American Courage logo
American Courage logo Online Catalog Request a Catalog
Sgt Grit Logo AmericanCourage

Family Member        Children's        Headgear        Bags        Christmas       

What's New?

Freedom Fighters T-shirt
Freedom Fighters T-shirt

Marines Baseball T-shirt
Marines Baseball T-shirt

Red, White, and Blue USMC Tie
Red, White, and Blue USMC Tie

12 in Spade Decal
12" Spade Decal

Walnut Flag Case
Walnut Flag Case

Stainless Steel Flask with Engraved Eagle, Globe, and Anchor
Stainless Steel Flask with Engraved Eagle, Globe, and Anchor

Courage is Endurance Bumper Sticker
Courage is Endurance Bumper Sticker

United States Marine Corps Towel
United States Marine Corps Towel

U.S. Marines Hat
U.S. Marines Hat

All Our New Items

Adopt a Marine


USMC Christmas

Get a "Destruction Overnight" Special Christmas shirts or our more peaceful "Night Before Christmas" design...

USMC Christmas Ornament

Destruction Overnight T-Shirt

Destruction Overnight Sweatshirt

USMC Christmas Ornament

Night Before Christmas T-Shirt

Night Before Christmas Sweatshirt

All Christmas Items

AmericanCourage #212     28 OCT 2009
Print | ONLINE CATALOG share with every Marine...
Thank you for allowing me to close my eyes at night knowing yours' are always open.

Kristine Knife, Reisterstown, MD
Proud Civilian, Proud MCJROTC Cadet 2ndLt and Adjutant Mom (Girl Cadet)
Proud Marine Friend, Proud RCT Friend (Graduation 4 Dec 2009/LimaCo/MCRD Parris Is)
Proud USMC Supporter in General!


Sgt Grit,

I have been a Grunt for 22 1/2 years and you are right it is one Corps. Tell the Grandfather who wrote in to tell his grandson it's not his fault and not to feel guilty. I lost several good men in Fallujah and it hurts, it will always hurt, but it's not his fault.

Semper Fidelis
Master Sergeant Brockmann
July 14 1987 - December 31, 2009

Dear Sgt. Grit,

To say I don't enjoy getting your newsletter is an understatement. All stories told are from the heart and tug at everyone's heartstrings. I feel for everyone who has family in any branch of the service and thank them all for their service. I would like to relate a story to you.

My parents had all six of their children serve in the military. Five, yes five, Marines and one in the Air Force.

In 1976 my older brother decided he wanted to do something after high school, so he came home and asked our parents to sign the paperwork for him to delay enlist in the Marine Corps. He was only 17 and needed their signature. To this day, I don't know what made him decide to join, but it started the ball rolling with the Billiard family.

In 1980 then next in line joined the Marines, my sister, little did I expect for her to join, but she did. 1985 my younger brother was the next in line to delay enlist. He couldn't wait, that's all he talked about for years was going in the Corps. He turned down two scholarships to join and has since retired in Yuma. Late 1987 I delay enlisted, was to leave in February, left in January for boot camp at Parris Island. In middle 1988, my other sister joined the Corps. Wasn't sure if she would, but she was the last hold out in the family. Both she and I were over 21, knew what we were doing and can look back on our experience as a good one.

At one point all five of us were serving at one time, four active duty and one reserve duty. Our sixth person to be in the military, I jokingly say "I forgive her for she served". Thanks to the Air Force for she is a h&ll of a cook/baker.

As I look forward to the Marine Corps Ball to be held here in Sierra Vista, AZ, I think about families and their unwavering support for our service members. I also think about the support that our parents gave us during our years of service. Without it, I don't want to think where I would be. From the letters during boot camp to the care packages overseas, those touches of home remind us why we serve(d).

I now have been out of the Marines for awhile, my daughter is married to an Army soldier and so I am learning a new jargon and way of supporting them. I am proud of his service to country and hers in the support of him.

Thank you for your newsletters and your support to our men and women who proudly serve this county we call home.

Semper Fi
Karrii L. Billiard
USMC Cpl 1988-1995

New Years Shirts

And I Quote...

"In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people."
--Declaration of Independence

Dear Marines,
A man wrote about the old Marines of WW II and the new Marines at war now, There is no Difference at all, These Marines we see fighting today only have one difference, they have better EQ than we did in Nam, but as a Father of a Marine, And the son of a Marine I can tell you My sons generation is no Different than those Marines who served on Iwo and these Marines now are fighting the SAME type of war, and making us old men very very proud.

