Sgt Grit Newsletter
Parris Island November 1940

Old Corps, New Corps, there is only the Marine Corps

Here is my dad, Walter Shown 6/27/23 to 2/2/07 bottom row second from right, Picture was taken on Parris Island November 1940, I always wonder did they know how bad things were in Europe or what was looming just 12 months from then. And do we know now? Some things never change.
Richard Shown USMC 1979-81 Semper Fi dad.

4th GriTogether

4th GriTogether Saturday, May 12, 2007
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Join us for some MARINE QUALITY TIME!
Talk with fellow Marines and enjoy the days activities!
Tattoo Contest - USMC Vehicles - History Displays!
And we have free food!
Gather up the clan and come on down - it's fun for the whole family!

FATHER'S DAY is Sunday, June 17, 2007

Father's Day Special

20% off gifts you can't go wrong with! Including mugs, steak knives, license plates and more!

The Sand Flea

Anyone who has ever been to Parris Island knows about the legendary sand fleas. They are a constant annoyance and their bites are excruciating painful. And of course you risk the DI's wrath if you try to swat one so you learn to endure the pain.

Weekly personnel and rifle inspection on a hot, humid, calm Saturday morning. Not a hint of a breeze to ease the heat. Sweating profusely in our starched utilities, hoping that no sweat dropped off onto our rifles.

Standing at attention, eyes front, not moving a muscle, waiting for the inspection party to get to me. And out of nowhere here comes a pesky sand flea to ruin my day. First he buzzes around my ears. Lands a couple of times but doesn't like the location. Then he finds a spot on my left cheek. And in he bores. I tried wiggling my cheek muscle to no avail. Tried to blow it away with my breath. No such luck. Inspection party getting close so gave it up and just resolved myself to be in misery until the little flea got his fill and moved on. The Company Commander finally got to me and I did the best inspection arms on my spotlessly clean M1, checked the receiver and locked my eyes straight ahead. He jerked the rifle out of my hands and gave it a good inspection. The sand flea bores on and I am impassive. The Captain throws the rifle back at me which I catch and return briskly and sharply to Order Arms. The sand flea has not budged and is still boring on, almost bringing tears to my eyes. The Captain noticed the flea, smiled and moved to the next man.

Now my senior DI is in front of me and I again snap to inspection arms while looks me over from head to toe. Seeing the sand flea still getting his fill of my blood he smiles evilly. As they are preparing to go to the next man he does a completely unexpected act of kindness and reaches up and squishes the flea with his finger.

Anti-Terrorism Special: Save when you get both:

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Choose a T-Shirt Size:
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A matching Challenge coin is included in the price!

Instant relief from the flea and undying gratitude to the DI!

Jim Bogue
MGySgt - Retired
Plt 241 Parris Island
May 1958

Canadians Came Down

I certainly remember the yellow footprints in 1963.

Also I always felt those Marines in herringbone utilities and blousing their boots at the ankles, were old Corps.

Serving in Nam in 1965: as a Canadian, I remember near the end of the year receiving a letter advising if I didn't fill out the proper forms as an alien, I would be deported. Being a somewhat wise ^ss grunt. I wrote back, come and get me I'm in Quang Tri province. Exact location dependant upon the day. Never heard from them again.

I'm an American now but I believe for every draft dodger that went north, ten Canadians came down.

D*mn but that was a long time ago
Paul Upthegrove

Last Weekend for Father's Day Shirt Special

Father's Day Shirts

If you're father is a Marine, he's sure to appreciate this World's Greatest Marine Dad design - made just for Father's Day!

Check out the Father's T-Shirt and Long Sleeved T-Shirt

It's available to order only until May 13!

"Hit The Deck"

Not only was it our first day of basic training at MCRD but it was our first trip to the chow hall for breakfast in 1975. We had arrived late and been kept up what felt like all night. When we finally hit the rack I swear to this day the DI simply flipped the light switch off, counted to five and flipped it back on and began screaming and banging a trash can in the most terrifying manner. After side stepping through the chow line we stood at our table at attention. The command "sit and eat" was given next. I had hardly sat down and picked up my fork when suddenly our DI's began screaming at us to "GET OUT"! With this our Senior DI jumped onto our table and began to run the length of it kicking trays of food right and left as the recruits scrambled to get out of the way. Seeing him charging down the table towards me my heart stopped in my chest and I dove under the table completely terrified. To my surprise I found myself face to face with another black recruit whose eyes, I'm sure like mine, we're as big as plates, and both of our mouths hanging open in a silent scream as we listened to our crazed Senior DI stomping back and forth on the table above us. As if on cue both of us scrambled on our hands and knees across the floor, down the length of the table where we made a hasty exit and joined our fellow recruits as they stumbled and ran out the chow hall door to get into formation. Every day afterwards when I sat down for chow I always waited for that to happen again, which it fortunately didn't.

Nick Russo
Plt. 3047
Summer 1975

Top Rack and Gravity

Sgt Grit,

I entered MCRD San Diego on July 10, 1985 and became a member of platoon 1079. One interesting note is that we only had one DI, Sgt J.A. Wallace, make it all the way through boot camp with us. Thank you Sgt Wallace for making it through with us and for the training you provided in making us into Marines! Not even our SDI, SSgt Stanley, a Force Recon Sniper before being a DI, made it all the way through as he was recalled after the bombing of the Marine Barracks in Lebanon. However, that is neither here nor there in regards to the funny stories.

MEMORIAL DAY is Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial items

Be sure to take part in a local event honoring those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.

We have many items in remembrance of fallen warriors.

I had originally signed up as an 0311 due to the fact that my recruiter wasn't the sharpest K-Bar in the inventory. I was told that I had scored high enough on the entrance exams to be able to select any MOS. (Having not done exceptionally well in High School that was a bit of a shock.) Anyway, having to take the different exams in boot camp, I was told that I scored in the top 2%, (a very HUGE surprise) and asked if I would be interested in changing my MOS.

One of the options was that of 2621 Manual Morse Intercept Operator in the Signal Intelligence field which required a Top Secret clearance. This also meant that many different forms of paperwork needed to be completed and I thus missed a few classes in order to do so.

One of the classes missed was on pugil stick training/fighting. I did, however, make the next training session which was the Bridge Over Troubled Waters. The DI called me up, gave me the football helmet, the pugil stick and told me to go take him out. I asked the DI how I was to handle and use the pugil stick as I had missed the first class. To which he replied, "Oh yeah, you're my spook private." I was given this moniker because of my going into the Intelligence field. He continued, "Well, hold it like this, do your best and get ready to get wet!"

I grabbed the pugil stick as instructed, made my way onto the bridge and successfully blocked two attacks. Yeah for me! However, I was just a "tad" slow on the third attack by the opposing platoon member and was not only looking out the left ear hole of my helmet but was in the water in very short order! The water felt pretty good on a hot summer day in San Diego. Getting my bell run wasn't so much fun!

Now on to the 2nd funny story. This takes place in the barracks and involves the top rack, gravity, two sleeping legs and the fear of not making it "online" for morning inspection.

Boot camp was far enough along that I had trained my body to not move much while sleeping at night. My rack didn't get messed up too much that way and after getting out of the rack, a quick couple of tugs and tucks and the rack was near perfect.

To this day I don't know why, however this may have happened after getting my bell rung on the bridge over troubled waters, but when I woke up lying on my back after wake-up call, I swung my legs out from the covers, went to hop down and as my feet hit the floor I realized that both of my legs were completely asleep and unable to support any weight what so ever.

I slumped to the floor and the fear and adrenaline both started to run as the DI was yelling for us to get online of course. I got up into a somewhat sitting position and started beating on my legs with my fists and perhaps somewhat audibly telling my legs to "come on, come on, wake up and move!"

It seemed like minutes but was only a few seconds and those freakin' pins and needles feelings that you get as your sleeping body part starts to get circulation and feeling again started going up and down my legs and feet. They also felt like they weighed one ton each. I continued to beat on my legs and inched my way towards the head of our rack as the DI was going up and down the isles yelling as all good DI's do.

I made it to the foot locker and was able to somehow lift myself up on to my feet and somewhat shakily get online. It was only a few minutes of further "pins and needles" until all was well. At least as well as you can be in boot camp! I never let the DI know of any difficulty and I still wonder exactly what caused the two sleeping legs to this day.

Semper Fi
Rodney Noll
Cpl 85-89

Dublin City Recon Team

Dublin City Recon Team Sgt. Grit,
I recently connected with a buddy I served with in Vietnam 40 years ago. He sent me a photo of one of our recon teams - "Dublin City".
I thought our comrades might like to take a look.
Picture at Company C, 1st Recon Bn, near Phu Bai RVN.

Force Logistics Command (FLC) Reunion

Marines and Corpsmen that served with the Force Logistics Command (FLC), based out of Red Beach, near DaNang, but everywhere in I Corps from the DMZ to Chu Lai, RVN.
2007 FLC Annual Reunion
Dates – Thursday, 10-25-07 thru Sunday, 10-28-07.
Holiday Inn Express Suites,
318 W. Durango Blvd,
San Antonio, TX 78204 (210) 354-1333
TOLL FREE Reservations - 888-615-0725.
Ask for the FLC-FLSG-AB to receive the discounted rate
($126.09 per night including hotel tax) for the group.
Sam McManus
FLC-FLSG-A, Truck Co., Phu Bai - DaNang, 68/69
Jack Woynowski
FLC / FLSG-A, FLSG-B, LZ Baldy, Red Beach, 69/70

Vietnam Era Memorial in Canby, Oregon

The Vietnam Era Memorial in Canby, Oregon is taking shape. The first phase was completed April 18, 2007 and we are now half way into phase two of the three phase project. For those who don't know what I am referring to. The Vietnam Era Memorial is being built to honor those who served and those who died during the Vietnam War. Our intention is to build an extraordinary place of healing that honors everyone who served our nation during the Vietnam War era.

For more information about this project or how you can donate to the remaining two phases you can visit the website at:

Or contact the Canby Vietnam Era Veterans Memorial President Mike Breshears at: PO Box 15; Canby, Oregon 97013: 503-263-5066: irenesvideo @ canby .com

Or American Legion Post 122 at: 424 NW 1st Ave; Canby, Oregon: 503-266-9235: alpost122 @ canby .com

10 Years Old

Sgt. Grit
I was 10 years old, when my 20 year US Navy CPO Father told me about A color film special, I had seen at the Movie, They were playing football and marching in sharp uniforms. Dad said-their Properly Marines, you'll get $21. Bucks a month and a horse blanket if you join that outfit. It took me a lot of years before I understood what he meant by that.

I was 17 in April 1947 , with my platoon 36 Parris Island rifle range. On the 1st am 2 rifle coachers come and stood facing us, one of them, pointing at the other said "He is "OLD Corps" 1935 until now, & I am in the New Corps 1942 until now & "You #@$^% $#@ people, are in the Boggy woggy Corps"

We had not idea what he was talking about until. Later when we got to know who the "Old Corps" Marines were, that we were serving with I never dared call myself Old Corps, until recent years. I was at Parris Island talking to a guy and he said he was Old Corps-looking at him, I asked when was that & he said 1967. So I told him that story and ended it by saying that I still don't call myself old Corps. I think I broke his balloon.

