Sgt Grit Newsletter 16 October 2016

The Rock and Racks
by Norm Spilleth

Left to right, PFC Phil Liguori, PFC Norm Spilleth, PFC Bill Jones, in the second deck squad bay of the VMA-212 barracks wearing our 782 gear after returning from our physical readiness test, sometime in 1963.
photo from Norm Spilleth

We called it "The Rock" and counted the days when we would rotate back to the land of the big PX. Hawaii wasn't exactly the paradise we expected. The Marine Corps Base at Kaneohe is on a peninsula that forms Kaneohe Bay, with the Pali Mountains as a backdrop. The Air Wing enlisted barracks were a group of two story flat roofed, stucco buildings with open squad bays that were connected by breezeways. The VMA-212 barracks had the MPs on one side and the helo boys from HMM161 on the other. Next to the HMM-161 barracks was the mess hall. The front of the buildings faced a grassy drill field ringed with banyan trees. On the other side was the MAG-13 headquarters and to the right was Kansas Tower on top of a hill. The barracks had an upper and lower open squad bays divided into six bunks (or racks) that formed cubicles by standard green wall lockers and a central corridor. READ MORE >>

A Letter to Cpl Valdes

My book shelf dedicated to the Marine Corps and the Marines I know; of which I will have to expand at some point!

Hello Cpl. Valdes,

First and foremost I want to extend my sincere gratitude and appreciation for your service. I don't exactly know for how long, but I have been a subscriber to SgtGrit for quite some time. Though I never served, I certainly represent the latter half of the slogan, "There are two kinds of people in this world: Marines and those who wish they were."

Unfortunately due to asthma I could not serve in the Marine Corps and all I ever wanted was to be a Marine - not a sailor, soldier, or airman. A Marine. There is no other branch of service that carries the brotherhood quite like The Corps. That isn't to dismiss or say that there is no bond or brotherhood among those serving in other branches, not at all. The Marine Corps has always struck me as special. There is something about the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor that - even for someone like myself who didn't get an opportunity to adorn that emblem - strikes me in the chest and brings a smile to my face whenever I see it. One like myself who gets chills whenever he sees it, I can only imagine what the sight of The Corps' emblem means to one who actually earned it.  READ MORE >>

'Hanoi Hannah,' Whose Broadcasts Taunted And Entertained American GIs, Dies

Trinh Thi Ngo
1931 - Oct. 2, 2016 

One of North Vietnam's most recognizable wartime voices fell silent last Friday, when former radio broadcaster Trinh Thi Ngo, dubbed "Hanoi Hannah" by American service members, died.

Her former employer, the government-run Voice of Vietnam, reported the news on its website Sunday. The radio service says Trinh was 87 when she died, though there are conflicting reports about the year of her birth.

Trinh broadcast under the pseudonym Thu Huong, or Autumn Fragrance. At the height of the war the Voice of Vietnam aired three 30-minute segments of hers a day.

The North Vietnamese Defense Ministry's propaganda department wrote her scripts, she told the Voice of Vietnam. Their aim was to degrade U.S. troops' will to fight, and convince them that their cause was unjust. READ MORE >>

"A Marine is a Marine. I set that policy two weeks ago. There's no such thing as a former Marine. You're a Marine, just in a different uniform and you're in a different phase of your life.  But you'll always be a Marine because you went to MCRD Parris Island, MCRD San Diego or the hills of Quantico and Camp Pendleton. Again, there's no such thing as a former Marine."

-General James F. Amos, 35th Commandant of the Marine Corps

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