SGT. Grit.
About a month ago I was out running with my dog when I ran past a house.
Where a couple was outside watching their kids. The kids flagged me down to pet my husky, and their parents came over to talk to me.
I was wearing one of my Marine Corps T-Shirts when the dad asked me about it. Then he told his son. "That's a Marine What do you say" With the way society is today I didn't know what to expect, but the kid reached out to shake my hand and told me "Thank you for serving". No matter how many times I hear that from people I never know what to say.
CPL. Chad Casey USMC 01-05

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Merry Christmas Grit:
Wanted to share a cute story with you. My youngest Granddaughter who is in the 4th Grade visited the Minnesota State Fair this Summer. She and her parents stopped at the Marine Corps Booth. She told the Marines manning the booth that her Boppa was a Marine (52 years ago). She asked for a Marine Corps Poster she wanted to give me. The Marine said, "ya gotta earn it, do 20 pushups and I'll give it to you". She and the Marine dropped and did pushups together. She do her 20 and received the Poster. It now hangs on the wall of my Home Office. Her Mom also snapped a photo of her and the Marine doing the Pushups and I have that framed and in front of the Poster.

That Girl really knows the way to her Boppa's heart.
Really enjoy your weekly publication. Keep up the good work.
Con Gibbemeyer, Sgt. of the Marines


"Tis well."
George Washington


Sgt. Grit:
A couple-a years ago, I was surfing the net...
keying-in words like:
'Marine,' "USMC,' 'Devil Dogs,' etc.
I came across this site/blog about this WW2 Marine. I've tried to retrieve it since, but haven't been able to find it. I will try again.

Isn't that a great picture? Check out the "Littlest Marine's" girlfriends bird legs...and the look on her face is priceless! I'll keep surfing and try to locate it again. Hope you can share this with all the other Marines out there.

Littlest Marine Respectfully submitted,
Frank J. Scorsone
USMC
Vietnam '65-'66
3rd Mar. Div.
1st Amtrac Bn.
WIA 13 June 1966...Hill 55
4KIA and 4WIA that day from my platoon...not counting the dead and wounded from 1/9 (1st Bn. 9th Marines-The Walking Dead.)


Sgt Grit,

This week our daughter Cathy was traveling home from college to be with us for Christmas. When she checked in at the airport in College Station (home of Texas A&M where she is a student) she found they had canceled her flight due to mechanical problems with the aircraft. Because of the Christmas holiday, available seats on other flights were almost impossible to find.

After waiting many hours and not finding any seats on other flights, things were not looking good. Alone in the airport (with the exception of workers) she didn't know if she was going to make it home to see us. After sitting on a bench and crying in frustration an older gentleman approached her and asked what was wrong. She explained the situation. They chatted a while, and the gentleman explained he was visiting A&M to see his grandson get commissioned in the Marines.

About that time, they both noticed an old T-28 aircraft taking off from the airport. Cathy explained to the gentleman that her father had flown those and helicopters many years ago. The gentleman asked "in what branch of service did your father serve?" She proudly said, "the Marines, sir!" Our daughter went on to explain that her mother was also a Marine, and that she even had her very own Gunny who helped raise her, and who ultimately retired as a SgtMaj, She continued on with her story and sadly told the gentleman that we had to bury "her Gunny" during Thanksgiving.

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The older gentleman said, "Young lady, maybe I can help. Where are you headed?" Cathy told him first to Houston with a connection on to Birmingham. The gentleman got up and went over to speak with the gate agent and came back a short time later. He said, "If it is OK with you, you can fly with me to Houston and make your connection." Not comfortable with "getting a ride from a stranger" Cathy was a bit hesitant. About that time an aircraft taxied up and parked on the tarmac in front of the terminal. On the side of the aircraft was "United States Marine Corps". The gentleman replied, "That's my ride, and I can get you to Houston. Would like to come along?" Cathy quickly responded, "yes sir!" and off they went. When boarding, Cathy noticed several Marine officers were already in the aircraft. Upon landing in Houston the older gentleman made sure that Cathy was escorted by 2 Marine Lieutenants in dress blues through private security screening and all the way down to her gate, catching the eye of everyone in the airport.

She made it home Monday night, with a Christmas story she will remember for the rest of her life. No, the older gentleman wasn't St. Nick. He was General Al Gray, former Commandant of the US Marine Corps, still taking care of one of his Marine Corps family.

Semper Fi,
Jon & Carolyn Minerich


My father is a Marine who fought in the Vietnam War and was purple hearted.

On the way home from work about a month ago a car pulled up to my father's truck (that has Marine stickers on the windows). My father said he looked over and it was four young Marines dressed in their Blues and all were saluting him. He said he was stunned. While he was telling this story to us he was in tears. I am not sure if those Marines knew how deeply touched my father was on that day but I know it is a moment that my father will never forget. I just want to say thank you to those four Marines for never forgetting about the hero's that fought before them. God Bless the Marines!

Linda Chenard


"An elective despotism was not the government we fought for; but one in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among the several bodies of magistracy as that no one could transcend their legal limits without being effectually checked and restrained by the others."
James Madison


Mark Blitz reviewing James Bowman's book, "Honor: A History" "Honor's chief contemporary enemies, according to Bowman, are therapy, pacifism, feminism, individual authenticity, excessive equality, and the cult of celebrity. they replace the shame, warrior spirit, chaste domesticity, public outlook, necessary inequalities, and admiration for true distinction that help contribute to honor. To resuscitate it, consequently, we must restore warrior spirit, defend sensible inequalities, over-come celebrity-worship, and revivify differences between the s&xes. He believes these outcomes to be possible (in descending order of likelihood) but honestly reports his inability in several cases to see practical steps to bring them about."


