The traveling Viet-Nam Wall came to Shelbyville, TN. this fall. The organizer contacted me, as I am the Commandant of the local Marine Corps League Detachment to ask if we could help in the planning for this special event. He inquired if we could present the colors during the special ceremony on 1 November 2008. I replied that we would be proud to do it and told him I could do one better. Our color guard that morning was made up of Viet-Nam Veterans that had "boots in country"!
After we presented the colors and retired the gear, we stood smartly at parade rest off to the side to witness the rest of the program, which included the local high school band, the local National Guard rifle team, echo taps a bagpiper and a helicopter fly-over. Afterwards, numerous people came up to us, shook our hands and thank us for our service, as well as taking many photos. This was quite a different reaction from the one I remember when we landed at MCAS, El Toro where it was strongly suggested that we change out of uniform and put on civilian clothing before we were bussed to LAX to get our flights home. Needless to say, not one Marine changed out of his uniform. I guess after all these years the Wall has finally brought some closure. We may not be as lean or mean, but we are still Marines!
Ed Magee, Commandant
Detachment #1128 Marine Corps League
Former Corporal of Marines
1st Marines - RVN 66-68
P.S. Photo of color guard attached
I am one of the lucky ones, my Marine is home with me. He would not agree. He would rather be overseas with his "brothers". I met and married my Marine one year out of service. He is 90% disabled and gave 8.5 years of his life to the Marine Corps. He wore his dress blues for the last time the day of our wedding (picture attached). I am very proud of him and of our Military but I am partial to the Marine Corps. I have two sons from a previous marriage who love and respect their step-father and want to follow in his footsteps. One will be joining the Marines this summer (delayed entry program). He will be a Senior in high school next year. My other one has 3 years before he can join.
My husband did 2 tours to the "sand box" as he calls it. I am very new to what is and what isn't allowed when you are married to a Marine. He is very fickle about every part of him especially his Military career memorabilia. He had his back fused this past February (first back surgery in Japan , a few years ago) and has severe PTSD. We have a lot of sleepless nights and a lot of doctors appts. Even though he is disabled he would rather be fighting the fight then to fight the Veterans Affairs Department. I am very thankful for the years he spent in the Marine Corps even with his disabilities, because they made him who he is today. I fell in love with my Marine just like he is and wouldn't trade any part of him for anything.
I wish the best to all the Marines that are overseas and especially to the ones that are not with their families. My heart goes out to the families that are without their loved ones and I pray that all our men and women serving our country come home safe. To the Marine families Semper FI.
Sgt. and Mrs. John Sherman Lillard Jr.
Shelley R Lillard
"All the Constitution Guarantees is the Pursuit of Happiness..."
My Father AND Mother both served in the Air Wing during WWII, both stationed with Air Base Group -2 out of NAS North Island and MCAS El Toro. Both graduated from Boot Camp in 1944, Father from MCRD San Diego and Mother from Camp Lejeune. Yes, during WWII, WMs trained at Camp Lejeune and not Parris Island. My Mother is still active in the Women Marine Association and attends Squadron reunions annually. If you would like, you can contact me at jhowards [at] yahoo.com and I can provide contact information for her to you. Me, yep, another old Marine.
"And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever."
My sister and I had just got back from my son's homecoming. He is a United States Marine. He was on his second tour which was in Iraq. I will never forget this experience, from spending a great weekend with my only sibling, Melody to the heartfelt experiences at Camp Lejeune, N.C. The anticipation while driving will never compare to the faces that I saw while waiting the 6 LONG hours for our loved ones to come home. It was a rainy, foggy day, but we did not even notice. All you could see in the circus-like tent was a sea of red shirts that praised our troops that were coming in. The anticipation was even harder for the young children and even the dogs that came to see their masters come home. Every little while on a speaker, a voice would say " they are closer to us" or "the plane has landed" or "the buses are at the front gate". We listened to a DJ, had food and drinks, got to know all the great families that were just like ME, missing her son or loved one so much that they think they can't stand it for one more minute!
Well, The plane landed and before the troops were marched in front of us in formation, a friend of my son's, who waited there with us, walked in front, alone and played the bagpipes as he walked. Let me tell you, even with the crying and excitement, you could hear a pin drop. If there is any more of a patriotic moment in a person's life, it was the one I had when I saw those soldiers march in front of us ,quietly, without flinching, knowing they would rather be finding their loved ones and hugging them. I saw how dirty, tired and worn they looked, but through it all they looked so relieved. The moment that the voice from nowhere said..."fallout!", I felt like my heart was going to burst!
I starting calling out my son's name.....Then I saw him. Even through the mustache he had grown, he had the face of the son that I always have known...mine. I felt like my heart was gone while he was away. There is no way to describe it. As a mom or a wife, I suppose. A mom is supposed to protect their children and when you don't now where they are or if they are ok, it is heart wrenching. Well, let me tell you, I wouldn't let go! lol. He said he needed air!LOL. Well, I thank the very Lord that brought my son home from this war that he is on American soil. I will never forget this past weekend and all the boys that I met, their families and the brotherhood that I saw that can only come from the United States Marines! Semper Fi.
Proud mom of
My son LCpl. Wharton who is on his first deployment in Afghanistan. I am so proud of our Marines, thanks for your newsletters all the information is so helpful to our family.
VPMM LCpl. Nathan
"Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year."
Just as we pray for our Brothers and Sisters actively serving, each ready, willing and very able to go in harm's way at a moment's notice, so too will Staff Sergeant Kenner's name be lifted up to Our Warrior King for His blessing. Staff Sergeant Kenner typifies a United States Marine. Beginning on the Day of Yellow Footprints, all Marines march through life from one battle to the next... from one wound to the next... from one fight for their life to the next: it is all any Marine knows how to do.
All Marines know it to be their sacred duty is to persevere, to endure, and to overcome all of the physical obstacles of life so that when this life's final challenge is met, and the last Orders are received, Our Warrior King will have one more of His Beloved Marines guarding His zone.
To Staff Sergeant Kenner, and to all our Brothers and Sisters fighting through physical obstacles of pain and debilitation unimaginable and insurmountable to anyone but a Marine, know in your heart's way down in your no-bullsheet zone - that we, your extended Marine Corps Family members, raise up to Our Warrior King millions of prayers for you daily.
USMC, RVN, '66 - '68
We recently went to the Iwo Jima Memorial in Washington D.C. My sons, Cpl. Robert Jackson, 20 and Cpl. David Jackson 21, stand in front of the memorial. Their older brother, First Class Petty Officer Daniel Jackson was on duty in the Persian Gulf so he was unable to go with us. We are from the Gila River Indian Reservation in Arizona---Ira Hayes's home. In the next photo they are standing in between their Marine cousin's name, Pfc. Peter G. Ruiz, who was killed in Vietnam. Robert served in Iraq and David has served in Djibouti, Africa.
Semper Fi from their father, Cpl. A. L. Jackson 1975-79
"I have wondered at times what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress."
For our Veteran's Day Program our school had a Marine color guard and bagpipe player. We were lucky enough to find a veteran of WWII, Korea and Vietnam. This man was remarkable. He is a spry 87 year old. He was wonderful with the students and the staff was in complete awe. This gentleman's name is Thomas Crump and he is a survivor of Pearl Harbor. At times you could hear a pin drop in the cafeteria. This person is a national treasure. I just wanted to thank him again for all he has done for our country. And to let others know about how wonderful he and all the Marines are. Thanks to you all.
The Oral History Project of the Vietnam Archive In 1999 the Vietnam Center and Archive initiated the Oral History Project (OHP). The OHP is an element of the Archive and employees two full-time Oral Historians and three to four part- time transcriptionists. The history of the wars in Southeast Asia is not complete without the inclusion of the voices of those who were in some way involved. To that end, the mission of the OHP is to create and preserve a more complete record of the wars in Southeast Asia by preserving, through recorded interviews, the recollections and experiences of all who were involved in those wars. There is no political agenda in the development of the Archive or the Oral History Project. Anyone can participate, whether an American veteran, a former ally or enemy of the U.S., an anti-war protester, a government employee, a family member of a veteran, etc. The more breadth and depth the OHP has in its participants, the better and more authentic the collection and preservation of the history of the wars will be.
For information on how to participate in the Oral History Project, go to the How to Participate section of this site. If you are interested in learning how to interview veterans, please view our Online Oral History Workshop. To listen to available interviews or read transcripts online, go to the Interviews page or search the Virtual Vietnam Archive.
Visit the website.
"I make my practices real hard because if a player is a quitter, I want him to quit in practice, not in a game."
I must stand before those assembled here to admit that I was moved by the accounts of Sgt Kalka who took the front line position at the edge of freedoms shinning the day he was killed in Vietnam as recalled by Tim Smith who rotated that position at Sgt Kalka's urging due to his experience and time in country. Leadership is an illusive quality to describe, in this example it is glaringly obvious and needs no dialogue to define it. When patrols walk in to peril knowingly, knowing the perils is critical and all important. Sgt Kalka knew it, Tim Smith sensed it. When Tim Smith realized what had happened that day he became a combat veteran. When Tim Smith came home he rightfully began his life anew. To his credit, the memory of that day remained, it would be easy to put the past behind him, but this is not our code, this is not our creed, this is not our Corps. And so Smith began a quest of sorts, to find Sgt Kalka's family to tell them what had happened that day in his own words, and to tell them that he was alive and could have just as well been listed as the casualty that day instead and that Smith's entire existence and being pivoted on that fateful decision to lead by Sgt Kalka. While in Smith's account, it took decades to find Sgt Kalka's family, HIS plan and time and place is timeless and knows no statute of limitations.
To those who have a deep and abiding need to find and express themselves to the survivors of our fallen, I say to you, yes you must be circumspect in how if you find them at all, be ready to accept their reaction because of course they did not know you were coming? You must be prepared to take them as you find them and be ready to accept them in any way they respond and count yourself privileged that you were all able to do so.
When Tim Smith completed this long rang patrol, he did the good work under terrible circumstance and when he did, he gave solace and closure to some who needed it most.
I don't know Tim Smith, I never knew Sgt Kalka, nor his family, but I understand what has happened here because I too have done such, and continue to be in awe of the journey and the good folks I have discovered along the way in my personal effort to address the huge divide, Tim Smith's mission is at hand, MARINE?
What is the status of yours?
My advice? Keep going.
We are holding our position, all are counting on you to complete the circle, do you copy?-over!
Corporal Aaron Allen, USMC, A Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division has returned home.
God Bless his family and all those who serve in harms way.
Thanks to Myrl Wallace for forwarding the above photo.
Dale Turner, Adjutant
"Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread."
About the article from a 1stSgt Danny Jones (Ret) speaking about how so many people wanted to say thank you, etc in Bangor Maine for the troops returning from Desert Storm and how the first people to greet them were Vietnam Veterans. He wrote of how he and some of the older SNCOs and Officers who had been around during the tail end of Vietnam remembered how they were treated back then and how it brought tears to their eyes. Well I would like to share a little story like that with you. You can cut and paste or paraphrase this any way you wish but I hope that you post it. Anyhow it happened a little like this.
My unit was B Co 9th Comm BN out of Camp Pendleton, Ca and we returned stateside in the middle of March 1991. We arrived in Maryland and I remember the busses that took us from the plane to the hangars where the red carpet surrounded by a sea of people awaited us. At the far end of the carpet were a couple of hot dog carts and a couple of Budweiser carts. Naturally the Marines on the bus were getting excited and many wanted a cold beer. There was nothing wrong with that in my book and as we departed the buses I had expected our officers and NCOs and SNCOs to maintain order as we mustered to walk the carpet into the hangar and the waiting crowds. Sadly, that didn't happen. So, I took it upon myself, a 6' 4" L/Cpl and moved to the front of the pack. I stopped every single Marine-regardless of rank and refused to allow them to pass by me until they offered their proper respect and thank you's for the Veteran's that came before us. Only then did I allow them to pass.
Dearest Sergeant Grit,
There's a special kind of respect, honor and love I reserve for each and every member of our military. After God, they should be praised in the highest, for we know Freedom Is Not Free. Our brave soldiers are there each day protecting our rights, our freedoms and our very existence. So many make the ultimate sacrifice and many come back maimed for life, either physically or emotionally. I cannot imagine what each of you have endured for us, but I do thank God for you. I pray for your safe return, your comfort at all times no matter how bad things may be wherever you are. I have a son in the Air Force, but many years before he joined my prayers for our military began. this may have brought it closer to home but it did not in any way make my heart felt love and respect for each and every member of the military any less. I feel like I have many sons and daughters out there. I thank God for them each day. May God's Glorious Wings of love surround and protect each and every one and may He bless you all. May the selfless acts you perform be returned to you seven fold.
With Utmost Love and Respect, Lisa Rash
"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."
This was a story from our local Stars and Stripes when our Marines were welcomed home last month. It is a little sad for the single guys who come back to Okinawa from a deployment with no family or friends to welcome them. The single and unaccompanied Marines and Corpsmen without families on island were welcomed back from a 9 month deployment by a group of volunteers. Banners, gift cards and letters were sent from all over the states to let these guys know they are not forgotten!
Just wanted to submit a picture of my son, LCPL Wemhoner in Iraq. He is home safe now and we are very proud of his courage and commitment as well as those that serve and have served.
Found the picture to be amusing. Love the newsletter.
Proud dad of US Marine
"I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection."
2008 Phoenix Veterans Parade, 5th largest in the nation
A winner in the Phoenix Veterans Parade, Sgt Dennis Hall and "The All Arizona Platoon from 1965"
Dear Sgt. Grit,
I am writing to tell you about an extraordinary Marine, his name is Sgt. Matthew Reimels, he saved my grandsons life! My daughter Amber was shopping with my grandsons(Liam-age 1,and Patrick-age 3)when Patrick fell from the shopping cart and hit the back of his head. She picked him up and at first he started to cry, but then went limp in her arms. She screamed for someone to call 911. The next thing she knew a man came running to her and said," give him to me. I can help, I'm a Marine." He checked for a pulse...none, he checked for breath sounds...again none. He immediately started CPR. My daughter watched this man breathe life back into her son. Patrick started breathing on his own again. Sgt. Reimels held Patrick and kept him talking until the Paramedics arrived to take him to the Hospital. Not that it would have made a difference to this unselfish Hero, but what he didn't know at the time was that he was saving a member of his family, The Marine Corps family. Patrick's father is Lance Corporal Michael Maloney. My daughter never thought twice about putting her sons life in the hands of a Marine. Sgt. Reimels and his wife are now part of our family. Wherever he goes, whatever he does Sgt. Matthew Reimels will always be OUR HERO!
Happy Holidays to all Marines and their families, wherever they may be.
Patrick's very grateful Nana,
"Whether you think you can or you can't...either way you are right."
Henry Ford (1863 - 1947)
Hello Sgt Grit,
I just wanted to drop a couple of lines to you. I love your website! I am even making my husband who is deployed buy me the Dress Blues purse for Christmas haha. Which brings to me to why I am writing. I just thought maybe you could drop a few lines in your news letter to 1/12 Delta Co Motor T. My husband is Sgt. Bennett and he is the Motor T Chief and he is currently in Iraq. The reason I would like you to say a hello to them or a Merry Christmas to them is because they are working non stop he has become more then the Motor T Chief he is fixing everything even things they have no idea how. My husband has a lot of common sense and can pretty much fix anything! I am so very proud of him. He can not even sleep through the night because something is breaking down ( generators or other people vehicles ). He is at work until about 9 pm then he gets on the computer to see his kids even though you can see it in his eyes he is so tired. The motor T guys have been going above and beyond their duties and I just think a Merry Christmas Motor T 1/12 Delta or something would just make it a little better for them. They are missing their families for the holidays which is so horrible. I know all the Marines are doing a great job there but I just wanted to find a way to make my husband and the rest of motor t guys knows that we are proud of them... As some one said if motor T is not happy then no one is happy because if they are mad they are not fixing a d*mn thing... So lets hope they all stay happy so the rest of the men can do their jobs, haha.
Sgt Bennett's proud wife
Marine snow? (Garfield Comic)
"It is [the people's] sweat which is to earn all the expenses of the war, and their blood which is to flow in expiation of the causes of it."
I had the pleasure to serve in our illustrious U.S. Marine Corps from '56 to '58. I have often wondered why I didn't stay in for a longer term, but the desire to return to civilian life, and to obtain further education are mainly the reasons for not "re- upping".
But that's all history now, and I'll forever be grateful and prideful of my Marine Corps experience. Although I may have often, under my breath, called my DI's some names which I shall not repeat, I truthfully believe that much of that DI "Boot" training helped greatly in the discipline I learned, and lived with through my life. At 71 + years of age, I remain as proud as can be of my service in the "Corps". Anyone who may know of, or the where-abouts of the DI's that I had the pleasure of training under, at MCRD - San Diego, please speak up. Sr. DI: S/Sgt. Mach, Jr. DI's: Sgt's. Perry, Callaway and Reed.
Paul D. Langford
Oct. 1956 - Oct. 1958
I know that this is a MARINE forum, but I feel compelled to relay a story about something that happened to me at work the other night. I work for Home Depot. On my apron, I proudly wear the EGA that my youngest son gave me with tears in his eyes, at his graduation 14DEC2007. I get comments all the time from fellow MARINES and even from some who served in other branches. Never a negative comment, always a thank you. The other night, I was helping a gentleman who was in one our power chairs when he noticed my EGA. " MARINE huh" he asked. As always I swelled up and was proud to tell him of my family tradition in the CORPS down to my youngest serving now. I asked him if he was a MARINE. Nope, was his reply. Navy. My usual smarta*** reply was " We appreciate the ride to the fight". Boy, I will never use that one again. He grinned and said thanks but I was a SEAL. I stuttered and stammered and tried to apologize but he would hear nothing of it.
He was my generation, so I asked him if he served in 'Nam. Yes he did. Well, to make a long story short, for the next 45 minutes and 3 cups of coffee later, this HERO relayed to me and a few others who are also former MARINES at work, his time as a SEAL and especially his 3 years as a POW. According to him, he never was lucky enough to make it to the Hanoi Hilton. His wife came to fetch him because she figured that he had found some old timers to talk to. He cried, had all of us in tears and left all of us former MARINES and a few youngsters, with a renewed sense of pride for anyone who served. Especially someone who was a POW. Really especially a SEAL who survived a POW. Being the natural skeptic I am, I made some contacts the next day. This gentleman was not quite forthcoming with me. He forgot to tell me that he was awarded a Navy Cross, Bronze Star and 2 Purple Hearts for his service to our country. Just had to relay that one.
'The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely to be the one who dropped it.'
I have received your magazine for years and I would like to tell you a story about how you got that name Sgt Grit. I was in the Marine Corps in Korea 1953. I had a good buddy and we use to discuss what we would do when we went home. We both said we were going to college. I wanted law enforcement, he wanted to work for a New York newspaper. We both achieved our goals. A long the way my buddy, whose name is Charles Portis, wrote a novel, one of the best of our time. It was called True Grit. It was written by a U.S. Marine, Charles M. Portis. Charles lives in Little Rock, Arkansas now. I haven't heard from him in years. I hope he is well. I thought you would appreciate this story.
Vincent E Price
Hi Sgt. Grunt:
At last I got something in which I can write. When the First Div. was shipped over seas to New Zealand, prior to the landings in the Solomons, Another Marine, Bruce Dunthorne, & I were buddies. Mainly because he was conversant in German and I was of German parentage but not too knowledgeable in the language.
Anyhow, both of us usually wound up on the same liberty party from the base camp at Piecockariki (phonic spelling) going to the nearest town which was Wellington.
Trying to relearn the German language, Bruce and I would carry on a conversation in German, even while walking the streets in Wellington and this, sometimes, got us into a debate with the locals. They would question us about the speaking in German saying that "they were fighting the Germans". Our usual answer "So are we". That usually ended the confrontation. One time, walking the streets and speaking German, someone made a complaint to the local police. Something like "there are two German spies dressed as Marines".
Noting that a Police car was trailing on behind didn't register until they stopped us for questioning. Even though we had proper identification nonetheless they hauled both of us to the Police Station and called the camp C.O.. He in turn sent an officer to bail us out of the Police station and he didn't take kindly to that trip as it cut too deeply into his sack time. The Looie vouched for us and we got a letter from the Police stating something like we were trying to relearn the German language in the event that we were stopped at a later date. Eventually we paired up with two ladies, a bit older then we, they were in their 40s, who, also, spoke German. Al-in-al we had a great time while we were in New Zealand. Bruce took a sniper bullet after we landed in Cape Glouster and didn't make it. Pity, Bruce was a great guy, was living in Nutley, N.J.. Although Bruce had an Anglo-Saxon surname, Dunthorne, he learned his German in High School.
Arlington W. (Bill) Kirk
B15 -- (B Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Reg. 1st Marine Div.) 372415
Sarg: I'm 4 score & 4 years of age, married to the same gal for 53 years, a retired Tool Design engineer now doing Cabinet Making to keep me out of the Rocking Chair and live in North Arlington. The town that Bruce came from is just across the river from me.
"Free people think they have a right to an explanation of the circumstances which give rise to the necessity under which they suffer."
Sunday I arrived in Qingdao and was going to cue for a taxi to the hotel when an elderly Chinese man approached me and asked if I was American. When I said yes, "Meiguo", his face lit up and he asked me if I knew any Marines, explaining he had been with Marines of 2nd Motor in 1945.
The look on his face when I told him I had been a Marine was priceless. He lit up like a Christmas tree and called over his grandson and granddaughter to meet me. He rattled off numerous names too quickly for me to catch them and explained he had a friend in US and would I tell his friend that "China Boy OK" He gave me his address on the back of one of my business cards - it's down with the translator. It would seem in all his excitement, he forgot to tell me the name of his friends with 2nd Motor, 2nd Marines and I can't figure out if that's the battalion or regiment or Division. The letter to correct that will be delivered this afternoon and I anticipate a quick reply. (Copy Attached) For me, 2nd Motor was always the support for 2BN, 2MARDIV.
But with your reunion coming up and "China Marines" from this period being retired to the gates at a quick pace,
Please be advised that anyone who knew a "Yu Jing Chang should know that he is still alive, has had a good life and has wonderful grandchildren. His memories of his time with the Marines in Qingdao are not yet faded. And his wish for them all to be well and safe is genuine.
Many people here remember those times or have been made very aware of them by parents and grandparents. Many Chinese in this area are enamored with All things American and particularly Marines and the service they provided cleaning out the Japanese after the war ended.
Here, once again, as it happened to me in Korea, people have extended so much generosity to me for having been a Marine as though it was me who helped them. And it matters not that it wasn't me, not being able to show any kindness to those who helped them, they would show it to anyone even remotely connected to them.
As I left the man and his grandchildren, now adults themselves. I shook his hand, wrapped an arm around him and said "semper fi, china boy". Just as I know it had been said to him before, probably again, and again. He hugged me with the hope that I would find his friend and get that simple message through.
Qingdao is now a metropolis of about 8 or 9 Million with breathtaking views of the Sea, many skyscrapers, very much industry and recently hosted the Sailing events for the Beijing Olympic Games. The spelling of the City has changed, but the Beer is still spelled Tsingtao and is just as good as ever. Now that we are helping to build new power plants just 90 clicks north of Qingdao, I am making the effort to explore the area where my old unit once based. MAG-32 and VMA-231.
Can you help me spread the word until I get the names and find out if any of the guys are alive?
Sgt. Grit~ This will be of interest to Korea's veterans if they haven't already heard of it.
Marine Family Line
My name is Juan Martinez, and I'm a poolee out of RSS North Lansing. But this is where my story ends not begins. Growing up I'd always known Marines. My grandpa served in NAM as a LCpl. He was wounded by an enemy hand grenade and received a purple heart. My dad was a reservist from Lansing during the Gulf War. He never was deployed because of medical reasons. My step dads brother was a Marine. I have another uncle who was a Marine. And my step dads best friend was a tank commander during the Gulf War. So as you can see I grew up with it in my blood. All through school I never really wanted to be a Marine. I thought it'd be cool to serve (what little boy doesn't play war) but never gave it a lot of thought. That's when 9/11 happened. I was sitting in my 5th grade social studies class when the principal announced over the loud speaker that the World Trade Center had just been attacked. Everyone was scared and we all went home early that day. My mom cried for close to 2 days. I knew then I wanted to do something to the people that did that. I think 8th grade was when I really decided to be a Marine. That's when I started talking to my mom about it and she knew I was hooked. Everyday from freshman year until I enlisted May 14th of 2008 I bugged my mom. I used to bug the recruiters they never had to call me. When I enlisted it was the proudest day of my life. I had to fight back tears as I took my oath of enlistment. When I got back to the RS Gunny stood to shake "my" hand. It was all so amazing to me that a Gunnery Sergeant would stand to welcome me. I'll never forget his words "Be proud of this day, cherish it, you've earned it. Oh and Martinez welcome to the United States Marine Corps"
Poolee Juan Martinez (Contract Pfc.)
December 1 2008
"We have two companies of Marines running rampant all over the northern half of this island, and three Army regiments pinned down in the southwestern corner, doing nothing. What the h&ll is going on?"
Gen. John W. Vessey Jr., USA, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the assault on Grenada, 1983
dear sgt. grit.
my son recently turned me on to your catalog, love it!, he will soon be leaving for boot camp in February 2009. I was browsing the online store and came across some arm warmers, let me tell you that I work out in the weather, I am a rural carrier and these are WONDERFUL! especially in Wisconsin in the winter. having my right arm hanging out in the cold for 4 to 5 hours a day is a little bone chilling, and it is one of the best purchases so far, thanks bunches :).
one proud mom-
maria rausch,eagle wi
Drill Instructor tribute (YouTube video)
I would presume that all of us at one time or another have been confronted by the "Bully". My first was high school, two brothers and their cousin. Ever notice how the big mean tough bully never acts alone? always has back up. Nothing ever came of our confrontations, just some pushing and shoving. Don't know what happened to them after graduation. I enlisted in the Marines. But I was not and still am not your typical Alpha male. More retiring and pacifistic. But I went home for ten year reunion. Nothing had changed. They as a group were still the bullies and were intimidating some of the others. I was with a new lady friend, when they started butting in. Time, experience and Marine training taught me how to handle them. Didn't need any help, as a single Marine is never alone. He always has at his back 200 plus years of buddies behind him.
Fast forward about 4 years ago. Couple drunks let their mouths talk too much. Didn't know what a leatherneck was and was being very snide about it. Til one made mistake, said "good thing you're wearing glasses, as I won't hit anyone wearing glasses." Again time experience and Marine training were on my side. Keeping my back to them, not saying a word, slowly removed my glasses, and laid them on bar top, where they could see them. Continued to drink my beer.
Their challenge was met, now what are they going to do. Got very quiet in there. I just kept drinking my beer. Two against one, and they still didn't have what it takes to stand up and be a man, even from behind. Now today, we have a new guy at work. Big guy, 275 pounds about 6' 4" . He has chosen me to try and ride over. But again time, experience and Marine training are on my side. Nothing has happened yet, maybe never will. I think he picks on me because I intimidate him. Physically he's bigger than I am. But I am the one with the "once a Marine always a Marine" hat on and carry myself as such. He knows, I have already been challenged by the best, I met the challenge and survived. So deep down he has to ask himself, "am I good enough or bad enough to finish what I start?"
I've found through the years, most bullies always have to have back up, first. Most think they can intimidate you. Most bar fights etc, are won with the mind, and psychology, before the first punch is thrown. Remain calm, remember the training (hopefully you took more than just basic), choose your words slowly, carefully and wisely. Stand tall and straight. Remember, you got a lot of history and tough men behind you watching your back. Remember also, the bended knee, and surrender is not in our creed! The Brain is your most powerful weapon, learn to use it wisely, and you will overcome!
old Corps vs new Corps
Old must be before 1986.
Movie Heartbreak ridge. They mention this is the new Corps!
Semper Fi to all
Sgt of Marines 68-74 RVN 70 -71
"The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!"
Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States, 1945
USMC KA-BAR Hat
I've Got a Marine Bumper Sticker
God Bless America!
Sgt Grit Newsletter VS AmericanCourage Newsletter:
You receive both (alternating weeks)...so what's the difference?
In short...The AmericanCourage Newsletter has MORE family member stories, "support the Corps" stories from Marines, and patriotic quotes. It started after the events of Sept. 11, 2001 to give supporters of the Marine Corps and American patriots a voice.
The Sgt Grit Newsletter is HARD CORPS Marine! If you are interested in topics that delve into Marine Corps history, Corps Stories, Boot Camp and other things that "only a Marine might understand" - then be sure to read the Sgt Grit Newsletter (every other week) - More about the newsletter