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AmericanCourage #244     20 JAN 2011
Print | ONLINE STORE

34 Colors Long Sleeved T Shirt Special

During the 2007 legislative session in Oregon the Governor was signing a new bill that benefited veterans in Oregon. Some of the legislators who were veterans were on hand, as well as the press with cameras rolling.

Governor Kulongoski, who served with a forward observer with the 9th Marines, said to the assembled group, I'm glad Representative Barker is here today. He too served in the Marines and we have a special bond because of that."

Representative Sal Esquival, who had served in the Navy spoke up and said, "Governor, remember that Marine Corps is part of the Department of the Navy." I quickly said, "Governor please remind Representative Esquival that the Marines are the MEN'S part!" Those in attendance seemed to get a kick out of that.

Jeff Barker (LCpl 1955631 USMC 1961-1964)


In This Issue

As usual I get first look at the stories. As usual I think this is a good newsletter. I am amazed at the stories from week to week, year after year.

This week we go from Kwajalein appreciation and a Vietnam poem to 2 jokes and Combat Action Ribbon trouble. The is great hospital story that has been floating around the web for years. To tell you the truth it is most likely fiction, but great reading. Two stories supporting General Gray and several comments about General Amos's recent statement.

Fair winds and following seas.
Sgt Grit

Get up to date! Check out the Sgt Grit Facebook and the Sgt Grit Blog


I disagree with an article written by CWO-3 Michael Fry. Nobody in command is going to make decisions that please everyone. Apparently General Gray made one that he disagreed with but I don't think he should slander a great man like General Gray. How many decisions did he have to make during his tenure as commandant?

I served under then Capt. Gray at 1st Composite Radio Company. We were a company of highly trained special radio operators. We had a Top Secret Cryptographic clearance. He arranged sensitive intelligent gathering operations for our company throughout the southeast Asia area. When these missions were over he would arrange a few days in Japan sort of like R&R.

When he made Commandant and I found out it was the same Al Gray I had served under I was ecstatic to know I had served under such a great man. I compared him as the Marine version of a G.I.' s General like Omar Bradley in the Army. He was very much concerned with more than the grunts.

L/Cpl Harold Beasley
1958-1964


Anne's son and his wife at Camp Lejeune on deployment day Hello:
My son's day of deployment with his wife at Camp Lejeune. I enjoy your website.

Thanks,
Anna Florczak


My eldest son recently returned from his 5th tour, the latest time from Afghanistan, and flew up from San Diego for a couple of days over Christmas. Prior to boarding, my son saw all the fussy little kids and decided to pay for an upgrade to first class so he could sleep.

Prior to boarding the plane, he saw a group of Marines in line all carrying their Blues, and struck up a conversation where he learned they'd all had at least 1 deployment and were going to the wedding of a friend. Also prior to boarding, he had noticed a bunch of Naval Academy guys in their uniforms waiting too.

Everyone was getting settled into their seats, with the Marines in their seats at the rear of the plane. Just before preparing for takeoff, the Flight Attendant went back and asked the 4 Naval Academy students to come up front and sit in first class, near my son. He replayed the conversation to me (through gritted teeth) about how the attendant was very nicey nice and asked the guys about their service etc., to which my son couldn't hold it in any longer and said "No, they are NOT naval officers they are STUDENTS". He said one of the guys turned around and said, "Oh, you must be an officer" and my son said "No, I'm a Marine Corps Staff Sergeant with almost 10 years of service!" The guy turned around sheepishly and nothing was said for the rest of the trip.

He swore he would never fly Delta Airlines again after that because of the way they treated the real heroes in the back of the plane.

Jennifer
Very Proud Marine Mom of Two

2011 Valentine's Day Shirts


And I Quote...

"We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would harm us."
--George Orwell


Dear SGT GRIT; I can only hope that those who read and support SGT GRIT are as upset as I am. It bothers me that as a free and grateful nation we cannot honor a Marines life that was lost serving his country this week the way we honored public servants and civilians the way we did during the National Championship football game.

Although we should as a nation partake in a moment of silence for those who were lost and injured in Arizona this week we should NEVER forget the ones who lost their lives this week or any week protecting and serving this country. For the troubled and grieving Marine families around the country that have been so dismissed or so ignored by this nation know that this Marine feels your pain, your emptiness and your HONOR! SGT RIC, USMC, FORMER!


