After my initial contact with the Marine Recruiter in Mobile Alabama in 1955 and my commitment to the Marines, I returned for my final meeting and to my surprise the Recruiter rushed up to meet me as I entered the office. He grabbed my hand and begin to shake it while exclaiming how great it was to have a recruit that graduated from high school and didn't have a police record! I guess that's how it was in the post-Korea and pre-Vietnam days!
Later while at the National Guard Armory in Montgomery Alabama with over a hundred men undergoing their induction physicals for all services, we were interrupted by a man with a bull horn. He directed all Air Force recruits to one corner, all Army recruits to another corner, all Navy recruits to another corner, and all Coast Guard recruits to the remaining corner. That left three of us in the center of the large room, to which the man pointed us out and said: "And those idiots are joining the Marines!". Although everyone had a good laugh at our expense - even then I was proud to stand there destined for the Marines!
Sgt. Earnie Aikens (1955-1959)
PI Plt. 108 1955
In This Issue
Rays Map Room Vietnam AO's on blog, also WWII Pacific Marine tribute, IED belt in Marjah, Adm Nimitz's response to Pearl Harbor and many others. Good stuff that doesn't really fit what the Newsletter is all about. Take a look daily.
Here we go: one of the best pictures, more call signs, Japanese houseboy, big welcome at the Brig, milk shake salute, overheated bodies, informed the group of ladies, my wife decided, 3/11 Chi Lai, in my Marine Corps, "Peculiar Breed", very large cake, kept saluting him, works learned in boot camp,
Fair winds and following seas.
Thank you Marines
Thanks to the numerous customers who so generously donated to the Wounded Warrior Project on our site, they will be getting a donation of $11,015.19.
Look for the donation button to the Semper Fi Fund when placing your next order!
One Of The Best
As a former Marine Sergeant (circa 1972-1976) I was of course thrilled that my oldest boy Kurt chose to do a hitch in the Corps. Currently a Lance Corporal, Kurt found himself in Afghanistan over the recent Father's Day. He makes phone calls when he can but as you might expect, I had little expectation of a timely card or letter on Father's Day. He missed it by one day and sent an E-Mail apologizing for missing the day itself. I opened the attached photo and was floored. It turned out to be what I personally consider one of the best pictures ever taken and a perfect Father's Day card for any ol' Jarhead.
I have sent it to everyone, made it my wallpaper on my computer and it's the last thing I see each night when I power down. I thought it was well worth letting everyone see, so attached is what I consider one of the best Father's Day card a Marine father ever got.
Former Sergeant Kevin Kjornes.
PS. Wish him luck on a safe return because he doesn't need skill, the Corps gave him all of that he'll need.
Attached is a photo that we did at Marine week in St. Louis 2 weeks ago. What a blast, I swelled up with pride to see the Corps that I am always so proud of. I tell everyone there are Three things that I am most proud of in my life and that is my Children, Nick and Jamie, to be a nurse and help people and to have served my country as one of the best A Marine. OohRah
p.s. I also worn my Sgt Grit not as lean not as mean t shirt.
thanks and Semper Fi
Theresa Bonuchi (PIATT)
I hope I'm not too late to weigh in here. I was in VN 66&67, A Company, 4th Platoon, 1st Tracs. Two different call signs Slayborn Alpha 4 and Murphy Alpha 4. Murphy Alpha 4 was our Platoon Commander Gunny Fred Markland, Navy Cross in Korea as a PFC. We used to call each other every Marine Corps Birthday until he passed away a few years ago.
Semper Fi- Mike Adair
(another Sgt. from Oklahoma now living in Texas).
P.S. I have been to your store twice and love it. Thanks for what you do, and have done.
Hey Sgt Grit...
I was a 2531 as my first MOS... the only call sign that I can say really sticks out in my mind was R8J.
I came up occasionally and everyone would chuckle when you heard it across the radio...
Michelle (Keim) Christman
Cpl - 87 - 91
Re. Call Signs, the first one I ever used was with H&S 2nd AT's and it was 'Black Bear' then with 3/7 in 1969 the one that I remember is "Benchmark'.
After PI boot camp in 1951 (no yellow footprints) I reported to Headquarters Battery, 2nd 90mm AAA Gun Battalion at Camp Lejeune Tent Camp 2 (now Camp Geiger).
The first radio call sign I used there was Tinware.
Later in my career with 1stMarDiv one call sign we used was Isherwood.
MGySgt - 1194813
Captain - 097655
Being a Marine isn't everything...it's the ONLY thing.
Gerald T. Pothier
Capt. USMC (Ret)
Sharp and Sober
Iwakuni, Japan in the mid 1950's, My good buddy Nick Dubovick and I returned to base after a pretty wild night on the town. The next morning I found a crumpled piece of paper in my pocket, entirely written in Japanese. Didn't ring any bells with me so I asked Nick if he had a clue. He said that he found the same paper in his pocket so we showed them to our Japanese houseboy. He said that they were from a tailor shop and that we had bought a couple of sport coats.
That evening we went back in to town to see exactly what the h*** we had bought. They turned out to be bright red velvet coats with baby blue silk linings and our initials on the pocket in gold thread. After we got over the shock we wondered if we would have the b***s to wear these in public. We decided we would wear it, only if the other one wore his too. The enclosed picture was taken in the Miss Iwakuni Bar. Nick is the short one. We never did remember having these jackets made and/or paying for them. I think they cost us 3,000 Yen which was under $10 back then.
Nick is now serving in Post Everlasting and I often think of the years of absolutely crazy stuff that we did while in Japan. I could write a book but only a few would believe it.
Sgt. of Marines
Cpl Dustin Welsh
65 Ford Galaxy 500 XL
I have a couple of things. I was at Parris Island in early 1958 Plt. # 117 at the same time as Wanda who wrote in a few weeks ago, in fact she was in the same Marine Corps League I was back east. Our Plt. pulled mess duty at the Women Marines mess hall. When we got over there a Master Sgt. came to our formation and asked if any of us were from a farm, I raised my hand, one of the few times I ever volunteered in the Corps. Turned out to be a good deal, everyone was busting their butts from 04:00 to 19:00 and I worked from 0:700 to 16:00 taking care of the lawn and flowers.
As for Vieques, know it well, was down there a couple of times. One night myself and another Marine decided to take a walk to the Red Rooster were we weren't supposed to be. Little did we know that some grunts had been posted to stop offenders like us. They jumped out of the hedge row and scared the living heck out of us.
The next morning I was standing tall before the man and received a 6 month suspended bust, I was a Cpl E-4. On our trip back to the states we pulled liberty at Gitmo, We were on the U.S.S. Boxer and I was sunning myself on the flight deck when a Sgt. came up and told me the Top wanted to see me. I reported to him and he told me I was chasing a Buck Sgt. who was caught stealing money from men to the Brig. I reminded him I was restricted to ship and he told me to do as told, and he didn't care what I did after that. The Sgt. and I had our own ride into the base I delivered him to the Brig and was the first one to the slop shut. Oh by the way that Sgt. had a real big welcome at the Brig.
MCL Old Breed Detachment, Az.
I'll have to chime in on various discussions in the past newsletters. If I don't, I may get thrown out of the club.
Spent 14 months with 2nd ANGLICO at Courthouse Bay, Camp Lejeune from April 1969 to May 1970. During those 14 months I went on a Med Cruise aboard the USS Francis Marion to Barcelona Spain, Naples Italy and somewhere in Greece for the operation. Used cargo nets to get off and back on the ship during the operation. Attended jump school at Fort Benning in October 69.
Served a tour at GITMO November 69 to May 70. Received my gold wings at GITMO. Our DZ was the base golf course. They told us to stay off the greens but that was the only part of the DZ that didn't have cactus so you can guess how the wind blew on those jumps.
Should have been able to meet with my brother on the way through Cherry Point on the way to GITMO but Sgt Becker wouldn't let me off the bus that morning. When we did get off the bus and on our way to board the C130 at least I got to yell to my brother as we ran by him. He knew of my departure and was waiting to see me. My brother and I did manage to get together in July 1970 in Danang. Met some real characters and some great Marines while I was with ANGLICO. Lots of stories with that group.
Grit, thank you for your recent donation to the annual Ed "Edju" Pitek Memorial Golf Outing put on by Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 267, in Dearborn, Michigan. Edju was also a JarHead.
2484603, Cpl., 2531/8662
USMC, 9/68 - 7/71
Regarding Mr. Williams' experience saluting a Navy Chief -- well, when I was a PFC, I was visiting family in San Antonio and my aunt wanted to see what I looked like in my dress blues. Then, once I had them on, she INSISTED we run over to Lackland AFB to shop at the BX!
Well, you can just imagine how many salutes I received from Air Force recruits! I finally called one over, in private so as not to embarrass him, and explained the whole situation. We both had a good laugh, and suddenly I no longer received salutes. I suppose we were ALL more comfortable after that!
KD5XB -- Earl Needham
Clovis, New Mexico DM84jk
Right Hand Milk Shakes
In 1973 I was a flight student going through advanced jet training at NAS Meridian, MS. Due to the poor weather conditions we needed to deploy to MCAS Yuma, AZ to complete the portions of flight training that required good weather. We were based out of a hangar next to the Base Operations building which also had the snack bar in the building. Most of the squid Ensigns were only used to the half hearted salutes that were the norm from the squids at Meridian.
Our Ready Room in the hangar was on the second deck with windows facing the Base Ops building. I was looking out the window and saw that two of our squid Ensign students were returning from the snack bar with one of them holding a milkshake in his right hand. As they turned the corner of the building two young Marines were walking towards them and immediately rendered a textbook hand salute. It appeared that this actually startled the squids and they both raised their right hands to return the salute. Needless to say the squid with the milkshake covered himself with the chocolate shake much to the amusement of the Marines who once they walked past and around the corner bent over from laughing so hard. The squid was standing there for several minutes trying to clean the mess off as other Marines walked by saluting and reacting much the same as the first two when they rounded the corner.
71 - 91
Believed Everything I Heard
We had landing nets at 29 Palms. That's right, landing nets right out there in the middle of the desert. They were at the enlisted swimming pool. The enlisted pool was huge and I remember hearing it said the pool was larger than Olympic size.
At the deep end it had a diving tower (at least that's what we used it for) with platforms at 20, 30, and 40 feet in addition to the one meter and three meter spring boards on the side. Twenty feet was fun and you could almost do a belly flop from it with no damage. Thirty feet was where you had to start watching what you were doing and from forty feet, you could do some serious damage if you were not careful.
On that tower they had hung landing nets and the story I heard was; they couldn't get authorization for an enlisted pool so they built a 'Training Tank' and when not training, it was the enlisted swimming pool. Crazy stories went around all the time but in 1963 I was 18 years old and believed everything I heard.
Forged on the anvil of discipline.
The Few. The Proud.
In your Newsletter, or on your Blog, you mentioned "cargo nets". Well, I have a story for you. It takes place from 3/62 to 9/64.
After two and a half years in Southern California, Boot Camp- MCRD, Comm Schools-MCRD, 1st LandSupt. Camp Pendleton, I was transferred to Camp Hague in Okinawa. I volunteered for the 9th MEB, and eight days later I was on the USS Gearge Clymer, and on my way to the South China Sea. Within a one-month period, I had been aboard three different ships... all WWII ships... all with cargo nets.
Now any Marine, in the mid-60s, that spent any time aboard WWII ships in the South China Sea in the fall of 1964, knows how hot, and miserable, those ships can be; (especially below decks, in the holds where Marines were quartered). Well, one day the two- star Admiral, and the one-star General decided to give us a break.
We were allowed to jump off one side of the ship.... into the wonderful, cool, South China Sea.... Three life-boats with M-14 toting-Marines were on shark-patrol for our safety.
I cannot exclaim how great that water felt on our over-heated bodies.
AND THEN... we had to climb UP those "cargo nets". (I'm guessing 50 feet or more). Now we all had climbed up, or down, cargo nets in Boot Camp with boots on in those days. Do you have any idea how strenuous it is to climb up a "cargo net"... on a rolling ship... in your bare feet, and underwear... in that heat.
After four "jumps", I called it quits. (The cool water wasn't that wonderful).
I have never looked a "cargo net" in the eyes since then.
Dennis D. Krause
A "Marine Strut" Story
In the early 2000's, the staff of my Marine Reserve Battalion was in Lithuania participating in Exercise Operation Rescuer with many NATO services and other US services. We'd adopted a local bar in Klaipeda as our club and made a number of friends. All of the Americans (Marines, soldiers and sailors) were wearing the woodland cammies (this before MARPAT), and as the exercise was being conducted at the Lithuanian Naval Headquarters in downtown Klaipeda the 'cammies in town' restriction was waived for the exercise (local commander - that'd be me - prerogative).
