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AmericanCourage #218     21 JAN 2010

Hi Sgt. Grit...
American Bulldog rescue, 'Freedom' standing in front of the USA Flag I wanted to share with you a picture I had taken of our dog Freedom for my husband's bday this December. She is an American Bulldog rescue...he loves her almost as much as he loves his Marine Corps. He proudly served 2001-2005 with 3/8.

My husband had the honor to raise this America Flag on the 1st year anniversary of Sept. 11th over the American Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. So I thought it would be the perfect fit to this picture. I had it blown up into a 2X3 ft looks awesome in my husband's "man" room. (den)

Leslie Strode-Johnson

St Patrick's Day

From Facebook...

Here's a picture of my future Marine with his Grandpa Submitted by Erin Bishop: Here's a picture of my future Marine with his Grandpa, also a Marine, wearing his very warm winter cap from Sgt. Grit. He has met a lot of Brothers while wearing this hat.

Here is a picture of my new Sergeant Submitted by Annette Benavides Ramos: Here is a picture of my new Sergeant! My son, Sergeant Damian Ramos, was promoted on November 1st! He is assigned to the 3rd Marine Division, and he is stationed in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii! We are so proud of you Damian!

Living Emblem Parris Island Submitted by Jay Ferguson: Living Emblem Parris Island
(HOW COOL is this!?)

Facebook Check us out on Facebook. Trivia & prizes weekly. Add us as a Friend & also become a Fan.

Growing up I knew that my dad had been a Marine. To me at the time it was no big deal. Then my Dad took sick and we took him up to the Veterans Hospital in Erie. I was standing outside with him waiting for our ride. My Dad had on a Marine t-shirt and as I sat there with him I don't know how many Vets that were going into the hospital stopped and either spoke to my dad, patted him on the shoulder or shook his hand. At that time I finally figured he was part of a very special group.

As time went on I spent more time with my dad, I took him places. We were at the V.F.W. one night and the respect that the younger Marines gave my Dad and myself was amazing. I learned a lot more about the Marines and now I am a very proud Daughter of a US Marine.

My dad passed away in October 2005 and his Pale Bears were 6 Marines that loved him beyond words. To watch those 6 guys carry my dad for the last time did my heart good. One of the Marines has a birthday party every year for the Marines. He informed my sister and I we were to be there every year for my dad. I haven't missed one yet.

I love the Marines and I am very proud to say my dad was a US MARINE and he severed in the 2nd wave of Iowa Jima.


And I Quote...

"I want the people of America to be able to work less for the government and more for themselves. I want them to have the rewards of their own industry. This is the chief meaning of freedom. Until we can reestablish a condition under which the earnings of the people can be kept by the people, we are bound to suffer a very severe and distinct curtailment of our liberty."
-- President Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933)

Tactical Calendar

I'm writing in reply to a letter from Lawrence A. WHALEN who was personally thanked for serving in Korea by a descendant of the people he helped liberate. This past Labor Day weekend I took my father, sergeant USMC '51-'55, to the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle and to the 3 war memorials (WWII, Vietnam and Korea) on the National Mall in D.C.

We went to Korea memorial last and while we there two different groups brought large floral displays and set them up in prominent locations. Both had banners in Korean and English thanking the forces that freed their country. I don't remember the second group that brought the display, but the first was from the Embassy of the Republic of Korea. I don't know why they chose Labor Day, and I don't know if they do this often, but it was obviously a heartfelt gesture and as each group approached the other visitors politely and respectfully made way.

I'm not sure, but I think it was the first time my father had ever had anyone, directly or indirectly thank him for going to Korea and fighting for those people. It is heartening to know that the people there have not forgotten. My hope is that 50 years from now the Iraqi and Afghani people will still remember the sacrifices made by American and coalition forces for their countries.

Kevin J. Sullivan
USMC/USMCR 1980-2000

Rick congratulating Aaron Harry and Rick

Our son, Aaron, graduated from MCRD San Diego 30 January 2009. Things were such a whirlwind that I never got to take a photo of all the Marines in our family standing together that day. Our friends from Washington, Rick (Vietnam era Marine) and Donna joined us. Rick and Aaron have a special relationship. Also my husband's mother and stepfather, Harry, drove in from Arizona. Grampa Harry served in the Marines in the 50's. And my husband served in the late 70's/early 80's. Four Marines proudly representing the Corps and our family that day.

Aaron's Dad congratulating him at Graduation During the graduation ceremony someone asked all prior service Marines to stand to be honored. Mom told me that touched Grampa Harry so much! He said NO ONE had ever honored him for his service.

Grampa Harry was called to his final post in August 2009, guarding Heaven's gates. I am sure that the honoring of prior service Marines during graduation is traditional, but it's impact should never be underestimated.

Harry is wearing the red hat, Rick the gray shirt, Dad the red shirt.

With pride,
Harriet Cook
Federal Way, WA

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And I Quote...

"The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest."
--Thomas Jefferson

It is with deep regret and sadness, that I relay the information that on 9 December 2009, SSgt Valentino R. Mendoza (28) passed away due to cancer. I was honored to have known and served with him while on recruiting duty in Canton, Ohio. I was privileged enough to be able to attend his funeral in Lorain, Ohio.

While in attendance of his funeral all Marine Corps personnel performed flawlessly in their duties as always, and the Patriot Guard of Northeast Ohio showed what makes America's Veterans a truly special breed by standing proudly and un swayed in the cold element in Ohio during December.

One final note during SSgt. Mendoza's funeral some of the speakers stated that SSgt Mendoza "LOST" his battle with cancer. I chalk this up to them being civilians and just not as informed as us Marines, because as we all know Marines don't LOOSE BATTLES. SSgt Mendoza is now just attacking in a different direction. SEMPER FI BROTHER!

SGT. M.B. Cervellino


To The CO of the 3/4 Afghanistan

Sir I read your letter that you sent Sgt grunt and all I can say is WOW! I was so proud of those young Marines I almost popped my buttons.

It makes us at home feel so much better to know that our Marines are in the good hands of a commanding officer of your caliber, we all know that we are or were bad asses in combat however we still need Marines to keep us a little organized and you sir are that person. I Know that whenever I would take a patrol out the 12 other Marines were my responsibility to bring home ok. It goes to show that boot camp, ITR, school was all worth it, it's tuff for a reason, and you just showed us why. God Bless each and every one of you, please take care of each other.

CPL Bob Grippa RVN 67-68

In honor of my wife's Uncle Jimmie I thought you should see how "He" looked on November 20th 1999. He was the last to be launched from the ramp for the century.

The Jimmie Howard, DDG 83 David Kennedy's Marine display

David Kennedy
Cpl. 88-92
9Th ESB Oki.

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And I Quote...

"National defense is one of the cardinal duties of a statesman."
--John Adams

Dear; JJ Chervinko Cpl USMC

In response to your inquiry about Marine Corps Engineers. I was in the Engineers during Viet Nam I was a 1345 which is a heavy equipment operator. We repaired roads, built roads, built fire bases, and anything else that could be done with a Dozer and Crane.

During WW II sometimes, the Engineers were ahead of the assault troops.

I would just say Congratulations to your son for being chosen to be an Engineer.

Cpl T.B. Enfield
Semper Fi

I am deeply saddened by this post by Vanessa Rivera of San Antonio. This is an example of the yellow bellied scum out there. If you believe in the karma; What goes around, comes around? This person or persons will pay dearly in the future! God bless you and your Marine husband. Semper Fi, Bob EVON, Sr. USMC (Ret) Exeter, RI


These anti-American pukes are nothing but cowards that hide their malicious crimes under the shroud of darkness against our brave Warriors and their families.
Young lady, always remember that you will persevere as will your Warrior due to the extended Marine Corps family and the Band of Brothers and Sisters from all of our Uniformed Services that put their collective asses on the line everyday for this great nation.
God Bless Em' All, and God Forbid we every catch these idiots, as my Marine Corps training will be their last memory. And that's not a threat, it's a promise.
Semper Fi,

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And I Quote...

"I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."
--Thomas Jefferson

Alexander Yawor's oil painting Alexander Yawor's oil painting of a Marine in Dress Blues

Alexander Yawor Hello Sgt. Grit, I am a World War ll Marine and a self taught portrait painter. "Hq-3-25-4th div." Because I am able to do that, I am now on what I call a mission. I paint portraits in oil and give them to the parents and wifes of our "Fallen Hero's" free of charge. It is hard to find parents or wifes that want a painting, so I was wondering if you or someone that you know can help. I will give you my address and e-mail address and if you can find anyone that want a painting, tell them to get in touch with me. Threw in a photo of me helping cut the birthday cake. "Oldest 86 and youngest Marine at the party." The other photos are of some of my paintings I did for parents. I did 15 so far.

 Alexander Yawor's oil painting of a Marine in Dress Blues Alexander Yawor's oil painting

Alexander Yawor's oil painting Alexander Yawor's oil painting

Alexander Yawor
142 Sawyer Dr.
Aliquippa, PA 15001
ayawor142 @ comcast .net

To the gentleman who lost his father to cancer. I am sadden by your lost. I happen to know your fathers friend who died in Beirut. I was a young LCpl who was hurt in that bombing. I still suffer from the injuries and I read your comments while actually going to the hospital today. I know one thing Marines serve and protect all Americans we are the Presidents own it won't matter who gives the flag to my sons or who the President was at that time. It will always be the Marine standing in front of our fallen actually saying thank you. No on leaves the war unwounded.
OORAH Sgt. Brown Heavy Guns 1978 to 1985

Sgt Grit,

Just got done reading your weekly newsletter...another great one. Especially enjoyed the update from John Wear. I have written you on a couple of occasions, but wanted to take the time to let you know what happened to me on New Year's Eve day.

I was in Costco, getting supplies for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day celebrations. While in the store, I happened to be wearing my "Young Marines - Staff" jacket and my "Young Marines" knit cap. While there, this guy of about 50 comes up to me and kind of sarcastically asks, "So what are Young Marines?" As soon as I told him that it was a youth outreach and drug demand reduction program based on the tenets of the Marine Corps, this guys says, "So you're not teaching them anything then?"

Immediately, the hackles on the back of my neck were bristling.

During continued conversation with this individual, I found out he was a retired CW3 from the Army that was a chemist. We talked about what he did for a while and the whole time, he continued bad-mouthing the Corps. Finally, I could take no more. I looked this guy in the eye and said, "Listen, I may have gotten out of the Army after 10 years as an Infantry Staff Sergeant, but I have way too many Marine Corps buddies for you to be standing there talking smack about the Corps." I continued to inform him that he needed to get away from me before he got his hat handed to him in the middle of the store.

Needless to say, he wasn't very happy with me and considered me a traitor, since I'm former Army. But, he chose the better option and left with his face intact. I guess he figured that at 6'3" and 235 pounds, I was a little more than he wanted to take on.

Ooh-Rah and Semper Fi! To all those Marines out there...Keep up the great work!

James H Blunt
SSgt / US Army Infantry / 1982-1992

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And I Quote...

"Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve."
--Benjamin Franklin

Good morning. Please see attached. We are receiving 2 catalogs, one each in my husband's name, and mine before we married last year. Can you please take the Marianne Franklin one off the catalog mailing list? We do not need to receive 2. Thank you.

We met in 2004 when our sons were stationed together with 3rd LAR at 29 Palms. We had been exchanging a few emails, when we found out that, out of the entire battalion, our sons were bunking together. He traveled from Connecticut to Nebraska to visit (numerous times), and our relationship grew. He moved to Nebraska in the fall of 2008.

The "boys" (our sons, Kevin and Joel) were deployed to Iraq in early August 2004. They crossed from Kuwait into Iraq on Joel's 20th birthday. Bruce's other son, Brian, was stationed in Kanehoe Bay, HI. He ended up going on 31st MEU, which was bouncing around the middle east until a few weeks before the Fallujah quest.

All 3 boys were at Fallujah. Brian was severely injured on 11/8/2004. His unit was one of the first ones in. He lost his right arm and right leg, recovered for nearly 2 years at Bethesda and Walter Reed. Brian lost many friends when his unit lost 31 Marines when their helicopter crashed at Ar Rutbah right near Camp Korean Village in Iraq on 1/26/2005. Joel and Kevin were stationed at Camp Korean Village at that time, had to help with recovery from the crash field. Joel and Kevin completed their enlistments. Joel got married this past summer. He goes to school full time and has worked with Home Depot for the two years since he left USMC. Kevin is a police officer in Murray, Utah. Brian was the fortunate recipient of a home from Homes for Our Troops, now lives in Coventry, CT. He and his best friend own and run 2 organic gardening supply stores in Cranston, RI and Old Saybrook, CT.

My husband, Bruce, served in USMC in 1966-1969 with only a few days in VietNam. His MOS had to do with IT. His father, Richard Johnston, served in USMC in WWI, and survived the battle at Peleleiu, for which he received a Purple Heart.

Semper Fi, and thanks for all you do.

Dear Sgt. Grit -

I am the father of a Marine and work for a suburban Chicago school district. We're blessed to operate three JROTC programs - USAF, USN and USMC (led by two former drill instructors, among the finest people I have ever met) - at my three high schools. Last summer, the Marine lance corporal son of a retired teacher was on patrol in Afghanistan when his vehicle struck an IED. Ed was severely injured and ultimately lost one of his legs below the knee.

Needless to say, our entire staff responded to the family. In the fall, the gentlemen who manage the USN JROTC program initiated a fund raiser with two purposes: 1. Raise enough money to purchase a custom designed bicycle so Ed can return to his active life, and; 2. Offset some of the expenses (we serve many students who live below the poverty line) of the military ball that our three JROTC programs sponsor in the spring.

Led by the JROTC programs at all three schools, we easily exceeded expectations. Fortunately, Ed was able to visit just before Christmas, thank the JROTC students who worked on his behalf, and share the at-times harrowing account of the incident that took his leg. He was the picture of courage and determination, several times expressing his wish to return to duty with his friends.

In my school district, we host many veteran speakers from all military branches. They all possess great pride in their service. We owe all of you a debt we can never re-pay.

With great pride
Bob, father of Lance Corporal Mike

Good morning, another organization that will retire American flags with the respect they deserve is the Boy Scouts of America. We have a couple retirement ceremonies each year. The Boy Scouts emphasize God and country and these ceremonies help teach our boys more about showing respect to the flag.

Semper Fi,
Joe Brodell

And I Quote...

"Since when do we in America believe that our society is made up of two diametrically opposed classes - one rich, one poor - both in a permanent state of conflict and neither able to get ahead except at the expense of the other? Since when do we in America accept this alien and discredited theory of social and class warfare? Since when do we in America endorse the politics of envy and division?"
--Ronald Reagan

Thank you for that article from one of the Company Commanders of the 3/4 Marines. My son is one of those 3/4 Marines in country right now and it was very enlightening to hear what they are accomplishing. My son is always very positive when he calls or emails but I know he is under a lot of stress and has been very BUSY as he puts it. He is a Sawgunner. He is my first son to be deployed but his younger brother, my second son, is also a Marine who will be in country soon as well. Also, my boyfriend is a MSgt in the Marine Corps, with 19 years of service, currently stationed at Miramar Air Station, 3rd Marine Air Wing. My son- in-law is a Tanker in the Army who did a 15 month deployment last year, stationed at FT. Hood. I also know 5 other Marines from our small community who are currently deployed as well as one in the Army and one in the Navy, both deployed. Thank you all, no matter what branch of service. As the other Marine mentioned from the Air Wing, everyone does their part, no matter what their job might be. SEMPER FI (I will be forever faithful) from a VERY PROUD Marine mom and girlfriend.

Kathy Edwards

Our family also has a trail of Marines
My father joined the Marines for world war II before I came along...
My mother was a riveter at the war working on the fighter planes...where she met my father...
I joined the Marine Corps in 1963 and after boot camp I was sent to 29 Palms in calif. I then did a tour in Vietnam...
Now my grandson is already to go to boot camp in San Diego in April. My younger brother also joined the Marines also.
My reason for writing is that Marines are a family

Richard Tobias 2015359 USMC

And I love Sgt Grit with having Marine stuff to keep our smile going.....

Sgt. Grit and Staff,

Enclosed please find a check in the amount of $2000.00. this money was raised through Tuscany Day Spa & Salon and the generous donations of the residents of The Villages, Florida.

We raised $1,640.00 from the community. The remaining $360 is from Tuscany Day Spa & Salon. We would like to adopt 80 Marines with the $25 package.

Thank you for providing this for our Marines overseas!

I served 8 years in the USMCR. My niece just graduated boot camp in October and is finishing MOS school at Camp Johnson, and will be stationed at Lejeune.

She has been given a high likelihood of going to Afghanistan in the coming months. I know she will have outstanding family support.

I am honored that my business will be able to help many Marines. Thank You for your business and all you do for the Marine Corps Family.

Semper Fi God Bless The Marine Corps!

Patti Bonnie

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And I Quote...

"Be convinced that to be happy means to be free and that to be free means to be brave. Therefore do not take lightly the perils of war."
-- Thucydides

I don't know if you will get this in this format. My son is a Marine Captain on his way to Afghanistan after three tours in Iraq. He is a CH-46 pilot but may be flying a desk this time. I am so proud of him. He got his wings in 2003. David just made the major's list and will mostly likely be promoted in Afghanistan. He comes from a long line of military but the first Marine. His dad was a chopper pilot and served three tours in Vietnam and retired in 1981 with 22 years of service. He is now very ill with Agent Orange cancer. The only grandfather David knew served in WW ll in the Pacific Theater. He knew his uncle that served in the Navy and was at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked. My father was Army and killed at the Battle of the Bulge and my grandfather who was army was killed in France in WWI. I am proud of my family and our service to our country. By the way, I served in Vietnam when I completed college. I was unable to join the military due to medical reasons. I wanted to serve my country as did my family, so I went to work for DOD Army Special Services and volunteered for Nam. Thanks for your newsletters. I do my share to help our troops even if it is buying them lunch anonymously. Proud Marine Mom Semper Fi

In the beginning was the word, and the word was God.

In the beginning was God, and all else was darkness and void, and without form. So God created the heavens and the Earth. He created He created the sun, and the moon, and the stars, so that light might pierce the darkness.

The Earth, God divided between the land and the sea, and these he filled with many assorted creatures.

And the dark, salty, slimy creatures that inhabited the murky depths of the oceans, God called sailors. And He dressed them accordingly. They had little trousers that looked like bells at the bottom. And their shirts had cute little flaps on them to hide the hickeys on their necks. He also gave them long sideburns and shabby looking beards. God nicknamed them "squids" and banished them to a lifetime at sea, so that normal folks would not have to associate with them. To further identify these unloved creatures, He called them "petty" and "commodore" instead of titles worthy of red-blooded men.

And the flaky creatures of the land, God called soldiers. And with a twinkle in His eye, and a sense of humor that only He could have, God made their trousers too short and their covers too large. He also made their pockets oversized, so that they may warm their hands. And to adorn their uniforms, God gave them badges in quantities that only a dime store owner could appreciate. And He gave them emblems and crests... and all sorts of shiny things that glittered...and devices that dangled. (When you are God you tend to get carried away.)

On the 6th day, He thought about creating some air creatures for which he designed a Greyhound bus driver's uniform, especially for Air Force flyboys. But He discarded the idea during the first week, and it was not until years later that some apostles resurrected this theme and established what we now know as the "Wild-Blue-Yonder Wonders."

And on the 7th day, as you know, God rested.

But on the 8th day, at 0730, God looked down upon the earth and was not happy. No, God was not happy! So He thought about His labors, and in His divine wisdom God created a divine creature. And this He called Marine.

And these Marines, who God had created in His own image, were to be of the air, and of the land, and of the sea. And these He gave many wonderful uniforms. Some were green; some were blue with red trim. And in the early days, some were even a beautiful tan. He gave them practical fighting uniforms, so that they could wage war against the forces of Satan and evil. He gave them service uniforms for their daily work and training.

And He gave them evening and dress uniforms... sharp and stylish, handsome things... so that they might promenade with their ladies on Saturday night and impress the h&ll out of everybody! He even gave them swords, so that people who were not impressed could be dealt with accordingly.

And at the end of the 8th day, God looked down upon the earth and saw that it was good. But was God happy? No! God was still not happy! Because in the course of His labors, He had forgotten one thing: He did not have a Marine uniform for himself.

He thought about it, and thought about it, and finally God satisfied Himself in knowing that, well... not everybody can be a Marine!

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And I Quote...

"Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder."
--George Washington

Marine Beach-head toy set from Marx Toy Company, figures outside of box Marine Beach-head toy set box from Marx Toy Company

What future Marine would not have wanted to find this under his Christmas tree in 1960. Made by Marx Toy Company who at that time was the largest manufacturer of toys in the world. Unfortunately the set did not contain any enemy soldiers. That would come later with Marx's Iwo Jima set when they produced some very accurate Japanese soldiers. This set comes with several sets of soldiers and Marines in different colors. I guess you were supposed to have them fighting each other. If you hide the missile launchers and helicopters you can make believe you are at Tarawa. I wonder how many WWII Marine dads bought this for their sons. If you happen to have kept your childhood toys and happen to have this set you will glad to know it is worth $300-$600 if complete.


Sgt. Grit: I am an old veteran I joined the Marines in June 1969. I spent only 10 years in the Corps and got out because of leg problems. I joined the Navy and only for the Submarine Force because I want the small professional unit. (The Marines taught me well). Well, I stayed in for 26 years but got married when I had 20 years in and my wife was not experienced with the military much less the Marines. We had only been married for a very short time when I came home from work one day and she handed me a license plate that stated "Once a Marine, Always a Marine". Once a Marine License Plate

I asked her what she meant because she did not know me when I was in the Marines. She said that I would never change and that I was still a Marine. I fell in love with her all over again. However the two most memorable events of my life are not the day I married nor even the day my son was born. The two most memorable days of my life was, most memorable -The day my DI said "welcome aboard MARINE and the second was the day I made Chief in the Navy (very much helped by my Marine training). Thanks, Ron Lamon

P.S. The license plate, bent, faded but still proudly displayed on my vehicles.

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And I Quote...

"The time is near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves."
--George Washington

Hello, Sgt. Grit,

I subscribed to your newsletter because I have always had a deep respect for The Corps and all who serve. And as a result of reading the various Marines' experiences, I have nudged some of my friends into a new way of thinking.

My son-in-law served in the Marines for three consecutive tours in Iraq, followed by a fourth tour in Okinawa- his untreated Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and lack of any kind of support at all when he returned home worked to cloud judgment and contribute to a decision that cost him his career in his beloved Corps. Thankfully, our Iraq War veteran doesn't have substance abuse problems. goes to counseling, and is making a total turn around with the unconditional family support he has.

My extended family, at least the younger generation is choosing to make a concerted effort to recognize and honor the service of every person who has served our country, and who is serving our country. I have been sharing the stories of service members I met while I was in college, 'way back when the troops were finally coming home from Viet Nam. I spoke with young men fresh from the jungles, older men who had fought in Korea and 'Nam- even some World War II veterans going to school. I went from a sassy 20' something redhead sketching in the student union by myself between classes to an unlikely facilitator for a multi- generational generational sharing and support group that contained Marines, Navy, and Airborne Rangers. At the time there were no Veteran Centers, and these warriors needed to talk. The men would come up to talk to me, meet each other, and started swapping stories. If I hadn't decided to study for the ministry I would have enlisted in The Core, so I could listen to the stories and not flinch. At least, not while I was in that circle. Words do not express how humbling it was for a returned veteran to thank me for having coffee with him and listening to him because I reminded him of the reasons why he was over there fighting in the first place.

We are choosing to seek out and honor all service members, to thank them for their service, be it peace time or battle front, and we especially seek out those who served in Viet Nam, thank them, shake their hand, and say "Welcome Home."

For all of you who fight for the rest of us, know that there are SOME of us who honor you, honor your service, honor your families.

We thank you, one and all, we bless you, we bless your families, and you all have inspired US.

Talk is nice, and talk is still cheap. Shaking hands, saying "Thank you" is nice, and "Welcome home" is nice too. And really wimpy in the face of what has been sacrificed in our behalf.

Wanting to take our appreciation to a deeper level, several of my friends with an extensive social network joined with me before Christmas to gather up all of the information we could find on "support our troops" (Adding Sgt. Grit to the top of the list of course!) and sent the information out as far and as wide as we could with a cover letter.

I have asked that people Adopt A Marine rather than give me a birthday present.

Even this falls short of the sacrifices made in my and my family's behalf.

I am going back to college at age 57, mixing in there with my younger thirty something aged sister, my son, daughter, and son- in-law - while we all work together for a family business we are also working to develop a multi-disciplinary group to be able to reach out to our veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and their families. We all want to be able to give back to the service members and their families who have given so much for us.

To all of you - "Old Corps," "New Corps." "Current," "Former," "Ex" - Thank God for the Marines! THANK YOU one and all !

One Appreciative Citizen in San Diego, California,

Carra Gilbride.

I'm afraid some feelings are going to be hurt in this old Corps, new Corps debate. It's a given all Marines WW ll and back are old Corps. They earned the pride and thanks of a grateful nation. Korea was a stalemate and Vietnam vets were the black sheep of the twentieth century. After Nam and all the military blunders produced buy our all knowing politicians the US was considered a paper tiger. Then the new bred stepped in kicked Azs and took names, restoring the respect not afforded to the Marines that fought with courage and honor in unpopular wars. I joined in 1968, had black shoes, a service number 24###38 and got my azs kicked by caring Drill Instructors trying to produce Marines that had a chance to stay alive in combat. 25 years from now the boots now in recruit training will be considered old Corps. It's very unlikely I'll be around then, guess when you are dead from old age you're considered old Corps but I thank the new Marines for restoring the respect that should have been afforded all of us!

Semper FI, William Whitley

And I Quote...

"The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments."
--George Washington

Dear Sgt. Grit,

I never served my country in the military but I, like millions of other Americans, deeply respect the sacrifices that our military men and women have made defending the United States; especially the Marines. I wanted to do something to show that respect.

Enduring Freedom Marine Memorial created by Michael Sublette I made the "Enduring Freedom Marine Memorial" to honor the 33 Arizona Marines that have paid the ultimate price in defending our liberty. The memorial lists each Marine lost in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom since 2003. It is an "enduring" memorial because, unfortunately, the lower panel is detachable so that other names may be added as difficult circumstances require. This will continue until our troops finally come home from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The tribute is made of solid Corain with the names laser engraved on each panel. The Field Cross (which was ordered from your company) is an appropriate, and beautiful, addition to honor all of these brave soldiers. This memorial is available for any of the 22 Arizona Marine Corps League Detachments to display at an appropriate event of their choosing.

The names on the memorial are not just "names"; they were real men, fathers, sons, brothers. They were Marines. I never want for any of them to be forgotten.


"Just An American"
Mesa, Arizona

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Date: 1/14/2010
Reason: I am not a Marine, h&ll I wouldn't make a pimple on a Marine's azs. I don't deserve to get your excellent newsletter and I gave your free catalog to a Marine co-worker. Thanks for all you and the other Marines have done for America. E. Ed xxxx, USN retired

This is in response to a letter written by Sgt Steven Ruttenberg about Beirut. Dear Brother Marine you honor the Beirut Marines with your tattoo or as we call them Memory Patch's. As a Beirut Marine I assure you I will share your story with the Beirut Veterans of America and the families of our fallen Brothers. The only thing I can offer you in return for the honor you've bestowed upon my fallen Brothers is a heartfelt SEMPER FI and a huge OOHRAH!
In Solidarity,

Alan D. (Big Al) Opra
Beirut Veterans of America/Life Member
Non-Commissioned Officers Association/Life Member Marine Corps League Detachment 154/Life Member Marine Corps Association/Member USMC 1981- 1986 Semper Fi

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And I Quote...

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."
--Abraham Lincoln

My mother-in-law is a former Marine, having served in WW2 from 1943-45. She was eventually promoted to the rank of sergeant. I, too, am a former Marine, having served from 1963-67, and I got out as an E5 sergeant.

Thinking about this while visiting Mom over Christmas, I started wondering if there was anyone else who shared this rather unique family relationship. So, are there any other son-in-law, mother- in-law relationships where both served and both reached the same rank?

Oh, yes, being a Marine did get me an in with her daughter and, no, she NEVER lets me forget she has time in grade on me.

Art Tarsa

Thank you Sgt Grit for the News-letter! It is always a pleasure to speak and meet another Marine! There is no "former Marine" only "once a Marine; always a Marine". Your newsletter brought back a few memories for me. Of course your service was of another era, however, what every "'era" it was it was gratifying to have served! I enlisted 3Feb47, Houston, Texas, boot in SDiego, duty with the old F Co, 6th Marines, Camp Pendleton, Of course the Corps was rebuilding after WW II, and the 6th became part of the 3rd Div. Korea 2/7 Sept, landed at Inchon w/E-2/7. Home Nov 51. as a Sgt, duty in Tulsa, Okla, married a beautiful lady, 45 yrs, died 12 yrs ago. I personally enjoy the Corps and even tho I am 80 yrs of age I wish I was still on active duty. Semper-Fi Marine. Keep the faith, and wish all the present Marines are healthy and doing their duty as all Marines do; they may be resentful with our government as I, but with no government, we would not have a country at all.
s/SgtMaj Brewster.

Marines' Hymn History

Ironically, no one knows who wrote the hymn, which was in widespread use by the mid-1800s. Col. A.S. McLemore, USMC, spent several years trying to identify the origin of the tune. In 1878 he told the leader of the Marine Band that the tune had been adopted from the comic opera Genevieve de Barbant, by Jaques Offenback. Yet, others believe the tune originated from a Spanish folk song. Whatever! Regardless of its origin, The Marines' Hymn has remained a revered icon of the United States Marine Corps for almost 200 years.

In 1929 The Marines' Hymn became the official hymn of the Corps. Thirteen years later in November 1942 the Commandant approved a change in the words of the first verse, fourth line. Because of the increasing use of aircraft in the Corps, the words were changed to "In the air, on land, and sea." No other changes have been made since that time.

The Few. The Proud.
Jerry D.

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And I Quote...

"War hath no fury like a non-combatant."
--Charles Edward Montague

I have been reading with great interest " Old Corps, New Corps " On my 17th birthday Jan 1962, I