Sgt. Grit, I was recently reading a story about a Marines child and the things she had picked up from her father. My son, bless his heart, has Marines for both parents. I really didn't realize how much he had paid attention to my husband and I and our discussions about how other people don't view things the way we do; until a recent trip to our home town. In town someone had painted war under stop at all the stop signs in several neighborhoods.

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I had heard him sigh several times but didn't understand why until we pulled up to about the 5th or 6th "stop war" sign. He let out another sign and said "Doesn't anyone else besides Marines understand that "stop war" means stop FREEDOM? It touched my heart to know that he has been listening and that even at 12 he understands what our kids are protecting when they fight for our country.

Cpl Julie Boulanger
USMC 1985-1989

"Victory will never be found by taking the line of least resistance."
Winston Churchill

Alex running to his dad. Dear Sgt. Grit,
I wanted to send these GREAT pictures to you. The first one is where on Feb. 25, 2008 me and my grand-son Alexzander was sitting, waiting for that very important bus to arrive with my Alex's daddy on it.

Alex had not seen his daddy for several months. My son had came home a few days before, but that was not good enough in my grandsons eyes, he wanted Daddy. As we sat, Alex kept his eyes peeled (Texas talk) for that very important Pirate Fighter Sgt. Osborn. Then I said to the little guy, "Alex there is your daddy" Alex jumped up and ran towards his daddy as Jeremy did the same and I got the very best picture I could have captured.
Both running towards each other with arms reaching for each other.

Alex and his dad. It brought tears to my eyes to see such the very best Home Coming ever. But the home coming was cut short. SIL had to return 6 weeks later. That's the second picture of a very sad day. Alex thinks his daddy is off fighting Pirates as he did for months before.

Alex called me on Mother's Day, "LaLa, my daddy is at work, fighting Pirates, and I miss him" I replied with tears in my eyes, "I know Alex, but daddy will be home soon ok." As you can see in the last photo Alex wearing one of his daddy's Boonie covers, no telling what this little guy is think, probably about fighting Pirates maybe.

One day about 3 weeks ago my daughter called and told me that on base where Alex is in daycare there was a group of Marines at the daycare wanting the little ones to send a messages to OUR TROOPS over seas. Well the Marines walked over to Alex who had paint on his face and asked him if his daddy was over seas.

Alex with his hat. Alex told them "No, my daddy is at work fighting pirates." So they asked him to say hello to him well Alex took this golden opportunity and took the mic and went on to say "Hi daddy, I love you and I want to fight pirates with you some day ok." If that isn't a future Marine...fighting pirates with daddy".

I just hope my daughter got a copy of that little speech. Well that's about it, I just wanted to share with you what this little man's life is like. Missing daddy and fighting Pirates.
Laura Leeds Very Proud Mother of 2 Marine Sgt's Semper Fi - Sgt Grit - Semper Fi

This past weekend I was honored to pin my son's gold bars on him as he accepted his commission as a 2nd LT in the Arkansas National Guard. My son served 1 year in Iraq with the Guard as an enlisted man and then went to Arkansas State U through ROTC and got his commission.

One of the highlights of the commissioning ceremony for me was running into a MGYSGT going into the building in his dress blues. We exchanged "Semper Fi's" and walked in. Turns out his daughter was also getting her commission and he received her first salute (and the silver dollar). I'm proud of my son and his service and proud of all the young men and women who received their commissions that day but I have to say seeing that retired Marine on stage in his dress blues really made the day for me! Even my wife (we were married long after I got out so she doesn't understand the "Marine" thing) commented on him and how much sharper his uniform looked.

We talked after the ceremony and exchanged memories of some of the same units etc and I ran into him at the hotel the next morning.

I'm sorry I didn't note his name but I know he retired to Pensacola. I just hope he reads this newsletter so I can tell him that meeting him and seeing him receive his daughter's first salute in his blues was almost as much of a thrill for me as pinning my son's bars was.

Semper Fi!
Ben Allen
Former SGT of Marines.

"In war trivial causes produce momentous events."
Julius Caesar

Sgt Grit, As an old Marine I was "volunteered" to escort my Mother, Cpl Annette (Schubert) Howards, USMCWR on a pilgrimage to the Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico to fulfill a part of both of our bucket lists. Responding to a request posted in Sgt Grit's newsletter, we coordinated a side trip to the Marine Barracks at 8th and I to donate various squadron memorabilia that my Mother had been holding on to for the last 64 years. Mother and Father both served in Air Base Group-Two (ABG-2) at MCAS El Toro and NAS North Island during the WWII. While at the Barracks we had the unbelievable opportunity to meet and greet the "13th Chesty of the Marine Corps" who was being taken though his paces by his trainer! What a treat for one old and one older Marine! Of course, neither the side trip nor the meeting with Chesty could have happened without the assistance of Cpl Aaron Clark from the Marine Barracks PAO office who graciously took us under his wing, gave us VIP treatment, and even politely smiled at our old sea stories all morning long.

Semper Fi Cpl Clark, and Semper Fi Chesty, where ever you are!
Jeff Howards
Sgt 73-77

"There's no such thing as a crowded battlefield. Battlefields are lonely places."
General Alfred M. Gray

Picture of Alice's Marines Just thought I would send this picture of MY MARINES. It was created by a friend of ours - the final version will be a Christmas gift to each of our families.

The top left is Posey S. Stanley - an ordinance specialist at Quantico; while doing a training demonstration blasting caps exploded in his hand. He lost some use of his hand and shrapnel was still left in his face; as a side bar - the first thing he said when they got to him was 'make sure the other guy demonstrating knows about the caps'.

Posey was in the Army first and then went into the Marines; he was in the 3rd wave on Guadalcanal. We figure he served about 13 years maybe a couple more;

Top right is Lawrence E Winston Sr "HOP" - also served in WWII as a clerk; Middle left is Graham E. Winston - served in heavy equipment at 29 Palms and as a DI at Lejeune, retired in 2002 Bottom is Lawrence E Winston Jr - served in supply during Viet Nam era until 1963.

Three generations; Posey is the uncle; LEW Sr is father; LEW Jr. and GEW are sons. Posey and Hop have passed

Alice Winston

"One of the greatest favors that can be bestowed on the American people is economy in government."
President Calvin Coolidge

PFC. Joshua J. Garcia, kneeling, then left to right. SSgt. Humphries, SSgt. Hendrixson, and Sgt. Milbourne Dear Sgt. Grit,
Here is a picture of my young Marine and the Gentlemen that changed the course of our lives forever, for the best I must say. They are my son PFC. Joshua J. Garcia, currently stationed at Camp Pendleton, Ca., kneeling, then left to right. SSgt. Humphries, SSgt. Hendrixson, and Sgt. Milbourne.

These are the gentlemen that saved my son from throwing his life away and gave him some idea of a direction to head in. I will be forever and eternally thankful to them for this. Proud Marine mom......Jessie


I have two stories to tell...

The first is short. At the end of April, my friend and I borrowed my dad's truck (the back of which is covered in his yellow Marine bumper stickers) and went down to Durango, Colorado for another friend's graduation. Just before we headed home, we stopped at a gas station for some drinks for the road.

A man on a bicycle stopped us on the way out and asked if I was a Marine. I said no, but my dad is. He asked me to thank my father for his service. That man made my day.

My second tidbit isn't really a story, but I feel it needs to be said even though I've said it before. When I was 10, my mom walked out and left my dad with a 20-year-old, two teenagers, and myself to look after. It's a good thing he's a Marine, because if he hadn't had that training he probably would have gone nuts within the first year or so. But instead he got through it with flying colors and taught us everything we need to know. Even now he continues to be our father, our mother, a teacher, a storyteller, a guide, and more. But although he has been many things in his lifetime, above all he has been something so much more important to me: a friend. I love you, Akabu, and I'm proud to say you're my father. (Happy Mother's Day, a little late!)

Semper Fi,
Kate Coffman
Daughter of Philip J. "Sgt. Akabu" Coffman

"Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm."
James Madison

Sgt. Grit,

My son will very soon be getting out of the Marine Corps. I have been a fan of the Newsletter since he enlisted. Although he is getting out, I will continue to read the newsletter because it brings me laughter, sometimes tears, but most of all encouragement! keep up the good work!

Debbie Hope
Proud mom of a US Marine!

My wife and I spent the Mothers Day weekend with our daughter and Iraq veteran son in law. He's army but still a good son in law. On our way home we were on I-94 just passing through Minneapolis. A black BMW passed by on our right. The driver was honking his horn, giving us a "thumbs up" and waving with a big smile on his face. We wondered why? Then as he inched ahead we saw his license plate; Minnesota USNA 75 and a Marine Corps sticker in the middle of the plate. Then we knew he had seen our Wisconsin vet plate with our USMC sticker. My wife waved back and just looked at me while her face lit up and said "quite a brotherhood isn't it?" Amen!
Harv Simmons
CPL USMC 1953-55

"When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion."
Ethiopian proverb

Sgt Grit:

Marines will understand the following without my saying so. This, rather, is directed to politicians who are bent on screwing with the Military and the Military's exemplary conduct of the War on Terrorism.

"Action without intelligence is ignorance". But, Intelligence without appropriate action is the highest form of stupidity known to man"

JJ, 9551790, 49-61

Please do not forget our Brave Marines who serve in other duty stations abroad and at home, although not directly in harms way, their duty is equally important... they are loved and missed by Proud American and Patriotic families....brothers sisters mothers fathers aunts uncles grandparents....and friends....

"In critical and baffling situations, it is always best to return to first principle and simple action."
Winston Churchill

Sgt Grit:

Flagstaff, Arizona has shown its in "lock-step with Berkeley, California", by moving all of the Armed Forces recruiters to the back of the Flagstaff Mall, near the shipping docks and Dumpsters, facing the railroad tracks, without any regards that there's no access from the public unless you go on a field trip to find them.

I'm a former Drill Instructor following my return from Korea with 3/5 of the First Marine Division in the 50's, and resent the move, and the disrespect of the Northern Arizona University toward Military Recruiters in General.

I was asked to attend a flagstaff Board of directors meeting two years ago, along with my wife, who is Navajo. I sat, listening to a woman Professor from NAU extolling the virtues of her family, who she proclaimed were "settlers" here, and she didn't like Recruiters coming on the Campus of NAU.

Respectfully, I listened to her diatribe, and then requested permission to address her vitriol, and explained that in all of my 73 years, "Recruiters offered a career for many of us who regarded the Military as a noble profession, and we were there of our free will to provide a service that gave her the freedom to spew her dislike for the Military! In my ten years of service, I served with the finest and I resented her remarks! I further pointed out that the woman beside me, my Navajo wife, "once thought they were settlers here as well" until her people came and violated their Liberties.

I attempted to get the Arizona Daily sun to remark as to the move of the Recruiters, but they too are in Lock Step with the views of NAU and those who pay for their advertising.

I hate the direction this country is going in, and I'm ready to lock and load when called upon!

Semper Fi!
Richard A. Stauffer
Drill Instructor 57-59, Sea School Instructor 59-60.

"Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of the men who follow and the man who leads that gains the victory."
General George Patton

Boy stands up for Old Glory

A very good article to post, in my opinion.
Gerard Torres

"I want the people of America to be able to work less for the government and more for themselves. I want them to have the rewards of their own industry-this is the chief meaning of freedom. Until we can reestablish a condition under which the earnings of the people can be kept by the people, we are bound to suffer a very severe and distinct curtailment of liberty."
President Calvin Coolidge

Alex Dear Sgt. Grit,
My son just graduated from 3rd Battalion, Mike company two weeks ago at Parris Island, SC. He got 10 days of leave and is now returning to Jacksonville, NC for SOI. he is programmed to ship out to Afghanistan after that. Please have all your readers know how proud we are for his service to his country and to keep him in their prayers. God bless the US Marine Corps!


I am sure some of you know of our world famous Boilermaker footrace held every year in Utica NY. Last year the local detachment of the Marine Corps League sponsored me to run this 15k race to honor our troops. I proudly wore a shirt embroidered with "for the troops" across the top and below that the emblems from all the branches of the service with the MCL emblem in the middle.

I was unable to place very well and had to walk most of it because of an unforeseen knee surgery that took place just three and a half weeks before the race, but I carried the Marine Corps flag the entire 9.3 miles and at least was able to finish. Not bad for an old Jarhead who just had knee surgery if I say so myself.

Anyway this year my physical condition has gone from bad to worse and due to major issues with my lower back I am no longer able to run or even walk for that distance. I use a cane to get around short distances and for the most part I use a wheelchair for things such as shopping etc. So in true Marine fashion I have entered myself in the wheelchair division of the Boilermaker race this year.

The committee was on the wire as to whether or not they would allow me to do so since I would be the first entrant ever to "run" in that division who is not confined to a wheelchair, but after hearing my story they voted unanimously to allow me my shot at.

Now here is where it gets really good. If I complete the course in less than 2 hours and 15 minutes (and I am sure that I can) I will receive a free racing wheelchair valued at over $2500.00!

This will put me in a position to start a whole new athletic career in wheelchair racing thus taking what otherwise would have been a very negative situation and making it into a very positive one for this ole' Marine who is otherwise considered to be disabled.

So here is where all of you come in. I am asking as many of you as possible to be there on July the 13th. Not just for me, but to support my mission. I won't be hard to spot. I will be the only wheelchair with the Marine Corps flag flying in the wind behind me and the back of the chair plastered with stickers from all the branches of the different services. Oh yes and one other thing; my helmet will be quite different from the other racers.

Instead of the traditional cyclist helmet I will be wearing a Kevlar combat helmet with some rather interesting airbrush work on it.

Look it up on Hope to see you all there.

Andy Purchase
USMC Disabled/Retired

"He conquers who endures."
Roman poet Perius

Dear Sgt. Grit,

I wrote this last week, thinking of mother's day and having one of my children in a strange and faraway land. I had a delivery person come in and ask me who was in the picture on my counter, when I said my son, he asked where he was, when I said Iraq, he said (I kid you not), "That's no place to be, that's not good.

We shouldn't even be there." I then said to him, "Well, HE thinks it is and THAT'S what counts." The guy stayed in my lobby waiting for a ride for another 20 minutes and never said one more word. I just began seething. THIS is what became of my anger. To all the Sgt. Grit readers, please feel free to pass it around to anyone you think might need to read it. It is my creation, I can only hope someone who is feeling like I was that day can gain some strength from the words. Anyone who wishes to use it or pass it on, is more than welcome to.

I am a Marine's Mom

I proudly display my son's picture for all to see it is on the counter where I work, it is the most conspicuous on the wall at home.

I am the woman you see in line at the store who has an American Flag pin, a "My Son is a Marine pin", and a red, white & blue ribbon with the blue service star in the middle.

I am the person driving the car that is in front of you with the magnets that say "Support Our Troops", Proud Parent of a Marine, and a blue service star, a yellow ribbon attached to the top of my antenna.

I am the one with the grocery cart full of cereal bars, beef jerky, flavorings and additives for water, Twizzlers, Jolly Ranchers, and Skittles so my son and his fellow Marine brothers can have a little piece of home while in a strange and far away country.

I am the person you see carrying boxes to the Post Office so my son and his fellow Marine brothers know there are people in the states that support them.

I am the one you see with tears in my eyes whenever "The Star Spangled Banner" is played or sung before a ball game.

I am the one that has tears in my eyes when the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag is said.

When you see my son's picture when you come into my place of business and ask me who it is and where he is, please understand, this is MY SON.

Please do not tell me we shouldn't be there. We are Please do not tell me the latest injury reports, the casualties, bombings and shootings. I know this, it is always in the back of my mind Please do not tell me the war is because of the President. This is my son's boss. I will not speak ill of him for whatever reason Please do not say that's no place to be, my son is there, he's serving our country, he would rather be home safe with his family, but he has a duty Please do not say "I'm sorry", I'M NOT, my son volunteered to protect his country. You should say, "You must be very proud of him."

Please do not tell me you know how I feel, unless you are a military parent, spouse, child, or fiancée, you have NO clue what I feel Please just tell me "Your son is in my prayers." There can never be enough prayers going up for our military or my son or me

I am the Mother of a Marine, this is my daily routine

Mentally calculating the time difference half way around the world. Accepting that my son is now MY protector Reaching across the ocean with my love, hoping my son feels the extra boost In the dead of night, waking up and saying a prayer for his safety and peace of mind Never letting my son see the tears in my eyes or hear the catch in my voice whenever he leaves home or ends a phone call Enduring those moments when I am not as strong as I think I should be

Making it through each day by the grace of God Opting to work extra hours or volunteer more than I used to trying to keep my mind occupied Trying to smile even when I haven't heard from my son for days or weeks on end Holding onto the Marine Corps motto of "Semper Fi", hoping I can keep the faith Every second of every minute of every hour of every day, praying God is with my son and will bring him home to me safely Rejoicing and shouting so all my coworkers know it is my son who is on the telephone.

written by Rhonda Elliott - 05/09/08
PROUD Marine Mom
LCpl Kristopher Hill USMC-deployed

"War is a series of catastrophes which result in victory."
Georges Clemenceau

Dear Sgt. Grit:

In March, I took a trip up to Castine Maine to help install and refurbish some metallographic equipment my company donated to the Maine Maritime Academy. During the course of my visit, I met several "Marine Options" from the Naval ROTC unit. One outstanding example is the outgoing Regimental Operations Officer, Matt Munroe. Matt studied Marine Systems Engineering, has stellar grades, leadership, and organizational skills. He opted to graduate a year early, and take his place among an upcoming Basic School Class who will no doubt assigned to Southwest Asia sometime in late 2008.

Matt represents the best in what I lately refer to as a "greater generation". He's among that rare breed who have no need to volunteer but who do so anyway. It was an odd feeling to feel tears welling up thinking about what he'll face on active duty, but I tried not to let it show. I told him: "OK, buddy, keep your head and your a__ down, stay off the skyline, and remember get the job done and keep the Mickeymouse to a minimum."

So if you meet this young gentleman, even though he's a newbie, cut him some slack; he's good people.

well we had our annual memorial day parade and there were two floats reserved for veterans of the Iraq war. keep in mind this was heavily advertised for all branches to come forward and participate. well guess what?? both floats were packed full of MARINES and only MARINES. big surprise! I think not. GOD BLESS the RED and GOLD.

"War is fear cloaked in courage."
General William Westmoreland

My brother Robert H Pettibone. Korea Veteran. passed away May 10. 2008. Our Father was a Marine in WW 1 and me, a sister and daughter was one of the first Women Marines in WW 2.

Signed Betty Jane Coe Mahuta

Sgt Grit

I was in the Corps from 67-thru 71 3rd. Marine Division and there still my fondest memories, and still to this day I still wear my USMC sweat shirts, T-shirts and my Bull dog with US Flag Tattoo with pride every day and I'm also a member of the Marine Riders motorcycle club. Even at my age I still feel young (60).

But I'm even prouder of my daughter (Sgt. Carrie Schouten medically retired) she told me years ago anything you can do dad, I can do and joined the Marines, she did three tours in Kuwait as a Field MP.

Not as Lean Still a Marine By the way my Dress Greens are still hanging in my garage (in plastic) I cant wear then I was 133lbs then and now 220 lbs but the pride lives on, and the flag waves in my front yard.

Like my license plate on the front of my Grand Cherokee NOT as LEAN NOT as MEAN STILL a MARINE SSgt James (Andy) Schouten Retired

"A coward dies a thousand deaths, a brave man dies but once." "All men die, not all men really live."
-William Wallace

Dear SGT Grit-Your last joke made me almost fall over my desk laughing. I have recently moved and was reminiscing about family reunions when I was kid. My Dad was the youngest of 10 boys-and the only sailor. He told me he heard those stories about the Marines from all his older brothers and decided they walked too much so he was going in the Navy. That is funny enough but the card I just came across in a box of my late father's stuff said.

"Hey Swabbie, we all know you joined the Navy for the powered soap-Love, ...and it had all nine brothers signatures, (followed by) Semper Fi baby boy"

I remember getting this card from my father on Memorial Day after my three years in the Army.

God Bless all you Marines-young, old and guarding Heaven now.
An Old WAC
PS I was 25 years old before I got the powdered soap joke-my Dad, red faced, explained it to me.

"Only the brave know how to forgive....A coward never forgave; it is not in his nature."
Laurence Sterne

The following article is not to politicize the newsletter. It is simply an effort to show that our troops are making a positive difference and should get credit for it.
Sgt Grit

New York Post

May 20, 2008

Ralph Peters

Success In Iraq: A Media Blackout
DO we still have troops in Iraq? Is there still a conflict over there?

If you rely on the so-called mainstream media, you may have difficulty answering those questions these days. As Iraqi and Coalition forces pile up one success after another, Iraq has magically vanished from the headlines.

Want a real "inconvenient truth?" Progress in Iraq is powerful and accelerating.

But that fact isn't helpful to elite media commissars and cadres determined to decide the presidential race over our heads. How dare our troops win? Even worse, Iraqi troops are winning. Daily.

You won't see that above the fold in The New York Times. And forget the Obama-intoxicated news networks - they've adopted his story line that the clock stopped back in 2003.

To be fair to the quit-Iraq-and-save-the-terrorists media, they have covered a few recent stories from Iraq:

*When a rogue US soldier used a Koran for target practice, journalists pulled out all the stops to turn it into "Abu Ghraib, The Sequel."

Unforgivably, the Army handled the situation well. The "atrocity" didn't get the traction the whorespondents hoped for.

*When a battered, bleeding al Qaeda managed to set off a few bombs targeting Sunni Arabs who'd turned against terror, that, too, received delighted media play.

*As long as Baghdad-based journalists could hope that the joint US-Iraqi move into Sadr City would end disastrously, we were treated to a brief flurry of headlines.

*A few weeks back, we heard about another Iraqi company - 100 or so men - who declined to fight. The story was just delicious, as far as the media were concerned.

Then tragedy struck: As in Basra the month before, absent- without-leave (and hiding in Iran) Muqtada al Sadr quit under pressure from Iraqi and US troops. The missile and mortar attacks on the Green Zone stopped. There's peace in the streets.

Today, Iraqi soldiers, not militia thugs, patrol the lanes of Sadr City, where waste has replaced roadside bombs as the greatest danger to careless footsteps. US advisers and troops support the effort, but Iraq's government has taken another giant step forward in establishing law and order.

My fellow Americans, have you read or seen a single interview with any of the millions of Iraqis in Sadr City or Basra who are thrilled that the gangster militias are gone from their neighborhoods?

Didn't think so. The basic mission of the American media between now and November is to convince you, the voter, that Iraq's still a hopeless mess.

Meanwhile, they've performed yet another amazing magic trick - making Kurdistan disappear.

Remember the Kurds? Our allies in northern Iraq? When last sighted, they were living in peace and building a robust economy with regular elections, burgeoning universities and municipal services that worked.

After Israel, the most livable, decent place in the greater Middle East is Iraqi Kurdistan. Wouldn't want that news getting out.

If the Kurds would only start slaughtering their neighbors and bombing Coalition troops, they might get some attention. Unfortunately, there are no US or allied combat units in Kurdistan for Kurds to bomb. They weren't needed. And (benighted people that they are) the Kurds are pro-American - despite the virulent anti-Kurdish prejudices prevalent in our Saudi- smooching State Department.

Developments just keep getting grimmer for the fan base in the media. Iraq's Sunni Arabs, who had supported al Qaeda and homegrown insurgents, now support their government and welcome US troops. And, in southern Iraq, the Iranians lost their bid for control to Iraq's government.

Bury those stories on Page 36.

Our troops deserve better. The Iraqis deserve better. You deserve better. The forces of freedom are winning.

Here in the Land of the Free, of course, freedom of the press means the freedom to boycott good news from Iraq. But the truth does have a way of coming out.

The surge worked. Incontestably. Iraqis grew disenchanted with extremism. Our military performed magnificently. More and more Iraqis have stepped up to fight for their own country. The Iraqi economy's taking off. And, for all its faults, the Iraqi legislature has accomplished far more than our own lobbyist-run Congress over the last 18 months.

When Iraq seemed destined to become a huge American embarrassment, our media couldn't get enough of it. Now that Iraq looks like a success in the making, there's a virtual news blackout.

Of course, the front pages need copy. So you can read all you want about the heroic efforts of the Chinese People's Army in the wake of the earthquake.

Tells you all you really need to know about our media: American soldiers bad, Red Chinese troops good.

Is Jane Fonda on her way to the earthquake zone yet?

Ralph Peters' new book, "Looking For Trouble: Adventures in a Broken World," hits stores on July 4.

"No man, for any considerable time, can show one face to himself and another to the multitude without finally becoming bewildered as to which one may be the true one."
Nathaniel Hawthorne

Sgt. Grit:

March 15, 2008, my 94 year old uncle, former T/Sgt C. Allen Hodges passed away in Nashville, Tn. Allen joined the Marine Corps Nov., 1942, at age 29. He said if you want to try something tough, go through Parris Island at age 29 trying to keep up with 17, 18 and 19 year olds. Allen was in the 2nd Air Warning Squadron and made the invasion of Guam with the 3rd Marine Division.

Allen's ashes were interred in the country church cemetery, Pleasant View, one mile North of Hodgesville, W. Va, where his wife, Helen and other family members are buried.

Allen wanted a military service, and I contacted Rick Given of the Marine Corps League in W. Va. who passed the responsibility to Roger Ware, Elkins, W. Va, Marine Corps League Commandant.

Roger did a beautiful job setting up the service. Members of his detachment, with color guard, along with members of the Buckhannon, W. Va. VFW who conducted the service, and members of The American Legion from Buckhannon, W. Va. who provided the firing detail were most impressive and , along with the bugler who was perfect, was more than anyone could ask.

It was a sad time, but Allen would have been proud, being sent on his way to help guard heavens streets with so many others, by Marines, the VFW and The American Legion, along with family.

Semper Fi, brother.

Joe Hodges former Sgt. A. T. Co. 7th Marines, Korea, 1951-52 Marine Corps League Life Member. Detachment 708
Spring Hill, Fl.

"I have always regarded the forward edge of the battlefield as the most excusive club in the world."
Sir Brian Horrocks

To All Marines Past and Present, on this Memorial Day.

Being that we are on the topic of Memorial day, I find this MD especially different than any other since I will just have arrived back at OCS this Saturday the 24 of May, and will be graduating on the 04 of July, very special days in our Nation's history. I'm sure my Sgt. Instructors will make us feel oh so comfortable in our new living quarters these celebrated holidays..

I only briefly write to convey my appreciation for all Marines past and present, Enlisted and Officer. I will not be able to see if this post actually made it into the next Sgt Grit News Letter for I will probably be running deep in the woods of Quantico, far earlier than any of you care to wake up, but I look forward to it again, and to finally graduate.

I would like all former and present Enlisted Marines to know that there are many future Officers out there who do not fulfill the stereotype of pompous, know-its-alls, and A-holes. There are some of us out there who only just to get into the fight with you. Please do not loose faith and respect in us new butter-bars; know that we only want the best for our Marines and for the Corps.

Have a good Memorial Day and 4th of July, Ooh-Rah Marines.

Soon to be Marine, S/F

"One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them."
Thomas Jefferson

Salute To Our Heroes 2007

Members of HMM-364 It was a beautiful sunny day at the Lake San Marcos, a twenty minute drive from MCAS Camp Pendleton, the current home of HMM-364, where eight members of the Squadron were treated to lunch and a round of golf before being joined by there wives or girl friends for dinner.

Sixty eight Marines and Naval personnel, recent returnees from Iraq and Afghanistan, and from units based at Camp Pendleton and MCAS Miramar, accepted invitations from the men's and women's clubs at this Southern California retirement community for the golf outing.

Golf Tourney Also invited were the entire 17 members of the Wounded Warrior Center at the US Naval Hospital, Camp Pendleton. The Wounded Warriors, their wives and girl friends, were treated to box lunches provided by a local Chick-fil-A Restaurant, a lake outing on houseboats belonging to local residents and a magic show performed by several professional magicians who donated their time for the day. All these Marines were guests at a sit down dinner where they sat with the Club Members with whom they had played golf.

The M-C for the program following dinner was a former HMM-364 pilot Dennis McKee, USMC(Ret) who led the assembled Marines in a loud OOOORAH thanking the members for a memorable day. The Marines got to their feet to serenade their hosts with a full volume rendition of The Marine Corps Hymn and all 250 there sang God Bless America to conclude the program.

Golf Tourney Golf Tourney In excess of 20,000. in golf equipment, dinners, shopping trips and beauty treatments for the ladies were showered on the beaming Marines and their wives during the evening. Members of the Club had spent weeks gathering gifts and funds from local merchants with some national corporations donating funds to support the major charity supported by the event, The Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund. A fund representative was present to receive over 14,000. in checks.

Golf Tourney Golf Tourney McKee, Event Co-Chair, said that all donations had yet to be received and that amount was certain to grow. A number of the Marines paid their respects to 96 year old Morgan Jones, a long time LSM resident, who was captured at Bataan in early 1942, endured the infamous Death March and a perilous boat trip to Manchuria, where he worked in the mines until being rescued at the end of World War II.

Golf Tourney Golf Tourney This years event was the second time that LSM residents have hosted this event. They unanimously indicate their reason for participating in the honoring of these young men and women is their abiding admiration for our fighting forces who battle terrorism and protect our way of life. In an emotional moment during his remarks McKee spoke for the local residents when he said, "As you go forth from here tonight, let it be known that the men and women of Lake San Marcos stand solidly behind you. You will always be in our thoughts, you will always be in our hearts, you will always be in our prayers. Your service will not be forgotten."

"Whether you think you can or you can't...either way you are right."
Henry Ford (1863 - 1947)

Dear Sgt Grit,

My story started in 1993 when a Marine Corps recruiter showed up at my door. My buddies and I listened to what he had to say then asked each other, "What are we doing with our lives." Two weeks later we were standing on the yellow foot prints of Parris Island.

I spent a good 4 years on active duty and had the time of my life. I had all the intentions of re-enlisting and making the Marine Corps a career. But at that time my spouse and I had separated and she left with my 1 year old daughter back to FL. I left the Corps a little disgruntled and drove from El Toro straight back to FL where I eventually became a cop. After a year I started drilling with the 4th Amphibious BN in Tampa but doing the one weekend a month thing just wasn't the same. I always had this strong desire to come back to active duty but I was focused on my civilian law enforcement career.

Then this war broke out and it made me miss my Marines even more. Something I had trained hard for was finally happening and now I am sitting on the side lines watching from a distance. Not that I approve of the way things are being handled but the idea I strongly believe in. The more I've read about my Marines fighting in foreign lands and being stretched to the limits the more of an empty feeling I have in me. A piece of me was missing. I guess the saying is true... Once a Marine Always a Marine!

Six months ago I decided where my life calling is and always has been and that is with my Marines. I have since transformed back into shape almost as good as when I first left the Corps. I know I am a little older now but I know I am wiser and more experienced. I believe that the leaderships skills that I have developed and the extensive Law Enforcement training and experience that I have since accomplished would be a valuable asset to the Marine Corps. As of Friday May 16, 2008 I am now back on active duty United States Marine Corps after 10.5 years break in service. I have returned as an MP and hope that my years of training and experience in law enforcement will help keep my MP's and other fellow service men alive on the battle field. I know there are many more out there that have the same pride in the Marine Corps as I do. I hope my short little story inspires others as many of your stories in the news letters have inspired me.

Semper FI,
Travis G. Arnold

"It is not use saying 'We are doing our best.' You have to succeed in doing what is necessary."
Winston Churchill

"War is the unfolding of miscalculations."
Barbara Tuchman

"The soul is dyed the color of it's thoughts.
Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you choose, what you think, and what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your is the light that guides your way."

Fear is not an Option
Fear is not an Option

If you CAN'T Read This...Thank a Marine
If you CAN'T Read This...Thank a Marine

God Bless America!
Welcome Home Marine, Job Well Done.
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

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