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AmericanCourage #241     09 DEC 2010
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It seems like the Cold War Vets are forgotten somehow in all of the years we defended freedom, but it seems like we (and there are many) have not gotten the recognition that most other eras of vets have.

I would like to say thanks to all the Marines that served before I did so I could go and do it. Your guys are the best. In war and in peace Marines seem do everything about right it seems.

I reconnected with some of my guys with my weapons Plt 3 battalion 4 Marines Kilo Co. Second Marine Division Camp Lejeune NC. It is amazing with modern technology that I served with these guys over nearly a quarter a century ago .

We won the Cold War with guys like Holycross 0341, Barrios 0331, Leon Bryson 0341, Michael Gatton who saved two other Marines in helo accident and won the Navy Achievement Medal 0341, and my best friend while serving John Henry Pruitt 0311 he served in Panama before the invasion.

These men won a war not of bullets of ideals and philosophy and the Marines made it plain that we would not lose this one and we didn't. Semper Fi to all the Cold War Marines out there well done and Semper Fi!

In This Issue

There is a great story about how the Sioux Indians handled hippies back in the day. Having lived through that era it is an extra special story.

One of a poor recruit who was fortunate/unfortunate to have high ranking Army officer relative take an interest in his well being during boot camp.

Several tattoo pictures of interest, honorary DI story, and the Marine Corps Birthday at Bally's Las Vegas.

More family stories that usual this week. A lot of family pictures and one special family story of "eight is enough". Eight, geez....I have two girls. Never could get either one interested in the Corps. One took up ballet, not chance of that being used in the Corps. The other took up the harp. I looked it up. The Marine Band has two harpist. But interest. Hey... a Marine can dream of what could have been...

Fair winds and following seas.
Sgt Grit

Hi Sarge. Read your newsletter, much thanks. I am a Sioux Indian (registered and enrolled OST 15287) (We also have numbers- Oglala). Did 20, Reserve and Active, enlisted and officer. Made Korea and Nam. Ended flying H-34s Mpls Reserves. Made Major. Flew F-4s out of Chu Lai- 67, VMFA 115- 110 missions, mostly Close Air. 8 days out of combat

I was sitting in law school at USD (SoDak) Used first GI Bill for college, 2nd for Law School. Never owed a dime upon graduation from both. Korea was with 1st Engineers as a welder.

Was a high steel Union Ironworker summers while in college- good coin and as a certified welder always had a job. Part time pilot at the University plus the H-34s- good coin. Thanks to the Corps.

Am 74 now but can still walk with the young studs pheasant hunting in the Dakotas, yet but go out alone with my Golden Retriever quite a bit carrying a Benelli (they don't jam!). Also fly fish by myself a bit in the Black Hills besides shoot Prairie Dogs down in the very remote reservation badlands. Thinking I should get some tags on myself.

Oh! When I came back from Nam in 67 the d*mned Hippies were spotlighted by the media. But on my reservation we Sioux Nam Vets were deeply honored, given Eagle Feathers and I had to speak at the annual Sun Dance celebration. This is my tribe's biggest public event. We were honored, respected and appreciated as we have always done from WWI to the boys who come back from Iraq.

Hippies tried only once to disrupt this long standing cultural honoring for returned warriors. They found themselves seriously beaten and spent overnight in a Badland ravine and told to watch out for the rattlesnakes that hunt their food at night. They never came back. To dishonor a combat Warrior is pretty low in our book.

Major Ed McGaa, (Eagle Man) USMCR

And I Quote...

"Don't you forget that you're Marines! Not all the communists in H&ll can overrun you!"
--[Col. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, USMC; rallying his First Marine Regiment near Chosin Reservoir, Korea, December 1950]

Congratulations to PFC Zachary T. Lambe. On Nov. 12th, 2010 PFC Lambe graduated from Boot Camp from Parris Island, SC. Part of the 2nd Bn Golf Co. Platoon 2081. He is now off to Camp Lejeune, NC. We would also like to thank his recruiter Sgt. Perdue in Salisbury, NC. We are so proud of our son for making the choice of becoming a U.S Marine.

Semper Fi from Proud Parents of a Marine.

And I Quote...

"In reality there is perhaps no one of our natural Passions so hard to subdue as Pride. Disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive, and will now and then peek out and show itself."
--Benjamin Franklin

My father GySgt Michael J. Schofield - Retired USMC 30yrs always wanted one of his grandson's to join the Marines. Even said at one time "with four grandsons I want one to become a Marine before I die. Well that "dream" came true as of Nov. 19th, 2010.

My son, Pvt. Zachary J Machado graduated from MCRD with 3rd Batt. Mike Company and began his incredulous journey as a Marine with not only his parents - but his oh so proud GRANDPA MIKE ! The irony is he was in a company called "Mike" and that company became the pride of MCRD with one of the highest average scores of all the Battalions to go thru MCRD.

So on the 19th day of Nov. 2010 my father's dream became a reality and I watched my dad - THE BIG TUFF MARINE of my childhood beam with pride and glisten in the eyes with pride as he saw his grandson cross over that threshold from civilian to threshold..

I've enclosed a photo of my dad when he graduated from infantry school in 1968 and one of my son from his boot camp "dress blues" graduation pic.. then one of the two of them side by side . Notice the Marine stiff pose never wore off (my dad that is)... notice how much they look alike... *ONCE a MARINE, ALWAYS a MARINE (in more ways than one)

Tonia Machado

Her DAD is a MARINE and I am a 3rd Recon MARINE Vietnam 1963 a 47 Special Ops Unit Isabella 3 years old..Any time she see's anything MARINE she yell's SEMPER FI and OORAH..She picked this for HALLOWEEN...

And I Quote...

"Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable; procures success to the weak, and esteem to all."
--George Washington

On 8 October 2010, Corporal Elmer B. Lewis, WWII, passed away, and joined his buddies on watch in Heaven. My father was a very proud Marine, he always attended his 4th. Mar Div, reunions and kept in touch with his comrades. He was wounded on Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands, 1st. wave, after dispatching 9 of the enemy.

I believe his proudest moment is when his youngest grandson, Sgt. Philip Lewis,2/25 Golf co. 4Th Marines, returned home from Iraq. They had a bond for eternity, I will miss my father forever, but he lives on in my son, and the Marine Corps he loved so much, The greatest generation is fading fast, Thank Them All.

Henry G. Lewis, proud Son, and Father

My husband was a Vietnam Veteran. He always said when his time came he wanted to be buried at Riverside National Cemetery with full military honors. The time came this September and when I called the cemetery to make the arrangements they said if I wanted an all Marine Corps honor guard I would have to call them direct. Of course, that was a no brainer! They kindly gave me the number and I made the arrangements. I must have called them 4 or 5 times because I wanted to make sure they were going to show up and my husband would get full military honors (he always cried whenever he heard Taps). They assured me that they would not forget my husband's service and they read his name, date and time of Services back to me.

The Marine Corps did not let my husband down. On the day of the Service, I saw a Marine standing alone on the top of the hill with his bugle, 3 Marines on another hill carrying their rifles and 3 more Marines walking me to the site carrying my husband's urn & flag, it brought me to tears. But they were not tears of sadness but rather tears of joy. It was a beautiful service. My husband's wish came true. I finally realized why my husband was so proud to be a United States Marine. He always said Marines take care of one another. I want to thank all Marines for your service and dedication. As my husband would say "Semper Fi"!

Wife of
LCPL Gabriel Sanchez Rodriguez
USMC 1968-1970

PS - Sgt. Grit, I bought your "Guarding the Gates of Heaven" t- shirt after my husband passed away. I wear it proudly!

i got home from first deployment to Ramadi and i wanted a tattoo cuz i earned it in my mind. so i drew this up and got it done semper fi ya'll

good ol texas boy

And I Quote...

"The American Marines are terribly reckless fellows. They would make very good storm troopers."
--[German Army report. Belleau Wood, France, 1918]

Hey Sarge,
This is my great granddaughter who will be one of the better future grunts a LONG time from now.

Alvin Ferry
H & S Btry, 4th Bn 10th Marines 2nd Marine Division 1942.

Sgt Grit,
As a Proud Great-Uncle, I just wanted to share with you, the Graduation of my Great-Nephew, PVT CHARLES 'Chaz' STRAMPFER, 22 Oct 2010 from MCRDSD, 3rd RTBN, 'I' Co, Plt 3207. His Father is a Park Ranger and his Grandfather is "Retired Navy '56-'78". Would like to say I influenced him to join the Marines, BUT he did it all alone, w/a Hard Working Recruiter?

Enclosed are a couple of pics; Chaz, Standing Tall, His PROUD Parents Mike & Carol, and His PROUD Siblings Carly, Brad & Drew. He will soon be off to Florida & the MAW.
Welcome to the Brotherhood, MARINE!
Uncle Otto, Cpl-4/'57-'63/Noload

And I Quote...

"I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more of it I have."
--Thomas Jefferson

Just wanted to drop a line and thank you for all you do. I am the proud son of a Marine, former Marine, and father of a current Marine. My son is a third generation Marine and just recently returned from his first deployment to Afghanistan. His name is LCPL Patrick Steeves and he is a Combat Engineer assigned to 3rd CEB at 29 Palms.

The attached picture was taken the night he stepped off the bus from Afghanistan. The little Marine in his Dress Blues is his son, my grandson, Kayden. This is the heart warming and very emotional first meeting between father and son! I was lucky enough to be able to not only be there, but to be the one who got to hand my son his son for the first time! I'm not ashamed to say that I had tears of joy streaming down my face and I have never been prouder of my son, my Corps, or my Country! It was a fantastic night and one we all will cherish the rest of our lives!

A short week and a half later my wife and I left our son, grandson and daughter-in-law to fly to Chicago in order to be present at our daughters' graduation from Navy Boot Camp. I know what you're thinking - three generation Marine family attending a Navy graduation ceremony?? Yes and we were so very proud to do so! You see my daughter joined the Navy in order to become a Corpsman with the sole purpose of being able to help Marines like her brother. She is currently attending "A" school and has been informed that she will be heading to either Camp Pendleton or Camp Lejeune where she will begin fulfilling her goal of caring for Marines. My baby girl is gonna be a "Devil Doc"! I have also include a picture of my daughter and myself at her graduation. How could a Marine father ask for anything more?!

Thanks for providing the service to all of us fellow Marines! I was not sure where to send this in order to share it with my fellow Marines, but figured I'd send it here and you can forward it to the appropriate place should it need to be moved.

God Bless Our Marines and all of our Troops!



Phil J. Steeves

What better way to celebrate our Heritage. At this year's Marine Corps Birthday Celebration, the committee in Indianapolis, IN brought a little history to the event. The attached photos says it all. The quest were treated to a ceremony of former and active-reserve Marines decked out in period field uniforms dating back to our beginning-the Continental Marine. The former Marines are all Marine Corps League Members of the Robert Windle Detachment, #1031, MCL, Jerseyville, IL. The Reserve and Active Duty Marines are from Indianapolis, IN.

They not only wore the period uniform, but also when introduce, they presented their weapons properly for the period they represented. They did so proudly and as effective as if they were on the drill deck at boot camp during final drill competition.

Proving once again that there is no such thing as an "ex- Marine", these Marines bring the Traditions and Heritage of our Corps alive. We were honored to have them.

Semper Fi

LtCol Charles Haislip
USMC Retried
Marine Corps Ball Committee, Indianapolis, IN

And I Quote...

"There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism."
--Alexander Hamilton

My husband is an Active Duty Marine that is currently on recruiting duty. My daughter and I are very proud of him! To show how proud we are, I dressed my daughter up as a Marine bulldog for her first birthday/Halloween pictures. I thought I would send along a photo for you to include in your next newsletter/catalog.


Jennifer Jursinic
Sgt Eric Jursinic's Wife

Sgt Grit,

Thanks! I don't know how I missed it. My 18 year old nephew Thomas Russ reported to Camp Geiger on Monday for Infantry Training. He graduated Boot Camp November 12th. These few photos were taken on November 14th at party we threw for him after he arrived home. You can tell our family is soo proud!

Wishing you and your family,

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays,


After reading several Boot Camp stories in St Grit newsletter I started to wonder when they changed from a three digit platoon number to a four digit number.

My tour at PISC started at 0330, 6 July 1958, even though the Platoon book and photo has it as 10 July 1958. The SDI was SSgt Gerald R. Milroy of Philadelphia, PA and the JDI's were Sgt A. F. Hyman and Sgt. F. Harper. Sgt A. F. Hyman went with the Platoon when we went to Camp Geiger, NC for ITR.

Our Platoon was all 6-month Reservists and most of the members were from the Chicago. IL and the Minnesota, Wisconsin areas. We always kidded them about being at PISC since they 'thought' that they were going to MCRDSD. Seems like MCRD was full and they were sent to PISC.

One of our members had a father that owned a deli and sent him a large box one day. We all know how the DI's would ensure that contraband mail was checked during mail call and whoa to those that received candy or gum in a letter. Well, this box was loaded with enough salami and cheese for a large crowd. The SDI, SSgt Milroy, brought it into the squad bay and called the recruit to come forward and open it. You could imagine the look on his face when he was called to come up. The SDI took one look and said that he did not want to see the box anywhere in the morning and then turned the squad bay lights out. All you could hear then was 85 bayonets coming out of the scabbards as we attacked that box.

We even had one guy whose father was a very high ranking officer in the Army that had gone to a military academy with the CG of PISC and he called quite frequently to check on his son and a few times the General's aid would come to the barracks to check. We would do a little extra training in the rear of the barracks while the recruit stood there and watched.

After 50 years of finishing boot camp I had the pleasure to return for a graduation of a Company from the 1st Battalion. Almost didn't happen since the night before a huge electrical storm and rain hit the area and knocked out the power all over the place. The next day was hot and humid and really miserable for the families attending.

The time I spent in boot camp and ITR were some of the best times I had in the Marine Corps. Sure wish that there was some way to contact some of the members of Platoon 167, 1st Battalion and see how they are doing. I know that our SDI, SSgt Milroy is on guard detail at Heavens Gates. He may have seemed like an A** at times, but now he would be a close friend. I did get to meet him in the mid 60's at MCAS, Cherry Point, NC. I saw him in the barracks area, about a block away and instantly knew that it was him even though I saw him from the back. Had a nice short talk since he was going to his outfit, 2 LAAM Battalion and I had to get back to my squadron. Never saw him again even though I tried to look him up.

GySgt Robert K. Otto 1807416
USMC, Retired

Hey Sgt. Grit,
I'm sending you pictures of our Vietnam Veterans Of America Chapter 574 Color Guard from El Paso, TX during the Veterans Day Parade taken by CPL A. O Martinez 1968-1971.

All the Color Guard members all served during the Vietnam War era. We would like you to please consider sharing our photos with fellow Veterans via your newsletter it would be greatly as we still continue to serve this great country of ours. One generation of Veterans shall never abandon another. SEMPER FI.

CPL A.O. Martinez. USMC

And I Quote...

"Freedom has ceased to be a birthright; it has come to mean whatever we are still permitted to do."
--Jo Sobran

Dear Sgt Grit,

On November 10th 2010 I held my last Marine Corps Birthday Dinner Party, celebrating the 235th Marine Corps Birthday. We had several Marines and their wives and family members there. The dinner party was a complete success and every one had a great time. I want to thank you and your staff for helping me make this one a very special one. Below are some photos of the cakes which were great, plus some of myself and a very nice SSgt. Mike McEwen out Recruiting Station NCOIC who read the Commandant's message. (see all the pictures)

Thanks again so very much, and Semper Fi,
Don Yoder, Sgt. U.S.M.C. Ret. Roseburg, Oregon.

Sgt Grit - always enjoy getting your newsletter and catalog. I always go through the catalog front to back and make mental notes of all the things I want to get. Just a thought on this Thanksgiving Day... when folks are watching the games today... and on Christmas and New Years... or ANYTIME for that matter...

When watching the games we always hear the announcer say "We want to welcome those listening or watching today on Armed Forces Radio and TV". That statement never had as much meaning as it did until I was on the other end as the one listening on AFRTV.....Al Jabyl, Saudi Arabia, Christmas 1990. It makes me think of our service members far from home whenever I hear it. Please keep them in mind as we sit at tables full of food in houses safe from danger. They are fighting an enemy that would like nothing better than to take these things away from us.

Semper Fidelis,
Doug Pettit
LtCol USMC (Ret)
Pierson, FL

And I Quote...

"The policy of the American government is to leave their citizens free, neither restraining nor aiding them in their pursuits."
--Thomas Jefferson

After reading your November 18 issue of Grit Report and the Service with General Victor Krulak, I felt I had to add to his Luster as a Great Person not just a Marine. My 26 Years, Service during WWII, Korea and Vietnam and Retiring as a Gunnery Sergeant had many thrills but some of my Great thrills came after I retired.

When I Retired a friend called me and put me to Work as a Head Hunter in San Diego. My job was to find Positions for Ex- Military. One day an elderly Gentleman was escorted to my desk and introduced to me as Navy Retired Cmdr. George Gay. I knew immediately who he was and asked him to make sure I was right. I then called General Krulak who was Publisher of Copley News in San Diego, I told him I had Cmdr. George Gay in my office, he asked if it was the same George Gay that was the sole Survivor of VT-8 at Midway. I said; Yes it was, The General said send him here, "I find something for him".

A lot of Marines may not know that the reason General Victor Krulak (we called "The Brute") was not selected to be Commandant because he made comments about how the war in Vietnam should be handled.

President Johnson didn't like "The Brutes" directness and appointed General Leonard Chapman as Commandant (however, his Son Charles Krulak became the 31st Commandant of the Marine Corps).

Some don't know that General Krulak was given his nickname "The Brute" at the Naval Academy where he was the shortest cadet, he was Five foot four inches, but his tenacity and directness gave him that name. He lived to be 95 years of age.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau

Recently we lost an Iwo Jima veteran, John Taylor Scott Jr, who was a patient at the local VA Hospital and was a regular at the Bingo game that our MCL detachment 1158 sponsors. We all knew of his time on Iwo but what we weren't aware of until reading his Obit was his other service.

According to his family, he was discharged as a 19 year old Corporal in 1946. Went back to Jacksonville Fla and joined the Navy Reserve. At the age of 21 he then joined the Army for 4 years and was a member of the 82nd Airborne. After discharge from the Army at the age of 25 he then joined the Air Force and stayed until his retirement in 1966.I have known a lot of guys who were in 2 different branches but I have never heard of anyone who was in 4 Branches. I would be interested in knowing if anyone else has worn this many different uniforms.

Semper Fi
John P Vaughn
1942842 ( 61 to 65)

Don't hear much about my ole MOS 2571 but know there a lot of guys out there that "chased the dits and daws" ? Went to basic MCRD San Diego summer of 59 Platoon #331, S/Sgt Marteniz and Sgt Velky... Soviet intercept school at Imperial Beach Calif until early 1960, then off to Morocco, Cuba, Japan Kama Sayhia, Okinawa and some time in med cruise, then off to Japan for a couple of more years and got to go to Subic Bay Philippines three times for "surveillance and intercept" assignments aboard a couple of submarines out along the Russian coast on the USSN SNOOK, fast attack nuclear submarine USS BARBERO and THE TUNNY old diesel boats--where I was a "rider" and radio intercept operator ( MOS 2571) for about three months at a time!

Anyone out there that did some time at Imperial Beach, Morocco, Japan. Guam, during that time or any of the other "points of interest" from about 59 - 63 give me a "shout out" ! Don't hear much from guys in this MOS but know you're out there, still chasing those dits/daws at lightning speed ?

L/Cpl, Howard H. Armer

Cookie's Tavern, South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Every November 10th, the annual Marine Corps celebration, started by "Daddy Wags" at his tavern in South Philadelphia. Daddy Wags passed away a few years ago, but the tradition is carried on by his daughters.

And I Quote...

"They are of the people, and return again to mix with the people, having no more durable preeminence than the different grains of sand in an hourglass. Such an assembly cannot easily become dangerous to liberty. They are the servants of the people, sent together to do the people's business, and promote the public welfare; their powers must be sufficient, or their duties cannot be performed. They have no profitable appointments, but a mere payment of daily wages, such as are scarcely equivalent to their expenses; so that, having no chance for great places, and enormous salaries or pensions, as in some countries, there is no triguing or bribing for elections."
--Benjamin Franklin

Sgt Grit,

I wanted to post to ask if there have been any more sightings of impostor scumbags? Since your initial outing last year of a piece of dung with the kahoonas to post on your website as a Marine, I have taken a greater interest in this seemingly growing phenomenon.

It both p-sses me off and intrigues me that some bag of dung would attempt to undeservingly assume our title of United States Marine or the title of any service man or woman for that matter and not think he or she could be caught, but if your check the internet, there are stories abound of these kooks and crazies.

I realize that most of these goofs are probably well read when it comes to our history and traditions, but all a suspecting Marine has to do is ask a few questions (start with boot-camp questions and or rifle-range KD course questions and most of these pukes could probably be easily ousted. Heck - start with asking who their Drill Instructors were - what Marine in his or her right mind could ever forget those kind, friendly people? Lol

Anyway, I was just curious how often other Marines who read your website come across these scumbag, turds. Thanks and Semper Fi! Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Mike Kunkel
Cpl 0331
Weapons Plt, Lima 3/8

The attached photos are of a Monument the Greater Omaha Detachment donated to the City of Omaha on 10 November 2010. The medallion was discovered by a League Member in a field and was made by a company going out of business. The detachment acquired this one and also one eight foot in diameter which was donated to the local Marine Reserve Unit. The Monument was constructed by a joint effort of Marines from the Marine Corps League, the American Legion Riders of Post 1, and the Marine Corps Reserve Unit all in Omaha NE.

In God We Trust
Semper Fi

Mike Lewzader
Commandant Detachment 609

Chalmus Jones Lt. Col.(Ret.), 90, was called home November 23rd, 2010. Boot camp Parris Island the day after Pearl Harbor was attacked. Was a Drill Instructor after Boot. He then went into the V5 program and was accepted into NAVAL Flight Training, receiving his wings, enlisted back into the Marine Corps where he flew Corsairs giving close air support to ground troops in the South Pacific. At the time of his death he was one of four Corsair pilots left in the U.S.A. He also served in the Korean War, air combat and reconnaissance flying off the Aircraft Carrier, USS Bairoko. He will be given full Marine Corps Honors Saturday Dec. Fourth At Forest Lawn in Ocala Fl.
May God grant him the piece he deserves.
Semper Fidelis!
Garry L. Summers
Viet Nam 67/68 2304160

And I Quote...

"In all very numerous assemblies, of whatever character composed, passion never fails to wrest the sceptre from reason. ... Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob."
--James Madison

I was at Parris Island from Oct.1965 thru Dec.1965 in 1st Battalion in the wooden barracks next to the grinder and by the swamp. The first Sunday at PI, the DI's had all the Protestants fall out and march to the chapel. We had to attend services for an hour. Any recruits who nodded off in church would get cracked in the head with the DI's stick. After we went back to the barracks, the Catholics would fall out and march to the chapel. The recruits who weren't in church would be cleaning the squadbay and head.

The 2nd Sunday when the Protestants fell out, I stayed in the barracks with the Catholics. When the Catholics fell out for church, I stayed behind again and mingled in with the returning Protestants. All the time on PI, I only attended church the 1st week, thus eliminating any chance of falling asleep in church and getting on the DI's sh-t list...

Sgt. Michael Crawford 2157644

Sgt Grit, I know in today's modern know all at all cost media, there is a need to get the story out. My question is when did operation security and troop security take a back seat?

As I read thru your letters and look at pictures, I find too many which give location, unit and names. Something that was frowned upon not too long ago. When I look at news articles and see Marines, soldiers and sailors names, units and hometowns plastered across the headline, it makes me a little uneasy as to how slick the bad guys are and just what they could do. We were always told to be vigilant and never divulge our personal info and where we were from...

I guess as I reread this I had to think again. Here in this country too many people have forgotten how they are able to go thru their daily lives at their own will. When people still refuse to let recruiters in their schools for fear of young men and women joining and fighting or just because they oppose the efforts, let them look at the pictures and names and remember it is that little boy that played in the backyard not too many years ago walking in harm's way so we can walk across the streets in our own hometowns without fear.

God Bless every service member of today, yesteryear and those training now to serve.

Randy J. Adkins
USMC 1986-1994

This Thanksgiving Day my wife and I went to Las Vegas, stayed at Bally's of all places to stay at.

The Marine Corps Birthday Ball was held there. Unaware that this just happened, I was getting all kinds of love and Semper Fi hugs. My poor wife just stood there and smiled from ear to ear. The biggest thrill was when the manager came up to us while standing in line for the buffet and spoke right at us and asked me a quick question. Answered him and he said you Devil Dog, follow me. He took us all the way up to the main entrance, and said "Happy Birthday Marine". In line for one hour and a half to find out he was a former Marine.

Anyway I was wearing one of the sweatshirts I got from you, saying US Marine across the chest. Later that night while in the elevator an elderly couple and just me and my wife were talking. She came in front of me, read the sweatshirt and said "you a Marine". I said Ma'am. She said "thank you sir".

Her husband turned around, hugged me and said Yahoo. In reply I shouted Semper Fi. My wife said, "you Marines are an elite fighting force of brothers." I told her - you are part of this brotherhood also honey. You served with me staying on the base housing at El Toro, stayed in LA when I was at Camp Pendleton. Our firstborn was a Marine baby $25.00 payable to the government in 1966.

I have small figurines on my bookshelf in the living room so all can see I am still a die hard Marine till I pass out of here. I have a love room in my house with all the things I have bought from your catalogs. I have even given some out to my friends. When I go to the VA Hospital in Loma Linda, I always wear one of the tee shirts I bought from you and my cap with all the pins.

Thank you for starting up your store for us to buy from. Every time the Sgt Grit Magazine come in my wife say "Oh God, here we go again."

May God bless you and your team to keep doing this for all military people.

3041 -3061

And I Quote...

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it."
--Thomas Jefferson

Dear Sgt Grit and team-

I'm writing to see if you were aware of Snowball Express. It is a charity that caters to the military families of those that have fallen since 9/11. It is an amazing organization that I have come to know through my employment at Neiman Marcus. As part of our community efforts and focus on volunteerism I had the honor of assisting at an event last year in Dallas. As a Marine I took personal pride in being involved in something that, in some small way, demonstrated our appreciation for those left behind.

I had mixed emotions at first wondering how I could face the families and keep a smile on my face knowing that the children had lost a parent, that the mom's had lost their husbands. While the events are fun and occur during the holiday season, I found myself fighting back the tears every time a child laughed or a mom thanked me for helping them. I felt so unworthy that these true heroes appreciated my efforts... I felt guilty that I came home alive and I also felt a sense of true sadness that a fallen serviceman would never have the chance to see their children grow up.

I'm volunteering again this year knowing full well that I will relive all these emotions yet again. I'm not sure how a child will react to a grown man fighting back the tears but these events are not about the volunteers, it's all about creating special memories for the families.

I'm writing to make you aware of the organization and to encourage you to support them, in any way you see fit. Perhaps a banner on your website promoting volunteerism or even just awareness of the organization. I'm proud I belong to an organization that is so deeply involved with this effort and I thought my fellow Marines may feel this is something worthy of their time as well.

Semper Fi and thank you for taking the time to read this.

Keith A. Meyerson

Here is a picture of my son & I showing off our tattoo's... his was his first & I wanted to get one with him to honor him & ALL of his fellow MARINES...I just want to say Thank You to all who has served...

The Bruner's
Gary Bruner

Cantu Family History

For the Cantu family, eight is enough, and it is all they have left to give.

Each of the family's eight children have had some association with the Marine Corps or its sister service.

Undoubtedly if there were more children, they would join in the family business as well.

The family's story begins with the patriarch, retired Marine Corps 1st Sgt. Israel Cantu. The Vietnam Veteran met his wife of 36 years, Maria Isabel Cantu, in Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain. The Marine and his Spanish beauty soon wed and over the course of their marriage had and reared eight children.

The oldest girl and oldest of the eight, Guadalupe Cantu de Medina, married into the Marine Corps when she wed Lance Corporal Joe Medina, of Eagle Pass, Texas. The pair now resides in Atascocita, Texas, with their three children.

The oldest boy, Cpl. Israel Cantu Jr., served in the Marine Corps for four years and seven months. He was an infantryman and is now employed as an Executive Assistant for the Transportation Security Administration in Houston. He, his wife and three children live in Porter, Texas.

The second eldest boy is currently on active duty in the Marine Corps. First Sergeant Jason Cantu is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He served with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, during the invasion of An Nasiriyah in 2003. He, his wife and three children call the West Coast home.

Like her older brother, Captain Marisol Cantu Zammit, is also a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, having served with the Marine Logistics Command, during the initial stages of the war. She is married to retired Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer Matthew Darryl Zammit, who is currently a Federal Weapons Agent with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg. The pair resides in Fuquay-Varina, NC, with their four children.

Navy LT Miguel Angel Cantu is a Supply, Leadership and Navy Cash Instructor at the Naval Supply Corps School in Newport, Rhode Island. He is the family's first graduate from the United States Naval Academy. He is married to Lucy Taverna Cantu, daughter of a Navy Machinist's Mate 2nd Class. They reside in West Warwick, Rhode Island, with their three children and one on the way.

1st Lt. Adrianna Maria Cantu is the family's second United States Naval Academy graduate. She is a Supply Officer assigned to Marine Corps Base, New River.

The family's baby girl, MIDN 1/C Paloma Bianca Cantu, will graduate from the Naval Academy in May 2011. She is presently awaiting the results of her service selection.

The youngest Cantu, Marco Ariell Cantu, attends college in Houston, TX, and is enrolled in the Platoon Leader's Course. His goal is to complete the course and receive his commission in the Marine Corps.

Maria Isabel Cantu, mother to all eight, passed away in 2006 after a long struggle with breast cancer. The legacy that she left behind is a tribute to the many hours she and the First Sergeant spent nurturing their family. They were Always Faithful (Semper FI) to their family and to the Corps.

Sgt Grit:

Enclosed my picture as Series Honor Man, India Co./Third Battalion, MCRD, San Diego, CA. Commenced training 29 June, 1960; graduated 8 September, 1960.

I was member of Platoon 347 and had SSGT M. W. Mason as Senior DI, SSGT J. L. Eaton as JDI and SSGT G. F. Lotz as JDI. In the picture you see LtCol F. R. Wilkinson, the Bn CO awarding me a Letter of Commendation for being selected Series Honor Man.

If you notice, I am wearing a "toilet seat' for Rifle Badge, an unfortunate incident because I had fired 221 during Pre Qual. Oh well... I don't know what I did during all that time to deserve such an honor. I ended up serving 34 year and 4 months in our beloved Corps. Sixteen years enlisted, attaining the rank of GYSGT in 1974 and selected for Warrant Officer in 1977. I retired a CWO-5 in September, 1994 and because of my MOS 0848/0802/0803 I served a little over 30 years in the FMF. The rest I spent attending some kind of school or another and/or instructing in the same. I was selected for WO out of the US Army Field Artillery School, at Fort Sill, OK where I was a Gunnery Instructor. I believe I was the last CWO awarded the MOS 0802.

On a closing note: I was issued an M-1; went to the 11th Marines in Sept 60 and was issued a BAR (I was 5'6", therefore an automatic BARmen). Went to Hawaii in Jan 1961, G-3-12, and was issued an M-1; returned to the 11th Marines in Feb '63 and was issued an M-14 in late March 1963. I carried an M-14 as an FO for C-1-7 and as the Op Chief for Golf Btry. in 1967 and we were issued M-16's later that year; by then I was a SSGT and carried a .45 (but I kept an M14 for operations such as Yazoo, Stockton and others in Happy Valley). During my second tour in 1970-71, we could not even find an M-14 anywhere in country. However, as a CWO-2, I went to Beirut in 1983 with BLT 1/8, 24 MEU and the Navy kept M-14's in their armory. You can bet we borrowed some.

Both rifles were excellent but my loyalty stays with the M-1... although that BAR sure was sweet.

Semper Fi
Lou Lozada
CWO-5 USMC (Retired)

Dear Sgt. Grit.

I am saddened to tell you that my very proud Marine, John, has passed away... on Aug. 22nd at the Exeter, Hospital in New Hampshire... he was buried in the Veteran's Cemetery in Agawam. Ma. His family was with him in the last week of his life... John has a few words of wisdom for all of us, he touched many lives, and he will live forever in our hearts. With Love and appreciation to all our devoted military servicemen and women, God Bless All of You

Terri and family

Sgt Grit,
Was wondering if any of the Marines that read your newsletter was ever made an Honorary D.I.. While at PISC as a Sgt in April 1957, I was made an Honorary D.I. and was accepted as a true and loyal member of the Order of the Sand Flea. This card was signed by General Wallace M. Greene, Jr., CG of PISC at that time. I was assigned to the Depot Personnel Section and worked for the Depot Adjutant, a Captain James H. Lyles.

Robert O. Atherton, Capt, USMC, Retired, (Mustang)

And I Quote...

"Thank God for the Marines!"
--[an Army Air Corps B-29 crewman after his crippled bomber made an emergency landing on Iwo Jima, May 1945]

God Bless America!
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit