I enjoy reading your newsletter! I enjoy the stories and articles. Some bring back memories of when I was in the Marine Corps, 1972-1976. Like being at MCRD San Diego, laying on the ground and hearing the D.I. say, "Make it RAIN ladies, Make it RAIN!" Seeing all that sand going up in the air, knowing full well that, what goes up must come down! Indeed it came down on all of us.
Went to Vieques, Puerto Rico for 3 months, compliments of Uncle Sam. Loved it while I was there. Was with the Ordinance people and we went swimming everyday from 12- 3 and one of the guys had scuba gear. We enjoyed fresh longostinos, fish and even Octopus.
Just thought I would drop a line and say "Semper Fi" to those that served and those that are serving now. May God Bless Our Troops that are in Harm's Way!

Michael R. Dubala
L/CPL 1972 - 1976

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That Marine Made My Day

On May 11, 2007 my wife and I, both Marines were having lunch at Golden Corral. I was having surgery later that afternoon so we thought it would be nice to go have lunch before-hand. As we set down and started eating I looked through one of the panes of glass separating the dining areas and saw the famous Scarlet and Gold Cap. He was an older gentleman with and older lady. They were getting up to leave and I pointed them out to my wife and jumped to my feet and said I'll be right back. He stood and grabbed hold of his four legged walker as he was slumped over slightly. I walked up behind him and placed my hand on his shoulder, and said excuse me MARINE. He turned to look at me and as he did I would swear to it he stood straighter than he probably has in years. He looked at me with my short hair and said, Are You A MARINE? I said yes sir I am. He said I was wounded in Korea. My throat got a huge lump in it and I felt a tear coming, so I told him quickly, Thank you for setting a path for the rest of us. I smiled at the lady and gave her that Marine Corps wink and went back to the table with my wife. As I set back down my wife ask if I was okay. I told her yes and that everything was going to be okay for all of us. I watched as he got to his car, got behind the wheel and drove away. Still wearing the cap and with a tag on the front proudly displaying the fact that he is a MARINE. My surgery went well and I found out that my the tumor I had removed was not cancerous. Like I said. Everything was going to be okay. That MARINE made my day a whole lot better.

R. Barnes
USMC 1981-1995
0311, 3533, 8511, 8921


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Brown To Black

Sgt. Grit
In Jan 1963 MCRD-SD we re-dyed our boots, visor, buttons and emblems from brown to black.
Plt.110 Cpl. Mowry 6511 (1963-1967) I thought that was odd because I was at Cherry Point sometime around Dec 64 when we went from brown to black. I don't recall changing the color of the buttons or emblems though. Just the dress shoes and barracks cover visor. I went and dug out what emblems I have left and sure enough they were black. (Look at the back. That part of the emblem that never saw M-Nu) I long ago gave up trying to make sense out of why the Marine Corps did what, when.
I see Cpl Mowry came within a hair of catching one of our Drill Instructors (Sgt Pacheco) as his Sr. D.I.
The Few. The Proud.
Jerry D.
Platoon 145 MCRD San Diego
USMC 1962-1966
RVN 1965-1966

Dormant Marines

Dear Sgt. Grit,

Last Marine Corps Birthday (At which we always have a Marine Corps Birthday cake) it fell on the Friday before Veteran's Day. Our Boss allowed us to fly the Marine Corps Flag the entire day. We have many Dormant Marines and other service veterans who work here and we honor our veterans every Veteran's Day. We celebrated Veteran's Day on the morning of our beloved Marine Corps Birthday that year. It was so nice to see our flag fly so proudly for all to see. It flew in front of Cox Communications, Omaha, NE on November 10th 2006 in place of our company's flag. Long may it wave... right next to Old Glory and long may she wave in God's Glory

Birthday Flag Semper Fi Sgt. Grit and thank you.

Ken "Ziggy" Yagodinski
Cpl. of Marines 75 to 81.


Note: Make sure you're ready in time this year....
The countdown begins...

Outstanding Hearing

In 1967 I went through boot camp at MCRD Parris Island (PLT 268, the worst platoon in the series).

Upon graduation I was assigned to the Communication & Electronics school which then was tucked away in the back, far corner of MCRD, San Diego. We were forbidden to walk on or cut across the recruit's parade deck and being fresh out of boot camp ourselves we had no wish to incur the wrath of any Drill Instructor.

One afternoon a couple of classmates and I were skirting the edge of the "grinder" on our way back to our Quonset huts when we witnessed the most amazing demonstration of hearing I've ever seen.

A drill Instructor was introducing the Inspection Arms command to his platoon. He patiently explained the movement to them and, borrowing a recruit's M-14, demonstrated the movement slowly, one-step- at-a-time. Now it was their turn. On "Inspection Arms" they brought their rifles up, pressed the operating rod back and locked it. We judged it to be a little ragged but, hey, it was their time. Now came the command "Ready, Port, Arms". Pull the operating rod back, releasing the bolt lock, let the bolt go home, then pull the trigger and come back to the Port Arms position. Simple, right?

Suddenly the Drill Instructor starts screaming at them.

"DO YOU Ladies think I'm Stupid?"
"DO YOU Ladies think I'm Deaf?"
"ARE YOU trying to play a Joke on me?
"DO YOU think I don't know the sound of seventy five RIFLE TRIGGERS CLICK?"
I KNOW I did NOT hear seventy five RIFLE TRIGGERS CLICK!"
"IF YOU forgot to pull your trigger DO IT NOW!"
"DO NOT MAKE me come and find you!"

Silence, and then...click...click...click, click, click, click!

Man, we were impressed, that Drill Instructor had some outstanding hearing!

