P. Santiago on Suribachi Well I didn't make the 400. My consolation is that at least I have had the Honor of actually setting foot on Iwo. It was in 1954, the 3rdMarDiv conducted landings out of Japan. We landed on the opposite side of the island from the original landings. Didn't think of taking a bit of the black sand then. After the operation, I guess we were too excited just having the opportunity to explore the battle sites including going to the top of Suribachi. Although many of us had fought in Korea; THIS WAS IWO! There were still many signs of the battle; wreckage, coastal guns still in cave emplacements, etc..
I've included a photo of myself at the monument on Suribachi. That's me on the left.

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On another note:
Many younger Marines refer to those of us older Warriors with admiration and awe. You can imagine how we felt serving under veterans of WW I, Haiti and Nicaragua. Now, that was humbling. We certainly didn't put on any Marine 'airs' in their presence. In 40 or 50 years, Marines will be speaking with the same feelings when they refer to those who have served in the Persian Gulf area.
Semper Fidelis,
P. Santiago

Conceal A Pint

Dear Sgt. Grits.
Your 2 Aug 2007 letter was one of the best ever.
Thanks to Sgt. G. Cable for a great tribute to John Basilone. I had the pleasure and honor of serving with Gunny Robert Allen in Korea. He lost the cheek of his *ss to the mortar round that killed John Basilone. His Manila John stories were legendary.
A note to Cpl. Patrick Arata. From 1950 to 1956 they were known as IKE Jackets. I never heard them called Battle Jackets. Nomenclature has a tendency to change with time. I guess we didn't care what they called them as long as we didn't have to wear a 'Blouse'. Hard to conceal a pint in a Blouse.

L'il Albie. Sgt of Marines 1950-1956 1090828/0311/2533

Go To "real" Marines

Hello, Sgt Grit;

I hit the Yellow Footprints 07DEC61 at MCRD SD - Platoon 2001. I'm not sure exactly when we received our Greens but it must have been sometime in February 1962. I was issued one blouse and one Battle Jacket. I recall my Junior drill Instructor was not happy about "boots" getting Battle jackets that should go to "real" Marines. Four or five of us were issued battle jackets, and we were told never to wear them in formation. It was never clear if they meant in boot camp, or ever. I only ever wore it off base, and still have it today. It pretty much still fits, if I'm naked underneath it.

LCpl Jim Blett 1371 7th EngrBtn

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Here is something that I hope you all will enjoy:

After an Army General dies and enters the pearly gates, God takes him on a tour. He shows the General a little two-bedroom house with a faded Army flag hanging from the front porch. "This is your house General," God says happily. "Most people don't get their own houses up here." The General Looks at the house, then turns around and looks at the one sitting on top of the hill. It's a huge, beautiful two-story mansion with white marble columns and little patios under all the windows. Marine Corps flags line both sides of the sidewalk and a huge Marine Corps Emblem hangs between the marble columns.

"Thanks for the house God," the General says. "But let me ask you a question. I get this little two-bedroom house with a faded Army flag, and that Marine up there gets a mansion with Marine Corps Emblems and Marine Corps flags flying all over the place. Why is that?"

God looks at him seriously for a moment and then says, "General, that's my house."

Thanks for the great work you folks do!
R C Knight
RVN '66-'67

I Like Me Wall

Sgt Grit:

The attached photo is of one of my treasures on my "I Like Me Wall" and was given to me by my Supply Section as a going away present. It is front and center and right below the Marine Corps Seal, the place of honor. As this is most likely the most revered photo of the Marine Corps it is only fitting that it be so placed - between my Retirement Certificate and my Awards display. This has the Photo, the .03 cent stamp of the same picture, and a small bag of sand from Iwo Jima (retrieved by a friend on the visit to the island and matted by his wife in the frame).

Iwo Jima Sand Wall plaque Every Marine who has seen this has wanted one but unfortunately there are no more like this one. I can't provide more but can share the photo.

Semper Fidelis,
Jim McDonald
1958 - 1966 & 1975 - 1998
Newark, CA

Full Metal Jacket

Joseph Alvino's letter incorrectly states that "FMJ refers to the "jacket" of a bullet, round or projectile, usually an armor piercing."
Full Metal jacket (FMJ) simply means that the copper bullet cladding completely covers the lead core. Armor piercing rounds have a penetrating core of steel, or tungsten, not lead, that is not covered by the jacket cladding at the tip of that round. Armor piercing rds usually have a black or green tip to distinguish them from ordinary FMJ rounds that are also known as "ball ammo".

This difference is important as many "anti-gunners" will try to dishonestly link ordinary ammo with "cop killer" penetrating ammo when the two are completely different.

