"Back in the day", I was an aircraft mechanic in the Marines (MOS 6412). I have been employed with a major airline as a mechanic for a very long time now and my job is to taxi aircraft to and from locations at the airport as needed.

Several days ago we happened to be moving one of our aircraft at the same time the Presidential Helicopters, (call signs "NIGHTHAWK 1 & NIGHTHAWK 2") were taxiing for take off. I listened to their communications, and after they had finally lifted off and were done with the tower instructions I keyed my mike and said "SEMPER FI" to which I was given an "OOOORAH". I have related this story to several people, but no one but my Marine friends were really impressed. I guess you "had to be there!"
SEMPER FI, Dan Desmond 1996893 USMC 1962-1966

St Patrick's Day Special

St Patricks Day Pay the Piper - St Paddy's Day 2008

Show your Irish pride with this special St. Patrick's Day design available on a sweatshirt, t-shirt, Hooded-sweatshirt or long sleeved t-shirt!

These shirts are only available to order until February 11! View All St. Patrick's Day Shirts


when i turned 21 my drill sgt dad came home from work and said get dressed, me and you are going out to celebrate your 21st. i thought for sure we would go to the America legion. we pulled up in front of this tiny little box of a place...it was a private club called the 40 and 8. it meant 40 from our little town went to WWII and 8 came back. anyway, at first i was very intimidated with all the awards and beautiful paintings of the wars (ww1, ww2, korean, and vietnam), so i stood down as the men came by one by one and told me how proud my father was of me...(i would be shipping out to boot in the next 3 days). after all the sappy stuff we got down to the business of drinking, smoking, and playing a hot game of poker. well, not only did these guys drink me under the table, they took all my damn money as well. It was an honor that i will never forget, you see i am female, and females were not allowed in there...except for the prettiest bartenders they could get. thanks for protecting this great country and god bless.
janet tudor bryant.


Fuentes Family Tradition Fuentes Family Tradition. 9 brothers serve. 8 Marines and 1 Air Force.


Bob you are not alone.

In the summer of 1970, I was returning home from my second tour across the pond, when I ran into two other Marines (unknown) also heading home. We meet at one of the slopshuts in the LA airport. We learned that we were all flying American airlines, so after several adult beverages we proceeded to our respective gates.

Walking together, with me on the outside (left). Walking towards us were three people, a guy and two girls. It was hard to tell them apart except one had a beard. They were dressed alike with that cheese cloth looking garb, saddles, long hair, you know the look. When they saw us, they started yelling obstinacies, when the long hair dope smoking maggot spit on my ribbons. MY RIBBONS!.

I responded by punching that Son Of A B!tch in the mouth as just as hard I could. He dropped to his knees, bleeding and screaming. Needless to say we started to draw a crowd. Cops came and my first thoughts were, here I spend two tours in Viet Nam and returning to the States, I go to jail. Well, luck was once again on my side. Turns out that the two Police Officers were ex-service men. One had been in the Army (Viet Vet) and the other had been in the Air Force.

Their obvious question was "what happened here". They stood the maggot up and it was then I noticed that I had l knocked out his two front teeth. They saw the large gob of phlegm on my ribbons and I told them what occurred. I knew I was going to jail. The Officers told me to go to the head and clean myself up.

While on my way to the head, they cuffed the maggot with him yelling "what did I do". As they hauled him off, I over heard them say, "we'll think of something". Next to the head was an old black gentleman sitting on a shoeshine stand, he had observed the entire event and followed me into the head. He helped me off with me blouse saying "Semper Fi Marine". He started cleaning off my ribbons, when done, he asked me when was my flight and how much time did I have. Turned out that I had enough time for a damn good shoe shine. During that time I learned that he had been in the Corps and had served in the Korean war. Once again a Marine in need meets a brother who helps.

Bob, All I can say, is that It is gratifying to know that where ever that SOB (maggot) is, and when he gets up in the morning and brushes his teeth, HE THINKS OF ME and that makes it all good.

Morgan
USMC 67-71
RVN 68-70

Family Member Shirts

Marine Corps Family Members! You will be PROUD to wear these shirts in celebration of your Marine! These UNIQUE shirts only come around once in awhile, and are available to order only until February 3rd.

Family Member Special

Get a shirt, sweatshirt, hooded sweatshirt, or long-sleeved t-shirt My "Aunt, Boyfriend, Brother, Cousin, Dad, Daughter, Friend, Girlfriend, Grandma, Grandpa, Grandson, Husband, Mom, Nephew, Niece, Sister, Son, Sons, Uncle, or Wife" is a Marine!

What a great gift to give a family member!


View the Family Shirts


"Reason deceives us often; conscience never."
Rousseau


I want to thank the USMC for making a man out of my son. Before becoming a Marine he was kind of a lost soul, going to the local JC and getting D's and F's. Joining the Corps in 1998 and spending 5-1/2 years in uniform, going to the gulf with the 15th MEU in 2003 and making Sergeant was the best think for him and the Corps. He was also a single parent during his time in the Corps taking care of his young son with a little help from mom and dad when he went overseas. After his discharge he started back at college and will be graduating from Cal State Northridge with honors in Electrical Engineering. He has made the Dean's list 8 straight semesters while also working 20-30 hours per week for a company that makes UAV's for the military. Again thank you USMC

Chuck L. 2003 Tiger Cruise


Marine Air Base, El Toro was TAD'ed several "Airdales" for tower training. The Air Force expected a bit of trouble understanding the lingo of the Marines. The first rule put up by Gunny White, watch Sergeant, was, "Never, never, ever say "hours" with a time check." it's "thirteen hundred, period-- not thirteen hundred hours, not any number with the friggin' word "hours". Never say that word, "HOURS" with a time check, in this United States Marine Corps friggin tower and we might get along. OK Airmen?"

Hearing "Gunny" talk for the first time an Air Force SSgt. asked a Marine Corporal,

"Is he that "Marine" all the time?"

"Mostly he is, hot dang, I can't wait till you call the head a 'latrine'," warned the Marine

Submitted by:

George L. Deeth 1344516
Cpl. 52-55 Peacetime Korea 54


Corporal Dustin T. Dampier and wife (Sara) with their dogs Cash and Devil-This picture was arranged to have them together for Christmas (even though they were actually apart for the together for the holidays holidays-this picture made us feel that everyone was together.

We have very close neighbors in Kansas City Missouri and everyone supports our son in law - Corporal Dustin T. Dampier 1/7 Charlie Company, 3rd platoon is now stationed in Iraq for his 2nd tour. We miss him so much and wish that he was home with us during the Holidays. We are selfish that way. We are very proud of him and many others that serve the country and it was Veteran's Day when we got together and took this picture and sent to him. We wanted him to know how proud we are of him and all the service men/women. We couldn't be any more proud of our daughter Sara Palmer - living on base at Twenty Nine Palms message from the fam California too. She took a big step into the military life and has adjusted very well and has made several good friends. It does not stop us from worrying, but we would like to also bring up the wives/husbands that make adjustments in their lives for this type of life also. It is a big adjustment for everyone. We are very proud of the two of them and can't wait to be with the two of them again for the holidays. Thank you so much for putting out this paper - it is always a joy to read. Plus it makes me appreciate what my father did also when he was a US Marine - James Caswell Richardson- (1921 - 1968)

Candice and Bruce Palmer
Kansas City, Missouri


In the summer of 1959 after High school graduation one of my best friends and I didn't feel we had the academics for College and since the draft was still in effect we felt we likely would be picked sometime soon. We decided to go with the best and get on with the challenge of USMC, so we joined and were processed here in OKC. Had option of two or four year service at that time and we both went for four years hoping we could get some "overseas" time..

WE were looking forward to going through the tough and demanding recruit training process together and were told "you will train together" however they forgot to tell us it might be in two separate platoons and we might not see each other for a couple of years! We got on separate Buses at the airport in San Diego and after the initial bucket issue experience at MCRD we were assigned different housing etc etc..I was in Platoon 331 and he went to 2ed Platoon....

I did think at one point I might "ask" one of the Drill Instructors abut my buddy and I getting back together----- However after several "in your face" experiences I soon realized we both should "keep our mouth shut" and go with the flow....SO - two years later when I was in transit barracks at Treasure Island going to Japan I ran into him again as he was going to Okinawa...(He became a Lifer with the Corps and Vietnam time on the ground, retiring as Gunny Sergeant)

So much for our Buddy System arrangement -- but it was THE EXPERIENCE of MY LIFETIME - I did things and was assigned in countries around the world and when you fill out job applications and employment history information, and they ask about any leadership experiences--- I have a ton of them! I got out and spent thirty five years with the Oklahoma City Police Dept., retiring from there in 1998 as Division Captain, received my Masters Degree from Oklahoma City University and half the things in my house, in my closet and on my "Harley" are USMC --- I loved my job and I WILL ALWAYS LOVE the CORPS!

Cpl. Howard H. Armer
MOS 2571
USMC 1959 - 1965
Semper Fi to You ALL !


Do your full duty as you see it and damn the consequences.
Gen George S. Patton, Jr.


It is my honor and privilege to initiate the remembrance of my friend and brother L/Cpl Isaiah Hudson. Known as "Dickie" to friends and family, we met on the train ride to Charleston, SC, en route to Parris Island. Myself and another soon to be buddy, Dennis Havelin drank a little wine and started what became a long enduring friendship. We went thru all of the Marine Corps training together. At home, on leave before going to Pendleton for staging, Dickie introduced me to his baby sister. He had hope we'd hit it off so we be family for real forever.

Unfortunately it didn't quite work that way for she and I but it did for me and Dickie. After the war we lost our connection for a bit. I began a search for my buddies from my earliest days in the Corps. Finding the guys you serve with after boot camp somehow became easier. I lost my Boot Camp Graduation Book with the rest of my Marine Corps memorabilia to a family tragedy. I got a lot of help from my friends, tho'.

I found my bunky, Bruce W. Carter. He had been awarded the Medal Of Honor for his incredibly selfless act of bravery. His mom, Mrs. Georgie Carter-Krell, President of the Gold Star Mothers and I met via the internet. She kindly extended the brotherhood to me by pulling out her son's book and copied the portrait pages for me. She also reached out to me with a mother's kindness. I hear from her all the time and I see her great efforts to keep her son's memory alive and to keep the brotherhood going strong.

I continued my search with refreshed memory and found more of the guys. As expected, some were KIA. Some had arrived home and died as well but a great many were like myself; living and striving and taking care of family and still serving God. One of those men was Dickie Hudson. He was living in Connecticut on his VA disability. He was suffering from Agent Orange Poisoning and the related illnesses. I found his sitter and she got us back together.

This thanksgiving he and I celebrated a grand reunion. He told me how sick he was but I couldn't see passed being with my old friend. He even said he didn't have long to live. I am glad that God gave me one last time with my buddy before calling him home. I had hoped that it would not be this soon but God knows best.

He no longer suffers and although we will miss the physical presence, he will always be in our hearts. I give thanks for the this Brotherhood of Warriors to which we belong. A brotherhood that extends itself beyond the fields of battle and forms lifelong bonds between us, our families and our friends. To those who have gone on, we celebrate your lives and your memories by continuing the tradition, the Few, the Proud, The Marines...

To my friend L/Cpl Isaiah Hudson, you are now apart of our history; A proud history. Thank you for your friendship and your service.
Semper Fi L/Cpl R.Y.Booker, USMC
1968 - 1971


"I have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandment's would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress."
Ronald Reagan


To Bob Ash Don't think of the spit that you endured when you came home as a stain, it is not a stain. Think of it as a washing away of some of the trail dust that you got on you from all of those little strolls thru NTC, all of the times that you ran in the heat at Hansen, Schwab and other bases when you did your PFT in weather so hot that it felt like your would broil. They are not stains, but badges of honor.

The people that did that are jealous that you could do and did what they were afraid to do. I was lucky when I returned to the US from Vietnam in April of 1969, that no one did that, maybe they taking the day off. But, I have been called all of the names, butcher, baby killer etc., that everyone else has experienced. I am honored to have served in the Corps, I spent 13 years total and a couple more in the Reserve. To this day, I stand at the Marine Corps Hymn, get tears when the flag goes by, and have the respect of numerous fellow veterans where I work.

I am an automotive instructor for Universal Technical Institute in southern California. I get a large amount of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan thru the classes and we talk and I have had a few of them have expressed their fears and problems to me. I am proud of these men and women, they do us credit. NEVER, NEVER, feel that you are stained, Marine that is just one more honor.
Rodger Jerls


I just wanted to post today that on feb.2 2008 it will be my 40th anniversary. Forty years since I got my Discharge from the Corps. Yes, I'm still alive and mostly well. My last duty station was at Camp Lejeune NC. With the 3rd Battalion 8 th Marine's., It's still true what they say, once a Marine all ways a Marine.

You young Men and women are doing a great job and I am very proud of you for carrying the torch that we once carried. Keep up the good work. When you finally get your final papers to getting out do me a favor, Go sign up in a Marine Corps League. Help those that are still in or going to go in. The Marine Corps League need young people. It need's you ..
Jim Lowell 2/2/64 to 2/3/68


"In this business, you find the enemy, then go after and destroy him. Everything else is rubbish!"
Eddie Rickenbacker, American WWI Flying Ace


Fellow Marines,

I wish to thank you for all the supportive letters. The more I read the more tears of Pride rolled down my face. I may be a "Old Marine". But I have not cried like this in a very long time. I felt the pride I did when I took the oath to become a "MARINE."

I will remember this day, 17 January, 2008, for the rest of my life. I got my parade today. My heart is full of Pride. I just hope and Pray some of the other Marines of that time see these wonderful words sent to me.

I carry my Torch of Life, as a Marine, with all the Pride any God Fearing man can. Of course, if I were ask to go and fight. I would print these responses and take them with me. This is to remind me that I would fight till death for your kindness you showed me. May our Savior Bless all persons of Honor and Pride, Past, Present, and Future Warriors. I will pray for all, and Love all, as it is commanded by Our Father.

Again, thank you from the "Pride filled Cry Baby Marine." These tears I have shed have washed away my pain and anguish I have carried for years. Thank You all so very Much.

Bob Ash
US Marines, Medically Retired
Cpl, III MAF "C" Company


Sgt. Grit:
First, I would like to thank MSgt McNeir for his kind comments regarding Corpsmen. I look back on my days as an FMF Corpsman as the most honorable times of my life. On to Midway...

Several years ago, my young son was attending a Catholic High School and was given an assignment by his history teacher to interview a WWII veteran. He immediately thought of his grandfather, retired CWO4 Thomas J. Eley, himself something of a Marine Corps legend, and this is the story he told him...I cannot guarantee the total veracity of this story, but it's just too good not to be true.

Gunner Eley (then a Sgt) was stationed on Midway Island as part of the Marine garrison, and after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor there was a very real concern that an invasion of Midway was imminent. The feeling was that the Japanese would want the island as soon as possible and with the airstrip intact so they could launch bombing attacks against Hawaii and even the West Coast of the US. Sgt Eley and two others were ordered by the commanding officer to develop a beach defense system that would effectively repel massive numbers of landing craft.

Unfortunately, all they had in the way of explosives were large supplies of dynamite sticks left over from the landing strip construction. If you've ever seen Midway Island, it's an atoll, which means at high tide the very broad expanse of beach completely disappears underwater. Burying dynamite sticks would be effective only until the tide came in and soaked them. How could they keep them dry? Now comes the interesting part...One of the Marines--Dad Eley wouldn't say which of them--reached into his wallet and pulled out his emergency prophylactic (Dad Eley called it a "condumrubber,"--all one word), dropped the stick of dynamite into it, and tied it off the top.

Now they had a way of protecting the buried dynamite sticks. They could run them together in "daisy chains" with complete confidence that the dynamite would remain completely dry and therefore effective. The commanding officer approved the plan, but the problem became immediately evident: where could they possibly get the many thousands of prophylactics they would need to protect the island? The answer: They sent in a good old Navy requisition form for five thousand prophylactics--which was, of course, instantly rejected. Well, it just so happened that CinCPacFleet thought that the defense of Midway was crucial to the Pacific War effort, and had advised the commanding officer of the Marine garrison that if he had any problems getting supplies or equipment, he was to let him know personally. Therefore, Sgt Eley sent an open radio transmission to the Admiral's office requesting 5000 condoms for Midway Island. Within thirty minutes, every Naval vessel within radio range had intercepted the message and had immediately requested liberty call at Midway!

Gunner Eley is now guarding the streets of Heaven, along with his fellow heroes. It is a tragedy that more stories like this were not told and recorded. He went on to serve with the 4th Marine Division and talked a lot about the shenanigans they pulled while in garrison on Maui, but he never spoke about where he went after that. It was not until I recently visited the 4th Marine Division Memorial on Maui that I saw all the history he never wanted to discuss--Iwo Jima...Saipan...Names that are now part of Marine Corps History. Let's preserve what these heroes have to tell us about those times--the "Old Corps." Their lessons are irreplaceable. And by the way, my son got an "A."

Doc Thompkins, HMC
RVN 68-69


"Your job is to point that rifle into the other guy's face and shoot him dead."
General Matthew Ridgeway, instructions to his troops, Korean War, 1950

30% Off Sale

30 special These great prices won't be around for long, so be sure to check out our latest sale on things like our Eagle Globe and Anchor Antenna Topper, OD Green Brief Bag, Crossed Swords Decal and more...

View All Items on Sale


Sgt Grit,
First, thanks for the newsletter. It is always a breath of fresh air to read about other Marines and their experiences.

I just wanted to also share some of my Marine Corps Christmas songs that we used to go through.

To the tune of Jingle Bells:
Jingle bells, shotgun shells, Charlie's on the way, Oh what fun it is to hunt the VC as they play..AY, Jingle Bells, ambush yells, more fun than Hollywood & Vine, Charlie better not go to sleep tonight 'cause your *ss will end up mine!
(verse)
Running through the bush, with my M-16 in hand, setting Claymore mines, by the sergeants plan (ho-ho-ho), Here comes the VC, thinking they're OK, We fire our mines and open up and blow them all away, OOOHHH... (repeat chorus)

To the tune of Oh Tanebaum:
We like it here, we like it here,
You're f%@*ing A we like it here.
We shine our boots, we shine our brass,
just to kiss the Gunny's *ss.
We may all be dying of malaria,
We still police the area.
We like it here, we like it here,
You're f@%*ing A we like it here.

Just thought someone might like to have some real carols to sing around the neighborhood next year!
Semper Fi,
Bob Tollison
SSgt USMCR


"The US Marine is a professional who stands ready to fight anytime, anywhere, any enemy that the President and Congress may designate and to do so coolly, capably, and in the spirit of professional detachment. He is not trained to hate, nor is he whipped up emotionally for battle or for any other duty the Corps may be called on to perform. Patriotism and professionalism are his only two 'isms.'"
Col Robert D. Heinl, Jr. USMC, 1970


I was on a photo assignment for NBCTV in So. Carolina in 1997. I had a day off and had always wanted to visit Parris Island. The first thing I noticed after I entered the base was that many Marines, men and women, were walking with crutches, arms in slings, etc. I thought at first that the hospital was granted liberty. I stopped at the tourist information office and asked what happened to all those Marines. The polite corporal on duty said that yesterday was graduation day and they all completed the Crucible. Wow!

The Crucible I advanced to the PX where I picked out a few items including a coffee mug, hat, T-shirt, and a video tape of the Crucible. When I went to pay, the clerk asked for an I.D. I showed her my California drivers license and she said, "I need your military I.D. card". I told her that I was a civilian and had served in the Marines from 1955-59. She said I couldn't purchase anything without a military I.D. card. I responded by asking, "What happened to "Once a Marine Always A Marine?". She reluctantly took my money.

Semper Fi,

Gary Null, Sgt. E4, 1955-1959
Honor Platoon, 145 MCRD


This is to the Marine who wrote that he never got the chance to fight in Viet-Nam, and so does not know exactly how to "act" on Veterans Day, or at the parades, etc., etc., even though he "qualifies" as a "Viet- Nam Era Veteran". As a Marine vet, '68-71, '72-75, I will say to you.....

Stand Proud, Marine! Just because your MOS wasn't needed at that particular moment in time does not negate the FACT that you stepped up to the line, voluntarily enlisted to serve your country, and were fully ready to go WHEREVER your country sent you.....at a time in American history when so many other's ran the other way. Hey, man....I have never written to any publication in my life....but your letter "touched" me in a certain way. You need to participate in ALL the "ceremonies" that your town puts on. You NEED to stand up for all your fellow Marines who aren't there to stand up for themselves. You volunteered, didn't you? You sacrificed your personal freedom, you stepped up and said "yeah, I believe in our country, our way of life...", you struggled through and EARNED the right to be a "United States Marine", you paid those dues, brother.... and NO ONE can deny you that!

You bought, and paid for, the right to wear the greatest uniform in the free world. And that's all any Marine can ask of another Marine. Maybe you didn't make the fight....but you were right behind me if I fell, and that counts, man....that counts. How many out there didn't have the balls to step up? How many of them doubted our government? H&ll, man....ALL of us didn't fully understand, or agree with, what was going on back then.....but we stepped up to the line at a time when "stepping up" was mostly "unpopular"....the wrong thing to do. But our belief in America was stronger than our "urge" to fit in. No, man....when the 4th of July rolls around, or Veterans Day, or the "Birthday", you step up AGAIN.....and I'd be PROUD to have you stand next to me! Semper Fi J.A. Fletcher, Sr.


"In the last analysis, what the Marine Corps becomes is what we make of it during our respective watches. And that watch of each Marine is not confined to the time he spends on active duty. It lasts as long as he is "proud to bear the title of United States Marine'."
General Louis H. Wilson, 26th CMC


Sgt. Grit. I'd like to add my two cents to the list of ways to acknowledge the words of "Thanks" from the public. I believe that my son, (newly promoted) LCpl Ryan Evans, has an AWESOME response, and one that I know is truly heartfelt. Whenever he is thanked for his service his reply is ALWAYS....."A pleasure (or honor) to do it (serve)!"

When Ryan went into boot, he would NEVER have had the courage to reply to a compliment, he'd have blushed, and mumbled a reply, but never would he have said anything like he does now with such conviction! Yes, he still gets a bit embarrassed when someone buys his meal, drink, or whatever, but I believe that is simply the fact that it goes against everything he's always believed and that is that he pays his own way.

Now I have a question for other parents who have been in my situation. Ryan is attached to a detail that will keep him in the states for the next several years - for which we are awesomely grateful! My problem is that, I wear a photo of Ryan on a pin, EVERYDAY, and I am always asked who it is and where he's at. When folks learn that he's stateside, they kinda "turn off". This really upsets me because even though he is stateside, he is still performing a rather risky task. So far, I have managed to keep my cool when this occurs, but I just KNOW that someday, someone's going to react in this manner when I'm not at my best and I'm going to say something that I shouldn't. I DO NOT want to embarrass my son or the Corps! Even if only I and the unfortunate person are the only ones to know about it! Any suggestions???

Thanks for you time,
Proud Marine Mom,
Lora Wells


"This country is generous, giving, compassionate and sacrificing. Many millions contribute to United Way, drive ambulances, fight fires, save lives, help the handicapped, contribute to medical research, serve in the armed forces, encourage youth, dance with the elderly and comfort the sick. If you're one of the above, you ain't what's wrong with America.

It's the cheats, plunderers, rapist, arsonist, muggers, drug dealers, pornographers, etc. who keep us from attaining a more perfect union."

United Technologies advertisement in 1990's.


"We are going to have peace even if we have to fight for it."
Dwight D. Eisenhower


I recently sent a note of thoughts to you in hopes of it being published. I have not seen it yet, but, have seen other notes similar to mine. It makes me feel a little better.

I will make this short as possible. I am a Vietnam Era Vet. Era being the key word. My enlistment began on New Years of 1974, with intentions to fight in Vietnam. Coming from a broken, fractured family I had the makings of a strong man. A Marine. I knew that, not being cocky, but it was in me. We were two weeks from boot camp graduation when our Drill Instructors came into the squad bay and ordered us into the, "Classroom." They informed us that us ladies won't being going to the Nam. They PT'ed us, nonstop for a couple of hours for that.

Although, I felt physically ready for combat, mentally ready for combat, I must admit...I was a little scared. On another note, and foremost, I felt let down, and disappointed. I still feel this way. I call it a frustrated soldier. In my entire tour of duty, I did not get to exercise my knowledge in fighting.

Everyone knows I am, a Marine. Even if I am not labeled by a hat or a shirt, etc., people ask me if I was in the service. I reply, "Yes," the Marine Corps. Their reply is, "That explains it!" I am told I have a military aura about me. They ask when I served. When I tell them, during the Vietnam war, still, it becomes solemn, and the conversation ends. This is slowly diminishing as Vets today get respect. I feel lesser than my brothers and sisters, as I did not see combat. It still, truly, annoys the h&ll out of me. So, when asked if I was in the military I will reply yes, but during the Vietnam era. The combat vets I talk to, get the ultimate of respect from me when I speak to them of this. Not one, has thought of or said that I am a lesser Marine. I respect that. Still it haunts me, everyday.

I have a friend, former Army Ranger. Nice guy, combat vet, former city police retired. I have spoke with him often of this. Always, he says I have a massive amount of integrity. It is because I am a Marine. I would fight today if I could, in a heartbeat. Thank You, my brothers and sisters!

S/SGT Vick, T.R 1974-1978 active


My son is a new Marine as Dec. 21, 2007. He has a 2 yr old son that lives with me, he has been my motivation to get through life without my son. When we were at Family Day on Parris Island, they played "Bumper of my S.U.V. by Chely Wright. He fell in love with this song since he associates it with his daddy being a Marine.

He calls it his Marine song. He sings it daily and for a 2yr old to know every word of this song and sing along is priceless! This is a great song, if you haven't heard it you must!

Much gratitude for the men and women of the U.S Military.
Dana McMahan


This is a letter I received from my girlfriend. I cannot say how proud of her I am. She has been through H&ll. With me as a Lt. Recon Marine never knowing if or when I'm coming home, but she still waits and prays for me and all my fellow Marines. She is a PFC in my book. Thanks,
Lt. J Waugh 1st Batt. 9th Marine
The Walking Dead OOO RAHHHHH

a military girlfriend DEAR JOE,

I found myself lost in thoughts of you.... So I will put my feelings into words "I am a Military Girlfriend"

I am a military girlfriend. I hold no formal recognition with the powers that be. I am at the bottom of the chain. I hold no military ID card; I am not a dependant or a parent. The man I love may face unspeakable dangers and I am at the mercy of those who possess this recognition for news. I understand and accept this.

I am a military girlfriend. I have promised to be here for him upon his return, no matter how long he is away. They may say I am insane for making such a commitment, but I hold onto our promises and have faith that he will come home safe. I know well that my love for him fuels him in the worst of times.

I am a military girlfriend. There is no ring on my finger to symbolize our commitment, though I love him no less for it. I hope every day that he will be able to call because a simple 30 second phone call can bring the greatest spectrum of emotions, smiling with tears in my eyes from so much joy and pain. My relationship is based on a brief communication where I love you and I'm okay speaks more than volumes and gives me the strength to keep going.

I am a military girlfriend. I take no moment spent together for granted. I hold onto every touch, caress, kiss, every word. I have memorized the feel of his skin, his smell, the sound of his voice, and I play it over and over in my mind so that I will not forget. I cry myself to sleep some nights because missing him Marine Blessings Ring Necklace hurts so badly, but wake up the next morning, brush myself off, and start a new day. Joe, please contact me.. for I am a MILITARY GIRLFRIEND.....

Never More than a Thought Away....
I J L Y


"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."
Soren Kierkegaard


Dear Sgt. Grit.
I guess I'm now one of the Old Corps, serving In the early 50s and the pride of being a Marine only gets more and more as the years go by.

I now live In Delaware and have U.S.M.C. Items all over my SUV and proud of It. One day at the post office standing In line a guy behind me ask, Who belongs to that parade float out side, and needless to say I was wearing my U.S.M.C.red jacket with a large 12" or so Eagle, Glob & Anchor patch on the back of It & my red ball cap with U.S.M.C. Also on It he knew very well who he was talking to. Now as always the hand shake and the Semper Fi.and most of all the Pride glowing that could light up a very bright room!

I was pulling Into a parking lot for the ACE hardware store and I saw In front of me this older couple putting or taking something out of the rear of this station wagon In the space In front of me. I spotted a U.S.M.C. Sticker on the back of their auto, as I got out of my " Parade Float " I walked over to see If I could help this fine older couple and as the older man turned I spotted the ball cap with Iwo Jima Vet on It. Well when he saw me with my U.S.M.C. Ball cap he lit up and stood up right and a smile on his face from ear to ear. We shook hands and the Semper If and his wife said to me " You guys are all alike " with a smile on her sweet old face, we I know It made my day and week and as I write this I still have a smile on this old puss! I just hope It did for him what It did for me!

My wife and I were In a Wal Mart this passed Sept. and a woman stopped us and ask If I was a Marine ( I had my black ball cap with U.S.M.C. On ) and I said yes. Then she told us that her son was In boot camp at Parris Island S.C. And that his graduation would be In Nov. And that her and her Husband and Daughter would be going down for the big event. Well after that we met this same woman and her Daughter In Wal-Mart again about two weeks later and she said that they were still going and I gave her our e-mail add. And she did the same and we gave her your e-mail add. And told her to check it out? Well Nov came and went and we didn't hear from her, then about three weeks ago I was pulling In to get some gas and behind me I see this van with a tag on It front bumper ( Marine Mom ) and who pops out this same woman , She saw me on the road ( With my Parade float ) and followed me Into the gas station! And told me all about the Graduation and how proud she and her family were, Her son would be home In a couple of weeks and she would like Me and my wife to meet her family and the new Marine. This past week she called to invite us over to her sister home to meet everyone, and we told her thank you very much buy my wife just had come home from the hospital and we are very sorry that we could not make It at this time but to please keep us In mind for the next time he Is home that we would be more than horned to meet all.

From Tunn tavern In PA. Nov.10,1775 too today the pride that has been passed along keep rolling along!

Thank you Sgt. Grit and a very Happy New Year to all the Marine family's and all who have served.
Hank De, Old Corps!


Dear Sgt. Grit,
There is very little I can think to say to Ms. Stevens, Mother of Sgt. Jonathan Stevens, whose article appeared in your last newsletter, that could adequately express my feelings. She is a woman of fortitude and strength and someone to be admired and emulated, as I believe her son must have been as well. I am the mother of a young Marine and I can only hope and pray that I have the courage she so beautifully sustains.

God bless you, Ms. Stevens, and God bless your boy in heaven.

M. Hall
Marine Mom


"It is a greater honor to be right than to be president-or popular, for statesmanship consists rather in removing causes than in punishing or evading results-thus, it is the rarest of qualities."
James Garfield


Dear Sgt. Grit, Sorry for sending an E-Mail directly to you, but I could not figure out how to get this into the next newsletter, or others to come, but I was just reading the last one (20080110), and I picked up on a letter by a Bob Ash. he seemed really down about himself for serving overseas. He was asking how to wash away the memories of him getting spit on from coming back from overseas (im guessing it was vietnam, because he talked about being called a "baby killer").

Well, as an enlisted Marine, I would just like to like Mr. Ash know that my father was a veteran of vietnam, and he talks little about it but i think i have an idea of what he had gone through when he had come home. and that if Mr. Ash, as well as former Marines who had served in that time era, that our present Marines hold the utmost respect for them, and that not knowing exactly what they had gone through, but only an idea of it, Marines are one of a kind. such things as being spit on, after coming home from a distant country, those people are not his brothers. we are. us Marines, we stick together. so to Mr. Ash, i would like to tell him that the ones who appreciate what they had gone through over there, probably were not there at the scene where this had happened, because they probably did not want to get arrested for beating the crap out of the people doing such things. but there are people out there who respect everything Mr. Ash and others in the past have done for this country and we will prevail.

as to washing away the spit off of his soul, i want to let him know he shouldn't have to lower himself to their level. if he knows he did right, then that is all that matters, and i hope he can read this and maybe this letter will make him feel slightly better.

Semper Fidelis,
PFC. Gilday USMCR MASS-6


"To judge from the history of mankind, we shall be compelled to conclude that... to model our political systems upon speculations of lasting tranquility would be to calculate on the weaker springs of human character."
Alexander Hamilton


Mr. Ash, you asked how to wipe the stain of spit of Vietnam war protesters from your soul. There is no stain, only a painful memory. I am the mother of a Marine and I was a Marine, but I am also from the tail end of that generation that protested that war. I can remember as a young girl watching the protests on the TV and seeing all the vile things that were said and done to our returning combat vets from all branches of our military. I was young and didn't understand all of what the war was about, but I do remember feeling ashamed of my generation. I remember thinking to myself, how could they have gotten it so mixed up? How could they be blaming our military for what our politicians had mishandled? I saw a long haired young man spit on the uniform of a returning Marine and I cried in shame. I have never forgotten that day as it is burned in my memory as if it were yesterday. The look on that young Marines face will haunt me until the end of my days and still brings tears to my eyes.

I want you to know that for every one of those morons that spoke a vile word to you or spit on you there were 5 like me who were ashamed of them. There were those of us who know what you and your families sacrificed in the name of freedom. We know many of you did not volunteer to go, but went anyway. We know you left loving families and dreams behind. We know you were scared but proud. We know you saw and experienced things that most of us will only see in our worst nightmares. We know you left young and hopeful and came home aged beyond your years and disillusioned. We know you were betrayed by many in our government and many of your own countrymen. And we know too many of you didn't come home at all.

But please know this, those people did not speak for me or the many others like me. To us, you were the true heroes of that time. You were our guiding light into our future and the generations that came after us. You were loved and respected for your sacrifice and bravery in spite of your fear. We knew then as we still know now, if not for all of you we would not be free. So please remember us as we remember you. We have always been here and have always loved and appreciated you. So let our pride and love for you bleach that stain from your soul and replace it with the memories of your fellow American from long ago who never forgot and has admired you to this day. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for protecting us and standing tall when all seemed against you. You were and are never alone.

Semper Fi
Joyce Rogers


"The question of what kind of President each candidate would make is infinitely more important than all the 'horse race' handicapping that dominates the media."
Thomas Sowell


"Freedom was given to humanity by God. But, governments, if they can help it, never give freedom. They just hand out slavery with slogans."
Taylor Caldwell


In response to Bob Ash's letter about the current treatment of Marines as opposed to when he was in. He stated how much it still hurts knowing he was spit on etc.

First of all, I would like to thank you for your service to our country. I would like to tell you WELCOME HOME! JOB WELL DONE! THANK YOU! and WE'RE PROUD of YOU FOR SERVING!

I am the proud wife and mother of Marines. I was born in 68' so I was too young to remember what went on with the treatment of our Marines and soldiers during Vietnam, etc. AND I am GLAD BECAUSE it SICKENS ME! That is why I tell every Vietnam vet I see, Welcome Home and Thank you!

Please do not let the ignorance of a few be the voice of many. I also, have seen a HUGE difference with the way our country is currently treating our troops. When my husband served during desert shield/desert storm, the entire country hung flags and yellow ribbons, wrote songs as a tribute and even Hollywood came together in support of our military. Now, I see protests with sick people burning our flag that you all have fought and died for and adults with children holding signs on street corners that say "God Loves a dead soldier".

These people are SICK and USELESS! They would never be brave enough to stand by their convictions by joining our military to defend those rights. They need to utilize their freedom to LEAVE the country they so vehemently disrespect!

To sum it all up, Bob, you and the rest of our brave men and women who fought during a war so many ignorant people protested......THANK YOU!

May God bless you and hold you close to his heart... Home of the Free Because of the Brave We are the Land of the Free Because of the Brave! (Great bumper sticker, Sgt. Grit).

Respectfully,

Kelly S. (PROUD Wife and Mother of a MARINE)


"During the course of administration, and in order to disturb it, the artillery of the press has been leveled against us, charged with whatsoever its licentiousness could devise or dare."
Thomas Jefferson


Sgt. Grit:

I hope that you will allow this letter to appear in your newsletter.

I have had the privilege and honor of sending letters and packages to our deployed troops with MALS-29, including Maj. Burns, Maj. Hess, and Lt Col Wright over 2007. Last night, I went to MotoMail to send off letters and found that mail would be returned, as they may be heading home.

This afternoon, I received a package in the mail and saw that it was from Maj. Burns with MALS-29. I couldn't imagine what they could possibly send me, so I carefully opened it. Inside, there was a file folder with a letter, certificate and a flag. They had flown the flag on the anniversary of 911 in my name and then sent the flag to me. I had to sit down ... the flag, letter and certificate made me cry, but not tears of sadness. This flag is one of the most precious gifts I have ever received and I will treasure it always. Thank you so very, very much!

I have considered all of our deployed troops as my own. I have been and will continue to be as proud of each of them, as I am my own son, who is also a Marine. They will always be in my thoughts and will be forever appreciated for all they have done.

I have no way to thank Maj. Burns, Lt Col Wright and all those with MALS-29. My only hope is that you will allow this letter and maybe one of them will see it and know that appreciate their wonderful gift more than I could possibly put into words.

Thank you, Sgt. Grit and thank you to all of our troops at home and those deployed.

Sincerely,

Nola Beckum
Proud Marine Mom


Here's a story your readers may enjoy. I am a Marine. I served from 1971 to 1973. Now I know many of your readers wont understand this next statement but...I served my two years and yes I was proud but that was it. No more Marine stuff. A little back and forth with my buddy I served with esp. on the Marine birthday but that was about it, until two years ago when my youngest of three sons came home one day and said, I joined the Marines today. Well I was a little surprised since this was my son that was headed down the wrong road in high school and nothing we could do would make a difference. I knew though that now he would be a better man and one of the best, a US Marine.

Since that day I broke out my old Marine things, ordered stuff from your catalog and never go anywhere without some sort of Marine emblem on my clothing. It has changed my life more than me being a Marine. I am like the rest of your readers, one of the proudest Dads in the land. My son has done one tour and since been discharged so he can attend college, with a full scholarship and then rejoin the Marines as an officer.

So all my family and friends think it is funny that I haven't really been to gung ho or Marine this or that until my son joined and then its like I am the most ardent Marine around. Maybe others of you out there know what I mean. For me it was something I had to do, draft number 32, but when one of your sons joins its a whole new world of proudness. So ooh rah to all of you out there and thanks to all Marines past and present. Keep up the good work and the traditions.

L/CPL Dennis Bischoff 71,73
Proud father of CPL Jason Bischoff soon to be officer Bischoff.
I told him I still didn't have to salute him......


"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies."
Groucho Marx


I bring this story to our / your attention. I have heard about it since early December and it has been shared among my buddies.

Semper Fi, Bill '65-68 More than a PVT, almost a General

Man who keyed car gets day in court; so do Marines - by John Kass - January 20, 2008 - Jay Grodner, the Chicago lawyer who keyed a Marine's car in anger because the car had military plates and a Marine insignia, finally got his day in court last week.

Grodner pleaded guilty in a Chicago courtroom packed with former Marines. Some had Marine pins on their coats, or baseball jackets with the Marine insignia. They didn't yell or call him names. They came to support Marine Sgt. Michael McNulty, whose car Grodner defaced in December, but who couldn't attend because he's preparing for his second tour in Iraq.

Grodner was late to court for the second time in the case. Grodner called Assistant State's Attorney Patrick Kelly, (Marine Corps/Vietnam 1969-1972), informing Kelly that he would be late to court.

"He wanted to avoid the media," Kelly said Friday. "So he's coming a half hour late."

"I don't run my courtroom that way!" responded Judge William O'Malley, ordering Grodner be arrested and held on $20,000 bail when he arrived. Finally, Grodner strolled in. A short man, wide, wearing a black fedora, dark glasses, a divorce lawyer dressed like some tough guy in the movies.

Grodner told me he'd describe himself as a "radical" who's ready to leave Chicago now with all this negative publicity and move to the south of France and do some traveling.

Judge O'Malley has also traveled, but in his youth. He was a police officer on the West Side during the riots before law school. And before that, he performed another public service. Judge O'Malley served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1961-1964.

During the proceedings, the judge described the offense as anger rose in his voice, especially as Grodner started balking on a plea arrangement he'd made with prosecutors.

"Is this what you did? Yes or no," Judge O'Malley asked Grodner.

"Without knowing, yes," Grodner said, sticking to his I-might- have-done-it-but-didn't-really-mean-it defense.

O'Malley asked again, in a stronger voice, not that of a judge but of a cop on the street or a Marine who meant business.

"Did you KNOWINGLY CAUSE DAMAGE to this CAR?" O'Malley asked.

Grodner bowed his head, meekly, and responded in an equally meek voice: "Yes," he said.

After the admission, came the details and Grodner was lucky, getting off with a misdemeanor and no jail time, and not a felony even though he caused $2,400 in damage to Sgt. McNulty's car.

So Grodner received a $600 fine, which will go to a Marine charity, 30 hours of community service and a year of court supervision. If he doesn't pay up in a month, the judge promised to put him in jail for a year.

Judge O'Malley had something to say. He looked out into his courtroom, at all those men who'd come to support a Marine they didn't know.

"You caused damage to this young Marine sergeant's car because you were offended by his Marine Corps license plates," said Judge O'Malley.

Grodner stood there, hands behind his back. He grasped the fingers of his left hand with his right, and held it there, so they wouldn't wiggle.

"You're probably also wondering why there was a whole crowd of people here, Mr. Grodner," said Judge O'Malley.

"I don't want to wonder," said Grodner, continuing in his new meek voice, not in his tough divorce lawyer voice, but the gentle, inside voice he'd just learned.

"That's because there is a little principle that the Marine Corps has had since 1775," the judge continued. "When they fought and lost their lives so that people like you could enjoy the freedom of this country. It is a little proverb that we follow: "No Marine is left behind.

"So Sgt. McNulty couldn't be here. But other Marines showed up in his stead. Take him away," said the judge and former Marine.

They took Grodner away, he was processed, and everyone left. The lobby was dark, quiet, except for two court deputies running the metal detector. Then Grodner came through an inside door, put his fedora back on, the dark glasses, a tough guy again.

We stood outside, in the parking lot, talking for 20 minutes. He smoked, and I didn't. He explained that he wasn't anti-military and why he pleaded guilty.

"The judge, he's the guy with the black robes," Grodner said. He could have been slapped with a felony, but Sgt. McNulty's family said they wanted to put this behind them and let it go as a misdemeanor.

Grodner showed no remorse, and I asked if he'd apologize.

"Yes, I'd say, 'I'm sorry if I scratched your car.' It escalated. That's when he wanted me locked up and thrown away," said Grodner, always the victim.

Grodner tells me he plans to leave for the French Riviera and get some sun.

Sgt. McNulty will get some sun, too. In Iraq.
jskass@tribune.com
Copyright © 2008, Chicago Tribune


On Friday September 13th, 1985, I became a Marine. Boot Camp was h&ll to this young kid. But as the days wore on, I learned respect for my superiors (the DIs and the Company Lt. who all but let me drown rather than quit at the swimming pool), a sense of teamwork and an undying love of the Corps; it's history, it's decorated heroes, and it's mission. Platoon 2067 (67, the year of my birth), 2d recruit training battalion, MCRD changed so many things about me and in a good way. Our DIs; Senior Drill Instructor Staff Sergeant Mallory (Blood makes the grass grow and Marines make the blood flow, oohrah, oohrah, oohrah, AAAHHHHH), Sgt Pettit and Sgt Johnson will always be remembered.

We had two other DIs but one was shipped out and the other stepped in during second phase. I don't recall their names but do recall the love and respect felt by our platoon for the men who trained us. Kinda felt like a betrayal when the new DI stepped in. Young recruits are taught to feel that way but still follow orders. Those old Marines really gave it to us. But their tenacity was our proving ground. I said old Marines out of respect. I am 40 years old now and when I recall boot camp, I recall the senior DI (who appeared to be at least my current age) gr