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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 08 JAN 2014

In this issue:
• A Brotherhood Of Warriors
• Vietnam Vet And My Resume
• 69 Year Coma And A Wake Up

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Grit,

Merry Christmas to you and all of your troops there in Oklahoma City and I hope you all have a Happy, safe and healthy New Year. The pics are of two of my granddaughters, Meghan and Kelly on Christmas day sporting some of your wear. They were both thrilled at old grandpa's choices too.

Semper Fi,
Tom Kelly
GySgt USMC Ret

Get your own ladies gear at:

Shades of Pink Women's Semper Fidelis USMC T-shirt

Women's Oohrah Grey Shorts

Embroidered Black and White
Plaid USMC Night Pants



A Brotherhood Of Warriors

Join The United States Marines. Travel to Exotic Distant Lands. Meet Exciting and Unusual People. And Kill Them. OOH RAH and Semper Fi Till I Die.

I have a full size American and Marine Corps Flag on a lit ten foot wood pole on my front porch. I also have a full size American Flag on a lit pole on my back porch. You want to know why? I have them there because I CAN have them there. I Earned the right to have them there, that's why!

"A US Marine's life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "OOH RAH! What a ride!"

It cannot be inherited. Nor can it ever be purchased. You and no one alive can buy it for any price. It is not possible to rent and cannot be lent. You alone and our own have earned it with our blood sweat and tears. You own it forever. What am I talking about? I'm talking about the Title Of United States Marine. That's what I'm talking about!

"I like being a Marine, because being a Marine is serious business. We are not a Social Club or a Fraternal Organization, and we do not pretend to be one. We are a Brotherhood of "Warriors", nothing more and nothing less, pure and simple. We are in the azs kicking business, and business is good!"

Semper Fidelis - Always Faithful... "It's More Than A Motto... It's A Way Of Life... Live it, I DO."

Semper Fi and OOH RAH!

Hanline, Ralph J. 2003536
Feb. 20, 1962 - Aug. 20, 1966


29 Palms

Sgt Grit,

I enjoyed the letter concerning the song, "The Lady From Twentynine Palms". On my first trip (1964) into that town, I and some buddies went into a little cafe for lunch and, lo and behold, that song was playing on the jukebox. What a great beat it has! Today, as the leader of a little band (Cool Waters Band) in eastern Washington state, we play and I sing that song. Peope love it! Every time we perform that song, I get visions of my time at MCB 29 Palms. Some Marines who've served there think only about the dry heat and sleeping in tents out in the field. Being in artillery, when not in the field, we lived in AC squad bays. Ah, the joys of being 'gun bunnies'!

Semper Fi and Happy New Year to all Marines!
Bob Lonn, 0811 (and proud of it)​


Felt The Brotherhood

In response to the article "Noticed and Ignored" by Adam Mackow, I would like to submit and entirely different experience.

Last January I was vacationing in Hilton Head. And while I've been in that area many times, I've never stopped at Parris Island because I'm always armed, being a retired Police Officer, and I remember how much trouble I had getting on base when I was still working and in the Reserves.

Anyway, I called the base to see what the procedure was, since there was a graduation ceremony coming up and I really wanted to show it to my wife. I was politely informed that there was a gun/pawn shop in Port Royal that would hold them for me while I was on base.

There were six platoons graduating, so there were six or eight bleachers set up for the families. After clearing the metal detectors, I looked around, and not much looked familiar. It had been 49 years since I graduated. Back then everything was wood. Now everything was brick and looked like a collage campus.

I went up to a D I Sgt. to get my bearings. I was wearing a jacket with a Marine Corps patch and a pin with my rank (Sgt). We spoke for a few minutes then I thanked him and went to find a seat in the bleachers. I got about halfway past the first one when the Sgt, tapped me on the shoulder as he walked past and said "You're with me". My wife and I followed him past all the bleachers until we got to the VIP section, I guess, because it was roped off from the rest. We stepped over the rope and he sat us in the first row, front and center. I couldn't have paid for better seats. We thanked him and he was gone. I really felt the brotherhood that day.