Jim Evenson
Cpl of Marines '64-'67, Chu Lai, 1st Mar Div, Distinguished Rifleman #1256, Marine Corps Distinguished Shooters Assoc.

Being A Fan

Richardson Tattoo Sgt Grit,
Like many, it took a while to find a Corps tattoo I would be happy with. Being a fan of your site, I found the perfect image. This was not my first, and will not be my last tattoo. Next, a high explosive 155mm round will go nicely on the tricep!

See ya next time.
Semper Fi
Steven Richardson, Sgt 95-99
Kilo Btry, 3/10

He Looked Up

Dear Sgt Grit:

As a boy of 8 in Pittsburgh Pa. in the year 1944 I was sitting on the fire escape steps at the 3rd floor of our apt. when a U.S. Marine, light hair, big and strong, came walking down the street in dress blues. I had never seen anything like him, I shouted "Hey Marine, good luck" He looked up and said "good luck to you" Wow was I impressed and decided right there that I was going to be a Marine some day. Well Sir, my name is Sgt Eugene R. O'Neill, (1597641) 1956-1959,D Co. 2nd Tank Bn. 2nd Div. FMF and I did become a U.S. Marine for life. I fell in love with the most wonderful girl in the world, got engaged in 1957 and married in 1959. I didn't know it, but we grew up 2 blocks apart and never knew each other. My wife had a brother, a Marine, PFC Edmund E. Kubiak. He was killed on Feb. 28 1945 on Iwo Jima (Feb 8th was his 19th birthday) and yes, the brother-in-law that I didn't know was the Marine that I always wanted to be.... God does move in mysterious ways!
Semper Fi...

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The Kids

I have had a canister of Iwo Sand for many years and intend that it be sprinkled over my last resting place.

I also have a quantity implanted under the skin of my left elbow, visible, which was not cleaned out of a shrapnel wound and some of it imbedded in my knees and right hand. So, I just may take some of that with me! I gathered these souvenirs at sector "G" yellow beach on 19 Feb, 1945. Fortunately I was able to stay on duty for the duration of the time our regiment spent on Iwo. (23rd, 4th Mar Div, FMF).

Jarvis, Harold E, Corpsman, Phm2, Member Howling Mad Smith Det. USMCL

H Jarvis

They went off to war when they were just kids, Those daring young men in their teens; Millions of them did what they did, The Army, the Navy, the Marines.

Breaching ashore in landing craft boats, Amphibious tractors and tanks, Into fierce battles as history notes, Without ever breaking the ranks.

Midst missiles and bombs, shrapnel and sand, Hot rifles and cannonade flame, Machine guns arguing in no-man's land, Much bleeding and suffering and pain.

Everyone trembled and everyone prayed,
Still they were true and they tried,
'Twas kill or be killed, the gauntlet was laid, But it seemed that the heroic ones died.

Boys became men in split seconds of time, As they met the foe on the field; Oft' hand to hand in the front lines, Till the fate of the battle was sealed.

It bothers them yet, they wake up in sweat, To think of their buddies who fell, 'Twas a long time ago but they can't forget The fire and Brimstone of H&ll.

My Only Regret

Sgt Grits this 75 year old retired USMC chief warrant, who is in the last stages of blood cancer, and as i have been to the best of the best with regard to doctors, mayo clin/st joseph hosp, Jacksonville fla, Bethesda naval hospital, Bethesda, md, and the cleveland clinic, as my days are waning and i have no regrets for doing my twenty, as i have now been retired for over 37 years, and as in the Marine Corps, every day has been a holiday and every meal a banquet, my only regret is that i am not able to take my place in iraq or where ever, i was one of the chosen few, yes at the reservoir, and yes under president Ike in Lebanon in the late 50, and to all Marines both active and retired or just did their hitch and got out, and especially to their families, when the time is closing in on one such as me, i find solace in the fact that i am more then positive that the streets of heaven are guarded by u s Marines and that the pearly gates has a sgt major on duty, so to all a fond SEMPER FI, AND GOD BLESS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICAN. NILE E WHITE CWO 2, 1139517/099529 USMC FROM SEPT 50 TO APR 70.

I Am Looking

Sgt Grit:
I am looking at 2 small bottles of Iwo sand. I received these from my friend and Iwo veteran Alvin Dunlap. The first one is very coarse and very black. He said he had brought it home when he left Iwo in 1945, and he said that's the way I remember it. The second bottle was given to him from some friends Who made a visit to Iwo in 1996 and from Red Beach. It is much more of a brownish color. Perhaps that is what they mean when they say "time heals everything". I will attach a picture of Alvin as it appeared in the March 1945 issue of Yank Magazine. The same photo was used in the Marines "Guidebook for Marines" about 1947 as the face sheet for chapter 3. He also has appeared in several videos.Yank

I am also saddened by the recent loss of another Iwo Jima veteran Chuck Lindberg the last living survivor of the first flag raisers. I will miss my many phone visits with Chuck. For those who will say there are other living survivors of that event I could once again explain the difference between "Flag Raisers" and Flag Raising Participants". But I don't want to get involved in that controversy again.

Who I am--Vernon (Tom) Mc Nulty
Waterloo IA (home of the 5 Sullivan Brothers US Army 1945-1946 US Marine Corps 1947-1952 Still a Marine

There are not enough words to express my thanks for your dedication to my beloved Corps. When my budget allows I will continue to buy only items that Chesty would approve of.

Got The Tee Shirt

I joined, I volunteered, I took and I gave and The Marine Corps has continued to supply me and mine with honor and friends. I joined the Marines in Sept of '65 after going to night school for three years for an aircraft mechanics license. (who else would let you work on a million dollar aircraft alone). After PI boot camp was shortened by two weeks while we were there, Sgt Gonyeau and Sgt McDermott were able to whip us into shape (and I do mean whip). After AIT at a reactivated area in Camp Lejeune, I spent a few weeks in NAS Memphis where we were promised the top graduating Marine would get his choice of duty stations. The choice of duty stations was MCAS Yuma with VMT 2 (VMAT 103) Volunteered for RVN in 1968 got caught up in the Pueblo incident (we were issued cold weather gear in Iwakuni) with VMA 223 after a lot of 24/7 of kickin' the tires and lightin' the fires the squadron was deactivated in time for my short-time calendar to go to 0 when I returned to Cherry Point, got an early out in mid '69. I've flown in the TF9J ,TA4F worked on Gooney bird RF4D in Chu Lai, Ov10 in the fuel pits and FJC in school. I know what 50 yards of flight line is and I picked up ST 1's, I asked the FNG's for a sky hook... Like they say I've been there, done that and got the tee shirt.

Semper Fi Marines
Bill Carey Cpl of Marines 65-69


Sgt Grit:

"We make our friends; we make our enemies; but God makes our next door neighbor." Chesterton, Gilbert K.

Our younger brother, former Marine Cpl. Richard G. Merna, a Korean War veteran, died on July 4th last year (2006). Yesterday (August 7, 2007) would have been his 73rd birthday, so my wife and I, despite the over 100 degree heat, decided to visit him at the Quantico National Cemetery to personally wish him a "Happy Birthday."

Gerald Merna Photo We stopped at a store for a plant, flag and "Happy Birthday Balloon." When we got there the cemetery, in contrast to this past July 4th when we also visited, was pretty well austere. We noted several grounds people laboring in the very hot sun with weed eaters and others cutting the grass. One funeral for an Army veteran) was underway. (For anyone who may not be aware, Quantico National Cemetery located in Triangle, VA only a few miles from the Quantico Marine Base and National Museum of the Marine Corps, is a Department of Veterans Affairs cemetery for ALL veterans, not just Marines).

The grounds maintenance folks apparently had cleared the usually many decorated graves of older plants, flags and other ornaments left by loved ones. We planted our birthday presents, quietly said some brief prayers and birthday wishes, snapped a few pictures, and began our almost 100-mile (round-trip) drive home.

As we drove slowly through the cemetery toward the main gate, noting with pride all of Richard's "neighbors," I spotted a beautiful scene of a park bench and some trees, and told my wife I was going to stop and take a picture of that serene scene amidst the many graves around it. Walking toward the bench I noted a headstone with a vase of flowers that had fallen over and righted it--by pure chance it was another Marine Corporal's headstone.

Gerald Merna Photo As I was about to get back into my car (and as pure luck would have it), I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw a headstone in the front row facing the road and only a few feet from my parked car; it had a Christian Cross and this inscription:

"Lewis William WALT, GEN US Marine Corps WWII KO (Korea of course), VIETNAM Feb 16 1913 - Mar 26 1989, Navy Cross, Silver Star, PH)."

(What the headstone did not reveal was that Gen. Walt had earned two Navy Cross Medals, one for leading a battalion of the 5th Marines on Guadalcanal, the second, also as a Battalion Commander, at the landings at Peleliu. He of course had other distinguished awards, but there is room on a headstone for only the more prominent decorations).

Gerald Merna Photo Just getting over the surprise of seeing this headstone, I glanced to my left and was again caught unaware by the headstone on the immediate left of Gen. Walt's, with this inscription:

"Nancy WALT 2ND LT US Army WWII Jun 27 1917 – Apr 16 2000, Loved By All Who Knew Her."

Nancy Walt was a former wife of General Walt, and cared for him as an Army Nurse when he was wounded in WWII, and they were married for many years after that. (The General subsequently remarried).

To say I was "moved" is an understatement. I not only worked for Gen. Walt at HQMC but more significantly I was in both the 1st (W-1-5) and 2nd (E-2-5) Battalions of the 5th Marine Regiment in Korea (1952-1953) when then "Colonel Walt" was the Regimental Commander. This highly-decorated Marine combat veteran went on to earn four stars and serve as our Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps.

Here were two more "neighbors" of our brother Richard (another Brother James served in 1stBn, 5th Marines with me) resting peacefully on an otherwise hot, quiet day among thousands of fellow veterans of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and the various National Guard and Reserve Units of our Armed Forces. Rank plays no favorites in this hallowed ground—what they all share in common is devotion to God, Family and Country, courage, patriotism, and immense pride for their service in the fighting forces of the United States.

Gerald Merna Photo My wife watched silently as I repeated what I had done for my brother Richard; I knelt at both Walt graves and said a silent prayer, and also thanked them for their outstanding service to our Country and to our Corps. (See attached pictures---the date on them of 6Aug should have been 7Aug).

One proud (but related) aside: the current Commanding Officer of the 1stBn, 5th Marines is a veteran of Desert Storm and Iraq. He is my Brother Jim's son, and my nephew, LtCol. John G. Merna, United States Marine Corps! I know General Walt is smiling down on John as he prepares his Marines for yet another battle.

Semper Fidelis,
Gerald F. Merna
1stLt USMC (Retired)
Vietnam: 1966-1967

Night In A Saloon

Sgt Grit,
Just got my first newsletter, it is great reading! I thought I'd share a fun story with you fellow leathernecks. In 1981 I was on my third West-Pac with Kilo 3/3 and one of the highlights was ten days in Perth, Australia. On departure day I reported in one minute late because of a little too much time spent kissing good bye to my Aussie sweetheart. The Duty NCO was a good guy, but he had to report me because the OD was standing right there. As punishment I was restricted to the ship during our next liberty in Pattaya, Thailand. One night, off the Thai coast, I reported to the duty desk on the quarterdeck, which was the hangar deck, of the USS Belleau Woods at 0400 after a very brief nap. My CO, Captain Hummer, came strolling up and I just sat there and looked at him. He shouted, "Don't you think you better stand up and give me a salute?" I thought he had said, "You look like you spent the night in a saloon!" I looked him right in the eye, still seated, and said, "NO." As you might guess, I got a real earful about what a salty SOB I was getting to be. My Platoon Commander, Lt. James Welsh, later told me that Captain Hummer was so mad he wanted to put me in a chokehold. Guess that's one reason why I didn't get my third stripe until I joined the reserve.

Cpl LD Petty "Killer" Kilo 3/3 KBayHI 77-81

Piece Of Real Estate

Sgt Grit,

Thanks so much for the little piece of real estate so many gave their lives securing. That little bag is pinned to the photo of the Rosenthal picture in my office. I now have a conflict. After reading the letters of some of the 399 other recipients, I feel unworthy of owning this little bit of sacred soil. I served from 84 to 97 and was in three hot spots during my career. None of which compares to the fight for Iwo Jima. I am the Commandant of the Lehigh Valley Det in Allentown, PA. I've gone through the roster of members and none served on IWO. So my dilemma is whom to do I present this artifact too? The letter that struck me was of the Marine who will spread some on the grave of his uncle. What a fitting tribute. I feel lucky to be one of the 400 and am grateful. I hope to find a deserving Marine in the future. Thanks again and Semper Fi!

Howard Cooper
Commandant Lehigh Valley Detachment #296 Department of PA, Marine Corps League

Cottage Cheese Container

Our series, Platoons 317, 318, and 319, PI, Mar. thru Jun. 1959, was also issued one pair of boondockers and one pair of combat boots, that were worn on alternate days. Our Senior Drill Instructor, Acting Staff Sergeant (E-5) Lukasiewicz (loo-kah-seh-vitch) didn't believe that turds were capable of spit shining foot gear until we were issued dark brown dress shoes just before graduation. We then used black Kiwi on the shoes and learned the miracle of bottle shining our boondockers and boots from our Junior Drill Instructors, Acting Sergeants (E-4) Bischoff and Montalvo.

