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Take Our Poll

What do you think? In the news lately has been the issue of military readiness. Are we as ready as we should be?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Kinda
  • We don't have to be ready, we know how to "dialogue" with our enemies.

Marine Wives - Vote

AmericanCourage #196     19 MAR 2009

I was on my cycle and needed pie so swung into Soldier, KS. population 120. While enjoying my pie, the lady tried to use the can crusher. It was hung up on something and she was not happy. I walked over, slipped out my "Leatherman" and tightened the screw; it still was not smooth working, so I took my lip balm from my pocket and smeared a dab, which made it work like new. Some ole farmer ask, "Were you a Boy Scout"? I replied, "No, I am a MARINE, I am prepared." It got very quiet as most took a second look at this ole MARINE.

Harry W. Bryant
USMC Ret. '63-'68
L/3/7 1965

Cpl. Mark Federspiel and his brother Paul I figured I'd finally put in my 2 cents. I've been a faithful shopper of your catalog for almost 3 years now. Ever since my younger brother Cpl. Mark Federspiel graduated from MCRD San Diego, you guys have had the best t-shirts and novelties. I wanted to share a couple pics of me and my brother. He was deployed last month to Haditha, Iraq and is on a year tour. Please keep him and all Marines & service personnel in thought and prayers.

Semper Fi
Paul Federspiel

Mother's Day coming soon

And I Quote...

"You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you." -- Eric Hoffer

It is my sad duty to report the passing of Parke Potter of Las Vegas. Parke was one of three living Marines in Vegas who survived Iwo Jima. Parke was one of several Marines who dug a pipe out of that mountain to raise the first flag on Suribachi. Brother Potter was one of the finest Men, Mason, Shriner and Marine I've ever had the pleasure to meet. For all of us that knew him, he will be truly missed.

Dennis Williams

USMC Credo:
To Catch Us, You Have To Be Fast
To Find Us, You Have To Be Smart
To Beat Us, You Have To Be KIDDING!

Sgt. Grit:

I just finished reading your most recent news letter. In response to "Taking Chance," I did watch it.....I shouldn't have, but I did. I thought it was exceptionally well done, as they made the main focus of this piece about the respect that both young Chance was given, as well as his escort. I really did fine until the last half hour and then had to sit next to a box of Kleenex! My son is currently serving over in Iraq and I would suggest that anyone who has a loved one currently deployed to wait until they are safely home to watch this extremely moving film.

I'd like to tell you of an experience I had a little while back. I was at work and as I was looking out the window when I noticed a car pull into our parking lot. A Marine stepped out of the car, dressed in his blues, very crisp looking. At that moment, I thought, why is he he here to see me; to tell me that something happened to my son. My heart sank into my stomach, I felt all the blood rush from my face and I couldn't move from my chair (I couldn't feel my legs at that point). I don't even know if my phone rang or if anybody came up to me, all I could do was stare out at this Marine.

As I watched him, he lit up a cigarette, and all I could think of is he needed one before he had to tell me some bad news. He finished his cigarette and got back into his car and drove away----THANK GOD. It took me a minute to regain my focus and realized it was Veteran's Day and they were having a parade down Main St., which was right around the corner from my office. I simply got up from my chair and went to the ladies room and cried my eyes relief. I then realized that, if something did happen to my son, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't come to my place of employment to deliver such news, but I was hardly thinking clearly at that time.

Who would've thought...why my parking lot?? He just wanted a cigarette.....he just wanted a cigarette.

I just want to let everyone know that to all that have served and are serving, you have my deepest thanks and prayers. To those families who have had a loved one make the ultimate sacrifice, God Bless you for they did not die in vein!

Semper Fi
New England Marine Mom

My son, Cpl Flynn King, and his Motor T- brothers with the 1/11 Bravo. Photos are from his Iraq deployment in fall 2005- spring 2006.They are driving top of the line, heavily armored, government-issued stealth vehicles.

from Nancy Williams, proud mom of Marine Iraq War Veteran, Cpl Flynn King of Alabama

Marine driving broken down yellow car with the number 5 spray painted on the hood Marines goofing around in wrecked Red car.  One Marine is standing through the sunroof and pointing off to the right. Flynn and his fellow Motor T brothers goofing off.

And I Quote...

