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

Family Member        Men's        KABAR        AmericanCourage        Women's       

New Items

My Son Is A Marine Black T-Shirt
My Son Is A Marine Black T-Shirt

Wife 3in Decal
Wife 3" Decal

Infant Girl's Official Marine Daughter Pink Camo Romper
Infant Girl's Official Marine Daughter Pink Camo Romper

Infant's Marine In Training Camo Romper
Infant's Marine In Training Camo Romper

Infant's Camo Cutie Pink Onesie
Infant's Camo Cutie Pink Onesie

Women's Choose Your Family Member Assorted Colors Golf Shirt
Women's "Choose Your Family Member" Assorted Colors Golf Shirt

Proud Mom Coin
Proud Mom Coin

Marine Flag Fridge Magnet
Marine Flag Fridge Magnet

My Son is a Marine Auto Magnet
My Son is a Marine Auto Magnet

Liberty Mailbox Cover
Liberty Mailbox Cover

Nothing Meaner Green T-Shirt
Nothing Meaner Green T-Shirt

Choose Your Family Member Hat
"Choose Your Family Member" Hat

All Our New Items

News and Info

Keep Your Eyes Open

We're updating and improving New features and a new look will be coming soon and we're working on bringing you the best Marine Corps products and content on the web.

If we don't have it, Chesty wouldn't want it!

I have found an organization that unites veterans and their families and provides support for those in need. Members receive great benefits.
Check them out and become a member, I did.
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

Last Weekend for 4th of July Shirt

4th of July Shirts
Celebrate your freedom in this patriotic USMC shirt! This design is backed by the U.S. Constitution.

This is the last weekend to order so you cam receive it in time for your 4th of July gathering

Get your 4th of July Shirt!

AmericanCourage #227     27 MAY 2010

Josh's Recruit Graduation when we had our good friend, Sgt Chuck Taliano, present Josh with his coveted Rose Garden poster! Dear Sgt Grit,
I received the most dreaded phone call a family member of a serving Marine can get, this past Wednesday night.
I got the call from my friend Ed(SgtMaj USMCR Ret) that our boy Josh, Sgt Josh Desforges USMC had been killed in action earlier that day!

Anyways, one of his most prized possessions was his USMC K-Bar knife I had gotten from Sgt Grit, and was given to him before he left for Boot Camp!

Anyways, I wanted to share these photos of him with those so if they see his name online, or on TV, they know who he is. He was a good kid, and was a very good Young Marine and U S Marine NCO.

I am attaching 2 special photos of him.
1 is from his Recruit Graduation when we had our good friend, Sgt Chuck Taliano, present Josh with his coveted "Rose Garden" poster!

Westover Young Marine Birthday Ball in 2008 The other is from the Westover Young Marine Birthday Ball in 2008, when we created this photo of all of us with our coveted "Rose Garden" Posters.

I am attaching one of the cropped versions of that group photo, with Josh and I with our posters.

Of course now we have heard that Sgt T is very ill, and this adds to our sadness. I just wanted to share this, so Josh is not just another name on the news or in the paper!

S/F Kevin Jandreau

And I Quote...

"And this day shall be unto you for a memorial..."
--Exodus 12:14 KJV

Adopt a Marine: Not just for Christmas

Marines are out there in harm's way and we want to remember them all year! Send an Adopt a Marine package to a deployed Marine who may need a little Motivation! Do it now

Adopt a Marine

In This Issue...

It is Memorial Day Weekend. We, more than most, understand the sacrifice this "holiday" represents. Do something to remember the sacrifices. It doesn't have to be some big gesture. Just step away from the grill, set your beer down and ask everyone in the back yard to take a moment to reflect on what this weekend is about. Whatever you do, do something. The first four stories show us what it is about.

There is a summary of an article titled "Marinestan". I have a copy of it on the blog. I recommend you go read the entire article, it will make you proud to be a Marine. A mother reaches out for advice for her daughter. There are two funny car horn stories. And much more. Go to the Sgt Grit Blog

Enjoy the letter. I enjoy putting it together.
What a great job!

Fair winds and following seas.
Sgt Grit

You served and you survived - let the world know! Choose from 35 locations in Iraq, Vietnam, Stateside, and more... Get One

I Survived Shirt

We graduated from platoon 17 on 17 June 1950. SSgt R.G. Stock was the senior DI. My best friend in the platoon was Rowan D. "Spike" Atwwod. Spike was from the Los Angeles area and caught all the BS that goes with that, besides the fact that Spike had two left feet and seemed like he could not do anything right the first time.

One morning right after morning chow we had a rifle inspection and with all the "Move, Move, Move, ladies" the DI's were yelling at us, Spike fell out and when the DI inspected his M1 he was flabbergasted when he looked down the barrel an called the senior DI over and said private Atwood left the patch in the barrel. Spike popped up and said "Sir, I think you'll find the cleaning rod in there too." Needless to say Spike did some extra running that morning, holding the M1 out in front of his face in a horizontal attitude.

Spike's entire time in Boot camp was pretty much like that. One DI told him he would hate to be in combat alongside him.

I went home with Spike to Altadena California where his Dad was Chief of the Los Angeles Fire Dept. We spent a couple of party filled days there before I finished my boot leave at my home.

Upon returning from boot leave the Korean "police action" was in full swing and I never saw Spike again. He went to the 2nd of the Fifth at Pendleton. I reported to El Toro to the Black Sheep squadron, VMF 214.

The next I heard of Spike he had been posthumously awarded the Silver Star in action around Seoul on 25 September 1950. Part of his award reads "Repeatedly crossing an exposed ridge in the face of constant enemy machine-gun and small arms fire, Private First Class Atwood supplied needed ammunition to his own assault machine gun crew and, in addition, voluntarily provided ammunition for the gun of an adjacent friendly unit also under fire. On the following day while operating his gun in action against the enemy, he was fatally wounded by an enemy hand grenade."

You can't always tell how a person will do under fire while he is in boot camp.

William F. Mitchell 1126859/067566

MSgt Charles H Owens passed away April 28, 2010. He joined the Corps at the age of 14 in 1942 went thru several of the island landings in the Pacific before he reached his 16th birthday. He went to Korea and fought there and was wounded in each of the conflicts.

He retired from the Corps after 20 years and upon retiring told the Marine Corps his real date of birth. They made a pencil change in his records. He was then told that he was the second youngest to ever join the Marine Corps. He was recalled to duty during the Viet Nam war and served there before retiring again. He was a great Marine.

Lois Owens Pridemore (mother of his 4 children)

And I Quote...

"There is the finest body of troops in the world, those gallant Marines who are ever ready to devote themselves to the interests of their country."
--Benjamin Disraeli, Prime Minister of England, 1879

photo of SSGT Gene Richards after WWII My dad Gene S. Richards passed away Sunday May 9th in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was an Iwo Jima Marine and watched the second flag go up, participated in the occupation of Japan and was a drill instructor after the war at MCRD San Diego. In Nov. 1940 half of his boot camp platoon would later go to Wake Island.

At the graveside service, Marines from the Salt Lake City Marine Reserve Unit provided full military honors to include a U.S. Navy Sailor playing taps. Being a Marine also I was deeply touched by their presence. They were there to honor an old Marine they had never met or knew. They were there simply because he was a fellow Marine.

His tour of duty is now over. He is properly relieved. He will now report for duty at the Pearly Gates.

Semper Fidelis.

darkside Marines

Darkside Marines, Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion 4th Marines on patrol in Iraq.
Submitted to the Sgt Grit Facebook Fan Photos by Steven

An article recently appeared in our newspaper here in Pueblo, Colorado titled "Marine Corps In Crosshairs One More Time." I'm not going to reprint the whole story but it was interesting enough to open my eyes wide.

"Since WWII, the Marines have turned up almost anywhere that America finds itself in a jam against supposedly unconquerable enemies - in bloody places like Inchon and the Chosin Reservoir in Korea, at Hue and Khe Sanh during the Viet Nam War, at the two bloody sieges of Fallujah in Iraq, and now in Afghanistan."

"Their eccentric culture of self-regard so bothers our military planners that some higher-ups try either to curb their independence or end the Corps altogether."

"After the Pacific fighting, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson wanted to disband the Marine Corps. What good were Amphibious landings in the nuclear age? Johnson asked. His boss, President Harry Truman, didn't like the cocky Marines either."

"The U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, retire three-star Army General Karl W. Eikenberry, reportedly made a comment about there being 41 nations serving Afghanistan - and the 42nd composed of the Marine Corps. One unnamed Obama administration official was quoted as saying, "We have better operational coherence with virtually all of our NATO allies that we have with the U.S. Marine Corps."

This article was written by Victor Davis Hanson through the Tribune Media Services. My feeling is that everyone is extremely jealous of our Corps and can't accept the fact that we are "The Few and the Proud." Our Marines today carry on the fine tradition that has been handed down to them for generations. I, for one, am very proud to have served my God, my country and my Corps as an Atomic and Viet Nam Veteran.

Bob Eggert
L/Cpl 1931465 1960-1963

Note: See my blog for the entire article. Titled "Marinestan".

And I Quote...

"The deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle."
--Gen. John J. Pershing, US Army

Sgt Grit,

happy mom Last month Honor Flight flew 97 aging but vibrant WWII Vets from Madison Wisconsin to Washington, DC. to visit the WWII Memorial and return home in a one day blitz. This flight set the record for the most female WWII Vets on any flight in the history of the program, and it was noted that a vast majority of those women were WMs, or as they were called back then, WRs. Proud to say that my 86 year old Momma, Corporal Annette Howards, USMCWR, was standing front and center when the roll was called at the airport.

siblings Over 1200 family members and friends accompanied by Honor Guards, a Swing Band, Red Cross Donut Dollies, TV Reporters, and numerous VIPs turned out at the airport late that night to surprise and honor the 97 returning Vets. Marine family members clearly over-shadowed the families of the "other service members". By the time the celebration was over there wasn't a dry eye in the house.

Semper Fi to yesterday's WMs for stepping forward, standing tall, and paving the way for future generations of Women Marines.

Semper Fi to today's WMs for stepping forward, standing tall, upholding those past traditions and creating new traditions of their own.

Jeff Howards
Sgt of Marines


Your "Meeting the Enemy" letter from "Da Nang db" and his story about Mr. Oh, the retired Ha Noi policeman and NVA, sparks a dim light in my memory from about 10 or 12 years ago.

I was working for a major air carrier at SFO and there were two "roach coach" catering trucks that came by. One was operated by a Vietnamese family. I began talking with the boss one day, mentioning that I'd flown as a helicopter crew chief in Quang Tri. He told me he'd walked thru Quang Tri on his way south in 1971-72. He was an NVA army Lt.

We chatted off and on, and over time his story came out. He was disillusioned by the Party line after "we defeated" the Americans, and questioned orders to round up selected South Viet politicians, teachers, doctors, etc. He said he was eventually sent back north to a "re-education camp" for what amounted to an attitude adjustment. As soon as he got out he began planning his escape with his family to anywhere out of Nam. He eventually got to Laos and found was sponsored by a church group in the US.

He feels very lucky to be allowed to become an American citizen, and that his children would be growing up and educated in the US. He said the news in the North was so controlled by the state that nobody knew anything but what the government wanted them to know, and until he came to the US and saw all the different points of view on just about anything and everything he had no idea what a free society was really like.

There was also a young Viet I worked with who's family had worked for the government in Saigon. They made it to Vientiane, though his infant sister died on a trail in the jungle, and his mom got very sick. She died later in camp waiting for government processing. He turned 7 years old in that camp shortly before his family was moved to another, one of four moves. Eventually he, his father, brother and another sister managed to find sponsors and immigrate.

Your newsletters and ones from Patriot Post are the only ezines I read from 'cover to cover.' Thanks, and keep up the good work.

Bush (another db)

And I Quote...

"There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him."
--Robert Heinlein

I had a very interesting encounter yesterday here at the Sgt Grit Emporium of Amphibious Green Monster Gear...

Capt Kasold came in my store and asked to see me. After exchanging a few date and places it was obvious we served together. He was an AO (Arial Observer) and I was a radio operator. We stood FDC watches together. I showed him some Nam pictures which he enjoyed. He remembered things I didn't and I remembered things he didn't. Always nice to fill in where the memory falters. Which happens more and more. I have put a few feelers out to my comm plt buddies. Maybe it will stimulate a few stories. We made each other's day. What a great job I have.

Already have a few brief comments. One about fire missions on elephants. Yes we fired on elephants, they were used as pack animals. God almighty, I will hear from PETA now. But it helped save Marine lives.

Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

Each year I struggle to find just the "right" gift for my Retired Marine husband. (Retired 1978 after 24 years in the Corps) We have flags, door mats, mouse pads, car decals for both cars, T shirts, and the blanket I had to find something unusual......

Christmas 2009-was the best gift I ever found for him....I ordered the Car Horn that plays the Marines Hymn. He already had decals and stickers, so now we really are a recruiting vehicle. haha

He was so surprised when he opened the Marine Corps gift bag I ordered from Sgt. Grit.

We put the horn in the next day---the instructions said about a 15 minute installation. Not took us better part of 30 minutes. Then we tested it played loud and beautifully.

A couple of months ago, he found out that a group of Marines of all ranks-retired and active-meet in Pensacola at the Yacht Club for lunch the last Friday of each month. On his first visit he was the guest of Retired General "Jake" who does not drive much anymore because he is 87 years old. So my husband does all the driving back and forth to Pensacola from the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay. (nice area to live)

When they arrived, Herb pushed the remote and there amongst all those Marines-came the music they all love! They gathered around the truck and he had it play it 3 more times. What a hit the car horn was that day.

Marines' Hymn Musical Car Horn Only yesterday, we were driving and a truck with a Marine "SGTMJR" license plate came along side us. Herb flipped the remote into action and the whole intersection was filled with the music of the Hymn. The elderly man driving the pickup....gave a big thumbs up and waving out his window. What a smile he had on his face....made his day.

I honestly believe that is the best Christmas present I have ever given him. Thanks to SGT GRIT for a great selection of Marine stuff-and I do enjoy your newsletter.

Mary Ann, wife of Retired USMC Captain Herb Hinchliffe

And I Quote...

"The less government we have the better -- the fewer laws and the less confided power. The antidote to this abuse of formal government is the influence of private character, the growth of the individual."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

It was during the return humanitarian land mine project that a member of the Dong Ha village came up to us and told us "Thank you", for all that you did back then to help our people and for returning as well in helping us now".

When I made Sgt. E-5 up at Marine Bks G-Lakes NTC. It was April 1969!

Thank you.
Semper Fi
Gene T. Spanos
U.S.M.C. 66-71 Sgt.
Team Member - Director
Fmr U.S. Based NGO
11th Engineers-Vietnam Revisited, 89, Ltd [ closed ]

Sgt Grit
Several years ago I attended a 50 year reunion of the "Governors Marines" Parris Island Jan- April 1956 plt 25 It was held in Boston, since most of the plt was from the area. After all those years it was great reminiscing of all the stupid stuff we did and the "corrections" the DI's gave us. One of our jr DI's attended and we really had fun with that, although not everyone agreed. One of the guys said" why are you guys so nice to him I hated the p@#$^k"
Some of the wives attended and everyone enjoyed themselves.
Robert DiMartino 1584526 1956-1960

Sgt. T.

Rose Garden Poster I had the pleasure of meeting Sgt. T at the Parris Island Museum some years ago while attending the graduation of a cousin's son. After the graduation we went into the museum to look around and Sgt. T was working there. As I approached him I said, "I can't forget that face." He looked at me with the typical D.I. stern look and said, "were you one of my recruits?" Automatically, as in boot camp, my body became rigid and I responded, "no sir, I have your picture on the wall of my office back in Michigan." I told him that I had one of the original posters, "We don't promise you a rose garden" framed and on my office wall. Although I did not need the advise, he suggested I hang on to the poster. He graciously autographed one of the museum brochures for me and that brochure is a part of the framed poster.

That poster along with three others were sent to me in September 1971 just after I got out of the Marine Corps. My Gunnery Sergeant from Nam sent them to me trying to get me to return to the Corps. Gunnery Sergeant Samuel W. Dunn was my Gunny. Gunny passed away April 26th in South Carolina. I'll never forget our time in the Nam, introducing him to my mother, and two reunions in Danville, Virginia. I recently told his wife Esther that I couldn't call him Sam. He was my Gunny and would always be.

Rest well Marine, Semper Fidelis

Ken VanHooser
2484603, Cpl.
9/68 - 7/71

And I Quote...

"That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves."
--Thomas Jefferson

Sgt Grit: It is good to see that OK still has young men that want to be Marines. I enlisted in Okla. City June 14, 1948 with no idea what I was going to get into. Just knew that a friend had been on the islands in WWII and he was a person that I looked up to.

What a ride after 22 years retired. Went to places that I had never heard of. San Diego - boot camp; NS, MB, Treasure Island, San Francisco; Tent Camp, Camp Pendleton; 1st Armored Amphibian Bn, Korea; MCB Camp Lejeune; N C, 61st Special Infantry Company, Lexington, KY; MCSC, Barstow; MCSA, Philadelphia; 3rd Force Service Regiment, Okinawa; HQMC, Washington; back to MCSA, Phila; and finally ended at MSCS, Albany, GA.

Met a lot of great dedicated people along the way and a few that weren't so good. It was a great experience.
Don Rapier, USMC Retired.

On 16 May, the 1st Battalion 27th Marines Vietnam ERA 1968 represented by all 4 companies H&S, Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and Delta company had their Celebration Banquet Dinner in Dallas/Ft Worth Texas. MajGen Don Lynch gave the welcome to all the unit Marines present.

Among the Marines was a Sgt George Alden a member of 3rd Platoon Alpha Company, 1st Bn 27th Marines from the unit that made the landing in Iwo Jima in 1944. Sgt Alden was presented with a lithograph of the company Guidon that was with Alpha company in Vietnam. Sgt Alden a native of Ft Worth Texas Felt right at home with all the young Marines (60+ years of age) The lithograph was presented by Capt John Bolden, company commander of Alpha company and LT (Col. Ret) Roger Charles 3rd Platoon commander Vietnam.

All the Veterans present had an opportunity to talk to Sgt Alden as he knew GySgt John Basilone when Basilone was a member of the 27th Marines in Iwo Jima. The Battalion will gather again in San Diego in 2012. Among the attendees was Dr. Gary Jarvis, the author of the History of the 1st Bn 27th Marines "Young Blood" Dr. Jarvis presented every member of the BN attending a copy of the Book.

Felix Salmeron

And I Quote...

"It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world."
--George Washington

Dear Sgt Grit,

Many times I wanted to speak out about the touchy subject of PTSD. When the Vietnam Vets came home the VA didn't even recognize or admit it's existence. For years we Vets suffered from unexplained symptoms. Like us, some of today's warriors also suffer but are reluctant to seek help in fear of ridicule and the stigma associated with it. With treatment these men and women can be helped or they can wait and hear the words my doctor said to me in 2004 "There is nothing more we can do".

If you as a veteran suspect there could be a problem seek help don't wait if the VA can't or won't help seek a professional outside the system. If you don't believe me maybe you can believe the Hero's in this link!

Medal of Honor--Speak Out!

Semper Fi, William

Blue Star Mothers Golf tournament in TX

WHEN: August 16, 2010--9am
Shotgun Start Registration at 7am-Range open at 7:am
Where: Clubs of Kingwood
1700 Lake Kingwood Trail Kingwood, TX 77339
(281) 358-2171

Sgt Grit,

My son graduated from Parris Island September 11, 2009, and I am a very proud Marine Mom he is now stationed at 8th and I in Washington DC. My daughter who at this time is sixteen has been talking about going into the Marines for the last year. When I ask her why her answer is I want to me more than a college kid, I want to look back and be proud of my life (how can I fight with that).

I just want to know if there are any Marine Mom's of young women who can tell me how they handled this, or please let me hear from some women Marines. I know my daughter can handle the pressure she is extremely athletic and will never back down, but she wants to go just like her brother, straight from high school right to Parris Island, no college. Please Mom's and women Marines give me some help!

April - Proud Marine Mom

And I Quote...

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

As the Memorial day weekend approaches I was thinking about last year when I purchased my U.S.M.C. car horn.

I belong to a Corvette Club and many of us attend parades showing off our car's. Having a Red vette with a state issued veterans plate Marine Emblem (Of Course) Flags and so on I said I need the HORN.

I found a place in the engine area for the horn and mounted it and put my remote in the glove box, told my wife I had to gas up and get our morning coffee's any excuse to go for a ride. I went out and started the car and wow my horn starts to play the hymn. I grab the remote and shut it off not wanting to wake up the neighbors. I get to gas station and fueled up and started the car and again the horn starts playing, I look around and other customers are now saluting me, I grab the remote and shut it off wondering there is no wiring so what could I have done ? I left with all waving to me. Now I head for the coffee shop and get our coffee and go out and start my car, yup you guessed it, the horn is beeping out our tune. People are looking out the windows smiling and waving good bye as I left.

I decided I better get home and look at the horns paper work, I did and it stated any person can install this horn as it has two wires with clips, pos and neg and a remote. I finally figure that it had to be the frequency of my cars starting system and the remote so off to radio shack and got a 7 amp 12 volt house alarm battery and put that to power my Marine Corps Horn and placed this behind my seat with speaker facing up and off to the parade and had a great day beeping out the Hymn along the parade route .

I had a number of people asking where I got the horn giving them your website. Hope you enjoy my little story, D. Burns 65-69 USMC

Note: With the small 12 volt battery my horn is now portable to take to parties etc, yes after reading the horns paper work it stated this could be done. I should have read the directions to the end.

I'd like to relate something that happened to me this past week. I was in a grocery store here in St. Petersburg Fla and noticed an older gentleman walking with a cane and a decidedly noticeable limp. On his head was a red and gold Marine Corps hat with a 2nd Marine Raider pin. I stopped him and talked to him and his wife when he told me that he was with Edson's Raiders on Bloody Ridge. I was close to tears in awe and thanked him for what he had done and wished him and his wife many more years together.

Later that same day I stopped for lunch and again an older Marine with his red and gold "Once a Marine always a Marine" hat on came into the restaurant. He was with his daughter, I stopped them and asked if I could buy their lunch, which they accepted very gratefully. His daughter told me her father had landed on Iwo, and Tinian. Again I was humbled in a heroes presence.

Another patron said I did a "nice thing" but I told him it was just one Marine paying homage to another. I am always brought to tears with pride when I hear the National Anthem, the Marine Corps Hymn, and these Marines who shaped the Corps we served. God bless them and our Corps, Semper Fi.

Sgt. Ron Kuruc 70-78 K/3/7

And I Quote...

"But where say some is the King of America? I'll tell you Friend, he reigns above, and doth not make havoc of mankind...Let it be brought forth placed on the divine law, the word of God; let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know...that in America THE LAW IS KING."
--Thomas Paine

Sgt. Grit,

Richard J. Mullin answered Andy Anderson's question about why the Korean "war" was called a "conflict" ("or police action"). Correct and well stated but went too far when he said, "FDR went before Congress to declare war on Japan and then Germany." "And then Germany" is not quite accurate. Yes, I know I am being really picky.

Here is the scenario: At 7:55 AM, Honolulu time, December 7, 1941, Japanese aircraft bombed the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor. The next day, President Roosevelt asked Congress for a declaration of war against Japan.

Just three days after the U.S. declared war on Japan, Hitler and Mussolini, following the terms of a treaty with Japan, signed in 1940, declared war on the United States.

Skip ahead three years and five months: On May 7, 1945, General Jodl, Hitler's heir in authority, signed the unconditional surrender of Germany at General Eisenhower's headquarters.

V-E Day (Victory in Europe) is May 8, 1945.
On August 10, 1945, Tokyo sued for peace. September 2, 1945, formal surrender ceremonies were conducted in Tokyo Bay on the Battleship Missouri, with General MacArthur accepting for the United States.

V-J Day (Victory in Japan) is August 10, 1945.
What may not immediately jump out at you is that the U.S. was at war with Japan before we were with Germany. Then we ended the war with Germany before we did with Japan. So we were actually at war with Japan three-plus months longer than we were with Germany. The perception generally is that we were at war with Germany much longer than with Japan because the war in Europe began in 1938.

This is not meant in any way to be disrespectful of Mr. Mullin of Mr. Anderson. It's great to see folks interested in getting history right. As a history teacher for 30 years I was compelled to try and set the info straight. Well, I hope I did anyway. And if not, someone will correct my entry.

I also agree with Mr. Mullin that the U.S. presidents, since FDR, are many times operating outside of the intent of the Constitution.

K.L. "Rip" Stephens, Cpl of Marines, 1956-1963

And I Quote...

"One of the sad signs of our times is that we have demonized those who produce, subsidized those who refuse to produce, and canonized those who complain."
--Thomas Sowell, Economist, author, USMC-Korea

I read your recent newsletter and the letter that J D Gwiazdon wrote on the 1st Marine Division Patch History. Here is some more story of the origin of the patch. What I wrote below is straight from "The Old Breed: A History of the 1st Marine Division in WWII" It comes from Chapter 12 page 143.

"They sat in facing bucket seats, between them the litter of packs, seabags, typewriters, briefcases - the kinds of things that staff officers would necessarily bring out of battle.

General Vandegrift had begun to be a little bored with the monotony of the long plane ride. "Twining" he said, "what are you doing?"

Twining, full colonel and division operations officer, handed Vandegrift a sketch. It was on overlay paper.

"An idea I had for a shoulder patch," said Twining. "The stars are the southern cross."

Vandegrift looked at it for a moment, scribbled something on it, and handed it back to Twining who saw the word, "Approved," with initials "A.A.V."

That had been on the ride from Guadalcanal to Brisbane. Because the first few days in Australia were hectic, Twining did nothing else about the patch until one morning he was called to Vandegrift's quarters.

"Well, Twining, where's your patch?" Vandegrift asked, to the discomfort of Twining.

"I bought a box of water colors," Twining says in recalling the incident, "and turned in with malaria. I made six sketches, each with a different color scheme. In a couple of days I went back to the General with my finished drawings. He studied them only a minute or so and then approved the one that is now the Division patch."

Twining knew there was more to his mission.

He placed an order for a hundred thousand with the Australian subsidiary of an American woven name manufacturer although money was one of the things the Division did not have when it arrived in Australia.

"I convinced the Army PX people that they should supply credit until our outfit should get some folding money," Twining remarks.

The patches went on sale in February, three weeks after Vandegrift approved Twinings design."

And now you know a little more to the story.

In my research I hadn't heard the part about the patches being worn on the right arm as a symbol of those who served on Guadalcanal. But I have read that there were no regulations as to how to wear the patch and thus the mixture of right and left. Now I do you see 1st Mar Div patches that have a red felt border added to it, this was to show that the wearer had seen combat with the 1st Mar Div.

Always happy to share some information.

M.G. Kirby

To: Sgt. Grit - Editor in Chief

Hello! My name is Debbie Blankenship. The pictures that I have attached all started with "our Marine". My son, LCpl. Ryan Blankenship, joined the Marines in December 2007. He was deployed to Afghanistan in December 2009 and will be returning home in July. When he made his decision to join and put his life on the line for the sake of our country's freedom, we as a family stood behind him. And so began our family's "Military Wall of Recognition".

Closeup of LCpl Blankenship's graduation photo View of Military Wall of Recognition

The wall began with our son but has grown to include not only Marines, but any/every branch of the U.S. Military. That wall is the very first thing that you see when you come into our home. We want to make sure that it is clearly understood that we support our U.S. Military and stand behind them no matter what. We would like to thank Sgt. Grit for allowing us to show our support with your merchandise. My family would also like to thank each and every member of our U.S. Military for their service.

Debbie Blankenship

Note: I like that Editor in Chief title. Now I will have to learn to spell. Like many of you have pointed out. If spell check can't find it, I sure can't.
Sgt Grit

Good Afternoon Sgt Grit;

I wanted to respond to the question "What Makes A Marine Do The Things They do?"

I recently read an article that refers to this very question. This comes from men who were awarded the "Medal Of Honor", who best to answer such a question, I am sure you will find these statements dead on!

They were all dead men who refused to die!
Out numbered by the enemy, they risked everything to save the Marines around them, some succeeded and some didn't.
They are heroes, and they have the hardware to prove it. Most were awarded posthumously. It is where we get the phrase, "All gave some, but some gave all".
All of these men tested so severely in combat, were simply ordinary Americans before their wars, and after. And they can tell us a great deal about what makes a hero.
"Everybody has the ability to be a hero, whether it's a young child that saves a family from a fire or whether it's a gentleman that sees a motorist in distress and stops to assist", says one Medal of Honor recipient.
"It's a spark, and everybody has got that spark ready to ignite within them, the ability to be a hero".
But even under less dramatic circumstances, a crisis can force a choice upon any one of us: Will we act as a hero or coward? Will we do right or wrong?
The difference between somebody that does what needs to be done at the risk of their own life and somebody that looks at it and turns the other way and runs, the difference is a split second. Marines do not go to combat and die for their country. They are trained to make the other son-of-a-b-tch on the other side to die for his!
Marines fight for freedom, despite their fears of experiencing combat for the first time or not, it never matters, there are fears which is not uncommon nor is it a persona of an individual who fears death.
They will do brave things on a battle field despite those fears because they believe in freedom so deeply not only for themselves, but for their children and children's children. I believe what happens is you just rapidly do an evaluation of good versus evil, what's right and what's wrong.
Read the citations of "Medal of Honor" recipients, most commonly you'll hear of the Marine who suddenly, saw an enemy grenade land in the midst of fellow Marines. Unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his personal safety, he reached out, grasped the grenade, pulled it to his chest and curled around it as it went off. His body absorbed the major force of the explosion in order to save his fellow Marines, or disregarding his safety in the face of withering hostile fire to cross exposed terrain perhaps more than once to save his fellow Marines.
Marines die for their buddies, so that they may return home. It is this split decisions that makes heroes. It is doing the right thing at the right time despite any thought of risking their own life, but to save their buddies.
Something inexplicable happened to these heroes in their critical moments, in other words, but they insist you don't need to reach such exalted heights to partake in the nobility of a great act. Nor need heroism hinge on a single incident.

Thank you Sir,

Respectfully submitted,

Mike Angelo
GySgt USMC (Ret)

And I Quote...

"Information is the currency of democracy."
--Thomas Jefferson

Marine Corps Watch with Black Face & Stainless Steel Strap
Marine Corps Watch with Black Face & Stainless Steel Strap

Marine Corps Watch with Red Face & Leather/Nylon Strap
Marine Corps Watch with Red Face & Leather/Nylon Strap

God Bless America!
God Bless those brave warriors who have gone before us.
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit