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Sgt Grit Newsletter VS AmericanCourage Newsletter:

You receive both (alternating weeks)...so what's the difference?

In short...The AmericanCourage Newsletter has MORE family member stories, "support the Corps" stories from Marines, and patriotic quotes. It started after the events of Sept. 11, 2001 to give supporters of the Marine Corps and American patriots a voice.

The Sgt Grit Newsletter is HARD CORPS Marine! If you are interested in topics that delve into Marine Corps history, Corps Stories, Boot Camp and other things that "only a Marine might understand" - then be sure to read the Sgt Grit Newsletter (every other week) - More about the newsletter

November, 1975 we were preparing for graduation from recruit training. We were awoken at 4:30, went to the mess hall for a duck breakfast (duck in and duck out), then to linen check-in. Drill Instructor SSgt. Cole had taken us to linen check-in and as usual, he being the "nice" drill instructor said those magic words, "Smoke em if you got em." Gifts Under 10

We were in fat city: last day of recruit training, having a smoke, talking to each other for probably the last time, getting ready to hit the parade deck for graduation. Unfortunately we began to take advantage of the situation, talking loud and laughing and soon SSgt Cole had enough. We hoped he would not tell Senior Drill Instructor SSgt. Head and by the time we were in place on the parade deck all was forgotten, or so we thought. SSgt Head reminded us we were still recruits (although that was not the term he used) and then in front of God and everybody he said those other magic words, "Drop and give me 20!"

Old Corps, New Corps its all the Marine Corps.

Bob Ehrle, Cpl

Dan and friends standing in front of the Rocky statue displaying Marine Corps and USA flags Finish time: 3 hours, 48 minutes, 33 seconds
$6,065.00 raised for the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund

Dear Friends & Family,

I did it...all 26.2 miles, on very little sleep, thanks to the arrival of our daughter, Reagan Lynn, just days before. What an incredible experience, between the birth of my second daughter on Friday and finishing my second marathon on Sunday. The race course took us all around Philadelphia past many of the best memorials and sights, all while receiving amazing support from a passionate Philadelphia crowd. I finished the marathon in a little over 3 hours and 48 minutes.

I want to thank everyone who supported me in working towards my goal of finishing this race by donating money to Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund (www.SemperFiFund.org). Thanks to all of you, I raised over $6,000.00 that will be used to help provide support to injured Marines, Sailors and Soldiers, as well as services to their families during their recovery process.

Semper Fidelis, Dan Covolesky

Christmas 1968
Brian Oh'Brian at home on leave Corporal Mulcare, Brian 2329098 = MOS=2333/8651 = Home on Leave Prior to shipping out to Viet NAM = Just Back from a Year in the MEDITERRANIAN!

Transferred from Alfa Co. 2nd RECON BN to 3rd. FORCE RECON Co.- Quang Tri.

Rel.A.D. Dec 1969! Summer of '69 I went to SCUBA School in Subic Bay. I missed out on the Music at Wood Stock, so I bought the TEE shirt and Plaque. Woodstock Plaque I'm assembling two Wall Hangers to go with the WOOD STOCK '69 Plaque. Crossed Rifles, M-1 Garand & M-14.

With the Window Banner , Eagle / Globe & Anchor.

Semper Fi, and Adeste Fidelis.
Before & After, 2 MED. Cruises and "Headed SOUTH" to WesPac.
Welcome Home-40 years later !

All Woodstock Items

Hey Marines
How about some stories from you cannon cockers.
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit info@grunt.com

Iwo Suicide Charge
Yesterday I had the honor of meeting a former Marine who is, as his license plate frame states, an Iwo Jima survivor. I had to appraise his car for collision damage. Upon arrival, during a heavy snowstorm, I was met by an elderly man. He was outside brushing off his car, I have to take a photo of the car's license plate as procedure and it was then that I noticed the license plate frame. My next words were "Semper Fi". His eyes lit up, he proudly replied "Semper Fi".

Gifts Under 10 The damage to his car was minimal so it only took me a few minutes to appraise. He asked me when I was in and we started to talk USMC. He told me how young he was when he went in and things he saw and had to do on Iwo. He told me about hand to hand fighting with just his Ka-Bar. He told me how they were told by their officers that in the morning they were expecting a final suicide charge and to stay low in the foxholes and be ready. He was just a young kid on Iwo, 20-21. He is now 85. This Marines mind was as sharp as ever, he could quote names, battles, friends like it was yesterday. He started to weep as he told me how he buried a lot of friends. I knew that our talking took him right back to his time on Iwo. I really felt that I was talking to a real American hero.

Our conversation took place during a heavy snowstorm but yet neither one of us seemed to notice the weather. We were deep in talk about our Corps. When I was about to depart he thrust his hand forward and in a firm voice stated "Semper Fi brother". This was a man who lived through the battles I read about as a young Marine. He lived through the battles they made history. I said goodbye and left knowing I was really glad I was out working in the snow and got the chance to meet this man. His car was the first I saw yesterday and followed by many more. The heavy snow turned to rain and I was soaked the entire day but I thought this was nothing compared to what this man experienced. The rest of the day I was proud to share my tale with others but most of them didn't get it, a few of the older guys understood .

Since it is now Dec.10 and the holidays are approaching I think Santa will be making a purchase for that old salt.

Semper Fi
U.S.M.C. 63-67

Birthday Ball Photo Contest: Vote Now
Time to vote for your favorite Birthday Ball Photo!

Okinawa Was Not A Cake Walk
I enlisted in the USMCR September 4, 1942. I went to Boot Camp at San Diego. I left for overseas from Treasure Island, CA February 1943. I visited Tahiti and Bora Bora before landing for duty at American Samoa. From Samoa I islanded hopped across the Pacific Ocean until I landed on Okinawa. I have heard that Iwo Jima was the bloodiest battle in the Pacific; however, Okinawa was not a cake walk. In particular during May and June. I believe the Japs fought harder the closer we got to their homeland islands. I was in training for the landing on the Jap's home islands when President Truman ordered dropping the two big ones. I thought the war was over and that I would be going home. However, President Truman had other ideas for most of us. We were ordered into China. I was in Tientsin, China until the day before Christmas 1945. I finally made it home on February 7, 1946. I had served in the Corps for 3 years, 5 months, 3 days without a leave home and overseas nearly 36 months. I guess I did not have enough. I reenlisted and served in the Corps for 3 more years before taking my discharge and using the GI Bill for my engineering degree.

Sgt Stults, USMC 450010

The Villages Day Spa
We would like to thank LCpl Patty Bonnie and all of her employees and customers from The Villages Day Spa in Florida. They are the latest group to get on board with our Adopt A Marine program. She will be contributing to the program from each sale made at her Salon. Thanks again Patty for your dedicated service to our Marines!

Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

Hi Sarge:

I read with much interest that article by Cpl. Jim Hopkins cover the recipe for S.O.S.

Beings that I Enlisted very early after Dec. 7 I do believe that we were fed S.O.S. using a somewhat different recipe.

A pre-War recipe.
I do not remember any ground beef in our S.O.S. What was included in the S.O.S. was Chipped Dried Beef, and I thought that the taste was "out of this world". I also did note that everybody in the mess hall wolfed down this scheit-on-a-shingle, and quite a few came back for seconds. So much for "Gastric Distress".

Basically, about the only thing that went over like a ton of bricks was Horse C- -K. No one seemed to take a liking to this meal.

Bill Kirk -- 372415

3rd Tanks
Some members of Supply Plt. H&S Co., 3rd Tank Bn. Photo taken July 1965. I am enclosing a photograph taken around July, 1965 in Nam, of some members of supply plt. H & S Co., 3rd tank bn. It's been 44 years since I've seen these fellow Marines, a few of their names have escaped my mind. If anyone out there recognizes any of these Marines could you please send me an email at maryjoe1967 @ yahoo .com. This old man would greatly appreciate it.

Semper Fi
Sgt. Joe Mastrangelo

Harley, Ribbons, Mounted
Hi Sgt. Grit
I just wanted to tell you and show you what I did with your small ribbon bumper stickers I purchased over 8 years ago. I made an personalized ribbon display and mounted it to my Harley win shield. I now see you have a lot more updated stickers. I may need to do an update myself. Thanks for the catalog.
SSgt. Tom Colson Vietnam 68/69 Tanks DMZ

Tom Colson Sr's Harley covered with small Ribbon Bumper Stickers Tom Colson Sr's Harley covered with small Ribbon Bumper Stickers

Note: 8 years, read it, 8 years for these stickers. That's why I use vinyl and not paper. It lasts.
And yes, that is a blatant capitalist plug. People like me seem to be a good target now.
You should see some of the not so friendly emails I have gotten in the last year.
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

Ribbon Bumper Stickers Create Your Own Custom Rank and Ribbons Bumper Sticker

The Christmas Gift
There is a gift that comes
From those out on the lines,
It is not wrapped in bows,
But, oh, how bright it shines.

There is a Christmas gift,
A pearl beyond all price,
From those who ask for naught,
But make the sacrifice.

Adopt a Marine They risk their blood and bone
On endless weary tours,
For that is all that keeps
The evil from our shores.

You worship as you will,
You freely have your say,
And all that is a gift
From sentries far away.

There is a gift that comes
From troops who guard the line,
That lets us live in peace
And joy at Christmastime.

We say "Support the troops,"
But hardly pause to think
What honor really means,
Or how near looms the brink.

There is a Christmas gift
From those who hold the line,
And you and I, my friend,
Get nothing more sublime.

(c)Robert A. Hall 2007
Former SSgt, USMC

I left the United States Air Force Security Team, Jan. 1970 and then went back to Syracuse University. On Friday 13th., February 1970, I left campus and went to the local Marine Corps Officer Selection Office to apply for Officer's Candidate School.

The Officer Selection Officer asked are you in great shape? I replied, "Yes!" He said, "How many push-ups can you do?" I said, "50, which arm do you want me to use?"

He replied, "You're a real Smart A$s, aren't you?" I said, "Yes and he said good"! I reported to training at Quantico, Va. on April Fool's Day 1970!

Subsequently, when I was graduating from the Basic School, the School Commanding Officer approached myself and said, "What is all of that sh!t on your chest Harris?" I replied, "Sir, those are my Air Force ribbons?"

His answer, "I know that....what do they stand for?" I said, "This one is for handball, this one is for the Mess Hall..." He interrupted, "You are a real Smart A$s, aren't you?" I said a resounding "Yes"! He said, "Good!" Thus, continued my love for my Marine Corps!

Semper Fi, Do or Die!
Roger F. Harris

Short Rounds

Learning To Lead, OCS. (Video)

Jerry was married to my Sister in Law for 41 years. Jerry received the Silver star and Bronze star with a V device in Vietnam. He passed away last Friday unexpectedly. He was buried at Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas yesterday with full military honors. He will be missed. He was a h&ll of a man and a great Marine. Semper Fi Jerry.

Larry Jordan Sgt. of the Marines 1955-1960

Come on Grit. Marines always complain - and then we go ahead and get the job done!
Semper Fi
Kerry R.

God made Corpsmen so Marines could have heroes.
Sgt.L.G.Perkins USMCR 1956-1967

Slide show shown at the Commandant's Luncheon in OKC.

Bill Moore of Canton Ohio served from 1976 to 1980 and was one of the finest Marines I've ever known. Bill had a heart attack Thanksgiving morning and is now guarding the streets of Heaven. May God bless his wife 'Andy', his children and his grandchildren.
Donny Grisez
USMC 1974-1978

the only difference between the old and the new, the old Corps had to spit shine their boots, shoes, and bill on their garrison cover, and the new Corps has patent leather shoes and cover. other than that they are the same.
cpl crowl,1964- 1967, nam 1966

Just wanted to thank all Marines for what you have shared with this Seabee. Spent time at Camp Lejeune in 1969 going to communications school for NMCB1 {SEABEES}, never got to put any time on radio overseas just building stuff and fixing roads and bridges, hauling cargo to the Marines around DaNang from Deep Water Pier at Camp Tien Shaw
Lynn C. Shindel
Vietnam Veteran 1968-69-70 [ AGENT ORANGE ] Navy Seabee

Sgt. Grit,

For Marine Jim Grimes,
About tattoo's and the Corps?

Unfortunately my brother it's called "Political Correctness" and has permeated our beloved Corps much to my and many's dismay as I'm proud of every tat I ever got... in and out of the Corps.

Semper Fi,

Today 4 December 2009 another Marine went up to Heaven. He flew F4U's with Pappy B, F9F in Korea and Helo's in Viet Nam. Major James Sawyer went up to Heaven to join his wife today, she was also a Marine! God Bless Him and the United States Marine Corps!

Sgt Grit,
I just finished reading the book: "Sergeant Major, U.S. Marines", the bio of Sergeant Major Maurice Jacques 30 years in the Corps- great reading! He was a veteran of Korea, "Nam, and a former DI at San Diego.
Ken Miller
Staff Sergeant of Marines 1975 - 1981

Sargento Mayor
I attended Boot Camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California, and graduated in March of 1966. That March, I made the second ITR in Camp Pendleton, and I also followed in the mountains of Sierra Nevada the course of "Survival, Evasion, Resistance to Interrogation, and Escape". In July I graduated in the MCRD as "Drill Instructor".

After his successful training at MCRD, SGT Major Cordova returned to his home country Peru where he reached the grade of "Sargento Mayor" (Sergeant Major) of the "Fuerza de Infanteria de Marina (IMAP)" The Peruvian Marines.

During the past three (03) years I has been serving as staff member of the Baghdad Embassy Security Force (BESF) project, contracted by Triple Canopy for providing guard force services as "General Supervisor - All Posts", and in such position I assists in protecting the U.S. Embassy Baghdad, in Iraq.

And in this e-mail I'll add you the some pics of the 234th Marine Corps Birthday Ball at Baghdad Iraq; I attend this party the as the Oldest Marine.

David with Mark and Jeanine David with CPL Zamaripa David at Birthday Ball David at Birthday Ball David at Birthday Ball David at Birthday Ball

In the pictures:
GySgt Matthew Bement
US Ambassador to Iraq, Christopher Hill
Mr. David Cordova Cruz - the Oldest Marine (I'm wearing the light brown uniform) Corporal Denae Zamaripa - the Youngest Marine I also hope you still send me by e-mail the offers of your store, and when I receive the free catalog I'll send you an e-mail.

Sincerely your
David Cordova
Semper Fi!

Ex vs. Former
Sgt. Grit,
I've seen several posts in your newsletter concerning "Once a Marine, Always a Marine" and "Former Marine" versus "Ex-Marine".

Let me try and set the Official record straight. Having personally worked for (2) former Commandants of the Marine Corps, Gen. Barrow and Gen. P.X. Kelley at HQMC, and also in the Performance Evaluation Branch, HQMC; we officially designated Marines as either "Former" or "Ex".

An "Ex-Marine" is an individual who completed boot-camp but could not conform to Military Lifestyle and/or were discharged under less than honorable or even a BCD (Bad Conduct Discharge). These are "Ex-Marines". Those that have dishonored themselves, the Navy, Marine Corps and ultimately their Country. They do not have the right to be called a Marine or former Marine.

So, always be cautious when referring to former Marines. Our famous quote, "Once a Marine, Always a Marine" might not always hold true.

Semper Fi do or die! (to all you Former and Current Marines)

Blake Boyles
Sgt. USMC '80 -'89

I served one tour in Vietnam, first with the 81 mm mortar platoon, H&S Co., 2/3/3. When the 3rd Division left, I was transferred to the 60 mm mortar squad, Lima Co., 3/5/1. I've always been proud to say that I'm a Marine and a Vietnam veteran. The attached pictures are of my ski helmet, covered with small service ribbon decals, earned while in the Corps.

Service Ribbon Ski Helmet top view Service Ribbon Ski Helmet back view Service Ribbon Ski Helmet side view

Sgt. David Acton
Chittenango, NY
1968 - 1970

Sgt Grit;

This is an historic picture of 2 Marines and a Corpsman who all served in 1/9 "The Walking Dead", from WW2 to Viet-Nam, recently taken at the 234th USMC Birthday Ball in San Luis Obispo, California, held by Marine Corps League Detachment 680.

Historic picture of 2 Marines and a Corpsman who all served in 1/9 The Walking Dead, from WW2 to Viet-Nam, recently taken at the 234th USMC Birthday Ball in San Luis Obispo, California Left to right, Karl Appel, 1/9- Alpha company, machine gunner, WW2, Iwo Jima, Purple Heart. Doc Jon Vandercook, Viet-Nam, retired as a Navy Commander. Tim Haley, 1/9-Charlie Company, 60mm Mortars , Viet-Nam, Purple Heart.

Tim Haley/Commandant
Marine Corps League Detachment 680

Sgt Vincent Dantona's Mini Cooper with Tunelrat license plate

Sgt. Vincent Dantona's Mini Cooper with Tunelrat license plate. Served with India Co. 3/5, 1stMarDiv in 1968 Nam. Also former Drill Instructor at Parris Island in the seventies.
Semper Fidelis

India 3/1
Just this past October 24th members of India Co, 1st Platoon, 3Rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Mar. Div. got together (again) in Pennsylvania for our annual platoon reunion. This group is mostly comprised of Marines and many of our Navy Corpsman who served in India Co. 1st PLT. between 1967 and 1968 in our battalion base near DaNang. Some also served aboard the USS Valley Forge during our Battalion Landing Team days when we were performing combat missions in the Province of Quang Tri. (near the DMZ) Our platoon has been getting since the late 90's and it we do include our spouses. We have gotten together in places like Niagara Falls, NY - Columbus, OH - Tennessee and Virginia. This year's reunion was held at Lt. Richard Anderson's and his wife Lee's place on the lake near Dubois. PA. Next year we are planning the reunion for Cape Cod, MA. Members of India Co, 1st Platoon,  3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Mar. Div. When we had our first reunion there were about 8 of us so as you can see, we have been increasing our numbers over the years and we continue to try to locate our brothers and invite them to come. My hope is that maybe a few of our guys will read this and contact one of us so we can let them know what a great time we have and wish to join us. You can list my email address Gpodhola0282 @ charter .net or Lt. Anderson's at hokey81 @ yahoo .com Semper Fi to all.
Glenn Podhola - India Co. radioman 67-68

A HAWK Association for LAAM Marines


A HAWK Association for LAAM Marines has been formed and I'm sure he would be interested.

Thank you for your help but most of all thank you for your continuing service to the Marine community.

The Few. The Proud.
Jerry D.

Taking Care Of Our Own
Good Morning,

After just reading a few of the letters in your forum, I had to tell you about an incident that occurred in 1989 while I was still on active duty, as I am now retired from the Marine Corps, so maybe you can share it and fellow Marines can take the good and bad from it.

During the 80's, I was attending Ordnance school in Millington Tenn. to become a 6561, and as luck would have it, was the senior Sgt (E-5) at the school at that time, (Which was nice because I could drive my POV and not march to class). Things were going according to plan while attending class with nothing unusual to report until one late Friday night.

I had just finished dinner in Millington and was headed home when I was flagged down by two frantic young Marines who had recognized my vehicle. They told me that three Marines were hurt down the street at one of the local pubs and needed medical assistance. I parked my vehicle and arrived at the front of the tavern to find one Marine unconscious with burns on his neck and two other Marines bleeding from lacerations to their scalps. The police were already there and after checking on these young Marines, I attempted to speak with the police Lieutenant in charge of the scene as to what hospital these men would be taken and to attempt to find out what had occurred and why no ambulance had yet been dispatched. At that point, I was told that it was "None of my business and to leave the area or I would be arrested". I informed the officer that I was the senior Sgt at the school and that the treatment of these Marines was my business and my duty. I asked him which hospital they would be taken to and was told that they were not being taken to a hospital, but are going directly to the jail and that if they needed assistance, they could get it there. I pointed out that one Marine was barley responsive and the other two bleeding, but was again told to leave the area or face arrest. I informed the officer that I was not leaving these Marines until I knew they were going to receive Medical assistance and I then asked a young Marine standing in the crowd to call for an Ambulance. At that time, I was placed under arrest and put into a patrol car.

At the sight of me being placed in handcuffs, about twenty five Marines started yelling at the officers and it got to the point that two of them drew weapons. I intervened and ordered these Marines to go back to the barracks and inform the Duty Officer of what had occurred. I was then taken to the Shelby County Jail. Once at the Jail, I asked what the charges were against me and was told that I was charged with interfering with a police officer and inciting a riot! I then asked for my phone call and called the Officer of the Day and told him where I was and about the injured Marines. I was told that they already knew about it and were working on getting us out.

I remained in jail throughout the following day and again called the Officer of the Day and at that time was told that "It was the policy of the Commanding Officer that if you get put in jail, you stay in jail" and that "No attempt will be made to get you out". I explained what had occurred and was told that the Commanding Officer knew the details, but he makes no exception! The Duty Officer then added that if he could get me out himself, he would and that fellow Officers felt the same way, but were told not to interfere by the SgtMajor and C.O. - I remained in jail for the following three days and then was released. When I walked outside the station, I found the Barracks Sgt waiting for me and on our way back to base was astounded to hear that "All the Marines in the barracks had approached him and started giving him money to "Get our Sgt and Marines" out of jail. He even had two young PFC's offer their entire paychecks -(which he thanked them, but told them $20.00 would do).

I was speechless. And had tears in my eyes at the thought of these young Marines doing this for us. When we arrived at the Barracks, I cleaned up and asked the Barracks Sgt to call a formation outside. I stood in front of these young Marines and tried to hold back the tears while I told them Thank you and that This moment was one of the Proudest in my life as a Marine and that they should all be Proud of themselves because they stand for whets best in the Marine Corps - Marines take care of their own _ Semper Fi

I then went to see the Unit Sgt Major and after a 10 minute ordeal of being told that "If you get yourself thrown in jail, it's your fault no matter what the reason", and that is the Commanding Officers policy, cut and dry - no exceptions. I informed him that I had every intention of contacting the Sgt Major of the Marine Corps about this because the Commanding Officers policy was wrong and that as an NCO, it was my duty to look after those men. He just laughed and told me good luck! After our meeting, I contacted Headquarters Marine Corps and to my surprise, was given right to the Sgt Major of the Marine Corps. I told him what had occurred and my discussion with the Unit Sgt Major and was told to get statements from the Marines present at the incident and fax them to him. I thanked him and reported back to the school for class. I was pulled aside by the School NCOIC and was told by the Master Sgt, that he was proud of what I had done and that regardless of what the Commanding Officers policy was, I had acted exactly like a senior NCO should have. Over the next three weeks, I heard this from many Staff NCO's and Officers, and I was allowed to finish school and actually was selected for E-6 while still at school. I faxed the statements to the Sgt Major the following week.

I later found out what had occurred with those young Marines that night. Evidently one of them was sitting with a young lady who - unknowingly- was the girlfriend of the clubs bouncer. The bouncer had gotten two friend and himself to corner the Marine in the bathroom and had used his Stun Gun on his neck and was seen walking him the entire length of the club with it stuck to his neck, shocking him the entire way. That accounted for the burns on his neck. The other two Marines had tried to help him and had been hit over the heads repeatedly with Mag-lights and nightsticks. The one bright spot was that because I had asked for the ambulance to be called, one arrived and the police were told that the Marines needed to go to the hospital "before" going to jail. We eventually went to court and after explaining to the Judge, that I was bound by my duty as an NCO to ensure that these Marines were cared for and explaining that I would have done it exactly the same way if I was told that they would not receive Medical care, he dropped the charges against the three young Marines and dropped all but the interference of a police officer on me. He explained that I had interfered, but he understood why and I was fines $100.00, which I gladly paid.

I received orders to Yuma AZ, and reported for duty. A month later, I received a call from the Barracks Sgt in Millington and was told that the Sgt Major of the Marine Corps had showed up at the unit and after speaking with the Commanding Officer and Sgt Major, the school policy changed. Now if you are thrown in jail, they will help get you out, then investigate why and go from there. The Sgt Major of the Marine Corps had addressed the schools Officers and Staff NCOs and had told them "Marines Take Care Of Their Own..Always! Semper-Fi

M. Schulman
USMC Retired

Marine Barracks at Key West
I pulled a 13 month tour of duty with the Marine Barracks at Key West 1974-75. Now I can't find a single thing about it on Google. I don't even know if it is still active (probably not) or if there are any old Jarheads I served with there on the internet or not.

We were responsible for the security of the entire Florida Keys, technically, although there was nothing worth worrying about north of the Boca Chica Naval Air Station (now NAS Key West). We had to practice defending the military bases and other things (such as the electronic monitoring stations), and also the local radio and television station in case terrorists or should try to seize either one for propaganda reasons. Back then we were armed with the M14 and of course the M1911A1 .45 ACP. We also had military 12 ga shotguns. We Marines were often sent out with the Coast Guard cutter. I believe its name was the Diligence. We manned the .30 and .50 machine guns when the cutter was expecting trouble, which we occasionally got from Cuban gunboats and drug runners.

Can you find out if there are any guys from the time I served there on the internet? I've tried USMC.mil and got nowhere fast. I've read on the internet that they shut down the naval station where the Barracks was located in 1974 (Truman Annex I think it was called) but that is NOT true, as I did not leave until late September of 1975 and they were still going strong then. Most of the duty we pulled was as gate guards for the various military annexes and as roving guards on the NAS and also at the ammo dump off the Trumbo annex. My elder daughter was born at the Naval hospital in Key West, by the way.

Any help would be appreciated. OBTW, at the Marine Corps Ball in 1974, the Assistant Commandant (General Earl E. Anderson) was our guest.

Don Herman
Corporal, USMC (at the time)

PS: Somewhere I have a couple of things from the barracks, such as the Marine Barracks 100 mile run certificate, etc.

Note: Of course it's gone. You can't let a Marine get used to Key West and then send him to Gitmo, 29 Palms, An Hoa, Iraq, etc...
Sgt Grit

He Said For What?
This past October four of us from Platoon 3012 (Aug-Oct 68) met up at the Marine Corps Museum at Quantico. It was a day full of memories from Drill Instructors to the ones that gave all! As we left Tuns Tavern two USMC officer's (Major's) were setting up a table, we stopped and had a short conversation about having not seen each other for 41 years and our mini reunion . I stayed behind as the others left and Cpl Whitley (me) made this farewell remark " It was nice talking to you boots" there were smiles all around that kinda of surprised me :-).

As we were B/S-ing in front of the museum gift store Larry said look at that, it was an older gentleman wearing a Iwo Jima ball cap and a T-shirt saying Guam Survivor. Larry spoke but was unheard, I followed him into the shop. I approached and spoke but he didn't hear me, so I touched his shoulder and as he turned around I said "Sir I'd like to shake your hand and thank you" He said for what? A little dumbfounded I said for your service on Iwo. Then came the most humbling moment of my life as he said "Well I guess I have to thank you too" Thanks to the new Marines, their courage and sacrifice that have finally brought us the respect never shown Vietnam Vet's, I have finally been thanked for my service several times. But to be thanked by this Marine was an honor never imagined in my wildest dream!

We went on talking of his service, he said it was great being part of an operation to regain American soil from the enemy but it was also an honor in taking theirs. Each generation of Marines gives something new to the term " US Marine " in reality there so few of us compared to the others but we are and always will be the United States Marine Corps !

Semper Fi, Cpl William Whitley, Bravo 1/9 "The Walking Dead"

Slop Shoot
I am old Corps, 1952 - 1962, and over the Thanksgiving weekend I called a Marine I know with the 3rd Marine Division in Hawaii. When I got his voice mail I left a message asking him if he was at the "slop shoot" with his buddies and to get back to me when he had time. When he finally called me back he was totally unaware of what a "slop shoot" was and I had to explain old Corps lingo to him. I had not realized how it has changed over the years. It just not seem that long ago. I have a cousin who was Top Sergeant after serving 34 years in the Corps. Thanks for all you services and hope to be placing another order tomorrow.

Semper Fi
S/Sgt I. J. Oshana (Ret)

# Of Tubes
I'm hoping you can point me to someplace I can get answers to a couple questions.

1) Around 1955 (probably during the 1957 reorg) at the recommendation of the Hogaboom board the number of tubes in the USMC artillery battalion was reduced. From what to what?

2) The Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) was more-or-less phased out with the introduction of the M-14 in 1957, yet I've seen indications it was still carried along with M-14's during early Vietnam, till about 1967 when the USMC started to get the M-16 in quantity. This was due to the lack of availability and general "quality" of the M14E2/M14A1 full-auto version intended to replace the BAR. True?

3) In about 1986 there was apparently a move to increase the number of tubes in the USMC artillery battalion by going from a 6-gun to an 8-gun battery. It's unclear if this was ever implemented, and I know batteries are currently all 6-gun.

G.D. Olson

A Tank On Top Of The Hill
Sgt Grit I look in your web-site it was really great. You were in my Unit but different time and different Company, but we are still brother to the end. I am Sgt. Agron know as Mad-dog at that time in 1970 through 1971. I was with the 1St Bn. 7th Marines Charley Company my squad service the area of Que Son Valley and Thu Bon River valley and Imperial Lake.

I remember there was a big major operation we did in the QUE Son Mountains which I never forget. Then I got wounded and I was lifted to Camp Ronald Bay Hospital and found out my 7th Marines Regiment Withdrawal from Imperial Lake to DaNang to get on the Freedom Bird to go home.

I did not go home with my unit for the reason I only had three months in county. From the hospital I was transferred to 1/5 Battalion Bravo company and landed at LZ Baldy I will never forget we had a Tank on top of the hill. Then I serviced time and went home with the 5th Marines we came home by Ship in 1971 the whole Regiment. We went to Hong Kong then to Hawaii for one day then to Camp Pendleton and there was a big Parade for the Navy and Marines that came home from Viet-Nam. Then from Camp Pendleton I had order to go to the East coast leaving my entire friend behind.

I was from New York most of the squad leader was from California and I lost contact with them. What hurt is those two Unit I service with were my true brother and I know Sgt. Grit what I mean. I wish I had the entire picture to remember and maybe get in contact with my unit in both Division I service it not easy. Now I live in the State of Florida.

Looking forward hearing from You Sgt. Grit.

Andrew Agron

The Life Major Of Richard F. Risner
Dear Sgt. Grit:

I am working on a new book/screenplay based on the life Major Richard F. Risner (1932-2005) and our MAG-12 Civic Action Team between 1967 and 1968. During the spring of 1968 we had a generous donor from Encinitas, CA who refurbished the old pedal- type Singer sewing machines and he also converted some electric machines to the pedal-type and shipped them to Vietnam. The work performed was most extraordinary with hand rubbed and varnished wooden cabinets/bases. This individual would take them to VMGR-352 at MCAS El Toro where they were crated and shipped to Chu Lai. We presented over 18 of these beautiful machines to widows and orphans of ARVN veterans killed or disabled in action. If anyone remembers this gentleman's name and/or was a member of VMGR-352 or 152 in country who remembers doing this, please E-Mail me at rghays47@gmail.com .

Welcome home brothers,
Semper Fidelis,

Ronald E. (Gene) Hays II
MSgt, USMC, Retired

In an earlier newsletter I posted a link to a Vietnam information site. Here is some feedback on it.
Sgt Grit

Don't know who posted this but what I read about Operation Dewey Canyon is BS! Two Vets against the war, stated their CO was Gung Ho and wanted to carry KIA's , WIA's instead of medavac. I was there couldn't even get food and water in, carried friends and brothers out! I was with Bravo and doubt the weather conditions were any better than theirs. Here is to Gunny Pineapple good friend never forgotten!

William Whitley

Elliott's Beach
Sgt Grit,

In response to SGT. Robert S. Malloy's question about "Elliott's Beach", we went to Elliott's Beach during 3rd phase of our training in Dec. 1976. Graduated with Plt. 394, H Company, 13 Dec.

If I remember correctly, it was a two day event, one day was spent at stations where we were tested on certain subjects, the gas chamber, and the infiltration course if I'm not mistaken. I know we spent the night in the field.

SGT Robert Halper USMC

. As an added note to the Special Instruction Platoon in boot camp, Our DI'S preferred the name Motivational Platoon or the Fat Boys Platoon, and everyone knows, we didn't want to get set back and start all over again in order to graduate, You learned to bust a$$ a little bit harder, so you could graduate, also I remember Elliot's Beach, and the name Gunny Middleton sticks with it! Can't recall why? Only his list, what to bring with you!

L/Cpl Stan Shepherd USMC
1682617 1957-1963

In response to Sgt. Robert Malloy's post. Elliott's beach was most certainly there in 1976 when I was in boot camp. 1st Bat, Plt 1028 mar-jun 76. This is where you were tested for NBC, First Aid, This is where the gas chamber was, foxhole fortifications, etc. Besides being a picnic area with a ragged beach, it served to test many a Marine before he was allowed to wear the EGA. Thanks Sgt. Grit for this wonderful forum for all of us old jarheads to remember.
Tony Folds, Sgt, USMC

Marines fire opening salvo to retake Helmand -
The Long War Journal

U.S. Marines will be first to deploy to Afghanistan
CongressDaily December 7, 2009

The Defense Department on Monday announced the deployment of 16,000 additional forces to Afghanistan, the initial portion of the surge of 30,000 U.S. troops announced by President Obama last week to quell rising violence and train Afghan security forces.

The first unit -- an Infantry Battalion Task Force with about 1,500 Marines from Camp Lejeune, N.C. - will deploy to Afghanistan this month. Another 6,200 Marines from Camp Lejeune will deploy in early spring, while approximately 800 Marines from Camp Pendleton, Calif., will go to Afghanistan in the spring.

Meanwhile, 3,400 soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, N.Y., will deploy to Afghanistan in early spring to