So to ALL of my fellow Marines, no matter when you served, Please stand up for these Marines when you are at the VA getting a check up. When you see one in a bar, stand up and thank them. When you hear someone talking bad about this younger generation, just remind them this is the 2nd greatest generation, they all went anyway without a draft. This generation has a lot of lazy bums, but! they are the cowards who will not serve or help this country, and they are easy to see. So stand up for these young Marines and all who are serving their country.

My son is now a gunny in the Marines. He out ranks me, and has more combat time than any Viet Nam Vet or WWII vet I have ever known of, and he does not complain. He also has been car bomb, shot, and was in the 3rd humvee when it ran over a 2.4 anti tank mine. As a classic Marine S/SGT, at the time he came out not hearing anything, but cussin like a drunken sailor, and giving orders to all the other Marines. Talk about a proud father. I am that. He has talked to me about things only a combat vet would fully understand, the killing part. And seeing it up front and very personal, he lost 3 of his Marines in 06, he has his scares.

So to the grandfather and fellow Marine who wrote about his grandson, I say this: get him help at the VA, and let him know there are so many Marines he is in good company with, and life will get better. He just needs to focus on life not the death. he will in time, but he will always love and miss those who died, and sometimes be angry about what happened, he is a Marine and I am very, very proud of him
Tom Vaughn, Sgt of Marines 72-77

I am enclosing a copper EGA I made in honor of my son who is graduating from Parris Island on Oct 16TH, 2009.. Being a Marine from 1969 to 1970 I could not think of a better way to express how proud I am of him then making this EGA which He has earned 40 years after I did.. There will always be the bond of going through Parris Island that only the few and proud share and that is one thing I will always share with my son.

Will Spause

Copper EGA created by Will Spause close up photo of statue's nameplate

And I Quote...

"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery."
--Winston Churchill

AmericanCourage AmericanCourage AmericanCourage

Dear Sgt Grit and readers:
I am responding to post in your newsletter from "P" regarding the email her son received from his sister's boyfriend. As a mother of a US Marine, MCRDSD 08/22/09, I am angered and saddened by this man's response to one of our elite members. Is it any wonder that our country is in total disarray and in danger of extinction?

The views of people like this only serve to destroy the values that have made this country great. I wonder has he ever done anything to further this GREAT NATION or does he prefer to sit on his couch, watch TV and spout his pacifist crap to those around him.

Having been through boot camp and MCT as a mom, I am so proud of our men and women in uniform. What the Marines do for this country and our freedoms can never be explained to those who choose to live their lives in a bubble of contempt. How will this man react, when his child is enslaved by the terrorists he claims mean us no harm? When his child does not have any of the freedoms allowed to him because he saw it not fit to "kill other family men".

Maybe this man should spend a few days with the Marine he is so willing to condemn. Maybe he should listen to General Conway and the others in charge of our great Corps prior to determining that we are not doing any good in the countries we are helping to liberate from terrorism. I wonder, has this man ever spoken to a member of the Iraqi Army who are now in control of their country? Has he ever asked a woman or child freed from essential slavery by an atrocious dictator, what they think of Our Marines. Being a Marine does not change your ego for egos sake. These men and women are fighting for us and our children's freedom and our future as a country!

While my son has not been deployed, as yet, he is ready to stand beside his brother Marines and defend what must be defended to protect his family, young sisters and friends. This man should take a look at the realities of life outside of his rose colored peace glasses and understand that the only reason we all can sleep is the Marines and others in our great military that defend and protect us against "enemies foreign and domestic".

In my opinion, this man is a domestic terrorist and should be sent to Afghanistan or Pakistan to live in "peace" with his other family men and brothers. I support the mom who posted this in your newsletter. More important, I THANK and PRAY for her Marine that has so willingly decided that the comforts of home are less important than defending his sisters, brother and unborn niece/nephews freedoms. As always, Semper Fi and OOHRAH.

Very Proud Mom of PFC Ritter (MCRDSD 08/09; MCT 09/09)


to mother P.
im sorry that you have to deal with this R...
apparently someone has removed his brain and replaced it with feces.

to your son Michael - oohrah and carry on.
you have made a choice that is higher in morality, wisdom, grace and standards than this michael will ever know.

as for my choice words of description for this R... are unfit to print but any jarhead can probably come pretty close to the words that just came from my mouth and caused a phone call from the neighbors to see if i was all right.

maybe one day he will wake up and see the light that what he says he wants is only possible by the choices you and countless others have made. to sign your name on the line and put your life on the line, so this idiot can have the right to be a moron.

as i said before keep up the good work and know that we the former, current, and future jarheads support and respect you

r.freeman (noload lcpl, 0351)



I have no idea who this clown is, but even tho' I am 70 years old, if he would like to come to Phoenix, I'll kick his a?? all over Maricopa County. Nothing pi!ses me off more than some ignorant fool who talks like he has all the wisdom in the world. He probably is a Berkeley trained idiot. I hope his brother-in- law comes home and pounds some intelligence into his head.

