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AmericanCourage #250     14 APR 2011


Sgt Grit,

I regret to inform our brotherhood of an Iwo Jima Marine that recently took a new assignment guarding heaven's streets. Pvt Harry R. "Bob" Parsons passed away on March 24, 2011. He was a Ft. Sumner, NM native and enlisted in the Marines at 18. He participated in the assault landing at Iwo Jima in February and was severely wounded on March 7th.

A Japanese mortar landed near his position and exploded. He made his way back to the beach where he was loaded onto a ship, and according to him, was surrounded by angels that were working on him. However, the angels seemed to disappear when he emptied his pockets of two hand grenades. Gratefully, the angels reappeared after a corpsman disposed of them over the side of the ship.

He returned to Ft. Sumner where he eventually became a school teacher. He taught over 6,000 students New Mexico history. I was fortunate enough to have been taught by an Iwo Marine. A Marine detachment out of Albuquerque, NM came to Ft. Sumner and provided military honors at his funeral. My cover goes off to those Marines as they were crisp and sharp just as I expected they would be.

I found it fitting that Mr. Parsons was with the 4th Marine Division during the assault on Iwo Jima and was laid to rest by Marines of the 4th Marine Division.

Semper Fi Mr. Parsons and thank you for your service and sacrifice.

Sgt Glenn Russ

In This Issue

We have a new web site. It has been up for some time, but did not want to announce it until we go the bugs out.

It has many new features with many more to come. Just a few of the differences are better streamlined order check out. Better quality product pictures and more of them, video of some of the products, multiple views of product. In the last few months we have introduced 60 new t-shirt designs, take a look. And much more!

Here we go: Air Force steppin' and fetchin', Chesty and the Army, supreme compliment, but an ideal, Stolen Valor Act unconstitutional, wedding cake topper comments, need to add a zero, Veterans Recovery Program, Gunny's were once PFC's.

I will be in the area all day!
Sgt Grit

the Sgt Grit Facebook the Sgt Grit Blog

Cpl Matthew and MM3 Reed I am not a Marine, but I am the mother of one.

I say at least we know what 'FI" means. My son has only been out for 8 months but still talks in acronyms, the ultimate form of abbreviation. I don't know half of what he is saying and have to remind him that I was not in the Marines.

His brother is now in the Navy and it is a whole "nother" language.

LORD help me!
Carole Handley

PMM Cpl Matthew
PNM MM3 Reed
Eagle Scouts, both!

LCpl Michael Sheriff and his 2 week old son Brayden My Husband LCPL Michael Sheriff was deployed My entire pregnancy with our First Child in Japan. He Came Home 2 Weeks after he was born and I wanted to share this picture the first time they met. So This is My Husband LCPL Michael Sheriff and our 2 week old Son Brayden. This Is the first time they meet.

God Bless!
Samantha Sheriff

Dear Sergeant Grit,

I am a former 0302 (6th Marines) and 0185 (8th Marines). After my release from active duty, in the Marine Corps in I spent a good part of my life working with and for large record companies. In the course of my career as an executive in the music business, I became very friendly with Johnny Cash and his family. I am still in touch with and was recently visited by one of his daughters who followed in his footsteps. Johnny Cash was a "class act" and was genuinely interested in and supported many worthy causes.

I am not ashamed to admit that Richard LePage's letter and the accompanying video brought tears to my eyes. I had heard Johnny Cash perform the song many times, but never in the setting of that video. For those who may think Johnny Cash's respect for Ira Hayes was "show business", you are wrong. Johnny Cash had great respect for the Marine Corps and was very interested in and supported Native American causes.

Although when Johnny Cash passed away he was considerably older than Ira Hayes, he also died too young.

Martin Richard Asher

Grit Unlimited T-Shirts

Hi sgt. grit, 55 years and still going strong with my Marine. I was in high school in the 50's when I started writing to a pen - pal stationed in Korea in 1953.It was Oct. 1954 that I finally met him in person on Oct. 8th. Married him on aug. 4th, 1956. will be 55 years, not as lean but still as sweet. He will always be my Marine.

Semper Fi Angie Holmes

Sgt. Grit

I wasn't a Marine, but Air Force. I was in the "Nam '71-72 up at Da Nang, While there, I gained a h-ll of a lot of respect for the Corps and wish I had signed the other papers and became a "Jarhead'! The Marines were always there for us, as I feel most of my outfit was there for them. We were all in the same boat , so to speak, and we tried to cover each other's a-ses. I'm not going to speak of the army; they were there, too, but we couldn't count on them like we could the Corps. If I were to go into harm's way again, let me have a Marine at my back.

A little tale about my first experience with a Marine. I was working armory and the policy at that time was for the Marines to come in and get some much needed rest. A young Marine just in from the field came in and wanted to turn in his M-14 to the armory (the sop at the time). Well, I told the young man to clear his weapon at the clearing barrel and I would locker it. He did as instructed, but instead of just manually unloading his rifle, He cleared it by firing the entire clip into my clearing barrel!

If you wanted to see some Air Force guys steppin' and fetchin', that was the occasion He totally blew the bottom out of my barrel and trashed a lot more of our stuff that happened to be in the way! When we all got our sh-t back together, we had a long nervous laugh, told the young troop not to sweat it, and get the h-ll out of there before a higher-up came along. Three days later, a very contrite and humble young Marine came by, checked out his rifle and disappeared. We never saw him again, but the war story is priceless! Something I'll never forget- Thanks to the young troop for eventually brightening our day- we'll never forget you.

Semper Fidelis to you all
C. Patterson, SSgt, USAF

Platoon 16 - 1953 Hi sgt grit, I hope you can put this old platoon picture in your weekly newsletter. Maybe some of the old Marines might see it and drop me a line on how their doing. most probably don't remember names, I only know a few, but I know they all remember good old ssgt. Palmer! He did show us all how to be very good Marines. This is platoon 16--1953.

Sgt. Bob Holmes bangie56 @ lakeozark .net

Loved your closing salutation in the last newsletter, "Today is a Good Day to Die", but I don't think that it has Navy roots. Didn't Crazy Horse, the Indian Chief, originally say it?
Ron M (Sgt 69-65 USMC)

And I Quote...

"Old breed? New breed? There's not a d-mn bit of difference so long as it's the Marine Breed!"
--Lieutenant General Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, USMC

Sgt Grit,
I was reading about the series on HBO called "The Pacific" on Wikipedia, and stumbled upon this gem....

"...Senior Army officers hated Gen Puller out of inter-service rivalry, jealousy and due to vocal and disparaging comments Gen Puller often made about some Army units that he felt did not fight admirably along the way of the escape from Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War. Earlier in the war he was reported to have ordered Marines to gather all abandoned Army equipment of withdrawing soldiers and put it to good use. He later reportedly told an Army colonel who demanded return of the equipment: "It all has USMC markings on it now and if you want it back, kick my a-s." The equipment remained in possession of the Marines..."

Thank you Robert Brady. I now have a firsthand account of what happened in Beirut (finally). I do thank you for your weekly letter, my wife really likes it - she (being my third and final) enjoys all the bennies the other 2 didn't get! She especially liked the one about the Gunny and his wife's cat- she really got a charge out of that one!

There are things I have to explain to as she knows nothing about the Corps - we have been married for 30 years, have never lived on a base - I retired out in 76. She could not believe about the R.O.E.s. I told her about the R.O.E.s in Nam when I was ordered to take a patrol around Da Nang - NO ammo in magazines and no mags in our Rifles - we had 14s. When we got out of sight we loaded up one in the spout and locked - except for one idiot who reminded us about our orders. I informed him that if we got bushwacked, "charlie" wasn't going to give him time to load up, anyway he got the word - a couple hundred very nasty ones. My wife got large laugh at that one. One time in our early marriage she was mortified and really embarrassed because I asked fellow Marine how long he had been in the "crotch"!

Thanks again to you and Semper Fi to All
Louie the Louse 1946-1976 602729

How come I got passed over for promotion?

Tank in the mud Lift carrying missile that has fallen over ledge.

Submitted by Don Ryan

I am reminded of a good friend of mine after reading the article concerning "Once a Marine, always a Marine."

I am very proud to be able to call my Marine hero, Ralph Willis, a friend. He is an Iwo Jima Marine Veteran and has just celebrated his 89th birthday. I am surely going to get up to see him for his 90th, come h-ll or high water. His book, My Life as a Jarhead, 1941-1945 is an outstanding account of his time in the Corps, told in an honest, sometimes humorous manner. This year, he finished a two CD interview through the auspices of The Smithsonian Institute and it is outstanding.

He lives in Arroyo Grande, Ca. and is doing well living in a Condo with few Marines present, but lots of "draft dodgers" (as he calls them) for neighbors. One time about five years ago, when his wife was being taken to the hospital late in the evening, I told him that I would come with him to the emergency room... he looked over at me and some neighbors and said aloud, "Once a Marine, Always a Marine." Coming from him, that is a supreme compliment, and I would go through fire, had I been in battle with him as my fire team or squad leader, believe me... I stood a little straighter that evening...

Dick Vara
One of the last Sgt. E-4s in the Corps

Monte in his camo shirt George Chase is a regular walk in customer. He loves his dog Monte. Here he is decked out in Grit Gear.

Monte in his camo shirt

And I Quote...

"The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions."
-- Daniel Webster

Sgt. GRIT,

I am the youngest living son (at age 61) of Lt. (j.g.) Thomas H. Hogan, USN. He was a Naval Aviator flying off Carrier Escorts, Pacific, WWII. I flew to St. Louis in 2007 for his funeral...

Awaiting a connecting flight at Midway Airport in Chicago I observed two 'very old' gentlemen, (in wheelchairs, accompanied by their wives)... both clearly WWII Veterans. By their attire, one was Army, and the other wore a Navy cover reading "USS Montpelier, CL-57." I planned on looking that ship up after returning home, being in the midst of an on-going effort to learn all I could about Dad and his Pacific Service. (BTW, had become enthralled by the Marines since reading "Marine", many times since 1979;. Wow! What fortitude! I was looking at something great... which I had missed out on. I've been reading military stuff ever since...and have concluded that MOST of the fortitude out there is TRAINED INTO Marines!

Long story short. Arriving in St. Louis, as I exited the plane, there was the 'NAVY' guy, just inside the airport. As I was headed to conclude some somber business, I rested my hand lightly on "Navy guy's" shoulder and said..."Thanks, Sir...".

His reply? "Semper Fi"! Holy sheitt moment! This man was a Fleet Marine!

A week later, awaiting my flight in the St. Louis Airport... there was the guy! Walking! I caught up with him to talk a bit, and with little prompting from me, launched into what had to be the most vivid sight in ever all his born days. Here's his story.

The USS Montpelier is off Okinawa, May, 1945. So is my Dad's ship. The Montpelier was out of ALL ammo except 20 mm (might as well throw a Coke can at a bus doing 70mph)... and there were a boatload of Kamikazes headed their way.

Seventy-five Marine and Naval Aviators appear in the skies above and BLEW these PEOPLE AWAY! Small world... My Dad may have had that man's six that day.

I never got his name, and I could kick myself! During an on- line search for the Montpelier, I came across a photo of about 21 young Marines, 17,18,19 years old, all of whom served on the Montpelier. All their names were listed...and they were all seated in a 20 mm Gun Tub... grinning like crazy.

Another All Gave Some Tattoo In the years since I have spent much time at the local Marine Corps Recruiting Office...never having been in The Corps... I can still hang out with them. I have ALWAYS been received there as a welcome guest... I do PT, running and pull-ups with the poolees... challenge them with questions (when appropriate: I'm a guest). And asked the question, and received the answer, which is the whole thrust of this post. After getting advice and counsel from some highly respected (by me) SSgts. and one GySgt... the consensus was... "of course you can get a tattoo".

So here's the photo of my 'Tribute' tattoo. And, as a Navy son...
Fair winds and following seas.

Kirk Hogan
Manchester, NH

Sgt Grit,
Request if space allows to locate Marines from PLT 277, 2nd RTR, MCRD PISC 1961.
December 21, 2011 will mark 50th year since graduation. Drill Instructors were SSgt's Mowatt, Furman, and Holt. Many of the Marines were from Northern Ohio, and NW Pennsylvania.
Series consisted of platoons 277, 278, 279, & 280. "Last of the M1 qualifiers"

Semper Fi,
Martin D. Smith
MSgt, USMC ret.
pxy843 @ verizon .net

I am Faun Leachman, the mother of a Marine Sgt about to leave his wife and 2 year old daughter to deploy to AE for the second time in less than a year. My husband's Rotary group recently honored him with while on block leave with a Paul Harris Fellow. One of the gentlemen in the Rotary group is a Chosin Marine and had told his tales from his time there.

NOTES from past Melbourne, FL Rotary Meeting -
WRITTEN BY Kevin Arter

I'm proud to give this Happy Buck in honor of a current member of the finest fighting force on the face of the Earth." USMC.

Paul Murray's buck reminded us that honoring Mac Leachman USMC with a Paul Harris Fellowship was the least we could do. It let us know that once you join the finest fighting force on the face of the earth you never leave.

It reminded me that the finest fighting force on the face of the Earth is why I get to write this without wondering if anyone will question my motives.

Those guys in that fighting force protect the life we take for granted. For those of us who heard Paul speak of his experience as a man child Marine at the Chosin Reservoir in Korea 60 years ago and listened to Mac sit with his young wife as he talked about the gear he wore into combat in Afghanistan months ago and is ready to wear again in when he re deploys there in a few weeks, it was sobering. Marines are always Marines. They do the job that needs to be done.

And we live an easy life because they accept a hard one. Paul and Mac make me understand how lucky I am to have been born at a moment that let me mature in an instant between conflicts. I am the son of a WWII veteran. I was too young to go to Vietnam, and I was over 30 by the time of the Persian Gulf conflict. I was born in one of seven years in which no one had to register for the draft. But I remember days of anguish and protest when I was in elementary school. I remember my Mom's worry about the future of her young sons. I remember listening to the accounts of the first bombs falling on Baghdad in 1991. And I have spent my career trying to make things that give our war fighters an advantage.

Through it all, I remember the voices of my grandparents and parents teaching me the importance of freedom. That is the importance of America. That is our inheritance. That is our responsibility.

I'm glad I heard those voices, because freedom never was free, and it never will be.

For my parents and grandparents fighting for America was not a divisive issue. Protecting freedom was a responsibility. Democrats and Republicans knew it. Northerners and Southerners accepted it. There was no issue.

And the past tense is the wrong one for that sentiment. Only the present tense matters when speaking of freedom.

There are a thousand ways to divide us. But freedom is strong glue. And tolerance is the perfect primer. We've found a way to live together while remembering our native cultures and gently letting go of them while sharing those cultures with one another to incorporate them into our better lives as Americans.

I'd like to think that our country's internal battles that centered on race and ethnicity don't amount to much. We've come a long way together, and we have found a more hopeful way to live with one another than anywhere else in the world.

I wrote these words with guests in our home. Our friend Eun was born in the south of Korea in 1963, and she grew up there. We had dinner together as I pulled these thoughts together a few hours after listening to Mac. Eun's daughter, Connie, was born in Michigan, and she is as American as you or me.

Paul Murray and the boys who sat frozen with him at the Chosin Reservoir were fighting for this moment more than a decade before Eun was born. They vaguely hoped that the events I've related happen might. I'm happy to report that, to their great surprise, they were successful.

Look at lives in the north and south of Korea today and understand the significance of freedom. Prosperity in the south and poverty in the north it's a stark contrast on the same land. Enjoy the Hyundai and Samsung products in your life. You should drive that Hyundai... or Toyota, or Honda with the same pride that you drive a Chevy. The same embrace of risk, hope, and responsibility created each of them. Our countrymen spread the ethic that created each of those brands and, more importantly, the ethic that created them.

Understand, that is America - not the place, but the ideal. Those are the products that free enterprise enables.

Our culture is inviting and infectious. It lets us accept our roots while welcoming and incorporating others.

I'm lucky to have shaken the hands of men who risked their lives to spread freedom.

Hi Sgt. Grit,

I just read on the Internet that the 9th District Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court ruling that the Stolen Valor Act is unconstitutional. Apparently it is OK to lie about military service, but a crime to make heated, loose-lipped remarks against an elected official. The Courts would have us believe that Freedom of Speech is absolute, but we know differently.

Perhaps everybody is just going about this Stolen Valor thing all wrong. Maybe a different solution to the problem is in order.

Here's an idea. While working in Ft. Worth, Texas a few years ago I saw several billboards along the road with pictures and personal information on "Deadbeat Dads," men who owed thousands and thousands of dollars in back child support payments. Every month there was a new Dad, another new face on the billboards. Apparently Texas doesn't mind airing someone's dirty laundry in public.

So what I am suggesting is this: The next time one of these phony-hero types rears his ugly head and gets caught in the act, maybe some local veterans groups can take up a collection and buy a full page ad in the local news section of the local paper showing the faker's (deliberately misspelled) picture and all of his personal information (who he is, where he lives, where he works, what church he goes to, etc) and what he has done to deserve this public humiliation treatment. The ad should also ask the community to give this guy the "silent treatment".

You know, don't talk to the bast-rd, turn their back on him, complained to restaurant management about his presence ruining the evening if he enters while people are enjoying a meal. You get the idea. Treat him for the low life he really is. Think of this as a public pillory.

Sounds like a good idea, don't you think?

And I Quote...

"I can say -- not as a patriotic bromide, but with full knowledge of the necessary metaphysical, epistemological, ethical, political and esthetic roots -- that the United States of America is the greatest, the noblest and, in its original founding principles, the only moral country in the history of the world."
--author and philosopher Ayn Rand (1905-1982)

On 22 March 2011, a change of orders was issued for; Mary Schweitzer U.S.M.C. ,, M.C.L.
She reported to ST. PETER for permanent duty (registration).

She will be missed for her assistance to Marine Corps League members in the State of New Hampshire. Mary was active with the New Hampshire Marine Corps League State department, The Paul L. Gormley Detachment of Hudson New Hampshire, and The Tilton New Hampshire Veterans Home where she was Staff as permanent "Spiritual Adviser".

God, Country, Corps.
Semper Fi
jim angelo 1866568

Wedding Cake toppers picture responses:

When I saw the brides dancing and standing, the Marines on their faces, I could only think "if the USMC wants you to have a wife, they'll issue you one, now drop and give me 20!" ooh rah!
Karey Keel-Stidham
Marine mom

Sgt Grit,
Forget the issues of Semper Fi, Fair Winds and Following Seas, John Wayne, or posers. What is this business about leather collars for CATS?!? (as from a letter from the last American Courage). The Marine Corps mascot is a BULLDOG! Now you are carrying Leather Collars for CATS? Leathernecks are Devil Dogs? Not Demonic P-ssy Cats! Now, I happen to know that there's been many a Marine that has been lead astray by some demonic p-ssy cat at one time or another. Sometimes several Marines have been placed under the spell of a demonic p-ssy cat and the whole mess of them end up in some huge frackus, ending with broken bones and bar stools. Wait a minute . . . are these Leatherneck collars, or collars with little bells on them? . . . belay that complaint. Carry On . .

My point exactly. See what happens when Marines fall under the spell of these Demonic P-ssy Cats . . .

Cake Toppers drying

-Sgt Spellbound

Sgt Grit,
You asked what came to mind when we saw the cake toppers drying and I instantly thought, "how come there's never a female Marine cake topper?" That, and the thought that the women looked funny holding their hands up to heaven!

Note: In all the years I have done this I cannot remember ever seeing a picture of a woman at her wedding in uniform. If you have such a picture please send it. And in all these years I do not think we have been asked for one. Sgt Grit

Sgt. Grit:

The phrase "once a Marine, always a Marine" is a statement of the ideal but it also has practical applications. Here are two examples from my own experience.

In 1980 I was transferred by my employer at the time, The Wall Street Journal, from a small town near St. Louis to New York City. The Journal put me up in a midtown hotel for a few weeks while I looked for an apartment for my new bride and me. After I had been there a week, it was time to turn in my expense account so I could be reimbursed. I was sent to see a man named Bill McSherry, who had been with the Journal for about 30 years and was nearing retirement. He was in charge of "news department services," which covered a lot of unspecified territory, part of it keeping an eye on expense reports. He welcomed me to New York and asked how I was getting along as he cast what looked to me like a critical eye over how much I had spent.

As I sat there I noticed on his desk some kind of form with the Marine Corps eagle, globe and anchor at the top, so I said to him: "You were in the Marine Corps, Mr. McSherry? So was I."

The effect on him was electric. He sat straight up, yanked off his glasses and stared at me. "You were?" he finally managed to say. "You were? That's great. That's f--king outstanding. That's wonderful," and he leaned over his desk to shake my hand again.

He told me he had been a company clerk on Guadalcanal and that being a Marine had been one of the highlights of his life. We talked for an hour about the Corps, my time in Vietnam, his World War II experiences, how civilians just don't get it and many other things. Finally, it was time to get back to business. He took up my expense report, glanced at it again, glanced at me and said, "Well, this just won't work. You can't possibly expect me to approve this."

Oh, no, I thought. I've only been here a week and I've already screwed up. What had I done wrong? I wondered.

He took out his fountain pen and said, while hovering over the form, "We need to add a zero after all these numbers." Just like that, the $25 I had spent for dinner the night before became $250, and all my other expenses were similarly transformed.

When he was finished he looked over his work with satisfaction and said, "There. That's better. That's much better. Don't worry about adding this up again. I'll have my secretary do it. Drop back tomorrow and I'll have a check for you. And I expect your future accounting to reflect the changes I made in this one. Semper Fi, sergeant. Let me know if you need anything else."

Bill McSherry is dead now, but I've never forgotten him or his creative accounting. Thanks, Bill, and Semper Fi.

Fast forward to 2006. By then my wife and I had two children and were living in Massachusetts. One night, my 16-year-old son asked if he could use my car to "go buy some chewing gum." I tossed him the keys and told him to be careful. He returned about 45 minutes later and said, as he rushed in the door, "Dad, I wrecked the car." I thought he was kidding because the car was in the driveway but a closer look told me that he had, indeed, "wrecked the car." It sat at an odd angle and was battered all over. My son had taken a back road home, he said, and rolled the car, twice, when the tires on one side had hit a patch of deep sand. But he was still able to drive it back home from the accident scene about a mile away.

We called the police and after they interviewed to my son and satisfied themselves that he hadn't been speeding, no ticket was issued. But now came the hard part: Dealing with the insurance company.

The adjuster showed up a few days later to determine the extent of the damage and to decide how much money I was entitled to. I was asleep when he arrived and when I answered the door he did not look happy to have been kept waiting while I rolled out of the rack.

"Let's get this over with," he said. "I have a lot to do today."

I was hoping that the car, a Honda CR-V, was totaled. I knew that if it was repaired it would never be the same. When I mentioned this to him, he kind of snorted and said, "Totaled? I don't know. We'll see."

As we walked around the wrecked vehicle, he saw the Marine Corps sticker that graced the back window and said, while writing on his clipboard, "Who's the Marine?"

That's me, I said. 1968 to 1971. Quantico, Camp Pendleton, Vietnam. Oh, the good old days.

He chuckled and said, "Yeah, you're right. I was with the air wing in Japan. Swing with the wing, ya know? We had some good times."

We chatted a bit about our exploits and I could feel him loosening up. He seemed to have forgotten that he had a lot to do and was in a hurry.

After a while he said. "This is worse than I thought. It's definitely totaled. Our office will call you about sending a check."

We shook hands and he left. A few days later a woman from his office called and told me the size of the check that was in the mail. It was much more than I expected.

The shared experiences that unite Marines live beyond generations and circumstances. We never know when they will come back to help us. But we can be sure that, eventually, they will.

Semper Fi,
Bill Federman
Sgt., USMC

Hi Guys, I just wanted you all to know that I am now the Coordinator, Central and Northern Arizona for MIAP.

I first saw an article about them in the most recent VFW magazine and thought I would do a little research. I am very impressed with their cause and leadership. For a few weeks I was handling Maricopa and Pinal Counties, but have been asked to handle the rest of the state with the exception of Pinal County (Tucson area). In the past 3 weeks, we have identified 11 cremains of veterans that have been sitting on shelves at funeral homes and mortuaries in AZ. We will bury these veterans on April 25, March 29, and 2 yet to be scheduled: all will have military honor guards and possible assistance from American Legion Riders and Patriot Guard Riders for flag lines and honors.

If you have time on your hands and you want to, you can make a difference. I was going to volunteer at the local VA, but decided that I was too weepy, especially with the younger warriors in their rehab. This is just as rewarding, and I can hide my tears. Marilyn is involved with me as well, and will be standing at the funerals in the flaglines.

Let me know if you have any interest in serving in your respective states, or with me, here in AZ.

Semper Fidelis
MIAP Veterans Recovery Program
The Right Thing To Do


I have been working at NEADS (Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans going on 10 years. I am a retired Combat Corpsman serving with the Marines for 23 years.

I have always wanted to repay our wounded warriors with the debt owed to them for serving our country. That day came almost 7 years ago when I along with the CEO of NEADS founded Canines for Combat Veterans. There are many organizations that place dogs with disabled veterans, but I am proud to say that we were the first.

So far to date we have placed 42 dogs with their disabled veteran partner and all have worked out perfectly. The dogs afford such an independent lifestyle for their partner. The veteran no longer has to rely on others to aid in his getting around or doing simple tasks. Now his canine partner can do this for him. Our dog's open and close doors, pick items up off the floor, turn lights on and off, open refrigerator doors and place items from the refrigerator in the veterans lap, pull wheelchairs, and many more tasks.

There is so much more to our program, with the best feature of all being, "No out-of -pocket expense." We will pay for the dog, pay airfare both ways to bring our veteran to NEADS campus to learn how to work with the dog, and room and board is paid for with the Blue Star Mother of Chapter 1 in Leominster, MA supplying the food with the help from the VFW of Leominster.

The picture shown here is "Aubie" a Golden Retriever trained to serve as a demonstration dog for our veterans.

Aubie a Golden Retriever trained to serve as a demonstration dog for our veterans Please go to and click on the box, "Canines for Combat Veterans." There is a picture in that site of me and Aubie, a Golden Retriever along with Cpl. Nathan Potts USMC in the upper left corner.

If I can be of any help to our wounded Marines, please contact me at DocFregeauMCL @ verizon .net

George "Doc" Fregeau

Just to clarify, for Marine Libby... indeed he did attach his skivvie drawers to the clothesline by tieing the 'tie-tie's (or, if you prefer, tye-tye's) back in '62... however, at that time, the tie-ties were a part of the drawers, sewn on either side of the waist, and just for that purpose. Older nautical types will recall loose pieces of cloth tape that were issued and used for the same purpose, with the same name. The drawers were snowy white when new, not so much so after use and scrubbing at the wash rack. Three snaps in front, name stamped on one side of the fly (can't recall which side, nearly fifty years later)...

After boot camp. everybody had one perfect set for junk on the bunk, lightly starched and ironed, having been worn once so that the answer to the inspecting officer's question 'do you wear these skivvies?" could be truthfully answered. The 'real' ones might be found in a laundry bag hidden on the roof of the barracks... or in the trunk of a car, if there was somebody fortunate enough to have wheels on base... (been caught more than once... PFC's forget that Gunnys were once PFCs too...)

Think the style of issue skivvies changed about the time that ol' R. Strange McNamara became SecDef and changed our beloved herringbones to the sateen cloth worn by other branches...

And I Quote...

"A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves."
--French philosopher Bertrand de Jouvenel

Michael Damien Martin, Sgt (Ret) U.S. Army; I read the story "Pulled Out A Coin" I always thought that Senior NCO's were taught to respect the rank if not the man. So what does the Senior NCO teach to the younger enlisted man. You don't have to respect anyone's rank just carry a little change in your pocket, and when your called on the carpet for failing to salute a superior, just toss him enough change to make a phone call to his MAMA! Great job there Sgt. Grit.

Sgt. Grit,
The story about the 'brown bar' demanding a hand salute from the 1st Sgt does not square with my Marine Corps. That is not to say that 'boot Lts.' can't behave like peckerwoods. But the purported response of a senior Marine NCO to a rookie officer i.e. 'here's a dime, call your mommy, tell her you just met a real Marine,' is out of character and doesn't square with me.

It goes without saying that staff NCOs are the backbone of our Corps. They lead by example. The believe in discipline. They will allow no one to screw up their Corps and will not abide failing to render proper respect to their officers out of a dedication to the traditions of their Marine Corps.

We count on the experience and wisdom of staff NCOs to bring junior officers along. The good ones do it without breaching good order.

R.M. "Zeb" Zobenica
Capt. USMC (Ret)

Sgt. Grit:

There I was, a young 19 year old PFC walking up the trail to the mess hall at the An Hoa Combat Base in late 1967. I'm loping along carrying my mess kit when I just happen to look up and 'who do I see?', Lt. Gen. Lew Walt the III MAF commander. The way I looked and my sloppy reaction was sure to get me roasted. In a non-chalant, easy manner he smiled and said, "How's it going, Marine". I can't begin to describe how that made me feel.

Cpl Mark Smith, 2230642
later, CWO5 US Army (I somehow lost my way)

From my Drill Instructor:
"Stay off the Skyline!"!
(with the appropriate emphasis of the day...)

Sgt Grit