One evening, while we were entertaining some (ahem) 'friends' in the club, one of the ladies wanted to know why, since we were all Americans in the same uniform, did we (indicating our boisterous group) look and act different from the rest. A Navy SeaBee, overhearing the question, leaned over and informed the group of ladies - "Ma'am, those are Marines! They'd look different no matter where you go!"
My Wife Decided
A couple of weeks back you asked about call signs. Most call signs that I came in contact with consisted of two words and maybe a number. I only remember three.
One I remember was "Basketball." I heard it on the "art'y call- for-fire" net one night during Operation Desoto in Duc Pho District south of Quang Ngai. A recon unit was out "sneakin 'n' peakin," so one of them was whispering, "Average India, this is Basketball, over." ("Average" India was India 3/11.)
In a loud voice, the battery FDC operation replied, "Roger, send your message, over!"
"Hey, cool it, man! Cool it," was the anxious whispered reply-- he must have been "danger close."
I remembered that call sign because it was only a word, and because of the very obvious concern for the operator's safety that night. Fast forward many years. I bought a paperback book titled First Recon-Second to None, by Paul R. Young. When I came to Chapter 7 in that book, I learned that he had been on Desoto, and on page 75 he identified his call sign--"Basketball."
The one I remember the most (I used it almost on a daily basis for about six months), was the battalion call sign for 3/7's various units back in 1967. It was "crepe (also spelled crape) myrtle"--you know--the flowery bush. Lima Company was "Crepe Myrtle Lima." As that company's artillery FO, I was "Crepe Myrtle 63."
Coincidentally, several years ago my wife decided that the front lawn needed some color, so she bought three flowering plants and assigned me the task of digging the holes (I've had some experience). Yep, crepe myrtles.
Speaking of "holes" reminds me:
During Desoto (27Jan-9Apr67), Lima and four 105's from India Battery were heli-lifted up on top of a hill (Nui Dang) about a "click" from Duc Pho, the evening before the reinforced battalion came in to officially start the operation. Kilo Company may have been sent in early, also, to set up on a hill several "clicks" south of us. We spent three days up on top of Nui Dang ("Nui" means "hill"--I don't know what "Dang" means), watching India and Mike Companies experiencing stuff hitting the proverbial "fan." Then we were told to move down to the base of the hill on the west side, where 3/7 had established its battalion HQ. We were to provide perimeter security for a couple of days before moving out our selves, into the area around Duc Pho, which we were told was the birth place of a high-ranking official in North Viet Nam. (Gen. Giap?--don't remember).
My radio operator, PFC Dave "Red" Beuttner, and I dug a fighting hole. That evening we lay down beside it to get some rest. At around 2200, I was just in that twilight zone, before slipping into full sleep mode, when I heard "Red" yell, "...hole!" (The first part, "Get in the..." had been lost in that twilight zone.) He was already there when I arrived, just as rounds "zipped and popped" back and forth over us. That was the first time rounds actually came in my personal direction.
Once a captain, USMCR; always a Marine
?Jul63-1Jul76 (for pay purposes)
OoooohhhhhhhhRah! Another great newsletter! Love the story of Speedy at 92! God Bless that Marine and everyone of our Brothers and Sisters. Past and present. Happy 4th of July Sgt. Grit!
SEMPER FI..."carry on"
Cpl. "Chip" Morgan 3rd Mar. Div. RVN 68-69
(still lost somewhere on the DMZ)
"Only the dead have seen the end of war"...PLATO
From CPL. "Chip" Morgan 3rd MarDiv. 67-69 RVN
Just heard the news in Houston a retired Marine was told by his home owners association to take down his 20 foot flag pole that he flies the American Flag and the Marine Corps Flag. He has fought them tooth and nail through the courts. Finally the congress and governor of the state have signed into law that anyone can have a 20 foot tall flag pole and fly their flags regardless of the homeowners association. You know a Marine would not give up and win. Everyone was cheering for him
Ref: 6 July News Letter.
The real difference of a Marine and the members of the other three services is that: Young men JOIN the Army, they JOIN the Navy and they Join the Air Force. They BECOME MARINES!! It lasts a life time.
GySgt William F. Beasley USMC Ret.
