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AmericanCourage #213     12 NOV 2009

3 Year Old devil pup in DI costume Sgt. Grit,

Good evening from Erie Pa...We just wanted to send you a picture of our 3 yr. Devil Pup...and future Marine. He's a hard charger and doesn't play games... just ask our Day care provider! ha... ha... ha... feel free to post this picture...

Semper Fi!

Cpl. R. Domster
8th, 9th Motors

Veteran's Day is about YOU.
Thanks for your service. Thanks for your sacrifice.

Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

Christmas Shirts

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


Commandant's Birthday Message (MFR Website)

234th Marine Corps Birthday Tribute (

And I Quote...

"It is only when you are able to do things that other people don't approve that you are free."
--Thomas Sowell

Sgt. Grunt,
A couple of years after serving in Vietnam and returning to this wonderful country of ours, I saw a quote in "Leatherneck Magazine" that I have never forgotten and never will. I don't remember who the author of the quote was but it said...

"When man becomes so civilized that he will no longer fight, he will be enslaved by those who can fight" This has always been true and will always be true.

Just a few years ago at a Marine Corps League meeting we had the honor of having as our speaker that night a Marine who had recently retired from the Corps. He told us that with all the talk of Old Corps and New Corps, we had nothing to worry about. He said that the Marines of today were more intelligent, better trained and better equipped than ever before.

I salute all persons who have served our country and especially the men and women who are protecting us today. God bless America!

Semper Fi,
Andy Aldredge
Cpl. Amgrunt, Vietnam

I agree. You should see the outstanding, magnificent Marines that daily come into my shop.
Humble, hard chargers, fit, polite, smart. Impressive!
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

AmericanCourage AmericanCourage AmericanCourage

I have read several submissions on the subject, "Old Corps vs. New Corps," and I have to say it is rather ironic to read these, as the old salts of yesteryear frequently assume the Corps was better when they were in, was harder and tougher, and the training superior.

Here's the irony: Many of the former Marines in the "Old Corps" joined 20, 25, 30 years ago in the Seventies, Eighties, and maybe not quite in the Nineties - yet. I enlisted in 1978 and went to beloved MCRD in September of that year. Well, guess what I learned upon arriving and the next couple years following? I was in the "New Corps," and the "old salts" who joined in the late Fifties and early Sixties were the "Old Corps" when the Corps was better, harder, tougher, and superior! Do you think it might have been possible that when they joined in the Fifties, they, too, were "New Corps" to the Marines of WWII?

It is somewhat mythological, in a sense, that no matter when you join, you automatically are in the "New Corps," but that somehow 20 or 30 years later you mysteriously morph into the "Old Corps." If nothing else, it certainly bodes well for nostalgia!

During the month of August of this year, I and my family had the privilege of being invited guests of Sergeant Major Brian Jackson, the Depot and the Western Recruiting Region Sergeant Major. We arrived on the depot at San Diego on 11 Aug 2009 and were warmly greeted by the Sergeant Major who introduced us to Staff Sergeant Daniel Rodriguez, Chief Drill Instructor of Receiving Company, a Marine at least 6-foot 1 or greater, rock hard, piercing eyes, yet of a quiet demeanor. (The Marine Corps does such an awesome job teaching one how to carry themselves.) I had previously asked the sergeant major if we could take a brief tour of the depot for the benefit of my children, five girls and a son, though only four of the girls could make it. SgtMaj Jackson and SSgt Rodriguez met us dressed in crisp desert cammies and campaign covers. The Sergeant Major presented my son with a medallion memento and explained that pressing duties called so the Staff Sergeant would give us a tour of the depot and training areas.