Sgt. Bill Michell
'65-'68, '75-'77


Vietnam Vet And My Resume

As a Marine Vietnam vet, I had a somewhat different experience than Gary Neely. I got out of the Corps in 1968 to go into politics and, I thought, fix things. (Okay, I was pretty naive at 22.) At Mount Wachusetts Community College, I ran twice for student council and then for council president, and, though I didn't have a group of high school friends there going in, I won every time. I used pictures of me in Vietnam on my posters. At the University of Massachusetts, I decided at the last minute to run for the student senate, on write-ins, against a kid who had lived in the dorm for a year. I won. I never hid that I was a vet.

I graduated from UMass in June, 1972, and in November of that year I defeated an incumbent Massachusetts Democrat state senator by 9 votes, in a 4-1 Democrat district last won by a Republican in 1938, the first of my five wins. (Including being nominated by both parties in 1976.) I always used pictures of myself in the Corps in my campaign flyers. In 1982, I was fed up with politics and retired undefeated to become an association executive.

For 31 years, I held increasingly responsible and better paying jobs. My resume always had a section on my service in the Corps, including the six years I spent in the active reserves while a senator ('77-'83). If it hurt me, I didn't know it. And if they were biased against Marines, I didn't want to work for them. Looking at the later results at some of the jobs I didn't get, they could have used a little Marine discipline.

I had to retire October 1, 2013 due to pulmonary fibrosis, but I'm hoping the lung the VA gave me on December 23, 2013 will improve to the point were I can return to part time work as a consultant or substitute teacher. If so, my resume will still list my USMC service proudly. No compromise, no surrender.

Semper Fidelis,
Robert A. Hall
Once a SSGT, still a Marine


69 Year Coma And A Wake Up

Truth or Not?

San Diego

An American Marine injured during the Second World War and stuck in a deep coma ever since, has finally regained consciousness this Monday at the Naval Medical Center (NMCSD). James Hill, a 95-year old former Sergeant who is decorated with two purple heart medals and a Navy Cross, was severely injured by the explosion of an artillery shell during the battle of Iwo Jima, on the 27th of February 1945. Doctors had been able to miraculously save his life, but the shock was so violent and the brain damage was so severe, that they thought he was condemned to remain inert for the rest of his life.

It is a controversial new treatment that was recently applied to Mr. Hill, that somehow extracted him from his unconsciousness. This new approach developed by a German scientist, Professor Hans Friedritch Muller, is based on the use of various experimental drugs and repeated series of low voltage eletroshocks. This technique is still in its development phase and had been allowed to be tested only on four patients who were considered to have "very low probabilities" of recovering.

The surprising turnout of the experiment unfortunately comes many years to late to save the military hero's marriage and family life. His wife remained loyally at his side for nine years, caring for their two children, one of which she was bearing when he was dispatched overseas and whom he never never had seen before yesterday. She finally filed for divorce and obtained it in 1954, and got remarried one year later. Her new husband legally adopted Mr. Hill's children, since he was considered "brain dead". Sixty years later, he now wakes up to find out his wife and son are already dead, and his unknown daughter is turning 70 years old. He however has four grandchildren and three great grandchildren, whom he has never met, a strange solace that hopefully will help him accept his situation.

The readaptation process is also expected to be extremely difficult for the old man, if not impossible. Most of his muscles have not been stimulated for years and a long program of physiotherapy will be need before Mister Hill can even move his arms normally, and he might never be able to stand or walk again. His accustomation to the wide range of new technologies that appeared during his coma should also prove very difficult if not completely impossible, considering he has never seen a computer in his life. Bringing the man to understand the world's historical evolution since 1945 and explaining to him the context in which he has awakened, should already take a lot of time and effort, and also quite a bit of diplomacy.

According to the Guinness World Records, Mr. Hill is now the holder of many certified records, including the longest coma ever recorded and the longest coma from which anyone ever emerged. The former record for the longest coma ever was held by Elaine Esposito, dubbed the "sleeping beauty," who stayed in a coma for 37 years and 111 days before succumbing in 1978, while the record of longest coma ever survived was held by the American Terry Wallis from the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, who on June 11, 2003, regained awareness after spending 19 years in a minimally conscious state.

(Found on worldnewsdailyreport.com)


Wallet

Sgt. Grit,

Thanks to Bill Mauney for showing his 1966 3rd Mar. Div. Christmas wallet. I have also had mine since about February of 1967 when I was with 'C' Co. 1/4 somewhere in the Thua Thien Province. Somehow, although I lost most everything else, I did manage to keep hold of that wallet. Not much else lasted very long in that weather and climate. My first thought when I saw it is about the same as today: I do wish they had spelled out the word Christmas and not used the not-so-welcome X-Mas. Still, it was a smile in an otherwise very busy time for us.

Doc John Patrick
HM3 Ret.​


Montford Point Responses

M/Sgt Frank Peace said that when he entered the Corps in 1961 the pay for recruits was $78.00. I was a disbursing/travel expense clerk from 1957-60. The pay for an E-1 then was $83.20. For an E-2 it was $85.80 and an E-3 it was $99.37 per month. All pay based on being under two years in service.

In 1958 Montford Point was a base for various schools. I went to travel expense school there. We had heard that it was were black Marines trained before integration. There was still vestiges of segregation in North Carolina at the time, especially in Jacksonville. However, every barber on base was a black man. But they wouldn't let the movie, Something of Value, be shown because of the MauMau theme.

The nicest thing about Camp Lejeune and North Carolina was that you could drink beer at 18. Coming from Camp Pendleton, that was like manna from the sky!

The name Montford Point comes up quite a lot here in the Detroit area.

James V. Merl
1655xxxx


This is in regard to MSgt Frank Peaces' letter about Montford Point. I believe the story of Black Marines shooting up Jacksonville is an "urban Legend". I retired in Jacksonville, NC (home of Montford point and Camp Lejeune) and have never heard of this historically. However there was a widely read fictional pocket novel in the 60's that related this very story, which I have read.

MSgt Patrick Farmer
1960-1986​


In the letter written by MSgt. Peace, he has the facts wrong. The Montford Point Marines existed from 1942 to 1949. Harry Truman was President from 1945 to 1953. Randolph McCall Pate was Commandant from 1956 to 1959.

I know nothing about the rest of his story, but heard different versions of basically the the same story line with different people.

Sgt Don Lown
1954-1964​


I'm curious as to MSgt Frank Peace's submission regarding the incident. It reminded me of Hari Rhodes' book, "A Chosen Few", which dealt with just such an incident around the time the facility was being shut down, and was written as fiction. Is there any documentation of such actual incident?

Duke, USMC '66-'70


Bowling And Salutes

I came home for my first leave after MCRDPI plt 147 and ITR in 1961. My uncle, a 1st Sgt in the Army was also home on leave. He asked me if I would care to go bowling with him and I agreed and also suggested we wear our uniforms, no problem. I had fired 189 at the rifle range with 190 being minimum to qualify which assured me that I would leave PI as a E-1 slick sleeve. So while climbing the steps of Sammy White's Bowling Alley near my home in Newton, Massachusetts we met 2 young soldiers on their way out. They looked at the seasoned 1st Sgt with many hash marks and then at the young guy with no stripes and decided this must be an officer and saluted me. You can imagine the response from my uncle Roy, he might could've made Gunny in the Marines.

Semper Fi,
Tom Piercy
Corporal of Marines​


It's Effect Is Felt Today

Sgt. Grit,

World War I was fought by all the Armed Services of the United States, however there was a small problem that affected Harry Truman, George Marshall, Douglas MacArther and many others but that is not talked about. There was a Reporter for the Chicago Tribune I believe (I'm reaching back into this old brain) named Floyd Gibbons who was with the Marines at Belleau Woods, he lost an eye during his Stint as a War Correspondent with the Marines.

His story was the first real story about the War, according to all the information, he was sent to the Marines because General John J. Pershing felt the Belleau Wood Battle would be a small part of the War and General Pershing wouldn't allow Reporters into the Big Battles coming up. But Floyd Gibbons story was the first Big Story of the War and was picked up by newspapers all over America which left people to believe the Marines were the only ones fighting the War. Don't believe it? it's the Facts. This left a Hard Spot in the hearts of many of the Army Officers and Soldiers who had fought just as hard and Died. There is no taking back all those newspapers and rumors and stories, its effect is felt today.

Going through my junk and stuff I keep finding the silly stuff from the Vietnam War. I found this item that was called the magazine Case. It was to protect your full mag's in the magazine pouch in your cartridge belt. When you got in a fire fight you would have to rip this plastic pouch to get your magazine out and after you had won the Fire Fight, you would be able to distribute "CHIEU HOI" passes to the enemy or they could pick them up after they killed all the Americans and Surrender to the nearest American. This was another of Sec. Defense MacNamara's schemes. I had a bunch of these along with a bunch of the Paper CHIEU HOI Passes that collectors of Vietnam War Souvenirs used to buy from me at Gun Shows. (Note the date under Chieu Hoi). Grit you ought to have a wall so we could send you junk like this to show people just how stupid some of it was. Do many of you remember the MacNamara line? He had all those big Helicopters putting up all those big Stands?

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Note: Actually Gunny I do have a hallway dedicated to stuff people have sent me and my own collection.

Sgt Grit


From The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol. #1, #2)

November 22, 1950. It is 0500 and at the end of this workday I am going home to see the love of my life - for the first time since September 10th, when I drove her to Earlham in Richmond, Indiana to go to College. I will be leaving Camp Lejeune in eleven hours and can hardly wait to be on my way. We have been in constant contact with each other since 9/10 and have our plans for this Thanksgiving weekend pretty much in order. I don't know what time her bus will reach Philadelphia or Mt. Holly but I expect it to be quite late. I will not reach my home until after midnight so it does not make much difference. We will be spending tonight in our respective homes. I will go to her house about 1000 in the morning to see her. Then she will come to The Hemlocks early Thanksgiving afternoon to see my parents and we will all go to her house for our first Thanksgiving dinner. Mary and I will go out after dinner and I will take her home between 0200 and 0300. On Friday morning I will pick her up and we will be off to somewhere nice until later in the day. We will stop by my house for a couple of hours sometime during the afternoon to visit with my parents and be off again for the evening and we will return to her house where we will sleep in her room. Saturday morning I will return to The Hemlocks for one of my Mom's famous breakfasts. Mary will eat at her home. I will pick her up just after Noon and we will go wherever we wish. Saturday afternoon we will return to my house and her parents will come over for one of my Mom's special Thanksgiving dinners. Saturday evening we will be off again for who knows where and we will return to The Hemlocks and Mary will sleep with me. (Yes, my mother had finally decided that she could. My Dad had agreed to this early on but it was something that my Mom took a lot more time to agree to. She really loves Mary and I think this had a lot to do with her decision.) Sunday morning we will probably sleep late and then have one of my mother's big breakfasts. We will then go over to her house for a late lunch. She will have to be taken to the Greyhound Station and I will do that. Then I will go back home where I will remain until 1900 when I have to leave for the base. That is cutting everything pretty close but with her having to go some 600 miles and me having to go 500 miles this is necessary. I can hardly wait. It is finally 1500 and I am going over to my barracks to get ready for the trip north. It seems as though everyone on base was leaving for somewhere. It was my plan to be pretty close to the gate at 1600 but I find that I am about as far back as usual.

I went thru the gate at about 1630 but I will make up this time and reach Petersburg at 2000, Washington at 2200 and be home just after 2400. I was in Petersburg at the usual time, 2000, to fill the tank - and my belly - and walked into The Hemlocks just after midnight. I went straight up to my room. My mother heard me come in and came running across the hall. She asked "Were you listening to your radio?" I replied "I had some music on." She said "Did you hear about the big accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike?" I said "No, I did not. What are you trying to tell me?" She said Mrs.'B' had called to tell us that Mary was one of those killed in that Greyhound bus... It took a few moments for this to settle in and I screamed "NO" loud enough to be heard in Mexico. I repeated "NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO - This cannot be! What happened?" She said "The Pennsylvania State Police have not sorted it out yet but there were two tractor-trailers, the Greyhound bus and about a dozen cars approaching the Midway when all hell broke loose. There was a patch of fog and the cars went every which way. The bus driver and some half dozen of his passengers were among those killed. The 'Bs' were notified within minutes that Mary was one of the deceased. I don't think I would call them now but you will want to call them first thing in the morning." Mom and I went downstairs. We were up all night. The 'Bs' probably knew I would be home by now and I thought that maybe I should call them but Mom did not think so and I didn't.

I decided to call them about 0900, an hour before I had planned to visit Mary. They had been up all night, too. And they had made some plans for the viewing and funeral. The Perinchief Funeral Home would be handling the services. The viewing would take place at 1900 on Friday evening and the funeral at 1300 on Sunday. They asked if I had anything to suggest. I told them that I would suggest an all white casket with gold colored handles and that Mary be dressed in all white, too. That would leave the only other color inside the casket her jet black hair. And she should wear the gold pin that I had given her when I completed my courses with the Marine Corps Institute and the gold and opal ring I had given her when she graduated from high school in 1948. They agreed with all of my suggestions. I told them that I was reasonably certain that most of those that would be at the viewing would be classmates from the classes of 1947 & 1948; that I would wear my Dress Blues and stand at the head of the casket with them. And my mother, who was listening to all this, said she and Dad would stand at the foot of the casket - as long as they could do so. And this is pretty much the way it went. I stood at the head of the casket with the 'Bs' - in my Dress Blues - with tears flowing from my eyes almost the entire time. There was nothing I could do about that. I had called the base and invited CWO4 R. R. Dyer and his wife, Louise, and Gunny Sergeant Joe N. Harbin and his wife, also a Louise, to come up and stay at The Hemlocks. They did - in Mr. Dyer's new Chrysler. Mary was buried in the Odd Fellows Cemetery. It was a really beautiful service - but under trying conditions. My guests from Camp Lejeune had stayed at The Hemlocks for two nights and loved the place. They returned to Lejeune immediately following Mary's burial and Mr. Dyer told me to return 'whenever I was ready to do so'. It was a horrible ending to a really beautiful relationship. I departed at 1900, reached the base at 0400 and was at my desk by my usual time 0750 Monday morning. It was a very hard day, a disastrous ending to what was a very unusual but beautiful relationship. I really loved that girl - with ALL my heart. She was one of a kind - from a lovely family - and I wanted badly for her to be my wife.

Semper Fi. The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny with the Santa Claus beard.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


Oh, Karma

OH, Karma... she's a real beyitch... Got well deserved lumps all over me about my foxtrot uniform charlie kilo - uniform papa over the Kamikaze genesis... hope that doesn't make me a libural... (that part about not knowing that the things you know are the ones that just aren't so...) Have been described as often wrong, never in doubt... and knew I should have checked... will have to get a volunteer, preferably somebody who owes me a lot of money, to count my corrective pushups...

I had an excellent large format book of all of the great naval battles of recorded history... illustrated, documented, sourced, etc... given to me, so I gave it to a young neighbor, who is currently in his third year at Annapolis. When he was accepted, his letter of acceptance happened to arrive on an election day. His Dad passed the word when he came in to vote (I volunteer as a poll worker...). Here in TN, one signs an application for a ballot, which is given to the machine operator, who enables the electronic machine, etc. The lad himself came in later, to vote for his first time, and from my post, I could see that he signed with his left hand. He just happened to get my machine... and as I congratulated him on his selection to the Naval Academy, I told him it was a real shame that he would not be able to go Marine option... since he's been looking at our flag pole for about ten years, he kinda has the idea that the coot across the street is a Marine... and he looked a little puzzled... even after I told him it was because we didn't accept left-handed applicants... so, my excuse is, had I not given the book away... I coulda checked, so some slack is deserved? (yeah, I know... Goo whatever... 'round here, a Goo-Goo (candy) is a diabetic coma wrapped in plastic...).

Ddick


Taps

Marine Brothers and Sisters,

We have recently been notified that the old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny Harold T. Freas, Sr. reported to his final post guarding heaven's gates on 5 December 2014 after giving his long time illness one h-ll of a fight. Most of us have come to know the Master Gunnery Sergeant by his submissions in the Sgt Grit Newsletter titled "From The DISBURSING CHIEF". We are glad that we all had the opportunity to be taken back to the "Old Corps" days by his stories that were filled with recollections of delicious sounding chow, ups and downs of Marine Corps life, as well as tales of road trips up and down the eastern coast. The MGySgt will be missed and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones.

View his obituary at MGySgt Harold T. Freas, Sr.


Short Round

In the Dec 31st Newsletter, I wrote about Vietnam Era Veterans in response to Cpl Bruce Benders article of Dec 24th. While I stand By my assertions, I do have to stand corrected to one matter, which is that Vietnam Era Veterans is a nationally recognized service organization by the Dept of Veterans Affairs right along side the Marine Corps League.

Bill Allen
Cpl
RVN 1966 1/5


Roger F. Torres comment of being a House Mouse in Boot Camp. I served with Roger in Viet Nam 16 Mar 67 to 28 Mar 68, did not know he was ever a mouse. He was about 5' 6", and 125 pounds but was a hell of a good Marine. My BEST FRIEND and Commrade.

Semper Fi
Raymond Edwards, SGT MAJ, USMC (Ret) '66-'96


To: Peter D, Vic DeLeon, & others,

Douglas AC-47's (Attack) were called Spooky or Puff. Fairchild AC-119's were either Shadows or Stingers (added 20mm cannon). Lockheed AC-130 Spectre's were called Ghostrider's, Stinger II's, & also Spooky.

Utech, T. A.
2438835
RVN '68-'69
F/2/24 '83-'84


Quotes

"Come on you son's of b-tches, do you want to live forever?"
--1stSgt Dan Daly, inscribed on the wall of the National Museum of the Marine Corps


"During the course of administration, and in order to disturb it, the artillery of the press has been leveled against us, charged with whatsoever its licentiousness could devise or dare. These abuses of an institution so important to freedom and science are deeply to be regretted, in as much as they tend to lessen its usefulness and to sap its safety."
--President Thomas Jefferson, Second Inaugural Address, 1805


"You guys are the Marine's doctors - There's none better in the business than a Navy Corpsman..."
--Lieutenant General "Chesty" Puller


"You'll never get a Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!"
--Capt. Henry P. Crowe, USMC; Guadalcanal, 13 January 1943


"I have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress..."
--President Ronald Reagan


"We are United States Marines, and for two and a quarter centuries we have defined the standards of courage, esprit, and military prowess."
--Gen. James L. Jones, USMC (CMC); 10 November 2000


In Formation after chow... D I: "Leave them alone, you had yours now you let them have theirs!"

"Arrogance, My Asz, It's Pride, USMC."

"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..."

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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