I am a 50% disabled veteran and one day, at Wal-Mart, My knees were especially painful that day so, for the first time, I used one of their motorized carts. I was wearing my Sgt. Grit USMC cap and as a father and his son, about 7 or 8 years old, passed me the father looked at me, turned to his son and said to his son "What would you like to say to that man?" The boy turned and said "Thank you for your service". I was moved almost to tears.
Jerry Lape
S/Sgt 1957-1969

Mother's Day 2008 - for the Marine Mom

Mother's Day 2008 T-shirt
The enduring love and support Marines receive from their Mom will forever be valued!

This Mother's day - show your pride with the "A Marine's Mother" T-Shirt or Long Sleeved T-Shirt.

Only available to order until April 13, 2008

Resourceful Marines

Our Major did not have a jeep to ride around in and we, being resourceful Marines, decided to change that. Our compound was next door to an Army compound which made it very convenient. As you all know, jeeps did not have keys, just a switch that added to the convenience of our plan.

One night, an Army jeep, for some unknown reason, disappeared.

The next day, members of the comm platoon , having found some Marine Corps green paint, made a beautiful job of transitioning the Army transportation into Marine transportation.

Now we had to get some markings. Fortunately, we had a person that made records for the vehicle back a few years and we were in business. We were so proud of ourselves.

God almighty, those were the days.

Names withheld and all associations withheld due to statute of limitations (LOL)


Sgt. Grit,

In going through the backlog that is my email inbox, I found George M. Hayes's "First Epistle to the Recruit," which he said he first read around 1948, and it prompted a question.

During my time (1963-'76), the expression, "green side/brown side," was still being used. Translated, it meant: "In the beginning was 'the word'...and then it changed." Is that expression still used in the "new Corps," or do they have another way of saying, "Will somebody make up their mind."

Tom Downey
Once a captain, USMCR; always a Marine

First Epistle to the Recruit

Liberty Bridge and An Hoi

Hurray for 11th Motors, Charlie 1/5 got to stand a lot of road guard for them. Many of a hot/dusty or rainy/muddy day was spent on the road between Liberty Bridge and An Hoi. There was bad days like mar 26,69 when the bridge was hit, then there were good days when a driver or M2 gunner tossed us Grunts some hot beer/sodas or even a cartoon of smokes. Those are the good old days to remember.

C 1/5 68-69
Retired 89

Brand New Jeep

On Jan 8 1958 my jeep and I were loaded on the USS Olmstead APA 188 for a Med cruise. After visiting ports in Spain, Italy, Majorca, Turkey, and Greece, I found myself off shore of Lebanon. After the troops went over the side into the peter boats my ammo trailer was loaded on one. Then they dropped my jeep in the boat as I went down the cargo net. When we hit the beach and the ramp went down my jeep wouldn't move. They had dropped the pintle hook on the trailer tongue and my rear wheels were off the ground. Being a brand new jeep it was so stiff I couldn't shift it into 4 wheel drive, finally in desperation kicking it in with my foot. At last I was able to pull ahead, hook up my trailer, and finally join my Company, B/1/8 in the hills of Jal-El-Dib just up the coast from Beirut. After awhile I drove for S-3 and came home on the USS Fremont APA 44, getting back to Morehead City, N.C. in Oct of 1958. SEMPER FI PFC Michael S. Henchey 1608832/ 3531

THE Family

Hey Sarge,
I find that the more I decorate my rides with USMC regalia the more Marines I gather into the family of the Marine Corps League.

Having served in SE Asia for three years with HQMC and some very interesting alphabet organizations during 1960-61-62, I find that family matters and in this case, THE Family is the Corps.

License plate on back of Honda Valkyrie, it reads: USMC HQ My "Troop Transport" Diesel Ford Excursion and my two-wheeled ride, a Honda Valkyrie, are decorated like a couple of mobile USMC recruiting stations, including the license plate on the bike (photo attached).

