Sgt Grit Newsletter - 21 MAY 2015

In this issue:
• The Corps Wanted Me Elsewhere
• Promotion Order
• Extending In Nam

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Memorial Day 2015

Sgt Grit and Staff hope that everyone has a safe and humbling Memorial Day weekend. Let us not forget that Memorial Day was not a holiday created to focus on grilling out, going to the lake, or to celebrate having a 3-day weekend. Memorial Day is a day to honor and pay respects to those fallen warriors who paid the ultimate price for the blanket of American freedoms and liberties that we all are blessed to live up under daily. Honor The Memory Of Our Fallen Warriors.


The Corps Wanted Me Elsewhere

Just a little more on top of Jim Wilson's submission on Shufly and Danang. I arrived at Danang off the USS Thetis Bay after the Cuban Crisis was over sometime late 1963 and Shufly was in full swing. My first tour in RVN was with HMM-261, MAG-16, 1st MAW. A lot of flying with UH-34D helicopters and many times took fire mostly in the rotor blades but once in a while in the body of the chopper. During this tour we were considered advisors and had to get permission to return fire and by that time there was nothing to shoot at as VC were fast and efficient at disappearing completely. A lot of things changed when I returned for my second and third tour. When I arrived back in country in '65 and '66 I was assigned to VMO-2, MAG-16, 1st MAW which was a UH-1E (HUEY) squadron. No longer advisors, now we were assigned combat missions and could fire on VC and RVN positions without having to wait on the red tape. This time we were operating primarily out of Marble Mountain with temporary (3-4 weeks) assignments to Dong Ha, Khe Sanh and Phu Bai.

The time went fast by being on flight pay and flying as left door gunner. The 1st tour seemed to go on forever in comparison but on my 3rd tour I was assigned to a fixed wing (F-4) squadron at Chu Lai. That meant no flying and no flight pay and time dragged. I would have loved to have spent all 3 tours in a HUEY squadron but the Corps wanted me elsewhere.

Roger R Everline
XXXX947 SSgt of Marines
2 February 1962 - 7 April 1970


Small Acts Of Rebellion

I was a young Sergeant with Maintenance Company, Electronics Maintenance Plt, 9th MAB, on Okinawa in 1968-69. About all of the platoon had some college and most had a pretty cocky attitude. When the Pay Officer would pay us with checks we would quickly scan the amount, report "My pay is correct, Sir!", then quickly fold the check into quarters and stuff it in our utility pocket, knowing full well that "Do not fold, spindle, or mutilate" was written on the bottom of the check. It was a small act of rebellion. One day one of the guys got called on that practice and got his "azs" handed to him. Afterwards I saw a bunch of the techs gathered around one of the work benches and they looked very busy, way too busy. Since they couldn't fold the checks any more they were all using Exacto knives to cut extra squares in the check to mess with the card readers when the checks made it back to their source after they were cashed. Another small act of rebellion. We had one great group of guys.

Al Karg 2328617
SSgt. USMC
'67 - '71


1st Battalion 9th Marines Gear


Promotion Order

This is in partial response to Robert Bliss' question on USMC field commissions, and the veracity of the supposed former Marine he met at a home and garden show.

The war in 'Nam:

One day, in 1976, one of my classmates at San Diego State University, explained to me that he was attending college at USMC expense, due to the fact that he had received a field commission in 'Nam, and that those so awarded were given a deadline after the war in which to obtain a four year degree in order to hold on to their commission.

I have also heard second hand of others receiving field commissions in 'Nam.

WWII:

My father had a friend, who retired from the Marine Corps in the '70s as a Sergeant Major. He was a career tanker, and my father had served with him in Iceland from 1940 thru 1941. One day, the Sergeant Major allowed me to look through his USMC service record. In it, among many other interesting items, I found:

1. A Silver Star citation for a daring exploit on Saipan, when the tank he commanded was disabled by enemy fire.

2. An order awarding him a field commission to the rank of 2nd Lt. for the same action.

3. A promotion order promoting him to the rank of 1st Lt, as a result of further bravery on Iwo Jima.

4. A 1946 letter, reducing him in grade to the rank of Gunny due to the downsizing of the Corps.

5. A letter from him to HQ Marine Corps requesting that he be reduced only to Warrant Officer.

6. A letter from HQ Marine Corps to him, denying his request on the grounds that he did not have a high school diploma.

7. A 1970's letter from the Sergeant Major to HQ Marine Corps requesting that he be retired in the rank of Sergeant Major, as opposed to the rank of 1st Lt.

8. A letter from HQ Marine Corps to the Sergeant Major granting his request. (When I questioned the Sergeant Major on this, he stated that retirement as a Sergeant Major payed $15 a month more than retirement as a 1st Lt).

Ron Mandell
Cpl July '67-'70
1st Bridge Co, 7th Engineer Bn, 'Nam (Dec '67 - Jan '69)

PS: I'm still looking for anyone from Recruit Platoon 2030, MCRD San Diego, July - September '67.


Proudly Served Vietnam Veteran Cover/Hat


Where Did All The Money Go

Re: Ddick's comments about recruits being paid during boot camp. I was in boot camp at MCRD San Diego from 28 May 1962 until 18 September 1962 and do not recall ever having any cash during that time. What I remember was receiving a PX chit book and all other pay remaining "on the books" (like in Viet Nam) until we graduated boot camp. I do clearly recall being majorly surprised that we had to pay for our bucket issue and sea bag issue. Got out of ITR and here are all these guys flying home for boot leave. There I was on a Trailways bus for three days, with a one way ticket because Trailways was cheaper than Greyhound. Where did all the money go? I only went on weekend liberty one time during ITR. Did I really spend that much?

I'm wrong about once a day now that I wear an older man's clothes so I could be wrong about that. The older I get, the weaker my memory gets but until someone comes along and says I'm full of sh-t, that's the story I'm going with.

Cpl. Jerry D.
USMC 1962-1966

"Oderint dum metuant."
"Let them hate, so long as they fear."
--Caligula


Leaned Into Him

Hard thing to do. We were in Japan, Camp Fuji. I was on duty as a Corporal, and one of our Company Plt Sgts (SSGT) came in about 2 am, all drunk. and started going off on me, that he didn't want to sign in etc. Yelling and cussing and pulling rank... I had no idea what to do. It was a tough decision. So, instead of calling the officer of the day, who happened to be from another company, I quietly called our 1stSgt. He told me over the phone what to say to him and how. It worked! Like butter on a biscuit. I went back to the SSgt, and looked at him, leaned into him, and quietly relayed what the 1stSgt told me to say. His eyes got big. He actually kind of came to attention. Leaned over, signed in the duty book, looked at me, about faced, and headed for his barracks room, half way mumbling an apology. What I said to him was "if you don't shut up, sign in, and get to your bunk, 1stSgt said that he will make sure within a week that you are a Private on mess duty for the duration of our 8 month tour over here." Love our 1stSgt's.

Don Miller, Jr.
From Facebook


Pay, Hong Kong, Swiss Banks

An update for the person Wondering About This Guy and Disbursing.

First - There were a few battlefield commissions made during Vietnam, also just about every SSgt and above, with a high school education, was offered a temporary commission during 1966 when the Corps was building up to 5 divisions. I don't think very many 1stSgts or SgtsMaj accepted. There were also many temporary meritorious commissions made. Most retired as MSgts but received their commissions back at the end of their 30 year finish of transfer to the Fleet Marine Corps Reserve.

Disbursing: I'm not sure if this was true or a very detailed put on joke.

I was wounded in Vietnam in 1966 and after several months in the hospital and limited duty, I was sent to the Base Brig at CamPen as an Asst Brig Warden to finish healing up. While stationed there I read what appeared to be an official record of a court martial of an Asst Disbursing Officer.

The officer's name was blacked out but here's the story:

Sometime during 1956 or '57 a 1stLt was the Asst Disbursing Officer. A Capt that was the Base Disbursing Officer had planned to go on leave, leaving the Asst in charge. I got the impression that the 1stLt was an air winger serving some time as a ground officer which many are required to do.

Pay day was coming up after a 4-day holiday. Wednesday afternoon, the Lt packed up a million dollars (this is what's funny--a million dollars in 20 dollar bills is one heck of a package) boarded a plane for Hong Kong. Deposited the money in Hong Kong and flew to Switzerland using some of his military air plane friends to go across the states. He went to a Swiss Bank and asked that the money be transferred to a Swiss account. This was handled by telephone assuring the Swiss that the money was available. They didn't have all of the computer networks then to transfer the money automatically. He then flew back to Hong Kong and withdrew the same money (same serial numbers) from the safe deposit box in Hong Kong because there was no record of the Swiss phone call. He arrived back at CamPen Monday morning in time to pay the troops. He was arrested a few days later when a phone call came from the Swiss bank wondering where the money from Hong Kong was.

The court martial details were far more detailed than I remember and I know I left several things out.

The Lt was only found guilty of miss use of government air since the exact same money was still available for pay day. He was sentenced to time served and of course, lost his commission.

J L Stelling​


Cash, MPC, Pay Day

Being paid while in VN.

Around late '66 or early '67 while in 3rd FSR Truck Co. near Danang, I recall that we were paid once per month (not the usual 1st & 15th ) and while signing the pay roster which indicated how much we had on the books we would write in the amount we wanted to receive the next month (MPC & Piasters). Since I didn't need much, I would leave most of my money on the books and for the time I had built up a nice total (I don't recall much details as memory fades). I was a E2 or 3 at that time and had been in country about 9 months.

After signing for my pay, I noted that my account was at zero even though I should have had a substantial amount on the books. The Pay Master said I would have to take that up with Disbursement.

Upon going to disbursing I was told that my money was put on the books for an E5 in my Co. with the same last name and he signed & received it all. Consequently, I was told to go see him and get it back!

I went to his tent and he admitted that he knew that there was an error but since he was due to go on R&R he needed the cash and figured he would straighten things out when he got back so he asked me to stand fast until he returned.

About 2 weeks later we went to disbursing and they put a hold on his future pays and put my money back on my account. After that I would sign to receive all my pay in MPC, which resulted in another problem later on when I was rotating home and got to the Danang Air strip they would only convert 2 months pay worth of MPC back to Green Backs. I had to find guys rotating who didn't have much MPC to convert and have them cash in some of my funny money for me, and for a few bucks they were happy to do it for me.

Cpl. Wes Hyatt
'63-'67​


Extending In Nam

Capt Vogel 1st Force Vietnam 1968

Capt Vogel 1st Force Vietnam hooch

Sgt. Grit,

Just a note to respond to Robert Bliss' question in the 14 May Newsletter on extended tours in Vietnam. Someone had told Robert that he had extended his tour in VN for up to two years ('68 to'70) which raised the question whether a Marine could stay that long in the field.

For all it's worth, I drew combat pay for some 41 months in RVN, all but the first six months in direct combat assignments. I arrived in May of '67 and was assigned to the 1st MarDiv G-2 shop on Hill 327 until November of the same year. (My OQR showed I spoke French and somehow Division thought that might come in handy - it didn't.) From there I went to 1st Force Recon Co. until June '68, extended and went to 1st Recon Bn. until January '69, extended again and was seconded to the PRU program until September '69. While on extension leave in Jan. '69, I managed to visit Kabul, Afghanistan and stayed with the MSGs at the Marine House. The Gunny there, the MSG NCOIC, was a great host, showed me all around town, and helped me get a flintlock musket at the bazaar that had been captured from the British army by Afghan guerrillas ca. 1842. It has a stamp on the firing mechanism "VEIC 1807", for 'Venerable East India Company 1807'. I haven't been back to Kabul since - maybe now's not a good time to visit.

After I left the PRU, I returned to CONUS for Lao language school and returned to RVN in January 1971 for a year with the Naval Advisory Detachment (NAD) MACV/SOG, operating out of Danang. If I've done the math right, that works out to 29 months in-country on the first tour ('67 to '69) and 12 on the second ('71 to '72).

A good friend of mine, Col. Andy Finlayson, also had extended tours in Vietnam, a year on his first tour with 1st Force and about 19 months on his second, 6 months again with Force, then 6 months with the 5th Marines, and finally 7 months with the PRU. Andy has written a couple of books covering his extended tours in Vietnam which should be required reading for any military professional or historian. I recommend to you "Killer Kane" and "Rice Paddy Recon", both on Amazon. And, yeah, this is a shameless plug for the books - but they're worth it.

The guy Robert Bliss ran into sounds a little fishy to me. Recon, whether it was Force or Recon Bn., just wasn't "working in small units 'all over Nam'".

At least during my time there, 1st Force was in direct support of either 1st MarDiv at Hill 327 or Task Force Xray out of PhuBai and 1st Recon Bn. was opcon/adcon solely to 1st MarDiv in the Danang TAOR. (I understand that 1st Force was forward deployed elsewhere in I Corps later, but that was after my time.) Even operational units under MACV/SOG tended to focus on specific areas, such as CCN (North) out of PhuBai, CCS (South) out of Kontum, and CCC (Central) out of BanMeThuot. NAD and Monkey Mountain FOB ranged a little more widely and NAD conducted maritime ops literally from the Delta (tho' infrequently) to the DMZ and points north.

Sgt. Grit, I think you can tell Marine Bliss that he's 'outed' another wannabe, otherwise known as a bald-faced liar.

That said, it was possible to stay for extended tours, if you were a bit crazy. But then again, in my case, I was young and indestructible. People to this day ask me why I stayed in RVN so long. I tell them it was the right thing to do. I believed it then and I believe it now.

Semper Fi,
Fred Vogel
USMC/USMCR 1960 - 1995


Platoon 321, 1966

Platoon 321, MCRD Parris Island 1966

Sgt Grit,

I am attaching the Platoon 321, Parris Island Photo taken 10 March 1966. Many of the 0300 mos went direct to ITR. I was in the first group with orders to WesPac scheduled to depart June 1, 1966, but I was sent to DLIWC and did not leave until about Aug 25th. Notice only some have rifle qualification badges.

Jim Kozelouzek, my bunk mate, called me about 4 yrs ago. He suffers from PTSD. We met in Las Vegas about 2 yrs ago and talked and laughed like it was yesterday. I call him on the Marine Corps Birthday and Memorial Day.

I have not been in touch with anyone else in the photo since about 1975.

J Kanavy, CPL, 0311, 0231


Combat Promotions, DD 214, and Ribbons

In response to Robert Bliss, May 14, the letter you posted on your encounter with a Marine sounded like he was full of hog-wash. But I do know of some Marines who continued to extend their tours in Vietnam for up to three years. One I know spent most of his twenty some odd years in the Marine Corps between Okinawa and Vietnam. They are the classic examples of Sergeant Major Dan Daly.

Never heard of a Combat Promotion in Vietnam during that time, but there were promotions to Limited Duty Officers, and the Enlisted Commissioning Promotion. Both created a huge void of Staff NCO leadership, when the Marine Corps needed it the most during the late 1960s. However, a Combat Promotion has that certain status that makes one better than the others.

Like yourself, as a grunt, I humped over the rice paddies, fields, and villages from Da Nang, Phu Bai, and Khe Sanh during "Operation Virginia" in 1966. Know where I was, because most of the time I had a map and compass. What glee, a twelve month tour of Vietnam paid for by the U.S. Government, with room and board. You would be surprised on how may U.S. servicemen are living in Vietnam, including Marines.

To Dale Landon: Your records clerk must have been sniffing coke, blowing smoke, and on the cloud patrol when he typed up your DD 214. Couldn't make any sense out of it at all, including your discharge location. The unit you were discharged from puzzles me. The Ninth Marine regiment was station at Camp Hansen, Okinawa during 1965. Were you discharged overseas? Not unusual, just out of the ordinary.

Ribbons and Combat Action Ribbons: If you rate it, wear them and be proud that you earned them. You can tell most people what they are, what they are for, and how you earned them. Those who don't rate them can only tell you what color they are.

Semper Fi
Herb Brewer


Marine Wreath

Cynthia with her Marine Wreath

Marine Wreath made by Cynthia

This wonderful customer, Cynthia, sent these pictures in of her Marine Wreath. She took some of our items to make this wreath for a Marine due home soon.

Teresa Bolhuis
Customer Service


Corpsmen

Grit,

There are two reasons I am writing this to you. I am about to get my Permant Change of Station to guard duty on the streets of Heaven. And second, I have a little ceremony that I have run for fifty years. It can and should be applied when Marines and their Corpsmen meet. My hope is that by your publishing it in your great letters, it won't be forgotten.

The ceremony runs like this: get the permission from the person in charge of the meeting to run the ceremony. Get everyone's attention and let them know you have an OK to run a ceremony honoring Corpsmen and tell them how it will be run. (Details following). Start by calling all Corpsmen Front and Center and they are to face the troops. When they are front and center, command "All Marines stand by" (short pause) "Attention!" When at attention command "Present Arms", All Marines will render a hand salute and look straight in the eyes of the Corpsmen.

You will then say "Marines go out when there may be trouble. That's a Marine thing. You Corpsmen go out with us because you are brave men and know d-mn well we will find trouble. Many of you have died or otherwise had your butt shot off trying to keep us alive. We SALUTE you, we HONOR you and we LOVE you. My God bless you and your families. Order Arms. At Ease."

Semper Fidelis,
Reddog '45-'57​


Trying To Get Used To The Idea

Sgt. Grit,

In response to Robert Bliss and his question on Field Commission:

I was a Huey crew chief with VMO-6 1967-69 at Quang Tri. One morning my bird and crew were tasked for early launch to take our CO and a few other "Os" to a meeting at Camp Carroll. We'd flown late the previous night and missed late chow, and were out before the mess hall opened.

At Carroll the officers went to their meeting, we crews had to stay with our birds. I spotted a group of Marines reinforcing their perimeter filling sandbags. I asked where I might get a few C-rat meals, and one to them pointed down the road and directed me to a company CP, and said ask for Capt. "Smith" (don't remember his name). We left the other crew to watch our birds and smartly wandered in the direction indicated. As we approached the tent with a "CP" sign in front, a Marine double timed out the flap, headed to his left. I called out that I was looking for Capt. "Smith." He stuck his head in the tent flap and said something about "a couple of pilots" asking for him. The reply came, "I'll be right out."

Almost immediately out walks a Marine wearing cut off camo trousers, belt undone, top 3-4 buttons of the fly undone, and bare feet stuck into untied boots. He asks what he can do for us, we tell him we're just looking for four C-meals for our crews. He yells over his shoulder, "L/Cpl bring these guys a case of Cs." Then he turns to us and asks "Were you guys flying med-evac last night at (again, I don't remember. Seems to me it was somewhere around the Con Thien TAOR)" I replied "Yes, Sir." He turned his head and yelled over his shoulder, "Bring heat tabs and a six-pack."

He expressed his gratitude for our putting our gear down on his strobes, and said "if we'd have been off a few feet we'd have been landing on his wounded." He went on to add that he'd left Carroll the previous Sunday as a Sgt. and by Wednesday he was senior man in the company. He said that he was still trying to get used to the idea of being a Capt.

Don't know if he was promoted in the field or when he returned, but he earned it in the field.

Bush


Attitude Is Everything Day 21

Attitude Is Everything Quote of the Day 21

Here is this week's most popular Marine Corps quote that was posted on Sgt Grit's Facebook Page. The replies are nothing short of what you would expect from our fellow Marine brothers and sister, or Marine family members.

Here are a few of their comments:


Glenn Edwards - On the eve of the invasion of Tarawa, the Admirals, Generals, Captains, and Colonels were in a conference. The battleship Admirals and Captains were bragging on who's battleship had the most armor. "My armor is so strong I'll be able to get within 1000 yards of the beach without suffering any damage from the enemy guns." "Oh yeah, my armor is thicker than yours and I'll be able to get even closer!" This went back and forth for awhile, until the Marine Commanding General had had enough. He stood up and said, "Gentlemen, when my Marines land on that beach, the only armor they will have is the shirts on their backs." Then he walked out.


Eddie Lindblom - Things might have been a little different if Rear Admiral Keiji Shibazaki and all of his senior officers hadn't been killed in the opening bombardment on the island before the Marines landed. The battle could have lasted longer or failed altogether if the Japanese had any serious leadership left. Thankfully, we took Betio from the Japanese in three days.


Giles Redferne - Big mistake, never underestimate the Marine Corp. Adapt, improvise, overcome!


Joe Pondrom - ISIS and AQ need to pay attention to this Quote!


Check daily to see what the next quote or saying of the day will be on the Sgt Grit Facebook page.


P-51 Time

A couple of stories recently brought back some memories... The BAR guys in Korea used to tape two magazines together giving them some additional firepower from 20 rounds to 40 rounds. When one was used up, they would just pull the empty one out of the slot and turn it over to the extra one and insert it. Seemed to work good. Like Larry did with his AK-47. Very creative Marines.

The P-51 Parker Pen story reminded me also about Pilot's. When I was in Pilot Training after Korea, some of the Pilots used to fudge on their flying time in their log books by entering a little extra time that wasn't actual flying time. This became known as P-51 time in their log books. The Check Pilots could usually tell what was going on, and a second or third check ride was required along with a motivational speech about actual practice needed to become a proficient Pilot.

Thanks for your newsletters. Look forward to them every week.

Strange how we remember those things.

Cpl Bob

The smoking lamp is OUT! Field Strip your butts NOW!


All-Too Common Malady

The 'Recon' (forgot to mention 'Force', guy) who was made a battlefield Lt... on the death of his unit leader, suffered from an all-too common malady, that being that his colon is loaded to capacity... despite the fact that he wears a cover. The Corps made a considerable number of SNCO's into Temporary Officers during Viet Nam... nothing too new there, I think it was also common in WWII and Korea. The Corps started the program in 1965... Staff Sergeants and above could apply, and if selected, would be promoted, with the clear understanding that they would be Officers for as long as the Corps needed them to be Officers, and then they could be reverted to Enlisted. One of the features of being so selected was that Enlisted promotion was pretty much automatic any time a Temp's peer group (time in grade, time in service, etc. came up, regardless of MOS... which is why I have framed on the wall a promotion warrant making me a Gunnery Sergeant (Temporary) effective 1 October 1967... and have never worn chevrons with two rockers... and put on the first rocker (SSGT) in the spring of 1966)... There used to be a joke in the mid-seventies which went like this: "Show me a MSgt who used to be a Captain... and I'll show you someone who can work that fact into any conversation"...

Some, through various programs, were able to remain in the Officer ranks, but those who didn't, qualified for retirement pay 'at the highest rank honorably held' at a point thirty years from their Pay Entry Base Date.

Case in point... having been one of the selectees, but not yet promoted, I went 'in-country' as a SSGT... knowing that at some point, I would be temporarily promoted to 2ndLT... along with a fellow platoon sergeant in the same company (K/3/5)... and, upon returning to the Company area on the Chu Lai perimeter from a Rough-Rider, Chu Lai to DaNang and back, the 1st Sgt advised "Dick and Marty... your commissions came in at Bn while you were gone"...

The next day, we mustered in the Bn CO's (Lt.Col Bronars') GP tent, raised our right hands and were sworn in as (Temporary) Officers... and given transfer orders. Some would consider 'battlefield' a fair description of the Chu Lai perimeter at that time... but I sure wouldn't be caught dead telling someone I had received "a Battlefield Commission"... it just didn't work that way. To be fair to the guy, in the fog of forty years or more, he may have been told he was now the Platoon Leader (or Commander)... happened all the time, have a bud who was a Platoon Leader... as the senior PFC left standing/effective, but a big difference... especially on payday. Marty eventually retired as the Division Sergeant Major of the 4th MarDiv... last time I saw him in person was in a very dusty GP tent in an Ammunition Supply Point in the field at 29 Palms... accompanying the Division CG, during a large Reserve exercise... 1980 or so. The legal authority to issue a battlefield commission may have rested with Division commanders or other General Officers in the VN era, but I was never aware of that actually happening.

(some of us temps later became LDO's... technically "Limited Duty Officers", the limitation being that no way in h-ll were any of us ever going to command an Infantry Bn... that's a closed-shop, union position... so I was content to be known as Large, Dumb, and Obnoxious)...

BTW... there's two of you R. Bliss's... the other was one of my recruits... and a wing-wiper... we swap e-mails now and then, for some odd reason are both in volunteer fire departments...

And, FWIW... the song "Get Your Kicks on Route 66" was written by a Marine Mustang Captain, WWII vintage, name of Bobby Troup... married to Julie London (for a while...)

​Ddick


Okinawa People's Party

During my long and varied career as a United States Marine, I ran into some of the Characters that have blessed the Marine Corps formats beginning. I had a buddy I ran into from time to time, each time he related his latest experience which always seemed to be a Bit dangerous.

Rusty was stationed at The Navy Air Base in Washington when a plane went down with eight (Believe it was 8) Marines and everyone not on duty was put aboard search plane hoping to locate the downed plane (I don't think the plane was ever found). So Rusty decided to get some chow as he was quite hungry from not eating. He was walking down the road to the Gedunk when all of a sudden a plane came down cartwheeling not too far from him. Chow was forgotten, just getting as far away from the place was all that counted.

I think the last time ran into Rusty was at the Morning Star Newspaper in Okinawa, we both had been hired as Proof Readers for the only English Language Newspaper on the Island. This was early on before the Vietnam War, I believe. Five bucks an hour we were paid which was needed to help ones time to go a bit faster and get the h-ll out of country. While working there I went with a Okinawa Reporter as he covered the OKPP (Okinawa Peoples Party) march on Naha. The Police were out in their RIOT Gear. I watched as Rocks and bottles were thrown at the Police and saw some gashed heads. I watched as Formed Police Units advance on the OKPP march. The gashed heads were on the OKPP and the riot quickly disappeared into the dark.

I was at Okinawa when it was wrestled from the Japanese in 1945 when the Okinawan's were completely different, Native costume and all that. Reading Old Leathernecks from the time period gives some Harrowing Experiences not just on the front lines.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC, Retired


Something Must Have Happened

Sgt. Grit,

Very ironic that you would publish a blurb from George O'Connell, RM2, about the USS Henrico (APA-45); I was stationed at HqCo, HqBn, 3dMarDiv, from April 1956 to May 1957.

The mention of the Henrico triggered a very small memory cell; as of right now, I can only remember being on the ship, but cannot come up with any details of where, or why, although there are vague recollections of lifting off in a helicopter.

It really is true that the older you get, more of your memory cells get burned out, and it just leaves you with blanks in your life that you know something must have happened.

Anyway... Semper Fi
James R. McMahon
GySgt of Marines (1949-1970)


Move My Fleet South IMMEDIATELY

I remember this scenario well. I was afloat part of the 9th MEB. Though we were afloat, part of flotilla off Danang, doing nothing, going nowhere, Uncle Sam actually paid you. In US dollars I think, not funny money (military script). The way this was done is a Captain carried the money from ship to ship, with a Sgt packing a .45 in tow for protection. He was ferried around in a small boat, pulled up to the Jacob's ladder (staircase), would come up, sit behind a little table and dole out the cash to we troops, who signed off that they rec'd it. You could opt for it all or part. But he had to have enough cash for all. So he had a LOT of money.

It so happened that one eventful day, A bunch of Marines, including me, were standing on deck (hanging around doing zip) just as he came aboard our ship. They say timing is everything in life and that day it was for the Marine Captain & Sgt., literally a few minutes after the Captain & Sgt set foot on deck, the Admiral himself stuck his head over his perch and shouted the order down to the navy guys that we we're ordered to pull out and head to Saigon. Included in this short order was to "pull up the Jacobs ladder and get under weigh". This, as you can imagine got the Marine Captain/paymaster's attention. He and the Sgt quickly gathered themselves and the Captain, politely and properly asked the Admiral who was still looking down from ahigh, the words just out of his mouth, if the Admiral would hold that ladder a moment so he & the Sgt could get off.

The Admiral said "Captain, my orders are to move my fleet South IMMEDIATELY, and that's exactly what I'm going to do... Welcome aboard!" And stunned he watched the crew hop to, pull up the ladder, and off we went. And that poor Captain and Sgt were with us all the way to Saigon and back (eventually we came back when the coup quieted down Big Minh was overthrowing Little Minh or vice versa). All they had was what they were wearing (uniform of the day, not dungerees) their .45's, and a pile of money. And I suppose a neat story to tell. It had to fall into Ddick's dirty little officer job.

What else comes to mind, is the Admiral had a very high pitched voice, which amused the Marines to no end, but you had to be Very careful of when and where you were amused.

Somewhat related, I think it was the MEB which was almost literally thrown together, but I can't nail down exactly. I don't think it was at sea, it may have been in staging at Camp Hague. It seems our records, including pay record weren't lost... they just didn't happen to catch up to us. But like clockwork we had to be paid. So we lined up, moved to the table and the paymaster asked "How much do you want?" really. I'm sure it had to reason test, but they had no clue if you were underdrawn, overdrawn, pay docked, pay sent home. For a lot of the Marines it had a Christmas Day aura. The Eagle was sh-tting and it had diarrhea.

Don Harkness


Reunions

Combined Action Company (CAC) Oscar Company Mini-Reunion

Members of CAC Oscar (Khe Sanh & Phu Vang, RVN 1967 - 68) have decided to meet in Las Vegas, NV for an informal mini-reunion from Monday, July 27th through Thursday, July 30th, 2015. The Golden Nugget Hotel in downtown Las Vegas has been selected as "base camp." We'd like to see as many men from Oscar Company (all platoons, eras, and ranks) attend if at all possible.

New information will be posted on our site and circulated to the mailing list as it comes up.

Visit our site at USMC CAC Oscar.

Please email Jim "Bagpipes" Taylor if you are planning to attend at fjtUSMC[at]gmail.com.


Short Rounds

Sgt. GRIT,

We ARE the WORLD'S globe trotters, like it or not...

Sgt. O


This is a video I made (I being former Cpl. Martin) that I think Marines would find funny. I'm trying to get it airplay. Don't know if it's something you would promote, but hey, it's worth a try.

What Does The Fox Really Say


"I don't care if there is a bee on your eyeball. You will not move!"
"Do You Hear Me MAGGOT?"
"Yes SIR!"
"I Can't HEAR YOU!"
"Yes SIR!"
"BULL--T, I Still Can't HEAR YOU!"
"Yes SIR!"
"Get Down And Give Me Twenty!"
"Aye Aye SIR!"

Norm Spilleth
Plt. 374, August 1960


Quotes

"[N]o 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


"The MARINES have landed and have the situation well in hand!"
--Richard Harding Davis


"Casualties many; Percentage of dead not known; Combat efficiency - we are winning!"
--Col. David M. Shoup, USMC


"Six to the front, Three to the rear, Dig'm in, dig'm in!"

"Saepius Exertus, Semper Fidelis, Frater Infinitas Often Tested, Always Faithful, Brothers Forever."

A salutation: "clicks", "We're only six clicks from our destination!"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 21 MAY 2015
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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 21 MAY 2015

In this issue:
• The Corps Wanted Me Elsewhere
• Promotion Order
• Extending In Nam

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Sgt Grit and Staff hope that everyone has a safe and humbling Memorial Day weekend. Let us not forget that Memorial Day was not a holiday created to focus on grilling out, going to the lake, or to celebrate having a 3-day weekend. Memorial Day is a day to honor and pay respects to those fallen warriors who paid the ultimate price for the blanket of American freedoms and liberties that we all are blessed to live up under daily. Honor The Memory Of Our Fallen Warriors.


The Corps Wanted Me Elsewhere

Just a little more on top of Jim Wilson's submission on Shufly and Danang. I arrived at Danang off the USS Thetis Bay after the Cuban Crisis was over sometime late 1963 and Shufly was in full swing. My first tour in RVN was with HMM-261, MAG-16, 1st MAW. A lot of flying with UH-34D helicopters and many times took fire mostly in the rotor blades but once in a while in the body of the chopper. During this tour we were considered advisors and had to get permission to return fire and by that time there was nothing to shoot at as VC were fast and efficient at disappearing completely. A lot of things changed when I returned for my second and third tour. When I arrived back in country in '65 and '66 I was assigned to VMO-2, MAG-16, 1st MAW which was a UH-1E (HUEY) squadron. No longer advisors, now we were assigned combat missions and could fire on VC and RVN positions without having to wait on the red tape. This time we were operating primarily out of Marble Mountain with temporary (3-4 weeks) assignments to Dong Ha, Khe Sanh and Phu Bai.

The time went fast by being on flight pay and flying as left door gunner. The 1st tour seemed to go on forever in comparison but on my 3rd tour I was assigned to a fixed wing (F-4) squadron at Chu Lai. That meant no flying and no flight pay and time dragged. I would have loved to have spent all 3 tours in a HUEY squadron but the Corps wanted me elsewhere.

Roger R Everline
XXXX947 SSgt of Marines
2 February 1962 - 7 April 1970


Small Acts Of Rebellion

I was a young Sergeant with Maintenance Company, Electronics Maintenance Plt, 9th MAB, on Okinawa in 1968-69. About all of the platoon had some college and most had a pretty cocky attitude. When the Pay Officer would pay us with checks we would quickly scan the amount, report "My pay is correct, Sir!", then quickly fold the check into quarters and stuff it in our utility pocket, knowing full well that "Do not fold, spindle, or mutilate" was written on the bottom of the check. It was a small act of rebellion. One day one of the guys got called on that practice and got his "azs" handed to him. Afterwards I saw a bunch of the techs gathered around one of the work benches and they looked very busy, way too busy. Since they couldn't fold the checks any more they were all using Exacto knives to cut extra squares in the check to mess with the card readers when the checks made it back to their source after they were cashed. Another small act of rebellion. We had one great group of guys.

Al Karg 2328617
SSgt. USMC
'67 - '71


Promotion Order

This is in partial response to Robert Bliss' question on USMC field commissions, and the veracity of the supposed former Marine he met at a home and garden show.

The war in 'Nam:

One day, in 1976, one of my classmates at San Diego State University, explained to me that he was attending college at USMC expense, due to the fact that he had received a field commission in 'Nam, and that those so awarded were given a deadline after the war in which to obtain a four year degree in order to hold on to their commission.

I have also heard second hand of others receiving field commissions in 'Nam.

WWII:

My father had a friend, who retired from the Marine Corps in the '70s as a Sergeant Major. He was a career tanker, and my father had served with him in Iceland from 1940 thru 1941. One day, the Sergeant Major allowed me to look through his USMC service record. In it, among many other interesting items, I found:

1. A Silver Star citation for a daring exploit on Saipan, when the tank he commanded was disabled by enemy fire.

2. An order awarding him a field commission to the rank of 2nd Lt. for the same action.

3. A promotion order promoting him to the rank of 1st Lt, as a result of further bravery on Iwo Jima.

4. A 1946 letter, reducing him in grade to the rank of Gunny due to the downsizing of the Corps.

5. A letter from him to HQ Marine Corps requesting that he be reduced only to Warrant Officer.

6. A letter from HQ Marine Corps to him, denying his request on the grounds that he did not have a high school diploma.

7. A 1970's letter from the Sergeant Major to HQ Marine Corps requesting that he be retired in the rank of Sergeant Major, as opposed to the rank of 1st Lt.

8. A letter from HQ Marine Corps to the Sergeant Major granting his request. (When I questioned the Sergeant Major on this, he stated that retirement as a Sergeant Major payed $15 a month more than retirement as a 1st Lt).

Ron Mandell
Cpl July '67-'70
1st Bridge Co, 7th Engineer Bn, 'Nam (Dec '67 - Jan '69)

PS: I'm still looking for anyone from Recruit Platoon 2030, MCRD San Diego, July - September '67.


Where Did All The Money Go

Re: Ddick's comments about recruits being paid during boot camp. I was in boot camp at MCRD San Diego from 28 May 1962 until 18 September 1962 and do not recall ever having any cash during that time. What I remember was receiving a PX chit book and all other pay remaining "on the books" (like in Viet Nam) until we graduated boot camp. I do clearly recall being majorly surprised that we had to pay for our bucket issue and sea bag issue. Got out of ITR and here are all these guys flying home for boot leave. There I was on a Trailways bus for three days, with a one way ticket because Trailways was cheaper than Greyhound. Where did all the money go? I only went on weekend liberty one time during ITR. Did I really spend that much?

I'm wrong about once a day now that I wear an older man's clothes so I could be wrong about that. The older I get, the weaker my memory gets but until someone comes along and says I'm full of sh-t, that's the story I'm going with.

Cpl. Jerry D.
USMC 1962-1966

"Oderint dum metuant."
"Let them hate, so long as they fear."
--Caligula


Leaned Into Him

Hard thing to do. We were in Japan, Camp Fuji. I was on duty as a Corporal, and one of our Company Plt Sgts (SSGT) came in about 2 am, all drunk. and started going off on me, that he didn't want to sign in etc. Yelling and cussing and pulling rank... I had no idea what to do. It was a tough decision. So, instead of calling the officer of the day, who happened to be from another company, I quietly called our 1stSgt. He told me over the phone what to say to him and how. It worked! Like butter on a biscuit. I went back to the SSgt, and looked at him, leaned into him, and quietly relayed what the 1stSgt told me to say. His eyes got big. He actually kind of came to attention. Leaned over, signed in the duty book, looked at me, about faced, and headed for his barracks room, half way mumbling an apology. What I said to him was "if you don't shut up, sign in, and get to your bunk, 1stSgt said that he will make sure within a week that you are a Private on mess duty for the duration of our 8 month tour over here." Love our 1stSgt's.

Don Miller, Jr.
From Facebook


Pay, Hong Kong, Swiss Banks

An update for the person Wondering About This Guy and Disbursing.

First - There were a few battlefield commissions made during Vietnam, also just about every SSgt and above, with a high school education, was offered a temporary commission during 1966 when the Corps was building up to 5 divisions. I don't think very many 1stSgts or SgtsMaj accepted. There were also many temporary meritorious commissions made. Most retired as MSgts but received their commissions back at the end of their 30 year finish of transfer to the Fleet Marine Corps Reserve.

Disbursing: I'm not sure if this was true or a very detailed put on joke.

I was wounded in Vietnam in 1966 and after several months in the hospital and limited duty, I was sent to the Base Brig at CamPen as an Asst Brig Warden to finish healing up. While stationed there I read what appeared to be an official record of a court martial of an Asst Disbursing Officer.

The officer's name was blacked out but here's the story:

Sometime during 1956 or '57 a 1stLt was the Asst Disbursing Officer. A Capt that was the Base Disbursing Officer had planned to go on leave, leaving the Asst in charge. I got the impression that the 1stLt was an air winger serving some time as a ground officer which many are required to do.

Pay day was coming up after a 4-day holiday. Wednesday afternoon, the Lt packed up a million dollars (this is what's funny--a million dollars in 20 dollar bills is one heck of a package) boarded a plane for Hong Kong. Deposited the money in Hong Kong and flew to Switzerland using some of his military air plane friends to go across the states. He went to a Swiss Bank and asked that the money be transferred to a Swiss account. This was handled by telephone assuring the Swiss that the money was available. They didn't have all of the computer networks then to transfer the money automatically. He then flew back to Hong Kong and withdrew the same money (same serial numbers) from the safe deposit box in Hong Kong because there was no record of the Swiss phone call. He arrived back at CamPen Monday morning in time to pay the troops. He was arrested a few days later when a phone call came from the Swiss bank wondering where the money from Hong Kong was.

The court martial details were far more detailed than I remember and I know I left several things out.

The Lt was only found guilty of miss use of government air since the exact same money was still available for pay day. He was sentenced to time served and of course, lost his commission.

J L Stelling​


Cash, MPC, Pay Day

Being paid while in VN.

Around late '66 or early '67 while in 3rd FSR Truck Co. near Danang, I recall that we were paid once per month (not the usual 1st & 15th ) and while signing the pay roster which indicated how much we had on the books we would write in the amount we wanted to receive the next month (MPC & Piasters). Since I didn't need much, I would leave most of my money on the books and for the time I had built up a nice total (I don't recall much details as memory fades). I was a E2 or 3 at that time and had been in country about 9 months.

After signing for my pay, I noted that my account was at zero even though I should have had a substantial amount on the books. The Pay Master said I would have to take that up with Disbursement.

Upon going to disbursing I was told that my money was put on the books for an E5 in my Co. with the same last name and he signed & received it all. Consequently, I was told to go see him and get it back!

I went to his tent and he admitted that he knew that there was an error but since he was due to go on R&R he needed the cash and figured he would straighten things out when he got back so he asked me to stand fast until he returned.

About 2 weeks later we went to disbursing and they put a hold on his future pays and put my money back on my account. After that I would sign to receive all my pay in MPC, which resulted in another problem later on when I was rotating home and got to the Danang Air strip they would only convert 2 months pay worth of MPC back to Green Backs. I had to find guys rotating who didn't have much MPC to convert and have them cash in some of my funny money for me, and for a few bucks they were happy to do it for me.

Cpl. Wes Hyatt
'63-'67​


Extending In Nam

Sgt. Grit,

Just a note to respond to Robert Bliss' question in the 14 May Newsletter on extended tours in Vietnam. Someone had told Robert that he had extended his tour in VN for up to two years ('68 to'70) which raised the question whether a Marine could stay that long in the field.

For all it's worth, I drew combat pay for some 41 months in RVN, all but the first six months in direct combat assignments. I arrived in May of '67 and was assigned to the 1st MarDiv G-2 shop on Hill 327 until November of the same year. (My OQR showed I spoke French and somehow Division thought that might come in handy - it didn't.) From there I went to 1st Force Recon Co. until June '68, extended and went to 1st Recon Bn. until January '69, extended again and was seconded to the PRU program until September '69. While on extension leave in Jan. '69, I managed to visit Kabul, Afghanistan and stayed with the MSGs at the Marine House. The Gunny there, the MSG NCOIC, was a great host, showed me all around town, and helped me get a flintlock musket at the bazaar that had been captured from the British army by Afghan guerrillas ca. 1842. It has a stamp on the firing mechanism "VEIC 1807", for 'Venerable East India Company 1807'. I haven't been back to Kabul since - maybe now's not a good time to visit.

After I left the PRU, I returned to CONUS for Lao language school and returned to RVN in January 1971 for a year with the Naval Advisory Detachment (NAD) MACV/SOG, operating out of Danang. If I've done the math right, that works out to 29 months in-country on the first tour ('67 to '69) and 12 on the second ('71 to '72).

A good friend of mine, Col. Andy Finlayson, also had extended tours in Vietnam, a year on his first tour with 1st Force and about 19 months on his second, 6 months again with Force, then 6 months with the 5th Marines, and finally 7 months with the PRU. Andy has written a couple of books covering his extended tours in Vietnam which should be required reading for any military professional or historian. I recommend to you "Killer Kane" and "Rice Paddy Recon", both on Amazon. And, yeah, this is a shameless plug for the books - but they're worth it.

The guy Robert Bliss ran into sounds a little fishy to me. Recon, whether it was Force or Recon Bn., just wasn't "working in small units 'all over Nam'".

At least during my time there, 1st Force was in direct support of either 1st MarDiv at Hill 327 or Task Force Xray out of PhuBai and 1st Recon Bn. was opcon/adcon solely to 1st MarDiv in the Danang TAOR. (I understand that 1st Force was forward deployed elsewhere in I Corps later, but that was after my time.) Even operational units under MACV/SOG tended to focus on specific areas, such as CCN (North) out of PhuBai, CCS (South) out of Kontum, and CCC (Central) out of BanMeThuot. NAD and Monkey Mountain FOB ranged a little more widely and NAD conducted maritime ops literally from the Delta (tho' infrequently) to the DMZ and points north.

Sgt. Grit, I think you can tell Marine Bliss that he's 'outed' another wannabe, otherwise known as a bald-faced liar.

That said, it was possible to stay for extended tours, if you were a bit crazy. But then again, in my case, I was young and indestructible. People to this day ask me why I stayed in RVN so long. I tell them it was the right thing to do. I believed it then and I believe it now.

Semper Fi,
Fred Vogel
USMC/USMCR 1960 - 1995


Platoon 321, 1966

Sgt Grit,

I am attaching the Platoon 321, Parris Island Photo taken 10 March 1966. Many of the 0300 mos went direct to ITR. I was in the first group with orders to WesPac scheduled to depart June 1, 1966, but I was sent to DLIWC and did not leave until about Aug 25th. Notice only some have rifle qualification badges.

Jim Kozelouzek, my bunk mate, called me about 4 yrs ago. He suffers from PTSD. We met in Las Vegas about 2 yrs ago and talked and laughed like it was yesterday. I call him on the Marine Corps Birthday and Memorial Day.

I have not been in touch with anyone else in the photo since about 1975.

J Kanavy, CPL, 0311, 0231


Combat Promotions, DD 214, and Ribbons

In response to Robert Bliss, May 14, the letter you posted on your encounter with a Marine sounded like he was full of hog-wash. But I do know of some Marines who continued to extend their tours in Vietnam for up to three years. One I know spent most of his twenty some odd years in the Marine Corps between Okinawa and Vietnam. They are the classic examples of Sergeant Major Dan Daly.

Never heard of a Combat Promotion in Vietnam during that time, but there were promotions to Limited Duty Officers, and the Enlisted Commissioning Promotion. Both created a huge void of Staff NCO leadership, when the Marine Corps needed it the most during the late 1960s. However, a Combat Promotion has that certain status that makes one better than the others.

Like yourself, as a grunt, I humped over the rice paddies, fields, and villages from Da Nang, Phu Bai, and Khe Sanh during "Operation Virginia" in 1966. Know where I was, because most of the time I had a map and compass. What glee, a twelve month tour of Vietnam paid for by the U.S. Government, with room and board. You would be surprised on how may U.S. servicemen are living in Vietnam, including Marines.

To Dale Landon: Your records clerk must have been sniffing coke, blowing smoke, and on the cloud patrol when he typed up your DD 214. Couldn't make any sense out of it at all, including your discharge location. The unit you were discharged from puzzles me. The Ninth Marine regiment was station at Camp Hansen, Okinawa during 1965. Were you discharged overseas? Not unusual, just out of the ordinary.

Ribbons and Combat Action Ribbons: If you rate it, wear them and be proud that you earned them. You can tell most people what they are, what they are for, and how you earned them. Those who don't rate them can only tell you what color they are.

Semper Fi
Herb Brewer


Marine Wreath

This wonderful customer, Cynthia, sent these pictures in of her Marine Wreath. She took some of our items to make this wreath for a Marine due home soon.