Bill Wright
PLT 268, Parris Island
1st Mar Div, HqBn, Comm Co '68-'69
2nd MAW, H&HS '69-'71

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After Getting Paid

I enjoy your News. May I add some answers to problems Marines have that have not served in China. We had shoes that were rough on the outside, however the Chinese would turn then in-side out so we could spit shine them. Going through boot camp P.I. we were issued two sets of shoes. They were high top, brown and took a spit shine. One of the pair was sent to the cobbler and he would add an extra sole to them, this we called the boondocks, After a days training in our boondocks we had to spit shine then every day. It was about 1942 that we had oxfords. I read how some stations had pay call, stationed in Phila Naval Yard 1940 -1942 the Pay Master, OD, on the 15th and 30th we would have pay call. After getting paid we would sign the pay sheet. Next in line was the cobbler, laundry, and barber. Our pay was $21.00 a month we would receive $10.00 on the 15th and $6.05, $4.95 was taken out for insurance. The evening of pay call we were fed cold cuts and the slop shoot had free beer.

E.Tim Shawaryn 285214 (1940 / 1946)

Grinder Feet Away

I have to add my memories....Platoon 275, August 1958, MCRD. SDI SSgt. Raduka, Jr., DI's, Sgt's Wright and Farrel. Both blood thirsty. Issued the last of the herringbone utilities, rough boondockers and boots.
Ike jacket, green wool, khakis, troops and emblems with emnew. Brown shoes, boots and boondockers and a brown tie clasp. M1 rifle number 4552809 and service number 1838728 and missed the 16 numbers by a month.
Large brass belt buckle and had to wear our utilities with the top button buttoned until graduation. Mental and physical punishment were common place and we were the better for it.
Camp Mathews for two weeks at the rifle range and a conditioning hike back. Quonset huts with the grinder a few feet away. No one dared break our ranks for fear of being beat to death. Made PFC out of boot camp and was a squad leader. Delta Co., 1/7 69-70.
Sergeant of infantry Marines, Nick Cominos 1838728/0311.

China Marines

China Marine Attached you will find two photo's of my father while stationed in Shanghi, China, sometime in the late 1940's (46-49). He is the 3rd from the left in the first photo and the 2nd from the China Marine left in the second photo. His name was William B. Howell, but may have gone by Billy O. Howell. Although from Shafter, Texas, he enlisted while in Indianapolis, Indiana, after serving in the North Atlantic during WWII (1943-45) while at the age of 15.

William G. Howell

Dress Blues And Boondockers

A lot has been written lately concerning utilities and uniforms issued during and upon completion of boot camp. I, along with five of my close friends from high school, arrived at MCRD San Diego on August 6, 1946. We were shortly issued all of the requisite gear which, of course, included utilities. Oddly enough the guys that were over six feet in height were issued "straight leg" herringbone utilities while those of us who were shorter were issued those with "grenade" pockets. Those styles stayed with us for the duration of the one and one half years that we were stationed at El Toro. Upon completion of boot camp and earning the title of a United States Marine we were one of the first groups to be issued the new style dress blues (pockets, zippers) along with the Class A Service wool greens and tropical tans. Included in the latter two issues were "Ike" jackets in both the greens and tans. However, there seemed to be a shortage of the then brown dress shoes so we were issued new pairs of "boondockers". As I recall, we had been stationed at El Toro for at least three months before the dress shoes became available. More than once we stood formations in dress blues and "boondockers".

Some of us bought shoes in Santa Ana that closely resembled dress shoes and kept them in a locker at the bus station. When we would go on liberty we would change shoes there so as not to look like "Lil Abner" in a Marine uniform. The "boondockers" wore out years ago but I still have the uniforms and every few years or so I can still get into them.

Last year (June, 2006) my wife and I and two friends of ours were in D.C. Although we didn't have tickets to the Friday Evening Parade that we were there, we nevertheless went in the hopes of getting in regardless. We had no sooner gotten there when a gunnery sergeant came up to us and ask if we needed tickets. We said yes and he just happened to have four that he gave to us. On the way in my wife suddenly became ill and leaned against a lamp post to steady herself. Almost at that same instant a captain appeared to inquire if she needed help. I said yes and he turned to a Marine and told him to summon a Corpsman immediately. It must have been less than 30 seconds when one appeared. They escorted my wife to a room in one of the buildings nearby and the Corpsman began to check her vital signs. After about five minutes she began to feel better but not well enough to go up to the stands. When it was announced that the Evening Parade was about to begin she insisted that I go out to watch it. The captain, whose name I believe was Trevar(sp?) was still there and in the meantime Master Chief Witherspoon, the senior Corpsman at the Barracks, came in to see how she was doing. The captain, the master chief, and the Corpsman all urged me to go and that they would stay with her. My wife and I both had our cell phones with us and she said that she would call if she became worse. About half way thru the ceremony Captain Trevar called and said that she was being taken to one of the hospitals for further tests but assured me that she was otherwise ok. He met me at the bottom of the stand that I was in and said that he would walk with me to our car while getting directions to the hospital. Upon arriving at the car he removed the white glove from his right hand, extended it to shake mine, and then sharply saluted me which I promptly returned. I recalled an old Mariners saying and said "Captain, wherever your travels take you thru life 'may you have fair winds and following seas '". We exchanged "Semper Fi's" and went our separate ways. That night the Marines and Corpsmen that we came in personal contact with made me extremely proud to be a United States Marine. Their bearing, courtesy, and professionalism was exemplary.

The personnel at the hospital suggested that my wife stay a little longer for further observation until they were satisfied they her condition was stable and that what had happened to her was probably caused by the heat. Soon we were back at our hotel reflecting on the many strangers that had come forward in a time of need to offer their assistance in a very professional and caring manner.

