A wise old Marine, my father-in-law, once passed a poem on to me after finding out about my enlistment.
"Once you enlist, you can't wait to get in.
Once you're in, you can't wait to get out.
Once you're out, you wish you were in."
Those three lines tell it the best, and is the God's honest truth!
Never, Never, Never Forget 9-11
USMC flag amidst rubble at the Pentagon
USMC circa '50s
Semper Fi Dad
I have been reading all the great letters that people have sent in about the times they had in the Corps and other Marines that they served with. This is not exactly the same thing but close.
In January of this year my dad, Jack Mahan, passed away peacefully in his sleep. He was living in a nursing home and was in the advanced stages of Alzheimer's disease. But surprisingly the one thing he did not forget was the fact that he had been a Marine. He had joined the Corps in January of 1944 and served in supply with the 1st Marine Air Wing. He mustered out in August of 1946. He had been to New Guinea, the Philippines and served in China. He was most proud of his China service and the fact that he had been a China Marine.
As most Fathers and Sons we had good and bad times in our relationship. In my senior year in high school I told my mother and dad that I wanted to join the Corps, they were upset. It was 1975 and Anti-Military sentiment was running high. They wanted me to go to college and then go in. They figured after four years of College I would forget about the Military. Well, I had wanted to be a Marine since I was six years old and I saw the Sands of Iwo Jima with John Wayne. I knew that is what I wanted to be. We argued on this until the finally relented and signed my early enlistment papers. The day I left for boot camp my Dad took me to the recruiting station and gave me a piece of advice, "Enjoy the next few years, because before you know it you will be 50". How right he was! I graduated from Parris Island as a PFC and the family came to see the graduation. My dad didn't treat me like a kid anymore. I served my time and traveled to different parts of the world. Before I knew it my enlistment was up and I was getting out. The Corps had trained me as a communicator and to work with computers, so I was employed within a week. Dad always bragged to people that the Marine Corps had trained me well.
My dad and I did not always see eye to eye but there was one thing we had in common, The Corps. On November 10th every year, one of us would call and the greeting would always be "Semper Fi". I will miss that this year as I did last year; dad had lost the ability to speak and could not call. So I made an effort to get over to the nursing home and wished him a Happy 232nd. He gripped my hand and smiled. I made sure he got his honor guard and his flag. Some members of my family did not want this, but I was not going to let down a fellow Marine. I have dad's flag that was presented to me by a Sergeant of H&S 1/25 and it is displayed proudly.
He is gone now and I remember the good times and bad. But I know my dad will always be a Marine, as will I.
Semper Fi Dad
How Much Easier
L/CPL Michael Smith, 3531, USMC 1968 -70 - asked when the M16 was the BOOT CAMP rifle.
I went to San Diego in Nov of 1973 and the only rifle that we worked with was the M16. I was in PLT 2116.
We where told that we were the first series to only use the M16 both on the grinder and the range. The M14 was not in our life.
While in boot camp the one Drill Instructor had to go to the range, it would be the first time that he ever had to qualify with the M16. He came back to report that "he could not believe how much easier the M16 was over the M14".
But, I have always wanted to purchase a M14 for my Man Room, below decks (in the basement).
Peter J Berg
1973 to 1978
3523 a wrecker driver, and yes I do have some Motor T stories.
The Little Korean Girl and The Apple
I took three photos late April 1953, which developed into quite a story. I was with Dog Company 5th Regiment, 1st Marine Division. While we boarded old Japanese built rail cars coupled up to a steam engine, I named the old â€˜Honey bucket Expressâ€™ while we were boarding the rail cars old Korean men worked up and down the tracks, oiling all of the moving parts of the engine. Then opening the packing lids on the rail car wheels, and adding oil, letting them close with a loud clang. A tank filled to provide water for the boilers and the coal hopper was shoved full. When that was over one of them swung a signal lantern and we left on a 4 to 6 hour 55-mile ride to the port of Inchon Korea. Where a convoy of ships laid waiting to take us on a MarLEX = Marine Landing EXersizes. She never attained a top speed of over 40-m.p.h. Shortly after we were underway, we ate rations for chow, previously loaded by the service battalion, along with fruit, and treated potable water in five-gallon cans used to refilled canteens.
Read the rest of Howard Frasier's story...
Cpl Chuck Lindberg Memorial
Dear SGT. GRIT,
Over a period of time I have read many stories regarding the last surviving marine from the first flag raising on iwo jima, Cpl. Chuck Lindberg in your newsletter. For those who are not aware, the Richfield American Legion, Richfield, Minnesota have erected a memorial in his honor on the grounds of the legion in Richfield. It has not been completed as of yet, however I have attached 3 photos of what has been done to date. I have heard that it should be completed sometime next year. Thank you for some very interesting reading each week.
Semper Fi, CPL. Itchmo
You Couldn't Carry
Billy was a WWII veteran of landings on Saipan and Okinawa, where he carried a 30 cal. machine gun. He was awarded numerous medals along with the purple heart. After Japan surrendered Billy was a China Marine until he was discharged early in 1946. Billy was my golfing partner until he passed away two weeks ago at age 83. As an avid golfer Billy shot his age one week before he died. Billy always liked to give me the business about the Old Corps. Billy liked to remind me " Banks, you couldn't carry his ammunition can". I will miss my friend,
SEMPER FI Billy!
Sgt.Stephen G. Banks 1582653 1956/59
Thank you for your very Marine merchandise. Semper Fi.
SGT. DR. George
Sid Gerling was asking about a room for life for a retired Marine at MCRD San Diego. During my time as a Drill Instructor at San Diego from 1971-1974, there was an old guy called "Yaz" (I believe, probably short for his real name) who had a room between the depot chapel and depot headquarters. I was married in the chapel in 1973 and took a number of guests to see Yaz's room which was unbelievably squared away - skivvies folded, socks rolled and coats neatly lined up in an old metal locker and the blankets on his iron bunk pulled tighter than a bull's a$$ at fly time! There was a picture of him and a buddy taken circa WWI although I don't recall if he was in that war or not, and I'm pretty sure that he was not a retiree. But he was as proud as a new Marine on graduation day when showing off his room. I don't know what his job was but believe he did some kind of maintenance around the depot, and I would occasionally see him jogging (very slowly!) wearing old boxing trunks and shadow boxing while running! I had heard that some Commandant told him that he would always have a place to stay but that some Depot CG in later years kicked him out, although I can't verify that.
In response to Tex Lyles comments about the CAC Program, it was changed to CAG (Combined Action Group) and CAP (Combined Action Platoon) because cac was some kind of profanity that was insulting to the Vietnamese. 1st CAG was headquartered at Chu Lai, 2nd CAG at DaNang, one was at Phu Bai and not sure about the last. The squad and company designations were also changed. For example, CAP 1-1-2 (my CAP north of Chu Lai near Tam Ky 69-70) was 1st CAG, 1st Company (formerly A company), 2nd platoon. All CAPs eventually went mobile instead of being in a small, mostly indefensible compound. We would pack up after dark and move to a new location, set up a perimeter and then send out night patrols and ambushes. It was a dangerous game (wasn't it all?) and we suffered many casualties. I still have a statistics sheet from 1969 showing the casualties from all four CAGs: 1952 bad guys KIA and 391 POWs. 111 USMC and 6 USN KIA, 810 USMC and 41 USN WIA. 185 PF KIA and 692 WIA. There were also 82,163 patrols and 66,998 ambushes during that year. Check out the website at capmarine.com. And thanks for your service, Tex, it was a tough and terrifying job.
Hey, Sgt. Grit,
In response to Tex Lyles' question of why they changed the CACs (combined action companies) to CAPs (combined action platoons), I've heard the reason. I was at Khe Sanh in 1967, had the Radio Relay Team with CAC-O in the ville for most of August and the first week of September. ( I rotated home in September, 67, Giap heard I was gone and launched Tet. That's my story.)
I was surprised to read of it being called a CAP later. I was told that they found out, after calling them CACs for a couple of years, that "cac" is Vietnamese slang for your gun. (This is my rifle, this is my gun...). Don't know if it's true, but nary a mention of CACs anywhere. Our PF & RF allies must have had many a laugh, if it's true.
Robert A. Hall
Pictures of my 2003 Suzuki 650s. I just finished it in a Marine Corps theme. I was in the 2nd Marine Air wing 1961 - 1965 Bud Sanborn
Guard Duty 1st Battalion 1965
While walking Guard duty midnight to 2am around the Mess Hall I heard a racket coming from the rear of the mess hall which raised my heart rate considerably I preceded to investigate the commotion thinking it was some puke after some left over chow. Around the rear of the building near the loading dock (I believe the Corps sold the eatable refuse to a pig farmer nearby) someone had knocked over a metal garbage can. What a mess, I'm thinking is this covered by my general orders and am about to call the corporal of the guard when out of the can comes the biggest raccoon I have ever seen in my life with his family. Feet don't fail me now as I proceed to the guard shack and inform the duty. He politely tells me I was lucky it wasn't the gator that knocked over the can, he's bigger. I preformed guard duty in numerous places from Memphis to Chu Lai and I have never been unprepared for the unexpected as I was in PI. Carry on Marines
Bill Carey Cpl of Marines 65-69
Wouldn't Have Changed Anything
On this date 24 years ago I left the comfort of my parents house to go to MCRD San Diego. I can't believe that it has been that long. I can distinctly remember leaving my mother crying in the door way as my dad and I drove off towards my future.
I can remember sitting in the MEPS station thinking about if this was pretty cool, right up until the time the Doc did his little look. I can remember getting on the first plane that I had ever been on and how cool it was. I remember the old man who sat next to me and told me stories of WWII and his job as a Marine in the pacific. I also remember him getting me drinks on the plane ride to San Diego. I can remember the nice Drill Instructor who meet us at the airport and how nice he was, right up until the time the bus door closed. I remember his Dr Jekyll / Mr Hyde transformation as soon as the bus rolled off towards the recruit depot. I remember the initial yelling from the DI's at the depot and the crush of bodies trying to get off the bus to the yellow footprints. I remember the whole USMC boot camp experience and how it changed me from a skinny kid to a lean mean fighting machine.
Though now I'm more of a big ball of a fighting machine I wouldn't have changed anything in my Marine time. Couldn't have met more interesting people and the bonds that I have made.
Now 15 years after my separation from the Corps I prepare to send my son off to the same future. I took my son down to see a USMC graduation ceremony a few weeks ago and all the things that I went through came back to me. I can't wait to fly out to see my son on his graduation.
Semper Fi to all my Marine brothers and sisters.
Sgt of Marines
Marines never get Lost, just Temporarily Disoriented. I say this because it is so true, and I have a story to share to validate this theory. While it was not funny at the time, it is now years later. I was so fortunate to serve with STA 3/7 from about December of 1987 to 1989 then went to 5th Marine Regimental Scouts for the rest of my enlistment right before 3/7 was moved to 29 Palms. We were in Okinawa in May of '88, if my memory is correct, and from there went to several other places, one in particular was Camp Fugi Japan, which is a big Live Fire base and training area on the Mainland right at the base of Mt. Fugiyama. Me and two other Marines [I'm not going to use their names without getting in touch with them but you know who you are.], got a warning order to patrol a certain area stealthfully then link up with the main body 4 days later. We wrote a patrol order, drew chow, PRC-77, batteries for the radio, ammo[blank's],the KY for the radio, ACAX sheets and got Air Request's in all on time. Our S-2 officer at the time really loved us, and I'll never forget his favorite word for describing us as Scout Snipers or Spotters, which was SELF RELIANT, and how so true. It came time to get on a 46 and get dropped off to our insert after a couple of false one's, and the Lt. decided he wanted to go, then he decided he wanted to sit in the jump seat and take over the insert with the pilot and co-pilot, and tell them by looking at map and terrain features where to dump us out at. Well, long story short, we ended up 10 klicks south of our true insert point, tactically left the aircraft, and as I watched the bird leave us in the growing darkness immediately noticed something was wrong and so did my team mates, we were not in the training area any more but didn't know how bad. In order to leave the insert area like the well trained Marines' we crossed a highway then a tall fence then another tall fence, and by this time it was dark and we were in the middle of a parking lot in some vegetation. While we were getting our bearings a Japanese security guard of some sort walked by us unknowingly of our presence, then I heard the roar of a Lion or Tiger or something , then all these other sounds of animals could be heard after our ears cleared from the helo ride. Needless to say, we were very nervous at that point and decided to leave the area quickly, passing a security shack, another two fences and main road all after the open parking lot and security personnel, all without being detected. We were definitely sweating BB's. Finally we got to a wooded area set up a poncho to get under to check our map with compass. Keep in mind this is a few years before the GPS. When we made a decision on about where we were, and beside the fact we had no radio contact with any one to give them a SITREP on our behalf, we were a little nervous on what to do. Over the course of the next two days we skirted by homes, a school, gardens that people were tending without being detected. Then we ran out of water. Being cautious not to drink from any run off streams or creeks in the area, it became apparent we had to do something quickly. We had passed what looked to be a gas station from behind and turned back, volunteering to do it, I dropped my gear, Mountain Ruck, Weapon, etc... and gathered all canteens and I wrote H2O on the palm of my hand in ink, walked out of the brush with a green face and field utilities, and asked the gas station attendant for water. To my surprise he didn't even flinch when he saw me, and just pointed to a water hydrant to fill up canteens. I thanked him properly in Japanese and while I was engaged in refilling a Caucasian man was getting gas for his van. He looked over at me and said how are you doing in English and I responded with, can you show me were we are at on this map? He said, I'll try to. We looked at it and found we were ten to eleven Klicks south from we were supposed to link up with the main body that night. Again , Adapt and Overcome, Self-Reliance all played a big part in the decision we made as a team to ask this guy, a contractor from Canada, a ride up the road and he said sure no problem. So I got him to back up a dirt road close by so we could get all our gear in his van, so no one could see us, and off we went. Come to find out he was a custom house builder from Canada working in the area and was at the right place at the right time. We got to a point where we could get off the van close to some big drainage ditches which were on the map and use them to guide us to a link up site. We thanked the Canadian guy and off we go again watered up and saved a lot of time and energy. We made radio contact when we started and the Lt. got on the horn and took us to an alternate Freq. and then started asking
questions, calmly and keeping his bearing, like, What, Where, How, and that type of thing. We just responded with you don't want to know Sir. When we linked up later, and on time I might add, we got the Lt. to sit down and talk with us privately and we told him and showed him on a map where we were inserted, out of the training area and next to a public zoo. He just told us to keep it to ourselves and an job well done, on keeping our cool and using the resources available under these conditions on completing the mission successfully. I looked at my Teammates and the Lt. said, You weren't detected until you wanted to be, Right? We said, Yes Sir. Later we got a regular debrief from him. All a true story.
Former CPL. John Sims '86-'90
[Bravo Co. 1098 MCRD S.D. Ca., KILO 3/7 2nd Plt. Super Squad
team member runner-up, 1st Mar. Div.1987, STA
3/7, 5th Marine Regt. Scouts]
Here are a few photos of Camp Reasoner in Da Nang as it looks today, or at least a few months ago.
When I get back to Da Nang and can spend another few hours I'll get some more and better. The area is still VN military even though the Marine Corps signage is still obvious.
The Freedom Hill area is a gravel pit.
I tried earlier to send a message but it appears this grunt is too computer ignorant to make it work. Maybe I can do it this way. I really wanted to share with you guys what happened to me one night while I was on Embassy duty in Chile. And like to call it the Night the Lights Went Out in Chile. Back in 1970 I had about a month out of MSG school when President-elect Salvador Allende took over as President of Chile. That night I was on Post 1 and only, 8-12. Around 1900 people began gathering in the Plaza de Armas in front of the Presidential Palace. The Embassy was kinda katty cornered to the Palace, but from the 7th floor I could see everything that was happening. Some canvas covered trucks started rolling in so I naturally became curious. Well, they pulled back the canvas and they were full of wine. They passed out wine for about an hour and a half. At first everyone seemed to be happy and then they became ornery. I later found out that there were Cubans in that crowd that had been allegedly trained by the KGB to instigate riots and disorder. Whether that's the truth or not, I don't know, but I do know that Sgt Ed Cannel and I watched Fidel ride around in that same Plaza shortly thereafter. When that crowd got primed up real good , they lit some torches and came to the embassy. I had called the Marine House hoping someone could help since everyone had gone home. Well, the streets were on fire and the Marines could not make it. Marines nowadays have weapons that I would have trouble finding the safety, but that night I had a 38 cal. pistol that I was not sure whether it would fire or not because the bullets were older than the one issued to Barney Fife. Thank God, we had some sawed off Remington1100s with 00 buck. Mommas oldest boy went for the shotguns, and dug in behind the main desk in the lobby. I ran the elevators up to the 10th floor. We had some CS but didn't get to use it because the Chilean Carabineros used theirs and came to the rescue. Later I seen an article in Time magazine that said the embassy had been gallantly defended by the Marine Security Guard Detachment. You and I now know the truth. Our memories are what make us ALWAYS A MARINE. D. Womack
Ducks Doing Pushups
August of 1948 I was assigned to H & S Co MCRD San Diego. As you pointed, there was a small room in the Administration building, directly across from the then Base Chapel. A retired Marine lived there along with two ducks. This retired Marine had a long and glorious career to be proud of and on occasion would share sea stories to us inexperienced Marines regarding Haiti, China and WW-2. He spent many of those years as a Boxer representing the Corps against any and all. He had a copy of a old "Leatherneck" which had a spread regarding his career as a boxer in the Corps. As you remember his quarters were "donated" to him by the then Commanding general of MCRD. The Sgt had trained his two "Duck" friends to March, About Face and many other commands as well as Push Up. The Sgt was responsible for maintenance of the Generals office on the second deck. And believe me it was as squared away as you describe his own quarters. The attached picture was taken in the Administration building, Christmas 1949.
W B POLK
Sgt of Marines
HI SGT GRIT-
While in Parris Island 1946-platoon 226 --D.I. Sgt Case-how could anyone not recall their D.I.--while on the rifle range doing dry rapid firing I got my thumb caught in the chamber- needless to say that was something to remember--my friends told me to tell the D.I.because my thumb was really looking like it was about to fall off-but I remembered what another recruit had to do when he had lost his locker key and that was to stand on a wash rack and yell out --I am a s h-t from yemassee I just lost my locker key--while everyone was going to chow -so I was not about to have to show my m1 thumb to everyone in the chow line-
PFC Mark Ricaud
The United States Marine Corps is full of legends. We are taught about them in boot camp and in the Fleet. Ask any Marine and they will know the names Chesty Puller, Dan Daily, Carlos Hathcock, Smedly Butler, Oliver North, Hashmark Johnson, Gen. Grey, R. Lee Ermey, and many others. They are Marines that through their actions became examples the Marine Corps felt worthy to teach about. They were examples of leadership, commitment, honor, courage, and sacrifice. These are Marines that will be taught about as long as there are Marines to tell there stories. Then there are Marine Corps legends know only by the men they were in contact with. The Corps is full of these men. I want to talk about my Marine legend, Master Sergeant H. T. Huchi. He recently retired from the Corps on September 5Th 2008 after serving 24 honorable years. I laugh when I think back on the first time I came in contact with this Marine. I had just finished my second deployment with the 24Th MEU. I had just reenlisted on my second tour and I wanted a little break from the demanding life style of an infantry Marine. I was given orders to report to Camp Johnson as an instructor for the Field Med School. I was to teach Navy Corpsman basic infantry skills. Long story short, I was a Sergeant, and the Sgt Maj of the base decided that only E-6 and above will teach at the Field Med School. I was given two choices of duty. First choice was to be the Sgt of the guard for base security. Second choice was to be the S-3 ( training NCO) for the H&S co. I thought that I would go check out the security duty first. I walk in I report to the security chief, and that's when I had my first contact with GySgt Huchi. From the first words out his mouth I immediately knew that there is no way I want to spend my next year working under such and intense boss. Mind you I came here for a break. I told the GySgt that I was going to report to the Captain of the H&S co for the S-3 job, and I knew that he knew why I was leaving his office. As I took the short walk to the company office I couldn't help but be thankful that I had another job to go to. I just left the hard pace and demanding lifestyle of the Infantry and I didn't want this guy looking over my shoulder at every turn. Call it bad luck or call it fate, but not two months later guess who just replaced the company Gunny position. None other than GySgt Huchi. I remember thinking " I hope this guy doesn't remember me wanting to leave his office". He did!
Now before he came, the office was set up with the company Gunny's desk, my desk and a clerks desk in the main entrance. GySgt Huchi was not going to have that. He took the conference room and made it the 1stSgt office, and took the 1stSgt office for himself. The clerk, a young LCpl and I just looked at each other not saying anything. It takes a certain type of man to rearrange the situation to fit what he wants. Over the next couple of months I had the privilege, but at the time seamed like the punishment, to work directly for the Gunny. The thing I most respect about him is that he never let you be anything less than what a Marine was supposed be. He held himself to a high standard, and it made everyone around him tighten there own screws. He is not the kindest person when he talks to you but you know he really cares. He taught me so many times by his example of what responsibility to your self and others meant. There are personality traits that I have carried out with me into my business life that I owe to the Gunny. Not just what he told me, but from what I seen from him. I am not a professional writer, so I hope my intent is coming through. Marines protect America by taking care of each other. Men like MSgt Huchi are through out the Corps. That's why the Corps has lasted 233 years and counting. These are the legend you don't here about in the history books, but they are a legend to someone.
United States Marine Corps 1996-2004
His Last As President
This was the last evening parade at 8th and I for 2008 and President Bush was the guest of honor......his last as President. This took place 2 weeks after our USMC Popasmoke reunion in DC and was part of 3rd BN 1st marines reunion (vietnam) at 8th and I. This was sent to me from my good friend Mark OReilly who put together the reunion for 3/1. Mark was with 3/1 in vietnam 67-68 and is infamous for missing his plane home and blames it on me.......go figure!
For Sid Gerling.......yup, there was an old Marine who lived in the Depot Headquarters Bldg at San Diego back in the 60's......had a room on the north side of the north car passage (tunnel, if you like).......walked by there one day, saw that the door was open, noted the rack made up tight, and the footlocker open with the tray propped up, everything ready for inspection. Rumor was that he had been a champion boxer for the Corps, had taken one too many to the head, but fully capable of keeping at least part of the head shed squared away......odd thing about this was that I learned about his place from my main squeeze at the time, the switchboard operator at the main PX......had heard it before, and had dismissed it as a BS story. Another tale of the time was that there was one old-time civil servant at Depot Maintenance who didn't do much, and they couldn't fire him, as he was the only one who knew where all the steam line tunnels were and wouldn't draw them a map... (depot had a central steam plant at the time...) The switchboard operator and I celebrated our 45th anniversary this year (chaplain married us in the base chapel).......have told her she was the best thing I ever got out of the PX, but money-wise, not a bargain........she gets the credit cards or the car keys now, but never both at the same time.........
Suggest you contact the guys at the Command Museum for more on the Marine who lived in the head shed.......would bet that Lou C. can tell you more... (we were DI's in L Co in the last century....)
Semper Fi.....Dick Dickerson, MCRD SD '62-'66..........
MCAB Barstow And Galoshes
I served long after Sgt Gerling but I heard similar stories to his referencing a retired SNCO living on a USMC facility in the 1990's.
Several Motor T friends related a story that all swore was true. Unfortunately I never got to verify it. The claim was that there was an older Marine who had retired and was called (d*mn...can't remember exactly) Sir John or something like that...living on MCAB Barstow, CA. The jist of the story was he had served in the Korean War, gotten knighted or highly awarded by the British for some action there, served for decades more, and then when he retired he stayed at Barstow and lived in a trailer in the motor pool. When a new motor pool was built he was given a "suite" in it or something like that. Apparently he was prone to walking around in galoshes and boxer shorts and had enough pull to get a base commander he didn't like in trouble.
Never was able to verify this story but I heard it enough times from Motor T and HE guys to wonder if it was true or not.
A Native Of The Country
Dear Sgt. Grit,
I read all the stories of people thanking other Marines and it reminds me of a few stories that happened in my life that stand out greatly. When I first graduated from Parris Island and came home on boot leave I was out visiting friends and family in my service alphas, standing tall and looking good. At one point while out and about I stopped at a small convenience store in town that happened to be ran by an Iraqi refugee who fled the country at the beginning of the war in 2003. His words to me I will never forget he looked at me and said "You a Marine? Fvck yes! Get that scum out of my country! I thank you every day for what you American warriors are doing to clean up my homeland. Thank you!" I was moved...and the main reason I remember this is because when I got out of the store a lady (probably well into her late 40s) came up to me and said "Fvck you, you war monger!" That still strikes me, a native of the country we invaded has more appreciation than some of the American citizens.
Another time a lady who wasn't against the military but was against guns, kept trying to drill into my head by saying over and over again "I'm against guns, guns kill people" I told her "people kill people" the classic line but she wouldn't have anything of it. Finally I said "Listen lady, a gun saved my life." She instantly responded with "What your gun saved you from another gun?" "No.....my gun saved me from a vehicle borne IED, had I not fired on the vehicle he would have slammed into our checkpoint and not only killed me but other Marines as well." She thought she would be a smart a$s and said "Well I'm against bombs too!" and merely made her think when I responded "Ma'am....I'm merely against people who are against me and what I stand for."
Now fast forward 2 years I came home for a little leave and I was traveling through Columbus, Ohio my jeep has a few Marine Corps stickers on it. I stopped at a KFC to get something to eat and this little old lady comes up to me and says "Are you in the military" I kinda smiled because I had just gotten a fresh horseshoe high and tight the day before and when I told her I was a Marine she gave me a big hug and said "Thank you...I am so proud of you!" I was taken back, a person I didn't even know was so proud of me?
I read stories of all the anti military people in this country but from my experiences for every 1 anti military person I have met there are 10 supporters.....I hope they realize....there's more for the military than against them.
Hope you didn't mind my rambling stories....I'll hop off my soapbox now.
Cpl. Gordon Kirby
Sum Of Our Experiences
I went through Parris Island in 1940, Served ashore for a short period, then went to Guantanamo, in the Engineers, "C" Company First Engineer battalion. After many months we were dispatched to the States on our way to Iceland as part of the 5th Marine Brigade Provisional. Our job was to do some Engineering jobs, but primarily we were to hold Iceland from any "take-over" events by the Germans, since we had no weather station that far north. We were there during the Jap bombing of Pearl Harbor.
In Iceland our Company was re-designated as "C" Company First Aviation- Engineer Battalion, 1st MarDiv., becoming the fore- runners of the Sea Bees. During the Spring of '41 we were assigned back home to "Tent City" which was later named Camp Lejeune.
From Lejeune "C" Company, among others, was ordered to Sea and left for the primary advance on Guadalcanal. I was Detached to HQ Company, Lejeune "awaiting Orders." I had applied for Flight Training and graduated, with my Pilot Wings, from Pensacola in 1942, checked out in the F4U Corsair and sent, aboard the USS Hornet, to the Pacific. I accomplished 89 Combat Missions and was given two DFC's and five Air Medals, plus several others... But enough about me:
My oldest son, now a doctor, went through P.I. in 1964, his three sons went through P.I. in 2000, in 3 different Platoons. My daughter married a Marine who went through P.I. in 1962. Oldest son is marrying a lady with 4 children, 2 beautiful daughters, and two sons, both Marines. We have shirts and Caps which identify all eight of us as "Magill's Marauders."
Why do deserve this honor? I don't know, but each of us recognizes the worth of Marines, and, since all of us are the sum of our experiences, all Marines have shared experience which have caused us to be who we are.
God Bless the USA and the USMC
Wm. H. "Bill" Magill, Phd.
I watched the entire mini-series only to see if this depiction of our Corps would be in any way realistic compared to that classic piece of sh!t "Jarhead". Once again, how sadly I was disappointed. A Corpsman openly questioning the competency of his C.O.? Another officer openly ridiculed and threatened by his subordinate? 1st Recon was depicted as a dysfunctional band of traveling clowns rather than the hard-chargers I knew them to be when I served. I'm fairly certain I speak for most Marines when I say never, and I mean NEVER would any of that be tolerated in any unit I ever served in. What really p!sses me off is having to answer the "Is that what the Marines were really like?" questions. Sadly, we have once again been served up yet another sh!t sandwich masquerading as reality. If you haven't seen it, count your blessings that you did something more productive with your time.
Craig W. Anderson
Lance Corporal of Marines 0311/8151
88-90 "A" Co. Marine Barracks, Subic Bay, Philippines
90-92 "Lightning Lima" Co. 3/9 1st MARDIV
Hey Sgt. I would like to share a story about one of Platoon 266 worst days in Boot Camp! It all started one morning about two weeks into our training, at the PT field. There was one other platoon there with more weeks of training then us. You could tell by their tan. Not all pal like our platoon. I notice our SDI was talking with the DI in charge of the other platoon. After PT and running the course. We got back in formation and ready to jog back to our barracks. That is when our DI gave us the order " Fall out in a single line!" Then he told us that the DI of the other platoon bet him a stake dinner that his platoon could whip ours in a tug of war! We got all fired up and shouted "SIR! No way SIR!. Well, I guess you know what happen. That platoon with more weeks of training and more muscle whipped our butts! They dragged us half way across that field! I can't use the words our Senior Drill Instructor called us as he throw his Campaign cover on the deck.
"Okay girls lets get back in formation and get back to the barrack.'' We knew we were gonna catch h&ll when we got back! We got one of our worst chewing outs! Now the fun starts! We were ordered to hit the showers, and the urinals were off limits! And when we came out of the showers, we were ordered to keep our towels around us ! With just a towel and shower shoes, we were marched to the squad bay of the platoon that win the tug a war. Lucky for us, their squad bay was in the same barracks. We then were ordered to shout in a high voice, wee wee wee we are girls wee wee wee we are girls! Well, that platoon got a big kick out of it! So we marched around their squad bay two or three times then back to our squad bay. We were then ordered to get into our utility's. And the urinals were off limits till further notice! You can bet! We never lost another field meet!
Platoon 266 / 2nd. Battalion
C Company / Parris Island SC
Junk On The Bunk
I recently replied to Leatherneck Magazine's ,"Leatherneck Lingo" page which is a glossary of Marine terms and invites additions to the list. I noticed that Junk on The Bunk inspections was not in included on the list. I described the purpose and elements of this inspection. They responded stating consideration would be given to include this in the glossary, however only a few Marines would remember Junk on The Bunk inspections.?? If you ever stood one especially during an IG inspection you would remember. Any one got JOB stories?
I feel readers of Sgt. Grit "get it" when it comes to the real essence of being a MARINE. Keep up the good work!
Bob Lake LCPL 1957-1960
As stated before in a letter to Sgt. Grit, I was stationed at Parris Island from Sept. '73 to Jan. '76 in the Depot Armory. I was a small arms repairman, (MOS 2111). As armorers, we were responsible for the maintenance and the issue of weapons to recruits and being the armorer on the rifle and pistol ranges during range fire. In regards to Mike Riley's letter stating he was told by his D.I.'s that his was the first series to train with the M-16 exclusively. I believe he is correct in his recollection. I remember the transition from the M-14 to the M-16 and the time frame seems right. But I just can't get the time frame down of where he would have been issued his weapon, on Main side, near 2nd Battalion, or out at Weapons Battalion, where the armory was underneath the Weapons Battalion Chow Hall. The move of the Armory from Main side to Weapons Battalion was around that time also. Anyways, thank you for your newsletter. May " God Bless " all of our brothers and sisters still in harms way and "Thank You" to all of them, past and present, for their service.
H & S Battalion
Sgt.Grit' is there anyone out there that were schooled for printing at the Pentagon Bldg ? i was there in May- Nov. 1952. Also did anyone go to S.F. CA depot of supplies @ 100 Harrison St.? When was it closed down? I would really like to hear about your tour there.
Many thanks to PFC Schottmiller, Thomas A, CLR-37 3rdMLG LS Co. for his prose titled "What I Am". Your words put me right back into 1967 and '68 in Chu Lai. We Marine brothers have all felt the things of which you spoke. Well said my friend.
Sgt. Turner VMFA-314 Black Knights
Re Sid C Cerlings question about a retired Marine living on base at MCRD San Diego.
Yes, that is not scuttlebutt. I don't know the Marine's name but he lived in a room below the main building at the end of the grinder. The story you heard is the same one told to me. I saw him once or twice but never spoke to him.
Sgt. G. M. Blair
Drill Instructor MCRD San Diego
I enjoy your letter and look forward to hearing from all Marines. I am honored to have been accepted and to have served in the finest fighting organization the world has ever known. God Bless all Marines where ever they are. I am proud to be one of you.
Sgt. Ray Hartmayer 1955-1963
Had a tripod that one could SIT behind and fire. The ONLY tripods seen in Korea had the tripods at ground level. Don't know when and where the, 'sit-behind' was used.
C-1-1, Korea, 51-52
Chesty's last regimental command
If you could please pass this on to J.D. Centofanti who wrote about cruises on the Boxer and Cambria Both ships were still doing well in the late 1960s. I did a Caribbean Cruise on the USS Boxer with BLT 3/6 in 1968 and a Mediterranean Cruise on the USS Cambria with BLT 3/6 in 1969. The Cambria was involved in a ship to ship collision on the Med cruise but was repaired nicely while we enjoyed 1 month extra liberty on Malta.
Man In The Doorway! (Youtube Video)
I was proud to have served in the Corps and did a tour in nam. my son served in the Corps and was in desert storm. he also served in operation Iraqi freedom with our local national guard unit. im proud of his service and to all who have/are serving our great nation. God bless all.
Semper FI. Sgt. E.M. Hovious, 66-68
I enjoy your News Letters. I am a Marine Vet. I served in the battles at the following Islands, Roi Namour, Siapan, Tinian, and bloody Iwo Jima with the 4th Marine Division. I pray for all the military that are in the war zone to have a safe return home as I had many years ago. My heart felt thanks to all of them.
old Marine vet,
A few years ago, I put this up (website) and just thought I'd mention it. Took me quite awhile to copy it from the original, which I still have...
(Retired) Professional Firefighter and amateur everything else I try to do...
This is Charles Struble and I approve this email...
Alexander Joesph Marchese, PFC. C-1-1
Guarding the gates for us!
57 years, June 9, 1951, KIA and
We Remember, ALWAYS
Gene Gustad - Poppa Gene
Men like Pappa Gene is why there is a Marine Corps. Pappa Gene is now guarding the pearly gates with every other Marine. Pappa Gene was a friend and mentor to many on the Sgt Grit Bulletin Board for many, many years. Several years ago he returned to Iwo Jima and got a flag raised there. The rest of the story about Pappa Gene and the flag can be seen below. As well as other adventures he had.
Photo of Pappa Gene
Flag Raising and Lowering Ceremonies
God Bless Pappa Gene
Got Freedom? Compliment of the United States Marine Corps
Stop Global Whining
Welcome Home Marine!