In our MCL detachment, we have, more times than not, overspent our wallets at the Sgt. Grit store and often quote some of the items from your newsletter in our monthly "News From The Front" detachment newsletter.

John [2nd from right] with Sgt. Zachary  Fincannon (r), as they were receiving their slices of the Marine  Corps Ball cake. One of our members, John Link, aged 91, and a member of the "Class of '34", is still active within our detachment and still fits into the uniform that he wore when he was discharged.

(photo attached - John [2nd from right] with Sgt. Zachary Fincannon (r), as they were receiving their slices of the Marine Corps Ball cake.) Thanks for keeping the "family" together.

Semper Fi
Mike Mooney
Cpl. E-4 (MOS 2571)
Judge Advocate
Detachment 1163
Hickory, N.C.

Photo Caption Contest Winners

There were some OUTSTANDING captions submitted for our second caption contest. The following participants will receive a poster with their caption in the mail.

The posters are also available to order....pick your favorite!

caption photo

"U.S.M.C. the path less traveled since 1775"
Emily C.

"Footsteps of Freedom"
Maurice F.

"Thank God there's a Marine Corps"
John P.

"We not only talk it. We walk it."
Martin L.

To the Iwo Marines "All gave some; Some gave all."
Lenn M.

"Every Clime and Place"

"Uncommon Valor is STILL a Common Virtue"
Dave U.

"Looking for a Buddy"
James H.

"At first, the footprints were yellow!"
Scott G.

"Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, I am a Marine!"
Jim D.

"In the Air, on Land, or Sea"
Lindsay S.

"A Marine never walks alone"
Jean H.

Finally did it

Mike Clark's Tattoo I finally did it I went out and got my Marine tattoo.I wanted one when I was active duty but never got one. I got out in 1974 after 10 years of service. So at 61 yrs old I seen one on your web page and decided that that was the one that I wanted. I truly think that getting a Marine Tattoo should be something that happens when you graduate from boot camp. I have changed it a little bit from what I found on your site to make it my own.

Mike Clark


ordnance tattoo on Jay's ribs Just thought I'd show you my ordnance tattoo on my ribs.


A Brief Fantasy

Mr. Palombit wrote of his "test drive" of a Humvee during the first Gulf war. I had a similar experience that I didn't discuss with even my closest friends until sometime after our tour ended. In January or February of 1948 MAG 33 and MAG 12 set up a month long field operation at the Camp Pendleton air strip. We operated daily at the airstrip and quartered in tents in the hills above to the south. Only the pilots and senior line NCO's were allowed to taxi the aircraft and, of course, only the pilots were allowed to fly them. One Sunday afternoon Colonel Perry Parmelee, MAG 33 CO, needed to fly back to El Toro. My aircraft was assigned to him so I, along with a guard walking his post, were the only personnel on the flight line. Approximately two hours later Colonel Parmelee returned.

Normally the pilot would shut the engines down while we would climb up to the wing and assist them in disconnecting the communications lines from their helmets and also helping to get out of the chute harness. We would also ask how the flight went and if they had encountered any problems. However, Colonel Parmelee left the engines at idle and before I could ask he said that there was a popping noise in the left engine (which I could hear and immediately determined that it was being caused by a malfunctioning magneto) and that I should run it down the runway to determine the cause. Adapt, Improvise, and Overcome.

Knowing that I was not cleared for taxiing the aircraft I quickly decided that if anyone ask I could say that "the Colonel ordered me to do it". It was a big risk but as a barely nineteen year old it was an opportunity that I couldn't pass up. There was no other air traffic that whole day so I taxied out to the end of the runway, turned the aircraft to line up on the center line, and slowly advanced the throttles. It was so easy that ultimately I was close to takeoff manifold pressure and air speed.

25% Off Select Posters

25% Off Select Posters
OUTSTANDING ways to plaster your walls with pride or remembrance....old recruiting posters, memorial posters, We stole the Eagle poster...and many more - check them out.

