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LCPL Branden R. Bell My son, 20 year old LCPL Branden R. Bell, Arriving home to base in Twenty Nine Palms, California, from deployment in Iraq.
March 18, 2008 YEAH!
Kimberley Campbell

Sgt. Grit;

I grew up in a household that though it was not anti-military it sure was not pro-military. As many others in our country I simply took my freedom for granted; after all we are the greatest nation in the world. As I grew up I began to understand that the only reason we are the greatest nation in the world is because we have young men who are willing to put themselves in harm's way. Young men whom I have never met made the decision to protect me. In spite of my upbringing I thought I understood it, "We owe many thanks to our military...and so on, and so on."

special newsletter signup Last year my oldest son enlisted in the Delayed Entry Program then early this summer my younger son likewise enlisted. The older son shipped to MCRD at the end of August and will be a Marine by the end of October. As a result I have been researching and reading as much 'stuff' as I could find about recruit training and about the Corps. I ran across an excerpt from the journal of a young man who was in the middle of the crucible. At the end of the excerpt he said that, as he was receiving his EGA, he questioned whether or not he was worthy of wearing the uniform. One of the mostly highly trained recruits in the world was questioning his worthiness to defend his country.

It suddenly dawned on me. All this time that I thought of the military as a job that someone just volunteered for I was deluding myself. I finally got it. I came to the realization that because I have never put on a uniform and picked up a weapon to defend my country I will never get it. I finally got it; I will never understand what it means to those boys who have put themselves in harm's way to protect me. The only reason I will ever come close to understanding is because I will have two sons serving as members of the greatest fighting force on earth.

233 Years Birthday Ball T-shirt
233 Years Birthday Ball T-shirt
Birthday Ball Coin 233 Years
Birthday Ball Coin 233 Years
Birthday Ball Pilsner Glass
Birthday Ball Pilsner Glass

As never before my hat goes off to all those who have served this country. We who have never worn a uniform owe a debt that can never be paid. The only humble words I can come up with is, "Thank you."

Extremely proud father of Recruit Mike and Poolee Pat.


"I heard the bullets whistle, and believe me, there is something charming in the sound."

George Washington

Kyle and his sister Kyle and his dad, Joe Alexa, I know how you feel about getting surprised by an early return! This was our son's second deployment to Iraq and being through one already, we figured that the time posted on our 1-800 number would be different than the actual return time. And boy, was it! We had gone to the mall to "kill time", and had just pulled up in to a parking space and let my daughter out to purchase a book when the phone rang and it was our Kyle, letting us know that they were at Cherry Point, getting ready to pull out and head over to Camp LeJeune! I ran in to the book store, where, thankfully my daughter was just making her purchase, and we rushed over to our hotel, grabbed our banner and headed over to the grassy knoll to wait their arrival. God Bless the Marines for getting our son and the other men back safely, AND early! Semper Gumby, right?

Sharon McClendon
VPMM of LCpl Kyle

"Of the four wars in my lifetime none came about because the United States was too strong."

Ronald Reagan

First I want to thank Sgt Grit for the fantastic news letter. Reading the story's each week brings back many memory's of a time that seems like a hundred years ago but only 27. Like running PT through the hills of Edson Range where the wild anis plants filled the crisp morning air with the smell of black licorice. Or the complete thrashing we received when one recruit made some small mistake. We learned as a group as each of us put our individuality in the same box that our personal effects went into when we got off the bus at MCRD. The ( What did I get myself into thought) that runs through every recruits head when you meet your drill instructors for the first time. I am envious of our active duty Marines and both of my sons as they are both active duty Marines as well. I would trade places in a hart beat and draw my 782 gears and weapon if they would let me.