Sgt. Grit,

This Christmas day will be two years since my father began standing guard at Heavens Gates...they have been the hardest and longest years of my life. He was more than a father, he was my best friend. He retired out of Camp Pendleton with HMLA-369, his beloved Gunfighters...

He introduced me to your newsletter about 4 and a half years ago when he wrote you about me. It was a sweet lil note about me telling him I would soon become a United States Marine...like my mother and him. I got out this past January, yet cannot seem to leave it all behind...

I'm now a civilian Marine back on Pendleton. I missed my guys. Thanks Sgt for being there for so many and all that you do- I've yet to miss one of these and without a doubt am left with a tear in my eye. Much appreciation to all the men and women protecting our freedom and giving so much of yourselves in doing so. Happy Holidays!

Jaymie Stemp Cpl '03-'07
Daughter of CWO3 Christopher Stemp (Ret.) 'Stemper Fi'


R&R Just got your newsletter which prompted me to share this recent photo of my daughter Brittney and son-in-law, Marine Corporal Jadd Joseph (from Houston -currently stationed in San Diego) taking a much needed rest in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. Jadd just returned from his second tour in Iraq. We're very proud and appreciative of his commitment and contribution.

Jadd will be receiving your Sgt. Grunt "Spring Break in Iraq" T-shirt and others for Christmas. Keep up the good work.

Merry Christmas, Gary Ray and Family


"We shall fight on the beaches. We shall fight on the landing grounds. We shall fight in the fields, and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills.
We shall never surrender!"
Winston Churchill


Sergeant Grit,

I write because as I get ready for work, I happen to see a story on CNN regarding a dog handler Marine who was killed in Iraq. I believe his name was Cpl Lee. It seems to be that after his death, his family requested the dog from the Marine Corps. Few weeks ago, I heard about the story and it was stated that the dog still had 2 years of active duty before being eligible for adoption.

Anyway, to get to the point, albeit it took 9 months, our Marine Corps and the Air Force (who handles all dogs), saw the greater value and let the dog get an early honorable discharge, passing custody of the dog to the Cpl Lee's family.

I just wanted to congratulate the Corps for making the right decision. This easily could have been denied because the dog was serviceable and the d*mn cumbersome nature of our government. Yet, every day the dog lives, it can bring and make the transition easier for the Lee family.

I love hearing outcomes like this when it comes to My Marine Corps. We can always train another dog but we will never have another Cpl Lee.

Semper Fi,
Sergeant Luis A. Perez

P.S. Recently re-upped in the reserves for 3 more years. The woman just about had a heart attack when she found out.


A week ago, Wednesday, my son called me from Fort Wayne. He said he had a morning that was reminiscent of a story I had told him, some years ago. He went on to tell me that, on that morning, my grandson, who had just graduated high school, last June, had gotten up and left the house, as usual.

What was unusual was his returning to the house a couple of hours later whereupon he changed clothes and put on a dress shirt, tie, slacks and dress shoes. When my son asked him about the fresh wardrobe, the response was, "I am going to Indianapolis". My son then asked what was in Indianapolis that would require the shirt and tie. My grandson told him he was going to Indianapolis to join the Marine Corps.

There was pride in my son's voice in relating this event and, as expected, tears and dread in the voice of his mother. However, we all, who are members of our beloved Corps, have had similar experiences.

The "remembering", on the part of my son, was my telling him that, in the summer of 1955, I donned the same apparel and, when asked as to my reason, I told my mother I was going to Muncie (that morning). When she asked me what was in Muncie, I told her "the Marine Corps recruiter".

She fell into the couch, a tearful "mess", and I was off on the greatest adventure of my life.

An adventure that changed my life forever and, hopefully, that of my grandson's. He will learn not only who we are, as Marines, but what we are to our nation. Semper Fi.

Gene Bone (still a Marine, just changed jobs), Carmel, Indiana


"Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding and should, therefore, be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense. Their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties which may make anything mean everything or nothing at pleasure."
Thomas Jefferson


USMC Wife Tattoo My Husband is in Iraq right now. About two months before we were getting married we found out. I had always wanted a tattoo. I looked at tons of pictures trying to get ideas before hand. But when I got that news I knew right then what I wanted. They had already mobilized to Lejeune and I hadn't got it yet. He knew I was planning on get another tattoo but he didn't know what or WERE. Sooooo when I stepped off the plane that was almost the first thing he asked me. We hadn't seen each other in about a month and a half. He absolutely loves it. His fire team thinks it is the coolest thing in the world. Miller's wife has a motto tat. He gets picked on a lot cause he doesn't have a Motto tat. He says he is getting one as soon as he gets home though. He better!

Mrs. Alyssa Miller wife of
Cpl David E. Miller II


GB at parade: Sept 2007 Here is a recent picture of me in a parade Sept. 2007 for a calendar and you can use it.

I am 71
GB


"Americans are so enamored of equality, they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom."
Alexis de Tocqueville


Sgt Grit,
I was a pilot sent to 'Nam as a FAC. I served with some of the most illustrious battalions in the Corps, of which I'm extremely proud. 3/9, 1/4 and 2/4, (under Bull Fisher). For a pilot, this was the equivalent of, "What happened, did you get caught with the generals daughter?".

And, being very junior, when Bob Hope came: I had the duty. When Ann Margaret stopped by: I had the duty. So I missed the traditional Christmas.