Plt 317 took honors in everything except the Rifle Range. We had one UNQ, and I'm afraid I didn't help much by firing a paltry 194, Marksman. Happy to add that I later shot Expert with the M-1, M-14, & M-16.

I also folded my socks over the tops of the boots when they were bloused. Does anyone recall Brasso-ing the hooks on the combat boots? How about getting an empty cottage cheese container from the mess hall, forming your cover on top of it, and then slopping on the starch with a paintbrush?

Hey Grit, keep up the good work.

Cpl, USMC 1841667, Mar 59- Mar 63
Sgt, US Army RA 12724303 Dec 64- Nov 67

Phoney Marine????

There has been much debate & opinion lately about who should wear the Eagle Globe & Anchor.
I have a greater question to ask all who subscribe.

Have I (or YOU) met a phoney Marine?

I know this guy, a subcontractor of the company where I am employed.

He saw my USMC utility cover, "I was a Marine." sez he.

I removed my cover, bowed my head & said "I was sorry to hear of your passing."
He looked puzzled, so I explained "Once a Marine... I left the rest unsaid; "Oh yeah, I get it" he explained.

Pressing on I ask, "What was your M.O.S.?"
Again, he looked puzzled, "What, it's been a few years?"

I said Military Occupational Specialty.
"Oh yeah I was a footsoldier." sez he.
Grunt, is the correct response.
The grunts I know are some of the Proudest I know.

Again I press the point "Yeah what is that number designation?"
"Oh I don't care to discuss that due to the nature of my missions."
0300 is the basic correct response with some changes due to specialty.

I myself am an amtracker 1833

He could not recall :
Any one of his Drill Instructors.
his MOS
His boot Platoon #
Any of his General Orders. (I remember, but cannot execute the 11th General Order.)

I was growing more skeptical & angry.
"Are you sure you want to claim being a Marine?"
My need for a job was about the only thing holding me back.
"For a Marine, you seem to know seem to know absolutely SH_T about it!"

I related this incident to him.

My son Nate, has a USMC sticker in his truck window.
Some homeless guy asks:
"Can you help a fellow Marine in trouble?"
Nate has not served, but reaches for his wallet.
"So Marine, where did you take boot camp?"

"Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri" came the answer Nate putting his wallet away, answered.
"Nice try; get your facts right; YOU are No Marine."

Now back to MY phoney.
He says "There's only 2 places to take boot training: San Diego or South Carolina right?"
This came as question more than stated fact.
The reference to South Carolina instead of Parris Island seemed wrong too.

I tell you now my brothers & sisters I wanted to jump this guy & beat the truth from him.
Has anyone else seen something like this?
How do you handle it?

Semper Fi
Don R.

Pretender Wannabes

Dear Sgt Grit

The battle has raged in me for years as to whether to write you or not for I am not sure how many women of my time are still around let alone read your weeklys.

For me the love of the Corps has never changed and it has been 17 years come October that I took the uniform of my beloved Corps off for the last time. I see many things hailing the endeavors of the men in uniform and they are all most sincerely deserved and most were earned with blood sweat and pain.

It is the Marine who makes himself hero who never knew sleeping in the mud, who always sat behind the safety of a desk stateside and who made life pretty miserable for a lot of ladies who loved their country and their Women Marine Corps as much if not more than those pretender wannabes ever thought of loving it.

We were all volunteers, none were ordered there by a judge to keep from going to jail, none were drafted, and none were forced to join for any reason other than love of country and Corps.

Give these Women Marines the credit for breaking the barriers down and making a place for women in the Marine Corps. I salute those who have picked up the banner since I left the Corps. God bless all Marines and safe Home.

Joyce Miller Roethler

Doin' What I Do Best

I began becoming a Marine aug 1960, I did 3 in the nam went to school at hill 55, than to our school for scout snipers following my tour in in Africa, been a lot of places and am proud of my Marine brothers and sisters in the Corps I retired in 1988 got an injury and diabetes and not fit for duty according to the "navy" docs whom I went to battle w/ and got a court Marshall and discharge *general under honorable conditions, loss of 2/3 pension and limited veteran benefits, never fought for the gov , fought for the Corps and my brother Marines and the flag and this country but never the gov. or the president most of whom I did not vote for cept ronnie. im still 100% Marine and have never found a Marine wife or one that would be considered a Marine wife am 64 now and do loss prevention for a large retail outlet wish I was still in and doin what I do best maybe I'll just go to h&ll and regroup Semper Fi, MGySgt J.R. Nelson U.S.M.C. retired Jon R.

Without Hesitation

Sgt Grit,

This is in response to J.D. Bennett, former Sgt. of Marines, who stated in this weeks Newsletter that Marines that are incarcerated shouldn't state they are a Marine. Two years ago, my then wife and I had an argument. She proceeded to call the Police and make a false claim against me for abuse. In North Carolina, all it takes is the accusation from one to put another in jail. Then a trial is set and everything comes out then. Well, my CO got involved after learning there had been a warrant placed for my arrest and talked to the magistrate. I ended up driving to the police station to turn myself in that same day, much to my disgust. The first thing I was asked when I was in the booking room was "Are you a Marine"? Without hesitation, I said "yes". Now, according to you, at this point I should have said no, right? Because that would disgust you to say you were a Marine, because you think Marines are perfect and don't make mistakes. You should NEVER deny that you are a Marine, nor be afraid or disgusted to acknowledge you are a Marine. Being in jail not only taught me a lot about the legal system to pass down to my junior Marines, it also taught me a lot about myself, and the mistakes I made. I was transported to the county jail that day for my mandatory overnight stay by a Police Officer, a former active duty Marine who had a lot of encouraging words for me. If not for me stating I was a Marine, I wouldn't have gotten those words from him. So, to you J.D. Bennett, I say you are WRONG in your statement, there are people out there, both civilian and former active duty Marines that will take care of their own. . . . But they can only do that if they know you are a U S Marine.


Chicago Area Helmets To Hard Hats

Dear Veteran:
My name is Mike Yauger. I am the Teamsters Joint Council 25 Representative for a program called Helmets to Hard Hats. Our program is designed to assist returning veterans in obtaining meaningful career opportunities. Helmets to Hard Hats is hosting a Job Fair for our veterans on August 28, 2007 at Navy Pier. We have immediate positions available through our corporate partners who are providing employment and career opportunities.

To obtain more information or you may visit our website at www.chicagoteamsters.org. Return registration may be submitted by U.S. Mail , by email to sfisher@786benefits.org or simply by bringing the registration form with you to the Job Fair.

Michael Yauger
President, Local 786

Iwo Sand

Sgt. Grit,

I won a package of the sand from Iwo Jima in your online contest. I live in Minnesota and had met Mr. Charles Lindberg of the first flag raising. The local Metro Marine Organization marketed a challenge coin several years ago with the image of Lou Lowery's photo of the flag raising, along with Mr. Lindberg's signature on the coin. Mr. Lindberg passed away June 24, 2007. Marines from all over the Minnesota and I dare say, the United States attended his funeral. I plan to make a shadow box with the coin and sand as a tribute to a fellow Marine. Thank for sponsoring the contest and thank you for your continued support of our beloved Corps!

Semper Fi
John C. Gavnik
Corporal of Marines 1973-1976

Tendency To Tilt

Sgt. Grit,
Just a comment about "physical correction". I've heard people say D.I.'s never hit recruits. When I went through Boot Camp (San Diego, 1970, Platoon 1073), our Senior D.I. used to smack me alongside the head. I had a tendency to tilt my head to one side and he was just straightening me out. I took it as "fatherly" correction. To me, it seemed as if SSGT Ross was disappointed in us when he had to discipline us. I know he had a major impact on my life.

Robert Popp
CPL '70 - 73'
2/9 '71-72'

Wizard Of Oz

I have a fond memory of going to pull targets or "butts" at Edson Range Camp Pendleton during rifle qualification.

For those of you who didn't do boot in San Diego, in order to get to the targets we had to march down a dimly lit underground tunnel.

I don't know if our D.I. came up with this cadence, but I haven't heard anyone else mention it. It came from the Wizard of Oz.

The preparatory command was the scarecrow's line: "If I only had a brain!"

When we commenced to march the cadence we "sang" was the cadence from the wicked witch's monkey-guards (Called Winkies) "Ooo – eeeee – ho! Yo ho! Ooo – eeeee – ho! Yo ho!

It was quite bizarre to hear the echo of 40 plus recruits singing that cadence and "setting them down" in unison in that dark tunnel. I still get goose bumps thinking about it.

L/CPL Louis Lapointe.

I'm Not Bragging

Hey, Sgt.

This is the second time I write you a letter but I have to tell you this story...When I was living in Southern Georgia I meet a lot of great people and some not too great, which include this idiot name Wayne. One day he came to me with his friends talking about his service in the Army. I asked him what he used to do in the Army and he told me that he was a green beret. I informed him that I used to eat green berets for breakfast every morning and he hates me since then. One day we were at a very special activity (Eagle Scout Court of Honor) and I was the guest speaker. I spoke about my experiences as a MARINE and EAGLE SCOUT and how I learn what is honor, duty to God and service to others during this two great periods of my life. After I finished my speech Mr. Wayne came to me and asked me why I have to brag about the Marine Corps all the time, and I respond; Hey...! I 'm not bragging. I'M JUST PROUD OF IT!

Daniel "Dan" Muqoz, CPL
Honorable Discharge - 1996
Medically Retired- 40% Combat Related

USMC Uniform Changes Implemented

Marine Corps News | Lance Cpl. Patrick M. Fleischman | July 30, 2007
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Marines can expect some new changes to the summer and winter uniform regulations and tighter restrictions when it comes to the use of the Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform off base.

A Marine Corps Administrative Message scheduled for release this week modifies the current Marine Corps Order P1020.34G governing Marine Corps Uniform Regulations.

"Our Corps has been in a transition phase with regard to our utility uniforms. That period is now ended," said the Commandant of the Marine Corps General James T. Conway in the message.

Of particular significance is the decision to make the desert MCCUU, with sleeves rolled up, the summer season uniform and to make the woodland MCCUU, with sleeves down, the winter season uniform.

During these seasons, the message says, all Marines will wear the prescribed uniform exclusively, with the exception of command-authorized uniforms for field and tactical environments, said Mary Boyt, program manager for the Marine Corps Uniform Board, Marine Corps System Command.

"The intent of this ALMAR is to create a standard for wear of the MCCUU for all Marines," said Conway in the message. "However, it is recognized that uniform policies at certain joint headquarters, and climactic conditions at some of our bases or stations, may lead to requests for waiver to policy."

In the message Conway also clarifies the new off-base use of the MCCUU.

Addressing both active and reserve forces, he emphasizes that the MCCUU is a field uniform and is not appropriate for wear in a civilian environment.

Although Marines will still be authorized to commute to work in their MCCUUs, they are not permitted to exit their vehicle at any time while in route to base with the exception of bonafide emergencies, such as a medical reason, vehicle breakdown or a vehicle accident.

Marines are also forbidden to visit local military-affiliated establishments off base such as the USO, Navy or Marine Federal Credit Union and day care while in their field uniforms, said Boyt.

Drive-through establishments such as ATMs, fast food restaurants or dry cleaners are authorized as long as Marines do not leave their vehicle, said Boyt.

Conversely, under the new rules Marines are no longer authorized to wear their combat uniforms at official or unofficial functions and conferences held off government installations and facilities without explicit command authorization, said Boyt

The Commandant reiterated the Marine Corps' penchant for excellence when it comes to uniform wear:

"As Marines, our uniforms and military appearance are an important part of our identity and have traditionally marked us as the nation's most distinctive military service," he said. Sound Off...What do you think? Join the discussion.

Copyright 2007 Marine Corps News

Came With Smokes

October 1982, sitting in the field eating our c-rats that had just been thrown off a deuce n' a half. Just happy I didn't get scrambled eggs, and trying to trade my mixed fruit for a pound cake or paraffin cookies. My buddy opens his, and is all excited to find a 5-pack of Benson Hedges inside. "Wow! Mine came with smokes!" Now, if memory serves me right, some Lookin-Out-For-My-Well-Being-Individual decided that it was wrong to put free cigarettes in C Rations going to the troops, and the practice stopped in 1968. So this yummy little box of canned delights had been floating around for about 15 years. That means the food was getting ready to expire in . . . another 10 years?

Gary Cagle

Hard Hitting Marines

I love the conversations that I share with all other Marines there is always raw emotion, you can see the pain in there eye's. I joined the Corps in 89 served til 95. I was the 4th generation Marine from the Sutton clan. Real devil dog fears nothing and leaves no stone uncovered. When I was young I believed all evil can be defeated with the aid of a platoon of hard hitting Marines. To this day I still feel the same as I did 12 yrs. ago. I hope that one day freedom will come again and the Marines will be given 2 weeks vacation.

Matt Sutton
(stalker 1-1 out) sta 2/7

The General

Sgt Grit-The summer of 1967 found me and my fellow company of Marines at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey CA. It was a welcome respite from Staging Battalion at Camp Pendleton (Camp Las Pulgas) where we had to spend only 2 weeks running the hills rather than 4 weeks in preparation for reporting to 'Nam. Those of us who took the Army Language Aptitude Test and passed formed this special company. We had a Latino Sergeant, a Korean War Veteran as a Company Commander. I was a Lance Corporal and my Squad Leader was Cpl Harrig. Harrig was returning to 'Nam for a 2nd tour with the Infantry. Cpl Harrig had visible scars on both his arms from shrapnel and Willy Peter burns. He was one tough cookie. Out of a company of over 100 Marines, I was one of ten who were Air Wing. The Brass at HQMC had decided that 10% of all Marines regardless of MOS going to 'Nam would be trained in the Vietnamese Language. We attended the short course of 3 months and after graduation were given a Secondary MOS of 9940. Near the end of our schooling we were all unwilling witnesses to the historic Monterey Jazz/Pop Festival of 1967 complete with Flower Children and Peace Freaks. As that weekend approached, our Commanding Officer, Army Captain Saiki, warned everyone that it would be wise to lay low as we would be heavily outnumbered by the Hippies. Our fellow Army students took this advice. Our Marines took that as a challenge. Near the end of the Festival on a Sunday night, one of my squad members got locked up when he mistakenly punched a local cop in the face. He was drunk and thought the undercover cop was a hippie. The Army CQ on duty (same as our Duty NCO) received a phone call from the Monterey Police Department informing us that the Marine would be released to his Commanding Officer if the CO would pick him up before midnight. When the CQ got a hold of Cpl Harrig, Harrig went to our CO's quarters and was informed by the CO's wife he was at the O'Club. It was now 11:00 pm. Harrig couldn't get into the O'Club so he called and talked to Captain Saiki and explained the situation. Having put up with us (Marines) for almost 3 months the Army Captain was not about to help us out and let Harrig know this. Unfazed, Cpl Harrig walked to the row of houses behind our barracks that housed 2 or 3 Army General Officers and at 11:30 pm knocked on the door of the first 2 Star General's House. The General clothed in robe and pajamas invited Harrig in and once he heard what the problem was had a car and driver accompany Harrig to go pick up our fellow Marine from the Monterey jail. The next day after school Harrig was invited into Captain Saiki's office. Expecting to get his butt chewed, Harrig was surprised as the Captain apologized to Harrig and the young Marine involved. Harrig told me later that just before he left the Captain's office, the he (the Captain) asked Harrig what made him take a chance like that going over his head and the chain of command. Harrig told the Captain "It's a Marine thing-we don't leave anyone behind." I don't know if Harrig made it safely through his second tour in 'Nam but if by chance he or a relative of his reads this I thank you for your leadership by example. Semper Fi,

Gene Hays
MSgt USMC Retired
RVN '67-'68

1st Annual Dove Hunt for Marines and Disabled Veterans

Ryan Holt is planning a free dove hunt over Labor Day in Eastland County, Texas. This will be open to all Marines and Disabled Veterans. There are two different tracs of land. For details contact: Ryan by email at sidneyrholt@yahoo.com or call at 903-348-7602....Ryan looks forward to meeting you.

Vietnam War Novel

I am currently working on a novel about the Vietnam War. Anyone that has a personal story about one of the major battles or missions that has NOT been previously published please send me an inquiry for further submission requirements to the following email address: marinervnvet@bellsouth.net . If your story is used, you will be given credit in the book and when published you will receive an autographed copy and a donation will be made in your name to your choice of the Marine Corps League Foundation programs Wounded Marines Fund or Marines Helping Marines.

Gene Hays
MSgt, USMC, Retired
RVN '67-'68

Short Rounds

Since I have gotten old I don't really keep very many thoughts going in my head at one time, but I seem to keep coming back to why so much of the stuff the ACLU and others like them classify as torture is the same stuff we went through in boot camp.....and that was just the GIRL'S boot camp!


thank you guys for putting your lives on the line for this country
joe jordan

In the world of cardiac surgeons and their patients, a "Full Metal Jacket" is three coronary artery stents.

Semper Fi,
Howard S. Browne MD
3/11--"A" Med Korea

In reference to Elliot ( Rifle PT, 3rd bn PISC ). I personally don't consider a little rifle pt, a satisfactory reason to boot a Drill Instructor. If I had I as the SDI sure as h&ll wouldn't have went out and bragged about it to the recruits. Sounds like the plt was probably getting some of what they needed. Too much big daddy is not necessarily a good thing. Semper Fi. stay hard on them Drill Instructors Calvin Ballew 1975-1995, DI PISC 86-89

When a Corpsman is killed in combat with Marines, is his / her escort the Navy or Marine Corps? --- His brothers, His Marines, of course! You guarded me in life, you guard me in death --- and I'll be waiting at the pearly gates with a tongue depressor and your shot record! Doc Steve Byars 2nd Plt., "E" Co., 2/1 '65-

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 !

This is a good message from a strong patriot.

The Few The Proud Coin
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God Bless America!
Welcome Home Marine, Job Well Done.
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

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