Thanks for letting me blow off some steam,

J. Howell


To R....., for Marine Michael's Mom:
I've never before responded to a Blog or any other site, but your garbage was just too much! You take an opportunity in the name of love (?) to spew your obvious disdain for our Country, our Freedom and Warriors who've fought, bled and died to guarantee you that ability? How dare you! "American atrocities"? "Terrorism is a bullsh!t lie"? Where do people like you come from?

You are obviously the product of a subversive, Marxist oriented school system, and have no real understanding of The nature and cost of Freedom, Human Nature, History, or the politics of power and control. You send this propaganda to a Warrior who has to say focused in the name of love? If you really loved this Marine's sister, then you'd do everything in your power to help maintain his Morale. You are too far beneath contempt to continue......

To P: There are many, many more of us that feel strongly this way.... Believe me! We've got your Son's six!

To Becca..."Put more trust in nobility of character than in an oath" Solon, 638 - 559 BC

To R.... "Beware not the enemy from 'without', but the enemy from 'within'" General Douglas Macarthur.

63 year young Marine, currently unassigned!


Dear Sgt Grit,

In regards to the (I'll be nice for now) civilian who sent the e-mail to Sgt Michael. This guy is obviously a pacifist. He pushes his beliefs on other people, without trying to see differing points of view. As a Marine who has been to several hot spots in my time in the Corps, I to this day, view my Brothers in the Corps as some of the most important people to have touched my life. I would have given my all to see them through any situation, and they would have done the same for me. This being said, I live not too far from the Lake Charles area. If this concerned Marine Mom needs someone to teach this civie some, we will call it a history lesson, about always being there for your buddies. No matter the cost! And about honor, well I have never met this young Marine, but it would be an honor to give a few lessons to his misguided brother-in-law.



SF Sgt Grit,
Concerning the letter in the American Courage newsletter #211 from Sgt. Michael's Mom, I say this. Michael will make an outstanding uncle for his niece to be. He probably will not be as good a brother-in-law.

Ooh Rah!
Dan Buchanan
Ancient E3/2531


To Mrs "P", son of Sgt Michael,
I can feel your anger boiling and slow to simmer. Don't let and individual like "r" get to you. Your son is the Marine and serving his country the way he feels he should. Whether "r" likes it or not, who gives a d*mn. The "r's" of this world are the mouthiest and most outspoken. They live off our blood, sweat and tears. They shed tears for themselves only, not like a Marine shedding tears for his brothers fallen in battle.

I can only hope your daughter doesn't marry "r", it will be a constant form of friction for your family. I know, I've a sister who always been critical of whatever I've done for a living. I just ignore her and we don't talk much if not at all. Good luck to Michael and his job as a United States Marine. There are more people out there who support and are very grateful for his duty to country and family.

Sgt. Fritz McDowell #2349865
An old Marine

Wedding Photos

And I Quote...

"Medicine is the keystone of the arch of socialism."
--Vladimir Lenin

And I Quote...

"[I]f the public are bound to yield obedience to laws to which they cannot give their approbation, they are slaves to those who make such laws and enforce them."
--Candidus in the Boston Gazette, 1772


A Marine Mom friend called my attention to the article in your latest online newsletter regarding the Midwest Regional Meeting of the Leathernecks and the presentation of the USMC 1/3 Memorial Quilt to the parents of Cpl. Nathaniel Moore.

My husband and I coordinated the effort to create 72 Memorial Quilts in honor of the Fallen Marines from 1/3 during Operation Phantom Fury (as well as a quilt for our most seriously wounded Marine, and a thank- you quilt for the wife of our XO who created the first unofficial parents' group). We worked with other Marine Moms to get the information out. In a matter of maybe two months, our little house was filled with over 3,300 quilt blocks (10 1/2" square was the requested size). Two of the Moms worked to get the center blocks embroidered -- most were done by a shop in Washington state (?) We received blocks from hundreds of people from all over the country.

Several quilts were quilted in Okinawa by an Army wife friend of a Navy wife friend of mine. A law firm in San Diego dedicated a conference room and a day to creating quilt blocks. Participants included several of the attorneys who are Marines. People who had never sewn before made blocks. The support for this project was incredible. Many of the blocks were accompanied by notes that thanked our little group for giving them the opportunity to let the families know how much they (the writers) cared about them and shared their grief.

One of our USMC 1/3 Memorial Quilts is shown on the HBO special on Area 60 in Arlington National Cemetery. A friend -- and long arm quilter who quilted nine of these quilts -- called to tell me that she recognized a quilt she had quilted. LCpl Brian Medina's father often brings the quilt with him when he visits Brian's grave at Arlington.

The creation of these USMC 1/3 Memorial Quilts was an undertaking of love and honor for our fallen and their families. We wanted them to know that we shared their grief and would always remember their sons.

Today is the 5th anniversary of our son's arrival in Iraq, and the anniversaries of the deaths of our Marines will soon follow (we did lose a Marine in training in Okinawa - he is not forgotten either).

We will forever hold our Marines and their families in our hearts and prayers. It was an honor to create these quilts.

Semper Fi,

Tink Linhart
VPMM of LCpl Jon (retired)
and still a very active Marine Mom

Greetings... Sgt G, I thought about the stories that you have sent out about our Brave warriors... and they have really touched me too... So, I wondered if Fox News, and Glen Beck would be honored to let the public know about some of them... men and women, especially the ones who gave up life or limb... You hardly ever hear anything, on the news that personalizes the heroes!... Only the body count killed. That day... Occasionally... they interview Col O. North USMC...
Best Regards, R. L. Cunningham,

And I Quote...

"All that's necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."
--Edmund Burke

Dear Sgt Grit,

I thought I would drop a line and tell you one of the proudest moments I have had as of late. My 17 year old step son went to his mother about a month ago and told her that he wanted to join the Marine Corps. I have been in his life since he was 4 years old, his father was in the Army and had never showed any interest in him, I raised him as my own and love him as if he was.

He told his Mom that he wanted to be just like his Dad and that the Marine Corps was for him. It was a tough battle to get his Mom to sign the enlistment papers, but you know us Marines we are tenacious. He left last weekend and went to MEPS down by Miramar and came back a Poolee in the Delayed Entry Program. He leaves for boot camp July 19, 2010, another month later and it would have been exactly 20 years from the time I left home to grow up and become a man, but more importantly a Marine. You know I cannot wait for graduation and will be there. I enjoy the letters and the catalog and always look forward for the next email.

Semper Fi,

Michael D. Lemley
Sergeant of Marines
1st Battalion 9th Marines
Bravo Company 3rd Platoon

This is in regards to the e-mail written by Sgt Ken Walker USMC (1996 -2001). You dwell on how the workers around fear your presence in the work place. My name is Sgt Wally Sitzes/2152140 USMC 1965-1974 Viet Nam 1965-1966, 1969-1970. I have been in law enforcement for 30 years. I also love the Corps. I thought you should have your enemies fear you and the rest of the public respect you. In the words of "Sgt Owens"...
"Lighten up Francis"

And I Quote...

"It is a very great mistake to imagine that the object of loyalty is the authority and interest of one individual man, however dignified by the applause or enriched by the success of popular actions."
--Samuel Adams

My daughter, son-in law, & brother are MARINES with 35 years combined service. My dad, kids dad & cousins are "old" MARINES. I was too old when I finally went patriotic to follow them (the gunny said I could go to Parris Island with daughter and if I thought I could survive I would have) but I figured I could care for them in the war in another branch. The distinct flavor of the "USMC family" is lost on my branch unfortunately.

My husband (ex-army) and I live in Military USA now and have a recruiters station about a mile from our house. When family visit, they are dismayed that the office isn't open much while the "other" offices are open 24/7. Where we come from the USMC office is where we go to touch base and find family during the day. I miss it badly. When I first got here I used to get to shake a FEW GOOD hands, but here lately, not a man around.

2 days ago the station was open when we went to get a sandwich after running and there in the parking lot I spotted blood strips. He was 6 foot something, rather sinew-y and had this the beautiful expression I only see on USMC individuals. Power that has been burned into the soul and a gentleness with all others that comes from learning to accept the power and use it for the good of humanity. My GOD that power! I cried the first time I saw it on my daughters face at Parris Island.

Anyway to the parking lot, the SGT noticed us immediately. My husband has the same look from grunt years in 1970's, and the MARINE immediately said "Hello SIR".( I am a bit on the tiny side, an officer and always an afterthought on any day we are together which makes me laugh but ticks him off!) We all then, proceeded into the building while the MARINE talked with a young slouchy looking boy with a Mohawk haircut. The boy was asking what was in it for him, what was the SGT getting out of being a MARINE? The SGT kept making eye contact with us while we stood say 15 minutes in the line smiling this kind smile as if to say, "I know you are seeing this like it really is and it's sort of sad"... I looked at hubby and noticed we had USMC clothing on from Sgt Grit that dgtr had given us over the years. I thought hmmm, guess I got family here after all thank you God, I needed this to remind me why I signed that contract. He left and my heart left with him out that door.

We got into the car and Hubby said, you want to go in and say hi? Out we hopped and made a b-line. We opened the door and He spotted us again, stood up and asked if we had brought our food to eat with him. It brought tears to my eyes. We talked just a few minutes but he said something that blew my hair back and affected me deeply.

"I know we aren't here often but as you could see (Mohawk boy) we don't have ANY productive members of society in this area so we are out searching constantly". We got his card so we and family could keep in touch over the holidays. Now, we live in a very posh neighborhood, there are at least 12 schools in the area and it is known as ----- base West. As Hub and I walked to the car past the busy other recruiter door, we looked at each other, "productive members of society" is what he was looking for, not what he was going to make someone into...

We looked around at the BMW's, Mercedes, soup-ed up kids cars, the bus stop, the young driving by texting, the mac- mansions... and we were both silent for the rest of the evening and went to sleep peacefully confident WE ARE SAFE. No matter what the media might think or what the state of the nation may be, they are here, they will find others like themselves and this country will be okay. They hear the call, they are old wonderful souls and are not perfect, but they have honor beyond comprehension. We went to sleep knowing what Semper Fi means.


Sgt Grit; I got very angry when I read that retired M/Sgt Bernard son, Marine Cpl Josh Bernard was killed in Afghanistan because air support would not be provided for fear of killing civilians who were helping the insurgents who killed Josh. This is Vietnam all over again. Something must be done. Top Bernard's voice will not be enough. My grandson will be entering the military next year. I don't want him in the combat outfits because he will probably suffer the same fate as Top Bernard's son, Josh did. Isn't there something you can do to get our voices heard in Washington. Top Bernard needs all our help to make these arm chair civilian warriors in Washington listen to men who actually fight these wars and let them fight it on their terms. To H&LL with the rules of engagement. If it was up to me and a Battalion of former Marines, I would pull a Dungery Liberty on those over paid, know nothings in Washington. If my comments are seditious then so be it. frustrated, former Sgt but still a Marine AJ Manos (69-72)

And I Quote...

"The essential characteristic of Western civilization that distinguishes it from the arrested and petrified civilizations of the East was and is its concern for freedom from the state."
--Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973)

"Flag Burner" Duct Taped to Flag Pole as Punishment by VFW Commander - (Video)

And I Quote...

"I never could believe that Providence had sent a few men into the world, ready booted and spurred to ride, and millions ready saddled and bridled to be ridden."
--British colonel Richard Rumbold (1622-1685)

Attn: Sgt Grit,

My name is David Mitchell, I am a prior service Marine from North Alabama. I have a friend who is putting on a Belly Dance Extravaganza, in Sheffield, Alabama on Dec. 5th. This is going to benefit Toys for Tots in the local area. This is her 2nd year putting this on. As a Marine and a friend, I am doing what I can to support this event. Here is the information:

Belly Dance Extravaganza: Benefiting Toys for Tots
December 5th, 2009
Ritz Theater Sheffield, Alabama
Contact: mordrain2002 @ yahoo .com

And I Quote...

"Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm."
--James Madison

This is a question about LCpl Hills letter about it not being ok to have an eagle globe and anchor tattooed on your body if you are not a Marine. And I do understand what he means in some sense but I believe that in some cases it is ok. My papaw is a Marine and he passed away July 15 2008 and I got a tattoo of an EGA with the words my guardian angel is a Marine along with his birth and death date. Are you saying that it is wrong for me to have this tattoo in memory of by papaw because I did not earn the title?

my papaw would be d*mn proud of me today if he could have seen my tattoo. I think it would be silly for someone with no connection to the Corps but I mean this is in memory of my hero. He had 7 granddaughters. He died when I was 17 and from the time I was little he always called me his Marine and taught me everything there was to know about the Corps. He always said that if any of us girls were to join the Marines it would be me. And trust me if they would take me I would join!

Granddaughter of
MGySgt Robert Sanders

Dear Pfc Robert Young, USMC 1956-58
As a mom of a United States Marine.... I send a Marine Mom Hug to your grandson. I cannot even imagine the torment that he and others that have returned are going through. All I can offer are prayers for healing to you and all other returning soldiers and their families. Even though our son's and grandson's, brothers, husbands & wife's made the choice to fight for our freedom, it does not lessen the pain that we in the background feel as we watch our kids suffer. I only pray that with God's grace, all of our soldiers pains are lessened as time passes. My most sincere thanks and prayers go out to your grandson as well as all others serving in the military! Those that speak badly in ANY WAY of our military obviously DO NOT HAVE a CLUE as to what EXACTLY our kids have to deal with in order for them to have their opinions. Again, THANK YOU!

Have a great day!
Julie H

And I Quote...

"Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual)."
--Ayn Rand

Sgt Grit,
The following websites will give you full access to not only the info on the program it will give you access on how and where to apply. (stands for USMC Civilian Law enforcement) (to apply)

You become a fully certified civilian police officer with Federal authority, but your main jurisdiction is the Corps bases.

Please post on your site as a lot of Marines that are coming home could get these jobs. Right now the applications are slow and former and retired officers are filling the slots. And they are also looking for people with security experience - a guard which kinda scares me and the last one that's why I want you to try and get the info out so they can recruit Marines coming home to no job....

Thanks Sgt Grit (Don) you're the MAN


In reply to the article by George Lent in the last Sgt. Grit news. When I read the newsletter usually most of the names, etc. are not familiar, but when I came to the mention of Sgt. Jesse, it got my juices flowing and when SSgt. Wetherill and Sgt. Whidden were included, I knew this was written by a Platoon 163, 1st Battalion, Parris Island 1961 recruit. Those 3 DI's were, through my 4 plus years in the Corps, 3 of the best Marines of the many that I encountered! Little did I know at the time how their dogged discipline, tough fairness, and determined drive to make us into Marines, would benefit my tour in the Corps. My whole enlistment was spent with Marine Air Control Squadron 8 at MCAF, New River and then a Far East tour at NAS Atsugi, Japan and then Camp Schwab, Okinawa. Thanks George for your article and for the good memories of our platoon and all that we encountered.
OORAH, Cpl. Kent Miller

And I Quote...

"Courage is fear that has said its prayers."
--Dorothy Bernard

Semper-Fi all, Sgt Gene Gorman here. Viet-nam, "Thundering 3rd", M-3/4 "67-68. One of the most rewarding experiences of my life occurred this past year. As we approach the coming Marine Corps Birthday and Veterans Day, I thought it might be good to share this little story.

On November 10th 2008 Our little Gulf Coast town of Punta Gorda, Fla. held a parade to honor wounded Marines from the most recent conflicts in Iraq/Afghanistan. It was to be part of the Veterans Day weekend. Part of the day was going to include a luncheon and a round of golf, sponsored by the Golf Club that I belong to. Since we have quite a few veterans (although only 2 Marines) who have now retired, it was going to be quite an honor for us and made me very proud of our club.

I wasn't quite prepared for what was to follow. ED Dye, the other Marine, and a few other guys, had the honor of escorting these Marines for the weekend and they already had them seated for lunch. Unknown to me, they had been discussing the fact that I was the only Marine Viet-nam Vet in our club. As usual my wife and I played an Early round of Golf with friends, and we all looked forward to coming in to have lunch with the "Marines". What followed Blew me away. As soon as we walked in the Club, these young warriors got to their feet and in unison lined up to shake my hand and thank me for my service. They made me feel as if they were honored to be in my presence, It was so unexpected that I thought it had been planned. My Buddies assured me it was strictly spontaneous. It was obvious that this was a gesture that these young men felt deserved to be done. I couldn't hold back my tears. In fact I'm still moved to tears as I write this today. At a time when this generation of Marines were to be honored, they chose to honor me with this gesture of gratitude. It doesn't get any better than that.

In a strange way it seemed, they were looking out for their own. But then again-that's what we do isn't it? I'm reminded of what Shakespeare wrote in his play "Henry V". As Henry waited on a French Battlefield to face overwhelming odds, the King spoke to his men: "This story shall the good man teach his son; And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by, From this day to the ending of the world, But we in it shall be remembered-We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day who sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition; And gentlemen in England now-a-bed shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here, And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day."

Thanks Marines, Sgt. Gene Gorman,

This is my first letter to SGT GRIT newsletter, as you will see at the end of this letter I'm not Crystal Fisher, she passed away recently. I had been wanting to write to tell everyone of my son and the courage he had to face during his Boot Camp and how proud I am of him, so here goes!

My son, PFC Corey J. Briggs, and I call him my son and not my step-son because he is my HERO, and he calls me DAD and I'm proud to be his Dad. He joined the Marines while still in High School, early enlistment, this was a shock to me for I never saw him as a Marine. He was in the AFROTC in High School. His Mom, Crystal, was so proud of him as well as I was! Once he graduated from High School he went to Parris Island for Boot Camp.

In his second week there, July 15, 2009, his Mother passed away. he was allowed to come home for her services and His Senior DI Highsmith, called to check on him and to send his condolences and stated he would do everything to ensure my son completion of his basic training. Well my son completed his training on Oct. 2, 2009, and his sister and I was able to see him graduate.

The proudest moment was at Family Day when all the new Marines was marched in after been announced, "Please stand for the Presentation of Your New Marines", it was also the saddest moment for us, for his Mom was not there to see it too! But I know she was watching it from Heaven along with all her family, my father and other member of my family, and all the Marines that had gone on ahead.

Crystal would have been so proud of Corey for he was her pride and joy! After the ceremony we went back the barracks and met his DIs and Senior DI Highsmith told us, Megean and I, that Corey was the heart of the Company, because he came back from his Mother's services and applied himself to become a MARINE! He was very proud of him and the courage he showed. That made my heart swell with pride for we all had tears in our eyes. The Marine Corps is a family and when one Marine suffers all the Marines feel the pain.

We; his Mother, Crystal; his sister, Megean, and myself just want to thank all the DIs and Officers of PLT. 2065, ECHO Company, 2nd BN. at Parris Island for turning our son and brother into a MARINE, and also all the Recruiters at RSS Wilmington, NC and especially SSGT. Munoz for their contributions also! He is at Camp Geiger now completing his SOI training and then on to school somewhere, more than likely Twenty Nine Palms, Calf.

To all who don't understand, from the First Marines to today's Marines they are the front line of defense of this nation. They don't ask WHY, but WHERDO I STAND! The Marines today are as tough and maybe tougher than yesterdays Marines, for they face a enemy that hates just to hate and has no heart or feeling for anyone, just a misguided sense of loyalty that they believe their god or gods will bless them for killing the innocents as long as they kill their enemies. As long as there is a Marine standing, the innocents will have a DEFENDER. So all you out there when you see a Marine or any serviceman/women shake his/her hand and tell them you are proud of them and give them a hug for us, my wife would and so will I for her and myself. GOD bless all the young and old Marines, OohRah, Semper-Fi!

Yours truly,
William G. Fisher, Sr. USAF/USN

And I Quote...

"The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps."
--General Alexander A. Vandergrift, USMC to the Senate Naval Affairs Committee, 5 May 1946

Maxwell standing next to chopper Hey Sgt. Grit,

Check out new my new chopper

Maxwell de Jong, 0331
USMC 1986-1994

Sgt Grit;
I am so tired of hearing about the Old Corps verse's the New Corps. I'm from a family of Marines that have served in conflicts since WWI.

My grandfather served in the Marines during WWI and told us the horrors of that war. He had the scares to prove just how hard it was.

My oldest uncle on my father's side served in the Marine Corps during WWII. He doesn't talk about it but the was involved in the Pacific Theater of operations. He came home with a mason jar full of shrapnel that was removed from him. We all know what kind of h&ll they all went through.

I have another uncle on my mother's side that served in the Marines during Korea. He was one of the many that served with Chesty Puller during the Frozen Chosen. You often still hear him scream in the night when that Chinese soldier stuck him in the ribs with a bayonet. Again he talks little about it.

His younger brother, the youngest uncle of mine, served in the Marines during the late 60's in VeitNam. He too does not talk about what went on during his service.

Myself, I entered the Corps in 1969 and retired in 1990 as a GySgt. I too choose not to talk about what transpired during my tenure as a Marine. But there is one thing that all of us do talk about and that is the "Old Corps".

My son served in the Corps and was lucky enough to be spared the dark side of serving before he ended his enlistment.

Sons of Marines I served with are now serving their tours in the Corps. One, SSgt Jerry Navarro, has already served one tour in Iraq and a tour as Drill Instructor and is now back with the fleet and ready for more.

No matter what year you served in you heard about the old Corps. It was always the generation before you entered. As we get older we tend to think that the way we did it in the old days was the best. But since my retirement I have had occasions to see the new breed and can say only one thing. The Corps is being served proud by the new generation.

They are some of the smartest, respectful, and world savvy as any that my family has served with. Every generation of Marines has a new goal to achieve and it is accomplished if the politicians allow them.

The political issue has been there since the beginning and that is nothing new to the Marine Corps.

So to all of you that have had the honor to serve in our beloved United States Marine Corps I thank you. The older ones that set the goals of my generation and the youngest for picking up the pieces and running with the challenges of this unstable world.

