Sgt Grit Newsletter - 26 JAN 2012

In this issue:
• Korea Quote, VN Books, WWII ID Tags
• Where Seagoing Marines Go
• To P-ss or Not to P-ss

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Sgt Grit:
Marines truly are a small family. Here is my story of how small.
I have a friend that I met 18 years ago when I first started teaching, this last Christmas she was putting her mother's decorations up and found a scrapbook of her father shipping out of Galveston and seated next to him was my father returning from leave. We knew our fathers were both Marines but what are the odds that they were in the same unit and we ended up teaching with each other. We had the best behaved students in the entire school go figure.
Vicki J. Williams


In This Issue

Here we go: turned slowly, cure the hearing deficiency, Airborne, sir! All the Way, Benjamin Franklin, little more sleep, Pearly Shells, It's their ship, rum was like rubbing alcohol, as a DI waiter, hear them coming, group tightener, critical and hazardous, with the anchor-clankers, I got you at 52, Sir, Big Boom, if Marines were onboard, may have used the slang, they used what they had.

Fair wind and following seas.
Sgt Grit


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Old Corps / New Corps

"I have more flight time jumping out of the back of six-bys, than you have in the Marine Corps."
Gy K


Quote From the Korean Era

Major General Frank Lowe, an old Army buddy of President Harry Truman, was sent out to Korea in September of 1950, just in time for the Inchon Landing.

President Truman was "disturbed" by a letter from Congressman Gordon L. McDonough of California, in which the congressman asked why the Marine Corps was not represented on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Here is Truman's reply to the congressman.

"My dear Congressman McDonough:
I read with a lot of interest your letter in regard to the Marine Corps. For your information the Marine Corps is the Navy's police force and as long as I am President that is what it will remain. They have a propaganda machine that is almost equal to Stalin's"..."

The Congressman also asked why the Marines were getting the job done in Korea and the Army was not?

That is when Truman sent Major General Lowe out to Korea to find out just what the h-ll was going on out there. Lowe carried a letter from Truman, authorizing him to talk to anyone, go anywhere and see anything he wanted to and report back to the President.

When Lowe wanted to cross the Han River with the Marines, Major General Oliver P. Smith, the 1st Marine Division CG, told him he would not be allowed to go.

Lowe showed him Truman's letter and Smith said, "President Truman is in Washington, half a world away, and had no idea of what was happening in Korea".

Lowe did not go across the river until it was secured. He spent a considerable time with Colonel Chesty Puller's 1st Marine Regiment on its advance to Seoul. He would report back to President Truman his true feelings; "That the United States Marine Air/Ground Team was the most awesome military weapon the world has ever seen".

It still is, and will continue to be in the foreseeable future.

MGySgt Bob Talmadge


For Example

Reference the short story about the Marine running into three other Marines in Wal-Mart, let me tell you about my small city.

We are a small city in the northwest corner of Arizona. Our rush hour, for example lasts about fifteen minutes. As I drive down the street I see Marine Corps stickers on vehicle after vehicle. I see Marines wearing some type of cover identifying them as such every time I go into town

I might see a couple of army stickers, maybe a navy sticker and even saw an air force sticker a few days ago.

My point is this: The Marines show their pride. We were in the Marine Corps, not "the service."

Semper Fi,,
Larry D. Imus
S/Sgt, 1965-1973


Books

Sarge

Here are three cover page only scans of some humorous books I got while in Vietnam back in 1970.

Semper Fi.
Choo Choo
Sgt of Marines (NLA)
1968-1974, RVN 70-71


But The New Breed

Sgt Grit,
I just wanted to add my 2 cents to this OOORAH business. I joined the Corps in 1994 and we used OOORAH at MCRD and in the Fleet. I want to clarify to all the Marines complaining about the use of this motivated phrase that this is a MARINE phrase not some army doggy slang. The army uses HOOAH in response to everything, we Marines use OORAH or Aye, Aye in response to simple instructions from NCOs and above.

Sure the older Devil Dogs may have used the slang from their era, but the new breed has their own. So please do not think that us newer Marines are acting anyway similar to those army doggies because we are not. A request to the older Marines go visit a recruiting station and meet those young hard charging Marines and you will realize that they are just like you and me. I have been impressed by all of the younger Marines I have met.

Semper Fi
OOORAH!
Leader of Men
Corporal of Marines
Second to None
Red Patcher for Life (2nd LSB)
Jeff Sanchez


The Hotels Were Nice

Sgt. Grit,

When I went through boot camp at MCRD San Diego Feb 70 to May of 70 we lived in the Quonset huts first then we moved into the tents. After the Rifle Range we moved in the Quonset huts for a short while until one of the squad bays were open in the Hotels. We stayed in the Hotels until we graduated. I was in Platoon 2033. I remember well using the wash racks to scrub out our utilities, boxers etc. Remember washing and super starching our utilities covers and putting them on the cover block. We did these first so they could stand in the sun drying while we washed all our other gear. When they dries they were hard as a rock and really held their shape.

When I returned to MCRD San Diego and went through D.I. School and on to the field I was with the 1st retrnbl. This was in 75 and 76 and we did not use the tents or Quonset huts for the recruits at that time. All of the recruits were housed in the Hotels. The Hotels were nice but such a pain to field day for inspection. The Head Rat and all the house mouse's would work long and hard to keep the D.I. office clean. Some D.I.'s would use the recruit who was known as the best spit shiner to do his shoes and boots but most D.I.'s would do their own. Once you made SNOC you could wear the high gloss shoes even for inspections ( the ones you did not need to shine).

The OOORAH was used in the grunts in the early 70's when I was a grunt. On long marches and runs or any other time of physical strain or at times when the platoon Sgt. was trying to get a little more mojo going in the unit. Speaking of physical strain. How many of you Hollywood Marines remember the great one and only Mount M___erF___er at Camp Pendleton? Man the first time I humped my butt up that Mountain with pack and weapon I thought I was going to die before I reached the top. I really understood why they had given it the name they did. You had to be one tough bad a____ Marine M___erF___er to handle that one.

As I recall when I graduated from Boot we had four hours of base liberty. The next morning we were trucked up to Camp Pendleton for ITR. After ITR we went down the road a short distance and were set up to attend BITS training. So after some six months in the Corps all of the 0311's finally were given leave and went home for 10 days. All the other MOS's that were going to any of the schools were given leave on graduation day. I was lucky being a grunt out the gate. My first duty station was K-Bay HI. We humped our butts all over the islands and got to see some of the best places and most beautiful sites in the islands. I was with 1/8 A Company then. They were dumping out the 8 Marines and sending then all over to the Rock or Nam. We all had orders for the Nam but on the Rock most of the orders were changed to stay there on the Rock. We all got to do a float for six months as re-enforcements or to hit any hot spots if we could get there in time. Spent a lot of time in the PI, Japan, Honk Kong and Taiwan.

Anyway just some thoughts from days gone by and the good times we had.

Semper Fi

SSgt. Joseph E. Whimple
U.S.M.C 1970 / 1976


WWII ID Tags - Help

Sgt. Grit
My name is Mario Muniz served with Golf company 2/5 1st. Marine Div. 1968-69 Vietnam 0311.

My question to you is not about VietNam but about a pair of dog tags I have I think date back to WWll they are the oval shape with the leather strap. I have tried to get help from different organizations, military and Marine friends to see if I could locate the person or family that these dog tags belong to but no luck.

