AmericanCourage #209 17 SEP 2009
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"[A] good moral character is the first essential in a man..."
This past May I was in Florida with my best friend (Also a former Marine) for her college graduation from Embry Riddle Aeronautics University. Upon completion of graduating she and I wanted to visit Epcot Center as we were going to "drink around the world" in celebration. When we stumbled into Norway there stood an older gentleman with his Marine Corps ball cap on. By looking at him it was easy to see that he was a Marine. (We carry ourselves differently than others.)
Naturally as a former Marine myself I like to shake the hands of those veterans who came before me. I walked up to the Marine said "Semper Fi" and Thank you. As we spoke for a few minutes we discovered that both Sgt Thomas White and I both served in Okinawa, some 30 years apart. It so happens that I helped to take out the telephone switch that he put in some 30 years before! We reminisced about Oki and not much had changed there between the decades of our service. To this day and forever Sgt White remains my friend!
While the decades and generations may separate us our Marine Corps pride and camaraderie will always bring us together!
Sgt Sutherland, Amy L.
I am writing in response to the comment about "Chesty Has Crawled Out" from the Sgt Grit Newsletter dated August 27.
I could not disagree more with Tony Glass, USMC Sgt, 1974-78. Today's Marines who are in harm's way and are fighting and have fought in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with back to back deployments, DO have their heroic stories to tell just as much as those Marines who fought at Iwo Jima and the Chosin Reservoir. I am proud of the heroic Marines who served in all of our country's battles.
Perhaps if Glass would like to help us send care packages to the current Marines who are in combat, he would change his tune. Perhaps Glass needs to go to the military hospitals to assist our wounded troops instead of sitting on his duff daydreaming.
No, "Chesty Puller's spirit is not crawling out of his grave to head over there right now to teach this youngster some respect" as Glass has suggested. Chesty Puller's spririt is already in the mix with today's Marines! He still has their backs!
Glass is an idiot.
Proud Marine Mom
And I Quote...
"I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."
A Marine You Should Know
Cpl Christopher G. Scherer, USMC, KIA 21 July 2007, Operation Iraqi Freedom. When Lieutenant Colonel Wayne Sinclair spoke at Chris's funeral he said the following: "Chris's platoon commander called him the most likable Marine in the platoon, no one griped or had a bad day if Cpl Scherer had anything to say about it.
Lieutenant Douglas Orr told me that though the living conditions in the field have been harsh over the past two months, and the 20 Marines have been working and fighting in 120 degree temperatures while wearing body armor and carrying ammunition, weapons, water, and equipment that typically weighs over 70 pounds for each Marine, he never heard Chris complain or even question their circumstances - not once. NOT EVER."
Lt Col Sinclair further stated: "Lt Orr also shared with me some of the unique traits that Chris' mates will forever remember him for. For starters, there was his sense of humor - paradoxically at its best when stress and privation were highest. Most notably, he had an uncanny ability to lift spirits with his voice impressions. He was a superb mimic of more actor's voices and accents than anyone could count. One of his favorites was that from the movie Jaws... After seeing the size of the shark, Chief Brody says to Captain Quint. "You're gonna need a bigger boat." He would often say this when things got particularly rough."
From Proud Marine Parents
Tim and Janet Scherer
If you know an exceptional Active Duty Marine we should know, please contact Kristy - email@example.com
A retired Army General, General Branson, has set up a National Program to give "homeless" Vets a Military Funeral with full honors. General Branson can be reached at
General Branson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
I've been to a half dozen of these funerals at Jefferson Barracks Cemetery near St Louis. We get up to 60 people to attend. The Korean Vets here serve as the pallbearers.
Caskets are provided by a local funeral home.
And I Quote...
"It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies."
Dear Sgt Grit
I was so excited when I read the subject line of your latest news letter "[AmericanCourage #208] The Right To Bear Arms." As a supporter of this constitutionally guaranteed right, a gun owner and the father of a Marine I was hoping for a hearty Ooh- Rah for the Second Amendment. I thought Sgt Grit was going to snap a salute to one of our most important freedoms. I was a little disappointed to find that the only mention of gun ownership was Thomas Jefferson's quote. It did, however, make me read the entire news letter!
I find it ironic that all who sign on to serve in the military swear to uphold the United States Constitution and to defend it against all enemies, both foreign and domestic yet once "in" they are afraid to discuss these rights for fear of appearing to be critical of the government! They are willing to die in defense of the constitution but are afraid to support that document publicly. Something seems very wrong here. Where's that "American Courage?"
Our finest young men and women choose to serve in the Armed Forces for many reasons but ultimately it is about protecting the rights and freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution and Bill of Rights. If we can't stand up for these rights with a clear and loud voice, how can we find the resolve to continue to "mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor?
Father of LCPL Chad Robinson
I keep reading stories that people send you that say they are "Former Marines". Not to be nasty or anything but there is "NO SUCH THING as a FORMER MARINE! To me you are a Marine or you're not. I joined up in 1982 during High School and went to boot camp in July 1983. But it really gets to me when someone writes a story and they say "Former Marine".
To me, if you were tough enough to go though boot camp and get the "Eagle, Globe and Anchor" , then you're a Marine. After you get out, the title never changes. To me, it is an honor to be able to carry the title. Not very many can. But those who can need to quit saying "Former". To me, there is no such thing. I enjoy the newsletter greatly.
Kendal Schacher, USMC 1983-1988
And I Quote...
"The timid civilized world has found nothing with which to oppose the onslaught of a sudden revival of barefaced barbarity, other than concessions and smiles."
Tom Maloney's email about "scuttlebutt" inspired me to pass along this vital information.
Commonly thought of as a naval term, it originally came from the practice in the late 1750s to early 1800s to give tobacco smoke enemas to drowning victims. It was thought to improve respiration. The procedure later fell into disrepute and lost credibility. The term, however, was retained in the naval service to describe wasting time in idle chatter or talking for no purpose or effect. Talk to impress others might be described as "blowing smoke".
A more recent term and not widely known. First usage believed to have originated at Camp Lejeune, N.C. in the mid-1950s. The prototype eronsticator was built by a Marine Corps Warrant Officer using discarded band instrument parts. The purpose of the eronsticator was to "blow smoke" more efficiently. In fact it eliminated the need for another person. With the slide trombone modified you were able to blow smoke up your own rectum. Over the years I have observed a number of people doing this without the eronsticator. Of course, you draw more attention if the device is used. Origin of the word "eronsticator" is non-obvious but research will continue. The word does reflect the creative and imaginative spirit of so many Marines.
Note: I have personal knowledge of this device and witnessed a demonstration. No personal use however.
DaveG 1943-1965 Pvt-LtCol Parris Island-Pentagon
Recently my wife made a trip to Oklahoma to visit friends and relatives. I asked her to give you my regards when she dropped by your place of business. Upon return from her trip, I was told that she didn't have time to make the trip to Oklahoma City as she had been Meeker. I have given her an Article 15 and she has been placed under house arrest.
And I Quote...
"Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom."
Dear Sgt. Grit,
Thank you for the great newsletter you do. My son, Lance Corporal Terry Lance Walls, II, MCAS New River, MALS 29, is the first in our family to be in the military since my older uncles from WWII and Vietnam. My nephew is also a Marine and is based in the exact same unit and shop as my son and they are first cousins. The Marine Corps had no idea they were related and grew up together until it was too late. Let's just say their GySgt has his hands full.
Your newsletter is informative about not only current events but also allows me to learn more about the history of the Corps and I find it fascinating. My son wanted to be a Marine since he was 4 because he wanted to be "the best because they are the few and the proud mommy." All of our military provide an invaluable service to this country and pay a debt that can never be repaid. There is nothing more noble or honorable than to serve your country and fight for freedom. Thank you so much for all that you do.
Hello Sgt Grit,
Yesterday, September 9, 2009, my father, First Sergeant Casey T. Bazewick, USMC (retired), 91, was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds he received as a prisoner of war in World War II.
He enlisted before WWII in 1938, after two years in the Marine Corps Reserve. He served with the 4th Marines in Shanghai and on Corregidor in its defense until it fell on May 6, 1942. He became a prisoner of Japan for 39 months -- 92 Garage (Corregidor), Bilibid Prison (Manila), Cabanatuan (Luzon, where 42% died in the first year), H&ll Ship Tottori Maru (on deck he watched it nearly sunk by two American torpedoes), and Mukden, Manchuria at a large Mitsubishi factory (three winters, 40-50 below).
The dining room of his nursing home was packed for the impressive ceremony with Marines of all ranks and stripes, active duty and retired, young and old. Four generations of our family were present. Some 50 people attended, including Life Care Center residents.
In the attached photo, Captain Mike Rosen, Fort Lewis, WA, pins the Purple Heart Medal on my dad, as I watch. The Purple Heart Certificate was read by Sergeant Major Jenks. A full honor guard from Fort Lewis assisted. In addressing the assembly, Capt. Rosen spoke of how impressed he was when he got my dad's record. "This man has been there, done that, and has the T-shirt." Capt. Rosen and his company's professionalism was impeccable.
In the photo, my dad is wearing a cap made by Sgt Grit with the patch: "Second Battalion, 4th Marines - Second to None - The Magnificent Bast*rds." He was in E/2/4.
Afterward, as my dad was thanked individually by the many Marines, he remarked, "Look at all that fruit salad!" in reference to the award ribbons they wore.
The event was covered by the Skagit Valley Herald
Don't miss the video!
My dad was also presented with a handwritten letter of thanks and appreciation from Senator Patty Murray (who unfortunately could not attend because Congress was back in session). See attached. A debt of gratitude is owed to Mr. Kim Brown of the Senator's office, who persevered in breaking down bureaucratic barriers in making this award possible.
And my dad was made an honorary member of the Marine Corps League and presented with a certificate.
I prepared considerable material on his military service and the history of the time, which was beautifully displayed by the nursing home. Included were display cases of his medals, ribbons, and service patches. The enthusiasm, generosity, and hard work of the nursing home's staff were outstanding.
Note to Korea vets: In Korea, my dad was Company Gunnery Sergeant of C/1/1 for the Inchon Landing and the retaking of Seoul. He was hospitalized in October 1950, narrowly missing out on Chosin. As a POW in WWII, he had endured three Manchurian winters, north of Korea. I was one and a half; my sister had just been born in July.
Casey Bazewick, Jr.
And I Quote...
"Public affairs go on pretty much as usual: perpetual chicanery and rather more personal abuse than there used to be..."
No Delayed Entry Tattoos
I have to agree with L/Cpl Hill. When I was in boot camp (plt.3054 P. I. July-Oct 1978) we had a guy with a USMC tattoo and he caught h&ll almost 24/7 because of it. Why? because he hadn't yet earned the right to wear the Eagle, Globe and Anchor. If it was that way in 1978 it had to be that was before me.
So Sgt. Grit stop showing tattoo from those not yet entitled to wear the EGA. If you have to earn the right to put the EGA on your cover, you sure as h&ll should have to earn the right to put it on your body forever. Just because you sign up as delayed entry doesn't mean you'll make it through boot camp and earn the right to wear the EGA, nor do we know if you ever will. If the Marine Corps is about anything, it is about tradition and it has always been tradition the no-one puts on the EGA before they have earned the right to do so and to be called a Marine.
I respect all young men and women in the delayed entry program and I wish each and every one of them the best. (I myself was delayed entry and the only advise my recruiter ever gave me was, do not get a Marine tattoo until after you graduate boot camp.) But the fact is that some of you are not going to make it. If it was easy they would call it the Air Force.
If for whatever reason you don't make it you have to spend a life time fielding questions about the tattoo and you will have to either (A.) admit you didn't make it and your wearing a lifetime reminder that you didn't make it or (B) lie, which will be discovered in about 4 questions or less by a real Marine.
So thank you for your respect and your desire to join the greatest fighting force every known to man but don't put the EGA on in any form until you have earned the right to do so. It's worth the wait. So what to some of you other "old salts" thing about it?
J. T. Marvel
Wpns. Co. 2/3
I have to disagree with LCpl Hill about wearing the Eagle, Globe and Anchor, also known as the Marine Corps Emblem (but only as the "EGA" by boots and civilians). My wife, whose dad was a Marine, wears a pin with the emblem & a rose. Marine kids wear Marine tees. Marines earn the right for their loved ones to wear the emblem in their honor. And I suppose that goes for tattoos, though I'm not a big fan. They do not enhance the beauty of women, IMHO, but are fine in moderation for ugly men.
Robert A. Hall
Cpl, USMC 64-68
SSgt USMCR 77-83.
And I Quote...
"The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. ... We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?"
--George Orwell, "1984"
We have lost another Marine to low life scum. My wife, Sarah, had met him through his sister who is one of her patients. So not only was he a former active duty Marine he was also law enforcement. I am not sure who he was with while on Active Duty.
The Ledger article
My husband, Stanley D. Kirby from Lansing, MI was a Marine in WW2. Recently I stopped in the local recruiting office in Grand Rapids, MI to ask for a decal for my "Marine-green" Escort. There were several Marines there and they asked about my husband. When I said he had fought on Iwo Jima for the entire 36 days they were astounded. They had 'never' heard anything direct from a vet from that combat. I have my husband's memoirs in printed form, also c.d.'s with another man's voice, as my husband died in 2004. They are also with the Library of Congress and Grand Valley State University in MI.
I got a kick out of the young Marines standing there at "parade rest" (think it's still called that?) so next week I'm going to stop again and leave a copy of Stan's memoirs. Far better to read it from someone that fought and survived there instead of from a history book!
Thanks for listening.
Mrs. Stanley (Janie) Kirby
p.s. I can still remember his service # 947605 1st Bn, 24th Marines, Fourth Marine Division.! Semper Fi
And I Quote...
"The people can never willfully betray their own interests; but they may possibly be betrayed by the representatives of the people; and the danger will be evidently greater where the whole legislative trust is lodged in the hands of one body of men, than where the concurrence of separate and dissimilar bodies is required in every public act."
--Federalist No. 63
Sgt Grit, Thank you for what you do helping Marines and their loved ones show their pride and support for our beloved Corps! I have ordered several things from you for my Cpl. Pj Bartel that I love so much. He proudly served and fought for our country during 9/11. I hope maybe some of his old buddies from his 2nd FMFLANT crew read your newsletters because I hear so many funny stories about Metzger and Fenzel, and the rest of his "brothers".
I have attached a couple pictures of his pride filled tattoo in support of the Corps. I paid for the initial lettering of USMC for Valentine's day 2008, and this year for his birthday I paid for and added the EGA outline. It's a beautiful tattoo that gets lots of looks, both good and bad, but he wears it proudly! His plans are to fill in the EGA with the Afghanistan veteran ribbon pattern.
Here is a picture of him just after he finished getting his EGA added to his tattoo, and another picture with him and MMA fighter Benji Radach. Had to throw that second picture in there and give a special "thank you" to the MMA groups out there, they are all such a loud and supportive group of people for ALL branches of our military!
And like your bumper sticker says, "be safe, sleep with a Marine!" I know my Marine is the best home security system a girl could ask for!
Semper Fi Devil Dogs,
Future Wife to a wonderful Marine!
Sgt Grit, here is a picture of my daughter and her Marine husband. They married upon his return from his second deployment.
David (Beahmo) Beahm
Aco 1st Recon
And I Quote...
"[T]he people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government and to reform, alter, or totally change the same when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it."
My name is Cpl. Randel Clapper. I served in the US Marine Corps. From Oct. 1982 to Oct 1986. I was on Okinawa from April 83 to sep 86. I had a wonderful time serving my great country. I too believe as L/Cpl G Hill wrote last letter, that you "earn the right" to have a tattoo that symbolizes your time spent serving your country. Whether it is an eagle globe and anchor, or a bull dog, or simply the letters USMC, Or any other branch of service.
I certainly would not get a tattoo depicting me as a Firefighter, because I am not one, and never have been. If you did not sign up and serve, you don't get the ink. I love tattoos, and I for one am extremely happy that more people have chosen to get inked up. It has become widely accepted, and is common place. You are not judged as an ex con. Although, I too am a biker, not a gangsta biker, I ride for the Christian Motorcycle Association.
But hey, we fought to give others rights of free will, so, who am I to say, "you can't get that"? This is America, Land of Opportunity and freedom.
Happy to Turn Corners
In GOD I Trust
I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn't, then to live my life as if there is no God and die to find out there is.
At the beginning part of this year, my husband was deployed, and I was facing my first deployment and time away from him. During the deployment you really look around at everything in your life and see how precious things are. You also come to see how lucky you are to have the family you do. A lot of my friends and co- workers do not seem to understand what that feeling of missing a call from a loved one is like, writing letters every day, and just the everyday "I miss you's" that are so hard to get through sometimes.
I knew that I could always count on my family for everything and anything ---whether it be support or "just because" cards in the mail box. What I didn't realize is the strong support of the wives, mothers, girlfriends, and sisters that were in the same boat I was....no pun-intended. Because I was given the privilege to become close with so many of them, I found Sgt. Grit. In finding you, I was able to show off how proud I was of my Marine, and all the Marines out there, and SHOP! :)
My Aunt is in the chocolate business and when I flipped to the page of the Marine Emblem chocolate mold, I didn't waste a minute in ordering it. I gave it to her and she was thrilled. I kept bugging her asking her when she was going to make them. She would always respond saying, "for a special occasion."
Few months passed by and we were so happy we all had a safe homecoming for our loved ones. We flew out of town to see our family. We had a large dinner party with friends and family celebrating his safe homecoming. As dinner had finished, desert was brought to the table. As you probably guessed the beautiful Marine Emblem truffles were laid out on the plate for everyone to enjoy.
Thank you for bringing a very happy moment to my family and I and being there for all of us out there when sometimes you just don't think you can get through it.
Love & Thanks-
USMC Proud Wife
And I Quote...
"[O]f those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people; commencing demagogues, and ending tyrants."
After submitting the story of Rope Hole on the APA Ship. A Former Marine Sgt. Contacted me, He was one of my Recruits at Parris Island in 1965.
We have talked on the phone since.
If not for your newsletters, this would not have happened.
M/Sgt USMC /Ret
Thanks, Janet. It is a great story. There is an old line that you would NEVER call the Chief of Naval Operations, "sailor", but the Commandant of the Marine Corps is proud to claim the title, "Marine".
A lot of years have gone by since I received my EGA in October 1965 (Platoon 365, 3rd Battalion, Parris Island). I suggested to my wife that we take a road trip and attend a graduation this summer. We didn't know any of the graduates but I just wanted to see one again. We arrived at Parris Island on Thursday afternoon, September 3rd and got to tour the base a little. My first quest was to find my original barracks at Disneyland (3rd Battalion). Boy, did that bring back memories & tears.
It seems that a lot has changed over the years: the cattle cars have been replaced by buses, the wooden barracks of the 1st & 2nd Battalions have been replaced by brick structures like Disneyland, and the MCX is a full "department" store. I also don't recall that the base was as open to the public as it is today.
On Friday AM we attended the Morning Colors at Barrow Hall. Afterwards we proceeded over to Peatross Parade Deck for the ceremony. There were 9 platoons graduating including 2 platoons of women Marines. I must say that the entire affair was a moving experience. You could almost smell the pride coming from each of the graduates. Our hearts and prayers go out to each and every one of those exceptional young men and women. They are now among the best. God speed & Semper Fi.
Ed Fallon, Sgt. 1965 - 1971
And I Quote...
"No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and Virtue is preserved. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauched in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders."
Semper Fi in 65 & until the day I die! And so all that come up behind me knows we all are proud that we served our country as a Marine/cpl.Burke
This is just one of many service monuments that line the "WALK of HONOR".
The "Reflective Fountain" was donated by the Blue Star Mothers to the Gold Star Mothers of New Hampshire.
All the services have their Monuments on the Red Brick Walkway, including the Merchant Marines.
The Korean War Monument is visited each year by a contingent from South Korea who join with US Veterans to pay respect for their sacrifice.
Thanks Don for the E-mail. He is buried here in New Hampshire at the NH Veterans' Cemetery as are a few other un-claimed service members from the different services. It came to light that these military persons had been cremated and sitting at different funeral Homes unclaimed As the NH Veteran Cemetery is fairly new they were asked if they could be interned there and of course the rest is History.
Many of NH VSOs banded together to provide the proper service ceremony. I can truly say it's a place of Beauty and serenity.
Attached are some of the pictures taken at this Ceremony. The Military Order of the Purple Heart and the POW/MIA Chapt. were responsible for this huge turnout. Those surviving relatives of the MIA/POW were presented a Glass candle with the Relative's name etched in Gold (Donated by the Gold Star Mother's Chapt.)
You may pass on any information you deem necessary.
Marine Corps League NH
VA/VS Officer MCL NH
Legislation Officer MCL
And I Quote...
"I want the people of America to be able to work less for the government and more for themselves. I want them to have the rewards of their own industry. This is the chief meaning of freedom. Until we can reestablish a condition under which the earnings of the people can be kept by the people, we are bound to suffer a very severe and distinct curtailment of our liberty."
--President Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933)
Semper Fidelis T-Shirt
It can't always be someone else's Son
God Bless America!