There is no "Old Corps" just old Marines. Carry on my band of brothers and know that the world is proud and fears our United States Marine Corps. And remember, "we have done so much with so little that we can now do anything with nothing." Semper Fi

Harold E. Newell Jr.
GySgt USMCret

And I Quote...

"Being ready is not what matters. What matters is winning after you get there."
--LtGen Victor H. Krulak, USMC April 1965

This is for anyone who thinks there is an old Corps and a new Corps. Honor, courage, and love of the Corps and country does not change with the passage of time. I had seven uncle's who served in the military through ww2 and Korea. Four of them Marines, an older brother who was a Marine. I served in the Marines under Ollie North in 69 in Viet Nam, and my son is a recon Marine today. War is war, combat is combat and Marines are Marines.
Nuff said, Semper Fi.
Sgt Stu Hogentogler, (known as hog to his squad. ) Kilo Co. 3rd Marines 2nd platoon, 2nd squad. 1969 Charlie Co. 1st Marines 1970.
Love the newsletter and the website.

sgt. grit, new Corps, old Corps, were all the Marine Corps. i was climbing into my jeep, all decked out with Marine Corps tire cover, dvdg plates (devil dog) when i was approached by a young lady who stated that she has a friend who is an x-Marine. i proceeded to inform this young lady that there is no such thing as an x-Marine. once a Marine always a Marine. she stated that she has heard that before and she won't forget it. and yes i get a lot of stares and compliments towards my jeep.
cpl. of Marines
joseph mish 63-67.
semper fi

And I Quote...

"Thank God for the Marines!"
--[an Army Air Corps B-29 crewman after his crippled bomber made an emergency landing on Iwo Jima, May 1945]

I would like to respond to the person writing about his grandson who served in Afghanistan, and is suffering the effects of war. He saved one of his brothers, and that brother died in his mother's arms. Another brother burned to death in front of him and he could do nothing. Sir, your grandson is a hero to me and all Americans. To the individual who states that today's Marines do not compare with those of Iwo Jima, I second the gentleman in saying, "Kiss My Grits". To me the Marines of today are just as Marines of yesterday, they are one of "The Few And The Proud" and so am I. Semper Fi till we die.
Gonzo Parris Island 1983-1989.

Sarge, I'd like to respond to Mr Young who wrote about his grandson.

As "Doc", we listened to many Marines talk to us about their feelings of "it should have been me", etc... The guilt he is feeling is actually fairly normal, but if he lets if fester, it can do irreparable psychological damage. I would strongly advise him to go to Sick Call and talk to his Bn Med Officer, and get referred for counseling. If he is no longer on active duty, go to the nearest Vet Center. They WILL help him. Anyone who was in combat and lost friends feels this way at one time or another.

Doc Miller
Nam 67-68
FMF for 11 yrs

And I Quote...

"The {expletive} Marines have killed every living thing except the snakes and lizards!"
--[Capt. James A. Smith, US Army viewing the carnage after US Marines battled through Nasiriyah, Iraq, 24 March 2003]

Mr and Mrs Emmen cutting their cake Sgt Grit

I'm a retired Marine and I'm sending you some pictures of our wedding. I'm the Marine that proposed to my new wife at your Grittogether this year and wanted to share these with you.

I'm a member of Leatherneck Motorcycle Club and we were married on Sept 26, 2009 at Eureka Springs.

Mr and Mrs Emmen during their wedding Mr and Mrs Emmen riding on motorcycle

As you can see in the last picture, my Brother Marines had fun decorating my motorcycle.

Semper Fi,
John (Poppy) Emmen

Dear Sgt Grit,

I don't know how to get to the area to post something to your newsletter so I'll try this route instead. My name is Sgt Jason Carter USMC 1983-1993 I served limited duty in Beirut, Desert Shield, Desert Storm, and Just Cause, Somalia. I would like to thank you for the newsletter every month, I read it and it brings tears of pride to my eyes to read all the stories, the new ones and the old ones we wouldn't be the Marine Corps without our past, and we wouldn't be the Marine Corps without all the hard chargers out there today kicking a$s and securing our freedom. I would like to thank the Gunny who put the former, and ex Marine thing to rest, on all my tattoos I never had former added to them they still say Marine, Thanks Gunny.

I will be "adopting a Marine" for Christmas, for many holidays I received "any solider" packages for kids and others here in the states, Ill be doing my part. My children love the Marines also everywhere we go when we see a Marine, Soldier, Sailor, or Airman both my daughters point them out