HEY SARGE! I agree with former Dill Instructor Calvin Ballew. About the article from Elliot. Boot Camp has sure changed since 57! I'm sure our JDI had to answer to the SDI. But it sure was not in front of the platoon. And we were told nothing! And as for RIFLE PT with a M-16's. He is lucky he was not in Platoon 266 / C Company, 2ND Battalion , Parris Island. 1957. Doing 1,100 up and over shoulders with a 9.5 pound M1. Or standing with both arms straight out in front, palms down, and your M1 on top of your hands! And if you leaned back for counter balance, the DI would come along and hit ya in the gut! Now that's rifle PT!
BRUCE OTIS
PI. 57-60
SEMPER FI

Free Of Charge

Hey Sgt Grit, My first Marine haircut was free of charge and I received it December 29, 1969. Each subsequent haircut was twenty-five cents and we got one every Friday while in boot camp at MCRD San Diego. Gunnery Sergeant T.L. Kirk ( God bless him ) was so hard core that we recruits in Platoon 1232 never were recognized as second or third phase recruits.
We got a super buzz cut all the way through training. Uh huh, we graduated boot camp as bald as the second day we arrived. Old Corps!
Ooooh Rah!

Dan Buchanan
E3 2531
1969-1971

Surprise

Hi Sarge,

I thought your readers might enjoy this little story. I left Phu Bai, RVN, in November of 1969. I wanted to surprise my family, so I didn't tell them that I would soon be on my way. After a round-about trip via Okinawa, Alaska, and California, I finally arrived in Boston. Wanting to get home as quickly as possible, I turned my back on busses and hired a taxi to take me the forty miles to my home in Blackstone, MA. I had my arrival all planned out. I paid the cabbie, walked up to the side door in my spit- shined shoes and tailored uniform, let myself in with my key, and yelled "Surprise!". Well, the surprise was on me as I scared the h&ll out of the family that had bought our house from my parents. Since I hadn't mentioned coming home very soon, they had sold the place and had planned on telling me about it when I announced my arrival date.
After calming the new family and assuring them that I was not crazy and meant them no harm, I used their phone to call my aunt who told me where I could find MY family. Eventually we were all reunited. This is probably one of those stories that will be repeated long after I'm gone.
D*mn, I hope when I finally have "the big one" I won't show up in heaven and find out that they moved it.

A big Semper Fi to all my Marine brothers and sisters.

Al Brissette, Sr.
Corporal of Marines 1966-70
Vietnam 1968-69

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I Was Wounded

I was in Parris Island Boot Training October 1950 to January 1951 - then off to Camp Pendleton for combat exercises and cold weather training at Big Bear CA, and in May we did an amphibious landing at Pusan Harbor Then a plane took us nearer to the front lines. From that time on it was a combat situation. I was wounded in October 1951, and was sent to a Battalion Hospital, about 5 miles from the front lines to recuperate.

PFC Merla caught a enemy bullet in his calf muscle and he an I paled around for the time that we were at the hospital. While there the Roman Catholic Chaplain asked me to serve mass. This was a bit difficult since I was on crutches.

Up Close And Personal

Dear Sgt Grit

It was the 2nd of July 1959. I was standing on the "Famous / Infamous" Yellow Footprints outside the Receiving Barracks of MCRD San Diego with some character in a Smokey Bear hat, getting up close and personal, yelling in my face. Now let's see if I my tired old brain can remember that Chain of Command....

General Randolph M. Pate....Commandant Major General T. A. Warnham....CG MCRD Brigadier General Weede....CG Recruit Training Colonel J F McClanahan....CO 3rd Recruit Training Battalion Captain Monfort....CO Lima (?) Company Lt Adalizzi (sp....Series CO

Big Clearance Sale

special items

Only While In Stock.....Parris Island and San Diego T-Shirts, Women's T-Shirts, Picture frame, Marine memo holder, USMC Wine Opener Set and more...at great prices....check them out.

Platoon 340:
Sgt John R Mackey....Senior DI
Sgt Imhauser (sp)......Junior DI
Sgt Loeseur............Junior DI
Cpl Becker............Junior DI
Pvt Moore.............Right Guide
Pvt Wertz.............Squad leader
(Then me.......)
Private Gerald R Miller 1864806 USMC.

The one thing I recall clearly about boot camp was the rifle range at Camp Matthews....squad tents over wooden floors. Yes I did qualify Expert with the M-1 and a leather sling ! Got that PFC stripe too !
Sure would like to hear from any of the "Ole Platoon 340" Marines !

After boot camp, it was off the Millington TN for Avionics School (MOS 6611). Then HQMC Flight Section at NAS Anacostia in Washington D.C.

Oh yes....here I met and married a Sailor! Met Seaman Apprentice Doris E. Justice in the Navy Mess Hall at Andrews AFB. Doris fell for my "line" and married me. She turned in her Navy WAVE active duty ID card, trading it for a US Marine Corps Dependent Wife ID Card with an "eternity enlistment". She has done this "toughest job in the Corps (Dependent Wife) quite well, for more than 44 years to date !

Then it was off to 1st MAW, Iwakuni. Then VMGR-252 on the C-130 Herky Birds at Cherry Pt. And on to MARS-27 Avionics Shop. Twenty Nine Palms for more school (MOS 5979). MCSA Philly was next. Then on to some "Sun-n-Fun" ( Did I say FUN ??) at "Vice Squad" MACS-4 DaNang, Republic of South Vietnam. MACS-6 Cherry Pt. Recruiting Duty Ft Worth TX. The years continued to go by faster than I realized. On July 2, 1979, wearing my Dress Blue Alpha's,

I stood on the Flag Quadrangle of MCTSSA at Camp Pendleton. My Wife, my Mother, my Son, my Daughter, and my bulldog (Lord Grunt of Pendleton wearing HIS dress blues) were all present......for my retirement and transfer to the Fleet Marine Corps Reserve.

I could say "I hung up my uniform" but it comes out of the closet on SPECIAL OCCASIONS ! First, off to the barber shop to get a close USMC haircut cut.

Then to the Annual Marine Corps Birthday Ball and other events. But the really SPECIAL event where I wore my Green Alpha uniform took place April 6, 2007 at Parris Island SC:

Our Grand Son, PFC Patrick Miller completed Marine Corps Boot Camp.
Standing Proud with New Marine This OLE WARRIOR, GySgt "Grandpa" Miller and (former) US Navy WAVE "Grandma" Miller stood very proud with our NEW MARINE! (photo attached).

Now I am working yet another "open-ended" Avionics contract. This is the 23rd (and probably last) one. I walk out into the hangar wearing my "U.S.MARINE CORPS RETIRED" herring-bone utility cover (yes, it is always starched and blocked) and all the "Once A Marine, Always A Marine" brothers always give me a HI GUNNY or an OOOORAH or a Semper Fi. YES....IT FEELS GOOD !

Gerald R Miller
GySgt 1864806 USMC 1959-79 Retd

Reflecting

I sat reflecting on Sgt. Grit's News letter, clear down at the bottom of it. It says:

Welcome Home Marine, Job Well Done.
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

It made me think of the Marines and the troops in country right now. I was extremely Saddened that some would never be able to read that last script. Others will read it and say "Thank you Brother" and "It was my pleasure to return the favor."

I do believe it's not over till its over and one day all will reading at the top of the newsletter:

Welcome Home Marine, Mission Accomplished, Job Well Done.
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

Grit will let us know when its over, Till then......

Semper Fi Brothers
W.C.-NOLOAD-'74-'77

Gabardine Dress Blues

Pertaining to the stories of "battle jackets/Ike jackets". I went through Parris Island in June of 1960. I spent four years in the Corps and was never issued a "battle jacket/Ike jacket" only a green blouse. I don't quite understand why the West Coast guys got them in 1962. Also interesting, some years ago I read a story about Dress Blues in Leatherneck. It stated that Gabardine Dress Blues were not issued until either the seventies or eighties, I don't exactly remember. I went through Sea School in July of 1961, in Portsmouth, Va. and we received Gabardine Dress Blues. The school made a big deal of our being among the first Marines to get them. They were supposed to be so much easier to take care of then the old style.

Cpl Gary Werkheiser June 1960- June 1964

Battle Jacket/Ike Jacket

Ike Jacket

Sgt Grit:

When I was with 1st Pioneer Bn in 1960 and 61, I had a friend who left the Corps and gave me his "Ike Jacket". I also heard it referred to as a Battle Jacket and it could be worn on duty with a duty belt which was more comfortable than the regular blouse. It was no longer authorized for wear in town. I am including a picture of this jacket for those who never saw one. It was a shame to see it go and some of the attempts to come up with a suitable replacement have failed miserably - in my opinion.

Semper Fi,

Jim McDonald
CWO4 USMCR RETIRED
1958-1966 & 1975-1998
Newark, CA

Overcome With Goosebumps

Sgt Grit,
On July '07, while visiting my wife's relatives in San Diego, I took these pictures of my grandson at the parade field where I had marched during boot camp in July 1966 and graduated in Oct '66 with Plt 1075 (Honor Platoon). Gone are the quonset huts and I was overcome with goosebumps and chills taking the pictures and standing there with him.
I was also able to visit with a former Marine (36 years later) at Oxnard CA, whom I last saw in 1971 while we were stationed at MCRD and assigned to the Depot Armory. The trip to San Diego will be one remembered for a long time. MCRD 36 Years Later

SEMPER FI,
SGT N.T. Delos Reyes (USMC Vet)
MSG, E8, US ARMY (Ret)

Ask To See The Pictures

Sgt. Grit,

I have been reading your news letters for many years and always look forward to them. You are doing a great job keeping us former Marines in the know.

The 16 AUG 07 publication had a letter about "Phony Marines". I too have run into this problem. Usually when you see a USMC tattoo it's an invitation to introduce your self as a brother Marine. We had some contractors working for us and I noticed that one fellow had "USMC" tattooed on his right arm in a very thin line like it was done in blue ball point pen in letters about an inch high. Worst tattoo of "USMC" I have ever seen. I don't have any tattoos but if I was going to have one with "USMC", it would be a good one.

I asked him when he was in the Corps. He said, "Back in '68".
I asked him if he had been in Nam and he said, "Yes".
What did you do there?
"Black Ops" " Can't talk about it." was his response.
What MOS is that? "Don't remember"
Where did you go to boot? "Michigan".
Hmmmmmm I didn't have any more questions.

My best friend from the Corps. Cpl. Thomas Brown, PH recipient, told me that guys even phony up DD-214s to join local vet associations. Most of them have a story down pat but what the phonies don't have are any pictures. Are there any Viet Nam vets that don't have a picture of themselves in country? This was the land of Nikons and Pentex cameras flowing off the shelves while on R&R or at the PX. I still have my Nikon FII and about 3 thous. pictures taken over 2 tours.

Ask to see there pictures, that will sort out the good from the bad.

God bless all Marines.
Glen Griswold, Former Sgt., 2168507 / 2532

Grenade Pockets

They were called Ike jackets ---I was issued one and a blouse--- got the new style of overcoat a combination of a overcoat and raincoat---you could take the wool lining out and that was your raincoat---I still have my Ike jacket and the rest of the uniforms including the utility jackets the old issue and the new issue---the one with all of the big pockets called grenade pockets---still have them all but they don't fit anymore.

W. H. Znidarsich Cpl 1313732
served 52 / 54
8th Signal Bn Force troops FmFlant
Camp Gieger, New Bern, North Carolina

They Usually Burned

Sgt Grit,
My question is concerning the terms used for Infantry Training. When I was going through it was called "Infantry Training School" and was located in San Onofre on Camp Pendleton. What has it been called in the past and what do Marines call it now? Just curious.
I was told that I was in one of the last classes for the 0351 MOS to be trained on the 106 recoilless rifle.
I loved Camp Pendleton's weather. While I was there it did not rain once. Every day was 80-90 degrees and a bright cloudless sky very low humidity. When the Infantry School guys would fire their various weapons invariably there would be a fire and it was almost impossible to put out using e-tools and dirt/sand. They usually burned for 2 or 3 days and then would just burn themselves out. Just dry grass and small shrubs.
Semper Fi,
John M. Klein
SCPD ES
SGT USMC 78-82

Nothing But Good Things

Dear Sgt Grit,
I just read the article about a couple of DI's getting Court Marshaled for abuse to recruits at MCRD, San Diego. I went through San Diego in 65 and have nothing but good things to say about my three drill instructors. Were they tough, YES, did they make us do stupid things, YES, but without all of this verbal and a little physical abuse, they made us MARINES!. I could not have made it back from Vietnam if I didn't have their training. I still remember their names, SSGT Hatton, Cpl Smith and Cpl Giles, Platoon 109, 1965. Not sure what the powers to be at Marine HQ are thinking off. They need to investigate a lot more to get the truth out. If they can't even endure the regular training, wonder what they will do in WAR.
I think those little WIMP'S at the recruit depot are the ones who need to go back to their Mamas. We don't need a bunch of crybabies in our Beloved CORPS.

Kenneth K. Raglind

The Chow Line

I am a Viet Nam Vet, Served with 1st Marine Div. HQ Bat. BAS in DaNang, mostly on patrols and sweeps around DaNang from Mar. 69 - Feb. 70. What I am sending this about is I had my Marines cap on that I purchased from St. Grit. A man came up to me and asked if I had been in the Marines, I said that I had served with the 1st Mar. Div. in Nam, as a Corpsman, He said He was also an x- Marine and did not think I should be wearing the cap if I was not in the Marines.
I asked if he had ever been in combat, He said only in the chow line. I said now I understand.
John Hinkle HM3

Rifle PT

Grit,
In response to Calvin Ballew's input regarding my story of rifle pt, I believe he may have an interesting opinion as to what happened. Being that I was only 18 at the time and the SDI was the one and only man we looked up to for everything, we didn't believe his decision was too far fetched or inaccurate. If only the SDI is authorized to do rifle pt in the barracks and an assist. DI chooses to do it, I'd say disciplinary action concerning the DI's actions would be appropriate under the circumstances. If there is none, there is no 'jurisdictional boundaries' to support. After all this time and getting a second opinion concerning this, I do agree disciplinary procedures could've been more lenient. But how lenient? Since Ballew disagreed with the SDI's actions and decisions and since Ballew mentioned he is a former DI, I'd like his input on what should've been done and to what degree.
Remember, if the assist. DI does something only the SDI can do and gets away with it, the system will fail because there is no jurisdiction involved. I admit, we had too much of a big daddy. Even the SDI admitted to that. We were in the Pit and literally said he was too easy on us as we were digging. How would Ballew react to this and why? If there are other DI's out there reading this, feel free to speak up.
We're all Marines and the DI is the one who makes us. I'll leave it at that.

Semper Fi
J.S. Elliott
0311 basic infantry '84 - '88
PI
Camp Pendleton - Infantry Training School - Delta Co. 1st Plt - San Onofre area Guantanamo Bay, Cuba - Marine Security - Leeward (or Windward). I forget which. One side of the Ferry was a huge town and the other side was all the barracks for Navy and Marines. The Hanger was on the barracks side. That side included one E-Club, one outside movie theater and baseball field. That's all I remember.:)

Changes To Our Training

Sgt Grit,
My son is currently summering at MCRD PISC. He has had somewhat of a struggle with the pull-up portion of the PFT and has been to PCP and recycled for his lack of preparation. I am having some concerns about the evident changes to our training methods and have yet to find anyone to confirm or deny these changes. In one of his letters, he says they had a 6 mile conditioning march and upon return were fed hamburgers, hot dogs and pizza. I just got a letter yesterday and he said the platoon high shooter at the range gets McDonald's. If the platoon wins the range, they get to watch a movie. I have spoken to his recruiter who had no answers. I am a little concerned that maybe he got on the wrong bus and ended up at Lackland AFB.
The only thing his recruiter could tell me was "Things have changed. The kids have changed". Am I to believe that we are becoming like the Air Force in our training methods? What ever happened to the physical attitude adjustments? Where does the pizza and McDonald's come from?
These kids are being rewarded for doing what's expected/demanded of them?
I am by no means "Old Corps"; I served from 1982 to 1993 but please, somebody say it ain't so! Please tell me we haven't eased our training to meet some recruiting quota or government mandate. I want to know that our Marines are getting the hardest, most challenging training in the world and we are producing the toughest, meanest fighting men and women this world has to offer. I know it's the training that keeps them alive.
Can anybody clue me in?

Concerned Devil Dog(Dad)
SGT of Marines
1982-1993

After Shooting The Bull

Dear Sgt. Grit,
I was fortunate enough to attend our son's (Sgt. Clayton T. Anderson) OCS Graduation at Quantico on 17 August 2007. After serving his country with 3 deployments to Iraq with 1/5 Marines, first in the spearhead that toppled Baghdad, second as a squad leader in Fallujah, and the last tour as a sniper in Ramadi, he was accepted into the MECEP Program and will be commission at graduation next year at Cal State-San Marcus. OCS Graduation This past week he graduated # 2 in his battalion, led his company as Company Commander at graduation, and is pictured here receiving the OCS Leadership Award from the keynote speaker, Major Gen. Michael Ennis, Deputy Director for Community Human Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency. A proud Marine dad to say the least, but after shooting the bull with Gen. Ennis, Col. Richard Mancini, OCS Commanding Officer, as well as, many of Clay's fellow graduates, let me say that the leadership of our Marine Corps is in very good hands!

Semper Fi,
J. T. Anderson, Cpl. USMC, 71-73

First Day There

I was with a date in a coffee house in Tallahassee one time. Guy at the next table noticed my cover, and said that he was a Marine in Vietnam also. He looked a little young, but I asked who he was with. "1st Division" he answered. "Division HQ?" I asked. "No, just the first division." Now a Marine will almost always give his unit down to the company. He said his MOS was 2531 Radio Operator, so he knew that. I asked where he served. "Oh, all over," he said. Couldn't pin him down to a location or a unit--probably worried I'd know people he should know. Definitely a phony.

I was at a Christmas dinner at my wife's company a few years ago. They were excited to introduce me to another "Vietnam vet," an Army guy--supposedly. 'Yeah," he said, "First day there, they had me walking point on a patrol in Cambodia and I had to shoot two gooks." I figured not even the Army is FUBAR enough to put an FNG on point on a cross-border patrol his first day in country. He couldn't figure out why I didn't want to talk any more.

A couple years ago, a guy called me, said his dad had died & left some stuff & the Marine Corps Association had given him my name (!) because I might be interested. In the pile was a sword (he described an NCO sword) engraved with "R&R Plt, HQ, 26th Marines, Khe Sanh, 1967." Gee, except for the "&", that exactly described my outfit, Radio Relay Plt, HQ, 26Mar, & year I was there. No wonder the MCA "gave him my name" as that was exactly what it said in their directory! I strung the scam artist along for a while until he realized I was jerking his chain & hung up, then reported him to the MCA, so they could warn folks people were using the directory for Scams. (But I did wish I'd been in "R&R Plt"--that would have been fun!" They are out there, guys. If you haven't read Stolen Valor, about phony vets, do so.

Robert A. Hall

We Never Thought

This last news letter, the first letter was from GySgt P Santiago, who said he was with the 3rd Div in 1954 when they made a landing on Iwo. I was also in that group. Haven't heard from anyone from that era in a very long time, and would like to talk to him if you could connect us in some way. I was with Charlie Co, 1st Batt 4th Marines, 3rd Div.
Stationed in Nara Japan at that time. One of the M/Sgt's, I forget the outfit, filled a box of Iwo Sand and sent it to John Wayne. We never thought about taking anything from the Island. What a special place for an 18 year old to be and see after growing up during those war years.
My Brother, 3 years older and I were civilian aircraft spotters, on the roof of city hall Richmond California 1943 44 and 45. We kept up on the war day by day as much as we could. Tom went in the Air Force in 1950 and I went Marine Corps Feb. 53 to Feb. 61.
Semper Fi
Bob Schwerin
S/Sgt USMC
2-53/2-61

Some Do Read Books

In response to Don R. about Marine wanabe's, they are everywhere. Being a police officer I run across a lot who claim to have been in the Marines. If someone is wearing a cover or shirt with a Marine emblem on it I usually ask, "Are you a Marine or do you just like the hat/shirt?"
If they say they were a Marine I go for, "Where did you go to boot?"
That gets some very interesting answers. I do not respond to the answer if it is wrong. I figure it's time to have some fun. I'll just ask more question and see what stupid answers I can get before I inform him, "Sir, I am a MARINE and a Viet-Nam vet. I nor the Marines have any use for a liar." I can not write what the correct language used is, however, all Marines know how it would come out. I usually divert back to Parris Island days and tell the person to, "Get the he**out of my face and off MY property."
As for the answers; boot is in Southern California, San Diego, South Carolina and The Island. Units in Viet-Nam were, 2nd MAR/3rd INF. DIV.
One even had 2/9 and the designation, H&ll in a Helmet, right, however, he never heard of Camp Carroll. It seem some do read books. Time in country, 2 tours from 1974 May to Aug 1976. (Could not he said that one) As a side note. If they get the answers right they do get a strong Semper Fi and we start swapping lies (stories).
Keep a watch eye out for a wantabe and let the games begin. See how many stupid answers you get before you bust out laughing. Never give the right answer to them. They will just answer better when the next real Marines questions them.

John Halpin
Viet-Nam

LTGEN Mattis

SGT Grit,

I was just reading through your "scuttlebutt and came across an editorial comment from Ed Moore in reference to an article in the Wall Street Journal concerning LTGEN Mattis relieving a Colonel Dowdy under his command in Iraq.

First, I'd like to say I take journalists with a grain of salt, my opinion being that most of them are nothing more than talking heads for the politicians.

I served as LTGEN Mattis' Senior Enlisted Advisor for quite a few years in the 1990's and can say from personal experience that I have never served under a finer officer and warrior in my 23 years of service in the Army. I never once during that entire time found him to be anything but fair and impartial.

This is not meant to disparage Ed Moore...just to state my personal experience and opinion. This country is lucky to have such a fine senior leader.

Very Respectfully,
David C. Guy
MSG, USA(Ret.)

He Seemed To Know

I read 'Phoney Marine???' today, and I can relate as I had a similar experience. While I was in college, after I left active duty, one of the other students would wear a field jacket with gold colored Eagle, Globe and Anchors. I would not normally have a problem with this, except he had the Eagle, Globe and Anchors on backwards. Nothing upsets me more than a Marine who does not pay attention to details that make him look stupid. It is a reflection of my Corps! Anyway, I thought I would probe him a little, and he seemed to know his stuff, or at least the questions I asked, so I let it be this first time, hoping he would not keep them pointing the wrong way. Unfortunately, the next time I could not control my tongue, and decided to point it out. Of course, he said I was wrong, and he proceeded to tell me he was right, and that is when I realized that he was never a Marine. I went home and pulled out my Marine books, as I was going to make a fool out of him in school the next day, but I realized that I did not need a book to do that, so I put them away. The next time I saw him at school, I asked him to take the Eagle, Globe and Anchors off, as he was no Marine and did not deserve to wear them. We quickly got into a heated argument, and by the time all was said and done, my fellow classmates were backing me up, as they knew I was a Marine. I don't know if he ever took the Eagle, Globe and Anchors off, as he never wore that field jacket to school again, but I never spoke to this person ever again, and whenever I looked his way, it made me sick to think he might be telling people he was a Marine. There is a certain pride in being a Marine, that no one outside can understand, but all want. I guess that is why we are the Few and the Proud!

Semper Fi,

Ken Barnhart

Phonies

Sgt G,

This is in response to the article called Phoney Marine???? from Don R:

My name is Fred Montney and I'm a retired MSgt. I caught and reported a phony Marine last year. While at a Marine Corps Ball, a similar situation happened to me that happened to you. This individual was dressed in Blues and parading around as a LtCol. I'm sure you read the many articles (one of them being in USA Today). I won't mention his name as I don't want to give him any credit. He was caught, apprehended and was taken to court.

Most recently, I'm sure you read about Reggie Buddle. He left a guest book entry on my web site - username and password are both guest), 3rd from the bottom, over 2 years ago.

When I received the entry, I emailed Mr. Buddle to inquire about his claim of being a Chaplain as a Marine (officer or not). He never replied and considering he was from the west coast and I'm from the east coast, I let it go.

Obviously you're read the most recently articles about his being busted.

My advise to everyone regarding the apprehension of phony's is to do exactly what you said in your initial letter (question everything).
Yes, it's a pretty sad day that we have to question each other, but in-order to keep the brotherhood, we must.

Additionally, I'd highly recommend you follow up with the FBI. Thomas Cottone was the primary contact and the one who did the investigations (and subsequent arrests). He has been replaced by Mike Sandborn - a former Marine captain. They both give the below instructions regarding MoH phony's but this intel is good for just about anyone:

1. Sketchy records. When asked to verify details of their military record, phonies often say they didn't go through the normal military channels, said Mike Sandborn, an FBI special agent and former Marine captain who works medals fraud cases. Sandborn said phonies will often say they were in high demand by the military and weren't required to go through the normal training.

2. Appearance matters. Impostors put on pretty lousy impersonations. They're often out of shape or have a "slovenly appearance in uniform," Sandborn said. If they look like "50 pounds of pork shoved into a 10-pound sack," Sandborn said, they're probably an impostor.

3. Top secret? Probably not. A phony often will say details of his career exploits are classified. But even with awards for classified actions, ceremonies are never top secret. Veterans claiming to have received an award should be able to produce an order granting it no matter how secretive the action.

4. "My dog ate it." Phonies often say their military documents were destroyed in a fire or some similar disaster.

5. Watch that rack. Check their decorations; phonies often wear medals in the wrong order or in disproportion to their time in service.

6. Check the birth date. When it comes to the Medal of Honor, age matters. According to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, the youngest living recipient is 53-year-old Gordon R. Roberts. "If you see a young kid wearing a Medal of Honor, he's impersonating," said Gary Littrell, president of the society.

7. Just ask. Don't be afraid to test someone if you think they're faking, FBI agents say. If they're legit, they won't mind if you ask questions, Cottone said. Highly decorated veterans usually are very modest and rarely draw attention to their accomplishments; impostors love to boast. Sandborn cautioned troops to remember that "true heroism is like a river - the deeper it runs, the quieter it is."

8. Surf the Web. Still not sure? Check out the online databases of information about both real and phony war heroes. The site www.homeofheroes.com has a confidential online "bust a phony" form.
Information submitted is turned over to the FBI. The Congressional Medal of Honor Society maintains a list of living MOH award recipients at www.cmohs.org. Also, www.pownetwork.org maintains a list of phony veterans.

Semper Gumby (always flexible) - MSgt M

To Prepay

Recently I was at a St.Paul, MN MC Rally w/ my family just days before the "unfortunate bridge collapse" in MN, I prayed for the families who might've lost someone. It's obvious that no one expected such a devastating disaster.
It's also obvious that a lot of people came to the rescue without a "second thought", that's just typical of any American. During the course of the MC rally (fund raiser for diabetes), as any motorcycle rider could expect to do, we pulled in for gas. I pulled up & walked into the service station to pre-pay for my gas, the station attendant advised me that it was on "the house" he rolled up his sleeve and showed me his Eagle Globe & Anchor, I was very humbled and shook his hand. I love to fly my USMC colors on my vest and have no shame, I will continue to do so until God calls me to pull duty in heaven, (only if I'm fit for duty).

Band Of Brothers, no one will ever understand unless your "feet hit the pavement" where it all began - Parris Island or MCRD.

Semper Fi,
SGT T. Garcia
75-78 active/ 83-93 reserve

Short Rounds

My father, Colonel Charles William Blyth, was one of the authors of the Marine Corps Prayer. I find it very interesting that he was never given credit for it. He was very committed to his country, to the Marine Corps and to his Christian faith. Unfortunately, he died at the age of 53. His cancer was attributed to agent orange.
Cindy Blyth Howard


Greg Seago, the Marine who contributed the Iwo sand that we distributed several weeks ago, has passed away at age 49.
God Bless.

Semper Fi
Sgt Grit


I don't know who this is attributable to, but it goes something like this: "It's not so much that the Marine Corps builds extraordinary men. It's more likely that extraordinary men are drawn to become Marines."

USMC Sgt E5, 1963-66
Tom Lonze


To the mom who's son is crying in Boot Camp. You know not everyone can become a Marine. Could be he is one that wont. I never knew a crier I wanted to cover my back in war time. Sorry, but the truth is written..... RVC Corporal USMC 1964-1970


So many people want to be us, but can't. That is why we are "The Proud, The Few."
Semper Fi,
Joe Henderson
Sgt. USMC
1963-1967
RVN 1966-1967


US Marine Corps Commercial 2


The "IKE type jacket" we wore was called the "Battle Jacket", IKE did not like Marines, so, anyone who called their Battle Jacket an Ike Jacket were usually severely chastised!
Jim Reed S/Sgt USMC 48-52, 54-55.


Sgt.Grit I hate to be the one to keep this argument going on. When I enlisted in the Marine Corps 1-11-52 I was issued a Blouse and a Battle Jacket at MCRDSD. I never heard the Battle Jacket referred to as a Ike Jacket. I spent a short time in the Army before joining the Corps they found out after a little over a year that I was 15 years old when I enlisted and gave me a Honorable Discharge. In the Army I was issued a Ike Jacket.
Ira Joseph 1224347 USMC / RA 19411641 U.S.A


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Semper Fi, Mac
Welcome Home Marine, Job Well Done!
Gung Ho
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter VS AmericanCourage Newsletter:

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In short...The AmericanCourage Newsletter has MORE family member stories, "support the Corps" stories from Marines, and patriotic quotes. It started after the events of Sept. 11, 2001 to give supporters of the Marine Corps and American patriots a voice.

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