I owe the Marine Corps training and Discipline for my becoming a Police officer and later my State law Enforcement service Semper Fi, William D. Furey, Deputy Chief Insp. Retired Massachusetts Registry Motor Vehicle Police Sgt. of Marines 1947-1950 - 1950-1954

On May 9th a few Marines from Platoon. 30, 31, 35, 36 will meet at Paris Island for a mine hosed my Col. Ken Seymour – age 14 when he graduated Plt.36.

After serving 3 years in the 4th & 6th Marines he enlisted in the Army and retired 30 yr later as a bird Col.

Candid Moments of Marines

Sgt. Grit,

Thought you might enjoy some candid moments of the Marines here in the Anbar Province and at the Security Detachment in Baghdad.

Moments in Baghdad Moments in Baghdad Moments in Baghdad

I work with the MEF throughout Iraq and will always hold dear the camraderie of the Corps and how the young Marines take care of this 'Old Dog'. Can't go into what I do with the Corps nor where the camps are located but let it suffice for me to say, though it is a different generation than it was in Vietnam all Marines here have the same Esprit de Corps and desire to go out and complete the mission. The old adage of Improvise, adapt, and overcome still holds true for todays Marines who put themselves in harms way everyday.

Semper Fi
Bill Hagee 'Gunny'

Discovery Channel, Khe Sanh and Hue

Dear Sgt. Grit,

I would appreciate it if you could put the following paragraph in your newsletter and bulletin board:

A British documentary company – is wanting to speak with veterans from the battles of Khe Sanh and Hue for a new documentary-drama series on the Vietnam War for the Discovery Channel, working title Grunts. If any veterans of these battles would like to share their experiences with them please email James Leigh – . They are looking for veterans to interview, but also veterans willing to help them understand and get the experiences of the young men who fought in Vietnam completely right. They want this to be your and your buddies' story of Vietnam.

Please do let me know if you think this appropriate and likely to get response. Otherwise thank you for agreeing to post our appeal to your readership.


James Leigh

Always Will Be Civilians

Here it is Thursday morning (0615) and I have just finished reading your outstanding news letter. Once again, the memories came flooding back and it was as if I were young again and standing on the "Yellow Foot Prints" at MCRD San Diego. Just want to say Thank You to SSgt "Stonewall" JACKSON and Sgt BLANKENSHIP for showing me how and teaching me to be a Marine. SSgt JACKSON, you were right when you told me that "you have forgotten more about life than any one of my so-called college professors would ever know." They were and always will be civilians while you would always be a Marine. Both of you were outstanding Marines and you both led by example.

Thank you and may God bless and keep you and your outstanding staff. God bless and keep our beloved Corps and their families always safe.

Gary L. COON
MSgt USMC (Ret)

Parrisi Isthmusis Maximus (PIM)

Sgt. Grit;
Just finished the Boot Camp letters and other Marine Corps stuff. I want to add to Cpl. Bill Hart's (ANGLICO & 6thForRecon) outstanding story about the breeding season of the parrisi isthmusis. I was in Plt.117 , MCRD, PISC in 1956 during the mating season of the parrisi isthmusis maximus (PIM). During this time the PIM male requires a serious amount of blood to maintain his activities of mating all the babe PIM's for a stronger generation of PIM's to train the next generation of Marines coming through PI.

I was the Guidon for Plt. 117 and Sgt. Bolden (the thumper) had a particular way of punishing the platoon whenever he was on watch (seems like he was always on watch). After lights out he would post me, in my skivvies w/o a skivvie shirt, at the clothes washing trough where the PIM's chose to do their mating and of course, in need of lots of blood. I don't know how long I remained at attention out there each night, but the next day I looked like I had a bad case of measles. One of those nights I tried to sneak my left hand up to my ear to get that @#$%^& PIM out of ear because it felt like he was drilling a hole in my tympanic membrane. I got him out, but alas Sgt. Bolden was watching! Did he ever sleep?

The next day we held a search for the PIM I killed so we could have a proper funeral for him. Sgt. Bolden happened to be the one to find a PIM (I think he had one in his hand the whole time we were policing the area) and he called me front and center to take possession of the PIM for burial services. Pvt. Barron, Right Guide, was the director so I gave him the PIM to make a casket for him while I dug the grave, two feet deep and two feet wide. All this time the rest of the platoon was at attention and donating blood to the PIM's . Sgt. Bolden acted as the Chaplin and read the eulogy and history of how instrumental the PIM was in training and disciplining of Marines. The PIM was lowered into his grave and covered while the platoon sung the Marine Corps Hymn. That was our first PIM funeral and one to remember...not over yet.

Sgt. Bolden called Pvt. Barron front and center to ask him which way was the PIM's head pointing? Was it on it's back? Was it on it's stomach? Was it male or female? Of course, Pvt. Barron could not possibly get away with any answer he we exhumed the PIM to inspect the position and determine the s&x. If we found blood on the PIM it was considered to be a male PIM. We finally got the next burial correctly and three others that followed.

Semper Fi,
1stSgt. of Marines
Jason J.E. Leverette, 1557327

Concentrations Of Salt

Reading the comments of others Marines is always a pleasure; particularly those "sea stories" with the highest concentrations of salt.

