, both were former city police officers and both had served in the navy. I was hired for this job. I found out later that the man that had entered the interview room, was the Chief of the Division and a former Marine
Lee


My sister, married to an old Marine, saw some comments in the newsletter regarding SEABEES. To you Marines who spoke of SEABEES with respect and dignity, I thank you. I served in the Bees from '68 to '74. As for the Marine who stated that while stationed at GITMO, there were never any fights between Bees and Marines, there were none that I knew of BUT, when our Corpsman got jumped at the White Hat Club by some fleet sailors (dam boat nave), the Marines were quick to team up with our battalion to defend our beloved Doc. This was in '70-'71 tour MCB 71. I can speak first hand that SEABEES always considered Marines our brothers. We could always count on you guys being there when the real stuff hit the fan.

My Dad was a Corpsman. As such, when I graduated high school in '67 at 17, He wouldn't sign for me to join the Corps. I did the next closest thing I could think of then, join the SEABEES.

God Bless You Marines and a Belated Happy Birthday To You ALL!

Jim Hartman
MCB 71


"Gratitude is the sign of noble souls."
Aesop


On Tuesday, I received a call from Orlie Woodwork. At first I did not recognized the name, but after he mentioned Operation Utah, I quickly caught on and realized that he was with our battalion back in 1966. Operation Utah was a mother of a battle.

Woodwork and I spoke for several minutes. I was glad to be speaking to another Marine that made it back to the World from Nam. 41 years ago, and right away we connected as if we had been there yesterday. As Marines, I now believe wholeheartedly on the adage of Once a Marine, Always a Marine. And we are brothers. Woodwork is from Iowa and I am from Texas, still we found common ground, the Marine in us.

As soon as we learned a little about each other, we started reminiscing and asking about some of the other Marines. After half our tour, we were split up and many from 3/1 were send to other units to supplement them with experienced combat leaders. We at 3/1 continued and this allowed many of us to work up in the ranks.

We are now communicating through emails. And, this Thanksgiving Day was a good day for me since I connected with a brother whom I am more than honored to have shared the field of battle with.

Arturo Garza
Nam L 3/1 1966
Nam A 1/27 1968

Semper Fi
DO or DIE
MARINE Since '65


Not sure if it was late 1962 or early 1963. We were returning from a Med Cruse aboard a LST (Flat Bottom) and a day or two out from NC we ran into a Hurricane. I was on watch top side and it was rough. We lost every vehicle top side. I was an Amtracker and all the Amtracks were sliding all over the place and there was nothing any one could do. We lost one Causeway from the side of the ship. We had four. This is when the Sea-Bees went to work. First they had to get on top of the one on the other side from the one that fell off and turn it lose. I'm telling you I was holding on to a pipe to make sure I was not thrown overboard and these Sea-bees are walking on top of the causeway undoing the fasteners. After releasing that one and seeing that another one had come lose they got on top and released that one while others were releasing the last one. This was all done in the dark. The next morning the guys in my platoon were talking about how bad it was below and I told them what I had witness. No one believed me until we went top side and seen that all vehicles and Causeways were gone.
Al Millette
MGYSGT USMC RET


"It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn't."
Martin Van Buren


I read GySgt Daniel Devine's story about how his son socked a friend for dumping on the Marines. I raised two daughters, and they both know the pride. My oldest daughter married a guy who had been in the air force. A nice guy, wants to be a state policeman. Big guy, 6' 2", 220-240 lbs, crew cut, patriotic, tough, not someone to fool with. My daughter is 5'7" and maybe 118 lbs if she is wearing clothes in the rain. They tease each other about some things all the time. One day she was on the phone to me and he asked her who she was talking to. She said to her Dad. He then told her to tell me that the Marines were Pu $$ies and that the air force won the first Gulf War. She said "Dad, can you hold on a minute," put the phone down and punched him in the nose, breaking it. I then heard her say, "You're lucky, Dad would have broken both your arms and your nose." He has not done too much teasing about the Corps since then.

Steve Eslin, USMCR
Pvt to 1st Lt


This commentary is from my brother a retired SeaBee Chief and is in reference to "Church Pennant Thing" found in the 22/11/07 news letter Semper Fi, Bob Granberry
1961-1968

My comments:
The only time the church pennant flies above the National Ensign is AT SEA on a naval vessel and only during the time that religious services are actually being conducted. Normally the Church pennant has its own halyard. This is to eliminate the raising and lowering of the National Ensign. On shore stations the church pennant as well as other flags and pennants are flown from yard arms. The church pennant is senior to the other flags and pennants. A flag officer's flag will be flow separately. D*mn I'm crusty. Incidentally, the National Ensign flies 24/7 at sea. The only time it is moved to the fantail is during docking or anchoring. That exercise is a ballet unto itself. Shall I explain?
GOD BLESS America!


"One man with courage makes a majority."
Andrew Jackson


Sgt. Grit,
I have a 21 year old son in the Marines. I am so proud of him now as I always have been. I miss him so much my heartaches, but I know he has a job to do. It gets especially hard for me around the holidays. I want everyone to know that this Thanksgiving he was unable to come home, and I was so worried that he was going to be alone without family, turkey and all the comforts of home. It was getting hard for me to imagine, enjoying the up coming holiday with the children I do have home with me. I called to talk to him about this the night before Thanksgiving, and he told me "Mom the Marines are my family" and that a fellow Marine was taking him home to his families for Thanksgiving. God bless that wonderful family for inviting my son and making his Thanksgiving special. It sure took a little sting away from the pain in my heart. Thank you to that special Marine and his family. I am even more proud than I was before, if that is even possible, that my son is a United States Marine and is a part of that kind of family. God bless all of our men and women that serve our country.
Jennifer Geiger, Mother of a United States Marine.


Sgt Grit. A belated Happy 232 to you and the other Marines past present and future. I attended Field Med School at Camp Pendleton Calif. I learned about the Marine pride from the instructor staff there...SSGT Munden, SSgt Jerrolds and SSgt Acosta. These indivs taught me the meaning of the word duty and honor. As instructors for a bunch of Navy Corpsman, doctors and religious assistants and some dental techs they had their hands full I am sure. We learned a lot, learned well and quickly with them as instructors. A belated thank you to them. Your lessons served me well in numerous areas.
HM1 DJ Herdina
1968 to 1994 USN/R
Retired but willing to go again with the Marines.


"Life is full of disappointments. Just make sure you're not one of them."
Julie McAfee


Sgt. Grit:
It suddenly dawned on me that I celebrated our birthday as a boot at Parris Island, November 10, 1954.
I was in platoon 437, First Bn., "A" company. I wonder if there are any members of that platoon reading this now.
We celebrate our birthday every year here in Jesup, GA at Sybil's restaurant and usually have a good turnout of Marines. Two in particular served during WW2! One was on Guadalcanal and one was one Iwo Jima!
I am 72 now, and can still "hold 'em and squeeze 'em" as I was taught on the rifle range at P.I.!
Killed a buck deer at 285 yards with my .270 Winchester a couple of seasons ago." Not as lean, not as mean, but still a MARINE"
SEMPER FI....David E. Tyre....Sgt. of Marines


Maye Ryan, who had been the oldest female U. S. Marine passed away in August 2007.

Maye Ryan: In 1943, during World War II, she joined the first class of the newly established Marine Corps Women's Reserve. Before her death Monday (I believe it was August 15, 2007) at age 97, in Owasso, Oklahoma she was reported to be the oldest female Marine in the nation. She was assigned as a typist in Mojave, California where she served for 32 months. She was discharged as a Corporal. Her son John Ryan said; "She was a Marine to the very end --- and proud of it!"

Robert E (Bob) Gordon
Corporal of Marines 1950-1953
Korea 1951 0337

Not As Lean, Twice As Mean, Always a Marine
Not As Lean, Twice As Mean, Always a Marine








My Mom Warned Me About Marines
My Mom Warned Me About Marines





God Bless America!
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

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