Sgt Grit Newsletter - 18 SEP 2014

In this issue:
• Sealed With A Kiss
• Accept And Embrace Change
• Gung Ho And Lichtenstein Marines

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Sgt Grit,

While reading your most recent newsletter (3/4 August), I was pleasantly surprised to see that you now stock a shirt representing 1st Bn, 23rd Marines. I'm also pleased because, for the many years that I have been reading your newsletters (going back to the first edition) this is the first time that I've seen a shirt for reservists, especially since it is my old unit.

When I joined the Corpus Christi, Texas, unit back in August of 1969, after coming off active duty, it was two recon companies: C and D, 4th Recon Bn. (I'm proud to have been the CO of Delta Company.) After a couple of years we were re-designated as C/1/23, and I was the second CO to serve the unit under that designation. (The first was Jack Fraim, who was senior to me, so I was XO/1st Platoon Commander. He later moved to Florida, and I lost contact with him.) Thanks for recognizing the efforts of the Corps' reservists.

Semper Fi!

Tom Downey
Once a captain, USMCR; always a Marine.

Get the mentioned unit t-shirt at:

1st Battalion 23rd Marines T-shirt

1st Battalion 23rd Marines T-shirt


Sealed With A Kiss

Don,

Just read a posting by Sgt. Rigiero on his experience with YUK, and would like to extend a similar laugh.

When in boot, Parris Island, my girlfriend kept sending me letters with S.W.A.K. on the back [sealed with a kiss]. One of the junior D.I.'s, who by the way took an instant dislike of me, would lay the letter on the deck, and make me do 20-30 push-ups, depending on his irritability with me at the time,[LOL] and direct me to kiss the letter each time, and say "I open this with a kiss darlin'..." needless to say I advised my girlfriend to stop putting it on the letters, I had enough on my plate without opening new doors of torment from an overzealous D.I.

L/Cpl Edwin O'Keefe
'61-'64


Halloween T-shirt Special


Accept And Embrace Change

Sgt. Grit,

I would like to reply to J. Wise's letter published in the September 10, 2014 newsletter.

I never had the professional honor of wearing anything but GySgt chevrons, but I'm well aware that the officer ranks are deeply embedded in political correctness. No Marine officer is appointed Commandant unless he adheres to a particular political theory. Accordingly, I believe that every Commandant our illustrious "Corps" has had has tried to "make his mark" on the Marine Corps. Many of the "changes" the Marine Corps has experienced has been for that very reason. Any Marine officer who reaches that pinnacle has the right to "make his mark". Live with it.

On the other hand, many of the "changes" have been for a variety of other reasons - safety, security, modernization, cost, uniformity, discipline, ease of care, and many other reasons too numerous to mention. Marines once used muzzle-loaded weapons. Marines once used swords. Our beloved "Corps" has, by the grace of God, adopted battle techniques and weapons that reflect what has become necessary to defeat the enemies of this great nation. Time and again, Marines have risen to the occasion, distinguished themselves, and defeated those enemies or at least given them pause to reflect on who exactly they were fighting. The discipline, dedication, and esprit-de-corps as well as the heroism and love of country is alive and well in today's Marines.

Recently, I had the opportunity to "upgrade" my cell phone. My carrier offered me a wide variety of choices. Although, being retired, I really didn't need a "smart phone", that's exactly what I chose. Several weeks of trial and error were necessary before I fully understood the technology to be able to use the "smart phone" effectively. I'm glad I made the choice. I'm enjoying my new-found connection with the world. And, No, I'm not addicted to a machine.

I guess what I'm really trying to say is - Who cares why these "changes" have come about. What's important is that our beloved Marine Corps' ethos, mission, and brotherhood haven't changed, and never will. We must either accept and embrace "change" or go the way of all extinct species. Most of the time, "change" is for the better. OH - nostalgia - it's not broke, don't fix it. History and studying history is important, but let's not get so tied up with history and nostalgia that we forget that we must do what we have to do to insure the continuation of this great nation.

Present day Marines are well equipped both mentally, physically to do exactly that. Young people accept "change". So should us older folks.

Semper Fi,
A Former "Hat"
GySgt, USMC, (Ret)


The Black Rifle

The Black Rifle

Sgt Grit,

Several stories have been posted recently about the Stoner rifles. Here's a little more info:

Eugene Stoner developed this rifle, and it had several variations. Most notably, the M16. He was the father of the M16. To fully understand the development and Vietnam problems with the M16, read the book "The Black Rifle", it's very informative. I met him once while working for Colt Firearms in the early 90's. He was also a WWII USMC Veteran.

Bill Guntor
USMC '66 - '69
RVN '67 - '69
1/1

Get a hardcover copy at "The Black Rifle".


Gung Ho And Lichtenstein Marines

Sgt.Grit,

Two comments please:

"Gung Ho", I read the book.

"Carlson's Raid, The Daring Marine Assault on Makin" by George W. Smith.

The book reports that Major Carlson visited with the Chinese Communist troops in the late 1930's in order to update the US Military. They were at that time, basically a guerrilla outfit. The book says (not me saying) that the battle cry of the Chicoms was GUNG HO, which translated into "All together".

Making bets, playing cards with the S.D.I... Possibly in the Lichtenstein Marines...

Bill Mc Dermott
180xxxx


Shaking My Head

Don't know why, but in the past month I've met two that claimed to be Marines, but just left me shaking my head.

The first was at the local rifle range. Don't remember how the conversation went that way, but he claimed to have gone to boot camp at "Camp Pendleton", had no idea what MCRD is, and claimed to have had a female drill instructor... at Camp Pendleton. Claimed to have gone to boot camp around 1994. I just packed up and left, and as I was pulling away, he was saying, "I know you don't believe me, but that's the honest truth." Odd experience, to say the least.

The second was down around Roswell, New Mexico. Saw a car with Marine stickers and asked who owned it. Guy spoke up, I asked when he was in the Marines and he answered, "a long time ago". I guess he had a guilty conscience, because it wasn't five minutes before he admitted he had never been in the Corps, he was an associate member of a Marine Corps motorcycle club. At least he was honest.

Maybe it was just my turn.

Earl Needham
Clovis, New Mexico USA

BTW, I was shooting a Winchester Model 70 in 7mm STW.


239th USMC Birthday Items


Betting With DI

Sgt. Grit,

After reading the post by Cpl Murphy regarding betting his S/DI at the range on Qual. day and playing card's while in Boot Camp, watching his D.I. crying after the Platoon screwed up sounds like a little B.S. thrown in... just saying.

Jim Scott Cpl.
'59-'65


I don't believe that a recruit made a bet with a drill instructor, I don't believe the recruit played poker with him either. I also don't believe a Marine unit went without food for 5 weeks. I call bulls--t...

Gene


Sgt Grit,

I re-read the post again and I am now convinced the guy is a fake. He called himself a Sea going bellhop. What Marine refers to himself by that moniker? Non-Marines and army and civilians call us that, but when is the last time you ever heard a Marine call himself that? I never have. Then he uses a lot of our phrases or buzzwords but used them with quotation marks to indicate that he knows the difference between several of them like hat and cover and pants and trousers. We all know those terms, he does not have to use quotation marks to prove to qualify them, we all know what he means to say. Personally I think he is an on-line lurker and studies our history and is just bullsh-tting us by stealing other Marines stories.

Don Shipley, the Navy SEAL who outs phony seals calls them lurkers. They troll the military websites and study the different branch's history and then cultivate their own image. I think that's what this guy did. I would have believed him though until he mentioned the bet with his DI and then playing cards with him? Naaaa Ain't no DI that ever walked this earth would allow that and if this guy was really a Marine he would know that! Thanks for letting me ramble Don!

Semper Fi
Mike


Gary Zanzalari has the same problem I have with a story in a previous Newsletter by a "marine" (lower case on purpose) claiming far too many liberties with his Drill Instructors. The overuse of recognized slang and nicknames made it glaringly obvious to this Marine that we were reading "The Life and Times of a Wanna-be". At first I questioned Sgt.Grit for including this story in the Newsletter, but then it dawned on me that it may have been for the purposes of giving real Marines a shot at this imposter by calling him out. Let it be said. Let it be done. He IS a Poser and NOT a Marine.

David B. McClellan
Viet Nam Combat Veteran
1969-1970
Former LCpl, Forever Marine.


Sgt Grit,

Sorry I am making a big deal about this, but if this clown is a poser it p-sses me off to no end! And then he talks about being a Corporal of Marines but being on point with "his radioman" and then his "sarge" this and sarge that. Was he in the Marines or the army? I don't know for sure, but his story just sounds like he read the stories of several Marines on this newsletter over the years and cultivated his own "history", and thought he could buffalo us into thinking he is one of us, but all he did was insult our intelligence.

Semper Fi Sgt Grit, this will be my last gripe on this issue!

Mike Kunkel
A real Corporal of Marines
3/8 Lima company, Weapons Platoon
0331
1981 to 1985


Bare Azs Minimum

Regarding the seabags that we left behind in Okinawa... I was with "F" Co 2nd Bn, 3rd Marines... we were leaving Camp Schwab aboard ships that took us to the P.I. for some jungle training. A brief sojourn in Thailand and in April 1965 we landed at DaNang. I left RVN in December 1965 and returned to Okinawa where someone was to bring us our left behind gear. I remember this very clearly I was handed my almost empty seabag it only contained one pair of dress shoes, no other article of clothing, a few days later we boarded a C-130 that touched down in Guam and again in Hawaii, where I was able to buy a pair of jeans and tennis shoes. Finally we arrived at El Toro about 8 am on 24 December. I was still wearing VN mud on my boots and clothing and had lost my cover as we boarded the aircraft in DaNang. We went thru the process getting paid etc. As I and a few others were on our way to the mess hall a young butter bar came rolling along in vehicle and commenced to give me a hassle regarding my lost cover. I left El Toro wearing the jeans tennis shoes and a liberated field jacket... One month later I reported back to Camp Pendleton wearing a business suit that I had sent home from Hong Kong and my dress shoes. I still had my VN jungle utilities that had been washed and patched. I was issued a bare asz minimum clothing, being that I only had one year left to do... but I wonder who got my stuff!

R.R. Lopez
Call sign: Double R


Marine Ink Of The Week

Submitted by V. Juarez

It is almost done, just needs to be touched up.

USMC


Best-Worst

'73-'74 TAD out of 1st Radio Bn FMF, KMCAS, HI to Shu Lin Kuo AB, Taiwan for six heavenly months. Houseboys to clean rooms (boots left outside your two man room - shined), one dollar for a haircut, shampoo, and shoulder massage (OH, YEAH - best groomed Marines in the Corps), and the best small chow hall in the Air Force (at least every two years, which is how often they would let them win it.) Three entrees every night, fresh salads, surf and turf (steak and lobster) once a week. I know that the grammar is lacking (no verbs), but I'm still drooling thinking about it (and that doesn't count the hammers downtown (sorry, brothers, if you haven't already told your wife about them, but 40 years oughta' buy you some forgiveness).

'74-'75 Worst chow hall - Homestead AFB - Food out of vacuum cans and roaches coming out of the tea dispensers (how did they get them in those same plastic bags that milk was dispensed from?)

Semper Fi,
George M. Button
MSgt USMC (ret)


Beautiful Bridges Where Marines Once Fought

The Banpo Bridge Moonlight Fountain, Seoul, South Korea

The Banpo Bridge Moonlight Fountain, Seoul, South Korea.

The Dragon Bridge, DaNang, Vietnam

The Dragon Bridge, DaNang, Vietnam.


Head Up Azz

To Sgt. J. Davis in regards to Uoo Garr... I have heard many variations to the story of where OOO-RAH came from including that it was from the Marine Raiders from WWII and their rides on subs. But I must say that the ARMY (Ain't Ready to be Marines Yet) is famous for their acronyms and they say WHO-AH which is the pronunciation of H-U-A another acronym for Head Up Azz (though some would say it means heard understood and acknowledged)...

Semper Fi to all my brothers and sisters


A Saddle

I admired the subject cover during all of WWII, as discussed in your 11 September News Letter.

After graduation from MCRD, PI, in December 1953, I strived to achieve the same look for my cover. This was finally accomplished by utilizing the proper head size frame, w/brim, adding a cover one size smaller, then a grommet one size larger.

The appearance of the result was occasionally referred to as a saddle. I remember after serving in the 2nd Division, reporting in to the CO of the Marine Detachment at Great Lakes for Electronics School, his comment was "Did you wear that cover in, or did you ride it?"

I would like to submit an additional comment... If your chevrons had crossed rifles, you were not in the Old Corps...

Best regards
Russ Hagerthey
142xxxx


Hi Sergeant Russel

I read Sgt Frank Rigiero's story about his girlfriend writing "YNK" (for "You'll Never Know" by Sinatra) on the outside of his letters while in Boot camp.

This reminded me of my own ordeal at the hands of Drill Instructor Sgt. Russell, Parris Island, circa 1980. I was/still am, an Irish Jersey boy with a ton of Jersey attitude. I quickly learned to despise Sgt. Russell and he had no great love for me either! I would write letters to my girlfriend back home in "Joisey" complaining about, cursing and praying for the occurrence of violent events that would rid my life of Sgt. Russell.

One evening, mail call was sounded by Sgt. Russell, and my name was called, I jumped up, ran to the quarter deck and just as I was about to clap the letter in my hands, Sgt. Russell looks at the back of the envelope where my dear sweet misguided girlfriend had written across the flap "Hi Sergeant Russel" in flowery print complete with hearts and smiley faces... to this day, I don't know what was worse, the PT I had to endure, or the lecture from that 6'5" red headed Alabama, backwoods redneck Sergeant about writing home about him and her misspelling of his name!

Needless to say, after I recovered from the verbal and physical assault, I Immediately scratched out a short, terse note to my girlfriend explaining what happened to me... and what would happen to her if she EVER wrote ANYTHING on the outside of the envelopes other than my name, address and the return address!

L/Cpl. Matt Penny
PLT 2047 - 1980


The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #9, #4)

He scribbled something on a 3x5 card. He asked Mary "Do you have a car?" She replied "No, but my fiance does." (That was the very first time she had called me her fiance. It was quite appropriate, I guess, because we had been talking of marriage.) He called for a volunteer to show Mary to her housing unit and gave the girl the card. We went out to my car and proceeded as directed by this young lady. She commented "This is a really nice car." It was the 1950 Buick that I had purchased in April. We got to the building where Mary was to reside while at Earlham. I got her lockerbox from the trunk and the two girls carried all of her other items. We went into the lounge and over to a desk where a woman was sitting. She was the House Mother and welcomed Mary to the house. The girl that had led us over there gave the H.M. the 3x5 card. She glanced at it and said loudly "Is there anyone here from Room #8?" One girl jumped up and came over to the desk. The H.M. said "Carolee, this is Mary. She will be your roommate." Carolee asked Mary "Where are you from?" Mary replied "I am from New Jersey." Carolee said "No kidding - where abouts in New Jersey?" Mary replied "Mt. Holly." And Carolee came back with "I don't believe it. I'm from Moorestown." Mary was thrilled and said "Well, I guess we shall renew the old football rivalry?" (For more than 25 years the teams from these two towns - only 8 miles apart - had battled on Thanksgiving Day.) Carolee got a rubber tired cart and I lifted Mary's lockerbox onto it. She said "I'll take you down to our room." Mary looked a bit puzzled and asked "Will this take long?" There was only a few minutes before I would have to be out of there. Carolee replied "Only 5 or 10." When Mary and I first entered the lounge there were about 10 to 12 girls there but all of a sudden there must have been 40 or more. I was told that the word had spread in the dining hall that there was a Marine in the lounge.

Mary returned and we had less than 10 minutes to go. We were holding hands and soon she wrapped her arms around my neck. I pulled her up close and wrapped my arms around her. We kissed - and kissed - and kissed some more - and when I thought it was time to quit - she put one hand behind my head - and pulled me closer for more. There was dead silence in the lounge. This must have been the longest kiss of all time. When it was over someone in the crowd said "You shouldn't be going to college; you should be heading for the altar!" We looked at each other. We each said to the other "I love you." And I left. When I reached the car I looked back. Mary was standing on the front stoop. We waved to each other. I headed for the gate with a little moisture in my eyes. The guard just waved me on through. I returned to the hotel. I planned to get a good night's sleep, get up early, and drive the whole way home on Sunday. I had thought I would be home before dark. But I had an idea. I called Earlham and asked what the visiting hours were on Sunday. They told me "After 10:00 for family members and then 1:00 to 5:00 for others."

I hatched a plan that I would put in place tomorrow.

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

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


Triggers

Nah... not those things you gently squeeze, nor more than one of Roy Roger's horse, but the things that stir the memory... (or, in the case of Marines, that might be more like stirring a cesspool?). I was mowing our yard yesterday... about half an acre, mostly Fescue (the Lawn Ranger takes care of fertilizer and 'pre-emergent' stuff for me... more about the Ranger further on...) Not being the sharpest knife in the box of light bulbs, I had elected (with some prodding from She Who Must Be Obeyed... but no batteries in the prod... this time...) to start this project around 10:30. This being Tennessee... and August... it was a tad on the warmish side. Also, being fiscally conservative (cheap), and bull-headed (according to SWMBO), I have carried out this domestic policing of the area for going on ten years with a twenty-one inch Toro rotary mower... although self-propelled, in these parts, it is type-identified as "a push mower". (go figure). Being reluctant to give up the garage space for a riding mower, so long as I can walk, and being too slow to control a 'zero-turn' mower, it works for me (at seventy-five...)

There is a "uniform of the day" for mowing... that being bilious green grass-stained tennie runners, black swim trunks, a white skivvie shirt (v-neck... they're hard to find...) and the official "Mowing Cover"... the latter looking much like an OD boonie hat, trimmed in white NACL2 until SWMBO captures it for enhanced interrogation techniques in her secret room (I sometimes hear liquid sounds and Thumpa-Thumpa-Thumpa noises coming from in there... and I don't go in there if there are any clean skivvies in my dresser drawer)... Thus properly attired, the mowing commenced, and as might be expected, the sweat began to roll... and I was soon soggy. Having been an early participant in the SEA war games, in the day, we had yet to adopt the later ubiquitous green towel around the neck, and as my mission reached the half-way point, I decided to take a break ('take ten... expect five... get three... offa yer azs and on yer feet... saddle up... move out") and went into the garage, which, while not air-conditioned, is about half buried, and remains cool... and grabbed one of those modern miracles, a plastic bottle of chilled water, out of the man cave refrigerator. At that point, the sweat saturated tee-shirt coolly clung to my back... feeling EXACTLY like a sweat-soaked nylon rip-stop medium regular utility jacket!... A mixed perception... blessed coolness, but slippery, almost slimy, clinging... for an instant there, I could have been somewhere outside of Tam Ky... or just arrived at The Rockpile... or?... Tis' said that smell is the strongest of memory triggers... could be... but that wet fabric was a contendah for a close second.

In re the Lawn Ranger... built the retirement home while commuting from CA (developer/contractor was a Huey crew chief in the Air Cav for TET), had seen the Lawn Ranger's trucks around the area, liked the sense of humor, wrote the phone number down. When I moved the wife and mother-in-law into the house, I gave her the phone number, told her to call the guy and get the skinny on the lawn service deal. When back in CA, called the wife, asked if she had contacted the Lawn Ranger... she said she had called the number, but got a voice mail saying they'd be gone for a week, as he had gone to Camp Pendleton to meet their two sons returning from Iraq... (2004)... told her to call back and leave the message that he had the job... Wally's company has been coming up this hill for ten years now... one of the sons works for the company, the other went on to Emory, and was commissioned as a Lt. a couple years back... got some of the better looking grass on our hill... (of course... all I do is mow it...)

Ddick


Short Rounds

Good Morning, just want to say 'Thank You'. I understand Sgt Grit has provided a shipment of surprises to one of my Platoon 331 recruits from 1959 -- a retired Marine MGySgt Bob Daniels. I was their DI at PI 55 years ago & we are having a reunion at MCB Quantico -- Sept. 24-27, 2014. So, thanks again Marine & Semper Fi.

Frank C. Foster
Capt USMC Ret.


Sgt Grit,

Just wanted you to know that I re-upped, renewed my subscription to your OUTSTANDING magazine, the gear is great, I also pass along a suggested Addition to your USMC book selection, I just finished "Red Blood Black Sand" by Chuck Tatum, The true story of from boot camp to Iwo Jima. Well worth reading and adding to your book list.

Semper Fi
Schrader, Gerard C
Sgt 2003XXX USMC

Note: Chuck was a great guy and Marine. When I would call him he would answer the phone "Pvt Tatum speaking". He also was a consultant on the movie Flags Of Our Fathers. He was in the machine gun team when Basilone was killed. Chuck passed this year. God Bless you Chuck, Semper Fi.

Sgt Grit


Drop your C--k and grab your socks it's another glorious day in the Marine Corps.

Semper Fi
Charles (SGT) Hightower '64-'67


LtCol Bull Fisher was CO of 2/4 when it left Hawaii to go to VN in 1965 and remained CO for some time in VN.


I was talking to a Marine customer the other day. He mentioned at MCRD San Diego in the 60's the navy had a boot camp across the fence. They got a lot of time off and would sit on the porch steps and wave, yell, and just harass Marine platoons as we did our thing.

Sgt Grit


Quotes

He Who Sheds Blood

"Whoever does not have the stomach for this fight, let him depart. Give him money to speed his departure, since we wish not to die in that man's company. Whoever lives past today and comes home safely will rouse himself every year on this day, show his neighbor his scars, and tell embellished stories of all their great feats of battle. These stories he will teach his son and from this day until the end of the world we shall be remembered. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; for whoever has shed blood with me shall be my brother. And those men afraid to go will think themselves lesser men as they hear of how we fought and died together."


"All that is really great and inspiring, is created by the individual who can labor in freedom."
--Albert Einstein


"Cowardice asks the question: is it safe?
Expediency asks the question: is it politic?
Vanity asks the question: is it popular?
But conscience asks the question: is it right?
And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right."

"We should never forget that everything Adolph Hitler did in Germany was 'legal' and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was 'illegal'."
--Martin Luther King


"Marines have a cynical approach to war. They believe in three things; liberty, payday and that when two Marines are together in a fight, one is being wasted. Being a minority group militarily, they are proud and sensitive in their dealings with other military organizations. A Marine's concept of a perfect battle is to have other Marines on the right and left flanks, Marine aircraft overhead and Marine artillery and naval gunfire backing them up."
--War correspondent Ernie Pyle, killed on Ie Shima, Ryukyu Archipelago, 1945


"We're not accustomed to occupying defensive positions. It's destructive to morale."
--LtGen H. M. "Howlin' Mad" Smith, Iwo Jima, 1945, quoted to Walter Karig


"Liberty is meaningless if it is only the liberty to agree with those in power."
--Ludwig von Mises


"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear."
--Ambrose Redman


"George Washington was one of the few men in all of human history who was not carried away by power."
--Robert Frost, Poet


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


"Dress right... wait for it... DRESS! Too SLOW! Get back!"

"Currently Unassigned."

"I've never heard a funnier phrase than "2nd Fumble, Stumble, Stagger and Gag."

"Lean back... dig 'em in... heels, heels, heels!"

God Bless the Marine Corps,
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 18 SEP 2014

In this issue:
• Sealed With A Kiss
• Accept And Embrace Change
• Gung Ho And Lichtenstein Marines

Online Store TShirts Men's Headgear Patches Women's

Flags   Family Member   Ka-Bars   Auto   Headgear  Jackets  ALL CATEGORIES  

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Sgt Grit,

While reading your most recent newsletter (3/4 August), I was pleasantly surprised to see that you now stock a shirt representing 1st Bn, 23rd Marines. I'm also pleased because, for the many years that I have been reading your newsletters (going back to the first edition) this is the first time that I've seen a shirt for reservists, especially since it is my old unit.

When I joined the Corpus Christi, Texas, unit back in August of 1969, after coming off active duty, it was two recon companies: C and D, 4th Recon Bn. (I'm proud to have been the CO of Delta Company.) After a couple of years we were re-designated as C/1/23, and I was the second CO to serve the unit under that designation. (The first was Jack Fraim, who was senior to me, so I was XO/1st Platoon Commander. He later moved to Florida, and I lost contact with him.) Thanks for recognizing the efforts of the Corps' reservists.

Semper Fi!

Tom Downey
Once a captain, USMCR; always a Marine.

Get the mentioned unit t-shirt at:

1st Battalion 23rd Marines T-shirt


Sealed With A Kiss

Don,

Just read a posting by Sgt. Rigiero on his experience with YUK, and would like to extend a similar laugh.

When in boot, Parris Island, my girlfriend kept sending me letters with S.W.A.K. on the back [sealed with a kiss]. One of the junior D.I.'s, who by the way took an instant dislike of me, would lay the letter on the deck, and make me do 20-30 push-ups, depending on his irritability with me at the time,[LOL] and direct me to kiss the letter each time, and say "I open this with a kiss darlin'..." needless to say I advised my girlfriend to stop putting it on the letters, I had enough on my plate without opening new doors of torment from an overzealous D.I.

L/Cpl Edwin O'Keefe
'61-'64


Accept And Embrace Change

Sgt. Grit,

I would like to reply to J. Wise's letter published in the September 10, 2014 newsletter.

I never had the professional honor of wearing anything but GySgt chevrons, but I'm well aware that the officer ranks are deeply embedded in political correctness. No Marine officer is appointed Commandant unless he adheres to a particular political theory. Accordingly, I believe that every Commandant our illustrious "Corps" has had has tried to "make his mark" on the Marine Corps. Many of the "changes" the Marine Corps has experienced has been for that very reason. Any Marine officer who reaches that pinnacle has the right to "make his mark". Live with it.

On the other hand, many of the "changes" have been for a variety of other reasons - safety, security, modernization, cost, uniformity, discipline, ease of care, and many other reasons too numerous to mention. Marines once used muzzle-loaded weapons. Marines once used swords. Our beloved "Corps" has, by the grace of God, adopted battle techniques and weapons that reflect what has become necessary to defeat the enemies of this great nation. Time and again, Marines have risen to the occasion, distinguished themselves, and defeated those enemies or at least given them pause to reflect on who exactly they were fighting. The discipline, dedication, and esprit-de-corps as well as the heroism and love of country is alive and well in today's Marines.

Recently, I had the opportunity to "upgrade" my cell phone. My carrier offered me a wide variety of choices. Although, being retired, I really didn't need a "smart phone", that's exactly what I chose. Several weeks of trial and error were necessary before I fully understood the technology to be able to use the "smart phone" effectively. I'm glad I made the choice. I'm enjoying my new-found connection with the world. And, No, I'm not addicted to a machine.

I guess what I'm really trying to say is - Who cares why these "changes" have come about. What's important is that our beloved Marine Corps' ethos, mission, and brotherhood haven't changed, and never will. We must either accept and embrace "change" or go the way of all extinct species. Most of the time, "change" is for the better. OH - nostalgia - it's not broke, don't fix it. History and studying history is important, but let's not get so tied up with history and nostalgia that we forget that we must do what we have to do to insure the continuation of this great nation.

Present day Marines are well equipped both mentally, physically to do exactly that. Young people accept "change". So should us older folks.

Semper Fi,
A Former "Hat"
GySgt, USMC, (Ret)


The Black Rifle

Sgt Grit,

Several stories have been posted recently about the Stoner rifles. Here's a little more info:

Eugene Stoner developed this rifle, and it had several variations. Most notably, the M16. He was the father of the M16. To fully understand the development and Vietnam problems with the M16, read the book "The Black Rifle", it's very informative. I met him once while working for Colt Firearms in the early 90's. He was also a WWII USMC Veteran.

Bill Guntor
USMC '66 - '69
RVN '67 - '69
1/1

Get a hardcover copy at "The Black Rifle".


Gung Ho And Lichtenstein Marines

Sgt.Grit,

Two comments please:

"Gung Ho", I read the book.

"Carlson's Raid, The Daring Marine Assault on Makin" by George W. Smith.

The book reports that Major Carlson visited with the Chinese Communist troops in the late 1930's in order to update the US Military. They were at that time, basically a guerrilla outfit. The book says (not me saying) that the battle cry of the Chicoms was GUNG HO, which translated into "All together".

Making bets, playing cards with the S.D.I... Possibly in the Lichtenstein Marines...

Bill Mc Dermott
180xxxx


Shaking My Head

Don't know why, but in the past month I've met two that claimed to be Marines, but just left me shaking my head.

The first was at the local rifle range. Don't remember how the conversation went that way, but he claimed to have gone to boot camp at "Camp Pendleton", had no idea what MCRD is, and claimed to have had a female drill instructor... at Camp Pendleton. Claimed to have gone to boot camp around 1994. I just packed up and left, and as I was pulling away, he was saying, "I know you don't believe me, but that's the honest truth." Odd experience, to say the least.

The second was down around Roswell, New Mexico. Saw a car with Marine stickers and asked who owned it. Guy spoke up, I asked when he was in the Marines and he answered, "a long time ago". I guess he had a guilty conscience, because it wasn't five minutes before he admitted he had never been in the Corps, he was an associate member of a Marine Corps motorcycle club. At least he was honest.

Maybe it was just my turn.

Earl Needham
Clovis, New Mexico USA

BTW, I was shooting a Winchester Model 70 in 7mm STW.


Betting With DI

Sgt. Grit,

After reading the post by Cpl Murphy regarding betting his S/DI at the range on Qual. day and playing card's while in Boot Camp, watching his D.I. crying after the Platoon screwed up sounds like a little B.S. thrown in... just saying.

Jim Scott Cpl.
'59-'65


I don't believe that a recruit made a bet with a drill instructor, I don't believe the recruit played poker with him either. I also don't believe a Marine unit went without food for 5 weeks. I call bulls--t...

Gene


Sgt Grit,

I re-read the post again and I am now convinced the guy is a fake. He called himself a Sea going bellhop. What Marine refers to himself by that moniker? Non-Marines and army and civilians call us that, but when is the last time you ever heard a Marine call himself that? I never have. Then he uses a lot of our phrases or buzzwords but used them with quotation marks to indicate that he knows the difference between several of them like hat and cover and pants and trousers. We all know those terms, he does not have to use quotation marks to prove to qualify them, we all know what he means to say. Personally I think he is an on-line lurker and studies our history and is just bullsh-tting us by stealing other Marines stories.

Don Shipley, the Navy SEAL who outs phony seals calls them lurkers. They troll the military websites and study the different branch's history and then cultivate their own image. I think that's what this guy did. I would have believed him though until he mentioned the bet with his DI and then playing cards with him? Naaaa Ain't no DI that ever walked this earth would allow that and if this guy was really a Marine he would know that! Thanks for letting me ramble Don!

Semper Fi
Mike


Gary Zanzalari has the same problem I have with a story in a previous Newsletter by a "marine" (lower case on purpose) claiming far too many liberties with his Drill Instructors. The overuse of recognized slang and nicknames made it glaringly obvious to this Marine that we were reading "The Life and Times of a Wanna-be". At first I questioned Sgt.Grit for including this story in the Newsletter, but then it dawned on me that it may have been for the purposes of giving real Marines a shot at this imposter by calling him out. Let it be said. Let it be done. He IS a Poser and NOT a Marine.

David B. McClellan
Viet Nam Combat Veteran
1969-1970
Former LCpl, Forever Marine.


Sgt Grit,

Sorry I am making a big deal about this, but if this clown is a poser it p-sses me off to no end! And then he talks about being a Corporal of Marines but being on point with "his radioman" and then his "sarge" this and sarge that. Was he in the Marines or the army? I don't know for sure, but his story just sounds like he read the stories of several Marines on this newsletter over the years and cultivated his own "history", and thought he could buffalo us into thinking he is one of us, but all he did was insult our intelligence.

Semper Fi Sgt Grit, this will be my last gripe on this issue!

Mike Kunkel
A real Corporal of Marines
3/8 Lima company, Weapons Platoon
0331
1981 to 1985


Bare Azs Minimum

Regarding the seabags that we left behind in Okinawa... I was with "F" Co 2nd Bn, 3rd Marines... we were leaving Camp Schwab aboard ships that took us to the P.I. for some jungle training. A brief sojourn in Thailand and in April 1965 we landed at DaNang. I left RVN in December 1965 and returned to Okinawa where someone was to bring us our left behind gear. I remember this very clearly I was handed my almost empty seabag it only contained one pair of dress shoes, no other article of clothing, a few days later we boarded a C-130 that touched down in Guam and again in Hawaii, where I was able to buy a pair of jeans and tennis shoes. Finally we arrived at El Toro about 8 am on 24 December. I was still wearing VN mud on my boots and clothing and had lost my cover as we boarded the aircraft in DaNang. We went thru the process getting paid etc. As I and a few others were on our way to the mess hall a young butter bar came rolling along in vehicle and commenced to give me a hassle regarding my lost cover. I left El Toro wearing the jeans tennis shoes and a liberated field jacket... One month later I reported back to Camp Pendleton wearing a business suit that I had sent home from Hong Kong and my dress shoes. I still had my VN jungle utilities that had been washed and patched. I was issued a bare asz minimum clothing, being that I only had one year left to do... but I wonder who got my stuff!

R.R. Lopez
Call sign: Double R


Marine Ink Of The Week

Submitted by V. Juarez

It is almost done, just needs to be touched up.


Best-Worst

'73-'74 TAD out of 1st Radio Bn FMF, KMCAS, HI to Shu Lin Kuo AB, Taiwan for six heavenly months. Houseboys to clean rooms (boots left outside your two man room - shined), one dollar for a haircut, shampoo, and shoulder massage (OH, YEAH - best groomed Marines in the Corps), and the best small chow hall in the Air Force (at least every two years, which is how often they would let them win it.) Three entrees every night, fresh salads, surf and turf (steak and lobster) once a week. I know that the grammar is lacking (no verbs), but I'm still drooling thinking about it (and that doesn't count the hammers downtown (sorry, brothers, if you haven't already told your wife about them, but 40 years oughta' buy you some forgiveness).

'74-'75 Worst chow hall - Homestead AFB - Food out of vacuum cans and roaches coming out of the tea dispensers (how did they get them in those same plastic bags that milk was dispensed from?)

Semper Fi,
George M. Button
MSgt USMC (ret)


Beautiful Bridges Where Marines Once Fought

The Banpo Bridge Moonlight Fountain, Seoul, South Korea.

The Dragon Bridge, DaNang, Vietnam.


Head Up Azz

To Sgt. J. Davis in regards to Uoo Garr... I have heard many variations to the story of where OOO-RAH came from including that it was from the Marine Raiders from WWII and their rides on subs. But I must say that the ARMY (Ain't Ready to be Marines Yet) is famous for their acronyms and they say WHO-AH which is the pronunciation of H-U-A another acronym for Head Up Azz (though some would say it means heard understood and acknowledged)...

Semper Fi to all my brothers and sisters


A Saddle

I admired the subject cover during all of WWII, as discussed in your 11 September News Letter.

After graduation from MCRD, PI, in December 1953, I strived to achieve the same look for my cover. This was finally accomplished by utilizing the proper head size frame, w/brim, adding a cover one size smaller, then a grommet one size larger.

The appearance of the result was occasionally referred to as a saddle. I remember after serving in the 2nd Division, reporting in to the CO of the Marine Detachment at Great Lakes for Electronics School, his comment was "Did you wear that cover in, or did you ride it?"

I would like to submit an additional comment... If your chevrons had crossed rifles, you were not in the Old Corps...

Best regards
Russ Hagerthey
142xxxx


Hi Sergeant Russel

I read Sgt Frank Rigiero's story about his girlfriend writing "YNK" (for "You'll Never Know" by Sinatra) on the outside of his letters while in Boot camp.

This reminded me of my own ordeal at the hands of Drill Instructor Sgt. Russell, Parris Island, circa 1980. I was/still am, an Irish Jersey boy with a ton of Jersey attitude. I quickly learned to despise Sgt. Russell and he had no great love for me either! I would write letters to my girlfriend back home in "Joisey" complaining about, cursing and praying for the occurrence of violent events that would rid my life of Sgt. Russell.

One evening, mail call was sounded by Sgt. Russell, and my name was called, I jumped up, ran to the quarter deck and just as I was about to clap the letter in my hands, Sgt. Russell looks at the back of the envelope where my dear sweet misguided girlfriend had written across the flap "Hi Sergeant Russel" in flowery print complete with hearts and smiley faces... to this day, I don't know what was worse, the PT I had to endure, or the lecture from that 6'5" red headed Alabama, backwoods redneck Sergeant about writing home about him and her misspelling of his name!

Needless to say, after I recovered from the verbal and physical assault, I Immediately scratched out a short, terse note to my girlfriend explaining what happened to me... and what would happen to her if she EVER wrote ANYTHING on the outside of the envelopes other than my name, address and the return address!

L/Cpl. Matt Penny
PLT 2047 - 1980


The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #9, #4)

He scribbled something on a 3x5 card. He asked Mary "Do you have a car?" She replied "No, but my fiance does." (That was the very first time she had called me her fiance. It was quite appropriate, I guess, because we had been talking of marriage.) He called for a volunteer to show Mary to her housing unit and gave the girl the card. We went out to my car and proceeded as directed by this young lady. She commented "This is a really nice car." It was the 1950 Buick that I had purchased in April. We got to the building where Mary was to reside while at Earlham. I got her lockerbox from the trunk and the two girls carried all of her other items. We went into the lounge and over to a desk where a woman was sitting. She was the House Mother and welcomed Mary to the house. The girl that had led us over there gave the H.M. the 3x5 card. She glanced at it and said loudly "Is there anyone here from Room #8?" One girl jumped up and came over to the desk. The H.M. said "Carolee, this is Mary. She will be your roommate." Carolee asked Mary "Where are you from?" Mary replied "I am from New Jersey." Carolee said "No kidding - where abouts in New Jersey?" Mary replied "Mt. Holly." And Carolee came back with "I don't believe it. I'm from Moorestown." Mary was thrilled and said "Well, I guess we shall renew the old football rivalry?" (For more than 25 years the teams from these two towns - only 8 miles apart - had battled on Thanksgiving Day.) Carolee got a rubber tired cart and I lifted Mary's lockerbox onto it. She said "I'll take you down to our room." Mary looked a bit puzzled and asked "Will this take long?" There was only a few minutes before I would have to be out of there. Carolee replied "Only 5 or 10." When Mary and I first entered the lounge there were about 10 to 12 girls there but all of a sudden there must have been 40 or more. I was told that the word had spread in the dining hall that there was a Marine in the lounge.

Mary returned and we had less than 10 minutes to go. We were holding hands and soon she wrapped her arms around my neck. I pulled her up close and wrapped my arms around her. We kissed - and kissed - and kissed some more - and when I thought it was time to quit - she put one hand behind my head - and pulled me closer for more. There was dead silence in the lounge. This must have been the longest kiss of all time. When it was over someone in the crowd said "You shouldn't be going to college; you should be heading for the altar!" We looked at each other. We each said to the other "I love you." And I left. When I reached the car I looked back. Mary was standing on the front stoop. We waved to each other. I headed for the gate with a little moisture in my eyes. The guard just waved me on through. I returned to the hotel. I planned to get a good night's sleep, get up early, and drive the whole way home on Sunday. I had thought I would be home before dark. But I had an idea. I called Earlham and asked what the visiting hours were on Sunday. They told me "After 10:00 for family members and then 1:00 to 5:00 for others."

I hatched a plan that I would put in place tomorrow.

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

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


Triggers

Nah... not those things you gently squeeze, nor more than one of Roy Roger's horse, but the things that stir the memory... (or, in the case of Marines, that might be more like stirring a cesspool?). I was mowing our yard yesterday... about half an acre, mostly Fescue (the Lawn Ranger takes care of fertilizer and 'pre-emergent' stuff for me... more about the Ranger further on...) Not being the sharpest knife in the box of light bulbs, I had elected (with some prodding from She Who Must Be Obeyed... but no batteries in the prod... this time...) to start this project around 10:30. This being Tennessee... and August... it was a tad on the warmish side. Also, being fiscally conservative (cheap), and bull-headed (according to SWMBO), I have carried out this domestic policing of the area for going on ten years with a twenty-one inch Toro rotary mower... although self-propelled, in these parts, it is type-identified as "a push mower". (go figure). Being reluctant to give up the garage space for a riding mower, so long as I can walk, and being too slow to control a 'zero-turn' mower, it works for me (at seventy-five...)

There is a "uniform of the day" for mowing... that being bilious green grass-stained tennie runners, black swim trunks, a white skivvie shirt (v-neck... they're hard to find...) and the official "Mowing Cover"... the latter looking much like an OD boonie hat, trimmed in white NACL2 until SWMBO captures it for enhanced interrogation techniques in her secret room (I sometimes hear liquid sounds and Thumpa-Thumpa-Thumpa noises coming from in there... and I don't go in there if there are any clean skivvies in my dresser drawer)... Thus properly attired, the mowing commenced, and as might be expected, the sweat began to roll... and I was soon soggy. Having been an early participant in the SEA war games, in the day, we had yet to adopt the later ubiquitous green towel around the neck, and as my mission reached the half-way point, I decided to take a break ('take ten... expect five... get three... offa yer azs and on yer feet... saddle up... move out") and went into the garage, which, while not air-conditioned, is about half buried, and remains cool... and grabbed one of those modern miracles, a plastic bottle of chilled water, out of the man cave refrigerator. At that point, the sweat saturated tee-shirt coolly clung to my back... feeling EXACTLY like a sweat-soaked nylon rip-stop medium regular utility jacket!... A mixed perception... blessed coolness, but slippery, almost slimy, clinging... for an instant there, I could have been somewhere outside of Tam Ky... or just arrived at The Rockpile... or?... Tis' said that smell is the strongest of memory triggers... could be... but that wet fabric was a contendah for a close second.

In re the Lawn Ranger... built the retirement home while commuting from CA (developer/contractor was a Huey crew chief in the Air Cav for TET), had seen the Lawn Ranger's trucks around the area, liked the sense of humor, wrote the phone number down. When I moved the wife and mother-in-law into the house, I gave her the phone number, told her to call the guy and get the skinny on the lawn service deal. When back in CA, called the wife, asked if she had contacted the Lawn Ranger... she said she had called the number, but got a voice mail saying they'd be gone for a week, as he had gone to Camp Pendleton to meet their two sons returning from Iraq... (2004)... told her to call back and leave the message that he had the job... Wally's company has been coming up this hill for ten years now... one of the sons works for the company, the other went on to Emory, and was commissioned as a Lt. a couple years back... got some of the better looking grass on our hill... (of course... all I do is mow it...)

Ddick


Short Rounds

Good Morning, just want to say 'Thank You'. I understand Sgt Grit has provided a shipment of surprises to one of my Platoon 331 recruits from 1959 -- a retired Marine MGySgt Bob Daniels. I was their DI at PI 55 years ago & we are having a reunion at MCB Quantico -- Sept. 24-27, 2014. So, thanks again Marine & Semper Fi.

Frank C. Foster
Capt USMC Ret.


Sgt Grit,

Just wanted you to know that I re-upped, renewed my subscription to your OUTSTANDING magazine, the gear is great, I also pass along a suggested Addition to your USMC book selection, I just finished "Red Blood Black Sand" by Chuck Tatum, The true story of from boot camp to Iwo Jima. Well worth reading and adding to your book list.

Semper Fi
Schrader, Gerard C
Sgt 2003XXX USMC

Note: Chuck was a great guy and Marine. When I would call him he would answer the phone "Pvt Tatum speaking". He also was a consultant on the movie Flags Of Our Fathers. He was in the machine gun team when Basilone was killed. Chuck passed this year. God Bless you Chuck, Semper Fi.

Sgt Grit


Drop your C--k and grab your socks it's another glorious day in the Marine Corps.

Semper Fi
Charles (SGT) Hightower '64-'67


LtCol Bull Fisher was CO of 2/4 when it left Hawaii to go to VN in 1965 and remained CO for some time in VN.


I was talking to a Marine customer the other day. He mentioned at MCRD San Diego in the 60's the navy had a boot camp across the fence. They got a lot of time off and would sit on the porch steps and wave, yell, and just harass Marine platoons as we did our thing.

Sgt Grit


Quotes

"Whoever does not have the stomach for this fight, let him depart. Give him money to speed his departure, since we wish not to die in that man's company. Whoever lives past today and comes home safely will rouse himself every year on this day, show his neighbor his scars, and tell embellished stories of all their great feats of battle. These stories he will teach his son and from this day until the end of the world we shall be remembered. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; for whoever has shed blood with me shall be my brother. And those men afraid to go will think themselves lesser men as they hear of how we fought and died together."


"All that is really great and inspiring, is created by the individual who can labor in freedom."
--Albert Einstein


"Cowardice asks the question: is it safe?
Expediency asks the question: is it politic?
Vanity asks the question: is it popular?
But conscience asks the question: is it right?
And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right."

"We should never forget that everything Adolph Hitler did in Germany was 'legal' and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was 'illegal'."
--Martin Luther King


"Marines have a cynical approach to war. They believe in three things; liberty, payday and that when two Marines are together in a fight, one is being wasted. Being a minority group militarily, they are proud and sensitive in their dealings with other military organizations. A Marine's concept of a perfect battle is to have other Marines on the right and left flanks, Marine aircraft overhead and Marine artillery and naval gunfire backing them up."
--War correspondent Ernie Pyle, killed on Ie Shima, Ryukyu Archipelago, 1945


"We're not accustomed to occupying defensive positions. It's destructive to morale."
--LtGen H. M. "Howlin' Mad" Smith, Iwo Jima, 1945, quoted to Walter Karig


"Liberty is meaningless if it is only the liberty to agree with those in power."
--Ludwig von Mises


"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear."
--Ambrose Redman


"George Washington was one of the few men in all of human history who was not carried away by power."
--Robert Frost, Poet


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


"Dress right... wait for it... DRESS! Too SLOW! Get back!"

"Currently Unassigned."

"I've never heard a funnier phrase than "2nd Fumble, Stumble, Stagger and Gag."

"Lean back... dig 'em in... heels, heels, heels!"

God Bless the Marine Corps,
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 11 SEP 2014

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September 11th Graphic


Lt Presley O'Bannon's gravesite location marker

Lt Presley O'Bannon's tombstone with name spelled O'Banion

We all learned about Presley O'Bannon in boot camp and if we've read any history about the war against the Barbary pirates we've learned more about him. His name is always spelled "O'Bannon". Does anyone know why his name on his tombstone in the Kentucky State Cemetery is spelled "O'Banion"?

Dan Campbell '68-'72


Are You On The Rag Private

I'm with Cpl. Gerry Zanzalari from this week's newsletter. Here's a range story with no BS from August of 1967.

On pre-qual day the DIs, PMIs, a couple of officers and a Royal Marine in his beret were gathered in the center of the line at 500 yards around a large pan of fried chicken, obviously from the mess hall. When we tallied up the scores, I had shot a 234 which was the highest up and down the line. My coach told me I could go get a piece of chicken. I knew right away I was in deep sh-t but I couldn't figure a way out of it. When I arrived, my PMI asked what I had shot and I guess I sounded a little boastful when I told him. Like everybody I had my marksmanship book in the breast pocket of my shooting jacket with the pages held open with one of our clothes pins.

I am blessed with a fairly large nose which was bright red after two weeks on the range. He took the clothes pin and clipped it onto my sunburned nose. It was hard to disguise that I was p-ssed. He asked, "are you on the rag private"? He said open my mouth and took the wad of cotton from his pocked and shoved it in. The assembled group had a good laugh. He told me to go back and tell my coach that I was having my period. Never did get my chicken. The next day I shot 225 which earned me crossed rifles which was all I cared about anyway.

Jim Reese
PISC July-September '67


2/4 in 1965-66 at Chu Lai

2nd Battalion 4th Marines Sign from Vietnam

The attached photo is the original sign that was placed at the entrance to 2/4 in 1965-66 at Chu Lai. I recently received it from a 1st Division friend who also served during the same period and brought it home with him when he returned to CONUS. During the period this sign greeted all who entered 2/4's TAOR, the commanding officer was Lt. Col P. X. Kelly who later became the Commandant. Just want to share it with all who might remember, and remember the legacy of 2/4, second to none, the Magnificent Bast-rds.

Sgt. Dan Bisher
1963-1969
RVN '65-'66


Rib Med Banner

Make Sgt Grit your one stop shop for all of your Uniform Supplies such as medals, ribbons, and mounts. Mounting orders may take up to 7-10 business days to ship.

Cut-off date for ribbon/medal mounting for this year's ball is October 24th.


Calling Him Out

Gary Zanzalari has the same problem I have with a story in a previous Newsletter by a "marine" (lower case on purpose) claiming far too many liberties with his Drill Instructors. The overuse of recognized slang and nicknames made it glaringly obvious to this Marine that we were reading "The Life and Times of a Wanna-be". At first I questioned Sgt. Grit for including this story in the Newsletter, but then it dawned on me that it may have been for the purposes of giving real Marines a shot at this imposter by calling him out. Let it be said. Let it be done. He IS a Poser and NOT a Marine.

David B. McClellan
Former LCpl
Forever Marine
Viet Nam Combat Veteran, 1969-1970


VC Goodies

I too had my seabags sent to seabag heaven. I had my entire life in Vietnam in three seabags. As a medevac back to the World, I had no time to do anything. A close friend of mine packed those seabags which included over 70 rolls of 35 millimeter film as well as the camera and other VC goodies as well as all the regular stuff one collects from all over.

I returned almost immediately from the RVN and was hospitalized for a couple of months. I waited for over a year and then contacted my Congressman, Chet Holifield. He was able to find one seabag of a portion of my uniforms. Talk about a bummer - I know how they feel.

Frank "Tree" Remkiewicz


YNK

It was about the 4th or 5th week in Plt 406, at Parris Island in '56. My Sweetheart (Now my wife of 54 years) would send me mail almost every day. One day she put the letters YNK on the outside rear of the envelope. Our DI's always told us "anything on the outside is meant for them". So when I ran around the platoon to retrieve my letter from him he asked "What does YNK mean?" I guess he never heard of Frank Sinatra or the song "You'll never know" which was OUR song, because not meaning the way he took it, I said "SIR, You'll Never Know". I did push-ups and squat thrusts well into the dark. In my next letter to my girl I pleaded with her to NEVER put anything on the outside again.

Semper Fi Brothers,
Sgt Frank Rigiero '56/'59


I Have Witnessed History

Yesterday was the deactivation of 1st Battalion, 9th Marines who we all know are referred to as the "Walking Dead". Now all there is, is an awareness of the absolute honor, courage, and commitment of that storied regiment. Every Marine learns our history while in recruit training. I would urge all to look at the history of the Regiment and realize that those Marines and their squad, platoon, company, regiment, and battalion mirror all of us who have earned the title.

SSgt DJ Huntsinger
11th Marines '69-'70


Uoo Garr

I believe it was the early part of 1953 when the 1st Recon Company 1st Mar. Div. was given a mission for a 24 hour landing off the submarine USS Perch behind enemy lines in support of the Army's 45 ID on their attack on 'Old Baldy' depicted in the movie 'Hamburger Hill'. Recon at the time was short of people and drew some 'volunteers' from the 7th Marines. When the sub started the dive the intercom went UOO GARR, Uoo Garr dive, dive. That tickled all the Marines onboard. When Recon returned to division the 1st Sgt. called roll call just before he dismissed the formation he yell Uoo Gar. From my understanding Recon used it from that day in their running cadence. I think as Marines ran faster and longer and required more wind the phrase gradually converted to ooo rah. The correct pronunciation the ooo rah should sound similar the submarine horn. I disagree with Ray's idea we copied the call from the Army, I think it is the other way around. However if one listens close to the Army it sounds like 'Who Rah'.

That my story and I'm sticking to it...

Sgt. J. Davis
7th Marines Korea


Challenge Coins


Icee Tattoos

It is about 0200 hours, NAS Jacksonville, FL, Aviation Ordnance (AOA) School, early 1968. I am sitting on the porcelain throne. There are NO DOORS on the stalls in our barracks. I am sitting there trying to stay awake.

7-11 stores are still fairly new at the time. I think 7-11 was born in Florida. They have just begun selling the Icee's. As a promotion, when you purchased an Icee they gave you some stick-on tattoos. I'm sitting there, like I said, trying to stay awake, when in walks these two buddies of mine. Yeah, they're looking for me. And they are Drunk On Their Collective Azses!

They present themselves squarely in the doorway of the stall thereby sealing off any possibility of escape. Now, you have to envision my situation. There I sat, at the moment, I am in a most UN-compromising position. I can't even execute a proper defense being seated where I was, and they both "present", UH, I MEAN they both expose themselves. I am instantly thrown into a fit of laughter. There, squarely on the end of their appendages are the brightest red lips I had ever seen. At least when considering where I was seeing them.

Now, being aware of the sensitivity of this part of the male anatomy, I am righteously impressed at the pain they must have endured. They began telling me how much it hurt to get these beautiful lips "installed" shall we say... And how they had to pay the tattoo guy extra to cover the, um, shall we say "handling charges?"

Now I, being in a financially challenged period of my life, I am grossing, as a Private, $92 a month, do not get into town very much, and I certainly can't afford to get tattooed, therefore am uninformed on the subject of "Icee tattoos," So, initially, I am righteously impressed at the bravery, and the ability to withstand the incredible amount of pain they most assuredly had to suffer, and I am convinced right then that should I end up in battle, I would certainly choose my two buddies to be in the fighting hole with me when the attack comes. Two truly strong Marines!

I can't help but wonder, tho, do you think a tattoo artist would really; Nah! No way!

Semper Fi, Sarge,
Chuck Brewer, Sergeant of Marines FOREVER!


Want It Back

Sgt Grit,

Three weeks ago my wife and I made a trip back to Quantico where I visited with some of the Marine Corps Historians in conjunction with a research project I am working on concerning the Vietnam War. There are a lot of new buildings going up, one of which will house the History Division. I also had the privilege of going through some of the archives at the General Alfred M. Gray Marine Corps Research Center. If any Marine should get the chance, check out this marvelous facility as well as the National Museum of the Marine Corps. They all need our support.

On a personal note I made a visit to the Marsh building and met with MGySgt Ray, the 63XX Monitor. When I told him I had his job 36 years ago, he smiled and asked me if I wanted it back! Many things have changed since I was a monitor at the Navy Annex in Arlington, but not the dedication and pride our Marines serve with. Semper Fidelis.

Gene Hays
MSgt, USMC Retired
Author and Historian
2 County Road 370
Oxford, MS 38655
662-832-7977
Amazon.com Author Page
Gene Hays Author Website


Glowed In The Dark

I was the driver of the 1st tank battalions commanding officers m48 main battle tank stationed at tent camp 2, Las Pulgas, Camp Pendleton (flame plt., H&S Co., 1MarDiv., FMF R). We trained USMCR tank units in tank warfare during the week and vacationed in TIAJUANA. On weekends, we hung out at a little Cantina called the Aquarium. Our old Corps sat at tables under the huge fish tank in the very back - Mexicans sat at the long bar near the front entrance. One night a neube boot came in sat in Mexican territory and ordered a drink. His greens were so new his PFC stripe glowed in the dark. A brawl started. The Marine was mobbed. A couple of Mexicans decked the Marine - even making fun of his Eagle, Globe, and Anchor. One even pulled a knife an drew Marine blood. A little attitude adjustment was initiated. I had disarmed the knife wielder and somehow his knife became entangled in his nose and he was hollering in pain when suddenly a "ruralas (Mex natl police" slammed a Mex. 9mm star pistol into my head. I woke up in the Tia Juana jail. I must have tripped over a footlocker en route cause I was a lot worse for wear when I woke in the "T.J" jail. My shoes and socks, "Ike jacket", and rest of my class "A" uniform except my trousers had disappeared. I had arrived in H-ll on earth.

The jail was a huge stone/adobe sewer - men women kids Marines sailors and a soldier and many, many Spanish speaking people all jammed in together. Days went by. Nights went by. Everybody used the same trench for their sewer. At intervals U.S military personnel were herded outside behind a huge wall and rifles were pointed at our heads and we were told to not make any noise or we would be shot. (it was the U.S. Navy provost Marshal inspecting for US personnel). Like many old Corps jar heads I had sewed a $20 bill into the lining of my trousers. I made friends, of sorts with a guard and I agreed to give him the $20 US (equal to several months guard pay) if he would unlock the inner and outer wall gates for 5 min. - allowing me to run barefoot for the border. Survive, escape, and evade training paid off. I made it to the border - all h-ll had broken loose, guns everywhere - armed US Navy provost people - Mexican armed border guards - but I made it across the border. I used the provost marshall's phone to call my USMC C.O. and reported that I and dozens of Marines and sailors had been held prisoner in a Mexican prison. My CO ordered the provost to provide me transportation back to Pendleton - asap. The Corps verified the facts. An armored column Washington prepared and proceeded to the border (including gun tanks, napalm flame tanks and some 6x's to haul the prisoners home. Facing the threat of Tia Juana being burned to the ground authorities released our men. The border was temporarily closed. And a reward was placed on my head. Now some 60 years later... I'm in my 80's and recently a visiting nurse in my home asked if I was the same USMC she studied in Jag school at Pendleton. Gung Ho, Awaiting transfer to guard the streets of heaven.

Don Kun


Sea-Going Dip

Sgt. Grit,

Like almost every other Old Jarhead, I sigh nostalgically over the days of HBT utilities, the M-1 Rifle and M-14 Rifle. However, without question, many changes in gear were needed to accommodate the changing combat conditions. The M-1 was phased out in the necessity of newer weapons for changing warfare. Ditto with the HBT green utilities as well as the old two-piece steel pot. The old steel pot helmet and liner served not only as protective headgear, but as a bucket, toilet and cooking pot as well (my Dad told me that you cr-pped in your steel pot at night because on Bouganville, you didn't get out of your hole at night for ANY reason. Then, the next morning, you rinsed it out and cooked rice in it). With the new Kevlar helmet, vets tell me all you can do is wear it. However, these same vets say the Kevlar protects the head far better than the old steel pot ever did. I see and understand all these changes in Marine Corps gear and if any new piece of gear saves lives and increases combat efficiency for our Marines, by all means, make it as well as possible, make it quickly and get it to the Marine on the line even quicker.

I question only two changes that have been made in the Marine Corps uniform and my question is "Why?"

(1) Why did the Uniform Board, in its infinite wisdom, decide to phase out the "sea-going dip" of the barracks cover only to replace it with the newer flat one that resembles a dinner plate stuffed into a large sock (see photo)? The distinctive, rakish lines of the sea-going dip of the Barracks Cover almost screamed out MARINE! What benefit, exactly, did the change to the barracks cover accomplish? Did the change make it safer? More effective? Better appearing? Cheaper to make? Or was the change brought about because a past Commandant just wanted to leave his own personal mark on the Corps? The salty, seagoing dip of the 1940's was imbedded deeply in Marine Corps tradition; a tradition purchased with 20,000 Marine lives in the Second World War. It was as traditional as the French Fourragere awarded to the 6th Marine Regiment by a grateful French government in 1918. The Marines of the 6th Regiment still wear the Fourragere, do they not? It has not been "phased out" as well? So why did they get rid of the distinctive sea-going dip barracks cover? Was there some actual reasoning behind the change?

(2) Why in the world did they change the EGA from the 1937-1955 style to the current one? Again, did the change in the EGA make it safer? More effective? Better appearing? Cheaper to make? Or again, was the change brought about because a past Commandant just wanted to leave his own personal mark on the Corps?

I did some research to try and find out why and when the Corps' emblem changed from showing two banners to the present emblem showing a single banner in the eagle's beak that reads SEMPER FIDELIS. The answer I found was: "...the banner actually is called a riband, or decorative ribbon. The emblem as we have it today first appeared on the redesigned Marine Corps Seal adopted in 1954. Why they streamlined the emblem is unknown".

I recall once when we were standing an inspection, I had gone to cash sales and purchased a 7-3/4 sized grommet to replace the 7- 1/2 sized one in my own barracks cover. The result was a slight sea-going dip. Then I took my father's EGA he had given me, coated it with M-NU and screwed it into place. Everything was going just fine during the inspection. When the Company Commander and the Lieutenant came to me, I snapped my M-1 to Port Arms, slammed the bolt back, and glanced down quickly to look in the chamber then eyes back to the front. The Captain snatched my M-1 and did his thing, looking down the bore and all that, then did a right face to go to the next man. But he hesitated, turned his head back and looked at my barracks cover. "Marine," he said, "What the h-ll are you doing with that old EGA on your cover?" I answered truthfully, "Sir, it was my fathers who fought in World War II." "Well, that's nice that you honor your father, but you get that thing off of that cover! That is NOT the authorized EGA. And while you're at it," he continued ranting, "you WILL get that sea-going dip out of your cover! This is NOT World War II! You understand me, son?" "Yes, Sir! I understand perfectly, sir!" I really wanted to ask why, but I had the sneaking feeling that asking the Captain "why?" after he had just reamed me out royally in front of the company would not have been terribly apropos at the moment.

Am I alone in noting these things? Anyone else have any thoughts on this or should I just keep my mouth shut and go cry in my beer (or Diet Pepsi)?

J. Wise
204xxxx


Opinions

Seasonal utility changes – Whatever. Who cares when they change from Summer to Winter to Summer. The best recommendation I saw was to wear the green MARPAT year round while in CONUS and desert MARPAT while deployed. Otherwise, ain't no thing.

Sam Brown belt and strap – Cool. Would love to see that revived.

Brass ute chevrons – Boo! Hiss! Are they trying to look like the Army? I get it. The black chevrons are hard to see on the camouflage utilities (especially Summer green) but for me, better that than to look like a d-mned Doggie.

Best chow hall? Doggie mess facility at Fort Bliss, Texas.
Worst chow hall? Navy mess facility at Port Hueneme, California.

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


Stoner

Sgt. Grit,

In response to Ray Kelly's letter wondering why the USMC might have decided against putting the Stoner into regular use, I have a reply (Semper Fi, Ray).

While I was in Hue / Phu Bai, 1965 as a member of 1st Recon Bn., I also had an opportunity to try The Stoner 222. It was a lovely weapon except that with the tumbling 222 round, every time it hit a twig or leaf it changed the trajectory of the round. In Vietnam, this was not a well-received result. I don't know if that is the reason, but I was glad to get back to my M2 Carbine for close quarters.

Aloha,
Will Pendragon 0317, Vietnam '65-'66
Ewa Beach, HI


Marine Ink Of The Week

Vietnam Era Tattoo with Vietnam Service Ribbon.

Submitted by George Koehler

Tuefel Hunden Tattoo


The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #9, #3)

She replied "Don't you think I know that? - I could handle it in high school. - And if I could handle the ordeal I went through in New York City - when trying to become a model - I can handle it at Earlham. You have absolutely NOTHING to worry about!"

I told her "I was not worrying about anything. I was merely making a statement." Earlier I had mentioned that Mary called the modeling profession 'sleezy'. She had told me that there were 42 pages of 'Modeling Agencies' in the N.Y.C. yellow pages and 20 more listed as 'Photographers - For Aspiring Models' and MOST of them were "H-rny old men with a camera, a tripod and one or two flood lights - trying to recharge their batteries." She said most all of the listed addresses were apartments where one room was used for "whatever they could get away with." She had described the procedure this way: She would knock on the door and a 'creep' would respond. He would look you up and down - and if he liked what he saw he would ask you to come in. Then he would ask you to sign a 'consent/release form' and take some 'head shots.' He would tell you 'the going rate is $5.00 per hour' and ask you to return tomorrow at a certain time "and bring your swim suit!" If You Returned - he would ask you to put on the swimsuit - right there in front of him. If you declined and asked to change in the bathroom - as she always did - he might let you do so - but the condition of most of the bathrooms could make you puke. After taking a few pictures he would say "Now, take off the swimsuit, we're going to take some 'n-dies." And that's when she walked out. Mary said that must have been the scenario at least 100 or more times in a year - before she "hit 'paydirt' with the Prince Matchabelli Perfume contract." (She was in their Life magazine ad once a month for 12 months in 1949 & 1950.) She told me she could understand why so many young girls were drawn into the 'sl-t magazine' business. If they had to pay rent they had little recourse. Mary lived with her aunt, a grandmother, and did not have to pay rent.

She said she did not want to return to the Admissions Office until about 5:00, so we decided to go down to the dining room for something light about 3:45 - in a few minutes. We did this and almost choked on our food as we were thinking of our having to separate within a couple of hours - for who knows how long. We got her things from the room and headed for the college. We were at the Admissions Office shortly before 5:00. I had expected a crowd but there were only about a dozen in line ahead of Mary. They were prepared for this and she reached the desk before 5:30. She was told there were only two issues to be taken care of - her class selections and room selection. She had forgotten about the room. Her selection of classes was approved almost instantly. And then they said "You have paid the highest amount for your housing; you are entitled to be in a two student room. We have just three of those left - one with a girl from South Carolina, another with a girl from Wisconsin, and one with a girl from New Jersey; which would you like?" Mary said "New Jersey!"

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

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


Dedicated And Competent Hands

Recently spent a few days down Charleston, SC way for the 1st Marine Division annual reunion (your PX crew as usual doing a fine job)... one of the highlights was a tour down to PI... about five big busloads of us. First stop was the MCX parking lot... three DI's there to meet us initially, others arriving a bit later. One DI to each bus... and it was much like the (old) movie "Marty"... (whatcha wanna do, Marty?... I dunno... what you wanna do?). Our bus (the only one with a female driver and a white paint job) drew a Sgt... who had the day 'off' to guide us, while the rest of his team were conducting the regularly scheduled training day with their platoon... by popular acclaim, it was decided that we would proceed to receiving barracks... where we got the full 'get off my bus NOW! treatment, and the yellow footprints, followed by learning how to sit down (quickly) in the stainless steel seats... for a briefing by the XO of Receiving, and some of the DI's. Maybe it's because of spending four years under a Smokey Bear (at San Diego), but if I live to be a hundred, I will never get used to seeing a tightly coifed blonde hair bun tucked up under a campaign cover... all very well done, pretty much impromptu (as opposed to a rehearsed "dog and pony show")... we all enjoyed it... and if the bifocals, canes, missing hair, and beer-bellies didn't scare the h-ll out of those Marines, it should have... "As I am... so someday you will be" (and they wouldn't have believed it... I sure wouldn't have... back then...)

We got to see recruits doing events in the Crucible, sometime at the museum, chow at H&S Bn dining facility, Iron Mike, etc. Had some fun with some of the bus guide DI's outside the messhall (dining facility)... told these DI's I had a question for them... that being "what is the only time to step off with the right foot first?" One did venture, a bit quizzically... "about face?"... true, the right foot moves first... but that is not "stepping off"... the answer is 'right step, march'... and yes, they are still teaching Landing Party Drill. The casual visitor, arriving at the gate, is not going to get a similar reception... we were a large party, with connections, and much prior planning had gone into this tour... and it is obvious that things are still in dedicated and competent hands...

Ddick


Reunions

On behalf of the 4th Marine Division Association, I would like to pass on this important message. On the 70th Anniversary of the battle of Iwo Jima, the 4th Marine Division Association (all Iwo Jima survivors) will have its final muster at Camp LeJeune, NC (Aug. 3 – 8) 2015. We would appreciate your help in putting out a public service announcement that will get the word out to other members so they attend the final ceremony. It will be open to the public. It will be a major news media event which will include the Commandant, General Amos, the silent drill team, drum and bugle corps, etc. We will be starting a fund drive soon to raise funds for the rental of handicapped equipped tour buses, wheel chairs, a ladies breakfast, and some tour attractions including some travel funds for members who cannot afford the trip. We anticipate a larger turnout than usual as this being the final muster. A message will be posted in the fighting fourth newsletter to help get the word out. These Marines are in their 90's and it would be fitting to see them retire the colors with all the pomp and ceremony they well deserve as they are the of Marines of greatest generation.

2014 Photos of the 4th MARDIV reunion, Charleston, SC.

67th Iwo Jima Reunion - Part 1

67th Iwo Jima Reunion - Part 2

Thank you in advance.

Semper Fi
Jay Julian


Our boot camp platoon 151 (1962) will be holding its 52 year reunion in Washington DC. The dates are 09/25/14 to 09/28/14. For more info, please contact me at: Gunnysan[at]gmail.com

Semper Fi,
Eric Gunderson


Will be heading to Parris Island 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[at]lcec.net

Chuck Reardon


Short Rounds

"EWE, EWE, You demented perv-rt - Are you calling me a female sheep?"

J L Stelling


I was issued herringbone trousers at San Diego in '59, before I graduated from boot, they were surveyed for the regular issue. There were a few herringbone covers still around.

Cpl. E. L. Collins
1959-63


I was reading the story of Jim Logan who said that his Seabag never arrived at the destination. Well when I left Nam in '68 I left a Seabag to my so called trusted Marine brother to send it back to my home add... it had clothes, one K-bar, boots... well guess what I never got it so don't feel bad Mr. Logan.

Vic DeLeon 6619


I agree with Cpl. Zanzalari re: betting with the Senior DI and playing poker with a JDI... something terribly wrong with that picture... person in question is either lying or he was in the worst platoon the Corps ever had. In June of 1960 my platoon had some members that got the tail end of the "herringbone utilities" in bits and pieces. Most of the issue was the new cotton type utilities. I was issued a green "battle jacket" or Ike jacket and one green regular jacket. This was MCRD San Diego June 1960.

Don Nelson
Plt 251, Honor Plt./ 2531 1960-63
Semper Fi


I do not recall ever seeing the book "BRUTE" being recommended in the newsletter, but I found it a remarkable story of not only Lt General Krulak, but the history of the Marine Corps from the China Marines through Vietnam.

Semper Fi
Mike Collins
Mustang Captain
1972-1992


I have to agree with Pete Dahlstrom about the best being at DLIWC Monterrey. We got there in November '67 and for three months had the best food I had ever eaten in the Corps. Those below Corporal still had to pull mess duty, but it was a snap, just cleaning things up. In fact, the whole deal was great, as we were the only Marines on an Army run base, and that made us pretty extra special.

Ron Perkins
Sgt. of Marines
'65-'74
Nam 68-70


Quotes

"When you stop fighting, that's death."
--John Wayne character Breck Coleman, "The Big Trail" [1930]

John Wayne Quote


"Being ready is not what matters. What matters is winning after you get there."
--LtGen Victor H. "Brute" Krulak, USMC April 1965


"It is not possible that any state should long remain free, where Virtue is not supremely honored."
--Samuel Adams, 1775


"The Marine Corps has just been called by the New York Times, 'The elite of this country.' I think it is the elite of the world."
--Admiral William Halsey, U.S. Navy, WWII


"The Marines have landed and the situation is well in hand."
--Attributed to Richard Harding Davis (1864-1916)


"If yer gonna be stupid, ya gotta be tough!"

"Why you worthless maggots, I will PT you until you die. You will curse the day your daddies climbed on top o'your mommas and f--ed you into existence!"

"Those d-mn recruiters think they're comedians, what are they doing to me?"

Gung Ho!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 11 SEP 2014

In this issue:
• VC Goodies
• I Have Witnessed History
• Sea-Going Dip

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We all learned about Presley O'Bannon in boot camp and if we've read any history about the war against the Barbary pirates we've learned more about him. His name is always spelled "O'Bannon". Does anyone know why his name on his tombstone in the Kentucky State Cemetery is spelled "O'Banion"?

Dan Campbell '68-'72


Are You On The Rag Private

I'm with Cpl. Gerry Zanzalari from this week's newsletter. Here's a range story with no BS from August of 1967.

On pre-qual day the DIs, PMIs, a couple of officers and a Royal Marine in his beret were gathered in the center of the line at 500 yards around a large pan of fried chicken, obviously from the mess hall. When we tallied up the scores, I had shot a 234 which was the highest up and down the line. My coach told me I could go get a piece of chicken. I knew right away I was in deep sh-t but I couldn't figure a way out of it. When I arrived, my PMI asked what I had shot and I guess I sounded a little boastful when I told him. Like everybody I had my marksmanship book in the breast pocket of my shooting jacket with the pages held open with one of our clothes pins.

I am blessed with a fairly large nose which was bright red after two weeks on the range. He took the clothes pin and clipped it onto my sunburned nose. It was hard to disguise that I was p-ssed. He asked, "are you on the rag private"? He said open my mouth and took the wad of cotton from his pocked and shoved it in. The assembled group had a good laugh. He told me to go back and tell my coach that I was having my period. Never did get my chicken. The next day I shot 225 which earned me crossed rifles which was all I cared about anyway.

Jim Reese
PISC July-September '67


2/4 in 1965-66 at Chu Lai

The attached photo is the original sign that was placed at the entrance to 2/4 in 1965-66 at Chu Lai. I recently received it from a 1st Division friend who also served during the same period and brought it home with him when he returned to CONUS. During the period this sign greeted all who entered 2/4's TAOR, the commanding officer was Lt. Col P. X. Kelly who later became the Commandant. Just want to share it with all who might remember, and remember the legacy of 2/4, second to none, the Magnificent Bast-rds.

Sgt. Dan Bisher
1963-1969
RVN '65-'66


Make Sgt Grit your one stop shop for all of your Uniform Supplies such as medals, ribbons, and mounts. Mounting orders may take up to 7-10 business days to ship.

Cut-off date for ribbon/medal mounting for this year's ball is October 24th.


Calling Him Out

Gary Zanzalari has the same problem I have with a story in a previous Newsletter by a "marine" (lower case on purpose) claiming far too many liberties with his Drill Instructors. The overuse of recognized slang and nicknames made it glaringly obvious to this Marine that we were reading "The Life and Times of a Wanna-be". At first I questioned Sgt. Grit for including this story in the Newsletter, but then it dawned on me that it may have been for the purposes of giving real Marines a shot at this imposter by calling him out. Let it be said. Let it be done. He IS a Poser and NOT a Marine.

David B. McClellan
Former LCpl
Forever Marine
Viet Nam Combat Veteran, 1969-1970


VC Goodies

I too had my seabags sent to seabag heaven. I had my entire life in Vietnam in three seabags. As a medevac back to the World, I had no time to do anything. A close friend of mine packed those seabags which included over 70 rolls of 35 millimeter film as well as the camera and other VC goodies as well as all the regular stuff one collects from all over.

I returned almost immediately from the RVN and was hospitalized for a couple of months. I waited for over a year and then contacted my Congressman, Chet Holifield. He was able to find one seabag of a portion of my uniforms. Talk about a bummer - I know how they feel.

Frank "Tree" Remkiewicz


YNK

It was about the 4th or 5th week in Plt 406, at Parris Island in '56. My Sweetheart (Now my wife of 54 years) would send me mail almost every day. One day she put the letters YNK on the outside rear of the envelope. Our DI's always told us "anything on the outside is meant for them". So when I ran around the platoon to retrieve my letter from him he asked "What does YNK mean?" I guess he never heard of Frank Sinatra or the song "You'll never know" which was OUR song, because not meaning the way he took it, I said "SIR, You'll Never Know". I did push-ups and squat thrusts well into the dark. In my next letter to my girl I pleaded with her to NEVER put anything on the outside again.

Semper Fi Brothers,
Sgt Frank Rigiero '56/'59


I Have Witnessed History

Yesterday was the deactivation of 1st Battalion, 9th Marines who we all know are referred to as the "Walking Dead". Now all there is, is an awareness of the absolute honor, courage, and commitment of that storied regiment. Every Marine learns our history while in recruit training. I would urge all to look at the history of the Regiment and realize that those Marines and their squad, platoon, company, regiment, and battalion mirror all of us who have earned the title.

SSgt DJ Huntsinger
11th Marines '69-'70


Uoo Garr

I believe it was the early part of 1953 when the 1st Recon Company 1st Mar. Div. was given a mission for a 24 hour landing off the submarine USS Perch behind enemy lines in support of the Army's 45 ID on their attack on 'Old Baldy' depicted in the movie 'Hamburger Hill'. Recon at the time was short of people and drew some 'volunteers' from the 7th Marines. When the sub started the dive the intercom went UOO GARR, Uoo Garr dive, dive. That tickled all the Marines onboard. When Recon returned to division the 1st Sgt. called roll call just before he dismissed the formation he yell Uoo Gar. From my understanding Recon used it from that day in their running cadence. I think as Marines ran faster and longer and required more wind the phrase gradually converted to ooo rah. The correct pronunciation the ooo rah should sound similar the submarine horn. I disagree with Ray's idea we copied the call from the Army, I think it is the other way around. However if one listens close to the Army it sounds like 'Who Rah'.

That my story and I'm sticking to it...

Sgt. J. Davis
7th Marines Korea


Icee Tattoos

It is about 0200 hours, NAS Jacksonville, FL, Aviation Ordnance (AOA) School, early 1968. I am sitting on the porcelain throne. There are NO DOORS on the stalls in our barracks. I am sitting there trying to stay awake.

7-11 stores are still fairly new at the time. I think 7-11 was born in Florida. They have just begun selling the Icee's. As a promotion, when you purchased an Icee they gave you some stick-on tattoos. I'm sitting there, like I said, trying to stay awake, when in walks these two buddies of mine. Yeah, they're looking for me. And they are Drunk On Their Collective Azses!

They present themselves squarely in the doorway of the stall thereby sealing off any possibility of escape. Now, you have to envision my situation. There I sat, at the moment, I am in a most UN-compromising position. I can't even execute a proper defense being seated where I was, and they both "present", UH, I MEAN they both expose themselves. I am instantly thrown into a fit of laughter. There, squarely on the end of their appendages are the brightest red lips I had ever seen. At least when considering where I was seeing them.

Now, being aware of the sensitivity of this part of the male anatomy, I am righteously impressed at the pain they must have endured. They began telling me how much it hurt to get these beautiful lips "installed" shall we say... And how they had to pay the tattoo guy extra to cover the, um, shall we say "handling charges?"

Now I, being in a financially challenged period of my life, I am grossing, as a Private, $92 a month, do not get into town very much, and I certainly can't afford to get tattooed, therefore am uninformed on the subject of "Icee tattoos," So, initially, I am righteously impressed at the bravery, and the ability to withstand the incredible amount of pain they most assuredly had to suffer, and I am convinced right then that should I end up in battle, I would certainly choose my two buddies to be in the fighting hole with me when the attack comes. Two truly strong Marines!

I can't help but wonder, tho, do you think a tattoo artist would really; Nah! No way!

Semper Fi, Sarge,
Chuck Brewer, Sergeant of Marines FOREVER!


Want It Back

Sgt Grit,

Three weeks ago my wife and I made a trip back to Quantico where I visited with some of the Marine Corps Historians in conjunction with a research project I am working on concerning the Vietnam War. There are a lot of new buildings going up, one of which will house the History Division. I also had the privilege of going through some of the archives at the General Alfred M. Gray Marine Corps Research Center. If any Marine should get the chance, check out this marvelous facility as well as the National Museum of the Marine Corps. They all need our support.

On a personal note I made a visit to the Marsh building and met with MGySgt Ray, the 63XX Monitor. When I told him I had his job 36 years ago, he smiled and asked me if I wanted it back! Many things have changed since I was a monitor at the Navy Annex in Arlington, but not the dedication and pride our Marines serve with. Semper Fidelis.

Gene Hays
MSgt, USMC Retired
Author and Historian
2 County Road 370
Oxford, MS 38655
662-832-7977
Amazon.com Author Page
Gene Hays Author Website


Glowed In The Dark

I was the driver of the 1st tank battalions commanding officers m48 main battle tank stationed at tent camp 2, Las Pulgas, Camp Pendleton (flame plt., H&S Co., 1MarDiv., FMF R). We trained USMCR tank units in tank warfare during the week and vacationed in TIAJUANA. On weekends, we hung out at a little Cantina called the Aquarium. Our old Corps sat at tables under the huge fish tank in the very back - Mexicans sat at the long bar near the front entrance. One night a neube boot came in sat in Mexican territory and ordered a drink. His greens were so new his PFC stripe glowed in the dark. A brawl started. The Marine was mobbed. A couple of Mexicans decked the Marine - even making fun of his Eagle, Globe, and Anchor. One even pulled a knife an drew Marine blood. A little attitude adjustment was initiated. I had disarmed the knife wielder and somehow his knife became entangled in his nose and he was hollering in pain when suddenly a "ruralas (Mex natl police" slammed a Mex. 9mm star pistol into my head. I woke up in the Tia Juana jail. I must have tripped over a footlocker en route cause I was a lot worse for wear when I woke in the "T.J" jail. My shoes and socks, "Ike jacket", and rest of my class "A" uniform except my trousers had disappeared. I had arrived in H-ll on earth.

The jail was a huge stone/adobe sewer - men women kids Marines sailors and a soldier and many, many Spanish speaking people all jammed in together. Days went by. Nites went by. Everybody used the same trench for their sewer. At intervals U.S military personnel were herded outside behind a huge wall and rifles were pointed at our heads and we were told to not make any noise or we would be shot. (it was the U.S. Navy provost Marshal inspecting for US personnel). Like many old Corps jar heads I had sewed a $20 bill into the lining of my trousers. I made friends, of sorts with a guard and I agreed to give him the $20 US (equal to several months guard pay) if he would unlock the inner and outer wall gates for 5 min. - allowing me to run barefoot for the border. Survive, escape, and evade training paid off. I made it to the border - all h-ll had broken loose, guns everywhere - armed US Navy provost people - Mexican armed border guards - but I made it across the border. I used the provost marshall's phone to call my USMC C.O. and reported that I and dozens of Marines and sailors had been held prisoner in a Mexican prison. My CO ordered the provost to provide me transportation back to Pendleton - asap. The Corps verified the facts. An armored column Washington prepared and proceeded to the border (including gun tanks, napalm flame tanks and some 6x's to haul the prisoners home. Facing the threat of Tia Juana being burned to the ground authorities released our men. The border was temporarily closed. And a reward was placed on my head. Now some 60 years later... I'm in my 80's and recently a visiting nurse in my home asked if I was the same USMC she studied in Jag school at Pendleton. Gung Ho, Awaiting transfer to guard the streets of heaven.

Don Kun


Sea-Going Dip

Sgt. Grit,

Like almost every other Old Jarhead, I sigh nostalgically over the days of HBT utilities, the M-1 Rifle and M-14 Rifle. However, without question, many changes in gear were needed to accommodate the changing combat conditions. The M-1 was phased out in the necessity of newer weapons for changing warfare. Ditto with the HBT green utilities as well as the old two-piece steel pot. The old steel pot helmet and liner served not only as protective headgear, but as a bucket, toilet and cooking pot as well (my Dad told me that you cr-pped in your steel pot at night because on Bouganville, you didn't get out of your hole at night for ANY reason. Then, the next morning, you rinsed it out and cooked rice in it). With the new Kevlar helmet, vets tell me all you can do is wear it. However, these same vets say the Kevlar protects the head far better than the old steel pot ever did. I see and understand all these changes in Marine Corps gear and if any new piece of gear saves lives and increases combat efficiency for our Marines, by all means, make it as well as possible, make it quickly and get it to the Marine on the line even quicker.

I question only two changes that have been made in the Marine Corps uniform and my question is "Why?"

(1) Why did the Uniform Board, in its infinite wisdom, decide to phase out the "sea-going dip" of the barracks cover only to replace it with the newer flat one that resembles a dinner plate stuffed into a large sock (see photo)? The distinctive, rakish lines of the sea-going dip of the Barracks Cover almost screamed out MARINE! What benefit, exactly, did the change to the barracks cover accomplish? Did the change make it safer? More effective? Better appearing? Cheaper to make? Or was the change brought about because a past Commandant just wanted to leave his own personal mark on the Corps? The salty, seagoing dip of the 1940's was imbedded deeply in Marine Corps tradition; a tradition purchased with 20,000 Marine lives in the Second World War. It was as traditional as the French Fourragere awarded to the 6th Marine Regiment by a grateful French government in 1918. The Marines of the 6th Regiment still wear the Fourragere, do they not? It has not been "phased out" as well? So why did they get rid of the distinctive sea-going dip barracks cover? Was there some actual reasoning behind the change?

(2) Why in the world did they change the EGA from the 1937-1955 style to the current one? Again, did the change in the EGA make it safer? More effective? Better appearing? Cheaper to make? Or again, was the change brought about because a past Commandant just wanted to leave his own personal mark on the Corps?

I did some research to try and find out why and when the Corps' emblem changed from showing two banners to the present emblem showing a single banner in the eagle's beak that reads SEMPER FIDELIS. The answer I found was: "...the banner actually is called a riband, or decorative ribbon. The emblem as we have it today first appeared on the redesigned Marine Corps Seal adopted in 1954. Why they streamlined the emblem is unknown".

I recall once when we were standing an inspection, I had gone to cash sales and purchased a 7-3/4 sized grommet to replace the 7- 1/2 sized one in my own barracks cover. The result was a slight sea-going dip. Then I took my father's EGA he had given me, coated it with M-NU and screwed it into place. Everything was going just fine during the inspection. When the Company Commander and the Lieutenant came to me, I snapped my M-1 to Port Arms, slammed the bolt back, and glanced down quickly to look in the chamber then eyes back to the front. The Captain snatched my M-1 and did his thing, looking down the bore and all that, then did a right face to go to the next man. But he hesitated, turned his head back and looked at my barracks cover. "Marine," he said, "What the h-ll are you doing with that old EGA on your cover?" I answered truthfully, "Sir, it was my fathers who fought in World War II." "Well, that's nice that you honor your father, but you get that thing off of that cover! That is NOT the authorized EGA. And while you're at it," he continued ranting, "you WILL get that sea-going dip out of your cover! This is NOT World War II! You understand me, son?" "Yes, Sir! I understand perfectly, sir!" I really wanted to ask why, but I had the sneaking feeling that asking the Captain "why?" after he had just reamed me out royally in front of the company would not have been terribly apropos at the moment.

Am I alone in noting these things? Anyone else have any thoughts on this or should I just keep my mouth shut and go cry in my beer (or Diet Pepsi)?

J. Wise
204xxxx


Opinions

Seasonal utility changes – Whatever. Who cares when they change from Summer to Winter to Summer. The best recommendation I saw was to wear the green MARPAT year round while in CONUS and desert MARPAT while deployed. Otherwise, ain't no thing.

Sam Brown belt and strap – Cool. Would love to see that revived.

Brass ute chevrons – Boo! Hiss! Are they trying to look like the Army? I get it. The black chevrons are hard to see on the camouflage utilities (especially Summer green) but for me, better that than to look like a d-mned Doggie.

Best chow hall? Doggie mess facility at Fort Bliss, Texas.
Worst chow hall? Navy mess facility at Port Hueneme, California.

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


Stoner

Sgt. Grit,

In response to Ray Kelly's letter wondering why the USMC might have decided against putting the Stoner into regular use, I have a reply (Semper Fi, Ray).

While I was in Hue / Phu Bai, 1965 as a member of 1st Recon Bn., I also had an opportunity to try The Stoner 222. It was a lovely weapon except that with the tumbling 222 round, every time it hit a twig or leaf it changed the trajectory of the round. In Vietnam, this was not a well-received result. I don't know if that is the reason, but I was glad to get back to my M2 Carbine for close quarters.

Aloha,
Will Pendragon 0317, Vietnam '65-'66
Ewa Beach, HI


The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #9, #3)

She replied "Don't you think I know that? - I could handle it in high school. - And if I could handle the ordeal I went through in New York City - when trying to become a model - I can handle it at Earlham. You have absolutely NOTHING to worry about!"

I told her "I was not worrying about anything. I was merely making a statement." Earlier I had mentioned that Mary called the modeling profession 'sleezy'. She had told me that there were 42 pages of 'Modeling Agencies' in the N.Y.C. yellow pages and 20 more listed as 'Photographers - For Aspiring Models' and MOST of them were "H-rny old men with a camera, a tripod and one or two flood lights - trying to recharge their batteries." She said most all of the listed addresses were apartments where one room was used for "whatever they could get away with." She had described the procedure this way: She would knock on the door and a 'creep' would respond. He would look you up and down - and if he liked what he saw he would ask you to come in. Then he would ask you to sign a 'consent/release form' and take some 'head shots.' He would tell you 'the going rate is $5.00 per hour' and ask you to return tomorrow at a certain time "and bring your swim suit!" If You Returned - he would ask you to put on the swimsuit - right there in front of him. If you declined and asked to change in the bathroom - as she always did - he might let you do so - but the condition of most of the bathrooms could make you puke. After taking a few pictures he would say "Now, take off the swimsuit, we're going to take some 'n-dies." And that's when she walked out. Mary said that must have been the scenario at least 100 or more times in a year - before she "hit 'paydirt' with the Prince Matchabelli Perfume contract." (She was in their Life magazine ad once a month for 12 months in 1949 & 1950.) She told me she could understand why so many young girls were drawn into the 'sl-t magazine' business. If they had to pay rent they had little recourse. Mary lived with her aunt, a grandmother, and did not have to pay rent.

She said she did not want to return to the Admissions Office until about 5:00, so we decided to go down to the dining room for something light about 3:45 - in a few minutes. We did this and almost choked on our food as we were thinking of our having to separate within a couple of hours - for who knows how long. We got her things from the room and headed for the college. We were at the Admissions Office shortly before 5:00. I had expected a crowd but there were only about a dozen in line ahead of Mary. They were prepared for this and she reached the desk before 5:30. She was told there were only two issues to be taken care of - her class selections and room selection. She had forgotten about the room. Her selection of classes was approved almost instantly. And then they said "You have paid the highest amount for your housing; you are entitled to be in a two student room. We have just three of those left - one with a girl from South Carolina, another with a girl from Wisconsin, and one with a girl from New Jersey; which would you like?" Mary said "New Jersey!"

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

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


Dedicated And Competent Hands

Recently spent a few days down Charleston, SC way for the 1st Marine Division annual reunion (your PX crew as usual doing a fine job)... one of the highlights was a tour down to PI... about five big busloads of us. First stop was the MCX parking lot... three DI's there to meet us initially, others arriving a bit later. One DI to each bus... and it was much like the (old) movie "Marty"... (whatcha wanna do, Marty?... I dunno... what you wanna do?). Our bus (the only one with a female driver and a white paint job) drew a Sgt... who had the day 'off' to guide us, while the rest of his team were conducting the regularly scheduled training day with their platoon... by popular acclaim, it was decided that we would proceed to receiving barracks... where we got the full 'get off my bus NOW! treatment, and the yellow footprints, followed by learning how to sit down (quickly) in the stainless steel seats... for a briefing by the XO of Receiving, and some of the DI's. Maybe it's because of spending four years under a Smokey Bear (at San Diego), but if I live to be a hundred, I will never get used to seeing a tightly coifed blonde hair bun tucked up under a campaign cover... all very well done, pretty much impromptu (as opposed to a rehearsed "dog and pony show")... we all enjoyed it... and if the bifocals, canes, missing hair, and beer-bellies didn't scare the h-ll out of those Marines, it should have... "As I am... so someday you will be" (and they wouldn't have believed it... I sure wouldn't have... back then...)

We got to see recruits doing events in the Crucible, sometime at the museum, chow at H&S Bn dining facility, Iron Mike, etc. Had some fun with some of the bus guide DI's outside the messhall (dining facility)... told these DI's I had a question for them... that being "what is the only time to step off with the right foot first?" One did venture, a bit quizzically... "about face?"... true, the right foot moves first... but that is not "stepping off"... the answer is 'right step, march'... and yes, they are still teaching Landing Party Drill. The casual visitor, arriving at the gate, is not going to get a similar reception... we were a large party, with connections, and much prior planning had gone into this tour... and it is obvious that things are still in dedicated and competent hands...

Ddick


Reunions

On behalf of the 4th Marine Division Association, I would like to pass on this important message. On the 70th Anniversary of the battle of Iwo Jima, the 4th Marine Division Association (all Iwo Jima survivors) will have its final muster at Camp LeJeune, NC (Aug. 3 – 8) 2015. We would appreciate your help in putting out a public service announcement that will get the word out to other members so they attend the final ceremony. It will be open to the public. It will be a major news media event which will include the Commandant, General Amos, the silent drill team, drum and bugle corps, etc. We will be starting a fund drive soon to raise funds for the rental of handicapped equipped tour buses, wheel chairs, a ladies breakfast, and some tour attractions including some travel funds for members who cannot afford the trip. We anticipate a larger turnout than usual as this being the final muster. A message will be posted in the fighting fourth newsletter to help get the word out. These Marines are in their 90's and it would be fitting to see them retire the colors with all the pomp and ceremony they well deserve as they are the of Marines of greatest generation.

2014 Photos of the 4th MARDIV reunion, Charleston, SC.

67th Iwo Jima Reunion - Part 1

67th Iwo Jima Reunion - Part 2

Thank you in advance.

Semper Fi
Jay Julian


Our boot camp platoon 151 (1962) will be holding its 52 year reunion in Washington DC. The dates are 09/25/14 to 09/28/14. For more info, please contact me at: Gunnysan[at]gmail.com

Semper Fi,
Eric Gunderson


Will be heading to Parris Island 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[at]lcec.net

Chuck Reardon


Short Rounds

"EWE, EWE, You demented perv-rt - Are you calling me a female sheep?"

J L Stelling


I was issued herringbone trousers at San Diego in '59, before I graduated from boot, they were surveyed for the regular issue. There were a few herringbone covers still around.

Cpl. E. L. Collins
1959-63


I was reading the story of Jim Logan who said that his Seabag never arrived at the destination. Well when I left Nam in '68 I left a Seabag to my so called trusted Marine brother to send it back to my home add... it had clothes, one K-bar, boots... well guess what I never got it so don't feel bad Mr. Logan.

Vic DeLeon 6619


I agree with Cpl. Zanzalari re: betting with the Senior DI and playing poker with a JDI... something terribly wrong with that picture... person in question is either lying or he was in the worst platoon the Corps ever had. In June of 1960 my platoon had some members that got the tail end of the "herringbone utilities" in bits and pieces. Most of the issue was the new cotton type utilities. I was issued a green "battle jacket" or Ike jacket and one green regular jacket. This was MCRD San Diego June 1960.

Don Nelson
Plt 251, Honor Plt./ 2531 1960-63
Semper Fi


I do not recall ever seeing the book "BRUTE" being recommended in the newsletter, but I found it a remarkable story of not only Lt General Krulak, but the history of the Marine Corps from the China Marines through Vietnam.

Semper Fi
Mike Collins
Mustang Captain
1972-1992


I have to agree with Pete Dahlstrom about the best being at DLIWC Monterrey. We got there in November '67 and for three months had the best food I had ever eaten in the Corps. Those below Corporal still had to pull mess duty, but it was a snap, just cleaning things up. In fact, the whole deal was great, as we were the only Marines on an Army run base, and that made us pretty extra special.

Ron Perkins
Sgt. of Marines
'65-'74
Nam 68-70


Quotes

"When you stop fighting, that's death."
--John Wayne character Breck Coleman, "The Big Trail" [1930]


"Being ready is not what matters. What matters is winning after you get there."
--LtGen Victor H. "Brute" Krulak, USMC April 1965


"It is not possible that any state should long remain free, where Virtue is not supremely honored."
--Samuel Adams, 1775


"The Marine Corps has just been called by the New York Times, 'The elite of this country.' I think it is the elite of the world."
--Admiral William Halsey, U.S. Navy, WWII


"The Marines have landed and the situation is well in hand."
--Attributed to Richard Harding Davis (1864-1916)


"If yer gonna be stupid, ya gotta be tough!"

"Why you worthless maggots, I will PT you until you die. You will curse the day your daddies climbed on top o'your mommas and f--ed you into existence!"

"Those d-mn recruiters think they're comedians, what are they doing to me?"

Gung Ho!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 04 SEP 2014

In this issue:
• Sea Bags Never Arrived
• H&L and Tabasco
• The Life Of A Marine

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Cartoon drawing of wars and Marines

Sgt. Grit,

I found this drawing that was like all the other cartoon like drawings of Wars and Marines. I thought maybe your readers might like to see what Marines thought like back then. Note the M60 Machine Gun on his shoulder and the Fierce Eyes and the way he carried Grenades.

He's walking in Mud like we spent a lot of time doing during Monsoon season. I don't know who drew this but he did right by us.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Crossed Rifles

Lloyd Reynolds holding an M1

USMC Tankers Association Logo

In reply to Brown Side Out, Green Side Out.

When I went into the Marines (Sept. 1959) the new rank structure was just getting started.

We had the M1 and BAR, hence the crossed rifles on the new chevrons. Since then we have gone through the M14 (I was on the Troop Test Program for this), the M16 (that got a lot of Marines killed in Vietnam), and a lot of new shooting irons since then that I can't keep up with. And there will be more to come.

When the Marines went from the M1903 Springfield rifle to the M1, the Rifle Expert Badge was changed to depict the M1, which is still in use.

In talking to some of the new generation of Marines, when asked what rifles are depicted on the chevrons? They don't know, (some few do).

I would like to suggest to the Uniform Board a change to the Rank Chevrons. Instead of the M1, replace it with our first Musket and phase it in over a three to five year period.

When I was designing the logo for the Marine Corps Tankers Association. When the tankers all wanted to be the tank of their era, like the M4 of WW II, or the M26 of Korea, or the M48 of Vietnam. I proposed the Renault 6 Ton of the 1920's as that was the first tank used by Marines. This ideal was accepted.

See Iron Horse Marine.

Lloyd G. "pappy" Reynolds
1959-1963 and 1966-1970
Infantry and Tanks


Sea Bags Never Arrived

Good morning,

Reading your fine article on the returned cover, prompted me to write the following. I was discharged 4/15/65 from the Brooklyn Navy yard. I shipped 2 sea bags with 5-1/2 years of memories plus all uniforms etc. I shipped it by railway express, to be sent to my home in Penn. If you guessed... it never arrived you were right. There has never been a week that goes by that I don't think of all I lost. I'm happy that fine Marine at least got his cover after all he went thru. Thank your for your time.

Jim Logan 1831xxx


Rib Med Banner

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Cut-off date for ribbon/medal mounting for this year's ball is October 24th.


Seen It All and Done It All

This one goes out to all of the Marines of my generation. Do you ever run into these old guys wearing an old utility cover or an Eagle, Globe and Anchor on their ball cap? I see them almost every day where I work. They're usually bent over, walk really slow, or in a wheel chair. The Devil Dog in me wants to snap to and salute these men every time they walk by. Almost every old salt I meet has held the rank of "gunny". Whenever I talk to one I don't feel like a Marine at all. I laugh, I cry, and always get excited when I hear their stories.

I had the privilege of sitting out front of Walmart the other day for almost two hours talking to an old breed gunny. He was 88 years old and told me stories from WW2, Korea, and Vietnam. This man had seen it all. He had done it all. I didn't think a man that old could operate a smart phone, but he whipped it out and started showing me old black and white photographs he had taken snapshots of from his photo album. Despite his age, he still had that commanding look about him that he had sixty years ago. When he told me stories about his boot camp experience I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Recruits were sometimes literally beat into shape. There was no crying home to mama. There was no court martial hearing for the DI. That's just the way it was. They were allowed to use whatever measure to make a man out of you. I was begging the old gunny for more stories but it was time for him to go home. I can't wait to see him again.

I just finished a book about the greatest Marine in our Corps history, Lewis "Chesty" Puller. If you haven't read MARINE! The Life Of Chesty Puller then drop and give me twenty you Marine impostor piece of SNAFU sh-t! If you want to know why Marines are so feared the world around then read that book and you will understand why. That old salt knew what a Marine's job is. He knew why God created the USMC. We weren't made to look pretty. We were made to fight and kill until there is no more enemy.

These old Devil Dogs I talk to all the time have the same fighting spirit in them that Chesty had. The Marine Corps is still tough and I'm proud as a game rooster to have served in my beloved Corps. But what we need more than anything is that Old Breed spirit. Marines, we've sung about it in our cadences. "Gimme that ole Marine Corps Spirit. It was good for Smedley Butler. It was good for Dan Daley. It was good for Chesty Puller, and it's good enough for me!" If we let some of our leaders have their way, they'll to everything they can to water down our bull dog fighting spirit. Not on my watch! Marines, let's teach our off spring and those around us wanting to join the Corps that the only thing that will keep America strong and alive is that Old Breed Marine Corps attitude. We are the best and we always will be as long as we remember, love, honor, support, and do our best to imitate the Old Breed.

In the meantime, get some, Marines. GET SOME!

Semper Fi,
SSGT. Robert O'Briant '03 - '11


H&L and Tabasco

Just another Marine piping up about H&L. When we loaded our CH-46's for flight, at KyHa, we always made sure we had as many C-rats that we could pack on board; just in case. It was always the same when it came time to "debrief" and clean up the bird... H&L was the only ones left! I never could figure out why no one wanted them; through a careful and scientific application of Tabasco sauce (lots), anything tasted good. Usually it was about 5-6 hard shakes and mix them up. If you had been in country long enough, you already knew how to breathe without inhaling through your nose. That trick worked great to subdue the "taste" of those things.

Between the Tabasco sauce and peanut butter we were able to salvage anything that was even remotely palatable long enough to get it down! How many of you out there opened your boxes and found Lucky Strike greens in there? I found 2, both date stamped 1945! They only lasted about 3 drags before they vanished, too dry for 20+ years! BTW I still have about 30 C-rats tops that were given to me after I used them for "postcards" to mail home. Remember "FREE" in the upper right hand corner? Surprisingly, not one of them has a cancellation mark on the FREE! Semper Fi! (and we didn't OORAH! in '64).

Bill Wilson GySgt.
Then and forever a Marine!


Slightly damaged NCO Swords


Under My Tongue

Sometime in 1967, 2/9 was in the midst of a Viet-Nam 90 day field trip. Some stupid supply officer in the rear thought we were setting in instead of making a sweep. For some unknown reason he sent out ammo and concertina wire on our night supply chopper. No Food - No Water. The ammo and wire were blown up when we saddled up the next day and started humping. The clouds moved in and no choppers for supply. Due to this we had no food or water for 5 days. Not a fun time. It is strange but when you have no food all you can think of and talk about is food; steak, mash potatoes, gravy, steak, hamburgers, fries, steak.

I found a small flat stone and put it under my tongue, shucking on it for moisture. One day a platoon from another unit passed through our unit and I was able to scrounge a can of something off one of the Marines. Back then we shared things. I believe there were seven of us at the time. I retrieved my plastic spoon, which I kept in its wrapper in my shirt pocket. The can was opened and passed around as we each took one spoon full, put the spoon back in the can and passed it to the next guy. When it was all gone I got my spoon back and we passed the can back around again. This time we each got to run our fingers around the inside of the can once. That was the best meal ever. A day or so later we hit a stream and I drank three canteen cups of water before I ever thought about any purification tablets. By this time I was very close to just pe-ing in my canteen.

We finally got resupplied with C-rats and it was like Christmas and Thanksgiving all in one. When we got back to the rear, I think it was in DaNang, the meal waiting for us was unreal. We heard a Lt., a Master Sgt., and a Gunny "ambushed" an army supply truck at a stop sign and told the driver they were never there and he needed to leave the area. We had steak, mash potatoes, gravy, mushroom sauce, vegetables and best of all MILK. All the milk we could hold. I slept good that night. The case of beer I "liberated" was even better.

I was always willing to try something. I borrowed a Corpsman's emblem, broke off the be-be guns on my chevron and turned it upside down. Shazam... I was a Corpsman. I went to the area where they hung out and picked up my daily ration of beer. While I was in their area I was called Doc and I kept my fingers crossed that no one was brought in for me to treat.

The only thing I regret is that when I returned to The World and college, someone stole my Zippo and my rock.

John Halpin
2/9
'66-'67


If You Are Ever In A Real Firefight

OK but if you ever get into a real fire fight, find the nearest Marine and give him your ammo.

NAME


The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #9, #1)

While driving around we noticed a quaint little restaurant that we decided to try out for lunch. It was just what we thought it would be and served very good and inexpensive food. While eating, Mary and I planned our strategy for the afternoon. I had not told you - that during the enrollment process Mr 'B' had been asked "When do you wish that Mary be permitted to leave the campus?" His response was "Whenever she chooses." They then said "Earlham suggests that a young lady be accompanied by one or more others and we shall abide by your wishes. She cannot change this." He gave this very little thought and replied "She may leave only when accompanied by a U. S. Marine Sergeant by the name of Harold Freas; that is spelled F-R-E-A-S." I don't know what they thought of this but that is how they put it in her file. (As you can guess, this caused her considerable problems down the road. I had absolutely no idea of when I would be back at Earlham - if ever - and she was on campus until that requirement was changed. She could not go into Richmond to buy personal items or gifts.) So, she would have to ascertain before she officially checked in if she could leave the campus afterwards. When she asked they looked in her file - and asked me for some identification. I produced my USMC ID and my driver's license. Then they told Mary "You can leave the campus with this gentleman, but you will be asked to show your IDs again at the gate." When she found out what courses were available we went back to 'downtown Richmond'. I checked into the Richmond Hotel for two nights. That was an old, established facility where my Dad and I had stayed several times. Mary liked it. We returned to the restaurant where we had lunch for our dinner and went to the movies afterwards. Then we returned to the hotel to call it a day.

Friday morning we had breakfast in the hotel dining room. And I told Mary of a big surprise I had for her for later that day. We were going to the 'Hollyhock Hill' restaurant in Indianapolis for dinner. This was a restaurant the likes of which were among the '100 Best Restaurants' in the entire United States. I had eaten there several times when one of my brothers worked in Indianapolis and when my Dad and I went to the Indy 500. It was about 75 miles from the hotel but well worth the trip. We skipped lunch and started for the 'Hollyhock Hill' a little after 2:00. Again we were passing through a really beautiful part of our country. Mary said "The more I see of this area the happier I am that I am going to Earlham." She could see from the exterior of the restaurant what an unusual place it was. When seated she said "I really love the outfits the waitresses are wearing. They remind me of those worn in Williamsburg (Va)." I could plainly see that she was already enjoying herself. I could not get her to order anything with alcohol in it and she reminded me that I was doing the driving. We had a very nice dinner and desert. We took our time; were there almost two hours. It was about 6:00 when we started back to Richmond. She was all snuggled up under my arm - as usual - for the return trip. I asked her if she cared for anything else before we turned in for the night. She said "NO!"

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

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


Sgt Andrew Tahmooressi

Sgt Andrew Tahmooressi

A decorated Marine and former 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, Combat Veteran, has been held in Mexican prisons since 31 March 2014 for accidentally making a wrong turn that led him to the Mexican border. Recently re-locating from his home in Florida to San Diego, CA, for treatment for PTSD – Sgt Tahmooressi had his belongings in his POV to include his personal firearms. With no way to turn around, once he arrived at the border he informed the Mexican border patrol of the situation and that he had his personal firearms in his possession. He was then arrested on weapons charges and was taken to Tijuana La Mesa Penitentiary. After many verbal and physical threats, abuse, and being subjected to poor living conditions – Sgt Tahmooressi was moved to El Hongo Prison in Tecate. His trial is ongoing.

Sgt Tahmooressi's family, both by birth and Marine Corps wide, have been working diligently to get him released. As Marines we know that more can, should, and needs to be done here at home and in Mexico. Check out how YOU can get involved by visiting the website: http://www.freetahmooressi.com/.

Semper Fi!
Continue to carry on until our Marine is back home!

Sgt Grit


Point Man Out

Yo Grunts, time to saddle up. Don't forget your bug juice and two extra bandoleers. Point Man out.

I never met General Bruno Hochmuth but I remember the day his chopper crashed into the river and he did not make it back. There was a right nasty little firefight going on and we always speculated that the General was watching it from his Helicopter. I remember it vividly because we also killed a waterboo that afternoon and it cost all of us $5 to papasan. Not a lot of money now, but in 1967 combat pay was $65 a month. Roughly 2.50 a day so that was 2 days pay. H-ll of a way to remember the highest ranking Marine that was KIA in the Nam.

Semper Fi to us that are left and TAPS to those who have gone on ahead.

Ron Shouse
Nam Class of '67/'68


The Corps Lives Forever

Last February, I was sitting on a bench in the shop area of Alachua, Fla., waiting for my wife to tour an antique store. I was wearing my cap with Marine Corps insignia. A fellow about my age crossed the street, saw my cap. He was wearing a Corps T-shirt. He said, "Oh, you are an ex-Marine, too?" I said, "Ain't no ex, buddy." He grinned and said, "You got me. I know once a Marine, always a Marine. Semper Fi." I Semper Fi-ed him back and we shook hands." The Corps lives forever."

Darrell Simmons
PFC, VMF-144, 1952-53


Stoner

Sgt. Grit,

Also, I'd like to expand on a story that Gunny Rousseau wrote about the Stoner rifle. I was in K/3/6 in 1965 when we test fired the Stoner. We even qualified on the range that year with this weapon. It had many uses, as it converted to six different weapons. It could be used as a sub machine gun, carbine, rifle, automatic rifle/magazine fed, automatic rifle/belt-fed and a machine gun tripod mounted remotely operated. We never had any problems with this weapon. I'll never understand why it wasn't adopted for use in Viet Nam.

Semper Fi,
Ray Kelley


Not One Of My Marines Was Damaged

I have a high school friend that lives in Napa with her husband, a Superior Court Judge.

Lynne was telling me of the damages to her home; the broken Waterford Crystal; the toppled bookcases; the spilt food; etc... etc... and to the city of Napa, and it's buildings. Her husband joined the conversation for a minute, or two, and said: "Denny, I have to tell you this... I have a collection of very old, leaded, miniature military men. (A very e x p e n s i v e collection. My Grandmother started collecting these objects for me when I was just a little kid). During the earthquake, my glass cabinet fell over, and my collection ended up in a pile on the floor. All of my Army, and all of my Navy men had their arms, legs, and heads broken from their bodies. But, Dennis, I wanted you to know that not one of my Marines was damaged."

My comment to him was: "Well, duh."

Semper Fi,
Denny Krause
Sgt USMC '62-'68


The Life Of A Marine

As a Retired Marine Gunnery Sergeant with 27 Years from WWII through Vietnam I have had my share of Experiences some Pleasant and some not so Pleasant. I know some of you are going to look at some of my stories with closed eyes and ears but that's okay, I had the experience. During the Korean War a group of us were transferred to a rear area at Masan, Korea. This place was so far back some Army Dude had started a VFW Bar where a guy could get a Bud or Schlitz instead of the Local beer. While in this Bar and while enjoying our beer we were interrupted by something going on at the doorway. It seems a Leper dug himself in and wouldn't leave until he got the amount of money he wanted. The VFW bar was the only place where you could go to the bathroom sitting down, you have to be an old Asian hand to remember that.

We were in a local Bar, one time, nearby was some Korean Army guys having a drink, one had hung his belt, holster and pistol on the end of the seat which was near to me, so I sneaked the pistol onto our table, we took it apart, to remind him to be a bit more careful with his weapon. When I pulled the magazine out I found the top round was in backward, he wouldn't have been able to use it if he needed to. He jumped up soon and looked around and found his pistol on our table field stripped. The bowing and apologies were constant.

As some of you know, Korea at that time fertilized their field with human waste, we had orders to not eat any food at Korean restaurants. The benjo's had half steel barrels at the bottom and daily a guy came along in his Honey Cart emptying the barrels, which were emptied into Rice Paddy's, the stench was unbearable. Missions had the additional problem of dodging the rice paddies as they had narrow paths between them that had to be traversed without falling in.

Ah! The Life of a Marine.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Iwo Jima: Amphibious Epic

Maj. Lawrence Rulison

View the link below and look for 3Bn, 25th Marines.

He was an EX-officer and listed as WIA.

USMC Historical Monograph - Iwo Jima: Amphibious Epic


Twelve And Twenty

Twelve and Twenty Marines Memoir of the Vietnam War

Sgt Grit,

January 1967 to February 1968, I was with 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, Lima Co., 3rd Platoon, 3rd Squadron. This is my recollection of time in country. I would like to share it with my fellow Marines who served with me if any of you are still alive.

You can contact me at jam.sny[at]cox.net.

Jim Snider
Semper Fi


Gung Ho

When did Marines quit responding to a hale and hardy "SEMPER FI" with "GUNG HO"? with the turbid "uuhhraah" borrowed from our distant relations, the Army. I am an old Marine ('62-'68). I remember that "GUNG HO" was the affirmative answer to any group query such as "Do you Love the Corps?" We answered direct personal questions with the time honored "Sir, Yes Sir".

Ray Ginter
USMCRD San Diego June '62 until...
1st Marines
3rd Marines, 4th Marines
Done Sgt. of Marines '68


The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #9, #2)

When we entered the hotel - and were crossing the lobby - the desk clerk asked if we would like to have a TV - without cost - for the evening. Mary and I looked at each other and both said "Yes" at the same time. We had never seen a TV program before. He said they would bring one to our room in time for the evening programs. It was rolled in on a cart. It was huge with only about a 10 inch screen. It was a GE that had 8 to 10 control knobs and 'rabbit ears' on top. There was no antenna in the wall. He plugged it in and adjusted it as best he could. The best reception he could get was on CBS (There were only four networks back then - ABC, NBC, CBS and Dumont) We saw the Perry Como Show and a very funny comedy show that I seem to recall was named 'Mama' and then the picture went bad. We did not want to fool with it - and could not tell which knob turned it off so we just pulled the plug from the wall. We had to get some shut-eye. Mary had to check in at Earlham before 6:00 PM the next day. It would be our last day together - at least until Thanksgiving - if then. We wrapped our arms around each other - as usual - and went to sleep - for the last time until who knows when. Mary had to choose her courses - at the last minute - and then get them approved at the admissions office. And then I would have to leave her. Except for my time at Parris Island - and the month of July 1950 - we had not been apart for more than two weeks in the four years that we had been going together. September 9, 1950 was bound to be a really bad day.

On Saturday morning we got awake and looked into each other's eyes. She said "Well, this is our last day together for quite awhile - and I don't want to check in at Earlham until the last minute. We must make the best of it." I said "First things first. Where would you like to go for breakfast?" She replied "The Hollyhock - if it was not so far away." I said "They do not serve breakfast - so that is out of the question. Next?" She replied "Down in the dining room." We got up to shower. She went first. I asked "What would you like me to wear today?" She replied "I don't care what you wear now, but I would like you to wear your uniform when we go to Earlham." I asked "Dress Blues or summer?" She replied "I think it is too hot for the blues." After I showered and shaved I put on my civilian clothes (That is all I had worn all week long). We went down for breakfast. We took our time and discussed our plans for the day.

After breakfast we went for a slow walk around the downtown area; went into a few shops. We were holding hands most of the time. When it came time for lunch we returned to the same place we had eaten at twice before. Then we returned to the hotel to rest. I said to her "You know, none of the students will know of your 2 year hiatus between high school and Earlham - and they will not know of your 'Supermodel' status - unless they happen to connect you with a Prince Matchabelli ad - but they will soon see that they have a raving beauty in their midst. And you know what will happen then; they will be all over you - like flies in the barnyard - just like when I spotted you at Rancocas Valley H.S."

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

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


Taps

I'm writing about the passing of Perry Gossett. He was in D/1/3 in 1966-67. Perry passed away due to cancer. He was in weapons platoon, in Rockets. May he rest in peace.

Semper Fidelis... Ray Kelley


Lost And Found

Would like to hear from anyone who served on Hill 300 in 1967 or Headquarters FDC.

mikechenault220[at]gmail.com


Short Rounds

Sgt Grit,

I just returned home from the annual 1st MarDiv Assn reunion, more importantly the 1st Recon Bn Assn reunion. It was great seeing my comrades in arms once again. This year, the Sgt Grit PX was directly across the passageway from the 1st Recon harborsite, so we had excellent access to all the Corps merchandise and your staff. What great folks! David was especially engaging and came over to the harborsite to visit a couple of times, also had dinner with us Friday evening and made some gear donations for our fund-raising auction. Bravo Zulu to Sgt Grit and your great staff!

Semper Fi - John Clary, Sgt, 1st Recon Bn, '67-'69


Sgt Grit,

On the article about the herringbone cover not being issued since 1940's... When I was at Parris Island in the 1950's that olive drab cover and herringbone utilities with metal buttons were being issued. Also K-rations from 1943 were issued in the field. I know I wore them and ate the rations. Enjoy all the articles in your newsletters.

Cpl.E.Heyl 1612xxx


Re Proposed uniform changes: Just as long as they don't bring back swagger sticks... And I wonder how many boots will salute LCPLs with those brass chevrons.

Kent Mitchell, Stone Mountain, GA Cpl USMC 1956-62


Bowman's Bandits, Nam '67/'68, 13 Cent Killers.

Never have so few killed so many.

Sgt. D. Peltonen
1st Marines
Semper Fi

Marine Decals


Making a bet with a Senior Drill Instructor on the rifle range? Playing cards with same? In the 60's? WTF is wrong with this picture?

Gerry Zanzalari
2206xxx
Corporal
USMC 1966 - 1970
PISC June 1966 - September 1966
RVN 1968 – 1969


Grit:

Sgt Fuzzy asked where was our favorite chow hall... (Mess Facility), for many years I had thought it was my Mess Hall at 'B' Battery, 2nd LAAMBS in Chu Lai where I cooked for 88 men in '68; but I now believe it was at Henderson Hall while I attended Embassy School in late '68... because we ate on plates and I didn't have to cook it.

Mark Gallant
3371 (cook)
'66-'69


"Sgt, Fuzzy" asked about favorite chow halls. DLI/WC at Monterey - Not just the first time with actual plates, but the ONLY place I heard phrases like "how would you like those eggs?" or "rare, medium, or well done?" The army ran the place with civilians.

Pete Dahlstrom , '68 - '74


Great newsletter - as usual.

Earl Needham
Clovis, New Mexico USA
Platoon 3041 MCRD San Diego 1977
MATTS 902 NAS Memphis 1977
H&MS-14 MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina 1978-1981
H&MS-36 MCAS Futema, Okinawa 1980
Cherry Point Skydivers


Quotes

Sparta's response to Philip of Macedonia

Philip of Macedonia in a message to Sparta:

"You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city."

Sparta's reply: "If."


"The great principles of right and wrong are legible to every reader; to pursue them requires not the aid of many counselors. The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest. Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail."
--Thomas Jefferson, A Summary View of the Rights of British America, 1775


"If you were not there, you could not understand. If you were there, it is impossible to explain."
--Unknown


"They never even started to step aside. They never even shifted their weight. With their feet spread shoulder width apart, they leaned into the danger, firing as fast as they could work their weapons. They had only one second left to live."
--LtGen. John Kelly


"Leave no authority existing not responsible to the people."
--Thomas Jefferson


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: Under My Tongue...

Read more at Grunt.com


"You're more f--ked up than a soup sandwich!"

"What is you're major malfunction t-rd?"

"The smoking lamp is lit, for one cigarette, and one cigarette only... and I'll smoke it."

Gung Ho!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 04 SEP 2014

In this issue:
• Sea Bags Never Arrived
• H&L and Tabasco
• The Life Of A Marine

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Sgt. Grit,

I found this drawing that was like all the other cartoon like drawings of Wars and Marines. I thought maybe your readers might like to see what Marines thought like back then. Note the M60 Machine Gun on his shoulder and the Fierce Eyes and the way he carried Grenades.

He's walking in Mud like we spent a lot of time doing during Monsoon season. I don't know who drew this but he did right by us.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Crossed Rifles

In reply to Brown Side Out, Green Side Out.

When I went into the Marines (Sept. 1959) the new rank structure was just getting started.

We had the M1 and BAR, hence the crossed rifles on the new chevrons. Since then we have gone through the M14 (I was on the Troop Test Program for this), the M16 (that got a lot of Marines killed in Vietnam), and a lot of new shooting irons since then that I can't keep up with. And there will be more to come.

When the Marines went from the M1903 Springfield rifle to the M1, the Rifle Expert Badge was changed to depict the M1, which is still in use.

In talking to some of the new generation of Marines, when asked what rifles are depicted on the chevrons? They don't know, (some few do).

I would like to suggest to the Uniform Board a change to the Rank Chevrons. Instead of the M1, replace it with our first Musket and phase it in over a three to five year period.

When I was designing the logo for the Marine Corps Tankers Association. When the tankers all wanted to be the tank of their era, like the M4 of WW II, or the M26 of Korea, or the M48 of Vietnam. I proposed the Renault 6 Ton of the 1920's as that was the first tank used by Marines. This ideal was accepted.

See Iron Horse Marine.

Lloyd G. "pappy" Reynolds
1959-1963 and 1966-1970
Infantry and Tanks


Sea Bags Never Arrived

Good morning,

Reading your fine article on the returned cover, prompted me to write the following. I was discharged 4/15/65 from the Brooklyn Navy yard. I shipped 2 sea bags with 5-1/2 years of memories plus all uniforms etc. I shipped it by railway express, to be sent to my home in Penn. If you guessed... it never arrived you were right. There has never been a week that goes by that I don't think of all I lost. I'm happy that fine Marine at least got his cover after all he went thru. Thank your for your time.

Jim Logan 1831xxx


Make Sgt Grit your one stop shop for all of your Uniform Supplies such as medals, ribbons, and mounts. Mounting orders may take up to 7-10 business days to ship.

Cut-off date for ribbon/medal mounting for this year's ball is October 24th.


Seen It All and Done It All

This one goes out to all of the Marines of my generation. Do you ever run into these old guys wearing an old utility cover or an Eagle, Globe and Anchor on their ball cap? I see them almost every day where I work. They're usually bent over, walk really slow, or in a wheel chair. The Devil Dog in me wants to snap to and salute these men every time they walk by. Almost every old salt I meet has held the rank of "gunny". Whenever I talk to one I don't feel like a Marine at all. I laugh, I cry, and always get excited when I hear their stories.

I had the privilege of sitting out front of Walmart the other day for almost two hours talking to an old breed gunny. He was 88 years old and told me stories from WW2, Korea, and Vietnam. This man had seen it all. He had done it all. I didn't think a man that old could operate a smart phone, but he whipped it out and started showing me old black and white photographs he had taken snapshots of from his photo album. Despite his age, he still had that commanding look about him that he had sixty years ago. When he told me stories about his boot camp experience I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Recruits were sometimes literally beat into shape. There was no crying home to mama. There was no court martial hearing for the DI. That's just the way it was. They were allowed to use whatever measure to make a man out of you. I was begging the old gunny for more stories but it was time for him to go home. I can't wait to see him again.

I just finished a book about the greatest Marine in our Corps history, Lewis "Chesty" Puller. If you haven't read MARINE! The Life Of Chesty Puller then drop and give me twenty you Marine impostor piece of SNAFU sh-t! If you want to know why Marines are so feared the world around then read that book and you will understand why. That old salt knew what a Marine's job is. He knew why God created the USMC. We weren't made to look pretty. We were made to fight and kill until there is no more enemy.

These old Devil Dogs I talk to all the time have the same fighting spirit in them that Chesty had. The Marine Corps is still tough and I'm proud as a game rooster to have served in my beloved Corps. But what we need more than anything is that Old Breed spirit. Marines, we've sung about it in our cadences. "Gimme that ole Marine Corps Spirit. It was good for Smedley Butler. It was good for Dan Daley. It was good for Chesty Puller, and it's good enough for me!" If we let some of our leaders have their way, they'll to everything they can to water down our bull dog fighting spirit. Not on my watch! Marines, let's teach our off spring and those around us wanting to join the Corps that the only thing that will keep America strong and alive is that Old Breed Marine Corps attitude. We are the best and we always will be as long as we remember, love, honor, support, and do our best to imitate the Old Breed.

In the meantime, get some, Marines. GET SOME!

Semper Fi,
SSGT. Robert O'Briant '03 - '11


H&L and Tabasco

Just another Marine piping up about H&L. When we loaded our CH-46's for flight, at KyHa, we always made sure we had as many C-rats that we could pack on board; just in case. It was always the same when it came time to "debrief" and clean up the bird... H&L was the only ones left! I never could figure out why no one wanted them; through a careful and scientific application of Tabasco sauce (lots), anything tasted good. Usually it was about 5-6 hard shakes and mix them up. If you had been in country long enough, you already knew how to breathe without inhaling through your nose. That trick worked great to subdue the "taste" of those things.

Between the Tabasco sauce and peanut butter we were able to salvage anything that was even remotely palatable long enough to get it down! How many of you out there opened your boxes and found Lucky Strike greens in there? I found 2, both date stamped 1945! They only lasted about 3 drags before they vanished, too dry for 20+ years! BTW I still have about 30 C-rats tops that were given to me after I used them for "postcards" to mail home. Remember "FREE" in the upper right hand corner? Surprisingly, not one of them has a cancellation mark on the FREE! Semper Fi! (and we didn't OORAH! in '64).

Bill Wilson GySgt.
Then and forever a Marine!


Under My Tongue

Sometime in 1967, 2/9 was in the midst of a Viet-Nam 90 day field trip. Some stupid supply officer in the rear thought we were setting in instead of making a sweep. For some unknown reason he sent out ammo and concertina wire on our night supply chopper. No Food - No Water. The ammo and wire were blown up when we saddled up the next day and started humping. The clouds moved in and no choppers for supply. Due to this we had no food or water for 5 days. Not a fun time. It is strange but when you have no food all you can think of and talk about is food; steak, mash potatoes, gravy, steak, hamburgers, fries, steak.

I found a small flat stone and put it under my tongue, shucking on it for moisture. One day a platoon from another unit passed through our unit and I was able to scrounge a can of something off one of the Marines. Back then we shared things. I believe there were seven of us at the time. I retrieved my plastic spoon, which I kept in its wrapper in my shirt pocket. The can was opened and passed around as we each took one spoon full, put the spoon back in the can and passed it to the next guy. When it was all gone I got my spoon back and we passed the can back around again. This time we each got to run our fingers around the inside of the can once. That was the best meal ever. A day or so later we hit a stream and I drank three canteen cups of water before I ever thought about any purification tablets. By this time I was very close to just pe-ing in my canteen.

We finally got resupplied with C-rats and it was like Christmas and Thanksgiving all in one. When we got back to the rear, I think it was in DaNang, the meal waiting for us was unreal. We heard a Lt., a Master Sgt., and a Gunny "ambushed" an army supply truck at a stop sign and told the driver they were never there and he needed to leave the area. We had steak, mash potatoes, gravy, mushroom sauce, vegetables and best of all MILK. All the milk we could hold. I slept good that night. The case of beer I "liberated" was even better.

I was always willing to try something. I borrowed a Corpsman's emblem, broke off the be-be guns on my chevron and turned it upside down. Shazam... I was a Corpsman. I went to the area where they hung out and picked up my daily ration of beer. While I was in their area I was called Doc and I kept my fingers crossed that no one was brought in for me to treat.

The only thing I regret is that when I returned to The World and college, someone stole my Zippo and my rock.

John Halpin
2/9
'66-'67


If You Are Ever In A Real Firefight

OK but if you ever get into a real fire fight, find the nearest Marine and give him your ammo.


The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #9, #1)

While driving around we noticed a quaint little restaurant that we decided to try out for lunch. It was just what we thought it would be and served very good and inexpensive food. While eating, Mary and I planned our strategy for the afternoon. I had not told you - that during the enrollment process Mr 'B' had been asked "When do you wish that Mary be permitted to leave the campus?" His response was "Whenever she chooses." They then said "Earlham suggests that a young lady be accompanied by one or more others and we shall abide by your wishes. She cannot change this." He gave this very little thought and replied "She may leave only when accompanied by a U. S. Marine Sergeant by the name of Harold Freas; that is spelled F-R-E-A-S." I don't know what they thought of this but that is how they put it in her file. (As you can guess, this caused her considerable problems down the road. I had absolutely no idea of when I would be back at Earlham - if ever - and she was on campus until that requirement was changed. She could not go into Richmond to buy personal items or gifts.) So, she would have to ascertain before she officially checked in if she could leave the campus afterwards. When she asked they looked in her file - and asked me for some identification. I produced my USMC ID and my driver's license. Then they told Mary "You can leave the campus with this gentleman, but you will be asked to show your IDs again at the gate." When she found out what courses were available we went back to 'downtown Richmond'. I checked into the Richmond Hotel for two nights. That was an old, established facility where my Dad and I had stayed several times. Mary liked it. We returned to the restaurant where we had lunch for our dinner and went to the movies afterwards. Then we returned to the hotel to call it a day.

Friday morning we had breakfast in the hotel dining room. And I told Mary of a big surprise I had for her for later that day. We were going to the 'Hollyhock Hill' restaurant in Indianapolis for dinner. This was a restaurant the likes of which were among the '100 Best Restaurants' in the entire United States. I had eaten there several times when one of my brothers worked in Indianapolis and when my Dad and I went to the Indy 500. It was about 75 miles from the hotel but well worth the trip. We skipped lunch and started for the 'Hollyhock Hill' a little after 2:00. Again we were passing through a really beautiful part of our country. Mary said "The more I see of this area the happier I am that I am going to Earlham." She could see from the exterior of the restaurant what an unusual place it was. When seated she said "I really love the outfits the waitresses are wearing. They remind me of those worn in Williamsburg (Va)." I could plainly see that she was already enjoying herself. I could not get her to order anything with alcohol in it and she reminded me that I was doing the driving. We had a very nice dinner and desert. We took our time; were there almost two hours. It was about 6:00 when we started back to Richmond. She was all snuggled up under my arm - as usual - for the return trip. I asked her if she cared for anything else before we turned in for the night. She said "NO!"

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

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


Sgt Andrew Tahmooressi

A decorated Marine and former 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, Combat Veteran, has been held in Mexican prisons since 31 March 2014 for accidentally making a wrong turn that led him to the Mexican border. Recently re-locating from his home in Florida to San Diego, CA, for treatment for PTSD – Sgt Tahmooressi had his belongings in his POV to include his personal firearms. With no way to turn around, once he arrived at the border he informed the Mexican border patrol of the situation and that he had his personal firearms in his possession. He was then arrested on weapons charges and was taken to Tijuana La Mesa Penitentiary. After many verbal and physical threats, abuse, and being subjected to poor living conditions – Sgt Tahmooressi was moved to El Hongo Prison in Tecate. His trial is ongoing.

Sgt Tahmooressi's family, both by birth and Marine Corps wide, have been working diligently to get him released. As Marines we know that more can, should, and needs to be done here at home and in Mexico. Check out how YOU can get involved by visiting the website: http://www.freetahmooressi.com/.

Semper Fi!
Continue to carry on until our Marine is back home!

Sgt Grit


Point Man Out

Yo Grunts, time to saddle up. Don't forget your bug juice and two extra bandoleers. Point Man out.

I never met General Bruno Hochmuth but I remember the day his chopper crashed into the river and he did not make it back. There was a right nasty little firefight going on and we always speculated that the General was watching it from his Helicopter. I remember it vividly because we also killed a waterboo that afternoon and it cost all of us $5 to papasan. Not a lot of money now, but in 1967 combat pay was $65 a month. Roughly 2.50 a day so that was 2 days pay. H-ll of a way to remember the highest ranking Marine that was KIA in the Nam.

Semper Fi to us that are left and TAPS to those who have gone on ahead.

Ron Shouse
Nam Class of '67/'68


The Corps Lives Forever

Last February, I was sitting on a bench in the shop area of Alachua, Fla., waiting for my wife to tour an antique store. I was wearing my cap with Marine Corps insignia. A fellow about my age crossed the street, saw my cap. He was wearing a Corps T-shirt. He said, "Oh, you are an ex-Marine, too?" I said, "Ain't no ex, buddy." He grinned and said, "You got me. I know once a Marine, always a Marine. Semper Fi." I Semper Fi-ed him back and we shook hands." The Corps lives forever."

Darrell Simmons
PFC, VMF-144, 1952-53


Stoner

Sgt. Grit,

Also, I'd like to expand on a story that Gunny Rousseau wrote about the Stoner rifle. I was in K/3/6 in 1965 when we test fired the Stoner. We even qualified on the range that year with this weapon. It had many uses, as it converted to six different weapons. It could be used as a sub machine gun, carbine, rifle, automatic rifle/magazine fed, automatic rifle/belt-fed and a machine gun tripod mounted remotely operated. We never had any problems with this weapon. I'll never understand why it wasn't adopted for use in Viet Nam.

Semper Fi,
Ray Kelley


Not One Of My Marines Was Damaged

I have a high school friend that lives in Napa with her husband, a Superior Court Judge.

Lynne was telling me of the damages to her home; the broken Waterford Crystal; the toppled bookcases; the spilt food; etc... etc... and to the city of Napa, and it's buildings. Her husband joined the conversation for a minute, or two, and said: "Denny, I have to tell you this... I have a collection of very old, leaded, miniature military men. (A very e x p e n s i v e collection. My Grandmother started collecting these objects for me when I was just a little kid). During the earthquake, my glass cabinet fell over, and my collection ended up in a pile on the floor. All of my Army, and all of my Navy men had their arms, legs, and heads broken from their bodies. But, Dennis, I wanted you to know that not one of my Marines was damaged."

My comment to him was: "Well, duh."

Semper Fi,
Denny Krause
Sgt USMC '62-'68


The Life Of A Marine

As a Retired Marine Gunnery Sergeant with 27 Years from WWII through Vietnam I have had my share of Experiences some Pleasant and some not so Pleasant. I know some of you are going to look at some of my stories with closed eyes and ears but that's okay, I had the experience. During the Korean War a group of us were transferred to a rear area at Masan, Korea. This place was so far back some Army Dude had started a VFW Bar where a guy could get a Bud or Schlitz instead of the Local beer. While in this Bar and while enjoying our beer we were interrupted by something going on at the doorway. It seems a Leper dug himself in and wouldn't leave until he got the amount of money he wanted. The VFW bar was the only place where you could go to the bathroom sitting down, you have to be an old Asian hand to remember that.

We were in a local Bar, one time, nearby was some Korean Army guys having a drink, one had hung his belt, holster and pistol on the end of the seat which was near to me, so I sneaked the pistol onto our table, we took it apart, to remind him to be a bit more careful with his weapon. When I pulled the magazine out I found the top round was in backward, he wouldn't have been able to use it if he needed to. He jumped up soon and looked around and found his pistol on our table field stripped. The bowing and apologies were constant.

As some of you know, Korea at that time fertilized their field with human waste, we had orders to not eat any food at Korean restaurants. The benjo's had half steel barrels at the bottom and daily a guy came along in his Honey Cart emptying the barrels, which were emptied into Rice Paddy's, the stench was unbearable. Missions had the additional problem of dodging the rice paddies as they had narrow paths between them that had to be traversed without falling in.

Ah! The Life of a Marine.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Iwo Jima: Amphibious Epic

Maj. Lawrence Rulison

View the link below and look for 3Bn, 25th Marines.

He was an EX-officer and listed as WIA.

USMC Historical Monograph - Iwo Jima: Amphibious Epic


Twelve And Twenty

Sgt Grit,

January 1967 to February 1968, I was with 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, Lima Co., 3rd Platoon, 3rd Squadron. This is my recollection of time in country. I would like to share it with my fellow Marines who served with me if any of you are still alive.

You can contact me at jam.sny[at]cox.net.

Jim Snider
Semper Fi


Gung Ho

When did Marines quit responding to a hale and hardy "SEMPER FI" with "GUNG HO"? with the turbid "uuhhraah" borrowed from our distant relations, the Army. I am an old Marine ('62-'68). I remember that "GUNG HO" was the affirmative answer to any group query such as "Do you Love the Corps?" We answered direct personal questions with the time honored "Sir, Yes Sir".

Ray Ginter
USMCRD San Diego June '62 until...
1st Marines
3rd Marines, 4th Marines
Done Sgt. of Marines '68


The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #9, #2)

When we entered the hotel - and were crossing the lobby - the desk clerk asked if we would like to have a TV - without cost - for the evening. Mary and I looked at each other and both said "Yes" at the same time. We had never seen a TV program before. He said they would bring one to our room in time for the evening programs. It was rolled in on a cart. It was huge with only about a 10 inch screen. It was a GE that had 8 to 10 control knobs and 'rabbit ears' on top. There was no antenna in the wall. He plugged it in and adjusted it as best he could. The best reception he could get was on CBS (There were only four networks back then - ABC, NBC, CBS and Dumont) We saw the Perry Como Show and a very funny comedy show that I seem to recall was named 'Mama' and then the picture went bad. We did not want to fool with it - and could not tell which knob turned it off so we just pulled the plug from the wall. We had to get some shut-eye. Mary had to check in at Earlham before 6:00 PM the next day. It would be our last day together - at least until Thanksgiving - if then. We wrapped our arms around each other - as usual - and went to sleep - for the last time until who knows when. Mary had to choose her courses - at the last minute - and then get them approved at the admissions office. And then I would have to leave her. Except for my time at Parris Island - and the month of July 1950 - we had not been apart for more than two weeks in the four years that we had been going together. September 9, 1950 was bound to be a really bad day.

On Saturday morning we got awake and looked into each other's eyes. She said "Well, this is our last day together for quite awhile - and I don't want to check in at Earlham until the last minute. We must make the best of it." I said "First things first. Where would you like to go for breakfast?" She replied "The Hollyhock - if it was not so far away." I said "They do not serve breakfast - so that is out of the question. Next?" She replied "Down in the dining room." We got up to shower. She went first. I asked "What would you like me to wear today?" She replied "I don't care what you wear now, but I would like you to wear your uniform when we go to Earlham." I asked "Dress Blues or summer?" She replied "I think it is too hot for the blues." After I showered and shaved I put on my civilian clothes (That is all I had worn all week long). We went down for breakfast. We took our time and discussed our plans for the day.

After breakfast we went for a slow walk around the downtown area; went into a few shops. We were holding hands most of the time. When it came time for lunch we returned to the same place we had eaten at twice before. Then we returned to the hotel to rest. I said to her "You know, none of the students will know of your 2 year hiatus between high school and Earlham - and they will not know of your 'Supermodel' status - unless they happen to connect you with a Prince Matchabelli ad - but they will soon see that they have a raving beauty in their midst. And you know what will happen then; they will be all over you - like flies in the barnyard - just like when I spotted you at Rancocas Valley H.S."

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

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


Taps

I'm writing about the passing of Perry Gossett. He was in D/1/3 in 1966-67. Perry passed away due to cancer. He was in weapons platoon, in Rockets. May he rest in peace.

Semper Fidelis... Ray Kelley


Lost And Found

Would like to hear from anyone who served on Hill 300 in 1967 or Headquarters FDC.

mikechenault220[at]gmail.com


Short Rounds

Sgt Grit,

I just returned home from the annual 1st MarDiv Assn reunion, more importantly the 1st Recon Bn Assn reunion. It was great seeing my comrades in arms once again. This year, the Sgt Grit PX was directly across the passageway from the 1st Recon harborsite, so we had excellent access to all the Corps merchandise and your staff. What great folks! David was especially engaging and came over to the harborsite to visit a couple of times, also had dinner with us Friday evening and made some gear donations for our fund-raising auction. Bravo Zulu to Sgt Grit and your great staff!

Semper Fi - John Clary, Sgt, 1st Recon Bn, '67-'69


Sgt Grit,

On the article about the herringbone cover not being issued since 1940's... When I was at Parris Island in the 1950's that olive drab cover and herringbone utilities with metal buttons were being issued. Also K-rations from 1943 were issued in the field. I know I wore them and ate the rations. Enjoy all the articles in your newsletters.

Cpl.E.Heyl 1612xxx


Re Proposed uniform changes: Just as long as they don't bring back swagger sticks... And I wonder how many boots will salute LCPLs with those brass chevrons.

Kent Mitchell, Stone Mountain, GA Cpl USMC 1956-62


Bowman's Bandits, Nam '67/'68, 13 Cent Killers.

Never have so few killed so many.

Sgt. D. Peltonen
1st Marines
Semper Fi


Making a bet with a Senior Drill Instructor on the rifle range? Playing cards with same? In the 60's? WTF is wrong with this picture?

Gerry Zanzalari
2206xxx
Corporal
USMC 1966 - 1970
PISC June 1966 - September 1966
RVN 1968 – 1969


Grit:

Sgt Fuzzy asked where was our favorite chow hall... (Mess Facility), for many years I had thought it was my Mess Hall at 'B' Battery, 2nd LAAMBS in Chu Lai where I cooked for 88 men in '68; but I now believe it was at Henderson Hall while I attended Embassy School in late '68... because we ate on plates and I didn't have to cook it.

Mark Gallant
3371 (cook)
'66-'69


"Sgt, Fuzzy" asked about favorite chow halls. DLI/WC at Monterey - Not just the first time with actual plates, but the ONLY place I heard phrases like "how would you like those eggs?" or "rare, medium, or well done?" The army ran the place with civilians.

Pete Dahlstrom , '68 - '74


Great newsletter - as usual.

Earl Needham
Clovis, New Mexico USA
Platoon 3041 MCRD San Diego 1977
MATTS 902 NAS Memphis 1977
H&MS-14 MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina 1978-1981
H&MS-36 MCAS Futema, Okinawa 1980
Cherry Point Skydivers


Quotes

Philip of Macedonia in a message to Sparta:

"You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city."

Sparta's reply: "If."


"The great principles of right and wrong are legible to every reader; to pursue them requires not the aid of many counselors. The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest. Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail."
--Thomas Jefferson, A Summary View of the Rights of British America, 1775


"If you were not there, you could not understand. If you were there, it is impossible to explain."
--Unknown


"They never even started to step aside. They never even shifted their weight. With their feet spread shoulder width apart, they leaned into the danger, firing as fast as they could work their weapons. They had only one second left to live."
--LtGen. John Kelly


"Leave no authority existing not responsible to the people."
--Thomas Jefferson


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: Under My Tongue...

Read more at Grunt.com


"You're more f--ked up than a soup sandwich!"

"What is you're major malfunction t-rd?"

"The smoking lamp is lit, for one cigarette, and one cigarette only... and I'll smoke it."

Gung Ho!
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

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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

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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

In this issue:
• Scrounging in Vietnam
• Weapons In Enemy Hands
• 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 - 07 AUG 2014

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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

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