This week's postings included Mr. Harry Hadin's comments re: his time at P.I. In his closing he included his Marine Corps. "Military ID. Number".

Although I understand the practicality of utilizing an individual's social security number as also his/her military ID, I have always thought that something unique was lost when those USMC-specific identifiers went away.

For example, no longer can one Marine instantaneously determine if another Marine is "saltier" or "boot" to himself/herself with one simple question: "What's your ID number?" Even more importantly, in my opinion, is the loss of continuity between those who have served before us, the current generation of Marines and those who will follow. The history of the Marines is the history of Vietnam-era Marines with 7-digits ID's, Korean and WW II veterans like Mr. Hadin with 6-digits, WW I Devil Dogs with 5-digits in their ID and so on...

Our current Marines represent all of us well. But it seems to me they have been deprived of a reminder of their unique and individual place and role as members of one of the most successful military organizations in the history of modern warfare.

Respectfully submitted

WALSH, Michael P. 2214529

11th Engineers Reunion

Dear fellow Marines,

I am seeking all members who served with the 11th Engineers - Charlie company - Vietnam for a possible reunion.

Keep up the great work - Sgt. Grit!

Please contact Gene Spanos at Watchcmdr1 @ sbcglobal .net

Semper Fi
Gene Spanos
Marine Corps Veteran

Notice to all AmTrac Vets

If you served in the 1st, 2nd or 3rd Marine Division in an AmTrac Battalion, chapters in each Division Association are being created. We need members to man these chapters. Show your pride, get involved and join us. Open to all who severed as AmGrunts from the days of the LVT P-1 to the AAV P-7A1's invited. Membership will be in each Division Association.

For more information please contact us.
For 2nd and 3rd Division please contact Gene Miller at Gene @ amtrac .org
For 1st Division please contact Luis De La Cruz at luis @

Semper Fi

HM3 Luis De La Cruz
3rd Tracs 76-78

77 Sheep

I arrived in Parris Island in Sept 1958 and graduated in December. My fondest memory is guard duty when around 5am I heard a large group coming my way which of course was a platoon of boots. As instructed, I yelled out "halt who goes there" and the DI yelled back "Little Bo Peep and 77 sheep" I yelled advance to be recognized and they did. Bless that DI because he just marched right on by without humiliating me.
Semper Fi
Jim McCuen Cpl K-3-8 1958-1961 Dublin, Ca

Spot Lights On The Deck

To most all civilians, the term, "Yellow Foot Prints" means no more than just those 3 words. To Marines, those three words bring back the same memories, that most people over the age of 50, will remember where exactly they were when JFK was assassinated. That is, they can picture the time and the place they first saw those yellow foot prints.

Yamassee, S.C. 2330 hrs, 3 August 1962, but the spot lights on the deck were as bright as daylight. I remember some Recruit, being screamed at, for not reporting to the Drill Instructors Shack, with the group orders. ( Thank God, it wasn't me!). I turned around, ever so slightly and saw the people on the train, gawking at the spectacle I was experiencing. That bus ride, in total silence, through the Main Gate of Parris Island and on to the processing center.

The rest of the time was memorable, but I'll always remember, Those Yellow Footprints.

T. Brenkus
MSgt. USMC Retired

Killed His Favorite Dog

One summer evening in the midst of Boot Camp, I decided to write a quick, short letter to my kid brother back home. As an added touch of humor I decided to sprinkle a little foot powder in the folded letter thinking he'd get a good dusting when he'd open it. A couple weeks later, the Drill Instructor ordered, Platoon 1060 on the road for mail call! We hurriedly fell-out on the street, a@@ hole to belly-button in two rigid parallel columns between rows of tin hootches. The House Mice brought out a foot locker, centering it at the head of our formation. The Drill Instructor, in a immaculate utility uniform stepped upon it with a hand full of letters and began to summon recruits by name to retrieve their correspondence. In short time my name was called. I made a left step and double-timed, came to a halt and snapped to attention in front our DI and reported, Sir, Private **** reporting for mail call SIR! The DI held out my letter and as was customary, I forcefully clasped the letter between the palms of my hands. Then to my utter horror, my life seemed to flash and fizzle away before my very eyes when this white powder shot out in every direction from every busted seam on that d**mb ****ing letter! The DI looked at me as though I had just puked on him and had killed his favorite dog. Needless to say my kid brother had returned the favor with a dose of foot powder and I became the most miserable and sore human being on earth for the next few days.

USMC (Ret)

Should Have Waited

The story from Sgt. A. V. Lilly about Sheltered Kids, reminded me (how could I forget) about hitch-hiking to Shreveport, LA in June 1948, to join the Navy. The Navy and Marine Corps shared recruiting space. The Navy guy was out. While waiting, we couldn't keep our eyes off the Marine in dress blues. What a picture of what a Marine is supposed to look like. I asked what branch of the service he was in and he told us what a vacation paradise Parris Island was. A few weeks later, at about zero four hundred I was awakened from sleeping on a bench at the train depot by a Tech Sgt. using his swagger stick across the bottoms of my feet. I knew then that we should have waited for the Navy recruiter to come back from wherever he was. Later on, during and after Boot Camp, I realized we were where we were supposed to be. I am still a Marine and will be to the day I die.
Andy Anderson
Carthage, Texas
Sgt. USMC 1948-52

Name Of The Game

Harry Nadin's "Days of Parris Island brought back some memories of PI also: Besides the Foot locker drills at 2 am, I recall some singing "I'm a sh-- bird from Yamashee" with a gallon bucket over their head, searching for the "sand fleas" in a sand pile, short-arm inspections at 3 am (for what reason we all didn't know), holding our M-1's over head in 100+ deg. until someone dropped, and too numerous other major and minor happening which all made us tough enough to stand up and prepare for unusual happenings. Discipline was the name of the game...Do or Die was the theme we were taught.
Sgt. Jim Mack, 1945 (Guam)-1951.

Reading Off

Sgt Grit;
All of us basically experienced the same routine in boot camp, regardless of whether it was PI or San Diego. I also suspect that those of us who spent time in one of the Divisions also had similar experiences for whatever era we served. Some of the smaller guard detachments however had customs that were somewhat unique.

In Oct 62 I transferred from 2nd Battalion 8th Marines to Marine Barracks Naples Italy. I knew that going from Division to a spit and polish guard detachment would be different but I was not prepared for what happened shortly after I reported in. The barracks at time was located along with 3 or 4 other naval buildings on a street (Via Caravaugha (sp) ) and was only 2 or 3 miles from the downtown area. Anyway I was still in the checking in process when an announcement was made for personnel to fall out on the roof. Before someone questions how this was possible our barracks had a flat roof which was the only area level enough for inspections, etc. So technically speaking we fell up.

The barracks 1st Sgt called us all to attention and then a chaser marched out a prisoner who was in dress uniform with barracks cover. The prisoner was commanded to face the command and then the 1st Sgt read the charge against him and what the result of the court martial had been. Once this was done the prisoner was given an about face and the 1stSgt removed the Marine Corps emblem from his cover and then the chaser would march him away. The barracks was a small command with probably no more then 65 watch standers but would generally have 3 or 4 Marines a year who would be convicted of some court martial offense. Before anyone assumes that we were all F### Ups I want to stress that was not the case. It was just that it was an extremely by the book barracks which had what would now be referred to as a zero tolerance for any violation no matter how small. Liberty was fantastic which helped to balance out the disciplinary process. Those guys who did get Brig time were sent to Port Lyuatey Morocco until 1963 when for some reason we started using the brig at Rota Spain.

Thank goodness I never had to experience the humiliation of being the subject of a Reading Off but just standing in formation while it was happening to someone else made a lasting impression. I don't know if any other commands ever used this process but I seriously doubt that it is used anywhere in this day and age.

John P Vaughn (1942842) Plt 119 Parris Island April to July 1961;ITR, H&S 2/8,Naples Italy and HQ company PI

This Simple Victory

Sgt. Grit,

I don't know what the Statute Of Limitations of killing a Parris Island Sand Flea is, but since I did this more than 30 years ago, and there was only one witness, I'll give it a go.

I got away with beheading one of those tiny blood sucking b*stards...with a pair of nail clippers! It was burrowing a hole in my arm one night just before 'Lights Out'. The Drill Instructors on duty were busy chewing out another recruit at the other end of our 'barn'. I was stashing my things away in my foot-locker when I noticed the Sand Flea, eating away on my left forearm. I took my nail clippers and carefully snipped off its head. The body sort of fluttered off my arm, but the head kept on sucking. It did so for several seconds with my blood oozing from its severed head. I finally squashed its head and ended its feast. My Drill Instructors never caught on, but word of this small victory did get around the platoon. Seems like my 'bunkie' had been watching. However, the platoon's morale increased because we finally knew this enemy could be defeated!

I've heard some amazing 'facts' about Parris Island Sand fleas. One is that this animal, only 1/16th of an inch long, has a 3 inch long burrowing tongue and prefers to eat in one's ear or nostril. Another is that an average Sand Flea can drink up to 1 1/2 pints of blood at one sitting. Swarms can number in the bazillions, or roughly cover half the state of South Carolina. And lastly, several of the recruits reported UA or as deserters from 'The Island' were actually drained completely dry by a swarm of hungry Sand Fleas and their dried out carcasses were blown into the swamps, becoming crab and clam food!


Tony Glass

Gen. A. M. Gray

This past Jan. my wife and I went to Ft. Worth Tx. and on the way down going through security I had removed my leather coat revealing my Sgt. Grit t-shirt with a nice bold USMC on the left breast. The first security guard informed me that he was an "honorary Marine" and just before I was about to inform him of his grave error he proceeded to tell me he was army and that during Desert Storm he had been attached to a Marine unit. Supposedly they said he could be an "honorary Marine", Marine Drill Instructors are the only ones who can give that title and then its not honorary, its for keeps. Anyhow, wisdom has been trying to creep up on me and as I pondered whether to correct this poor misguided fool, I realized that whether or not I liked what he thought, he could still have me stripped searched, so I let him continue to live in his fantasy world. Some fantasize what others have. The guy at the other end of the x-ray was almost as bad, he only wished he had at least done something like that. Then as my wife and I were heading home from that trip to Fort Worth. We were going to get our luggage at Port Columbus, Oh. As we walked up the corridor I saw an elderly man standing of to the side. Quickly giving him the once over I noticed he had an Eagle Globe and Anchor on the breast of his cammie jacket, and on the other side 4 stars and the name A. M. Gray, to the soldiers that were walking past, yes they had noticed him also, it meant nothing. However to me it was something different. General Alfred M. Gray had been the CMC when I had enlisted and for much of my tour. I had met him one other time in the Philippines at Lower MEF Camp home of CSSD-35. I remembered my "twelfth general order" : " to walk my post from flank to flank and take no crap from any rank". He was on my turf so I introduced myself and my wife. We spoke for a brief moment, its funny, even though we were both civilians again, I found my self waiting for him to speak before I said anything else. I said elderly because as a young boot I thought he was old then, I have now been off active duty for 14 years and realize that I would be considered an old man. This was truly an honor to have met him. The flight we had just came in on was piloted by a "wolverine" and being "buckeyes" he really gave everyone on the plane a hard time, when we were landing he made comment that it wasn't a bad landing for an old Marine. I had to forgive him after that.

