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AmericanCourage #199     30 APR 2009

LCpl M and daughter LCpl M giving his daughter a kiss LCpl M and fellow Marines posing for the camera.

Just thought I would share some pictures of my husband and our daughter. He is a LCPL in the Marine Corps, currently on his 1st deployment.

Kelly M.

Marine Extremist Special

Marine Brothers We so love receiving your Newsletter and reading about families like ours. We wanted to share a picture of our three sons, all three dedicated and loyal Marines.

Sgt. Timothy R. Egleberry, Sgt. James L. Egleberry and WO William J. Egleberry

God Bless all of our heroes....

Rick & Terri Egleberry
Proud Parents of Three United States Marines

LCpl Lindsey in a sandstorm Dear Sgt. Grit,

Just thought I would share a couple pictures of my son's current deployment to Iraq. He says a lot has changed and a lot has stayed the same. He has missed the birth of his second child (his son) and will not meet him or see his lovely wife and daughter for another 6 months...but that is a story told by many. We all miss him and can't wait for his return. I am always so proud of his accomplishments as a Marine and as a person. LCpl Lindsey wearing a skull mask and smoking a cigarette

Always Faithful,

Proud Mom of LCpl J. Lindsey

And I Quote...

Hammer the Americans hard enough, and you forge the best weapon in the world."
-- Captain Simeon a letter written to Colonel Bouquet during the siege of Fort Pitt

Mother's Day Sale

He'd been an alcohol junkie since he was 12 or 14 years old. He spent his last years in High School a full-blown drunk, not one care given to other lives risked as he drove while so far over the limit he'd bust the Breathalyzer.

He was finally caught by the Oakland County (MI) Sheriffs Department. At his conviction, he accepted the opportunity to attend Sheriff (Michael) Bouchard's Boot camp.

There, under the tender, gentle, and loving care of two former Active-duty Marines, (turned Sheriffs Deputies), unbelievable change was wrought. The former alcohol addicted, give-a-d*mn punk graduated Sheriffs Department Boot Camp at the top of his class - a completely new young man. And went immediately to the Marine Corps Recruiter, where he underwent all of the Rules-'n- Regs-'n'-Rigamarole necessary to allow him into Our beloved Marine Corps.

Now, 3 years and two meritorious promotions later, this young man, once determined to throw away his life (and that of any who might have crossed his driving path), is a TV-commercial/ Recruiting Poster Marine, determined beyond measure to make The Corps his career and life.

If your local Police or Sheriffs Department has, or is thinking about starting, a Boot Camp for young miscreants, I believe it to be the duty of every Marine (especially we Fossil Marines) to fully support that initiative; contact the Law Enforcement Agency and volunteer to do anything that will make a Youthful Offender Boot Camp a reality. One life saved is worth the effort.

SGT - USMC - RVN: 6/66 - 5/68

I am very proud to say that I have a son in the Marines and he has just completed his second tour of Iraq. This August of 2009 will be the end of his 4 year active enlistment, he still has 4 years of reserve enlistment and I tell him with the current economy he may want to stay active. I am proud of every young man and woman who enter the Marines at this time knowing they will be called upon to defend our freedom, that is why they chose to be Marines because they know they can do the job and keep us free!

Jim Depoy Father of
Sgt Depoy, Tyler USMC

And I Quote...

"And when you have served among good people, fellow Marines, some of whom you came to love with the same intensity as you do your own family, there are few others you will meet in your lifetime who can ever gain that same level of trust and respect."
-- Senator Jim Webb, "A Time to Fight."

Sgt Grit - On Feb 26, 2009, Sgt Lane E. Costle left us and reported for duty at Heaven's Gate after losing a long battle with cancer. Lane had joined the Marine Corps Reserve in 1948 and was called to active duty in July 1950. He served in Korea with the 1st Marine Division in 1950 and 1951 as an Amphibious Assault Vehicle Crewman (MOS 1833). After returning to civilian status, Lane pursued an occupation in the defense industry working for several aircraft manufacturers including Douglas, Fairchild, Grumman, Republic, McDonnell-Douglas, and Boeing. Lane capped a distinguished career as manufacturing manager/vice president of production at Northrop-Grumman.

