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USMC Personalized Rank and Name Can Koozie
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News and Info

Have an upcoming reunion? Post it on our Reunions Page. Or just go there to look for upcoming reunions you might be interested in.

GriTogether this weekend: June 11, 2011

-Free Food

-Live Band

-Watch the Poolees PT

-Free High and Tights

-Games for Kids

And Much More...
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Tips for easy reading

For some of you old salts out there who have trouble with the small text in our newsletter. Open the online version of the letter. Hold the CTRL button and the + button and the text will enlarge automatically. Use CTRL and - to reverse the effect. Semper Fi!

AmericanCourage #254     08 JUN 2011

Dad Shirts

I'm sitting here reading your 02 June Newsletter & thinking back to 02 June 1956 when Capt. Elena Brigotti and I, were married in the old Post Chapel aboard MCS, Quantico. How time flies when you can still have a Marine at your side after 55 years!
Tom Curran, Capt. USMC 1952-1957.

In This Issue

It always surprises me what works and what doesn't. I thought the request for helmet art and sayings would strike a cord. Nope... one response. So it will go back to one that worked very well. Several months ago I asked for new salutations for the newsletter. I got about 30-35 that I have been using since then. I have gone through them. Send me more. or just hit reply to this newsletter.

the Sgt Grit Blog Per the above story, 55 years two Marines married to each other. It's hard enough looking at my wife and wondering how she put up with a Marine for 31 years, but two Marines married to each other. Outstanding, amazing, unbelievable!

Here we go, 1/12 Afghanistan, Guadalcanal Marine too small, more about telegrams, would you be convicted, what feeling, for today duty done, Steve and Betty go to enlist, unloaded in Honolulu, do it the hard way, very happy kid, proud to be one.

Semper Fi
Fall Out
Sgt Grit

Vietnam Veteran Memorial Beirut/Vietnam Memorial

Sgt Grit

A few weeks ago my wife and I vacationed at Emerald Isle, NC. While there I was given the opportunity to visit both Camp Lejeune and the Beirut/Vietnam Memorial in Jacksonville. I was stationed at Camp Lejeune back in the 70's and this was the first time since I left to visit the base. I couldn't believe how much it changed.

Statue of Marine I'm attaching pictures of the Memorials (see all 10) so everyone can see what a beautiful job that was done for our Vet's.

The Vietnam Memorial is made of Glass and the names are embossed on the glass. As the sun shines through the glass it puts the names on the ground. It's really something to see.

The Beirut Memorial is well made and also something to see. I was in the Marines in 1983 and was very interested as I knew some of the Marines on that wall.

There is also a steel beam from the World trade center located there. What made that really stand out was the news paper I saw posted on that steel beam. It's also a must see. So here's my pictures, enjoy...

Beirut/Vietnam Memorial entrance Steel Beam from World Trade Center plaque

Thanks to all who made those and all the Memorials possible.

Semper Fi to all my Marine Brother's and Sister's out their past and present.

Michael P. England
SSGT USMC 0369/8412/5811
G 2/3, I 3/3, B 1/2, G 2/2, C 1/1,
MP Co MCB Camp Lejeune,
RSS Gastonia, NC.
HQ 9th Mar. &
H&HS Station MCAS Cherry Point, NC.

Custom Flame T-Shirt

And I Quote...

"I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death."
--Thomas Paine

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Hey Sarge,

I found this on the "Marine" Facebook site and thought maybe you would publish it and see if we can't reunite these folks.

Photo from Italy of Rinaldo and Ornella Mattarini In this photo: Rinaldo Mattarini, Ornella Mattarini Italy, city of Genoa,1959 or 1960. I'm Ornella Mattarini with my father. The day which this snap was released, there was a great ship of USA Navy in Genoa harbour. A group of Marines find me so pretty, that want to have a snap with me. Now that boys are over '70. Someone has seen a picture with this girl?

Semper Fi
Jeff Strayer

Bill Johnson's son and 1/12 Alpha Battery Dear Sgt. Grit,
I just wanted to share a picture of my son who is current serving our great country in Afghanistan with the 1/12 Alpha Battery.

I also wanted to thank all those who have served this country in defending our freedom. Thank you all. Semper Fi.
Bill Johnson

Kym and Leah's memorial for Michigan Marines - Crosses and flags I wanted to share with you something that my sister and I thought up about a year ago. Kym and I wanted to honor our fallen troops in some way and this is what we came up with. This memorial represents our fallen troops from Michigan, our home state. Each cross bears the rank, name, hometown and DOD of each soldier. We support our Troops in all that they do! Sad to say, one of our neighbors is now protesting, calling it a "graveyard". We will fight this.

Kym and Leah's memorial for Michigan Marines We definitely did not do this on our own. We had a lot of help. My husband and uncles made the crosses. (One uncle who is a Vietnam Vet and Purple Heart recipient. He is also Treasurer for our local MOFPH) Our mom, aunts, and cousins also helped. We thank them every day for their participation.

Thank you,
Leah Mroz

And I Quote...

"America is another name for opportunity. Our whole history appears like a last effort of divine Providence in behalf of the human race."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Bob was honored at the Tampa Marine Corps Ball last Nov, attended by 1,200 folks.(mcdill central command). got the first bite of the cake and when asked how was the cake, his response was "it was too small"...:)

Platoon Sgt Fincher and Olga PLATOON SGT Bob Fincher
Cape Gloucester - New Britain

"D-1-1" ...? might still be someone left in his outfit? We never did find anyone when attending the annual First Mar Div Assoc mtgs - we should have started years ago instead of waiting until Orlando in 2001, DC in 04, Denver 05 and Kansas city 06 was our last one, broke his leg 07 and has been having health issues since...but I am his "worn out" caregiver, and he says I am meaner than his drill instructor Dillenbeck was at P.I... :) I tell him I have to be to "keep him in line"... :)


Steve in Vietnam era uniform I set up a USMC Vietnam War historical display at our local Missouri Veterans Home. It was very well received and many folks were interested in it. Photos are below.

Display of Marine Corps items from the Vietnam era

Related to that, I have been going nuts trying to locate another white plastic C ration spoon for my display. Would anyone out there have one they would be willing to sell?

Steve Cox

And I Quote...

"When things are easy, there's danger at the door."
--Grateful Dead

Facebook - Photos of the Day

We feature an OUTSTANDING photo submitted by our Facebook fans each day. Be sure to become a fan or check out our page each day to see the next photo. Megan's Marine in Afghanistan

Here's one of the great photos we've received...

My Marine in Marjah Afghanistan. Lima co 3/25

I wanted to add my two cents worth on the point of telegrams concerning KIA's, WIA's and POW's. Maybe this will iron out the point of contention. MGySgt Johnson said he was responsible for the telegrams and Sgt E. De Lise said there were no such telegrams.

I was on I&I (Inspector/Instructor) duty between tours in Vietnam from 66 to 70 and was involved in well over 100 casualty calls. When a Marine was KIA, WIA or POW, there was an "in person" contact made with the next of kin. The notifying unit, Recruiting Station, I&I, etc., would be called and given the pertinent information along with the address of the NOK, they were also given a time at which the telegram to the NOK would be released by HqMC. If the casualty officer could not reach the NOK before that time, he must call HqMC and let them know and they would hold off the telegram and not release in until face to face notification had been made. (This was long before cell phones and finding a phone booth at night in the middle of nowhere was never easy.)

This served two purposes, one, that actual notification was made face to face with the NOK and two, it would prevent a hoax since the telegram to the NOK was from the Commandant of the Marine Corps.

Telegrams were sent by HqMC; who wrote those telegrams... I have no idea but I would be willing to bet that MGySgt Johnson wrote some for later release by HqMC.

L. H. Marshall, SgtMaj, USMC Ret.

Sgt. Grit, In response to Sgt. E. DeLise and his critique of MGySgt Johnson. Give it a break Sgt.. The top might be referring to the letters instigated by the deceased or wounded Marines Commanding Officer. In my experience, first hand, these letters are put out immediately following the incident. The OFFICIAL notice is delivered in person initially but the notification to relatives by the people who actually knew him or her, and were able to convey the HEARTFELT condolences along with personal shared experiences with the deceased Marine. I know what Top Johnson is referring to, I've had the unfortunate duty of putting out one too many of these notifications.

Semper Fi! Bill Montgomery Cpl 3rdMarDiv 69 - MAG-11 70

I'm writing in response to E De Lise statement "No Marine family received a telegram that their Marine was KIA, MIA, POW, etc.

I was the Casualty Assistance Officer for the Denver area including a 100 mile radius around Denver from January 1969 to December 1970.

My primary duty was to notify the next of kin of a KIA, POW, MIA, etc. My understanding that a telegram was sent to the next of kin after I had notified Marine Corps HQ in Washington DC that I had made the notification to the next of kin. If I could not reach the next of kin in the time frame HQ had given me, I was to call back as so as possible so they would not release the telegram. I would be given another time frame in which to notify the next of kin in person.

Michael T Pierson USMCR
Captain of Marines 1965-1971

Sgt. Grit,
Regarding the notification processes for KIA, MIA and the use of telegraph, here is a bit of history.

During WW II, telegrams addressed to the family were sent to the depot agent of the railroad depot located nearest the next-of- kin. The depot agent then delivered the telegram.

It was a sad day when the local agent came to the house...
R.M. "Zeb" Zobenica
Capt. USMC (Ret)

I have to add my two cents about the notification of wounded and KIA's to parents. I was at Khe Sanh during the Tet offensive of 1968. I agree that family members were notified of the death of a Marine or the wounding of them. But also the CO's sent a letter to them telling them what happened . Believe me I know because I typed up many a letter home to these parents. We tried to give detail about how their family member was wounded or killed. So E De Lise you only know part of the story if you think you were the only one telling family members of them what happened.

Jon DeWitt
Khe Sanh Veteran.

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And I Quote...

"The Marines will never disappoint the most sanguine expectations of their country...never! I have never known one who would not readily advance in battle."
--Capt. C.W. Morgan, US Navy, 1852

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Thank you for the newsletter. Since I have gotten out of Corps I have always had one full time day job and a part time job at night. While working at a dollar retail store last year, I came upon a young man came in with his mother probably not more than 25 yrs old wearing an Albuquerque Fire Dept (AFD) shirt, he stated he joined AFD right after he got out of the Marines and that he was a sniper during enduring freedom in Iraq. He said he graduated from boot camp in 2005, I asked which one and he came up with New York (not Parris Island and not San Diego), I asked why he got out of the Corps... He replied he had been wounded in combat, then I looked at the way he was dressed and his demeanor (I can usually pick another Marine out of a crowd of people) he had the typical gang tattoos and jail house tats. Knowing that I might never see this schmuck again, and knowing that I couldn't live with letting this schmuck walk around running his mouth about being a Marine... I told him to get his mommy so I could speak with her or he had the option of getting thrashed and to never come back to my store again. He slumped his shoulders went to find his mommy and left the store. I have worked hard and excelled at being a Marine and still conduct myself as such 8 years later, it is my duty to honor all my past - present - current Marines and this guy wasn't one of them.

I remember seeing a cartoon strip posted on my SgtMaj's hatch, with a Marine standing before St Peter with the quotation "if you were on trial for being a Marine, would you be convicted?" The answer is Yes and always guilty as charged. Semper Fidelis... brothers

I have read a few stories about the great deeds the Navy Corpsman's have done and decided to share one of my own.

My wife and I purchased a new car while on vacation in Oregon. We live 800 miles away in Utah. So we had to take two cars back home with us. My mother volunteered to help us drive both cars home. We normally make the trip in one day so we appreciated the extra help.

We were in the middle of nowhere in the desert. I was sleeping shot gun and my mother was driving and my wife and kids were in the care behind us. We were going approximately 77 MPH.

Anyway, I was sleeping with my seat fully reclined with my seat belt on. It felt like we were driving on a dirt road for a minute. My mom shook my shoulder and woke me up. She kept saying, "I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry." We were in the median. The car got back on the road. She over corrected. The car went into a power slide. I grabbed the oh sh*t handle and looked at the steep dirt hill we were about fly up. I kept thinking to myself, "Not today, Not today." My wife and children were going to watch us die.

The car flew up the hill and we rolled violently. My head hit the side airbag so hard I passed out for a second. I saw an ipod and sunglasses and many other things flying around inside the car. I heard a distinct sound of breaking glass and the car being crunched up. We rolled twice and landed right side up with the wheels on the ground. I had the taste of metal in my mouth.

I checked to see if I still had all my fingers and toes. I made sure I could still move my legs. I looked to my right and saw my mother's head slumped on the steering wheel. I got out of the car and stood up. I tried to walk around to my mom's side but I was having trouble moving my legs. My mom woke up and told me she was ok. I saw a car pulled over on the side of the road and a man running towards me. I noticed his kid get out of the car to chase his dad across the highway. I tried to run to grab the kid out of the road but again, I couldn't move my legs. The man was able to turn around and rush his kid back to the safety of his car. I had a few people around me asking me questions. I saw the stars and felt the signs. I told them all I was going to pass out and needed to lie down.

I pointed my legs up hill and laid down because I knew I was going into shock. I felt better within a minute. A man jumped over me and was talking to me. He said, "Everything's going to be all right Marine. I'm a Navy Corpsman." Enough said. My mother and I were safe and alive and being looked over by a Corpsman. What a feeling knowing a Corpsman was in total control of the situation. I wasn't even worried anymore. He stayed until we were loaded onto an ambulance.

Such a simple thing of a Corpsman being there for me in a devastating situation was beyond words.

I hope you're reading this Doc. Thank you for being who you are. Thank You for being what you are. Semper Fi Doc!
Jeff Steiner

And I Quote...

"Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual - or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country."
--Samuel Adams

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Sgt Grit,
Usually, I read the "posers" posts and move on. No one likes the idea, but there will always be those that strive for what they have not earned. But as I read the newsletter today, it bothered me. Monday is Memorial Day, not Veterans Day - but Memorial Day. The day set aside to remember those that have given the Ultimate Sacrifice, no longer here to read the newsletter. In actuality, those that gave all, gave for fellow Marines, Sailors, Soldiers, and Airmen. In the moment of sacrifice, whether from the mast of a ship, in the jungle of Nicaragua, the black sands of a volcanic island, over a coral reef, a frozen reservoir, on a red dirt hilltop near the DMZ, in a concrete building at a Lebanese airport, in the streets of Fallujah, or an Afghan mountainside, they gave for the ones on the right and the left. The Fallen have sacrificed for fellow service members that also earned the right to wear the uniform. That is what makes the poser despicable. So this weekend wherever you may be, remember that it is YOU, not the poser, that holds the responsibility to bow your head and remember them, and say a prayer for their families.
Gary Cagle

Platoon 12-A Women Recruit Battalion 1965 With regard to male drill instructors for Women Marines: I went to boot camp in 1965, and we had a male drill instructor, SSgt. Ortiz, as evidenced by the attached graduation picture. He was the greatest!

Semper Fi
Sharon Hill

Want to know what it's like to grow old? Don called me back a few days after I had left a message for him that I had a very funny story he would enjoy. When he called me, I couldn't remember the freaken story! But, when asked, I did tell him what I was currently doing. He asked me to send him an e-mail about it for the newsletter.

About a month ago my wife, Nicky, (from sunny Antigua) came across a sadly neglected Veteran's cemetery in Titusville, FL. Hearing her description, I decided to drive up and have a look- see.

The cemetery was hidden, off a lightly traveled gravel road, on the far side of a large potter's field. The grass was overgrown and unkempt, some of the 123 headstones (13 were Marines) were unreadable due to moss, mildew and mold. WW 1, WW 2, Korea and Nam were represented. Throughout, were old oak trees. It was quiet, desolate, lonely and unappealing. I was alone. In front of each Marine's headstone I paused, read his name, date of birth and death, tried to make a connection, then softly said "Semper Fi Marine", saluted and moved on to the next.

Like the old Iwo Jima Marine that once wrote in this very same newsletter, "Someday, I'd like to go back to San Diego to see a graduation". You may remember it. When I read his simple note, I got an odd feeling; somehow, I had to make it happen. It happened. Before returning home from San Diego, this Marine said to me "this has been one of the best things that has ever happened to me". Some months later he died.

As I was standing beside the graves of our fallen brothers, no matter the branch, I got that same odd felling. Something must be done. Said to myself, get off your a-s and let's make it happen.

From the cemetery, I drove straight to the local Marine recruiting station. I keep in touch with the recruiters several times a month; always ask them if there is anything I can do for them, joke around a bit and enjoy their company. So, I know them well including the SNCO, Gunny Sgt. Peter J. Williams, and they've accepted me as a brother Marine. I told Gunny what I had seen and asked if he thought we, meaning me, the NCO's and some poolees could take on the task of cleaning up the cemetery for Memorial day. He thought it a good idea, called his superior, Sgt. Major Jason J. Joiner in Orlando, who also thought it a good idea and said "go for it".

From there, surprising things started to happen. The Marine Corps treated it like a mission; not a project. A Marine PR specialist, Sgt. Paul A. Robbins Jr., joined the team. A Naval Chaplain officer was assigned to give the invocation on the day of the event, a local hardware store that has been around here since Joseph was making furniture donated all new flags and a old pressure washing contractor, that probably pressure washed the pyramids, looked quietly around the cemetery, simply turned to me and said "what time do you want me here".

A local single Mom, Lorisa, and her 12 year old son, Fisher, heard about the project, turned up and pitched in. The Marines loved her with her no problem, sunny attitude. During a break I had the privilege to sit down with the poolees and gave them a taste of how to become the best of the best and learn to become a leader. I noticed that young Fisher was quietly sitting in the rear, taking it all in. A future Marine?

By mid day, all the head stones shone like new, flags flying, the entire cemetery trimmed, raked, cuttings bagged, and the entrance pillars with our large EGA clean and white. When I stepped back and looked at the entrance, I got the impression, "Welcome Home Marine".

Gunny Williams formed up the Marines. The Naval Chaplain, in sparkling whites, gave the invocation and thanked God for such men who gave all they had to protect our Nation and way of life.

For today, duty done. We made it happen. And perhaps, most important, our poolees got their very first inkling of the real Marine Corps brotherhood that lasts a lifetime; and more. They are the ones that will carry on our traditions; they are our future. I think it was a good start, don't you?


Marine Corps Pride/Tradition/Heritage

Speaking as a retired Marine and a Marine of 37 years... let me say... I believe no one, other than a Marine, has the right to wear the Eagle, Globe and Anchor in an official capacity. If our Drill Instructors are referring to the Eagle, Globe and Anchor as EGA, then we need to reeducate our Drill Instructors. Marines don't take the easy way out and this just seems to be laziness.

I know I am going to offend someone in my next comment but it really isn't my intention. I have the utmost respect for Navy Corpsman and Navy Combat Engineers but they are Navy. Life is all about choices and we live with the choices we make. I never once regretted being a Marine and I certainly would never have worn a service emblem from another branch. I am proud to wear the Eagle, Globe and Anchor. If you want to be a Marine then, By God, do what it takes to become a Marine.

If a civilian wants to wear a Marine Corps t-shirt, hat or whatever... I have no problem with it. After all, we Marines purchase these items all the time for our family and friends. They wear them as a sign of respect; they want to show their pride.

Non-Marine types/imposters are going to continue to emulate Marines because they are envious; they know Marines are looked up to. They want the same respect given to Marines without having to earn it. We all know they wouldn't make a pimple on a Marine's butt and sooner or later they will be exposed and labeled a fraud. If I was to confront someone claiming to be/have been a Marine and they are not wearing a uniform, I am simply going to tell them how pitiful they are. Life is just too short to get overly stressed about a wannabee.

Robert A. Rainey
U.S. Embassy San Jose

And I Quote...

"I bet after seeing us, George Washington would sue us for calling him 'father.'"
--Will Rogers (1879-1935)

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My order was delivered fast and extremely happy w/ the order. Both shirts were awesome. The K-bar letter opener was really authentic, so authentic my son warned us that there was a knife on the desk, hilarious. The USMC tub was really nice. I work for the VA in Milwaukee & bartend @ the best strip joint in the Midwest (Silk Exotic), so that tumbler met professional tenders standard. Just waiting on my ladies shirt that is on backorder & I can understand why.

Sgt. Grit the new magazine & it's new format is what made me act on purchasing. Keep up the good work & the corpsman story in the airport in your weekly e-mail was very touching. It just goes to show that Marines always take care of their own! Happy Memorial Day. God Bless you & ur crew. Marines don't pick anybody else becuz we are on the top, but we get picked on a lot, mostly by the Army dogs. Heavy is the head that wears the crown!

Anthony V. Lopez

Montana Veteran's Plate This is a Montana Veteran's Plate (Mine).

-Larry Anderson December 1968 to December 1972.

Sgt Grit

I was never a U.S. Marine

But I helped deliver supplies to the Marines ON the Russell Islands in 1944 and 1945, I spent a couple years In the south pacific and have the most respect for the U.S. Marines. Also I was in Korea during 1950 to 1953 and again I have only admiration for the U.S. Marines.

William E. Brister
Retired Sgt First Class U.S Army.
I retired on July 31, 1968
I am 85 years old now
God Bless all my Brothers and Sisters in arms

Sgt. Grit,
I don't send in letters... I just enjoy the stories from Marines and families, and also the pictures. And more importantly, from time to time the stories I share with my USMCR fiance make him laugh. However, this time I had to add in my two cents.

A Marine wrote in that he was rather upset to see those who hadn't earned the sacred Eagle Globe and Anchor wearing things with it on there and despised the term EGA... I would like to respond to this gentleman.

To me, saying the EGA is not disrespectful, it just allows us to speak quickly and if I am not in a hurry with a conversation, say if I'm trying to get somewhere or have other business to handle and can't be on the phone long, I will use the full term. I love the Eagle Globe and Anchor. I always have. And I always will.

Now on to the topic of Marine shirts and hats, etc on non- Marines.
I understand being upset about posers and imposters wearing those things and claiming to be one of our brothers and sisters. I would like to be able to either arrest them for impersonating a federal servant or just slap them around a little. Or better, make them spend time serving the true Marines.

However, if you imposed this ban on all non-Marines, what about the families of Marines? Haven't we sacrificed and served with our Marines? We have earned the right to proudly recognize our Marines by wearing their colors and insignia... Please, don't make us feel any more marginalized than the civilians that don't know any military servicemen and women. We already have to deal with being told we're being too dramatic or that we should just get over it, or far worse, being asked why we're with killers. Yes, those comments are still being made. I lost a friend over comments like that.

Not trying to start an argument at all, just trying to give you food for thought.

Thanks for all you do Sgt. Grit. Semper Fi!

~Amanda ~

Bill and his license plate hey Sgt. Grit this is my plate that I ride around with. what do you think does it rate??

Semper Fi. Oorahhhh!
Bill Pilgrim

First US Marine Medal of Honor Recipient:

Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 1836, New York, N.Y. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 17, 10 July 1863. Citation: On board the U.S.S. Calena in the attack on Fort Darling at Drewry's Bluff, James River, on 15 May 1862. As enemy shellfire raked the deck of his ship, Corporal Mackie fearlessly maintained his musket fire against the rifle pits along the shore and, when ordered to fill vacancies at guns caused by men wounded and killed in action, manned the weapon with skill and courage.

Submitted by FJ Breck, Corporal, USMC

And I Quote...

"Retrieving wounded comrades from the field of fire is a Marine Corps tradition more sacred than life."
--Robert Pisor, The End of the Line, 1982

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Sgt Grit, I enclose the criteria for a combat action ribbon. Essentially the recipient must have been in a fire-fight. Received and returned fire. (Emphasis added below) Incoming mortars, fire, etc. may not necessarily qualify. I hold the ribbon for service in Viet Nam, 1st Marines, Aug 66 to September 29, 67. J Kanavy, Cpl, USMC, inactive

14. Combat Action Ribbon (CAR)
a. Authorization. SECNAVNOTE 1650 of 17 February 1969.
b. Eligibility Requirements
(1) Awarded to members of the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard (when the Coast Guard or units thereof operate under the control of the Navy) in the grade of captain/colonel and junior thereto, who have actively participated in ground or surface combat. Upon submission of evidence to their commanding officer, personnel who earned the Combat Infantryman Badge or Combat Medical Badge while a member of the U.S. Army may be authorized to wear the CAR.
(2) The principal eligibility criterion is that the individual must have participated in a bona fide ground or surface combat fire-fight or action during which he/she was under enemy fire and his/her performance while under fire was satisfactory. Service in a combat area does not automatically entitle a service member to the CAR. The following amplifying remarks are furnished as guidance.
(a) Personnel in riverine and coastal operations, assaults, patrols, sweeps, ambushes, convoys, amphibious landings, and similar activities who have participated in fire fights are eligible.
(b) Personnel assigned to areas subjected to sustained mortar, missile, and artillery attacks actively participate in retaliatory or offensive actions are eligible.
(c) Personnel in clandestine or special operations such as reconnaissance, SEAL teams, EOD teams, and Mine Countermeasures operations are eligible when the risk of enemy fire was great and was expected to be encountered.
(d) Personnel aboard a ship are eligible when the safety of the ship and the crew were endangered by enemy attack, such as a ship hit by a mine or a ship engaged by shore, surface, air or sub-surface elements.
(e) Personnel eligible for the award of the Purple Heart would not necessarily qualify for the Combat Action Ribbon.
(f) Personnel serving in peacekeeping missions, if not eligible by the criteria cited above, are eligible to receive the award when all of the following criteria are met:
- the member was subject to hostile, direct fire,
- based on the mission and the tactical situation, not returning fire was the best course of action, and
- the member was in compliance with the rules of engagement and his orders by not returning fire.
(g) The CAR will not be awarded to personnel for aerial combat since the Strike/Flight Air Medal provides recognition for aerial combat exposure; however, a pilot or crewmember forced to escape or evade after being forced down could be eligible for the award.
(h) Under Public Law 106-55, the CAR may be awarded retroactively to 07Dec41.

Hi Kristy
Thank you!

Brad's dad, a Marine, with his Marine Corps blanket I am actually writing you from Langley OK. I got a call on Monday morning that my Dad had taken a turn for the worse and I should probably head down to Oklahoma so I did an all nighter and got into Fairland Tuesday morning! I walked into to his room and there he was lying sleeping with his Marine Corps blanket!

Thanks again.
Brad Olson

Sgt. Grit,

Steve and Betty were living in Torrington, Connecticut in early 1943. One day Steve received an official notice from his draft board telling him he must report for an induction physical exam for the U.S. Army. Since everybody was swept up in the spirit of World War II patriotism, Betty decided that if George must go into the military service that she would too. The day George went for his physical Betty went to the Marine Corps recruiting office to enlist for the duration of the war. Betty was accepted and sent to the first class of Women Marines at Columbia University in New York City. Upon the completion of her boot camp at Columbia Betty was sent to the Marine Corps paymaster school in Philadelphia, PA. George, on the other hand, failed to pass his physical examination and was sent back home. Betty was in and George was out.

The Marine Corps paymaster school was really what today would be called on the job training. The school was in a downtown office building and those stationed there were paid $2.75 per day and had to find their own room and board as meals and quarters were not furnished by the military. It was very much like a civilian job and personnel were on their own on evenings and weekends. The only way a Woman Marine could get an honorable discharge from the service was to get pregnant. Needless to say Betty spent a lot of time on weekends traveling home to visit George to try for an honorable discharge. I never heard if George thought war is h-ll or not. I know that Betty had a daughter, but I do not know if she arrived before the war was over.

Bob Gaston

Aloha Sgt Grit,

Bob Talmadge's Liberty Card My I.D. card does not match that one from 1942, but up a few on the 1954 one mentioned. Mine was issued to me in the third week of boot camp at Parris Island in December of 1947. The back has nothing on it except my platoon number and series, 119-32. The day it expired I was on my way to the Chosin Reservoir and no one was checking I.D. cards.

Senior Platoon Instructor-SSgt Waldo J. Aleshire, if you remember what Oliver Hardy looked like, Laurel & Hardy films, that was Waldo J. Aleshire. Had think about smiling and laughing when you saw him, but better not. Junior drill instructor-Sgt. Aaron W. Spikes. Spikes is retired CWO-4, living now in Florida. Instructor Cpl (first name unknown) Caggiano, New York City left us after three weeks due to discharge. Assistant D.I. SSGT (FNU) Deloach left us to pick up his own platoon. All great people, no abusers or sadists. Did their job without physical ill treatment.

Bob Talmadge, MGySgt, USMC (Retired)

In reference to Cpl Kunkel about a co-worker claiming to be a WM.
When I arrived at Parris Island Nov, 1973, we had an SDI and a DI for most of our training. For our close order drill (marching) we DID have a male DI. I'm not sure when they changed to all female drill instructors but we did have, at least from Nov. '73 - Jan. '74, male drill instructors for close order drill, as well as, the gas chamber, and the N.B.C. warfare classes. This was still when we were "freeing a man to fight" late in the Vietnam era before the women recruits did the Crucible, and we were called Women Marines (WM's).

Former Cpl of Marines
Proud to be called a WM,
Terri (Sides) Calhoon
Plt. 11A

And I Quote...

"No people will tamely surrender their liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and virtue is preserved. On the contrary, when people are universally ignorant, and debauched in their manners, they will sink under their own weight without the aid of foreign Invaders."
--Samuel Adams

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Sgt. Grit: I'd like to take a few minutes to share a story about some Marines who really touched my life and made a real tough period of time during my initial year in the Corps bearable.

I don't remember the names, of these Marines nor where they were from, I do remember how much compassion they had for me and the patience and willingness to bend rules to get a fellow Marine on his way home.

I had graduated from boot camp, series 189 Platoon 190, that started in May of 1968, and we went from there to ITR at Camp San Onofre where we got the finishing touches before being sent home for our boot leaves.

Upon returning from boot leave we were assigned to our training regiments for OJT in whatever MOS we were blessed. Upon completion of our OJT we were assigned to a unit whose name escapes me, but it was a unit that held all different kinds of Marines just waiting for transfer to their units in RVN.

I had married my sweetheart about 6 weeks before leaving for boot camp, and as is the case with all young married Marines we missed each other terribly. But letters came pretty regularly and I was able to call about once every couple of weeks so life was pretty much ok. Finally after about 2 weeks in this "staging battalion" we were all loaded up on buses and bused to El Toro MCAS where we boarded planes for RVN with a designated fuel stop at Honolulu Hawaii.

Our plane landed at about 0300 and as soon as the plane stopped it's taxi one of the flight attendants came back and asked if there was a PFC Sidney Lawrence onboard? I stood and identified myself, she turned me over to a local police officer while she went to find my C.O. We disembarked and were taken into a security office in the air terminal, and the local LEO made a phone call and gave the phone to my C.O. who spoke with someone for about 10 minutes, then he came in to where I sequestered, with another LEO and advised me that my sweet wife had been killed on October 20, 1968 the same night I left MCAS El Toro. She had a ectopic pregnancy that ruptured and she bled to death before medical help arrived. The C.O. immediately put me off the movement and ordered me to stay at Marine Barracks Pearl until Emergency Orders could be established. He then turned me over to the Local LEOs in Honolulu, got back on the plane and was gone, and I'm told by some friends that he did make an in-flight announcement regarding the passing of my wife, who had visited at Camp Pendleton twice during my OJT and staging battalion training, so many of the Marines in my squad and platoon had visited with us and knew her.

Being "unloaded" in Honolulu without anything but what I had on my back and what was in my overhead bag, I was shuffled to Marine Barracks Pearl, then to Marine Liaison at Hickham to wait for orders and a flight back to the mainland. I was never more alone than I was then. About 0700 two Corporals from Hickham came to get me they had heard the story and decided to take care of me and make sure I got out of Hawaii ASAP. One took me to their quarters and put me to bed and the other started working the phones to get me orders home, I don't know remember these guys, but both were vets of the Tet offensive and both had been wounded and were working this assignment in a recovery situation until they could go back to full duty or get out.

I spent 2 days with them, that's how long it took for them to get me on a C140 to Travis AFB so I could get to SFO to SLC and then home. When I didn't want to eat, they fed me, when I felt like my life was over, they kept me going. And right now as we remember the people who have given all they have to make and keep us free, I think of these two kind and caring E-4's who cared enough for a young PFC to keep me going through the depths of grief and sorrow and leave a great enough impression to return and do the job I'd been trained to do.

If you're out there guys, and you happen to read this, you were Semper Fidelis. I think of you often and wish the best for you, and I hope your families know how valiant and truly faithful you are.

Sid Lawrence
Sgt. E-5
Always a Marine

I was stationed at Parris Island, WRTC from 1978-1980. During that time I served in the S-3, was the Adjutant/PersO & a Series Cmdr.

We had male 8511's as academic instructors in the S-3. They were not assigned as DI's to the platoons.

As to the term BAM; during my time on Active Duty it WAS considered an insulting term. I still consider it so.

Semper Fi,

Patty Lyons
Marine, wife of a Marine, daughter of a Marine, mother of 2 Marines & mother-in-law of a Marine

Howard and his fellow Marines of 4th Battalion at Camp Hauge Okinawa in 1957 and 1958 Sgt. Grit
From my old Cannoncocker days on Okinawa... I served with the 12th Marines Kilo Btry. 4th Battalion at Camp Hauge Okinawa in 1957 & 1958 on the 155 Howitzer... some of these men I had the honor of serving with... Time is fast slipping away from us and I'd like to locate as many as possible... I can be reached at Facebook at Howard W. Kennedy or by email at h.kennedy @ comcast .net

I was remembering some stories from when I was stationed in Okinawa in 1958 & 1959.

I was a AMTRAC driver at a base called White Beach. The one story that sticks out for me was when we got a new company commander in the late spring. He was a Marine pilot; we all wondered why a pilot, but he soon told us. After a couple of weeks he addressed the company at morning formation. He said to us Men we are all combat infantry Marines. It doesn't matter if you drive a tractor, a tank, a mechanic, or cook; you are all combat infantry. The next day we went on a forced march for about 10 miles with full packs and even C-rations. There were some stragglers and moaning, but we kept going and even stopped to eat some of the C-rations from the Korean war. When we got back that evening we assembled about a quarter mile from the base. We then marched on the base at right shoulder arms and he thanked the company and we were dismissed. We were all thank full and we knew the new commander was a true Marine.

The one question I have is; we are all leather necks and we called ourselves Jarheads and will always be. Do the current day Marines call themselves Jarheads?
I hope so.

PFC Bob Romano
Semper Fi.

While some former woman Marines may reject the thought that there were ever male drill instructors working with woman Marine recruits, my wife, Carolyn K. Gregg disputes that. Her platoon 1-A graduated from boot camp at Parris Island, S.C. on Feb. 21, 1958 and in her graduation platoon photo standing proud is T.Sgt R.E. Shoemaker, very male and probably a foot taller that the two woman drill instructors, T.Sgt. I. I. Knafla and Sgt. P.A. Carroll.

Sgt. Shoemaker taught "drill & ceremony" and was thorough and strict with his Marine recruits. He was respected for his command, demeanor etc.. He never used foul or abusive language but spoke and gave commands clearly and was well understood. Shoemaker was at times assisted by another Marine male sergeant who was even taller than Shoemaker. The male Marines were however, never in the barracks area and always met the woman on the parade field or another location. And yes, Carolyn has pictures of him as well taken after graduation. Carolyn served at FMFLant, NAS Norfolk, Va before being assigned to the Under Secretary of the Navy's office in the Pentagon.

We met at Norfolk and married 52 years ago at HQMC chapel in Arlington, VA. The chapel at that time (it is gone now replaced by other buildings) was above a movie theater. During the pre- ceremony a war movie was being shown with planes shooting etc. which could be loudly heard in the chapel. But the noise stopped before the ceremony and all was quiet until the "I do's" were said, then began again. Carolyn was always proud to have been a Marine and after our three kids were born, she tried to reenlist in a Marine reserve component but they had no slots for women. She then joined an army national guard unit, transferred to the army reserves and retired as a master sergeant after 24 years of service. I have always been proud of my Woman Marine.

Sgt.(E-4) J. E. Schatzman
1955 - 1959

I was in Platoon 1 A of 1958, and we had women drill instructors, but for marching we had a male whose name was Sgt. Shoemaker. The first time we went up to drill, he lined us up according to height and gave us a right face, and a forward march. The next thing we heard, none of understood and we were all going in different directions. When I look back, it was funny, but he did not think so. We finally learned to understand the commands he gave, and to this day, I still love to march. Our league marches in all the local parades, and it is a privilege to carry one of the flags. I look back on boot camp with some fond memories and envy the young women of today, as they are taught to fire a rifle, and have much harder training than we did then. It being peace time they were more concerned with how we looked.

And I Quote...

"The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions."
--Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

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As a member of 2nd Amphib. Recon Company, I remember training with special forces at Fort Bragg, NC during 1957-1959....We used to convoy up the road from Camp Geiger to spend a week or two training (problems) with and against a Special Forces Unit.

As part of that training, we would recon the "enemy" at night and prepare to compromise their security. On one occasion, we decided to inflate air mattresses (can't remember where we got them) and floated on them across a lake to attack them at dawn as they slept in their sleeping bags....(wouldn't have wanted them to be too cold at night)....We completely took them by surprise, for their security was looking for an attack from their front and the woods, not from behind and the lake front. We captured their CP and had a good time tormenting them as our "POWS."

On that occasion, I learned that Marines do it the hard way which many times is the most effective manner of doing things...

Dick Vara
San Jacinto, CA.

Dear Sgt Grit:

I am the daughter and sister of Marines. I was taught Marine Corps History since I can remember. I also took my father to every Marine Corps League meeting he was physically able to attend. We both became lifetime members of the League although I am only an associate. The shirts we wear have the Eagle Globe and Anchor on them. I also have the Marine emblem on my car as it was used to transport a Marine. I do not ever mean to disrespect the Corps. I am very proud of everything you have done. So how do I honor both father and brother with the emblem without offending the true Marines?


Hi Grit,

I have a couple of photos on (My fishing Machine) that you might like to put in your next news letter. Remember "Gy/Sgts" are the back bone of the Corps - ask anybody. I have been told this for over 20 years 1956-1976.

Gy/Sgt Souder's Fishing Truck Front Gy/Sgt Souder's Fishing Truck Back

"Semper-Fi" Grit, you're doing a Outstanding job for the Marines...

Her they are:


Gy/Sgt. Lew Souder, USMC/Ret.

Hi Sgt. Grit,

Enclosed is a photo of the front of my house on Memorial Day 2011.

Pvt. Clauss's front lawn with flags from USMC, Navy, and Army The flags are arranged it that order because I am a Marine, my neighbor to the west is a Navy Vet, and my neighbor to the east is active duty Army.

My wife and I are Patriot Guard Riders and are extremely proud to be able to fly our flags.

Love the newsletters and all the great Marine products.


Jeff Clauss
Pvt. USMC 58-62

Today is Memorial day and in our little town we have a parade. My youngest is a drummer in the High School band. The band is small but proud. The temperature was approaching 90 degrees and our kids did a good job. We band of parents that walked with the kids passing out water when needed.

I always wear my Sgt Grit gear and after the parade at the cemetery before the program began I was approached by two gentlemen who asked where I served and was I ever in the Marine band, I replied no I was in the Airwing at Chu Lai in 68'. One of the Gentlemen said he was at Chu Lai and Danang and a few other places but his brother was with the band in Washington. This gentlemen then asks if any of the kids deserves recognition and I pointed our a few but he asks which one is mine and I reply that the young lady in the purple top is mine they proceed over to the area where the kids are taking off their wool uniforms and I am still busy with some cleaning up plastic water bottles.

Later my daughter comes over to me and shows me a Marine Corps Challenge coin showing on one side the Eagle, Globe and Anchor and on the other side a Marine in dress blues with a Horn. She was just as proud of that coin as could be and quite a few admirers of that coin.

Thank you Marines for making a young lady a very happy kid.
Bill Carey
65-69 RVN 68-69

Army World War One Liberty Card Sgt Grit,

Semper Fi, Devil Dog!

Thank you for the excellent news letter. I've thoroughly enjoyed the letters and comments from everyone.

I've been involved in research for my families genealogy for many years. While searching my personal archive of information I came across a liberty card for one of my great uncles that served with the Army in WWI. I'm sure some of your loyal Marines would enjoy viewing it even if it is Army. We all may not have had the pleasure of serving in the Marine Corps, but we each in our own way contributed to the freedoms we all enjoy today.

MSgt R. Evans
USMC Retired Once a Marine Always a Marine

Liberty Card from 1950

Cpl Dove's letter and Liberty Card

G'day Sgt. Grit,

Doc Patrick's Geneva Convention Card I have been enjoying the stories behind the older Liberty cards that have been shown, very much. While I have no liberty card today, I do have a Geneva Convention Card issued to all FMF Corpsmen going into RVN. (To this day, I detest the word "Medic"!) Mine was handed to me just minutes before we flew the several hours in a C-130 from Okinawa to Da Nang air strip in early 1966. The second photo shows the inside of a leather wallet given as a Christmas present to any who wanted one in the Third Division. The outside of the wallet showed a gold Eagle, Globe and Anchor. It has many Grunt miles on it, as do most of us today... but I thought you might like to see these items.

Doc john Patrick 1964-68

And I Quote...

"Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear."
--Harry S Truman (1884 - 1972)

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This is in response to Cpl. Kunckel. Sorry if I miss spelled your last name sir. About the PPOS's I know where you are coming from. Though I do not have the honor of earning the Marine title, I do have a certain espirit de corps when it comes to the Marines and I hate those that claim to be something they are not. At least when I talk Marine stuff with Marines, I let them know I was not a Marine, just in USMC JROTC for 4 years of high school and am engaged to a Marine that served with 1/5 weapons co. when he was active duty. I just wanted to put in my two cents. Thank you all for your service, Marines.

Sammie Roe
Marine fiance

I read the article concerning the love of the D.I.'s a Marine had and what they did for the Marine. I find this interesting as a recruit I did not understand what it meant to be a D.I. I did not know how much time, effort and loss of family a Marine gives up to be a Marine Drill Instructor. I did not understand how much my D.I.'s wanted us all to make it, to be tough, to be strong, to be excellent shooters and finally to be qualified to be called a United States Marine and be qualified to wear the Eagle, Globe and Anchor. I did not understand or know how much sweat and blood the D.I. put into working a herd to graduation day.

None of what it meant to be a United States Marine Drill Instructor did I understand until... until that day that I graduated Drill Instructor School... until that day that I picked up my first herd... until that day that my first herd graduated fully qualified basic trained United States Marines. I then understood what it means to be a D.I. When I was on the field at MCRD San Diego all D.I.'s were supposed to be Nam vets.

I guess the same is true today that they want the D.I.'s to be Iraq or Afghan vets. I understood why they had the requirement after I went onto the field. I was pushing a herd when I blew out my Achilles tendon and had to leave the field after about 1 and a half years. This also put me out of my beloved Corps. I felt like I let the Corps down because I was unable to complete my tour of duty on the field.

I still have my Cover that was issued to me upon graduation from Drill Instructor School. It is in a cover block in my bedroom. I still have the thumper stripe and the large Eagle, Globe and Anchor that we put on the front of the Cover. I guess I should have it bronzed or something like that but I just like seeing it in its original condition. Besides the memories attached to that Cover are many and I think they would somehow be lessened or lost if it were not in the original condition as it was when it was issued to me in Sept. 1975. Just some thoughts from an old Marine on want it meant to me to be a United States Marine Drill Instructor. Please forgive me if I sound rather proud of the fact I was a D.I. but dang Nam it I am darn proud of being one of the Few the Proud the Marine Drill Instructor.

Joseph E. Whimple
2/1970 to 12/1976
MCRD San Diego 1975-1976

Now that is the way to end a newsletter. Wow! Outstanding.
Sgt Grit

God Bless America!
Gung Ho

Sgt Grit