Semper Fidelis
Cpl. A.D. Wooddell 89-93

I Had My Girlfriend

It was 40 years ago (back in 66) Plt 3004, but I remember it just as if it was yesterday day Jr. DI was a Cpl Carraway, he kept saying that his birthday was coming up at the end of the month and what were we going to give him.
I had my girlfriend send him a birthday card....of course that was a BIG BIG mistake
When he received it he open it and had everyone line up in front of our bunks, then he had everyone from Florida take one step forward, there were about six of us that stepped forward. Then he said those that know a girl by the name of April to take one more step forward, of course I was the only one that stepped forward.
He then came in front of me and screamed, asking if I was the stupid one that had his girlfriend send him a card.
I said yes sir....He responded with a number of thumps then some more, he took a break and screamed and thumped some more.
I was a pretty tough little skinny kid with a rock hard stomach and that p!ssed him off even more
That night after lights out, four or five other recruits come to my rack to see if I was ok
I was plenty sore but the more we talked about it the funnier it as was, we laughed but all of us were scared silly of Cpl Carraway for the rest of our training.
I kept a low profile with all of the DIs after that.

R. E. (Buzz) Powers
1st Sgt of Marines

Globe And Anchor

Ancient Tattoo On a 1949 night that I and a couple buddies (first) made Corporal we went to J'ville for the proverbial stewed, s...ed and tattooed routine. This is what a 58 year old globe and anchor looks like. The EGA is a new phrase. We old farts called it a globe and anchor. Perhaps I should get it redone :-) ...

Cap'n Jacq'
Jacques Tucker, Capt., USMC (Ret)

That's What The Top Said

You guys must be from the new Corps. Spaghetti ? MRE's? You haven't eaten until you have had the good old ham and lima beans, served with about a pound and a half of salt. You wouldn't think they could get that much salt in one of those little can. Another goodie was the round brick of peanut butter and some kind of liquid. Try to soften that up and put it on 20 year old crackers. The three sheet of t.paper were great too. One to wipe up, one to wipe down, and one to shine, at least that's what the Top said. The only goodie in the whole box was hot dogs and beans. While stationed on board the U.S.S. Essex CVS-9 62-65 we would go on attack missions in the snows of Rhode Island and aggress the C.B.'s to teach them how to defend themselves. We had complained several times about the terrible C rations to no avail. Well the ship's Captain came out with the whole landing party to join us for a day after we had been playing in the field for a week. Of course when it was time to chow down he got a can of ham and lima beans. The next time we went to sea he had a crew dump all of the rations which had been in the hold since 1942. A little salt goes a long way. Anyway each group has had it harder than the next one. I don't doubt the guys in Korea probably enjoyed the old rations. Besides we had a lot of John Wayne can openers. I may have missed something but I thought I read something about heat. Now I know you guys didn't get to cook the stuff, Come on. Semper Fi and God Bless you all.
Paul Trainor 62-68

Rose Garden Poster

Hi Sgt Grit:
Promise You a Rose Garden Poster This is Buzz Fanion 1st Mar Div Association of Houston. Wanted to give a little tid bit of information. The recruiting poster of the 60's "we never promised you a rose garden" in which the poster is on the Spring 2007 Sgt Grit catalog. Wanted to pass along that the Drill Instructor that is in the recruits face in that picture, is today the manager of the Parris Island Museum Gift Shop Manager.
Thought you would like to know, any one visiting P.I. can meet this Marine on a daily basis when they visit the gift shop at the Museum in the War Memorial Building on the Depot.

Thanks and Semper Fi
Buzz Fanion
1/27 1968-69
1st Recon Bn 1969-70

Lesson About Education

I quit high school in May of 55 and went on active duty, arriving by train from Wilkes Barre, PA to a out-of-the way, Yemassee, SC train station. I was a 17 year old "coal cracker" who had never been away from my home town. I can tell you that the first week at PI was spent in the casual platoon, waiting for enough recruits to form a platoon. That is one day I will never forget. We reported to the drill field with our duffel bag and stood there for what seemed like hours in the South Carolina sun. Finally, this sharp looking DI stood in front of us and yelled. Which of you #^%#$ graduated from high school? Many raised there hands, I did not, having quit school about 2 weeks earlier. He then said, "You dumb $&%# that didn't will carry all the bags! That was my first lesson about education.

I was Honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 1961, at which time I joined the Air Force Reserves. In 1962 I was activated for the Cuban Missile Crisis and served a short tour in the Air Force. Eventually I switched to the Air National Guard where I put in an additional 30 years, ending my career as a Lieutenant Colonel. To this day the only two flags I fly on my home flag pole is the United States flag and the Marine Corps flag. For me, it is certainly true, "Once A Marine, Always A Marine". For me, the lessons learned in the Marine Corps, have shaped my life and have always assisted me through my adult life.

I now have seven grandchildren and I am encouraging all of them to, "Be A Marine".

Sgt C. Dunn 1955-1961 (USMC)

The Bet

Does anyone remember the bet between President Ike and Commandant Shoup. The bet was that a Marine Regiment could force march 110 miles in three days and be combat ready at the end of the 110 miles. It was 1957-58.


In response to SSGT Silva and his brief letter about using the acronym of EGA instead of spelling out Eagle Globe and Anchor. Tell me why you didn't spell Staff Sergeant and how you became a SSGT. in less than a years time. You show that you have served from 2006 to Present or are you so caught up in the use of acronyms by Marines and family members that you aren't sure how long you have worn the EGA? Either way you say it or use it still means the same to all Former and Present Marines and it means the same to all family members and that is PRIDE. So get on with it deal with it and find something more useful to b!tch about. SF from a proud bearer of the EGA from 1981 till death do I part.
Robert R. Barnes, 0311, 3533, 8511, 8921


I can be very dense sometimes, and that makes me seem even dumber than I already am (NOBODY could be that dumb), but I wanted to send my thanks to you folks for my wonderful KILT. It has been a regular piece of clothing when I go out hiking (very comfortable), and is also nice enough to wear on more formal occasions, such as Memorial Day. I have gotten many compliments on it, and am always sure to tell people where I got it. Rest assured that you are my go to place when I need anything Marine related.

One of the gals here took a pic of me wearing it. I will try to post it to the board.

Thanks again, and Semper Fi!
Mark Lauer (Skivvy Stacker)

Whiney 20 Year Old

Love reading the letters and feel compelled to add my two cents worth.

Sand Diego or Parris Island? Let the arguments continue but I am sure the push-ups, squat thrusts, the screaming in your face, the long runs and the occasional punches to the gut for screwing up hurt just as much at SD as PI. I knew great kids from both places - all equally as tough.

The 60's. I was a weenie, weak, rich, spoiled, whiney 20 year old SOB from Hollywood, CA who could run a little (very little) and do a few of push-ups (very few) when the draft came up and bit me on the butt in '66. Frankly, the thought of the Corps scared the crap out of me and went, with my cousin, to the Air Force (2 yr waiting list), the Navy (2 yr waiting list). The Army recruiter told us we could have our choice of any school they had. After going through the list of great sounding schools, and being met with "Gee, sorry, that's closed", we sat there in a stupor when the Army recruiter asked: "How would you guys like to be in supply?" We looked at each other and walked out.

Down around the corner, we literally ran smack-dab into a 6' high, cardboard recruiting poster of a Marine aviator pointing skyward, and that was all it took. Adventure awaited us! Took the easier way out, though (if it really was one), and signed up for 4 years with an aviation guarantee.

Boot camp. In short, we all have our experiences, but for me it was a transformation into a human being who could now stand some pain, both physically and emotionally, actually grew up to have the beginnings of a decent adult from the immature kid described above.

Best highlights of my career in a nutshell. As a Corporal in Beaufort, SC, I got a ride in the back seat of an F-4 Phantom (that is a whole other story for a different time). In Viet Nam, as a SGT, I flew as a member of a flare crew in a +/- 30 year old aircraft, a C-117, (H&MS 13 - Chu Lai) that leaked oil out of the left engine. We hung around the DMZ at night. We'd light'em and the heroes below would fight'em. Hardly as hairy as a grunt had it down below, but.....there were moments. Rocket attacks at the base in the middle of the night were truly moments in time when everything was surreal. Or standing perimeter duty sometimes (with no firing discipline at all in my case), discharging rounds at every twig that snapped and getting chewed out by the in-charges afterward.

Got out in '70 and jumped into accounting at USC. The thought of joining a fraternity there was totally absurd to me in that I had just spent 4 years with the greatest fraternity in the world.

Pontificating now. Today, when ever I hear some guy say "yes sir" when in the middle of normal daily dialogue, I always ask: "Marine Corps?". The answer almost 6 to 7 times out of 10 is "Yes", regardless of age. (Ask that question yourself sometime and see what I mean). The rest of the populous has no idea what manners and respect are any more. (opinion)

This is why I subscribe to the fact that high school graduates should spend at lease 2 years in military service (USMC the best!) before going on to their chosen profession/schooling in life. They will grow up, learn what democracy really is (after having living through a dictatorship), and will be better humans all around.

Thanx for listening.
SGT Bob Imm
(Wing Wiper)

Hurry Up Troops

I have just finished reading the latest Sgt. Grit Newsletter, and I must say, I do thoroughly enjoy reading every letter. I had thought about jumping into the "tattoo" debate, but The Commandant beat me to the punch. I never wanted one, but if that's your thing, and The Corps can live with your decision - then DECIDE.

I had written some time ago about the Eagle, Globe and Anchor being thrown about as an "EGA" (think about the possibilities of the words that can be made from the three initials). I have heard it said "When I got my EGA". You didn't get anything! You newer, younger Marines earned your Eagle, Globe and Anchor, and it took you several weeks longer, including the Crucible, to earn the right to be called "Marine". In 1943, our "boot camp" at San Diego was 7 weeks long, as I recall. You see, we were starting to make some real progress in the Pacific, but every island re-taken took its toll and the Marine Corps had urgent need of "riflemen". Nonetheless, those 7 weeks were miserable, grueling and exhausting. It was not until I received my Eagle, Globe and Anchor (and dog tags) and heard myself referred to (for the very first time, ever) as "Marine".

Call it what you will, but for S/Sgt Sliva and me, we will always refer to it for what it truly is - Eagle, Globe and Anchor.

Now that I am off my soapbox, does anyone out there have any recollection of Platoon # 794, about September, 1943? Our D.I. was a Corps. W.C. Fulton, from Mississippi; Asst. D.I. was PFC W.J. Sumrall. After graduation, we seemed to have split like a covey of "flushed" quail; none of us stayed in touch, or so it seems. Please don't ask why I am just now asking about my boot platoon; If I am one of those dying off at the rate of 1,000 per day, I may not even be around to hear from anyone. Hurry up troops!

Semper Fi to each and everyone.

James D. Broome
Corporal of Marines
1943-1946, Radio Operator, 8th AAA Bn.

Left Leg Tattoo


Sgt. Koropatnick
step off with your left leg.
Marines 1999-2007

Brought TEARS to my EYES!

Sgt. Grit:

I would like very much to share this with you and Newsletter readers. About three years ago, I was at a Apple Fest in up state New York. I was with my wife and some friends. When we happen to come across a couple of Scotsman playing bagpipes. I was wearing my 50's Marine utility cover. Well as soon as they saw me, they started playing the Marine's Hymn! It's really hard to tell ya, how I felt at that great moment, standing there at attention, knowing they were playing the Marine Corps Hymn for me! I felt so proud and honored! My eyes started watering up, as they always have in the past 50 years since I became a MARINE!
57 / 60

3/11 Vietnam Reunion

The 2007 Reunion of the 3rd Battalion, 11th Marines - Vietnam Era, will take place September 7 - 9, 2007 at Circus Circus Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. For details, please visit or e-mail us at Cannoncockers311 @ msn .com. Any and all are welcome to join us in a weekend that will be sure to be one you will never forget. We look forward to hearing from you, Marine!

The 2007 3/11 Reunion Committee

Memorial Day

I received the shirt today and I want to say I will wear it proudly.
It's top quality and the art work is awesome.

John H. Allen
USMC Cannon-Cocker (Sgt) 1964-1974

We Were All Prepared

I recently read an e-mail about Buchanan who served in Vietnam and I can relate. I served (2) tours All volunteer, 75-78 active-duty/ 85-95 reserve. During "Operation Desert Storm/ Desert Shield" I was w/ B Btry 1/14, Artillery, we got activated. We had a very emotional going away event, "family/ community supported", bottom line we were all prepared and ready to "fight for our country". We landed in Camp LeJuene, attached to 2nd MEF, 2ndMarDiv, went to Norway on a NATO mission, after that we were told Iraq would probably be our "next stop" soon after the NATO exercise the war was over . When we came back to CL, we were treated as less than heroes by some of those who came back from OPDSDS.

What about all of those MARINES who perhaps served (2) volunteer tours or a reserve tour and never made it to "the sands of IRAQ", yet we left our jobs, families & friends behind to answer the "call to duty"? personally speaking, I don't think it makes us anymore or any less of "A U.S. Marine" We were just as motivated and just as qualified yet, we seemed to be "MIA" or perhaps forgotten....

Please SGT. Grit don't get me wrong, we were all proud to go off that day in So. CAL and do what the Corps had trained us to do, "kill the enemy and defend our country" unfortunately our mission was different.

To those who paid the ultimate sacrifice so we could live, "God Bless You" and thank you for serving our Country, to those who lived and served to fill the duties left behind, "May God Bless You too" for serving our Country.

Once a Marine always a Marine and I support my Brothers and Sisters where-ever and whenever duty calls, especially those currently serving in Iraq.....

Semper Fi
T. Garcia
75-78/ 85-95 B 1/14/ 2nd MEF/ 2ndMarDiv-FMF

Corpsman Tattoo

DOCs Tattoo Here is my Tatt..
I have been a Corpsman for the last 17 years, and have served with the Marines since 1999.
I hope you enjoy the ink..

James "Doc" Nadal
Semper FI

Metal Bowls

Am I the only one or am I just getting senile. I remember being served drink at MCRD (Diego) in metal bowls. This included coffee, lemonade and other liquids. I graduated boot in Plt. #201 in l954. I don't know the reason for this, but I also seem to recall that some old chiefs in the navy also drank their coffee out of metal bowls.
Camp Matthews. Camp Matthews is in deed now part of the campus of one of the institutes of higher learning in Diego. What I remember most about it is every platoon had its own light bulbs that were guarded as if they were made of gold and walking up the fire breaks in the rain because it was "duck weather, sir"...having to dig "cat holes" in the butts because there wasn't a head...the leaky tents...and, of course, snapping in with a DI or instructor "helping" you get into the correct position for firing from the seated position.
Semper Fi All,
Bob Rader 1405534 Sgt 53-56

Short Rounds

I remember when I Went from Sea School to the U.S.S. INTREPID, New Port News VA. My tour duty was from 1943-1945. The Pacific campaign, Kamikazed 4 times.
427186 John D. Cresta Sr.

Gathering of Eagles video, very well done.

How about running around the Quonset huts yelling "I'm a Horse's A$$ from Yemassee" in your skivvies and a bucket over your head and the D.I. beating it while you ran.
Poppa Gene

I remember On night at Parris Island in 1967 1st. Batt. we were right on the edge of the swamp, our DI came in drunk on night and told every one to fall out back, We spent 2 hrs looking for his Pet Dog! the snakes got to it before we did, But I really miss that place a lot. Went back 4 yrs ago and was shocked at how small the parade field is now. SEMPER FI MARINES.

Plt. 1071 yrs 67-68
SSgt 1967-1975

Outstanding, Silent Drill Team Video

As a former combat Marine, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Cpl. Long, the mission of Operation Desert Storm was to Liberate Kuwait and protect Saudi Arabia from Iraqi aggression. (according to what I have read) Your mission was accomplished.
Don't beat yourself up because in retrospect enough was not done.
Dan Buchanan
USMC 1969-71
Nam 1970-71

A favorite restaurant is on the way from the harbor to Pohakaloa Training Area. On my bi-annual stop for lunch 4 Marines d