Lane was very proud of his family roots in the Ruby Valley of Montana and displayed continuous pride of being a Marine by daily wearing the Eagle, Globe and Anchor tie tack/stick pin. He was buried with military honors in the veterans section of the Sheridan, Mt cemetery overlooking his beloved Ruby Valley. Lane will be truly missed by his relatives, many friends and associates.

Semper Fi
Sgt D.A. Bailey 1657784
7th Engr Bn, 1st Mar Div

On vacation I saw a Japanese family posing for a picture.
Speaking Japanese I assume they were not citizens of this country but tourists.
An older guy in a red Marine hat (but not in uniform) offered to take a picture of the whole family.
He spoke to the older Japanese man in his own language.
The elderly man surrendered his camera with a smile & handshake.
All he could say in English was "You Marine."
I had to eavesdrop as a lady explained to Marine that her father always was impressed with Marines.
The Marine shook the man's hand before leaving. and the young lady sneaked a candid shot of the two of them.
I asked red hat Marine why he did that & he said "It's what we do we represent our Corps."
I told him my brother and father were Marines he told me to check out this site.
I had to share this story with "YOU MARINE"


And I Quote...

"The commitment of our forces to this fight [Iraq] was done with the casualness and swagger that are the special province of those who have never had to execute these missions - or bury the results."
-- Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbolt, USMC, Ret.

Cpl. (E3) Roy Melson (29 Oct 1956 - 28 Oct 1958) has reported to and is now guarding heaven's gates with Chesty. Chesty you now have an outstanding Marine as you'll soon find out. Roy was born May 21, 1938 and laid to rest January 27, 2008 is my brother-in- law, and Brother Marine. He and my sister Janice were high school sweethearts, and married April 13, 1958. Boot camp was at MCRDSD, he shot expert on the rifle range at Camp Mathews and was later stationed at 29 Palms.

A funny side story; after Roy and Janice were married they lived behind Roy's parents home in a converted garage. While Roy was away at 29 Palms I would stay with her from Monday after school (I was still in high school which was just a few blocks from school) till Friday morning when I would leave for school and go home for the week end, when Roy would come home late Friday evening and leave Sunday night for 29 Palms, and I would return again Monday after school. A friend of Roy's, who lived across the street from Roy's parents was torn by wanting to tell Roy about me and wondered why his parents would allow such a thing.
He didn't know Janice and I were siblings. When Roy separated from the Corps, he started his civilian life with my sister and their daughters. Roy touched and enriched many lives in his civilian life. Roy could do anything and fix most any problem he came up against. He helped me many times with many things that I could not accomplish by my self or could not even accomplish period, as he did with anybody that would ask. He would always stop what he was doing, no matter what that might be and come or go to where he was needed. Roy was also a reserve deputy sheriff for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (1973-1983) where he obtained the reserve rank of Executive Lieutenant. Roy graduated from his class #1 and shot expert with his revolver.

At Roy's funeral, there was a church service and a grave side service where he was accompanied by three Marines a Staff Sergeant, a Sergeant and a WM corporal who played TAPS after the flag was removed and folded. The Staff Sergeant and Sergeant folded Roy's flag draped coffin and presented it to my sister. There were also words spoken by person from the local Marine Corps League and a minister.

Roy and my sister were active church members from their marriage till his passing. He was involved with many things, the following is just a few of them, building facilities, financial secretary, served on the board of education for12 years at the church school, and did ground maintenance for his church.

I am sure I am missing a lot of things that Roy has done for people over his incredible life. After writing this I am wondering when he had time to accomplish everything he accomplished.

Roy was a MARINE'S, MARINE and a MAN'S, MAN and he will be missed by everybody who knew him.

Roy is survived by his wife Janice, their 3 daughters, their husbands and their 8 grandchildren. Pam and Brian, their two children Mike and Kayla; Cathy, her three children, Caity, Matt, and Sara; Jen and Eric and their three children, Cristiaan, Keegan, and Sydney.

If there are any Marines out there who knew Roy I would appreciate hearing from you and any stories you might have about him. You can contact me at

OOHRAA & Semper Fi, ROY,
Cpl Bob Reiseck USMC

And I Quote...

"Man is not a slave of society, but a sovereign being."
-- Edwin A. Locke

SGT Grit,
I know that this subject is an on going affair and as long as there is a boot camp at Parris Island and San Diego it will continue.

I will admit that I was one of those PI Marines that wrote in a few months ago sort of poking fun at the San Diego boot camp.

First let me say that PI and SD Marines always poke fun at each other and probably always will, but in all my experiences it's always been in a fun manner and never got to the point of some one getting mad. In fact, I owe my life to a SD Marine. No matter where you went to boot camp. It was and is the toughest and most rewarding experience you will ever go through, not counting combat as far as tough goes.

I work with a former Marine who went through San Diego boot camp and at 60 years old, we still kid each other almost on a daily basis about this subject. In fact, we look forward to coming up with new things to kid each other about our boot camps. The only problem we've had with this is when some one else here at work who was never a Marine wanted to get in on the act. Of course, we adjusted his position of attention real quick.

Like I said, I'm a PI Marine and I will be the first to admit that a Marine is a Marine, no matter where you went to boot camp. The former Marine that I work with is still to this day. A Marines Marine and we are both extremely proud of being a Marine until called to guard the gates of Heaven.

So, if you want to joke about this, make sure it's always in fun and never-ever let some one that never earned his EGA make any comment on either boot camp.

Keep up the great work SGT. Grit !

Mike Mosby, PI Marine
Rikki Stanley, San Diego Marine

The day started out with a raw misty rain, however this was the day that many of us Marines had waited for. The weather would not be a factor for us, as the Marines who assembled had been on missions from the hot sands of Iwo Jima, the frozen Chosin in Korea, and the jungles of Viet Nam to the deserts of Iraq.

Honoring Henry Landry This was the day that Pvt. Henry Landry was to be buried with Full Military Honors after being in the city morgue for the last 10 months awaiting to be identified by his military records.

Marine Landry passed away in a SRO in New York City last June without having a family or a next of kin. The ME in most cases would send the remains to "Potters Field" for Burial; however our State Commandant Marine John Rymer was called by NYPD Detective Lee who had responded to the call.

Honoring Henry Landry In turn the ME was told to hold Pvt. Landry, The only ID he had on him was a card from the VA which claimed he was a Marine. At this point both our State Sr. Vice Commandant Dennis Tobin, and I were contacted to get Pvt. Landry identified and buried in the National Cemetery.

Working with the Kennedy-Roth Funeral Home from Woodside, Queens the processes of identification was started. The assignment was undertook by Funeral Director Anna Michaelides who spent many hours working with the NYPD, FBI, Medical Examiner, VA, St. Louis Records, and the MOVA. The final piece was confirmed when NYPD Missing Person Detective Ramirez returned and visited the SRO with a picture of Pvt. Landry and one of the tenants recognized him.

We were told that we could bury our brother Marine in Calverton National Cemetery, and the word was passed to our membership and the public.

Honoring Henry Landry The funeral procession was escorted by the Patriot Guard Riders from Woodside, Queens to Calverton. Along the Long Island Express way the Suffolk County Sheriffs joined the procession with 5 escort cars to the front gate of the Cemetery.

Many of the League Detachments were in attendance from the New York Metro area, including our State Commandant, with members of the Long Island Veterans, and Honor Guard (Active Marines) from 6th Commutations Battalion.

The ceremony was conducted by State Sr. Vice Dennis Tobin, the Firing Detail was from the Suffolk County Detachment, Color Guard was supplied by the Staten Island Detachment and the North Shore Queens Detachment. Taps was played by Marine David Hill (North Shore Queens Detachment) The Casket and Hearst was generously supplied to the League by James Dimiceli of the Kennedy-Roth Funeral Home in Woodside, Queens. State Commandant John Rymer with NYPD Officer Susan Porcello

The flag was presented to Anna Michaelides in appreciation of the work she did on this mission. The misty raw rain stopped as we laid our brother to rest.

Marines "Leave No One Behind"

State Commandant John Rymer with NYPD Officer Susan Porcello

Marine Corps League
Department of New York
Public Relations Officer
PDD Al Cavallo

And I Quote...

"When small men begin to cast big shadows, it means that the sun is about to set."
-- Chinese writer Lin Yutang

Dear Grunt,

Nick and his Mom during her wedding day This past Saturday my honey and I got married after nine years of being together. My son just graduated boot camp on Nov. 5th of 2008. He is currently in North Carolina at Camp Lejeune. It was a nerve racking time for me because I did not know whether he would be able to come home for my wedding. He is my only child and I am a single mother. Since he was little it has always just been him and I going it alone but we managed to get by with the help of the good Lord and my awesome family. I just could not imagine getting married with out him.

Nick and his Mom during her wedding day Originally we had the date set for the 18th of April but as fate would have it the Marine Corps had other plans for him. He was unable to make the original date and at the last minute we had to change it to the 11th. This was a set back and some family members were unable to attend because of it but hey, my Marine made it and to me that was all that mattered. He has not been enlisted long enough to be a hero yet but I am no less proud of him, he has came a long way in life and being there at the wedding to walk me up the aisle, meant more to me than life itself. I wanted to share with you a photo of a proud momma and her new Marine.

Semper Fi,
VPMM of Nick
2nd Bn. Echo Co. Pt. 2107

Yesterday, I participated in yet another a Patriot Guard escort for a Veteran. In the midst of things, it was discovered that we were one "veteran" short for the honor guard. I was flattered when I was asked to stand in for the moment. I was never in the military but I support all my troops whenever possible so I humbly accepted. When the flag-draped coffin was placed into the hearse at the funeral home, and when it was removed at the cemetery, I was privileged to render a salute alongside 'real' veterans. This civilian thanks you, Marines, Semper Fi. God bless you one and all.

And I Quote...

"If we can prevent the government from wasting the efforts of people under the pretext of taking care of them. They must be happy."
-- Thomas Jefferson

I quote...

The purpose of fighting is to win. There is no possible victory in defense, defined as "waiting for attack." The sword is more important than the shield, and skill is more important than either. The final weapon is the brain. All else is supplemental.

And you may quote Bob's 2 basic Rules:

1. Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he looks too old to fight, he'll just kill you.

2. If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck.

Here endeth the lesson.

Connely/Robert 0311
SGT. - USMC - RVN: 6/66 - 5/68

My son's name is Logan Thompson, grad date 11-22-2002, platoon 2119 proud mother of a US Marine, my son is still serving. He has done 2 tours to Iraq, and will be leaving to Afghanistan Aug 2009 for a year, I knew that there was something special about him the day he was born. I am so proud of him. God Bless our Soldiers

Semper Fi Lanett Malchow

Logan and his mother Logan and his mother Logan and his mother greeting at Graduation Logan and his mother greeting at Graduation Logan's platoon's graduation photo

And I Quote...

"When the government fears the people, you have liberty; when the people fear the government, you have tyranny."
-- Thomas Jefferson

Sgt. Grit,

Thought you might find this true story enlightening.

Being a Marine myself, I recently took my family to a local American Legion event in which the Paralyzed Veterans performed a 21 gun salute to honor all fallen soldiers at this annual event. These Paralyzed Veterans were circled up preparing their weapons to fire the salute and polishing the brass on their weapons as all military men will do.

As they were in preparation I took our three grade-school children over to watch them and explained to the kids why each of these Veterans was in a wheel chair and what they were about to do concerning the 21 gun salute. As I explained in detail to the kids why these Veterans they are watching are very honorable men, and the sacrifice they themselves gave, I noticed a brief silence and turned my head towards the Veterans of which I did not know but had began listening to what I was telling the kids.

Astonished at the look on the Veterans faces when I turned around, I then heard one of them tell me "Thank you" [for passing on this respect to children so they don't forget]. My reply to them was "And thank you!"

Calvin, Madison, and Ashley then respectfully walked over to each of these Veterans, shook each of their hands, and told them one at a time "Thank you for serving!". This is a saying that they have learned to tell any Veteran they come across, anywhere.

Upon completion of their 21 gun salute, we all noticed very quickly that these Veterans were having difficulty moving back up the incline, in wheel-chairs, back to their donning area where they would debrief. As Heather and I looked over watching the Veterans exit, a pride engulfed us not many parents will ever get to witness. Our three children jumped up out of their seats and each ran over behind a Paralyzed Veteran and assisted them up the incline to their destination. I can not tell you the feeling we had at that exact moment other than pride.

So now any time we go anywhere we often see a veteran and the kids always stop them to tell them "Thanks for serving!" and shake their hand. You should see the looks on any Veterans face when these young kids approach them to tell them "Thank for serving!".