USA and Marine Corps flags I'm writing you this in response to the American Courage letter I received on 10 December 2010, specifically, the section by Henry J Lewis about his father, CPL Elmer B Lewis who fought on Kwajalein with the 4th Marine Division's first wave.

I and some fellow Marines who are working on Kwajalein today would like to show our appreciation to the Lewis family and our fellow Leatherneck. On 12 December 2010 we are going to gather all the Marines on base and fly the American flag at half mast at the Veteran's Hall (American Legion post #44). At 1000 hours, we will gather for a photo to submit for your next newsletter or if you would be so kind as to forward to the Lewis family.

Memorial and flag pole at Veteran's Hall The people who serve and live on Kwajalein today pay special homage to our Veterans and see remnants of battles fought long ago, everyday. This is our chance to show one that Marines are a family and to his family that their loved one is respected and that we are grateful.

Jack T. Jackson
Contractor, Kwajalein Police Department
Sergeant, Shift Supervisor, RNPD
US Army Kwajalein Atoll


James Huff's office as Intelligence Chief 1st Battalion, 11th Marines Poem from Vietnam 1966
I was with Charlie Battery, 1st Battalion, 11th Marines 1966 in I Corps when I sent this home to my bride to be



My office as Intelligence Chief 1st Battalion, 11th Marines
James Huff


Another USMC ORIGINAL Tattoo Sgt Grit,
After retiring in 2001 and getting my first tattoo in 2007 I recently went to visit Camp Lejeune and decided to get another original piece of art done on my other arm. I had it drawn before I went. I had it done at Unique Ink at 411 Marine Blvd. Jacksonville, NC 28540. Phone number 910-346-5031 and web address www.uniqueinktattoo.com It was done by Owner/Artist Tom Boehm.

I came to pick this place by doing a search of the area for tattoo shops out of about 15 shops in the area only 3 had web sites and only 1 did any kind of explaining about the artists experience in tattooing and of course Tom is a retired Marine GySgt so I figured he would know how to do my Marine Corps tattoo. Hope you enjoy the art.

Norman A. Rose
GySgt USMC/Retired
Pa Department of Corrections


Dear Sgt. Grit:

I truly feel sorry for you since you have two wonderful daughters who want nothing to do with our beloved Marine Corps.

As a former Marine during and long before you stepped on the yellow footprints I'm confident you chased your fair share of the skirted s-x. Which leads me to my segue of; you didn't forget the birds and bees metaphor did you?

If you and your spouse are still able, and I sincerely hope you are, GIT 'R DONE! I'm sure if you had a boy you would be a proud poppa of a future Marine. Keep trying, Sarge. Don't ever give up.

Sincerely & Cheekily Yours,

PFC Anderson K.R.
2434007
USMC '67-'70
RVN '69
PH

Note:
I appreciate your confidence in my amorous adventures. But I ain't having any more kids. The wifey and I are enjoying being "empty nesters".
Sgt Grit


And I Quote...

"My only answer as to why the Marines get the toughest jobs is because the average Leatherneck is a much better fighter. He has far more guts, courage, and better officers... These boys out here have a pride in the Marine Corps and will fight to the end no matter what the cost."
--2nd Lt Richard C. Kennard, Peleliu, World War II


Joke:

Five cannibals were employed by Marines as scouts and translators during one of the island campaigns during World War II. When the Commanding Officer of ground forces welcomed the cannibals he said, "You're all part of our team now. We will compensate you well for your services, and you can eat any of the rations that the Marines are eating. But please don't indulge yourselves by eating a Marine."

The cannibals promised.

Four weeks later the C. O. returned and said, "You're all working very hard, and I'm very satisfied with all of you. However, one of our sergeants has disappeared. Do any of you know what happened to him?"

The cannibals all shook their heads 'no'.

After the C.O. left, the leader of the cannibals turned to the others and said, "Which of you idiots ate the sergeant?"

A hand raised hesitantly, to which the leader of the cannibals replied, "You fool! For four weeks we've been eating Lieutenants, Captains, and Majors and no one noticed anything,.. then YOU had to go and eat an NCO!"


