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AmericanCourage #211     15 OCT 2009

From the Sgt Grit Blog... Interview with Sgt Grit staff member Erin. Tell me about a memorable moment or story...

I was talking with young woman around my own age. She called in to place an order for many different items. She had various items, very similar in nature. The majority of the items were "In Memory of". As I listened and placed this order, I came to realize that this woman had just lost her husband that was but about two years younger than me, the week before. I could hear her voice cracking as she tried so hard to stay strong.

I could then hear children in the background, which were obviously very young. The woman was still trying to place this order, console her children and hold herself together when she asked me to hold. She laid the phone down and began to sob. I knew that no matter what I said my words would not be enough; I was speechless. To this very day, I don't know if that woman knew that I was crying with her. These are the times the job is hard, but so worth it. It gives you a whole new respect for the men fighting for our freedom, as well as for their wives, children and families.

Every time I read your articles and especially, the American Courage section, where numerous of our past patriots and elected officials have stood by our Constitution...I glow with pride. Those old sayings from our past have kept me attentive to what may have to be done, but I am still hoping for a better solution than what is being indicated.

Sgt. Grit, I may have been an Air Force Puke, but I took an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, against all enemies....foreign and domestic. I read, with pride, the letters from mothers, fathers, and relatives of these Marines you display here, and felt the choking pride in my throat of what it really means to be an American Military Man, but more....A United States Marine. That all the rest would but inculcate that pride into their ranks...we'd not be facing anything as is facing all of us now.

William Aaron-David Hrachovic...Civilian, but proud American

Wedding Photos

And I Quote...

"You're making the wrong assumption that a Marine by himself is outnumbered."
--Gen Peter Pace, 28Jul06

Hi, I am a former Marine w/ MCAS El Toro 3D MAW before it was closed. It was where my father was stationed when I was 2 years old, and I ended up there also almost a quarter of a century later. (Mother was also a WM).

I have about 20 'GRUNT' T-Shirts and my 'Marine/Patriot Van' is covered in your bumper stickers.
Wear a shirt daily in the warmer months for all to see. Fly the car flags on special occasions.
I have had a load of great comments and thanks for what the van communicates, but also -- being in the cesspool of the country, the SF Bay area, my poor van has been vandalized too many times - Marxist Cowards!

SEMPER FI, Jean Bonadio

Hello Sgt Grit,

Peyton and Uncle DJ My son, Don (DJ) Simmons just returned from deployment in Iraq this September. We went to welcome him and took along his oldest nephew, Peyton. Peyton is 4 years old and is probably Uncle DJ's biggest fan!

Finally, the buses rolled into our gathering location at Camp Lejeune and we lined the road. We stood Peyton on the tailgate so he could see. As our Marine unloaded, who do you think Don saw first??? Yep, Peyton! The pictures attached sum up the love and pride we all felt for our returning Marines but just beamed gloriously from the face of a child!

Peyton and Uncle DJ A picture surely can speak a thousand words! Peyton got the first of hugs and kisses we had ALL been counting down days to receive!

Thank you Sgt Grit, for giving me a place to share these pictures!

Amy Simmons
Proud Marine Mom

And I Quote...

"No country upon earth ever had it more in its power to attain these blessings than United America. Wondrously strange, then, and much to be regretted indeed would it be, were we to neglect the means and to depart from the road which Providence has pointed us to so plainly."
--George Washington

I firmly agree with the whole recovery aspect of the Marines. It is a horrid life adjusting to being one of the finest to an ordinary civilian. Out here experience in the Corps does not matter, and there is no one that you can trust (with your life). The real problem is that there is no rehab program (I wouldn't attend anyway), or support group, or twelve step program. I firmly believe that rehab is for quitters, and I don't think that I want to recover.

I have found that, as a civilian, the tenacity and ferociousness I learned in the Corps have made me a volatile member of the workforce. Yes people fear me, but I like it that way. I have the ability to carry myself without fear. Enter a boardroom and intimidate people into my way of thinking. I can make grown men p*ss their pants with a mere look.

I have discovered a power to get my way, by force, without ever showing force. I like this feeling. People tread carefully around me, to avoid making me mad. But they have never seen me mad. I gave them no reason to fear. They fear all on their own. So I do not want to recover. The Marine Corps still lives inside me and I want to nurture that. I miss the Corps, but I was taught values that I can apply as a civilian and still be successful without being a liability.

Thank God for the opportunity to become a U.S. Marine. Thank you Marine Corps for making me the man I am today.