The quotable JOHN WAYNE

"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted,
and I won't be laid a hand on.
I don't do these things to other people
and I require the same from others."


101 Things You Should Never Ask A Marine To Do I was in 29 Palms back in 1989 when a friend of mine handed me a single sheet of paper. It was Sgt Grit's first catalog. Black & white pics of Marine items with type writer font below. I wrote to Sgt Grit (Don) telling him I have this cartoon book called, "101 Things You Should Never Ask A Marine To Do". He wrote back and said if I was willing to send ten books, trust him to sell them and pay later, he would add me to his 'catalog'.

Short Timers Guidebook That was 20 years ago!
I also have "Short Timers Guidebook" for sale with the Grit- master. I am proud to be a part of his catalog and show if off every time a new issue comes out. Marines have braggin' rights for many things and this is one we share.

Sgt Grit and your staff, THANK YOU.

Semper Fidelis,
Ed Temple
USMC-GySgt (for the rest of my life)

And I Quote...

"Government can do something for the people only in proportion as it can do something to the people." -- Thomas Jefferson

I just finished reading the 12MAR09 newsletter. A WM named SGT Marilyn Gerhardt wrote in asking if there were any Women Marines out there. I served from 1972-1974. I enjoyed my time in and enjoy reading SGT Grit's newsletter every week. It brings back memories. I will never regret the time I was in, and even though I'm a woman, I'm still proud to be a MARINE. Let's hear it from some other women!

SEMPER FI and God bless the Marine Corps.
Jane Curtis LCPL 1972 - 1974

Tyler J. Laviolette of Springfield is presented a graduation certificate for completing recruit training with the Westover Young Marine (YM) Company Eight year-old Tyler J. Laviolette of Springfield is presented a graduation certificate for completing recruit training with the Westover Young Marine (YM ) Company from Sergeant Major Ed Mitrook, USMCR, Ret., regimental commander of the YM , center, and National YM Executive Director Ed Shanks, left, during recent ceremonies at Westover. The YM unit, sponsored by the Marine Corps League's Westfield River Valley Detachment 141, graduated 30 'boots' at the February 27 ceremony. (Marine Corps League photo by Matt Knas.)

The article written by GySgt Stoll was outstanding. I'm a Vietnam Veteran and the Respect and Honor that the Gunny showed this Marine has made me even more proud to be a part of The Marine Corps Family. That Warrior will have the memory of what you did for him for an eternity. D*mn, I cried like a small child. I know I can speak for all Veterans of The Vietnam War in saying that we fully understand that the Drill Instructors had one h&ll of a tough job of shaping boys into men in a very short amount of time. Yes Gunny it was because of a Marine such as yourself, for the training that was instilled into the recruits, is the reason we came home from that war. Thank you for your article.

I will be in Beaufort, South Carolina the 1st of May 2009 to attend the Leathernecks Motorcycle Club Regional Meeting and we are hoping to visit Parris Island. I'm looking forward to the visit.

Semper Fi
John Lewis
Sgt of The Marines

A 90 year old Marine, WWII, remembers part of a poem from his Marine days. I have looked for the poem, but cannot find it. The poem goes like this:

When everything is peaceful and all is quite serene. Have you ever given a thought to the United States Marine?

You will find him in the tropics beneath the blazing sun, always ready for a fight, You cannot make him run.

You will find him in the Orient, many miles from home defending lives and freedom always on the roam.

two or three verses follow

When you meet him on the street, give him a friendly nod He is your defender of country, home, and God.

He remembers this much, but would like to have the total poem. Any help you can give me would be very much appreciated. Keep up the good work.
Gladys Carver

And I Quote...

"Don't be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil." -- Proverbs 3:7

I hope that you could use these photos on your "Best use of Products Page" and or your online store. This is our Bulldog pup "Gunny Monster" he is barely 4 months old in this picture, 1 month old in the camo. Both photos he is wearing the large shirts. So I will defiantly be re-ordering larger sizes for him as he grows into his body. He has already out grown his Camo USMC shirt so will need to re-order it as well. His favorite toy is the USMC Standing Bulldog he will not go to bed without it.
Hope you can use the photos and will be placing more orders soon thanks.
Gunny Monster at 4 months old Gunny Monster at 4 months old

Sgt. Grit, first of all thank you for doing what you do. I read every story published on a weekly basis and enjoy the memories that they bring back. Having served as a Drill Instructor H Co. 3rd Bn between '78 and '81 I can certainly appreciate all of the "DI" stories out there. To be a part of the forming of the Marines during that era is a true honor in my mind. I trained ten platoons over the three year period and then spent some "down time" teaching at ICT. I salute you Sgt. Grit for bringing us all together here, and I salute each and every Marine who had what it takes to earn the Title.

Semper Fi, Marines
John ONESHOT Fitzgerald

Sgt Grit,

Sincerely my thanks for posting what I wrote in to your newsletter...American Courage is truly an inspiration for all of us who served or are actively serving...Some may smile, some may hurt...insures that we will (as former soldiers and families alike) never forget why we took that oath...

What that good old salty Marine wrote..
Sgt/USMC/RVN - '66 - '68

Brother, he's got my vote...I'm only to be 35 end of this month but I fully agree with him....Just cut us loose again...If not for my injuries (one military involved, the other not) I'd be finishing out my service appropriately. I have two brothers, one 26 and finishing up his Masters with Penn State U., he's resigned himself to being a professor and baseball coach...but my youngest, at 14 yrs, has expressed interest in the military. He has the aptitude and the endurance to be better than the rest. I have watched him take his SAT's while in middle school and see he has what it takes to excel. If he makes his choice to attend the Naval Academy I will most definitely make sure that his talents are channeled properly...

God Bless, Semper Fi!

For Connely though...a lawn chair, an AR-15, and a box of live grenades...that works!...

Truly, God Bless and thank you...

And I Quote...

"The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation." -- Vladimir Lenin

After graduating from Parris Island (Platoon 3012, 29 October 1968) plus a bus ride we arrived at Camp Geiger and were assigned V4 company. Upon our arrival the Troop Handlers informed us no Poggi bait was allowed in the barracks. I had a box of brownies in the very bottom of my sea bag and had no way to retrieve them. That evening I asked the Marine next to me if he wanted to meet in the head after lights out and discard of the contraband. He readily agreed and we proceeded to destroy all the evidence. Approximately 0400 we returned to the head and held our own sick call as the evidence went down the toilet. From that day on our friendship grew until he was the brother I never had. His name was, David Teutsch, from Newton Falls, Ohio.

PFC Teutsch After Christmas leave we arrived at Camp Pendleton for staging and our friendship continued. The night of our escape and evasion class we had found the perfect hiding place and refused to leave even after being called back by a bullhorn, thinking it was a trick. Turns out someone had gone berserk and was taking potshots with an M14. I guess everyone had their way of dealing with the upcoming trip to Vietnam. Ours was to yell across the squad bay, David would say " Rick, be sure and call me when you get home so I can push you down the aisle at your wedding, because you ain't gonna have no legs". I would yell back, that's ok you SOB, I'll attach a special brace so you can push me with your chest cause you ain't gonna have no arms" (found out later we scared a lot of guys) The last time I saw him was on the LZ at Stud, I had gone to get some frags and heard someone calling my name. We spoke for a few minutes and I returned to my unit B 1/9, approximately 22 February 1969.

In Memory of PFC David C. Teutsch This would've been Operation Dewey Canyon, David was killed, according to military records by a fragmentation grenade, 11 March 1969 If anyone reading this might have known him could you please get in touch with me (rick7538 @ hotmail .com) I would like to know about his final days.

Thanks, William (Rick) Whitley

I would like to tell a short story that is Going on 88 years on the 23rd of this month even though He was never a Marine!

My Dad served in WW II as a Cook on Merchant Marine Vessel's all along the Gulf of Mexico and Eastern seaboard. I grew up with Holidays of him cooking Pancakes from scratch on the Holidays and for Christmas he would cook breakfast and then wake the HOUSE up with Christmas Music on the "Record" player.

Dad told me a few stories through the years and would like to recount one of them for others to realize that their generation has a STRONG sense Duty and Honor even now.

Last time we talked about a German U-boat that was sunk in the Gulf of Mexico. The ship he was on had radioed that they had seen it and the Air corps had came out and sank it.

He also told me that he had seen a fellow ship sunk and watched as some of his friends went down with their ship.

My Dad since then has been a Volunteer Fire Chief for 25 years while also being an Deputy Constable and running his own Roofing business. He is still doing the last two! He even gets on the roofs still.

He inspired me when I was growing up and still does to this day. He was there when I joined the Corps in Jan 1974 and was there for the Ceremony when I went to Boot camp from Houston on June 19 1974. We were an Experiment for the Corps they were trying to start All State Platoons in Boot Camp.

I haven't had any contact with anyone from Platoon 3065 since boot camp. I spent 4 years in the Corps and them got out as an Sgt with a years TIG. Four years later I returned to the Beloved Corps as a LCPL. To make a 20 year story short I Retired as a Marine SSGT in 1997, from AMITYVILLE, Long Island. I was the I-I Radio Chief.

When the Towers fell I lost my friend "GySgt Mathew David Garvey" whom I had worked with for 3 years. He was the Reserve Radio Chief there. He was also a Fireman in NYC.

This was supposed to be a Short story! I would like to leave everyone with one last thought.

We are losing the generation that protected our world during one of the most difficult times in History and should never forget their sacrifices they willing gave for us.

Each day our ranks grow thinner in number not just from the Corps but from all services Past and Present. We should Honor and Respect them for They have ALL paid some price for our freedom.

"SEMPER FI" to all
DW Davis SSgt USMC Retired

I have several Uncles who are Marines. I didn't know where they were stationed seeing how I was cut off from my Dad's side of the family due to extensive lying in court about my dad by my mom. Seeing pictures of my Uncles in their dress blues at my grandmother's house left a lasting impression on my mind!

During "hitting skills" phase at PI we were in a Company formation working our 1,1,2 back! when my SDI took my right hand and put it into the air. I was puzzled until a Marine approached me from the side asking me if I knew who he was. I said "no sir". So he said "look at me". I then responded with "this recruits uncle sir!" That was the start of a very hard day! My uncle was the SNCOIC of hitting skills. Once the other hitting skills instructors found out who I was they pulled me up in front of the Company and declared who ever knocks me out gets a phone call home! The roar of excitement sounded like thunder!

I fought hard that day. My face was quite numb and swollen, however nobody got a phone call home of which I was proud! At the end of the day my uncle had a talk with me before heading back, He told me not to embarrass the family name, He wanted me to strive to be guide, squad leader, etc. He told me that if I thought my Drill Instructors were bad He would pay me "visits" if He heard of me screwing up! I never saw Him again until graduation day. Being one of the Company honor grads with a meritorious promotion to Lance Corporal made the family proud! That experience changed my outlook in the Marines. At family get togethers the story of that day is always told with lots of laughter!

Semper Fi
Sgt Sammons

And I Quote...

"The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps." -- General Alexander A. Vandergrift, USMC

"Sgt. Grit" ~

As a Gold Star Mother, I am asking for your assistance in spreading the word to as many Marines as possible regarding a memorial event to honor my son, SSgt. Christopher Zimmerman, USMC, who was killed September 2006 while on patrol with 2d Recon Bn. in Zaidon, Iraq.

This year is the first year that we, as Chris' family, have assisted in holding the Zimmerman Reconnaissance Challenge ( in Austin, Texas. It would do my heart proud to have 200 or more Marines accept this Challenge, to assist us in making a donation to the Marine Executive Association to assist Marines transitioning from military to civilian life. Even though Chris is no longer with us, we honor his sacrifice by finding a way to make something good come from his death. He was a Marine's Marine, and he would accept no less.

Thank you for everything that Sgt. Grit contributes to the USMC community.

Always faithful,
Faith Zimmerman
Proud Gold Star Mother
SSgt. Christopher M. Zimmerman, USMC

I just viewed the video about going to Vietnam that Michael L. Wentz( "A" 11th Marines 1966-67) I too was in the 11th. Marines 1966-1967 with Foxtrot 2-11. This video brought back found memories of my Marine experiences while in Vietnam. I appreciate the stories that fellow Marines send in to Sgt Grit each month. Semper Fi to all that served and continue to serve. Semper Fi to all others that now which that they could be called Marine for the rest of their lives. There is no higher honor than being called and being remembered as a Marine.

Cpl Ron Ryan F-2-11

First awesome news letter. When we left a unit we always tell our friends to stay in touch, but in the end we lose track of them. Over the last couple of years several of the guys from H+S Co. Comm Plt Okinawa 1975 have gotten back together over the internet. It's been awesome. We're even talking about trying to get together and trying to track down others from our platoon. I even saw an article from my series commander from MCRD San Diego 1978-79. He was the OIC of NCO and Sea School 79-81. Have not tracked him down yet. God Bless our young troops. Stay in touch with your buddies, It's great.


And I Quote...

"It is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth -- and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts." -- Patrick Henry

Sgt Grit,

In response to Bill Drape as to why TAPS wasn't played in the movie, "Taking Chance".

I was stationed at 29 Palms in the mid 80's and was assigned a 6 month TAD to be the NCOIC of the grave site service detachment for the base. The detachment consisted of, seven Marine Riflemen with a Cpl in charge, six Marines plus myself for flag folding/presentation and two trumpet players from the base band who would play "echoing taps" at the end of the rifle salute.

We attended veteran funerals in Palm Springs, Yucca Valley and other areas of South East California two or three times a week. Taps was played at every funeral we attended.

To answer your question as to why taps wasn't played in the movie, it should have been.

Semper Fi
JR Smith
SSgt 79-89

Sgt. Grit,

Sgt. Smith racing in Washington, Georgia I am Sgt. William David Smith. I am stationed at NAS Oceana. I race ATV's in the Can-am Grand National Cross Country Racing Series(GNCC). I have been racing since the end of 2008. I am planning on making 9-10 races this season. Here are some pictures from my last race in Washington, Georgia. If you want more information about this series the website is

 Sgt. Smith racing in Washington, Georgia I would like to thank my sponsors for this season. They are ODI Grips, ASV levers, Scott Goggles, Yoshimura Exhaust, EHS racing, Hotcams camshafts, and Caddis Sports Aluminum Rapid Shelters. If you want to see more pictures, they are on my profile.

I love the products that Sgt. Grit has to offer. Keep up the great work.

Semper Fidelis,

And I Quote...

"Live as brave men; and if fortune is adverse, front its blows with brave hearts." -- Cicero (106 BC - 43 BC)

Central Illinois Leathernecks Annual Chili cook off in Springfield, Illinois
Central Illinois Leathernecks
Annual Chili cook off in Springfield, Illinois

Sergeant Grit,
I might have contacted you prior to this and know you are busy, but here goes. I've been leading a creative writing workshop for military people since Sep. 2005. A couple of us started a �zine, Milspeak Memo for those who can't attend workshop to post their stories, photos, miscellany. I always add a few things to the mix. Saturday, March 7, Volume 2 of Memo kicks off. I plan to include a link to your tattoo page.

Here's a link to the website:

Volume 1 of Memo will continue to be available, as will future volumes. Click on the Milspeak Memo tab to view the 'zine.

If you don't want me to post a link to your tattoo pages, please let me know.

Thank you,
Sally Drumm, GySgt USMC, Ret.


I am a proud mother of 2 Marines. One is just coming back from his second tour & the youngest is leaving for Afghanistan on April 25th, 2009. They are both stationed in Jacksonville, NC. I just want you to know I love my emails from Sgt. Grunt & I love my 2 Marines. During the holidays I always have a house full, it looks like a crime scene, all you see is uniforms & bodies all over the floor, couch, chair, beds...I love it, & I love the fact that my house is open to the boys "Brothers In Arms".

Thanks for keeping the web site up & running, I love reading my emails.

Thank you from a proud Mother of Marines.


And I Quote...

"Courage is the ladder on which all the other virtues mount. " -- Clare Booth Luce (1903 - 1987)

I am almost old enough to be your mom (by today's standards maybe--I am old fashioned though so maybe your old sister) which is why I must write large, I can't see very well. So my friend here is my story...

If my father was alive today he would be 107 years old, when I was born 1947 I already had a brother, Marine in Guadalcanal, another older brother wanted to be a Marine but he had flat feet and couldn't qualify, he wanted desperately to stay with our older brother.

It would be another 20 years before we heard Marines again then I met my husband in 1969, Marine just returning from Nam, the hard way, but after rehab, he thought he had enough of PT so he ran away and got back into college, where he stayed with a 4.0 until he graduated. Meanwhile my 18 yr old baby brother informed us that he enlisted in the Marines, the day after his graduation from high school plus the stake the recruiter promised he that he would have every night in the Marines. Off to Camp Pendleton he went.

Once that war ended I was so happy. Then this war on terror started, our baby son who was in college informed us one day, "I am a Marine". My husband and I were proud of him yet our hearts practically stopped because we knew what was ahead for him. He is home now, also back in college. Yet the Marines are looking for him. Unlike Viet Nam now they can take you out of college and send you wherever they need you. Of course we know it will be Afghanistan, several of his buddies were just deployed. In fact all of his buddies as well as our son were in Iraq, was supposed to be 4 months, ended up being 11 months.

Yes we pray for all of our troops because this war isn't over. Everywhere we go we wear our flag and a pin to bless them, yet we want them home. But if we must we will hang our blue star once again with pride. When our son got out of the corps we had yellow ribbons on all of our trees. I refuse to take them down until every single Marine & military person come home from combat.

You would think we would get used to these wars but we don't. In fact Fort Sam Cemetery holds my husband's mom, dad, and his uncle who were all three in the Navy. My step father was also in the Navy.

Sgt Grit Sir so much has changed in our world since 1947, yet some things, a mother's heart for her son and our troops will never ever change. As a matter of fact, (do not think me weird) but one of my best friends now is my ex-husbands mother. Her son and husband were both military. Without her I would not have survived the 11 months our son was in Iraq. She had lost a Marine nephew in Iraq just a few months before our son left. So often I asked her how do we survive until they all come home? "Just one day at a time" she said. And it did absolutely no harm to say a prayer every morning and night for all who were there.

Thank you so much for listening ........your story brought back so many memories

My you have the best
Sincerely M Blum

K I A Scholarships is holding a National Charity Golf Tournament to benefit the children of a parent that was killed-in-action with relief now and when the time comes for a college education. The event will be held at Tour 18 Dallas Golf Course on October 19,2009 in Flower Mound, Texas. Two highlights will be the offering of a One Million Dollar prize on either holes 5 or 17. That's two chances. There will be other prizes as well. The cost of playing in the tournament is $200. The event will run for four consecutive days. A great need at this time is the names of anyone whose spouse was killed-in-action that has children.
Please make your donations if you can not play to the address below.

K I A's web site:
Tour 18's web site:

And I Quote...

"Feel the fear and do it anyway." -- Susan Jeffers

Sgt Grit,
I recently attended a funeral of a fallen soldier.
We as Marines were taught that we do NOT wear covers indoors, while in uniform, unless we are under arms (with rifle, pistol, or sword).
And we also do NOT salute while indoors.
There was a lady Marine there (PFC or LCpl forget which).
She was associated with the family in some way.
She was standing at attention at head of casket, and she was uncovered. As she left her post she faced the casket and saluted (she was not the escort).

My question is, was it proper for her to render the hand salute in this situation.
Reason is, I am "afraid" that this situation will arise again, and want to know the proper procedure and protocol.
I normally attend these funerals (of any service member) in Dress Blues. This time I was in Motorcycle Garb as uniform didn't get out of cleaners on time.

Maybe others here would appreciate knowing the proper protocol also.

As to taps not being played.
The movie was rather brief, and only touched the high points of the entire journey.
so they may not of been included in the movie.
Can't say for certain if they really were played at the actual funeral, But I would presume they were. But that would be a guess.

Semper Fi
Choo Choo
Sgt of Marines 68-74 RVN 70 -71

And I Quote...

"It is when power is wedded to chronic fear that it becomes formidable." -- Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983), The Passionate State of Mind, 1954

Marine Detachment - USS Coral Sea - CVA-43 - 1955-1957
Clinton M. Cox Pvt - PFC aboard USS Coral Sea
1955-1959 - Discharged 1959 as Sgt E4
Serial No. 1523455

The USS Coral Sea arrived on October 31, 1956 in the vicinity of Alexandria, Egypt. As I recall, our entire Marine Detachment, with no other personnel involved, except the boat crews that were to operate the landing craft, were to deliver our Marine Detachment ashore at Port Said for the purpose of assisting American citizens in the evacuation from the area during the bombing by the British and French and we were to have gone as far south as Cairo, Egypt to offer assistance.

The Marine Detachment was relieved of all normal duties, which included guarding the Special Weapons, manning the ship's Brig and staff orderly duty, aboard the USS Coral Sea CVA-43. We worked through the night loading the landing crafts with weapons and ammunition. Being well equipped, our arsenal included our M-1 rifles, 45 caliber pistols, a 50-caliber machine gun, several Thompson sub machine guns, mortars, rocket launchers and hand grenades. We were prepared for any hostilities.

Our uniforms for the landing were khakis and helmets, but were to wear our barracks caps ashore to the port so we would not alarm the civilian and military populations. We were briefed as to our mission and then told to rest before boarding the landing crafts. We were scheduled to leave the ship early the following morning. For several days we lay in wait for the order to board the landing crafts. Then, an order came to stand down. There were approximately 75 Marines ready to go ashore if ordered to do so. We were to be led by Captain George C. Fox, USMC and M/Sgt George F. Frederiksen, USMC.

The "Floating Battalion of Marines, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment" came on scene to assist in the evacuation of American personnel. Civilians were delivered aboard the USS Coral Sea while we steamed in circles off the coast of Egypt.

During the month of November 1956, and well after the planned landing by the Marine Detachment, an attempt was made to form the Ship's Landing Party aboard the USS Coral Sea. The Marine Detachment was in charge of this operation. It was to include Naval personnel but it was never completed. Most of the Naval personnel had jobs to do that were important to the day-to-day operation of the ship; therefore the Landing Party was never completely formed. Their reasoning was understandable.

The USS Coral Sea stayed off the coast of the Suez Canal for almost 30 days. From late October through November 23, 1956 we remained on station at points Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses off the Suez Canal.

During that period of time, British and French aircraft flew over the USS Coral Sea on their way to bombing missions at Port Said and the Suez Canal. Explosions lighted the sky and could be seen in the distance. We flew large American Flags that were illuminated at night with spotlights so the foreign planes flying over us would not mistake us to be hostile.

Historical Facts:

On 26 October, 1956 the United States learned of Israel's military mobilization, and President Dwight Eisenhower sent the first of two personal messages to Israeli Prime Minister Ben Gurion asking that Israel do nothing to endanger the peace. In the Mediterranean on the 28th of October, 1956, the U.S. Sixth Fleet was placed on alert. Undeterred by U.S. diplomatic maneuvering, Israeli forces began attacks in Egypt on 29 October.

5 November 1956, British and French captured Port Fuad and Port Said.
6 November 1956, cease fire forced by U.S. pressure.
8 November 1956, hostilities ended.

The following day Britain and France began to make their move. The British government issued an Anglo-French ultimatum calling on the Israelis and Egyptians to withdraw their forces to a distance of 10 miles from the Suez Canal and demanding that Egypt allow British and French forces to temporarily occupy key positions guarding the canal.

That same day, Admiral Walter F. Boone, U.S. Commander Naval Forces, Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean, ordered the Sixth Fleet to assist in the evacuation of U.S. nationals from Israel and Egypt. Coral Sea (CVA 43) and Randolph (CVA 15), the fleet's two attack carriers that were already operating in the eastern Mediterranean, were directed to keep clear of British naval units operating there. In Norfolk, Va., the Navy ordered one attack carrier, a heavy cruiser and a destroyer squadron to get ready to sail to the Mediterranean to augment the Sixth Fleet and a second CVA and a division of destroyers to be on 72-hour notice. The Anglo-French attack on Egypt began at dusk on 31 October with a series of large-scale air strikes.

The following day Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Arleigh Burke signaled Vice Admiral Charles R. "Cat" Brown, Commander Sixth Fleet: "Situation tense; prepare for imminent hostilities." Brown signaled back: "Am prepared for imminent hostilities, but whose side are we on?" In classic Burke style, the CNO's return response was, "Keep clear of foreign op areas but take no guff from anybody."

Adapted from "Answering the Call: Carriers in Crises Response Since World War II," By Jeffrey G. Barlow

Sgt. Grit,

Thanks for those letters (25 Feb) of Marines of the '60s, sure does bring back some good old memories. I join the Marine Corps 6 May 1960, and went to boot camp in San Diego, Ca.I was in Plt. 138. And yes we had to learn the 8 man squad drill. I guess we did well enough to take the Drill Competition, also the Range, and Inspection. We were the Honor Plt

However, after boot I never saw the 8 man squad drill again? My 1st duty station (after boot camp) was Marine Barracks Brementon, Washington. And any Marine that has ever done Marine Barracks duty, knows that you have very little time for drill. We worked 24 on 24 off, weekend on weekend off. And in between we had classes, Pt and sometimes a formation run. Of course the quarterly PRT, which was done in full combat gear. At 19 I could do the 3 mile run in under 19 minutes. But our off time was consume with cleaning, washing, polishing our gear for the next duty formation. The only time I remember doing drill, was when I was going up for LCpl.

Which is a whole other story, because the Marine Corps (DOD) were revamping the whole ranking system by the time enlisted. But the bottom line, I stayed in the Marine Corps till I retired on 13 May 1980. There is a lot more that happen in between, I was in Nam in 1965-1966 & 1968-1969.

Semper Fi

GySgt. C. Rodriguez
USMC (Ret)

And I Quote...

What is left when honor is lost? -- Publilius Syrus (~100 BC), Maxims

After reading your many stories about boot camp, I have a short story to tell.

Just a little history of M.C.R.D. San Diego. The Marine base is situated between the San Diego airport on the east side and the Navy base on the west side. There is a ten or twelve foot high cyclone fence surrounding the Marine base, thus separating all three locations.

I arrived at M.C.R.D. on February 22nd 1962 and was assigned to PLT 214. We were in our third week of training and was having one of the evening training sessions when the platoon commander advised us of a breach in the fence that separates the Marine and Navy training areas. It appears that a Navy recruit had jumped the fence onto the Marine base.

As the story was told, the Navy recruit was quickly picked up by the Marine MP's. Upon questioning the recruit, the MP's was told that the recruit had jumped the fence onto the Marine base and he had planned to go through the base and jump the fence onto the airport property whereas he could buy a plane ticket and go home. The MP's notified the Navy that they had picked up the recruit and would they come and pick him up.

The Navy asked the Marines if they might keep him for a day and possibly run him through some of the obstacle courses that was scheduled the next day.

Needless to say, at the end of the next day, the recruit was very happy to be able to return to his boot camp. Supposedly there was no action taken by the Navy as they figured a day in Marine boot camp was punishment enough.

As I stated, this story was passed on to us by our platoon commander.
Whether or not it is true, I cannot say, though, I tend to believe it did happen.

Robert B. Eastmade
GySgt (Retired)

Don's father's race car featuring Marine colors and the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor I was in the Corps from 1979 - 1983 and was in Beirut in 1982. My son, who was adopted from south Sudan and actually remembers the day Muslim soldiers burned his village and killed his parents, hopes to enter the Corps this September. This is my father's race car in Florida.

Semper Fi!
Don Huntington

And I Quote...

Honor does not have to be defended. --Robert J. Sawyer (1960 - ), "Calculating God", 2000

I just read the recent article about going to BOOT CAMP...I enlisted in New York in January 1961 and off to BOOT CAMP. Seventeen years old and the first time that I had really been away from home by myself...what an experience....riding on an overnight sleeper train from Grand Central Station down to Yemassee SC....and then getting off that train in the early morning hours...and on to that platform and meeting up with the first DI that I had ever seen....and OUR introduction into our beloved Corps....yell, yell, yell

Then off to the Barracks for a little shut eye...but first a little GI of the head...what an introduction....I wore my letter jacket from my High School and on the back was the name of my town and school...SUFFERN and don't you know it, that attracted some attention from the DI...and of course I was wearing all of the up to date garb of desert (chukka) boots and chino's with the hiney binder and being a guy of small stature they had a field day at my expense,lol

Then up bright an early the next morning...and off to that little cafe in town....and our as much as you wish, but YOU WILL EAT everything they put on your tray.....and wouldn't you know it....they heaped on these EGGS...and I hated EGGS....and some home fries and plenty of gravy.....I was so scared I ate everything they put on that tray and even liked it...except for the heavy dose of salt......which I later heard from someone that it was laced with salt peter...never confirmed though,lol

Then off to the Receiving Barracks and PARRIS ISLAND....I am looking at my PI Recruit Book now and those memories come flooding back...but that will be another day, another story..


Once a Marine Always...a great story..