Sgt Grit

I was disappointed with Hawaii Visit in November.

Just this pasted November my wife and took a trip to Honolulu. It was a work trip for her and we did have a few days of fun in the sun.

However...

I had a day to myself and decided I was going to visit the Marine Base (KMCAS Hawaii), I was stationed at their back between 1975-77 with G Co. 2/3 and I Co. 3/3. When I arrived there I found many of surprises. It's not the home of the 1st Marine Brigade anymore nor is it KMCAS just KMCB Hawaii. Ok no big deal. The main gate moved, again no big deal. But when I tried to get a visitor's pass the first thing that did surprise me was the MP's nor do Marines no longer man the visitor's desk it's civilian post now. But the big surprise was I was denied access to the base. Wow! even with DD214 in hand and a few pictures of old still No Access. "It's been almost 34 years and I traveled along way" I explained to the gal at the desk and why I was here and if there were any way she or I could call someone and get a pass and she had no Idea... She just said sorry.

I just want to say if a Marine was standing that post He would have found a few numbers to call I'll bet on that.

I did find a number of the Base Sgt-Major. He was not in so I left a message.

Later that day the Sgt-Major returned my call and did offer an apology and I thanked him.

Maybe next time.

Semper Fi!
Mike England
SSGT USMC
1974-1985


And I Quote...

"[H]onesty will be found on every experiment, to be the best and only true policy; let us then as a Nation be just."
--George Washington


Sgt. Grit
One of the finest men I've known and ever worked with.
Tibor Torok

Staff Sergeant Torok Tibor Torok, Tibor 89, of Dania Beach, FL, formerly of Grand Prairie, TX, passed away surrounded by family on October 28, 2010. A retired Marine, Tibor served in WWII-including combat on Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima-plus Korea and Southeast Asia. A memorial service was held Monday, Nov. 1st, at Landmark Funeral Home, Hollywood, FL.
Burial will be with military honors at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC.

Cpl C.R. Perry
2253021
RVN Jan,1968-Sept, 1969


Joke:

Minnesota weather and a Marine wife

I just got off the phone with an old Marine friend of mine up in North Minnesota.
He said that since early this morning the snow has been constant and is nearly waist high and is still falling.
The temperature is dropping well below zero and the north wind is increasing.
His wife has done nothing but look through the kitchen window. He says that if it gets any worse, he may have to let her in.


SGT. Grit,

I was traveling home from work last week when I noticed the car in front of me had Marine Vet plates as do I. As I am following this gentleman the car in front of him put their blinker on, SLAMMED on their brakes and went from 50MPH to zero in about one second. This cause the Marine in front of me to do the same and he nearly avoided hitting this person. Well I had to slam on my brakes as well and the roads were still slick from a recent storm so I could have either gone straight into oncoming traffic, or into the back of this Marines car. As this happened the car that caused all of this saw what happened behind them and drove away (of course).

The Marine I hit got out of his car, saw my Marine Vet Plates and extended a hand. "Semper Fi" he said. He told me that he served during Vietnam and I told him of my service. To make a long story short this Marine even called my insurance company to explain to them that this was not my fault because the car in front slammed their brakes and I simply couldn't stop in time. I think that two civilians in the same situation probably would have been arguing, but we exchanged Semper Fi's and wished each other a Happy New Year. I appreciate what this Marine did for me so I went on your website and sent him one of your sweatshirts and I am sure he will enjoy wearing it.

Semper Fi K.A.


And I Quote...

"A man should swallow a toad every morning to be sure of not meeting with anything more revolting in the day ahead."
--Nicolas-Sebastien Roch de Chamfort


As usual another outstanding newsletter. I agree with you on FAIR WINDS and FOLLOWING SEAS. Some times when I answer Emails from some of the MARINES and SAILORS that were on the USS Newport News CA148 with me when I was a SEAGOING MARINE. I most always send them an ANCHORS AWEIGH and SEMPER FI I also agree with you that both saying are not said enough

to everyone on the list FAIR WINDS and FOLLOWING SEAS and also an ANCHORS AWEIGH and SEMPER FI Ruben B Scott 1138959/0331 SGT RET


All Oklahoma Platoon 81 1953 Platoon 81 all Oklahoma (Sooner) platoon MCRD San Diego Feb. 1953 There has to be someone left around here besides me

Merle Fountain 1953-1961


I just wanted to say that USMC pride and honor never leave a body. As a WM from June 1978-July 1982, Red runs through my veins not as blood but as Marine Corps pride. Whenever my son sees a Marine Corps item in the stores, he will give up anything to get it for me.

On Christmas 2010, he had a USMC cap made up especially for me with gold embroidery saying World's Greatest Mom on one side and my name on the other. On the front is a bulldog with USMC arched over it and USMC on the brim. He knows how much being a Marine means to me. I cried big time when I opened the box and took it out. He laughed at me and said "Marines do cry". Yes we do, we are tough on the outside but probably are more loving on the inside. My bedroom does not look like a woman's room but a Marine's room.

Well, Semper Fi to all fellow Marines active duty and not active right now. God bless all servicemen and servicewomen. May you make it home from your duty station safe and happy.
Sue C.


Just Stay

A nurse took the tired, anxious serviceman to the bedside. "Your son is here," she said to the old man. She had to repeat the words several times before the patient's eyes opened. Heavily sedated because of the pain of his heart attack, he dimly saw the young uniformed Marine standing outside the oxygen tent. He reached out his hand. The Marine wrapped his toughened fingers around the old man's limp ones, squeezing a message of love and encouragement.

The nurse brought a chair so that the Marine could sit beside the bed. All through the night the young Marine sat there in the poorly lighted ward, holding the old man's hand and offering him words of love and strength. Occasionally, the nurse suggested that the Marine move away and rest awhile. He refused.

Whenever the nurse came into the ward, the Marine was oblivious of her and of the night noises of the hospital- the clanking of the oxygen tank, the laughter of the night staff members exchanging greetings, the cries and moans of the other patients. Now and then she heard him say a few gentle words. The dying man said nothing, only held tightly to his son all through the night.

Along towards dawn, the old man died. The Marine released the now lifeless hand he had been holding and went to tell the nurse. While she did what she had to do, he waited. Finally, she returned. She started to offer words of sympathy, but the Marine interrupted her. "Who was that man?" he asked. She nurse was startled, "He was your father," she answered. "No, he wasn't" the Marine replied. "I never saw him before in my life."

"Then why didn't you say something when I took you to him?" "I knew right away there had been a mistake, but I also knew he needed his son, and his Son just wasn't here. When I realized that he was too sick to tell whether or not I was his son, knowing how much he needed me, I stayed." I came here tonight to find a Mr. William Gray. His Son was Killed in Iraq Today, and I was sent to inform him. What was this gentleman's name? The nurse with tears in her eyes answered , Mr. William Gray.... The next time someone needs you.. Just be there. Stay.

This was given to me by a nurse.
William Pratt Sgt. U.S.M.C. 1958-1967


And I Quote...

"We must take human nature as we find it, perfection falls not to the share of mortals."
--George Washington


Sgt Grit

I'm taking issue with CWO3 Fry's letter in the #243 issue of our newsletter. His dislike for Gen. Gray is noted but CWO3 Fry's conduct as a MARINE is "un-becoming". As a MARINE, I find his remarks offensive and un-professional.

If this MARINE is who and what he states, I'm sure he realizes the junior MARINES read this news letter and his conduct is way out of line, not counting the fact that as retired MARINES, we are still under the UCMJ

NL Sheridan
SgtMaj Ret

PS I'm assuming that MR Fry's rank, COW 3 is a typo


Thank you my Brothers for this living link to our beloved Corps.

Long story short. A few years ago a friend and I went to D.C. for the 25th anniversary of "The Wall". There was a parade of Viet Nam Vets that was to take place on that Saturday which happened to be 10, November.

My friend was First Air Cav in Nam, drove Westmoreland around some and very proud of his black Stetson. All day Friday we walked up and down the "Mall", him in his Stetson me in my U.S.M.C. ball cap. Now this was my first time in D.C. and I had to see as much in two days as possible.

Everywhere we went we encountered throngs of Vets and EVERY time we came upon Marines there was a "SEMPER FI", or "Happy Birthday". After about six hours of this, my buddy says, "is this your birthday? How do all these guys know it's your birthday and what is this "SEMPER FI"?

During the day we had heard his proud unit's "Gary Owen" maybe three time from other Stetson wearers.

Anyway, I explained to him that "SEMPER FI" was an abbreviated version of the Marine Corps Motto and that brother Marines would use it in the field to mean any number of things from "how ya doin" to "sorry bout that to your S.O.L.

Then he asked me what the birthday thing meant. So I say, tomorrow is the 232nd (at that time) birthday of the "Corps". He said, "are you kiddin me? Does every Marine in the world know that and how? I just told him that every Marine is taught the customs and history of the U.S.M.C. in Boot Camp and so it becomes all of our Birthday.

The next morning, I asked my friend if he really wanted to walk down the street in a parade or would he be interested in going to the Iwo Jima" memorial where I was pretty sure the Commandant would speak and "The President's Own" would be playing and the Marine Barracks would be included in a proper Marine Corps birthday tribute.

Needless to say, my buddy was BLOWN AWAY, not only by the pageantry of the ceremony but also the famed "Esprit de Corps" that he'd heard of but didn't believe until that day.

Semper Fi
Mike Ford, Cpl. CAP 2/7
Son of W.W. II Marine, Father of two Marines and Father-in-law of another


Dear Sgt Grit:
I wonder how many Marines have had the same trouble I have had, trying to acquire the Combat Action Ribbon.

I first requested the award in March of 2000, but had to write eight more letters, before finally receiving a denial in August of 2006. And this didn't include rebuttals and the four years I spent writing to numerous representatives, to sign on as cosponsors for Congressman McNulty's H.R. 543 bill, which back dated the award to include WWII and Korean Veterans.

The denial, in my opinion, was written with no forethought. The refusal stated, "We found no evidence in your records to establish that you participated in a bona fide fire fight during your service in Korea or that you were ever submitted for a Combat Action Ribbon by an officer."

Imagine that, 11 months in an artillery outfit, which received 76 and 120mm incoming on numerous occasions, retaliating with return fire, while under fire, and in fact, reportedly knocking out the enemy units on many occasions, and yet, given no consideration that, this is a firefight, with an artillery piece instead of rifle. And to not be "submitted for the Combat Action Ribbon by an officer" is the real blunder, as the Combat Action Ribbon wasn't even established until 16 years after the Korean War was over. So pretty unlikely that I could be written up for the award.

It was established in the "Eligibility Requirements," under paragraph "(b) Personnel assigned to areas subjected to sustained mortar, missile and artillery attacks actively participate in retaliatory or offensive actions are eligible." And General Hagee's "ALMAR 010/06" in paragraph B, where he points out, "The use of the word "or" in the phrase "fire-fight or action" clearly allows a commander considerable leeway in determining eligibility beyond the scope of a fire-fight engagement only."

Now, regardless of whether officers within the batteries take the time to record all this information in everyone's record every day or not, it should be presumed, that this is what artillery people do. This is what their responsibility requires of them on a daily basis, and this is exactly what we did on a daily basis. The officer denying the award, gave very little forethought to qualification requirements, or common sense, in making his decision.

Eight friends that I have located over the past years, which were in artillery units or artillery forward observers, have record books that are as incomplete as mine, two of which have received the award. But there are thousands that have been or are going to be denied for the same irresponsible reasoning as I. And it isn't fair when we experienced the same combat actions as an infantryman, only with an artillery piece instead of a rifle, and our officers, who were not close enough to our daily actions, failed to record that we responded and acted satisfactorily.

I'm hoping, after reading this, that you will make every effort to find a place to enter this letter in your weekly publication, as I have offered it in rebuttal form to the Marine Corps Awards Branch on several occasions, but to no avail. Hopefully, one of your readers will understand the dilemma and be able to offer a solution to resolve the problem or direct it to someone who can....

Sincerely,
S/Sgt. Charles R. Tucker, USMCR, 1109343


And I Quote...

"I have been happy ... in believing that ... whatever follies we may be led into as to foreign nations, we shall never give up our Union, the last anchor of our hope, and that alone which is to prevent this heavenly country from becoming an arena of gladiators."
--Thomas Jefferson


Sgt. Grit,

Reading SSgt Whimple's question about the long tie bar vs. short tie bar called to mind a gripe of mine, "back in the day."

It's been a little over thirty-five years since I put on the uniform in any kind of official capacity, so my memory may be a bit foggy. I do remember that the Corps' response to "current fashion" as it applied to the tie bar (and "field scarves" in general) seemed to me to be an exercise in futility. I never understood why we had to try to keep up with current fashion, when it seems to change overnight. Uniform changes always involve years of planning, field tests, analysis, etc., before they are implemented, so trying to stay "in style" with the civilian population means constantly being "out of style."

In the early '60's, men's ties were, in my opinion, ridiculously narrow. We in the Corps were out of style. We eventually changed to narrow ties, around the time that the civilian tie was wide enough to protect even the most careless eater of watermelons from staining his shirt. I think I have three uniform ties put away somewhere, each in a different width, just from my brief service.

We are proud to wear a green service uniform that stylistically has not changed much since WWI (other than the collar and fabric). So why do uniform boards worry about keeping up with the fashion of the day.

Semper Fi!
Tom Downey
Once a captain, USMCR; always a Marine
'63-'76 "for pay purposes" (PLC officer candidate--'63 and '65, active duty--'66-69, drilling Reserve--69-75, and nine months inactive Reserve status)
Vietnam: 4Dec66-18Dec67


Grit,
Someone should discreetly teach General Amos a proper Marine salute. He looks more like an Army guy in the photo in the newsletter dated 13Jan.
Semper Fi, Dick


Sgt Grit

I found your story on the Commandant's position on "former Marines" as one of the most positive statement yet from high command. It's too bad President Obama's staff doesn't pay attention to what General Amos says. In last night's speech from Phoenix, he referred to the brave gentleman who took a bullet and died for his wife as a "former Marine".

Semper Fi

Jim Donegan
Former Staff Sergeant of Marines
RVN 67-68 and member Marine Corps League


I am a WW2 Marine who used to hear "there are no ex-Marines - only former Marines."
Gen. Amos has taken it up another notch with his comment "we are not former Marines but Marines wearing a different uniform."
I think that a good thought worth repeating.

Sgt. Marion B. Stults, USMC 450010


And I Quote...

"Let us recollect that peace or war will not always be left to our option; that however moderate or unambitious we may be, we cannot count upon the moderation, or hope to extinguish the ambition of others."
--Alexander Hamilton


Sgt. Grit,

This is in response to the article labeled "WE WERE GOOD" by Cpl. Van C. Pacey in the newsletter dated 30 Dec. 2010.

I fully understand being proud of the time you served and of the unit you served with but, there are times when common sense and courtesy should prevail. No matter how much of a badazs you were or think you were, the language that you used toward the book store employee (female) who tried to assist you, was uncalled for.

You are always a representative of the entire Corps and thus should conduct yourself accordingly. You were in a public book store and not out in the field. I'm sure she did not walk away with a positive attitude towards you or any of your "brothers". Up until now, I have been proud of anyone that earned the title Marine. Think before you speak.

Ed Fallon (Sgt. 65-71)


Sgt. Grit:

I, too, am ashamed of Cpl. Van C. Pasey's encounter with a woman in a bookstore in which he bragged about the death and destruction his unit wreaked in Vietnam. These tales are not for civilian consumption and his boorishness reflects badly on all Marines. She must have thought he was an insensitive buffoon. She was right.

Sgt. Bill Federman
USMC, 1968-71


Sgt Grit -

7 or 8 years ago, I was reading an editorial in our local newspaper and read a submission from a lady that had gotten it from her son, a Marine in Japan, that was a letter to Santa.

The Marine, soldier, whatever, was in his hootch at night during Christmas time and he was mentally conferring with Santa Clause about his dedication to keeping Santa safe.

True to form, I lost it.

If anyone out there has a copy of this post, please send it to me so I can read it to my Grandchildren next Christmas. It would be greatly appreciated.

To say the least, it was very moving and I know that many, many Marines have experienced separation from everything they know and love. One being celebrating Jesus' birthday.

Thank you for taking your time to read and possibly replying to this post.

S.E. Jones

Note: If you have a copy send to me and I will post it in coming weeks.
Sgt Grit
info@grunt.com


Dear Sgt. Grit,

I served in our beloved Marine Corps from 1968-1974. I went to Nam in 1969-1970, 1971-1972 and during my 26 months there I was wounded several times, 3 gunshot wounds, mortar wounds, and finally in 1972 during the pull out a RPG round through the door of a Huey blowing me and the door gunner out.

I went on to work in law enforcement for 28 years after I got out in 1974. Like many of our brothers and sisters who served in these combat situations, the scars of death, dismemberment, the loss of our brothers and the killing lingers on. I wrote my autobiography to try and close the door on my life experiences issues. They started long before joining the Marine Corps but it was the Marine Corps that gave me a second chance in life although the price was costly; I was only 18 when I got to Nam and life's lesson had to be learned very quick.

I seen more death and heartache at such a young age and after spending 3 months in a Naval Hospital in Japan from my ambush wounds from the mortars attack in death valley I thought I was going home but was sent back to Nam to become a tunnel rat. I hated the tunnels, twice I almost lost my life from attacks by Charlie in the tunnels.

Well to sum up; the nightmares still come and go but I'm surviving but to help deal with the memories that still haunt me I wrote things down and after fifteen years decided to have my autobiography published. It has helped me close the door on a lot of personal issues and has helped me with the memories of war.

Being a Native American, Kituwah Cherokee, the whole outlook on life has a different meaning to Native Americans that other people can't relate. Of all the ethnic races that serve in the armed forces, the Native American is the largest group. We believe not only in serving our country, but to protect our Mother Earth for all that she provides and the Great Spirit for all that he has created.

My book, Native Tears tells my story from a Native American perspective. It is listed with Barnes & Noble, Borders, PublishAmerica.com.

Sgt. Jacob (Chief) Littledave
Redbird Ops. Sector 9,10,11,12, and 13
H Co. 2/7 1st. Marine Division
S-2 Headquarters Sniper Company
1969-1972


And I Quote...

"With hearts fortified with these animating reflections, we most solemnly, before God and the world, declare, that, exerting the utmost energy of those powers, which our beneficent Creator hath graciously bestowed upon us, the arms we have compelled by our enemies to assume, we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverance employ for the preservation of our liberties; being with one mind resolved to die freemen rather than to live as slaves."
--John Dickinson & Thomas Jefferson


SGT Grit; As usual another great newsletter. I enjoy them immensely as does my wife. Keep 'em coming!

I have been very entertained by the discussions about "old Corps" vs. "new Corps"; during my hitch I don't ever remember that being a point off discussion or contention. What I do remember is how much weight was put on your service number. 2 things seemed to be important; a service number before 1900000 or herringbone utilities (maybe 3; embroidered name tags on you utilities identified you as having been in Okinawa) issued in boot camp tagged you as being "salty".

Which brings me to my question; does anybody know how service numbers are/were issued? If I remember correctly I heard that service numbers were issued sequentially. That said; I was always aware of inconsistencies. For example my buddies that enlisted in June of 1961 had 1890 service numbers while the rest of my friends and I that enlisted in August of 1961 had 1980s.

I have noted that folks signed off notes in the newsletter with their dates of service being after mine with service numbers significantly before mine for example; CPL Kumquat 1858585 June 1962 to June 1966; then I will see CPL Idontcare Aug 1960 to August 1963 with a service number of 1999858. I enlisted in August of 1961 with 1980767 and was released in JAN 1966. See my point? I also remember that in early 1962 (I think) the Corps made a big deal of recruit number 2000000. Lots of press etc.

I can imagine that each recruiting district was issued blocks of numbers, but the examples I mentioned don't seem to quite line up.

I have just been curious; can anybody really shed some light on the quandary? Not really important, but just interesting!

Wayne Mailhiot


Large Tankers Patch
Large Tankers Patch

Tanker's Decal
Tanker's Decal

Small Tanker's Patch
Small Tanker's Patch

Vietnam Tanker's Hat
Vietnam Tanker's Hat


God Bless America!
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit