Sgt Grit Newsletter - 26 JUL 2012

In this issue:
• Brooklyn Kid
• Open Up The Passage Way

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You don't have to have a 'Vett' to show your pride of the Corps. Bought a Toyota Tacoma and had the tailgate wrapped. Used it in the Brentwood 4th of July Parade.

Jerry's Red Toyota Tacoma with Marine Corps imagery on the tailgate MCRD class of '60 Plt 252
First Air Delivery '60-'65.
MCL Det 1155

Semper Fidelis
Jerry Siegenthaler

In This Issue

Here we go: I returned there to push herds, was a Brooklyn kid, jail was overcrowded, a little discreet talking, questioning his truthfulness, Push Ball, domain of the stewards, get the f--- goin a--hole!, past tense for 'flung, local bondsman was also there,

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

Sgt Grit


Ivan Evans young Marine Ivan Evans as an older Marine I'm sending this from my I Phone so I hope the pictures all show up well.

A regular client of mine has these pictures up in his home, I inquired the nature of them because I recognized the EGA and he informed me that they are of his father "Ivan Evans" a World War I Marine.

Ivan Evans's unit The one pic is when he first got in; the other is from some years after. You can see the change in him after the war, it really aged him. The third pic is just a partial from a four foot panorama of his entire unit.

I'm a big history buff, especially when It comes to the Corps. Semper Fi, I hope all enjoy these.

Bryan Butas Cpl 89-93

Brooklyn Kid

Dear Sgt. Grit

Plt. 208 Feb 1963 the Sr. Di was S/Sgt (E5) McCallister. I was a set back from Plt. 108 having received 'Office Hours' for a fight with a DI on my 3rd day in the Corps. I had just turned 17 and looked 14 (103 lbs, 5'-4") I was a Brooklyn kid and had no idea of the Corps and what it did. My only knowledge was they were the toughest and they gave you a gun.

The new Plt. decided to give me a blanket party the first night. I was ready, e-tool and GI can cover waiting in the dark. Just before they got to me out pops S/Sgt McCallister from his room. He takes one look tells the Plt to hit the rack and to leave me alone which they did. He was a really straight shooter and one h-ll of a Marine. On graduation day his words to me changed my life. They were "Roberto if we are ever in combat and get captured then we want to get captured with you."

Went to the Med., the Carib., and floated off Nam in 64. Flapped in on March 8th, 65 as a communicator on an FO Team with C-1-3, back in the World went Anglico made Cpl and then jump school. Ended up as an instructor for radio school in Pendleton. Even made Sgt at 20 yrs old.

Got my GED, went to college, and had my first son all while on my first 4. S/Sgt McCallister where ever you are many thanks.

VN Vintage Sgt
Pete Roberto 2531/2511/0846

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Push Ball

Lately on humping... Camp Schwab... Summer 1982 comes around with the news that the new CO,(LtCol Wes Fox-MOH Rec.) had sworn an oath to General Gray that he would double the standard 15 mile humps to 30 miles before MCCRES in the fall... "This 'mechanized Marine' mindset is ridiculous"--from his memoir's-- The man just simply has no fear of anything when he knows he is right.

Regardless of what any General Officer had decided 15 miles was enough said... obviously why the 700 plus members of his 1/6 still worship the man... but needless to say this little piece of intel did not bring shouts of joy and a s--tload of OOOOORAAH'S to the squad bays on K street. He accomplished this by reducing 5 days in the field to 4... not much. Friday was hump day-from now until the end of time... if in garrison.

Six months later the 'half-day' work day on Saturdays at Camp Schwab did not apply to us. At 1500 hrs, we might be entering the front gate for that last little 1/2 mile down the hill towards the baseball field... exact distance,(28-29 miles?) depending on when he passed us--81mm mortar baseplate over his shoulder--at the turnaround somewhere in the Central Training Area north of Hanson... (as ye all know that be a fer piece)... I think it was worth it... we later set a Marine Corps record by Mounting Fuji, from base camp to summit and back in just under 9 hours... only casualties being 2 busted legs, more ankles, and 2 brand new 1st Lt's... promoted on top... oh yeah, 12 or so hypothermia cases.

Busted Bones... OK, this is one I need someone out there to tell me, we were not the only Marines in the day that played a little game called 'Push Ball'--aka 'Murder Ball', etc. One Friday at evening formation Gunny Ray Peake croaks out "LISTEN UP! You azzzzholes (had an irritating way of emphasizing the azzzzz part... God luv'em) ain't humping tomorrow but we're playin' push ball!"

"Fall out at zero six in boot's n' utes---And DON'T be runnin' up on me wantin' to know what the f----n' h-ll it is!" Groovy... but if Gunny don't know?... Lifer's, 'Nam Marines?... Some sort of Old Corps, Pacific Fleet thing? Like Rugby maybe? That's cool... such was not the case by a long shot.

The next morning Gunny has us in a nice easy cadence as we round the little bend on the road to the Football Field/LZ... Bravo, Charlie and Weapons Companies were already there. At that point instinct told us that something sinister was afoot just by the way the other Companies were eyeballin' us with scowls on their faces. All the ambulances on Schwab, more maybe, were parked all around the field... more wheeled vehicles, six-by's, jeeps, M880's... the entire hill that overlooked the field just below Officer Country was covered with Staff... Tankers, LSB, Arty, Amtracs, Rotor-Heads, an A-Team from 1st Special Forces... no Corpsmen though. They were all moving around on the field with 2 or more Unit 1 medkits. A Regiment of them it seemed. U.S. Greenbacks, Yen, etc. clenched in fists.

Excitement and grinning faces... In the center of the field was a large hard leather 'medicine ball'. Company against Company, the object of the game was to roll the 5 foot (NO, I have no idea how heavy the sumb--ch was 'cause it took a squad just to get it rolling) ball into the opponents end-zone. The one rule being, there were NO rules. I think at the time we may have known what it might have been like to be a Roman Gladiator just before entering The Arena--as 'Caesar Fox' was watching 'The Games' from his deck. I don't think I need to elaborate as to the results of that insane spectacle. I only hope to hear someone else describe it. The term that comes to mind is 'Only in The Suck!'


Son Was Born

Sgt. Grit,

Thanks Marine! You're doing a great job as usual. This is in response to Chuck Brewer, H&MS-16. Reported into 3-11 at hill 55, for my second tour. Left Pendleton in '65 with the 7th Marines, in G-3-11. My wife was to have my son around 7 July. The CO asked me if I wanted to call home, told him no, but I'd like to meet my kid brother at China Beach, he is in H&MS-16 a mechanic.

I met him and the first words was, "Your son was born 30 June, didn't the Red Cross tell you." H-ll no! That's a long story, for another day.

He rotated in Sept, my choice at Lejeune was a Med cruise or my second tour. Reading your newsletter is good for the memories something always triggers a memory.

Semper Fi to all
Jim Leonard Ret
SSgt '60-'80

Open Up The Passage Way

I was just reading the most recent installment of the Sgt. Grit newsletter and as it always does it put a smile on my face. I do need to respond to a couple of stories I read this week. On from Dean Prescott U.S.M.C. 70-73 responding to my recalling moments at M.C.R.D. San Diego in 1970 while in boot camp.

The cool days and nights and all that moisture made me real happy I was not there in the summer time. The 'pit' was a bit firmer because of the rain being compacted with the sand as we did bend and mothers until we changed the rotation of the earth. We may have been 'Hollywood' Marines but we sure as heck are as tough as any 'Swamp rat' from the P.I.

Sgt. Grit and Bill McMarigal I do not remember the names of the other Pvt's I went through boot with other than one. His name was Pvt Wheeler. I only remember him because in platoon formation he was in front of me and one morning, how this happened I do not know. We were in formation preparing to move out to chow and the D.I. gave us the order forward march and he did not move so, me not wanting to get into a problem with the D.I. gave Pvt Wheeler a shove and he went straight over and down to the ground. He planted his chin in the pavement between the Q huts. I did not know what to do exactly so I just yelled out Sir, Pvt Down and kept on marching as did the other Pvt's behind me. We all just stepped over him and continued to march until the D.I. gave us the platoon halt order. Pvt Wheeler was off to sick call and had a good sewing job done on his chin. When he got back and we had a chance I asked him what had happened he said he fell asleep standing up in formation. I guess because it was such a strange incident that I remembered his name and what had happened. Otherwise I do not remember the other Pvt's in platoon 2033 Feb. 1970.

G. W. Claiborne be assured that needled--k was alive and well at M.C.R.D. San Diego when I went through boot camp and when I returned there to push herds through boot camp. He was a well- known Marine with at least one family member in each platoon and sometimes several family members in a platoon.

If I may I recall during boot camp being on the grinder practicing our close order drill the whole platoon was in a large square doing col rights. We all heard the Sr. D.I. start yelling, "you stupid skinny pimple faced b---h, you do that again and I will bury your d--k in the dirt forever." We all kept going around in this large square and the Sr D.I. kept yelling only it was getting closer and closer to me. It turned out that he was yelling at me and I could not figure out what the heck I was doing wrong.

Now he is right in my ear as we come up to the next col right and he is screaming, "do it again you stupid skinny pimple faced b---h and I will have you doing bend and thrust until you change the rotation of the earth!" (his favorite thing to say). Sure enough I screwed it up again and he put me in the 'pit' next to the grinder doing bend and mothers until I changed the rotation of the earth. While in the 'pit' it finally got through into my brain housing group that what I was doing was a cross over step with my left foot instead of stepping off smartly with my right foot. Bend and mothers can make you think and open up the passage way into your brain housing group !

Semper Fi
SSgt Joseph Whimple
U.S.M.C. 2-70 / 12-76

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Against The Bars

One weekend three of us decided to drive from Norfolk Naval Air Base where we were attending a Radar training course to Washington, DC for a little R&R. On the way we encountered a group of Yahoos who were drinking beer and following and passing us in a threatening manner. In order to give them the slip our driver a Cpl from Washington State sped up to about 80 to get rid of the jerks. Out of the blue a VA Trooper appeared behind their vehicle when they threw their beer bottles out of their car in front of the trooper.

He pulled ahead of them and stopped us allowing the other car to ride off without stopping them. When we protested that we were only trying to get away from the crazies in the car behind us he informed us that they were good old boys from the neighborhood and had done nothing wrong. He said he didn't see them throw anything from their car. He then asked the driver how much money he had on him. He lied to make sure he still would have money for a return to the base. The trooper then informed us that the driver had to go before a local judge who would decide his fate.

He took us to a small grocery store where the judge had a make shift court in the back of the store. The judge who was legless sat behind a table where he conducted business. After our man explained the situation, the trooper disputed his story and said that the other guys were doing nothing wrong and that he knew them and vouched for their character. The judge imposed a fine of $200 and pending payment of the fine he sent him to jail in Suffolk, VA.

It was Friday night and everyone in town was at a local High School football game. The local bondsman was also there and he refused to leave the game early. Our man gave us his home phone number and asked us to call his parents. We were unable to reach them on our first attempt so we decided to return to the base and enlist help from military authorities. When we explained what happened the Navy OD he read us the riot act and called us all kinds of filthy names. He said he preferred to let our man rot in jail and that he would do nothing to help him. We were finally able to reach our man's parents and asked them to wire the $200 to the court.

We drove back to Suffolk to check on our buddy and found him with his nose pressed up against the bars. The jail was overcrowded and it stunk of urine, sweat and booze. We waited there for several hours until the wire arrived from Washington and our buddy was finally released. We decided two things on the way back: 1. To use another route going to DC, and 2. never again trust the Navy to help a Marine in distress even though he had done no wrong. That OD was a first class A-hole.

Then Sgt Fred Finch
USMC 1955-1959

Short Rounds

Can't recall the name of the LST-119? 'puke pan' we were presently bobbing around on... being the most recent member of the gun section to receive a Blood Stripe and finally with enough status to possibly get away with asking a potentially stupid question... standing in the wind tunnel... "Hey T"... (Sgt. Gerald 'T' Toomey,0331,RVN.)... "I know I'm just a country boy, but why in the h-ll do they put all these big casualty litter's with 6 inch thick carry poles all over the bulkhead's?" He kinda' snorted back with a grin, "Navy regulations man... they have to be strong enough to hold a 500 pound Navy Chief Bos'n Mate when he falls out from a heart attack!


I enjoy reading about my fellow Marine in their stories every Thursday. However, I wish they would put more information about when and where they served at the end of their letters. It's nice to check and see if I served with any of them. Some of you do a great job at this and I wish everyone did the same. I was with Charlie Battery 1/13 from the time we formed up at Camp Horno until we left Nam in Oct 1967. I have the roster of everyone who left the states with me and so I always check the end of the letters to see if maybe I can make contact with another C/1/13 member.

Thanks for all the great stories fellow Marines.

Ron Hoffman
C/1/13 RVN 1966-1967
USMC 1966-1968

Here is one strange coincidence...I went through Parris Island and graduated Dec 1991. Got two weeks of recruiting assistant duty, then MCT, then M.A.T.T. platoon waiting for school to start at Camp Johnson. Once school starts we are in formation and are assigned 3 to a room. A few weeks into school, my roommate, LCpl Yruegas (went through San Diego) asks me to get something out of his wall locker. He tells me his combination 18-36-22. I tell him to quit playing around and tell me his combination. He, again, repeats the same combination to the locks I was issued in Parris Island! How many combinations are sent out by Master lock, and duplicates end up with two Marines from either side of the country? I never had to worry about him taking anything, Marines don't steal. We still keep in touch.

Cpl Fitzpatrick

The Short Story by Bill Tinor about the chow in the ITR mess hall brought back memories of my own. I guess that was the worst food that I have ever eaten (or tried to eat). If it had not been for peanut butter and jelly I and many others would have undoubtedly starved to death. By the way, I pulled night mess duty waiting to be assigned to a platoon and you do not want to know how some of the food was handled.

Semper Fi,
Cpl Bob Mauney USMC 1966/1968

I enjoyed Bill McManigal, Marine, 1851552 post in the last Newsletter. I believe needledick the bug f----r was releived by Joe Sh-t the Ragman who also retired...I think.

Great idea for some 'I'm so short'.

Here's one. "I'm so short I'm sleeping in a match box using a rifle patch for a blanket."

LH Marshall, 1854979 USMC(Ret)


The Image Of Rank:

General: Leaps over tall buildings in a single bound, is more powerful than a locomotive, is faster than a speeding bullet, walks on water, and gives policy to God.

Colonel: Leaps over short buildings in a single bound, is more powerful than a switch engine, is just as fast as a speeding bullet, walks on water if sea is calm, and talks to God.

Lieutenant Colonel: Leaps over short buildings with a running start and a favorable wind, is almost as powerful as a switch engine, is as fast as a speeding b-b, walks on water in an indoor pool, and talks to God if special request is approved.

Major: Barely clears Quonset huts, loses tug-of-war with locomotives, can fire a speeding bullet, swims well, and is occasionally addressed by God.

Captain: Makes high marks when trying to leap buildings, is run over by locomotives, can sometimes handle a weapon without inflicting self-injury, can doggie-paddle, and talks to animals.

First Lieutenant: Runs into buildings, recognizes locomotives two out of three times, is not issued ammunition, can stay afloat if properly instructed, and talks to water.

Second Lieutenant: Falls over doorsills when trying to enter buildings, says "look at the choo-choo," wets himself with a water pistol, and mumbles to himself.

An NCO: Lifts building and then walks under them, kicks locomotives off the track, catches speeding bullets in his teeth, and chews them, and freezes water in a speeding glance. He is God.

A Little Discreet Talking

Sgt Grit,

Just saw your note about not remembering names from boot camp. It's funny, because I just happened to be talking about this very thing with a former Marine I met the other day. When I was in boot camp, we didn't have much time (really, any time) nor permission to shoot the breeze and get to know our fellow victims. I can vaguely remember a few of them that stood out for various reasons, but I certainly didn't get to know them nearly as well as I did Marines in my units.

The fellow Marine I was discussing this with did say that they did a little discreet talking to the recruits near them while in their racks, but, to be honest, I needed all the sleep I could get (and more), and I wasn't about to waste it talking (maybe because I was an old man who turned 30 aboard Parris Island).

The bottom line is that there are a lot of signs that a person is lying about having been a Marine, but I don't think remembering his fellow boots very well is one of them.

Semper Fi,
David Johnson, USMCR, 1991-1998

Then And Only Then

Sgt Grit,

I have seen those letters that answer direct questions from other Marines that border on rude or inappropriate but fully understand now why they might be that way.

I submitted the story 'Silent Oohrah' and Bill McManigal, Marine 1851552, has questioned its validity. I feel a little slighted by his rhetoric but understand that my tale could have come off as fake to anyone that was not there, but to me, a child when Nam ended I could beg the question if Bill seriously served where he says he served. I find that it is not necessary because as a Marine and a fellow brethren of Marines, I would never insult a fellow Marine by questioning his truthfulness! If I so happen to find out in passing that the Marine has lied, then and only then do I have evidence to consider that Marine a liar.

So, my point has weight this day as Bill McManigal has questioned whether a friend was honestly killed in Yeachon Korea as I said he was. Bill McManigal has also stated that it is public record and should not have asked the question about information of the families from your readers. Well Mr. Bill McManigal, Marine, if it is public record (which the Marine Corps does NOT have to make public record under DOD mandate) why did you not check it out for yourself to validate my story?

It was a mention of a friend that is gone but not forgotten and needed to have his moment. It seems that the only one smoking something really heavy would be you. For your information, I do not use drugs, never have used drugs and have no intention to ever use drugs, so it sounds like to me that your guilty conscience causes you to question others. The guilty speak the loudest!

Mr. McManigal, I absolutely mean no disrespect and would appreciate the same courtesy. If there is something that I have missed or somewhere that I can go to get more information about my friend's family or just information then please tell me. Otherwise keep your venting for stories you know for certain are not true, and if things in the Corps are public record then maybe you need to be verifying one way or another before you accuse a fellow Marine of being "wacked out on drugs" or a "wanna be".

Just for your information, going through 'boot camp' in '87, my D.I.s called it "basic training" and we had a guy that got attached to our platoon from medical platoon. Once his injury was healed, he was re-attached to a platoon so he could finish. Mr. McManigal, things changed drastically from the time you went through boot camp to the time I went through boot camp to even boot camp now!

Thanks Sgt Grit
Carey J Clark

Near My Desk

Steve's file cabinets covered in Marine posters and memorabilia Steve's Marine Corps desk

I rec'd the K-bar & display case and they're beautiful. Our top award winner is certainly going to appreciate receiving those as their 1st place award. This 'trophy' is the most coveted of any award. Our entrants talk constantly of the 'Marine Fighting Knife' that the Marine Corps League awards to the top place car. We again are so grateful to you and Sgt Grit for so graciously donating to our cause each year. Steve's Marine t-shirts

I've enclosed a few photos of my USMC memorabilia at by work space, just for your viewing pleasure. No one who walks anywhere near my desk can mistake what branch of the military I was in and it's almost a memorial because people come in just to see all the 'Marine' stuff! Thank you again!

Steve Weathersby

Good Old Camp Lejeune 1965-1966

We were in 2nd tank battalion, flame platoon, barracks located by the circle and only a block and a half from the NCO Club. So after a tour or two in the NCO Club a group of us decided that the Marines going by our barracks should be serenaded with some music as they returned to theirs.

Cpl's Andre, Sentell, Hawkins, Adams, Briggs, and Martin formed the famous or infamous Alabama Boys Choir. Named for Charlie Briggs home in Mobile, Alabama. As I recall we were not very good but very entertaining. Those were the good old days 47 years ago. It would be great to take a tour of Lejeune, and Cpl Sentell and I plan on doing just that next year. So if any of the old Choir is out there give us a shout would love to hear and reminisce. It would be great fun.

Semper Fi
Cpl's Andre and Sentell

Lots Of Posers

I've been reading lots on posers lately, but this latest one I experienced has caused me to write in. I work in a VA hospital where posing and exaggeration seem to run rampant. I had a guy who was talking about the battle of Leyte Gulf who was born in 1931, and one talking about Viet Nam who was born in 1957.

Since they are patients in this PC charged environment, to keep myself out of trouble I have learned to bite my tongue and suppress the urge to choke the sh-it out of 'em. We even have an agency staff member telling folks he was in the USMC, and in reality he washed out of boot camp! He said he broke his leg, but the CO gave him his EGA! BOVINE EXCREMENT!

The other day, I was at a gas station filling my truck. A guy filling at the pump behind me must have seen my Marine Corps plates, or my Sgt Grit Marine Extremist t-shirt, and asked when I was in. I told him, and he said he was in sometime in the 60's. I said the obligatory Ooh Rah, and he said, "Huh?" That's when I smelled a rat. I asked what unit he was in and he said, "The 101st Marine rangers, then I went to Japan to run a range."

Now to my confession; I just shook my head, got in my truck & left. I didn't call this wannabe out; tell his girlfriend he'll lie to her if he'll lie to me, or anything! I just shook my head and left! Has PC overcome me? This has been eating me up for over a week. I promise, my brethren that this will NEVER happen again!

Cpl. KG, 3534
Transport Co.
7th Motor Transport Bn.
1st FSSG

Troop Handler

Sgt Grit,

To Cpl. D.T. Jones, we might have gone through ITS and machine gunner school together, not sure. I went through in November and December of 1981 and although I can't recall how long the course ran now, I do seem to remember that when I graduated from ITS, I shipped over to Lima 3/8 in time to go home for Christmas of 1981, so it must have only lasted about 6 weeks.

At the time Lima has just returned from a MED cruise and they were hooching in the old cinder block buildings about a block or so down the street over behind that old PX. After Christmas we moved up the street to the "new" brick barracks closer to the main gate. I too (and not fondly) recall those old heads across the street from the cinder block barracks. In the winter most of us still ran across the street in shower shoes and towels and nothing else but a field jacket. No small wonder most of us were sick all the time!

After I made two MED cruises, my old 0331 section leader, SSGT Russell, got me hooked up with a great job as a Troop Handler in headquarters company 1/8. SSGT Russell was awaiting orders to go back to the drill field at Parris Island for the second time and needed another Troop Handler to watch over the new boots who had just graduated from PI and were waiting on orders to go to ITS. While the boots were waiting for the next ITS class to start they were put on mess duty at the Geiger chow hall and my job was to form them up in the morning and before the noon and evening meals and march them over to the chow hall where I turned them over to the NCOIC over there.

In the late afternoon I would go over to headquarters to pick up any mail that they might have and distribute it out to them. They took turns rotating on and off fire-watch and aside from making sure none of them got in too much trouble before going to ITS, that was my job for the last four months of my time in the Corps. It was myself and two other NCOs and we just rotated our shifts anyway we wanted, but all we had to do was to make sure one of us was duty with them at all times. I had already made two MEDS and served two tours in Beirut and was too short for a third cruise, so it was a great way to end my time.

Jarheads, please keep one our brothers, Cpl Tim Wheeler (0331 Lima 3/8) in your prayers. Not to go into too much detail, but Tim underwent serious surgery earlier this week. He is doing OK, but please keep him in your prayers!

Semper Fi
Mike Kunkel
Cpl 0331
Lima 3/8 1981-85

Trigger Happy

Sgt Grit,

I wonder if any of your readers ever had an experience like Sgt Martyna. There are stories a lot of us would like to forget but somewhere in those four years you had something to talk about besides Boot Camp or Lousy Chow. Sometime, read the stories of the Marines at Belleau Wood who fought without chow for days, even forgetting to sleep for long hours and days, or the Marines at Guadalcanal who fought with World War I equipment and ate Japanese rations.

In Vietnam we traded Kool cigarettes to Korean Marines for their Dry Rats, but still ate ours, H-ll, the Chili was great after you hiked all over the Charlie Ridge, with the Dry Rats inside your sweaty camo jacket, mixed with the water you put in it so it wouldn't be crunchy.

But I had such a good life in the Marine Corps that Boot Camp wasn't the most important part of my life, they taught me to have dignity and Honor, and most of all to enjoy the Life ahead.

A story! I was a Prison Chaser at Yerba Buena Island Brig just as Korea was getting started, I took Prisoners out to clean gutters and hedges etc. When done, we returned the rakes, hoes and shovels to the shack and I gave them a smoking break (Big Deal then). I noticed a prisoner acting like he was going to throw a shovel at me, I turned around, slapped the lever on the Carbine and popped a shot at him, it didn't hit him or the doorway where he stood so it went close by his head. I then called them to attention, had them fall out to the driveway, (prisoners in those days marched with their arms folded and elbows straight out in front) and marched them back to the Brig, informing the Duty Warden what happened.

A short time later I was called into the Brig CO's Office and told to get off his Command, he didn't want any Trigger Happy Marines in his Command. His command was part of Treasure Island Marine Barracks so I just returned to Marine Barracks, Treasure Island, I was later called into the CO's Office, Promoted and transferred to Ordnance School, Quantico, Virginia something I had been trying to get for years.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau,
USMC Retired

JROTC Scholarship

Female DIs

Blackhawk Flight Foundation awards it's Spring 2012 JROTC Scholarship to Lakeshore H.S. JROTC Cadet Commander, Jonathan Puissegur.

Pictured left to right are: LSHS Principal Brennan McCurley, JROTC Cadet Cmdr., Jonathan Puissegur, LTC Richard Herberg, USMC, retired, B.J. Perrett, Executive Director for Blackhawk Flight Foundation, and Major Paul Vorenkamp, LSHS JROTC Unit Commander.

Cadet Puissegur is being awarded the Blackhawk Flight Foundation Spring 2012 JROTC Scholarship.

Prone Position

Dear Sgt Grit,

One night a bunch of Marines went into town to a watering hole that had women on swings above the bar. One was a Woman Marine who was put together nicely, wore a wig, but could not hide her big guns. I spoke to her at her break and she asked me to keep it quiet as she could get in trouble with the USMC if they were aware of her moonlighting.

One drunk swabby grabs her leg and tries to pull her off the swing, I put the sorry fool in a prone position. The bouncers came after me, but I was with BIG John (Sgt, from Minnesota who had shoulders that couldn't fit in a doorway if he walked straight), John was a quiet guy who worked in Disbursing, but grabbed one bouncer by his neck and the other by his scrotum and said, "The lady quits and my friends intend to walk out peacefully, we will not return and your bar sucks." The manager asked us to be bouncers if we wanted, because they had no damages from that incident.

Got WM a job as waitress in NCO Club, she made made better tips, and she thanked us all.

Bruce Bender
Cpl 1963- 1967

Father/Son Tour In Vietnam

In answer to the 'Chuck Challenge': After serving two years in the grunts as an 0351 (63-65) I was selected for Embassy Duty School and subsequently graduated and was assigned to Saigon. After completing my first year, (Oct 65-66), I decided to stay in Saigon for my second tour. Shortly thereafter my father, an Air Force Lt/Col, got orders to Vietnam. Since I was there he could have passed but didn't. He arrived in country the day after Veterans Day, 1966. Now in those days anyone below the rank of General officer arriving at Ton Son Nhut had to sit on their sea bags on a concrete floor waiting for orders for about three days. Not fun. It was hot, sweaty, and irritating. So I arranged to have two of my Marine Security Guard brothers accompany me in the Ambassador's '65 Plymouth Fury, flag flying, to the reception area of Ton Son Nhut where my father and a friend, Maj Hennessey had just arrived.

We were in civilian clothes, armed to the teeth, and looking like the sharp young sun glasses equipped Marines we were. I had dated Maj Hennessey's middle daughter while on leave and in transit to embassy School and knew him well. I informed the check-in desk that these two officers would be at the Marine House and when their orders were ready to call the Marine Guard on Post One at the embassy. The Capt said, "YES SIR," to me. I think we scared the crap out him. That still makes me grin. The looks on the faces of those officers sitting on the concrete floor awaiting orders was priceless. They must have thought my dad and Maj Hennessey were CIA.

My dad and Maj Hennessey spent three days in air conditioned quarters at the Marine Gate House, three hots, hot water showers, maid service, and a basketball court. Dad was then stationed at Ben Hoa and was CO of the munitions maintenance squadron there. We spent some good times together that year. I left Saigon in October, 1967 after two years on post, and dad followed me home in November. Dad was awarded the Bronze Star for his service there, and I arrived back in country on 4 February 1968 and spent 11 and a half months with 3/4 in the DMZ. I was honorably discharged from USMC in January, 1969 and my father retired at the same time after 28 years of service, including 99 combat missions as a fighter pilot in WWII (8 DFC's). There were many father/son tours in Vietnam, but I doubt any started with the flare that my dad's did. Semper Fi!

Paul C Burton, Esq.
Sgt USMC 1963-1969

Lacking The Music

Been thinking about the wannabee issue since I threw down the gauntlet on anon awhile back. I stand by that letter and Cpl. Robert Bliss,(others too), but like Sgt. Grit I must admit I do not remember the names of my Boot Camp sea-mates... unlike my Rifle Company and Range Platoon members (C Range-RR Det.- Lejeune)... fellow students at various schools,etc... I can see the faces but the names escape me... Recall my Psychology Professor in a lecture... "Detail in memory sometimes may be affected by how much information the brain is trying to process, especially in high stress situations, over a short period of time"... or words to that effect. That describes boot camp to a tee... some of us have said about these stories not sounding right... the language--Marine speak--lacking the music--ringing true... these all hit it square on the head... Also the vagueness of something... or it not being 'The Marine Corps Way'... from an Investigation Course in my career... while solving a problem relating to this type of issue, don't make a 'witch hunt' out of it... the 'totality of the circumstances' being if you have lived the experience you are relating a fact, rather than telling a story... much more detail... 2 cents.


What A Sweetheart

Needle was in platoon 263 Parris Island April 5th 1967. He then went to ITR at Camp Geiger July of '67. Main side after that. Went to Motor T. school at Montford Point after that, then to some sh-- hole in California. The hills there sucked really bad! Off to Nam he went. Assigned to 3/9 Motor T. That wasn't to cool cause they didn't need any truck jockeys.

( Early '68 ) Off to Lima 3/9. Oh crap the GRUNTS! Could be worse I suppose, but don't know how. Drop that wrench grab your 16 and get the f--- goin a--hole! (Gunny Brownelle) What a sweetheart, he was like a father to us. The father who beat you every day for no particular reason! So me and needle thought. But when it came to keepin your azz alive he was soooo good.

I got to go back to H&S 3/9 Motor T. after three months in the bush with Lima. Needle wasn't that lucky. He got zapped at A-3 up near the Z. Pretty sure none remember that place. I guess the moral to the story is when you're at the range at PI, listen listen listen! Even a stupid mechanic will be expected to be a rifleman FIRST. I thank God every day for SSGT J. C. FISH for teaching me how to kill the enemy.

Cpl. Z 3/9 RVN 68-69

Don't Remember

Bill McManigal stated that he had doubts about Marines that don't remember the names of the other recruits in their platoon during Basic/boot camp and use the term basic training. I wasn't 'attached' to my platoon, I was in it, it was mine. I grew up with the term basic training and boot camp both and have used the term interchangeably all my life. As to remembering names. 'Pvt xxx' was all we heard in boot camp.

I went in June 14th 1970 and graduated August 25th, that is 25 August 1970 on my platoon picture. During my entire time in boot camp we were not allowed to have discussions among ourselves. We spoke when addressed by a drill instructor only. Even when we were in the Quonset huts and temporarily left alone no one wanted to get caught flapping their jaws if one of the DIs were to come in. (No we didn't call them DIs to their face).

I remember only a hand full of names. My platoon book arrived but didn't have names next to any of the pictures of the platoon. That didn't help either. The three that I happened to go to ITR and Comm Elect school I know. The rest basically disappeared into the Corps after boot camp. Yes there were yellow foot prints in San Diego, I was issued a M14 and qualified with the same. I had a service number before they went to social security numbers. I just don't remember most of the names of the 51 young men that became Marines with me. We started with 73, picked up two former drops and graduated 53 Marines. I wish I did know all their names, we went through a lot together.

David Childers, SGT., 2841

Life Was Good

Sometime in the fall of 1966 (can't find a Command Chronology for the period), 1st Tank Bn, or most of it, moved from Chu Lai to the DaNang area. The new cantonment was at GC 998722 (dang if I know what map sheet, but kinda SW of DaNang airfield), and I think it had previously been the Regimental HQ area for the Ninth Marines... SEA huts (screen wire sides, corrugated galvanized steel roofs), not all bad, considering that at Chu Lai, H&S Co had been 'under canvas'... co-located with 1st Field Artillery Group, west of the Chu Lai airstrip, and out past the RMK-BRJ quarry.

Most of the outfit was to move by means of an LST... might've been the Terrell County, LST 1157, and for some reason, only some of the junior officers from H&S were to ride the ship from Chu Lai to DaNang... not a big deal, as we were told we would only be aboard about 20 hours.

Embarkation was at the Chu Lai ramp... and it had rained heavily the day before. I had just gotten all my clothes back from the laundry... had those wrapped in plastic, in a footlocker... which was in a CONEX box (for the younger set... these were early versions of the metal shipping containers... about 8'X8'X8')... said CONEX box was at the aft bulkhead on the well deck of the LST, and in front of that was one more tank than the book said she'd hold... no way was that CONEX going to be openable until all the tanks were moved. Once the well deck was loaded, the ramp to the weather deck was lowered, and the wheeled vehicles began to back up the ramp to the upper deck... interesting stuff to watch, and as we stood there, some A-driver decided he no longer had need for the sandbag on the floor of his side of a 5-ton... so he flang (past tense for 'flung'... at least here in TN) it out the window. It landed in a mud puddle... splattering a couple of us standing there... leaving large brown spots all over our utilities... but, not a BFD... we were only going to be aboard overnight.

This was our opportunity to enjoy the relative luxury of Officer's Country... all four of us... all Mustang/temporary ossifers, and one Warrant Officer... at 27, I was by far the youngest... the rest were Korea and WWII vets. The one Warrant Officer was the agitator, or more officially, the Bn Adjutant... C.C. Carl... a really, really big guy, and a chain smoker, had been a First Sgt so long the temporary commissioning board had decided he was never going to make Sgt Major, so they made him a W1 (his story).

The Wardroom, which, to squids is kinda like the sanctum sanctorum, on this LST was small... one table, butted against a bulkhead on one end, with four seats on each side, and one at the end... which was for the XO... a Lt JG. The skipper of this sleek craft was a full LT... and since it's lonely at the top, he took his meals in his cabin, leaving the XO to maintain decorum and tradition in the ward room. Now, the reality of the wardroom space on many ships is that it is the domain of the stewards, most of the time, and back then, these were usually Philipinos, who could achieve US citizenship in only four years by signing on for four years as cooks or stewards with the US Navy... so they were happy to see their 'customers' consume their meals and be gone.

So there we sat, for lunch... four slightly grungy Marines on one side, and four NROTC Ensigns on the other, and the XO at the head of the table. It was fun to watch... CC is scarfing up the chow, puffing on his cigarette between courses, and the four ensigns are a somewhat leery of us, and watching the XO... if the XO took four bites of whatever, then laid his fork down... four Ensigns followed suite. Then this little white-uniformed arm came slipping around CC's side (serve from the left, remove from the right?) and grabbed his plate... CC grabbed the steward's arm, and growled "wait a minute, boy...I ain't done with that yet" (I thought four Ensigns were going to wet themselves...and not from laughing). The XO was not amused.

As it turned out, weather was rough in DaNang harbor... and we wound up spending about three days in that wardroom... without shaving, without a change of clothes... stubbled, muddy, uncouth. The Ensigns were convinced that we must all be animalistic bloodthirsty killers, and cruds to boot... on the other hand, we had hot showers, air conditioning, mattresses, and those wonderful Navy hospital blankets... white wool... life was good while it lasted.



"The deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle."
--Gen. John J. Pershing, US Army

"The Constitution is that sacred document which prevents the government from doing all the terrible things it does."
--Professor Butler Shaffer

"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty."
--Thomas Jefferson

"The scientific concept of dictatorship means nothing else but this, Power without limit, resting directly upon force, restrained by no laws, absolutely unrestrained by rules."
--Vladimir Lenin

"In case of doubt, attack."
--General George Patton

"To cherish and stimulate the activity of the human mind, by multiplying the objects of enterprise, is not among the least considerable of the expedients, by which the wealth of a nation may be promoted."
--Alexander Hamilton

"He alone is great and happy who requires neither to command nor to obey in order to secure his being of some importance in the world."
--Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it."
--Benjamin Franklin

Sgt. Grit...your most recent newsletter had two Facebook Page photos. The second had the following quote. Here it is again, with the speaker's name.

"There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion."
--Gen. William Thornson, U.S. Army

Now... I don't know who that was... but it's nice to attribute a name to it. Enjoy!

Kirk Hogan

Make a hole and make it wide, part like the red f--------n sea!

Fair winds and following seas
Sgt Grit

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