To this day, our kids talk about that day and how they want to go back each year so see these Veterans perform the 21 gun salute.

Rob, Out!

SGT Grit,

My son's 11 and 4 were looking at my tat of a bulldog and the letters USMC underneath on my left shoulder.

My 4 year old said, "dad, I want a Marine tattoo like yours", my 11 year old responded before I could reply, "you can't get one, you have to earn the title Marine, it is not given"! I added an OOHRAH! I noticed that my eyes got teary.

Semper Fi to our future DEVIL DOGS.

F M Roa

And I Quote...

"It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American Criminal class except Congress."
-- Mark Twain, 1897

CAMP SCHWAB, OKINAWA, Japan - The day started like any other day in Eastern Afghanistan, moderate temperature, sunny; hardly a cloud in the sky.

But for three Marines, a platoon of Afghan National soldiers and a platoon of soldiers from the U.S. Army's 173rd Airborne, July 13 would turn to bloodshed, sacrifice and one Marine's tale of heroism.

The U.S. - Afghan team was attacked by more than 200 enemy forces firing small-arms and rocket-propelled grenades.

Many members of the team became disorganized and discouraged facing the overwhelming odds.

Cpl. Jason Jones, one of three Marines embedded with the two platoons of soldiers, seized the initiative and began firing his weapon at the enemy while encouraging and guiding his comrades to organize a counter attack.

Jones' actions grew bolder as casualties mounted and the firefight intensified.

He sprinted across the terrain under heavy enemy fire to a wounded Afghan soldier and pulled him to safety as rocket- propelled grenades and small-arms fire exploded around them. But the fight was not over. Members of the U.S. Army platoon were pinned down.

"We got a call on the radio saying 'we're dying, we're dying and I'm the last one left,'" said Jones, the 24 year-old native of San Angelo, Texas. "I figured we needed to do something about it."

With bullets still flying, Jones again crossed 130 meters of fire-swept ground wielding a M-240B machine gun. Jones, with fire support from other members of the team, suppressed the attackers long enough to allow him to reach the wounded soldiers and provide life-saving aid.

For his valor, heroism and bravery under fire, Jones was awarded the Silver Star, the third highest decoration a U.S. service member can receive.

Jones is a four-year veteran of the Marine Corps. He graduated from Grape Creek High School, class of 2003, in San Angelo. He works in the logistics field with Headquarters and Service Company, 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division.

However, while in Afghanistan, Jones was serving a 10-month auxiliary billet as a mentor to the Afghan National Army while attached to Embedded Training Team 5-3.

According to Jones, he developed a bond with his Afghan and U.S. Army counterparts - a bond that was tested under fire and survived through resolve.

"Whether it's a Marine, sailor, or soldier, you can only hear suffering for so long before you have to do something about it," said Jones.

Jones said he took it upon himself to do exactly what Marines are taught - lead from the front. It is easy to say Jones' actions saved lives that day, but they may have had another lasting effect.

"His actions built confidence and motivation in the Afghan National Army," said Sgt. Maj. Samuel Schmidt the sergeant major of 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division. "He was essentially a catalyst in changing the tide of the battle."

Though his actions are looked at as heroic by some, Jones was a bit more humble in describing his actions following an awards ceremony on Camp Schwab April 2 where Lt. Gen. Richard C. Zilmer, III Marine Expeditionary Force commanding general, pinned on his Silver Star.

"We were just taking care of business," Jones said. "A firefight that big opens your eyes to what war is really like. I wouldn't call myself a hero. The real heroes are the ones that gave their (lives) - and I'm wearing this medal for them."

And I Quote...

"If the Fuhrer wishes it, then two times two are five."
-- Gen Hermann Goering

Hi Sgt. Grit, I was reading your newsletter and there was a fellow Marine who asked the question. Are Woman Marines still called BAMS?
I joined the Marine Corps right after high school from 1972-1974. I had my boot camp at Parris Island, S.C. in Platoon 10B.
The two years that I was in the Marine Corps we were called Woman Marines or Lady Leathernecks but never a BAM. I know that none of us would've ever liked being called BAMS. Us Woman Marines take pride in the way we looked in our uniforms. Our PT, Cadences and Defense classes that we did everyday kept us in good shape. I still to this day take care of the way I look from the way I wear my hair, way I put my make-up on and to put the red lipstick on. They even taught how to walk, talk and the correct way to hold and smoke a cigarette. At the age of 55 years I still care. I'm proud of my title as a Woman Marine and would never let the Corps down.
I still get together with my friends from the Marine Corps. We do cadence and sing the songs and it's as if we've never been apart. The saying is true...ONCE a MARINE ALWAYS a MARINE...
we're all proud to be Marines and we are the best of friends and the best friends I've ever had. I love the Marine Corps.

Cpl. Vonnie J. (Johnson) Heckt

Rev. John R Lee, Jr.

A Great Man, A Great Celebration, A Great Legacy...

What do you say about a man who is larger than life to you? My Dad, John R. Lee was such a man. Dad won a bronze star in the Second World War for gallantry. He was the hardest worker I ever knew. He was a child during the great depression and experienced the strenuous ordeals and challenges of daily life through the 1930s. He watched the war clouds gather over the world and without hesitation he served his country. He was an excellent father and friend. He was totally devoted to my mother. He prized and dearly loved his five children. He took the call of God upon his life with an earnestness that I've witnessed in the lives of few men. He was a quiet man; reserved, unassuming, but the very definition of strength and stability.

Dad and Mom instilled in my sister and my brothers and I a solid work ethic. It has molded all our lives. Dad was a hard worker. He was roofing a house when he received the news that I had been hit in Vietnam. There were times when Dad served as a bi- vocational pastor, at times working two jobs to help feed a family of seven. After his day-time jobs he put in untold hours of labor for the church that he was pastoring at the time.

Not only a great father, a wonderful pastor and friend, John Lee was also a great American. He loved this country. He loved its flag. Dad came from a large family of five brothers and six sisters. He fought against the Japanese in the South Pacific during WW II. He knew the rigors and hardships of war. During the course of the war, his Mom and Dad learned that their oldest son Emerson had been killed over Italy. Now, John, their second son was going off to war as well. It was a solemn duty that American families readily accepted in the 1940s. Though Dad was a decorated and valiant sailor he has never discussed the war with any of us. Like most of the men of that Greatest Generation, Dad simply performed his duty and came home. He has never looked for or expected accolades.

God bless each of you.

Tim Lee

And I Quote...

"The advantage of a classical education is that it enables you to despise the wealth which it prevents you from achieving."
-- Russell Green

My husband died 10 weeks ago suddenly from a heart attack. He was breathing and then he was not. The ER doctor told me he'd been beyond saving before I could start CPR. I am bereft and the quick notice I sent Sgt. Grit in no way conveyed what he was, had sacrificed, or what he meant to me. He had asked me that, if he died first, just "post a little notice in Sgt. Grit; nothing big, just so someone out there who remembers my name will know I've gone ahead."

Photo in honor of an American Hero, a United States Marine Saying he was (is) a Marine Force Recon should be enough to speak to the man he was. But there is so much more behind those words, as every Marine knows, and as all their wives and families know. There are dates on the calendar that are harder to get through. There are nights when it all comes back. Three tours in Vietnam to start and then so much more to relive when the "door to the closet where I keep it all fell open last night. Sorry, babe." It was a night I was always willing to lose for him, sitting up with him, or for him so he could get back to sleep. He gave up so much of himself and I love him so that keeping watch over him was a privilege. I would give almost anything to be have him beside me to keep vigil over any restless sleep he might have.

The effect of the scars on his body and the ones on his soul cannot be understood to those who are not Marines or related to them. He earned them honorably, sacrificing willingly for his country and his brothers. To lose him to death now that he was all mine seems wrong but the doctors at the VA said his body was far older than his years. He'd been shot out of the sky, blown up, shot, stabbed, you name it, my Marine had the injury but he always got himself home. And it was at home where he died, in my arms, at the age of 56. I am lucky that he was with me and that the last thing he heard was "I love you." My daughter said his death had to be a covert op because he would have fought illness every step of the way. He's probably arguing with God right now over this latest deployment.

His death has left me lonely for his smile, his laugh, and his love. It has left me to face Memorial Day, Veteran's Day, the birthday of the Marine Corps, and all our important dates alone. There are no more nightmares for him though and his body doesn't hurt anymore. But mine does. I have his medals, his Alice pack, his ashes, and his flag. I've lost his stories - there are so many. His memories - I loved being able to help him through the tough ones. His nightmares - feeling him reach for my hand has no comparison. His strength - he was mine. And his "good to go" attitude - he taught me courage. I have my memories of a life spent with a man who was a force of nature.

He didn't die in combat but he died a Marine, and that's more than a lot of people can say. I am proud of him. I love him. There will be no other. Semper Fi means just that to me. There will be no other.

And I Quote...

"Don't fire unless fired upon. But if they want a war let it begin here."
-- Captain John Parker, commander of the militiamen at Lexington, Massachusetts, on sighting British Troops (attributed), 19 April 1775

A Soldier, a Sailor, an Airman and a Marine got into an argument one night about which service was the best (go figure, right?). The arguing became so heated that none of the four servicemen saw the truck that was barreling down the road towards them. The driver failed to see them, and all four of them were killed instantly.

Soon, the servicemen found themselves at the Pearly Gates of Heaven. There they met with Saint Peter, and, figuring that he would be a good source of Ultimate Truth and Total Honesty, asked of Peter: "Saint Peter, which branch of the United States Armed Forces is the best?" Saint Peter replied, "I can't answer that. However I will ask God what he thinks the next time I see Him. Meanwhile, thank you for your service on Earth, and welcome to Heaven."

Some time later, the four servicemen see Saint Peter and remind him of the question they had asked him when first entering Heaven. The men asked Saint Peter if he was able to find the answer. Suddenly, a sparkling white dove lands on Peter's shoulder. In the dove's beak is a note glistening with golden dust. Saint Peter says, "Gentlemen, here is your answer from The Boss. Let's see what He has to say." Peter opens the note, and trumpets blare, golden dust drifts in the air, harps play crescendos, and Saint Peter reads the note aloud to the Servicemen:


FROM: The Almighty One
TO: Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines

SUBJ: Which Military Service Is The Best

1. Gentlemen, all branches of the United States Armed Forces are honorable and noble. Each serves America well, and with distinction. Being a Serviceman in the United States Military represents a special calling, which warrants special respect, tribute, and dedication.

2. Be proud of that!

Semper Fidelis,
God, USMC (retired)

I would like to say thank you for serving our great country my daddy was a Marine my big brother was to my brother did 3 tours in DaNang and now my son has been a Marine for 12 years he is on his way back to do another tour my son shops with you that is how i got your link again thank you for all you have done god bless you and your family

truly bonnie chellis

And I Quote...

"Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt."
-- President Herbert Hoover

Sgt Grit,
Roger Ware is in fact one of the very best Corpsmen of Marines that we have, past and present. Roger worked for a Chief Petty Officer by the name of Warren "Lou" LeGarie. Thanks to men like Roger and Lou so many of us are still breathing today. Lou turned 84 years young last week and is still called CPO/Gunny Lou to this day. Roger on the other hand thanks to the many talking to by his leading Chief/Gunny LeGarie retired from the Navy as a Chief Warrant Officer 4.

He has stayed in touch with his many military friends by helping them with their VA claims. He is a true master of his trade and has helped so many of us with our VA claims, Toys of Tots, and so many other military clubs where is has been and is still the man in charge. Lou said that Roger is one of the best Corpsmen he has ever known. Both men have served with their Marines through out their many years of service. They have always put the Marines they served with first, long before they put their own interest. I am proud to claim both men my friend.

Semper Fi!
Ray Westphal
Gunnery Sergeant of Marines (Ret)

USMC PFC Scott Nielsen with M-16
USMC PFC Scott Nielsen with M-16

And I Quote...

"The difference between death and taxes is death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets."
-- Will Rogers


VMF/VMA-211 19th reunion Sept. 28 thru Oct. 2, 2009 at MCB Quantico, Virginia. For information contact; Richard Downs, 7 Elizabeth St., Enfield, Ct. 06082. Telephone No. (860)745-0144 email vmfvma-211 @ cox .net

Thank You,
Semper Fi,
Richard A. Downs
USMC 1957-60

Hey Sarge...gotta put the record straight on the Makin Island "link"...the video states that the Marine Raiders "retreated" and indicated that they did not "take" the island...well, as even a cursory search will reveal what all Marines (at least my platoon at P.I. 1963) were taught. The Makin Island raid was not to take the island .. The raid was to "hit and run" destroy the radio station and the ammo dump...that was accomplished....they took the 19 casualties mentioned. It was reported in a local Chicago paper (re: the re-claiming of the Marines bodies from Makin) that the wounded were beheaded by the Japs....I suppose that was too politically incorrect so the makers of the video played the "harp" card and said they were buried honorably by the local populace...maybe that was true, but if they were buried with their helmets on their heads, some of them were not attached to their bodies ! I spoke to a fellow whose uncle was one of those raiders and he seemed to comply with the version I just stated....not the "fluff piece" on utube...I love my Corps and get really p.o'd when the civilians who don't have a clue try to tell "our" history!


Raymond L. Mirabile, Sgt. USMC...2067671...P.I. '63....discharged, El Toro '69 RVN (DaNang) 1969 (REMF)...skosh time in country....mainly Hdqtrd on Okinawa Volunteered from reserves to active in '67

And I Quote...

"If we would have a stable society, we must have dangerous Old Men."
"The good youths are guided and disciplined by Old Men."

-- Grim Beorn

And I Quote...

"If we believe in absurdities, we shall commit atrocities." Voltaire

Dear Sgt Grit,

Sir, not intending to cause a flap or create any animosity between my Marine brothers but perhaps you could have Cpl. Finkel (Sea duty stories) define what a real Marine is because I truly believe I was, and am, a real Marine. During my Marine service, 1962-66, I was in the Marine Air Wing, served in Vietnam, what else is there? I carry a lot of great memories with me, and some not so great memories, but one thing I am sure of is that I was and am a REAL TRUE MARINE! GOD BLESS the CORPS and SEMPER FI ! And, God Bless Corporal Finkel, a true Marine as well.

Warren Oliver
Nov 62 - Nov 66

Sgt. Grit,

USMC Tattoo featuring VMF 252 design and in memory of Lt. Col T. Wyatt Baxter After reading your last newsletter and viewing the tattoo montage I thought I'd forward a photo of mine. It is in memory of my eldest brother. He was more like a father to me even though we were only separated in age by eleven years.

The squadron logo is wrong, it should read VMFA-232, but it's the one his widow sent me. Too late to change the Tat.

Semper fi,
Bruce D. Baxter

And I Quote...

"[T]he hour is fast approaching, on which the Honor and Success of this army, and the safety of our bleeding Country depend. Remember officers and Soldiers, that you are Freemen, fighting for the blessings of Liberty - that slavery will be your portion, and that of your posterity, if you do not acquit yourselves like men."
-- George Washington

Marine Corps cake featuring Bulldog wearing DI hat Everyone loves cake, so here's the cake I made for a going away party at my husband's office. Semper fi!

Katrina Duff
Proud Marine Wife
MCB Quantico

Moose the Bulldog this is my sgt moose of No. Reading mass. he's only six months old and looks like he could take on any new recruit...Go Sgt Moose Semper Fi oohrah

And I Quote...

"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite."
-- James Madison

I served from 1953 to 1958. The guys could be pretty flip ad we could be pretty flip right back. Bam was definitely a pretty derogatory remark. Whenever the remark was made to one of us, we just turned right around and said, "That's Beautiful American Marine, right?" That usually stopped them in their tracks.

Forward ahead 50 years and I am traveling in Egypt. There was a gentleman traveling with us who every day wore his jacket with the eagle globe and anchor on it, and a ball cap with the same emblem. I asked him if he wasn't a bit leery wearing these identifiers in this rather unsettled land. Foolish question! Of course he wasn't. I told him I was also a Marine. As we boarded our bus to continue our tour he said loud enough for a number of other tour members to hear "So you were a Bam." I looked him straight in the eye and said, "that's Beautiful American Marine". He just cracked up. We had a great time for the rest of the tour.
Sgt. Kay (Morgan) Carpenter

My 14yo son asked me to come over to his mothers house the other day so he could show me something he learned. He knows that his education is very important to me so I told him I would be over right after work. I walked into his house and he told me to hold on a second and he would get what he needed. He came out of his bedroom with his saxophone and proceeded to play the Marines Hymn for me. I can't say a tear did not come into my eye. He told me he was proud to be the son of a Marine.

Semper FI to all the fathers out there with great sons like mine

Sgt J Warren