My expectation was simple. We would hop into our vehicle, drive around the depot, and point out areas of significance. That wasn't to happen. Sergeant Major Jackson saw to it that all areas of the depot be made available to us beginning with the Marine museum. SSgt Rodriguez took us on an eight-passenger golf cart to the museum, showed us the Hummers used for Marine Corps public relations, drill instructor's training area, recruiter's training area, to receiving barracks, the yellow footprints of today and years gone by, into the recruit's PX, the barracks, confidence course, bayonet fighting, rappelling, the whole nine yards. As we drove and walked around the "restricted areas," I felt strangely odd, as if we were on ground we should not tread.

my children and SSgt Rodriguez in front of the Hummer When we entered into the swim qualification building, Marines looked at us like, "What the &*#$," as seven civilians strode in. The gunny in charge bolted out of his hut staring at me like I was from another planet. I bellowed down the corridor, "Staff Sergeant Rodriguez, I think the gunny here is wondering why civilians are walking into his tank." The gunny responded, "Yeah, you might say I'm thinking something like that!" The senior drill instructor cleared our way, and into the tank room we went, just in time to see recruits on the platform, dressed in full camouflage fatigues, ALICE packs (that's what we used to call them, have no idea what they are today), boots, helmet, and mock M-16 rifles jumping into the tank and qualifying. Let me say this: In 1978, I swim qualified, but we did not do it with packs, helmet, and rifle. We did it in cammies and boots. So to a certain extent, these "New Corps" recruits were receiving better and harder training than we "Old Corps" Marines did.

The point of my letter is this: We watched these recruits walk their way down slide-of-life ropes, fall into the net or pool, climb telephone pole apparatus and cross over, one recruit stuck at the top and being coaxed to get his swinging you know what over the top and down. As we cruised in our golf right through the center of bayonet training, a recruit did not even acknowledge our presence as he turned and thrust his bayonet inches from our cart yelling at the top of his lungs, "KILL!" Fifty percent of the training I observed I did not receive in my old Corps days, or at least not on the level I was observing.

my kids on the Old Corps yellow footprints As we walked through Receiving, we watched raw recruits who had arrived the night before being herded down the corridor; we witnessed recruits in "the pit" being thrashed. If you have been in the Corps, you know what the pit is! At one point I asked SSgt Rodriguez if they still call the recruits "maggots." His response: "I will neither confirm nor deny." Spoken like a true Marine!

The tour was awesome. My kids were very impressed, and I think I could rightly say a bit awe struck. My son was presented with an Essential Subjects and Guidebook. He has read both, and all of my children received dog tags that SSgt Rodriguez had made for us while at Receiving. SSgt Rodriguez explained each and every aspect of Marine Corps boot camp to us. Many aspects of training today are more refined and equally as difficult, if not more so. Today's recruit also experiences the "Crucible," which is sort of a rite of passage for recruits becoming Marines. The Crucible did not exist in 1978.

one of my family and I at the flag pole I left MCRD San Diego that day feeling extremely confident that the Marines of today are receiving no less training than their forefathers. Someone once said, "Old Corps, New Corps, it's all Marine Corps." I agree wholeheartedly. I was looking hard that day to see if I could find any area of boot camp that was less than what it should be or once was. I didn't find it! So...that said, should we once and for all end the age-old controversy of Old Corps vs. New Corps? Heck no! It makes for fantastic stories of yore and holds today's recruit accountable to the standards that of days bygone. We can rest assured, though, that today's New Corps Marine is every bit as sharpened and hardened as their "Old Corps" ancestors.

Semper Fi,

Greg Rasmussen,
SSGT USMC (former)
1978 - 1987

P.s. I have attached three photos, one of my children and SSgt Rodriguez in front of the Hummer; one of my kids on the "Old Corps" yellow footprints (sorry about those salutes); and one of my family and I at the flag pole.

And I Quote...

"But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever."
--John Adams

Sgt Grit,
Two things, first in reference to Old vs. New Corps; about a hundred years ago (or so it seems) I asked my GYSGT what the difference was between the "Old" and "New" Corps. With wisdom only a Gunny would have he replied, "Old Corps is someone who joined one day before you did".

Second to the gentleman concerned about his Grandson, I used to talk to some of the local schools when they studied Viet Nam in their history books. One day a young lady asked if I wasn't bothered all the time about all the friends I lost because I was over there. I told her that yes, I think about them quite often, but equally, I also think about all the friends I have now that I would never have met if I had not been over there.

Keep up the good work
Howard Spaulding
USMC 1967-1971

As the father of a Marine Gunnery Sgt... and one of the few and proud myself, I was taken aback by R's letter. An expression of concern is heartwarming but the interjection of moral relativism is disgusting.

The only purposed served is for R to express his views and go through the same arguments spewed by the unthinking who state that the events of 9-11 were brought on by previous behaviors of prior generations.

Having met many Marines through my son, I know that they are aware of their family obligations and would like nothing more to be home to wrangle kids while their wife ( or husband ) makes a home for the whole clan. These individuals know however that scene can only be created by the sacrifice of their collective service to Duty, Honor, and Corps.

R has never known the fellowship of mutual hardship or success and never will unless he opens his eyes to the qualities of Michael and his comrades.

To Mother P, never lose heart. You have raised an outstanding son.

Hopefully R will see the light, and perhaps learn some history. Particularly the part about who helped earn the right for him to have his opinion. And will learn the wisdom to at the appropriate time keep them to himself.

Earl A. Stanley MD.
Inactive Sergeant USMC

And I Quote...

"Casualties: many, Percentage of dead: not known, Combat efficiency: we are winning."
--Colonel David M. Shoup, USMC, MOH, (later Commandant) Tarawa, 21 November 1943.

Member has unsubscribed.

The following member has unsubscribed: from all lists. They were logged on the Opt Out List for all lists.

IP: xxxxxxxxxx
Date: 10/31/2009

Reason: My Marine just completed his mission here on Earth.

First Name: Vickie

Style, elegance, brevity, class.
Sgt Grit

I truly enjoy reading your newsletter, and wanted to pass on some thanks. I am the grandson of a First Division Marine, Staff Sergeant Robert (Pete) Nelson, who served his country proudly during WW2. While I unfortunately did not follow in his footsteps, I do my best to honor him and all Marines in my line of work. It's amazing how seeing your Grandfathers Silver Star on the wall every day will do that! Whenever I think I am having a bad day, I just think of all the bad days he had on Guadalcanal!

Business is Good Bumper Sticker You see, I am a professional drummer in a rock and roll band. Thanks to the brave Marines out there, I am able to do that for a living. My drums currently sport about 10 different Corps stickers, given to me by Marines from all across the country. Maybe the fact that my entire wardrobe consists of shirts has something to do with it! My favorite one has to be one that says, "Marines: We are in the azs kicking business, and business is good." With that being said, our stage backdrop is an American Flag, measuring 30 feet wide by 20 feet tall. Basically, in true Marine spirit, I like to let everyone know where I stand. There isn't a night that goes by when we don't give our thanks to the Men and Women who serve. Every time I see a Marine in the crowd (and you guys are easy to spot, by the way. Mainly because everyone gives you space) I make sure and shake their hand and tell them thanks.

While that is a very small gesture on my part, each and every Marine I have ever met seems to be taken back a bit. Apparently that doesn't happen enough. I guess not enough Americans realize the role you guys play in this world, and that's a shame. Well I do, and I am grateful for each and every one of you, both young and old. Thank you for all you do at, and keep up the good work! Maybe you guys can make me a shirt that says," Still kicking my own azs for not joining the Corps 23 years ago."

With the Greatest Respect and Thanks,

Chris Eddins
Lake View, Alabama

And I Quote...

"Freedom is not free, but the U.S. Marine Corps will pay most of your share."
--Ned Dolan

Don, here's a suggestion for your readers that are "seasoned" Marines like me. For my birthday, Fathers' Day and Christmas, I tell family to "Adopt a Marine" versus buying me stuff. I'm pushing 74; so I have pretty much everything I need.