After reading your recent newsletter about the Marine getting recognized by his walk. It reminded me of when I was at a National Guard unit recently. I spent 8 years in the Corps but am now in the Army National Guard. While at the unit, an officer there told me that I walked with a swagger. I could only think about the words I learned in boot camp: "lean back and strut!"
No WJG, I didn't misremember about the ration card and liquor, evidently our First 'Sgt didn't know the regulation or else he wouldn't have cut that section out. It wouldn't have made any difference if he had x out that section or not we could not have bought any hard liquor. I didn't know about that regulation so the top just wasted the ration cards and his time.
In response to the Marine that stated Anglico was disbanded in the 50's. I served with 1st Anglico at Camp Smith, Ha in 1964 and 1965.
In fact, parts of 1st Anglico deployed with the 173rd Airborne in early 1965 when the 1st Marine Brigade deployed to Vietnam. Also, I served with guys from 2nd Anglico while forming 3rd Force Recon at Camp Geiger in late 1965.
"Boys who spent their weekends making banana nut muffins did not, as a rule, excel in the art of hand-to-hand combat."
-- David Sedaris
"We must take change by the hand or rest assuredly, change will take us by the throat."
-- Winston Churchill
"Hold on with a bulldog grip, and chew and choke as much as possible."
"They told (us) to open up the Embassy, or "we'll blow you away." And then they looked up and saw the Marines on the roof with these really big guns, and they said in Somali, "Igaralli ahow," which means "Excuse me, I didn't mean it, my mistake."
-- Karen Aquilar, in the U.S. Embassy; Mogadishu, Somalia, 1991
It's interesting to read the stories about how different wanna- be's suggest or pretend to desire the name Marine. When I was a young 2nd Lt in flight training in Pensacola in the 70's, I still remember several Navy Ensigns (even one or two Annapolis Grads) quietly murmuring how they wish they were Marines. It was evident to them that with only a few months of military service under our belts and not much experience at anything, Marines are something different and special.
Soon He'll Get It
Last Sunday after leaving church services, my wife started out the side door the parking lot, as we got close to the door I noticed out of the corner of my left eye this brown an green figure walking toward us; It was a young Marine in his winter dress. Boy this kid looked good, wore that uniform gratefully. I touched her on the arm and said look at that Marine. Her reply was I love the Marines uniform. They are the best looking and make a Marine look cool pride. It almost put tears in my eyes took me back to when I was a young Marine in 1966 an I trip every time I see a Marine wearing that EGA.
Anyway I stopped him and talk to him. Every word out of his mouth was Sir. He was only twenty years old been in the Corps for four months, as always I had to say to him thank you for your services. I served, you be safe in all you do for our country and for yourself. My wife even talked with him when all was said and done I told him you have a lot of brothers out here and in there, he didn't get it about the brother part or Semper Fi when I was done.
Guess three months or four months is not enough time to catch on to the sayings Semper fi or ohyaoo, one day soon he'll get it and it will mean a lot, just as it does to this very day and my wife also. She loves to go out to the veterans hospital with me says. She feels great to be part of what I am even after so long after being out. The guys and girls make her feel right home, they talk with her and not just me. In reply I tell her you married me when I was in the Corps and now you have big family for life all green...
Thanks Sgt for all your work in putting this warehouse up for all of us guys to get what we long for to stay in tune with our pass.
3/11 Chu Lai, 1966
I served with 3rd Bn, 11th Mar during the summer of 1966 In Chu Lai, Viet Nam. We did have some Anglico guys in our Hq Batt. Here are a few pictures I took of a few Anglico guys while fooling around one day. I don't know the names, but anyone in Anglico there at that time might recognize their comrades
Our firebase, which included Golf battery was located at the South end of the Chu Lai Taor.
I have posted quite a few other pictures from that time here. and also here.
Jim Evenson 3rd Bn, 11th Mar. ------- Chu Lai in July !
Silent Contempt Was A Crime
So Many things happen when you were in as long as I was. People writing in saying this didn't happen, this did. Marines have always adjusted as Marines always will.
I was Weapons most of my time, MOS 2182 I believe "Rifle Team Equipment " Armorer. In my 26 Years. I was Marine Corps Photographer during part of the Korean War, when the Last Photographer was wounded and they needed a man to man the Graphic. I was the man for almost six months. I was a Night Cook on a Troop Transport U.S.S. Gordon. The Chief Cook was looking for a Night Cook and couldn't find one, I knew the possibilities and volunteered. I was able to furnish friends with Roast beef sandwiches and such for the balance of the Trip.
That bit about the Aviation Officer who was transferred to Infantry. During my early days when Silent Contempt was still a crime. We had a Pilot who had been grounded and became a Ground pounder. He hated the very idea of serving with us and I became his target. I had junk on the bunk so often I could do it in my sleep. At every inspection I could count on Restriction, Junk on the bunk and walking the Flag Pole (never heard of it, you patrolled around the flag pole for as many hours as the Officer told you to or take an Office Hours and loose pay, at $50 a month you didn't want to do that), finally I was shipped Overseas.
I was a Western Union Employee while 16 years of age and delivered Killed in Action and Wounded in Action telegrams daily for about six months. I don't remember but there was a mark or something on the telegraph envelope that told us what it was, KIA or WIA and I delivered quite a few in late 1943 before I enlisted on my 17th Birthday. So when you say it didn't happen in the Marine Corps, in my Marine Corps, it probably did and we were all the better for it.
Do as I do, have fun and don't worry about the idiots.
F. L. Rousseau, GySgt. USMC Retired
Here are some pics of my bike.
I had it customized this past winter.
I really wanted to share with my Marine brothers.
Semper Fi LCPL Chris Lee 1988-1992
Congratulations to Marc Ciacchi for his story on Marine arrogance. His points were right on. I loved his definition of a Marine. WoW! I could not have done a better job. I read it several times, because it reminded me of me. As a Viet Nam veteran and a proud Marine, I swear I had a blood transfusion in boot camp and my blood was change from civilian blood to Marine Corps blood. I live to spread the gospel of the Marine Corps.
My brother and I served in the crotch, and we know that brotherhood of being a team and looking out for each other, Corpsman included. I always wear something that says Marine Corps and I get to meet Marines from all wars, and receive "thank yous" from civilians. The Marine Corps is truly a way of life and not a temporary assignment. Semper Fi Devil Dogs, Gung Ho and may the Corps live forever.
Cpl Efrain Villagomez
66-69, RVN 67-68
PS: Marc, I hope that you don't mind if I use some of your definition.
Sarge; I thoroughly enjoy reading the "mail", and I was drawn to the interesting letter from Marc Ciacchi in #256, dated 07 July 2011. I went through MCRD, San Diego, CA September, 1943. About 1993, I was back there for the first time, and I told the Sgt. Major I just wanted to see if the parade ground was as wide and long as I remembered - it was!
While there, I found this T-Shirt in the PX, which I treasure. If I had another, I'd send it to Marc. It's white, with Marine Corps "blood" lettering - The front says "We Don't Have an ATTITUDE"( attitude in bold letters); On the back, same size lettering "We're JUST that GOOD".
At some point, all who know me are ready for me to extol the many virtues of "The Corps, and I do. Marc, we are not arrogant, we are endowed with that irreversible, unmistakable, mystery, which we call 'Esprit de Corps", and it never leaves us. You can't put it to words; you have to be a "Marine" to even comprehend it's meaning. Believe me, as the years roll by, and memories of a time long ago come flooding in, the Pride and the knowledge that you are a United States Marine, will still make your chest swell.
James D. Broome
Note: We can do the shirt he described in our custom shirt department.
Maybe that Amy guy should have been around to read this...
U.S. Marines are the most peculiar breed of human beings I have ever witnessed. They treat their service as if it was some kind of cult, plastering their emblem on almost everything they own, making themselves look like insane fanatics with haircuts to ungentlemanly in length, worshipping their Commandant almost as if he was a god, and making weird animal noises like a gang of savages.
They'll fight like rabid dogs at the drop of a hat just for the sake of a little action, and are the cockiest sons of b-tches I have ever known.
Most have the foulest mouths and drink well beyond man's normal limits, but their high spirits and sense of brotherhood set them apart and, generally speaking, the United States Marines I've come in contact with are the most professional soldiers and the finest men and women I have ever had the pleasure to meet...
"There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a secondhand opinion."
All militaries harden their recruits, instill the basics, and bend young men to their will. But the Marine Corps provides its members with a secret weapon.
It gives them the unique culture of pride that makes the Marines the world's premier warrior force.
"The Navy has its ships, the Air Force has its planes, the Army its detailed doctrine, but 'culture '---the values and assumptions that shape its members--is all the Marines have."
They call this culture "Esprit de Corps."
"Alone, among the U.S. military services, the Marines have bestowed their name on their enlisted ranks".
The Army has Army officers and soldiers, the Navy has naval officers and sailors, the Air Force has Air Force officers and airmen---- but the Marines have only Marines.
Written by GEN. WILLIAM THORNSON, US ARMY (l956)
Capt. T. L. Johnson, Jr.
United States Marine Corps Ret.
We May Not Have
To I.D. "Dan" Mark
Like you, I served in our beloved Corps for four years during the Viet Nam era fully expecting to be sent to Viet Nam right after boot camp. When my first MOS (5593) sent me to Camp Pendleton and then to Hawaii I also suffered from "Green Guilt" and tried to find another way to go to war. I volunteered for language school assuming I would be taught Vietnamese. I was accepted, but into a different language program and ended up completing my last year at Camp Geiger with the 2nd Radio Bn giving essential subjects lectures. When I was asked if I was interested in reenlistment I declined, having been frustrated in trying to achieve my "Marine Dream".
It took me several years before I realized that I was no less a Marine for not having gone to Viet Nam. I enlisted - I wasn't drafted. I fully expected to go to Viet Nam but the Marine Corps had other plans for me, despite my best efforts. I was also told by several combat veterans that I should consider myself fortunate and not feel cheated.
So "Semper Fi," my friend. Marine to Marine let me say that we both proudly served and would probably do so again. Neither of us have a thing to be ashamed of. We may not have gone to Viet Nam, but we didn't go to Canada, either!
Which Is Why
Have been reading for quite awhile your stories about Marines, past and present, and would like to let everyone know why this Marine Brat still considers her heart 3/4 Marine!
My dad was a 30 yr Marine, he was deployed most of the time he was in and we were growing up BUT when he was home heaven forbid my mom ever said "Wait 'til your dad gets home", I know I would rather have stood in front of a firing squad than to get a lecture from him. He didn't yell, scream or carry on in a scary way, it was just The Look! To think I disappointed him was hard, trust me!
He taught me how to "adapt, improvise and overcome" anything in my life, he taught me how to shoot (which I am still good at), he taught a lot of things that I passed on to my children and they thanked me for it.
To say a Marine loses it when they retire, well, my dad retired and there were still a few people that thought he looked tough and mean! He was the first enlisted Marine to receive the Legion of Merit for Peacetime effort and we were all flown to DC for the award and saw the Commandants Own and the Silent Drill Team perform just for him.
So, when I wear a Marine Corps hat, shirt, shorts, jacket or have the stickers on my car, or dress down some Army guy for not being what I consider "squared away" it's not that I am trying to be a Marine, I just support them and honor all of them past and present. . . which is why every Nov 10 I take a very large cake to the recruiters office here in Killeen and wish them a happy birthday.
SEMPER FI MARINES this Brat will always be behind you! Nancy Touchet, Marine Brat, 1947 to 1963 and beyond
Pride In The Service
Just a quick observation to those who take offense at non- Marines wearing Marine Corps tees and gear.
My teen-aged son wears USMC t-shirts and paraphernalia whenever he can. My son, who suffers from muscular dystrophy, will never serve in the Marine Corps or any other service. He wears our gear because of his pride in the service of his father and his cousin. I had the privilege of serving in the Airwing in the 1970s. My nephew (his cousin) served as a grunt with 1/2 until a little earlier this year, and had tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
We have raised my son to exhibit honor and courage in all that he does. As a teenager, he has his moments, but on the whole is an outstanding young man. My son means no disrespect to us or our service by wearing gear that he did not earn in the service to our country. This is one small way that he gets to show his pride in his family heritage and the USMC family as a whole. So my advice is for you to lighten up on those who wear the gear. What they really want to do is show their pride.
And for those pretenders, phonies and valor thieves? I have no sympathy for them.
Improvise, Adapt, Overcome!
My name is Lucian Benway. I have been trying to get in the Corps for over 1 year now and am still waiting on a moral waiver to be reviewed and approved. I've always wanted to be a Marine and serve my country ever since I was a little kid. My moral waiver is for misdemeanor crimes I committed when I was 20 years old and younger. Since then I've put myself through college, became a personal trainer, volunteered at a local community Technology Center, won the Golden Gloves and became a volunteer boxing coach at my gym. I'm only 26, I run a better than perfect IST and PFT (17:52 run, 33 pull-ups and 155 crunches), know my knowledge and scored an 89 on my ASVAB.
The recruiters at my RSS in Northern Vermont have my back 110% and have even made me the Guide for our weekly Poolee functions even though I still haven't sworn in because the other Poolees respect and listen to me and I'm able to motivate the others around me. I've had bootcamp fever pretty bad for the past couple of months and just don't know how much longer this is going to take or if it's even going to happen. I have letters of recommendation from outstanding people within my community, college, a former Army Captain, former and current Marines who I've worked with over this past year or more.
I guess I just don't know what else to do and it seems like my recruiter(s) has done everything he can and we're just playing a waiting game. I was hoping you or other Marines out there had any suggestions or words of wisdom for someone like myself.
Thanks for your time,
R.S.S. Northern Vermont
Thanks again for everything you do for us Marines. We do appreciate it. Lately, there has been recognition of the Corpsmen which is really great because they provided us with the care and assistance we needed without hesitation. Another recognition I think we should consider is the Chaplain Service.
Attached is an article taken from the Eastern Oklahoma Catholic Magazine July/August edition about a Chaplain Father you might want to include in one of your newsletters.
Thank you and Semper Fi
Korean Service 1951
In No Time
Got this from a former Navy friend.
I've got to share this with you. Tomorrow I will be carrying the POW/MIA flag in the 4th of July parade for the Lake-of-the-Woods Veterans' Club as part of the color guard. We had a rehearsal on Thursday evening and at first it was very unorganized. The Navy guy who is president of the club wanted to do all the work and the rest of us just stood around. About 10 minutes later the Marine showed up, red USMC shirt, red USMC hat, cigarette hanging out of his mouth. In no time at all he has us in formation and marching to his cadence. "Squared Away" is the expression I believe!
Recently Sgt Aikens posted a comment relative to had anyone else visited the Red Rooster while at Vieques. In Feb 62 I was with 2/8 and went on the Vieques cruise. We had been on the Island for a few days when an alert was called and the majority of the Battalion went back to sea. A handful of us were actually on Liberty in San Juan at the time and as a consequence we were sent back to Vieques to do some "busy" work and to prepare for a large Division exercise that would occur around Mid April.
Anyway early one evening (was probably a Sunday) 3 or 4 of us decided we needed to go check out this Red Rooster that we had heard about. One of the guys, who I didn't know much about, had managed somehow to get his hands on a grenade. We were going across an open area when he suddenly said watch this and let the grenade go. For whatever reason this went unnoticed by anyone left on the base. Crossed a small fence and had a couple drinks at the Rooster and went back to the camp. The grenade thrower had a nickname of LuLu which I had always thought was just a reference to his full name. After this incident and another one a few months later I realized that the name was actually in reference to his actions.
After 2/8 I was assigned to the Barracks in Naples Italy. Knowing who to salute was a real problem as we had not only all branches of the American Military there but also from all the other NATO countries. For some reason the Barracks never gave any instruction as how to recognize all the various rank structures that we encountered. I guess they assumed we would figure it out.
Anyway I had been there for a few weeks and of the other guys told me that some of the troops I had saluted weren't officers. I thought I had it figured out and was standing post in one of the AFSOUTH buildings when one of the Italians was rushing by and I didn't salute him. Mistake. Turns out he was not only an officer but I believe was the Italian Provost Marshall. He gave me a rather sever lecture about military courtesy between NATO countries. Lucky for me he didn't report me as he could probably tell I wouldn't make that mistake again.
One of the other buildings that we pulled duty at also had a representative from the International Red Cross. I remember he was an older man, probably 35 but when your 20 that's old, and wore a blue type uniform. I had the memory of my encounter with the Italian Officer so front and center that I kept saluting him even after I realized I didn't have to. He always smiled and saluted back.
Again thanks for having such a great News Letter.
John P Vaughn
1942842 (61to 65)
Found an old Liberty Pass from PI plus ID Card, Drivers License and promotion to PFC. This stuff is OLD-OLD-OLD, but still in pretty good shape. Can't say that for my old body but who thought I would make it this far. I guess it was all that PT and good chow that did it.
Hope you have a great 4th of July!
Semper Fi Robert (Bob) Gordon
You're Bouncin' Girls, You're Bouncin'