Patches        T-Shirts       Auto        Ka-Bars       Mugs      Request a Catalog

Sgt Grit,
One of the best quotes I've seen in a while:

"You're making the wrong assumption that a Marine by himself is outnumbered."
Gen Peter Pace, 28Jul06

Marine Corps Swiss Watch Reminded me of when I came home on leave from Boot Camp and went to a local hangout a small cafe down town Roseburg, Oregon. I took my now wife Nancy and a civilian friend of mine I went to school with not yet enlisted in the Corps. When leaving the cafe three punks followed us out and were making fun of my Dress Blue Uniform. We all could see that they were inching for a fight. My friend took off like a rocket and my girl friend asked me to leave as well. I turned to her and said if I do this then I dishonor this uniform and myself. I said no I am staying and they looked at me and one of them said you going to fight all three of us? I smiled (but inside I was shaking and wondering if I could do any damage to one or more of them), I said yes it would not be fair fight unless I took all three of you on. The leader said; I know you form school don't I and I said yes you do and now your going to know more about the Marine I am. He then said they were just joking and said he was sorry and they turned around and left. I was ready to do it all on my own. My Drill Instructors in Boot Camp taught us we could do anything as Marines that nothing was impossible; that Marines don't run they stand and fight no matter what the odds. Scared as I was and alone as I stood there, I was one against more and I was not going to move or run. They taught us well in the Corps Sgt Grit and that day I stood even taller as a Marine. My girl friend (my wife today), was so proud of me however, she nagged on me about it for a week.

Semper Fi,
Donald Yoder
Sgt USMC Ret.
Vietnam Veteran 3rd Marine Division att: 9th Marines 65-66

Marines I can't express what an honor it is to put this newsletter together. To be the first to read all that will go into it each week. To be the first to get 'something in my eye'. To be the first to read the emotion, patriotism, honor, tradition, and humor that go into each letter. I have one h&ll of an outstanding job. Thank you for your participation.
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

His Eyes Lit Up
I came to the States from Ireland in the Jan.64 and joined the Marines in July and went to Parris Island PLT 267.I served in Nam from Dec 65 to Sept.66. After I received my second Purple Heart I spent a week in Da Nang Hosp. then 3 days in the Philippines and 3 days in Japan but ended up in Portsmouth Naval Hosp, as I had a sister in Norfolk. After awhile they assigned me to the security section to check on the officers rooms to see if they needed anything and empty their trash cans etc.I wore civilian clothes and after about 3 days an elderly gentleman in the end room asked me if I was a civilian but when I said "No sir I'm a Marine" his eyes lit up and said "I'm a Marine myself" and got real excited. He said he retired a 4 star Gen.and was asst.Comandant. His name was Gen.Christian Schilt and said he received The Medal of Honor in Nicaragua in 1928.

He said the Marines had to run out and grab the wings as he didn't have any brakes but on his third trip to get the wounded out he brought a case of whiskey and boy the morale shot up. He was very interested in Nam.and enjoyed hearing stories first hand so we talked a lot. When I was getting a haircut he came in and sat with me while we waited. When I left the I had to report to Marine Barracks to await orders but when I was checking in a Staff.Sgt.said "The Sgt.Major wants to see you" so I was trying to figure out what I did but when I reported to him he asked me if I knew Gen.Schilt so I said 'Yes Sir' so he said well he called over here and said he was really impressed with you and told me to take care of you so he assigned me to Motor transport with my own office for 2 months and 45 days leave back to Ireland before heading back to Camp Lejeune.What a great man he was.

Sgt. R.D.O'Connell USMC '64-'68.
Thanks to all Marines wherever you are for your service.

Patriot Edition
2007 Harley Davidson Marine Corps Patriot Edition Streetglide Sgt. Grit,
wanted to send you a picture of my 2007 Harley Davidson Marine Corps Patriot Edition Streetglide. I saw them advertising that would build one for you in late 2006. I sent in a copy of my DD214 and then picked up my new Harley in early 2007. It has the Marine Corps. emblem on the tanks combined with the Harley. Also has a United States Flag on the rear fender. Just received my new USMC license plate holder from your catalog and put it on. Looks great ! I joined the Marines in 1981, served active until 1985. Stayed in the reserves until 1989, then after 7 years of missing the camaraderie I joined the US Navy "Seabees". I was called to duty at Ground Zero for 9-11 under Gov. Pataki in the NY Naval Militia. Was there for a few weeks providing security. My Battalion NMCB 27 is in IRAQ right now, couldn't go with them. They took me down to an E-3, so I had to work my way back up the chain. I'm also a member of the "LEATHERNECKS" motorcycle club, and the "LEGIONRIDERS". Keep those e-mails coming, it's great to read the stories and quotes. Semper Fi! EO1 {SCW} Tomcat Gray

I Can Understand
Sgt.Grit, I can understand K.G.Smith's father's concern for his guilt feelings on 11-11-52.we of E-2-5, attacked Hill104, Ungok, however three days prior our squad, short a fireteam short of squad strength, having two. I was rifleman of one and Ruben Rodriquez was the point rifleman of the other. We alternated points on each patrol and that night it was my turn out as pointman. Well, I was informed that Ruben was to have the point, that night, Ruben was killed by an enemy machine gunner. I donated a brick in memory of Ruben Rodriquez, Ungok Nov. 1052 Easy25,which is located on the path to Semper Fi Park near "Commitment" at the U.S. Marine Museum in Quantico,VA., that memory of Ruben's death, stayed with me all these years and still does.

Semper If
Vincent E,Heslin

Note The Durability
U.S. Marine License plate on Mariner Dear Sgt. Grit:
Last Saturday as my wife Barbara was driving our Mariner a 6 Point Buck ran into the Mariner. The buck darted out of a wooded area that was adjacent to Rt 422 (outside of Phila, Pa). Fortunately, neither my wife or I were hurt. Unfortunately, a Pa. State Trooper had to put the buck out of its misery.

Please at the attached pictures and note the durability of the U.S. Marine License Plate that I purchased from Sgt. Grit. I thought that you may enjoy the story.

Semper Fi,
Jim Haley, Jr.

It Runs In The Medina Family!
Andy-Poolee-Son, Diego-Marine-Son, Freddy- Marine, YM XO-Father Picture by Terri Marquez From left to right: Andy-Poolee-Son, Diego-Marine-Son, Freddy- Marine, YM XO-Father Picture by Terri Marquez

El Paso Young Marines have a lot to be proud of. Former Young Marine, SgtMaj Medina (Diego) recently graduated from boot camp on October 4, 2008 & was named the Honor Man. He is now at Camp Pendleton for his MCT. Little brother Andy wanted one thing for his recent 17th birthday: to be taken to the Recruiter's office. Andy is now a Poolee & will leave for boot camp in June 2009. Dad Freddy, is a Marine & is also the XO for the El Paso Young Marines.

Freddy-Marine-YM XO-Father (notice the great shirt purchased from Sgt Grit!) and Diego-Marine-Son Picture by Terri Marquez Picture #2
From left to right: Freddy-Marine-YM XO-Father (notice the great shirt purchased from Sgt Grit!) and Diego-Marine-Son Picture by Terri Marquez

Celebrating the tradition in the Medina Family, from El Paso, TX, in joining the greatest fighting force in the world, Father Freddy decided to congratulate Son Diego's recent earned title of Marine by buying him a tattoo. In fact, the same tattoo Freddy himself had put on when he earned his title of Marine, back in the 80s, will also be the same tattoo he'll again buy for his other son Andy, who recently became a Poolee. When Andy completes boot camp in September 2009, father & son will take a trip to the tattoo shop to memorialize the greatest title ever earned: MARINE.

I Didn't Bother
Major Capers and MSGT Orlandi Marines:
This day, Our Marine Corps is 233 years old. I had the wonderful pleasure this weekend to be in Arlington National Cemetery, and see also the Iwo Jima Memorial, also know as the Marine Corps Memorial. I walked around the Iwo Jima Memorial, not knowing what I was supposed to be feeling. I circled it twice, snapped photos of the sculpture, the base, it was beautiful. As I walked around the side to the right, a 12 or 13 year old boy was on the surrounding ledge, walking around the memorial. I motioned with my arm for him to get down. He did, and walked back to his folks. Another guy from my training class, asked why I did that.

"Are you kidding? He was walking on my memorial!"

He wanted me to explain, but I didn't bother. He was Air Force.

In addition to not allowing others to tarnish anything representative of the Marine Corps, do not forget about yourselves. Others see you, and know who you are, what you represent. Don't allow the heritage of the Corps to be anything but the best within your life.

Happy Birthday, and Semper Fidelis!
-Jeremy Doxey, Former Corporal of Marines, 1992-1996

Private or Recruit
JJ Chervinko, no feathers ruffled here brother. Went through PI in 1966 and I honestly don't remember being addressed as recruit. Private wasn't used very often either. The DIs had more colorful names when addressing recruits or privates, if you know what I mean. A cursory review of my SRB revealed that some entrees were scribed as recruit and others as Pvt. I really never gave it much thought. Recruit or private don't mean nothin'. It all comes down to when you're first addressed as MARINE. What more can I say, but.

Semper Fi!
Joseph Alvino
Sgt., USMC

Juke Box In Kinville
In response to 1st Sgt. Lay's letter, I was looking for his record a year or so ago, and in the process found your site. If the 1st Sgt. puts out a CD of his record let us know, I remember listening to his songs on a juke box in a cafe on Hill St. when I was a "boot" in '75. Also what should I find on an old juke box in a out of the way bar in Kinville back in the spring of '88? All the junior NCO's in my platoon spent the evening in that place. Anyway reading the 1stSgt's letter brought back a few memories, I think he put out an album with quite a few tunes on it. Would like to get a copy if it gets remade.
Sgt.Peterson, TOWS (tired of walking)

Vetting Process
Subject: Member has unsubscribed.

The following member has unsubscribed: joe1ch......... from all lists.
They were logged on the Opt Out List.
Date: 11/13/2008
Reason: i was declined for service in the usmc becasue there "vetting process" is a joke.

Note: I think he has the joke part backwards. In 1968 we were told on the last day of boot camp what our MOS was. He can't spell or capitalize either.
Sgt Grit

Mentally Kicked My
Sgt Grit:
I enjoyed reading the letter from 1stSgt Bob Lay...but the Marine song I remember when I was in Chu Lai in '68 to the tune of the ""Green Berets"", could not have been aired on any stateside radio was side splitting. and I wish I could remember the would have made a Marine Chaplain blush.

I am a Marine and was also in the Army...'80-' answer to the question posed by Gen Pershing....Marines have Brotherhood and Pride. The Army does not. As a Sgt at Ft Bliss in '81, I had to march a platoon of soldiers to an area...I had them stop and watch a L/Cpl MARCH 2 PFC Marines, past us...and mentally kicked my own butt for entering the Army.

Mark Gallant...Marine L/Cpl...66-69

It Always Brought
Sgt Grit,
Reading AMERICAN Courage Newsletter # 187 of 13 Nov 2008, I know how Pete Formaz feels. I went through those same feelings on 14 different occasions at PISC myself and also in Third Bn. H Co. from Jan. 1970 to Mar. 1973. I also had the occasion to work at OCS in Quantico from March 1973 until November 1975 training officer candidates I had one Plt. as a Junior before I was given the Black Belt. After each Plt graduated I would always stop and look back on them and remember what they looked like when I first met them at Receiving and then compare them upon Graduation. It always brought a lump in my throat that took sometime to delete. Most of the times after graduation in the mornings I would have to go back to Receiving in the afternoon to pick up a fresh platoon of new bodies and start over again. It was always hard to go from a graduation to a whole new platoon of new faces after just seeing what you had just trained leave to take their place among the FINEST. I knew they were not fully trained to meet what they had to face in their new units but I knew they were trained to the best of my ability as a basic fighting machine that would be further trained to meet the mission they would receive from their receiving unit. My job was to train them to be BASIC trained to the customs, courtesies. First Aid, History, etc that would last them for the rest of their time in OUR CORPS. After living with them most of the time they were in training and seeing them walk off the Parade Deck at the end of training always brought a chill to my spine. Stopping and reflecting back on what they had accomplished and how they had grown from young kids into grown men was something that made my chest swell with pride. I know there was more training they needed but you can only teach so much in the period of time that you have them under your wing. I went through Third Bn Q Co Plt 368 back in Sept to Nov 1962 and still remember my DI's, Cpl P.L. SABAT, Cpl. Hopp and SSgt Rowan. AS has been said many times in your Newsletter, you never forget your DI's. If there are any of the Marines out there that I trained at either PISC or Quantico that would like to contact me, I would be proud and honored to hear from you. Keep up the good work that you are doing Sgt Grit and a BIG SALUTE to you for what you have done. To all My fellow Marines and Corpsmen, SEMPER FI and Best Wishes Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas. May you always have a full stomach and a place to hang your cover.

MGYSGTRet'd Billy J. Russell 2007227
Sept. 1962 - Sept. 1985
0311, 3611, 1521, 1541 & 8511

Old Timers
Regarding the letter from "Pete Formaz" (American Courage #187) I went to my son's graduation in 2003. He was a member of Plt. 2006 in PISC. It was emotional. As I watched the over 500 recruits (now Marines) march across the grinder I had to hold back the tears. I knew that many of these kids would end up in Iraq or Afghanistan. Another emotional time was at the beginning of the ceremony when the announcer recognized that "once a Marine - always a Marine" and asked all "former Marines" to rise, stand in the bleachers for an applause. I did as well as many others. I saw lots of "old timers" with tears streaming down their faces. A non-emotional moment was getting yelled at by a Marine Sgt. because my family and I were walking in the street instead of on the grass. Go figure. We used to get "drilled" for walking in the grass and not on the street.

To Pete Formaz I graduated from PISC in 1965 (Plt. 313) and I believe you were one of my junior drill instructors under senior drill instructor SSgt. Barker. I will always remember you all. I had a lump in my throat the day we boarded the buses out of PI for Lejeune in '65 and you shook my hand. Never doubt whether you had a positive impact on your recruits lives. You did. The things you taught me served me well during my tour of duty as a grunt in Vietnam with the 26th. Marines and afterwards in civilian life.

Semper Fi.

C. Carter
Plt. 313 PISC 1965
3rd.Bn. 26th Marines (Vnam)

Top Shelf Quality Warriors
Sgt Grit-
I am a retired Marine 1stSgt. 1977-1998. I am currently a civilian contractor stationed in Afghanistan in support of the Police Program. I was given the opportunity to be embedded with the Marines of Echo Co., 2/7 in southern Afghanistan. Although I have been retired for 10 years, it made my heart proud to see that the Marine Corps is still producing top shelf quality warriors. The living conditions were very austere. 130-140 degrees during the day, a river to bathe and wash our clothes in, tents and of course, no AC. The Marines never griped or complained, they went about the business of being Marines. Constant patrols in addition to the added tasks of mentoring and training the Afghan National Police. They also had the burden of putting up with an old retired Marine. They were generous to a fault and a pure joy to work with. I just want the parents of these young Marines to know that they can be extremely proud of their sons!! I have never been prouder to claim the title of United States Marine. Semper Fi 2/7 and keep up the great work.

Robert Kinkead
Border Police Advisor
RTC Gardez

Marine's Version (The Ballad of the Green Beret)

Sgt Grit,
Thanks for your response to my submission. Below are the words to the Marine's version of "The Ballad of the Green Beret". As I mentioned previously, I don't know who the author is of these words, or from whom I got these words. I have had these words since about 1968, and have sang them many times around the barracks, etc. I hope Bob Rickabaugh and William Pippin are still reading the newsletter and see this. Simper Fi, & "Continue to March" Bob Lay 1stSgt Retired 1953-1975

Marine's Version
(The Ballad of the Green Beret)

We're the men, U. S. Marines,
Dirty, rough and fightin' mean,
From the states we came this way,
We couldn't care less about the Green Beret.

We stalk in paddies, both night and day, Don't need chutes or the Green Beret, Have no wings upon our chests, But we are our country's best.

With steel pots upon our heads,
We fight like h&ll and eat hot lead,
So, keep your caps and silver wings,
We'll send them home with all your things.

We patrol and fight V.C.,
Fighting the cong to make men free,
One hundred men were overrun today,
We saved them all-the Green Beret.

I saw Marines, who gave their lives,
So the Green Beret could see their wives.
If I die in this far off land,
I hope it's for a better man.

While they stomp and sing their songs,
We search the fields and kill the cong,
We're the men, who fight each day,
Since '75 it's been that way.

Back at home a young wife waits,
Her brave Marine, he's met his fate,
He has died so others could live,
For his Corps that's what he'll give.

I know this song won't be a hit,
But, we Marines could give a ____.
And when it comes to glory and fame,
We'll kick your butts and take your names.

We're the Marines from old 3/9,
H&ll in a helmet that's our line,
So wise up "Doggie and "Green Beret",
We'll still be here when you fade away.

Drop Them
One of the funniest things I've ever seen in my life happened in boot camp. I was part of platoon 3075 at Parris Island in 1982. We had gone through the Confidence Course that day and had already hit the showers. Our Series Commander decided to do an inspection looking for excessive blistering, bruising, etc.

We were all on-line in our shower shoes and boxer shorts. The Lieutenant and our "heavy hat" DI (SSgt Almond) would step in front of each recruit. The recruit, while at attention, would raise his arms until they were parallel with the deck with his palms up, then flip his hands palm down, drop his hands, then slowly turn around so the Lt. could get a good look at him.

This went fine for the first dozen or so recruits. Then came Pvt. "Treestump". The Lt. and DI stepped in front of Treestump. He raised his hands, flipped them over, and just stood there with his hands up. The Lt. waited a few seconds for Treestump to drop his hands and turn around like everyone before him had done.

When it became clear that Treestump was going to stand there all day with his hands up, the Lt. said "Drop them." Treestump replied with a very confused "Sir?". The Lt. repeated "Drop them!". Treestump said "Yes sir!", and proceeded to drop his box shorts to his ankles.

The Lt. looked at Treestump with total, absolute, complete disbelief. The DI dropped his head as if to suddenly look at his shoes. I'm convinced he did this so his cover would hide his face. The Lt. slowly shook his head once, turned, and strode from the barracks without a word and without looking at the rest of the platoon.

The workout I got trying to not laugh was far more difficult than the Confidence Course that day.

That was 26 years ago, and I still laugh whenever I think about it.

Ron Bergeron

Red Deck Shine
While serving with H&S Co 3RD Amph. Asslt Bn. Camp Pendleton in '79, we were preparing the squad bay for inspection. I got the bright idea to use old towels under the floor buffer to make the red deck shine like rubys. Just before it was our turn the Sgt. Major came in and just about had a heart attack. We were told in no uncertain terms that there is one way and one way only to do things and this was not it. In a mad scramble we had to slop down more wax and buff the deck in the prescribed scroll pattern. In the nick of time we got done and in position. We passed our inspection. As soon as everyone left I got out the towels and made the deck look like it had been spit shined. I guess it was my non-conformist streak that made me do it. Besides all that wax stuck to your socks or shoes and would ball up and make a mess to clean up. Almost everyone who came through commented on how good it looked, but, we always did it by the book for inspection days after that. I have always wanted a red concrete floor so I could make it shine like that one did. Anytime I see red concrete I think of that day and get a good laugh.


All I Heard Was
Happy Birthday Marines,

Met a gentleman last week while watching the World Series at a local sports bar. He was Florida born and raised, and told him I got to Florida from Pennsylvania, via the Marine Corps. He introduced himself as Retired Lt. Col. Something (all I heard was Lt. Col.). I, in turn, introduced myself very quickly, with quite a bit of snap, as Sgt. Amey, Sir. Didn't even think about what I was saying or about to say until I already said it. Then, we both just said 'Semper Fi', and continued our baseball and beer. He was cheering the Rays and me, the Phillies. Hope to run into him again sometime to talk duty stations, etc. Not too many serviceman who discharged instead of retired introduce themselves by their former rank, but "Once a Marine, Always a Marine".

Again Happy 233rd!

Semper Fi,
Sgt. Amey (former Marine)

(AAV Battalions, 1974 - 76, and 1980 - 88)

We Had To Die Them
I reported for duty to MCRDSD in March 1964 (Plt. 222), we were issued brown shoes (we had to die them black), the old style wool greens and M1's. During basic we turned in the M1's and received M14's. Having visited MCRDSD in 1994, almost 30 years to the day since I first reported I missed seeing the old "Quonset" huts, next to the 'grinder'. Camp Matthews and the tents for living at the 'range' was a real experience, "Big and Little Agony" for conditioning, guard duty on some of the darkest ranges I've ever seen. Then ITR back at Camp Pendleton. Gen. B. Hockmuth was CG of MCRD, he later died in chopper crash in Nam, and now has a street named after him at MCRD. I'll always remember that I got to stand on the brass foot prints at Receiving Barracks. Happy Birthday Marines.

Sgt. B. James "Dutch" Naberhuis
1964 - 1967

Then Stone Cold Silence
I just returned tonight from attending the 2d MLG, Marine Corps Birthday Ball Celebration held at Paradise Point Officer's Club, Camp LeJeune, NC. The 2d Division Marching Band was there- adding an exquisite sound to the occasion. Oh, what a night!

My thoughts raced back to other "Birthday Balls" or "celebrations," like the one I spent with most of you in a remote landing strip base 26 miles southwest of DaNang- in An Hoa. I remember that night like it was yesterday. At midnight, November 10th was ushered in to some of the most raucous yells from bunkers all around the 2/5 defensive perimeter. Artty fired illumination, pom-pom clusters were fired by everyone- from the COC Tower Watch to the bunkers...I think I even saw my shop teacher from the 7th grade set one off! All I know is that somewhere in the heavens over An Hoa, a mighty chorus of Marines past- joined the chorus of Marines present who were crying out their own special war cries and birthday sentiments. I distinctly recall, as we tried to restore some semblance of order ...amidst the dark and silence of night, came the sudden insertion of a lone Marine voice- "Goodnight Chesty, wherever you are!"...and the laughter and then stone cold silence that re-inserted itself in the stark reality of Vietnam to our infantry battalion- and THE most decorated infantry regiment in Marine Corps history. What a group and what a team! And how I'd give a lot to be back there with each one of you right now- as we were then- each watching the other's back with complete confidence. That was then.

Friday night, I watched my son, a Marine 1st Lieutenant, and his buddies, and a host of senior officers, toast the 233d Birthday Anniversary of our Corps, amidst all the color and regimental sound that befit such an occasion, in Camp Lejeune. The River reflected sparkling light. The decorations and banners were right on! All the Lieutenants' dates were hot, the senior officer's ladies were elegant and the dinner and conversation- absolutely superb! Command voices barked, the march-on of the colors was crisply executed and civilian guests mouths were slightly open with eyes reflecting the "wow" spectacle that Marine Corps precision and execution always evokes. And those dress blues....and mess dress uniforms....ladies hearts just don't stand a chance...'s to you, my fellow Marines, friends and family members of Marines:

Happy Birthday, all of you, on our 233d! ooOORah!!

Semper fi,
Carry on....
Jim Meyers

I Ran Over To Him
This is in response to JJ Chervinko's Question "At what point in boot camp were you all able / allowed to refer to yourselves as Privates?". This recruit....I mean...."I" went to Parris Island on February 14, 1989 and graduated with platoon 1035 on May 8th,1989. From Day one we were nothing, pieces of sh!t. We were never aloud to refer to ourselves as anything other than "THIS RECRUIT"! Even until the day we graduated. Once we graduated, we then were referred to as Marines!! Ooooorah! Still motivated the heck out of me. And yes, that was a really difficult transition. I remember from there I spent a week to two weeks on leave, and then reported to SOI for training. I got put on fire watch first thing in the middle of the afternoon upon returning. A Sgt came into our bustling barracks looking for the fire watch. Even with that 2 weeks off, I ran over to him like most boots, already at attention, thumbs on trouser seams as I ran, spouting off "This recruit....." "Your not a recruit any more Marine" he interrupted, and I was still just tongue tied. I didn't know what to refer to myself as! Those sure were the good ol days. As far the PI vs. Hollywood Marines....I think most of us have that one figured out. Yes the west has the mountains, the east has sand fleas, but we are all worked over, pushed to our limits and beyond, mentally and physically. Hardened, proven, and put to the test equally enough to earn the right to be called "MARINE"! Oooorah, and Semper Fi Marines young and old tomorrow is our 233rd, and we look d*mn good!
B. Butas
89-91 USS America
91-93 2/2

Rule #2
I went to Parris Island on 1 July 68, graduated 6 September. D.I.s were all Staff Sergeants - Strasbaugh, Willis, and Hensley.

Before I left home, my Daddy (WWII Army Vet) gave me two rules to live by -

1) There are three correct answers - YES, SIR, NO, SIR, and NO EXCUSE, SIR

I forgot rule #2 just once: SSGT Strasbaugh came in one morning and asked for three good swimmers. It was July, it was hot, I was an expert swimmer. All I could picture was swimming across some cool lake to help our D.I. out with some problem while the rest of the platoon sweated through another day of training in the sweltering heat.

So, I raised my hand. Well, two other recruits and I were escorted out and loaded into a van. We were driven over to the base NCO club, where there had been a genuine barroom brawl the night before. There were beer bottles and drink glasses shattered, glass was everywhere, the place smelled of stale beer, blood, and vomit. We three good swimmers spent the day cleaning up that putrid mess while EVERYBODY ELSE went though drown proof training in a nice cool swimming pool.

I never forgot rule #2 again!

PFC William Horn
1/3 RVN 1969

Retired GySgt 1972-1992

Frank Wolf's motorcycle

Was On Okinawa
Sgt. Grit,
My name is Luther Edward Paulk [283600] I believe I might qualify as an old salt. I joined the Corps March,15,1940. Went through boot camp at p.i.plt 33,After graduation, joined the 3rd Def. ban. which was at P. I.. in June of 1941 we shipped out from Charleston, navy yd . aboard the old ship Orizaba for Reykjavik, Iceland. and I was stationed at Alafoss, where Brig. Gen. Marston had his office. That's where we were on the 7th. of Dec, when the Japs. attacked Pearl Harbor. It was on A Sunday afternoon, and I will never forget that. We made it back to the States early 1942. From there on out to the Pacific, and was on Okinawa when they dropped the first Atomic Bomb, from there, we shipped out in Sept. 1945 to Tientsen China. Shortly after arriving I came down with Pneumonia, and was shipped back to Naval Hospital, Oakland Ca. and eventually was discharged Sept. 1946.

Not A Happy Camper
Reference Sgt Ken Bowden's inspection story with H&HS MCAS Kaneohe. I was with SOMS/GEMO 74-77 at Kaneohe and worked out at the GCA Radar in the middle of the airfield. We had a BIG Hawaiian 1st Sgt and I once made the mistake of correcting him in front of the entire Squadron as to the proper method of doing D&C with a M-14. He left the Squadron standing in place while racing back to his office to check the manual. I was right, and he admitted it to the Squadron, but he sure made me aware that he was not a happy camper to have been corrected like that!

Jeff Howards
Sgt, 73-77

How Many Belt Loops
Sgt. Grit,
First of all thanks for the great newsletter, and to all the past, present, and future men and women of this great family called the United States Marine Corps. I was just wondering what questions were asked of other Marines on these boards? Here are a few that I got asked:

1. How many trucks are in the Marine Corps?
2. How many holes are in an MRE cracker?
3. How many belt loops are on your BDU trousers and what do they represent?

There are many more, I am just wondering if anyone else got asked these questions or something like them.

Semper Fi and Thank you,

Stephen R. Hartley
Comm Co. 1st and 3rd FSSG
2512/2515 Wire Dawg
Desert Storm/ Somalia Vet.

Sandals And Sunglasses
Sgt. Grit,
Many thanks for these message boards about Marines. Would you permit me to put to rest the ever on going argument about Parris Island against MCRD San Diego Marines , from an Old Marine. I was assigned to MCRD, San Diego and what a treat. We didn't have DI's, but were assigned Marine mommies to help us get over our home sickness by making cookies for us every day. Our bucket issue was sandals, sun glasses, sun tan oil, and we got to go to the beach every day to find California girls to rub in the sun tan oil. Our mommies would read bed-time stories to us each night around the camp fire, then tuck us all in to sleep. The only truly hard time we had was using battery operated, hand held vacuums to suck up sand fleas to box up and mail to the recruits at Parris Island. We never got the skin head hair cuts, our mommies had professional hair salon experts to fix us up so we would fit in with the regular California "dudes". Our only difficulty was "fitting in" with the Marines at Pendleton after boot camp.

Hopefully, all of us can appreciate my humor, because no one ever asked me where I went to boot camp, never in the six years I served. Nor was I promoted or passed over because of where I got my boot training. That little Pis-ing contest needs to be put to rest. My highest honor was to wear the herring-bone green utilities with the USMC on the pocket, they were almost sacred. And the honor of serving with other Marines. My best to all of you, young and old, we serve each other.
Semper Fidelis Always
Former Sergeant J.N.Wade

Sgt. Grit,
photo of David M. Porteur in H Co. photo of David M. Porteur in H Co. Thanks for putting up the photo of my son "Doc" Hagins on your site. Thought your readers might like to see these photos of my late Uncle David M. Porteur who was with H Co. and landed on Bouganville with the 2nd Raiders in early November 1943.

Mike Hagins
Turlock, CA

Protecting His Life
I was assigned to a MAG in Iwakuni Japan and we had a recall and I went to air operations and saw some pretty big birds sitting there and asked one pilot where he was from and he said Bien Hoa. I was a staff sergeant then so I went to block 8 and told everyone in my outfit [ground support] to pack up and nail the lids on the boxes because this was not a drill. We went to Bien Hoa which had been getting hit pretty bad from the VC massing in Long Bien and hitting the air force base. One night we were lit up like a Christmas tree with dozens of rounds after mortar rounds hitting us. I had already done two tours ,one at Chu Lai in 65-66 and another at Da Nang 68. When the fire lifted I figured on getting a casualty report and some awards for heroism so I went around with my clip board taking notes and went into this one hanger that belonged to the Air Force and I saw two air men laying on top of a Marine and I said to the Airman, "That was very heroic of you two, shielding the Marine as you did protecting his life, that was a great thing you did and I'm writing it up. What's your names?" They said " Hide the Marine h&ll, we were here and he crawled under us. " I said come out Marine, H&ll you are the only one that knows what you are doing".

God bless the Corps.
Msgt Frank H Peace/6079 USMC/FMCR

But Rather
Just read someone's letter to you wondering about brown-vs-black shoes and boots. In Sep. '61 we were issued black boots and black polish, but brown shoes and a bottle of black dye. Also got some of the last of the M-1s, as M-14s took their place sometime in '62.

Hadn't really thought much about this in a looong time-- as we used to say, "...not since Christ was a Corporal..." C'mon-- you remember the DI yelling, not "Heels! Heels! Heels!" but rather, "Sandals! Sandals! Sandals!"

This was at Parris Island-- Platoon 173, 20Sep61 to 07Dec61. Yep-- graduation was on the 20th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor!

Keep up the good work, Grit!
Semper Fi to all!
Frank Fellman
SSgt 1967260 / 2861
DaNang Airbase-- 02May66 to 26May67
LifeSaver 49 (Comm Shop)

Not To His Face
Sgt Grit, once again I'm enjoying another of your fine Newsletters. Sgt Ken Bowden was talking about having served with SGTMAJ Mcguirk, While in KMCAS. I remember the SgtMaj as the 1st Sgt Headquarters Btry 1st Bn 12th Marines. My first impression of the 1stSgt was, where did this guy come from anyway? I had never seen an enlisted person with a swagger stick. I later found out he had also been a MSG and really a great and interesting person to know. Most definitely hard Corps, but really an outstanding SNCO. I think the only people who ever called the SGTMAJ McJerk were those people who didn't know him and certainly not to his face. Our memories are what make us ALWAYS MARINES! D. Womack

Grand Old Man
Sgt Grit your column is great. While I was stationed at MCRD San Diego from 10/ - 11/82 as a DI there were many funny things that happened, but this is one of the BEST. During the series commander's 1st phase inspections of series 2073, 1st Lt J. M. Brown was asking the recruit's a series of question's the basic stuff with S/Sgt R.J. Hall taking notes. Unknown to anyone there was a ambush coming. Lt Brown steps in front of this recruit and after inspection arms begins to ask question's, and when ask him who the grand old man of the Marine Corps was he replies loud and proud " Sir grand old man of the Marine Corps is Drill instructor S/Sgt Hall Sir" needless to say old man Hall went of the rest of us and Lt Brown all made a dash for the barrack's to laugh our butt's off while old man hall was having a field day with this kid. To this day we do not know who the guilty party was. My 20 in the Corps was the BEST of my life. All of the Marine's of today are doing a great job.

Semper Fi
Richard Cox Gysgt Ret 0369 3/4/76 - 3/31/96.

Al, reference your questions, I went through boot camp at MCRD from Aug - Oct 1965, Plt. 323. When we were issued our brown low quarters, we were issued a bottle of black dye at the same time. Our brown rough out boots weren't dyed but we did polish them with black polish after going through the ritual of removing the fuzz as best we could. As a result they were never quite black or brown. I lost my last pair to an evil supply clerk in Vietnam who wanted them more than I did. When I turned in my trusty roughouts that were perfectly broken in for new heels and soles, I got a brand new pair of stateside black issue boots, guaranteed to last at least two weeks in the humidity of Vietnam. The b*stard even had the temerity to wear them in front of me less than a week later with my name still half visible where the boot marking ink had set.

As to the M-60, it has served the American forces admirably throughout the last 40 years or so. This gun was based on a very successful design used by the German Werrmacht during WWII. It has a markedly different sound when firing than the .30 cal. I fired the M-60 quite often throughout my 24 year career. It never let me or my men down. I can understand your misgivings about a new weapons system. When the "new" M-16 arrived to my unit in Vietnam in the early spring of 1967, our experience with misfires, jamming, etc. were very similar to yours. As a result, no one want to give up their M-14 and didn't until they were taken from us forcibly.

Semper Fi,
David J. Carriker
Sgt USMC 1965-1974 - A Profession
SFC USA 1974-1990 - A Job

Made My Day
Platoon 284. 67.Mcrd.San Diego.My m-14 was clean and ready for our plts first inspection. The inspecting officer came to face me, grabbed my rifle, inspected it, threw it back at me, and I got my butt kicked out of inspection. Told to report to the duty hut immediately after inspection of the recurits.In the D.I.hut, a recruit was on the deck ,on his belly with arms and legs spread in the air. What the h&ll did he do I thought, and what the h&ll they got me here for? This don't look good ! The D.I. asked me," What the h&ll is that paint on your rear sight for and why was it not removed"? My reply,"Sir the private was issued the rifle with paint on the rear sight ,Sir ! Get the h&ll out of my duty hut..and git that paint off your weapon! One of the first things said by our one D.Is'. as we were standing on the yellow foot prints, "If the Marine Corps wants you to have it, they will issue it to you..Made my day.
Alden M.D.

My Marines
As an FMF Doc myself, I gotta agree with Doc Connally's comment about our possessive use of the words "My Marines." That's what I always say and those who haven't been there just don't get it...especially squids when they say "But you're Navy!" Maybe once but that was long ago and far away when I learned just enough medical knowledge to be dangerous! It took time with "My Marines" to truly make my skills useful to the Corps! Anyone in a "monkey suit" can do corpsman things in a hospital or clinic environment, it takes an 8404 to get down and "do it in the dirt!"

Semper Fi Marines and Happy Birthday!
"Doc" Wells

"Blessed be the Lord my Rock, Who trains my hands for war and my fingers to fight". Ps 144:1

My Personal Pride
photo of David M. Porteur in H Co. photo of David M. Porteur in H Co. The attached photos are of my 2005 Royal Star that I'd had repainted to reflect not only my personal pride but an inner tribute to those that continue to change the course of history. I've had many complements from all types of bike owners and when I'm out riding I get a lot of Honks and thank you's.

77-83 & 89-90
Cpl Rich Parrish

"Semper Fi and slow it down"
This past weekend my wife and I were returning from some friend's house where we had been visiting for a few days in another state. We were cruising along on the interstate and I have to admit I was not paying much attention to my speed and came over a hill only to encounter a State Trooper on the side of the road. I looked over at my wife and stated that I bet he was going to pull me over and sure enough he did. He walked up to the car, let me know why he was pulling me over and then asked "Who is the Marine"? Obviously he had noted on my tag that I was a Veteran and was in the Corps. I proudly replied that I was and he proceeded to drill me to assure that I was in fact telling the truth and had served in a specific MOS (0331). He then went on to say that he himself served in the Corps in the 80's and that his son was now proudly wearing the Globe and Anchor. With that I promptly gave him and "Semper Fi" and he returned with "Semper Fi and slow it down"; turning on his heels he walked back to his cruiser without another word and pulled away. I will not mention that state we were in for fear of him getting in trouble but we live in the Deep South and I can assure everyone across the country that they love the Marines in Dixie. To the Trooper Marine that gave me a break yesterday, thanks and Semper Fidelis.

As we pulled away, my wife looked at me and said "wow, you got lucky that time" and I replied back to her bluntly, "Honey, luck had nothin' to do with it". It's a Marine thing, she doesn't understand.

Semper Fi,
Mark Smith
Columbus, Mississippi

It Was A Sight To See
Been to several since I was discharged, but never took an active role in planning one. Anyway Well this year I found I had the time and some cash to become involved. I'm not a member of any of the established veterans organizations, was but no more. The last party I attended (last year 2007) had gone down hill from the year before. So decided I wanted to help the promoter. But he was having none of it. So I looked elsewhere at another, Veterans organization. This Marine welcomed the extra help. Well it didn't get planned as a "Gala" event, just a get together, potluck. Hopefully next year we can crank it up a notch.

Our Marine Corps League and such has fallen to the wayside. This being an "AIR FORCE" town, we didn't have a list of Marines interested in joining a party. But now I have a short list. Anyway, Party was planned for 7:00pm, the lead Marine, took down sick over the weekend . I got the word at 6:45pm 11/10/2008. So I took over officiating. Had the Pow, and American flags already out and a small Marine flag. Music machine was programmed, but nobody new how to operate it. Marine daughter had a cd with her. We had about 20 Marines with wives, plus other civilian patrons of the club (VFW) in the room. You should of seen the reaction from all present as the National Anthem unexpectedly started playing. It was a total blur.

Drinks slammed down on the bar top. People slid from the stools and chairs. They ALL turned and faced the flag and rendered the proper respect. It Was a Sight To See!

Well we all dug in and started eating. Food was mostly gone in an hour. Now it was time for the cake ceremony and honoring the oldest and Youngest Marine. I again caught everybody off guard. I started the Marines Hymn with the remote ( I had figured out). Again the whole place was a blur! Even the NON Marines. Course I did have it turned up extra loud. But then the Marines Hymn is VERY distinctive.

Music ended and we introduced the oldest and youngest. Oldest was 90 years and a Veteran of WW II and the youngest was 23 yr. All in all for somewhat impromptu, worked out fine. Looking forward to next years, and maybe a little better.

Sgt of Marines 1968 - 1974 RVN 70-71
Semper Fi and hope all had a Happy Birthday.

But Couldn't Wear Them
Dear Sgt Grit
In response to Cpl Al Crivelli concerning issue of M60's and black shoes. I joined the Marine Corps in august 1962, and went to Plt 156 at MCRDSD. We were issued brown shoes but dyed and polished them black until there were enough black ones in the supply system. We trained with the M14 and M60 but used M1's and BAR's in ITR at Las Pulgas. The rank of L/CPL was just introduced and the E-3 Cpls and E-4 Sgts had to qualify as E-4 Cpls and E-5 Sgts. We had one E-4 Sgt Junior Drill Instructor who was very unhappy because he didn't qualify and would revert to Cpl. He took it out on us. We were issued Ike Jackets but couldn't wear them and they were replaced later. The Chevrons we were issued had the crossed rifles in them but some of the DI's and base personnel were still wearing the old ones. The rest of the uniform changes took place over a matter of years. As to the reliability of the M60 machine Gun and the M14 Rifle, I used both of them on ranges and in Vietnam, 1965-1966 and had no problems with either one. Except you had to be careful not to bend the flash suppressor on the M14. It wouldn't fire straight if you did. I hope this answers his question.

Sgt. Darrell Farnsworth
USMC-2004841 1962-1966 and USMCR 1967-1977

An Old Potato Farm
photo of David M. Porteur in H Co. photo of David M. Porteur in H Co. Hi Sarge,
Just checking in with some info I thought you may deem worthy of passing on. A bunch of old Marine Air-wingers have restored back to flying condition their exact UH34D (tail number YN19), they dug up from the boneyard in Arizona. They have put it back together on an old potato farm on Long Island, New York.

photo of David M. Porteur in H Co. GySgt. Ermey (Full Metal Jacket & Mail Call) was in the neighborhood and decided to pay a visit, here are some pics. My company, All-System Aerospace is made up of a CH46 Nam era mechanic and two of us are MALS 26 Marines from the 92-97, we have helped in this restoration by donating spare parts to get this bird back in the air. Anyway the Gunny was impressed with the efforts of these old Devildogs and we hope to bring them some publicity, as they are only driven by donations. Enjoy.

Semper Fidelis!

We Heard The Tupe, Tupe
Right after Dewey Canyon we received a new platoon commander, Lt. R. We were his first command and I'm sure he wanted to do everything right. I'm almost positive it was operation Apache Snow, of course the Lt. was the last one on the chopper to lead us off. This was only my second operation but after life in the Valley it seemed I had been in Vietnam forever! Our new Lt. with map and compass in hand stood by the ramp ready to lead us into combat. Thank God it was a cold LZ, we touched down and he walked off the chopper? Still looking at his map and compass, a lowly private ran past him and the others followed to set up our section of the perimeter. That lowly private just happened to be me, little did I know I was about to receive a royal a$$ chewing. After all was secure I was singled out and told in no uncertain terms never to run past my commanding officer(putting it lightly). Later on that day our new Lt. called a break, our 10 minutes was almost up when in the distance we heard the tupe, tupe of incoming mortars. Needless to say we all did the Marine Corps disappearing act. I looked up from my small depression in mother earth only to see the new Lt. still looking at his map and compass oblivious of what was about to happen. Thankfully the mortars fell short of the target and all of us were spared. I'm not sure whether he got a heads up from our NCOs or he just figured it out all by himself but later that evening I received a visitor with an apology, it was our new Lt. He turned out to be one of the best officers I ever served under. Wishing you well Lt. R and hope life has treated you well! Semper Fi
W. Whitley, Corporal of Marines!

Did Not Notice This Problem
I went through Boot Camp in 1988, at MCRD San Diego. (Hotel Company, Platoon 2015 SSgt E. Barella, SDI, Sgts. Harris, Allen, and Lukeman JDIs.) During our first day of instruction, the platoon was in the classroo