In additional to your service number, another good "dividing line" for the Old Corps is whether the buttons on your dress green blouse were black or brown! I was issued one blouse with black buttons and one with brown buttons. I always wore the one with the brown buttons and it hangs in my closet today.
James D. Cool
India 3/4 (1967)
Achieved His Dream
I so enjoy your newsletters and of course, ordering from your website. I'm writing because I just want to thank all my Marines for a wonderful job they're doing. My son, LCpl Rex Page, wanted to become a Marine since the 3rd grade. As we stood on the edge of the parade grounds at MCRD San Diego in August of 2005, we proudly watched as he received his EGA pin and was called a Marine for the first time. We knew that he had achieved his dream. He became a SAW gunner for the 3/5 Lima 1st Platoon. Last June 28th, 2006, his life was taken by a sniper's bullet in the Al Anabar Province of Fallujah, Iraq. He died doing a job he loved and believed in, with men he loved and believed in. He was the recipient of two purple hearts, a letter of commendation for saving a Marine buddy's life and was recommended by his DI for Presidential Support duty. He was proud to be a Marine and proud of his uniform. He wore it every where when he was home on leave. One of his buddies asked him why he joined the Corps and his reply was, "I wanted to better my life and make my family proud." He accomplished both of those things. We miss him but he's serving duty at the gates of Heaven. We have adopted 35 Marines of his company and they have covered our backs since. Thank God for our Marines. Semper Fi.....oorah!
Larry "The Geezer
In loving memory of LCpl Rex Page, U.S. Marines...
Lcpl Leon Deraps, U.S. Marine Corps
& Sgt Ryan Campbell, U.S. Army....
"Good night, Chesty Puller, wherever you are!"
My husband joined the Marines in 1953 to be with his brother who was enroute to Japan and Korea. When he was at Camp Pendleton, his company participated with other companies marching past a review stand consisting of Colonels and Generals. The captain in charge of his company must have had a sense of humor to pull off what he did. He gave each Marine a cigar and told them to put it in the pocket of their shirt. He then instructed them to wait for his signal when they passed in front of the review stand. At that time they were to take the cigar out of their pockets, put it in their mouths, crouch down, turn their heads toward the stand, and walk like Groucho Marx. The Colonels and Generals were all laughing and the people watching applauded.
My husband and his brother never got to Korea, a truce was signed when they were in Japan. He had a lot of stories he told me about those days, I am sure that he left out some of them. Those were great days. He died six years ago and it has been tough. Being in the Corps instilled leadership and courage that stayed with him until he died.
The name of the Marine Standing at attention in the middle of the road is: S/Sgt.Tim Chambers and is Stationed in 29 Palms,Ca. I met him at the Thunder Run of 2004 when they dedicated the World War 11 Memorial. It was and still is the biggest turnout of Bikes for the Thunder Run. They counted over 500,000 bikes in the run.
S/Sgt. Chambers stood for 3 hours and 50 minutes that day, without dropping his salute or his position of attention. His shoes were spit shined not the new stuff. His Cover was spit shined also. Braso the same old fashion way. He gives motivational speeches at schools and organizes events for patriotism. He is a motivational Man and speaker.
Someone in your outfit or the Marine Corps community should do something in recognition of this Marine's patriotism and the demonstration of the Spirit Of The Marine Corps. He has been doing this at least 5 or 6 years now. As far as I know he is still stationed at 29 Palms, Ca. If you call the base his name is listed with a phone number.
Thank you for your time. He put a lump in my throat that day and a pride in my Marine Corps. When I finished my run ( I was among the first bikes by) I return to watch him and give encouragement to him. We have e-mailed each other over the years and talked now and then. He knows me as the Ole Marine from upstate New York
I am a Vietnam Vet of 1966, 1st Marine Division, Battalion 1/5, Charlie Company, 22nd Plt. We are the ones who came to the aid of the Marines on Hill 488.
Thank you again. And as I sign off all my Marine mail:
May God Bless and Keep You Safe.
Gary W. Johnson Sr.
Very Special Group
In response to those who always ask who should and should not wear the EGA.
There is a very special group of men who rate it and should wear it proudly. These are the Navy/Marine Combat Corpsman. These are the guys who are there on the ground with us when we need them to patch us up and MedEvac us out to safety to get treatment. These brave men don't think of saving their own butts they are always there to save ours. I don't see much written about them any more and more should be said for what they do. They are the "Unsung Heroes" of all the wars. I have three of them as close friends and I am honored to call them Marines. They join the Marine Corps League with full membership and honors; which means they can wear the EGA right along with us. Hope not to offend any Marine Brothers out there just want everyone to realize the Combat Corpsman are every part of the Corps in my opinion.
Semper Fi, and God Bless our Troops,
Sgt. USMC Ret.
We Did Have
I was a D.I. in San Diego from 1956 to 1957. I read for a part in that movie but unfortunately I didn't get to go back for a second reading. Most of the Marines in the picture were DI's on loan to Hollywood.
We didn't have sand fleas in Diego but we did have the airport right next door which caused many interruptions on the drill field. The drill field was 1100 yards long and occasionally one of the planes would start to come in for a landing especially if was a little foggy. The command to the recruits was "Get off the field now!" Fortunately none of the planes ever made a landing.
SSgt George M. Blair
We Even Raised Money
Dear Sgt. Grit,
I was reading my newsletter (as I do religiously) and came upon the text sent by someone who was looking for Marines (or any veteran) of the 1968 Battle of Khe-San. I didn't have to look far, for my brother-in-law was with the those "Few & Proud" that fought there. Vincent "Vinnie" Trevino enlisted with his high school buddy Rudy T. Castillo (MGySgt. Ret.) right after graduation in 1967 and soon (like most) found himself in a place that no one had even heard of until then Vince was wounded (two Purple Hearts) and was discharged.
On Sunday after church, I went to see him and asked him "Didn't you fight at Khe-San?" he gave a heavy "Yes". I told him about the documentary that I read about on-line and he said that he would be VERY interested in telling his story if it will help shed light on a rather mis-understood battle. It may also help to put our brothers in their rightful place in history. You see I am a Marine 1987-90, my older brother Edward 1969-1972, my uncle Alejandro Molina (GySgt Ret.), my uncle Raymundo Molina Jr. (Alejandro's little brother-that must've been interesting), but the one I take the most pride in is the uncle I never met. My Dad's older brother, Ralph Lopez Sr.-he lied about his age, joined the Corps, survived the Island Hopping Campaign and fought at Iwo Jima. The Lord called him to post in the early 1960's in an accident of all things. But the stories I here about him. Even my father was awestruck by his presence not just because that was his brother, but his brother was a Marine. I hope that who ever wrote that letter will contact me ( I sent an e-mail) because the look in my brother-in-laws eyes is something I'll never forget. As if to say "Finally, someone cares".
Vincent was the backbone behind the building of a Vietnam Memorial dedicated on Memorial Day in 1992, which I of course volunteered to design. The Memorial is the ONLY one of it's kind on a High School campus that I know of. The names inscribed on it are the only two casualties from my home town of Parlier, California. A good majority of young men at that time went to Vietnam, including my three older brothers, two uncles and one brother-in-law, as well as, many friends. But only those two did not come home. The Memorial was built completely by veterans (mostly Vietnam Vets of course), and the entire piece was built with donated materials, talents, hands, backs but most of all....HEARTS. We even raised money to have one man's mother and brother flown in from Texas for the dedication ceremony which was attended by Vets from all over. Vinnie said in his speech that it had been a long time since his return from Vietnam and the two friends that he laughed and played with on that very school ground were laid to rest, but he said, "Today-this day that we dedicate this memorial to our brothers and all of our veterans-Today I come home....And I bring my friends with me." I thank you for your time, take care and God Bless
Con Todo Mi Corazon,
Gabriel Lopez USMC 3rd MAW MCAS Tustin
Pull Off Your Boots
Well how many Marines haven't taken empty soda or beer cans and placed them under the legs of a rack in a dark open squad bay? Friggin hilarious, and the laughter is usually louder than the crash!
In 1983 I was Sergeant of the Guard at Camp Hansen, Okinawa when I was a victim of this hilarious crime. There is little to compare coming off a long watch to catch a few "Z's" and have your rack collapse under you while sitting down to pull off your boots. Gee, thanks guysâ€¦
Paul "Gunny" Kaiser
GySgt USMC (Ret)
In That Instant
Not long ago I was attending an outdoor concert in Houston, TX. The conductor announced that the anthems for each military branch would be played in turn. Before each anthem he asked for any current or former personnel from that branch to please stand and be recognized. The Navy was well represented with 30 or 40 people standing. The Army had twice that many. Even the Air Force and Coast Guard had over a dozen each. When he asked the Marines present to stand, 4 of us stood tall. It hit me in that instant as we caught each other's eye and did that barely perceptible nod Marines do in almost secret recognition of sharing what only a Marine can know. In that instant I came to truly understand we are "The Few..."
Curry, HC GySgt of Marines
Incredulous Stares Followed
My, how times change. After I read Sgt. Rick Torrence's tale of cleaning heads, I couldn't help but recall one of my own. When he stated that "NCO's DON'T clean heads", I knew I had to share it.
While at Camp Schwab, Okinawa in 1985, I had the dubious pleasure of being assigned to working parties by our Gunny Combs. When I first arrived at Supply, I was asked, "How can we help you, Corporal?" I informed them that I was reporting as a working party. Incredulous stares followed. One Marines asked who I was with and when I replied, "TOW", he rolled his eyes and suggested I go on in the back to "count pencils". You see, our Gunny had a reputation as a suck-butt who would use us to curry favor, not to mention trying to knock a group of us down.
My first float from Okie in 1983 I was low man on the totem pole so it came as no surprise that I drew mess duty. What did amaze me was that two years later, as a senior Lance Corporal, our Staff NCO felt that it would unfair for the boots to serve a lot of time on working parties, guard and mess duties. So he held up several of our promotions and picked us first! I finally did receive my Corporal stripe (along with my Good Conduct Medal... go figure), but it didn't end there. He continued to ignore any distinction that extra stripe made.
Despite this despicable character, I and my fellow Marines carried on, but I do know that he figured prominently in a number of Marines' decisions not to reenlist. And on a side bar, I was disgusted at how unsat the Staff NCO's head was at Camp Schwab. So let's hear some other working party horror stories, shall we? After all, a good story lasts longer than a good time!
"TOW by God!"
I'm responding to the use of C-Rat peanut butter oil or lump for maintaining regularity. As a new-Corps Marine in 2/6 in 1980, we figured out that our desire to replicate Reese's Peanut Butter cups using Sh*t Disks and C-Rat peanut butter resulted in our maintaining regularity in the field!
Still "New Corps" to you old farts!
This story was told to me by some of my buddies when I joined Radio Relay Plt before going to 'Nam. Maybe it's just a sea story, but it sounded true. It took place in 1966 or early '67
At Camp Schwab on Okinawa, some of the guys in Radio Relay Plt., HQ Co, 26th Marines set up a practice shot with a TRC-27, which had the lollipop microwave antennas. Since they were only about 200 yards apart, the antennas were set very low.
In the middle was the path to the enlisted club. So they set up a sign that said, "Danger, 10,000 Ohms." If you don't know, "ohms" measures resistance. A rock probably has a billion, not dangerous at all.
Then one of the guys would hang out until he saw a few grunts coming from the club. He'd walk ahead of them, stop and read the sign, look both ways at the antennas, then get down and crawl for about ten feet, then rise and walk on. Sure enough, the guys following him usually did the same thing, breaking everyone up.
At Comm Support Company at Camp Hanson in 1966, we once had a radio relay shot from a van out to one on either the Iwo Jima or the Okinawa, a chopper carrier. One of my buddies, Jerry Bailey, was covering the radios on the ship. We were down island (Kadena?) where there were a few woman Marines--real American girls. We got one to go on the radio and tell Jerry, in her Georgia peach drawl, how much fun she was having taking us to the club, bringing us breakfast in the morning, etc. She was quite good, really had Jerry going, may have led him to believe she was closer to us than she was! Of course, we described her to him as a future Miss America. If Jerry reads this, I would love to talk to him or to LCpl Murp Murphy from Radio Relay at Khe Sanh in 1967.
Robert A. Hall
Former SSgt of Marines
Repeat After Me
Your comments on the movie The D.I. reminded me of the first time I saw it. Packed with kids and parents the theater was full because after the movie there was to be a swearing-in of new Marines. At the end of the movie the Marine recruiters marched onto the stage with an honor guard for the ceremony. The to-be Marines marched onto the stage, told to raise their right hand and, "Repeat after me." Then they were told to step forward to affirm their oath. Most stepped forward but a number didn't. The movie had ended their careers early!
While stationed at 13 area dispensary at Camp Pendleton (1972), I was entertained regularly by young Marines coming to Sick Call. One day a Marine was wandering the hallways of our dispensary and obviously was lost. He carried a big envelope of x-rays and I asked him If I could help. He said, "Yes, Doc, I was told to take this envelope to some kind of archeologist". I knew he meant Radiologist but couldn't pass up the opportunity so I told him, "Oh, alright, yes.....he works underneath the building!" After even more confusing looks, I told him which office was the Radiologists!"
A Marine reported to sick call because of hemorrhoids. We gave him suppositories and told him to use them as directed on the package. Three days later, this same Marine came to the dispensary again. This time he was very agitated and told us "Doc, you have to give me something else. These things are tearing me up!". We soon realized he was inserting them with the foil still surrounding the suppository!
Charlie "Doc" Rose
It was January 1961 and a group of Marines and sailors who had been stationed at various locations in Japan were at Yokosuka waiting eagerly in a barracks to hear their names called for a flight to the U.S., and then discharge.
About 2100 hours, one sailor hit the rack and fell asleep. His buddy quickly assembled the rest of us (about 30) out of sight in the back of the barracks. Once hidden, he went up to the sleeping sailor, shook him hard and yelled at him when he was half-awake, "They just called your name for a flight and the bus leaves in one minute!"
The now wide-awake sailor, wearing only his skivvies, bolted out of bed, grabbed his uniform with one hand, his sea bag with the other, and began half-running, half-hopping toward the exit while trying to put on his pants.
We were all able to watch this dash to the barrack's exit for about 10 seconds before bursting into laughter. The look on the sailor's face when he figured out what had happened was priceless. His comments were drowned out by the laughter.
The next morning, all of our names were called for a flight to Hawaii. And, we had ample time to put on our pants.
Cpl. Wayne Whitehead
Kami Seya, 1958-61
Copies Of Pamphlets
Just read with interest Sgt James Carter's comments regarding Freedom Village in Korea August 1953...I was also there at the time as a young Cpl and was with the 5th Marine Regt. Also recall the armband he referred to. Also, at a different time, my platoon was assigned as security (manning 30 cal MGs) on a hill overlooking the road as they were moving out in vehicles, to ensure there were no problems. Somewhere in my Marine stuff, I still have copies of pamphlets that they threw out of the vehicles saying in essence, what great liberators we were!
Don Rousseau USMC (Ret)
Pvt through Capt
Still say the best rank in the Corps is Sergeant !
Prowl The Squad Bay
As we all recall, before 'lights out' at basic your cammies had to be neatly folded on your footlocker, and your boots close by. At reveille, dressing was a 5 second, closely monitored, ordeal.
In the middle of night "gremlins" (pranksters) were known to prowl our squad bay. My all-time favorite was switching the cammies of the most notoriously huge recruit, with those of the smallest and most petite. The reaction in the AM was a riot. Yes, I was caught, and playing "dead bug" gets old after 30 minutes.
My only other great one was during a "left flank" recruit Moll decided to execute a "right flank". Yeah. I stood out. When DI SSGT Creeden not-so-politely inquired about my major malfunction, that rolled off my tongue was this... "Sir, this recruit demonstrated temporary mis-appropriation of bodily momentum, resulting in executional error, Sir!" My comment was replied with "very well, carry on." Whew....
Chad Moll, Sergeant, USMCR
Basic Platoon 3045, I Company San Diego
EG&A earned Sept 11 1992
Stationed MWSS 472 Det B, Selfridge ANGB, Mt. Clemens MI
Banging On The Door
Clarksville Base was an integral part of the Armed Forces Special Weapons Program network. These facilities stored, modified and shipped nuclear weapons around the country. Security duty for Marines was boring, yet stressful since we all carried live rounds in the chambers of our weapons while on duty. More than a few Marines were accidentally shot during the seventeen years the Marines handled security there.
Part of Marine Corps tradition was that non-NCOs pulled thirty days of mess duty. Having been reduced in rank from Cpl. To Pfc., I volunteered for mess duty to escape the boredom (and to have every night off). Our Mess Deck boss was Boatswain's Mate First Class Griffith. Griff did his best to make us follow Navy regulations for a mess deck, but supervising Marine mess men was akin to herding cats. We gave Griff as bad as he gave us. On one occasion, he really pi **** us off and we decided to get even with him.
The messmen's quarters were on the second floor of an old wooden barracks building. We all slept there and every morning, Griff would delight in waking us up by banging trash can lids together. We had had enough of that and decided this night we would take action. We first unscrewed every light bulb in the place so that when Griff flipped the switch "on", nothing would happen. We then bolted the door and all went to bed.
At 4:30 a.m., we awoke to a loud banging on the door. Of course we all were VERY SOUNDLY asleep! Finally, Griff used his shoulder to forcibly enter our domain. He reached out and flipped the light switch and nothing happened. We were still SOUND ASLEEP in our cozy little beds. As we lazily awoke for our slumber, we allowed as how no one knew who had bolted the door or did dirty with the lights. Well, old Griff was red-faced and livid over this escapade and said he intended to write all of us up. We laughed. What punishment could the Captain possibly give a Pvt. or a Pfc. on mess duty?
Griff ran his report up the chain of command over the next few days. He never expected the result that came down. None of the messmen were reprimanded or disciplined in any way, but Griff had to pay for the lock and door he destroyed in attempting to enter our quarters. He never tried that again, and we never had to engage in battle with Griff after that incident.
Five Decades Ago
Back five decades ago, we stenciled our chevrons on our dungaree shirts or failing that we used a pen or pencil to indicate our rank. Cpl. H was a free spirit and one of the best sketch artists and cartoonists I ever met. We were both in PIO with the lstMarDiv in Korea just before it was replaced on the line by an army division and redeployed to Camp P.
Like the character in Li'l Abner that had a black cloud plaguing him, Cpl. H. just attracted bad luck. This being a family oriented site, I have to skip one incident that occurred (penicillin was involved just before we embarked for SD), but there was the time he borrowed someone's new electric razor at Ascom City -- and dropped it!
When we were still near Munsan-ni, he had the harebrained idea to stencil MSgt chevrons on his long johns (this being winter). Not a good idea for a two-stripper to do, esp. when you get caught by a MSgt. Use your imagination for the words that were spoken.
Bob Rader #1405534 aka Sgt. Wolf
In response to Sgt. Glass note on 5/24/07, about the movie "The D. I.", it brought back tears of joy. Every Sunday, during boot camp, my D. I.'s would roll out the TV and put in the movie. I just remember say to myself don't you ever slap at a sand flee. That was the last thing I wanted to do is dig a whole for one of the DEVIL bugs.
Sgt. USMC (Ret)
No Yellow Footprints
In response to Sgt James Carter's experience at Operation "Little Switch" in 1953. I was at both Operation Little Switch and Big Switch, but can't remember in what capacity. I rode shotgun for a Colonel from HqBn on the one occasion but was told to remain with the jeep driver and was not allowed through the gate. I remember the Freedom Gate and bridge vividly. I also remember a group of us presenting our social fingers to the commie Chinese who were waving banners and going to North Korea by train. I also remember those in six bys waving their banners from the front of the truck bed. Soldiers in jeeps with mounted 30's made sure they found their way across the 38th.
A lot being said about yellow footprints. They weren't at Parris Island in 1952. We came from Yemassee via Parlmetto Bus Lines with windows open. (noAC back then) Permanent personal would give a grin as we passed by and yell a popular phrase from the old $64 Question radio show of that time, "You'll Be Sorreeeee! No yellow footprints waiting for us, but a nasty SOB telling us to keep our fffing mouths shut. On command we were told move. I remember asses and elbows all over the place. Those in front would catch a size 11 along with those bringing up the rear. A heary welcome to finishing school at tropical Paradise Island.
Sgt Frank Athis 1335915
July 15, 1952 -1955
Blow Up Dolls
When I was at MCAS Yuma, we used to put blow up dolls in the rack of any "boots" on their 1st Field Day inspections. The 1st Sgt always got a kick out of the expressions on their faces.
Lance "Buka" Vasquez
A-Btry 1st Plt
2D LAAM Bn.
91 - 93
I would like to take a moment, on this Memorial Day to remember Lt Col Leon N. Utter and the officers and men of the Second Battalion, 7th Marines. From the time of his assignment as our Commanding Officer, just prior to us departing for Vietnam in 1965, I never met a finer man. No matter how rough the times got, LtCol Utter was right there beside us. As far as I am concerned, no greater man ever walked this earth with me. I would have followed him though the gates of h&ll, and I never met another Marine that didn't feel the same. Our Corps seems to make the best of officers, to be better. 2/7 had Capt Nolan, Capt Grosz, Capt Lee, Capt. Gormley, Lt Lau and Lt Cornelius, to name a few.
A reporter lied and spread the word that 2/7 had used lethal gas in Vietnam, which greatly exaggerated, was in fact CS gas, and we almost had our beloved CO, to be relieved from duty. It would have been disastrous for us and our nation to have lost such a great man. I also had the good fortune to be stationed with Colonel Utter when he was the Chief of Staff, Force Troops, 29 Palms, Ca. He saw me the day I was checking in from a tour on the drill field in San Diego. I was just a Pvt/PFC in 2/7, a supply poge at that, but he remembered me. Col Utter saw me and to the shock of the officers around him, hugged me and called me "one of his hip pocket reserves," which was a reference to the motor t, supply and cooks being a sort of security platoon that accompanied the Battalion on Operations in Vietnam. I will never forget that day. He was a man I truly loved. I have always been in awe of all of those that served before me, passed with me and serve today in our beloved Marine Corps. I am grateful to have earned the title for myself and to live in such a wonderful nation, that produces the kind of officers and men of 2/7, which I served with 64-66.
Semper Fi GySgt Potter USMCR
Perfume Of The Gods
Sgt. Grit. I really enjoy reading all the letters from the Marines and former Marines who have written in. Me being a Corporal of Marines I thought it only fair that I write in and tell you about incident that took place in a certain training area in Hawaii. Then 1982 being a squared away Lance Corporal fire team leader I had made sure my team was fed chow and had topped off canteens for the upcoming night patrols. While we were being briefed on our mission I took the opportunity to put some Copenhagen between my cheek and gum. After we were briefed we did our final gear check and moved to the line of departure ( Dusk ) Completely quiet and covering our assigned area's we moved through our pre-assigned rout. We had made it about 3 clicks away from the platoon area moving down the side of a hill when all of a sudden all h&ll broke loose. Point man hit a flash bang. Machine gun fire was in all directions, Close to the main body we heard several pop's, Squad leader shouted GAS. Being a good Marine I cleared and put my gas mask on, We regrouped and were moving at a high rate of speed down the side of the hill. Running at top speed and returning fire I inhaled the Copenhagen (First Mistake). Again like a good Marine I did not stop, Coughing and gagging I couldn't take it anymore I pulled my gas mask off. ( Second Mistake). After a few deep breaths of the perfume of the god's I decided to put my gas mask back on, It was too late, Now I have snot down to my chin and my eyes are on fire. and then proceeded to Vomit 2 cans of beans and baby d!cks up into my gas mask , Now I could not see where I was running at a high rate of speed and bit the dust. My squad leader stopped the squad and my comrades helped me back on my feet where they all had a very good laugh on me, seemed like an hour. And did not let me live it down for quit some time. Well that was many years ago now. My oldest son is now stationed in Cherry point as an aviation specialist and my next oldest son leaves for boot camp in August where he will be an MP.
Corporal of Marines
Back in Nam I was a CH-46 crewman. We use to buckle up the engine compartment doors inside the aircraft, but first we would fill them with nuts and bolts and other loose hardware. We would get our grunt bothers in the aircraft and then act like we heard a weird noise and were discussing it with other crewman through our headsets. One of the crew would point towards the engine doors and another crewman would go to open them up. When he did assorted hardware fell out onto the floor and we would start running around like the world was ending. The looks on the faces of the ground Marines was priceless. Kept me laughing for days.
Rinsed Our Skivvies
San Diego, 1943: After we washed & rinsed our skivvies, we hung them in a fenced area, to dry. One evening, before dark, I had guard duty. I had been a boot for maybe 10 days; A 2nd Lt. approached me and started a conversation. My D.I. was sort of a god; I didn't know what a 2nd Lt. was, but I knew he exercised lots of power & authority. In spite of the General Orders, I was not going to challenge a 2nd Lt. and get court-martialed. He proceeded to open the gate (no lock) and helped himself to several pieces of skivvies. At the time, I didn't know what he was doing or where he was taking my platoon's laundry.
Didn't take me long to learn. Corporal of the Guard brought a replacement; told me to report to the D.I.'s tent. I only had to sleep with my M1 rifle for a week.
James D. Broome
And Brought Popcorn
The first article in your news letter talked about the movie, The D.I., which is probably the best recruitment movie the Marine Corps ever had. I must have seen it at least five times during my high school years in the early 60's. It was very challenging for an impressionable young man like myself. In Pittsburgh, where I grew up, you had VFW's, American Legion Posts on every corner it seemed, I thought you turned eighteen and went off to fight a war, like our fathers and uncles. Early in my enlistment I attended an electronics school on an Army Base in Northern Alabama, we had a GunnySgt, named Gunny Joe Holmes...why is that important, well he was in the movie, The D.I., in fact he was the recruit that barked out his general orders. Once the movie was on TV during our training, and the Gunny held all our liberty cards, (do they still have liberty cards now?) and brought popcorn for all to watch "his" movie. He was a trip, but deadly if you messed with him. Once I was not doing well in my class, he took me into a broom closet, and grabbed me by the throat, and said, Marines do not flunk out of this school, do you understand. I have to say, I saw the fire of God in his eyes, that was in week fourteen of a fifty-four week long school, I did pass and graduated from the program, MOS 5911. I did not want to ever see those eyes of the Gunny's again. Yes, fear is a motivator, and it taught me a very valuable lesson in life, that if I put my mind to something, I will succeed. I have done well for myself throughout the years. Yes, I have a copy of the movie, The D.I. It's a classic.
S/Sgt J.D. Robinson , 2209933
RVN 69 - 70, 1st LAAM Bn.,"B" Btry, Monkey Mountain
Quiet For Evermore
Semper Fi Marines:
Here's a great practical joke for ya'll. While stationed in schools at Court House Bay, Feb, 1972 we had a private who knew more than the instructors and just would not shut up. so one day on noon chow break we marched back to the Quonset huts. As we prepared to fall out for 1300 formation we found MOTOR MOUTH fast asleep so fast asleep I untied his boot laces and retied them, to the bunk springs stretched as far out as I could get them, then knotted them. He showed up to class at 1500 hours and for some reason was very quiet for evermore!
Sarge, ramona california
I notice in your catalog that the boot camp sweatshirt is yellow w/red letters. Oct. '59 they issued us the reverse, red shirt w/yellow lettering. All was well until we had to pull "butts" in the rain. Most of the guys wore their red sweatshirts under their utility jackets. Needless to say we all got very wet ponchos don't keep out much rain as you well know). The red sweatshirts faded on to our skivves and turned them a nice shade of pink (not a regulation color). It was really a miserable day for us in the butts and even worse for the recruits trying to qualify. It was just before Christmas '59.
The article about the "DI w/Jack Webb", I had a roommate at Pensacola who said he was in that movie, yeah right. Well I watched the credits and they did use recruits. He was Douglas E. Wilson III. I guess it wasn't a tall sea story.
Cpl. '59 - '63
Do You Know When
As a young LCpl, and stationed in MACS-9 at MCAS-LTA Tustin in 1963, I had been put on guard duty one night. Since we had sensitive radar units we were armed with M-14, which were loaded with five rounds of live ammo. That evening the Sergeant Of The Guard, a SSgt Simms, who had at my prior unit (MASS-3 El Toro) arranged for me to have an Article 15, which had awarded me a six months suspended bust in rank. Of course, SSgt Simms wasn't at the top of my list of favorite Marines. Prior to going on guard duty SSgt Simms asked me, "Snodgrass, do you know when to fire your weapon?" Looking him straight in the eyes I replied, "Yes Sir. To save life or property, or if I get scared!" Funny thing, SSgt Simms never came out of the Guard Shack that very dark night to check on my post! Wonder why?
Sgt of Marines
Came Up Missing
While serving with the first Marines in Korea I received a telegram that my wife gave birth to our son on Christmas day [ 1951 ]. Being a proud father I gave out some cigars. I gave one to a cook by the name George B. that was fixing stew, part way through the cigar it came up missing, he never found it, as you know Marines can put up with any thing that was fed them. We still get together about once a year and we still talk about the cigar.
Not To Bring Anything
I joined the USMC on August 28th, 1968 and on arrival at MCRD in San Diego I joined my fellow recruits as we stood on the yellow foot prints that showed us how to fall out in formation. We had been instructed not to bring anything with us other than what we were wearing, but having come down with a raging case of poison oak I brought with me my much needed medicine. One of the recruits was dispatched to pick up the few extra items and gave them to our D.I. The DI yelled out, "Pvt. Martin. What in the h&ll is this?" I answered meekly, "Its for poison oak Sir." To which the DI replied, "We don't have any of that sh!t around here," and promptly threw my meds into a large trash can. The first several weeks of boot camp were made a bit harsher for me as I struggled to stand at attention, in the hot sun, while my whole body was screaming to be scratched. Its funny to me now.
Thanks, SGT Terry Martin USMC 1968-70
I was talking with a good friend of mine about the good old days at MCRD San Diego when he told me this story.
It was the last day of training and the recruits were getting ready to go on a two mile run. Because it was the last day of training, the D.I. told the guys they could call out any cadence they wanted. One brave sole called out.......If I Had A Low I.Q.,( and everyone repeated ) I Could Be A D.I. Too......Needless to say the two mile run lasted a bit longer. The guys new they would be in trouble, but they said it was worth it to see the look on the D.I.s face........who had all he could do to keep from laughing.
CPL Larry Fisher
1962 - 1966
A Million Dollars
While in PI in 1962 my DI SSgt Veasey made a statement to me while the buses were warming up to go to camp Geiger I said thank God, I never thought they would get here.
My DI was standing behind me. After giving him a 100 push ups he told me that I would not take a million dollars to forget about him or Parris Island.
And that I would not take a million to come back! either one of the many things I will never forget!
Sgt of Marines
4 years & 4 mo.
Fairy Tales and Sea Stories
Per your request Sgt Grit: From the Annals of Fairy Tales and Sea Stories. Duty Station: Maine Barracks, USNAD Weikele, Oahu, Hawaii Time Frame: May 1962 Thru March 1963. I had just been promoted to L/Cpl and was feeling pretty proud of myself. At this time Capt. Ryan was rotating back to Division and being replaced by a newly promoted Capt. To protect the guilty I will call him Smiling Jack. He loved to smile while applying discipline. After the change of command ceremonies Capt Jack inspected the troops in formation stopping every so often to comment on the lack of military bearing. Being a graduate of some military academy somewhere back east he was bound to run his command by the book, the absolute BOOK. Within weeks we learned what by the book meant. It was the UCMJ Article 16 I believe. There were a number of Pvt's, Pfc's, L/Cpl's and one Cpl who learned first hand chapter and verse his interpretation of the book. I was among them. With less than 90 days TIG (time in grade) I was remanded to Pfc. and none too happy. What started out as a vindictive prank became an ongoing game of wits. My best buddy and I decided to short sheet the Captain when he had the Officer of The Day duty. The first time we did it you should have heard the ROAR that came out of his sleeping quarters. Definitely language unbecoming an Officer and a Gentleman. Next day every one was called front & center and he was bound and determined to find the culprits. Only two people knew and neither of us was saying a word. After formation every body got belly laugh at Smiling Jacks expense, behind his back of course. H&ll, even Gunny King got a big laugh after he made the statement" If I find out who did this I will let him live but I promise you, He Will NOT REPRODUCE." The Gauntlet was thrown out and the challenge accepted. My buddy The Greek and I made it our life's mission to keep short sheeting the Captain every time he had the duty. It became a battle of wits. We both graduated from Wit University and the Captain only got half way through. We would drive back from liberty sneak aboard a top security base short sheet the Captains Rack sneak out and continue on liberty. He never caught us. So, some where in the Glorious state of North Carolina, Captain Smiling Jack will finally learn that Private Greek And L/Cpl (I got my stripe back) G.D. Vallejos USMC 1900576 are the no good @#$%^ ^&%$# that short sheeted him until March of 1963 when the Greek and I rotated back to Division. After 44 years the Greek and I still get a huge at laugh out of this prank.. SEMPER FI.
The Next Morning
When I was in Staging at Camp Pendleton on my way to West Pack in June of 1968. The last night, we were in training, they put us in a VC POW camp. We were than allowed to escape a few at a time and make it back to our area. While in the POW enclosure, there was this large VC flag flying above the camp. One of the training officer's wife had hand make the flag. I though it would be a great souvenir. So, before I escaped, I lowered the VC flag and took it! The next morning we were all lined up to board transportation to El Toro. An officer or who ever was in charge informed our company, in a not to pleasant way, that no one would depart, until they had the ##### VC flag back. I had packed the flag in the bottom of my sea bag, and it was piled with hundreds of other bags. I though, they would never find it! So after a long 5 minutes, the powers to be stated that if the flag was returned no punishment would be awarded, but if they didn't get the flag, the Marine responsible and any others who new of it would be in the Brig! A number of Marines in our Squad knew I had it, and were getting nervous....so I went forward and said I had it! I had to move I don't know how may sea bags, but found mine and gave them the flag. Ever one was happy! I'm sure the officer's wife was also happy! We were then on our way! I really to this day don't think they would of found the flag, and I thought it was quite a great prank... and was d*mn funny!
Sgt. Harold E. Withey Jr.
Opportunity To Talk
Dear Sgt. Grit;
One more comment about EGA tattoos, if you don't mind. I served in our beloved Corps from 1957 to 1965. One day I was standing in line at Disney World to ride on The Land. As any who have visited Disney when it is crowded understand how the lines run in side by side circles. At one point I found myself next to a young fellow wearing my beloved EGA on his forearm. Since I believe in the brotherhood of Marines, I never miss an opportunity to talk to a Marine and thank them for their service. I asked the young fellow when he served. He gave me an answer but there was something in his response that didn't have the ring of truth, so I followed up by asking him what platoon he was in when in boot camp. His answer was that he didn't remember and he just got out of line and disappeared in the crowd. I believe that anyone who is a Marine or marries a Marine deserves to be able to have an EGA tattoo but not a pretender.
Cpl. R. E. Hill
I Got Tired
While in Casual Section with a bum knee at ITR in Camp Pendleton in November of 1966 I was assigned telephone watch in Headquarters. I was instructed by the Lt. O.D.. to awaken him every morning at 0430 and have a pot of fresh coffee ready. The nearest water was about a block away on a water spigot coming out of another building and it was very cold outside this time of the morning. I got tired of this routine because I was not only cold, but I had to run there and back so as to lessen the chances of me not being there to answer the telephone and awaken a very angry Lt.. I started to scoop the water out of the toilet bowl and making his coffee with the toilet water every morning. Sometimes I remembered to flush the toilet first. One Saturday morning my mother and father came to pick me up for liberty and I was summoned to headquarters on the orders of my Colonel. I arrived just in time to see my Colonel ask my mother if she would like a cup of coffee, which she accepted. I was trying to yell in ESP to NOT ACCEPT IT ! Too late. My mother hates me to this day.
You Asked Who
Reply to: SSgt Moore, J.C. 2389599 You ask who washed and ironed all the utilities, who cooked meals, who dealt with bill collectors, etc. Well I did and many others did as well. Just because your wife did that for you is isolated in many ways. So if I chose to do all that myself, then what, she doesn't deserve the "Title"? I guess we should take out EARNING the title then, because people are just freely giving it away as they choose...we're a band of brothers....not a band of brothers, wives, cousins, etc...unless they too have EARNED the title....So if anyone could claim the title by those means....let's stop promoting the motto: The Few, The Proud.....because it wouldn't be the FEW is every relative, spouse, etc could claim if by being associated.
Cpl. Jerome R. Roseborough
I got these two in fall of 2006. Corps Values are what Marines live by and make them who they are. Marines must ensure they guide their performance, behavior, and conduct every minute of every day.
Honor - Integrity, Responsibility, Accountability
Courage - Do the Right thing, in the Right way, for the Right reasons
Commitment - Devotion to the Corps and my fellow Marines
Cpl Holly Backer
I have been following the controversy about the right to wear the EGA. I think I am right in saying that if you look back to the Korean War you will find that many reservists were activated spent 2-3 years active duty. Many served in Korea, yet none of them attended boot camp. I served with two of them. I think they have the right to wear the EGA
L.A. Whalen Cpl. 1951-54
Lately I have read letters from members of Platoon 354. This platoon was made up of all Arizona recruits, except for one recruit, I can't remember where he was from. A number of the recruits drew a flag of a "Desert Rat" ready for combat. Our SDI was SSgt Radmall, along with DI Sgt Cohen, and DI Sgt Madison. Sgt Cohen had a way of calling caddice, one of them went with the tune of Davy Crockett. I became quite familiar with him, because I had a habit of messing up one way or another. After all this time I still have respect for these three DI. "Platoon 354" was one of few incoming platoon that was cheerfully greeted at the yellow foot prints by their DI's. I still think of the recruits that became Marines in Platoon 354 guided by SSgt Radmall and Sgt Cohen and Sgt Madison. God bless all of them.
User Is Unworthy
Use of "Semper Fi" by others is not offensive to me, unless the user is unworthy. And, I am uncomforted when anyone challenges a brother Marine for any reason, you know "he's a Marine, right or wrong". I am also annoyed when Marines argue in a public forum.
Thank you Grit, for what you do &
Semper Fi, SEMPER!
Sgt of Marines '66-'72
RVN 2/1 TACP Tet Vet '67 & '68
Double Barreled Sling Shots
I'm not sure just what constitutes an "Old Corps" Marine. I went through Parris Island in 1944 - 12th Recruit Batt., Platoon 294. I had a six figure service number - later changed to my SSN - and I later served with people who had seen Nicaragua. They said the "Old Corps" were the guys who carried "Double Barreled Sling Shots with Spear Mounts" - what do I know. I also Served with Reserve Sgts who had never been to Boot Camp and thought "General Orders" was a Division Commander. This same Sgt spent three hours searching a California map, looking for Sunova Beach. Never did find it.
And, as an added comment. My wife raised our daughter while I was enjoying the "travel and education" benefits of the Corps. I firmly believe she rated the EGA as much as anyone. Her "Boot Camp" was the trials, tribulations and stress of my not being there to help when things went wrong.
Edwin H. Tate
Gysgt USMC (ret)
Convenience of the Government
I read with interest one letter in newsletter #148 stating that some members of the band, President's Own, never had to go through boot camp. It brought to mind an experience I had while auditing the payroll of those stationed at the Depot of Supplies, Philadelphia, PA. It was 1943 and the WWII draft was affecting every facet of life in the US. Many supervisors at the Depot were civilians with a lot of experience in their jobs. The payroll reflected that they were sworn into the Marine Corps as privates and immediately promoted to Master Quartermaster Sergeant on the same day. They lived at home with their families and were awarded $2.75 per day to pay for quarters and subsistence. ($1.25 for room and $1.50 for meals) They came to work as civilians and went home as Marines.
The Marine Corps thus managed to retain qualified personnel and the personnel avoided being drafted. All this for COG (Convenience of the Government). It must have been rough duty for them but don't we all have our problems?
SSgt Bob Gaston
384564 USMCR(PM) PS. PM in WWII was Paymaster Department
My Wife And I
My wife and I were able to come up to Oklahoma City last weekend to visit her grandmother, while we were there we were able to stop by your shop on Saturday. (It was actually the very first thing we did that morning!) Let me tell you the place rocks! I was like a kid in a candy store! We bought a few things and I definitely want to come back. Your staff was the epitome of professional and courteous. Your personal collection was impressive especially the M-1903 rifle.
Semper Fidelis Sgt Grit and keep doing what you are doing!
Cpl Jacob Bullion
USMC 1997- 2005
USAR 2006- ?
"Oderint, dum metuant" - Roman Army
(Let them hate, so long as they fear.)
Kicking Their Six
I read the e-mail you sent out and the article about Vietnam really touched me! Because I fought over there with H&S Company, 1st Battalion 4th Marines in 1971-72! I was a gunner for a 106mm Platoon! Keep the stories coming! When I left from the Bush, we were winning! I don't care what the public says! We, the soldiers who fought and died there was kicking their six! The political morons pulled us out of there when victory was within our grasp! I, too, was a proud Marine and I'm still one at heart!
SEMPER Fi! Mel
I went to DC for Rolling Thunder, but not as a rider, just another vet helping a vets son record a documentary for his thesis.
A reporter wanted some info and asked me where she could find a vet to interview. My problem? I didn't have a pony tail, didn't have any tattoo's, didn't wear chaps and didn't have a Harley. Another words, once again, I didn't fit the pre-conceived notion of what we are all supposed to look like.
I was sitting on a marble wall to cool my six and another Marine asked me my "vet credentials". I said, Corps, I Corps 67-68 and made E-4 twice. We both, almost fell off the wall laughing.
Semper Fidelis, MARINES!
Okinawa Battle Memorial Museum
Not sure how to go about this. We are stationed in Okinawa and I had the incredible opportunity to attend a meeting at the Okinawa Battle Memorial Museum on Camp Kinser. Which brings me to my point. They are desperately in need of WWII aviation memorabilia. I am a little bias as we are Air Wing. They are actually looking for any Battle of Okinawa artifacts and memorabilia. The Proprietor, Chris Majewski, is enthusiastically revamping the museum to the best of his ability. I had the incredible opportunity to see some of the undisplayed artifacts that were donated and hope some of you ,whom have memorabilia that they are willing to part with for a good cause, will do so. The museum is non-profit and is opened to school groups and tours. What a wonderful way to teach our military children about history of the American fighting forces so far from home. Thank you for your time. To contact me please email me: Redhotdragnfly @ yahoo .com.
I went through Parris Island four years later, in July - Oct 1962, and I remember your sand fleas well. They certainly got their quart of blood from me.
Interestingly enough, I was Right Guide for Platoon 245 and we probably used the same WW1 H-shaped wooden barracks as your Platoon 241. Here's a funny PI story, although it probably wasn't funny for the two recruits involved. Two recruits in Platoon 245 were from the hills of Kentucky and I suspect that neither of them had ever worn shoes before they got to PI. (This is a coincidence and NOT a reflection on Kentuckians or on the great state of Kentucky.) Both were more than a little odd, very short (probably barely made the cut), and incredibly uncoordinated. To say that they had no rhythm and couldn't march if a drum was pounding cadence in their ears simply doesn't adequately describe how f--ked up they were in every possible way. Eventually, they were both surveyed out of the Corps.
On drill-comp day, our DI made both recruits hide in the Dempster Dumpster behind our barracks while the rest of us went to drill comp. He told them that they should be absolutely silent like they were hiding for their lives because if anyone found them he would kill them. I'm certain they believed every word because, after drill comp, he marched our platoon to the Dempster Dumpster and they were still in there. We marked time while he ordered them out of the Dumpster and chewed them out for missing drill comp. "WHAT the h-ll are you t-rds doing hiding in my dempster dumpster?! WHERE were you during my Drill Comp?! DO you know that being AWOL is a Court-Martial Offense?! DROP and give me a hundred bend-and-thrusts while I decided whether to send your sorry as-es to the BRIG!" It was all the rest of us could do to keep from laughing out loud. After fifteen or twenty bend-and-thrusts he ordered them back into platoon formation and marched the platoon back to our barracks.
One of these guys was a redhead who looked like a human replica of the cartoon character "Zero" in the "Beetle Bailey" comic strip, so I'll just call him Private Zero. He also had a peculiar accent and when he tried to say "Aye, aye, sir!" it came out "Oy, oy, sor!" The DIs tried and tried to make him say it right. They would make him stand on the table in the center of the squad bay and say it over and over and over while coaching him to say "Aye, aye, sir!" but it always came out "Oy, oy, sor!" Finally, they gave up in frustration but when we would be in a location where there were other platoons and DIs, the DIs would be talking among themselves while we waited at parade rest to go to chow or some other function. Soon, one of our DIs would say, "Private Zero, get UP HERE!" Of course, the