Teresa Bolhuis
Customer Service


Corpsmen

Grit,

There are two reasons I am writing this to you. I am about to get my Permant Change of Station to guard duty on the streets of Heaven. And second, I have a little ceremony that I have run for fifty years. It can and should be applied when Marines and their Corpsmen meet. My hope is that by your publishing it in your great letters, it won't be forgotten.

The ceremony runs like this: get the permission from the person in charge of the meeting to run the ceremony. Get everyone's attention and let them know you have an OK to run a ceremony honoring Corpsmen and tell them how it will be run. (Details following). Start by calling all Corpsmen Front and Center and they are to face the troops. When they are front and center, command "All Marines stand by" (short pause) "Attention!" When at attention command "Present Arms", All Marines will render a hand salute and look straight in the eyes of the Corpsmen.

You will then say "Marines go out when there may be trouble. That's a Marine thing. You Corpsmen go out with us because you are brave men and know d-mn well we will find trouble. Many of you have died or otherwise had your butt shot off trying to keep us alive. We SALUTE you, we HONOR you and we LOVE you. My God bless you and your families. Order Arms. At Ease."

Semper Fidelis,
Reddog '45-'57​


Trying To Get Used To The Idea

Sgt. Grit,

In response to Robert Bliss and his question on Field Commission:

I was a Huey crew chief with VMO-6 1967-69 at Quang Tri. One morning my bird and crew were tasked for early launch to take our CO and a few other "Os" to a meeting at Camp Carroll. We'd flown late the previous night and missed late chow, and were out before the mess hall opened.

At Carroll the officers went to their meeting, we crews had to stay with our birds. I spotted a group of Marines reinforcing their perimeter filling sandbags. I asked where I might get a few C-rat meals, and one to them pointed down the road and directed me to a company CP, and said ask for Capt. "Smith" (don't remember his name). We left the other crew to watch our birds and smartly wandered in the direction indicated. As we approached the tent with a "CP" sign in front, a Marine double timed out the flap, headed to his left. I called out that I was looking for Capt. "Smith." He stuck his head in the tent flap and said something about "a couple of pilots" asking for him. The reply came, "I'll be right out."

Almost immediately out walks a Marine wearing cut off camo trousers, belt undone, top 3-4 buttons of the fly undone, and bare feet stuck into untied boots. He asks what he can do for us, we tell him we're just looking for four C-meals for our crews. He yells over his shoulder, "L/Cpl bring these guys a case of Cs." Then he turns to us and asks "Were you guys flying med-evac last night at (again, I don't remember. Seems to me it was somewhere around the Con Thien TAOR)" I replied "Yes, Sir." He turned his head and yelled over his shoulder, "Bring heat tabs and a six-pack."

He expressed his gratitude for our putting our gear down on his strobes, and said "if we'd have been off a few feet we'd have been landing on his wounded." He went on to add that he'd left Carroll the previous Sunday as a Sgt. and by Wednesday he was senior man in the company. He said that he was still trying to get used to the idea of being a Capt.

Don't know if he was promoted in the field or when he returned, but he earned it in the field.

Bush


P-51 Time

A couple of stories recently brought back some memories... The BAR guys in Korea used to tape two magazines together giving them some additional firepower from 20 rounds to 40 rounds. When one was used up, they would just pull the empty one out of the slot and turn it over to the extra one and insert it. Seemed to work good. Like Larry did with his AK-47. Very creative Marines.

The P-51 Parker Pen story reminded me also about Pilot's. When I was in Pilot Training after Korea, some of the Pilots used to fudge on their flying time in their log books by entering a little extra time that wasn't actual flying time. This became known as P-51 time in their log books. The Check Pilots could usually tell what was going on, and a second or third check ride was required along with a motivational speech about actual practice needed to become a proficient Pilot.

Thanks for your newsletters. Look forward to them every week.

Strange how we remember those things.

Cpl Bob

The smoking lamp is OUT! Field Strip your butts NOW!


All-Too Common Malady

The 'Recon' (forgot to mention 'Force', guy) who was made a battlefield Lt... on the death of his unit leader, suffered from an all-too common malady, that being that his colon is loaded to capacity... despite the fact that he wears a cover. The Corps made a considerable number of SNCO's into Temporary Officers during Viet Nam... nothing too new there, I think it was also common in WWII and Korea. The Corps started the program in 1965... Staff Sergeants and above could apply, and if selected, would be promoted, with the clear understanding that they would be Officers for as long as the Corps needed them to be Officers, and then they could be reverted to Enlisted. One of the features of being so selected was that Enlisted promotion was pretty much automatic any time a Temp's peer group (time in grade, time in service, etc. came up, regardless of MOS... which is why I have framed on the wall a promotion warrant making me a Gunnery Sergeant (Temporary) effective 1 October 1967... and have never worn chevrons with two rockers... and put on the first rocker (SSGT) in the spring of 1966)... There used to be a joke in the mid-seventies which went like this: "Show me a MSgt who used to be a Captain... and I'll show you someone who can work that fact into any conversation"...

Some, through various programs, were able to remain in the Officer ranks, but those who didn't, qualified for retirement pay 'at the highest rank honorably held' at a point thirty years from their Pay Entry Base Date.

Case in point... having been one of the selectees, but not yet promoted, I went 'in-country' as a SSGT... knowing that at some point, I would be temporarily promoted to 2ndLT... along with a fellow platoon sergeant in the same company (K/3/5)... and, upon returning to the Company area on the Chu Lai perimeter from a Rough-Rider, Chu Lai to DaNang and back, the 1st Sgt advised "Dick and Marty... your commissions came in at Bn while you were gone"...

The next day, we mustered in the Bn CO's (Lt.Col Bronars') GP tent, raised our right hands and were sworn in as (Temporary) Officers... and given transfer orders. Some would consider 'battlefield' a fair description of the Chu Lai perimeter at that time... but I sure wouldn't be caught dead telling someone I had received "a Battlefield Commission"... it just didn't work that way. To be fair to the guy, in the fog of forty years or more, he may have been told he was now the Platoon Leader (or Commander)... happened all the time, have a bud who was a Platoon Leader... as the senior PFC left standing/effective, but a big difference... especially on payday. Marty eventually retired as the Division Sergeant Major of the 4th MarDiv... last time I saw him in person was in a very dusty GP tent in an Ammunition Supply Point in the field at 29 Palms... accompanying the Division CG, during a large Reserve exercise... 1980 or so. The legal authority to issue a battlefield commission may have rested with Division commanders or other General Officers in the VN era, but I was never aware of that actually happening.

(some of us temps later became LDO's... technically "Limited Duty Officers", the limitation being that no way in h-ll were any of us ever going to command an Infantry Bn... that's a closed-shop, union position... so I was content to be known as Large, Dumb, and Obnoxious)...

BTW... there's two of you R. Bliss's... the other was one of my recruits... and a wing-wiper... we swap e-mails now and then, for some odd reason are both in volunteer fire departments...

And, FWIW... the song "Get Your Kicks on Route 66" was written by a Marine Mustang Captain, WWII vintage, name of Bobby Troup... married to Julie London (for a while...)

​Ddick


Okinawa People's Party

During my long and varied career as a United States Marine, I ran into some of the Characters that have blessed the Marine Corps formats beginning. I had a buddy I ran into from time to time, each time he related his latest experience which always seemed to be a Bit dangerous.

Rusty was stationed at The Navy Air Base in Washington when a plane went down with eight (Believe it was 8) Marines and everyone not on duty was put aboard search plane hoping to locate the downed plane (I don't think the plane was ever found). So Rusty decided to get some chow as he was quite hungry from not eating. He was walking down the road to the Gedunk when all of a sudden a plane came down cartwheeling not too far from him. Chow was forgotten, just getting as far away from the place was all that counted.

I think the last time ran into Rusty was at the Morning Star Newspaper in Okinawa, we both had been hired as Proof Readers for the only English Language Newspaper on the Island. This was early on before the Vietnam War, I believe. Five bucks an hour we were paid which was needed to help ones time to go a bit faster and get the h-ll out of country. While working there I went with a Okinawa Reporter as he covered the OKPP (Okinawa Peoples Party) march on Naha. The Police were out in their RIOT Gear. I watched as Rocks and bottles were thrown at the Police and saw some gashed heads. I watched as Formed Police Units advance on the OKPP march. The gashed heads were on the OKPP and the riot quickly disappeared into the dark.

I was at Okinawa when it was wrestled from the Japanese in 1945 when the Okinawan's were completely different, Native costume and all that. Reading Old Leathernecks from the time period gives some Harrowing Experiences not just on the front lines.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC, Retired


Something Must Have Happened

Sgt. Grit,

Very ironic that you would publish a blurb from George O'Connell, RM2, about the USS Henrico (APA-45); I was stationed at HqCo, HqBn, 3dMarDiv, from April 1956 to May 1957.

The mention of the Henrico triggered a very small memory cell; as of right now, I can only remember being on the ship, but cannot come up with any details of where, or why, although there are vague recollections of lifting off in a helicopter.

It really is true that the older you get, more of your memory cells get burned out, and it just leaves you with blanks in your life that you know something must have happened.

Anyway... Semper Fi
James R. McMahon
GySgt of Marines (1949-1970)


Move My Fleet South IMMEDIATELY

I remember this scenario well. I was afloat part of the 9th MEB. Though we were afloat, part of flotilla off Danang, doing nothing, going nowhere, Uncle Sam actually paid you. In US dollars I think, not funny money (military script). The way this was done is a Captain carried the money from ship to ship, with a Sgt packing a .45 in tow for protection. He was ferried around in a small boat, pulled up to the Jacob's ladder (staircase), would come up, sit behind a little table and dole out the cash to we troops, who signed off that they rec'd it. You could opt for it all or part. But he had to have enough cash for all. So he had a LOT of money.

It so happened that one eventful day, A bunch of Marines, including me, were standing on deck (hanging around doing zip) just as he came aboard our ship. They say timing is everything in life and that day it was for the Marine Captain & Sgt., literally a few minutes after the Captain & Sgt set foot on deck, the Admiral himself stuck his head over his perch and shouted the order down to the navy guys that we we're ordered to pull out and head to Saigon. Included in this short order was to "pull up the Jacobs ladder and get under weigh". This, as you can imagine got the Marine Captain/paymaster's attention. He and the Sgt quickly gathered themselves and the Captain, politely and properly asked the Admiral who was still looking down from ahigh, the words just out of his mouth, if the Admiral would hold that ladder a moment so he & the Sgt could get off.

The Admiral said "Captain, my orders are to move my fleet South IMMEDIATELY, and that's exactly what I'm going to do... Welcome aboard!" And stunned he watched the crew hop to, pull up the ladder, and off we went. And that poor Captain and Sgt were with us all the way to Saigon and back (eventually we came back when the coup quieted down Big Minh was overthrowing Little Minh or vice versa). All they had was what they were wearing (uniform of the day, not dungerees) their .45's, and a pile of money. And I suppose a neat story to tell. It had to fall into Ddick's dirty little officer job.

What else comes to mind, is the Admiral had a very high pitched voice, which amused the Marines to no end, but you had to be Very careful of when and where you were amused.

Somewhat related, I think it was the MEB which was almost literally thrown together, but I can't nail down exactly. I don't think it was at sea, it may have been in staging at Camp Hague. It seems our records, including pay record weren't lost... they just didn't happen to catch up to us. But like clockwork we had to be paid. So we lined up, moved to the table and the paymaster asked "How much do you want?" really. I'm sure it had to reason test, but they had no clue if you were underdrawn, overdrawn, pay docked, pay sent home. For a lot of the Marines it had a Christmas Day aura. The Eagle was sh-tting and it had diarrhea.

Don Harkness


Reunions

Combined Action Company (CAC) Oscar Company Mini-Reunion

Members of CAC Oscar (Khe Sanh & Phu Vang, RVN 1967 - 68) have decided to meet in Las Vegas, NV for an informal mini-reunion from Monday, July 27th through Thursday, July 30th, 2015. The Golden Nugget Hotel in downtown Las Vegas has been selected as "base camp." We'd like to see as many men from Oscar Company (all platoons, eras, and ranks) attend if at all possible.

New information will be posted on our site and circulated to the mailing list as it comes up.

Visit our site at USMC CAC Oscar.

Please email Jim "Bagpipes" Taylor if you are planning to attend at fjtUSMC[at]gmail.com.


Short Rounds

Sgt. GRIT,

We ARE the WORLD'S globe trotters, like it or not...

Sgt. O


This is a video I made (I being former Cpl. Martin) that I think Marines would find funny. I'm trying to get it airplay. Don't know if it's something you would promote, but hey, it's worth a try.

What Does The Fox Really Say


"I don't care if there is a bee on your eyeball. You will not move!"
"Do You Hear Me MAGGOT?"
"Yes SIR!"
"I Can't HEAR YOU!"
"Yes SIR!"
"BULL--T, I Still Can't HEAR YOU!"
"Yes SIR!"
"Get Down And Give Me Twenty!"
"Aye Aye SIR!"

Norm Spilleth
Plt. 374, August 1960


Quotes

"[N]o 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


"The MARINES have landed and have the situation well in hand!"
--Richard Harding Davis


"Casualties many; Percentage of dead not known; Combat efficiency - we are winning!"
--Col. David M. Shoup, USMC


"Six to the front, Three to the rear, Dig'm in, dig'm in!"

"Saepius Exertus, Semper Fidelis, Frater Infinitas Often Tested, Always Faithful, Brothers Forever."

A salutation: "clicks", "We're only six clicks from our destination!"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 14 MAY 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 14 MAY 2015

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• Operation Shufly
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Recon picture from hill 250

Recon Marines looking out over valley from hill 250

I was the the officer in charge of Hill 250 from January 1969 until September 1970. 1st Recon was sent to the hill to provide security for the IOD and my men and I, in that order. We had thermite (sp?) grenades strapped to the IOD. Our job was to destroy it should we get over run. The IOD (Integrated Observation Device) was my responsibility. I remember the dozer being brought to level some high ground adjacent to our hill.

I also remember that we were sent a recoilless rifle, which was worthless because the back blast would have killed us. I seem to remember that we disarmed it and put it down by the LZ for bait.

Recon was sent out to get this tiger because it was killing villagers. ​You had to listen for them, you wouldn't or couldn't see them coming.

The hill was initially Hill 200, then they resurveyed and renumbered it. Or visa versa, can't remember which.

Semper Fi,
Robert Beksel


Some Stupid SOB

I was attending Advanced Electronics / Calibration school at Lowry AFB in Denver Colorado when I noticed this paragraph lying under the plexiglass in the CO's outer office. We were 25 Marines on a base with 15,000 junior birdmen.

Here I am, drunk, sick, p-ssed off, hungry, stupid, flat brock, missed muster, no pass, no azs, no friends and to many relatives.

I have to get a haircut, I'm homesick, tired and haven't had nay mail in 3 weeks.

I'm considered inefficient, I have poor character rating, my rate is frozen, my pay is fouled up, I have no clothes, my laundry has been rejected, my leave disapproved and the Top kick wants to see me after quarters.

I've got a hard on, VD, I'm about to sh-t my pants, and the head is secure for inspection.

And then some stupid SOB comes along and says "Ship Over For The Advantages."

Well... Kiss My Azs!

Lovingly (LOL)
Sergeant of Marines
John C. Darr
Vietnam 1970-71
Marble Mountain


I Got It In Beirut

USMC Vietnam Veteran Hat

MGySgt Hansen in Vietnam 1968

I took the liberty of adding a few devices to the ribbons on your Vietnam cap. Before anyone gives me a ration of cr-p about the star on the Combat Action Ribbon, I got it in Beirut. The second photo is in response to your last posting with the young Marines performing the same detail in Iraq. I am on the right of that photo. This would be in Vietnam about May/June '68.

​Steve Hansen
MGySgt USMC Ret.

Get your own Vietnam Cover/Hat at:

Vietnam Ribbon Cover/Hat

Vietnam Ribbon Cover/Hat


Sgt Grit Memorial Day T-shirts


Paying Marines Was Serious Business

I read the story of the XO's ordeal with an overage in a company payroll with much interest. I was a disbursing clerk during the years '57-'60. The company payrolls were made up from company rosters on a multi-graph machine. Yes, very old technology. After pay was computed, the dollar amount was typed onto the pay sheets. We would then total the dollar amount then determine how many 20s, 10s, 5s, and 1s were needed. That would balance against the total payroll. The disbursing officer or agent cashier (an NCO) would then count the money and have it ready for the company officer. Each Marine would sign for his pay. If a Marine did not sign for whatever reason, the money was returned, and the amount was deleted from the pay record of the individual Marine. The officer could have underpaid a Marine as anyone who has ever handled money would know. He was lucky that he didn't overpay.

I worked under four disbursing officers and as many assistant DOs. No one ever harassed the company pay officer for any reason when the pay rosters were returned. Paying Marines was serious business. We may have had our ears turned back a few times over differences of amounts or expectations, but we never argued. I don't doubt the Lieutenant's story, but that was not standard operating procedure.

James V. Merl, 3421
1655...​


What A Hoot

Sgt. Grit,

In your 7MAY15 issue of the newsletter there was a letter from Sgt. Eric Tipton regarding his experience on guard duty in Chu Lai on New Year's Eve 1968 wherein he said that he was listening to AFR counting down the top songs of the year and watched one h-ll of a pyrotechnics show at the stroke of midnight.

On the same night I was doing exactly (and I mean precisely) the same things he was doing except that I was in a bunker on the western perimeter of DaNang (might have been Hill 244). We also had a great show over Happy Valley. I find this coincidence to be absolutely amazing and just had to write and mention it. I too slept very well.

What a hoot!

Thanks Sgt. Tipton, you made my day. Semper Fi my friend.

Cpl. Gerry Zanzalari
2206592
1966 - 1970
RVN 1968 - 1969


Sgt Grit Catalog Volume 67


Wondering About This Guy

It all started when my wife and I went to the Home and Garden show in Kentucky. We walked a long and checked out some new things for the home and garden when we happen upon this gentleman selling nozzles for the garden hose. We didn't really need one but he had on a cover (like the one from Sgt. Grit) that stated that he is a wounded combat vet. By the looks of him, it had to be from Viet Nam. So, we stopped and I shook his hand (I had one of my USMC covers on---you know where I got it) and offered a Semper Fi greeting as I always do. We exchanged what units we served with in Nam and our AO. That's when I started wondering about this guy. The unit he gave made no sense to me. He explained that he was with Recon working in small units "all over Nam". He forgot to state "Force" Recon. He said that he kept extending his time in country for two years (1968-1970). I don't remember anyone being allowed to stay that long and in the bush the whole time. Next, he explained that his unit leader (a Lt.) was killed in action, so he received a Field Commission to 2nd. Lt.. I'll admit that I was uncertain that the Marines did Field Commission during the VN war. A very close friend of mine who was a Mustang, who retired as a Capt. with 23 years in the Marine Corps told me that the Army did field commissions during WWII and Korean War but to his knowledge Marines just depend on the next highest rank to take charge.

If there is anyone who can help me to clear this question---Was he a wanna be or just someone telling a bad story. Maybe, someone told him that he should have been an officer so he became one. Who knows?

Semper Fi my friends,
Robert Bliss
Golf Co. 2nd. Bn. / 5th. Marine Regiment, 1st. Marine Division
(I know who I was with---that's something you just can't forget)


Little Dirty Jobs Officer

Note that some got it right... "disBursing"... and some used the lingua franca, "disPersing"... ah, yes, Pay Call... in the days before checks... or electronic deposit. Usual thing was the Officer whose turn it was to be "LDJO" (Little Dirty Jobs Officer"... all those things that had to be done, but didn't involve looking steely-eyed with a bayonet held in the teeth... pay was one of those... along with voting, United Way, Navy Relief, clubs inventory, yada yada...) Standard statement from those who counted out the cash at the Disbursing Office was along the lines of "all overages belong to the Government, all shortages belong to the Pay Officer"... like the opening to 'Gunsmoke' on the radio... "Makes a man sorta watchful..."... been there, done that, saw a lot of changes in the methodology of distributing recompense over the years... was once the Corporal with the duty belt, holster, and .45 (M1911A1, w/5 rounds, and no real instructions on who could be shot, or when, etc.) and also the man with the rosters and the cash... or, in some locales, the MPC (Military Payment Certificates... AKA "scrip")... got tagged to be a payroll guard for the Lt. series officer who had to pay a series (four recruit platoons), at MCRD, SD, in 1962. I remember the Lt's name, but won't use it. We went to Disbursing, which at the time was on the southwest corner of the grinder, near Depot Hq (bldg 31???). By today's standards, it wasn't a lot of money... the first payday, and the amount of the bucket issue and the PX chit book had already been deducted. The Lt. carefully re-counted the money after the Disbursing Officer counted it out for him... and then he had to sign for it... His arm cramped up... he just couldn't write his name. He was sweating, kept rubbing his arm and hand, finally managed to scratch out (with an ink pen) a signature that satisfied the Disbursing Officer... and by the end of the day, we had paid about 300 recruits. I saw the Lt again, about eight years later, in VN... he was still, or again, a Lt... and I, proving that some of the folks at Hq ain't the sharpest light bulbs in the knife drawer, was, temporarily, at least, at Captain. He didn't remember me...

Ddick


Eight Gallons Of Prunes

Sgt. Grit,

We sailed from Pearl on June, 1, 1944. Several LST's had accidentally burned at Pearl a few days earlier and we wondered if we had been selected to replace them as we were rushed a bit. Our group consisted of four LST's and two sub-chasers. We stopped for one day at Enewitok and took on supplies then continued toward Guam. About 150 miles from Guam they told us a Jap fleet was coming toward the Marianas from the Philippines. Our group turned around and sped back to Enewitok and lay at anchor for over a month.

When we again headed for Guam a call came over the PA system for anybody who had a driver license to report midships to an officer. I never learned if the lack of licensed drivers was due to families who could not afford to own vehicles during the depression of the 1930's or as rumored, people in most of eastern states had to be at least 21 to get a license. The possibility was that with the transportation being so good in the area that none was needed.

When the day came for us to go ashore I reported to the tank deck and asked the officer which jeep was mine. His reply, "Jeeps are all taken. That truck is yours. Even though I had about ten years driving experience, I had never driven a truck, especially one with buckets for two steam-shovels loaded on it. I had about 150 feet to learn. Two of my Marine buddies wanted to ride with me when they found out I was to drive a vehicle. Before leaving they decided to liberate a couple of boxes from the ship so we would have something beside K-rats to eat. Later we decided to enjoy our ill-gotten food. Sad to say, they had liberated eight gallons of prunes.

I drove the truck ashore but the throttle was stuck and we could not get it loosened so I had to keep slipping the clutch to keep from running over the vehicle ahead of me.

Bob Gaston, StfSgt
384xxx


Well I'll Be A SOB

Sgt. Grit,

We filed through the armory at MCRD San Diego in September of 1970 and signed our rifle card.

As we ran out the hatch at high port Sgt. Perry blocked my way, grabbed my M-14 and shouted, "What's your rifle serial number PUKE?" "619201 SIR!" I yelled. "Well I'll be a SOB." He mumbled and let me go. What he didn't know was my rifle serial number was my zip code for my hometown with an added one on it. 61920 plus 1... 619201.

Sgt. Drury, David C.


Amputee Outdoors

Amputee Outdoors

Left to right, Matt Thrape (Tuff Trucks sponsor) Michael Boucher (co-founder of Amputee Outdoors) and Tony Mullis (co-founder Amputee Outdoors). Dirt track race car was sponsored for AO by vets and supporters. Driver / owner is Cameron Hall.

Check them out at Amputee Outdoors.

Semper Fi
Wayne Fritter
Sgt. USMC
1978-1988


Under Arms

It's been said that there are only two kinds of people who don't uncover indoors - Jews and cowboys.

Personally, I've only been approached once about being covered indoors, and that by a fellow Marine. Looked him in the eye and asked if he'd ever 'pulled the duty'. His quiet response was "under arms?" I nodded slightly, he smiled, and with a mutual 'Semper Fi', he left and I went back to my steak.

Just as a side note, the 1911 I was wearing - the one I never leave home without (we can do that here in AZ) - was the same one, with the same USMC custom emblem ivory grip panels I showed off the last time I stopped in OK City.

Duke - 2282xxx / Nam '68-'69​


Attitude Is Everything Day 15

Attitude Is Everything Quote of the Day 15

Here is this week's most popular Marine Corps quote that was posted on Sgt Grit's Facebook Page. The replies are nothing short of what you would expect from our fellow Marine brothers and sister, or Marine family members.

Here are a few of their comments:


Richard Jenkins - 56 for me out of MCRDSD and I have that same attitude.


Jim Rafferty - It is a Brotherhood.


George Cardenas - Once Sergeant Always a Marine. 1971-1975.


Scott McClellan - It is a privilege afforded to few.


Check daily to see what the next quote or saying of the day will be on the Sgt Grit Facebook page.


Operation Shufly​

Dear Sgt Grit,

Nice T-shirt commemorating to 50th anniversary of the Corps warfare commitment in Vietnam. However, 1965 was when ground troops landed. From 15 April 1962 through 8 March 1965 the Corps was committed to Vietnam in an operation called Shufly. Somehow Operation Shufly has been reduced to a footnote in Marine Corps History even though Marines were killed or wounded and many aircraft were lost.

I joined MABS 16, Sub Unit 2 at DaNang in 1963. HMM 162 was committed to air operations at that time and had just lost their XO as a result of hostile enemy action. I also landed with HqCo, 9th Marines in July 1965.

What I really want to say is that the Marines who participated in Operation Shufly should not be forgotten.

Semper Fi,
Jim Wilson
Charlotte, NC


NPD

Aboard the USS PONCE (LPD-15), deployed with H&S Co 2/8 and B-1/10 in 1974, I was assigned Pay Officer for the first time. Oddly enough, all of our pay calls were cash while deployed on the Med float, even when in the field.

The worst part of pay call was announcing NPD (with the Marine at attention in front of you. NPD is No Pay Due.) There were a few.

Semper Fidelis
Once a Lieutenant Colonel, ALWAYS a Marine.

Joe Kerke


I Was Dragged To The Water Cooler

I left Maine 6 days after I graduated from High school on a cool 68 degree, damp and foggy day in June 1962 to go to Parris Island and become a Marine! It took hours of flying and stopping everywhere to unload civilians and gather more Marine recruits. Needless to say, by the time we landed, it was late at night.

When I deplaned around 11pm, it was 81 degrees, hot and humid. Then the bus ride with a crazy, uniformed Marine yelling and screaming as he told us things that I don't remember.

I don't know what time it was when we got to Parris Island and finished doing paperwork (the only thing that I can remember from that night was declaring which religion I wanted to be affiliated with on my ID tags but, they brought us over to Receiving and we slept out on the concrete veranda, when seconds after we laid our heads down the Parris Island Marine Corps Band played "Reveille". We ran to and fro bumping into each other because no one knew what we were supposed to be doing.

Junior DI Sgt. Prince showed up and started to restore order and had us form up and herded us over to get uniforms, buckets, tent pegs, boots 782 gear, etc. where I passed out from the 88 degree heat with 100% humidity. I was dragged over to a water cooler and given 2 salt tablets. Soon after we were marched out carrying all our equipment over to 3rd Battalion, up to the 3rd deck where I picked my rack near the door.

Not having gone to the bathroom since I left Maine (too much excitement?) we were standing at attention while Junior DI Sgt. P.J. Frano, Jr. was introducing us to life at Parris Island, the do's and don'ts, addressing the DI's as Sir, etc. while he was strolling up the starboard side of the squad bay and down the port side, when, in the peace of hearing only one DI speaking, I realized just how much I needed to pee.

I waited for the DI to begin his walk down the port side thinking I could duck out the door and pee off the veranda and get back to my bunk before he began his trip up the starboard side and he wouldn't be any the wiser. So off I went, not hearing the clomp clomp of my boots or the slam of the door as I jumped up on the short wall and was unbuttoning my fly when I was grabbed around my waist by Sgt. Frano.

He asked "Are you planning on jumping off to get out of my Marine Corps?" I said "No Sir, I had to pee and I was having a hard time with the buttons." He told me to get back in front of my rack, then announced to everyone, "This brings me to another subject, Emergency Headcalls. Here is the procedure: Raise your hand. When told to speak, you say "Sir, I request permission to speak to the DI, Sir." When told to speak, you'll say, Sir Private ____ requests permission to go to the head, Sir. Upon the granting of your request you will proceed to the head."

Immediately, my hand reached for the stars. Sgt. Frano said "Speak". I said "Sir, Private Townsend requests permission to speak to the DI, Sir." He says "Speak". I said "Sir, Private Townsend requests permission to go to the head, Sir".

He says "This brings me to the granting of the privilege of an Emergency Head Call. When granted, you'll unbutton the buttons, grab your d--k with your left hand, raise your right hand and make the noise of a siren and run around the squad bay until I point to the head." He points to me and said "Do it!"

I unbuttoned the buttons, grab my d--k with my left hand, raised my right hand, made the noise of a siren and started running around the squad bay, and the third time around Sgt. Frano points to the hallway where the head is located. Never having been there before, I was peeing on the floor and the walls as I was frantically looking for the urinals.

What a relief when I returned in front of my bunk, and was I glad when I was assigned the cleaning of the DI's water fountain instead of cleaning the head!

Townsend
189xxxx


The Paymaster/OOD Refused To Leave​

(Relayed to me many years after the fact by the Officer involved)

The new Captain had said ALL Officers would be required to stand watches, including the Supply Officer doing OOD duty in Port.

TSHTF when the Supply/Disbursing Officer was assigned OOD duties and payday was called.

The Navy says that if the Disbursing Officer isn't there, NO money will be distributed as he had to count it (probably had to draw it out also), and 'supervise' the distribution.

About 20 min after Pay Day was called, 'people' were wondering where the crew was, and – it being an LST – it didn't take long to figure out they were in the mess deck awaiting payday.

The Paymaster/OOD 'refused' to leave the Quarterdeck until properly relieved (per regs) and payday finally held AFTER new OOD assigned.

Needless to say, he was NOT one of the CO's favorites BUT if you weren't a line officer, you didn't stand OOD watches after that...

George O'Connell
RM2(E5) USN 1956-64
USS Henrico (APA-45) 1957-60
USS Terrell County (LST-1157) 1960-62


Good Day To Die

Sgt Grit,

I noticed in your last letter the quote, "Today is a good day to die."

I work in the Helena Indian Alliance in Helena, Montana. We have the whole poem on the wall here, and it has a slightly different meaning if you read all of it:

"Today is a very good day to die.
Every living thing is in harmony with me.
Every voice sings a chorus within me.
All beauty has come to rest in my eyes.
All bad thoughts have departed from me."

"Today is a very good day to die.
My land is peaceful around me.
My fields have been turned for the last time.
My house is filled with laughter.
My children have come home.
Yes, today is a very good day to die."

Pete Formaz
Helena, MT
1867xxx


Going Back

Just read the newsletter for May 7. The article about Hill 200 and Hill 244 made me start to think about how many Viet Nam Marine Vets have returned to Viet Nam. I was there in '68/'69 and '72/73. I went back the first time in 2001. I will say I was worried about going back and began to think what am I going to do if I get there and start to freak out. They'll throw me in jail and throw away the key. Granted I had some problems, but nothing that I couldn't handle. It was a great experience and I am glad I went. Went from the Delta to Hanoi. It is now a very beautiful country. The Vietnamese people have no hard feeling towards the American people, they were wonderful. I have been back many times since 2003, '05, '07, and '11. Plan on going back in '16. Am now married to a wonderful Vietnamese lady.


​Boot Camp Platoon Picture

Sgt.Grit,

Looking at my Boot Camp Platoon picture I realized that 9/11 holds another memory for me. I grauduated with Platoon 344 on 9 Sept. 1965. I am planning on my FIRST trip BACK to Parris Island on 9 Sept. 2015. 50 years from my becoming a United States MARINE. SSgt. MILLER, Sgt. WERNTZ, Cpl. GIGLER and Cpl. DEVANE were my Drill Instructors. I am sure that the ONLY thing I will Recognize is The Yellow Footprints. Hoping to run into some of my fellow Recruits from Platoon 344, but I doubt it. Then on my way to Traingle, Va. MARINE CORPS MUSEUM. A lifetime of Memories await me. Served two tours in Viet Nam 1966 to 1968 FLSG-A, FLSG-B Chu-lai, and Hue-Phu Bai. Thank-you for allowing your fellow Marines to reconnect. SEMPER-FI.

Sgt. GARY L. FYE
21XXXXX ERIE, PA.
Now Serving at On Top Of The World, OCALA, FL.


Round Dog Tags

Army Good Conduct Medal with round dog tags

Back of round dog tags

Sgt Grit,

I read the postings on round dog tags and wanted to send along a photo of my dad's army dog tags. He died in 1993 and my older brother (a squid) and I split his military belongings. I got his dog tags, good conduct medal and what I believe might be an 8th Field Artillery lapel pin, but not sure if it was a part of his dress uniform or something he got when he was discharged. Anyway, Below see two pictures of my dad's dog tags. On the front is his name and USA and on the six is his service number or at that time his SSN. But I can't make out any finger prints. As a kid I think I recall him saying that a greenish ribbon wove through the two holes of each tag but not sure about that. My dad was a cannon cocker and stationed at Scofield Barracks and enlisted in 1939, so maybe the finger prints were post 1939?

Semper Fi,
Mike Kunkel
Cpl. 0331
Lima 3/8 Weapons Plt


Lost And Found

Platoon 2030, MCRD San Diego, 1967. They called us the "Angel Platoon" because we were all recruited in the greater Los Angeles area.

We sweated and feared together from 21 July to 22 Sep '67. Our DIs were Gunnery Sgt Chapman, S/Sgt Urruttia (we pronounced it "Urreata"), and S/Sgt Hummel.

Anyone out there? Contact me at Ronmandell[at]me.com.

Cpl Ron Mandell
1st Bridge Co, 7th Eng Bn
Dec '67 - Jan '69 Nam
(Retired Major, U.S. Army, but always a Marine)


Short Rounds

Joe Shaw I read about your E-4 and changing rank. Well I have the rank of L/Cpl E-4 on my DD214. They screwed up my last unit as 1/9 when I was in 2/9. At least they have my Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal right as being awarded in January 1965.​

Dale Landon


I agree 100% with MSgt Gene Hays on wearing the cover indoors in certain places. I have greeted and talked to many Marines recognized by their USMC covers.

GySgt G.R. Archuleta
Never Retired, Always a Marine


Sgt. Grit,

Oooooorah for another awesome newsletter. Keep them rounds coming down range!

Thank You For A Job Well Done!

SEMPER FI
LCpl Campos


Beg to differ with the disbursement officer. There were women in FMF, at least Headquarters, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic in Norfolk, Virginia in 1958.

Jim Connor member G-4 Headquarters, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic 1955-1959. They were d-mn good Marines too.


Threw My Rifle Back... Good to know that our Guide On (Plt 347, 3rd Bn P.I. 1958), Cpl David Levine still with us. I'm sure he would agree S/Sgt Truax had the best cadence in the Corps.

Anybody else from 347 out there?

Bill Mc Dermott​


Quotes

"Here (America) men would attempt to build society on new foundations. Applying for first time theories either previously unknown or deemed inapplicable, they would stage for the world a spectacle for which nothing in the history of the past had prepared it."
--Alexis de Tocqueville


"Sometimes it is entirely appropriate to kill a fly with a sledge-hammer!"
--Maj. Holdredge


"If the American Revolution had produced nothing but the Declaration of Independence, it would have been worth while... The beauty and cogency of the preamble, reaching back to remotest antiquity and forward to an indefinite future, have lifted the hearts of millions of men and will continue to do so... These words are more revolutionary than anything written by Robespierre, Marx, or Lenin, more explosive than the atom, a continual challenge to ourselves as well as an inspiration to the oppressed of all the world."
--Samuel Eliot Morison, The Oxford History of the American People [1965]


"The right to be let alone is indeed the beginning of all freedom."
--Justice William O Douglas


"A ship without MARINES is like a garment without buttons."
--Adm. DAVID PORTER, USN


"The time is now near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves."
--George Washington, 1776


"Dismissed!"

"Fall out!"

"Expect the unexpected."

"Semper Fi"
Relpy: "Forever and one day"

Gung Ho!
Tango Siera!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 14 MAY 2015
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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 14 MAY 2015

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• I Got It In Beirut
• Operation Shufly
• Round Dog Tags

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I was the the officer in charge of Hill 250 from January 1969 until September 1970. 1st Recon was sent to the hill to provide security for the IOD and my men and I, in that order. We had thermite (sp?) grenades strapped to the IOD. Our job was to destroy it should we get over run. The IOD (Integrated Observation Device) was my responsibility. I remember the dozer being brought to level some high ground adjacent to our hill.

I also remember that we were sent a recoilless rifle, which was worthless because the back blast would have killed us. I seem to remember that we disarmed it and put it down by the LZ for bait.

Recon was sent out to get this tiger because it was killing villagers. ​You had to listen for them, you wouldn't or couldn't see them coming.

The hill was initially Hill 200, then they resurveyed and renumbered it. Or visa versa, can't remember which.

Semper Fi,
Robert Beksel


Some Stupid SOB

I was attending Advanced Electronics / Calibration school at Lowry AFB in Denver Colorado when I noticed this paragraph lying under the plexiglass in the CO's outer office. We were 25 Marines on a base with 15,000 junior birdmen.

Here I am, drunk, sick, p-ssed off, hungry, stupid, flat brock, missed muster, no pass, no azs, no friends and to many relatives.

I have to get a haircut, I'm homesick, tired and haven't had nay mail in 3 weeks.

I'm considered inefficient, I have poor character rating, my rate is frozen, my pay is fouled up, I have no clothes, my laundry has been rejected, my leave disapproved and the Top kick wants to see me after quarters.

I've got a hard on, VD, I'm about to sh-t my pants, and the head is secure for inspection.

And then some stupid SOB comes along and says "Ship Over For The Advantages."

Well... Kiss My Azs!

Lovingly (LOL)
Sergeant of Marines
John C. Darr
Vietnam 1970-71
Marble Mountain


I Got It In Beirut

I took the liberty of adding a few devices to the ribbons on your Vietnam cap. Before anyone gives me a ration of cr-p about the star on the Combat Action Ribbon, I got it in Beirut. The second photo is in response to your last posting with the young Marines performing the same detail in Iraq. I am on the right of that photo. This would be in Vietnam about May/June '68.

​Steve Hansen
MGySgt USMC Ret.

Get your own Vietnam Cover/Hat at:

Vietnam Ribbon Cover/Hat


Paying Marines Was Serious Business

I read the story of the XO's ordeal with an overage in a company payroll with much interest. I was a disbursing clerk during the years '57-'60. The company payrolls were made up from company rosters on a multi-graph machine. Yes, very old technology. After pay was computed, the dollar amount was typed onto the pay sheets. We would then total the dollar amount then determine how many 20s, 10s, 5s, and 1s were needed. That would balance against the total payroll. The disbursing officer or agent cashier (an NCO) would then count the money and have it ready for the company officer. Each Marine would sign for his pay. If a Marine did not sign for whatever reason, the money was returned, and the amount was deleted from the pay record of the individual Marine. The officer could have underpaid a Marine as anyone who has ever handled money would know. He was lucky that he didn't overpay.

I worked under four disbursing officers and as many assistant DOs. No one ever harassed the company pay officer for any reason when the pay rosters were returned. Paying Marines was serious business. We may have had our ears turned back a few times over differences of amounts or expectations, but we never argued. I don't doubt the Lieutenant's story, but that was not standard operating procedure.

James V. Merl, 3421
1655...​


What A Hoot

Sgt. Grit,

In your 7MAY15 issue of the newsletter there was a letter from Sgt. Eric Tipton regarding his experience on guard duty in Chu Lai on New Year's Eve 1968 wherein he said that he was listening to AFR counting down the top songs of the year and watched one h-ll of a pyrotechnics show at the stroke of midnight.

On the same night I was doing exactly (and I mean precisely) the same things he was doing except that I was in a bunker on the western perimeter of DaNang (might have been Hill 244). We also had a great show over Happy Valley. I find this coincidence to be absolutely amazing and just had to write and mention it. I too slept very well.

What a hoot!

Thanks Sgt. Tipton, you made my day. Semper Fi my friend.

Cpl. Gerry Zanzalari
2206592
1966 - 1970
RVN 1968 - 1969


Wondering About This Guy

It all started when my wife and I went to the Home and Garden show in Kentucky. We walked a long and checked out some new things for the home and garden when we happen upon this gentleman selling nozzles for the garden hose. We didn't really need one but he had on a cover (like the one from Sgt. Grit) that stated that he is a wounded combat vet. By the looks of him, it had to be from Viet Nam. So, we stopped and I shook his hand (I had one of my USMC covers on---you know where I got it) and offered a Semper Fi greeting as I always do. We exchanged what units we served with in Nam and our AO. That's when I started wondering about this guy. The unit he gave made no sense to me. He explained that he was with Recon working in small units "all over Nam". He forgot to state "Force" Recon. He said that he kept extending his time in country for two years (1968-1970). I don't remember anyone being allowed to stay that long and in the bush the whole time. Next, he explained that his unit leader (a Lt.) was killed in action, so he received a Field Commission to 2nd. Lt.. I'll admit that I was uncertain that the Marines did Field Commission during the VN war. A very close friend of mine who was a Mustang, who retired as a Capt. with 23 years in the Marine Corps told me that the Army did field commissions during WWII and Korean War but to his knowledge Marines just depend on the next highest rank to take charge.

If there is anyone who can help me to clear this question---Was he a wanna be or just someone telling a bad story. Maybe, someone told him that he should have been an officer so he became one. Who knows?

Semper Fi my friends,
Robert Bliss
Golf Co. 2nd. Bn. / 5th. Marine Regiment, 1st. Marine Division
(I know who I was with---that's something you just can't forget)


Little Dirty Jobs Officer

Note that some got it right... "disBursing"... and some used the lingua franca, "disPersing"... ah, yes, Pay Call... in the days before checks... or electronic deposit. Usual thing was the Officer whose turn it was to be "LDJO" (Little Dirty Jobs Officer"... all those things that had to be done, but didn't involve looking steely-eyed with a bayonet held in the teeth... pay was one of those... along with voting, United Way, Navy Relief, clubs inventory, yada yada...) Standard statement from those who counted out the cash at the Disbursing Office was along the lines of "all overages belong to the Government, all shortages belong to the Pay Officer"... like the opening to 'Gunsmoke' on the radio... "Makes a man sorta watchful..."... been there, done that, saw a lot of changes in the methodology of distributing recompense over the years... was once the Corporal with the duty belt, holster, and .45 (M1911A1, w/5 rounds, and no real instructions on who could be shot, or when, etc.) and also the man with the rosters and the cash... or, in some locales, the MPC (Military Payment Certificates... AKA "scrip")... got tagged to be a payroll guard for the Lt. series officer who had to pay a series (four recruit platoons), at MCRD, SD, in 1962. I remember the Lt's name, but won't use it. We went to Disbursing, which at the time was on the southwest corner of the grinder, near Depot Hq (bldg 31???). By today's standards, it wasn't a lot of money... the first payday, and the amount of the bucket issue and the PX chit book had already been deducted. The Lt. carefully re-counted the money after the Disbursing Officer counted it out for him... and then he had to sign for it... His arm cramped up... he just couldn't write his name. He was sweating, kept rubbing his arm and hand, finally managed to scratch out (with an ink pen) a signature that satisfied the Disbursing Officer... and by the end of the day, we had paid about 300 recruits. I saw the Lt again, about eight years later, in VN... he was still, or again, a Lt... and I, proving that some of the folks at Hq ain't the sharpest light bulbs in the knife drawer, was, temporarily, at least, at Captain. He didn't remember me...

Ddick


Eight Gallons Of Prunes

Sgt. Grit,

We sailed from Pearl on June, 1, 1944. Several LST's had accidentally burned at Pearl a few days earlier and we wondered if we had been selected to replace them as we were rushed a bit. Our group consisted of four LST's and two sub-chasers. We stopped for one day at Enewitok and took on supplies then continued toward Guam. About 150 miles from Guam they told us a Jap fleet was coming toward the Marianas from the Philippines. Our group turned around and sped back to Enewitok and lay at anchor for over a month.

When we again headed for Guam a call came over the PA system for anybody who had a driver license to report midships to an officer. I never learned if the lack of licensed drivers was due to families who could not afford to own vehicles during the depression of the 1930's or as rumored, people in most of eastern states had to be at least 21 to get a license. The possibility was that with the transportation being so good in the area that none was needed.

When the day came for us to go ashore I reported to the tank deck and asked the officer which jeep was mine. His reply, "Jeeps are all taken. That truck is yours. Even though I had about ten years driving experience, I had never driven a truck, especially one with buckets for two steam-shovels loaded on it. I had about 150 feet to learn. Two of my Marine buddies wanted to ride with me when they found out I was to drive a vehicle. Before leaving they decided to liberate a couple of boxes from the ship so we would have something beside K-rats to eat. Later we decided to enjoy our ill-gotten food. Sad to say, they had liberated eight gallons of prunes.

I drove the truck ashore but the throttle was stuck and we could not get it loosened so I had to keep slipping the clutch to keep from running over the vehicle ahead of me.

Bob Gaston, StfSgt
384xxx


Well I'll Be A SOB

Sgt. Grit,

We filed through the armory at MCRD San Diego in September of 1970 and signed our rifle card.

As we ran out the hatch at high port Sgt. Perry blocked my way, grabbed my M-14 and shouted, "What's your rifle serial number PUKE?" "619201 SIR!" I yelled. "Well I'll be a SOB." He mumbled and let me go. What he didn't know was my rifle serial number was my zip code for my hometown with an added one on it. 61920 plus 1... 619201.

Sgt. Drury, David C.


Amputee Outdoors

Left to right, Matt Thrape (Tuff Trucks sponsor) Michael Boucher (co-founder of Amputee Outdoors) and Tony Mullis (co-founder Amputee Outdoors). Dirt track race car was sponsored for AO by vets and supporters. Driver / owner is Cameron Hall.

Check them out at Amputee Outdoors.

Semper Fi
Wayne Fritter
Sgt. USMC
1978-1988


Under Arms

It's been said that there are only two kinds of people who don't uncover indoors - Jews and cowboys.

Personally, I've only been approached once about being covered indoors, and that by a fellow Marine. Looked him in the eye and asked if he'd ever 'pulled the duty'. His quiet response was "under arms?" I nodded slightly, he smiled, and with a mutual 'Semper Fi', he left and I went back to my steak.

Just as a side note, the 1911 I was wearing - the one I never leave home without (we can do that here in AZ) - was the same one, with the same USMC custom emblem ivory grip panels I showed off the last time I stopped in OK City.

Duke - 2282xxx / Nam '68-'69​


Operation Shufly​

Dear Sgt Grit,

Nice T-shirt commemorating to 50th anniversary of the Corps warfare commitment in Vietnam. However, 1965 was when ground troops landed. From 15 April 1962 through 8 March 1965 the Corps was committed to Vietnam in an operation called Shufly. Somehow Operation Shufly has been reduced to a footnote in Marine Corps History even though Marines were killed or wounded and many aircraft were lost.

I joined MABS 16, Sub Unit 2 at DaNang in 1963. HMM 162 was committed to air operations at that time and had just lost their XO as a result of hostile enemy action. I also landed with HqCo, 9th Marines in July 1965.

What I really want to say is that the Marines who participated in Operation Shufly should not be forgotten.

Semper Fi,
Jim Wilson
Charlotte, NC


NPD

Aboard the USS PONCE (LPD-15), deployed with H&S Co 2/8 and B-1/10 in 1974, I was assigned Pay Officer for the first time. Oddly enough, all of our pay calls were cash while deployed on the Med float, even when in the field.

The worst part of pay call was announcing NPD (with the Marine at attention in front of you. NPD is No Pay Due.) There were a few.

Semper Fidelis
Once a Lieutenant Colonel, ALWAYS a Marine.

Joe Kerke


I Was Dragged To The Water Cooler

I left Maine 6 days after I graduated from High school on a cool 68 degree, damp and foggy day in June 1962 to go to Parris Island and become a Marine! It took hours of flying and stopping everywhere to unload civilians and gather more Marine recruits. Needless to say, by the time we landed, it was late at night.

When I deplaned around 11pm, it was 81 degrees, hot and humid. Then the bus ride with a crazy, uniformed Marine yelling and screaming as he told us things that I don't remember.

I don't know what time it was when we got to Parris Island and finished doing paperwork (the only thing that I can remember from that night was declaring which religion I wanted to be affiliated with on my ID tags but, they brought us over to Receiving and we slept out on the concrete veranda, when seconds after we laid our heads down the Parris Island Marine Corps Band played "Reveille". We ran to and fro bumping into each other because no one knew what we were supposed to be doing.

Junior DI Sgt. Prince showed up and started to restore order and had us form up and herded us over to get uniforms, buckets, tent pegs, boots 782 gear, etc. where I passed out from the 88 degree heat with 100% humidity. I was dragged over to a water cooler and given 2 salt tablets. Soon after we were marched out carrying all our equipment over to 3rd Battalion, up to the 3rd deck where I picked my rack near the door.

Not having gone to the bathroom since I left Maine (too much excitement?) we were standing at attention while Junior DI Sgt. P.J. Frano, Jr. was introducing us to life at Parris Island, the do's and don'ts, addressing the DI's as Sir, etc. while he was strolling up the starboard side of the squad bay and down the port side, when, in the peace of hearing only one DI speaking, I realized just how much I needed to pee.

I waited for the DI to begin his walk down the port side thinking I could duck out the door and pee off the veranda and get back to my bunk before he began his trip up the starboard side and he wouldn't be any the wiser. So off I went, not hearing the clomp clomp of my boots or the slam of the door as I jumped up on the short wall and was unbuttoning my fly when I was grabbed around my waist by Sgt. Frano.

He asked "Are you planning on jumping off to get out of my Marine Corps?" I said "No Sir, I had to pee and I was having a hard time with the buttons." He told me to get back in front of my rack, then announced to everyone, "This brings me to another subject, Emergency Headcalls. Here is the procedure: Raise your hand. When told to speak, you say "Sir, I request permission to speak to the DI, Sir." When told to speak, you'll say, Sir Private ____ requests permission to go to the head, Sir. Upon the granting of your request you will proceed to the head."

Immediately, my hand reached for the stars. Sgt. Frano said "Speak". I said "Sir, Private Townsend requests permission to speak to the DI, Sir." He says "Speak". I said "Sir, Private Townsend requests permission to go to the head, Sir".

He says "This brings me to the granting of the privilege of an Emergency Head Call. When granted, you'll unbutton the buttons, grab your d--k with your left hand, raise your right hand and make the noise of a siren and run around the squad bay until I point to the head." He points to me and said "Do it!"

I unbuttoned the buttons, grab my d--k with my left hand, raised my right hand, made the noise of a siren and started running around the squad bay, and the third time around Sgt. Frano points to the hallway where the head is located. Never having been there before, I was peeing on the floor and the walls as I was frantically looking for the urinals.

What a relief when I returned in front of my bunk, and was I glad when I was assigned the cleaning of the DI's water fountain instead of cleaning the head!

Townsend
189xxxx


The Paymaster/OOD Refused To Leave​

(Relayed to me many years after the fact by the Officer involved)

The new Captain had said ALL Officers would be required to stand watches, including the Supply Officer doing OOD duty in Port.

TSHTF when the Supply/Disbursing Officer was assigned OOD duties and payday was called.

The Navy says that if the Disbursing Officer isn't there, NO money will be distributed as he had to count it (probably had to draw it out also), and 'supervise' the distribution.

About 20 min after Pay Day was called, 'people' were wondering where the crew was, and – it being an LST – it didn't take long to figure out they were in the mess deck awaiting payday.

The Paymaster/OOD 'refused' to leave the Quarterdeck until properly relieved (per regs) and payday finally held AFTER new OOD assigned.

Needless to say, he was NOT one of the CO's favorites BUT if you weren't a line officer, you didn't stand OOD watches after that...

George O'Connell
RM2(E5) USN 1956-64
USS Henrico (APA-45) 1957-60
USS Terrell County (LST-1157) 1960-62


Good Day To Die

Sgt Grit,

I noticed in your last letter the quote, "Today is a good day to die."

I work in the Helena Indian Alliance in Helena, Montana. We have the whole poem on the wall here, and it has a slightly different meaning if you read all of it:

"Today is a very good day to die.
Every living thing is in harmony with me.
Every voice sings a chorus within me.
All beauty has come to rest in my eyes.
All bad thoughts have departed from me."

"Today is a very good day to die.
My land is peaceful around me.
My fields have been turned for the last time.
My house is filled with laughter.
My children have come home.
Yes, today is a very good day to die."

Pete Formaz
Helena, MT
1867xxx


Going Back

Just read the newsletter for May 7. The article about Hill 200 and Hill 244 made me start to think about how many Viet Nam Marine Vets have returned to Viet Nam. I was there in '68/'69 and '72/73. I went back the first time in 2001. I will say I was worried about going back and began to think what am I going to do if I get there and start to freak out. They'll throw me in jail and throw away the key. Granted I had some problems, but nothing that I couldn't handle. It was a great experience and I am glad I went. Went from the Delta to Hanoi. It is now a very beautiful country. The Vietnamese people have no hard feeling towards the American people, they were wonderful. I have been back many times since 2003, '05, '07, and '11. Plan on going back in '16. Am now married to a wonderful Vietnamese lady.


​Boot Camp Platoon Picture

Sgt.Grit,

Looking at my Boot Camp Platoon picture I realized that 9/11 holds another memory for me. I grauduated with Platoon 344 on 9 Sept. 1965. I am planning on my FIRST trip BACK to Parris Island on 9 Sept. 2015. 50 years from my becoming a United States MARINE. SSgt. MILLER, Sgt. WERNTZ, Cpl. GIGLER and Cpl. DEVANE were my Drill Instructors. I am sure that the ONLY thing I will Recognize is The Yellow Footprints. Hoping to run into some of my fellow Recruits from Platoon 344, but I doubt it. Then on my way to Traingle, Va. MARINE CORPS MUSEUM. A lifetime of Memories await me. Served two tours in Viet Nam 1966 to 1968 FLSG-A, FLSG-B Chu-lai, and Hue-Phu Bai. Thank-you for allowing your fellow Marines to reconnect. SEMPER-FI.

Sgt. GARY L. FYE
21XXXXX ERIE, PA.
Now Serving at On Top Of The World, OCALA, FL.


Round Dog Tags

Sgt Grit,

I read the postings on round dog tags and wanted to send along a photo of my dad's army dog tags. He died in 1993 and my older brother (a squid) and I split his military belongings. I got his dog tags, good conduct medal and what I believe might be an 8th Field Artillery lapel pin, but not sure if it was a part of his dress uniform or something he got when he was discharged. Anyway, Below see two pictures of my dad's dog tags. On the front is his name and USA and on the six is his service number or at that time his SSN. But I can't make out any finger prints. As a kid I think I recall him saying that a greenish ribbon wove through the two holes of each tag but not sure about that. My dad was a cannon cocker and stationed at Scofield Barracks and enlisted in 1939, so maybe the finger prints were post 1939?

Semper Fi,
Mike Kunkel
Cpl. 0331
Lima 3/8 Weapons Plt


Lost And Found

Platoon 2030, MCRD San Diego, 1967. They called us the "Angel Platoon" because we were all recruited in the greater Los Angeles area.

We sweated and feared together from 21 July to 22 Sep '67. Our DIs were Gunnery Sgt Chapman, S/Sgt Urruttia (we pronounced it "Urreata"), and S/Sgt Hummel.

Anyone out there? Contact me at Ronmandell[at]me.com.

Cpl Ron Mandell
1st Bridge Co, 7th Eng Bn
Dec '67 - Jan '69 Nam
(Retired Major, U.S. Army, but always a Marine)


Short Rounds

Joe Shaw I read about your E-4 and changing rank. Well I have the rank of L/Cpl E-4 on my DD214. They screwed up my last unit as 1/9 when I was in 2/9. At least they have my Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal right as being awarded in January 1965.​

Dale Landon


I agree 100% with MSgt Gene Hays on wearing the cover indoors in certain places. I have greeted and talked to many Marines recognized by their USMC covers.

GySgt G.R. Archuleta
Never Retired, Always a Marine


Sgt. Grit,

Oooooorah for another awesome newsletter. Keep them rounds coming down range!

Thank You For A Job Well Done!

SEMPER FI
LCpl Campos


Beg to differ with the disbursement officer. There were women in FMF, at least Headquarters, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic in Norfolk, Virginia in 1958.

Jim Connor member G-4 Headquarters, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic 1955-1959. They were d-mn good Marines too.


Threw My Rifle Back... Good to know that our Guide On (Plt 347, 3rd Bn P.I. 1958), Cpl David Levine still with us. I'm sure he would agree S/Sgt Truax had the best cadence in the Corps.

Anybody else from 347 out there?

Bill Mc Dermott​


Quotes

"Here (America) men would attempt to build society on new foundations. Applying for first time theories either previously unknown or deemed inapplicable, they would stage for the world a spectacle for which nothing in the history of the past had prepared it."
--Alexis de Tocqueville


"Sometimes it is entirely appropriate to kill a fly with a sledge-hammer!"
--Maj. Holdredge


"If the American Revolution had produced nothing but the Declaration of Independence, it would have been worth while... The beauty and cogency of the preamble, reaching back to remotest antiquity and forward to an indefinite future, have lifted the hearts of millions of men and will continue to do so... These words are more revolutionary than anything written by Robespierre, Marx, or Lenin, more explosive than the atom, a continual challenge to ourselves as well as an inspiration to the oppressed of all the world."
--Samuel Eliot Morison, The Oxford History of the American People [1965]


"The right to be let alone is indeed the beginning of all freedom."
--Justice William O Douglas


"A ship without MARINES is like a garment without buttons."
--Adm. DAVID PORTER, USN


"The time is now near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves."
--George Washington, 1776


"Dismissed!"

"Fall out!"

"Expect the unexpected."

"Semper Fi"
Relpy: "Forever and one day"

Gung Ho!
Tango Siera!
Sgt Grit

©2015 Sgt Grit Inc
All rights reserved
7100 SW 44th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73179
888-NOV-1775
You are reading Sgt Grit's weekly newsletter.

To Submit a story - Email info@grunt.com.
Subscribe to this newsletter.

Unsubscribe from the Sgt Grit Newsletter and Special Offers email list.
Sgt Grit Newsletter 07 MAY 2015
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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 07 MAY 2015

In this issue:
• A Bit of Good Judgement
• Threw My Rifle Back
• This Is Juan A. Bee

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This little Devil Pup, Luke, is just too cool. He is sporting his Sgt Grit gear as he prepares for Operation Let's Roll Out. Luke is the son of Christine and Marine Veteran Cpl Lee Pilkovsky. Cpl Pilkovsky was with 8th Communications Battalion and he was attached to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

Semper Fi, Little Guy!

Get your Devil Pup this body suit at:

Semper Fi Little Guy Black/Red Body Suit


Well Son Of A Gun

Corporal, 1981. Had received a Navy Achievement Medal for performance as a member of 6th Marines Rifle Squad. Did not have a Good Conduct Medal yet. 1982, Did a lat move to 0231 Intelligence Specialist, got assigned to 1/6. Spent a year busting my b-tt for that Bn under the direction of LtCol Fox. When I got my orders to go to Oki, the S-2 wrote me up for another NAM. Deploy to 1st MAW HQ on Okinawa. Working in the G-2 as the daily briefer for the CG, MGen Peterson. I get called out one day to go receive my award. Well son of a gun if it was for a Navy Commendation Medal. He pinned it on proudly, and I was just as proud that it was him doing it.

For the next several years I got the strangest looks from Officers and SNCOs for being a Sergeant wearing a NCM, NAM, and GCM.

Semper Fi.

GySgt Bob Berg


Life Of Its Own

Jeez, I didn't mean to start anything by remembering my M1 s/n, but it's amazing how something gets a life of its own (grin). Also amazing is how attached a Marine gets to his rifle, he even sleeps with it, or very nearby. "The most dangerous thing in the world is a Marine and his rifle... unless he married a WM like I did!"

Congrats to all Marines who remember their rifle s/n's, even after 50 years... Now if I can only remember my wife's name (also a Marine)... Maybe a Post-it on her forehead?

George Engel
Cpl, '54-'57​


Explained In Fairly Concise Terms

Oh don't know how many other young Lieutenants had the duty of Paymaster for their unit, but it came to me several times during my time at 2nd Tank Bn from 1958-1960.

You had to report to the Dispersing Office where you were given an envelope of money and a list of all the members of the Battalion. You sat down at a desk and counted out the money from largest to smallest (as far as I can remember), and checked it against the roster. Then it was back to the Battalion and tables had been set up. You were armed with a 1911 M1A1 .45 cal, semi automatic and 5 rounds.

The men (no women in FMF at that time) presented their IDs. You verified the name and the face, then carefully counted out the money, all the time with 'the man' watching. Then they signed for the pay.

I went through this procedure several different times before hitting a problem. I finished paying the last man, and still had quite some money left over. I again went over the roster two more times, but still came up with an overage and all the men had been paid. I verified with the Battalion Sgt. Maj. that no one was absent and still had this surplus.

The rules stated that if you were short, you had to pay the difference out of your pocket, but nothing covered an overage. Finally I returned to the Dispersing Office and confessed that I had an overage, and the exact amount. With that the I handed the money to the Sgt behind the counter. He counted it and then pulled out a clipboard, and put a checkmark beside my name. I was now furious and demanded to know what that was all about. He explained they do this some times to make sure of the honesty of the men paying out the money, but not to worry, I had passed.

With that, all the frustration and pent up anger exploded, and I explained the meaning of an Officer's words as being his bond, and that I didn't appreciate the implication. A Captain came over, and I also explained in fairly concise terms my anger, before I left. I then returned to the Battalion and went to Maj. Joe Malcom's office, the Bn. XO, still fuming. He had already had a call from Dispersing. He backed me up, and informed them that this was never to be done again. To my knowledge, it never was.

Semper Fi​


A Bit Of Good Judgement

Sgt Grit,

January 1969, MCRD San Diego. Dropped from platoon with compound heal contusions on both ankles. Sent to MRP (medical rehabilitation platoon). Every morning for a week I had to present myself to the base sick bay to soak my feet in a hot whirl pool for 30 minutes. One morning while waiting my turn in the tub, I ventured down the main breezeway along the grinder, seeking a head to relieve myself. When located, I discovered two other sick bay recruits there already, and having a smoke (a serious rule infraction punishable by death). I thought a few puffs would be OK also, so I lit one too, but for some unknown reason, I used a bit of good judgement and stepped into one of the stalls with the door closed behind me. The other unauthorized smokers were standing in front of the sinks. A moment later upon hearing the door of the head open, I for some unknown reason dropped my cig in the toilet and flushed just as all the screaming commenced. The next thing I knew the stall door jerked open and a drill instructor looked in to see if I was participating in the smoke fest. Satisfied that I wasn't because I had disposed of the evidence, the two drill instructors unceremoniously dragged the other two guilty parties outside to meet there fate. Two days later, just before being reassigned to another platoon, I was assigned guard duty in CC (they used MRP recruits for this type of stuff). I think the two smokers had arrived before me on a more unpleasant assignment. The next day, two fat farm grads and I showed up for duty at Platoon 3011 and got to meet SSgt Blankenship. But that is another story.

Deck, A.C.
2504XXX USMC
NCOAD (not currently on active duty)


Threw My Rifle Back

P I Oct 1958, about the third week our senior drill instructor SSGT. Tommy Truax was doing rifle inspection and when he came up to me, I smartly came to present arms, thumbed back the bolt. He grasped the M 1 and demanded my serial number.

I rattled off my Marine serial number as 169xxxx while he was looking at the receiver group which read 1116895. I thought I was going to be doing push ups all day. He then asked for my rifle serial number which I replied. He threw my rifle back to me and went on to the next inspection.

Cpl. David LeVine
169xxxx, 2531
PI Dec 59, Plt 347, 3rd. Btl.


I Slept Better

I just read the 3/30 newsletter article about the Marines record collection and music of the various wars. I had an old guitar that was passed along from one Marine to another for several tours. It never left the living area although some of my buddies suggested that I take it with me on guard duty to scare away the enemy. Apparently the VC had no taste in music. I pulled guard duty on New Year's eve on a bunker off the runway at Chu Lai, listening to AFR count down the year's hits. At midnight I got a great fireworks show as flares, rockets, tracer rounds and all sorts of ordnance was fired off for about 10 minutes. I slept better at night after seeing that display.

Eric Tipton
Sgt. Vietnam 68/69


Attitude Is Everything Day 9

Herer is this week's most popular Marine Corps quote that was posted on Sgt Grit's Facebook Page. The replies are nothing short of what you would expect from our fellow Marine brothers and sister, or Marine family members.

Here are a few of their comments:


Matt Mollett - shined up with never-dull!


Joe Centeno - God BLESS the Marine Corps, Semper Fi Marines, get some!


Check daily to see what the next quote or saying of the day will be on the Sgt Grit Facebook page.


Two-Hole Tags

In the 30 April 15 Newsletter, SSGT Ferguson inquires about WWII tags seen at his local Costco store. The two-hole tags date to WWII and the right index fingerprint was acid-etched onto the tag's reverse side. Although officially discontinued in 1942, these have been documented being issued as late as February, 1944.

The tag referenced by SSGT Ferguson might be dated using the tetanus date [T-date] stamped or engraved on the tag.

It's noteworthy that the USMC has used numerous styles, materials, and formats for Identification Tags ['dogtags'] since adoption in 1916. The classic 'notched' oval tag wasn't adopted until 1948.

C. 'Stoney' Brook
1961-65
11th & 12th Marines


To SSgt Ferguson who wanted to know how they got the fingerprint on the back of the old dog tags.

I have my grandfathers dog tag with his fingerprint on the back. As it was explained to me. The tag was coated in wax with the etched information on it, and then had the Marine press his thumb onto the back. The whole thing was then dipped into acid which caused the info and thumbprint to be etched into the metal.

Hope this helps.

J.E. Smith
SSgt USMC (Ret)
"Dignity does not consist in the possession of honors; rather in the deserving of them."


Hills 200 & 244​

To Paul Culliton:

Referring to your post of 30-April-2015 if those hills you're referring to are Hills 200 & 244 then it's true about seeing the rounds flying overhead. We were there March '67 to April '68. WE were a couple of guys with Motor T attached to the radio relay platoon and had gone to .50 caliber school at 29 Stumps before arriving in country. Good/Bad memories. If these are the hills you're referring to I would imagine the places had not changed that much by the time you got there. If they are not, I would love to hear from anyone who was there.

Semper Fi / Do or Die


Proud Of The Marines

Dear Sgt Grit,

I have to say from my heart that I am d-mn proud of the Marines and my nephew who just made Marine officer. He's training in VA and he want's to be a pilot. I have to tell you that the t-shirt about the flag and the wind don't blow it, a Marine does with his breath made my eyes water up. You see Sgt Grit, I am d-mn proud of our flag and I hate anyone putting her down and burning her too. Also my Marine hero was Pappy Boyington of the Blacksheep 214. Thank you and may god bless all!

WR

P.S. Sgt Grit it would be an honor to wear one of your t-shirts!


Missed This Recruit

In June of 1957 about 15 seniors graduated T.C. Howe high school in Indianapolis, In. They went down to enlist in the Marine Corps into a battalion to be made up of the famous Ernie Pyle journalist battalion. Fred Spaulding, was too small at 5'6" and skinny. The I&I Sgt. said no-way as he did not think Fred could complete boot camp. The Army took Fred--Put him through Airborne. Two years later he was 6'2" and 220 lbs. While serving in Vietnam as a Sergeant he earned a battlefield commission and finished his career as a Lt. Col. He was awarded The Silver Star. The recruiting Sergeant missed this recruit big time.

Cpl. David LeVine
169xxxx, 2531, PI 1958


November, 1944 Was A Busy Month

Sgt. Grit,

I know you are aware of how Marines hold the birthday of the Corps in such high regard. In November 1944, I looked at a notice of the celebration to be held at the Marine Barracks in Pearl Harbor. To this day my memory recalls the invitation stating: Those eligible to attend, Officers and their Ladies, enlisted Men and their Wives. After all of these years, I still get a feeling of resentment.

November, 1944 was a busy month. I accompanied WO George Young to Pearl Harbor to get $400,000 in currency for the Island Paymaster on Guam. We were taken to a vault containing bundles of money stacked from floor to ceiling. I had never seen so much money. Each bill had "HAWAII" printed on it in case any of our money was lost to the Japanese in which case it could be declared worthless.

The Navy Disbursing Officer on Guam learned of our mission and requested $25,000 in coins be added to our responsibility. The extra weight resulted in our having to wait until a plane was available to carry the weight. This meant we were stranded for ten days at Pearl and Honolulu. What to do with all that money? We took it to the brig and had it locked in a cell for safekeeping. I don't recall if we told the guards at the brig what they had locked up.

Before we left Guam a Gunny in supply told me to contact a certain Gunny in supply at Pearl and ask him for a watch. The Gunny in Pearl asked me how many watches I wanted and I told him three. I put one on my wrist, packed one to take back to Guam, and gave one to WO Young who asked me how I got it as he had requested one and had been told there were none available. Nuff said!

The international date line does strange things to us. We left Guam at noon, spent 20 hours in the air, stopped at two islands and arrived at Pearl Harbor thirty minutes before we left Guam. Part of my job was paying officers on inspection trips their per diem allowances. Many of the trips jumped back and forth across the date line and their orders were endorsed using the date and time at the stations involved. Twenty minutes in the air would show up as a difference of a whole day. Often drove me up a wall.

Bob Gaston, StfSgt
384xxx


This is Juan A. Bee

He goes on the road for booths and exhibits. He's a real ladies man. (Fifty Shades of Gray, Bert and Ernie version, in the right pocket.) That rifle has an authentic Star Wars laser sight. We do guns shows, so all weapon chambers are empty, nytied for safety. Bayonet is strapped to the left leg. His DD214 shows Medal of Honor (authentic, real case.) It's backed by not one, but TWO police badges. He does carry a few extras in the helmet bag... "Purple Heart" cap and another, "USN, Black Shoe soldier." Some peanut butter MRE's and a Sheriff's badge too. His 12 USMC sleeve chevrons will go on before his next trip. Air Force Mini Medals topped by a Trident opposite that gorgeous ribbon rack.

My thanks to good friend Britt Taylor Collins, bootsonthegroundart.com, the crew at SGT GRIT, grunt.com, and Barb Riggle for contributions to his spring wardrobe. A big thank you to Scott Pritchett for the original concept... now our FWP logo.

Must say - last booth set-up in Jacksonville, AR a few weeks ago - a wife looked at her (alleged Vietnam Veteran) husband (she and I had been talking, he walked up) and asked him, "What's wrong with him?"

He said, "I don't see anything wrong."

Draw your own conclusions.

Mary Schantag, Chairman
pownetwork.org
fakewarriors.org
fakewarriors.org/donations.htm


​Lima Company Marine

Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, commanded by Capt. William F. Lee, USMC, relieved Bravo Company 3/9 Marines. The XO was 1st Lt. Farro, USMC, and First Sergeant was SGT. Hunsburger. "B" Company numbered about 180 Marines. They lived in NMCB-11's camp and were the reaction force for the Marble Mountain Military Complex; 1st Platoon was atop Monkey Mountain; 2nd Platoon was at NSA; and 3rd Platoon remained in the Seabee camp. A sign at the entrance to Lima Company read as follows:

"A Lima Marine is a can fed, sweat cooled, guts operated, more or less flat trajectory weapon, that has never been known to have a stoppage."

That says it all!

John Ratomski


Covers Indoors

Sgt Grit,

I think some of this talk about wearing a cover indoors is getting a little silly. We all know as Marines we don't wear covers while in uniform inside any building unless we are under arms. As far as civilian clothes go, I never wear my Vietnam Veteran cover inside a church or restaurant or function where it would be inappropriate. But consider this: as a proud member of the Marine Corps League, we always wear our covers indoors before, during and after the meeting. The same is true of the VFW, American Legion, Military Order of the Purple Heart and the DAV. We only remove them during the meetings when there is an opening or closing prayer. So be forewarned, don't stop me inside McDonalds, Burger King or in any casual attire restaurant to tell me I need to remove my Sgt. Grit Semper Fi Vietnam Veteran cover or the fight will begin! Let's get over the Petty sh-t.

Semper Fi,
Master Sergeant of Marines
1965-1986
Gene Hays
MSgt, USMC Retired
Author and Historian


At The Railroad Trestles

Back in 1969 - 1971 I was attached to the MP Company in Camp Pendleton. Once in a while on weekends this Sergeant who guards the frontier of Pendleton would ask me if I wanted to go patrolling. Usually I would say yes because there isn't much to do on $100 a month salary, and we didn't have to dress up because we patrolled in boots and utilities. So off we go armed with long riot batons and .45's. While traversing the hills, he gets a call on the radio that some surfers are out at the railroad trestles surfing. Back in the old days the place was Marine Corps property and the only way the surfers got there was to be dropped off on I-5, then cross the fence to one of the best surfing waves this side of southern California. That's what I was told and I'm sticking by it; the surfing thing.

We arrived to witness a squad of MP's with their spit shined shoes and tropical class "C" uniforms standing morosely p-ssed off on the hot sand looking at surfers who managed to escape to the sea. "Screw you jarheads," or something like that can be overheard over the breaking waves as they taunted the Marines. As soon as we parked the pickup MP truck, smart me was thinking, "where the h-ll is their gear," like towels, pants, money, beers and the accoutrements that go along on a beach party with Annette Funicello.

Looking around the beach I noticed little sticks protruding from little sand mounds. I started digging with my riot baton and sure as sh-t there's their stuff! "Well now, this is getting pretty good," I thought. Then I saw a log and I said to myself, "Self, that'll be a good place to hide stuff." So I dug with my three foot riot baton on the end of the log and I discovered more stuff! Pretty soon the squad of astonished MP's figured out what the h-ll I was doing and began to dig also. Marine training digging for land mines came in handy. Then I heard someone flicking his Zippo and a bonfire got started. Marines like bonfires on beaches dreaming of Annette, and clothes and stuff began to be weeny roasted.

The surfers' tones somehow changed from happy "screw you jarheads" to something like a higher pitched "screw you jarheads". Of course they didn't say screw you but more like a surfers' idiom of their profession and with bad feelings and an emphasis on the "F" word.

Corporal Batayola of the Marines


God Bless Bob Hope

​This is some priceless footage. It makes me thankful that I am old enough to have lived in the time of Bob Hope.

Bob Hope Christmas


Short Rounds

Was on a med cruise and went on liberty in Barcelona, Spain sometime in July 1959. Myself and a couple of other Marines had a few at the local bars and decided to come back to the ship the USS Taconic AGC-17. Walking up the gang plank and reaching the top was the Officer of the Day, a young Ensign and one of my buddies said "request to cross your patio dadio", and the next morning at Captain's Mast was restricted to any more Liberty for 2 weeks.


Today is the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon. A fellow vet bought it out during our substance abuse therapy at Daytona, VA.


David Creighton wanted to know if any evac occurred in 1976.

I just watched a PBS Documentary about Vietnam and the evacuation. The evacuation was in April 1975. The last American to leave Vietnam was a Marine. So the individual you talked to must have been a wantabe.

Paul DeLaricheliere
CWO3 Retired
1971-1999​


Responding to the question regarding a "1976 evacuation of Da Nang".

That is a poser. Even if it was the best kept secret of the war, that "young Marine" would have to be no younger than 55-56 today (well, compared to me that IS young).

The big news then was the founding of a Technical College in the city.

Pete Dahlstrom '68 - '74
Marine Corps!


Quotes

"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."
--General James Mattis


"But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever."
--John Adams, 1775


"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom."
--Benjamin Franklin, 1787​


"Older men declare war. But it is youth that must fight and die. And it is youth who must inherit the tribulation, the sorrow, and the triumphs that are the aftermath of war."
--Herbert Hoover, [1944]


"Your love of liberty — your respect for the laws — your habits of industry — and your practice of the moral and religious obligations, are the strongest claims to national and individual happiness."
--George Washington, 1789


"The American Marine will march down the barrel of an enemy rifle for you. It continually has amazed me over the years just how good the individual Marine can be."
--Captain Paul Goodwin, USMC, No Shining Armor, 1992


"Today is a good day to die!"

"As You Were..."

"I'll be out of the area all day!"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 07 MAY 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 07 MAY 2015

In this issue:
• A Bit of Good Judgement
• Threw My Rifle Back
• This Is Juan A. Bee

Online Store TShirts Men's Headgear Patches Women's

Flags   Family Member   Ka-Bars   Auto   Headgear  Jackets  ALL CATEGORIES  

Request a catalog
Facebook Twitter Sgt Grit Blog Sgt Grit's RSS Feeds
 
Marines Vietnam Veteran 50th Anniversary T-Shirt
 
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Luke in his Sgt Grit Semper Fi bodysuit

This little Devil Pup, Luke, is just too cool. He is sporting his Sgt Grit gear as he prepares for Operation Let's Roll Out. Luke is the son of Christine and Marine Veteran Cpl Lee Pilkovsky. Cpl Pilkovsky was with 8th Communications Battalion and he was attached to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

Semper Fi, Little Guy!

Get your Devil Pup this body suit at:

Semper Fi Little Guy Black/Red Body Suit

Semper Fi Little Guy Black/Red Body Suit


Well Son Of A Gun

GySgt Berg as a Corporal receiving receiving a NAM from MGen Peterson

Corporal, 1981. Had received a Navy Achievement Medal for performance as a member of 6th Marines Rifle Squad. Did not have a Good Conduct Medal yet. 1982, Did a lat move to 0231 Intelligence Specialist, got assigned to 1/6. Spent a year busting my b-tt for that Bn under the direction of LtCol Fox. When I got my orders to go to Oki, the S-2 wrote me up for another NAM. Deploy to 1st MAW HQ on Okinawa. Working in the G-2 as the daily briefer for the CG, MGen Peterson. I get called out one day to go receive my award. Well son of a gun if it was for a Navy Commendation Medal. He pinned it on proudly, and I was just as proud that it was him doing it.

For the next several years I got the strangest looks from Officers and SNCOs for being a Sergeant wearing a NCM, NAM, and GCM.

Semper Fi.

GySgt Bob Berg


Snody Administrator Skeleton KaBar Neck Knife


Life Of Its Own

Jeez, I didn't mean to start anything by remembering my M1 s/n, but it's amazing how something gets a life of its own (grin). Also amazing is how attached a Marine gets to his rifle, he even sleeps with it, or very nearby. "The most dangerous thing in the world is a Marine and his rifle... unless he married a WM like I did!"

Congrats to all Marines who remember their rifle s/n's, even after 50 years... Now if I can only remember my wife's name (also a Marine)... Maybe a Post-it on her forehead?

George Engel
Cpl, '54-'57​


Throwback NAM Magazines

Here is a picture of my 'NAM and Semper Fi magazines that I have collected over the years. Do any of you gents have have some of these?

Sgt Grit

Sgt Grit's collection of NAM and Semper Fi magazines


Explained In Fairly Concise Terms

Oh don't know how many other young Lieutenants had the duty of Paymaster for their unit, but it came to me several times during my time at 2nd Tank Bn from 1958-1960.

You had to report to the Dispersing Office where you were given an envelope of money and a list of all the members of the Battalion. You sat down at a desk and counted out the money from largest to smallest (as far as I can remember), and checked it against the roster. Then it was back to the Battalion and tables had been set up. You were armed with a 1911 M1A1 .45 cal, semi automatic and 5 rounds.

The men (no women in FMF at that time) presented their IDs. You verified the name and the face, then carefully counted out the money, all the time with 'the man' watching. Then they signed for the pay.

I went through this procedure several different times before hitting a problem. I finished paying the last man, and still had quite some money left over. I again went over the roster two more times, but still came up with an overage and all the men had been paid. I verified with the Battalion Sgt. Maj. that no one was absent and still had this surplus.

The rules stated that if you were short, you had to pay the difference out of your pocket, but nothing covered an overage. Finally I returned to the Dispersing Office and confessed that I had an overage, and the exact amount. With that the I handed the money to the Sgt behind the counter. He counted it and then pulled out a clipboard, and put a checkmark beside my name. I was now furious and demanded to know what that was all about. He explained they do this some times to make sure of the honesty of the men paying out the money, but not to worry, I had passed.

With that, all the frustration and pent up anger exploded, and I explained the meaning of an Officer's words as being his bond, and that I didn't appreciate the implication. A Captain came over, and I also explained in fairly concise terms my anger, before I left. I then returned to the Battalion and went to Maj. Joe Malcom's office, the Bn. XO, still fuming. He had already had a call from Dispersing. He backed me up, and informed them that this was never to be done again. To my knowledge, it never was.

Semper Fi​


Marines Nike Dri-FIT 1/4 Zip Long Sleeve Special


A Bit Of Good Judgement

Sgt Grit,

January 1969, MCRD San Diego. Dropped from platoon with compound heal contusions on both ankles. Sent to MRP (medical rehabilitation platoon). Every morning for a week I had to present myself to the base sick bay to soak my feet in a hot whirl pool for 30 minutes. One morning while waiting my turn in the tub, I ventured down the main breezeway along the grinder, seeking a head to relieve myself. When located, I discovered two other sick bay recruits there already, and having a smoke (a serious rule infraction punishable by death). I thought a few puffs would be OK also, so I lit one too, but for some unknown reason, I used a bit of good judgement and stepped into one of the stalls with the door closed behind me. The other unauthorized smokers were standing in front of the sinks. A moment later upon hearing the door of the head open, I for some unknown reason dropped my cig in the toilet and flushed just as all the screaming commenced. The next thing I knew the stall door jerked open and a drill instructor looked in to see if I was participating in the smoke fest. Satisfied that I wasn't because I had disposed of the evidence, the two drill instructors unceremoniously dragged the other two guilty parties outside to meet there fate. Two days later, just before being reassigned to another platoon, I was assigned guard duty in CC (they used MRP recruits for this type of stuff). I think the two smokers had arrived before me on a more unpleasant assignment. The next day, two fat farm grads and I showed up for duty at Platoon 3011 and got to meet SSgt Blankenship. But that is another story.

Deck, A.C.
2504XXX USMC
NCOAD (not currently on active duty)


Threw My Rifle Back

P I Oct 1958, about the third week our senior drill instructor SSGT. Tommy Truax was doing rifle inspection and when he came up to me, I smartly came to present arms, thumbed back the bolt. He grasped the M 1 and demanded my serial number.

I rattled off my Marine serial number as 169xxxx while he was looking at the receiver group which read 1116895. I thought I was going to be doing push ups all day. He then asked for my rifle serial number which I replied. He threw my rifle back to me and went on to the next inspection.

Cpl. David LeVine
169xxxx, 2531
PI Dec 59, Plt 347, 3rd. Btl.


I Slept Better

I just read the 3/30 newsletter article about the Marines record collection and music of the various wars. I had an old guitar that was passed along from one Marine to another for several tours. It never left the living area although some of my buddies suggested that I take it with me on guard duty to scare away the enemy. Apparently the VC had no taste in music. I pulled guard duty on New Year's eve on a bunker off the runway at Chu Lai, listening to AFR count down the year's hits. At midnight I got a great fireworks show as flares, rockets, tracer rounds and all sorts of ordnance was fired off for about 10 minutes. I slept better at night after seeing that display.

Eric Tipton
Sgt. Vietnam 68/69


Attitude Is Everything Day 9

Attitude Is Everything Quote day 9

Herer is this week's most popular Marine Corps quote that was posted on Sgt Grit's Facebook Page. The replies are nothing short of what you would expect from our fellow Marine brothers and sister, or Marine family members.

Here are a few of their comments:


Dale Kuhle -

USMC ball bearings

Matt Mollett - shined up with never-dull!


Joe Centeno - God BLESS the Marine Corps, Semper Fi Marines, get some!


Check daily to see what the next quote or saying of the day will be on the Sgt Grit Facebook page.


Two-Hole Tags

In the 30 April 15 Newsletter, SSGT Ferguson inquires about WWII tags seen at his local Costco store. The two-hole tags date to WWII and the right index fingerprint was acid-etched onto the tag's reverse side. Although officially discontinued in 1942, these have been documented being issued as late as February, 1944.

The tag referenced by SSGT Ferguson might be dated using the tetanus date [T-date] stamped or engraved on the tag.

It's noteworthy that the USMC has used numerous styles, materials, and formats for Identification Tags ['dogtags'] since adoption in 1916. The classic 'notched' oval tag wasn't adopted until 1948.

C. 'Stoney' Brook
1961-65
11th & 12th Marines


To SSgt Ferguson who wanted to know how they got the fingerprint on the back of the old dog tags.

I have my grandfathers dog tag with his fingerprint on the back. As it was explained to me. The tag was coated in wax with the etched information on it, and then had the Marine press his thumb onto the back. The whole thing was then dipped into acid which caused the info and thumbprint to be etched into the metal.

Hope this helps.

J.E. Smith
SSgt USMC (Ret)
"Dignity does not consist in the possession of honors; rather in the deserving of them."


Hills 200 & 244​

To Paul Culliton:

Referring to your post of 30-April-2015 if those hills you're referring to are Hills 200 & 244 then it's true about seeing the rounds flying overhead. We were there March '67 to April '68. WE were a couple of guys with Motor T attached to the radio relay platoon and had gone to .50 caliber school at 29 Stumps before arriving in country. Good/Bad memories. If these are the hills you're referring to I would imagine the places had not changed that much by the time you got there. If they are not, I would love to hear from anyone who was there.

Semper Fi / Do or Die


Proud Of The Marines

Dear Sgt Grit,

I have to say from my heart that I am d-mn proud of the Marines and my nephew who just made Marine officer. He's training in VA and he want's to be a pilot. I have to tell you that the t-shirt about the flag and the wind don't blow it, a Marine does with his breath made my eyes water up. You see Sgt Grit, I am d-mn proud of our flag and I hate anyone putting her down and burning her too. Also my Marine hero was Pappy Boyington of the Blacksheep 214. Thank you and may god bless all!

WR

P.S. Sgt Grit it would be an honor to wear one of your t-shirts!


Missed This Recruit

In June of 1957 about 15 seniors graduated T.C. Howe high school in Indianapolis, In. They went down to enlist in the Marine Corps into a battalion to be made up of the famous Ernie Pyle journalist battalion. Fred Spaulding, was too small at 5'6" and skinny. The I&I Sgt. said no-way as he did not think Fred could complete boot camp. The Army took Fred--Put him through Airborne. Two years later he was 6'2" and 220 lbs. While serving in Vietnam as a Sergeant he earned a battlefield commission and finished his career as a Lt. Col. He was awarded The Silver Star. The recruiting Sergeant missed this recruit big time.

Cpl. David LeVine
169xxxx, 2531, PI 1958


November, 1944 Was A Busy Month

Sgt. Grit,

I know you are aware of how Marines hold the birthday of the Corps in such high regard. In November 1944, I looked at a notice of the celebration to be held at the Marine Barracks in Pearl Harbor. To this day my memory recalls the invitation stating: Those eligible to attend, Officers and their Ladies, enlisted Men and their Wives. After all of these years, I still get a feeling of resentment.

November, 1944 was a busy month. I accompanied WO George Young to Pearl Harbor to get $400,000 in currency for the Island Paymaster on Guam. We were taken to a vault containing bundles of money stacked from floor to ceiling. I had never seen so much money. Each bill had "HAWAII" printed on it in case any of our money was lost to the Japanese in which case it could be declared worthless.

The Navy Disbursing Officer on Guam learned of our mission and requested $25,000 in coins be added to our responsibility. The extra weight resulted in our having to wait until a plane was available to carry the weight. This meant we were stranded for ten days at Pearl and Honolulu. What to do with all that money? We took it to the brig and had it locked in a cell for safekeeping. I don't recall if we told the guards at the brig what they had locked up.

Before we left Guam a Gunny in supply told me to contact a certain Gunny in supply at Pearl and ask him for a watch. The Gunny in Pearl asked me how many watches I wanted and I told him three. I put one on my wrist, packed one to take back to Guam, and gave one to WO Young who asked me how I got it as he had requested one and had been told there were none available. Nuff said!

The international date line does strange things to us. We left Guam at noon, spent 20 hours in the air, stopped at two islands and arrived at Pearl Harbor thirty minutes before we left Guam. Part of my job was paying officers on inspection trips their per diem allowances. Many of the trips jumped back and forth across the date line and their orders were endorsed using the date and time at the stations involved. Twenty minutes in the air would show up as a difference of a whole day. Often drove me up a wall.

Bob Gaston, StfSgt
384xxx


This is Juan A. Bee

Juan A. Bee at a local event

Juan A. Bee's list of medals, ribbons, and badges

He goes on the road for booths and exhibits. He's a real ladies man. (Fifty Shades of Gray, Bert and Ernie version, in the right pocket.) That rifle has an authentic Star Wars laser sight. We do guns shows, so all weapon chambers are empty, nytied for safety. Bayonet is strapped to the left leg. His DD214 shows Medal of Honor (authentic, real case.) It's backed by not one, but TWO police badges. He does carry a few extras in the helmet bag... "Purple Heart" cap and another, "USN, Black Shoe soldier." Some peanut butter MRE's and a Sheriff's badge too. His 12 USMC sleeve chevrons will go on before his next trip. Air Force Mini Medals topped by a Trident opposite that gorgeous ribbon rack.

My thanks to good friend Britt Taylor Collins, bootsonthegroundart.com, the crew at SGT GRIT, grunt.com, and Barb Riggle for contributions to his spring wardrobe. A big thank you to Scott Pritchett for the original concept... now our FWP logo.

Must say - last booth set-up in Jacksonville, AR a few weeks ago - a wife looked at her (alleged Vietnam Veteran) husband (she and I had been talking, he walked up) and asked him, "What's wrong with him?"

He said, "I don't see anything wrong."

Draw your own conclusions.

Mary Schantag, Chairman
pownetwork.org
fakewarriors.org
fakewarriors.org/donations.htm


​Lima Company Marine

Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, commanded by Capt. William F. Lee, USMC, relieved Bravo Company 3/9 Marines. The XO was 1st Lt. Farro, USMC, and First Sergeant was SGT. Hunsburger. "B" Company numbered about 180 Marines. They lived in NMCB-11's camp and were the reaction force for the Marble Mountain Military Complex; 1st Platoon was atop Monkey Mountain; 2nd Platoon was at NSA; and 3rd Platoon remained in the Seabee camp. A sign at the entrance to Lima Company read as follows:

"A Lima Marine is a can fed, sweat cooled, guts operated, more or less flat trajectory weapon, that has never been known to have a stoppage."

That says it all!

John Ratomski


Covers Indoors

Sgt Grit,

I think some of this talk about wearing a cover indoors is getting a little silly. We all know as Marines we don't wear covers while in uniform inside any building unless we are under arms. As far as civilian clothes go, I never wear my Vietnam Veteran cover inside a church or restaurant or function where it would be inappropriate. But consider this: as a proud member of the Marine Corps League, we always wear our covers indoors before, during and after the meeting. The same is true of the VFW, American Legion, Military Order of the Purple Heart and the DAV. We only remove them during the meetings when there is an opening or closing prayer. So be forewarned, don't stop me inside McDonalds, Burger King or in any casual attire restaurant to tell me I need to remove my Sgt. Grit Semper Fi Vietnam Veteran cover or the fight will begin! Let's get over the Petty sh-t.

Semper Fi,
Master Sergeant of Marines
1965-1986
Gene Hays
MSgt, USMC Retired
Author and Historian


At The Railroad Trestles

Back in 1969 - 1971 I was attached to the MP Company in Camp Pendleton. Once in a while on weekends this Sergeant who guards the frontier of Pendleton would ask me if I wanted to go patrolling. Usually I would say yes because there isn't much to do on $100 a month salary, and we didn't have to dress up because we patrolled in boots and utilities. So off we go armed with long riot batons and .45's. While traversing the hills, he gets a call on the radio that some surfers are out at the railroad trestles surfing. Back in the old days the place was Marine Corps property and the only way the surfers got there was to be dropped off on I-5, then cross the fence to one of the best surfing waves this side of southern California. That's what I was told and I'm sticking by it; the surfing thing.

We arrived to witness a squad of MP's with their spit shined shoes and tropical class "C" uniforms standing morosely p-ssed off on the hot sand looking at surfers who managed to escape to the sea. "Screw you jarheads," or something like that can be overheard over the breaking waves as they taunted the Marines. As soon as we parked the pickup MP truck, smart me was thinking, "where the h-ll is their gear," like towels, pants, money, beers and the accoutrements that go along on a beach party with Annette Funicello.

Looking around the beach I noticed little sticks protruding from little sand mounds. I started digging with my riot baton and sure as sh-t there's their stuff! "Well now, this is getting pretty good," I thought. Then I saw a log and I said to myself, "Self, that'll be a good place to hide stuff." So I dug with my three foot riot baton on the end of the log and I discovered more stuff! Pretty soon the squad of astonished MP's figured out what the h-ll I was doing and began to dig also. Marine training digging for land mines came in handy. Then I heard someone flicking his Zippo and a bonfire got started. Marines like bonfires on beaches dreaming of Annette, and clothes and stuff began to be weeny roasted.

The surfers' tones somehow changed from happy "screw you jarheads" to something like a higher pitched "screw you jarheads". Of course they didn't say screw you but more like a surfers' idiom of their profession and with bad feelings and an emphasis on the "F" word.

Corporal Batayola of the Marines


God Bless Bob Hope

​This is some priceless footage. It makes me thankful that I am old enough to have lived in the time of Bob Hope.

Bob Hope Christmas


Short Rounds

Was on a med cruise and went on liberty in Barcelona, Spain sometime in July 1959. Myself and a couple of other Marines had a few at the local bars and decided to come back to the ship the USS Taconic AGC-17. Walking up the gang plank and reaching the top was the Officer of the Day, a young Ensign and one of my buddies said "request to cross your patio dadio", and the next morning at Captain's Mast was restricted to any more Liberty for 2 weeks.


Today is the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon. A fellow vet bought it out during our substance abuse therapy at Daytona, VA.


David Creighton wanted to know if any evac occurred in 1976.

I just watched a PBS Documentary about Vietnam and the evacuation. The evacuation was in April 1975. The last American to leave Vietnam was a Marine. So the individual you talked to must have been a wantabe.

Paul DeLaricheliere
CWO3 Retired
1971-1999​


Responding to the question regarding a "1976 evacuation of Da Nang".

That is a poser. Even if it was the best kept secret of the war, that "young Marine" would have to be no younger than 55-56 today (well, compared to me that IS young).

The big news then was the founding of a Technical College in the city.

Pete Dahlstrom '68 - '74
Marine Corps!


Quotes

Quote by General James Mattis

"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."
--General James Mattis


"But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever."
--John Adams, 1775


"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom."
--Benjamin Franklin, 1787​


"Older men declare war. But it is youth that must fight and die. And it is youth who must inherit the tribulation, the sorrow, and the triumphs that are the aftermath of war."
--Herbert Hoover, [1944]


"Your love of liberty — your respect for the laws — your habits of industry — and your practice of the moral and religious obligations, are the strongest claims to national and individual happiness."
--George Washington, 1789


a quote about the American Marine

"The American Marine will march down the barrel of an enemy rifle for you. It continually has amazed me over the years just how good the individual Marine can be."
--Captain Paul Goodwin, USMC, No Shining Armor, 1992


"Today is a good day to die!"

"As You Were..."

"I'll be out of the area all day!"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 30 APR 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 30 APR 2015

In this issue:
• Protest In Baghdadi
• Tet 1968
• Kangaroo Court

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Little Grunt Oliver at modified attention

Little Grunt Oliver ready to play

My son Oliver recently received a "dress blues" outfit from Sgt Grit. I must admit, I think he is the cutest little Marine I have ever seen! Thankfully I have a few years before I have to see him off to boot camp if he decides to follow in his grandfather and great-grandfather's foot steps. Oliver's grandfather, Paul Lucien Cote served in the 1980's and was stationed in Okinawa. Oliver's great-grandfather, Paul Louis Cote served in the 6th Marine Division during WWII. I am very proud of my Marines. Semper Fi!

My father has been a faithful reader of your newsletter for many years. I thought he would love to see his grandson in the newsletter too!

God Bless,
​April-Lynn Cote Killoran

Get your Devil Pup squared away
with a dress blue set at:

Dress Blues Baby 2 Piece Set

Dress Blues Baby 2 Piece Set


Protest In Baghdadi

Banner found in Al Baghdadi Iraq 2004

Stirring the pot in Iraq 2004

I wanted to submit two pictures for you from my time in Iraq. The first is a banner that we found between two houses in Al Baghdadi in early April 2004. At this time we were guarding a former Iraqi ASP between Al Asad and the train station. There was a protest in Baghdadi over the cordon being set up around Fallujah for the first operation to clear the city. This was just a few days after the contractors were burned and hung from the bridge. On the day of this picture some civilian contractors were in the wrong place at the wrong time and drove into the protest. One of the vehicles got stuck in the crowd and we left ASP Flea to try and rescue the contractors. When we arrived one of the contractors had been executed and was lying in the road. We cleared the immediate area, loaded the body, and began to clear some nearby houses we believed the insurgents had gone into. During the house clearing we found the banner. It roughly says they are protesting the surrounding of Fallujah, the city of "heroes and martyrs". From left to right is LCpl Bishop, Cpl Turner, LCpl Street, and me.

The second picture is also at ASP Flea where the QRF stayed. I put this in to let the Viet Nam guys know some things never change. That is Pvt Hill stirring the pot. Waste burning was something that wasn't very common as most FOB's had portajohns, but for some reason we had to burn our waste there.

To Mike Kunkel: the term broked-ck must have lived on because we used the term for un-anodized brass you had to polish, and for the sick, lame, and lazy. This was in the 90's.

To Joe Holt of India 3/5: I like your style, I have to admit that some of "a former hat" stories don't pass the smell test.

Also the supposed after action report for Cpl Blackburn sounded odd to me. Why would a recon team in 1968 be using a BAR? And as rough and gruff as the Viet Nam Marines are, I don't think their official statements would be laced with profanity and slang terms.

Semper Fi,
EAS


The Gun 12oz Mug


Well Son Of A Gun

Corporal, 1981. Had received a Navy Achievement Medal for performance as a member of 6th Marines Rifle Squad. Did not have a Good Conduct Medal yet. 1982, Did a lat move to 0231 Intelligence Specialist, got assigned to 1/6. Spent a year busting my b-tt for that Bn under the direction of LtCol Fox. When I got my orders to go to Oki, the S-2 wrote me up for another NAM. Deploy to 1st MAW HQ on Okinawa. Working in the G-2 as the daily briefer for the CG, MGen Peterson. I get called out one day to go receive my award. Well son of a gun if it was for a Navy Commendation Medal. He pinned it on proudly, and I was just as proud that it was him doing it.

For the next several years I got the strangest looks from Officers and SNCOs for being a Sergeant wearing a NCM, NAM, and GCM. Semper Fi.

GySgt Bob Berg​


Spit First

Hey Grit,

In your closing statements regarding Ship's orders when at sea, you forgot one:

"EMPTY ALL TRASH OVER THE FANTAIL!"

While aboard the USS Waukegan County, LST 1162​ in 1961 as a young PFC, I was the one whose task it was to follow this order. It was quite windy that afternoon, and as I approached the rail from the mess deck, an old Bo'sun Mate (is there any other kind?) said to me, "Spit first!" I did so, and my spit got blown right back in my face. He then said, "Dump with the wind, not into it." Lucky for me, or I would have been wearing all that garbage.

Speaking of rifle numbers, "U.S. Rifle, Cal .30 M1, #1458206" Plt 244, PISC, 1960.

Keep it coming.

P. Formaz, 1867xxx
GySgt of Marines​


Attitude Is Everything Day 6

Sgt Grit Quote of the Day number 5

A week ago we started posting random Marine Corps quotes and saying on the Sgt Grit Facebook page. The replies have been nothing short of what you would expect from our fellow Marine brothers and sister, or Marine family members.

Here are a few of their comments:


Max Salazar - I raise my beer can. Marines don't normally drink from glasses. Semper Fi, Marines


Alicia Macias - I always wanted to be with a Marine :-)


Kira Turner - U and me both! My dad is a Marine, but I always wanted one of my own!


Ron Coombs - Even though we were founded in a bar, some of us don't drink!


Allen Dettmer - I'll drink for you Ron!


Marie Green - I am raising my glass right now...Semper Fi...


Denise Gunnels - If you aren't with a Marine, raise your glass for a Marine(s).


Check daily to see what the next quote or saying of the day will be on the Sgt Grit Facebook page.


Nike Special


Vietnam, New Jersey, 1969

I was a Radio-Crypto Tech, 2847, with HQ Co. 26th Marines about 10 miles west of DaNang. One night in February, 1969, a few of us communicators were sitting outside the Comm Shack when we noticed a bright orange flash in the distance. At first we thought the airstrip was being hit, then we heard what sounded like a freight train going overhead! The ground shook when this thing passed! We watched this for probably 10 minutes or so, and still didn't know what it was, until another Marine came down from the COC, and told us that what we were watching was the Battleship New Jersey out over the horizon, firing her 16 inch guns, over our heads. We never did hear the impact of those shells! Just prayed that there was never a short round!

Paul Culliton


Honest Man

The story I'm going to tell reaches back to before I joined the Corps. (28 Sept 1965). One Saturday in '62 or '63, I was sitting around watching TV, and they were showing "The DI" with Jack Webb. I would have been a sophmore or a junior in High school at the time.

While I was watching the show my sister Charlotte came wandering through the house with the guy she was dateing at the time. His name was Wendell Smith, and he had just gotten out of the Marine Corps, and was looking for a job, and settling back into civilian life. They came through the room and I said, "Hey Wendell, is the Marine Corps really anything like that." Wendell was kind of a quiet guy, and he stopped and kind of watched a few minutes of the show. Then he looked at me and shook his head, and as serious as a heart attack said, "Jim the Marine Corps is never that nice." As they walked off I thought, "Man, this I've got to see." In 1965, I found out that Wendell was an honest man.

James A. Cowles (Sgt)
Plt 193 MCRD San Diego Cal. 1965​


A Tattoo That Creates 1000 Questions

Is the guy a Marine or just confused?

Tattoo with Eagle, Globe, and Anchor and Army


Tet 1968

5 Feb 1968, the start of the infamous Tet Offensive, 88 Marines of Delta 1/7 engaged an NVA force est. at over 1200 men south of the hamlet of La Chau II SW of DaNang. The fight actually started early in morning of the 5th of Feb as our ambush patrols began to have contact with the point elements of the NVA force. The small arms fire was intense and the NVA used RPGs and .50 cal MGs against the Marines. The rice in the paddies was high and as we maneuvered I was hit while calling in an air strike. As I moved toward a more secure LZ I saw another wounded Marine who had been a shot through the legs and could not walk. As I was in bad shape as well, we agreed to help each other crawl to the LZ for a Med Evac. It was a long day as the NVA had turned our flanks and the senior Marine in the field was a Corporal. Most of the 88 Marines were dead or wounded. F-4s, artillery, 106s, mortars et al pounded the enemy all day with devastating effect. Finally we reached the LZ and were safely Med Evac to the rear. I never saw my wounded companion again or so I thought.

In 1970, I was coming off leave and flying commercial standby out of the San Francisco metro airport. I was in uniform and was a proud Marine Sergeant. A civilian about my age came up to me and asked if I remembered him. I said no sir and he then identified himself as my wounded Marine comrade from the Battle of La Chau II in 1968. We embraced chatted for a few seconds and he was gone. As they say, small world.

For your news letter and fellow Marines.

Duane "Dutch" Van Fleet
LtCol USMC (Ret)​


1944 Parker 51

I believe it was in late l944, ballpoint pens were not invented yet, that Parker pen company developed a pen that did not leak when exposed to changes in atmospheric pressure. It was called Parker 51. Many Marines wanted one. I asked the Sergeant in our PX if he had any. He replied that only twelve had been received and the PX officer had sold all but three of them and those three were locked in his safe and there was no way I could get one.

Some time later the PX officer was walking past the Island Paymaster's Office where I was working. It just happened that we had received a promotion list and the PX officer's name said he had been promoted to Captain. I called to him to see if he was aware of his promotion. It was news to him and he asked me how soon he could start drawing his pay as a Captain. I told him I could prepare his pay voucher as soon as I had a Parker 51 pen to prepare it with. The rest is history as it only took him about five minutes for him to unlock his safe and present me with a new Parker 51 pen. I still had to pay the purchase price though.

Bob Gaston, StfSgt
384xxx


A Marine Is A Marine

Sgt. Grit,

Shame on Tom Gillispie for wearing his cover indoors, even if it was a McDonalds. My senior DI, Buck Sergeant John Medas, WWII survivor would pound his pith helmet on top of my balding head, if I was caught with my cover on inside a building.

I have, long ago, gotten in the habit of removing my cover when I step inside a building; a previous mention, though, says that "WallyWorld" doesn't count. I have often wondered about individuals eating in a restaurant, if their wife permits them to wear their cover at the dinner table at home. How about it Tom, does you wife let you wear yours?

A Marine is a Marine is a Marine, but maybe some distinction between "old" and "new" could be herringbone utilities, starched cotton khakis, or an EGA with two banners, inscribed with "Semper" "Fidelis" on them, instead of the single banner now used.

I just returned from San Diego, and while there stayed at the Navy Lodge, Naval Base. It's very odd to see Sailors in camo utilities, instead of the blues or whites, like in the old days. In October, 1950 I was transferred to the same Naval Station, Marine Barracks. At that time, the Station Brig was under the "management" of Marines stationed there. Gunny Rousseau, we also had plenty of prisoners moving in and out of the Brig, going to other Brigs across the country.

Semper Fi,
James R. McMahon
GySgt of Marines (1949-1970)
Hendersonville, TN​


Posing To The Max

I didn't serve in combat, but I still served.

Guy posing in Marine uniform with multiple errors


Attitude Is Everything Day 4

Sgt Grit quote of the day number 4

Here is another random Marine Corps quotes and saying post on the Sgt Grit Facebook page. The replies are nothing short of what you would expect from our fellow Marine brothers and sister, or Marine family members.

Here are a few of their comments:


David Boudreaux - Make no mistakes, we are not soldiers. Anybody can be a soldier, certain people earn the title and become Marines! Semper Fi.


Carl A Paulino - The FEW, the PROUD isn't just a slogan... it's the reality. It's a process called ATTRITION. As Old Blue eyes used to sing... IF YOU CAN MAKE IT THERE, you 'll make it anywhere.


Check daily to see what the next quote or saying of the day will be on the Sgt Grit Facebook page.


Evacuation Of DaNang

Don,

As always thanks for a great newsletter. I have a question you, or some of the other Marines might be able to help me with. I met a young Marine this past week in Jasper Texas, while at a fishing tournament down there, that told me that he had been involved in the evacuation of DaNang in 1976. I told him I had been involved in the Viet Nam evacuations in 1975, but had never heard of any other evacuation operation, in 1975, or 1976.

Was anyone else involved in this operation, or was he mistaken, or a Marine wanna be?

Thanks
David Creighton
Hq Brty, 11th Marines '68-'69
Marine Barracks Iceland '70-'72​


62nd Seabee Norman Baker on Iwo Jima​

Seabee Norman Baker at 18 on Iwo Jima 1945

February 1945, photo courtesy of Norman Baker. Baker, who was then an 18-year-old Seabee with the 4th Marine Division, sits with a machine gun on Motoyama No. 2 airfield, Iwo Jima. Assigned to a security detachment protecting units clearing the two airfields.

​ John Ratomski


Proud To Have Known Him

In the newsletter of 23 April you printed some of my experiences as orderly to Vice Admiral Andrews. I decided to write a separate item about his driver of fifteen years Chief Water Tender Donald A. Gary. Several months after I had been transferred to a new duty station, I was standing in a real estate office where I had worked prior to enlisting in the Marine Corps when in walked a U.S. Navy officer who looked at me and said,"Hi Bob." I asked him what had happened and he said the Admiral had been called to Washington and no longer rated a driver. The Admiral had obtained a commission for his driver who was sent as an inspector to a factory which made boilers for the Navy. I helped him find a rental.

I heard no more of Lt. Gary until the battle for Okinawa. My sister mailed me an article from Collier's magazine telling about an officer aboard the USS Franklin who had saved the lives of more than a hundred sailors by leading them through a ventilating system from the mess deck where they were trapped to the flight deck of the ship. The officer then managed to direct members of the crew to get an engine started so the ship was no longer dead in the water.

If you go on the internet and enter the name Donald A. Gary you can read the citation describing his efforts and his receipt of the Medal of Honor. I am proud to have known him.

StfSgt Bob Gaston
3845xxx


Special Breed

Sgt. Grit,

This is my comment regarding Grandpa Bud, the WWII Marine.

I am a Vietnam Vet, 1965-1966, 1st and 3rd Tank Battalions.

To my way of thinking there has been no fiercer warrior, no bigger heroes than the Marines that fought in WWII. All Marines are great, don't get me wrong, but the men that came out of the Greatest Generation, were a special breed, and I salute them all.

Semper Fi
John M. Hunter
Cpl. USMC 1964-68

P.S. I would also like to salute the others too, Army, Navy, and Coast Guard, from WWII. All a special breed.


Fingerprints

I was shopping in Costco when one of the ladies that passed out samples said thank you for your service and asked if she could ask me a question I said sure and she showed me her father's dog tags they were the ones that had two holes on each side and was round she said these were the original ones and that she had a question about how they got his fingerprints on the backside so if anyone knows can you please reply I believe they were from World War 2 or the Korean War.

SSgt Ferguson (1971-1978)


Kangaroo Court

OK, I gotta' tell this one. In the first 3 months of '58 us poor friggin' civilians (so far) had the pleasure of sharing a steam iron for a utilities inspection. It was our turn, filled the contrivance from someone's canteen, and began to smell the aroma of boiled urine. Our heroes were summoned (by the boot holding the short straw, I'm sure) and here they came "busting heads along the way (they were probably enjoying a cold one)". Anyway, the third of the platoon I enjoyed company with was subjected to a brutal "Kangaroo Court" and the peepeeer confessed and was sent back with his offending member between his legs, a terrifying punishment, as we all suspected.

Semper Fi all you immortal fellow Marines...

Sgt. Ed Belfy,
USMC A proud graduate
Platoon 204, MCRD San Diego


Who Came Up With The Idea

In early February, 1956, I had the pleasure of learning "squads right" drill at MCRD, San Diego. I often wondered who came up with the idea and what was the purpose of learning all those different steps.

Some years later, long after my honorable discharge, I was watching an old John Wayne cavalry movie. Probably "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon", and a light bulb lit up. The troops were lined up in a long line facing John Wayne. A command was shouted and the line swung around into 4 columns and rode out of the fort while the band was playing. The point is: you can't get a 4-legged horse to do a left face, or right face, or about face. They would get their legs tied in knots. So they had to go through all those gyrations to go from a facing line into 4 columns. Maybe the folks at MCRD thought we were a bunch of jackaszes.

Also, I was one of the few to go from a Sergeant to a Corporal without doing anything to be demoted. My DD214, at the end of January, 1959, after three years of active duty says "Sergeant, E-4". My discharge at the end of January, 1962, after 3 years of very inactive reserve says "Corporal, E-4". I know it's the same pay grade, but it d-mn sure isn't the same rank. I believe there were provisions to give some time for a person to advance to the next rank before being set back a stripe. But that was impossible to do in the inactive reserve.

Joe Shaw 158----


None Of The Kids Want It

Sgt. Grit,

World War II brought about ARMED FORCES RADIO SERVICE and they got popular and unknown singers and others to perform songs, record them and play them for us in the far corners of the earth, wherever we were, Armed Forces Radio was there blaring out music and all kinds of entertainment for us. Singers like The Andrews Sisters, Count Basie, Glen Miller, Jo Stafford and a host of others sang songs like; "Its been a Long, Long Time", "Atchison Topeka and Sante Fe", "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy", "That Old Black Magic" and they even stole songs from the Germans like; "Aud Weidersehn, Sweetheart". Many of us came back with a song meaning more Just Because!

Then Korea came along with smaller radios and other songs like; "Candy", "G.I. Jive" but also some Japanese performers were sending out their songs to enliven our days, like; "Yokohoma Momma", "Con Con Mousimai", "Tokyo Boogie Woogie", "Gomenasai" played by that king of Japanese Swing; "Harry Kari and His Six Saki Sippers".

Shortly after Korea Rock and Roll Came into being and we blasted the Jungles of Vietnam with it. I remember guys carrying guitars with them (like we didn't carry enough stuff) during WWII, Korea and Vietnam and it goes on today.

The funny part of this is that Music was always a big part of our fighting Wars and it would seem that the museums of today would have a place where you could hear that music that was played during the Battle for Iwo Jima and Okinawa, the Battle for Seoul and Frozen Chosin, even going into Vietnam and the Tet Offensive with all the Helicopters and Planes even blasting music during their going into battle.

Now today the new Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen have new songs and music they burn the ears of the enemy with, who believe the Music is the Music of the Devil.

If you're asking how do I remember this minuscule parts of War? Well my Wife said, "You have to get rid of some of that junk, none of the kids want it." I find records of Hari Kari and his Six Saki Sippers, Glen Miller, Betty Hutton and others. Most haven't been played in over 40 or 50 years, but reading the title of the records bring back the memories.

I gave most of my War Souvenirs and Marine Collection to a Museum - this was stuff they didn't want so I sat in the garage, listened to old music with some Cold Beer.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired​


Lost And Found

Sgt. Grit,

One of my DIs from platoon 2063 at Parris Island back in the summer of 1981 was Sgt. Juseff Mohamed Ishmail. I read somewhere recently that he passed away in a non-combat related incident back in the 1990's I believe and had been promoted to Staff Sergeant before the time of his death. I was wondering if any fellow jarheads had served with Staff Sergeant Ishmail and knows how he died?

Semper Fi
Mike Kunkel
Cpl 0331
Lima 3/8 weapons platoon


I'm looking for a lost buddy. His name is Jose Luiz Quinones. We were both in 7th Engineers at Camp Pendleton, 1978, 79, and 80. He was in Bulk Fuel and I was in the construction shop. His birthday is March 7th, 1957-58. Thank you.

Maria Colmenres


This in regard to DB Wright and his BLANK CHECK story. I too was a member of HMM-261 when we left New River NC aboard the USS Thetis Bay and joined the Cuban blockade and then to DaNang where we disembarked as a Squadron for my first of 3 tours in Vietnam. That was my last tour as a unit. After that I returned to Vietnam on individual orders to Marble Mountain and was assigned to VMO-2 where I went on flight pay as a door gunner on UH-1E helicopters to receive 4 Air Medals and Combat Air Crewmans Wings. After 13 months I returned to CONUS and an 11 month tour of duty in Hawaii and then back to Nam and Chu Lai to round out my 8 years and 2 months as a SSgt of Marines. While with VMO-2 I spent some time at Dong Ha, Phu Bai and Khe Sanh. Would like to hear from anyone connected to any of those outfits and duty stations. Reply at Roger R Everline, 13 Jefferson Ct, Millville, NJ or by e-mail: datroll59[at]aol.com.

Look forward to hearing from any Marines that knew me or even some that didn't know me but were in those units.

Roger Everline
SSgt of Marines
Semper Fi


Reunion

7th Engineer Battalion Vietnam Veterans' 2015 Reunion

2015 Marks the 50th Anniversary of the 7th Engineer Battalion's Deployment to Vietnam.

Reunion – Branson, MO – September 17 – 20, 2015

The United States Marine Corps 7th Engineer Battalion Vietnam Veterans Association will be holding its 17th annual reunion at the Radisson Hotel Branson located on the strip in Branson, MO. For Room reservations, call the Hotel at 417-335-5767 or 888-566-5290. Group code is 7th Engineer Battalion. Group rate is $93 + tax per night for single/double traditional room or $139 + tax per night for a Leisure Suite. Complimentary parking. More info: www.radisson.com/bransonmo.

For registration information, visit www.usmc.org/7th and look under REUNIONS on Home Page or contact Norm Johnson at 989-635-6653, Doug McMackin at 623-466-0545, or Jim Taranto at 518-567-4267.


Taps

A good friend and a hell of a Marine passed away Friday... Saint Peter and Col. Chesty open the gates and call out the guard; a hard fighting, beer drinking, Christian Man has come to reside with you.

First Sergeant Robert Lacourse joined the Navy at the start of WW II and had his destroyer sunk at Guadalcanal by a Japanese sub. Making it ashore he was cared for by Marines. When he left he told his new found friends that when the war was over he was joining the "Corps". When Bob left the canal he volunteered for submarine duty and returned to the war in the Pacific.

True to his word he joined the Marine Corps and served two tours in Korea, one of which was at the "Chosin Reservoir".

Fair winds and following seas "Sarge".

Capt. T. L. Johnson, Jr.
United States Marine Corps (Ret.)


Short Rounds

Got a thrill in the last newsletter when I saw my Platoon from Boot - San Diego, Platoon #1149. But I went through in 1966; Sr. D.I. SSgt. Norton, D.I. Sgt. Jester., D.I. Sgt. Armor.

Cpl. Wm. Reed
'66 - '69


Sgt Grit,

Here is a quote for you:

We have done so much, with so little, for so long that now they expect us to do everything, with nothing, forever!

Mike Thornton
Captain of Marines
'70 - '78​


Grit,

I would like to take a small space of this publication to welcome the newly graduated Marines from MCRD San Diego. Third Bn Mike Co. They graduated 24 April. Well done Marines! Welcome Aboard!

PFC Kevin Whalen we are proud of you.

Sgt. Jeff Wolven
USMC (currently un-assigned)
1980-1985​


My M-1... 2428103.

Bill McDermott


​Quotes

"Still one thing more, fellow citizens — a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circles of our felicities."
--Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address [March 4, 1801]


"We're surrounded. That simplifies the problem!"
--LtGen Chesty Puller, USMC


"Responsibility, not to a superior, but to one's conscience, the awareness of a duty not exacted by compulsion, the necessity to decide which of the things one values are to be sacrificed to others, and to bear the consequences of one's own decision, are the very essence of any morals which deserve the name."
--Friedrich A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom [1944]​


"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, go from us in peace. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!"
--Samuel Adams (1776)


"He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself."
--Thomas Paine, Common Sense [1776]


"The more MARINES I have around the better I like it!"
--Gen Mark Clark, U.S. Army


"Do all of the squat loopies in the known universe plus another for the Corps, the Commandant, and Chesty."

"​Have an outstanding Marine Corps day!"

"STAY OFF THE SKYLINE!" (with the appropriate emphasis of the day)

Fair winds and following seas.
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 30 APR 2015
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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 30 APR 2015

In this issue:
• Protest In Baghdadi
• Tet 1968
• Kangaroo Court

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My son Oliver recently received a "dress blues" outfit from Sgt Grit. I must admit, I think he is the cutest little Marine I have ever seen! Thankfully I have a few years before I have to see him off to boot camp if he decides to follow in his grandfather and great-grandfather's foot steps. Oliver's grandfather, Paul Lucien Cote served in the 1980's and was stationed in Okinawa. Oliver's great-grandfather, Paul Louis Cote served in the 6th Marine Division during WWII. I am very proud of my Marines. Semper Fi!

My father has been a faithful reader of your newsletter for many years. I thought he would love to see his grandson in the newsletter too!

God Bless,
​April-Lynn Cote Killoran

Get your Devil Pup squared away
with a dress blue set at:

Dress Blues Baby 2 Piece Set


Protest In Baghdadi

I wanted to submit two pictures for you from my time in Iraq. The first is a banner that we found between two houses in Al Baghdadi in early April 2004. At this time we were guarding a former Iraqi ASP between Al Asad and the train station. There was a protest in Baghdadi over the cordon being set up around Fallujah for the first operation to clear the city. This was just a few days after the contractors were burned and hung from the bridge. On the day of this picture some civilian contractors were in the wrong place at the wrong time and drove into the protest. One of the vehicles got stuck in the crowd and we left ASP Flea to try and rescue the contractors. When we arrived one of the contractors had been executed and was lying in the road. We cleared the immediate area, loaded the body, and began to clear some nearby houses we believed the insurgents had gone into. During the house clearing we found the banner. It roughly says they are protesting the surrounding of Fallujah, the city of "heroes and martyrs". From left to right is LCpl Bishop, Cpl Turner, LCpl Street, and me.

The second picture is also at ASP Flea where the QRF stayed. I put this in to let the Viet Nam guys know some things never change. That is Pvt Hill stirring the pot. Waste burning was something that wasn't very common as most FOB's had portajohns, but for some reason we had to burn our waste there.

To Mike Kunkel: the term broked-ck must have lived on because we used the term for un-anodized brass you had to polish, and for the sick, lame, and lazy. This was in the 90's.

To Joe Holt of India 3/5: I like your style, I have to admit that some of "a former hat" stories don't pass the smell test.

Also the supposed after action report for Cpl Blackburn sounded odd to me. Why would a recon team in 1968 be using a BAR? And as rough and gruff as the Viet Nam Marines are, I don't think their official statements would be laced with profanity and slang terms.

Semper Fi,
EAS


Well Son Of A Gun

Corporal, 1981. Had received a Navy Achievement Medal for performance as a member of 6th Marines Rifle Squad. Did not have a Good Conduct Medal yet. 1982, Did a lat move to 0231 Intelligence Specialist, got assigned to 1/6. Spent a year busting my b-tt for that Bn under the direction of LtCol Fox. When I got my orders to go to Oki, the S-2 wrote me up for another NAM. Deploy to 1st MAW HQ on Okinawa. Working in the G-2 as the daily briefer for the CG, MGen Peterson. I get called out one day to go receive my award. Well son of a gun if it was for a Navy Commendation Medal. He pinned it on proudly, and I was just as proud that it was him doing it.

For the next several years I got the strangest looks from Officers and SNCOs for being a Sergeant wearing a NCM, NAM, and GCM. Semper Fi.

GySgt Bob Berg​


Spit First

Hey Grit,

In your closing statements regarding Ship's orders when at sea, you forgot one:

"EMPTY ALL TRASH OVER THE FANTAIL!"

While aboard the USS Waukegan County, LST 1162​ in 1961 as a young PFC, I was the one whose task it was to follow this order. It was quite windy that afternoon, and as I approached the rail from the mess deck, an old Bo'sun Mate (is there any other kind?) said to me, "Spit first!" I did so, and my spit got blown right back in my face. He then said, "Dump with the wind, not into it." Lucky for me, or I would have been wearing all that garbage.

Speaking of rifle numbers, "U.S. Rifle, Cal .30 M1, #1458206" Plt 244, PISC, 1960.

Keep it coming.

P. Formaz, 1867xxx
GySgt of Marines​


Attitude Is Everything Day 6

A week ago we started posting random Marine Corps quotes and saying on the Sgt Grit Facebook page. The replies have been nothing short of what you would expect from our fellow Marine brothers and sister, or Marine family members.

Here are a few of their comments:


Max Salazar - I raise my beer can. Marines don't normally drink from glasses. Semper Fi, Marines


Alicia Macias - I always wanted to be with a Marine :-)


Kira Turner - U and me both! My dad is a Marine, but I always wanted one of my own!


Ron Coombs - Even though we were founded in a bar, some of us don't drink!


Allen Dettmer - I'll drink for you Ron!


Marie Green - I am raising my glass right now...Semper Fi...


Denise Gunnels - If you aren't with a Marine, raise your glass for a Marine(s).


Check daily to see what the next quote or saying of the day will be on the Sgt Grit Facebook page.


Vietnam, New Jersey, 1969

I was a Radio-Crypto Tech, 2847, with HQ Co. 26th Marines about 10 miles west of DaNang. One night in February, 1969, a few of us communicators were sitting outside the Comm Shack when we noticed a bright orange flash in the distance. At first we thought the airstrip was being hit, then we heard what sounded like a freight train going overhead! The ground shook when this thing passed! We watched this for probably 10 minutes or so, and still didn't know what it was, until another Marine came down from the COC, and told us that what we were watching was the Battleship New Jersey out over the horizon, firing her 16 inch guns, over our heads. We never did hear the impact of those shells! Just prayed that there was never a short round!

Paul Culliton


Honest Man

The story I'm going to tell reaches back to before I joined the Corps. (28 Sept 1965). One Saturday in '62 or '63, I was sitting around watching TV, and they were showing "The DI" with Jack Webb. I would have been a sophmore or a junior in High school at the time.

While I was watching the show my sister Charlotte came wandering through the house with the guy she was dateing at the time. His name was Wendell Smith, and he had just gotten out of the Marine Corps, and was looking for a job, and settling back into civilian life. They came through the room and I said, "Hey Wendell, is the Marine Corps really anything like that." Wendell was kind of a quiet guy, and he stopped and kind of watched a few minutes of the show. Then he looked at me and shook his head, and as serious as a heart attack said, "Jim the Marine Corps is never that nice." As they walked off I thought, "Man, this I've got to see." In 1965, I found out that Wendell was an honest man.

James A. Cowles (Sgt)
Plt 193 MCRD San Diego Cal. 1965​


Tet 1968

5 Feb 1968, the start of the infamous Tet Offensive, 88 Marines of Delta 1/7 engaged an NVA force est. at over 1200 men south of the hamlet of La Chau II SW of DaNang. The fight actually started early in morning of the 5th of Feb as our ambush patrols began to have contact with the point elements of the NVA force. The small arms fire was intense and the NVA used RPGs and .50 cal MGs against the Marines. The rice in the paddies was high and as we maneuvered I was hit while calling in an air strike. As I moved toward a more secure LZ I saw another wounded Marine who had been a shot through the legs and could not walk. As I was in bad shape as well, we agreed to help each other crawl to the LZ for a Med Evac. It was a long day as the NVA had turned our flanks and the senior Marine in the field was a Corporal. Most of the 88 Marines were dead or wounded. F-4s, artillery, 106s, mortars et al pounded the enemy all day with devastating effect. Finally we reached the LZ and were safely Med Evac to the rear. I never saw my wounded companion again or so I thought.

In 1970, I was coming off leave and flying commercial standby out of the San Francisco metro airport. I was in uniform and was a proud Marine Sergeant. A civilian about my age came up to me and asked if I remembered him. I said no sir and he then identified himself as my wounded Marine comrade from the Battle of La Chau II in 1968. We embraced chatted for a few seconds and he was gone. As they say, small world.

For your news letter and fellow Marines.

Duane "Dutch" Van Fleet
LtCol USMC (Ret)​


1944 Parker 51

I believe it was in late l944, ballpoint pens were not invented yet, that Parker pen company developed a pen that did not leak when exposed to changes in atmospheric pressure. It was called Parker 51. Many Marines wanted one. I asked the Sergeant in our PX if he had any. He replied that only twelve had been received and the PX officer had sold all but three of them and those three were locked in his safe and there was no way I could get one.

Some time later the PX officer was walking past the Island Paymaster's Office where I was working. It just happened that we had received a promotion list and the PX officer's name said he had been promoted to Captain. I called to him to see if he was aware of his promotion. It was news to him and he asked me how soon he could start drawing his pay as a Captain. I told him I could prepare his pay voucher as soon as I had a Parker 51 pen to prepare it with. The rest is history as it only took him about five minutes for him to unlock his safe and present me with a new Parker 51 pen. I still had to pay the purchase price though.

Bob Gaston, StfSgt
384xxx


A Marine Is A Marine

Sgt. Grit,

Shame on Tom Gillispie for wearing his cover indoors, even if it was a McDonalds. My senior DI, Buck Sergeant John Medas, WWII survivor would pound his pith helmet on top of my balding head, if I was caught with my cover on inside a building.

I have, long ago, gotten in the habit of removing my cover when I step inside a building; a previous mention, though, says that "WallyWorld" doesn't count. I have often wondered about individuals eating in a restaurant, if their wife permits them to wear their cover at the dinner table at home. How about it Tom, does you wife let you wear yours?

A Marine is a Marine is a Marine, but maybe some distinction between "old" and "new" could be herringbone utilities, starched cotton khakis, or an EGA with two banners, inscribed with "Semper" "Fidelis" on them, instead of the single banner now used.

I just returned from San Diego, and while there stayed at the Navy Lodge, Naval Base. It's very odd to see Sailors in camo utilities, instead of the blues or whites, like in the old days. In October, 1950 I was transferred to the same Naval Station, Marine Barracks. At that time, the Station Brig was under the "management" of Marines stationed there. Gunny Rousseau, we also had plenty of prisoners moving in and out of the Brig, going to other Brigs across the country.

Semper Fi,
James R. McMahon
GySgt of Marines (1949-1970)
Hendersonville, TN​


Attitude Is Everything Day 4

Here is another random Marine Corps quotes and saying post on the Sgt Grit Facebook page. The replies are nothing short of what you would expect from our fellow Marine brothers and sister, or Marine family members.

Here are a few of their comments:


David Boudreaux - Make no mistakes, we are not soldiers. Anybody can be a soldier, certain people earn the title and become Marines! Semper Fi.


Carl A Paulino - The FEW, the PROUD isn't just a slogan... it's the reality. It's a process called ATTRITION. As Old Blue eyes used to sing... IF YOU CAN MAKE IT THERE, you 'll make it anywhere.


Check daily to see what the next quote or saying of the day will be on the Sgt Grit Facebook page.


Evacuation Of DaNang

Don,

As always thanks for a great newsletter. I have a question you, or some of the other Marines might be able to help me with. I met a young Marine this past week in Jasper Texas, while at a fishing tournament down there, that told me that he had been involved in the evacuation of DaNang in 1976. I told him I had been involved in the Viet Nam evacuations in 1975, but had never heard of any other evacuation operation, in 1975, or 1976.

Was anyone else involved in this operation, or was he mistaken, or a Marine wanna be?

Thanks
David Creighton
Hq Brty, 11th Marines '68-'69
Marine Barracks Iceland '70-'72​


62nd Seabee Norman Baker on Iwo Jima​

February 1945, photo courtesy of Norman Baker. Baker, who was then an 18-year-old Seabee with the 4th Marine Division, sits with a machine gun on Motoyama No. 2 airfield, Iwo Jima. Assigned to a security detachment protecting units clearing the two airfields.

​ John Ratomski


Proud To Have Known Him

In the newsletter of 23 April you printed some of my experiences as orderly to Vice Admiral Andrews. I decided to write a separate item about his driver of fifteen years Chief Water Tender Donald A. Gary. Several months after I had been transferred to a new duty station, I was standing in a real estate office where I had worked prior to enlisting in the Marine Corps when in walked a U.S. Navy officer who looked at me and said,"Hi Bob." I asked him what had happened and he said the Admiral had been called to Washington and no longer rated a driver. The Admiral had obtained a commission for his driver who was sent as an inspector to a factory which made boilers for the Navy. I helped him find a rental.

I heard no more of Lt. Gary until the battle for Okinawa. My sister mailed me an article from Collier's magazine telling about an officer aboard the USS Franklin who had saved the lives of more than a hundred sailors by leading them through a ventilating system from the mess deck where they were trapped to the flight deck of the ship. The officer then managed to direct members of the crew to get an engine started so the ship was no longer dead in the water.

If you go on the internet and enter the name Donald A. Gary you can read the citation describing his efforts and his receipt of the Medal of Honor. I am proud to have known him.

StfSgt Bob Gaston
3845xxx


Special Breed

Sgt. Grit,

This is my comment regarding Grandpa Bud, the WWII Marine.

I am a Vietnam Vet, 1965-1966, 1st and 3rd Tank Battalions.

To my way of thinking there has been no fiercer warrior, no bigger heroes than the Marines that fought in WWII. All Marines are great, don't get me wrong, but the men that came out of the Greatest Generation, were a special breed, and I salute them all.

Semper Fi
John M. Hunter
Cpl. USMC 1964-68

P.S. I would also like to salute the others too, Army, Navy, and Coast Guard, from WWII. All a special breed.


Fingerprints

I was shopping in Costco when one of the ladies that passed out samples said thank you for your service and asked if she could ask me a question I said sure and she showed me her father's dog tags they were the ones that had two holes on each side and was round she said these were the original ones and that she had a question about how they got his fingerprints on the backside so if anyone knows can you please reply I believe they were from World War 2 or the Korean War.

SSgt Ferguson (1971-1978)


Kangaroo Court

OK, I gotta' tell this one. In the first 3 months of '58 us poor friggin' civilians (so far) had the pleasure of sharing a steam iron for a utilities inspection. It was our turn, filled the contrivance from someone's canteen, and began to smell the aroma of boiled urine. Our heroes were summoned (by the boot holding the short straw, I'm sure) and here they came "busting heads along the way (they were probably enjoying a cold one)". Anyway, the third of the platoon I enjoyed company with was subjected to a brutal "Kangaroo Court" and the peepeeer confessed and was sent back with his offending member between his legs, a terrifying punishment, as we all suspected.

Semper Fi all you immortal fellow Marines...

Sgt. Ed Belfy,
USMC A proud graduate
Platoon 204, MCRD San Diego


Who Came Up With The Idea

In early February, 1956, I had the pleasure of learning "squads right" drill at MCRD, San Diego. I often wondered who came up with the idea and what was the purpose of learning all those different steps.

Some years later, long after my honorable discharge, I was watching an old John Wayne cavalry movie. Probably "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon", and a light bulb lit up. The troops were lined up in a long line facing John Wayne. A command was shouted and the line swung around into 4 columns and rode out of the fort while the band was playing. The point is: you can't get a 4-legged horse to do a left face, or right face, or about face. They would get their legs tied in knots. So they had to go through all those gyrations to go from a facing line into 4 columns. Maybe the folks at MCRD thought we were a bunch of jackaszes.

Also, I was one of the few to go from a Sergeant to a Corporal without doing anything to be demoted. My DD214, at the end of January, 1959, after three years of active duty says "Sergeant, E-4". My discharge at the end of January, 1962, after 3 years of very inactive reserve says "Corporal, E-4". I know it's the same pay grade, but it d-mn sure isn't the same rank. I believe there were provisions to give some time for a person to advance to the next rank before being set back a stripe. But that was impossible to do in the inactive reserve.

Joe Shaw 158----


None Of The Kids Want It

Sgt. Grit,

World War II brought about ARMED FORCES RADIO SERVICE and they got popular and unknown singers and others to perform songs, record them and play them for us in the far corners of the earth, wherever we were, Armed Forces Radio was there blaring out music and all kinds of entertainment for us. Singers like The Andrews Sisters, Count Basie, Glen Miller, Jo Stafford and a host of others sang songs like; "Its been a Long, Long Time", "Atchison Topeka and Sante Fe", "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy", "That Old Black Magic" and they even stole songs from the Germans like; "Aud Weidersehn, Sweetheart". Many of us came back with a song meaning more Just Because!

Then Korea came along with smaller radios and other songs like; "Candy", "G.I. Jive" but also some Japanese performers were sending out their songs to enliven our days, like; "Yokohoma Momma", "Con Con Mousimai", "Tokyo Boogie Woogie", "Gomenasai" played by that king of Japanese Swing; "Harry Kari and His Six Saki Sippers".

Shortly after Korea Rock and Roll Came into being and we blasted the Jungles of Vietnam with it. I remember guys carrying guitars with them (like we didn't carry enough stuff) during WWII, Korea and Vietnam and it goes on today.

The funny part of this is that Music was always a big part of our fighting Wars and it would seem that the museums of today would have a place where you could hear that music that was played during the Battle for Iwo Jima and Okinawa, the Battle for Seoul and Frozen Chosin, even going into Vietnam and the Tet Offensive with all the Helicopters and Planes even blasting music during their going into battle.

Now today the new Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen have new songs and music they burn the ears of the enemy with, who believe the Music is the Music of the Devil.

If you're asking how do I remember this minuscule parts of War? Well my Wife said, "You have to get rid of some of that junk, none of the kids want it." I find records of Hari Kari and his Six Saki Sippers, Glen Miller, Betty Hutton and others. Most haven't been played in over 40 or 50 years, but reading the title of the records bring back the memories.

I gave most of my War Souvenirs and Marine Collection to a Museum - this was stuff they didn't want so I sat in the garage, listened to old music with some Cold Beer.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired​


Lost And Found

Sgt. Grit,

One of my DIs from platoon 2063 at Parris Island back in the summer of 1981 was Sgt. Juseff Mohamed Ishmail. I read somewhere recently that he passed away in a non-combat related incident back in the 1990's I believe and had been promoted to Staff Sergeant before the time of his death. I was wondering if any fellow jarheads had served with Staff Sergeant Ishmail and knows how he died?

Semper Fi
Mike Kunkel
Cpl 0331
Lima 3/8 weapons platoon


I'm looking for a lost buddy. His name is Jose Luiz Quinones. We were both in 7th Engineers at Camp Pendleton, 1978, 79, and 80. He was in Bulk Fuel and I was in the construction shop. His birthday is March 7th, 1957-58. Thank you.

Maria Colmenres


This in regard to DB Wright and his BLANK CHECK story. I too was a member of HMM-261 when we left New River NC aboard the USS Thetis Bay and joined the Cuban blockade and then to DaNang where we disembarked as a Squadron for my first of 3 tours in Vietnam. That was my last tour as a unit. After that I returned to Vietnam on individual orders to Marble Mountain and was assigned to VMO-2 where I went on flight pay as a door gunner on UH-1E helicopters to receive 4 Air Medals and Combat Air Crewmans Wings. After 13 months I returned to CONUS and an 11 month tour of duty in Hawaii and then back to Nam and Chu Lai to round out my 8 years and 2 months as a SSgt of Marines. While with VMO-2 I spent some time at Dong Ha, Phu Bai and Khe Sanh. Would like to hear from anyone connected to any of those outfits and duty stations. Reply at Roger R Everline, 13 Jefferson Ct, Millville, NJ or by e-mail: datroll59[at]aol.com.

Look forward to hearing from any Marines that knew me or even some that didn't know me but were in those units.

Roger Everline
SSgt of Marines
Semper Fi


Reunion

7th Engineer Battalion Vietnam Veterans' 2015 Reunion

2015 Marks the 50th Anniversary of the 7th Engineer Battalion's Deployment to Vietnam.

Reunion – Branson, MO – September 17 – 20, 2015

The United States Marine Corps 7th Engineer Battalion Vietnam Veterans Association will be holding its 17th annual reunion at the Radisson Hotel Branson located on the strip in Branson, MO. For Room reservations, call the Hotel at 417-335-5767 or 888-566-5290. Group code is 7th Engineer Battalion. Group rate is $93 + tax per night for single/double traditional room or $139 + tax per night for a Leisure Suite. Complimentary parking. More info: www.radisson.com/bransonmo.

For registration information, visit www.usmc.org/7th and look under REUNIONS on Home Page or contact Norm Johnson at 989-635-6653, Doug McMackin at 623-466-0545, or Jim Taranto at 518-567-4267.


Taps

A good friend and a hell of a Marine passed away Friday... Saint Peter and Col. Chesty open the gates and call out the guard; a hard fighting, beer drinking, Christian Man has come to reside with you.

First Sergeant Robert Lacourse joined the Navy at the start of WW II and had his destroyer sunk at Guadalcanal by a Japanese sub. Making it ashore he was cared for by Marines. When he left he told his new found friends that when the war was over he was joining the "Corps". When Bob left the canal he volunteered for submarine duty and returned to the war in the Pacific.

True to his word he joined the Marine Corps and served two tours in Korea, one of which was at the "Chosin Reservoir".

Fair winds and following seas "Sarge".

Capt. T. L. Johnson, Jr.
United States Marine Corps (Ret.)


Short Rounds

Got a thrill in the last newsletter when I saw my Platoon from Boot - San Diego, Platoon #1149. But I went through in 1966; Sr. D.I. SSgt. Norton, D.I. Sgt. Jester., D.I. Sgt. Armor.

Cpl. Wm. Reed
'66 - '69


Sgt Grit,

Here is a quote for you:

We have done so much, with so little, for so long that now they expect us to do everything, with nothing, forever!

Mike Thornton
Captain of Marines
'70 - '78​


Grit,

I would like to take a small space of this publication to welcome the newly graduated Marines from MCRD San Diego. Third Bn Mike Co. They graduated 24 April. Well done Marines! Welcome Aboard!

PFC Kevin Whalen we are proud of you.

Sgt. Jeff Wolven
USMC (currently un-assigned)
1980-1985​


My M-1... 2428103.

Bill McDermott


​Quotes

"Still one thing more, fellow citizens — a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circles of our felicities."
--Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address [March 4, 1801]


"We're surrounded. That simplifies the problem!"
--LtGen Chesty Puller, USMC


"Responsibility, not to a superior, but to one's conscience, the awareness of a duty not exacted by compulsion, the necessity to decide which of the things one values are to be sacrificed to others, and to bear the consequences of one's own decision, are the very essence of any morals which deserve the name."
--Friedrich A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom [1944]​


"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, go from us in peace. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!"
--Samuel Adams (1776)


"He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself."
--Thomas Paine, Common Sense [1776]


"The more MARINES I have around the better I like it!"
--Gen Mark Clark, U.S. Army


"Do all of the squat loopies in the known universe plus another for the Corps, the Commandant, and Chesty."

"​Have an outstanding Marine Corps day!"

"STAY OFF THE SKYLINE!" (with the appropriate emphasis of the day)

Fair winds and following seas.
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 23 APR 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 23 APR 2015

In this issue:
• Lock And Load
• Guard Duty
• A Private-Proof Tool

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Larry Hamilton in Vietnam with 40-round magazine

I saw an AK-47 while in Vietnam and it had a 30 round magazine. So I cut the top and bottom off of a couple of M-14 Magazines and welded them together and made a "40" Round magazine for my M-14. It really didn't work very well when test firing it, several of the last rounds would not chamber with only two springs. So I put "three" springs into the magazine, but then I could only load a little over 30 rounds. There just wasn't enough room for three springs and 40 Full Metal Jacket rounds in that magazine. I sure received some strange looks while walking around with my 40 round magazine.

Semper Fi,
Larry


Lock And Load

Range Officer:

"With a clip and two rounds, lock and load."
"Ready on the Left."
"Ready on the right."
"All ready on the firing line."
"Watch your targets."
"TARGETS!"

Hit the deck, prone position, squeeze off two rounds, bam, bam. Empty clip ejects, pull full eight round clip from cartridge belt, tap on helmet to seat short rounds, insert in breech, lock and load, squeeze off eight more, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam ,bam, bam, bam, 10 rounds on target in less than a minute.

"The deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle."

Norm Spilleth
Cpl. 1960-1964​


Nike Special


Jerk The Tail

When I was stationed at 8th & I with the U.S. Marine Band, "The President's Own", one of it's members, a MGySgt was retiring. He had been in the island campaigns of WWII before eventually becoming a Marine Bandsman. I was a SSgt (crossed rifles) at the time and the Band's PIO and we had struck up a friendship. He came to me and showed me an M1 Rifle in beautiful condition. He then showed me the original issue slip that used to be given to the Marine when the rifle was assigned to him and he signed the other half which was retained by the armory. Well, it looked old so I looked closer at it, and d-mn if it hadn't been issued in the early part of WWII! I was blown away! He smiled and asked me how bad I thought it was going to gum up the works when he turned it in?

He went over to the Barracks Armory and presented the M1 Rifle and the issue slip and asked for them to sign off he had turned it in properly and clear him off the books as possessor of that rifle. The young armor, a new Cpl quickly called his Sgt. The Sgt asked the MGySgt if he was pulling a joke and he assured them he wasn't and they needed to clear him properly of possession of that rifle. The Sgt quickly went up to his Boss the Co Gunny who looked at the slip and sent him over to a MGySgt in supply at the Barracks. He looked at it and said he hadn't seen one of those slips since WWII and didn't have a clue about how to handle it. He called his counterpart over at HQMC. HQMC "suggested" that perhaps the MGySgt with the rifle might just like to keep it as a souvenir and not create a major problem for the supply network. Back down the line this same and of course the retiring MGySgt looked at them and said, "NO!" "I'm turning in my rifle per regulations and you'll have to properly relieve me of it!" Boy did that ever create a cluster F-ck at HQMC! The next day at lunch in the SNCO Mess the Bks SgtMaj sat down at my table. After some pleasantries he asked me if I thought the Band MGySgt with the M1 could be talked out of turning it in? I told the SgtMaj that I didn't think there was a remote possibility of that happening. He said, "Oh well, I tried!" and that was that! It took HQMC over a week to work out how to handle it and properly sign for the return of the weapon. They couldn't even find a record of the Corps ever having had possessed that rifle! So, records were created, and the MGySgt got his properly signed receipt, clearing him of possession of the weapon! I believe the Marine Corps Museum eventually got the weapon for it's use.

The MGySgt Bandsman would drop by my office daily telling me the latest problems that had arisen. He said after over 30 years in the Corps it was finally his turn to jerk the tail of the Corps instead of them jerking his!

Semper Fi,
DB Wright
'59-'74


Huge Sigh Of Relief

Sgt. Grit,

In the newsletter of April 16, you asked for some stories from veterans of WWII. My wife warns me to watch out as I can ruin a whole afternoon by not knowing when to stop my stories.

In the last few months of 1942 I was assigned duty at the residence of Vice Admiral Andrews, Commandant of the Eastern Frontier. He had two automobiles at his disposal. One was a large Packard driven by a chief water tender who had driven the Admiral for over fifteen years. The other was a custom built Dodge which was given to the Navy by Major Bowes the host of the very popular radio program Major Bowes' Amateur Hour.

A new driver was selected to drive the Dodge. One evening the Admiral and his wife wanted to see a program at a theater on Times Square. The driver was to see that a hood was placed over stars on the front of car as they wanted to be as inconspicuous as possible. As luck would have it just as they were pulling up to the front of the theater the foot of the new driver slipped and landed on the button which set off a loud howl from the siren. Poor fellow spent eight hours each day for the next three weeks polishing that Dodge.

About four months out of boot camp I found myself as orderly to Vice Admiral Andrews, Commandant of the Eastern Frontier. My station was on the bottom level of his quarters. I had never been upstairs so I had no idea what things were like up there. About midnight my phone rang. The operator said for me to tell the Admiral that his 'command phone' was off the hook. I took my flashlight and started for the top floor. Not knowing where anybody was located, I knocked on the first door I found. Luckily Mrs. Andrews answered and thanked me for delivering my message. This buck private breathed a huge sigh of relief and hurried back down to his post. Wonder if I was half as scared when I hit island beaches later.

One evening in the Fall of 1942, Admiral Andrews called me, as his orderly, up to the main floor of quarters and told me to call for the President's car and to stay with him until he had driven away. I phoned the garage for the car and then went up to the porch overlooking the Brooklyn Navy Yard. I had no idea who to expect as my chow relief had been on duty earlier. I waited on the porch for several minutes until Herbert Hoover came out to chat until the car arrived. Quite a surprise for me.

StfSgt Bob Gaston
384xxx


Vietnam Veteran Brother In Arms T-shirt


All Time Classic

Sgt. Grit,

Each week I look forward to the newsletter and crack up laughing at a number of the stories, many of which take me back to my time in the Corps. All of us have names that we were called in boot camp by our DI's and I have a few that are personal favorites, but the most favorite name was one that I (we) were called after boot camp. I never heard this name before or since, but it was used regularly by one Gunny Silas (sp) when I reported to Lima 3/8 out of ITS in December of 1981. The good Gunny was a Viet Nam vet I believe and a former recon Marine and at some point a DI I think, but not completely sure of that. I do know that he was a little squared away spitfire, dynamo that took sh-t from no one. He was "in your face" just to let you know that he was watching you. My very first company formation with Lima was on a cold December, North Carolina morning and he called out those of us who had just reported to the unit and referred to us as "broke d-cks" who had better not ease up just because we were out of boot camp and f-ck up his company. If not still too scared to do so, I would have busted out laughing when I heard the term "broke d-cks", but I had already been forewarned that the Gunny did not mess around. This was a bit of a shock to me because ITS was a breeze compared to Parris Island and without all the DI's games and drama, so when I heard Gunny Silas tee off like that I started to think that I was back at Parris Island again.

He was of Japanese descent I believe and was only about 5'5" tall, but what I recall most about him from that first meeting was that his cammies were pressed so well and the pockets on the blouse were so flat that the blouse looked like it would have stood up on its own. His boots had that ripple sole on them and I remember thinking how neat they looked. I immediately took a pair of mine to one of those silver warehouse like buildings on Camp Geiger that shipped the boots off to a cobbler to have them resoled. If I recall correctly, we only did a few field ops with the Gunny before he moved back to Recon, but his force marches were azs kickers. Gunny Backus took over from Gunny Silas just before we headed out on a Med and eventually to Beirut. But after Gunny Silas left, I never heard the term broke d-ck again and that's a shame because I regard that as an all time "classic".

Semper Fi,
Mike Kunkel
Cpl 0331
Lima 3/8, Weapons Plt


Unbroken

Marines with Louis Zamperini before his passing

One of my custom coin customers visited Louis Zamperini before his passing. This is a picture of them all together. Louis Silvie "Louie" Zamperini was an American prisoner of war survivor in World War II, a Christian inspirational speaker, and an Olympic distance runner. Zamperini is the subject of two biographies and the 2014 film "Unbroken".

Becca Casey
Sgt Grit Custom Orders Specialist


Rifle Serial Numbers

Sgt. Grit,

Re: Still Remember My Rifle Number by George Engel.

I still remember my 'best friend' in North Korea, M1 rifle number 698627.

Sgt. Max Sarazin 1194xxx


The Marine from 12/54 who still remembers his rifle number. I thought I remembered mine but a few years ago, I checked my discharge papers to make sure and found my rifle #2561020 was indeed as I remembered. San Diego 6/54.

Semper Fi,
Ron S.​


United States Rifle, caliber .30, M-1, 2229569.

5 December 1959
MCRD San Diego
David W. Long​


Regarding rifle serial numbers, I too remember my rifle serial number. Imprinted on my brain for ever, by a couple of really disciplined Drill Instructors. My rifle was a Winchester, serial number 1036301, same forward and backward. Issued to me in San Diego November 1954.

D. L. Meenach 1511XXX​


Marine Quote Of The Day

Marine Quote of the Day

Guard Duty

It was late 1971 and I was newly assigned to the 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Mar Div, at Camp Pendleton, California as a Field Radio Operator. Being a private and new to the battalion, it didn't take long until I was assigned guard duty. Camp Pendleton is right on the coast and during the winter there's always a cold breeze at night. Quickly I found out walking guard wearing a set of thermal underwear under my utilities and field jacket was barely enough to ward off the cold. It seemed I was always assigned night shift and guarded the tank ramp.

Our tanks were parked side by side down a long concrete slab, across the end, and back up the other side facing each other. Around the perimeter of the parked tanks were a few tall lamp posts which cast a feeble light on everything. At the near end was a ramp that led up a small incline to a work area. One tank was parked on this ramp.

About 0-Dark-Thirty I began to occasionally hear a metallic creaking sound but couldn't determine just where it was coming from. It wasn't constant, just now and then.

When my round brought me to the base of the ramp I heard it again, and looking up, noticed the tank was slowly inching down the ramp on its own. Not good. So I called the Sgt of the Guard and informed him of the situation. He came out and verified it and went back to the guard shack. It wasn't long before a group of tankers were rousted out of their sacks and sent out to deal with it. I was glad to see them.

Things quieted down and got boring again, but not for long. As I paused and looked down the ramp, a large owl slowly flew by about 20 feet off the ground hunting in the dim light. He got to the end of the ramp, turned around and flew back again, all without making any sound at all. Then he flew away. I was totally amazed by his silent flight.

The rest of the shift passed quickly without more excitement, but I never forgot that night of guard duty.

Rodger Childs
Formerly, Corporal of Marines


Semper Fi Marine

USMC Black/Digital Desert Twill Jacket

Today I stopped at Woodman's Grocery Store, here in Rockford, IL, to restock the pantry shelves. I had just finished checking out and was heading towards the door when I noticed a gentleman wearing a Marine Corps jacket. With my ice cream melting, I waited for him to finish his own check out and gave him my standard "Semper Fi Marine". I asked when he was in and if he got his jacket at Sgt Grits and he gave me dates in the late '90s/early 2000s (my memory sucks), then said he did get the jacket at Sgt Grits. This is the jacket he had on. It's pretty spectacular in person.

Fifty years ago, on or about April 18th, Bravo Battery 3rd LAAM Bn, MCAS Cherry Point NC loaded our entire Battery including all gear and personnel on C-130s bound for Vieques Island Puerto Rico for a two week firing exercise. My first time in the Caribbean and I loved it. We were fortunate enough to get overnight liberty in San Juan the next weekend and enjoyed that immensely. Had my first glass of fresh squeezed orange juice and it ruined me for life for anything less. We no sooner returned from liberty on Sunday afternoon than the word was passed that a crisis had broken out on The Dominican Republic. Of course the rumors flew fast and furious among enlisted personnel that since we were so close we would be going to the D.R. to help manage the situation. NOT In retrospect it didn't make any sense because they needed grunts not a bunch of HAWK Marines stumbling around trying to figure out what they should be doing. A bunch of disappointed Marines returned to Cherry Point that next weekend on C-130s leaving our equipment for Charlie Battery to use for their two week FireEx. Good times.

MCRD San Diego map that shows location of quonset huts

In the 4-15 newsletter, 1st Sgt Brewer said: "There are about a dozen huts left just north of the parade deck, behind the reviewing stand and across the street from recruit receiving center." Actually 1st Sgt, we had a 48 year Platoon 145 reunion at MCRD San Diego in September of 2010 and there are 15 quonset huts remaining. In neglected condition (inside) they are used for storage and are directly across the street south of receiving. The reviewing stand is quite a bit west (a little nw) of there in the middle of the south side of the Grinder across from the big flag pole. Pictures on request.

Forged on the anvil of discipline.
The Few. The Proud.
Jerry D.

Get this squared away jacket at:

USMC Black/Digital Desert Twill Jacket


Add My Own

I've been reading all the story's from my Marine Brethren and wanted to add my own.

I'm an Okie from Antlers, OK. I went to the Hotel Black several times to join the service on the "buddy plan". When we all came to OKC to depart in June, they wouldn't take me as I had been in a motorcycle accident. On July 27, 1972, I was finally accepted and traveled to San Diego. We were in the Quonset huts just a short time before we went to the barracks. Company "A", 1st. RTBN, Plt. 1094. Did not meet Drill Instructor Brewer, as we had Sgt. Tingley, Sgt. H. F. Haskins, and Sgt. Navarette.

We were again in Quonset huts in Pendleton, with the "heads" at the end of the aisles.

I was sent to Aberdeen Proving Grounds in November 1972 for Infantry Weapons Training and graduated 2111 (Gunny Rousseau) and sent to Cherry Point, NC. Sent to the armory at 3rd, LAAM Bn. and immediately sent to the Cherry Point rifle range as a armorer and instructor. I spent my weekends as a cross-country prisoner "chaser." I spent 2 years at the range and with a Meritorious Mast and a Meritorious Promotion, went back to 3rd LAAM as a corporal.

I requested orders and was sent to Marine Barracks, USN SubBase, New London, CT. There I completed my obligation, transferred to the active reserves that took me to New Haven (Truck Company), Hartford (Grunts), Alameda, CA (Air Wing) and finally to OKC with the 9" self-propelled artillery.

Dwight Morgan
S/Sgt. USMC​


A Private-Proof Tool

For Herb Brewer... those 16 lb sledgehammers that Correctional Custody used?... they started out, in 1964, being quite ordinary 8 lb sledges. (CC and Motivation both 'stood up' as new units within STB (Special Training Branch) in Feb '64... I was a plankholder in Motivation, across the street from Correctional Custody, which was behind the base theatre and the old swimming pool... there is a 30" diameter pine tree growing now about where our hatch was... the pool, etc. are gone)... We were feeling our way with the programs at the time... from CC, I recall a Gy Humphrys (sp?), (last seen as a retired WO managing a Hardee's in J'ville... circa 1976 or so), Sgt Larry Grubbs, a Sgt Hill (dude had like 20" guns)... the Pvts lived in their skivvies whenever inside the barracks, stripped and folded their bunks at reveille, got a 'ration" at morning chow... one egg, one piece of bacon, one slice of toast, milk, then fell out at 0700 with helmet liners, clip-on safety toes on their boots, safety goggles, and at port sledgehammer for their run out to the back gate to bust concrete... it didn't take the maggots long to figure out that with a judicious 'over-strike', they could bust the wooden handle on the sledge next to the head, making it useless until they returned to the area at noon chow... CC was going through a lot of sledgehammer handles, so Facilities Maintenance figured out that instead of hickory handles, they would just weld a piece of pipe into the head for the handle... which added some weight. It didn't take long for the maggots to figure out that the same over-strike would bend the pipe handle... so Fac Maint, then welded 4" triangles of 1/2" steel plate on both sides of the handle and to the head, producing a Pvt-proof tool. Standard sentence to CC was 3 days... nobody came back for seconds... ever.

Those sledges are probably still around the Depot somewhere... it would take a 10KT nuke to destroy them... Once had a Pettibone field rep come to the Equipment Allowance Pool at the Stumps to put some new rough terrain forklifts into service... I told him that if he had a Marine PFC-Proof piece of equipment there, he really had something. His reply was that Marine PFC's were 'easy'... that the toughest on equipment was the SeaBees... said if you gave them a new anvil, and they couldn't bust it, they'd stand around and pizz on it until it rusted away...​

Ddick


Lost And Found

It's been a long time, but I had quite a few good times with guys I went to C&E school with: Stan Wheeler, Pete Stratos, (Brian?) Johnson, all 2841s at the time. Would like to get in touch with them if they are so inclined.

Thanks and Semper Fi!

Art Grant


Dear Sgt Grit,

I graduated at Parris Island with Platoon 227, Second Battalion in 1958. My Drill Instructors were Gunny Sgt. Starrett SDI, Jr. D.I.'s Staff Sgt. Dennison and Sgt. Centers. I read that Centers succumbed to agent orange after serving as an officer in Nam. I would love to contact any of them and find out if the story about Centers is true. My e-mail address is: sullyusmc1775[at]aol.com.

Leo J. Sullivan


I entered Boot Camp June 1958, Plt 151 MCRD San Diego. After Boot Camp I attended AV Prep School NAS Jax Fl then Radar Operators School MCRD San Diego the MACS-7 at the Air Fac in New River NC from 59061 until the entire Squadron was transferred to NAS Atsugi Japan After out tour in Japan (18 mo) I was stationed with MACS-1 at MCAF Yuma Az. until Feb '66. While at MACS-1, I was trained as an Air Intercept Controller and was sent to Air Controllers school as a Cpl at FAAWTC, San Diego in 1964 where I was the only Marine in the class and the lowest ranked. In 1965, I was promoted to Sgt.(E-5) and in Feb '66 I was sent to Vietnam where I joined MACS-7 at Chu-Lai and after 3 months there was sent north to their early warning site at Phu-Bai where I was promoted to S/Sgt. In Feb '67 we were mortared in the middle of the night and I was wounded and after a week sent back to Chu-Lai until I returned to CONUS and I&I Duty with MACS-26 at NAS So. Weymouth MA. I was Honorably Discharged. After Discharge I returned to my home state of California an applied to the California Highway Patrol and exactly one year later (Aug 1968) I had graduated form the CHP Academy and reported in to the Oceanside, CA CHP Office where I spent the next 29 years, retiring from the CHP in 1996. I currently live in Roseville, CA and have two grandsons who were and one still is in the Marine Corps. One is Sgt Joe Muslin stationed at Camp LeJuene, NC and was with "E" 2/9 for 2 tours in Afghanistan and currently with the Combat Training School there. The other was Sgt. Sam Muslin who was with HMM-268 at Camp Pendleton CA. I guess what I'm really looking is to find anyone who was with Plt 151 in '58 or MACS-7 in New River or Vietnam or anyone with MACS-1 in Yuma. A few of the names of people I remember are Cpl Michael Boline, Sgt/WO F.O. Moore, Gy/Sgt Piper, Lt. Abernathy (wounded the same night as I) Maj Mel Salter (F-8 pilot pulling a desk job with MACS-1 in Yuma) or anyone else who either knew me or served with me in either of the MACS units.

Gerald (Jerry) Caughman
1820xxx
S/Sgt USMC
State Traffic Officer California Highway Patrol (ret)
Roseville​


Taps

My father, Sgt. John C. Thrasher Jr., service number 1803xxx, reported to his final duty station yesterday morning (April 16, 2015) at 3:32 am, taking up his post at Heaven's Gate. He served in the Marine Corps from 1958 to 1962 with the 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division at Camp LeJeune, NC.

I followed in his footsteps, serving our Corps from 1983 to 1989 with the 6th Marines, 2nd Marine Division at Camp LeJeune, NC.

Fair winds and following seas dad. You will be missed.

Semper Fidelis,
Cpl. John C. Thrasher III
0341​


Short Rounds

To: GYSGT Archuleta

Did you attend 3MARDIV schools in Camp Mercy Oct or Nov of 1958 with Cpl (then GYSGT) Kearney teaching us cw? Jim Nelson and I were hit by a car inside the gate at Mercy about halfway through school and finished wearing casts on both of our left legs. I was then assigned to Comm Co at Camp Hague. Best messhall in the USMC across the street from our quonset huts. I do not remember any other designation but Comm Co HQ BN 3RD Mar Div. But I left in Nov 1959 and I don't think the USMC uses cw anymore.


I was once a highly motivated, truly dedicated, kickazs little green amphibious monster... but I've ate since then.


I'm so short I can sit on a dime and dangle my legs.

Larry Jenkins


I'm so short, when I fart, I get dust in my eyes.

Steve Stefko


I'm so short, the pizz ants pee on me.

Jacqueline Vick


I remember being so short I had to free fall out of the rack in the mornings!

Steve Fremgen


Quotes

"Happy will it be for ourselves, and most honorable for human nature, if we have wisdom and virtue enough to set so glorious an example to mankind!"
--Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 36, [1788]


"Where there is a multitude of specific laws, it is a sign that the state is badly governed."
--Isocrates, Areopagiticus [355 B.C.]


"If I had one more division like this First Marine Division I could win this war."
--General of the Armies Douglas McArthur in Korea, overheard and reported by Marine Staff Sergeant Bill Houghton, Weapons/2/5


"The deadliest weapon in the world is a MARINE and his rifle!"
--Gen. Pershing, US.ARMY


"Hard pressed on my right. My center is yielding. Impossible to maneuver. Situation excellent. I am attacking!"
--Ferdinand Foch


Microphone clearing sound. Weird whistle.

Then... Now hear this! Now hear this!
All Marines topside go below.
All Marines below go topside.
All Marines forward go aft.
All Marines aft go forward.
All Marines in the middle stand by to direct traffic!
That is all!

"Rise and shine, it's Grunt time."

"Keep your interval!"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

©2015 Sgt Grit Inc
All rights reserved
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Sgt Grit Newsletter 23 APR 2015
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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 23 APR 2015

In this issue:
• Lock And Load
• Guard Duty
• A Private-Proof Tool

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I saw an AK-47 while in Vietnam and it had a 30 round magazine. So I cut the top and bottom off of a couple of M-14 Magazines and welded them together and made a "40" Round magazine for my M-14. It really didn't work very well when test firing it, several of the last rounds would not chamber with only two springs. So I put "three" springs into the magazine, but then I could only load a little over 30 rounds. There just wasn't enough room for three springs and 40 Full Metal Jacket rounds in that magazine. I sure received some strange looks while walking around with my 40 round magazine.

Semper Fi,
Larry


Lock And Load

Range Officer:

"With a clip and two rounds, lock and load."
"Ready on the Left."
"Ready on the right."
"All ready on the firing line."
"Watch your targets."
"TARGETS!"

Hit the deck, prone position, squeeze off two rounds, bam, bam. Empty clip ejects, pull full eight round clip from cartridge belt, tap on helmet to seat short rounds, insert in breech, lock and load, squeeze off eight more, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam ,bam, bam, bam, 10 rounds on target in less than a minute.

"The deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle."

Norm Spilleth
Cpl. 1960-1964​


Jerk The Tail

When I was stationed at 8th & I with the U.S. Marine Band, "The President's Own", one of it's members, a MGySgt was retiring. He had been in the island campaigns of WWII before eventually becoming a Marine Bandsman. I was a SSgt (crossed rifles) at the time and the Band's PIO and we had struck up a friendship. He came to me and showed me an M1 Rifle in beautiful condition. He then showed me the original issue slip that used to be given to the Marine when the rifle was assigned to him and he signed the other half which was retained by the armory. Well, it looked old so I looked closer at it, and d-mn if it hadn't been issued in the early part of WWII! I was blown away! He smiled and asked me how bad I thought it was going to gum up the works when he turned it in?

He went over to the Barracks Armory and presented the M1 Rifle and the issue slip and asked for them to sign off he had turned it in properly and clear him off the books as possessor of that rifle. The young armor, a new Cpl quickly called his Sgt. The Sgt asked the MGySgt if he was pulling a joke and he assured them he wasn't and they needed to clear him properly of possession of that rifle. The Sgt quickly went up to his Boss the Co Gunny who looked at the slip and sent him over to a MGySgt in supply at the Barracks. He looked at it and said he hadn't seen one of those slips since WWII and didn't have a clue about how to handle it. He called his counterpart over at HQMC. HQMC "suggested" that perhaps the MGySgt with the rifle might just like to keep it as a souvenir and not create a major problem for the supply network. Back down the line this same and of course the retiring MGySgt looked at them and said, "NO!" "I'm turning in my rifle per regulations and you'll have to properly relieve me of it!" Boy did that ever create a cluster F-ck at HQMC! The next day at lunch in the SNCO Mess the Bks SgtMaj sat down at my table. After some pleasantries he asked me if I thought the Band MGySgt with the M1 could be talked out of turning it in? I told the SgtMaj that I didn't think there was a remote possibility of that happening. He said, "Oh well, I tried!" and that was that! It took HQMC over a week to work out how to handle it and properly sign for the return of the weapon. They couldn't even find a record of the Corps ever having had possessed that rifle! So, records were created, and the MGySgt got his properly signed receipt, clearing him of possession of the weapon! I believe the Marine Corps Museum eventually got the weapon for it's use.

The MGySgt Bandsman would drop by my office daily telling me the latest problems that had arisen. He said after over 30 years in the Corps it was finally his turn to jerk the tail of the Corps instead of them jerking his!

Semper Fi,
DB Wright
'59-'74


Huge Sigh Of Relief

Sgt. Grit,

In the newsletter of April 16, you asked for some stories from veterans of WWII. My wife warns me to watch out as I can ruin a whole afternoon by not knowing when to stop my stories.

In the last few months of 1942 I was assigned duty at the residence of Vice Admiral Andrews, Commandant of the Eastern Frontier. He had two automobiles at his disposal. One was a large Packard driven by a chief water tender who had driven the Admiral for over fifteen years. The other was a custom built Dodge which was given to the Navy by Major Bowes the host of the very popular radio program Major Bowes' Amateur Hour.

A new driver was selected to drive the Dodge. One evening the Admiral and his wife wanted to see a program at a theater on Times Square. The driver was to see that a hood was placed over stars on the front of car as they wanted to be as inconspicuous as possible. As luck would have it just as they were pulling up to the front of the theater the foot of the new driver slipped and landed on the button which set off a loud howl from the siren. Poor fellow spent eight hours each day for the next three weeks polishing that Dodge.

About four months out of boot camp I found myself as orderly to Vice Admiral Andrews, Commandant of the Eastern Frontier. My station was on the bottom level of his quarters. I had never been upstairs so I had no idea what things were like up there. About midnight my phone rang. The operator said for me to tell the Admiral that his 'command phone' was off the hook. I took my flashlight and started for the top floor. Not knowing where anybody was located, I knocked on the first door I found. Luckily Mrs. Andrews answered and thanked me for delivering my message. This buck private breathed a huge sigh of relief and hurried back down to his post. Wonder if I was half as scared when I hit island beaches later.

One evening in the Fall of 1942, Admiral Andrews called me, as his orderly, up to the main floor of quarters and told me to call for the President's car and to stay with him until he had driven away. I phoned the garage for the car and then went up to the porch overlooking the Brooklyn Navy Yard. I had no idea who to expect as my chow relief had been on duty earlier. I waited on the porch for several minutes until Herbert Hoover came out to chat until the car arrived. Quite a surprise for me.

StfSgt Bob Gaston
384xxx


All Time Classic

Sgt. Grit,

Each week I look forward to the newsletter and crack up laughing at a number of the stories, many of which take me back to my time in the Corps. All of us have names that we were called in boot camp by our DI's and I have a few that are personal favorites, but the most favorite name was one that I (we) were called after boot camp. I never heard this name before or since, but it was used regularly by one Gunny Silas (sp) when I reported to Lima 3/8 out of ITS in December of 1981. The good Gunny was a Viet Nam vet I believe and a former recon Marine and at some point a DI I think, but not completely sure of that. I do know that he was a little squared away spitfire, dynamo that took sh-t from no one. He was "in your face" just to let you know that he was watching you. My very first company formation with Lima was on a cold December, North Carolina morning and he called out those of us who had just reported to the unit and referred to us as "broke d-cks" who had better not ease up just because we were out of boot camp and f-ck up his company. If not still too scared to do so, I would have busted out laughing when I heard the term "broke d-cks", but I had already been forewarned that the Gunny did not mess around. This was a bit of a shock to me because ITS was a breeze compared to Parris Island and without all the DI's games and drama, so when I heard Gunny Silas tee off like that I started to think that I was back at Parris Island again.

He was of Japanese descent I believe and was only about 5'5" tall, but what I recall most about him from that first meeting was that his cammies were pressed so well and the pockets on the blouse were so flat that the blouse looked like it would have stood up on its own. His boots had that ripple sole on them and I remember thinking how neat they looked. I immediately took a pair of mine to one of those silver warehouse like buildings on Camp Geiger that shipped the boots off to a cobbler to have them resoled. If I recall correctly, we only did a few field ops with the Gunny before he moved back to Recon, but his force marches were azs kickers. Gunny Backus took over from Gunny Silas just before we headed out on a Med and eventually to Beirut. But after Gunny Silas left, I never heard the term broke d-ck again and that's a shame because I regard that as an all time "classic".

Semper Fi,
Mike Kunkel
Cpl 0331
Lima 3/8, Weapons Plt


Unbroken

One of my custom coin customers visited Louis Zamperini before his passing. This is a picture of them all together. Louis Silvie "Louie" Zamperini was an American prisoner of war survivor in World War II, a Christian inspirational speaker, and an Olympic distance runner. Zamperini is the subject of two biographies and the 2014 film "Unbroken".

Becca Casey
Sgt Grit Custom Orders Specialist


Rifle Serial Numbers

Sgt. Grit,

Re: Still Remember My Rifle Number by George Engel.

I still remember my 'best friend' in North Korea, M1 rifle number 698627.

Sgt. Max Sarazin 1194xxx


The Marine from 12/54 who still remembers his rifle number. I thought I remembered mine but a few years ago, I checked my discharge papers to make sure and found my rifle #2561020 was indeed as I remembered. San Diego 6/54.

Semper Fi,
Ron S.​


United States Rifle, caliber .30, M-1, 2229569.

5 December 1959
MCRD San Diego
David W. Long​


Regarding rifle serial numbers, I too remember my rifle serial number. Imprinted on my brain for ever, by a couple of really disciplined Drill Instructors. My rifle was a Winchester, serial number 1036301, same forward and backward. Issued to me in San Diego November 1954.

D. L. Meenach 1511XXX​


Guard Duty

It was late 1971 and I was newly assigned to the 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Mar Div, at Camp Pendleton, California as a Field Radio Operator. Being a private and new to the battalion, it didn't take long until I was assigned guard duty. Camp Pendleton is right on the coast and during the winter there's always a cold breeze at night. Quickly I found out walking guard wearing a set of thermal underwear under my utilities and field jacket was barely enough to ward off the cold. It seemed I was always assigned night shift and guarded the tank ramp.

Our tanks were parked side by side down a long concrete slab, across the end, and back up the other side facing each other. Around the perimeter of the parked tanks were a few tall lamp posts which cast a feeble light on everything. At the near end was a ramp that led up a small incline to a work area. One tank was parked on this ramp.

About 0-Dark-Thirty I began to occasionally hear a metallic creaking sound but couldn't determine just where it was coming from. It wasn't constant, just now and then.

When my round brought me to the base of the ramp I heard it again, and looking up, noticed the tank was slowly inching down the ramp on its own. Not good. So I called the Sgt of the Guard and informed him of the situation. He came out and verified it and went back to the guard shack. It wasn't long before a group of tankers were rousted out of their sacks and sent out to deal with it. I was glad to see them.

Things quieted down and got boring again, but not for long. As I paused and looked down the ramp, a large owl slowly flew by about 20 feet off the ground hunting in the dim light. He got to the end of the ramp, turned around and flew back again, all without making any sound at all. Then he flew away. I was totally amazed by his silent flight.

The rest of the shift passed quickly without more excitement, but I never forgot that night of guard duty.

Rodger Childs
Formerly, Corporal of Marines


Semper Fi Marine

Today I stopped at Woodman's Grocery Store, here in Rockford, IL, to restock the pantry shelves. I had just finished checking out and was heading towards the door when I noticed a gentleman wearing a Marine Corps jacket. With my ice cream melting, I waited for him to finish his own check out and gave him my standard "Semper Fi Marine". I asked when he was in and if he got his jacket at Sgt Grits and he gave me dates in the late '90s/early 2000s (my memory sucks), then said he did get the jacket at Sgt Grits. This is the jacket he had on. It's pretty spectacular in person.

Fifty years ago, on or about April 18th, Bravo Battery 3rd LAAM Bn, MCAS Cherry Point NC loaded our entire Battery including all gear and personnel on C-130s bound for Vieques Island Puerto Rico for a two week firing exercise. My first time in the Caribbean and I loved it. We were fortunate enough to get overnight liberty in San Juan the next weekend and enjoyed that immensely. Had my first glass of fresh squeezed orange juice and it ruined me for life for anything less. We no sooner returned from liberty on Sunday afternoon than the word was passed that a crisis had broken out on The Dominican Republic. Of course the rumors flew fast and furious among enlisted personnel that since we were so close we would be going to the D.R. to help manage the situation. NOT In retrospect it didn't make any sense because they needed grunts not a bunch of HAWK Marines stumbling around trying to figure out what they should be doing. A bunch of disappointed Marines returned to Cherry Point that next weekend on C-130s leaving our equipment for Charlie Battery to use for their two week FireEx. Good times.

In the 4-15 newsletter, 1st Sgt Brewer said: "There are about a dozen huts left just north of the parade deck, behind the reviewing stand and across the street from recruit receiving center." Actually 1st Sgt, we had a 48 year Platoon 145 reunion at MCRD San Diego in September of 2010 and there are 15 quonset huts remaining. In neglected condition (inside) they are used for storage and are directly across the street south of receiving. The reviewing stand is quite a bit west (a little nw) of there in the middle of the south side of the Grinder across from the big flag pole. Pictures on request.

Forged on the anvil of discipline.
The Few. The Proud.
Jerry D.

Get this squared away jacket at:

USMC Black/Digital Desert Twill Jacket


Add My Own

I've been reading all the story's from my Marine Brethren and wanted to add my own.

I'm an Okie from Antlers, OK. I went to the Hotel Black several times to join the service on the "buddy plan". When we all came to OKC to depart in June, they wouldn't take me as I had been in a motorcycle accident. On July 27, 1972, I was finally accepted and traveled to San Diego. We were in the Quonset huts just a short time before we went to the barracks. Company "A", 1st. RTBN, Plt. 1094. Did not meet Drill Instructor Brewer, as we had Sgt. Tingley, Sgt. H. F. Haskins, and Sgt. Navarette.

We were again in Quonset huts in Pendleton, with the "heads" at the end of the aisles.

I was sent to Aberdeen Proving Grounds in November 1972 for Infantry Weapons Training and graduated 2111 (Gunny Rousseau) and sent to Cherry Point, NC. Sent to the armory at 3rd, LAAM Bn. and immediately sent to the Cherry Point rifle range as a armorer and instructor. I spent my weekends as a cross-country prisoner "chaser." I spent 2 years at the range and with a Meritorious Mast and a Meritorious Promotion, went back to 3rd LAAM as a corporal.

I requested orders and was sent to Marine Barracks, USN SubBase, New London, CT. There I completed my obligation, transferred to the active reserves that took me to New Haven (Truck Company), Hartford (Grunts), Alameda, CA (Air Wing) and finally to OKC with the 9" self-propelled artillery.

Dwight Morgan
S/Sgt. USMC​


A Private-Proof Tool

For Herb Brewer... those 16 lb sledgehammers that Correctional Custody used?... they started out, in 1964, being quite ordinary 8 lb sledges. (CC and Motivation both 'stood up' as new units within STB (Special Training Branch) in Feb '64... I was a plankholder in Motivation, across the street from Correctional Custody, which was behind the base theatre and the old swimming pool... there is a 30" diameter pine tree growing now about where our hatch was... the pool, etc. are gone)... We were feeling our way with the programs at the time... from CC, I recall a Gy Humphrys (sp?), (last seen as a retired WO managing a Hardee's in J'ville... circa 1976 or so), Sgt Larry Grubbs, a Sgt Hill (dude had like 20" guns)... the Pvts lived in their skivvies whenever inside the barracks, stripped and folded their bunks at reveille, got a 'ration" at morning chow... one egg, one piece of bacon, one slice of toast, milk, then fell out at 0700 with helmet liners, clip-on safety toes on their boots, safety goggles, and at port sledgehammer for their run out to the back gate to bust concrete... it didn't take the maggots long to figure out that with a judicious 'over-strike', they could bust the wooden handle on the sledge next to the head, making it useless until they returned to the area at noon chow... CC was going through a lot of sledgehammer handles, so Facilities Maintenance figured out that instead of hickory handles, they would just weld a piece of pipe into the head for the handle... which added some weight. It didn't take long for the maggots to figure out that the same over-strike would bend the pipe handle... so Fac Maint, then welded 4" triangles of 1/2" steel plate on both sides of the handle and to the head, producing a Pvt-proof tool. Standard sentence to CC was 3 days... nobody came back for seconds... ever.

Those sledges are probably still around the Depot somewhere... it would take a 10KT nuke to destroy them... Once had a Pettibone field rep come to the Equipment Allowance Pool at the Stumps to put some new rough terrain forklifts into service... I told him that if he had a Marine PFC-Proof piece of equipment there, he really had something. His reply was that Marine PFC's were 'easy'... that the toughest on equipment was the SeaBees... said if you gave them a new anvil, and they couldn't bust it, they'd stand around and pizz on it until it rusted away...​

Ddick


Lost And Found

It's been a long time, but I had quite a few good times with guys I went to C&E school with: Stan Wheeler, Pete Stratos, (Brian?) Johnson, all 2841s at the time. Would like to get in touch with them if they are so inclined.

Thanks and Semper Fi!

Art Grant


Dear Sgt Grit,

I graduated at Parris Island with Platoon 227, Second Battalion in 1958. My Drill Instructors were Gunny Sgt. Starrett SDI, Jr. D.I.'s Staff Sgt. Dennison and Sgt. Centers. I read that Centers succumbed to agent orange after serving as an officer in Nam. I would love to contact any of them and find out if the story about Centers is true. My e-mail address is: sullyusmc1775[at]aol.com.

Leo J. Sullivan


I entered Boot Camp June 1958, Plt 151 MCRD San Diego. After Boot Camp I attended AV Prep School NAS Jax Fl then Radar Operators School MCRD San Diego the MACS-7 at the Air Fac in New River NC from 59061 until the entire Squadron was transferred to NAS Atsugi Japan After out tour in Japan (18 mo) I was stationed with MACS-1 at MCAF Yuma Az. until Feb '66. While at MACS-1, I was trained as an Air Intercept Controller and was sent to Air Controllers school as a Cpl at FAAWTC, San Diego in 1964 where I was the only Marine in the class and the lowest ranked. In 1965, I was promoted to Sgt.(E-5) and in Feb '66 I was sent to Vietnam where I joined MACS-7 at Chu-Lai and after 3 months there was sent north to their early warning site at Phu-Bai where I was promoted to S/Sgt. In Feb '67 we were mortared in the middle of the night and I was wounded and after a week sent back to Chu-Lai until I returned to CONUS and I&I Duty with MACS-26 at NAS So. Weymouth MA. I was Honorably Discharged. After Discharge I returned to my home state of California an applied to the California Highway Patrol and exactly one year later (Aug 1968) I had graduated form the CHP Academy and reported in to the Oceanside, CA CHP Office where I spent the next 29 years, retiring from the CHP in 1996. I currently live in Roseville, CA and have two grandsons who were and one still is in the Marine Corps. One is Sgt Joe Muslin stationed at Camp LeJuene, NC and was with "E" 2/9 for 2 tours in Afghanistan and currently with the Combat Training School there. The other was Sgt. Sam Muslin who was with HMM-268 at Camp Pendleton CA. I guess what I'm really looking is to find anyone who was with Plt 151 in '58 or MACS-7 in New River or Vietnam or anyone with MACS-1 in Yuma. A few of the names of people I remember are Cpl Michael Boline, Sgt/WO F.O. Moore, Gy/Sgt Piper, Lt. Abernathy (wounded the same night as I) Maj Mel Salter (F-8 pilot pulling a desk job with MACS-1 in Yuma) or anyone else who either knew me or served with me in either of the MACS units.

Gerald (Jerry) Caughman
1820xxx
S/Sgt USMC
State Traffic Officer California Highway Patrol (ret)
Roseville​


Taps

My father, Sgt. John C. Thrasher Jr., service number 1803xxx, reported to his final duty station yesterday morning (April 16, 2015) at 3:32 am, taking up his post at Heaven's Gate. He served in the Marine Corps from 1958 to 1962 with the 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division at Camp LeJeune, NC.

I followed in his footsteps, serving our Corps from 1983 to 1989 with the 6th Marines, 2nd Marine Division at Camp LeJeune, NC.

Fair winds and following seas dad. You will be missed.

Semper Fidelis,
Cpl. John C. Thrasher III
0341​


Short Rounds

To: GYSGT Archuleta

Did you attend 3MARDIV schools in Camp Mercy Oct or Nov of 1958 with Cpl (then GYSGT) Kearney teaching us cw? Jim Nelson and I were hit by a car inside the gate at Mercy about halfway through school and finished wearing casts on both of our left legs. I was then assigned to Comm Co at Camp Hague. Best messhall in the USMC across the street from our quonset huts. I do not remember any other designation but Comm Co HQ BN 3RD Mar Div. But I left in Nov 1959 and I don't think the USMC uses cw anymore.


I was once a highly motivated, truly dedicated, kickazs little green amphibious monster... but I've ate since then.


I'm so short I can sit on a dime and dangle my legs.

Larry Jenkins


I'm so short, when I fart, I get dust in my eyes.

Steve Stefko


I'm so short, the pizz ants pee on me.

Jacqueline Vick


I remember being so short I had to free fall out of the rack in the mornings!

Steve Fremgen


Quotes

"Happy will it be for ourselves, and most honorable for human nature, if we have wisdom and virtue enough to set so glorious an example to mankind!"
--Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 36, [1788]


"Where there is a multitude of specific laws, it is a sign that the state is badly governed."
--Isocrates, Areopagiticus [355 B.C.]


"If I had one more division like this First Marine Division I could win this war."
--General of the Armies Douglas McArthur in Korea, overheard and reported by Marine Staff Sergeant Bill Houghton, Weapons/2/5


"The deadliest weapon in the world is a MARINE and his rifle!"
--Gen. Pershing, US.ARMY


"Hard pressed on my right. My center is yielding. Impossible to maneuver. Situation excellent. I am attacking!"
--Ferdinand Foch


Microphone clearing sound. Weird whistle.

Then... Now hear this! Now hear this!
All Marines topside go below.
All Marines below go topside.
All Marines forward go aft.
All Marines aft go forward.
All Marines in the middle stand by to direct traffic!
That is all!

"Rise and shine, it's Grunt time."

"Keep your interval!"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

©2015 Sgt Grit Inc
All rights reserved
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Oklahoma City, OK 73179
888-NOV-1775
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Sgt Grit Newsletter 16 APR 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 16 APR 2015

In this issue:
• Major Rich Risner
• WWII Marines
• All The Way To Tijuana

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Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Jimmy Craig

Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Marine Appreciation Day

Great t-shirt, Thank you Sgt GRIT!

The attached images show Marine Wounded Warrior Lead Clinician Jimmy Craig (Cpl. USMC-R) as he instructs umpires from the Marine Wounded Warrior Battalion-East at the Palm Beach Challenge. Marine Appreciation Day sponsored by The Semper Fi Fund and Sgt. Grit. Six Sergeants - Boles, Rogers, Dean, Bletcher, Simmonds, Mauro. These Marines will become instructor qualified and will help us reach full Marine implementation and direction.

Daniel J. Weikle

Get this moto t-shirt at:

USMC Semper Fidelis Red T-shirt

USMC Semper Fidelis Red T-shirt


So Called Dummy Round

Sgt. Grit,

In 1950, I was going to Small Arms Ordnance School in Quantico, Virginia. We were being taught the Functions and repair of Small Arms which included the M1911 .45 Pistol up to and including the 75mm Recoiless Rifle. While we were Learning the 75mm Recoiless rifle we had an Empty Casing, regarded as a 75mm Recoiless Dummy casing. During a break, we all were looking over the 75 and playing with the Dummy casing (we didn't have a complete dummy round) and I opened the 75 breech block which laid back flat so the rifle could be loaded. The Dummy 75mm round was bent around the mouth and couldn't be loaded into the rifle. I had the breech block open and sat the (so called) dummy round on the OPEN breech block, twisted the safety on the trigger and pressed the trigger button. A LOUD BLAST went off. I rolled off the table because I was holding the 75 casing on the breech block, the room was filled with Smoke, Officers and Senior NCO's in seconds. I was taken to Sick Bay to see if there was any damage to me and the only thing that kept me from being the Goat of this incident was the fact that the Ammunition Section had provided the (so called) blank (with a live Primer) so the Ammunition Section got the blast on my screw up. AH, the days of our Youth.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Marines Stainless Steel Drinkware


Major Rich Risner

​In honor of all our Marines who served in Vietnam, I submitted the following to the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation:

On 20 August 1968, while serving with the MAG-12 Civic Action Team in Chu Lai, RVN, our leader, Major Rich Risner, was captured by the enemy. We were on a mission to deliver school supplies to the village of Khuong Quang when the Major and I got separated as he returned to our vehicles to meet another Army Major who was the Ly Tin District Advisor. Waiting for him to return for over 30 minutes, I left our group already in route to the village while I went back to find Major Risner. To my dismay he was nowhere to be seen and was later listed as Missing in Action. Three days later he was spotted on Highway One about 6 km south of Chu Lai by an Army MP who returned him to our group HQ. During his three day ordeal he had been interrogated, tortured and subjected to humiliating treatment that included dislocating both his shoulders and smashing his toes with a hammer to keep him from escaping. While being blindfolded with hands tied in front he was being led to a POW camp in Cambodia when he made a daring escape killing two of his captors. His training and determination guided him back to his unit where we all celebrated his return. Decorated with a Silver Star, Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts he was a true hero who left this earth in 2005 always haunted by his ordeal.

I salute him and all of my Marine brothers, some of whom never made it home. Semper Fidelis.

Gene Hays
MSgt, USMC Retired
Author and Historian


He Was Just Resting

In 1960, I was Sgt. of The Guard at a camp on Okinawa when I observed a guard asleep in a jeep with his hand on the muzzle of his M-1. Knowing he would deny being asleep I lifted his hand off the weapon and gently let hang down. Now I had his rifle, removed the trigger housing group and pocketed it, then I woke him up. He of course said he was just "resting". I replied, "Get out now and patrol this motor pool!" (Plus the popular expletives of the day). When he slung his M-1 up on his shoulder he realized it was in two parts, hanging down his side. I could see his red face and embarrassment even in the semi-darkness. After a little pleading from him I said, "You owe me a beer or two, get going." After all, it was peacetime in a friendly country.​


Marines T-Shirt, Hat and Moto Bracelet Combo


WWII Marines

Sgt Grit,

I know WWII Marines are a thinning heard, but there are still some of us around. Maybe not enough of us for Sgt Grit to feature the era. Even if we won't be around long, our grand children and great-Grand children enjoy the history of old Grandpa.

Thanks,
Bud

Note: OK... I get this type of email occasionally. I, Sgt Grit, write nothing. This newsletter is for and by YOU! If YOU do not send me stories you will not see stories about your era, unit, war, location, platoon etc...

I always respond to this type of email asking for a story. In twenty years of doing this I do not remember one story coming back. If you don't see something about your famous Third Combat Mess Gear Repair Battalion it is because you didn't send something in. Almost all stories sent to me get published. So get off your lazy azs put your fingers to the key board and write me. You enjoy reading everyone else's story, they will enjoy reading yours. Do it now!

Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit

And by the way, we have several WWII contributors. GySgt Rousseau being the most prolific.


The Kukri Machete KA-BAR

Dear Sgt. Grit,

I bought a pair of your Ka-Bars... one the Marine Corps Combat knife, the other a Kukri Nepalese Machete. The Combat Knife is just a sacred artifact of the Corps. This letter is to comment on the Kukri.

The balance of the Kukri is stunning... the grip solid and perfect. And the edge of the Kukri is something one doesn't want to trifle with, a casual brush lifted the tip of a finger and the surface of my bib overalls. But, I'm not b-tching.

In my City of New Haven, Indiana, we have a "Greenway" trail that goes through an ancient, deep woods. Many of the trees are draped in either wild grape, or world class poison ivy. As you might guess the latter makes it less than desirable for many people. So, I decided to engage in a bit of Guerilla Maintenance... chopping sections out of the poison ivy to kill it. The folks at Parks and Rec. are thrilled. The tool of choice, of course, is the Kukri. Today I harvested the stalk of a 3-5/8 inch diameter vine {the vine from hell}.

No, I'm not nuts... but I am a former Staff Sgt. of Marines. Nearly 30 years ago, following a horrid accident and many transfusions, I acquired an immunity to P.I. which I formerly did not have. Since I can handle it with impunity I figured I should help my neighbors, starting in deep snow, moving now to the greening of the 5-acre wood.

The shape of the Kukri is magnificent... and the steel of the blade is magical, it will take and hold an edge through chopping on the tree, or in the dirt {not a good idea for blade longevity}. I am so impressed I had to let you know. What you sell isn't an illusion... it's the real deal... which means that I can respect you like I do my Corps.

Thanks, Sgt. Grit, for making my belief make sense.

S/Sgt. Tim Doyle

Get your hands on your own Kukri at:

Kukri Machete KA-BAR

Kukri Machete KA-BAR


You Grew Into It

Sgt. Grit,

My First Issue of Greens were compared by the DI and made sure Blouse and Trousers were the same hue (color). I never realized just how much some Marines worked at being a MARINE. Being a Marine to some is enlisting, going to boot camp and wearing the Uniform. I knew Old Marines that made sure everything was the same. In those days we didn't have back pockets, to keep a flat front you carry your cigarettes and wallet in your socks. The blouse looked like you grew into it, the Leather Belt was shined like the shoes, the trousers had a sharp edge running down the front, we didn't have to steal Girls from the Swab Jocks Or Army, they came readily because nothing in this world looks as good as a Marine Squared away, Standing Tall with a Bearing and look on his face of complete control of his day and time.

We had survey in those days and I surveyed my Green Trousers at least twice due to splits in the creases from being ironed so many times. My pay was $50.00 month with $6.35 taken for GI Insurance and I sent home $25.00 month savings. I was young and dumb in those days until I realized it cost more than $20 a month to exist in the Marine Corps at the time. In 1947, I got Married in my Greens, our wedding picture is fading now but you can still see the Greens and the Beautiful dress my Wife wore and 3 ribbons on my blouse, Pacific Theater, Asiatic Theater of War w/2 stars, Victory Ribbon. I learned later we had been awarded the Presidentual and the Naval Unit Citations.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


All The Way To Tijuana

MCRD, San Diego, 1955. Platoon 157 & 1/2.

That's what our squad was called one day while marching back to our Quonset huts after drill practice on the grinder. Reason was, us feather merchants at the rear of the platoon could not execute correctly the command, "Squads, Right About". There was always someone scr-wing up. Our DI was so p-ssed he wanted nothing to do with us so he positioned our squad about six feet behind the rest of the platoon when marching back to our area. We finally got our sh-t together but during final drill competition our stack of rifles fell during "Stack Arms". Some Pvt tried to align the stack more evenly with the rest of the field of stacked rifles and boom, there they go. Seemed that the noise of the rifles falling carried all the way to Tijuana. We survived however and were Honor Platoon for the series. Semper Fi!

GySgt G.R. Archuleta
Never Retired, Always a Marine

Post Script: In 1963 & 64 I was assigned to 1st Comm Provisional Company, HQ.Bn.,3dMarDiv at Camp Hauge, Okinawa. Does anybody out there know what happened to 1st Comm? I tried Googling with no results. Any info appreciated.​


My Trigger Has Been Squeezed

Once again my trigger has been squeezed. This time not only by Ddick but also GySgt. F. L. Rousseau. GySgt. Rousseau relates the story of turning a prisoner over to the brig and what a eye opening experience that was, I was also involved in the same scenario and came to the same conclusion, I wouldn't want to spend any time in the Brig! The Brig was in Alameda (I think) and it was around 0100 on 1-1-63 the other chaser and I then continued to T.I. As we went through the gate we were waved through by a very smart Marine guard. The next day with our liberty card in hand we headed for town and as we went out of the same gate, there was NO ONE on the gate! Seems the base security detail had been turned over to the Navy! I never felt secure for the next three days I was there.

​ John Selders


The Truth Of It

You can meet celebrities. You can meet the President. You can run into an old childhood friend. You can spend an entire lifetime meeting new and interesting people. You can love and give your all to your family. But remember this: There are few greater joys than getting back together with an old Marine Corps buddy.

Marine Buddy


Still Remember My Rifle Number

Read Malcolm Forbes letter and I agree with him.

I also went to P.I. in December '54 and was in Platoon 470, graduated Depot Honor platoon, Assistant D.I. Named Sgt. Callahan. Forget the Sr. D.I., but he had a great cadence and did Squad drills all the time.

Would you believe I still remember my rifle number 4278347... (60 years later). I even married a Woman Marine. My Brother, a Marine, and uncles who were at Saipan in WW2, both made it through and one still kicking today. Ornery cuss.

Once a Marine, always a Marine, I guess. Not worrying about a call up any more tho'!

Semper Fi, Malcolm!

George Engel,
1478XXX


Only A Marine

I work security - at our site - I was called on my radio and told to see the head of security at another building ASAP. I went to look for my boss and found him in front of a flagpole on a chilly windy day, and he needed help to replace (2) flags on the pole that morning. We lowered one flag and then the American Flag. We raised the bottom flag - then the new American Flag. The old American Flag was taken into one of the buildings and he asked me to help him fold the old American Flag. I instructed him in the proper way to fold the Flag of our Country. He could have asked anyone - but he commented - "Only a Marine can do this task properly!"

None of the flags touched the deck on my watch!

Bruce Bender
CPL 1963-1967
Vietnam Era Veteran


Read The Obit

About a month ago, I found a plastic-encased obit in the "mail" box for items to be posted on the bulletin boards in our "park". I didn't look too closely, & figured it was someone from the park who had died & a relative or friend wanted the info posted. After about 2 weeks I figured I'd take it down as enough time had passed. Then I actually read the obit. It was for a man who had died several years ago. I felt real foolish. But I also noticed that he was a veteran, and he had a son who lived in Clermont, Florida. I checked out the White Pages online and found the son, and stuck the obit in an envelope with a little note as to where it was found, and mentioning that my husband & I were both veterans (Marine Corps, of course), signing only my initial and last name. Well, in today's mail a small padded envelope arrived, and I thought it was for my husband. I didn't notice how it was addressed, & gave it to my husband with his mail. He opened it, then asked me if I knew the person who sent the envelope. I didn't recognize the name, but when I read the note inside, I realized who it was. The son had written a nice note. It seems that he is a Marine (on civilian duty, don't ya know), and a veteran of Vietnam (2 tours), and was touched by my taking the time to return the obit. He said he didn't know how it came to be in Orlando, Florida. He also enclosed 2 golf ball markers with the Eagle Globe & Anchor on them for my kindness, and closed with "If I can ever be of service to help let me know."

Thank you, Mr. Hegg, for your service. Semper Fidelis!

Sharon Hill
1965-1967​


Found My Drill Instructor

Sgt. Grit,

I went through Parris Island in 1962, Plt. 352. I just found my Drill Instructors about five months ago. My Senior DI was Staff Sgt. Flynn, mustang over and retired as a Captian, lives in Ca. My junior DI was Sgt. Carswell, he also mustang over and retired as a Major. He lives in Tenn. I talk to them once or twice a week. I had two other DI's. Sgt. Joyce, which was promoted to Gunny, was killed in Vietnam and awarded the Silver Star. Then there was Sgt. Lee, which I have no clue where he is. God Bless them all.

Cpl. Girvin
xxxx872​


Khe Sanh

Semper Fi,

On the evening of November 30, 2014, I and two friends attended the showing of "Bravo" a movie about Bravo Co. and the 77-day siege of Khe Sanh. The movie took 5-years of research, and was produced and made about the history of the 77-day siege, by Ken and Betty Rodgers, and was well done. It had actual film footage that was taken at Khe Sanh, reports given by Marines who were there and took part in the action and is 118 minutes long. This is an outstanding report and as Ken Rodgers states, "I believe the film speaks for all veterans, time and again we have seen people transformed by this story, people suffering from mental fatigue of combat, people who have other battles in their lives, and people who have no idea what we ask of our military servicemen and women."

I had the honor of attending the film with two friends who were highly decorated Marine Veterans of Vietnam, one was Jon Sprison who received two purple hearts, and the other was Ricardo Figueroa a member of the 1/9 "Walking Dead" and received three Purple Hearts, and as they commented, any Veteran who served in Vietnam is a "Hero". The "Egyptain Theratre" in Boise Idaho was packed full of veterans and guests, wanting to see the film, we all had a great time talking to each other before and after the film, I can only say it was worthwhile, a few other showings will be in our area and information can be obtained from Ken at "bravotheproject.com". All proceeds from the show went to the Ada County Veterans' Court & Idaho Ceterans' Network.

Thank you and again Semper Fi,
James L Murrell
Cpl USMC


Great Pick-Up Place

While on Recruiting Duty in Detroit in the 1950's there was a plan to Recruit a Platoon of Detroit Marines. They would be sent to Parris Island as a Group and Boot Trained as such. I visited Family's to talk the Parents to sign for their son. They flew the entire Platoon down to PI in old DC-3's. There was a place in the center of Town where the Transportation People turned over to us a Booth they had. I worked the Booth several times. As far as I know we never recruited a soul from there but it was a Great Pick-up Place for the Single Marines because as I remember it was mostly girls that visited the booth. My tour of Duty was Two Years, I never went back on Recruiting Duty again and was thankful for that, Independent Duty wasn't all it was cracked up to be as I saw it. I was Promoted to Staff Sgt. Shortly after Returning to Regular Duty at Camp LeJeune, being a 2100 MOS I figured it was Recruiting Duty that got me that Promotion.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau,
USMC Retired​


Cpl Blackburn Last Week

In the newsletter of 8 April, Alex Dimitrew posts a purported official document regarding the heroic actions of Marine CPL Alvin L. Blackburn, asking if it's true. This 'sea story' has been floating around for about 10 years or more... and it has been debunked.

In the accompanying 'statements' by the alleged survivors, there are references to how these Recon Marines made a parachute jump, used a BAR and other obsolete weapons (the BAR was gone by 1968), to name but a few technical and historical errors. The names of the KIAs do not appear on The Wall and there's no record of Blackburn being awarded any major combat decorations. There is no officer named William W. White and, according to one source, a Marine located through the FOIA named Alvin Blackburn appears to have been a personnel clerk for his entire career.

There's numerous references to this tall tale all across the Marine-related Internet sites. I put this out there with the story of Old Ironsides sinking British ships for rum (we weren't at war with England at the time), prayers for the "Blackhorse" Marines killed (the names of the KIAs are US Army + one British soldier) or Obama's forged birth certificate and Muslim faith.


​Probably apocryphal... not likely that a Colonel would recommend a MOH just in the closing paragraph of what purports to be an investigation... At the time, there was a standard format for investigations, which, from memory, started out with a paragraph (or two), citing the authority calling for the investigation, then a synopsis of what was being investigated, followed by "findings of fact" (these had to be backed up with evidence), then another section wherein opinions were rendered... these had to be identified as such, and drawn from/or supported by, the findings of fact, and finally, a recommendation as to further action... in the case of a violation of orders, would usually include a charge sheet or sheets. The typing, smudges, corrections, and mimeograph are well done, and pretty much representative of admin papers... long before IBM Selectric typewriters, word processors the size of desks, etc... and never mind 'death by Power Point'...

A MOH (or any other valor award) recommendation would require supporting info... etc.

Note: Sorry for the bogus story. It happens occasionally. Over the years we have gotten pretty good at sniffing them out. But not all.

Sgt Grit


Quonset huts, Graduation, and Range Flags

In the article from Graig "I Wandered Around for a While", appears to have taken place in 2010. Here is a general time frame when the Quonset huts were removed from the depot.

All the Quonset huts located in the 1st, and 3rd Battalion area were removed by 1974, leaving only the concrete forms the huts rested on. And during 1974 through 1975, the concrete foundations and asphalt streets were removed for reconstruction and renovation in the area. During this period, the Correctional Custody Platoon used some of the forms for hard labor swinging sixteen pound sludge hammers making small stones, from large ones: the end product was gravel. The gravel was used for walkways, roads, and parking lots that still exist today.

By 1976, most of the 2nd Battalion huts were removed to make way for "Recruit Hilton Hotels". There are about a dozen huts left just north of the parade deck, behind the reviewing stand and across the street from recruit receiving center. Which by the way is "OFF LIMITS". After fifty-five years, those are the huts that remain, and only a few are left at Camp Pendleton. Attached is a current photo of just a few of the Quonset huts left at MCRD.

During the mid-sixties and early seventies, I completed two tours as a Drill Instructor at San Diego (hope you noticed I didn't say Hat). Most of it with "A" Company, and it sadden me to see the Quonset hut of "A" Company disappear.

As late as 1959 and until 1970, graduation ceremonies took place at the base theater composing of two parts. First, the inside ceremonies consisted of introductions, passing out awards, meritorious promotions, and the commencement by the Battalion Commanding Officer. Then to the outside where the series formed in front of the theater to retire the platoon guidons, and the recruits were dismissed for base liberty. In the olden-days, for most of the young Marines, the next day after graduation the series was bused to Camp Pendleton for four weeks of training at 2nd Infantry Training Regiment. Only then were they granted about ten days of leave to go home.

Range flag depended on the flexibility of the company, where the platoon drew up their own flag, and attached it to the platoon staff. Normally once the platoon returned from the range the flag was retired. However, if the platoon did exceptionally well on the range, the platoon was permitted to fly it up until the seventh week inspection. Not sure what was permitted at Parris Island, but I assume it was permissible.

If by chance you happen to see Gunny Lee Ermey, go ahead and shake his hand. He would be glad to meet you, and exchange in some sea stories of old.

Herb Brewer
1st Sgt, (RET)


Every Word Was A Lie

In response to "Operation Hastings" by A Former Hat, GySgt USMC (Ret) in the 9 April 2015 newsletter.

More than a few of our members of India Company, 3/5 were disgusted at the entry which pertained to us in your last newsletter. The author of the entry obviously did not participate in Operation Hastings. Every word was a lie. Simple as that.

We've all experienced such people over the years, perfectly being defined in the book "Stolen Valor", but this time this person tread on sacred ground when he claimed such nonsense. His words bordered on blasphemy, tarnishing the memories of all the good men we lost those days. We few who have so far responded among ourselves to his entry have decided it's up to me personally to kick his worthless azs. I'm old and fat, but I think I'm up to it.

If he asks for my contact information please give it to him.

Semper Fidelis,
Joe Holt
Email: joep0331[at]aol.com
India Company 3/5 1966


Marine Recruit: Tears In The Sand

Marine Recruit Tears In The Sand Book Cover

"Marine Recruit: Tears in the Sand" is an epic novel of Marine Corps boot camp (San Diego). A compelling unabridged account of recruit training as told by the Drill Instructor.

Author of Chronicles of a Marine Rifleman, Retired 1st Sergeant Herb Brewer, USMC, now brings to life this outstanding all-encompassing witty honest, caringly brutal, human, and timeless narrative. Combining two stories into one, he takes you all the way from the grueling view of the recruit to the panoramic mission and perspective of the Drill Instructor.

At MCRD, you can count on two things the recruit is green, the Marine Drill Instructor is legendary. First Sergeant Brewer captures the essences and awareness of what it means to be both.

Marine Recruit is a rare and unparalleled look into MCRD. Enter now the revered birthplace of the Marine where every Drill Instructor was once a recruit.

Get the dust jacket hardcover copy of this book at "Marine Recruit: Tears in the Sand".


Events

1st Annual SgtMaj “Hashmark” Johnson Charity Motorcycle Ride Flyer

This is the first ride of what will become an annual Event. We are honoring Sergeant Major "Hashmark" Johnson and the Montford Point Marines who dedicated their lives to the defense of our Nation. Hashmark was one of the First African Americans to join the Corps and one of the First African American Marine Corps Drill Instructors. Your Participation will support our building and scholarship fund. Share this with your friends and every rider you know. Semper Fi!

Ralph "Hawk" Jones
Capt USMC
National Montford Point Marine Association
Chapter #42
Greenville, MS
Email: ralph.hawk.jones[at]gmail.com


Lost And Found

Plt 1149, MCRD San Diego, 1970. Anybody out there?

Former Cpl R. Rivera​


Sgt Grit,

I was hoping that you might put this request in one of your future newsletters. This year and next starts a series of 50 year reunions and anniversaries for me so I thought I might try to put together a few of my own. These will mean more than some of the ones I'll be attending except for my 50th wedding anniversary. I would like to contact any graduate of "Warrant Officer Basic Class 79" especially from "I Company" 79.

In addition any recruit or Drill Instructors from Platoon 2063, MCRD Parris Island graduated 5 Oct 1966.

Especially from the following Drill Instructors:

S/Sgt (now SgtMaj) M. P. Martin
S/Sgt M. D. Fazio (Uncle Mike)
Sgt S. A. Downes

Capt. T. L. Johnson, Jr.
United States Marine Corps Ret.


Short Rounds

To Dick Martell... I graduated 24 March 1966... Platoon 127... our Senior DI was SSGT W.M. Martin, the only D.I. that did NOT touch me... and he scared me more than the Junior D.I.s. He was a d-mn good D.I.

Mark Gallant
L/Cpl '66-'69
Chu Lai '68​


Sgt Grit,

Love this website! Will stay on point with it as time flies by.

SEMPER FI Always... My Bros!

Another Short man in the tall grass '66-'67.


Look at that cover, Now that's salty!

Louis F. Lapointe

NAME


Quotes

"At this auspicious period, the United States came into existence as a nation; and if their citizens should not be completely free and happy, the fault will be entirely their own."
--George Washington, Letter to the Governors, 1783


"Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom."
--Albert Einstein


"A Ship without Marines is like a garment without buttons."
--Adm. David Dixon Porter, USN in a letter to Colonel Commandant John Harris, USMC, 1863


"The Marines have landed and the situation is well in hand."
--Attributed to Richard Harding Davis (1864-1916)


Chesty, a reminder of what we are about and what we stand for.

NAME


"Keep Your Powder Dry!"

"Gimme a huss!"

"SQUAT THRUSTS, UNTIL MY MOTHER IN LAW DIES!"

Gung Ho!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 16 APR 2015
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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 16 APR 2015

In this issue:
• Major Rich Risner
• WWII Marines
• All The Way To Tijuana

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Great t-shirt, Thank you Sgt GRIT!

The attached images show Marine Wounded Warrior Lead Clinician Jimmy Craig (Cpl. USMC-R) as he instructs umpires from the Marine Wounded Warrior Battalion-East at the Palm Beach Challenge. Marine Appreciation Day sponsored by The Semper Fi Fund and Sgt. Grit. Six Sergeants - Boles, Rogers, Dean, Bletcher, Simmonds, Mauro. These Marines will become instructor qualified and will help us reach full Marine implementation and direction.

Daniel J. Weikle

Get this moto t-shirt at:

USMC Semper Fidelis Red T-shirt


So Called Dummy Round

Sgt. Grit,

In 1950, I was going to Small Arms Ordnance School in Quantico, Virginia. We were being taught the Functions and repair of Small Arms which included the M1911 .45 Pistol up to and including the 75mm Recoiless Rifle. While we were Learning the 75mm Recoiless rifle we had an Empty Casing, regarded as a 75mm Recoiless Dummy casing. During a break, we all were looking over the 75 and playing with the Dummy casing (we didn't have a complete dummy round) and I opened the 75 breech block which laid back flat so the rifle could be loaded. The Dummy 75mm round was bent around the mouth and couldn't be loaded into the rifle. I had the breech block open and sat the (so called) dummy round on the OPEN breech block, twisted the safety on the trigger and pressed the trigger button. A LOUD BLAST went off. I rolled off the table because I was holding the 75 casing on the breech block, the room was filled with Smoke, Officers and Senior NCO's in seconds. I was taken to Sick Bay to see if there was any damage to me and the only thing that kept me from being the Goat of this incident was the fact that the Ammunition Section had provided the (so called) blank (with a live Primer) so the Ammunition Section got the blast on my screw up. AH, the days of our Youth.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Major Rich Risner

​In honor of all our Marines who served in Vietnam, I submitted the following to the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation:

On 20 August 1968, while serving with the MAG-12 Civic Action Team in Chu Lai, RVN, our leader, Major Rich Risner, was captured by the enemy. We were on a mission to deliver school supplies to the village of Khuong Quang when the Major and I got separated as he returned to our vehicles to meet another Army Major who was the Ly Tin District Advisor. Waiting for him to return for over 30 minutes, I left our group already in route to the village while I went back to find Major Risner. To my dismay he was nowhere to be seen and was later listed as Missing in Action. Three days later he was spotted on Highway One about 6 km south of Chu Lai by an Army MP who returned him to our group HQ. During his three day ordeal he had been interrogated, tortured and subjected to humiliating treatment that included dislocating both his shoulders and smashing his toes with a hammer to keep him from escaping. While being blindfolded with hands tied in front he was being led to a POW camp in Cambodia when he made a daring escape killing two of his captors. His training and determination guided him back to his unit where we all celebrated his return. Decorated with a Silver Star, Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts he was a true hero who left this earth in 2005 always haunted by his ordeal.

I salute him and all of my Marine brothers, some of whom never made it home. Semper Fidelis.

Gene Hays
MSgt, USMC Retired
Author and Historian


He Was Just Resting

In 1960, I was Sgt. of The Guard at a camp on Okinawa when I observed a guard asleep in a jeep with his hand on the muzzle of his M-1. Knowing he would deny being asleep I lifted his hand off the weapon and gently let hang down. Now I had his rifle, removed the trigger housing group and pocketed it, then I woke him up. He of course said he was just "resting". I replied, "Get out now and patrol this motor pool!" (Plus the popular expletives of the day). When he slung his M-1 up on his shoulder he realized it was in two parts, hanging down his side. I could see his red face and embarrassment even in the semi-darkness. After a little pleading from him I said, "You owe me a beer or two, get going." After all, it was peacetime in a friendly country.​


WWII Marines

Sgt Grit,

I know WWII Marines are a thinning heard, but there are still some of us around. Maybe not enough of us for Sgt Grit to feature the era. Even if we won't be around long, our grand children and great-Grand children enjoy the history of old Grandpa.

Thanks,
Bud

Note: OK... I get this type of email occasionally. I, Sgt Grit, write nothing. This newsletter is for and by YOU! If YOU do not send me stories you will not see stories about your era, unit, war, location, platoon etc...

I always respond to this type of email asking for a story. In twenty years of doing this I do not remember one story coming back. If you don't see something about your famous Third Combat Mess Gear Repair Battalion it is because you didn't send something in. Almost all stories sent to me get published. So get off your lazy azs put your fingers to the key board and write me. You enjoy reading everyone else's story, they will enjoy reading yours. Do it now!

Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit

And by the way, we have several WWII contributors. GySgt Rousseau being the most prolific.


The Kukri Machete KA-BAR

Dear Sgt. Grit,

I bought a pair of your Ka-Bars... one the Marine Corps Combat knife, the other a Kukri Nepalese Machete. The Combat Knife is just a sacred artifact of the Corps. This letter is to comment on the Kukri.

The balance of the Kukri is stunning... the grip solid and perfect. And the edge of the Kukri is something one doesn't want to trifle with, a casual brush lifted the tip of a finger and the surface of my bib overalls. But, I'm not b-tching.

In my City of New Haven, Indiana, we have a "Greenway" trail that goes through an ancient, deep woods. Many of the trees are draped in either wild grape, or world class poison ivy. As you might guess the latter makes it less than desirable for many people. So, I decided to engage in a bit of Guerilla Maintenance... chopping sections out of the poison ivy to kill it. The folks at Parks and Rec. are thrilled. The tool of choice, of course, is the Kukri. Today I harvested the stalk of a 3-5/8 inch diameter vine {the vine from hell}.

No, I'm not nuts... but I am a former Staff Sgt. of Marines. Nearly 30 years ago, following a horrid accident and many transfusions, I acquired an immunity to P.I. which I formerly did not have. Since I can handle it with impunity I figured I should help my neighbors, starting in deep snow, moving now to the greening of the 5-acre wood.

The shape of the Kukri is magnificent... and the steel of the blade is magical, it will take and hold an edge through chopping on the tree, or in the dirt {not a good idea for blade longevity}. I am so impressed I had to let you know. What you sell isn't an illusion... it's the real deal... which means that I can respect you like I do my Corps.

Thanks, Sgt. Grit, for making my belief make sense.

S/Sgt. Tim Doyle

Get your hands on your own Kukri at:

Kukri Machete KA-BAR


You Grew Into It

Sgt. Grit,

My First Issue of Greens were compared by the DI and made sure Blouse and Trousers were the same hue (color). I never realized just how much some Marines worked at being a MARINE. Being a Marine to some is enlisting, going to boot camp and wearing the Uniform. I knew Old Marines that made sure everything was the same. In those days we didn't have back pockets, to keep a flat front you carry your cigarettes and wallet in your socks. The blouse looked like you grew into it, the Leather Belt was shined like the shoes, the trousers had a sharp edge running down the front, we didn't have to steal Girls from the Swab Jocks Or Army, they came readily because nothing in this world looks as good as a Marine Squared away, Standing Tall with a Bearing and look on his face of complete control of his day and time.

We had survey in those days and I surveyed my Green Trousers at least twice due to splits in the creases from being ironed so many times. My pay was $50.00 month with $6.35 taken for GI Insurance and I sent home $25.00 month savings. I was young and dumb in those days until I realized it cost more than $20 a month to exist in the Marine Corps at the time. In 1947, I got Married in my Greens, our wedding picture is fading now but you can still see the Greens and the Beautiful dress my Wife wore and 3 ribbons on my blouse, Pacific Theater, Asiatic Theater of War w/2 stars, Victory Ribbon. I learned later we had been awarded the Presidentual and the Naval Unit Citations.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


All The Way To Tijuana

MCRD, San Diego, 1955. Platoon 157 & 1/2.

That's what our squad was called one day while marching back to our Quonset huts after drill practice on the grinder. Reason was, us feather merchants at the rear of the platoon could not execute correctly the command, "Squads, Right About". There was always someone scr-wing up. Our DI was so p-ssed he wanted nothing to do with us so he positioned our squad about six feet behind the rest of the platoon when marching back to our area. We finally got our sh-t together but during final drill competition our stack of rifles fell during "Stack Arms". Some Pvt tried to align the stack more evenly with the rest of the field of stacked rifles and boom, there they go. Seemed that the noise of the rifles falling carried all the way to Tijuana. We survived however and were Honor Platoon for the series. Semper Fi!

GySgt G.R. Archuleta
Never Retired, Always a Marine

Post Script: In 1963 & 64 I was assigned to 1st Comm Provisional Company, HQ.Bn.,3dMarDiv at Camp Hauge, Okinawa. Does anybody out there know what happened to 1st Comm? I tried Googling with no results. Any info appreciated.​


My Trigger Has Been Squeezed

Once again my trigger has been squeezed. This time not only by Ddick but also GySgt. F. L. Rousseau. GySgt. Rousseau relates the story of turning a prisoner over to the brig and what a eye opening experience that was, I was also involved in the same scenario and came to the same conclusion, I wouldn't want to spend any time in the Brig! The Brig was in Alameda (I think) and it was around 0100 on 1-1-63 the other chaser and I then continued to T.I. As we went through the gate we were waved through by a very smart Marine guard. The next day with our liberty card in hand we headed for town and as we went out of the same gate, there was NO ONE on the gate! Seems the base security detail had been turned over to the Navy! I never felt secure for the next three days I was there.

​ John Selders


Still Remember My Rifle Number

Read Malcolm Forbes letter and I agree with him.

I also went to P.I. in December '54 and was in Platoon 470, graduated Depot Honor platoon, Assistant D.I. Named Sgt. Callahan. Forget the Sr. D.I., but he had a great cadence and did Squad drills all the time.

Would you believe I still remember my rifle number 4278347... (60 years later). I even married a Woman Marine. My Brother, a Marine, and uncles who were at Saipan in WW2, both made it through and one still kicking today. Ornery cuss.

Once a Marine, always a Marine, I guess. Not worrying about a call up any more tho'!

Semper Fi, Malcolm!

George Engel,
1478XXX


Only A Marine

I work security - at our site - I was called on my radio and told to see the head of security at another building ASAP. I went to look for my boss and found him in front of a flagpole on a chilly windy day, and he needed help to replace (2) flags on the pole that morning. We lowered one flag and then the American Flag. We raised the bottom flag - then the new American Flag. The old American Flag was taken into one of the buildings and he asked me to help him fold the old American Flag. I instructed him in the proper way to fold the Flag of our Country. He could have asked anyone - but he commented - "Only a Marine can do this task properly!"

None of the flags touched the deck on my watch!

Bruce Bender
CPL 1963-1967
Vietnam Era Veteran


Read The Obit

About a month ago, I found a plastic-encased obit in the "mail" box for items to be posted on the bulletin boards in our "park". I didn't look too closely, & figured it was someone from the park who had died & a relative or friend wanted the info posted. After about 2 weeks I figured I'd take it down as enough time had passed. Then I actually read the obit. It was for a man who had died several years ago. I felt real foolish. But I also noticed that he was a veteran, and he had a son who lived in Clermont, Florida. I checked out the White Pages online and found the son, and stuck the obit in an envelope with a little note as to where it was found, and mentioning that my husband & I were both veterans (Marine Corps, of course), signing only my initial and last name. Well, in today's mail a small padded envelope arrived, and I thought it was for my husband. I didn't notice how it was addressed, & gave it to my husband with his mail. He opened it, then asked me if I knew the person who sent the envelope. I didn't recognize the name, but when I read the note inside, I realized who it was. The son had written a nice note. It seems that he is a Marine (on civilian duty, don't ya know), and a veteran of Vietnam (2 tours), and was touched by my taking the time to return the obit. He said he didn't know how it came to be in Orlando, Florida. He also enclosed 2 golf ball markers with the Eagle Globe & Anchor on them for my kindness, and closed with "If I can ever be of service to help let me know."

Thank you, Mr. Hegg, for your service. Semper Fidelis!

Sharon Hill
1965-1967​


Found My Drill Instructor

Sgt. Grit,

I went through Parris Island in 1962, Plt. 352. I just found my Drill Instructors about five months ago. My Senior DI was Staff Sgt. Flynn, mustang over and retired as a Captian, lives in Ca. My junior DI was Sgt. Carswell, he also mustang over and retired as a Major. He lives in Tenn. I talk to them once or twice a week. I had two other DI's. Sgt. Joyce, which was promoted to Gunny, was killed in Vietnam and awarded the Silver Star. Then there was Sgt. Lee, which I have no clue where he is. God Bless them all.

Cpl. Girvin
xxxx872​


Khe Sanh

Semper Fi,

On the evening of November 30, 2014, I and two friends attended the showing of "Bravo" a movie about Bravo Co. and the 77-day siege of Khe Sanh. The movie took 5-years of research, and was produced and made about the history of the 77-day siege, by Ken and Betty Rodgers, and was well done. It had actual film footage that was taken at Khe Sanh, reports given by Marines who were there and took part in the action and is 118 minutes long. This is an outstanding report and as Ken Rodgers states, "I believe the film speaks for all veterans, time and again we have seen people transformed by this story, people suffering from mental fatigue of combat, people who have other battles in their lives, and people who have no idea what we ask of our military servicemen and women."

I had the honor of attending the film with two friends who were highly decorated Marine Veterans of Vietnam, one was Jon Sprison who received two purple hearts, and the other was Ricardo Figueroa a member of the 1/9 "Walking Dead" and received three Purple Hearts, and as they commented, any Veteran who served in Vietnam is a "Hero". The "Egyptain Theratre" in Boise Idaho was packed full of veterans and guests, wanting to see the film, we all had a great time talking to each other before and after the film, I can only say it was worthwhile, a few other showings will be in our area and information can be obtained from Ken at "bravotheproject.com". All proceeds from the show went to the Ada County Veterans' Court & Idaho Ceterans' Network.

Thank you and again Semper Fi,
James L Murrell
Cpl USMC


Great Pick-Up Place

While on Recruiting Duty in Detroit in the 1950's there was a plan to Recruit a Platoon of Detroit Marines. They would be sent to Parris Island as a Group and Boot Trained as such. I visited Family's to talk the Parents to sign for their son. They flew the entire Platoon down to PI in old DC-3's. There was a place in the center of Town where the Transportation People turned over to us a Booth they had. I worked the Booth several times. As far as I know we never recruited a soul from there but it was a Great Pick-up Place for the Single Marines because as I remember it was mostly girls that visited the booth. My tour of Duty was Two Years, I never went back on Recruiting Duty again and was thankful for that, Independent Duty wasn't all it was cracked up to be as I saw it. I was Promoted to Staff Sgt. Shortly after Returning to Regular Duty at Camp LeJeune, being a 2100 MOS I figured it was Recruiting Duty that got me that Promotion.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau,
USMC Retired​


Cpl Blackburn Last Week

In the newsletter of 8 April, Alex Dimitrew posts a purported official document regarding the heroic actions of Marine CPL Alvin L. Blackburn, asking if it's true. This 'sea story' has been floating around for about 10 years or more... and it has been debunked.

In the accompanying 'statements' by the alleged survivors, there are references to how these Recon Marines made a parachute jump, used a BAR and other obsolete weapons (the BAR was gone by 1968), to name but a few technical and historical errors. The names of the KIAs do not appear on The Wall and there's no record of Blackburn being awarded any major combat decorations. There is no officer named William W. White and, according to one source, a Marine located through the FOIA named Alvin Blackburn appears to have been a personnel clerk for his entire career.

There's numerous references to this tall tale all across the Marine-related Internet sites. I put this out there with the story of Old Ironsides sinking British ships for rum (we weren't at war with England at the time), prayers for the "Blackhorse" Marines killed (the names of the KIAs are US Army + one British soldier) or Obama's forged birth certificate and Muslim faith.


​Probably apocryphal... not likely that a Colonel would recommend a MOH just in the closing paragraph of what purports to be an investigation... At the time, there was a standard format for investigations, which, from memory, started out with a paragraph (or two), citing the authority calling for the investigation, then a synopsis of what was being investigated, followed by "findings of fact" (these had to be backed up with evidence), then another section wherein opinions were rendered... these had to be identified as such, and drawn from/or supported by, the findings of fact, and finally, a recommendation as to further action... in the case of a violation of orders, would usually include a charge sheet or sheets. The typing, smudges, corrections, and mimeograph are well done, and pretty much representative of admin papers... long before IBM Selectric typewriters, word processors the size of desks, etc... and never mind 'death by Power Point'...

A MOH (or any other valor award) recommendation would require supporting info... etc.

Note: Sorry for the bogus story. It happens occasionally. Over the years we have gotten pretty good at sniffing them out. But not all.

Sgt Grit


Quonset huts, Graduation, and Range Flags

In the article from Graig "I Wandered Around for a While", appears to have taken place in 2010. Here is a general time frame when the Quonset huts were removed from the depot.

All the Quonset huts located in the 1st, and 3rd Battalion area were removed by 1974, leaving only the concrete forms the huts rested on. And during 1974 through 1975, the concrete foundations and asphalt streets were removed for reconstruction and renovation in the area. During this period, the Correctional Custody Platoon used some of the forms for hard labor swinging sixteen pound sludge hammers making small stones, from large ones: the end product was gravel. The gravel was used for walkways, roads, and parking lots that still exist today.

By 1976, most of the 2nd Battalion huts were removed to make way for "Recruit Hilton Hotels". There are about a dozen huts left just north of the parade deck, behind the reviewing stand and across the street from recruit receiving center. Which by the way is "OFF LIMITS". After fifty-five years, those are the huts that remain, and only a few are left at Camp Pendleton. Attached is a current photo of just a few of the Quonset huts left at MCRD.

During the mid-sixties and early seventies, I completed two tours as a Drill Instructor at San Diego (hope you noticed I didn't say Hat). Most of it with "A" Company, and it sadden me to see the Quonset hut of "A" Company disappear.

As late as 1959 and until 1970, graduation ceremonies took place at the base theater composing of two parts. First, the inside ceremonies consisted of introductions, passing out awards, meritorious promotions, and the commencement by the Battalion Commanding Officer. Then to the outside where the series formed in front of the theater to retire the platoon guidons, and the recruits were dismissed for base liberty. In the olden-days, for most of the young Marines, the next day after graduation the series was bused to Camp Pendleton for four weeks of training at 2nd Infantry Training Regiment. Only then were they granted about ten days of leave to go home.

Range flag depended on the flexibility of the company, where the platoon drew up their own flag, and attached it to the platoon staff. Normally once the platoon returned from the range the flag was retired. However, if the platoon did exceptionally well on the range, the platoon was permitted to fly it up until the seventh week inspection. Not sure what was permitted at Parris Island, but I assume it was permissible.

If by chance you happen to see Gunny Lee Ermey, go ahead and shake his hand. He would be glad to meet you, and exchange in some sea stories of old.

Herb Brewer
1st Sgt, (RET)


Every Word Was A Lie

In response to "Operation Hastings" by A Former Hat, GySgt USMC (Ret) in the 9 April 2015 newsletter.

More than a few of our members of India Company, 3/5 were disgusted at the entry which pertained to us in your last newsletter. The author of the entry obviously did not participate in Operation Hastings. Every word was a lie. Simple as that.

We've all experienced such people over the years, perfectly being defined in the book "Stolen Valor", but this time this person tread on sacred ground when he claimed such nonsense. His words bordered on blasphemy, tarnishing the memories of all the good men we lost those days. We few who have so far responded among ourselves to his entry have decided it's up to me personally to kick his worthless azs. I'm old and fat, but I think I'm up to it.

If he asks for my contact information please give it to him.

Semper Fidelis,
Joe Holt
Email: joep0331[at]aol.com
India Company 3/5 1966


Marine Recruit: Tears In The Sand

"Marine Recruit: Tears in the Sand" is an epic novel of Marine Corps boot camp (San Diego). A compelling unabridged account of recruit training as told by the Drill Instructor.

Author of Chronicles of a Marine Rifleman, Retired 1st Sergeant Herb Brewer, USMC, now brings to life this outstanding all-encompassing witty honest, caringly brutal, human, and timeless narrative. Combining two stories into one, he takes you all the way from the grueling view of the recruit to the panoramic mission and perspective of the Drill Instructor.

At MCRD, you can count on two things the recruit is green, the Marine Drill Instructor is legendary. First Sergeant Brewer captures the essences and awareness of what it means to be both.

Marine Recruit is a rare and unparalleled look into MCRD. Enter now the revered birthplace of the Marine where every Drill Instructor was once a recruit.

Get the dust jacket hardcover copy of this book at "Marine Recruit: Tears in the Sand".


Events

This is the first ride of what will become an annual Event. We are honoring Sergeant Major "Hashmark" Johnson and the Montford Point Marines who dedicated their lives to the defense of our Nation. Hashmark was one of the First African Americans to join the Corps and one of the First African American Marine Corps Drill Instructors. Your Participation will support our building and scholarship fund. Share this with your friends and every rider you know. Semper Fi!

Ralph "Hawk" Jones
Capt USMC
National Montford Point Marine Association
Chapter #42
Greenville, MS
Email: ralph.hawk.jones[at]gmail.com


Lost And Found

Plt 1149, MCRD San Diego, 1970. Anybody out there?

Former Cpl R. Rivera​


Sgt Grit,

I was hoping that you might put this request in one of your future newsletters. This year and next starts a series of 50 year reunions and anniversaries for me so I thought I might try to put together a few of my own. These will mean more than some of the ones I'll be attending except for my 50th wedding anniversary. I would like to contact any graduate of "Warrant Officer Basic Class 79" especially from "I Company" 79.

In addition any recruit or Drill Instructors from Platoon 2063, MCRD Parris Island graduated 5 Oct 1966.

Especially from the following Drill Instructors:

S/Sgt (now SgtMaj) M. P. Martin
S/Sgt M. D. Fazio (Uncle Mike)
Sgt S. A. Downes

Capt. T. L. Johnson, Jr.
United States Marine Corps Ret.


Short Rounds

To Dick Martell... I graduated 24 March 1966... Platoon 127... our Senior DI was SSGT W.M. Martin, the only D.I. that did NOT touch me... and he scared me more than the Junior D.I.s. He was a d-mn good D.I.

Mark Gallant
L/Cpl '66-'69
Chu Lai '68​


Sgt Grit,

Love this website! Will stay on point with it as time flies by.

SEMPER FI Always... My Bros!

Another Short man in the tall grass '66-'67.


Quotes

"At this auspicious period, the United States came into existence as a nation; and if their citizens should not be completely free and happy, the fault will be entirely their own."
--George Washington, Letter to the Governors, 1783


"Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom."
--Albert Einstein


"A Ship without Marines is like a garment without buttons."
--Adm. David Dixon Porter, USN in a letter to Colonel Commandant John Harris, USMC, 1863


"The Marines have landed and the situation is well in hand."
--Attributed to Richard Harding Davis (1864-1916)


"Keep Your Powder Dry!"

"Gimme a huss!"

"SQUAT THRUSTS, UNTIL MY MOTHER IN LAW DIES!"

Gung Ho!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 09 APR 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 09 APR 2015

In this issue:
• 1922... Now This Is Old Corps
• Stories About Boot Camp
• No Sir, I AM A MARINE

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Letter from Carter to Sgt Grit

Dear Sgt Grit,

Jordan xxxxx died two years ago. I'm his oldest son. I'm ten years old. I have a younger brother and an older sister. So, I really like your magazines.

Sincerely,
Carter

P.S. Please send more magazines.

By the way, I like your magazines because my dad was a Marine. I want to be a Marine too.

Note: A catalog was mailed to Carter the same day we received his letter.

Sgt Grit


1922... Now This Is Old Corps

1922 Marine Corps Buglers

1922 Marines at the firing range in the Virgin Islands

I served with VMFA-314 from Nov. '67 to Dec. '68 in Chu Lai. In a past posting, I had mentioned Operation Military Embrace, and the Watermelon Run For The Fallen in Hempstead, TX, where I had reunited with some of my Vietnam brothers last August. This time, I'm sending some pictures of my father, Harry W. Kiehnle, who enlisted in 1922. He was a seagoing Marine and a bugler, who was stationed on the Battleship Utah for the Friendship tour of South America that sent General John J. Pershing to meet with South American heads of state, as he was still highly respected after having served as General of the Armies in WW I.

The first picture is four buglers (my father on the left) leaving music school at PI, headed for Sea School at Quantico, next are two pictures of the firing range in the Virgin Islands (my dad is in the t-shirt), third picture is inspection of the Marine Contingent on board the Utah, and finally, General Pershing and dignitaries aboard the ship.

CPL. James Kiehnle 1966-1970
Chu Lai, Vietnam 1967-1968​


Sgt Grit's 2015 Spring Tent Sale


Stories About Boot Camp

Everybody has his stories about Boot Camp. 3 October 1958, 3rd Bn, Plt 347, Sgt Liston Baggett the first day.

"I'm from so far south I call people from Georgia Yankees"
"Raise your hand if the judge sent you here," about six or seven hands went up.
"Anyone from a town of more than twenty thousand is a Hoodlum, We specialize in Hoodlums."
From there on it was all down hill...

Now it's 1996, and I'm visiting my folks folks in Florida. I am living in Spain working in offshore drilling oilfield pretty sure I've got my sh-t together, as by that point, I'd worked offshore in more than twenty countries.

My Dad had received a phone call from a member of 347 looking to contact me. I called him in Indiana. He told me the Senior D.I. S/Sgt Truax had died of Lou Gehrig's Disease.

He had located retired Major (former Sgt) Baggett in Pensacola, and that he was terminal with cancer (I'm sure from Agent Orange), as he had done multiple tours in V.N.

Keep in mind this is thirty eight (38) years later. I actually got nervous and stood up as I dialed the number.

He answered. I explained who I was and that, while I was sure he didn't remember me, I called to thank him for discipline / lessons he taught me that had remained with me since 1958.

He then said, "I remember you, you're that hoodlum from Boston."

One of the proudest moments of my life.​

Bill McDermott

"Success is never final. Failure is never fatal. It's courage that counts."
--George F Tilton


Feather Merchants

Read your stories about The Corps with great interest. One of the recent ones about a Grunt commenting about one of the men in the Iwo flag raising having a bayonet on his carbine and all the resulting comments. Just maybe the carbine he used didn't have a bayonet socket - but that's a BIG maybe. Mine certainly had one and I kept the bayonet when mustering out in Dec. 1945. Google has PAGES of illustrations and words about the bayonet. There were two - a short (or knife) and the loonng one. Mine is the short, a USM 4 Imperial.

Also interesting are comments about the Old Corps and I have found no definition of this label - prior to WW II, China Service, or what. Don't know how I would fit into that category unless it includes us feather merchants who served in WW II. I got mine in Platoon 315 at MRDSD in the Spring of 1943, with a six digit serial number having an SS after it. I went in with a specific invitation from The President and chose to serve in the Marines. Can't remember my DI's name, but his side kick was a very tall lanky Corporal who had fought at the "Canal".

Went through the Radio School at MCBSD and upon graduation was assigned to the 6th Radio Intelligence Platoon training at Camp Elliott north of SD and later at Camp Pendleton, Oceanside. Along with 2,000 other passenger Marines and swabies, we boarded the USS Wasp on its breakdown cruise in record time. Westaged at Camp Catlin just East of Pearl until we boarded troop ship USS Elliott to join Task Force 58 on the way to Saipan. We were attached to the 5th Amphibious Corps Signal Battalion. Our intercept radiomen were assigned to the USS Rocky Mount as a part of the Task Force Signal Battalion. A few of our men took part in the Tinian invasion and all of us sailed on the SS Azalea City to return to Pearl.

The 6X6's that met us at the dock took us to Navy Radio 41 up in the hills above Honolulu.

The men who didn't already know Japanese Morse code attended school to learn it and all of us stood watch in the comm room handling radio traffic between the battlefield in the West Pacific and Navy Headquarters in D.C. It was somewhere that we were redesginated as the 5th RIP. We were reorganized and I was assigned to the 4th Division Joint Assault Signal Company (JASCO).

We now were training for the invasion of Japan when President Roosevelt died and continued until the B 29's operatng out of the Marianas dropped the Bomb that ended the War. I had enough points to return to the States and sailed on the USS Kalanin Bay, a Jeep carrier, to MCBSD and a train ride to Camp Lejeune to muster out.

Still close to the Corps, especially since so many of our time are transferring Home. Still going pretty well at nearly 92.

Semper Fi, Mac,
Burke O'Kelly​


Worst And Strangest Job I Had

Duty in the Old Corps

After World War II, I was stationed at Naval Prison, San Pedro because they were turning the Prison over to Los Angeles and we were taking Prisoners to Lock-ups closest to their home of Record. On board Trains we were in a Passenger Car all our own but to feed the Prisoners we had to take them to the Dining Car through Passenger cars with people staring at us, Prisoners marching through with leg Irons and Hand Cuffed right leg and right hand of his prisoner to the right leg and right hand of the next Prisoner. When we delivered them to the Prison, we marched the Prisoners into a cage outside the Prison, the Paper work was sent up to the Guard in a Tower by Basket and we went into another cage. Another basket was lowered and we sent our weapons up. A door opened in the Wall and the Prisoners went into the door into a secure Room, we went into the door into a cage nest to the Prisoners.

The Man in charge, a Navy CPO (only time I was under command of a Navy CPO while in the Marine Corps) signed the Papers turning the Prisoners over to the Prison and we left, picking up our weapons outside the Prison, they were lowered down to us from the Tower. Probably the worst and strangest job I had in the Corps.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


12 x 12 Marine On Duty Steel Stop Sign


"No sir, I AM A MARINE"

So my wife and I are having breakfast at McDonalds and I'm wearing my Marine Corps cover and these two gentlemen stop me and ask me if I WAS a Marine. Stopping in my tracks I said "No sir, I AM A MARINE." Engaging them in conversation one of them asked if I was in Vietnam to which I replied affirmative and then he goes on to say how the Marines lost the battle of Khe Sanh. Then I feel my hands starting to clinch into a fist and think better of it and inform them how 6,000 Marines held off 20,000 hardcore North Vietnamese for 47 days until they broke the seize, all the while my voice raising. They said, "Oh." Realizing they might want to leave well enough alone they thanked me for my service and I wished them a good day. Upon returning to our booth my wife said I was very rude to them by announcing I AM A MARINE, to which I replied I wasn't being rude, I was simply setting them straight and they probably won't make that mistake again.

"They say you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink it, but in the Marine Corps they can d-mn well make them wish they had."

Tom Gillespie
RVN '70 - '71


Everybody Got Into The Act

I have to disagree with 1st Sgt Brewer, because the 8-man squad drill came in earlier than 8 March, 1957. I went to PI December 1954, Plt 464, and we d-mn well did squads drill. By mid- summer 1955, I was stationed at H&S Co, Basic School, Camp Upshur, Quantico. When we had an IG or other big inspection, there was a "battalion" parade and review all conducted in Squads Drill, (a strange battalion because enlisted personnel were heavily outnumbered by 2nd Lts at the School). They would even bring the big band up from mainside.

The commands would be something like "Pass In Review!", "Column of Platoons, Leading Platoon, Squads Right..." Then commands would ring out all over the field even down to the squad level, depending where you were: "Squads Right!", "Forward!", "Stand Fast!"... "MARCH!"

And off we would go to Semper Fidelis first, and then the Hymn as we passed the reviewing stand. Somewhere in there was the "on left into line" or "left front into line", whatever, because we passed the reviewing stands with platoons in a long, 2 deep line.

Great stuff, everybody got into the act.

Malcolm Forbes
147XXXX, Cpl, USMC


It's The Norm

Grade school kids welcoming the Patriot Guard to their school

Grade school kids with cards that were made for the Patriot Guard

Before I get to the gist of my tale, I would like to say that, prior to 9-11, I was never thanked for my service. Since then, quite often. Usually by other veterans. Not always, but usually. If it's a veteran, I return the salutation. If not, I just say thank you and you're welcome.

I ride with the Patriot Guard Riders and we escort the "Wreaths Across America" convoy of wreaths from Maine to Arlington National Cemetery every December. The escort takes a week and we make 20-30 stops at schools, Veterans homes, etc.

On the 2007 escort, one of our stops was at a grade school in Maine. It was about 25 degrees and snowing, but all the students were standing outside, waving flags to welcome us. In the attached pictures, you will see all the children are holding something in their hands. These were hand made "Thank You" cards, that they all had made. And, as we were getting ready to leave, every person in the convoy, was given one. I can tell you, there weren't many dry eyes as we pulled away.

I'm happy to say, that this type of reception is not unusual. It's the norm. That year we had about 50 people but only one Tractor trailer with 5000 wreaths. Now we have 150 folks, a dozen trucks, a bus with Gold Star family members and various police, fire and other support vehicles. And enough wreaths to cover Every grave at Arlington. My point being, there are teachers, in our education system, who get it and are instilling that respect and appreciation for our Veterans to our children.

Sgt Bill Michell
'65-'68, '75-'77​


RVN Maps

Certainly one of the more interesting of the many interactive maps we've seen of RVN camps/etc. Folks need to know to "zoom in" on the map and then navigate around at various zoom levels. I noticed that some of the various road designations have changed (for example in the A Shau Valley) but one can still work thru it all and find some of their old stomping grounds/areas they flew over/etc.

Vietnam War - US Facilities


When Properly Relieved

Note: Two related stories between two Marines.

Sgt Grit


Funny you would mention that incident at White Beach. Small world. I had just reported aboard the day before at the White Beach pier and heard what sounded like bombs going off about 4 AM. Seems a mini-typhoon was sweeping by and caught the St. Paul with half its length exposed and no pier tied to it. My XO, Lt. Joe Ruane, was OOD in port and had no clue what to do with a ship underway with no way on (zero engines running). We were being swept away with the bow still tied up but it was those 4 inch hawser lines popping that sounded like bombs. Amazingly the Snipe Boss, Cmdr Murphy, got the engines started in 30 minutes and only yards from going aground, broadside. That was Pfc Jones, my brow sentry who refused to be relieved by anyone except the Cpl of The Guard who posted him. Several Naval officers and a Chief tried their best to have him stand down, to no avail short of carrying his azs off. As you know it made Stars & Stripes... the lone sentry, at attention, looking out at the ship as it "left port". Yep, my first day on board!

Bob Fischer


​1960-1962, I was assigned to Marine Barracks, Naha... one of the Navy squadrons based there, VP-4, flew P2V's on patrol in the Taiwan Straits (inter-alia). On their bulletin board in one of the flight-line offices was a picture... a Marine, with M-1, standing at parade rest on a pier at White Beach. Behind him, lying on the pier, was what presumably had been the forward brow... and behind that was the Saint Paul, standing out to sea. The picture was captioned with a challenge to VP-4 sailors to exhibit similar dedication to assigned duties.

"I will quit my post only when properly relieved"...

Always wondered what happened to that sentry's Cpl of the Guard? I assumed the Saint Paul had received some sort of flap message to get underway ASAP...

​"Sea-going Dip"... is that a nerdy sailor?... or... a carefully shaped and cultivated crown on the cap, frame, one each... either white (for wear with Blues), green, or in way-back times, "tropical" (kahki color, but worsted wool materiel.) An affectation of many 'sea-going bellhops'... along with double-soled shoes (sometimes with metal taps or cleats), and the 'pony-tail' stand out knot in the field scarf (necktie, for you boots)... these non-regulation, but considered 'sharp' practices were also found at some Marine Barracks. Alas... MarDets (shipboard duty) and "Marine Barracks" are almost things of our storied past. There is still Eighth and I, but no other Barracks that I know of (OK... will Google it...), and Naval Bases are more likely to have civilian "Rent-A-Cops" standing gate watches...

Ddick


The Paper In Darwin, Australia

What will they write about us next? :)

Text the editor article in Australian paper


EXCITEMENT! Shot And Missed​

Yo, Sgt Grit,

The letter, THE FORGOTTEN WAR, in today's Grit Newsletter almost jumped off the page at me! I want to assure Sgt. J. Davis, 7th Marines that those of you who fought in Korea have not been forgotten. My brother, Ken Lonn, Sgt, F-2-5, 1st MarDiv served in Korea from February 1951 to March 1952.

Thank you, Sgt Davis and all the other brave warriors for your service in a war that so many have shamefully forgotten!

About four years ago, Ken and I tossed around the idea of putting his experiences in book form. I had already published a fictional novel, titled American Holocaust, about Marines fighting the terrorists in Afghanistan, and I decided this would be a great way to honor my hero and all those brave guys who fought in that long-ago war!

The title of the book is EXCITEMENT! Shot And Missed. The official release date is in about two months, but the book can now be ordered direct from Tate Publishing (ISBN 978-1-68097-665-6). As I stated on the back cover of the book, "... recalls the good times and the not so good times, the laughs and the misery, the struggles and the accomplishments. This book will take the reader on an exciting journey from hometown U.S.A., through 'boot camp' and a year of combat, from a veteran's first person view of the realities of war."

The book not only tells his story in words but also in photos and paintings by Ken. His boot camp experiences in 1949 are very much like mine in 1964. In fact, an old Marine buddy of mine reviewed the book and wrote, "This is one of the best military books I've read! It brought back memories of my time in the Marines. Everyone, whether a Marine or not, will enjoy this riveting, first-hand account of the F-2-5 Marines in Korea. The chapters concerning boot camp, both poignant and funny, brought back many memories of my time at MCRD. This the real deal!"

MSgt Miles Kelly Hill, USMC Retired

So, to Sgt Davis and everyone else who fought/served in that war, SEMPER FIDELIS!

Bob Lonn
Once a Marine, Always a Marine!


Wondering If This Is A True Story

Cpl Blackburn investigation by Col White 1968

Cpl Blackburn investigation by Col White 1968 continued

I've had a copy of this message for a while and was wondering if this is a true story. You may have seen it already. Pretty spectacular if true.

S/F,
Alex Dimitrew


Lost And Found

Plt 119 PI 1965

This May 19th, will be 50 years that our platoon, #119, of the 116 series, graduated boot camp. We were honor platoon of the series. We took the General's trophy, at the rifle range and we won drill comp. (the bronze boots are in the graduation picture). I haven't seen anything on a 50 year reunion, for our platoon, so, I plan on being at Parris Island, for the 50 year anniversary of the graduation of Plt #119. If anyone else plans to attend, I'll see you there. In the picture, I'm 5th from the left, on the top row.

Semper Fi,
Dick Martell
Cpl 2141XXX


I would like to hear from any of my DI's that put me through boot camp at Parris Island between 18 July 1950 - about 20 Sept. 1950 in Platoon #68. I don't remember any of their names, also I would like to hear from Marines I served with at Henderson Hall in the guard detachment 1951 - 1952, as back then we were walking guard duty at the Pentagon and other posts in the DC area.

Al Simmons
1950-1955​


I am 4th from the left in the front row. Anyone out there from this platoon?

Richard Kirby

Plt 384 MCRD PI 1957


Short Rounds

To the Marine who wrote the story about Okinawa in early April '45. My uncle was aboard one of the radar picket DD's. USS Laffey is now a museum ship at Patriot's Point in S. Carolina. Also a great book written by the Skipper called, "The ship that wouldn't die".

Regards,
Chuck "Doc" Stark


Snapping In:

Elbow under the piece, six o'clock on the bull.

Norm Spilleth
1960-1964​


Platoon 228 Jan-Mar 1966, Head DI Hegarty, Assistant DIs Bailey and McGlauhlin. May God bless them for making me a Marine.

George Tabor


From a Vet of the REAL Marine Corps Boot Camp - Parris Island.

DI's favorite put down that I still use at home and work. YOUR LOWER THAN WHALE SH-T AND THAT'S AT THE BOTTOM OF THE OCEAN. Where did they find this stuff?

Brendan McCarron, Cpl, USMC, 1965 - 1969

SEMPER FI to all MARINES no matter which Boot Camp they suffered at.


Quotes

leadership quote with picture of 36th Commandant

"I liked the military life. They teach you self-sufficiency early on. I always say that I learned most of what I know about leadership in the Marine Corps. Certain basic principles stay with you - sometimes consciously, mostly unconsciously."
--Raymond Kelly


"For the majority of people liberty means only the system and the administrators they are used to."
--Albert Jay Nock


Quote by Marcus Aurelius

"Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one."
--Marcus Aurelius


"I've always been proud of being a Marine. I won't hesitate to defend the Corps."
--Jonathan Winters, comic and Marine


"Every Marine is, first and foremost, a rifleman. All other conditions are secondary."
--Gen. A. M. Gray, USMC Commandant of the Marine Corps


"Forged on the anvil of discipline."

"Our enlistment has a start and finish date. The "Oath' does not."

"You're Bouncin' Girls, You're Bouncin'."

Fair winds and following seas.
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 09 APR 2015
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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 09 APR 2015

In this issue:
• 1922... Now This Is Old Corps
• Stories About Boot Camp
• No Sir, I AM A MARINE

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Dear Sgt Grit,

Jordan xxxxx died two years ago. I'm his oldest son. I'm ten years old. I have a younger brother and an older sister. So, I really like your magazines.

Sincerely,
Carter

P.S. Please send more magazines.

By the way, I like your magazines because my dad was a Marine. I want to be a Marine too.

Note: A catalog was mailed to Carter the same day we received his letter.

Sgt Grit


1922... Now This Is Old Corps

I served with VMFA-314 from Nov. '67 to Dec. '68 in Chu Lai. In a past posting, I had mentioned Operation Military Embrace, and the Watermelon Run For The Fallen in Hempstead, TX, where I had reunited with some of my Vietnam brothers last August. This time, I'm sending some pictures of my father, Harry W. Kiehnle, who enlisted in 1922. He was a seagoing Marine and a bugler, who was stationed on the Battleship Utah for the Friendship tour of South America that sent General John J. Pershing to meet with South American heads of state, as he was still highly respected after having served as General of the Armies in WW I.

The first picture is four buglers (my father on the left) leaving music school at PI, headed for Sea School at Quantico, next are two pictures of the firing range in the Virgin Islands (my dad is in the t-shirt), third picture is inspection of the Marine Contingent on board the Utah, and finally, General Pershing and dignitaries aboard the ship.

CPL. James Kiehnle 1966-1970
Chu Lai, Vietnam 1967-1968​


Stories About Boot Camp

Everybody has his stories about Boot Camp. 3 October 1958, 3rd Bn, Plt 347, Sgt Liston Baggett the first day.

"I'm from so far south I call people from Georgia Yankees"
"Raise your hand if the judge sent you here," about six or seven hands went up.
"Anyone from a town of more than twenty thousand is a Hoodlum, We specialize in Hoodlums."
From there on it was all down hill...

Now it's 1996, and I'm visiting my folks folks in Florida. I am living in Spain working in offshore drilling oilfield pretty sure I've got my sh-t together, as by that point, I'd worked offshore in more than twenty countries.

My Dad had received a phone call from a member of 347 looking to contact me. I called him in Indiana. He told me the Senior D.I. S/Sgt Truax had died of Lou Gehrig's Disease.

He had located retired Major (former Sgt) Baggett in Pensacola, and that he was terminal with cancer (I'm sure from Agent Orange), as he had done multiple tours in V.N.

Keep in mind this is thirty eight (38) years later. I actually got nervous and stood up as I dialed the number.

He answered. I explained who I was and that, while I was sure he didn't remember me, I called to thank him for discipline / lessons he taught me that had remained with me since 1958.

He then said, "I remember you, you're that hoodlum from Boston."

One of the proudest moments of my life.​

Bill McDermott

"Success is never final. Failure is never fatal. It's courage that counts."
--George F Tilton


Feather Merchants

Read your stories about The Corps with great interest. One of the recent ones about a Grunt commenting about one of the men in the Iwo flag raising having a bayonet on his carbine and all the resulting comments. Just maybe the carbine he used didn't have a bayonet socket - but that's a BIG maybe. Mine certainly had one and I kept the bayonet when mustering out in Dec. 1945. Google has PAGES of illustrations and words about the bayonet. There were two - a short (or knife) and the loonng one. Mine is the short, a USM 4 Imperial.

Also interesting are comments about the Old Corps and I have found no definition of this label - prior to WW II, China Service, or what. Don't know how I would fit into that category unless it includes us feather merchants who served in WW II. I got mine in Platoon 315 at MRDSD in the Spring of 1943, with a six digit serial number having an SS after it. I went in with a specific invitation from The President and chose to serve in the Marines. Can't remember my DI's name, but his side kick was a very tall lanky Corporal who had fought at the "Canal".

Went through the Radio School at MCBSD and upon graduation was assigned to the 6th Radio Intelligence Platoon training at Camp Elliott north of SD and later at Camp Pendleton, Oceanside. Along with 2,000 other passenger Marines and swabies, we boarded the USS Wasp on its breakdown cruise in record time. Westaged at Camp Catlin just East of Pearl until we boarded troop ship USS Elliott to join Task Force 58 on the way to Saipan. We were attached to the 5th Amphibious Corps Signal Battalion. Our intercept radiomen were assigned to the USS Rocky Mount as a part of the Task Force Signal Battalion. A few of our men took part in the Tinian invasion and all of us sailed on the SS Azalea City to return to Pearl.

The 6X6's that met us at the dock took us to Navy Radio 41 up in the hills above Honolulu.

The men who didn't already know Japanese Morse code attended school to learn it and all of us stood watch in the comm room handling radio traffic between the battlefield in the West Pacific and Navy Headquarters in D.C. It was somewhere that we were redesginated as the 5th RIP. We were reorganized and I was assigned to the 4th Division Joint Assault Signal Company (JASCO).

We now were training for the invasion of Japan when President Roosevelt died and continued until the B 29's operatng out of the Marianas dropped the Bomb that ended the War. I had enough points to return to the States and sailed on the USS Kalanin Bay, a Jeep carrier, to MCBSD and a train ride to Camp Lejeune to muster out.

Still close to the Corps, especially since so many of our time are transferring Home. Still going pretty well at nearly 92.

Semper Fi, Mac,
Burke O'Kelly​


Worst And Strangest Job I Had

Duty in the Old Corps

After World War II, I was stationed at Naval Prison, San Pedro because they were turning the Prison over to Los Angeles and we were taking Prisoners to Lock-ups closest to their home of Record. On board Trains we were in a Passenger Car all our own but to feed the Prisoners we had to take them to the Dining Car through Passenger cars with people staring at us, Prisoners marching through with leg Irons and Hand Cuffed right leg and right hand of his prisoner to the right leg and right hand of the next Prisoner. When we delivered them to the Prison, we marched the Prisoners into a cage outside the Prison, the Paper work was sent up to the Guard in a Tower by Basket and we went into another cage. Another basket was lowered and we sent our weapons up. A door opened in the Wall and the Prisoners went into the door into a secure Room, we went into the door into a cage nest to the Prisoners.

The Man in charge, a Navy CPO (only time I was under command of a Navy CPO while in the Marine Corps) signed the Papers turning the Prisoners over to the Prison and we left, picking up our weapons outside the Prison, they were lowered down to us from the Tower. Probably the worst and strangest job I had in the Corps.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


"No sir, I AM A MARINE"

So my wife and I are having breakfast at McDonalds and I'm wearing my Marine Corps cover and these two gentlemen stop me and ask me if I WAS a Marine. Stopping in my tracks I said "No sir, I AM A MARINE." Engaging them in conversation one of them asked if I was in Vietnam to which I replied affirmative and then he goes on to say how the Marines lost the battle of Khe Sanh. Then I feel my hands starting to clinch into a fist and think better of it and inform them how 6,000 Marines held off 20,000 hardcore North Vietnamese for 47 days until they broke the seize, all the while my voice raising. They said, "Oh." Realizing they might want to leave well enough alone they thanked me for my service and I wished them a good day. Upon returning to our booth my wife said I was very rude to them by announcing I AM A MARINE, to which I replied I wasn't being rude, I was simply setting them straight and they probably won't make that mistake again.

"They say you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink it, but in the Marine Corps they can d-mn well make them wish they had."

Tom Gillespie
RVN '70 - '71


Everybody Got Into The Act

I have to disagree with 1st Sgt Brewer, because the 8-man squad drill came in earlier than 8 March, 1957. I went to PI December 1954, Plt 464, and we d-mn well did squads drill. By mid- summer 1955, I was stationed at H&S Co, Basic School, Camp Upshur, Quantico. When we had an IG or other big inspection, there was a "battalion" parade and review all conducted in Squads Drill, (a strange battalion because enlisted personnel were heavily outnumbered by 2nd Lts at the School). They would even bring the big band up from mainside.

The commands would be something like "Pass In Review!", "Column of Platoons, Leading Platoon, Squads Right..." Then commands would ring out all over the field even down to the squad level, depending where you were: "Squads Right!", "Forward!", "Stand Fast!"... "MARCH!"

And off we would go to Semper Fidelis first, and then the Hymn as we passed the reviewing stand. Somewhere in there was the "on left into line" or "left front into line", whatever, because we passed the reviewing stands with platoons in a long, 2 deep line.

Great stuff, everybody got into the act.

Malcolm Forbes
147XXXX, Cpl, USMC


It's The Norm

Before I get to the gist of my tale, I would like to say that, prior to 9-11, I was never thanked for my service. Since then, quite often. Usually by other veterans. Not always, but usually. If it's a veteran, I return the salutation. If not, I just say thank you and you're welcome.

I ride with the Patriot Guard Riders and we escort the "Wreaths Across America" convoy of wreaths from Maine to Arlington National Cemetery every December. The escort takes a week and we make 20-30 stops at schools, Veterans homes, etc.

On the 2007 escort, one of our stops was at a grade school in Maine. It was about 25 degrees and snowing, but all the students were standing outside, waving flags to welcome us. In the attached pictures, you will see all the children are holding something in their hands. These were hand made "Thank You" cards, that they all had made. And, as we were getting ready to leave, every person in the convoy, was given one. I can tell you, there weren't many dry eyes as we pulled away.

I'm happy to say, that this type of reception is not unusual. It's the norm. That year we had about 50 people but only one Tractor trailer with 5000 wreaths. Now we have 150 folks, a dozen trucks, a bus with Gold Star family members and various police, fire and other support vehicles. And enough wreaths to cover Every grave at Arlington. My point being, there are teachers, in our education system, who get it and are instilling that respect and appreciation for our Veterans to our children.

Sgt Bill Michell
'65-'68, '75-'77​


RVN Maps

Certainly one of the more interesting of the many interactive maps we've seen of RVN camps/etc. Folks need to know to "zoom in" on the map and then navigate around at various zoom levels. I noticed that some of the various road designations have changed (for example in the A Shau Valley) but one can still work thru it all and find some of their old stomping grounds/areas they flew over/etc.

Vietnam War - US Facilities


When Properly Relieved

Note: Two related stories between two Marines.

Sgt Grit


Funny you would mention that incident at White Beach. Small world. I had just reported aboard the day before at the White Beach pier and heard what sounded like bombs going off about 4 AM. Seems a mini-typhoon was sweeping by and caught the St. Paul with half its length exposed and no pier tied to it. My XO, Lt. Joe Ruane, was OOD in port and had no clue what to do with a ship underway with no way on (zero engines running). We were being swept away with the bow still tied up but it was those 4 inch hawser lines popping that sounded like bombs. Amazingly the Snipe Boss, Cmdr Murphy, got the engines started in 30 minutes and only yards from going aground, broadside. That was Pfc Jones, my brow sentry who refused to be relieved by anyone except the Cpl of The Guard who posted him. Several Naval officers and a Chief tried their best to have him stand down, to no avail short of carrying his azs off. As you know it made Stars & Stripes... the lone sentry, at attention, looking out at the ship as it "left port". Yep, my first day on board!

Bob Fischer


​1960-1962, I was assigned to Marine Barracks, Naha... one of the Navy squadrons based there, VP-4, flew P2V's on patrol in the Taiwan Straits (inter-alia). On their bulletin board in one of the flight-line offices was a picture... a Marine, with M-1, standing at parade rest on a pier at White Beach. Behind him, lying on the pier, was what presumably had been the forward brow... and behind that was the Saint Paul, standing out to sea. The picture was captioned with a challenge to VP-4 sailors to exhibit similar dedication to assigned duties.

"I will quit my post only when properly relieved"...

Always wondered what happened to that sentry's Cpl of the Guard? I assumed the Saint Paul had received some sort of flap message to get underway ASAP...

​"Sea-going Dip"... is that a nerdy sailor?... or... a carefully shaped and cultivated crown on the cap, frame, one each... either white (for wear with Blues), green, or in way-back times, "tropical" (kahki color, but worsted wool materiel.) An affectation of many 'sea-going bellhops'... along with double-soled shoes (sometimes with metal taps or cleats), and the 'pony-tail' stand out knot in the field scarf (necktie, for you boots)... these non-regulation, but considered 'sharp' practices were also found at some Marine Barracks. Alas... MarDets (shipboard duty) and "Marine Barracks" are almost things of our storied past. There is still Eighth and I, but no other Barracks that I know of (OK... will Google it...), and Naval Bases are more likely to have civilian "Rent-A-Cops" standing gate watches...

Ddick


EXCITEMENT! Shot And Missed​

Yo, Sgt Grit,

The letter, THE FORGOTTEN WAR, in today's Grit Newsletter almost jumped off the page at me! I want to assure Sgt. J. Davis, 7th Marines that those of you who fought in Korea have not been forgotten. My brother, Ken Lonn, Sgt, F-2-5, 1st MarDiv served in Korea from February 1951 to March 1952.

Thank you, Sgt Davis and all the other brave warriors for your service in a war that so many have shamefully forgotten!

About four years ago, Ken and I tossed around the idea of putting his experiences in book form. I had already published a fictional novel, titled American Holocaust, about Marines fighting the terrorists in Afghanistan, and I decided this would be a great way to honor my hero and all those brave guys who fought in that long-ago war!

The title of the book is EXCITEMENT! Shot And Missed. The official release date is in about two months, but the book can now be ordered direct from Tate Publishing (ISBN 978-1-68097-665-6). As I stated on the back cover of the book, "... recalls the good times and the not so good times, the laughs and the misery, the struggles and the accomplishments. This book will take the reader on an exciting journey from hometown U.S.A., through 'boot camp' and a year of combat, from a veteran's first person view of the realities of war."

The book not only tells his story in words but also in photos and paintings by Ken. His boot camp experiences in 1949 are very much like mine in 1964. In fact, an old Marine buddy of mine reviewed the book and wrote, "This is one of the best military books I've read! It brought back memories of my time in the Marines. Everyone, whether a Marine or not, will enjoy this riveting, first-hand account of the F-2-5 Marines in Korea. The chapters concerning boot camp, both poignant and funny, brought back many memories of my time at MCRD. This the real deal!"

MSgt Miles Kelly Hill, USMC Retired

So, to Sgt Davis and everyone else who fought/served in that war, SEMPER FIDELIS!

Bob Lonn
Once a Marine, Always a Marine!

I've had a copy of this message for a while and was wondering if this is a true story. You may have seen it already. Pretty spectacular if true.

S/F,
Alex Dimitrew


Lost And Found

This May 19th, will be 50 years that our platoon, #119, of the 116 series, graduated boot camp. We were honor platoon of the series. We took the General's trophy, at the rifle range and we won drill comp. (the bronze boots are in the graduation picture). I haven't seen anything on a 50 year reunion, for our platoon, so, I plan on being at Parris Island, for the 50 year anniversary of the graduation of Plt #119. If anyone else plans to attend, I'll see you there. In the picture, I'm 5th from the left, on the top row.

Semper Fi,
Dick Martell
Cpl 2141XXX


I would like to hear from any of my DI's that put me through boot camp at Parris Island between 18 July 1950 - about 20 Sept. 1950 in Platoon #68. I don't remember any of their names, also I would like to hear from Marines I served with at Henderson Hall in the guard detachment 1951 - 1952, as back then we were walking guard duty at the Pentagon and other posts in the DC area.

Al Simmons
1950-1955​


I am 4th from the left in the front row. Anyone out there from this platoon?

Richard Kirby


Short Rounds

To the Marine who wrote the story about Okinawa in early April '45. My uncle was aboard one of the radar picket DD's. USS Laffey is now a museum ship at Patriot's Point in S. Carolina. Also a great book written by the Skipper called, "The ship that wouldn't die".

Regards,
Chuck "Doc" Stark


Snapping In:

Elbow under the piece, six o'clock on the bull.

Norm Spilleth
1960-1964​


Platoon 228 Jan-Mar 1966, Head DI Hegarty, Assistant DIs Bailey and McGlauhlin. May God bless them for making me a Marine.

George Tabor


From a Vet of the REAL Marine Corps Boot Camp - Parris Island.

DI's favorite put down that I still use at home and work. YOUR LOWER THAN WHALE SH-T AND THAT'S AT THE BOTTOM OF THE OCEAN. Where did they find this stuff?

Brendan McCarron, Cpl, USMC, 1965 - 1969

SEMPER FI to all MARINES no matter which Boot Camp they suffered at.


Quotes

"I liked the military life. They teach you self-sufficiency early on. I always say that I learned most of what I know about leadership in the Marine Corps. Certain basic principles stay with you - sometimes consciously, mostly unconsciously."
--Raymond Kelly


"For the majority of people liberty means only the system and the administrators they are used to."
--Albert Jay Nock


"Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one."
--Marcus Aurelius


"I've always been proud of being a Marine. I won't hesitate to defend the Corps."
--Jonathan Winters, comic and Marine


"Every Marine is, first and foremost, a rifleman. All other conditions are secondary."
--Gen. A. M. Gray, USMC Commandant of the Marine Corps


"Forged on the anvil of discipline."

"Our enlistment has a start and finish date. The "Oath' does not."

"You're Bouncin' Girls, You're Bouncin'."

Fair winds and following seas.
Sgt Grit

©2015 Sgt Grit Inc
All rights reserved
7100 SW 44th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73179
888-NOV-1775
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Sgt Grit Newsletter 02 APR 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 02 APR 2015

In this issue:
• Your Husband "WAS" A Marine
• Operation Hastings
• Fun-filled Days At PI

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Steve Dobbs and his wife with Gen. Amos, 35th CMC

Here I am proudly wearing my Sgt. Grit hat and meeting the recently retired Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Jim Amos. We played in the annual Semper Fi Fund Tournament at Boca Royale Country Club in Venice, Florida.

Great hat!

Steven Dobbs

Get this moto hat/cover at:

Sandwich Bill With American Flag and Eagle, Globe, and Anchor

Sandwich Bill With American
Flag and Eagle, Globe, and Anchor


Your Husband "WAS" A Marine

Hey, Gritster!

​I sometimes work at estate sales. Whenever I notice a veteran walk through, I like to thank them for their service to our country. The last sale that I worked, I encountered a man wearing a generic Vietnam Veteran cover. I enthusiastically thanked him for his service, and proudly related that my husband is a Marine. He gruffly replied, "Your husband WAS a Marine." Great emphasis was placed on the word, 'WAS' a Marine. His attitude so aroused my loyalty to my husband, and all of his brothers, I instantly replied, "Nope! Once a Marine, always a Marine!" He was taken aback by what I had said, and before leaving the room he threw back over his shoulder, "Well I was in the Army and it was no big whoop." Enough said!

Semper Fi, to my husband and all of his brothers!

Ma Grit

Note: Don't mess with my wife.

Sgt Grit


Proud Grandfather

GySgt Hattox standing with Pvt Hattox at MCRD San Diego Graduation

Ask Me What I Was poem

Hi Sgt Grit,

It's been awhile since I submitted anything. I just celebrated my 78th birthday and 61st anniversary of my enlistment in the Marine Corps. Last January my grandson Dylan Hattox graduated from MCRD San Diego and is currently stationed at Pensacola learning how to be and air crewman hoping to make Crew Chief one day. I've enclosed a pic of him and me at his graduation doesn't he look squared away?

As you can see, I'm well outfitted by Sgt Grit, cover, Jacket and watch. I offered him the watch but he said it wasn't regulation and he couldn't wear it unless in civilian clothes. Also on my birthday a friend posted the following:

I thought your readers might be interested.

No Sea Stories this time just want to welcome another Marine into our brotherhood of United States Marines.

Jerry R. Hattox
GySgt USMC Ret
03/23/1954-04/30/1978
Viet Nam '63 - '64, '65 - '66, '68


U.S. Marine Corps Mirrored License Plate Frame


Operation Hastings

Sgt. Grit,

This year will be the 49th anniversary of Operation Hastings. There were about 7K Marines and at least 5 infantry battalions involved in the operation that took place north and west of the rockpile close to the DMZ and in helicopter valley.

I had the dubious pleasure of serving as a young PFC with India Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines. The company was originally slated to be a reserve force to react to other battalions who might get into the sh-t. I was on my first tour to the illustrious Republic of South Vietnam. On July 16, the company was ordered to establish and protect a radio relay on hill # 362 north of the Rockpile. The NVA had other ideas. The situation took a sudden turn for the worse when the heavy rains started. We were able to hold for three days before the NVA overran the hill. We couldn't get our wounded out or resupply in, so we hunkered down and held as best we could. We could hear the NVA talking and searching for those of us hiding among the dead and wounded. The downpour of rain finally broke and we got help from 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines. Our CO, 1st Sgt. and Co GySgt were all three killed. I'm reasonably sure that I was quite lucky during that operation because I didn't get wounded - not a scratch. However, we lost more than 50% of the company.

We were helo-lifted out to Phu Bai on August 3. A very young inexperienced 2nd Lieutenant who had just arrived in-country took command of the company. Turned out that he was one of the best officers I ever served with. I served with him again at Camp Pendleton in 1979.

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


Okinawa

Sgt. Grit,

I saw something the other day on TV about the Invasion of Okinawa. I was there and saw so many things that today have been forgotten. They had ships no one remembers now, LST's that carried a smaller version of itself (LCT) on the deck, then when they were needed, the LST seemed to lean sideways and the smaller ship slid into the water, boats full of men went to the ships and soon they took off under their own power. They had LSM's (Landing Ship Medium) which were ships about 100 or so feet long and had bow doors like an LST, they couldn't carry as much but there seemed to be a lot of them. They also made Gun Ships out of the LSM's and I remember seeing these ships going toward shore at Okinawa, and then all seemed as though the ship's deck burst into flames and hundreds of rockets were shooting from the decks toward shore, and on the shore line there was a bursting of these rockets along the beach. LCI's were Landing Craft Infantry (Used in the Normandy Invasion) were a bit smaller than the LSM's and were designed to have ramps off either side of the bow so the Infantry could get off quickly. The LCI's were also turned into Gun ships. There was a Flotilla of them that went into Iwo Jima before the Marines, after they loosed their rockets toward shore they were hit with Artillery, Rockets and small Arms fire from the Japanese on Iwo. A Friend showed me a book written about these ships and the pictures showed how smashed up they were. In the book it told of Marines that were aboard these little ships also. Hundreds of ships were around Okinawa you couldn't see them all. When I went over seas (I was a mere lad of 17 years) and had been told you CAN NOT have a camera, I didn't but lots of Marines and Sailors had them and were shooting away, (think Brownies and such). I saw Destroyers that had came off the Picket Line that had been hit with Hari Kari, Ships of all kinds, ships sinking and anything horrible one can think of floating in the water.

The picket line in Okinawa was Destroyers all around the Ryukyu's to block Hari Kari Planes. My time in Korea and Vietnam, while terrible at times, BUT couldn't compare with what I saw at Okinawa during WWII. Now this 88 year Old Retired Marine can sit back and relax, those days are over and the memories are there but getting dimmer. Who wants to remember those days with Memories of Children and Grandchildren. Life is for Living.

GySgt F. L. Rousseau, USMC, Retired​


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VD Only

In 1958, I was sent to a disbursing school at Montford Point, Camp Lejeune, from Camp Pendleton. North Carolina at the time was still steeped in the old South and not the progressive state it is today. That was my impression back then when I first had to use the head on the base. There was a single line of toilets (like the picture in a previous newsletter). The thing that struck me when I entered the building was that the last toilet had a sign over it: VD only. I didn't know whether it was a joke, or it was backwoods North Carolina thinking since we didn't have such a sign at Pendleton or San Diego. I often wondered if anyone ever used that head, especially if others where present. Later, when I was on Okinawa, there was no stigma attached to having VD.

I hope the statutes of limitation have run, but being in disbursing the guys who had VD didn't have to worry about having that matter entered in their SRBs. We'd let the Corpsmen get paid at any time as long as they had money on the books if they'd keep the infamous entry out of the SRBs. The guys at the mess hall always treated us pretty good too. They'd send sandwiches, etc. up to the office when we'd have to close old pay records and open new ones every six months. It wasn't anything to see lights on in the disbursing offices until the wee hours in January and July.

I have never felt embarrassed about being an office pogue around men who were grunts. We were all Marines with a job to do. I believe a grunt can say his mettle has been tested at least in combat. Whereas, most of us pogues would never know.

Semper Fi!

James V. Merl
1655XXX
1957-1960


Noticeably Stiffened

Trigger: Once again while reading something in the news letter from Ddick my trigger was pulled (squeezed?). One hot day while on L.A. County Rescue Squad 20 in Norwalk, CA my partner and I stopped at a liquor store on Pioneer Blvd. just south of Imperial Hwy. to buy a cold soda. The person behind the counter was Premiere Nguyn Cao Ky! Turns out he owned the store and lived in nearby Garden Grove. From time to time we would stop in and on a couple of occasions his wife (Dragon Lady) would be working. They were both very nice and I'm sure they could have told us stories that would have made our hair curl, but the subject was never brought up by either party. Several years before this my friend and I went into a liquor store in another part of Southern California, my friend who had been an "Advisor" in the early 60's in Viet Nam asked the man behind the counter if he was Col. ???. The man noticeably stiffened and asked very coldly how my friend knew him. After my friend told the man his name the mood changed into something like a homecoming. The Col. had been in charge of the unit my friend was advisor to years before in another life and time. It turned out to be the longest stay I have ever made in a liquor store. The case of cold beverages we came in to buy was on the house! I knew that my friend had been in Viet Nam, but until that day I had no idea where or in what capacity, he just never talked about it.

CPL. Selders


The Forgotten War

First I would like to thank you for all you have done for us Marines. I do have to voice one minor complaint. Being a Korean Vet I am use to being forgotten. We fought a 'Forgotten War' which some seem to want now days to call the 'Forgotten Victory'. For most of us that returned home and left the Corps and became just another civilian trying to make a living back in the civilian world. That war fell from the memory of most in the country.

I remember when I first came home on leave after that conflict, I suppose I did look under nourished or sickly but I still remember in civvies I walked to the old corner hang out in Boston and the first one of the old gang I ran into greeted me and said "where in h-ll have you been." I replied, "Korea" and he said "Korea! What kind of disease is that?"

Thank you and Semper Fi.

Sgt. J. Davis
7th Marines


This Was Going To Be Short But

I wonder if the Marines who are disturbed by being thanked for their service live in large, medium or small counties. I, too, feel awkward about this phenomena that has become blase in our country. However, I am a Veterans Service Officer in a small county and I am thanked all the time. I know that this county is patriotic and I also know the idiots who are trying to be sarcastic. One of my best memories is from visiting "The Wall". I had my Vietnam hat on and a group of school children couldn't wait to thank me and my fellow Veterans. So while I feel uncomfortable about being thanked, I always remember that sometimes it comes from the heart and children are being taught that being a Veteran is honorable. I give school talks and always, always am thanked by students. I am also known to have a Marine emblem, hat shirt etc, (Sgt. Grit items) that shows I am a Marine. I encourage other Marines to do the same as I have met many people who will admit that they too are Veterans and sometimes just want to vent. The thing to remember is that while you have the right to feel uncomfortable, many of the people who thank you are trying to express their thanks that you did serve. After years of being a Marine, I have never met a Veteran without a B-ll Sh-t detector. Enjoy their thanks because we never got it when we came home. This was going to be short but I vented also. Sorry.

GyT


Fun-filled Days At PI

While many of the stories from those wonderful, fun-filled days supervised by loving, warm, compassionate drill instructors at PI or SD live in a Marine's mind for life, many Marines often wonder in their later years what ever happened to those men, especially the SDI. Sgt. R. J. Wilkinson's letter in this last newsletter prompted me to relate my story of joy and happiness way back when.

I arrived at Parris Island in September, 1952 after one of those "loving, warm, compassionate" drill instructors met the train at the Yemmassee train station at 0600. Actually, he was a complete opposite of the above description; he was a flaming mad man on a wild binge of brutality, hatred, spite, power, fear and Lord only knows what else. That not-so-comfortable ride from New York City to Yemmassee in a cattle car style rail car with three fairly decent NCOs as our chaperones came to a sudden halt at 0600. Our world changed from heaven to hell in an instant.

The bus ride from Yemmassee to PI over the causeway certainly was not a limo ride with a friendly tour guide on board. We got off the bus at the Iron Mike statue where the recruits were dropped off in the early '50's and said drill instructor spent the next few hours breaking us down into what was known as lower than whale sh-t on the bottom of the ocean. Somewhere along the line of our initial welcome into the depths of Hell, he turned us over to our Senior Drill Instructor, a SSGT Johnson. As far as our welcoming committee of one mean SOB goes, he was transferred either that day or the next day, much to our joy, never to be seen nor heard of since. SSGT Johnson became our father, mother, and ya'll know what else he became, some descriptions not being as kind.

To make a long story short, over the ensuing 12 weeks, SSGT Johnson proved himself to be rough, tough, and a strict disciplinarian, but in a humane way. I don't recall his mistreating anyone physically although he did slap me while at the range for a minor booboo on my part. I never forgot to wear my cover after that either. He was rough and tough, true, but he was fair. Anyway, over the many years since leaving PI in December of 1952, I tried every possible means to locate SSGT Johnson so I could warmly thank him for everything he taught us, especially me. After almost 60 years of unsuccessfully attempting to locate him viz-a-viz numerous ways, I found him a little over two years ago.

Since I graduated as a full-fledged Marine under his able tutelage 60 years earlier, I tried to form a platoon reunion at PI with only one response coming from my platoon mates despite extensive advertising. Ergo, the reunion was cancelled. But, about two weeks before the reunion was to have started, I did get a quiet, somewhat muted telephone call one evening in which the caller said, "are you the man putting together Platoon 529's reunion?" When I replied in the positive, he said, "This is SSGT Johnson." I like to have died! And gone to heaven, and not h-ll. Apparently another DI he knew told him of the reunion and that's why I got the call.

I live in Georgia, and he lives in Iowa, but three years ago I planned a trip out to Iowa to see him and give him the thanks and appreciation he deserved. After around four hours of reminiscing, as I was leaving his house, he turned to his wife and said of the 800 or so Marines he trained at PI during his six or seven tours as a SDI, only one ever looked him up; and that was me. Talk about making your day; that did it. The bottom line is, Marines if you really appreciate what your Drill Instructor did for you and your life, it's well worth the time and effort to look him up and thank him. At PI, he was despised; over the years, he became one of the most respected people in my life.

Semper Fi,
SSGT Johnson, you're the man!

Chris Vail


IN GOD WE TRUST!

I have read some letters from veterans of Afghanistan who feel that people who thank them for their service do so from a self-serving purpose. I am sure that there are many in that category, but there are many more who do appreciate their service.

Yes, most of the people who thank you have not the slightest idea of what you have experienced, and, if they did, would be horrified. I'll go one step further, and say that no one can have experienced that... except for you.

From the beginning of time, mankind has made war on each other, and has become more horrible as one conflict follows another. Veterans of these conflicts have not been able to discuss the conditions with their friends and families, and have sought comfort with others who HAVE experienced these conditions.

For example, during this last week, the 70th anniversary of the battle of Iwo Jima occurred, and one photo of an older veteran was shown of him looking out the window of his plane. I could see this man looking out over a span of empty ocean, but in his mind's eye, seeing it filled with troop transports, hospital ships, naval gunfire, attacking aircraft, amphibious landing craft, etc. All things he could see, but could not share with others, because he could not relate to others the horrors he had encountered.

I thank WWII veterans because whatever job they were assigned to, mess cook, driver, rifleman, intelligence, etc. they did their part in keeping the wolf from America's shores, and keeping us free. I thank veterans, peacetime and combat for having the courage to put on our country's uniform and risk their physical and psychological well-being for our sake.

I thank our veterans and active-duty personnel for their service because I want them to know I AM THANKFUL FOR YOUR SERVICE, no matter how difficult, and I thank you for stating your feelings, because that is the first step towards acceptance in dealing with your feelings.

I still flinch when I hear a car backfire, deal with the laughter from others, but recognize the look of compassion from one or two people who understand, and I still run toward the sound of gunfire, not away from it.

I thank God I still want to do for others, like you have. Semper Fi!


​Nit Picky? Maybe... But

For Hoser Satrapa: since you didn't mention whether or not you are Marine, I will guess that you are probably not... you obviously know at least some of the Gy Hathcock story, but the Corps does not, and never did have "APCs"... Amtracks, yes... APCs, no. The APC, or the common M113 Armored Personnel Carrier, was standard Army issue... and considering when/where, was either gasoline powered (early on), or later, diesel. While it was somewhat 'amphibious', it was not intended for ship to shore movement, but was able to swim relatively smooth waters... river crossings, lakes, etc. The Corps, from the fifties to the seventies, operated with the LVT-P family, with the greatest number of those being the P-5 model, intended primarily for transporting troops. Since the thing was gasoline-powered, with twelve 40-gallon rubber tanks under the interior deck plates, it was not the vehicle of first choice when mines might be encountered... which is why most of the VN pictures you can find will show Marines riding on the top. We learned some really painful lessons about that, early on. There was an automatic fire suppression system added later that involved optical sensors and pressurized cylinders of Halon (TM)... walk into a tractor, flick yer Bic, and instantaneously, you were standing in a cloud of fire suppressant. I'm pretty sure the current family of AAVs still run the same system, even though the fuel is now (and has been for forty + years) diesel... still burns, just not as fast, and the fuel tank is above the port side track channel. Nit picky? maybe... but then, I may have saved you from getting hate mail from proud Amtrackers... their motto, "YATYAS", has been on the side of a Quonset hut at the school at DelMar (Pendleton) in big-ss letters for quite a number of years... any trackrat will gladly decipher that for you... and BTW... Google "AmGrunts"... you'll find it interesting. ddick... MOS 2010 (among others... several, in fact...)

Ddick


Live Fire Training Hawaii 1960

Live Fire Training 3/4 in Hawaii in 1960

This picture shows live fire training with 3rd Bn, 4th Marines in Hawaii in 1960.


There Is Your Shadow Box

I received my catalog today. My wife was looking through it an yelled out to me "There is your shadow box". Sure enough, my shadow box is on the page displaying the examples. I recognize it because it was a wonderful gesture on the part of Sgt. Grit. See, my son was killed in Pittsburgh on 8 Feb 2014 after surviving 2 tours with 2nd LAR in Afghanistan. Before his death, he was working with the wonderful people at Sgt Grit on a shadow box gift for my birthday in April. I had no idea. When they tried to contact him to find out any changes he wanted to make, I had to give them the sad news. Long story short, after numerous phone calls and emails between myself and the team at Grit, they finally finished the most wonderful gift I have ever received. The shadow box is the one with the white belt and buckle across the middle and medals and ribbons and patches for my son and I traversing the box. Looking close, they have removed our names but the box is unmistakably mine. Once again, I want to thank the wonderful team at Sgt Grit for making my son's gift a reality.

Jim Wolter
USMC 1969-1973


Using Two Canes

Sgt. Grit,

I spent some time Monday (3-23) at the local Ford dealership seeing about getting my windshield replaced. I met a grizzled old Vietnam Army vet and we talked, at length, about his service, and mine. He had been shot up pretty bad, and was using 2 canes to get around. As we went our separate ways, he thanked me for my service, as I did to him.

I volunteer with the Tennessee Central Railway Excursion train program, and as such I meet a great variety of people. The last trip on Saturday (3-21) I struck up a conversation with an individual, who turned out to be a retired Flag Officer. Again, I was thanked for my service.

I think that the older individuals who thank any service man, regardless of branch, really do mean it. But, I also think that the younger people probably feel awkward about thanking someone for their service, when they don't have a clue of what that service required.

Anyway, young or old, my response has always been, "Thank you, I'd do it again, in a heartbeat and the best part about the whole mess, is that I met the girl I would marry, in San Diego, in 1954!"

Semper Fi,
James R. McMahon
GySgt of Marines (1949-1970)
Hendersonville, TN​


Navy Sensitivity Training

The Way It Used To Be

Way back when, a young Naval officer was in a terrible car accident. Due to the heroics of the hospital staff the only permanent injury was the loss of one ear. Since he wasn't physically impaired he remained in the military and eventually became an Admiral. However, during his career he was always sensitive about his appearance.

One day the Admiral was interviewing two Navy Master Chiefs and a Marine Sergeant Major for a position on his personal staff.

The first Master Chief was a surface Navy type (a Blackshoe). Overall it was a great interview, at the end of which the Admiral asked him, "Do you notice anything different about me?"

The Master Chief answered, "Why, yessir, I do. I couldn't help but notice you are missing your starboard ear. I assume that does not impact your hearing on that side."

The Admiral got very angry at this lack of tact and threw him out of his office.

The next candidate, an Aviation Master Chief, also had a good interview. When asked this same question, he answered, "Well yes, you seem to be short one ear, sir"

The Admiral threw him out also.

The third interview was with the Marine Sergeant Major. He was articulate, extremely sharp and seemed to know more than the two Master Chiefs put together. The Admiral wanted this guy, but went ahead with the same question. "Do you notice anything different about me, Sergeant Major?"

To his surprise the Sergeant Major said, "Yes sir, you wear contact lenses."

The Admiral was impressed and thought to himself what an incredibly tactful Marine. "And how do you know that?" the Admiral asked.

The Sergeant Major replied, "Well sir, it's pretty hard to wear glasses when you have only one f-cking ear..."


Welcome Home Brother

On Monday, 30 March, the American Legion has designated that day as Vietnam Veterans Day! Now knowing that you served time in country just like I did I didn't want to forget contacting you.

I want to thank you for your service, I want you to know how glad it makes me feel that you came home safe, and I wanted to say "Welcome Home Brother"! We are a band of brothers like no other especially having served during one of the most tumultuous times in our nation's history and to have served in our beloved Corps! I leave you with the following:

"Whoever does not have the stomach for this fight, let him depart. Give him money to speed his departure, since we wish not to die in that man's company. Whoever lives past today and comes home safely will rouse himself every year on this day, show his neighbor his scars, and tell embellished stories of all their great feats of battle. These stories he will teach his son and from this day until the end of the world we shall be remembered. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; for whoever has shed blood with me shall be my brother. And those men afraid to go will think themselves lesser men as they hear of how we fought and died together."
--William Shakespeare

Regards,
Paul Reyes
GySgt
USMC (ret)
RVN – '69/'71
Semper Fi!


Caught My Eye

Sgt Grit,

Reading today's newsletter and Sgt King's Platoon photo with his "Battle Guide" caught my eye. The Platoon graduated in March 1977. Check out the ribbons on the Drill Instructors. None of them, not even the Gunny with two hash marks, served in Viet Nam. While I was a "Viet Nam Era" Marine, I also was never "In-Country" but my Drill Instructors and every NCO in my outfit at K-Bay had been-there-done-that.

Jeff Howards
Sgt, USMC '73-'77
CPT, USAR, '77-'93


Foreign And Conflict

Military Veterans, Drill, Pay Grade, and Markings

There has been questions about Military Veterans and Veterans of Foreign Wars. One should look to the two words "foreign and conflict" as a starting point. According to most VFW applications, you need to show documentation of your service in a foreign conflict overseas. Tragically, it seems to get somewhat complicated verses the reality of the true meaning. By statistics, it takes about four personnel to support and supply the grunts in the field of combat: supply, logistics, administration, communication, mechanics, and others. This includes those who supported them while stationed in the States. Those who served overseas during a conflict by definition are looked upon as Veterans of Foreign Wars, all others as Veterans.

One who served two years or more on active duty stateside, or overseas during peacetime service, and receive an honorable discharge are considered a Veterans. I am honored to know many Veterans who served our nations stateside during the Vietnam conflict, knowing their job was just as important as those who served overseas. On both accounts, I have been there: done that; but will always consider myself just a Veteran.

On the issue of the "Eight Man Squad Drill," sometimes called the "Thirteen Man Squad Drill." The squad drill became effective in the Marine Corps on March 8, 1957. Most of those who remember those days recall commands such as: right turn, right by squads, right front into line, on right into line, right by twos, right by files, and squads left front into line. What memories they bring back for the short life they lived. By 1961, the Marine Corps reverted back most likely by the publication of the 1960 LPM: reestablishing the flanking and oblique movements.

The issue of the old pay grade and crossed rifles. This was done about 1958, to bring all military services in line with the new pay grades E-1 through E-9. The Marine had to be promoted to the next higher grade by June 1963, or he would be reverted back to the rank structure according to the pay scale. They would not lose a pay grade; only a rank structure. A corporal to a lance corporal, a sergeant to a corporal, and staff sergeant to sergeant: while still keeping his pay grade. I know of a couple of Marines who gave up a career just short of retirement, because of the humility of being reduced in rank structure. Something like being busted in a rank without being punished.

On the "P" stamped on the handle of the M-1. I never knew of such an animal. Always known to me as the "small of the stock." After hundreds of hours of rubbing linseed oil into the wooden stock of the M-1 and M-14 rifles, I never noticed any lettering on the stock group of the rifles. Could this be in reference to the handle of the M-16? Even then, I don't recall seeing a stamp on it either. I'll check it out at the next gun show, and get back with the info later.

Herb Brewer
1st Sgt, USMC (RET)


Taps

Retired First Sergeant Robert Otis Ward, USMC, transferred to his final duty station on 31 August 2013. He was a Silver Star (B Co., 1 Bn., 26th Mar. West of Khe Sanh 7 June 1967) and Purple Heart recipient. He retired out of the Marine Corps in 1984 from Weapons Co., 1st, Bn., 4th Mar., MCAGCC Twentynine Palms, CA. He was one h-ll of a Marine and I'm proud to have called him my friend.

Semper Fi,
Capt. Mac
Mac (David A.) McMaster


Sunday 22 March 2015, our color guard from American Legion Post 537 in Oregon, Ohio had the privilege of providing Military funeral service for a retired Marine K9. Sgt. Bernie did 3 tours in Iraq as a bomb sniffer and stateside duty in Yuma, Az K9 training school. She also worked with Secret Services on Presidential details and other dignitaries. She was a 13 year old Belgian Malinois. Her last handler and adopter was Cpl. Bret Reynolds from Northwood, Ohio. My good friend Dick Carstensen DVM Euthenized and cremated Bernie free of charge. He said she was a Veteran and he appreciates what veterans have done for our country. An official funeral flag was donated by the local funeral home. (Frecks Funeral Chapel). We had tv and newspaper coverage and not a dry eye in sight. Our color guard provides about 35 to 40 funerals a year but none will ever compare to the emotion that this one provided. I felt priveleged to present the flag to Cpl. Reynolds. Lots more to this story, maybe some other time.

Charles (corky) Walters
Cpl.USMC 1959-63
Post 537 Commander


Lost And Found

Wednesday is the one day of the week I really look forward to, along with Sunday, that is. Wednesday I get to read the latest newsletter. I'm hoping you can help me contact Marines from 9th MAB that were on the USS Eldorado, January, 1969, that were sent in-country during Operation Bold Mariner. I was a radio operator, along with several other Marines from the Eldorado. We had a CP set up in an amtrac. Any of this sound familiar, let me know. Looking forward to hearing from you. My email address is zelma1988[at]yahoo.com.

Semper Fi,
Sgt. Crosby, USMC 1967 - 1971


Short Rounds

There's the right way, there's the wrong way, and there's the Marine Corps Way!


I was not there. But I sure know how to spell a good Marine's name.

JM


Welcom Home Sgt. Grit! OOOOoohhhhhhRAH!

Cpl. C.E. Morgan 4th Marines, 3rd Mar. Div. 1968-1969, Northern I Corps. LZ Stud. ​USMC (Vietnam, 1968, still lost somewhere along the DMZ)

"Fair Winds and Following Seas"


Double Jeopardy Vets. Anybody else out there besides me and Sneaky White that hold both the Combat Action Ribbon and the Combat Infantryman's Badge?

Max


Sgt. Grit,

My two cents on the 'service thanks'. I changed the phrase to "Sir...Thank you for putting your ARSE on the line. Seems appropriate, because that's what ALL veterans either DID... or were prepared to.

No need to add my name or location... it's not about me...


Quotes

"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force: like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action."
--George Washington


"Reason and Ignorance, the opposites of each other, influence the great bulk of mankind. If either of these can be rendered sufficiently extensive in a country, the machinery of Government goes easily on. Reason obeys itself; and Ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it."
--Thomas Paine, Rights of Man [1791-1792]​


"The American Marines have it [pride], and benefit from it. They are tough, cocky, sure of themselves and their buddies. They can fight and they know it."
--General Mark Clark, U.S. Army


"They (Women Marines) don't have a nickname, and they don't need one. They get their basic training in a Marine atmosphere, at a Marine Post. They inherit the traditions of the Marines. They are Marines."
--LtGen Thomas Holcomb, USMC Commandant of the Marine Corps, 1943


"[E]very good and excellent thing stands moment by moment on the razor edge of danger and must be fought for."
--Thornton Wilder


Hi Ho, Hi Ho
It's off to the pits we go.
We'll bend and thrust, and bust our n-ts.
Hi Ho, Hi Ho, Hi Ho, Hi Ho...

"I gave you azsholes at ease, not base liberty!"

"Courage is endurance for one moment more."

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 02 APR 2015
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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 02 APR 2015

In this issue:
• Your Husband "WAS" A Marine
• Operation Hastings
• Fun-filled Days At PI

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Here I am proudly wearing my Sgt. Grit hat and meeting the recently retired Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Jim Amos. We played in the annual Semper Fi Fund Tournament at Boca Royale Country Club in Venice, Florida.

Great hat!

Steven Dobbs

Get this moto hat/cover at:

Sandwich Bill With American
Flag and Eagle, Globe, and Anchor


Your Husband "WAS" A Marine

Hey, Gritster!

​I sometimes work at estate sales. Whenever I notice a veteran walk through, I like to thank them for their service to our country. The last sale that I worked, I encountered a man wearing a generic Vietnam Veteran cover. I enthusiastically thanked him for his service, and proudly related that my husband is a Marine. He gruffly replied, "Your husband WAS a Marine." Great emphasis was placed on the word, 'WAS' a Marine. His attitude so aroused my loyalty to my husband, and all of his brothers, I instantly replied, "Nope! Once a Marine, always a Marine!" He was taken aback by what I had said, and before leaving the room he threw back over his shoulder, "Well I was in the Army and it was no big whoop." Enough said!

Semper Fi, to my husband and all of his brothers!

Ma Grit

Note: Don't mess with my wife.

Sgt Grit


Proud Grandfather

Hi Sgt Grit,

It's been awhile since I submitted anything. I just celebrated my 78th birthday and 61st anniversary of my enlistment in the Marine Corps. Last January my grandson Dylan Hattox graduated from MCRD San Diego and is currently stationed at Pensacola learning how to be and air crewman hoping to make Crew Chief one day. I've enclosed a pic of him and me at his graduation doesn't he look squared away?

As you can see, I'm well outfitted by Sgt Grit, cover, Jacket and watch. I offered him the watch but he said it wasn't regulation and he couldn't wear it unless in civilian clothes. Also on my birthday a friend posted the following:

I thought your readers might be interested.

No Sea Stories this time just want to welcome another Marine into our brotherhood of United States Marines.

Jerry R. Hattox
GySgt USMC Ret
03/23/1954-04/30/1978
Viet Nam '63 - '64, '65 - '66, '68


Operation Hastings

Sgt. Grit,

This year will be the 49th anniversary of Operation Hastings. There were about 7K Marines and at least 5 infantry battalions involved in the operation that took place north and west of the rockpile close to the DMZ and in helicopter valley.

I had the dubious pleasure of serving as a young PFC with India Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines. The company was originally slated to be a reserve force to react to other battalions who might get into the sh-t. I was on my first tour to the illustrious Republic of South Vietnam. On July 16, the company was ordered to establish and protect a radio relay on hill # 362 north of the Rockpile. The NVA had other ideas. The situation took a sudden turn for the worse when the heavy rains started. We were able to hold for three days before the NVA overran the hill. We couldn't get our wounded out or resupply in, so we hunkered down and held as best we could. We could hear the NVA talking and searching for those of us hiding among the dead and wounded. The downpour of rain finally broke and we got help from 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines. Our CO, 1st Sgt. and Co GySgt were all three killed. I'm reasonably sure that I was quite lucky during that operation because I didn't get wounded - not a scratch. However, we lost more than 50% of the company.

We were helo-lifted out to Phu Bai on August 3. A very young inexperienced 2nd Lieutenant who had just arrived in-country took command of the company. Turned out that he was one of the best officers I ever served with. I served with him again at Camp Pendleton in 1979.

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


Okinawa

Sgt. Grit,

I saw something the other day on TV about the Invasion of Okinawa. I was there and saw so many things that today have been forgotten. They had ships no one remembers now, LST's that carried a smaller version of itself (LCT) on the deck, then when they were needed, the LST seemed to lean sideways and the smaller ship slid into the water, boats full of men went to the ships and soon they took off under their own power. They had LSM's (Landing Ship Medium) which were ships about 100 or so feet long and had bow doors like an LST, they couldn't carry as much but there seemed to be a lot of them. They also made Gun Ships out of the LSM's and I remember seeing these ships going toward shore at Okinawa, and then all seemed as though the ship's deck burst into flames and hundreds of rockets were shooting from the decks toward shore, and on the shore line there was a bursting of these rockets along the beach. LCI's were Landing Craft Infantry (Used in the Normandy Invasion) were a bit smaller than the LSM's and were designed to have ramps off either side of the bow so the Infantry could get off quickly. The LCI's were also turned into Gun ships. There was a Flotilla of them that went into Iwo Jima before the Marines, after they loosed their rockets toward shore they were hit with Artillery, Rockets and small Arms fire from the Japanese on Iwo. A Friend showed me a book written about these ships and the pictures showed how smashed up they were. In the book it told of Marines that were aboard these little ships also. Hundreds of ships were around Okinawa you couldn't see them all. When I went over seas (I was a mere lad of 17 years) and had been told you CAN NOT have a camera, I didn't but lots of Marines and Sailors had them and were shooting away, (think Brownies and such). I saw Destroyers that had came off the Picket Line that had been hit with Hari Kari, Ships of all kinds, ships sinking and anything horrible one can think of floating in the water.

The picket line in Okinawa was Destroyers all around the Ryukyu's to block Hari Kari Planes. My time in Korea and Vietnam, while terrible at times, BUT couldn't compare with what I saw at Okinawa during WWII. Now this 88 year Old Retired Marine can sit back and relax, those days are over and the memories are there but getting dimmer. Who wants to remember those days with Memories of Children and Grandchildren. Life is for Living.

GySgt F. L. Rousseau, USMC, Retired​


VD Only

In 1958, I was sent to a disbursing school at Montford Point, Camp Lejeune, from Camp Pendleton. North Carolina at the time was still steeped in the old South and not the progressive state it is today. That was my impression back then when I first had to use the head on the base. There was a single line of toilets (like the picture in a previous newsletter). The thing that struck me when I entered the building was that the last toilet had a sign over it: VD only. I didn't know whether it was a joke, or it was backwoods North Carolina thinking since we didn't have such a sign at Pendleton or San Diego. I often wondered if anyone ever used that head, especially if others where present. Later, when I was on Okinawa, there was no stigma attached to having VD.

I hope the statutes of limitation have run, but being in disbursing the guys who had VD didn't have to worry about having that matter entered in their SRBs. We'd let the Corpsmen get paid at any time as long as they had money on the books if they'd keep the infamous entry out of the SRBs. The guys at the mess hall always treated us pretty good too. They'd send sandwiches, etc. up to the office when we'd have to close old pay records and open new ones every six months. It wasn't anything to see lights on in the disbursing offices until the wee hours in January and July.

I have never felt embarrassed about being an office pogue around men who were grunts. We were all Marines with a job to do. I believe a grunt can say his mettle has been tested at least in combat. Whereas, most of us pogues would never know.

Semper Fi!

James V. Merl
1655XXX
1957-1960


Noticeably Stiffened

Trigger: Once again while reading something in the news letter from Ddick my trigger was pulled (squeezed?). One hot day while on L.A. County Rescue Squad 20 in Norwalk, CA my partner and I stopped at a liquor store on Pioneer Blvd. just south of Imperial Hwy. to buy a cold soda. The person behind the counter was Premiere Nguyn Cao Ky! Turns out he owned the store and lived in nearby Garden Grove. From time to time we would stop in and on a couple of occasions his wife (Dragon Lady) would be working. They were both very nice and I'm sure they could have told us stories that would have made our hair curl, but the subject was never brought up by either party. Several years before this my friend and I went into a liquor store in another part of Southern California, my friend who had been an "Advisor" in the early 60's in Viet Nam asked the man behind the counter if he was Col. ???. The man noticeably stiffened and asked very coldly how my friend knew him. After my friend told the man his name the mood changed into something like a homecoming. The Col. had been in charge of the unit my friend was advisor to years before in another life and time. It turned out to be the longest stay I have ever made in a liquor store. The case of cold beverages we came in to buy was on the house! I knew that my friend had been in Viet Nam, but until that day I had no idea where or in what capacity, he just never talked about it.

CPL. Selders


The Forgotten War

First I would like to thank you for all you have done for us Marines. I do have to voice one minor complaint. Being a Korean Vet I am use to being forgotten. We fought a 'Forgotten War' which some seem to want now days to call the 'Forgotten Victory'. For most of us that returned home and left the Corps and became just another civilian trying to make a living back in the civilian world. That war fell from the memory of most in the country.

I remember when I first came home on leave after that conflict, I suppose I did look under nourished or sickly but I still remember in civvies I walked to the old corner hang out in Boston and the first one of the old gang I ran into greeted me and said "where in h-ll have you been." I replied, "Korea" and he said "Korea! What kind of disease is that?"

Thank you and Semper Fi.

Sgt. J. Davis
7th Marines


This Was Going To Be Short But

I wonder if the Marines who are disturbed by being thanked for their service live in large, medium or small counties. I, too, feel awkward about this phenomena that has become blase in our country. However, I am a Veterans Service Officer in a small county and I am thanked all the time. I know that this county is patriotic and I also know the idiots who are trying to be sarcastic. One of my best memories is from visiting "The Wall". I had my Vietnam hat on and a group of school children couldn't wait to thank me and my fellow Veterans. So while I feel uncomfortable about being thanked, I always remember that sometimes it comes from the heart and children are being taught that being a Veteran is honorable. I give school talks and always, always am thanked by students. I am also known to have a Marine emblem, hat shirt etc, (Sgt. Grit items) that shows I am a Marine. I encourage other Marines to do the same as I have met many people who will admit that they too are Veterans and sometimes just want to vent. The thing to remember is that while you have the right to feel uncomfortable, many of the people who thank you are trying to express their thanks that you did serve. After years of being a Marine, I have never met a Veteran without a B-ll Sh-t detector. Enjoy their thanks because we never got it when we came home. This was going to be short but I vented also. Sorry.

GyT


Fun-filled Days At PI

While many of the stories from those wonderful, fun-filled days supervised by loving, warm, compassionate drill instructors at PI or SD live in a Marine's mind for life, many Marines often wonder in their later years what ever happened to those men, especially the SDI. Sgt. R. J. Wilkinson's letter in this last newsletter prompted me to relate my story of joy and happiness way back when.

I arrived at Parris Island in September, 1952 after one of those "loving, warm, compassionate" drill instructors met the train at the Yemmassee train station at 0600. Actually, he was a complete opposite of the above description; he was a flaming mad man on a wild binge of brutality, hatred, spite, power, fear and Lord only knows what else. That not-so-comfortable ride from New York City to Yemmassee in a cattle car style rail car with three fairly decent NCOs as our chaperones came to a sudden halt at 0600. Our world changed from heaven to hell in an instant.

The bus ride from Yemmassee to PI over the causeway certainly was not a limo ride with a friendly tour guide on board. We got off the bus at the Iron Mike statue where the recruits were dropped off in the early '50's and said drill instructor spent the next few hours breaking us down into what was known as lower than whale sh-t on the bottom of the ocean. Somewhere along the line of our initial welcome into the depths of Hell, he turned us over to our Senior Drill Instructor, a SSGT Johnson. As far as our welcoming committee of one mean SOB goes, he was transferred either that day or the next day, much to our joy, never to be seen nor heard of since. SSGT Johnson became our father, mother, and ya'll know what else he became, some descriptions not being as kind.

To make a long story short, over the ensuing 12 weeks, SSGT Johnson proved himself to be rough, tough, and a strict disciplinarian, but in a humane way. I don't recall his mistreating anyone physically although he did slap me while at the range for a minor booboo on my part. I never forgot to wear my cover after that either. He was rough and tough, true, but he was fair. Anyway, over the many years since leaving PI in December of 1952, I tried every possible means to locate SSGT Johnson so I could warmly thank him for everything he taught us, especially me. After almost 60 years of unsuccessfully attempting to locate him viz-a-viz numerous ways, I found him a little over two years ago.

Since I graduated as a full-fledged Marine under his able tutelage 60 years earlier, I tried to form a platoon reunion at PI with only one response coming from my platoon mates despite extensive advertising. Ergo, the reunion was cancelled. But, about two weeks before the reunion was to have started, I did get a quiet, somewhat muted telephone call one evening in which the caller said, "are you the man putting together Platoon 529's reunion?" When I replied in the positive, he said, "This is SSGT Johnson." I like to have died! And gone to heaven, and not h-ll. Apparently another DI he knew told him of the reunion and that's why I got the call.

I live in Georgia, and he lives in Iowa, but three years ago I planned a trip out to Iowa to see him and give him the thanks and appreciation he deserved. After around four hours of reminiscing, as I was leaving his house, he turned to his wife and said of the 800 or so Marines he trained at PI during his six or seven tours as a SDI, only one ever looked him up; and that was me. Talk about making your day; that did it. The bottom line is, Marines if you really appreciate what your Drill Instructor did for you and your life, it's well worth the time and effort to look him up and thank him. At PI, he was despised; over the years, he became one of the most respected people in my life.

Semper Fi,
SSGT Johnson, you're the man!

Chris Vail


IN GOD WE TRUST!

I have read some letters from veterans of Afghanistan who feel that people who thank them for their service do so from a self-serving purpose. I am sure that there are many in that category, but there are many more who do appreciate their service.

Yes, most of the people who thank you have not the slightest idea of what you have experienced, and, if they did, would be horrified. I'll go one step further, and say that no one can have experienced that... except for you.

From the beginning of time, mankind has made war on each other, and has become more horrible as one conflict follows another. Veterans of these conflicts have not been able to discuss the conditions with their friends and families, and have sought comfort with others who HAVE experienced these conditions.

For example, during this last week, the 70th anniversary of the battle of Iwo Jima occurred, and one photo of an older veteran was shown of him looking out the window of his plane. I could see this man looking out over a span of empty ocean, but in his mind's eye, seeing it filled with troop transports, hospital ships, naval gunfire, attacking aircraft, amphibious landing craft, etc. All things he could see, but could not share with others, because he could not relate to others the horrors he had encountered.

I thank WWII veterans because whatever job they were assigned to, mess cook, driver, rifleman, intelligence, etc. they did their part in keeping the wolf from America's shores, and keeping us free. I thank veterans, peacetime and combat for having the courage to put on our country's uniform and risk their physical and psychological well-being for our sake.

I thank our veterans and active-duty personnel for their service because I want them to know I AM THANKFUL FOR YOUR SERVICE, no matter how difficult, and I thank you for stating your feelings, because that is the first step towards acceptance in dealing with your feelings.

I still flinch when I hear a car backfire, deal with the laughter from others, but recognize the look of compassion from one or two people who understand, and I still run toward the sound of gunfire, not away from it.

I thank God I still want to do for others, like you have. Semper Fi!


​Nit Picky? Maybe... But

For Hoser Satrapa: since you didn't mention whether or not you are Marine, I will guess that you are probably not... you obviously know at least some of the Gy Hathcock story, but the Corps does not, and never did have "APCs"... Amtracks, yes... APCs, no. The APC, or the common M113 Armored Personnel Carrier, was standard Army issue... and considering when/where, was either gasoline powered (early on), or later, diesel. While it was somewhat 'amphibious', it was not intended for ship to shore movement, but was able to swim relatively smooth waters... river crossings, lakes, etc. The Corps, from the fifties to the seventies, operated with the LVT-P family, with the greatest number of those being the P-5 model, intended primarily for transporting troops. Since the thing was gasoline-powered, with twelve 40-gallon rubber tanks under the interior deck plates, it was not the vehicle of first choice when mines might be encountered... which is why most of the VN pictures you can find will show Marines riding on the top. We learned some really painful lessons about that, early on. There was an automatic fire suppression system added later that involved optical sensors and pressurized cylinders of Halon (TM)... walk into a tractor, flick yer Bic, and instantaneously, you were standing in a cloud of fire suppressant. I'm pretty sure the current family of AAVs still run the same system, even though the fuel is now (and has been for forty + years) diesel... still burns, just not as fast, and the fuel tank is above the port side track channel. Nit picky? maybe... but then, I may have saved you from getting hate mail from proud Amtrackers... their motto, "YATYAS", has been on the side of a Quonset hut at the school at DelMar (Pendleton) in big-ss letters for quite a number of years... any trackrat will gladly decipher that for you... and BTW... Google "AmGrunts"... you'll find it interesting. ddick... MOS 2010 (among others... several, in fact...)

Ddick


There Is Your Shadow Box

I received my catalog today. My wife was looking through it an yelled out to me "There is your shadow box". Sure enough, my shadow box is on the page displaying the examples. I recognize it because it was a wonderful gesture on the part of Sgt. Grit. See, my son was killed in Pittsburgh on 8 Feb 2014 after surviving 2 tours with 2nd LAR in Afghanistan. Before his death, he was working with the wonderful people at Sgt Grit on a shadow box gift for my birthday in April. I had no idea. When they tried to contact him to find out any changes he wanted to make, I had to give them the sad news. Long story short, after numerous phone calls and emails between myself and the team at Grit, they finally finished the most wonderful gift I have ever received. The shadow box is the one with the white belt and buckle across the middle and medals and ribbons and patches for my son and I traversing the box. Looking close, they have removed our names but the box is unmistakably mine. Once again, I want to thank the wonderful team at Sgt Grit for making my son's gift a reality.

Jim Wolter
USMC 1969-1973


Using Two Canes

Sgt. Grit,

I spent some time Monday (3-23) at the local Ford dealership seeing about getting my windshield replaced. I met a grizzled old Vietnam Army vet and we talked, at length, about his service, and mine. He had been shot up pretty bad, and was using 2 canes to get around. As we went our separate ways, he thanked me for my service, as I did to him.

I volunteer with the Tennessee Central Railway Excursion train program, and as such I meet a great variety of people. The last trip on Saturday (3-21) I struck up a conversation with an individual, who turned out to be a retired Flag Officer. Again, I was thanked for my service.

I think that the older individuals who thank any service man, regardless of branch, really do mean it. But, I also think that the younger people probably feel awkward about thanking someone for their service, when they don't have a clue of what that service required.

Anyway, young or old, my response has always been, "Thank you, I'd do it again, in a heartbeat and the best part about the whole mess, is that I met the girl I would marry, in San Diego, in 1954!"

Semper Fi,
James R. McMahon
GySgt of Marines (1949-1970)
Hendersonville, TN​


Navy Sensitivity Training

The Way It Used To Be

Way back when, a young Naval officer was in a terrible car accident. Due to the heroics of the hospital staff the only permanent injury was the loss of one ear. Since he wasn't physically impaired he remained in the military and eventually became an Admiral. However, during his career he was always sensitive about his appearance.

One day the Admiral was interviewing two Navy Master Chiefs and a Marine Sergeant Major for a position on his personal staff.

The first Master Chief was a surface Navy type (a Blackshoe). Overall it was a great interview, at the end of which the Admiral asked him, "Do you notice anything different about me?"

The Master Chief answered, "Why, yessir, I do. I couldn't help but notice you are missing your starboard ear. I assume that does not impact your hearing on that side."

The Admiral got very angry at this lack of tact and threw him out of his office.

The next candidate, an Aviation Master Chief, also had a good interview. When asked this same question, he answered, "Well yes, you seem to be short one ear, sir"

The Admiral threw him out also.

The third interview was with the Marine Sergeant Major. He was articulate, extremely sharp and seemed to know more than the two Master Chiefs put together. The Admiral wanted this guy, but went ahead with the same question. "Do you notice anything different about me, Sergeant Major?"

To his surprise the Sergeant Major said, "Yes sir, you wear contact lenses."

The Admiral was impressed and thought to himself what an incredibly tactful Marine. "And how do you know that?" the Admiral asked.

The Sergeant Major replied, "Well sir, it's pretty hard to wear glasses when you have only one f-cking ear..."


Welcome Home Brother

On Monday, 30 March, the American Legion has designated that day as Vietnam Veterans Day! Now knowing that you served time in country just like I did I didn't want to forget contacting you.

I want to thank you for your service, I want you to know how glad it makes me feel that you came home safe, and I wanted to say "Welcome Home Brother"! We are a band of brothers like no other especially having served during one of the most tumultuous times in our nation's history and to have served in our beloved Corps! I leave you with the following:

"Whoever does not have the stomach for this fight, let him depart. Give him money to speed his departure, since we wish not to die in that man's company. Whoever lives past today and comes home safely will rouse himself every year on this day, show his neighbor his scars, and tell embellished stories of all their great feats of battle. These stories he will teach his son and from this day until the end of the world we shall be remembered. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; for whoever has shed blood with me shall be my brother. And those men afraid to go will think themselves lesser men as they hear of how we fought and died together."
--William Shakespeare

Regards,
Paul Reyes
GySgt
USMC (ret)
RVN – '69/'71
Semper Fi!


Caught My Eye

Sgt Grit,

Reading today's newsletter and Sgt King's Platoon photo with his "Battle Guide" caught my eye. The Platoon graduated in March 1977. Check out the ribbons on the Drill Instructors. None of them, not even the Gunny with two hash marks, served in Viet Nam. While I was a "Viet Nam Era" Marine, I also was never "In-Country" but my Drill Instructors and every NCO in my outfit at K-Bay had been-there-done-that.

Jeff Howards
Sgt, USMC '73-'77
CPT, USAR, '77-'93


Foreign And Conflict

Military Veterans, Drill, Pay Grade, and Markings

There has been questions about Military Veterans and Veterans of Foreign Wars. One should look to the two words "foreign and conflict" as a starting point. According to most VFW applications, you need to show documentation of your service in a foreign conflict overseas. Tragically, it seems to get somewhat complicated verses the reality of the true meaning. By statistics, it takes about four personnel to support and supply the grunts in the field of combat: supply, logistics, administration, communication, mechanics, and others. This includes those who supported them while stationed in the States. Those who served overseas during a conflict by definition are looked upon as Veterans of Foreign Wars, all others as Veterans.

One who served two years or more on active duty stateside, or overseas during peacetime service, and receive an honorable discharge are considered a Veterans. I am honored to know many Veterans who served our nations stateside during the Vietnam conflict, knowing their job was just as important as those who served overseas. On both accounts, I have been there: done that; but will always consider myself just a Veteran.

On the issue of the "Eight Man Squad Drill," sometimes called the "Thirteen Man Squad Drill." The squad drill became effective in the Marine Corps on March 8, 1957. Most of those who remember those days recall commands such as: right turn, right by squads, right front into line, on right into line, right by twos, right by files, and squads left front into line. What memories they bring back for the short life they lived. By 1961, the Marine Corps reverted back most likely by the publication of the 1960 LPM: reestablishing the flanking and oblique movements.

The issue of the old pay grade and crossed rifles. This was done about 1958, to bring all military services in line with the new pay grades E-1 through E-9. The Marine had to be promoted to the next higher grade by June 1963, or he would be reverted back to the rank structure according to the pay scale. They would not lose a pay grade; only a rank structure. A corporal to a lance corporal, a sergeant to a corporal, and staff sergeant to sergeant: while still keeping his pay grade. I know of a couple of Marines who gave up a career just short of retirement, because of the humility of being reduced in rank structure. Something like being busted in a rank without being punished.

On the "P" stamped on the handle of the M-1. I never knew of such an animal. Always known to me as the "small of the stock." After hundreds of hours of rubbing linseed oil into the wooden stock of the M-1 and M-14 rifles, I never noticed any lettering on the stock group of the rifles. Could this be in reference to the handle of the M-16? Even then, I don't recall seeing a stamp on it either. I'll check it out at the next gun show, and get back with the info later.

Herb Brewer
1st Sgt, USMC (RET)


Taps

Retired First Sergeant Robert Otis Ward, USMC, transferred to his final duty station on 31 August 2013. He was a Silver Star (B Co., 1 Bn., 26th Mar. West of Khe Sanh 7 June 1967) and Purple Heart recipient. He retired out of the Marine Corps in 1984 from Weapons Co., 1st, Bn., 4th Mar., MCAGCC Twentynine Palms, CA. He was one h-ll of a Marine and I'm proud to have called him my friend.

Semper Fi,
Capt. Mac
Mac (David A.) McMaster


Sunday 22 March 2015, our color guard from American Legion Post 537 in Oregon, Ohio had the privilege of providing Military funeral service for a retired Marine K9. Sgt. Bernie did 3 tours in Iraq as a bomb sniffer and stateside duty in Yuma, Az K9 training school. She also worked with Secret Services on Presidential details and other dignitaries. She was a 13 year old Belgian Malinois. Her last handler and adopter was Cpl. Bret Reynolds from Northwood, Ohio. My good friend Dick Carstensen DVM Euthenized and cremated Bernie free of charge. He said she was a Veteran and he appreciates what veterans have done for our country. An official funeral flag was donated by the local funeral home. (Frecks Funeral Chapel). We had tv and newspaper coverage and not a dry eye in sight. Our color guard provides about 35 to 40 funerals a year but none will ever compare to the emotion that this one provided. I felt priveleged to present the flag to Cpl. Reynolds. Lots more to this story, maybe some other time.

Charles (corky) Walters
Cpl.USMC 1959-63
Post 537 Commander


Lost And Found

Wednesday is the one day of the week I really look forward to, along with Sunday, that is. Wednesday I get to read the latest newsletter. I'm hoping you can help me contact Marines from 9th MAB that were on the USS Eldorado, January, 1969, that were sent in-country during Operation Bold Mariner. I was a radio operator, along with several other Marines from the Eldorado. We had a CP set up in an amtrac. Any of this sound familiar, let me know. Looking forward to hearing from you. My email address is zelma1988[at]yahoo.com.

Semper Fi,
Sgt. Crosby, USMC 1967 - 1971


Short Rounds

There's the right way, there's the wrong way, and there's the Marine Corps Way!


I was not there. But I sure know how to spell a good Marine's name.

JM


Welcom Home Sgt. Grit! OOOOoohhhhhhRAH!

Cpl. C.E. Morgan 4th Marines, 3rd Mar. Div. 1968-1969, Northern I Corps. LZ Stud. ​USMC (Vietnam, 1968, still lost somewhere along the DMZ)

"Fair Winds and Following Seas"


Double Jeopardy Vets. Anybody else out there besides me and Sneaky White that hold both the Combat Action Ribbon and the Combat Infantryman's Badge?

Max


Sgt. Grit,

My two cents on the 'service thanks'. I changed the phrase to "Sir...Thank you for putting your ARSE on the line. Seems appropriate, because that's what ALL veterans either DID... or were prepared to.

No need to add my name or location... it's not about me...


Quotes

"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force: like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action."
--George Washington


"Reason and Ignorance, the opposites of each other, influence the great bulk of mankind. If either of these can be rendered sufficiently extensive in a country, the machinery of Government goes easily on. Reason obeys itself; and Ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it."
--Thomas Paine, Rights of Man [1791-1792]​


"The American Marines have it [pride], and benefit from it. They are tough, cocky, sure of themselves and their buddies. They can fight and they know it."
--General Mark Clark, U.S. Army


"They (Women Marines) don't have a nickname, and they don't need one. They get their basic training in a Marine atmosphere, at a Marine Post. They inherit the traditions of the Marines. They are Marines."
--LtGen Thomas Holcomb, USMC Commandant of the Marine Corps, 1943


"[E]very good and excellent thing stands moment by moment on the razor edge of danger and must be fought for."
--Thornton Wilder


Hi Ho, Hi Ho
It's off to the pits we go.
We'll bend and thrust, and bust our n-ts.
Hi Ho, Hi Ho, Hi Ho, Hi Ho...

"I gave you azsholes at ease, not base liberty!"

"Courage is endurance for one moment more."

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 26 MAR 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 26 MAR 2015

In this issue:
• Up Against The Starboard Side
• Parris Island History Lesson
• PTSD Poem

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Sgt Grit and Staff would like to give a hearty Semper Fi and Welcome Home to all of our Vietnam Veteran Marines!

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The Dog's Got Grit

Sgt Grit taking a photo with Lynne's dog in the showroom

Lynne's dog dress in Sgt Grit gear

Shopping at Sgt Grit with my dog in Oklahoma!

Lynne Holmgren
From North Mankato, MN


Up Against The Starboard Side

"By Your Leave, Sir" reminded me of an incident which happened in Norfolk, Virginia. I was a Marine, but -- through circumstances -- became a Captain in the Army Reserve.

It was a short tour at the War College in Norfolk, Virginia where many Reservists pulled annual training. An Air Force Major, who taught Military History at West Point, became my buddy.

While heading out for lunch, the two of us were walking through a narrow passageway, when -- lo, and behold -- two Flag Officers were walking together toward us. I recognized one immediately as Admiral Kelso.

The pair was about ten feet in front of us when I shouted, "MAKE WAY! FLAG OFFICERS!"

I shoved my Air Force buddy into the bulkhead and slammed myself up against the Starboard side.

As the two Admirals walked between us, I could hear Admiral Kelso remark to the other, "He's a Marine!"​

JCz


Sgt Grit Combat Veteran Commemorative Pocket Knife


Parris Island History Lesson

I was primed for the inspecting officer's questions having memorized my general orders and rifle serial number. Every move was executed perfectly when he approached and slapped the rifle out of my hands. As he was studying the serial number, he asked a question and I didn't know the answer to.

"What did Lieutenant Presley O'Bannon lose in the assault on Tripoli, Private?"
"Duh", says I.
"It was his left boot dumbie, get down and give me twenty"

A history lesson I'll always remember when I hear the Marine Corps Hymn and they get to the part about the shores of Tripoli. I picture Lt. O'Bannon crossing the burning sands, one boot on, one boot off and me doing twenty push-ups because of it.

Norm Spilleth
Platoon 374, 1960


What A Screw Up

To Gunny Rousseau esp. "Semper Fi" Marine! I recall from past discussions the differences over Ike Jacket vs. Battle Jacket. I just read that when General Eise