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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 04 SEP 2014

In this issue:
• Sea Bags Never Arrived
• H&L and Tabasco
• The Life Of A Marine

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Sgt. Grit,

I found this drawing that was like all the other cartoon like drawings of Wars and Marines. I thought maybe your readers might like to see what Marines thought like back then. Note the M60 Machine Gun on his shoulder and the Fierce Eyes and the way he carried Grenades.

He's walking in Mud like we spent a lot of time doing during Monsoon season. I don't know who drew this but he did right by us.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired

Crossed Rifles

In reply to Brown Side Out, Green Side Out.

When I went into the Marines (Sept. 1959) the new rank structure was just getting started.

We had the M1 and BAR, hence the crossed rifles on the new chevrons. Since then we have gone through the M14 (I was on the Troop Test Program for this), the M16 (that got a lot of Marines killed in Vietnam), and a lot of new shooting irons since then that I can't keep up with. And there will be more to come.

When the Marines went from the M1903 Springfield rifle to the M1, the Rifle Expert Badge was changed to depict the M1, which is still in use.

In talking to some of the new generation of Marines, when asked what rifles are depicted on the chevrons? They don't know, (some few do).

I would like to suggest to the Uniform Board a change to the Rank Chevrons. Instead of the M1, replace it with our first Musket and phase it in over a three to five year period.

When I was designing the logo for the Marine Corps Tankers Association. When the tankers all wanted to be the tank of their era, like the M4 of WW II, or the M26 of Korea, or the M48 of Vietnam. I proposed the Renault 6 Ton of the 1920's as that was the first tank used by Marines. This ideal was accepted.

See Iron Horse Marine.

Lloyd G. "pappy" Reynolds
1959-1963 and 1966-1970
Infantry and Tanks

Sea Bags Never Arrived

Good morning,

Reading your fine article on the returned cover, prompted me to write the following. I was discharged 4/15/65 from the Brooklyn Navy yard. I shipped 2 sea bags with 5-1/2 years of memories plus all uniforms etc. I shipped it by railway express, to be sent to my home in Penn. If you guessed... it never arrived you were right. There has never been a week that goes by that I don't think of all I lost. I'm happy that fine Marine at least got his cover after all he went thru. Thank your for your time.

Jim Logan 1831xxx

Make Sgt Grit your one stop shop for all of your Uniform Supplies such as medals, ribbons, and mounts. Mounting orders may take up to 7-10 business days to ship.

Cut-off date for ribbon/medal mounting for this year's ball is October 24th.

Seen It All and Done It All

This one goes out to all of the Marines of my generation. Do you ever run into these old guys wearing an old utility cover or an Eagle, Globe and Anchor on their ball cap? I see them almost every day where I work. They're usually bent over, walk really slow, or in a wheel chair. The Devil Dog in me wants to snap to and salute these men every time they walk by. Almost every old salt I meet has held the rank of "gunny". Whenever I talk to one I don't feel like a Marine at all. I laugh, I cry, and always get excited when I hear their stories.

I had the privilege of sitting out front of Walmart the other day for almost two hours talking to an old breed gunny. He was 88 years old and told me stories from WW2, Korea, and Vietnam. This man had seen it all. He had done it all. I didn't think a man that old could operate a smart phone, but he whipped it out and started showing me old black and white photographs he had taken snapshots of from his photo album. Despite his age, he still had that commanding look about him that he had sixty years ago. When he told me stories about his boot camp experience I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Recruits were sometimes literally beat into shape. There was no crying home to mama. There was no court martial hearing for the DI. That's just the way it was. They were allowed to use whatever measure to make a man out of you. I was begging the old gunny for more stories but it was time for him to go home. I can't wait to see him again.

I just finished a book about the greatest Marine in our Corps history, Lewis "Chesty" Puller. If you haven't read MARINE! The Life Of Chesty Puller then drop and give me twenty you Marine impostor piece of SNAFU sh-t! If you want to know why Marines are so feared the world around then read that book and you will understand why. That old salt knew what a Marine's job is. He knew why God created the USMC. We weren't made to look pretty. We were made to fight and kill until there is no more enemy.

These old Devil Dogs I talk to all the time have the same fighting spirit in them that Chesty had. The Marine Corps is still tough and I'm proud as a game rooster to have served in my beloved Corps. But what we need more than anything is that Old Breed spirit. Marines, we've sung about it in our cadences. "Gimme that ole Marine Corps Spirit. It was good for Smedley Butler. It was good for Dan Daley. It was good for Chesty Puller, and it's good enough for me!" If we let some of our leaders have their way, they'll to everything they can to water down our bull dog fighting spirit. Not on my watch! Marines, let's teach our off spring and those around us wanting to join the Corps that the only thing that will keep America strong and alive is that Old Breed Marine Corps attitude. We are the best and we always will be as long as we remember, love, honor, support, and do our best to imitate the Old Breed.

In the meantime, get some, Marines. GET SOME!

Semper Fi,
SSGT. Robert O'Briant '03 - '11

H&L and Tabasco

Just another Marine piping up about H&L. When we loaded our CH-46's for flight, at KyHa, we always made sure we had as many C-rats that we could pack on board; just in case. It was always the same when it came time to "debrief" and clean up the bird... H&L was the only ones left! I never could figure out why no one wanted them; through a careful and scientific application of Tabasco sauce (lots), anything tasted good. Usually it was about 5-6 hard shakes and mix them up. If you had been in country long enough, you already knew how to breathe without inhaling through your nose. That trick worked great to subdue the "taste" of those things.

Between the Tabasco sauce and peanut butter we were able to salvage anything that was even remotely palatable long enough to get it down! How many of you out there opened your boxes and found Lucky Strike greens in there? I found 2, both date stamped 1945! They only lasted about 3 drags before they vanished, too dry for 20+ years! BTW I still have about 30 C-rats tops that were given to me after I used them for "postcards" to mail home. Remember "FREE" in the upper right hand corner? Surprisingly, not one of them has a cancellation mark on the FREE! Semper Fi! (and we didn't OORAH! in '64).

Bill Wilson GySgt.
Then and forever a Marine!

Under My Tongue

Sometime in 1967, 2/9 was in the midst of a Viet-Nam 90 day field trip. Some stupid supply officer in the rear thought we were setting in instead of making a sweep. For some unknown reason he sent out ammo and concertina wire on our night supply chopper. No Food - No Water. The ammo and wire were blown up when we saddled up the next day and started humping. The clouds moved in and no choppers for supply. Due to this we had no food or water for 5 days. Not a fun time. It is strange but when you have no food all you can think of and talk about is food; steak, mash potatoes, gravy, steak, hamburgers, fries, steak.

I found a small flat stone and put it under my tongue, shucking on it for moisture. One day a platoon from another unit passed through our unit and I was able to scrounge a can of something off one of the Marines. Back then we shared things. I believe there were seven of us at the time. I retrieved my plastic spoon, which I kept in its wrapper in my shirt pocket. The can was opened and passed around as we each took one spoon full, put the spoon back in the can and passed it to the next guy. When it was all gone I got my spoon back and we passed the can back around again. This time we each got to run our fingers around the inside of the can once. That was the best meal ever. A day or so later we hit a stream and I drank three canteen cups of water before I ever thought about any purification tablets. By this time I was very close to just pe-ing in my canteen.

We finally got resupplied with C-rats and it was like Christmas and Thanksgiving all in one. When we got back to the rear, I think it was in DaNang, the meal waiting for us was unreal. We heard a Lt., a Master Sgt., and a Gunny "ambushed" an army supply truck at a stop sign and told the driver they were never there and he needed to leave the area. We had steak, mash potatoes, gravy, mushroom sauce, vegetables and best of all MILK. All the milk we could hold. I slept good that night. The case of beer I "liberated" was even better.

I was always willing to try something. I borrowed a Corpsman's emblem, broke off the be-be guns on my chevron and turned it upside down. Shazam... I was a Corpsman. I went to the area where they hung out and picked up my daily ration of beer. While I was in their area I was called Doc and I kept my fingers crossed that no one was brought in for me to treat.

The only thing I regret is that when I returned to The World and college, someone stole my Zippo and my rock.

John Halpin

If You Are Ever In A Real Firefight

OK but if you ever get into a real fire fight, find the nearest Marine and give him your ammo.


(Vol #9, #1)

While driving around we noticed a quaint little restaurant that we decided to try out for lunch. It was just what we thought it would be and served very good and inexpensive food. While eating, Mary and I planned our strategy for the afternoon. I had not told you - that during the enrollment process Mr 'B' had been asked "When do you wish that Mary be permitted to leave the campus?" His response was "Whenever she chooses." They then said "Earlham suggests that a young lady be accompanied by one or more others and we shall abide by your wishes. She cannot change this." He gave this very little thought and replied "She may leave only when accompanied by a U. S. Marine Sergeant by the name of Harold Freas; that is spelled F-R-E-A-S." I don't know what they thought of this but that is how they put it in her file. (As you can guess, this caused her considerable problems down the road. I had absolutely no idea of when I would be back at Earlham - if ever - and she was on campus until that requirement was changed. She could not go into Richmond to buy personal items or gifts.) So, she would have to ascertain before she officially checked in if she could leave the campus afterwards. When she asked they looked in her file - and asked me for some identification. I produced my USMC ID and my driver's license. Then they told Mary "You can leave the campus with this gentleman, but you will be asked to show your IDs again at the gate." When she found out what courses were available we went back to 'downtown Richmond'. I checked into the Richmond Hotel for two nights. That was an old, established facility where my Dad and I had stayed several times. Mary liked it. We returned to the restaurant where we had lunch for our dinner and went to the movies afterwards. Then we returned to the hotel to call it a day.

Friday morning we had breakfast in the hotel dining room. And I told Mary of a big surprise I had for her for later that day. We were going to the 'Hollyhock Hill' restaurant in Indianapolis for dinner. This was a restaurant the likes of which were among the '100 Best Restaurants' in the entire United States. I had eaten there several times when one of my brothers worked in Indianapolis and when my Dad and I went to the Indy 500. It was about 75 miles from the hotel but well worth the trip. We skipped lunch and started for the 'Hollyhock Hill' a little after 2:00. Again we were passing through a really beautiful part of our country. Mary said "The more I see of this area the happier I am that I am going to Earlham." She could see from the exterior of the restaurant what an unusual place it was. When seated she said "I really love the outfits the waitresses are wearing. They remind me of those worn in Williamsburg (Va)." I could plainly see that she was already enjoying herself. I could not get her to order anything with alcohol in it and she reminded me that I was doing the driving. We had a very nice dinner and desert. We took our time; were there almost two hours. It was about 6:00 when we started back to Richmond. She was all snuggled up under my arm - as usual - for the return trip. I asked her if she cared for anything else before we turned in for the night. She said "NO!"

'til the next issue. The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.

Sgt Andrew Tahmooressi

A decorated Marine and former 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, Combat Veteran, has been held in Mexican prisons since 31 March 2014 for accidentally making a wrong turn that led him to the Mexican border. Recently re-locating from his home in Florida to San Diego, CA, for treatment for PTSD – Sgt Tahmooressi had his belongings in his POV to include his personal firearms. With no way to turn around, once he arrived at the border he informed the Mexican border patrol of the situation and that he had his personal firearms in his possession. He was then arrested on weapons charges and was taken to Tijuana La Mesa Penitentiary. After many verbal and physical threats, abuse, and being subjected to poor living conditions – Sgt Tahmooressi was moved to El Hongo Prison in Tecate. His trial is ongoing.

Sgt Tahmooressi's family, both by birth and Marine Corps wide, have been working diligently to get him released. As Marines we know that more can, should, and needs to be done here at home and in Mexico. Check out how YOU can get involved by visiting the website: http://www.freetahmooressi.com/.

Semper Fi!
Continue to carry on until our Marine is back home!

Sgt Grit

Point Man Out

Yo Grunts, time to saddle up. Don't forget your bug juice and two extra bandoleers. Point Man out.

I never met General Bruno Hochmuth but I remember the day his chopper crashed into the river and he did not make it back. There was a right nasty little firefight going on and we always speculated that the General was watching it from his Helicopter. I remember it vividly because we also killed a waterboo that afternoon and it cost all of us $5 to papasan. Not a lot of money now, but in 1967 combat pay was $65 a month. Roughly 2.50 a day so that was 2 days pay. H-ll of a way to remember the highest ranking Marine that was KIA in the Nam.

Semper Fi to us that are left and TAPS to those who have gone on ahead.

Ron Shouse
Nam Class of '67/'68

The Corps Lives Forever

Last February, I was sitting on a bench in the shop area of Alachua, Fla., waiting for my wife to tour an antique store. I was wearing my cap with Marine Corps insignia. A fellow about my age crossed the street, saw my cap. He was wearing a Corps T-shirt. He said, "Oh, you are an ex-Marine, too?" I said, "Ain't no ex, buddy." He grinned and said, "You got me. I know once a Marine, always a Marine. Semper Fi." I Semper Fi-ed him back and we shook hands." The Corps lives forever."

Darrell Simmons
PFC, VMF-144, 1952-53


Sgt. Grit,

Also, I'd like to expand on a story that Gunny Rousseau wrote about the Stoner rifle. I was in K/3/6 in 1965 when we test fired the Stoner. We even qualified on the range that year with this weapon. It had many uses, as it converted to six different weapons. It could be used as a sub machine gun, carbine, rifle, automatic rifle/magazine fed, automatic rifle/belt-fed and a machine gun tripod mounted remotely operated. We never had any problems with this weapon. I'll never understand why it wasn't adopted for use in Viet Nam.

Semper Fi,
Ray Kelley

Not One Of My Marines Was Damaged

I have a high school friend that lives in Napa with her husband, a Superior Court Judge.

Lynne was telling me of the damages to her home; the broken Waterford Crystal; the toppled bookcases; the spilt food; etc... etc... and to the city of Napa, and it's buildings. Her husband joined the conversation for a minute, or two, and said: "Denny, I have to tell you this... I have a collection of very old, leaded, miniature military men. (A very e x p e n s i v e collection. My Grandmother started collecting these objects for me when I was just a little kid). During the earthquake, my glass cabinet fell over, and my collection ended up in a pile on the floor. All of my Army, and all of my Navy men had their arms, legs, and heads broken from their bodies. But, Dennis, I wanted you to know that not one of my Marines was damaged."

My comment to him was: "Well, duh."

Semper Fi,
Denny Krause
Sgt USMC '62-'68

The Life Of A Marine

As a Retired Marine Gunnery Sergeant with 27 Years from WWII through Vietnam I have had my share of Experiences some Pleasant and some not so Pleasant. I know some of you are going to look at some of my stories with closed eyes and ears but that's okay, I had the experience. During the Korean War a group of us were transferred to a rear area at Masan, Korea. This place was so far back some Army Dude had started a VFW Bar where a guy could get a Bud or Schlitz instead of the Local beer. While in this Bar and while enjoying our beer we were interrupted by something going on at the doorway. It seems a Leper dug himself in and wouldn't leave until he got the amount of money he wanted. The VFW bar was the only place where you could go to the bathroom sitting down, you have to be an old Asian hand to remember that.

We were in a local Bar, one time, nearby was some Korean Army guys having a drink, one had hung his belt, holster and pistol on the end of the seat which was near to me, so I sneaked the pistol onto our table, we took it apart, to remind him to be a bit more careful with his weapon. When I pulled the magazine out I found the top round was in backward, he wouldn't have been able to use it if he needed to. He jumped up soon and looked around and found his pistol on our table field stripped. The bowing and apologies were constant.

As some of you know, Korea at that time fertilized their field with human waste, we had orders to not eat any food at Korean restaurants. The benjo's had half steel barrels at the bottom and daily a guy came along in his Honey Cart emptying the barrels, which were emptied into Rice Paddy's, the stench was unbearable. Missions had the additional problem of dodging the rice paddies as they had narrow paths between them that had to be traversed without falling in.

Ah! The Life of a Marine.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired

Iwo Jima: Amphibious Epic

Maj. Lawrence Rulison

View the link below and look for 3Bn, 25th Marines.

He was an EX-officer and listed as WIA.

USMC Historical Monograph - Iwo Jima: Amphibious Epic

Twelve And Twenty

Sgt Grit,

January 1967 to February 1968, I was with 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, Lima Co., 3rd Platoon, 3rd Squadron. This is my recollection of time in country. I would like to share it with my fellow Marines who served with me if any of you are still alive.

You can contact me at jam.sny[at]cox.net.

Jim Snider
Semper Fi

Gung Ho

When did Marines quit responding to a hale and hardy "SEMPER FI" with "GUNG HO"? with the turbid "uuhhraah" borrowed from our distant relations, the Army. I am an old Marine ('62-'68). I remember that "GUNG HO" was the affirmative answer to any group query such as "Do you Love the Corps?" We answered direct personal questions with the time honored "Sir, Yes Sir".

Ray Ginter
USMCRD San Diego June '62 until...
1st Marines
3rd Marines, 4th Marines
Done Sgt. of Marines '68


(Vol #9, #2)

When we entered the hotel - and were crossing the lobby - the desk clerk asked if we would like to have a TV - without cost - for the evening. Mary and I looked at each other and both said "Yes" at the same time. We had never seen a TV program before. He said they would bring one to our room in time for the evening programs. It was rolled in on a cart. It was huge with only about a 10 inch screen. It was a GE that had 8 to 10 control knobs and 'rabbit ears' on top. There was no antenna in the wall. He plugged it in and adjusted it as best he could. The best reception he could get was on CBS (There were only four networks back then - ABC, NBC, CBS and Dumont) We saw the Perry Como Show and a very funny comedy show that I seem to recall was named 'Mama' and then the picture went bad. We did not want to fool with it - and could not tell which knob turned it off so we just pulled the plug from the wall. We had to get some shut-eye. Mary had to check in at Earlham before 6:00 PM the next day. It would be our last day together - at least until Thanksgiving - if then. We wrapped our arms around each other - as usual - and went to sleep - for the last time until who knows when. Mary had to choose her courses - at the last minute - and then get them approved at the admissions office. And then I would have to leave her. Except for my time at Parris Island - and the month of July 1950 - we had not been apart for more than two weeks in the four years that we had been going together. September 9, 1950 was bound to be a really bad day.

On Saturday morning we got awake and looked into each other's eyes. She said "Well, this is our last day together for quite awhile - and I don't want to check in at Earlham until the last minute. We must make the best of it." I said "First things first. Where would you like to go for breakfast?" She replied "The Hollyhock - if it was not so far away." I said "They do not serve breakfast - so that is out of the question. Next?" She replied "Down in the dining room." We got up to shower. She went first. I asked "What would you like me to wear today?" She replied "I don't care what you wear now, but I would like you to wear your uniform when we go to Earlham." I asked "Dress Blues or summer?" She replied "I think it is too hot for the blues." After I showered and shaved I put on my civilian clothes (That is all I had worn all week long). We went down for breakfast. We took our time and discussed our plans for the day.

After breakfast we went for a slow walk around the downtown area; went into a few shops. We were holding hands most of the time. When it came time for lunch we returned to the same place we had eaten at twice before. Then we returned to the hotel to rest. I said to her "You know, none of the students will know of your 2 year hiatus between high school and Earlham - and they will not know of your 'Supermodel' status - unless they happen to connect you with a Prince Matchabelli ad - but they will soon see that they have a raving beauty in their midst. And you know what will happen then; they will be all over you - like flies in the barnyard - just like when I spotted you at Rancocas Valley H.S."

'til next week. The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


I'm writing about the passing of Perry Gossett. He was in D/1/3 in 1966-67. Perry passed away due to cancer. He was in weapons platoon, in Rockets. May he rest in peace.

Semper Fidelis... Ray Kelley

Lost And Found

Would like to hear from anyone who served on Hill 300 in 1967 or Headquarters FDC.


Short Rounds

Sgt Grit,

I just returned home from the annual 1st MarDiv Assn reunion, more importantly the 1st Recon Bn Assn reunion. It was great seeing my comrades in arms once again. This year, the Sgt Grit PX was directly across the passageway from the 1st Recon harborsite, so we had excellent access to all the Corps merchandise and your staff. What great folks! David was especially engaging and came over to the harborsite to visit a couple of times, also had dinner with us Friday evening and made some gear donations for our fund-raising auction. Bravo Zulu to Sgt Grit and your great staff!

Semper Fi - John Clary, Sgt, 1st Recon Bn, '67-'69

Sgt Grit,

On the article about the herringbone cover not being issued since 1940's... When I was at Parris Island in the 1950's that olive drab cover and herringbone utilities with metal buttons were being issued. Also K-rations from 1943 were issued in the field. I know I wore them and ate the rations. Enjoy all the articles in your newsletters.

Cpl.E.Heyl 1612xxx

Re Proposed uniform changes: Just as long as they don't bring back swagger sticks... And I wonder how many boots will salute LCPLs with those brass chevrons.

Kent Mitchell, Stone Mountain, GA Cpl USMC 1956-62

Bowman's Bandits, Nam '67/'68, 13 Cent Killers.

Never have so few killed so many.

Sgt. D. Peltonen
1st Marines
Semper Fi

Making a bet with a Senior Drill Instructor on the rifle range? Playing cards with same? In the 60's? WTF is wrong with this picture?

Gerry Zanzalari
USMC 1966 - 1970
PISC June 1966 - September 1966
RVN 1968 – 1969


Sgt Fuzzy asked where was our favorite chow hall... (Mess Facility), for many years I had thought it was my Mess Hall at 'B' Battery, 2nd LAAMBS in Chu Lai where I cooked for 88 men in '68; but I now believe it was at Henderson Hall while I attended Embassy School in late '68... because we ate on plates and I didn't have to cook it.

Mark Gallant
3371 (cook)

"Sgt, Fuzzy" asked about favorite chow halls. DLI/WC at Monterey - Not just the first time with actual plates, but the ONLY place I heard phrases like "how would you like those eggs?" or "rare, medium, or well done?" The army ran the place with civilians.

Pete Dahlstrom , '68 - '74

Great newsletter - as usual.

Earl Needham
Clovis, New Mexico USA
Platoon 3041 MCRD San Diego 1977
MATTS 902 NAS Memphis 1977
H&MS-14 MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina 1978-1981
H&MS-36 MCAS Futema, Okinawa 1980
Cherry Point Skydivers


Philip of Macedonia in a message to Sparta:

"You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city."

Sparta's reply: "If."

"The great principles of right and wrong are legible to every reader; to pursue them requires not the aid of many counselors. The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest. Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail."
--Thomas Jefferson, A Summary View of the Rights of British America, 1775

"If you were not there, you could not understand. If you were there, it is impossible to explain."

"They never even started to step aside. They never even shifted their weight. With their feet spread shoulder width apart, they leaned into the danger, firing as fast as they could work their weapons. They had only one second left to live."
--LtGen. John Kelly

"Leave no authority existing not responsible to the people."
--Thomas Jefferson

This isn't the end of the newsletter... to improve delivery we've shortened the version that is sent to your inbox, so read the rest at our website! Next story: Under My Tongue...

Read more at Grunt.com

"You're more f--ked up than a soup sandwich!"

"What is you're major malfunction t-rd?"

"The smoking lamp is lit, for one cigarette, and one cigarette only... and I'll smoke it."

Gung Ho!
Sgt Grit

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