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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 05 JUN 2014

In this issue:
• The Marine Who Took My Place
• Not A Fan Of Cinderella Liberty
• Real Marines Climb Nets

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Marine Corps Recruiting Station mounted color guard in Albuquerque, NM, was formed in 1970-72 to assist with the recruiting efforts throughout the state. The four Appaloosa horses and a special trailer, with all the equipment and McCollum saddles, were donated by a former Marine Korean War Veteran who was very patriotic and wanted to see the Marine Corps succeed, and to carry on the tradition of our mounted Marines. They traveled many miles riding in parades and personal appearances. This was the only Marine Corps mounted color guard that ever existed in the state of New Mexico.

It was a lot of hard work and many hours of training the horses, but well worth the time. Loved it.

(submitted by MGySgt Jerry Scoggins)

(l-r, Sgt. Mike Ross, SSgt Jerry Scoggins, NCOIC, Sgt. Dave Guardanapo, and SSgt. Roy Hood)


This Memorial Day

I'm ambivalent about being thanked for my service but received a Thank-You this Memorial Day that meant a lot to me.

We have a student from Korea living next door. He stopped me, and knowing I'm a Marine Veteran, thanked me for what the Marine Corps had done for his country.

We both got a little misty.

Tony Mastriani
5th Comm
RVN 4-68 / 12-69


The Purple Shaft

Dear Sgt. Grit,

One Marine got his skivvies in a twist as he was told that he had to stay on base one weekend. He told the barracks Sgt. that they should order purple paint and paint the Washington Monument Purple and call it - "The Purple Shaft" after his dilemma.

I bet that we can hear of some real winner of sarcasm from our Brethren...

Bruce Bender CPL
USMC 1963-1967


Placed Him On A Mule

Sgt. Grit,

In January, 1970, I was a field radio operator with Alpha Battery, 1/13, in support of Delta Company, 1/26, located on Hill 41 southwest of DaNang. During a night firefight with the NVA, one of our guys suffered a head injury and I was ordered to take this wounded Marine down to the LZ to await a Medevac chopper. We placed him on a "mule" and I drove him a short distance down to the LZ pad.

At the LZ, I stood there in the dark holding up a strobe light in my hand for what seemed like an eternity until the CH-46 Sea Knight chopper arrived right on my signal. I got the wounded Marine on board and the chopper took off within a few seconds. If that wounded Marine is still around, I would like to hear from him.

Cpl. Ken Ulrich
USMC, Vietnam 1969-1970
kulrich50[at]gmail.com


The Marine Who Took My Place

Well it's finally happened! I've been looking for the Marine who took my place and let me out. While reading the newsletter I saw that John M. Hunter enlisted on Aug. 28, 1964 in Southern California, the day I got out. I also enlisted in Southern California (Alhambra) so I too was considered a Hollywood Marine.

My joke has always been that if I find the Marine who took my place I would buy him a drink. It became such a theme that whenever we ran across any Marines, young or old, my friends would ask them when they enlisted. John if you are reading this and still live in Southern California I would be proud to buy you the drink of your choice.

Semper Fi
Cpl. Selders


Opportunity To Question Young Marines

Sgt. Grit,

I recently attended a reunion of Marines that was held in Jacksonville, NC. Marines who had all experienced combat during the Tet Offensive and Hue City got together for four days to reflect and remember fellow Marines we had lost, some tough times, and some good times. But I'm not writing about the reunion other than to say that I really enjoyed the four day event.

The reason I'm writing is to relay to all Marines who now wear a different uniform, some information concerning active duty Marines of today. Four Marines from Camp Geiger who were awaiting orders after MCT training conducted a color guard for the opening ceremony and were invited to participate with the attendees at the reunion. Two of those young Marines accepted the invitation, providing all of the attendees an educational insight into today's Marine Corps.

I had the opportunity to ask numerous questions concerning boot camp, infantry training, leave policies, liberty policies, and a variety of other subjects. Some of the answers really surprised me. I devoted approximately six, (6) hours over four(4) days to questions and answers. The answers were indeed informative. Both of those Marines told me that they had three Drill Instructors, all Sergeants. They were in different platoons, but the same series. Both had Sergeants as Senior Drill Instructors not SSgts. Their Series GySgt was a SSGT. The Chief Drill Instructor was a GySgt, and their Company 1st Sergeant was a GySgt.

I asked if any of those Drill Instructors were selected for promotion or slated for promotion to the next higher rank. They didn't know. Because of commitments to deployments, the Marine Corps may be assigning SNCOs to duties considered more important than recruit training.

They also told me that the two Assistant Drill Instructors had specific duties. One Sergeant was the KILL Drill Instructor and conducted all incentive PT and punishment. The other was the TEACHING Drill Instructor and taught all classes and drill movements. The Senior was the DADDY figure.

They had only six, (6) scheduled physical training sessions during their entire time on Parris Island. So, I'm guessing that recruit training relies more on incentive PT to get recruits in shape rather than scheduled PT sessions. They didn't have mess duty at all during recruit training. All mess halls are now run by civilians, and all employees are civilians. There is no mess and maintenance week anymore. Neither one was very impressed with the Crucible. They thought it was relatively easy.

At Camp Geiger, during and after training, none of the Marines are permitted to go on liberty alone. All Marines, L/Cpl and below must go on liberty in at least two man teams. There are three levels of liberty - green, blue, and red. Green liberty allows a Marine to be away over night or be gone the entire weekend. Blue liberty is Cinderella Liberty and those Marines must be back by 12:00pm. Red liberty is liberty only during daylight hours and ends strictly at 6:00pm. I don't know and neither did they if this policy applies to Marines in the fleet.

I was deeply impressed with the discipline of both of the active duty Marines I had the opportunity to question. I'm aware that they may have been on their best behavior because of where they were, but I don't think so.

There are other answers to my many questions that surprised me; however, I'm unable to write about all of them in this forum. Suffice it to say that I was quite impressed with both of those young Marines. Although in many respects, the Marine Corps is vastly different today, I believe Marines continue to be disciplined, dedicated, honorable, and patriotic Americans. That hasn't changed and hopefully never will.

Semper Fi,
A Former Hat
GySgt, USMC (Ret)


The Best Years Of Our Lives

Sgt. Grit,

I watched "The Best Years of Our Lives" last night on Television and for once they got it right. Watching Dana Andrews go through the problems of a returned Veteran and experiencing the horrors of returning home after the War. He was a Bombardier who flew in many mission over Europe and returned home to find his wife had enjoyed the War with dancing, night clubs, and partying the night away while he was dodging Luftwaffe bullets in the skies. As a Captain he expected more than a job as a clerk in a Drug Store. With millions of GI's returning home there wasn't much available and often salaries weren't much more than the GI's pay during the War.

I remember going to the pay table and getting half of my pay every two weeks. I was sending home $25.00 month to my Mother who was banking it for me and of course my National Service Life Insurance (Mandatory) $5.35 monthly left me with little, but what the h-ll did I know about money being a child of the Depression Years. I barely had $10.00 every two weeks to spend and in San Francisco that didn't go very far, (San Francisco was my first liberty Town after Boot camp besides going home on Boot Leave).

When I returned Home after the War (my Mother had Remarried, my father had died when I was a baby). I found two teen aged girls in my home. Being an old Nineteen, having spent two of my teenage years in the pacific with two Battle stars on my Asiatic/Pacific ribbon, I was put out on the back porch in a cot.

A friend and I decided we would try to become Merchant Seamen and hitchhiked to Portland, Or. The Merchant seamen were on strike and the Union wasn't taking on any new members. My friend went home and I went to San Francisco where I thought jobs would be available everywhere. I had a hundred bucks which just wasn't enough to buy food, beer (10 cents a glass) and a low end hotel room. So after going through the motions of trying to get a job with the help of the Government Employment Office, I went to the Marine Recruiting Office and said I'm tired of trying to get a job, can you use an old hand? "Of course", he said and I was sent to Treasure Island to be outfitted with new uniforms and all that stuff and became a Sentry.

I got out in March of 1946 and in September 1946 I was back in a Guard Company checking Sailors out on Liberty and sometimes fighting them when they returned after liberty.

What happened? I was a returning War Hero and here I was back in Uniform where I was just another swinging, Uh whatever. Then I became a Brig Sentry at Yerba Buena Island Navy Brig and during an altercation with a prisoner I fired a shot that only had the effect of calming the Prisoners down and me marching them back to the Brig, folded arms in front and almost double time.

When I said I had fired at a prisoner, they let the Prisoners back into the Brig and I was sent to the Barracks to await someone to make a decision on whether I had the right to fire or was a Trigger Happy Marine. Well! Soon I was called into the Company Office and into the CO's Office and he said, "I don't want any Trigger happy Marines in my Command."

I ended up at "Infantry Weapons School" in Quantico where I had wanted to go. Going home on leave I got married to an Old Sweetheart. Some twenty odd years later I retired as Gunnery Sergeant with too many years overseas and two more Wars under my belt. I retired and stayed in California because I learned that warm climate was better than a cold climate for an Old Guy and his Wife. My five children are now spread about the US but the youngest son is nearby, he's a Weapons Specialist in the Movie Industry. He knows more about weapons than I ever did. During Memorial Day I had three of the Children here with us and I was shocked to learn my eldest is now on Social Security. Cheese Louise where did the time go?

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Old Corps... New Corps... A Matter Of Perspective

Excerpt from IN GARRISON, by J. H. Hardin

"Lieutenant General Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller is quoted as saying, "Old breed? New breed? There's not a d-mn bit of difference so long as it's the Marine breed." This is a debate that's raged for years. Is there an Old Corps and a New Corps? In my opinion it's a matter of perspective.

I consider those that went before me and blazed the trail as Old Corps. Conversely, I consider those that followed me and have kept our traditions and history alive as New Corps. But, I have to agree with Chesty. It doesn't matter which you are as long as it's the Marine Corps. The same thing holds true with a Marine's MOS. Whether they're serving in a combat specialty on the front lines or serving in a support specialty in the rear area, all Marines work together to achieve the mission. We're a singled minded organism moving to the objective. We have many parts and many functions. But, we all work together toward a single purpose. The purpose of standing in harm's way so that others may live free. Marine's die so others don't have to."

J. H. Hardin
Sgt - USMC
'78 – '84

J. H. Hardin's book IN GARRISON can be found at www.jhhardin.com.


10,000 Marines Out For A Run

2ndMarDiv in formation.

Brigadier Gen. James W. Lukeman, the commanding general of 2nd Marine Division, and Sgt. Maj. Bryan K. Zickefoose, the Sergeant Major of 2nd Marine Division, lead the Division in a run to build unit camaraderie aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., May 22, 2014.

More than 10,000 Marines comprised one large formation stretching for more than a mile.

(Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Joshua W. Grant/ Released)


My Stellar Example

Like LCpl. Raines, I enjoy Gunny Rousseau's stories. And I have a question that Gunny and some of the other Old Corps veterans could answer. I've wondered about the round dog tag worn by WWII Marines. First of all, does it contain the same information as the regular dog tag, and two, is it worn with another round tag or a rectangular tag? When did they stop using them? I've tried to find out but can't find any reliable information, and I've never seen a picture of an Army soldier wearing the round tag in that same era.

I went to boot camp in January 1995, MCRD San Diego. A couple days into first phase I made one of those mistakes that I never repeated and nobody else made because of my stellar example. I went to Drill Instructor Sgt. Funderburg and requested to make an "emergency head call", because my back teeth had already drowned and my eyeballs were turning yellow. He looked at me and cocked his ear to the side for a minute, he then said "emergencies usually have sirens and flashing lights, and I don't hear any." I gave him the stupid recruit look, then it dawned on me what must be done at this time. I ran two laps around the squad bay flapping my arms and making my best siren sounds, went back, requested again and got relief.

The moral of the story is just ask a simple direct question and don't add any drama to it. Thank you Sgt. Funderburg.

Semper Fi,
EAS
Plt 1093,
Iraq 2004


From The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #5, #5)

After I watched the last of the trains depart from CLNC it was back to Bldg #1 to make my report to HQMC over the secure line. Mr. Adolph Volkman, Head of the Transportation Department, said he was glad to hear this news and he would pass it on to Gen Bird who was waiting for it, too. He told me to send him their copies of the TR's and MT's 'post haste'. I told him they would normally be sent on the 10th - was that okay? He said, "NO. I want them yesterday." I didn't ask why. I told him they would be in the mail within the hour. He said, "Send them Air Mail; Hold on. I will be right back."

He returned and said Gen Bird wants to talk with you. He put me on Gen Bird's line. I identified myself and the Gen said, "I am mighty proud of you Sgt. This is the biggest movement I have ever had - and the very first without a problem of some sort. I am going to promote you to S/Sgt. How does that sound?" I told him "That does sound nice. I just made Sgt in May." He replied, "Well, I really think that you have earned a commission for what you have done for us this month - but I cannot give you one. Let's do this. S/Sgt next spring, T/Sgt the following spring and M/Sgt in March of 1953. How does that sound?" I could hardly believe my ears and told him "That sounds awesome, almost unbelievable." He said, "You can count on it." And I knew I could.

I returned to my office and told Mrs. Harbin that HQMC wants the TR's and MT's for this movement 'yesterday' and I would take them to the post office ASAP. I went into the adjacent office to change my shirt (The one I had on was soaking wet). The one I put on still had Corporal chevrons. I returned and packaged the documents for HQMC and started down the hall to the post office. It took (12) 25 cent airmail stamps and I asked the clerk for a sheet of 3 cent stamps for myself - and a receipt. They were hand written in those days and he wrote 'Stamps $6.00' on the receipt. I started back to the office and was stopped dead in my tracks by the sight of the most beautiful woman in the world - standing just inside the front door. She was a composite of Rita Hayworth, Anita Ekberg and Marilyn Monroe - and more than a little confused. I approached her and asked if I might be of assistance. (Did I forget Dagmar?) She replied, "Why yes, Cpl. It is so nice of you to come to the aid of a lady in distress. I am looking for a Capt Davis." I told her "There are two of them, one in disbursing and the other is the Provost Marshall." She said, "The Provost Marshall."

To be continued...

The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


Not A Fan Of Cinderella Liberty

Sergeant Grit,

On the subject of Cinderella Liberty...

While serving the Corps, as a Sea Going Marine, with the Marine Detachment, aboard CVA-38, Shangri La, all overseas liberty was Cinderella and Port and Starboard. All Marines were assigned to the detachment's Withstander's List; you either belonged to the Port Watch or Starboard Watch. This translated into one day on and one day off, seven days a week, 365 days a year, in port or underway at sea. Designated duties and posts were manned on this basis. All other ship's work was continuous and did not relate to these Withstander's Lists.

In port, if the liberty bell sounded, and your Watch had liberty, you could report to the After-brow, after obtaining your Liberty Card from the Marine Detachment's Duty Sergeant of the Guard. Only then could you request permission to go ashore, after showing both your Liberty and Military I. D. Cards to a Navy, Chief Petty Officer (CPO).

The Duty CPO of the Day, manning the After-brow, could grant you Cinderella Liberty. This meant that your liberty expired at 2400 hours, that same day. The ship's Shore Patrol kept busy, enforcing this mandated, "liberty expires at mid-night" requirement.

This Marine was not a fan of Cinderella Liberty. But, it did impose time discipline, which served him all through life. Like many things, experienced in the USMC, the lessons learned are later disclosed much later in life.

Respectfully yours,
Thomas Gray
Corporal of Marines
1958 - 1962


That Was Then, This Is Now

Sgt. Grit,

I read in your column recently someone said he was a Real, Real Old Marine of 85. I've always thought age was a figment of the mind and if you let it get to you you'll worry about getting old and infirm. I never had time for that, I only had time to do my job and think about what I had to do next.

I remember going to the Navy Mess Hall at Treasure Island during World War II, the two Navy Chiefs running the Mess Hall had been either called back from Retirement or requested Return to Active Duty as both were in their Seventies wearing ribbons from days of long ago and Wars fought long ago, but here they were calling out to you if you stepped out of line or violated any of their commands.

As I am well into my Eighty Eighth year of my life and being in reasonable health, no I don't run around the block nor whistle at the girls when I go to the store (though I have been tempted), but I still enjoy a beer while watching Marine Movies of whatever/whenever time period.

I find that the new writers for Movies/TV have no sense of history and get it wrong most of the time. While I never served in Europe during WWII, I still have memories and a sense of history, Memories of friends from school after the war sitting in a Bar telling about our times. I clearly remember a friend who landed at Omaha Beach and cursed the Navy because the Peter boat wasn't close enough to shore, and they ran off the boat into deep water (some drowned because they couldn't get out of their pack and equipment fast enough)... finally getting ashore and picking up the rifle of a Wounded or Dead Soldier, finally laying down on wet clothing carrying a rifle with no ammo and looking for another casualty to get a cartridge belt. He made it all the way through the war without a wound though he had been in some tough battles.

I ran into this picture years ago that our Old Friend Joe Rosenthal took. It establishes more memory, to Me, than most other pictures during WWII.

Oh! I remember those Good Times and Hard Times, when time seemed to go so slow and wishing for days end, and then the days start, BUT... Who cares now, that was then, this is now.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


From The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #6, #1)

I pointed to the far end of the main hallway and said to this lady, "The last turn to the left and the first door on your left." She thanked me and started walking in that direction. I just stood there for a few moments and watched how she moved. Then I started walking behind her. When she turned to the left I turned to the right into the Travel Office. Whenever anyone entered the office everyone looked up. I then said, "I have just seen the most beautiful woman in the world!" Two young enlisted men came running to get a glimpse of her. I told them that she went into the Provost Marshall's office. I walked back around the counter and handed CWO4 R. R. Dyer the postal receipt. I told him that half of the postage was for my own use. He was in a daze and handed me $6.00. I said again the receipt covered $3.00 for my own postage. He just looked at me and said, "Your stamps are onthe house."

All of a sudden the two enlisted men came running back in the office and this lady came in behind them. I was still at the counter. She said, "Well, we meet again." I asked what I might do for her now. She said she would like to talk with Mr. Dyer. I looked over at him. He was staring at her. He jumped up and came over to the counter. I walked into an adjacent office. There was dead silence. All could here him ask her, "And what might I do for this pretty lady?" She said, "Capt Davis tells me you have a Sgt in your office that drives to Washington, D.C. every weekend. I would like to talk with him." He said, "You just were. I'll get him back." And he hollered, "Sgt Freas, this pretty lady would like to talk with you." I returned to the counter and she just stared at me for a moment. She then said, "What is your rank?" I explained to her that I had been promoted to Sgt in late June, but that because of the hectic situation we had gone through getting all the reserves their travel pay - and getting the 2ndMarDiv moved westward - I had not been able to get all of my chevrons changed. She shook her head and said, "I guess I can understand that."

I then said, "And what can I do for you this time?" She said, "I understand you drive to Washington, D.C. every weekend. I am looking for someone to drive my young son and myself to Washington. Can you do this?" I was already telling myself... "You had better believe I could - and I will not turn you down." She said, "I do not feel comfortable talking with you here. Everyone is staring at us." I said, "I will come out there and we can talk in the hall. She said, "I have a better idea. Do you have a phone number at which I can reach you this evening?" I replied, "I sure do." I wrote it on a slip of paper. I told her, "I will be at this number after 1800."

See you next week. The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


The FLIGHT LINE

Submitted By: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #9, #4, (APR., 2019)

Continuing with the preparations required prior to our (Marine) Helicopters being placed into mine sweeping service required some modifications prior to the installation of the gear necessary to meet the mission requirements. The Navy's RH-53's were already designed and configured for that specific purpose.

Understandably, the CORPS did not ever envision that we would ever be involved in this type of operation or activity, consequently we didn't have the gear necessary to rig our aircraft specifically for this unique mission. We (the Corps) wanted to keep our aircraft as mission flexible as we could, for as long, as we could. The CORPS seems to thrive on having their equipment as flexible as possible, so as not to restrict it's use. In this case the NAVY apparently had extra gear stored and awaiting for the eventual installation in helicopters that were not yet built. When they came off the production line, the towing gear would be installed and they would be ready for service. Well the gear that was in storage and intended for the NAVYS RH-53's was pulled from storage and sent to us at Cubi Point for temporary installation and use in our CH-53 Aircraft. This gear included towing gear (winches), internal fuel cells, cameras, and Raydest.

Authors Note: Raydest is a tracking device to show what has been swept and it records the flight path taken.

After certain modifications were made, and the gear was installed, it came down to the training of the Flight Crews. It was a fact that every crew member had to complete training before being certified. My hands were full, as I was the only NATOPS Instructor in the Detachment which consisted of 50 Men.

Our units workdays were pretty busy with getting the Aircraft modified and back on line as soon as possible, and it was a bit hectic, and an interruption was not going to be any help at all. Well, having said that a very large hic-up occurred somewhere back in the States when a "possible" crack was discovered in the Rotor Head on one of the CH-53's and that "naturally" grounded every CH-53 in the Fleet. You'll notice that I said "Possible". Well, within two days after this Stateside discovery we had a Technician from the NAVY'S Aircraft Overhaul Facility at North Island, Calif arrive with an ultra-sound machine to scan all our rotor heads. We stripped the paint off so the probe would not detect any flaws caused by paint or primer. I also became the first Marine in the fleet to be certified with this machine and it's use. I later certified several others in it's use. I don't know what happened but, I do know that there were never any CH-53's lost because of a rotor head failure. Now, tail rotor pitch change links are a little different story. They have since fixed that problem also.

All this inspection time is normally followed by a "Test Flight" and beings that I was the only QA (Quality Assurance) Inspector I was the designated crew chief for these flights. Once airborne with the "Test Pilot" we performed several maneuvers to try and detect any problems and the next I heard was "Hold On! We're gonna try 200 MPH." Well, talk about shakin' and rattlin', we did that, plus we made the 200 MPH mark and the A/C smoothed right on out, just like it was designed and meant to fly that fast... At least it didn't come apart! THANKS IGOR!


Real Marines Climb Nets

Guess it's just more of that Marine thing about being 'first to", or in this case, 'the last', but in regard to the thing that pretty much defined the Corps for WWII and beyond, that being going over the side on cargo nets... dunno the actual last time, and am sure it will be a contentious issue for years to come, but my bet would be maybe towards the end of Viet Nam, by some unit assigned as the Special Landing Force, or SLF. There were several of those, and at one point, two active at the same time... SLF Alpha, and SLF Bravo.

The usual consist was an APA, an LSD, and a LPH, carrying a Battalion Landing Team, or "BLT"... couple of companies of infantry on the APA, H&S and two more infantry companies on the LPH, and the attached/supporting sub-units on the LSD... tanks (a platoon), engineers, amtracks, etc. The infantry companies on the APA would 'go over the side' to go ashore either in LCVPs ("Papa boats"), or move over to the LSD, for further movement ashore in amtracks. The SLF concept of having a BLT as a 'fire brigade' ready to go on short notice from anywhere along the coastline of Viet Nam dated from the early years... I'm guessing post-1965 landing at Da Nang, and from personal experience, as early as spring of 1966, with BLT 3/5. (not to slight our air wing brethren... the BLT included the Lucky Red Lions of HMM-363 and their H-34's, operating off Princeton, LPH-5... a WWII Essex-class 'straight-deck' carrier).

BLT 3/5 had H&S, Lima, and Mike companies on the Princeton, along with the helo squadron... India and Kilo companies lived aboard APA 222, Pickaway, and the tanks, artillery battery, amtracks, motor transport, etc., lived on Alamo... LSD-33.

We boarded at White Beach on Okinawa ('we' meaning India and Kilo companies) around late May or early June of '66, probably by walking up a brow gangplank from a pier (I just don't recall), and headed for the Philippines... old stuff to old salts, who had done this stuff before, roaming around the Far East from Okinawa... (I was 26 YO at the time, and had been 'over the side' several times before, off Japan, off Taiwan, etc... cool thing this time was, that as a SSGT with single digit months in grade, I rated a footlocker, which got delivered to SNCO country in the fo'csle, by a working party... didn't have to haul the thing myself... RHIP)... We cruised (not quite the same as Disney Cruises today) down to Subic Bay, did some jungle survival training in the Philippines National Forest, pulled some liberty in Olangapo, then went over to Mindinao for an exercise... down the nets... no biggie... that's what Marines do... that's why every sub-camp at Camp Pendleton had towers... that had nets, with hulls of old LCVPs at the bottom... BT, DT. (the towers are still there... only higher, no boats... and used to teach rappelling, maybe 'fast-roping'... can't miss them as you drive through Horno, San Mateo, etc...)

Anyway, having done the thing for 'sh-ts and giggles' numerous times, when we arrived off the coast of Viet Nam for "Operation DeckHouse I", it was 'no biggie'... saddle up, add a mangy, stained "Mae West" life jacket over your field marching pack, huddle in a sweaty mass below decks until you heard something like "boat team three dash four lay up to blue two for debarkation", you got to climb the ladder to the weather deck, proceed to your assigned debarkation station, and, four at a time, swing a leg over the rail, and upon order, begin to descend the net to the boat below. Some old hand would always have to remind the newbies... "keep your hands on the verticals, dumbazs" (put your hands on the horizontal rope... and the guy above you would step on your hand...) If I had a quarter...

Never gave it a thought at the time, that the day might come when Marines went ashore in some other fashion... we thought, somehow, that our buddies on Princeton were somehow lesser beings, because they just diddy-bopped up to the flight deck and casually boarded those fling-wing things to motor ashore... up higher, with a blowing breeze, and minimal effort. "Real Marines", climbed nets... other 'this is no sh-t tales involving nets to come... have seen Marines fall (good ending), lowered heavy gear (questionable ending), and so on. Have to wonder if any of the sailors in the gator navy even know how to rig nets over the side any more?...

On a personal note... got to retire from my civilian career on the USS Hornet, party in the wardroom (venue just beat the h-ll out of the usual country club ballroom)... and on the hanger deck is a H-34... in Red Lion livery, red 'turtle-back' and all... had a lot of fun telling arriving guests that there was a very high probability that I had flown in that very helicopter, not once, but several times, and I was not responsible for either the yellow, nor the brown, stains on the deck of the troop compartment. Party was arranged by a Marine co-worker, and kept secret until the company limo delivered us pier side... I owe him big time on that one! Sad side to that is the fact that one of my 3/5 brothers did a tour of sea-going on the Hornet, was there when the astronauts came aboard returning from the moon in 1969... and still volunteers on Hornet. The bud arranging the party didn't know about him, so he didn't get an invite... ten thousand gomenasai, Joe...

Ddick


Taps

Esther Wormell, proud MARINE mother and wife, passed to the arms of her maker on May 17 2014.

She said that her favorite thing on earth was her beloved MARINES.

John (Cap) Wormell


Short Rounds

Over the few years that I've been involved with you as a customer I've never been disappointed with any purchase or your customer service. I enjoy reading the weekly blurb. So from one Marine to another I'll tell you what my last SgtMaj said to me in his own inimitable way, "Bowers keep up the fair work."

Semper Fi Sgt Grit!

Ed Bowers
Sgt
19531xxx


160th Marine Corps Birthday... really Old Corps.

Way before our time. Certainly a classic... enjoy! Classic old B&W news short on the Corps, way back when.

160th Marine Corps Birthday


Quotes

"Lean liberty is better than fat slavery."
--John Ray


"You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass."
--Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto


"Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves."
--Albert Einstein


"The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge while an ordinary man takes everything either as a blessing or a curse."
--Carlos Castaneda


"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of all of the people who don't do anything about it."
--Albert Einstein


"It is not truth that matters, but the victory."
--Adolf Hitler


"Freedom has cost too much blood and agony to be relinquished at the cheap price of rhetoric."
--Thomas Sowell, Economist and Korea Marine


"The MARINES have landed and have the situation well in hand!"
--Richard Harding Davis


"Casualties many; Percentage of dead not known; Combat efficiency: we are winning!"
--Col. David M. Shoup, USMC


"I can never again see a United States Marine without experiencing a feeling of reverence."
--Gen. Johnson, U.S. ARMY


"Alright people, move it up. Make the man in front of you smile."

"Standing by to stand by."

"Let no man's ghost say if they had only done their job."

"Fair winds and following seas."

God Bless the American Dream!
Sgt Grit

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