Ray Cox
Corporal of Marines

True Grit

I was working in washington,dc the day that sgt.striker was killed on iwo.a close friend @ i went to the officers club in fort meyer,va. The bar was packed with doggies and{thank God } a few Marine officers. The ranks ran all the way from 2nd LT {01} to[ 06] full colonel .The club had 6 tv,s all showing john wayne tapes However, after 30 minutes every officer ,regardless of rank, began to shout. The orders were obeyed by the club staff and within only minutes TRUE GRIT was on every t.v.in the club. At the moment when Lucky Ned Pepper says "i call that hard words for a pot bellied old man with one eye" At that moment, every man in the room, stood, held up their beer glasses and Roared "Fill Your Hand's You Son of a B!tch" Even full bulls wished they could be the DUKE. I like the sound of your name. I LOVE the MARINE CORPS and i respect you and your fine staff. Thanks for being you.
SEMPER FI! sam clark, Capt, USMC (disabled)

Partake Of Some Liquid

Hey Grit,

That story about the habu vs. mongoose fight brought back a memory from my time on Okinawa.

Christmas day Camp Courtney EM Club. Entertainment for the snuffies. ( Haven't seen anybody use that term in any of your readers letters.) King cobra, mongoose and two alley cats. First bout: cobra vs cat. Cobra waxes cat with ease. Second bout: cobra vs mongoose. Mongoose tears the cobra to shreds. Time out while mongoose takes a breather and the spectators partake of some liquid refreshment and discuss the upcoming fight between Mr. Mongoose and that poor little putty tat. Third bout: mongoose vs cat. Fight is stopped in the first round after Sir Alley Cat rips Millie Mongoose a new axxhole.

Lesson learned ?

General Eisenhower said it best; It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.

Cpl Kirk James 1841667 USMC
Mar 59 - Mar 63

After Being Out

God Bless Tat Sgt. Grit,
After being out for almost ten years I finally got a tat that I felt I needed. OOORAH and God Bless the Corps.

James Smith, Jr.

Waitress Comes Over

Sgt Grit

Thanks for the news letter, I have a funny story that happened to 4 of my friends who were all in Nam about the same time as myself. In the group is a Navy Seal Lt Kelly a retired oral surgeon, Colonel Johnston army helicopter pilot a dentist, Major Tim O'toole Marine helicopter pilot now a foreman for a construction company, Marine Cpl John Calder recon a sales rep for hospital equipment, and myself Sgt Tom Scott 1st Anti Tanks, I am a commodity broker

We meet at Hooters every Veterans Day and on this one particular visit there was a guy at the end of the bar and he gets up and starts dancing. The waitress comes over and says, "Don't pay any attention to him he is not normal he is a Vietnam Vet." We all started laughing and the waitress was in shock after we told her we were Nam vets and what we did for a living, the manager came over and apologized and bought our lunch, we told him no harm was done.

So we are proud not to be normal, just very patriotic.

Tom Scott
USMC 65-69
Charlotte, NC

No You Weren't

Hi Sgt. Grit
I was working on the wing of a plane when I noticed three fighter planes starting to take off. I stopped to watch when a very young Lt. came up and asked what I thought I was doing. "Working on the guns Sir."
"No you weren't...you were looking at the strip. Nothing is happening out there."
Well just then one of the planes rammed into the plane in front and set it on fire...The pilot doing the ramming lived, but the other pilot died.
The Lt. didn't say any more, just ran for the Squadron office. Later ..about a month later ....I was working in the Officer's Mess (I loved that..they paid us extra money) when I served the Lt. ...I expected him to be very fussy and demanding of me, but he wasn't...sort of acted like we had a "together experience".
Scaro@aol.com (I was PFC Oscar Pearson USMCR 548775 when I was El Toro)

Psycho Olie

In May's issue of the Leatherneck, I noticed the passing of Sgt. John Olson, (sometimes referred to as "Psycho Olie"), the DI for Platoon 101, San Diego, 1954.
As a member of "Honor Platoon 101", I remember him well. I've always been proud to have been placed under his instructional care, even though the instructions weren't all verbal, which was allowed at that time.
Sgt. Olson was a Marine!

Jim Schneider, former Cpl., 53/56

What Time is it?

On some military air bases, the Air Force is located on one side of the field and civilian aircraft use the other side of the field, with the control tower in the middle.

One day the tower received a call from an aircraft asking, "What time is it?"

The tower responded, "Who is calling?"

The aircraft replied, "What difference does it make?"

The tower replied, "It makes a lot of difference...
If you are an American Airlines flight, it is 3 o'clock.
If you are an Air Force plane, it is 1500 hours.
If you're a Navy aircraft, it's 6 bells.
If you're an Army aircraft, the big hand is on the 12 and the little hand is on the 3.
If you're a Marine Corps aircraft, it's Thursday afternoon and there are 120 minutes until 'Happy Hour.'"

Submitted by:
JJ Haight, 60-64
Semper Fi !


PI Flashback Sgt Grit,
Here is a nice flashback for me.
Parris Island -- 21 October 1983.
Oh to be so young again. Where do the years go ?
I still remember graduation day with my mother and high school sweetheart (now my wife) waiting for me.

Love your site, keep up the great work.

Cpl. D.E. Smith
VMA-131 Diamondbacks

God That Was A Good Memory

In this issue (5 July 2007) Sgt John R Young (Ret) wrote asking about anyone remembering the boots with the rough side out (cir. 1958). All I can add to that is do you remember the hours we spent with a coke bottle polishing out that rough leather to get a spit shine on the toes and heals. God that was a good memory, and those were the best boots we were ever issued, I continued to use mine for hunting boots plum on up to 1991.
GySgt D. Griffith 1958/69 (Dis/Ret)


Dear Sgt Grit,
I am a second generation Marine Cpl who is the son of one of the Froze Chosen, a fine Marine SSgt who had the foresight to direct me towards the Corps. I joined on my 174th birthday in 74 and served until 77 as a 2531/2542 comm type. It being the Fourth of July I was reflecting on where I was on that day in 75. Gator and Herd, we all used last names in those days, were two of my best bro's. We had gone out to BC & Gate two street and had purchased a few fire works, after consuming mass quantities we came up with an idea to try and figure out the proper trajectory, timing etc to achieve a successful launch of one of our rockets through the open window of what we called the kamikaze cabs, these were the red colored ones that weren't allowed on base due to insurance regulations. The goal being to get the rocket straight threw the window and out the other side without hitting anything. Well as you all probably guessed we sucked at this type of MOS, not being Artillery types, and one of our attempts made it in but proceeded to bounce, and fly around inside the cab. We decided it was time to exit stage left and ran, stumbled, etc back to Camp Foster. Just as we were entering the camp area, note in those days there were no guard shacks at the entrances to the camp, I lit up a roman candle, and was going to take a shot at Gator. Of course an MP van came to a screeching halt beside us. In those days the Army still had some soldiers still station there and to keep things in balance it was decided that both Marine and Army MP's would patrol together. The driver of the van was a Marine while the individual who was questioning me about why I was discharging fireworks on a military installation was the soldier. As I mentioned before we were three sheets to the wind, so I staggered up to the MP van still holding my freshly lit roman candle. As the Soldier proceeded to ream me out about my violation of base regs' the Roman candle, which I was still holding and was pointed at the ground started to go off. So here I am getting chewed out by this soldier all the while colored balls of fire are landing by my feet. I guess this must have looked pretty funny to him, I on the other hand thought I was going to be a brig bunny, to my relief they both started to laugh at how stupid I must have looked and told me to throw it in the benjo ditch behind me, and to get back to my squad bay and sleep it off. But of course I couldn't just follow these instructions to the letter and just as Gator was entering the screen door of the squad bay I lit up another one I had stashed on me and shot it at him hitting the wall just beside the door. He fell back into the squad bay and the door slammed shut. I ran up to check on him to find him on the floor mumbling about only being able to see a blue ball of light, and to notice I had burned off his eyebrows and eyelashes. He forgave me and all was well. Then a month latter I ambushed him with a CO 2 fire extinguisher and froze his eyelids shut. It's a miracle my dumb *ss didn't blind old Gator. I often wonder what happened to him when I got back to the world. I lost track of him after he left Okinawa.

Cpl M. L. Jernigan 2531/2542 74-77

Greeting From Iraq

Sgt Grit,
David Tosh here the bug man from OKC. Greetings from Iraq Just dropping you a line, thought you might like hear about my 'TAD' to Iraq. I received a call from a DOD recruiter In dire need for licensed pest control professionals to support the troops in Iraq. I asked for and was assigned to a Marine base, the job is to easy other then just being in Iraq. Better then in '90-'91, no weeks on end eating nothing but MRE's. I have two helpers from Nepal who do all the heavy lifting. The terrain is rough sand dunes with a lot of 4x4 roads. On about 13000 acres. We run about 30 traps around the fence line mostly. So far a lot of foxes and wild dogs. There are 130lbs Hyenas that we trapped. Got a hedge hog and Huge 10lbs lizard! We take care of rodents and flies at the 4 DEFACs (Dinning Facility) and everything else is service requests when someone has a problem in their area. A few hundred buildings! Some snakes and those Camel spiders which are big and nasty looking. First night here I spend in a leaky tent and it poured rain for 2 days and flooded and soaked my stuff. So we build a nice A/C hooch at our bunker where the Iraqis used to keep tanks and such. It is hardened so I don't have to run for a bunker in case of a motor or rocket attack. Vector has their own bunker for chemical storage and such. As of yesterday I am the head Pest man on base. The other one headed back to Texas. So I'm left in charge with 5 days training. Not much to it except learning where everything is. I'm very glad to have been assigned to a Marine base.

OKC Marine in Iraq I have a 4x4 F250 to work from and have access to all the base unlike most jobs here. Everyone love to see the pest guy! At the outside fence line lives a very poor family so we always take snacks and drinks from the DFAC and throw them over the fence to the kids. It's 112 today but feels no worse then OKC at 85 with 70% humidity! Six of the deadliest scorpions are here so we deal with those also. I started a rider program to give the Marines a little fun break to run the fence line traps. They get a kick out it when we capture a 35lbs porcupine or a Jackal and others. The biggest Hyena has learned our trap runs and has been feeding on captured foxes! See pictures. Love the MARPAT roller duffel I picked up from you.

The wife and kids will come by again soon to send me a few things.

Take care,
Cpl. Tosh, David C.
5th Marines '86-'93

Odd Looks

Sgt. Grit,
Recently my family and I were on vacation and we got stranded in the Denver Airport because of high winds. Everything shut down and we were faced with long lines as we tried to reschedule for the next day. I notice the young man in front of me was wear a "high & tight" hair cut and his clothes bag had the distinctive camo pattern so I knew he was a Marine. I introduced myself and soon learned that he and his two buddies were trying to get to Twenty Nine Palms. I also noticed the United Airlines lady coming down the line trying to help people resolve their problems. When she got to me I saw she was wearing a Old Glory & USMC Flag Hat Pin"hat pin" of old glory and the USMC flag, (probably got it from Sgt. Grit). I said I like your pin I have one just like it. She volunteered that her son was leaving soon for San Diego boot camp. I said that will make you a Marine Mom and pointed out the young man in front of me was a Marine and could use some help. She immediately pulled him and his buddies out of line and within about 15 minutes she had them rescheduled and on their way. I heard him shout over his shoulder, as they were leaving "Thank you Sir!" I shouted back "that's ok, just remember Marines take care of their own," as those in the line around us stood there with odd looks on their faces wondering what we were talking about.

Semper Fi
LCpl. William G. Fortune 1874161

Rum And Coca Cola

Sgt. Grit,

I am a China Marine and we sang a song to the tune of "Rum and Coca Cola" with many forgotten lines but that started out with:

Marine, he go to China land
See many things he no understand.
Chinese, he no indiscreet
Pull down pants and S**T in street.

I have a book with words (dirty) and music from Armed Services songs but there is no mention of this song.

Does anyone know a few of the many, many verses to this song?

Baker Battery, 1st Battalion, 11th Regiment Tientsin Marine and Retired Air Force Officer
Robert Campos

Surround The People

I just read J.J. Haight's input. I too was at the Bay from 60-12-22 to 63-1-28 and also did time as an MP. (I guess I should never have asked the Gunny's daughter out for a date). And I distinctly remember the MP stop-the-vehicle but don't remember the riot at the E-club just down from Barracks 1096.

My brief tour as an MP included at riot at the main gate with about 70 participants. The Corporal of the guard ordered all 4 of us to "Surround the people". And of course being MPs we swam & dove in all the restricted places. Who was going to arrest us, the MPs?

Cpl 60-64 USMC

General Order #14

Sgt Grit,

In your recent news letters, there have been some former Marines, who are now in law enforcement, saddened by the fact that they have to put their brothers in handcuffs.

I. Too, was a cop....so here goes....

When I was stationed in Camp Pendleton (83), we had a wet down at the beach club. A fine wet down it was! When it was over, I got in my vehicle and headed out the Onofre Gate and headed towards Oceanside on the highway. For those who never been there, the drive from Onofre Gate and Oceanside is quite a distance and is nothing but highway. The only exit in between the two is the Pulgas Gate. While I was driving, I realized I should not have been. I pulled off the hwy and proceeded to the Pulgas Gate. My plan was this, park before the gate, walk up to the gate guard, and call my Gunny to get me. (That is general order #14...call the Gunny when in need). So I park, walk up to the guard and request permission to use the phone. Keep in mind I'm a grunt and dealing with a MCB Marine. I was in Charlies with about 4 rows of fruit salad and only a Cpl.

The Sgt informs me to stand by while he gets permission for me to use a land line. The next thing I know is an MP car pulls up, puts cuffs on me, spend the night in lock up (on base) and issued a summons for DUI.

When the court date arrives, I am standing before a Lt Col. (judge) (former ground pounder) for the hearing. He inquires about the night in question. I inform the judge, that I made a poor decision for driving after the wet down and upon realizing this mistake I took immediate action. I pulled in front of the Pulgas Gate to call my Company Gunny. If one of his Marines were in need we are to call for assistance, day or night. He then asked what happened next. I told him the gate Sgt would not let me use his land line and put me in a squad car.

I'll never forget his immortal words "Cpl...granted you should have not been driving, but you did what you are trained to do....look to your fellow Marine when in need....unfortunately the gate Sgt did not understand this and for that I apologize. Marines have always and will always take care of their own... You are dismissed and on the way out tell that Sgt that I would like to see him!"

Sgt Grit, some of us have forgotten how to take care of our fellow Marines. The above story has stuck with me ever since and applied. When I know that I am dealing with a Marine, past or present, they get that extra special attention and anything I can do, till the day that I meet sky 6, I will.

The Marine Corps has taught us a lot of things but the one thing that is ingrained is how we take care of our own.

Semper Fi
CJ Sotomayor
USMC 79 - 92

Not To Count

It was the summer of 1971, the Combined Platoon Leaders Class of OCS at Quantico and the heat and humidity were at classic Virginia levels. Our company was populated by top intercollegiate varsity athletes, including an All American football player but one of the biggest studs was Wayne Samuelson from Penn State. Wayne had a severe case of Q-town poison ivy that covered most of his body. It made me itch just to look at him. One day while we were in the squad bay, Wayne committed one of those perceived indiscretions and Staff Sgt Napoleon Jackson ordered Wayne to do push-ups. As any Marine knows, a Marine Corps push-up is a four-count exercise where it takes 2 push-ups to complete one evolution. Wayne hit the deck and began to count out loud..."one, two, three, one...one, two, three, two...one, two, three, three." Staff Sgt Jackson hollered at him to quit counting then upbraided the rest of us for our indiscretions. Wayne continued to do push-ups, sweat pouring over the poison ivy irritated skin. Finally Staff Sgt Jackson hollered, "How many is that?" Wayne responded, "Seventy-five, Platoon Sergeant." To which Staff Sgt Jackson said, "I told you not to count! Keep going." Wayne had done 150 push-ups and was still going. A near eternity later, Wayne was ordered to stop. No one, not even Wayne, knows how many push-ups he did that day. The incident was funny to all of us but Wayne. Only Marines could appreciate how much we loved our Staff Sgt Jackson.
Semper Fi...Bob Hamer

What A Thrill

Although, I purchase a lot of items from Sgt. Grit, I had never written a letter. I just returned from the Foxtrot-2-11 and Delta-2-11 reunion in Alexandria VA. We had four members of the Naval Gun spotters attend this reunion. they were attached to Delta. What a great time we had. I served in country from October 1966 to November 1967 with Foxtrot in Fire Direction Control. Retired Colonel Wayne Babb (silver star) arranged a great reunion for our batteries. We went to the new Marine Museum in Quantico. What a sight. Every Marine needs to go there. We attended a night, full color parade, at Marine barracks in D.C. Colonel Babb arranged front row seats for all 97 of our group. Colonel Babb told us to remain in our seats after the parade for an unheard of special treat. Colonel Babb had arranged for the Commandant of the Marine Corps to address our group, What a thrill that was. I was five feet from the Commandant. Colonel Babb also arranged for Medal of Honor recipient, Harvy Duay 1965 ( not sure of the spelling) to come to our hotel. again, what a thrill to meet such a man. For me, the best thing that happened, I was reunited with a life long friend, Charlie Farrell. Charlie was attached to Delta and I had not seen him for thirty two years. What more could a person want in life then to have attended such a great reunion. After this weekend, I knew that I was truly blessed that God made me a Marine.

Ron Ryan F-2-11
Viet Nam 1966-1967

Old Salt

Sgt Grit
This note is for Tre'M.Barron
I love the letter about the two Marines visiting your Dad in the Hospital. What a wonderful visit.
The Marines are so connected. I'm so proud to greet them with Semper Fi, they just beam when I tell them I'm a WWII, WR the young Marines, never heard of the WR's USMCWR that stands for United States Marine Corps Women Reserve. after the duration of World War II all women became a part of the regular Corps now that I'm an old salt. I laugh when they say you don't look like a Marine I proudly say I didn't always look like this its been a lot of years ago. when I served. I truly am an OLD Salt
I send my best wishes for a Speedy recovery for your Dad if he is in the Boston Area I would be Happy to visit him SEMPER FI
From on old salt Cpl. Alice WWII

Off The Beach

Hi Sarge, I guess I mist be one of the Few ''Old'' Breeds still around. I served on the ''Canal'' hit ''Bougainville'' Guam, and hit the beach on ''Iwo'' on the 23rd. I was a Tanker Mechanic with ''CO B'' 3rd Tk Battalion 3rd. MAR DIV. Watched the first flag go up as I was trying to get one of my Tanks [Sherman'] off the beach. Disabled by the black ash so deep on the beach. Charlie Lindberg, the only surviving flag raiser is a friend of mine. We met once again four years ago in ''South Corinth'' upstate NY for the dedication of a military memorial park. Charlie was asked to attend and speak. I have a great picture that we took together for 'old time sake.
We cruised the South Pacific for 27 months compliments of ''Uncle Sam''.
I finally was stationed at ''Brooklyn Navy Yard'' as ''Sgt'' of the Guard, at the Navy Brig. [May---Oct 1945]
Semper Fi James A Smith Jr.

Back In '44

Back in "44", following the Marshal Islands campaign, I ended up at Aiea Heights Naval Hospital. Subsequently, after being declared "ambulatory", and in order to qualify for "liberty" I had to accept some kind of semi-permanent duty. Having always been a nut about anything to do with airplanes and there being an opening for a runner in the Marine Air Transport Office at Pearl, I volunteered. The office was run by a 1st Lt. (who shall go nameless) and with good old 2nd Lt. Able as Exec. There were three enlisted, a buck Sgt. (whose name I can't remember) and two Pfc's - me and "Corky". Our office was on the second floor near the Commanding General's office and next to the Code Room. We were also just above the Motor Pool Office, actually we were right over the office of the top Sgt. of the outfit.

Part of our job was to meet incoming aircraft carrying VIP's and wannabe's. We were to take the VIP and his gear, wherever their orders required. Often the VIP's carried classified material, cameras and weapons, these items had to be secured. Some brain came up with a pass that allowed us EM's to pass the VIP's and their gear thru d*mn near every base on the island. Since these aircraft arrived and departed at all hours of the day and night, we not only had open tickets to draw vehicles from the Motor Pool 24/7, we also had "duty Passes" exempting us from any other duties (hot d*mn!). We assisted all kinds of people, Generals, celebrities (even an actor going stateside from the Canal - I think his name was Lunsford). Our best remembered VIP was a Catholic priest that wanted to get back to his outfit before they made their next landing.

His orders read "first available surface transportation" and he asked if we could help - so we found his orders too messed up to read, so we retyped them and unfortunately made them by "first available transportation". His parting words to us was that there were two cases of altar wine somewhere, trying to catch up to him and that he would be happy if he got even one of the two cases. A couple of weeks later one of the cases showed up and we forwarded it to him as excess baggage. A week later another case showed up and we put it in our office for safe keeping. Did you know that with a K-Bar and the skillful use of a pry bar the sides of a wooden case can be separated from the floor of the same?

In passing, I mentioned to the motor pool Sgt. about our stored adult libations and he thought it would grease his response time when we needed wheels, if he had something to wet his whistle with. So it was arranged to lower a bottle down to him after "lights out". I was lowering said bottle when a starchy Lt. Col. walked in and "Corky yelled "attention!". I released the cord holding the evidence, turned and stood at attention. Subsequent words from below were indeed colorful and you might say entertaining, unfortunately the light bird fellow did not think so and went downstairs to discover the source of the embarrassing language.

The motor pool Sgt. blamed me and said that he was sick of my practical jokes. The Col. said he could find charges to bring against me, but the Sgt. was an "old timer" and told the Col. he would challenge me to fight at the Friday night grudge fights. The next day the Sgt. took me aside and told me about the deal. I agreed. It was a couple of weeks before we could get scheduled.

It was a hot August afternoon when our "grudge" match was finally announced. Corky was taking bets from anybody who had any money. I was 22 and weighed about 175, the sarge was about 35, ugly and weighed over 240. Using my speed (remember this was over 60 years ago), I managed to elude him for awhile, I even managed to throw him twice, but he managed to throw me off before I could pin him. You should have heard the crowd yell!

All of a sudden I was on the deck, he had clobbered me with an elbow to my temple. I rolled around on the mat trying to escape his kicks. Now the crowd was booing! I finally got on my feet and he was all over me. He got a double back arm lock on me and I was walking on my toes while he was laughing as I moaned in PAIN! Suddenly he stopped, let go of me, and bent down to tie his shoe lace!

It took a second for the crowd to realize they had been had. They couldn't find Corky because he had taken a powder. He was afraid that they would be too annoyed to give him time to pay back their money. They all got their money even though some of them had to wait until the following Monday to get their money.

Incidentally, we were glad when the Col. got himself shipped out because he was after us with both hands. What goes around, comes around. He was shooting for stateside duty and - gee whiz - the poor guy got sent in the other direction! The last I heard he was on Funafuti as Area Mail Officer

Joe Luebbert, USMCR, 490489, 22nd Separate Reinforced Regiment

Rolling Thunder

Sgt. Grit.
The saluting Marine during Rolling Thunder is SSgt Timothy Chambers. Recently he was transferred from 29 Palms to Camp Pendleton and has made the RT trek on his own time and at his own expense each year. SSgt Chambers and a number of his fellow Marines are members of the American Legion Post 519 in Palm Springs and are frequent visitors to the post when in town.

Semper Fi,
Gary Olsen, CPA
USMCR 1/71 TO 3/77

Peanut Butters

I was issued a service number (2739836...I know, I know....boot), khakis, tropicals (peanut butters) and wools at MCRD San Diego July 1971. Probably one of the last groups of recruits to receive khakis and issued service numbers shortly prior to the conversion to SSNs. Never had occasion to wear my khakis, but our trops got plenty of mileage since they were the standard summer service uniform till poly's became the norm later on. S/F

SGM, USMC (ret) 71-97


Sgt Grit,
I took my Basic at PI in 1954, got transferred up to Camp Lejuene and got hooked up with the 6th Marine Regiment Took 2 Med Cruzies, and all so was stationed at Gitmo and Veaques for about a yr, believe it or not my MOS was Small Arms Technician Repair (Gun Smith), from a .45 Cal. Pistol to 50 Cal. Machine Gun, I cud fix it, I saved the Corps and the US Tax payers a lot, and I do mean a LOT of money, well so long to all my Bros, may u find happiness at what ever u do in your lives, God Bless

Semper Fi Once a Marine, Always a Marine,
A 71 Yr Old Marine Signing out!


We called him Sir. On occasion, when we felt the need to use a pronoun while addressing him, we would always revert to the third person. "Sir, the private requests permission to speak to the Senior Drill Instructor", we barked while standing rigid with our eyes staring at an imaginary point exactly six inches above his head. He had another name, Charles R. Crutchfield, but surely only his mother would dare use it.

Charles R. Crutchfield was a Gunnery Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps and was serving as the senior drill instructor for our newly formed platoon of forty volunteers. We first met him at 2:00 am one morning at receiving barracks, USMC Recruit Training Depot, Parris Island, SC. He boarded our chartered Greyhound bus, surveyed us with his penetrating eyes and announced in a guttural voice not unlike that of an annoyed alligator, "Oh my God! Why do they do this to me? You people are the most pathetic collection of the refuse of humanity that it has ever been my misfortune to see. However, by the authority of God and the Commandant of the Marine Corps, you maggots now belong solely to me. You have no mother, no father, no girl friend; h&ll, you have no life except that which I choose to give you."

In our collective eyes, he was the perfect manifestation of our most immediate goal - to earn the right to be called "Marine". His every move, his every mannerism was a textbook demonstration of one USMC Field Manual or another. He was both idolized and feared, but, most important of all, he was emulated. The undisciplined minds of the ragged recruits had a focus for once in their lives.

Gunnery Sgt, Crutchfield's appearance was a personal trademark shared by the best of his peers. His shoes shown like black beacons beneath his trousers which were creased to a perfect knife's edge. He would dress in the morning without sitting and would refuse to sit or squat for hours for fear of wrinkling his trousers. His light tan uniform shirts were folded (bloused) against his back so no hint of slack could be seen. His crowning feature was the coveted, flat brimmed, Smokey the Bear hat or "cover" as it is know in the Corps. His cover sat squarely on top of his head exposing the white-side-walled haircut that was mandatory. The cover shaded piercing eyes that missed nothing. His features were weathered by years in the sun and hardened by a countenance that rarely allowed for the wrinkle of a smile. No one would ever call him handsome. No one would ever call him anything but Sir and that suited him just fine.

After the fourth week of training, we began to understand Gunny Crutchfield. He was less abusive and more instructive. He was less prone to amaze us with a colorful and unique collection of profanity. We realized that we were in fact being remade in the image that he represented so well. Fear turned to understanding and with understanding came increasing proficiency in our relentless drilling. We were working to make this mighty man accept us for what we yearned to be.

And, at the end of that long eight weeks at Parris Island, the Senior Drill Instructor paid each of us the ultimate compliment. Standing at attention under our nation's flag he shook our hands and said the magic words, "Welcome aboard, "MARINE".

Ken Williams

His Gun

Watched this movie the other night, about a retired GySgt USMC, saw a bit of a mess up, although this is not about the Corps, the Marine says in a meeting with the govt. folks that he had changed all the firing pins in his "GUNS" and that it would be almost impossible to tell that. A Marine and his Gun! Say it ain't so!, Even an old Navy "DOC" knows better than that, "This is my rifle, this is my gun, one for shooting, the other for fun". Had a real relic in Boot Camp in 58, a Springfield 1903, notice that they are still around being used by the drill teams. Best regards,
Chuck Stark
"Real Old Navy DOC"

Rejuvenated Our Soul

Sgt. Grit,
I had the pleasure of spending 30 days through the Gobi Desert and the Altai Mountains of Mongolia in the company of another Marine. Returned 7 days ago. I took a printed copy of your newsletter with me. It rejuvenated our soul and reinforced our Respect and Love for The Corps and Country, to relive our boot camp experiences at MCRD. To read the experiences and remembrances of our fellow Marines that connect the dots from today back to 1775 would make my D.I. S/Sgt Rush, teary eye.
Semper Fi,
Cpl. M. Valencia
Viet-Nam 66-67

11th Engineer Bn - Vietnam Reunion

Members that served with the 11Th Engineer Bn 3rd Marine Division - Vietnam/DMZ area from 66/69 will be hosting a reunion in October 2007.
Date: Oct 5Th to 8Th 2007
Location: Ft. Mitchell, Ky ( near the border of Ind & Ohio )
Hotel site: The Drawbridge Hotel
Contact Person: Gary Gratton grattondsl@msn.com

Marines Helping Marines

In the tradition of "Marines helping Marines", I need all hands on deck.

Myself and another Marine from here in Pittsburgh have created the "Fallen Marine Memorial Run" and we need you to help spread the word. We are a Pennsylvania Non-Profit 501 C-3 Corporation and raise money to help families of those Marines killed in the "War on Terror". We are in our second year and you can read all about us on the web at www.fallenmarinememorialrun.com

If you could pass this on to all those in your e mail address book and find it in your heart to help by purchasing a chance to win a 50th Anniversary Harley Davidson or take the $10,000 in place of the bike, we would greatly appreciate your contribution.

You can also reach me at 412-401-8440. Ask for Joe Wadlow.

Semper Fi!

SSgt Joe Wadlow
Sgt. Jerry Vanasdale
Mike Co 3/1 Vietnam 67-68
Veteran Desert Storm
Marine Corps League Det 310
Marine Corps League
First Marine Div. Assn.
Co Founder FMMR
Vietnam Veterans Assn.

Did You Ever Go To

This incident occurred while I was serving with G-3-9 at South Camp Fuji (Japan) in 1957. We were preparing for a battalion commander's "Junk on the Bunk" inspection which was scheduled for 1300 hours (1:00 p.m. for you non-Marines). I was a platoon sergeant and all morning I had been calling for platoon members to bring their extra gear to my sack which was below a transom door leading to a kind of attic over the barracks. Marines of this era will remember that no matter how much gear you might have you could only display the number of items that came with original issue. Back in the states you could store this "extra gear" in someone's car but here in Japan we had to improvise for no extra gear was permitted in sight. As the morning wore on I had stuffed so many seabags with extra gear into the attic that the ceiling was bulging down menacingly. I don't think I could have put too much more gear up there safely, but with only five minutes left I thought everyone had already brought up their gear. WRONG! I had this one private named Kelley who "never got the word." At 1258 hours Kelley showed up with a huge seabag in tow. I looked at him and said, "Kelley, What the h&ll do you have there?" "It's my extra gear, Sergeant Gill," he said. I pointed to the bulging ceiling and said, "Kelley, there's no way that I'm going to try and put your gear up there now." "But what am I going to do with my extra gear," he moaned. I responded, "Kelley, at this point you can stick it up your a**." By this time the colonel was headed for the barracks door. I soon forgot about the exchange with Kelley, but I did notice that the battalion commander spent a lot of time talking with Kelley, but I didn't think much about it. Finally the colonel came before me. "You've got a pretty squared-away platoon here sergeant." I gratefully thanked him but he wasn't done with me yet. "Sergeant, did you ever go to NCO School?" "Yes Sir," I responded. "Good," he said. "Tell me, sergeant, do you remember any of the principles of leadership they taught you there?" "Yes sir," I responded. "Such as?" he asked. I proceeded to name some of the principles I had learned. "Very good, sergeant," he said. "But did they teach you that you should never give a subordinate an order that he cannot possibly carry out?" Yes sir, they did," I responded. The colonel stroked his chin and said, "Sergeant, do you really think that Private Kelley could have stuck his seabag up his a**?" He grinned and headed for the door. He didn't need to explain what had happened.

S/Sgt Paul E. Gill, 1954-66.


Dear Sgt. Grit,

In October, 2006, I, with the help of Popasmoke.com started a program called Adopt-A-Shop. It is a way to help the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan get the consumables that they cannot get over there, or it is very difficult to get.

When a shop, or unit, in Iraq, or Afghanistan signs up for Adopt-S-Shop thru Popasmoke.com, their name is posted to a list and then people that want to help can go on the list and either support that unit or adopt that unit.

A supporter is one who occasionally sends a package to the troops. An Adopter is one that commits to regularly send care packages to a specific shop or unit.

To help the troops by sending them care packages, a person, or a group of people, can go on the USMC Combat Helicopter Association's website, www.popasmoke.com and sign up to help. Then that person, or group, will be assigned a shop, or unit, and they will be put in direct contact with that shop or unit. There is no middle man in my program. The supporter, or adopter, is put into direct contact with the people in that shop, and everything that is purchased or collected for that shop is mailed directly to that shop. It becomes very personal. Names and photographs, and sometimes small mementoes of thanks are exchanged.

To participate in the Adopt-A-Shop program, one simply goes onto the www.popasomoke.com/aas website


Sgt. Grit,
I thought about several funny incidents that took place during my boot camp experience on P.I. while reading your last newsletter and wanted to share a few with you and "our" readers. One thing I will never forget was when recruit Rudolph came on line during our usual mad scramble one morning and immediately started to press his knees together while attempting to stand at attention preparing to count off. I was positioned across from him on line and could tell he had to make a head call like he never had before. I made eye contact with him and I swear I thought his eyeballs were floating in his head. So our "Heavy" D.I. Sgt. Brown comes out of the house and stands at the top of the quarter deck and surveys our sorry a$$es before giving the order to count off. Now keep in mind that this recruit was known by the D.I.'s to be somewhat of a "needy" individual, so it came at no surprise that just as D.I. Sgt. Brown prepared to give the order to count off with his READY!.....that recruit Rudolph suddenly yells out in his best attempt at a forceful request "sir, recruit Rudolph requests permission to...." when he was interrupted with an even more forceful NO! Sgt. Brown started again with "READY"..... and again Rudolph interrupted. This time however he was quickly closed with and about to be destroyed like the enemy and as Sgt. Brown got nose cover to nose with this kid and started