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AmericanCourage #204     09 JUL 2009
Print | ONLINE CATALOG

Lance Corporal Torres Sgt Grit...

I just wanted to give a big OOHRAH to my Lance Corporal Torres with the 3rd Battalion 1st Marine Division.


Support Our Troops Special


Thank you! My grandson is stationed in the middle of no where in Afghanistan. We have all sent so many boxes (I sent 17) since he left 2 months or so ago. He can share with all his unit and put the little sign outside his tent. We have ordered lots from you, mainly my daughter Christin Helander mother of the deployed Marine Captain. Here is a photo of the two of us in sweatshirts we designed from patches of everywhere Graham has been. Most came from you.

Donna Cook

Marine Mom and Grandma displaying One Star Mother Flag and showing off custom sweatshirts Marine Mom and Grandma displaying One Star Mother Flag and showing off custom sweatshirts


Saturday of Fathers Day weekend was one of the best ever. Our grandson, LCPL Jeremy Thomas, of the 3/8, flew into LAX after spending three weeks in N.C. (we all know where that is, right?). This is a ramrod straight, 160+ pound, lean, six-two , redheaded young Marine, a changed man from what left for Afghanistan eight months ago. I could not be more proud of him than I am.

His grandma and I have had him to ourselves on two occasions, other than being able to pack away food, he is a very change young man, polite to a fault and courteous to all he is a joy to show off. We have met many Viet Nam veterans on these two visits. He is without fail respectful and appreciative of their service.

As a old Marine myself, it still amazes me how the generation gap disappears when the old and young meet. We will always carry his love in our hearts, as we have for the past 22 years, but now there is something special there also. He has helped pick up body parts of close friends, and been fired upon, but there is no braggart there, just a proud humbleness to be envied.

One last note, We arrived home and my wife parked a little to close to the curb. I am having trouble with my knees these days and was having trouble getting out of the machine. He came over and grabbed my hand and hauled my 260+ pounds to my feet and said "He ain't heavy, He's my brother!"
PFC Robert C. Young, USMC 1956-58
--
Smilin_Bob Young


MOS Shirt Special


And I Quote...

"The nation which indulges towards another an habitual hatred, or an habitual fondness, is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest."
--George Washington


You are exactly right! There is no excuse for the way this joker conducted / presented himself in his uniform. And yes, I think you should have respectfully laid into him.

Obviously this guy was disgruntled for whatever reason, and I've had those disgruntled feeling back in my day. But I would have NEVER been that disrespectful to myself & the uniform. Sorry you had to experience that part of the Corps but it's there. It sounds as though your son's not of this caliber, at least not in public, and more importantly, around you. Be very proud of this!

I don't think there'll be a reader to argue this statement: There is no "vacation" when in that uniform!

Semper Fi

JJ Chervinko
Cpl USMC
'91 - '95


Honest Abe

Abe Lincoln


Thank you. For you website it awesome. My grandpa is a Marine and I have friends that are Marines and others that are going into the military. Its great to know people support those who serve our country. I'm not a Marine brat, but Marines are the best of the best and our my favorite. And my parents taught me to respect and support all our troops. Its sad that kids around my age or younger don't have respect for them. but hopefully through websites like yours they will learn to.
Thank you again Katie


And I Quote...

"Place a monkey in a cage, and it is the same as a pig, not because it isn't clever and quick, but because it has no place to freely exercise its capabilities."
--Huainanzi, 200BC


Platoon 1085 - 1972 Have not seen many of these yellow foot prints I really miss good old Parris Island

William Watson
Cpl of Marines 1966-1972


Dear Sgt Grit:

In reply to Frank Scorcose's message on June 25, I had the great pleasure to help dedicate two bridges in Upshur County West Virginia on June 26 for Marines who were killed in Vietnam.

The first bridge dedicated was on Route 33, Corridor H at Route 20 North Locust Street exit in Buckhannon, WV. It is now named the "PFC Ronald "Ronnie" Dean, USMC Memorial Bridge. He was KIA in Vietnam on April 21, 1968 while serving with Company C, First Engineering Battalion, First Marine Division.

The second bridge dedicated was on County Route 11/17 in Selbyville, Upshur County, WV. It is now named the "Corporal William Dely Memorial Bridge". He was KIA in Vietnam on June 13, 1966 while serving with E1 Platoon, H&S Company, First Amphibian Tractor Battalion, Third Marine Division in support of 1st Bn 9th Marines

The American Legion Post and VFW Post from Buckhannon, WV provided military honors. Marine Corps League, Leland D. "Crow" Crawford 956 of Elkins WV provided Marine Corps honor guard.

These two bridges will serve as a memorial to these Marines who lost their lives in Vietnam. Their memory will be kept alive and the legacy of the Marine Corps continues.

Roger Ware
H 2/5 Vietnam 66-67


Gold Star Mom Needs You - to Vote

Dee is a Gold Star Mother. That means she has suffered the unimaginable loss of a son who was killed in action. Dee will tell you, Once a Marine Mom, always a Marine Mom. She has dedicated herself to helping other men and women serving in the military.

Dee formed an organization, Lea's Prayers & Postage, that funds postage for care packages that are shipped overseas. Her energy is boundless as she creatively finds ways to fund her cause. Thousands of packages have been shipped with the help of Lea's Prayers and Postage.

You can vote for Dee Mills until Aug 7:

http://www.energizerkeepgoinghalloffame.com/


And I Quote...

"Work as if you were to live 100 Years, Pray as if you were to die To-morrow."
--Benjamin Franklin


Sgt Grit
MY son, Brian is stationed in Afghanistan and is setting up the new base there. He has asked for us to send chewing tobacco because the kind he likes is hard to come by. His uncle was kind enough to buy the chew and since it's so close to the 4th of July I thought I would wrap the rolls up for him to make him feel a little bit more at home.

Polish Fire Crackers Attached is a photo of my fire crackers. I call them Polish fire crackers (no offence to anyone Polish it's a local expression). I thought maybe someone else would like a new idea to cheer up the troops, anything round will work. Maybe you could pass this on for me and also mention that I have found vacuum sealing cookies and brownies (which I heard they use in poker games sometimes) helps keep them fresher.

Sue Behselich


June 15, 2009
"Taps"
On June 10, 2009 I buried my father in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia. He was 86 and an Army veteran of WWII; part of 'the greatest generation.' As we drove to the burial site we passed row after row after row of white tombstones perfectly aligned in all directions. The tombstones reached out over rolling hills like fields of wild flowers. As I absorbed this journey, the tombstones seemed to speak out, in ever so soft voices, offering untold stories of service to our Country. Is anybody listening? Will you remember me? Do you care?

Many of the graves are of young men and women who never got the chance to grow up and age with their families. Lives cut short, standing their watch, so the rest of us could enjoy the freedom provided by this great Country. In the vastness of this hallowed ground, you can occasionally see a parent, spouse, son, or daughter crouching alone at their loved one's grave. A young lady sitting quietly in chair facing a tombstone; 'will you remember me?' A father kneeling on one knee, in an area dedicated to current war dead, with his hand on a tombstone; 'I miss you son.' Old veterans visiting their buddies; 'I will never forget you.'

Over 300,000 graves populate this solemn ground each representing someone who gave part, or all, of their lives for us; 'do you care?' Each day, while hundreds of tourists comb drives named Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, MacArthur, Halsey, etc., the cemetery comes alive with the sound of a firing party providing a twenty-one gun salute shortly followed by the playing of "taps." Then silence. The silence is deafening!

In Washington D.C. you can't walk a block without bumping into someone in the military. In most cities, you may go a month without seeing someone in uniform, making it much harder to come into contact with the reality of the price of freedom. Every moment of every day, since the beginning of this great Country, someone's child, parent, sibling, or spouse has stood watch in harms-way so you and your family can be safe and enjoy the freedom we so often take for granted. - So when you get the chance, please go out of your way to thank our military and their families. Let them know you are grateful for their sacrifice. Let them know 'you care.'

George T. James
USMC 1968-74
Loveland, OH


And I Quote...

"The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If 'Thou shalt not covet' and 'Thou shalt not steal' were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free."
--John Adams


A few years back, my husband and I proudly attended the graduation ceremony in San Diego of our son, a new Marine. It was a beautiful ceremony. While on the grounds, I noticed strategically placed pairs of yellow footprints everywhere and it gave me an idea!

I am an office clerk in a primary elementary school (grades preschool through 1st grade) and I needed a way for our young students to easily know where in the office to put their notes and lunch money. I bought a doormat, painted a pair of child- sized footprints on the mat positioned just like the ones in San Diego only in school colors and placed it on the floor in front of the basket on the counter where they are to put their notes, etc. It works like a charm! The students come in and know right where to stand to leave everything. If I happen to be away from my desk, it's a wonderful visual reminder to the kids for where to leave their notes. The kids don't know the story of the footprints, but some of them stand on the painted feet and snap to attention on their own before they put their stuff in the basket! I love it! Sometimes parents will come in and stand on the footprints too. Who knew a pair of painted footprints could be such a powerful visual cue? Obviously, the Marines!

Thank you,

Teri Black
mother of LCpl Peter M Black


I have to tell this again as the 4th is here. We were PLT 356 at MCRD SAN DIEGO June to Sept 1957. SSgt Joe Curley is Senior DI. Sgt T J Hayek Is Junior D I. As July 4 is coming up our DI's were asked several times if we would get to celebrate the 4th of July. Of course was always the reply. The 4th was an ordinary day of instruction and training. All thought SSgt Curley had forgotten. Just before bed time we were all assembled out on the street. SSGT Curley said " Now say BANG three times".

Dale Hartley 1607484


And I Quote...

"Remember that every government service, every offer of government-financed security, is paid for in the loss of personal freedom. ... In the days to come, whenever a voice is raised telling you to let the government do it, analyze very carefully to see whether the suggested service is worth the personal freedom which you must forgo in return for such service."
--Ronald Reagan


Sgt. Grit.
I wish to share with you a story told to me by my late Father Sgt. R. B. Rodgers USMC. Dad joined in 1943, went to Boot Camp at MCRD San Diego. He was trained as a field telephone wireman and went overseas with the 9th Marines. He saw action on Bougainville, Guam and Iwo Jima. He was honorably discharged in 1945 and did not serve in the Marine Reserve although several of his friends did and were recalled for Korea.

I don't recall exactly where this took place, but I believe it was in San Diego prior to my Father shipping out. They were quartered in a Dallas hut, which is a pre-fab building but unlike a Quonset hut has straight walls. Their Sergeant made a habit of coming to their hut in the middle of the night. He would blow a whistle and they were to fall in in front of the hut in full gear. Of course, they were never as fast as the Sergeant thought they should be. Then one day somebody had a brainstorm. They removed all the bolts that held up the front wall leaving only two at each top corner with no nut on them. That night, they posted a watch, pushed their racks against the back wall and waited in full gear. When they saw the Sergeant coming for his nightly visit, they fell in inside the hut and pulled the last two bolts. When the Sergeant sounded his whistle, they butt stroked the wall down and marched out in formation over it. The Sergeant stared for a moment, then declared; "Now THAT is the Marine Corps way God Damm-t! Carry on!" They put the wall back up and were not disturbed any more while in those quarters.

John Rodgers, NREMT-Paramedic.

"There are many things more horrible than bloodshed; and slavery is one of them."
Padraig Pearse, 1913

"Be without fear in the face of your enemies.
Be brave and upright that G-d may love thee.
Speak the truth, even if it should mean your death.
Safeguard the Helpless."


The reason the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marines bicker amongst themselves is that they don't speak the same language. For instance, Take the simple phrase "secure the building".

The Army will post guards around the place.
The Navy will turn out the lights and lock the doors.
The Marines will kill everybody inside and set up a headquarters.
The Air Force will take out a 5 year lease with an option to buy.

David R. Ray
GySgt USMC(RET)


And I Quote...

"The best way to destroy the capitalist system is to debauch the currency."
--Vladimir Lenin


Here's to the heroes.
The Ten Tenors (YouTube Video)... Beautiful!


Col Ed McMahon Dies

I know you probably knew him better as Johnny Carson's side kick, but Ed McMahon, who died today at the age of 86 was a proud former Marine.

Colonel Ed McMahon He enlisted in the Marines for WWII, and became a fighter pilot, and served as an instructor pilot and test pilot. In 1946 he left active duty for the Reserves, and went to college. After college he returned to active duty, and in 1953 he went to Korea where he flew 85 tactical air control and artillery spotting missions in an unarmed O-1E Bird Dog. After Korea he remained in the Reserves, retiring as a Colonel in the Marine Reserves in 1966.

In an interview in 1999, McMahon was asked what he would like to be remembered for. His answer?
"Two things. That I was a good broadcaster and a great Marine."

Semper Fi, Col McMahon and God Speed.


And I Quote...

