AmericanCourage #207 20 AUG 2009
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I'm so proud to have the Eagle Globe and Anchor sticker on my vehicle, an elderly gentleman saluted me today. This is my husband who is coming home from Afghanistan, hopefully soon. I enjoy your website, Semper Fi.
Hi, I found this in my fathers Marine Corps Recruit Book from Parris Island, First Battalion Platoon 78 - Honor Platoon Sept. 21, 1955 and thought you might like it for your web site.
Dear Sgt Grit,
Our son graduated from Michigan Technological University with an engineering degree in May 2001. He tried several jobs as an engineer and just couldn't get along with the tedious work. He tried substitute teaching and really enjoyed working with young people and showing them things that are new to them.
He had a job offer from the National Laboratory in New Mexico and was thinking about going for an interview, this was September 2001. While he was trying to decide on the job in New Mexico or going back to school to get his teaching certificate, the terrorists hit the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. That night while we were watching the event on the news he told my wife and I that he had figured out what he was going to do. In his words he told us "I am going to join the military because my Country needs me." The next day, he was in the Marine Recruiter's Office.
Later that year he was in Quantico, VA in OCS and after that, The Basic School. Of course my wife and I both attended his graduations. When he graduated from The Basic School, I asked what he had learned. His answer was "Everything that I learned is about the PFC with the M-16." That was about the proudest of him I had ever been. He is still in today after 6 1/2 years. He is a CH-53 pilot based at Miramar in California. He has been to Iraq twice and may be going to Afghanistan sometime next year.
He is the fourth generation in our family to go into the military, but he is only the second Marine. My father was a 6th DIV Marine in WWII, my grandfather (WWI) and I (Vietnam era) were both in the Army.
I have no fear for him while he is deployed because I am assured that he is well trained and amongst the best trained most disciplined military in the world.
Thank you for allowing me to share this with your readers.
God bless the Marine Corps.
And I Quote...
"Our struggle for nationhood, our unrelenting fight for freedom, our very existence -- these have all rested on the assurance that you must be free to shape your life as you are best able to, that no one can stop you from reaching higher or take from you the creativity that has made America the envy of mankind."
Will you post my tattoo on your page ;) I got this tattoo of my honey who is currently deployed. We've known each other since the first grade. He is my best friend and my soulmate. Now he will be with me always. Semper Fi
Hi Sgt Grit,
I just wanted to add a very special Marine to your Marine stories. My son Lance Corporal Eric Esquibel, joined your beloved Corps in June of 2008 and graduated from boot camp, platoon 1009 MCRD in August. He is an infantryman 0311 and is stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC, 2d battalion, 2d Marine Regiment, 2d Marine Division. He is currently at 29 palms, California, going thru enhanced Mohave viper training, and then headed to Afghanistan in October with his unit.
His passion was to join the Marine Corps since the age of 12 and as soon as he graduated from high school he joined the corps and loves it. He has earned several meritorious awards and is always praised by his commanders as being an excellent Marine with the highest standards of performance. His mom and I are the proudest parents ever and wish him and his battalion the best of luck in Afghanistan. To all the Marines that have served and still serving our country, may god take care of you all and THANK YOU for YOUR SERVICE.
I would sure appreciate it if you could print this in one of your editions
PROUD MARINE DAD
Our son, Clint Thomas, was promoted on or about 2 August 2009 to Master Sergeant, USMC, while in Afghanistan with 2Bn 3rd Marines. We couldn't be prouder.
Wayne & Debi Thomas
And I Quote...
"Only a large-scale popular movement toward decentralization and self-help can arrest the present tendency toward statism.... A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude. To make them love it is the task assigned, in present-day totalitarian states, to ministries of propaganda, newspaper editors and schoolteachers."
--English writer Aldous Huxley (1894-1963)
Hello Sgt Grit.
I was never in the USMC but I was in MCJROTC for most of my high school career. Though I wasn't a real devil dog, the program did have a great impact on me, especially the instructors, 1st Sgt Kenneth Bustamante and GySgt. Tim Shaner. These two men had a great impact on my life, teaching me the true nature of the Corps values honor, courage and commitment. I hold the lessons they taught me close to heart. It is because of their leadership and instruction that I answered my calling to go into a law enforcement career.