Semper Fi!
Sgt. Ken Walker (1996-2001)
KC-130 Flight Mechanic

And I Quote...

"There is a time for all things, a time to preach and a time to pray, but those times have passed away. There is a time to fight, and that time has now come."
--Peter Muhlenberg, Virginia, 1776

Thanksgiving Day Special

Fellow Marines, Semper Fi now and always. I have read and listened to all the scuttlebutt on today's Marines and I think that we all owe these young men and women who have risen to the challenge a great and heartfelt thanks. I am a Marine from the past and further back is my Father MGySgt Frank T. Versage. My father passed away last year, he had no greater love and respect then for his Marine Corps Uniform. He was in WWII and Korea, he talked very little of the heroics of his fellow Marines, but you could see the pride he had for his grandson, granddaughter and Son who served in the Marines.

To those Marines that know very little about the Korean War, I would be honored to enlighten you. My Father served with the 1st Marine Division, 1/5. He was the ordnance NCOIC for the unit. He received several Bronze Stars w/combat V for his service in the Chosin Reservoir. He developed the winter oil that kept the guns from freezing during the breakout. He tried to always have hot coffee for any Marine that stopped by to have his weapon checked. He also laid the mine field that kept many Chinese from breaking through the lines. He also invented the yoke for the 60MM which saved many of us in Nam.

He told me in his later years of the heroics of his Marines and willingness to give their all, he served with Lt Cushman, and Chesty Puller, but he served and this was his love was all the Marines and he stayed in contact with many of them until his passing. He told me " Son there is no greater honor then to be a service member" yes service member, he loved the men and women who served this country and it was not unusual to have 30 service members join us for a holiday meal.

I am here to tell you DO NOT EVER disrespect another Marine or another service member of a different branch. Remember it takes us all to fight a war, it also takes us all to honor one another for our sacrifices and trust me we do. To all Marines Past and Present I THANK YOU for your SERVICE and I wish god speed to all!

Silas Versage, USMC/USAR, Msg Retired.
1/5, 2/7, 2/5

And I Quote...

"I am one of those who do not believe that a national debt is a national blessing, but rather a curse to a republic; inasmuch as it is calculated to raise around the administration a moneyed aristocracy dangerous to the liberties of the country."
--President Andrew Jackson

Here is a photo of the sign I made for my son when he graduated from MCRD. His graduation date is on the bottom corner. The other sign was made by his 8 year old sister who is extremely proud of her brother! (As we all are!) Thanks for all the stories, etc.
VPMM of PFC Hermanson

PFC Hermanson's graduation sign Caryssas sign for Brett

You folks had sent us a few catalogs for our Midwest Regional Meeting of the Leathernecks MC International (LMCI) Thought I should pass on some intel about what we do & who we are. Memorial Quilt delivered to the Family ( parents) of Cpl Nathaniel Moore  Homer,IL. KIA in Iraq while serving with Marines 1/3

Leathernecks MC is open to ALL Honorably Discharged Marines & FMF Corpsman, as well as Active Duty & Retired personnel, who ride... 650cc & above.

I am attaching a few photos from the meeting & a Memorial Quilt delivered to the Family ( parents) of Cpl Nathaniel Moore Homer, IL. KIA in Iraq while serving with Marines 1/3. Leathernecks MC International Meeting

This is the 2nd delivery we have made here in Illinois..The 1st was for L/Cpl Arron Pickering of Marion, IL. of Marine 1/3.

These quilts are hand-made by the Blue Star/ Gold Star Mothers of Marines 1/3..

We have another we will deliver up in Northern IL. will forward intel & pics @ later date when available..

We have & did obtain from the parents for you folks to publish these pictures.. They know ALL about you !

Leathernecks MC International Meeting A big Semper Fi & Thank You to Sgt. Grit & his PROFESSIONAL staff for what they do for us... KEEP DOING IT!

Todd (fingers) Fingerle
Now proudly serving with the Eastern Illinois Chapter (Blacksheep) Leathernecks MC (LMCI)

And I Quote...

"There is no greater dishonesty than man affecting his own private gains at the expense of others."
--Leonard Read

Dear Sgt. Grit
As a father of a new Marine I was most interested in checking out the Mom photos and to be honest how could I vote for just one?
They are all priceless as is my Son with his Mom. I vote for all
Semper Fi!
You can now view all Marine Mom photos in our contest archive

And I Quote...

"He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice."
--Albert Einstein

Dog Tag USMC Tattoo Dear Sgt Grit,
My boyfriend Sgt Cea went to Iraq in Feb 09 for the second time and I wanted him to know how much I loved him so I got this tattoo on my foot. He means the world to me and I'll always be by his side. Semper Fi Baby!

Dan Covolesky to Run the Philadelphia Marathon Officer Dan Covolesky is currently a municipal Police Officer in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, and a former United States Marine.

Dan Covolesky Dan is running the Philadelphia Marathon to raise money for IMSFF.

Last year, Dan completed his first marathon, The Marine Corps Marathon in three hours and forty one minutes. He ran this marathon as a member of Team Travis. This team was created by the friends and family of 1st Lieutenant Travis Manion, who was killed by enemy sniper fire in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. Dan was able to raise $2,000 for the marathon last year, and would like to raise even more money this year for the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund.

"I was honored to have served my country as a Marine, and I take great pride in this title. As I continue to reflect back on my experiences in the Corps, some bad and some good, but I remember my Marine brothers with which I feel a bond unlike any other. The day that I graduated from boot camp in Parris Island, I was told by the Company Commander that "every Marine is your brother." I strongly believe in this, and always will.

During the past several of years, as I have watched the events unfold of the 9-11 terrorist attacks on our country, I have felt extremely proud of our Marines and Sailors and their sacrifices they and their families have made for our freedom. I believe it is my duty to give back to my fellow Marines in any way possible.

Please help me honor these brave Marines and Sailors, who have made the ultimate sacrifice, by sponsoring me as an Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund Community Athlete. If you would like to help me support the fund please go to:

Covolesky Marathon Page

Semper Fidelis,
Dan Covolesky

And I Quote...

"They define a republic to be a government of laws, and not of men."
--John Adams, Novanglus No. 7, 1775

Written with love by Clare & Kaylie A. A Marine's Best Friend

I have had my dog for almost 11 years. I can say with a straight face that I am amazed every day at how much I love her. I got married 5 years ago where she had a rocky start with my husband. She retained her spot on the bed, on the couch and wherever she wanted in the house but she never forgave me for complicating our perfect twosome. Thereafter she gave him the indifference treatment. She couldn't care less about his existence.

My husband deployed to Iraq two times with the Marine Corps. He was a machine gunner with an infantry unit. The first deployment lasted 9 mos. and his second one got extened to 11 mos. When he left it was post college for me all over again. Just me and my dog in a daily routine trying to pass time. Kaley and I were completely obsessed with each other...again. When my husband returned from the second deployment I knew he was going to be different. The number of casualties for his platoon was well into the double digits, quite a few were good friends. I picked him up and all he wanted to do was go home, shower, eat and sleep. I had other reuniting techniques in mind. When we got to the house Kaley was in shock. I figured that her little world had been shattered, just like when we got married. Not the case. She would not leave his side. I was convinced that he had brought home a highly addictive bag of bones and was keeping them in his pockets. He settled in for a two day sleep and I had to literally lift all 70 lbs. of her dead weight off the bed just to take her outside. Her place was next to him. She sensed his hurt, pain and confusion as he began this hard transition back to civillian life. Since I had to continue working he was at home for a few weeks with her. He has said many times since that he would not have survived those two weeks without her companionship. It really is amazing to see how she treated him before and how she treats him now. He is God. As you can see by the picture they have an endearingly "disgusting" obsession with each other. She would rather me just leave them alone and make dinner. The tongue out tells it all!!

I served in my beloved Corps from 1950-1954. I enlisted, finished up at LSU, learned to fly on the GI bill and became an airline pilot for 30 years.

As I speak to young people and tell them that our Corps is "looking for a few good men", I get various answers like: my friends don't want me in the USMC, I'm afraid of boot camp, I'd rather be in the Navy or Air Force, I only have a GED, I'm 19 with two children.

I'm doing the best I can, but the recruiters need to cover the small towns like here in Crossville, TN. I owe everything to the Corps.

Clyde F. Hart, Jr.

In answer to 1st Sgt Bruening question why are the Marines of today smarter that in yesteryear. Well look at the grandkids. They are learning in grade school some of the things I didn't learn until 2nd year of high school. In high school they are now taking college courses. They play the video games which quickens their minds and eye - hand coordination. Let us not forget the main reason, they are our kids and we taught them.

Semper Fi
Bill Axium Cpl(E4)

And I Quote...

"Posterity - you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it."
--John Quincy Adams

This past summer (Sept.) my wife & I stayed in the FL. Keys, Then on to Ft, Benning GA. So my wife could see just what it took to become a "Trooper" I graduated jump school in 1950 (You do the math) We were watching the troops at the 250 ft. tower when a young trooper was walking by, He seemed not like the others in as much as his "Cover" was not a Beret, I stopped him in order to ask for some directions and on his "B.D.U." it stated MARINE, It is with pride that this "Old Trooper" states that our country is well represented by this "Squared Away" young Marine as well as all the young men & women in the armed forces..Airborne & Semper Fi..
John R Potter..Paramus, N.J.

I would suggest to SSgt Breen's Father that until / unless his son receives further awards for his actions, he should take heed of the 2 words inscribed on the reverse of the Purple Heart; FOR VALOR
Thomas C. Bogan

And I Quote...

"I am commonly opposed to those who modestly assume the rank of champions of liberty, and make a very patriotic noise about the people. It is the stale artifice which has duped the world a thousand times, and yet, though detected, it is still successful. I love liberty as well as anybody. I am proud of it, as the true title of our people to distinction above others; but... I would guard it by making the laws strong enough to protect it."
--Fisher Ames, 1789

I am extremely proud of our Marines, my boyfriend is a Marine and just came home from Iraq safe and sound. Before I met him I didn't understand why our country's men were over in other countries. I could not support them at all. From the moment he graduated from S.O.I. and told us of him being deployed, I have never had so much support for anyone in the military. Every day when I wake up I remember how proud of him I am, as well as everyone else that is serving our country. Thank you for all of your support for all the devil dogs in this country and god bless! ERRR!
Sincerely, Cassandra Lueken

I own a pipe and cigar shop in Hawaii. My store has done a lot of smoker events at Hickam and Pearl. Whats amazing is the military have a smoking lamp. No sellling and or smoking until the lamp is lit. I had this one female LT. attempt to tell me not to sell to any one until the lamp is lit, including Admirals and or Generals. I looked around with a smile and just after that some Navy Chiefs all happy, wanted to purchase. He said to me dont worry about what you were told we will take care of the problem. So we sold to them. Well Ms. Lt came by and attempted to give me a hard time. About this same time this monster of a Navy Chief came by and took her on the side and we never saw that LT again. We had a great time and sold a load of cigars. Thank you Chief

Sgt Grit

All of us have very vivid memories of Boot Camp. Let's face it, that was when we became men. After the first few days we were sure we would die, and after a week or so we were afraid we wouldn't die. By the last week we knew we were real MEN; we were going to be Marines.

I arrived at MCRDSD early in October of 1951, there weren't any yellow foot prints, but it took about 3 seconds after we got off the train for our DI to establish we were lower than dirt, and he was going to make us Marines or kill us. In those day the DIs definitely could hit.

I had the pleasure of visiting Cherry Point, and the Marine Museum in 2007, and was able to meet some of the New Marines. I want to say they were every bit as Real Marines as we in the Old Corps were. They have more modern weapons, and more advanced training than we had.

They definitely carry on all the traditions of all Marines of any era.

By the way, we didn't yell OOOHRA then, we had GUNG HO.

William Thompson
SGT 1225080

And I Quote...

"An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy."
--John Marshall

"Are heroes made or are they born?".

I went to boot camp on 10 Aug. 1965
I went to VMGR-152 in Okinawa and Vietnam. I spend 9 month at Dang.
Got out of the Marines June 1, 1969

My brother was drafted in to the Army Feb. 1968.
He was about 5ft. 10 inches and weighs about 150.
He had a lot on medical problems as a child. He was not going to Vietnam. We had a long talk and he decided to go.
My brother was not born a HERO.
He went to Nam in Oct. 1969.
For his involvement in the WAR, he was awarded the SILVER STAR, Two BRONZE STARS. Two PURPLE HEARTS, and several other medals and citations.
Tommy was not born a HERO, he became one when he saw his friends and comrades in trouble.
He is one of my greatest HEROS!

Jim Potter

Dear Sgt Grit readers...

My son, a Sgt for the U.S Marine Corps recently received an email from my oldest daughters boyfriend (below), protesting his choice to return to a 3rd tour in Afghanistan. I can't go into detail of my sons reply, but thought some of his fellow brothers could express their feelings towards this individual, who doesn't believe in the war or anyone one who serves in it.

I would like to add, that as the Mother of this exquisite Marine, I'm very proud of him and have always supported his decisions and choices 100%, while serving his country.

I will dissect the email myself and voice my opinion to him, as soon as my anger passes.



If you would be willing to, I'd like to spend some time to speak with you concerning your decision to re-enter the war. I realize we've never shared a lot of time together, but there are a lot of people here that care deeply for you, and they're dramatically confused and distraught over your choice. These are people that I now care a great deal for, and I hate seeing all the tears rolling down their cheeks.

I'd like to share with you what my 42 years of life have shown me. I think I understand the impassioned stance that you are taking with regards to this choice, and I want you to know that you have options and a pathway to a more loving, peaceful life. That pathway begins and ends with the people that love you. A man of your stature and intelligence has much more to offer his friends and family than you may realize. It is clear from everyone's reaction that you are a very important part of this family.

In so many ways, you are the leader of this family, and like it or not, I think it's time for you to reflect on your responsibilities in that role. Your parents are still young, but they will soon be infirmed by age. They will need you more and more as they grow old, and Shonna and Sarah will not always be able to handle it. Sometimes it takes a man Michael. Gavin is at a very critical point in his development as a man, and he consistently looks to you for guidance and wisdom. You cannot let this young man must begin to set a higher standard of knowledge, wisdom, grace, and morality for him to follow. And most importantly, you have made the decision to take a wife, and now your decisions are no longer made for just yourself, they must be made for two. That's your moral obligation to Becca. You no longer have a moral obligation to the military, and the morality of what the military is now doing is certainly questionable. There's no question as to what the moral decision is in regards to your family obligations.

It's my hopes that you will be able to set your passions aside for a moment, and open your mind to other possibilities for a fulfilling life. I'm not sure if the Marines has distorted your view on the value of your own life, but where I come from, family comes first, no matter what. I think deep down, you would agree that living in the happiness of your family is so much more rewarding than chasing a false happiness that ends with extinguishing the lives of people that just want to love their own families too. I won't go into the illegality of this war, or the ways in which it's actually threatening the freedom of Americans. But what I will tell you, is that your family is a million times more important than the vicious dreams of profits invoked by politicians that don't give two sh!ts about your life. You need to know that the Life answers you are looking for are not at the end of a gunsight in Afghanistan; they're right here in Lake Charles with your family. The American atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan are not worth dying for, it's accomplishing nothing. Nobody here believes in it; we all know "terrorism" is a bullsh!t lie made up to create an endless war and endless profits for bankers. And if you squeeze the trigger on another family man such as yourself, you will die a hundred times a day for the rest of your life.

I want you to be absolutely sure that you know where your choice is coming from. This may sound a bit deep, but is it Michael making this choice, or Michael's ego making this choice? Because Michael, you are not your ego. You are you. Don't allow your ego to control you, your wife, your family, and your choices. It takes a bigger man to stand up and recognize that his past decisions may have been wrong and admit to it, rather than continuing to rush forward blindly into chaos. The lost man allows himself to be controlled by his ego regardless of who it destroys. The wise man stops, takes a breathe, and evaluates the long-term effects of his choices, then takes new actions.

I hope you will contact me. My number is... I'm doing this because I love your sister, and I love the baby we're about to have. And you're that baby's uncle. And I want her to have an uncle. So call me, OK?

Pacifism is a Luxury Paid For By Warriors Ain't NothinMeaner Than a Marine...'Cept His Mama!
You only have the Rights you are willing to Fight for

And I Quote...

"The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it."
--H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)

I have read many blogs and comments on your site. I don't know if this will be posted, but I believe that people need to know that there is help and people willing to help our veterans.

My husband has served in Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and many other places in between. As we are all aware, there was no help for servicemen/servicewomen returning from the Gulf War in the 90's, especially if you are a Marine since a cry for help was seen as a sign of weakness. As a Marine myself, and then as the wife of a Marine (the tougher of the two jobs), I have seen firsthand the changes in these men's lives. I say all this to mention that I have been to many VA centers and dealt with many VA reps, but have never come across someone as genuine as Mr. Henry Harris of the VA Center in Augusta, GA.

Mr Harris' dedication to servicemen/women is notable in his voice, and I could feel the passion he has for making sure these men and women are properly cared for by the VA. The level of professionalism and knowledge extended me left me short of words. I believe Mr. Henry Harris has gone above and beyond his duties, and want to extend my gratitude and appreciation for the service he has provided my family and many others, I am sure. I only hope that his dedication and proficiency is but a representation of what servicemen and servicewomen can expect from the VA.

Mr. Harris not only reminded me, but emphasized that our country takes care of its veterans. It was an honor and a privilege to speak with him. Mr Harris spoke with me at a level I can understand as a serviceman who has himself served 24 years both in war and peace time, and knows the pride and ego issues all too well. I am confident and now have a renewed hope in the VA system, so long as there are people like Mr Henry Harris there.

Simply stated: I send a heartfelt "Thank you" to him and his family, for his service in the military and his country, and for his part in ensuring that no veteran goes without help.

Semper Fi,
(Lexington, GA)

And I Quote...

"Madness is to hold an erroneous perception and argue perfectly from it."

Sgt Grit,

I found your website when I was looking for Christmas gifts last November for my son. He has wanted to be a Marine since he was twelve years old. In November 2008 he signed up and was in the Poolee program the rest of his Senior year. Although he wasn't a Marine yet, we purchased a few items from your site and tried to become enthusiastic about his decision (which I'm very proud to say we are very happy for his decision). It is a very scary thing for a Mom to let her son grow up and go out on his own but when you add joining the Marine Corps to the mix it adds a new dimension to the feeling. Nonetheless, I have since enjoyed your newsletter, loved the items you sell and found great comfort from the stories I read in the newsletter. I have since discovered what Honor, Courage and Commitment truly means and now understand the pride felt by all Marines, new and old. I have learned to embrace my son's decision and to be very proud of his decision. I wear a badge with my son's picture and tell everyone I meet about how proud I am to be a Mother of a US Marine.

The Henscheid's proudly posing for the camera. He was to leave for boot camp at the end of July but received a call the Wednesday before Father's Day and asked if he would leave earlier. So on Father's Day and with a heavy heart we said goodbye to our 'boy'. I am very proud to say, we have welcomed back the 'man', a brand new United States Marine. I have attached a picture of our family during liberty on family day at the MCRD San Diego.

God Bless you Sgt Grit, for all you do. You have provided me with great encouragement through your newsletter and through the wonderful stories you share. And God Bless all the Marines since 1775 who have heard the call to defend this great country of ours. May God always protect them as they defend and protect us. I can now say I am proud to be the Mother of one of the Few and the Proud. A United States Marine.

With God's Blessing,
Ida Henscheid,
Mother of Pfc. Benjamin Henscheid

And I Quote...

"I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents..."
--James Madison

19th Rifle Company of El Paso, TX.

An active organization supporting Jr. Marines, parades, weekly meetings at the Segura-McDonald VFW, funeral details, Toys for Tots, Thanksgiving baskets, scholarship programs, and more. Contact info: hhernan690 @ aim .com and gomezoldman @ aol .com

Marine Truck 19th Rifle Patch

Sgt. Grit

I am reading a great book. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the history of our great country. Even Marines. It is Six Frigates, The Epic History of the Founding of The US Navy by Ian W. Toll. But that is not the reason for contacting you. I read the quotes of our patriots in every newsletter and thought this one might fit in nicely. It is from Chapter 1, pages 26-28. In context the year is 1796, the British let the Americans know that they would not provide protection to the unarmed American Merchant Fleet (there was no Navy at this time). In the Mediterranean off the North African coast, piracy was the prominent profession of the Barbary States (Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers and Morocco). In July 1785, the Maria and the Dauphin were seized by Algerian corsairs. Twenty two crewmen were captured and enslaved. John Adams was for paying ransom as it was cheaper than war and was the tradition. Jefferson favored war for the reasons of justice, honor and the respect it would provide. Adams replied,

"We ought not to fight them at all, unless we determine to fight them forever. This thought is, I fear, too rugged for our People to bear."

The issue was settled before the first of the frigates was built and before the us had a Navy other than a converted Merchant Marine fleet. But the Barbary Wars (1801-1815) revisited the US. Here almost all of this sites readers are aware of the significant role of Lieutenant Presley O'Bannon and 7 Marines trek across Libya and the storming of Derna, Tripoli.

End of story? Not hardly. The Barbary Wars continue. I fear Adams was right. No, not his favoring payment of ransom, but the prediction of the duration of the war in the face of a less than committed constituency.

Let us review our strategy. We win, period.

David Ward, Sgt. of Marines, 1971-1975

And I Quote...

"Absolute power corrupts even when exercised for humane purposes. The benevolent despot who sees himself as a shepherd of the people still demands from others the submissiveness of sheep. The taint inherent in absolute power is not its inhumanity but its anti-humanity."
--Eric Hoffer (1902-1983)

Welcome to Camp Fallujah T-shirt
Welcome to Camp Fallujah T-shirt

USMC Afghanistan Flame License Plate
USMC Afghanistan Flame License Plate

God Bless America!
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit