Two photos of my grandson:
1. Maxwell Austin Charette ("Max", born 4/2/14, Boston MA) shows off his Sgt Grit gear.
2. Max on patrol (at 2 wks. old), prevents enemy activity 2014.
Cpl USMC '68-'70
Get the pictured Devil Pup gear at:
Infant's Marine Red Beanie
USMC Black Long Sleeve Romper
We all save some remnants of our service whether War Souvenir's or pictures of Past Duty we are Proud of. Because I served for 27 years I have lots of Remnants (souvenirs) and have been trying to put it all together on one wall in our home office.
Here is part of the display and I like it as it talks to me from time to time about the past and days of good and bad, showing me... ME... because that's who I was back then. I thought and looked for a long time before I decided on this, it's plain and simple with lots of information, like my PX card from "Nam, my Marine Photographer Card from Recruiting Duty and Korea, My Certificate of Honorable Service from WWII, my Bunk Listing from the ship I returned Home on after Korea.
I said it talks to me and I wonder where the time went and Sooo FAST! The gong hung from Alfa Company Office at 1st Recon in Vietnam, while I didn't serve in "A" Company I thought it a great Worth to Live By. I had the Gong made in Taipei on a visit there year or so later. The gong used in Vietnam was captured from a Viet Cong Unit.
GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired
Dear Sgt Grit,
I went through MCRD San Diego beginning April 1967. A week or two into our time there I was tasked by the Platoon Commander to "read the 'X-2'" every time the Platoon was forming up, but waiting, during any Training Day, e.g., after chow, after Sick Bay for shots, after training sessions, PX runs, etc. The "X-2" was a compilation of tidbits from Marine Corps history that the Platoon Commander (presumably on behalf of the Corps, but no one else seems to remember such an event or document outside of my Platoon) wanted us to know.
After I read it to the Platoon, those already in formation had to recite it back to me, and then I went on to the next fact. The one that has always stuck in my mind was to the effect: "The red stripe on the trousers of the Marine Dress uniform stands for the blood shed by Marines at the Battle of Chapultepec." I've tried for years to obtain a copy, but no one I've ever contacted remembers this document, which was typed on plain paper, with each fact numbered, and then mimeographed or photocopied for use by the Platoon. Do any of your readers remember this document? Is it possible to obtain a copy?
2377xxx, Platoon 363
20 April to 21 June 1967
MCRD San Diego
SGT, USMC, 2881
I have an 11th Marines Nam buddy who was just 'given' an All-Terrain Chair. The picture show Cpl Jerry Hodge, his wife, Beth and Chuck and Annette Lee who delivered the vehicle to him. Jerry heard about them, applied and in a fairly short time got his chairvehicle. He can now go hunting with his grandkids and other outdoor activities.
I'd not heard of the organization until Jerry excitedly mentioned it. Thought some of you might want to look into the organization.
Semper Fi, Jerry, you're a good friend, and I know this has been a real blessing to you.
Super Smart, No Common Sense
Remember that after I lost my father, I was real depressed - and my mom tried to be a mother and a father to me (good intention - but bad move) parents should be parents not friends too!
I was a real nervous - mixed up kid - (she sent me to sleep away camp in North Carolina) for one summer - big mistake - was not ready for it.
Hey Pal - got laid in high school - big deal for me - even as slow as I WAS - was not a great student - but a few teachers inspired me - one biology teacher and a math teacher as well - grades in school - like breathing and firing rapid fire on the range - some bulls eyes - but no groupings.
Marine Corps was my last hurrah - as if I did not make it - I was suicidal if I washed out. Had a lot of problems - was put back - and wound up with an old timer had stripes of a gunny with no crossed rifles! Think he was an old Tech Sgt - before structure changed. He called me in his office and spoke to me firmly - but softly - he was aware of my problems and what type of (sh-tbird) I could end up - but he said he did not care what transpired before I got there to his Platoon, but I was now at a clean slate with God as he saw it - and it was in my hands if I advanced or failed - he said he would not put me back - but break me and send me out in a strait jacket as a babbling idiot - he read my record and said I had one of the highest GCT scores in the whole series - and I was super-smart - but no f-cking common sense - and no backbone or espirit de Corps - as he said - I was told to help others that were not as smart as I was - I tutored the weaker and drilled them on book knowledge needed to advance - and "Lo and Behold", was a quick learner once I got my head out of my azs - I could disassemble and assemble a rifle blindfolded as fast as anybody - and got stamina - and a set of balls - and pride in myself eventually as well.
As graduation was over a Protestant Chaplain named Father Leckie? asked me to address a group of misfits in P O U - they stood in their underwear and had a guard on each hatchway to prevent escaping - and a Corpsman was on duty with a big ape Sgt. (looked like Bluto). I addressed them as I told them I had problems at first - and how I finished the final run with 2 backpacks - and 2 rifles - and dragging a recruit over the finish line in less than allotted time allowed - and how we finished as a platoon.
My Senior DI - a Gunny - as we were released as Platoon 367 - (he called us girls during our boot training - today he said, "Ladies fall out!, that was one of my proudest moments!
Vietnam Era Marine
Until You Die
I know all you Marines out there have some souvenirs of your time in the Corps stashed away in your footlocker at home or wherever. Here is one to think about. About 35 years or so after I graduated from boot camp (Plt 201, Parris Island, April 3, 1973) I began to think about my drill instructors and how much they had instilled the love of God, Country, and Corps into us recruits and how tough their job must have been. So, I decided to try and contact my Senior Drill Instructor, MGySgt Charles "Herbie" Hartzo. I used the Marine locator via HQMC in Washington, wrote a letter to him which HQMC forwarded to him for me. He replied to my letter and we re-established a relationship, although not as intense as our previous one had been! Three years ago he called and said he was driving through Texas and wanted to stop and spend the night, drink some beer, etc. to which I replied with a very enthusiastic Aye Aye! He and his girlfriend did stop, we ate, drank, and talked into the wee hours of the morning. It was actually pretty terrific to do so. Anyway, he promised that they would be passing through again next year, but very close to the time they were supposed to come out, I suddenly got a call from his girlfriend and his daughter that he had a massive heart attack and was in the hospital in Atlanta and not expected to survive. Indeed, he did not. My wife and I drove from Texas to Atlanta, GA to attend his funeral. While we were there and while trying figure out who was going to get what as far as kids/grandkids and his belongings, his daughter and girlfriend presented to me to keep "until you die and then we would like to have it back", my Senior Drill Instructors Campaign Cover (his "Smokey the Bear).
Now, how many of you Marines out there can say they have their SDI's actual campaign cover in their footlocker, or in my case, mounted in a display case? Let's hear about your favorite souvenir that you have out there!
SSgt Bob Tollison
Everyone Needs A Hero
In the July 10th, 2014 - Sgt. Grit Newsletter a story was submitted titled "Kicked out of the Marine Corps" and was just signed "Semper Fi". The writer said she joined the Women Marines. When a person enlists in the Corps (it's just that) it's "I joined the Marine Corps not Women Marines".
The story appears to have been written by a female who claimed to have gone to the Marine Corps OCS (Officer Candidate School), but washed out. In the story she mentions that Women Marines (WMs) were almost unheard of in 1972. Not true, along my side in 1972 were my five very competent female Marine counterparts doing the same work as I did in the Corps. We were assigned to CommCenter, 1st Svc Battalion, First Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, California. These fellow Marines served our Corps with pride and honor.
The author also claims to have been "kicked out" of the Corps. No one is "kicked out" of the Marine Corps unless they really screw up. If they cannot muster academics or the physical portion of any school, class, or assignment then they are professionally discharged with respect and not just "kicked out".
She also claims or mentions to have a high IQ and obviously seems very proud of this and mentions it several times. If this is true then she did not pass the physical agility portion of OSC. Marines are not kicked out of the Corps because they have a high IQ. A GT (General Technical Skills), measures ones word knowledge, paragraph comprehension, and arithmetic reasoning (AR). I know of no Marine who was "kicked out" because they had a high GT score on their ASVAB test. People who cannot cut the Marine Corps for whatever reason go into other branches of the military services as she did. She said one Marine was assigned to her Army unit and did an Army mission. Wrong again, no Marine does an Army mission, they do a Marine mission! A Marine may be TAD to an Army mission, but they are doing a Marine mission by being there.
There is no comparison to Marine Corps General Smedley D. Butler with any Army General as she did. General Smedley Darlington Butler is a Marine General and therefore cannot be compared with or to any Army General. I am glad General Butler is her hero. Everyone needs a hero in their life. General Butler was a step ahead of any officer in any other branch of the service in the history of the US military.
I am sorry to tell the writer she is not a former Marine as she never completed anything offered by the United States Marine Corps. A former Marine title is only given to Marines who have been discharged under honorable conditions.
Semper Fidelis (Latin for always faithful) has been used for many years by many different people and groups of military units. It was coined in Europe and therefore can be seen on many family and military coat of arms. However, in America and the US military, Semper Fidelis is well known to everyone as a Marine Corps saying. A saying used by Marines and Navy Corpsmen assigned to a Marine unit. Semper Fi for a Marine means we are faithful to God, Corps, and Country (not necessarily in this order). I think the Army uses "go Army"!
She is right in that all US military members do fight under one flag, but the Marine Corps stands alone when it comes to their culture, history, honor, respect, and abilities. I am not trying to discredit or discourage her to write more letters. I am just trying to set the record straight from what she is struggling to say in her first installment of letters to the editor.
I do respect and thank her for her service in the U.S. Army to our country.
Sgt of Marines
Upon reading Cpl. Selders letter regarding the inspection he and his platoon stood in 11/60 for Gen Shoup and Gen Krulak it brought memories of my recruit platoon 311 at MCRD San Diego to the forefront. As the Honor Platoon we stood an inspection by the Battalion Commanding Officer of MCRD in May 1961 and low and behold he was accompanied by Gen. Krulak who was the CO of MCRD at the time. He made a special point of taking his time with my inspection in as much as I was the Honor Man. All you could see was the brim of his barracks cover which "scrambled eggs" galore, it seemed like an eternity for him to satisfy himself of my being "squared away" and ready to join his beloved Corps. Fruit salad covered his chest unlike any I saw previously or thereafter.
What a rush it was for a raw Marine to be in the presence of a Corps legendary hero. I was in awe and still to this day feel so honored to have had that moment in my life.
Plan To Jump
My name is Peter JUISTO, 1444xxx, retired Gunnery Sergeant, USMC. I totally agree with all the opinions noted in this email. I just turned 80 yrs. old & plan to jump out of an airplane in the middle of August. I have my 2 sons, ages 43 & 34, my granddaughter, 18 yrs. old joining me. To add to that, a newspaper reporter is also making the jump with me. Notification was made to two TV stations & they will cover me with cameras & give me an on camera interview... many of my friends will attend & support the event. I'm trying to inspire people my age to leave the TV "REMOTE" behind & get out of the house. Too many seniors are spending much of their time as a "COUCH POTATO"... To all my MARINES out there... USMC FOREVER... OOoooRAH/SEMPER FI...
What Kinda Guys Go In The Marines?
I had what I felt was an interesting thought the other day at the supermarket when my wife and I had gone grocery shopping. She informed me she wanted to look at a few other things and that I should go sit somewhere for a few minutes (translation: get lost for a while). I pushed our loaded shopping cart to a wooden bench in the entryway where a slight air-conditioned breeze from inside the store wafted through. I sat, removed my utility cover, mopped my brow with a handkerchief, and wondered how long she would be diddling around 'looking at other things'. I put my cover back on and tried to get comfortable, as much as my arthritis on a hard wooden bench would allow. I dug out my crossword puzzle book.
"Hey, Mister, were you... umm... like, a Marine?" I turned to see a young boy of maybe eight or ten year's old standing near the end of my bench clutching a soccer ball. Maybe he thought all old Marines were miserable grouches. "Yes, son, I sure was," I said with a smile, "a long time ago". He was wide-eyed. "Cool! Were you then like, in World War Two 'er somethin'? Did'ja win any medals?" "Son, I'm old, but I'm not quite that old!" I said laughing, "I was in the Marine Corps in 1963. Not much older than you are now. The only medal I won was for Expert Rifleman, but a lot of guys got those." "My grampa was in the Vietnam War," he said plopping down on the end of the bench, "he was a Marine too." "Oh, well then, tell your grampa another old Marine said 'Semper Fi!" "Oh," the kid said, "I can't, he's dead." "Geez, kid, I'm really sorry." "Oh, that's okay. He died a long time ago. He was way cool! Hey, can I ask you somethin'?" "Sure! What do you want to know?" "What kinda guys get to go in the Marines? Do ya gotta like, be really tough 'er sumpthin'?" "Well..." his question caught me off guard for a moment. I was about to give a stock answer for his question: only the best of the very best get to be Marines. Immediately, I thought about the men of Platoon 275 a little over 51 years ago. Men? We were just mainstream American boys. Most of us were immature adolescents barely out of puberty packed into the bus from San Diego International Airport to Marine Corps Recruit Depot. We were anxious and sweating, trying to be cool and impress our peers with nervous chatter. Someone farted loudly and everyone tee-heed. We tried hard not to show our fear and apprehension for the Big Unknown looming just minutes ahead.
I distinctly remember some loudmouth telling us, "Hey, man! All you gotta do is just show those sergeants you ain't takin' no sh-t from 'em an' they'll leave you alone! Guar-an-teed!" He sounded rather experienced and while I heard his advice, I considered myself fortunate I didn't act on it. In fact, I never saw anyone who did. It is difficult to be a tough guy with two large NCO's screaming at the top of their lungs in your ears.
Most of us were fresh out of high school and several were high school dropouts. There were three whom a judge had ordered, "Go in the Marine Corps or go to jail!" A few Don Juan types tried to convince of us they were God's gift to women. A couple others argued incessantly over the coolest way to customize a '57 Chevy. Some had been quite popular in high school; a class president, one of the starting five on the basketball team and another told us he was the captain of the football team in his school. Some saw themselves as tough bad-azzes and one loner told us in heavily accented English he was a 'Pachuco' in some LA gang.
We had 'fraidy-cats, cowards, bullies and two who immediately endeared themselves to everyone by being complete azsholes. We ranged in size from 120-pound, five-foot-six feathermerchants to 250-pound lard-azzes at six-feet-six with every size in between, including scrawny kids and those with a roll of flab around their middle. Many of these lard-azzes would end up at the "Fat Farm" on a near-starvation diet of greens and PT'd to the point of exhaustion.
Several were the "nerdy" type, although the term "nerd" didn't exist in 1963 that I'm aware. Perhaps these nerds had been bullied in school and joined the Marines to learn how to be tough. One guy was a super brain in that he seemed to know something about everything. Some were bookworms but others were dumber than boxes of doorknobs. There were the ignorant, the shy, the timid and the dumb-azzes. Three of the recruits couldn't write their own names while another had two years of college and at 21-years old, he would be dubbed "the old man" of Platoon 275. Many were perpetual screw-ups whom the DI's tagged as "Sh-tbirds". Some thought of themselves as hilarious comedians and others had the sense of humor of a truckload of manure. There was one very odd guy everyone thought had read too many Superman comic books. One was a well-mannered, meek, soft-spoken and small-framed lad who was always cleaning his thick glasses. He would be the platoon's high shooter scoring a 234 on Record Day. Several others had all the savoir-faire and refinement of Neanderthals. Some were oafs, or boneheads or birdbrains who could screw up a free lunch. Several came out of poverty-stricken homes or the ghettos arriving at MCRD wearing the only ragged clothes they owned. We had egocentrics, athletes and one man whose family were multi-millionaires. He told us he enlisted to get out from under their rigid control.
There were a couple amateur crooks, thieves, shoplifters, thugs, guys with prior records trying to get a fresh start, religious zealots, "Honest Abe's", liars, bullsh-tters, racists, and gamblers. In the civilian world, we had been grocery store clerks, hamburger flippers, farmers, mechanics, construction workers, gas pumpers, carpenters, laborers, plumbers, cowboys, food store stockers, janitors, miners, workers in family-owned businesses or unemployed. In fact one man told us he enlisted because his unemployment ran out.
Some were fanatical neatniks while others were slobs delighting in squalor. The slobs would soon clash with the DI's and will lose. Some were puny, bad-postured and sickly-looking and one very well-muscled weightlifter. Oddly enough, the weightlifter nearly failed the PT test. A handful were mentally strong and were destined to become good NCO's and officers while others appeared on the verge of breaking down in tears. Some actually did. There were hard-hearted and softhearted ones, the merciless and cruel, the generous and kind, spendthrifts and misers. One or two were movie-star handsome, but whose beautiful wavy hair would end up on the barber's floor along with everyone else's. Other guys were plain b-tt ugly, plagued with rampaging acne, buck-teeth and near-sightedness. A few were devout pacifists and others who loved to pick fights.
We were from a dozen ethnic origins. I heard subtle accents from geographic background as varied as their personalities; New England nasal twangs, the 'yawl' of the southern states, the slow speech from the west, the omnipresent "eh?" of the northern states along the Canadian border. Two Latinos spoke Spanish softly to one another the entire trip. Several had accents of first and second generation Latinos, Germans, Latvians, French-Canadians, Ethiopians, Chinese, Japanese, Czechs, Samoans and Italians. One young man with a thick brogue had been a Catholic priest in Ireland and had left the church to join the Marine Corps. It was anyone's guess as to why. Our skin pigmentations ranged from milk-white Scandinavian to Ivory Coast black. Nonetheless, we were all American kids and for the most part were pretty good guys.
We were identical to the thousands of other recruits arriving at any of the Army, Navy or Air Force recruit training bases. However, the Marine recruits began a marked difference from the other services' recruits within mere seconds upon arrival at MCRD. This marked difference would be immediate and by no means subtle. With the loud hiss of the air brakes, the bus stopped in front of Receiving Barracks. I braced myself. I was sure now was when some husky, rock-jawed sergeant would board the bus, giving us the old John Wayne evil-eye and administer a five minute 'Gung Ho' speech that we would become Marines because we had a big job to do defending our country against the enemyâ€”whoever they might be. Not even close.
The door swished open and a tall, thin Marine Sergeant in a Smokey Bear hat pulled low over his eyes jumped aboard and immediately roared out just ten words that rattled every corner of the bus: "You People Get Your Stupid Azzes Off My F-cking Bus!" I was terrified! It was not supposed to be like this! In a space of four seconds, I came to the full realization that every scrap of information I had gleaned from Marine books and movies went right out the window. As one of the recruits shot past me heading for the door, I noted with grim satisfaction it was the same guy who had told us, "Don't take no sh-t from the sergeants and they will leave you alone!" He was as white as a sheet. We had arrived at the portals of the United States Marine Corps from which there would be no going back. Ever. Oh, dear God, what have I done?
I looked back at the young man sitting on the end of the bench awaiting my answer to his question; "What kinda guys get to go in the Marines?" "Son," I said, "they were the best of the very best."
Treasure The Legacy
Navajo Code Talkers Day
The Navajo Code Talkers whose ranks exceeded 400 during the course of World War II in the Pacific Theater took part in every assault the United States Marines conducted from 1942 to 1945. They served in all six Marine divisions, Marine Raider battalions and Marine parachute units, transmitting messages by telephone and radio in their native language -- a code that the Japanese never broke. The Navajo Code Talkers served in the United States Marine Corps for America and for the world with integrity.
It took 37 years for the United States government to acknowledge the war efforts of the Navajo Code Talkers in World War II, when President Ronald Reagan in 1982 designated August 14 as National Navajo Code Talkers Day.
On August 14, 2014, the Descendants of the Navajo Code Talkers will commemorate the legacy of these brave young Navajo men who answered the call to duty and helped devise the unbreakable and undecipherable military code based on the Navajo language only spoken on Navajo lands and most importantly assisted the United States win battle after battle as it fought to retake the Pacific from the Japanese. During World War II, when secret orders had to be given over the phone these boys talked to one another in Navajo. Practically noone in the world understood Navajo, an unwritten language of extreme complexity, except another Navajo. The code that was developed was so complex that not even another Navajo taken prisoner by the Japanese and under threat of torture could penetrate it. Their code was reliable and secure.
It is important that the accomplishment of this group of men is never forgotten because it was their language that changed the tide of the war. These Marines were young boys when they enlisted and some of them lied about their age. If it weren't for them, the United States would not have won World War II. Battle-ready radiomen were still being produced when Japan surrendered in August 1945. August 14 is a reminder of the importance of the Navajo language and the code talker legacy. They saved thousands and thousands of Marines in World War II. On Iwo Jima, Navajo Code Talkers transmitted messages from the beach todivision and Corps commands afloat early on D-day, and after the division commands came ashore from division ashore to Corps afloat. "Were it not for the Navajo Code Talkers, the Marines would never have taken Iwo Jima and other places."
The courage of these warriors and the extraordinary value of their wartime service to our Nation will always be honored. Language is the most effective means we have to transmit values, beliefs, and collective memories from one generation to the next. "We need to preserve our language, culture and traditions." We must work to preserve the rich, ancient languages used to preserve our freedom... Let us treasure their legacy.
On National Navajo Code Talkers Day, all Americans are encouraged to join in commemorating the Navajo Code Talkers, a National Treasure, by taking a moment to pray for all our war heroes and the brave military men and women who protect all our people, our freedom and our land today.
Parade (staging at Navajo Nation Museum Parking Lot) will start at 9:15 a.m. If you will be in the parade, please arrive no later than 8:30 a.m. A welcome prayer will be held at 9:00 a.m. Parade ends at Memorial Park. The parade is free and open to all veterans, auxiliary members, color guards and marching units, and the wearing of uniforms is encouraged.
At approximately 10:00 a.m., the commemoration ceremony, held at Navajo Veterans' Park, will begin with presentation of colors, wreath laying, remembrance/reverence and speeches. Lunch will be provided.
Gourd dance is scheduled.
To enter the parade, please contact Michael 928-871-6763.
For further information or updates, please monitor Facebook page "Our Navajo Code Talkers".
Called Double Teaming
Been following the hearing problem stories. I will throw in my 2 cents. Rifle and pistol ranges many times; no hearing protection available; offered, or recommended. 11th Marines 105 battery many months of 4 days a week in the field (FDC & FO radio operator) at a minimum listening to 105s, 155s, 8 inchers, and 4.2s fire round after round. Air Wing MCAS Yuma and days working at the end of the runways on radar gear while A4s, F4s, F8s etc. roared off 1, 2, 4 at a time in full AB. BTW, how about us Hollywood Marines living just off the San Diego Lindbergh field and jet after jet! Did I mention that the Electronics school at MCRD was right at the end of the same runways at Lindbergh field! My ears are toast. They started ringing almost from day 1. I do not remember any hearing tests ever; but I am old.
Been going to the VA for health care for years. About 3 years ago my Doc asked my wife (who goes with me to the DOC to keep me honest) if there were any issues she wanted to have checked that I had not mentioned. No giggling; it has happened to most of you! My wife told the Doc that I can't hear a d-mn thing. BTW my primary care Doc was a female; she immediately (it is called double teaming and is a despicable act!) did a referral to audiology. The ear Doc confirmed that I was just shy of deaf. She informs me that I will be getting hearing aids. I asked what is this going to cost (so I could tell my wife we couldn't afford the fix as my excuse for NO hearing aids)? I also informed her that I was not service connected disabled or a combat vet. The ear Doc told me that it made no difference because Bush had signed a bill in 2008 that guaranteed any vet the needs hearing aids gets them. I did not pay a dime period, and I have to admit that I should have done this long ago.
For you guys that need 'em I would surely check into this. I and many of my friends have had the same results, so I assume the DOC was not sh-----g me.
Wayne Mailhiot 1980XXX
MCRDSD Plt. 175 C Co. 1st BN. RTR Sept 1961-Dec. 1961
C Co. 1st BN., 2nd ITR, Camp Pendleton Dec 14- Feb 2, 1962
H-3-11 2531 Fld. Radio operator Camp Pendleton Mar. 1962-Feb 1963
Comm-Elect School Bn. Mar 1963-Jan 1964
Aviation Radar Technician AN/TPS37 MACS 1 MCAS Yuma, AZ Jan 1964-Dec
TAD Comm-Elect School Bn. Dec 1964-Mar 1965
5941 Aviation Radar Technician AN/TPS34 MACS 1 MCAS Yuma, AZ Mar
Honorably Discharged 17 Jan 1966
while on vacation in South Carolina 11 July 2014 had the pleasure of visiting MCRD, Parris Island. It has been almost 55 years ago - December 1958 that Platoon 347, 3rdBn. graduated. One of my sons, son-in-law and two grandsons attended graduation of six platoons. The Marine band was awesome -- what a fantastic display. Every Marine should make an effort to see today's graduation service.
Was also surprised to see how PFC stripes are awarded by meritorious promotion by referring qualified applicants for enlistment to their recruiter. A PFC requires only two referrals for promotion to lance corporal.
Cpl David A. LeVine 16900XX 2531
The DISBURSING CHIEF
(Vol #7, #4)
I opened the door and got out. I got back in - upside down - with my shoulders on the foot pedals and my legs over the back of the seat. I was looking up behind the dash. I could see the bulb that was flickering - and two others that were hanging down. I pushed each of them into their sockets. Kitty exclaimed "Oh, my God, the dash is beautiful; maybe I will learn to like this tank after all." I got up and said I was going to get some fresh air. She joined me and asked "How did you learn to do that?" I said "It just took a wee, little bit of intelligence to figure it out. I guess it was something your husband must not have had." She said "I agree with that." I then told her "I did not complain about your perfume. It had permeated my head and I could not figure out what it was. That is one I had never smelled before. I knew Chanel No.5 and the one that made my girlfriend a 'Supermodel' - Prince Matchabelli, but not the one you are wearing. It is really quite nice. I like it. What is it?" She said "It is Shalimar. I'm glad you like it. I will use it whenever we are together." I said "I hope that's often! Now get closer so I can smell it some more." She moved closer and I put my arms around her. I said "Now, give me a kiss." She pulled away and said "Not now." We got back into the car - and she moved right back against me - as before. She kissed me on my ear and said "That's for fixing the dash." We headed north.
I said "it's 2200 - and I have to get you up to Garfield St, catch a taxi to Union Station and be on board the Midniter before 2400. We crossed the 14th St Bridge at exactly 2300. She said "If you take me up to Garfield St. you'll never make it to the train on time. Take me to the Ambassador Hotel. I'll go home from there in the morning. I did as she suggested. We were at the hotel at 2320. She checked in. I got her into room #912 by 2330. I put my arms around her and pulled her close. She thanked me for a wonderful trip and we had one, big, long heavenly kiss. I started to leave and she said "Let's have another one of those." We did. I had to go. I reached the ticket agent about 2350 and told him "One to 30th St Station on the last train out." He had pushed the button when I told him my destination and the ticket shot out as he made change. He said "You'll have to run fast. The last train left at 11:00 o'clock. I said "The Railway Guide says it leaves at midnight." He said that after the Guide went to press the Midniter was cancelled. He said the next train leaves at 3:00 AM - and the hourly trains resume at 6:00 AM. I took the ticket and told him I would decide which one I would take. I called home and told my Dad that he could go to bed - the train was cancelled. I suggested that he meet me at 9:00 AM - and maybe he could bring Mom along for the ride. He said "Okay!" I returned to the Ambassador; checked into Room #914.
'til 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, #11 (Nov 2019)
Part # 4: (VMO-6, cont.)
During the later part of 1966, VMO-6 received the O-1 "Bird Dogs" and subsequently OV-10 Broncos fixed wing aircraft to carry out observation and forward air control duties, freeing the Huey helicopters from those roles. In May,1969, VMO-6 set a monthly record of 3,191.7 flying hours averaging over 100 hours per day between Huey, Bird Dog and Bronco Aircraft. This was the apex of the squadrons combat activity though, for later that year, during September and October, the squadron was movef to Okinawa, Japan due to President Nixon's draw down plan of U.S. Troop assets in Vietnam. For the next five (5) years VMO-6's Broncos trained MARINES in Japan, ready to return to combat, if needed. The call never happened, and on Jan. 1, 1977 , VMO-6 was deactivated, it's personnel and aircraft absorbed into other units.
VMO-6's memorial service and monument dedication ceremony at Quantico, Virgina commenced on Thursday, May 17th, 2012. A large group of Vietnam Veterans with many of the families and friends joined several relatives of deceased squadron members at the National MARINE CORPS museum. The first part of the ceremony was held inside of the building, in it's main atrium. Behind the speakers podium was a Sikorsky HRS-1 helicopter, the type used in the Korean War two years after the ground breaking work that VMO-6 performed with early helicopters in 1950. Nearby a truly historic VMO-6 helicopter is displayed. helicopter is displayed, the actual UH-1E helicopter that Capt Stephen Pless flew when he received the Congressional Medal of Honor over the entrance to the museums Vietnam Gallery.
Retired MARINE Colonel and former VMO-6 Helicopter Pilot Larry Wright served as the Master of Ceremonies with the local MARINE CORPS Base Quantico Color Guard and MARINE Band supporting the program. Navy Chaplain John Hannigan gave the opening invocation before MARINE Brigadier General Michael Rosco recounted some key moments in MARINE aviation history and reminded those assembled that the reason for MARINE Aviation is to support the troops on the ground.
Then three former VMO-6 members, Larry Wright, Dave Bushlow, and Red Trivette read the names of the sixty-six (66) squadron members who were lost in combat, grouped together by the conflict that they died in. After each group of names were read, a MARINE rang a bell three times in a time honored salute. The indoor ceremony was concluded with a prayer of remembrance and ceremonial music.
The program continued outside the museum after the attendees walked in a long line behind Bag-Piper Norm Weaver to the black granite VMO-6 monument in the adjacent SEMPER FIDELIS Memorial Park.
Looking for Plt.56---1957, Graduation book for the wife of a Marine, who lost her husband.
Please email me at: cplhet200[at]gmail.com
Semper Fi, Sgt. Grit!
The recent mailbag had a contribution about 'stories we could tell'. I guess every Marine has lots of stories and that reminded me of what some now-long-forgotten instructor taught us early on in flight school. Question was: What's the difference between a sea story and a fairy tale? A fairy tale starts out, Once upon a time... A sea story starts out, This is a no-sh-tter...
Former F-4 RIO
I wish to chime in on the "Hearing the Phantom Sounds" article in your 7/17/14 newsletter. I too was an 0331 & served with 3/7 & 3/5 near LZ Ross & LZ Baldy in '69. I loss some of my hearing & failed several hearing tests when leaving the Corps. No big deal â€“ Everything I did in the Corps I'd do it all over again.
Keep up the good work, Grit. I'll make sure I stop by & see you when I'm in Oklahoma City.
Corporal John P. Sitek
I'd like stories from Marines that are first person accounts of their being disrespected, spit on or attacked by civilians who hold the military in contempt, and how they responded."
Robert A. Hall
Former SSgt, USMC
This quote by Gen. James Mattis reads: "When I was a young officer in 1979, I toured what was known as "The Killing Fields" in Cambodia. This is the area where the Khmer Rouge killed off nearly a quarter of the Cambodian population, something like 1.9 million people in just a few years. My guide told me that they started by rounding up all of the teachers. They wanted to extinguish free thought, and the spark of questioning and dissent. Because, to a Totalitarian dictator, an open and inquisitive mind is more dangerous even than a Marine with a rifle."
"In the United States, as soon as a man has acquired some education an pecuniary resources, he either endeavors to get rich by commerce or industry, or he buys land in the bush and turns pioneer. All that he asks of the state is, not to be disturbed in his toil, and to be secure of his earnings."
--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America 
"Entirely satisfied if we gave 100% And entirely dissatisfied if we gave 99% And those [noncommissioned officers] taught us the great pleasure of doing what others thought impossible."
"So long as our Corps fields such Marines, America has nothing to fear from tyrants, be they Fascists, Communists or Tyrants with Medieval Ideology. For we serve in a Corps with no institutional confusion about our purpose: To fight! To fight well!"
"Now this award can never be mine â€“ And because we are members of the same tribe, every one of you knows what I will say next... For I am grateful & humbled to be singled out with you tonight."
"For to Marines, love of liberty is not an empty phrase... Rather it's displayed by blood, sweat and tears for the fallen."
--General James (MadDog) Mattis
"Courage is knowing what not to fear."
All the Constitution Guarantees is the Pursuit of Happiness..."
"PT is strictly mind over matter, I don't mind and you don't matter."
"Close it up, Move it. Azzholes to elbows. Close it up."
"The more we sweat in peace, the less we bleed in war."
"Dinosaur Rule"... "Adapt or Die!" "You will adapt, or you will answer to me. Do you understand you bunch of low-life roots?"
Semper Fi, Mac!