But, I wouldn't trade it for all of the rest of the holidays in the world, because here is what I did get. I got the worlds biggest, most loving and most faithful family. Amplified, by being a Marine in a combat situation. I value it more than all of the other holidays put together. (Other than the birthday, of course). I truly pity those who can't ever have this gift. How blessed I am.
W. Pringle


Was just sitting here having a cup of coffee and wondering about an incident I saw last evening (1430, 19 December 2007) at the local mall in Springfield, MO.

Two young privates (both slick sleeves/collars) were walking around the mall with a young lady. Not sure when the Corps allowed the Green Sweater as Liberty uniform but guess it has. I do know that the Corps has not allowed the long sleeve shirt, neck tie, and green trouser without a blouse as a complete Liberty uniform (or has it?) Both of these young Marines walked past me and I spoke to them in greeting.

Only one responded (no big deal, the girl was cuter) and proceeded out doors. Neither one of them put a cover on their little bald heads.

I followed them out just to see what was going on and they just continued walking without a cover on their heads. I looked over at a lady who was working the Salvation Army stand and she just shook her head and smiled.

She also knew they were wrong.

Guess two knotheads slipped through the cracks as I am quite sure that their Drill Instructors taught them the correct way to wear a uniform.

Maybe to other branches of the service looking bad is OK but just watch the civilians and they see when a Marine is out of order.

Thanks for letting me blow off steam. Maybe I have been away too long and the Corps has changed.

God bless and keep our beloved Corps always safe.

Gary L. COON
MSgt USMC (Ret)


"A good politician is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar."
Henry Louis Mencken


I was at the Nursing Home when we moved my father-in-law to the one he's in now and there was a man and a lady sitting in the hall in their wheelchairs talking, I heard his say he was a "Jarhead" she looked at him and said something to the effect that he was too old to be a Marine.

I walked over to him and patted him on the back and looked him in the eye shook his hand and gave him a Semper Fi. He looked up and smiled nodded his head gave me a firm hand shake and a proud Semper Fi, I looked at the older lady and said, "Yes mama he's still a Marine, he'll always be a Marine even after he leaves this world." I don't think she understood but he did, every time I'd see him after that we'd both holler "Hey Marine, Semper Fi"

Thank you,
Mike Lange
L/Cpl, 71-73, RVN 72


Sgt. Grit.

WE are in GREAT HANDS,

last Friday 12/14.07 General James T. Conway flew into Troy Alabama to give the Commencement Speech at Troy University in Troy Alabama. I want to Assure all Marines out there that this Commandant is truly ONE OF US, this very special man is a down to earth caring individual that happens to have been blessed with the wherewithal to become our Leader Our 34th Commandant. General Conway is one of the most down to earth Marines I have ever met. He truly cares about all of us Marines active or inactive and is a regular guy. General Conway was invited to come to Troy U. By another outstanding Marine Retired Col John Schmidt. The Chancellor of Troy University is also a Marine Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr.

I will assure you that going further into the 21st century that We Marines have a man at the top that will fight for us and that will do all that he can for us and our Grand Corps. I have never met a more Normal man in a very above normal position. General Conway has been blessed by God with the personality and ability to make everyone he touches feel that he truly cares about them and is trying his best to do all he can for his Corps and Country.

As long as Our Grand Corps has men at top like General Peter Pace and James T. Conway. We are in great hands and are blessed beyond belief.

Lets all support General Conway as he leads our Marines into the future.

Semper Fidelis

KT Cole, Capt.
USMC 1965-1980
RVN 1970-1971
2nd Plt C 1/1


"Americans always try to do the right thing-after they've tried everything else."
Winston Churchill


Sgt. Grit,

I was in the Corps back in the early to mid 80's and only once did someone ever come up to me to thank me for my service. Well back in 2003 I was on the road a lot for my company, taking flights all around the U.S.. I was boarding a flight from Pittsburgh PA to Dallas TX. I had a t-shirt that said "Swoosh" which is what they call the Nike emblem and USMC ball cap on (I travel casual). As I was boarding the airplane one of the flight attendants asked me what swoosh meant so I told her and kept walking down the aisle. She then asked me "Are you a Marine?".

We all know the saying "once a Marine always a Marine", well she didn't ask me if I was active or not so I just said yes and proceeded to my assigned seat. I got buckled in and I notice the door being closed so I relaxed and thought OK we're on our way. Well the same attendant comes back to me and says "Would you please gather your stuff and come with me?". Now I'm thinking, oh Lord what now, are they going to search me or something like that. She leads me to the front of the aircraft to 1st class and says "have a seat" and then turns around and tells the 1st class passengers "He's a Marine, we need to take care of our Marines".

She later came to me and told me that when the pilot, a former Airforce pilot was told a Marine was on board, he said "then that Marine will fly first class". Needless to say I had a very pleasant flight.

Semper Fi!
Ed Gonzalez
CPL USMC


my daughter came to visit and we were Christmas shopping for her list...

when we came back to my XTerra which has a bunch of USMC stuff on it there was a note in the window.. my daughter thought someone had hit the car and left a note.. not the case.. the note read: Thank you for serving our country. Merry Christmas! Proud American. - that brought a tear to the eyes of this old Marine who served in Viet Nam from Oct 78 to Dec of 1979..

whoever left that note - may God bless you for making my Christmas!...
Sarge
ROY D. III


Sgt. Grit

I know there are those Marines out there that don't feel that anyone but Marines rate to say Ohh Rah! To those Marines I apologize, but my 22 month old daughter Chloe Jo is learning to talk. We were looking through my Sgt.

Grit catalogue the other day and I thought I would give it a try and said "say OOORAHHH!" I think I got something in my eye when on the first try, she responds back, complete with a little growl to top it off. She is so cute she will say it nearly every time. I have a harder time getting her to say daddy. Thank you for letting me share. I love the news letter, been reading it from one end to the other since 2001. The only thing I don't like about it is the end every week. Keep them coming!

OHHH RAHHH!
Semper Fi
Cpl. Jason Robinson
2002-2006 active
Always a Marine


"The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave."
Thomas Jefferson


Good Morning,

One of our customers, Mr. Ron Abline of New Jersey wanted me to let Sgt. Grit know that on November 16th he had purchased some USMC headwraps for some pediatric cancer patients at the Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He was a little afraid to address the baldness issue with them knowing how he had felt about it when he had cancer but he went ahead anyways. Later a nurse told him how much the children loved them. The nurse also let him know what a touching moment it was and how moved the medical staff was. Yesterday, December 18th, he ordered a dozen more because they were such a big hit. He just wanted to let us know what the USMC is still doing for others.

Kimberly Hadden Customer Service

Sgt. Grit Marine Specialties


My Dad was in the Navy from 1924 to 1928. He was a "powder monkey" serving the 14" guns on the USS Arkansas. When WWII rolled around, he tried to reenlist in the Navy but they told him he was too old; but then they told him about an outfit that was forming called the CBs or Construction Battalions. He immediately volunteered and spent the next three years as a Boatswains Mate. One of his tasks was to take supplies from Guadalcanal to the Marines on Tulagi. One night during the Battle of Savo Island, he was told that the Marines needed supplies. He loaded his LCM (Landing Craft Medium) and set out at night with no lights. He said he steered by "dead reckoning" or as he said "reckon you're dead".

He was nearly run down by a Japanese Destroyer, but he made it. He delivered his cargo and never received any official recognition. When he told me the story one night after too many beers, I said he should have gotten a medal. He replied that the Marines needed his cargo that they said thanks and that was enough for him. He spent the rest of the war building docks and air strips and such. He said the worst sound he heard was Japanese 20mm shells hitting the bulldozer he was under. He and the rest of the "Greatest Generation" saved our butts. My Dad passed away in 1972 and never got the recognition he and the others deserved.

He used to kid us about being Sea Going Bell Hops and Glory Boys when my brother and I enlisted in the Marine Corps. But you could see the pride in his eyes. I can only wish that I had his courage.

So here's to you Dad! BM1C Charles M. Duke USN of the 35th. CBs.
Thanks Dad!

Bob Duke
Sgt USMC
1966-1971


"It is precisely when people have invested in errors that they are afraid of the truth, and therefore eager to silence those who proclaim it."
Roger Scruton


Sgt. Grit,
My sister and I went to college in Pensacola, FL and both met Marines and married them. My mom jokes that she sent us there for an education and we came back with men. Both of our husbands have been to the "sand box", mine has been twice. My mom had a big decal put on her back window that read Operation Iraqi Freedom with their names and ranks on it. Every where she goes she gets words of thanks and encouragement.

Other Marine families honk at her when she is on the road and she has even had thank you notes put under her wipers while she has been in stores. It is really a blessing that we can all encourage each other like that. My husbands MOS was closed when he wanted to re-enlist so he joined the civilian work force which was a major shocker for him. Work ethics are just not the same. He was quickly promoted to Manager with his company and is always looking for prior military to hire, he prefers Marines. The Marine Corps is not just a job it is a way of life. For all the Marines and families out there, keep up the excellent work.

Semper Fi.
Denise Koss

"Courage is not the towering oak that sees storms come and go; it is the fragile blossom that opens in the snow." Alice Swaim


I work for a motorcoach company that has been transporting National Guard troops from their home bases to Camp Atterbury here in Indiana for deployment to Iraq in March.

As we were leaving a base in northern Indiana last week (Remington), a state policeman showed up to give our troops a police escort out of town (or so I thought). As we pulled out onto the highway, another police car was there blocking traffic for us. As we made our way downtown towards the interstate, 3 firetrucks and another police car, all with their lights and sirens going, were lined up along the street. Also approximately 50 townspeople were waving American flags and cheering.

What a heartfelt send-off for these men and women, many of which were heading out for the 3rd and 4th time! The tears flowed (my son is a Marine) and I felt truly honored to be a part of their day.

We can't do enough to thank our soldiers.

Susan Brutus


"If a politician isn't doing it to his wife, then he's doing it to his country."
Amy Grant


Carl Hughes Larry Hughes This is a pic of my father (Larry A. Hughes) and myself (Carl A. Hughes). He graduated boot camp on January 19, 1966. He was in 2nd Battalion, Company K, platoon 2020.

I graduated on November 14, 1997. I was in 3rd Battalion, Kilo company, platoon 3096.

Semper Fi & Oorah.


Sgt Grit,

This is for the Arizona mother who wrote about he Marine son lying about being in Iraq.

She seemed very distressed that her Marine son lied to her, family and friends about going to Iraq and being wounded. Unfortunately some young men go overseas on their first tour and somewhere in the mix become legends in their own minds after many months of excessive drinking. I was in the Marine Corps for many years and have seen what drinking and envy can do to a Marine who is expected to be a warrior instead of being with support troops.

Now we all know that all Marines are special because they endured the toughest military training for a basic warrior than any of the other services. Somewhere down the line certain Marines start to think that the only way they can get attention is to lie about their exploits. I think you are right to confront him but also tell him that he should be proud of his service even though he didn't go to Iraq.

I have recently became reacquainted with a prior Marine that I was stationed with during 1979-80. He is actually on my nephews pool league team and he came up to me saying he knew me. After looking past the long hair I recognized him as an old drinking buddy from those earlier times. He was a cook and was constantly in trouble for his drinking as it affected his work ability. He was sent to dry out a couple times and always returned to drinking because of peer pressure, (Not from me but other Marine buddies).

To make a long story short he tells my nephew of his daring escapades with me and others than I have no recollection of.

I consider myself to have an excellent memory and have even told this guy that he makes a lot of his stories up. He says that I am the one that doesn't remember so I wonder, Does he actually believe his stories?

I think he does and maybe it stems from all the drinking he did back then.

He doesn't drink anymore to my knowledge so I can't explain it.

Maybe that is the same with your son, or maybe he is just someone with low self esteem and being that he joined the Marines, the toughest military in the world, he has to live up to that image. I know I don't have all the answers but I think that you should be firm with him in your suspicions and leave it at that. Hopefully this helps you decide.

GySgt Gale Owen
USMC Ret.


"Never Give In - never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense."
Winston Churchill


USMC Skull Tattoo Here is a photo of my USMC tattoo (on my shoulder). It was done by Micro in Baton Rouge, LA.

Sgt. Philip J. Chandler
USMC 1995-1999
Semper Fi


New Website for HQ Company 2nd Battalion 24th Regiment
4th Marine Division
1942-1945
www.hq224usmc.com
I am the son of Sgt Leon Padelskas, who served in the HQ Co 4th Marines and fought on Roi Namur Saipan Tinian and Iwo Jima. I have seen several websites for the different companies but never one for any of the HQ Companies. I decided a way to honor my Dad was to create a website for his company. I think he was always disappointed that I went Navy instead of Marines in 1972 (as a photomate, I still think I made the right decision).

My aunt had saved every letter dad wrote home in WWII starting with his first letter home from P.I. which I have posted on the website. I am in the process of scanning all of them to put in a book. She kept them in a scrapbook in date order.

I am trying to find and contact members of his company to get more stories and pictures. Please check it out and give me your feedback.

Jeffrey Padell PH3
USS Independence


"The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records. They are written, as with a sun beam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power."

Alexander Hamilton


Want to thank you, your family & your staff for helping me connect with a buddy. We were together from the early days, of boot, I.T.R., Pendleton, across the pond to N.T.A. & Vietnam 07-01-64 to 10-01-65.

Lost track. You helped me find him after 42 years. We are now sharing e-mails & sending photos from those days gone by. Merry Christmas & Happy New Years to all of you. Thank you. Sgt. Jack Drea # 2097674


Sgt. Grit
I very much look forward to the weekly news letters that you send out. I wanted to be a Marine at the age of 12 but was sent a letter saying that I was to young, wanted to join at the age of 17 but parents wouldn't let me.

Finally at the age of 20 and failing at college followed my dream.

That was 20 something years ago. Sure do miss those days in Camp San Mateo 2nd Bn 7th Marines humping the 81 mm & 60 mm. Not mention mount mother F*&^r. I recently joined to groups of great people, The Patriot Guard Riders and Leathernecks Motorcycle Club Texas Chapter 7. One thing I find hard to understand is why everyone even a Marine refers to themselves and us inactive Marine as Former or Ex or WAS A Marine. I thought once the name Marine was earned in boot camp you will always be a Marine. Just so you know I wear my EGA Leatherneck colors proudly on my biker leathers and fly my USMC Colors on my Harley at ALL Times.

Semper Fi to all my brothers and sister active or inactive.

ONCE A MARINE ALWAYS A MARINE

LCpl Greg S. (dreamweavr) Sanderson
2nd Bn 7th Mar Echo Co
1980-1984


Marine Wife Tattoo A Marine Wife's Tattoo

My husband is currently a Lance Corporal with 3rd Battalion 2nd Marines (out of Camp Lejeune) serving in Iraq right now. We are high school sweethearts, and got married in March, while I was still finishing high school. In May, I graduated, and then moved with him to North Carolina.

The day we moved into our apartment, he took me for a ride around Jacksonville, and surprised me with the opportunity to get the tattoo that a friend of mine helped me draw up. Being "Semper Fi" to each other has always been an important thing for us, and I couldn't let him get all the fun moto tats! So anyway, Sgt. Grit, here is my tattoo! It is on my right shoulder.

Danielle Scott


"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it."
Thomas Paine


Color Guard Sgt. Grit,
Please find attached a picture of my wife and grandson with a Marine Color guard at the opening day of the International Quilt Festival in Houston. You have to love those promoters of this event. A prayer was said along with the playing of the National Anthem. Little Ethan was in awe of the Marines, so afterward the ceremony, he told his Grandma that he wanted to talk to the "soldiers". ( he's only three...cut him some slack)

He was somewhat intimated by the men when they approached but they soon were high fiving him and talking with the family. I wasn't present but while quizzing him later, he told me "They had flags and rifles". I would like to thank these Marines for taking the time to visit with my bunch.

Regretfully, my wife failed to mention to them that I was a member of the fraternity.

