"Old breed? New breed? There's not a d*mn bit of difference so long as it's the Marine breed."
--General Chesty Puller, USMC
CPL USMC 1956-60, 9th Marines & 1st Marines Stone Mountain, GA
Almost Feel Guilty
I read these letters from former Marines and I almost feel guilty saying I was in the Corps. I enlisted in the RESERVE in March of 1948 for 2 years, then reenlisted in 1950. In August of that year our unit was activated. Our unit was broken into 2 units according to service. I attended what was called combat infantry training at Camp Pendleton.
On November 6th I went ashore at Wonson Korea as what was later called the first replacement draft.. I along with 8 others were sent to the 1st Marine Regt. H&S Company. and I served with this unit for 12 months before rotating back to the US. During this time there was a constant reminder that we were ONLY reserves. There have been times when being a reserve was almost a bad name. I still carry the R after US MC and at times feel I don't belong.
I was nominated for the Navy Cross and the Silver Star so I feel I tried to uphold the traditions of the Corps. I am proud of the time I was allowed to wear the uniform and call myself a Marine, but there are those who say I wasn't, a Marine because I didn't attend boot camp.
Thank you for letting me unload something I have been carrying for almost 60 years even though I know it is bogus...
The 234th Birthday Message
The 234th Birthday Message (YouTube Video)
By Gen Jim Conway, Commandant of the Marine Corps
Larry Pate's letter and his picture of Platoon 315 (PI Sept. 54) brought back plenty of memories. So much so that I retreated to my picture album and came up with this family collage. From left to right, me at PI as I graduated on October 13th, 1954 with Platoon 383, my father John graduating PI in October 1943, and my brother Bob who graduated PI in 1951 (date of picture unknown).
When people talk about the Old Corps, I think of those that went before me. Who amongst you ever saw a boot with a mustache? Look close, my father had one when he graduated. Who amongst you dared to grow your hair as long as my brother did in that undated picture.
Another proud recollection, in 1943, at the height of WWII my father went to join the Army, he wouldn't think of trying for the Marine Corps. You see, the Corps turned him down seventeen years before, when he was eighteen, "too short". While Pop was standing there preparing to undergo some kind of examination when a Marine Sergeant came in and starting counting off every third man in a line of guys and told them they were going to be Marines.
Well, Pop looked at the poor lot the Sergeant was getting and asked how come these poor specimens were getting to go in the Marine Corps when he was turned down as a young man in much better shape these guys. Well, said the sergeant "these are draftees, we don't get a choice". Then he asked Pop, do you want to become a Marine. Naturally, Pop said "yeah". With that the Sergeant said "Okay, you are now a draftee in the Marine Corps". A day later, as Pop's personnel record shows, he was discharged as a "draftee" and re-instated the same day as an "enlistee".
By the way, he had four kids, a wife and defense job that guaranteed his being able to sit the war out. Instead, he participated in the invasion and occupation of Okinawa, was discharged as a Corporal and lead his two oldest sons to the Marine recruiting office before he'd let the Army draft us. He said, he wouldn't trust anyone but another Marine with his son's lives.
'Twas The Night Before Boot Camp
'Twas the night before Boot Camp, covered in dirt
I was the only creature stirring, had to iron my shirt.
My boots were all spit-shined, my pants pressed with care
In hopes that Graduation soon would be there.
The recruits were in formation, wished they were in bed
While visions of push-ups danced in their heads
We tucked in our shirt-tails, straightened our cap
Many of us looked like we needed a nap
When out from the barracks there arose such a clatter
The DI's were coming, could they look any madder?
Over to formation they flew like a flash
Tore down our egos before they could clash
We thought that we'd be there until we saw snow
Doing thousands of push-ups on the pavement below.
Out from our quivering arms flew our fear
I could tell right away that teamwork was near
PT was not fun, the runs were so quick
I sure hope what's taught in the classes will stick
And when we lost focus the DI's they came
They yelled and they shouted and called us by name
Now maggot, Now scumbag, recruit, Now louse
On worthless, On loser, On fleabag, On mouse
Get on the floor, Up against the wall
Now push-ups, and push-ups, more push-ups for all
With honor, integrity, no longer aloof
We were coming together, we all saw the proof
We lifted our heads, we were shouting out loud
Future Marines, tall strong and proud
Through classes and training we learned what to do
To make sure we kill till the fightin' is through
Clean our weapons by the light of the moon
We can all tell that graduation is soon
We thanked the Drill Instructors, they are not mean
They taught us all how to work as a team
Trained warriors, mean, green and lean
We've earned the proud title of U.S. Marine
We fight anywhere so you all can rest
Our enemies are sure to give us a test
They'll hear us exclaim as we turn out their light
"Semper Fi to you all, we won the fight"
Jason Wyatt, former LCpl with Kco. 3/8, Camp Lejeune
Dear Sgt Grit,
Your magazine arrived yesterday.
I am writing to let you know my husband PFC Albert W. Adams passed away on may 29th. So there is no need to send the magazine any more.
He did enjoy looking through it and I know it brought back a lot of memories to him. Some were good memories, but there were also bad ones when he would think of the horrors of the war that he through.
P.S. I enjoyed the story of how the magazine got its' name. I enjoyed the part when you mentioned John Wayne. Thought you would like this picture (1944) that was taken of my husband with John Wayne.
Just a quick story from my days at 29 Palms, in the mid 1960's.
The "Training Tank" was great, had a big deep end -15 or 18 feet deep, as I remember. It was long and wide with lots of space for chairs and people to relax in the sun. It had this huge wooden contraption at the deep end with various platform levels at ever increasing heights. The top platform was, I guess, close to 35 feet high or even higher.
The story was that this contraption was there to teach Marines, of the FMF, the proper method to leave a damaged naval ship at sea, the various platforms simulated the deck heights of different ships. This was necessary due to the number of Marines traveling to FMFPAC, WESTPAC.
During my stay at 29 Palms - almost two years - I never saw one day of formal abandon ship training at the training tank - so called because the funding for a swimming pool was rejected but funding for an Olympic size "training tank" was approved. So that's how Marines and their families got the best training tank (pool) in the Mohave desert.
Of course, the lack of formal training didn't stop the Marines at the 'tank', (adapt, improvise and overcome) they volunteered to teach themselves how to abandon ship in any of dozens of different positions and to instruct other Marines how to leave the deck of even the tallest ship in the FMF - willingly or not. There were repeated demonstrations, day after day, making the desert Marines at 29 Palms, the most highly trained at abandon ship drills of anyone in the Corps.
I'm sure that training has served the Corps and all of the Marines who participated, well over the years. Who knows how many lives have saved and fond memories formed by the experiences at the Training Tank.
Happy Birthday Marines (234) on 10Nov09!
Sgt. B. James (Dutch) Naberhuis
I got to DaNang in July 1970. I labeled the pics 40 years ago,
so I hope I was accurate back then.
Mag 11 main gate to air field
Mag 11 PX in housing area
shrapnel holes in the hangar wall
enjoy the memories of been there done that
sgt of Marines (NLA)
Air Force Office
OLD vs. NEW - A Marine is a different breed of person. We must all take pride in our time of service and experiences. I wanted to join the AF and took the test and was put on a waiting program for 120 days.
Coming out of the AF office a MARINE was standing there and asked if I wanted to be a Marine. My reply was, I am waiting to get into the AF and he said he could get my tests transferred to the Corps.
Patience is not one of my best virtues, so I agreed to enlist into the Marines. Jointed in Oct 67 and arrived in Vietnam in April of 68. Serving three tours of duty, wounded twice and spent two months in Japan for recovery.
Our unit India 3/3 has three Medal of Honors, Robert O'Malley was the first Marine to get the MOH and to survive. William Prom, who I served with was killed on 9 Feb 69 and Coker was with Mike 3/3 kia in 1970.
Oliver North and Charles C. Krulak were members of our battalion. Chesty Puller's son was in Japan and I had a chance to meet him. So we all have allot of experiences and memories to share.
Semper Fi to all Past Present and future MARINES
Rex C. McBee Sgt USMC
One Crowded Place
Every war is different, are you telling me the first Marines that fought from the rigging of US Men of War's weren't Marines? If anyone has the right to the EGA it was them, the first! I guess it will be the topic discussed when we all meet up again in the forever where ever it may be, God and Satin don't want us out of fear we'll take over, so that means we will haunt the original Tun Tavern, telling war stories! It's going to be one crowed place. We'll re-fight battles with our brother FMF corpsman's. Our reward, The Navy shore patrol will show up to keep order, Yeah Right :-)!
Semper Fi Rick
Sgt. Grit. In 1968, I was a young LCpl. I was put on a 6x and told I was going up to Hue City. Upon arrival, we met with Capt. Christmas of H 2/5. I was immediately impressed with his steadfast demeanor and courage under fire. Forty one years later, I was on a tour of our Marine Corps museum. I exited the elevator en route to Tun Tavern and saw now, General Christmas standing in front of me. I introduced myself and was speechless that he not only acknowledged me but also introduced me to Col. Cheatam who was with him. Meeting these Marine Corps leaders and warriors was the proudest moment of my visit to our museum.
Sgt. C. Worden
Viet Nam 67/68
Kind Of Smiled
I join the US Marine Corps in August 8, 1966, boy a night to always to remember.
The bus rolled through the gate that night, we were partying hard. Then the bus came to a stop, the driver kind of smiled a shy type of smile. Open that door to the bus. A monster got on, yelling an stuff get off this bus don't leave anything on here, put your butts on those yellow footprints an shut up. It was a night of terror MCRD San Diego, Calif. That hair cut, cold showers, a little sleep up about four or so. Walking arm in arm. But through it all Sgt Brown, the DI and SSgt Irwin, the platoon commander, and Cpl butler who could not call the drill right.
We made honor platoon, plt 1082 that was the best day of our life we all made it happen by gut sweat an over-coming all that was thrown at us. We did it we were Marines.
On your web sight I see the boot camp sweat (the yellow one) shirt. I didn't go to Viet Nam, blow out my right knee in Bootcamp. Felt bad cause it was my duty to fight for our country, but other Marines told me: hold your head up high, you are a Marine still, even if you didn't go over to the war you joined the best of the best. A family of green that do not care if you went to Nam or not. I did my time at 3MAW at El Toro Santa Ana Calif.
Love the news letters and all that you do to get Marine items to us guys. God bless you Sgt Grit and your staff.
Harry brown 2235664
USMC Cpl Aug. 8, 1966 - Sept 9, 1969.
Sgt Grit; The recent stories of the Motivational Platoon at PI reminded me of something that happened many years ago. Our Platoon 119, was formed on April 7 1961.
We were still in our first phase of training, probably 2 weeks in, when we picked a private from the Motivational Platoon. He had either the rack next to me or across from me. Anyway I remember thinking that he was the most bugged eyed person I had ever seen in my short 18 years.
After a couple of weeks his eyes however returned to a more normal appearance. I don't remember if he ever told me what got him sent to motivation or how long he stayed there but the DIs at Motivation did their job as he was one squared away recruit at PI and later on at ITR.
Other comments were made about privates missing some training but remaining with their Platoon. I don't know about later years but in 1961 if you missed training because of a health issue or some other personal issue you were sent back to another platoon. There were also cases of where this happened as a result of not satisfactorily completing some segment of training. I don't remember why but we were within 4 or 5 days of graduation and one of our guys got sent back to a platoon that was in the 11th week. I don't remember exactly what our DIs did when we got at a SET BACK but I do recall they weren't very happy about it...
Thanks for the memories:
John P Vaughn L/Cpl
1942842 (61 to 65)
Have A Name
Did you know the hooch's we had in Viet Nam have a name? Recently while wandering around on the net, I discovered they are called "SEA huts", which stands for "Southeast Asia huts". They are also referred to as "hard backs". I'm enclosing two pictures. One is of a professionally built SEA hut, the other was taken on Monkey Mountain and was my hooch while in Bravo Battery 1st LAAM Bn, '65-'66.
When I first arrived on the mountain, they were true "hard backs". They were just a 2x4 frame with a GP tent thrown over them and they leaked everywhere the canvas touched the lumber. Our chief cook, Sgt Wainscott, was the Battery "liberator of all goods not deemed important enough to post a guard" and in December of '66 some "homeless" corrugated followed him back to the Battery. We cut the tops off the tents and gave the corrugated a new home. Somewhere around the end of monsoon season, a good sized stack of 1"x6" lumber mysteriously showed up in the Battery compound. Since the Marine Corps wasn't an organization to allow anyone or anything to just lie around, like most good suburbanites, we sided our homes.
If you Google SEA hut, you'll find this description:
"When the 16- by 32-foot wood-frame tent is modified with a metal roof, extended rafters, and screened-in areas, it is called a Southeast Asia (SEA) hut. An example of the completed product is shown in figure 9-21. The SEA hut was originally developed in Vietnam for use in tropical areas by U.S. troops for berthing; but, it can readily be adapted for any use in any situation. It is also known as a strong back because of the roof and sidewall materials."
The Few. The Proud.
Strung With Comm Wire
It took me a long time to copy this; it was written by me and another Marine in the early days of 'Nam (1966). It went to the tune of "Big Iron" by Marty Robbins, but I think it works quite well as it stands.
Courtesy to my lifesaving friend, Louis B. Glassburner, SSgt of Marines, wherever you may be. We used to sing it, and I played an old guitar, strung with comm wire...
Peter C. Formaz
It was early in the morning
on hill 881
Charlie thought he'd sit up top
and hold it with his guns.
The artillery was ready
and his troops could not be seen,
But Charlie didn't reckon on
The Leathernecks in green.
With bayonet and rifle
They were good, ol' Charlie found
For when they came up face-to-face
He was beaten to the ground.
Uncle Ho sent Charlie down
To capture old Quang Tri
But the Leathernecks who faced him
Were determined to stay free.
Now, as the battle heightened
and the shells began to fall,
Charlie found his soldiers
With their backs against the wall
Across the Ben Hai river He needed to retreat
'Cause Charlie found
Impossible to beat.
But it was not easy
Just to turn and run away,
Because, you see, these men in green
Had something left to say.
For Charlie found no matter what
His soldiers could not win,
And were forced to make their final stand
At a mountain called Co Din
Where Charlie's soldiers used to stand
the ground was damp and red,
There was nothing in his battle lines
But the wounded and the dead,
For Charlie's troops have gone away
Their Maker for to see,
They'll ne'er more feel the Wall Of Steel
Of the Leathernecks in green.
I Had A Recruit
I remember readying a story about a wm ( women Marine ) being a PMI at Okinawa and how hard it was being one there. I give her a lot of credit for doing her job. But I too was a PMI with the mos 8531 at camp Pendleton Edson range. Being at the PMI there at the shack at 0430, waiting for the recruits to march in the PMI shack area to start the first day ( day one )
Starting from day one, at the bleachers, to the circles, to the firing line. then work with the recruits for night firing, then to the combat training course. that took more time than two weeks for some PMI's to work with their recruits. And took a lot of your time away from your home. But that's Being a PMI at Edson Range. We've got to wear campaign covers.
As for me, I was a PMI and the SNCO in charge of the coaches school that I had to train ( two weeks training ) and get them ready to be coaches on the firing line with the recruits. I liked being a PMI, I worked with the navy chaplains on weekends on the 9mm pistols and the shotguns. I also won a bronze and silver medal with the m16a2 rifle.
I was a single person then, so I spent most of my time there at the range with my recruits after hours talking about how they did on the firing line. working with recruits from the start is a very hard task. Some of them have never shot a rifle before, so that's where your skills come in. I had a recruit that could not hit the target for nothing! He was a small recruit. As I was watching him shot slow fire, I notice that he had a hard time putting the rifle in his shoulder, no matter how loose the sling was, and elbow underneath the rifle, I took the recruit with me to the armory and had the armor change the rifle butt from a A2 to a A1 rifle butt. The rifle butt on the A1 is shorter than the A2. Well, I got the recruit to qualify. I also made some PMI t- shirts for the staff there. (for those PMI's remember those t- shirts). I guess to me that was the old Corps.
I understand that range is still the same, but the rifle firing is different? I guess the time has change. My primary MOS was a 3529, but I liked the 8531 MOS the most, working with the recruits. then I went overseas again, to 9th Comm Bn, 1st SRIG, where we did a 50 mile hump! Well, back to the Corps.
SSGT STEVEN MARTINEZ
Look Of Astonishment
I recently attended the Air Show at MCAS Miramar. I was walking up and down the aisles of exhibits and stopped to talk to a young Devil-dog. Incidentally, he didn't look old enough to buy a beer. As we were talking, we got on the subject of the newest technology, which took our conversation to the advancements in GPS among other things. I told him that GPS was just coming out when I was finishing my enlistment, and that we all hated it; too big, too heavy, too difficult to use, too slow, and not as accurate as we were with a map, compass and protractor.
A look of astonishment came over his face as he asked, "What do you mean a compass and protractor?"
I told him, "You know, land nav." I proceeded to instruct him in the finer points of intersection and resection.
The young hard Charger responded, "Oh, yeah, we learned about that in boot camp. That's why we like you old-timers. We learned about it, but you guys lived it. We always learn something cool with you guys around."
"Old-timer," I questioned to myself. "I'm not even out of my 30's and this young Leatherneck just called me an 'old-timer' ". Well, it took me a few days, but I accepted it as I figure I'm now officially part of the "Old Corps".
November 10, 1775 at Tun Tavern, there was a Marine recruiting patrons of the tavern. The first one contacted was told if he joined the Corps he would receive a free steak and a beer. He agreed, and was asked by the recruiter if he owned a horse and a rifle. He answered yes, and was sworn in and served his steak and beer. The second one contacted was told the same thing, joined, and said he had a horse and rifle.
The third recruit walked in and was given the same proposal. Join the Corps and get a free steak and a beer. He agreed. When he was asked if he had a horse and a rifle, he answered that he had a rifle but no horse. The recruiter told him it was o.k., the Corps would get him a horse. The first recruit leaned over to the second recruit, and said "it wasn't like that in the Old Corps".
Semper Fi Brothers and Sisters
Crash, Fire, Rescue
This is in reply to Gunny B: Some schools at Millington were very advanced and required a 6 year enlistment to qualify. As far as "They had to be screw ups, but not that bad though, since the drop outs were sent to crash, fire, rescue."
As a former 7051 I would respectfully remind the Gunny that in order to be a Crash, Fire and Rescue Specialist you needed to know the principals of fire, each aircraft assigned to an air station as well as those visiting so you could respond to an emergency. Plus you had to be in top physical shape so you could lift and evacuate pilot(s) and/or crew from a burning aircraft. Many pilots were glad to see the Crash Crew when their planes had a malfunction.
So before making such statements please turn on brain housing group before engaging mouth. Also, as a former recruiter, the highest rank an individual could go in under contract for was LCpl, not Cpl and then they had to meet certain criteria. Semper Fi!
SSgt 1974 - 1985
Fill A Small Bucket
Gary K. wrote about items that newbies were dispatched to retrieve within the area. When I was in Nam at Khe Sanh before the poop-hit-the-fan during Tet of '68, newbies were dispatched to retrieve various articles. I was with A/1/13, artillery support for 1/26. One of the items they were sent from one gun to another with instructions to bring back was a "bucket of muzzle blast". Another was a S-T-ONE. We were having fun with these up until the siege started. To get the muzzle blast, we would go to the fire pit where we burned stuff to boil our utilities, fill a small bucket with the ashes and instruct the guys to be very careful, that was all that was left in the battery area. It was fun watching them walk very carefully and panic if the breeze picked up and some of the ash blew out. That was some of the things we did for fun.
A/1/13 from Sept. '67 thru Nov. '68
Just A Picture
Anyone who precedes the next generation is the "old Corps" I imagine the WWI generation looked upon the WWII Marines and said the same thing who said it to the Korean Marines, who said it to the Vietnam Marines who say it now to the Gulf Marines who are saying it to this new generation.
The Corps adjusts to the times, just as any organization does. The need for a better educated and "technology aware" Marine nowadays doesn't mean they are less qualified or are "softer" Marines than we who have gone before them. I would have to say the opposite is true.
Look at the hand-to hand combat, look at the weapons, look at the logistic, communications and aircraft! Boot Camp is still the hardest and most feared by people who want to join the service and much thought still goes into being a Marine versus being a doggie, wingwiper or swabby.
Last but not least, the main thing that has not changed is the Pride we felt and is still felt on graduation day and when we put on our uniform and walked down the street. The "Old Corps" is just a picture, just a window in time as to what the Corps looked like back then, that's all.
Greg Bourlotos, New York
50 years ago this month made the big jump into life in the Corps.
Platoon 280 Second Bn. Honor platoon, everything except the range.
This was our company and platoon leaders for 280 series
Company "E" Co. Capt. E.E. Evans
Series Co. Lt. D.S. Rilling
Senior Drill Inst. Sgt. M.H. Cooper
Junior Drill Inst. Act. Sgt. F.M. Burke
Junior Drill Inst. Act. Sgt. D.I. Kolek
Read His History
On TV a few weeks back a young sergeant from a unit of the 8th Marines that made a comment that Marines of the past had nothing on Marines of today, that young sergeant needs go back and read his history again. Every Marine who has served on foreign soil during combat has to endure their own hardships. Marines of WWII had endure many years at time away from their families for years till they got to come home. Marines of Korea had to endure the extreme cold of the north, the Marines of Vietnam had the extreme heat and monsoons of the jungle. Yes the Marines of today serve many back to back tours. He needs to get counseled and told to keep his option to himself and his mouth shut in front of reporters. Because the media can blow anything and everything way out portion.
richard cox GySgt retired 3/4/76 - 3/31/96 0369
Healthy SOS for old vets-Bob Hall's version
Measurements: Tablespoon is one of them big, silver things from the mess hall, not a little bitty plastic thing.
2 pounds ground turkey
2 tablespoons no-trans-fats soft margarine
1 cup freshly cut chopped onion
1 small can mushroom pieces
4 tablespoons whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons crushed garlic
4 tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
2 cups skim milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Whole grain toast
Brown meat, add margarine and stir. Add onions and cook until they are translucent. Add flour, stir and cook two to three minutes. Add garlic, soy sauce and Worcestershire. Mix thoroughly. Transfer to larger, microwave bowl. Add skim milk and microwave till it thickens, stirring frequently. Serve on a shingle (whole grain toast}.
Robert A. Hall
Til I Die
I joined the CORPS in November of 1978 as soon as I was 17. My cousin was killed in Nam (he was 1st Marine RECON). I will never forget those 2 MARINES knocking on the door to tell my Aunt that her son was killed by a kid with a grenade. I decided then that I was going to be a Marine, and a few short years later I enlisted.
We were trained by Vietnam vets, they said we were the "NEW CORPS" if this was the "NEW CORPS" I was certain I wanted nothing to do with the "OLD CORPS". They trained us to hard and very mean. I am proud to be of the "NEW CORPS" of that day. As should any Marine today should be proud to be of the "NEW CORPS". the "NEW CORPS" has better training and way better equipment than my generation of "NEW CORPS" has and we had better training and equipment the our BROTHERS from the "OLD CORPS" had.
The fact is after every advancement in training and knowledge come the "NEW CORPS" and all the FRESH and FUTURE fresh MARINES should cherish the fact that some of us old timers call the "NEW CORPS" because they are better equipped and trained then we were or our BROTHERS were. I will still get into a bar room brawl if someone starts S**t with one of my young BROTHER home a leave from the SANDBOX (I have done it more than once)A Marine is never alone if there is another Marine in the room no matter what right or wrong it does not matter if you are "OLD CORPS" or "NEW CORPS" that is my true feelings on the whole issue. I am a Marine till I die my "EGA" is still tattooed on me and will go to the grave with me. we are the "FEW THE PROUD" for a reason and none should ever forget that.
LCPL Bryan Waters
GySgt. Rousseau was right on line with the numbers of Marines at the start of Korea. Within a month, another 150,000 + had been called up and activated. Many directly to Korea, to fill out the Division for Inchon. The rest filled in the 2nd Division, and started the nucleus of the 3rd Division, and when Chesty came home, he had his fingers in that also.
AS to the Commandant standing for the preservation of the Corps, you bet, along with a few others, some who resigned their commission, to purposely be able to gather the information necessary to present to Congress, and the results are well know. No thanks, as related at to the thoughts and feelings of some four/five star army generals, the president and their feelings.
And by April/May 51, the 'on-line fighting force in Korea was 51/49%, reserves. And, as related, the Commandant had some direct definite help in keeping the Corps ALIVE, by some who actually retired from the Corps to be able to gather the necessary information, to relate to Congress, FACTS, that led to their decision and the present day Corps!
C-1-1 Korea 51-52
Chesty's last regimental command!
Reunion 8th & I, 1963
I am putting together a mini reunion for the Marines of 8th & I Drill Team, Color Guard and Body Bearers who served under Lt. Bill Lee during 1963 following the assassination of President Kennedy for the Death Watch at the White House & Capitol, Body Escort, funeral and burial at Arlington National. These are the same Marines who buried President Hoover, General MacArthur, NFL half time shows, joint ceremonies for arrivals, departures of dignitaries, wreath layings and guarded both President Kennedy & Johnson at Camp David.
It will be in Dallas, TX December 4,5 & 6, 2009.
I can be contacted for details.
Ed McCloskey, Team "63-65"
ed.mccloskey @ verizon .net
Zero vs. Ought
Some of the real enjoyments of reading the letters sent to you are the parallels that come up reminding one of their own Corps experiences. Cpl George Lent mentions remembering his rifle serial no. I, too, still remember mine probably because of the incident that took place when we had finished with a lecture period. We fell back on our stacked rifles and instead of retrieving our rifle from the stack our Drill Instructor handed them back individually by serial no. (something you had to know). My rifle serial no. was 3056009 and when I referred to it I always said 3-zero 5-6-zero-zero-9, the Drill Instructor barked out 3-ought-5-6-ought-ought-9. It took me about 4 or 5 seconds to convert the oughts to zeroes; you got it, I was too late and you can bet I paid for it That serial no. will die with me..
Billy E. Fox mentions the cost to the United States for the tree damage on Guadalcanal. While I was in MOS school one of the instructors, who had taught at the University in Lubbock, Texas, told us that the National Debt included the cost of tree damage in Korea plus the tree damage on the Pacific Islands during WWII (like Guadalcanal) that were owned by various foreign countries. In fact, he and some other Marines were severely chastised for cutting down some trees in Korea to build a bunker. While I don't understand why and I don't agree with the practice, I must assume there is some truth involved.
Cpl of Marines 53-55
For Steele, WJ, Plt 261, PI, 1959...interesting you should mention Motivation Platoon at PI in 1959...since the East and West Recruit Training Regiments are pretty much standardized, and I know for an absolute fact that the Motivation Platoon at MCRD SD did not come into being until early 1964...since I was a plank holder, transferred there from 2 years in L Company. Any DI's out there from PI in the late 50's who can advise? In SD, Motivation Plt was part of Special Training Branch, and came under HqCo, RTR.
Dick Dickerson, Maj. USMC Ret.
We Cleaned It Up
My husband, Rick (USMC 77-80) and I always knew our son, Aaron, was a warrior. In preteen years his bedroom assumed a camouflage identity. In teen years USMC posters were added. At 16 he and his best friend, Austin, worked out with the local poolees. They memorized the hymn, the prayer...if it could be memorized, they did so. The neighbors would see them sparring in our front yard, or running the streets together.
Twelve days after he turned 17 he took us down to sign his early enlistment, which we proudly did. He continued to be a committed Poolee only now he and Austin ran the streets in their Poolee shirts sometimes carrying the USMC flag Aaron had mounted on a pole.
The plan for years had been to go in on the Buddy program, but plans don't always work out. It turned out Austin would graduate 2 weeks behind Aaron--and too late to be in Aaron's wedding as the best man. Aaron asked his Dad to step into that role.
The Bride and I worked hard to create a very classy Marine Corps wedding and feel we really succeeded. We did some things that would set apart this wedding in everyone's mind. One was having one of the groom's sisters as a bridesmaid with the bride's sister, and the other groom's sister filled the role of "groomsmaid". The processional was unique, too, in that
Aaron had only graduated four days prior to their wedding, so a sword was out of the question. However, a year or so previous Austin had given Aaron a Ka-Bar for his birthday. So without Aaron knowing, we cleaned it up (with the Bride's permission, of course!). Rick placed it in his belt at the back under his dress jacket and at the appropriate time the pastor announced that we were departing from tradition just a little. Rick drew the sheathed knife from behind his back and held it out to Aaron for inspection. Aaron drew it out, inspected it and they proceeded to cut the cake. The guests LOVED it! Perhaps Sgt Grit readers will enjoy the pictures, too.
Proud wife and mother of United States Marines!
The Last I Heard
Sgt. Grit, This is a story I wish to share with my fellow Marines, that shows that the Corps is a true family. In 2008, I was inducted to the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame Society, an honor for any veteran in the State of Arizona. The Award was presented to me by Governor Jan Brewer and Arizona Veterans Affairs Director, Joey Strickland.
In June 2009 in the early evening I received a telephone call from Mississippi, and my caller ID said O.E. Gamble, a Marine who I have not talked to or seen since 1958, when I was in Grammar and then High School. When I answered the phone "Top" Gamble said, is this Bill Pakinkis from New Jersey, and I said yes. He told me he had seen my picture in the SMDA Newsletter, and he called me to tell me how proud he was of me, and that he always knew I would turn out to be a good Marine that he had hoped I would be.
O.E. Gamble, was now a retired SgtMaj, and 96 years old, a veteran of WW II and Korea. In the mid-fifties he was the NCOIC for USMC Recruiting Station in Paterson, NJ, I volunteered my services at the Recruiting Station and he was our counselor to our Boys Club, the "Gyrenes", a prelude to today's Young Marines and Devil Pups. O.E. taught me everything about the Corps because he knew I was going to enlist in ' 62 so, he wanted to get me ready. He was transferred back to Division, and that's the last I heard from him since '58, until this past June.
A couple of days ago I received my Quarterly SMDA Newsletter, and in the "Taps" Section I read SgtMaj. Orville E. Gamble, SMDA Past President, and Wife Maree, SgtMaj Gamble died a month after I talked to him, and his wife of 70 years, died two days later. O.E. Gamble taught me a lot about being a Marine, and I thank him for it. I tried to contact him during my Marine Corps career, but to no avail. I wanted to share this story, to show that the United States Marine Corps is a family indeed.
GySgt W.F. "Bill" Pakinkis (RET) 1962 - 1984
Cleaning Out The Garage
Recently, while cleaning out the garage, I found these two goodies from 1955. Even after all these years, these verses brought a 78 year old Marine to tears.
Jim Reed S/Sgt USMC 1948-52, USMCR 1954-55
Laud these men as they march along,
Each a note to a famous song,
A proud and fiery song of glory,
That tells a true and mighty story,
Horrible the way that it was written,
Endless they with bullets smitten,
Radiant though in right and glory,
Ne'er will you find a brighter story,
Ever ready for our calling,
Constant each unto his calling,
Kindred giants who guard the free,
So t'was, is, and ever shall be!
The Kid Marines
We stood together, the kids were there,
They were combat ready and they had that stare,
Marines every one, and trained to know,
That for their country to battle they go,
The kids were thinking how it would be,
Not at a beach, but in a country not free,
Thinking of home and the gal next door,
They gazed at a beach they would soon explore,
Boot camp, training, the relentless drive,
All for the kids, so they would come back alive,
Back to their homes and loved ones there,
Yes, they'd know the fight was not in despair,
Two hundred yards and the fight would begin,
They were ready each one, their faces grim,
With the knowledge of battle that would soon begin,
They'll take that beach, they know what it means,
Their country, their home, the gal in her teens,
Their flag, old glory in her fine silken sheen,
Sure they'll win, they got guts, those kid Marines.
--Sgt Bradford W. Davis
Hi Sgt. Grit,
I thought some of your Marines might like to see what a Retired Marine does in Florida.
Hope you enjoy the pictures.
Gy/Sgt. Lew Souder
1956 - 1976
OohRah & "Semper-Fi"
For Military Merit
In regard to Thomas C. Bogan's advice to Sgt. Breens father in the October American Courage Newsletter. The Purple Hearts in our family, Chief Yeoman James F. Davis, June 1943, Battle of the Atlantic, U.S.C G. Cutter Esconaba. K.I.A. Captain Frederick E Deacon D+12 June 1944, Normandy K.I.A. P.F.C. Paul F. Thomas U.S.M.C, February 1945, Iwo Jima W.I.A. And Captain Charles J. McDonald U.S.M.C., March 1963 Vietnam W.I.A., are engraved on the back "For Military Merit"
I would defer to anyone who has Valor on the back of his or hers Purple Heart you are allowed to engrave the back of medals so it may happen. What bothers me is I am unaware of this decoration having been issued in different distinctions, I.E. Merit or Valor if this is true we have all missed a very late boat off the dock I am suspicious of the claim, and await the legendary can of worms only your newsletter can uncover.
McDonald, Dennis T, Cpl.
1845828 / 0341, 1958 / 1964 Semper Fi.
Note: Legendary newsletter, I like that. Thank you.
Both Were Overwhelmed
To Sgt. Grit
I recently went through a box that had been packed up for over forty years. I rediscovered my medals, ribbons, certificates and awards that I had received while serving my country in the Marine Corps ( Feb. 1965 to Jan. 1971 ) After some consideration, I decided to display them and my pride of service. I also thought I would surprise my Father and Brother with a display of their service. My Father, now 84 Yrs. old, served during WWII in the Pacific( USMC 1942 to 1945 )
He was at Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan and Okinawa some of the most fierce battles the Marine Corps has ever had. My brother was in the Army ( 1969 to 1972 ) Both of them were overwhelmed when I presented them with their displays cases. The pride in their face was worth a million dollars. I often find my Father gazing at the display on the wall. Thank you for all your help and of course for the availability of all the products I purchased from you. ( See Attachments 1, 2, 3 & 4 )
NOTE : I know myself and many of my veteran buddies are still not totally sold on commemorative medals. They feel that because the Government did not issue them that they were not earned. But I know in my case I found using them along with the rocker patches really help to tell the whole story of my service. Also I used another case, marked with a brass plaque saying commemorative medals, it made all the difference in the world. It help to tell where and when I served. ( See Attachment # 1, 2 & 3 ) In ( Attachment #4 ) is my Father's case. The rocker patches help to tell the story of the battles he was in and where he served and when. I hope these tips might help you sell more of your products and help other when putting their displays together.
Sgt. Michael James Smith USMC Ret.
Note: We can customize a shadow box for you. Call 888-NOV-1775 (888-668-1775) if you'd like details...or get some stuff and make your own...great memories. Semper Fi Sgt Grit
Sgt Grunt; An old photo of ITR, this was when you got the M-14 in boot, M1 Garand in ITR and back to the M-14 everyplace else. My son just gave me a M1 for a gift, h&ll of a shooter.
Regards; Tony Nemitz
K Rations...Yum! Yum!
Sgt Grit : Photo of PLT 174 Regimental Honor Platoon MCRD SD 1962 PLT Commander GySgt Thurmond, DI's Sgt Sanders, Sgt Trver, Cpl Johnston. And a classic photo of K rations served up, makes McDonalds look good don't it?
Semper Fi Tony Nemitz.
I'm the third "grunt" in the top row... third from the right
Set Back To T-1
While I was in boot camp during march thru june 1976, one of the best memories I have is when our series (1025) I was in PLT 1028 was summoned to one of the class rooms. Once the series was settled the series commander ( 1st Lt G.G. Gisolo ) told us that as a series we have failed the 1st phase prac app as a whole and that the whole series was going to be set back to T-1, we were told to hang our heads not look around, not talk just walk outside.
I am thinking holy s--t how am I going to explain this one to my parents and I am going to be here longer. Just before I reached the hatch Lt Gisolo tells us all to stop and look back and with a dead pan face Says "April fool's ", one of the best memories I have of boot camp. Of course I was a Hollywood Marine.
Richard Cox GySgt Retired 3/76-3/96 0369
It is truly amazing about the stories that continue to be written about the "old Corps" vs. "new Corps". I actually thought when I first joined that there were two separate Marine Corps until I got wise. I heard this joke awhile back that I think will put the constant "back n forth to rest". Here goes...