A hot, sweltering summer day. Heat waves bounced off the asphalt parking lot outside of sickbay, MCRD San Diego back in mid 71. Our platoon received another mysterious series of inoculations and one by one we ran back outside to our respective place in formation. One of our recruits commits an infraction somewhere along the process. The DI steps outside obviously annoyed. He belts out, ON YOUR FACES...pause...Push Up Position! Red'Dee...pause...Begin! If hands were eggs, ours sizzled, fried and became well done. That evening in our tin hootches, 62 of us stood at attention atop of our footlockers prepared for hygiene inspection. Enormous blisters and broken skin covered the palms of our hands. Our platoon commander asked nearly each one of us about our hands. Each and every one of us responded, Sir, slipped down the ropes, sir! Loyalty.
SGM, USMC (ret) 0369

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I Am Currently Serving

Dear Sgt Grit, Marines, and Readers,
I am currently serving as a Drill Instructor aboard MCRD Parris Island, SC. After reading letters from several of your subscribers, I felt the urge to write and inform the readers on what I see every day.

The Recruit Training Order 1513.6A list 8 times you can touch a Recruit. All Drill Instructors spend 12 weeks at Drill Instructor School learning the RTO front to back. There is NO gray area! Recruits will frustrate you, that's the nature of the beast. However, as a member of a Drill Instructor TEAM, you have to know when a hat is getting to his/her boiling point. That's when being a "Marine, first and foremost" kicks in. That's when either the Senior Drill Instructor, or an other Drill Instructor comes in and relieves the situation. We take care of our own by letting that Devil Dog go have a smoke to calm down, or go get something to drink. Yes, for the safety of the Recruit, but more importantly to protect the career of that Drill Instructor. Like I said there is no gray area about the 8 times to touch a Recruit, and violators will be dealt with accordingly.

Recruit Training is suppose to be stressful! That is why Drill Instructors act the way we do. There are No, I say again, No stress cards here. Heck, OIF I and II were pretty darn stressful. We are tasked with turning young 18-19 year old civilians into United States Marines in a short 12 weeks. With the current situation in the world, a lot of these young men will find themselves in very dangerous situations within a years time. The American people WANT a MARINE who can perform under stress. Like the quote from "A Few Good Men." 'You want me on that wall, You need me on that wall'.

Although, the image of a Recruit pulling out a stress card to a 3rd Hat is hilarious. Mine would probably eat it in front of the Recruit. I assure you and your readers that the Marines we produce today are of the same caliber, if not better than when I came through in '91. The training schedule is more intense than it was a few years ago. The PT now days is close to what you'd find at a Corporals Course. The Crucible is back to the way it use to be as well.

In closing I would like to tell the 'Old Salts' that our Corps is in good hands. To the parents of Recruits, your kids are in good hands. Finally, to the Active Duty Marines, we're sending you a good product, you're tasked with taking them the rest of the way. Lead by Example, and don't let them down.

Semper Fidelis,
Sgt Widerman, E.S.
Fox Co. 2nd Recruit Training Battalion

Blue Tags

Edw. [1944-1953] Hoffman's Walter Winchell info was interesting. WW always had a soft spot & respect for Marines. On his broadcasts in the early 50's he would say "to get south fast, follow the blue tags" . I still have a blue Camp LeJeune tag '2985' from 1953. I was on Iwo in 1955 for the 10th anniversary of the original landing.
It was very moving.. My boots were full of black sand. I should have saved some.
Frank Nelson 2531 Sgt. 53-56.

Moto Tat

Moto Tat This is my "Moto Tat" I got over 4 years ago now. I got it done in Michigan at Old Town Tattoo when I was 19. I EASed the 10th of August this year. I served with 2D MAR DIV HQBN TRK CO while I was enlisted.

Tierra McLellan

General Peter Pace

I just want everyone to understand that this dialogue is not about, 'Can we vote our way out of a war?' We have an enemy who has declared war on us. We are in a war. They want to stop us from living the way we want to live our lives... We will prevail; there's no doubt about that."
?outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Peter Pace

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Could Breath Life

Sgt. Grit: I was looking over my Marine papers the other day and I saw this note in my files.

R.C. Switzer, 277072 USMC.
One of the most influential men in my life. More important to me than my father.

Gunny was a man among men having survived the Bataan Death March and the Japanese brutality in confinement for the entire length of the Pacific Campaign. We served together in Korea 1954-1955 near the DMZ, B Co. 1st Motors, 1st Marine Division, proud truckers who carried the best fighting men in the world.

Gunny could breath life into a run down engine with the correct tool or if need be a branch of a tree. I owe Gunny much- he more then helped me become a man and he showed me that you can always do what you have to do - no matter how difficult - there is always a way and there is no quit. Thanks Gunny, where ever you are. 53 years later and still in awe of your immense spirit.
Semper Fidelis, Joe Tirrell

Felt The Message Loud And Clear

Subject: Marines and Soldiers Returning from Iraq not allowed into Oakland Terminal

On September 27th 204 Marines and soldiers who were returning from Iraq were not allowed into the passenger terminal at Oakland International Airport. Instead they had to deplane about 400 yards away from the terminal where the extra baggage trailers were located.

This was the last scheduled stop for fuel and food prior to flying to Hawaii where both were based. The trip started in Kuwait on September 26th with a rigorous search of checked and carry on baggage by US Customs. All baggage was x-rayed with a backscatter machine AND each bag was completely emptied and hand searched. After being searched, checked bags were marked and immediately placed in a secure container.

Carry on bags were then x rayed again to ensure no contraband items were taken on the plane. While waiting for the bus to the airport, all personnel were quarantined in a fenced area and were not allowed to leave.

The first stop for fuel/food and crew change was in Leipzig Germany. Troops exited the aircraft and took a bus to a reception area in the terminal, where there was a convenience store, phones, Internet and restrooms. As we excited the bus we were given a re-boarding pass. Three troops remained on the plane with the rifles and pistols. There was no ammunition on the plane and the bolts of the rifles had been removed. After about 2 hours troops re-boarded the plane and flew to JFK in NY.

At JFK the procedure was similar to Germany, 3 troops stayed on the plane to guard weapons while the rest deplaned. At the gate we were each given a re-boarding pass and spent about 1.5 hours in the terminal, at which time we re-boarded and flew to Oakland.

As we came in for the final approach to Oakland a Lieutenant, who served in Afghanistan with the same unit in 2006, mentioned how when they landed in Oakland they were not allowed in the terminal. He said, they made us get out by the FED EX building and we had to sit out there for 3 hours. He also indicated he was almost arrested by the TSA for getting belligerent about them not letting the Marines into the terminal.

Well the same thing happened again. This time we did not park by the FED EX building, instead we were offloaded near the grass that separates the active runway from the taxi ramp, about 400 yards from the terminal. When we inquired why they wouldn't allow us in the airport they gave us some lame excuse that we hadn't been screened by TSA. While true, the screening which we did have was much more thorough than any TSA search and was done by US Customs.

Additionally, JFK didn't seem to have a problem with our entering their terminal, nor did security in Germany. It felt like being spit on. Every Marine and soldier felt the message loud and clear, YOU ARE NOT WELCOME IN OAKLAND!

If you have any questions please contact me via email at brandonsharding@yahoo.com I'll provide my cell phone if you want further details.

Chaplain Brandon Harding
H & S Co

Match This One

Let-em match this one! It is my memorial tac to all vets, of course especially brother Marines. Ricky Bailey at G.A.S. tattoos in Longview Texas is the master tattoo artist. Top's Tattoo

"Yea tho I walk thru the valley of the shadow of death, I fear nothing, for my Marines are with me"!
~The Texas Top

Semper Fi (Always Faithful)
Fratres Aeterni (Brothers Forever)
"Top" R. Plumlee, Sr.
Master Sergeant of Marines (Gold Wing) Airborne (Retired)
Still Lean, Mean, And Always A Marine!
"Attitude Is Everything"

The "Texas Top" says-----"Never Forget"!

Impress Him

Dear Sgt Grit,

Get Off My Bus T-Shirt My wife just gave me your great Get Off My Bus T Shirt. It brought back wonderful and terrifying memories of that first night on the island. We pulled up about 12:30 A.M. A Gunny stepped aboard and welcomed us. Did you men have a nice trip he asked? Before I had a chance to know it was a trick, he exploded

NOW You Got 30 #%&*^& SECONDS To Get Off This &*%#&*#$ BUS And GET YOUR FEET On Those YELLOW PRINTS!

I thought I would impress him by jumping out the window. It didn't work. I'll spare you the details!

Jack Thomas
Former Sgt. of Marines

Like Everyone Else

I didn't know Sgt Major Kellogg personally, but I did serve under him as a member of TOW plt, HQ/3 at Kbay, Hi in the late '80's.

I was told that once he won the MOH, he would stand wall locker inspections just like everyone else.

However, when everyone else was pressing uniforms and shining boots and brass to put into the wall lockers, he was busy clearing out his locker. Then when he was "ready," he would hang his MOH from the horizontal rod with the locker doors open.

To my knowledge, he never -- EVER -- failed an inspection.

Jeff Henig
TOW plt, HQ/3, 3d MAR DIV
Not as lean, not as mean, still a U.S. Marine...


Back in the state of Georgia I was sitting around in a Boy Scout Camp (CAMP TOLOCHEE) with some of my scouter friends talking about our military service when a good friend of mine mention that the best trained soldiers in the world are the Airborne. Immediately everybody looked at me and they said: Get a hold of this guy!,, Listen to that, Dan Muñoz!,, What do you have to say!

I agree with my friend and immediately answered: Well he's right! ...and somebody reply, Why is that?
and I add: Because we are not soldiers......! next question was--What are you then?

Everybody remain silent when I said... We are MARINES!

Semper Fi
Cpl. Daniel "Dan" Muñoz

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'Testicular Envy'

Sgt. Grit,

While at the VA Hospital Tuesday PM, I was in the waiting room there for my cat-scan with this small, old man. He commented on my Marine ball cap and I found out he was a WWII Marine. He joined in 1944 and was in the battle for Okinawa. He said he was injured by one of the last mortar rounds of a particular battle. He told me he was down deep in his foxhole when a mortar round hit just outside his hole. Although he wasn't hit with shrapnel, the concussion threw him twenty feet in the air, ruptured both his eardrums and, because he landed head-first with his helmet on, he damaged nearly all of his spine. He was evacuated to a hospital ship and his war was over real quick.

I asked this WWII Marine Veteran why his generation was so quiet about all that they had done. He told me it was the way things were back home that kept them quiet. Nobody wanted to hear what the Heroes had done. Instead, the ones that stayed home only wanted to talk about how much sacrifice they had to endure (rationing, long work hours, etc.) and didn't seem to want to listen to what the War Veterans had to say. When I asked him if he thought it was 'testicular envy', his old, bright blue eyes lit up and he began to chuckle. He said, after all these years, that had to be the reason the Veteran's stories from WWII were ignored by the civilian population of our country and why he and his fellow WWII Veterans stayed quiet for so long.

We continued our conversation until he was called in for his exam and I didn't see him again. Forgot to get his name though d*mmit, but will remember his old wrinkled face, bright blue eyes and his soft but solid 'Semper Fi' he said to me for the rest of my life.

Semper Fi Marine,

Tony Glass

I Did Something Better

Sgt Grit,

I have been reading the news letter for quite some time and now I would like to add my experience.

I was at the post office and noticed a beat up older pickup truck with a shinny Semper Fi sticker on it. As I was walking in a heavy un-shaved gut came walking out wearing a USMC base ball cap. I didn't say anything to him just then, but when I came out he was still sitting there in his truck. As I got into my car he shouted Semper Fi to me. I returned the greeting. It was easy for him to spot me since I have MOPH plates and the MIA/POW sticker along with the Eagle Globe and Anchor on my car.

This guy was down and out flat broke and hurting, so he said. After talking to him for a while nothing was setting off the red lights. As a good brother I helped him out and wished him well and also told him of the local Marine Corps League and Solders and Sailors office in the next town. He said he had tried to get help from them but it didn't work out. (red light on low glow)

To make a long story short he claimed to be a former Lt 01 "infantry" grunt who was special "BLACK" Ops. That did it for me. I asked his MOS and he spits out 0000. (BIG RED FLASHING LIGHTS) Claims he was ordered to be captured and spent six months as a POW until he could find a certain Major to assassinate. DIDN'T I SEE that in a MOVIE?

Here is the kicker, he claimed he was awarded the MOH, or CMOH if you prefer, in a "secret" ceremony at the White House where the Vice President handed it to him.

OK now I'm ready to drop him where he stands but,, I do something better. I got a hold of the district CID unit of the Judge Advocated Office and had an investigation started. It turns out this poser washed out of Air Force Boot after ten days with a DD. He was also later arrested for second degree murder and was out on parole.

The best part,,,

He was re-arrested for violation of parole and his sentence vacated. They put him away for twelve years, NO parole. They also tried him on criminal impersonation and illegal possession of the MOH. That gave him another fifteen years. Last I knew he was locked up in a federal prison doing hard time.

One that didn't walk and was made to pay the price..

G L DeDominicis dedom
2011699 Sgt 62-69
RSVN 66-68

Semper Fi Tattoo

USMC Flag Tattoo LCPL Daly Golf 2/6

Best Piece

I was at PI in 1993. When we went to the range our SDI offered a pack of M&Ms to whoever scored the highest on qual day. It was not a regular pack like you would purchase at a gas station but a small Halloween trick-or-treat size. On qual day, it was given to the recruit with the high score along with a razor blade. He was told he had to share with the whole platoon and had to cut them into 88 equal size pieces and hand them out. We each got a tiny morsel of M&M. As soon as the last recruit got his morsel in his mouth, our heavy went nuts! He informed us that he though we were all disgusting because we knew the rules from day one and NO CANDY was near the top of the list. He took us to the pit for a l-o-n-g time so that we could pay for our transgression. That was the best piece of chocolate I ever ate.

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We Probably Protected

Hey Sgt Grit. Just a line, to let you once again know how much, I really enjoy your Newsletters, I read each, and every one, and when I finish them, I drop them off, at the VA Clinic here, in Huntsville, Alabama. Where, I am sure, that they are enjoyed by others. This newsletter, really hit Home, because I, like Rusty Hoeck, Can relate to Standing in the Rain, as an eighteen year old Marine, on 25 September 1945, at the Tsingtao China Racetrack, and participating, in the Surrender of Japanese Troops. It is something, That I think about quite often. I believe, that at the time, I did not really understand, the importance, of the event. But in my later years, knew, that We really did something of truly heroic. My family, (My Brothers, Charley, Henry, George, And Joseph were all in the Pacific area At the same time.) Charley, Henry And George, on Guadalcanal, and my brother Joseph, campaigned, in the battles of Iwo Jima, Bougainville, and Vela La Vela. Myself, being the youngest, did not reach the pacific, until early 1945.

I am sure, that Rusty, must remember the long nights of pulling Guard Duty, to protect the Japanese troops, from Chinese retribution. I remember, the times, that while They the Japanese Troops, had to go from one building to another to be fed, we had to Fix Bayonets, and form two lines/files, and the Japanese, would pass, from their billeting Building Through our position to the Chow Hall. As I think about it from time to time, We probably protected them for quite some time, before we had the means to send them back to Japan.

The Chinese had no great love for the Japanese, because of all the Atrocities, that Japan inflicted on them. One rarely hears, anything these days, of the R^pe, of Nanking, A Chinese city, or of the Biological Testing Camps, were the Japanese, tested Various Chemicals, on American Prisoners of War.

Well Sgt. Grit, to continue, I ended up putting a little over 20 years in our beloved Corps, and retired. On 30 June 1965 as a SSgt. Will close for now, and who knows, my drop you another line later

I remain Yours Truly
John F. Morash Sr.
Semper Fi......

P. S. And may God Bless, Protect and keep all of Our Troops Save, and grant them a speedy return Home to their Loved Ones.

Found My Senior Drill Instructor

Sgt. Grit:

Always enjoy your newsletter and look forward every Thursday morning to reading every single submission. One caught my eye on 27 September from LCpl Charles Harden. We share a few things, one being Parris Island and the other being my hometown of Dublin, Georgia. Two places in this world hold a special place in my heart - Dublin and any Marine Corps base. My wife and I travel as much as possible and she knows that if we're on U. S. Highway 17 in North Carolina or South Carolina, we're going to stop at LeJeune and Parris Island. I-95 in Virginia requires a stop at Quantico. I recently found my Senior Drill Instructor, SSgt Paul A. Rossano, made contact and we've emailed and talked over the phone several times and plan to visit in the near future. I'm glad I had the opportunity to thank him for helping to make me a Marine. I too remember the "uniform adjustments" made occasionally and balancing my M-14 on the back of my outstretched hands and praying that I wouldn't drop it. Sixty years old now and like LCpl Harden, not a lean but still a Marine. I am thankful to be part of such a brotherhood and to know what it feels like to wear that revered emblem. Every Marine Corps commercial makes me proud and hearing the Marine Corps hymn and the National Anthem still causes my eyeballs to sweat, even in winter. Thanks to all my fellow Marines for your service and thanks to you LCpl Harden for continuing to serve as a Laurens County deputy sheriff. Oh, and we visit my Mom in Dublin about once a month, usually on a Saturday. If I'm moving a little fast and we happen to meet professionally, cut me a little slack, OK . . . . .

Semper Fi

Platoon 184, C Company, 1st Bn
Parris Island, Class of 1966

Just Below My DI's

May I add my 2 cents worth about the Corpsman/Marine issue. It seems to me that the Corpsman rates just below my DIs. Without either one, a h%ll of a lot us wouldn't be here today.

That earns them "Marine" in my book.
Semper Fi Doc

Wes Bland
Sgt 1967-71
RVN 1968-69

Mid-Rats Near Phu Bai

Sgt. Grit...

The title of the last newsletter being "I Survived" made me think of a couple of things I did there in Vietnam to make the time a little more pleasant... I got a counterfeit "visitors pass" to the Air Force chow hall at DaNang. Having an assignment to the air base there as a Marine you had to chow down at the Marine mess area. The Air Force chow hall was like eating in a restaurant... it even had ice cream!

Second, the Marines required you to be E-6 to get consume liquor at their enlisted clubs in 'Nam, even if you were 25 years old! The Air Force allowed E-4s, which I was at the time, that privilege at their e-clubs. I spent a couple of nights at those flyboy watering holes.

One funny incident I observed at a mid-rats near Phu Bai, although it may not have seemed so to the victim... a squad had just come back from a patrol in the boonies and was going through the chow line. It turned out he knew one of the guys serving up the food and asked if he could procure a few eggs to take back out to the field with him. The Marine on chow line duty went back and brought out a dozen eggs. The eggs were soon lodged in the many pockets of his friend's jungle utes. The hungry Marine got his tray and had it filled with food when one of his squad buddies walked up behind him a gave him a quick pat-down that squashed all of the eggs in his pockets, from chest to thigh. We all got a howl over that as the guy stood there with a full tray in his hands and eggs running out of the utility vent holes. If that Marine reads this, I apologize to him for laughing. But, it sure was a hoot to watch his face as he stood there helpless.

Nam 1969-1970

Iwo Jima

Iwo Jima I went to Iwo Jima on a historical tour in March of 2005 and collected a bit of sand myself. After I made my own display's I had some left over and found some little bottles and passed them out at work to some fellow MARINES. OOHRAH and Semper Fi....

Ron Montgomery
Sgt/USMC 85-97

Am I One

I have been reading all the good stories for a few months now there must be something wrong with my memory! I served from 67 to 71(12-67 to 12-68 in Nam) and don't remember much. Am I one of the lucky or unlucky ones? But I do remember the yellow footprints( and the voice in the night saying you'll be sorry) and SSgt. Blue and Plt.1008. Changed my life for ever! Oh ya who could forget Khe Sanh. Its just the names and faces are gone.
Good Luck to all Marines
Simper Fi
Kelly Cpl. USMC 67-71

Most Respected

hello Sgt grit here are the 3 most respected medals in the world. they are displayed in every Marines museum in scranton pa.

S F dom


I enjoy reading about times in the Corps years ago. The memories come back -- Tent Camp 2, Ike jackets (that's what we called them), dungarees, etc. What I haven't seen discussed are swagger sticks and "short timer" sticks. I recall officers carried the swagger stick and then the privilege was given to SNCOs. Short timers in Korea carried their own sticks, plus you usually could tell how long I guy had been their my his 'stache.

In '56, just before I got out, I recall being issued a green "ascot" type scarf, something like the doggies were wearing at that time. Hope this stirs the pot a little and brings back memories to other old jarheads.

Semper Fi,
Bob Rader #1405534

Walter Winchell Jr....More Rumors

Sgt Grit,
About 20 of us were sworn in July 1952 In New York City. Walter Winchell Jr. was put in charge of our records on the train ride to Parris Island. When we arrived we were assigned to the 4th Batt. Plt 485.
After a day of close order drill in the hot S.C. sun, we came back to our Quonset hut and Walter Jr. went psycho he was screaming and hollering. S/Sgt Luiz our Senior DI came and quieted him down. He was taken away and never returned to our Plt
Years later I was reading A Bio about Walter Winchell and stated that he had a son that joined the Marine Corps They found out that he was only 16 and was discharged. It said he committed suicide when he was in his 30's. As far as I know he was the only Winchell relative who went into the Marine Corps.

Bob Werner 52 to 56 1338383

Okay, someone out there must know the REAL story of Walter Winchell's relative who died while at P.I. First it was a nephew who drowned in the swamp; then it was his son who killed himself; the story I heard was that he was in the butts at the rifle range and decided to "have a look"?caught a 7.62 round right between the eyes.

Gary Nash
Former 0302

PX Opens At 0900

Sgt Grit,

While reading your 27 Sep, 2007 newsletter, I came across a name I haven't seen in slightly over 40 years. If Sgt Jack Drea is the same John R Drea from Plt 358 at MCRDSD. We not only went through Boot Camp together, but wound up in Weapons Plt, K Co, 3 Bn, 1St Marines. After training in preparation for being a transplacement Battalion, we were to board the USS Breckinridge to disembark in Okinawa via Hawaii and Yokohama, Japan. Prior to boarding we went to Tijuana for our last stateside Liberty. If that Cop had been a little younger and weighed a lot less, we might have been long time residents of their wonderful Jail.

Upon arriving at the Port of Naha, Okinawa on 1 Apr 1965 (20 years to the day, after the WWII Landing) we stepped off the ship and became Weapons Plt, B Co, 1 Bn, 9th Marines and they got on as Weapons Plt, K Co, 3 Bn, 1St Marines. B Co spent a couple of months as the host Company at the Counter Guerrilla Warfare School in the NTA (I think we were being punished for our bad behavior in Kin Ville) before shipping out to RVN. As we were the first Battalion of Marines into the Da Nang area there was a lot too do, but do it we did. Even made the Russian Newspaper for our visit to Cam Ne. I can still feel being hit by hot 20mm shell casings and the heat from the exhaust from the low flying Phantoms. They were so low, if you stood up the engines might just suck you in.

If you are that same Drea, Welcome Home and a job well done. The first time someone thanked me for my service was 2-3 years ago and he wasn't even born then. I don't know about you, but when we landed at 0430 at MCAS El Toro, the SSgt that was there said "No one is allowed off Base in Uniform. Anyone with Civilian Clothes, change into them. If you don't have any, the PX opens at 0900. Welcome Home Marines." That very same comment was shown on TV many years latter. On "Major Dad" I think.

I was so ticked off by the welcome home by the SSgt and the attitude of the civilians at the time, I decided that I didn't even want too be around them. I took a different path than you. I decided to stay in the Corps.

After three years as an 0331, four years as a Tank Commander and four years as an EOD Tech, I was selected for a permanent Warrant Officer program. I called it quits after 27 years. Retired as a Chief Warrant Officer 4, but advanced to Captain on the Retired List. 3 years of my 6 ½ years as (Temp LDO) Captain was as the Ammo Officer at HQ 1st MARDIV and dual hated as the I MEF Ammo Officer. That was a little more than I could put up with. I forgot how hard it was to deal with Infantry Officers above the rank of Captain (Someone told me that in order too make Major you had too have a lobotomy. I thought they were joking at that time, but now, not so sure). There just too many Colonels in a Division HQ. But that is a much longer story.

Semper Fi,
Leonard C Long III
Capt/CWO4 USMC Retired
(Enlisted)0331,1811,2336 (Officer)2340,2305

Highlight Of Boot Camp

I arrived on Parris Island on 9/30/57 and let the thumping and A-- kicking begin [stories for another time]. We were initially issued 3 each, sets of utilities, 3 covers [herringbone and some from WW2 and the Korean war], pairs of work socks, sets of skivvies, 1 pair boondocks and 1 pair boots. We also got our 782 gear and M-1 rifle. In addition to 1 bucket and 1 bar of laundry soap. Then off to the PX for health and comfort items which was deducted from our pay.

At about the 9th week of training we were measured for our dress uniforms which consisted of 1 green blouse, 1 green battle jacket [never referred to as a "Ike Jacket"], 2 pairs each of green, tropical and khaki trousers, 2 each tropical and khaki shirts, 3 pairs dress socks, p!ss cutters {which I never wore but only laid out for "junk on the bunks"} and a barracks hat and a pair of brown dress shoes. A week or so later we picked up our dress uniforms and shortly thereafter we were allowed to wear our greens to evening chow a few times, passing the rest of the boots in greens was a highlight of boot camp.

I wore my battle jacket throughout my 3 years in the Corps and after they were not issued anymore [around mid 59 or early 60] they were a prized procession and I sold my jacket for $!5.00 when I got out in 1960, could of gotten more but I sold it to a good buddy.


And His Reply Was

" Thanksgiving dinner " Sgt. Grit, I'm writing about a phoney Nephew that was canned from the Marine Corps awhile back. My sister-in-law had a gathering for a Thanksgiving dinner at her house. She put the real spread on, turkey, ham and all the trimmings that goes with it. I was there with my wife and two of my three sons. We were seated and about to eat and my wife asked my Nephew a question about the Marines and his reply was "what the f... do you know about the Corps. Yes, you guessed it, over went the table about twelve feet long, food, broken chairs and glass. My brother-in-law and wife locked their self's in the bathroom and called the police. We stomped his sweet a$$ to an inch of his life. The state police came in and the place looked like a meat grinder was used. He was arrested on a outstanding warrant and the police thanked us and left with him in the back seat. We never tasted a touch of food that day and left shortly after. Yes, a "Marine" got to kick one of those phonies *sses for a change!
LCpl Roy Domster 61-65 1964823

Having Noticed Only

Having noticed only "old salts" giving there thoughts on boot camp changes thought I would throw my two cents your way. I went through Diego in 2000. While it certainly wasn't what it was (being a third generation Marine I heard all about it) there wasn't much differences. Maybe it was just the platoon and company I was with but I can recall many times DI's smacking recruits for what ever reason they had at the time, or "adjusting" a rifle to a recruits face. H&ll even getting called out on the parade deck and clocked for not being in step. Not to mention all the time on the quarter deck or in the sand pits (I'm sure that will start something else from the PI Marines) True it wasn't as in the open as it was in the old days and the senior DI said he would not tolerate it (even though he did it just as much, but it still happened, and it was nothing compared to the "tree line counseling" that sometimes was needed in the fleet. And I can also remember many times not only holding footlockers out while squatting like a chair, but also the humorous attempts at rifle manual with them. And no, we didn't have stress cards or time outs or anything like that.

Not that I am complaining about any of it. If it were not for those three Marines, we would not have become ready for the stresses and our duties further down the road. We are Marines, not accountants or cops or any other BS civilian job. Even with everything the DI's put us through it still could not completely make you ready and appreciate real combat, but d*mn without them we wouldn't be as close as we are when we get there.

Semper Fi
P. Williams
2/10, 1/10
Do not fear the enemy, for your enemy can only take your life. It is far better that you fear the media, for they will steal your HONOR.

A Bunch Of 0311's

I found 1stSgt. Jason James E. Leverette's story bring back many memories since our Battalion K3/5 relieved his Unit in 1964 on White Beach and became Bravo 1/9.

What was more interesting is that our Gunnery Sergeant's name was H.H. Leverette!

The 13 months we spent training on Okinawa, Mt. Fuji and the Philippines was the best training one could ask for. Although at the time I don't believe those were our comments-more like eat the apple and .... the Corps.

But then what else would you expect from a bunch of 0311's.

I still have the Battalion book that we purchased that depicted our entire tour from Camp Margarita through our training in Okinawa etc.

I look at it often and pay tribute to the finest Marine's that I served with; of which many paid the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam.

Semper Fi to all and God Bless The Corps
Joe Henderson
Sgt 2057604

Throw Him Out

Sgt Grit,
I can't wait each week to read the newsletter. This letter will be for the old timers and the new kids on the block. I reported to MCRD 18 October, 1948. Platoon 101, Rifle S/N 1014625. I retired from PMTC, Pt Mugu January 1991. I served with Marines from WW2 (one of our sgt's was a prisoner of the Japanese), Korean war, and Vietnam. During that 42 year stretch, working with the Fleet as a Weapons Tech Rep, I met a lot of Marines, I could tell NO difference between a 1948 Marine and today's Marine!

I have been back to Korea several times since 1950-51. On two of the trips I took my wife. the last time was mid-November. I pointed out to her what a nice day it was when we arrived,(beautiful Fall day, wind from the North at about 25 miles per hour and 20 degrees outside). She was impressed, when we returned to the Philippines, where we were stationed at the time, she did not stop shivering for a week!

Funny Story; I was assigned to COM FAIR West PAC, At Cubi Point, the Marine Barracks was across the street from the "O" Club. One day the C.O. of Cubi Point, Capt "Red Horse" Myers, called the Duty Officer in and told him the enlisted Marines were dressing in Civvies, and sneaking into the O Club, and he wanted the practice stopped! The Duty Officer protested that if he asked a Naval Aviator, dressed in Civvies, for his ID Card he would get punched in the nose. "Red Horse" told him to use his head, go over to the O Club and if he saw a neat young man standing quietly at the bar having a beer, and minding his own business, throw him out! he's a Marine.

Now, the "Sky Club" down at the "Hill" where the Mud Marines were located, was somewhat less formal!

I Imagine you Vietnam MEF vets could tell some interesting stories about that place!

Jim Reed S/Sgt USMC, 1948-52 and 1954-55.
Fleet Weapons Tech Rep 1956-91

Works Every Time

Sgt Grit,
Please tell "One Up Me" you should see the look on the faces of the men who get "one up'd" by a WM. Not to mention the fakers who KNOW I'm telling the truth but they are not and just can't seem to answer my questions! I've gotten so many "Oh s--t" looks I've lost count.

By the way, one of my favorite things to do is to ask someone wearing a USMC shirt where they got it and who's is it. The conversation is answered something like this "... it's mine, I was in the Marines," (denotes a FAKER) To which I say, .."really - real Marines would never say I was in the Marines..". To which I'm asked, "How would you know, your dad or boyfriend or someone..." and I happily reply, "No, I am a Marine and I did my 8 years.....where were you stationed and what was your MOS?" Did I mention I usually have that "Oh s--t" look by this time? Works every time!

Jean Kammler

They Choose Marines

Hey Grit,
One of this weeks letters was about the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders in Iraq. Boy do those ladies get around! They made a stop at the "Footprint to Freedom" back in '83 and put on one heck of a Variety show for us. I found it ironic that the only guys they called out of the audience and up on stage with them were JarHeads. We were the minority of Service members on the island. Yet we were the ones they called into action! I asked one of the ladies after the show about all the Jarheads on stage, she said they choose Marines because they can trust us to take care of them if something happens.
Semper FI!

2/9 E Company
Weapons Plt

Handed Me Twenty Dollars

Sgt. Grit,
When I joined the Naval Reserves I was told that there was a special bond between MARINES and there Corpsman. I never knew how true that was until the day I had to tell my MARINES that I was relocating to the Atlanta area. Up to that point I had gone MARINE regs and was given my Alphas and my EGA and tried with my every fiber to do my best for my MARINES. It was at this final gathering that a Cpl. got up and told me that he spoke for himself and the rest of platoon in that I was more of a MARINE than some Marines that he knew. That in it's self floored me and to this day I will never forget the feeling of pride and humility that I felt. I went on to serve in OIF and obtained my combat action ribbon and two more NAM's.

I have since moved on and continued my career in public safety. Just last week I was in New Mexico in a class on terrorism when there was a mix up with my credit card that left me stranded for a short time in the middle of no where. While speaking with the desk clerks of the hotel that had accidentally messed up my card, I noticed that one woman had an EGA on her name tag. I asked if she was a MARINE or if one of her family was serving. She explained that her husband and son were both MARINES. She asked me if I was a MARINE and I explained that I was a Corpsman who served along side of MARINES. While we were getting the problem straightened she approached me after going into the office and handed me twenty dollars. I told her that I could not accept the gift as I knew the credit card situation would work its way out. She insisted and stated that as a Corpsman who had taken care of her MARINES it was now time for her to take care of one of there own and that the MARINE Corps. never leaves a man behind. Once again the Corps managed to make me swell with pride and humility.

Some say that I carry to much of the MARINE Corps with me in my daily life and my job as a Lieutenant for the Fire Department. To tell you the truth I don't really care what they think, my time with the MARINES has meant more to me than most anything I have ever done. To this day I stand tall at the playing of the MARINE Corps Hymn and call all the MARINES on the birthday of the MARINE Corps.

This evening I got another swelling of pride when my 5 year old boy called me at work and recited the Pledge of Allegiance word for word and in perfect grammar. My oldest has already publicly stated he wants to be a MARINE. Like any parent I do not want to my kids to go off to war. However, if they so chose I will stand at the review and hand over my EGA to my kids knowing that there is no other organization that I would rather have them serving.

Semper Fi
Doc T
Lima 3/23, Bravo 1/25

He Said He Was

Had an open house Saturday and the guy made a comment about the EGA rock that I had in the patio steps. He said he was a Marine and then I showed him one of your catalogs and also my shadowbox. I was almost ready to call and order a red cup for him (as is my tradition when I meet other Marines) and then He blew it. He asked what I did and I told him I was in the FDC at 11th Marines. His answer was that he could not discuss what he did. I had never heard that in person before.

When He left, my wife asked what he could have been and I told her that all Marines are riflemen with a side job like radio or tanks or something. She asked if he was a CIA or intelligence or something like that. I told her to think about me and my friends for a while.....Intelligence was out.

SSgt Huntsinger

10 DI's

Sgt. Grunt, I sure enjoy this newsletter. I have two stories to tell. First- I joined the Corps in July 1950, when I was 18. I was in Plt. 33 MCRDSD we had about 10 di's altogether because Korea had started. There was cpl. puckett, cpl. parrish, cpl. morgan, pfc van ert, pfc weiland and about 4 others. Our sdi was t.sgt. jc dozier and he was a good one. About our 8th week he had us drilling on the parade ground and we were sharp. The base band started playing the Marine hymn, so sgt dozier marched us close and yelled " strut you sons of b$*&^s strut and strut we did. I'll never forget his cadence ' 3 4 to your lell, 3 4 to your lell'.
Second story- I was in radio school in the fall 1950 froc 8 mcrdsd, two guys were comparing who had the toughest boot camp pi or sd. They got into a fistfight, a great fight, clean. pfc Casey was from Queens, NYC, PFC Murray was from Kansas, it went on for about 10 minutes. Murray won, but as far as the toughest boot camp, that's determined by the drill instructor. Semper Fi to all Marines past and present, and Gods blessing on the USMC.
C.B. Feeny sgt 1126964 mos 2531 50-54

Would Have Been Worse

Great newsletter. One of last month's letters commented on how everyone seems to have been special forces, seals, etc., etc. I've run into that too only the bozo claiming credit for a dangerous unit said he was in First Force Recon in Vietnam. Well, I was, and he wasn't. He couldn't name the CO, the first sergeant or any of the guys. So, I hit him with the ultimate....I took out my Force Recon ID card and asked him if he had one too. You can't belong to that organization unless you're nominated by someone already in who knows you're for real. The guy couldn't leave fast enough. As for the whiners and wimps that seem to surface in receiving barracks. I was in boot camp at MCRD San Diego in 1964. I had three great DIs who taught us how to be Marines the right way. In fact, one hit me so hard it knocked my jaw out of alignment and I had to spend a week or so in the Camp Pendleton hospital until the Docs could put it right. You wouldn't believe the bleeding hearts that came to see me trying to get me to identify the DI that hit me. My response....None of your business. I survive Vietnam with a few scars but it would have been worse except for my DIs.

Ron Hill
L/Cpl of Marines

Bled The Same

Thank you, Mr Lukic for "insightful" letter about Corpsmen in Vietnam. I was up in the "I CORPS" with 2/3 in 1967-68. Every once in awhile, I look at old maps and remember certain locations that still bring chills up and down my spine. I don't talk much about the experience because it revives a lot of bad memories that I've had to live with.

The Navy Corpsmen that were assigned with us, bled the same red blood as did the wounded Marines. They also retrieved wounded Marines while under enemy fire-----that which I'll never forget. We Marines considered those Navy Corpsmen the closest thing to a doctor, and in my book, they "STOOD NEXT TO GOD".

Thanks, Doc------I'll never forget your deeds!

Roland Larson,Cpl, USMC (1964-1968)

P.S. I think that you did the right thing by "biting your tongue". Me, I would probably have ripped the guys heart out!

Misinformation Floating Around

I think there may be some misinformation floating around about what boot camp is now like. I graduated from PISC Plt. 3026, L Co., 3rd Btn. in April, 2000. And before I left for SC, I heard rumors about "stress cards", no swearing, no hitting, limits on punishment PT, etc.
But, at least in my experience, none of those rumors were true. No stress cards. Swearing everywhere (even some new ones I never heard before!). And while there were no closed-fisted punches thrown, there was plenty of shoving, open-handed "pops", and I for one was forearm-choked (my throat hurt for a week after that one).
Quarterdeck sessions that lasted 2 hours. This was all good to go in my book. None of my fellow recruits considered this abuse -- it was exactly what we signed up for.

I realize my experience is now 7 years past, so maybe things have changed since then, but I sure hope it hasn't.

Cpl Eelman
USMCR 2000-2006

Green Overcoats

Sgt Grit,

I am amused by all of the replies regarding "ike " jackets. It was sharp, squared away and you looked great in it and a h&ll of a lot better than the blouse that was also issued to us.

My biggest complaint, which I haven't seen published yet, was those d*mn bulky Marine green overcoats.

I remember going home from LeJeune to Boston on the train in the wintertime wearing that coat. It weighed tons, looked like h&ll and it had a small strap in the back that was supposed to fit in the "small of your back " but always ended up between your shoulder blades. It was " hotter than the hinges on the gates of h&ll " and took up half of the room in your sea bag.

I'd like to hear at least one favorable comment from your viewers relative to this beloved overcoat.

Respectfully submitted,
George Maling -Sgt. Korea '52

I Will Hit The Beach

Sgt. Grit:

I must have missed newsletter #156, but I read #157 and 158, and I still can't believe all the garbage I am reading about these mothers (and probably fathers) who sign their son's Marine Corps enlistment papers; But the minute life starts getting a little rough in boot camp, Junior calls, e-mails(?)or writes Mom - who had likely instructed him to do just that - and says get them off my back, or I want out of here.

I read two very interesting letters from Marine Moms "Mama Dawg" and "Karey", and they both seem to have a real understanding that their sons are in the Marine Corps. Someone must have had some appreciation for what lie ahead, please tell me they did!

Mothers - pray for your sons and daughters as they enter any branch of the military; write them, encourage them to stay the course, but if they are boots in the US Marine Corps, leave them in the very capable hands of their Drill Instructors; these are seasoned, qualified and schooled Marines. They have one thankless and tough job to do; they do it a lot more efficiently if you directly or indirectly stay "off their cases".

I enlisted in the Marine Corps in July 1943, in Atlanta, GA., one month after my 17th birthday. I had two older brothers, who were already in the Army Air Corps; we were supposed to report to Parris Island MCRD, but were told their quota was filled; off we went to San Diego; we had one DI, and one Asst DI; boot camp was 7 weeks long. I think that, after about one week, most all the guys in Plt 743 would have gladly walked home. Why? Because all our worldly pleasures had been taken from us, and we were to learn really quick whether or not we had what it takes to become a "Marine". Was it easy? H&ll No! But then we wer