Thanks a bunch.
Semper Fi
Dan Buchanan


Dear Grit Fans,

Just wanted to pass on my thoughts and prayers to all the families who may have lost someone in the service or who may have someone presently deployed. I am a gulf war vet and former Marine. I am active in my community making sure that at least one town in Long Island New York will never forget and always respect what our men and women are doing for us! I have four young children that live a free life and a safer life because of all volunteer Armed Forces we have. So from my kids I say........Thank you and Merry Christmas!

Semper-Fi --Patrick Cardone

"If the Army or the Navy ever looked on Heaven's scene, they'd find the streets are guarded by United States Marines!"


"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."
Albert Einstein


I have previously submitted several submissions for the Sgt. Grit newsletter which was published, I hope this one is published as well.

Recently there have been several articles about phonies who are prison inmates. I wish to know this is not an acceptable practice among incarcerated veterans, phonies or those who inflate their military records.

I am currently the Chairman of the Veterans Group of Solano, which in a prison in the California State Prison system. To be eligible for membership in the group a person must be a Veteran of the U.S. military.

A DD214 must be submitted within 90 days of enrollment or the membership is cancelled.

Those inmates who are veterans and seek to wear, display, or possess any military, decoration or award must have earned the award in question, and only then are they allowed to request them from the National Military Records in St. Louis, or purchase them from their own funds.

Any inmate wearing unauthorized awards are confiscated by the veterans or staff and the person is branded a liar in prison.

Yes, we get our share of recon, special forces, secret missions, and 75th Rangers, who spent all their time in El Salvador chasing drug runners, these guys too are exposed and outcasts from our ranks. However, our ranks are filled with Marines, Sailors, Soldiers, and Airmen who held traditional mos/rates.

The goal of the incarcerated veterans groups is to help incarcerated veterans of any United States Armed Forces branch, who served their county to assimilate back into society as constructive and productive members of society. To develop and re-instill pride, unity, and ethical standards we can utilize in our daily lives and in our respective communities upon release from confinement. Therefore, phonies and toleration of inflating military background will not acceptable, nor do this behavior help achieve our goals.

To all Marines and Sailors, Happy Birthday! may God protect our Warriors in harms way. Long live the United States and success to our Corps. Semper Fi

Darryl D.J. Newton Sgt. USMC


Sgt. Grit,

I graduated boot camp 0n Aug 28th, 1987 at Parris Island, S.C. My Senior Drill Instructor, Staff Sgt Wilson, had relayed stories of how all Marines are brothers and how we always looked out for each other. I left boot camp for the real Corps will visions of a wonderful brotherhood, this vision was severely bruised as I went from duty station to duty station.

Don't misunderstand, I love being a Marine, always have, always will; and will fight to the death anyone who degrades the USMC. But I developed a Love/Hate relationship with the Corps during my four years of service. I loved the adventure, the pride, the uniqueness of the Corps but I experienced things that Marines shouldn't do to fellow Marines.

My brother Marines broke into my room, pried open my wall locker and stole my $4,000 stereo. A Marine broke into my locked footlocker and stole $300. A Marine borrowed my Dress Blues and I never saw either one again. A Marine used my name out in town with his girlfriends and almost cost me my future wife. I could list more but you see my point. I was in supply, a 2311(Ammo Tech). I had signed up to be an armorer but that didn't happen. I believe that being in supply may have had something to do with my bad experiences.

When I was able to serve with the grunts I noticed a major difference between their attitude and the attitude of the Marines I normally served with. Grunts did look out for each other and treated each other with respect. I did have times when an un-named Marine would appear out of nowhere and lend aid and then just disappear.

Grunts watched each others backs, I spent most of my time watching my own, just waiting for my "brother" to stab me one more time. But now that I'm out, whenever I meet another Devil Dog, I forget all the bad times.

I was on a poker run and we had stopped at a Harley dealer. I was checking out the jackets when an older gentleman saw me a yelled, "Semper Fi, Devil Dog!" I whirled around and had just a second before he was bear hugging me. When we talked he informed me he had been in the nam. We exchanged stories and then it was time to mount back up and ride.

That Marine was my brother, not the ones who treated my Corps like a door mat or an easy way to make a buck. I didn't catch his name, but while we talked, a Desert Storm Marine got to meet his brother, a Marine from another war who just wanted to say "hello". I do typically wear something with USMC or an Eagle Globe and Anchor on it and my hair is still High and Tight so I'm easy to pick out. No tats though (but that's another letter).

Thanks for letting me write this, I'll probably read letters about what I said, but it's what happened to me.

SEMPER FI!

Randall Epps
Cpl of Marines
'87-91


"Little progress can be made by merely attempting to repress what is evil; our great hope lies in developing what is good."
Calvin Coolidge


Sgt. Grit,
I am a Marine 1957-1963, now retired from my job and work as a Volunteer in Patrol for the Tulare County Sheriff's Dept. The other day our Sheriff had for the holidays an open house and the start of the unclaimed rebuilt bicycle give away to less fortunate children. Since I work out of one of the area substations, I was at the headquarters office taking care of some of the paper work for our station.

I had a bite to eat in the deputies lounge and was walking to dispatch when I passed an elderly well dressed gentleman just Amble walking down the hall looking around, I said Hi, and he returned my greeting. While I was in the dispatch office picking up log papers, I again noticed him walking around looking at everything. This time I walked up introduced myself and discovered he was a retired assistant D. A., we were talking about the new dispatch office when I noticed on his lapel a USMC Honorable Discharge pin.

I ask him when he served and discovered he was a Marine 1941 through 1945 and felt he was very lucky since he was one of the few who served in several campaigns with out injury. He told me in 1941 he was in high school and not doing well and went down to the Naval recruiting office, they told him he would have to enlist for six years, stating this seemed to long the Navy recruiter told him to go across the street to the Marines who will enlist for four years. He did and was in boot camp on Dec. 7th. and the rest was the Navy's loss our gain.