During the run to the other end I briefly convinced myself that I could fly the aircraft but just as quickly I wasn't sure that I could safely land it. It was a brief fantasy because I knew that if I didn't kill myself the Marine Corps would probably do it for me. At any rate I throttled back, turned the aircraft in the opposite direction, made another run back to the squadron area, shut the engines down and secured the aircraft, all the time hoping that no one back in the hills were wondering what was going on at the flight line. I was sure that if I told anyone what had happened word would get back to our CO and I would be in deep trouble so I kept it a secret until long after my tour was over. Wild as it sounds this is an absolute true story.

Sometime back in the 70's, I believe, a plane captain on an A-4 Skyhawk stationed at El Toro took the aircraft up one night and flew it around for a time before finally landing it. A story that I read in Air Classics indicated that he had some simulator time, had been accepted for flight school but incurred an ear injury and was removed from the impending training. I have often wondered what ultimately happened to him. Does anyone have any information concerning him?

Ray Cox
Corporal of Marines

Was No Way

In 1969 I was a Sergeant and Crew Chief on C-117 (aka C-47 with modifications) Aircraft. Yearly H&HS was responsibly to fly WWI Marines back to DC for their yearly conference. Boy, was these guys old and many with medical problems. But all we ready to go, oxy tanks and all. There was no way these old jarheads were going to miss this trip. I was especially honored as the pilot (MGySgt O'Donald) of our craft was one of the last four (4) flying Sergeants from WWII still on active duty. It was a tremendous trip. It took that ole Gooney Bird (aka Puff) around 12 total hour to get to DC with a stop in OK for fuel. The stories and attitude these Marines showed made every one around fill with pride.

Master Gunnery Sergeant Walter Contreras USMC Retired, sends.

Okinawa 1945

Okinawa 1945, the one with the goggles is my classmate  from Bomb Disposal School. Okinawa 1945, We always defused and then removed 080 Okinawa 1945, We always defused and then removed. Think those big cumbersome suits they use today would have helped if we had made a mistake. I'm not in the picture because I'm taking it.

079 Okinawa 1945, the one with the goggles is my classmate from Bomb Disposal School. 14" Naval shell.

Ie Shima (off Okinawa) 1945, Nothing changes, these are from a few days work. The bombsand mines were uses as IEDs, the wooden boxes are suicide bombs. 078 Ie Shima (off Okinawa) 1945, Nothing changes, these are from a few days work. The bombsand mines were uses as IED's, the wooden boxes are suicide bombs. 60 odd years ago.

Charlie Bauman

When We Are Together

I have the good fortune of visiting with two WWII Marines every week. One was at Iwo from day one. They had the good fight and I did not, but when we are together, we're just three Marines enjoying each others company.

God bless all the brothers and sisters in harms way and you all come home safe.

D A Williams
1962 - 1966

Still A Few

I guess there are still a few of these Iwo heroes still around. Likewise with the one I met who occasionally comes to the MacDonald's where I have coffee in the mornings - you know us old folks. We sit around telling war stories and comparing the number of pills we take. This long and lanky Iwo Marine who comes in for coffee is about the same way as Vallejos' Iwo veteran: very humble about his duty there (but he no longer smokes) and all indication is that he is willing to let the battles history speak for its self.

~jerry wilson, 1581xxx 1956-1959

Would Provide A Breeze

As the OIC of the Equipment Allowance Pool at 29 Palms in the late '70's-early '80s, I (a.) drove my own International Travelall 4WD (from the base commercial vehicle pool) all over the Stumps....and (b.) kept some water cans, tools, and misc small parts in the back, roamed around the desert keeping an eye on our gear. Was motoring up Alpha area one fine day, when I happened upon a six-by stopped on the side of the road, with a dejected looking LCpl setting on the running board....pulled up, rolled the right side window down, inquired of the LCpl as to what was the problem? He saluted, and in only six words, told me everything I needed to know....quote: "Sir, this f'in f'er is F'd!" Took a look under the front, saw where the damper had gone through the radiator, and had to agree with him....told him to get in, and we'd go find a wrecker.

The other story is on me....before I got the Travellall on permanent dispatch, used to go to the C-pool every morning, draw an International Scout....they had both 4 and 8 cylinder versions....always checked the oil/radiator, etc. before lighting out. This particular day, the one I got was a dog!....When I got back that afternoon, I grabbed ol' "HooK" Bender (MSGT, MT chief) and told him he needed to get that sorry piece of crap into the shop, and check it out, as it was about the sickest V-8 I'd ever had the misfortune to draw. He called me the next morning, asked me to come down to the C-pool, as he had something to show me....having been a fit-shister from way back, that raised my mechanic's curiosity....when I got there, he took me into the shop, opened the hood on the Scout I'd had the day before, and said "There's your problem, Major.... somebody's done stole half of your engine!" (the 4 cylinder was at a slant, and the dipstick was in the same place as on the V-8).

Hook also used to wait at the dispatch gate with a cardboard box behind him....a vehicle would come back at the end of the day, and Hook would ask the driver if he'd checked the oil before leaving in the morning....(one of the items on the check list on the trip ticket), the answer was nearly always in the affirmative, whereupon Hook would ask "what'd you use? your d***?", then he'd come out of the box with the dipstick with a tag on it with the vehicle number, and tell the driver he'd had the dipstick since the evening before....for a while there, if you needed a breeze to cool off, all you had to do was be in the c-pool in the morning....all those hoods flying open would provide the breeze....

Dick Dickerson, '57-'81. Not as lean, meaner'n ever, still a Marine!

Who The H&ll Ever Thought

Now that the Real vs faux Marine is OVER, Done, Wore Out, Shot Through and Aired, Drained, Exposed, Dissected, Bisected, and Resected, let's move on to a discussion of something useful and enlightening. Like - M16 vs M-14. .223 vs 7.62, the need for more powerful stopping power in the field. Or C-rat cans are better than MRE's. After all, since the discussion is OVER, everyone should know that a "Marine" actually WANTS to carry cans that clang around revealing his position, and adding weight to his stature. Thereby offering more opportunity to engage the enemy to deliver a projectile that is of lower mass than that of the AK. "Marines" have been trained to deliver a well placed round of this lightweight .223 cal into the enemy in such a manner as to seriously inhibit the enemy's resolve and ability to carry on with his mission.

But the REAL question: Who the H#LL ever thought that scrambled eggs and ham in a can would EVER be a good idea (and that is not even to mention ever opening a can and finding it full of Lima bean paste and having the thought come into your head - "OH BOY, This looks good". I remember being in the field and a Top Sgt coming around with a Hefty bag half full of these little brown envelopes of "Beef Stew". It was raining, cold, we had been eating C-Rats for a month, and here is a hot bag of Beef Stew.

I also remember waiting until someone else had opened one and taken a bite first. He says -"Hey! This is Good!" So I tired it. Well, it was good, so it CAN'T be REAL Marine Corps Chow. So on to a new discussion.

And . . .does anyone know why Hostess doesn't sell pound cakes like the ones we would kill for in the C-Rats? Or why Nabisco doesn't sell those tasty paraffin chocolate crackers? (the ones that you could carry in your camo blouse all day in the heat and they never melted). A real Marine is one that could heat up his C-Rat with heat tabs, in a sealed up shelter half, then smile with a piece of Lima Bean still stuck to his teeth and ask "Hey, ya got another can of those things"

Cagle, Sgt USMC 79-83

Heading South On Route 1

Sgt Grit
You made a request for stories from us Motor Transport Marines. I was assigned to the 9th Mt Bn at Dong Ha Viet Nam in 67-68. We were not the 9th Marines Regimental Motor T but a full Motor Transport Bn consisting of 3 companies of 5 ton trucks and 1 company of tractor trailers. Our experiences may not compare to that of the 0300's but we also lost friends and fellow Marines who's actions and bravery are not the stories that sell books or plots for movies. I think for that reason you may not have got the response you were expecting. As support units we become use to our role as that and tend to stay in the back ground. All that being said I'll start this out with a few stories and maybe we can get some other 3500's to share their stories also.

One day I was assigned to haul supplies to a CAC unit south of Quang Tri. As part of this run I was to tow this unit's water buffalo (which happened to be yellow in color). Heading south on route 1 I came across a long bridge crossing a river. Half way across I met a convoy coming north. The convoy commander, a Capt I had several problems with back at Camp Pendleton, sends a S/Sgt up to my truck to have me back up off the bridge. Seeing the opportunity to screw with him for a change, I informed the S/Sgt that I didn't know how to back up a truck with a trailer.

The S/Sgt returned to the Capt's Jeep and after a short conversation came back to my truck and said the Capt wanted him to back the truck up for me. I told the S/Sgt that I could back up the truck but I knew the Capt form the states and that he was a jerk then and unless he had changed since then it was just my way of screwing with him. The S/Sgt walked back to the Capt's jeep and I could hear him say he had never driven a truck that size before and was unable to comply. After 30 minutes and much wrangling by the Capt the bridge was clear for me to cross. As I drove by the Capt's jeep he realized who I was and I could see the anger on his face. I could also see the smile on the S/Sgt's.

LW Dornan
Sgt 2156329
USMC 65-69

Comes In Many Forms

A lot of us go through life wondering if we made a difference...Marines don't have that problem per President Ronald Regan. I think this from a former Commander in Chief says it all to the argument about the "Real Marine".

I joined our Corps in July 1955, served as a "Grunt" 03, a Remington Raider 0141 and a Recruiter 8411 my combat experience is basically nil. Except for my time serving as an Admin Chief in the Santa Domingo fracas in 1965, a time in as a G-4 Admin Chief with the III MEF 1964 and my most dangerous assignment as a 8411 OSO Recruiter on the University Of California LA campus in 1962 answering the question from 3 African-Americans as to why, in my display set up in the middle of the Campus, there weren't any pictures of African-Americans in the display to which I answered "Probably because they were on Liberty". You see dangerous duty comes in many forms. I am proud of my service as a 0300/0141 and 8411 and now as a Marine Corps Leaguer.

Once a Marine always a Marine
Jack Forrest
Department of Oklahoma
Marine Corps League
Albert E. Schwab Detachment 857

In Memory

in memory of my son CPL JOSHUA HARRIS (best man at his brothers wedding) Here is a little appreciation to the crew of MAG 39 whether abroad or in the states. i know this will be late but i hope everyone has a safe Easter weekend.

charles harris in memory of my son CPL JOSHUA HARRIS (best man at his brothers wedding)

3rd 8 Inch

4th REUNION of the USMC 3rd 8 Inch How Btry (SP) FMF Pac

September 12th - 13th - 14th , 200 at Arlington Heights, IL

(Any FMF Pac Artillery personnel are invited to come and join in.)


Contact - Paul D. Smigowski (Sgt Ski) (906) 296-0204
smigp @ up .net

His Driver Flying

While I was stationed at 8th Motors in 93-95 we had some good times in that Motor Pool.

This one sticks with me the most. We had a PFC "boot" that was our dispatcher and house mouse for the Gunny... we had this Corporal that would call our dispatcher and state he was 1st Lt.Smith looking for SSGT.Davis etc.... and would FU%*% with this PFC big time..well this went on once or twice for weeks..and he knew we were F#^&en with him....so about a month goes by with out any calling....well our Battalion SgtMaj called the dispatcher and was looking for a certain Sgt.within the Motor pool...well..this PFC thought he had enough of the playing around sh!t.... "thinking it was the Corporal once again" he told us after the fact that he told the SgtMaj that he was full of sh!t...that he wasn't who he said he was... and told him to go F himself and said I know this is you Corporal "X". and slammed the phone down...Well the part that most of us in the Motor pool seen...and the rest heard for sure...was the Sgt Major and his driver flying in the Motor pool in the Hummer...lets put it this way....I haven't seen a A$s chewing that bad since boot camp and he had the PFC in tear....I'll give it to the PFC though...he never did state who the Corporal was when asked.....OOO by the way that Corporal was discharged from the Corps for steeling and selling 5ton parts to the Civilians in Jacksonville. lol lol
3533 91-95

Has Anyone Seen

I was in Transport Co, 7th MT Bn. in the early 80's. This was the end of the Carter era and equipment had to be scrounged. Items such as crank handles for the landing gear of the trailers. We were having an inspection and some people from my platoon scrounged items from other platoons to make a complete truck. One of the "victims" of the scrounging was Sgt. Cappola. When he discovered this, he burst through the ranks yelling, "Has anyone seen my CRANK?" One devil dog suggested he show it, much to the delight of everyone!

Cpl. Keith Grisham / 3534

Serial Number 0000101

Old Corps vs new Corps! when i got to Parris Island 23jul1961 after the yellow footprints I had no idea that there was and old Corps and a new Corps, I just knew that this was not like "The sands of Iwo Jima with John Wayne who was the reason I joined the Corps, yes ol John Wayne as Sgt Stryker gave me the chills and thrills that made me join. But, I digress, while I was at PI my Senior DI SSgt Norton gave us the scoop on the old Corps definition. It was as follows as best as I can remember: It seems that at Tuns Tavern in 1775 the old Gunny who was in charge of recruiting put a sign out front stating that there would be free beer to the first 100 men to join, as luck would have it 101 walked in joined up as was giving serial number 0000101, after swearing in he asked for his free beer and the Gunny told him that only applied to the old Corps, the first 100 who signed up, not the new Corps.

walter l. collins
Remington raider(office admin chief)
USMC 23jul1961 - 19july1969

Black Eye

To SSgt Hooks, Sgt Jordon, Sgt Standfast, SSgt Taylor, Plt 3008 Parris Island Graduation 1 May 1979. I say thank you for molding me into the man I am today, and for providing me the opportunity to be proud of the service I provided my country. I remember on the day of graduation I received a black eye over a little difference of opinion between me and another PVT, I was so thinking I was not going to graduate. LOL As I grow older, I am proud of my service and honored to have you all as my DI's. September 2006 I stood again at the Parade Deck to watch my son graduate. Thank you all again.

Semper Fi
Sgt. Welman


To the "Old Jarhead" asking about the Linebacker ... that was the Gomer who brought more food, plates, silverware, or what have you out from the back of the kitchen area to replace what was missing on the chow line. Usually it was some poor schmuck on Mess Duty for the first time that had PO'ed the Mess Sergeant. Never had to do it, always missed out on that detail; got it from the best friend a Marine ever had on a base ... a Mess Sergeant!

Bill Wilson

Tet Vet, Forever a Marine!
Saepe Expertus, Semper Fidelis, Marinus Aeterni
"Often Tested, Always Faithful, Marines Forever"

Sgt. Grit,
Tell the Old Jarhead fart, "Linebackers" are the 'snuffies' on mess duty who bring the replacement pans of food to the mess line or anything else that needs replacing there. I oughta know, I was one.
Platoon 117, PISC, 1958.

Semper Fidelis,
Jason Leverette,
1stSgt. of Marines (Ret)

Kept It Clear

Sgt Grit
I read your news letter all the time and enjoy it very much. I read an article in the last news letter that brought up some old memories. It was signed by Chuck Barrett from 11TH Motor 'T'. It had to do with traveling the road from Da Nang to An Hoi. Marines from Delta Co. 7TH Eng battalion were tasked with keeping the road clear from Hill 37 to An Hoi. I remember that road well as I walked it every day with fellow Marines from Delta Co. 7TH Eng. Our security detail that walked the sides of the road were from 5TH Marines. That road claimed a lot of Marines in the year we spent clearing it. I don't think a day went by that we didn't get sniped at or had to blow a mine in place. Hope we kept it clear for Chuck and his drivers from 11TH Motor 'T'. I know we tried our best.

Rob Bergeron

Saddle Up

2.a.m, Saddle up, gear on and proceed to a destination. For that leisurely stroll, we had a downpour to accompany us. Walking until after daylight, found out that are target didn't require running some gooks off of the hill. So we secured the area and were told that we could rest. In to sleeping bags, soak and wet, with boon dockers off and inside the bag with us, we were able to get some sleep. Woke up sometime before we were to get up, and looked out and the total area looked like a steam bath or laundry, cause that was all that was available to see with everybody drying out. Ah yes Easter Sunday a pleasant time--- SOMETIMES!

And they did manage go give us a loaf of bread and two boiled eggs to celebrate the day!

Norman Callahan
Chesty's last regimental command.

We Felt Blessed

My husband and best friend passed away on 3/14/08. He was so proud of having served in the Corps and belong to the special brotherhood. As my kids always said it made it very easy to buy him gifts--lamps, tee shirts, jewelry, car mats and just about anything else Marine. My favorite tee shirt and bumper sticker he had were "Not as lean, not as mean, still a Marine".

We felt blessed to have the Marine Corps League do a ritual at the wake and to have members of the Corps at the cemetery. How proud Jimmy would have been. We have always made it a point to thank veterans for their service and to thank those currently serving for fighting for our freedoms.

He enjoyed reading Sgt. Grit so much. There is another Marine on the streets of heaven, I am sure he will be watching out for his fellow Marines as they fight for our country. Semper Fi,
Kathy McGrail

Never Finished

Sgt. Grit,
My dad never went to boot camp per say. My dad was a reservist and was getting his training at the reserve center in New York. He never finished that training. Next thing he knows he's on his way to Korea. He is one of the Chosin Few. Does that not make him a Marine because he never finished his boot training, or is he a Marine because he saw combat in Korea. When I wanted to join the military he gave me the choice of joining one of two Corps, the Marine Corps or the Hospital Corps. I became a Hospital Corpsman. I served with Marine units and with Navy Commands. I saw him as a Marine he saw me as Doc.

He passed away in March of 98. His 3 grandsons ALL became Marines because Grandpa was a Marine. Was he a Marine? Darn skippy he was. NOT because he did not finish his "boot" training, not because he went to war, but because the Marines he served with said he was. Because his wife, children, grandchildren said he was. Because he lived his whole life behaving like a Marine, Duty, Honor, Country was something I and my sons learned from him long before we even though of joining anything.

To me an MOS is a job. Being a Marine is what you carry inside. My father taught me that.

Semper Fi Sgt. Grit
Ed "Doc Cookie" Cooke
HM1,USN, ret

Sent Me Off

Dear Sgt. Grit,

I received a gift the other day from my civilian friend that caused a strange chain of events. It happened to be a red long sleeved t-shirt with MARINES across the front. I don't know if it was the color red or the MARINES in big letters that sent me off head spinning about my Corps days. I found myself online overloading on every motivating and heartbreaking Marine tidbit I could find. Hoping in some way to reconnect myself. I thought it would be neat to show my 13 yr old daughter where her Dad had been and what we Marines endure being Marines so I started showing her the things I had found online. What I didn't expect was the flood of emotion that washed over me as I shared my experiences with Erin. I never missed being a part of something so much in my life! It was all I could do not to break down in front of my daughter so I told her I would be back and went into another room to try and quiet my mind. As I sat wondering "where do I go from here" my daughter Erin brought me a note. On that note was a poem with the answer to my question.
Marine Is What I Am!
As I think of what it used to be
And what it has done to mev
Flashbacks and memories
Are so clear to see
That a Marine is what I'm supposed to be!

It motivated me to tears! I hope it motivates you to!
Semper Fi

Jason Leisenheimer
Sgt/USMC 91-97

Lonely Jungles

I am one of those Marines who didn't get the "opportunity" to be a "hero". Although in WWII I spent two of my more than three years of service in the South Pacific, officially in "harms way", I guess. As a field radio operator I was shot at only once and I didn't shoot at anyone although once I did potentially have the "'opportunity". I spent many days on the ocean in enemy waters and luckily escaped ship wreck one time when an enemy plane took out a small ship close by in our convoy on the way to the Guam campaign. I stood late night guard duty many times in scary, noisy and lonely jungles and other places, but who didn't? Perhaps my most notable "combat" experience was when I drowned a jeep driving it off an LST ramp destined for the beach on Guam D+4. I got relief from all of this when I contracted the dreaded disease, dysentery, and was "ordered" stateside. I guess the point is I did what I was told and there is a possibility that if at any time an officer said to me, "private, take your rifle and get up there on the front and start shooting at the enemy", in my mind I may have questioned his sanity in sending me, but I would have done it though I would have been scared as H&ll, just like any other Marine. The fact that it didn't happen doesn't keep me from being darn glad (and proud) that I chose to be a part of an organization that has had so many great people serving their country so nobly.

Semper Fi!
Rodney A. Davies, (454301). St. Paul, Minnesota.

No Moustaches?

Captain Paul L. Blanc's article "Off the Paved Road" brought back a Motor-T story from the same motor pool.

I was a FNG in August '68 assigned to the same Radio Relay Platoon as a 2831. One of our first duties was to report to the motor pool to qualify for our military drivers license. The Motor-T NCO in charge of teaching us was named Benny Fontenez, a tough little sergeant with a large handle-bar moustache.

This was a little puzzling because we'd been told when we reported in that the Company Commander didn't allow any moustaches.

We asked Benny how it was that he got to keep his and he said that when he was ordered to shave off his moustache he mentioned that it was a real shame that he'd have to red-line every vehicle in the motor pool for safety violations!

We got our licenses and Benny had us drive all over DaNang.

Later spent time on Radio Relay shots on Hill 55 with the 7th

Marines and then at An Hoa with the 5th Marines.

Bill Wright 1st Mar Div, HQ BN, Comm. Co, Radio Relay Plt.
August '68-September '69 A Heck of a Marine: In memory of PFC Daniel B. McClenney,


When I read about our brothers and sisters who have fallen in combat, I usually do a web search of their name. This allows me to get a better sense of who they are and where they come from.

Upon reading Mr. Welsh's moving statement about his nephew, I conducted a search of Daniel's name. Not only was this young man wounded in combat, but he was awarded a Silver Star for his gallantry in combat.

While I consider myself fortunate to not know the horrors of combat, I was witness to a CH-53 crash in near Pohang, Korea. We were a flight of two transporting Marines and Corpsmen of 1/5. That was nineteen years ago today, and I can see it in my mind as if
it were yesterday.

Semper Fi Brothers and Sisters,

J.W. Stahl


EGA Tattoo I was active duty in the Marine Corps from September 1992 through May 1999. I went to a parlor several time while I was in to get my EGA. It never worked out. I finally got it on 10 Nov 2007! I couldn't think of a better day to get the ink I have been looking for 15 years!

Marc Young
Former Sgt USMC

Short Rounds

Sgt. Grit, Just wanted to let you and your wonderful staff know how much I appreciate you guys putting my Story's in your Newsletter. And also tell ya how much I look forward reading the Newsletter each week!



In the past, I often grappled with the fact that a timing quirk in my birth date kept me away from the shooting, yet qualified me for a certain ribbon.
That was then, this is now. Without me noticing it at the time, a lot of my growing up took place in the Marines.
Now I'm a grown man and see things as a grown man does: I am humbled, proud and honored just to have been allowed to wear the Eagle, Globe & Anchor.

Semper Fidelis,

after boot you will save lives for the rest of your lives love babies puppies wives/husbands mothers dads other Marines (in between your fighting drinking&cussing) you help others when u can so beware you can't be anything else & yall will love it old core killer (of sand fleas) 1959 to 1966 GUNG HO (all the way) Semper Fi

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Welcome Home Marine, Job Well Done!
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

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