Always a friend to the few and the proud,
Samantha Roe, Semper Fi! HOORAH!
This bumper sticker says it all, for no person on God's Earth hates war more than the sailor, the airman, the soldier, or the Marine who has to fight it.
When you enjoy the freedom you wake up with every morning, thank a Veteran of the United States Armed Forces.
U. S. Navy Veteran
And I Quote...
"The ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy. An equal dispensation of protection, rights, privileges, and advantages, is what every part is entitled to, and ought to enjoy."
Are we really the FEW, the Proud, the Marines? As a Marine (1964 - 1972) who proudly displays his affiliation on his bumpers and his workout T-shirt, I am surprised how few other Marines I come in contact with in the Greater Boston area. I am curious how many of us there are, former and active Marines in the United States. What percent of the male U.S. population are Marines? Can anyone provide some information on how FEW we are?
H&S Company, 1st Bn, 25th Marines, 4th Division
Bringing Heroes Home, With Honor and Respect In February 2009, I left my family and our new tropical island paradise home of Okinawa for the sand-swept landscape of Kuwait. My assignment was to serve as the mortuary and patient affairs chaplain for Marine Forces Central Command (MARCENT) in Kuwait. This 6 month Individual Augment (IA) assignment was unlike any other I had served during my 24 years in the military and a genuine learning experience. As always, amid the challenges of life, a Higher Power was at work.
This deployment was truly joint-service in nature. I was the only Sailor assigned to Abdullah Al Mubarak Air Base, assigned to a Marine command, working with airmen, Marines and soldiers nearly every day. I worked with Army mortuary teams, Air Force and Navy medical teams, lived and worked on a joint Kuwaiti and U.S. Air Force base, and was supported by Army chaplains. I have a new appreciation for my sister services and a genuine love for military personnel from all branches.
Every single fallen warrior and civilian was rendered honors as their remains came through our air base on their final flight back to their homeland. Australian, British, Latvian, Nepalese, Philippines, Polish, and Sri Lankans came through. No matter what day or hour, representatives from every branch of the military were present. The Air Force and Marine air crews and those on the flight line went above and beyond the call of duty to support the Army mortuary teams. Our civilian contractor personnel did a great job too. Today's Marine Corps still produces warriors and wins battles. America is still a nation of patriots and our young people serving today are great!
As I pause in reflection, I realize 180 days can seem like a short deployment or an eternity, depending on circumstances. Being on call for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for 6 months has taught me to become more flexible: in scheduling, in sleeping, in eating, in physical training, and more prepared to deliver ministry at a moment's notice. During this deployment, I ministered to 4 mortuary teams, ill and injured Marines, and an entire airbase, during tragedy, boredom and many light- hearted moments too. I have learned to love airmen and soldiers, in addition to Marines and sailors. I believe I have become a better person, and hopefully a better chaplain too.
LCDR Cliff Stuart is assigned to Marine Wing Support Group 17, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Okinawa, Japan. He served as a Marine from 1985 to 2000, and was commissioned into the Navy Chaplain Corps in 2000.
I read the letter from Michael Ross in this weeks newsletter and it touched a nerve with me. Except for marriage and children, I have often said that the Marine Corps was the best thing that ever happened to me. Why? I flunked out of college and although I didn't know it at the time, it was due mostly to lack of discipline commitment and confidence in myself.
In stepped the Corps. No, I didn't find it, it found me. I was one of eleven out of approximately three hundred individuals that was drafted into the Marines that day. For some reason, God's plan for me was not to be a failure and He knew the answer. The Corps! It provided exactly what I needed.
I have tried over and over to explain to the uninitiated what the Marine way is all about but I never can find the right words. Is it the discipline? Not exactly. Is it the confidence to do whatever you set your mind to do? Not exactly. Is it fear of failure? Not exactly. Is it pride in accomplishment? Maybe. I think it's all of those yet there's some other indeterminate factor that blends all of that together to form a Marine.
