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St. Patrick's Day 2009 Special t-shirts, long sleeved shirts, sweatshirts, and hoodies. I served in the Corps from '67 until EAOS in July '71, including 3 tours across the pond.

I continue to be proud of the fact that I am a Marine. My son grew up with that pride and joined the Marines on the Delayed Entry Program and then graduated Boot Camp on Halloween of this year. He did a stint as a Recruiter's Assistant (RA) after Boot Camp then back for SOI and off the his School.
He came home for Christmas, again as a RA. Him and a group of seven others were at the Mall talking with prospects when this man came up and told them he was in the Marines and got out in '87. He then took them to a sunglass store and told them all to pick out a pair of sunglasses as his way of thanking them for their service. His total bill came to over $1,000 and he said that was a small price to pay to see that "his" Corps was in good hands. He never told them his full name but my son told me his last name was Davis. Mr. Davis if you read this let me say that it sounds like "my" Corps was in pretty good hands while you were in.

Howard Spaulding
SGT USMC July 1967 - July 1971

Clearance Items I don't know if this is of any interest to you or not. My husband served in the Marine Corps during WWII in the South Pacific and also served in the States during Korea. During Korea he was in chiropractic school in Missouri and was called back into the Marines. After Korea he went back to school and finished and became a very good chiropractor.

At age 85 he is now in a nursing home with Parkinson disease, dementia and had broken his hip back in July 2008 so cannot walk on his own. His room is decorated with anything I could find about Marines. It is true, "Once a Marine, Always a Marine". I'm very proud of his service and he is very proud to be a Marine.

"Be nice, for everyone is fighting some type of Battle" Freda L. Dilks

Marine making 250-mile trek to support troops

Near Columbus - There are quicker ways to travel from Rhinelander to Madison. Easier ways, too.

But Mike Osnoe is not interested in making the 250-mile journey quickly or easily. He's traveling that distance - from the tip of Wisconsin's index finger to the wrist - to make a point.

Read the rest of the article...

"Marines I see as two breeds, Rottweilers or Dobermans, because Marines come in two varieties, big and mean, or skinny and mean. They're aggressive on the attack and tenacious on defense. They've got really short hair and they always go for the throat."

RAdm. "Jay" R. Stark, USN; 10 November 1995

Another Proud Grandma!
Just had to send in a couple pictures of my Grandson because I am so proud of him along with all the other Marine Grandma’s. Once your Grandson is in the Marines your life completely changes and you are part of a wonderful family of Marines. It is wonderful to be able to proudly wave the American Flag and also have a banner on my porch telling everyone he is a Marine and it will stay there until he comes home. The flag will be there forever and I am so proud of him and all the other fine young men and women who are courageous enough to stand for what our Country was founded upon. He is a tribute to the Marine Corps and once you are part of this wonderful Marine family you will also share in the great heritage of our country. He was stationed in San Diego for Boot Camp. He is a part of 3/1 India Company, Wpns. Plt.

picture of David on his first deployment to Iraq aboard the USS Denver Platoon on top of a hill made to fallen Marines (he is the one squatted down by the cross on the left side) I have attached a picture of his Platoon on top of a hill made to fallen Marines (he is the one squatted down by the cross on the left side) and also a picture of David on his first deployment to Iraq aboard the USS Denver. David is a native of Denver, Colorado and we thought it was neat for him to be aboard the USS Denver.

David will be home sometime in January, again, and we can all hardly wait to see him. We all prepare for weeks for him to be home again.

- Proud Grandma of a Marine,
Cheryl Orrino

GSgt George Lanes and Sgt Rick Holton presenting folded US Flag at Disney World on December 12th 2008 Dear Sgt Grit...

Just wanted to share a picture of GySgt George Lanes and Sgt Rick Holton USMC both Vietnam Vets...We participated in the Flag ceremony at Disney World on 12 December 2008...It was indeed an honor and a pleasure as we marched in a parade and were given a Certificate and a Disney pin...that can only be earned as Vet of the Day...(not available for sale)

Thanks...former Sergeant Rick Holton

Kent Yates newest grandbaby lying next on Marine blanket next Digital Camo bear I sent you one pic of my newest grandbaby ( Thanksgiving Day ) but I didn't think to send you this one with both the blanket and the bear.
Kent M Yates

Support our troops.
Freedom isn't free !

"A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore."
Yogi Berra

Clay Anderson and Mother prior to Commissioning Ceremony Commissioning Ceremony Aboard USS Midway, 12/20/08

On December 20, 2008, my family and I was fortunate enough to witness the commissioning of our son SSgt. Clayton Anderson to Second Lieutenant, aboard the USS Midway, San Diego, CA. (Pictured above is our son and his mother prior to the commissioning ceremony.) Second Lieutenant Anderson's Marine Corps service started on Jan. 14, 2002 at Parris Island, SC and soon after on to the School of Infantry (SOI).

He was then assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton California. During his first 4 year enlistment his Unit was deployed 3 separate times to Iraq. In March of 2003, 1/5 was spearheading the initial invasion of Iraq and later into Baghdad. In Dec. of 03 and into 04, Cpl. Anderson served as squad leader during the battle of Fallujah, and in 2005, Sgt. Anderson became part of the 1/5 Scout/Snipers and deployed to the city of Ramadi. 2nd Lt. Anderson was then accepted into the MECEP program, and graduated from California State University, San Marcos with a B.A. in Communications in Dec. of 2008. Following commissioning, 2nd Lt. Anderson will be attending The Basic School in Quantico, Virginia. His personal decorations include the Purple Heart, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Navy Commendation Medal w/Combat 'V', Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal w/Bronze Star, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and Iraqi Campaign Medal.

The newly commissioned officers who were pinned at this ceremony included five other prior service Marines, and eleven others, made up of ensigns in the Navy and Second Lieutenants in the Army and Air Force. It was truly a joyous occasion for the hundreds of parents, friends, and guest who attended.

Semper Fi, J. T. Anderson, Cpl. USMC, ,71-,73.

Sgt Grit, you have got it exactly right, I can remember doing the same thing at Parris Island in the summer of 1959, being able to do things with the help of my DI things I thought I couldn't do, but did them. We need the same motivation for our society today, if we had that we could accomplish great things in this country again, if we continue to depend on our government to do everything for us we will fail as a society.

George Uppling

Kilroy Was Here

How many of us have sent his written but do not know its origins? James J. Kilroy lived in Boston, MA, where he was a city councilor and during World War II he worked at the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy.

At the shipyard, Kilroy checked and recorded the number of rivets driven by workers who were paid based on the number of rivets placed. Once Kilroy counted a block of rivets, he would use a chalk chock mark and in crayoned letters write, "Kilroy was here."

Before a ship launched it was usually painted, which would cover up Kilroy's marks. However during the war ships were being build and sent out too fast to paint them. Great numbers of servicemen were transported on these outgoing ships and saw Kilroy's signature mark.

Playing on Mr. Kilroy's words, servicemen began placing "Kilroy was here" signs wherever US Forces landed. The picture of a man peeking over a fence was added along the way.

Now, as Paul Harvey would say, "You know the rest of the story!"

In light of the present financial crisis, it's interesting to read what Thomas Jefferson said in 1802:

"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers 'conquered."

Hi Sgt. Grit
I read with great interest the article from Doc. Phillip Stern concerning Lt.Puller. The Lt. was my son's Lt. in Nam and was with him when he was injured by mortar fire to his head. My son was Pfc. John Whitney and although everyone thought John had died he and Lt. Puller met up again in the Phila. Naval Hospital. Lt Puller was quite shocked to see John had survived. John picked the Lt. up in the leg room one day and as I stated the Lt. was in utter disbelief. John passed away in Aug. '70 and I am still his proud Mom Ellie PMM of L/Cpl. John H. Whitney

Well Marines, in august 1969 i entered MCRD and ended up with mike 3/5 in viet nam six months later. 0311 was my specialty, and i made it. in the year 2006 i arrived in Iraq, training the Iraqi police after retiring from the Chicago police dept with 32 years service. i was attached to a Marine lav company in rawa. i just returned here for another civilian contractor supporting the mission. and my point? my point is i have had the honor and pleasure of serving with the finest young Americans we have to offer, these young men and women are the cream of the crop and you know what? i want the whole country to know. the cream of the crop is here. s/f jeremy michael farrell

"Come on, you sons of b!tches! Do you want to live forever?" GySgt. Daniel J. "Dan" Daly, USMC
near Lucy-`le-Bocage as he led the 5th Marines' attack into Belleau Wood, 6 June 1918

Thank you so much for your web site and your store and your service to our country, i have gotten a lot of items from your web site, for our Marine, when he was in Okinawa japan, and other duty stations, when he got married we got him and his wife wedding items from your store.i even got him a shirt and coin on all the ranks he has reached, he went from Private to Sergeant in his 4 years active duty, after his 4 years active duty, he has been inactive for 1 1/2 years now , and has been working at our local post office, as a mail carrier. he was ordered to show up at Kansas City MO, in Oct, for consideration for recall to active duty.

he went they told the Marines there, they need 387 out of the 2000 that were there, that they would have to check on what rank, MOS, that the Marines needed and i guess he was one of the lucky ones, or one of the Marines they needed, I know it cant always be someone else's Marine.

he received his orders Dec 19th 2008, for active duty for 12 to 15 mos, he will be heading back to camp Pendleton in may of 2009 for retraining/ refresher training and then to operation Iraq freedom. as a mother, i have worried, prayed, and cried, trying to understand, The Marines calling our Marine back to active duty. but as our son/Marine , helped me understand a bit better by his loyalties to the Corps. he said if they need me it is my duty to go , I'm Still a Marine. as you may remember my Marine, he is the one who wrote the poem, If I Ever Go To War. it was hard reading the poem, when he was fresh out of boot camp, but it is even bitter sweet, reading it now, knowing he really will be going to War/Iraq.

he was one of the few, that during his active duty that he didn't go to Iraq, but he has been on deployments, floats and oversea tours, and has been 16 mile south of the Iraq boarder.2 times. and has been all over this great world. I'm blessed to have a son that is a Marine, and he is really showing that Once a Marine always a Marine. really is true.

Dianna Williams

Sgt Grit,

It is with a heavy heart that I must relay the untimely death of one of our own. Sgt. Andrew"AJ" Stocks. Sgt. Stocks was killed in an automobile accident on Sept. 9, 2008. He was a Trooper with the North Carolina Highway Patrol. He was responding to an automobile accident and lost control of his cruiser on a rain slicked road and he crashed into a garbage truck. He died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. Upon getting out of the Marine Corps Sgt. Stocks joined the Army Reserve where he was deployed twice. Once to Afghanistan and once to Iraq. He was home exactly one year to the day when he died.

AJ spent his whole adult life helping people. He was a volunteer firefighter in his younger years. he was also a Paramedic later on, then a Marine(ARFF), soldier and finally a Highway Patrolman.

He was 43 at the time of his passing and he leaves behind a wife and daughter. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Timothy Reichenbach CPL 2nd MAW
MAG 14 MABS 14
1980 - 1986

"I don't make jokes I just watch the government and report the facts."
Will Rogers

A Marine’s Last Will and Testament
Former SSgt Robert A. Hall

I, Robert, an old Mud Marine, being of sound mind, do hereby create this Marine Codicil to my Last Will and Testament, through which I bequeathed all my worldly goods and possessions to those beloved of me in life. This Marine Codicil is to pass on the intangible gifts I received as a Marine, which were beyond the price men put upon worldly possessions.

I have attested to being of "Sound Mind." That may be challenged by those who think that all Marines are crazy. We have enjoyed and magnified that reputation, of course, to bemuse our friends and intimidate our enemies. As a Navy Psychologist once told me, "The trouble with treating Marines is that if you cure them, they can’t be Marines!" But ours are really the soundest of minds, for the life of our free society depends on warriors. If you do away with us, our civilization commits suicide, surely the ultimate mark of insanity. If there comes a day when is no longer a Marine Corps, the American Idea will die soon after.

To all my Marine brothers and sisters, now and in generations to come, I leave the legacy of our Corps, stretching back to November 10, 1775. It was bequeathed to me by generations of Marines who served before me, who "grew gray in war," and who gave me those priceless traditions "such as regiments hand down forever." I have tried in my small way to add to its strength and burnish its luster. Go you and do the same.

To those Marines I served with, I leave my rich stock of Sea Stories, a few of which are even true, that you may embellish them and pass them on to other Marines, to awed members of our sister services and, sanitized for language, to civilians. I also leave you the gratitude of a brother, for you stood by me, cared for my in trouble, and inspired me with your deeds. The poet Alan Seegar, who was KIA in France on July 4, 1916, said it best, "Comrades, you cannot think how thin and blue, look the leftovers of mankind that rest, now that the cream has been skimmed off in you."

To my Marine DIs, I leave a debt unpaid. The discipline and pride you instilled in me guided me long after I had to shed the uniform for the last time. Thanks to what you did in a few short months, I have had a great life. I’ve tried to make you proud of me every day, and to pay a bit on that debt through my service to my country and my fellow Marines, both in the Corps and in civilian life afterwards.

To my family I leave a few old photos, a few mementos and a service to country in which I hope you take pride as I have. However they serve, I hope future generations of our family find something larger than self to serve, worthy of their time and commitment. There is no happiness in serving the ever-greedy god of self, the root of our world’s troubles.

To our nation’s elected leaders, I leave the Core Values of our Corps: Honor, Courage, Commitment. Imagine if candidates for public office adopted our values as a campaign platform. Imagine candidates with the Honor to tell people the truth and to not trade their support on issues for campaign contributions or personal perks. Imagine elected officials with the Courage to do what was right for the next generation, rather than what was popular to win cheap votes for the next election? Imagine office holders with the Commitment to serve selflessly, live austerely, and do the right regardless of personal cost?

And to the Republic, the country I love, I leave my service. It was little enough payment on the debt every American owes her for the freedoms we have, for the life we live, and for the opportunities we and our loved ones have received in this land. When people thank me for my service, I say, "It was a privilege to wear the uniform of the Republic, and to earn the title Marine."

I must go now, but I leave my country a new generation of Marines, standing watch out on the lines, putting their bone and blood between the barbarians and our free people, the few guarding the many with their lives. God grant it may ever be so.

"At his funeral we had 6 Marines carry him to his final resting place. Those Marines and every Marine I run in to make me proud to be an American. Marine no greater friend. Again Thank YOU"

Lori Hoogstad a proud daughter of a Marine

The President Comforts a Marine Mom
This Thursday morn, Julie McPhillips will awake to the great hope that is Christmas Day. And amid her joy for the Savior born of woman in a Bethlehem stable, she will offer two prayers...
Read the article

"They told (us) to open up the Embassy, or "we'll blow you away." And then they looked up and saw the Marines on the roof with these really big guns, and they said in Somali, "Igaralli ahow," which means "Excuse me, I didn't mean it, my mistake"." Karen Aquilar, in the U.S. Embassy; Mogadishu, Somalia, 1991

Sgt Grit,

I'm an old former Marine whose father was also a Marine. My dad served in Korea at the Chosen Reservoir and many other locations. My son just rotated off of deployment in Iraq and is back home. And I'm currently serving in Iraq as a chaplain in the Army National Guard. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I appreciated your message and that I also appreciate getting the newsletter here in a Iraq. It's great to read the stories of other Marines and remember my own time in the Corps. Yeah, I'm old, I wear a different uniform now, and I certainly don't carry a weapon any more, but deep down I still am and always will be a United States Marine.

Jesse Vega
Chaplain (Captain)
Army National Guard
Former SGT, USMC

John P. Pryor at work in the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania trauma center last year. Could you all please pray for the repose of Dr. John "JP" Pryor's soul. On Christmas Eve, my Jim called me to let me know that after he got off work, he and his paramedic would be stopping off at a party at another "PENNStar person's home". When he got home earlier than I thought he would, he told me that Jim McCans (a PENNStar paramedic who went to Iraq in 2007 as a "private contractor" w/his "cadaver dog" looking for missing soldiers killed by terrorists...if you saw the reports in 12/2007 of mass graves found...that was Jim and Stache his dog...they were recently honored by the ASPCA as dog of the year...) had come in with the news that JP had died that morning...Christmas Iraq. Portrait John P. Pryor He was supposed to have been making a Christmas morning phone call to his wife and kids...but the call never came. He died in a mortar attack, in Mosel, having just gotten back from Christmas morning mass. Jim remembers JP as a "brilliant trauma surgeon who would grill the flight crews on the patient's condition from the start of the accident scene and the person's condition and care through out the flight"...and if you knew he was on, you'd better be on you toes... He was a kind and caring individual who, during his first deployment to Iraq, learned Farsi so he could communicate with the Iraqi people...especially the he could earn their trust and facilitate their recovery... PENNStar...and everyone at Penn...will miss JP greatly!

-Christine Armstrong, wife of a Marine no longer on active duty who now serves as a CDR w/the Navy Nurse Corps taking care of his BELOVED MARINES

"Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."
-Frederic Bastiat, French Economist (1801-1850)

Thank you for giving us a way to express our commitment to God, Country, and Honor. Whenever I wear one of the shirts or hats I have bought, I always meet other Marines, many who stop and want to talk. Some just reach out to shake my hand. My wife always asks 'do you know him?' and my answer is no but he is my brother. I served in peace time and never had much conflict but I am proud of the time I spent.
Semper Fi Sgt Grit! Semper Fi

Recently my youngest son joined the Marines and is at MCRD San Diego. He will graduate on the 9th Jan. '09. Before I go on, it should be noted that my son played tackle football since the 5th grade and in his Senior year helped his team win there division championship. He also wrestled the same number of years. So needless to say he is physically strong. Now to the point. From the 1st letter we got he said he was bored. Can you believe it. And as the weeks went by he is still bored. However there was something changing in his letters. His way of thinking, he is becoming mentally strong. Even his hand writing, neater, clearer and more concise. He is becoming a better man and for that I must thank the Corps. My wife and I, my parents and best friends are all going to family day and graduation and I can't wait. I can not say in words how proud I am of my son and indeed all of the recruits of Kilo Co. Plt 3222. God bless the U.S. Marines, God bless America and God bless all our men and women fighting around the world.

Proud dad and mom. U.S. Army Inf. vet. 75-82

"Gone to Florida to fight the Indians. Will be back when the war is over."
Colonel Commandant Archibald Henderson, USMC in a note pinned to his office door, 1836

Sgt. Grit:

Thank you for providing so many interesting experiences of Marines and their families. Before my WW II Marine husband of almost 60 years passed away on June 19, 2008, he always looked forward to the newsletters each week. My purpose in relating the following information is to inquire if there are any WW II Marines still alive from the "old Corps" who were with him in the South Pacific during 1944-45.

After basic training at Parris Island in the summer of 1944, advanced training at Camp LeJeune and Camp Pendleton, he, along with 11,000 other Marines plus navy crew, he set sail from San Diego on a troop carrier, the U. S. S. O. H. ERNST to the Equator and war zone WW II enroute to "set the Rising Sun." Two days before Christmas, December 23, 1944, they crossed the International Date Line at which time the renowned Shellback initiation was held. His Shellback Certificate still hangs proudly on the wall of our home as a memento forever reminding him of the wild events associated with the Shellback initiation. This remained his most memorable Christmas.

They sailed on to Guadalcanal as replacement troops for the battle-weary Marines who had been fighting for months. Afterward they trekked across the Solomon Islands to Bougainville, island-hopped through other smaller islands securing them along the way, and finally headed toward Okinawa, the last Japanese stronghold before reaching the mainland.

On April 1, 1945 (Easter Sunday and ironically April Fool's Day) he was among the 90,000 Marines who went ashore on the beaches of Okinawa in landing crafts after the big guns from the naval vessels had pounded the coast for several days in preparation for the massive invasion. His 1st Marine Division fought across the rugged island throwing grenades and "womb bombs" into caves where Japanese soldiers were hiding. The famous Sugar Loaf Hill changed hands 17 times before the Stars and Stripes were raised. Okinawa proved to be one of the costliest in U. S. casualties (48,000 with 12,000 KIA ), twice the number of Iwo Jima casualties.

He had to be carried back to a tent set up as an emergency field hospital on the nearby island of Banika in the Russell Islands for emergency surgery. Then he waited two weeks for an old cargo vessel converted into a hospital ship, the U. S. S. ZAURAK , for transport back to the naval hospital at Pearl Harbor. He was still in the hospital in Hawaii when WW II ended on September 2, 1945.

Along with many other Marines, he returned to the U. S. on the cruise ship converted into a hospital ship, the U. S. S. MATSONIAN LUXURY LINER, where bunks were stacked five high in what had once been the swimming pool. Many of these Marines were sent to the Marine Barracks Hospital, Klamath Falls, Oregon, which had been established for Marines suffering from combat fatigue, tropical diseases, and other injuries. Some of these Marines recovered and went back to duty; others were discharged. After being declared "unfit for duty," my husband was discharged. He did maintain some contact with others who were stationed at Klamath Falls and attended several Marine reunions there prior to his death.

I would like to hear from anyone who was with him on the voyage to Guadalcanal, through the Solomon Islands, during the invasion of Okinawa, at the field hospital on the island of Banika, the hospital in Hawaii, or who returned with him to the U. S. on the MATSONIAN LUXURY LINER,

He was a true example of "Once a Marine, always a Marine" and was serving as chaplain of the Kenny Black MCL Det. 1166 in Athens, AL at the time of his death. At the end of his funeral service on June 22, 2008, a baritone soloist sang the "Marines Hymn," and he was laid to rest in a Marine Corps coffin with his beloved USMC Honor Guard performing the final rites at the grave. Another Marine has reported for guard duty at the Gates of Heaven.

Semper Fi,

Julia C. Smith
Wife of WW II Marine John S. Smith
Email: JSELBYSMITH24 [at]

"The true measure of a man is not where he stands in times of peace and comfort, but where he stands in times of conflict and controversy."

Dear Sgt. Grit,
Today I took a bus tour to the Rose Parade. I wore a white ball hat that had the initials of Uncle Sams Misguided Children on it. As I boarded the bus the tour guide, an older woman said Semper Fi, I am a widow of a Marine. Later during the ride, she stopped at my seat and told me the following story.

After her husband died she put her house up for sale and it sold faster than she thought. She had to move out and didn't have any help, so she went to MCRD San Diego and contacted the SgtMaj of 1st Recruit Bn. The next morning 5 Marines and a Sgt. showed up , packed her stuff and moved her. Unpacked and had her new place ready.

Marines helping Marines.
My mother was a Marine wife for about 28 years and she still has a P-38 on her key ring.
T. Sam Wilkins 1689605
H&HS, MCAS Beaufort

"It still holds true that man is most uniquely human when he turns obstacles into opportunities."
Eric Hoffer

to all my brothers. cpl burk 24th Marines 84 to 89. just a quick note to let everyone know the tradition is being carried on by my 19 year old son, he will be standing on the yellow foot steps on january 20th. and now i know how my father felt when i told him i was going the Corps. he has been asking a lot of questions about boot camp. which is bringing back a lot of memories. all good ones. joining the Corps was the smartest and best thing i have ever done in my entire life. thanks to the Corps i became a squared away Marine then i took all i learned and still apply it to my civilian life. i am very excited for my son. i really wish i could be a fly on the wall that first night ha ha ha. i know in my heart he will become an excellent Marine. oohhrahh. good luck to all the boys going into the Corps. semper fi to all Marines past and present. and cant forget Good Night Chesty Where Ever You Are!

My son, Jeremy was about to go to Iraq had come home on leave and was in a serious car accident. He was very critical for a while but is making progress. He had a broken pelvis, breaks on both sides of his jaws and burns on 40% of his body. He lost tips on some of his fingers and part of his left ear. I believe that his Marine Corps training helped in his survival. The USMC has been very supportive during this mother's difficult time and I wanted to let all Marines know this. Keep him in your prayers and thank you all for your service to our country.
Susan Willis

I had a good time in Christmas, because my Marine's son is in my house with all my family.
I wish you happy new year and all MARINE CORPS.

Thanks and GOD BLESS you and our troops too


"Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve."
Benjamin Franklin

Dear Sgt. Grit,
My husband finished his MOS training in Twentynine Palms on December 3rd and reported back to his duty station in Cherry Point on December 9th. I am in Texas so we got to spend a few days together while he was on his way back to NC. He flew from Amarillo to Raleigh and it is his flight that I want to tell you about. He flew Southwest airlines and one of the flight attendants noticed his unmistakable Marine haircut and asked if he was in the military. He told her he was a Marine and she asked for his name and rank and thanked him for his service.

Then she got on the speaker and made an announcement that they had a very special passenger on board and told everybody who he was and what he did. The entire plane applauded for him. He was a little embarrassed by all the attention but, thought that was very sweet of her. That was just the beginning it turned out. She later made another announcement that she was going to go around and take up a collection for him. He refused of course, explaining that he volunteered to serve and couldn’t accept the money. She insisted and did it anyway. She passed around a bag and ended up collecting a little over a hundred dollars. So he asked her to thank everybody for him and that he would pass the donation along to Toys for Tots. He has been so busy and didn’t end up getting the money turned in before Christmas but, he wanted to make sure it went to somebody that needed it. So, in the spirit in which the money was given in the first place, we are donating it to a local organization that sends care packages to deployed Marines. I just wanted to say thank you to all of the people on that plane for being so supportive and trying to help. Thanks to both of the flight attendants for being so nice and caring, one of which has three grandchildren who are Marines!

I also wanted to say thanks to Southwest airlines. I fly a lot with them to visit my husband and they are always supportive of our troops and make an effort to recognize them. I was on a flight with a large number of WWII vets earlier this year and the airline and flight attendants did a great job of recognizing their sacrifice and thanking them for their service. Also, Southwest is the only airline in our local airport that proudly displays signs that say "We Support Our Troops". So, thanks to everybody for the support. It really means a lot. And thanks to Sgt. Grit for having such a great website for Marines and their families.

Semper Fi from Texas !

Sgt Grit:
I am in a family of former Marines, my Son served 6 years and his Dad like you is a Vietnam Veteran. I'm very proud of them. I am a new citizen of this Great Country and love the MARINES the greatest of all Armed Forces.
Have a Happy New Year,

Iraqi Army partners The miniature tank couple of our highly esteemed Gurkha guards Here are a few pics from here at Taji. The one it with a few of our Iraqi Army partners that graduated back in April, holding a 'Flat Stanley'. The other is a couple of our highly esteemed Gurkha guards.

Then, the miniature tank. Fearsome, huh? ;>)

Semper Fidelis, and Happy New Year to you and yours!


"Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many." Eric Hoffer

Happy New Year ,
Sgt .Grit~~~ my son becoming a Marine opened a new window for me and I found the GREATEST family Ever.


Just to say thank you for being here. MERRY CHRISTMAS. Without you I couldn't have giving my husband what he wanted for Christmas.

He's an Marine . So I surprised him by painting our small extra room Marine core colors. And started buying from you. He's loves everything he got but still gonna need more so don’t go anywhere . HE is very happy. thank you for being here.

An Old Marines Wife LAURA RICHARD

Merry Christmas to ALL of you at Sgt Grit..I am the widow of a 37 yr veteran of the US Marine Corps. My husband Robert was a Marine and died in December of 1985. My brother Don passed away suddenly last May 19,2008..he was and remained a United States Marine and proudly served in Viet Nam. I never remarried and have remained a Marine wife. Thank you for all you do.

Happy New Year 2009
Mrs Sandra K Whistler

My biggest compliment came the other day when I was in a model train repair shop I frequent the other day - the proprietor said to me "Do you ever wear anything but Marine gear?" Told him No - I'm proud of my Marine Corps Service. At 79, I owe it to myself.

"Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner."
-James Bovard

Matt and Michele dancing I would like to extend an open invitation to all the Marines in the Nashville TN area. My son, LCpl Matt Bradford, is being honored with a benefit on the 16th of January at the Batter's Box Bar. A very special friend has written a song for him called My Friend Matt and it tells his story. He was injured in Iraq on 18 January 2007. He lost both legs and his vision. His right hand was damaged, but his spirit was not touched. I know that he would like for all to come and enjoy drinks as his Alive Day 2 is approaching.
Thank you
Matt's Mother
Attached is a picture of Matt and my friend, Michele at Thanksgiving---dancing!!

I am a "former" USAF rescue pilot (HH-53C Super Jolly Green) DaNang ’72. I have worked with Marines all of my military career and have the upmost respect for you guys. The emails are great and some are "tear jerkers". Happy New Year to all of you great Marines.

Mike McCorkle, Major Retired (Cork)
37th Air Rescue and Recovery Service, DaNang ’72.

"Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys."
P.J. O'Rourke

Sgt Grit,
I was a member of Kilo Bty, 4th Bn, 12th Mar, from Dec '60 to Nov 61. I don't know if Cpl Johnson was in 4th Bn or not, but before noon chow one day we had a Bn formation in front of the mess hall and two Marines were marched onto the mess hall walk way and charges were read we did about face and they were marched off. the drummer did a skip beat you couldn't keep in step with, very impressive on a 18 year old with less than a year in the Corps. The Bn Sgt/Maj was "Big Red" EBERT.

It's what keeps me reading your newsletter. Somebody mentions an event and it brings back a memory.
Keep up the work your doing great.
Semper Fi
Jim Leonard SSgt '60-'80


Two airmen were driving across country on leave. They come to a Marine Corps base and decide to visit. They approach the gate and the Marine Guard walks up to the driver's window, and taps on it with his nightstick. The driver rolls down the window, and the Marine smacks him in the head with the stick.

The driver says, Why'd you do that?

The Marine says, You're on a United States Marine Corps Base, son. When I come up to your car, you'll have your ID card ready.

Driver says, I'm sorry, We're in the Air Force, and we didn't know.

The Marine examines the I.D. card and gives it back to the driver.

The Marine walks around to the passenger side and taps on the window. The passenger rolls his window down, and the Marine smacks him with the nightstick.

The passenger says, What'd you do that for?

The Marine says, Just making your wishes come true.

The passenger says, Huh?

The Marine says, I know that as soon as you pull away you're gonna say, 'I wish that sucker would've tried that **** with me!'

"I must follow them. I am their leader."
Andrew Bonar Law

CPL Phillips and his cousin's second grade class Christmas Party Sgt. Grit:

The attached photo is of my nephew, Marine Corporal, Michael A. Phillips. It was taken last December 2007.

Corporal Phillips was the guest of his cousin’s second grade class Christmas Party. Stockings were provided for each student and enough odd and end stuffers (chap stick, magazines, chocolates, dental floss, gum, mints, etc.) for each child to stuff a stocking that was sent to a Marine unit in Iraq. He helped the children stuff the stockings and answered some very interesting questions that the children had for him. All of the kids in the hallways (particularly the boys) were all eyes and ooohs and aaahs seeing a Marine in his dress uniform. So many of the parents outside of the school to pick up the kids after the parties went out of their way to come over and shake Michael’s hand...very touching.

Corporal Phillips is currently serving his second tour of duty in Iraq.

We are so proud of him. Prayers to all serving in our military.

Semper Fi,
Michael J. Phillips
Sgt. USMC 1968-1971
RVN 1969-1970

Served with 2BN 8TH Marines during the middle 70's and got out in 1980. Biggest mistake ever. After a 20 year break as a civilian, tried to go back in the Corps, but was rejected because of my age. Backslid, and joined the army in 2000. Hate the army, but loving serving my country. The reason for the thank you, is that even though I'm in the army, I still carry myself as a Marine. The soldiers around me see this, and most wish they were in the Marines. Hope Chesty forgives me for the army part, but I'm secretly recruiting for the Marines. Keep up the good work. Semper Fi.

Sgt. Arthur Zehner
0311 Forever

Hey Sgt Grit,

I've been reading all the posts in your email news letter for several years. H&ll, my mother proudly displays your magazines in her living room AND guest bathroom. Thank you for creating a place for both fresh and old salty Marines to hear each other's stories.

Semper Fi,
LCpl Stewart
Bravo CO. 6th ESB

"I tell you Wellington is a bad general, the English are bad soldiers; we will settle the matter by lunch time."
Napoleon Bonaparte, the morning of the Battle of Waterloo.

First I will start by saying merry Christmas and a great new year. I spent 12 years as an FMF corpsman with the finest marines we have, which I miss terribly. I joined our local MCL Det. 1037 out of Natick Mass. This is the first year I have fully done toys for tots.

From the time I set up the boxes and posters for this mission till the end, I have picked up over 40 hugh bags of toys, I think we filled up 4 pods this year.

I feel very proud to be back with the marines even though we are not in the corps. anymore. Our Det. does a lot with the Va. and with disabled vets.

My C.O. is roger beer and is still all Marine. He is well respected in the community. I will continue to be a member of this fine organization till I am with the marines guarding the gates of heaven, and serve as there DOC again.

Semper Fi and God Bless

LCPL Asa Carpenter I want to thank you for the wonderful stories I read in your periodic emails. Attached is a picture of my son LCPL Asa Carpenter, Iwakuni Japan. This pic was taken on Family Day 10-25-07 at MCRD San Diego.
Reading the different stories, from young and old, provides this mom with strength and hope. Every issue provides more than the last. God Bless you all, and all your subscribers, and certainly, all of our troops, past, present and future!
Marine Mom,
Ann Carpenter

"Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides."
Winston Churchill

Dear Sgt. Grit,

On behalf of our late son, LCpl David H. Miles, USMC (07 - 08), my husband, Sgt James D. Brady, USMC (68 - 73), and myself (Proud Marine wife and mother), THANK YOU so much for all the wonderful Marine items you offer on your web-site. Prior to David's death earlier this year, he and I spent many years visiting your site looking for and buying gifts for his Dad and himself. I still visit your site and make purchases.

David had just turned 19 when he got killed in March of this year. He dreamed of being a Marine from a very young age and accepted the call from God in 2001 to fight terrorism. He was our only child and we are very proud of his service to our country. Thanks again.

Semper Fi,

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Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

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