Sgt Grit Newsletter 20 NOV 2014

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 20 NOV 2014

In this issue:
• The Duke, Chu Lai 1966
• Improvised Detector Dog
• Lejeune (luh-jern)

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Cpl Jahnoff and Navajo Code Talker Samuel Holiday

What a wonderful 239th Marine Corps birthday event:

This morning I met and conversed with an ultimate WWII Marine Corps Pacific War veteran, Navajo Code Talker SAMUEL HOLIDAY!

This Marine was at the American Legion Post in Wickenburg, AZ, promoting his book, "Under The Eagle". My wife Shirley and I spoke for some time with 90 year old Samuel and his daughter, Lupita. Lord, he seemed to be wearing as many ribbons as Col. Puller!

I have to admit it folks, meeting and talking with this combat vet of, among other places, Kwajalein, Saipan, Tinian and Iwo Jima was a truly heart-grabbing experience!


Cpl. Carl Johnoff, 1956-present.

Another Glorious Day In The Corps

Sir! We wish to thank the Drill Instructors for another glorious day in the Marine Corps where every day is a holiday, every meal is a feast, and every paycheck is a fortune!

Gung Ho!
Gung Ho!
Gung Ho!

Norm Spilleth

Drill Instructors PI 1960

The Duke, Chu Lai 1966

The Duke in country blowing the froth off a couple with the Troops. Bringing a whole new meaning to "The Few​".

John Ratomski

The Duke John Wayne In Chu Lai, Vietnam

USMC Grunt Coin

Improvised Detector Dog

Marine Veteran Anthony Marquez

Allie IDD Dog

So Allie was an IDD dog which is an "improvised explosive detector dog" she did 4 combat deployments with Marine units. I was her handler from January 2011 to October 2011. We were deployed to Sangin, Afghanistan from late march 2011 to October 19th 2011 with 1st Platoon, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines. She recently was retired from active duty where I was contacted and adopted her from the IDD program where I had to pick her up in Jackson Springs, North Carolina. Now she's just relaxing and living a dog's life.

Anthony Marquez
Afghanistan Vet

Sgt Jason Pacheco

Sgt Pacheco was shot by a sniper and ended up losing his leg, so he got a new one... and then, he signed up for his second tour in Iraq!

This is what we call Out-friggin'-standing!

Marine Veteran Sgt Jason Pacheco

Marine Corps Tie Knot

My tie knot.

Sgt Denny Krause
Vietnam 65 and Paris Embassy

Sgt Denny Krause with his Marine Corps tie knot

I Didn't Realize

I left college on a leave of absence in January, 1971. While waiting the four months before leaving for Parris Island, I was an orderly in the men's wing of a rehab hospital. One of my patients was an elderly man who was recovering from a knee replacement. In passing, I found out the he had been a Marine machine gunner in WWI. If only I knew then what I know now I would have taken more time to reminisce with him. I didn't realize that I was caring for one of the heroes from our illustrious past.

Bob Hunt
Major (Mustang)

Montford Point U.S. Marines

They were the first African Americans to serve as U.S. Marines. There are over 40 chapters nationwide. We are starting a chapter he in Greenville, Mississippi. Montford Point Marines are a non-profit organization dedicated to uplifting Veterans of all branches and supporting the communities in which we live.

To join you must have received an honorable discharge from any branch of the Armed Services. To find out more, call former Lance Corporal Ralph Jones at: (662) 822-2546. View the national website at:

We will start a Montford Point Marines Women's Auxillery. We don't need all of your time, just what you can contribute.

Marine Fishing Joke

The rain was pouring and there was a big puddle in front of the pub just outside the Navy Base. A ragged old Marine Gunnery Sgt. was standing near the edge with a fishing rod, his line in the puddle. A curious young Navy fighter pilot came over to him and asked what he was doing.

"Fishing," the old guy simply said.
"Poor old fool," the Navy officer thought and he invited the ragged old Marine into the pub for a drink. As he felt he should start some conversation while they were sipping their whisky, the smart-ass fighter pilot asked, "And how many have you caught?" "You're the eighth," the old Marine Gunny answered.


Submitted by:
Sgt John Wear
Vietnam Tanker

Veteran Suicide Prevention Challenge​

Tony Hogrefe, great job in this vid!

View this at Veteran Suicide Prevention Challenge.

Vietnam Veteran

Cpl Peterson aboard ship

Cpl Peterson shaving next to jeep in Vietnam

Memories of my time in service.

Semper Fi
Cpl D.E. Peterson

Lejeune (luh-jern)

The Lejeune (luh-jern) family would like respect & honor returned to the General's great name. Herein for your review is the gouge, substantiating that we have a generation who have been, sadly, off target... it is remedial action time as well as time to honor and respect one outstanding leatherneck... please pass the word... the Lejeune (luh-jern) family would love it.

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This Is A Monumental Day

Sgt. Grit,

For me, this is a monumental day. Today, I'm celebrating my 50th Marine Corps Birthday. To many, I'm a boot and 50 birthdays falls short of what many of my Marine brothers have celebrated. Unless you have been there, it's impossible to explain life as Marine. I think the easiest way to explain it is to say that: Every formation is a family get-together, every meal is a banquet, and every night is a Saturday night.

I've been retired from the "Corps" longer than I was on active duty, but I continue to long for those foot-loose, fancy-free days when my only responsibility was to my fellow Marines, God, "Corps" and country (not necessarily in that order). Life seemed so much easier then. I had much less money in my pocket then than I do now, but OH - the good times. I've had the pleasure of traveling to 38 different countries as an Infantry Marine, on many different missions, usually training. Then there are the cities - from Subic Bay, Olongopo (sic) around the world to Venice and Rome, Italy, Athens, Greece, Hong Kong and many more in between, crossed the equator twice.

Needless to say, the incredible, disciplined, courageous, Marines I've had the professional pleasure to serve with are much too numerous to list here. Your newsletter just isn't big enough to list them all. Suffice it to write that I've served with Medal of Honor recipients, as well as some of lesser renown, but all were Marines (title earned not given) dedicated to the values we hold so dear.

Least I not forget that there were some bad times too. I saw Marines die in far away lands. My hurt continues to go out to the families who lost their Marine in combat because of Marines' dedication to God, "Corps" and country. I don't see that changing any time soon. I don't remember all their names, but I vividly remember the agony we all experienced because of the loss of a Marine brother. There is no drug of any type that can assuage the grief of those tough times.

No, I'm not crying in my beer. I'm thankful to have lived the life I have lived.

Now, to my reason for writing - I wish to all my fellow Marines a very, very Happy Birthday. I'm honored to hold the title Marine. I'm honored to be a small part of the Marine brotherhood. All will die someday, but we will die MARINES, now and forever.

Semper Fi,
A former "Hat"
GySgt, USMC, (Ret)

A Game Of Hide-And-Seek


This photo was posted on the Sgt Grit Facebook page this past week. It displays a Marine holding a combat shotgun while looking around a corner. The text on the photo reads "When is a game of hide-and-seek not fair? When you choose to play the game with a U.S. Marine! Semper Fi!"

Here are some of the responses left by fans of our Facebook page:

Mark Hayes - use the mark19 to find their dumb azses.

Howard Andrews - Ali Ali in free!

Raul-Maria Garza - Lock and load!

David Miller Lesley - Oh hell ya... Blackhearts love playing this game.

Rock Hornbuckle - I still prefer the original WWI "trench gun" used by the Marines in France. The model 97 Winchester. We used the M870 in Vietnam.

Aaron Baltosser - Tag, you're it!

View more of the comment that were left about this post on the Sgt Grit Facebook Page.

Edenton, NC

In reference to the letter from Sgt R.Nowicki, I arrived at USMC air station Edenton, NC during October 1957. I had just completed ATA school Memphis, TN, Naval air station and was assigned to VMA 211. We were just recieving the A4 Skyhawks as were VMA 225 the other group stationed at Edenton. It was great duty at the time but then during 1958 the base was going to close and the 2 squadrons were sent to EL Toro. I was transferred to H&MS14 and went to Cherry Point after the base was closed in late '58. I got out in '59 when the Marines were doing a severe cut back. I passed thru Edenton about 5 years ago and it is now a beautiful small town very different from when I would go on liberty there. The air station is now a small county airport.

Semper Fi
Bob Sullivan (Sully)

Platoon 428, 1952​

I am the proud 59 year wife of a retired USMC Mustang Major. 3 years ago he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease and his short term memory is almost totally gone. However, we were fortunate enough to attend MCRD Graduation 2 weeks ago. He was a particpant there 62 years ago (Platoon 428, 1952, San Diego) and it brought back so many memories for him. His Drill Instructors were Sgt. R. M. Latham and Sgt. J. C. McCormack. He has a photo of the platoon but does not have the book. If there is anyone out there who has a copy they would sell, I would pay any price for it as it would be the very best gift for him under the tree. It would bring back so many memories for him as he is so proud to be a Marine, and I know those memories will stay with him long after others are gone!

My husband, Ron, served in Viet Nam at An Hoa in '69-'70 & would love to hear from his fellow Marines who served there with him in the 5th Marines. He does not read the newsletter much anymore, but I read it faithfully and call his attention to various items. Thanks again for all you do and God bless you and Yours​.

Bernice Delabarre

MCM Skydive

Sgt Grit,

Check out the link below from the MCM skydive we did in D.C. two weeks ago. Cpl Carpenter (Medal of Honor) is a super representative of our Country and Corps...

We got to see D.C. from a perspective few others will ever see...

Sadly, the clip editor can't spell "Corps".

Semper Fidelis,

P.S. Always enjoy your newsletters...

​View the video at Team Fastrax opens the Marine Corp Marathon 2014

Duck And Deer Hunting In Korea

I went to Korea ending up at 1st Combat Service Group, we furnished weapons to the lines and once had to ready (60) .50 caliber machine guns and (50) .30 caliber machine guns to the lines. Weapons put in storage at that time were covered with Cosmoline (a tar like substance) and had to be soaked in solvent to get the cosmoline off (we didn't have any solvent so we used gasoline.) Many of the weapons were from WWII, (having been stored since then and had to be repaired as well), they were soaked in Gasoline. We wore rubber aprons but still were soaked with gasoline from head to toe.

We worked for over 24 hours to get the weapons to the lines for the latest battles with Communist Forces of North Korea. There were other times we worked day and night to supply weapons and what ever was needed, sometimes we had to help supply to get weapons or other supplies ready to ship by truck or plane. Thirty days before I was to return home, I was sent to a Fire Station in Masan where we drove Six-By trucks converted to Fire Trucks that held about a thousand gallons of water.

We were sent to the docks when wood stored by Koreans for Winter somehow had started burning. I took one truck and pushed piles of the burning wood into the water. Koreans went out in boats trying to save as much wood as they could. We even fought fires at Korean Houses where Kim Chee was buried to ferment. There was an old saying in the Marine Corps that went; "Screwed up like a Chinese Fire Drill." I found the background for that saying. There were no fire hydrants in the streets of cities, but there were manhole covers over water. Going to a fire the Korean Fire Truck would come to one of these man hole covers, a Korean Fireman would jump off the back of the fire truck with a mat to cushion his fall, he carried a hose from the truck and would open a man hole, dropping the hose into the water so it could be sucked out to fight the fire. Our fire fighting methods were so advanced to the Koreans at that time.

There were Korean displaced people that lived as best they could in cardboard box homes. They did whatever and wherever they could to survive the terribly cold winters. Special Services told us we could go hunting. We could hunt the Korean Deer (which were about the size of German sheppard dogs) or we could go duck hunting. We tried the deer hunting and got two deer which were cleaned for us by some Korean farmers (of course we gave them lots of the meat). One of our cooks cooked the meat for our unit.

Then we went duck hunting. The ducks had never been hunted and were in large flocks, you would shoot, flocks of ducks would fly off and you could see where they went. We would drive to that area, fire a shotgun, when they flew up again, we would fire into the flock, then load the dead ducks into the back of a Six-By. We gave away many of the ducks to Koreans on the streets going back to camp. On these hunting expeditions we had to have at least three men armed with M1 Garands in case we were attacked by North Korean Gorilla's which were everywhere, but didn't attack a Marine Hunting Party.

My thirteen months in Korea came to an end. We were loaded on a ship and came home.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired​


Vol #11, #3

We talked and talked and talked until my Mom asked "What can I fix you for lunch?" (My Mom was always wanting to fix me something to eat. She must have thought that I was always hungry. And maybe I was.) I said "Why don't you let me take you two out for lunch?" (I knew this wouldn't work... she never wanted me to spend any money on them.) She went out into the kitchen to fix lunch. I said "I had told the B's I would see them later in the day, but I do not want to interfere with any of their meals. Lets leave here shortly after 2:00. How does that sound?" They said "That's okay." We left at about 2:15.

Dad said "Take my car. It hasn't moved since last Friday and it's a 4-door." I told him "I wish to H-ll mine was. I hate 2-door cars. I just didn't have much of a choice when I bought mine." I told Dad "Take Rt. 38 to Pine St, go left to Branch Ave., then go left again. The B's live just a few doors down on the right." We were there by 2:30. Only Mrs.'B' was home. She called Mr. 'B' and he said he would be there within the hour. As soon as we got to the B's house everyone recognized each other and were certain they had met at my high school graduation. That had to be right as I was unable to attend Mary's graduation in 1948 because I was still in school at Camp Lejeune. Mr.'B' was home before 3:30. He recognized my Mom and Dad instantly. The conversation quickly turned to their kids and the fact that we had been thinking of getting married. (I don't think I had told my parents of this revelation.) And it wasn't too long before Mrs.'B' blurted out "It is really beautiful how they sleep together with their arms all wrapped around each other." I could have crawled under a rock when she said that. My Mom looked at me. I knew that 'sleeping together' meant something else to her. She said nothing but I know she did not like what she had just heard. Mrs.'B' knew that we had chosen to live a Platonic lifestyle and I doubt that my Mom had ever heard the word 'Platonic'. Mrs.'B' soon realized that she had said something she should not have. She explained that she meant when we 'napped' together on the living room sofa. That cleared the air as best as it could under the circumstances.

The B's knew, of course, that we had slept together in Mary's bed upstairs, her Aunt Jen's bed in N.Y.C., in their own bed in Ocean City and at motels and hotels when I took Mary to college, but they had not seen us at those times. It was best that these not be brought up at this time or my mother would have gone into orbit. The B's asked us to stay and have dinner with them. My mother said "We appreciate the invitation but we have plans for dinner." I was not aware of any plans but kept quiet. When we were back in the car I asked Mom "What plans did we make?" She replied "We are eating at home. I wanted to get out of there as politely as possible." I did not wish to join them myself and I guess we managed to get out of there as easily as possible. We were back home by about 1700 and Mom went straight to the kitchen to prepare dinner. She did not say a word about Mary and I 'sleeping together'.

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

Harold T. Freas, Sr.

Lost And Found

If anyone was in Plt. 352 at Parris Island from July to Oct. in 1962, I would like to hear from you. This also includes our Drill Instructors. E-mail me

Thanks Cpl. Art Girvin
USMC Semper Fi​

Short Rounds

The submission in this week's newsletter from Karen Balske brought back a lot of memories. I had the privilege of serving under Capt. Balske when he was CO of Alpha Battery, 2nd LAAM Bn. atthe Stumps. I was his admin. chief from October of 1968 until December of 1969. I recall a proud and dedicated Marine.

Jim Reese
Sgt. '67 to '71

In response to the story about DI SSgt Blankenship, I recall serving in Viet Nam '66-'67 with a Sgt Blankenship. I was assigned to 1st Marine Regt, S-2 and I believe he was with S-3. I don't know if they are the same person. It might be a "small world".

J Kanavy, Cpl

I really enjoyed the video, "Welcome Home" in your newsletter of November 12th. I'm glad our Military men and women of all the services are welcomed home in this beautiful manner. I hope it never changes. Sure beats the heck out of the way we were received coming back from 'Nam. Semper Fi to all my brothers and sisters.

GySgt J.J. Hinojosa, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)
Pain is just fear leaving the body.

"If the Marine Corps wanted you to have a wife, they would have issued you one."

Thank goodness they don't. Like everything else issued in boot camp, you'd have to have it altered eventually.

John H. Hardin

I would like to wish the Marines past and present a Happy Birthday. It was an Honor to serve with the best.

Semper Fi,
Joe "Doc" Garcia
India Co 3/9 Viet Nam '65-'66

​Go have a slice (or two) of birthday cake and (if you are a good litle Marine) maybe a small drink to wash it down. Celebrate as you have earned it!

Gary L. COON
MSgt USMC (Ret)
0902, 10 Nov 14


"Marines know how to use their bayonets. Army bayonets may as well be paper-weights."
--Navy Times; November 1994

"The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits."
--Albert Einstein​

"Why in hell can't the Army do it if the Marines can. They are the same kind of men; why can't they be like Marines."
--Gen. John J. "Black Jack" Pershing, USA; 12 February 1918

Thomas Jefferson Quote

"The United States Marine Corps, with its fiercely proud tradition of excellence in combat, its hallowed rituals, and its unbending code of honor, is part of the fabric of American myth."
--Thomas E. Ricks; Making the Corps, 1997

"You best get your f-cking eyeballs off me... do you have cranial rectal inversion."

"There will only be 7 planets left after I destroy uranus!"

"You eye-f-cking me boy?"

God Bless the American Dream!
Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit

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