We probably talked for 20 to 30 minutes when I introduced my patrol partner who was the wife of a career Marine and must of talked to him for another 10-15 minutes. Having obligations and responsibilities to continue our job, we both shook his hand, thanked him and said Semper Fi.

I walked him up stairs and introduced him to one of our Deputy Sgts. who I knew was a Marine also, for one Marine another is not hard to spot. I was told later I had made this Hero's day by taking the time to be with him and talk. I think that he did not know he had made my day as well. Just a reminder, take to talk to our older Hero's, let them know what they have done was worth while.

Jim Murrell
Cpl 1957-1963


Sgt Grit,

I appreciate what you do and all your readers, my prayers are with those in service to our great country and the families left behind. My mom always said it harder to be a Marine Mom than to be a Marine, I think that goes for wives and children also. Anyway I wanted to respond to something "RavenWolf" said. RavenWolf was deployed to Iraq for two years "as a USG employee NOT a contractor = for the mission not the money." I take exception to the comment, I spent a tour in the Corps ending with the rank of SGT. I left the Corps attended college and wanted to continue my service to the country and became a Defense Contractor. Not all of us are making money hand over fist. I provide technical support to the government for missile warning and missile defense and am very proud of the work we do.

The folks working for me and myself care deeply for the missions we support.

I have had some employees convert over to government positions at very similar pay so what we do is not for the money it is for the mission.

Semper Fi
Steve Smith
76 - 79


"Liberty is the hardest test that one can inflict on a people. To know how to be free is not given equally to all men and all nations."
Paul Valery


Sgt. Grit:

Confusion to the foe and success to the Marines.

I have watched and listened to media news pundits attempting to cast aspersions upon our beloved Corps: from charges of premeditated murder on the battlefield to feigned shock and disbelief when Gen. Peter Pace upheld the UCMJ in defense of "Don't Ask; Don't Tell". He stated quite simply that he believed an "alternative lifestyle" is immoral. What he did not say is that he also believes that cohabitation without benefit of clergy is likewise immoral.

I cannot blame the media for doing their jobs as they see fit; after all, we have a First Amendment in the United States which guarantees everyone to their own opinion in speech, printed word, and electronic transmission. The Marines, with their reputations for steadfast valor comprise an outstanding target of opportunity for such nit-picking.

Irony dictates that we're here to preserve, protect and defend those rights.

We've all felt the call, and our oaths bind us to the defense of Freedom.

I agree with Rudyard Kipling in that respect: "If at times our conduct isn't all your fancy paints/Why single in barracks don't grow into plaster saints." . Furthermore, bad news and controversy sell more newsprint and air space than pictures of jarheads sharing their MRE's with street kids, Corpsmen weeping for dying enemies, or the expressions of joy on Marines' faces when they distribute presents donated to Toys for Tots. I can't blame the newsies for trying to make a buck, I just wish they'd go with the New York Times' motto: "all the news fit to print" rather than selectively printing only those stories which support their own political agenda. By the way, my wife chastises me on occasion for grumbling at the TV screen during some inane so-called expose designed to discredit the troops.

Just now, my son is enrolled at Maine Maritime Academy pursuing a course in Marine Systems Engineering, an a member of MMA's Navy ROTC: as far as his leadership is concerned, he is a prime candidate for Marine Infantry. He comes from a continuous line of citizen soldiers dating as far back as the French and Indian War (his grandmother included).

However, he told me he wants to be a SEAL. His telling me so reminded me of another college student, me, thirty-six years ago who told his father: "It's my turn in the barrel." (you can translate that "It's my turn at bat.") It may be a Chicago thing, but whenever we're out Christmas shopping, and I'm wearing my "Marine Mustang" ball cap, I'll hear a "Semper Fi" and automatically answer "Do or die.": challenge and password. My son usually says something akin to "Get some, buttplate."

They call our parents "the greatest generation". However, if my son and his buddies are any example, you ain't seen nothin' yet. He is the eighth kid from a comfortable neighborhood in Chicago's South Loop to volunteer for service in the armed forces. God bless 'em. Let the Tribune print that.
Ken Brown


I recently went to a debate about our policy in Iraq, a very American-type of thing....when did Americans ever agree about anything?
Anyway, I'm in the audience in my golf shirt with the EGA on the chest.
The guy next to me made a statement with which I strongly disagreed (who took what position on the war is irrelevant), and I told him so in very strong terms. He looked down at the EGA on my shirt, and rolled up his sleeve, revealing a beautiful EGA tattoo on his forearm. He looked at me and said "I disagree with what you're saying, brother...but I'd die to defend your right to say it." I looked at him and just said "Yeah. Me, too. Semper Fi."

All kinds of opinions in this brotherhood of ours. Thank God for those who continue to defend our right to express those opinions.

Freekick

LCPL, 3MarDiv HQCO, HQBN


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


Marine Howdy from Texas,

I'm proud to say that I am the future Mrs. of a Fighting Machine Marine, and my time with him has proven to be the best days of my life. I would like to thank all of the men and women who fight for our country, and I always have a prayer for those who haven't made it home yet. My future Marine's strength, honor and courage has toughened me up, and for once in my life I'm not afraid anymore. God bless America and Marines, both of which we would be nothing without. By the way, the catalogue merchandise is a big hit in my home!

Semper Fi,
Charlotte Marie Davis


Just wanted to take a few minutes and thank you Sgt Grit for your service to our country and for the service you are still giving to our country. I look forward to your newsletter. The memories I recall with everyone of them. I too remember those hard core Drill Instructors, who if it wasn't for them there is no telling where I would be today. To those elite Marines of Plt 3067, MCRD San Diego June- September 1974 where ever you may be a big THANKS.

I have one other to thank. My Marine Mom. She raised three of us. And she is proud of us all. She was my inspiration to keep trudging along doing the very best job that I could do. She had her sleepless nights worrying about her Marines, hearing about Marines being sent into some country and wondering if her Grunt was among them. Thank You MOM!

One final Thanks go out to all my Marine Brothers and Sisters, past, present and future. It was you who kept me safe while I was growing up, it was you that when at the age of 5 impressed me so much that I made it a life long dream to be a Marine. It was you that while serving my beloved Corps served with pride beside me, made me who I was on active duty. And it will be you who in the present and the future keep my family safe with you unselfish dedication to duty. God Bless you all.

Finally I want to wish all Marines and their families a Merry Christmas, to their families a heart felt Thanks for your dedication to your Marines.

Jim Burroughs
1stSgt USMC Retired
1974 - 1995
Shelby, NC


"Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions."
George Washington


This is to the colonel (who didn't sign his/her name, by the way) who you featured in issue #163 - 13 Dec 2007. I can respect his/her opinion about peace activists. I can also respect their opinions, as well. Sgt Grit claims to be a newsletter of American Courage. I'm wondering if it is also a newsletter of opposing views. I do not question the many letters that pour in of a pristine nature; of women and men that, without question, answer the call of duty put forth by their country. My question is about independent thinking. Apparently, no one that subscribes to this newsletter wants to be "The Devil's Advocate" (the devil, by the way, wasn't a part of the christian religion until 365 A.D., in case you didn't do the research, but I digress (or then again, maybe not)). If the colonel was capable of independent thought, he/she would have known that war only leads to broken lives, He/she would have known that war never solved anything. The saying, "Might makes right" is so antiquated that it should have been thrown out a long time ago. Look at the parallels - Hitler started out winning, and so did George Bush.

Now, we're getting our butts kicked! The parellel of Viet Nam and the Middle East are more than too casual to ignore. For those of you who think Viet Nam was a just war, I would suggest that you read Maurice Frank. Here's the deal on Viet Nam - in October, 1963, JFK signed the Executive Order for the complete withdrawal of all US Forces from Southeast Asia. Okay; no brainer here - November 1963 JFK is assassinated. Anybody waking up here??? George and his VP (how much money has he made off this war, and his whole cabinet, as well) have been lying to us from Day One. At least General Colin Powell had the integrity to not stay with "W" for a second tour. (another footnote: LBJ, also from Texas, that made a profit off the Viet Nam war - how ironic he died after not seeking re-election (hmmm...Enron ringing a loud bell here, too)).

I'm going to put this to everyone - as Officers and Non- Commissioned Officers - when you joined the military, did you agree to give up your right to think? It would seem so, according to the Colonel's letter to Sgt Grit.

Perhaps he/she would like to claim, as Lt William Calley (you remember the massacre in Viet Nam?), "I was just following orders." I don't know about all of you, but we took down Saddam illegally. If you check with the UN, we weren't sanctioned to invade Iraq. The USA (President Truman, you remember, was one of the founders) entered into this agreement to stop the very agression we perpetuated on Iraq. (Oh yeah, I keep forgetting...might makes right and we can do whatever we want).

is a newsletter of true American Courage, or just another rag supporting the real terrorist with weapons of mass destruction (you know, the guy in the oval office at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave).

By the way, Colonel, I am
James S. Carr
GySgt, USMC, Ret
South Bend, IN
(Here's some more balls: 574 904 2109)
AND a supporter of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW)


"Regardless of what you do in your life, hold onto your moral compass. When you are emotionally least capable of defending yourself is when the biggest challenge will come. If you don't have an idea of what you will let yourself do and what you will not let yourself do, you may find that you have done something that you would never believe yourself capable of doing."
Gen Peter Pace, Sept 2007


I recently read the article regarding Cpl. Merlin German and his burn injuries. While burned not quite to the same extent as he, I understand many of the difficulties he strives to overcome. I had never been seriously injured before, so always wondered how I would fare if it ever happened to me.

Well, it did happen.

In May, 1999, I was scalded in a work accident, resulting in 3rd degree burns to 36% of my body, mostly legs and arms. While alone in the ICU, I faced some of the same issues as Cpl. German. How would I cope?

Although I was long out of active duty, my Marine training kicked in.

Part of my inspiration came from the knowledge that there were others elsewhere in far worse shape than I was, part of it came from my Marine friends who stopped by to give me encouragement, of course my wife and family were extremely influential, and I also believed that whatever the outcome, I was safe in the hands of God. Marines are God's warriors (even old ones), and God has made us such as part of his plan. So, we carry on to the best of our ability, whatever the outcome, to accomplish His goals. One other source of inspiration was a sign in the hospital that read, "I am not a victim, I am a survivor." I believe that with all my heart. It appears that Cpl. German believes it, too.

I take no credit for my speedy recovery, as I could call on my sources of inspiration to help me work through the tough times. They were what helped me to deal. They lent me the strength to focus on the hours of rehab that I needed to endure. I hope that Cpl. German has the same kinds of support to help him as he progresses through his recovery. I do know that being burned is a life-changing event: no matter how successful