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"Thank God, this country is still producing men who will put their lives on the line for our sorry butts here at home. These men and their families are the salt of the earth."
Ben Stein

Go Vote, it's what you fought for.

Sgt Bernard J. Coyne Jr and child I think these pictures say it all. They stand for the sacrifice that all military families make, but the reward of Freedom is so great. God Bless the US Marines and all other Military Branches for their service. May all American families be as happy to have a homecoming such as my Son's. Proud MOM of Sgt Bernard J. Coyne Jr.

Sgt Bernard J. Coyne Jr and child Sgt. Grit, Thank you sooo much for adding my son LCPL Branden Bell to your newsletter, it means so much to us. Actually my son is getting ready for his second deployment now to possibly Afghanistan, as hundreds of others are. I look forward every month to receiving your newsletter and have several Christmas gifts to order from you. Thank you for your service to our country, and keep up the great job. May God bless all our troops and keep them safe and healthy.

Kimberley Campbell Proud Mother of a United States Marine

" is a very American approach to life, and it has to do with knowing that the government is not your master, that America is good, that freedom is good and must be defended, and communism is very, very bad."
William F. Buckley Jr.

HM3 Jeff Hagins Dear Sgt. Grit,

I recently purchased one of your Marine Corps blankets for my 13 year old son who is determined to be a Marine some day. My oldest son, HM3 Jeff Hagins is currently on his first deployment to Iraq as part of HQ, 1st Marine Division out of Camp Pendleton.

Jeff was an active member of his Naval ROTC unit at San Benito High School in Hollister, CA and graduated in June 2007. He graduated from Field Medical School at Pendleton last March and shipped out in late August of this year.

"Doc" Hagins called me on a Satellite phone recently and said he would be out of pocket for a month while on operations to an un- named portion of Iraq.

Thanks for your products and service to our country!

Michael Hagins

Sgt. Grit,

If I sent you a list of the names of those submitting letters and stories to your newsletters that were close to my heart -- made me laugh, cry, feel proud, smile my *ss off and more -- you would need an entire issue just to publish the list.

Few letters have caught me at such a personal level as the one sent in from Sgt. Sid Lawrence who served as a Postal Marine. I know how tough dealing with registered "Dear John" letters and letters to KIA/MIA must have been. But for every one of those letters I hope there were hundreds from friends and families and strangers with notes and cards and pictures and stories and news from home and hugs and best wishes for a speedy and safe return.

As family back home waiting, the Postal Marines were part of our lifeline to our Marines. They were nameless and invisible to us but OH SO IMPORTANT. But we did know one person in the loop - our local mail carrier. When he crossed our lawn with a big smile on his face we knew we had a letter from Iraq. The neighborhood shut down while we all read it. It was better than winning the lottery on Christmas Day.

War is indeed h&ll, but without those letters it would have been ever so much worse. A big Thank You to all the Postal Marines who make this system work every day.

Dennis Benson -- Proud Marine Dad

"In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate, look to his character."
Noah Webster

LCPL Wall in Yuma Arizona I was just wandering if you would like to put this photo in your newsletter of our son he's a United States Marine. I just think this photo should be displayed somewhere it's my favorite one of my son which he took of himself when he was in Yuma Arizona for training for Iraq he said it's just freaking hot there like 110 with no live plants anywhere to be seen. (He's own quote) He's now serving in Iraq for awhile. My husband and I are very proud of him. We miss him dearly want him home soon. Kenneth J. Wall 19 years old LCPL United States Marine

Mrs Wall (mother)

V!RGINS do not hang around with prostitutes, patriots do not hang around with terrorists.

It IS that simple!

I just wanted to drop a line and advise that my son in law LCpl Brent Susnik just returned home from Iraq today, 10/16/2008 and to let all know how proud we are of him and all the Marines serving. I have a daughter who just got out of the Marines as well as I have another son in law who just reenlisted as well as a son who just reenlisted to which I am very proud of them all. My son and oldest son in law have already been to Iraq and back and they have so inspired me with their dedication in service that after being out of the Army and Army National guard and am now 50 years old, I have also reenlisted because of all of them to continue my service. God bless all of you and be safe and come home soon!

Sgt Darrell Huber
Ohio Army National Guard
Marine Dad Semper Fi

USMC Bulldog Tattoo Sgt Grit
My name is George A Moran I live in Santa Maria Ca. I am married and have two perfect children. I am sending you a picture of my tattoo. I served in the Corps from 0989 - 0993. During this time I served in the Persian Gulf War, for over 9 months. Also Operation Restore Hope Somalia, for 6 months. I served with India Battery 311, 1st Marine Div.
Thank you.
Respectfully George A. Moran Semper FI.

"Never give in! Never give in! Never, never, never, never-in nothing great and small-large and petty. Never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense."
Winston Churchill

Dear Sgt. Grit

Marines seldom lose their composure and are inclined to be rather stoic in general. I include myself in that group, but I need to confess to losing mine twice in the same day.

I work as a deck hand (Combination boatswain's mate and machinist's mate) on some of Chicago's architectural cruise boats during the season, and last weekend we had two of the days you wish you could bottle up and then open again in mid- February. We were sailing nearly full each trip, so we were on the lookout for wheelchairs and how to handle their logistics. I looked up from tearing tickets, and I spotted a young man seated in wider model. He was missing one leg below the knee and the other above the knee. He had three other guests with him. The woman who was obviously his mother was wearing a gray USMC sweatshirt. When I tried to get him down our usual rampway, chair was too wide for the ramp, so I had to put in the wider one. While I was wheeling him down the wide ramp, I asked if he was a Marine. He said: "That's right, 2/3." I said "1/4" and asked him if he was an 0311. He said "Yeah, what's your MOS?" I told him "0302." He wasn't familiar with that one, so I told him I was an infantry officer.

I wheeled his chair up to the place that had the best view, and I noted that he only had a t-shirt on. After we seated all the guests and pulled away from the dock, I got my jacket out of the pilot house and went up to give it to him to wear: after all, it gets chilly out there in the concrete canyons. When I went to hand him my jacket, I realized he was also blind in both eyes. After I checked on the rest of the guests, I went back to talk to Eric, our bartender. He asked me if I was OK, and I told him about the guy in the wheelchair and how he was younger than my son. Eric was surprised to watch me try to keep from losing it. "Wow" was about all he could offer. What could he say, anyway? Then we started discussing what a guy like that can do for a living.

After the cruise, I helped get the Marine ashore, and he held out my jacket. "Semper Fi", I said: he smiled and said "Oorah." That's when it hit me. This guy didn't want pity, or even compassion. He was ready with neither eyes nor legs to take on the world again on his own terms. All he wanted was a chance to prove it. What can a guy like that do for a living? Nearly anything he sets his mind to.

Later on, I was again boarding passengers when a neatly dressed lady wearing a small blue-bordered white pin walked up. I was wearing my sunglasses, so the colors weren't too clear. I asked if she had a son in the military. "Had", she said, "Actually, that's a gold star." Sure enough, along with her gold star pin, she was wearing a tiny Eagle Globe and Anchor. She appeared to be a typical Marine Mom: you know, "Return with your shield or on it." She obviously didn't want anybody to feel sorry for her either. I lost it again.

So where do we get people like this? I think they come from America's very heart and soul. They're everyday Americans who had a job to do and did it to the best of their ability. These Marines, their families, and their friends deserve our good cheer, and our commitment to helping them make it on their own again. Handouts? What for? Pity? Why? So if you're in the position to hire folks for your business, don't forget the Vet. Especially, don't forget wounded Vets like that 2/3 Marine.

Semper Fidelis

"There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations."
James Madison

I served with Mike 3/7 from August 1964 to May 1966 and spent 13 months in Nam I just want to thank all the brave young men and women who are carrying on in the Corps today they are doing a GREAT JOB and making all of us proud keep it up.

Semper Fidelis
Joe Den Bleyker
Cpl m 3/7

Dear Sgt. Grit,

As the 30th anniversary of the Beirut bombing and the invasion of Grenada, I've been reflecting on what a week that was. I was Commo at MAG-29 at New River at the time.

In Beirut, the finest Marine I ever knew was killed that morning, 1stSgt. Tandy Wells. He was 1stSgt. of Weapons Co. 1/8 when he was killed. I knew him as GySgt Wells, Platoon Sergeant (i.e. the Senior DI) of 3rd Platoon, D. Co. OCS in the summer of 1978. As with all DI's he was fierce, demanding, and exacting, and those of us who survived that summer knew we had EARNED the privilege of becoming Lieutenants of Marines. I am, and will be eternally grateful for what he did for me.

Also killed that morning in Beirut was 1stLt. Joe Boccia, a friend of mine from Comm School. He was a heckuva man and an outstanding Marine. He had an irrepressible sense of humor, and an ever present cigarette. I recommend the book 24 MAU by Glenn Dolphin (a CommSchool classmate of mine as well) as an outstanding memoir of that day.

Operation Urgent Fury, the invasion of Grenada was a bad day for us at MAG-29. We suffered the loss of two Cobras, with three of our Marine aviators killed and one seriously wounded. First down were Capt. Tim Howard and 1stLt. Jeb Seagle. Tims arm was blown off by the AAA fire that caught them. Jeb managed to get Tim out, tie off his severed right arm with the mic cord from his flight helmet, and get him under cover. He drew the attention of the Cuban and Grenadan troops to himself, leading them away from Tim's position, allowing his rescue by a CH-46. Jeb was executed by the Cubans, and I recall Time magazine running a photo of him lying dead on the beach. Haven't read it since, and never will. Jeb was awarded a Navy Cross for his bravery.

Our other Cobra, with Capt. Pat Giguere and 1st Lt. Jeff Scharver was shot down as they tried to cover Jeb and Tim, dying as Marines often do, taking care of each other.

I ask you to remember these fine Marines, along with all of our fallen Leathernecks from that long week in October, 30 years ago.

Matt McGrath
Commo, MAG-29

"We fight not to enslave, but to set a country free, and to make room upon the earth for honest man to live in."
Thomas Paine

Hi Sgt Grit,
I've sent you stories before about just general things that happen around me. I'm the mother-in-law of a Marine and I take the opportunity anytime I can to tell people. Well, the other day, while I was working in the doctor's office, I had a 15 yr old boy come in for a general physical and to get shots. He took his wallet out of his pocket as he went to step on the scale and he had a Marine Corps sticker on it, and when I was taking his pulse, I noticed a "Go Army" bracelet on his wrist. I asked him if he was getting recruited and he did say yes, but he was leaning more toward the Corps. It turns out from what his mom said, he will be a 4th generation Marine if he decides to join the military. We exchanged a Semper Fi and I stepped out of the room. After the doctor was done seeing him, it was time for me to give him his shots, of which he had to get 3. He asked where he was going to get them and I took the opportunity to tell him that he was going to get them in his keester and they were going to be with a square rusty needle. My back was to him when I said it, but his mom assured me that he believed me. So I just grinned and said "Dude, they are going in your arms and the needles are nice and sharp". He then asks if they are going to hurt and I just looked at him and said, "Dude, you're thinking about the Marine Corps and you're whining about shots? "Needless to say his mom was just cracking up and he just sat up politely and took them like a man. We had a great time with that and I'm happy to report he didn't cry.

Just another day at the office with a potential Marine, Deanna

I had to laugh out loud after reading C. Szewczky (aka SGT. Chevvy) account of the Marine recruit repeating his DI's order. When our son was graduating from MCRD the new DIs were inspecting the graduates and of course yelling their heads off. The DI took our son's rifle to inspect it and promptly put the butt of the rifle in our son's face and yelled, "What do you call this? (meaning the butt of the rifle). Our son answered "Gravel residue Sir!" His buddy told us this story and said that one could here snickers throughout the rank!
Proud Marine Mom

EGA Jack-o-lanternclose-up of EGA Jack-o-lantern Sgt. Grit , Love your newsletter. Thanks for everything you do for all who have served and who are currently serving.

This is my entry into my company's pumpkin decorating contest.
It took me about two and a half hours to complete.

R. M. Lozano
CPL 87-91
Kilo 3/8

"When you see a rattlesnake poised to strike, you do not wait until he has struck before you crush him."
Franklin D. Roosevelt

"Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others."
Ayn Rand

Marine Corps Marathon Forward In Iraq Kicks Off "The People's Marathon"
150 Run in Iraq for the Fallen and Raise Funds to Help TAPS Support the Families Left Behind


On the other side of the globe, the Marine Corps Marathon will get an early start on October 26th as "Marine Corps Marathon Forward" kicks off the well-known "People's Marathon" in Al Asad, Iraq.

"Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, TAPS, we can't thank you enough for the continued support you have given us on this event held in Iraq," said Crystal Nadeau, site supervisor with KBR and coordinator of this year's Marine Corps Marathon Forward in Iraq.

TAPS will provide t-shirts for the 150 runners participating in Al Asad in the marathon. The runners are also raising funds to memorialize all of the fallen in Iraq and Afghanistan through the TAPS website at

"It's especially poignant and fitting that the first steps of the Marine Corps Marathon this year will be run in Iraq in memory of our fallen heroes," said Bonnie Carroll, founder and chairman of TAPS.

Funds raised by the runners in Iraq will support TAPS programs to help families losing loved ones who serve in the military, providing much needed support for Good Grief Camps for children, case management support services for grieving families and the quarterly magazine TAPS produces for surviving families.

TAPS has seen demand for its services increase in recent years, with more than 48,000 people in the United States significantly impacted by US military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan. TAPS estimates that for every military loss, there are 10 significant family members affected.

Several families who benefit from services provided by TAPS will be among the 30,000 runners participating in the Marine Corps Marathon in Arlington, VA. They'll run the marathon, the MCM10K and even the one-mile Healthy Kids Fun Run. They'll wear t-shirts emblazoned with photos, dog tags that clink with each step, and spur each other toward the finish line.

This is the third year the "Marine Corps Marathon Forward" has been held. The marathon participants in Iraq are running to honor all of the service members who've made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of our nation in Iraq. They are unofficially dedicating this year's run to US Marine Corps Major Megan M. McClung. McClung promoted the Marine Corps Marathon Forward in 2006, and was killed in December 2006.

Running in memory of McClung is very important to the runners, say organizers. "Thanks to her witty and charming personality and dedication to mission and commitment to fitness challenges, we are able to continue this annual event here in Iraq in support of the service members who wish to challenge themselves and dedicate this race to our fallen heroes," said Nadeau. "I know she will be smiling at all the runners and volunteers as they take part in the event in Al Asad on October 26, 2008 to coincide with the stateside race."

More information about donating to support a runner participating in the Marine Corps Marathon Forward in Iraq is available on the TAPS website at

Voted "Best Marathon for Families", the Marine Corps Marathon continues a combined tradition of dedication, sportsmanship and patriotism. Runners from all walks of life have participated in the world's largest marathon to not offer prize money, deservingly earning the nickname "The People's Marathon." The 33rd Marine Corps Marathon will be held on October 26, 2008 in Arlington, Virginia. For more information about the Marine Corps Marathon, go to

TAPS is the national organization providing compassionate care for the families of America's fallen military heroes. TAPS provides peer-based emotional support, grief and trauma resources, seminars, case work assistance, and 24/7 crisis intervention care for all who have been affected by a death in the Armed Forces. Services are provided free of charge. Since its founding by surviving military families in 1994, TAPS has helped more than 25,000 family members who've lost loved ones serving in the military. For more information go to or call the toll-free crisis line at 800.959.TAPS.

Media Contact: Ami Neiberger-Miller, Public Affairs Officer, TAPS phone 202.588.8277, cellular 703.887.4877, ami [at]

"This will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave."
Elmer Davis

MSGT Orlandi and Major Capers The rest of the story!

Dear Sgt. Grit,

Last year about this time, you asked, "Who was our best officer?" I wrote about a Lt. Capers that I was with at Fort George G. Meade, MD when I was a security guard at NSA, and how the Lt. influenced my successful Marine Corps career. At the time I had no idea where know Major Capers was, and Sgt Grit forwarded several e-mails that told me his location.

Because of the Sgt. Grit news letter, I also found that the NSA Marines have a yearly reunion that I was proud to attend this September. It was a great reunion and Major Capers was there. We enjoyed a long talk and I found out that he is still leading by example. He is working with the Wounded Warriors Barracks at Camp Lejeune, NC. He is still offering guidance and mentoring our wounded Marines returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Some of them may stay in the Corps, but some will have to go back to civilian life. Major Capers is there offering his help, experience, and leadership in whatever path they follow. (Major Capers is the good looking Marine pictured on the left.)

Thank you, Sgt Grit for your service and for your service to Marines past and present.

Joe Orlandi
MSGT Retired

"How odd that all those boring lessons from our grandparents turn out to be true in the globalize, hip 21st century: Save your money. Don't borrow what you can't pay back. Look first at a man's character, not his degrees. And if a promised return on an investment seems too good to be true, it probably is."
Victor Davis Hanson

Sgt. Grit: I was sent the following letter from my sister. I'm a fairly new Marine mom (my son is in 1 year now). It is written by General James T. Conway, USMC, Commandant of the Marine Corps. My son, a LCpl in the 1/12, was deployed to Iraq a few weeks ago. Fortunately, we were able to be with him for his send-off from Hawaii, it was a true blessing for us. Not to mention, it was easier for me to "let go" after spending a week on the Marine Corps Base, as well as speaking with others who have already served over there and were excited to be returning! In any event, after reading the following letter, I thought it was direct and straight to the point of why we have and need our Marines. I struggle everyday wondering if my son is safe and wondering if he truly knows how much we love him and how proud we are of him. Letters like the one that follows and letters that I read from your newsletters get me through each day, I don't feel so alone in this waiting game! To all of those who have served and are serving...God Bless you and your family. I pray for a safe return for all of you. Thank you.

Semper Fi
New England Marine Mom

1. During the summer of 1982, in the wake of a Presidential directive, Marines went ashore at Beirut, Lebanon. Fifteen months later, on 23 October 1983, extremists struck the first major blow against American forces - starting this long war on terrorism. On that Sunday morning, a suicide bomber drove an explosive-laden truck into the headquarters of Battalion Landing Team 1/8, destroying the building and killing 241 Marines and Corpsmen.

2. Extremists have attacked our nation, at home and abroad, numerous times since that fateful day in Beirut. Their aim has always been the same - to kill as many innocent Americans as possible. The attacks of 11 September 2001 changed our nation forever, and our President has resolved that this nation will not stand idle while murderous terrorists plot their next strike. Marines will continue to take the fight to the enemy - hitting them on their own turf, crushing them when they show themselves, and finding them where they hide.

3. Only a few Americans choose the dangerous, but necessary, work of fighting our nation's enemies. When our chapter of history is written, it will be a saga of a selfless generation of Marines who were willing to stand up and fight for our nation; to defend those who could not defend themselves; to thrive on the hardship and sacrifice expected of an elite warrior class; to march to the sound of the guns; and to ably shoulder the legacy of those Marines who have gone before.

4. On our 233rd birthday, first remember those who have served and those "angels" who have fallen - our reputation was built on their sacrifices. Remember our families; they are the unsung heroes whose support and dedication allow us to answer our nation's call. Finally, to all Marines and sailors, know that I am proud of you and what you do. Your successes on the battlefield have only added to our illustrious history. General Victor H. "Brute" Krulak said it best when he wrote, "...The United States does not need a Marine Corps...The United States wants a Marine Corps." Your actions, in Iraq and Afghanistan, and across the globe, are at the core of why America loves her Marines.

5. Happy Birthday, Marines and Semper Fidelis! James T. Conway, General, U.S. Marine Corps, Commandant of the Marine Corps.

"Some see private enterprise as a predatory animal to be shot, others look on it as cow to be milked, but a few see it as the sturdy horse pulling a wagon."
Winston Churchill

This to Spc. Brown that joined another service. I did the same thing. I joined the Corps from 82-85. After 4 mths out, I decided I need to do more, so while the Sgt. was playing around with the paper work, I decided to see what the Army had to offer. I kept my rank, and my pride of still being a Marine at heart. I have been asked many times what service is better. I tell you this, both sev. play a part to keep us free, but the Corps is a family and they do take care of each other. I was in the Army from 86-89, 91-03 retired. But I will never let my heart go any where but to the Corps.

God bless all, but oo-rah to the Corps
Dirk M. Cpl.

Rick from April's letter in Sgt. Grits newsletter, it appears that this mission has had a healing effect on your psyche that was long overdue. In working to heal other's hurts and needs (the orphans) you are healing yourself. I have a good wife of 42 years so know what it is to have your marriage partners' undivided support. In your case you have a wife that is more than supporting you...she is right there alongside of you making this project work. You are where you are because the Good Lord provided you with a good work- mate. Reading between the lines she was there at your lowest ebb and hung in there. I am sure you deserve her. I commend you for your service to our country as a Corpsman in Vietnam. That was a physical and mental quagmire. I did not serve there but have a place in my heart for those that did. I know that you put your life on the line numerous times in Vietnam. God is blessing you for that effort.

I was a SSgt in AFRes in the sixties, discharged in Feb/67. My son and nephew joined the Marines on the "Buddy" system back in '89. I have been Marine Corps Association since '89 and Sgt. Grits Newsletter for several years. This is the first time I have responded to any request for support from those quarters. I am a regular donor to USO, PVA, and DAV. This contribution is to honor your service and your wife's support. Nothing is more rewarding than helping your fellow man...or child. I wish you and April much success in this project.

Donald L. Chilton

"The coward threatens when he is safe."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

To Mark father of two young Marines;

You may not have served but your sons are and that makes you a part of this great Marine Corps family. Not everyone can serve and not everyone is cut out to do the job of a U.S. Marine. Do not put yourself in a place of feeling like you should have don something. Your sons are serving because that is what they want to and even more they have a desire to. You can be proud and know that your family is now a part of our Marine family and hold your head and be proud. Be proud of your sons, yourself, your Country and be proud of our beloved Corps.

I hope that if your sons must go to the combat zone that they will be kept safe from any harm as I do for all of our Marines and all of the military members serving so bravely, serving so honorably, serving our Country as the need is there and serving our Corps keeping the true life story of this Corps moving forward.

J.E.W. S/Sgt
U.S.M.C. 1970-1976
2/9 Nam 1971

Current issue of Sgt. Grit attached. I know with all the blinding politics, and the efforts of the mass media, is causing people to forget our brave young military. Well, let's keep in mind, our brave youth is winning the global war on terror, and even yesterday, it was announced the #2 terrorist in Iraq was killed, in the first week of October. I watched the debate last night, and all the focus was on greed and economy, and taxes. I remember, on 9-11, lives were lost, and nobody was mentioning greed and money on that day.

When did our freedom, and American lives become a no-mentionable?

Islamic Muslim terrorists are still trying to take over the world, kill us, and destroy America.

Remember what we fight for.

Semper Fi
Larry G

"We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt."
Thomas Jefferson

To Proud Papa Mark,

Don't you dare miss your son(s) boot camp graduation. Make sure you take along everyone you know, a good camera and lots of tissue.

Proud Father of a US Marine
Tom Shepherd

Sgt. Grit, I just want to first of all, thank all those who serve our country. God bless all. My dad served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War. You do not hear much about them. So I am writing to all those who served in Korea and to let them know they were a part of a proud tradition and they helped our way of living and to keep our freedom. God bless all MARINES and their families. I am also a former Marine, (Vietnam era) 6
years,Sgt..Thank you, Richard Ash

"Patriotism is easy to understand in America. It means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country."
Calvin Coolidge

In regards to your PTSD, others with it, there are trained people who perform EMDR. I forgot what it stands for, but it works. They will take you back to your traumatic situation, then run their finger in front of your eyes. This frees the mind of the situation. I have been in three services, and worked for two law enforcement agencies, retiring from the last one. Go find someone that does RMDR, and take care of your self brother. Semper Fi and thanks for your service. Cpl. Monty Edson USMC '61-;64 K/3/4

I don't know if the person who wrote the letter about Sgt Peralta, was with him on Nov 15, 2005 or not but I whole heartily agree with him. I believe we should all pray that he is awarded the Medal of Honor as should be for his actions. I often wonder if I could be brave enough to put myself in that position. I say I would but talk is cheap and action speaks loudly. I'm pulling for his family that the award is changed to Medal of Honor.

Retired AF Gene

"Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself."
Milton Friedman

Wyatt's letter Wyatt wearing Boonie hat and sitting in a tree From age 3-to-now: Wyatt's clothes have consisted of, green camo or dessert camo, no hunter's camo (soldiers don't wear that), and boots just like the soldiers wear. His toys consist of wooden guns (his father and pawpaw make for him), binoculars, canteens, survival gear, MRE's (which he actually eats) and of course a back-pack to carry it all in. His birthdays consist of camo everything, even face paint. He sends out 100 Christmas cards each year (four years now) to soldiers, signing each one.

Wyatt, at age 3 yrs, began asking questions about our country, soldiers and fighting for freedom. He has always been a very thoughtful and serious child. At bedtime, he would ask his father questions such as: "Why do we have soldiers?" "Why do they have to fight?" "Why do other people want to take our freedom away?" "What are all the different soldiers called?"

One night Wyatt asked, "What soldier goes in first, daddy?"
His father said, "Well, that would be the Marines, son."
Wyatt replied, "Then that's what I want to be, daddy, a Marine."

Read more about Wyatt And His Marine

Dear Sgt Grit,

Can you please ask your readers to keep in their thoughts and prayers: USMC LTC Ty Edwards - who is fighting the ULTIMATE BATTLE at this very moment.

Ty received a gun shot wound to the head when his convoy was attacked in Afghanistan this past weekend. He is presently at Bethesda Naval Hospital, with his wife and family by his side.

He has been stationed in Okinawa with his family, Anna and two kids, Mason and Alaina, and was on deployment to Afghanistan. He had just returned there after 2 weeks R&R. His life was saved and the doctors stabilized him enough to Medevac him to Landstuhl, Germany.

Ty and his family need our IMMEDIATE PRAYERS and SUPPORT. Friends are sharing guestbook entries from Ty's caringbridge site with Anna, and the outpouring of support has meant the WORLD to her, and helps strengthen her!


LTC & MRS. Coby M Petersen
Fort Drum, NY

"You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich." "You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong." "You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift." "You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down." "You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred." "You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence." "You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they can and should do for themselves." (attributed to Abraham Lincoln)

Hi Sgt. Grit,

As you're probably aware, veterans are now authorized the hand salute during the playing of the National Anthem. However, as a former Marine, I have to admit I can't get past the idea that I shouldn't salute when not in uniform (and covered), which is pretty much all the time now. Therefore, I still put my hand over my heart. My feeling is that every Marine Veteran has to decide for himself or herself on this, but I'd be interested in hearing what you and all your newsletter readers have to say about this.

USMCR, 1991-1999

"If the people are capable of understanding, seeing and feeling the differences between true and false, right and wrong, virtue and vice, to what better principle can the friends of mankind apply than to the sense of this difference?"
John Adams

G'Day Y'All,

Growing up in Orange County, California, I had an honor that I remember to this day.

From when we had our first house (as opposed to an apartment), we always had a full house during Thanksgiving and Christmas.

My mother, who was a Critical Care Nurse, who worked the "Graveyard Shift" so she could be home during the daytime with my older brother and myself would work long days preparing for the holidays. She would bake cookies, cakes, pies, make turkey, ham, and roast beef from scratch, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, stuffing, dressing, cranberry and orange relish, sweet potatoes ("candied yams"). Even though each night (especially the holiday nights and the nights before and after), at 10pm she had to leave for work. But nothing "came from a can", it was all "homemade".

In my family was my father Jim (an abusive SOB that most Marines would have taken outside for a "Marine Conversation" if they knew), my brother Danny, my mother Joni, and myself. So we had enough food for a "platoon", and still "left overs" for at least a week.

Now what the h&ll does this have to do with Sgt. Grit? We lived in "Anaheim Hills", this was where the California 91 Freeway and Imperial Highway came together (down La Palma Avenue, near the Riverside border of the county). This means that if you took the 91 freeway to where it turned into the 55 freeway, you were in Tustin, a little farther and you were at Interstate 5, with El Toro and further down, just outside of the county was Oceanside.

Still, what the h&ll does that have to do with Sgt. Grit? Well Tustin was the home of MC(H)AS Tustin, El Toro was the home of MCAS El Toro, and Oceanside IS the home of MCB Camp Pendleton. What my mother would do is call all three USMC facilities and ask a simple question "Are there any Marines that have no place to go for Thanksgiving?" or "Are there any Marines that have no place to go for Christmas?", and she would invite all that did not have friends, family, or others to spend the holiday with. It was a great honor to have Marines in their "Class A" uniforms in our home during both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Gentlemen all (hard to believe that they were MARINES), with the "manners of an officer" (with no more than three stripes on their sleeves, usually less). They truly knew how to behave, and they always were proud examples of the best of the USMC (even the most lowly Grunt).

They all would leave with "full tanks", "care packages" of "left overs" (including full uncut pies), and we still had enough to keep our family stuffed for at least a week.

This was an honor and a privilege. Their character was of the highest order and a great sense of pride. So much so, my greatest wish was to be a Marine Aviator (loved to fly, and admired the Marines that visited our home). But that was not to be due to disabilities that kept me out of the Corps (heck, they would have kept me out of the army or the Air Farce). But even though I was not able to serve, I have always had the "heart of a Marine".

Being in a wheelchair, I have not been able to serve my country. Having a heart attack at age 20 in 1988, that took away my ability to fly anymore (lost my Medical Certificate from the FAA) But I have had the honor to be a civilian Chaplain to be there for Marines and their families in rough patches and when a Marine paid the ultimate price.

The father of one Marine paid me the highest honor that I, as a non- Marine, and a member of a non-military family could ever receive. When his son was killed in Iraq, I was presented with a family "Gold Star" pin. I was looked upon as "family", and that was just for being there for them and offering some prayer and words of comfort. This is the second highest honor I could ever receive (the highest would have to have earned the EGA and the name UNITED STATES MARINE).

The only "commission" that I have ever earned, besides the "Great Commission" of serving God was last year when I was made a "Kentucky Colonel" for my service to others. Just a parchment for my wall here in my room, and a card for my wallet, and an honor of my service to others. But not the same degree of honor as being even a PVT or PFC with the name MARINE attached to it.

It is since my heart attack that I finished my education in Theology and Psychology. I had "all the time in the world" to do that. I guess God was getting me ready for 9/11, to be there for the Marines and their families. So I was able to be honored to serve in the small way that I could. My contact with the Corps was always a good one. I was always honored to shake the hands of those who served. Those were experiences that shaped my life.

Semper Fi,

PS: I will admit that on occasion, when there were not enough Marines to fill our table, my mother would contact NAS Los Alamitos and we had "swabbies" in their "blues" (heck, they were not Marines, but they were helpful, in giving a lift to the Marines when they were needing to travel by sea... so I guess it was okay to have that "other" branch of the Department of the Navy, at our home... and no fights broke out between the Swabs and the Grunts).

"The government is best which governs least."
Thomas Jefferson

EGA Jack-o-lantern EOD Jack-o-lantern Hi Sgt Grit,

Just wanted to share with you my pumpkin masterpiece for this year. My son is in EOD he spent 7 months in Iraq this year. He is now back in NC with his wife and they await their first born within the next 2-4 weeks. This year I carved the EOD, last year, the EGA. (I think I may have sent that to you last year but here it is again)

Candas Konop
Proud Mom of Sgt Chase Konop

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

To all:
Not that I think that any of you need reminding but twenty five years ago today over 220 of our Marine Corps brothers died in the bombing of the barracks in Beirut. Let's not forget that Hezebolah with the backing of Iran was responsible for the attack. Just one incident in a long history of terrorist attacks on the U.S. Americans tend to forget all too quickly that 9/11 was not the first (or sadly, the last) attack. All of us, save one, are too old to actively defend America, but I know, given the chance, we'd all volunteer to do it again.
Semper Fi and God bless America...Don

Just wanted to take time and remember all my brothers in arms who were killed 25 years ago today. I have always remembered, my thoughts and prayers are with their love ones.

Semper Fi
Julio M. Flores
USMC 78-84

"They are always under the dominion of the superstition of government, and forgetting that a government produces nothing at all, they leave out of sight the first fact to be remembered in all social discussion -- that the state cannot get a cent for any man without taking it from some other man, and this latter must be a man who has produced and saved it. This latter is the Forgotten Man."
William Graham Sumner

Phony heroes

"You will kill ten of our men and we will kill one of yours, and in the end it will be you who tire of it."
Ho Chi Minh

These guys are good to go. One of the kids with the organization was one of my Marines in Iraq.

1stSgt Michael W. Davis

"A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both."
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Smiling Bulldog Print with Custom Text
Smiling Bulldog Print with Custom Text

Stop Global Whining Bumper Sticker
Stop Global Whining Bumper Sticker

Go Vote, it's what you fought for.

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

Christmas Items

5 inch Nutcracker Christmas Ornament
5" Nutcracker Christmas Ornament

2008 Christmas Magnet
2008 Christmas Magnet

Christmas Garden Flag
Christmas Garden Flag

Gunny Claus Ornament
Gunny Claus Ornament

Golden Christmas Ornament
Golden Christmas Ornament

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Birthday Ball Coin 233 Years
Birthday Ball Coin 233 Years
Was $8.45
Now $5.00

233 Years Birthday Ball T-shirt
233 Years Birthday Ball T-shirt
Was $15.95/$17.95
Now $10.95/$12.95

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Women's Marines Tote
Women's Marines Tote

Kabar Tanto Serrated w/ plastic sheath
Kabar Tanto Serrated w/ plastic sheath

USMC Swiss Watch
USMC Swiss Watch

OD Marine Corps T-Shirt
OD Marine Corps T-Shirt

POW/MIA Chrome Auto Emblem
POW/MIA Chrome Auto Emblem

Children's Coming and Going Bulldog T-Shirt
Children's Coming and Going Bulldog T-Shirt

Bulldog Black Long Sleeve Pocket Tee
Bulldog Black Long Sleeve Pocket Tee

Brown Leather Bifold Wallet
Brown Leather Bifold Wallet

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Sgt Grit Newsletter VS AmericanCourage Newsletter:
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