Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to say thank you to "Doc" Navy Corpsman who in March of 68' risked his life to save a U.S. Marine who stepped on a landmine.

Our Bn "Doc" heard the loud boom and ran from inside the fire support base - thru the many lanes filled with clusters of landmines.

Our "Doc" gave first aid, wrapped his belt around the kid's stump and proceeded to yell for a medivac.

Family Member Shirts

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Get a shirt, sweatshirt, hooded sweatshirt, or long-sleeved t-shirt "MARINE Aunt, Boyfriend, Brother, Cousin, Dad, Daughter, Friend, Girlfriend, Grandma, Grandpa, Grandson, Husband, Mom, Nephew, Niece, Sister, Son, Sons, Uncle, or Wife"

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This Marine's name is Marinke but we forgot the Navy Corpsman's name. We don't know how he missed all of those landmine clusters - but the good Lord was with him and the injured Marine that day.

Thanks Doc where ever you are !
Go Navy !

Gene Spanos
Squad Leader
Cpl. USMC 11th Engineer Bn
March 1968
Gio Lynh FSB site

Cow Poke one Zero

A number of Marines have written you recently expressing their admiration and respect for Billy C. Steed. He was a 1st Lt. in 3/27 in VN in 1968.I was the Battalion Commander and can support the comments that have been made about his professionalism and character. He had the ability to do anything assigned in an easy going, confident manner. During the battle for GoNoi in May '68, due to heavy officer casualties, he served in 3 different companies in 2 weeks because his strong leadership was so needed. Just prior to the 27th Marines rotating to CONUS Billy was reassigned to the Div Air section as an air observer and, as "Cow Poke one Zero", flew a number of support missions for his old Battalion on their 2nd GoNoi operation. It was comforting to hear his voice as he flew air support for us. He retired as a Colonel of Marines and now lives in Scottsdale,AZ. There are a number of references to his actions in the book Every Marine , the 3/27 story, written by Robert Simonsen.

I was very fortunate to have had a number of "Billy C.Steed types" in 3/27; Ernie Fitzgerald, Roy Casteel, Blake Thomas, John Zalipski, Myles Keefe, John Ernest, Jim Kent, Julian Parrish--- and the list could go on. I could not finish this "testimonial" without paying homage to the bravery and dedication that the" troops" displayed on a daily basis. There were a lot of Billy C. Steeds there as well./

Semper Fi/Tullis Woodham Colonel USMC (Ret)

Sgt Mills Tattoo

Outstanding Tats

The cross rifle and oar with K-Bar, has "Death to the Enemy" written in Arabic...Forget College money, we join to FIGHT ! ! ! 3/2 Good luck, and good hunting...

Sgt Mills

A Couple Of DOCs

Afternoon and sorry we missed meeting you in November during a visit to store. Your staff took care of us and we could not have been more pleased.

Just a funny for web....In December fell off a ladder breaking wrist and ankle. In the cast room treated by a couple of "DOCs" and we decided to have a little fun. No cast for wrist/arm so could not expand the fun.

First leg cast was a cammie design, and next was a first for firm - dress blue with blood stripe.

cast photo cast photo Who says there is a not a lot of fun under strange situations... my wife could not believe how we acted and that they specifically designed the second cast.

Semper FI

Tradition Lives On

This is a USMC tattoo from 35 years ago. Color has faded but "Tradition Lives On".
"Once a Marine Always a Marine"

Tradition Tattoo KHickman
USMC 72-76
3rd MAW H&MS-16

One And Only Time

Sgt. Grit, I am enclosing a photo of the Marine Corps Ball November 2007. I attended this year in San Diego CA, with my son in law and my youngest son. This is the one and only time we will all attend as Sgt's. L to R, Sgt. Alexander Jones ( 11th Marines, MCB Camp Pendleton, CA ), Sgt. Joshua Carlson ( MWCS 48, Bravo Co., Miramar, CA ), and Sgt. Ralph Jones (HMM-362, Vietnam 66'-68'). I have another son who couldn't make it former, Marine Andrew Jones ( MCES, MCB Camp Lejeune, NC).

Marine Corps Ball What a wonderful legacy a father has to have his family join him in the brotherhood, and speak the same language, my daughter made the right choice marrying her Marine.

Sgt. E-5 Ralph Jones
USMC 1965-1969
HMM-362 Ugly Angels

30% Off Sale

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You Got It

I travel almost every week so I have the pleasure of running in to several Marines and if I have the time, buying them a beer or two. Well this time was different. It was early in the morning and my flight from Atlanta to NY was delayed. As I sat there people watching this older gentleman walks by. I noticed the EGA on his chest. I gave him a "Semper Fi" as he walks by - well he turns, puts his brief case down and shakes my hand with "Semper Fi" in return. Now I have a better look at his shirt and notice that under the EGA is: Al Gray. I'm thinking- Holy Sh#$!

I said sir- I assume you are Commandant Al Gray? He says you got it. Here I am talking to the commandant that I served under while watching numerous young Marines (enlisted and officers) walking by having no clue of whom is he is.... We talked for about a half hour regarding all sorts of things- people that I know that worked with him as well as him giving telling me a little about what he is up to- nearing the end of our conversation I asked for an autographed photo- he said absolutely. Well I have not yet received that photo BUT I am hoping this helps remind him!

General Al Gray is everything you hear about him; a gentleman and a true Marine- you could tell he just loves being with Marines.

Semper Fi General Gray!
Phillip B. Modesti
SSGT- 8th Tanks
Desert Storm

Not Yet

When my nephew was in the 3rd grade, he was always telling his classmates about his "Aunt Bobbie" being a Marine. Well, one of the kids called him a liar and said that girls couldn't be Marines. So, without my nephew even having to ask, on leave, I showed up at his school in my dress blues (they make statement, don't they?).

I cleared it with the Principal and he called Steven to the office to escort me to his classroom. I spoke to the class about being a Marine and what it takes and that very few people are worthy to be Marines. The kid that had called my nephew a liar said "My Dad was in the Air Force" which I only replied, "Good for him". I kept talking and answering questions and at the close the same kid pipes up again and asked "Have you ever killed anybody?" Well, I looked the little booger right in the eyes and said "Not Yet." The teacher about fell out of her chair....but that kid never called MY nephew a liar again, or even messed with him.

Steven is a Marine now, too, and after two years in Iraq, he has re-upped and is headed to Coronado for a well deserved "vacation". He will be pinned SGT when he gets there, which I am very proud of. Even if he does still owe me $20 for losing our bet.

Sgt. Bobbie Gillig
AGSE (Now MWSS-374)
MCAGCC Twenty-nine Palms

Moto Tat

Here Is My

Here is my Marine Tattoo - Crossed M-16s behind a skull wearing a camo cover, with "Semper Fi" in barbed wire beneath it.

Bill Cabiness

What Name Is Greater

My granddaughter is a football fan and I have purchased two NFL approved football jerseys of her favorite players which are quite expensive.

For her birthday she wanted a Marine Corps football jersey so I ordered her the one from the Sgt Grit catalog. I can honestly say that it is of far superior quality than the NFL jerseys and at less cost. They say with the NFL jerseys you are paying for the name but what name is greater than U. S. Marine Corps. It is greater than any person who has ever played or is playing the game of football.

USMC Red Football Jersey USMC White Football Jersey Thanks for the wide selection of gear for Marines and the great quality.

Monte L. Railsback
MSgt, USMC (Ret)

But I've Never

Sgt Grit,
I was in OKC for Christmas leave recently and attended church with my family for Christmas Eve service. I was wearing my Dress Blue Bravos and after the service was over my family wanted to go to Santa Fe Steakhouse in OKC. We were enjoying our meal and I had noticed an older gentleman sitting across from our table who looked at my family several times. After his meal the gentleman got up, walked past me, turned to my dad, and said, "I got your ticket" and walked out the door. Realizing what had just happened I got up, went looking for the gentleman in the restaurant and even outside, but to no avail. I stood outside for a few minutes bewildered. When I walked back into the restaurant I noticed that my wife, mother, and sister all had tears in their eyes. I've had people buy me drinks and even pay for MY meal, but I've NEVER had someone pay for my FAMILIES meal. I've never felt more humble in my life.

Semper Fi
Sgt Michael Elder 2003-Present
OIF and OEF Vet 0311

P.S. If the gentleman that paid for my families meal is reading this, Thank You.

"Only the dead have seen the end of war."

The Generations

The Dellinger 2 The MARINE CORPS and the Dellinger Family go back a ways. Here is some pictures to the generations of service.
1. 1918 Parris Island on the ferry across
2. raw recruits 1918
The Dellinger 7 3. Marine J. Dellinger 1919
4. 1943 Parris Island Marine E. Dellinger
5. Marine E. Dellinger at Okinawa
6. 1976 Parris Island Marine D. Dellinger
7. Marine D. Dellinger

I have many pics of 1918 Parris Island and 1921 plus combat photos WWII. All passed down in the family.

dave d.

Marine Corps Recruiters Association

The Marine Corps Recruiters Association would like to announce their 4th Annual Conference and Reunion scheduled to be held in Oceanside, CA June 12-14, 2008. More information will be forth coming. In the mean time, the MCRA is looking for A Few Good RECRUITERS, Present and Past to Join This One of a Kind Association. For More Information Contact Jim Simmons S/T: E or call me at 417 549-6391 OR JERRY SCOGGINS, PRES E


The Corps Changes

I served in the "old Corps", 1960-1964 (active duty) and 1971-1976 (reserves). While on active duty, I was deployed with the 3rd Expeditionary Brigade by President Kennedy to northern Thailand during the "Laotian Crisis". I am not a "combat Marine" as we did not see combat in Thailand but were there and would have if needed. Went on plenty combat/recon patrols around and possibly in Laos.

I went to Recruiters School in 1973 as a reservist and saw recruit training in progress at that time. I also saw changes in the Corps that were hard to accept but as an old Marine told me, the Corps changes every time we go to war. Big difference between wartime and peacetime service. I know and have served with "China Marines", WWII, Korea and Vietnam Vets. Proud to have known them all.

The son of one of my best friends was a DI in the 80's and I know that they were not turning out "candy-a$s" Marines. A niece of mine went thru boot-camp in 2001. I attended her graduation and saw a little of the training, no picnic.

I see documentaries on Marine Corps boot camp and wonder if I would have made it in the "new Corps".

Thanks Ernie Scherman for your comments to Micheal Laemmle. Us "old-Corps" and "newbie's" that did not or will not see combat are no less Marines than "combat-Marines". For the record, I served with L/3/5, L/3/9, 3rd Expeditionary Brigade, C/1/5 and D/4th Recon Bn (USMCR).

Main reason I got of out the Reserves was to take a job in an elite US govt. unit. We had one guy who went to the news media and told them how bad we were on security to which they had a news report on national news. The "expert" guy who gave them the information was not a good member of our unit. Not because he talked but his job performance and attitude were no good. Laemmle is probably on of those types of people that cannot make it in a unit and then tries to tear it down.

Semper Fi to all Marines
Frank D Briceno
Sgt of Marines

Left Sock, Right Sock

We had our pockets sewed closed not to keep our hands out of them (that was a given) we did it to keep the pockets from puckering and distorting the clean line of the uniform. My cigarettes went in my left sock and my wallet in my right sock. I don't remember ever putting anything in any pocket of my dress uniforms.
Rich Young, Sgt. 54-57.

Occurred On Saipan

We Marines paid a high price in loss of life and wounded to liberate the Marianas Islands during World War II. The native Chamorrans also suffered greatly during that operation. This account of an incident has haunted me for many years and has born out the severe atrociousness of the Japanese military.

I haven't heard anyone except my immediate unit (2nd Platoon, "A" Co., 4th Engr. Bn.) speak about an incident that occurred on Saipan. While attached to the 2nd Bn. 25th Marines on the night of July 3/4, 1944 our platoon was assigned a sector of defense for the night. We had considerable noise and movement to our front; we fired (rifles) at any sight or sound.

At daylight we checked our front to see the result of our action. There were several bodies there, and to our amazement they were native Champrran men. Their hands were tied behind their backs and long ropes attached to their bodies - quite obvious that the Japs had prodded them to locate our lines. I remember commending one of our light machine gunners (Henry "Porky" Rutowski on not firing his weapon, thus disclosing his machine gun position.

I thought how ironic this incident happened on the day we celebrate our precious freedoms, that men could be subjected to treatment such as this by other men.

I'm not aware this incident was ever "officially" reported to anyone. We jumped off soon that morning and several days later observed Jap soldiers and civilians leaping over cliffs of northern Saipan. I doubt if the younger generations realize what a vicious, fanatical enemy we faced in the Pacific Islands during World War II.

John Link

Who Do You Think

Hello Hard Chargers! I've written a few times in the past to share some of my stories and adventures of my time in the Corps, but this time I'm writing to see if I can get a few things cleared up.

I ran into a fellow Marine the other day in passing. I approached him to introduce myself as a brother Marine, although I haven't worn the uniform in nearly 8 years, and to thank him for his service. He asked what my MOS was and I told him I was an Air Winger and supported various helicopter squadrons.

Being a grunt ( a sniper he said) he told me that I was not a "real Marine" and that he had nothing more to say to me. I was floored! What happened to every Marine being your brother.

I politely told him that no, I did not spend my time in the field carrying a weapon as he did but I was every bit a Marine. I asked him if he was ever in a situation where he had to rely on air support to save his bacon. I asked if he had ever heard the sound of beating rotor blades on a Cobra Gunship and saw the effect that the mere presence those "Killers In The Sky" had on the moral of the enemy. I asked if he ever had to rely on a helicopter to get him into or out of a hairy situation.

He answered yes to all the above. I then asked, as kindly as possible, "Well, who do you think made sure those helicopters were even able to get of the ground?" With that, I turned and walked away. Any way, I'd love to hear from fellow Aviation Marines, or even those in ground units on your thoughts on this matter.

Sgt. Steve Chargois
Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 39

Just Because

Well said SSGT Ernie Scherman! OORAH!
I too am an old salt, one of the old Corps Marines, as a matter of fact an old brown shoe Marine, I enlisted in March 1962 and am still a Marine today! Just to let you know and anyone wants to know I'd be proud to have you and any other Marine in today's Marine Corps stand next to me in a fight anytime, any place.

As for you, Marine (e-4 Laemmle) you couldn't be more wrong sir. Just because they don't get the crap beat out of them in boot camp like we did, does not make them a candy A$$ Marine. Today's Marine is just as stubborn and just as mean in a fight as you or I ever were. maybe even more so because of Marines like you and I and others before us set the standards pretty high. I don't see what your looking at e-4 Laemmle but from where I stand I am proud of today's Marines and I am confidant of today's Marines, They kick a$$ just as well as any of us ever did maybe even better. . .

Semper Fi,
Richard Starkey
Sgt USMC 1962 - forever

Never Volunteer

During the first weekend at Camp Matthews rifle range we were finally allowed to phone home. I called my girlfriend instead who asked "Did I got the cookies yet?" I knew what would happen but asked her to send no more.

That Monday SSgt Fullerton came out of the Post Office with a package under his arm. I ate nothing for evening chow. At mail formation that package bounced off my chest with an invite to see the SSgt. I don't know how many of those chocolate chip cookies there were but I ate all but 2 with the only liquid was from my bleeding gums. The SSgt gave me a cup and told me to bring it back full of water from the scuttlebutt a 100 yards away. I must have drank a gallon of water first though.

Back at the SSgt's tent all that was left of the last 2 were some crumbs. At 6-6 I had followed my Iwo Jima Marine uncles advice to never volunteer. And a quizzical expression was always on a DI's face at mail call when I got mail...was this guy in my platoon? Now I was caught. He asked what my job was in the platoon. I had none and never did. Now I was in charge of the sh*tcan. I assumed as sh*tcan "supervisor" I could appoint 2 helpers and did.

During Right Oblique March in 8 Man Squad Drill the squad leader had to loudly call squad commands. Being loud voiced I replaced a weaker one in the first squad. Then at MCRD I was promoted to Guide and won Pfc at graduation. I think the cookies helped.

Lima Echo
Cpl of Marines 60-64

The Dumb SOB

Sgt Grit,

I read this weeks newsletter this morning before heading off to a Doctor's appointment and one caught me and made me laugh, because of what I saw at Boot Camp at MCRD San Diego. The story I am referring to is that of W.R. Elder and about his son the Tattoo artist. First of all I am very happy and proud that he would not let the young kid get the EGA Tattoo until he came back and showed him he had graduated Boot Camp and earned the Title of Marine as myself, Gunny Elder and countless others have earned over the last 200+ years of the Corps. I have a similar story that goes along with what happens when someone shows up to Boot already sporting an EGA tattoo.

I went through Boot during the summer as we started the 5th of June that year and towards the end of Boot like so many others we went to the wonderful Pool at MCRD San Diego to at least pass the initial swim training. While there as we stripped down and got into our "swim gear" one of the DI's came in who was checking to make sure we were all ready to hit the pool. Well as he walked in with one of his counter parts he noticed one Recruit trying to move his left arm behind another recruit so they could not see him or what was on his arm.

Well like all good DI's who have eyes every where it seems while you are at Boot, they both spotted him and could tell he had some ink on his arm, but did not know what it was. Well the grabbed him and low and behold the dumb SOB had went and gotten an EGA Tattoo that was pretty big and then had the Bull Dog right under it with USMC written under it and you should have seen those DI's. They lit up like fireworks on the 4th of July. They ripped him up and down for getting the tattoo when he had not earned the title yet and what gave him that right, etc.

Well when the Recruit was able to answer he said his father had served in the Marines and hot gotten the tattoo for his father. At which point both DI's Chimed in and said did your Dad know you got the tattoo before you had even left for Boot? He said no, because he wanted it to be a surprise for when he came to his graduation ceremony. Both DI's said your Dad would have kicked your (Fill in Appropriate Explicative) had he known you got a Marine Corps Tattoo and had not earned the title yet.

Well they took him and they ordered the rest of us to follow and then took him to the tower at the pool and pushed him off, and that is how our day at the pool began.

I hope you enjoyed the story. I have told many people about that as well as my oldest cousin who also served in the Marine Corps and was in for 10 years and through Desert Storm. I loved my service in the Corps and I cherish it every day and am proud that I did my Enlisted time in the best branch of the service and I am still very good friends with quite a few

.Marines I had the pleasure of serving with in my time.

Semper Fi.
Thanks again for all you do SGT Grit as well as your great staff.

Erik Stoeckle
Captain US Army (Ret)
USMC 94-Jan 1, 1998

Made Some Calls

Pvt Jake Krueger, my son, was traveling home for Christmas from 29 Palms California on Dec 22nd 2007 and he was going to be stuck overnight at the Palm Springs airport.

The USO he was hanging at was to close at 2200 hours. The volunteer on duty noted that there was 20 young Marines that were overnighting also, so he got on the phone and made some calls and the Spa Resort Casino Hotel in Palm Springs said they would help out. They sent a hotel shuttle over to pick them up, comped them rooms, dinner and breakfast and the ride back to the airport!

That made this set of anxious parents very grateful for a very kind, "support our troops" holiday act!
Kerry Krueger
Cpl 80 to 86

Remembered Me

Talking about General Al Gray, I met him at the Commandants Residence in 1988 where his gracious wife and himself had coffee with about a dozen members of the Marine Corps League when we presented him with his 'Cabbage Patch Marine' (there were only 13 produced) I loved the fact that his coffee was in a camo canteen cup with 4 stars affixed to it. My fellow members introduced me to the General as their "Rambo".

When we saw the General again a few months later at the National Marine Corps League Convention in Dallas, Tx., the General remembered me as "Rambo" and that nickname has stuck with me ever since.

L/Cpl Mark Gallant
USMC 66-69
Chu Lai '68

Jingle Bell

For Wayne Brandon: the one I remember goes: Jingle bell, shotgun shells, VC in the grass...If you don't like my Christmas song, you can stick it up you're a$$...etc.

How ya doin', you ol' dog? We gonna see your sorry hinney at Nashville in August? (for those not in the know, 1st Mar Div Assoc annual reunion is in Nashville this year, 27-30 August)

Wouldn't say Wayne could ever be mistaken for a Yankee...has this habit of referring to the Civil War as "The War of Northern Aggression"...Semper Fi!

Dick...a Tennessean by choice...

sgt grit i'm a vietnam vet pvt himes nam 68/71 in answer to someone wanting to know what the real version of our Christmas song was i believe it went something like this jingle bells mortar shells vc in the grass you can take your Merry Christmas and stick it in your arse sincerely jdhimes c/co. 1st plt. charlie co.1/1 1st mp bn'danang 68/71

As I recall it from the DMZ circa 1968, "Jingle bells, mortar shells, VC in the grass, take your homemade Christmas pies and shove them up your..."
Semper fi
D.M. Ruttenber Sgt. USMC 2253882

I Could Shoot The Eyes Out

My Marine Corps days were early 70's, 1970-76. I remember them fondly and am proud to be a former Marine to this day. My favorite memory is shooting the rifle course at Camp Horno, Pendleton in 1973, and maxing the rifle range twice. I could shoot the eyes out of that M-16.

I was soon "TAD" to many rifle matches after that which better honed the skill the Marine Corps helped to develop. I always enjoyed "rifle coaching and helping my fellow Marines "snap in". Mountain Warfare Training in Bridgeport, Ca was always cool as I was always the "resident Sniper" in our war games there. Many a night in Summit Meadows freezin' the ole tush off and the never ending "cowbells".

Thanks Sgt Grit. This is a great column

Lance Corporal Gray
Lima 3/1, Camp Horno

He Leaned Toward

Two years ago my wife and I were on a twin-prop puddle-jumper from Washington, DC to New York's JFK. Aboard the plane with us was the president of a small African nation, along with his entourage. When we landed in New York, we were instructed to disembark the plane first. As I headed out the door of the aircraft, I pulled on my Sgt. Grit "Death Cheater" hat and stepped out onto the top of the stairs. I looked out at a small Corpsman Death Cheaters Hat security detachment and noticed that one of them locked onto me. He watched me all the way down the stairs and across the tarmac. When I got even with him, he leaned toward me and whispered, "Semper Fi, Doc."
Everywhere I wear that hat, I get comments: "Thanks for your service."
"Semper Fi." It is an exclusive fraternity of which I an proud to be a part.
Doc Thompkins, HMC
RVN 68-69 2/26

It Ain't Nuthin'

To LCpl. Walker:

Disabled or not, in uniform or not, you will always be a Marine, and nothing can stop a Marine from "representing" the Corps and standing tall... even if he can no longer stand up.

You are wearing your uniform INSIDE now, just not outside.

My nephew Chris is a medically-retired Sergeant of Marines whose legs no longer work, and he is confined to a wheel chair. Upon discharge he attended and graduated from Penn State University with Honors, and now heads his own successful physical fitness training business, "Corps Fitness", as well as starting and running an annual mini- marathon that last year donated more than $50,000 to medical research, and an arm-powered bike fitness program for disabled kids.

traithlons He competes nationally in disabled triathlons, and two years ago came in first in his category with his arm-powered bike in the annual Marine Corps Marathon in Arlington, VA. In 2007 he tried his first skydiving jump.

His motto is: "It is not important if you get knocked down, but whether you get up", and he is an inspiration and role model to all who know him.

Hang in there, Marine. It ain't nuthin' but a thing.

Semper Fi,

Don Kaag
LTC, Armor, AUS(Ret.)
...and former Sgt. & Capt.
of Marines

A Drummer Appeared

Dear Sgt Grit,

The story about the convicted Marine being marched in front of his company and escorted out the gate in Camp Pendleton, reminded me of an incident that happened when I was in 2/7 in 1962.

The whole battalion was formed up on the parade deck and three individuals dressed in full greens minus insignia were marched in front of the battalion. The battalion adjutant read the order dismissing them from the Marine Corps. A drummer appeared and he then marched them to the head of the formation, E Company, appeared and the men were marched in front of the battalion as the drummer beat a slow cadence. As they approached each company. the order "about face" was given and the company turned their backs on the men. It's one thing to have a company perform that little booting out ceremony, but when over 1100 men perform it, it's really eye opening.

At the end of the ceremony the men were loaded into a civil service van and driven to the gate.

In all my career in the Marine Corps, I've only had one man given a dishonorable discharge and that happened when I was a troop handler in 1957. It's too bad we couldn't have had the same ceremony for him when he finished his time in the brig, it might have made an impression on some new Marines.

Jerry R Hattox
GySgt USMC Ret

Celebrate My Service

Sgt. Grit,

I may have told you that I have an adventure every year to celebrate my service in the Corps and to prove to myself that even though I get older every year (I'm now 59), the Corps provided me with the courage, honor and commitment to remain active and physically fit. I still run 4 miles 3 days a week, visit the gym weekly, hike in the NC mountains each Spring, Summer and Fall, and scuba dive each Summer. But, my goal each year is to do something out of the ordinary. This is my video on YouTube with my adventure for 2007, flying the L-39 military jet in California, quite the thrill. It was an OORah trip!

Jim Hill
Former Captain
US Marine Corps

Truly Believe

Happy New Year to you too Sgt. Grit,

I am a former Marine also, I enlisted Feb. 2 1981, and served until 03/86.
I made E-4 Cpl. before receiving my honorable discharge. Including a bust I received in my first year. I became a sh!tbird for awhile, but it didn't take long for my superiors to adjust my attitude. I truly believe that life is forever a challenging growing experience, and life long habits can change for the better. I am proud to be a Marine and I am glad to see your network on the internet. Thank you brother.

Semper Fidelis
Cpl. Mark Ramirez

Can Tell The Difference

Sgt. Grit,

I just wanted to thank you for all your work that is performed in the production and distribution of your newsletter to all the subscribers. I recently read the letter from the parents of the lady in dire need of transportation from an airport, and in which, General Al Gray was being the leader that he is, was compassionate enough to see to it that she was able to get home to see her parents. General Gray definitely earned extra points on entering heavens gates with this.

I also am writing in response to MSgt Coon's letter of the misguided Marines out of uniform. I drive a tour bus here in the state of Missouri and I live close to FT Leonard Wood. From time to time, I pick up Marines either at an airport or on FT Wood and transport them to their destination.

Generally speaking, the Marines are Marines. When stepping on the bus and you have both Marines and Army personnel

you can tell the difference between them. However, I have had only one incident in which I just shook my head in disbelief, but later, just had to say something about it. The Marines had landed in Springfield, Mo, and had deboarded on the Tarmac at 0100. I took them to the terminal so as to await the arrival of the second bus, so we could safely take them to FT Wood. There was Eighty Two of them.

After unloading them, and while they were in formation outside the terminal; I saw something that I never thought I would ever see. Backpacks hanging off of shoulders, cigarettes hanging out of their mouths, covers off their gourds (ha ha) and pop bottles in their hands. Remind you, they are in their digitals.

Needless to say, my blood pressure skyrocketed. I just about went DI on them. However, I kept my cool, pulled the PFC aside and lectured him on proper etiquette of Marine formations. I don't know if what I did was proper, but I sure felt better after doing so. I asked the PFC to just when did the commandant of the Marine Corps allow such formations in public. After all, there is an image to uphold as well as guidelines to follow. There are cameras everywhere in this world and everybody is watching; regardless of the time. Now that I have this off my chest, I feel better. I can only hope that small incidents like this do not go unnoticed. If they do; then we as retirees and as having served have gone complacent with our beliefs.

C H Lambert
PI 1st Batt Plt 1125 '73
HQCo HQBN 1st MarDiv
1stBatt 7th Mar

I Want You To

Our MAG was the ACE at the Reserve CAX, 29 Palms. Gen Al Gray had just taken over as Commandant and visited the ACE. At the briefing for the Gen, the OpsO kicked it off by reading off a flip chart, with a squared away PFC flipping the pages. After a few pages, the Gen told the OpsO, "Maj, sit down. Marine, continue." The PFC continued without hesitation and did an outstanding job. To make a long story short, after he was done, the Gen told him to go get his CO. He returned with his CO about 20 minutes later and the Gen told the CO, "I want you to promote this Marine to LCpl. In fact, I want you to promote him at your Marine Corps Ball this year. My SgtMaj will take care of the paperwork."
CWO-4 T. Kano
USMCR (ret)

Alberts Sits Back Down

Dear Sgt Grit

One evening PFC Alberts is sitting on his locker box in his skiveys polishing his boots when PFC Monoz comes back from liberty.

Monoz has had a few beers and is dancing around throwing punches bragging about how he came from the mean streets of Los Angeles. (He had done this a few times before).

Then he spies Alberts, Alberts was from Long Beach Calif. and his dad owned a shoe store there. Alberts was the quiet studious type that kept to himself, the typical clean cut kid.

Munoz comes over and punches him a coupla times. I heard Alberts say "Ow d*mit that hurt, knock it off". Then I heard Monoz say " You want to do something about it"? Then I see Alberts come from the sitting position bring his fist up and hit Monoz up side the head. Monoz goes flying. We use to have a saying "There was two blows stuck Alberts hit Monoz and Monoz hit the deck".

Then Alberts sits back down as if nothing had happened and continues polishing his boots. Monoz laid there a little while then got up and wobbled off to his bunk.

Two things happened that day Monoz stopped punching people and Albert became a regular guy. After that I would hear guys going on liberty call out to Alberts "Hey Alberts come on and go on liberty with us". And he did.

Funny thing it wasn't too long after that he became Cpl. Alberts.

Semper Fi
S/Sgt Norm Barnes Wpns Co. 1st Bn 3rd Marines

Redirected My Plans

Sgt. Grit,
I picked up on your news letter about a year ago, subscribe to it and get a big kick out or reading the letters from past and present jarheads and their families. You don't hear the term "Hollywood Marine" too much (actually never), maybe because unless you were "there" it wouldn't mean much or might even be taken unkindly. But I was, in the truest sense of the phrase, a "Hollywood Marine".

I graduated from boot in January of '80 from Plt. 3102, 3rdRecTrnBtln, USMCRDSDIEGO,. Originally bound for someplace in Memphis (I think) for advanced training as a combat engineer. But I never made it that far. The Marines gave me ten days leave out of boot to take care of some baggage from life prior to the 'Corps (another story), and upon returning to San Diego after a successful mission before a judge, I still had a couple of days leave.

In civies, on the beach, playing football, I tore some ligaments in my right ankle (go figure, three months of boot with nothing more than some blisters and bruises). Still on a gradhold status from boot, that left me temporarily attached to MCRD San Diego.

You know the Marines don't let you sit around doing nothing while you repair, so I go to work for a MGySgt doing background checks on Officer Candidate School selecties for Naval Security Group (I learned to type in high school and I can talk).

When my ankle had healed and I prepared to put in orders to carry on I learned my "boss" had changed my MOS and had redirected my plans somewhat. Permanent attachment to MCRD San Diego. So I spent the next three and a half years working various jobs on a recruit training facility.

My MOS was changed to 0151 (administrative liaison) and my not too typical career, in the traditional sense of Marine duties, began. But spending four years in boot camp wasn't all peaches and cream either. I ran an average 60 miles a week, from base to the beach every other day and saluted a bazillion times a day.

I attended every class known to the Corps available on the base. My chain of command was myself, the MGySgt, a Captain, a Lt.Col (all G-2 personnel), then the base commander. In the public eye, I stood inspection every day and shaved twice daily.

I spent three years on the base Color Guard Detail, advancing from rifleman to NCOIC, wore the blues and carried the Colors with pride while rubbing shoulders with the diplomatic elite :/.

I carried the mike at the base graduation ceremonies for over a year, sat third row behind the base commander (suffered more than a few lightning bolt glares for mistakes I made in protocol), served drinks at the "O" club and drove the base staff to the local golf course.

I made meritorious Corporal (by board selection), I made meritorious Sergeant (by board selection), not because I was anything special, but because I needed the stripes to fill the billets.

So I learned the traditions, excelled in PT (never ranked lower than a 300 out of first phase in boot camp), shot expert every year, taught CPR, counseled recruits and even did some PR photo shoots for the local recruiters. I put my cammies on five times after boot, once each year to qualify at Pendleton (yes, I humped Mt. MF, more than once).

I spent those four years spit and polished (no corofram shine) razor creases, hi and tight and fit to take on the world. Like a well polished, fully functional, chrome plated '45 hanging on the wall in a display case that's never been fired.

I never saw combat. Out of boot I never received any official combat training. But I jumped out of airplanes for fun. I studied martial arts for fun. I scuba dived the Pacific ocean for fun and I got my captains license for small craft for fun.

At 45 I can still do it all now (well the three mile run in 18 might get me). I would not change one single thing. Because what I learned as a Marine, how it changed my life, and what it made me into still leaves me cocked and ready for whatever this world can throw my way.

Being twenty five years married with four kids, two in college with two at my knee, outside of God, the Corps has always been the single strongest marker in my life. No matter what the job, or where you serve, once a Marine, always a Marine.

"Semper Fi"
For God, Country and Corps
A Hollywood Marine
Keith Markham

1stBn, 1st Marines Were Involved

It has been requested by Colonel Len Hayes, USMC (Ret'd) to assist in locating any Marine or Corpsman who served with B/1/1 in Korea on Sep 21, 1950. On that date the 1stBn, 1st Marines were involved in the attack on Yongdong-po. B Company attacked over a series of dikes outside the town and the western part of Yongdong-po and suffered heavy casualties.

One Plt Ldr, Lt Connor Hollingsworth, from B/1/1 was severely wounded and many have stated previously that he should be awarded an award for his heroic conduct during this engagement with the enemy.

After the Seoul engagement the Company Commander, Captain Bland was transferred to Wpns Co. Capt Bland (LtCol Bland, USMC-Ret'd recently passed away) but prior to his passing sent an E-Mail to Lt Col Marvin D. Gardner, USMC (Ret'd) highly recommending 1stLt Hollingsworth for an award.

The Awards Board at HQMC refused to accept this unsigned Personal Award Recommendation submitted by the former Co Cdr, now deceased. LtCol Gardner's recommendation was considered acceptable to the Awards Board, but we need one additional, signed & notarized statement from another Marine or Corpsman who witnessed 1stLt Hollingsworth's heroic actions during that engagement.

Captain Hollingsworth was medically separated from the USMC on Nov 1, 1950. He is being recommended for the Bronze Star Medal w/v and we have been informed that he is not expected to live.

Those that knew him would like to see him receive this award before he passes away. 1stLt Hollingsworth was the Plt Ldr of the 3rd Plt of B/1/1. Anyone having witnessed the heroic actions by the Lt are asked to contact Colonel Len Hayes, USMC (Ret'd). Business Mgr of the 1st Marine Division Assn. LtGen Dick Carey, USMC (Ret'd) is also working on this award. Colonel Hayes may be reached by calling (760) 967 - 8561/62 (Office) or (760) 712 - 7088(Cell). Time is of the essence.

PLEASE pass this on to any members of the 1/1 who may be able to assist.

The Lesson

Because Sgt. Grit has been gracious enough to provide this venue, it is for those who have recently dedicated themselves, or are considering such dedication... to becoming the last in line of a long line; that I would like to tell the story of a lesson learned. My DI's and other instructors taught this lesson; but it took one lowly lance corporal to make me truly understand. To relate this lesson, although it is a simple one, some background is needed. I'll call it the Few, the Proud, and the Brave.

The Few....The section that I was in, upon being inserted into Viet Nam, was unique. Being the first of its kind, and although others would follow, we were at the forefront of a way all future warfare would be waged. At this time the transistor radio was less than ten years old. The integrated circuit and the personal computer are to be things of the future. And yet here we were, although archaic by today's standards, doing the stuff of 'Star Wars'.

The Proud....I spent my nights in country sleeping between clean sheets, warm and dry. I ate three square meals a day, hot and hearty. I never once discharged my weapon while in country, and except for an occasional guard detail, was it even around. The only wound I received that required medical attention was caused by burning my hand with a soldering iron. I was afforded frequent USO shows, had access to an e-club with all the amenities...and while my fellow Marines were dying in all those God forsaken places that the world would little note nor long remember and suffering abuses to mind, body and soul, I was taking an instructed calculus course and loosing my fingernails mulling over slope-intercepts, first derivatives, and integrals. I could go on with more of this, but by now...I think you get the general idea. That having completed boot camp, ITR, and other such training; and now after giving so little while others were giving so much, proud...I think not.

And the Brave...After a year of this 'arduous' duty I found myself beyond the wakeup. So Sgt. JT and myself, with duffels packed and donning fresh clean utilities, our boots freshly polished and properly bloused, and our brass nicely shined; make our way to the DaNang airstrip for out processing. It was here that we encountered this lance corporal, who politely requested to share a spot on the bench with us. How to best describe him? You have seen a picture of him...I know you have. The fatigued eyes set with a thousand yard stare. Utilities faded, torn and dirty. Boots scuffed and dyed to a sandy shade of red. When he spoke, his teeth showed brown from the dirt recently eaten. No doubt, here was a true warrior that had just been bounced out of Indian country sometime after sunrise that morning. Introductions were just getting under way when an F4 cracks overhead causing JT and myself to glance skyward. Upon turning back, we find that the lance corporal has disappeared. After a few seconds we find him under the bench, curled up in a fetal position. After gently extracting him with assurances that he had made it, that it was now over and he was going home; we again sat down. It was then, during our conversation, that the much dreaded question arose. With a lot of muted mumbling, stammering, and the like; I was finally able to convey the idea that it was related with close air support. At which point he promptly stands up, does an abrupt about face, then coming to full attention and with the voice of a Marine says "Please, may I have the honor of shaking your hand [Now why, I thought, for God's sake would this warrior want to shake my lily white, when the best I would hope for would be his scorn]...because you guys pulled my butt out of the fire more than once." In an instant it all became crystal clear, and I would from that moment on; never, ever, hang my head again...the lesson taught had been finally learned. And it was that...

The job you are assigned to in the Corps doesn't count for squat. However, how well you do that job...that counts for everything! And that there is a linkage, a connection within every job, one to another and then to another; from those in the rear with the gear all the way to the grunt in front.... that makes up the lean, green, fighting machine. So don't be like me...instead, listen up and get it right the first time.

Sgt. Steven Parmenter [5975]
Forty years proud...even if only for just one Marine.

"Home is where you dig it"- Khe Sanh Jan 20 1968

Jan 20 is the beginning of the siege at Khe Sanh 40 years ago. Dick Dworsky

40 years ago a handful of United States Marines, Army, Navy and Air Force warriors spend more than 77 days defending a small set of outposts in northwest Viet Nam. The place was Khe Sanh and the enemy sent an estimated 30,000 troops to attack us.

The Third Battalion 26th Marines, India Company's mission was to hold 881South (S) and act as a combat outpost on the Khe Sanh plateau. On the 20th of January, India, with more than 200 Marines and Corpsmen, jumped off on a reconnaissance and before it had gone 1000 yards north, made contact with a sizable NVA unit and the first helicopter to evacuate the casualties was shot down. Another platoon succeeded in seizing its objective, but at high cost, because the Lieutenant and several others were killed.

That day, an NVA lieutenant surrendered to the Marines defending the base. He was immediately interrogated; he reported that all outlying positions around the base would be attacked that night. India was ordered to immediately return to 881S. That night, all positions were assaulted except 881S, probably because the earlier firefight wrecked the enemy attack plans. That evening began the siege that lasted until April.

In addition to standing watch, digging deeper trenches and fighting positions became the daily routine. The title of this "home is where you dig it," became the Khe Sanh motto. It was like trench warfare in World War 1. Lack of supplies, digging equipment, bunker material, constant battles with rats, rain and mud, cold, fog, and all under constant artillery, mortar and sniper fire and observation of the enemy seemed to be the order of the day. To stand in a trench for eight hours on a given night without relief, in total darkness, in a fog so thick that even a magnesium flare could not pierce it, all senses focused on detecting any sound, any smell, any hint of movement to the front, was trying in the extreme. But, we were never outside the range of our own artillery support, air power and communications.

Logistical support by air hazardous and several C-130s and C-123's were destroyed on Khe Sanh's airstrip while attempting to bring in the supplies required to support the base. But, helicopters still had to brave the heavy mortar, artillery, rocket and automatic weapons fire to carry the critical re- supplies from Khe Sanh to the surrounding hill top outposts.

Heroism was routine. The helicopter zones were always "hot", and within easy range of enemy 120mm mortars. Most dangerous were the medical evacuation missions. Yet there was no occasion when men had to be ordered to carry stretchers. Seven helicopters were shot down, yet we never called for a medevac that didn't come, weather permitting.

Forty-two Marines or Corpsmen died on or near the hill and nearly two hundred were wounded. None of these losses occurred in a single pitched battle, but rather in discrete incidents scattered over the course of the siege. Sniper fire and incoming was constant, and a lucky round in a trench line or active medevac zone was just as deadly in April as in January. Through it all, the troops did their duty.

I didn't pick the men I would fight with yet I have an attachment to them that can not be described- as I have to those who carry on today. Never have I given anyone the trust I gave these men. After all these years, I also recognize that these men and women, and I mean all who served in Viet Nam from all branches of the services, in the end, didn't fight for their country, their government's mission and probably not even their branch of service but for each other. I salute those warriors of the past and those of today and I am proud to have been one of you.

Dr. Richard Dworsky PhD. was a Platoon Commander with India Company on hill 881S during the siege until he was wounded and medevaced. He has several decorations for bravery including a Bronze Star and Navy Commendation Medal and 3 purple hearts as a result of his tour in Viet Nam. He has lived and worked in Anchorage for almost 30 years.


You people are PRIVILEGED! That's what they told us. I enlisted in our Beloved Corps 23 July 1959, Company "D," Platoon 147, Parris Island, SC. In or around our 8th or 9th week of training we were hit by hurricane "Gracie," which swept over the Island as a Category "4" storm, packing winds of 138 MPH. We lost all electricity for 2 or 3 days. For the next several days all training was suspended, except for policing the Island for fallen tree branches and debris. I got to see more of the Island in 2-3 days than in my 13 weeks of training. Due to the lost training, we were set back 1 week. The privilege, we were told, was we would get to eat C-Rations twice - once at Elliotts Beach, and again while the power was out. I would like to express my deepest thanks and gratitude to our DI's wherever you are. A/SSgt. J. F. Geraghty SDI, A/Sgt. R. L. Mintz JDI, and A/Sgt. R. Roberts JDI.

Semper Fi
Z. J. Molnar, III
#1875579, 1959-1965

Stammered Loudly


A letter in the 10 Jan 08 issue brought back a Leatherneck "highlight moment" for me. It concerned a Marine who had consumed too much booze the night before his enlistment physical, and consequently was sent home to visit his doctor because of high blood pressure.

My tale is a bit different but probably not unique.

I tried to enlist in the USMCR the day after JFK was assassinated in 1963. I passed the written test and was instructed to return the next day for my physical. Well, being young and invincible to normal human problems, my buddy, Jug, and I decided to go to a friends house for a party that night. We stopped at a local liquor store and I purchased two fifth of spirits. I had consumed the vodka by the time we arrived at the party, and I was told later that I also drank the whiskey. (My memory of that night fails me to this day!) Well, needless to say, my session the next day with the doctor didn't go as planned. Upon checking my "urine sample" the Doc asked if I had a history of kidney problems. I became concerned and told him that I was unaware of any such problem and that I had always been very healthy. His next question was the kicker: "Have you had anything to drink in the past few days"? he asked. I calmly informed him that I did have a "couple" the previous night. "A couple of what", he asked. "Well," I stammered, "I drank two fifths last night". After he stopped laughing and calmed down, he told me to go home, drink lots of water for the next week and return the following Friday for my physical.

The rest is history! I passed my physical and took the oath on 3 December 1963.

Well, that's not the end of this tale. Sometime during the first early days at MCRD, Platoon 218 was marched to one of the multitude of meetings (shot, tests, etc.). We were sent individually into a building. When my turn came, I entered an office and centered myself in front of a Navy doctors desk. I stood at rigidly attention, not having a clue about what was going on, when the Navy doctor asked me one question: "Recruit Lonn, how do you like boot camp so far?" Nervously I stammered loudly, "Sir, I hate it, Sir!" He smiled and said, "Sane! Send in the next recruit!" I had just had a meeting with a psychiatrist, and I was declared sane because I was not happy at boot camp. What a Corps!

Thanks to the Marine Corps, I am still sane, able to overcome adversity and privileged to be called a "Marine!"

B Lonn

"Bury me Next to a Marine"

Bury me next to a Marine, When my time has come to an end, So I can spend eternity, Beside my brother and friend I've served beside them for years And they've inspired me every day. They've never asked for anything, So a debt I can never repay. None of them served for glory, None for money or fame. But they've served in every clime and place, Heroes with but one name. No one will ever outdo t