When my time was up, I went back to school, graduated with honors, went to night school and earned a Masters Degree. I have had some success in the business world and I owe ALL of it to the Corps. Absolutely none of this would have happened if on that fateful day in January 66, a Sgt. in his Dress Blues didn't tell me to follow him.
C. F. Larkin
And I Quote...
It is better to die like a man, standing on your own two feet, than on your knees in disgrace.
--A Philippine General Quote
Semper Fi to all of my Bros,
When you reach 70 and look back at your service you only remember the things that made you proud to be a Marine. At times I have wonder if the new Marines are as good as my generation of Marines. Recently I watched about 15 minutes of the movie Jarhead before I turned it off. The only movie as equally bad was Clint Eastwood's which I decided that this drama presentation was really meant to be a comedy.
After thinking about it I started to wonder if maybe the movies were accurate. I became some what depressed until I read the book Joker One. This book is a about Marines fighting near Ramadi. It is a story of courage, of dedication, of skills and the love of Marines for their brothers even until death.
The book convinced me the Marines of today are better trained and better equipped than we were. They retained the brotherhood, courage and sacrifice that we had. I am proud of this new generation of warriors. Well Done
And I Quote...
"The Great Depression, like most other periods of severe unemployment, was produced by government mismanagement rather than by any inherent instability of the private economy."
--economist Milton Friedman
People are often shocked when they find out that I am a United States Marine. This is partially because my appearance is not that of the stereotypical marine. I am 5'3" tall and probably 120lbs soaking wet with all of my gear. Their shock is often accompanied by curiosity. The question, without fail is "Why the Marines?"
The military dates back in my family to times previous to the revolutionary war. Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force; you name it, we had it. Uncles in the Air Force, father in the Army, brother in the Navy. But the Marine Corps was a rarity. There have only ever been two other Marines in my family. My grandfather, Marlin Caddell, was a sergeant at the time of his discharge. My cousin, Brian Mccormick, was also a sergeant at the time of his death.
Being a United States Marine has been my dream as far back as I can remember. This desire was only strengthened as I stood at the funeral of my grandfather, and then at that of my cousin. Seeing the Marines that participated in those ceremonies, hearing the 21 gun salute, seeing the lone Marine on the hill playing TAPS...I felt honored to be standing on the same ground as those proud men in their dress blues.
Today, I had that same honor as we buried my grandmother. She has battled cancer for roughly a year and a half, and today was finally laid to rest beside her Marine husband. I was in boot camp when I found out that she had cancer. They told her that she didn't have a lot of time left. She told the doctors that she wasn't going anywhere until she got to see her newest Marine in her dress blues. She hung on to see me come home in my dress blues, my charlies, and my service alphas. She listened to my stories of boot camp, laughed at my descriptions of the screaming drill instructors, was (in my eyes) appropriately shocked at everything from my descriptions of the ever popular "island hopping" from sand pit to sand pit, to the quickness and precision with which we had to do EVERYTHING. But when story time was done, and she had me sitting on her couch in my blues, the tone always changes. She would hold my hand, and with tears in her eyes, tell me how proud my grandfather would have been of me, and how proud she was of me. She had a deep and strong love for the Corps. So I wore my dress blues for that amazing woman one last time today as we laid her to rest.
So my answer to the age old question "why the Marines?" never takes much time. I can say that I am a Marine because it is a proud legacy, because we take care of our own, because we love our country. All of these are entirely true. However, I don't really know where the dream to be a Marine came from. I just know it was there, and I know that standing in front of that Iwo Jima statue after the crucibal, being called a United States Marine was the proudest moment of my life. And every time I put on my uniform, talk to a retired Marine and hear their stories, or any number of other things, I feel that same pride. I am a United States Marine.
I have included a picture of my USMC tattoo. The words above the customized Eagle, Globe, and Anchor are Semper Fidelis. And below are the words The Strong Never Die. I got it in memory of my grandfather Sgt Marlin Caddell, and my cousin Sgt Brian Mccormick.
