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My Dad passed away tonight. He was much loved by family and friends, and he was a Marine. He entered combat on the fifth wave on Iwo Jima and he and his tank crew were the only tank crew to come off unhurt. He saw both flags raised over the island, and the first plane to land. He was a great and good man, a Marine of the finest order. He had no medals, not much rank but he served as so many did and was waiting to invade Japan at the time of surrender.

He had two brothers, one who served in WWII, one in Vietnam, and a grandson, two tours in Iraq (my son). We as a family are proud of them all. Proud of all Marines. May all of those who have passed, meet their buddies and friends and have a great time together forever. Semper Fi!

Judy Quinn

One Blue Star Service Flag
One Blue Star Service Flag
Marine Corps Seal Yellow Ribbon Pin
Marine Corps Seal Yellow Ribbon Pin

Sgt. Grit,

I married my husband several years after he was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps. I must admit, at that time I was a little bit of a hippie wanna-be (this was in 1997). Don't get me wrong, I loved America I just took my freedom for granted. Through the years my husband has taught me the true value of our servicemen and women. I have a deep and abiding love for those who place their lives on the line every day for me and my family.

I now go out of my way to shake the hand of someone in uniform. I thank them for their service and let them know that there are people in this world who care for them. It makes me so angry to read these stories about civilians insulting the families of these brave young people. Those cowards should be ashamed of themselves.

Recently, my husband and I were visited by a young man my husband once mentored. Brandon joined the Corps after graduation, in part because of my husband's influence on him. He was the second young man who joined the Corps after talking with my husband. Brandon is on his way to Camp Pendleton and then overseas next year. We are so proud of this young man and the sacrifices he has made (he has already spent two tours in Iraq). He has become a fine, upstanding young Marine.

Anyway, I just wanted to thank you, the families of our Marines and all of the Marines past and present who honorably serve our country.

Beth Clawges

Sgt Grit
My son is at Quantico and we are very proud of him. We adopted him from South Korea when he was 5 weeks old and ever since he was a boy he wanted to be a Marine. Not even born in this country but so proud to serve it.

I have one of your bumper stickers on my car. As I got out of my car yesterday, a gentleman said "Thank you for your son" - it was the proudest moment I have ever experienced. I thanked him and told him we were extremely proud of him and he said "So are we".
I miss him terribly but that one little encounter made me so proud to be a Marine Mom.

Semper Fi,
T. Dioguardi

Marine Groom Hat
Marine Groom Hat
Marine Bride Hat
Marine Bride Hat

"Is the relinquishment of the trial by jury and the liberty of the press necessary for your liberty? Will the abandonment of your most sacred rights tend to the security of your liberty? Liberty, the greatest of all earthly blessings - give us that precious jewel, and you may take every things else! Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel."

Patrick Henry

Chesty for President - Bumper Sticker Thanks to all who voted in last week's survey answering the question: Who is your favorite Marine?

Chesty was the winner - but there was a "close" second.

DeWaters's Memorial Tattoo This is the tattoo I got Father's day of this year. This is for all the fallen brothers. You are never forgotten.

Sgt DeWaters
2nd CEB
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Feb 2005 - Feb 2006

Fortitude: mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty, adversity, danger, or temptation courageously

Dear Sgt. Grit,

First off, I am not a Marine...But, until the day I die, will be a VERY proud supporter. I am a 21 year old girl living my life with a Marine by my side, and when I found out he'd be going on his fourth deployment to Afghanistan I was less than excited, but knew by the strength of God everything would be just fine.

The moment that I found out he had gotten his orders I was actually on my way to the gym. As always, I was wearing a USMC t-shirt, had my "Be Safe, Sleep with a Marine" sticker on my water bottle...completely normal for me...haha...I checked in at the gym, proceeded to the elliptical, and as I got closer realized that there was another girl who was wearing what looked like a shirt with USMC printed on the back of it...I kept walking and as I got closer realized that her shirt said "USMC: United States Massacre Cover-up." To say the least, my blood started to boil. I got on the machine next to her, threw my keys down, and before I had a chance to comment at all about her shirt, SHE commented on MINE! She scoffed at me, saying "So I see you wear Marine Corps shirts all the time here, how do you feel about MY shirt?" I stopped what I was doing, turned and looked at her and proceeded to inform her that because this was America, we've got the right to say what we want to say, we've got the ability to wear whatever we want to wear, and that she should know that the REASON those rights and freedoms are available to us are because Marines and other armed services members alike have fought and DIED for those rights and freedoms. I told her that the next time she decided to wear that shirt that maybe she should think about the fact that a Marine sacrificed his life so she could say whatever she pleased and be seen as an a$s to whomever she wanted! I wasn't surprised when she started to gather her things, shaking her head at me like I was some sort of idiot...and right before she got off the machine I casually mentioned to her that even though I realize assault is a felony and didn't plan on breaking any laws that day--that I'm not the only supporter of Marines out there, and that we can get pretty passionate about our Jarheads...not to mention there are a handful of veterans who are members of our gym who won't be afraid to confront her about her attire...and most likely won't be as "nice" as I was to her.

Needless to say, I had a great workout! I will always take every opportunity to stand up strong for my Marines who have stood strong for me since I entered this world 21 years ago. Maybe I'll even get lucky enough to marry one someday! Thanks for all you guys do--you have always been, and will always continue to be my heroes!

Malia Lape`
Lake Oswego, OR
Girlfriend of Sgt. Redfield

Marine's Prayer Plaque
Marine's Prayer Plaque
For Wives - Roses and Thorns Book
For Wives - Roses and Thorns Book

"Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either-but right through every human heart."

Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Corporal Robert M Locke On May 24th of this year, I had the honor of attending my son’s college graduation with a math degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. It had been a long time coming since he had enlisted as a Marine reservist and missed several semesters due to boot camp and training, then a tour in Ramadi, Iraq along with more training that was required before deployment.

He went to Quantico for officer candidate school at the end of his freshman year. Unfortunately, he had injured his leg due to over-training before his arrival and was not able to surmount the rigorous demands that require top physical conditioning before arrival. After some weeks there, the colonel sent him home after a thorough butt-chewing, and threatened to bust him down if he returned with the intention of wasting any more of their time. I guess it takes guts to be a Marine because he returned after junior year with renewed determination and this time he succeeded. I guess altogether, between Parris Island and two visits to Quantico, he has nearly 30 weeks of boot camp under his belt, certainly more than most.

Finally, university graduation date arrived. My son was one of hundreds of graduating seniors, whose plans were announced as part of the ceremony. Some had jobs lined up, others intended to continue with graduate school, still others would begin the search for employment. There was even one young lady who was scheduled to get married on a beach in the Caribbean the following Wednesday. Finally the time came for 6’6" Corporal Robert M Locke to walk across the stage and receive his degree before a heretofore relatively tame audience. The announcer concluded with his introduction by saying, "A few hours from now he will be sworn in as an officer in the United States Marine Corps." The audience instantly erupted in cheers and applause. What a thrilling end to a lot of hard work. And it was a reassuring proof that with all the sour ranting of a predominantly liberal media, the heart and soul of America remains grateful and supportive.

Semper Fidelis
Bob Locke
Marine Dad

PFC Derrick S. Rahman Dear Sgt Grit,

I enjoy receiving this newsletter and look forward to it every week. I like to browse all the nice Marine products offered too. My oldest son graduated Parris Island on 4-11-08, and I purchased several products for him as graduation gifts. My youngest son now plans to leave for Parris Island on 11-2-08. We are 2 for 2.....two sons, and both decided to become Marines! I can't begin to describe the amount of pride I feel as a parent.

I will never forget the incredible emotions on Family Day. It is an experience that cannot be put into words. I am thankful that you offer products that display pride in our young men and women in the service, and offer them at a reasonable price. I'm sure I will be placing another order before my youngest son graduates! You have a lot of cool stuff to choose from!

It also helps to read articles from other parents and what they have gone through. Marines truly are a big family......everyone is so supportive and I feel blessed to be a part of it. Thanks again for this free newsletter.

Gratefully yours,
Proud Marine Mom of PFC Derrick S. Rahman,
And soon-to-be Rct Travis J. Rahman

"Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread."

Thomas Jefferson

My name is Rosie. I wait each month to receive your newsletters. I love hearing all the heroic stories. Well I have one of my own. My husband just came back from his tour in Afghanistan about two months ago. He has been in the Marine Corps for almost 4 years now. So as a surprise for him I got a yellow ribbon tattoo with a heart. This deployment was real had on us, and I wanted to show not just my husband but everyone whom serves, my support for our troops. About two weeks after I got it done I was in Wal-Mart shopping. I was going threw the racks looking at shirts and stuff and there was a women whom was standing to the left of me. She saw my tattoo and said a rude comment. Her exact words were " How can YOU support them" I simply looked back at her and smiled and said with pride " How can you not SUPPORT THEM" I then left the rack and walked off. I too can't believe their are people out there whom just don't understand. That with out our troops their is no freedom! Some one has to fight for it!

With pride I am a Marine wife!
Semper Fi

I don't have a story but I want to say thanks to the brave men and women who are over seas and I would like to comment about the story of the mother and son who were insulted I don't think that anyone that wishes our troops to die in combat really consider what is being said by that that is like telling a cop, firemen, medic that they should die in the line of duty. I say think before speaking you might not agree with what is going on but telling someone you hope they die for doing there job and what they feel is there duty to there country is just wrong. think about it what would happen if we didn't fight the British because a few people thought it was wrong to go to war where would we be? Do you think that you would have some of the freedoms you do now?
Anyway's just want to say thanks and not all of us are cold hearted B**&s

Thanks for everything

"You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. If nothing is worth dying for, when did this begin?

Should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the pharaohs?

Should Christ have refused the cross?

Should the patriots of Concord Bridge have thrown down their guns and refused to fire the shot heard round the world?"

Ronald Reagan (1964)

Dear Sgt. Grit,

This is in response to Mrs. Peckham's unfortunate encounter in the Wal-Mart store. I am sorry you had to listen to someone insult you and your son. I want you to know you're not alone, it happens all the time.

When my Marine son came back from his first deployment a year ago, my husband and I had a huge welcome home party for him and one of his Marine buddies from the same battalion. As I was mingling outside, I noticed a neighbor lady of ours coming down through the yard and I immediately went inside the house so I wouldn't have to deal with her and I know God was protecting her and me by having me do this. She apparently told my son how she hated the war and how she didn't feel he should have been over in Iraq. Fighting words to a Marine Mom! I asked my son later how he responded and he said just smiled politely and said, I understand. I wouldn't have been so gracious, I promise you.

About an hour later, this neighbor's husband came down to apologize to me and my son for his wife. He was truly livid, very red in the face, and beyond irate. The reason -- he's a retired Marine. He was truly appalled that his wife had come down to my son's homecoming to tell him anything but thank you and I immediately felt bad for all the things I was thinking I would have said to her if I'd been outside to hear her. I think her husband's ire was plenty for her to deal with. My son is now on his second deployment to Iraq and I am always beaming with pride and I will wear one of my USMC Marine Mom t-shirts (I have about eight so far) or my "My Son is a Marine" pin every time I leave the house so people can see just how proud I am. So while the ignorant speak, we can listen and smile and know how foolish they are, while our t-shirts and pins and smiles say everything for us.

God bless you and your son and all those who are protecting our freedom.

Melodie Connelly
Proud Marine Mom of Cpl Clements, Nathan

Last month I had the honor of attending the funeral of an excellent retired Marine named Colonel Elmer Payne. I met him at a bridal shower. (His grandson married my daughter). Within a few minutes of arriving at the Shower, it was normal that two jarheads would find each other and start comparing notes (the usual lies and BS). I was a electronics repairman during the early 70's and he was an aviator. To hear him talk of flying, it was like he was a teenager again.

Several years later, Colonel Payne's health declined dramatically and he passed away in July of 2008 here in North Carolina. At his Funeral, (Full military with an outstanding compliment of Marines led by a really sharp Lt. Colonel -my guess was Cherry Point) I found out that Colonel Payne had joined as an enlisted in 1946, served 5 years as an enlisted and was able to go to OCS. He flew about anything that would get off the ground in both Korea and Vietnam. He had several commendations for his air combat missions to support grunts in Viet Nam and returned in the late 1970's. He went on to be a Corporate Pilot for another 30 years.

During the Visitation before the service, I had the chance to talk to his brother (also a Marine). It was so clear that Colonel Payne was an outstanding Marine of the finest Caliber and I know he will be missed.

One thing I noticed among the 20 or so Marines in the honor Guard was the amount of "fruit salad" on their uniforms. We have a lot of troops spending a lot of time in some rough areas of the world. God bless them for stepping up to the plate for the rest of us. I was really proud of them and for the brotherhood we have.

Rick Cassel,
USMC 1974-1978

"If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy."

Thomas Jefferson

done with the swim .. off on the bike I go Happier times.. before I started .. my inspiration .. Marines, Past & present We had to be there at friggen 0545 ... I wasn't quite awake
Thought you guys would get a kick out of these.. Yes, I was the only one out of over 900 to wear utes n boots but , it's the very least that I can do to honor our heroes , no?

Semper Fi
I made it .. barely Dianne Villano , Support Our Marines, Inc

1. done with the swim .. off on the bike I go
2. Happier times.. before I started .. my inspiration .. Marines, Past & present
3. We had to be there at friggen 0545 ... I wasn't quite awake
in this one
4. I made it .. barely

To whom it may concern,

I am a mother of a 15 year old boy, his goal in life after high school is to go to North Georgia College, from there, his goal is to become a Lt. in the Marines. His name is Austin Marx, he receives his emails through my email address.

I am very proud of your son, what a major accomplishment in his life, I am also very proud of your advice for him to wear his uniform under his cap & gown. I am , however, disappointed in his principal, yet, at the same time, I am very proud of your son for showing his fellow classmates, principal, mothers and fathers of students what a well rounded young man he his, and his role in the Marines, and for standing up , and helping to keep AMERICA SAFE....... STAND TALL, BE PROUD, BE A MARINE : )

Semper Fi,
Janet Marx

Worth a listen & a moment of reflection!
Baxter Black - Gold Speak (VIDEO)

"Love your country. Your country is the land where your parents sleep, where is spoken that language in which the chosen of your heart, blushing, whispered the first word of love; it is the home that God has given you that by striving to perfect yourselves therein you may prepare to ascend to him."

Giuseppe Mazzini

In response to "Marine Wife" from the August 7th newsletter. Wow! You read my mind and my heart. Your letter really touched me and I cried the whole time I was reading it. Being a Marine wife is the hardest thing I have ever done but, it is also very rewarding. I love that I can say that my husband is one of the Few and the Proud.

It is very difficult to put into words all of the feelings that go along with being a Marine wife but, you did it. You are so right. Every time he leaves, it is harder than the time before. Helping him pack up his stuff gets to me every time. We have not had to go through a deployment yet but, we have spent a lot of time apart. I was not able to go with him to TBS so that was a very long 6 months. We were able to talk on the phone and I made a few weekend trips but, you know that is no substitute for quality time with your man. I am grateful for cell phones and email! We got to spend a few weeks together in July and he was off again. Six weeks in Cherry Point and then off to Twenty-nine Palms for 3 months. This whole time, I will stay at home in Texas. After it is all done, if he doesn't deploy in January, we will have spent a whole year living apart. Longer if he does go in January of course.

It is the strangest feeling to be so torn, wanting to be with your husband so bad it hurts, and so very proud of him and what he does. Understanding that his desire and commitment to serve and be a part of something greater than himself, also means some sacrifice on your part too. And I wouldn't change any of it. I will do whatever it takes to support him. So, we try to talk on the phone as much as possible and I wait until I can finally join him. I worry about what is to come and welcome it at the same time. I cry when I read stories in the newsletter and at other times when something small makes me think of him and that pain of missing him just washes over me.

I just wanted to say thank you. Sometimes I feel a little alone in my situation. I am not near a base and don't have the benefit of being surrounded by other military spouses. Most people here just can't comprehend what it is like. So, it is a huge comfort to know that there other spouses that are in the same boat as me and that really do understand what it is like. God Bless You for writing that letter. Thank you so much Sgt. Grit for providing family members a place to communicate. God Bless all of the families out there that miss their service members. Most of all God Bless our Marines. They truly are an elite breed and we are all lucky to have them in our lives.

Proud Marine Wife from Texas
Semper Fi!

Mr. Mahanay: Respectfully, "Take back" nothing! Your daughter was raised by a Marine. All her life, in covert and overt ways, she was raised and steeped in the environment of The Corps. Thus, I respectfully suggest to you that while your heart aches for the loss of your child, reflect on the fact that your Marine Corps fervor - especially "why did you join the Army" was accepted by your baby, because she knew your ‘harassment’ about joining the Army was love in its purest form: a Father, passing along to his Offspring, the wisdom of one who’d been there and done that. And that, Sir, is what we dads are supposed to do. In the final analysis, your Daughter made her Service-to-Country choice with her heart and head full of the life-lessons learned from her Marine daddy. And because she is the Daughter of one of God’s Chosen Few, she, too, has the honor of moving to her new Duty Station, On High, and standing formation with Marines already there guarding God’s Zone: each welcoming her because she is, was, and always will be, a Marine’ baby girl who gained from her daddy the courage to go to BadSand and support her commitment to our Nation. May our Warrior King place His healing hand upon your heart and bring you a small measure of peace.

Semper Fi from a Fossilized ‘Nam Vet

Bob Connely

"Whatever enables us to go to war, secures our peace."

Thomas Jefferson

I feel very blessed to have met and fallen in love with a Marine Vietnam veteran. His name is Tom and I have learned so much from our talks about Vietnam and what he and other's like him had to go thru. I must say, that I knew about Vietnam, but that I didn't have a real grasp on the reality of it all, I was born in 1961, what can I say?

And what I have learned is how brave all our men and women were and the sacrifices each one made in order to protect our country, and the ignorance and ridicule they each had to endure when they returned home. I work for Hospice and people ask me how can I do that kind of work, and I tell them it's not what I give but what I get, and in my knowledge of Vietnam, and all the war's I have such a high regard for all who gave of themselves, but most of all for what they could bring back, someone's son, daughter, father, wife, if not for all our brave men and women in our military, fighting everyday for our freedom, I could not imagine where we would be today. My Marine had a heart attack in February of this year, it made it thru, and every time I hear his heart beat I think of what a miracle god has given me. I am proud to say that my son-in-law is on his second tour of Iraq, his daughter is now four and he has only been home for one of her birthdays. My daughter I couldn't be prouder of, the way she has grown into such a beautiful, wonderful adult, mother and wife and taken on the responsibility of raising their daughter alone, and never complaining about her husband being gone, as she tell's me, you have to do what you have to do, and my beautiful granddaughter knows exactly who her daddy is, my daughter has made sure of that. I made it .. barely

I am proud of all who have served and who are serving, thank you for making my America ring with pride and thank you to all you wonderful men and women in our armed force's, for if it weren't for you I wouldn't have these two beautiful granddaughters.

Dawn R. Logan (Prescott, Arizona)

My son is a USNavy Corpsman,HM3. Ever since he was a little fella, he's always played Marine and even made his own uniforms and weapons.

His father was a Hospital Corpsman and during Desert Storm, was sent to San Diego because they needed a Doc at the Marine recruit depot.

My son always talked about joining the military and wanted to be the best so when he decided to join he was heading for the Marines. I was very apprehensive, and thought I had talked him into joining the Navy because Marines are hardcore and the first in and it's so dangerous; you know typical 'mom concerns' and with his aptitude and marital art training and nursing classes he had started, being a hospital corpsman made sense to me. Well, he visited the recruiters, talked to his dad and all his friends from different branches and decided the Navy was for him and he was going to be a hospital corpsman.

What he had planned was as soon as he finished Corps school-and he finished earlier than his class so he could go on immediately to FMF at Camp Lejune, a Marine Base.

To be a Marine Corpsman; a Doc with the Marines. And he was hot to get with his reserve unit so he could go to Iraq with them. He had his timeline all figured out, except one thing. The med.unit had to submit the names so many days before deployment.....he just missed it .

I'm here to tell you now, after I saw the man he became after Corps school and the man he is today after 'field Marine force', (as I call it) training, I am very proud of what the Marines have done with him. He loves the Marines and is still pushing to get 'hooked up' with a unit.

I'm ok with it all now. The Marines are Awesome. My sweet natured, loving boy has turned into a decisive, straight up, Marine Corpsman.

Thank you for listening and I hope I haven't offended anyone with the locations names and spelling.

Chris Farris

"Don't carry a grudge. While you're carrying the grudge, the other guy's out dancing."

Buddy Hackett

My son Sonny James was thrown into the Marines at age fourteen, just eight months after his ten year old brother passed away (due to a misdiagnosis from a doctor. Sonny could not handle his passing and began a gothic style regimen. He was such a mess and began carving on himself amongst other distasteful actions. I called his counselor and asked for help to save my only surviving son. He immediately suggested the "golden gate youth Marines" that took place on the "USS Hornet". We dropped him off at 7am Saturday morning for PT and retrieved him Sunday evening at 7pm. Within weeks we saw a dramatic improvement! I had my son back! Since then he became "Devil Pup" and at 16 went Camp Pendleton for a two week boot camp. We went to his graduation and witness his accomplishments to which they gave him a coin medal the he still carries with him to this day. From 16 on he went to the recruiting office every Friday for PT and today just turning 20 July 19 ,2008 in Afghanistan he is a weapons expert serving our country for you and I and our future children. He has witnessed many tragedies, lost dear friends but is still with us to this day. He knows his job and does it well and will return home late November 2008. My son wants to make a difference for us and his life. We need more commitment from these young men and women with a purpose and a goal of contribution. Please say a prayer for our courageous young men and women serving our country and prayer for their safe return. God Bless America, God bless my son for the strength and courage to make a difference for all us civilians . I am a PROUD MOTHER of a "MARINE"! Keep them in your prayers and oh so close to your heart! "God Bless US ALL"!


I come from a military family who is always proud to serve. My grandfather was 26 years in the navy, my father did 23 years in the navy, my mother worked for DOD navy for 33 years, I married a Marine, and my brother is a Captain in the Marines now. I have many cousins, uncles, etc. who have and are serving the country now as Marines and soldiers.

Nothing changes your life more than the loss of a person younger than you who is lost at war. January 2008 as we were attending the funeral of an uncle who had given service to DOD navy for a number of years, we received the most horrible news you can get. My cousin serving in Iraq was killed in action. Then as if that was enough my brother who as completed on previous tour in Afghanistan, was now given orders to go to Iraq.

All I ask is that every day we remember all who serve no matter what we are doing, or where we are.
Pray hard, life is short.


To Denise Wilson,
I have just read your letter about your son, Ivan, and wish to extend my deepest sympathy to you & your family. Just looking at the picture of that beautiful smile made me realize the world has lost a special person.

I have just welcomed my son home after 2 tours and his 4 year commitment and feel so sad that you couldn't do the same. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

Another Proud Marine Mom

Dear Sgt Grit
I am a VERY proud Marine Mom. I found out this week my son will be home from Iraq in a few weeks. Thank you God and GYSGT Weber! Anyway, just wanted to let you know while he was deployed your news letters where extremely helpful in keeping my head on straight, so I could be strong for my son.

God Bless you and all our Marines through out the world. Rebecca Leddy
Mom to LCpl. Mouch, Adam K.

"’Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death."

Thomas Paine

Dear Mrs. Wilson, I wanted to write and tell you how sorry I am for the loss of your son, Ivan. It breaks my heart a little bit every time I read about a brother Marine lost in action. I am sure all my fellow Marines would tell you the same thing. In fact, it stings quite a bit. Fortunately, we take comfort in knowing we will all attend final formation together in a better place. I can tell by the picture you sent that your son is a warrior and because he died in combat, he died with a happy heart. I hope you can understand that. Perhaps my words offer you little comfort but although I did not know Ivan, I loved him because we are brothers and his memory will live forever. I am proud of him as I am of all my fellow Marines. I want to thank you very much for your sacrifice as a Marine mother and I hope God continues to bless you and your family. I don't have much to give, only that come November 10, 2008, I will raise a toast to your son and all who are around me will drink to him, and observe a moment of silence in his honor. I promise. Thank you again and Semper Fidelis.

Sgt. Robert Miranda

Sgt., Thanks for giving us a place to share.

My son Russell came home on leave in April after boot camp graduation. When his leave was over he left here with $10 to his name. Russell ate that before he even got back to San Diego.

The Airlines bumped him up to 1st class. *I thought his chest was going to explode* It made him feel so good. He had plane delays which put him at the USO just after all the shuttles to the base stopped. So here's my son just after Midnight with no way to get anywhere. Standing out at the curb with all his sea bags.

A few minutes later another flight must have come in and he found himself suddenly not alone. 3 other Marines, also with no shuttle to the base. All standing at the curb. They hailed a cab and shared it with Russell.

Now all they needed to do was find a hotel... it was too late to try and head back to base now. Russell told them of the hotel I stayed in and how well I was treated in San Diego. So that's where they went, Again taking care of their own, they let Russell stay with them.

The next morning the Marines went across the street to a Denny's. They offered to get Russell's breakfast for him. They knew payday was the next day.

The 4 Marines talked of their visits home over breakfast and then asked for their check. The waitress told them she hadn't one for them. And that there were 5 other patrons who drew straws at the register to see who won the chance to pay their bill. *Pointing to the man who actually got the bill.*

Russell said it choked him up, they were all choked up. None of them knew what to say. Just as if on cue, the gentleman stood up and made his way to the boys table. He told them he was an Retired Navy and was proud to show what little appreciation he could for our brave young men, a breakfast was a small price to pay compared to the one they may be facing.

Russell told me that though they were all Marines, once they saw a tear flow from that mans face, it was contagious. They stood and shook his hand and Thanked him for what he had done.

Most of the employees had heard what this man said. Russell tells me there wasn't a dry eye in the whole place. Everyone was standing around them. Also before they left others had come up to them, gave them hugs, shook their hands and Thanked them. One women said "I missed getting the long straw by an inch. Maybe next time." as she winked at the boys.

Russell told me that for the first time he couldn't find the words to even describe how all that made him feel. Doubts if he ever will.

It was however the boost he needed after watching on the news about the 12 Marines who had been killed while he was home on leave.

As of Sunday(May) Russell was told he had a 95% chance of being deployed to Iraq in about 40 days.

This story was written in 2004.

**== Proud Mom of 3 Marines **==

I recently made the decision to enlist in the US Marine Corps, and thought that everyone would be "proud" at least--especially my parents. As it turns out, everyone is extremely disappointed. At first I shrugged this off as those who cared about me not wanting me to be put in danger, but then my mother insisted that I join a different branch that would "Pay more money". I am NOT joining for the money as I do not wish to become a mercenary. I want to serve my country with honor, integrity, and pride. Everyone keeps trying to tell me to join a branch that pays more...what should I do? The only person who has supported me is my girlfriend--without her I would not be able to stand up to the ridicule I have faced from others.

Poolee Hucks

"The hour is fast approaching, on which the Honor and Success of this army, and the safety of our bleeding Country depend. Remember Officers and Soldiers, that you are Freemen, fighting for the blessings of Liberty - that slavery will be your portion, and that of your posterity, if you do not acquit yourselves like men."

George Washington

We come from a very traditional Marine family. My Grandfather was a Marine during WWII, My dad was a career Marine and served two tours in Vietnam and was a combat decorated Marine with a Purple Heart. I served in the 3rd MAW from 80 to 83 and did serve in combat. All of us were proud of our tradition. I lost my Grandfather and my dad two years apart and I was heart broken I had lost my Marines.

My young cousin entered OCS and became a young Butter Bar Lt. that went in to Iraq during the initial invasion in '03. He came back the following Christmas and during a family function, it was stated he did not wish to discuss what he had went through or what he had seen. I was hurt, but respected his wishes. I had also wrote him several times during the invasion and had never received a reply. I finally accepted our family tradition ( as far as my branch ) had been broken.

Last month I received a package from MCRD from my cousin Capt John Stevens the Company Commander. Inside the package was shirts and caps of my old units and my dads units. That spoke volumes, that he had taken the time not only to research this, but to send them on his own dime without my asking for it.

We will make arrangements to meet later, I could not be more proud of him.

Billy Stevens

To the Marine Mom who shared her story about being called a "B----" because she was wearing her "Proud Mom of a Marine" shirt, I want to say that I have had similar experiences. When I am asked where son is stationed, I tell them that he is an M.P., stationed at MCAS Yuma. Yes, there are those who say he "really isn't serving our country" since he's stationed stateside, and that upsets me because they just don't understand that our young men and women go where they are ordered to. I usually respond to such ignorant statements by asking what their sons and daughters are doing for our country which is usually enough to shut them up. I realize that there are people who don't agree with us being in IRAQ and can't support the troops regardless of where they stand on the war issue. The vast majority of my experiences have been very positive though and I appreciate the kind words and expressions of gratitude for what my son is doing. Continue to wear your "Proud Mom of a Marine" shirt and hold your head high. You have every right to be proud! I know that I am VERY proud to be a Marine Mom!

Semper Fi
Maribeth Park
Proud Mom of LCpl. Timothy R. Marshall

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."

George Orwell

Sgt Grit
My son graduated PI July 18, 2008. I have never seen or experienced anything so beautiful in my life.

The pride you feel as a parent is beyond words. He was on PI for 6 months. In PCP, needed to do more pull ups. Went into Alpha Co and 10 days into training tore a ligament. When asked if he wanted to go home he replied "YES SIR, AS A MARINE"

So he worked hard in PT (God Bless the doctors and all that helped my son) he healed and was put into Fox Co. He made Expert Marksman and graduated PFC.

I am volunteer coordinator of a soup kitchen in RI. My son started helping me there when he was 4 years old, he is now 22. He would help me every Monday night.

In high school he was in the JROTC and on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day he and all the JROTC, in full uniform, would seat our homeless guests as though they were in a 5 star restaurant. I am so proud to be his mother!

I am also proud to be a part of this wonderful group of Marine Parents. A Marine Mom went into MRP when my son was hurt and took his picture. She goes to PI 3 times a year and comforts the injured, sick and those in PCP.
I call her the Mother Teresa of the Marines.
Her name is Karyn Houser.
She did what I could not--visit, hug and comfort my son. God Bless her.

Thanks you,
Doreen Holmes

I really want and hope that Dorothy Hampton does happen upon my email. My son too is a Marine. He has been interested in the Marines back when he was a Freshman in High School. He, too, graduated early (in January) and off to boot camp in March. The timing was good as well that he graduated MCRD on June 6 and his high school graduation was on the 13th. He wanted to wear his dress blues, however, the principal of his high school said "No" and that he would have to wear his cap and gown. Eric wore his blues under his cap and gown and once on stage, he pulled off the cap and gown and the crowd went wild.

We are so proud of him!
Laurie Brehm,
Very Proud Marine Mom

Bravo to Mrs Hampton, to graduate boot camp is like graduating from High School, Harvard, Yale, and being elected President all in the same day. I think there is a good chance the principle was not a Marine

(Cpl) Doug Scrivner
USMC 1967-1970 Semper Fi RVN 68-69
BLT 2/7 B & C Co. 1st Tanks (Zippo) 1st Mar.Div.

"Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction"

Joe Alvino

Sgt. Grit,

You can title this as "Prospective Marines", or "Recruits Go To MEPS". . .

I spent 10 of the best years of my life, from June 1968 thru June 1978, in our beloved Corps. During my "tour", I made 2 different tours in Okinawa, 1 tour of Nam, a tour on Recruiting Duty, and stateside did some time at Camp LeJeune, Camp Pendleton, MCRD San Diego (boot camp & ComElec School), and my last stateside tour was at Quantico. I did get around. But, this is not about me. I now work for DOD at DFAS-IN as a IT specialist. Because I get to work at approximately 5:45 am, yes, I am still an early riser, thanks to the Corps, I often see 1 or 2 busloads of new "recruits" offloading in the parking lot to head to the MEPS, which is co-located in the DFAS-IN Finance Center. Usually there are anywhere from 50 to 75 bright shining faces lined up to go thru the security checkpoint before entering the building. Admittedly, the bulk of these young men and women are not Marine Corps recruits, but, I can always spot those who are. They seem to stand a little straighter, look a little more proud, and are dressed a little sharper. Granted, at 5:45 am, it is hard for the normal American teen-ager to look sharp, but, these future Marines seem to do just that.

I want to let everyone know that, from what I see of these young Americans, that the American spirit is alive and well. I am extremely proud of these young people, whether Marine recruits, Army, Navy or Air Force. They are beginning their lives anew. They are continuing the traditions that all veterans have protected and that the service men and women of today continue to protect.

My war ended over 30 years ago, theirs is ongoing. I wear my service in the Corps proudly. I have a "Bull Dog" tattoo on my right forearm. I can only hope and pray that these young future Marines, soldiers, sailors and air men will be as proud of their service as I am of mine. God Bless these young men and women.

I left active duty in 1978, but I have never left the Corps! I'll be getting my first EGA tattoo soon. When I do, I will send pics of the Bull Dog I have had since 1969 and the new one. God Bless Our Corps & America.

Jim Gerard
SGT of Marines, Service # 2470862
June 27, 1968 - June 9, 1978
Viet Nam 1970 - 71

Sgt. Grit

I want to contribute my story, because it is of a nature that I do not usually see on the newsletter. First, however, I want to thank the jarhead who posted the Skelton YouTube link. I had the pleasure of giving rating number 1775 to it. Five star stuff.

Too often, those who oppose the current president are lumped into a group here as godless and ignorant, and no doubt, some of them are. But I will tell you, this is just not the case. I was out and about the other day, in one of my Sgt. Grit issue jarhead shirts. I was pushing my shopping cart back up to the front of the parking lot and I passed a Honda SUV with some rather colorful bumper stickers plastered on the back. They did not paint a very nice picture of our commander-in-chief.

The POV's owner was just finished putting her stuff away and was walking around to return her cart. I offered to take it (force of habit) and she noticed my EGA. She smiled, looked down at her bumper stickers and looked back at me. I smiled back. This is, word for word, as near as I can recall, how the conversation went:

"You were in the Corps?" (I guess my belly made her use the past tense)

"Six years active."

"My son is in Iraq right now."

"Been there long?"

"It's his third trip. I'm so proud of him."

I guess I looked surprised, because she continued:

"As long as this war goes on, even if (it was started on false pretenses), it's the Marines who will do the right thing over there. Like it or not, its all our war."

I travel in circles that bring me into contact with people diverse in race, creed, nationality, political leaning and general outlook. The only universal I have found, with so few exceptions that I cannot recall one here, is that my Marine status counts for instant credibility and respect. Liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, mentioning the Marine Corps seems to bring out the patriot in everyone I meet.

Semper Fi,

Sgt. Terry Mahoney, 90-96

In the arms of angels. (VIDEO)

"They’ll forgive you for being wrong. What they won’t forgive you for is being right."

Robert L. Bartley

Dear Sgt. Grit

I would like an opportunity, either on or off post, to respond to Mr. R. Mahanay's posting of Wed. 8/13 entitled "I received Word".

Dear Mr. Mahanay,

Sir, let me begin by stating that these pitiful words of mine, nor those of others, can begin to compensate you for your loss. But know that the sacrifice that your family has made will remain in my heart forever. For you see...

I am also a former Marine, from back in the sixties. Two years ago my son joined the Army. After giving him a really bad time, I asked him why the Army? Without batting an eye, he looked at me and said, "because the Army would offer me better job training"...

It is at this point our stories diverge, for my son is currently serving in Iraq and I am an anxious parent now waiting to "receive word" and praying that I won't. Thanks to you sir, I now know the necessity of letting him know that my giving him a "bad time" over his choice of service was in no way meant to be demeaning, as I am also sure that neither was yours. It is my belief that your daughter would also know this; and that from the Marine guard on duty a welcome home and thanks for a job well done will be forthcoming.

As to your closing of "These kids are brave too". Yes, they are just kids; our sons and our daughters, whom we believe to be America's finest. As Marines, let's take a moment to remember that irregardless of the branch of service; they are indeed brave too, and I for one hold all in the highest esteem.

Sir, my prayers are with you and yours

Steve Parmenter
USMC '65-'69

Press Release
For immediate Release
Contact: Bill Kibler, Webmaster, 703-209-USMC

Subject: Beirut Memorial Stamp Request Declined

August 13, 2008
Randy L Gaddo
President, Beirut Veterans of America
Peachtree City, GA 30269
Dear Mr. Gaddo:
Thank you for submitting your proposal for a "Peacekeepers" postage stamp honoring the U. S. Serviceman killed in Beirut, Lebanon. The entire contents of your proposal was presented to each member of the Citizen's Stamp Advisory Committee for review and discussion at their recent July meeting.

After a substantial deliberation, the members of the Committee agreed not to move forward with designing a stamp featuring the Beirut Memorial in Jacksonville, North Carolina. The Committee cited its longstanding general policy of not honor the victims of tragic situations, including natural disasters, acts of violence, and catastrophes.

We appreciate your organization's continued support for the victims, families and friends of the Beirut Peacekeepers and hope other means will be found to honor their sacrifice.

David Failor
Executive Director, Stamp Services

Dear Sgt. Grit,

Wanted to write a letter to hopefully be included in next week's on-line edition, as next week (August 20th) will mark the one year anniversary of my son leaving for Boot Camp to join the world's finest, in his quest to become a United States Marine.

I'm probably no different than any other proud Marine Mom but still want to share my story. I'd like to take all the credit for the fine young man my son, PFC David Cohoe has become, but those credits go to his fine mentors in the Corps, most notably, his Drill Instructors. This letter is not so much to brag on my son, as it is to try to tell other parents of future Marines of the amazing transformation they will witness in their child as a result of their commitment to the USMC.

In the months leading up to my son's departure for Boot Camp, he was your typical long-haired, guitar-playing, good-time kid, with a fondness for playing all things 80's-rock on his guitar. His favorite band from that era was/is Guns-N-Roses (he teethed to that as a baby), so he took to memorizing "Sweet Child o' Mine"; constantly playing this on his guitar, both day and night, driving us mad!. Before we knew it, High School graduation had come and gone, summer was winding down, and it was the day David was to head off to Boot Camp. In the car, on our way to drop our Poolee off at MEPS, "Sweet Child o' Mine" came out of the radio. This brought tears to everyone's eyes -my tough Poolee, my husband, and even our daughter who is 4 years younger than her USMC big brother, and worships him endlessly. I couldn't even speak as I reached behind my seat to hold his hand and squeeze 3 times-our silly unspoken code for "I Love You".

While David was in Boot Camp, we wrote to him faithfully, nearly daily, and found ourselves waiting hungrily by the mailbox for any return word-practically cart-wheeling up the driveway when we got a letter. During those 13 weeks of Boot Camp, David got discouraged only one time, and the letter he wrote home describing his woes was heart-wrenching to read because, as a parent, thousands of miles away, there is nothing you can do but continue to encourage and express your pride in this huge endeavor. You can't keep a good man down, and the rest of his correspondence was positive and upbeat. We spent those three months as I'm sure many parents have-ordering gear from Sgt. Grit, proudly wearing our USMC shirts and staking signs in our yard telling the world about our young Marine-to-be!

Before we knew it, graduation arrived and I cannot describe the anxiety I felt to finally see 'my baby'. We arrived in San Diego on Wednesday evening, checked into billeting, and immediately walked over to the parade deck, in hopes of a glimpse of our son in his platoon practicing for Graduation. We didn't immediately see him, but we heard him..up on the balcony of his dorm we heard his voice, clear and distinct carry across the parade deck: "HOLY CRAP, THAT'S MY FAMILY!". He was immediately PT'ed right then and there, LOL! I didn't know weather to laugh or cry! I slept better that night than I'd slept in 13 weeks.

The next day as we took our seats for the Eagle Globe and Anchor ceremony, the anticipation I felt inside had me excited to the point I was nauseous. Soon, I'd be hugging him! After the Eagle, Globe and Anchor ceremony, parents flooded out of the stands in their rush to greet their Marine. I was one of the first parents out of the stands and onto the parade deck and would have plowed anyone down who would have had the poor judgment or misfortune to be between me and my Marine, hahahaha! He had barely broke from formation to turn and shake the hands of his platoon brothers, but he didn't have the time-I was upon him like a shot, and I grabbed him in a fierce and proud embrace. Before me stood not 'my baby', but a man who stood tall and proud and forever changed.

As we near the one year anniversary of where this transformation began , I just want to tell the world that my pride in my Marine has only continued to grow beyond what I ever thought possible. He continues to be a source of pride to his entire family. You are our hero, PFC David Cohoe! I love you, Sweet Child o' Mine!

To the parents of Poolees-you aint' seen nothin yet! Your journey is just beginning.

I'm attaching a picture of my Marine:

Proud Mom of PFC David Cohoe
Robin Cohoe

"Remember, there is such a thing as good and evil."

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Sgt Grit, My Daughter was born while I was stationed at Camp Pendleton and has been raised a Marines kid through and through she was born without her hips being quite fully formed and the bones in her lower back are almost transparent on x-rays so she has had a lot of problems but never quits, this doesn't make her handicapped but with just the wrong injury she could easily be. Now I expect