I contacted the State Dept. or someone in D.C. they said to send them the dog tags so they can destroy them, I said no that I will do everything I can to get them to the family of this Marine brother and to me a hero. Can you help me with project?

Semper Fi Mario Muniz U.S.MC. Vietnam Vet


Shaving Mug

Sgt. Grit,

The call sign for the Vietnam era 9th Engineer Battalion then at Chu Lai was 'shaving mug'. As part of the S-3 section as a surveyor and draftsman I regularly used 'shaving mug 3 Charlie' as our call sign. It became complicated for me, as I didn't use the radio much, to check into the net where 'C' (Charlie) Company was located (Tam Ky, Hill 49 or ?) because I could never remember whether I was '3 Charlie' or 'Charlie 3'.

Jim Harris, former Lance Corporal, always a Marine Semper Fidelis to God, Family, Country and Corps


Mounted Color Guard

I had the extreme pleasure of serving for one of the finest Marine Commanders - LtGen William M. Keys when he was a LtCol Commanding 3rd Battalion 5th Marines in 1977-1979. He was also a horseman and allowed me to participate on the Camp Pendleton Mounted Color Guard in a TAD status. While on the Color Guard I came under the Command of another great man - Major Jim DiBernardo (deceased 2009) who spent 62 months as a POW in Viet Nam. The Mounted Color Guard came under Joint Public Affairs MCB Camp Pendleton. After saying all that, here is my OOORAH story ...

One day while in Maj. DiBernardo's office picking up some TAD orders for a Parade we were going on, I let out a semi-loud OOORAH (excited about the location of the parade), the next thing I knew a Woman Marine Colonel Margaret A. Brewer (who was later the first WM appointed to Brigadier General) came rushing in wanting to know who said that; Major DiBernardo told her it must have been someone in the hall. After she left he informed me that she can't stand to hear a Marine say OOORAH, so as I was exiting the building I gave her the loudest OOORAH that I have ever yelled.

Semper Fi,
GySgt Sam Reed
1974-1985 MedRet
P.S. One key rider not in picture is Ret. MSgt Manny Lopez


I'm A Marine



His godfather is a Marine and got him this for Christmas. He runs around the house yelling that he is a Marine.


Grocery Store Parking Lot

I became a Hollywood Marine in the summer of 1970. Went on to Camp Pendleton for ITR & AIT.

I made it to ITR with the Thanksgiving approaching. When the big bird day was soon approaching, we Marines were informed that there would be a special holiday activity set-up to make it possible for Marines away from home, could be picked-up off base at a pre-determined location (grocery store parking lot), and spend the holiday with these families.

Well I first thought this was just a way for a Marine to get picked-up by the opposite s-x for a good time. I could have not been so wrong. We were bused off base (in dress green uniform) to the grocery store parking lot. There in the lot, there were signs that had the names of the states. You were to go a stand by your state sign, and wait for someone to stop by and invite you to spend the holiday with the family.

There were three of us from Texas waiting for a invite. A gentleman approached and asked all three of us if we would like to spend the holiday with his family. We all said yes sir. I did not know the other two Marines that was with me standing there at that Texas sign. The gentleman's name was Andy, and he had three of his children in their station wagon.

We all loaded-up and were driven to Van Ives just outside of Los Angles. When we arrived at the family's home, there was Nancy, Andy's wife, and Andy's and or Nancy's parents (I don't remember, sorry). All toll, there were three Marines, four adults, and a total of four young children. Eleven for Thanksgiving that day. We all sat at the same table. I have never been so welcomed before as that day.

We had a great time together, pictures were taken by all and the sad part was we Marines had to get back to base. The McMillian family was so good to us guys. We Marines all loaded back up in the family station wagon after loving good-byes were said in parting. Andy drove each one of us guys back to our own respective barracks on base. I had such a great time with this family. When I got back and got settled-in, I broke-out the letter writing material and wrote a thank you letter back to the McMillian family.

To make a long story short, the McMillians invited me back for the Christmas holidays. I hitch-hiked a ride off base and caught a Greyhound in San Clemente up to Los Angles. The family picked me up at the bus station and took me once again to their home and shared their Christmas with me. Gifts were given to me from my new family, which I did not expect. Again my time with this family was Heaven sent.

Up to my enlistment in the Marines, I had never been away from my own family during any holiday. Nancy and I stayed in contact with each other through the years after, and later her and Andy divorced, as did I. Nancy remarried and is traveling all over the country with her second husband. I lost contact information and I guess so did she. To this day, as the holidays approach, I always think about Andy, Nancy, and family. I still love them all!

Jerry D. Parker Sgt.
1970-1978 U.S.M.C.R.
Houston, Texas


Where Seagoing Marines Go

Sgt Grit; In reply to Cpl. West's question as to what do the Marines on a Navy ship do during general Quarters, Back in the early 1980's we went to our bunks (or racks). It served two purposes, first to give a quick head count and the second to keep us out of the Navy's way. ( It's their ship and they let you know it!) I served aboard the USS New Orleans, USS Okinawa and the USS Vancouver. Met a lot of good Navy men. Sgt Gary Mckruit 79-83


In answer to Cpl. R.G. West's question about Battle Stations, I was on the USS Kersarge (CVA 33) from 57 to 58. Our Battle stations were the 2 5inch 38's on the port side afta at the LSO platform and the powder mag that feed the guns.
Cpl. Jack LaFleur, Mar Det CVA 33


In regard to the questions about Marines duty stations on naval vessels:
I was part of the Marine Detachment on the USS Randolph (CVA-15) from 1957 to 1958 and our battle station was on the 5"38 twin gun stations topside. We fortunately never had a problem getting to the stations since our Sgts were always just behind us. We had one scare when a "supposed" Russian bomber flew over us in the Med. Hope this clears up where we went at GQ. Tony Beyer 1626854.
PS We never said anything but Semper Fi.


Cpl West, don't know about the rest of the world but Marines on the USS Wisconsin were assigned to secondary gun mounts... (Gun mounts other than the 16" dogs) I was in a 5' handling room and a quad 40 mount at different times. Sgt Wack...53-56

More Seagoing Marine Responses


To P-ss or Not To P-ss

Sgt Grit,
I'm writing because of the internal controversy I'm having about this video of Marines p-ssing on Taliban bodies. I'm hoping that it's not true, not that I blame them, considering the news reports of Iraqi's hanging burnt bodies of US contractors from a bridge, PLUS all the crap they've had to put up with during the fighting. Myself, I probably wouldn't have done it, at least with a video camera. But I hate to think of a Marine lowering himself to these peoples standards.
Thanks for letting me vent
R. Stone


I sorry about one thing... someone took a video of it!

B. OTIS 57 / 60
AN OLD JARHEAD

More To P-ss Responses


Short Rounds

For those searching for another meaning of USMC, I was once told it stood for University of Science Music & Culture. Guess we all Marines have that degree !
R.E. Sanchez Vietnam 69-70 1st Mar.Div.


In reference to the article by J.T. Quirk "Cookies from home". J.T. I was with Sgt. Starbuck when he was killed. He had just made Sgt. We were in Alpha Company 1st Recon Bn. Chu Lai. He was a Marine's Marine. May he rest in peace. Semper Fi!
Sgt. Gary L. Murray 2015597/2533
Vietnam 1964-1967


Comment to Paul D. Smigowski, Sgt.. 3rd 8 inch how Btty. He is correct. Marine artillery officers attended the U S Army Artillery School at Fort Sill, OK.
Semper Fi
Jeff Cunningham
1st Lt, 1968-1971


I was in the gym the other day working out when a middle-aged guy walked by wearing USMC shorts. I gave a Semper Fi and when I didn't receive a response, I asked him whether he was a Marine. He said he was Navy and when I asked him why he was wearing Marine shorts, he replied that the Marines were part of the Navy and he walked away before I could give him a lecture. In my book, he is a wannabee.

Jack M., former Captain of Marines 1965-8


Sam, I was in plt #306 rt down the road from your platoon...I think the nisan huts were smaller...our plt occupied three huts which was good because the DIs always started at the same hut and you could hear them coming! Then it was "Gung Ho" and "Semper Fi" no oohrah...or yellow footprints...you were place in position upon leaving the bus at PI...


I was in champion combat squad (1958)or 59? not sure, the sergeant name was COX, how can I find out about this??
1'st div. camp pendleton.
thank you


Hey Sarge, Just reading your newsletter makes me feel soooo much younger than my 83 summers of P.I. with the 1stRTB... Semper Fi Kids... John Velar


I arrived in MCRD boot camp on Jan 4, 1954. There were no yellow boot marks for us to stand in. They must have been painted in later or maybe we came in a different way. It was close to the theater end of the parade field. After boot camp I stayed at MCRD until December 1955 when I was transferred to Pearl Harbor.

During these two years I never heard anything except Semper Fi coming from the recruits and they were fairly close to my unit.

Sgt Vince Meyers,
1431xxx nearly old Corps.


Got 1st catalog today, Thanks--5 SgtsMaj in one room, that's more than were in Nam at one time!

Luc & Luv Rique


"This is my rifle. There are many other, but this one is mine."
Robert Chester


MARINES ... Dogs to unleash when war is raged !
Rick Torrence


"I knew Christ when he was a Cpl".
Good conduct medal was called "Beaufort Campaign Medal" At non boot camp reveille's: "Let go your c-cks and grab you socks".

Semper Fi,
Stone 2034729 7041
MCAS Beaufort "67-"69


1946

In recent Sgt. Grit Newsletters many subjects have been addressed, some of which I would like to give my personal accounts as a Marine. I enlisted August 6, 1946 in Houston and graduated boot camp at MCRD San Diego October 12.

1. We never used or heard the expression "OORAHH". It was always "Semper Fi" or "Gung Ho".

2. We were issued a mix of herringbones or what we referred to as utilities with grenade pockets. We were also issued a pair of rough side out boonedockers. Upon graduation each new Marine was issued one set of the new style (1946 issue) dress blues, Class A greens and with a green battle/Ike jacket, tropicals also with a battle jacket. Dress shoes were not available so we were issued new boonedockers which we had to wear for approximately three months before the dress shoes were issued.

3. I never saw a green shirt.

4. We were issued dog tags like those described, with photo, by Ron Gray. I still have mine.

5. I don't recall the term or the designation of a "house mouse" Maybe we had one but I guess it wasn't me.

Many articles have covered the existence of Quonset huts. I don't remember that we ever knew that they were there because we were quartered in the Spanish style buildings that fronted the parade ground.

When we graduated we were given two photos: Platoon Graduation and an aerial view of MCRD that clearly shows a large number of Quonset huts adjacent to the San Diego airport. Photo is attached. Incidentally, we were never bothered by the landing and take-off of aircraft. They were all prop driven.

Who should be considered "Old Corps"? I always thought that term should have been assigned to those who served before the outbreak of WWII. But the older I get the more I have begun to think of myself as "Old Corps".

Elliott Ray Cox
PLT. 154
VMP -254
Corporal of Marines
630508

Note: Old Corps before WWII !
GeeezzzzLoueezzz...I'll never be Old Corps.
Sgt Grit


Turned Slowly

I met a very old guy late last summer, early fall last year in my Wal-Mart parking lot, hobbling slowly and wearing a Marine Corps emblazoned jacket.

As he was about fifty feet away, I yell sharply "SEMPER FI!" ... about a dozen people in the parking lot turned to see who said that. The older brother just turned slowly to see me and smiled a smile about fifty feet wide.

Semper Fi brothers, sisters and fellow Corpsmen and Corpswomen. (Is it true that Pauley Perrette of NCIS was a Corpsman?)

Kent M. Yates
1962 - 1968


Hearing Deficiency

Early 70's, before the end of the draft... got a call from the CP of the 9th District down in Kansas City (actually, some GSA- leased office space on the second deck in a strip mall in a suburb (Overland Park)... the Col had a window... right above a beauty shop.) My instructions were to get my butt over to Davenport, IA to one of the hospitals and do some investigating.

Seems a young Iowan (I assume... not to reflect adversely on any born in the state) had returned home prematurely from boot camp, and Mom was quite upset... seems he had been beaten... to the point that his hearing was affected, and he also had a huge knot on his head,

This could be serious stuff, so I was in the first elevator up when visiting hours commenced... got to the patient's room just as his doctor was exiting. She, having had many years education, quickly perceived that I might perhaps be on such a mission (the undress Blues may also have given her a clue...)

As I explained the details, she had difficulty keeping a straight face... seems she had been able to miraculously cure the hearing deficiency by cleansing the gobs of wax out of the young man's ears, and the knot on his head turned out to be the occipital lobe (that protrusion on the skull astern the ears, on which DI's lodge the straps of the Cover, Campaign, one each).

Sonny had, previous to boot camp, long hair... for a long time... and Mom didn't know that protrusion (knot) was (more or less) normal. As to the beating?... turns out, t'was not at the hands of his DI's... but by his platoon mates... for his studied indifference to personal hygiene. He may also have had a URI (Upper Respiratory Infection)... and he had for sure, a 'good of the service' General Discharge. A WATS phone call to Major Ray Maddona (my boss) at Hq, 9thMCD closed that case...

BTW, we oldsters recall a song that goes "Oh, I was born on a farm down in Iowaaaaay..." has some interesting key changes, etc. Name of the song is "Goofus" (you could look it up)... and before all you Iowans out there start with the hate mail, we Illini are of the opinion that y'all grow corn on land so hilly we wouldn't use it as pasture... yessir... "flatter'n a pool table, blacker'n new asphalt..." that's real farmland... and if you're gonna complain about farmers... don' t do it with your mouth full...
ddick


My Pic With 5 SgtsMag

Sgt Grit,
You look as good as any of those Sgt's Major...
SEMPER FI DEVIL DOG!
Regards,
Cpl. "Chip" Morgan 67-69, 3rd Mar.Div.
(Still lost somewhere on the DMZ)


Oh oh, Sgt. Grit! It's not SgtMajs, it's SgtsMaj!
Gary Nash
0302 (former)


The plural of Sergeant Major is Sergeants Major, not 'Sergeant Majors'. Give me 6-count bends and muthas - one million of them, on my count...
-- Duke


Who's that old chubby guy in the middle of all those Sgt Maj's ?
LOL
Ron Morse


Forgotten Quicker

I'm with Sgt. Don Wackerly, I will continue to fly my MC colors (hat w/badges and/or vest w/service info sewn on it.) for as long as our people are in harm's way, and probable longer. I believe the d-mn civilian population should see those men and women who put their lives on hold to serve and protect this country and our way of life.

As Benjamin Franklin once said "In peace time nothing is forgotten quicker than God and veterans." This may not be quite word for word but the message is there. I encourage ALL veterans to show their service in the way of their choosing.

Semper Fi to all,
Sgt. Craig Henneman
Vietnam 1966 - 1967


Could Have Been Commandant

It wasn't fate or destiny or anything that could be called "chance" that put me into the Marine Corps. It was my father, Hero of the Pacific and the Ruler of Korea.

My career in the Corps was not as hectic as his. It wasn't a "joy ride" just not as stressful as my father's.

There were a few indications that this was not a well thought out situation for me when I got to MCRD, Parris Island in January of 1964. "Smokey" was there at three o'clock in the morning making sure that me and about 70 other people were properly taken care of when we arrived.

And it just went downhill from there. I have had nearly 50 years to find an answer to this question. Why does the Corps want to find out how smart you are after letting you get just enough sleep to really aggravate every nerve in your little warm form and then they test your IQ? Good Luck on That...! After just about one and half hours of sleep I couldn't spell IQ. And yet my score allowed me to go to OCS if I qualified. With a little more sleep I could have been Commandant!

But this was not what I consider the "true" indication that I was not going to be another "Iron Mike Marine". No, it was the simple act of going to our barracks that really showed me that mistakes had been made. I was in First Battalion and I probably went into the same barracks that my father went into. They were "temporary" barracks as I recall. Pop was on Parris Island in 1943. I was there 20 years later and so were the same "temporary barracks". There were "permanent" barracks in some far distant land called "Third Battalion" but that was just a rumor at the time.

Ah, youth... something's just have to be experienced there is no other way explain them. For all of us that are products of that wonderful time of black and white TV, drive in movies, curb service drive ins, pony tails, Rock and Roll and Elvis...you might have seen that movie by that died in the wool USAAF turned Marine, Jack Webb. The movie was called the D.I. and of course there is a soliloquy in that film that only Jack Webb could give. It goes on for about five minutes or so. It is his scene and he does it better than anyone else could have done it. Or so I thought.

It is January on Parris Island, South Carolina. There is a breeze wafting off the waterfront at 5:30 in the AM. I was "frozen" at attention in front of the mess hall of 1st Bn. All we had was a field jacket that was just a little thicker than our utility shirts. It was way past cold and on its way to Arctic and we were at attention waiting our turn to go in.

I hear "THE SLAP". About two people up from me and I am at the "tall" end of the platoon, somebody defended himself against all the sand fleas that were attacking him. What do they teach those few fortunate people that become Drill Instructors. How acute are their senses. To me, it was a "silent slap", a tap, soft, no bruising sound. To the DI... it was MURDER pure and simple HOMICIDE! And what took place after that colored my entire military career.

Jack Webb's ghost showed up and did the entire five minute haranguing, gesturing, jumping, spiting and just a complete loss of anything you might want emulate. The DI lost his composure to last measure. And he was a h-ll of lot better at it then Jack Webb could ever be...!

And if that wasn't bad enough the recruit behind me started to laugh with a "snicker" type of noise. Oh thank God, he save my asz. If it wasn't for him... it would have been me that lost his mind.

I heard that some people truly go into an unearthly, ethereal plane of existence. But this was the first time I had seen it happen. The Drill Instructor just went to a place that few if, any go and come back from. And he took those recruits right along with him. I don't think they ever made back.

That was about the beginning, the middle and THE END of my military madeness.

I never really appreciated how much the Marine Corps affected me until I can look back an entire lifetime and see what it did to me and for me. I put in six years with the Active Reserve, FMF. It was something I needed to do. And now I can see it's worth.

Semper Fi.
Peter McDonald
Sgt 4th Amtrac Bn
2074207


Friday By Boat

The way I left MCAS Kaneohe in JANUARY 1963 was, I rescued a tourist surfer in Waikiki. He got hit in the head by another novice surfer, a blond, who just took off. I pulled his head out of the water and asked him his name.

No response, outta of it. I put him on his board and toe towed him to the beach yelling for help.

A life guard came out and we got him to the beach. A cop saw the number of the board I rented and got my name etc ... (one of the few times I used my real name renting a board).

I got called to the Gunny's office (a replacement for the pr-ck Gunny... and a good thing too) the following Monday and was told the police were filing some sort of charge & the victim was suing me cause they thought I did the deed.

After explaining the events etc... the Gunny said "Wednesday by C-54 or Friday by boat?" and that's how I left Hawaii.

Lee

1962-8-7 6-22 MP duty section: Murro, Heavens, Leftin, Haight, Madore, Carrol


Airborne, sir! All the Way

In the spring of 1960, 2/1 was getting short on our transplacement battalion tour with the Ninth Marines at Camp Sukeran on Okinawa ( one of three spellings I know of... think it's officially 'Zukeran" to day). We knew something was up, because there were contactors busily building rough wooden towers of 3-4 stories in an open field by Hamby Airfield, and close by our area. Then we heard that we would be joined in camp by a battalion of Army paratroops... Third Battalion of the 503rd PIR (Parachute Infantry Regiment)... and so it came to be... the brawls at the EM club were legendary... got to the point where the Army commander and the CO of Ninth Marines promised the next two to get into a fight would both receive General Courts Martials...

One fine Okinawan morning, our 106 RR Platoon Commander, 1stLt. R.P. Rogers, and I were, for some reason, walking along the sidewalk across the street from Building 305 (one of the three- story, where most of H&S company lived, where we all ate chow, Bn CP, etc... wonder if it's still there?)... approaching was an Army Private... starched khakis, tie tucked in (what was up with that?), and highly shined Corcoran jump boots (brown)... as he approached, he raised his right hand in a pretty fair facsimile of a hand salute, fingers just touching the edge of what looked like the bottom third of a pressed green grocery sack... or what they probably called a 'garrison cap'... years before the Monica caps. As he did so, he sounded off:
"Airborne, sir! All the Way"... Lt. Rogers, acknowledging the salute, and returning a sharp salute... dryly commented: "So's pigeon sh-t"...
It wasn't really fair to the poor Pvt... but Lordy, was it funny!

There was also a WAC unit at Sukeran... story came out that the really expensive ($20) Russian ('no speaka da English) h--kers available way down in Naha city might have had some connection to their barracks. One of the H&S SNCO's (whose identity will remain secure) had a GF in that unit... also had a '36 Chevy sedan, that had a pronounced list to starboard when she was aboard... we encountered the car one day when we were in our BAT jeeps, out running drills at the abandoned airfield on the coast (Yontan??)... think we may have interrupted some romantic moments... pursued the car to the end of the field, went back to what we were practicing... 'bounding overwatch', or something like that.


The Lobster Song

Couple of stories about songs sung to di's (not complimentary) after that we had the horn that got us up and put us to bed. An occasional marching band for parades and what not after that not much music. I brought three songs from the Corps at different times and still have the words some phonetically some verbatim.

First I got at MCRD-SD, we had one or two All Hawaiian platoons at about the same level of training we were at and they sang every step they marched. Was ok at mainside SD but we went to rifle range at Camp Mathews at the same time and they got Mess duty. Meaning they were out and about at 3 or 4am, and they still sang... The song was Puupu ikanupu (phonetically anyway) or translated to Pearly Shells, I since learned it is a classical Hawaiian song. Very beautiful... sung in rounds but 3 or 4 am... i think not... Some way I remember the words...

Second came from the far east... in the 50s it was about the only song on radio anywhere. China nonoru or China Nights... sung in the high falsetto Asian voice that tore your backbone out... One time hearing it was enough for a lifetime. Some soul more intelligent than me re-translated the title to "She ain't got no yoyo" and if you listen to the words as sung that's really close... not something you would want to remember but d- mn well wasn't going to forget...

The third song came from Gitmo bay Marine Barracks. Because of the deep water anchorage and everything (stores, ammo etc.) being available the battleship went there every time we went anywhere or came back from anywhere. Was a Marine "Privates Club" on the base was beautiful. A large cement slab with 3 tier 2 1/2 "pipe surrounding about chest high... No roof, except over the service area and tables were as I remember 50's Sears Roebuck dinettes with appropriate chairs. They weren't secured to the floor and started every night in very Marine neat rows... As the evening progressed they were pushed in to various configurations (so you could visit and be closer to each other. Every night at some time THE song started was simply "The Lobster Song" Quite impressive sung by 30-60 semi sloshed Marines...

The first two lines were:
"G'day Mr fisherman, how are you
Have you a lobster big enough for two..."

From there it went into the chorus which will never be repeated in mixed company, the chorus was sung after every two lines and went on seemingly forever... Usually took two nights to learn it but like the other two songs, never to leave you...

American beer was 15 cents and the local Cuban beer Hatuey was ten cents. The logo on the bottle was a Caribe Indian in profile. The next day while recuperating they liked to joke, Yeah he went over last night and fought the one eyed Indian, guess who won/?

Ah, the follies of an 18 year old...SEMPER FI
Sgt Don Wackerly 53-56

Another version of The Lobster Song (in full)


Cheap Cigar

Sgt. Grit,

Just wanted to check in and say how much I enjoy the Thursday letter; (it makes my week) and also the pictures. The personal stories and pictures bring back so many memories. I was with 3rd MAR.DIV. Hqs. Bn., Comm. Co., Rad. Rel. Plt. Which meant I was T.A.D. most of the time, so I was located from Quang Tri to Vandergrif, with the 4th Mar., and 3rd Mar. Regt's. Back at Dong Ha we were close to the ARVN unit that I think, if I remember right, was called I.T.T., they were the ones that "extracted" info. From the POW's.

The attached pictures are labels from a pack of ARVN cigarettes, and a rum bottle. I traded for the rum and cigarettes just to see what they tasted like (bad idea). The I.T.T. Officer got the better of the trade. Cigarette tasted like a very, very cheap cigar, the rum was like rubbing alcohol. I didn't gripe just drank it and acted like it was good.

Semper Fi... Do or die
F.D. Smith , Sgt.
USMC 1/67-7/71
VIET NAM 2/68-3/69


15-20 Years Ago

Is this something I've made up in my head or do I remember correctly; a Sgt. Grit catalog 15-20 years ago that was nothing more than a few (less than ten) pages on cheap newspaper type paper? Now, I wish I had kept those early catalogs because my memory sure isn't any good anymore.

We were scheduled to go to the Bob Hope Christmas show at Da Nang in 1965 but Charlie blew up the bridge and we couldn't get off Monkey Mountain for about a month. Until the bridge was repaired, they had to bring in all our chow and mail by helicopter. Life in the Land of Oz or as we called it, the land of slidin' doors and slant-eyed whores (or maybe that was Japan & Okinawa).

Semper Fi Marine

Forged on the anvil of discipline.
The Few. The Proud.
Jerry D.

Note:
Jerry - here are some scanned images of one of the early catalogs.
Sgt Grit


Nissin Huts and Quonset Huts

The Nissin Hut was a World War One British design. The Quonset Hut was an American improvement to the Nissin Hut design. It was developed in 1941, just prior to World War Two by Peter Dejongh and Otto Brandenberger of George A. Fuller Company. The newly designed buildings were manufactured near a new Naval base being built at Quonset Point, Rhode Island. In order to avoid patent issues with Great Britain, they named it Quonset Hut. Seabees Museum

Forged on the anvil of discipline.
The Few. The Proud.
Jerry D.


In reference to "Sam's" question as to the difference between the Quonset huts and Nissen huts... yes the Nissens were slightly smaller, and had a minor shape difference. The Quonset hut end section was a half circle, while the Nissen end was a half circle that "tucked" in on a smaller radius for the last 2 feet before contacting the ground/concrete. This gave it a "pinched" look at the ground. The radius of the end section was 8', where the "standard" Quonset hut had a radius of 10' for an end section.

There were many variations, but these were the "norms". BTW during the war, a large number for the Pacific Theater of Operations were made out of wood (fir and spruce) as steel was a strategic material. Ah, yes, remember many a late night "fire drill" at 0 dark early as the D.I. ran a 2x4 up and down the ribbing outside of our Quonset huts on the South end of MCRD San Diego in the 3rd RTBn. area.

Bill Wilson
Live as a Marine, Die as one!
2018187 Herring-bones and grenade pouches


Artillery School

The question about Marine Artillery School. When Nam started the Marine Corps restarted an artillery school at Camp Horno. I was in the first class graduating as 0811's in Dec. 2, 1965 with a PFC stripe. I don't believe they sent Parris Island grads to Horno. In November of this year I was at Pendleton to see my son, a Corpsman and drove out to Horno. The barracks used for artillery school is still there. I saw 1st Bn 4th Marines are at Horno now, my unit in Nam, Golf Btry 3rd Bn. 12th Marines was their artillery unit in direct support.

Unfortunately Golf and Hotel Batteries from 3rd Bn 12th Marines were disbanded and are now part of 5th Bn 10th Marines. Too bad, my 2nd tour was with Hotel and those two batteries were 2 of the best you'd ever find along the DMZ in Nam.

I also believe 0802 (artillery officers) did go through Fort Sill.

Sgt. Dan Post "Stump"
2146789
July 1965- May 1969


Two Terror Filled Days

Two of my favorites "I pulled mess duty at the last supper" " I was assigned to the Marine Detachment on Noah's Ark'' .

While on the subject of mess duty my Platoon, 283 Oct-Dec 1957, graduated on December 18th and then when on mess duty at Parris Island. and no saltier Marines were we until we arrived at the messhall and were met with the mess cooks and ncos who reminded us early and often that we still maggots in their eyes. I was first assigned as a DI waiter after two terror filled days. I fled to relative safety of the scullery. Since it was Christmas we went on leave directly from PI and returned to Camp Gieger for ITR.

Semper Fi
Bob Lake


No One Liked Us

I grew up in the Vietnam era, when people hated the war and hated the military. I joined the Corps in 78. for 4 yrs I trained, trained and trained for war. It didn't come.

Back then no one liked us. but recently I get handshakes and thank you's for serving our country. I feel guilty. I tell how every thanks me for my service, I was a peace time Marine. Only ribbon I got is a good conduct.

My MOS was Hawk missile. No job in peace shooting planes down. but we trained hard every day. If I had to do my job, I would do it. period.

I know hawk was in Nam, cause I saw it on a cd set I got from the store the other day.

Just had to say that. To you nam vets, thanks for teaching me, you taught me in case of war, I'd be fine. To those after me, thanks for proving. We are the greatest force in readiness in the world

Semper fi

Sgt Frank Thompson (7222)
3D LAAM Bn (HAWK)
A Btry


Okinawa 1950

Sgt Grit...

Enjoy the newsletter every week, great stories and memories.

For those that endured Okinawa sometime during their enlistment here's a Marines first tour!

1950-1955 our family was based on The ROCK. Dad, Major Douglas J Ash, Sr. was an operator with THE COMPANY. Before joining that outfit he severed in the Corps during WWII as 105 Howitzer training officer at Camp Pendleton, then landed on Saipan, Tinian and Okinawa as a 105/155 Battery CO, served as the Provost Marshall of Nagasaki and then brought home the 1st Japanese Army from Manchuria.

Officially I started my Marine Corps career in 1966 as a member of 4th ANGLICO and severed till 1974...but that's another story for another time!

I have attached a few photos of THE ROCK during my early tour.

1. My mother (Katherine) and myself on our way to Sunday dinner at RYCOM Officers Club.
2. Playing on our COMPANY car.
3. Searching the many caves.
4. Mom and I visiting the Nagasawa Castle.
5. Christmas 1952

See More Pictures

6. Dan and I exploring a well at the Nagasawa Castle
7. Mom and Dad in front of our house (we lived in a compound, guarded by armed soldiers 24/7 surrounded by double 6ft fences with barbed wire and guard dogs. I used to sneak out in the evening when mom and dad where at the O Club for dinner and walk the perimeter with the guards!)

Many fond memories... Coral snakes including the feared Habu, clusters of munitions everywhere, Mike & Peter Boats on the beaches and C-49s scattered throughout the rice paddies. A young boys dream...

I got to play soldier with REAL soldiers, tanks, 6x's too! And each Christmas my mom and dad would invite soldiers that supported his outfit over for dinner and ended up on the floor with me playing with my toys! Heck... they were kids themselves!

I have also attached a photo of my dad's dog tags with his Marine Corps St Christopher's medal and my own tag.

Semper Fi (OOOHRAH was what the Recon guys yelled when we played with them during my days with ANGLICO... running up and down the beaches at Camp Lejeune)

Doug Ash
Sgt of Marines
0849 / 1966-1974


Group Tightener

Sgt. Grit,

We drank capfuls of Wisk on the Marine Corps Birthday on Parris Island, also President Kennedy was shot and the Drill Instructors said we were going to War- and we all took the training more seriously.

For those of us on the rifle range who shot a three shot burst in all directions- we got a group tightener? We hung from an overhead bar in the squad bay, and the D I would punch us in the stomach, and we would fly off the bar into a bulkhead- and the recruit would shoot better the next day.

Our D I would tell some recruit to remind the him to kick his butt for doing something stupid that day- at evening square away time if the recruit didn't remind him it was a rough day for the poor soul.

We had a religious contingent in our platoon, for laughs our D I would say where are the Three Wise Men- one Protestant, one Catholic and one Jewish person would hold a kangaroo court session, and if we went against the D I- we would all catch h- ll.

It was tough but we somehow made it -- little sleep-- pushed to the limit a lot - and the thought of seeing the D I ' s after Boot Camp in the future. I saw my Senior D. I. at Headquarters Marine Corps 3 years later, and he didn't recognize me. The S/Sgt said he only remembered the real S--t Birds, and if he didn't remember me I was a good recruit.

I met very interesting people, and e-mail a few of the old Marines I served with. but now I enjoy the Marine Corps League, and see WW !, Korean, and later vets, and we all have a club to go to and be a part of a select group. I am not a letter writer, but want to share.

GOD BLESS AMERICA
GOD BLESS the MARINE CORPS

Bruce Bender
1963- 1967
"A moment of silence for all those who did not come home you will never be forgotten".


Where Sea Going Marines Go (Cont.)

Short Rounds and Where Sea going Marines went when GQ sounds...

Probably varies by ship, but aboard the USS Iowa in 1956 the Marines were assigned the Quad 40mm open gun tubs located right under the bridge. These were considered the most dangerous and critical assignments. Enemy air always targeted the bridge. Don't know about modern ships, but during GQ, I would bet the Marines aboard are assigned to the most critical and hazardous assignments.

I was an NROTC Midshipmen on board for my first active duty training that summer. Seeing these squared away Marines and the respect they were given led me to the best decision of my life and my gold bar a few years later.

Hulen Jenkins.


Grit,

Reference the General Quarters question.

I served in the Marine Detachment USS Galveston CLG-3 from November of '62 until November of '64. The Marine Detachment's GQ Station was the forward centerline 5"38 dual mount. We crewed the guns from the lower handling rooms all the way up. (I was the pointer (elevation).) We got our AA Gunnery "E". Don't know what they did on the carriers, since by that time there weren't too many guns left on them.

Semper Fi,
1946140
MSgt. Thomas A. Gafford USMC (Ret.)-


Sgt. Grit--

In response to Cpl. R.G. West's question: I served aboard the USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) in the early 1960s. The Marines in the Detachment had varying "Battle Stations," but I recall we manned one of the big guns. In fact, we were awarded a Naval "E" (for Efficiency) so fine were we at that particular duty.

Another thing, I recall a positive response to a question being, "I hope to s--t in your mess gear," and, (my personal favorite) "I hope to s--t in your oil and thong case." The latter, of course, likely went out with the M-1 Rifle, so won't be particularly recognizable to the younger Marines out there.

Semper Fi!
Ron Querry
Cpl. (E-4)


In answer to Cpl R.G. West's question in the 1/19/11 Newsletter as to what do Sea Going Marines do when General Quarters (GQ) sounds, it will depend in part on what type of ship they are stationed on. I served on the USS Leyte (CVS-32) aircraft carrier for 2 years (1956-1958) and our duty stations during GQ were either on the 5 inch guns or the 3 inch AA batteries. On the 5 inch guns we were just part of the firing crews with the anchor-clankers but on some of the 3 inch guns we were the entire firing crew. During Sea School we received 3 inch training on the Virginia coast south of Norfolk. Unfortunately I don't recall the training site's name; but the guns were right on the beach and we fired them out towards the sea.

Of course GQ could involve other duties depending upon your duty station at the time. Once while at anchor off of Greece, GQ sounded with the ominous addition that "This is not a drill." I happened to be on duty as the Executive Officer's Orderly at the time and we had to move to the stern area where his assignment was. Since all hatches were closed due to the GQ alert, I had to quickly open each hatch, let him pass and then quickly close each hatch. I don't know how many hatches we went through but it seemed like a 100 and by the time we got to his station, I was sweating like a Gob down in the boiler room. Turns out the GQ was sounded because a flight of Russian bombers was flying directly towards Greece and the Navy responded with GQ. The bombers turned around as soon as they approached the end of Russian air space. This was a typical incident during the Cold War.

Some Marines were on ammo duty helping to move shells to the 5 and 3 inch guns. Additional Marines were assigned to the Brig to ensure the prisoners safety during GQ. There were a few additional Guard duties such as Cpl of the Guard and a small group of armed Marines on standby in the Marines department area.

We Sea Going Marines got our share of candy-assed Marines comments, but I always reminded them that Chesty Puller went to the same Sea School we did and he turned out to be one great Marine! I don't remember which ship Chesty served on but I believe it was a Cruiser.

Semper Fi - and every Marine is my brother regardless of his assignments!

Sgt. Earnest Aikens - 1955-1959
Parris Island Platoon 108 - 1955
1539341


May I take the liberty of responding a comment by Cpl R.G. West USMC in the newsletter of January 19, 2012.

Marines aboard ship normally referred to as Sea Going Marines, or by the wearers of Dixie cups, as Bell Hops,(never to our face) were highly regarded by all those stationed aboard. Squared away attire. in the wrinkle free uniform of the day, spit shined boots or shoes, We were for the most part considered the security of the ship. That being for the Admiral, Captain, weapons and babysitting brig rats, along with our share of preventive maintenance of ship. We were assigned to participate in assisting the receiving of ship to ship merchandise to stow below deck in storage. That is a story for another day. For those who served aboard, remember blues locker and cases of orange juice. Chief coming to us for OJ for morning chow.

Back to Cpl R.G. West question, When general quarters sounded, the Marines currently on duty stayed on station. The remainder of Marines Detachment hauled butt , for the hatches would be secured and anyone left below would surely be in major trouble. The Marines were assigned to both small caliber and large weapons.

In our case it was 5"38 gun mount # 57 and # 58 on the port aft side of ship. That was the weapon I personally was responsible as projector man. Big weapon, making loud boom, go far, and hurt bad people. Side note, big boom damaged many eardrums and we pay the price today. So now you know the rest of the story.

Ending by saying the Port of Calls, ship tours scheduled in each port, seeing parts of many countries bordering the Med. sea. Eastern coast of USA and countries south of our borders, was great duty and times ..

L/Cpl Gerald Curtis
USMC Seagoing
U.S.S. Randolph CVA/CVS 15
Quantico, VA
57-60
Semper Fi


Sgt. Grit/ R.G. West,

My family has had someone serve in every conflict or war there has been in the history of our country, and in the old country as well. My Dad is a Marine. I love sharing your newsletters with him. In the January 18th edition, there was a post regarding Marines who served aboard Navy ships. My Dad said that when he served (66-72) and General Quarters was sounded, the Marines stationed onboard a ship would report to the Bridge to be assigned to a post. Not being as tough as my Dad (I wanted to survive bootcamp) I joined the Navy and was stationed on a destroyer. It was common knowledge that if Marines were onboard a destroyer, it meant we were loaded for war and the Marines stood a 24/7 watch at the launchers and restricted area access to those who had the proper credentials.

Semper Fi,
A Grunt and a Squid.


Runnin' Late

I had just passed several cars, in a 35 MPH zone, on my way to the VA for an appointment, runnin' late. Just as I topped a hill my Fuzz Buster started beeping.

I glanced down at the speedometer, 54 MPH. I immediately let off the gas, but it was too late. The Blue lights came on about 200 yds or so. I knew he had me dead to rights. So, as soon as I went by him, I had my signal light flashing to pull over. He pulled out, as I was already pulling over off the road way. By the time he pulled in behind me, I had already got my license out and was reaching toward the glove compartment for the registration. I put the window down as he walked up beside the bed of my truck. (I have a Semper Fi and an EGA with United States Marine Corps, Vietnam Vet 1969 on my back window.)

I looked around and he said " Thank you for your service" I said, thank you..." I got you at 52". I said, I know. "You need to slow it down," I will, I said and thank you. He turned and walked back to his car. A mile or so down the road sat another Police car. The speed zone was now 50. I was only going 54 when I passed him. I kinda think the first one, may have radioed ahead, for the second one, to check my speed, since I was the only vehicle between them.

On another thought: My MOS was 2531 Field Radio Operator. When I was on a Med Cruise in 1968 I was the S3's Radioman. As I recall, he was 28 years old and a Major. I think he had reddish hair. His name was Garrity. Anyway, back in the 90's I drove for Greyhound Bus Lines. I was talking to a Marine riding in the front seat. We began talking about the Beirut Bombing of the Marine Barracks being blown up. He said the CO was a Colonel Garrity. I always wondered if it was the same guy. At that time the Marine said he thought the CO was made a scape goat, because he had wanted better security, but the Politicians in Washington denied it. They said they didn't want it to look like we were building a permanent base there. (which sounds like typical politics.) and that he had been discharged and was selling cars around Jacksonville. If anyone knows could you post it here.

L/CPL Terry D. Sullivan
Vietnam 1969


Artillery Training

Both are correct, or incorrect depending on how you view it. Artillery training for Marine Corps officers was at Fort Sill for the period of time I kept up with such things. I do not recall seeing any Marine Corps enlisted while I was there, but do recall many enlisted received their artillery training at Pendleton.

I always thought this was interesting: I spent roughly 6 months learning to be an infantry officer at Basic School, and 3 months at Fort Sill learning my primary MOS: artillery. Just goes to show what the Marine Corps valued back then.

R Boyer
Fox 2/12; 1st 175 mm Gun Battery, Force Troops; 8th 175 mm Gun Battery
1970-1975


Left Nut

About that left nut you acquired: I bet if ya put the EGA on it and put it in your catalogue I'm certain it would be a hot item with Marines. If for nothing else it would be a perfect gift for that sailor we all know. Cpl Radtke 85-89 SEMPER FI


Don,
Imagine a onetime only 'Authentic USMC Bag of Left Nuts.' 'Get your Left Nuts Here, Get -Em while they are hot!"

The greatest thing I ever got/won from you guys was the packet of Iwo Jima Sand. I have made up plaques with the sand in a cut out section and provided them to WWII Marines, and there was never a dry eye thereafter.

Just ordered some scarves for Marines who work for me, betcha that's gonna grab them.
Keep up the fab work,
Semper Fi,
Don B (1964-1996)


U.S.S. Long Beach

Many of the Marines stationed aboard the U.S.S. Long Beach CGN9 were assigned to manning the 5-inch guns during battle stations.

Enjoy beyond my means to express -- your newsletter!

Always heard that the Marines were a department of the Navy AND concur that it in truth is the MEN'S Department.

P. Foley - USN CPO Retired

"I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction: 'I served in the United States Navy.'"
-- President John F. Kennedy, 1 August 1963, Bancroft Hall - U.S. Naval Academy


To P-ss Or Not To P-ss (Cont.)

Civilian TV crew designate urinal location for military use only... [USMC]...

Recent video of Marine use of urinal - videoed for the evening news.

Proof that you can't trust a civilian.

Never trust a civilian
Never trust a civilian
Military can fight and die
Never trust a civilian


The recent news regarding Marines urinating on the dead enemy bodies leaves me with mixed feelings. I guess I think its blown out of proportion in the media, but at the same time, I can't help feeling ashamed. I would not have condoned or permitted this in my men, especially as the video shows no sign of adrenalin or hype. It must have been a relatively secure area by that time according to the shown attitudes.

I could not discern the ranks of these Marines, and so am unsure how upset I should be. In the heat of battle I can understand and allow for much, but in this case I fear the discipline and other traits we associate with Marines have broken down. Where are the leaders of these Marines- and what have they to say? I fear the Corps owes our nation an apology.

Thanks for the soap box, Grit. Semper Fi

J P Beman
75-92 Active Duty
92-present USMC(R)


Hey Marines,
I remember reading a book on sniping and one of the chapters was on an army unit composed mostly of Native Americans that used to scalp the Germans they killed. They would leave the scalped bodies where they were easily found by their comrades. The results were a bunch of terrified Nazis. It obviously had a devastating effect on their morale and affected their fighting spirit as you can imagine. I wonder what the D.C. types that are disparaging these brave warriors),would say about that fine group of snipers. Maybe our guys should scalp 'em instead of p- ssing on them. Probably by p-ssing on them those Taliban got the first bath they ever had. God bless all the troops serving in harm's way and SEMPER FI to those snipers!

Howard "Nate" Nethery
Cpl. '65-'68


Could you put this out for all your readers to see? It's a petition to help those Marines accused of urinating on the Taliban fighters. http://www.change.org/petitions/marines

Ken Fredrick


Sgt. Grit,

Those Marines, who urinated on those dead Muslims, were only giving them a proper burial. After seeing how our military warriors buried Be Laden at sea, our Marines improvised by burying those Muslims at a little lesser "sea." Since there wasn't a sea or ocean in the deserts of Afghanistan, they used what they had.

Semper Fi
Fred


Ok, It was not smart to videotape yourself desecrating Taliban fighters. But give me a fre-kin break. The most they deserve is NJP for being stupid. NOT a court martial. Forget the excuse "they watched their buddies get killed and they were taking revenge". Marines don't take revenge by pizn on ya. Marines get even by killing you.

The difference between these boys and the Taliban is that the Taliban are raised from birth to follow Islamic Law which says you behead the enemy of Islam. And they have no qualms about taking a knife and sawing someone's head off. But you take a U.S. Marine who was raised by his mama to go to church and/or have some sort of respect for human life, and throw him into a war zone to kill, well, he might need to do what is called "de- humanizing the enemy". The need to dehumanize the enemy is actually a positive statement about our society and the troops we have fighting for our freedoms.

Insurgent: Kill the enemy and videotape dragging the enemy's naked burned body through the streets, then hang the body up on a bridge.

U.S. Marine: Kill the enemy and pee on them.

Take off the TIME magazine goggles and look at the world with some sort of reason and accountability. Was this really such a big fre-kin war crime? This is just hypocrisy, seeing as how the left idolizes such psychopaths as Mao, Che, Castro, Stalin, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Chavez, and Ahmadinejad


Sgt. Grit:

I have no problem with the so-called news of a Marine sniper unit urinating on dead Taliban fighters. I would have done the same thing. Some Americans need to get their head out of their asz. They are so consumed with being "politically correct" that they end up being a bunch of pansies & not honest with themselves. Taliban are nothing other than thugs masquerading as religious fighters. They are mean, vile humans who behead their living enemies & even their own living countrymen. Have we forgot about that - I haven't. We are quickly turning into a cosmetic society.

Cpl. John P. Sitek - 0331 - 3/7 & 3/5 - 1st Marine Division RVN '70 - '71


The four dumb Marines (who records these things?) urinating on dead Taliban displayed what should be considered "courageous restraint" when forced to operate under rules of engagement the enemy exploits to debilitate our troops. When attacking a stronghold or fighting an ambush, staff from remote offices deny artillery and air support critical to minimize casualties and bring victory. Engaged units cannot call illumination rounds to reveal enemy firing positions. Often troops may not chamber a round in their weapons. Now even farting around the Afghans calls for a reprimand. The action we considered reprehensible, enabled them to forget momentarily that they operate under constraints ensuring probable death or crippling for one of them within a week.

Overall the Pentagon and Administration ignore Articles 28 and 29 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which says Protected Persons within the enemy's physical control, cannot be used to render certain points and areas immune from military operations. Instead our troops serve an effeminate political agenda, and suffer the fantasy of "courageous restraint", which cripples their ability to win. They also perceive battlefield victories will be compromised away for negotiations with the Taliban.

The character of the Taliban can most often be discovered by consulting Article 13 of the First and Second Geneva Conventions and Article 3 of the Fourth Convention. They are not the armed forces, militias, volunteer corps, insurgents, or freedom fighters of any country or authority. They are not an organized resistance movement carrying arms openly and have no distinctive identifier. Most often they fight for control by focusing on the murder and torture of people defined as Protected Persons by all the Conventions. The Taliban seldom if ever follow the customs of war. There is no basis to consider these human abominations prisoners of war.

I didn't serve in the infantry, and I tell sea stories and never war stories. However, I will say sailors of the Brown Water Navy had some interesting ways of handling their trophies, which helped to relieve the tension of realizing they had a better chance of returning home in a bag or on a stretcher than on a freedom bird. Good officers learned how to manage the behaviors, which were certain to arise, in a way sailors could be renewed for combat commitments, retain their sense of personal honor, and discover a new normal.

This country has come full circle since Vietnam. I was popularly regarded as a deranged, drug addicted, baby killing, fascist, pig. Now my son who became a Marine holds popular distinction as a despondent, mentally challenged, chemically dependent, cold blooded, killer. And if you find that characterization inaccurate consult, John Kerry, Jack Murtha, and the VA answering machine.

Isn't this a wonderful country where defecating on the American flag can become a career enhancement, and urinating on a dead enemy can result in prison?

Nolan Nelson


Hey Grit,

After seeing the news account of those Marines relieving themselves on the dearly departed Taliban, I had to comment.

First thing I did was call my oldest son and son-in-law, both career Marines. Both have done multiple tours in the sand box as well as myself doing 2 tours in Nam. We are all in agreement on several things.

Number one: They are not p-ssing on the bodies! They are applying a mild saline solution to their wounds. Apparently it wasn't doing much good but, one can only try.

Number two: In Nam we did not have the ability to take instant flicks in the field and post them worldwide and that was a good thing!

Number three: If you have ever served in combat there are two rules that must be followed: rule #1= there are no rules, rule #2-if someone comes up with a rule, refer to rule #1 . Number four: Take heart my fellow Marines, the media was not on our side in Nam either.

To those who feel the need to criticize those Marines, know this; before you stand in judgment, stand in their boots! Unless you have been there and done that you have no knowledge to back up your thought process.

Semper Fi.
Ed Heyward, Sgt.
1967-1971


Note:
I received many more like the above this past week. Too many to include them all. If yours it not in I apologize. The above is a good representation.
Ooohrah!
Sgt Grit


Quotes

"Tell that to the Marines - the sailors won't believe it."
--Sir Walter Scott, Redgauntlet, Vol. II, Chapter 7


"Though written constitutions may be violated in moments of passion or delusion, yet they furnish a text to which those who are watchful may again rally and recall the people. They fix, too, for the people the principles of their political creed."
-- Thomas Jefferson


"[I]t is the reason alone, of the public, that ought to control and regulate the government."
--James Madison


"Public affairs go on pretty much as usual: perpetual chicanery and rather more personal abuse than there used to be."
--John Adams


"I entirely approve the measures proposed by you in relation to the Marines who are lately captives in Tripoli. Therefore execute them. "
--A letter from Secretary of the Navy Robert Smith to Col Commandant Franklin Wharton (3d CMC) on 21 Sept. 1805. Smith told Wharton to carry out certain measures proposed earlier.


"On board the GANGES, about 12 mos. ago, Lt. Gale, was struck by an Officer of the Navy, the Capt. took no notice of the Business and Gale got no satisfaction on the Cruise; the moment he arrived he call'd the Lieut. out and shot him; afterwards Politeness was restor'd"
--Signed "Yr obdt. Svt, W. W. Burrows, LtCol Comdt, MC" (2d CMC)


Gung Ho!
God Bless the American Dream.
Sgt Grit

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