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July 4th Shirt

I am a Marine of 48 years, old but still love our Corps, I do not tear up when I hear our hymn, I cry, for 13 weeks in the summer of 1961 we were told to sing HIS hymn (our DI).

Then on graduation week he surprised us (platoon 143 mcrd, PI SC) when he said "ok ladies sing OUR hymn")

Thank you Sr DI SSgt Norton.

God bless our Corps!
Cpl W.L. Collins

In This Issue
The comments and observations about the HBO series "The Pacific" are growing.
Improvising, adapting and overcoming: no ice and leaveraging cockroaches.
Tattooed Women Marines?
The reason one Marine was denied reenlistment.

Fair winds and following seas.
Sgt Grit

Sgt Grit Blog  Sgt Grit Facebook

Speak, Came The Reply
This is one that has stuck with me over the years. Fresh out of high school in the summer of 1960, at the tender age of 17, I was in Plt 248, 2nd Bn, Parris Island.

About mid way through training, through some snafu, our platoon was assigned four more displaced DIs. At times there would be up to eight DIs circling the platoon like buzzards waiting to strike. These instructors ranged from an "old rank" Master Sgt down to the "new" E4 Corporal, and everything else in between.

One afternoon we were out on the PT field and as usual, were late returning in time for evening chow. Now unbeknownst to our DI that afternoon, a new platoon had moved in next door. Seeking a good display of a properly laid out bunk bed, the first bunk at the end of our barracks was appropriated and moved next door. As we entered our barracks under the constant commands of, "Move, Move, Move and "Shower, get dressed and back outside", the house mouse ran up to the DI and blurted, "Sir, Recruit requests permission to speak to the drill instructor, SIR!" "Speak", came the reply. "Sir, the recruits' bunk is missing SIR!" And the reply, (which has served me well for all those years since then), "Well, you had better S**T One!"

Respect for the Uniform Story:
Being in 1st Service Bn (Reserve) in Memphis in 1960, we mustered in Class A uniforms. After working in the shops, crawling all over the Deuce & half, and other such physical activities, we changed back into class A for final muster. We had a colonel who loved dog & pony shows, so to tune of a good Sousa march, the command would be given to "Pass in review". As a young private racing away from the drill center, I started disrobing then suddenly remembered that I needed to stop by the 7/11. Entering the store with no cover, no tie, coat unbuttoned and blouse open, I was met by an individual who immediately dressed me down so far that I felt strip stark naked. A lesson learned and not forgotten.

Sgt Major Robert Lowe, retired


Father's Day Shirt

Pool Cues
Sgt Grit;

At MCAS Kaneohe in 1960 the office at "C" Co. Motor Transport answered their phone with "Chuck's trucks. You call, we haul. We got 2 bys, 4 bys, 6 bys and them great big suckers that go Vroom, Vroom".

There was a L/Col. pilot who was routinely grounded for breaking the sound barrier over the supply bldg. in his F-8 Crusader during flyovers when we had visiting VIP's such as the King and Queen of Thailand.

That was a rough 2 years. Our work area was so small that Sgt. Smith had to cut about 2 feet off the pool cues so they would clear the side wall.

J. Lape
S/Sgt 1957-69


Fire for Effect: Marine Tattoos - Back to top

Finally Got It
Marine Corps Eagle Chest Tattoo Took a long time to decide what kind of Marine Tattoo I wanted to get. I finally got it. Got tattoo by my Lil cousin, Esmeralda Banuelos...Only 18 years old...out of Long Beach CA...

Corporal Lemus
Iraq Combat Veteran
OIF I, OEF II.... Back to Back
2001 to 2005
Semper Fi

Denied Reenlistment
USMC Hand tattoo Add this to ur collection - It was for the fallen and received after deployment in 04. The Corps denied reenlistment for its placement but I'm still very much in. Just with a different branch now. Semper Fidelis

Tattoos And Women Marines
Sgt. Grit,

Over the years, from Boot Camp to present day, I have seen men with various designs of the Marine Corps globe & anchor, or just the letters USMC. All were tastefully presented. (I myself do not have any tattoos.)

While stationed with the FMF Atlantic, there were a number of women Marines who were also stationed there. Thought nothing of it. They were Marines.
They did their jobs just like everyone else.

Now, 60-some years later, I still see men with "Marine" tattoos. Then, it strikes me. Are there any women Marines with tattoos? Has anyone seen such or is there any woman Marine who has one? Or are the Globe & Anchor a 'Man thing'?

Chris Savas
S Sgt (1946-1952)

Note: Inquiring minds want to know and see. Send us your picture and story. (info@grunt.com)
Sgt Grit

Unacceptable
I really enjoy your stories and found them to be of the highest caliber, truly fitting of being in a magazine that promotes the greatest fighting force in the country.

This is the first time I have ever sent a negative comment but I feel it is justified:

The behavior of the Drill Instructor at MCRD in your first story is absolutely "Unacceptable" as the late General David M. Shoup would have called it. After the tragic loss of the recruits at Parris Island General Shoup became base commander and together with Col. William K. Jones tried to bring respect and confidence back to that base. There were innumerable meetings with RTR leadership and even some with the drill instructors themselves. Gen. Shoupe found it necessary to post MP's on the main drag to stop visitors (mainly politicians and news people) from stopping, going out on the drill field, and correcting our great DI's. General Shoup used to use the word "UNACCEPTABLE" (one of the few non-4 letter words he knew) when a DI behaved unprofessionally.

I believe that would be his comment about this 2nd. Battalion DI. What was he trying to prove? You never "relieve tension" at the expense of another Marine. Why didn't he just chew it up and swallow it? I had two sons go through PI and would have been down there if a DI had done this. Hopefully Parris Island has not digressed to this behavior.

Sincerely, Al Brodbent, former Marine.

Memorial Day Special

Legs and All
As a young PFC fresh out of boot camp I received the enormous sum of $67 every two weeks. Out of this came the money for laundry, starched utilities, and other things not provide by the Corps. If I was lucky I could save enough to go home on leave.

For those Marines old enough to drink it did not go far in San Diego. Immediately after payday most of them drank good booze. A few days later they would switch to wine or beer but just before the next payday everyone would scrape the pennies out of the bottom of their foot locker to try to scrounge up enough money for a jug of "Red Mountain". Yes for the glorious sum of $1.89 you could get a gallon of this swill.

I remember one Marine, PFC Habba, was just 25 cents from having the required $1.89. He and his buddies had checked every empty foot locker, wall locker, and pay phone but alas they were still a quarter short. That's when they Habba took matters in to his own hands.

For the insignificant sum of 25 cents he would eat a cockroach. I am not sure who coughed up the dough I was there when he ate the roach legs and all. He did not spit it out. Hopefully the wine washed the taste out of his mouth.

Jim Grimes

Veteran Family Network

Vets Helping Vets Join America's premier community network and help veterans and their families! I have found an organization that unites veterans and their families and provides support for those in need. Members recieve great benefits.
Check them out and become a member, I did.

www.veteranfamilynetwork.com

Ice Had To Be Flown In
It was interesting reading the recent postings by fellow amtracers. As a former trac rat, I was stationed at White Beach Okinawa in 1st Amtracs in 1961. We went on a "float" for 3 months aboard an LSD. As part of SEATO maneuvers we had war games on a Philippine Island called Mindoro. They hadn't seen Marines since WWII.

Well as the 6Ps hadn't been followed (proper prior preparation prevents p-ss-poor performance), it was discovered that most of the roads had just been repaved, and the steel tracks of the LVT-P5s would have destroyed them. So we couldn't play and had to set up a radio net on the beach for 2 weeks.

Getting beer (Sam Miguel) from the locals was no problem, but ice had to be flown in from Manila and cost a lot more than beer. We began cooling the beer by putting a couple in an empty gas mask can and blowing a co2 fire extinguisher into it. When the handheld ones were empty, we resorted to using the large on- board built in ones that put out fires in the engine compartment.

All was well until our Plt Commander decided to conduct a readiness inspection, basically a junk-on-the-bunk for the Amtrac. When he saw all the fire extinguishers gauges in the red, he blew his top. It was a great vacation until he ruined it.

YATYAS
Bob Doherty, 1959-1963

Gunny King
Dear Sgt Grit

I feel silly writing someone I only know thru e-mails and other things my son has brought home from the man who lived on our street. When we first moved here, he seem strange. He was up before the sun, out either running or walking. He kept his yard clean and neat and have painted rocks around all the trees. He watch everything that happen on our street.

There was a flag pole in his front yard and no matter what the weather, there was an American flag and Marine Corps flag flying, but only during day light hours. My son became friends with him when he help him home after he crashed his bike and was walking along the road. This man, who we hardly knew, brought my son home and then fixed his bike. He was always there to lend a hand, from lost dog to helping move furniture, you just had to ask.

We live in Florida and thus subject to hurricanes from time to time. During one, we were ordered to evacuate. This man did not, when we returned, he was standing guard on our street, turning away any he did not recognize as either resident or relative of those who lived there. He protected our street, if there was a disturbance, he was first out the door, if someone look like he did not belong, while other neighbors just watch, he went out and challenged. After everyone came back, if you did not have power he let you plug in to his generator, if you need help with clean up, he was there with the tools.

I had the pleasure to see his office, he had pictures of him during his service, I am not sure what they are called, he had assorted colored cloth and metal badges in a display, my son said it's called "fruit salad" and said that it was awards he had won during his enlistment. He hand many rows of them and several metals, some with wings, some with rifles. I hope that I am using the right words, my son referred to him as Gunny, I always thought his first name was Gunny, but his wife never called him that, so I learned from her his first name was Richard. My son also told me that he had been in for 22 years, was a Drill Instructor and was in a special group call Recon. He somehow made us feel safe, even though at first glance he look like he was mad, there was a softness in his eyes when he spoke.

He moved away and I have no way to contact him, I know he reads your newsletters or at least did, because my son would bring them home after he printed them out for him. My son would like to have him at his High School Graduation. I believe he is still in Florida, if he reads this I would hope he comes back to see us. Gunny King, Jason wants you at his graduation, please stop by soon.

Joann Paone
Fort Lauderdale Beach, Florida

Before They Go
Excellent video and a major league ballgame to boot.
Before They Go (YouTube Video)

Short Rounds
How many Marines think Chesty Puller would take away Burger King from his Marines??
L/Cpl Hurst


Sarge: Why is it that people still refer to the Korean War as the Korean Conflict. Truman named it the Conflict, but several years ago the Congress changed it to War. Seems to me that any time there is aggressive combat resulting in injury and death, that is War! I can understand why civilians might continue with conflict, but not active and former servicemen (and Women), especially Marines.
Andy Anderson
USMC 1948-52, Korea 1950 1st Marine Brigade Carthage, Texas


Sarge;
Just a thought. A Jeep mounted CO2 bottle will cool a full six- pack. Just put the bottles in the funnel. I learned this from a "Fire Marshal".

Also! Had a CO that had a "Standing Order" - If you steal for the company OK. If you steal for yourself, you are in Deep S--t.

Ed Tate GySgt Ret'd


"Nice Piece" on Archibald VanWinkle; Thank You!
Paul Langford


Sgt Grit,
I was sitting in Drunken Dognuts enjoying my coffee when in comes this guy with a mouth on him like a Marine. But I noticed a Seabee cap on him. I commented on his wonderful command of the language when he noticed my Marine ball cap. He said, "You a Marine?" I said, "Yes." He said, "A Marine is nothing but a Seabee without a trade!" Now we've all heard the wonderful comments about us, but this was the best put-down I've ever heard. Looie and I are now great friends whenever we do meet.
Sgt Max Sarazin 1951-1954, 1st ANGLICO, Korea


SSGT. Huntsinger, proud to say it was me, CPL. Zeke who coined the phrase "Grit and his platoon of Okies". If you think you were laughing, the Jeep appropriation mission had me in stitches. The fake paperwork, the fake numbers, and to top it all off you did it to the doggies, God love ya! Marine Corps NCOs, improvise, adapt, and keep your brother Marines laughing. You have one h&ll of a good best friend Sarge.

CPL Zeke RVN 68-69 3/9
( keep laughing its good for you)


The VA is paying for problems connected with exposure to Agent Orange. The list is on the VA website. I'm getting $2900 a month for prostate cancer. Being in Vietnam and having something on the list qualifies.

Sgt. C.T. Roper
1963-1967
'65-'66 RVN


To GySgt. Archuleta, I don't go back as far as you do, but, yes, we definitely used the term "Hurt Locker" in the 60's.
Gary Nash, Former 0302


Hey, Grit!
Not everyone reads your blog so you need to repeat the blog letter from Cpl Joe McCoy about ex (I can't bring myself to say former) congressman John Murtha having an LPD named after him. He is a disgrace to the Corps and there are hundreds of FORMER Marines who deserve this honor more than someone who falsely accuses Marines of murder! Read the Sgt Grit Blog
Semper Fidelis
Former 0302
RVN 5/67-2/69


. Dear Sgt. Grit,
Corporal Frank J. Grace, Jr., USMC, Ret., passed away in Taos, NM, on June 21, 2009. Corporal Grace served with 1st Platoon, H/2/5, 1stMarDiv, as a rifleman and fire team leader, RVN, 1966-67.
Semper Fidelis,
William J. P. Grace, Sgt., USMC, 1967-1971


. Sgt Grit,

Another thing that has stuck with me over the years


.Shoe and boot laces: "Left over Right". Still do it and when someone tells me he or she was a Marine, I look at their laces and check.

Cpl Dale Strawn - 2108037
1964-1967 and 1973-1976

Current And Former
Marsha Allen Marsha Allen Semper Fi indeed!

Was in from 1966 to 69 -- married a Marine; started incubating our baby girl; rotated out ...
duty station was HQMC -- Henderson Hall billet -- Div of Info ... 4312 DINFOS schooled ...

loved every minute of being a Marine ...
herewith current me and former me ...

LOCK AND LOAD!
Marsha Allen
former Sgt. of Marines

love OKLA, btw


Fire for Effect: USMC Motorheads - Back to top

Cpl John Miller, USMC
Vietnam Memorial Hummer

Custom painted Hummer closeup of front left side Custom painted Hummer - right side

A Young 77
Gunny's trike Have been reading and enjoying your news letter for some time now, and I look forward to it each week. I'm a young 77 (in my mind) and was in the Corps from 49 to 69 and now enjoy a full retirement. Yesterday was the old Corps and today is the new Corps, Nough said, we are all Uncle Sam's Misguided Children.

Here are some photos of my trike with things from your store. Just a few of the things you have sent me. Thanks for being there.

Old Corps Gunny. Semper-Fi

Gunny's trike Gunny's trike

Those Are Memories
I look forward to each Sgt. Grit article on the computer and thought I would send a picture of my license plate that I've had for 25 years or so. I went to boot camp at MCRD San Diego in Jan of "58", Platoon 308, over by the runway. Sandy's USMC license plate Then on to ITR, Aviation Prep School, Parachute Rigger School at Lakehurst, NJ. and finally two years at MCAS El Toro, H&MS-15 Parachute Loft. Those are memories that I will hold forever, Semper Fi. "Once A Marine, Always A Marine"

Cpl. Sandy Otte
58-61

I Will Personally
Made Squad Leader in Nam. The day I took over after my Leader was nailed, I made a statement to the guys. I said "If you ever get screwed up on drugs or alcohol while we are in the bush, you will go home as soon as I can get a bird into this dump. You can get drunk as a b-tch and smoke you're azs off on R&R or I&I, but if you do that crap in the bushes with my unit I will personally put a bullet in you're azs and send you home to Momma with a war wound. You can lie to everyone else about how you got a round in the azs but you will always know the real reason why your dumb azs was Medevaced---------johangunnerf21--69-75


Fire for Effect: Combat DI? - Back to top

Ribbons Do Not Make
I don't know who told that SSgt that but I was a DI at Parris Island 73-76 and I was not Viet Nam Vet- In fact while I was going thru the screening process while at Camp Lejeune in late 1972 wearing only my National Defense Ribbon one of the members of the board- all DI's - asked me if I thought mine not being a combat vet would hinder me as a DI. I told them I did and they all corrected me on the spot telling me ribbons do not make a LEADER and that all I had to do was have the confidence to do the job. I spent three years as a DI - being promoted to SSgt meritoriously in June on 1975. So his claim that you had to be a Viet Nam Vet to be a DI is not accurate.

D Jones
1st Sgt USMC (ret)
69-92


I had to comment on SSgt Whimple article about DI having to have been Vietnam Veterans. I was a Sergeant on the Drill Field from 1974 thru 1976 and I did not serve in Vietnam. I had a great time on the field and it made me a better Marine because of it. I found out later the after I left MCAS Iwakuni Japan the Senior NCOs did not think I would make it. When I saw MSgt Collins at MCAS El Toro he was surprised but pleased that I had made it. Never assume anything.

Paul DeLaricheliere
SSgt USMC 1971-1979
CWO3 USMCR Retired

What Rank Am I?
Good morning Sgt. Grit. I am a Marine who served from 1991-1995. I was a "data-dink" and I was an out-freak!ng- standing, spit-polished, sharply-pressed Marine. I got promoted to Cpl at about two and a half years in. Life in the Corps was GREAT! But my (ex) girlfriend who was also a Marine lived in the room right next door to me in the barracks. To say our relationship was dramatic is an understatement. We were often fighting because she was insanely jealous (and we worked around a lot of GOOD-LOOKING civilian Marines.)

We received a verbal warning for the first incident, then a page 11 entry for the 2nd incident. At that point, I asked for a PCS to Okinawa for my last year but was told that it wouldn't happen so I decided to just "make the best of it" with my ex. I felt trapped. Our C.O. told us to "steer clear of each other" but neither one of us listened.

Mind you, during all this, I had the cutoff score for promotion to Sgt but got non-rec'd. It was hard enough to watch all my fellow Cpl's get promoted to Sgt. Then we had another fight at the barracks and that was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. We both got busted back to LCpl. So all told, I lost two ranks out of that! That hurt! We both stayed away from each other (publicly), finished out our EAS's (without incident), and got Honorable discharges (as LCpl's.)

My question is this...

Do I refer to myself as a LCpl or a Cpl when talking about my time in the Corps?

Tracs, Help with Book
I am a large USMC fan and since a long time interested in the involvement of the USMC in Vietnam. Mostly in the use of the LVTP5 (Landing Vehicle Tracked Personnel 5) and its variants.

I am at the moment on the work of a picture book about the development and use of the LVTP5 and its variants during Vietnam. To finish this project I need the help of every Amtracer out there. If you have any photos in printed or digital form, please contact me via e mail. I would be glad to get a few more Pics about the P5 in action.

My goal is to publish a non commercial book, only for veterans, USMC enthusiasts and model builders. I think it's time to honor al Amtracers out there with such a book. Since Nam, not one book was published to cover the whole history of the P5 and its urgent to make a monument for the future, that the story and pics of the P5s and its crews, never will be forgotten.

Thanks for all contacts.
Semper Fi

David Koller
dave.platins @ gmail .com

Down Off The Hill
Sgt. Grit, Been reading your e-mails since the first of the year. Really enjoy the stories. The story of the ice run @ Vandy caught my interest because I was there in April 1968 with Marine Air Support Squadron 3 up on the hill providing air/ground comm for the area. First time I heard from anyone who even heard of Vandy since I rotated home in '69.

Down off the hill for a shower or something one of s/sgts says come with me. He took me out to a downed 34 copter & says "Hook it up to the 53 coming in" I did but they almost went back to Dong Ha with me hanging on for dear life. I managed to get off. On the way back into our area s/sgt (can't remember his name) trips & falls in the mud - he came up cursing as any good Marine will do until he looked down & realized he tripped over a tool box buried in the mud. He claimed it & as far as I know he had it sent to his home in the Stated. A fun day for all.
Sgt Glenn A. Shaw 2310168


Fire for Effect: MOH - Back to top

But you Knew
BRAVO ZULU another outstanding news letter as always referring to the article about Archie Van Winkle. He was CO of the MARINE DETACHMENT aboard the USS NEWPORT NEWS CA148. At that time he was a CAPT. He was about the best CO I served with.

He never raised his voice when he chewed but you knew you had been chewed out. When ever in port it was not unusual for him to take one of the enlisted home for a home cooked meal. His wife was also an outstanding lady plus being an excellent cook. He retired as a COL. The COL. passed away in 1986 you can read about him on the Home for Heroes web site. His home state was Alaska. As for the Gunny's son getting a bcd, he even if he got through boot camp it all went down the drain with the getting of the bcd. Even the letters do not rate being capitalized.

Keep up the excellent work you are doing SEMPER FI rbs

Medal of Honor
For some unexplained reason, HM3 DeWert received no recognition for his heroic sacrifices. To me and others this was troubling. Sometime later we got two great officer replacements, Captain Alvin Mackin and Lieutenant Lealon Wimpee. Captain Mackin was a World War II Marine Air Corps veteran and 2nd Lieutenant Wimpee was a World War II Marine infantry enlisted man who was wounded on Okinawa. He was our new platoon leader. They were like a breath of fresh air. Captain Mackin was our new Company Commander and he personally introduced himself to the entire Company. For us, this was unheard of. He was like a big brother and we bonded instantly with him.

A day or so after Lieutenant Wimpee took charge of the platoon, he asked ten of us to go with him to act as an honor guard for a ceremony honoring a forward observer who was getting a citation for valor. Lieutenant Wimpee wanted us to all be wearing utilities that matched. This was difficult as we got our clothing from a pile of laundered clothing from all branches of service. When we took a shower we just took off our dirty clothes and put them in the pile with other soiled clothes. After taking a shower we went to a clean pile of clothes and put on anything that fit. One Marine Private got to be an Army First Sergeant by just taking a shower!

Mountain warfare was hard on the knees and seats of pants. The Marine Corps fought its wars on a budget. We were like Cox's Army. Our preferred article of clothing was an Australian wool sweater, but that day we swapped clothing so ten of us had matching utilities. At the ceremony, the forward observer received a citation for valor by putting himself in harm's way by being assigned to Dog Company and calling devastating mortar fire on enemy positions.

While walking back to our unit after the ceremony, I did a slow burn. I thought about our medical corpsman Richard DeWert, who died a real hero but got no recognition for his sacrifice. This living forward observer received a citation for putting himself in harm's way by being assigned to Dog 7. It seemed to me that, if being assigned to Dog 7 put him in enough harm's way to deserve a citation, all Dog Company Marines should get citations for valor for being assigned with each other. We were all in harm's way.

After I got to know Lieutenant Wimpee, I ran DeWert's action by him and asked him if it was possible for him as an officer to recommend someone for a citation, even though he had been killed some time before he (Lieutenant Wimpee) arrived. He replied in the affirmative, but wanted to know who the platoon leader was and why he had not written up the citation. I said that I could not answer that question. I then told him about Richard DeWert, who we all felt died a real hero, yet for some reason received no recognition. I also told him that I had witnesses to DeWert's action. Lieutenant Wimpee said to get the witnesses and he would write up a citation for DeWert. My two other witnesses were PFC John Alseth and PFC Robert Gentry. Both had seen DeWert when he was wounded and still trying to save Marines. The four of us sat down in the dirt and wrote up a panoramic view of Richard DeWert's final moments. Lieutenant Wimpee gave this information to Captain Mackin, and he sent it up the line, recommending that DeWert receive the Medal of Honor.

A special thanks to Charles Curley for his efforts in raising a million dollar scholarship fund at Pepperdine University in Richard DeWert's honor. Curley did this unilaterally and out of his own pocket. This gave the DeWert legacy legs. Charles Curley also started an endowment fund at Pepperdine University in Colonel Mackin's honor--again out of his own pocket. Master Chief Fred Kasper, US Navy, pulled strings and got the Navy/Marines to name the clinic at Bridgeport, California as the Richard DeWert Clinic. The Navy Hospital at Newport, Rhode Island, was also named the Richard DeWert Medal Clinic. There is also a ship, the USS DeWert FFG-45 named in his honor and there is a school, a highway, and more named in his honor. My own "claim to fame" is being the catalyst to get Richard DeWert the Medal of Honor.

Richard DeWert will receive recognition for generations to come. Those of us who served in Dog Company 7th Marines will also share in this recognition with pride. Without all concerned acting in unison to get Richard the recognition he deserved, he would have been just another dead Sailor in a box. Dog Company 7th Marines received one Medal of Honor and it was not a Marine. It was a Sailor.

Fred Frankville

Little Warrior
Semper FI Sgt. Grit

I also had the distinct privilege of meeting and speaking with the unassuming Major Van Winkle. I served as a squad leader with second platoon E-2-4 at K-Bay 1961-1963. Our company was attending Guerilla Warfare School and he was the officer in charge. I was chosen to assist in teaching the rappelling portion of the school. Upon completion, we received our "Little Warrior" cards which at the time we thought were kind of hokey. However, 48 years later, I proudly still have my Little Warrior card signed by Archie Van Winkle.

Cpl. W. E. Wietfeld #1899627

Proud To Say
The recent comments regarding Major Archibald Van Winkle, CMH brought back memories of 56/57 when I was a young S-2 Corporal with the 3rd Bn., 9th Marines, 3rd Mar. Div. stationed at a battalion sized camp outside of Kyoto, Japan and later on Okinawa. Both Major Van Winkle and Lt. Col. Joseph "Bull" Fisher were Captains at that time, with Van Winkle commanding Weapons Company and Bull Fisher commanding George Company.

Both had received their battlefield commissions in Korea and were highly decorated outstanding leaders whom I believe we all admired and respected. Col. Fisher, among other accomplishments, played a major role in the 1965 Operation Starlite of the Vietnam War. I am proud to say that in some small way I had the opportunity to serve with these two outstanding Marines.

SEMPER FI
K. R. Henry 1488865

The Answer Is There
Sgt Grit,
After reading the articles on the "The Pacific" as to what makes us do what we do as Marines in combat. I broke out my "Guide for Marines" from Boot Camp in 1965. It introduced us (1) Character Leadership Traits, (2) Principles of Leadership, both taught the differences in each but gave us the understanding of how we could grow from Pvt to SgtMaj by understanding our seniors & how to develope to become NCO's, SNCO's. There are 14 Characters Traits of a Marine NCO & 11 Principles of Leadership. The answer is there, but only can be understood by those that earned the title & gave their lives their Corps.

Semper Fi!

RamTwo
Msgt. USMC


Fire for Effect: The Pacific - Back to top

The Pacific
Like the series and think it is very accurate from what I have read about the Marines in the Pacific. Yes I am a Marine 61/66 Cpl. 1927106 C/1/11

The thing I noticed were the " greens " they wore, looked army and brown. 1st MarDiv patch was worn on the left shoulder. Not where you wanted to wear it. Do not believe that many guys did not get "the word" and put it on the right shoulder. Not in the Marine Corps of my day anyway.

And not everyone had a "battle jacket'" ( won't even get into the IKE jacket thing ) In "61" MCRD you either got 2 blouses or 1 and a "battle jacket" depending on if they had your size.

Most WW2 pictures show the Marines in the blouse with leather belt. The Pacific was done by the same bunch of guys who did "Band of Brothers " and that series was right on. Would expect the same for this series. Having read the books "Guadalcanal Dairy", "With The Old Breed at Tarawa" and "Helmet For My Pillow" which much of the story line was taken from. Expect it to be right on again.

Now old Tom Hanks I thank for taking this on, do not thank him for some of his commentary. As we all know you have to be a Marine to understand what it is to be one. "Civilians cannot and will not understand us because they are not one of us. The Corps- we love it, live it and shall die for it. If you have never been in it, you shall never understand it, "And I quote "THE TITLE" It cannot be inherited. Nor can it ever be purchased. You and no one alive can but it for any price. It is impossible to rent. And it cannot be lent. You alone and our own Have earned it with Your sweat, blood and lives. You own it forever. THE TITLE "UNITED STATES MARINE"

SEMPER FI guys. J D Gwiazdon


SGT Grit,

I am a former Marine of The Korean War period.

I have a few thoughts about The Pacific TV program.

There are certainly disturbing distortions in this program, just as there were in Clint Eastwood's two movies of Iwo Jima.

Nearly 60 years have passed since these events took place. This leads to revisionist thinking about the subjects, and rewriting of history, especially by Hollywood noted for their liberal leaning.

The enemies of World War II have since become our friends. This alone causes softening of our emotions toward them, and a political pressure to heal old wounds.

The Japanese culture of then was one of glorifying the killing and torture of their perceived enemies. It was considered the greatest honor to fight to the death, in spite of all obvious defeat. This caused undreamed of atrocities perpetrated by the Japanese soldiers. We Marines had trouble understanding this culture. We soon learned that we must also fight them to the death. This was a degrading of our personal ethics; so we had to live with a savagery at great odds to our culture. Most Marines engaged in these battles end up with emotional scars carried for the rest of their lives.

Therefore it is hard to deal with the liberal revisionist depiction Hollywood produces. We want to scream to heaven about the distortion of the real facts. I can hardly wait to see Hollywood's treatment of my war (Korea), but then it is a forgotten war; so they probably won't bother with it, wouldn't make enough money for them.

This brings us to the good part of these shows. Our wars, and our generation of Marines are fading from the memory of our country. The heroism of theses wonderful men will soon live only in the hearts of the current Marines. So reluctantly I have to be in favor of these revisionist shows at least keeping alive the great sacrifices of those great Marines of the past.