I hope that all who celebrate the 4th of July have a wonderful time. This especially goes out to all those anti-war celebrators. Do you think they can connect the dots? - and realize that what we are celebrating was not the result of compromise!

John J. Cihak - SSgt 1964-1970 (Nam Vet)

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Wounded on the fifth day

Sgt Grit,

I've been reading the various articles concerning families of Marines and Marines that served on Iwo Jima. They have inspired me to write to you and share with you some stories of my father, Bill Leverence, who was the flamethrower for the Assault Squad, Co. F, 2nd Bn, 27th Marines, 5th MarDiv.

He was drafted in 1942 and went through boot camp at MCRD San Diego. He then went to Raider school and was with Carlson's Raiders in the 2nd Raider Bn. When the Raiders disbanded he went to the newly forming 5th Marine Division. He spent some time at Pendleton and then to Hawaii and Camp Tarawa for training. He was their assault squad's sole flamethrower. When the time came, they left for this mysterious secret island and he landed in the first wave on February 19th.

My father would rarely tell me stories of his time in the Marine Corps, until 50 years later when we attended the Iwo Jima 50th Reunion in Washington DC in 1995. At the reunion he was re- united with a number of his company and a few of the people from his squad. I finally began to learn more about the amazing things these men did. I found out he was in the assault squad for F-2-27 and was in the first wave to land. The members of his squad that were still remaining were the bazooka man, a rifle man and himself. They talked about their time and activities like it was yesterday, and what they did as though it was a day at the office. Adm. Halsey was exactly right when he spoke of the men in this battle, 'uncommon valor was a common virtue'. The stories they told and the things that happened were amazing. At this reunion my father also found out that his buddy during training didn't make it. He was killed in the battle. The emotions that were shown ranged from raw strength and honor that they did a job that had to be done to the tears of coming to grips with the job they had to do.

While we were in Washington, the attention and honor that were given to these men was very heart wrenching. At one occasion all of the attendees loaded buses to head to another part of the city. While we were traveling, they shut down the streets on our route. Instead of upsetting the populace of DC, the people got out of their cars, lined the roads - some cheered, others stood at attention and saluted. It was very difficult not to have tears come to our eyes.

On another occasion, we were going to the National Cathedral for the memorial service. We were walking in with Jack Lucas and a small boy saw the medal around his neck and asked his mother what that was. She said she didn't know and Jack answered that it was the Medal of Honor and said little else about it. The mother knew it was an important medal but wasn't sure what it meant. I stopped and knelt down to the boy and told him Jack's story and what he did and the importance of this honor. The boy looked at him with such awe and in perfect child like manner asked if it hurt and the mother began to cry. Jack thanked me for telling his story, shook my hand and we hugged.

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Ever since that reunion I have been learning of many many other stories of the men that served at Iwo, what they did and how they felt. They are and were definitely a breed of people not to be matched anywhere. They set the bar for those of us that followed.

Bill Leverence running across one of the airstrips But, let me tell you a little more about my father and the photo I attached. I'm sure you've seen this photo before. As I indicated, he landed in the first wave. They landed on Red1 and went across the narrow portion of the island and across the airfields. That's a photo of my father. He was running across one of the airstrips and the way he told me about it was that their corpsman was this little guy that was always running back and forth taking care of wounded Marines. He always had a camera around his neck and shooting pictures whenever he could. This was one of his pictures. My dad didn't know the corpsman's name. He further related that the corpsman didn't make it; he was killed in the battle while helping a wounded Marine. Apparently, the defense department (or whatever it was called back then) got the camera and film and this picture is now a Department of Defense photo. This photo is also hanging in the national museum.

My father was wounded on the fifth day; he took shrapnel while trying to take a pill box. He was evac'd to Guam, then to Hawaii, then San Francisco, then to Bainbridge, Maryland and when he was healthy enough he was discharged in July of 1946. He promptly married his girlfriend and started making me.

My father went back to Iwo 59 years later and became part of the production for the History Channel of the program "Going Back" that was aired for the 60th anniversary of the battle. He lived his life mostly in silence with the pain of the memory. These recent activities helped him be more comfortable with what happened. He died recently. He always had this inner understanding and strength. Every one of the men I read about in your articles are heroes. What I've written to you is part of what makes my father my hero.

Thanks,
Bill Leverence USMC, Sgt,
1970-1973 T-Square

One Tough Marine

I would like to share a story of one Marine who was on the first wave of the storming of the beach, and the conquer of Iwo Jima. He regrettably was hit with shrapnel from a mortar shell, which in turn resulted in him being declared a para pelagic. He was told he would "never walk again", but I don't have to tell anyone the determination and grit of a "True Marine". It may have took him 3 years but walk he did, maybe with the help of crutches and later a cane. But his perseverance's paid-off. Regretfully he died and was buried some 53 years after learning to walk again, with shrapnel still in his back too close to his spinal cord to do an operation. He still leaves a lasting impression and lessons to be learned to all other Marines.

Signed L/cpl Dan Husk U.S.M.C. "69 thru "71 3rd Mar.Div. Once a Marine Always a Marine "Semper Fi Brothers"

P.S. The "Great Marine" was Sgt. William J. Best U.S.M.C. "40 thru "45 (3 yrs. in hospital bed flat on his back). And by the way he may have collected disability from the "Marine Corps", but he worked all of his years at Texas Illuminators until he retired at age 65. One tough Marine, right!? Of course he was an 0311 (grunt) and proud of it !

T and T Shuffle

Sgt. Grit, I just finished reading the 18 June newsletter, and Cpl. Jim Cook's story about the "Flood and Air Raid" game he played at MCRD reminded me of a similar game we played at the end of my first day as an officer candidate in the "Junior PLC (Platoon Leaders Class)" program out at Camp Upshur aboard MCB Quantico back in July of 1963.

That "day" really started after we finished signing some paperwork and left "Mainside" Quantico. The cattle cars delivered us at noon to the large metal building that was the Upshur messhall. We were greeted by a huge gunnery sergeant with "Get off of that vehicle! Move! Move! Move!" followed, after forming us up as a platoon, with the instructions: "When I tell you to fall out, you will you have fifteen minutes to get inside, eat, and get back out into formation. Fall out!"

From the messhall we ran everywhere in platoon formation for the rest of the day. The command at that time was not "double time," but rather, "T and T Shuffle!" short for "Testing and Training", I was told. (That command was later changed to "OCS Shuffle.")

I think the barber shop was our first destination. Somewhere along the line we went through the PX and picked up various items on a list, including two locks for a footlocker and wall locker. We ran to the armory to draw M-14's, then to the Quonset hut squadbay to stow our weapons in our wall lockers. It seemed we would never stop running, then standing in formation staring at the sunlight reflected off of the various corrugated iron buildings, while waiting for our turn to enter for some step in the process. Long after the sun had gone down, we were still running from place to place.

Finally around 2200, either our Platoon Sergeant or our Sergeant Instructor--different titles from DI's, but the same kind of people) demonstrated the proper way to make a Marine Corps rack, before taking us to the head. In the head, we were divided into three groups to "shave, shower..." and the other "s" word. Things were definitely looking up...

...Until we returned to the squadbay.

There, he introduced us to what he called an "All Emergencies Drill." We didn't have to get under the racks, as in Cpl. Cook's story, since our footlockers had been stowed there. Instead we were told to "Get into your rack!...Get out of your rack!"

Fortunately, I was on the bottom rack at that time.

After about fifteen minutes of playing his little game, we were as soaked with sweat as if we had just stepped out of the showers. Finally, he yelled, "Get into your rack!...Close your eyes!...(This was something new.)...Go to sleep!...(Oh, yes. I can do that.)...Are you asleep?"

And some dummy at the other end of the squadbay said, "Yes sir!"

"Get out of the rack! You're not asleep!"

And we played the game for another ten minutes or so, at the end of which we were finally told, "Goodnight, Girls," as he turned out the lights and left.

It seemed to be immediately afterward, when the lights came back on, and he was heading straight for my bunk (first by the hatch) yelling, "Reveille! Get up! Get up! Get up! You have five minutes to get dressed and into formation on the company street! Move! Move! Move!"

It was 0500 on the second day of a very long six weeks.

Tom Downey
Once a captain, USMCR;
always a Marine 1963-'76:
Vietnam 4Dec66-18Dec67

Saigon Sam's

In answer to Randy Waters, The bar you called the Brown Bagger I THINK was called The Charlie's Angel's Club in 77 and still paid the same attention to ID's.

I still have one of those Jazzland photo's. Does any one remember "Saigon Sam's ? Or the White Buffalo at the head of Court St., buy a cup for $5 at the door and drink draft beer all night long ?

Thomas C. Bogan MTM Co. 2nd Maint Bn 2nd FSSG 77-80

But You Decided

Dear Sgt. Grit, I was looking through your "favorite lines from boot camp" and thought I'd share a few that I remember vividly. "Hello b!tch, did I teach you that?"
"Oh we must be India company.... disgusting"
"somebody might want to unjack him right f***ing now"
"by all means, be that recruit"
"I guess we want to be retarded right? Good... Two sheets and a blanket on-line, ready move" (during inspection, when asked what the master gunnery sergeant's rank insignia was)
"wow... amazing... I guess it's an exploding bomb isn't it?"
"Camp legume? HOW ABOUT you try LEJEUNE THERE RECRUIT?!"

and my personal favorite, after burning a hole in a khaki shirt "Ok, ears.... This iron has 2 settings you understand me. There's "wool".... and "cotton"... but you decided to put it on, nuke the f***ing planet"

I hope you get a kick out of them Sincerely, Pvt. Hodges

USMC-FI

Dean's Acura TSX Here's a picture of my Acura TSX.

Semper Fi Dean 1986-1990 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 1stMarDiv, CamPen

When You Left

To: L/Cpl Don Mallen By The Grace of God and the Marine Corps you were fortunate enough to be a member of platoon 174, B Co, 1st Bn. Parris Island, from 3 June 1968-6 August 1968. You were under the tender loving care of SSgt Martin, Sgt Crutchfield, Sgt Davis and Sgt Daniels. I still have my 'DI 'copy of the platoon book, and platoon picture.

You honor me by saying the training you got at Parris Island helped you in Viet Nam. When you left Parris Island, I felt that you were a well disciplined, Basically trained Marine.

The recruits that leave Parris Island now have a legacy to fulfill and large foot prints to follow, such as yours." The ones that went before" SSgt Martin is alive and well and lives in Albany Ga. I have lost contact with Sgt Davis and Sgt Daniels.

SEMPER FI MARINE

C.D.Crutchfield Sgt USMC crutch_usmc(at)ymail.com

Navy Doc Saved Me

Dear Sgt Grit, Saw Randy Waters' letter about the Brown Bag and it brought back a funny memory. I was in the Reserves and we had gone to Norway for Battle Griffin. After a bout with some Norwegian liquor, I fell down a slippery slope and almost broke my ankle. Since it was our last night there and everything was packed up, the Doc wrapped me up and told me to go to the Doc when we got back to Cherry Point. The Doc at the Point decided I needed a cast on my leg, so I got one. That night, we decided to go down to Lejeune and ended up at the Brown Bag. I had this cast and the only place to sit, comfortably, was by the stage so I had my leg propped up on the stage steps. There was some little honey dancing and as she came off the stage she asked to sign my cast. She found a marker and wrote "Thanks for a great night, Love XX. (Don't remember her name) The next morning they called us into formation and told us we were going home. I was married at the time and had a very jealous wife waiting for me at home. My first thought was about how I couldn't go home with this cast on my leg. She would have killed me if she saw what was written on it. So, I had to go back over to the Doc and beg him to cut that cast off. It took me 45 minutes of begging to get him to do it. Long story short- that Navy Doc saved me, at least temporarily, from getting divorced. That place was a dump but we had a lot of fun there.

Barry V.

2 Egg Rolls

Ref-L/Cpl J.P.Vaughn's question about the "Lady's" name who used to sing with Paul Peek----was "PEACHES" and d*mn she was "HOT". I too spent many an hour and many a dollar their too. I would go to the 19th Hole (Asian Restaurant) right before heading back to MCAS New River and get 2 egg roles for breakfast the next morning. ( I would have never made it to the mess hall)

Semper Fi
Henry H. Hight---Cpl. (2533) MCAS
New River & "B" Co. second Recon-Montford point.
(HQ-4/12 - 3rd Mar Div-Okinawa)
1961-1965

FNG Missions

As a FNG we were all sent on important missions to find the likes of:

Bucket of back blast. Mastur-bation paper. Frequency grease.

What others can you remember?

Sgt Grit

Alibi Bar

Hey Grit,

Some more memories of the nightlife in and around Jacksonville, back in the day. The recent letter from L/Cpl John P. Vaughn of H&S 2/8 brought back a lot of recollections of nights spent in Birdland, Jazzland, the Vomit Comet, Mom's Pawn Shop and the holding cells of the Marine J'ville MP unit. As I recall, the name of the female singer fronting for Paul Peek and the Peek-a- Boos was "Peaches" and one of the guys from the 81MM mortar platoon H&S 2/8 dated her for a time in 1962. (I want to say his name was Nachman, but I'm not positive on this.)

I went back to LeJeune in 2001 and could find none of the above named places, or the "It" drive-in, the Alibi Bar (had some great fist and wrench fights with the mechanics from the auto shop behind it) or the Brooklyn Spaghetti House.

Kirk J. James Cpl USMC 1841667 1959-63 Sgt US Army RA12724303 1964-67 Tay Ninh Province RVN 1st Inf Div 1966-67

M-1/M-14

Have found it interesting reading about being issued the M-1/M-14 in boot camp. I entered MCRD SDIEGO in June 1962, platoon 342. We were initially issued M-1's. After having the M-1 for only a short time, 2 or 3 weeks if I remember correctly. Just long enough for several people in the platoon to become personally familiar with the term "M-1 thumb". We were re- issued M-14's, which we used to qualify with at Camp Matthews. After boot camp I was sent to Okinawa, and assigned to Mortar Battery (4 duce) 1stBn, 12thMar where we were issued M-14's. My next duty station was HQMC in Arlington, Va. While there we were not issued weapons. Each year when it came time to qualify, we were issued an M-1 for a two week period while we were attached to Quantico, VA. I was walking back to the 500 yard line when I recognized my senior DI, SSgt Baker. I walked up to him and asked him if he remembered me, and he certainly did. Couldn't believe it!

D.L. Morton.
Former GySgt 62-76

Butt Stroke

Sgt Grit,

Michael Hackett, SSgt USMC 1964-1969 reported that he was in the first Platoon at MCRD SD to be issued M-14s. Well, I was in the last series of Platoons at MCRD SD to be issued M-14s, Platoon 2079, graduating 1 Nov 73. The next series after ours carried M-16s. When I reported into MCAS Kaneohe in '74 we carried M-14s for the next 2 years, and none of the "Boots" reporting in afterwards had never even seen one before. Used to enjoy watching the feather-merchants get pushed right off the firing line when firing that cannon from the prone position. Remember, when its time for a butt stroke, nothing beats a M-14 with a wooden stock and metal butt plate.

Jeff Howards Sgt USMC, 73-77

Looked At Me

On Sunday 15Jun08, I took my youngest son to Penn State University for football camp. Upon arriving the athletes need to check-in at Hullaba Hall. There is a cordoned off section where the adults need to wait while the kids register. As I was waiting, a young man watching the entrance was telling the kids to take off their hats. An older man standing there asked him why, the young man proceeded to tell the man his boss is a retired Marine and was hardcore. The older man said that he was Army and they were tougher. I was standing about 5 feet away and said not in this life time. The man looked at me and asked if I was a Marine, I told him I will always be a Marine. I think he understood.

Semper Fi
Manuel Zaldivar Corporal of the Marine Corps
1979-1983

Like A Goat Roper

Lately I've read a number of letters concerning the character Clint Eastwood plays in this movie. I was watching "Heart Break Ridge" the other night. During the part where the Swede comes out the back room and Eastwood lays him out, I noticed that the Gunny's belt is wrong. It's tucked behind itself and then hangs back passed itself, like a goat roper does.

Semper Fi
Charles Hightower Sgt of Marines Platoon 354, 1964
"C" Company, 64-67 RVN 1964 - 1967

Veterans Discount, Home Depot

Hey Sgt Grit

Agian thanx for the news letter , I can't say how much i enjoy reading an hearing bout fellow marines and their families . I had to drop you a line an say i was Speechless in a Home Depot the other day . I'm an electrician an i shop all the stores in my area for material for my jobs . After buying some switches and wire at the Home Depot near me , The clerk looked up an saw the EGA pin on my vest an asked " Former Marine ? " . I proudly said " Yes " . He said Damnit i wish i had seen that before i cashed you out . I asked " Why " . He said I would have givin you veterans discount . I was in shock . He told me he was prior military himself . He then told me to take my purchase and receipt to the front desk and ask for a veterans discount , Becuase all Home Depot's give veterans discount . In all the years shopping at stores and jokingly asking for veterans discount , I would have never expected a clerk to say yes we give discount to veterans . So to Home Depot a BIG THUMB'S UP

Semper Fi Brothers/Sisters
Keith Turkington Marine 80 - 84

Elbows and Toes

Sgt. Grit:

Cpl Kunkel's letter (19June08) about boot camp 'games' reminded me of the involuntary activities my DIs had us enjoy during my vacation on Club Parris Island in early 1964 (Platoon 209-S/Sgt Swanson & Sgt. Green; Cpls. Decoster & Carter). We, of course, as, I am sure, everyone did, had two types of games: group games and individual games. These activities often had funny names and were, actually, kind of amusing for about the first five minutes. When their duration began approaching a half-hour or more, somehow, the fun-ness disappeared. My 'favorite' individual games, in which I was often invited to participate, were 'Sitting in Granny's Chair' (where, while holding your M-14 at arm's length, you 'sat' unsupported, with your back against the bulkhead with your thighs parallel to the deck and your lower leg vertical) and 'Watching TV' (where you stayed in a raised push-up position, except your upper body was supported by your elbows, while your hands cradled your chin - "Elbows and toes, Private! Elbows and toes!"). As stated, it was fairly amusing, but the amusement faded as the time progressed and the pain increased. The 'best' group game for the whole platoon, however, was 'Going on Safari', for which we donned our 782 gear, grabbed our rifles, faced our racks and proceeded to climb over the top of one rack and low-crawl under the next, then over the top, then under, repeatedly, until we had circled the squad bay for (what seemed like) hours. Ah, memories...

Semper fi -- Oohrah!

Rick Feinstein, USMCR 2070029 Former Sergeant
-Marine forever.

If That Is The Case

To Chuck Stark Hospital Corps USN "Almost a Marine" ...I'm gonna take a wild stab, here, and guess that because your letter is in Sgt. Grit's (soon-to-be-Pulitzer-prize-winning) newsletter, you ?hung' with Marines. And if that is the case - whether you were the Base Pecker-checker, or slogging the boonies with a Marine outfit waiting for the call, "Corpsman Up!" you were a Marine.. and once a Marine, always a Marine. 'Almost', my six.

Connely/Robert USMC, RVN, '66 - ?68

Such Eloquent Words

Gentlemen, I few weeks ago I tried to explain my feelings for the men of Alpha Company and how they are different from all my other relationships. In this weeks Sgt. Grit Newsletter the following quote appeared:

'I now know why men who have been to war yearn to reunite. Not to tell stories or look at old pictures. Not to laugh or weep. Comrades gather because they long to be with the men who once acted at their best; men who suffered and sacrificed, who were stripped of their humanity. I did not pick these men. They were delivered by fate and the military. But I know them in a way I know no other men. I have never given anyone such trust. They were willing to guard something more precious than my life. They would have carried my reputation, the memory of me. It was part of the bargain we all made, the reason we were so willing to die for one another. As long as I have memory, I will think of them all, every day. I am sure that when I leave this world, my last thought will be of my family and my comrades....Such good men.'

I could not agree more.....without an author I had to know more. It turns out the author is a Marine named Mike Norman who wrote These Good Men. The quote is used on a lot of Vietnam Veteran websites and is marked 'Author Unknown'. As a good reference librarian I had to search out more....It might have made it's first appearance in an article written for Memorial Day 2001 by whom I believe is a Vietnam Veteran, Terry L. Garlock who wrote for the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Here is the article as he posted it for Memorial Day in 2004 at:
http://www.alphaavengers.org/msg.htm

Name: Terry L. Garlock Date: May 28, 2004 We all know Memorial Day is more than barbeque and pool openings. It is a time to remember. In 2001 I wrote a column for the Atlanta Journal Constitution for Memorial Day, here it is below. I can't take much credit, the insights came from Joe Galloway. But maybe it's worth another read as Memorial Day approaches.

SUCH GOOD MEN

I recall TV reports of fellow soldiers arriving at an airport, survivors of the Vietnam gauntlet, relieved at their 1st step on home ground. Their grins morphed to astonishment as protesters threw packets of animal blood at them, shouting "Baby-Killers!" Welcome home. Joseph Galloway, senior writer for US News & World Report, would differ with the protestors. Unlike more sensible journalists reporting on the war from relative comfort and safety, Joe preferred working close up, hot, tired, hungry, scared, dirty and bloodied along with the men he wrote about.

Joe conned his way into hot spots like the 1965 battle of the Ia Drang Valley, aka The Valley of Death, where 450 of our men were surrounded by 2,000 well-armed NVA enemy. Over 4 days 234 young Americans died as each side chopped the other to pieces. In that battle Joe set camera aside to charge with a Medic through enemy fire in a desperate attempt to help an injured soldier. The Medic was killed, the soldier later died, and Joe Galloway was awarded the Bronze Star with V (valor), the 1st civilian ever to be decorated for valor in combat by the US Army

Consider some of his remarks at the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association banquet in Washington DC, July 2000. "What I want to say now is just between us, because America still doesn't get it, still doesn't know the truth, and the truth is - you are the cream of the crop of our generation, the best and finest of an entire generation of Americans." "You are the ones who answered when you were called to serve. You are the ones who fought bravely and endured a terrible war in a terrible place. You are the ones for whom the words duty, honor, country have real meaning because you have lived those words and the meaning behind those words. You are my brothers in arms, and I am not ashamed to say that I love you. I would not trade one of you for a whole trainload of instant Canadians, or a whole boatload of Rhodes Scholars bound for England, or a whole campus full of guys who turned up for their draft physicals wearing panty hose." "On behalf of a country that too easily forgets the true cost of war, and who pays that price, I say thank you for your service. On behalf of the people of our country who didn't have good sense enough to separate the war they hated from the young warriors they sent to fight that war, I say we are sorry. We owe you all a very large apology, and a debt of gratitude that we can never adequately repay." Joe talked about his friend Mike Norman, a Marine who searched out the survivors of his platoon and wrote a fine book, These Good Men. Mike explained why we veterans sometimes gather. "I now know why men who have been to war yearn to reunite. Not to tell stories or look at old pictures. Not to laugh or weep. Comrades gather because they long to be with the men who once acted their best, men who suffered and sacrificed, who were stripped raw, right down to their humanity." "I did not pick these men. They were delivered by fate and the military. But I know them in a way I know no other men. I have never given anyone such trust. They were willing to guard something more precious than my life." "They would have carried my reputation, the memory of me. It was part of the bargain we all made, the reason we were so willing to die for one another." "I am sure that when I leave this world my last thought will be of my family and my comrades, such good men." In closing Joe said "I salute you. I remember you. I will teach my sons the stories and legends about you . . ." The media forgets that Washington botched the war, but continually portray veterans as fragile, crazed or trigger-happy. Its about time America learned what Joe Galloway knows, that we are normal, patriotic citizens, proud of having served with honor and courage. Here's to the memory of every one of our brothers who paid the ultimate price - for his country, for those who sent him to that miserable war while they enjoyed the comforts of home, for those who dodged, even for those who insulted our service. We remember each one, such good men. Such eloquent words should be remembered.

Semper Fi
Jack

The Ones Who Realize

This is to respond to Jeremy for all the remarks make about becoming a Marine. I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in November 1968 and I must tell you honestly, that was the smartest thing I ever did in my life. I easily could carry A's and B's in school but I learned much more as I earned the title Marine. I found discipline, self confidence, and a brotherhood I am so proud to belong to. Dummies don't join the military, especially the Marines, they are the ones who realize what it takes to maintain the freedom so many have paid for in blood and it isn't all muscle, you must have the training and ability to respond during battle and no place teaches this type of training like the United States Marine Corps. Once you have earned the title, Marine, walk with the pride and knowledge that comes with becoming a member of the finest fighting force the world has ever known.

Richard L. Tompkins
Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Department of Homeland Security

"The most honorable thing a person can do is serve his country and his principles."

55 Year Old Sgt

Mr. Grit I am a SSgt in currently serving with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 14 in Cherry Point NC. I recently returned form deployment with an Iraqi Highway Patrol Police transition team. I had the pleasure of serving with a Marine that is from right there in Oklahoma City. His name is Jim Roper and what a story he has. He was in the Corps from 72-76 as an MP attached to HMX-1. He got out became a OK State Trooper and in '05 reenlisted in the reserves at the age of 52 to go serve in Iraq. I caught him on his second tour with CAG in Ramadi Iraq and it was quite funny to see a 55 year old Sgt in the Marine Corps. The funniest thing is the looks he would get. Jim is an awesome man and an equally awesome Marine. If you get a chance look him up In January he retires with 30 years of service as an OK State trooper.

Semper Fi
SSgt Jeffrey Beaty

I Watched

Sgt. Grit. I have read your newsletters sometimes with tears in my eyes. What hurts is it seems from WWII-Viet Nam etc are all heroes and I do not take offense to that. But, What happened to us poor sons that went to KOREA, the forgotten war?? I was a member of D-2-5, 1st Provisional Marine Brigade in Korea, Landing 8-2-50. Our boys went up against our own guns. When we came home nobody was at the dock to say, Welcome home, well done" or anything else. I watched the Memorial day services on TV with Gen. Colin Powell. Not one time was Korea ever mentioned. It still hurts because a lot of my friends are still there and you know what I mean.

Semper Fi to all comrades - then, now and always.
R, Farmer, GySgt USMC, Retired 1968

Who Told You

I thought I was in fairly good shape before I went to Boot Camp. I was wrong! I will never forget that first day of PT! We were told to get our Mickey mouse uniforms on and tennis shoes and get outside in formation! Then we were marched over to the PT field. About half way there, we got the order to "double time! Witch wasn't too bad for the first 3 to 4 minutes. Then my lungs started burning as I tried to catch my breath in the heat. Some guys started to drop out. Some fell behind. With the DI's shouting "get back in formation!" "Who told you you could rest!" by the time we got to the PT Field we were in pretty bad shape! Except for 2 guys. I'll never forget them. They were both reservist from Pennsylvania. And boy could they run. Here I am about ready to pass out, and their running backwards! And helping the guys who are dropping out. Well we finely made it to the PT field! No time to rest or catch you breath. In to the SAND BOX! The DI's from us up in to a wheel. We are the spokes, 6 in each spoke, arms locked to each other. Then the order " double time" we started running around and around we went! Some guys pass out! We had to drag them! My lungs are on fire! I can't get my breath! It's so hard to run in the sand! Some guys fall! The DI's shouts" get up you worthless price of sh!t!" "I did not say you could lay down in my sand box!" and telling us to "run over him! He'll get up!" well I don't think he got up, but he sure got out of our way! Just when I thought I couldn't run another step, we got the order to stop and "shake them out"( run in place and wave your arms up and down.) That was our first day of PI! But it wasn't over yet! We stared marching back to Battalion when we got the order again to "DOUBLE TIME!" well it wasn't any easier going back! When we finely got to the barracks and order to fall out and hit the showers! Well there were a lot of guys hitting the head first and losing their breakfast!
B. OTIS 57/60
PARRIS ISLAND

'Ma Deuce' Days May be Numbered

Norman Polmar | June 17, 2008

Probably the longest serving weapon in the U.S. military arsenal is the Browning .50-caliber M2 machine gun. Often referred to as "ma deuce" for its M2 designation, the weapon entered U.S. service at the end of World War I, being scaled up from the Browning .30-caliber M1917 machine gun. The .50-caliber weapon was initially designated M1921.

Using a round designed by Winchester, the .50-caliber machine gun was originally intended for ground troops to use against enemy troops. Subsequently, it was employed as an anti-aircraft weapon and then became the standard armament of U.S. warplanes. In 1932, the design was updated and redesignated M2.

Ground and naval machine guns could be air- or water-cooled, the latter having large "jackets" around the barrel. The weapons had rates of fire from 500 to 650 rounds per minute. Mounts for vehicle and shipboard use soon had twin barrels, while a fixed quad-barrel mount was developed for ground and vehicle use. Its light weight permitted up to eight guns to be carried in fighters and it fit into single-, twin-, and quad-barrel turrets on U.S. bombers. The weapon was used in every theater of World War II by U.S. and allied troops--by 1945 the U.S. Army authorized 237 .50-caliber guns in each infantry division, 385 in each armored division, and 165 in each airborne division.

The "ma duce" was used in large numbers in the Korean and Vietnam Wars, in other crises and conflicts, and, of course, in the Gulf War of 1991 and the later invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Now, after almost 90 years of service, the U.S. Army has moved to replace Browning's remarkable machine gun. The Army recently ordered three prototypes of a lightweight .50-caliber machine gun. Produced by General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, the weapon weighs about one-half of the current .50- caliber M2HB (Heavy Barrel) machine gun, fires with less recoil and is equipped with technology to improve accuracy, according to the company.

The Army and Special Operations Command (SOCOM) will test the new guns and then apply the lessons learned to a potential production design. Low-rate initial production could begin as soon as 2011.

It would take several years for the new weapon to replace the "ma duce" in U.S. service. But even if it does so, the M1921/M2 would have been in service for a century.

Its inventor -- John Moses Browning (1855-1926) -- was one of America's most prolific gun inventors. After making his first gun from scrap metal at age 13, he went on to design pistols, rifles, and machine guns. The U.S. Army began using his machine guns in 1890. Browning's innovative weapons also included the .30-caliber M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR), used in U.S. Army and Marine Corps squads from World War I through the Korean War.

Short Rounds

From 'They Died with there Boots On'. Sharp, the bad guy, said "What good is glory...it won't buy anything."
Custer's reply was" You Can Take It With You When You Die."

Semper Fi, Korea 8/52 to 8/55


About why there were Marines on capital ships: Marines were quartered between the officer quarters and the enlisted crew. This was to ensure the officers were protected if the sailors were prone to mutiny. The navy doesn't like to hear this. Also, keep in mind that in today's navy, the largest ships below the massive aircraft carriers are amphibious ships, intended to transport Marines!

James M.


My favorite movie quote is from the "D.I." when Jack Webb's character is asking his C.O. for more time with a recruit: "I'll give you H&ll and call it a week! You got 3 days!"

D>Lindsay
Sgt 62-66


Amazing how these Marine legends go on. I don't remember the movie or even if it was a Bette Davis film, but I do remember it occurring at Pendleton at the 16 Area theatre around 1948. That was home to the 6th and 7th Marines. Another thing that usually happened, after the National Anthem was played, some Marine would yell 'Bring on the dancing girls!'

Paul S.


www.godsmarines.com


Our SDI was so squared away, he would stand when eating at the mass hall! So he won't wrinkle his uniform! AN OLD JARHEAD 57 / 60


Lejern... read on below.
Lejern Lejeune Master Fall 2007


HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHESTY, WHEREVER YOU ARE! He was born 26 June 1898. Passed on 11 Oct 1971, at age 73. STILL ALIVE IN THE HEART OF ALL MARINES AS THE MARINE'S MARINE now at 110 years...!


To: Jeremy M

Also remember the words of President Reagan, "Some people wonder what they have done in their lives to make a difference - the Marines do not have that problem."

R. M. MacConnell USMCR 63 - 72 RVN 69-70
View our Reagan Quote items


We lost a Marine hero from HATTIESBURG MS. The youngest man to ever win the medal of honor at 18 He fell on a grenade at IWO to save his comrades, and had 30 operations to recover. wonder if the men he saved are still with us if so do they ever think about JACK LUKAS. LOUIS MARTIN WW11 USMC AT 17


My son has just been given notice to deploy and I'm so proud to be a MOM. Thanx to God for this wonderful band of men who serve, and serve well.


If Everyone Could Get In, It Wouldn't Be The MARINES
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Semper Fi
Welcome Home Marine, Job Well Done!
Sgt Grit

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