Sgt Grit Newsletter - 02 JUL 2015

In this issue:
• 60th Reunion On Board PI
• Trained Killers Don't Smile
• Salute Anybody That Moved

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Sgt Grit and Staff would like to wish everyone a very Happy Independence Day! July 4th will mark the 239th anniversary of the United States' adoption of the Declaration of Independence declaring independence from Great Britain in 1776.

As we enjoy the festivities and fireworks this weekend let us also celebrate the bravery and grit of our men and women that have served in our Armed Forces over the past 239 years to keep our nation independent!

Semper Fi,
Sgt Grit & Staff


Chesty Puller

LtGen Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller

Date of Birth: 26 June 1898 in West Point, Virginia.

Happy Birthday CHESTY, Wherever You Are!

Steve Robertson

Happy Birthday Chesty


60th Reunion On Board PI

Al sharing a moment with MCRD PI mascot

1955 Marines taking a photo with MCRD PI CG and SgtMaj

Here are some pics of my reunion on board PI... you will notice that I am having a conversation with the mascot... he liked my beard also. The second is with the Depot CG and SgtMaj and the third is in front the Brig & Brew. At one time it was the Brig, the cells are still there but used for storage. It is the "Slop Shoot" now. We celebrated our 60th year as Marines with our respective Ladies!

Semper Fidelis,
Al Pasquale


1948 Began My Transformation

On June 25, 1948, I raised my right hand before a 2nd Lt and was sworn into the Marine Corps. Two seconds later I received my first A-- chewing while at attention. Seems the Lt disliked my chewing gum. As ordered, I got rid of the gum while at attention, wasn't bad, went down easy. Upon arriving at Yemmassee, SC, I learned how to swab a deck, the entire WW2 barracks. When I was transported to Parris Island, a very large Sgt MacMurtry met me, and with a p----- off attitude, gave me my second A-- reaming, go I guess. My Summer at PI was a real eye opener, heat, sand fleas, close order drilling especially when the red flag was hoisted. The proudest day of this 17 year old wisea-- was being handed a handful of Marine emblems by the DI, on Sept 16, 1948, I began my transformation of a 17 year old high school misfit to a Marine. Honor, God and Country became my goals in life, they served me well from Inchon in Sept 1950 thru the Chosin Res ordeal. At the age of 84, I am still a Marine and D-mn proud of it. I fly the Marine Corps flag underneath the Stars and Stripes, still proud to live by my tenets of Honor, God and Country.

Semper Fi,
Ernie Padgette 66 ----
Sgt., 1st Marine Div.


Tough Old Marine Cover/Hat


This Helmet And A Picture

Helmet worn by Hanoi Jane

Today, the wife and I went for our weekly local road trip in beautiful sunny (that sounds better than ungodly hot) Arizona. We went to the Commemorative Air Force Museum. We looked at an F-4 Phantom and other planes of past conflicts. Over in a corner was a little LOCH on display. It did look like the one our AO's flew. On the floor on the right side was this helmet and a picture.

You guys can figure out your own thoughts of the subject.

SSgt D.J. Huntsinger
DaNang '69-'70


Sgt Grit Exclusive USMC 240th Birthday T-shirt Special


Trained Killers Don't Smile

First time grabbed by the stacking swivel.

At sick bay heel-to-toe getting shots with by the injection method. I was bleeding like I was getting tattooed. Me and another turd looked at each other and my "wounds". Then I heard "Stone, see me back at the barn". WOW! Sgt Thomas wants to talk to ME!

So after about three more hours of the h-ll of running all over Parris Island, back at the barn we were.

I cowered behind my bunk pretending I was invisible or dead, hoping the Drill Instructor had forgotten me. HA! I knew better so I ran to The DI Quarters and announced myself. "Stone, what you doing smiling in formation! Trained killers don't smile! Then he pressed his thumb against my stacking swivel and started thumping my trigger housing group. After a few thumps my front sights began to roll back in my head. And a nanosecond before I passed out he let me go. Miraculously I returned to maggot land. F--king Geniuses!

I've got three more Sgt stories I'll tell you ladies later.

LCpl Stone
Plt 305, PISC 1965


Father's Day Gift

LCpl Hildalgo in his new USMC polo

Loving my Father's Day Gift from my wife & kids!

Semper Fi, that is all!

LCpl Hidalgo, David P.

Get this moto performance polo at:

USMC Under Armour Coldblack Performance Embossed Polo

USMC Under Armour Coldblack
Performance Embossed Polo


Salute Anybody That Moved

I was at MCRD San Diego when Pres. Kennedy came to visit his Marines. It was a lot of fun for all of us going to Electronics School. It was the only time we were issued an order to salute anybody that moved about a week before the President's visit. Being the typical smart a--- we were, we saluted dog fire hydrants and anything else we could think of. The reason to salute all personnel was that the front people for the President may deserve the respect. They did empty all barracks and placed snipers on top of every building. The most fun was when the mediclal staff marched (or at least that was what it was supposed to be) not one doc was in step with anyother doc. Their covers were sort of on their heads, that was with Pres. Kennedy on the podium watching.

R.L. Duke
1962/66


1963 JFK Visit to MCRD

JFK's arrival to MCRD San Diego in 1963

Re: Lee VanTreese's June 18 post and photos of JFK's visit to MCRD... The date of those photos was Wednesday, November 6, 1963. My attached photo of the President was taken that same day.

During that time I was a squad leader in Charlie 1/5, 2nd Platoon. On the morning of the 6th the entire battalion was trucked from Camp Margarita to San Diego. We then formed an honor guard for the Presidents motorcade on both sides of the road all the way from Lindbergh Field to the main gate of MCRD.

A week later, on November 14, the battalion boarded the USS General J.C. Breckinridge AP-176 in San Diego heading for Okinawa with scheduled stops at Pearl Harbor and Yokohama, Japan.

Early on the morning of November 23 (the 22nd in Dallas) the ship began its entrance into the very busy port of Yokohama. Many ships arriving and departing. As we stood on the rail and watched the activity I noticed something unusual. As we passed foreign flagged ships, each would lower their colors as our ship passed. I'd never seen that before and made mention of it to my buddies. "Something's up. This is not normal protocol", I remember saying. Once our ship was secured to the Naval facility pier the ships Captain announced the assassination of JFK five hours ago in Dallas. Needless to say, we, like the rest of the world, were shocked.

But many of us were also thinking not only of JFK's assassination, but also of the over throw and murder of South Vietnam's president, Ngo Dinh Diem, only three weeks earlier in Saigon on November 2. And here we are heading to the Far East for a 13 month tour of duty.

It would be a little over six months before the "Gulf of Tonkin" Resolution was passed by Congress which authorizes President Johnson to use military force in Vietnam. Eight months later (March, 1965) the 9th MEB, consisting of 3/9 and 1/3 begin arriving in Vietnam. The MEB is the first U.S. ground combat unit in country.

Bill Honan
Cpl E-4
0311
Charlie 1/5, Golf 2/3
'62-'65


I've Got Smokes

When a fella needs a cigarette he'll smoke d-mn near anything.

Smoking was a big deal when I was in the Corps. Well over half the guys smoked. In boot camp, when misery was the goal, even then there were smoke breaks. "Smoke'em if you've got'em." "The smoking lamp is lit." To smokers the gratification was intensified, but to non-smokers like me it was at least a break from whatever we'd been doing.

Even our C-rations had cigarettes included, little five packs. Obviously cigarettes were considered a necessity to whoever decided the contents of field rations. Smoking was part of the military culture.

In Vietnam our resupply of rations was sometimes erratic. If somehow our resupply had failed to appear there were always a few cans of eats in the bottom of my pack to appease any real hunger. Date pudding. Geez that stuff was weird. Fruit cake. Same deal. I'd never eat that stuff regularly but I always knew I had a can or two of it saved in the bottom of my pack for emergencies.

In July of '66, after the biggest gun fight we'd ever experienced, after we'd evacuated our wounded and consolidated our position, such an emergency came about. It had been three days since resupply, what with all the shootin' and stuff, and I'd eaten my last date pudding the day before so even pudgy Joe was hungry. So there we were, sitting around our perimeter waiting for the blessed sound of a resupply helo, muttering to one another how hungry we were. One guy popped off with, "Forget the chow, I'd give anything for a smoke right now." A bunch of guys agreed with this. Obviously all the cigarettes in the outfit were gone along with all the remnant cans of C-rats. I thought about it for a moment or two then added, "I'm pretty sure I've got some smokes in my pack."

Instantly all eyes were on me so I reckoned I'd better check and see. I sat down, put my pack in front of me and started unloading its limited contents, almost all bandoleers of ammo. Sure enough, rattlin' around in the bottom, were six or eight small packs of cigarettes. As I pulled a handful out for all to see I became the most popular guy on the hill. I tossed them to whoever got to me first. Felt like Santa Claus.

Now you have to remember these smokes were packed into the C-rats in the 1950s sometime. Certainly not less than a decade old, and they'd been in my pack under all sorts of conditions for weeks at least. The cellophane wrapping didn't do all that much good to keep'em fresh, but nobody seemed to care at that moment.

Imagine the minor frenzy of a guy tearing open that tiny pack of cigarettes, popping one between his lips in a practiced motion as he snapped open his Zippo to light it. Imagine him lighting it and inhaling with glee the glorious taste finally. We've all seen such moments in commercials. This wasn't one of those.

The instant he lit the smoke it caught on fire. The entire tip lit like a candle, which only fazed him for an instant. "Sorta dry", at which time he flicked the fire off the tip of the cigarette with his finger till the nub began to glow rather than burn. When he inhaled the length of the cigarette burned like fuse, to within a half inch of his lips all within seconds. His only reaction was, "Ahhhhhh.", like it was the best tobacco he'd ever tasted. Then he fumbled with the pack for another.

For forty something years I've had that image in my memory bank, him flicking the fire off the end of his smoke, so whenever I hear anyone say they'd like a cigarette I can't help but harken back to that miserable day on the hill.

In a pinch, guys will smoke anything. Little lesson learned.

Joe Holt
India 3/5, 1966


My Ginny And Being In The Corps

I didn't want you to feel alone brother. I have my Ginny next to me always and when the time comes I will join her and the kids then will scatter the ashes of the both of us across the mountain she selected – can't say which one because people take a dim view of such things. I know how you feel and I feel the same way; I say good morning to her and know that I am good to go one more day. This was not the main reason we married but she was born on November 10 – 163 years after our Corps was born - it sure made life easy for me to remember her birthday present. Two things I miss in this world – my Ginny, and being in the Corps, any base, any job, any time. Semper Fi Brothers.

Bill McManigal


Quite A Few Azzholes

Seeing the picture of Colonel Day with JFK this week brought this to mind:... As the Recruit Training Regiment CO, Col Day would hold what he called "Stockholder's Meetings" about every quarter. These would be on a port/starboard basis, so all Drill Instructors could attend, along with recruit company commanders, series officers, etc., and he would hold forth on what he saw as the general status of the Regiment... not really a pep talk, though it had much the same effect.

He had a rather dry sense of humor, and when he got to the part about DI's language, he said: "In walking around the Depot of late, I note that we seem to have quite a few azzholes... of course, my son is in OCS at Quantico now, and he assures me that they have them there, too"...

Just checked HqBn1stMarDiv command chronology... relocated from Okinawa to Chu Lai (sic) VN March of '66, left from Tengan Pier on an APA... the Clymer... etc, etc.

If I recall correctly, at one time you had VN map sheets in the catalog... if grid squares from the command chronologies match up, I'm thinking that with a simple tutorial on finding command chronologies on the net, you might peddle a whole pot-full of maps... yer average snuffy would have had no idea that such a document existed, much less that it would give a unit's location more or less day by day... and the info is there as a matter of public record... h-ll, in some cases, the chronology might even resemble the truth (see, e.g. 'probable' body counts)... with us, it was "if it's dead, it's Red..."

DDick


Don't Ask

Sgt Grit,

My last reply to you yesterday got me thinking about when I was a kid and was always interested in war stories. I was always interested in anything military or train-related for as long as I can remember. My mother's best friend's oldest son Billy was an army Viet Nam vet and had gotten wounded over there. I remember one Christmas Eve (must have been '68 or '69) we visited her at her house for a party she and her husband were having and Billy and his wife were there. He had only been home a few months at the time. Before we got out of the car, my dad turned around to me and said, "look Mike, when we get in there, don't ask Billy about the war, Mrs. Vicky says he is having some problems so don't ask him any questions, OK?" Then there was my mom's older brother Leonard who was a WWII vet and was the A-driver in a Sherman. He was one of only two out of the five man crew who survived a hit to the turret from a German tank. I don't know what he did and how badly he was wounded but I do know he had a bronze star and purple heart. Every year Uncle Leonard had a huge 4th of July crab feast and pool party in his yard, and just like our visits to Mrs. Vicky's house, my dad would remind me, "now Mike when we get in here, don't ask Uncle Leonard about the war or about Sherman tanks, ok?" My uncle was a very friendly man and even had a small model of a M4 Sherman in his living room, and would have probably gladly talked to me about the tank and the war, but my dad, an army veteran himself, I guess was probably just trying to guard Uncle Leonard from having to relive bad memories for the sake of some nosy, young kid. My wife says her brother never wanted to talk about Viet Nam so I never asked him anything. He suffered a severe head-wound among other less serious wounds and I guess he just wanted to keep things to himself. Even my father-in-law who was an army vet, said his son never wanted to talk to him about the war. Everyone always seemed to be ultra-quiet about that subject, whereas today's veterans seem to be more talkative and open about their experience.

Mike


Requested Permission To Speak

After nearly a year in the USMCR I arrived at Parris Island and began training Platoon on 24 June 1960 as a member of Platoon 364. Our DI's were; SSgt McElvany a Korean Veteran was our Senior and our Juniors were Sgt E5 D. Blue and Sgt E4 B.R. Lusk, Jr. My rack was catercorner from the DI's House where I could see nearly everything going in when their hatch was open. The House Mouse was a great guy from NJ I believe. The first day the DI's had discovered several photo's of his "girl friend" which they seized and posted on their private bulletin board. I recall one of the photo's was of her in a nice two piece bathing suit. After a few weeks I learned that the recruit was married, against regulations at the time and that he had lied on his enlistment papers about it. We all joined together to keep his secret. When visitors were permitted towards the end of training she showed up in a convertible and the DI's would walk out with him to the car and tease her about taking her out on a date as they were sure he wouldn't mind and so forth. After a few times of this he had had it and blew up! He stormed down to the DI's House and requested permission to speak with the Senior DI and the Juniors. He went in and fessed up about being married. Then he was blown away to learn that they had known he was married from day one of training and that photo's were of his wife and his visitor was his wife and not his sister. They had to pull out a foot locker for him to sit down on he was so shocked! He was marched down to the Company Office where our Series Officer and Company Commander listened to his confession. He received an Article 15 Hearing and extra duty from the DI's but was allowed to graduate with us and go to ITR! I'll never forget the torment that poor guy went through while they waited for him to fess up. He learned that had he not confessed he would have done Brig Time before being allowed to continue as a Marine Private!

Semper Fidelis,
DB Wright
'59-'74 GySgt


Attitude Is Everything Day 48

Attitude Is Everything Quote of the Day 48

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:


Jim Holland - S/F Sir, we wouldn't trade Marines like you for any amount of money.


Dan Garrett - Semper Fi Colonel North! Ooh Rah!


Roger Whitener - SEMPER FI Colonel its to bad you took the bullet for the rest of those ah's!


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


5th of Feb 1968

A sea story. On the 5th of Feb 1968, D 1/7 was involved in a sustained firefight with several hundred NVA in the hamlet of La Chau. The NVA had destroyed the M48 tank attached to our Co. early in the fight. The enemy had turned our flanks and I was trying to call in an airstrike to help cover our attempts to save Marine lives. As I moved passed the burning tank I picked up a M1 carbine dropped by the NVA. I shoved the carbine between my belly and my cartridge belt. I move toward a rice paddy dike and stood to throw a yellow smoke grenade to mark our front lines for the air strike. When I stood up a NVA soldier came out of the treeline and shot me. The round struck the M1 and broke it in half and I survived with only a superficial wound. My lucky/blessed day as they say. The buckle off my belt has a bullet hole clean through it and can be found in the Military/Space Museum Frankenmuth, MI.

Dutch Van Fleet
US Marine


EXCITEMENT! Shot At And Missed

Excitement, shot at and missed book cover

Sgt. Grit,

My new book, "EXCITEMENT! Shot At And Missed", has been available for only the past month or so, and the response is very much appreciated! Here's what MSgt Miles Kelly Hill, USMC (Retired) has to say about the book:

"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 is the real deal!"

This year, 2015, is the 65th Anniversary of the Declaration of War in Korea. I am spreading the word near and far to everyone I come in contact with to please remember those brave troops who fought in that war, the war that too many people refer to as "the forgotten war". Well, it hasn't been forgotten by all those who were there. Here's the tally:

4,262 Marines Killed
26,038 Marines Wounded
Total casualties (all branches) 109,898 (Dead / Wounded)

That's reason enough for every American to step back and remember what those brave men did, and say "Thanks!".

My book tells the story of one group of Marines; through the good, the bad and, well, the miserable times and experiences. Listening to my brother tell the story of the F-2-5 Marines was an eye opener. Anyone who has been in combat knows the reality of war. It's not a glorified 'Rah, Rah, Sis-Boom-Bah book. It's reality. As Gen. Smedley Butler, USMC (two Medals of Honor) stated: "WAR Is A Racket!"

Semper Fi
Bob Lonn


Windward Marine 26 July 1963

Windward Marine 26 July 1963 page 1

Windward Marine 26 July 1963 page 2

A little history from the "Windward Marine" the base newspaper for Kaneohe MCAS. I was stationed there in VMA 212 from 1961 to 1963.

Norm Spilleth
1960 - 1964


Always Momentary Silence

Marine Ron Balske in Blues

Karen Balske wearing memorial shirt for Ron

I have to reply to the Article "Proud of Being A Marine." Yes, I fully understand that Tim Rudd's wife and Sgt. Grit's wife are proud of being married to Marines! I have been retired for 1 year now and frequently get questions regarding what I am most proud of/my greatest accomplishment: my Army service, my 36 years of teaching, being a Legionnaire, etc. Answer--being a Marine wife and being married to my beloved Marine for 38 years. There is always a momentary silence when I give this reply, but it's true!

How I remember Ron Balske - five years next month since he left for Pearly Gates!

Karen Balske


Lost And Found

Dear Sgt. Grit,

Reading all the recent stories about Boot Camp in San Diego or at Parris Island has brought back many memories for myself and has had me pouring over my platoon graduation book. The one that mentioned this September being the 50th anniversary for one Marine really got my attention. I guess that I haven't been counting or maybe didn't want to. However, it made me realize that next September, 2016 will be the 50th anniversary for my time at Parris Island. I have never been to any reunions for my combat unit, 2nd Bn. 4th Marines ('67-'68) and I don't know of any others I may have missed from other units or ships I served on.

With a year to go, I would like to know if there are any other Marines out there reading your newsletter who are from Plt. 1054, 1st Bn. Parris Island, September 1966, and if any might want to get together at Parris Island around Sept. 2 next year for our 50th.

Thomas Moore
0311 '66-'70, 0241 '70-'74


I'm looking for a Marine named Bob Kump. He was with me in boot camp in 1966 San Diego. We went to combat traning at Camp Pendelton and then to Nam. He was from Nevada or Arizona, from Western part of USA. During some liberty we visited another Marine's aunt and uncle close by our base in California. I hope somebody knows of his whereabouts. Bob Kump, if your out there please get in touch with me.

Semper-Fi,
Julio A. Martinez
aka "Marty" Martinez


I have a USMC joined date of 07 Feb 66, went to MCRDSD and cannot remember most specifics of boot camp. My senior DI was SSgt Gorzinski. He made Warrant Officer upon our graduation. We were RTB honor platoon. If any Marine out there was in my boot platoon I would like to hear from you and get some clarification as to platoon number etc.

Contact me at rlmyers5[at]comcast.net.

Semper Fidelis
Sgt. Ron Myers
2201xxx
RVN '67-'68


Short Rounds

Barry... I too was a Sgt E-4 in our "Corps" and finished my 27 yr. total in the Army. It's a long story. My Good Conduct 1961, also had a "bar" and here's one for you... check your "badges" i.e. qualification... check the back-side.

Mine are "sterling silver" where the newer ones are chrome plated.

Once a jarhead...always a jarhead.

MSG. Bob Krieger USA ret.


I have found a copy of Plt 232, 1969 graduation book. If anyone would like it please contact me at jfreas[at]rochester.rr.com.


Sgt Grit,

I recently located my Sr DI from boot camp 1969 and had a great conversation with him. He was actually a human being after all:) Kidding aside I just placed an order for a hat and mug to be sent to his home. I just wanted to thank him in a lasting way.

Semper Fi,
Larry


For Platoon photos from PISC their is a phone numer in the July 2015 issue of Leatherneck with the Commandant's photo. You can probably 411 PI and ask for recruit records or platoon archives. Need DI names and dates.

Stone LCpl, one each
Plt 305 Jan-Mar 1965


I just read this weeks newsletter and the "note from mommy" brought a smile to my face. Same thing but different happened to me, but I needed a note from my Dad.

I had just driven 10 hrs. and had only a couple hrs. to report. I found a parking lot down the road, the lot attendant called me a taxi. I made it with a few minutes to spare.

Tanx for the memory.

Snakefighter


"Good Conduct Medal"

Still have my first, in original boxing, from 1962.

Top explained that these were special and remained from Korean era through the 50s and apparently into the 60s.

Alumnus/survivor of Platoon 161, 1959 (only 56 years ago)

Semper Fi


"If the Marines wanted you to have a wife they'd of issued you one."

Norm Spilleth
Bachelor Corporal
1960-1964


I could not resist a comment on the Chu-Lai subject. I followed the lead and looked at some maps of Da-Nang. (Viet-nam era topo maps etc...) found no "suburb" named Chu-lai. I did find a La-chu road. Now! Modern day Da-Nang has a Chu-Lai Street also, a Thoung-Duc and An-hoa streets 1, 2, 3, 4, and so on.

By the way, the only "suburb" of Da-Nang I recall was nicked named Dodge City.

P.S. It is now 7:20 P.M. & 82 degrees in Da-Nang and probably humid as h-ll.

Snakefighter


Quotes

"In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."
--Thomas Jefferson, 1798


"The revolution in the United States was the result of a mature, reflective preference for liberty and not a vague, indefinite instinct for independence. It did not depend on the passions of disorder. On the contrary, it demonstrated love of order and legality as it went forward."
--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America [1835-1840]


"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."
--President Ronald Reagan, 1985


"I have surveyed more Sea Bags than you have socks."

"I have passed more Light Houses than you have Slop-shoots."

"Big green Weenie!"

"A warrior of the Jarhead tribe."

"Heads up, Shoulders back, STRUT, STRUT, STRUT!"

Fair winds and following seas.
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 02 JUL 2015
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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 02 JUL 2015

In this issue:
• 60th Reunion On Board PI
• Trained Killers Don't Smile
• Salute Anybody That Moved

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

Sgt Grit and Staff would like to wish everyone a very Happy Independence Day! July 4th will mark the 239th anniversary of the United States' adoption of the Declaration of Independence declaring independence from Great Britain in 1776.

As we enjoy the festivities and fireworks this weekend let us also celebrate the bravery and grit of our men and women that have served in our Armed Forces over the past 239 years to keep our nation independent!

Semper Fi,
Sgt Grit & Staff


Chesty Puller

LtGen Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller

Date of Birth: 26 June 1898 in West Point, Virginia.

Happy Birthday CHESTY, Wherever You Are!

Steve Robertson


60th Reunion On Board PI

Here are some pics of my reunion on board PI... you will notice that I am having a conversation with the mascot... he liked my beard also. The second is with the Depot CG and SgtMaj and the third is in front the Brig & Brew. At one time it was the Brig, the cells are still there but used for storage. It is the "Slop Shoot" now. We celebrated our 60th year as Marines with our respective Ladies!

Semper Fidelis,
Al Pasquale


1948 Began My Transformation

On June 25, 1948, I raised my right hand before a 2nd Lt and was sworn into the Marine Corps. Two seconds later I received my first A-- chewing while at attention. Seems the Lt disliked my chewing gum. As ordered, I got rid of the gum while at attention, wasn't bad, went down easy. Upon arriving at Yemmassee, SC, I learned how to swab a deck, the entire WW2 barracks. When I was transported to Parris Island, a very large Sgt MacMurtry met me, and with a p----- off attitude, gave me my second A-- reaming, go I guess. My Summer at PI was a real eye opener, heat, sand fleas, close order drilling especially when the red flag was hoisted. The proudest day of this 17 year old wisea-- was being handed a handful of Marine emblems by the DI, on Sept 16, 1948, I began my transformation of a 17 year old high school misfit to a Marine. Honor, God and Country became my goals in life, they served me well from Inchon in Sept 1950 thru the Chosin Res ordeal. At the age of 84, I am still a Marine and D-mn proud of it. I fly the Marine Corps flag underneath the Stars and Stripes, still proud to live by my tenets of Honor, God and Country.

Semper Fi,
Ernie Padgette 66 ----
Sgt., 1st Marine Div.


This Helmet And A Picture

Today, the wife and I went for our weekly local road trip in beautiful sunny (that sounds better than ungodly hot) Arizona. We went to the Commemorative Air Force Museum. We looked at an F-4 Phantom and other planes of past conflicts. Over in a corner was a little LOCH on display. It did look like the one our AO's flew. On the floor on the right side was this helmet and a picture.

You guys can figure out your own thoughts of the subject.

SSgt D.J. Huntsinger
DaNang '69-'70


Trained Killers Don't Smile

First time grabbed by the stacking swivel.

At sick bay heel-to-toe getting shots with by the injection method. I was bleeding like I was getting tattooed. Me and another turd looked at each other and my "wounds". Then I heard "Stone, see me back at the barn". WOW! Sgt Thomas wants to talk to ME!

So after about three more hours of the h-ll of running all over Parris Island, back at the barn we were.

I cowered behind my bunk pretending I was invisible or dead, hoping the Drill Instructor had forgotten me. HA! I knew better so I ran to The DI Quarters and announced myself. "Stone, what you doing smiling in formation! Trained killers don't smile! Then he pressed his thumb against my stacking swivel and started thumping my trigger housing group. After a few thumps my front sights began to roll back in my head. And a nanosecond before I passed out he let me go. Miraculously I returned to maggot land. F--king Geniuses!

I've got three more Sgt stories I'll tell you ladies later.

LCpl Stone
Plt 305, PISC 1965


Father's Day Gift

Loving my Father's Day Gift from my wife & kids!

Semper Fi, that is all!

LCpl Hidalgo, David P.

Get this moto performance polo at:

USMC Under Armour Coldblack
Performance Embossed Polo


Salute Anybody That Moved

I was at MCRD San Diego when Pres. Kennedy came to visit his Marines. It was a lot of fun for all of us going to Electronics School. It was the only time we were issued an order to salute anybody that moved about a week before the President's visit. Being the typical smart a--- we were, we saluted dog fire hydrants and anything else we could think of. The reason to salute all personnel was that the front people for the President may deserve the respect. They did empty all barracks and placed snipers on top of every building. The most fun was when the mediclal staff marched (or at least that was what it was supposed to be) not one doc was in step with anyother doc. Their covers were sort of on their heads, that was with Pres. Kennedy on the podium watching.

R.L. Duke
1962/66


1963 JFK Visit to MCRD

Re: Lee VanTreese's June 18 post and photos of JFK's visit to MCRD... The date of those photos was Wednesday, November 6, 1963. My attached photo of the President was taken that same day.

During that time I was a squad leader in Charlie 1/5, 2nd Platoon. On the morning of the 6th the entire battalion was trucked from Camp Margarita to San Diego. We then formed an honor guard for the Presidents motorcade on both sides of the road all the way from Lindbergh Field to the main gate of MCRD.

A week later, on November 14, the battalion boarded the USS General J.C. Breckinridge AP-176 in San Diego heading for Okinawa with scheduled stops at Pearl Harbor and Yokohama, Japan.

Early on the morning of November 23 (the 22nd in Dallas) the ship began its entrance into the very busy port of Yokohama. Many ships arriving and departing. As we stood on the rail and watched the activity I noticed something unusual. As we passed foreign flagged ships, each would lower their colors as our ship passed. I'd never seen that before and made mention of it to my buddies. "Something's up. This is not normal protocol", I remember saying. Once our ship was secured to the Naval facility pier the ships Captain announced the assassination of JFK five hours ago in Dallas. Needless to say, we, like the rest of the world, were shocked.

But many of us were also thinking not only of JFK's assassination, but also of the over throw and murder of South Vietnam's president, Ngo Dinh Diem, only three weeks earlier in Saigon on November 2. And here we are heading to the Far East for a 13 month tour of duty.

It would be a little over six months before the "Gulf of Tonkin" Resolution was passed by Congress which authorizes President Johnson to use military force in Vietnam. Eight months later (March, 1965) the 9th MEB, consisting of 3/9 and 1/3 begin arriving in Vietnam. The MEB is the first U.S. ground combat unit in country.

Bill Honan
Cpl E-4
0311
Charlie 1/5, Golf 2/3
'62-'65


I've Got Smokes

When a fella needs a cigarette he'll smoke d-mn near anything.

Smoking was a big deal when I was in the Corps. Well over half the guys smoked. In boot camp, when misery was the goal, even then there were smoke breaks. "Smoke'em if you've got'em." "The smoking lamp is lit." To smokers the gratification was intensified, but to non-smokers like me it was at least a break from whatever we'd been doing.

Even our C-rations had cigarettes included, little five packs. Obviously cigarettes were considered a necessity to whoever decided the contents of field rations. Smoking was part of the military culture.

In Vietnam our resupply of rations was sometimes erratic. If somehow our resupply had failed to appear there were always a few cans of eats in the bottom of my pack to appease any real hunger. Date pudding. Geez that stuff was weird. Fruit cake. Same deal. I'd never eat that stuff regularly but I always knew I had a can or two of it saved in the bottom of my pack for emergencies.

In July of '66, after the biggest gun fight we'd ever experienced, after we'd evacuated our wounded and consolidated our position, such an emergency came about. It had been three days since resupply, what with all the shootin' and stuff, and I'd eaten my last date pudding the day before so even pudgy Joe was hungry. So there we were, sitting around our perimeter waiting for the blessed sound of a resupply helo, muttering to one another how hungry we were. One guy popped off with, "Forget the chow, I'd give anything for a smoke right now." A bunch of guys agreed with this. Obviously all the cigarettes in the outfit were gone along with all the remnant cans of C-rats. I thought about it for a moment or two then added, "I'm pretty sure I've got some smokes in my pack."

Instantly all eyes were on me so I reckoned I'd better check and see. I sat down, put my pack in front of me and started unloading its limited contents, almost all bandoleers of ammo. Sure enough, rattlin' around in the bottom, were six or eight small packs of cigarettes. As I pulled a handful out for all to see I became the most popular guy on the hill. I tossed them to whoever got to me first. Felt like Santa Claus.

Now you have to remember these smokes were packed into the C-rats in the 1950s sometime. Certainly not less than a decade old, and they'd been in my pack under all sorts of conditions for weeks at least. The cellophane wrapping didn't do all that much good to keep'em fresh, but nobody seemed to care at that moment.

Imagine the minor frenzy of a guy tearing open that tiny pack of cigarettes, popping one between his lips in a practiced motion as he snapped open his Zippo to light it. Imagine him lighting it and inhaling with glee the glorious taste finally. We've all seen such moments in commercials. This wasn't one of those.

The instant he lit the smoke it caught on fire. The entire tip lit like a candle, which only fazed him for an instant. "Sorta dry", at which time he flicked the fire off the tip of the cigarette with his finger till the nub began to glow rather than burn. When he inhaled the length of the cigarette burned like fuse, to within a half inch of his lips all within seconds. His only reaction was, "Ahhhhhh.", like it was the best tobacco he'd ever tasted. Then he fumbled with the pack for another.

For forty something years I've had that image in my memory bank, him flicking the fire off the end of his smoke, so whenever I hear anyone say they'd like a cigarette I can't help but harken back to that miserable day on the hill.

In a pinch, guys will smoke anything. Little lesson learned.

Joe Holt
India 3/5, 1966


My Ginny And Being In The Corps

I didn't want you to feel alone brother. I have my Ginny next to me always and when the time comes I will join her and the kids then will scatter the ashes of the both of us across the mountain she selected – can't say which one because people take a dim view of such things. I know how you feel and I feel the same way; I say good morning to her and know that I am good to go one more day. This was not the main reason we married but she was born on November 10 – 163 years after our Corps was born - it sure made life easy for me to remember her birthday present. Two things I miss in this world – my Ginny, and being in the Corps, any base, any job, any time. Semper Fi Brothers.

Bill McManigal


Quite A Few Azzholes

Seeing the picture of Colonel Day with JFK this week brought this to mind:... As the Recruit Training Regiment CO, Col Day would hold what he called "Stockholder's Meetings" about every quarter. These would be on a port/starboard basis, so all Drill Instructors could attend, along with recruit company commanders, series officers, etc., and he would hold forth on what he saw as the general status of the Regiment... not really a pep talk, though it had much the same effect.

He had a rather dry sense of humor, and when he got to the part about DI's language, he said: "In walking around the Depot of late, I note that we seem to have quite a few azzholes... of course, my son is in OCS at Quantico now, and he assures me that they have them there, too"...

Just checked HqBn1stMarDiv command chronology... relocated from Okinawa to Chu Lai (sic) VN March of '66, left from Tengan Pier on an APA... the Clymer... etc, etc.

If I recall correctly, at one time you had VN map sheets in the catalog... if grid squares from the command chronologies match up, I'm thinking that with a simple tutorial on finding command chronologies on the net, you might peddle a whole pot-full of maps... yer average snuffy would have had no idea that such a document existed, much less that it would give a unit's location more or less day by day... and the info is there as a matter of public record... h-ll, in some cases, the chronology might even resemble the truth (see, e.g. 'probable' body counts)... with us, it was "if it's dead, it's Red..."

DDick


Don't Ask

Sgt Grit,

My last reply to you yesterday got me thinking about when I was a kid and was always interested in war stories. I was always interested in anything military or train-related for as long as I can remember. My mother's best friend's oldest son Billy was an army Viet Nam vet and had gotten wounded over there. I remember one Christmas Eve (must have been '68 or '69) we visited her at her house for a party she and her husband were having and Billy and his wife were there. He had only been home a few months at the time. Before we got out of the car, my dad turned around to me and said, "look Mike, when we get in there, don't ask Billy about the war, Mrs. Vicky says he is having some problems so don't ask him any questions, OK?" Then there was my mom's older brother Leonard who was a WWII vet and was the A-driver in a Sherman. He was one of only two out of the five man crew who survived a hit to the turret from a German tank. I don't know what he did and how badly he was wounded but I do know he had a bronze star and purple heart. Every year Uncle Leonard had a huge 4th of July crab feast and pool party in his yard, and just like our visits to Mrs. Vicky's house, my dad would remind me, "now Mike when we get in here, don't ask Uncle Leonard about the war or about Sherman tanks, ok?" My uncle was a very friendly man and even had a small model of a M4 Sherman in his living room, and would have probably gladly talked to me about the tank and the war, but my dad, an army veteran himself, I guess was probably just trying to guard Uncle Leonard from having to relive bad memories for the sake of some nosy, young kid. My wife says her brother never wanted to talk about Viet Nam so I never asked him anything. He suffered a severe head-wound among other less serious wounds and I guess he just wanted to keep things to himself. Even my father-in-law who was an army vet, said his son never wanted to talk to him about the war. Everyone always seemed to be ultra-quiet about that subject, whereas today's veterans seem to be more talkative and open about their experience.

Mike


Requested Permission To Speak

After nearly a year in the USMCR I arrived at Parris Island and began training Platoon on 24 June 1960 as a member of Platoon 364. Our DI's were; SSgt McElvany a Korean Veteran was our Senior and our Juniors were Sgt E5 D. Blue and Sgt E4 B.R. Lusk, Jr. My rack was catercorner from the DI's House where I could see nearly everything going in when their hatch was open. The House Mouse was a great guy from NJ I believe. The first day the DI's had discovered several photo's of his "girl friend" which they seized and posted on their private bulletin board. I recall one of the photo's was of her in a nice two piece bathing suit. After a few weeks I learned that the recruit was married, against regulations at the time and that he had lied on his enlistment papers about it. We all joined together to keep his secret. When visitors were permitted towards the end of training she showed up in a convertible and the DI's would walk out with him to the car and tease her about taking her out on a date as they were sure he wouldn't mind and so forth. After a few times of this he had had it and blew up! He stormed down to the DI's House and requested permission to speak with the Senior DI and the Juniors. He went in and fessed up about being married. Then he was blown away to learn that they had known he was married from day one of training and that photo's were of his wife and his visitor was his wife and not his sister. They had to pull out a foot locker for him to sit down on he was so shocked! He was marched down to the Company Office where our Series Officer and Company Commander listened to his confession. He received an Article 15 Hearing and extra duty from the DI's but was allowed to graduate with us and go to ITR! I'll never forget the torment that poor guy went through while they waited for him to fess up. He learned that had he not confessed he would have done Brig Time before being allowed to continue as a Marine Private!

Semper Fidelis,
DB Wright
'59-'74 GySgt


Attitude Is Everything Day 48

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:


Jim Holland - S/F Sir, we wouldn't trade Marines like you for any amount of money.


Dan Garrett - Semper Fi Colonel North! Ooh Rah!


Roger Whitener - SEMPER FI Colonel its to bad you took the bullet for the rest of those ah's!


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


5th of Feb 1968

A sea story. On the 5th of Feb 1968, D 1/7 was involved in a sustained firefight with several hundred NVA in the hamlet of La Chau. The NVA had destroyed the M48 tank attached to our Co. early in the fight. The enemy had turned our flanks and I was trying to call in an airstrike to help cover our attempts to save Marine lives. As I moved passed the burning tank I picked up a M1 carbine dropped by the NVA. I shoved the carbine between my belly and my cartridge belt. I move toward a rice paddy dike and stood to throw a yellow smoke grenade to mark our front lines for the air strike. When I stood up a NVA soldier came out of the treeline and shot me. The round struck the M1 and broke it in half and I survived with only a superficial wound. My lucky/blessed day as they say. The buckle off my belt has a bullet hole clean through it and can be found in the Military/Space Museum Frankenmuth, MI.

Dutch Van Fleet
US Marine


EXCITEMENT! Shot At And Missed

Sgt. Grit,

My new book, "EXCITEMENT! Shot At And Missed", has been available for only the past month or so, and the response is very much appreciated! Here's what MSgt Miles Kelly Hill, USMC (Retired) has to say about the book:

"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 is the real deal!"

This year, 2015, is the 65th Anniversary of the Declaration of War in Korea. I am spreading the word near and far to everyone I come in contact with to please remember those brave troops who fought in that war, the war that too many people refer to as "the forgotten war". Well, it hasn't been forgotten by all those who were there. Here's the tally:

4,262 Marines Killed
26,038 Marines Wounded
Total casualties (all branches) 109,898 (Dead / Wounded)

That's reason enough for every American to step back and remember what those brave men did, and say "Thanks!".

My book tells the story of one group of Marines; through the good, the bad and, well, the miserable times and experiences. Listening to my brother tell the story of the F-2-5 Marines was an eye opener. Anyone who has been in combat knows the reality of war. It's not a glorified 'Rah, Rah, Sis-Boom-Bah book. It's reality. As Gen. Smedley Butler, USMC (two Medals of Honor) stated: "WAR Is A Racket!"

Semper Fi
Bob Lonn


Windward Marine 26 July 1963

A little history from the "Windward Marine" the base newspaper for Kaneohe MCAS. I was stationed there in VMA 212 from 1961 to 1963.

Norm Spilleth
1960 - 1964


Always Momentary Silence

I have to reply to the Article "Proud of Being A Marine." Yes, I fully understand that Tim Rudd's wife and Sgt. Grit's wife are proud of being married to Marines! I have been retired for 1 year now and frequently get questions regarding what I am most proud of/my greatest accomplishment: my Army service, my 36 years of teaching, being a Legionnaire, etc. Answer--being a Marine wife and being married to my beloved Marine for 38 years. There is always a momentary silence when I give this reply, but it's true!

How I remember Ron Balske - five years next month since he left for Pearly Gates!

Karen Balske


Lost And Found

Dear Sgt. Grit,

Reading all the recent stories about Boot Camp in San Diego or at Parris Island has brought back many memories for myself and has had me pouring over my platoon graduation book. The one that mentioned this September being the 50th anniversary for one Marine really got my attention. I guess that I haven't been counting or maybe didn't want to. However, it made me realize that next September, 2016 will be the 50th anniversary for my time at Parris Island. I have never been to any reunions for my combat unit, 2nd Bn. 4th Marines ('67-'68) and I don't know of any others I may have missed from other units or ships I served on.

With a year to go, I would like to know if there are any other Marines out there reading your newsletter who are from Plt. 1054, 1st Bn. Parris Island, September 1966, and if any might want to get together at Parris Island around Sept. 2 next year for our 50th.

Thomas Moore
0311 '66-'70, 0241 '70-'74


I'm looking for a Marine named Bob Kump. He was with me in boot camp in 1966 San Diego. We went to combat traning at Camp Pendelton and then to Nam. He was from Nevada or Arizona, from Western part of USA. During some liberty we visited another Marine's aunt and uncle close by our base in California. I hope somebody knows of his whereabouts. Bob Kump, if your out there please get in touch with me.

Semper-Fi,
Julio A. Martinez
aka "Marty" Martinez


I have a USMC joined date of 07 Feb 66, went to MCRDSD and cannot remember most specifics of boot camp. My senior DI was SSgt Gorzinski. He made Warrant Officer upon our graduation. We were RTB honor platoon. If any Marine out there was in my boot platoon I would like to hear from you and get some clarification as to platoon number etc.

Contact me at rlmyers5[at]comcast.net.

Semper Fidelis
Sgt. Ron Myers
2201xxx
RVN '67-'68


Short Rounds

Barry... I too was a Sgt E-4 in our "Corps" and finished my 27 yr. total in the Army. It's a long story. My Good Conduct 1961, also had a "bar" and here's one for you... check your "badges" i.e. qualification... check the back-side.

Mine are "sterling silver" where the newer ones are chrome plated.

Once a jarhead...always a jarhead.

MSG. Bob Krieger USA ret.


I have found a copy of Plt 232, 1969 graduation book. If anyone would like it please contact me at jfreas[at]rochester.rr.com.


Sgt Grit,

I recently located my Sr DI from boot camp 1969 and had a great conversation with him. He was actually a human being after all:) Kidding aside I just placed an order for a hat and mug to be sent to his home. I just wanted to thank him in a lasting way.

Semper Fi,
Larry


For Platoon photos from PISC their is a phone numer in the July 2015 issue of Leatherneck with the Commandant's photo. You can probably 411 PI and ask for recruit records or platoon archives. Need DI names and dates.

Stone LCpl, one each
Plt 305 Jan-Mar 1965


I just read this weeks newsletter and the "note from mommy" brought a smile to my face. Same thing but different happened to me, but I needed a note from my Dad.

I had just driven 10 hrs. and had only a couple hrs. to report. I found a parking lot down the road, the lot attendant called me a taxi. I made it with a few minutes to spare.

Tanx for the memory.

Snakefighter


"Good Conduct Medal"

Still have my first, in original boxing, from 1962.

Top explained that these were special and remained from Korean era through the 50s and apparently into the 60s.

Alumnus/survivor of Platoon 161, 1959 (only 56 years ago)

Semper Fi


"If the Marines wanted you to have a wife they'd of issued you one."

Norm Spilleth
Bachelor Corporal
1960-1964


I could not resist a comment on the Chu-Lai subject. I followed the lead and looked at some maps of Da-Nang. (Viet-nam era topo maps etc...) found no "suburb" named Chu-lai. I did find a La-chu road. Now! Modern day Da-Nang has a Chu-Lai Street also, a Thoung-Duc and An-hoa streets 1, 2, 3, 4, and so on.

By the way, the only "suburb" of Da-Nang I recall was nicked named Dodge City.

P.S. It is now 7:20 P.M. & 82 degrees in Da-Nang and probably humid as h-ll.

Snakefighter


Quotes

"In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."
--Thomas Jefferson, 1798


"The revolution in the United States was the result of a mature, reflective preference for liberty and not a vague, indefinite instinct for independence. It did not depend on the passions of disorder. On the contrary, it demonstrated love of order and legality as it went forward."
--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America [1835-1840]


"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."
--President Ronald Reagan, 1985


"I have surveyed more Sea Bags than you have socks."

"I have passed more Light Houses than you have Slop-shoots."

"Big green Weenie!"

"A warrior of the Jarhead tribe."

"Heads up, Shoulders back, STRUT, STRUT, STRUT!"

Fair winds and following seas.
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 25 JUN 2015
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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 25 JUN 2015

In this issue:
• Good Conduct Medal From 1958
• My Memories of Boot Camp
• A Note From Your Mommy

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This Grit-Together, known as "Barb's Grit-Together", started in 2002 and is the longest running get together of Marines, which started on Sgt. Grit's forums.

Pam S. Weiler


Good Conduct Medal From 1958

You may wish to inform Marine Farris that my GCM has a bar and was issued July, 1958 per picture attached.

Tom Schwarz
USMC 1497XXX
1955-1959


My New USMC Shirt

My new USMC shirt just in from Sgt. Grit for fathers day! Thanks Shanna.

Semper Fidelis!

Cpl. Tim Haley
Charlie Company 1/9
"The Walking dead"
60 mm Mortars
Vietnam '67-'68

Get this moto performance t-shirt at:

U.S. Marines Under Armour Performance T-shirt


My Memories of Boot Camp

Jim Brower's contribution cracked me up since he was "the old man" of his platoon at age 20. The same thing applied to me, but I was just 19. Two of my D.I.'s (a Sgt and a Cpl) made a big deal of this in front of the entire platoon with the Sgt saying to me, "Cpl XXXX is only 17, a Marine and a Corporal. You're 19 and you haven't accomplished anything with your life!" Naturally my response was silence. If that Cpl was 17 then I was 22. And although I was not yet a Marine, I had lost my dad who was a LtCol in the Air Force in 1968 at the age of 10. I starting working for pay at 11 years old, helping my mom and also saving enough to buy a boat, a car and rent my first home. My grades from H.S. were good enough to get an appointment at one of the Service Academies (since I was the son of a veteran who died in the line of duty) but I went to a Community College to try and help my mom with my part-time job. Since this was 1977, my D.I. Cpl hadn't been in Vietnam. Both my dad and brother were. When you don't know what even a kid has been through in his young life, sometimes you shouldn't let your alligator mouth overload your hummingbird azs. And I retired as a United States Marine (just too early and not by choice).

Semper Fi,
J. A. Howerton II
SSgt USMC (Ret)


The Expression On His Face

Just wanted you to know that I am very pleased with your items I ordered for 10 and a half month old George. The dress blue outfit was well worth the wait. You can see the expression on his face. Dad started out at P.I. in 1977 from Detroit, MI and served until 1980.

Semper Fi,
Keith Kowalski

Put your Devil Pup in a squared away set of blues at:

Dress Blues Baby 2 Piece Set


That's Me In 1969

Been diggin' on Sgt Grit for quite a while now. Thought I'd submit this flick, from one sarge to another. That's me in 1969. Semper Fi. I was in Truck Co., HQ Bt., 2nd Mar. Div.

Michael Giles


I Learned A Lot

A while ago at a visit to the VA Dental a person that I was talking with asked me what I learned at boot camp. I had been telling him I had not hated my time at Parris Island. I told him, "I had learned a lot... one thing was how to cover my ass!" He said I had learned that at ITR. Well maybe I did. But later on the drive home I got to thinking about what I had learned at PI.

I learned how to be part of a team. If I did something wrong my whole Plt could suffer. I learned responsibility. To take care of my self and my gear. I learned how to finish what I started. I learned how important what my Instructors told me. I learned when I found fault in my fellow Marines I should handle it. That I held the Marine to my left and my right lives in my hands. And that I could trust them and they me. I learned how important my Country is to me and those I hold dear. I learned how important a school circle may be.

On Sept 15th of 2015 will be 50 years since my beginning began. I would like to stand on 1st Bn MCRD and look back. If anyone knows of a person from Series 144, be sure to let me know.

Semper Fi 'til I die!

Wears, M.S.
USMC 1965 to 1969


A Rare Flicker Of A Smile

The year was 1978... MCRD... San Diego... I was in Plt. 2065... the house mouse was having his tail chewed off in the duty hut... The SENIOR was on a roll... evidently some thing of an administrative nature had irked the the exalted one... with a booming command voice the request for a carpenter was called for... myself having cleaned my weapon for the 100th time that day, and bored out of my mind... decided that I would volunteer my services... centering myself on the hatch... I rapped three times... "Sir Pvt Hodder request permission to speak to the Senior Drill Instructor, Sir!" "PERMISSION Granted... Speak thing!" "Sir, the Private wishes to inquire how much the job pays?" The ENTIRE SQUADBAY breaks into laughter... The SENIOR Rises from his desk... a rare flicker of a smile... he asks... "Pvt Hodder are you A Good Carpenter?" "Sir, Yes Sir..." He responds to my assertion... by stating that he has 2000 pencils he needs sharpened and they have to be done in 1 hour! Needless to say... after that excursion into insanity... I Loved Cleaning My Weapon From That Point On!

Sgt Hodder, USMC


A Note From Your Mommy

I saw an article today about the crack down on base decals at Camp Lejeune and it reminded me of my experience upon my return from Vietnam in 1970. I purchased my first new car but had to have my mom co-sign for the loan due to the fact I was only 20 and no established credit. Once I arrived at Camp Lejeune I went to get a base sticker but was told since I had a co-signer on the car I would have to have a notarized statement authorizing me to drive the car. I looked at the Marine behind the desk and said, "You mean I have to have my Mother send me something saying I can drive my car?" With a great big smile he looked back at me and said "Yes Sergeant you have to have a note from your Mommy."

Ron Hawkins
Former Gysgt. of Marines


Good To Go For One More Day

I had this made for me to keep my wife NANCY Ann's ashes & my MARINE memories in. Every time I open it up memories come flooding back. As long as I know what I'm looking at I'm good to go for one more day. The only people I care to share with is my USMC brothers & sisters. One day my ashes will be placed next to hers, then it is finished.

Thanks,
Jerry Nealey


Fell Over Laughing

Sgt. Grit,

In reply to Jim Brower's post from this week's newsletter, I nearly fell over laughing at his point #2... Boot Camp erections. I too can't recall getting any in my 13 weeks at Parris Island, but I do recall this issue being discussed many times by many other Marines over the years and to a man, they all claim that saltpeter was applied to our food to help combat against woodies, but I don't know if that is true. What I do suspect is that most of us, myself included, were just too d-mn scared and exhausted to think about anything other than getting some sleep and getting off the Island.

Semper Fi,
Mike Kunkel
Cpl 0331
Lima 3/8, Weapons Plt
1981-1985


Proud Of Being A Marine

Ma Grit,

Please pass the word on to your Husband "Semper Fi", yes I to am a Marine Vet and yes every year my wonderful wife gets me something from Sgt Grit. Like you my wife is very proud of being married for 37 years to a Marine like myself and I'm sure your husband is almost as proud of being a Marine as he is his wife being proud also! THANK'S for the OOH RAH!

Semper Fi,
Tim Rudd


The Griper

In 1962 my unit Hotel Btry/3/10 was attached to BLT 2/6 for a Mediterranean cruise. A Marine in the battery was always complaining and griping at just about everything. While at sea we had daily inspections and the griper was told he needed a haircut. My section chief, SSgt Cary Poole (SSgt E-5) a WWII veteran, cut hair while we were at sea aboard ship. The griper went and got his haircut but of course he was not satisfied and he told SSgt Poole he was going to get some satisfaction for the poor haircut he received. The griper went to see the chaplain who listened to how he had maintained his hair within regulation at the maximum length ever since leaving boot camp and that he was seeking some justice for the scalping he had received. The chaplain had listened to everything the lad had told him and then gave him his explanation. The griper returned to the battery area and other Marines wanted to know what the chaplain had said. The griper almost crying said the chaplain told him that he could not cut hair any better then SSgt Poole.

George Iliffe
MGYSGT (Ret)


Between Meal Sustenance

MCRD SD in the sixties usually found a series (four platoons) using one head. With a platoon strength of around 75 most of the time, that meant that 300 vigorous (mostly) young men were using the twenty commodes, four trough urinals and a few sinks... the potential for rapidly spreading disease was tremendous, and mandated that the space be maintained to better than hospital standards of cleanliness (besides which, it was the Marine Corps...) Duty of cleaning the head was rotated among the platoons of the series, and the major effort occurred during morning police call. Bowl brushes, scouring powder, disinfectant (I recall mostly an iodine-based liquid in gallon jugs, called "Wescodyne") were provided via the Company Police Sergeant, and the platoon with the head duty would have a squad detailed to scrub the joint at some point between morning roll call, chow, and begininning the training day... and 'the things that get measured are the things that get done'...

DI's usually had some sort of between meal sustenance stashed in one of the duty hut lockers... not pogey bait, as that would have been hypocritical, but maybe things like canned sardines, smoked oysters, soda crackers, jelly... and peanut butter... ah yes, peanut butter... On a fine California morning, with a platoon in their second or third week, "YT" (Yours Truly) had had the overnight duty, and along with that, the duty to inspect morning police call... sooooo... looking in the aforementioned locker, YT espied a jar of peanut butter... from memory, a jar of "Skippy Chunky Peanut Butter", whereupon 'improvise, adapt, over-come' kicked into gear, and YT acquired a dab of chunky PB on... (and this is important...) the first joint of the second finger of the right hand.

Proceeding to the head, and stepping inside, the cleaning detail was found standing at attention... (damn well better have been!)... the "PVT in Charge" was summoned forward to report. "Pvt? is this place clean?" "YESSIR!" "Are you sure about that?" "YESSIR!"

"Good... get that seat up"... YT then reached into the commode bowl, and ran his index finger around under the rim... coming up with the second finger... with the Skippy Chunky dab on it. After sniffing, then tasting the second finger, it was "Nah... I don't think so... you got ten more minutes to get this place squared away"...

It took the grapevine less than ten minutes to spread the word... "Sgt D eats Sh!ite, man... I SAW HIM DO IT!"...

Great fun the next few days catching some private passing by... "C'mere, boy... I wanna breath on you."

I wasn't the only one to ever pull this stunt... but we never had an outbreak of bubonic plague, either...

The heads at Camp Matthews (rifle range... now mostly under the Revere Campus of the University of San Diego) were of similar design, but there were one or two on the periphery of the tent camp that didn't get a lot of attention from Facilities Maintenance... or were viewed as a handy supply point for 100 watt bulbs for the tents. One in particular was known for being a dark place, and since all hands at the rifle range pretty much lived in utilities, it was just assumed that by sheer force of numbers, anyone venturing through the gloom to a commode in this head was a recruit... so it was known as a place to sneak a smoke. Great fun to put on a soft cover, ease on in there in the dark and have a seat... sooner or later, someone would come along and take a seat adjacent... followed by "hey, Man... you got a light?"

The light, would, of course, reveal a starched collar... with chevrons on it...

Just looked at the picture again... four sinks... two on either side of the double doors... and oddly enough, I don't recall a d-mn thing about heads for the DI's... we surely must have had some sort of segregated facility.

DDick


A Great Man

Grit,

Only to reinforce Chris Kyle's statement in admiration of Marines I must tell you about a meeting with Kyle that will tell you what a great guy Kyle was.

Every year in Utah the sheriffs have annual meeting for the purposes of awards, new laws, and pass information. About three years ago the guest speaker was Kyle. That evening there is a dinner party. The senior sheriff and I are good friends, because of my still living as a Marine and he likes that. He called Kyle and me together and announces that Kyle was a better sniper than Carlos Hathcock just to start a peeing contest between us. While I am thinking some salty response, Kyle states "Hathcock was a better sniper than I will ever be"! An answer from a GREAT MAN.

Semper Fidelis,
Reddog '45-'57


Windward Marine 29 June 1962

A little history from the "Windward Marine" the base newspaper for Kaneohe MCAS. I was stationed there in VMA 212 from 1961 to 1963.

Norm Spilleth
1960 - 1964


Attitude Is Everything Day 41

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:


Logan Waller - So true. You love the Corps before active duty and and after active duty. It's the greatest organization ever created. Nothing inspires more awe and pride.


Baker - Semper Fi. Until I die. that is more than just a saying, it is an Oath. By Myself to my brother's & to My Country, Yes, In that order. Semper Fidelis.


Gil Woodside - My boyhood hero!


Dan R Martinez Sr. - Marines are forever!


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


Platoon 1066, 1969

The Marines of Platoon 1066 MCRD San Diego 1969 met in Branson, MO once again for our seventh annual reunion on 4-7 June 2015. We were again joined by our two surviving Drill Instructors, SGT Eddie E. Alley and GYSGT Anthony Gatling. Our Platoon Commander (Senior DI to you Parris Island Marines out there), SSGT Guadalupe Gonzalez, was KIA in Vietnam after returning for a second tour there after he finished with us at MCRD. He stepped on a mine while on patrol. He has a place of honor at each of our reunions.

While there we attended two excellent Branson shows, had a reunion banquet dinner, shared lots of camaraderie and reminisced about the "good old" days over some cold beer. After our group picture was taken with our platoon guidon, SSGT Eddie Alley instructed us to "fall-in" and he proceeded to march us up and down the reunion hotel rear parking lot. If it had been 46 years earlier, we all would have been doing "squat thrusts forever" for the way we marched. At one of the shows we attended Vietnam Veteran SGT Kenneth Fielder was given special recognition for his service there that resulted in 5 Purple Hearts and 3 Bronze Star Awards obtained during his tours in country. On Saturday night we had our reunion banquet and all of the great items so generously donated by SGT GRIT were distributed to the attendees to everyone's delight. These former "Hollywood Marines" proudly wore their SGT GRIT gear for the rest of the reunion. On behalf of Platoon 1066, I would like to thank you for once again being a very special part of our annual reunion. Everyone looks forward to your goodies each year. For those Marines out there that have never been to Branson, MO it is without a doubt one of the most "military friendly" places you can visit here in the states.

Semper Fi!

Bob Deal '69-'75, MOS 1371
Proud Member of PLT 1066 - "Honor Platoon"


Vietnam War Trivia - The Origin of Chu Lai

Until the Marines landed on the beach in Quang Tin Province in 1965, Chu Lai didn't even exist. There were no towns in the vicinity, and the area that was chosen to be an expeditionary airfield had no designation on any of the maps. As it turns out, the name "Chu Lai" isn't even a Vietnamese name - it's Chinese! Here's how it happened.

"Although few things were named in Vietnam for living serviceman, there is a known story of one location named for a living Marine in Vietnam. Chu Lai, in Quang Tin Province, was not even a town when the US Marines constructed a major base there. When then MajGen Victor H. Krulak selected the site for an airfield, a naval officer accompanying him remarked that the site was not marked on the maps. Krulak replied that the name was Chu Lai, giving the officer his (own) name in Mandarin Chinese — thus General Victor Krulak named Chu Lai for himself."
--from the book "Vietnam Military Lore, Legends, Shadows and Heroes", by MSgt Ray Bows, USA Retired

This same reference to the origin of the name given to the area now known as "Chu Lai" (which today is currently maintained by the Vietnamese as an international airport), can also be found in Robert Coram's book, "Brute: The Life of Victor Krulak, U.S. Marine".

S/F,
Jim Mackin
MGySgt USMC (Ret)
1964 - 1987


West... Chu Lai

Geez, you'd think a trained map maker would know that it was standard practice to include the grid square of the unit CP on the monthly Command Chronology... readily available on the internet. I give you, as an example, one I just looked up... this being for 4/12. Close to the top of the first page, one finds, and I quote: YD 877145 1-28 March, and just under that AT947768, 29-31 March... those sure look like grid square numbers to me...

I'm beginning to think this guy may have been the anonymous 'Former Hat'... be a shame if he STFU, being good for entertainment value...

(didn't take the time to throw 1stMarDiv in the Google hat, but when we moved ashore from the SLF to Chu Lai (BLT 3/5) about the beginning of August of '66, we camped for a bit by "Task Force X-Ray"... which was 1stMarDivHq (Forward)... they had recently moved down from a stop on Okinawa (I think) and brought a plywood city, including flush toilets, with them... or the SeaBees and Marine Engineers had it built ahead of time.)

'Command Chronology' and unit in Google will get you there most ricky-tick...

DDick


Sgt. Grit,

I have to weigh in on the debate about the location of 1st MarDiv HQ in Vietnam. I was stationed there from July 1970 until a few months later when I was transferred to HQ III MAF, which was down the road at Red Beach and across from FLC. To get there, one traveled through a ville called Dogpatch. There was no processing center there. It was a Vietnamese ville notable mainly for the wh-res who would run out to the road and try to flag down customers from the passing vehicles. 1st Division headquarters was not, repeat not, at Chu Lai at that time. It was outside DaNang on a hillside. I remember that 1st Recon was also there. I spent many a night on the guard line on the ridge line above HQ and recon patrols would sometimes pass through the line into the valley below.

I believe Sgt. Wayne Sanders' memories to be faulty in a number of areas. I hope that I have helped to clear up some of his misconceptions.

Semper Fi,
Sgt. Bill Federman
USMC 1968-71
RVN 1970-71


I served with Marine Fighter Squadron 122 1969-1970 in Chu Lai. I went to a one week school in DaNang and had to take a flight to DaNang which I was told was approx 50 miles North of Chu Lai.

MSgt Bill Dugan
USMC Retired


It's hard to cover up the smell of old b/s with newer b/s. Since there are a lot of us here who have "been there - done that", and who read this newsletter every week, then I have a piece of advice for "Sgt. Sanders"...

When you find yourself in a hole that you can't get out of, then it's a good idea to quit digging ;-)

Jim Mackin
MGySgt USMC (Ret)
1964 - 1987


I spent '66-'67 at a lovely piece of PSP called Ky Ha, 4.5 miles North of Chu Lai! Was there with HMM-165 and HMM-362. Unless there has been a major land mass shift of tectonic plates, Chu Lai is still 55 miles SSE of downtown Da Nang, and nowhere near the West side of Da Nang.

As far as cartography, I used and drew, designed and laid out topographic and plan/profile maps for 32 years after my years in the Corps. I worked as a surveyor and GPS operator/map maker for Spokane County. The GPS work was the last 15 years I worked there. If the "cartographer" would provide the latitude and longitude of said wayward Chu Lai, it would put all this rigmarole to bed. Lats and deps please?

Bill Wilson
Semper Fi 'til I die!


I certainly do not wish to impugn anyone's recollection of their service in Viet Nam, but these are the facts as I remember them.

You went through dog patch and you would pass Freedom Hill on the left. You would continue on and Division Hill was on the left. Up a tad was Division Recon on the right. As you would curve right, 11th Motors was on the left. A little further was 11th Marines on the right. The Army was next on the right and was a searchlight base. Then onto the Village of Da Son (sp).

Chu Lai is not a suburb of Da Nang. That's a Fact. It is South of Da Nang. I was a radio operator (2533). I am glad you didn't make any of the maps that I had ever read, I would be in Hanoi now instead of Phoenix.


The Guy Was Crazy

I have read most of the stories about boot camp and even a few about me as a drill instructor. Some of them are slightly exaggerated and some are more than truthful. Before I graduated from high school in 1960, there were no Marine recruiters in Alaska. There were navy, army and air force but no Marines. I started writing to the officer in charge of the Marine Barracks in Kodiak, I was living in Anchorage. Finally in July of 1960 we got a recruiter. I checked in and was told after graduating from boot camp, that I would be a paid professional killer. I loved it, I was flown out to Kodiak Island because there were no Marine Officers in Anchorage and sworn in as the first Marine from the state of Alaska. Late in August I was put on a plane (some old 4 engine thing) to head for boot camp from the Elmendorf (can't remember how it's spelled) air force base. Seemed like many, many hours before we landed in Seattle and then LA, each time we landed we picked up other navy and Marine recruits. I was not much into gambling but learned a new game called Acey Duecy from a future navy guy while spending our time on the flight. Won 5 bucks (beginners luck) which was a big windfall back then. We got to the old Lindbergh field and waited for about 20 minutes and this beautiful navy bus showed up. Some navy guy got out and asked for everybody joining the navy to join him. He said welcome aboard gentlemen and please get on the bus. Us low life's waited another 15 minutes, there were 8 of us. A 6X showed up with an animal in charge. Use guys joining the Marines get over here. Jump in the back, spit out any chewing gum and no talking, either to yourself or one another. Sit at attention until we get to the Depot. I figured out that I was in trouble and if back in those early days, if I had known what a queer was, I would have said I was one (this guy was scary).

Just to get out of this chicken outfit. Then I met GySgt (E-6 at the time) Ayala, he was punching, hitting and throwing recruits around like they were used up sand bags. Many years later, he was a SgtMaj and I, a GySgt and we had a good time at the club.

Just to clear things up about salt peter in the mess hall chow--No, there wasn't any. I served two tours on the drill field and ate the same chow as recruits. The chow did not hamper my anything. I, too, had problems with bowel movements in boot camp, everyone does. It's not uncommon to go 10 days without a bowel movement, due to the change in diet.

J L Stelling


Lost And Found

I'd like help locating/contacting the following Drill Instructors of Plt. 2078 which graduated on 19741016. They are:

SSgt. R. H. McCulley (he retired as a GySgt and was a 7051)
SSgt. R. E. Pruitt
SSgt. D.W. Lara (last I knew he was an aircraft mechanic with MAG-39)
SSgt. C. W. Adams (Senior DI)

Any help is appreciated. Thanks and Semper Fi!
Julian Etheridge


I know I'm asking the impossible after all these years, but, if there was any way at all for me to get a boot camp graduation book. I've tried many times with no success. Maybe you could post this so all your readers could see it. Hopefully someone can help me. I was at San Diego MCRD back in '67, platoon 3055. Drill Instructors were: Gunny Watson, he was the senior, Sgt. Russell, and Sgt. Stangeroni (not sure of spelling).

I just want my kids, grand kids, and great-grand kids to see what it was like back then. I just hope someone can help me.

L/CPL Dan Lisowe
dan949[at]aol.com


Does anyone at least have a platoon photo, PISC, Plt. 173, 20Sep to 07Dec'61- yep, we outposted on the 20th anniversary of Pearl Harbor.

Every now and then I can still see us scrubbing those wooden decks (second floor of the old wooden barracks) using bleach in the water to make 'em look lighter (and therefore, cleaner?). And the wash-racks, and tie-ties, Brasso, Lubriplate, black shoe polish for brown shoes...

Where are you, Willie Sims?... Yancy Bivings, III?... David J. Surrette?

Frank Fellman
1967XXX
SSgt USMC
20Sep61 to 04Jan68


Short Rounds

To Gunny Rousseau,

Appreciated you providing the medical update. I am certain that I express the view of all Sgt. Grit subscribers when I say it has been an honor and a privilege getting to know you through your submissions to the newsletter over the years. I hope to continue reading these for a good long while.

Semper Fidelis,
Gary Harlan


I too, have a good conduct medal with the bar on top from January 1966 as was presented to me at DaNang with VMFA 323. They stated that all they had on hand were left over from WWII. I entered country July 10, 1965 at DaNang with VMFA 542 till December then was transferred to VMFA 323, MOS 6511. Loaded lots of ordnance on F-4s.

Joe Mowry
Cpl-E4


I was assigned to the USMLM in the 70s, before this happened. Thought your readers would enjoy it.

Read: Lance Corporal Montague.

Mary Dassau SFC (ret)


A hero is given a military Farewell in New Jersey. He passed away showing as much bravery as he did on the battle grounds... Derrick MaGee has a wall full of pictures and military accommodations, but...

Watch video and read more at:
Military K9 Passes Away, Receives Police Escort to the SPCA


My vision of retirement? Buying a house on Camp Pen. Get part-time job as maint. electrician, work at my old base... eat, sleep, sh-t US MARINE CORPS... praying to GOD that ALL your old buddy's have the same VISION... Can't think of a better retirement! AMERICAN by birth... U.S. MARINE by the GRACE OF GOD.

Randal Hodder


After reading the post from Barry Farris about his Good Conduct Medal I checked the one issued to me which was issued in Viet Nam in 1968 and to my surprise to find it also has a bar above ribbon. Looks like they still had left over supply of the older design in 1968 also.

Sgt LW Dornan 1965-1968


I originated a request through your newsletter as to how to get a replacement Purple Heart certificate a couple month ago. The 6/17 newsletter provided the exact info needed. I should see the replacement in about six months, pretty speedy to me. Thanks to you, your company, and SgtMaj Wayne Dillon for providing the assistance.

Semper Fidelis
Sgt Ron Myers
2201xxx
RVN '67-'68


So sorry... God bless Gunny Kyle.

Jenetha
Proud Mom of 3 Marines


Hello Sgt. Grit,

To Lee Van Kleese, JFK visit to MCRDSD was 6-6-63. If you search YouTube for the Presidents visit, you can see a number of old videos.


Quotes

"I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it."
--Col Jessup, fictional character in "A Few Good Men"


"Happiness is a state of being convincingly deceived."
--Unknown


"Panic sweeps my men when they are facing the AMERICAN MARINES."
--Captured North Korean Major


"In the beginning of change, the Patriot is a scarce man, brave and heated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a Partiot."
--Mark Twain, 1904


"Our Country won't go on forever, if we stay soft as we are now. There won't be any AMERICA because some foreign soldiery will invade us and take our women and breed a hardier race!"
--LtGen. Lewis "Chesty" Puller, USMC


"[N]either the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt."
--Samuel Adams, essay in The Public Advertiser, 1749


"Heart breakers and life takers", who believed we were all John Wayne reincarnated?

"The Crotch."

"Welcome to the Suck."

Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 25 JUN 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 25 JUN 2015

In this issue:
• Good Conduct Medal From 1958
• My Memories of Boot Camp
• A Note From Your Mommy

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Newsletter Archives

This Grit-Together, known as "Barb's Grit-Together", started in 2002 and is the longest running get together of Marines, which started on Sgt. Grit's forums.

Pam S. Weiler

Marines gathered at Barb's Grit-Together


Good Conduct Medal From 1958

You may wish to inform Marine Farris that my GCM has a bar and was issued July, 1958 per picture attached.

Tom Schwarz
USMC 1497XXX
1955-1959

Tom's Good Conduct Medal from 1958


Sgt Grit Exclusive USMC 240th Birthday T-shirt Special


My New USMC Shirt

Tim in his new Marine t-shirt

My new USMC shirt just in from Sgt. Grit for fathers day! Thanks Shanna.

Semper Fidelis!

Cpl. Tim Haley
Charlie Company 1/9
"The Walking dead"
60 mm Mortars
Vietnam '67-'68

Get this moto performance t-shirt at:

U.S. Marines Under Armour Performance T-shirt

U.S. Marines Under Armour Performance T-shirt


My Memories of Boot Camp

Jim Brower's contribution cracked me up since he was "the old man" of his platoon at age 20. The same thing applied to me, but I was just 19. Two of my D.I.'s (a Sgt and a Cpl) made a big deal of this in front of the entire platoon with the Sgt saying to me, "Cpl XXXX is only 17, a Marine and a Corporal. You're 19 and you haven't accomplished anything with your life!" Naturally my response was silence. If that Cpl was 17 then I was 22. And although I was not yet a Marine, I had lost my dad who was a LtCol in the Air Force in 1968 at the age of 10. I starting working for pay at 11 years old, helping my mom and also saving enough to buy a boat, a car and rent my first home. My grades from H.S. were good enough to get an appointment at one of the Service Academies (since I was the son of a veteran who died in the line of duty) but I went to a Community College to try and help my mom with my part-time job. Since this was 1977, my D.I. Cpl hadn't been in Vietnam. Both my dad and brother were. When you don't know what even a kid has been through in his young life, sometimes you shouldn't let your alligator mouth overload your hummingbird azs. And I retired as a United States Marine (just too early and not by choice).

Semper Fi,
J. A. Howerton II
SSgt USMC (Ret)


1st Battalion 4th Marines Unit Gear


The Expression On His Face

George in infant dress blues

Just wanted you to know that I am very pleased with your items I ordered for 10 and a half month old George. The dress blue outfit was well worth the wait. You can see the expression on his face. Dad started out at P.I. in 1977 from Detroit, MI and served until 1980.

Semper Fi,
Keith Kowalski

Put your Devil Pup in a squared away set of blues at:

Dress Blues Baby 2 Piece Set

Dress Blues Baby 2 Piece Set


That's Me In 1969

Been diggin' on Sgt Grit for quite a while now. Thought I'd submit this flick, from one sarge to another. That's me in 1969. Semper Fi. I was in Truck Co., HQ Bt., 2nd Mar. Div.

Michael Giles

Sgt Giles in 1969


I Learned A Lot

A while ago at a visit to the VA Dental a person that I was talking with asked me what I learned at boot camp. I had been telling him I had not hated my time at Parris Island. I told him, "I had learned a lot... one thing was how to cover my ass!" He said I had learned that at ITR. Well maybe I did. But later on the drive home I got to thinking about what I had learned at PI.

I learned how to be part of a team. If I did something wrong my whole Plt could suffer. I learned responsibility. To take care of my self and my gear. I learned how to finish what I started. I learned how important what my Instructors told me. I learned when I found fault in my fellow Marines I should handle it. That I held the Marine to my left and my right lives in my hands. And that I could trust them and they me. I learned how important my Country is to me and those I hold dear. I learned how important a school circle may be.

On Sept 15th of 2015 will be 50 years since my beginning began. I would like to stand on 1st Bn MCRD and look back. If anyone knows of a person from Series 144, be sure to let me know.

Semper Fi 'til I die!

Wears, M.S.
USMC 1965 to 1969


A Rare Flicker Of A Smile

The year was 1978... MCRD... San Diego... I was in Plt. 2065... the house mouse was having his tail chewed off in the duty hut... The SENIOR was on a roll... evidently some thing of an administrative nature had irked the the exalted one... with a booming command voice the request for a carpenter was called for... myself having cleaned my weapon for the 100th time that day, and bored out of my mind... decided that I would volunteer my services... centering myself on the hatch... I rapped three times... "Sir Pvt Hodder request permission to speak to the Senior Drill Instructor, Sir!" "PERMISSION Granted... Speak thing!" "Sir, the Private wishes to inquire how much the job pays?" The ENTIRE SQUADBAY breaks into laughter... The SENIOR Rises from his desk... a rare flicker of a smile... he asks... "Pvt Hodder are you A Good Carpenter?" "Sir, Yes Sir..." He responds to my assertion... by stating that he has 2000 pencils he needs sharpened and they have to be done in 1 hour! Needless to say... after that excursion into insanity... I Loved Cleaning My Weapon From That Point On!

Sgt Hodder, USMC


A Note From Your Mommy

I saw an article today about the crack down on base decals at Camp Lejeune and it reminded me of my experience upon my return from Vietnam in 1970. I purchased my first new car but had to have my mom co-sign for the loan due to the fact I was only 20 and no established credit. Once I arrived at Camp Lejeune I went to get a base sticker but was told since I had a co-signer on the car I would have to have a notarized statement authorizing me to drive the car. I looked at the Marine behind the desk and said, "You mean I have to have my Mother send me something saying I can drive my car?" With a great big smile he looked back at me and said "Yes Sergeant you have to have a note from your Mommy."

Ron Hawkins
Former Gysgt. of Marines


Good To Go For One More Day

I had this made for me to keep my wife NANCY Ann's ashes & my MARINE memories in. Every time I open it up memories come flooding back. As long as I know what I'm looking at I'm good to go for one more day. The only people I care to share with is my USMC brothers & sisters. One day my ashes will be placed next to hers, then it is finished.

Thanks,
Jerry Nealey

Jerry Nealey's memory box


Fell Over Laughing

Sgt. Grit,

In reply to Jim Brower's post from this week's newsletter, I nearly fell over laughing at his point #2... Boot Camp erections. I too can't recall getting any in my 13 weeks at Parris Island, but I do recall this issue being discussed many times by many other Marines over the years and to a man, they all claim that saltpeter was applied to our food to help combat against woodies, but I don't know if that is true. What I do suspect is that most of us, myself included, were just too d-mn scared and exhausted to think about anything other than getting some sleep and getting off the Island.

Semper Fi,
Mike Kunkel
Cpl 0331
Lima 3/8, Weapons Plt
1981-1985


Proud Of Being A Marine

Ma Grit,

Please pass the word on to your Husband "Semper Fi", yes I to am a Marine Vet and yes every year my wonderful wife gets me something from Sgt Grit. Like you my wife is very proud of being married for 37 years to a Marine like myself and I'm sure your husband is almost as proud of being a Marine as he is his wife being proud also! THANK'S for the OOH RAH!

Semper Fi,
Tim Rudd


The Griper

In 1962 my unit Hotel Btry/3/10 was attached to BLT 2/6 for a Mediterranean cruise. A Marine in the battery was always complaining and griping at just about everything. While at sea we had daily inspections and the griper was told he needed a haircut. My section chief, SSgt Cary Poole (SSgt E-5) a WWII veteran, cut hair while we were at sea aboard ship. The griper went and got his haircut but of course he was not satisfied and he told SSgt Poole he was going to get some satisfaction for the poor haircut he received. The griper went to see the chaplain who listened to how he had maintained his hair within regulation at the maximum length ever since leaving boot camp and that he was seeking some justice for the scalping he had received. The chaplain had listened to everything the lad had told him and then gave him his explanation. The griper returned to the battery area and other Marines wanted to know what the chaplain had said. The griper almost crying said the chaplain told him that he could not cut hair any better then SSgt Poole.

George Iliffe
MGYSGT (Ret)


Between Meal Sustenance

MCRD SD in the sixties usually found a series (four platoons) using one head. With a platoon strength of around 75 most of the time, that meant that 300 vigorous (mostly) young men were using the twenty commodes, four trough urinals and a few sinks... the potential for rapidly spreading disease was tremendous, and mandated that the space be maintained to better than hospital standards of cleanliness (besides which, it was the Marine Corps...) Duty of cleaning the head was rotated among the platoons of the series, and the major effort occurred during morning police call. Bowl brushes, scouring powder, disinfectant (I recall mostly an iodine-based liquid in gallon jugs, called "Wescodyne") were provided via the Company Police Sergeant, and the platoon with the head duty would have a squad detailed to scrub the joint at some point between morning roll call, chow, and begininning the training day... and 'the things that get measured are the things that get done'...

DI's usually had some sort of between meal sustenance stashed in one of the duty hut lockers... not pogey bait, as that would have been hypocritical, but maybe things like canned sardines, smoked oysters, soda crackers, jelly... and peanut butter... ah yes, peanut butter... On a fine California morning, with a platoon in their second or third week, "YT" (Yours Truly) had had the overnight duty, and along with that, the duty to inspect morning police call... sooooo... looking in the aforementioned locker, YT espied a jar of peanut butter... from memory, a jar of "Skippy Chunky Peanut Butter", whereupon 'improvise, adapt, over-come' kicked into gear, and YT acquired a dab of chunky PB on... (and this is important...) the first joint of the second finger of the right hand.

Proceeding to the head, and stepping inside, the cleaning detail was found standing at attention... (damn well better have been!)... the "PVT in Charge" was summoned forward to report. "Pvt? is this place clean?" "YESSIR!" "Are you sure about that?" "YESSIR!"

"Good... get that seat up"... YT then reached into the commode bowl, and ran his index finger around under the rim... coming up with the second finger... with the Skippy Chunky dab on it. After sniffing, then tasting the second finger, it was "Nah... I don't think so... you got ten more minutes to get this place squared away"...

It took the grapevine less than ten minutes to spread the word... "Sgt D eats Sh!ite, man... I SAW HIM DO IT!"...

Great fun the next few days catching some private passing by... "C'mere, boy... I wanna breath on you."

I wasn't the only one to ever pull this stunt... but we never had an outbreak of bubonic plague, either...

The heads at Camp Matthews (rifle range... now mostly under the Revere Campus of the University of San Diego) were of similar design, but there were one or two on the periphery of the tent camp that didn't get a lot of attention from Facilities Maintenance... or were viewed as a handy supply point for 100 watt bulbs for the tents. One in particular was known for being a dark place, and since all hands at the rifle range pretty much lived in utilities, it was just assumed that by sheer force of numbers, anyone venturing through the gloom to a commode in this head was a recruit... so it was known as a place to sneak a smoke. Great fun to put on a soft cover, ease on in there in the dark and have a seat... sooner or later, someone would come along and take a seat adjacent... followed by "hey, Man... you got a light?"

The light, would, of course, reveal a starched collar... with chevrons on it...

Just looked at the picture again... four sinks... two on either side of the double doors... and oddly enough, I don't recall a d-mn thing about heads for the DI's... we surely must have had some sort of segregated facility.

DDick


A Great Man

Grit,

Only to reinforce Chris Kyle's statement in admiration of Marines I must tell you about a meeting with Kyle that will tell you what a great guy Kyle was.

Every year in Utah the sheriffs have annual meeting for the purposes of awards, new laws, and pass information. About three years ago the guest speaker was Kyle. That evening there is a dinner party. The senior sheriff and I are good friends, because of my still living as a Marine and he likes that. He called Kyle and me together and announces that Kyle was a better sniper than Carlos Hathcock just to start a peeing contest between us. While I am thinking some salty response, Kyle states "Hathcock was a better sniper than I will ever be"! An answer from a GREAT MAN.

Semper Fidelis,
Reddog '45-'57


Windward Marine 29 June 1962

Windward Marine 22 June 1962 page 1

Windward Marine 22 June 1962 page 2

A little history from the "Windward Marine" the base newspaper for Kaneohe MCAS. I was stationed there in VMA 212 from 1961 to 1963.

Norm Spilleth
1960 - 1964


Attitude Is Everything Day 41

Attitude Is Everything Quote of the Day 41

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:


Logan Waller - So true. You love the Corps before active duty and and after active duty. It's the greatest organization ever created. Nothing inspires more awe and pride.


Baker - Semper Fi. Until I die. that is more than just a saying, it is an Oath. By Myself to my brother's & to My Country, Yes, In that order. Semper Fidelis.


Gil Woodside - My boyhood hero!


Dan R Martinez Sr. - Marines are forever!


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


Platoon 1066, 1969

Platoon 1066 reunion 2015 picture with Drill Instructors

Platoon 1066 reunion 2015 marching in formation

The Marines of Platoon 1066 MCRD San Diego 1969 met in Branson, MO once again for our seventh annual reunion on 4-7 June 2015. We were again joined by our two surviving Drill Instructors, SGT Eddie E. Alley and GYSGT Anthony Gatling. Our Platoon Commander (Senior DI to you Parris Island Marines out there), SSGT Guadalupe Gonzalez, was KIA in Vietnam after returning for a second tour there after he finished with us at MCRD. He stepped on a mine while on patrol. He has a place of honor at each of our reunions.

While there we attended two excellent Branson shows, had a reunion banquet dinner, shared lots of camaraderie and reminisced about the "good old" days over some cold beer. After our group picture was taken with our platoon guidon, SSGT Eddie Alley instructed us to "fall-in" and he proceeded to march us up and down the reunion hotel rear parking lot. If it had been 46 years earlier, we all would have been doing "squat thrusts forever" for the way we marched. At one of the shows we attended Vietnam Veteran SGT Kenneth Fielder was given special recognition for his service there that resulted in 5 Purple Hearts and 3 Bronze Star Awards obtained during his tours in country. On Saturday night we had our reunion banquet and all of the great items so generously donated by SGT GRIT were distributed to the attendees to everyone's delight. These former "Hollywood Marines" proudly wore their SGT GRIT gear for the rest of the reunion. On behalf of Platoon 1066, I would like to thank you for once again being a very special part of our annual reunion. Everyone looks forward to your goodies each year. For those Marines out there that have never been to Branson, MO it is without a doubt one of the most "military friendly" places you can visit here in the states.

Semper Fi!

Bob Deal '69-'75, MOS 1371
Proud Member of PLT 1066 - "Honor Platoon"


Vietnam War Trivia - The Origin of Chu Lai

Until the Marines landed on the beach in Quang Tin Province in 1965, Chu Lai didn't even exist. There were no towns in the vicinity, and the area that was chosen to be an expeditionary airfield had no designation on any of the maps. As it turns out, the name "Chu Lai" isn't even a Vietnamese name - it's Chinese! Here's how it happened.

"Although few things were named in Vietnam for living serviceman, there is a known story of one location named for a living Marine in Vietnam. Chu Lai, in Quang Tin Province, was not even a town when the US Marines constructed a major base there. When then MajGen Victor H. Krulak selected the site for an airfield, a naval officer accompanying him remarked that the site was not marked on the maps. Krulak replied that the name was Chu Lai, giving the officer his (own) name in Mandarin Chinese — thus General Victor Krulak named Chu Lai for himself."
--from the book "Vietnam Military Lore, Legends, Shadows and Heroes", by MSgt Ray Bows, USA Retired

This same reference to the origin of the name given to the area now known as "Chu Lai" (which today is currently maintained by the Vietnamese as an international airport), can also be found in Robert Coram's book, "Brute: The Life of Victor Krulak, U.S. Marine".

S/F,
Jim Mackin
MGySgt USMC (Ret)
1964 - 1987


West... Chu Lai

Geez, you'd think a trained map maker would know that it was standard practice to include the grid square of the unit CP on the monthly Command Chronology... readily available on the internet. I give you, as an example, one I just looked up... this being for 4/12. Close to the top of the first page, one finds, and I quote: YD 877145 1-28 March, and just under that AT947768, 29-31 March... those sure look like grid square numbers to me...

I'm beginning to think this guy may have been the anonymous 'Former Hat'... be a shame if he STFU, being good for entertainment value...

(didn't take the time to throw 1stMarDiv in the Google hat, but when we moved ashore from the SLF to Chu Lai (BLT 3/5) about the beginning of August of '66, we camped for a bit by "Task Force X-Ray"... which was 1stMarDivHq (Forward)... they had recently moved down from a stop on Okinawa (I think) and brought a plywood city, including flush toilets, with them... or the SeaBees and Marine Engineers had it built ahead of time.)

'Command Chronology' and unit in Google will get you there most ricky-tick...

DDick


Sgt. Grit,

I have to weigh in on the debate about the location of 1st MarDiv HQ in Vietnam. I was stationed there from July 1970 until a few months later when I was transferred to HQ III MAF, which was down the road at Red Beach and across from FLC. To get there, one traveled through a ville called Dogpatch. There was no processing center there. It was a Vietnamese ville notable mainly for the wh-res who would run out to the road and try to flag down customers from the passing vehicles. 1st Division headquarters was not, repeat not, at Chu Lai at that time. It was outside DaNang on a hillside. I remember that 1st Recon was also there. I spent many a night on the guard line on the ridge line above HQ and recon patrols would sometimes pass through the line into the valley below.

I believe Sgt. Wayne Sanders' memories to be faulty in a number of areas. I hope that I have helped to clear up some of his misconceptions.

Semper Fi,
Sgt. Bill Federman
USMC 1968-71
RVN 1970-71


I served with Marine Fighter Squadron 122 1969-1970 in Chu Lai. I went to a one week school in DaNang and had to take a flight to DaNang which I was told was approx 50 miles North of Chu Lai.

MSgt Bill Dugan
USMC Retired


It's hard to cover up the smell of old b/s with newer b/s. Since there are a lot of us here who have "been there - done that", and who read this newsletter every week, then I have a piece of advice for "Sgt. Sanders"...

When you find yourself in a hole that you can't get out of, then it's a good idea to quit digging ;-)

Jim Mackin
MGySgt USMC (Ret)
1964 - 1987


I spent '66-'67 at a lovely piece of PSP called Ky Ha, 4.5 miles North of Chu Lai! Was there with HMM-165 and HMM-362. Unless there has been a major land mass shift of tectonic plates, Chu Lai is still 55 miles SSE of downtown Da Nang, and nowhere near the West side of Da Nang.

As far as cartography, I used and drew, designed and laid out topographic and plan/profile maps for 32 years after my years in the Corps. I worked as a surveyor and GPS operator/map maker for Spokane County. The GPS work was the last 15 years I worked there. If the "cartographer" would provide the latitude and longitude of said wayward Chu Lai, it would put all this rigmarole to bed. Lats and deps please?

Bill Wilson
Semper Fi 'til I die!


I certainly do not wish to impugn anyone's recollection of their service in Viet Nam, but these are the facts as I remember them.

You went through dog patch and you would pass Freedom Hill on the left. You would continue on and Division Hill was on the left. Up a tad was Division Recon on the right. As you would curve right, 11th Motors was on the left. A little further was 11th Marines on the right. The Army was next on the right and was a searchlight base. Then onto the Village of Da Son (sp).

Chu Lai is not a suburb of Da Nang. That's a Fact. It is South of Da Nang. I was a radio operator (2533). I am glad you didn't make any of the maps that I had ever read, I would be in Hanoi now instead of Phoenix.


The Guy Was Crazy

I have read most of the stories about boot camp and even a few about me as a drill instructor. Some of them are slightly exaggerated and some are more than truthful. Before I graduated from high school in 1960, there were no Marine recruiters in Alaska. There were navy, army and air force but no Marines. I started writing to the officer in charge of the Marine Barracks in Kodiak, I was living in Anchorage. Finally in July of 1960 we got a recruiter. I checked in and was told after graduating from boot camp, that I would be a paid professional killer. I loved it, I was flown out to Kodiak Island because there were no Marine Officers in Anchorage and sworn in as the first Marine from the state of Alaska. Late in August I was put on a plane (some old 4 engine thing) to head for boot camp from the Elmendorf (can't remember how it's spelled) air force base. Seemed like many, many hours before we landed in Seattle and then LA, each time we landed we picked up other navy and Marine recruits. I was not much into gambling but learned a new game called Acey Duecy from a future navy guy while spending our time on the flight. Won 5 bucks (beginners luck) which was a big windfall back then. We got to the old Lindbergh field and waited for about 20 minutes and this beautiful navy bus showed up. Some navy guy got out and asked for everybody joining the navy to join him. He said welcome aboard gentlemen and please get on the bus. Us low life's waited another 15 minutes, there were 8 of us. A 6X showed up with an animal in charge. Use guys joining the Marines get over here. Jump in the back, spit out any chewing gum and no talking, either to yourself or one another. Sit at attention until we get to the Depot. I figured out that I was in trouble and if back in those early days, if I had known what a queer was, I would have said I was one (this guy was scary).

Just to get out of this chicken outfit. Then I met GySgt (E-6 at the time) Ayala, he was punching, hitting and throwing recruits around like they were used up sand bags. Many years later, he was a SgtMaj and I, a GySgt and we had a good time at the club.

Just to clear things up about salt peter in the mess hall chow--No, there wasn't any. I served two tours on the drill field and ate the same chow as recruits. The chow did not hamper my anything. I, too, had problems with bowel movements in boot camp, everyone does. It's not uncommon to go 10 days without a bowel movement, due to the change in diet.

J L Stelling


Lost And Found

I'd like help locating/contacting the following Drill Instructors of Plt. 2078 which graduated on 19741016. They are:

SSgt. R. H. McCulley (he retired as a GySgt and was a 7051)
SSgt. R. E. Pruitt
SSgt. D.W. Lara (last I knew he was an aircraft mechanic with MAG-39)
SSgt. C. W. Adams (Senior DI)

Any help is appreciated. Thanks and Semper Fi!
Julian Etheridge


I know I'm asking the impossible after all these years, but, if there was any way at all for me to get a boot camp graduation book. I've tried many times with no success. Maybe you could post this so all your readers could see it. Hopefully someone can help me. I was at San Diego MCRD back in '67, platoon 3055. Drill Instructors were: Gunny Watson, he was the senior, Sgt. Russell, and Sgt. Stangeroni (not sure of spelling).

I just want my kids, grand kids, and great-grand kids to see what it was like back then. I just hope someone can help me.

L/CPL Dan Lisowe
dan949[at]aol.com


Does anyone at least have a platoon photo, PISC, Plt. 173, 20Sep to 07Dec'61- yep, we outposted on the 20th anniversary of Pearl Harbor.

Every now and then I can still see us scrubbing those wooden decks (second floor of the old wooden barracks) using bleach in the water to make 'em look lighter (and therefore, cleaner?). And the wash-racks, and tie-ties, Brasso, Lubriplate, black shoe polish for brown shoes...

Where are you, Willie Sims?... Yancy Bivings, III?... David J. Surrette?

Frank Fellman
1967XXX
SSgt USMC
20Sep61 to 04Jan68


Short Rounds

To Gunny Rousseau,

Appreciated you providing the medical update. I am certain that I express the view of all Sgt. Grit subscribers when I say it has been an honor and a privilege getting to know you through your submissions to the newsletter over the years. I hope to continue reading these for a good long while.

Semper Fidelis,
Gary Harlan


I too, have a good conduct medal with the bar on top from January 1966 as was presented to me at DaNang with VMFA 323. They stated that all they had on hand were left over from WWII. I entered country July 10, 1965 at DaNang with VMFA 542 till December then was transferred to VMFA 323, MOS 6511. Loaded lots of ordnance on F-4s.

Joe Mowry
Cpl-E4


I was assigned to the USMLM in the 70s, before this happened. Thought your readers would enjoy it.

Read: Lance Corporal Montague.

Mary Dassau SFC (ret)


A hero is given a military Farewell in New Jersey. He passed away showing as much bravery as he did on the battle grounds... Derrick MaGee has a wall full of pictures and military accommodations, but...

Watch video and read more at:
Military K9 Passes Away, Receives Police Escort to the SPCA


My vision of retirement? Buying a house on Camp Pen. Get part-time job as maint. electrician, work at my old base... eat, sleep, sh-t US MARINE CORPS... praying to GOD that ALL your old buddy's have the same VISION... Can't think of a better retirement! AMERICAN by birth... U.S. MARINE by the GRACE OF GOD.

Randal Hodder


After reading the post from Barry Farris about his Good Conduct Medal I checked the one issued to me which was issued in Viet Nam in 1968 and to my surprise to find it also has a bar above ribbon. Looks like they still had left over supply of the older design in 1968 also.

Sgt LW Dornan 1965-1968


I originated a request through your newsletter as to how to get a replacement Purple Heart certificate a couple month ago. The 6/17 newsletter provided the exact info needed. I should see the replacement in about six months, pretty speedy to me. Thanks to you, your company, and SgtMaj Wayne Dillon for providing the assistance.

Semper Fidelis
Sgt Ron Myers
2201xxx
RVN '67-'68


So sorry... God bless Gunny Kyle.

Jenetha
Proud Mom of 3 Marines


Hello Sgt. Grit,

To Lee Van Kleese, JFK visit to MCRDSD was 6-6-63. If you search YouTube for the Presidents visit, you can see a number of old videos.


Quotes

Col Jessup Quote

"I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it."
--Col Jessup, fictional character in "A Few Good Men"


"Happiness is a state of being convincingly deceived."
--Unknown


"Panic sweeps my men when they are facing the AMERICAN MARINES."
--Captured North Korean Major


"In the beginning of change, the Patriot is a scarce man, brave and heated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a Partiot."
--Mark Twain, 1904


"Our Country won't go on forever, if we stay soft as we are now. There won't be any AMERICA because some foreign soldiery will invade us and take our women and breed a hardier race!"
--LtGen. Lewis "Chesty" Puller, USMC


"[N]either the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt."
--Samuel Adams, essay in The Public Advertiser, 1749


"Heart breakers and life takers", who believed we were all John Wayne reincarnated?

"The Crotch."

"Welcome to the Suck."

Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 18 JUN 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 18 JUN 2015

In this issue:
• 1963 JFK Visit To MCRD San Diego
• Good Conduct Medal With A Bar
• The Old Corps

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GySgt Kyle receiving a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal

Retired Gunnery Sergeant Kyle on a bridge

A recent motorcycle accident claimed the life of our dear friend and customer GySgt Kevin Kyle. This Marine left us too soon at the age of 50. Gunny Kyle served in Desert Storm, Afghanistan, Iraq and other combat operations. He was an avid shopper at Sgt Grit. Anytime Gunny walked into the showroom, I always made my way over to speak with him for a bit. That was a treat for me. This Marine was just awesome. When I first met him, he had just got off the plane at Will Rogers Airport here in OKC from Iraq. We were having morning chow that day at Sgt Grit for the Marine Corps Birthday. He came straight over to us that morning and had breakfast with his brothers and sisters. He said, that is where he needed to be. That was a special morning. Unknowingly to all of us, he became the "guest of honor" quite literally. It was an honor to have him home and there with all of us. Gunny was a really neat guy. He always had a smile on his face and he always made you feel that he was really happy to see you that day. He would do that with anyone. He will be missed by all.

Prayers for his wife Jodie.

Kristy Fomin
Sgt Grit C.O.O.


March Into The Fence

Before and After picture of Tony Mastriani

I thought your readers might enjoy the Before and After photos from my Boot camp Graduation Book, Platoon 304, graduation date 6 March 1967, MCRDSD. S/Sgt. W. Zeiferts was Platoon Commander. He smacked me once on the Big Grinder because I was stupid enough to question a drill command. Sgt. R. Ramos was the Drill Instructor. He would take off his web belt and throw it in the air when we screwed up. It was scary and funny at the same time.

I won't mention the other Drill Instructor's name but he was (apparently) right out of DI School. He used to march us into the fence at the small grinder by the airport runway.

Tony Mastriani
2326XXX
Semper Fidelis


1963 JFK Visit To MCRD San Diego

President JFK viewing recruits at MCRD SD 1963

President JFK observing a pugil stick bout at MCRD SD 1963

These are a family heirloom and rarely seen. I figure why not share with whomever. When I sent these to the MCRD Museum they were able to tell me that these were taken in 1963 & that's about all I know as my father died when I was 11 so I have no other info.

Semper Fi!

PS: Love your store & products!

Respectfully,
Lee VanTreese


Dirty, Green Humanoids

In the early sixties the aircraft carriers at Pearl Harbor docked at the old Battle Ship Row in front of the Arizona Memorial on Ford Island. I was a plane captain on A4Ds in VMA-212 based at Kaneohe Bay on the other side of Oahu from '61 to '63. On return from one of these qualification cruises and after 20 or 30 hours of constant flight quarters, without a break, we plane captains were tired and dirty and taking a break on the hangar deck in the number two elevator opening. The elevator being up gave a huge picture window to the passing scene as we passed down the "slot" around Ford Island. Somebody broke out a deck of cards and several of us were playing eucre on an overturned box. The ships' crew had been ordered into dress whites and lined the flight deck, shoulder to shoulder. As we passed outgoing ships the Captain would announce "Attention to Port", or "Attention to Starboard" and all the swabbies rendered hand salutes to the outgoing ships, which did the same in response with their crews. Needless to say, a bunch of dirty, tired Marines looking at these passing swabbies all spit shined and rested did not appreciate the tradition we were observing. We had our own version of the hand salute that got passed to the outgoing vessels. This made for very astonished expressions from one sub as I recall. Sailors in a row, from fore to aft and up the conning tower, mouths agape at the dirty, green humanoids disrespecting their ship.

Anyway, as we rounded Ford Island preparing to dock, the captain announced, "Attention to Port", and there coming into view was the new (at the time) Arizona Memorial, flying the stars and stripes as a still commissioned ship of the Navy. Every man jack one of us stood at attention and saluted that beautiful flag and as we passed slowly by and into the slip just in front of the memorial. No way could we not honor those brave men. Still brings a tear to my eye remembering.

Cpl. Norm Spilleth
1960 to 1964


Marines Location Served in Korea Cover/Hat


Monopoly Money

My third tour in Vietnam was with the 11th Marines at An Hoa. I served in the 5th Marines FSCC and when the 7th Marines stood down and returned to the states we moved to LZ Baldy and as Dale Rueber wrote in the 3 June issue, we were paid once a month at Sick Bay. One time a Corpsman was at the door and asked us how much we were getting paid. I told him and he counted out Monopoly money and handed it to me, after getting my real pay (MPC) I returned to my hooch and told a Marine the story. The Regimental Kit Carson Scout heard part of my story and saw the Monopoly money. He grabbed his pistol and took off like a race horse out of our billet. I asked the Intel Chief Gysgt Nichols what was that about and he laughed and said he thinks they are changing the MPC so he is going to town to tell all his friends. Normally the base was locked down when they changed an MPC series and there was a limited time period in which to make the change for the new series.

I don't recall any further issues about the MPC but I would guess the KCS stayed away from the ville for a while.

George Iliffe
MGYSGT (Ret)


3rd Tank Battalion Unit Gear


My Memories Of Boot Camp

Sgt Grit,

I would like to add my memories of boot camp which took place from November 1961 - February 1962. Most of it is just a blur, but I do remember three things:

1. I did not have a bowel movement for the first week.
2. In that 12-weeks of boot camp I cannot remember ever having an erection. At the age of 20, I was the old man in my platoon, but even at this age you'll get hard when the wind blows, except in boot camp.
3. We had one recruit (supposedly 17) who went through puberty. When his voice changed, the DI's sure gave him a bad time.

Age 74 and still a Marine!

Jim Brower - 1977XXX


Due West Into The Sun

Tom Balash... who was at Parris Island in February, 1961 originally in Platoon 311. Was "set back" as a result of 5 days in sick bay. I was in Platoon 311. DI's were SSgt. J.W. Lawrence, Sgt. P.P. Sauger and Sgt. J.F. Farrell. All three hard Corps guys!

Following Camp Geiger, many in the Platoon, me included, were assigned to 1/5 at Pendleton. Eighteen months later we shipped out to Okinawa and became 2/3. On August 2, 1964 we were "on float" aboard the U.S.S. Valley Forge LPH 25 in Subic Bay. The Battalion was ashore doing survival/live off the land training in the bush. Second day of a scheduled 5 day training the choppers came and "hurry your azzes on board!" Flight back to Subic I looked down but Valley Forge is not at the pier. We fly another 10 minutes and land on the flight deck and the ship is shuttering it's going so fast... heading due west into the sun. An hour later, once the rest of the battalion was on board, the Captain comes on the P.A. system and announces that North Vietnamese patrol boats had attacked two U.S. Destroyers and we are now heading to Vietnam. The next morning we are a mile off the coast. Ten days later "The Gulf of Tonkin" resolution was authorized by Congress. And as they say... "The Rest is History".

Bill Honan
Corporal of Marines
0311
Charlie 1/5, Golf 2/3
'62-'65


Pliable Enough To Do The Job

One thing that stands out in my mind about boot camp was the Sunday morning head call at the rifle range at Camp Matthews in early 1957. While there always seemed to be enough toilet paper (for those more refined, tissue) through the week. On Sunday mornings, there would be scores of boots left without any TP. If there wasn't any newspaper around, you were SOL. To make do, we had to crumple the newsprint until it was pliable enough to do the job. You would have thought the base plumbers would have had one h-ll of a job cleaning up that mess. However, I never heard anyone ever saying the toilets were stopped up.

I've heard that Camp Matthews was sold and is now part of San Diego State University. If so, some archaeology students are probably wondering why there were so many copies of the San Diego Union (if they didn't bio-degrade) in their "digs".

James V. Merl
1655XXX
San Onofre ITR and 3rd MarDiv Disbursing


Felt No Pity

1954... USS Wisconsin Mar Det... got $40 every two weeks, was having $50 per month sent home to pay for a car (l953 Merc 2 door)... which incidentally I never saw. Came down from topside and found my wall locker open and my $40 gone. Went to guy before and after me in pay line and got serial numbers from their bills. So I knew what my missing money was marked. The money was found on another Marine who was Court Martialed... his story was he got them from the Ships store in change... from what I never knew... court found him innocent which I never understood but there was no appeal. There was no need to lock your comb lock wall locker... virtually everyone could open any of them in 10 seconds or less. Luckily the guy was outed by this act and everyone pretty much shunned him from then on. Felt no pity at all...

Don Wackerly
Sgt '53-'56


Good Conduct Medal With A Bar

BACKGROUND: My name is Barry D. Farris and I served on active duty from 8 July 1955 through 7 July 1959, 15 XX XXX. Since I lived in Colorado I went to boot camp at MCRD San Diego. afterwards I went to Camp Pendleton for Infantry training and cold weather training at Pickle Meadows. In those days everyone got to go to Okinawa by troop ship. I shipped out of San Diego on December 31, 1955. I returned in March 1957 and after a 30 day leave, I reported to the MCSC in Barstow, CA on 23 April 1957. Being in the Infantry, 0311, I was assigned to Guard Company. After firing high shooter with a score of 230 (Expert) with the M1 Garand, I was reassigned on 9 January 1958 to the Rifle Range as a coach and was authorized to wear the coveted campaign hat. I was promoted to Sergeant "Permanent" on 1 September 1958 and was one of those E-4's who was able to wear his 3 stripes until my release date and transfer to Marine Corps Reserves.

In those days the DD Form 214 were woefully incomplete as far as Decorations, Medal, Badges and Campaign Ribbons were concerned. My USMC Good Conduct Medal was the only thing listed. I did not have much, but my Expert Rifle and Pistol badges were not listed nor was the National Defense Service Medal. I never intended to make the military a career, but I joined the Army on May 31,1960 as a PFC E-3 and went straight into jump school at Ft Campbell, made SFC E-7 in Germany and got my Warrant Officer appointment in 1966. I retired as a CW4 (Personnel Officer) on 31 January 1980. I am a Life Member of the Marine Corps League and a member of Pikes Peak Chapter 29. When asked I tell people that I am a Marine but retired from the Army.

MARINE CORPS GOOD CONDUCT MEDAL: I have attended many Marine Corps Balls in my time and always wear my Army dress blues with full size medals. This year one of my friends in the Marine Corps League made a comment about my Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal. He commented that he had never seen one like mine with the U.S. Marine Corps bar at the top. I said "this is the medal they issued me". I later checked the internet and found that medals issued during WWII had the bar but that those issued afterward did not. I had never given it a thought and never noticed that some did not have the bar. I guess it does not surprise me since just about everything we had from equipment to C-rations were from WWII. I would be interested to know if any other Marines from my era also received a Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal left over from WWII. I can't believe I am the only one.

Barry D. Farris


Take Us To Inchon

I see quite a few Marines have stories about Henrico. I shipped on Henrico July 12,1950 bound for Korea with 1/5. We left San Diego, rendezvoused with the rest of the Brigade around San Clemente Island, then disaster struck. Henrico broke down. The other ships continued on. Henrico limped up the coast to Mare Island. Took us 2 or 3 days as I recall. I remember we looked over the side each day to see if we were moving. We were, barely. Took a day or two to repair the ship, then we slipped under the Golden Gate. We caught up to the rest of the Brigade at Pusan.

About one month later, she was back to take us to Inchon. She had been cleaned and painted. Didn't stay clean for long.

I had a little different experience from the normal 'pay guard'. My first duty station was MarBrks, Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, NH. Our normal duties were manning the two gates, the Locked Ward at the hospital and chasing prisoners from our small brig. At least a couple of times a month, two members of the off-watch guard would be detailed to Payroll Guard by 'Riding Shotgun for Wells Fargo'. We would draw a shotgun and climb into the back of a Wells Fargo truck. The truck would go the bank in Portsmouth, and back onto the curb. One of us would stay by the truck allowing no one to approach, the other would escort the two Wells Fargo men in and out of the bank as they transferred the money bags into the truck. When finished, we then rode back to the base sitting on the bags. It was a huge amount of cash. I recall on one run they told us it was about $8 million. This was civilian payroll. There was a very large work-force at the Yard. Fantastic experience for 17-18 year-old Marines.

GySgt. Paul Santiago
1946-1968


Fifty Years Ago

On 6 May 1965, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines embarked aboard the USS Breckinridge as a trans-placement Battalion to Okinawa: upon arrival on 22 May, the Battalion was designated as the 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines - My Company becoming Echo Company. After forty-one days of training on the island, the Battalion walked up the gangplanks of the USS Pickaway on 3 July in route to Vietnam, seven days later on 7 July 1965, we stormed ashore in an amphibious landing at Red Beach, Da Nang, Vietnam. (Chronicles of a Marine Rifleman).

This 4th of July, the Marines of Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines will be celebrating their 50th anniversary of their landing at Da Nang, Vietnam, on 7 July 1965. It will be our 50th, and for the next ten years there will be hundreds more military reunions to come. Until 15 May 2025. The war did not end with Operation Frequent Wind, the evacuation of Saigon Vietnam: It officially came to an end off the southwest coast of Cambodia, on a small island called Koh Tang. One of the worst military intelligent blunders of the Vietnam War, costing the lives of forty-one U. S. servicemen.

During the conclusion of the battle LCPL Ashton Loney's was declared KIA, and his body was left on the island as unrecoverable. The last three names on the Wall are LCPL Gary Hall, PFC Joseph Hargrove, and PVT Danny Marshall who were mistakenly left behind during the evacuation. They presumably were captured and executed by the Khmer Rouge.

There were fifteen military personnel killed during the battle, and another twenty-three killed in support of the operation. About fifty were wounded, and five still remain unaccounted for. Major General K. J. Houghton who commanded 3rd Marine Division at the time summed it up like this, "It was screwed up": Interpretation Required.

This Fourth of July, we will not only be celebrating our 50th, but honoring our fellow Marines of 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines who died during the war, and but mostly the four Marines of Echo and Gulf Company, left behind on Koh Tang Island (KIA and MIA). You see it was our battalion who brought the war to a close on 15 May 1975.

This 4th of July, we Marines of A/1/5, and E/2/9 salute all the veterans of foreign wars who gave their all to defend our nation's freedom and way of life.

"A few good men can't do their job if you don't give them a few good facts."
--Gail Hargrove

Semper Fi
Herb Brewer


Staff Ranked Marine... Follow-up

When I wrote my piece on my being treated like a "Staff ranked Marine" I did so after going through my memorabilia to refresh my memory. The Dog Patch processing center was between the Air Base in Da Nang and Freedom Hill and it was were this Marine was processed. My military specialty was 1431 Cartographer with as "ALL Marines" a 0311 secondary. I totally remember the 6 weeks of infantry training I had at Pendleton. Part after boot camp and part before I shipped out to "WestPac". If the doubters spent a few minutes looking up the history of the First Marine Division they would find that the 1st Marine Division moved to Chu Lai in 1967. Also if they looked at a map they would discover that Chu Lai is in U.S. terms a suburb of Da Nang. It is on the west side of Da Nang. 1st Marine Recon was also at this site as well as an Army transportation base. History shows the 1st Marine Division combat units returning to Camp Pendleton in April 1971, but as my DD214 shows I left country on May 29, 1971 and the 1st Marine Division Flag still flew at our basecamp in Chu Lai.

I will concede that I was mistaken and stand corrected, as the certificate for my Navy Achievement Medal does state "with combat V" not a star. The star was on my Vietnam Service medal for subsequent service. Lastly yes I was in the rear with the beer, but did see combat and saw several of my friends sent home maimed or in body bags. Those that served in the rear "in country" have the same "Combat" related issues as our Marine brothers that served in the field and thus deserve to be treated with the same respect.

No Foggy memories here.

Sgt. Wayne Sanders
Marine through and through.


NAME

My response:

​1st MarDiv moved FROM Chu Lai to DaNang. I was there from Mar69 to Oct70. 11th Marines HQ Btty.

At the bottom of the hill below 1stMarDiv HQ, 11 Motors across the road, 1st Recon across the rice paddies, Med battalion and helicopter pads down the road a bit. Chu Lai (see above map) is not a suburb of DaNang and it is south of DaNang, not west see map above.

1stMarDiv was at Chu Lai first, but later moved to DaNang.

I will print your story next week if you want. But you will get much the same as I have described above.

Let me know.

Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit


His response:

You can let it go as it is really not worth the hassle to listen to the "bull from the doubters"... But if you look at a map of Da Nang there is also a Chu Lai in the Da Nang Area. As I was am a trained Cartographer (map Guy) I can not only read maps I can make them.

Semper Fi


Replacing Purple Heart Citation

Sgt Grit,

In the 4 June issue, Sgt. Ron Myers, a Vietnam veteran, inquired about getting a replacement Purple Heart citation. I contacted Mr. Mosley at Headquarters, Marine Corps. Here is his response:

Mr. Dillon,

Yes, this is a service that MMMA-3 can provide for the veteran, please have him to submit a signed request and we will be able to assist him in getting a replacement certificate.

Have the veteran submit the following items to the address listed below:

1. Signed request to MMMA-3 - Requesting a replacement certificate for the Purple Heart.

2. DD214, service number or social security number so we can order his official records.

3. Have the veteran mail his request to the following address:
    HEADQUARTERS US MARINE CORPS
    MANPOWER MANAGEMENT DIVISION MMMA
    2008 ELLIOT ROAD
    QUANTICO VA 22134-5030

Once we receive the signed request MMMA-3 will do the following:

1. Order the veteran official records from Nation Personnel Records Center.

2. Review his records to adjudicate the circumstances surrounding the awarding of the purple heart during his tour in Vietnam.

3. Once adjudicated the certificate will be completed and forwarded to the veteran.

4. The veteran personnel records will be updated to reflect the awarding of the purple heart certificate.

Sir, as soon as we get the request we will order his records, but depending how long it takes to receive the records this adjudication process could take up to six months.

Wayne Dillon
SgtMaj USMC (Ret.)
1975-2003


Attitude Is Everything Day 37

Attitude Is Everything Quote of the Day 37

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:


K Otto Phillips - Coming from a SEAL, that's a compliment, and I've heard Special Forces guys say they'd rather have Marines providing their security than soldiers because of their attitude and discipline.


James Breslin - I don't need Chris Kyle telling me what I am or am not! USMC 1966 - 69 / RVN 1968 - 69 / DAV 1969 - Present.


Christopher Benes - Dont be a tw-t. The man stated his obvious respect for who we are. Semper Fi.


Kevin Dutch Wittbrodt - What you guys don't understand is these SEALS have only been around for a few decades, and we've been doing it for hundreds of years!


Richard Matthews - Always ready for some hooking and jabbing :).


William Atte Wode - I notice this is the G-rated version of the quote. Still awesome either way.


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


WWII Peleliu Marines

Marine Pfc. Douglas Lightheart (right) cradles his .30 caliber M1919 Browning machine gun in his lap, while he and Marine Pfc. Gerald Thursby Sr. take a cigarette break, during mopping up operations on Peleliu on 14th September 1944.

(Colorized by Paul Reynolds)

1944 WWII Marines in Peleliu


The Old Corps

The toilet was "The Head"
A drinking fountain was "The Scuttlebut"
A door was not slightly open it was "Ajar"
The uniform for going on a hike was "Spats, Gats and Tin Hats"

There were khakis, greens, and blues Some of you (not all) won't recall a great portion of this but if you do, so be it. If you don't, you missed a good time! The following is a page found in the book "Green Side Out" by Major H.G.Duncan, USMC (Ret) and Captain W.T. Moore, Jr., USMC (Ret).

You kept your rifle in the barracks.
Your 782 gear did not wear out.
Mess halls were mess halls (NOT dining facilities).
No vandalism wrecked the barracks.
Everyone was a Marine and his ethnic background was unimportant.
We had heroes.
Chaplains didn't teach leadership to the experts.
Getting high meant getting drunk.
Beer was 25 cents at the slop chute.
Skivvies had tie-ties.
We starched our khakis and looked like h-ll after sitting down the first time.
We wore the short green jacket with the winter uniform.
We wore Sam Browne belts and sharpened one edge of the buckle for the bad fights.
We kept our packs made up and hanging on the edge of the rack.
We spit-shined shoes.
Brownbaggers' first concern was the Marine Corps.
Generals cussed.
Generals paid more attention to the Marine Corps than to politics.
UA meant being a few minutes late from a great liberty, and only happened once per career.
Brigs were truly "correctional" facilities.
Sergeants were gods.
The tips of the index and middle fingers of one hand were constantly black from Kiwi shoe polish.
We scrubbed the wooden decks of the barracks with creosote.
We had wooden barracks.
Privates made less than $100.00 a month.
Privates always had money.
You weren't transported to war by Trans World or Pan American airlines.
Barracks violence was a fight between two buddies who were buddies when it was over.
Larceny was a civilian crime.
Every trooper had all his gear.
Marines had more uniforms than civilian clothes.
Country and western music did not start race riots in the clubs.
We had no race riots because we had no recognition of races.
Marine Corps birthdays were celebrated on 10 November no matter what day of the week it may have been (except Sunday).
Support units supported.
The supply tail did not wag the maintenance dog.
The 734 form was the only supply document.
You did your own laundry, including ironing.
You aired bedding.
Daily police of outside areas was held although they were always clean.
Field stripping of cigarette butts was required.
Everyone helped at field day.
A tour as Duty NCO was an honor.
Everyone got up a reveille.
We had bugle calls.
Movies were free.
PX items were bargains.
Parking was the least of problems.
Troops couldn't afford cars.
You weren't married unless you could afford it.
Courts-martial orders were read in battalion formations.
We had the "Rocks and Shoals."
Courts-martial were a rarity.
Marines receiving BCDs were drummed out the gate.
NCOs and officers were not required to be psychologists.
The mission was the most important thing.
Marines could shoot.
Marines had a decent rifle.
The BAR was the mainstay of the fire team.
Machine gunnery was an art.
Maggie's drawers meant a miss and was considered demeaning as h-ll to the dignity of the shooter.
Carbide lamps blackened sights.
We wore leggings.
We wore herringbone utilities.
We had machine gun carts.
We mixed target paste in the butts.
We had to take and pass promotion tests.
We really had equal opportunity.
Sickbays gave APCs for all ailments.
We had short-arm inspections.
The flame tank was in the arsenal of weapons.
We had unit parties overseas with warm beer and no drugs.
Marines got haircuts.
Non-judicial punishment was non-judicial.
The squad bay rich guy was the only one with a radio.
If a Marine couldn't make it on a hike, his buddies carried his gear and helped him stumble along so that he wouldn't have to fall out.
The base legal section was one or two clerks and a lawyer.
We had oval dog tags.
Marines wore dog tags all the time.
We spit-shined shoes and BRUSH-shined boots.
We wore boondockers.
We starched field scarves.
We worked a five and one-half day week.
Everyone attended unit parties.
In the field we used straddle trenches instead of "Porta-Potties."
Hitch-hiking was an offense.
We used Morse Code for difficult transmissions.
The oil burning tent stove was the center of social activity in the tent.
We had unit mail call.
We carried swagger sticks.
We had Chesty Puller.
Greater privileges for NCOs were not a "right".
EM Clubs were where you felt at home... and safe.
We sailed on troopships.
We rode troop trains.
Sentries had some authority.
Warrant Officers were not in their teens.
Mess hall "Southern cooking" was not called "soul food."
Marines went to chapel on Sundays.
Weekend liberty to a distant place was a rarity.
The color of a Marine's skin was of no consequence.
The Marine Corps was a big team made up of thousands of little teams.
We landed in LCVPs and always got wet.
We debarked from ship by means of nets over the side.
We had parades.
We had pride.
We had Esprit de Corps.
Field scarves (neckties) were made of the same material as shirts, and had the same consistencies as a wet noodle. There was no tie clasp to keep it from flapping in the breeze.
Shirts were tailored and spit-shined.
Khakis were heavily starched, and you had to run your arm through the pants leg to open them up. Shirt pockets could not be opened and you carried cigarettes in your socks.
There were no back pockets in uniform trousers.
Buttons on your "Blues" were really brass, and you shined them using jewelers rouge and a button shield.
Piss-cutters had a single dip in the rear.

Semper Fi!

"Saepius Exertus, Semper Fidelis, Frater Infinitas"
"Often Tested, Always Faithful, Brothers Forever"
United States Marines


PHIBPAC Swabbies

My 'two cents worth' re: "Fog of Time".

I left an LST, went to Submarine School – where I 'flunked' out medically as my sinus 'broke' in the 105' free ascent tank. From there I was ordered to OPNAV COMM in the Pentagon.

I was given the duty and title of 'Midnight Router' so I had the task of taking the incoming traffic and making the proper people designated addressees. The billet was for an RMC (CPO (E7)) and I was an RM2 (E5).

Although I asked, there was NO extra pay, the other CPO's wouldn't let me in 'the Club' and I still had to wear my 'Dixie Cup' and 13 button Bell Bottom Trousers. The Navy, at Quarters K (Across the street from the Pentagon) was ahead of its time as the 'slop chute' was for E1-E6, with a separate 'Acey Duecey (E5/E6) club but the head was in the middle of the EM Club (below E5) portion. I and several of my colleagues pushed and fought for a Head to be installed in 'our side'. I actually spent about the same amount of time at the Henderson Hall NCO Club. I think the only restriction being they preferred we (USN) wear civvies. I was OK (at least with my USMC peers as they didn't really 'mind' us PHIBPAC swabbies being there as we did work together with the Marines.) Naturally we didn't get anywhere near the 'ride' the Corpsmen got, but we were granted a lot of 'screw up room'...

George O'Connell
RM2 (E5) USN 1956-64


Sgt John Basilone Foundation

John Basilone is one of my favorite Marines. PTSD is one of my favorite things to support. Take a look at the two web pages below. You can also buy a t-shirt and support the foundation.

Sgt John Basilone Foundation | Wounded Veteran | Wounded Warrior Project

Call Sgt John Basilone Foundation at (908) 328-2944 for information for veterans suffering from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), Wounded Veteran, Wounded Warrior Project, New York.

John Basilone Inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame 2011 (Accepted by Diane Basilone Hawkins)


Windward Marine 22 June 1962

1962 Windward Marine page 1

1962 Windward Marine page 2

A little history from the "Windward Marine" the base newspaper for Kaneohe MCAS. I was stationed there in VMA 212 from 1961 to 1963.

Norm Spilleth
1960 - 1964


Never Been That Scared

I remember back in October, 1965 when my father sent me off to boot he gave me two dollars and said, "The Marine Corps will provide any thing you need for a while." So, as we got off the plane at the San Diego airport and walked into the terminal down that covered archway I was in front with the paperwork for the recruits from Dallas, Texas. I had been chewing a piece of gum to help pop my ears during the descent of the plane, and as I entered the terminal a really TALL Marine in blue trousers and a tropical shirt leaned over me (I was really short) and said, "You better get that gum out yer mouth, Azshole, before you get lockjaw!" I immediately swallowed the gum and instinctively said, "Yes Sir!" Then he gathered us all up and stood us on the curb in front of the terminal after admonishing us to "Look straight ahead and do NOT move!" I distinctly remember a billboard across the street advertising you could "Rent a Volkswagen for $5.00 a Day!" I was almost crying, thinking "H-ll I can't even do that! I am truly screwed and stuck here for the near future!" I swear, I have never been that scared before or since! Even Viet Nam didn't scare me as bad as that first taste of the Corps' D.I.'s. Terrifying! LOL!

Ron Perkins
Sgt. of Marines
1965-1974
Viet Nam '68-'70


Sgt Grit Reunites Young Love

Rusty's love from 1966

Santa Fe Train from 1966

I'll attempt to make this short, but it will be however it unfolds. Harken back to June of 1966 - the train ride we all took (well some of us anyway) from our hometown to face the greatest challenge we would ever face - Marine Corps Boot Camp. A young, very unworldly, 17 year old striking off to be counted as one of THE FEW.

Somewhere along the trip from Dallas to San Diego I meet up with one of the nicest young ladies that a young man could ever hope to meet, also traveling west to visit family in Anaheim. It seemed to us that we had found our soulmates and spent many hours talking about what the future might hold for us together. Then at one point in the very late hours I told her that I had one of the biggest days in my life about to dawn, and it would probably be wise to get a few hours sleep. We debated her going back with me, but I esteemed her a lot more than that, and I didn't want to share her with anyone. Nor did I want any comments made that would spoil such a beautiful time together. So I went back to the sleeping car with all the other recruits and service men traveling to San Diego and points south, and she went back to the family she was traveling with. Unbeknownst to me the train made a switching stop in Barstow and sent her party on north to LA and Anaheim.

The very first thing I did upon awakening was to look for her and hope that we might spend a few more stolen minutes before we had to depart for who knew how long. I couldn't search for too long as I had to get ready to debark soon in San Diego. It wasn't until some time later, while in Boot Camp, that her letters explained what happened. Obviously the first weeks are the most tortuous, and it was a credit to her and the remembrances of that train ride that helped me maintain a grasp on my former self.

The one part to this is that while I was waiting to turn 18, as my MOS is 0311, so I would have a further vacation in Southeast Asia, I was stationed at Marine Barracks Pearl Harbor in the Security Detachment, providing security for the various access gates and office buildings. Each of us were assigned to Mess Duty to complement the mess section, and it was during this time one of her letters reached me, with about 10 mail forwarding stamps. I couldn't believe it! After all the Boot Camp letters we shared, I had lost her address, and the efficiency of the military mail system was able to locate me. I had taken a break outside of the mess hall and was sitting on the envelope reading her mail, and the Gunny yelled at me about getting back to work. Of course you know what happens when the Gunny speaks. I hauled my butt back to the serving line, completely forgetting to stuff the letter back in the envelope, and lost her address forever. That is until she found me. Yet my recollections still remain vivid to this day. She found me through the Sgt. Grit website, and my post included my email address. After all those years we recently reconnected and semi caught up with how each of our lives went. She ended up marrying a Soldier (well at least she married a Viet Nam vet) and has been married all these years.

I wonder sometime how it may have been had I paid attention to that one NOW HUGE detail of saving the letter AND the envelope.

Semper Fi
Rusty Norman
Echo 2/9 1969
USMC 1966-


But The Smells

This old Hat remembers the ships in WWII and arriving on Guam before it was secured. As I was young (and looked it) and Dumb (and showed it) I was sent to unload supplies where you could hear the war going on out there with rumbles and bombs bursting. When it was over we all scrounged around for souveniers. There were guys (recently from the lines selling Japanese stuff and money was not what was wanted but cigarettes). My memory is so good I can still remember the smells but the smells of Vietnam are the worst.

So I end up in the hospital getting a Pace Maker so I can go about business at a slower pace and nothing exciting. Life is still exciting but at a lower scale, Cop shows and violent stuff on TV is not to happen, so last night on TV I'm watching an old movie called "Soldiers Three" a Rudyard Kipling story put on screen in the 1930's. I always loved these movies when I was a kid and last night they had the story of Mogli doing his bit in the jungle. Remembering these movies when I was a Kid made it a pleasant experience after getting out of the hospital. Hell I'm not complaining but enjoying whatever time is left, at 88 years it shant be much but it'll be good.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau


Forlorn Hope

That picture of the remaining head at MCRD SD sure tickled some 50 year old memories... (Lima Co, 3rd RT BN... '62-'64). Lima was quartered in Quonsets at the southeast corner of the sea of huts, next to what was known as 'The Little Grinder", a fairly sizable area paved in asphalt, bordered on one side by the chain link airport fence. The heads and the showers (separate buildings, but externally the same size/style) were in parallel rows, and divided Lima's area from India's. A main street (foot traffic only) ran along the rows on each side. Platoons would return from drill or class on those streets, with the platoon street and huts being at right angles from there...

"Toon... Halt! Whoa, girls! Hippty-hop, stop!... IIIIIIIIN Place, double time, march!"... after sufficient time to get their attention, it would be "'Toon, Halt!... you people got three minutes to make a head call and get back on the platoon street" (obviously, the time allotted was not sufficient for 75 post-puberty postulates to attend to all natural functions with 20 commodes, 4 trough urinals, and eight (single) sinks (might have only been four sinks... they were adjacent to the doors at each end... and I don't recall the presence of soap dispensers at any of them...) but the need for speed was obvious... and boosted by the (forlorn) hope that maybe, just maybe, the Drill Instructor would light the smoking lamp (note I said 'forlorn hope").

The platoon would disappear through the double doors at either end in a flurry of elbows... and the DI would saunter on down the street, and, once out of sight, would double back and stand outside, between the head and India's row of heads... and listen.

Once the platoon was back in the platoon street, the DI would appear from the general direction of the Drill Instructor's Lounge (a Quonset hut, home to a coffee pot and a pool table, and not much else), mount the platform, and advise, by name, those who were planning some evil, such as sneaking a smoke after taps, that their evening plans were ill-advised. I was once told, years later, by one of 'mine', that they had actually climbed up into the overhead, searching for hidden microphones...

DDick


Short Rounds

1967... Seabees from NMCB-4's detachment at Khe Sanh constructed bunkers, artillery positions, and ammunition pits for Marines defending Hill 881.

John Ratomski


"Sir, I think we have a serious morale problem."
"Why is that Marine?"
"Nobody is complaining about anything Sir."

Pete Dahlstrom '68-'74


Quotes

"Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread."
--Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography [1821]


"Definition of A veteran - Someone who, at one point, wrote a blank check made payable to 'The United States of America' for an amount of 'up to and including their life.'"
--Unknown


"Retreat hell! We just got here!"
--Capt. Lloyd Williams, USMC


"The safest place in Korea was right behind a platoon of MARINES. LORD, how they could fight!"
--Maj. Gen. Frank Lowe, U.S. Army


"No guts no glory, ooh rah!"

"Liberty is sounded for NCOs and PFCs with hashmarks! Good night!"

"Rough seas, headwinds and a bunk in the bilge."

Gung Ho!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 18 JUN 2015
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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 18 JUN 2015

In this issue:
• 1963 JFK Visit To MCRD San Diego
• Good Conduct Medal With A Bar
• The Old Corps

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A recent motorcycle accident claimed the life of our dear friend and customer GySgt Kevin Kyle. This Marine left us too soon at the age of 50. Gunny Kyle served in Desert Storm, Afghanistan, Iraq and other combat operations. He was an avid shopper at Sgt Grit. Anytime Gunny walked into the showroom, I always made my way over to speak with him for a bit. That was a treat for me. This Marine was just awesome. When I first met him, he had just got off the plane at Will Rogers Airport here in OKC from Iraq. We were having morning chow that day at Sgt Grit for the Marine Corps Birthday. He came straight over to us that morning and had breakfast with his brothers and sisters. He said, that is where he needed to be. That was a special morning. Unknowingly to all of us, he became the "guest of honor" quite literally. It was an honor to have him home and there with all of us. Gunny was a really neat guy. He always had a smile on his face and he always made you feel that he was really happy to see you that day. He would do that with anyone. He will be missed by all.

Prayers for his wife Jodie.

Kristy Fomin
Sgt Grit C.O.O.


March Into The Fence

I thought your readers might enjoy the Before and After photos from my Boot camp Graduation Book, Platoon 304, graduation date 6 March 1967, MCRDSD. S/Sgt. W. Zeiferts was Platoon Commander. He smacked me once on the Big Grinder because I was stupid enough to question a drill command. Sgt. R. Ramos was the Drill Instructor. He would take off his web belt and throw it in the air when we screwed up. It was scary and funny at the same time.

I won't mention the other Drill Instructor's name but he was (apparently) right out of DI School. He used to march us into the fence at the small grinder by the airport runway.

Tony Mastriani
2326XXX
Semper Fidelis


1963 JFK Visit To MCRD San Diego

These are a family heirloom and rarely seen. I figure why not share with whomever. When I sent these to the MCRD Museum they were able to tell me that these were taken in 1963 & that's about all I know as my father died when I was 11 so I have no other info.

Semper Fi!

PS: Love your store & products!

Respectfully,
Lee VanTreese


Dirty, Green Humanoids

In the early sixties the aircraft carriers at Pearl Harbor docked at the old Battle Ship Row in front of the Arizona Memorial on Ford Island. I was a plane captain on A4Ds in VMA-212 based at Kaneohe Bay on the other side of Oahu from '61 to '63. On return from one of these qualification cruises and after 20 or 30 hours of constant flight quarters, without a break, we plane captains were tired and dirty and taking a break on the hangar deck in the number two elevator opening. The elevator being up gave a huge picture window to the passing scene as we passed down the "slot" around Ford Island. Somebody broke out a deck of cards and several of us were playing eucre on an overturned box. The ships' crew had been ordered into dress whites and lined the flight deck, shoulder to shoulder. As we passed outgoing ships the Captain would announce "Attention to Port", or "Attention to Starboard" and all the swabbies rendered hand salutes to the outgoing ships, which did the same in response with their crews. Needless to say, a bunch of dirty, tired Marines looking at these passing swabbies all spit shined and rested did not appreciate the tradition we were observing. We had our own version of the hand salute that got passed to the outgoing vessels. This made for very astonished expressions from one sub as I recall. Sailors in a row, from fore to aft and up the conning tower, mouths agape at the dirty, green humanoids disrespecting their ship.

Anyway, as we rounded Ford Island preparing to dock, the captain announced, "Attention to Port", and there coming into view was the new (at the time) Arizona Memorial, flying the stars and stripes as a still commissioned ship of the Navy. Every man jack one of us stood at attention and saluted that beautiful flag and as we passed slowly by and into the slip just in front of the memorial. No way could we not honor those brave men. Still brings a tear to my eye remembering.

Cpl. Norm Spilleth
1960 to 1964


Monopoly Money

My third tour in Vietnam was with the 11th Marines at An Hoa. I served in the 5th Marines FSCC and when the 7th Marines stood down and returned to the states we moved to LZ Baldy and as Dale Rueber wrote in the 3 June issue, we were paid once a month at Sick Bay. One time a Corpsman was at the door and asked us how much we were getting paid. I told him and he counted out Monopoly money and handed it to me, after getting my real pay (MPC) I returned to my hooch and told a Marine the story. The Regimental Kit Carson Scout heard part of my story and saw the Monopoly money. He grabbed his pistol and took off like a race horse out of our billet. I asked the Intel Chief Gysgt Nichols what was that about and he laughed and said he thinks they are changing the MPC so he is going to town to tell all his friends. Normally the base was locked down when they changed an MPC series and there was a limited time period in which to make the change for the new series.

I don't recall any further issues about the MPC but I would guess the KCS stayed away from the ville for a while.

George Iliffe
MGYSGT (Ret)


My Memories Of Boot Camp

Sgt Grit,

I would like to add my memories of boot camp which took place from November 1961 - February 1962. Most of it is just a blur, but I do remember three things:

1. I did not have a bowel movement for the first week.
2. In that 12-weeks of boot camp I cannot remember ever having an erection. At the age of 20, I was the old man in my platoon, but even at this age you'll get hard when the wind blows, except in boot camp.
3. We had one recruit (supposedly 17) who went through puberty. When his voice changed, the DI's sure gave him a bad time.

Age 74 and still a Marine!

Jim Brower - 1977XXX


Due West Into The Sun

Tom Balash... who was at Parris Island in February, 1961 originally in Platoon 311. Was "set back" as a result of 5 days in sick bay. I was in Platoon 311. DI's were SSgt. J.W. Lawrence, Sgt. P.P. Sauger and Sgt. J.F. Farrell. All three hard Corps guys!

Following Camp Geiger, many in the Platoon, me included, were assigned to 1/5 at Pendleton. Eighteen months later we shipped out to Okinawa and became 2/3. On August 2, 1964 we were "on float" aboard the U.S.S. Valley Forge LPH 25 in Subic Bay. The Battalion was ashore doing survival/live off the land training in the bush. Second day of a scheduled 5 day training the choppers came and "hurry your azzes on board!" Flight back to Subic I looked down but Valley Forge is not at the pier. We fly another 10 minutes and land on the flight deck and the ship is shuttering it's going so fast... heading due west into the sun. An hour later, once the rest of the battalion was on board, the Captain comes on the P.A. system and announces that North Vietnamese patrol boats had attacked two U.S. Destroyers and we are now heading to Vietnam. The next morning we are a mile off the coast. Ten days later "The Gulf of Tonkin" resolution was authorized by Congress. And as they say... "The Rest is History".

Bill Honan
Corporal of Marines
0311
Charlie 1/5, Golf 2/3
'62-'65


Pliable Enough To Do The Job

One thing that stands out in my mind about boot camp was the Sunday morning head call at the rifle range at Camp Matthews in early 1957. While there always seemed to be enough toilet paper (for those more refined, tissue) through the week. On Sunday mornings, there would be scores of boots left without any TP. If there wasn't any newspaper around, you were SOL. To make do, we had to crumple the newsprint until it was pliable enough to do the job. You would have thought the base plumbers would have had one h-ll of a job cleaning up that mess. However, I never heard anyone ever saying the toilets were stopped up.

I've heard that Camp Matthews was sold and is now part of San Diego State University. If so, some archaeology students are probably wondering why there were so many copies of the San Diego Union (if they didn't bio-degrade) in their "digs".

James V. Merl
1655XXX
San Onofre ITR and 3rd MarDiv Disbursing


Felt No Pity

1954... USS Wisconsin Mar Det... got $40 every two weeks, was having $50 per month sent home to pay for a car (l953 Merc 2 door)... which incidentally I never saw. Came down from topside and found my wall locker open and my $40 gone. Went to guy before and after me in pay line and got serial numbers from their bills. So I knew what my missing money was marked. The money was found on another Marine who was Court Martialed... his story was he got them from the Ships store in change... from what I never knew... court found him innocent which I never understood but there was no appeal. There was no need to lock your comb lock wall locker... virtually everyone could open any of them in 10 seconds or less. Luckily the guy was outed by this act and everyone pretty much shunned him from then on. Felt no pity at all...

Don Wackerly
Sgt '53-'56


Good Conduct Medal With A Bar

BACKGROUND: My name is Barry D. Farris and I served on active duty from 8 July 1955 through 7 July 1959, 15 XX XXX. Since I lived in Colorado I went to boot camp at MCRD San Diego. afterwards I went to Camp Pendleton for Infantry training and cold weather training at Pickle Meadows. In those days everyone got to go to Okinawa by troop ship. I shipped out of San Diego on December 31, 1955. I returned in March 1957 and after a 30 day leave, I reported to the MCSC in Barstow, CA on 23 April 1957. Being in the Infantry, 0311, I was assigned to Guard Company. After firing high shooter with a score of 230 (Expert) with the M1 Garand, I was reassigned on 9 January 1958 to the Rifle Range as a coach and was authorized to wear the coveted campaign hat. I was promoted to Sergeant "Permanent" on 1 September 1958 and was one of those E-4's who was able to wear his 3 stripes until my release date and transfer to Marine Corps Reserves.

In those days the DD Form 214 were woefully incomplete as far as Decorations, Medal, Badges and Campaign Ribbons were concerned. My USMC Good Conduct Medal was the only thing listed. I did not have much, but my Expert Rifle and Pistol badges were not listed nor was the National Defense Service Medal. I never intended to make the military a career, but I joined the Army on May 31,1960 as a PFC E-3 and went straight into jump school at Ft Campbell, made SFC E-7 in Germany and got my Warrant Officer appointment in 1966. I retired as a CW4 (Personnel Officer) on 31 January 1980. I am a Life Member of the Marine Corps League and a member of Pikes Peak Chapter 29. When asked I tell people that I am a Marine but retired from the Army.

MARINE CORPS GOOD CONDUCT MEDAL: I have attended many Marine Corps Balls in my time and always wear my Army dress blues with full size medals. This year one of my friends in the Marine Corps League made a comment about my Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal. He commented that he had never seen one like mine with the U.S. Marine Corps bar at the top. I said "this is the medal they issued me". I later checked the internet and found that medals issued during WWII had the bar but that those issued afterward did not. I had never given it a thought and never noticed that some did not have the bar. I guess it does not surprise me since just about everything we had from equipment to C-rations were from WWII. I would be interested to know if any other Marines from my era also received a Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal left over from WWII. I can't believe I am the only one.

Barry D. Farris


Take Us To Inchon

I see quite a few Marines have stories about Henrico. I shipped on Henrico July 12,1950 bound for Korea with 1/5. We left San Diego, rendezvoused with the rest of the Brigade around San Clemente Island, then disaster struck. Henrico broke down. The other ships continued on. Henrico limped up the coast to Mare Island. Took us 2 or 3 days as I recall. I remember we looked over the side each day to see if we were moving. We were, barely. Took a day or two to repair the ship, then we slipped under the Golden Gate. We caught up to the rest of the Brigade at Pusan.

About one month later, she was back to take us to Inchon. She had been cleaned and painted. Didn't stay clean for long.

I had a little different experience from the normal 'pay guard'. My first duty station was MarBrks, Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, NH. Our normal duties were manning the two gates, the Locked Ward at the hospital and chasing prisoners from our small brig. At least a couple of times a month, two members of the off-watch guard would be detailed to Payroll Guard by 'Riding Shotgun for Wells Fargo'. We would draw a shotgun and climb into the back of a Wells Fargo truck. The truck would go the bank in Portsmouth, and back onto the curb. One of us would stay by the truck allowing no one to approach, the other would escort the two Wells Fargo men in and out of the bank as they transferred the money bags into the truck. When finished, we then rode back to the base sitting on the bags. It was a huge amount of cash. I recall on one run they told us it was about $8 million. This was civilian payroll. There was a very large work-force at the Yard. Fantastic experience for 17-18 year-old Marines.

GySgt. Paul Santiago
1946-1968


Fifty Years Ago

On 6 May 1965, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines embarked aboard the USS Breckinridge as a trans-placement Battalion to Okinawa: upon arrival on 22 May, the Battalion was designated as the 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines - My Company becoming Echo Company. After forty-one days of training on the island, the Battalion walked up the gangplanks of the USS Pickaway on 3 July in route to Vietnam, seven days later on 7 July 1965, we stormed ashore in an amphibious landing at Red Beach, Da Nang, Vietnam. (Chronicles of a Marine Rifleman).

This 4th of July, the Marines of Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines will be celebrating their 50th anniversary of their landing at Da Nang, Vietnam, on 7 July 1965. It will be our 50th, and for the next ten years there will be hundreds more military reunions to come. Until 15 May 2025. The war did not end with Operation Frequent Wind, the evacuation of Saigon Vietnam: It officially came to an end off the southwest coast of Cambodia, on a small island called Koh Tang. One of the worst military intelligent blunders of the Vietnam War, costing the lives of forty-one U. S. servicemen.

During the conclusion of the battle LCPL Ashton Loney's was declared KIA, and his body was left on the island as unrecoverable. The last three names on the Wall are LCPL Gary Hall, PFC Joseph Hargrove, and PVT Danny Marshall who were mistakenly left behind during the evacuation. They presumably were captured and executed by the Khmer Rouge.

There were fifteen military personnel killed during the battle, and another twenty-three killed in support of the operation. About fifty were wounded, and five still remain unaccounted for. Major General K. J. Houghton who commanded 3rd Marine Division at the time summed it up like this, "It was screwed up": Interpretation Required.

This Fourth of July, we will not only be celebrating our 50th, but honoring our fellow Marines of 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines who died during the war, and but mostly the four Marines of Echo and Gulf Company, left behind on Koh Tang Island (KIA and MIA). You see it was our battalion who brought the war to a close on 15 May 1975.

This 4th of July, we Marines of A/1/5, and E/2/9 salute all the veterans of foreign wars who gave their all to defend our nation's freedom and way of life.

"A few good men can't do their job if you don't give them a few good facts."
--Gail Hargrove

Semper Fi
Herb Brewer


Staff Ranked Marine... Follow-up

When I wrote my piece on my being treated like a "Staff ranked Marine" I did so after going through my memorabilia to refresh my memory. The Dog Patch processing center was between the Air Base in Da Nang and Freedom Hill and it was were this Marine was processed. My military specialty was 1431 Cartographer with as "ALL Marines" a 0311 secondary. I totally remember the 6 weeks of infantry training I had at Pendleton. Part after boot camp and part before I shipped out to "WestPac". If the doubters spent a few minutes looking up the history of the First Marine Division they would find that the 1st Marine Division moved to Chu Lai in 1967. Also if they looked at a map they would discover that Chu Lai is in U.S. terms a suburb of Da Nang. It is on the west side of Da Nang. 1st Marine Recon was also at this site as well as an Army transportation base. History shows the 1st Marine Division combat units returning to Camp Pendleton in April 1971, but as my DD214 shows I left country on May 29, 1971 and the 1st Marine Division Flag still flew at our basecamp in Chu Lai.

I will concede that I was mistaken and stand corrected, as the certificate for my Navy Achievement Medal does state "with combat V" not a star. The star was on my Vietnam Service medal for subsequent service. Lastly yes I was in the rear with the beer, but did see combat and saw several of my friends sent home maimed or in body bags. Those that served in the rear "in country" have the same "Combat" related issues as our Marine brothers that served in the field and thus deserve to be treated with the same respect.

No Foggy memories here.

Sgt. Wayne Sanders
Marine through and through.


My response:

​1st MarDiv moved FROM Chu Lai to DaNang. I was there from Mar69 to Oct70. 11th Marines HQ Btty.

At the bottom of the hill below 1stMarDiv HQ, 11 Motors across the road, 1st Recon across the rice paddies, Med battalion and helicopter pads down the road a bit. Chu Lai (see above map) is not a suburb of DaNang and it is south of DaNang, not west see map above.

1stMarDiv was at Chu Lai first, but later moved to DaNang.

I will print your story next week if you want. But you will get much the same as I have described above.

Let me know.

Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit


His response:

You can let it go as it is really not worth the hassle to listen to the "bull from the doubters"... But if you look at a map of Da Nang there is also a Chu Lai in the Da Nang Area. As I was am a trained Cartographer (map Guy) I can not only read maps I can make them.

Semper Fi


Replacing Purple Heart Citation

Sgt Grit,

In the 4 June issue, Sgt. Ron Myers, a Vietnam veteran, inquired about getting a replacement Purple Heart citation. I contacted Mr. Mosley at Headquarters, Marine Corps. Here is his response:

Mr. Dillon,

Yes, this is a service that MMMA-3 can provide for the veteran, please have him to submit a signed request and we will be able to assist him in getting a replacement certificate.

Have the veteran submit the following items to the address listed below:

1. Signed request to MMMA-3 - Requesting a replacement certificate for the Purple Heart.

2. DD214, service number or social security number so we can order his official records.

3. Have the veteran mail his request to the following address:
    HEADQUARTERS US MARINE CORPS
    MANPOWER MANAGEMENT DIVISION MMMA
    2008 ELLIOT ROAD
    QUANTICO VA 22134-5030

Once we receive the signed request MMMA-3 will do the following:

1. Order the veteran official records from Nation Personnel Records Center.

2. Review his records to adjudicate the circumstances surrounding the awarding of the purple heart during his tour in Vietnam.

3. Once adjudicated the certificate will be completed and forwarded to the veteran.

4. The veteran personnel records will be updated to reflect the awarding of the purple heart certificate.

Sir, as soon as we get the request we will order his records, but depending how long it takes to receive the records this adjudication process could take up to six months.

Wayne Dillon
SgtMaj USMC (Ret.)
1975-2003


Attitude Is Everything Day 37

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:


K Otto Phillips - Coming from a SEAL, that's a compliment, and I've heard Special Forces guys say they'd rather have Marines providing their security than soldiers because of their attitude and discipline.


James Breslin - I don't need Chris Kyle telling me what I am or am not! USMC 1966 - 69 / RVN 1968 - 69 / DAV 1969 - Present.


Christopher Benes - Dont be a tw-t. The man stated his obvious respect for who we are. Semper Fi.


Kevin Dutch Wittbrodt - What you guys don't understand is these SEALS have only been around for a few decades, and we've been doing it for hundreds of years!


Richard Matthews - Always ready for some hooking and jabbing :).


William Atte Wode - I notice this is the G-rated version of the quote. Still awesome either way.


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


WWII Peleliu Marines

Marine Pfc. Douglas Lightheart (right) cradles his .30 caliber M1919 Browning machine gun in his lap, while he and Marine Pfc. Gerald Thursby Sr. take a cigarette break, during mopping up operations on Peleliu on 14th September 1944.

(Colorized by Paul Reynolds)


The Old Corps

The toilet was "The Head"
A drinking fountain was "The Scuttlebut"
A door was not slightly open it was "Ajar"
The uniform for going on a hike was "Spats, Gats and Tin Hats"

There were khakis, greens, and blues Some of you (not all) won't recall a great portion of this but if you do, so be it. If you don't, you missed a good time! The following is a page found in the book "Green Side Out" by Major H.G.Duncan, USMC (Ret) and Captain W.T. Moore, Jr., USMC (Ret).

You kept your rifle in the barracks.
Your 782 gear did not wear out.
Mess halls were mess halls (NOT dining facilities).
No vandalism wrecked the barracks.
Everyone was a Marine and his ethnic background was unimportant.
We had heroes.
Chaplains didn't teach leadership to the experts.
Getting high meant getting drunk.
Beer was 25 cents at the slop chute.
Skivvies had tie-ties.
We starched our khakis and looked like h-ll after sitting down the first time.
We wore the short green jacket with the winter uniform.
We wore Sam Browne belts and sharpened one edge of the buckle for the bad fights.
We kept our packs made up and hanging on the edge of the rack.
We spit-shined shoes.
Brownbaggers' first concern was the Marine Corps.
Generals cussed.
Generals paid more attention to the Marine Corps than to politics.
UA meant being a few minutes late from a great liberty, and only happened once per career.
Brigs were truly "correctional" facilities.
Sergeants were gods.
The tips of the index and middle fingers of one hand were constantly black from Kiwi shoe polish.
We scrubbed the wooden decks of the barracks with creosote.
We had wooden barracks.
Privates made less than $100.00 a month.
Privates always had money.
You weren't transported to war by Trans World or Pan American airlines.
Barracks violence was a fight between two buddies who were buddies when it was over.
Larceny was a civilian crime.
Every trooper had all his gear.
Marines had more uniforms than civilian clothes.
Country and western music did not start race riots in the clubs.
We had no race riots because we had no recognition of races.
Marine Corps birthdays were celebrated on 10 November no matter what day of the week it may have been (except Sunday).
Support units supported.
The supply tail did not wag the maintenance dog.
The 734 form was the only supply document.
You did your own laundry, including ironing.
You aired bedding.
Daily police of outside areas was held although they were always clean.
Field stripping of cigarette butts was required.
Everyone helped at field day.
A tour as Duty NCO was an honor.
Everyone got up a reveille.
We had bugle calls.
Movies were free.
PX items were bargains.
Parking was the least of problems.
Troops couldn't afford cars.
You weren't married unless you could afford it.
Courts-martial orders were read in battalion formations.
We had the "Rocks and Shoals."
Courts-martial were a rarity.
Marines receiving BCDs were drummed out the gate.
NCOs and officers were not required to be psychologists.
The mission was the most important thing.
Marines could shoot.
Marines had a decent rifle.
The BAR was the mainstay of the fire team.
Machine gunnery was an art.
Maggie's drawers meant a miss and was considered demeaning as h-ll to the dignity of the shooter.
Carbide lamps blackened sights.
We wore leggings.
We wore herringbone utilities.
We had machine gun carts.
We mixed target paste in the butts.
We had to take and pass promotion tests.
We really had equal opportunity.
Sickbays gave APCs for all ailments.
We had short-arm inspections.
The flame tank was in the arsenal of weapons.
We had unit parties overseas with warm beer and no drugs.
Marines got haircuts.
Non-judicial punishment was non-judicial.
The squad bay rich guy was the only one with a radio.
If a Marine couldn't make it on a hike, his buddies carried his gear and helped him stumble along so that he wouldn't have to fall out.
The base legal section was one or two clerks and a lawyer.
We had oval dog tags.
Marines wore dog tags all the time.
We spit-shined shoes and BRUSH-shined boots.
We wore boondockers.
We starched field scarves.
We worked a five and one-half day week.
Everyone attended unit parties.
In the field we used straddle trenches instead of "Porta-Potties."
Hitch-hiking was an offense.
We used Morse Code for difficult transmissions.
The oil burning tent stove was the center of social activity in the tent.
We had unit mail call.
We carried swagger sticks.
We had Chesty Puller.
Greater privileges for NCOs were not a "right".
EM Clubs were where you felt at home... and safe.
We sailed on troopships.
We rode troop trains.
Sentries had some authority.
Warrant Officers were not in their teens.
Mess hall "Southern cooking" was not called "soul food."
Marines went to chapel on Sundays.
Weekend liberty to a distant place was a rarity.
The color of a Marine's skin was of no consequence.
The Marine Corps was a big team made up of thousands of little teams.
We landed in LCVPs and always got wet.
We debarked from ship by means of nets over the side.
We had parades.
We had pride.
We had Esprit de Corps.
Field scarves (neckties) were made of the same material as shirts, and had the same consistencies as a wet noodle. There was no tie clasp to keep it from flapping in the breeze.
Shirts were tailored and spit-shined.
Khakis were heavily starched, and you had to run your arm through the pants leg to open them up. Shirt pockets could not be opened and you carried cigarettes in your socks.
There were no back pockets in uniform trousers.
Buttons on your "Blues" were really brass, and you shined them using jewelers rouge and a button shield.
Piss-cutters had a single dip in the rear.

Semper Fi!

"Saepius Exertus, Semper Fidelis, Frater Infinitas"
"Often Tested, Always Faithful, Brothers Forever"
United States Marines


PHIBPAC Swabbies

My 'two cents worth' re: "Fog of Time".

I left an LST, went to Submarine School – where I 'flunked' out medically as my sinus 'broke' in the 105' free ascent tank. From there I was ordered to OPNAV COMM in the Pentagon.

I was given the duty and title of 'Midnight Router' so I had the task of taking the incoming traffic and making the proper people designated addressees. The billet was for an RMC (CPO (E7)) and I was an RM2 (E5).

Although I asked, there was NO extra pay, the other CPO's wouldn't let me in 'the Club' and I still had to wear my 'Dixie Cup' and 13 button Bell Bottom Trousers. The Navy, at Quarters K (Across the street from the Pentagon) was ahead of its time as the 'slop chute' was for E1-E6, with a separate 'Acey Duecey (E5/E6) club but the head was in the middle of the EM Club (below E5) portion. I and several of my colleagues pushed and fought for a Head to be installed in 'our side'. I actually spent about the same amount of time at the Henderson Hall NCO Club. I think the only restriction being they preferred we (USN) wear civvies. I was OK (at least with my USMC peers as they didn't really 'mind' us PHIBPAC swabbies being there as we did work together with the Marines.) Naturally we didn't get anywhere near the 'ride' the Corpsmen got, but we were granted a lot of 'screw up room'...

George O'Connell
RM2 (E5) USN 1956-64


Sgt John Basilone Foundation

John Basilone is one of my favorite Marines. PTSD is one of my favorite things to support. Take a look at the two web pages below. You can also buy a t-shirt and support the foundation.

Sgt John Basilone Foundation | Wounded Veteran | Wounded Warrior Project

Call Sgt John Basilone Foundation at (908) 328-2944 for information for veterans suffering from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), Wounded Veteran, Wounded Warrior Project, New York.

John Basilone Inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame 2011 (Accepted by Diane Basilone Hawkins)


Windward Marine 22 June 1962

A little history from the "Windward Marine" the base newspaper for Kaneohe MCAS. I was stationed there in VMA 212 from 1961 to 1963.

Norm Spilleth
1960 - 1964


Never Been That Scared

I remember back in October, 1965 when my father sent me off to boot he gave me two dollars and said, "The Marine Corps will provide any thing you need for a while." So, as we got off the plane at the San Diego airport and walked into the terminal down that covered archway I was in front with the paperwork for the recruits from Dallas, Texas. I had been chewing a piece of gum to help pop my ears during the descent of the plane, and as I entered the terminal a really TALL Marine in blue trousers and a tropical shirt leaned over me (I was really short) and said, "You better get that gum out yer mouth, Azshole, before you get lockjaw!" I immediately swallowed the gum and instinctively said, "Yes Sir!" Then he gathered us all up and stood us on the curb in front of the terminal after admonishing us to "Look straight ahead and do NOT move!" I distinctly remember a billboard across the street advertising you could "Rent a Volkswagen for $5.00 a Day!" I was almost crying, thinking "H-ll I can't even do that! I am truly screwed and stuck here for the near future!" I swear, I have never been that scared before or since! Even Viet Nam didn't scare me as bad as that first taste of the Corps' D.I.'s. Terrifying! LOL!

Ron Perkins
Sgt. of Marines
1965-1974
Viet Nam '68-'70


Sgt Grit Reunites Young Love

I'll attempt to make this short, but it will be however it unfolds. Harken back to June of 1966 - the train ride we all took (well some of us anyway) from our hometown to face the greatest challenge we would ever face - Marine Corps Boot Camp. A young, very unworldly, 17 year old striking off to be counted as one of THE FEW.

Somewhere along the trip from Dallas to San Diego I meet up with one of the nicest young ladies that a young man could ever hope to meet, also traveling west to visit family in Anaheim. It seemed to us that we had found our soulmates and spent many hours talking about what the future might hold for us together. Then at one point in the very late hours I told her that I had one of the biggest days in my life about to dawn, and it would probably be wise to get a few hours sleep. We debated her going back with me, but I esteemed her a lot more than that, and I didn't want to share her with anyone. Nor did I want any comments made that would spoil such a beautiful time together. So I went back to the sleeping car with all the other recruits and service men traveling to San Diego and points south, and she went back to the family she was traveling with. Unbeknownst to me the train made a switching stop in Barstow and sent her party on north to LA and Anaheim.

The very first thing I did upon awakening was to look for her and hope that we might spend a few more stolen minutes before we had to depart for who knew how long. I couldn't search for too long as I had to get ready to debark soon in San Diego. It wasn't until some time later, while in Boot Camp, that her letters explained what happened. Obviously the first weeks are the most tortuous, and it was a credit to her and the remembrances of that train ride that helped me maintain a grasp on my former self.

The one part to this is that while I was waiting to turn 18, as my MOS is 0311, so I would have a further vacation in Southeast Asia, I was stationed at Marine Barracks Pearl Harbor in the Security Detachment, providing security for the various access gates and office buildings. Each of us were assigned to Mess Duty to complement the mess section, and it was during this time one of her letters reached me, with about 10 mail forwarding stamps. I couldn't believe it! After all the Boot Camp letters we shared, I had lost her address, and the efficiency of the military mail system was able to locate me. I had taken a break outside of the mess hall and was sitting on the envelope reading her mail, and the Gunny yelled at me about getting back to work. Of course you know what happens when the Gunny speaks. I hauled my butt back to the serving line, completely forgetting to stuff the letter back in the envelope, and lost her address forever. That is until she found me. Yet my recollections still remain vivid to this day. She found me through the Sgt. Grit website, and my post included my email address. After all those years we recently reconnected and semi caught up with how each of our lives went. She ended up marrying a Soldier (well at least she married a Viet Nam vet) and has been married all these years.

I wonder sometime how it may have been had I paid attention to that one NOW HUGE detail of saving the letter AND the envelope.

Semper Fi
Rusty Norman
Echo 2/9 1969
USMC 1966-


But The Smells

This old Hat remembers the ships in WWII and arriving on Guam before it was secured. As I was young (and looked it) and Dumb (and showed it) I was sent to unload supplies where you could hear the war going on out there with rumbles and bombs bursting. When it was over we all scrounged around for souveniers. There were guys (recently from the lines selling Japanese stuff and money was not what was wanted but cigarettes). My memory is so good I can still remember the smells but the smells of Vietnam are the worst.

So I end up in the hospital getting a Pace Maker so I can go about business at a slower pace and nothing exciting. Life is still exciting but at a lower scale, Cop shows and violent stuff on TV is not to happen, so last night on TV I'm watching an old movie called "Soldiers Three" a Rudyard Kipling story put on screen in the 1930's. I always loved these movies when I was a kid and last night they had the story of Mogli doing his bit in the jungle. Remembering these movies when I was a Kid made it a pleasant experience after getting out of the hospital. Hell I'm not complaining but enjoying whatever time is left, at 88 years it shant be much but it'll be good.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau


Forlorn Hope

That picture of the remaining head at MCRD SD sure tickled some 50 year old memories... (Lima Co, 3rd RT BN... '62-'64). Lima was quartered in Quonsets at the southeast corner of the sea of huts, next to what was known as 'The Little Grinder", a fairly sizable area paved in asphalt, bordered on one side by the chain link airport fence. The heads and the showers (separate buildings, but externally the same size/style) were in parallel rows, and divided Lima's area from India's. A main street (foot traffic only) ran along the rows on each side. Platoons would return from drill or class on those streets, with the platoon street and huts being at right angles from there...

"Toon... Halt! Whoa, girls! Hippty-hop, stop!... IIIIIIIIN Place, double time, march!"... after sufficient time to get their attention, it would be "'Toon, Halt!... you people got three minutes to make a head call and get back on the platoon street" (obviously, the time allotted was not sufficient for 75 post-puberty postulates to attend to all natural functions with 20 commodes, 4 trough urinals, and eight (single) sinks (might have only been four sinks... they were adjacent to the doors at each end... and I don't recall the presence of soap dispensers at any of them...) but the need for speed was obvious... and boosted by the (forlorn) hope that maybe, just maybe, the Drill Instructor would light the smoking lamp (note I said 'forlorn hope").

The platoon would disappear through the double doors at either end in a flurry of elbows... and the DI would saunter on down the street, and, once out of sight, would double back and stand outside, between the head and India's row of heads... and listen.

Once the platoon was back in the platoon street, the DI would appear from the general direction of the Drill Instructor's Lounge (a Quonset hut, home to a coffee pot and a pool table, and not much else), mount the platform, and advise, by name, those who were planning some evil, such as sneaking a smoke after taps, that their evening plans were ill-advised. I was once told, years later, by one of 'mine', that they had actually climbed up into the overhead, searching for hidden microphones...

DDick


Short Rounds

1967... Seabees from NMCB-4's detachment at Khe Sanh constructed bunkers, artillery positions, and ammunition pits for Marines defending Hill 881.

John Ratomski


"Sir, I think we have a serious morale problem."
"Why is that Marine?"
"Nobody is complaining about anything Sir."

Pete Dahlstrom '68-'74


Quotes

"Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread."
--Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography [1821]


"Definition of A veteran - Someone who, at one point, wrote a blank check made payable to 'The United States of America' for an amount of 'up to and including their life.'"
--Unknown


"Retreat hell! We just got here!"
--Capt. Lloyd Williams, USMC


"The safest place in Korea was right behind a platoon of MARINES. LORD, how they could fight!"
--Maj. Gen. Frank Lowe, U.S. Army


"No guts no glory, ooh rah!"

"Liberty is sounded for NCOs and PFCs with hashmarks! Good night!"

"Rough seas, headwinds and a bunk in the bilge."

Gung Ho!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 11 JUN 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 11 JUN 2015

In this issue:
• Late Arrival At MCRDSD
• 50 Years To The Day
• Had To Go To Sick Bay

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Sgt Grit,

Kristy probably told you I had a stroke on March 21. Hit so hard it blew the capillaries in my right eye. I was lucky. My wife, Karlotta, drove me down to the VA ER as soon as she saw what was happening. Every veteran who thinks they are invincible should heed this warning. If you even think you're having a heart attack or stroke, get help. Within 2 hours of my stroke the staff had sent me for my CT scans and done the neurological assessment in order to determine which type of stroke I had suffered. Then I was given 100mg of a clot buster in an IV.

I spent 3 days in the VA ICU being treated like a king while I regained my speech, strength and mental capacities. Because my wife and VA staff didn't write off a stroke I am able to write to you and plead with other vets to watch the warning signs and if you're unsure, have them checked out in an ER... 4 hours is the time frame for a clot buster and it makes all the difference in the world. Thanks and Semper Fi!

Julian Etheridge

P.S. Karlotta had me order the Tough Marine t-shirt and mug. When I asked why, she said, "You survived the Marine Corps, the El Ray Tornado and a stroke!" Dang, I wasn't keeping score. Besides growing older isn't for the faint of heart. Have a great weekend!


Reading His Favorite Catalog

Korean War Vet MSgt Burris reading his Sgt Grit Catalog

What a pleasure it is to know Korean War Marine MSgt Burris and really his entire family. When MSgt gets a visit from his granddaughter, Amanda, we are sure to see him here at Sgt Grit. He knows his way around our store. He goes right to the products he wants to see, he stops and visits the desks of the employees that he has not seen since his last visit and he is sure to stop in and line out Sgt Grit for a moment. There is nothing like watching two Marines rib each other all in good fun and camaraderie. We are missing MSgt Burris already and we count the days until he visits us again. A big Semper Fi to you MSgt Burris! Come see us.


Korean Service Commemorative T-shirt


Late Arrival At MCRDSD

Head at MCRD San Diego 1960s

All the letters about boot camp and DI's have me on memory lane of late. Of course my favorite is waking up after the late arrival at MCRDSD. I'm guessing we hit the rack about 3:00 AM and reveille was at 4:00 AM. My first thought upon waking was I've really messed up this time, only messed up was not the exact term I used. Funny, I remember thinking the same thought before we hit the rack.

The DI's lined us up in platoon columns and we half azsed marched over to this little yellow building where the DI's stopped us. The platoon discovered that this building will be forever known as the head. The command that the DI gave will forever be engrained in my brain. "Platoon 3059 get in the sh-tter" I don't think it registered with us right away but after the usual "Sir, Platoon 3059, get in the sh-tter, aye, aye sir" (which we screwed up a few times before we could say it in unison). Suddenly 75 guys are sprinting to the head, trying like h-ll to fit the entire platoon into those double doors. Ramming and jamming each other we were on a very urgent #1 or #2 mission.

Finally, we were all inside for maybe 20 seconds trying to complete our mission when we heard a call from the DI outside "Platoon 3059, get out of the sh-tter". We looked at each other with that WTF look on our faces as half of the guys hadn't gotten their mission accomplished. Again, 75 guys ramming and jamming through those double doors to get into formation.

That, my Marine friends will recall, was the start of the first day of 8 weeks of an experience we will never forget.

Kim B. Swanson
9th MAB
RVN '67-'68


Don't Thank Me

I don't remember pay calls at Parris Island [10/57-12/57] or Camp Gieger [1/58-2/58] However, at my permanent duty station Marine Barracks Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, VA, we had a 1stLt who conducted most of the pay calls. It went like this, after you presented yourself and he counted out your pay, you responded "Thank You Sir" and he always said in reply "Don't thank me Marine, YOU EARNED IT". Needless to say he was one of the most respected officers in the command.

Bob Lake LCpl
Active Duty 10/1/57 - 9/30/60
Honorable Discharge 9/30/63


50 Years To The Day

Cpl Martell's picture with 1st RTBn DIs 2015

This picture was taken in front of the 1st Recruit Training Battalion Headquarters, On May, 19th, 2015, fifty years to the day, that I graduated Boot Camp. SgtMaj Molina, (3rd from left), the SgtMaj of 1st Bn., had the D.I.s from Charlie Co. (that was my company in P.I. with Plt 119) take this picture with me, 1stSgt Lytle, the 1stSgt of Charlie Co. is on the end, he's holding my platoon graduation book. Plus me being a Viet Nam Vet, I was treated with the utmost respect. The SgtMaj, made a copy of my platoon's graduation picture, and hung it up in the Battalion conference room, so, if anyone from Plt 119, goes to visit Parris Island, and goes to the 1st Bn HQ, they'll see our Platoon Picture on the wall.

I shared some boot camp stories with the D.I.s over a couple beers at a place called, Brig and Brew, fifty years ago, it was the Parris Island Brig, now its a "slop chute" where everyone drinks together, there's E4's drinking with E8's and E9's. I had a great time, met some great people, and had some laughs. I even had my picture taken with L/Cpl Legend, the Bulldog, that's the depot mascot. Going back to Parris Island was a very moving experience for me, I recommend it for everyone.

Semper Fi
Dick Martell
Cpl 2141xxx


Property of MCRD 11oz Mug


Windward Marine 15 June 1962

Windward Marines 15 June 2015 page 1

Windward Marines 15 June 2015 page 2

A little history from the "Windward Marine" the base newspaper for Kaneohe MCAS. I was stationed there in VMA 212 from 1961 to 1963.

Norm Spilleth
1960 - 1964


Colorized Marine Corps History

An American Marine aiming his M1 Garand rifle, whilst perched on Japanese ammunition crates on the island of Iwo Jima, c. February/March 1945.

Colorized by Royston Leonard-UK (Royston Colour)

Marine aiming M1 Garand during WWII colorized


I Learned Something That Day

Sgt. Grit,

All this clatter about wearing a cover. Well, this is what I learned about proper cover etiquette.

Basic training MCRD San Diego, California (1968). Just been there a short time and received the usual verbal instructions about why we were wearing a cover and not a hat or cap or anything else that our fouled up brain could conceive of calling it (bla, bla, bla). Being 19 years old – that's what I heard.

One beautiful sun shiny day in July I was called with 2 other maggots to report to sick bay or dental for some reason. As we marched away from our platoon in the Quonset Hut area going toward our destination over near the theater somewhere, we had to pass several other platoons going about their business. We were marching as instructed (2 Privates following orders as the other Private gave orders and called cadence – not real good – but at least we looked like we were in some sort of military). Oh, I forgot to mention our "commander" (the other Private) had lost his cover and was walking with his big ole bone white skull blazing about like a beacon for everyone we passed on our way to sick bay. I guess all Drill Instructors went to the same school and learned the same basic training techniques. So as we passed by one platoon the Drill Instructor ordered us to halt so he could cousel the "commander" about his cover.

"Where's your cover?"

"Lost it!"

Boom – a punch straight in the nose. Sure was a lot of blood. The Drill Instructor took his right hand and placed it on top of his head and told him to leave it there while he was outside. He used his other hand to hold his nose and somewhat control the bleeding. Our "commander" came back and proceeded to march us to sick bay, muttering and cussing under his breath the whole time.

I learned something that day!

Semper Fi,
R Anderson 2414XXX


Listen up maggots!
or
Listen up girls!
or
Listen up ladies!
or
Listen up &%$#

Ahhh yes, those were the days. Now that I have your attention. Take a look at the links below. We have a bunch, a lot, beaucoup, many many, mucho, items. You have to dig a bit to find it all. The below links are samples of what we can do at Sgt Grit that you might not be aware of. So take a look, surf, browse, click, your way to new ways to show your Marine pride.

Marine Corps Golf Shirts

Marine Corps Unit Gear

USMC Engraveable Coins


India 3/9

To Joe "Doc" Garcia and David "Geronimo" Groncki, I also was a member of India 3/9, but during the years '84-'88. Just letting you know that Impact India was still rockin' 'n rollin', kickin' azz and takin' names during those years! Do you Marines know that the 9th Marine Regiment has been deactivated? Each batallion cased their colors separately and 2/9 was the most recent/last to be deactivated. They are all now in the category of "break glass in case of war". Good times were had with that rifle company!

Semper Fi!
SSgt Bob Tollison


Had To Go To Sick Bay

I had a similar experience at P.I. to the six D.I.'s. Arrived at Parris Island in February, 1961, and went to Third Battalion, Platoon 311. I don't remember my DI's names. On the morning of the 15 day test, I was very sick, and had to go to sick bay. I was admitted, and stayed for five days. I was set back, (sh-t canned) and went to the rifle range to a platoon fresh out of forming. It was Plt. 113, C Co., 1st RTBn. My DI's were: SSgt. W. Grabenbauer, SSgt. W. Noland, Gy.Sgt. Caskey (Old Corps Gunny stripes). Caskey soon got his own platoon, and was replaced by SSgt. D. Drew. So, I agree that some of us may have it special. Or did we?

Tom Balash
Corporal of Marines
1961 - 1964


Dog Tags Returned

I have just removed Sgt Karibo's dog tags from the AR -15 to hand back to his daughter on the right and former wife on the left.

GySgt Paul Reyes
(Ret)

GySgt Reyes returning Marine's dog tags to his daughter


Post Traumatic Growth

Destroying the PTSD Victim Myth
By William Treseder
Military 1 Advisor

"You've been told that you're broken," said Mattis, "That you're damaged goods". The truth, instead, is that we are the only folks with the skills, determination, and values to ensure American dominance in this chaotic world.

"There is also Post-Traumatic Growth," Mattis told the crowd. "You come back from war stronger and more sure of who you are."

Leaders like General Mattis are challenging us to find a voice, and tell America who we really are - proud of our service, not defined by it.

Read more at:
General Mattis' Next Mission: Destroying the PTSD Victim Myth


Attitude Is Everything Day 34

Attitude Is Everything Quote of the Day 34

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:


Vern Hoke - If a Marine isn't b-tching they're not happy.


Ron Jaworski - Couldn't say it better.


Joseph Neacy - It's when we are quiet... then watch ur ass! Semper Fi!


Rodney P. Schropp - That would be a badass tattoo.


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


But No One Relieved Me

While stationed at Marine Barracks Pearl Harbor in Security Company, waiting to turn 18 to be shipped off to Viet Nam, I was selected to be transferred to the other Marine Barracks Security Detachment at a location called Wahiawa-Kunia. I learned upon checking in that this (in 1966) served as the central communications network for the entire Pacific. One of the posts guarded the entrance to a mountain in the area with many levels.

While being so far from Honolulu and the beach, since it was located just about the center of the island of Oahu, there wasn't much an enlisted person could do without transportation, especially if you were 17. The base was surrounded, for the most part by pineapple fields. And that made it interesting when the pineapples were being harvested because of all the small black winged bugs that permeated nearly everything.

So, not having anything but time on my hands, I met a Sailor in the transportation department and he ended up qualifying me to drive everything in the Motor Pool. The opportunity to use this came sooner than expected.

A few weeks later, the only other Marine to have a military drivers license was transferred, leaving me as the only other choice, except for the Navy Motor Pool personnel. The skipper didn't want the Navy to have all the duty, so they assigned me as the Duty Driver. 48 hours on, and 48 hours off. We had a truck that contained a 6 passenger compartment plus an abbreviated pickup area. The Navy handled the other 48 hours, until we could get someone trained from our detachment. It was pretty much considered skate duty, because all you had to wear was starched utilities, whereas the rest of the relief had to wear the Uniform of the Day, plus all the web gear (white) and Barracks Cover.

Things rocked along fairly well, delivering the relief to the base posts, then driving off base to the posts that were at the mountain. I also had to be responsible for getting mid-rats for the group at the mountain.

One night, while driving to the section at the mountain, I was descending the hill that led to the entrance for the turn off to the guard house which lay at the base of the mountain. It was a half moon that night, and it must have been the midnight shift, because there was virtually no traffic encountered after leaving the town of Wahiawa. All of a sudden at the top of the hill I see what appears to be some type of truck barrelling down the hill coming straight for me, without his lights on, and hauling what appears to be a house. So I yell to the Marine sitting next to me for him to confirm what I am seeing. So he says "nah, you're seeing things". I take a second glance to confirm and only have enough time after that to slide into the ditch beside the road. They heard it go by, but never confirmed what they saw. Well, I got the relief posted, and the next one, then had Office Hours in the morning. Reduction in rank to PFC, but no time to serve as I had orders to report to Camp Pendleton for further training and shipment to Viet Nam. I sometimes wonder what would have happened had I not seen that.

Semper Fi
Rusty Norman
Echo 2/9 1969
USMC 1966-


Fog Of Time

For the most part, I enjoy reading the various posts from our fellow Marines, even though there have been some that tend to push their "war stories" a bit too far at times. This story is one of those that I'm having difficulty swallowing. Firstly, the subject title set of my b/s alarms right away. Sgt. Sanders claims that as a young PFC, he was "filling a Staff position", and that he "would be treated as a Staff Sergeant, but would not be able to draw the pay or wear the rank". Never, in my 23 year career, have I ever heard of such an assignment. Sanders claims to have been a "Cartographer" which would have been an entry level 0261 Geographic Intelligence Specialist (Pvt-MSgt) -- a topographic map guy. As such, the "staff" position that he was filling, simply means that he was part of the 1st MarDiv G-2 staff of personnel -- in the rear with the beer. Claiming anything else is simply pretentious.

He also states that his assignment took him to the division headquarters in Chu Lai. I find that part strange as well, because I remember that during one of my earlier tours in the SE Asian War Games, while I was serving with 3rd Marine Regt, that the 3rd MarDiv headquarters moved out of Da Nang, and up to Phu Bai (3rd MarDiv - Rear) and Dong Ha (3rd MarDiv - Fwd). This occurred in the early fall of 1966 -- right at the tail end of Operation Hastings, and at the beginning of Operation Prairie I. 1st MarDiv headquarters moved out of Chu Lai at that time, and assumed the 3rd MarDiv CP on the hill just west of the Hill 327 Freedom Hill PX. They remained there until the division re-deployed back to Camp Pendelton in the spring of 1971. Considering his duty assignment, I also wonder about the circumstances of his two "combat promotions". Lastly, there is his claim of receiving a Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal with a "Combat Star". There is no such device (see SecNavInst 1650.1H) The only time a star is added to the medal is when a 5/16" star is added for a subsequent award. There is however, another device that may be awarded with the medal which is called a "Combat Distinguishing Device" -- also known as the "Combat V". Could it be that the fog of time has clouded his memories somewhat, and that this is what Sgt. Sanders may be referring to?

Jim Mackin
MGySgt - USMC (Ret)
1964 - 1987


Re Sgt. Sanders posting in your latest newsletter. Perhaps the then PFC. should refresh his memory or get his story straight. No Marine was ever processed at Dog Patch in Danang. Moreover, 1st Marine Division Hq. was not in Chu Lai in 1970. Try Danang!

H. Harrison Conover, Capt., USMCR, Ret.


No matter what billet he was filling he would not be given privileges of a SNCO, thirdly-combat promotions were given for valor in combat not filling a desk position and lastly, what is a Navy Achievement Medal with a Combat Star? I have a NAM with Combat V. I hope he is just confused but I would think you'll be getting some mail about this.

Semper Fi,
Gene


Marine Corps Pride

When you have to run like your life depended on it... Make sure that you move as swift as a cheetah!

Old sportscar with custom cheetah paint job and USMC sticker


Ask Any Corpsman

To Donnie Lee '72 and all, I graduated Corps school from Balboa N.H. as we were gearing up in Nam... both companies were sent directly to Pendelton, we had gotten two days off in the past 16 weeks. The FBI was sent to arrest me for draft evasion, there's a story... and one of the proudest days of my life I earned the FMF. I think if you ask any Corpsman who has been there... when you go green... it is hard to go back.

To that very elite group who serve the best, Marines... Recon, and Navy SEALS... AWESOME! And to those Corpsmen who serve every where THANK YOU, my son, a Marine, was guarded by you.

HM3/2 'DOC' Wes '64-'69


Where The Money Went

To answer St. PARKER's question as to where the money went. (May 28th news letter) We had the same set up in front of our Quonset hut at Camp Hague, 1956/57 for pay day. AT the end of the table was that 782 gear bucket. Should you not decide to drop some MPC into the bucket you would not receive a liberty pass that night. The money went to Navy Relief

Gene Lang
H & S, 1/12, Hague
Paris Island Marine


Calling For Sgt York

I was stationed at Camp Pendleton, K Co, 3rd Bn, 1st Marines in September of 1962 when I spent 5 days on the Henerico for a training exercise off the coast of Camp Pendleton. I was a PFC and this was my first time on a navy ship. I spent most of my time in chow lines, 3 times a day and sea sick for the rest of the time.

That ship was old and rocked like a babies craddle!

Of all the time I spent on ships of the navy that was the one I will always remember as heaving my guts out calling for Sgt York!

Robert P. Mc Leod
Sgt Maj USMC (Ret)


So Both Of Us Will Remember

I had mentioned that I was sworn in on 10NOV56 and just learned the other day that my grandson is being accepted in the NAVY on 10NOV15 so both of us have reason to remember 10NOV...

Don't know if I (sure someone has) ever related the tale of "Tun Tavern" or How 'traditions start' - A young man walked into Tun Tavern and a couple of people were sitting in a rear booth and beckoned him over. Seems they were trying to sign people up for something called the Marine Corps.

Young man listened, was impressed and joined on the spot. They handed him a contract, and a chit, telling him to go to the bar and wait, the chit was good for two beers.

Man sitting there couple of minutes and another young guy came from 'the table' sat down next to him and said he just joined something called the Marine Corps.

They shook hands and the second guy said 'not bad, get paid and also got a chit for A free beer.

The first guy said..."Well, in the Old Corps we got two beers for enlisting."

G


Lost And Found

Anyone from Plt 342 PISC, Jul/Sep 1965... Gimme a shout at chickster48[at]live.com.

Chick Harmon
Cpl 1965-1969

Plt 342 MCRD PI 1965


Reunions

2015 PI Reunion Plts 236-237-238-239 from 1962

2015 PI Reunion with Bluffton, SC Police Department

"Our group of Marines all just got back from our Parris Island Reunion at the end of April 2015. Had another good turn out with about 27 Marines from PLTS 236-237-238 and 239 from L Company 2nd BN. We arrived at P.I. on June 15th and Out Posted on Sept 13th, 1962. After P.I. we then all when to Camp Geiger ITR to Hotel Company. I still have my Company picture of that group of Hotel Company. Then we all went to our assigned MOS's. This is the 2nd Reunion we have held. The first was in 2013 and was our first trip back since 1962 as a group. I am so sorry to see that our old wooden barracks have been replaced with brick ones. We have had a great time at each of these Reunions. They just get better each time we do a Reunion... This year we opened the Reunion for other Marines that wanted to come and got 1 that had been at the Island in 1968 also. He fit right in with our group of Marines.

It has been about 53 years and when a new Marine shows up to a Reunion it is like he never missed a beat. It was like we had never been separated from each other. We have made contact with 2 Marines from Plt 351 3rd BN/1962 Parris island(one saw a posting on Sgt Grit) and they have joined our email list and are welcome to come to our next Reunion. We have ordered Covers in 2013 and Covers and Shirts in 2015 from Sgt Grit. The work was Outstanding on these items and got to us in time for our Marines to wear. Some of the best embroidery work you could ask for on these items. Sgt Grit away treat you right on the cost of these items.

Attached is a couple of pictures of our 2015 Group at a P.I. graduation and then of a Flag Raising with our Marines CG in there new Covers and Shirts at the Bluffton, S.C. Police Dept. This was to honor all our past Brothers who are not guarding Heavens Gates! We have also posted about 4 Videos on You Tube. If you wish to see them then go to You Tube and type in Ben Mashburn and they should come right up for you. I am still looking for more Marines from our 1962 Series L Company. I have found 151 Marines from this company, some of these Marines have passed away, but still over 100 living. If you have not had a reunion, you have no idea what you are missing! Don't let time pass you by... keep in touch with your Brothers and enjoy the old times again... Keep up the good work Sgt Grit.

Court Conkwright
Plt 238, L Company 1962
Sgt E-5


NOW HEAR THIS!

This is a notice for the 3rd 155 MM Gun Btry (SP) and the 3rd 175 MM Gun Btry (SP) REUNION!

This is our 5th REUNION and will be held on October, 1, 2, 3, in San Diego, Ca. If you were a member of the battery please attend and celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the battery arriving in Vietnam. (August, 1965). This is no better time to plain a great vacation in San Diego and to reunite with your comrades from your battery. For information and any questions about the BATTERY and REUNION please contact Ed Kirby, tel: 978-987-1920 or email: ed-kirby[at]comcast.net.


Short Rounds

He may be able to obtain a replacement Purple Heart certificate by contacting Medals Section, Decorations and Medals Branch, HQMC.


Boarded the Henrico in San Diego 1950, seventeen days and two storms later landed Kobe, Japan. Boarded an LST to Korea. I could find no difference in the discomfort of either ship. I think the Captain and crew were the only ones aborad that weren't sea sick.

S/Sgt. M.L.Gregor, USMC


Quotes

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they've made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."
--President Ronald Reagan


"It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived."
--General George S Patton Jr., (1885 - 1945)


"Either some Caesar or Napoleon will seize the reins of government with a strong hand, or your republic will be as fearfully plundered and laid waste by barbarians in the twentieth century as the Roman Empire was in the fifth, with this difference, that the Huns and Vandals who ravaged the Roman Empire came from without, and that your Huns and Vandals will have been engendered within your own country by your own institutions."
--Thomas Babington Macaulay, Letter to Henry Stephens Randall [May 23, 1857]


"So they've got us surrounded, good! Now we can fire in any direction, those bastards won't get away this time!"
--LtGen Chesty Puller, USMC


"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."

"In a time of universally blind conformity, independent thought is a revolutionary act."
--George Orwell


"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]


"Teufelhunde! (Devil Dogs)"
--German Soliders, WWI at Belleau Wood


"We have two companies of MARINES running all over this island and thousands of ARMY troops doing nothing!"
--Gen. John Vessey, Chairman of Joint Chiefs


"Carry On, Marine!"

"Stay Motivated Marine!"

"Semper Fi - Do or die!"

Fair winds and following seas!
God Bless the Marine Corps!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 11 JUN 2015
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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 11 JUN 2015

In this issue:
• Late Arrival At MCRDSD
• 50 Years To The Day
• Had To Go To Sick Bay

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Sgt Grit,

Kristy probably told you I had a stroke on March 21. Hit so hard it blew the capillaries in my right eye. I was lucky. My wife, Karlotta, drove me down to the VA ER as soon as she saw what was happening. Every veteran who thinks they are invincible should heed this warning. If you even think you're having a heart attack or stroke, get help. Within 2 hours of my stroke the staff had sent me for my CT scans and done the neurological assessment in order to determine which type of stroke I had suffered. Then I was given 100mg of a clot buster in an IV.

I spent 3 days in the VA ICU being treated like a king while I regained my speech, strength and mental capacities. Because my wife and VA staff didn't write off a stroke I am able to write to you and plead with other vets to watch the warning signs and if you're unsure, have them checked out in an ER... 4 hours is the time frame for a clot buster and it makes all the difference in the world. Thanks and Semper Fi!

Julian Etheridge

P.S. Karlotta had me order the Tough Marine t-shirt and mug. When I asked why, she said, "You survived the Marine Corps, the El Ray Tornado and a stroke!" Dang, I wasn't keeping score. Besides growing older isn't for the faint of heart. Have a great weekend!


Reading His Favorite Catalog

What a pleasure it is to know Korean War Marine MSgt Burris and really his entire family. When MSgt gets a visit from his granddaughter, Amanda, we are sure to see him here at Sgt Grit. He knows his way around our store. He goes right to the products he wants to see, he stops and visits the desks of the employees that he has not seen since his last visit and he is sure to stop in and line out Sgt Grit for a moment. There is nothing like watching two Marines rib each other all in good fun and camaraderie. We are missing MSgt Burris already and we count the days until he visits us again. A big Semper Fi to you MSgt Burris! Come see us.


Late Arrival At MCRDSD

All the letters about boot camp and DI's have me on memory lane of late. Of course my favorite is waking up after the late arrival at MCRDSD. I'm guessing we hit the rack about 3:00 AM and reveille was at 4:00 AM. My first thought upon waking was I've really messed up this time, only messed up was not the exact term I used. Funny, I remember thinking the same thought before we hit the rack.

The DI's lined us up in platoon columns and we half azsed marched over to this little yellow building where the DI's stopped us. The platoon discovered that this building will be forever known as the head. The command that the DI gave will forever be engrained in my brain. "Platoon 3059 get in the sh-tter" I don't think it registered with us right away but after the usual "Sir, Platoon 3059, get in the sh-tter, aye, aye sir" (which we screwed up a few times before we could say it in unison). Suddenly 75 guys are sprinting to the head, trying like h-ll to fit the entire platoon into those double doors. Ramming and jamming each other we were on a very urgent #1 or #2 mission.

Finally, we were all inside for maybe 20 seconds trying to complete our mission when we heard a call from the DI outside "Platoon 3059, get out of the sh-tter". We looked at each other with that WTF look on our faces as half of the guys hadn't gotten their mission accomplished. Again, 75 guys ramming and jamming through those double doors to get into formation.

That, my Marine friends will recall, was the start of the first day of 8 weeks of an experience we will never forget.

Kim B. Swanson
9th MAB
RVN '67-'68


Don't Thank Me

I don't remember pay calls at Parris Island [10/57-12/57] or Camp Gieger [1/58-2/58] However, at my permanent duty station Marine Barracks Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, VA, we had a 1stLt who conducted most of the pay calls. It went like this, after you presented yourself and he counted out your pay, you responded "Thank You Sir" and he always said in reply "Don't thank me Marine, YOU EARNED IT". Needless to say he was one of the most respected officers in the command.

Bob Lake LCpl
Active Duty 10/1/57 - 9/30/60
Honorable Discharge 9/30/63


50 Years To The Day

This picture was taken in front of the 1st Recruit Training Battalion Headquarters, On May, 19th, 2015, fifty years to the day, that I graduated Boot Camp. SgtMaj Molina, (3rd from left), the SgtMaj of 1st Bn., had the D.I.s from Charlie Co. (that was my company in P.I. with Plt 119) take this picture with me, 1stSgt Lytle, the 1stSgt of Charlie Co. is on the end, he's holding my platoon graduation book. Plus me being a Viet Nam Vet, I was treated with the utmost respect. The SgtMaj, made a copy of my platoon's graduation picture, and hung it up in the Battalion conference room, so, if anyone from Plt 119, goes to visit Parris Island, and goes to the 1st Bn HQ, they'll see our Platoon Picture on the wall.

I shared some boot camp stories with the D.I.s over a couple beers at a place called, Brig and Brew, fifty years ago, it was the Parris Island Brig, now its a "slop chute" where everyone drinks together, there's E4's drinking with E8's and E9's. I had a great time, met some great people, and had some laughs. I even had my picture taken with L/Cpl Legend, the Bulldog, that's the depot mascot. Going back to Parris Island was a very moving experience for me, I recommend it for everyone.

Semper Fi
Dick Martell
Cpl 2141xxx


Windward Marine 15 June 1962

A little history from the "Windward Marine" the base newspaper for Kaneohe MCAS. I was stationed there in VMA 212 from 1961 to 1963.

Norm Spilleth
1960 - 1964


I Learned Something That Day

Sgt. Grit,

All this clatter about wearing a cover. Well, this is what I learned about proper cover etiquette.

Basic training MCRD San Diego, California (1968). Just been there a short time and received the usual verbal instructions about why we were wearing a cover and not a hat or cap or anything else that our fouled up brain could conceive of calling it (bla, bla, bla). Being 19 years old – that's what I heard.

One beautiful sun shiny day in July I was called with 2 other maggots to report to sick bay or dental for some reason. As we marched away from our platoon in the Quonset Hut area going toward our destination over near the theater somewhere, we had to pass several other platoons going about their business. We were marching as instructed (2 Privates following orders as the other Private gave orders and called cadence – not real good – but at least we looked like we were in some sort of military). Oh, I forgot to mention our "commander" (the other Private) had lost his cover and was walking with his big ole bone white skull blazing about like a beacon for everyone we passed on our way to sick bay. I guess all Drill Instructors went to the same school and learned the same basic training techniques. So as we passed by one platoon the Drill Instructor ordered us to halt so he could cousel the "commander" about his cover.

"Where's your cover?"

"Lost it!"

Boom – a punch straight in the nose. Sure was a lot of blood. The Drill Instructor took his right hand and placed it on top of his head and told him to leave it there while he was outside. He used his other hand to hold his nose and somewhat control the bleeding. Our "commander" came back and proceeded to march us to sick bay, muttering and cussing under his breath the whole time.

I learned something that day!

Semper Fi,
R Anderson 2414XXX


Listen up maggots!
or
Listen up girls!
or
Listen up ladies!
or
Listen up &%$#

Ahhh yes, those were the days. Now that I have your attention. Take a look at the links below. We have a bunch, a lot, beaucoup, many many, mucho, items. You have to dig a bit to find it all. The below links are samples of what we can do at Sgt Grit that you might not be aware of. So take a look, surf, browse, click, your way to new ways to show your Marine pride.

Marine Corps Golf Shirts

Marine Corps Unit Gear

USMC Engraveable Coins


India 3/9

To Joe "Doc" Garcia and David "Geronimo" Groncki, I also was a member of India 3/9, but during the years '84-'88. Just letting you know that Impact India was still rockin' 'n rollin', kickin' azz and takin' names during those years! Do you Marines know that the 9th Marine Regiment has been deactivated? Each batallion cased their colors separately and 2/9 was the most recent/last to be deactivated. They are all now in the category of "break glass in case of war". Good times were had with that rifle company!

Semper Fi!
SSgt Bob Tollison


Had To Go To Sick Bay

I had a similar experience at P.I. to the six D.I.'s. Arrived at Parris Island in February, 1961, and went to Third Battalion, Platoon 311. I don't remember my DI's names. On the morning of the 15 day test, I was very sick, and had to go to sick bay. I was admitted, and stayed for five days. I was set back, (sh-t canned) and went to the rifle range to a platoon fresh out of forming. It was Plt. 113, C Co., 1st RTBn. My DI's were: SSgt. W. Grabenbauer, SSgt. W. Noland, Gy.Sgt. Caskey (Old Corps Gunny stripes). Caskey soon got his own platoon, and was replaced by SSgt. D. Drew. So, I agree that some of us may have it special. Or did we?

Tom Balash
Corporal of Marines
1961 - 1964


Dog Tags Returned

I have just removed Sgt Karibo's dog tags from the AR -15 to hand back to his daughter on the right and former wife on the left.

GySgt Paul Reyes
(Ret)


Post Traumatic Growth

Destroying the PTSD Victim Myth
By William Treseder
Military 1 Advisor

"You've been told that you're broken," said Mattis, "That you're damaged goods". The truth, instead, is that we are the only folks with the skills, determination, and values to ensure American dominance in this chaotic world.

"There is also Post-Traumatic Growth," Mattis told the crowd. "You come back from war stronger and more sure of who you are."

Leaders like General Mattis are challenging us to find a voice, and tell America who we really are - proud of our service, not defined by it.

Read more at:
General Mattis' Next Mission: Destroying the PTSD Victim Myth


Attitude Is Everything Day 34

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:


Vern Hoke - If a Marine isn't b-tching they're not happy.


Ron Jaworski - Couldn't say it better.


Joseph Neacy - It's when we are quiet... then watch ur ass! Semper Fi!


Rodney P. Schropp - That would be a badass tattoo.


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


But No One Relieved Me

While stationed at Marine Barracks Pearl Harbor in Security Company, waiting to turn 18 to be shipped off to Viet Nam, I was selected to be transferred to the other Marine Barracks Security Detachment at a location called Wahiawa-Kunia. I learned upon checking in that this (in 1966) served as the central communications network for the entire Pacific. One of the posts guarded the entrance to a mountain in the area with many levels.

While being so far from Honolulu and the beach, since it was located just about the center of the island of Oahu, there wasn't much an enlisted person could do without transportation, especially if you were 17. The base was surrounded, for the most part by pineapple fields. And that made it interesting when the pineapples were being harvested because of all the small black winged bugs that permeated nearly everything.

So, not having anything but time on my hands, I met a Sailor in the transportation department and he ended up qualifying me to drive everything in the Motor Pool. The opportunity to use this came sooner than expected.

A few weeks later, the only other Marine to have a military drivers license was transferred, leaving me as the only other choice, except for the Navy Motor Pool personnel. The skipper didn't want the Navy to have all the duty, so they assigned me as the Duty Driver. 48 hours on, and 48 hours off. We had a truck that contained a 6 passenger compartment plus an abbreviated pickup area. The Navy handled the other 48 hours, until we could get someone trained from our detachment. It was pretty much considered skate duty, because all you had to wear was starched utilities, whereas the rest of the relief had to wear the Uniform of the Day, plus all the web gear (white) and Barracks Cover.

Things rocked along fairly well, delivering the relief to the base posts, then driving off base to the posts that were at the mountain. I also had to be responsible for getting mid-rats for the group at the mountain.

One night, while driving to the section at the mountain, I was descending the hill that led to the entrance for the turn off to the guard house which lay at the base of the mountain. It was a half moon that night, and it must have been the midnight shift, because there was virtually no traffic encountered after leaving the town of Wahiawa. All of a sudden at the top of the hill I see what appears to be some type of truck barrelling down the hill coming straight for me, without his lights on, and hauling what appears to be a house. So I yell to the Marine sitting next to me for him to confirm what I am seeing. So he says "nah, you're seeing things". I take a second glance to confirm and only have enough time after that to slide into the ditch beside the road. They heard it go by, but never confirmed what they saw. Well, I got the relief posted, and the next one, then had Office Hours in the morning. Reduction in rank to PFC, but no time to serve as I had orders to report to Camp Pendleton for further training and shipment to Viet Nam. I sometimes wonder what would have happened had I not seen that.

Semper Fi
Rusty Norman
Echo 2/9 1969
USMC 1966-


Fog Of Time

For the most part, I enjoy reading the various posts from our fellow Marines, even though there have been some that tend to push their "war stories" a bit too far at times. This story is one of those that I'm having difficulty swallowing. Firstly, the subject title set of my b/s alarms right away. Sgt. Sanders claims that as a young PFC, he was "filling a Staff position", and that he "would be treated as a Staff Sergeant, but would not be able to draw the pay or wear the rank". Never, in my 23 year career, have I ever heard of such an assignment. Sanders claims to have been a "Cartographer" which would have been an entry level 0261 Geographic Intelligence Specialist (Pvt-MSgt) -- a topographic map guy. As such, the "staff" position that he was filling, simply means that he was part of the 1st MarDiv G-2 staff of personnel -- in the rear with the beer. Claiming anything else is simply pretentious.

He also states that his assignment took him to the division headquarters in Chu Lai. I find that part strange as well, because I remember that during one of my earlier tours in the SE Asian War Games, while I was serving with 3rd Marine Regt, that the 3rd MarDiv headquarters moved out of Da Nang, and up to Phu Bai (3rd MarDiv - Rear) and Dong Ha (3rd MarDiv - Fwd). This occurred in the early fall of 1966 -- right at the tail end of Operation Hastings, and at the beginning of Operation Prairie I. 1st MarDiv headquarters moved out of Chu Lai at that time, and assumed the 3rd MarDiv CP on the hill just west of the Hill 327 Freedom Hill PX. They remained there until the division re-deployed back to Camp Pendelton in the spring of 1971. Considering his duty assignment, I also wonder about the circumstances of his two "combat promotions". Lastly, there is his claim of receiving a Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal with a "Combat Star". There is no such device (see SecNavInst 1650.1H) The only time a star is added to the medal is when a 5/16" star is added for a subsequent award. There is however, another device that may be awarded with the medal which is called a "Combat Distinguishing Device" -- also known as the "Combat V". Could it be that the fog of time has clouded his memories somewhat, and that this is what Sgt. Sanders may be referring to?

Jim Mackin
MGySgt - USMC (Ret)
1964 - 1987


Re Sgt. Sanders posting in your latest newsletter. Perhaps the then PFC. should refresh his memory or get his story straight. No Marine was ever processed at Dog Patch in Danang. Moreover, 1st Marine Division Hq. was not in Chu Lai in 1970. Try Danang!

H. Harrison Conover, Capt., USMCR, Ret.


No matter what billet he was filling he would not be given privileges of a SNCO, thirdly-combat promotions were given for valor in combat not filling a desk position and lastly, what is a Navy Achievement Medal with a Combat Star? I have a NAM with Combat V. I hope he is just confused but I would think you'll be getting some mail about this.

Semper Fi,
Gene


Ask Any Corpsman

To Donnie Lee '72 and all, I graduated Corps school from Balboa N.H. as we were gearing up in Nam... both companies were sent directly to Pendelton, we had gotten two days off in the past 16 weeks. The FBI was sent to arrest me for draft evasion, there's a story... and one of the proudest days of my life I earned the FMF. I think if you ask any Corpsman who has been there... when you go green... it is hard to go back.

To that very elite group who serve the best, Marines... Recon, and Navy SEALS... AWESOME! And to those Corpsmen who serve every where THANK YOU, my son, a Marine, was guarded by you.

HM3/2 'DOC' Wes '64-'69


Where The Money Went

To answer St. PARKER's question as to where the money went. (May 28th news letter) We had the same set up in front of our Quonset hut at Camp Hague, 1956/57 for pay day. AT the end of the table was that 782 gear bucket. Should you not decide to drop some MPC into the bucket you would not receive a liberty pass that night. The money went to Navy Relief

Gene Lang
H & S, 1/12, Hague
Paris Island Marine


Calling For Sgt York

I was stationed at Camp Pendleton, K Co, 3rd Bn, 1st Marines in September of 1962 when I spent 5 days on the Henerico for a training exercise off the coast of Camp Pendleton. I was a PFC and this was my first time on a navy ship. I spent most of my time in chow lines, 3 times a day and sea sick for the rest of the time.

That ship was old and rocked like a babies craddle!

Of all the time I spent on ships of the navy that was the one I will always remember as heaving my guts out calling for Sgt York!

Robert P. Mc Leod
Sgt Maj USMC (Ret)


So Both Of Us Will Remember

I had mentioned that I was sworn in on 10NOV56 and just learned the other day that my grandson is being accepted in the NAVY on 10NOV15 so both of us have reason to remember 10NOV...

Don't know if I (sure someone has) ever related the tale of "Tun Tavern" or How 'traditions start' - A young man walked into Tun Tavern and a couple of people were sitting in a rear booth and beckoned him over. Seems they were trying to sign people up for something called the Marine Corps.

Young man listened, was impressed and joined on the spot. They handed him a contract, and a chit, telling him to go to the bar and wait, the chit was good for two beers.

Man sitting there couple of minutes and another young guy came from 'the table' sat down next to him and said he just joined something called the Marine Corps.

They shook hands and the second guy said 'not bad, get paid and also got a chit for A free beer.

The first guy said..."Well, in the Old Corps we got two beers for enlisting."

G


Lost And Found

Anyone from Plt 342 PISC, Jul/Sep 1965... Gimme a shout at chickster48[at]live.com.

Chick Harmon
Cpl 1965-1969


Reunions

"Our group of Marines all just got back from our Parris Island Reunion at the end of April 2015. Had another good turn out with about 27 Marines from PLTS 236-237-238 and 239 from L Company 2nd BN. We arrived at P.I. on June 15th and Out Posted on Sept 13th, 1962. After P.I. we then all when to Camp Geiger ITR to Hotel Company. I still have my Company picture of that group of Hotel Company. Then we all went to our assigned MOS's. This is the 2nd Reunion we have held. The first was in 2013 and was our first trip back since 1962 as a group. I am so sorry to see that our old wooden barracks have been replaced with brick ones. We have had a great time at each of these Reunions. They just get better each time we do a Reunion... This year we opened the Reunion for other Marines that wanted to come and got 1 that had been at the Island in 1968 also. He fit right in with our group of Marines.

It has been about 53 years and when a new Marine shows up to a Reunion it is like he never missed a beat. It was like we had never been separated from each other. We have made contact with 2 Marines from Plt 351 3rd BN/1962 Parris island(one saw a posting on Sgt Grit) and they have joined our email list and are welcome to come to our next Reunion. We have ordered Covers in 2013 and Covers and Shirts in 2015 from Sgt Grit. The work was Outstanding on these items and got to us in time for our Marines to wear. Some of the best embroidery work you could ask for on these items. Sgt Grit away treat you right on the cost of these items.

Attached is a couple of pictures of our 2015 Group at a P.I. graduation and then of a Flag Raising with our Marines CG in there new Covers and Shirts at the Bluffton, S.C. Police Dept. This was to honor all our past Brothers who are not guarding Heavens Gates! We have also posted about 4 Videos on You Tube. If you wish to see them then go to You Tube and type in Ben Mashburn and they should come right up for you. I am still looking for more Marines from our 1962 Series L Company. I have found 151 Marines from this company, some of these Marines have passed away, but still over 100 living. If you have not had a reunion, you have no idea what you are missing! Don't let time pass you by... keep in touch with your Brothers and enjoy the old times again... Keep up the good work Sgt Grit.

Court Conkwright
Plt 238, L Company 1962
Sgt E-5


NOW HEAR THIS!

This is a notice for the 3rd 155 MM Gun Btry (SP) and the 3rd 175 MM Gun Btry (SP) REUNION!

This is our 5th REUNION and will be held on October, 1, 2, 3, in San Diego, Ca. If you were a member of the battery please attend and celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the battery arriving in Vietnam. (August, 1965). This is no better time to plain a great vacation in San Diego and to reunite with your comrades from your battery. For information and any questions about the BATTERY and REUNION please contact Ed Kirby, tel: 978-987-1920 or email: ed-kirby[at]comcast.net.


Short Rounds

He may be able to obtain a replacement Purple Heart certificate by contacting Medals Section, Decorations and Medals Branch, HQMC.


Boarded the Henrico in San Diego 1950, seventeen days and two storms later landed Kobe, Japan. Boarded an LST to Korea. I could find no difference in the discomfort of either ship. I think the Captain and crew were the only ones aborad that weren't sea sick.

S/Sgt. M.L.Gregor, USMC


Quotes

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they've made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."
--President Ronald Reagan


"It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived."
--General George S Patton Jr., (1885 - 1945)


"Either some Caesar or Napoleon will seize the reins of government with a strong hand, or your republic will be as fearfully plundered and laid waste by barbarians in the twentieth century as the Roman Empire was in the fifth, with this difference, that the Huns and Vandals who ravaged the Roman Empire came from without, and that your Huns and Vandals will have been engendered within your own country by your own institutions."
--Thomas Babington Macaulay, Letter to Henry Stephens Randall [May 23, 1857]


"So they've got us surrounded, good! Now we can fire in any direction, those bastards won't get away this time!"
--LtGen Chesty Puller, USMC


"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."

"In a time of universally blind conformity, independent thought is a revolutionary act."
--George Orwell


"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]


"Teufelhunde! (Devil Dogs)"
--German Soliders, WWI at Belleau Wood


"We have two companies of MARINES running all over this island and thousands of ARMY troops doing nothing!"
--Gen. John Vessey, Chairman of Joint Chiefs


"Carry On, Marine!"

"Stay Motivated Marine!"

"Semper Fi - Do or die!"

Fair winds and following seas!
God Bless the Marine Corps!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 04 JUN 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 04 JUN 2015

In this issue:
• Corpsman's Life On The Line
• My Battlefield Cross
• Courage Under Fire

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Here is a booklet that was issued to me upon my arrival in APRIL of '68. I had forgotten about it until I was going through my stuff. It's been so long I don't remember if I had read it, then well, I started to read it and laugh but stopped stared at the wall and had visions of Nam in my mind from so long ago. My new unit was FLC 1st FSR TrkCo.

Vic DeLeon
Cpl. Semper Fi

Welcome to Vietnam Booklet


Corpsman's Life On The Line

I was at An Hoa in '68 – '69 with the 11th Marines. They always ran the pay line through sick bay. The Corpsman would check your shot record, and if you needed shots you had to get them before they would pay you. One of my fondest memories of my time in that lovely land was watching a very nervous Corpsman explain to the very upset Colonel that the Colonel needed to get four shots before he could be paid. To his credit, after fuming a short while, the Colonel rolled up his sleeves and took his medicine like a man. God bless those Corpsmen. They put their lives on the line in more ways than one.

Dale R. Rueber
Sgt. of Marines


2nd Battalion 2nd Marines Gear


My Battlefield Cross

Memorial Day yard memorial front view

Memorial Day yard memorial close up of cross

The attached pictures are from a Memorial that I put up in my front yard every Memorial Day and Veterans Day as a tribute to my fallen brothers. My "Battlefield Cross"... (with the helmet, weapon, dog tags and boots of a fallen Marine/Soldier/Airman/Sailor...) are very special to me... I started doing this in my front yard many years ago but just never really shared it. Only the neighbors and people who drove by would stop and look and take pictures... And then I would take about 60/70 pictures just to find the perfect one to print and save.

I not only do this for my Fallen Brothers but for myself as a sort of healing and time of special remembrance to them. I served as a FMF Corpsman assigned to the Corps in 1972 after graduating high school at 17 and so therefore I've had the opportunity to be stationed on board a few Carriers and TAD's during a wonderful time with and in the Military. My first duty station was with the Naval Activity Support Hospital (on the flight line for Medivac and care/treatment of our wounded and the RSVN soldiers) in DaNang, in 1972 until April 1973 and then went on to finish out my career with many more Marine Corps Detachments.

I wanted to take a moment and send these photos and if you have a Memorial Day Photo Section, maybe you'll find one out of this bunch that you'd like to share with your readers. This year I had made the White Cross and included it to my tribute you see here with the Branches of service decals for the US Marines, Navy, Air Force, Army and Coast Guard. FYI... the weapon you see here is an MKA 1919 12 gauge assault shotgun... (has a 5 round mag that shoots a mean 3" magnum slug...) made almost exactly as the great and powerful M-16 used back in the day... (I have 2 AR-15's but I wasn't about to use them outside just in case some body got sticky fingers)... I live in a nice neighborhood but thieves will be thieves... the helmet is the same one I was assigned in Vietnam... I just put on a newer Mitchell pattern cover years ago... and the dog tags are my original ones issued to me in '72 when I started out as a fresh squid... but after going FMF, my life changed and I was a squid no more... it took along time to become a true "Doc"... I appreciate your time reading this story of mine. May God Bless You for all you do and be safe...

My wife and I enjoy wearing our t-shirts and other things that we purchase from our SGT. GRIT.

P.S. Can you spot the Grit's yard flag?

Semper Fi

"Corpsman Up"
Donnie Lee, '72
God Shall Forever Be With Us... through all our days...


DaNang Vietnam Cover/Hat


Treated As A Staff Sergeant

When I landed as an 18 year old Private First Class in Da Nang on July 9, 1970, I was trucked to Dog Patch near Freedom Hill for processing. I spent two full days there as they could not figure out where to assign me. As it turned out my Cartographer MOS required that I not be assigned below a Battalion Headquarters level and the only position for a Cartographer was a Staff position at the 1st Marine Division Headquarters G-2. The Sergeant that processed me at Dog Patch told me this, and that they had contacted the Colonel at 1stMarDiv G-2 and he had agreed to accept me in that position, as the Staff Sergeant currently in place had been there more then 13 months.

I was sent to the Division Headquarters in Chu Lai and was told that as I was filling a Staff position. I would be treated as a Staff Sergeant, but would not be able to draw the pay or wear the rank. Needless to say it made my Vietnam experience much easier. I returned home an E-5 Sergeant with two Combat promotions and the Navy Achievement Medal with a Combat Star.

Semper Fi for Life
SGT. Wayne J. Sanders
Vietnam '70-'71


Windward Marine 08 June 1962

Windward Marine 8 June 1962 page 1

Windward Marine 8 June 1962 page 2

A little history from the "Windward Marine" the base newspaper for Kaneohe MCAS. I was stationed there in VMA 212 from 1961 to 1963.

Norm Spilleth
1960 - 1964


I Was Blessed, I Think

Regarding the items about never forgetting your Drill Instructors, I really made out at MCRD PI in 1966. Lucky me... I had six. Platoon 1015 June - August '66. Senior - GySgt Mounce, Juniors Sgt. Babb (this guy was card carrying crazy) and Sgt Jones.

My dad died while I was at PI so I was sent home for 10 days emergency leave - (two rotten days on buses from Yemassee to the Port Authority Terminal in NYC).

When I returned I was placed in First RTR casual company for a bit and then assigned to Platoon 1027: Senior - SSgt Johnson; Juniors Sgt Shexnader (evil, this one was) and Sgt Gochanauer (we were never sure if this guy even had an IQ).

Nope. Never forgot a one. Eat your hearts out Marines. I think...

Cpl. Gerry Zanzalari
2206xxx
1966 - 1970
RVN 1968 - 1969


USS Henrico APA 45​

The old tub was still going strong in the summer of 1966 when she took a boat load of us Marines from San Diego to Okinawa. I was with 5th Shore Party Bn as part of BLT 26th Marines (Rein). There were several ships in the convoy. We went into port at Pearl Harbor and got 2 days and 1 night shore liberty. When we got underway and were in the open ocean again the ships in the convoy fell in line and a plane pulled a target sleeve behind it so the Navy could take target practice. We all gathered on deck to watch and I believe it would have been safer to have been riding the target sleeve than in the tow plane. I don't know if anyone ever hit it or not.

Semper Fi,
Bob Mauney
Cpl of Marines


Courage Under Fire

Fobbs and Stogner during the Vietnam War era

Fobbs and Stogner today

Article by Pete Mecca
CovNews

More than one Leatherneck would agree, it's befitting that a young man from Montezuma chose to join the United States Marine Corps. The month was November, the year 1965, the man: Eli Fobbs.

"I remember basic at Camp Lejeune," Fobbs said. "Back then the Corps didn't play around. They'd insult your momma, sister your wife; shoot, those guys would bust your nose and scare you to death. It didn't take me long to believe I'd joined the wrong organization."

Fobbs had what it took to become a Marine. After advanced training at Camp Pendleton, Fobbs arrived at Da Nang, South Vietnam in June, '66 with arguably the most dangerous job in 'Injun' Country': that of an M-60 machine gunner.

Assigned to the 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, dubbed "The Walking Dead", Fobbs went into combat almost immediately. A hard-hitting breed of Marines, "The Walking Dead" even carried Tabasco Sauce in their packs to kill the taste of WWII era C-rations.

In early April, '67, Charlie Company approached the village of Phu An, a well-established haven for North Vietnam's 234 Division. Fobbs stated, "It was near dusk and we were told to dig in, but the sandy soil was so saturated we hit water at 3-to-4 inches. So we kept low to the ground in a prone position."

At nightfall Charlie Company moved out toward a tree line then all hell broke loose. "The enemy came out of nowhere," Fobbs said. "We got hit hard and took a lot of casualties."

A deadly hindrance was the recently introduced M-16 assault rifle. Never properly field tested and hurried into combat, the new M-16 jammed consistently which rendered U.S. soldiers defenseless.

"We had called for reinforcements and were told to 'cease fire' on our right flank because Delta Company was coming in to help us," Fobbs said. "It wasn't Delta Company, it was the enemy. They swarmed all over us, dropping hand grenades and executing our wounded. I got hit in the arms and legs and was overwhelmed by 4 Viet Cong. They took my K-bar knife, the machine gun, and then drug me into the tree line. I was screaming in pain. The VC jabbed my wounds with sticks trying to make me talk. Shoot, I didn't even understand Vietnamese." Charlie Company had been decimated. Almost every platoon member was either dead or wounded. The company commander was dead; the FO was dead – there was no leadership.

Another Marine, Lance Corporal James Stogner, had been 'in country' for months. Before the firefight erupted, illumination, for some weird reason, had been called in to 'light up the area.' Stogner was a battle-hardened Marine and recognized the sounds of diverse artillery rounds. Perceiving that the 'lights would soon be on'; Stogner knelt and waited for the night to turn into day.

As the obscured sky became sunlit, Stogner spotted three enemy soldiers in front of his position. He took out all three with an automatic burst from his M-16. Then his M-16 jammed and the receiver slammed back into his face, breaking his nose and lacerating his skin. The illumination burned out; night returned. With a K-bar knife as his only protection, Stogner, vulnerable and with few options, lay in the dark trying to figure out his next move Stogner heard the moans of wounded and dying Marines, many yelling for help. Then he heard Vietnamese voices, a lot of them, slipping into the perimeter to shoot wounded Marines in the head and strip them of weapons and gear.

Instead of slipping away, instead of saving his own skin, Stogner joined the enemy, so to speak, in the darkness, armed with his K-bar knife. In short order he killed numerous NVA soldiers, thus saving many Marines from a certain death. Still Stogner moved, like a nocturnal hunter, until he found and silenced more NVA soldiers, saving even more Marines.

The NVA in the tree line knew something was amiss. Their men were being silenced which meant one, if not more, member of the Marines were still alive. Chi Com grenades blanketed the Marine position. Stogner survived the barrage, but was now alone in the dark. He decided to crawl away from the killing zone until he heard a Marine shriek in pain from the tree line. The Marine in trouble was Eli Fobbs.

Fobbs recalled, "The VC or NVA, whoever those guys were, kept jabbing my wounds and beating me. One of them heard something and left the torture area. He never came back." James Stogner had slipped into the area, grabbed the lone NVA in the darkness, and silenced him with the K-bar knife. One of the other NVA soldiers came to investigate. He, too, soon visited his ancestors.

"The other two guys were still going at me when suddenly this skinny white dude came screaming out of the darkness like a wild man," Fobbs said. He stabbed one in the chest and quickly grabbed the last guy, wrestled him to the ground, and, well, he was a goner, too."

Stogner threw Fobbs over his shoulder, grabbed the M-60 machine gun, and struggled back to friendly lines. Amid grenade explosions and small arms fire, Stogner eventually delivered his human cargo to safety until both were airlifted out for medical treatment the next morning.

James Stogner and Eli Fobbs recovered from their wounds and returned to combat. Fobbs earned 3 Purple Hearts in Vietnam while Stogner was awarded at least two Purple Hearts during his tour of duty.

The inexcusable irony is the total lack of acknowledgment for Stogner's heroics in the best tradition of the United States Marine Corps. Many of the eyewitnesses, especially the officers, were killed in action and any paperwork that may have been processed was lost in never-ending paper-shuffling.

While loading additional casualties onto choppers the next morning, a Corporal named Carl Van Meeteren overheard Gunnery Sergeant Bush comment on Stogner's courage.

"I saw men in the Korean War get the Medal of Honor for doing things like this," he said.

The Medal of Honor requires at least two reliable witnesses. Eli Fobbs is one. Fobbs assistant gunner, Bob Carpenter, was the other. In December of '93, while sitting at the breakfast table with his wife and two sons, for reasons known but to God, Carpenter pulled out a .45 caliber pistol and ended his own life.

"You know, I've seen and talked with James, but it took us 41 years to get together," Eli Fobbs said. "We are dear friends. But I have black friends that don't believe this story, a story of a skinny white kid saving a black man in combat. I got news for them, the only color in war is red, and we all bled it."

In war, the few too often pay the price for the many. Perhaps it's time for the many, especially our congressmen, to pay more investigative attention to the few.

Story submitted by Wayne Armstrong


Having The GAUL

All of these letters regarding coming before the paymaster dusted off the memory bank and brought to mind my first pay from Uncle Sam. Summer of 1969, MCRD San Diego. Out on the edge of the grinder in front of the quonset huts of the 2nd recruit training battalion. We were instructed to have our I.D. cards ready and address the paymaster in a specific way (can't remember the details). After receiving a cash payment ($100?), our Platoon Commander was right there as we stepped away from the paymaster table, berating each of us recruits for having the GAUL to take the taxpayers money for doing so little and being so worthless. As you would expect, more colorful language was used than I can share here.

Greg Pawlik
Cpl 1969-1972


Attitude Is Everything Day 27

Attitude Is Everything Quote of the Day 27

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:


LLoyd Red Carroll - There's a lot of truth in the quote "You can't handle the truth".


Adam Edwards - Eh, I don't know. I think most Marines really like that part of the movie, but I'm not sure channeling the "accessory to murder" villain from a movie is the best attitude to cultivate.


Tom Hager - The Col. Jessup character was a true azshole.


Timothy Bucher - All Marines, past or present can be azsholes. Some like me, take pride in sh-tting on your day. Copy?


Gene Evans - Gung-ho!


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


Usually The Same Guys

Seeing all of the stories about payday brought to mind one that happened in our barracks every pay day, without exception. There would be three or four cr-p games going on at various spots around the barracks, including the head, and about five minutes after every one was paid, three or four guys, usually the same guys, would come around asking to borrow a few bucks for beer and cigarettes. Never failed.

Dick Stites, 663517
Sgt of Marines
1948-52


An Intelligent Form Of MARINE Life

More on Henrico and pay day.

I went aboard the Henrico (APA-45) in Aug '57 and about 2 weeks later we were on the way to WESTPAC with a 'full load' of USMC.

We stopped at Pearl Harbor and the CO called me in and told me to write my mother and convince her I was not AWOL or going to jail for 'dodging the draft' as I 'signed' in 1956 (Nov 10 by the way) and turned 18 in Oct '57, the FBI was 'looking for me' etc...

'JOKE':

The CO also asked why I hadn't taken any pay? I scratched my head and said "PAY? I was taken out of 'poverty', sent to a place where I got some regimented exercise, 3 squares a day, plenty of new friends, (though the people in charge could be 'nasty'), place to lay my head and NOW you have me in Hawaii on the way to Japan AND YOU TELL ME I GET PAID real money?..."

End 'JOKE'

'Funny' thing about FBI, right out of Boot Camp I went to Imperial Beach, CA for Communications Technician School and needed the FULL BI to get on the base, yet six or so months later, the same FBI was looking for me?

Between Boot and Henrico, I was assigned to Mess Cooking at Navsta San Diego and one of the 'Gentleman' at the Gate gigged me for a spot on my whites or something and I missed my bus for a 72. Like they say, paybacks are wonderful. Few days later, said 'Gentleman' was coming through the line and I was serving – somehow gravy or such got all over his tray... OOPS... Sorry about that...

Also on the 'old' APAs Troop Quarters had running sluice toilets which served double duty... just a long metal trench on a downhill slant which could be used for sitting or standing... The seats were raised and if you needed one, you just pulled it down. No stalls, NO privacy, just a long tube with about 15(?) or so people utilizing it at the same time. One of the 'tricks' was to light a roll of sandpaper (I mean so called toilet paper) and launch it on the top side...

Also chow was served standing up and I used to 'have' to eat with the troops on occasion due to watchstanding duties... Would grab a spot at the end of the table as when the ship would roll, everything rolled with it, causing some of the personnel to discharge any recent material that had been swallowed. I remember a nasty roll, the trays started sliding, someone barfed and as a tray was going over the end of the table I speared a Pork Chop off the tray. Needless to say the table cleared out...

Ah, some good memories!

Always remember if a Squid (an intelligent form of MARINE life) and one of Uncle Sam's Misguided Children were to be mixing it up, woe be the Doggie or Flyboy or Civilian that tried to break it up... HE (they) would then have both (or more) of US to contend with...

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


Camp Mathews Photos

Sgt. Grit,

Spring and Summer of 1959 I was stationed at Camp Matthews, the rifle range for MCRD San Diego. I am looking for photographs of the whole camp from the mid to late 50's for my Marine Corps wall in my office. I have contacted the museum at MCRD but they didn't know where I could look and they said they didn't have much. There are some in the recruit graduation book from 1958 which I have from my platoon but I was hoping some Marines out there could help me with copies of photos from there and that era. Many thanks and Semper Fi. Still throwin' lead downrange.

Austin, A. D. (Tony) 183----
Tony.Austin41[at]gmail.com


Lost And Found

Anyone from plt. 246 PISC, April/July 1958? Gimme a shout at johnbolan[at]hotmail.com.

John Bolan
Cpl. 1958-1962

Plt 246, PISC 1958


Short Rounds

A shout-out to Joe "DOC" Garcia, "I" 3/9 "65-66". Doc I was with "I" 3/9 "67-68"... Welcome Home! Ya'll put me on a med-vac chopper.

Thanks for ur'e service!

OooRah-Semper Fi
David "Geronimo" Groncki


Does anyone know how to get a replacement Purple Heart certificate? I have tried the National Personnel Records Center to no result except "the Department of the Navy does not provide Purple Heart certificates". I have the original medal but the certificate was lost long ago.

Ron Myers
Sgt.
2201xxx


Quotes

"Come on, you sons of bitches! Do you want to live forever?"
--GySgt. Daniel Daly, USMC


"There is a rank due to the United States, among nations, which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness. If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace... it must be known that we are at all times ready for war."
--George Washington (1793)


"One of the consequences of such notions as "entitlements" is that people who have contributed nothing to society feel that society owes them something, apparently just for being nice enough to grace us with their presence."
--Thomas Sowell, USMC, Korea


"We're not retreating, Hell! We're just attacking in different direction!"
--Gen. Oliver Smith, USMC


​​"Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it."
--Mark Twain


"I have just returned from visiting the MARINES at the front, and there is not a finer fighting organization in the world!"
--Gen. Douglas MacArthur, U.S. Army


"Stay Green!"

"Re-enlist!"

"To All My Fellow Belleau Woodsmen..."

God Bless the American Dream.
Semper fi!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 04 JUN 2015
If you are having trouble viewing this issue, see it on our website:
http://www.grunt.com/corps/newsletter/10635/

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 04 JUN 2015

In this issue:
• Corpsman's Life On The Line
• My Battlefield Cross
• Courage Under Fire

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

Here is a booklet that was issued to me upon my arrival in APRIL of '68. I had forgotten about it until I was going through my stuff. It's been so long I don't remember if I had read it, then well, I started to read it and laugh but stopped stared at the wall and had visions of Nam in my mind from so long ago. My new unit was FLC 1st FSR TrkCo.

Vic DeLeon
Cpl. Semper Fi


Corpsman's Life On The Line

I was at An Hoa in '68 – '69 with the 11th Marines. They always ran the pay line through sick bay. The Corpsman would check your shot record, and if you needed shots you had to get them before they would pay you. One of my fondest memories of my time in that lovely land was watching a very nervous Corpsman explain to the very upset Colonel that the Colonel needed to get four shots before he could be paid. To his credit, after fuming a short while, the Colonel rolled up his sleeves and took his medicine like a man. God bless those Corpsmen. They put their lives on the line in more ways than one.

Dale R. Rueber
Sgt. of Marines


My Battlefield Cross

The attached pictures are from a Memorial that I put up in my front yard every Memorial Day and Veterans Day as a tribute to my fallen brothers. My "Battlefield Cross"... (with the helmet, weapon, dog tags and boots of a fallen Marine/Soldier/Airman/Sailor...) are very special to me... I started doing this in my front yard many years ago but just never really shared it. Only the neighbors and people who drove by would stop and look and take pictures... And then I would take about 60/70 pictures just to find the perfect one to print and save.

I not only do this for my Fallen Brothers but for myself as a sort of healing and time of special remembrance to them. I served as a FMF Corpsman assigned to the Corps in 1972 after graduating high school at 17 and so therefore I've had the opportunity to be stationed on board a few Carriers and TAD's during a wonderful time with and in the Military. My first duty station was with the Naval Activity Support Hospital (on the flight line for Medivac and care/treatment of our wounded and the RSVN soldiers) in DaNang, in 1972 until April 1973 and then went on to finish out my career with many more Marine Corps Detachments.

I wanted to take a moment and send these photos and if you have a Memorial Day Photo Section, maybe you'll find one out of this bunch that you'd like to share with your readers. This year I had made the White Cross and included it to my tribute you see here with the Branches of service decals for the US Marines, Navy, Air Force, Army and Coast Guard. FYI... the weapon you see here is an MKA 1919 12 gauge assault shotgun... (has a 5 round mag that shoots a mean 3" magnum slug...) made almost exactly as the great and powerful M-16 used back in the day... (I have 2 AR-15's but I wasn't about to use them outside just in case some body got sticky fingers)... I live in a nice neighborhood but thieves will be thieves... the helmet is the same one I was assigned in Vietnam... I just put on a newer Mitchell pattern cover years ago... and the dog tags are my original ones issued to me in '72 when I started out as a fresh squid... but after going FMF, my life changed and I was a squid no more... it took along time to become a true "Doc"... I appreciate your time reading this story of mine. May God Bless You for all you do and be safe...

My wife and I enjoy wearing our t-shirts and other things that we purchase from our SGT. GRIT.

P.S. Can you spot the Grit's yard flag?

Semper Fi

"Corpsman Up"
Donnie Lee, '72
God Shall Forever Be With Us... through all our days...


Treated As A Staff Sergeant

When I landed as an 18 year old Private First Class in Da Nang on July 9, 1970, I was trucked to Dog Patch near Freedom Hill for processing. I spent two full days there as they could not figure out where to assign me. As it turned out my Cartographer MOS required that I not be assigned below a Battalion Headquarters level and the only position for a Cartographer was a Staff position at the 1st Marine Division Headquarters G-2. The Sergeant that processed me at Dog Patch told me this, and that they had contacted the Colonel at 1stMarDiv G-2 and he had agreed to accept me in that position, as the Staff Sergeant currently in place had been there more then 13 months.

I was sent to the Division Headquarters in Chu Lai and was told that as I was filling a Staff position. I would be treated as a Staff Sergeant, but would not be able to draw the pay or wear the rank. Needless to say it made my Vietnam experience much easier. I returned home an E-5 Sergeant with two Combat promotions and the Navy Achievement Medal with a Combat Star.

Semper Fi for Life
SGT. Wayne J. Sanders
Vietnam '70-'71


Windward Marine 08 June 1962

A little history from the "Windward Marine" the base newspaper for Kaneohe MCAS. I was stationed there in VMA 212 from 1961 to 1963.

Norm Spilleth
1960 - 1964


I Was Blessed, I Think

Regarding the items about never forgetting your Drill Instructors, I really made out at MCRD PI in 1966. Lucky me... I had six. Platoon 1015 June - August '66. Senior - GySgt Mounce, Juniors Sgt. Babb (this guy was card carrying crazy) and Sgt Jones.

My dad died while I was at PI so I was sent home for 10 days emergency leave - (two rotten days on buses from Yemassee to the Port Authority Terminal in NYC).

When I returned I was placed in First RTR casual company for a bit and then assigned to Platoon 1027: Senior - SSgt Johnson; Juniors Sgt Shexnader (evil, this one was) and Sgt Gochanauer (we were never sure if this guy even had an IQ).

Nope. Never forgot a one. Eat your hearts out Marines. I think...

Cpl. Gerry Zanzalari
2206xxx
1966 - 1970
RVN 1968 - 1969


USS Henrico APA 45​

The old tub was still going strong in the summer of 1966 when she took a boat load of us Marines from San Diego to Okinawa. I was with 5th Shore Party Bn as part of BLT 26th Marines (Rein). There were several ships in the convoy. We went into port at Pearl Harbor and got 2 days and 1 night shore liberty. When we got underway and were in the open ocean again the ships in the convoy fell in line and a plane pulled a target sleeve behind it so the Navy could take target practice. We all gathered on deck to watch and I believe it would have been safer to have been riding the target sleeve than in the tow plane. I don't know if anyone ever hit it or not.

Semper Fi,
Bob Mauney
Cpl of Marines


Courage Under Fire

Article by Pete Mecca
CovNews

More than one Leatherneck would agree, it's befitting that a young man from Montezuma chose to join the United States Marine Corps. The month was November, the year 1965, the man: Eli Fobbs.

"I remember basic at Camp Lejeune," Fobbs said. "Back then the Corps didn't play around. They'd insult your momma, sister your wife; shoot, those guys would bust your nose and scare you to death. It didn't take me long to believe I'd joined the wrong organization."

Fobbs had what it took to become a Marine. After advanced training at Camp Pendleton, Fobbs arrived at Da Nang, South Vietnam in June, '66 with arguably the most dangerous job in 'Injun' Country': that of an M-60 machine gunner.

Assigned to the 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, dubbed "The Walking Dead", Fobbs went into combat almost immediately. A hard-hitting breed of Marines, "The Walking Dead" even carried Tabasco Sauce in their packs to kill the taste of WWII era C-rations.

In early April, '67, Charlie Company approached the village of Phu An, a well-established haven for North Vietnam's 234 Division. Fobbs stated, "It was near dusk and we were told to dig in, but the sandy soil was so saturated we hit water at 3-to-4 inches. So we kept low to the ground in a prone position."

At nightfall Charlie Company moved out toward a tree line then all hell broke loose. "The enemy came out of nowhere," Fobbs said. "We got hit hard and took a lot of casualties."

A deadly hindrance was the recently introduced M-16 assault rifle. Never properly field tested and hurried into combat, the new M-16 jammed consistently which rendered U.S. soldiers defenseless.

"We had called for reinforcements and were told to 'cease fire' on our right flank because Delta Company was coming in to help us," Fobbs said. "It wasn't Delta Company, it was the enemy. They swarmed all over us, dropping hand grenades and executing our wounded. I got hit in the arms and legs and was overwhelmed by 4 Viet Cong. They took my K-bar knife, the machine gun, and then drug me into the tree line. I was screaming in pain. The VC jabbed my wounds with sticks trying to make me talk. Shoot, I didn't even understand Vietnamese." Charlie Company had been decimated. Almost every platoon member was either dead or wounded. The company commander was dead; the FO was dead – there was no leadership.

Another Marine, Lance Corporal James Stogner, had been 'in country' for months. Before the firefight erupted, illumination, for some weird reason, had been called in to 'light up the area.' Stogner was a battle-hardened Marine and recognized the sounds of diverse artillery rounds. Perceiving that the 'lights would soon be on'; Stogner knelt and waited for the night to turn into day.

As the obscured sky became sunlit, Stogner spotted three enemy soldiers in front of his position. He took out all three with an automatic burst from his M-16. Then his M-16 jammed and the receiver slammed back into his face, breaking his nose and lacerating his skin. The illumination burned out; night returned. With a K-bar knife as his only protection, Stogner, vulnerable and with few options, lay in the dark trying to figure out his next move Stogner heard the moans of wounded and dying Marines, many yelling for help. Then he heard Vietnamese voices, a lot of them, slipping into the perimeter to shoot wounded Marines in the head and strip them of weapons and gear.

Instead of slipping away, instead of saving his own skin, Stogner joined the enemy, so to speak, in the darkness, armed with his K-bar knife. In short order he killed numerous NVA soldiers, thus saving many Marines from a certain death. Still Stogner moved, like a nocturnal hunter, until he found and silenced more NVA soldiers, saving even more Marines.

The NVA in the tree line knew something was amiss. Their men were being silenced which meant one, if not more, member of the Marines were still alive. Chi Com grenades blanketed the Marine position. Stogner survived the barrage, but was now alone in the dark. He decided to crawl away from the killing zone until he heard a Marine shriek in pain from the tree line. The Marine in trouble was Eli Fobbs.

Fobbs recalled, "The VC or NVA, whoever those guys were, kept jabbing my wounds and beating me. One of them heard something and left the torture area. He never came back." James Stogner had slipped into the area, grabbed the lone NVA in the darkness, and silenced him with the K-bar knife. One of the other NVA soldiers came to investigate. He, too, soon visited his ancestors.

"The other two guys were still going at me when suddenly this skinny white dude came screaming out of the darkness like a wild man," Fobbs said. He stabbed one in the chest and quickly grabbed the last guy, wrestled him to the ground, and, well, he was a goner, too."

Stogner threw Fobbs over his shoulder, grabbed the M-60 machine gun, and struggled back to friendly lines. Amid grenade explosions and small arms fire, Stogner eventually delivered his human cargo to safety until both were airlifted out for medical treatment the next morning.

James Stogner and Eli Fobbs recovered from their wounds and returned to combat. Fobbs earned 3 Purple Hearts in Vietnam while Stogner was awarded at least two Purple Hearts during his tour of duty.

The inexcusable irony is the total lack of acknowledgment for Stogner's heroics in the best tradition of the United States Marine Corps. Many of the eyewitnesses, especially the officers, were killed in action and any paperwork that may have been processed was lost in never-ending paper-shuffling.

While loading additional casualties onto choppers the next morning, a Corporal named Carl Van Meeteren overheard Gunnery Sergeant Bush comment on Stogner's courage.

"I saw men in the Korean War get the Medal of Honor for doing things like this," he said.

The Medal of Honor requires at least two reliable witnesses. Eli Fobbs is one. Fobbs assistant gunner, Bob Carpenter, was the other. In December of '93, while sitting at the breakfast table with his wife and two sons, for reasons known but to God, Carpenter pulled out a .45 caliber pistol and ended his own life.

"You know, I've seen and talked with James, but it took us 41 years to get together," Eli Fobbs said. "We are dear friends. But I have black friends that don't believe this story, a story of a skinny white kid saving a black man in combat. I got news for them, the only color in war is red, and we all bled it."

In war, the few too often pay the price for the many. Perhaps it's time for the many, especially our congressmen, to pay more investigative attention to the few.

Story submitted by Wayne Armstrong


Having The GAUL

All of these letters regarding coming before the paymaster dusted off the memory bank and brought to mind my first pay from Uncle Sam. Summer of 1969, MCRD San Diego. Out on the edge of the grinder in front of the quonset huts of the 2nd recruit training battalion. We were instructed to have our I.D. cards ready and address the paymaster in a specific way (can't remember the details). After receiving a cash payment ($100?), our Platoon Commander was right there as we stepped away from the paymaster table, berating each of us recruits for having the GAUL to take the taxpayers money for doing so little and being so worthless. As you would expect, more colorful language was used than I can share here.

Greg Pawlik
Cpl 1969-1972


Attitude Is Everything Day 27

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:


LLoyd Red Carroll - There's a lot of truth in the quote "You can't handle the truth".


Adam Edwards - Eh, I don't know. I think most Marines really like that part of the movie, but I'm not sure channeling the "accessory to murder" villain from a movie is the best attitude to cultivate.


Tom Hager - The Col. Jessup character was a true azshole.


Timothy Bucher - All Marines, past or present can be azsholes. Some like me, take pride in sh-tting on your day. Copy?


Gene Evans - Gung-ho!


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


Usually The Same Guys

Seeing all of the stories about payday brought to mind one that happened in our barracks every pay day, without exception. There would be three or four cr-p games going on at various spots around the barracks, including the head, and about five minutes after every one was paid, three or four guys, usually the same guys, would come around asking to borrow a few bucks for beer and cigarettes. Never failed.

Dick Stites, 663517
Sgt of Marines
1948-52


An Intelligent Form Of MARINE Life

More on Henrico and pay day.

I went aboard the Henrico (APA-45) in Aug '57 and about 2 weeks later we were on the way to WESTPAC with a 'full load' of USMC.

We stopped at Pearl Harbor and the CO called me in and told me to write my mother and convince her I was not AWOL or going to jail for 'dodging the draft' as I 'signed' in 1956 (Nov 10 by the way) and turned 18 in Oct '57, the FBI was 'looking for me' etc...

'JOKE':

The CO also asked why I hadn't taken any pay? I scratched my head and said "PAY? I was taken out of 'poverty', sent to a place where I got some regimented exercise, 3 squares a day, plenty of new friends, (though the people in charge could be 'nasty'), place to lay my head and NOW you have me in Hawaii on the way to Japan AND YOU TELL ME I GET PAID real money?..."

End 'JOKE'

'Funny' thing about FBI, right out of Boot Camp I went to Imperial Beach, CA for Communications Technician School and needed the FULL BI to get on the base, yet six or so months later, the same FBI was looking for me?

Between Boot and Henrico, I was assigned to Mess Cooking at Navsta San Diego and one of the 'Gentleman' at the Gate gigged me for a spot on my whites or something and I missed my bus for a 72. Like they say, paybacks are wonderful. Few days later, said 'Gentleman' was coming through the line and I was serving – somehow gravy or such got all over his tray... OOPS... Sorry about that...

Also on the 'old' APAs Troop Quarters had running sluice toilets which served double duty... just a long metal trench on a downhill slant which could be used for sitting or standing... The seats were raised and if you needed one, you just pulled it down. No stalls, NO privacy, just a long tube with about 15(?) or so people utilizing it at the same time. One of the 'tricks' was to light a roll of sandpaper (I mean so called toilet paper) and launch it on the top side...

Also chow was served standing up and I used to 'have' to eat with the troops on occasion due to watchstanding duties... Would grab a spot at the end of the table as when the ship would roll, everything rolled with it, causing some of the personnel to discharge any recent material that had been swallowed. I remember a nasty roll, the trays started sliding, someone barfed and as a tray was going over the end of the table I speared a Pork Chop off the tray. Needless to say the table cleared out...

Ah, some good memories!

Always remember if a Squid (an intelligent form of MARINE life) and one of Uncle Sam's Misguided Children were to be mixing it up, woe be the Doggie or Flyboy or Civilian that tried to break it up... HE (they) would then have both (or more) of US to contend with...

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


Camp Mathews Photos

Sgt. Grit,

Spring and Summer of 1959 I was stationed at Camp Matthews, the rifle range for MCRD San Diego. I am looking for photographs of the whole camp from the mid to late 50's for my Marine Corps wall in my office. I have contacted the museum at MCRD but they didn't know where I could look and they said they didn't have much. There are some in the recruit graduation book from 1958 which I have from my platoon but I was hoping some Marines out there could help me with copies of photos from there and that era. Many thanks and Semper Fi. Still throwin' lead downrange.

Austin, A. D. (Tony) 183----
Tony.Austin41[at]gmail.com


Lost And Found

Anyone from plt. 246 PISC, April/July 1958? Gimme a shout at johnbolan[at]hotmail.com.

John Bolan
Cpl. 1958-1962


Short Rounds

A shout-out to Joe "DOC" Garcia, "I" 3/9 "65-66". Doc I was with "I" 3/9 "67-68"... Welcome Home! Ya'll put me on a med-vac chopper.

Thanks for ur'e service!

OooRah-Semper Fi
David "Geronimo" Groncki


Does anyone know how to get a replacement Purple Heart certificate? I have tried the National Personnel Records Center to no result except "the Department of the Navy does not provide Purple Heart certificates". I have the original medal but the certificate was lost long ago.

Ron Myers
Sgt.
2201xxx


Quotes

"Come on, you sons of bitches! Do you want to live forever?"
--GySgt. Daniel Daly, USMC


"There is a rank due to the United States, among nations, which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness. If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace... it must be known that we are at all times ready for war."
--George Washington (1793)


"One of the consequences of such notions as "entitlements" is that people who have contributed nothing to society feel that society owes them something, apparently just for being nice enough to grace us with their presence."
--Thomas Sowell, USMC, Korea


"We're not retreating, Hell! We're just attacking in different direction!"
--Gen. Oliver Smith, USMC


​​"Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it."
--Mark Twain


"I have just returned from visiting the MARINES at the front, and there is not a finer fighting organization in the world!"
--Gen. Douglas MacArthur, U.S. Army


"Stay Green!"

"Re-enlist!"

"To All My Fellow Belleau Woodsmen..."

God Bless the American Dream.
Semper fi!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 28 MAY 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 28 MAY 2015

In this issue:
• A Flying Twenty
• PX Chit Book
• Purple Heart Reissued

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Don Farnham WWII Marine with U.S. flag on Iwo Jima

Don Farnham WWII Marine with U.S. flag on Iwo Jima for Michels family

At 12:00 p.m. on Memorial Day I was at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside, IL. We had a dedication of a new headstone at my father's, First Iwo Jima flag raiser Pfc James Michels, grave. Also, a fellow U.S. Marine, Donald Richard Farnham, who served with my father on Iwo Jima was there. Mr. Farnham went on an Honor Flight to Iwo Jima in February and raised an American flag for my dad and the Michels Family! He was one of the speakers at the dedication and he presented this flag to our family. The location of my father's grave is: Section 36, Lot 32, Block 32, Grave 3.

Semper Fi,
Betty Michels-McMahon


Temporary Commission

Some time during the late 1980's my brother-in-law a Retired Sergeant Major and friends would visit Oceanside Ca. during the West Coast D.I. Reunion and we would gather at a local watering hole outside the back gate called Papa Joe's. Several of those gathered there had been temporary officers and as the conversation progressed one of them, the bar owner, asked "Ted how come you never got a temporary commission?" The response my brother-in-law gave was priceless. He leaned over towards Ski and in a reverent tone calmly said, "I got a good lawyer and beat it." Most who heard Teds response burst out laughing.

​ George


USMC Nike Dri-FIT Dugout Polo


10 MPC

Military Payment Certificate front

Military Payment Certificate back

I saw someone mention MPC. Here is a copy of a 10 cent MPC I brought home. Know anyone who wants to trade me for US?

Semper Fi and remember our fallen brothers on Memorial Day.

Cpl. J Kanavy


A Flying Twenty

I entered MCRDSD on 8/11/55, Platoon 160. Like Jerry I'm a little foggy on some aspects of that experience.

I do remember getting paid once. It was called a "flying twenty". A disbursing Lt. set up a table on our company street and we lined up to get our money. Naturally, there wasn't anything or anywhere to spend money except the PX. That being out of bounds except for one time after being paid, the platoon was marched to the PX before its regular opening hours and we were allowed to enter one at a time and make purchases of razor blades, shaving cream, blitz clothes, brasso, boot and or shoelaces, etc.

I don't remember what I bought except for one item I asked for that brought down the wrath of the Drill Instructor upon me. I asked for 2 hankies. I was immediately informed by my JR. DI that the correct name was not hankies but hanker-chiefs. I was lucky because the clerk was a young lady and I think because of that it was a minor as-chewing but I was marked for additional instruction upon returning to the company area.

About a week before finishing ITR, I vaguely remember that we were allowed to talk to a designated travel agency that booked airplane tickets for us. Like Jerry, I don't remember how I paid for the ticket but I did fly from L.A. to Detroit on the 4 engine Constellation aircraft. Noisy but sure beat the train or bus.

WR Nicoll
155XXXX​


USS Henrico APA 45​

I had almost forgotten this 'til I read an article about the USS Henrico. In 1964, while serving with 1st ANGLICO out of Camp Smith Ha, we were sent to Korea for a exercise with the Army and ROK Marines. Part of the exercise was an amphib landing. There were about 50 Marines and God knows how many soldiers. This was a steel ship with wooden decks that had been converted from a sea freighter in 1943. The Navy guys took pity on us and treated us much better than they treated the soldiers. Anyhow, we went down the nets into landing craft for the landing. The Army had almost no training on the nets and I'm surprised no one got killed.

Thanks for letting me ramble. I look forward to your newsletter every week.

Semper Fi,
Steve Gardner


Galvanized Pail

I remember on pay days in boot camp, a desk was put together made out of recruits' foot lockers with a quilt thrown over the top. There was a galvanized pail placed at one end of this desk. The pay distribution officer seated behind this makeshift desk would receive your military I.D, look-up your pay that you had coming, and count-out in front of you the amount. You picked-up the cash and then deposited $ into the galvanized pail. You then did an about face and moved out. Don't remember how much each one of us privates had to drop into the pail (with the drill instructor watching), or what this pail of cash went to pay for. Back then you did not ask questions.

Sgt. Parker, J.D.
1970-1976
Plt. 2107
Hollywood Marine


2nd Battalion 4th Marines Gear


PX Chit Book

Sgt. Grit,

In response to Cpl. Jerry D's "where did all the money go" submission, I too recall the PX chit booklet. I went through Parris Island in 1981 (July to October) and while I can't recall receiving any cash until we graduated, I do recall the chit book. However, our platoon was instructed by our DI's to buy certain items for the entire platoon with our chits on our trip to the PX, but were not allowed to buy poggy bait or any personal items. On the day we received the chit booklet, we all stood on line in the squad bay and counted off our laundry number. Certain numbers were instructed to purchase particular items to stock up on the platoons supply, such as shaving cream, toothpaste, aftershave and your basic field day cleaning materials and other personal toiletry items. It was explained to us that since we were a unit and not a mob of individuals, we could not continue to think of ourselves as such and instead would pool our funds to buy what the unit needed. I suspect this was the first time many of us had to spend our personal money on anyone other than ourselves with the exception of buying birthday or Christmas gifts, and I bet many recruits struggled with this internally. It was actually the first step by the DIs to get our stupid-azsed, greedy, ignorant selves to think of the unit first and ourselves last.

Sometime around the end of second phase I believe they again took us to the PX and again we all bought the same items as we did on the first visit. The only other time I went to the Parris Island PX was the day before graduation when we had a few short visiting hours with our families. My parents drove down from Baltimore, so I did not have to purchase a bus ticket, but aside from buying myself a pair of Corfram shoes, a few USMC tee shirts and running shorts and some anodized brass items, I can't recall how much cash I had after getting my pay, or what I did with it.

Semper Fi Jarheads!

Mike Kunkel
Cpl 0331
Lima 3/8, Weapons Platoon
'81 - '85


The Senior NCO Stepping Up

Our company lost a few platoon commanders while I was in country, and I recall the senior NCO stepping up to the Commanders posi., but never actually being promoted. The next senior would assume the Platoon Sgt. posi. With that said, my B.S. detector is only about 70% because I don't have all the facts of the situation. I do recall though while stationed at Camp Lejeune a notice on the bulletin board that qualified NCO's could take a test and possibly become a Warrant Officer.

Snakefighter 2
1968-69​


New Assignment

Hi Sgt Grit,

My brother, who arrived in Vietnam in DEC 1967, did not leave Nam until Dec 1969 because he extended. He came home on leave in Dec 1968, kicked my back side and told me I am going in the Marine Corps. Going through Parris Island, I swore that if the NVA did not kill my brother, I would. P.I was no fun for me. I had many duties outside my MOS for the most part of my enlistment. On Okinawa, besides being the driver for Col Wilson L. Cook (a great Marine), MSgt Walker gave me other jobs like payroll clerk for Okinawan civilians working at Special Services throughout the island. This 2nd Lt and I would sign for $50,000 cash, drive from Fatima to Schwab and pay the Okinawans. The 2nd time I did it, the 2nd Lt decided I could do the job alone. When I returned, I was approached by 2 sh-tbird Marines and they wanted me to fake a robbery. I went to the MSgt and told him that if I was not allowed to carry my T.O. weapon, I would refuse to go on another payroll run. I did not want to snitch on the 2nd Lt and the Marines who approached me with their get rich scheme. I was relieved of that duty and 2 months later an attempt to rob the payroll occurred. It did not go well for those involved and I would bet that they are still in the brig since loss of life was the outcome. Also, I worked for a 2nd Lt who was reverted back to G/Sgt at Pendleton and this week, a V.A. doctor told me I will be reporting for a new assignment in the next 2 years. At any rate, I will be able to see some old friends.

Semper Fi,
Sgt A.J. Manos
inactive reserve


Memorial Day

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America. Over two dozen cities and towns claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it's difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day.

Regardless of the exact date or location of its origins, one thing is clear – Memorial Day was borne out of the Civil War and a desire to honor our dead. It was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11. "The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land," he proclaimed. The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn't the anniversary of any particular battle.


Windward Marine 01 June 1962

Windward Marine  1 June 1962 page 1

Windward Marine  1 June 1962 page 2

A little history from the "Windward Marine" the base newspaper for Kaneohe MCAS. I was stationed there in VMA 212 from 1961 to 1963.

Norm Spilleth
1960 - 1964


Purple Heart Reissued

LCpl Mike Price receiving his reissued Purple Heart Medal

The attached article appeared in the Newport Plain Talk, the paper in Newport, TN where I was activities director and training to be a nursing home administrator at the local nursing home at the time.

Resident smoke breaks were divided up among the various departments for supervision. Every once in awhile one resident, Mike Price, would get a pained look on his face and say, "Got shot in Vietnam for nothing...." Everyone thought he was making it up. His medical record said he alleged being in the Marines, but there was no official record of him ever having served. I told him I was in the Marines, and we started talking. He knew it all...the rank structure, the jargon, and he was telling me things about Parris Island I'd forgotten a long time ago. There was no doubt in my mind whatsoever that Mike was in fact a Marine at one time.

I started looking into it, checking every public source of records I could find. There was no record. Finally I found a guy on the internet who said he knew how to get into records nobody was supposed to be able to access (God bless hackers!). He found one small record, just one line, that said "LCpl Mike Price, MOS 0311." That wasn’t the actual MOS, but that's not what's important. What's important is that when I went to Mike and asked him what his MOS (Military Occupational Specialty), he stated the exact same numbers. Bingo!

Now I was even more determined to find proof of Mike’s service in the Marines. I wrote the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Secretary of the Navy, Secretary of Defense, and the Vice President of the United States. Someone was going to find this record. It ended up being a congressman from Tennessee who helped us out. Our answer came in the form of two Marines showing up to take him away--he had been AWOL since 1969. Here's the story...

Mike's platoon was in the Quang Tri province of Vietnam, as far north as you can get while still being in South Vietnam. More ordnance and agent orange was dropped there than anyplace else in the entire war. That's where the most vicious firefights took place. During one such firefight, he watched over half of his platoon get killed and his best friend earn the Medal of Honor posthumously. Mike was shot in the foot. It was some time before they were able to medivac him out because of the firefighting. After triage in a military hospital in Germany, they sent him back to the states for some convalescent leave. He never went back. Between the time he returned from Germany until the day he ended up at the nursing home, Mike lived on the streets. When he got to the nursing home he was half dead from alcohol.

We told those two Marines that as soon as they got through doing whatever paperwork they were going to do, to get his tuckus (well, something like that…) back immediately. When he came back, it was with a discharge type that allowed him to still get full military benefits because of the extenuating circumstances of why he went AWOL. I wrote the Commandant of the Marine Corps again, and we were able to get his purple heart re-issued, complete with a copy of the original citation describing the circumstances. A bunch of us former Marines went through our closets and pieced together a uniform for him. The local JROTC provided a color guard. The VFW provided a rifle team. A divisional president in the company was a retired colonel and came to present it to him...he's the one in the picture. I'm the guy at the microphone, and the guy with the beard was the administrator. It was nothing short of glorious. But wait...it gets better.

Mike had always been volatile. He would break into fits of rage, would be cursing, and getting his temper back under control was a challenge. But from the day of that ceremony forward, he was as peaceful as a monk. He came up to me and thanked me for it, saying that the secret of being AWOL had tortured him his entire life and he was glad that was over. Not only was it over, he was validated for his sacrifices. Instead of the $30.00 allowance from Medicaid, he now got the $90.00 from the VA.

If you look at the picture, you'll notice he was on oxygen. He had throat cancer from the agent orange. We knew it was a race against time, one that we won. Shortly after the ceremony I finished my administrator in training program and got my first job as an administrator in Dalton, GA. About a month after I got to Dalton, the administrator from Newport called me. He said Mike was dying. He said they'd asked him if there was anything they could do, or if there was anyone he wanted to see before he went, and he nodded yes. They ran through a long list of names before they finally got to mine. He wanted to see me. I was in the car and on the road in 15 minutes. Mike was buried with full military honors.

Gregg Martin

Read the attached article at Veterans program includes presentation of Purple Heart.


Attitude Is Everything Day 23

Attitude Is Everything Quote of the Day 23

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:


Dennis DeEmo - Sgt Fish, SSgt Conroy and Sr DI SSgt Statham Plt 2009, 3rd RTB MCRD San Diego Oct 1956 to January 1957... Series Honorman, Right Guide And meritorious PFC... OOORah!


Jimmy Copenhaver Sr. - Very true S/Sgt Pekard, Sgt Airres, Sgt O'Connor Plt 231 MCRD San Diego 1963.


Craig Young Bear - SSgt Grimsley, Sgt Connaly, Sgt Green (light), Sgt Green (dark) Plt 2006 graduated Jan 77 PISC.


Annette Begaye - Or Her, Sgt Heart, Parris Island Aug-Nov 1988


Frank Rubio Senior - Drill Instructor SSgt Reed, Charlie Co, Plt 1001, 1st RTB, 1995.


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


Hard Lessons

Hard Lessons book cover

For many of us, life lessons are learned the hard way. When we reach a place of stability and calm, we are able to look back on those life-changing experiences and reflect on what they meant, and how they changed us. Read my story about how lessons I learn throughout life and my service in Vietnam shaped my personality and my beliefs in my book "Hard Lessons: Lessons Learned The Hardest Last The Longest".

My book cover displays a photo of myself and two of my Marine buddies in Vietnam in '68-'69. From left to right: Speedy, who lives in California and suffers from health complications linked to Agent Orange; Next is Dutch, passed away last year (health complications also linked to Agent Orange), and I am the last guy with the cig in my mouth, smoked then but I don't smoke now.

Bob Martin

Get "Hard Lessons" in hardcover or paperback.


Skid In Broadside

Sgt. Grit,

Hanline, Ralph J. 2003536
Feb. 20, 1962 - Aug. 20, 1966

I'm Cocked, I'm Locked, and Ready to Rock!

Join The United States Marines. Travel to Exotic Distant Lands. Meet Exciting and Unusual People. And Kill Them. OOH RAH and Semper Fi Till I Die.

I have a full size American and Marine Corps Flag on a lighted ten foot wood pole on my front porch. I also have a full size American Flag on a lighted pole on my back porch. You want to know why? I have them there because I CAN have them there. I Earned the right to have them there, that's why!

"A US Marines life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "OOH RAH! What a ride!"

It cannot be inherited. Nor can it ever be purchased. You and no one alive can buy it for any price. It is not possible to rent and cannot be lent. You alone and our own have earned it with our blood sweat and tears. You own it forever. What am I talking about? I'm talking about the Title Of United States Marine. That's what I'm talking about!

"I like being a Marine, because being a Marine is serious business. We are not a Social Club or a Fraternal Organization, and we do not pretend to be one. We are a Brotherhood of "Warriors", nothing more and nothing less, pure and simple. We are in the azs kicking business, and business is good!"

Semper Fidelis - Always Faithful... "It's More Than A Motto... It's A Way Of Life... Live it, I DO."

SEMPER FI and OOH RAH!


Humble Contribution

humble contribution to all Marines

Sgt Grit,

The attached photo is my humble contribution to all my brother and sister MARINES who have had the honor to claim the TITLE. Many have given the last full measure of devotion to that TITLE and many more have served HONORABLY. Two especially are remembered by me as I served with both of them. G/Sgt John D. Wysemierski and Capt Lawrence Jordan, both of whom are on the WALL. This is my permission for you to use this photo as it copywrighted. Thank you Sgt Grit for Service in Vietnam and your devotion to our Brother ans Sister MARINES.

L/Cpl G.D. Vallejos
USMC 1960-1964​


Lost and Found

Anyone out their from Plt. 108, Parris Island in Jan. 1959?

Email me at gg[at]myfairpoint.net​.


Sgt Grit,

Looking for lost Marine classmates from OCS Class which began October 2, 1967 and TBS Class 6-68 from December 1967 thru early May 1968. IE: Mike Flynn, Lee Williams, etc - contact Steve Van Tyle at svdutch[at]aol.com.

Thank you - Semper Fi!


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 the USMC CAC Oscar website at:

USMC CAC Oscar Bulletin-Board

Point of Contact:

Jim "Bagpipes" Taylor
Email: fjtUSMC[at]gmail.com

Visit the The Golden Nugget Hotel website for rates or to make reservations at The Golden Nugget Hotel.


All Vietnam War/Era Veterans Gathering

This Vietnam/Era Vets - Welcome Home event will be held the weekend of August 27-30, 2015 at the Forest City Municipal Airport, Heritage Park. Just as the war affected each person in a different way, our goal is to provide a variety of events which will allow each veteran to feel comfortable in whatever way they choose to participate. Our goal is to make all Vietnam/Era Vets, their spouses, children, and grandchildren feel welcome by joining together with their brothers and sisters of the war.

There will be Huey Helicopter Rides, The Vietnam Traveling Wall, Sky Soldiers, and Much More! Camping will be $15.00 a night and payable day of event. Free Admission - If you register, you will not be drafted again! Pre-Registered Vietnam/Era Veterans will receive a "meal card" worth $10 at any of the food vendors (mess halls), and a commemorative "Welcome Home" challenge coin, both can be picked up during the event. Photographers will be onsite and images will be available to registrants from the website after the event, for a limited amount of time.

Register now at: Operation LZ.

Point of Contact:

Ernie L. Martinez
Email: northiowamarine[at]hotmail.com
Office: (641) 423-6023
Cell: (641) 420-5195
Fax: (641) 423-8005


Short Rounds

I want to thank Reddog '45-'57 for the article. It made me tear up. As a FMF Corpsman in Viet Nam it was an Honor and a Privilege to serve with the U S Marine Corps.

Semper Fi!

​Joe "Doc" Garcia
India Co 3/9
Viet Nam '65 - '66


A true story about 19 Marines killed on Makin Island during WWII.

Watch Return To Makin Island.


Quotes

"[W]hen all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another."
--Thomas Jefferson, letter to Charles Hammond, 1821​


"Secrecy and a free, democratic government don't mix."
--Merle Miller, Plain Speaking [1974]​


"I can never again see a UNITED STATES MARINE without experiencing a feeling of reverence."
--Gen. Johnson, U.S. Army


"The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a MARINE CORPS for the next 500 years."
--James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy


General Mattis Quote

"When you men get home and face an anti-war protester, look him in the eyes and shake his hand. Then, wink at his girlfriend, because she knows she's dating a p-ssy."
--Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis


"Keep kicking at darkness until it bleeds light popping smoke!"

"Bends and Thrusts Until I Get Tired Girls."

"What Are You Looking at Maggot"

Fair winds and following seas.
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 28 MAY 2015
If you are having trouble viewing this issue, see it on our website:
http://www.grunt.com/corps/newsletter/10624/

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 28 MAY 2015

In this issue:
• A Flying Twenty
• PX Chit Book
• Purple Heart Reissued

Online Store TShirts Men's Headgear Patches Women's

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At 12:00 p.m. on Memorial Day I was at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside, IL. We had a dedication of a new headstone at my father's, First Iwo Jima flag raiser Pfc James Michels, grave. Also, a fellow U.S. Marine, Donald Richard Farnham, who served with my father on Iwo Jima was there. Mr. Farnham went on an Honor Flight to Iwo Jima in February and raised an American flag for my dad and the Michels Family! He was one of the speakers at the dedication and he presented this flag to our family. The location of my father's grave is: Section 36, Lot 32, Block 32, Grave 3.

Semper Fi,
Betty Michels-McMahon


Temporary Commission

Some time during the late 1980's my brother-in-law a Retired Sergeant Major and friends would visit Oceanside Ca. during the West Coast D.I. Reunion and we would gather at a local watering hole outside the back gate called Papa Joe's. Several of those gathered there had been temporary officers and as the conversation progressed one of them, the bar owner, asked "Ted how come you never got a temporary commission?" The response my brother-in-law gave was priceless. He leaned over towards Ski and in a reverent tone calmly said, "I got a good lawyer and beat it." Most who heard Teds response burst out laughing.

​ George


10 MPC

I saw someone mention MPC. Here is a copy of a 10 cent MPC I brought home. Know anyone who wants to trade me for US?

Semper Fi and remember our fallen brothers on Memorial Day.

Cpl. J Kanavy


A Flying Twenty

I entered MCRDSD on 8/11/55, Platoon 160. Like Jerry I'm a little foggy on some aspects of that experience.

I do remember getting paid once. It was called a "flying twenty". A disbursing Lt. set up a table on our company street and we lined up to get our money. Naturally, there wasn't anything or anywhere to spend money except the PX. That being out of bounds except for one time after being paid, the platoon was marched to the PX before its regular opening hours and we were allowed to enter one at a time and make purchases of razor blades, shaving cream, blitz clothes, brasso, boot and or shoelaces, etc.

I don't remember what I bought except for one item I asked for that brought down the wrath of the Drill Instructor upon me. I asked for 2 hankies. I was immediately informed by my JR. DI that the correct name was not hankies but hanker-chiefs. I was lucky because the clerk was a young lady and I think because of that it was a minor as-chewing but I was marked for additional instruction upon returning to the company area.

About a week before finishing ITR, I vaguely remember that we were allowed to talk to a designated travel agency that booked airplane tickets for us. Like Jerry, I don't remember how I paid for the ticket but I did fly from L.A. to Detroit on the 4 engine Constellation aircraft. Noisy but sure beat the train or bus.

WR Nicoll
155XXXX​


USS Henrico APA 45​

I had almost forgotten this 'til I read an article about the USS Henrico. In 1964, while serving with 1st ANGLICO out of Camp Smith Ha, we were sent to Korea for a exercise with the Army and ROK Marines. Part of the exercise was an amphib landing. There were about 50 Marines and God knows how many soldiers. This was a steel ship with wooden decks that had been converted from a sea freighter in 1943. The Navy guys took pity on us and treated us much better than they treated the soldiers. Anyhow, we went down the nets into landing craft for the landing. The Army had almost no training on the nets and I'm surprised no one got killed.

Thanks for letting me ramble. I look forward to your newsletter every week.

Semper Fi,
Steve Gardner


Galvanized Pail

I remember on pay days in boot camp, a desk was put together made out of recruits' foot lockers with a quilt thrown over the top. There was a galvanized pail placed at one end of this desk. The pay distribution officer seated behind this makeshift desk would receive your military I.D, look-up your pay that you had coming, and count-out in front of you the amount. You picked-up the cash and then deposited $ into the galvanized pail. You then did an about face and moved out. Don't remember how much each one of us privates had to drop into the pail (with the drill instructor watching), or what this pail of cash went to pay for. Back then you did not ask questions.

Sgt. Parker, J.D.
1970-1976
Plt. 2107
Hollywood Marine


PX Chit Book

Sgt. Grit,

In response to Cpl. Jerry D's "where did all the money go" submission, I too recall the PX chit booklet. I went through Parris Island in 1981 (July to October) and while I can't recall receiving any cash until we graduated, I do recall the chit book. However, our platoon was instructed by our DI's to buy certain items for the entire platoon with our chits on our trip to the PX, but were not allowed to buy poggy bait or any personal items. On the day we received the chit booklet, we all stood on line in the squad bay and counted off our laundry number. Certain numbers were instructed to purchase particular items to stock up on the platoons supply, such as shaving cream, toothpaste, aftershave and your basic field day cleaning materials and other personal toiletry items. It was explained to us that since we were a unit and not a mob of individuals, we could not continue to think of ourselves as such and instead would pool our funds to buy what the unit needed. I suspect this was the first time many of us had to spend our personal money on anyone other than ourselves with the exception of buying birthday or Christmas gifts, and I bet many recruits struggled with this internally. It was actually the first step by the DIs to get our stupid-azsed, greedy, ignorant selves to think of the unit first and ourselves last.

Sometime around the end of second phase I believe they again took us to the PX and again we all bought the same items as we did on the first visit. The only other time I went to the Parris Island PX was the day before graduation when we had a few short visiting hours with our families. My parents drove down from Baltimore, so I did not have to purchase a bus ticket, but aside from buying myself a pair of Corfram shoes, a few USMC tee shirts and running shorts and some anodized brass items, I can't recall how much cash I had after getting my pay, or what I did with it.

Semper Fi Jarheads!

Mike Kunkel
Cpl 0331
Lima 3/8, Weapons Platoon
'81 - '85


The Senior NCO Stepping Up

Our company lost a few platoon commanders while I was in country, and I recall the senior NCO stepping up to the Commanders posi., but never actually being promoted. The next senior would assume the Platoon Sgt. posi. With that said, my B.S. detector is only about 70% because I don't have all the facts of the situation. I do recall though while stationed at Camp Lejeune a notice on the bulletin board that qualified NCO's could take a test and possibly become a Warrant Officer.

Snakefighter 2
1968-69​


New Assignment

Hi Sgt Grit,

My brother, who arrived in Vietnam in DEC 1967, did not leave Nam until Dec 1969 because he extended. He came home on leave in Dec 1968, kicked my back side and told me I am going in the Marine Corps. Going through Parris Island, I swore that if the NVA did not kill my brother, I would. P.I was no fun for me. I had many duties outside my MOS for the most part of my enlistment. On Okinawa, besides being the driver for Col Wilson L. Cook (a great Marine), MSgt Walker gave me other jobs like payroll clerk for Okinawan civilians working at Special Services throughout the island. This 2nd Lt and I would sign for $50,000 cash, drive from Fatima to Schwab and pay the Okinawans. The 2nd time I did it, the 2nd Lt decided I could do the job alone. When I returned, I was approached by 2 sh-tbird Marines and they wanted me to fake a robbery. I went to the MSgt and told him that if I was not allowed to carry my T.O. weapon, I would refuse to go on another payroll run. I did not want to snitch on the 2nd Lt and the Marines who approached me with their get rich scheme. I was relieved of that duty and 2 months later an attempt to rob the payroll occurred. It did not go well for those involved and I would bet that they are still in the brig since loss of life was the outcome. Also, I worked for a 2nd Lt who was reverted back to G/Sgt at Pendleton and this week, a V.A. doctor told me I will be reporting for a new assignment in the next 2 years. At any rate, I will be able to see some old friends.

Semper Fi,
Sgt A.J. Manos
inactive reserve


Memorial Day

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America. Over two dozen cities and towns claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it's difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day.

Regardless of the exact date or location of its origins, one thing is clear – Memorial Day was borne out of the Civil War and a desire to honor our dead. It was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11. "The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land," he proclaimed. The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn't the anniversary of any particular battle.


Windward Marine 01 June 1962

A little history from the "Windward Marine" the base newspaper for Kaneohe MCAS. I was stationed there in VMA 212 from 1961 to 1963.

Norm Spilleth
1960 - 1964


Purple Heart Reissued

The attached article appeared in the Newport Plain Talk, the paper in Newport, TN where I was activities director and training to be a nursing home administrator at the local nursing home at the time.

Resident smoke breaks were divided up among the various departments for supervision. Every once in awhile one resident, Mike Price, would get a pained look on his face and say, "Got shot in Vietnam for nothing...." Everyone thought he was making it up. His medical record said he alleged being in the Marines, but there was no official record of him ever having served. I told him I was in the Marines, and we started talking. He knew it all...the rank structure, the jargon, and he was telling me things about Parris Island I'd forgotten a long time ago. There was no doubt in my mind whatsoever that Mike was in fact a Marine at one time.

I started looking into it, checking every public source of records I could find. There was no record. Finally I found a guy on the internet who said he knew how to get into records nobody was supposed to be able to access (God bless hackers!). He found one small record, just one line, that said "LCpl Mike Price, MOS 0311." That wasn’t the actual MOS, but that's not what's important. What's important is that when I went to Mike and asked him what his MOS (Military Occupational Specialty), he stated the exact same numbers. Bingo!

Now I was even more determined to find proof of Mike’s service in the Marines. I wrote the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Secretary of the Navy, Secretary of Defense, and the Vice President of the United States. Someone was going to find this record. It ended up being a congressman from Tennessee who helped us out. Our answer came in the form of two Marines showing up to take him away--he had been AWOL since 1969. Here's the story...

Mike's platoon was in the Quang Tri province of Vietnam, as far north as you can get while still being in South Vietnam. More ordnance and agent orange was dropped there than anyplace else in the entire war. That's where the most vicious firefights took place. During one such firefight, he watched over half of his platoon get killed and his best friend earn the Medal of Honor posthumously. Mike was shot in the foot. It was some time before they were able to medivac him out because of the firefighting. After triage in a military hospital in Germany, they sent him back to the states for some convalescent leave. He never went back. Between the time he returned from Germany until the day he ended up at the nursing home, Mike lived on the streets. When he got to the nursing home he was half dead from alcohol.

We told those two Marines that as soon as they got through doing whatever paperwork they were going to do, to get his tuckus (well, something like that…) back immediately. When he came back, it was with a discharge type that allowed him to still get full military benefits because of the extenuating circumstances of why he went AWOL. I wrote the Commandant of the Marine Corps again, and we were able to get his purple heart re-issued, complete with a copy of the original citation describing the circumstances. A bunch of us former Marines went through our closets and pieced together a uniform for him. The local JROTC provided a color guard. The VFW provided a rifle team. A divisional president in the company was a retired colonel and came to present it to him...he's the one in the picture. I'm the guy at the microphone, and the guy with the beard was the administrator. It was nothing short of glorious. But wait...it gets better.

Mike had always been volatile. He would break into fits of rage, would be cursing, and getting his temper back under control was a challenge. But from the day of that ceremony forward, he was as peaceful as a monk. He came up to me and thanked me for it, saying that the secret of being AWOL had tortured him his entire life and he was glad that was over. Not only was it over, he was validated for his sacrifices. Instead of the $30.00 allowance from Medicaid, he now got the $90.00 from the VA.

If you look at the picture, you'll notice he was on oxygen. He had throat cancer from the agent orange. We knew it was a race against time, one that we won. Shortly after the ceremony I finished my administrator in training program and got my first job as an administrator in Dalton, GA. About a month after I got to Dalton, the administrator from Newport called me. He said Mike was dying. He said they'd asked him if there was anything they could do, or if there was anyone he wanted to see before he went, and he nodded yes. They ran through a long list of names before they finally got to mine. He wanted to see me. I was in the car and on the road in 15 minutes. Mike was buried with full military honors.

Gregg Martin

Read the attached article at Veterans program includes presentation of Purple Heart.


Attitude Is Everything Day 23

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:


Dennis DeEmo - Sgt Fish, SSgt Conroy and Sr DI SSgt Statham Plt 2009, 3rd RTB MCRD San Diego Oct 1956 to January 1957... Series Honorman, Right Guide And meritorious PFC... OOORah!


Jimmy Copenhaver Sr. - Very true S/Sgt Pekard, Sgt Airres, Sgt O'Connor Plt 231 MCRD San Diego 1963.


Craig Young Bear - SSgt Grimsley, Sgt Connaly, Sgt Green (light), Sgt Green (dark) Plt 2006 graduated Jan 77 PISC.


Annette Begaye - Or Her, Sgt Heart, Parris Island Aug-Nov 1988


Frank Rubio Senior - Drill Instructor SSgt Reed, Charlie Co, Plt 1001, 1st RTB, 1995.


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


Hard Lessons

For many of us, life lessons are learned the hard way. When we reach a place of stability and calm, we are able to look back on those life-changing experiences and reflect on what they meant, and how they changed us. Read my story about how lessons I learn throughout life and my service in Vietnam shaped my personality and my beliefs in my book "Hard Lessons: Lessons Learned The Hardest Last The Longest".

My book cover displays a photo of myself and two of my Marine buddies in Vietnam in '68-'69. From left to right: Speedy, who lives in California and suffers from health complications linked to Agent Orange; Next is Dutch, passed away last year (health complications also linked to Agent Orange), and I am the last guy with the cig in my mouth, smoked then but I don't smoke now.

Bob Martin

Get "Hard Lessons" in hardcover or paperback.


Skid In Broadside

Sgt. Grit,

Hanline, Ralph J. 2003536
Feb. 20, 1962 - Aug. 20, 1966

I'm Cocked, I'm Locked, and Ready to Rock!

Join The United States Marines. Travel to Exotic Distant Lands. Meet Exciting and Unusual People. And Kill Them. OOH RAH and Semper Fi Till I Die.

I have a full size American and Marine Corps Flag on a lighted ten foot wood pole on my front porch. I also have a full size American Flag on a lighted pole on my back porch. You want to know why? I have them there because I CAN have them there. I Earned the right to have them there, that's why!

"A US Marines life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "OOH RAH! What a ride!"

It cannot be inherited. Nor can it ever be purchased. You and no one alive can buy it for any price. It is not possible to rent and cannot be lent. You alone and our own have earned it with our blood sweat and tears. You own it forever. What am I talking about? I'm talking about the Title Of United States Marine. That's what I'm talking about!

"I like being a Marine, because being a Marine is serious business. We are not a Social Club or a Fraternal Organization, and we do not pretend to be one. We are a Brotherhood of "Warriors", nothing more and nothing less, pure and simple. We are in the azs kicking business, and business is good!"

Semper Fidelis - Always Faithful... "It's More Than A Motto... It's A Way Of Life... Live it, I DO."

SEMPER FI and OOH RAH!


Humble Contribution

Sgt Grit,

The attached photo is my humble contribution to all my brother and sister MARINES who have had the honor to claim the TITLE. Many have given the last full measure of devotion to that TITLE and many more have served HONORABLY. Two especially are remembered by me as I served with both of them. G/Sgt John D. Wysemierski and Capt Lawrence Jordan, both of whom are on the WALL. This is my permission for you to use this photo as it copywrighted. Thank you Sgt Grit for Service in Vietnam and your devotion to our Brother ans Sister MARINES.

L/Cpl G.D. Vallejos
USMC 1960-1964​


Lost and Found

Anyone out their from Plt. 108, Parris Island in Jan. 1959?

Email me at gg[at]myfairpoint.net​.


Sgt Grit,

Looking for lost Marine classmates from OCS Class which began October 2, 1967 and TBS Class 6-68 from December 1967 thru early May 1968. IE: Mike Flynn, Lee Williams, etc - contact Steve Van Tyle at svdutch[at]aol.com.

Thank you - Semper Fi!


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 the USMC CAC Oscar website at:

USMC CAC Oscar Bulletin-Board

Point of Contact:

Jim "Bagpipes" Taylor
Email: fjtUSMC[at]gmail.com

Visit the The Golden Nugget Hotel website for rates or to make reservations at The Golden Nugget Hotel.


All Vietnam War/Era Veterans Gathering

This Vietnam/Era Vets - Welcome Home event will be held the weekend of August 27-30, 2015 at the Forest City Municipal Airport, Heritage Park. Just as the war affected each person in a different way, our goal is to provide a variety of events which will allow each veteran to feel comfortable in whatever way they choose to participate. Our goal is to make all Vietnam/Era Vets, their spouses, children, and grandchildren feel welcome by joining together with their brothers and sisters of the war.

There will be Huey Helicopter Rides, The Vietnam Traveling Wall, Sky Soldiers, and Much More! Camping will be $15.00 a night and payable day of event. Free Admission - If you register, you will not be drafted again! Pre-Registered Vietnam/Era Veterans will receive a "meal card" worth $10 at any of the food vendors (mess halls), and a commemorative "Welcome Home" challenge coin, both can be picked up during the event. Photographers will be onsite and images will be available to registrants from the website after the event, for a limited amount of time.

Register now at: Operation LZ.

Point of Contact:

Ernie L. Martinez
Email: northiowamarine[at]hotmail.com
Office: (641) 423-6023
Cell: (641) 420-5195
Fax: (641) 423-8005


Short Rounds

I want to thank Reddog '45-'57 for the article. It made me tear up. As a FMF Corpsman in Viet Nam it was an Honor and a Privilege to serve with the U S Marine Corps.

Semper Fi!

​Joe "Doc" Garcia
India Co 3/9
Viet Nam '65 - '66


A true story about 19 Marines killed on Makin Island during WWII.

Watch Return To Makin Island.


Quotes

"[W]hen all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another."
--Thomas Jefferson, letter to Charles Hammond, 1821​


"Secrecy and a free, democratic government don't mix."
--Merle Miller, Plain Speaking [1974]​


"I can never again see a UNITED STATES MARINE without experiencing a feeling of reverence."
--Gen. Johnson, U.S. Army


"The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a MARINE CORPS for the next 500 years."
--James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy


"When you men get home and face an anti-war protester, look him in the eyes and shake his hand. Then, wink at his girlfriend, because she knows she's dating a p-ssy."
--Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis


"Keep kicking at darkness until it bleeds light popping smoke!"

"Bends and Thrusts Until I Get Tired Girls."

"What Are You Looking at Maggot"

Fair winds and following seas.
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 21 MAY 2015

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 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)