Oorah and Semper Fi!
Lcpl Natasha Perkins
MCAS New River
Well, it has been many years since I became a Marine. I just thought that one of my four children would become a Marine, but only one has joined the service-the Air Force. Upon graduating as a Honor Graduate, another airman asked him how he did it. His answer floored me, but made me proud too. He said, "Do you think I could be anything but number one being raised by a Woman Marine". He went on to graduate from Tech school as an Honor Graduate too.
Anyway, thought I should include my boot camp picture from platoon 12-A November 9, 1965 - I'm in row 4, 7th from the right. Of all the WMs I graduated with I only know one now-who husband graduated high school with me, her name is Jo Ann. I have included a picture of Jo Ann, I and C.T. (my son) from his graduation from boot camp in 2008. Jo Ann is also in row 4, 2nd from the right.
And to J. M. Oliver who posted the 11-A Platoon picture - yes, we remember.
Pamela Q. (PQ) Laucius
And I Quote...
"'Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.' We have heard that many times. What is also the price of freedom is the toleration of imperfections. If everything that is wrong with the world becomes a reason to turn more power over to some political savior, then freedom is going to erode away.... Ultimately, our choice is to give up Utopian quests or give up our freedom. This has been recognized for centuries by some, but many others have not yet faced that reality, even today. If you think government should 'do something' about anything that ticks you off, or anything you want and don't have, then you have made your choice between Utopia and freedom."
--economist Thomas Sowell (also a Marine)
Now 40 years since the Woodstock gig. I know I'm probably going to step on some toes here, but here's one Old VietNam era Marines memory and opinion!
As I recal, this Woodstock thing began as a "Come together" weekender party of sort. It ended up being a setting for Militants, drug using, boozing, anti war cowards and what was referred to as "Free Love" Funny, the only thing I recall about that time was idiots, cowards burning their draft cards and there Bras!
Friends and co- Marines still in Nam getting there butts shot at. Not running, not burning there draft cards, but doing as our President so ordered us to do. Right, wrong or indifferent it was a Hippy, Flower Child fest in my opinion!
So, when I see on CNN this old hippie couple that had there picture taken then and now entered into the Smithsonian, I hang my head in deep shame! I wonder if he served his country, or did he Cop out like so many cowards did, run to Canada, or just refused to fight for whatever idiotic reason?
Now, some Vietnam Vets attended Woodstock, if your one of them and you went there to get smashed and hear the music, fine. However if your one of these that went to Nam and came home to protest it with your Flower Child friends, Deal with my opinion!
Now 40 years later and we celebrate this drug party? This country needs to wake up and remember all those commrades that left there young dead lives there and arent here today to celebrate anything.
Ever hear the song by Merle Haggard titled "Fighten Side"? If not go to youtube and listen to it, this will be my message to all those Hippies that took the easy way out.
Again, Just one old, mad Marines opinion- GUNG HO!
RVC Cpl, USMC 1964-70
Marine, Jarhead, Leatherneck. Brother,
I've told all about my on-going problems with my lower back. Six surgeries on my back/tailbone/pelvis joint, radiculopathy and sciatia. Some days are ok, some are fine, some not-so-good, some really suck. I was having one of those 'not-so-good' to 'really suck' days Tuesday. I always have some difficulties on days that follow the ones when I mow my lawn. Back spasms, what feel like electrical shocks running down either, sometimes both, legs (feels like I have an arc-welder hooked up to my entire leg -Bzzzz! Bzzzz! Bzzzz!) and pain in either hip that feels somewhere between someone jamming a white-hot ice pick into my butt cheek to a red-hot railroad spike being driven into my pelvic bone. Let's just say it ain't fun!
Don't do much on those days except hurt, cuss and take my medicines. I could easily get 'down' and throw in the towel, many of my doctors are surprised I haven't, saying they would have already. It seems that something always shows up that gets my poor, tire, worn out azs back in gear...it's ALWAYS the MARINES!
Yesterday, as I reclined on the couch to find one of my 'less painful' positions, I heard my cell phone 'beep'. Someone had sent me a text message. I checked and saw that a young Marine Sergeant I've known for years had sent me a message early that morning.
In it he stated 'If being a Marine means someone always has your back, send this to every Marine whose back you've got and see who has yours'. Then he said he had mine.
Kinda made me swell up with pride knowing this younger Brother 'had my back'. I replied, we sent a few texts back-and-forth before I admitted my old(er) fingers don't hit those tiny keys very good and that I would e-mail his message to all Marines I know. Then I said to h&ll with e-mail and gave him a call. He was at his desk, on his lunch break, catching up on his paperwork. We shot the breeze for a time then I told him to go back to work. I had talked with a MARINE!
Well, since he asked me to send out this message, here it comes...
I've got your back Marine! Always will.!
PS Now with all of this 'I've got your back' stuff going around, if an 'extra' back shows up, let me have it! I could sure use a replacement for the one I've got!;)
And I Quote...
"May you always be overwhelmed by the Grace of God, rather than by the cares of life"
I am asking you all to please pray for our close and personal friends, the Ferrell family, Bruce Sr. & his wife Pam and their family found out yesterday that their son and hero LCpl Bruce Ferrell Jr. USMC was killed in action when he stepped out of his humvee and stepped on an IED while on patrol Sunday evening.
This family was our friends and we got even closer when their son joined the Marines. He wound up with the same MOS that I had when I was in which was a M60 machine gunner. He was deployed to Afghanistan in May of this year and they had not heard from him other than some letters until Saturday evening he was able to get a call to them for about 10 - 15 minutes. That would be the first and last time they got to talk to him since being deployed.
This family just lost a daughter last year in a horrible car accident that caused the car to explode and burn their daughter up in the wreckage. Also please feel free to pass this request on to all who will pray for them, right now they need all the comfort they can get.
And I Quote...
"Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition."
My husband, Sgt. Donald E. Roberts, was very seriously wounded in Viet Nam on March 4, 1968. He was a member of Lima 3 / 4. He spent months in the Philadelphia Naval hospital recovering before we returned to New Hampshire. I packed up some stuff and took our almost one year old daughter to be near him. He lost his left leg and has shrapnel wounds over much of his body. When we did return to New Hampshire he went right to work and has been working hard both at work and play ever since.
He has never felt sorry for himself or asked why this happened to him. His love of the Marine Corps never wavered. Like all of you, he will always be a Marine! He has always wondered what ever happened to the other men who were with him, especially a young man by the name of J L Houston. He was the one who carried my husband down the hill so he could be medivaced out and back home. If it hadn't been for that courageous act we don't know what would have happened.
When our children were little and said their prayers at night they always said a special one for JL Houston. So if there is anyone reading this from that company or who knows someone who was. We would love to know what happened to them and maybe get to thank JL Houston. My husband has tried a couple of times to find out but never got anywhere. He is my hero and it would be great if I could get some information for him. We just celebrated our 44th anniversary in June.
Thanks in Advance
Joy A, Roberts (wife of a Marine)
And I Quote...
"Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first."
--President Ronald Reagan
I'll be 76 in a few weeks, and if it weren't for the Corps I don't know where I'd be now. The Korean G-Bill let me finish my education at LSU, and take pilot training at American Flyers Fort Worth, TX. I received all the necessary ratings, but it was 7 more years before I became an airline pilot, (which I was for 30 years).
I talk to the kids now and tell them that the "USMC is looking for a few good men". When I mention my beloved Corps they seem to run scared. Where is the family-instilled patriotism that was evident in the '50's etc? If they're going to "carry the colors" then they've got to get away from this media B.S.
The USMC and the discipline and dedication that reinforced my values, is the savior (along with Jesus) of our country. If we have to fight here, then let's get it done!
Clyde Hart, MCRD 1950
And I Quote...
"The history of the race, and each individual's experience, are thick with evidence that a truth is not hard to kill and that a lie told well is immortal."
And I Quote...
"What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value."
I May Look Harmless Mug
Relatives by Appointment Sign
God Bless America!