Christmas Garden Flag
Christmas Garden Flag
5in Nutcracker Christmas Ornament
5" Nutcracker Christmas Ornament
Red and Gold Gift Bag
Red and Gold Gift Bag

But that is in the past now and my time spent in the Corps will always be in my hart. To be part of such a distinguished fraternity steeped in history and traditions has truly been a honor for me. And when I look at the young men and women serving now I see the same hard chargers that demonstrate the same esprit De Corps and Gung Ho spirit that has been one of the cornerstones of our Beloved Marine Corps. To see a tear run down the face of a recruit as he or she try's to maintain there military bearing while he or she is handed the eagle globe and anchor for the first time is proof that the Change is complete, The transformation was a success and there name will be added to the duty roster located in the guard shack at the main gate in heaven. If I were to give any advice to young Marines it would be this. Take advantage of every minute you spend in our Corps, Soak up every bit of history and lore you can. And when the time comes to talk to your career planner give him or her the time of day, Thank long and hard about your decision. The old saying goes couldn't wait to get in, once in couldn't wait to get out, once out, you want back in.

Stand tall Brothers and Sisters
Semper Fi
Fortun Fortuna Juvat
JMA once a Corporal Forever a Marine

"A bureaucrat is the most despicable of men, though he is needed as vultures are needed, but one hardly admires vultures whom bureaucrats so strangely resemble. I have yet to meet a bureaucrat who was not petty, dull, almost witless, crafty or stupid, an oppressor or a thief, a holder of little authority in which he delights, as a boy delights in possessing a vicious dog. Who can trust such creatures?"

Marcus Tullius Cicero

On Friday Sept 26 My wife, son and his family, made the trip to Twenty-Nine Palms in hopes of getting to see my grandson newly promoted LCpl. Jeremy Thomas, of the 3 Bn. 8th 1 Marine Division. He had just finished his five week pre-deployment desert training. To our delight he finally texed us we could see him, securing our passes we headed about five miles inland to his temporary houches. Gosh we were greeted by a much more mature young man. We discovered they let us on base to see him as he was the only west-coast Marine in the battalion, all the rest were east coast men. We got to spend about Three hours with him in the sand box. the reason behind it being the thought the other guys would have a chance to see their people when the returned to Camp Lejeune in three days time. We met his Lt. and the Sgt in charge of his section who both spoke with us and eased some of our fears we also met a few of his buddies. While these guys look like little kids they talk like mature Marines confident in their knowledge and training. We spent most of the time around the PX and felt like we were in a war zone every young man had his weapon on him at all times in the PX, going to the head, it was on their chest or back. Of great interest to me was the rolling equipment I saw mostly from a distance. the new explosive resistant personal carrier, and the newer armored humvees. But most impressive to me was the huge 7 ton trucks gees they dwarf the old 4 duce of my day. These boys are deploying Nov.1. God Bless all our Troops and bring them home safe. and Thanks to the leaders of 3-8-1 for letting us see our boy.

Pfc. Robert Young 56-58, 1st Ser. Bn. 1st MarDiv
Smilin_Bob Young

"Democracy will soon degenerate into an anarchy, such an anarchy that every man will do what is right in his own eyes and no man's life or property or reputation or liberty will be secure, and every one of these will soon mould itself into a system of subordination of all the moral virtues and intellectual abilities, all the powers of wealth, beauty, wit and science, to the wanton pleasures, the capricious will, and the execrable cruelty of one or a very few."

John Adams

I can admit- in the beginning, I did not support any kind of war, defense system, etc.. I chose to be naive, & ignorant to the world around me.

Three years ago, my Fiancé & I walked into a USMC Recruit office due to his interest in doing the right thing & supporting his country. I learned so much, & am extremely proud to say that my Fiancé is now thru his 2nd week in training at MCRD San Diego. His Recruiter, & now a true friend, SSgt. Henry Echeverria helped me to see & understand that I can, & should stand for something. It took a while to get there...but I am so proud! I wear a United States Marine Corps shirt everywhere I go, almost everyday. On the days I don't, I carry my keys around on a USMC lanyard.

My Fiancé & I have a Daughter 9 days away from turning 2, & she will grow up appreciating the world around her. Her Father & I will teach her that there are true heroes in this world. They belong to the United States Marine Corps!

"Only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain that they will never be employed."

John F. Kennedy

To the Grandmother of Cpl. Matthew Wyatt.

What ever the outcome in Iraq, your grandson did not die in vein. He gave his life not for just what he thought was right, but also for his fellow Marines and for the entire Corps. He follows in a long line of Marines who gave their lives' for what was right in their own mind's and heart's, that could never be in vein. Those of us who have survived War and "Conflicts" will remember his sacrifice and his commitment to his Country, his Corps and his buddies.
May God Bless You,

Bob Treitler
Vietnam Vet

"A wise and frugal government... shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."

Thomas Jefferson

A Sad Note: The Marine Corps family lost a true example of a superb Marine SNCO, a husband, father and friend when MSgt Joseph D. Monaco passed away in Vista, CA at the age of 80. Joe was a communicator in Korea and the senior recruiter at both the Kensington & Allegheny and Castor & Cottman sub-stations in Philadelphia in the mid 1950's. He was my recruiter in 156 and again in 1958 in a relationship that encompassed mentor, advisor, role model and life-long friend. He set the example in all things for many, many Marines, for family and with business associates after his retirement from the Corps. Joe died on September 18, 2008 and fittingly his memorial service will take place on the weekend of the Marine Corps birthday. I can truly say that I have known and respected this Marine for more than 52 years. His presence will be missed by his personal family and the Marine Corps family. Semper Fidelis Joe, permission to go ashore.

Joe Featherston, Platoon 351 MCRD PI (1956)
Major, USMCR. Retired

Ancient Rome
"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance."

Cicero -- 55 BC

Sgt Grit
Semper Fi! You have a great organization that reaches out and networks with all Marines and their friends and families. Terrific window of opportunity to outfitted and keep updated and maintain open lines of communication. For those that have come before, serving presently and those in the future of the Corps, I salute you one and all. We live in a different world: some good and some ...We face challenging financial times and 24-7 security for our family, friends and country. I served with 2nd Bn 4th Marines in Vietnam and Special Ops. From Guerilla warfare to urban warfare the challenge is the same: The Few The Proud The Marines.

I devote as much of time assisting those that have served with my brothers with VFW in Vancouver, Washington . My team leaders start each work day by asking, " How can we positively impact and help those that served?" Personally rewarding, self- gratification to reach out and help all that have served. The personal satisfaction to know that you have helped a veteran in need : words cannot adequately express.

No matter where you served, when you served, or for how long you served: we are a unique family of a 'few' and yet 'proud'. Not enough take the time to say thank you. I was filling my tank @ local Costco when a customer across the pump must have noticed my Sgt Grit decals..." Excuse me, but I couldn't help notice you served USMC/Vietnam...I just wanted to say thanks for serving our country.." No one had ever approached me, in all these years ( 62 years senior ) and said thanks for serving our country. For those that have given the ultimate sacrifice, I challenge myself each day to give more time to serve those that have served. It was an honor to serve then and it is an honor to serve in the capacity I do now.

God Bless you one and all. I am proud to be a member of this Company.
Semper Fi One and all

Hugh Casey [Case]
Former USMC Sergeant
2nd Bn / 4th Marines /Second to None
'The Magnificent Bast*rds'

"No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and Virtue is preserved. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauched in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders."

Samuel Adams

I have been reading your wonderful news letter for the last three years since my son headed off to boot camp. I read it all through his first deployment to Iraq finding comfort and tears in all the stories submitted. My son was set to deploy again next week for his second tour but that is not to be. He was killed two weeks ago doing his other passion, riding his motorcycle. He did everything right from wearing gear head to toe, taking classes and but sometimes we're in the wrong place at the wrong time. I don't understand the reasons but I'm sure he is standing guard with his fellow Marines and best friend killed in Iraq last year. I'm not sure that I can handle reading the stories now but I just want to thank you for providing such a place for this large Marine family to express their thoughts and providing us with a place to buy all the items we've needed to show our pride in our son. I will always be proud of this large family he joined and the caring support of everyone is his unit, the ¼ Weapons Co. out of Camp Pendleton. I pray for their safe mission and return as they have become our extended family.

Proud mother of Cpl Jayme Vines

"We should never despair, our Situation before has been unpromising and has changed for the better, so I trust, it will again. If new difficulties arise, we must only put forth new Exertions and proportion our Efforts to the exigency of the times."

George Washington

Sgt Grit,
My friend Will and I have been best friends since middle school. He's always been the kindest of gentlemen-matter of fact the way we met was by him showing my grandmother to the nurse's office to pick me up from school.

Well our sophomore year in high school Will decided to graduate early so that he could be off to boot camp earlier than scheduled. His dedication to the Marines has always been unbelievable. Well I hadn't seen Will in two years because he's been back and forth between California and Iraq.(and I live in Texas where we were both raised) but one day I get an unknown call and usually I don't answer them because its always a telemarketer, but this time it was WILL! He said "hey Brandy! Turn around" and to my dismay he was right behind me in target! I ran and gave him the biggest hug ever.

While catching up I learned so many new things about my dearest friend-I learned that he had been shot in the back on his right side while he was out with his troop in Iraq. It was time for him to head back to California and recoup so that he could redeploy to Iraq...I have no idea how we made it to the was the sunniest day but at one point and time I had to pull over and let him drive because I was sobbing so uncontrollably. Before he jumped out of the car he handed me this T-shirt that says "USMC always faithful" and a necklace that he gave me ½ of..I didn't notice until I put the shirt on and he called me that it was the shirt he was shot I wear it every week and people say you should really throw that shirt out its got a hole in it and I just cant help but smile...

Brandy Walker.

"Freedom is something that cannot be passed on in the blood stream, or genetically. And it's never more than one generation away from extinction. Every generation has to learn how to protect and defend it, or it's gone and gone for a long, long time. Already, many of us, particularly those in business and industry, there are too many who have switched rather than fight. And it's time that particularly, some of our corporations learned, that when you get in bed with government, you're going to get more than a good night's sleep."

Ronald Reagan

Sgt Grit:

It really makes my heart feel good to read letters from young wives like Alexa that is waiting at home and ready to stand beside her husband, love him and be there when he needs her. When I came home from Vietnam there was no posters, no bands, no cheering crowds, only me. As I walked through San Francisco Airport going to my next flight coming home, people would get just as far against the wall and turn their heads as I walked down the runway wearing my Marine Uniform with my Navy rank of Hospital Corpsman on it.

My son did not choose the Navy or the Marines, but he is been in the army for 20 years now and he has come home from Iraq 3 times, We were there for the last 2, and no matter which branch of service your were or are in when these men come home to large banners, bands and all kinds of brass standing around at 2am in the morning waiting on these men to arrive, you really know then what the military is really like in today's world.

Not long ago a former Marine and myself took some supplies for the Backdoor Boutique, and I asked him this question not being smart or anything but just asking. "What is the difference of the Marine of today and the Marine of our time is", without hesitation he replied, "Doc we had a choice and this is what I want to do and am very proud to do it" in your time you didn't have a choice you were called and you followed your countries demands.

This Marine was assigned to 1st battalion 9th Marines but they were not going to Iraq soon enough for him so he requested a transfer and has already been once and is going back again soon. To all of the Men and women in the military, I say you are our heroes and my son who is a Drill Sergeant at Fort Knox, KY of which I ( a Navy Corpsman with 1st battalion 9th Marines 3rd Marine division Vietnam 1967-1968) thank you from the bottom of my heart and you are always in my thoughts and prayers.

Paul L. Lawing
HM3 US Navy 1965-1969
US Marine Corps 1967-1968 (and d*mn proud of it)

"Speak seldom, but to important subjects, except such as particularly relate to your constituents, and, in the former case, make yourself perfectly master of the subject."

George Washington

Massacre you say, these are the same ones who held off a superior enemy at Belleau Wood and helped end WW1, massacre you say, these are the same ones who planted the flag on Iwo Jima, massacre you say, the same the same ones who held off the whole Chinese army on Inchon, massacre you say, the same ones surrounded by NVA and Viet Cong in Khe Sanh, Vietnam. These same ones have answered every call for disasters overseas including the recent one in Indonesia. These same ones now deal with an unscrupulous enemy who hide behind women's skirts, mix in with women and children and their only way of killing their enemy is with roadside bombs and suicide missions. They are cowards. These ones I am talking are US MARINES. If they massacred anyone it was because the enemy mixed in with some women and children because they were too cowardly to face US MARINES. If anyone is being massacred it is US MARINES by those cowards.

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

Winston Churchill

I joined before 911, I was in boot camp when the towers fell. I loved my time in Corps. I got out in '05 after two tours to Iraq. I wanted to go back in this year. They were makin me doing a lot of stupid things. I wanted back in the military so I didn't wait for Gunny to make it happen. I instead went corrupt and joined the Army. I'm deploying to Afghan at the begging of the year. My time in the Corps has helped me make it so far in the army. I'm a team leader as a specialist. I have also taught my new platoon that they can't outshoot me with any weapon system. I will always remember my time in the Corps.

The once Cpl, now Spc Brown

"War may make a fool of man, but it by no means degrades him; on the contrary, it tends to exalt him, and its net effects are much like those of motherhood on women."

H.L. Mencken

Camp Stryker's Sizemore Stables sign Gunny Sizemore receiving a folded flag Gunny Sizemore and Sizemore Stables

"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy."

Ernest Benn

Somebody in Iraq with a great sense of humor and it makes you want to move there....maybe?

View the presentation

I recently ordered from you .Thanks for your catalogue. My son had just returned home on leave before leaving for Iraq and was in a car accident. He is stable but has burns on his face, chest and arms. He had a break in his pelvis which has been repaired and faces surgery on his jaw. He enjoyed looking at your items and still does not know what I ordered for him. Tell all your Marines to keep him in their prayers. His name is Jeremy Willis and was about to fight for his country but now is fighting for his life. I hope that this will not humiliate him but after reading your newsletter I wanted to respond. Thanks to all Marines, past and present who have served our country.
Susan Willis.

"It's incredible how generous you can be with other people's money."

Star Parker

I recently attended a reunion in Fredericksburg, VA of Marines who went through Boot Camp at Parris Island in "The Summer of '48". We tagged along with a group called Marines of Long Ago. While at the reunion, we went through The FBI Academy, had lunch with the young Officers in Training, saw the Marine Corps Museum and on the last night, had a banquet at the Quantico NCO Club. What a show. Made me want to re-up.

While there, the Base Commander, Colonel Charles A. Dallachie read a letter he had received from a young man concerning an acquired respect for the National Colors. I asked the Colonel to send me a copy of the letter as I thought it worth passing on. The letter is enclosed below. I hope you will agree it should be passed on and will include it in one of your newsletters.

Semper Fi,
Andy Anderson
Carthage, Texas
USMC 1948-52, Korea August 3 - September 27, 1950


I go to a small gym in Floral Park, NY everyday. Like most gyms, there is always a radio station playing over the loudspeakers. One of the radio stations is K-JOY FM. Everyday at noon, the station plays the National Anthem in honor of the members of our Armed Forces. I've heard it numerous times and I am ashamed to say, paid little attention to it.

One day last week, when the anthem was played, I was working on one of the weight stations. There were four or five of the regulars at various places in the gym; and one young man who I did not know was working on the Peck-Deck. I watch as this young man, alone out of all of us, stood up and faced the loudspeaker. But for the fact that his hands were folded in front of him, he was clearly standing at attention. He remained in position until the music ended and then resumed his workout.

I walked over to him and complimented him on the fact that he had done the correct thing while the rest of us, who should've known better, did nothing. He said that he stood as he did, not exactly at attention, because he wanted to show the proper courtesy without drawing too much attention to himself. I asked if he was in the military and he replied - no surprise! - that he was a Lance Corporal home on leave from Quantico. We talked for a while, and I went away quite impressed!

The next day I discussed this incident with several of the others at the gym. Each one of them felt as I did. That day, when K_JOY played the anthem, several of us stood and faced the flag which the gym owner (whose brother, a West Pointer, served in Iraq) has hanging in the window. This has become our regular practice, and will continue. Today, a busy Saturday, the entire gym stopped all activity and rendered the correct courtesy when the National Anthem was played.

All thanks to one young Marine who did the right thing when others who should've known better did not.

I have the Marine's name and while I do not wish to embarrass him by naming him here, I will be writing to tell his commanding officer about this.

Awards citations often end with the statement that the awardee's actions were "in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps." I am not suggesting that this young man be given a medal (God knows they are already giving away too many); but clearly, having the moral courage to risk embarrassment by being the only one in a crowd to pay proper respect to our National Anthem is in keeping with the Corps' highest traditions!

So - Thank you, Lance Corporal for leading the way. And thank you, USMC, for (Among other things!) continuing to turn out men like this Lance Corporal.

Semper Fidelis.

"The first virtue on a soldier is endurance of fatigue; courage is only the second virtue."

Napoleon Bonaparte

I spent 4 years as a grunt with 1st. Bat. 8th. Marines. Most of my time was spent in the Middle East. While serving in Desert Storm we used to get a huge amount of mail that would be addressed to any service member. I was given one of these letters from a young school girl who sent a scarf to put in my pocket for good luck. Well I put that scarf in my pocket like she asked. The next day the ground war started and that evening we were dug in our fighting hole after a long day of breeching the mine fields. Well on that evening we got hit from arty rounds and a huge blast hit next to my hole, it was the worst feeling of my life and why my team survived without a scratch is unreal. The only thing that I could think of was my good luck scarf that was in my pocket from that little girl. I am sure that little girl is a young Lady now and I wish I could thank her for her support in person. That little scarf helped me mentally more that anything.

Semper Fi,
Jon Feldman

Note: The Dept. of Defense no longer delivers mail addressed to "Any Service Member".

"It is freedom itself that still hangs in the balance, and freedom is never more than one generation from extinction."

Ronald Reagan

Hello fellow family and friends of the U.S Marines. Its been awhile since I've posted a letter and thought I would take a few minutes, to write a line or two now.
My son, CPL. M.C Guynes, is serving his 5th year as a Marine and I'm just as proud of him now, as the day he graduated. He's been to both Iraq and Afghanistan and will return again, soon.
As his Mother, I have gone though so much worry and stress. Just as we all have done.
It comes with the territory.
It's important that we keep the support of our troops alive. I do this, by posting photos, of their lives over there, on the back of my car window.
I take a photo to the local Wal-Mart, have it blown up to 8x10 on paper that withstands the elements, paste it with Elmers school glue and the reactions of others, is overwhelming. Guess that makes me a Moto Mom.
God Bless each of you and keep the prayers going out.
God Bless our troops.
Lake Charles, La

"No man in his senses can hesitate in choosing to be free, rather than a slave."

Alexander Hamilton

Corpsman Dobbs and children cheering Sgt. Grit
My husband, Rick Dobbs, was a Corpsman in Viet Nam, and, like many other veterans, suffers from PTSD. It took many years of broken relationships, lost jobs, various compulsive behaviors, and finally the onset of horrible nightmares almost 30 years after he came home to prompt him that he needed help. With the help of the Veteran's Service Center here in Sacramento he began counseling & spent a month in a program at Roseburg, Oregon which helped him tremendously. For the first time, he began talking about his experiences, his "survivor's guilt," the pain of not being able to save everyone, and other horrors of war. I felt I was finally getting to know him after almost 20 years of marriage, and I love him even more if that's possible. But the story I want to share is something totally unexpected that happened that helped him more than anything else. After a series of events only God could have put together, our Pastor asked us to go to Uganda as husband and wife to represent our church as part of a "sister parish" program.

Our church had sponsored the Pastor of our sister parish there to come here and meet our congregation, and he wanted to host someone from our church and let them meet the people in his parish in Uganda. As a result, my husband and I came home totally changed from seeing the lives of the people, especially the AIDS orphans, there. Some of the landscape and houses reminded Rick of Viet Nam, but it didn't cause the problems he thought it would. Instead, after we came home we both began feeling more and more strongly that we were supposed to do something to help the orphans in Uganda. We made several more trips there on our own, and Rick became the hero of the local children. He would go out every day with pockets full of balloons and lollipops. The kids would swarm him, giving him hugs and vying for his attention. He got to know all their names, where they lived. He made up little games with them that they remember between our trips. When they hear we will be coming, they are all there waiting in front of the Pastor's home when we arrive. They mob the mob the car and start chanting "Rick, Rick, Rick."

He has been absolutely transformed by this. We felt God was calling us to build an orphanage in that town in Uganda. We spent our savings on buying a piece of property, setting up a non-profit to raise funds for the building and operation of the orphanage. Rick sold his pickup truck and his Harley-Davidson and put the money in the orphanage account. He has quit smoking, quit gambling, even quit having as many war nightmares and sleepless nights. He is now president of our non-profit and working hard all the time to raise awareness about the orphans' plight and raise money to keep the orphanage going. And (this a really beautiful part), three of the biggest supporters of this project are Vets. Rick has become really close friends with all three of these men. He has known them all for years as acquaintances, but it was this chance to do something to help the helpless that has brought them together as brothers. This is huge. Rick has never had any real friends or been close to anyone but me in the 22 years we have been married. Helping these kids has been so healing for Rick and the other veterans involved. I know I will never truly understand what he experienced, but I can see the healing and transformation this orphanage has brought with my own eyes and I thank God for it. Anyone who wants to know more, or help in any way with the orphanage, please check out our web site at Or just send Rick an e-mail through the web site to say "way to go, Doc!"

I want to conclude by saying a big thank you to all the men and women who have served this great country by giving years of their lives in the military.

Proud to be the granddaughter of a WWI soldier, daughter of a WWII sailor, aunt of a Green Beret, and really proud to be the wife of a Corpsman.

April Dobbs

"Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves."

Ronald Reagan

While doing close order drill at Parris Island, NC back in 1959, our D. I. Sgt. Jones caught a recruit looking up at a Piper Cub flying by. The recruit wore glasses. Sgt. Jones went into the squad bay and came back with a grease pencil and Sgt. Jones commenced to draw little airplanes on the recruit's glasses. He then hands the glasses back and says "Now you don't need to look up to see airplanes, screw"!

Frank "Ski" Kaminski

"I have nothing to offer you but blood, toil, tears, and sweat."

Winston Churchill, 1940

I was stationed at MCDEC Quantico as my 1st duty station. I was a 5831 Correctional Specialist assigned to the Correctional facility there. We were reporting to the facility one morning and told to report to the dorm for a briefing. Well the day before John Hinkley had shot the president and our CO was telling us that this was a secret that he is being housed at our facility. The CO went on to tell us that we were not to tell anyone that he was at our facility and that there would be increased security at the brig. I was at the rear of the formation and the T.V. was on and the volume was on low. I could still hear it and as the CO was talk I heard the report telling all that he was at Quantico . I then stopped my CO and told him about it. The news showed a 15 car motorcade from Washington D.C. to Quantico lights sirens all the way. Now that was a sure way to keep a secret.

Cpl 78-82

"Tis folly in one Nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its Independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favours and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect, or calculate upon real favours from Nation to Nation.

'Tis an illusion which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard."
George Washington

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