Sgt Grit Newsletter - 6 DEC 2012

In this issue:
• The New Captain
• Harbor Master
• Too Startled

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Marines holding USSR Flag India Co, 3/26, 3rd plt. S/Sgt Robert McLeod (far right) and Capt Barbai (center). Oklahoma Hills, April 1969, 3rd Bn, 26 Marines was on the float and had no home except the valley forge! The operation took place high in the mountains 20-30 miles west of DaNang, South Vietnam.

SgtMaj R.P. Mcleod
USMC RET


The New Captain

I have been getting notices and newsletters from Sgt. Grit for years now but never opened them. I don't know; I guess it bothered me somehow. But today I read notes from other Marines for the first time and saw that guys can remember good things as well as the bad. I'd like to share a memory about when I first met a new Company Commander whom a lot of you will know.

It was February, 1968. We all knew we were getting a new C.O. and had the usual thoughts about what he would be like. When he arrived the new boss went around checking out our positions and he was probably thinking about what kind of people he had just inherited as well. When he got to my hole, I was standing in place with my rifle pointing out as usual. (This was a pretty hot area). The new Captain, standing with the 1st Sgt., looked down at me and all he had to say was, "Don't you think it's about time you changed that shirt Marine?" Well, I guess I was pretty dirty and my shirt probably could have stood up by itself. Anyway, I answered, "Sir, this is the only shirt I've got." The man didn't say anything else and just walked away leaving me there thinking, "Uh huh, typical officer."

About an hour later that Captain came back to my hole and said, "Here Marine". He tossed down to me a brand new shirt that was one of his which he had taken from his kit. I have thought about that moment in time for the last 44 years every time the memories have come to me, which is almost every day. It's the one that always makes me feel like everything is going to be OK no matter what happens because there is always someone around looking out for you. There are people everywhere who will make sure you're not alone and won't hesitate to help you. I have spent my life trying to be just like that to any stranger who needs a hand for any reason, and I trace it back to the day when, then Captain, later General, Jay Vargas gave me that shirt.

Thomas Moore
then L/Cpl, 1st Sd, 1st Plt, G Company, 2/4


2012 Sgt Grit Exclusive Christmas T-Shirt


Harbor Master

Sgt. Grit,

Your lead off story this week was from Iwo Jima survivor A. D. Winters. I served with Al in the same 5th Signal Company. He was in the message center and I was radio. We have seen each other now and then at some of the Fifth Division reunions. I think we're both living in Jacksonville, FL (unless he moved). I'm in the book Al.

You've got me by one year, I'm about to turn 89 in a couple of weeks. I saw the flag on Suribachi from the deck of the Harbor Master's ship where I was assigned as a radio operator until D plus 8. I also, of course, am an IWO JIMA survivor, which is what my "front" license plate says. I get comments and "thanks" every once in a while. A gentleman even paid my check at Cracker Barrel one day because he saw my plate from the window where he was sitting. You never know. I'm just thankful that the person knows where IWO JIMA is and what it stood for.

I have a miniature display of the flag raising in my computer room, along with a container of black sand (lava) from there. As you can see, Al, I read Sgt Grit's newsletter.

Bill Daw
'42-'46.


Wounded Marines


Too Startled

Please Tell, Doc, USMC (E5) '62-'66
HM USN (FMF E8) '67-'84:

(Sgt Grit Newsletter 29 Nov 2012)

God made Corpsmen so Marines would have someone to look up to. But a Doc who was a United States Marine Corps Sergeant first?

I wouldn't be too startled to see, God, thinking of him as ALMOST an equal.

Sgt L.V. Anderson (U.S.M.C.)
Dec. 1968-Dec. 1972.


Kinship

I was in the same battles, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, Tinian, as Hawk Rader, Jr, though I didn't know him, it brought back memories. D/1/6, 2 Div. It's kinship of Marines, especially those who participated in the same battles, that I feel for Hawk.

Tarawa was my second battle. When the flag was raised, I was standing next to the photographer who took pictures. He was attempting to include officers in the picture, who were standing opposite us.

I am 91. Those early days in MC were an important part of my life. Thanks for sharing Hawk's story, Marsha and Sgt Grit.

Arley Spain PFC
1942 - 1946 Pacific Battles
Longview, WA


Short Rounds

Dear Sgt grit,

I was reading the newsletter when I read that GySgt Thomas R. Mallot had passed. Ray Belyea Plt 1027, 1stBn, MCRD PISC had posted it. If it's the same Thomas R. Mallot I knew him as S/Sgt Mallot in 1970 at the MCRD PISC Plt 131. He was a great leader and after a 3 mile run could get us all hyped up we would ask for another 3 miles. He will be missed.

Cpl. Fata, F Plt 131 MCRD PISC


Great read. Loss of Innocence was published in October 2012. Written by Steve Cone. Steve served with weapons platoon Hotel Co. 2/7. His research into Hotel's and sister Company's trials and tribulations is superlative. I served with Steve in 1967.

Semper Fi
Lance Corporal of the Marines
Ernie Strong


To Platoon Sergeant A.D. Winters, survivor of Iwo Jima, God bless you and may you live many more years. Thank you for your service.

Cpl. JLM
1961-1965


I noticed that a lot of Marines call a bed a bunk in Sgt Grit. In my years in the Corps, I never heard it called a bunk. That's what the Army called a bed. We always called it a rack. Did the name change. We would have caught h-ll if we ever referred to it as a bunk instead of a rack.


Sgt Grit,

I wanted to respond to A. D. Winters post of November 29th about being a Iwo Jima survivor. My father John H. Mitchell is 89 years old, also a Iwo Jima survivor, and like Mr. Winters has remained a Marine until this day. He also was with the 5th Marines and although it's doubtful they knew each other they are still brothers. Semper Fi Mr. Winters and God bless.

H.D. Mitchell
USMC '83-'89
Semper Fi Teufel Hundens


No letter. Just a salute to Mr. Winters. You and all did good. So sad about Ira Hayes. Salute. Old Devil Dog on the way out.

USMC 1901417,
PI, Plt 230, 1961


The Only Time

Sgt Grit,

I would like to send a "God Bless You" and a big Semper Fi to Sgt Winters. My dad was on Iwo Jima also. Fox Co 2/28, 5th Div. He made it out with not much physical damage but a lot of emotional. He worried a lot about me in VietNam, but I really never knew. My mom told me one of the few times she ever saw him cry was when I left for RVN. The only time I remember seeing him cry was when he got a package from my brother-in-law.

He retired a couple of years ago as a full bird with 28 years. He was in charge of the ceremony on Iwo for a few years. They flew to Iwo one time in an A-6 and flew about 100 ft. off the deck all the way around the island taking pictures. He also got some sand off the beach and rock off Mt Suribachi. He had that sent to my dad when he was in the hospital.

We lost dad in '97 to a massive stroke. He was only 71 but I still think of him as John Wayne.

Thanks for the time to tell this who knows maybe Sgt Winters knew my dad.

Cpl JW Hornsey


One Of Twenty-Five

Cpl Guy Stratton

Cpl Guy Stratton explaining his part as a mortar man in the Iwo Jima invasion to the younger Marines of Marine Corps League detachment 1128 in Tullahoma, TN. He was one of twenty five of the original 261 in his company to make it off the Island and he was wounded three times. Their leadership was cut down to one First Lieutenant, one Sergeant and one Corporal.

Commandant
Jeffrey A. Ready
Detachment 1128


The FLIGHT LINE

Submitted by: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #3, #2, (FEB., 2013)

In the last issue of "The Flight Line" , we introduced the "Duece" as the fore runner to the CH-53 Sea Stallion. I can't just drop the intro there because there were a number of events that I remember when I was flying them that I feel should be documented somewhere and I' ve chosen here. Now, this is going back to the early 1960's when I was in HMH-461 at New River N.C. In the second paragraph of the preceding issue we mentioned the fact that this particular Helicopter had automatic Blade Folding capabilities and when it worked it made life a lot easier for everyone and when it didn't it was naturally as you would expect "a pain in the main drain".

I recall one incident on the flight line where a crew came back after flying and went to blade fold mode and nothing worked. It was determined later to be a rotor head positioning problem and that the slip ring would require replacing. This, at that time, was normally done by an electrician so, after some more troubleshooting it was etched in stone that the slip ring would have to be changed. A new or rebuilt slip ring was ordered and brought out to the aircraft and the electrician completed the replacement in a short period of time and then it was into the test phase of the newly installed part.

The APU or Auxiliary Power Unit was started and the switch placed in the Rotor Head Fold position. When the rotor Head positioning switch was placed in Blade Fold Position the #1 and #5 blades would position themselves over either side of the aft pylon. The Rotor brake would automatically go from a "hard brake" to a "soft brake" during this process. Once the rotor blades were in positionfor folding the brake would go back to the hard setting, there by not allowing the rotor head to inadvertently turn causing damage to the system and the A/C.

What the crew and observers see during this process is the rotor head and all five blades slowly turning until the slip ring tells them to stop because the head is in the fold position. At least that's what it's supposed to happen. Normally at that point the Fold Blades light comes on and the switch is moved to fold the blades. Everything was going as planned up to that point except the blades were folding out over the front of the Helicopter and not over the back as is designed and was planned. The process could not be stopped until the cycle was completed. This minor cliche caused major concern amongst all watching because the added weight forward of the Center Of Gravity caused the parked Helo to rock forward on the main Landing gear thereby causing the tail wheel assembly to lift off the ground. Thankful, for all concerned that it was not far.

Now, Folks we got a problem. Word got from the flight line back to the Maintenance Office faster then I've ever seen. It wasn't very long before we had 20 or 30 guy's standing around and trying their best to appraise the situation without laughing at the dilemma. Finally, some of the old hands figured out the best way to recover from this mishap was to attach a Jeep winch to the tail and pull it back down and then Flip the unfold switch and hopefully everything would reverse itself without too much damage. Everything worked as planned. The only damage was some minor scratches on the under side of the rotor blades. Needles to say the next few days found all the electricians getting educated on the proper orientation of the slip ring in the Aircraft.

If I remember correctly, there was even a Maintenance Directive that came down from the big Maint. Chief in the sky and all slip rings were marked in a manner that they could not be installed backwards. What a way to learn a lesson!


Extended 6 Months

On Nov. 21st my Brother Cpl. Robert Pressey went to be with the Lord. He served with the Air Wing, was on the USS Boxer during the Cuban Crisis,and went on several Cruises, and was instrumental in helping put together the Gun Ship at Cherry Point. He served from 1961-1966. He was extended 6-months so he could be sent to Nam, but I was already in Country (65-66). He joined my oldest brother Ken at the Gates of Heaven, Ken Passed away Nov. 25th, 2005. He also was a Marine from 1956-1959. He was also in the Air Wing. God Bless both of you and Semper Fi, I will see you one day!

Cpl. Jack Pressey
2107271 '64-'68
RVN '65-'66


Marine Corps Birthday Ball Quito, Ecuador 2012

MC Birthday Ball in Ecuador

This is a photo from the 237th Marine Corps Ball in Quito, Ecuador.


Joke

There were two old Marines sitting on a porch in rockers and one said to the other, "what would you rather have, Parkinson's with a little shake, or Alzheimer's with a little memory loss?" He thought a while and said, Parkinson's! "Why", the other Marine asked? "Because, I would rather spill a little fine sipping whiskey than, forget where I put the bottle!"

God Bless the Old Marines!


Marine Somalia Veterans Association

Marine Somalia Veterans Association marks the 20-year
Anniversary of involvement in Somalia

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich., Nov. 29, 2012 - This December marks 20 years since U.S. military involvement began in the African country of Somalia. After mass starvation, years of civil war and a complete breakdown of law and order there, a humanitarian operation lead by US Marines was conducted in December 1992.

On December 9 at 11 am Eastern Time, the day the Marines landed in Somalia, the Marine Somalia Veterans Association will have a National Moment of Silence to commemorate the 20th anniversary of US military operations in Somalia. The Association will also remember the fallen and living participants of the conflict. They ask the public to join them.

"I have a lot of mixed emotions with the anniversary," said Somalia veteran Michael Young of Des Moines, Iowa, "but having a fixed date to commemorate will be a good outlet." Young was already in the Marine Corps two years when he arrived in Somalia on Christmas Eve 1992. While in Somalia, Young participated in distributing food. "They didn't want us there. Human life was cheap to them and we were just an inconvenience to their way of life," he said.

In 2009, Kevin Sadaj of Rochester Hills, Mich., himself a veteran of the war in Somalia, founded the Marine Somalia Veterans Association. "Unlike groups for Iraq, Afghanistan or even Vietnam vets," said Sadaj, "there was nothing out there especially for us." Sadaj said he is glad he served, but that he "had a hard time with many memories." The group, he said, has helped him put those memories in perspective. Sadaj said the group now has over 300 members throughout the United States. Their biggest presence is on Facebook.

"We are a small, tight group that has an understanding of a common experience that others might not have in the same way," said Sadaj. "Part of being in a group like this is taking the time to look back and remember. That is why we are encouraging folks, not just Somalia veterans, to participant in the moment of silence."

Most of the Marines who arrived that December would serve until May of 1993. Many more would be sent there in the months and years that followed. Over 25,000 US military members served in Somalia between 1992 and 1994. However, while many who served there are proud of their service, most are doubtful of any real achievements.

Asked whether US involvement in Somalia did any lasting good, "the short answer is no," said Somalia veteran Sean Dailey of Springfield, IL. "We accomplished nothing except maybe to increase anti-Americanism in the Third World."

Dailey, who left the Marine Corps a Corporal, conducted foot patrols and provided security at the American Embassy while he was in Mogadishu. "We had 'international community', 'rules of engagement', 'United Nations', blah, blah, blah, shoved down our throats until we were sick of it. Why was the U.S. there at all?"

Dailey related that everywhere in Mogadishu were orphans and the shallow graves of Somalis. "As much as you wanted to give [the orphans] food or water, you couldn't because if you did, within minutes someone would beat them up for it," he said. "The rotting flesh always hung over the graves."

"On a personal level," said Dailey, "I forged friendships and have memories, good and bad, that I will cherish the rest of my life."

Tony Storey of Bellefontaine, Ohio remembered his time just before he landed in Somalia: "I was terrified of being a part of another forgotten brush-fire conflict the United States sent its troops into," said Storey, who served 21 years in the Marine Corps and is also a combat veteran of the war in Iraq. He jokingly related that in the Marine Corps there is no vote, so they ate a last meal of steak and eggs aboard the ship they were on and prepared to go ashore. Their first night ashore was met by intermittent rain and gunfire.

As a reminder of the dire humanitarian situation, Marines constantly and accidentally unearthed dead Somalis buried in shallow graves where the Marines were ordered to dig fighting positions. This was a common occurrence in Somalia.

Storey said he would commemorate the 20th anniversary with a beer, look at a few pictures, "and remind my wife how she found out I was there: CNN."

Somalia veteran Jeff Butler calls his tour in Somalia "my time in h-ll." He remembered seeing Somalis who had been involved in clan warfare ask for help. "There was this 10 to 14 year old boy, really just a kid, who got hacked up by others his own age just because he was from the 'wrong' clan," said the Waterloo, Iowa native. "There just wasn't a whole lot we could do for him."

That experience is common for veterans to relate, Somali-on-Somali violence. It left emotional scars that in many are still not healed. "Somalia made me bitter," said Butler. "I'm not commemorating it. I think about it every day, whether I want to or not."

Somalia veteran and former Commander in Somalia, Michael Broihier, of Stanford, KY, said their success in Somalia was based on philosophical changes in Marine training in the late 80s. Marines have always been proud of the fact that "every Marine is a rifleman," but those changes ensured that every Marine went through specialized infantry training.

"The cooks, bakers and candlestick makers of our artillery headquarters [unit] personified the idea that every Marine was a rifleman first," said Broihier, a retired Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel. "Their confidence, competence and ferocity turned the chaos of our first days in the 'Dish' into a place where you could go for days and not hear a shot fired."

Broihier explained that the training his Marines received in the years prior was a great benefit to the overall success of the mission – that of making the country safer in order to allow food distribution – and "brought most of us home of sound body and mind."

Broihier said he would commemorate the anniversary by thinking of his former Marines, "as I always do."

The Marine Somalia Veterans Association was founded in 2009 for the benefit of Marines and supporting Medical Corpsmen who served any time in the Horn of Africa. It is an organization where Marines can share stories, receive support from fellow veterans, and serves as a conservatory of historical information of Marine involvement in Somalia. The MSVA has approximately 300 members.

Facts:

• American military troop strength in Somalia peaked at 25,600 in 1993.

• 30 US soldiers, 4 US Marines and 8 US Air Force personnel were killed in action in Somalia.

• According to the Pentagon, US costs for the operations in Somalia through 1993 were $760 million.

• According to the Center for Defense Information, subsequent UN costs were $1.5 billion.

• Civil war and drought claimed an estimated 300,000 Somali lives by mid-1992, according to a 1993 report by UNHCR, The UN Refugee Agency. According to that same report, Africa Watch and Physicians for Human Rights estimated 14,000 people were killed and 27,000 injured in Mogadishu between November 1991 and the end of February 1992.

Media Contact:
Kevin Sadaj
Marine Somalia Veterans Association
kevinsadaj[at]gmail.com
248-417-0545


Marines Or Cub Scouts

"S-xual"? My Lord! Are we Marines or cub scouts? Somehow, I can't imagine people who have witnessed sucking chest wounds and intestines falling out are likely to be offended by words such as "azs" and the like.

Gary Harlan

Note: I try to leave each story as you write it. But I have to make certain changes. It is Corps with an 's', not Corp, Marine is ALWAYS capitalized. I don't care what Mr. Webster says or your high school English teach. The Corps can't be responsible if the rest of the world is wrong on capitalization. To get past the PC police, web filters and other Gestapo types I have to adjust some of the more colorful words Marines use. Examples: sh-tbird, d-amn, etc... This is a Marine newsletter, not the Little Sister of the Poor Convent Newsletter.

This is a good one. Read the whole Son of B-tch, do it now maggot. Our Drill Instructors taught us how to talk to each other. I will continue to do what I can to get around the effete elite PC filters.

Definition of EFFETE

1: no longer fertile
2a: having lost character, vitality, or strength
2b: marked by weakness or decadence
2c: soft or delicate from or as if from a pampered existence.

Not a problem we have as Marines.

Oh, I almost forgot, Parris Island has two r's. The boot camp rejects may go to Paris to sip tea with the elite artistic types. But Marines go to PaRRis Island.

Fair winds and following seas.
Sgt Grit


Bumper Sticker Speech

MC Birthday Ball Cake Sgt. Grit,

I wanted to share this speech my father, GySgt Richard N. Steiner, gave during our 237th Marine Corps Birthday Ceremony. Attached is a photo of the Marines from Fox Co., 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marines Salt Lake City, UT, escorting the best birthday cake I've ever seen! You guys helped make this year's charity a success. Thank you for all your support Sgt! Semper Fi!

My son Jeff asked me to give a short talk on the Marine Corps Birthday. I thought I would do it with Marine Corps Bumper stickers. On November 10, 1775, the Marine Corps was founded in a small tavern in Philadelphia. The founders believed in "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Anybody Who Threatened It." They were determined that "America, be the Home of the Free Because of the Brave," and they were bound and determined to "Provide Enemies of America an Opportunity to Die for Their Country since 1775." Who here can tell me what day the US Army birthday is on? Or the US Navy? Or the Air Force? Or how about the French Foreign Legion? Other services don't celebrate their birthdays like we do.

Every year on November 10th there are hundreds of Marine Corps balls, and Marine Corps Birthday celebrations throughout America, in many of the other nations of this world, and even aboard US Ships on the seven seas. How many of the US services even celebrate their existence at all other than the United States Marine Corps? We, on the other hand, celebrate our service openly, proudly displaying the Eagle, Globe and Anchor and adorning our cars with unique bumper stickers reminding others and ourselves of who we are.

What makes the Marines different? In 1969, I was in the Ashau Valley, Vietnam, with "The 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, the Walking Dead". We were in the bush for 63 straight days, engaging the enemy every day. Part of our duty was to go through the personal effects of the dead NVA we found finding anything that would provide intel for us. I did a lot of that, and found that the NVA approached the Marine units in Vietnam entirely differently than other military units. The NVA respected them, but they feared Marine Corps units. They knew they could fragment many military units with relative ease, and that Marine Corps units were much harder to fragment, and the NVA needed much stronger firepower and more soldiers to fight against them. Marines know that hero's don't win wars, that armies do. We don't fragment. We know that the key to military success is teamwork. From the first day a Marine enters boot camp, he is taught to forget everything civilian he knows and how to become part of a team. Boot Camp is "Just Another Day in Paradise – USMC" and that "All Men are Created Equal,but a Few Become Marines." Marines win battles and wars because Marines follow orders, and follow them without question. To a Marine, the success of his unit is everything. There is plenty of room for heroics, but the welfare of his fire team, squad, platoon, company and battalion come first. We know that "Failure is Not an Option."

The Marines are a force to be feared. We believe "A Dead Enemy is a Peaceful Enemy, and Blessed be the Peacekeepers." We believe that "We are in the Azs Kicking Business and Business is Good." We believe that you "Should Not Wish Ill for Your Enemy, but Should Plan It." In terms of battle strategy Marines believe "Gun Control is Hitting Your Target" that "When in Doubt, Empty the Magazine" that "Happiness is a Belt-fed Weapon" and we believe that "Artillery Brings Dignity to What Would Otherwise Just Be a Brawl."

On a more serious note Marines always live in the shadow of death. Every Marine knows that death may be required of him to protect the other men of his unit, and to ensure victory to the battle. Marines don't pray for their own safety, they pray for the strength to do their job. That, folks, is what makes us different. Marines are "Brothers to the End", we believe that "Death Smiles at Everyone, but Marines Smile Back" We also firmly believe that "He Who Shed Blood With Me Shall Forever Be My Brother" that "All Give Some, and Some Give All" and that "There is No Such Thing as a Former Marine." That is why we are here tonight.

Marines don't question whether wars or police actions are right or wrong. We simply carry out the wishes of those who make those decisions. "People Sleep Peacefully In Their Beds at Night Because Rough Men Stand Ready To Do Violence On Their Behalf." We know that in many instances "America Is Not At War, America's Military Is At War. America Is At The Mall". We know that "Pacifism is a Luxury Paid For By Warriors" and that "Patriotic Dissent Is A Luxury Of Those Protected By Better Men Than They." But we also know "You Only Have The Rights You Are Willing To Fight For", and we understand to the fullest that "For Those Who Fought For It, Freedom Has A Flavor The Protected Will Never Know".

Marines are a special breed. We know "Some People Spend An Entire Lifetime Wondering If They Made A Difference. The Marines Don't Have That Problem." We know that America is "One Nation Under God and His Marines Standing Guard." Marines know that "Once a Marine.

Always A Marine" and that "Semper Fidelis Is Not Just a Saying, It Is a Way Of Life". When all is over, and said and done a Marine can say "You Will Die, but I Will Die A Marine"

To this we say "Oohrah... It's a Marine thang". Semper Fi. Let the Birthday Celebration begin.


Scrap Metal

Thanks to MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny), a question I've had for years, I think has now been answered.

Time frame: Late 50's/early 60's
Location: Camp Lejeune
Me: A young Pfc./LCpl
Activity: We were making a vertical assault, embarked on a large beast of a helicopter.

When we came down, we landed so hard that all of us on-board, including the crew-dog, thought we had just crashed. Nevertheless we all deplaned and deployed as we had trained. As we did we all looked back to see the pile of scrap metal we had just left, only to be surprised to see it taking off to go get another load. Some bird it was. Only now do I know that it must have been a CH-37C. Thanks Gunny.

Carl D. Daugherty,
MGySgt ret.


Dog House

Growl Banner

Here is a recent picture of our Growl banner at my "dog house".

Semper Woof
Military Order of the Devil Dog
Pound Keeper
Devil Dog Eric 'da Greek' Gagomiros
09160
West Valley Devil Dogs
Pound # 332
Arizona Pack
The Honor and Fun Degree of The Marine Corps League


Green Eggs And Ham

Thanksgiving 1965, I was in the field in the RVN. I had drawn a ham and lima bean C-rat for lunch. As usual, someone wanted to trade. Since my last 4 meals had been ham and limas, I traded my buddy, Cpl. Hudson, my ham and limas for his turkey loaf.

I started opeing the turkey loaf with my P-38 and was greeted by a horrible smell. This was nothing new... we all know some of these C-rats were really old (Raleigh cigarrettes in a 4 pack, etc.). I continued removing the lid, and found the reason for the smell. The processor had chopped up the entire turkey. My C-rat can was full of a mixture of feathers, guts, bones and meat. I took the can to the Platoon Sgt, who took pity on me and I feasted on green eggs and ham on Thanksgiving 1965.

To this day, the smell of roasting turkey makes me slightly sick.

Sgt. John Stevenson
USMC 1963-1967


12 Letters

12 letters from the English alphabet... implying?... nay, stating... an unnaturally close relationship with one's maternal parent... and ever so common in its usage in the day... and perhaps even yet today? 'Smitty', a tall, lanky, dark-green Marine, was the driver on C-22... an Ontos (lookitup, boots...) in 1st ATBn, back in the late 50's... Smitty loved our machine... kept her oil, transmission, and radiator fluids up to snuff, made sure her track bars were in good shape, kept her tubes oiled and rust free. He also talked to her... constantly, when on the move, cajoling, caressing, murmuring sweet nothings to her.

Smitty, Teddy Bear, (the loader... I was the OC) and had been assigned to motor over from Camp Horno (Pendleton, for you east coast med-crusin' slackers) to one of the ITR ranges for a firing demonstration... a Corporal (no crossed rifles) and two PFC's... not a SNCO nor Officer in sight... all prior to the concept of CYA and 'Force Protection'... we had accomplished the mission, and were on our way back on the dusty trail to our Ontos park at Horno. The vehicle, at the time, had a PRC-10 radio, mounted on top of a power supply on the left track channel, just behind the driver's seat (if the vehicle battery/charging system was low, you would get messages advising "your radio is put-putting") (I couldn't possibly make this stuff up... trust me).

Anyway, for some reason, no less an authority than BATTALION, had come up on the net, making contact with "Caldeonia Charlie Two-Two" (that be us)... I was crouched down inside the vehicle, right behind Smitty, and using a handset instead of the tanker's helmet... about the time I had keyed the handset, with 'Caldonia... this is Caldonia Charlie Two-Two, Smitty, perceiving we were about to descend an abrupt down-grade, hauled back on the laterals, and commanded "Whoa, MF'er!"... which went out over the air. The following traffic included some admonishment about 'proper radio procedure', and 'report to the CP on return' and other like items...

In the early 70's, when we had to rid the Corps of those who should never have been admitted, yours truly was at Mainside, 29 Palms, walking up the sidewalk by the dry cleaners (south side of the parade deck, across the street from the EM Club (at the time), when I noted a 'lad' with his field jacket un-zipped, and his hands in his pockets. Intending to just square him away, I spoke to him with a simple "Marine?"... I knew he heard me... and he turned and kept walking, after looking back. Not the best approach... for a number of reasons... after correcting the situation, I returned to the office at the base magazine, to be approached by SSGT Berryhill, who wanted to know if he could have a moment in my office... figuring he needed some time to take the wife to the commissary, I said "sure, Swoop... what is it?"... he said... "Skipper?... did you really mean to tell that kid by the dry cleaners that he looked like a sackfull of MF'ers?"... "I didn't say that!"... Swoop... "Yessir... you did... I heard you... and so did a lot of other people"... (four years on the drill field seems to negate natural volume controls?)

Oddly enough, the next day, I was assigned to a Special Court Martial... Winter Service Alpha, ribbons and badges (including the GCM with two stars)... probably set a new record for least time on a courts martial before being pre-emptorialy excused, when the accused and his defense council came in... guess who the accused was? (six, six, and a kick was the end result)... and I decided to clean up my act... some.

My bad... Dumpsters not manufactured on Dempster Ave in Chicago, but originated in East Tennessee... think maybe a Reserve Infantry Bn HQ is or was on Dempster in Chi-town...

Ddick


Quotes

"I come in peace, I didn't bring artillery. But I am pleading with you with tears in my eyes: If you f-ck with me, I'll kill you all."
--Marine General James Mattis, to Iraqi tribal leaders


"At last after much debate of things, the governor gave way that they should set corn everyman for his own particular... That had very good success for it made all hands very industrious, so much [more] corn was planted than otherwise would have been ... The experience that has had in this common course and condition, tried sundrie years, and that amongst Godly and sober men, may well evince the Vanities of the conceit of Plato's and other ancients, applauded by some of later times; that the taking away of properties, and bringing into commone wealth, would make them happy and flourishing, as if they were wiser than God."
--Governor William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation: 1620-1647 [1650]


"Every man has freedom to do all that he wills, provided he infringes not the equal freedom of any other man."
--Herbert Spencer, Social Statics [1851]


"We signed up knowing the risk. Those innocent people in New York didn't go to work thinking there was any kind of risk."
--Pvt. Mike Armendariz-Clark, USMC; Afghanistan, 20 September 2001, As reported on page 1 of the New York Times


"Do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it."
--Ancient Roman poet Virgil (70-19 BC)


"It's easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled."
--Mark Twain


"May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't."
--General G.S. Patton


"The essence of all slavery consists in taking the product of another's labor by force. It is immaterial whether this force be founded upon ownership of the slave or ownership of the money that he must get to live."
--Leo Tolstoy


"H-ll, these are Marines. Men like them held Guadalcanal and took Iwo Jima. Baghdad ain't sh-t."
--Marine Major General John F. Kelly


"Truth is not for the faint of heart"
--Vincent D'Onofrio


"Maggot... if you don't get outta my sight NOW, we will need a 5-man funeral detail... two handles on the sh-tcan, two for road guards, one to count cadence..."

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

Semper Fi Mac!

Sgt Grit

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