"Today, when a concerted effort is made to obliterate this point, it cannot be repeated too often that the Constitution is a limitation on the government, not on private individuals."
--Ayn Rand


Platoon 354, San Diego, 1943 Attached is a picture that some of your readers may be in if they've made it to their 80's. Platoon 354, San Diego, 1943. One of the Marines is Pvt. Robert Roth, my dad. I graduated from Platoon 366, 20 years later in 1963...SEMPER FI!

Sgt. Ron Roth
63-74


In your 01 July 2009, there is a letter from Shawn who wrote about the idiot who insulted his Mother wishing his death in combat.

Yes, we all would love to cut the individual's tongue out, however, as strange as this may sound, that would put you on his level. He (and any individual who makes stupid comments liked this) is simply jealous. You, in your short life span, have accomplished more than he could or will ever accomplish in his. You have earned the title 'UNITED STATES MARINE.' That is some thing that he can never do. Please do not put yourself on the same low level (sewer) with individuals as these.

Your Mother and family are very proud of you and you may rest assured that those of us who have earned the title 'MARINE,' are just as proud of you.

Thank you for your service and helping to protect this great and wonderful nation we live in. May God bless you and your family and may HE continue to bless and keep our beloved Corps.

SEMPER FI

Gary L. COON
MSgt USMC (Ret)
0803 2 July 08 PS: Happy Birthday America


And I Quote...

"Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition."
--Thomas Jefferson


Former Marine's front-porch flag display is torched (news story)


Marines quilt for Chris L. Heady My son, Chris Lee Heady, was in the Marine reserves and was called up for the Desert Storm Conflict- He was in a tank unit stationed at Fort Knox, KY and had the rank of Corporal when he got out. He is happily married and has four beautiful children, (two teenage girls and two little boys). (my terrific grandchildren)

Marines quilt for Chris L. Heady I wanted to make this quilt for him to let him know how proud I am of him for serving our country and I believe they will hang it on the wall above the couch in the family room downstairs where everyone goes to watch TV and be together for family activities. It will be for his birthday and also for Veteran's Day as they come close together in the year.

Marines quilt for Chris L. Heady I received the corporal stripes/patches today from you all in the mail and will sew one in each of the four corners of the quilt to finish it off- His patches were on his uniform shirts and his wife cannot get to them without telling him about the quilt and spoiling the surprise- I may make a pillow and sew the other badges on it and use the same pieces of fabric- - I will send you pictures of the finished quilt when I get it finished- I am doing hand embroidery on it now.

Thank you (sew) much!
Dr Dot


I have said many times to friends that when I was in The Marines, I was a good technician, but a lousy spit and polish Marine, I would have made a lousy grunt and I am honest enough to admit it. I have much respect for the guys that do, which is why when I see guys in public in uniform but with no cover, blouse open, basically looking like a slob, I get upset. Pride in a outstanding uniform is one of the things that sets us apart. When one of my daughters was in the airforce, she was in school in Mississippi, there were Marines their as well. As she told me Dad I made sure my uniform was as squared away as theirs was. A higher standard as she put it.

I have on more then one occasion stopped a young Marine and gently requested that they square away their uniform, I think the most upsetting moment was a year ago Christmas I was in a best buy out side of New Brunswick NJ going to my car and from across the parking lot were 3 marines a Sgt, Cpl and LCpl, they were obviously on recruiting duty, I said hello then asked the Sgt if they were missing something as I pointed to the top of my head, they were all with out head covers They just smiled and continued across the parking lot then in to the store. I was so p!ssed I nearly dropped the big screen TV I was loading into the car. As the next day was a Saturday and I had to catch a plane back to my home in Mich, I never got a chance to find out who they were with. wish I had. It still rankles me I did not go into the store and read the riot act to them. My grandson then 9 said Pop what's wrong and I tried to tell him. Still these guys represent the Corps they have to be held to a high standard. To me they failed
Frank H.


And I Quote...

"It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed."
--Vladimir Lenin


A Family's Valor, a Nation's Freedom
Why would a 61-year-old civilian surgeon volunteer for Iraq?

By KARL ROVE
At a dinner last week in California, I was reminded of the debt we owe to those who have, for 233 years, sustained our freedom and independence. One remarkable family in particular exemplifies the best in the American spirit of courage and sacrifice.

Sitting at my table was a friend, Christine Krissoff, wife of Dr. Bill Krissoff and mother of Nathan and Austin Krissoff. One of her sons, Marine First Lt. Nathan Krissoff, was killed in Al Anbar Province in December 2006. A Williams College grad, athlete and musician, he'd left for Iraq on the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He was 25.

I met his parents and brother in Nevada in August 2007 while accompanying President George W. Bush to Reno, Nev. The president was there to address the American Legion before meeting with local families who'd lost a loved one in Iraq or Afghanistan. Mr. Bush has met with about 550 families in private visits like this. At those meetings, he would have a senior staff member close by in case there was something that needed to be followed up on, such as getting a flag to a family member.

We entered a small room in the back of the convention center to find the Krissoffs waiting -- the father in a black suit with his arms crossed and the mother in a plain dark outfit. Their dress contrasted with their son Austin's Marine dress uniform. Like his older brother, Austin had volunteered for service after college. He was to be deployed to Iraq in March 2008.

During my White House years, I saw few people with the quiet power, intelligence and poise of Chris Krissoff. She talked about her sons, the pain of her loss, her concern for her youngest when he went into harm's way, and the stakes in the War on Terror. The entire time, her husband was quiet.

When stories had been told, tears wept, and grief expressed, Mr. Bush asked if he could do anything. At that, Bill Krissoff spoke.

"Yes," he said. "I'm a pretty good orthopedic surgeon. When my younger son is deployed to Iraq next March, I would like to be working as a Navy medical officer, but they won't let me because I am 61 years old. Will you give me an age waiver, Mr. President?" Mr. Bush pointed to me. Dr. Krissoff and I exchanged business cards and he promised to fax me his application.

I checked him out on the way back to Washington. His reputation was that of an outstanding trauma and sports medicine surgeon. He was also a marathon runner and a really fine person.

Two days later, I placed Bill's application on the president's desk before he met with Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs. I made sure Gen. Pace had the file when he left. He promised to get back soon with an answer. I told him that he would have to get back to someone else: The next day was my last day at the White House. One of the last things I did before turning in my badge was to write Bill Krissoff to wish him well.

A day later, I was in West Texas for the start of dove season. While waiting for the next flight of birds, I realized I hadn't written Mrs. Krissoff. So I sat down that night at the Gage Hotel in Marathon and did. She had already lost her oldest son. Her younger son was preparing to deploy to Iraq. Meanwhile, her husband wanted to give up their comfortable life, career and friends so he could honor their sons by joining the military at age 61. And she had given her full, heartfelt support.

A few weeks later, I received a note saying Bill had received his waiver and a chance to pass basic training. A few months later, I was invited to the commissioning ceremony for Lt. Commander William Krissoff, United States Navy Medical Reserve.

Bill emailed me this April about his duties as a combat surgeon in Iraq. He sent photos of himself with Austin, who is now on his second tour there. This is how father, mother and brother are honoring the sacrifice of Nathan. While sharing this story with the audience last week, I found myself unable to look at Christine until I finished and the crowd rose to applaud her.

Watching the smoke rise from the Battle of Bunker Hill, Abigail Adams wrote her husband John, who was away at the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia. While she and others lived "in continual Expectation of Hostility," Abigail wrote, "like good Nehemiah, having made our prayer with God, and set the people with their Swords, their Spears, and their bows, we will say unto them, Be not afraid of them."

Christine Krissoff's husband and sons, wrapped in prayers and armed with swords and scalpels, have served our nation with valor. So has she. So long as our nation produces families like the Krissoffs, America will remain not only the greatest nation on earth, but also the most noble in history.

See the original article


And I Quote...

"I am convinced that there is no smarter, handier, or more adaptable body of troops in the world."
==Prime Minister of Britain, Sir Winston Churchill talking about Marines


And I Quote...

"Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!"
--George Washington


The article on the "yellow footprints" are probably the one thing no Marine can ever forget. About fifteen years ago I placed a flag pole in our front yard, in addition I painted the yellow footprints on the slab I built, so each morning when I raise the colors, both of my feet are on the footprints that no Marine can ever forget. It gives me such a chill after forty- four years of pride after arriving @ MCRD.

Semper Fi!

RamTwo
MSgt Ret.


And I Quote...

"Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood."
--John Adams


Got Freedom? Compliments of the United States Marine Corps
Got Freedom? Compliments of the United States Marine Corps





You're making the wrong assumption that a MARINE by himself is outnumbered.
You're making the wrong assumption that a MARINE by himself is outnumbered...



God Bless America!
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit