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Improvise, Adapt, Overcome!

I would like to tell you about my son who became a Marine this year. It has been his dream since he was very young to be a Marine. Last summer he found out he could become a Marine before he actually graduated high school. He had a enough credits to finish school in December. On January 8, he left for MCRD. He was home in time for his High school graduation. He wanted to graduate in his Marine uniform but the principal told him he had to wear his cap and gown.

This upset him very much because he was so proud to be a Marine. I told him to wear his uniform under the cap and gown and before he received his diploma he should take off the cap and gown. He did just that. I was so PROUD of him. You should have heard the applause he got for that. It was a most awesome day for me. My son had already achieved a couple of his dreams by the time he graduated from high school.

Semper Fi
Dorothy Hampton
Proud mother of a Marine

My wife and I were having breakfast at a local restaurant This morning Aug 1st. When I observed a family coming in and being seated nearby they had four young children. I told my wife ut- ho, then I noticed the father was wearing a white T-shirt with large blue USMC letters.

The children were very well behaved and not loud at all. As we left my passed first and complimented the man on his family and how good looking they were. Then she asked him if he was in the service. duh, guess she did not read the shirt. He replied that he had four years regular, and was retiring in two months after 18 years reserve. Then My wife told him our grandson is deploying in Oct. and some discussion followed.

Finally I was allowed to tell him Semper Fi, and shake his hand and tell him that Aug. 2nd it would be 50 years since my release from active duty. To which he told his oldest son, about six here is another Marine and I received a salute from him. The father told me the boy does no recognize any thing but Marines. They were a very nice looking family, two boys and two very obviously daddy's girls.

Simper Fi and thanks to all who are serving, and have served.
R. Young, Pfc. 56-58
Smilin_Bob Young

I Survived Special

I just got back from the Cleveland MEPS station after watching my son head to Parris Island to start boot camp. His mother was not there but she spent all day yesterday with him. Today was my turn. I feel proud to be his father and I pray that he stays safe. I feel equally proud of what the Marine Corps gave me over 21 years ago, and that I am watching my son do the same.

When my wife saw me off to Parris Island in 1987, she wrote something in my issued bible that kept me going when the times got rough. I carried that bible where ever I went during boot camp. It survived like I did, but by graduation, it had band aides stuffed in it along with ripped pages and worn cover. This time I got the task of writing something. I hope it motivates him as much as I was by my wife's inscription.

Trust in God for he will not abandon you in need. I look forward to the day in which I can call you my son as well as my brother.

We love you Christopher.
Stay Motivated!
Mark Sasak

"Men of energy of character must have enemies; because there are two sides to every question, and taking one with decision, and acting on it with effect, those who take the other will of course be hostile in proportion as they feel that effect."
Thomas Jefferson

Sgt Grit- I miss my kid! Thank God he will be back in Pendleton for a few weeks so I can see him for a short time. This kills Marine Moms, but I'm proud as heck of him! He's become quite the strong young man!
Cindi Dau

This morning I was reading the newsletter and I came across a story from someone who had recently been to Shannon Ireland at the airport. They told a story about seeing the Marines coming through the airport and they gave them their cell phone. I have to tell you as I read the story I broke down crying. My husband is a Marine and we have been married almost 2 years now. We were told in December that he was going to deploy to Iraq. Our first daughter was born December 8th and my husband was activated and deployed by January 8th. It was very hard on us because my husband is a reservist and we are not used to the deployment schedule. I was Navy and he was active duty Marine at one point but since we have been married we have never had to deal with a deployment.

When my husband got to Shannon Ireland, he called me and I was very surprised as I did not expect to hear from him for a couple more weeks. He told me that someone had given him a phone to use and that he just wanted to hear my voice. When I read this story this morning I couldn't help but think that there are still some good people in this world who really do appreciate what the troops are doing for them. So to whoever it was that gave my husband that cell phone to use just so he could call me and say that he loves me, I thank you and you are doing just as much for the moral and well being of the troops as they are doing for you. I do not know your name but I am thankful for you and people like you every day because you gave me one more chance to hear my husbands voice. Thank You.

Rebekah McGinnis wife of SGT. McGinnis USMC

LCPL Wilson smiling Hello I just placed an order and feel it is right of me to inform you of the recent loss of my son, LCpl Wilson, Ivan I . He was KIA in Helmand Province, Afghanistan on July 21, 2008... all so fresh in my mind, from the 5 am knock on the door to now as I simply write this. I ordered some items and wanted to share with you this. I am attaching a pic of him just sent to me from his Marine buddies from the sand!

Thanks again,
Denise Wilson A Very Proud Marine Mom

"We know that peace is the condition under which mankind was meant to flourish. Yet peace does not exist of its own will. It depends on us, on our courage to build it and guard it and pass it on to future generations. George Washington's words may seem hard and cold today, but history has proven him right again and again. 'To be prepared for war,' he said, 'is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.' Well, to those who think strength provokes conflict, Will Rogers had his own answer. He said of the world heavyweight champion of his day: 'I've never seen anyone insult Jack Dempsey'."
Ronald Reagan

hello, Let me start by saying i just love reading your stories. we have twin boys that are each in different branches of the service. one followed in his dads footsteps and is a Marine. he has been in only a year now and is station in CA. He had called one night just before the 4th of July and told me that him and his wife went out to eat, and when they asked the waitress for the bill, she had told them that it was already taken care of, even the tip. they were kind of shocked, saying that no one has ever been that nice to them before.

in turn i told him that there are people out there that want to let our service men and women know that we are proud of what they do for our country. now our other son went a different way, he is and army soldier. and on his way from South Carolina to VA the bus had stopped at a store for soldier to pick things up. Well as my son put it, (mom it brought tears to my eyes). there was a gentelman, who stood right outside the bus and shook every, man/women's hand that came off that bus and thanked each and everyone for fighting for our country.

right there my son knew he was doing something right with his life and made him feel proud to be wearing that uniform. I really wish we would hear more of times like this on TV. and not all the bad things. we all need to be behind all our service men and women. Thanks for the stories everyone and hope they never stop's for one thank all i see. to let them know we love them and our very proud of each and every one of them Thanks for your time a proud mom of two soldiers

mom from Pinellas Park Florida

"Here comes the orator! With his flood of words, and his drop of reason."
Benjamin Franklin

When my son came home after his Graduation in 07 I went to my local Wal-Mart to buy groceries and other stuff I had on my Proud Mom of a Marine sweat shirt on and some woman I have never met before came up to me and called me a bad mother and a B**** because I let my son join the Marines! I was shocked because we had just came from a place where our military are hero's, not bad people.

All I could say was "I am not going to slap you in the middle of Wal-Mart" I was hurt and mad till a older gentleman came up and said to thank my son for his service.

The blatant ignorance and rudeness of people still amaze me, another time my son was at a local mall with some of his fellow Marines and a woman came up to them and told them she wished they would all die in Iraq! D0 These STUPID PEOPLE not realize that those young men have families that are worried about such a outcome?? WHY can't people think before they open up their mouths? And to those young Marines credit they just very quietly said "Yes Ma'am".

To all of those people who feel they have the right to speak freely..on behalf of my son, you are welcome!

Proud Mom of PFC Andrew "Ryan" Peckham
Cindy Peckham

"Too many people expect wonders from democracy, when the most wonderful thing of all is just having it."
Walter Winchell

The intent of my letter was not to put down members of the Honor Guard, who served with the other branches, but to point out my pride in the Marines that are members of the Guard. They stood out so much by their bearing and wearing of their uniforms. It is good that all of them provide a great service for vets that have passed on. If you recall from my letter I also mentioned that it understandable that some cannot salute properly due to age or physical disabilities and I am sure that some of the disabilities were incurred during military service.

You sound like you are a Corpsman that served with Marines. Corpsman assigned to Marines are Marines. As an infantryman, I got to know and have lots of respect for our Docs. Thanks for serving with the Honor Guard.

Semper Fi
Frank D Briceno

Dear Sgt Grit.

My boyfriend and I read your newsletters and eagerly await your catalogs. Just wanted to tell you his story. His name is Robert .

He joined the Marine's when he was 17 years old and spent 1 tour in Vietnam. He was with a CAP unit wounded (3 grenades). He received injuries to both legs, both arms as well as a head injury. But being a Marine he wasn't about to let it stop him. At 58 years old he has worked at the Army Corp of Engineers for nearly 30 years, coached and umpired various youth sports and still plays a mean game of softball.

The fact that he survived would in itself be a testament to both him and the Marines but he has never given up. Even after a knee surgery that left his knee stiff and difficult to bend he still continues to the surprise of his doctors and coworkers but not to me. He never complains and is always there to lend a hand with a smile on his face.

When the troops returned from Vietnam there were no parades, no job well done. He wears his cover and Purple Heart proudly. He displays his status as a Marine with pride as well he should. Although long overdue he now receives thanks for his years of service and sacrifice from strangers on the street and in the store.

Robert is my hero, a testament to his courage, his strength, his determination and his immense pride to be a United States Marine.

Thank you,
Pamela Marcom

"Common sense is not so common."

To the Young Lady Marine,
I read your email this morning and it brought tears to my eyes. Your parents will be so proud of you when they see you after boot camp, as I was of my son, LCpl Jon Lindsey. That graduation was/is one of the most treasured memories I have. I know that your parents will feel the same. Stay strong to your convictions and you will be a strong Marine. Good luck to you in the future and tell your folks that they are about to enter a very loving and large family!

Extremely Proud Mom of a Marine
C. Lindsey

Flyover Video

The best part of an NFL Game!

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
-- George Orwell

Sgt Grit, please inform your readers that The Iraq Star Foundation, has removed shrapnel, injected fillers into concave wounds, revised wound and burn scars, repaired and replaced teeth, provided full-face laser for sand-blast shrapnel, injected steroids for burn scars, and even removed tattoos. Whatever the complaint, they have addressed it. There is never any cost to our troops. Iraq Star provides transportation, hotel accommodations, food, medical supplies, anesthesia, operating rooms, etc. They will even send a love one with the wounded to any surgeries scheduled.

My name is Susie Stiver and I am a "Proud Marine Mom" of a twice deployed Iraq combat vet. Please let me know if this is a letter that you can print...and if I can supply you with a forwarding address, or a website, for any referrals. I became involved with the Iraq Star Foundation simply because I am a Marine Mom. Maggie Lockridge, the President and Founder of the organization recognizes that "word of mouth" may be a very big factor in locating appropriate candidates for their services. I encourage you to visit

I look forward to hearing from you or one of your staff regarding this letter, and the possibility of printing it; or if you would have another suggestion to help us share this important information with our Marine branch of the military.

Thank you so much,
Susie Stiver

"You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today."
Abraham Lincoln

I finally realized that your site is the perfect place to Pass on to EVERY Marine and EVERY Marine family.

I remember the "greetings" I got when I came home from Viet Nam. I swore then that I would pass on my thanks to every Veteran and especially my Marines and their Families.

Thank you all for your service, and maybe most of all "those who wait at home". The older vets from Korea and World War II are disappearing very quickly, so we need to pass the thanks to as many of them as possible.
v Thanks for the help, and Semper Fi to all of you and them.
Another old Marine,
Bud Grissom

"People who make careers out of helping others-sometimes at great sacrifice, often not-usually don't like to hear that those others might get along fine, might even get along better, without their help."
John Holt

Some of you may remember him but he passed away before many of you were born. Red Skelton a good & funny man. He also ended every show by saying, 'GOOD NIGHT and GOD BLESS'. Listen to the end of this. It is something he said 38 years ago.

Very important that you listen to the very end! Eerie!

Take a moment and listen to it (from 1969).

How would he have known that this is what is now happening?


"We should always remember that our strength still lies in our faith in the good sense of the American people."
Ronald Reagan

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts."
Winston Churchill

SGT. GRIT, Maybe you or some of the readers of the Newsletter can help me. I would like to know if anyone remembers that happen in 1958. At that time I was in Field Music School at Parris Island. That's when we got the news that some one in the government got the bright idea of doing away with the Marine Corps! And having all Marines transferred as Sailors to the Navy. I can remember the guys and I being quite upset over it. Any ways nothing became of it. It could have been just some scuttlebutt! Those instructors were always messing with our mind.

B OTIS 57/60

"Greatness is not found in possessions, power, position, or prestige. It is discovered in goodness, humility, service, and character."
William Arthur Ward

Sgt. Grit:
I don't have any stories. I am only a Marine wife. What I wanted to say was Thank You. Thank you to all of the men and women serving. Thank you for everything you do. I know what it is like to be left at home while your Marine goes off and saves the world, so I would also like to say thank you to all the wives and husbands. Somehow people remember the parents of the SERVICE gone but they very rarely remember there are ones left at home who wonder if they will be able to breathe easily again, if they will be able to go about their day and not keep their eyes, ears and body stuck in front of the TV, or listening to every bit of news they can get.

There are women, and men, who wait at home with no word for weeks at a time and spend months with tear stained faces and heavy hearts. I am in no way saying the parents don't have it hard, and I do not want others to know what it's like to watch the other half of your heart pack his bags; helping them anyway you can knowing you want to fall on the ground and beg them not to go, and at the same time being so proud that your mate can be such a wonderful person. Driving them to the base, bus station or airports and them kissing your children goodbye, and kissing you goodbye and saying it wont be that long this time sweetheart. Wanting desperately to hang on knowing it could be the last time you ever feel his touch again, but know you have to let him go because it is his calling and he chose to be among the few. To be one of the proud.

Funny, I remember watching my husband walking through security at the airport going to boot camp. I had a two year old son and didn't know at the time I was 6 weeks pregnant. I had 3 months of no contact, well a one min phone call and letters once a week. It was hard and it only gets harder every time I help pack his bags and help him get in the car. Watch him kiss our children goodbye and pray it wont last long. Knowing in my heart he is one of the best and he worked so very hard to get it, and to trust that his brothers will bring him home to me safe.

Please remember the ones left at home that have to watch their life leave, we are proud but a simple thank you or he will be ok always helps from strangers. Again I want to say thank you Marines. Thank you so very much for what you do. And to the retired thank you for your service whether it ended 3 days ago or 40 years, thank you for my freedom

With All My Love Proud Marine WIFE

"The bulk of mankind are schoolboys through life."
Thomas Jefferson

Sgt Grit and fellow Marines,

I am still proud that I served as a Marine from 62-65, great experiences, met some great people, and some not so great. I think I was most proud to have met and worked with Captain Douglas T. Jacobson on one of his tours in the H&S Battalion at Camp Lejeune in early 64', for those of you not familiar with Captain Jacobson,

My time in the Corps allowed me to graduate from Platoon 253 in 62' without being noticed very much by the DI's, that was an accomplishment! Of course as always following PI was Camp Geiger, what fun, then on to E-2-10 Artillery Battery at Lejeune, where we deployed on one of the all expense paid Mediterranean cruises, I forgot to mention that I was assigned as a FO (Forward Observer) for a few months, then when the 1st Sergeant found out I could type I was shanghaied into the office as a clerk typist, 0141 I think.

From the E-2-10 I went to the H&S for awhile then went back to Parris Island to their H&S Battalion, then back to clerical duties at Headquarters 2nd Battalion as a Champlain's Assistant where I worked for Navy Chaplain Paul H. Lionberger, LCDR, who performed the wedding ceremony for my wife and I on 12/31/64. That ceremony seemed to have worked we're still married. Upon completion of my 3 years in July 65' I returned back to Alabama where I eventually purchased from my father the house I grew up in and where I live currently. We have one son, a Senior Chief currently stationed in Bahrain w/5th Fleet Headquarters and 3 wonderful grandkids.

LCpl Robert G. Mason, Jr

"I don't pass the buck, nor do I alibi out of any decision I make."
Harry S. Truman

I am and will always be a Marine - But without a great wife I would be nothing! I have been married for 22 years and I was wounded in the military and without her and her support and always knowing I have someone by my side and supporting me- I would be very lonely man! You never know what you have sometimes until it is to late.
Sgt. D William, SGT.

"Friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life."
Thomas Jefferson

I get your emails often and experience a great deal of pride and sometimes remorse. There are so many stories from so many years, it is unimaginable to receive all and extract those experiences.

The email I am forwarding to you is not new, and I imagine that you receive many similar to this (I have received this one many times), but this is one of my favorites.

Something I wanted to say about the Corps that I find disturbing regarding Viet Nam vets and their "combat" issues.

I left college in '73 and met a friend that had entered the crotch a year before, yep, he and I were both 90-day wonders, he then proceeded to recruit me. It seemed kinda crazy at the time, but what the h&ll, I am a crazy Irishman.

I did my hitch and only experienced a "float"; the Corps was good to me. I excelled in the environment, but my successes were team efforts, nothing more. With the help of my Marines in different commands, "we" received several unit citations and I was fortunate enough to receive more than one personal commendations, but my Marines were just as large apart of this as well!

My friend and I had no idea what was ahead of us regarding Viet Nam or anything else we could expect. Jimmy Carter had become the president before my hitch was up and he was truly INCOMPETENT.

I will get to my reason for writing. I have a service-connected disability from my different commands in the Corps. I was a tank officer and a damn good one, but I was not limited to just one billet. To list these disabilities would serve no purpose; however, they are now and have been very debilitating. Upon going to our local VA hosp. I have experienced in my "group" sessions with many different vets a disdain for anyone that I did not go the "Nam" or experience combat during any time in their hitch. Even on the outside when discussing my hitch, people change their attitude about being a non-combatant or took a "how do know what it was like" attitude. Of course, there is nothing worse than a liar that blows smoke up you're a$s about "his" bullsh!t experiences or wears ribbons that they never earned.

In my area, we have one such charlatan that is serving community time because of his façade. Many of us, combatants or not, were prepared to take this clown to a public square and humiliate him 24-7, but the courts intervened and he escaped the wrath of a lot of p!ssed off veterans.

My simple statement was that I entered Corps towards the end and awaited my fate, but "combat" never was an experience; however, upon returning home, I became a policeman for ten years. Ten years in a small Midwestern town where constant fighting, at different levels were a weekly experience. I have been shot, stabbed, and rammed in a squad car more than once. This was my combat for 10 years. I was fortunate to receive two personal commendations based on my own initiatives. My survival and my flexible approach to all these scenarios came from my experiences in my beloved Corps.

I will stop now; however, I would admonish all those Marines and service people to be aware that the many that do not serve in combat are prepared to sacrifice whatever it is for their country and play a vital role in our successes. I would hope they would be appreciative of those that are ready for "whatever". For those that have never seen combat, but have been there in a supportive role can share their own experiences unique to them.

Without such people, we could not begin to wage "war" with anyone. Just respect them and do not try to belittle them or impress them with a make "us" feel as though our service was trite attitude.

We did our best and we were ready!

Gunny, this is probably too lengthy to publish, but I just wanted to express my experiences and the disappointments from my fellow veterans.


Stephen P. Malone

"The fabric of American empire ought to rest on the solid basis of THE CONSENT of the PEOPLE. The streams of national power ought to flow from that pure, original fountain of all legitimate authority."
Alexander Hamilton

I don't know if I have ever written to your site, but can I just say how much I love and adore your site!?!?? No one in my family EVER knows what to get my uncle for his b-day's and x-mas, that is, everyone but me that is. A few years ago I stumbled across your site (this is when Google was just getting big) and I find that I can't shop anywhere else now. You have so much stuff and it actually changes to the point that I don't even look for a present for my uncle, I just wait for your catalogs to come in and circle away. I listen to him throughout the year when he gripes about what he does and doesn't like about certain apparel and what he wishes he had and I go on your site and boom, you always have everything! I have never served, but the fact that my uncle, Sgt. Uncle, did in the 1st 2nd Mar Div and tells me all his stories, I just go on your site and pick to my hearts desire and he has never complained about anything, a serious feat for MY uncle.

I mean, you all have not just the generic "I love America" type Marine stuff, you have all of the ignorant sayings he loves to quote too on your products! Now that is a quality store! He really likes the Navy, Army, Airforce supplied black t-shirt to tell the story of the Eagle Globe and Anchor. He wears all the shirts I buy from your store every time I see him, to the point of where I may have to buy more from you, b/c they are becoming faded and unreadable from over washing. Mind you, my uncle is about 44 years old wearing these. I love Sgt. Grit, you definitely have a lifetime customer here! I really like the pics of the employees and their families that serve as models for the catalog, it adds a real personal touch to the store. I look forward to seeing how big your group pic for the catalog gets. When you stopped selling the Guinness/Jack Daniel's inspired t- shirts the ONE season I was going to buy them from the catalog for my uncle, when I called your customer support for the first time, the operator was very humorous and explained to me why the shirts couldn't be sold. I don't know who trains your customer service reps, but they do an excellent job. I've never had a problem when I couldn't find an item on a site or I wanted to know some random detail that wasn't shown in the pic, they have always politely answered every question I've had.

My uncle served in the late 80s and through the 1st Gulf War before he got out, but he was an arrogant/cocky SOB before enlisting----just a bigger one now that he served the Marine's brotherhood. He even bakes a cake every November and sings happy birthday and the Marine theme song on the Marine's B-day like it's a party for a REAL person, now that is determination. I just bought him from your site the black plastic cups 10 pack to match the red 10 pack I bought him a few years ago, b/c he only keeps 2 cups out at a time, like he wants to preserve them as best he can, I still think to this day he has only ever used two of the ten pack---- I love it. A few years ago I bought him the customized car floor mats with his name on it and he has gone ape s*** ever since, threatening anyone who gets in his car to NOT get the floor mats dirty! WTF?!?!? His head almost exploded in excitement when he saw it for XMAS a few years ago. He was going on and on about how it looks just like the mats at the Embassies---I wouldn't know, I've never been to one.

I think what he likes best of all is the Cherry Wood Sword holder plaque that I bought him. He has been saying for years that he wants to display his sword from when he was enlisted, but that the stands were way too expensive. I didn't even think 2x about where I would buy him one for, eventually. The stand was very pricey, so I passed on it when receiving it in 2 catalogs, but then I thought about the quality products I've always received from Sgt. Grit and bit the bullet and paid for the more expensive Cherry Wood (that you all said, years ago, was "limited"---but it's still in all the catalogs I have seen!). I even paid for an inscription on it b/c I value the quality of your site and products so much. I don't normally spend as much in one place as I do on your site, but your shipping is ridiculously low for what it should be and to top that, unless I'm getting something inscribed, like I am with my current order for my uncle, if I order on Monday, I have it by Friday, with normal shipping price/rate-------I LOVE YOU! Thank you for having such a great store with a great variety. I don't know where I would get my uncle's gifts from without you, and I hope I never will have to ask!

Keep up the great work, I can't wait to order from you in December for his X-Mas gifts!

-Ashley Trotman, a very appreciative niece.

~*~*~"Keep your expectations low. Your hopes high. Your drinks full. And your true friends by your side."~**~*~

"Have you something to do to-morrow; do it to-day."
Benjamin Franklin

Salute to our Heroes Golf Tournament - San Marcos, CA - Sept 6, 2008

"When World War II ended, the United States had the only undamaged industrial power in the world. Our military might was at its peak, and we alone had the ultimate weapon, the nuclear weapon, with the unquestioned ability to deliver it anywhere in the world. If we had sought world domination then, who could have opposed us? But the United States followed a different course, one unique in all the history of mankind. We used our power and wealth to rebuild the war-ravished economies of the world, including those of the nations who had been our enemies. May I say, there is absolutely no substance to charges that the United States is guilty of imperialism or attempts to impose its will on other countries, by use of force."
Ronald Reagan

I May Look Harmless But I Raised a U.S. Marine
I May Look Harmless But I Raised a U.S. Marine

American By Birth Marine By Choice
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God Bless America!
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

Pop A Smoke Reunion

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Sgt Grit Newsletter VS AmericanCourage Newsletter:
You receive both (alternating weeks) what's the difference?

In short...The AmericanCourage Newsletter has MORE family member stories, "support the Corps" stories from Marines, and patriotic quotes. It started after the events of Sept. 11, 2001 to give supporters of the Marine Corps and American patriots a voice.

The Sgt Grit Newsletter is HARD CORPS Marine! If you are interested in topics that delve into Marine Corps history, Corps Stories, Boot Camp and other things that "only a Marine might understand" - then be sure to read the Sgt Grit Newsletter (every other week) - More about the newsletter