Sgt Grit Newsletter - 17 AUG 2016

In this issue:
• Marine Corps Olympians
• Utmost Respect For Our Veterans
• Camp Matthews - A Sad Day

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Marine Corps Olympians

Marines that were Olympians

MCCS Forward

Throughout the history of the Marine Corps there have been many examples of Marines who have excelled on both the battlefield and the playing field. We have listed just a few that have stood out as Marines and represented the United States in the Olympic Games.

Harry B. Liversedge

Brigadier General Harry Bluett Liversedge is remembered in the Marine Corps for his actions that led to him receiving two Navy Crosses and a Bronze Star. But he was also a track star who won the bronze medal in the shotput at the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp. He later commanded the assault on Iwo Jima's Mount Suribachi, culminating in the raising of the U.S. flag on the summit, which was immortalized in one of the most reproduced photos in history.

Robert Mathias

What does the world's greatest athlete do when he needs a real challenge? He joins the Marines. Mathias won gold in the decathlon at the 1948 and 1952 Olympics before serving as a Captain in the USMC. He went on to spend four terms in Congress as a representative for the state of California.

Billy Mills

A member of the Oglala Lakota tribe, First Lieutenant Billy Mills was lightly regarded when he entered the men's 10,000 Meters at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. He shocked the world by winning gold in one of the Games' most thrilling runs. Robbie Benson portrayed Mills in the 1983 film "Running Brave" which chronicled the events surrounding the race.

Lloyd "Butch" Keaser

"Butch" Keaser became the first African American to medal in wrestling when he won silver at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. Keaser graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and served five years in the Marines, rising to the rank of Captain.

Greg Gibson

Between 1981 and 1984, Greg Gibson became one of the most dominant wrestlers in the world, medaling ten times at four International Championships in both Freestyle and Greco-Roman. In 1982, Gibson became the first wrestler to medal in all three wrestling styles when he captured the gold at the Sombo World Cup Tournament. In 1983, Gibson captured the freestyle gold medal at the Pan-American Games and was crowned the Freestyle and Greco-Roman Champion at the World Military Wrestling Championship in France. Gibson's incredible talent as a wrestler reached an apex when he won the Greco-Roman Silver Medal at the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles, California.

Best In The World

Ever wonder what it's like to be the best in the world? Marines. The Few. The Proud. I don't have to.

Marine Best In The World meme

Utmost Respect For Our Veterans

In response to Cpl Fire, E.R. Newsletter 10 Aug 16.

I am a Ride Captain with the Patriot Guard Riders of NE OK. At funerals for our heroes, military veterans of our group, present a hand salute as the dignified transfer is made from the funeral coach to the funeral home or vice versa, or to the final resting place. Civilian members place hand over heart. Depending on the order of honors presented, Military Honor Guard, VFW, American Legion, etc., if we are last we offer a final salute to the hero. All are asked to stand, if able, and veterans are allowed to render a hand salute if they care to join us.

Veterans and Saluting Out of Uniform

A provision of the 2009 Defense Authorization Act changed federal law to allow U.S. Veterans and military personnel not in uniform to render the military hand-salute when the national anthem is played.

This change adds to a provision which was passed in the 2008 Defense Bill, which authorized veterans and military personnel in civilian clothes to render the military salute during the raising, lowering or passing of the flag.

Traditionally, veterans' service organizations rendered the hand-salute during the national anthem and at events involving the national flag while wearing their organization's headgear, although this wasn't actually spelled out in federal law.

JJ 'Devil Dog' Moss
Ride Captain

PS: All are welcome to join. You don't have to be a veteran or ride a bike. The only prerequisite is the utmost respect for our veterans and their fanilies.

Nothing Like WWII

Sgt. Grit,

I was sitting here thinking about my time in World War II and remembering the ships they had and used. LST's, LCT's, LCI's, LCVP's, LTM, and so many other boats and ships loading, Unloading carrying fresh Marines into the Battle and carrying the wounded and dead back to the ships. I watched LCVP and more of the other boats and ships wash the decks of the blood and gore. Sailors who sailed these boats and Craft had to keep moving. I was on APA 219, U.S.S. Okaloosa watching all this going on. Coxwains were in the mess Hall gulping down coffee and eating Horse C-ck sandwiches. Each was filthy dirty and tired but they kept going. The Navy and the Sailors were there to aid us and they did a remarkable job at it. But not far from the APA and even with one docked next to the APA was a ship hit by a Suicide plane, you wouldn't believe the damage. The first thing was to get the suicide plane off and dump it into the ocean. And I had to stay in for two more wars. I saw some bad things in my next two Wars but nothing like WWII.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC, Retired

Scariest Night Of My Boot Camp

Sgt Grit,

I can tell you about the scariest night of my Boot Camp experience!

It was November 10th, 1964, PI rifle range, the junior had the duty, and yes he was not happy. All night long he had us entertain him with things like, Make Me A Mountain, over and unders with foot lockers. Put us in the sweat locker with heat turned up as high as it could go, double time and singing the Marine Corps "HIM." This went on well after lights out. On or about 0 dark thirty, in came the Senior Drill Instructor, in all of his Glory, Full mess dress with sword, holding the table setting from the Ball, "189" he started by telling us “we had not earned the right to look upon such a thing of beauty, and that we wouldn't make it to the end of training and graduation day!" I knew he was totally in his cup when he pulled that NCO Sword out of the scabbard, also knowing he was headed right to me and was going to run me clean thru with it. It took the Junior to put a stop to all the madness, it was the scariest night of my boot camp experience, November 10, 1964 on the 189th birthday of our beloved Corps.

Respectfully submitted,
HE Inman
'64-'67, 10th & 13th Marines, 0811

Faces Never Forgotten


My name is Janna Hoehn, I am a volunteer for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC. Faces Never Forgotten program. I am sure you have heard about this project, we are trying to locate photos of each and every one of our Fallen Heroes from the Vietnam War. All photos will go online on the Wall of Faces (VVMF Site). When the museum is completed (The Education Center at the Wall) the photos will also be displayed there as well.

Here are the states that we are still searching for photos for, your help would be greatly appreciated. To check to see if we need a photo or a better quality photo of one of the Fallen, go to: type the persons name in the search box, his profile will come up. If there is a generic photo, this means we need his photo. If there is a photo however poor quality, we would welcome a better quality photo.

To search for your local town click on ADVANCED SEARCH behind the searchbox ONLY fill out city/state, hit submit and ALL the profiles will come up for that city. You will be able to scroll though to see who still needs a photo or better photo. You also can search by County/State hit submit and the entire County profiles will come up.

To send photos, please scan and email photos to Janna Hoehn at neverforgotten2014[at]gmail[dot]com. Please put Fallen Heroes name in the subject box.

Here are the states we have NOT completed.

California, Arizona, Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Illinois, Tennessee, Mississippi, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire.

We are getting very close to finishing a few of these states, with your help... we could get even closer. Thank you for your support.

Aloha Janna Hoehn
Team Leader Faces Never Forgotten

Saluting The U.S. Flag

Sgt. Grit,

A question was posted in your 10 August newsletter, asking about veterans in civilian attire saluting the U.S. flag. The following came about as a part of the Defense Authorization Act of 2008, signed by President George W. Bush. It does not address the issue of whether or not the veteran has to be covered. What I have done, given that Marines don't salute without covers, is to do the "hand over heart" salute if uncovered; and the regular hand salute when covered.


Section 301(b)(1) of title 36, United States Code, is amended by striking subparagraphs (A) through (C) and inserting the following new subparagraphs:

(A) individuals in uniform should give the
military salute at the first note of the anthem and
maintain that position until the last note;
(B) members of the Armed Forces and veterans who
are present but not in uniform may render the military
salute in the manner provided for individuals in
uniform; and
(C) all other persons present should face the flag
and stand at attention with their right hand over the
heart, and men not in uniform, if applicable, should
remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it
at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart;

Note: Part (C) applies to those not in the military and non-veterans. The phrase "men not in uniform" refers to civil service uniforms like police, fire fighters, and letter carriers - non-veteran civil servants who might normally render a salute while in uniform.

Wayne Dillon
SgtMaj. USMC (Ret.)

Camp Matthews - A Sad Day

It was a Friday in May 1964, I forget the exact date. Platoon 225 (Regimental Honor Platoon), was qualifying, along with other platoons in our series. I was one of the last shooters leaving the 500 yard line. I had already qualified as Expert, and went to the benches at the back of the 500 yd line, to check my scores. Qualification day was over. Cease fire had been given. For those of you who have qualified at Camp Matthews, you might remember that behind the 500 yd line was a small ravine, which contained a small metal head. This ravine also had a small trail leading back to tent city that was used by Corpsmen and others to take a shortcut. I had seen the Corpsmen leave through this trail at the end of qualifications just about 5 minutes prior. While sitting on the bench, a shot rang out, and I immediately knew what had happened. I glanced down into the ravine (the metal head) was directly below me, and I saw a slight puff of dust coming off the roof. My worst fear had materialized. I ran down the embankment and as I reached the metal head, a recruit from another platoon came staggering out clutching his chest and fell face first onto the ground, with blood soaking the back of his shooting jacket.

Knowing that the Corpsmen had left the range I ran like h-ll down the ravine to catch them and get them back to where the recruit lay. When we got back to the metal head area, several DI's were administering first aid to the recruit. Unfortunately, the recruit had died, having shot himself with his M14.

I haven't spoken about this to many people, but now 52 years later, when I read stories about Camp Matthews in Sgt Grit, it always comes to mind. It was a truly sad day. I can still see the recruit in my mind's eye grasping his chest and taking his last breath.

May he rest in peace.

Semper Fi,
Paul O'Brien-Kinsey

Let There Be No Confusion

Cpl Fire asked about saluting protocol for prior military when in civilian attire. His confusion is understandable because it is not the same across the services. For all services except the United States Marine Corps, the following applies:


Section 301(b)(1) of title 36, United States Code, is amended by striking subparagraphs (A) through (C) and inserting the following new subparagraphs:

(A) individuals in uniform should give the
military salute at the first note of the anthem and
maintain that position until the last note;
(B) members of the Armed Forces and veterans who
are present but not in uniform may render the military
salute in the manner provided for individuals in
uniform; and
(C) all other persons present should face the flag
and stand at attention with their right hand over the
heart, and men not in uniform, if applicable, should
remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it
at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart;

In December 2008 (ALMAR 052/08) the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James T. Conway, made it very clear that the above does not apply to Marines! He wrote:

"... A recent change to the law has authorized active duty and retired servicemembers to salute the National Colors, whether covered or uncovered, indoors or out. By custom and tradition, Marines do not render the hand salute when out of uniform or when uncovered. Let there be no confusion; that has not changed."

Sgt Ron Morse ('69-'75, USMC)


1965 Photo of MarDet USS America CVA 66

Reunion - MarDet USS America CVA 66

The Marine Detachment USS America CVA 66 (early edition 1965-1969) will hold its fifth reunion in Norfolk, VA, our homeport 50 years ago, from Oct. 2 to Oct. 5, 2016. Contact Les Holzmann by email - lesholzmann[at]verizon[dot]net, for details.

Semper Fi!

PS: Thank you Sgt. Grit for your generous support in the past.

Les Holzmann

Looking for Marines and Corpsmen past and present for your upcoming reunion? Send an email to news[at]grunt[dot]com with the who, what, when, and where information so that we can post your reunion in the Sgt Grit Newsletter.

Short Rounds

Sgt. Grit,

Papers had a story today in New York Daily News about a group called "History Flight who have identified remains of WWII - Marines on Tarawa - and one Marine - 73 years later has been identified and is Coming Home - This Marine was one of 35 found in 2015 - and I do not know if all were identified as of yet. This Marine was identified by his Boy Scout Knife and dental records.

I feel good reading that a Brother has finally been found - that was forgotten in a lonely place we were told to go to, to fight the enemy - and we did - he is going to be buried in upstate New York upon his return.

Our world is still in turmoil and 73 years later we still are = First to Fight for our Country.

Bruce Bender
Vietnam Era Veteran

One day in boot camp, during rifle inspection, the Drill Instructor slapped the rifle out of my hands, and as he was inspecting it, asked me what Presley O'Bannon lost in the assault on Tripoli. Duh! Of course I didn't know the answer and it cost me twenty push-ups. I know now and will never forget that Lieutenant Presley O'Bannon lost his left boot in the assault on Tripoli.

Norm Spilleth
Cpl. E-4

On August 22nd, it's been 50 years since I left Viet Nam. It was on Monday then, just as it is on Monday now. We stayed on Okinawa until Friday the 26th before flying on to El Toro. 50 years and starting to feel every minute of it.

Semper Fidelis
Fidelis Ad Mortem
Jerry D.

Regarding the question by Cpl. Fire on saluting by Veterans during the playing of Taps:

I am the Commander of the Kent County (MI) Veterans Honor Guard. Our service includes the playing of Taps. We ask all in attendance to stand, if they are able, and salute during the playing of Taps. Civilians place their right hand over their heart; Veterans render a military hand salute whether covered or uncovered. This was authorized by and act of Congress about 7 years ago.

Wayne Luznicky
USMC 1964 - til I die.

"A veteran - whether active duty, national guard or reserve - is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a check made payable to "The United States of America", for an amount of "up to and including my life." That is honor, and there are far too many people in this country who no longer understand it."
--Author unknown

Semper Fi

Most of the posts on the V.A. health care have been leaning mostly to the negative and, I understand that. Today I am happy to report a positive! This past March 2016 we assisted a 84 yr. old Korean War vet (USMC 1949-1959 Combat Engineer) obtain his VA health care. The fact he was stationed at Camp Lejeune 1956-1959 he was placed into Priority Group #6 because of toxic water exposure.

Long story short, he and his wife paid me a visit today sporting his new VA supplied hearing aids that he is getting at no cost to him. I think his wife was happier than he was because now she does not have to remind him to turn off the turn signal in the car! We are now in the process of filing a Comp. claim for his hearing loss and tinnitus (being combat engr. he should receive some sort of service connection.

Never give up the fight for your right. The regulations are always changing.


Another fine newsletter!

On Cpl. Fire's question on rendering hand salute.

Assuming we are talking about Military Honors...

Military Protocol states:
(1) All present not in uniform should stand at attention with right hand over heart.
(2) All present not in uniform should remove their headdress with right hand and headress at the left shoulder, and the hand over the heart.
(3) Veterans and active duty service members not in uniform may render hand salute when ordered by the VA official present.
(4) All present in uniform should render hand salute at the 1st note of Taps and maintain salute until last note.

Semper Fi!


Senate bill S.1877 by Senator Inhofe [R-OK] passed in 2007; and updated in 2008 [for the National Anthem, Title 36 of the US code, signed by Pres Bush 10/14/08] – allows ALL military members and veterans to salute, whether in uniform or out, to honor our flag and the national anthem. That includes without cover. However, the CMC has politely suggested that a cover is needed for a Marine to salute properly [hint], for finger positioning.

Ray Burrington, Cpl '68-'70, MCRDPI PLT 398


"[N]o wall of words, [and] 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 (1789)

"There is in most Americans some spark of idealism, which can be fanned into a flame. It takes sometimes a divining rod to find what it is; but when found, and that means often, when disclosed to the owners, the results are often extraordinary."
--Louis Dembitz Brandeis, Whitney v. California [1927]

"I selected an enormous Marine Corps emblem to be tattooed across my chest. It required several sittings and hurt me like the devil, but the finished product was worth the pain. I blazed triumphantly forth, a Marine from throat to waist. The emblem is still with me. Nothing on earth but skinning will remove it."
--MajGen Smedley D. Butler

"Any officer can get by on his sergeants. To be a sergeant you have to know your stuff. I'd rather be an outstanding sergeant than just another officer."
--SgtMaj Daniel Daly 1873-1937

"We will embrace you in uniform today, we will embrace you without uniform tomorrow."
--Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels, 1919

"If the bullets don't get you, life will."

"A warrior of the Jarhead tribe!"

"Still rockin' 'n rollin', kickin' azz and takin' names."

Semper Fi,
Sgt Grit

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