AmericanCourage #238 28 OCT 2010
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Does anyone remember?
Steak and eggs. A piece of Rump Steak and the eggs were either sunny side up or scrambled to go with the steak. Butter. Little round balls, about 3/4" in diameter and a couple of rolls. Cost of this bit of feasting? Two & six (two shillings six pence) or in American money, forty cents. Liberty was in Wellington, the nearest large city.
While on Efete Island, in the New Hebrides group, where the Navy had Mobile Hospital #2 (Mob 2) there was a shipment of FLAG Beer, in quarts. There was a line a mile long to get one bottle of beer. I went through that line twice. Nobody got sauced. That beer was Near Beer. Cost of this quart of FLAG BEER from New Zealand? Twenty five cents.
Oh yes. When I went thru Boot Camp on P.I. we were issued shoes. Grab a couple of 35# weights and stand on a "Foot Measuring thing". I would be wearing a 6-1/2 size shoe in civie life but here they issued me a size 5-1/2, "F" width. Everybody else got those rubber soled shoes but I got "Per-War" issue. leather soles & heels with a horse shoe cleat on the heel. Those shoes were almost square due to the size, length and width. Even the D.I. was re-issued. He was called in from retirement.
Arlington. W. Kirk - 372415
The hitch covers may be the most sought after item in your catalog. I have ordered three in the last year. I received it yesterday. I am afraid to go anywhere because so many people want one that they take it off of my truck!
In This Issue
Camel spiders, outstanding tattoo, Brute (not the cologne), Jack Webb, brawling shooting cavorting, other side of the grinder, next to the runway, "old" computer art, o'l Doc whining, it's Chesty Puller, 40 cent breakfast.
My daughter just called me. She has moved to Washington DC. She and her husband are looking for an apartment and she just had to call and let me know they just looked at one within a block of 8th & I. She could hear the band practicing and the cannons firing. Nice to hear she's pleased about it, unlike some I am sure complain about the "noise".
On the Sgt Grit Blog, I have started posting more content per day. I have gone back to 1999 and 2000 and using some of those stories from past newsletters, as well as some other new wrinkles. The Sgt Grit Facebook is now over 60,000 'friends'. That still just amazes me.
Fair winds and following seas.
I am a retired Marine. I bought my wife a yellow lab puppy and after going through all the names we could think of everything from Chesty, to Devil Dog, Sarge, and various others my wife said, why not name him after your rate? Corporal?? And it stuck!
We are customers of Sgt. Grit and. I had previously purchased a "Corporal of Marines" shirt with his rate logo on the front. We decided to put the over-sized shirt on and my wife snapped this picture. It has become a fave around family and friends.
Hope you all enjoy it too.
Cpl. Craig Gray
3/8 Lima 1st platoon
The Ford Ranger I bought had a hideously large Ford oval on the tailgate. I cured this flaw with a Sgt Grit automotive emblem. It was primed, painted and clear coated. It gets a lot of double takes and I have had a number of people ask me if it is a special edition put out by Ford.
Here is a photo of my son, PFC Nathan Fremen of Plt. 2102 MCRD San Diego with his freshly inked Tat. It has along with the Devil Dog, the EGA, and of course, Semper Fidelis, it reads, "The More we Sweat in Peace", "the Less we Bleed in War"_.We also had a mini reunion of MWSS 373 Devil Dogs from Desert Storm attending his Graduation!
My old Marine Buddies and I had a Great Time! My son is a second Generation Marine with two Marine Cousins, a Marine uncle and a very good friend who is also in the Corps! Like his tattoo says, "a Family Tradition"..Feel free to share with your readers! Thanks and Semper Fi!
"Have a Safe and Blessed Day"
Warren J. Fremen
Where else can you spend the day hanging out with a Marine who landed on Iwo Jima, a soldier who fought in the Battle of the Bulge, a seaman who survived Pearl Harbor and a pilot who flew 112 combat missions in Europe and earned the Distinguished Flying Cross?!
www.HonorFlightLongIsland.org gave me that chance. Check out the website to see what it's all about. On this day, I had the honor of escorting Harry S., veteran of Iwo Jima, to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. and the Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington.
And I Quote...
"Panic sweeps my men when they face the American Marines."
--[captured North Korean Major, Korea 1951]
Sgt. Grit, I recognize that Gen Krulak only received 78 votes, but had more Marines read "First to Fight" perhaps they would understand and comprehend how much value Gen. Krulak has in assuring that we still have a Marine Corps. There was and continues today an undercurrent in Washington to absorb the "Corps" into the other services. We need a "Brute" today to fight for the Corps's survival at the highest levels. The current conflicts do nothing to further the need for the Marines as an air, land and sea fighting force. The politicos see only the ground issue and believe a military force such as the Marines are redundant in the effort.
Anyway, thank you again for the forum.
Dwaine Goodwin. Cpl
Sarge, I hope this email gets to you personally. I have the real deal on taking the scarlet & gold to the gridiron. MSgt Arthur R McWhinney #13 USMC football team out of Quantico 1928-19-29. He was my dad. I have his uniform and I'll be sending it and his football pix and mementos to Parris Island. He was a bugler at PI then was drafted to play football for the Marines.
In off season he was one of the original Horse Marines chasing General Sandino in the mountains of Nicaragua. He also served on one of the first aircraft carriers USS Cleveland Biplanes and all.
I am sending those pix as well to PI. He used to tell me how the carrier had wooden decks and the ship would stop at various beaches to pick up sand to scrub the decks by hand with. He retired after 30 yrs as MSgt but he would have been an E9.
He was a great dad but he knew how to command respect and respect was what he received. The Marine museum at PI will display his various mementos and pix. Just wanted you to know that there is still a real Marine Corps out there. By the way I married a Marine.
Semper FI all the way! Patricia McWhinney Smith
A Young Marine posted his review of our new catalog on YouTube: See his take
Get your own Sgt Grit catalog
Sgt Grit & fellow Marines:
Like most everyone, I firmly believe I had the best DI's and training of anyone. The senior DI of honor platoon 244 MCRD San Diego Jul-Sept 1961 was SSgt W.G. Gouthro, who was demanding, tough and mean. But, he brought out the best in us and made us Marines.
Midway through our 12 weeks at boot camp, we would look at the chain-link fence between MCRD and Rosecrans Blvd and Lindberg Field, and realize that the fence was not there to keep us in, but to keep those candy a** civilians out!
To back up my contention about SSgt Gouthro, two things give testimony:
1. He was praised as a fellow DI by SgtMaj. Maurice Jacques in his book "Sgt. Major, U.S. Marines"
2. When we went to Camp Matthews for firing (M-1's), there were about 6 of us who were close to not qualifying. One afternoon after chow, he called us out and ran us out to one of the ranges. I thought we would be the recipients of some 'hands on training', but instead, he worked with us individually on our marksmanship. "Keep the front sight blade under the bulls eye, and center it in the rear sight aperture, .'
Thanks to his hard work and instruction, I score two points away from rifle expert the following qual day. My best yard line was always the 500. In all my future firing for qualification, I always did very well, thanks to him.
SSgt. D.A. Williams
And I Quote...
"The Japanese Commandant had boasted 'One million men cannot take Tarawa in one hundred years'... 5,600 Marines took the island in three days."
Seeing the picture and story 1st Sgt. Holman sent in of his wife and Bruce Willis reminded me of the day Jack Webb blessed me by cussing at me! It was during the filming of the 2-hour pilot for the "O'Hara, U.S. Treasury" TV series in 1971. I was with the F4B Phantom squadron, VMFAT-101, at the MCAS Yuma gunnery range. Basically, the plot was that David Jenson (O'Hara) was to climb in one of F4s and go after drug dealers out in the desert . He of course caught them with the help of America's 911!
The cussing came in when Jack Webb was returning to the trailer parked beside our hanger from the end of the runway after shooting our Phantom and Jenson taking off. There was a gaggle of enlisted men and officers watching the action when his jeep pulled up beside us. Nobody wanted to be first to ask for an autograph so I did! I handed him a piece of paper and a pen and politely asked for his autograph. He yanked both out of my hand and started to write but the pen got scared and froze up! Jack Webb shoved the pen back at me and barked, "Your g..d.. pen doesn't write!" I was starting to stutter when a captain in line behind me said, "Here corporal you can use mine". I got the autograph, thanked him and turned to see ten more Marines in the line I had started!
After Jenson got his ride in the F4 he came back to his trailer and I thought, why not! Well, he was too quick for me and got in the make-up chair to have his make-up taken off. When his make-up artist got through he quickly got into his trailer and popped a Coors. As soon as the make-up artist left I went up to the trash can by his chair and got the tissues with his make-up on them! There was no eBay then so I sent them and the autograph to my then fiance' back home. Wish now I had kept them cause she turned out to be my first ex-wife!
"All my ex's live in Texas!"
Semper Fi from Texas
Cpl. David S. Martinez
1967 - 1971
Note: We now have Jack Webb in the famous movie: The D.I.
I lost my only son, who was not a Marine, but had the courage and spirit of one. He lived in Oceanside with his wife and two daughters. When He died his friends petitioned the Town fathers to allow them to place a cement bench with a brass plaque in his honor to be placed on the beach. It rests in a small garden at the foot of steps on the beach very near the Pier.
Someone sent the following prayer, having lived with Sioux Indians for two years when I was a young boy I would like to share it and dedicate it to all who served in the Corps.
Sgt. William P. Schmal ( 46' 47' 48' 49' - 50' Korea 51'
1st Marine Division
Prayer For A Fallen Warrior
Do not Stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow;
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on a ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft star that shines at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there. I did not die.
Anonymous American Indian
Good morning. Let me introduce you to Matthew Wichser, my cousin's grandson and a future Marine. Matthew is dressed for mess night in his favorite dress blues bib bought from Sgt. Grit's. Matthew has the "Gunny look" so I think he's going to be a Drill Instructor and career Marine. Matthew's dad, Mark Wichser, is a combat vet with two tours in Iraq. He's an all around nice guy and Matthew is lucky to have him as his daddy.
Forged on the anvil of discipline.
The Few. The Proud.
I served in the United States Navy after graduating High school in 1949, and served 8 yrs but I find your web site most amusing and helps me pass my time now that I am in assisted living . I find other peoples stories very inspiring and very helpful to myself Thanks and GOD bless all that served this great country and all the young that are now serving and protecting this Great Nation of all of us.
Thanks Dick Sullivan
And I Quote...
"Public affairs go on pretty much as usual: perpetual chicanery and rather more personal abuse than there used to be."
I don't know if your newsletter has told everyone yet or not about the 10% discount that Lowes & Home Depot gives to veterans. They don't advertise that they give the discount... you have to ask when checking out.
I just show my old ID card that I received the day that I left active duty & the manager comes over and approves the discount and thanks me for my service.
If you haven't spread the word, maybe you can do that in one of your future issues.
SEMPER FI. Jesse P. Pratt (1972-1976 USMC AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER)
I was in the MARINES from 8-10-1965--6-1-1969. PLT 260 PI Vietnam June 1967--Aug. 1968
My brother was drafted into the Army in 1968. He was not going to Vietnam. We had a long talk and he decided to go. He was awarded the :: Silver Star, 2 Bronze Stars, 2 purple Hearts and several more citations.
What would he have done if HE WAS a MARINE. He was 5' 11" and about 150 lbs. He is one of my great HEROS!
And I Quote...
"Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker."
Poor Choice of Words:
Choo Choo , wrote in reference to my post "Drill Instructors Forgiven" and he is correct. They needed no forgiveness because of them I can write this today. Our Senior is now in a new duty station and is missed by all. I saw another just as I returned and he was headed for Nam 1970 we sat and shot the sh_t for awhile. The title of the post was a prelude to the end of my story and it was a poor choice of words! There is no forgiveness for our PMI it was pure enjoyment that motivated him in his actions and it's cost were recruits being hospitalized and others not fit for duty. This was totally unacceptable at anytime in Marine Corps history his actions further delayed much needed replacements for the war.
China Marine Reunion Chattanooga:
I too attended the reunion. Was so impressed with the way it was conducted. We are losing too many members due to our age. I am 84 years old. But still holding on. The Memorial Service was especially beautiful. Looking forward to next year's reunion in Quantico, Va.
October 16 marks the 190th anniversary of the cashiering of Lieutenant Colonel Commandant Anthony Wayne Gale, our fourth Commandant, from the Marine Corps. Lieutenant Colonel Gale left a legacy of brawling, shooting a Navy officer, public drunkenness, cavorting with ladies of questionable moral fiber, and the commission of several other specifications under the charge of "conduct unbecoming an officer."
While some may say his activities on liberty are certainly not appropriate in today's society of political correctness, I, and I suspect many of us, can't help but admire his thirst for adventure. I would go so far as to suggest that many of us could be similarly indicted for some of our own youthful indiscretions.
Therefore, I ask that you pause for a moment today to remember Lieutenant Colonel Commandant Gale and join me for a toast as I drink to his honor. His biography follows. I'll bet he was fun on liberty!
Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Wayne Gale
Fourth Commandant of the Marine Corps
Full description of Lt Col. Gale's exploits on the Sgt Grit Blog.
And I Quote...
"[T]here is a degree of depravity in mankind which requires a certain degree of circumspection and distrust."
Karen Voigt hosted the 6th Annul Injured Marine Golf Benefit of Newport Beach. Sgt. Grit made his presence and appreciation know by sending a large box of Marine shirt, stickers and service pins. American Legion Master of Ceremony took great pride and appreciation in auctioning off items to add to the total of funds donated to our Marines. A few, though very few, did know about Sgt. Grit. They do now.
After out bidding everyone for the golf bag & clubs; Mearlene went after the Sgt. Grit prizes. Everyone left happy. Her Son MIGHT get the Clubs if she doesn't keep them.
Sgt. Grit made sure the box was full. He went all out and gave the perfect things to benefit the most.
1st Sgt Russell (Dusty Diamond) Weisse makes this report with great pride in his fellow Marines.
Dusty Diamond Out
The Quonset Hut picture submitted from MCRD San Diego sure brought back memories. I went to boot camp there on Nov. 8, 1965 as part of Platoon 2017. When our orders for assignment after boot camp were divulged at the end, I was informed I would be returning to MCRD San Diego for Radio/Telegraph Operator school. Needless to say I envisioned coming back to those Quonset Huts and was not a happy camper.
Obviously I found out upon my return to MCRD after ITR and leave, that there was a whole new world on the other side of that grinder. Our class was not going to start for a few weeks so I was assigned to help on another project. Due to the massive build up of the Corps during this period, boot camp was expanding way beyond the capacity of the old Quonset Huts.
I helped to build and erect hundreds of GP tents over framed decks and bulkheads for new recruits to live in. I would wager they would have preferred the Quonset Huts. Long story short, I survived four months of listening to dit-dah-dit and moved on. I decided to make the Corps my career and retired in September 1986. Semper Fi to those who have served or currently serve in our beloved Corps.
MSgt USMC (Ret)
I'm a 53-56 Marine and have written couple of times before...Have a red USMC hat with Former Crew Member USS Wisconsin BB64, wear all the time, get comments from more Marines than they have active now..Last week in grocery, another older gentleman said "Semper Fi" I replied "same to you" as I'm still at a loss how to start a conversation after the sf greeting...He said he was called "Scotty" and was a Marine sniper in WW2, went through the pacific islands etc...Until it happens to you there is no feeling that can express such a meeting. He was 87 and I'm a mere 75 but we stood and talked so long my legs got tired...Can't beat things like that...
Sgt Wackerly 1409520...
Saw the mention of Ira Hayes and a movie about him. Less than ten years after I left active duty in the Marine Corps (1958), I had become an executive in the record business. I got to know the late Johnny Cash very well. He had great respect for Ira Hayes, about whom he wrote and recorded an excellent song.
1st Lt (active duty 1956-1958).
In response to Sgt. Robert D. Gordon's pictures of the San Diego Quonset Huts. I went through MCRD SD Boot Camp in 1965, Third Bn. I was billeted in those huts. I too wiped them down with sand. They had no heaters, which would have been fine in the summer but I went through Boot Camp in the winter. I would sleep with my utilities and field jackets on, everything except my boots, and it was still very cold.
They were right next to the runway of the San Diego International Airport. I would hear the planes taking off and landing all night. As everyone knows who went through Marine Corps Boot Camp, there is never enough sleep, added to that the cold and the airport noise things were pretty miserable. But, the up side is I made it through, earned my EGA and went to Viet Nam. Thank you Sgt. Gordon for the chilling trip down memory lane.
Sgt. Robert Treitler
Subject: USMC BIRTHDAY
In 1969, as a young Marine, I was stationed in a CommCenter on Okinawa (3rdFSR) and we composed and sent this out to a slug of military installations. I decided to reproduce it and put it up hoping maybe someone remembers it or even better, is listed on it. If so, I'd sure like to hear from ya.
Charles Struble strube1369 @ yahoo .com
Chuck Struble (Retired)
Amateur everything else I try to do...
When I was in the Corps 1963-1974, an Old Corps Marine was a China Marine or earlier. What is the definition now?
I had a ringtone that was a Muslim calling to prayer, a rifle shot and the national anthem. Lost it cannot find it. Can anyone find it?
I hope this doesn't sound like O'l Doc whining but this former ( if there is such an animal ) FMF Corpsman would love to see more Items related to us in the catalog. There are a ton of us HM's that have claimed the Corps for our own and are desperate for a little recognition.
When I speak of my military service it is always "I was a Navy Corpsman with the Marines", never just "I was a Navy Corpsman". My brother in-law and I are both Registered Nurses and both former 8404's. 8404 for life as we say.
My father is a retired Marine SgtMaj and was o.k. with my joining the Navy knowing I was going to be a "Devil Doc". For Christmas before I went to Boot Camp he gave me a copy of "the essential subject". I still have it to this day. If you are wondering what kind of thing might trip our triggers just e-mail me back and I could give you a list that would make any "Doc" pop tall. I'm proud of my Naval service, but most proud of my service to "The Corps".
Michael E. Wahoff, RN
I keep hearing Marines comparing the "Old Corps" and the "New Corps". How 'bout we do it this way? In a way that is totally fair, and was decided by the Corps.
How about, those Marines that were ASSIGNED a Service Number will be the Old Corps, and those that used their Social Security Number as their Service Number can be the New Corps? Totally arbitrary and fair to each and every Marine.
Can't be any more fair than that.
Respectfully submitted by Chuck Brewer, Sergeant of the "Old Corps Marines" Ha!
OOHRAH! Let's hear it for "OUR CORPS"!
During one of my oldest son's three deployments to Iraq, he was bitten by a Camel Spider. The Camel Spider got into his bedroll and bit him while he was sleeping. It did not wake him up. He wasn't even aware that he had been bitten. He woke up to a large lump on his arm. Then while out on maneuvers, the cyst-like area ruptured open.
He was then sent on to the nearest MASH Unit, which was in Kuwait. They dug everything out (puss & ??) then packed it with gauze, put him on a strong round of antibiotics with instructions to re-pack the site several times a day. The area was too large for them to stitch shut. They claimed that it would cause an air pocket under the skin. So it had to be allowed to heal from the inside - out! It seems to have healed pretty well, leaving a small scar about the size of a penny.
My son's arm can now be seen at www.camelspiders.net (I sent the pictures to them.)
Here are some pictures that one of the MASH doctors took:
And I Quote...
"The ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy."
"Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."
--Declaration of Independence, 1776
I recently caught a 12 year old kid stealing bumper stickers off my car. Yeah-Sgt. Grit Stickers. I had seen a couple the day before with edges coming up and thought it was odd they were peeling. Instead of shooting the little thief, I took him to his parents. On the way over to his home he told me he was stealing them because he wanted to be a Marine. I gently explained to him that if he kept stealing things from old women he might not live to be old enough to be a Marine and MARINES DON'T STEAL other people's things!
I just finished an order of more bumper stickers, because I still needed a few more things to put in the Christmas baskets I make for some old Marines I torture.
Happy Birthday Marines!
an Old WAC
This letter is in response to Tom Harleman, USMC 1970-1999. regarding duty at Marine Barracks, USNWS, Yorktown, Va. From Earl Morris, USMC
1958-1981 duty at Marine Barracks, USNWS, Yorktown, Va. It was July or August of 1958, when I reported into the Barracks. There was much activity, and as I was climbing the stairwell, a Cpl E-3 told me not unpack my seabag, because I was shipping out to Lebanon.
Needless to say, a cold chill ran down my spine. As it turned out, they took several volunteers from the 2d Platoon and we were their replacements. The 2d Platoon turned out to be the @#%*bird Platoon and, this was where I was assigned. Our Platoon Sergeant, a crusty Staff Sergeant(E-5), was a Veteran of the "China Service", and "The Frozen Chosen". Highly decorated with The Navy Cross, Silver Star w/2Gold Stars, Bronze Star, Purple Heart w3Gold Stars, and numerous campaign ribbons. Not forgetting to mention that on the day he retired, he wore his greens, and over his shoulder and across his chest was this bright multi-colored sash with gold medallion. I was told that it represented the highest military award The Nationalist Chinese Government awarded to military advisors. I recall that someone said he was with the famous Col Carlson, of "Gung Ho" fame. He was battle scared and carried a "steel plate" in his head as a result of the many campaigns he had fought in.
The platoon was comprised of many Veterans of Chesty's 7th Marines. From Cpl(3) to LtCol, many had served with Chesty at The Frozen Chosen. I recall one day while we were cleaning up the squad bay, someone yelled, it's Chesty Puller!. One of the Cpl(3) yells out the window, "Hey Chesty"! The General looked up and responded, "Hey Tom, How's it going"! Much to the chagrin of Colonel Caufield and the Sergeant Major.
And, then there was Cpl(E-3) Jones. The only Marine to raise Colors upside down, not once but twice. The first time he did it the word spread throughout the barracks. "It's Jones, he hoisted the Colors upside down! For the second raising, there must have been at least a hundred Marines at the windows. As the flag was being hoisted the second time, a loud groan was heard throughout the barracks. He had raised that Flag upside down for the second time! This time, the Sergeant Major stormed out of the barracks and relieved Cpl Jones on the spot and, had two brig guards led him away. That afternoon, Cpl Jones became Pvt Jones and spent a night in the brig. Yorktown had a "Red Line Brig", and it wasn't unusual to come back from a weekend and find one of your buddies in the Brig.
Also, I witnessed one of the last "Drumming out of the Corps" ceremonies. At that time, if you were awarded a Dishonorable or Bad Conduct Discharge, you were disgraced before your unit and stripped of any rank and awards. Your Unit did an about face to you, and you were marched under guard to the main gate and expelled from the Installation.
General Puller came to the Barracks on many occasions. Colonel Caufield served under Chesty as did many other Marines in the barracks. On one cold morning during deer season, I was Chesty's driver, as he and Colonel Caufield and other guests went deer hunting on the vast 14,000 acres of the base.
For the Marine Corps Ball of 1959, General Puller was the guest of honor. I was on The Honor Guard for Chesty that year, and personally met the most famous Marine in the history of the Marine Corps. I smartly saluted The General, at which time he extended his hand for a hand shake. It was a festive celebration, and I ended up the following morning, in my rack in full dress blues with NCO Sword at my right side. Man, did that Ballentine Beer give a bad hangover.
The "sea stories" that I heard from those WWII and Korean War Vets during those two years at Yorktown, Va., laid a foundation for me to God, Country, Corps", that is still embedded in my heart to this day. My next assignment was the 3d Recon Battalion (Swift, Silent, Deadly)
Semper Fi, and Long Live The Republic.
Marine Gunner(W4) Earl F Morris, Jr.
Was just reading about Cpl Woodridge and his experience in the Musa Qal'eh Wadi -- what an incredible display of aggression! EXACTLY what SHOULD HAPPEN! And to kill the enemy with a BUTT STROKE -- My GOD, HOW HARD did HE SWING?!? And just how big are the Corporals arms? He must have biceps around 40 " or so!
God Bless America!