Sgt Grit Newsletter - 28 AUG 2014

In this issue:
• WWII Cover Returned To Marine
• Throwing The Grenade Or Not
• Once A Corporal Of Marines

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Sgt Lucas in the bush in Vietnam

Sgt Lucas being patched up in helo in Vietnam

Dear Sgt. Grit,

You can tell Gunny Rousseau that the Marine in the picture with his article on 'Scrounging in Vietnam' is (was?) Sgt. Lucas, a team leader with Alpha Co. 1st ReconBn. I don't remember all the details but he was wounded being extracted from a hot LZ sometime in late '68. He 'nodded off' when the Doc had to cut out part of the wound - took him months to live that down.

Fred Vogel - formerly of Alpha Company


WWII Cover Returned To Marine

WWII Marines Lee Paul and Lee Dortsch Conversating

Marines Dortsch, Paul, Whited, and Bursch Photo Op

(Article by Patrick Whitehurst of The Daily Courier)

There are those who believe everything happens for a reason. If true, U.S. Marine Corps veterans Lee Paul, 88, and Lee Dortsch, 91, were destined to meet. But, while both served in World War II, both landed on Iwo Jima on the same day, and both had the same commanding officer, they never met at the time. That changed last week, however, when the two met at the Prescott campus of Northern Arizona Veterans Affairs.

And it all happened because of a hat.

Technically, the hat is called a 'cover,' Paul explained, and not a typical one either. In fact, he said, that style of cover has not been issued since the 1940s.

Paul and a group of local veterans meet regularly for coffee in Chino Valley at the Checkered Apron restaurant. Fellow veteran Jimmy Whited, the former owner of a Chino Valley pawnshop, came into possession of an old service hat, the cover in question, that he gave to Paul.

"I had a cover that was given to me years ago. I wanted Lee to have it," Whited said.

Who originally gave Whited the hat, however, remains a mystery.

"A man, a stranger, brought it in and knew I was an ex-Marine. He said I would appreciate the cover," Whited said.

"It's an old one, the old herringbone, which they haven't issued since the 1940s. That one was issued in 1942," Paul said.

After receiving the gift, Paul wore it to the unofficial group's regular coffee meeting on the following Tuesday. It was there the group examined the name, "Lee Dortsch, Private, USMC," written inside. Paul mentioned to the group his plans to go online to see if he could learn the whereabouts of the original owner.

Veteran Ron Bursch, part of the coffee group, overheard the name and asked to see the hat in question.

"He said he knew the man," Paul said.

Surprisingly, Bursch explained that Dortsch was in the Prescott VA's Community Living Center. It was then Paul decided he needed to meet the owner and assist in returning his cover.

"It was unbelievable," Paul said.

Last week, Paul and Dortsch met for the first time on the Prescott VA campus.

"It was really difficult to give it up, but after I met Lee I knew it should go to him," Paul explained. "He was very happy to get it back. We almost came to tears."

The two got to talking, where they learned that both served in the Marines at Iwo Jima in Company C, First Battalion, 26th regiment. Paul himself was attached to the First Battalion, 26th regiment where he served as a specialist naval gunfire radio operator.

"We went in on the same beach, on the same day, and probably at about the same time, but I can't verify that," Paul said. "We had quite a time talking about that."

Dortsch was wounded by a bayonet in Guadalcanal before the Iwo Jima landing. He also served as a fighter pilot in the Korean War and the Vietnam War.


239th USMC Birthday Items


Found By The Enemy

I want to chime in on Gunny Rousseau's "Have It All" article. I was with Lima 3/7 & Kilo 3/5 in '70 operating in the Que Son mountains & the surrounding area. We would often find C-ration cans that had been buried unopened with their contents enclosed that were found by the enemy who then opened & ate their contents. It was disturbing when you realized somebody unknowingly from our side was providing meals for somebody on the other side. We made sure we didn't do the same thing.

Corporal John P. Sitek
0331


Brown Side Out, Green Side Out

New Marine Corps Uniform Survey

This is how you do it. On August 8th, the US Marine Corps Uniform Board released a survey seeking input about three proposed uniform changes for active duty and reserve Marines. The three changes are:

Altering the color of enlisted rank insignia from black to brushed brass for Woodland MARPAT utilities.

Establishing the Sam Browne belt as a mandatory accessory for officers wearing the blue dress A/B.

Shifting the annual seasonal uniform synchronization date from Daylight Savings Time to the First Monday in April for Summer uniforms and the first Monday in October for Winter uniforms.

Good to see the Corps still has a way to honor "Brown Side Out, Green Side Out". -Dennis Krause, Sgt, USMC, '62-'68

Any thoughts or opinions on these proposed changes?


Throwing The Grenade Or Not

During the years of November 1974 to November 1976 I was a member of Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines at San Mateo, Camp Pendleton. During the year of 1976, I believe a member of the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines was killed during a training accident while throwing a live grenade. I am not sure of the name, but I believe the last name of this Marine who was killed was either PFC or LCPL McMillian or MacMillian, who hailed from Chicago, Illinois.

It's been almost 39 years ago, and my memory is not so sharp as it used to be, but I seem to remember that Mac, was very frightened about throwing the grenade during this exercise, from what I can remember, he panicked and tossed the grenade back to the instructor who was in the pit with him after he removed the safety and the pin for the spool, the instructor jumped over the wall and yelled "Grenade" however Mac did not jump the wall, he instead went to the nearest corner and got in a crouching position, when he finally decided to leave the pit, he tried to step over the grenade when it went off.

I am asking anyone who might remember this scenario and provide more details as to the accuracy of the incident.

Thank you,
Mike Angelo
USMC (RET)


How We Feel About The Corps

Sgt Grit,

Just finished reading the 21Aug14 news issue AND if the article by Sgt Sparacino doesn't bring out your Marine Corps pride, maybe you need a blood transfusion.

In connection with how the other services view themselves, there was something (I can't remember if it was on your website, or not), that may explain how we feel about the Corps:

The Army Chief of Staff would never be called soldier;
The Air Force Chief of Staff would never be called airman;
The Chief of Naval Operations would never be called sailor;
But...
The Commandant of the Marine Corps is d-mned proud to be called
MARINE!

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


Maj. Lawrence Rulison

Sgt. Grit:

Attention on deck.

I am writing on behalf of a colleague who is the son and grandson of Marines. His father is a Vietnam vet and his grandfather was a WWII vet. It is the grandfather, now deceased, my friend is most interested in because he is no longer around to tell his story.

The grandfather's name was Maj. Lawrence Rulison and he served with 3/26 on Iwo Jima and Saipan. I believe he was wounded in both engagements and was awarded the Bronze Star. He eventually was promoted to lieutenant colonel and after the war he was a distinguished legislator in upstate New York. He was just 47 when he died.

We have scoured the web to find out as much as possible about Maj. Rulison and his Marine Corps service but not a whole lot turned up. If anyone out there can help us find out more, we would be very grateful.

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


Get Up Or Sleep

This is my favorite story and a long time since it has been related... so I hope most of the details are correct. I was stationed at Camp Pendleton 33 area (Camp Margarita) before being shipped to Okinawa. This was 1958-'59. A good buddy of mine was a cowboy named Billie Wilkerson (Wilkinson)? and at that time we had a rodeo area with bull riding and bronco busting for off duty hour entertainment. "Colorado Billie", as he was called, was a bull rider and me being a city slicker who had ridden maybe three trail ride horses in my life looked up to him as some kind of super human. He was always trying to get me to climb on one of those beasts whose only goal in life was to hurt the a-hole on his back real bad. Fortunately, I was blessed with self-preservation genes and never gave in. O K I was chicken. But to the point of my story.

Over the 4th of July weekend one year, they had a huge rodeo that was well attended. Billie was riding and I was drinking beer. Being only seventeen I didn't handle beer all that well and after a couple of hours I climbed one of the hills surrounding the rodeo grounds and decided I would cr-p out and take a little siesta. I had just dozed off real good when two MP's came upon me. They wanted me to get up and I wanted to sleep. Kind of the irresistible force and the immoveable object scenario. Me being not of sound mind and that they were silly enough to be below me on the hill I decided it would be a good idea if the three of us should go rolling azs over tea-kettle down the hill. Well off we went and needless to say they weren't as thrilled as I was with the ride. Coincidentally near the bottom of the hill was a "corral" they had set up for those of us who might have over-indulged to rest and recuperate. Guess where I wound up?

After about a half hour in there they brought in another Marine and this person was really hammered and would speak only French. When they brought him in they made him stand facing the wall with his hands stretched above his head. Once he was quiet the MP's left but he remained standing there. Others of us told him they were gone and he could sit, but he either couldn't or wouldn't understand English. I had beginning French in high school and the teacher would have us stand when she entered the classroom and then tell us to sit down. In French. Even in my drunken stupor I remembered that phrase. "assayev vous". I shouted it at him and he turned and sat down. This was the only time my French studies ever did any good but it was worth every hour.


The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #8, #4)

They were surprised that I knew anything about Richmond, Ind. I told them that my Dad and I stayed there when we went to the Indy 500 race. It was just over the Ohio - Indiana border - exactly 600 miles from our farm; that it was probably the same distance from Mt. Holly. This made Mary feel pretty good. She thought that was a 'nice' distance from home to go to college. I asked if they would consider having me drive her to the school after she was admitted. Her Dad said "I am sure she would much rather go with you than to take the Greyhound by herself." Her mother said "George, I wish you would not say things like that. You know quite well that she would not have to take a bus by herself." He was already laughing out loud. All agreed that I could take her. Her Dad called the Admissions Office. He told the person that answered that there were 3 other people in the room that were equally interested in the process; that he was going to repeat everything he was asked or told before responding. This went quite well and in a little more than an hour Mary was enrolled at Earlham University. The only thing undecided at that point was what courses she would take - and she had until the 9th to make up her mind on that. He was told what the minimum down payment would be and he asked for the total for the first year. He told them he would send a cashier's check for that amount with Mary. She had to be on campus by Saturday at 6:00 PM. That meant we would have to leave in a day or two. We looked at each other and decided to leave tomorrow morning, the 6th.

Mary packed a locker box with the things she wished to take with her. We hit the sack early and were up early on Wednesday. Mrs. 'B' fixed a light breakfast - enough for Mary - but not enough for me. We got everything in the car and started out at a little after 7:00. I asked Mary if she had ever been out west before. She had not. I said "You will be going through some beautiful country and our first stop will be at the Midway - the middle of the Pennsylvania Turnpike." We reached there just after 11:00. I filled the tank and checked everything else. Then we went into the restaurant. It was Howard Johnson's masterpiece location. Mary always ate light. I was able to get enough food to stop the rumbling in my stomach. We got back on the road by just after Noon. I told her "If you wish to stop for any reason just let me know. Otherwise, we will keep going until dinner time." About an hour into Ohio we stopped for dinner at an Amish style restaurant. It was a very good choice and we would need nothing more before morning. Then we drove on to the 500 mile point - and started looking for a place to sleep. We were lucky again and were soon getting ready to shower and sleep. We had just under a hundred miles to go and were on the road by 7:00 AM. We drove a few miles and stopped at a diner - always a good choice for breakfast - and got our day off right. Then we were back on the road again with the next stop in Richmond, Ind. I knew exactly where the college was, but took Mary on a little ride around Richmond before going through the gates of Earlham University.

'til next week. The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


Marine Ink Of The Week

Submitted by Submitted by John Grainger

My Eagle, Globe, and Anchor 0311 tattoo done by Labouges Fort Worth, Texas.

Eagle, Globe, and Anchor 0311


Once A Corporal Of Marines

John Murphy in Vietnam

John Murphy and Marines Photo Op in Vietnam

Sgt. Grit,

3rd squad all present and accounted for!

Just thought I'd add my two cents to the discourse. To the Marine recalling, "praying to the sun god". Yes, I remember it vividly; we had to "pray" during "qual" week at the rifle range. We had been doing a whole series of stretching exercises that week so "praying" actually to me was rather easy and I was quite surprised I could accomplish that feat having never thought of myself as flexible.

While at the rifle range, I ran across a slogan prominently displayed at an entrance and it read, "Let the enemy bast-rd die for his country, we'll teach you to live for yours!" I knew then I had made the right decision when I joined the Corps. Yeah, I wanted to go in harm's way but I also wanted to come out alive on the other side, and I knew that good training would help me in this goal. I knew my safety was not guaranteed but excellent training would give me an edge.

I shot expert the day after betting my Senior Drill Instructor (big money!) that I could accomplish that feat. I was down to my last shot (to make expert) from the prone position at 500 yards and the SDI growled that if I hit a bull's eye he would kick my azs! My coach looked at me and said, "Should I tell you to raise your sight one click" and I grinned and replied, "Should I raise my sight one click?" He told me I was low on the last shot and to go ahead and raise my sight one click and I did so, fired and hit a bull! Won some money and used that to play (and win) high card that night (with the SDI!) to celebrate our finishing up on the rifle range. Loved my SDI; taught me to be a man!

Does anyone remember doing the manual of arms with their footlocker? How 'bout this one - the three things you cannot do? Ok, I'll tell ya - you can't slam a swinging door, you can't put used toothpaste back in the tube, and you can't strike a match on a wet bar of soap!

We really weren't a bad platoon as we acquired some pennants; but one time we f--ked up so bad that we made our SDI cry. First time I ever witnessed that in a man. Showed he really cared for us!

Spent a year and a half on the "Big I" (USS Independence CVA 62) as a sea going bellhop (3rd Marine Detachment) guarding atomic bombs (technically you were supposed to guard the bomb from the ammo locker to the plane and then down the runway!) and scaring the h-ll out of the "squids" when they wound up in the brig. Sometimes after liberty when the Marines and "swabbies" were waiting for the bus to return to the ship there would be tense moments between the two services - ha, ha that was something as us Marines were always outnumbered (the Marine detachment only had about 50 or so personnel on board ship and a carrier crew was about 4000 sailors) but we never "punked out" and stood our ground as we were trained.

Spent many an hour spit polishing shoes and visors, "Brassoing" brass and rubbing wooden M1 rifle butts with a mixture of linseed oil and wood polish (I'm not sure about the wood polish) and clipping off "Irish pennants". The navy and women wear pants; Marines wear trousers.

Never made a "Med" cruise as the ship was in dry dock for most of my stay there. That was something to see when they drained the water from the dry docks to expose the bottom of the boat; it was surreal to look down into the dock and view the hull and propellers and shaft that was exposed, you could almost get vertigo the dock was so deep.

Did get to go to 'Gitmo for a training cruise and the view from the fantail when that big 'ole moon was full was a sight I'll never forget, along with flight ops, especially at night. I did get a chance to go through a training program (amphibious reconnaissance course) with the Seals and ended up jumping off the back of a high-speed motor boat at night several miles from shore. That was fun!

We pulled into Norfolk one blustery day and as per SOP, us "jarheads" were in position on the bow of the ship with the "squids" standing position on port and starboard sides (manning the rails); the breeze was blowing so hard you had to lean at a 30-degree slant to keep from getting blown off the deck! Whenever the CO and the guidon walked in front of you during the required inspection, you almost fell over because they would block the wind! The wind was blowing so hard the boat captain dismissed the sailors (all 2 to 3000 of them!) before we got to port! Naturally as Marines, WE weren't going anywhere! It could have been a tornado, we weren't going anywhere! Ughow! Hard chargers! "Sweepers, sweepers man your brooms, give the ship a clean sweep down fore and aft!" "The smoking lamp is lit; light 'em if you got'em!"

I learned how to break the M1 down all the way to the sights (we were doing armorer work!). Too bad I couldn't use the M1 or at least the M14 in combat. I was not a fan of the M16 as any bit of dirt in the bolt made the "pig" almost useless (had that to happen to me one rainy night while on an LP) so I always kept a nice supply of fragmentation hand grenades on me (very good equalizer!) I spent 13 months with 3/3 "Killer" Kilo as a squad leader and right guide in '68 and '69, humping the bush around the "Z", Con Thien, the "Rockpile", Camp Carroll and "Leatherneck Square" and as per my position as a CPL of Marines I always got the spaghetti and meatballs and fruit cocktail C-rats... loved the beans and weenies too.

On my first "op" I had C-rat cans stuffed in socks hanging off the back of my pack (we had WWII packs and the army had the newer rucksacks and I wasn't going hungry!); that lasted about 10 minutes after we hopped off the choppers as it was hot and by that I mean the LZ was "hot" and the weather was hot and it suddenly dawned on me that I might not live long enough to eat all those meals so I sh-t canned 'em! (pun intended).

I remember Sgt. Carrillo standing tall, directing traffic as we hopped off the choppers from about 10 feet off the ground and mortar rounds dropping all around. I had point and I remember telling my radio man that if a go-k jumped up in front of me I wouldn't shoot him, I would run up and beat his azs as he would have scared the sh-t out of me! Sarge got wrote up for a bronze star for that action (so I heard).

One time I got a C-rat box that was stamped with my birth year (1948!), that was a lucky box (in that I could eat it and not die of food poisoning!).

In '69, we started to get the dried meals in packets where all you had to do is add hot water; they were a lot easier to carry than the cans and sometimes they seemed to taste better.

We had been on this hill (out in the middle of nowhere) for about a month and some kind of way the guys in my squad found out it was my birthday and they made me a cake of a C-rat box covered in shaving cream with a half cherry on top; it took all my will power to keep from taking out my K-bar and cutting into the "cake" it just looked so good!

We are still on this same hill and I start to notice that in the morning as we rise one of my brothers is wet in front of his trousers and as the days pass I realize that he is p-ssing on himself. Before the month was out he was dead. Did he have a premonition of his demise?

We were on another hill one time and we didn't get resupplied for a week because of the inclement weather; we ate grass soup seasoned with Tabasco (hot) sauce; hot sauce is real good to relieve hunger pangs. All we talked about was food; hamburgers, milkshakes and steaks.

Lost my squad because I didn't have a flak jacket on (yeah, I know we had just been hit but for some reason I just didn't put it on); then the CO sent me to NCO school for a month in Okinawa. So I'm in this class of 50 or so other Marines being instructed on the fine points of the M16 rifle by a Recon Marine with a chest full of lettuce and his gold jump wings (very impressive), so we get to the end of the lecture and he asks for questions or suggestions - none, so I raise my hand and state, "On the bolt there are three "C" rings that have to be assembled in a staggered order otherwise the gas will not operate the bolt to a rearward position". He replied that I should be teaching the class. I took that as a compliment.

When I got back to the world a brother told me I had saved his life because I went to take a sh-t one time while we were out in the bush. I don't remember the occasion but if he said I saved his life then I take that as a compliment! Hey sh-t happens!! (another pun intended)

Yeah I remember Semper Fi Mac! being a derisive term and even using the term jarhead could get you in a fight, but that was then and this is now; but to this day I still blouse my shirt and make sure my front seams are in line and pants are still something women and "squids" wear (wow! The term is "hat" now - I'm glad the sarge has stuck with "cover"), and I don't quit; adapt and overcome! Lessons learned and put to use to this day. Get squared away Marine! Get your sh-t together Marine! Saddle up Marine! "Gun's up!"

And on the 8th day God created Marines and like fish, we came from the sea! Eat the apple and f--k the Corps!

Once a Marine, always a Marine - very true. My best friends now are my brothers that I served with and the ones I have met at the VA. The bond has lasted a lifetime!

So, I'm at the VA in Salem getting treatment for PTSD with a group (181) of fellow veterans and we're down to the last week of treatment and each individual has to do or say a parting action and when it was my turn I said I couldn't think of anything to give the group because a lot of guys didn't smoke or drink, so the only thing I could give them that they all would understand and appreciate was to drop down and give 'em 20 and then I gave 'em 1 for the Marine Corps, and 1 for the 82nd Airborne, and 1 for the Seabee's, and 1 for the Army, and 1 more because I could do it! The guys and staff got a kick out of that one!

I never participated in or was subject to having stripes "pinned".

Semper Fi!
John Lee Murphy III
Once a Corporal of Marines and now belong to the Brotherhood of Warriors!
3/3 Kilo 68/69


Lost and Found

My name is Larry Rummans. I am trying to get in touch with a radio guy in his group, 1/1. The guy's name was Dana Brown.

Email: Lawrence1938[at]gmail.com
Tel: (406)366-4900


Would like to get in touch with anyone who was in Plt. 3118, June 1969, MCRD San Diego or Hill 55 Viet-Nam 1970! Maybe Okinawa or Camp Lejeune?

OORAH!
L/CPL. C.E. Corrales
El Paso, Texas
Email: cecorrales49[at]gmail.com


I'm looking for any Marines that were sent in country from the USS Eldorado, January 1969, during operation Bold Mariner. No matter how short or how long their time in country. They can contact me directly. My email address is Zelma1988[at]yahoo.com. Thank you.

Bob Crosby
Shreveport, LA
USMC 1967 - 1971


Short Rounds

The Marine was Cpl lucas, a team leader Texas Pete, 1968. A d-mn good recon Marine. He saved our behinds March 5, 1968 on hill 146.

Semper Fi
Alex Colvin


In your last newsletter either submitted by you or Lowe there was a reference of Officers Boot Camp at MCB Quantico. Serving at that base in '54 and '55, OCS was not an officer's boot camp. It was a candidate selection process to ascertain if a candidate was qualified to lead Marines in a ground combat situation. If they qualified they were sent to TBS for a 6-month program training them in the job of being a Marine Officer in their specialty field.

Semper Fi
Sgt. J. Davis


Dear Staff and family,

I just received my order for my dad. We are so pleased for him. My dad helps so many service members, and veterans he hardly has time for himself. He is so proud to be a Marine. This is all he talks about. Now when he speaks he can wear his uniform proudly. Thank You and Your Staff, So Very Much. He always says Semper-Fi!

Dave Brailey


Sgt. Sparacino,

Semper Fi, Semper Fi, Semper Fi.

Chuck Michalski
Cpl. 1962-1966


Here's a topic that we all hold dear to our "stomachs". The Chow Hall. My most memorable chow hall was on an Army ASA spook base in Eritrea... (think the middle of nowhere)... it was the first time we had real plates instead of the stamped out metal trays. Where was your favorite chow hall?

Sgt. Fuzzy
2571
'68 - '72


Quotes

"When I joined the Marine Corps, I figured I'd be a infantryman, go on liberty, drink beer, punch sailors, chase wild women, kill communists, and if I kept my boots clean and qualified with the rifle every year, I might grow up to be a gunnery sergeant."
--Retired MGySgt R. R. Keene, Leatherneck, April 1996, page 51


"You'll never get a Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!"
--Capt. Henry P. Crowe, USMC; Guadalcanal, 13 January 1943


"The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding."
--Louis Dembitz Brandeis, Whitney v. California [1927]


"It is a principle incorporated into the settled policy of America, that as peace is better than war, war is better than tribute."
--James Madison, 1816


"[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, 1749


"Lest I keep my complacent way, I must remember somewhere out there a person died for me today. As long as there must be war, I ask, and I must answer, 'Was I Worth Dying For?'"
--Eleanor Roosevelt


"I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude."
--Thomas Jefferson


"Marines die; that's what we're here for. But the Marine Corps lives forever. And that means YOU live forever."
--The role of GySgt. Hartman, USMC; portrayed by GySgt. R. Lee Ermey, a Marine Corps Drill Instructor, using his own choice of words in the movie Full Metal Jacket, 1987


"I love the Corps for those intangible possessions that cannot be issued: pride, honor, integrity, and being able to carry on the traditions for generations of warriors past."
--Cpl. Jeff Sornig, USMC; in Navy Times, November 1994


"Rise and shine, another day to serve the Corps!"

"You people are too slow, it you were in combat you'd be dead!"

"You people aren't even a mob, a mob has leader. You clowns are a heard. I'm going to get me a sheep dog."

"Today, you people are no longer maggots! You are Marines!"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 28 AUG 2014

In this issue:
• WWII Cover Returned To Marine
• Throwing The Grenade Or Not
• Once A Corporal Of Marines

Online Store TShirts Men's Headgear Patches Women's

Flags   Family Member   Ka-Bars   Auto   Headgear  Jackets  ALL CATEGORIES  

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Dear Sgt. Grit,

You can tell Gunny Rousseau that the Marine in the picture with his article on 'Scrounging in Vietnam' is (was?) Sgt. Lucas, a team leader with Alpha Co. 1st ReconBn. I don't remember all the details but he was wounded being extracted from a hot LZ sometime in late '68. He 'nodded off' when the Doc had to cut out part of the wound - took him months to live that down.

Fred Vogel - formerly of Alpha Company


WWII Cover Returned To Marine

(Article by Patrick Whitehurst of The Daily Courier)

There are those who believe everything happens for a reason. If true, U.S. Marine Corps veterans Lee Paul, 88, and Lee Dortsch, 91, were destined to meet. But, while both served in World War II, both landed on Iwo Jima on the same day, and both had the same commanding officer, they never met at the time. That changed last week, however, when the two met at the Prescott campus of Northern Arizona Veterans Affairs.

And it all happened because of a hat.

Technically, the hat is called a 'cover,' Paul explained, and not a typical one either. In fact, he said, that style of cover has not been issued since the 1940s.

Paul and a group of local veterans meet regularly for coffee in Chino Valley at the Checkered Apron restaurant. Fellow veteran Jimmy Whited, the former owner of a Chino Valley pawnshop, came into possession of an old service hat, the cover in question, that he gave to Paul.

"I had a cover that was given to me years ago. I wanted Lee to have it," Whited said.

Who originally gave Whited the hat, however, remains a mystery.

"A man, a stranger, brought it in and knew I was an ex-Marine. He said I would appreciate the cover," Whited said.

"It's an old one, the old herringbone, which they haven't issued since the 1940s. That one was issued in 1942," Paul said.

After receiving the gift, Paul wore it to the unofficial group's regular coffee meeting on the following Tuesday. It was there the group examined the name, "Lee Dortsch, Private, USMC," written inside. Paul mentioned to the group his plans to go online to see if he could learn the whereabouts of the original owner.

Veteran Ron Bursch, part of the coffee group, overheard the name and asked to see the hat in question.

"He said he knew the man," Paul said.

Surprisingly, Bursch explained that Dortsch was in the Prescott VA's Community Living Center. It was then Paul decided he needed to meet the owner and assist in returning his cover.

"It was unbelievable," Paul said.

Last week, Paul and Dortsch met for the first time on the Prescott VA campus.

"It was really difficult to give it up, but after I met Lee I knew it should go to him," Paul explained. "He was very happy to get it back. We almost came to tears."

The two got to talking, where they learned that both served in the Marines at Iwo Jima in Company C, First Battalion, 26th regiment. Paul himself was attached to the First Battalion, 26th regiment where he served as a specialist naval gunfire radio operator.

"We went in on the same beach, on the same day, and probably at about the same time, but I can't verify that," Paul said. "We had quite a time talking about that."

Dortsch was wounded by a bayonet in Guadalcanal before the Iwo Jima landing. He also served as a fighter pilot in the Korean War and the Vietnam War.


Found By The Enemy

I want to chime in on Gunny Rousseau's "Have It All" article. I was with Lima 3/7 & Kilo 3/5 in '70 operating in the Que Son mountains & the surrounding area. We would often find C-ration cans that had been buried unopened with their contents enclosed that were found by the enemy who then opened & ate their contents. It was disturbing when you realized somebody unknowingly from our side was providing meals for somebody on the other side. We made sure we didn't do the same thing.

Corporal John P. Sitek
0331


Brown Side Out, Green Side Out

This is how you do it. On August 8th, the US Marine Corps Uniform Board released a survey seeking input about three proposed uniform changes for active duty and reserve Marines. The three changes are:

Altering the color of enlisted rank insignia from black to brushed brass for Woodland MARPAT utilities.

Establishing the Sam Browne belt as a mandatory accessory for officers wearing the blue dress A/B.

Shifting the annual seasonal uniform synchronization date from Daylight Savings Time to the First Monday in April for Summer uniforms and the first Monday in October for Winter uniforms.

Good to see the Corps still has a way to honor "Brown Side Out, Green Side Out". -Dennis Krause, Sgt, USMC, '62-'68

Any thoughts or opinions on these proposed changes?


Throwing The Grenade Or Not

During the years of November 1974 to November 1976 I was a member of Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines at San Mateo, Camp Pendleton. During the year of 1976, I believe a member of the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines was killed during a training accident while throwing a live grenade. I am not sure of the name, but I believe the last name of this Marine who was killed was either PFC or LCPL McMillian or MacMillian, who hailed from Chicago, Illinois.

It's been almost 39 years ago, and my memory is not so sharp as it used to be, but I seem to remember that Mac, was very frightened about throwing the grenade during this exercise, from what I can remember, he panicked and tossed the grenade back to the instructor who was in the pit with him after he removed the safety and the pin for the spool, the instructor jumped over the wall and yelled "Grenade" however Mac did not jump the wall, he instead went to the nearest corner and got in a crouching position, when he finally decided to leave the pit, he tried to step over the grenade when it went off.

I am asking anyone who might remember this scenario and provide more details as to the accuracy of the incident.

Thank you,
Mike Angelo
USMC (RET)


How We Feel About The Corps

Sgt Grit,

Just finished reading the 21Aug14 news issue AND if the article by Sgt Sparacino doesn't bring out your Marine Corps pride, maybe you need a blood transfusion.

In connection with how the other services view themselves, there was something (I can't remember if it was on your website, or not), that may explain how we feel about the Corps:

The Army Chief of Staff would never be called soldier;
The Air Force Chief of Staff would never be called airman;
The Chief of Naval Operations would never be called sailor;
But...
The Commandant of the Marine Corps is d-mned proud to be called
MARINE!

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


Maj. Lawrence Rulison

Sgt. Grit:

Attention on deck.

I am writing on behalf of a colleague who is the son and grandson of Marines. His father is a Vietnam vet and his grandfather was a WWII vet. It is the grandfather, now deceased, my friend is most interested in because he is no longer around to tell his story.

The grandfather's name was Maj. Lawrence Rulison and he served with 3/26 on Iwo Jima and Saipan. I believe he was wounded in both engagements and was awarded the Bronze Star. He eventually was promoted to lieutenant colonel and after the war he was a distinguished legislator in upstate New York. He was just 47 when he died.

We have scoured the web to find out as much as possible about Maj. Rulison and his Marine Corps service but not a whole lot turned up. If anyone out there can help us find out more, we would be very grateful.

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


Get Up Or Sleep

This is my favorite story and a long time since it has been related... so I hope most of the details are correct. I was stationed at Camp Pendleton 33 area (Camp Margarita) before being shipped to Okinawa. This was 1958-'59. A good buddy of mine was a cowboy named Billie Wilkerson (Wilkinson)? and at that time we had a rodeo area with bull riding and bronco busting for off duty hour entertainment. "Colorado Billie", as he was called, was a bull rider and me being a city slicker who had ridden maybe three trail ride horses in my life looked up to him as some kind of super human. He was always trying to get me to climb on one of those beasts whose only goal in life was to hurt the a-hole on his back real bad. Fortunately, I was blessed with self-preservation genes and never gave in. O K I was chicken. But to the point of my story.

Over the 4th of July weekend one year, they had a huge rodeo that was well attended. Billie was riding and I was drinking beer. Being only seventeen I didn't handle beer all that well and after a couple of hours I climbed one of the hills surrounding the rodeo grounds and decided I would cr-p out and take a little siesta. I had just dozed off real good when two MP's came upon me. They wanted me to get up and I wanted to sleep. Kind of the irresistible force and the immoveable object scenario. Me being not of sound mind and that they were silly enough to be below me on the hill I decided it would be a good idea if the three of us should go rolling azs over tea-kettle down the hill. Well off we went and needless to say they weren't as thrilled as I was with the ride. Coincidentally near the bottom of the hill was a "corral" they had set up for those of us who might have over-indulged to rest and recuperate. Guess where I wound up?

After about a half hour in there they brought in another Marine and this person was really hammered and would speak only French. When they brought him in they made him stand facing the wall with his hands stretched above his head. Once he was quiet the MP's left but he remained standing there. Others of us told him they were gone and he could sit, but he either couldn't or wouldn't understand English. I had beginning French in high school and the teacher would have us stand when she entered the classroom and then tell us to sit down. In French. Even in my drunken stupor I remembered that phrase. "assayev vous". I shouted it at him and he turned and sat down. This was the only time my French studies ever did any good but it was worth every hour.


The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #8, #4)

They were surprised that I knew anything about Richmond, Ind. I told them that my Dad and I stayed there when we went to the Indy 500 race. It was just over the Ohio - Indiana border - exactly 600 miles from our farm; that it was probably the same distance from Mt. Holly. This made Mary feel pretty good. She thought that was a 'nice' distance from home to go to college. I asked if they would consider having me drive her to the school after she was admitted. Her Dad said "I am sure she would much rather go with you than to take the Greyhound by herself." Her mother said "George, I wish you would not say things like that. You know quite well that she would not have to take a bus by herself." He was already laughing out loud. All agreed that I could take her. Her Dad called the Admissions Office. He told the person that answered that there were 3 other people in the room that were equally interested in the process; that he was going to repeat everything he was asked or told before responding. This went quite well and in a little more than an hour Mary was enrolled at Earlham University. The only thing undecided at that point was what courses she would take - and she had until the 9th to make up her mind on that. He was told what the minimum down payment would be and he asked for the total for the first year. He told them he would send a cashier's check for that amount with Mary. She had to be on campus by Saturday at 6:00 PM. That meant we would have to leave in a day or two. We looked at each other and decided to leave tomorrow morning, the 6th.

Mary packed a locker box with the things she wished to take with her. We hit the sack early and were up early on Wednesday. Mrs. 'B' fixed a light breakfast - enough for Mary - but not enough for me. We got everything in the car and started out at a little after 7:00. I asked Mary if she had ever been out west before. She had not. I said "You will be going through some beautiful country and our first stop will be at the Midway - the middle of the Pennsylvania Turnpike." We reached there just after 11:00. I filled the tank and checked everything else. Then we went into the restaurant. It was Howard Johnson's masterpiece location. Mary always ate light. I was able to get enough food to stop the rumbling in my stomach. We got back on the road by just after Noon. I told her "If you wish to stop for any reason just let me know. Otherwise, we will keep going until dinner time." About an hour into Ohio we stopped for dinner at an Amish style restaurant. It was a very good choice and we would need nothing more before morning. Then we drove on to the 500 mile point - and started looking for a place to sleep. We were lucky again and were soon getting ready to shower and sleep. We had just under a hundred miles to go and were on the road by 7:00 AM. We drove a few miles and stopped at a diner - always a good choice for breakfast - and got our day off right. Then we were back on the road again with the next stop in Richmond, Ind. I knew exactly where the college was, but took Mary on a little ride around Richmond before going through the gates of Earlham University.

'til next week. The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


Once A Corporal Of Marines

Sgt. Grit,

3rd squad all present and accounted for!

Just thought I'd add my two cents to the discourse. To the Marine recalling, "praying to the sun god". Yes, I remember it vividly; we had to "pray" during "qual" week at the rifle range. We had been doing a whole series of stretching exercises that week so "praying" actually to me was rather easy and I was quite surprised I could accomplish that feat having never thought of myself as flexible.

While at the rifle range, I ran across a slogan prominently displayed at an entrance and it read, "Let the enemy bast-rd die for his country, we'll teach you to live for yours!" I knew then I had made the right decision when I joined the Corps. Yeah, I wanted to go in harm's way but I also wanted to come out alive on the other side, and I knew that good training would help me in this goal. I knew my safety was not guaranteed but excellent training would give me an edge.

I shot expert the day after betting my Senior Drill Instructor (big money!) that I could accomplish that feat. I was down to my last shot (to make expert) from the prone position at 500 yards and the SDI growled that if I hit a bull's eye he would kick my azs! My coach looked at me and said, "Should I tell you to raise your sight one click" and I grinned and replied, "Should I raise my sight one click?" He told me I was low on the last shot and to go ahead and raise my sight one click and I did so, fired and hit a bull! Won some money and used that to play (and win) high card that night (with the SDI!) to celebrate our finishing up on the rifle range. Loved my SDI; taught me to be a man!

Does anyone remember doing the manual of arms with their footlocker? How 'bout this one - the three things you cannot do? Ok, I'll tell ya - you can't slam a swinging door, you can't put used toothpaste back in the tube, and you can't strike a match on a wet bar of soap!

We really weren't a bad platoon as we acquired some pennants; but one time we f--ked up so bad that we made our SDI cry. First time I ever witnessed that in a man. Showed he really cared for us!

Spent a year and a half on the "Big I" (USS Independence CVA 62) as a sea going bellhop (3rd Marine Detachment) guarding atomic bombs (technically you were supposed to guard the bomb from the ammo locker to the plane and then down the runway!) and scaring the h-ll out of the "squids" when they wound up in the brig. Sometimes after liberty when the Marines and "swabbies" were waiting for the bus to return to the ship there would be tense moments between the two services - ha, ha that was something as us Marines were always outnumbered (the Marine detachment only had about 50 or so personnel on board ship and a carrier crew was about 4000 sailors) but we never "punked out" and stood our ground as we were trained.

Spent many an hour spit polishing shoes and visors, "Brassoing" brass and rubbing wooden M1 rifle butts with a mixture of linseed oil and wood polish (I'm not sure about the wood polish) and clipping off "Irish pennants". The navy and women wear pants; Marines wear trousers.

Never made a "Med" cruise as the ship was in dry dock for most of my stay there. That was something to see when they drained the water from the dry docks to expose the bottom of the boat; it was surreal to look down into the dock and view the hull and propellers and shaft that was exposed, you could almost get vertigo the dock was so deep.

Did get to go to 'Gitmo for a training cruise and the view from the fantail when that big 'ole moon was full was a sight I'll never forget, along with flight ops, especially at night. I did get a chance to go through a training program (amphibious reconnaissance course) with the Seals and ended up jumping off the back of a high-speed motor boat at night several miles from shore. That was fun!

We pulled into Norfolk one blustery day and as per SOP, us "jarheads" were in position on the bow of the ship with the "squids" standing position on port and starboard sides (manning the rails); the breeze was blowing so hard you had to lean at a 30-degree slant to keep from getting blown off the deck! Whenever the CO and the guidon walked in front of you during the required inspection, you almost fell over because they would block the wind! The wind was blowing so hard the boat captain dismissed the sailors (all 2 to 3000 of them!) before we got to port! Naturally as Marines, WE weren't going anywhere! It could have been a tornado, we weren't going anywhere! Ughow! Hard chargers! "Sweepers, sweepers man your brooms, give the ship a clean sweep down fore and aft!" "The smoking lamp is lit; light 'em if you got'em!"

I learned how to break the M1 down all the way to the sights (we were doing armorer work!). Too bad I couldn't use the M1 or at least the M14 in combat. I was not a fan of the M16 as any bit of dirt in the bolt made the "pig" almost useless (had that to happen to me one rainy night while on an LP) so I always kept a nice supply of fragmentation hand grenades on me (very good equalizer!) I spent 13 months with 3/3 "Killer" Kilo as a squad leader and right guide in '68 and '69, humping the bush around the "Z", Con Thien, the "Rockpile", Camp Carroll and "Leatherneck Square" and as per my position as a CPL of Marines I always got the spaghetti and meatballs and fruit cocktail C-rats... loved the beans and weenies too.

On my first "op" I had C-rat cans stuffed in socks hanging off the back of my pack (we had WWII packs and the army had the newer rucksacks and I wasn't going hungry!); that lasted about 10 minutes after we hopped off the choppers as it was hot and by that I mean the LZ was "hot" and the weather was hot and it suddenly dawned on me that I might not live long enough to eat all those meals so I sh-t canned 'em! (pun intended).

I remember Sgt. Carrillo standing tall, directing traffic as we hopped off the choppers from about 10 feet off the ground and mortar rounds dropping all around. I had point and I remember telling my radio man that if a go-k jumped up in front of me I wouldn't shoot him, I would run up and beat his azs as he would have scared the sh-t out of me! Sarge got wrote up for a bronze star for that action (so I heard).

One time I got a C-rat box that was stamped with my birth year (1948!), that was a lucky box (in that I could eat it and not die of food poisoning!).

In '69, we started to get the dried meals in packets where all you had to do is add hot water; they were a lot easier to carry than the cans and sometimes they seemed to taste better.

We had been on this hill (out in the middle of nowhere) for about a month and some kind of way the guys in my squad found out it was my birthday and they made me a cake of a C-rat box covered in shaving cream with a half cherry on top; it took all my will power to keep from taking out my K-bar and cutting into the "cake" it just looked so good!

We are still on this same hill and I start to notice that in the morning as we rise one of my brothers is wet in front of his trousers and as the days pass I realize that he is p-ssing on himself. Before the month was out he was dead. Did he have a premonition of his demise?

We were on another hill one time and we didn't get resupplied for a week because of the inclement weather; we ate grass soup seasoned with Tabasco (hot) sauce; hot sauce is real good to relieve hunger pangs. All we talked about was food; hamburgers, milkshakes and steaks.

Lost my squad because I didn't have a flak jacket on (yeah, I know we had just been hit but for some reason I just didn't put it on); then the CO sent me to NCO school for a month in Okinawa. So I'm in this class of 50 or so other Marines being instructed on the fine points of the M16 rifle by a Recon Marine with a chest full of lettuce and his gold jump wings (very impressive), so we get to the end of the lecture and he asks for questions or suggestions - none, so I raise my hand and state, "On the bolt there are three "C" rings that have to be assembled in a staggered order otherwise the gas will not operate the bolt to a rearward position". He replied that I should be teaching the class. I took that as a compliment.

When I got back to the world a brother told me I had saved his life because I went to take a sh-t one time while we were out in the bush. I don't remember the occasion but if he said I saved his life then I take that as a compliment! Hey sh-t happens!! (another pun intended)

Yeah I remember Semper Fi Mac! being a derisive term and even using the term jarhead could get you in a fight, but that was then and this is now; but to this day I still blouse my shirt and make sure my front seams are in line and pants are still something women and "squids" wear (wow! The term is "hat" now - I'm glad the sarge has stuck with "cover"), and I don't quit; adapt and overcome! Lessons learned and put to use to this day. Get squared away Marine! Get your sh-t together Marine! Saddle up Marine! "Gun's up!"

And on the 8th day God created Marines and like fish, we came from the sea! Eat the apple and f--k the Corps!

Once a Marine, always a Marine - very true. My best friends now are my brothers that I served with and the ones I have met at the VA. The bond has lasted a lifetime!

So, I'm at the VA in Salem getting treatment for PTSD with a group (181) of fellow veterans and we're down to the last week of treatment and each individual has to do or say a parting action and when it was my turn I said I couldn't think of anything to give the group because a lot of guys didn't smoke or drink, so the only thing I could give them that they all would understand and appreciate was to drop down and give 'em 20 and then I gave 'em 1 for the Marine Corps, and 1 for the 82nd Airborne, and 1 for the Seabee's, and 1 for the Army, and 1 more because I could do it! The guys and staff got a kick out of that one!

I never participated in or was subject to having stripes "pinned".

Semper Fi!
John Lee Murphy III
Once a Corporal of Marines and now belong to the Brotherhood of Warriors!
3/3 Kilo 68/69


Lost and Found

My name is Larry Rummans. I am trying to get in touch with a radio guy in his group, 1/1. The guy's name was Dana Brown.

Email: Lawrence1938[at]gmail.com
Tel: (406)366-4900


Would like to get in touch with anyone who was in Plt. 3118, June 1969, MCRD San Diego or Hill 55 Viet-Nam 1970! Maybe Okinawa or Camp Lejeune?

OORAH!
L/CPL. C.E. Corrales
El Paso, Texas
Email: cecorrales49[at]gmail.com


I'm looking for any Marines that were sent in country from the USS Eldorado, January 1969, during operation Bold Mariner. No matter how short or how long their time in country. They can contact me directly. My email address is Zelma1988[at]yahoo.com. Thank you.

Bob Crosby
Shreveport, LA
USMC 1967 - 1971


Short Rounds

The Marine was Cpl lucas, a team leader Texas Pete, 1968. A d-mn good recon Marine. He saved our behinds March 5, 1968 on hill 146.

Semper Fi
Alex Colvin


In your last newsletter either submitted by you or Lowe there was a reference of Officers Boot Camp at MCB Quantico. Serving at that base in '54 and '55, OCS was not an officer's boot camp. It was a candidate selection process to ascertain if a candidate was qualified to lead Marines in a ground combat situation. If they qualified they were sent to TBS for a 6-month program training them in the job of being a Marine Officer in their specialty field.

Semper Fi
Sgt. J. Davis


Dear Staff and family,

I just received my order for my dad. We are so pleased for him. My dad helps so many service members, and veterans he hardly has time for himself. He is so proud to be a Marine. This is all he talks about. Now when he speaks he can wear his uniform proudly. Thank You and Your Staff, So Very Much. He always says Semper-Fi!

Dave Brailey


Sgt. Sparacino,

Semper Fi, Semper Fi, Semper Fi.

Chuck Michalski
Cpl. 1962-1966


Here's a topic that we all hold dear to our "stomachs". The Chow Hall. My most memorable chow hall was on an Army ASA spook base in Eritrea... (think the middle of nowhere)... it was the first time we had real plates instead of the stamped out metal trays. Where was your favorite chow hall?

Sgt. Fuzzy
2571
'68 - '72


Quotes

"When I joined the Marine Corps, I figured I'd be a infantryman, go on liberty, drink beer, punch sailors, chase wild women, kill communists, and if I kept my boots clean and qualified with the rifle every year, I might grow up to be a gunnery sergeant."
--Retired MGySgt R. R. Keene, Leatherneck, April 1996, page 51


"You'll never get a Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!"
--Capt. Henry P. Crowe, USMC; Guadalcanal, 13 January 1943


"The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding."
--Louis Dembitz Brandeis, Whitney v. California [1927]


"It is a principle incorporated into the settled policy of America, that as peace is better than war, war is better than tribute."
--James Madison, 1816


"[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, 1749


"Lest I keep my complacent way, I must remember somewhere out there a person died for me today. As long as there must be war, I ask, and I must answer, 'Was I Worth Dying For?'"
--Eleanor Roosevelt


"I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude."
--Thomas Jefferson


"Marines die; that's what we're here for. But the Marine Corps lives forever. And that means YOU live forever."
--The role of GySgt. Hartman, USMC; portrayed by GySgt. R. Lee Ermey, a Marine Corps Drill Instructor, using his own choice of words in the movie Full Metal Jacket, 1987


"I love the Corps for those intangible possessions that cannot be issued: pride, honor, integrity, and being able to carry on the traditions for generations of warriors past."
--Cpl. Jeff Sornig, USMC; in Navy Times, November 1994


"Rise and shine, another day to serve the Corps!"

"You people are too slow, it you were in combat you'd be dead!"

"You people aren't even a mob, a mob has leader. You clowns are a heard. I'm going to get me a sheep dog."

"Today, you people are no longer maggots! You are Marines!"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 21 AUG 2014

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• Scrounging in Vietnam
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• What Is The Difference

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Buddies at Under Water Swimmers School

Force Recon dive mission in Hue 1968

Sgt. Grit,

About the UWSS reunion in the 14 August Sgt. Grit Newsletter, I went through underwater swimmers school in Key West in August 1964, then served in Force Recon '67-'68 and Recon Bn. '68-'69 and various Force billets after that. I can't make it to the reunion but I just wanted to brag a little.

First picture is at the school after my swim buddy and I were awarded the hawser of shame for getting separated. The second is from a Force Recon diving mission in Hue in '68. The third picture is of the whole Force team that went into Hue. We were the first to cross the Perfume River - under water and under mortar fire! Picture taken at the MACV Compound in Hue. First Force - First in War, First in Peace, First in the hearts of our countrymen!

Semper Fi!
Fred Vogel


Corpsman Of Marines

I just received my Corpsman of Marines ring. All I can say is it is fantastic and really good looking. I am very pleased with the looks and overall construction of the ring. Thank you for making this available to Corpsman.

Thank you!
Joe "Doc" Garcia
India Co 3/9
Viet Nam '65-'66

Get this ring at:

Corpsman Of Marines Ring

Corpsman Of Marines Ring


1st Engineer Bn

1st Engineer Battalion Liberty Bridge in Vietnam

1st Engineer Battalion Camp Faulkner in Vietnam

Sgt Grit,

I was in country about the same time you were. Sent you a scan from 1st Engineer Bn yearbook. If I remember this is Liberty Bridge. If you got oil on your feet it was probably my fault. I drove a 5000 gal. tanker and oiled the roads all over I Corps. This was to hold dust down and be able to see if anyone had planted mines. Most of the time I was alone, but sometimes had a shotgun riding with me.

Sometimes I would run the sweep truck (2nd truck in the convoy loaded with engineers) to An Hoa. Not sure about my spelling. The Bn rear was Camp Faulkner, located next to the Navy hospital, near Marble Mtn.

Art '69-'70


USMC 239th Birthday Items


Scrounging in Vietnam

Alpha Co, 1st Recon Marine's Artwork in Vietnam

Sgt. Grit

During my Tour in Vietnam there were many things that we modified to help us with our missions. I wish I could remember this Marines name, he was with Alpha Company 1st Recon. Top Barker ran "A" Co. and the sign painted was one of his works of Art. 1st Recon's motto was "Swift, Silent, Deadly", Top Barker added Surrounded to the motto as you can see.

One of the things we found handy was the Pilots Emergency Kit and as any Good Marine is handy at scrounging, we scrounged these Pilots Emergency Kits and used the wrist compasses as you can see on this Marines wrist alongside his watch. There were a lot of other things in the Pilots Emergency Kit, Food, Vitamins and other useful items, but they also caused some problems because some Marines came home addicted to Amphetamines. But patrolling around boulders as big as cars and houses, you had to keep alert.

The Camos he is wearing were just being issued, the Korean Camos were neat as were the Korean dry rat's, some of their spicy ones were better than Mexican food. Open it, pour some water in it, close it and put it inside your utilities next to the skivvy shirt. Eat at the next break.

Ah Well those were the days.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Weapons In Enemy Hands

There was an incident back in 1964-1965 when I was with Bravo 1/9 at Camp Hansen. I can't remember the names, but wouldn't say out of respect for the Marines family.

Our Battalion Armory clerk fell in love with one of the local gals (hard to believe I know), but first timers did that more than most know if you get my drift.

Well, one day she was found murdered, myself and two others Jarheads were picked up by the CID and questioned. We were like WTH! Didn't even know her. After some hours of questioning we were taken back to Camp Hansen and were cleared of anything to do with her.

However, the CID wasn't done searching for her murderer and the questioning of other Marines continued. Apparently they were getting close to making an arrest and he knew it so. One evening the clerk went to the armory wrote a note and took a .45 cal pistol and blew his head off.

The note read: How do I look dead.

As the investigation continued, it was learned that he had been supplying M-14's to his sweetheart as well as other items. We also figured he was probably the one that gave our names to investigators.

I figured that these weapons were going to the VC.

To this day I still feel sorry for his family for what they must have been through realizing what he had done to betray his Country and Corps and obviously taking his life.

Joe Henderson
Sgt. USMC
1963-1967


The New Teacher

A retired (never former) Master Gunnery Sergeant in the Marine Corps, took a new job as a high school teacher. Just before the school year started, he injured his back. He was required to wear a plaster cast around the upper part of his body. Fortunately, the cast fit under his shirt and wasn't noticeable.

On the first day of class, he found himself assigned to the toughest students in the school. The smart-aleck punks, having already heard the new teacher was a former Marine, were leery of him. He knew they would be testing his discipline in the classroom.

Walking confidently into the rowdy classroom, the new teacher opened the window wide. He sat down at his desk. A strong breeze made his tie flap. He picked up the desk stapler and stapled the tie to his chest.

Dead silence.

The rest of the year went smoothly.


A Jarhead's Journey

A Jarhead's Journey Book Cover

A book written for my children and grandchildren that I was planning to put on disk or flash, but decided to publish due to renewed interest in the Vietnam War and donate all royalties to the Wounded Warrior Project.

A Jarhead's Journey takes the reader through Marine Corps officers' boot camp in Quantico, Virginia, the Fleet Marine Force where a young lieutenant led the first platoon off the USS Guadalcanal during the Panama riots of 1964, the jungles and rice paddies of Vietnam, and back to Quantico as an instructor before returning to civilian life. An epilogue chapter relates the treatment of Vietnam veterans after honorably discharged from military service and frustrations experienced in dealing with the Department of Veterans Affairs today.

The source documents and photographs used were discovered when a plastic container stored in their attic for four decades was retrieved for Sandy, his bride of five decades. In there was a shoebox containing pictures and every letter 1st Lt. Jim Lowe had written to his young bride during his tour as an advisor in Vietnam (detached from the Marine Corps, living in the Vietnamese culture and fighting with the 1st Division of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam along the DMZ), in the original envelopes, carefully arranged and sequentially numbered in the exact chronological order received.

Get the paperback form at "A Jarhead's Journey".

Semper Fi,
Jim Lowe


I Still Have My Cane

Sgt. Grit,

I am always amazed reading about Boot Camp for the Modern Marine. When I went to Boot Camp and when I was a Drill Instructor (I was a DI at MCRD San Diego and Parris Island) none of this stuff happened. I was drilled (and Drilled my Troopers) until I thought I would drop and the DI always had another GO Round of some sort. In those days, San Diego (wasn't MCRD until the 1950's) the base was larger and went to the bay. We dug fox holes at the beach and fired Rifle Grenades into the bay, and we fired them from our shoulder, we were instructed what would happen if you didn't hold the rifle tight against your shoulder.

I wasn't physically abused, I was Drilled and Trained until I became a Marine. I fell asleep on my rifle during snap-in and an Instructor picked me up and dropped me on my rifle, that wasn't abuse, it was a Learning experience. It is hard for me to believe all this abuse is and has been going on when I know there are Former DI's in Prison for mistreating their troops.

I want to say something about this Disrespect issue, anyone, regardless of size, position and/or s-x will be quickly dropped to a level that they Know NOT to make any Disrespectful Remarks about me or my Marines. Christ, I am 87 years old, not exactly in top form of any kind but I still have my Cane, my feet and my arms which can be used to make a point. To allow anyone, ANYONE, to make a Disrespectful Remark about Your Marine Corps, is making a Disrespectful remark about you and your family. He/she is saying you are incompetent to make a decision about your Life and your Family, he/she is saying the battles we have fought, YOU have Fought, haven't happened. The Bravery of Marine's, never happened, The Flag Raising at Iwo Jima Didn't Happen, Chosin Reservoir was a Walk in the Sun and you are allowing it to happen.

If someone told you the United States of America was not a Free Country, you'd have something to say. They are down grading the United States when they make disrespectful remarks about the Marine Corps. What the H-ll is the Matter with anyone that doesn't stand up to someone that downgrades a period of his/her life. No one pays me to say this, only the Dignity and Honor the Marine Corps Installed in me.

When you stand up for the Marine Corps, you are standing up for yourself, the United States and the Dignity of our History. Think back to what your DI said to you and taught you, about the History of the United States of America and the Marine Corps. Stand Tall, You are a United States Marine.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Hearing Aids

About 2 years ago I first learned via the Army's Retired Newsletter about a program at certain military facilities around the country that allow all military retiree's to purchase AT COST top of the line hearing aids. I contacted Ft. Gordon, Ga's base audiology unit at their base hospital and arranged an appointment. Drove down from Atlanta and they gave me a hearing test, very extensive, and found I met the guidelines of the program. We selected the hearing aids and they were ordered with my paying for them. I returned a couple of weeks later to have them fitted and programmed. The devices had just been priced to me at a civilian hearing aid store for a little over $6,000 and I got them, with all the bells and whistles, for slightly over $800. Below is a link to the story about this program.

Hearing Aids for Military Retirees

Semper Fidelis
DB Wright


What Is The Difference

What is difference between a Marine, a sailor, a soldier, and an airman?

(by Former Sgt. Nick Sparacino, 2/9, Viet Nam 1966)

Ask a Marine what's so special about the Marines and the answer would be "esprit de corps," an unhelpful French phrase that means exactly what it looks like - the spirit of the Corps, but what is that spirit, and where does it come from?

The Marine Corps is the only branch of the U.S. Armed Forces that recruits people specifically to Fight. The Army emphasizes personal development (an Army of One), the Navy promises fun (let the journey begin), the Air Force offers security (it's a great way of life). Missing from all the advertisements is the hard fact that a soldier's lot is to suffer and perhaps to die for his people, and take lives at the risk of his/her own. Even the thematic music of the services reflects this evasion. The Army's Caisson Song describes a pleasant country outing. Over hill and dale, lacking only a picnic basket. Anchors Aweigh, the Navy's celebration of the joys of sailing, could have been penned by Jimmy Buffet. The Air Force song is a lyric poem of blue skies and engine thrust. All is joyful and invigorating, and safe. There are no land mines in the dales nor snipers behind the hills, no submarines or cruise missiles threaten the ocean jaunt, no bandits are lurking in the wild blue yonder. The Marines Hymn, by contrast, is all combat. We fight are Country's battles, First to fight for right and freedom, We have fought in every clime and place where we could take a gun, in many a strife we have fought for life and never lost our nerve.

The choice is made clear. You may join the Army to go to adventure training, or join the Navy to go to Bangkok, or join the Air Force to go to computer school. You join the Marine Corps to go to War! But the mere act of signing the enlistment contract confers no status in the Corps. The Army recruit is told from his first minute in uniform that "you're in the Army now," soldier. The Navy and Air Force enlistees are sailors or airmen as soon as they get off bus at the training center. The new arrival at Marine Corps boot camp is called a recruit, or worse, (a lot worse), but never a MARINE. Not yet, maybe never. He or she must earn the right to claim the title of United States MARINE, and failure returns you to civilian life without hesitation or ceremony.

Recruit Platoon 2210 at San Diego, California trained from October through December of 1968. In Viet Nam the Marines were taking two hundred casualties a week, and the major rainy season operation Meade River, had not even begun, yet Drill Instructors had no qualms about winnowing out almost a quarter of their 112 recruits, graduating eighty-one. Note that this was post - enlistment attrition; every one of those who were dropped had been passed by the recruiters as fit for service. But they failed the test of Boot Camp, not necessarily for physical reasons at least two were outstanding high school athletes for whom the calisthenics and running were child's play. The cause of their failure was not in the biceps nor the legs, but-in the spirit. They had lacked the will to endure the mental and emotional strain, so they would not be Marines. Heavy commitments and high casualties notwithstanding, the Corps reserves the right to pick and choose.

History classes in boot camp? Stop a soldier on the street and ask him to name a battle of World War One. Pick a sailor at random to describe the epic fight of the Bon Homme Richard. Everyone has heard of McGuire Air Force Base. So ask any airman who Major Thomes McGuire was, and why he is so commemorated. I am not carping, and there is no sheer in this criticism. All of the services have glorious traditions, but no one teaches the young soldier, sailor or airman what his uniform means and why he should be proud of it. But - ask a Marine about World War One, and you will hear of the wheat field at Belleau Wood and the courage of the Fourth Marine Brigade, fifth and sixth regiments. Faced with an enemy of superior numbers entrenched in tangled forest undergrowth, the Marines received an order to attack that even the charitable cannot call ill - advised. It was insane. Artillery support was absent and air support hadn't been invented yet, so the Brigade charged German machine guns with only bayonets, grenades, and indomitable fighting spirit. A bandy-legged little barrel of a gunnery sergeant, Daniel J. Daly, rallied his company with a shout, "Come on you sons a b-tches, do you want to live forever"? He took out three machine guns himself, and they would give him the Medal of Honor except for a technicality, he already had two of them. French liaison-officers, hardened though they were by four years of trench bound slaughter, were shocked as the Marines charged across the open wheat field under a blazing sun directly into the teeth of enemy fire. Their action was so anachronistic on the twentieth-century battlefield that they might as well have been swinging cutlasses, but - the enemy was only human; they could not stand up to this. So the Marines took Belleau Wood. The Germans called them "DOGS FROM H-LL"!

Every Marine knows this story and dozens more. We are taught them in boot camp as a regular part of the curriculum. Every Marine will always be taught them! You can learn to don a gas mask anytime, even on the plane in route to the war zone, but before you can wear the E.G.& A and claim the title you must know about the Marines who made that emblem and title meaningful. So long as you can march and shoot and revere the legacy of the Corps you can take your place in line. And that line is unified spirit as in purpose. A soldier wears branch of service insignia on his collar, metal shoulder pins and cloth sleeve patches to identify his unit. Sailors wear a rating badge that identifies what they do for the Navy. Marines wear only the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor, together with personal ribbons and their CHERISHED marksmanship badges.

There is nothing on a Marine's uniform to indicate what he or she does, nor what unit the Marine belongs to. You cannot tell by looking at a Marine whether you are seeing a truck driver, a computer programmer, or a machine gunner. The Corps explains this as a security measure to conceal the identity and location of units, but the Marines penchant for publicity makes that the least likely of explanations. No, the Marine is amorphous, even anonymous, by conscious design.

Every Marine is a rifleman first and foremost, a Marine first, last and Always! You may serve a four-year enlistment or even a twenty plus year career without seeing action, but if the word is given you'll charge across that Wheatfield! Whether a Marine has been schooled in automated supply, or automotive mechanics, or aviation electronics, is immaterial. Those things are secondary - the Corps does them because it must. The modern battle requires the technical appliances, and since the enemy has them, so do we, but no Marine boasts mastery of them. Our pride is in our marksmanship, our discipline, and our membership in a fraternity of courage and sacrifice.

"For the honor of the fallen, for the glory of the dead", Edar Guest wrote of Belleau Wood, "the living line of courage kept the faith and moved ahead". They are all gone now, those Marines who made a French farmer's little Wheatfield into one of the most enduring of Marine Corps legends. Many of them did not survive the day, and eight long decades have claimed the rest. But their actions are immortal. The Corps remembers them and honors what they did, and so they live forever. Dan Daly's shouted challenge takes on its true meaning - if you lie in the trenches you may survive for now, but someday you may die and no one will care. If you charge the guns you may die in the next two minutes, but you will be one of the immortals. All Marines die in the red flash of battle or the white cold of the nursing home. In the vigor of youth or the infirmity of age all will eventually die, but the Marine Corps lives on. Every Marine who ever lived is living still, in the Marines who claim the title today. It is that sense of belonging to something that will outlive your own mortality, which gives people a light to live by and a flame to mark their passing. Passed on to a Marine from another Marine!

Semper Fi Brothers and Sisters!


Marine Ink Of The Week

This tattoo goes from right below my hip all the way down to my knee and covers the entire side of my left thigh.

Submitted by L. Weeks

Dress Blue trouser design on thigh


VA Claim Help

Ray Walker imparted words of wisdom concerning filing claims with the VA... Don't Go It Alone. I spent a decade and a half as a professional advocate for disabled vets; I was accredited by The Marine Corps League, the VFW, Arkansas Veterans Affairs, the American Legion, and even the WWI Veterans. One of the toughest things we had to do was square away claims which had been screwed up from Day One either by the vet or (worse yet) by a lawyer. Go get help and honest advice from vets who know what they are doing. You didn't serve alone, why go it alone now. Semper Fi is more than a slogan.

Pete Dahlstrom
'68-'74


The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #8, #3)

We arrived at their summer home in early afternoon. It was the first time I had ever seen it and it was quite nice. We were not there very long when Mary's parents said to us "Have a ball. We will see you later." And they were gone. Mary and I got into our swimsuits and headed for the beach - less than two blocks away. We spent the rest of the afternoon there and then walked down the boardwalk for a bite to eat. Then we returned to the house to change clothes and went down to the amusement area until we decided to call it a day. I shall digress for a moment to tell you that Mary and I had agreed a couple of years earlier that we were going to live a Platonic relationship - until we were married - and her parents knew of this and welcomed our decision. They expected that we would be sleeping together and had told us to use their king size bed unless they would be using it themselves. They had seen us 'napping' occasionally on their sofa and said it was 'beautiful' how we wrapped our arms around each other to sleep. (I would wrap my arms around her body and she would wrap her arms around my neck.) And that is how we slept most every night of this vacation. Most every day was spent down at the beach, on the boardwalk or at the amusement park. Both of us were well tanned when this vacation was over.

Late on Labor Day, September 4th, we headed home. We had not gone very far when Mary's mother asked "Well, what did you decide about going to college?" I replied "The subject was never discussed." She was somewhat surprised at this. Mary said "I have given it a great deal of thought. I know quite well how you and Dad feel about it - and I know that when I first went to N.Y.C. to live with Aunt Jen and try to do some modeling it was to be for a one year break between high school and college. I soon found out that I had chosen a rather sleezy profession. But when I was about to give it up I struck paydirt - with the Prince Matchabelli contract. The one year quickly changed to two years. Well, now they have asked me to dye my black hair to either red or blonde - and with no guarantee of a contract extension. And I am not going to do that. I have decided to go to college." There was a long period of silence. Then her Dad asked "Do you have any idea which college you would like to attend?" Mary replied "Whichever one I can get into at this late date." (Getting into college in those days was a lot easier than it is today. All you had to do was register and pay the required fees.) There was a great deal of silence for the rest of the trip home. All were thinking of what Mary's decision would cause - and what her choices of a college would be. When we got back to Mt. Holly I decided to leave them alone to figure this out. I pretty much kept out of it. Mary's Dad said he would check in the morning to find out if he could get her sponsored by one of the companies with whom he was affiliated. He thought he could. He was lucky. The first one he called said they would sponsor her. They recommended Earlham University in Richmond, Indiana and I said "I know Richmond well. It's a beautiful little college town."

'til next week. The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


Reunions

Will be heading to Parris Island the week of 11/10/2014 for Friday's Graduation Ceremonies. This will be my 50th Anniversary of Graduating from Parris, and being called Marine for the first time.

If you were in Platoon 379 of the 376 series that started on August 18th, and if memory is serving, we graduated just after the Marine Corps Birthday and just before Thanksgiving. Sr. Drill Instructor was Sgt. Wells, about 5'6", 150 – 160 lbs. of coiled stainless steel. Asst. Drill Instructor was Sgt. Ricker, about 6'2", 170 – 180 lbs. of running machine.

Will be driving up from Florida on Wednesday, looking around the base on Thursday, to see if anything is still there besides the PT Fields and Drill Quad in front of the mess hall that I can remember.

If you would like to join me, chat over memories of Boot Camp, where we went from there, etc. I haven't made any reservations yet, but there are several motel/hotels just outside the base that look reasonable with nice facilities.

Chuck Reardon
LCEC
Project Material Coordinator
Email: chuck.reardon[at]lcec.net


DFW Marine Corps Alumni

The wrong contact email was posted last issue. Here is the correct info.

Contact: Joe Silva
Cell: 972-822-0581
Email: jas369[at]verizon.net


Lost And Found

I'm trying to contact GYSGT Bob ("Mac") McCulley. He was my Drill Instructor with platoon 2078 in San Diego in 1974 and went through Recruiter's School with me in 1981. If you could put this in your Newsletter he may see it since he did a product review on the same product just after I did. Thanks Don.

Semper Fi!
Julian Etheridge


Taps

On August 2, 2014, Marine Henry Jarrel Terry, 73, went to his new duty station to "guard the streets of Heaven". He served from 1958 to 1962 with 3rd battalion, 8th Marines, becoming a squad leader.

J Kanavy


Short Rounds

What great Pictures and letters. Thank you! You have great looking Grandsons, I only have 2 Beautiful Granddaughters, and one Marine Son that is now a Firefighter. I was in 6/68-6/74 PLT. 289 in Boot Camp.

Semper Fi-OORAH!
L/Cpl Fernando Hernandez Jr


Witness the historic unveiling of The Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument.

Texas Vietnam Veterans Monument


Semper Fi,

I am former Sgt Jordan. I out boarded Parris Island on August 8th, 1968 platoon 179. I went to Viet Nam on July 12, 1969 to July 1970. I was a combat engineer serving 1st Engineer Battalion - 1st Marine Division attached to the 7th Marine regiment at L Z Ross Que Son Valley with 1/7, 2/7, and 3/7. And I am proud to be a U.S. Marine.

Semper Fi
LJ


Quotes

"Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence ... the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government."
--George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796


"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But the Marines don't have that problem."
--Ronald Reagan, President of the United States; 1985


"They told (us) to open up the Embassy, or "we'll blow you away." And then they looked up and saw the Marines on the roof with these really big guns, and they said in Somali, "Igaralli ahow," which means "Excuse me, I didn't mean it, my mistake."
--Karen Aquilar, in the U.S. Embassy; Mogadishu, Somalia, 1991


"The Army and the Navy are run like traditional military services. The Air Force is run like a corporation. But the Marine Corps is a religion."
--Navy Admiral


"A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy."
--Samuel Adams, 1779


"Europe wondered how America could train men so quickly. Well, when you only have to train them to go one way you can do it in half the time."
--Will Rogers


"zero dark thirty - rise and shine, hit the deck leatherneck, grab your boots 'n socks, get in your trousers, bail out of that rack, make your mark for the day!"

"I eat concertina wire and p-ss napalm, and I can shoot a round through a flea's azs at 300 yards."
--Gunny Highway, Heart Break Ridge

"You people are lower than whale sh-t... and that's at the bottom of the ocean!"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 21 AUG 2014

In this issue:
• Scrounging In Vietnam
• Weapons In Enemy Hands
• What Is The Difference

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Sgt. Grit,

About the UWSS reunion in the 14 August Sgt. Grit Newsletter, I went through underwater swimmers school in Key West in August 1964, then served in Force Recon '67-'68 and Recon Bn. '68-'69 and various Force billets after that. I can't make it to the reunion but I just wanted to brag a little.

First picture is at the school after my swim buddy and I were awarded the hawser of shame for getting separated. The second is from a Force Recon diving mission in Hue in '68. The third picture is of the whole Force team that went into Hue. We were the first to cross the Perfume River - under water and under mortar fire! Picture taken at the MACV Compound in Hue. First Force - First in War, First in Peace, First in the hearts of our countrymen!

Semper Fi!
Fred Vogel


Corpsman Of Marines

I just received my Corpsman of Marines ring. All I can say is it is fantastic and really good looking. I am very pleased with the looks and overall construction of the ring. Thank you for making this available to Corpsman.

Thank you!
Joe "Doc" Garcia
India Co 3/9
Viet Nam '65-'66

Get this ring at:

Corpsman Of Marines Ring


1st Engineer Bn

Sgt Grit,

I was in country about the same time you were. Sent you a scan from 1st Engineer Bn yearbook. If I remember this is Liberty Bridge. If you got oil on your feet it was probably my fault. I drove a 5000 gal. tanker and oiled the roads all over I Corps. This was to hold dust down and be able to see if anyone had planted mines. Most of the time I was alone, but sometimes had a shotgun riding with me.

Sometimes I would run the sweep truck (2nd truck in the convoy loaded with engineers) to An Hoa. Not sure about my spelling. The Bn rear was Camp Faulkner, located next to the Navy hospital, near Marble Mtn.

Art '69-'70


Scrounging In Vietnam

Sgt. Grit

During my Tour in Vietnam there were many things that we modified to help us with our missions. I wish I could remember this Marines name, he was with Alpha Company 1st Recon. Top Barker ran "A" Co. and the sign painted was one of his works of Art. 1st Recon's motto was "Swift, Silent, Deadly", Top Barker added Surrounded to the motto as you can see.

One of the things we found handy was the Pilots Emergency Kit and as any Good Marine is handy at scrounging, we scrounged these Pilots Emergency Kits and used the wrist compasses as you can see on this Marines wrist alongside his watch. There were a lot of other things in the Pilots Emergency Kit, Food, Vitamins and other useful items, but they also caused some problems because some Marines came home addicted to Amphetamines. But patrolling around boulders as big as cars and houses, you had to keep alert.

The Camos he is wearing were just being issued, the Korean Camos were neat as were the Korean dry rat's, some of their spicy ones were better than Mexican food. Open it, pour some water in it, close it and put it inside your utilities next to the skivvy shirt. Eat at the next break.

Ah Well those were the days.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Weapons In Enemy Hands

There was an incident back in 1964-1965 when I was with Bravo 1/9 at Camp Hansen. I can't remember the names, but wouldn't say out of respect for the Marines family.

Our Battalion Armory clerk fell in love with one of the local gals (hard to believe I know), but first timers did that more than most know if you get my drift.

Well, one day she was found murdered, myself and two others Jarheads were picked up by the CID and questioned. We were like WTH! Didn't even know her. After some hours of questioning we were taken back to Camp Hansen and were cleared of anything to do with her.

However, the CID wasn't done searching for her murderer and the questioning of other Marines continued. Apparently they were getting close to making an arrest and he knew it so. One evening the clerk went to the armory wrote a note and took a .45 cal pistol and blew his head off.

The note read: How do I look dead.

As the investigation continued, it was learned that he had been supplying M-14's to his sweetheart as well as other items. We also figured he was probably the one that gave our names to investigators.

I figured that these weapons were going to the VC.

To this day I still feel sorry for his family for what they must have been through realizing what he had done to betray his Country and Corps and obviously taking his life.

Joe Henderson
Sgt. USMC
1963-1967


The New Teacher

A retired (never former) Master Gunnery Sergeant in the Marine Corps, took a new job as a high school teacher. Just before the school year started, he injured his back. He was required to wear a plaster cast around the upper part of his body. Fortunately, the cast fit under his shirt and wasn't noticeable.

On the first day of class, he found himself assigned to the toughest students in the school. The smart-aleck punks, having already heard the new teacher was a former Marine, were leery of him. He knew they would be testing his discipline in the classroom.

Walking confidently into the rowdy classroom, the new teacher opened the window wide. He sat down at his desk. A strong breeze made his tie flap. He picked up the desk stapler and stapled the tie to his chest.

Dead silence.

The rest of the year went smoothly.


A Jarhead's Journey

A book written for my children and grandchildren that I was planning to put on disk or flash, but decided to publish due to renewed interest in the Vietnam War and donate all royalties to the Wounded Warrior Project.

A Jarhead's Journey takes the reader through Marine Corps officers' boot camp in Quantico, Virginia, the Fleet Marine Force where a young lieutenant led the first platoon off the USS Guadalcanal during the Panama riots of 1964, the jungles and rice paddies of Vietnam, and back to Quantico as an instructor before returning to civilian life. An epilogue chapter relates the treatment of Vietnam veterans after honorably discharged from military service and frustrations experienced in dealing with the Department of Veterans Affairs today.

The source documents and photographs used were discovered when a plastic container stored in their attic for four decades was retrieved for Sandy, his bride of five decades. In there was a shoebox containing pictures and every letter 1st Lt. Jim Lowe had written to his young bride during his tour as an advisor in Vietnam (detached from the Marine Corps, living in the Vietnamese culture and fighting with the 1st Division of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam along the DMZ), in the original envelopes, carefully arranged and sequentially numbered in the exact chronological order received.

Get the paperback form at "A Jarhead's Journey".

Semper Fi,
Jim Lowe


I Still Have My Cane

Sgt. Grit,

I am always amazed reading about Boot Camp for the Modern Marine. When I went to Boot Camp and when I was a Drill Instructor (I was a DI at MCRD San Diego and Parris Island) none of this stuff happened. I was drilled (and Drilled my Troopers) until I thought I would drop and the DI always had another GO Round of some sort. In those days, San Diego (wasn't MCRD until the 1950's) the base was larger and went to the bay. We dug fox holes at the beach and fired Rifle Grenades into the bay, and we fired them from our shoulder, we were instructed what would happen if you didn't hold the rifle tight against your shoulder.

I wasn't physically abused, I was Drilled and Trained until I became a Marine. I fell asleep on my rifle during snap-in and an Instructor picked me up and dropped me on my rifle, that wasn't abuse, it was a Learning experience. It is hard for me to believe all this abuse is and has been going on when I know there are Former DI's in Prison for mistreating their troops.

I want to say something about this Disrespect issue, anyone, regardless of size, position and/or s-x will be quickly dropped to a level that they Know NOT to make any Disrespectful Remarks about me or my Marines. Christ, I am 87 years old, not exactly in top form of any kind but I still have my Cane, my feet and my arms which can be used to make a point. To allow anyone, ANYONE, to make a Disrespectful Remark about Your Marine Corps, is making a Disrespectful remark about you and your family. He/she is saying you are incompetent to make a decision about your Life and your Family, he/she is saying the battles we have fought, YOU have Fought, haven't happened. The Bravery of Marine's, never happened, The Flag Raising at Iwo Jima Didn't Happen, Chosin Reservoir was a Walk in the Sun and you are allowing it to happen.

If someone told you the United States of America was not a Free Country, you'd have something to say. They are down grading the United States when they make disrespectful remarks about the Marine Corps. What the H-ll is the Matter with anyone that doesn't stand up to someone that downgrades a period of his/her life. No one pays me to say this, only the Dignity and Honor the Marine Corps Installed in me.

When you stand up for the Marine Corps, you are standing up for yourself, the United States and the Dignity of our History. Think back to what your DI said to you and taught you, about the History of the United States of America and the Marine Corps. Stand Tall, You are a United States Marine.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Hearing Aids

About 2 years ago I first learned via the Army's Retired Newsletter about a program at certain military facilities around the country that allow all military retiree's to purchase AT COST top of the line hearing aids. I contacted Ft. Gordon, Ga's base audiology unit at their base hospital and arranged an appointment. Drove down from Atlanta and they gave me a hearing test, very extensive, and found I met the guidelines of the program. We selected the hearing aids and they were ordered with my paying for them. I returned a couple of weeks later to have them fitted and programmed. The devices had just been priced to me at a civilian hearing aid store for a little over $6,000 and I got them, with all the bells and whistles, for slightly over $800. Below is a link to the story about this program.

Hearing Aids for Military Retirees

Semper Fidelis
DB Wright


What Is The Difference

What is difference between a Marine, a sailor, a soldier, and an airman?

(by Former Sgt. Nick Sparacino, 2/9, Viet Nam 1966)

Ask a Marine what's so special about the Marines and the answer would be "esprit de corps," an unhelpful French phrase that means exactly what it looks like - the spirit of the Corps, but what is that spirit, and where does it come from?

The Marine Corps is the only branch of the U.S. Armed Forces that recruits people specifically to Fight. The Army emphasizes personal development (an Army of One), the Navy promises fun (let the journey begin), the Air Force offers security (it's a great way of life). Missing from all the advertisements is the hard fact that a soldier's lot is to suffer and perhaps to die for his people, and take lives at the risk of his/her own. Even the thematic music of the services reflects this evasion. The Army's Caisson Song describes a pleasant country outing. Over hill and dale, lacking only a picnic basket. Anchors Aweigh, the Navy's celebration of the joys of sailing, could have been penned by Jimmy Buffet. The Air Force song is a lyric poem of blue skies and engine thrust. All is joyful and invigorating, and safe. There are no land mines in the dales nor snipers behind the hills, no submarines or cruise missiles threaten the ocean jaunt, no bandits are lurking in the wild blue yonder. The Marines Hymn, by contrast, is all combat. We fight are Country's battles, First to fight for right and freedom, We have fought in every clime and place where we could take a gun, in many a strife we have fought for life and never lost our nerve.

The choice is made clear. You may join the Army to go to adventure training, or join the Navy to go to Bangkok, or join the Air Force to go to computer school. You join the Marine Corps to go to War! But the mere act of signing the enlistment contract confers no status in the Corps. The Army recruit is told from his first minute in uniform that "you're in the Army now," soldier. The Navy and Air Force enlistees are sailors or airmen as soon as they get off bus at the training center. The new arrival at Marine Corps boot camp is called a recruit, or worse, (a lot worse), but never a MARINE. Not yet, maybe never. He or she must earn the right to claim the title of United States MARINE, and failure returns you to civilian life without hesitation or ceremony.

Recruit Platoon 2210 at San Diego, California trained from October through December of 1968. In Viet Nam the Marines were taking two hundred casualties a week, and the major rainy season operation Meade River, had not even begun, yet Drill Instructors had no qualms about winnowing out almost a quarter of their 112 recruits, graduating eighty-one. Note that this was post - enlistment attrition; every one of those who were dropped had been passed by the recruiters as fit for service. But they failed the test of Boot Camp, not necessarily for physical reasons at least two were outstanding high school athletes for whom the calisthenics and running were child's play. The cause of their failure was not in the biceps nor the legs, but-in the spirit. They had lacked the will to endure the mental and emotional strain, so they would not be Marines. Heavy commitments and high casualties notwithstanding, the Corps reserves the right to pick and choose.

History classes in boot camp? Stop a soldier on the street and ask him to name a battle of World War One. Pick a sailor at random to describe the epic fight of the Bon Homme Richard. Everyone has heard of McGuire Air Force Base. So ask any airman who Major Thomes McGuire was, and why he is so commemorated. I am not carping, and there is no sheer in this criticism. All of the services have glorious traditions, but no one teaches the young soldier, sailor or airman what his uniform means and why he should be proud of it. But - ask a Marine about World War One, and you will hear of the wheat field at Belleau Wood and the courage of the Fourth Marine Brigade, fifth and sixth regiments. Faced with an enemy of superior numbers entrenched in tangled forest undergrowth, the Marines received an order to attack that even the charitable cannot call ill - advised. It was insane. Artillery support was absent and air support hadn't been invented yet, so the Brigade charged German machine guns with only bayonets, grenades, and indomitable fighting spirit. A bandy-legged little barrel of a gunnery sergeant, Daniel J. Daly, rallied his company with a shout, "Come on you sons a b-tches, do you want to live forever"? He took out three machine guns himself, and they would give him the Medal of Honor except for a technicality, he already had two of them. French liaison-officers, hardened though they were by four years of trench bound slaughter, were shocked as the Marines charged across the open wheat field under a blazing sun directly into the teeth of enemy fire. Their action was so anachronistic on the twentieth-century battlefield that they might as well have been swinging cutlasses, but - the enemy was only human; they could not stand up to this. So the Marines took Belleau Wood. The Germans called them "DOGS FROM H-LL"!

Every Marine knows this story and dozens more. We are taught them in boot camp as a regular part of the curriculum. Every Marine will always be taught them! You can learn to don a gas mask anytime, even on the plane in route to the war zone, but before you can wear the E.G.& A and claim the title you must know about the Marines who made that emblem and title meaningful. So long as you can march and shoot and revere the legacy of the Corps you can take your place in line. And that line is unified spirit as in purpose. A soldier wears branch of service insignia on his collar, metal shoulder pins and cloth sleeve patches to identify his unit. Sailors wear a rating badge that identifies what they do for the Navy. Marines wear only the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor, together with personal ribbons and their CHERISHED marksmanship badges.

There is nothing on a Marine's uniform to indicate what he or she does, nor what unit the Marine belongs to. You cannot tell by looking at a Marine whether you are seeing a truck driver, a computer programmer, or a machine gunner. The Corps explains this as a security measure to conceal the identity and location of units, but the Marines penchant for publicity makes that the least likely of explanations. No, the Marine is amorphous, even anonymous, by conscious design.

Every Marine is a rifleman first and foremost, a Marine first, last and Always! You may serve a four-year enlistment or even a twenty plus year career without seeing action, but if the word is given you'll charge across that Wheatfield! Whether a Marine has been schooled in automated supply, or automotive mechanics, or aviation electronics, is immaterial. Those things are secondary - the Corps does them because it must. The modern battle requires the technical appliances, and since the enemy has them, so do we, but no Marine boasts mastery of them. Our pride is in our marksmanship, our discipline, and our membership in a fraternity of courage and sacrifice.

"For the honor of the fallen, for the glory of the dead", Edar Guest wrote of Belleau Wood, "the living line of courage kept the faith and moved ahead". They are all gone now, those Marines who made a French farmer's little Wheatfield into one of the most enduring of Marine Corps legends. Many of them did not survive the day, and eight long decades have claimed the rest. But their actions are immortal. The Corps remembers them and honors what they did, and so they live forever. Dan Daly's shouted challenge takes on its true meaning - if you lie in the trenches you may survive for now, but someday you may die and no one will care. If you charge the guns you may die in the next two minutes, but you will be one of the immortals. All Marines die in the red flash of battle or the white cold of the nursing home. In the vigor of youth or the infirmity of age all will eventually die, but the Marine Corps lives on. Every Marine who ever lived is living still, in the Marines who claim the title today. It is that sense of belonging to something that will outlive your own mortality, which gives people a light to live by and a flame to mark their passing. Passed on to a Marine from another Marine!

Semper Fi Brothers and Sisters!


VA Claim Help

Ray Walker imparted words of wisdom concerning filing claims with the VA... Don't Go It Alone. I spent a decade and a half as a professional advocate for disabled vets; I was accredited by The Marine Corps League, the VFW, Arkansas Veterans Affairs, the American Legion, and even the WWI Veterans. One of the toughest things we had to do was square away claims which had been screwed up from Day One either by the vet or (worse yet) by a lawyer. Go get help and honest advice from vets who know what they are doing. You didn't serve alone, why go it alone now. Semper Fi is more than a slogan.

Pete Dahlstrom
'68-'74


The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #8, #3)

We arrived at their summer home in early afternoon. It was the first time I had ever seen it and it was quite nice. We were not there very long when Mary's parents said to us "Have a ball. We will see you later." And they were gone. Mary and I got into our swimsuits and headed for the beach - less than two blocks away. We spent the rest of the afternoon there and then walked down the boardwalk for a bite to eat. Then we returned to the house to change clothes and went down to the amusement area until we decided to call it a day. I shall digress for a moment to tell you that Mary and I had agreed a couple of years earlier that we were going to live a Platonic relationship - until we were married - and her parents knew of this and welcomed our decision. They expected that we would be sleeping together and had told us to use their king size bed unless they would be using it themselves. They had seen us 'napping' occasionally on their sofa and said it was 'beautiful' how we wrapped our arms around each other to sleep. (I would wrap my arms around her body and she would wrap her arms around my neck.) And that is how we slept most every night of this vacation. Most every day was spent down at the beach, on the boardwalk or at the amusement park. Both of us were well tanned when this vacation was over.

Late on Labor Day, September 4th, we headed home. We had not gone very far when Mary's mother asked "Well, what did you decide about going to college?" I replied "The subject was never discussed." She was somewhat surprised at this. Mary said "I have given it a great deal of thought. I know quite well how you and Dad feel about it - and I know that when I first went to N.Y.C. to live with Aunt Jen and try to do some modeling it was to be for a one year break between high school and college. I soon found out that I had chosen a rather sleezy profession. But when I was about to give it up I struck paydirt - with the Prince Matchabelli contract. The one year quickly changed to two years. Well, now they have asked me to dye my black hair to either red or blonde - and with no guarantee of a contract extension. And I am not going to do that. I have decided to go to college." There was a long period of silence. Then her Dad asked "Do you have any idea which college you would like to attend?" Mary replied "Whichever one I can get into at this late date." (Getting into college in those days was a lot easier than it is today. All you had to do was register and pay the required fees.) There was a great deal of silence for the rest of the trip home. All were thinking of what Mary's decision would cause - and what her choices of a college would be. When we got back to Mt. Holly I decided to leave them alone to figure this out. I pretty much kept out of it. Mary's Dad said he would check in the morning to find out if he could get her sponsored by one of the companies with whom he was affiliated. He thought he could. He was lucky. The first one he called said they would sponsor her. They recommended Earlham University in Richmond, Indiana and I said "I know Richmond well. It's a beautiful little college town."

'til next week. The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


Reunions

Will be heading to Parris Island the week of 11/10/2014 for Friday's Graduation Ceremonies. This will be my 50th Anniversary of Graduating from Parris, and being called Marine for the first time.

If you were in Platoon 379 of the 376 series that started on August 18th, and if memory is serving, we graduated just after the Marine Corps Birthday and just before Thanksgiving. Sr. Drill Instructor was Sgt. Wells, about 5'6", 150 – 160 lbs. of coiled stainless steel. Asst. Drill Instructor was Sgt. Ricker, about 6'2", 170 – 180 lbs. of running machine.

Will be driving up from Florida on Wednesday, looking around the base on Thursday, to see if anything is still there besides the PT Fields and Drill Quad in front of the mess hall that I can remember.

If you would like to join me, chat over memories of Boot Camp, where we went from there, etc. I haven't made any reservations yet, but there are several motel/hotels just outside the base that look reasonable with nice facilities.

Chuck Reardon
LCEC
Project Material Coordinator
Email: chuck.reardon[at]lcec.net


DFW Marine Corps Alumni

The wrong contact email was posted last issue. Here is the correct info.

Contact: Joe Silva
Cell: 972-822-0581
Email: jas369[at]verizon.net


Lost And Found

I'm trying to contact GYSGT Bob ("Mac") McCulley. He was my Drill Instructor with platoon 2078 in San Diego in 1974 and went through Recruiter's School with me in 1981. If you could put this in your Newsletter he may see it since he did a product review on the same product just after I did. Thanks Don.

Semper Fi!
Julian Etheridge


Taps

On August 2, 2014, Marine Henry Jarrel Terry, 73, went to his new duty station to "guard the streets of Heaven". He served from 1958 to 1962 with 3rd battalion, 8th Marines, becoming a squad leader.

J Kanavy


Short Rounds

What great Pictures and letters. Thank you! You have great looking Grandsons, I only have 2 Beautiful Granddaughters, and one Marine Son that is now a Firefighter. I was in 6/68-6/74 PLT. 289 in Boot Camp.

Semper Fi-OORAH!
L/Cpl Fernando Hernandez Jr


Witness the historic unveiling of The Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument.

Texas Vietnam Veterans Monument


Semper Fi,

I am former Sgt Jordan. I out boarded Parris Island on August 8th, 1968 platoon 179. I went to Viet Nam on July 12, 1969 to July 1970. I was a combat engineer serving 1st Engineer Battalion - 1st Marine Division attached to the 7th Marine regiment at L Z Ross Que Son Valley with 1/7, 2/7, and 3/7. And I am proud to be a U.S. Marine.

Semper Fi
LJ


Quotes

"Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence ... the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government."
--George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796


"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But the Marines don't have that problem."
--Ronald Reagan, President of the United States; 1985


"They told (us) to open up the Embassy, or "we'll blow you away." And then they looked up and saw the Marines on the roof with these really big guns, and they said in Somali, "Igaralli ahow," which means "Excuse me, I didn't mean it, my mistake."
--Karen Aquilar, in the U.S. Embassy; Mogadishu, Somalia, 1991


"The Army and the Navy are run like traditional military services. The Air Force is run like a corporation. But the Marine Corps is a religion."
--Navy Admiral


"A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy."
--Samuel Adams, 1779


"Europe wondered how America could train men so quickly. Well, when you only have to train them to go one way you can do it in half the time."
--Will Rogers


"zero dark thirty - rise and shine, hit the deck leatherneck, grab your boots 'n socks, get in your trousers, bail out of that rack, make your mark for the day!"

"I eat concertina wire and p-ss napalm, and I can shoot a round through a flea's azs at 300 yards."
--Gunny Highway, Heart Break Ridge

"You people are lower than whale sh-t... and that's at the bottom of the ocean!"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 14 AUG 2014

In this issue:
• Indigenous To Parris Island
• F-4 Gunny
• You May Be A Vietnam Veteran If...

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Future Recruits picture with Marine Grandpa

Future Recruits Iwo Jima Flag Raising pose

Sgt Grit,

I'm former L/Cpl Jack Gleason, Plt. 226, PI 1963 - 1967.

I just thought you would appreciate a good laugh. These are future recruits. We live in Flippin, AR, and we don't get that much snow. So, being a Marine veteran I improvised. We had some snow, a flag pole, and 4 great volunteers.

Left to Right - Boot Ocean Anitoni, Boot None Anitoni, Boot Malu Anitoni, and Boot Sean Anitoni.

Semper Fi
Jack Gleason, LCpl, '63-'67

Get this shirt for your Devil Pup at:

Devil Dog's Family Member Youth Boys Custom Gray T-Shirt

Devil Dog's Family Member Youth Boys Custom Gray T-Shirt


Have It All

AK47, M14, Greasgun, and two M16s in Vietnam

Sgt. Grit,

For those guys interested, here are some of the guns we took from the VC and NVA. As you can see there is an AK47, then my M14, a Greasegun and two M 16's. With the exception of my M14 all these guns were captured from the enemy.

In those days the AR15/M16 was considered one of newest Weapons in the US Arsenal, this was the first time it was used in Combat. The enemy always liked to get American Weapons because American Fighting men, when a battle is over will drop the magazine and reload with as full mag.

The enemy picks up dropped rounds of ammunition, and any other equipment he finds, broken rifles, dented magazines and ammunition, everything. He'll put it to use to kill and we kept dropping what we didn't need or want.

Half eaten "C" rations filled many an enemy stomach and they went on fighting, always on the lookout for more supplies from the Americans who seemed to have it all. We even found packages of cigarettes on the enemy, some guy dropped a package of cigarettes because they were old and had spots on them, H-ll, the enemy didn't have the resupply program we had and a cigarette was a cigarette.

But don't think this is a Modern problem, on the pacific Islands during World War II, enemy soldiers left behind and hiding out from the Americans, found disliked "K" rations and any other rations, food is food to a starving man regardless of race. How many times have you chucked a can of beans and rice or some other chow cause it wasn't a food you liked.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC retired


To Hear Silence

The book To Hear Silence

It took over 4 years and thousands of hour digging through old files on Vietnam to write the book called "To Hear Silence". Although it's the day to day and often minute to minute account if one Marine battery's experience in support of an infantry unit, everyone who ever served in Vietnam will be able to identify with it. This book traces Charlie Battery 1/13 and the 3rd Battalion 26 Marines from the time they formed up at Camp Horno, CA until the original members left Khe Sanh and returned home in October 1967.

Ron Hoffman

The paperback form can be found at "To Hear Silence".


USMC 239th Birthday Items


Tinnitus, Hearing Loss, and Deafness

Re Jerry D's hearing problems. Always use the VFW, American Legion or DAV to process your claim. Anyone trying to deal with them on their own will have a difficult problem. Tinnitus is compensable as is hearing loss. Jerry did not state the noisy conditions he encountered. Combat experience almost always causes hearing problems in the left ear if you are right-handed; opposite ear for left-handed. The back blast noise from using a rifle is the cause; it affects the ear closest to the ammo blast. IED's are guaranteed to cause hearing problems if you survive it. Incoming landing close enough to cause pressure waves can cause deafness, at times busting an ear drum.

Ray Walker
'48/'53


DFW Marine Corps Alumni

Proudly announcing their first Marine Corps Ball.

To be held at the Las Colinas Country Club November 15th, 2014. Bar will open at 7:00 PM. The ceremony will begin at 8:00PM, dinner will follow. Marine Veteran and local radio personality, Jason Walker will be our guest MC. Our Guest of Honor will be former Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps (1998-2000), General (retired) Terrance R. Dake.

Tickets are $100.00 each. Only 200 tickets will be sold. For parties of 8 you can reserve a table by emailing the contact below. Your ticket will include the Birthday Ceremony, dinner, two free drinks and dancing.

We will have a photographer on site for those special pictures, and a special gift for each guest. Uniformed Marines will provide the ceremonial activities, youngest and oldest Marines will be honored and will take part in the cutting of the cake.

This will be a black tie affair so break out those tuxedoes pin on that National Defense Medal and come on out and enjoy a special night with Marines and Marine Veterans of the DFW area.

Contact: Joe Silva
Cell: 972-822-0581
Email: jas369[at]verizon.net
Please make checks out to: DFW Marine Corps Alumni


Indigenous To Parris Island

Sgt. Grit,

Just read the last newsletter and laughed at some of the interesting punishments. Are there any Parris Island graduates out there who ever had to bury a sand flea?

I did. I was one of the dumbazses of platoon 2063 in the summer of 1981 who tried to sneak a smack at one of those vicious little bast-rds and as can be expected, my movement, while discreet in my opinion, was easily detected by the experienced eye of Sgt. Ishmail. It was one of your more typical, hot, steamy Parris Island days and even though it was early evening, we were still covered in sweat and little bast-rds just seemed to be drawn to us like catnip to a cat. Little did I know that it's easy to detect the slightest movement of one turd among 72 turds all in a tight, four column formation. Ishmail spotted me instantly and was on me like flies on sh-t. He proceeded to inform me that sand fleas were indigenous to Parris Island and my filthy azs was not and as such, the sand flea deserved a proper burial.

We were in formation just outside the Second Battalion chow hall ready to be marched back to the barracks after evening chow. I was instructed to "find" the sand flea, dig a hole and bury him and then I had to stand over him and "play" taps through my closed, encircled hand over my mouth (forming a bugle). First of all for all you Pendleton Marines (I say this in jest), the flea, before you smash it with the smack, is nearly microscopic. And then, what are the chances that you will find him anyway? So there is Ishmail hovering over me yelling, "all right you doggone filthy aszed motherf--ker, you better had find that sand flea and that hole had better be proper depth!" Ishmail had to be laughing all over himself as he was screaming at me. First of all I was already scared sh-tless, but what the h-ll was the proper grave depth for a sand flea?

Of course I could not find it, but I was smart enough not to tell Ishmail that. I pretended to find the flea and place it in the 1" hole I had scrapped away with my index finger. I backfilled the grave and popped up to the position of attention with my feet at a 45 degree angle and my thumbs at my trouser seams. And then I played taps. No one dared to laugh at me. Ishmail threatened to cut my nuts off and feed them to the gators behind the b-tts at the rifle range if he ever caught me harming one of "his" sand fleas. After all, sand fleas were born on Parris Island and therefore had a right to be there. I, on the other hand was an ignorant, disgusting piece of human dung and had no right to infest "his" Marine Corps!

Semper Fi to all my brother and sister Marines and God Bless all those fighting for our freedom!!

Mike Kunkel
Cpl – 0331
Lima 3/8, Weapons Platoon
'81-'85


Funny Things Happened

Dear Sgt. Grit,

One day at my first duty station, a new experience for me! Some people ignored me, some shook my hand and seemed disinterested, and a few seemed sincere to meet the FNG in the outfit. The next morning as we got to start the new day - I saw the routine in the squad bay. We had a list of details we were assigned to. Some did not give a sh-t, and went to chow and to their daily assignment. The barracks NCO had a Few Good Men who did the details. If you took pride in your work - the detail got done by teamwork. I found out who was reliable and trustworthy and who was worthless real fast.

We had the ones who never had smokes - and bummed cigarettes all the time. The squad bay people knew how to tell the weasels to get lost! One day on a Friday afternoon - one guy, a Private in dress blues - told us he was going to meet his girl half way in Washington, D.C. for a few days? He left and a few of the guys started laughing behind his back. I was naive but something on his uniform looked wrong? He had a rifle expert and pistol expert badges - and a purple heart - he was out of boot camp a month or so before me - and had been at this station for a few weeks? At work his eyesight was poor - with glasses - soo how does he fire rifle and pistol expert - and how does this Sh-tbird get a purple heart? Welcome to the real clowns that screw up the Corps. This loser had no friends - sat at chow alone - most of the guys had nothing to do with him after work either.

We had a few loners and strange people around us. The drunks who went to the Club every night and came back ripped - how they got up each day and went to work was a mystery. We had the bullies who wanted to push the weaker around - and we had the thieves - who stole behind our backs! But we had for the most part a great bunch of Marines who helped each other and worked together for the most part.

Some Friday's at 3 or 4 in the afternoon - some Marines got antsy as they wanted to split for various reasons - and some of us get permission from the Gunny or Lt. to finish their work - so they could go - You took care of each other and built friendships - some lasted after you got out. You lost touch - especially in the 1960's - no internet - no e-mails - no cell phones?

What I am trying to say is that funny things happened back then - aboard ship I smoked Paxton cigarettes - not because they were fine smokes - Paxton came in a plastic pack - and walking on deck in the misty sprays of the waves the smokes were always dry.

On another note that I am thankful for Sgt. Grit and the great products they offer us - and the clincher to this story. Found a friend from New York City at Cherry Point - we were all wise guys to a point - and sometimes the guys from the South hung out together - as well as the guys from the North - or the Westerners - or the Baptists or Catholics, etc. BUT the point is we were all Marines - we had each other's back - even if we did not really care for someone - you took care of your own - because he was a Marine just like you!

One guy named Gary was a good friend - and we lost touch - I never knew what happened to him from 1965 - he disappeared - no Facebook back then either? I found out about Sgt. Grit from a Marine Corps League older member - who I knew from a Fraternal Order who was active in both units. I wrote to Sgt. Grit for a t-shirt - found out about the newsletter - and wrote an article - Lo and Behold - Gary sees the article - contacts Sgt. Grit - Sgt. Grit e-mails me with his e-mail address - and we are in contact ever since.

I read about things I forgot - I read about things that bring back memories. And I even got a phone call many years ago from a Marine who came across my name in a New York City phone book many years ago - and called about 10 Bruce Bender's 'til he found me. Met him and his wife in Atlantic City and after 10 to 15 years he is not a person to stay in touch - but found my old Gunny - living in Georgia - and a few others as well.

Sgt. Grit is great - because he gives us a place to go - we hear that we all have problems and react differently in certain situations.

I wear my Sgt. Grit many lapel pins and make new friends all the time - at the bank today the teller told me her son was a Marine! I am stop all the time and wear all my lapel pins everywhere as I am proud of what I was - and what I am - and the experiences I had that made me a better person.

Bruce Bender
1963-1967 Cpl.
Vietnam Era Marine

P.S. My old high school is now trying to do something for graduated veterans by erecting shade trees and benches with a plaque to those who served their Country!


Marine Daughters

Thought you might be humbled by my daughters tat. It's not nice to p-ss off Marine daughters. check out her tattoo.

Marine daughter's tattoo


F-4 Gunny

Recently I was set up at a local flea market attempting to make a few bucks.

A gentleman came up with his grandson and was wearing a Marine cap. So, naturally I thought that he had served in our beloved Corps. Things turned strange though when I asked what his MOS was. He proceeded to tell me that it was F-4. I questioned this saying I had not heard of that MOS before. Informed him that mine was 2111, small arms repairman. He then said that his equaled the rank of Gunny. I said to myself this is stranger indeed. Then he went on to say that around 2009 the Corps had changed MOS to mean rank. I didn't press him any further on this as I didn't want to cause problems in front of his grandson.

Has anyone else heard of this before? Sounds to me like this guy is a "wannabe" and has no idea what he is talking about. By the way thanks for the Agent Orange: Sprayed and Betrayed t-shirt. It looks great. I took it to a local shop and had Marine Barracks Panama 1970 - 1971 printed on it so that others will know where I was sprayed and betrayed.

Semper Fi,
Carl Conkling
USMC
2111
1968 - 1975


A Battle Won By Handshakes

The book A Battle Won By Handshakes

Sgt Grit,

My name is Lucas Dyer (SSgt USMC) and I have recently had my book, A Battle Won By Handshakes, published. This is about my combat experience as a small unit leader and platoon commander and how my company, ACo 1/5 achieved great success in Afghanistan by utilizing Counter Insurgency Operations (COIN) and doing the right thing. There are not that many success stories from Afghanistan, but my unit was one of the few. I take a doctrinal approach to explaining how the tactical, operational, and strategic levels of war where utilized as we changed a village and their people. Since it's release it has become the number 1 best seller on my publishers website.

Lucas Dyer

My book can be found online at "A Battle Won By Handshakes".


Marine Ink Of The Week

45 Years In The Making Vietnam Tattoo

Well 45 years in the making. On the right arm, so fouled anchor pointing forward/inboard. Doing some bucket list check-offs. Served as an Aviation Ordnanceman, with VMFA-542, VMFA-323 (both F-4 Phantom Squadrons), H&MS 11 (Mark 4 20MM Gun Shop Rebuild/Reload), MABS-32 (Bomb Dump) at DaNang and Chu Lai 1966-1967, 1969-1970. Did a lot of two man hand loading of Mark 81 (250) Snakeyes and four man hand loading of Mark 82 (500) Snakeyes. That was our Air Wing form of "Grunt". Had to give the Snakeye a place in my design. Also, included my "old" Corps Serial Number and MOS at the bottom. Hope you enjoy it.

Staff Sergeant on exit (1964—1974)
Gene Hoover


You May Be A Vietnam Veteran If...

Your boss's first name was his rank.

Your first aerobics class was a mandatory P.T. formation.

Your first portable boom-box radio was the AN/PRC-25.

Your first government-approved diet plan was cold C-rations.

You're an Auzzie and your first taste of turkey came from a ration pack.

Your first gastronomic adventure was a "Noggie Roll" with Nuoc-Mam sauce.

Your first occasion to wear formal attire was a parade.

Your first custom-made personalized jewelry was dog-tags.

You have never forgotten your serial number.

You can't stand sand or red mud between your toes.

You know you can't make a local call on a "p-ss-a-phone".

You still roll your sleeves down at night.

You know that intestinal fortitude isn't a health-food supplement.

You know that the military invented "one size fits all."

You know that "dust-off" is not a miraculous cleaning solvent.

You know that an "air-burst" has nothing to do with comical farts.

You know that "white mice" were the host constabulary.

You know that a Sky Pilot is a Soldier in the God Squad.

You know that MPC is legitimate "funny money".

You know that a military "Tattoo" is more than just skin art.

You know the Starlight Scope has nothing to do with astronomy.

You know the difference between rifles and guns.

You know that "Four-Deuce" is not a dice game.

You know that "Deuce-and-a-Half" is not a card game.

You know the difference between "Repeat" and "Say Again."

You know that "Military Intelligence" is a contradiction in terms.

You know that a "Free-Fire Zone" was not the designated smoking area.

You know a walk through the "green" isn't a walk across the top paddock.

You know that "Rolling Thunder" is more than an electrical storm.

You know that "Friendly Fire," isn't.

You know that "Mission Impossible" was much more than a TV show.

You learned locals saying "Be Nice" meant many different things.

You learned locals saying "Buy Me One Saigon Tea" meant money for nookie.

You learned locals saying "Number Ten" meant something really bad.

You learned locals saying "Short Time" meant many different things.

You discovered the M-60 isn't a freeway in the United Kingdom.

You discovered that "Rock 'N Roll" could be belt-fed.

You believe troops infected with incurable VD are still held as MIA.

You thought "We Gotta Get Outta This Place" was the new national anthem.

You thought the "Freedom Bird" was mythical... until you boarded.

You'd rather sit on, than wear, your Flak Jacket. Also makes a good pillow.

You still don't wear underwear on hot, summer days.

You believe Woodstock was a side-show.

You still remember taking your salt tablets daily and the horrendous after-taste of Malaria pills.

Centipedes!... What can I say?

Rats!... Ditto!?!

Strange "varmints" and snakes!

You know that nine million men served in the military during the Vietnam war, three million of whom went to the Vietnam theater (and their desertion rate was less than Soldiers and Marines in WW II).

You know that 73 percent of those who died in French Indo-China were American volunteers.

You know that French Indo-China was 12,000 miles away from America and America's Marines and Soldiers performed with a tenacity and quality that may never be truly understood. (Hanoi has admitted that 1.4 million of its soldiers died on the battlefield, compared to 58,000 total U.S. dead.)

You know that frequently the reward for a young man's having gone through the trauma of combat was to be greeted at home by his fellow citizens and peers with studied indifference or outright hostility.

You know that Marines and Soldiers faced the issues of war and possible death, and then weighed those concerns against obligations to their country and suffered loneliness, disease, and wounds with an often contagious illnesses.

For you, combat is an unpredictable and inexact environment, and you remember moving through the boiling heat with 60 pounds of weapons and gear, causing a typical Marine or Soldier to drop 20 percent of his body weight while in the bush.

You know that mud-filled, regimental, combat bases like An Hoa were not a "fun" places where Marines joked about "legendary" giant rats like "Big Al."

You remember "Rockets, Rockets, Rockets!" was not about a 4th of July fireworks celebration.

You are still amazed, that Marines and Soldiers, barely out of high school, were called up from the cities and the farms to do their year in H-ll and then returned without real complaint.

You are still astounded at the willingness of these Marines and Soldiers to risk their lives to save other Marines and Soldiers in peril.

You believe these Marines and Soldiers were some of the finest people you have ever known.

You know that one finds in them very little bitterness about the war in which they fought. The most common regret, almost to a man, is that they were not able to do more – for each other and for the people they came to help.


The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #8, #2)

I said "Yes, we have - but it will not happen until after next March - when I get my promotion to S/Sgt. (There had been a regulation that enlisted personnel could not marry until they had reached that rank. It was no longer in effect. This was my own decision.) Mary's mother then said "Well, this was good news anyway - and George and I agree that if Mary chooses to get married we know of nobody else that we would rather see as her husband - and we would like for you two to go to our summer home with us on the 19th of the month." I said "I would love to go but my leave ends that weekend and I must return to Camp Lejeune." But then I thought of something, "I can go back to base tomorrow, turn in my leave papers and take my leave starting that weekend." They all seemed thrilled at this idea - especially Mary. That's what I did. I decided to take all 30 days of my advance leave starting on the 19th - and I was back home to leave with them on that date. We headed for Ocean City (NJ) early on the 19th - in their car. Mary's mother was sitting in the front - sort of sideways - and said to me "If Mary chooses to get married that's okay with us but George and I had sort of wished that she would go to college first." This was a surprise to me and I said "I can understand your wishes - but that is a decision that Mary will have to make. I will not push her one way or the other. I might point out that I am presently taking two college level courses through the Marine Corps Institute (The predecessor to the Marine Corps College/University) I am taking courses in Calculus and Architecture." She went on "You won't see much of us in O.C. We have many friends down there and will be staying with them quite often. You two will have the house to yourselves most of the time."

Back in 1949 my parents had sold the farm. It had not been used since 1945 and developers had made many offers to purchase it - strictly for the land. Our little town of Medford (Pop. 22,000) was rapidly becoming a 'bedroom community' for people working in Camden (RCA and Campbells) and Philadelphia. My Dad had said "If they ever meet my price of $1 per square foot (10.654 acres) I'll sell." Well, someone did offer $464,088 for the property that he had paid $8,400 for in 1939. He had made many improvements - and a tremendous profit. They bought a new 'Rocket Oldsmobile' and went on an extended vacation around the United States. I mention this because Mary had told her Dad that I was staying at the Cedar Lodge in Moorestown - right across from her father's office - when up north. George held a key up in front of me and said "I want you to take this - it is for the front door - you can look at it as a key to your own home. Now, when you bring Mary home, you can stay here and eliminate unnecessary travel and expense." He went on "If Phil (Mary's brother) is on the sofa just go up and jump in with Mary. I am sure she won't mind - will you?" Mary's mother asked "George, why do you say such things?" He started laughing out loud. But Mary said "No, I wouldn't mind at all."

'til next week. The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


DF-2 (Sounds High-Tech)

The South and Southwest Sides of Chicago seem to be in the news much of late, and Detroit is close behind. However, in the early '70s... things weren't all that different. Our little USMCR ordnance maintenance platoon out in the wilds of western Illinois, (Moline) located on the south bank of the Mississippi, was in possession of two M-40 106MM Recoilless Rifles that belonged to H&S 1/24. (the 106 really wasn't... it was 105MM, but to avoid confusion with 105MM howitzer ammunition, it was officially listed as '106MM'). The reason we had them in for 'repair' was that the breech rings were pretty soundly carbonized into place. There had been a firing exercise at some point in the past, and for whatever reason, the breech rings had not been unscrewed from the chamber and scrubbed free of carbon residue. Considering that Isaac Newton had got around to issuing his third law, which meant that half of the propellant gases produced by the rather substantial cartridge exited the rifle via the vents incorporated in the breech ring (the other half went out the tube while propelling the round down-range), this meant a LOT of carbon residue. When fresh, it was a simple matter to remove a few cap screws, and unthread the breech ring so it and the chamber threads could be scrubbed clean. If left in place too long, the stuff set up. The danger of using too much leverage to move the ring was that it was possible to change the chamber to bore dimension, which could make the weapon leap forward when fired (don't see how you could call that "RE-coil", but it could ruin a crew's whole day. We had, had the things propped up against the armory wall, with the breeches submerged in half-drums filled with DF-2 (sounds high-tech, but it's diesel fuel, #2 grade) for a couple of months, trying periodically to get the things un-screwed, with no luck. Then we got a phone call from the owning unit, wanting to know how soon they could get their 106's back, as they had an up-coming weekend FIREX. Reservists didn't get very many opportunities to go live fire in those days, so this was a BFD. Although there is an old saying amongst fitshifters (mechanics)... "if it sticks, force it... if it breaks, it needed fixin' anyway"... we were reluctant to resort to brute force, thinking that given enough time, the DF would penetrate and loosen things a bit.

Our unit just happened to own a M-40 for armorer training purposes... and by dint of a few phone calls, it was arranged to borrow one more from the Chicago unit... and for some reason, there were also two M-60 machine guns, freshly repaired, that had to go back to the Detroit unit. While we had a number of tactical vehicles, ranging from a M-151 jeep up to a M123 10-ton semi- tractor, we also had a 1969 9-passenger Ford station wagon... and a 106 will fit between the tailgate and the front windshield of a 1969 Ford Station wagon... soooooo... one Mustang Captain, two machine guns, and one recoilless rifle drove from Moline to Chicago... up Cicero avenue to either Foster or Dempster (I forget... wherever the Reserve unit was at the time), loaded yet one more, and proceeded on to Detroit and down Livernois Avenue to the Armory... without either a side arm... or any ammo for the M-60s. My first clue was that I seemed to encounter a police car about every other block on Cicero... and every car had two officers in it... and all street side shops had bars on the windows...

The Detroit unit got to go to the range that weekend... where they managed to start a brush fire with their second round, and spent most of the rest of the drill weekend fighting it... gonna have to look up the total mileage sometime... did the whole round trip non-stop except for fuel stops. We did eventually get the breech rings out, after we acquired a third/fourth echelon tool that clamped the barrel and chamber together... and a big lever... I have a 106 TP (Training Practice) round in my shop... which I got from a sea-going Marine... who was in the ship's MarDet when Hornet (CV-12) recovered the first moon astronauts... 'nother story

Ddick


Short Rounds

PLEASE tell Sgt. Grit how I was so pleased with the fast service and really needed it. You see I had a rotator cuff operation last Friday and have to wear a gadget to hold my arm in. It is hard to use a belt and to fasten it, so the suspenders do a great job. I ordered these BEFORE I knew of the operation, well not before but knew it was coming. I am 82 now and don't get around so good. I really enjoy the catalog.

Roy A. Moyers, Jr. 1260xxx and did not look it up either.


Reunion Notice

U.S. Naval School, Underwater Swimmers, Seeking all Divers trained here from Recon and Force Recon, see (www.uwss.org) May 14th thru 17th, location: U.S. Naval Support Activity, Panama City, Florida.

For more details, Please contact Aaron Farrior, United States Air Force, Para Rescue, Reunion Chairman, Fort Walton Beach, Florida at 850-240-7417 or email: bare4[at]cox.net.

We want to meet once again our U.S. Marine Graduates.

Gerry A. Flowers, USMC 0311 / 8654 1968-1974


Quotes

"We fight not for glory, nor for riches, nor for honour, but only and alone for Freedom, which no good man lays down but with his life."
--Declaration of Arbroath, Scotland, 1320


"In the end more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free."
--Edward Gibbon


"A Marine is a Marine. I set that policy two weeks ago. There's no such thing as a former Marine. You're a Marine, just in a different uniform and you're in a different phase of your life. But you'll always be a Marine because you went to MCRD Parris Island, MCRD San Diego or the hills of Quantico and Camp Pendleton. Again, there's no such thing as a former Marine."
--General James F. Amos, 35th Commandant of the Marine Corps


"You can take a man out of the Marine Corps; you will never take the Marine Corps out of the man."
--Anonymous


"I come in peace. I didn't bring artillery. But I am pleading with you with tears in my eyes: If you f-ck with me, I'll kill you all."
--Marine General James Mattis, to Iraqi tribal leaders


"There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion."
--Gen. William Thornson, U.S. Army


"Road Guards Out!"

"Didn't I tell you people you had your last laugh the first time you laid eyes on me?"

"Drop it... and you die by squat thrusts!"

Fair winds and following seas.
Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 14 AUG 2014

In this issue:
• Indigenous To Parris Island
• F-4 Gunny
• You May Be A Vietnam Veteran If...

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Sgt Grit,

I'm former L/Cpl Jack Gleason, Plt. 226, PI 1963 - 1967.

I just thought you would appreciate a good laugh. These are future recruits. We live in Flippin, AK, and we don't get that much snow. So, being a Marine veteran I improvised. We had some snow, a flag pole, and 4 great volunteers.

Left to Right - Boot Ocean Anitoni, Boot None Anitoni, Boot Malu Anitoni, and Boot Sean Anitoni.

Semper Fi
Jack Gleason, LCpl, '63-'67

Get this shirt for your Devil Pup at:

Devil Dog's Family Member Youth Boys Custom Gray T-Shirt


Have It All

Sgt. Grit,

For those guys interested, here are some of the guns we took from the VC and NVA. As you can see there is an AK47, then my M14, a Greasegun and two M 16's. With the exception of my M14 all these guns were captured from the enemy.

In those days the AR15/M16 was considered one of newest Weapons in the US Arsenal, this was the first time it was used in Combat. The enemy always liked to get American Weapons because American Fighting men, when a battle is over will drop the magazine and reload with as full mag.

The enemy picks up dropped rounds of ammunition, and any other equipment he finds, broken rifles, dented magazines and ammunition, everything. He'll put it to use to kill and we kept dropping what we didn't need or want.

Half eaten "C" rations filled many an enemy stomach and they went on fighting, always on the lookout for more supplies from the Americans who seemed to have it all. We even found packages of cigarettes on the enemy, some guy dropped a package of cigarettes because they were old and had spots on them, H-ll, the enemy didn't have the resupply program we had and a cigarette was a cigarette.

But don't think this is a Modern problem, on the pacific Islands during World War II, enemy soldiers left behind and hiding out from the Americans, found disliked "K" rations and any other rations, food is food to a starving man regardless of race. How many times have you chucked a can of beans and rice or some other chow cause it wasn't a food you liked.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC retired


To Hear Silence

It took over 4 years and thousands of hour digging through old files on Vietnam to write the book called "To Hear Silence". Although it's the day to day and often minute to minute account if one Marine battery's experience in support of an infantry unit, everyone who ever served in Vietnam will be able to identify with it. This book traces Charlie Battery 1/13 and the 3rd Battalion 26 Marines from the time they formed up at Camp Horno, CA until the original members left Khe Sanh and returned home in October 1967.

Ron Hoffman

The paperback form can be found at "To Hear Silence".


Tinnitus, Hearing Loss, and Deafness

Re Jerry D's hearing problems. Always use the VFW, American Legion or DAV to process your claim. Anyone trying to deal with them on their own will have a difficult problem. Tinnitus is compensable as is hearing loss. Jerry did not state the noisy conditions he encountered. Combat experience almost always causes hearing problems in the left ear if you are right-handed; opposite ear for left-handed. The back blast noise from using a rifle is the cause; it affects the ear closest to the ammo blast. IED's are guaranteed to cause hearing problems if you survive it. Incoming landing close enough to cause pressure waves can cause deafness, at times busting an ear drum.

Ray Walker
'48/'53


DFW Marine Corps Alumni

Proudly announcing their first Marine Corps Ball.

To be held at the Las Colinas Country Club November 15th, 2014. Bar will open at 7:00 PM. The ceremony will begin at 8:00PM, dinner will follow. Marine Veteran and local radio personality, Jason Walker will be our guest MC. Our Guest of Honor will be former Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps (1998-2000), General (retired) Terrance R. Dake.

Tickets are $100.00 each. Only 200 tickets will be sold. For parties of 8 you can reserve a table by emailing the contact below. Your ticket will include the Birthday Ceremony, dinner, two free drinks and dancing.

We will have a photographer on site for those special pictures, and a special gift for each guest. Uniformed Marines will provide the ceremonial activities, youngest and oldest Marines will be honored and will take part in the cutting of the cake.

This will be a black tie affair so break out those tuxedoes pin on that National Defense Medal and come on out and enjoy a special night with Marines and Marine Veterans of the DFW area.

Contact: Joe Silva
Cell: 972-822-0581
Email: jas369[at]verizon.net
Please make checks out to: DFW Marine Corps Alumni


Indigenous To Parris Island

Sgt. Grit,

Just read the last newsletter and laughed at some of the interesting punishments. Are there any Parris Island graduates out there who ever had to bury a sand flea?

I did. I was one of the dumbazses of platoon 2063 in the summer of 1981 who tried to sneak a smack at one of those vicious little bast-rds and as can be expected, my movement, while discreet in my opinion, was easily detected by the experienced eye of Sgt. Ishmail. It was one of your more typical, hot, steamy Parris Island days and even though it was early evening, we were still covered in sweat and little bast-rds just seemed to be drawn to us like catnip to a cat. Little did I know that it's easy to detect the slightest movement of one turd among 72 turds all in a tight, four column formation. Ishmail spotted me instantly and was on me like flies on sh-t. He proceeded to inform me that sand fleas were indigenous to Parris Island and my filthy azs was not and as such, the sand flea deserved a proper burial.

We were in formation just outside the Second Battalion chow hall ready to be marched back to the barracks after evening chow. I was instructed to "find" the sand flea, dig a hole and bury him and then I had to stand over him and "play" taps through my closed, encircled hand over my mouth (forming a bugle). First of all for all you Pendleton Marines (I say this in jest), the flea, before you smash it with the smack, is nearly microscopic. And then, what are the chances that you will find him anyway? So there is Ishmail hovering over me yelling, "all right you doggone filthy aszed motherf--ker, you better had find that sand flea and that hole had better be proper depth!" Ishmail had to be laughing all over himself as he was screaming at me. First of all I was already scared sh-tless, but what the h-ll was the proper grave depth for a sand flea?

Of course I could not find it, but I was smart enough not to tell Ishmail that. I pretended to find the flea and place it in the 1" hole I had scrapped away with my index finger. I backfilled the grave and popped up to the position of attention with my feet at a 45 degree angle and my thumbs at my trouser seams. And then I played taps. No one dared to laugh at me. Ishmail threatened to cut my nuts off and feed them to the gators behind the b-tts at the rifle range if he ever caught me harming one of "his" sand fleas. After all, sand fleas were born on Parris Island and therefore had a right to be there. I, on the other hand was an ignorant, disgusting piece of human dung and had no right to infest "his" Marine Corps!

Semper Fi to all my brother and sister Marines and God Bless all those fighting for our freedom!!

Mike Kunkel
Cpl – 0331
Lima 3/8, Weapons Platoon
'81-'85


Funny Things Happened

Dear Sgt. Grit,

One day at my first duty station, a new experience for me! Some people ignored me, some shook my hand and seemed disinterested, and a few seemed sincere to meet the FNG in the outfit. The next morning as we got to start the new day - I saw the routine in the squad bay. We had a list of details we were assigned to. Some did not give a sh-t, and went to chow and to their daily assignment. The barracks NCO had a Few Good Men who did the details. If you took pride in your work - the detail got done by teamwork. I found out who was reliable and trustworthy and who was worthless real fast.

We had the ones who never had smokes - and bummed cigarettes all the time. The squad bay people knew how to tell the weasels to get lost! One day on a Friday afternoon - one guy, a Private in dress blues - told us he was going to meet his girl half way in Washington, D.C. for a few days? He left and a few of the guys started laughing behind his back. I was naive but something on his uniform looked wrong? He had a rifle expert and pistol expert badges - and a purple heart - he was out of boot camp a month or so before me - and had been at this station for a few weeks? At work his eyesight was poor - with glasses - soo how does he fire rifle and pistol expert - and how does this Sh-tbird get a purple heart? Welcome to the real clowns that screw up the Corps. This loser had no friends - sat at chow alone - most of the guys had nothing to do with him after work either.

We had a few loners and strange people around us. The drunks who went to the Club every night and came back ripped - how they got up each day and went to work was a mystery. We had the bullies who wanted to push the weaker around - and we had the thieves - who stole behind our backs! But we had for the most part a great bunch of Marines who helped each other and worked together for the most part.

Some Friday's at 3 or 4 in the afternoon - some Marines got antsy as they wanted to split for various reasons - and some of us get permission from the Gunny or Lt. to finish their work - so they could go - You took care of each other and built friendships - some lasted after you got out. You lost touch - especially in the 1960's - no internet - no e-mails - no cell phones?

What I am trying to say is that funny things happened back then - aboard ship I smoked Paxton cigarettes - not because they were fine smokes - Paxton came in a plastic pack - and walking on deck in the misty sprays of the waves the smokes were always dry.

On another note that I am thankful for Sgt. Grit and the great products they offer us - and the clincher to this story. Found a friend from New York City at Cherry Point - we were all wise guys to a point - and sometimes the guys from the South hung out together - as well as the guys from the North - or the Westerners - or the Baptists or Catholics, etc. BUT the point is we were all Marines - we had each other's back - even if we did not really care for someone - you took care of your own - because he was a Marine just like you!

One guy named Gary was a good friend - and we lost touch - I never knew what happened to him from 1965 - he disappeared - no Facebook back then either? I found out about Sgt. Grit from a Marine Corps League older member - who I knew from a Fraternal Order who was active in both units. I wrote to Sgt. Grit for a t-shirt - found out about the newsletter - and wrote an article - Lo and Behold - Gary sees the article - contacts Sgt. Grit - Sgt. Grit e-mails me with his e-mail address - and we are in contact ever since.

I read about things I forgot - I read about things that bring back memories. And I even got a phone call many years ago from a Marine who came across my name in a New York City phone book many years ago - and called about 10 Bruce Bender's 'til he found me. Met him and his wife in Atlantic City and after 10 to 15 years he is not a person to stay in touch - but found my old Gunny - living in Georgia - and a few others as well.

Sgt. Grit is great - because he gives us a place to go - we hear that we all have problems and react differently in certain situations.

I wear my Sgt. Grit many lapel pins and make new friends all the time - at the bank today the teller told me her son was a Marine! I am stop all the time and wear all my lapel pins everywhere as I am proud of what I was - and what I am - and the experiences I had that made me a better person.

Bruce Bender
1963-1967 Cpl.
Vietnam Era Marine

P.S. My old high school is now trying to do something for graduated veterans by erecting shade trees and benches with a plaque to those who served their Country!


Marine Daughters

Thought you might be humbled by my daughters tat. It's not nice to p-ss off Marine daughters. check out her tattoo.


F-4 Gunny

Recently I was set up at a local flea market attempting to make a few bucks.

A gentleman came up with his grandson and was wearing a Marine cap. So, naturally I thought that he had served in our beloved Corps. Things turned strange though when I asked what his MOS was. He proceeded to tell me that it was F-4. I questioned this saying I had not heard of that MOS before. Informed him that mine was 2111, small arms repairman. He then said that his equaled the rank of Gunny. I said to myself this is stranger indeed. Then he went on to say that around 2009 the Corps had changed MOS to mean rank. I didn't press him any further on this as I didn't want to cause problems in front of his grandson.

Has anyone else heard of this before? Sounds to me like this guy is a "wannabe" and has no idea what he is talking about. By the way thanks for the Agent Orange: Sprayed and Betrayed t-shirt. It looks great. I took it to a local shop and had Marine Barracks Panama 1970 - 1971 printed on it so that others will know where I was sprayed and betrayed.

Semper Fi,
Carl Conkling
USMC
2111
1968 - 1975


A Battle Won By Handshakes

Sgt Grit,

My name is Lucas Dyer (SSgt USMC) and I have recently had my book, A Battle Won By Handshakes, published. This is about my combat experience as a small unit leader and platoon commander and how my company, ACo 1/5 achieved great success in Afghanistan by utilizing Counter Insurgency Operations (COIN) and doing the right thing. There are not that many success stories from Afghanistan, but my unit was one of the few. I take a doctrinal approach to explaining how the tactical, operational, and strategic levels of war where utilized as we changed a village and their people. Since it's release it has become the number 1 best seller on my publishers website.

Lucas Dyer

My book can be found online at "A Battle Won By Handshakes".


Marine Ink Of The Week

Well 45 years in the making. On the right arm, so fouled anchor pointing forward/inboard. Doing some bucket list check-offs. Served as an Aviation Ordnanceman, with VMFA-542, VMFA-323 (both F-4 Phantom Squadrons), H&MS 11 (Mark 4 20MM Gun Shop Rebuild/Reload), MABS-32 (Bomb Dump) at DaNang and Chu Lai 1966-1967, 1969-1970. Did a lot of two man hand loading of Mark 81 (250) Snakeyes and four man hand loading of Mark 82 (500) Snakeyes. That was our Air Wing form of "Grunt". Had to give the Snakeye a place in my design. Also, included my "old" Corps Serial Number and MOS at the bottom. Hope you enjoy it.

Staff Sergeant on exit (1964—1974)
Gene Hoover


You May Be A Vietnam Veteran If...

Your boss's first name was his rank.

Your first aerobics class was a mandatory P.T. formation.

Your first portable boom-box radio was the AN/PRC-25.

Your first government-approved diet plan was cold C-rations.

You're an Auzzie and your first taste of turkey came from a ration pack.

Your first gastronomic adventure was a "Noggie Roll" with Nuoc-Mam sauce.

Your first occasion to wear formal attire was a parade.

Your first custom-made personalized jewelry was dog-tags.

You have never forgotten your serial number.

You can't stand sand or red mud between your toes.

You know you can't make a local call on a "p-ss-a-phone".

You still roll your sleeves down at night.

You know that intestinal fortitude isn't a health-food supplement.

You know that the military invented "one size fits all."

You know that "dust-off" is not a miraculous cleaning solvent.

You know that an "air-burst" has nothing to do with comical farts.

You know that "white mice" were the host constabulary.

You know that a Sky Pilot is a Soldier in the God Squad.

You know that MPC is legitimate "funny money".

You know that a military "Tattoo" is more than just skin art.

You know the Starlight Scope has nothing to do with astronomy.

You know the difference between rifles and guns.

You know that "Four-Deuce" is not a dice game.

You know that "Deuce-and-a-Half" is not a card game.

You know the difference between "Repeat" and "Say Again."

You know that "Military Intelligence" is a contradiction in terms.

You know that a "Free-Fire Zone" was not the designated smoking area.

You know a walk through the "green" isn't a walk across the top paddock.

You know that "Rolling Thunder" is more than an electrical storm.

You know that "Friendly Fire," isn't.

You know that "Mission Impossible" was much more than a TV show.

You learned locals saying "Be Nice" meant many different things.

You learned locals saying "Buy Me One Saigon Tea" meant money for nookie.

You learned locals saying "Number Ten" meant something really bad.

You learned locals saying "Short Time" meant many different things.

You discovered the M-60 isn't a freeway in the United Kingdom.

You discovered that "Rock 'N Roll" could be belt-fed.

You believe troops infected with incurable VD are still held as MIA.

You thought "We Gotta Get Outta This Place" was the new national anthem.

You thought the "Freedom Bird" was mythical... until you boarded.

You'd rather sit on, than wear, your Flak Jacket. Also makes a good pillow.

You still don't wear underwear on hot, summer days.

You believe Woodstock was a side-show.

You still remember taking your salt tablets daily and the horrendous after-taste of Malaria pills.

Centipedes!... What can I say?

Rats!... Ditto!?!

Strange "varmints" and snakes!

You know that nine million men served in the military during the Vietnam war, three million of whom went to the Vietnam theater (and their desertion rate was less than Soldiers and Marines in WW II).

You know that 73 percent of those who died in French Indo-China were American volunteers.

You know that French Indo-China was 12,000 miles away from America and America's Marines and Soldiers performed with a tenacity and quality that may never be truly understood. (Hanoi has admitted that 1.4 million of its soldiers died on the battlefield, compared to 58,000 total U.S. dead.)

You know that frequently the reward for a young man's having gone through the trauma of combat was to be greeted at home by his fellow citizens and peers with studied indifference or outright hostility.

You know that Marines and Soldiers faced the issues of war and possible death, and then weighed those concerns against obligations to their country and suffered loneliness, disease, and wounds with an often contagious illnesses.

For you, combat is an unpredictable and inexact environment, and you remember moving through the boiling heat with 60 pounds of weapons and gear, causing a typical Marine or Soldier to drop 20 percent of his body weight while in the bush.

You know that mud-filled, regimental, combat bases like An Hoa were not a "fun" places where Marines joked about "legendary" giant rats like "Big Al."

You remember "Rockets, Rockets, Rockets!" was not about a 4th of July fireworks celebration.

You are still amazed, that Marines and Soldiers, barely out of high school, were called up from the cities and the farms to do their year in H-ll and then returned without real complaint.

You are still astounded at the willingness of these Marines and Soldiers to risk their lives to save other Marines and Soldiers in peril.

You believe these Marines and Soldiers were some of the finest people you have ever known.

You know that one finds in them very little bitterness about the war in which they fought. The most common regret, almost to a man, is that they were not able to do more – for each other and for the people they came to help.


The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #8, #2)

I said "Yes, we have - but it will not happen until after next March - when I get my promotion to S/Sgt. (There had been a regulation that enlisted personnel could not marry until they had reached that rank. It was no longer in effect. This was my own decision.) Mary's mother then said "Well, this was good news anyway - and George and I agree that if Mary chooses to get married we know of nobody else that we would rather see as her husband - and we would like for you two to go to our summer home with us on the 19th of the month." I said "I would love to go but my leave ends that weekend and I must return to Camp Lejeune." But then I thought of something, "I can go back to base tomorrow, turn in my leave papers and take my leave starting that weekend." They all seemed thrilled at this idea - especially Mary. That's what I did. I decided to take all 30 days of my advance leave starting on the 19th - and I was back home to leave with them on that date. We headed for Ocean City (NJ) early on the 19th - in their car. Mary's mother was sitting in the front - sort of sideways - and said to me "If Mary chooses to get married that's okay with us but George and I had sort of wished that she would go to college first." This was a surprise to me and I said "I can understand your wishes - but that is a decision that Mary will have to make. I will not push her one way or the other. I might point out that I am presently taking two college level courses through the Marine Corps Institute (The predecessor to the Marine Corps College/University) I am taking courses in Calculus and Architecture." She went on "You won't see much of us in O.C. We have many friends down there and will be staying with them quite often. You two will have the house to yourselves most of the time."

Back in 1949 my parents had sold the farm. It had not been used since 1945 and developers had made many offers to purchase it - strictly for the land. Our little town of Medford (Pop. 22,000) was rapidly becoming a 'bedroom community' for people working in Camden (RCA and Campbells) and Philadelphia. My Dad had said "If they ever meet my price of $1 per square foot (10.654 acres) I'll sell." Well, someone did offer $464,088 for the property that he had paid $8,400 for in 1939. He had made many improvements - and a tremendous profit. They bought a new 'Rocket Oldsmobile' and went on an extended vacation around the United States. I mention this because Mary had told her Dad that I was staying at the Cedar Lodge in Moorestown - right across from her father's office - when up north. George held a key up in front of me and said "I want you to take this - it is for the front door - you can look at it as a key to your own home. Now, when you bring Mary home, you can stay here and eliminate unnecessary travel and expense." He went on "If Phil (Mary's brother) is on the sofa just go up and jump in with Mary. I am sure she won't mind - will you?" Mary's mother asked "George, why do you say such things?" He started laughing out loud. But Mary said "No, I wouldn't mind at all."

'til next week. The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


DF-2 (Sounds High-Tech)

The South and Southwest Sides of Chicago seem to be in the news much of late, and Detroit is close behind. However, in the early '70s... things weren't all that different. Our little USMCR ordnance maintenance platoon out in the wilds of western Illinois, (Moline) located on the south bank of the Mississippi, was in possession of two M-40 106MM Recoilless Rifles that belonged to H&S 1/24. (the 106 really wasn't... it was 105MM, but to avoid confusion with 105MM howitzer ammunition, it was officially listed as '106MM'). The reason we had them in for 'repair' was that the breech rings were pretty soundly carbonized into place. There had been a firing exercise at some point in the past, and for whatever reason, the breech rings had not been unscrewed from the chamber and scrubbed free of carbon residue. Considering that Isaac Newton had got around to issuing his third law, which meant that half of the propellant gases produced by the rather substantial cartridge exited the rifle via the vents incorporated in the breech ring (the other half went out the tube while propelling the round down-range), this meant a LOT of carbon residue. When fresh, it was a simple matter to remove a few cap screws, and unthread the breech ring so it and the chamber threads could be scrubbed clean. If left in place too long, the stuff set up. The danger of using too much leverage to move the ring was that it was possible to change the chamber to bore dimension, which could make the weapon leap forward when fired (don't see how you could call that "RE-coil", but it could ruin a crew's whole day. We had, had the things propped up against the armory wall, with the breeches submerged in half-drums filled with DF-2 (sounds high-tech, but it's diesel fuel, #2 grade) for a couple of months, trying periodically to get the things un-screwed, with no luck. Then we got a phone call from the owning unit, wanting to know how soon they could get their 106's back, as they had an up-coming weekend FIREX. Reservists didn't get very many opportunities to go live fire in those days, so this was a BFD. Although there is an old saying amongst fitshifters (mechanics)... "if it sticks, force it... if it breaks, it needed fixin' anyway"... we were reluctant to resort to brute force, thinking that given enough time, the DF would penetrate and loosen things a bit.

Our unit just happened to own a M-40 for armorer training purposes... and by dint of a few phone calls, it was arranged to borrow one more from the Chicago unit... and for some reason, there were also two M-60 machine guns, freshly repaired, that had to go back to the Detroit unit. While we had a number of tactical vehicles, ranging from a M-151 jeep up to a M123 10-ton semi- tractor, we also had a 1969 9-passenger Ford station wagon... and a 106 will fit between the tailgate and the front windshield of a 1969 Ford Station wagon... soooooo... one Mustang Captain, two machine guns, and one recoilless rifle drove from Moline to Chicago... up Cicero avenue to either Foster or Dempster (I forget... wherever the Reserve unit was at the time), loaded yet one more, and proceeded on to Detroit and down Livernois Avenue to the Armory... without either a side arm... or any ammo for the M-60s. My first clue was that I seemed to encounter a police car about every other block on Cicero... and every car had two officers in it... and all street side shops had bars on the windows...

The Detroit unit got to go to the range that weekend... where they managed to start a brush fire with their second round, and spent most of the rest of the drill weekend fighting it... gonna have to look up the total mileage sometime... did the whole round trip non-stop except for fuel stops. We did eventually get the breech rings out, after we acquired a third/fourth echelon tool that clamped the barrel and chamber together... and a big lever... I have a 106 TP (Training Practice) round in my shop... which I got from a sea-going Marine... who was in the ship's MarDet when Hornet (CV-12) recovered the first moon astronauts... 'nother story

Ddick


Short Rounds

PLEASE tell Sgt. Grit how I was so pleased with the fast service and really needed it. You see I had a rotator cuff operation last Friday and have to wear a gadget to hold my arm in. It is hard to use a belt and to fasten it, so the suspenders do a great job. I ordered these BEFORE I knew of the operation, well not before but knew it was coming. I am 82 now and don't get around so good. I really enjoy the catalog.

Roy A. Moyers, Jr. 1260xxx and did not look it up either.


Reunion Notice

U.S. Naval School, Underwater Swimmers, Seeking all Divers trained here from Recon and Force Recon, see (www.uwss.org) May 14th thru 17th, location: U.S. Naval Support Activity, Panama City, Florida.

For more details, Please contact Aaron Farrior, United States Air Force, Para Rescue, Reunion Chairman, Fort Walton Beach, Florida at 850-240-7417 or email: bare4[at]cox.net.

We want to meet once again our U.S. Marine Graduates.

Gerry A. Flowers, USMC 0311 / 8654 1968-1974


Quotes

"We fight not for glory, nor for riches, nor for honour, but only and alone for Freedom, which no good man lays down but with his life."
--Declaration of Arbroath, Scotland, 1320


"In the end more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free."
--Edward Gibbon


"A Marine is a Marine. I set that policy two weeks ago. There's no such thing as a former Marine. You're a Marine, just in a different uniform and you're in a different phase of your life. But you'll always be a Marine because you went to MCRD Parris Island, MCRD San Diego or the hills of Quantico and Camp Pendleton. Again, there's no such thing as a former Marine."
--General James F. Amos, 35th Commandant of the Marine Corps


"You can take a man out of the Marine Corps; you will never take the Marine Corps out of the man."
--Anonymous


"I come in peace. I didn't bring artillery. But I am pleading with you with tears in my eyes: If you f-ck with me, I'll kill you all."
--Marine General James Mattis, to Iraqi tribal leaders


"There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion."
--Gen. William Thornson, U.S. Army


"Road Guards Out!"

"Didn't I tell you people you had your last laugh the first time you laid eyes on me?"

"Drop it... and you die by squat thrusts!"

Fair winds and following seas.
Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 07 AUG 2014

In this issue:
• Hurry Up And Wait
• Uncle Sam's Dime
• Sand Flea Helmet Liner

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WWII and Vietnam Marine Conversing

MCL Toys for Tots Jeep

Sgt Grit,

Thanks to all of you at SGT Grit our picnic last weekend was a huge success! As with every year the SGT Grit raffle and auction items were the highlight and had people drooling over them (even the younger people for which drooling really isn't an age related issue). Next year maybe we should order some bibs for the guests as protection at the prize tables!

We raised a grunchload of money, had a good time and stuffed ourselves with ribs, chicken, brats and Leinenkugel beer! Can't thank you all enough for what you do for us through your generosity and Semper Fi attitude. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

Great time! Below is a picture of an old WW II and a Viet Nam Marine (I am neither in the photo) sharing a beer and a story or two. We even had our MCL Toys for Tots Jeep there.

Semper Fi
David McMaster


Hurry Up And Wait

Sgt Grit Newsletter 7/30/14 - "Modifying rifle cartridges into dum-dum rounds was forbidden by the Rules of the Geneva Convention."

Jack Wise
204xxxx

Like so many of Sgt Grit's readers I carried a Geneva Conventions (sic) (there were four conventions, thus the plural) card during my tour in Viet Nam and thought I understood same. For me, not so. Mr. Wise's contribution sent me off on a tangent (as the newsletter so often does) and I looked up the Geneva Conventions on Wikipedia. Turns out the Geneva Conventions are completely people oriented and sets the standards for the treatment thereof during a time of war.

What Mr. Wise stated concerning dum-dum rounds is correct but it is not covered by the Geneva Conventions (news to me). Any round designed to expand once hitting the human body, is covered by The Hague Convention of 1899, (Surprise to me. Never heard of it.) part of which reads:

"(IV,3): Declaration concerning the Prohibition of the Use of Bullets which can Easily Expand or Change their Form inside the Human Body such as Bullets with a Hard Covering which does not Completely Cover the Core, or containing Indentations. This declaration states that, in any war between signatory powers, the parties will abstain from using "bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body." Ratified by all major powers, except the United States." (During my research, it was not clear if this changed during The Hague Convention of 1907 or as a result of later treaties.)

I also wanted to say, I love reading Gunny Rousseau's reminiscing about (to me) the "Old Corps" and ddick remembering events from his Marine Corps.

Re: The hearing loss issue. I have hearing loss and Tinnitus (verified by the VA) and a claim in with the VA for both. It's been two years and they've denied me twice during that time. The VA concedes that I worked in a noisy environment during my enlistment. They also concede that I have hearing loss and Tinnitus but they're saying those two things are not connected. Bullsh-t! I'm not giving up because I didn't have Tinnitus when I enlisted in the Corps but I sure as h-ll did when I got out. I'm currently in a holding pattern, waiting for a slot for a video conference with the Review Board. I've been advised it usually takes two years to get on the schedule. I thought when I walked out the gate at MCAS El Toro (in reality, rode out in a cab) I was finished with hurry up and wait.

Cpl Jerry D.
'62-'66


USMC 239th Birthday Items


Uncle Sam's Dime

Last newsletter, guys were talking about Leave and R&R. I only got 3-days in-country R&R at China Beach. But the real story was what a buddy in my hootch in Da Nang did. He had arrived in country months before me and his tour was ending. He extended for 6-months and got 30 days Basket Leave. Since he put Frankfurt, Germany as his leave address, he also received 20-days travel time.

I can't remember his exact travel route, but it was generally East from Nam stopping in India, Turkey, and I believe either Italy or Switzerland. Once in Germany, his Leave officially started. He moved in with a Swedish actress/model and managed to see all of Europe with her in her sports car. When his Leave was over, it was back to Germany. Leaving Germany, he again flew East to France, England, Greenland or Iceland, New York, San Francisco, Hawaii and eventually back to Nam. In essence, he got an around-the-world trip on Uncle Sam's dime.

SemperFi
Cpl. Bill Reed
'66-'69


The Hand That Held All Knowledge

I entered boot camp at MCRD in July of '65. My last name, the name I used until that point was different from the last name I used in San Diego because, I was informed, my step Dad had never legally adopted me. You can imagine where this is headed. That's right. My new name was called for mail call and, like a dummy, I just stood there in a daze until the slap upside the head cleared the thinking part of my brain to make room for more important stuff.

Being the complete idiot that I was, the second time my name was called, about two minutes later, I was too busy trying to get the buzzing out of my head from my first letter, and failed once again to speak up. Just as the hand that held all knowledge applied itself to the brain housing, I realized my new name had been called once again. Too late. It sounded like a rifle going off beside my ear.

After that I never missed listening for, and answering to, the sound of my last name. Now a days I'm a little deaf so I do not always answer quickly. Thank God no one here has the hand of correction. I couldn't survive it now.

211xxxx
CPL. '65-'69


Wanting To Become Marines

Sgt Grit,

Sgt Giles sent this photo to me. He is busy working with young folks who are wanting to become Marines when they grow up.

Semper Fi,
Teresa Bolhuis

Young folks that want to become Marines


Heritage

Love the newsletter and the great Marine products at Sgt Grit's store. I'm writing in response to Jack Wise's assumption that "Today's Marines probably wouldn't be all that interested in what our fellow Marines did 70 years ago, but it's a small part of our heritage." His statement, I believe, is exactly why so many Marines are interested in battles of past wars fought by our brother Marines. Personally, I've always loved reading and/or hearing stories of the men that made the Corps what it is today. There are so many books about Marines like "Marines!" the book of Chesty Pullers career, "Guadacanal" about the taking of that island and so many more. And of course movies like "Sands of Iwo Jima' starring The Duke, "Full Metal Jacket" about 'Nam and more recently "Jarhead", which showed me that the men in the Corps don't change, the language doesn't change and the Espirit De Corps (sp?) doesn't diminish. Only a Marine can call The Corps "The Suck" and get away with it. The list of great books and movies goes on and on, yet The American Marine is a constant. I think it behooves Marines to study Marine Corps history, even if it's just watching programs on The Military Channel, the History channel, A&E, etc. Even though I'm 56 now, I've been reading about The Corps' history since I was in my 20s. As Mr. Wise said, "It's a (small) part of our heritage." Besides, there is always the old axiom that those who ignore history are bound to repeat it.

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


The Stoner

Marines firing the Stoner Rifle in Vietnam

Sgt. Grit,

In Vietnam, a friend and fellow Ordnance Man was the Ordnance Chief of the 1st Marine Division. Hanging on his wall was a Stoner Rifle left over from the test of the Stoner Rifle in Vietnam. I asked him to come with me on a Recon Mission. The Division Ordnance Officer okay'd the Recon so we left touring the OP's. He took the Stoner rifle as his personal weapon while I carried my M14. At each OP he would allow any one that wanted to fire the Stoner, to fire it. Here is a picture I took at one of the OP's and a Marine Firing it. Don't remember his name or the name of the Ordnance Chief, sorry.

The "Stoner", for you Marines that are not aware of it's Versatility, was a rifle that could be easily converted to a Carbine, or a Machinegun (either fired from the shoulder or mounted). The Marine Corps and the Army didn't find a need for it so it wasn't adopted however a few lucky individuals did get to fire it.

Note this is a Fighting Post with Hand Grenades hanging from the metal ditch covers we found great for protection when attacked and how we built our OP's.

Gysgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Sand Flea Helmet Liner

Drill Instructor to recruit (who is from the South and doesn't know his left from his right - and marching is not his forte!) Drill Instructor gets frustrated as he tries to teach platoon simple drill exercises. Has platoon halt - goes over to Recruit Numnuts and kicks him in his left shin hard - recruit goes down in pain - and DI tells two of us to pick the maggot up. DI goes in the face of recruit and says, "Numnuts - from now on step off with the foot that hurts!" Also, he orders the recruit to report to him or whomever is in charge in the morning - with the message to kick him in his left shin until he figures out which foot to lead with in formation?

One recruit was always a talker and the platoon suffered as a whole for all screw-ups! One DI had his own method and decided that the guilty culprit should be punished - in the DI's own perverse pleasure! He nailed the a-hole and told the Private the following, "You scuzzy worm your orders from me is to pound my hatch after square-away time and before taps - with the message to remind me to kick your worthless asz all over the squad-bay? If you fail to report I will play my favorite game of the "Boot Camp Escapades!" "The Game is Your Asz is Grass and I am a Lawn Mower."

The DI told us that we are only allowed to have proper gear - not more than we are issued - or he will consider it stolen property - and we answer to him as "Judge - Jury - and Executioner". Also, he said that all contraband will be con-fist-a-caded. I would not point out to the Drill Instructor that his grammar was incorrect, and he used improper English and mixed tenses and had a poor vocabulary! (My thoughts were that my mother did not raise any fools)!

As I was in Boot Camp in 1963 - the phrases they used at that time are only funny to Marines of that era.

One DI on Sunday let us look at the newspaper - naturally the comics were a real treat as the DI had one rule for the comics! No one could read Dan Daly or Dan Daily (he was an Army guy), and the DI said he would kick any ones asz who read a doggie comic strip.

Also, we had no black flag for hot days on the grinder - usually the series Lt. would get a message to us that we could not drill outside due to weather being too hot. I remember the pink salt tablets - and the metal helmets we marched in and the sarcasm of the wit of some DI's. If a recruit kept on scr-wing up, one DI would ream out some poor bast-rd - yelling that if brains were metal the recruit wouldn't have enough metal to make a helmet liner for a sand flea!

We were served apple butter in the mess hall - and one DI was so frustrated with one hard headed obstinate recruit - he blew up and got in his face and was ready to explode (which was bad for all of us). The DI asked the poor Private Numnuts, "What is the difference between sh-t and apple butter?" Recruit too scared to answer - DI made him do 50 push-ups on the spot - naturally a few laughed (bad move) we all were doing bends and thrusts as punishment. Hey, we never won - but I figured early that we would never win anyway.

That night the DI calls the clown to him and asks him what is the difference between sh-t and apple butter - the guy says he doesn't know? (he would be wrong no matter what he said). The DI says they are both brown and taste the same. Are you going to correct the DI?

But we all had a lot of blood - toil - sweat - and tears- to shed - but we made it and we were after some hair raising experiences - became United States Marines!"

Bruce Bender
Vietnam Era Marine
1963-1967

P.S. Must be a lot of stories out there as I work with a Marine in his late 30's and we have a lot of laughs to share. I told him that the Building Manager needed a blanket party - we roared laughing so hard tears came to our eyes and our sides hurt from laughing so much - and the guys we work with thought we were nuts - it is a Marine thing - A Love of THE CORPS.


Thoroughly Relieved

How many of you remember your first combat experience? Though it was horrifying to me at the time, I look back on it now and laugh. Up until that point, it seemed like all I was doing was just running around the desert looking for somebody that wasn't there. I had been in the sand box for nearly four months and had seen almost no action. That was about to change soon. At the time I was a Lance Corporal. Our platoon was doing what we thought was just another routine patrol through a local village. This butter bar that was fresh out of the academy had led us down a narrow corridor; perfect spot for an ambush. Just when we were about to walk out of the corridor into the main street, we saw several insurgents pop out of nowhere and they began firing their AK rifles. An IED went off directly behind us. I'd never moved so fast in my whole life. While the bullets were flying around me in all directions I felt something wet in my pants. My first thought was, "Oh, terrific. I'll never live this down." If you know anything about desert camos you know that a wet spot sticks out like a sore thumb. I had to cover this up.

While the mayhem was still going on, I removed my side arm and shot a hole in my canteen. With the water pouring down the back of my pants I thought I had it covered. When it was all over, and our wounded moved to a safe LZ, my platoon Sgt. noticed my wet pants. He walked over and I could tell he was steaming. "O'Briant, I'm just guessing, but it looks to me like you've p-ssed your pants. This ain't the army, kid. What the h-ll is the matter with you?" Thinking I had this covered, I proceeded with my story. "It's not p-ss, sarge! My canteen was hit!" He gave me that "uhuh" glare and reached for a spare canteen in his pack. "When we get back, go to supply and get yourself a new jug. Can't go without water in the desert, now can we?" He never told the rest of the platoon what happened, but the truth of the story got out regardless. Needless to say, I made sure that I very thoroughly relieved myself before I went out on patrol. That's the kinda stuff they DON'T prepare you for in boot camp. So, a word of advice. Pack an extra canteen just in case.

SEMPER FI,
SSGT. Robert O'Briant


Stuck In My Memory

This past June my Nam unit 3/26 Marines held their reunion in Ennis, Montana. Unfortunately my daughter picked that week to have a beach weekend in North Carolina and I was asked to give the bride away. There was a website for the run up for the reunion that included a "buddy locator". I requested the name Frank McCarthy, who had been my first platoon commander in Lima Co. in early 1967. The last time I'd seen him was when he'd been shot leading the charge up Hill 689 outside of Khe Sanh. Much to my surprise I received a reply from now retired Major McCarthy and we exchanged memories via e-mail. I had been a green 18 yr. old replacement when I joined his 3rd platoon and this Mustanged Lt. was a God to me. In my two tours in Nam I must say that he was the finest combat Marine I ever served with. I could, and maybe should write about our exploits under his leadership.

A couple of weeks before the scheduled reunion Major McCarthy notified me that he had been asked to give the acceptance speech for the new Hotel Co. 2/7 memorial at the Marine Corps Museum. In a subsequent tour he had served as their company CO. He asked my wife and I to be his guests at the dedication and we gladly accepted. Seeing him again was like running into Chesty Puller. The 40 some years melted away as I stood in awe of this great man. When I introduced myself to him he grabbed me in a bear hug and treated me like a long lost brother. He and his beautiful wife, Terry, were wonderful to my wife and myself while we were there. The dedication of the monument was held on a beautiful summer morning with vets, wives, children, and grandchildren in attendance. After the incredibly moving speech Major McCarthy made there wasn't a dry eye on the field. I'm sure our lost brothers looked down from Valhalla and smiled. Being a unit outsider I was asked by some of the 2/7 guys what I most remembered about Frank McCarthy. I regaled them with some first hand accounts and then told them about the three things he's said that always stuck in my memory. They were:

1. "Don't worry boys, they can kill you but they can't eat you!"
2. "Fix bayonets, we're going to take this F--king Hill!" (Hill 689 June 22, 1967)
3. And the most dreaded one of all. "We need someone to help burn the sh-tters and it's your turn."

I hope Frank McCarthy and I will always remain good friends as strongly as we were once bound together by war.

P.S. To add icing to the Quantico trip; as we were packing to leave I struck up a conversation with a gentleman wearing a Marine Corps Drill Instructor Association ball cap. He turned out to be my former Sr. Drill Instructor, then SSgt. Cornelson, when I went through PI in 1966, Plt. 2076.

Semper Fi!

Gary Neely, Sgt. of Marines, '66 to '72


General Mattis

I would like to follow up on the article submitted by Dan Sutter.

General Mattis is much, much more than four stars, numerous ribbons and a very smart uniform, even though as the article says, that to stand in front of him was/is truly impressive. I have had the opportunity to be in the vicinity of officers from other branches of the military, and there are just very few examples of those that can stack up to a U.S. Marine Officer, especially one with four stars.

I have had the chance of a lifetime to meet an talk to just such an officer. His intelligence, grasp of the obvious, understanding of history and leadership qualities second to none, placed this man of destiny in many situations and engagements that without all of those qualities, might have turned out differently. His understanding of the importance of history and how to use that information seems to me to have been one of his most important attributes.

It is very sad to me that one with such redeeming factors and who had the uncanny ability to tell it like it is regardless of to whom he was speaking was marginalized at times by clueless individuals. That ability to cut through the cr-p and get to the root of the problem without fanfare is and will be missed by the Corps and America.

His knowledge of the Middle East and relationships that he had developed over the many years there, seem to be even more important now than before. I remember him saying once that when politics and diplomacy fail, as it often does, the General to General relationships between armies and countries is the only hope sometimes of getting things accomplished. Not having that relationship, at least on an active basis any longer is problematic.

I personally believe he would have and still could make a great Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State or even Ambassador. I would love to be a fly on the wall at a meeting between him and Putin. What a story that could be.

And last but not least, his mother, mentioned in the article is herself a treasure trove of experiences and stories, many that rival the General's.

Regards,
Phillip Lemley


Another Lesson Learned

In November, 1960, platoon 374 boarded a bus to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. We had made it, we were Marines, or so we thought. Several busses of recent PI grads unloaded at the receiving area in platoon formations. We were standing at ease while the First Sergeant called the roll and issued assignments to our separate companies while our company Gunny paced back and forth in front of the ranks. There were one or two in the ranks who were a little too salty after surviving boot camp and one of them was standing behind me chewing a wad of bubble gum and grab-assing with his mates. Gunny Grogan, a short powerful man who, I learned later liked to run wherever he went, stopped directly in front of me, staring through me with red rimmed eyes, jumped straight up in the air. He came down on the grab-asser in back of me and throttled him, wrapping his fingers around his throat, picking him up and slamming him into the parking lot. He then straddled his chest, banging his head on the ground, until he spit up the wad of gum. The First Sergeant paused a second and continued with the roll call as if there wasn't any problem. It was clear to me that we had a long way to go before we became true Marines.

One of our exercises in ITR was to crawl under live machine gun fire across a field strung with barbed wire and set at intervals with dynamite charges. The field was about 100 yds. long with a trench at the end that was our finish line and faced a berm for stopping the .30 caliber rounds from three machine guns set up on a platform to our rear. These guns were set at about waist high so it was in our interest to keep low. Each squad had 13 men, three four man fire teams and a squad leader. Each team had three M1 rifles and one BAR. I was the BAR man in my team. We all had our 782 gear besides our weapons, including our helmets. When my squad's turn came up, we got a pretty good start, crawling on our backs, lifting the wire above our weapons, with the guns and charges going off. I rolled into the trench at the end just I heard whistles blowing and shouts of "cease fire, cease fire". Looking over my shoulder I saw Pvt. SA, our rifleman running and jumping over the wire to catch up with the rest of us, finally jumping into the trench. Half way through the exercise, his helmet came off and he stood up, machine gun rounds zipping past him, and ran back to retrieve his helmet. Quick action by the instructors blowing the whistles and the gunners releasing their triggers saved him from becoming Swiss cheese, but it didn't save him from the wrath of Gunny Grogan. After all the squads had completed the exercise we fell into company formation. The Gunny called Private SA front and center and reamed him a good one. He then collected six or seven M1s from the troops and had the Private carry them to the next exercise a few miles away in the boonies. As a company we had to do this at double time but poor Private SA had to run in circles around us, carrying the rifles and chanting loudly, "Wait for me John Wayne. Wait for me John Wayne." Another lesson learned.

Norm Spilleth
Cpl. '60-'64


Marine Ink Of The Week

Retirement Present to myself 1981-2012.

Submitted by Mark Dean

Retirement Present Tattoo


The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #8, #1)

In this era 'king size' beds were becoming popular - and hotels were trying to squeeze them into rooms that were never meant to accommodate them. The Ambassador was one of the older hotels and the rooms were rather small. Put in a king size bed and you were cramped. I was laying on my stomach. I said to her "Let me get up and we can sit in chairs to talk." She said, "The chairs are on opposite sides of the bed. You just stay where you are. You look too comfortable where you are to move." I was under the covers and she was on top of them. I had turned face up and we stayed that way. We talked until just after 0200 when she said she would have to go check on S_____. She said "I don't think I will be back." I said, "Please do come back!" We had another one of those extended kisses - and she walked out of the room. Was this to be the last time I would ever see this gorgeous woman? I sure hoped it was not.

I turned over to go back to sleep. I was thinking of a wonderful day that we had shared. The door opened and she returned. I turned face up and she returned to her diagonal position on top of the covers. We talked - and reminisced - about the time we had shared - until 0300. She said, "I simply must get some sleep - and I want you to know that compared to my marriage - and my honeymoon - the past 12 hours were like Heaven - following a trip to Hell!" We had another of those special kisses - and then another - and a 3rd one. She got up and said "I shall NOT return." And out she went. I was sure I would never see her again.

I was afraid I would not get awake in time to catch the 0700 train to Philly so I called the desk and put in a call for 0600. I fell into a really deep sleep but got wide awake when the phone rang. I was up, showered, shaved, did my teeth, dressed and made it to the station in time for the 0700 train. You cannot guess what was on my mind all the way to Philly. My parents met me in front of 30th St Station and we headed home. A typical Mom said, "I'm sure you are starving. What would you like me to fix you?" I was quick to respond "A half dozen fresh eggs, a half pound of scrapple, a pile of corn meal mush and a quart of milk. Do you have all that?" She replied "I sure do - and I'll fix it for you ASAP." Dad told me, "Harvey brought your car over just before we left."

We were home by 0945. I called my sweetheart, Mary. She had come down from New York City - by Greyhound - Friday evening. I told her I would see her about noon. I finished every bit of the breakfast my Mom had fixed and we talked - about everything - until it was time to leave for Mary's home. When I arrived they were getting ready to sit down for lunch. I was invited to join them. I said, "I will sit down with you but I am not hungry." Her Mom told me "Mary tells us you have been talking of marriage?"

'til next week. The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


That Is Classified

By 1960, our Jeeps (M38A1C version) and 106MM Recoilless Rifles had caught up with us on Okinawa, at Sukiran. We had turned them in, allegedly for Depot overhaul by the Marine Corps Supply Center at Barstow, before embarking on USNS Hugh N. Gaffey as the second transplacement battalion... meaning that we (2/1) were the second unit to undergo unit transplacement... 1/1 had been the first, and there were several more to come in the years leading up to Viet Nam. (Barstow, BTW, is located in the Mojave Desert... it is said of 29 Palms, that it is two miles from hell and twenty miles from drinking water... it's a little further than that to drinking water from Barstow...) We were happy to see our gear again, as it meant that instead of humping all the M1919A4 machine guns that H&S owned... which was a bunch... and meant that our machine gun teams were smaller numbers-wise than the ones in the line company weapons platoons... we got to R-I-D-E! (well... except for that once on Taiwan, when the Bn Cmdr, LtCol Ike Fenton spotted us among the BN column... then everybody except the drivers got to walk...)

Part of our regular routine was to visit the line companies with a section (two jeeps/106's) and give capability briefings. At the time, we only had two types of live ammo, the HEP-T (High Explosive, Plastic-Tracer) and a HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) round. This might occur at a range (Hansen Left or Hansen Three), usually with one gun in firing position, and the other parked in front of the bleachers, or grunts in a school formation. The squad leader would do his spiel as to range, rate of fire, use of the spotting rifle (.50 Cal... boresighted to the recoilless), armor penetration capability, etc. The SOP was that if somehow the squad leader (a Cpl... could have been either E-3 or E-4) was asked some technical question he couldn't answer, he was to say "Sorry... that information is classified... what is the next question?"

So there we were... just a part of a big dog and pony show... for the COMMANDANT! (General Shoup... MOH from Tarawa)... Boots were shined, tires were shined, practice rounds for range were fired long before the official party arrived, Majors and Lt.Cols were nervous (not ours... he'd been at Pusan and the Frozen Chosin as a Captain)... rounds went down range as the first part of 106's part of the show, then the other vehicle pulled up and stopped in front of the Commandant, Division CG, Regimental Commander... may even have had the Bn Surgeon out there. The squad leader dismounted as the jeep stopped, saluted, shifted to parade rest and recited his canned spiel. One of the items omitted from these recitations was the number of inches of armor the HEP-T round would penetrate... mostly because the round was not designed to penetrate, but to 'squish' against a tank, then detonate, causing a washtub or two worth of white-hot razor sharp splinters to go whirling around inside. (sometimes you might find a pencil-sized hole on the outside... visualize a window pane hit by a BB). Guess what the Commandant's question of my worthy brother Corporal doing the brief was? "How many inches will that HEP-T round penetrate?" Reflexively, and just as taught, our briefer responded with "I'm sorry Sir... that information is classified", even though he had the look of a deer in the headlights. Gen Shoup leaned forward, put a hand on our worthy's shoulder, and said: "That's all right son... you can tell me... I won't tell anybody..." This really amused the assorted Colonels in the area, and prompted our Lt to step in and explain... Not certain, all these years later, but I think the briefer was Roy Knight, who went on to a LAPD career after his enlistment.

Ddick


Short Rounds

Your "old corps" when you can say "I was on a Med Cruise when the Dead Sea was ALIVE..."

BOB LAKE, LCpl, 1957-1960, Honorable


Quotes

"You cannot exaggerate about the Marines. They are convinced to the point of arrogance, that they are the most ferocious fighters on earth--and the amusing thing about it is that they are."
--Father Kevin Keaney, 1st MarDiv Chaplain, Korean War


"Marines are about the most peculiar breed of human beings I have ever witnessed. They treat their service as if it was some kind of cult, plastering their emblem on almost everything they own, making themselves up to look like insane fanatics with haircuts to ungentlemanly lengths, worshipping their Commandant almost as if he was a god, and making weird animal noises like a band of savages. They'll fight like rabid dogs at the drop of a hat just for the sake of a little action, and are the cockiest SOBs I have ever known. Most have the foulest mouths and drink well beyond man's normal limits, but their high spirits and sense of brotherhood set them apart and, generally speaking, of the United States Marines I've come in contact with, are the most professional soldiers and the finest men I have had the pleasure to meet."
--An Anonymous Canadian Citizen


"Flip-Flop, Hippity-Hop, Mob STOP!"

"Private, you are about as squared away as a soup sandwich!"

"Dress right dress! Cover down!"

"When I give you an EYES RIGHT I want to hear those eyeballs click! Do Not Move! I don't care if there's a bee on your eyeball maggot! DIG'EM IN, DIG'EM IN! Six to the front three to the rear!

God Bless the American Dream!
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 07 AUG 2014

In this issue:
• Hurry Up And Wait
• Uncle Sam's Dime
• Sand Flea Helmet Liner

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Sgt Grit,

Thanks to all of you at SGT Grit our picnic last weekend was a huge success! As with every year the SGT Grit raffle and auction items were the highlight and had people drooling over them (even the younger people for which drooling really isn't an age related issue). Next year maybe we should order some bibs for the guests as protection at the prize tables!

We raised a grunchload of money, had a good time and stuffed ourselves with ribs, chicken, brats and Leinenkugel beer! Can't thank you all enough for what you do for us through your generosity and Semper Fi attitude. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

Great time! Below is a picture of an old WW II and a Viet Nam Marine (I am neither in the photo) sharing a beer and a story or two. We even had our MCL Toys for Tots Jeep there.

Semper Fi
David McMaster


Hurry Up And Wait

Sgt Grit Newsletter 7/30/14 - "Modifying rifle cartridges into dum-dum rounds was forbidden by the Rules of the Geneva Convention."

Jack Wise
204xxxx

Like so many of Sgt Grit's readers I carried a Geneva Conventions (sic) (there were four conventions, thus the plural) card during my tour in Viet Nam and thought I understood same. For me, not so. Mr. Wise's contribution sent me off on a tangent (as the newsletter so often does) and I looked up the Geneva Conventions on Wikipedia. Turns out the Geneva Conventions are completely people oriented and sets the standards for the treatment thereof during a time of war.

What Mr. Wise stated concerning dum-dum rounds is correct but it is not covered by the Geneva Conventions (news to me). Any round designed to expand once hitting the human body, is covered by The Hague Convention of 1899, (Surprise to me. Never heard of it.) part of which reads:

"(IV,3): Declaration concerning the Prohibition of the Use of Bullets which can Easily Expand or Change their Form inside the Human Body such as Bullets with a Hard Covering which does not Completely Cover the Core, or containing Indentations. This declaration states that, in any war between signatory powers, the parties will abstain from using "bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body." Ratified by all major powers, except the United States." (During my research, it was not clear if this changed during The Hague Convention of 1907 or as a result of later treaties.)

I also wanted to say, I love reading Gunny Rousseau's reminiscing about (to me) the "Old Corps" and ddick remembering events from his Marine Corps.

Re: The hearing loss issue. I have hearing loss and Tinnitus (verified by the VA) and a claim in with the VA for both. It's been two years and they've denied me twice during that time. The VA concedes that I worked in a noisy environment during my enlistment. They also concede that I have hearing loss and Tinnitus but they're saying those two things are not connected. Bullsh-t! I'm not giving up because I didn't have Tinnitus when I enlisted in the Corps but I sure as h-ll did when I got out. I'm currently in a holding pattern, waiting for a slot for a video conference with the Review Board. I've been advised it usually takes two years to get on the schedule. I thought when I walked out the gate at MCAS El Toro (in reality, rode out in a cab) I was finished with hurry up and wait.

Cpl Jerry D.
'62-'66


Uncle Sam's Dime

Last newsletter, guys were talking about Leave and R&R. I only got 3-days in-country R&R at China Beach. But the real story was what a buddy in my hootch in Da Nang did. He had arrived in country months before me and his tour was ending. He extended for 6-months and got 30 days Basket Leave. Since he put Frankfurt, Germany as his leave address, he also received 20-days travel time.

I can't remember his exact travel route, but it was generally East from Nam stopping in India, Turkey, and I believe either Italy or Switzerland. Once in Germany, his Leave officially started. He moved in with a Swedish actress/model and managed to see all of Europe with her in her sports car. When his Leave was over, it was back to Germany. Leaving Germany, he again flew East to France, England, Greenland or Iceland, New York, San Francisco, Hawaii and eventually back to Nam. In essence, he got an around-the-world trip on Uncle Sam's dime.

SemperFi
Cpl. Bill Reed
'66-'69


The Hand That Held All Knowledge

I entered boot camp at MCRD in July of '65. My last name, the name I used until that point was different from the last name I used in San Diego because, I was informed, my step Dad had never legally adopted me. You can imagine where this is headed. That's right. My new name was called for mail call and, like a dummy, I just stood there in a daze until the slap upside the head cleared the thinking part of my brain to make room for more important stuff.

Being the complete idiot that I was, the second time my name was called, about two minutes later, I was too busy trying to get the buzzing out of my head from my first letter, and failed once again to speak up. Just as the hand that held all knowledge applied itself to the brain housing, I realized my new name had been called once again. Too late. It sounded like a rifle going off beside my ear.

After that I never missed listening for, and answering to, the sound of my last name. Now a days I'm a little deaf so I do not always answer quickly. Thank God no one here has the hand of correction. I couldn't survive it now.

211xxxx
CPL. '65-'69


Wanting To Become Marines

Sgt Grit,

Sgt Giles sent this photo to me. He is busy working with young folks who are wanting to become Marines when they grow up.

Semper Fi,
Teresa Bolhuis


Heritage

Love the newsletter and the great Marine products at Sgt Grit's store. I'm writing in response to Jack Wise's assumption that "Today's Marines probably wouldn't be all that interested in what our fellow Marines did 70 years ago, but it's a small part of our heritage." His statement, I believe, is exactly why so many Marines are interested in battles of past wars fought by our brother Marines. Personally, I've always loved reading and/or hearing stories of the men that made the Corps what it is today. There are so many books about Marines like "Marines!" the book of Chesty Pullers career, "Guadacanal" about the taking of that island and so many more. And of course movies like "Sands of Iwo Jima' starring The Duke, "Full Metal Jacket" about 'Nam and more recently "Jarhead", which showed me that the men in the Corps don't change, the language doesn't change and the Espirit De Corps (sp?) doesn't diminish. Only a Marine can call The Corps "The Suck" and get away with it. The list of great books and movies goes on and on, yet The American Marine is a constant. I think it behooves Marines to study Marine Corps history, even if it's just watching programs on The Military Channel, the History channel, A&E, etc. Even though I'm 56 now, I've been reading about The Corps' history since I was in my 20s. As Mr. Wise said, "It's a (small) part of our heritage." Besides, there is always the old axiom that those who ignore history are bound to repeat it.

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


The Stoner

Sgt. Grit,

In Vietnam, a friend and fellow Ordnance Man was the Ordnance Chief of the 1st Marine Division. Hanging on his wall was a Stoner Rifle left over from the test of the Stoner Rifle in Vietnam. I asked him to come with me on a Recon Mission. The Division Ordnance Officer okay'd the Recon so we left touring the OP's. He took the Stoner rifle as his personal weapon while I carried my M14. At each OP he would allow any one that wanted to fire the Stoner, to fire it. Here is a picture I took at one of the OP's and a Marine Firing it. Don't remember his name or the name of the Ordnance Chief, sorry.

The "Stoner", for you Marines that are not aware of it's Versatility, was a rifle that could be easily converted to a Carbine, or a Machinegun (either fired from the shoulder or mounted). The Marine Corps and the Army didn't find a need for it so it wasn't adopted however a few lucky individuals did get to fire it.

Note this is a Fighting Post with Hand Grenades hanging from the metal ditch covers we found great for protection when attacked and how we built our OP's.

Gysgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Sand Flea Helmet Liner

Drill Instructor to recruit (who is from the South and doesn't know his left from his right - and marching is not his forte!) Drill Instructor gets frustrated as he tries to teach platoon simple drill exercises. Has platoon halt - goes over to Recruit Numnuts and kicks him in his left shin hard - recruit goes down in pain - and DI tells two of us to pick the maggot up. DI goes in the face of recruit and says, "Numnuts - from now on step off with the foot that hurts!" Also, he orders the recruit to report to him or whomever is in charge in the morning - with the message to kick him in his left shin until he figures out which foot to lead with in formation?

One recruit was always a talker and the platoon suffered as a whole for all screw-ups! One DI had his own method and decided that the guilty culprit should be punished - in the DI's own perverse pleasure! He nailed the a-hole and told the Private the following, "You scuzzy worm your orders from me is to pound my hatch after square-away time and before taps - with the message to remind me to kick your worthless asz all over the squad-bay? If you fail to report I will play my favorite game of the "Boot Camp Escapades!" "The Game is Your Asz is Grass and I am a Lawn Mower."

The DI told us that we are only allowed to have proper gear - not more than we are issued - or he will consider it stolen property - and we answer to him as "Judge - Jury - and Executioner". Also, he said that all contraband will be con-fist-a-caded. I would not point out to the Drill Instructor that his grammar was incorrect, and he used improper English and mixed tenses and had a poor vocabulary! (My thoughts were that my mother did not raise any fools)!

As I was in Boot Camp in 1963 - the phrases they used at that time are only funny to Marines of that era.

One DI on Sunday let us look at the newspaper - naturally the comics were a real treat as the DI had one rule for the comics! No one could read Dan Daly or Dan Daily (he was an Army guy), and the DI said he would kick any ones asz who read a doggie comic strip.

Also, we had no black flag for hot days on the grinder - usually the series Lt. would get a message to us that we could not drill outside due to weather being too hot. I remember the pink salt tablets - and the metal helmets we marched in and the sarcasm of the wit of some DI's. If a recruit kept on scr-wing up, one DI would ream out some poor bast-rd - yelling that if brains were metal the recruit wouldn't have enough metal to make a helmet liner for a sand flea!

We were served apple butter in the mess hall - and one DI was so frustrated with one hard headed obstinate recruit - he blew up and got in his face and was ready to explode (which was bad for all of us). The DI asked the poor Private Numnuts, "What is the difference between sh-t and apple butter?" Recruit too scared to answer - DI made him do 50 push-ups on the spot - naturally a few laughed (bad move) we all were doing bends and thrusts as punishment. Hey, we never won - but I figured early that we would never win anyway.

That night the DI calls the clown to him and asks him what is the difference between sh-t and apple butter - the guy says he doesn't know? (he would be wrong no matter what he said). The DI says they are both brown and taste the same. Are you going to correct the DI?

But we all had a lot of blood - toil - sweat - and tears- to shed - but we made it and we were after some hair raising experiences - became United States Marines!"

Bruce Bender
Vietnam Era Marine
1963-1967

P.S. Must be a lot of stories out there as I work with a Marine in his late 30's and we have a lot of laughs to share. I told him that the Building Manager needed a blanket party - we roared laughing so hard tears came to our eyes and our sides hurt from laughing so much - and the guys we work with thought we were nuts - it is a Marine thing - A Love of THE CORPS.


Thoroughly Relieved

How many of you remember your first combat experience? Though it was horrifying to me at the time, I look back on it now and laugh. Up until that point, it seemed like all I was doing was just running around the desert looking for somebody that wasn't there. I had been in the sand box for nearly four months and had seen almost no action. That was about to change soon. At the time I was a Lance Corporal. Our platoon was doing what we thought was just another routine patrol through a local village. This butter bar that was fresh out of the academy had led us down a narrow corridor; perfect spot for an ambush. Just when we were about to walk out of the corridor into the main street, we saw several insurgents pop out of nowhere and they began firing their AK rifles. An IED went off directly behind us. I'd never moved so fast in my whole life. While the bullets were flying around me in all directions I felt something wet in my pants. My first thought was, "Oh, terrific. I'll never live this down." If you know anything about desert camos you know that a wet spot sticks out like a sore thumb. I had to cover this up.

While the mayhem was still going on, I removed my side arm and shot a hole in my canteen. With the water pouring down the back of my pants I thought I had it covered. When it was all over, and our wounded moved to a safe LZ, my platoon Sgt. noticed my wet pants. He walked over and I could tell he was steaming. "O'Briant, I'm just guessing, but it looks to me like you've p-ssed your pants. This ain't the army, kid. What the h-ll is the matter with you?" Thinking I had this covered, I proceeded with my story. "It's not p-ss, sarge! My canteen was hit!" He gave me that "uhuh" glare and reached for a spare canteen in his pack. "When we get back, go to supply and get yourself a new jug. Can't go without water in the desert, now can we?" He never told the rest of the platoon what happened, but the truth of the story got out regardless. Needless to say, I made sure that I very thoroughly relieved myself before I went out on patrol. That's the kinda stuff they DON'T prepare you for in boot camp. So, a word of advice. Pack an extra canteen just in case.

SEMPER FI,
SSGT. Robert O'Briant


Stuck In My Memory

This past June my Nam unit 3/26 Marines held their reunion in Ennis, Montana. Unfortunately my daughter picked that week to have a beach weekend in North Carolina and I was asked to give the bride away. There was a website for the run up for the reunion that included a "buddy locator". I requested the name Frank McCarthy, who had been my first platoon commander in Lima Co. in early 1967. The last time I'd seen him was when he'd been shot leading the charge up Hill 689 outside of Khe Sanh. Much to my surprise I received a reply from now retired Major McCarthy and we exchanged memories via e-mail. I had been a green 18 yr. old replacement when I joined his 3rd platoon and this Mustanged Lt. was a God to me. In my two tours in Nam I must say that he was the finest combat Marine I ever served with. I could, and maybe should write about our exploits under his leadership.

A couple of weeks before the scheduled reunion Major McCarthy notified me that he had been asked to give the acceptance speech for the new Hotel Co. 2/7 memorial at the Marine Corps Museum. In a subsequent tour he had served as their company CO. He asked my wife and I to be his guests at the dedication and we gladly accepted. Seeing him again was like running into Chesty Puller. The 40 some years melted away as I stood in awe of this great man. When I introduced myself to him he grabbed me in a bear hug and treated me like a long lost brother. He and his beautiful wife, Terry, were wonderful to my wife and myself while we were there. The dedication of the monument was held on a beautiful summer morning with vets, wives, children, and grandchildren in attendance. After the incredibly moving speech Major McCarthy made there wasn't a dry eye on the field. I'm sure our lost brothers looked down from Valhalla and smiled. Being a unit outsider I was asked by some of the 2/7 guys what I most remembered about Frank McCarthy. I regaled them with some first hand accounts and then told them about the three things he's said that always stuck in my memory. They were:

1. "Don't worry boys, they can kill you but they can't eat you!"
2. "Fix bayonets, we're going to take this F--king Hill!" (Hill 689 June 22, 1967)
3. And the most dreaded one of all. "We need someone to help burn the sh-tters and it's your turn."

I hope Frank McCarthy and I will always remain good friends as strongly as we were once bound together by war.

P.S. To add icing to the Quantico trip; as we were packing to leave I struck up a conversation with a gentleman wearing a Marine Corps Drill Instructor Association ball cap. He turned out to be my former Sr. Drill Instructor, then SSgt. Cornelson, when I went through PI in 1966, Plt. 2076.

Semper Fi!

Gary Neely, Sgt. of Marines, '66 to '72


General Mattis

I would like to follow up on the article submitted by Dan Sutter.

General Mattis is much, much more than four stars, numerous ribbons and a very smart uniform, even though as the article says, that to stand in front of him was/is truly impressive. I have had the opportunity to be in the vicinity of officers from other branches of the military, and there are just very few examples of those that can stack up to a U.S. Marine Officer, especially one with four stars.

I have had the chance of a lifetime to meet an talk to just such an officer. His intelligence, grasp of the obvious, understanding of history and leadership qualities second to none, placed this man of destiny in many situations and engagements that without all of those qualities, might have turned out differently. His understanding of the importance of history and how to use that information seems to me to have been one of his most important attributes.

It is very sad to me that one with such redeeming factors and who had the uncanny ability to tell it like it is regardless of to whom he was speaking was marginalized at times by clueless individuals. That ability to cut through the cr-p and get to the root of the problem without fanfare is and will be missed by the Corps and America.

His knowledge of the Middle East and relationships that he had developed over the many years there, seem to be even more important now than before. I remember him saying once that when politics and diplomacy fail, as it often does, the General to General relationships between armies and countries is the only hope sometimes of getting things accomplished. Not having that relationship, at least on an active basis any longer is problematic.

I personally believe he would have and still could make a great Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State or even Ambassador. I would love to be a fly on the wall at a meeting between him and Putin. What a story that could be.

And last but not least, his mother, mentioned in the article is herself a treasure trove of experiences and stories, many that rival the General's.

Regards,
Phillip Lemley


Another Lesson Learned

In November, 1960, platoon 374 boarded a bus to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. We had made it, we were Marines, or so we thought. Several busses of recent PI grads unloaded at the receiving area in platoon formations. We were standing at ease while the First Sergeant called the roll and issued assignments to our separate companies while our company Gunny paced back and forth in front of the ranks. There were one or two in the ranks who were a little too salty after surviving boot camp and one of them was standing behind me chewing a wad of bubble gum and grab-assing with his mates. Gunny Grogan, a short powerful man who, I learned later liked to run wherever he went, stopped directly in front of me, staring through me with red rimmed eyes, jumped straight up in the air. He came down on the grab-asser in back of me and throttled him, wrapping his fingers around his throat, picking him up and slamming him into the parking lot. He then straddled his chest, banging his head on the ground, until he spit up the wad of gum. The First Sergeant paused a second and continued with the roll call as if there wasn't any problem. It was clear to me that we had a long way to go before we became true Marines.

One of our exercises in ITR was to crawl under live machine gun fire across a field strung with barbed wire and set at intervals with dynamite charges. The field was about 100 yds. long with a trench at the end that was our finish line and faced a berm for stopping the .30 caliber rounds from three machine guns set up on a platform to our rear. These guns were set at about waist high so it was in our interest to keep low. Each squad had 13 men, three four man fire teams and a squad leader. Each team had three M1 rifles and one BAR. I was the BAR man in my team. We all had our 782 gear besides our weapons, including our helmets. When my squad's turn came up, we got a pretty good start, crawling on our backs, lifting the wire above our weapons, with the guns and charges going off. I rolled into the trench at the end just I heard whistles blowing and shouts of "cease fire, cease fire". Looking over my shoulder I saw Pvt. SA, our rifleman running and jumping over the wire to catch up with the rest of us, finally jumping into the trench. Half way through the exercise, his helmet came off and he stood up, machine gun rounds zipping past him, and ran back to retrieve his helmet. Quick action by the instructors blowing the whistles and the gunners releasing their triggers saved him from becoming Swiss cheese, but it didn't save him from the wrath of Gunny Grogan. After all the squads had completed the exercise we fell into company formation. The Gunny called Private SA front and center and reamed him a good one. He then collected six or seven M1s from the troops and had the Private carry them to the next exercise a few miles away in the boonies. As a company we had to do this at double time but poor Private SA had to run in circles around us, carrying the rifles and chanting loudly, "Wait for me John Wayne. Wait for me John Wayne." Another lesson learned.

Norm Spilleth
Cpl. "60-"64


The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #8, #1)

In this era 'king size' beds were becoming popular - and hotels were trying to squeeze them into rooms that were never meant to accommodate them. The Ambassador was one of the older hotels and the rooms were rather small. Put in a king size bed and you were cramped. I was laying on my stomach. I said to her "Let me get up and we can sit in chairs to talk." She said, "The chairs are on opposite sides of the bed. You just stay where you are. You look too comfortable where you are to move." I was under the covers and she was on top of them. I had turned face up and we stayed that way. We talked until just after 0200 when she said she would have to go check on S_____. She said "I don't think I will be back." I said, "Please do come back!" We had another one of those extended kisses - and she walked out of the room. Was this to be the last time I would ever see this gorgeous woman? I sure hoped it was not.

I turned over to go back to sleep. I was thinking of a wonderful day that we had shared. The door opened and she returned. I turned face up and she returned to her diagonal position on top of the covers. We talked - and reminisced - about the time we had shared - until 0300. She said, "I simply must get some sleep - and I want you to know that compared to my marriage - and my honeymoon - the past 12 hours were like Heaven - following a trip to Hell!" We had another of those special kisses - and then another - and a 3rd one. She got up and said "I shall NOT return." And out she went. I was sure I would never see her again.

I was afraid I would not get awake in time to catch the 0700 train to Philly so I called the desk and put in a call for 0600. I fell into a really deep sleep but got wide awake when the phone rang. I was up, showered, shaved, did my teeth, dressed and made it to the station in time for the 0700 train. You cannot guess what was on my mind all the way to Philly. My parents met me in front of 30th St Station and we headed home. A typical Mom said, "I'm sure you are starving. What would you like me to fix you?" I was quick to respond "A half dozen fresh eggs, a half pound of scrapple, a pile of corn meal mush and a quart of milk. Do you have all that?" She replied "I sure do - and I'll fix it for you ASAP." Dad told me, "Harvey brought your car over just before we left."

We were home by 0945. I called my sweetheart, Mary. She had come down from New York City - by Greyhound - Friday evening. I told her I would see her about noon. I finished every bit of the breakfast my Mom had fixed and we talked - about everything - until it was time to leave for Mary's home. When I arrived they were getting ready to sit down for lunch. I was invited to join them. I said, "I will sit down with you but I am not hungry." Her Mom told me "Mary tells us you have been talking of marriage?"

'til next week. The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


That Is Classified

By 1960, our Jeeps (M38A1C version) and 106MM Recoilless Rifles had caught up with us on Okinawa, at Sukiran. We had turned them in, allegedly for Depot overhaul by the Marine Corps Supply Center at Barstow, before embarking on USNS Hugh N. Gaffey as the second transplacement battalion... meaning that we (2/1) were the second unit to undergo unit transplacement... 1/1 had been the first, and there were several more to come in the years leading up to Viet Nam. (Barstow, BTW, is located in the Mojave Desert... it is said of 29 Palms, that it is two miles from hell and twenty miles from drinking water... it's a little further than that to drinking water from Barstow...) We were happy to see our gear again, as it meant that instead of humping all the M1919A4 machine guns that H&S owned... which was a bunch... and meant that our machine gun teams were smaller numbers-wise than the ones in the line company weapons platoons... we got to R-I-D-E! (well... except for that once on Taiwan, when the Bn Cmdr, LtCol Ike Fenton spotted us among the BN column... then everybody except the drivers got to walk...)

Part of our regular routine was to visit the line companies with a section (two jeeps/106's) and give capability briefings. At the time, we only had two types of live ammo, the HEP-T (High Explosive, Plastic-Tracer) and a HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) round. This might occur at a range (Hansen Left or Hansen Three), usually with one gun in firing position, and the other parked in front of the bleachers, or grunts in a school formation. The squad leader would do his spiel as to range, rate of fire, use of the spotting rifle (.50 Cal... boresighted to the recoilless), armor penetration capability, etc. The SOP was that if somehow the squad leader (a Cpl... could have been either E-3 or E-4) was asked some technical question he couldn't answer, he was to say "Sorry... that information is classified... what is the next question?"

So there we were... just a part of a big dog and pony show... for the COMMANDANT! (General Shoup... MOH from Tarawa)... Boots were shined, tires were shined, practice rounds for range were fired long before the official party arrived, Majors and Lt.Cols were nervous (not ours... he'd been at Pusan and the Frozen Chosin as a Captain)... rounds went down range as the first part of 106's part of the show, then the other vehicle pulled up and stopped in front of the Commandant, Division CG, Regimental Commander... may even have had the Bn Surgeon out there. The squad leader dismounted as the jeep stopped, saluted, shifted to parade rest and recited his canned spiel. One of the items omitted from these recitations was the number of inches of armor the HEP-T round would penetrate... mostly because the round was not designed to penetrate, but to 'squish' against a tank, then detonate, causing a washtub or two worth of white-hot razor sharp splinters to go whirling around inside. (sometimes you might find a pencil-sized hole on the outside... visualize a window pane hit by a BB). Guess what the Commandant's question of my worthy brother Corporal doing the brief was? "How many inches will that HEP-T round penetrate?" Reflexively, and just as taught, our briefer responded with "I'm sorry Sir... that information is classified", even though he had the look of a deer in the headlights. Gen Shoup leaned forward, put a hand on our worthy's shoulder, and said: "That's all right son... you can tell me... I won't tell anybody..." This really amused the assorted Colonels in the area, and prompted our Lt to step in and explain... Not certain, all these years later, but I think the briefer was Roy Knight, who went on to a LAPD career after his enlistment.

Ddick


Short Rounds

Your "old corps" when you can say "I was on a Med Cruise when the Dead Sea was ALIVE..."

BOB LAKE, LCpl, 1957-1960, Honorable


Quotes

"You cannot exaggerate about the Marines. They are convinced to the point of arrogance, that they are the most ferocious fighters on earth--and the amusing thing about it is that they are."
--Father Kevin Keaney, 1st MarDiv Chaplain, Korean War


"Marines are about the most peculiar breed of human beings I have ever witnessed. They treat their service as if it was some kind of cult, plastering their emblem on almost everything they own, making themselves up to look like insane fanatics with haircuts to ungentlemanly lengths, worshipping their Commandant almost as if he was a god, and making weird animal noises like a band of savages. They'll fight like rabid dogs at the drop of a hat just for the sake of a little action, and are the cockiest SOBs I have ever known. Most have the foulest mouths and drink well beyond man's normal limits, but their high spirits and sense of brotherhood set them apart and, generally speaking, of the United States Marines I've come in contact with, are the most professional soldiers and the finest men I have had the pleasure to meet."
--An Anonymous Canadian Citizen


"Flip-Flop, Hippity-Hop, Mob STOP!"

"Private, you are about as squared away as a soup sandwich!"

"Dress right dress! Cover down!"

"When I give you an EYES RIGHT I want to hear those eyeballs click! Do Not Move! I don't care if there's a bee on your eyeball maggot! DIG'EM IN, DIG'EM IN! Six to the front three to the rear!

God Bless the American Dream!
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 31 July 2014

In this issue:
• Mother Mattis
• Necessity Is the Mother Of Invention
• The Marine Corps Also Changed

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Korean Era Ka-Bar, 1911A1 Pistol, 1911R1 BB Pistol

Sgt Grit,

Thought you may be interested in these items; Ka-bar from 1950s, Korean era; Springfield Armory 1911A1 w/USMC grips; lower pistol Remington 1911R1 (actually a CO2 powered BB automatic, fires full magazine of 18 BBs as fast as you can pull the trigger).

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


Dramatically Different Lifestyle

Sgt. Grit,

I have just finished reading your latest newsletter. As usual, it was exceptional. Your newsletters continues to stimulate my memories.

In this latest newsletter, Jack W. wrote, "Oh, dear God, what have I done." when the receiving Drill Instructor yelled, "Get off My F'ing bus."

As a former Drill Instructor, I can testify that every recruit I ever trained asked himself that same question at some point during training. Most recruits ask themselves that question sometime the first week or so. I have had some recruits who didn't ask themselves that question until second phase or early third phase. Asking yourself that question is, in fact, a transition that takes you from the scuzzy civilian life to accepting where you are now and doing your best to meet the requirements to graduate recruit training.

Most recruits get past that transition on their own without much help. On the other hand, some need encouragement such as incentive PT. The recruits who don't get through the transition are the recruits who don't successfully complete recruit training. And there is almost nothing a Drill Instructor can do to help recruits who can't or won't make that transition. The answer to that question is absolutely unimportant, if there truly is an answer. What's actually important is getting past the question and accepting the dramatically different lifestyle. Those men become Marines.

Semper Fi!

A Former Hat
GySgt, USMC, (Ret)


USMC 239th Birthday KA-BAR


Mother Mattis

I read your latest newsletter containing quite a few quotes attributed to General Mattis. I had the pleasure of meeting the General a few years ago at a Rotary Club luncheon in Richland, Washington. I have a friend, Phil Lemlely, who not only volunteers with me at the food bank, but is a veteran Marine and a Richland city councilman. Phil was the Rotary Club program chairman with responsibility for arranging guest speakers at these luncheons. Phil knew that General Mattis had family in the Richland area, but no idea who or where. Phil tried contacting the General thru the Yakima Reserve Unit and Marine headquarters in Washington, D.C. He received no response in either case. One day Phil was going door to door campaigning for re-election to the Richland city council and came upon a home with a Marine Corps logo on the door. He was greeted by an elderly lady and when he asked about the logo, she replied that her son was in the Marine Corps. Phil told her that he had been in the Marine Corps 40 years ago. She said her son has been in the Marine Corps for almost 40 years. Phil asked the lady for the name of her son. She said Mattis. So you are the General's mother and she replied yes. After a few minutes, Phil explained how he had made many attempts to contact the General to have him speak at a Rotary Club luncheon. Phil thanked Mrs. Mattis and thought that was the end of it.

He left his city business card with her. Several weeks later Phil received an email from the General indicating when he would be visiting Richland and would gladly speak to the Rotary club. I attended the speech and was amazed how much information he imparted to the attendees about events in Iraq. The speech took around 45 minutes to an hour without a teleprompter and sans any "ers" or "ahs". The General also returned a second time to speak at the Rotary Club annual district 5080 conference. Phil had an opportunity to sit and talk to the General at his mom's home. He said, for an old non-com, it was an amazing experience. The memory of the General standing in front of him in his dress uniform with the stars and ribbons still sends a chill up Phil's spine. Phil still communicates with the General by email. I have urged Phil to get signed up for your newsletter and he promised to do so.

Dan Suter


Necessity Is The Mother Of Invention

M1903 Springfield

Sgt Grit,

In reading some of the past articles concerning Marines making various modifications to equipment to suit their needs, I recalled a couple of small things my Dad told me when I was a teen-ager. Dad was a Pfc. with the 3rd Special Weapons Battalion, 9th Marines, 3rd Marine Division.

Growing up in Wyoming, big game hunting was an accepted way of life, especially in small towns. My first deer-hunting rifle was an old military surplus M1903 Springfield still packed in cosmoline. I think I paid a whopping $20 for it back in 1958. Dad and I sat outside his shop next to the house with a cleaning kit, rags, brushes and a large pan of gasoline (anyone who has ever gotten a rifle packed in cosmoline knows that gasoline is about the only sure way of getting all that heavy grease out). He showed me how to strip the '03 all the way down and thoroughly clean each part. This chore must have triggered some memories for as we were sitting there cleaning, he began reminiscing.

He said that on Guadalcanal in 1943, several of the Marines had removed the Springfield's floor plate and spot-soldered a BAR magazine where the floor plate was, giving them 25 rounds instead of the usual five-round clips.

On Guam in 1944, he said, many of the Japanese were drunk during their banzai attacks as the Japanese military had a vast store of liquor on Guam. With the lethal combination of extreme Japanese fanaticism as well as a belly full of liquor, they were harder to stop during an attack even after being hit. Many of the Marines took wire cutters and clipped the tips off the full metal jacket cartridges making them into "dum-dum" rounds. He said that beyond a hundred yards or so they weren't very accurate but God help anything within that range. Modifying rifle cartridges into dum-dum rounds was forbidden by the Rules of the Geneva Convention. However, the Marines agreed that none of the officials in the Geneva Convention were on Guam facing banzai attacks of screaming hordes of drunken Japanese soldiers.

Today's Marines probably wouldn't be all that interested in what our fellow Marines did 70 years ago, but it's a small part of our heritage.

Jack Wise
204xxxx


The Marine Corps Also Changed

Sgt. Grit,

When I enlisted we wore Leather Belts on our Greens (I think I still have mine somewhere) and after the War was over, sometime in the late 1940's they started issuing the cloth belts. I went home on leave about 1949 and a guy, a WWII Marine Vet, asked me why I was wearing an Officers belt on my Greens. I told him the sorry facts that with the changing world the Marine Corps also changed.

What was neat however, the Blues now had pockets on them but like my Greens Pockets I had them sewed up, (there were no rear pockets on the greens). Now I had a slim figure of a Marine, no bulges. We carried our cigarettes in one sock and our billfold in the other sock.

Funny thing after the War, don't remember exactly when but only the Corporal of the Guard and Sgt. of the Guard carried pistols, the rest of us carried cigarettes in our beautifully polished holsters. Night Sticks were carried on Guard Duty and usually they had to be in their carrier on the pistol belt.

I was doing Sentry Duty at SF Naval Shipyards at the time, a Prisoner took a Shotgun from his Marine Guard, knocked him down aimed the shotgun at his face, worked the slide and pulled the trigger with only a click coming from the shotgun.

We were then armed with pistols and shotguns and went to YBI to help chase down the armed prisoner. We found the reason the shotgun didn't go off was because of the Brass shotgun shells that are unloaded and reloaded with every changing of the Guard, the Brass shotgun shells were so bent they wouldn't function in the pump shotgun. The Prisoner was locked in Solitary Cell at Yerba Buena Naval Brig, Treasure Island, California, later sent to a Prison closest to his home.

So many prisoners were in Naval Prisons, they closed some Naval Prisons and shipped Prisoners to State Prisons near their home of record. Some interesting stories are to be had from transporting Prisoners cross country on Trains with leg irons and handcuffs, being waltzed to the Mess Car for their meals through cars with Moms and Dads holding their children away from the center aisle.

To get these prisoners transferred, Marines were sent from duty stations such as Naval Base's, places where they could adjust the Guard Roster. These were the days when our old Friend Harry Truman showed what he thought about the Marines and tried to get Congress to have only the U.S. Armed Forces which would effectively get rid of his Despised Marines. But the Commandant, a Guadalcanal Marine, made a speech that cut that cr-p off. BUT they did get the Marine Corps set at only 75,000 men could serve in our Corps at that time.

Then the North Korean's worked Old Harry over when they charged across the 38th Parallel and General MacArthur asked for a Brigade of Marines. Again the Naval Bases were stripped of Marine Guards and sent to Camp Pendleton to form the 1st Marine Brigade. Interesting also was the fact that the AWOL rate went up all over the East Coast with AWOL Marines turning themselves in at Camp Pendleton for duty with the 1st Marine Brigade.

All this happened in a space of a few years, Marines did as they have always done. Come forward to help dim the Chaos.

Is it any wonder we are admired by the World!

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Disrespect

About disrespect; I was in Nam in '68 , got out of the Corps in Jan '69, started college in 1970 at Broward Community in Ft Lauderdale. I attempted to get into a study group when some guy asked about my history. As soon as I told them, I was told NOT to get near their tables in the student union again. They said I could hang with my own kind at a table of veterans, of which there was about 5 guys at the Vets table. The other students would not talk or even acknowledge us. It got to the point where we got a kick out of saying hello to them, and having them report us to some kind of student hierarchy... screw 'em!

About 6 months later I started at The Forest Ranger School in Lake City, Florida. There were only 6 Vets in the Forestry school, we didn't fare any better there with the Community College kids. But we stuck together and held our heads high... Army, Navy and Marines. The rest of the guys in the forestry program, held us in high esteem.

Mark Gallant
USMC '66-'69
Chu Lai '68
VA Army Nat Guard '76-'79
US Army Medical Retired '80-'82
Rated 100% with the VA.


My mother was in a shopping Mall in Oklahoma City about 1969. She was approached by a young girl to sign an anti-war petition. My mother said she would not do it, her son was in Vietnam right now. The girl spit in her face. A man, a stranger, saw what happened and offered his handkerchief to help my Mom clean up.

I was in college on the GI Bill. This was early 1971. It was some kind of required social studies class. The professor asked us to fill out a personal info sheet. Military etc. was asked. I was picked to be on a 5 person panel about some non-military topic. I was set up! When the professor got to me she immediately went to Vietnam, Marine Corps etc. Interesting times, my poor mother did not deserve to be treated like that.

Sgt Grit


My Wife Quit Going

I joined the Corps in Sept 1958. I had been something of a "Smart Azs" during the 3 years I spent in High School and was "Encouraged" to consider joining the Marines, which I had the good sense to do. It's all a long story that I won't get into here. I was sworn in on 5 Sept 1958 for a 4-Year stint. I have three vivid memories of that day: The first was being one of five guys standing in front of a Marine Captain desk holding up my right arm and swearing to be a Good Marine or some such. The second was of eating my last civilian meal in a Waffle House in Macon, Georgia, where I was sworn in. The third was when our bus pulled into Parris Island around midnight that night. Three screaming guys wearing Smokey the Bear hats climbed onto the bus and started screaming their heads off at us to get off the bus QUICK! They beat the backs of the seats with their night sticks to encourage us to move rapidly. I recall that as I was stumbling off the bus I multiplied 365 times 4 and wondered what I had gotten into.

Fast forward to 2014: I go to the local Waffle House every Sept 5 or as close to that date as I can and reminisce about that fateful day in 1958. My wife quit going with me a long time ago but that's OK. She wouldn't have had anything much to do with me back in my Marine days either.

Bob M.
Sgt E-5, USMC
Sept 1958 to March 1963


Superb Actors

The X-1 and X-2 tests were questions about everything recruits had learned so far in their training. The X-1 was given at the end of the third week and the X-2 was given near the end of either the 8th week of training or 12th week of training.(Depending on the length of boot camp at the time). The questions were about the M-14, M-16, History and Traditions, First Aid, etc., etc. I don't believe the tests have the same name any more.

Almost every DI, including myself, would have each Private memorize a question when they were finished with the test because the questions were changed or re-worded all the time.

When you are finished with the test PRIVATE A--you will memorize question number one--PRIVATE B you will memorize question number 2 and so on before raising your hand to say you are finished with the test. The DI would then make copies of the new questions, provide the correct answers and give a copy to the secretary or Guide to read to the platoon whenever possible.

All recruits were supposed to be up-dated on current events and were given the time to read a Sunday newspaper during Free Time. During my second tour in 1967. The Company Commander held the first formal (third week) inspection. The C.O. stepped in front of Pvt numbnuts and asked a question about current events. Pvt numbnuts answered correctly. The C.O. then stepped in front of Pvt S---Bird and asked him who was Presley O'Bannon. The answer: Sir, I dunno, I only read the funny papers. Yes, DI's have to become superb actors to keep from laughing.

J L Stelling


You are correct, the X-1 and X-2 are no longer the name of the test given at boot camp. I am not for sure if it has changed since I went through MCRD San Diego in 2000, but during my training it was called PracApp (Practical Application).

It covered Marine Corps history and traditions, first aid, Marine Corps marksmanship history, Marine Corps and Navy ranks, General Orders, etc. The recruits that scored well on the intial PracApp test became know as our Knowledge recruits. They help everyone else in the platoon learn and memorize the material covered.

During our inspections (Company Commander, Battalion Commander) we normally we asked General Order, Marine Corps history, and Chain of Command questions. I don't recall current events being a read about or questioned.

If a recruit failed to pass the PracApp on the second go round then they would basically be tutored by the highest scoring recruits for a day or so, and then they would go back and test for a third time. I am not for sure what happened if they failed a third time... but the ever present threat from the Drill Instructors was that if you didn't pass then you would be recycled one week to another platoon. In my platoon, 2070 (Hotel Co), we all passed by the second test... no one wanted to stay any longer than they had to.

J. Williams
Sgt USMC
'00-'07


R&R Times Three Plus One

During Vietnam you got one R&R per tour. If you extended for 6 months you could come home for a month then return to do your next 6 months in country. I got 3 plus 1. I took my first R&R to Sydney, Australia. I extended, but instead of going home I asked if I could take another R&R, so I went back to Sydney. For my extension I got my third R&R, I went to Bangkok, Thailand. The plus one came in Okinawa. A Gunny from 11th Marines put a working party together to go to Okinawa and stage all the gear for the return of the 1stMarDiv sometime in '71. The gear was the seabags we each left there before getting on the bird to DaNang. So the Gunny, me a Sgt, and a working party of about 8 others was formed. We got on a C130 to Okinawa. We landed and the Gunny goes off to do what Gunny's do. He returns and says the work has been done. We can get back on the C130 we just got off of and return to DaNang, OR we can spend the allotted week in Okinawa with one stipulation. That I call him every morning at 8am with a head count that all is well. I look at my 8 Marine working party, they look like bobble head dolls nodding yes. So off we went for a free week in Okinawa.

Sgt Grit


HMR-161 and VMO-6

To GySgt. Jim McCallum:

I have been reading all your Posts on Sgt. Grit for the last two years. I thought you should get the correct info on the Marine Helicopter Squadrons such as HMR-161 and VMO-6. Due to the fact that I was in HMR-161 in Korea 1952 to 1953. VMO-6 was just down the road from HMR-161. HMR-161 was T.A.D. to the First Marine Division at that time. The fact was that we were trying to experiment with Vertical Envelopment at that time. We flew HRS-1&2 at that time. Now Helicopters are Organic to every Marine Division. HMR-161 is now HMM-161, I also was in HMM-261 at Cherry Point.

If you have any questions please contact me thru Sgt. Grit. Oh, by the way we did fly wounded to the Hospital, Repose around the clock with no GPS. at that time & flew replacements to the MLR. We supplied out Posts Vegas, Carson, & Reno also!

Semper-Fi
S/SGT. George S. Archie


Marine Tattoo Of The Week

Eagle, Globe, and Anchor Half Sleeve Tattoo

Eagle Globe and Anchor tattoo by artist David Mushaney.


The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #7, #5)

In the last paragraph of my letter of July 10th, 4th and 5th line, I said "We had a very nice conversation all the way." What I failed to tell you was that during that session she told me "My husband and I were separated in mid-June 1949 'military style'. I asked "What do you mean when you say 'military style'?" She was surprised that I did not know of this term. She said "If I had taken my son and departed, all of our friends and neighbors would have known of the split and it might have had a detrimental effect on his career. We moved into separate bedrooms, and this way nobody was the wiser. My husband will report in at his next duty station as a bachelor. My attorney filed a divorce action on the 1st of August. Now it's a countdown for two years."

Now back to my returning to the hotel. I asked the desk clerk if he had a room close to #912. He replied "Next door in 910 or 914 or across the hall?" I said "914 is okay." He said "The military rate is $10." (Kitty was quoted $20.) I told him that Mrs. C______ had a military I.D. He pulled her chart and made a notation on it. He said she will get a credit when she checks out. I went up to #914. It was more than an hour since I left her and I knew she may have gone to sleep. But I wanted to talk with her. I dialed '912'. Her line was busy. I waited about 5 minutes and tried again. Her line was still busy. I waited another 5 minutes. Her line was still busy. I called the desk and said "Mrs. C______ line has been busy since I got into my room. Can you cut in and tell her that she has an incoming call? He said "I can" - and he did. My phone rang and I picked it up. I said "Sgt Freas speaking." She asked "Where are you?" I told her what had happened and asked if she would care to continue our conversation. There was a long pause and then "I - don't - think - so!" I told her "Tell S_____ I will come by some weekend to take him to the zoo." She said "Oh, he will love that!" And as for you, Beautiful, you take good care of yourself." I told her "I am going to take a shower and do my teeth and hit the rack - that I would be dead to the world in an instant. I will leave my door unlocked. Should you change your mind you are welcome to come on over. You will have to shake me to get me awake. Good night." Within about 5 minutes I was under the covers and sawing wood.

I did not hear her open the door - or close it. I did not hear her get on the bed. But I felt something on my ear and started to open my eyes. I smelled that lovely Shalimar perfume. I looked up into those beautiful eyes. She was diagonally across the bed and kissed me on my ear. She was still wearing that white golf outfit. I got awake.

'til next week. The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


The FLIGHT LINE

Submitted By: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #9, #12 (Dec. 2019)

Part #5: (VMO-6, cont.)

The Monument in the SEMPER FIDELIS Park is shaped like an airfoils cross section and has the sixty-six (66) names on the squadron mates lost during conflicts and figures of the seven (7) different types of aircraft used by VMO-6 etched into it. The design is the work of Wayne Wright who incorporated the airfoil because it is essential to flight and it represents the core and the vitality of the squadron. The wing has been severed at it's tip and rests on edge rising from the ground. This is meant to depict the disruption of flight, the loss of life, and our eventual fall back to a place of rest, on earth. While the base of the wing is earthbound, it's tip is projected skyward suggesting the desire to rise again to the heavens. And so, through this structure we honor those squadron members who have fallen to rest on earth, but in memory and spirit still soar above the earth. A blessing was given by Chaplain Hannigan, and a wreath was laid next to the monument. A MARINE Buglar played Taps from afar, followed by a Bag Piped version of the MARINE CORPS hymn. Shortly after this a formation of three helicopters flew over the assembly, low and loud. The familiar "wop,wop,wop" of huey rotor blades brought back memories, some with smiles and some with tears.

The striking black VMO-6 monument that was dedicated during May's ceremony stands in the SEMPER FIDELIS Park at Quantico, Virginia, near the birthplace of the squadron more then 90 years prior. It represents a small but, very important part of VMO-6's history. The squadron soldiers were at the forefront of many MARINE Aviation firsts, from supplying ground forces during the Nicaraguan Campaign in the 1920's to Med-e-Vac operations in World War II. Squadron members employed MARINE helicopters tactically for the time during the Korean War, and then their armed helicopter escort operations in Vietnam paved the way for today's tactics. Although the VMO-6 squadron is inactive today, the people and their deeds haven't been forgotten.

Submitters Comments:

PLEASE remember, that I didn't write this article, I just submitted it because I thought there should be some recognition given. That credit should go to Gy/Sgt Paul Moore. Now, having said that, I might add that he gave his blessings for me to submit this to Sgt. Grit. Again, I'd like to take a minute to THANK HIM and all the members of VMO type units, plus anyone who served in one for making my job easier when I was fixing, and flying. Sometimes, we just don't get the opportunity to say THANKS enough!


In The Military

Happened to be at a wrap-up dinner for a state conference of Fire Chiefs (room, other than for the ladies, looked like a South American General's convention... one thing you can say about uniforms is that they aren't...) The usual hotel meeting room set up... head table on the dais, lectern for the speaker(s), and round tables of ten seats for the attendees... convivial group, and as usual, self-introductions to others at the table. The Chief seated to my right, sharp-looking young guy (at my age, most of the world looks 'young' to me...) gave his name, allowed that he had come into the Fire Service after a 21-year career "in the military" without mentioning branch. I smiled at him and said "you know that's a dead giveaway, don't you?... Air Force, right?" He had done that 21 years in AF crash crews (the guys who put on the Reynolds Wrap suits and walk into pools of burning jet fuel...). He admitted that indeed he had been a blue-suiter... have never seen it fail. If you were in the Army, you would say "well, I was in the Army for..." or, likewise, "when I was in the Navy" (no need to discuss Marines... if there's one in the room, he'll tell... if it's not obvious to begin with)... but AF vets invariably start out with "I was in the military"... bears truth to the saying "there's only two branches of the military... the Army and the Navy... the Air Force is a corporation, and the Marine Corps is a cult"... works for me...

Ddick


Upcoming Events

Yountville BBQ Flier

Yountville BBQ Map

On Sunday, 21 September 2014, the Marine Corps Coordinating Council of Northern California holds its annual YOUNTVILLE "ALL MARINE DAY" BBQ AND PICNIC. It is a free event to all Marines, Marine Veterans, FMF Corpsmen, their Families and Guests in camaraderie and brotherhood.

Please see our PDF of the event and map.

The Veterans Home of California, founded in 1884, is located in the heart of scenic wine country of Napa Valley; famous for its many wineries and vineyards. (Napa Sonoma Mendocino Wineries).

If you plan on attending all we ask is to let us know you will be coming and the number in your party for sufficient food supplies.

- BBQ Tri Tip/Chicken Meal & Drinks Awards and Prizes!
- 14-Piece Live Swing Band – 40's Music
- USMC Vehicle & Weapons Display

Please contact: Using Subject Line: YOUNTVILLE "ALL MARINE DAY" BBQ AND PICNIC.

Point of Contact emails:
AllanFPCruz[at]aol.com
DonFreid1775[at]gmail.com


Short Rounds

Jack W. responded to the question by a young man "What kinda guys get to go in the Marines?" with the truth, "Son, they were the best of the very best." Jack took me on a journey back to August,1968 where my adventure into the unknown began, MCRD, Parris Island. By pondering the question, Jack gave a well-reasoned response for an impressionable young man, and future Marine, to consider.

Thank you, Jack, for the truth. Former LCpl, Forever Marine, Vietnam Veteran, David B. MCClellan. Frater Infinitas.


Mike Rummel, 2377xx, Platoon 363, MCRD San Diego, SGT - USMC - 2881. I read your story and looked up some information for you. Try looking up Battle of Chapultepec they have two pages of the battle this may help you.

CPL Lutz
USMC 1960-1964


Quotes

"Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them."
--Albert Einstein


"The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!"
--Eleanor Roosevelt, 1945.


"Be not intimidated... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice."
--John Adams (1765)


"Marines I see as two breeds, Rottweilers or Dobermans, because Marines come in two varieties, big and mean, or skinny and mean. They're aggressive on the attack and tenacious on the defense. They've got really short hair and they always go for the throat."
--RAdm. Jay R. Stark, U.S. Navy


"Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."
--Frederic Bastiat, French Economist (1801-1850)


"I have been made victorious through terror."
--Mohammad


"If I were King, I'd close Army entry training and send all future Infantry grunts to the Marines. The Corps still produces trained and disciplined soldiers who still know how to fight and make it on a killing field."
--Col. David Hackworth, USA Army (Ret), one of America's most highly decorated soldiers


"The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind."
--New Hampshire Constitution


"This food isn't fit for human consumption, but it is fit for United States Marines!"

"If we weren't already crazy we would go insane!"

"May God Bless All Marines. Those That Were, Those That Are And Those That Will Be."

Fair Winds and Following Seas!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 31 July 2014

In this issue:
• Mother Mattis
• Necessity Is the Mother Of Invention
• The Marine Corps Also Changed

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Sgt Grit,

Thought you may be interested in these items; Ka-bar from 1950s, Korean era; Springfield Armory 1911A1 w/USMC grips; lower pistol Remington 1911R1 (actually a CO2 powered BB automatic, fires full magazine of 18 BBs as fast as you can pull the trigger).

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


Dramatically Different Lifestyle

Sgt. Grit,

I have just finished reading your latest newsletter. As usual, it was exceptional. Your newsletters continues to stimulate my memories.

In this latest newsletter, Jack W. wrote, "Oh, dear God, what have I done." when the receiving Drill Instructor yelled, "Get off My F'ing bus."

As a former Drill Instructor, I can testify that every recruit I ever trained asked himself that same question at some point during training. Most recruits ask themselves that question sometime the first week or so. I have had some recruits who didn't ask themselves that question until second phase or early third phase. Asking yourself that question is, in fact, a transition that takes you from the scuzzy civilian life to accepting where you are now and doing your best to meet the requirements to graduate recruit training.

Most recruits get past that transition on their own without much help. On the other hand, some need encouragement such as incentive PT. The recruits who don't get through the transition are the recruits who don't successfully complete recruit training. And there is almost nothing a Drill Instructor can do to help recruits who can't or won't make that transition. The answer to that question is absolutely unimportant, if there truly is an answer. What's actually important is getting past the question and accepting the dramatically different lifestyle. Those men become Marines.

Semper Fi!

A Former Hat
GySgt, USMC, (Ret)


Mother Mattis

I read your latest newsletter containing quite a few quotes attributed to General Mattis. I had the pleasure of meeting the General a few years ago at a Rotary Club luncheon in Richland, Washington. I have a friend, Phil Lemlely, who not only volunteers with me at the food bank, but is a veteran Marine and a Richland city councilman. Phil was the Rotary Club program chairman with responsibility for arranging guest speakers at these luncheons. Phil knew that General Mattis had family in the Richland area, but no idea who or where. Phil tried contacting the General thru the Yakima Reserve Unit and Marine headquarters in Washington, D.C. He received no response in either case. One day Phil was going door to door campaigning for re-election to the Richland city council and came upon a home with a Marine Corps logo on the door. He was greeted by an elderly lady and when he asked about the logo, she replied that her son was in the Marine Corps. Phil told her that he had been in the Marine Corps 40 years ago. She said her son has been in the Marine Corps for almost 40 years. Phil asked the lady for the name of her son. She said Mattis. So you are the General's mother and she replied yes. After a few minutes, Phil explained how he had made many attempts to contact the General to have him speak at a Rotary Club luncheon. Phil thanked Mrs. Mattis and thought that was the end of it.

He left his city business card with her. Several weeks later Phil received an email from the General indicating when he would be visiting Richland and would gladly speak to the Rotary club. I attended the speech and was amazed how much information he imparted to the attendees about events in Iraq. The speech took around 45 minutes to an hour without a teleprompter and sans any "ers" or "ahs". The General also returned a second time to speak at the Rotary Club annual district 5080 conference. Phil had an opportunity to sit and talk to the General at his mom's home. He said, for an old non-com, it was an amazing experience. The memory of the General standing in front of him in his dress uniform with the stars and ribbons still sends a chill up Phil's spine. Phil still communicates with the General by email. I have urged Phil to get signed up for your newsletter and he promised to do so.

Dan Suter


Necessity Is The Mother Of Invention

Sgt Grit,

In reading some of the past articles concerning Marines making various modifications to equipment to suit their needs, I recalled a couple of small things my Dad told me when I was a teen-ager. Dad was a Pfc. with the 3rd Special Weapons Battalion, 9th Marines, 3rd Marine Division.

Growing up in Wyoming, big game hunting was an accepted way of life, especially in small towns. My first deer-hunting rifle was an old military surplus M1903 Springfield still packed in cosmoline. I think I paid a whopping $20 for it back in 1958. Dad and I sat outside his shop next to the house with a cleaning kit, rags, brushes and a large pan of gasoline (anyone who has ever gotten a rifle packed in cosmoline knows that gasoline is about the only sure way of getting all that heavy grease out). He showed me how to strip the '03 all the way down and thoroughly clean each part. This chore must have triggered some memories for as we were sitting there cleaning, he began reminiscing.

He said that on Guadalcanal in 1943, several of the Marines had removed the Springfield's floor plate and spot-soldered a BAR magazine where the floor plate was, giving them 25 rounds instead of the usual five-round clips.

On Guam in 1944, he said, many of the Japanese were drunk during their banzai attacks as the Japanese military had a vast store of liquor on Guam. With the lethal combination of extreme Japanese fanaticism as well as a belly full of liquor, they were harder to stop during an attack even after being hit. Many of the Marines took wire cutters and clipped the tips off the full metal jacket cartridges making them into "dum-dum" rounds. He said that beyond a hundred yards or so they weren't very accurate but God help anything within that range. Modifying rifle cartridges into dum-dum rounds was forbidden by the Rules of the Geneva Convention. However, the Marines agreed that none of the officials in the Geneva Convention were on Guam facing banzai attacks of screaming hordes of drunken Japanese soldiers.

Today's Marines probably wouldn't be all that interested in what our fellow Marines did 70 years ago, but it's a small part of our heritage.

Jack Wise
204xxxx


The Marine Corps Also Changed

Sgt. Grit,

When I enlisted we wore Leather Belts on our Greens (I think I still have mine somewhere) and after the War was over, sometime in the late 1940's they started issuing the cloth belts. I went home on leave about 1949 and a guy, a WWII Marine Vet, asked me why I was wearing an Officers belt on my Greens. I told him the sorry facts that with the changing world the Marine Corps also changed.

What was neat however, the Blues now had pockets on them but like my Greens Pockets I had them sewed up, (there were no rear pockets on the greens). Now I had a slim figure of a Marine, no bulges. We carried our cigarettes in one sock and our billfold in the other sock.

Funny thing after the War, don't remember exactly when but only the Corporal of the Guard and Sgt. of the Guard carried pistols, the rest of us carried cigarettes in our beautifully polished holsters. Night Sticks were carried on Guard Duty and usually they had to be in their carrier on the pistol belt.

I was doing Sentry Duty at SF Naval Shipyards at the time, a Prisoner took a Shotgun from his Marine Guard, knocked him down aimed the shotgun at his face, worked the slide and pulled the trigger with only a click coming from the shotgun.

We were then armed with pistols and shotguns and went to YBI to help chase down the armed prisoner. We found the reason the shotgun didn't go off was because of the Brass shotgun shells that are unloaded and reloaded with every changing of the Guard, the Brass shotgun shells were so bent they wouldn't function in the pump shotgun. The Prisoner was locked in Solitary Cell at Yerba Buena Naval Brig, Treasure Island, California, later sent to a Prison closest to his home.

So many prisoners were in Naval Prisons, they closed some Naval Prisons and shipped Prisoners to State Prisons near their home of record. Some interesting stories are to be had from transporting Prisoners cross country on Trains with leg irons and handcuffs, being waltzed to the Mess Car for their meals through cars with Moms and Dads holding their children away from the center aisle.

To get these prisoners transferred, Marines were sent from duty stations such as Naval Base's, places where they could adjust the Guard Roster. These were the days when our old Friend Harry Truman showed what he thought about the Marines and tried to get Congress to have only the U.S. Armed Forces which would effectively get rid of his Despised Marines. But the Commandant, a Guadalcanal Marine, made a speech that cut that cr-p off. BUT they did get the Marine Corps set at only 75,000 men could serve in our Corps at that time.

Then the North Korean's worked Old Harry over when they charged across the 38th Parallel and General MacArthur asked for a Brigade of Marines. Again the Naval Bases were stripped of Marine Guards and sent to Camp Pendleton to form the 1st Marine Brigade. Interesting also was the fact that the AWOL rate went up all over the East Coast with AWOL Marines turning themselves in at Camp Pendleton for duty with the 1st Marine Brigade.

All this happened in a space of a few years, Marines did as they have always done. Come forward to help dim the Chaos.

Is it any wonder we are admired by the World!

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Disrespect

About disrespect; I was in Nam in '68 , got out of the Corps in Jan '69, started college in 1970 at Broward Community in Ft Lauderdale. I attempted to get into a study group when some guy asked about my history. As soon as I told them, I was told NOT to get near their tables in the student union again. They said I could hang with my own kind at a table of veterans, of which there was about 5 guys at the Vets table. The other students would not talk or even acknowledge us. It got to the point where we got a kick out of saying hello to them, and having them report us to some kind of student hierarchy... screw 'em!

About 6 months later I started at The Forest Ranger School in Lake City, Florida. There were only 6 Vets in the Forestry school, we didn't fare any better there with the Community College kids. But we stuck together and held our heads high... Army, Navy and Marines. The rest of the guys in the forestry program, held us in high esteem.

Mark Gallant
USMC '66-'69
Chu Lai '68
VA Army Nat Guard '76-'79
US Army Medical Retired '80-'82
Rated 100% with the VA.


My mother was in a shopping Mall in Oklahoma City about 1969. She was approached by a young girl to sign an anti-war petition. My mother said she would not do it, her son was in Vietnam right now. The girl spit in her face. A man, a stranger, saw what happened and offered his handkerchief to help my Mom clean up.

I was in college on the GI Bill. This was early 1971. It was some kind of required social studies class. The professor asked us to fill out a personal info sheet. Military etc. was asked. I was picked to be on a 5 person panel about some non-military topic. I was set up! When the professor got to me she immediately went to Vietnam, Marine Corps etc. Interesting times, my poor mother did not deserve to be treated like that.

Sgt Grit


My Wife Quit Going

I joined the Corps in Sept 1958. I had been something of a "Smart Azs" during the 3 years I spent in High School and was "Encouraged" to consider joining the Marines, which I had the good sense to do. It's all a long story that I won't get into here. I was sworn in on 5 Sept 1958 for a 4-Year stint. I have three vivid memories of that day: The first was being one of five guys standing in front of a Marine Captain desk holding up my right arm and swearing to be a Good Marine or some such. The second was of eating my last civilian meal in a Waffle House in Macon, Georgia, where I was sworn in. The third was when our bus pulled into Parris Island around midnight that night. Three screaming guys wearing Smokey the Bear hats climbed onto the bus and started screaming their heads off at us to get off the bus QUICK! They beat the backs of the seats with their night sticks to encourage us to move rapidly. I recall that as I was stumbling off the bus I multiplied 365 times 4 and wondered what I had gotten into.

Fast forward to 2014: I go to the local Waffle House every Sept 5 or as close to that date as I can and reminisce about that fateful day in 1958. My wife quit going with me a long time ago but that's OK. She wouldn't have had anything much to do with me back in my Marine days either.

Bob M.
Sgt E-5, USMC
Sept 1958 to March 1963


Superb Actors

The X-1 and X-2 tests were questions about everything recruits had learned so far in their training. The X-1 was given at the end of the third week and the X-2 was given near the end of either the 8th week of training or 12th week of training.(Depending on the length of boot camp at the time). The questions were about the M-14, M-16, History and Traditions, First Aid, etc., etc. I don't believe the tests have the same name any more.

Almost every DI, including myself, would have each Private memorize a question when they were finished with the test because the questions were changed or re-worded all the time.

When you are finished with the test PRIVATE A--you will memorize question number one--PRIVATE B you will memorize question number 2 and so on before raising your hand to say you are finished with the test. The DI would then make copies of the new questions, provide the correct answers and give a copy to the secretary or Guide to read to the platoon whenever possible.

All recruits were supposed to be up-dated on current events and were given the time to read a Sunday newspaper during Free Time. During my second tour in 1967. The Company Commander held the first formal (third week) inspection. The C.O. stepped in front of Pvt numbnuts and asked a question about current events. Pvt numbnuts answered correctly. The C.O. then stepped in front of Pvt S---Bird and asked him who was Presley O'Bannon. The answer: Sir, I dunno, I only read the funny papers. Yes, DI's have to become superb actors to keep from laughing.

J L Stelling


You are correct, the X-1 and X-2 are no longer the name of the test given at boot camp. I am not for sure if it has changed since I went through MCRD San Diego in 2000, but during my training it was called PracApp (Practical Application).

It covered Marine Corps history and traditions, first aid, Marine Corps marksmanship history, Marine Corps and Navy ranks, General Orders, etc. The recruits that scored well on the intial PracApp test became know as our Knowledge recruits. They help everyone else in the platoon learn and memorize the material covered.

During our inspections (Company Commander, Battalion Commander) we normally we asked General Order, Marine Corps history, and Chain of Command questions. I don't recall current events being a read about or questioned.

If a recruit failed to pass the PracApp on the second go round then they would basically be tutored by the highest scoring recruits for a day or so, and then they would go back and test for a third time. I am not for sure what happened if they failed a third time... but the ever present threat from the Drill Instructors was that if you didn't pass then you would be recycled one week to another platoon. In my platoon, 2070 (Hotel Co), we all passed by the second test... no one wanted to stay any longer than they had to.

J. Williams
Sgt USMC
'00-'07


R&R Times Three Plus One

During Vietnam you got one R&R per tour. If you extended for 6 months you could come home for a month then return to do your next 6 months in country. I got 3 plus 1. I took my first R&R to Sydney, Australia. I extended, but instead of going home I asked if I could take another R&R, so I went back to Sydney. For my extension I got my third R&R, I went to Bangkok, Thailand. The plus one came in Okinawa. A Gunny from 11th Marines put a working party together to go to Okinawa and stage all the gear for the return of the 1stMarDiv sometime in '71. The gear was the seabags we each left there before getting on the bird to DaNang. So the Gunny, me a Sgt, and a working party of about 8 others was formed. We got on a C130 to Okinawa. We landed and the Gunny goes off to do what Gunny's do. He returns and says the work has been done. We can get back on the C130 we just got off of and return to DaNang, OR we can spend the allotted week in Okinawa with one stipulation. That I call him every morning at 8am with a head count that all is well. I look at my 8 Marine working party, they look like bobble head dolls nodding yes. So off we went for a free week in Okinawa.

Sgt Grit


HMR-161 and VMO-6

To GySgt. Jim McCallum:

I have been reading all your Posts on Sgt. Grit for the last two years. I thought you should get the correct info on the Marine Helicopter Squadrons such as HMR-161 and VMO-6. Due to the fact that I was in HMR-161 in Korea 1952 to 1953. VMO-6 was just down the road from HMR-161. HMR-161 was T.A.D. to the First Marine Division at that time. The fact was that we were trying to experiment with Vertical Envelopment at that time. We flew HRS-1&2 at that time. Now Helicopters are Organic to every Marine Division. HMR-161 is now HMM-161, I also was in HMM-261 at Cherry Point.

If you have any questions please contact me thru Sgt. Grit. Oh, by the way we did fly wounded to the Hospital, Repose around the clock with no GPS. at that time & flew replacements to the MLR. We supplied out Posts Vegas, Carson, & Reno also!

Semper-Fi
S/SGT. George S. Archie


The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #7, #5)

In the last paragraph of my letter of July 10th, 4th and 5th line, I said "We had a very nice conversation all the way." What I failed to tell you was that during that session she told me "My husband and I were separated in mid-June 1949 'military style'. I asked "What do you mean when you say 'military style'?" She was surprised that I did not know of this term. She said "If I had taken my son and departed, all of our friends and neighbors would have known of the split and it might have had a detrimental effect on his career. We moved into separate bedrooms, and this way nobody was the wiser. My husband will report in at his next duty station as a bachelor. My attorney filed a divorce action on the 1st of August. Now it's a countdown for two years."

Now back to my returning to the hotel. I asked the desk clerk if he had a room close to #912. He replied "Next door in 910 or 914 or across the hall?" I said "914 is okay." He said "The military rate is $10." (Kitty was quoted $20.) I told him that Mrs. C______ had a military I.D. He pulled her chart and made a notation on it. He said she will get a credit when she checks out. I went up to #914. It was more than an hour since I left her and I knew she may have gone to sleep. But I wanted to talk with her. I dialed '912'. Her line was busy. I waited about 5 minutes and tried again. Her line was still busy. I waited another 5 minutes. Her line was still busy. I called the desk and said "Mrs. C______ line has been busy since I got into my room. Can you cut in and tell her that she has an incoming call? He said "I can" - and he did. My phone rang and I picked it up. I said "Sgt Freas speaking." She asked "Where are you?" I told her what had happened and asked if she would care to continue our conversation. There was a long pause and then "I - don't - think - so!" I told her "Tell S_____ I will come by some weekend to take him to the zoo." She said "Oh, he will love that!" And as for you, Beautiful, you take good care of yourself." I told her "I am going to take a shower and do my teeth and hit the rack - that I would be dead to the world in an instant. I will leave my door unlocked. Should you change your mind you are welcome to come on over. You will have to shake me to get me awake. Good night." Within about 5 minutes I was under the covers and sawing wood.

I did not hear her open the door - or close it. I did not hear her get on the bed. But I felt something on my ear and started to open my eyes. I smelled that lovely Shalimar perfume. I looked up into those beautiful eyes. She was diagonally across the bed and kissed me on my ear. She was still wearing that white golf outfit. I got awake.

'til next week. The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


The FLIGHT LINE

Submitted By: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #9, #12 (Dec. 2019)

Part #5: (VMO-6, cont.)

The Monument in the SEMPER FIDELIS Park is shaped like an airfoils cross section and has the sixty-six (66) names on the squadron mates lost during conflicts and figures of the seven (7) different types of aircraft used by VMO-6 etched into it. The design is the work of Wayne Wright who incorporated the airfoil because it is essential to flight and it represents the core and the vitality of the squadron. The wing has been severed at it's tip and rests on edge rising from the ground. This is meant to depict the disruption of flight, the loss of life, and our eventual fall back to a place of rest, on earth. While the base of the wing is earthbound, it's tip is projected skyward suggesting the desire to rise again to the heavens. And so, through this structure we honor those squadron members who have fallen to rest on earth, but in memory and spirit still soar above the earth. A blessing was given by Chaplain Hannigan, and a wreath was laid next to the monument. A MARINE Buglar played Taps from afar, followed by a Bag Piped version of the MARINE CORPS hymn. Shortly after this a formation of three helicopters flew over the assembly, low and loud. The familiar "wop,wop,wop" of huey rotor blades brought back memories, some with smiles and some with tears.

The striking black VMO-6 monument that was dedicated during May's ceremony stands in the SEMPER FIDELIS Park at Quantico, Virginia, near the birthplace of the squadron more then 90 years prior. It represents a small but, very important part of VMO-6's history. The squadron soldiers were at the forefront of many MARINE Aviation firsts, from supplying ground forces during the Nicaraguan Campaign in the 1920's to Med-e-Vac operations in World War II. Squadron members employed MARINE helicopters tactically for the time during the Korean War, and then their armed helicopter escort operations in Vietnam paved the way for today's tactics. Although the VMO-6 squadron is inactive today, the people and their deeds haven't been forgotten.

Submitters Comments:

PLEASE remember, that I didn't write this article, I just submitted it because I thought there should be some recognition given. That credit should go to Gy/Sgt Paul Moore. Now, having said that, I might add that he gave his blessings for me to submit this to Sgt. Grit. Again, I'd like to take a minute to THANK HIM and all the members of VMO type units, plus anyone who served in one for making my job easier when I was fixing, and flying. Sometimes, we just don't get the opportunity to say THANKS enough!


In The Military

Happened to be at a wrap-up dinner for a state conference of Fire Chiefs (room, other than for the ladies, looked like a South American General's convention... one thing you can say about uniforms is that they aren't...) The usual hotel meeting room set up... head table on the dais, lectern for the speaker(s), and round tables of ten seats for the attendees... convivial group, and as usual, self-introductions to others at the table. The Chief seated to my right, sharp-looking young guy (at my age, most of the world looks 'young' to me...) gave his name, allowed that he had come into the Fire Service after a 21-year career "in the military" without mentioning branch. I smiled at him and said "you know that's a dead giveaway, don't you?... Air Force, right?" He had done that 21 years in AF crash crews (the guys who put on the Reynolds Wrap suits and walk into pools of burning jet fuel...). He admitted that indeed he had been a blue-suiter... have never seen it fail. If you were in the Army, you would say "well, I was in the Army for..." or, likewise, "when I was in the Navy" (no need to discuss Marines... if there's one in the room, he'll tell... if it's not obvious to begin with)... but AF vets invariably start out with "I was in the military"... bears truth to the saying "there's only two branches of the military... the Army and the Navy... the Air Force is a corporation, and the Marine Corps is a cult"... works for me...

Ddick


Upcoming Events

On Sunday, 21 September 2014, the Marine Corps Coordinating Council of Northern California holds its annual YOUNTVILLE "ALL MARINE DAY" BBQ AND PICNIC. It is a free event to all Marines, Marine Veterans, FMF Corpsmen, their Families and Guests in camaraderie and brotherhood.

Please see our PDF of the event and map.

The Veterans Home of California, founded in 1884, is located in the heart of scenic wine country of Napa Valley; famous for its many wineries and vineyards. (Napa Sonoma Mendocino Wineries).

If you plan on attending all we ask is to let us know you will be coming and the number in your party for sufficient food supplies.

- BBQ Tri Tip/Chicken Meal & Drinks Awards and Prizes!
- 14-Piece Live Swing Band – 40's Music
- USMC Vehicle & Weapons Display

Please contact: Using Subject Line: YOUNTVILLE "ALL MARINE DAY" BBQ AND PICNIC.

Point of Contact emails:
AllanFPCruz[at]aol.com
DonFreid1775[at]gmail.com


Short Rounds

Jack W. responded to the question by a young man "What kinda guys get to go in the Marines?" with the truth, "Son, they were the best of the very best." Jack took me on a journey back to August,1968 where my adventure into the unknown began, MCRD, Parris Island. By pondering the question, Jack gave a well-reasoned response for an impressionable young man, and future Marine, to consider.

Thank you, Jack, for the truth. Former LCpl, Forever Marine, Vietnam Veteran, David B. MCClellan. Frater Infinitas.


Mike Rummel, 2377xx, Platoon 363, MCRD San Diego, SGT - USMC - 2881. I read your story and looked up some information for you. Try looking up Battle of Chapultepec they have two pages of the battle this may help you.

CPL Lutz
USMC 1960-1964


Quotes

"Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them."
--Albert Einstein


"The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!"
--Eleanor Roosevelt, 1945.


"Be not intimidated... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice."
--John Adams (1765)


"Marines I see as two breeds, Rottweilers or Dobermans, because Marines come in two varieties, big and mean, or skinny and mean. They're aggressive on the attack and tenacious on the defense. They've got really short hair and they always go for the throat."
--RAdm. Jay R. Stark, U.S. Navy


"Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."
--Frederic Bastiat, French Economist (1801-1850)


"I have been made victorious through terror."
--Mohammad


"If I were King, I'd close Army entry training and send all future Infantry grunts to the Marines. The Corps still produces trained and disciplined soldiers who still know how to fight and make it on a killing field."
--Col. David Hackworth, USA Army (Ret), one of America's most highly decorated soldiers


"The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind."
--New Hampshire Constitution


This isn't the end of the newsletter... to improve delivery we've shortened the version that is sent to your inbox, so read the rest at our website! Next story: Disrespect...

Read more at Grunt.com


"This food isn't fit for human consumption, but it is fit for United States Marines!"

"If we weren't already crazy we would go insane!"

"May God Bless All Marines. Those That Were, Those That Are And Those That Will Be."

Fair Winds and Following Seas!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 24 JUL 2014

In this issue:
• War Souvenirs
• Super Smart, No Common Sense
• Treasure The Legacy

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Devil pup Max wearing his Grit gear

Devil pup Max on patrol at the 2014 Boston Marathon

Two photos of my grandson:

1. Maxwell Austin Charette ("Max", born 4/2/14, Boston MA) shows off his Sgt Grit gear.

2. Max on patrol (at 2 wks. old), prevents enemy activity 2014.

Ray Burrington
Cpl USMC '68-'70

Get the pictured Devil Pup gear at:

Infant's Marine Red Beanie

Infant's Marine Red Beanie

USMC Black Long Sleeve Romper

USMC Black Long Sleeve Romper


War Souvenirs

GySgt Rousseau souvenirs from time in service

GySgt Rousseau souvenirs from Vietnam

Sgt. Grit,

We all save some remnants of our service whether War Souvenir's or pictures of Past Duty we are Proud of. Because I served for 27 years I have lots of Remnants (souvenirs) and have been trying to put it all together on one wall in our home office.

Here is part of the display and I like it as it talks to me from time to time about the past and days of good and bad, showing me... ME... because that's who I was back then. I thought and looked for a long time before I decided on this, it's plain and simple with lots of information, like my PX card from "Nam, my Marine Photographer Card from Recruiting Duty and Korea, My Certificate of Honorable Service from WWII, my Bunk Listing from the ship I returned Home on after Korea.

I said it talks to me and I wonder where the time went and Sooo FAST! The gong hung from Alfa Company Office at 1st Recon in Vietnam, while I didn't serve in "A" Company I thought it a great Worth to Live By. I had the Gong made in Taipei on a visit there year or so later. The gong used in Vietnam was captured from a Viet Cong Unit.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


X-2

Dear Sgt Grit,

I went through MCRD San Diego beginning April 1967. A week or two into our time there I was tasked by the Platoon Commander to "read the 'X-2'" every time the Platoon was forming up, but waiting, during any Training Day, e.g., after chow, after Sick Bay for shots, after training sessions, PX runs, etc. The "X-2" was a compilation of tidbits from Marine Corps history that the Platoon Commander (presumably on behalf of the Corps, but no one else seems to remember such an event or document outside of my Platoon) wanted us to know.

After I read it to the Platoon, those already in formation had to recite it back to me, and then I went on to the next fact. The one that has always stuck in my mind was to the effect: "The red stripe on the trousers of the Marine Dress uniform stands for the blood shed by Marines at the Battle of Chapultepec." I've tried for years to obtain a copy, but no one I've ever contacted remembers this document, which was typed on plain paper, with each fact numbered, and then mimeographed or photocopied for use by the Platoon. Do any of your readers remember this document? Is it possible to obtain a copy?

Mike Rummel
2377xxx, Platoon 363
20 April to 21 June 1967
MCRD San Diego
SGT, USMC, 2881


All-Terrain Chair

Jerry with his family around his all-terrain chair

Jerry closing width in his all-terrain chair

I have an 11th Marines Nam buddy who was just 'given' an All-Terrain Chair. The picture show Cpl Jerry Hodge, his wife, Beth and Chuck and Annette Lee who delivered the vehicle to him. Jerry heard about them, applied and in a fairly short time got his chair\vehicle. He can now go hunting with his grandkids and other outdoor activities.

I'd not heard of the organization until Jerry excitedly mentioned it. Thought some of you might want to look into the organization.

http://independencefund.org/

Semper Fi, Jerry, you're a good friend, and I know this has been a real blessing to you.

Sgt Grit


USMC 239th Birthday KA-BAR


Super Smart, No Common Sense

Remember that after I lost my father, I was real depressed - and my mom tried to be a mother and a father to me (good intention - but bad move) parents should be parents not friends too!

I was a real nervous - mixed up kid - (she sent me to sleep away camp in North Carolina) for one summer - big mistake - was not ready for it.

Hey Pal - got laid in high school - big deal for me - even as slow as I WAS - was not a great student - but a few teachers inspired me - one biology teacher and a math teacher as well - grades in school - like breathing and firing rapid fire on the range - some bulls eyes - but no groupings.

Marine Corps was my last hurrah - as if I did not make it - I was suicidal if I washed out. Had a lot of problems - was put back - and wound up with an old timer had stripes of a gunny with no crossed rifles! Think he was an old Tech Sgt - before structure changed. He called me in his office and spoke to me firmly - but softly - he was aware of my problems and what type of (sh-tbird) I could end up - but he said he did not care what transpired before I got there to his Platoon, but I was now at a clean slate with God as he saw it - and it was in my hands if I advanced or failed - he said he would not put me back - but break me and send me out in a strait jacket as a babbling idiot - he read my record and said I had one of the highest GCT scores in the whole series - and I was super-smart - but no f-cking common sense - and no backbone or espirit de Corps - as he said - I was told to help others that were not as smart as I was - I tutored the weaker and drilled them on book knowledge needed to advance - and "Lo and Behold", was a quick learner once I got my head out of my azs - I could disassemble and assemble a rifle blindfolded as fast as anybody - and got stamina - and a set of balls - and pride in myself eventually as well.

As graduation was over a Protestant Chaplain named Father Leckie? asked me to address a group of misfits in P O U - they stood in their underwear and had a guard on each hatchway to prevent escaping - and a Corpsman was on duty with a big ape Sgt. (looked like Bluto). I addressed them as I told them I had problems at first - and how I finished the final run with 2 backpacks - and 2 rifles - and dragging a recruit over the finish line in less than allotted time allowed - and how we finished as a platoon.

My Senior DI - a Gunny - as we were released as Platoon 367 - (he called us girls during our boot training - today he said, "Ladies fall out!, that was one of my proudest moments!

Semper Fi,
Bruce Bender
1963-1967 CPL
Vietnam Era Marine


Until You Die

I know all you Marines out there have some souvenirs of your time in the Corps stashed away in your footlocker at home or wherever. Here is one to think about. About 35 years or so after I graduated from boot camp (Plt 201, Parris Island, April 3, 1973) I began to think about my drill instructors and how much they had instilled the love of God, Country, and Corps into us recruits and how tough their job must have been. So, I decided to try and contact my Senior Drill Instructor, MGySgt Charles "Herbie" Hartzo. I used the Marine locator via HQMC in Washington, wrote a letter to him which HQMC forwarded to him for me. He replied to my letter and we re-established a relationship, although not as intense as our previous one had been! Three years ago he called and said he was driving through Texas and wanted to stop and spend the night, drink some beer, etc. to which I replied with a very enthusiastic Aye Aye! He and his girlfriend did stop, we ate, drank, and talked into the wee hours of the morning. It was actually pretty terrific to do so. Anyway, he promised that they would be passing through again next year, but very close to the time they were supposed to come out, I suddenly got a call from his girlfriend and his daughter that he had a massive heart attack and was in the hospital in Atlanta and not expected to survive. Indeed, he did not. My wife and I drove from Texas to Atlanta, GA to attend his funeral. While we were there and while trying figure out who was going to get what as far as kids/grandkids and his belongings, his daughter and girlfriend presented to me to keep "until you die and then we would like to have it back", my Senior Drill Instructors Campaign Cover (his "Smokey the Bear).

Now, how many of you Marines out there can say they have their SDI's actual campaign cover in their footlocker, or in my case, mounted in a display case? Let's hear about your favorite souvenir that you have out there!

Semper Fi,
SSgt Bob Tollison


Everyone Needs A Hero

Sgt. Grit,

In the July 10th, 2014 - Sgt. Grit Newsletter a story was submitted titled "Kicked out of the Marine Corps" and was just signed "Semper Fi". The writer said she joined the Women Marines. When a person enlists in the Corps (it's just that) it's "I joined the Marine Corps not Women Marines".

The story appears to have been written by a female who claimed to have gone to the Marine Corps OCS (Officer Candidate School), but washed out. In the story she mentions that Women Marines (WMs) were almost unheard of in 1972. Not true, along my side in 1972 were my five very competent female Marine counterparts doing the same work as I did in the Corps. We were assigned to CommCenter, 1st Svc Battalion, First Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, California. These fellow Marines served our Corps with pride and honor.

The author also claims to have been "kicked out" of the Corps. No one is "kicked out" of the Marine Corps unless they really screw up. If they cannot muster academics or the physical portion of any school, class, or assignment then they are professionally discharged with respect and not just "kicked out".

She also claims or mentions to have a high IQ and obviously seems very proud of this and mentions it several times. If this is true then she did not pass the physical agility portion of OSC. Marines are not kicked out of the Corps because they have a high IQ. A GT (General Technical Skills), measures ones word knowledge, paragraph comprehension, and arithmetic reasoning (AR). I know of no Marine who was "kicked out" because they had a high GT score on their ASVAB test. People who cannot cut the Marine Corps for whatever reason go into other branches of the military services as she did. She said one Marine was assigned to her Army unit and did an Army mission. Wrong again, no Marine does an Army mission, they do a Marine mission! A Marine may be TAD to an Army mission, but they are doing a Marine mission by being there.

There is no comparison to Marine Corps General Smedley D. Butler with any Army General as she did. General Smedley Darlington Butler is a Marine General and therefore cannot be compared with or to any Army General. I am glad General Butler is her hero. Everyone needs a hero in their life. General Butler was a step ahead of any officer in any other branch of the service in the history of the US military.

I am sorry to tell the writer she is not a former Marine as she never completed anything offered by the United States Marine Corps. A former Marine title is only given to Marines who have been discharged under honorable conditions.

Semper Fidelis (Latin for always faithful) has been used for many years by many different people and groups of military units. It was coined in Europe and therefore can be seen on many family and military coat of arms. However, in America and the US military, Semper Fidelis is well known to everyone as a Marine Corps saying. A saying used by Marines and Navy Corpsmen assigned to a Marine unit. Semper Fi for a Marine means we are faithful to God, Corps, and Country (not necessarily in this order). I think the Army uses "go Army"!

She is right in that all US military members do fight under one flag, but the Marine Corps stands alone when it comes to their culture, history, honor, respect, and abilities. I am not trying to discredit or discourage her to write more letters. I am just trying to set the record straight from what she is struggling to say in her first installment of letters to the editor.

I do respect and thank her for her service in the U.S. Army to our country.

Steve G.
Sgt of Marines
1972-1978


Scrambled Brute

Upon reading Cpl. Selders letter regarding the inspection he and his platoon stood in 11/60 for Gen Shoup and Gen Krulak it brought memories of my recruit platoon 311 at MCRD San Diego to the forefront. As the Honor Platoon we stood an inspection by the Battalion Commanding Officer of MCRD in May 1961 and low and behold he was accompanied by Gen. Krulak who was the CO of MCRD at the time. He made a special point of taking his time with my inspection in as much as I was the Honor Man. All you could see was the brim of his barracks cover which "scrambled eggs" galore, it seemed like an eternity for him to satisfy himself of my being "squared away" and ready to join his beloved Corps. Fruit salad covered his chest unlike any I saw previously or thereafter.

What a rush it was for a raw Marine to be in the presence of a Corps legendary hero. I was in awe and still to this day feel so honored to have had that moment in my life.

Dwaine Goodwin
Cpl. 1961-1966


Plan To Jump

Sgt Grit,

My name is Peter JUISTO, 1444xxx, retired Gunnery Sergeant, USMC. I totally agree with all the opinions noted in this email. I just turned 80 yrs. old & plan to jump out of an airplane in the middle of August. I have my 2 sons, ages 43 & 34, my granddaughter, 18 yrs. old joining me. To add to that, a newspaper reporter is also making the jump with me. Notification was made to two TV stations & they will cover me with cameras & give me an on camera interview... many of my friends will attend & support the event. I'm trying to inspire people my age to leave the TV "REMOTE" behind & get out of the house. Too many seniors are spending much of their time as a "COUCH POTATO"... To all my MARINES out there... USMC FOREVER... OOoooRAH/SEMPER FI...

Gy JUISTO


What Kinda Guys Go In The Marines?

Sgt Grit,

I had what I felt was an interesting thought the other day at the supermarket when my wife and I had gone grocery shopping. She informed me she wanted to look at a few other things and that I should go sit somewhere for a few minutes (translation: get lost for a while). I pushed our loaded shopping cart to a wooden bench in the entryway where a slight air-conditioned breeze from inside the store wafted through. I sat, removed my utility cover, mopped my brow with a handkerchief, and wondered how long she would be diddling around 'looking at other things'. I put my cover back on and tried to get comfortable, as much as my arthritis on a hard wooden bench would allow. I dug out my crossword puzzle book.

"Hey, Mister, were you... umm... like, a Marine?" I turned to see a young boy of maybe eight or ten year's old standing near the end of my bench clutching a soccer ball. Maybe he thought all old Marines were miserable grouches. "Yes, son, I sure was," I said with a smile, "a long time ago". He was wide-eyed. "Cool! Were you then like, in World War Two 'er somethin'? Did'ja win any medals?" "Son, I'm old, but I'm not quite that old!" I said laughing, "I was in the Marine Corps in 1963. Not much older than you are now. The only medal I won was for Expert Rifleman, but a lot of guys got those." "My grampa was in the Vietnam War," he said plopping down on the end of the bench, "he was a Marine too." "Oh, well then, tell your grampa another old Marine said 'Semper Fi!" "Oh," the kid said, "I can't, he's dead." "Geez, kid, I'm really sorry." "Oh, that's okay. He died a long time ago. He was way cool! Hey, can I ask you somethin'?" "Sure! What do you want to know?" "What kinda guys get to go in the Marines? Do ya gotta like, be really tough 'er sumpthin'?" "Well..." his question caught me off guard for a moment. I was about to give a stock answer for his question: only the best of the very best get to be Marines. Immediately, I thought about the men of Platoon 275 a little over 51 years ago. Men? We were just mainstream American boys. Most of us were immature adolescents barely out of puberty packed into the bus from San Diego International Airport to Marine Corps Recruit Depot. We were anxious and sweating, trying to be cool and impress our peers with nervous chatter. Someone farted loudly and everyone tee-heed. We tried hard not to show our fear and apprehension for the Big Unknown looming just minutes ahead.

I distinctly remember some loudmouth telling us, "Hey, man! All you gotta do is just show those sergeants you ain't takin' no sh-t from 'em an' they'll leave you alone! Guar-an-teed!" He sounded rather experienced and while I heard his advice, I considered myself fortunate I didn't act on it. In fact, I never saw anyone who did. It is difficult to be a tough guy with two large NCO's screaming at the top of their lungs in your ears.

Most of us were fresh out of high school and several were high school dropouts. There were three whom a judge had ordered, "Go in the Marine Corps or go to jail!" A few Don Juan types tried to convince of us they were God's gift to women. A couple others argued incessantly over the coolest way to customize a '57 Chevy. Some had been quite popular in high school; a class president, one of the starting five on the basketball team and another told us he was the captain of the football team in his school. Some saw themselves as tough bad-azzes and one loner told us in heavily accented English he was a 'Pachuco' in some LA gang.

We had 'fraidy-cats, cowards, bullies and two who immediately endeared themselves to everyone by being complete azsholes. We ranged in size from 120-pound, five-foot-six feathermerchants to 250-pound lard-azzes at six-feet-six with every size in between, including scrawny kids and those with a roll of flab around their middle. Many of these lard-azzes would end up at the "Fat Farm" on a near-starvation diet of greens and PT'd to the point of exhaustion.

Several were the "nerdy" type, although the term "nerd" didn't exist in 1963 that I'm aware. Perhaps these nerds had been bullied in school and joined the Marines to learn how to be tough. One guy was a super brain in that he seemed to know something about everything. Some were bookworms but others were dumber than boxes of doorknobs. There were the ignorant, the shy, the timid and the dumb-azzes. Three of the recruits couldn't write their own names while another had two years of college and at 21-years old, he would be dubbed "the old man" of Platoon 275. Many were perpetual screw-ups whom the DI's tagged as "Sh-tbirds". Some thought of themselves as hilarious comedians and others had the sense of humor of a truckload of manure. There was one very odd guy everyone thought had read too many Superman comic books. One was a well-mannered, meek, soft-spoken and small-framed lad who was always cleaning his thick glasses. He would be the platoon's high shooter scoring a 234 on Record Day. Several others had all the savoir-faire and refinement of Neanderthals. Some were oafs, or boneheads or birdbrains who could screw up a free lunch. Several came out of poverty-stricken homes or the ghettos arriving at MCRD wearing the only ragged clothes they owned. We had egocentrics, athletes and one man whose family were multi-millionaires. He told us he enlisted to get out from under their rigid control.

There were a couple amateur crooks, thieves, shoplifters, thugs, guys with prior records trying to get a fresh start, religious zealots, "Honest Abe's", liars, bullsh-tters, racists, and gamblers. In the civilian world, we had been grocery store clerks, hamburger flippers, farmers, mechanics, construction workers, gas pumpers, carpenters, laborers, plumbers, cowboys, food store stockers, janitors, miners, workers in family-owned businesses or unemployed. In fact one man told us he enlisted because his unemployment ran out.

Some were fanatical neatniks while others were slobs delighting in squalor. The slobs would soon clash with the DI's and will lose. Some were puny, bad-postured and sickly-looking and one very well-muscled weightlifter. Oddly enough, the weightlifter nearly failed the PT test. A handful were mentally strong and were destined to become good NCO's and officers while others appeared on the verge of breaking down in tears. Some actually did. There were hard-hearted and softhearted ones, the merciless and cruel, the generous and kind, spendthrifts and misers. One or two were movie-star handsome, but whose beautiful wavy hair would end up on the barber's floor along with everyone else's. Other guys were plain b-tt ugly, plagued with rampaging acne, buck-teeth and near-sightedness. A few were devout pacifists and others who loved to pick fights.

We were from a dozen ethnic origins. I heard subtle accents from geographic background as varied as their personalities; New England nasal twangs, the 'yawl' of the southern states, the slow speech from the west, the omnipresent "eh?" of the northern states along the Canadian border. Two Latinos spoke Spanish softly to one another the entire trip. Several had accents of first and second generation Latinos, Germans, Latvians, French-Canadians, Ethiopians, Chinese, Japanese, Czechs, Samoans and Italians. One young man with a thick brogue had been a Catholic priest in Ireland and had left the church to join the Marine Corps. It was anyone's guess as to why. Our skin pigmentations ranged from milk-white Scandinavian to Ivory Coast black. Nonetheless, we were all American kids and for the most part were pretty good guys.

We were identical to the thousands of other recruits arriving at any of the Army, Navy or Air Force recruit training bases. However, the Marine recruits began a marked difference from the other services' recruits within mere seconds upon arrival at MCRD. This marked difference would be immediate and by no means subtle. With the loud hiss of the air brakes, the bus stopped in front of Receiving Barracks. I braced myself. I was sure now was when some husky, rock-jawed sergeant would board the bus, giving us the old John Wayne evil-eye and administer a five minute 'Gung Ho' speech that we would become Marines because we had a big job to do defending our country against the enemy—whoever they might be. Not even close.

The door swished open and a tall, thin Marine Sergeant in a Smokey Bear hat pulled low over his eyes jumped aboard and immediately roared out just ten words that rattled every corner of the bus: "You People Get Your Stupid Azzes Off My F-cking Bus!" I was terrified! It was not supposed to be like this! In a space of four seconds, I came to the full realization that every scrap of information I had gleaned from Marine books and movies went right out the window. As one of the recruits shot past me heading for the door, I noted with grim satisfaction it was the same guy who had told us, "Don't take no sh-t from the sergeants and they will leave you alone!" He was as white as a sheet. We had arrived at the portals of the United States Marine Corps from which there would be no going back. Ever. Oh, dear God, what have I done?

I looked back at the young man sitting on the end of the bench awaiting my answer to his question; "What kinda guys get to go in the Marines?" "Son," I said, "they were the best of the very best."

Jack W.
204XXXX


Treasure The Legacy

2014 National Code Talkers Day

Navajo Code Talkers Day

The Navajo Code Talkers whose ranks exceeded 400 during the course of World War II in the Pacific Theater took part in every assault the United States Marines conducted from 1942 to 1945. They served in all six Marine divisions, Marine Raider battalions and Marine parachute units, transmitting messages by telephone and radio in their native language -- a code that the Japanese never broke. The Navajo Code Talkers served in the United States Marine Corps for America and for the world with integrity.

It took 37 years for the United States government to acknowledge the war efforts of the Navajo Code Talkers in World War II, when President Ronald Reagan in 1982 designated August 14 as National Navajo Code Talkers Day.

On August 14, 2014, the Descendants of the Navajo Code Talkers will commemorate the legacy of these brave young Navajo men who answered the call to duty and helped devise the unbreakable and undecipherable military code based on the Navajo language only spoken on Navajo lands and most importantly assisted the United States win battle after battle as it fought to retake the Pacific from the Japanese. During World War II, when secret orders had to be given over the phone these boys talked to one another in Navajo. Practically noone in the world understood Navajo, an unwritten language of extreme complexity, except another Navajo. The code that was developed was so complex that not even another Navajo taken prisoner by the Japanese and under threat of torture could penetrate it. Their code was reliable and secure.

It is important that the accomplishment of this group of men is never forgotten because it was their language that changed the tide of the war. These Marines were young boys when they enlisted and some of them lied about their age. If it weren't for them, the United States would not have won World War II. Battle-ready radiomen were still being produced when Japan surrendered in August 1945. August 14 is a reminder of the importance of the Navajo language and the code talker legacy. They saved thousands and thousands of Marines in World War II. On Iwo Jima, Navajo Code Talkers transmitted messages from the beach todivision and Corps commands afloat early on D-day, and after the division commands came ashore from division ashore to Corps afloat. "Were it not for the Navajo Code Talkers, the Marines would never have taken Iwo Jima and other places."

The courage of these warriors and the extraordinary value of their wartime service to our Nation will always be honored. Language is the most effective means we have to transmit values, beliefs, and collective memories from one generation to the next. "We need to preserve our language, culture and traditions." We must work to preserve the rich, ancient languages used to preserve our freedom... Let us treasure their legacy.

On National Navajo Code Talkers Day, all Americans are encouraged to join in commemorating the Navajo Code Talkers, a National Treasure, by taking a moment to pray for all our war heroes and the brave military men and women who protect all our people, our freedom and our land today.

Parade (staging at Navajo Nation Museum Parking Lot) will start at 9:15 a.m. If you will be in the parade, please arrive no later than 8:30 a.m. A welcome prayer will be held at 9:00 a.m. Parade ends at Memorial Park. The parade is free and open to all veterans, auxiliary members, color guards and marching units, and the wearing of uniforms is encouraged.

At approximately 10:00 a.m., the commemoration ceremony, held at Navajo Veterans' Park, will begin with presentation of colors, wreath laying, remembrance/reverence and speeches. Lunch will be provided.

Gourd dance is scheduled.

To enter the parade, please contact Michael 928-871-6763.

For further information or updates, please monitor Facebook page "Our Navajo Code Talkers".


Called Double Teaming

Been following the hearing problem stories. I will throw in my 2 cents. Rifle and pistol ranges many times; no hearing protection available; offered, or recommended. 11th Marines 105 battery many months of 4 days a week in the field (FDC & FO radio operator) at a minimum listening to 105s, 155s, 8 inchers, and 4.2s fire round after round. Air Wing MCAS Yuma and days working at the end of the runways on radar gear while A4s, F4s, F8s etc. roared off 1, 2, 4 at a time in full AB. BTW, how about us Hollywood Marines living just off the San Diego Lindbergh field and jet after jet! Did I mention that the Electronics school at MCRD was right at the end of the same runways at Lindbergh field! My ears are toast. They started ringing almost from day 1. I do not remember any hearing tests ever; but I am old.

Been going to the VA for health care for years. About 3 years ago my Doc asked my wife (who goes with me to the DOC to keep me honest) if there were any issues she wanted to have checked that I had not mentioned. No giggling; it has happened to most of you! My wife told the Doc that I can't hear a d-mn thing. BTW my primary care Doc was a female; she immediately (it is called double teaming and is a despicable act!) did a referral to audiology. The ear Doc confirmed that I was just shy of deaf. She informs me that I will be getting hearing aids. I asked what is this going to cost (so I could tell my wife we couldn't afford the fix as my excuse for NO hearing aids)? I also informed her that I was not service connected disabled or a combat vet. The ear Doc told me that it made no difference because Bush had signed a bill in 2008 that guaranteed any vet the needs hearing aids gets them. I did not pay a dime period, and I have to admit that I should have done this long ago.

For you guys that need 'em I would surely check into this. I and many of my friends have had the same results, so I assume the DOC was not sh-----g me.

Wayne Mailhiot 1980XXX
MCRDSD Plt. 175 C Co. 1st BN. RTR Sept 1961-Dec. 1961
C Co. 1st BN., 2nd ITR, Camp Pendleton Dec 14- Feb 2, 1962
H-3-11 2531 Fld. Radio operator Camp Pendleton Mar. 1962-Feb 1963
Comm-Elect School Bn. Mar 1963-Jan 1964
Aviation Radar Technician AN/TPS37 MACS 1 MCAS Yuma, AZ Jan 1964-Dec
1964
TAD Comm-Elect School Bn. Dec 1964-Mar 1965
5941 Aviation Radar Technician AN/TPS34 MACS 1 MCAS Yuma, AZ Mar
1965-Jan 1966
Honorably Discharged 17 Jan 1966


Marine Ink Of The Week

Eagle, Globe and Anchor

Gold Eagle, Globe, and Anchor with USMC underneath.

Submitted by Gregg Morgan


55 Years

Sgt. Grit,

while on vacation in South Carolina 11 July 2014 had the pleasure of visiting MCRD, Parris Island. It has been almost 55 years ago - December 1958 that Platoon 347, 3rdBn. graduated. One of my sons, son-in-law and two grandsons attended graduation of six platoons. The Marine band was awesome -- what a fantastic display. Every Marine should make an effort to see today's graduation service.

Was also surprised to see how PFC stripes are awarded by meritorious promotion by referring qualified applicants for enlistment to their recruiter. A PFC requires only two referrals for promotion to lance corporal.

Cpl David A. LeVine 16900XX 2531


The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #7, #4)

I opened the door and got out. I got back in - upside down - with my shoulders on the foot pedals and my legs over the back of the seat. I was looking up behind the dash. I could see the bulb that was flickering - and two others that were hanging down. I pushed each of them into their sockets. Kitty exclaimed "Oh, my God, the dash is beautiful; maybe I will learn to like this tank after all." I got up and said I was going to get some fresh air. She joined me and asked "How did you learn to do that?" I said "It just took a wee, little bit of intelligence to figure it out. I guess it was something your husband must not have had." She said "I agree with that." I then told her "I did not complain about your perfume. It had permeated my head and I could not figure out what it was. That is one I had never smelled before. I knew Chanel No.5 and the one that made my girlfriend a 'Supermodel' - Prince Matchabelli, but not the one you are wearing. It is really quite nice. I like it. What is it?" She said "It is Shalimar. I'm glad you like it. I will use it whenever we are together." I said "I hope that's often! Now get closer so I can smell it some more." She moved closer and I put my arms around her. I said "Now, give me a kiss." She pulled away and said "Not now." We got back into the car - and she moved right back against me - as before. She kissed me on my ear and said "That's for fixing the dash." We headed north.

I said "it's 2200 - and I have to get you up to Garfield St, catch a taxi to Union Station and be on board the Midniter before 2400. We crossed the 14th St Bridge at exactly 2300. She said "If you take me up to Garfield St. you'll never make it to the train on time. Take me to the Ambassador Hotel. I'll go home from there in the morning. I did as she suggested. We were at the hotel at 2320. She checked in. I got her into room #912 by 2330. I put my arms around her and pulled her close. She thanked me for a wonderful trip and we had one, big, long heavenly kiss. I started to leave and she said "Let's have another one of those." We did. I had to go. I reached the ticket agent about 2350 and told him "One to 30th St Station on the last train out." He had pushed the button when I told him my destination and the ticket shot out as he made change. He said "You'll have to run fast. The last train left at 11:00 o'clock. I said "The Railway Guide says it leaves at midnight." He said that after the Guide went to press the Midniter was cancelled. He said the next train leaves at 3:00 AM - and the hourly trains resume at 6:00 AM. I took the ticket and told him I would decide which one I would take. I called home and told my Dad that he could go to bed - the train was cancelled. I suggested that he meet me at 9:00 AM - and maybe he could bring Mom along for the ride. He said "Okay!" I returned to the Ambassador; checked into Room #914.

'til next week. The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


The FLIGHT LINE

Submitted By: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #9, #11 (Nov 2019)

Part # 4: (VMO-6, cont.)

During the later part of 1966, VMO-6 received the O-1 "Bird Dogs" and subsequently OV-10 Broncos fixed wing aircraft to carry out observation and forward air control duties, freeing the Huey helicopters from those roles. In May,1969, VMO-6 set a monthly record of 3,191.7 flying hours averaging over 100 hours per day between Huey, Bird Dog and Bronco Aircraft. This was the apex of the squadrons combat activity though, for later that year, during September and October, the squadron was movef to Okinawa, Japan due to President Nixon's draw down plan of U.S. Troop assets in Vietnam. For the next five (5) years VMO-6's Broncos trained MARINES in Japan, ready to return to combat, if needed. The call never happened, and on Jan. 1, 1977 , VMO-6 was deactivated, it's personnel and aircraft absorbed into other units.

VMO-6's memorial service and monument dedication ceremony at Quantico, Virgina commenced on Thursday, May 17th, 2012. A large group of Vietnam Veterans with many of the families and friends joined several relatives of deceased squadron members at the National MARINE CORPS museum. The first part of the ceremony was held inside of the building, in it's main atrium. Behind the speakers podium was a Sikorsky HRS-1 helicopter, the type used in the Korean War two years after the ground breaking work that VMO-6 performed with early helicopters in 1950. Nearby a truly historic VMO-6 helicopter is displayed. helicopter is displayed, the actual UH-1E helicopter that Capt Stephen Pless flew when he received the Congressional Medal of Honor over the entrance to the museums Vietnam Gallery.

Retired MARINE Colonel and former VMO-6 Helicopter Pilot Larry Wright served as the Master of Ceremonies with the local MARINE CORPS Base Quantico Color Guard and MARINE Band supporting the program. Navy Chaplain John Hannigan gave the opening invocation before MARINE Brigadier General Michael Rosco recounted some key moments in MARINE aviation history and reminded those assembled that the reason for MARINE Aviation is to support the troops on the ground.

Then three former VMO-6 members, Larry Wright, Dave Bushlow, and Red Trivette read the names of the sixty-six (66) squadron members who were lost in combat, grouped together by the conflict that they died in. After each group of names were read, a MARINE rang a bell three times in a time honored salute. The indoor ceremony was concluded with a prayer of remembrance and ceremonial music.

The program continued outside the museum after the attendees walked in a long line behind Bag-Piper Norm Weaver to the black granite VMO-6 monument in the adjacent SEMPER FIDELIS Memorial Park.


Short Rounds

Cpl. Hetland,

Looking for Plt.56---1957, Graduation book for the wife of a Marine, who lost her husband.

Please email me at: cplhet200[at]gmail.com

Semper Fi, Sgt. Grit!

T.E.H.


The recent mailbag had a contribution about 'stories we could tell'. I guess every Marine has lots of stories and that reminded me of what some now-long-forgotten instructor taught us early on in flight school. Question was: What's the difference between a sea story and a fairy tale? A fairy tale starts out, Once upon a time... A sea story starts out, This is a no-sh-tter...

Bob Foley
Former F-4 RIO


I wish to chime in on the "Hearing the Phantom Sounds" article in your 7/17/14 newsletter. I too was an 0331 & served with 3/7 & 3/5 near LZ Ross & LZ Baldy in '69. I loss some of my hearing & failed several hearing tests when leaving the Corps. No big deal – Everything I did in the Corps I'd do it all over again.

Keep up the good work, Grit. I'll make sure I stop by & see you when I'm in Oklahoma City.

Corporal John P. Sitek
2630xxx


I'd like stories from Marines that are first person accounts of their being disrespected, spit on or attacked by civilians who hold the military in contempt, and how they responded."

Robert A. Hall
Former SSgt, USMC


Quotes

General Mattis Quote

This quote by Gen. James Mattis reads: "When I was a young officer in 1979, I toured what was known as "The Killing Fields" in Cambodia. This is the area where the Khmer Rouge killed off nearly a quarter of the Cambodian population, something like 1.9 million people in just a few years. My guide told me that they started by rounding up all of the teachers. They wanted to extinguish free thought, and the spark of questioning and dissent. Because, to a Totalitarian dictator, an open and inquisitive mind is more dangerous even than a Marine with a rifle."


"In the United States, as soon as a man has acquired some education an pecuniary resources, he either endeavors to get rich by commerce or industry, or he buys land in the bush and turns pioneer. All that he asks of the state is, not to be disturbed in his toil, and to be secure of his earnings."
--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America [1835]


"Entirely satisfied if we gave 100% And entirely dissatisfied if we gave 99% And those [noncommissioned officers] taught us the great pleasure of doing what others thought impossible."

"So long as our Corps fields such Marines, America has nothing to fear from tyrants, be they Fascists, Communists or Tyrants with Medieval Ideology. For we serve in a Corps with no institutional confusion about our purpose: To fight! To fight well!"

"Now this award can never be mine – And because we are members of the same tribe, every one of you knows what I will say next... For I am grateful & humbled to be singled out with you tonight."

"For to Marines, love of liberty is not an empty phrase... Rather it's displayed by blood, sweat and tears for the fallen."
--General James (MadDog) Mattis


"Courage is knowing what not to fear."
--Plato


All the Constitution Guarantees is the Pursuit of Happiness..."
--Benjamin Franklin


"PT is strictly mind over matter, I don't mind and you don't matter."

"Close it up, Move it. Azzholes to elbows. Close it up."

"The more we sweat in peace, the less we bleed in war."

"Dinosaur Rule"... "Adapt or Die!" "You will adapt, or you will answer to me. Do you understand you bunch of low-life roots?"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 24 JUL 2014

In this issue:
• War Souvenirs
• Super Smart, No Common Sense
• Treasure The Legacy

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Two photos of my grandson:

1. Maxwell Austin Charette ("Max", born 4/2/14, Boston MA) shows off his Sgt Grit gear.

2. Max on patrol (at 2 wks. old), prevents enemy activity 2014.

Ray Burrington
Cpl USMC '68-'70

Get the pictured Devil Pup gear at:

Infant's Marine Red Beanie

USMC Black Long Sleeve Romper


War Souvenirs

Sgt. Grit,

We all save some remnants of our service whether War Souvenir's or pictures of Past Duty we are Proud of. Because I served for 27 years I have lots of Remnants (souvenirs) and have been trying to put it all together on one wall in our home office.

Here is part of the display and I like it as it talks to me from time to time about the past and days of good and bad, showing me... ME... because that's who I was back then. I thought and looked for a long time before I decided on this, it's plain and simple with lots of information, like my PX card from "Nam, my Marine Photographer Card from Recruiting Duty and Korea, My Certificate of Honorable Service from WWII, my Bunk Listing from the ship I returned Home on after Korea.

I said it talks to me and I wonder where the time went and Sooo FAST! The gong hung from Alfa Company Office at 1st Recon in Vietnam, while I didn't serve in "A" Company I thought it a great Worth to Live By. I had the Gong made in Taipei on a visit there year or so later. The gong used in Vietnam was captured from a Viet Cong Unit.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


X-2

Dear Sgt Grit,

I went through MCRD San Diego beginning April 1967. A week or two into our time there I was tasked by the Platoon Commander to "read the 'X-2'" every time the Platoon was forming up, but waiting, during any Training Day, e.g., after chow, after Sick Bay for shots, after training sessions, PX runs, etc. The "X-2" was a compilation of tidbits from Marine Corps history that the Platoon Commander (presumably on behalf of the Corps, but no one else seems to remember such an event or document outside of my Platoon) wanted us to know.

After I read it to the Platoon, those already in formation had to recite it back to me, and then I went on to the next fact. The one that has always stuck in my mind was to the effect: "The red stripe on the trousers of the Marine Dress uniform stands for the blood shed by Marines at the Battle of Chapultepec." I've tried for years to obtain a copy, but no one I've ever contacted remembers this document, which was typed on plain paper, with each fact numbered, and then mimeographed or photocopied for use by the Platoon. Do any of your readers remember this document? Is it possible to obtain a copy?

Mike Rummel
2377xxx, Platoon 363
20 April to 21 June 1967
MCRD San Diego
SGT, USMC, 2881


All-Terrain Chair

I have an 11th Marines Nam buddy who was just 'given' an All-Terrain Chair. The picture show Cpl Jerry Hodge, his wife, Beth and Chuck and Annette Lee who delivered the vehicle to him. Jerry heard about them, applied and in a fairly short time got his chair\vehicle. He can now go hunting with his grandkids and other outdoor activities.

I'd not heard of the organization until Jerry excitedly mentioned it. Thought some of you might want to look into the organization.

http://independencefund.org/

Semper Fi, Jerry, you're a good friend, and I know this has been a real blessing to you.

Sgt Grit


Super Smart, No Common Sense

Remember that after I lost my father, I was real depressed - and my mom tried to be a mother and a father to me (good intention - but bad move) parents should be parents not friends too!

I was a real nervous - mixed up kid - (she sent me to sleep away camp in North Carolina) for one summer - big mistake - was not ready for it.

Hey Pal - got laid in high school - big deal for me - even as slow as I WAS - was not a great student - but a few teachers inspired me - one biology teacher and a math teacher as well - grades in school - like breathing and firing rapid fire on the range - some bulls eyes - but no groupings.

Marine Corps was my last hurrah - as if I did not make it - I was suicidal if I washed out. Had a lot of problems - was put back - and wound up with an old timer had stripes of a gunny with no crossed rifles! Think he was an old Tech Sgt - before structure changed. He called me in his office and spoke to me firmly - but softly - he was aware of my problems and what type of (sh-tbird) I could end up - but he said he did not care what transpired before I got there to his Platoon, but I was now at a clean slate with God as he saw it - and it was in my hands if I advanced or failed - he said he would not put me back - but break me and send me out in a strait jacket as a babbling idiot - he read my record and said I had one of the highest GCT scores in the whole series - and I was super-smart - but no f-cking common sense - and no backbone or espirit de Corps - as he said - I was told to help others that were not as smart as I was - I tutored the weaker and drilled them on book knowledge needed to advance - and "Lo and Behold", was a quick learner once I got my head out of my azs - I could disassemble and assemble a rifle blindfolded as fast as anybody - and got stamina - and a set of balls - and pride in myself eventually as well.

As graduation was over a Protestant Chaplain named Father Leckie? asked me to address a group of misfits in P O U - they stood in their underwear and had a guard on each hatchway to prevent escaping - and a Corpsman was on duty with a big ape Sgt. (looked like Bluto). I addressed them as I told them I had problems at first - and how I finished the final run with 2 backpacks - and 2 rifles - and dragging a recruit over the finish line in less than allotted time allowed - and how we finished as a platoon.

My Senior DI - a Gunny - as we were released as Platoon 367 - (he called us girls during our boot training - today he said, "Ladies fall out!, that was one of my proudest moments!

Semper Fi,
Bruce Bender
1963-1967 CPL
Vietnam Era Marine


Until You Die

I know all you Marines out there have some souvenirs of your time in the Corps stashed away in your footlocker at home or wherever. Here is one to think about. About 35 years or so after I graduated from boot camp (Plt 201, Parris Island, April 3, 1973) I began to think about my drill instructors and how much they had instilled the love of God, Country, and Corps into us recruits and how tough their job must have been. So, I decided to try and contact my Senior Drill Instructor, MGySgt Charles "Herbie" Hartzo. I used the Marine locator via HQMC in Washington, wrote a letter to him which HQMC forwarded to him for me. He replied to my letter and we re-established a relationship, although not as intense as our previous one had been! Three years ago he called and said he was driving through Texas and wanted to stop and spend the night, drink some beer, etc. to which I replied with a very enthusiastic Aye Aye! He and his girlfriend did stop, we ate, drank, and talked into the wee hours of the morning. It was actually pretty terrific to do so. Anyway, he promised that they would be passing through again next year, but very close to the time they were supposed to come out, I suddenly got a call from his girlfriend and his daughter that he had a massive heart attack and was in the hospital in Atlanta and not expected to survive. Indeed, he did not. My wife and I drove from Texas to Atlanta, GA to attend his funeral. While we were there and while trying figure out who was going to get what as far as kids/grandkids and his belongings, his daughter and girlfriend presented to me to keep "until you die and then we would like to have it back", my Senior Drill Instructors Campaign Cover (his "Smokey the Bear).

Now, how many of you Marines out there can say they have their SDI's actual campaign cover in their footlocker, or in my case, mounted in a display case? Let's hear about your favorite souvenir that you have out there!

Semper Fi,
SSgt Bob Tollison


Everyone Needs A Hero

Sgt. Grit,

In the July 10th, 2014 - Sgt. Grit Newsletter a story was submitted titled "Kicked out of the Marine Corps" and was just signed "Semper Fi". The writer said she joined the Women Marines. When a person enlists in the Corps (it's just that) it's "I joined the Marine Corps not Women Marines".

The story appears to have been written by a female who claimed to have gone to the Marine Corps OCS (Officer Candidate School), but washed out. In the story she mentions that Women Marines (WMs) were almost unheard of in 1972. Not true, along my side in 1972 were my five very competent female Marine counterparts doing the same work as I did in the Corps. We were assigned to CommCenter, 1st Svc Battalion, First Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, California. These fellow Marines served our Corps with pride and honor.

The author also claims to have been "kicked out" of the Corps. No one is "kicked out" of the Marine Corps unless they really screw up. If they cannot muster academics or the physical portion of any school, class, or assignment then they are professionally discharged with respect and not just "kicked out".

She also claims or mentions to have a high IQ and obviously seems very proud of this and mentions it several times. If this is true then she did not pass the physical agility portion of OSC. Marines are not kicked out of the Corps because they have a high IQ. A GT (General Technical Skills), measures ones word knowledge, paragraph comprehension, and arithmetic reasoning (AR). I know of no Marine who was "kicked out" because they had a high GT score on their ASVAB test. People who cannot cut the Marine Corps for whatever reason go into other branches of the military services as she did. She said one Marine was assigned to her Army unit and did an Army mission. Wrong again, no Marine does an Army mission, they do a Marine mission! A Marine may be TAD to an Army mission, but they are doing a Marine mission by being there.

There is no comparison to Marine Corps General Smedley D. Butler with any Army General as she did. General Smedley Darlington Butler is a Marine General and therefore cannot be compared with or to any Army General. I am glad General Butler is her hero. Everyone needs a hero in their life. General Butler was a step ahead of any officer in any other branch of the service in the history of the US military.

I am sorry to tell the writer she is not a former Marine as she never completed anything offered by the United States Marine Corps. A former Marine title is only given to Marines who have been discharged under honorable conditions.

Semper Fidelis (Latin for always faithful) has been used for many years by many different people and groups of military units. It was coined in Europe and therefore can be seen on many family and military coat of arms. However, in America and the US military, Semper Fidelis is well known to everyone as a Marine Corps saying. A saying used by Marines and Navy Corpsmen assigned to a Marine unit. Semper Fi for a Marine means we are faithful to God, Corps, and Country (not necessarily in this order). I think the Army uses "go Army"!

She is right in that all US military members do fight under one flag, but the Marine Corps stands alone when it comes to their culture, history, honor, respect, and abilities. I am not trying to discredit or discourage her to write more letters. I am just trying to set the record straight from what she is struggling to say in her first installment of letters to the editor.

I do respect and thank her for her service in the U.S. Army to our country.

Steve G.
Sgt of Marines
1972-1978


Scrambled Brute

Upon reading Cpl. Selders letter regarding the inspection he and his platoon stood in 11/60 for Gen Shoup and Gen Krulak it brought memories of my recruit platoon 311 at MCRD San Diego to the forefront. As the Honor Platoon we stood an inspection by the Battalion Commanding Officer of MCRD in May 1961 and low and behold he was accompanied by Gen. Krulak who was the CO of MCRD at the time. He made a special point of taking his time with my inspection in as much as I was the Honor Man. All you could see was the brim of his barracks cover which "scrambled eggs" galore, it seemed like an eternity for him to satisfy himself of my being "squared away" and ready to join his beloved Corps. Fruit salad covered his chest unlike any I saw previously or thereafter.

What a rush it was for a raw Marine to be in the presence of a Corps legendary hero. I was in awe and still to this day feel so honored to have had that moment in my life.

Dwaine Goodwin
Cpl. 1961-1966


Plan To Jump

Sgt Grit,

My name is Peter JUISTO, 1444xxx, retired Gunnery Sergeant, USMC. I totally agree with all the opinions noted in this email. I just turned 80 yrs. old & plan to jump out of an airplane in the middle of August. I have my 2 sons, ages 43 & 34, my granddaughter, 18 yrs. old joining me. To add to that, a newspaper reporter is also making the jump with me. Notification was made to two TV stations & they will cover me with cameras & give me an on camera interview... many of my friends will attend & support the event. I'm trying to inspire people my age to leave the TV "REMOTE" behind & get out of the house. Too many seniors are spending much of their time as a "COUCH POTATO"... To all my MARINES out there... USMC FOREVER... OOoooRAH/SEMPER FI...

Gy JUISTO


What Kinda Guys Go In The Marines?

Sgt Grit,

I had what I felt was an interesting thought the other day at the supermarket when my wife and I had gone grocery shopping. She informed me she wanted to look at a few other things and that I should go sit somewhere for a few minutes (translation: get lost for a while). I pushed our loaded shopping cart to a wooden bench in the entryway where a slight air-conditioned breeze from inside the store wafted through. I sat, removed my utility cover, mopped my brow with a handkerchief, and wondered how long she would be diddling around 'looking at other things'. I put my cover back on and tried to get comfortable, as much as my arthritis on a hard wooden bench would allow. I dug out my crossword puzzle book.

"Hey, Mister, were you... umm... like, a Marine?" I turned to see a young boy of maybe eight or ten year's old standing near the end of my bench clutching a soccer ball. Maybe he thought all old Marines were miserable grouches. "Yes, son, I sure was," I said with a smile, "a long time ago". He was wide-eyed. "Cool! Were you then like, in World War Two 'er somethin'? Did'ja win any medals?" "Son, I'm old, but I'm not quite that old!" I said laughing, "I was in the Marine Corps in 1963. Not much older than you are now. The only medal I won was for Expert Rifleman, but a lot of guys got those." "My grampa was in the Vietnam War," he said plopping down on the end of the bench, "he was a Marine too." "Oh, well then, tell your grampa another old Marine said 'Semper Fi!" "Oh," the kid said, "I can't, he's dead." "Geez, kid, I'm really sorry." "Oh, that's okay. He died a long time ago. He was way cool! Hey, can I ask you somethin'?" "Sure! What do you want to know?" "What kinda guys get to go in the Marines? Do ya gotta like, be really tough 'er sumpthin'?" "Well..." his question caught me off guard for a moment. I was about to give a stock answer for his question: only the best of the very best get to be Marines. Immediately, I thought about the men of Platoon 275 a little over 51 years ago. Men? We were just mainstream American boys. Most of us were immature adolescents barely out of puberty packed into the bus from San Diego International Airport to Marine Corps Recruit Depot. We were anxious and sweating, trying to be cool and impress our peers with nervous chatter. Someone farted loudly and everyone tee-heed. We tried hard not to show our fear and apprehension for the Big Unknown looming just minutes ahead.

I distinctly remember some loudmouth telling us, "Hey, man! All you gotta do is just show those sergeants you ain't takin' no sh-t from 'em an' they'll leave you alone! Guar-an-teed!" He sounded rather experienced and while I heard his advice, I considered myself fortunate I didn't act on it. In fact, I never saw anyone who did. It is difficult to be a tough guy with two large NCO's screaming at the top of their lungs in your ears.

Most of us were fresh out of high school and several were high school dropouts. There were three whom a judge had ordered, "Go in the Marine Corps or go to jail!" A few Don Juan types tried to convince of us they were God's gift to women. A couple others argued incessantly over the coolest way to customize a '57 Chevy. Some had been quite popular in high school; a class president, one of the starting five on the basketball team and another told us he was the captain of the football team in his school. Some saw themselves as tough bad-azzes and one loner told us in heavily accented English he was a 'Pachuco' in some LA gang.

We had 'fraidy-cats, cowards, bullies and two who immediately endeared themselves to everyone by being complete azsholes. We ranged in size from 120-pound, five-foot-six feathermerchants to 250-pound lard-azzes at six-feet-six with every size in between, including scrawny kids and those with a roll of flab around their middle. Many of these lard-azzes would end up at the "Fat Farm" on a near-starvation diet of greens and PT'd to the point of exhaustion.

Several were the "nerdy" type, although the term "nerd" didn't exist in 1963 that I'm aware. Perhaps these nerds had been bullied in school and joined the Marines to learn how to be tough. One guy was a super brain in that he seemed to know something about everything. Some were bookworms but others were dumber than boxes of doorknobs. There were the ignorant, the shy, the timid and the dumb-azzes. Three of the recruits couldn't write their own names while another had two years of college and at 21-years old, he would be dubbed "the old man" of Platoon 275. Many were perpetual screw-ups whom the DI's tagged as "Sh-tbirds". Some thought of themselves as hilarious comedians and others had the sense of humor of a truckload of manure. There was one very odd guy everyone thought had read too many Superman comic books. One was a well-mannered, meek, soft-spoken and small-framed lad who was always cleaning his thick glasses. He would be the platoon's high shooter scoring a 234 on Record Day. Several others had all the savoir-faire and refinement of Neanderthals. Some were oafs, or boneheads or birdbrains who could screw up a free lunch. Several came out of poverty-stricken homes or the ghettos arriving at MCRD wearing the only ragged clothes they owned. We had egocentrics, athletes and one man whose family were multi-millionaires. He told us he enlisted to get out from under their rigid control.

There were a couple amateur crooks, thieves, shoplifters, thugs, guys with prior records trying to get a fresh start, religious zealots, "Honest Abe's", liars, bullsh-tters, racists, and gamblers. In the civilian world, we had been grocery store clerks, hamburger flippers, farmers, mechanics, construction workers, gas pumpers, carpenters, laborers, plumbers, cowboys, food store stockers, janitors, miners, workers in family-owned businesses or unemployed. In fact one man told us he enlisted because his unemployment ran out.

Some were fanatical neatniks while others were slobs delighting in squalor. The slobs would soon clash with the DI's and will lose. Some were puny, bad-postured and sickly-looking and one very well-muscled weightlifter. Oddly enough, the weightlifter nearly failed the PT test. A handful were mentally strong and were destined to become good NCO's and officers while others appeared on the verge of breaking down in tears. Some actually did. There were hard-hearted and softhearted ones, the merciless and cruel, the generous and kind, spendthrifts and misers. One or two were movie-star handsome, but whose beautiful wavy hair would end up on the barber's floor along with everyone else's. Other guys were plain b-tt ugly, plagued with rampaging acne, buck-teeth and near-sightedness. A few were devout pacifists and others who loved to pick fights.

We were from a dozen ethnic origins. I heard subtle accents from geographic background as varied as their personalities; New England nasal twangs, the 'yawl' of the southern states, the slow speech from the west, the omnipresent "eh?" of the northern states along the Canadian border. Two Latinos spoke Spanish softly to one another the entire trip. Several had accents of first and second generation Latinos, Germans, Latvians, French-Canadians, Ethiopians, Chinese, Japanese, Czechs, Samoans and Italians. One young man with a thick brogue had been a Catholic priest in Ireland and had left the church to join the Marine Corps. It was anyone's guess as to why. Our skin pigmentations ranged from milk-white Scandinavian to Ivory Coast black. Nonetheless, we were all American kids and for the most part were pretty good guys.

We were identical to the thousands of other recruits arriving at any of the Army, Navy or Air Force recruit training bases. However, the Marine recruits began a marked difference from the other services' recruits within mere seconds upon arrival at MCRD. This marked difference would be immediate and by no means subtle. With the loud hiss of the air brakes, the bus stopped in front of Receiving Barracks. I braced myself. I was sure now was when some husky, rock-jawed sergeant would board the bus, giving us the old John Wayne evil-eye and administer a five minute 'Gung Ho' speech that we would become Marines because we had a big job to do defending our country against the enemy—whoever they might be. Not even close.

The door swished open and a tall, thin Marine Sergeant in a Smokey Bear hat pulled low over his eyes jumped aboard and immediately roared out just ten words that rattled every corner of the bus: "You People Get Your Stupid Azzes Off My F-cking Bus!" I was terrified! It was not supposed to be like this! In a space of four seconds, I came to the full realization that every scrap of information I had gleaned from Marine books and movies went right out the window. As one of the recruits shot past me heading for the door, I noted with grim satisfaction it was the same guy who had told us, "Don't take no sh-t from the sergeants and they will leave you alone!" He was as white as a sheet. We had arrived at the portals of the United States Marine Corps from which there would be no going back. Ever. Oh, dear God, what have I done?

I looked back at the young man sitting on the end of the bench awaiting my answer to his question; "What kinda guys get to go in the Marines?" "Son," I said, "they were the best of the very best."

Jack W.
204XXXX


Treasure The Legacy

Navajo Code Talkers Day

The Navajo Code Talkers whose ranks exceeded 400 during the course of World War II in the Pacific Theater took part in every assault the United States Marines conducted from 1942 to 1945. They served in all six Marine divisions, Marine Raider battalions and Marine parachute units, transmitting messages by telephone and radio in their native language -- a code that the Japanese never broke. The Navajo Code Talkers served in the United States Marine Corps for America and for the world with integrity.

It took 37 years for the United States government to acknowledge the war efforts of the Navajo Code Talkers in World War II, when President Ronald Reagan in 1982 designated August 14 as National Navajo Code Talkers Day.

On August 14, 2014, the Descendants of the Navajo Code Talkers will commemorate the legacy of these brave young Navajo men who answered the call to duty and helped devise the unbreakable and undecipherable military code based on the Navajo language only spoken on Navajo lands and most importantly assisted the United States win battle after battle as it fought to retake the Pacific from the Japanese. During World War II, when secret orders had to be given over the phone these boys talked to one another in Navajo. Practically noone in the world understood Navajo, an unwritten language of extreme complexity, except another Navajo. The code that was developed was so complex that not even another Navajo taken prisoner by the Japanese and under threat of torture could penetrate it. Their code was reliable and secure.

It is important that the accomplishment of this group of men is never forgotten because it was their language that changed the tide of the war. These Marines were young boys when they enlisted and some of them lied about their age. If it weren't for them, the United States would not have won World War II. Battle-ready radiomen were still being produced when Japan surrendered in August 1945. August 14 is a reminder of the importance of the Navajo language and the code talker legacy. They saved thousands and thousands of Marines in World War II. On Iwo Jima, Navajo Code Talkers transmitted messages from the beach todivision and Corps commands afloat early on D-day, and after the division commands came ashore from division ashore to Corps afloat. "Were it not for the Navajo Code Talkers, the Marines would never have taken Iwo Jima and other places."

The courage of these warriors and the extraordinary value of their wartime service to our Nation will always be honored. Language is the most effective means we have to transmit values, beliefs, and collective memories from one generation to the next. "We need to preserve our language, culture and traditions." We must work to preserve the rich, ancient languages used to preserve our freedom... Let us treasure their legacy.

On National Navajo Code Talkers Day, all Americans are encouraged to join in commemorating the Navajo Code Talkers, a National Treasure, by taking a moment to pray for all our war heroes and the brave military men and women who protect all our people, our freedom and our land today.

Parade (staging at Navajo Nation Museum Parking Lot) will start at 9:15 a.m. If you will be in the parade, please arrive no later than 8:30 a.m. A welcome prayer will be held at 9:00 a.m. Parade ends at Memorial Park. The parade is free and open to all veterans, auxiliary members, color guards and marching units, and the wearing of uniforms is encouraged.

At approximately 10:00 a.m., the commemoration ceremony, held at Navajo Veterans' Park, will begin with presentation of colors, wreath laying, remembrance/reverence and speeches. Lunch will be provided.

Gourd dance is scheduled.

To enter the parade, please contact Michael 928-871-6763.

For further information or updates, please monitor Facebook page "Our Navajo Code Talkers".


Called Double Teaming

Been following the hearing problem stories. I will throw in my 2 cents. Rifle and pistol ranges many times; no hearing protection available; offered, or recommended. 11th Marines 105 battery many months of 4 days a week in the field (FDC & FO radio operator) at a minimum listening to 105s, 155s, 8 inchers, and 4.2s fire round after round. Air Wing MCAS Yuma and days working at the end of the runways on radar gear while A4s, F4s, F8s etc. roared off 1, 2, 4 at a time in full AB. BTW, how about us Hollywood Marines living just off the San Diego Lindbergh field and jet after jet! Did I mention that the Electronics school at MCRD was right at the end of the same runways at Lindbergh field! My ears are toast. They started ringing almost from day 1. I do not remember any hearing tests ever; but I am old.

Been going to the VA for health care for years. About 3 years ago my Doc asked my wife (who goes with me to the DOC to keep me honest) if there were any issues she wanted to have checked that I had not mentioned. No giggling; it has happened to most of you! My wife told the Doc that I can't hear a d-mn thing. BTW my primary care Doc was a female; she immediately (it is called double teaming and is a despicable act!) did a referral to audiology. The ear Doc confirmed that I was just shy of deaf. She informs me that I will be getting hearing aids. I asked what is this going to cost (so I could tell my wife we couldn't afford the fix as my excuse for NO hearing aids)? I also informed her that I was not service connected disabled or a combat vet. The ear Doc told me that it made no difference because Bush had signed a bill in 2008 that guaranteed any vet the needs hearing aids gets them. I did not pay a dime period, and I have to admit that I should have done this long ago.

For you guys that need 'em I would surely check into this. I and many of my friends have had the same results, so I assume the DOC was not sh-----g me.

Wayne Mailhiot 1980XXX
MCRDSD Plt. 175 C Co. 1st BN. RTR Sept 1961-Dec. 1961
C Co. 1st BN., 2nd ITR, Camp Pendleton Dec 14- Feb 2, 1962
H-3-11 2531 Fld. Radio operator Camp Pendleton Mar. 1962-Feb 1963
Comm-Elect School Bn. Mar 1963-Jan 1964
Aviation Radar Technician AN/TPS37 MACS 1 MCAS Yuma, AZ Jan 1964-Dec
1964
TAD Comm-Elect School Bn. Dec 1964-Mar 1965
5941 Aviation Radar Technician AN/TPS34 MACS 1 MCAS Yuma, AZ Mar
1965-Jan 1966
Honorably Discharged 17 Jan 1966


55 Years

Sgt. Grit,

while on vacation in South Carolina 11 July 2014 had the pleasure of visiting MCRD, Parris Island. It has been almost 55 years ago - December 1958 that Platoon 347, 3rdBn. graduated. One of my sons, son-in-law and two grandsons attended graduation of six platoons. The Marine band was awesome -- what a fantastic display. Every Marine should make an effort to see today's graduation service.

Was also surprised to see how PFC stripes are awarded by meritorious promotion by referring qualified applicants for enlistment to their recruiter. A PFC requires only two referrals for promotion to lance corporal.

Cpl David A. LeVine 16900XX 2531


The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #7, #4)

I opened the door and got out. I got back in - upside down - with my shoulders on the foot pedals and my legs over the back of the seat. I was looking up behind the dash. I could see the bulb that was flickering - and two others that were hanging down. I pushed each of them into their sockets. Kitty exclaimed "Oh, my God, the dash is beautiful; maybe I will learn to like this tank after all." I got up and said I was going to get some fresh air. She joined me and asked "How did you learn to do that?" I said "It just took a wee, little bit of intelligence to figure it out. I guess it was something your husband must not have had." She said "I agree with that." I then told her "I did not complain about your perfume. It had permeated my head and I could not figure out what it was. That is one I had never smelled before. I knew Chanel No.5 and the one that made my girlfriend a 'Supermodel' - Prince Matchabelli, but not the one you are wearing. It is really quite nice. I like it. What is it?" She said "It is Shalimar. I'm glad you like it. I will use it whenever we are together." I said "I hope that's often! Now get closer so I can smell it some more." She moved closer and I put my arms around her. I said "Now, give me a kiss." She pulled away and said "Not now." We got back into the car - and she moved right back against me - as before. She kissed me on my ear and said "That's for fixing the dash." We headed north.

I said "it's 2200 - and I have to get you up to Garfield St, catch a taxi to Union Station and be on board the Midniter before 2400. We crossed the 14th St Bridge at exactly 2300. She said "If you take me up to Garfield St. you'll never make it to the train on time. Take me to the Ambassador Hotel. I'll go home from there in the morning. I did as she suggested. We were at the hotel at 2320. She checked in. I got her into room #912 by 2330. I put my arms around her and pulled her close. She thanked me for a wonderful trip and we had one, big, long heavenly kiss. I started to leave and she said "Let's have another one of those." We did. I had to go. I reached the ticket agent about 2350 and told him "One to 30th St Station on the last train out." He had pushed the button when I told him my destination and the ticket shot out as he made change. He said "You'll have to run fast. The last train left at 11:00 o'clock. I said "The Railway Guide says it leaves at midnight." He said that after the Guide went to press the Midniter was cancelled. He said the next train leaves at 3:00 AM - and the hourly trains resume at 6:00 AM. I took the ticket and told him I would decide which one I would take. I called home and told my Dad that he could go to bed - the train was cancelled. I suggested that he meet me at 9:00 AM - and maybe he could bring Mom along for the ride. He said "Okay!" I returned to the Ambassador; checked into Room #914.

'til next week. The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


The FLIGHT LINE

Submitted By: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #9, #11 (Nov 2019)

Part # 4: (VMO-6, cont.)

During the later part of 1966, VMO-6 received the O-1 "Bird Dogs" and subsequently OV-10 Broncos fixed wing aircraft to carry out observation and forward air control duties, freeing the Huey helicopters from those roles. In May,1969, VMO-6 set a monthly record of 3,191.7 flying hours averaging over 100 hours per day between Huey, Bird Dog and Bronco Aircraft. This was the apex of the squadrons combat activity though, for later that year, during September and October, the squadron was movef to Okinawa, Japan due to President Nixon's draw down plan of U.S. Troop assets in Vietnam. For the next five (5) years VMO-6's Broncos trained MARINES in Japan, ready to return to combat, if needed. The call never happened, and on Jan. 1, 1977 , VMO-6 was deactivated, it's personnel and aircraft absorbed into other units.

VMO-6's memorial service and monument dedication ceremony at Quantico, Virgina commenced on Thursday, May 17th, 2012. A large group of Vietnam Veterans with many of the families and friends joined several relatives of deceased squadron members at the National MARINE CORPS museum. The first part of the ceremony was held inside of the building, in it's main atrium. Behind the speakers podium was a Sikorsky HRS-1 helicopter, the type used in the Korean War two years after the ground breaking work that VMO-6 performed with early helicopters in 1950. Nearby a truly historic VMO-6 helicopter is displayed. helicopter is displayed, the actual UH-1E helicopter that Capt Stephen Pless flew when he received the Congressional Medal of Honor over the entrance to the museums Vietnam Gallery.

Retired MARINE Colonel and former VMO-6 Helicopter Pilot Larry Wright served as the Master of Ceremonies with the local MARINE CORPS Base Quantico Color Guard and MARINE Band supporting the program. Navy Chaplain John Hannigan gave the opening invocation before MARINE Brigadier General Michael Rosco recounted some key moments in MARINE aviation history and reminded those assembled that the reason for MARINE Aviation is to support the troops on the ground.

Then three former VMO-6 members, Larry Wright, Dave Bushlow, and Red Trivette read the names of the sixty-six (66) squadron members who were lost in combat, grouped together by the conflict that they died in. After each group of names were read, a MARINE rang a bell three times in a time honored salute. The indoor ceremony was concluded with a prayer of remembrance and ceremonial music.

The program continued outside the museum after the attendees walked in a long line behind Bag-Piper Norm Weaver to the black granite VMO-6 monument in the adjacent SEMPER FIDELIS Memorial Park.


Short Rounds

Cpl. Hetland,

Looking for Plt.56---1957, Graduation book for the wife of a Marine, who lost her husband.

Please email me at: cplhet200[at]gmail.com

Semper Fi, Sgt. Grit!

T.E.H.


The recent mailbag had a contribution about 'stories we could tell'. I guess every Marine has lots of stories and that reminded me of what some now-long-forgotten instructor taught us early on in flight school. Question was: What's the difference between a sea story and a fairy tale? A fairy tale starts out, Once upon a time... A sea story starts out, This is a no-sh-tter...

Bob Foley
Former F-4 RIO


I wish to chime in on the "Hearing the Phantom Sounds" article in your 7/17/14 newsletter. I too was an 0331 & served with 3/7 & 3/5 near LZ Ross & LZ Baldy in '69. I loss some of my hearing & failed several hearing tests when leaving the Corps. No big deal – Everything I did in the Corps I'd do it all over again.

Keep up the good work, Grit. I'll make sure I stop by & see you when I'm in Oklahoma City.

Corporal John P. Sitek
2630xxx


I'd like stories from Marines that are first person accounts of their being disrespected, spit on or attacked by civilians who hold the military in contempt, and how they responded."

Robert A. Hall
Former SSgt, USMC


Quotes

This quote by Gen. James Mattis reads: "When I was a young officer in 1979, I toured what was known as "The Killing Fields" in Cambodia. This is the area where the Khmer Rouge killed off nearly a quarter of the Cambodian population, something like 1.9 million people in just a few years. My guide told me that they started by rounding up all of the teachers. They wanted to extinguish free thought, and the spark of questioning and dissent. Because, to a Totalitarian dictator, an open and inquisitive mind is more dangerous even than a Marine with a rifle."


"In the United States, as soon as a man has acquired some education an pecuniary resources, he either endeavors to get rich by commerce or industry, or he buys land in the bush and turns pioneer. All that he asks of the state is, not to be disturbed in his toil, and to be secure of his earnings."
--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America [1835]


"Entirely satisfied if we gave 100% And entirely dissatisfied if we gave 99% And those [noncommissioned officers] taught us the great pleasure of doing what others thought impossible."

"So long as our Corps fields such Marines, America has nothing to fear from tyrants, be they Fascists, Communists or Tyrants with Medieval Ideology. For we serve in a Corps with no institutional confusion about our purpose: To fight! To fight well!"

"Now this award can never be mine – And because we are members of the same tribe, every one of you knows what I will say next... For I am grateful & humbled to be singled out with you tonight."

"For to Marines, love of liberty is not an empty phrase... Rather it's displayed by blood, sweat and tears for the fallen."
--General James (MadDog) Mattis


"Courage is knowing what not to fear."
--Plato


All the Constitution Guarantees is the Pursuit of Happiness..."
--Benjamin Franklin


"PT is strictly mind over matter, I don't mind and you don't matter."

"Close it up, Move it. Azzholes to elbows. Close it up."

"The more we sweat in peace, the less we bleed in war."

"Dinosaur Rule"... "Adapt or Die!" "You will adapt, or you will answer to me. Do you understand you bunch of low-life roots?"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 17 JUL 2014

In this issue:
• The Eyes Of The 2-Star Brute
• Hearing The Phantom Sounds
• The Marine Karate Kid

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Here is a cute picture of my granddaughter Abby Smith at a 4th of July parade in Morgan Hill, California. Her daddy, uncle and Godfather are all US Marines. I thought maybe you would like it for your magazine. My family loves your magazine.

Thank you.

Lorie Smith

Lorie Smith's granddaughter Abby at 4th of July Parade


The Eyes Of The 2-Star Brute

Once again I find Ddick and I share some common ground. In November of 1960, Platoon 181 was selected series Honor Platoon. We stood an Honor Guard for the Commandant, Gen. David M. Shoup at Main Side MCRD San Diego. We came to attention and as the entourage made its way down the ranks, one of the first persons to square in front of me was MajGen. Victor H. Krulak (not a tall man, I was shocked) then came Gen. Shoup (even shorter?) I came to inspection arms and he snatched my M1 in the convincing manner of a Drill Instructor. All I could see was the Quatrefoil on the top of his cover as he looked into the receiver of my weapon. When he handed my rifle back to me I looked directly into his eyes (glasses), God forgive me!

Cpl. Selders


Agent Orange Sprayed and Betrayed T-shirt Special


Hearing The Phantom Sounds

Sgt. Grit,

Just finished reading last week's newsletter finally and cracked up laughing at Gunny Rousseau's post on hearing loss. I think I accidentally deleted the website so I missed several weeks of newsletters and as such missed any earlier post on hearing loss, but have one of my own stories to post.

All Newsletters are archive at:
Archived Newsletters

I was an 0331 machine gunner back in the early 80's and they did provide us with hearing protection, but being the dumb-azs that I was, I did not use them, or I should say I rarely used them. Upon discharge I received my physical which included a hearing test and the Corpsman or Navy doctor who tested me confirmed that I had frequency hearing loss, but had me sign a waiver and told me that in time, I would regain the hearing that I lost, but because it was not immediately noticeable to me I was not overly concerned and signed the waiver like the dumb-azs that I was. Anywho, after leaving the Corps I worked for about 5 years as an electrician and then got on with Baltimore Gas and Electric as an overhead line mechanic or "Lineman". Because we worked around loud construction vehicles and loud tools and equipment the company provided us with fairly regular hearing test. An Audiologist would come to the service centers in a mobile hearing test station that was equipped with three to four sound-proof booths. When it was my turn to be tested the very first time, I entered the booth and put on the headphones and picked up the two "plungers" in my hands and immediately I started banging away on the little buttons. The lady came back and opened the booth and said, "What are you doing, I did not start the test yet." "I will go back and restart the test and this time don't hit the buttons until you hear the sounds." I closed my eyes, gritted my teeth and concentrated like I was studying for a history test... and started banging away on the buttons. She came back again, but this time she was p-ssed and said, "what are you doing – are you messing with me?" I replied that I was not and she told me she was going to reset the test one more time. This time I gritted my teeth and hunched up tight to really concentrate and must have looked like I was trying to get a constipated cr-p out... and started banging away on the buttons once again. The Audiologist came charging back and opened the door and said, "were you in the military?" "Yes ma'am," I replied, "the Marines." "What did you do in the Marines?" "Machine gunner", I replied. "Why didn't you tell me", she yelled. "I have to test you separately, you have frequency hearing loss and the sound you hear is not the test tones, but a constant ringing in your ears."

I learned from her that my hearing loss would never improve and that it would only get worse as time goes on. Eventually I realized that I could not even hear the tone from an alarm on a wristwatch and it's to the point now that I have to really concentrate to hear someone that speaks quietly. My hobby is wood-working and I do wear very good hearing protection at all times, but I suspect in time I will require hearing aids. My wife and daughter know I have hearing loss, but I sometimes think they think I use it as an advantage so that I can "pretend" not to hear them! LOL!

Semper Fi to all my brother and sister Jarheads and God bless all of you fighting for our freedom!

Mike Kunkel
Cpl 0331
Lima 3/8 Weapons Platoon


The Marine Talk, The Marine Walk

Dear Sgt. Grit,

I remember the salty NCO's, Staff NCO's and the Officers who knew how to express themselves and the silver tongues that these bits of wisdom flowed off of.

One night after I was out of the Corps a few months - and on a blind date (the girl was a looker - but naive - and stubborn to boot - and opinionated as well.) She was driving me crazy arguing about everything - as she knew everything! I realized that this would be a one and only date with her - so in my best Marine Corps Tradition - I calmly told her that - she, "Was a lying sack of sh-t." My drill instructor would have been proud of me I am sure.

Another time I ordered something and had it delivered to my house, unfortunately my Ma was visiting me at the time and the wrong item was sent. I told my neighbor who had come over for a beer - (before my Ma showed up) Without realizing my mother was in my living room - I calmly told the my pretty next door neighbor - that the, "Dumb Dufus Mother F-cker sent the wrong item?"

Another time, I was at a local neighborhood bar and trouble was brewing around me - My fellow Servicemen friend - (from the U S Navy) politely told the clowns that if they were serious about fighting us - that maybe - "they should go outside first and practice falling down a few times to make it a fair fight!"

A Sergeant from my unit - was in Korea - and said when the sh-t hit the fan - all Marines were riflemen - the Mess personnel put down the serving spoons and picked up rifles and clips of ammo - for the M-1's. Mess Sgt told a Lieutenant - "Tubby you will not have the luxury of a jeep" - "and please Sir try to keep up with the us lowly enlisted ranked Marines." The Sgt. became a paper pusher with a load of stories about how cold and rough it was in Korea.

Amazing how the stories were told to me by many a Marine in harm's way - "The eyes were far away, and the expressions were a cross between catatonic and a hypnotic look - like they were reliving the moment. A few thanked me for listening to the stories - some guys in the squad bays had bad nightmares - we lived through a lot - and took care of each other. We Were MARINES!

Bruce Bender
Cpl. 1963-1967 (USMC)


The Marine Karate Kid

I have written a book "Mr. Miyagi and Me" available at Amazon.com in Kindle and Paperback.

I began my practice of karate as a young Marine in 1963 while stationed in Okinawa with the 12th Marines, and my teacher was and still is Mr. Takeshi Miyagi. So, in reality, there is a real life Karate Kid and Mr. Miyagi.

In his 60 years of teaching, Mr. Miyagi has promoted only three Americans to the rank of Black Belt and all are United States Marines. I was the first to be promoted to Black Belt and currently hold the rank of 9th Degree Black Belt, which I received in August 2011. The others were Len Neidert, my best friend in the Marine Corps who passed away in November 2000 and David Crull who received his black belt in 2001.

When I first approached Mr. Miyagi about joining his class he told me that I would be like all other Americans and quit. He said no American lasted three months in his class because he was much too tough, much too disciplined for Americans. He also said that even if I came to his class I would never be promoted to any rank and would always remain a white belt (beginners belt). But, if I wanted to learn and learn the right way to come back and he'd teach me.

I returned the following night and promptly found myself in Mr. Miyagi's version of Parris Island. I was put through a training program that was solely for the purpose of making me quit. Oh, I was learning, but I was being treated to some very brutal conditioning drills that most would walk away from. I stayed in spite of the treatment and finally earned his respect and that of his students.

To this day we remain friends and as teacher and student. I will be returning to Okinawa this month to train and take part in a memorial for two Grand Masters.

Semper Fi
Jim Lilley

Get this book at: Mr. Miyagi and Me


Elegant Tailor

Elegant Tailor in Da Nang Vietnam

A lot of Marines bought clothes, mostly suits and sport coats at a place like this around Da Nang. I got four. Three suits and a sport coat. Measured and tailored to my fit. They were made in Hong Kong. I had mine sent directly home. They fit perfectly and I wore them for years, all gone now as I've put a few pounds on. But my wife still remembers one of them and to this day kids me about the blue plaid suit. She didn't like it. She's probably right but I will never admit it.

If I remember correctly I got all four for about $250. Clothing like this, cameras and stereo gear were the largest purchases Marines made in Nam.

Semper Fi
Sgt Grit


American and Marine Pride

Bill wearing USMC Sweatshirt and shaking hands with Governor

The attached photo is at the 4th of July Parade, Centerville, OH and shows myself, wearing my Sgt Grit Black USMC Hoodie (I've purchased five of these this week from you) shaking the hand of Ohio Governor John Kasich.

Semper Fi,
Bill Hamon

Get the pictured hoodie at:

Black/red Zip Up USMC Hooded Sweatshirt

Black/red Zip Up USMC Hooded Sweatshirt


Marine Corps League Annual Picnic And Fundraiser

Your Customer Relations representative Kristy is superb! She outfits our Marine Corps League Detachment (#1335 Bellingham, WA) each year with our raffle and auction items. This is our major fundraiser each year. The "Regan Quote" K-Bar is going to be one of many featured SGT Grit items in the silent auction and general raffle. Of course you are invited if you happen to be in the area as is any other Marines or Corpsman who happen to be visiting the Bellingham area.

Your motto is right "If you don't have it, Chesty wouldn't want it." Thank you for all the fine items in your catalog, your generous support of Detachments like ours, other veterans organizations and your continuing "OOORAH!" spirit and that of your employees. Please extend a hearty "Bravo Zulu" to Kristy from a truly grateful customer and share this freely with all of your employees who make SGT Grit what it is.

Marines & FMF Corpsman (Current and Former), Wives, Significant Others, Families, Kids, Friends of and Supporters of Marines:

Saturday, 26 July, It's that time of year again for our League's Annual Picnic!

Start Time 12:00 Noon 'til whenever. This year it will be at the Bellingham American Legion Post 7, 1688 W. Bakerview Rd. (out by the Airport and over by Mykonos Restaurant).

Semper Fi and Thank You Again!

CAPT (0302) Mac
RVN (as a Corporal) '69-'70
0341
d.a.mcmaster[at]att.net


Marine Ink Of The Week

Force Recon with jump wings with skull and cross KA-BARs.

Submitted by Rafael Ortiz

force recon tattoos


It's Standing Up And Believing

(story from February 17, 2005)

This is the kind of thing that PMO! Did you earn it? Have you earned it! H-ll! I did twenty years in the Marine Corps, retired for Christmas sake, and I don't know that I've still have earned the right to call myself a Marine! Not when you think in terms of those that have gone before me and those that have come after me! I know, that each and every day that I crawl my azz out of the rack, I've got to go out and earn it again! I'm big on Honor and Integrity! You question my Honor, my Integrity, my honesty, my truthfulness, my fidelity, I get fighting Mad! You would have come out better calling me something else! That's the thing! Once you've made it through boot camp, that doesn't make you a Marine! What makes you a Marine is how you're going to get you're azz out of the rack every day for the rest of your life and live your life by what the Marine Corps taught you! Trained you to do, and to be!

Everything that you need to get through, to survive in this life, the Marine Corps has taught you! EVERYTHING! We can start with HONOR and INTEGRITY! It's called doing the right thing - in all things and with all things and with everyone that you come across in life! It's standing up and being counted for, and calling BS, BULLSH-T! It's standing up and believing in something greater and larger than yourself, if it's nothing else but the guy next to you! Forever more it's about sacrifice, and putting those less fortunate and weaker than you before yourself! It's about acknowledging that life is tough, but it's tougher if you're stupid! It's about growing, and about continuously learning, and about being tested! It's about never being complacent! Never satisfied! That your best is never going to be good enough! Perhaps to your parents, to your wife, to your children, but never to yourself! And before God! It's about never quitting, no matter how hard it gets! It's about not whining! No matter how tough it gets! It's about sucking it up, and giving 110% each day, every day! It's about living up to the standard! And the bar is set pretty d-mn high! It's meant to be! If it was easy, H-ll, everyone would be a Marine!

That's the thing that a lot of Soldiers and a lot of Sailors, and a lot of Airmen don't get! Once you become a Marine, the discipline is self-perpetuating! The discipline of the Corps becomes you're self-discipline! Many, and I mean many fall to the wayside! I truly believe, that the final and ultimate test as to whether or not you're a Marine, comes the day you report into Heaven with your PCS orders, and Saint Peter tells you, "Enter Marine!" To me, whether you did 2 years or 20 or more, the test of whether you're a Marine or not is how you live your life! Did you make a difference? Or did you lay your Honor, your Integrity, your spirit, your soul upon the alter of the almighty dollar, or (fill in the blank). Can you go to your grave and before God, and honestly say, "I did my absolute best! I gave all!" Can you stand before God come Judgment Day and say, "I am righteous and I did righteous, and I fought for righteous all my life!"

You need not lay your life down nor become crippled from the physical wounds of war! The fight to be fought, is the fight of righteousness! Did you do right! Did you do the right thing, in all things! Did you stand up for the down-trodden? Did you defend the weak? Did you defend the less fortunate?

It matters not that you did two nor twenty in the Marine Corps, what matters is that you applied that which the Marine Corps taught you! What matters is that you stood on the side of Lady Justice, and Righteousness! What matters is that you made a difference in your life and for being in this life!

The fact that you enlisted in the Marine Corps speaks volumes! Most young Americans these days don't enlist into the military! H-ll! They won't even enlist into the Army Reserves or even the National Guard! Let alone the Marine Corps! The fact that you did, speaks volumes thus far about your character! VOLUMES! But that is nothing more than a foundation for which to build the rest of your life!

Do you measure up? No! You don't! And the day that you believe that you do, you're done as a Marine! I did 20 years in the Marine Corps, retired! Guess what? I still don't measure up! Why? Because you're best isn't and never will be good enough! You do the 3 mile PFT run in 19 minutes, then you need to have you azz out on the road, working on 18:59! You shoot 245 on the rifle range, then you need to start working on 246! You get a noteworthy on an inspection, than you need to get working on "beyond noteworthy"!

Every day that you're in the Marine Corps is a "test"! I've seen Marines that had 12-14 years in the Marine Corps, and kicked back on their heels, thinking that they had it made! You Don't! Guess what? Those guys, got kicked out! You can do everything to perfection for 18 years, and you screw up one time and it's your azz!

That's the way it has to be! You don't get paid for screwing up! You don't get paid for saying, "My mistake! I forgot! I screwed up, nor My Bad!" Why? Because in most of the MOS in the Marine Corps, you screw up you get someone killed! Just that plain, just that simple!

But, you know what? That's the way it is out here in civilian life! Even more so! Either be part of the solution, or part of the answer or,... BE GONE! That's why Marines excel so well out here in civilian life,... we understand that!

Where I work at now, we've got two part-time college students working for us, in less than a week, I've heard from both of them, "It's not my problem, I'm not going to worry about it!" Well guess again Slick! It IS your PROBLEM!

Attitude is everything! Life is 10% of what happens to you, and 90% of your attitude! It's all about how you perceive it! How you look at it! It's not so much about what you've been through, nor what you're going through, it's about "What the H-ll are you going to do about it, and how are you going to handle it!"

That's the thing about being a Marine! Marines are renown for finding themselves in a world of sh-t! The thing about Marines is that they get off their azz and get busy doing something about it! It might not be pleasant, it might not be pretty, and it might not be fun, but they do something about it! They get busy! Marines aren't known for sitting around and holding "pity party's"... They get busy getting "BUSY"!

Marines aren't too big on "sympathy". If you're looking for sympathy, about the only place you're going to find it in this world or lifetime is in the dictionary! Get use to that fact and you'll do well in life! For every problem you've got, I promise you, someone has got it worse! For every trouble you've got, I promise you someone is worse off! You may be uglier than h-ll, I promise you! There's someone uglier than you! You may be dumber than a fence post, but I promise you, there's someone dumber than you! You may be dirt poor, but I promise you there IS someone poorer than you!

When you find yourself counting your troubles and your sorrows, etc., etc., etc. STOP! Count your blessings!

Gunny376
From the Sgt Grit Bulletin Board


Old Corps WWI Photos

The U.S. Marine painting in WWI Era Manual

Machine Gun Nest Marines WWI Era Manual

Grit,

I have attached some pages from a Marine Corps Manual from WW I era. It was given to me from a friend of mine (who happens to be a Captain USMC who no longer serves) and it was given to him by a neighbor whose father was in the Marines Corps long ago. Maybe you could pick a few pages to show. I know Ddick and Gunny Rousseau might still have theirs!

T Buse
Sgt USMCR
4th FSSG, 4th Maint Bn, 4th Marines


The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #7, #3)

There was no Route I-95 in 1950. It was Route 1 to Washington, D.C. - and it wasn't much. We continued our conversation most of the time. Kitty told me that after she and Bette moved out it left two large rooms vacant and her mother decided to rent them and she was very selective to whom she rented these rooms. It seemed as though she only wanted well employed men that she thought were good choices to be husbands for her daughter - and maybe herself. (She had divorced her 2nd husband). That helped with her expenses. Kitty's eldest half-sister, Mary Claiborne, was well employed with the State Department, working at the U. S. Embassy in Algiers, and her room, too, was temporarily empty. The youngest of the 4 girls was Kimberly, a junior in high school.

I told her my parents had owned the 2nd largest egg producing poultry farm east of the Mississippi - until April 1945 - when it was put out of business by the O.P.A. If dad had been able to hold on for just 5 more months - when WWII ended - he would still have it. But as they say "That's the way the cookies crumbled." Dad was now a lumber broker - buying in the south and selling up north. I had two brothers that had been in WWII, one was a Captain in the Army and the other a 1stLt in the Army Air Corps; and a sister that had screwed up and married a 'swab jockey' who beat her badly.

Kitty told me "I was up quite early this morning and can hardly hold my eyes open. Would you mind if I took a short nap?" I told her "I would not mind at all. Make yourself comfortable." She got a small pillow from the back seat and put it between her head and the door. Several times either the pillow slipped down or her head fell off the pillow and she bumped her head on the door. Finally, I said to her "I have a suggestion that will stop that. You just slide over this way and put your head on my shoulder." There was some hesitation and she replied "I - don't - think - so." After her head hit the door a couple more times she asked "Is your offer still good?" I told her it was and she turned around and put her head on my shoulder. I put my right arm around her and she said "That is not part of the deal. Put your hands on the wheel." I told her that most of the time I am traveling with a beautiful woman my arm is around her. She said "I suppose you are right" and she went to sleep. When we approached Martha Washington Wayside - outside Fredericksburg - I stopped. She awoke and asked "What are you stopping for?" I told her "I am stopping for 3 reasons: To fix the flickering light in the dash, To clear your perfume from my head and to kiss you. Is that okay with you?" She said "The light in the dash has been flickering since we first got this car; I have never had a complaint about this perfume before; and as for the 3rd one - I - don't - think - so!"

'Til next week. The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


The FLIGHT LINE

Submitted By: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #9, #10 (Oct. 2019)

Part # 3: (VMO-6 cont.)

On the evening of Aug. 8th, 1952, the MARINE CORPS first night causality evacuation was successfully accomplished by a VMO-6 Aircraft and crew. OY-1's began another new MARINE aviation mission, psychological warfare by dropping surrender leaflets over enemy positions from their unarmed light planes. Both fixed and rotary winged aircraft were present at the Inchon Landings and participated heavily in the bone chilling cold during the Chosen Reservoir breakout too. Rescuing downed aircrew became a critical mission for VMO-6, the helicopters rapidly proved their worth in Korea. A series of improved Sikorsky HOS and Bell HTL helicopters arrived during 1950 and early 1951 expanding the Squadrons capabilities with longer endurance and increased capacity. The Stenson OY-1's were replaced with more capable Cessna O1-E "Bird Dogs" soon thereafter. Capt. Ed McMahon. later a well known radio and television host flew 85 Combat missions and earned 6 Air Medals during the last four months of the war flying VMO-6 Bird Dogs. After the fighting the unit moved back to California, they soon traded their Bell and Sikorsky helicopters for the more capable Kaman "HOK" Husky. Training with their mixed fleet of observation planes and helicopters continued at a steady pace, interrupted by a brief deployment during the Cuban Missile Crisis, in 1962.

Shortly after the deployment the squadron was tasked with exploring methods employing armed escort aircraft to assist helicopter borne troop transport and received some T-28C trainers configured as close air support aircraft. During the summer of 1964 the squadron received the first Bell UH-1E Huey helicopters which soon replaced all of the Kaman HOK's, Cessna OE "Bird Dog's" and T-28's with the Huey's. VMO-6 developed techniques for armed helicopter escort and landing zone fire support that would serve them well into the rest of the next decade. In 1965, VMO-6 was among the MARINE GROUP that sail to Vietnam. The next month, transport, gunship, airborne forward control and Med-e-vac missions were being flown on a daily basis. Using the call signs "Klondike" and later "Seaworthy". VMO-6 crews fought valiantly losing numerous Aircraft and men in the process. On Aug. 19th, 1957, Capt Stephen Pless and three other MARINES flew a rescue mission in their UH-1E gunship that earned him the Congressional Medal of Honor and the others "The Navy Cross" for their gallantry. The citation reads in part that "Under intense enemy gunfire, Capt Pless used his helicopter to shield four wounded American soldiers as the were assisted into his helicopter all the while beating back repeated enemy attacks." The over loaded helicopter then limped out to sea and escaped the enemy.


Short Rounds

Customer Howard LePine wanted to say hello to you and let you know that you have been doing a great job. He is a China Marine and today is his 85th Birthday!

Semper Fi,
T'Keiah Randle
Returns and Exchanges Department
Sgt Grit Marine Corps Specialties


Corporal Walter T. Stevens was a 20 year old Marine from Scranton, Pennsylvania when he earned the Silver Star as a squad leader with A/1/9 on May 13, 1967. During this action he personally killed three of the enemy. He is mentioned in my book "Marines, Medals and Vietnam'. I also have a copy of the Silver Star citation.

Semper Fidelis!
Billy Myers
USMC 1906xxx


Morning Sgt Grit,

Some great stories. Thanks for Sharing.

Sgt John Zing, 1963


Just wanted to follow up on the TV Ears for $129. If you are in the VA system and have a hearing loss, let the folks in Audiology know and they can have the same product issued to you free of charge. Semper Fi!

Julian Etheridge


Did you ever want to know the history of Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego?

Check out this documentary:
http://video.kpbs.org/video/2365231188/


What the h-ll is going on in the Marine Corps? In my days in the Corps ('66-'69) I have no doubt that the CG of MCRD would NOT let a Marine rot in a Mexican jail for over 100 days. This problem could be resolved very easily if the CG of Camp Pendleton and the CG of MCRD made liberty in Mexico off-limits.

Time for the Commanders to step up and take care of their Marines.

Kim B. Swanson


Quotes

"Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding and should, therefore, be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense. Their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties which may make anything mean everything or nothing at pleasure."
--Thomas Jefferson, 1823


"A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one."
--Alexander Hamilton, Founding Father


"I have never been bewildered for long in any fight with our enemies – I was Armed with Insight."
--General Jim "Mad Dog" Mattis


"Images flash through my mind – and I speak from my heart of an Eighth & 'I' parade in honor of John Glenn who remarked that night: He had been a Marine for 23 years... but not long enough. That was from a man fought in WWII & Korea and was the first American to orbit the earth. His wingman in Korea, baseball legend Ted Williams, put it well when asked which was best team he ever played on. Without hesitation he said, The U.S. Marine Corps."
--General Jim "Mad Dog" Mattis


"On evenings like this most of us will remember the tragedy of losing comrades Beautiful Marines... And we remember them, everyone, who gave their lives so our experiment called America, could live."
--General Jim "Mad Dog" Mattis


"Because every Marine, if he was in a tough spot – whether a bar fight, or tonight in Helmand River Valley, our fellow Marines would get to us, or die trying."
--General Jim "Mad Dog" Mattis


"A feeble executive implies a feeble execution of the government. A feeble execution is but another phrase for a bad execution; and a government ill executed, whatever may be its theory, must, in practice, be a bad government."
--Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833


"Shoot - Move - Communicate!"

"Screw with the Best, you go down with the Rest!"

"Survive the eighteen weeks and you get to call yourself a Marine, and everyone else calls you a Marine. I must be a Marine. You are a Marine. It took eighteen weeks to change you into a Marine. You will never change back into non Marine. It's inside you. It's all over your character. You can taste it. You are in the Crotch forever. The only classifications of Marines are, Active & Inactive. You see once you're in this wonderful, and proud chickens - outfit you can't get out. and besides who would want to? We are all proud to be Marines."

"Every day is a holiday. Every meal is a banquet. Every night is a Saturday night. And every formation is a family reunion. Why would anyone NOT want to be a Marine."

God Bless the American Dream!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 17 JUL 2014

In this issue:
• The Eyes Of The 2-Star Brute
• Hearing The Phantom Sounds
• The Marine Karate Kid

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 cute picture of my granddaughter Abby Smith at a 4th of July parade in Morgan Hill, California. Her daddy, uncle and Godfather are all US Marines. I thought maybe you would like it for your magazine. My family loves your magazine.

Thank you.

Lorie Smith


The Eyes Of The 2-Star Brute

Once again I find Ddick and I share some common ground. In November of 1960, Platoon 181 was selected series Honor Platoon. We stood an Honor Guard for the Commandant, Gen. David M. Shoup at Main Side MCRD San Diego. We came to attention and as the entourage made its way down the ranks, one of the first persons to square in front of me was MajGen. Victor H. Krulak (not a tall man, I was shocked) then came Gen. Shoup (even shorter?) I came to inspection arms and he snatched my M1 in the convincing manner of a Drill Instructor. All I could see was the Quatrefoil on the top of his cover as he looked into the receiver of my weapon. When he handed my rifle back to me I looked directly into his eyes (glasses), God forgive me!

Cpl. Selders


Hearing The Phantom Sounds

Sgt. Grit,

Just finished reading last week's newsletter finally and cracked up laughing at Gunny Rousseau's post on hearing loss. I think I accidentally deleted the website so I missed several weeks of newsletters and as such missed any earlier post on hearing loss, but have one of my own stories to post.

All Newsletters are archive at:
Archived Newsletters

I was an 0331 machine gunner back in the early 80's and they did provide us with hearing protection, but being the dumb-azs that I was, I did not use them, or I should say I rarely used them. Upon discharge I received my physical which included a hearing test and the Corpsman or Navy doctor who tested me confirmed that I had frequency hearing loss, but had me sign a waiver and told me that in time, I would regain the hearing that I lost, but because it was not immediately noticeable to me I was not overly concerned and signed the waiver like the dumb-azs that I was. Anywho, after leaving the Corps I worked for about 5 years as an electrician and then got on with Baltimore Gas and Electric as an overhead line mechanic or "Lineman". Because we worked around loud construction vehicles and loud tools and equipment the company provided us with fairly regular hearing test. An Audiologist would come to the service centers in a mobile hearing test station that was equipped with three to four sound-proof booths. When it was my turn to be tested the very first time, I entered the booth and put on the headphones and picked up the two "plungers" in my hands and immediately I started banging away on the little buttons. The lady came back and opened the booth and said, "What are you doing, I did not start the test yet." "I will go back and restart the test and this time don't hit the buttons until you hear the sounds." I closed my eyes, gritted my teeth and concentrated like I was studying for a history test... and started banging away on the buttons. She came back again, but this time she was p-ssed and said, "what are you doing – are you messing with me?" I replied that I was not and she told me she was going to reset the test one more time. This time I gritted my teeth and hunched up tight to really concentrate and must have looked like I was trying to get a constipated cr-p out... and started banging away on the buttons once again. The Audiologist came charging back and opened the door and said, "were you in the military?" "Yes ma'am," I replied, "the Marines." "What did you do in the Marines?" "Machine gunner", I replied. "Why didn't you tell me", she yelled. "I have to test you separately, you have frequency hearing loss and the sound you hear is not the test tones, but a constant ringing in your ears."

I learned from her that my hearing loss would never improve and that it would only get worse as time goes on. Eventually I realized that I could not even hear the tone from an alarm on a wristwatch and it's to the point now that I have to really concentrate to hear someone that speaks quietly. My hobby is wood-working and I do wear very good hearing protection at all times, but I suspect in time I will require hearing aids. My wife and daughter know I have hearing loss, but I sometimes think they think I use it as an advantage so that I can "pretend" not to hear them! LOL!

Semper Fi to all my brother and sister Jarheads and God bless all of you fighting for our freedom!

Mike Kunkel
Cpl 0331
Lima 3/8 Weapons Platoon


The Marine Talk, The Marine Walk

Dear Sgt. Grit,

I remember the salty NCO's, Staff NCO's and the Officers who knew how to express themselves and the silver tongues that these bits of wisdom flowed off of.

One night after I was out of the Corps a few months - and on a blind date (the girl was a looker - but naive - and stubborn to boot - and opinionated as well.) She was driving me crazy arguing about everything - as she knew everything! I realized that this would be a one and only date with her - so in my best Marine Corps Tradition - I calmly told her that - she, "Was a lying sack of sh-t." My drill instructor would have been proud of me I am sure.

Another time I ordered something and had it delivered to my house, unfortunately my Ma was visiting me at the time and the wrong item was sent. I told my neighbor who had come over for a beer - (before my Ma showed up) Without realizing my mother was in my living room - I calmly told the my pretty next door neighbor - that the, "Dumb Dufus Mother F-cker sent the wrong item?"

Another time, I was at a local neighborhood bar and trouble was brewing around me - My fellow Servicemen friend - (from the U S Navy) politely told the clowns that if they were serious about fighting us - that maybe - "they should go outside first and practice falling down a few times to make it a fair fight!"

A Sergeant from my unit - was in Korea - and said when the sh-t hit the fan - all Marines were riflemen - the Mess personnel put down the serving spoons and picked up rifles and clips of ammo - for the M-1's. Mess Sgt told a Lieutenant - "Tubby you will not have the luxury of a jeep" - "and please Sir try to keep up with the us lowly enlisted ranked Marines." The Sgt. became a paper pusher with a load of stories about how cold and rough it was in Korea.

Amazing how the stories were told to me by many a Marine in harm's way - "The eyes were far away, and the expressions were a cross between catatonic and a hypnotic look - like they were reliving the moment. A few thanked me for listening to the stories - some guys in the squad bays had bad nightmares - we lived through a lot - and took care of each other. We Were MARINES!

Bruce Bender
Cpl. 1963-1967 (USMC)


The Marine Karate Kid

I have written a book "Mr. Miyagi and Me" available at Amazon.com in Kindle and Paperback.

I began my practice of karate as a young Marine in 1963 while stationed in Okinawa with the 12th Marines, and my teacher was and still is Mr. Takeshi Miyagi. So, in reality, there is a real life Karate Kid and Mr. Miyagi.

In his 60 years of teaching, Mr. Miyagi has promoted only three Americans to the rank of Black Belt and all are United States Marines. I was the first to be promoted to Black Belt and currently hold the rank of 9th Degree Black Belt, which I received in August 2011. The others were Len Neidert, my best friend in the Marine Corps who passed away in November 2000 and David Crull who received his black belt in 2001.

When I first approached Mr. Miyagi about joining his class he told me that I would be like all other Americans and quit. He said no American lasted three months in his class because he was much too tough, much too disciplined for Americans. He also said that even if I came to his class I would never be promoted to any rank and would always remain a white belt (beginners belt). But, if I wanted to learn and learn the right way to come back and he'd teach me.

I returned the following night and promptly found myself in Mr. Miyagi's version of Parris Island. I was put through a training program that was solely for the purpose of making me quit. Oh, I was learning, but I was being treated to some very brutal conditioning drills that most would walk away from. I stayed in spite of the treatment and finally earned his respect and that of his students.

To this day we remain friends and as teacher and student. I will be returning to Okinawa this month to train and take part in a memorial for two Grand Masters.

Semper Fi
Jim Lilley

Get this book at: Mr. Miyagi and Me


Elegant Tailor

A lot of Marines bought clothes, mostly suits and sport coats at a place like this around Da Nang. I got four. Three suits and a sport coat. Measured and tailored to my fit. They were made in Hong Kong. I had mine sent directly home. They fit perfectly and I wore them for years, all gone now as I've put a few pounds on. But my wife still remembers one of them and to this day kids me about the blue plaid suit. She didn't like it. She's probably right but I will never admit it.

If I remember correctly I got all four for about $250. Clothing like this, cameras and stereo gear were the largest purchases Marines made in Nam.

Semper Fi
Sgt Grit


American and Marine Pride

The attached photo is at the 4th of July Parade, Centerville, OH and shows myself, wearing my Sgt Grit Black USMC Hoodie (I've purchased five of these this week from you) shaking the hand of Ohio Governor John Kasich.

Semper Fi,
Bill Hamon

Get the pictured hoodie at:

Black/red Zip Up USMC Hooded Sweatshirt


Marine Corps League Annual Picnic And Fundraiser

Your Customer Relations representative Kristy is superb! She outfits our Marine Corps League Detachment (#1335 Bellingham, WA) each year with our raffle and auction items. This is our major fundraiser each year. The "Regan Quote" K-Bar is going to be one of many featured SGT Grit items in the silent auction and general raffle. Of course you are invited if you happen to be in the area as is any other Marines or Corpsman who happen to be visiting the Bellingham area.

Your motto is right "If you don't have it, Chesty wouldn't want it." Thank you for all the fine items in your catalog, your generous support of Detachments like ours, other veterans organizations and your continuing "OOORAH!" spirit and that of your employees. Please extend a hearty "Bravo Zulu" to Kristy from a truly grateful customer and share this freely with all of your employees who make SGT Grit what it is.

Marines & FMF Corpsman (Current and Former), Wives, Significant Others, Families, Kids, Friends of and Supporters of Marines:

Saturday, 26 July, It's that time of year again for our League's Annual Picnic!

Start Time 12:00 Noon 'til whenever. This year it will be at the Bellingham American Legion Post 7, 1688 W. Bakerview Rd. (out by the Airport and over by Mykonos Restaurant).

Semper Fi and Thank You Again!

CAPT (0302) Mac
RVN (as a Corporal) '69-'70
0341
d.a.mcmaster[at]att.net


It's Standing Up And Believing

(story from February 17, 2005)

This is the kind of thing that PMO! Did you earn it? Have you earned it! H-ll! I did twenty years in the Marine Corps, retired for Christmas sake, and I don't know that I've still have earned the right to call myself a Marine! Not when you think in terms of those that have gone before me and those that have come after me! I know, that each and every day that I crawl my azz out of the rack, I've got to go out and earn it again! I'm big on Honor and Integrity! You question my Honor, my Integrity, my honesty, my truthfulness, my fidelity, I get fighting Mad! You would have come out better calling me something else! That's the thing! Once you've made it through boot camp, that doesn't make you a Marine! What makes you a Marine is how you're going to get you're azz out of the rack every day for the rest of your life and live your life by what the Marine Corps taught you! Trained you to do, and to be!

Everything that you need to get through, to survive in this life, the Marine Corps has taught you! EVERYTHING! We can start with HONOR and INTEGRITY! It's called doing the right thing - in all things and with all things and with everyone that you come across in life! It's standing up and being counted for, and calling BS, BULLSH-T! It's standing up and believing in something greater and larger than yourself, if it's nothing else but the guy next to you! Forever more it's about sacrifice, and putting those less fortunate and weaker than you before yourself! It's about acknowledging that life is tough, but it's tougher if you're stupid! It's about growing, and about continuously learning, and about being tested! It's about never being complacent! Never satisfied! That your best is never going to be good enough! Perhaps to your parents, to your wife, to your children, but never to yourself! And before God! It's about never quitting, no matter how hard it gets! It's about not whining! No matter how tough it gets! It's about sucking it up, and giving 110% each day, every day! It's about living up to the standard! And the bar is set pretty d-mn high! It's meant to be! If it was easy, H-ll, everyone would be a Marine!

That's the thing that a lot of Soldiers and a lot of Sailors, and a lot of Airmen don't get! Once you become a Marine, the discipline is self-perpetuating! The discipline of the Corps becomes you're self-discipline! Many, and I mean many fall to the wayside! I truly believe, that the final and ultimate test as to whether or not you're a Marine, comes the day you report into Heaven with your PCS orders, and Saint Peter tells you, "Enter Marine!" To me, whether you did 2 years or 20 or more, the test of whether you're a Marine or not is how you live your life! Did you make a difference? Or did you lay your Honor, your Integrity, your spirit, your soul upon the alter of the almighty dollar, or (fill in the blank). Can you go to your grave and before God, and honestly say, "I did my absolute best! I gave all!" Can you stand before God come Judgment Day and say, "I am righteous and I did righteous, and I fought for righteous all my life!"

You need not lay your life down nor become crippled from the physical wounds of war! The fight to be fought, is the fight of righteousness! Did you do right! Did you do the right thing, in all things! Did you stand up for the down-trodden? Did you defend the weak? Did you defend the less fortunate?

It matters not that you did two nor twenty in the Marine Corps, what matters is that you applied that which the Marine Corps taught you! What matters is that you stood on the side of Lady Justice, and Righteousness! What matters is that you made a difference in your life and for being in this life!

The fact that you enlisted in the Marine Corps speaks volumes! Most young Americans these days don't enlist into the military! H-ll! They won't even enlist into the Army Reserves or even the National Guard! Let alone the Marine Corps! The fact that you did, speaks volumes thus far about your character! VOLUMES! But that is nothing more than a foundation for which to build the rest of your life!

Do you measure up? No! You don't! And the day that you believe that you do, you're done as a Marine! I did 20 years in the Marine Corps, retired! Guess what? I still don't measure up! Why? Because you're best isn't and never will be good enough! You do the 3 mile PFT run in 19 minutes, then you need to have you azz out on the road, working on 18:59! You shoot 245 on the rifle range, then you need to start working on 246! You get a noteworthy on an inspection, than you need to get working on "beyond noteworthy"!

Every day that you're in the Marine Corps is a "test"! I've seen Marines that had 12-14 years in the Marine Corps, and kicked back on their heels, thinking that they had it made! You Don't! Guess what? Those guys, got kicked out! You can do everything to perfection for 18 years, and you screw up one time and it's your azz!

That's the way it has to be! You don't get paid for screwing up! You don't get paid for saying, "My mistake! I forgot! I screwed up, nor My Bad!" Why? Because in most of the MOS in the Marine Corps, you screw up you get someone killed! Just that plain, just that simple!

But, you know what? That's the way it is out here in civilian life! Even more so! Either be part of the solution, or part of the answer or,... BE GONE! That's why Marines excel so well out here in civilian life,... we understand that!

Where I work at now, we've got two part-time college students working for us, in less than a week, I've heard from both of them, "It's not my problem, I'm not going to worry about it!" Well guess again Slick! It IS your PROBLEM!

Attitude is everything! Life is 10% of what happens to you, and 90% of your attitude! It's all about how you perceive it! How you look at it! It's not so much about what you've been through, nor what you're going through, it's about "What the H-ll are you going to do about it, and how are you going to handle it!"

That's the thing about being a Marine! Marines are renown for finding themselves in a world of sh-t! The thing about Marines is that they get off their azz and get busy doing something about it! It might not be pleasant, it might not be pretty, and it might not be fun, but they do something about it! They get busy! Marines aren't known for sitting around and holding "pity party's"... They get busy getting "BUSY"!

Marines aren't too big on "sympathy". If you're looking for sympathy, about the only place you're going to find it in this world or lifetime is in the dictionary! Get use to that fact and you'll do well in life! For every problem you've got, I promise you, someone has got it worse! For every trouble you've got, I promise you someone is worse off! You may be uglier than h-ll, I promise you! There's someone uglier than you! You may be dumber than a fence post, but I promise you, there's someone dumber than you! You may be dirt poor, but I promise you there IS someone poorer than you!

When you find yourself counting your troubles and your sorrows, etc., etc., etc. STOP! Count your blessings!

Gunny376
From the Sgt Grit Bulletin Board


Old Corps WWI Photos

Grit,

I have attached some pages from a Marine Corps Manual from WW I era. It was given to me from a friend of mine (who happens to be a Captain USMC who no longer serves) and it was given to him by a neighbor whose father was in the Marines Corps long ago. Maybe you could pick a few pages to show. I know Ddick and Gunny Rousseau might still have theirs!

T Buse
Sgt USMCR
4th FSSG, 4th Maint Bn, 4th Marines


The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #7, #3)

There was no Route I-95 in 1950. It was Route 1 to Washington, D.C. - and it wasn't much. We continued our conversation most of the time. Kitty told me that after she and Bette moved out it left two large rooms vacant and her mother decided to rent them and she was very selective to whom she rented these rooms. It seemed as though she only wanted well employed men that she thought were good choices to be husbands for her daughter - and maybe herself. (She had divorced her 2nd husband). That helped with her expenses. Kitty's eldest half-sister, Mary Claiborne, was well employed with the State Department, working at the U. S. Embassy in Algiers, and her room, too, was temporarily empty. The youngest of the 4 girls was Kimberly, a junior in high school.

I told her my parents had owned the 2nd largest egg producing poultry farm east of the Mississippi - until April 1945 - when it was put out of business by the O.P.A. If dad had been able to hold on for just 5 more months - when WWII ended - he would still have it. But as they say "That's the way the cookies crumbled." Dad was now a lumber broker - buying in the south and selling up north. I had two brothers that had been in WWII, one was a Captain in the Army and the other a 1stLt in the Army Air Corps; and a sister that had screwed up and married a 'swab jockey' who beat her badly.

Kitty told me "I was up quite early this morning and can hardly hold my eyes open. Would you mind if I took a short nap?" I told her "I would not mind at all. Make yourself comfortable." She got a small pillow from the back seat and put it between her head and the door. Several times either the pillow slipped down or her head fell off the pillow and she bumped her head on the door. Finally, I said to her "I have a suggestion that will stop that. You just slide over this way and put your head on my shoulder." There was some hesitation and she replied "I - don't - think - so." After her head hit the door a couple more times she asked "Is your offer still good?" I told her it was and she turned around and put her head on my shoulder. I put my right arm around her and she said "That is not part of the deal. Put your hands on the wheel." I told her that most of the time I am traveling with a beautiful woman my arm is around her. She said "I suppose you are right" and she went to sleep. When we approached Martha Washington Wayside - outside Fredericksburg - I stopped. She awoke and asked "What are you stopping for?" I told her "I am stopping for 3 reasons: To fix the flickering light in the dash, To clear your perfume from my head and to kiss you. Is that okay with you?" She said "The light in the dash has been flickering since we first got this car; I have never had a complaint about this perfume before; and as for the 3rd one - I - don't - think - so!"

'Til next week. The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


The FLIGHT LINE

Submitted By: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #9, #10 (Oct. 2019)

Part # 3: (VMO-6 cont.)

On the evening of Aug. 8th, 1952, the MARINE CORPS first night causality evacuation was successfully accomplished by a VMO-6 Aircraft and crew. OY-1's began another new MARINE aviation mission, psychological warfare by dropping surrender leaflets over enemy positions from their unarmed light planes. Both fixed and rotary winged aircraft were present at the Inchon Landings and participated heavily in the bone chilling cold during the Chosen Reservoir breakout too. Rescuing downed aircrew became a critical mission for VMO-6, the helicopters rapidly proved their worth in Korea. A series of improved Sikorsky HOS and Bell HTL helicopters arrived during 1950 and early 1951 expanding the Squadrons capabilities with longer endurance and increased capacity. The Stenson OY-1's were replaced with more capable Cessna O1-E "Bird Dogs" soon thereafter. Capt. Ed McMahon. later a well known radio and television host flew 85 Combat missions and earned 6 Air Medals during the last four months of the war flying VMO-6 Bird Dogs. After the fighting the unit moved back to California, they soon traded their Bell and Sikorsky helicopters for the more capable Kaman "HOK" Husky. Training with their mixed fleet of observation planes and helicopters continued at a steady pace, interrupted by a brief deployment during the Cuban Missile Crisis, in 1962.

Shortly after the deployment the squadron was tasked with exploring methods employing armed escort aircraft to assist helicopter borne troop transport and received some T-28C trainers configured as close air support aircraft. During the summer of 1964 the squadron received the first Bell UH-1E Huey helicopters which soon replaced all of the Kaman HOK's, Cessna OE "Bird Dog's" and T-28's with the Huey's. VMO-6 developed techniques for armed helicopter escort and landing zone fire support that would serve them well into the rest of the next decade. In 1965, VMO-6 was among the MARINE GROUP that sail to Vietnam. The next month, transport, gunship, airborne forward control and Med-e-vac missions were being flown on a daily basis. Using the call signs "Klondike" and later "Seaworthy". VMO-6 crews fought valiantly losing numerous Aircraft and men in the process. On Aug. 19th, 1957, Capt Stephen Pless and three other MARINES flew a rescue mission in their UH-1E gunship that earned him the Congressional Medal of Honor and the others "The Navy Cross" for their gallantry. The citation reads in part that "Under intense enemy gunfire, Capt Pless used his helicopter to shield four wounded American soldiers as the were assisted into his helicopter all the while beating back repeated enemy attacks." The over loaded helicopter then limped out to sea and escaped the enemy.


Short Rounds

Customer Howard LePine wanted to say hello to you and let you know that you have been doing a great job. He is a China Marine and today is his 85th Birthday!

Semper Fi,
T'Keiah Randle
Returns and Exchanges Department
Sgt Grit Marine Corps Specialties


Corporal Walter T. Stevens was a 20 year old Marine from Scranton, Pennsylvania when he earned the Silver Star as a squad leader with A/1/9 on May 13, 1967. During this action he personally killed three of the enemy. He is mentioned in my book "Marines, Medals and Vietnam'. I also have a copy of the Silver Star citation.

Semper Fidelis!
Billy Myers
USMC 1906xxx


Morning Sgt Grit,

Some great stories. Thanks for Sharing.

Sgt John Zing, 1963


Just wanted to follow up on the TV Ears for $129. If you are in the VA system and have a hearing loss, let the folks in Audiology know and they can have the same product issued to you free of charge. Semper Fi!

Julian Etheridge


Did you ever want to know the history of Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego?

Check out this documentary:
http://video.kpbs.org/video/2365231188/


What the h-ll is going on in the Marine Corps? In my days in the Corps ('66-'69) I have no doubt that the CG of MCRD would NOT let a Marine rot in a Mexican jail for over 100 days. This problem could be resolved very easily if the CG of Camp Pendleton and the CG of MCRD made liberty in Mexico off-limits.

Time for the Commanders to step up and take care of their Marines.

Kim B. Swanson


Quotes

"Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding and should, therefore, be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense. Their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties which may make anything mean everything or nothing at pleasure."
--Thomas Jefferson, 1823


"A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one."
--Alexander Hamilton, Founding Father


"I have never been bewildered for long in any fight with our enemies – I was Armed with Insight."
--General Jim "Mad Dog" Mattis


"Images flash through my mind – and I speak from my heart of an Eighth & 'I' parade in honor of John Glenn who remarked that night: He had been a Marine for 23 years... but not long enough. That was from a man fought in WWII & Korea and was the first American to orbit the earth. His wingman in Korea, baseball legend Ted Williams, put it well when asked which was best team he ever played on. Without hesitation he said, The U.S. Marine Corps."
--General Jim "Mad Dog" Mattis


"On evenings like this most of us will remember the tragedy of losing comrades Beautiful Marines... And we remember them, everyone, who gave their lives so our experiment called America, could live."
--General Jim "Mad Dog" Mattis


"Because every Marine, if he was in a tough spot – whether a bar fight, or tonight in Helmand River Valley, our fellow Marines would get to us, or die trying."
--General Jim "Mad Dog" Mattis


"A feeble executive implies a feeble execution of the government. A feeble execution is but another phrase for a bad execution; and a government ill executed, whatever may be its theory, must, in practice, be a bad government."
--Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833


"Shoot - Move - Communicate!"

"Screw with the Best, you go down with the Rest!"

"Survive the eighteen weeks and you get to call yourself a Marine, and everyone else calls you a Marine. I must be a Marine. You are a Marine. It took eighteen weeks to change you into a Marine. You will never change back into non Marine. It's inside you. It's all over your character. You can taste it. You are in the Crotch forever. The only classifications of Marines are, Active & Inactive. You see once you're in this wonderful, and proud chickens - outfit you can't get out. and besides who would want to? We are all proud to be Marines."

"Every day is a holiday. Every meal is a banquet. Every night is a Saturday night. And every formation is a family reunion. Why would anyone NOT want to be a Marine."

God Bless the American Dream!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 10 JUL 2014

In this issue:
• Ingenious Jarheads
• Get Off My Bus
• Parris Island 1958

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Semper Fi!

The attached photos are of my totally handmade Cornhole games. Custom Made Marine Cornhole Game I searched far and wide for a store made game set depicting Marine Corps lineage. Finally decided to build my own and adorn it with Sgt Grit decals. The decal story line on the boards tracks my time in the Corps from MCRD Parris Island (Sept '59) to assignment with the 1st MAW Iwakuni, Japan to Soc Trang, Vietnam and discharge rank E4 Corporal (Sept '63).

James T. Kline
1881xxx HO-RAH

Check out all Sgt Grit Decals and Stickers.


Ingenious Jarheads

Browning Stinger 30 cal

Sitting here watching a Military Channel program on the Browning 'Stinger' 30-cal as used by the Marines in WW2 - very interesting story behind it; Marines took Browning A-2's out of damaged SBD's and used an M-1 rear stock, BAR rear sight, bipod, and carrying handle, plus a modified trigger and lighter barrel, to make a light machine gun. Showed re-enactment of Marine PFC Tony Stein using one to take out numerous bunkers and pillboxes on Iwo - kept running to and from the beach to replenish the 100-rd ammo belts... took off his shoes and socks to run better in the sand. Pretty neat little MG, supposed to have a 1300rpm rate of fire!

Gotta love those ingenious Jarheads! Wonder if they used any Johnson automatic rifles there as well?

I bet John Browning is still smiling...

Griffin Murphey


Marine Corps Books


Get Off My Bus

"Get off my BUS!", and I'm not a drill instructor!

Last year I was driving a bus. As a bus operator you're responsible for your passengers just like in the CORPS... we look out for our fellow Marines. I came to a complete stop and a passenger got off the bus and from my mirrors I saw huge flames from the rear of my bus. I had approximately 20 passengers on board. I quickly put the emergency brake ON, and went to neutral. I then yelled "Get off the Bus! All my passengers quickly left the bus without knowing what was going on. As my passengers were exiting my bus I quickly grabbed my COMM and loud and clearly stated the information. I then hung up the radio and ran inside the bus double checking for any passengers left behind. Just like we do in the CORPS we double check, and look out for Marines! Semper Fi!

Let me tell you, it was getting hot in the bus. I was running inside looking for any passengers left behind. It was all clear... good to go! I then grabbed my personal trash and walked out of the bus and dialed 911 and gave them an update. Within 5 minutes emergency personal arrived on scene. I was told it was the first time something like this ever happened. Someone, let's keep his name out of this, but he said "I'm glad it happened to you." Knowing I was in the Corps and very d-nm proud of it!

Semper Fi
Cpl V
From somewhere in California.


Kicked Out Of The Marine Corps

I joined the Women Marines in 1972 but didn't make it through OCS, so joined the Army as enlisted. Women Marines were almost unheard of in those days. I have some stories that I think are humorous. This is an example.

My first assignment in the Army was to the United States Military Liaison Mission in Potsdam, East Germany. We actually worked out of West Berlin, with an official "residence" in Potsdam. The USMLM personnel were approximately 2/3 Army, 1/3 Air Force, with a Navy mission that was so small a lone Marine was assigned to that slot and he normally did an Army mission.

On the day I arrived in May 1974, the Mission was receiving a unit award from the Commanding General of USAREUR. I had traveled overnight on the American duty train and was asked to mind the phones while the unit received the award in formation. Afterwards, at the luncheon that was served, the Mission Chief brought me up to the head table and introduced me to the USAREUR Commander (a 4 star) as "our newest member, sir, she just arrived this morning." The General began asking me all kinds of O-10 talking to an E-3 type questions, one of which "Why did you join the Army?"

When I sighed and answered "Well, sir, I got kicked out of the Marine Corps" the general jumped back about a foot and said, "Would you mind running that by me again?" Across the table, I saw an AF major, an Army SGT (both men) and another female PFC looking back and forth with gaping jaws.

I had the highest GT score of any person ever assigned to the Mission and our Marine member, Lt Col John J Guenther (a really good guy with a great sense of humor) had to put up with comments that I was kicked out because my IQ was too high (no offense meant).

A few weeks later, Marine BG Blaha (former enlisted like Lt Col Guenther) came for a visit. Lt Col Guenther introduced us and told BG Blaha the story of my encounter with the USAREUR Commander. At a later function, BG Blaha told me that since I was a former Marine, I had to smoke an after dinner cigar with him.

Smedley Darlington Butler is still my hero; the only Army General comparable to him is Sidney Schachnow of Special Forces. I will tell more in the next installment.

We all fought for the same flag.

Semper Fi


My First Experiences As A Corpsman

Dear Sgt. Grit,

I was eighteen years old when I joined the Navy. My first experiences as a Corpsman of the Marine Corps stand out like they were yesterday, and not thirty-five years ago. The first experience occurred when I was nineteen. I had been stationed on Camp Pendleton for four months. I decided to go hiking in to the hills. I had been walking along for a while. I was deep in the hills when I saw a sign hanging from a barbwire fence, that I could not read because of the distance. So I started walking toward it. When I finally got close enough to read it, it said, "Impact Area. Hearing Protection Required". It was then that I realized that I had walked into an area where shells and bombs could be dropped. At the time, I thought to myself, "well, as long as I didn't step over any fences, I should be safe." (The very idea that Marines would miss a target was absurd and never considered.) So I continued walking. I started to climb a hill. About three-quarters of the way up, I realized I could hear a roaring sound that was getting louder. When I crested the hill, an F-4 Phantom came booming over the hill at lower than tree top level, right over my head. MAN! That was loud. But I continued walking to the far side of the hill and saw a valley open up in front of me. There was a military exercise in progress. I saw lots of armed Marines on foot and I saw tanks, firing weapons. I sat down and watched our Nation's Finest on a typical day at the Office.

My second experience of "A Marine At The Office" occurred at Camp Pendleton, Area 21. Again, I was 19 years old. On my first night in the barracks at Del Mar, I couldn't sleep. So I decided to walk down to the beach. On my way to the waves, I saw a Marine standing guard duty over the AMTRAKS, walking away from me. So I kept going. I got to the beach and sat there watching the moon's reflection on the waves. When I got sleepy, I headed back to my barracks. No sooner had I passed the sentry, when I heard running footsteps. I heard, (for my first time), the sound of an M-16 bolt being locked and cocked. "Freeze!" I stopped and held my hands out to the side. "Turn around, Slowly!" I turned around and found the barrel of an M-16 (without a BFA) just a couple of feet from my face. "Identify yourself!" I told him my name. "Let me see your ID card!" I had forgotten it in my room. "How do I know you are military and not a civilian trespassing?" And the answer popped into my head. "Because I know you are following the Eleventh General Order; "To be especially watchful at night, and during the time for challenging. To challenge all persons on or near my post and to allow no one to pass without proper authority." It was convincing. He said, "OK. You can pass". But he kept his rifle trained on the back of my head as I turned around and returned to my barracks."

Those first experiences, along with a life time of other experiences, provides me with confidence in the professionalism of Marines. For those of us who served in the military, we have a very different take on the arguments surrounding our 2nd Amendment Rights. It is an experience that civilians will never understand. Semper Fi!


My Current Mess Sergeant

I reported to the 5th Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, in early 1968. I was a young PFC not that long out of boot camp. I was originally from Upstate New York and had never really had any allergy problems before. California, I was soon to find out, was not Upstate New York.

Well, I was almost immediately assigned 30 days mess duty and the first morning I reported at zero dark thirty sneezing every few seconds. I thought at first that I had somehow caught a cold on the plane ride to California, but other than sneezing and a runny nose I had no other symptoms. The sneezing wouldn't stop... all morning... all afternoon... until finally the Mess Sergeant sent me to Sick Bay where I learned that I had developed allergies. When I reported back to the Mess Sergeant he informed me that I was relieved of mess duty and to never darken his door again. In four years, I never did. I still have allergies but my current Mess Sergeant (wife) assures me that they will not get me out of "KP" anymore.

Tom Mahoney
Cpl ('76-'71)


15 Freeking Armorers

In 1959 I was selected the Chief Armorer for the AR15/M16 Test Series, a platoon of Marines were armed with the AR15 and a Platoon was armed with the M14. They fired their rifles for Qualification, Infantry Training, cleaning, taking apart, everything a Marine might use his rifle for. During the Test Series WE, everybody connected with the Test Series, were warned to not make any comments pro or con about the Weapons. However the troops started saying, "It's Swell, Made by Mattel", and a comment or two slipped through like a Range NCO said; "I know why they call it the AR15... It takes 15 Freeking Armorers to keep it firing." There was at least one Officer that was relieved, what he did I don't know.

When we tested it, we taught the Marines to fire rifle Grenades with it but that became a NO NO because it bent the barrels.

During the Test Series I asked for a "MAD MINUTE" which is where you fire as fast as you can for a minute, loaded mags are ready for you to grab after you dump the empty one. I put all my loaded mags in a bucket full of water, (remember the monsoons in Vietnam?) and in 45 seconds I had to stop firing because a bulge in the barrel was so bad the front sight was tipping forward. When we tried it the second time I had to stop firing in less time due to the same problem.

When we heard about the problems with the rifle in Vietnam and General Walt was CG of 3rd MAF, I sent him a letter asking him to get me there so I could help. His Letter back to me said to train Marines there at Camp Pendleton how to clear jams and cartridge cases frozen in the chambers. Marines in Vietnam were using Ka-Bars to remove frozen cases in the chambers. I don't know how many cleaning rods were broken trying to remove cases. We've had the rifle over 60 years and they are still trying to get it working like the M1 and M14, but the little cartridge makes that difficult.

Want to know the NOT SO funny part of all this, the rifle was adopted by General LeMaY, USAF Commander, so they could carry more rifles and ammo for the Rifles with the weight restrictions of aircraft, General LeMay adopted it for the Air Force and after Our Test series, though the Army and Marines rejected the Rifle, McNamara, Secretary of Defense said, "There will only be one weapons system in the United States Armed Forces!" So an Air Force General was responsible for us getting an Infantry Rifle. God Help Us from Politicians.

Retired Marine Gunny who prefers his name not be used.


Hearing Loss

I just finished reading the latest newsletter about all the hearing loss suffered by my fellow Marines. I remember the cotton balls provided for "protection" on the range and how my ears would ring for hours after firing the M-14. I too suffer some hearing loss but not as bad as some. Anyway for those interested there is a product called TV Ears that is supposed to be an excellent product for the hearing impaired. A friend of mine that has 90% hearing loss raves about this product. It is a wireless system that hooks up to your TV and assists you in hearing the program you are watching. He claims he can hear everything said on the shows where he could hardly hear anything before. If anyone is watching with you they hear at the normal level coming from the TV while you get a different level wearing the ears, and they don't interfere with each other. I've never tried them myself as I am not at a point that I need them. For anyone interested they are sold at Radio Shack for about $90 and online at TV EARS, I think for $129.

Unfortunately they only help with TV and not normal conversations between people.

Cpl. Howard "Nate" Nethery
'65-'68
Semper Fi


Dear Sgt. Grit,

Was in Cherry Point in Group Supply - two huge bay doors were open in the morning - facing the flight line - jets revving engines all day - planes going on the runway - take-offs and landings - the sound was intense - and we had no protection for our ears? Now the Old War Horse is pushing 69 and had his hearing checked, and it was determined that he definitely has a hearing loss NOW - I do not think it was from normal everyday age old factor of usage of normal hearing - but the bodacious - loud engine noise from many moons ago.

Alas - my Marines I don't think that the VA will consider this a Marine Corps related problem now after over 47 years...

Semper Fi,
Bruce Bender
CPL USMC 1963-1967


Do It Again, I Have No Regrets

Good morning,

As I was reading the new Sgt. Girt newsletter I came across a story about plt. 1006 in July 6, 1969 by Lanny Cotton. I was in plt. 1006 in late Nov. 1960 at PI and I was in the old wooden barracks. So it looks like maybe it is about nine years in between the same boot camp platoons (is that possible?) at P.I. as you can see it is almost fifty years ago and I would do again. I would really like to go down to P.I. to see how things have changed and where is the first battalion location? What are the barracks made of? Where are the parade grounds?

It would be a good day for me to see a series graduate and the new young Marines. My whole life is what I was taught by my D.I. and I have no regrets.

Semper Fi
Moe LeBlanc Cpl. E4
1960-1964
Platoon 1006
I/3/4 & C/1/8


Parris Island 1958

July 1958 – 56 years ago.

The group I was in, about 20 of us, all from the Boston area arrived first at Yammasee by Pullman train. Then we were bused to Recruit Receiving and spent a night in a large barracks room. No DI's, just a Corporal who had the Duty.

Next morning we were assigned to platoons where we met Tech. Sgt. Laymance (E6) and Sgt. (E4) Roberts. What a pair of nice gentleman. So soft spoken and caring of all of us. So quick to respond to our every wish. LOL! (BTW, no yellow footprints) After some BS, we had haircuts, sent our civvies home, and then were issued uniforms. We did not get greens or tropicals then. All we got were herringbone utilities, brown high top and brown low cut boots (with fuzzy leather) and drawers, tees shirts, green or faded green color socks with cushion soles that the DI's made us wear inside out so we didn't get blisters, etc. (I have yet to figure that one out).

As far as the boots were concerned we were not allowed to polish them at all, let alone spit shine. I never heard any commands to spit shine boots, even after we went to the plain, smooth leather. I have heard people get some sh-t for spit shining boots and them being asked if they wanted to transfer to the doggie airborne! We applied lots of saddle soap to both high and low tops. We rubbed that SS in until we got the boots looking pretty good. We didn't wear the high boots until late in training. Wore the low-cuts all the time.

When we did get shoes and barracks caps, they were dark brown and we used KIWI Dark Brown Polish. I still have a can of it at home. It did give a great shine and if you put a coat of clear polish on over the dark brown, they would really shine. One of the hard parts was keeping your girlfriend, other friends, etc. from grabbing your barracks cap by the brim and smudging the shine!

Everyone in the platoon and probably the series got the heavy wool overcoat, brown leather winter gloves, and silk scarf. In fact I was elected to show the platoon how to wear it. Both items came in handy when we got liberty from Camp Lejeune in December back to Massachusetts!

No bloused utilities at PI then. And we wore "chrome domes" for covers 99% of the time, except to chow. They were simply helmet liners that had been painted silver to reflect the sun and ward off the rifle butt that occasionally fell from behind.

We went to black shoes in the 60's and most guys just dyed their brown shoes. We blamed the Army for having to change to black! BTW, tattoos were verboten then! I got out of the Reserves in 1968 and I still have and occasionally wear my brown, dyed black dress shoes and someone always comments on the spit shine!

So, that's the straight scoop from Platoon 174, July - October 1958, PI, SC.

Sgt. Philip E. Drugge USMCR
1/25 4th Mar. Div.


A Btry 3D LAAM BN Reunion

Marines of A Btry 3rd LAAM Bn at Reunion

Pic L-R: (Sgt) Pat McKenna, (Sgt) Charles "Buddy" Calhoun, (Sgt) Frank "Gunner Grabin Jr" Thompson.

This is a pic taken after our unit reunion. We had a reunion 27-29 Jun 2014 in Nashville, Tn. Great time and Great People.

I'm waiting for more Pics, but they are currently "Classified" and waiting for the clearance to see them.

Most at the reunion haven't seen each other for at least 30 plus yrs. That's why you have to Love the Marine Corps. It was like we never parted ways.

(on a side note) Bill Morris phone home.


Embarrassment To Our Corps

In 1969 they Navy was looking for a Guard Chief for Camp David. The Navy wanted a MSgt and the Marine Corps said they would get a GySgt. Capt. Adkins for 3rd 8" ExO, Btry Cmdr. of 1stGuns was the interviewing officer from HQMC. I had interviewed at the Bn level, Regimental level and was nominated from the 10th Marines. When Capt. Adkins interviewed me he said he could stop right there and recommend me for the job. I told him no, I wanted to be evaluated along with all the other candidates.

A couple of weeks later one evening he called me from Chicago and said he selected a GySgt who was an Engineer who just return from WestPac and was selected for MSgt.

God was looking after me because I would have been at Camp David when the Marines were busted for smoking Mary Jane. So those who were busted were not exactly the cream of the crop, but a bunch of derelicts who were an embarrassment to our Corps.

William J Bock


Fair To A Fault

Sgt. Grit,

I enjoy your weekly newsletters more than I could possibly reiterate. They bring me back to a time at 19-years of age in 1960 when I entered those hallowed gates July 28th of MCRD - San Diego. "Platoon 271... on the road"... I believe was the sound most heard through the months of training. My drill instructors for the cycle were SSgt. Harris, Sgt's. Wright, Bulknight and Fuller. They were, and hopefully still are great role models. Some had combat experience from Korea. All were disciplined, tough, but fair to a fault. All veterans of every branch of service have and will continue to have their own unique twist on the stories we've all heard and experienced, but nonetheless we relish hearing them over and over again. I'll have a few to add in the years to come, but for now please continue to include me in your weekly mailings. I've been a follower of the email site since 2007.

Thank you in advance for all you do to keep the traditions alive.

Cpl. Terrence (Terry) Carbonara, 193xxxx


Marine Ink Of The Week

Dress Blue Sgt Chevron under torn skin tattoo.

Submitted by David Harvey

Sgt of Marine Dress Blue Tattoo


Small Marine World

Last October, my wife, & I took a cruise down the Danube. Prior to said cruise, we stopped in Prague for 3 days. In Prague, I met with the NCOIC of the Marine Detachment there, a Gunny Ortizhartshorn. We developed one of those MSG/Marine Corps friendships that keep us in contact with one-another now.

Recently, he has just been made First Sergeant, and has taken over a Reserve Unit in Folsom, PA.

Last Wednesday, I sent him an E-mail... congratulating him on his promotion, and new job. In the same note, I told him that I had been invited to the Recruiting Headquarters Change of Command Ceremony here in OKC. An Infantry Major, Ryan B. Cohen would be replacing an Artillery Major, Richard H Robinson III as the Commanding Officer.

I sent the E-mail off.

Within 15 minutes, I received the following reply: "HOLY CR-P! Major Cohen is an extremely close battle buddy of mine. We know each other intimately. I knew he was taking over the station in OKC, but I didn't put two & two together with you there too. Feel free to throw my name out there. He knows me as "White Papa", which was my call sign when we fought side by side in Afghanistan together. Please tell him I said "congratulations, and Semper Fi".

At the conclusion of the CofC Ceremony on Friday, I told Major Cohen that I had a message for him from a friend of mine. "I was requested to tell you "Congratulations & Semper Fi from 'White Papa'." His eyes got as big as saucers, and his jaw dropped, and there was a long silence. Then he said: "How in the H-ll, do you know 'White Papa'? Never mind. When I am settled in in a couple of weeks, come to the office, and we will have a little talk."

I then went to the luncheon tables.

It's a small world.

Denny


Before There Was Rock And Roll

Sgt. Grit,

One young Marine Wrote about Mess Duty; when I went in we all had a week of mess duty after Rifle Range (in those days they paid us $5.00 monthly for Mess Duty), aboard ship they assigned a few of us to Mess Duty... when I went overseas in WWII our entire Replacement draft was assigned to a Flotilla of LSM's. I don't recall how many were assigned to each LSM, but we're allotted a space in the lower aft section of the ship. If you know LSM's they are round bottomed ships much smaller than an LST, the compartment we slept in was visited daily by a Sailor that opened a fuel tank that had a place to measure the amount of fuel which left the lingering smell of diesel oil in the compartment. The round bottom gave Rock and Roll to the ship before there was Rock and Roll. We were fed twice a day in our meat can and cover, for lunch we were issued "K" rations.

As usual there were men lining the rails relieving themselves of a meal with old time Marines and Sailors saying odd things like; "Don't waste food, swallow it" and such terrible comments. I have always felt lucky because I never got sea sick. But was thankful to get off the LSM's and get ashore. I was amazed at what the Navy did with some of its ships. The LSM became an LSM (R) which had a lot of 5 inch rocket launchers mounted on a deck which unleashed rockets on the island being attacked... many ships were damaged by the usually very accurate fire the Japanese sent. They also had the LCI (Landing Craft, Infantry) that carried troops ashore and they ran off platforms on each side, however in the Pacific War they used the LCI as a Mortar Ship that had 4.2 Mortars that got in close to shore and fired the mortars. The LCI (G) was another ship used to get close to shore and deliver accurate fire at the enemy. However, if you want to read a tale of remarkable Heroism of the Navy, on LCI (G) Flotilla... Three that went in on Iwo Jima, I don't recall all the remarkable damage that happened, but at least one LCI had to be towed from the beach area, all the LCI's were hit with artillery fire with many dead and wounded. One LCI Captain earned a Medal of Honor and there were lots for medals awarded this LCI (G) Flotilla 3 group that went into Iwo to unloaded their share of destruction on the enemy. Don't put the Navy Down because they did some remarkable things to get us ashore. Being a Coxwain on a Peter Boat carrying Marines ashore and making return trips seems to need remarkably Brave Men. There is a Book; "Iwo Jima Recon" that deserves reading by Marines about the Heroism of the Navy at Iwo.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #7, #2)

I asked this gorgeous lady why she had looked at me so peculiarly when I picked up her son out front. She said, "His father would NEVER have picked him up when in uniform and I don't believe he would have been able to do that anyway. He wasn't very strong." I asked "Was he more concerned about his uniform than his son?" She replied "I'm sure he was!" I told her "He should turn in his uniform and get his priorities in order."

The waitress handed me the check. I was looking at it. It was for $7.45. She pulled it from my hand and said, "I'll take care of this." I told her I would take care of the tip. Back then a proper tip was 10%. I left $2.00 on the table. We left the restaurant and I then saw the Camp Lejeune tag on her car for the first time. It was an officers tag #O-38). I knew the sequences of the tags (#O-1 to 10 were for General officers, #O-11 to 30 for Colonels and #O-31 to 60 for LtCols). They were issued in early 1950 and all of these were in order of seniority. #O-38 went to the 8th highest ranking LtCol on the Post. That told me more that I did not know.

It must have been about 1720 and I was certain that all the north- bound enlisted men had passed us. We resumed a leisurely trip to Washington. Our next stop would be at the American station in Petersburg for the absolute best full service anywhere. We had a very nice conversation all the way. We got there at about 2030. I told Kitty to "Just watch the service you get at this station. We all got out of the car. I had to take S_____ to the restroom. She watched as 5 men serviced the car (1 to fill the tank, 2 to wash ALL the windows outside, 1 to check the tire pressure and the 5th to check the fluids under the hood). I returned and got S______ back in the car. She was watching the man checking everything beneath the hood. The station owner was standing next to her. When he saw me he said, "Your car went through about half an hour ago." I asked, "Did he pay the tab?" He said, "No... that you would get it when you came through. Do you want to pay it now or next time?" I said, "I may as well do so now." He went into his office to get the check. When he returned he asked, "Is this your wife?" She heard what he said and was looking at me. I said, "No, Not Yet!" - I got another one of those big, broad smiles. When everyone had completed their jobs he wrote a check for the gas. She said, "I'll take that." She paid it and gave him a $5.00 tip. He said, "Oh No. We do not charge for our service." She replied, "I have never seen such excellent service. I want you to give each of your men $1." He said, "Okay. I will do that. I am certain they will appreciate it. He said to me, "When is the wedding?" I got another one of those beautiful smiles - and we moved on north.

'til next week. The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


The FLIGHT LINE

Submitted By: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #9, #9 (Sept. 2019)

Part #2: (VMO-6 cont.)

Another MARINE first was the deployment of four (4) Atlantic TA-1 and TA-2 Transports, which were American built versions of the Dutch Fokker F-VII tri-motored transports. Withe these aircraft the MARINES of VO-6M developed, implemented and refined large-scale aerial supply operations to cope with the lack of infrastructure on the ground. In 1931, after returning to Quantico, VM-6O assembled a team of six F8C dive bombers called the "Hell-divers", which represented MARINE aviation at U.S. Events such as, the National Air Races in Cleveland, Ohio. Soon, the team expanded to nine aircraft and continued to favorably exhibit MARINE tactical flying presentations to national audiences. Unfortunately, a re-organization of Naval (and thus MARINE) Aviation in 1933 determined that a MARINE squadron had to be dis-assembled to make way for a new dive bombing squadron, and VO-6M was disbanded at the end of June of that year. Eleven years later, World War II was entering it's final phase of combat in the Pacific, and in November 1944, MARINE observation Squadron 6 (VMO-6) was reactivated at Quantico. It's original missions were to conduct aerial observation and artillery direction for ground troops while flying in OY-1 Sentinel Light aircraft, similar to the civilian Stenson 105 Voyager. The squadron participated in the Okinawa assault in early April 1945, coordinating artillery fire and delivering messages to ground commanders. Two months later, VMO-6 began making casualty evacuation flights in their OY-1's. Ultimately, the squadron flew 460 "Combat Missions" and evacuated 195 causalities at Okinawa.

After World War II's end in Sept. 1945, VMO-6 was moved to China for fifteen months to report on communist Chinese operations and support U.S. Operations within the Country. VMO-6 was then moved to California's Camp Pendleton in January of 1947, and for three and one half years the squadron trained with west coast MARINES and Navy units perfecting radio procedures and even participating in "Cold Weather" exercises with their OY-1's. Then suddenly everything changed. The Korean War erupted in June of 1950. Almost immediately, VMO-6 was called upon to support the MARINE Brigade that was being sent across the Pacific Ocean. Helicopters and men from Quantico's HMX-1 test unit were operationally attached for their combat debut, Sikorsky HO3S helicopters joined OY-1 Sentinels aboard and aircraft carrier that arrived in Japan on the last day of July in 1950. Three day's later, the aircraft and men were in action in Korea, the fixed wing aircraft were flying reconnaissance and artillery spotting missions and the helicopters were evacuating causalities from the front lines.

Aircraft with the "WB" tail code would become familiar sights with MARINES on the ground, throughout the war.


Favorite Marine SNCO Story

Inspection by CG FMF PAC, Marine Barracks, NAHA

Another inspection at Marine Barracks, Naha... the inspecting officer is Lt.Gen Alan Shapely, at the time the CG, FMF PAC. On December 7th, 1941, he was aboard the USS Arizona, as a Major, and had just been relieved the previous day as the CO of Arizona's Marine Detachment. He had stayed aboard, as his Marines were scheduled to play in a championship baseball game that Sunday. He was aloft, with a cup of coffee, when the Japanese struck. He was blown, naked, into the water... and helped others swim ashore on Ford Island. Note, if you can see the detail, that those are brass claws, just above my left hand... meaning that we had leather slings... field marching pack, one canteen...

The officer behind him appears to be Major Nick Capelleto (sp?)... who would have been freshly promoted... he was the Barracks XO as a Captain when he arrived... saw him years later with FSR at Chu Lai... CO of Ordnance Maintenance Co. as I recall...

When drafting the text to go with the picture of LtGen Alan Shapely... (taken at Marine Barracks, Naha)... I neglected to mention that as CO of the 4th Marines, he was decorated for... taking the Japanese airfield... at Naha... Wikipedia has a decent bio on the gentleman...

A favorite Marine SNCO story of mine... usually set at 29 Palms (my three tours there having absolutely no influence... nor my few months as a SNCO)... anyway, if you can provide your own slightly southern accent for the characters, it goes like this: Pitcher night at the SNCO club, quite coincidentally timed to fall on a payday... two Gunnies hit the club at 1600, quickly go through a first pitcher... then a second... then a third... after which the younger of the two allowed it was time for a head call. The elder of the two opined that his acolyte should just go ahead by himself, as he (the elder) had no need. This scenario repeated itself throughout the evening, and up to the National Anthem playing on the backbar TV... at which point the club manager insisted that these seasoned warriors depart his premises. As they wended their wobbly way out the front sidewalk, the elder Gunny said "Wait jush a minute... I gotta p-ss." His friend, still having at least a few functioning brain cells, and some recognition of their possible location at the moment, exclaimed: "Gunny! You can't p-ss here!"... to which his now BFF pointed off in the distance, and explained: "I'm not gonna pish here... I'm gonna p-ss WAAAAAY... over there!"

(well... maybe you had to be there?)

Ddick


Short Rounds

My first morning at PI was 50 years ago right NOW! I arrived at the front gate on the bus at 3:30 the morning of 2 July 1964.

Skipper Mercer
USMC #xxx3982


How Marines Are Made!

Parris Island: Cradle of the Corps.


I was reading your latest catalog and I told Connie it looked like a friggin' magazine. She answered: Marines don't read magazines... they empty them.

She's a keeper!


Quotes

"I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude."
--Thomas Jefferson


"The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools."
--Herbert Spencer, Essays [1891]


"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!"
--Lt.Gen. Lewis "Chesty" Puller, USMC


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


"Heads up, Shoulders back, Strut, Strut, Strut!"

"You little maggot, I'm gonna screw your head off and sh-t in the hole!"

"You! You! Do I look like a female sheep boy!"

"You look like Alley Oop with a head full of hair-er"

"Are you looking at me boy?"
"No Sir!"
"Yeah you are, I think you like me!" "Do you like me boy?"
(no good answer here so you say YES SIR) "You like me?"
"Liken' leads to loven' and loven' leads to f---'n."
"You want to f--- me boy?"
(And round we go)

Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 10 JUL 2014

In this issue:
• Ingenious Jarheads
• Get Off My Bus
• Parris Island 1958

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Semper Fi!

The attached photos are of my totally handmade Cornhole games. I searched far and wide for a store made game set depicting Marine Corps lineage. Finally decided to build my own and adorn it with Sgt Grit decals. The decal story line on the boards tracks my time in the Corps from MCRD Parris Island (Sept '59) to assignment with the 1st MAW Iwakuni, Japan to Soc Trang, Vietnam and discharge rank E4 Corporal (Sept '63).

James T. Kline
1881xxx HO-RAH

Check out all Sgt Grit Decals and Stickers.


Ingenious Jarheads

Sitting here watching a Military Channel program on the Browning 'Stinger' 30-cal as used by the Marines in WW2 - very interesting story behind it; Marines took Browning A-2's out of damaged SBD's and used an M-1 rear stock, BAR rear sight, bipod, and carrying handle, plus a modified trigger and lighter barrel, to make a light machine gun. Showed re-enactment of Marine PFC Tony Stein using one to take out numerous bunkers and pillboxes on Iwo - kept running to and from the beach to replenish the 100-rd ammo belts... took off his shoes and socks to run better in the sand. Pretty neat little MG, supposed to have a 1300rpm rate of fire!

Gotta love those ingenious Jarheads! Wonder if they used any Johnson automatic rifles there as well?

I bet John Browning is still smiling...

Griffin Murphey


Get Off My Bus

"Get off my BUS!", and I'm not a drill instructor!

Last year I was driving a bus. As a bus operator you're responsible for your passengers just like in the CORPS... we look out for our fellow Marines. I came to a complete stop and a passenger got off the bus and from my mirrors I saw huge flames from the rear of my bus. I had approximately 20 passengers on board. I quickly put the emergency brake ON, and went to neutral. I then yelled "Get off the Bus! All my passengers quickly left the bus without knowing what was going on. As my passengers were exiting my bus I quickly grabbed my COMM and loud and clearly stated the information. I then hung up the radio and ran inside the bus double checking for any passengers left behind. Just like we do in the CORPS we double check, and look out for Marines! Semper Fi!

Let me tell you, it was getting hot in the bus. I was running inside looking for any passengers left behind. It was all clear... good to go! I then grabbed my personal trash and walked out of the bus and dialed 911 and gave them an update. Within 5 minutes emergency personal arrived on scene. I was told it was the first time something like this ever happened. Someone, let's keep his name out of this, but he said "I'm glad it happened to you." Knowing I was in the Corps and very d-nm proud of it!

Semper Fi
Cpl V
From somewhere in California.


Kicked Out Of The Marine Corps

I joined the Women Marines in 1972 but didn't make it through OCS, so joined the Army as enlisted. Women Marines were almost unheard of in those days. I have some stories that I think are humorous. This is an example.

My first assignment in the Army was to the United States Military Liaison Mission in Potsdam, East Germany. We actually worked out of West Berlin, with an official "residence" in Potsdam. The USMLM personnel were approximately 2/3 Army, 1/3 Air Force, with a Navy mission that was so small a lone Marine was assigned to that slot and he normally did an Army mission.

On the day I arrived in May 1974, the Mission was receiving a unit award from the Commanding General of USAREUR. I had traveled overnight on the American duty train and was asked to mind the phones while the unit received the award in formation. Afterwards, at the luncheon that was served, the Mission Chief brought me up to the head table and introduced me to the USAREUR Commander (a 4 star) as "our newest member, sir, she just arrived this morning." The General began asking me all kinds of O-10 talking to an E-3 type questions, one of which "Why did you join the Army?"

When I sighed and answered "Well, sir, I got kicked out of the Marine Corps" the general jumped back about a foot and said, "Would you mind running that by me again?" Across the table, I saw an AF major, an Army SGT (both men) and another female PFC looking back and forth with gaping jaws.

I had the highest GT score of any person ever assigned to the Mission and our Marine member, Lt Col John J Guenther (a really good guy with a great sense of humor) had to put up with comments that I was kicked out because my IQ was too high (no offense meant).

A few weeks later, Marine BG Blaha (former enlisted like Lt Col Guenther) came for a visit. Lt Col Guenther introduced us and told BG Blaha the story of my encounter with the USAREUR Commander. At a later function, BG Blaha told me that since I was a former Marine, I had to smoke an after dinner cigar with him.

Smedley Darlington Butler is still my hero; the only Army General comparable to him is Sidney Schachnow of Special Forces. I will tell more in the next installment.

We all fought for the same flag.

Semper Fi


My First Experiences As A Corpsman

Dear Sgt. Grit,

I was eighteen years old when I joined the Navy. My first experiences as a Corpsman of the Marine Corps stand out like they were yesterday, and not thirty-five years ago. The first experience occurred when I was nineteen. I had been stationed on Camp Pendleton for four months. I decided to go hiking in to the hills. I had been walking along for a while. I was deep in the hills when I saw a sign hanging from a barbwire fence, that I could not read because of the distance. So I started walking toward it. When I finally got close enough to read it, it said, "Impact Area. Hearing Protection Required". It was then that I realized that I had walked into an area where shells and bombs could be dropped. At the time, I thought to myself, "well, as long as I didn't step over any fences, I should be safe." (The very idea that Marines would miss a target was absurd and never considered.) So I continued walking. I started to climb a hill. About three-quarters of the way up, I realized I could hear a roaring sound that was getting louder. When I crested the hill, an F-4 Phantom came booming over the hill at lower than tree top level, right over my head. MAN! That was loud. But I continued walking to the far side of the hill and saw a valley open up in front of me. There was a military exercise in progress. I saw lots of armed Marines on foot and I saw tanks, firing weapons. I sat down and watched our Nation's Finest on a typical day at the Office.

My second experience of "A Marine At The Office" occurred at Camp Pendleton, Area 21. Again, I was 19 years old. On my first night in the barracks at Del Mar, I couldn't sleep. So I decided to walk down to the beach. On my way to the waves, I saw a Marine standing guard duty over the AMTRAKS, walking away from me. So I kept going. I got to the beach and sat there watching the moon's reflection on the waves. When I got sleepy, I headed back to my barracks. No sooner had I passed the sentry, when I heard running footsteps. I heard, (for my first time), the sound of an M-16 bolt being locked and cocked. "Freeze!" I stopped and held my hands out to the side. "Turn around, Slowly!" I turned around and found the barrel of an M-16 (without a BFA) just a couple of feet from my face. "Identify yourself!" I told him my name. "Let me see your ID card!" I had forgotten it in my room. "How do I know you are military and not a civilian trespassing?" And the answer popped into my head. "Because I know you are following the Eleventh General Order; "To be especially watchful at night, and during the time for challenging. To challenge all persons on or near my post and to allow no one to pass without proper authority." It was convincing. He said, "OK. You can pass". But he kept his rifle trained on the back of my head as I turned around and returned to my barracks."

Those first experiences, along with a life time of other experiences, provides me with confidence in the professionalism of Marines. For those of us who served in the military, we have a very different take on the arguments surrounding our 2nd Amendment Rights. It is an experience that civilians will never understand. Semper Fi!


My Current Mess Sergeant

I reported to the 5th Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, in early 1968. I was a young PFC not that long out of boot camp. I was originally from Upstate New York and had never really had any allergy problems before. California, I was soon to find out, was not Upstate New York.

Well, I was almost immediately assigned 30 days mess duty and the first morning I reported at zero dark thirty sneezing every few seconds. I thought at first that I had somehow caught a cold on the plane ride to California, but other than sneezing and a runny nose I had no other symptoms. The sneezing wouldn't stop... all morning... all afternoon... until finally the Mess Sergeant sent me to Sick Bay where I learned that I had developed allergies. When I reported back to the Mess Sergeant he informed me that I was relieved of mess duty and to never darken his door again. In four years, I never did. I still have allergies but my current Mess Sergeant (wife) assures me that they will not get me out of "KP" anymore.

Tom Mahoney
Cpl ('76-'71)


15 Freeking Armorers

In 1959 I was selected the Chief Armorer for the AR15/M16 Test Series, a platoon of Marines were armed with the AR15 and a Platoon was armed with the M14. They fired their rifles for Qualification, Infantry Training, cleaning, taking apart, everything a Marine might use his rifle for. During the Test Series WE, everybody connected with the Test Series, were warned to not make any comments pro or con about the Weapons. However the troops started saying, "It's Swell, Made by Mattel", and a comment or two slipped through like a Range NCO said; "I know why they call it the AR15... It takes 15 Freeking Armorers to keep it firing." There was at least one Officer that was relieved, what he did I don't know.

When we tested it, we taught the Marines to fire rifle Grenades with it but that became a NO NO because it bent the barrels.

During the Test Series I asked for a "MAD MINUTE" which is where you fire as fast as you can for a minute, loaded mags are ready for you to grab after you dump the empty one. I put all my loaded mags in a bucket full of water, (remember the monsoons in Vietnam?) and in 45 seconds I had to stop firing because a bulge in the barrel was so bad the front sight was tipping forward. When we tried it the second time I had to stop firing in less time due to the same problem.

When we heard about the problems with the rifle in Vietnam and General Walt was CG of 3rd MAF, I sent him a letter asking him to get me there so I could help. His Letter back to me said to train Marines there at Camp Pendleton how to clear jams and cartridge cases frozen in the chambers. Marines in Vietnam were using Ka-Bars to remove frozen cases in the chambers. I don't know how many cleaning rods were broken trying to remove cases. We've had the rifle over 60 years and they are still trying to get it working like the M1 and M14, but the little cartridge makes that difficult.

Want to know the NOT SO funny part of all this, the rifle was adopted by General LeMaY, USAF Commander, so they could carry more rifles and ammo for the Rifles with the weight restrictions of aircraft, General LeMay adopted it for the Air Force and after Our Test series, though the Army and Marines rejected the Rifle, McNamara, Secretary of Defense said, "There will only be one weapons system in the United States Armed Forces!" So an Air Force General was responsible for us getting an Infantry Rifle. God Help Us from Politicians.

Retired Marine Gunny who prefers his name not be used.


Hearing Loss

I just finished reading the latest newsletter about all the hearing loss suffered by my fellow Marines. I remember the cotton balls provided for "protection" on the range and how my ears would ring for hours after firing the M-14. I too suffer some hearing loss but not as bad as some. Anyway for those interested there is a product called TV Ears that is supposed to be an excellent product for the hearing impaired. A friend of mine that has 90% hearing loss raves about this product. It is a wireless system that hooks up to your TV and assists you in hearing the program you are watching. He claims he can hear everything said on the shows where he could hardly hear anything before. If anyone is watching with you they hear at the normal level coming from the TV while you get a different level wearing the ears, and they don't interfere with each other. I've never tried them myself as I am not at a point that I need them. For anyone interested they are sold at Radio Shack for about $90 and online at TV EARS, I think for $129.

Unfortunately they only help with TV and not normal conversations between people.

Cpl. Howard "Nate" Nethery
'65-'68
Semper Fi


Dear Sgt. Grit,

Was in Cherry Point in Group Supply - two huge bay doors were open in the morning - facing the flight line - jets revving engines all day - planes going on the runway - take-offs and landings - the sound was intense - and we had no protection for our ears? Now the Old War Horse is pushing 69 and had his hearing checked, and it was determined that he definitely has a hearing loss NOW - I do not think it was from normal everyday age old factor of usage of normal hearing - but the bodacious - loud engine noise from many moons ago.

Alas - my Marines I don't think that the VA will consider this a Marine Corps related problem now after over 47 years...

Semper Fi,
Bruce Bender
CPL USMC 1963-1967


Do It Again, I Have No Regrets

Good morning,

As I was reading the new Sgt. Girt newsletter I came across a story about plt. 1006 in July 6, 1969 by Lanny Cotton. I was in plt. 1006 in late Nov. 1960 at PI and I was in the old wooden barracks. So it looks like maybe it is about nine years in between the same boot camp platoons (is that possible?) at P.I. as you can see it is almost fifty years ago and I would do again. I would really like to go down to P.I. to see how things have changed and where is the first battalion location? What are the barracks made of? Where are the parade grounds?

It would be a good day for me to see a series graduate and the new young Marines. My whole life is what I was taught by my D.I. and I have no regrets.

Semper Fi
Moe LeBlanc Cpl. E4
1960-1964
Platoon 1006
I/3/4 & C/1/8


Parris Island 1958

July 1958 – 56 years ago.

The group I was in, about 20 of us, all from the Boston area arrived first at Yammasee by Pullman train. Then we were bused to Recruit Receiving and spent a night in a large barracks room. No DI's, just a Corporal who had the Duty.

Next morning we were assigned to platoons where we met Tech. Sgt. Laymance (E6) and Sgt. (E4) Roberts. What a pair of nice gentleman. So soft spoken and caring of all of us. So quick to respond to our every wish. LOL! (BTW, no yellow footprints) After some BS, we had haircuts, sent our civvies home, and then were issued uniforms. We did not get greens or tropicals then. All we got were herringbone utilities, brown high top and brown low cut boots (with fuzzy leather) and drawers, tees shirts, green or faded green color socks with cushion soles that the DI's made us wear inside out so we didn't get blisters, etc. (I have yet to figure that one out).

As far as the boots were concerned we were not allowed to polish them at all, let alone spit shine. I never heard any commands to spit shine boots, even after we went to the plain, smooth leather. I have heard people get some sh-t for spit shining boots and them being asked if they wanted to transfer to the doggie airborne! We applied lots of saddle soap to both high and low tops. We rubbed that SS in until we got the boots looking pretty good. We didn't wear the high boots until late in training. Wore the low-cuts all the time.

When we did get shoes and barracks caps, they were dark brown and we used KIWI Dark Brown Polish. I still have a can of it at home. It did give a great shine and if you put a coat of clear polish on over the dark brown, they would really shine. One of the hard parts was keeping your girlfriend, other friends, etc. from grabbing your barracks cap by the brim and smudging the shine!

Everyone in the platoon and probably the series got the heavy wool overcoat, brown leather winter gloves, and silk scarf. In fact I was elected to show the platoon how to wear it. Both items came in handy when we got liberty from Camp Lejeune in December back to Massachusetts!

No bloused utilities at PI then. And we wore "chrome domes" for covers 99% of the time, except to chow. They were simply helmet liners that had been painted silver to reflect the sun and ward off the rifle butt that occasionally fell from behind.

We went to black shoes in the 60's and most guys just dyed their brown shoes. We blamed the Army for having to change to black! BTW, tattoos were verboten then! I got out of the Reserves in 1968 and I still have and occasionally wear my brown, dyed black dress shoes and someone always comments on the spit shine!

So, that's the straight scoop from Platoon 174, July - October 1958, PI, SC.

Sgt. Philip E. Drugge USMCR
1/25 4th Mar. Div.


A Btry 3D LAAM BN Reunion

Pic L-R: (Sgt) Pat McKenna, (Sgt) Charles "Buddy" Calhoun, (Sgt) Frank "Gunner Grabin Jr" Thompson.

This is a pic taken after our unit reunion. We had a reunion 27-29 Jun 2014 in Nashville, Tn. Great time and Great People.

I'm waiting for more Pics, but they are currently "Classified" and waiting for the clearance to see them.

Most at the reunion haven't seen each other for at least 30 plus yrs. That's why you have to Love the Marine Corps. It was like we never parted ways.

(on a side note) Bill Morris phone home.


Embarrassment To Our Corps

In 1969 they Navy was looking for a Guard Chief for Camp David. The Navy wanted a MSgt and the Marine Corps said they would get a GySgt. Capt. Adkins for 3rd 8" ExO, Btry Cmdr. of 1stGuns was the interviewing officer from HQMC. I had interviewed at the Bn level, Regimental level and was nominated from the 10th Marines. When Capt. Adkins interviewed me he said he could stop right there and recommend me for the job. I told him no, I wanted to be evaluated along with all the other candidates.

A couple of weeks later one evening he called me from Chicago and said he selected a GySgt who was an Engineer who just return from WestPac and was selected for MSgt.

God was looking after me because I would have been at Camp David when the Marines were busted for smoking Mary Jane. So those who were busted were not exactly the cream of the crop, but a bunch of derelicts who were an embarrassment to our Corps.

William J Bock


Fair To A Fault

Sgt. Grit,

I enjoy your weekly newsletters more than I could possibly reiterate. They bring me back to a time at 19-years of age in 1960 when I entered those hallowed gates July 28th of MCRD - San Diego. "Platoon 271... on the road"... I believe was the sound most heard through the months of training. My drill instructors for the cycle were SSgt. Harris, Sgt's. Wright, Bulknight and Fuller. They were, and hopefully still are great role models. Some had combat experience from Korea. All were disciplined, tough, but fair to a fault. All veterans of every branch of service have and will continue to have their own unique twist on the stories we've all heard and experienced, but nonetheless we relish hearing them over and over again. I'll have a few to add in the years to come, but for now please continue to include me in your weekly mailings. I've been a follower of the email site since 2007.

Thank you in advance for all you do to keep the traditions alive.

Cpl. Terrence (Terry) Carbonara, 193xxxx


Small Marine World

Last October, my wife, & I took a cruise down the Danube. Prior to said cruise, we stopped in Prague for 3 days. In Prague, I met with the NCOIC of the Marine Detachment there, a Gunny Ortizhartshorn. We developed one of those MSG/Marine Corps friendships that keep us in contact with one-another now.

Recently, he has just been made First Sergeant, and has taken over a Reserve Unit in Folsom, PA.

Last Wednesday, I sent him an E-mail... congratulating him on his promotion, and new job. In the same note, I told him that I had been invited to the Recruiting Headquarters Change of Command Ceremony here in OKC. An Infantry Major, Ryan B. Cohen would be replacing an Artillery Major, Richard H Robinson III as the Commanding Officer.

I sent the E-mail off.

Within 15 minutes, I received the following reply: "HOLY CR-P! Major Cohen is an extremely close battle buddy of mine. We know each other intimately. I knew he was taking over the station in OKC, but I didn't put two & two together with you there too. Feel free to throw my name out there. He knows me as "White Papa", which was my call sign when we fought side by side in Afghanistan together. Please tell him I said "congratulations, and Semper Fi".

At the conclusion of the CofC Ceremony on Friday, I told Major Cohen that I had a message for him from a friend of mine. "I was requested to tell you "Congratulations & Semper Fi from 'White Papa'." His eyes got as big as saucers, and his jaw dropped, and there was a long silence. Then he said: "How in the H-ll, do you know 'White Papa'? Never mind. When I am settled in in a couple of weeks, come to the office, and we will have a little talk."

I then went to the luncheon tables.

It's a small world.

Denny


Before There Was Rock And Roll

Sgt. Grit,

One young Marine Wrote about Mess Duty; when I went in we all had a week of mess duty after Rifle Range (in those days they paid us $5.00 monthly for Mess Duty), aboard ship they assigned a few of us to Mess Duty... when I went overseas in WWII our entire Replacement draft was assigned to a Flotilla of LSM's. I don't recall how many were assigned to each LSM, but we're allotted a space in the lower aft section of the shi