By so doing, they're helping a younger Marine "brother" and I have the satisfaction of knowing that, in my way, I've also have helped.

Christmas is just around the corner and my hope is that this note will prompt other old pharts to consider this suggestion.

Semper Fi,
Bob Rader #1405534

6 of us from a small town in Ok, (Miami) joined in 1953, went to SD for boot and after graduation were split and I lost contact with all of them except my cousin, Ben...

Served 2 years on USS Wisconsin and recently "found" a shipmate who was my closest friend, that's after 53 years, also found one of the original 6 shortly after. There is a tie between former Jarheads. I still communicate with several from the big boat and though i haven't seen them in years they remain brothers...

There are only 4 left of the 6. On the boat I saw lots of the world, much more than I would have, had I not joined...

Don't know OohRah, all we had was Semper Fi and gung ho...I wear a red uss wisc hat that says usmc and former crew member, The main reason is because I always meet from 3 to 6 old guys with a semper fi, Is very heartwarming for a 74 year old...

Thanks for newsletter and all the work you do...

Sgt D. Wackerly

And I Quote...

"We fight not for glory, nor for riches, nor for honour, but only and alone for Freedom, which no good man lays down but with his life."
--Declaration of Arbroath, Scotland, 1320

My son, James LCpl. James Yeager is with the 2/2 replacing the 2/8 at Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He left today, Oct, 28, 2009. He is only 19 years old and our only son. To tell you how proud of him, you will never know.

I ask that each and every one of you please keep him in his prayers. He was stationed out of Camp Lejeune 0331, Machine Gunner, probably the worst job you could ever have. He was a bit anxious today as I talked to him but he is going over there to do his job, something he has always wanted to do since he was a little boy.

I asked him to find Osama Bin Laden and to bring his sorry azs home and his lousy broken up dialysis machine. I am and ER nurse and you can only drag that sh-t around with you for so long before you tire out.

Sorry for the profanity. I really am a lady but angry about the whole world situation.

Pray for my son, as I know you will.

As my son tells me, He who sheds blood with me shall forever be my brother..

Lauren Yeager, the proudest mother of a Marine.

Note: Sounds more like a Marine Gunny than a Mom. Get some.....
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

Emblem Jack O Lantern My fiance LCpl Josh Fisher is currently in Afghanistan, so I've been trying to find different ways to stay busy and with this time of season, fall and Halloween I went on a search for a USMC pumpkin pattern. Alas I found none. So I got creative and made my own and it turned out better than I could have ever expected. I just wanted to share those pictures with everyone. Emblem Jack O Lantern in the dark

Thank you sgt grit for all you do!

Proud Marine Fiance missin' him all day every day until he returns.
Sabrina Billings


Re: American Courage #211 (15 Oct 09)

For P (the mother of the Marine Corps Sgt. returning to Afghanistan for a 3rd tour!)

First - Godspeed & Semper Fi to your brave Marine from a Marine brother. I (as well as most others in this country) am proud of him.

Second - Thank you for raising a brave man who has the COURAGE to recognize & accept the challenge to defend his family & country in these trying times. Evidently, the e-mailing boyfriend of your oldest daughter was NOT raised with the benefit of a mother of your obvious wisdom. Is your daughter aware of that e-mail?! There was no mention of marriage or fiance? Does this 42 year old "man" lack the courage to marry the mother of his child as well as the other lack of courage so obviously displayed in his e-mail?!? Is your daughter fully aware of this "man's" evident pacifism, ignorance, & even cowardice?!? ... Perhaps marriage is NOT a good choice!

May God watch over you & your Marine!

Arthur D. Houchins
SSgt of Marines 73 - 80

P.S. - the Voltaire quote from Sgt. Grit should have followed your letter : "Madness is to hold an erroneous perception and argue perfectly from it."

Thanks Sgt. Grit for the opportunity to respond & "sound off".

And I Quote...

"In the end more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free."
--Edward Gibbon

Hey Grit,

Regarding "Letter to Michael"

If a Marine can speak for another:

The tears rolling down the cheeks of my family are for the pride they have in their Marine, not some regret.

I am, indeed, an important part of the family... The part that perpetuates the remainder.

It is not about the military, but about the country; and I have pledged my life for them.

If I squeeze the trigger on another family man, It's because he was about to squeeze his trigger on me. The legality of it all is on the shoulders of our politicians, whom we trust to fight the just fight, and whom we have elected, not me. Some things are worth dying for, and if you don't realize that, you haven't lived, merely survived, while I have lived.

I am absolutely sure of where my choice is coming from. I am willing to die to protect my sister, and you.

To quote you "It takes a bigger man to stand up and recognize that his past decisions may have been wrong and admit to it", perhaps it is your timid decisions which were wrong. Perhaps your ego is leading you into the sewer.

I won't contact you ... you are a coward and unworthy of fathering my nephew/niece.

Kindest regards and love to my sister...

"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, 1776

Peter Muhlenberg said this however I just wanted to give credit where credit was due and point out that he (Peter Muhlenberg) was actually para-phrasing scripture. I just wanted to put the passage that he was para-phrasing because it is so much more powerful.

Ecclesiastes 3 (King James Version)
1To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 3A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. 9What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth? 10I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it. 11He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

CPL Porfirio Perez 0612
4th Recon BN, H&S Co, COMM Plt.

And I Quote...

"Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience."
--George Washington

HI attached photo of my best Oppo Tug Wilson (in wheelchair) we met up after 44yrs, unfortunately Tug had a massive stroke. My wife and I drove 300 miles to see him and his wife. We spent 4 days out of 7 days of our holiday, clearing out his garden my wife replanting shrubs etc for them and I bought 2 gallons of fence paint and everything that stood still was painted, brings back memories of Boot camp. Royal Marines style.

Tug Wilson (wheelchair) and Rodney Spinks They were so pleased and said you are supposed to be on a weeks vacation not doing stuff for us, this is where we Marines differ from other services we look after our own. It was a pleasure to help my buddy out as I have known him since 1957 in Boot camp and was appreciated. The saying go's "Once a Marine, always a Marine.

You take care Marine
Regards aye
Royal Marines Commando

PS: In 1960 whilst serving with 40 Commando Royal Marines in Malta I befriended a US Marine named Jack LaBreque who was in Malta with I think the 6th Fleet, do you know what, we are still in touch after 47 yrs!

I joined the Marines at age 17 in May 1958 and out in May 1963. My last duty station was Marine Barracks 8th & I St's. Washington, DC.
I'm writing to tell you that we have a Weanling pacing colt named Sgt. Grit. He will go into training next fall and begin his racing career the following year. We will keep you informed of his progress and hope he provides you with lots of free advertisement and us with lots of money. In the past we had a colt named Major Dad and one named Fi. Both were really good race horses and stakes winners.

Cpl. Thomas Shehan
Member Marine Corps League
Detachment 1150
Cadiz, Ky

And I Quote...

"I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and a constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold."
--1st. Lt. Clifton B. Cates, Navy Cross, 2 Distinguished Service Crosses, (later Commandant), USMC, July 19, 1918 commanding 96 Company, 6th Marines, near the French town of Soissons.

I see many people getting and showing off their tattoos. Many are true works of art.
Many display them openly to show they were in the Marines and still are a Marine.
so I thought, I would send you some photos of my tattoos! But then I remembered, I don't have a tattoo. Most likely never will.

I have a couple local watering holes I go to and of course the grocery stores and such.

I usually am wearing a cover with MARINE on it or the EGA, and not very large print.
Whenever I walk into one of the watering holes and a friend or acquaintance is there, They always greet me rather loudly, "Hey, Jarhead". Because they KNOW I am one.
Strangers in the place normally turn to see whom they are talking about and who I am.
And then sometimes there is the subdued whisper back and forth, who is he and why the name.
Eventually a friend ends up answering, He is a Marine, and we use the term Jarhead, Because he is our friend.
I have never been offended by them doing it. They always have a tone of admiration and respect in their voice., They were all army or navy, and they know what our accomplishments on and off the battlefield are, that we are first to come in and last to leave. That of all the services we are the smallest in number and that we have never backed down. That the bended Knee has never been and never will be a United States Marine tradition!

I've found over the years, that I don't need a tattoo down my arm, around my neck or across my back proclaiming I am a Marine. Most people figure it out by the way I present myself, walk and talk, and of course by some apparel I may be wearing.
My favorite is a black utility cover (three pointed front), with a small EGA on it (have to be close to make it out).
I have nothing against Tattoos or those that get them. I'm just saying you don't need one to prove to yourself or others that you are a Marine.
Your day to day actions, should speak loud enough.

I'm not trying to toot my own horn here, I'm just saying.

Semper Fi to all my fellow "jarheads" past, present and future!

Choo Choo
Sgt of Marines (NLA)
68-74 should of stayed longer
RVN 70-71
HML267(anytime anywhere),VMO2(angry two),HML367(Scarface)...more

I sincerely hope this helps you and other Marines searching for some answers, and perhaps some degree of closer, if possible. Did a lot of searching to get this information. This young lady, Amy Mondt, is very helpful by the way. There is a book out called, "Into the DMZ, A Battle History of Operation Hickory, May 1967, Vietnam" by Mark A. Cauble.

Sgt. Grit you can go to yahoo or Google, and the book can be found and read. These where my guys, who I will always be so proud of to my last. It is in a strange way comforting that Fox Co, and the others are at least on record. The Best Always, Semper Fi, James Bandy.

From: Mondt, Amy K
Sent: Wednesday, October 14, 2009 12:49 PM
To: ''
Subject: RE: Vietnam operations

Mr. Bandy,

We have a complete set of command chronologies (monthly summary reports) for the 2nd 26th Marines from August of 1966 through the end of your tour. These documents are available online in our Virtual Vietnam Archive. I will post the directions for finding them below.


Select "Search the Virtual Archive" (top center text or bottom button left menu) Click on the Advanced Search link (red text) Enter 2d Bn 26th Marines as Keywords in the Keyword Field Enter 01/01/1966 and 02/29/1968 as dates in the Date Fields Click on Start Search (top button left menu) It should return 19 items. Click on Display Search Results (second button left menu)

The next screen has links to the materials online. You can click on the PDF icon to read, print or download the material from your computer at home.

I also found some 26th Marine association pages that might be of interest to you. The links are below. - has photos from fox company 2/26th Marines - 26th Marines association. This association has an annual reunion and other benefits. If you are trying to locate friends from your unit you can contact them to see if they can help you out.

If you need more information about your unit you can request records from two other archives. The first is the Marine Corps History Division you can ask them if they have more of the command chronologies to fill in the ones we do not have from your tour. Other useful reports you might be interested in would be: after action report - a report that describes a specific battle, operational report - a report that covers a specific operation (operation rolling thunder or operation MacArthur etc), morning reports or unit rosters. Here is a page that describes what a morning report and roster is

If the Marine Corps History Division does not have the documents you are looking for, you can request the documents from the National Archives The National Archive is the official repository of the US government and military and has copies of all of the reports that survived from the war. You can also request a copy of your personal service record from the National Archive The National Archive can take several months to answer a request so if you ask them for materials be aware that there is a wait.

I hope this information helps you out. If I can be of any further help, please let me know.


Amy K Mondt, CA
Assistant Archivist

The Vietnam Archive
Texas Tech University
Special Collections Library, Room 108
Lubbock, Texas 79409-1041

Phone: 806-742-9010
Fax: 806-742-0496
E-mail: amy.k.mondt @

And I Quote...

"There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations."
--James Madison

For Those Who Fought For It T-Shirt To the pacifist:

"For those who fought for it, freedom has a taste the protected will never know"

To the troubled Marine:

We're trained to fight and if necessary die. You served with honor and like you, this Marine lives with survivor guilt. I repeat lives with survivor guilt. I am proud of you for your "Honorable Marine Corps Service", for some ones' life, you made a difference, as did those who are now at HEAVEN'S GATE. OohRah, SEMPER FI, Marine

Sarge/ Viet Nam 72-73
E.P. Anthony

Sgt. Grit,
I greatly enjoy receiving your outstanding newsletter. I will bypass all other e-mail communications giving preference to yours. I come from a long line of Marines and mark attaining the EGA as the acme of my life. I am truly inspired by the tales of Marines, past and present, and have nothing but the utmost respect for all persons that answer this great county's call.

I tried to re-up three times since 9/11, but the dreaded west nile virus, age and other maladies preclude me from serving again. I work with a retired Army E-8, and both of us would proudly answer the call again if we were permitted.

I feel that it is unfortunate that the events and stories related in your newsletter are not in a syndicated newspaper. The vast majority of Americans are ignorant to the sacrifices and contributions made by past and present generations of servicemen and women. It is a shame that only politically correct history is taught in the public schools and in the alleged institutions of higher learning.

I thank you for the job you are doing keeping our country's finest individuals in the spotlight. It is a tragedy that our civilian leadership does not have the integrity of our military ranks.

Thank you for letting me vent.
G.K. "Bo" Pelton
Cpl of the Marines
1st Marine Division
Currently unassigned

Sgt. Grit,

The Old and New Marines. I know I've never walked in the shoes of a Marine. I'm the youngest brother of five bothers. I had three brothers in the Armed Services with Fifty- Three years of Service. My brother Jerry served in the Army at Arlington, with the Old Guard. I've seen the Changing of the Guard, what an honor.

My brother Richard served also in the Army. Eight years full time, twelve as a reservist. He served in North Carolina, Fort Bragg. He spent time in Iraq.

My brother Jeff was a Marine. He spent six years first training in the Army. Training at Fort Benning and Fort Bragg. He trained with the Army Rangers and Green Berets. He didn't believe the Army could give him what he was looking for. He quit the Army and became a Marine. My brother Jeff was a Gunnery Sergeant with the 1/5 at Camp Pendleton. He was killed in Iraq 4-10-2003 at the age of 37. He was part of the initial march into Baghdad. He went with his Platoon even though his Humvee had no armor plating. He was carry essential, water, ammo, and other supplies that he knew would be needed. He had the choice not to go, but did anyway. He was killed in a fire fight. To be part of a team. Going into battle thinking of others and before yourself, that's a Marine. New or Old.

My brother Richard and his Reserve Platoon left shortly after my brother Jeff's funeral. He also was told he didn't have to go, but went anyway knowing the men he served with would need him.

They had a dedication for my brother at Camp Pendleton when the 1/5 got back from Iraq. What a great group of people. The honor they showed my brother and my family I'll never forget. I believe the old and new both serve with great honor. God bless all of you, and Thank you.

Robert Bohr brother of Gunnery Sergeant Jeffrey E. Bohr

And I Quote...

"When an opponent declares, 'I will not come over to your side,' I calmly say, 'Your child belongs to us already...what are you? You will pass on. Your descendants however now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.'."
--Adolf Hitler, 1933

I joined the Marine Corps in July of 1966. My platoon, 3033 was attached to Disneyland 3rd Battalion, Parris Island.
I believe in the summer, if the outside air temperature was above 90 degrees, that any exercise was not permitted. Somehow our platoon of 110 recruits were doing bends and thrusts on a floor that reminded one of a swimming pool filled with sweat in the month of July.
Our Drill Instructors would walk up and down the squad bay each evening and talk us to sleep reminding us just who the enemy was.
Our platoon was deemed Honor Platoon during the end of those eight weeks.
Not bragging, but I did make PFC in the end, probably because I always made it a point to be the first out of the rack each morning.
Parris Island is an experience that will always remain in my memory, even today as I reach the age of 65. Back then we were always reminded of the old Corps.
Come from a proud family of dad was a PFC and fought in the battle for Okinawa, brother was post Korea, I served from 1966-69, and my son (whom I am very proud of) is currently a Captain flying choppers on his third deployment in the Western Pacific (career Marine).
All these generations kicked azs, as future generations will continue to uphold the tradition of the Corps.
Sgt F. Boksanske

Marine, mutt, and a miracle (News Story)

And I Quote...

"In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."
--Thomas Jefferson

Dear Sgt Grit,

My Father is 82 now.

Long before I came along he was a U.S Army Drill Instructor in the late 1950's. He never talked about it until his later years. He always was a man of few words.

In 1968 when I was 18, I wanted to enlist. My Dad talked me into going to college instead. He was God to me. I took his advice.

Who I am today is a direct result of my "D.I. Dad."

Whenever I see a serviceman in uniform I take a moment to walk up and say "thanks for what you do!"

Never a vet but always a patriot!

Ron Bortmas, Chandler AZ

I am a warrior!...(song on YouTube)

Yes, I think that is too my mind a career Marine officer of high rank should fashion himself after "Chesty" or Vandergrift. Put the Corps first and career second...too many shoot off their mouths when they should shut up. There is some Marine Captain I have heard of that is advocating we cut and run in Afghanistan and not send in more troops! He claims it is not winable...this is the Vietnam mentality...Haven't we learned from the mistakes made during that war?...Dithering politicians not listening to solid military commander's advice, but instead putting their sh*t lackeys in place who would not stand up to them and wanted a political career after their service... As far as Afghanistan, I say win it or get the h&ll out! No more Vietnams!

And I Quote...

"If we would have a stable society, we must have dangerous Old Men."
"The good youths are guided and disciplined by Old Men."

--Grim Beorn

"Don't fire unless fired upon. But if they want a war let it begin here."
--Captain John Parker

Just to add to the P responses,

and I quote my commander and chief at the time...

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."
--Ronald Reagan C. Perez LCpl USMC 1982- 1986

I recently attended my grandson Marine Corps graduation on 18 August at San Diego, Calif. This event was very special to me because it brought me fond memories of the time I too, had gone to MCRD for my Marine boot training. I could not believe how much the base had changed since I was there over 40 years ago. With me was my wife and my son who also a Marine SSgt. and my grandson's Dad, a SSgt Marine recruiter in Calif.

As we sat on the reviewing stands I was very much impress with the Marine band and the entertainment they provided to the crowd. I saw many old retire Marine Veterans in attendance and was proud to stand with them. There was Seven platoons that graduated that day. We got to spend some time at family day with our grandson the day before and actually talk to the Marine drill instructors. I shook their hands and thank them for making my grandson a Marine and told them to keep up the great work. I was impress with the ceremony and feel that every Marine veteran should go see this graduation ceremony if you are able.

It a very moving experience for me since the training I had received help me reach the goals not only in the Marine Corps but in my field of work. I soon will be retiring with 44 years of federal service working for Air Force/Army aviation depot.

Sgt. Joe Herrera
Crew Chief
1st Air Wing
2nd Air Wing
3rd Air Wing
KC-130F Squadron
Vietnam Veteran

And I Quote...

"There! His Majesty can now read my name without glasses. And he can double the reward on my head."
--John Hancock

"A republic, if you can keep it."
--Benjamin Franklin

Toys For Tots
It's a great cause...Get some Toys For Tots today...we'll handle the logistics.

God Bless America!
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit