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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 16 OCT 2014

In this issue:
• Marine Football Program
• B.S. Detector Ain't Broke
• Mail Call

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While visiting a friends grave at the Wenonah, New Jersey cemetery recently, I happened upon this most amazing life size memorial statue on the grave of a long forgotten Marine of WWI. 1st. Lt. George B. Batten. Born in 1898, died 1926. He was a young man when he died. Was his death caused by his war experiences? Gassing or other wounds? Did he fight at Belleau Wood or The Somme? However or whatever the circumstances, his likeness on this memorial shows his pride in the Corps. He got my salute and will again next time I visit New Jersey. All of you South Jersey Marines, please visit Lt. Batten on the birthday, give him a proper salute, and lay a flower on his grave.

Semper Fi
Norm Spilleth
Cpl., '60 to '64

Like An Accordion

I recall a football game while I was in boot camp from 29 Sept. to 22 Dec in 1958. As I recall, it was between the Camp Lejeune Marines and San Diego University. I don't recall who won the game but the stadium was filled with recruits that had been there four weeks or longer. We had marched in as well as many other platoons. Then here came the white hats bobbing all over the place. When the command to stop came it was like an accordion. They all seemed to run together. That was the highlight of the game. We wore ponchos that night but it didn't rain. I am sure this was the same game that Wayne Mailhiot 1980xxx attended. I was in platoon 196, 1837xxx. After graduation on Dec. 22, 1958 we left for leave then I returned to Camp Pendleton for ITR. I was stationed at 29 palms for 2 and 1/2 years until I was discharged.

Sgt Grit I read your newsletters every week and really enjoy them. I have yet to see anyone on here that I served with. I wish everyone that sends you a letter would post there name and time of service and where. I often wonder when I read some of the stories if maybe I had served with them.

Cpl. Jerry Allen
1st Force Service Regiment, 29 Palms Calif.

Only New Hampshire

Good Morn' Sgt.

Regarding The United States Marine Corps Birthday, as far as I know, New Hampshire is the only State that on that specific day, is the only state that will raise and fly The Marine Corps Colors for the entire day at the capital building in Concord New Hampshire. Could it be because one of the Marines that raised the United States Flag on Iwo Jima during WWII? His name was Rene Gagnon.

Happy Birthday to All Past, Present, & Future Marines!

Semper Fi
JC Angelo
1959 - 1965

Marine Football Program

I bought this program at an antique store a few months ago. It is a very professionally done 88 page program. In addition to rosters of both teams it also includes photos of the players, coaches, base commanders as well as the Commandant and others. This looks like it is from the hayday of Marine football. If anyone wants more information let me know.

Jim Grimes
Sgt 1969-72

Pvt. Brown

In early April 1952, Plt. 221 had just come back from the rifle range at Camp Mathews to MCRD San Diego and was marching across the grinder toward evening chow when we heard a male voice call out our Senior Drill Instructor's rank and last name. We were immediately halted and given the left face command which put me in the front rank so I could see and hear what was going on on front of me. The male voice belonged to a Navy Captain and he had a blond woman on his arm. After exchanging salutes the Captain asked our D.I. if he could see Pvt. Brown for just a minute and that he would double time him to our next destination after that. Our D.I. complied by having Pvt. Brown fall out and informed the Captain that we were headed to the mess hall. Pvt. Brown arrived at the mess hall very soon after we did.

Pvt. Brown had the rack just above mine and later in the evening some of our fellow recruits came over to our area of the Quonset to ask for a little information as to what was going on. Private Brown explained that the Captain was his father and the blond woman was his wife and that they hadn't been married very long. He also said that her name was Marion and that she had been an actress. One of the older men in the room was a real film buff and said he thought he knew who she was and said her last name and Pvt. Brown said that he was correct. A few of the guys in the room recognized the name but most of us didn't but were filled in later by the others.

In May my parents came down from Los Angeles for my graduation and there was other parents and relatives in attendance including Captain Brown and Marion and some introductions were made. When Pvt. Brown and I introduced our parents to each other my Father seemed a bit awe struck because he recognized Marion immediately. My Mother confessed to me later that she didn't have a clue but had heard the name before. After that we all said our goodbye's and I never saw Pvt. Brown again. "Marion" was Marion Davies of Hearst Castle fame and the former paramour of William Randolph Hearst.

I left USMC active duty in 1955 and used my G.I.Bill to attend college. Five years later I began my high school teaching career in Southern California, raised a family and lived never more than a five hour drive from Hearst Castle. Over the years I have driven north up HWY 1 several times going past the castle and twice I stopped and took two different tours. Every time I go by the castle I think of Pvt. Brown and wonder what happened to him and what kind of a life did he have.

Semper Fi!
Jim Quam
Sgt. of Marines 1952-55

B.S. Detector Ain't Broke

A question for One & all... A 60 something guy works with my 32 year old son. Inventory auditors in major department stores. He tells folks he is or was a Marine. MOS is 7000 something; Aircraft Fire / Rescue. I asked why are you doing this work rather than aircraft career? "I got tired of seeing crispy bodies."

Yes, he served in Vietnam. Two tours I think he said. "Where did you serve in country" I asked. "I was in L.Z.'s" In Vietnam he enjoyed killing the enemy. It was almost as much as fun as beating up another recruit & a Warrant Officer 3 or 4 days before Graduation. Those fights are what kept him from making E3 out of Parris Island boot camp in 1969.

Is their ANY TRUTH in this story? Seriously, what is MOS # for Aircraft Fire / Rescue? No my B.S detector ain't broke; I only question number designator for Aircraft Fire / Rescue. Is there a listing somewhere of MOS's?

Don Ryan

1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment

Members of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division walk along Highway 1 to make a sweep of a rice paddy in Vietnam.

(Photo courtesy of the Marine Corps/National Archives)


I did my time on Recruiting duty for the Marines in my home state of Oklahoma. I recruited a young Man from the Arapaho Tribe and spent a lot of time with him at family Pow Wows, and medicine dances. When it was time for him to get ready to go to boot camp I was calling around the reservation Looking for him and got his brother on the Phone. He said, "Ahhh-Ho, so you are looking for little John, My little Brother." I said "I think so, I did not know he had a Brother." He laughed and said "You don't remember me?" I am Allen Redbird, I am John Redbirds older brother." You and I went to Boot Camp together in 1973. I had recruited the little brother of one my Own Boot Camp Platoon and didn't even know it until just before he went to Boot Camp.

When John came back from boot camp, they had a Honors Dance for him, and when I was out gourd dancing with the Men, Mother Redbird came out and placed a Blanket over my shoulders, and gave me a Dancing Gourd Rattle. She then said this one is a Redbird. Adopting me into the Redbird Clan of The Cheyenne and Arapaho of Oklahoma. This was one of the True Highlights of my time in the Marines. Having grown up in Oklahoma I always had a great feeling for Our Native American tribes. It was a VERY special Moment for me.

Me with the Marine Corps Colors, Indian Hills Pow Wow Grand entire.


Thomas G Hill
GySgt, USMC (Ret)

Rebuilding America One Marine At A Time

This image was posted on the Sgt Grit Facebook page last week. It displays the text "Rebuilding America One Marine At A Time" at the top. The first picture shows some teenagers with their trousers hanging low and their boxers showing. The text below that picture reads "What We Are Given...". Then next picture shows a Drill Instructor having a caring conversation with an uncovered recruit at MCRD San Diego. The text below this picture reads "How we train...". The final picture shows a graduating Marine PFC that is the Company Honorman, next to his recruiter, and Senior Drill Instructor. The text below this picture reads "What We Produce... Marines!"

View comments that were left about this post on the Sgt Grit Facebook Page.

Celebration Of Life

This was on the table at a Celebration of life for a Marine from the 49th Marines of Mission, British Columbia. Home of the 49th Marines. All those that live above the 49th Parallel, in Canada. Of course, this would include every Navy Corpsman that served with the Marines... our DOC's.

Gerry Flowers

Chicago Marine Birthday

Sgt. Grit,

Does any of your readership know of a good place to hang with Marines in the Chicagoland area on the birthday? I used to go to a place only a few miles away from me in Chicago called "Jarheads", owned by a 'Nam vet everyone called "Sarge". Well, apparently, Sarge retired (or something), and the bar passed into the hands of a different Marine, a young guy (I think he's fresh from the Iraq/Afghan wars), but this young Marine is managing to successfully turn this Marine hangout into a Mexican cowboy bar to more appeal to the local prevailing demographic.

Served peacetime from 1992-1996, then came back in 2002 for another year until I hit service limits. I'm 0311/8152/2111 (and maybe a few others!)

I keep reading of all these places Marines hang out at for birthday celebrations in your newsletter, and was hoping that maybe another Chicagoland Marine could hook me up with a place where a lot of other Marines can hang on the birthday.


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Mail Call

This image was posted on the Sgt Grit Facebook page this week. The image shows a Marine Corps recruit receiving snail mail from his Senior Drill Instructor. The text on the image reads "Mail Call... In today's tech savvy world... Nothing carries the power of a handwritten letter a Marine recruit receives in boot camp... The Memories...".

View comments that were left about this post on the Sgt Grit Facebook Page.


(VOL #10, #2)

I returned to the hotel, got out of the hot Dress Blues and put on a pair of swim trunks to go out to the pool. I swam around for a while and went in to change into something I could wear into the dining room. I went down for something light; had a great turkey club sandwich and an iced tea. I returned to my room, showered and turned in for the night. I planned to leave for home when I arose in the morning. I slept like a log until 0500. I took another shower, got dressed and checked out before 0600. I was on my way home - 600 miles away. I drove a little faster than I did on my way west to Richmond. I planned to make it home by 1800. My first stop, for breakfast, was at the same place Mary and I had stopped the previous Thursday morning. It was quite good. I was back on the road. After I passed Columbus I pulled into a gas station to fill the tank. This would get me to the Midway on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. I don't think the car came to a complete stop until I reached that point. It was just after 1300 when I pulled into the Midway. I filled the tank, checked everything else and went into the restaurant for my last meal before I would be home. I started out on the final leg of this trip just before 1400. I had just four hours to cover about 225 miles. I was on schedule.

I arrived at Mary's house - where I had been staying while my Mom & Dad were on their extended vacation around the United States - at 1755 - just 5 minutes ahead of schedule. The 'B's were happy to see me. They had just finished dinner and asked if I was hungry. I was really starving but said "No, I'll pass this time." They wanted to hear all about my trip - and Mary's entrance into Earlham. I told them everything; where we stopped Wednesday evening; about Mary turning the check in at the Admissions Office; and where we stayed Thursday and Friday night. I told them about taking Mary to The Hollyhock Hill restaurant in Indianapolis. Mrs.'B' said "That must be a very special place to drive 75 miles each way for dinner." Mr. 'B' said "They must serve some d-mned good food. I would never drive that far to eat. I'd starve to death first." When I told them about my Sunday surprise for Mary they thought that was great. Mr. 'B' said "If we had taken her to the college we would have left on Friday, dumped her off on Saturday and returned home on Sunday." Mrs.'B' said "There you go again - saying stupid things. You know quite well that it would not have been that way." He started laughing his head off again. Then he said "Well Harold, I have some good news for you. Do you by any chance remember picking up the newspaper when we were leaving for the beach?" I said "Yes." He asked "Did you by any chance read any of it?" I said "I glanced at the front page." He asked "Do you remember any of what you read?" I thought about this for a moment and said "Yes, I vaguely remember it said something about The Hemlocks being sold." He said "That's it! One of the girls in my firm had written a contract on that property. And while we were in O.C. it was finalized. The sellers then bought a home in Moorestown - through our firm - and moved into their new home while we were still in O.C. I am sure you are wondering what this all means to you. Well, I'll tell you. It was an all cash transaction and it was your parents that purchased 'The Hemlocks'. They moved in while you were on your trip to Richmond. What do you think of that?" I was speechless. There had been much in the press about that property during the process to build the New Jersey Turnpike - which had cut straight thru that property - cutting it into 2 separate parcels.

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

Harold T. Freas, Sr.

Short Rounds

Virtual Wall, you can search by name, state, unit etc...


Motivation. Early.


YOU Will like this

I was stationed at MAB Iwakuni Japan '65 and I remember one main gate the other gate was chained and locked. This gate was close to the quonset hut that was my home for a short time we then moved to brand new barracks. The mess hall was run by Marines with the help of Japanese civilians. It was great to read about someone who was there, but at a different time. Iwakuni brings back fond memories that are not forgotten.

Thanks Sgt (ski) Nowicki!

Semper Fi


"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."
--Attributed to Albert Einstein

"Such is the irresistible nature of truth that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing."
--Thomas Paine

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
--Theodore Roosevelt

"The battle of Iwo Island has been won. The United States Marines by their individual and collective courage have conquered a base which is as necessary to us in our continuing forward movement toward final victory as it was vital to the enemy in staving off ultimate defeat. By their victory, the 3rd, 4th and 5th Marine Divisions and other units of the Fifth Amphibious Corps have made an accounting to their country which only history will be able to value fully. Among the Americans who served on Iwo Island, uncommon valor was a common virtue."
--Admiral Chester W. Nimitz

"No compact among men... can be pronounced everlasting and inviolable, and if I may so express myself, that no wall of words, that no mound of parchment can be so formed as to stand against the sweeping torrent of boundless ambition on the one side, aided by the sapping current of corrupted morals on the other."
--George Washington, draft of first Inaugural Address, 1789

"Who is that tapping on my door? I can't hear you t-rd!"

"Assume the dead bug position." "Ready fall." "Get down & get up."

"Get your little red books out & put it up to your face!"

God Bless the American Dream!
Sgt Grit

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