Sgt Grit Newsletter - 26 FEB 2015

In this issue:
• We Had A Colorful History
• E5 For Nine Years
• Captain Brophy

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This is my grandson Nikolai. East Tennessee Devil Dog... Oooorah!

Preston James

Marine grandson with Marine snowman


We Had A Colorful History

Blown 175mm gun at An Hoa Vietnam

Another view of blown 175mm Gun at An Hoa Vietnam

Hello Sgt. Grit,

Just wanted to comment on Ddick's article about the 175mm guns (SP) titled "Sillyvillian". I have been reading your outstanding newsletters for a long time and have always enjoyed reading all the story's and Ddicks's comments.

He apparently has worked extensively with our battery, the 3rd 155/175mm Gun Battery (SP) while at AnHoa combat base. Our battery was in country for 5 years, August 1965 to August, 1970. We had a colorful history, some good times and some not so well. The battery was awarded four PUC's and one NUC for operations we participated in.

As Ddick mentions we had two 175's blow the tubes off, injuring several of our gun crew, I included pictures of the guns after the incidents. We also had one of our 155 guns blow the breach in August '68 that killed 3 of the gun crew and injured others. The 3rd Guns are having our fifth reunion this October in San Diego, CA, and some of our members after reading Ddick's comments would like to contact him to get some inside information on what caused the accidents and invite him to our reunion.

My email address is ed-kirby[at]comcast.net. Please contact me so our members can talk with you. You all do a great job!

S.F.,
L/Cpl. Ed Kirby
​Nam, '68-'69


Memories Of Times So Long Ago

Every Thursday I look forward to the letter... to me it's informative and gives me a pleasure to read the letters of all who have served in our Corps. Many opinions have been put down and some times there has been a few that could start arguments, but that's the Marine way... what would it be if we didn't have a friendly argument now and then. We as Marines would not have it any other way.

If it wasn't for the letters I would have gone on not knowing about the uniforms dress, utilities, badges, how and when they came about and of those who served before me and after. After reading of some of the experiences that some write, it brings back memories of times so long ago but closer than one thinks.

Thank you all for the great reading and to Sgt Grit for one hell of a letter and letters that I for one will not forget and always enjoy!

Semper Fi to all,
Vic DeLeon


Marines Laser Tech Applique Performance Hoodie Special


HMM-163​

I can tell you all that HMM-163 managed to get home sometime around 1969 or 1970. I was a member of '163 during 1971 prior to going overseas (Iwakuni, Japan and some other areas in SE Asia), and again from April 1973 to October 1, 1974 when I was released from Active Duty.

HMM-163 was at MCAS(H) Santa Ana, later Tustin, CA up the interstate from El Toro. We were in the old Blimp hangers east of the Orange County Airport (John Wayne International) and our hangar was where they filmed the movie Hindenburg with George Scott in '73 or '74. Proud to have served, best 5 years of my life in a lot of regards, wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Gary Faeth, Capt (4562) USMCR 1969-74


Images Of DaNang Part 2

After dinner special coming

Back towards town

Provided by Marine Corps Veteran Doug Hancock.


So Many Years

It has been 45 years since I took The Freedom Bird back to the World from DaNang, RVN. Before landing in LA, we were advised not to wear our uniforms around the area. It took another year before I got discharged in Beaufort, S.C. I grew my hair and went to college just trying to blend in. The years passed with jobs, family, friends and blessed with two sons. There was no joining the local VFW or Legion. I did support our Corps through Toys For Tots and The Marine Corps Association. I ordered a couple T-shirts from Sgt Grit but just wore them around the house. I don't know what made me do it but I ordered a ball cap with VietNam and Semper Fi on the front and started wearing it in public. I started to get "Thank you for your service" and "Welcome Home Brother" from strangers. I didn'​t know what to say. I have gone from trying to blend in to actively seeking out others with a shared background. I was even invited to the Veteran's Day program at the local elementary school. I wish it hadn't taken so many years but at least I can do it now.

Semper-Fi
Sam Nittle
Sgt of Marines
RVN '69-'70​


E5 For Nine Years

Sgt. Grit,

In the 19 Feb. newsletter, there was an article by Cpl Heyl regarding the rank transition. I was promoted to SSgt (E5) early in 1957, transferred to the I-I Staff, 35th Rifle Company, USMCR, Santa Rosa, CA in July, 1959 and remained there until August, 1962, as a Staff Sergeant.

When I received my orders to MACS-4, MCAF, Santa Ana, it was as a Sergeant (E5); two years with MACS-4, another year and half at MCAS, Yuma, AZ, and then promoted to SSgt (E6) in 1966. Anybody's calculations will show that I was an E5 for nine years. It's amazing what a hard-nosed, mustang Major can do to your career!

I always maintained that HQMC was the last place that I wanted to be stationed, so when I was transferred there in March, 1967, I made sure that it was. Last promotion to GySgt in 1968, and hung it up on 31 January 1970.

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


USMC American Legend KA-BAR


You Missed Me, You S.O.B.

Sgt. Grit,

Regarding the article by Ddick in last weeks newsletter concerning "The Patron Saint of Artillery", he mentioned that one or two Russian 152 mm field artillery pieces were captured by the 9th Marines. He is correct! I was serving with the "Striking 9th" in 1969, and we did indeed capture a Russian field artillery piece which was later shipped back to the USA. It is currently on display in the Vietnam section of the Marine Corps Museum in Quantico, VA. I viewed it back in October of 2014 while visiting the museum. If you are one of the many Marines who - like me - were serving near the DMZ in 1969 and got shot at (and missed) by that "mother" - like me - you can stop by and "visit it" at the museum, and tell it - like I did - "You missed me, you S.O.B." Sure did make me feel better!

Semper Fi
S.R. Van Tyle
NOLOAD - USMC​


Old Corps Uniforms

Cpl. Brook did a fine job of giving the history of the utility uniform. However, the stenciling of the rank on the sleeve had stopped long before 1959. I entered the Corps in January 1957. Anyone who was a PFC or higher rank already had the metal chevrons on their collars. Some of the old salts, usually Sgts and above had their salty utility jackets (with pockets tucked into their belts) with the stenciled stripes, but they still wore the medal chevrons. The saltier utility caps had the cardboard stays removed to give the wearer a "been there, done that" look.

We were issued a tie bar that was painted a bronze/black color to go with the EGAs of the dress uniform also. The brass ones were introduced later.

I love the green dress uniform but dislike the dress blues especially for senior NCOs with a large row of hash marks. Too many colors at work! Maybe just a return of the blue cover would tone down the uniform.

James V. Merl
1655XXX
USMC 1957-60


Who Wrote Your Paychecks

Sergeant,

I have to add my two cents worth to the Viet Nam Veteran conflict, mainly in response to L/CPL Corrales, C.E. About the only thing I have to say to him is "Who wrote your paychecks?"

My draft number was not due until 1972. When I discovered that my number was too high to be drafted, I joined the Marine Corps. The only volunteering I did was for Computer Programming School. I entered in May on the delay entry program, so didn't start boot camp in San Diego until September. I turned 21 in boot camp. I was "guaranteed" Ground Group 4, Electronics.

I started out with platoon 2123, and finished with 2143. During boot camp I got a stress fracture in my left leg so bad I couldn't lift my foot off the ground, so was dropped to Medical Rehabilitation Platoon (MRP). Yes, I did get Christmas Leave in boot camp, one of 18 of my fellow wounded wanna-be warriors. After eight weeks of limping around I was picked up and finished training in early February, 1973.

By the time I got out of boot camp the U.S. was pulling Marines out of Viet Nam and not replacing them. I went on to Quantico, VA, for Computer Sciences School, studying COBOL Programming. After school I was assigned to Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune. We processed information for all eastern Marines, in the U.S. and out. This lasted for two years, after which I was assigned to Landing Force Training Command, Atlantic (LFTCLANT) in Virginia Beach, VA.

After my four years were up I went home. When I joined I was promised $10,000 if I reenlisted. When it came time for reenlistment that bonus had been taken away, and I would have gotten the same reenlistment bonus as a clerk typist. There was more money in the real world, and I would not have to have some boot 2nd Lieutenant tell me my undershorts were folded wrong every three months. (We all know what a junk-on-the-bunk inspection is.) I was a 25 year old Marine Corps Sergeant, with a wife and two kids. I knew how to fold undershorts.

All of this is to say that when I am asked what I did during the "war" I respond that I spent the Viet Nam "war" in Virginia Beach, VA. The U.S. Government chose to call me a Viet Nam Veteran, and I am entitled to certain Veteran benefits. I do not consider myself in any way related to those of my brothers who spent time "in-country" except that I am a Marine and I served time during the Viet Nam "war". I consider myself a "Viet Nam Era Veteran" even though the U.S. Government and the Texas State Government consider me a "Viet Nam Veteran". The only medals I am entitled to are the "fire watch" (National Defense) and Good Conduct medals.

Since I am officially recognized by the Government of the United States and the state of Texas as a Viet Nam Veteran, I suppose I am. However, I will always consider myself a Viet Nam Era Veteran. I cannot, and do not try to, hold a candle for those who served in-country, and tear up when thinking of those who died there.

In Christ,
SGT. Charley Mitchell,
Hollywood Marine, to the core!
Semper Fi!


Drill Manual

Sgt. Grit,

When I entered boot camp at Parris Island in July of 1958, like all recruits we began to drill. At the time we started out performing, I believe, a drill manual called Landing Party Manual (LPM). As I remember it, it consisted of four (4) squads marching thru many formation and was different from Squad drill (just three (3) squads, which we transitioned to about 3 - 4 weeks into our training.

In the last few years I have been seeking the drill manual for LPM with very little success. If anyone has one or has an electronic version I'd like to discuss getting it.

Please contact me at kenklein39[at]gmail.com.

Thank you,
PFC Ken Klein, USMCR, inactive


The Old Corps

Old Corps... When the level of "Salty" has been surpassed!

The Old Corps


Get One Out Of The Pit

Was off about 30 millimeters on the bore of those NVA artillery pieces... they were 122MM, vs 152MM, and one of them is at the Heritage Museum outside Quantico...

The mention of a "BAR" ladder bar on a marksmanship badge?... I think the writer may have confused some Army or National Guard badge... to the best of my knowledge, there was no BAR qualification course, not to say that BAR men didn't put a lot of rounds downrange in firing exercises... we fired it for familiarization in boot camp, mostly just humped it in ITR. For the .30 cal Browning, there used to be a training course, known as 'the thousand inch range', which dealt with traversing and elevating... target was a bunch of small squares, idea was to get X number of rounds in each square... and the butts were about 80 feet from the firing position... but, again, don't recall any badges for machine gun in that era. The Marksman badge for the rifle was a single bar, with nothing suspended from it, in the late 50's... somewhere along in the 60's, the pizza box, or toilet seat (it was known informally as either) was added, and the straight bar went away. A Pistol badge was the indicator that the wearer, if enlisted, had a crew-served weapon MOS, and was required to qualify with both the rifle and the pistol (or, was a SNCO or Officer)... The Army, OTOH, had a dangly that said 'grenade'... meaning, I guess, that the wearer was able to get one out of the pit...

For Cpl Heyl... the new ranks started on 1 January, 1959... my date of rank as Cpl (E-3) was 29 December, 1958... (took a Request Mast, and an individual test/drill/junk on the bunk/etc. by the Bn XO to pull it off, but I was determined not to be a Lance Corporal... main difference at the time was that, regardless of pay grade, a CPL was a NCO... and a Lance Corporal wasn't... for about three years thereafter, all of the old NCO ranks became thespians... we were officially known as "Acting Corporal" or "Acting Sergeant", etc. I have fun with younger Marines, quizzing them on how I could have made Corporal twice, never having been busted, and having all straight time...

​Ddick


We Were Given Razor Blades

Sgt Grit,

In one of your recent newsletters "A Brief History", the writer described the changes of field uniforms worn by Marines. It brought to mind a memory for me of a boot camp experience.

In 1969, our platoon 2130 was fortunate enough to draw maintenance duty rather than working in the mess hall at MCRD San Diego. A number of us were assigned to work in the warehouses where uniforms were stored and issued from. One day we were taken by one of the supply NCO's to a warehouse and were given razor blades. In the warehouse were cases of utility uniforms, but when we opened the boxes, lo and behold all of the utility blouses were tagged with the black and gold tag above the breast pocket that said US ARMY!

Our NCO then instructed us to carefully "cut off that S%*#", so the uniforms could be issued to new recruits.

Greg Pawlik
Cpl 1969-72​


Captain Brophy

Capt Brophy giving a speech

The Dalles Chronicle, 9 FEB 2013
Article by RaeLynn Ricarte

The Dalles — US Marine Corps Capt. Daniel Brophy walked for the last time on Feb. 23, 1969, the day his body was broken by a .50 caliber bullet - but the warrior spirit that took him to Vietnam has enabled him to continue living with purpose from a wheelchair.

He has spent the past four decades helping other veterans realize that, although the war has come home with them, they can overcome combat-related injuries, both physical and mental. "Combat veterans all have varying degrees of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)," he said.

"When someone was in trouble, the flight schedule went by the wayside and we were there," said Brophy. "Anytime there was a gunship in the air, the infantry were happy because they knew there was going to be support."

He served as executive officer for the aerial reconnaissance team, which included nine helicopters and crews who earned a Presidential Unit Citation for running highly effective missions within their Tactical Area of Responsibility around Da Nang Air Base, in the northeast coastal region of Vietnam. That location was known as the "rocket belt" due to the large number of rockets and mortars that rained down on soldiers from the Republic of Vietnam and their U.S. allies.

The helicopters on the team typically flew about 100 feet off the ground and Brophy and his crew had been shot down three times during the deployment.

On Feb. 29, he and his fellow Marines were determined to protect infantrymen dug into the hillside at the triangular point of a pass and in danger of being overrun by a larger enemy force.

"Those guys were stressed and up to their elbows," Brophy recalled.

He was on an adrenaline high from an action-packed morning and vigilantly scanning the terrain below for threats. When he spotted adversaries, he fired off tracers from his M14 that guided his gunner - who would later be killed in combat - to these targets. He also threw purple smoke grenades to mark an area for incoming fighter jets to launch a rocket or napalm strike.

His crew was inflicting heavy losses on the enemy about 11:30 a.m. when Brophy felt something slam into his body with great force. The bullet that was capable of penetrating three-fourths inches of armored plating had come through the hull of the Loach, entered his foot and decimated his knee before hitting the carotid artery in his neck. Blood poured from his wounds and he quickly sank into unconsciousness as crew members scrambled to save him and the pilot wrestled with controls to fly the helo that had lost hydraulics to a Navy medical station near Dia Loc Pass, about four flight minutes away.

"I was aware that I'd been hit; it felt like someone had slammed me in the head with a sledge hammer during that moment when I was awake - and then I wasn't," said Brophy.

He was transported to Da Nang Field Hospital and then flown to the U.S.S. Repose in the nearby harbor and on to the 106th Army Hospital in Japan before arriving at a naval hospital in San Diego, Calif. His return to the U.S. came in the dead of night so he was able to avoid the abuse heaped upon his fellow veterans by anti-war protesters during that era - something he is grateful for.

The large bullet - more than 2 inches long and about one-half inch diameter - had torn him up internally enough that he was paralyzed from the waist down. Brophy said he handled the news that he would never walk again "poorly" and it took five years for him to adjust to the loss of mobility and the end of a military career that had begun with his enlistment at 17 in 1957.

He credits his strong Christian faith and the endless patience of his wife, Lynn, with helping him process the horrors he had seen and endured and begin using his experiences for the benefit of others. The Brophy's had married in 1963 and she had single parented their daughter, born that same year, when he went to Vietnam as an advisor in 1964.

When that tour began he held the rank of Sergeant and by the time he came home in 1965, he was slated to become a second lieutenant - a rank that would not catch up with him until the following year. His battlefield commission was granted after he was forced to take charge of about 120 Marines in an artillery unit on top of Hill 157 in Quang Ngai Province following the injury of the commanding officer and higher-ranking Sergeant. They had both been taken out of action by the seriousness of their wounds, so Brophy called in air strikes and issued directives during hostilities that ended with only 80 men uninjured.

"The only thing you are thinking about in a time like that is what you are supposed to do next," he said.

His finally came in 1966 when, at the age of 24, he was working as a series instructor of recruits - overseeing the activities of drill instructors - at Marine Corps Recruiting Depot in San Diego, Calif.

His son was born in 1967, after Brophy had completed aerial observation school in New River, N.C., and gone to a 36-week language school to learn more Vietnamese. Lynn was once again left behind as a single parent when he departed for Vietnam again in 1968.

"The families left behind serve as much as the troops on the front lines," he said. "While I was gone, my wife was up to her beltloops in alligators." Brophy had planned to be a "lifer" in the Marines but that dream was cut short by his severe injury. He was full of anger when he had to take a medical retirement from the Corps in 1970. He believes great memories of a joyous family vacation in Hawaii just one month before he was injured provided the glue to hold his marriage together during rough times. He said Lynn was his primary caregiver and had to cope with his volatile emotions while also caring for their two young children.

He became an ordained minister in 1978 and Lynn convinced him to return to college. He graduated with a master's in social work from Portland State University in 1980 and then went to work for the Veterans Administration.

Over the years, Brophy counseled veterans who suffered from PTSD and, in 1986, became involved with Point Man International Ministries while living in several different locations. He and Lynn settled in The Dalles in 1998 and he now serves as Outpost Leader for the Christian-based organization. In addition to their own son and daughter, the couple has raised a dozen foster children.

"I am proud to say we will be married 50 years in January of 2013," said Brophy.


In the straight-talking style of a Marine drill instructor, Brophy also has some advice for the parents and spouses of deployed troops on the front lines.

"You might not recognize your son or daughter because they will not be the same."
--US Marine Corps Capt. Daniel Brophy

Thanks Sgt. Grit for your newsletter. Captain Brophy was my drill instructor in 1963.

Sgt. C. Jones


That Dog's Motivated

This is my little Devil Dog. Thanks Sgt Grit for the awesome shirt.

Julia Brown

Get your Devil Pup this moto shirt at:

Julia's dog in Sgt Grit wear

Devil Dog Doggie Shirts

Devil Dog Doggie Shirts


No Disrespect

Grit,

Noted in your newsletter was a comment about "No Disrespect" concerning Chris Kyle and Carlos Hathcock and why a movie is not made about Hathcock and his almost unbelievable exploits while in Vietnam.

I agree completely a movie should be made about Carlos and his service in the Marines and especially his Vietnam experiences.

Here is a quote from Chris Kyle's book "American Sniper":

"Carlos Norman Hathcock II, (USMC) the most famous member of the sniping profession, a true legend and a man Whom I look up to, tallied ninety-three confirmed kills during his three years of tours in the Vietnam War. I'm not saying I was in his class - in my mind, he was and always will be the greatest sniper ever."
--From the book "American Sniper" by Chris Kyle

That's my two cents worth...

Bill Lang
USMC Cpl. E-4
0331
1963 - 1966


RE: No Disrespect Intended response to last week's Post.

I've watched the recent Movie in question, and it's a great movie. I WISH it hadn't been a Marine that ended his Life. However, there is a Movie, Sniper, that loosely depicts Carlos Life. It was mostly about the eye shot through the Scope, and his knocking off the VC General. All in all, I thought it was about as good as Chris's Movie.

Hanline, Ralph J. 2003XXX
Feb. 20, 1962 - Aug. 20, 1966​


Guam Greasy Grill

Guam Seabees were on 24-hour work - fight shifts.

Seabees who went into Guam with the Marines worked by day, fought by night, and in between times still found opportunities to display the ingenuity for which they have become famous, according to Sgt. Harold A. Breard, Marine Corps Combat Correspondent writing from the newly-conquered island.

During the first few days of the battle the Seabees acted as part of the Marines shore party. Besides working on the beaches all day and doing some emergency road building on the side, at night they moved into the front line area to back up the assault troops. At one time, when Marine tanks had to move up a steep ridge to blast Japs entrenched in caves, the Seabees braved sniper fire to bulldoze a 1000-yard road up the incline. The tanks followed in their wake.

The battle for the island was still in its infancy, said the Marine Corps correspondent, when the Seabees tired of the tarpaulin-covered galley their cooks had thrown together on the beach when they first came ashore. Instead, the builders set up the "Guam Greasy Grill," reputed to be the most elaborate galley on Guam. The Grill was built of odds and ends of lumber, sheet metal and canvas, and screened with mosquito netting. A carpenter's crayon was enough to produce the sign above the doorway announcing the name.

​John Ratomski


Brotherhood

In mid-January, my buddie Joe Schaffner who I attended boot camp with in 1981 (Platoon 3312) called me and said "we are going to Parris Island next month." I replied that I was game, but why? He tells me that he has a friend that he coached high school football with who is a Vietnam Vet Marine who's Grandson would be graduating on February 13, 2015.

So Joe meets me in Cincinnati on the morning of Feb. 12 and we make the 10 hour drive to Beaufort. The following day we proceed to MCRD Parris Island for the graduation ceremony that is scheduled at 0900. This was the 3rd graduation ceremony that I have attended (other than my own) and they never get old.

Joe's friend John Agenbroad did not inform us that he would be part of the ceremony. After his military and civilian accomplishments were read to those in attendance, he reviewed the graduating Marines.

At the completion of the ceremony, I was introduced to John and his wife Patti. John was so happy that we had driven down just to attend the Graduation and that he would be treating us to dinner that evening.

Later that evening we drove to Hilton Head Island to have dinner with John and Patti and there friends Mr. and Mrs. Willie Bryan.

We enjoyed each others company over dinner and drank for a few hours and told stories, and laughed and had a great time as if we had known each other our entire lives.

You see, Joe served from 1980-1984, I served from 1980-1989, John was a Vietnam combat Vet and Mr. Willie Bryan is a WW II Veteran and a survivor of Iwo Jima. So we had three generations of Marines enjoying each others company.

After dinner as we were parting ways, Joe and I each shook both men's hands and told them thank you and what an honor it was to dine with them. Both of them stated that they were honored as well.

It just goes to show you that no matter when you served, what your job was or whether you served in combat. We are all Marines and that was all that mattered.

Semper Fi
Tom Cranmer
Sgt


Snipers - US Marine Corps

The US Marine Corps is rather big compared to many other special forces units, and their lets call it policy is that everyone is a Marine Rifleman regardless of Military specialty. However within the Marine Corps we do have "specialized units" and one of them is what we call Force Reconnaissance. Plus there are specialized schools and units for Snipers. Here is a nice pictorial overview of this school and the candidates that try out. As you shall see in the write-up many other militaries send some of their troops here to this school.

See What Makes US Marine Scount Snipers The Deadliest Shots On The Planet.


Reunions

MSGs... Past & Present. Start making your plans for the 2015 MEGA Reunion.

Where: Providence, RI
When: June 3 - 7, 2015

Contact for more info:
Kevin J. Hermening
2245 County Rd. KK
Mosinee, WI 54455
Email: kevinh[at]hermeningfinancialgroup.com


Lost And Found

Sgt Grit & Sgt Williams,

Thanks for all the times you shipped me the Grit Magazine for me to give away at the Marine Expo's. All were given away at each Expo, if they already received your Magazine they were always thankful and nothing but good to say about it.

I went thru MCRD SanDiego, then 2dITR & Rifle range (we hiked with full pack and rifles back to San Diego). Then on to 1st Division Tank Battalion at Pendleton, 1st Marine Air Wing ElToro, and last station was 1st Marine Air Wing FMFPac in Hawaii (Camp Smith). While in California we went on Operation "SilverSword". If any readers were stationed with me on any of these, I would like to hear from you.

SemperFi,
LCpl Kenneth Kemper
Now Dr Kenn Kemper
Home: 623-846-5296
Office: 602-881-1400
Email: GreatAmerithon[at]Msn.Com


Plt 1001, 1st Bn, A Co MCRD PI

Grit,

March 21, 1980 a new group of Marines were released into the Corps. Plt. 1001, 1st Bt., A Co. Parris Island. This year is our 35th anniversary. Any of you guys out there reading this give me a shout.

Jeff Strayer
Email: jeff.strayer[at]turbocam.com


Short Rounds

Navajo Code Talker Samuel Holiday

Navajo Code Talker Sergeant Major Danakee

70th Anniversary of the Flag Raising on Iwo Jima parade. Held in Sacaton, Arizona.

See more photos at 2015 70th Anniversary of the Flag Raising on Iwo Jima parade.

Semper Fi
Frank V. Aiello


As the CMC said there are no longer "former Marines" only Marines. Marines of yesteryear and into the future needs to be as responsible as Woody and Jim. They showed the Pride and Leadership qualities of Marines, and how we should do the same in teaching and demonstrating to all people (young and old) to make this world a better place to live. These two Marines took time out of their long lives to do exactly what the United States and the world needs to do to make it a better place to live. Semper Fi Marines.

Ted Shimono
1959-1968​


This is my rifle there are many like it...

In case you have never seen this. It appears to be somewhere around WWII to the late 50s. Note the canted garrison covers, longer hair and the '03 Springfield.

Marines Swear In On The Rifle


You have finally solved the mystery of the attachment medals that I had next to my Rifle range medal. 25 of us Marines in November 1959 were sent to a range where we fired any weapon that a Marine Battalion would be using in combat anywhere in the world. We became very proficient with each weapon from the .45 pistol to the Ontos, flamethrowers, bazookas, to any weapons that were issued and not issued to a BLT. We had to know the entire ins and outs of each weapon.

Ted USMC
1959-1968​


I was on the Princeton from April 15, 1959 to May 27, 1961. I made the cruise to Japan February 1960. I was with the U.S. Marine guards 2nd Division. I remember the ship on the hanger deck.

L/Cpl G. Hammer
1848XXXXX


Hello fellow Marines and friends of Marines. I enjoyed the article about Woody Williams. When I see his name I am reminded of our company gunny. They lived not to far from each other and to my surprise I received a signed picture of the flag raising at Iwo Jima from Woody Williams via Gunny McMillion. It has a page in my 3/3 scrapbook. So sad both Marines are gone now.

Cpl. TC Mosher, USMC
Viet Nam '66 & '67​


Cpl. TC Mosher,

Hershel Woody Williams has not reported to the Pearly Gates yet. He is alive and well brother.

Sgt J. Williams
'00 - '07


Parris Island 1970.

Marines, enjoy the next thirty minutes of this old video. Semper Fi!

This Is Parris Island (1970)

Gerry A. Flowers
USMC 0311 / 8654​


"I received my order and everything is perfect! Just wanted to thank you. I especially wanted to thank Cherish Mahaffey for the outstanding work she did on my hat, and the inspiring note. I have received so many positive compliments about that hat at the VA Hospital when I visit patients there, also at my local DAV and VFW."​

Sgt TM, Nam '67


To honor the first man killed in their outfit on Bougainville, a Marine unit named its bivouac area "Camp Tipton" for PFC. James C. Tipton, Detroit, who was killed charging a machine gun nest, but who took at least two of the enemy with him as he fell.

​John Ratomski


Quotes

"We Marines are Truly Blessed. We get to enjoy the Sweet Taste of Freedom because we know its Price."
--(Marine Veteran, John Chipura, Survivor of the 1983 Beirut Bombing. He became a New York Fireman who wrote the above for the 225 Birthday of the Marine Corps. He was killed September 11 at the World Trade Center.)


Quote by General Mad Dog Mattis

"When you men get home and face an anti-war protester, look him in the eyes and shake his hand. Then, wink at his girlfriend, because she knows she's dating a p-ssy."
--Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis


"The first day I was at Camp, I was afraid I was going to Die! The next two weeks, my sole fear was that I wasn't going to Die! After that I knew I'd never die because I became so hard that nothing could Kill Me!"
--(World War I Recruits Bootcamp Comment)


Hell raisers quote

"America was founded by tough hell-raisers. Rugged citizens who evaded taxes, spoke strongly against tyranny, grew tobacco, brewed beer and spirits, and smuggled weapons. And it will be saved only by those same types of citizens."
--Unknown


"How many pushups can you do? All of them!"

"I'm a Moma Lootin, Routin Tootin, 100 lbs of hell-dipped destruction with temporary duty as a House Mouse."

"I can't believe that YOU were the fastest sperm?"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 26 FEB 2015
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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 26 FEB 2015

In this issue:
• We Had A Colorful History
• E5 For Nine Years
• Captain Brophy

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We Had A Colorful History

Hello Sgt. Grit,

Just wanted to comment on Ddick's article about the 175mm guns (SP) titled "Sillyvillian". I have been reading your outstanding newsletters for a long time and have always enjoyed reading all the story's and Ddicks's comments.

He apparently has worked extensively with our battery, the 3rd 155/175mm Gun Battery (SP) while at AnHoa combat base. Our battery was in country for 5 years, August 1965 to August, 1970. We had a colorful history, some good times and some not so well. The battery was awarded four PUC's and one NUC for operations we participated in.

As Ddick mentions we had two 175's blow the tubes off, injuring several of our gun crew, I included pictures of the guns after the incidents. We also had one of our 155 guns blow the breach in August '68 that killed 3 of the gun crew and injured others. The 3rd Guns are having our fifth reunion this October in San Diego, CA, and some of our members after reading Ddick's comments would like to contact him to get some inside information on what caused the accidents and invite him to our reunion.

My email address is ed-kirby[at]comcast.net. Please contact me so our members can talk with you. You all do a great job!

S.F.,
L/Cpl. Ed Kirby
​Nam, '68-'69


Memories Of Times So Long Ago

Every Thursday I look forward to the letter... to me it's informative and gives me a pleasure to read the letters of all who have served in our Corps. Many opinions have been put down and some times there has been a few that could start arguments, but that's the Marine way... what would it be if we didn't have a friendly argument now and then. We as Marines would not have it any other way.

If it wasn't for the letters I would have gone on not knowing about the uniforms dress, utilities, badges, how and when they came about and of those who served before me and after. After reading of some of the experiences that some write, it brings back memories of times so long ago but closer than one thinks.

Thank you all for the great reading and to Sgt Grit for one hell of a letter and letters that I for one will not forget and always enjoy!

Semper Fi to all,
Vic DeLeon


HMM-163​

I can tell you all that HMM-163 managed to get home sometime around 1969 or 1970. I was a member of '163 during 1971 prior to going overseas (Iwakuni, Japan and some other areas in SE Asia), and again from April 1973 to October 1, 1974 when I was released from Active Duty.

HMM-163 was at MCAS(H) Santa Ana, later Tustin, CA up the interstate from El Toro. We were in the old Blimp hangers east of the Orange County Airport (John Wayne International) and our hangar was where they filmed the movie Hindenburg with George Scott in '73 or '74. Proud to have served, best 5 years of my life in a lot of regards, wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Gary Faeth, Capt (4562) USMCR 1969-74


So Many Years

It has been 45 years since I took The Freedom Bird back to the World from DaNang, RVN. Before landing in LA, we were advised not to wear our uniforms around the area. It took another year before I got discharged in Beaufort, S.C. I grew my hair and went to college just trying to blend in. The years passed with jobs, family, friends and blessed with two sons. There was no joining the local VFW or Legion. I did support our Corps through Toys For Tots and The Marine Corps Association. I ordered a couple T-shirts from Sgt Grit but just wore them around the house. I don't know what made me do it but I ordered a ball cap with VietNam and Semper Fi on the front and started wearing it in public. I started to get "Thank you for your service" and "Welcome Home Brother" from strangers. I didn'​t know what to say. I have gone from trying to blend in to actively seeking out others with a shared background. I was even invited to the Veteran's Day program at the local elementary school. I wish it hadn't taken so many years but at least I can do it now.

Semper-Fi
Sam Nittle
Sgt of Marines
RVN '69-'70​


E5 For Nine Years

Sgt. Grit,

In the 19 Feb. newsletter, there was an article by Cpl Heyl regarding the rank transition. I was promoted to SSgt (E5) early in 1957, transferred to the I-I Staff, 35th Rifle Company, USMCR, Santa Rosa, CA in July, 1959 and remained there until August, 1962, as a Staff Sergeant.

When I received my orders to MACS-4, MCAF, Santa Ana, it was as a Sergeant (E5); two years with MACS-4, another year and half at MCAS, Yuma, AZ, and then promoted to SSgt (E6) in 1966. Anybody's calculations will show that I was an E5 for nine years. It's amazing what a hard-nosed, mustang Major can do to your career!

I always maintained that HQMC was the last place that I wanted to be stationed, so when I was transferred there in March, 1967, I made sure that it was. Last promotion to GySgt in 1968, and hung it up on 31 January 1970.

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


You Missed Me, You S.O.B.

Sgt. Grit,

Regarding the article by Ddick in last weeks newsletter concerning "The Patron Saint of Artillery", he mentioned that one or two Russian 152 mm field artillery pieces were captured by the 9th Marines. He is correct! I was serving with the "Striking 9th" in 1969, and we did indeed capture a Russian field artillery piece which was later shipped back to the USA. It is currently on display in the Vietnam section of the Marine Corps Museum in Quantico, VA. I viewed it back in October of 2014 while visiting the museum. If you are one of the many Marines who - like me - were serving near the DMZ in 1969 and got shot at (and missed) by that "mother" - like me - you can stop by and "visit it" at the museum, and tell it - like I did - "You missed me, you S.O.B." Sure did make me feel better!

Semper Fi
S.R. Van Tyle
NOLOAD - USMC​


Old Corps Uniforms

Cpl. Brook did a fine job of giving the history of the utility uniform. However, the stenciling of the rank on the sleeve had stopped long before 1959. I entered the Corps in January 1957. Anyone who was a PFC or higher rank already had the metal chevrons on their collars. Some of the old salts, usually Sgts and above had their salty utility jackets (with pockets tucked into their belts) with the stenciled stripes, but they still wore the medal chevrons. The saltier utility caps had the cardboard stays removed to give the wearer a "been there, done that" look.

We were issued a tie bar that was painted a bronze/black color to go with the EGAs of the dress uniform also. The brass ones were introduced later.

I love the green dress uniform but dislike the dress blues especially for senior NCOs with a large row of hash marks. Too many colors at work! Maybe just a return of the blue cover would tone down the uniform.

James V. Merl
1655XXX
USMC 1957-60


Who Wrote Your Paychecks

Sergeant,

I have to add my two cents worth to the Viet Nam Veteran conflict, mainly in response to L/CPL Corrales, C.E. About the only thing I have to say to him is "Who wrote your paychecks?"

My draft number was not due until 1972. When I discovered that my number was too high to be drafted, I joined the Marine Corps. The only volunteering I did was for Computer Programming School. I entered in May on the delay entry program, so didn't start boot camp in San Diego until September. I turned 21 in boot camp. I was "guaranteed" Ground Group 4, Electronics.

I started out with platoon 2123, and finished with 2143. During boot camp I got a stress fracture in my left leg so bad I couldn't lift my foot off the ground, so was dropped to Medical Rehabilitation Platoon (MRP). Yes, I did get Christmas Leave in boot camp, one of 18 of my fellow wounded wanna-be warriors. After eight weeks of limping around I was picked up and finished training in early February, 1973.

By the time I got out of boot camp the U.S. was pulling Marines out of Viet Nam and not replacing them. I went on to Quantico, VA, for Computer Sciences School, studying COBOL Programming. After school I was assigned to Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune. We processed information for all eastern Marines, in the U.S. and out. This lasted for two years, after which I was assigned to Landing Force Training Command, Atlantic (LFTCLANT) in Virginia Beach, VA.

After my four years were up I went home. When I joined I was promised $10,000 if I reenlisted. When it came time for reenlistment that bonus had been taken away, and I would have gotten the same reenlistment bonus as a clerk typist. There was more money in the real world, and I would not have to have some boot 2nd Lieutenant tell me my undershorts were folded wrong every three months. (We all know what a junk-on-the-bunk inspection is.) I was a 25 year old Marine Corps Sergeant, with a wife and two kids. I knew how to fold undershorts.

All of this is to say that when I am asked what I did during the "war" I respond that I spent the Viet Nam "war" in Virginia Beach, VA. The U.S. Government chose to call me a Viet Nam Veteran, and I am entitled to certain Veteran benefits. I do not consider myself in any way related to those of my brothers who spent time "in-country" except that I am a Marine and I served time during the Viet Nam "war". I consider myself a "Viet Nam Era Veteran" even though the U.S. Government and the Texas State Government consider me a "Viet Nam Veteran". The only medals I am entitled to are the "fire watch" (National Defense) and Good Conduct medals.

Since I am officially recognized by the Government of the United States and the state of Texas as a Viet Nam Veteran, I suppose I am. However, I will always consider myself a Viet Nam Era Veteran. I cannot, and do not try to, hold a candle for those who served in-country, and tear up when thinking of those who died there.

In Christ,
SGT. Charley Mitchell,
Hollywood Marine, to the core!
Semper Fi!


Drill Manual

Sgt. Grit,

When I entered boot camp at Parris Island in July of 1958, like all recruits we began to drill. At the time we started out performing, I believe, a drill manual called Landing Party Manual (LPM). As I remember it, it consisted of four (4) squads marching thru many formation and was different from Squad drill (just three (3) squads, which we transitioned to about 3 - 4 weeks into our training.

In the last few years I have been seeking the drill manual for LPM with very little success. If anyone has one or has an electronic version I'd like to discuss getting it.

Please contact me at kenklein39[at]gmail.com.

Thank you,
PFC Ken Klein, USMCR, inactive


Get One Out Of The Pit

Was off about 30 millimeters on the bore of those NVA artillery pieces... they were 122MM, vs 152MM, and one of them is at the Heritage Museum outside Quantico...

The mention of a "BAR" ladder bar on a marksmanship badge?... I think the writer may have confused some Army or National Guard badge... to the best of my knowledge, there was no BAR qualification course, not to say that BAR men didn't put a lot of rounds downrange in firing exercises... we fired it for familiarization in boot camp, mostly just humped it in ITR. For the .30 cal Browning, there used to be a training course, known as 'the thousand inch range', which dealt with traversing and elevating... target was a bunch of small squares, idea was to get X number of rounds in each square... and the butts were about 80 feet from the firing position... but, again, don't recall any badges for machine gun in that era. The Marksman badge for the rifle was a single bar, with nothing suspended from it, in the late 50's... somewhere along in the 60's, the pizza box, or toilet seat (it was known informally as either) was added, and the straight bar went away. A Pistol badge was the indicator that the wearer, if enlisted, had a crew-served weapon MOS, and was required to qualify with both the rifle and the pistol (or, was a SNCO or Officer)... The Army, OTOH, had a dangly that said 'grenade'... meaning, I guess, that the wearer was able to get one out of the pit...

For Cpl Heyl... the new ranks started on 1 January, 1959... my date of rank as Cpl (E-3) was 29 December, 1958... (took a Request Mast, and an individual test/drill/junk on the bunk/etc. by the Bn XO to pull it off, but I was determined not to be a Lance Corporal... main difference at the time was that, regardless of pay grade, a CPL was a NCO... and a Lance Corporal wasn't... for about three years thereafter, all of the old NCO ranks became thespians... we were officially known as "Acting Corporal" or "Acting Sergeant", etc. I have fun with younger Marines, quizzing them on how I could have made Corporal twice, never having been busted, and having all straight time...

​Ddick


We Were Given Razor Blades

Sgt Grit,

In one of your recent newsletters "A Brief History", the writer described the changes of field uniforms worn by Marines. It brought to mind a memory for me of a boot camp experience.

In 1969, our platoon 2130 was fortunate enough to draw maintenance duty rather than working in the mess hall at MCRD San Diego. A number of us were assigned to work in the warehouses where uniforms were stored and issued from. One day we were taken by one of the supply NCO's to a warehouse and were given razor blades. In the warehouse were cases of utility uniforms, but when we opened the boxes, lo and behold all of the utility blouses were tagged with the black and gold tag above the breast pocket that said US ARMY!

Our NCO then instructed us to carefully "cut off that S%*#", so the uniforms could be issued to new recruits.

Greg Pawlik
Cpl 1969-72​


Captain Brophy

The Dalles Chronicle, 9 FEB 2013
Article by RaeLynn Ricarte

The Dalles — US Marine Corps Capt. Daniel Brophy walked for the last time on Feb. 23, 1969, the day his body was broken by a .50 caliber bullet - but the warrior spirit that took him to Vietnam has enabled him to continue living with purpose from a wheelchair.

He has spent the past four decades helping other veterans realize that, although the war has come home with them, they can overcome combat-related injuries, both physical and mental. "Combat veterans all have varying degrees of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)," he said.

"When someone was in trouble, the flight schedule went by the wayside and we were there," said Brophy. "Anytime there was a gunship in the air, the infantry were happy because they knew there was going to be support."

He served as executive officer for the aerial reconnaissance team, which included nine helicopters and crews who earned a Presidential Unit Citation for running highly effective missions within their Tactical Area of Responsibility around Da Nang Air Base, in the northeast coastal region of Vietnam. That location was known as the "rocket belt" due to the large number of rockets and mortars that rained down on soldiers from the Republic of Vietnam and their U.S. allies.

The helicopters on the team typically flew about 100 feet off the ground and Brophy and his crew had been shot down three times during the deployment.

On Feb. 29, he and his fellow Marines were determined to protect infantrymen dug into the hillside at the triangular point of a pass and in danger of being overrun by a larger enemy force.

"Those guys were stressed and up to their elbows," Brophy recalled.

He was on an adrenaline high from an action-packed morning and vigilantly scanning the terrain below for threats. When he spotted adversaries, he fired off tracers from his M14 that guided his gunner - who would later be killed in combat - to these targets. He also threw purple smoke grenades to mark an area for incoming fighter jets to launch a rocket or napalm strike.

His crew was inflicting heavy losses on the enemy about 11:30 a.m. when Brophy felt something slam into his body with great force. The bullet that was capable of penetrating three-fourths inches of armored plating had come through the hull of the Loach, entered his foot and decimated his knee before hitting the carotid artery in his neck. Blood poured from his wounds and he quickly sank into unconsciousness as crew members scrambled to save him and the pilot wrestled with controls to fly the helo that had lost hydraulics to a Navy medical station near Dia Loc Pass, about four flight minutes away.

"I was aware that I'd been hit; it felt like someone had slammed me in the head with a sledge hammer during that moment when I was awake - and then I wasn't," said Brophy.

He was transported to Da Nang Field Hospital and then flown to the U.S.S. Repose in the nearby harbor and on to the 106th Army Hospital in Japan before arriving at a naval hospital in San Diego, Calif. His return to the U.S. came in the dead of night so he was able to avoid the abuse heaped upon his fellow veterans by anti-war protesters during that era - something he is grateful for.

The large bullet - more than 2 inches long and about one-half inch diameter - had torn him up internally enough that he was paralyzed from the waist down. Brophy said he handled the news that he would never walk again "poorly" and it took five years for him to adjust to the loss of mobility and the end of a military career that had begun with his enlistment at 17 in 1957.

He credits his strong Christian faith and the endless patience of his wife, Lynn, with helping him process the horrors he had seen and endured and begin using his experiences for the benefit of others. The Brophy's had married in 1963 and she had single parented their daughter, born that same year, when he went to Vietnam as an advisor in 1964.

When that tour began he held the rank of Sergeant and by the time he came home in 1965, he was slated to become a second lieutenant - a rank that would not catch up with him until the following year. His battlefield commission was granted after he was forced to take charge of about 120 Marines in an artillery unit on top of Hill 157 in Quang Ngai Province following the injury of the commanding officer and higher-ranking Sergeant. They had both been taken out of action by the seriousness of their wounds, so Brophy called in air strikes and issued directives during hostilities that ended with only 80 men uninjured.

"The only thing you are thinking about in a time like that is what you are supposed to do next," he said.

His finally came in 1966 when, at the age of 24, he was working as a series instructor of recruits - overseeing the activities of drill instructors - at Marine Corps Recruiting Depot in San Diego, Calif.

His son was born in 1967, after Brophy had completed aerial observation school in New River, N.C., and gone to a 36-week language school to learn more Vietnamese. Lynn was once again left behind as a single parent when he departed for Vietnam again in 1968.

"The families left behind serve as much as the troops on the front lines," he said. "While I was gone, my wife was up to her beltloops in alligators." Brophy had planned to be a "lifer" in the Marines but that dream was cut short by his severe injury. He was full of anger when he had to take a medical retirement from the Corps in 1970. He believes great memories of a joyous family vacation in Hawaii just one month before he was injured provided the glue to hold his marriage together during rough times. He said Lynn was his primary caregiver and had to cope with his volatile emotions while also caring for their two young children.

He became an ordained minister in 1978 and Lynn convinced him to return to college. He graduated with a master's in social work from Portland State University in 1980 and then went to work for the Veterans Administration.

Over the years, Brophy counseled veterans who suffered from PTSD and, in 1986, became involved with Point Man International Ministries while living in several different locations. He and Lynn settled in The Dalles in 1998 and he now serves as Outpost Leader for the Christian-based organization. In addition to their own son and daughter, the couple has raised a dozen foster children.

"I am proud to say we will be married 50 years in January of 2013," said Brophy.


In the straight-talking style of a Marine drill instructor, Brophy also has some advice for the parents and spouses of deployed troops on the front lines.

"You might not recognize your son or daughter because they will not be the same."
--US Marine Corps Capt. Daniel Brophy

Thanks Sgt. Grit for your newsletter. Captain Brophy was my drill instructor in 1963.

Sgt. C. Jones


No Disrespect

Grit,

Noted in your newsletter was a comment about "No Disrespect" concerning Chris Kyle and Carlos Hathcock and why a movie is not made about Hathcock and his almost unbelievable exploits while in Vietnam.

I agree completely a movie should be made about Carlos and his service in the Marines and especially his Vietnam experiences.

Here is a quote from Chris Kyle's book "American Sniper":

"Carlos Norman Hathcock II, (USMC) the most famous member of the sniping profession, a true legend and a man Whom I look up to, tallied ninety-three confirmed kills during his three years of tours in the Vietnam War. I'm not saying I was in his class - in my mind, he was and always will be the greatest sniper ever."
--From the book "American Sniper" by Chris Kyle

That's my two cents worth...

Bill Lang
USMC Cpl. E-4
0331
1963 - 1966


RE: No Disrespect Intended response to last week's Post.

I've watched the recent Movie in question, and it's a great movie. I WISH it hadn't been a Marine that ended his Life. However, there is a Movie, Sniper, that loosely depicts Carlos Life. It was mostly about the eye shot through the Scope, and his knocking off the VC General. All in all, I thought it was about as good as Chris's Movie.

Hanline, Ralph J. 2003XXX
Feb. 20, 1962 - Aug. 20, 1966​


Guam Greasy Grill

Guam Seabees were on 24-hour work - fight shifts.

Seabees who went into Guam with the Marines worked by day, fought by night, and in between times still found opportunities to display the ingenuity for which they have become famous, according to Sgt. Harold A. Breard, Marine Corps Combat Correspondent writing from the newly-conquered island.

During the first few days of the battle the Seabees acted as part of the Marines shore party. Besides working on the beaches all day and doing some emergency road building on the side, at night they moved into the front line area to back up the assault troops. At one time, when Marine tanks had to move up a steep ridge to blast Japs entrenched in caves, the Seabees braved sniper fire to bulldoze a 1000-yard road up the incline. The tanks followed in their wake.

The battle for the island was still in its infancy, said the Marine Corps correspondent, when the Seabees tired of the tarpaulin-covered galley their cooks had thrown together on the beach when they first came ashore. Instead, the builders set up the "Guam Greasy Grill," reputed to be the most elaborate galley on Guam. The Grill was built of odds and ends of lumber, sheet metal and canvas, and screened with mosquito netting. A carpenter's crayon was enough to produce the sign above the doorway announcing the name.

​John Ratomski


Brotherhood

In mid-January, my buddie Joe Schaffner who I attended boot camp with in 1981 (Platoon 3312) called me and said "we are going to Parris Island next month." I replied that I was game, but why? He tells me that he has a friend that he coached high school football with who is a Vietnam Vet Marine who's Grandson would be graduating on February 13, 2015.

So Joe meets me in Cincinnati on the morning of Feb. 12 and we make the 10 hour drive to Beaufort. The following day we proceed to MCRD Parris Island for the graduation ceremony that is scheduled at 0900. This was the 3rd graduation ceremony that I have attended (other than my own) and they never get old.

Joe's friend John Agenbroad did not inform us that he would be part of the ceremony. After his military and civilian accomplishments were read to those in attendance, he reviewed the graduating Marines.

At the completion of the ceremony, I was introduced to John and his wife Patti. John was so happy that we had driven down just to attend the Graduation and that he would be treating us to dinner that evening.

Later that evening we drove to Hilton Head Island to have dinner with John and Patti and there friends Mr. and Mrs. Willie Bryan.

We enjoyed each others company over dinner and drank for a few hours and told stories, and laughed and had a great time as if we had known each other our entire lives.

You see, Joe served from 1980-1984, I served from 1980-1989, John was a Vietnam combat Vet and Mr. Willie Bryan is a WW II Veteran and a survivor of Iwo Jima. So we had three generations of Marines enjoying each others company.

After dinner as we were parting ways, Joe and I each shook both men's hands and told them thank you and what an honor it was to dine with them. Both of them stated that they were honored as well.

It just goes to show you that no matter when you served, what your job was or whether you served in combat. We are all Marines and that was all that mattered.

Semper Fi
Tom Cranmer
Sgt


Snipers - US Marine Corps

The US Marine Corps is rather big compared to many other special forces units, and their lets call it policy is that everyone is a Marine Rifleman regardless of Military specialty. However within the Marine Corps we do have "specialized units" and one of them is what we call Force Reconnaissance. Plus there are specialized schools and units for Snipers. Here is a nice pictorial overview of this school and the candidates that try out. As you shall see in the write-up many other militaries send some of their troops here to this school.

See What Makes US Marine Scount Snipers The Deadliest Shots On The Planet.


Reunions

MSGs... Past & Present. Start making your plans for the 2015 MEGA Reunion.

Where: Providence, RI
When: June 3 - 7, 2015

Contact for more info:
Kevin J. Hermening
2245 County Rd. KK
Mosinee, WI 54455
Email: kevinh[at]hermeningfinancialgroup.com


Lost And Found

Sgt Grit & Sgt Williams,

Thanks for all the times you shipped me the Grit Magazine for me to give away at the Marine Expo's. All were given away at each Expo, if they already received your Magazine they were always thankful and nothing but good to say about it.

I went thru MCRD SanDiego, then 2dITR & Rifle range (we hiked with full pack and rifles back to San Diego). Then on to 1st Division Tank Battalion at Pendleton, 1st Marine Air Wing ElToro, and last station was 1st Marine Air Wing FMFPac in Hawaii (Camp Smith). While in California we went on Operation "SilverSword". If any readers were stationed with me on any of these, I would like to hear from you.

SemperFi,
LCpl Kenneth Kemper
Now Dr Kenn Kemper
Home: 623-846-5296
Office: 602-881-1400
Email: GreatAmerithon[at]Msn.Com


Grit,

March 21, 1980 a new group of Marines were released into the Corps. Plt. 1001, 1st Bt., A Co. Parris Island. This year is our 35th anniversary. Any of you guys out there reading this give me a shout.

Jeff Strayer
Email: jeff.strayer[at]turbocam.com


Short Rounds

70th Anniversary of the Flag Raising on Iwo Jima parade. Held in Sacaton, Arizona.

See more photos at 2015 70th Anniversary of the Flag Raising on Iwo Jima parade.

Semper Fi
Frank V. Aiello


As the CMC said there are no longer "former Marines" only Marines. Marines of yesteryear and into the future needs to be as responsible as Woody and Jim. They showed the Pride and Leadership qualities of Marines, and how we should do the same in teaching and demonstrating to all people (young and old) to make this world a better place to live. These two Marines took time out of their long lives to do exactly what the United States and the world needs to do to make it a better place to live. Semper Fi Marines.

Ted Shimono
1959-1968​


This is my rifle there are many like it...

In case you have never seen this. It appears to be somewhere around WWII to the late 50s. Note the canted garrison covers, longer hair and the '03 Springfield.

Marines Swear In On The Rifle


You have finally solved the mystery of the attachment medals that I had next to my Rifle range medal. 25 of us Marines in November 1959 were sent to a range where we fired any weapon that a Marine Battalion would be using in combat anywhere in the world. We became very proficient with each weapon from the .45 pistol to the Ontos, flamethrowers, bazookas, to any weapons that were issued and not issued to a BLT. We had to know the entire ins and outs of each weapon.

Ted USMC
1959-1968​


I was on the Princeton from April 15, 1959 to May 27, 1961. I made the cruise to Japan February 1960. I was with the U.S. Marine guards 2nd Division. I remember the ship on the hanger deck.

L/Cpl G. Hammer
1848XXXXX


Hello fellow Marines and friends of Marines. I enjoyed the article about Woody Williams. When I see his name I am reminded of our company gunny. They lived not to far from each other and to my surprise I received a signed picture of the flag raising at Iwo Jima from Woody Williams via Gunny McMillion. It has a page in my 3/3 scrapbook. So sad both Marines are gone now.

Cpl. TC Mosher, USMC
Viet Nam '66 & '67​


Cpl. TC Mosher,

Hershel Woody Williams has not reported to the Pearly Gates yet. He is alive and well brother.

Sgt J. Williams
'00 - '07


Parris Island 1970.

Marines, enjoy the next thirty minutes of this old video. Semper Fi!

This Is Parris Island (1970)

Gerry A. Flowers
USMC 0311 / 8654​


"I received my order and everything is perfect! Just wanted to thank you. I especially wanted to thank Cherish Mahaffey for the outstanding work she did on my hat, and the inspiring note. I have received so many positive compliments about that hat at the VA Hospital when I visit patients there, also at my local DAV and VFW."​

Sgt TM, Nam '67


To honor the first man killed in their outfit on Bougainville, a Marine unit named its bivouac area "Camp Tipton" for PFC. James C. Tipton, Detroit, who was killed charging a machine gun nest, but who took at least two of the enemy with him as he fell.

​John Ratomski


Quotes

"We Marines are Truly Blessed. We get to enjoy the Sweet Taste of Freedom because we know its Price."
--(Marine Veteran, John Chipura, Survivor of the 1983 Beirut Bombing. He became a New York Fireman who wrote the above for the 225 Birthday of the Marine Corps. He was killed September 11 at the World Trade Center.)


"When you men get home and face an anti-war protester, look him in the eyes and shake his hand. Then, wink at his girlfriend, because she knows she's dating a p-ssy."
--Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis


"The first day I was at Camp, I was afraid I was going to Die! The next two weeks, my sole fear was that I wasn't going to Die! After that I knew I'd never die because I became so hard that nothing could Kill Me!"
--(World War I Recruits Bootcamp Comment)


"America was founded by tough hell-raisers. Rugged citizens who evaded taxes, spoke strongly against tyranny, grew tobacco, brewed beer and spirits, and smuggled weapons. And it will be saved only by those same types of citizens."
--Unknown


"How many pushups can you do? All of them!"

"I'm a Moma Lootin, Routin Tootin, 100 lbs of hell-dipped destruction with temporary duty as a House Mouse."

"I can't believe that YOU were the fastest sperm?"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 19 FEB 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 19 FEB 2015

In this issue:
• L/Cpl James Fuller
• USNS Lewis B. Puller Christened
• Patron Saint Of Artillery

Online Store TShirts Men's Headgear Patches Women's

Flags   Family Member   Ka-Bars   Auto   Headgear  Jackets  ALL CATEGORIES  

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Featured Item

Pain Is Weakness Performance Training T-shirtPain Is Weakness Performance Training T-shirt


Vietnam War Era

Vietnam If You Weren't There Shut Up SweatshirtVietnam If You Weren't There Shut Up Sweatshirt


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Montford Point Marines

Montford Point Marines Congressional Gold Medal T-ShirtMontford Point Marines Congressional Gold Medal T-Shirt


Montford Point Marines Presenting Arms T-shirtMontford Point Marines Presenting Arms T-shirt


Montford Point Marines SgtMaj Hasmark Johnson T-shirtMontford Point Marines SgtMaj "Hasmark" Johnson T-shirt


Montford Point Marines On The Attack T-shirtMontford Point Marines On The Attack T-shirt


Montford Point Marines Beginning of a Legacy T-shirtMontford Point Marines Beginning of a Legacy T-shirt


iPhone Cases

USMC Life Is Tough iPhone 5/5s Bamboo CaseUSMC Life Is Tough iPhone 5/5s Bamboo Case


Marine Corps Personalized iPhone 5/5s Bamboo CaseMarine Corps Personalized iPhone 5/5s Bamboo Case


USMC Rank iPhone 5/5s Bamboo Phone CaseUSMC Rank iPhone 5/5s Bamboo Phone Case


USMC Life is Tough John Wayne iPhone 5 and 5s CaseUSMC Life is Tough John Wayne iPhone 5 and 5s Case


Distressed Vietnam Ribbon iPhone 6 CaseDistressed Vietnam Ribbon iPhone 6 Case


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Interview of MOH recipient Hershel Woody Williams

Sgt Grit,

Hope that you enjoy, just a little insight into "Woody". The awesome story of Hershel Woody Williams, the last living recipient of the Medal Of Honor from the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War 2. A Medal Of Honor recipient, a family man, and an all-around awesome person!

Watch the interview of the Super Awesome: Hershel Woody Williams.

Semper Fi,
R.L. "Rick" Given
Board of Trustee's
Hershel "Woody" Williams Medal of Honor Foundation


Silence

Cpl Gregory in the seat of A6A

The attached picture was taken at MCAS Iwakuni in 1970. That's me in the B/N seat of a VMA(aw)533 A6A. After I posted this picture to my Facebook page, my daughter posted "My Dad's cooler than your dad!" One of her friends replied, "My Dad was a pilot (Vietnam)." My daughter's response, "My Dad is a Marine." Her friends response, silence!

Cpl. Gregory Hockenberry
1967 - 1971
VMA(aw)533 '69-'70


L/Cpl James Fuller

L/Cpl Fuller, Cpl Gugliotta, Sgt Whitton, and SSgt Huntsinger

It is with a heavy heart that I must advise all of the passing of L/Cpl James Fuller. He was a proud member of the 11th Marine Regiment serving in the Republic of Vietnam in 1969 and 1970. He has left behind two grieving families, The Fuller family and our Marine Corps Family.

I would like to address the Marine Corps Family and our brothers, Our Corpsmen.

To those Marines of the past, know that their legacy was always remembered by L/Cpl Fuller. Names like Santo Domingo, Belleau Wood, Verdun, Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, Bougainville, Saipan, Peleliu, Chosin Reservoir, and so many more were studied and honored by L/Cpl Fuller. He would always stop and say hello to older Marines that preceded him in the Corps. Their legacy was secure.

To the Marines of the Vietnam era, L/Cpl Fuller would always stop and chat. Welcome home was said daily to a vet and always with sincerity and a smile. Although he did not hear it often enough, he would always add "great job". Places like Hue and Khe Sanh were always spoken of with reverence. Operations named Oklahoma Hills, Taylor Common, Arizona were always remembered with a prayer. His service in that conflict was a source of pride that lasted to the last breath. Three of his fellow 11th Marines were honored to see L/Cpl Fuller shortly before his passing. Cpl Gugliotta, Sgt Whitton, and S/Sgt Huntsinger reminisced about at the end of every conversation he would always say: "I love you Buddy". At the time of his passing, His watch partner at 11th Marines, and also his best friend, Cpl John Gugliotta was at his side.

To the Marines serving in this era under the names Operation Desert Shield, Somalia, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Provide Comfort, Operation Enduring Freedom, and so many others that tested the resolve of our Corps; know that each and every day you were prayed for and supported without hesitation or reservation by L/Cpl Fuller.

Finally, to those young men and women who have not earned the title United States Marine, know that the words Semper Fidelis are not a motto or a catch phrase. Those words are a lifestyle. The words Honor, Courage, and Commitment are not goals. Those words are what defines a Marine. If you want to have the privilege of wearing the uniform and earning the title, look at the life of L/Cpl Fuller. He is your guide. He is a Marine.

(Pictured from L-R: Cpl Gugliotta, SSgt Huntsinger, Sgt Whitton (Sgt Grit), and L/Cpl Fuller)

Semper Fi!
S/Sgt Huntsinger


Images Of DaNang Part 1

Navy bar in DaNang

Highlight of the week

Provided by Marine Corps Veteran Doug Hancock.


Made Me Smile

Song sung to the tune of MTA

I was part of the Marine Detachment aboard the USS Princeton when HMM 163 came aboard in the early 1960's. As I recall, they were in WestPac with us and they never left. We got to return and HMM 163 stayed on. As part of ship's company, we were responsible for the maintenance of certain areas of the ship... our Division (OS) had the responsibility of maintaining a couple of troop compartments... one of them was the compartment that housed HMM 163... while cleaning up, I picked up the attached... not sure who wrote it, but, it made me laugh and I must have put it in my pocket... I was cleaning out my seabag (getting ready to toss all of my "junk"), when I ran across this and it still made me smile! Remember the song, "MTA"? Poor ole Charlie!

Howard Hada
#19898xxx


Not As Lean Long Sleeve Pocket Tee


P.O.W. Network

P.O.W. Network Juanabee display

Our friends at the P.O.W. Network have assisted us for years on determining the actual validity of decorated Marine Corps veterans from the posers seeking to benefit from Stolen Valor. Recently, we received a picture from the network Chairman, Mary Schantag, showing a display of what a poser may look like. Semper Fi ladies and gents.

Find out more about the P.O.W. Network at:

P.O.W. Network

Think that you know a poser? Visit the Fake Warriors website at:

Fake Warriors


Old Corps Shooting Badge

In the 12 Feb 15 edition, Sgt George Cale provided a picture of an Old Corps (shooting) badge. This was commonly called the Basic (Weapons Qualification) Badge and was adopted about 1937 and used until approx. 1959-60 (sources vary).

The badge had suspended bars - worn 'ladder style' - for a variety of weapons, such as TSMG (Thompson Submachine Gun), BAR (Browning Auto Rifle), hand grenades, bayonet, pistol, several artillery pieces, and such. There were bars marked for Ex, SS and MM. For Reserves, some weapons had a 'B' suffix for the B Course of Fire used by Reserves.

Many WWII photos show veterans wearing these Basic Badges to the left of their primary shooting badge on the green or blue blouse.

Prior to 1937 the Marines used a US Army style shooting badge, much like those worn today by Doggies.

C. Stoney Brook
Old 782 Gear
1961-65


USNS Lewis B. Puller Christened

USNS Lewis B. Puller

Chesty's daughter Martha Puller Downs christening father's ship

General Dynamics NASSCO, on Saturday christened the U.S. Navy's newest ship, the USNS Lewis B. Puller (MLP-3 AFSB). The ship is named in honor of the late U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant General Lewis "Chesty" Puller, the most decorated Marine and the only one to be awarded five Navy Crosses.

The Saturday morning christening ceremony took place at NASSCO's San Diego shipyard with the commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., as the ceremony's principal speaker. Ms. Martha Puller Downs, daughter of General Puller, served as the ship's sponsor. She christened the ship by breaking the traditional bottle of champagne against the vessel's hull.

"Today was a proud moment for the thousands of men and women involved with the design and construction of the USNS Lewis B. Puller," said Kevin M. Graney, vice president and general manager of the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard. "Like its namesake, Lieutenant General Lewis B. Puller, the ship signifies strength and increased mobility and capability to support a variety of missions carried out by the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy."

This third Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) is the first ship of the class to be configured as an Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB), adding a flight deck, berthing, fuel storage, equipment storage, repair spaces, and accommodations for up to 250 personnel. The ship is capable of supporting missions including counter-piracy operations, maritime security operations, humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions and Marine Corps crisis response.

USNS Lewis B. Puller will be delivered to the Navy in the second quarter of 2015.


I Volunteered

To all Marines who wonder if they are Nam vets (or era). I volunteered for the Marine Corps in 1969 when there was a draft. I had around six months of training all in Calif. Got orders for Camp Lejeune, N.C. I advised them that I joined to go to Nam and I got my wish. Bravo 1/11 1st Mar. Div. I was awarded the Combat Action Ribbon plus others. Plt. 3118 San Diego. So some of you say "I was not ordered to Nam," I say "I Volunteered!"

L/CPL Corrales, C.E.
El Paso, Texas​


Seeing Of The Light

Sgt. Grit,

I was in from 1963 to 1967 - and the Drill Instructors sometimes manhandled you back then - they had a short time during training to whip you into shape as a unit - and sometimes had to do what was needed to instill the - "Seeing of the Light" for inspiration?

One guy was a wimp - (or not as squared away as others) a slow learner and scared of the Drill Instructor - and literally was SCARED SH-TLESS - when singled out. One day we were doing an exercise called the "Rocker" and the D I was annoyed at some of our responses to getting it the right way. The D I went to this guy and used his foot to correct the recruit - but something went wrong and the recruit hit his chin wrong and started bleeding heavily - he was taken to the hospital and questioned by the series commander - guy was told to tell the truth and nothing would happen to him - as he would be placed in another platoon and lose no time in training either. Recruit said he was a clutz and it was his own fault for not properly listening to D I? Series Commander was p-ssed - and sent him back to platoon. Guy was a hero after that - and the other guys helped him overcome any difficulties in the future. We were a team of recruits and hoped to be Marines eventually. It molded the group.

We all got love taps for one reason or another. I spoke to our New Corps - and they say the D I cannot use their hands to emphasize a point any more. Hey, I think we were better off then then now - we were in Vietnam then and mistakes would cost lives back then.

Amazed at the gear we carry into combat today - and how much gear is needed in the field today. Heavier rifles - that can shot bullets or mini grenades - more than one weapon for each Marine - ammo - etc. I was not a big dude - but we all carried our own weight back then - and we went to the gym - and had weights in the squad bay - but a new respect for the new Marines - was working at a facility and was asked when I was in by a big guy - huge shoulders - tats - and a very friendly Marine - (served in Afghanistan ).

ONE DAY - even had 4 Marines in Dress Blues ask me for directions during lunch in New York City - there was (1) Gunny - (2) S/SGT's and a M/SGT - (they looked so young with all that rank) but us old salts can say - we've been there and done that too!

What are our Brothers comments on this!

Bruce Bender
1963-1967 CPL.


Spreading The Love

Even Cupid's little helper shops at Sgt Grit!

Cupid's little helper


Patron Saint Of Artillery

'Harassing and Interdiction", or "H&I" fires (by artillery) as they were known before somebody decided 'Terrain Denial Mission' was nicer, were pretty common in Viet Nam... on both sides, come to think of it, although Charlie (the VC), and the NVA didn't, to my limited knowledge, use ammo to deny us the use of an area for staging... or farming, as we did to them. H&I might be observed fire... or just pre-planned into an area where the bad guys might be known or suspected to use, any time of the night or day. Most of the 'incoming' mortars and/or rockets I happened to be in the area of in two years was indeed harassing... could mess up your whole day, but not even at Khe Sanh (I was never there...) did it totally interdict (stop) the accomplishment of the mission.

There are lots of adages (don't say "old adage"... that's redundant... to be an adage, it has to be old, and don't make me repeat myself again) about incoming rounds, some probably dating back to the time when Saint Barbara (Patron Saint of Artillery) had yet to come up with the recipe for that swill known as 'Artillery Punch'... it will be a minority of readers who have never heard "you never hear the one that gets you"... or, "I'm not worried about the one with my name on it, but there sure seems to be a lot of them addressed 'to whom it may concern'"... and others.

Depending on your unit, and its locale during the time you were there, what you got shot at with was kinda like Grandpa's underwear... 'all depends'... but the most common denominator would have been mortars... either a 60 or 82MM type. In the northern parts, the NVA had some big-azz towed pieces with a pretty good range on them. 152MM, Russian design, might have been either Russian or Chinese built. Some of these, (two, I think) were captured by the Ninth Marines during Dewey Canyon, and brought back to the land of the big PX. Just to make sure that credit went where credit was due, it was directed that the pertinent info would be welded onto the trails... and so it was done.

Any decent stick welder can write with his arc, leaving a bead of steel standing an eighth of an inch or so proud of the base metal... and even if that is ground off (by a jealous sister service type... won't name names, but it begins with an 'A')... the heat-affected zone in the base metal can still be discerned. Dong Ha complex, home to Force Logistics Support Group Bravo... 'Floosie B', at one time was within range of NVA artillery... and there was a story about an Engineer (or maybe a communicator, wireman), who was headed for office hours, because instead of running to a bunker when incoming was coming in, used his pole-climbing equipment, and climbed to the top of a utility pole... his reasoning being that in that fashion, he would present the smallest possible target... made sense to me...

Charlie's version of H&I by 1970 consisted of two versions of a Russian/ChiCom rocket... a 120MM and a 140MM. These were hardly pin-point accuracy missiles, but an excellent choice for 'harassment'. The launchers were two boards, arranged in a "V", and those were propped against a paddy dike, adjusted for launch angle by adding or removing dirt, and fired by a time delay device. The CPE, or Circular Probable Error for these things was 'one grid square'... meaning that on a good day, the thing would come down somewhere within an area 1,000 meters on a side. The time delay device might be a can or bucket filled with water, having an electrical wire attached to the bottom, with another attached to a nail driven through a board floating on the water... punch a hole in the can, and after the water has slowly trickled out, the board and nail would have sunk enough to make contact and complete the circuit, firing the rocket(s). By this time, Ol' Charlie, having used the cool of the morning to hump these things out to the paddy and set them up, has long since repaired to his hooch, and is trying to convince his spouse that it is a good time for some 'afternoon delight'... and a long way from any 'counter-battery fire' coming in...

The 175MM gun battery at An Hoa during my vacation there, got to shoot a lot of H&I... they could reach a loooooong way out there, and did... almost always with 72 round missions... I finally asked the Battery XO, why it always seemed to be 72 rounds? His reply was 'it's simple... six rounds per pallet, two pallets per gun (there were six in position)... 72... makes the book keeping easier... Since they were almost always shooting over the cantonment, out to the south and south west, a lot of those rounds went over my hooch... 'Whap' (the round going overhead) followed by 'boom'... the muzzle report... absolutely harrassment!... I couldn't keep a 100watt light bulb more than a day or two... either the whap or the boom would take'm out, every time.

BTW... incoming?... you might think that among the 'safest' MOS's, would be 'rations clerk'... wrong, REMF breath... had three medevacs from a mortar round, and the LSU-1 Gunny was WIANE from a piece of that...

​ Ddick


We Don't Like To Sugarcoat Things

The Marine Corps doesn't like to make promises that would keep people from enlisting. They would rather wait until you arrive at MCRD San Diego or Parris Island.

Marine Corps recruiting poster


No Disrespect Intended

No disrespect intended to Navy Seal Sniper Chris Kyle... but where's the movie about Marine Sniper Carlos Hathcock?

Navy Seal Sniper Chris Kyle and Marine Sniper Carlos Hathcock


Chicken Fat

I was there! I was in Kilo Company! Weapons Platoon... 0331... Because I had a set of Dress Blues (Sea Duty), I escorted Vicki Carr down the "red carpet" as she sang, "You're a Grand Old Flag"... as memory serves me, we filmed this on the roof of CBS Studios...

This was a special program for physical fitness (Remember doing pushups and side straddle hops in the parking lot of CBS Studios?). Our President, John F. Kennedy was pushing physical fitness for the youth of America at the time... The program was a Meredith Wison production called, "Chicken Fat"...

This song should trigger some memories for you... I know it certainly did for me!

Listen the song "Chicken Fat".

Howard Hada
1989xxx


Vietnam Era

I've been reading all of the discussion about whether or not a Marine, or any one for that matter, that served in the Service during the Vietnam War, but didn't go to Vietnam is to be considered a Vietnam War Veteran. Here is my take on the issue.

I joined our beloved Corps in June of 1968 and went to MCRDSD right out of high school. Upon completion of boot and ITR at Camp Pendleton I received orders to report to MCDEC Quantico, VA. There I was to become an armorer, or 2111. After school, I was given orders for MCB 29 Palms, California. I served there for about a year and then went to Marine Barracks, Rodman Canal Zone in Panama and served there for 13 months before returning to MCB Quantico. My final duty station was at MCAS El Toro, California. Where I served until April 1st 1975. While at MCAS El Toro, I became the NCOIC of the pistol range and really enjoyed serving there. That MOS was 8531 according to my SRB which I earned by way of OJT.

As you can see by the above I never made it to Vietnam during my tour of duty. I would have gone had I ever gotten the orders to go. I guess that the Marine Corps felt I was needed here in the states and in Panama instead. I am proud of my service and would gladly do it again if given the opportunity.

Since becoming a NOLOAD (no longer on active duty) Marine I have been able to join the American Legion and The Vietnam Veterans of America here in Texas. I am not eligible to join the VFW however since I did not serve overseas in a combat area. I first went to a VVA meeting at the request of an Army Vietnam Veteran who had informed me that anyone who served and was discharged honorably from the service could join no matter where they served in the world. I found this fact rather interesting and went to a couple of meetings before joining and eventually became a life member. The men of the chapter welcomed me as their brother. They all know that I and several other members are not actual combat veterans and that's cool with them. Women veterans may also join the VVA as full fledged members as long as they too were discharged honorably. Just check your area for a local VVA chapter for details.

However, the guys also know that I will not wear any cap or badge that states that I am a Vietnam War Veteran. What I am referring to here is the caps that show the ribbons that 'Nam Vets got for being in country. I do however wear a cap that says I am a Vietnam Era Veteran.

Just my two cents worth here.

Semper Fi,
Carl Conkling
Sgt of Marines
1968 - 1975​


Heavy Shooting

One of the tough, unpublicized jobs of the Pacific campaign has been that of picked teams of Marines and Seabees assigned to mop-up work on the tiny coral islands which surround larger, already captured atolls.

The assignment calls for many miniature invasions. Like their larger counterpart, each follows a familiar pattern. The islands are shelled in advance; H-Hour sees the initial wave swarming over the beaches, and each Jap fights to the death.

"You've heard what it's like to go through an invasion," says James R. Williams, CM2c, who Participated in one of these missions, "Well, multiply one of them by ten, and youll have an idea of how we felt after the last Jap outpost was cleaned out."

"And do our Marines go in for heavy shooting," the Seabee said sorrowfully, "I know... I carried the ammunition!"

John Ratomski


Lost And Found

Platoon 1114/ 1966

I'm front row, six in from the left. Anybody out there remember? If so drop me a line and let me know how you are doing.

Larry Curry
lcjp2340[at]aol.com

USMC Platoon 1114 in 1966


Short Rounds

Sgt. Grit,

Do you or any of our brother Marines know when the rank L/Cpl came to be? In 1958 I was an E3 Cpl. I left active duty April 1959 and when I received my DD214 my rank was listed as E3 L/Cpl. A rank that I never held and no one ever wore at that time. When I received my Honorable Discharge my rank was listed as E3 Cpl. I have since all these years have past, heard that in the transition period to L/Cpl that E3 Cpl's, E4Sgt's and up would hold their rank until promoted to E4 Cpl or E5 Sgt and so on. I would like to know if there is any information on this out there.

Semper Fi,
Cpl E Heyl 1612xxx


Sgt. Grit,

I got a nice surprise today, My (2) Jackets I ordered over the weekend came to my back door. Sure was delighted to get them [since they were my valentines day gift]... wife said order them, so like a good Marine I obeyed. I know I will be getting some great compliments on them, I'll let you all know what the Army says.

Thanks,
Sgt. Larry Walker
Nam '67-'70​


In boot in the '60s, I qualified as Marksman with M1 and B.A.R. Was awarded Rifle Marksman badge and B.A.R. 'bar' above it. Later, I qual'ed 'Expert' with the .45 and rec'd the pistol badge. Have looked and looked but cannot find B.A.R. 'bar' today. Looks like they had qual'd for bayonet and grenade as well at some point.


No changes, just keep it comin' every Thursday morning, so I can have my fix of USMC in my life. Gung Ho!

​Paul Cole


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 Marine Division Chaplain, Korean War


"There was always talk of espirit de corps, of being gung ho, and that must have been a part of it. Better, tougher training, more marksmanship on the firing range, the instant obedience to orders seared into men in boot camp."
--James Brady, columnist, novelist, Press Secretary to President Reagan, television personality and Marine


"A Marine will dive into the Jaws of Death and bring back the Jaw Bone."
--(WWII era Commedian whose Brother was a Marine)


"He shows the Resolute countenence of a Marine who just went through Hell and has lit his cigarette on the tines of the Devils pitchfork."
--(A Marine Serving in Iraq or Afganistan)


"Head and eyes straight to the front, heels together, feet at a 45 degree angle and thumbs along the seams of your trousers. Suck in that gut."

"What's your ninth general order, maggot?"

"A Marine recruit is a green amphibious animal that thrives on Horse Sh-t!"

Fair winds and following seas.
Sgt Grit

©2015 Sgt Grit Inc
All rights reserved
7100 SW 44th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73179
888-NOV-1775
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Sgt Grit Newsletter 19 FEB 2015
If you are having trouble viewing this issue, see it on our website:
http://www.grunt.com/corps/newsletter/10449/

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 19 FEB 2015

In this issue:
• L/Cpl James Fuller
• USNS Lewis B. Puller Christened
• Patron Saint Of Artillery

Online Store TShirts Men's Headgear Patches Women's

Flags   Family Member   Ka-Bars   Auto   Headgear  Jackets  ALL CATEGORIES  

Request a catalog
Facebook Twitter Sgt Grit Blog Sgt Grit's RSS Feeds

Sgt Grit,

Hope that you enjoy, just a little insight into "Woody". The awesome story of Hershel Woody Williams, the last living recipient of the Medal Of Honor from the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War 2. A Medal Of Honor recipient, a family man, and an all-around awesome person!

Watch the interview of the Super Awesome: Hershel Woody Williams.

Semper Fi,
R.L. "Rick" Given
Board of Trustee's
Hershel "Woody" Williams Medal of Honor Foundation


Silence

The attached picture was taken at MCAS Iwakuni in 1970. That's me in the B/N seat of a VMA(aw)533 A6A. After I posted this picture to my Facebook page, my daughter posted "My Dad's cooler than your dad!" One of her friends replied, "My Dad was a pilot (Vietnam)." My daughter's response, "My Dad is a Marine." Her friends response, silence!

Cpl. Gregory Hockenberry
1967 - 1971
VMA(aw)533 '69-'70


L/Cpl James Fuller

It is with a heavy heart that I must advise all of the passing of L/Cpl James Fuller. He was a proud member of the 11th Marine Regiment serving in the Republic of Vietnam in 1969 and 1970. He has left behind two grieving families, The Fuller family and our Marine Corps Family.

I would like to address the Marine Corps Family and our brothers, Our Corpsmen.

To those Marines of the past, know that their legacy was always remembered by L/Cpl Fuller. Names like Santo Domingo, Belleau Wood, Verdun, Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, Bougainville, Saipan, Peleliu, Chosin Reservoir, and so many more were studied and honored by L/Cpl Fuller. He would always stop and say hello to older Marines that preceded him in the Corps. Their legacy was secure.

To the Marines of the Vietnam era, L/Cpl Fuller would always stop and chat. Welcome home was said daily to a vet and always with sincerity and a smile. Although he did not hear it often enough, he would always add "great job". Places like Hue and Khe Sanh were always spoken of with reverence. Operations named Oklahoma Hills, Taylor Common, Arizona were always remembered with a prayer. His service in that conflict was a source of pride that lasted to the last breath. Three of his fellow 11th Marines were honored to see L/Cpl Fuller shortly before his passing. Cpl Gugliotta, Sgt Whitton, and S/Sgt Huntsinger reminisced about at the end of every conversation he would always say: "I love you Buddy". At the time of his passing, His watch partner at 11th Marines, and also his best friend, Cpl John Gugliotta was at his side.

To the Marines serving in this era under the names Operation Desert Shield, Somalia, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Provide Comfort, Operation Enduring Freedom, and so many others that tested the resolve of our Corps; know that each and every day you were prayed for and supported without hesitation or reservation by L/Cpl Fuller.

Finally, to those young men and women who have not earned the title United States Marine, know that the words Semper Fidelis are not a motto or a catch phrase. Those words are a lifestyle. The words Honor, Courage, and Commitment are not goals. Those words are what defines a Marine. If you want to have the privilege of wearing the uniform and earning the title, look at the life of L/Cpl Fuller. He is your guide. He is a Marine.

(Pictured from L-R: Cpl Gugliotta, SSgt Huntsinger, Sgt Whitton (Sgt Grit), and L/Cpl Fuller)

Semper Fi!
S/Sgt Huntsinger


Made Me Smile

I was part of the Marine Detachment aboard the USS Princeton when HMM 163 came aboard in the early 1960's. As I recall, they were in WestPac with us and they never left. We got to return and HMM 163 stayed on. As part of ship's company, we were responsible for the maintenance of certain areas of the ship... our Division (OS) had the responsibility of maintaining a couple of troop compartments... one of them was the compartment that housed HMM 163... while cleaning up, I picked up the attached... not sure who wrote it, but, it made me laugh and I must have put it in my pocket... I was cleaning out my seabag (getting ready to toss all of my "junk"), when I ran across this and it still made me smile! Remember the song, "MTA"? Poor ole Charlie!

Howard Hada
#19898xxx


P.O.W. Network

Our friends at the P.O.W. Network have assisted us for years on determining the actual validity of decorated Marine Corps veterans from the posers seeking to benefit from Stolen Valor. Recently, we received a picture from the network Chairman, Mary Schantag, showing a display of what a poser may look like. Semper Fi ladies and gents.

Find out more about the P.O.W. Network at:

P.O.W. Network

Think that you know a poser? Visit the Fake Warriors website at:

Fake Warriors


Old Corps Shooting Badge

In the 12 Feb 15 edition, Sgt George Cale provided a picture of an Old Corps (shooting) badge. This was commonly called the Basic (Weapons Qualification) Badge and was adopted about 1937 and used until approx. 1959-60 (sources vary).

The badge had suspended bars - worn 'ladder style' - for a variety of weapons, such as TSMG (Thompson Submachine Gun), BAR (Browning Auto Rifle), hand grenades, bayonet, pistol, several artillery pieces, and such. There were bars marked for Ex, SS and MM. For Reserves, some weapons had a 'B' suffix for the B Course of Fire used by Reserves.

Many WWII photos show veterans wearing these Basic Badges to the left of their primary shooting badge on the green or blue blouse.

Prior to 1937 the Marines used a US Army style shooting badge, much like those worn today by Doggies.

C. Stoney Brook
Old 782 Gear
1961-65


USNS Lewis B. Puller Christened

General Dynamics NASSCO, on Saturday christened the U.S. Navy's newest ship, the USNS Lewis B. Puller (MLP-3 AFSB). The ship is named in honor of the late U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant General Lewis "Chesty" Puller, the most decorated Marine and the only one to be awarded five Navy Crosses.

The Saturday morning christening ceremony took place at NASSCO's San Diego shipyard with the commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., as the ceremony's principal speaker. Ms. Martha Puller Downs, daughter of General Puller, served as the ship's sponsor. She christened the ship by breaking the traditional bottle of champagne against the vessel's hull.

"Today was a proud moment for the thousands of men and women involved with the design and construction of the USNS Lewis B. Puller," said Kevin M. Graney, vice president and general manager of the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard. "Like its namesake, Lieutenant General Lewis B. Puller, the ship signifies strength and increased mobility and capability to support a variety of missions carried out by the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy."

This third Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) is the first ship of the class to be configured as an Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB), adding a flight deck, berthing, fuel storage, equipment storage, repair spaces, and accommodations for up to 250 personnel. The ship is capable of supporting missions including counter-piracy operations, maritime security operations, humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions and Marine Corps crisis response.

USNS Lewis B. Puller will be delivered to the Navy in the second quarter of 2015.


I Volunteered

To all Marines who wonder if they are Nam vets (or era). I volunteered for the Marine Corps in 1969 when there was a draft. I had around six months of training all in Calif. Got orders for Camp Lejeune, N.C. I advised them that I joined to go to Nam and I got my wish. Bravo 1/11 1st Mar. Div. I was awarded the Combat Action Ribbon plus others. Plt. 3118 San Diego. So some of you say "I was not ordered to Nam," I say "I Volunteered!"

L/CPL Corrales, C.E.
El Paso, Texas​


Seeing Of The Light

Sgt. Grit,

I was in from 1963 to 1967 - and the Drill Instructors sometimes manhandled you back then - they had a short time during training to whip you into shape as a unit - and sometimes had to do what was needed to instill the - "Seeing of the Light" for inspiration?

One guy was a wimp - (or not as squared away as others) a slow learner and scared of the Drill Instructor - and literally was SCARED SH-TLESS - when singled out. One day we were doing an exercise called the "Rocker" and the D I was annoyed at some of our responses to getting it the right way. The D I went to this guy and used his foot to correct the recruit - but something went wrong and the recruit hit his chin wrong and started bleeding heavily - he was taken to the hospital and questioned by the series commander - guy was told to tell the truth and nothing would happen to him - as he would be placed in another platoon and lose no time in training either. Recruit said he was a clutz and it was his own fault for not properly listening to D I? Series Commander was p-ssed - and sent him back to platoon. Guy was a hero after that - and the other guys helped him overcome any difficulties in the future. We were a team of recruits and hoped to be Marines eventually. It molded the group.

We all got love taps for one reason or another. I spoke to our New Corps - and they say the D I cannot use their hands to emphasize a point any more. Hey, I think we were better off then then now - we were in Vietnam then and mistakes would cost lives back then.

Amazed at the gear we carry into combat today - and how much gear is needed in the field today. Heavier rifles - that can shot bullets or mini grenades - more than one weapon for each Marine - ammo - etc. I was not a big dude - but we all carried our own weight back then - and we went to the gym - and had weights in the squad bay - but a new respect for the new Marines - was working at a facility and was asked when I was in by a big guy - huge shoulders - tats - and a very friendly Marine - (served in Afghanistan ).

ONE DAY - even had 4 Marines in Dress Blues ask me for directions during lunch in New York City - there was (1) Gunny - (2) S/SGT's and a M/SGT - (they looked so young with all that rank) but us old salts can say - we've been there and done that too!

What are our Brothers comments on this!

Bruce Bender
1963-1967 CPL.


Patron Saint Of Artillery

'Harassing and Interdiction", or "H&I" fires (by artillery) as they were known before somebody decided 'Terrain Denial Mission' was nicer, were pretty common in Viet Nam... on both sides, come to think of it, although Charlie (the VC), and the NVA didn't, to my limited knowledge, use ammo to deny us the use of an area for staging... or farming, as we did to them. H&I might be observed fire... or just pre-planned into an area where the bad guys might be known or suspected to use, any time of the night or day. Most of the 'incoming' mortars and/or rockets I happened to be in the area of in two years was indeed harassing... could mess up your whole day, but not even at Khe Sanh (I was never there...) did it totally interdict (stop) the accomplishment of the mission.

There are lots of adages (don't say "old adage"... that's redundant... to be an adage, it has to be old, and don't make me repeat myself again) about incoming rounds, some probably dating back to the time when Saint Barbara (Patron Saint of Artillery) had yet to come up with the recipe for that swill known as 'Artillery Punch'... it will be a minority of readers who have never heard "you never hear the one that gets you"... or, "I'm not worried about the one with my name on it, but there sure seems to be a lot of them addressed 'to whom it may concern'"... and others.

Depending on your unit, and its locale during the time you were there, what you got shot at with was kinda like Grandpa's underwear... 'all depends'... but the most common denominator would have been mortars... either a 60 or 82MM type. In the northern parts, the NVA had some big-azz towed pieces with a pretty good range on them. 152MM, Russian design, might have been either Russian or Chinese built. Some of these, (two, I think) were captured by the Ninth Marines during Dewey Canyon, and brought back to the land of the big PX. Just to make sure that credit went where credit was due, it was directed that the pertinent info would be welded onto the trails... and so it was done.

Any decent stick welder can write with his arc, leaving a bead of steel standing an eighth of an inch or so proud of the base metal... and even if that is ground off (by a jealous sister service type... won't name names, but it begins with an 'A')... the heat-affected zone in the base metal can still be discerned. Dong Ha complex, home to Force Logistics Support Group Bravo... 'Floosie B', at one time was within range of NVA artillery... and there was a story about an Engineer (or maybe a communicator, wireman), who was headed for office hours, because instead of running to a bunker when incoming was coming in, used his pole-climbing equipment, and climbed to the top of a utility pole... his reasoning being that in that fashion, he would present the smallest possible target... made sense to me...

Charlie's version of H&I by 1970 consisted of two versions of a Russian/ChiCom rocket... a 120MM and a 140MM. These were hardly pin-point accuracy missiles, but an excellent choice for 'harassment'. The launchers were two boards, arranged in a "V", and those were propped against a paddy dike, adjusted for launch angle by adding or removing dirt, and fired by a time delay device. The CPE, or Circular Probable Error for these things was 'one grid square'... meaning that on a good day, the thing would come down somewhere within an area 1,000 meters on a side. The time delay device might be a can or bucket filled with water, having an electrical wire attached to the bottom, with another attached to a nail driven through a board floating on the water... punch a hole in the can, and after the water has slowly trickled out, the board and nail would have sunk enough to make contact and complete the circuit, firing the rocket(s). By this time, Ol' Charlie, having used the cool of the morning to hump these things out to the paddy and set them up, has long since repaired to his hooch, and is trying to convince his spouse that it is a good time for some 'afternoon delight'... and a long way from any 'counter-battery fire' coming in...

The 175MM gun battery at An Hoa during my vacation there, got to shoot a lot of H&I... they could reach a loooooong way out there, and did... almost always with 72 round missions... I finally asked the Battery XO, why it always seemed to be 72 rounds? His reply was 'it's simple... six rounds per pallet, two pallets per gun (there were six in position)... 72... makes the book keeping easier... Since they were almost always shooting over the cantonment, out to the south and south west, a lot of those rounds went over my hooch... 'Whap' (the round going overhead) followed by 'boom'... the muzzle report... absolutely harrassment!... I couldn't keep a 100watt light bulb more than a day or two... either the whap or the boom would take'm out, every time.

BTW... incoming?... you might think that among the 'safest' MOS's, would be 'rations clerk'... wrong, REMF breath... had three medevacs from a mortar round, and the LSU-1 Gunny was WIANE from a piece of that...

​ Ddick


Chicken Fat

I was there! I was in Kilo Company! Weapons Platoon... 0331... Because I had a set of Dress Blues (Sea Duty), I escorted Vicki Carr down the "red carpet" as she sang, "You're a Grand Old Flag"... as memory serves me, we filmed this on the roof of CBS Studios...

This was a special program for physical fitness (Remember doing pushups and side straddle hops in the parking lot of CBS Studios?). Our President, John F. Kennedy was pushing physical fitness for the youth of America at the time... The program was a Meredith Wison production called, "Chicken Fat"...

This song should trigger some memories for you... I know it certainly did for me!

Listen the song "Chicken Fat".

Howard Hada
1989xxx


Vietnam Era

I've been reading all of the discussion about whether or not a Marine, or any one for that matter, that served in the Service during the Vietnam War, but didn't go to Vietnam is to be considered a Vietnam War Veteran. Here is my take on the issue.

I joined our beloved Corps in June of 1968 and went to MCRDSD right out of high school. Upon completion of boot and ITR at Camp Pendleton I received orders to report to MCDEC Quantico, VA. There I was to become an armorer, or 2111. After school, I was given orders for MCB 29 Palms, California. I served there for about a year and then went to Marine Barracks, Rodman Canal Zone in Panama and served there for 13 months before returning to MCB Quantico. My final duty station was at MCAS El Toro, California. Where I served until April 1st 1975. While at MCAS El Toro, I became the NCOIC of the pistol range and really enjoyed serving there. That MOS was 8531 according to my SRB which I earned by way of OJT.

As you can see by the above I never made it to Vietnam during my tour of duty. I would have gone had I ever gotten the orders to go. I guess that the Marine Corps felt I was needed here in the states and in Panama instead. I am proud of my service and would gladly do it again if given the opportunity.

Since becoming a NOLOAD (no longer on active duty) Marine I have been able to join the American Legion and The Vietnam Veterans of America here in Texas. I am not eligible to join the VFW however since I did not serve overseas in a combat area. I first went to a VVA meeting at the request of an Army Vietnam Veteran who had informed me that anyone who served and was discharged honorably from the service could join no matter where they served in the world. I found this fact rather interesting and went to a couple of meetings before joining and eventually became a life member. The men of the chapter welcomed me as their brother. They all know that I and several other members are not actual combat veterans and that's cool with them. Women veterans may also join the VVA as full fledged members as long as they too were discharged honorably. Just check your area for a local VVA chapter for details.

However, the guys also know that I will not wear any cap or badge that states that I am a Vietnam War Veteran. What I am referring to here is the caps that show the ribbons that 'Nam Vets got for being in country. I do however wear a cap that says I am a Vietnam Era Veteran.

Just my two cents worth here.

Semper Fi,
Carl Conkling
Sgt of Marines
1968 - 1975​


Heavy Shooting

One of the tough, unpublicized jobs of the Pacific campaign has been that of picked teams of Marines and Seabees assigned to mop-up work on the tiny coral islands which surround larger, already captured atolls.

The assignment calls for many miniature invasions. Like their larger counterpart, each follows a familiar pattern. The islands are shelled in advance; H-Hour sees the initial wave swarming over the beaches, and each Jap fights to the death.

"You've heard what it's like to go through an invasion," says James R. Williams, CM2c, who Participated in one of these missions, "Well, multiply one of them by ten, and youll have an idea of how we felt after the last Jap outpost was cleaned out."

"And do our Marines go in for heavy shooting," the Seabee said sorrowfully, "I know... I carried the ammunition!"

John Ratomski


Lost And Found

Platoon 1114/ 1966

I'm front row, six in from the left. Anybody out there remember? If so drop me a line and let me know how you are doing.

Larry Curry
lcjp2340[at]aol.com


Short Rounds

Sgt. Grit,

Do you or any of our brother Marines know when the rank L/Cpl came to be? In 1958 I was an E3 Cpl. I left active duty April 1959 and when I received my DD214 my rank was listed as E3 L/Cpl. A rank that I never held and no one ever wore at that time. When I received my Honorable Discharge my rank was listed as E3 Cpl. I have since all these years have past, heard that in the transition period to L/Cpl that E3 Cpl's, E4Sgt's and up would hold their rank until promoted to E4 Cpl or E5 Sgt and so on. I would like to know if there is any information on this out there.

Semper Fi,
Cpl E Heyl 1612xxx


Sgt. Grit,

I got a nice surprise today, My (2) Jackets I ordered over the weekend came to my back door. Sure was delighted to get them [since they were my valentines day gift]... wife said order them, so like a good Marine I obeyed. I know I will be getting some great compliments on them, I'll let you all know what the Army says.

Thanks,
Sgt. Larry Walker
Nam '67-'70​


In boot in the '60s, I qualified as Marksman with M1 and B.A.R. Was awarded Rifle Marksman badge and B.A.R. 'bar' above it. Later, I qual'ed 'Expert' with the .45 and rec'd the pistol badge. Have looked and looked but cannot find B.A.R. 'bar' today. Looks like they had qual'd for bayonet and grenade as well at some point.


No changes, just keep it comin' every Thursday morning, so I can have my fix of USMC in my life. Gung Ho!

​Paul Cole


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 Marine Division Chaplain, Korean War


"There was always talk of espirit de corps, of being gung ho, and that must have been a part of it. Better, tougher training, more marksmanship on the firing range, the instant obedience to orders seared into men in boot camp."
--James Brady, columnist, novelist, Press Secretary to President Reagan, television personality and Marine


"A Marine will dive into the Jaws of Death and bring back the Jaw Bone."
--(WWII era Commedian whose Brother was a Marine)


"He shows the Resolute countenence of a Marine who just went through Hell and has lit his cigarette on the tines of the Devils pitchfork."
--(A Marine Serving in Iraq or Afganistan)


"Head and eyes straight to the front, heels together, feet at a 45 degree angle and thumbs along the seams of your trousers. Suck in that gut."

"What's your ninth general order, maggot?"

"A Marine recruit is a green amphibious animal that thrives on Horse Sh-t!"

Fair winds and following seas.
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 12 FEB 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 12 FEB 2015

In this issue:
• My Jacket Honors My Service
• Camouflage Combat Uniforms
• Sillyvilian Asked

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Unit Pride

The Walking Dead 1st Battalion 9th Marines T-shirtThe Walking Dead 1st Battalion 9th Marines T-shirt


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1st Battalion 23rd Marines T-shirt1st Battalion 23rd Marines T-shirt


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Marine Vietnam Veteran Barn Decoration

Sgt Grit,

My wife had our barn roof painted to salute the Ospreys as the fly over our property. We live about 80 miles south of New River Air Station, Camp Lejeune, NC and the Ospreys do touch-and-go training exercises at our local airport.

Cpl David Dorsett, RVN 1965, USMC


One Of The Guys

One of the guys from the fire hall bought this motor home and this mural was on the back. I thought it looked good.

​ Cpl Jerry Knavel
11th Marines '69-'70

Iwo Jima Flag Raising mural on back of RV


2nd Battalion, 1st Marines

Got my 2/1 shirt today from Sgt Grit Marine Specialties. Thanks for another great product Sgt Grit and Staff. Semper Fi!

Scott Yoder

Browse all of our Marine Corps Unit Apparel!

Scott's Sgt Grit Unit T-shirt


Hands In The Pockets

Throw back Thursday image of Marine General and Officers

All I can say is it must have been a rought day! The picture is cool, 1942 and all, and it was a relaxed moment. But all I can think about is how many times I was asked if I was in the Airwing. Mind you, I was a P.F.C. several times and my time in was 1975 to 1979. No war, no sweat, but hey peacetime could be rough. The lifers bored sh-tless and us sh-tbirds just trying to get by without being dressed down that day. Amtrackers ain't known to be the poster Marine type, but hands in the pockets? Come on! I guess there wasn't a broom handy!

Semper Fi - Do or Die,
LCpl McChesney
2nd Amtrac Bn
Courthouse Bay, N.C.


Not As Lean Long Sleeve Pocket Tee


My Jacket Honors My Service

USMC Firefighter jacket front

USMC Firefighter jacket back

In your last newsletter you had a Fire Fighter and a Marine with 'follow your dreams'. I was a Fire Fighter for 36 years in Rochester New York and in the Marine Reserve for 6 years. I had a jacket made up to honor both. The front of the jacket has a Maltese Cross with 9-11 on the inside and Never Forget for the Twin Towers. The other side the Eagle Globe and Anchor with Semper Fidelis. On the back it says it all. The Jacket is worn by my son Cameron for the picture.

Cpl. Girvin
USMCR xxxx872


Old Corps Badge

Here is something that I've never seen before. I was talking with this woman who was giving haircuts and she said her dad served in the Marines in the WWII. She then brought out his ribbons and medals. Wow, it was something to see something that I've never seen before. I took a few pictures so I could pass it along. Enjoy!

Sgt George E. Cale III
'71 - '74

WWII USMC rifle, bayonet, and hand grenade badge


Grunt Cheerleaders

Larry's granddaughters wearing USMC cheerleader outfits

Dear fellow Jarheads,

Here with my granddaughters Morgan (age 5, on left) and Madison (age 4) in their Grunt cheerleader outfits you recently sent me. They indeed will make beautiful WMs in about 16 years.

Larry Schnabel
USMCR-R 1963-1966

Get this for your Devil Pup at:

USMC Toddler Jersey Cheer Dress

USMC Toddler Jersey Cheer Dress


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Feel More Alive

I just read Cpl Eric Stump's letter and it brought back many memories. When he mentioned the rain and mud I thought about the times I laid in that soup in Vietnam so many years ago. However the thing that stuck out in the letter was when he said, "... after all my years of service, training to fight and fighting on our nation's behalf of freedom and safety I found myself not in service to my true calling, my obligation, my oath to protect this nation. I found myself laying on my barracks room floor, wishing I was still in Afghanistan." I know I had and still have those feelings of wanting to be back there. I think most, if not all who served in combat have those feelings.

I may be wrong but I think the reason for this is many; First, and above all, being that close to death makes you feel more alive then anything else in life. Second, it was a simpler time. You knew what had to be done almost without thinking about it. You didn't have to think about what to wear, what to eat, what your buddies were up to, or the thousands of things that life dumps on you every day. Third, the friendships you formed were the strongest you well ever make in life. Fourth, is just what was stated in the letter. It was what we trained for from the minute we entered to Corps and now it's over. I think everyone who retires or hangs up their jersey for the last time has those feelings as well.

And so, what can one do about it? The thing is, not everything you learned in the Corps will carry over into your new life. However, some things will and you need to set down with a paper and pencil and write down everything the Marines taught you. Some will carry forward into your new life. It's been almost 50 years since I fought in Vietnam and now I'm 75 pounds heavier then when I came back from there. I wish there would have been someone who would have had a Marine Corps type of exercise program to keep us in shape. Maybe you are the one to start that. I also spent several years writing a book about my time in Vietnam that I hope others will learn from. Maybe before those things escape you, you may want to try that. It is also a great way to deal with what you have gone through.

It can be a bright new world out there for you... go for the gold... attack the day, don't let the day just happen to you.

Semper Fi Brother,
Ron Hoffman USMC
Charlie Battery 1/13
RVN 1966-'67​


Camouflage Combat Uniforms

In the previous Sgt. Grit Newsletter, we outlined the basic utility uniforms worn by Marines from pre-WWII through Vietnam.

​As far back as 1940, the Marines considered camouflage combat uniforms but the first recorded use was by Carlson's Raiders (2nd Raider Battalion) in August, 1942. For the Makin Island raid, some of the Marines dyed their khaki uniforms black.

The first officially adopted uniform was the Model (M) 1942 one-piece reversible Jungle Suit as used by the US Army. This had a multi-shade green mottled 'cloud' (called 'frogskin') pattern that reversed to mottled brown/tan 'clouds.' Very awkward to use when nature called - especially under fire - and quite hot in tropics, it wasn't too popular.

In May, 1942, the Marines adopted a two-piece camouflage suit modeled after the P41 sage green utility uniform, with multi-green 'frogskin' reversing to brown/tan. Unlike the P41 utilities, the camo uniform used the Army herringbone twill material. The jacket has the USMC/EGA stenciled on the left breast pocket and displayed on both sides. Unlike other Marine utilities, this has domed snap fastener closure instead of the bronze/steel riveted version marked 'US Marine Corps'. This uniform remained in use into the Korean War and photos suggest some were still in use by Recon units even later.

NOTE: Over the years (1940-present), Marines have used specialized camo, like white parkas for artic conditions or Ghillie sniper suits. Those variants won't be addressed here.

In late 1942 the Marines adopted the classic camouflage helmet cover, using the same reversible 'frogskin' pattern in cotton twill. This helmet cover became the icon of Marines fighting in the Pacific and was worn through the Korean War (1950-53) era. The Marines (and Navy shore parties) received a reversible camo poncho in this same 'frogskin' pattern, with Marines also being issued a shelter half and securing straps to match. The shelter half is seen in many films and photos, worn rolled horseshoe-style over the Marine field marching/transport pack.

In 1959 the 'Mitchell' camouflage pattern helmet cover was adopted. This used a three tone green 'wine leaf' and red-brown 'branches' design, with a hint of yellow, interspersed on a light green background, and reversed to a brown/tan/sand mottled 'cloud' pattern. A matching 'Mitchell' shelter half was provided, although not as widely issued as a simple olive green [OD] version. The shelter halves had matching straps to secure the rolled shelter, blanket, tent pins & rope together, them using web straps, affixed horseshoe-style over the haversack.

The Mitchell pattern was used for US Marine and US Army helmet covers throughout the Vietnam War and into the mid-1970s when the Woodland pattern was adopted.

NOTE: The author has owned several in-country made full suits or jackets, dating to1960-61, created from the Mitchell pattern shelter halves (actually too hot to be practical) and commercially made hunting suits/jackets using a lighter weight cotton in this pattern. The author recalls seat and windshield covers for the M422 "Mighty Mite" (the USMC's AMC Jeep substitute) made on Okinawa from Mitchell shelter halves.

The commercial Mitchell pattern, along with a cloud-based pattern commonly called 'duck hunter' in shades of greens or browns, was used by early US Marine and Army Special Forces advisors in Vietnam.

With the US entry into the Vietnam War, US Marine Corps advisors assigned to the South Vietnamese Marine Corps [SVNMC] often wore the tiger stripe 'sea wave' pattern uniform of that service with a 'US Marines' embroidered tape worn over the left breast pocket. The SVNMC adopted this style uniform in 1956 and its use continued through 1972.

As mentioned in Part 1, the Marines used the ERDL camouflage Tropical Combat rip-stop cotton poplin utility uniform, based on the Third Pattern OG107 (olive green) uniform, circa 1968. This uniform was issued in either lime-green and brown-dominate patterns to better match the various micro-climates of Vietnam (mountains/jungle or coastal). There was a matching full-brim 'boonie' hat provided but no helmet cover. Although issued unmarked, documented examples show the EGA iron-on transfer on the left breast pocket flap and USMC on the gusseted pocket.

In the late 1970's (post-Vietnam War), the services began to adopt the Woodland pattern utility uniform. Made of cotton/poly blends, it used a pattern of green, black and tans to provide camo under varied situations. During the next few years, the uniform was modified several times by changing materials, pocket design, and other features. The author has observed no less than six variations dated from 1974 to 1985. The USMC/EGA was applied to the left breast pocket using an iron-on transfer and an embroidered name tape applied over the right breast pocket.

In the mid-1980's, the Battle Dress Utility uniform [BDU] using a cotton/poly blend material was adopted. In 1989, the uniform was also made in rip-stop cotton. This camo pattern was 1.6 times larger than the earlier Woodland pattern and used special dyes to reduce infrared signature. Again, several variants of this uniform exist. This pattern used the sewn-on name tape (right breast) and a 'US Marines' tape over the left breast.

In 1990, the six-color [browns/tan/black/white] Desert Battle Dress Utility uniform (called the 'chocolate chip' pattern) was adopted, along with a Nighttime Desert Grid pattern. This was the uniform commonly worn during the (First) Gulf War of August 1990 to February 1991.

In 1992, the simplified three-color [browns/black] Desert Combat Uniform (called the 'coffee stain' pattern) was adopted. Both Desert uniform designs used sewn-on name tapes and branch of service tapes.

The Desert Combat Uniform [DCU] 'coffee stain' was used in the early years of the Iraq War (2003-05) until phased out for the MARPAT uniform.

Circa 2004-05, the Marine Corps discarded the all-services BDU/DCUs in favor of the MARPAT digital design. This uses a unique pattern of greens (tropical) or browns (arid) computer-designed grids to create a camouflage effect. Official USMC utilities have a small EGA/USMC icon imbedded randomly throughout the design. Like the previous uniforms, sewn-on name tapes and US Marine tapes are used. This pattern is currently in use.

For future articles, we'll describe the evolution of Marine Corps '782 gear'... What did the Marines do differently than the Doggies for web gear and why is it called '782 gear'?

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


No Thanks

I got this story second hand (third?) from my daughter who got it from a teacher. At the school complex that encloses three separate schools, (elementary, middle and high school) my eight year old granddaughter was attending a presentation by mixed service representatives that did NOT include any Marines. They had a jet to display, much talk, etc. She raised her hand and when recognized asked, "When are the Marines going to be here?". One of the servicemen replied that "we represent all services." She came back with, "So, no Marines are going to be here?" He said, "no, but we can help you with your questions." She simply replied, "No thanks." and turned away. I understand every adult present fell out laughing! I would LOVE to have seen it!

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


Sillyvilian​ Asked

Hot dang!... finally, something that I know something about!... that being the 175... supported them at An Hoa for about six months in '70... and had staff cognizance (was the Ordnance Ossifer at higher) over a couple batteries at 29 Palms in the mid-70's... First and Third batteries, from fuzzy memory... three tours in that particular sand pile can affect the brain... Regarding barrel life... this can get a bit complicated, so bear with me. The early barrels had an "EFC" or Effective Full Charge life of 375 rounds. There were three different charges... charge 3 was an Effective Full Charge. Beyond that, arithmetic came in... if they were shooting closer in, with, for example, charge 1, it took three rounds to equal one Effective Full Charge... or, maybe a charge 1 for a mission, followed by a charge two... equaling an EFC. Keeping accurate log books was important, as reaching the 375 EFC total meant a barrel change... which was not a task you were going to accomplish with the $49.95 hundred piece tool set from Sears. Our cannon mech crew at LSU-1 an An Hoa usually did the swap with one M543 5-ton truck wrecker, and a borrowed LVT-R1 (amtrack maintenance version... had a boom on it that could handle the weight.) Gunny Flannagan and his crew once pulled off a swap in less than an hour from parking the carriage until it drove away. Bear in mind that the swap also meant that the breech mechanism had to come off the old barrel and be threaded onto a new one, along with disconnecting and reconnecting the recoil mechanism. Later barrels, known as "auto-frettage" barrels, had a much longer EFC life... not real sure, but it may have been as high as a thousand EFC rounds. Shipping the things meant a tractor-trailer, which could carry two... they didn't always make it back to Da Nang and the Defense Property Disposal lot (run by Dept of the Army Civilians)... I think we may have buried a couple at An Hoa, for lack of retrograde shipping. Besides the EFC count, there were a couple other ways that a barrel might be condemmed. Artillery (and tank main guns) were subjected to periodic inspection by borescope, and 'pull-over' gauge. The borescope came in several sections that screwed together, took 110V power for the built-in light, and had optics and a angled mirror that allowed the operator to visually inspect the length of the bore for heat checking, cracks, erosion, etc. (If you saw this monster, you would complain less about a colonoscopy...).

The pull-over gauge was a flat plate with a vernier scale on it, with a sliding section, and two toggles. It would be inserted, folded nearly flat, and as it was 'pulled-over' past center, would measure the interior diameter of the bore at specific distances from the breech. During my time at An Hoa, 3rd Guns had two in-bore premature detonations... the first splintered the barrel (we lost some infantry Marines in their tent) on that one, and the second one cut the barrel neatly in two, with the b-tt falling on the transmission cover... the aluminum valve body on top of the tranny looked like a hot spoon had scooped through a pound of butter.

Aberdeen Proving Grounds flew a civilian expert all the way from Maryland to look at the problem... he really, really didn't want to be there. The VIP helo landed close to the gun position, and the blades were still turning, when the sillyvilian asked "ever had this before?"... Battery XO said, yeah, once... couple months ago. With that the expert said "I dunno what you had before, but you got it again... ship all the pieces to Aberdeen"... and went an got back in the Huey.

I think that if you look it up, you will find that the muzzle velocity of the 175, fired at charge 3, is the same as an M-16 firing ball... and the obturator pad, AKA 'gas check pad' in the breech assembly of a 175, also fits the 8". Long story to go with that, for another time.

Ddick


Vicariously Relive​

50 years ago today, I was on mess duty at MCAS Cherry Point and next month would extend my tour of active duty by three months so I could go to Viet Nam with Bravo Battery 3rd LAAM Bn. At the time, I had no appreciation for what I had because I was a rebellious individual and bridled at authority. To this day, I say the Corps and I were incompatible and it's true. It took me almost 50 years to gain appreciation for that period of my life. I've always been proud of being a Marine but never had the inclination to go back and do it again. All that has changed in the Fall of my life. On the occasions when I'm told, "Thank you for your service." I usually reply, "It was my pleasure. I'd go back and do it again but I get to be 17 years old again." and incompatible or not, I mean it. Thank you Sgt. Grit for allowing me to vicariously relive that most important part of my life through your weekly newsletters. I appreciate the newsletter and the Marines who contribute to it, more than you will ever know.

Semper Fi,
Cpl. Jerry D.
USMC 1962-1966
RVN 1965-1966


A Jarhead's Journey

I am a decorated combat veteran that served as an adviser to the 1st Division of ARVN along the DMZ in 1965 and 1966. I take the most pride in one thing along with my brothers and sisters who served in the Corps: War or peace time, combat or combat support (1) we all signed that blank check, (2) earned the title of Marine, and (3) paid that check in full with an honorable discharge. Semper Fi!

(Capt.) Jim Lowe

Available in paperback form at "A Jarhead's Journey".

All royalties donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.


Old WWI Vet

Cootie removal tool closed

Cootie removal tool open

Sgt. Grit,

Some years ago I was visiting an Old WWI Vet. We talked about our wars and he said, one of the biggest problems of WWI was the "COOTIE's" which were lice. He showed me the outfit he made to help remove cooties which was much like the one I have shown here, the date on this cartridge head is 1917. When they were relieved from the front lines and moved to the rear area they started big fires and got great pots of water boiling. They took their clothes off and dropped them in the boiling water, while the clothes were boiling they bathed usually like I did in my three wars, in a small basin (helmet) of water. The clothes were taken out dried and put on again free of "Cooties". The VFW even had a "COOTIE" Club after the war for the guys that served in the trenches and suffered "COOTIE's". The club was phased out after some of the other wars we had to fight. I would imagine that Iran and Iraq have some dandy bugs.

Gy. Sgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Boot Camp Buddies

Boot Camp photos of Marines 1958

Reunion of Marine buddies in 2014

Hi Sgt Grit,

In March of 2012 I submitted a story about my foolish act at MCRDPI rifle range back in 1958, which appeared in Sgt Grit newsletter of April 5, 2012. Surprisingly, another member of my boot camp Platoon 281 happened to see it and requested my contact info. After receiving notice from Sgt Grit I promptly and eagerly replied and days later I received an email from that Parris Island "boot camp buddy" Richard "Rich" Robbins on the west coast. We both thought it a little amazing, that after 56 years, we once youthful, 17 year old Marine recruits, now 73 and 74 year old senior (Marine) citizens, were suddenly re-connected by an electronic device called email. Needless to say, this mutually unexpected reunion has been enjoyable for both of us, engaging in nostalgic boot camp recollections and typical USMC scuttlebutt. Comparing notes we find our civilian lives and interests have many similarities, plus we both still adhere to certain Marine Corps habits, such as grabbing our shirt-sides, pulling them tightly-in backward then stuffing them into the backside of our trousers and also, aligning the edges of our shirt-front, belt buckle and zipper flap of our trousers. And don't even think of stepping on our shined (for the most part) shoes.

Both Rich and I hail from different parts of eastern Massachusetts but while I still live here Rich (smartly) relocated to California in the early 80's. We didn't know each other at the time of our individual enlistments but assuredly, we must have been on the same train that July of 1958 from Boston to Yemassee, and on that nice bus to PI. We ended up in the same platoon for those 13 awesome weeks of hell and graduation day of October 1958 was the last time we would muster together, until June of 2014.

We both pulled the same duty station, 1st Mar. Div., Camp Pendleton but as typical, our paths never again crossed (including ITR Camp Geiger at Lejeune). Rich was assigned to 3rd Amtrac Bn (Camp Del Mar) for a year then to electronics schooling at TI and San Diego after which he was sent to 1st Marine Brigade (Airwing) FMF at Kanehoe. I went to 1st Bn 9th Marines (then based at Camp San Mateo) for a little over a year before shipping out to 1st Bn 3rd Marines, 3rd Mar. Div. FMF (then based on Okinawa). While in SE Asia in 1961 our separate units were summoned to readiness to respond to Pathet Lao communist aggression in that country of Laos, but which our orders would be recalled. We would both make it to Cpl-E4 before completing of our four years.

Since our initial emails of 2012 Rich and I have stayed in touch and plan to carry it on. And as luck would have it, we had the opportunity and pleasure to meet in person last June when Rich happened to travel to Mass. for another purpose. We met for lunch in Plymouth, which by-the-way is hometown to his Pilgrim ancestors, securing his membership in the Mayflower Society (I hope he doesn't mind me taking the liberty to mention this personal, but rather interesting fact. If he does, guess I'll have to get down and give him fifty). I'll go further to say that he's also a dedicated member of his local chapter of The Marine Corps League, which he proudly and effectively serves.

Anyway Sgt Grit, thanks to you and to your dedicated staff for your superb website and products catalog, which caters specifically to Marines and especially for your newsletter, which provides a convenient path in helping make these kind of unexpected reunions possible.

Lastly, for a grin, I've attached two different sets of photos of Rich and myself: one of "then" from our 1958 MCRDPI book and the other of "now" from our 2014 lunch reunion. Regardless of the space in time and age, I think we all share the same passion for our great United States Marine Corps and always will... so here we both stand, Recruits then, Marines still.

Semper Fi, even after we die,
Lionel "Leo" Caldeira 1958-1962

"Once a Marine, Always a Marine"​


I Don't Feel So Bad

"This is NOT a problem, but a thank you for the speed in which my order was filled & shipped. I ordered the Marine Corps cane & the John Wayne coffee mug. I love the cane. I was upset when my doctor told me I had to start using a cane, but now that I have this Marine Corps cane, I don't feel so bad. Fedex delivered my box with three of four sides ripped and taped up. Luckily nothing was damaged. The funny thing is the rips were right at the 'Fragile Handle with Care' sticker.

Again, thanks.​


Providing Support

Marine Hershel Woody Williams MoH Recipient

Hershel Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation

Established in 2012, is a charitable 501c.3, not-for-profit organization that pursues specific endeavors and goals through the vision of Marine Corps Medal of Honor Recipient Hershel "Woody" Williams. The Foundation is carrying out his vision to honor and recognize Gold Star Families by establishing permanent memorial monuments in communities throughout our country.

Our Goals:

- Educate and raise awareness in the American public about Gold Star Families and the sacrifices that they have made for the freedoms we enjoy every day as Americans, through outreach, education, and example.

- To assist in the promotion, creation, and implementation of Gold Star Families Memorial Monuments in every state throughout the country, and in many communities.

Donations can be made at Hershel Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation.


Short Rounds

Lance Corporal has more letters than most of the other ranks, so Lance Corporals must be more important.

LCpl Fuller


The greatest customer service ever. Far beyond expectations, but came as no suprise. Semper Fidelis Marines!

Hector Lopez, D.D.S.
Family Dentistry


Glad to be part of the Greatest Brotherhood in the World!

Sgt. Thomas J. Murphy (Ret.)


Cpl. Stumps letter needs to be posted and read at every VA hospital, all Marine Corps League meetings. He may get his wish and save some lives.

Bailey, CPL '62-'66


All Marines should try to get a copy of the most recent Leatherneck February 2015. It has an outstanding story "10 Days on Iwo Jima" reprinted from May 1945. This is the 70th Anniversary.

What is really gripping is the sermon given by the 5th MarDiv Chaplin at a religious service dedicating the 5thMarDiv cemetery on Iwo 21 Mar 1945.

That's WHY WE FIGHT.

JM Stone, LCpl, '65-'69


Sgt Grit,

I want to say the suicide letter by Cpl Eric Stump, USMC, 0311/0351 was OUTSTANDING!

J Kanavy,Cpl​


Quotes

"In my experience, Marines are gung ho no matter what. They will all fight to the death. Every one of them just wants to get out there and kill. They are bad-azs, hard-charging mothers."
--From the book "American Sniper" by Chris Kyle


"A Marine should be sworn to the patient endurance of hardships, like the ancient knights; and it is not the least of these necessary hardships to have to serve with sailors."
--Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery


"Lying offshore, ready to act, the presence of ships and Marines sometimes means much more than just having air power or ship's fire, when it comes to deterring a crisis. And the ships and Marines may not have to do anything but lie offshore. It is hard to lie offshore with a C-141 or C-130 full of airborne troops."
--Gen. Colin Powell, U. S. Army Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff During Operation Desert Storm


"Get on line with two sheets and a blanket... move!"

"Get on my quarterdeck... NOW!"

"Scuz brush bulkhead... move!​"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 12 FEB 2015
If you are having trouble viewing this issue, see it on our website:
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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 12 FEB 2015

In this issue:
• My Jacket Honors My Service
• Camouflage Combat Uniforms
• Sillyvilian Asked

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Sgt Grit,

My wife had our barn roof painted to salute the Ospreys as the fly over our property. We live about 80 miles south of New River Air Station, Camp Lejeune, NC and the Ospreys do touch-and-go training exercises at our local airport.

Cpl David Dorsett, RVN 1965, USMC


One Of The Guys

One of the guys from the fire hall bought this motor home and this mural was on the back. I thought it looked good.

​ Cpl Jerry Knavel
11th Marines '69-'70


2nd Battalion, 1st Marines

Got my 2/1 shirt today from Sgt Grit Marine Specialties. Thanks for another great product Sgt Grit and Staff. Semper Fi!

Scott Yoder

Browse all of our Marine Corps Unit Apparel!


Hands In The Pockets

All I can say is it must have been a rought day! The picture is cool, 1942 and all, and it was a relaxed moment. But all I can think about is how many times I was asked if I was in the Airwing. Mind you, I was a P.F.C. several times and my time in was 1975 to 1979. No war, no sweat, but hey peacetime could be rough. The lifers bored sh-tless and us sh-tbirds just trying to get by without being dressed down that day. Amtrackers ain't known to be the poster Marine type, but hands in the pockets? Come on! I guess there wasn't a broom handy!

Semper Fi - Do or Die,
LCpl McChesney
2nd Amtrac Bn
Courthouse Bay, N.C.


My Jacket Honors My Service

In your last newsletter you had a Fire Fighter and a Marine with 'follow your dreams'. I was a Fire Fighter for 36 years in Rochester New York and in the Marine Reserve for 6 years. I had a jacket made up to honor both. The front of the jacket has a Maltese Cross with 9-11 on the inside and Never Forget for the Twin Towers. The other side the Eagle Globe and Anchor with Semper Fidelis. On the back it says it all. The Jacket is worn by my son Cameron for the picture.

Cpl. Girvin
USMCR xxxx872


Old Corps Badge

Here is something that I've never seen before. I was talking with this woman who was giving haircuts and she said her dad served in the Marines in the WWII. She then brought out his ribbons and medals. Wow, it was something to see something that I've never seen before. I took a few pictures so I could pass it along. Enjoy!

Sgt George E. Cale III
'71 - '74


Grunt Cheerleaders

Dear fellow Jarheads,

Here with my granddaughters Morgan (age 5, on left) and Madison (age 4) in their Grunt cheerleader outfits you recently sent me. They indeed will make beautiful WMs in about 16 years.

Larry Schnabel
USMCR-R 1963-1966

Get this for your Devil Pup at:

USMC Toddler Jersey Cheer Dress


Feel More Alive

I just read Cpl Eric Stump's letter and it brought back many memories. When he mentioned the rain and mud I thought about the times I laid in that soup in Vietnam so many years ago. However the thing that stuck out in the letter was when he said, "... after all my years of service, training to fight and fighting on our nation's behalf of freedom and safety I found myself not in service to my true calling, my obligation, my oath to protect this nation. I found myself laying on my barracks room floor, wishing I was still in Afghanistan." I know I had and still have those feelings of wanting to be back there. I think most, if not all who served in combat have those feelings.

I may be wrong but I think the reason for this is many; First, and above all, being that close to death makes you feel more alive then anything else in life. Second, it was a simpler time. You knew what had to be done almost without thinking about it. You didn't have to think about what to wear, what to eat, what your buddies were up to, or the thousands of things that life dumps on you every day. Third, the friendships you formed were the strongest you well ever make in life. Fourth, is just what was stated in the letter. It was what we trained for from the minute we entered to Corps and now it's over. I think everyone who retires or hangs up their jersey for the last time has those feelings as well.

And so, what can one do about it? The thing is, not everything you learned in the Corps will carry over into your new life. However, some things will and you need to set down with a paper and pencil and write down everything the Marines taught you. Some will carry forward into your new life. It's been almost 50 years since I fought in Vietnam and now I'm 75 pounds heavier then when I came back from there. I wish there would have been someone who would have had a Marine Corps type of exercise program to keep us in shape. Maybe you are the one to start that. I also spent several years writing a book about my time in Vietnam that I hope others will learn from. Maybe before those things escape you, you may want to try that. It is also a great way to deal with what you have gone through.

It can be a bright new world out there for you... go for the gold... attack the day, don't let the day just happen to you.

Semper Fi Brother,
Ron Hoffman USMC
Charlie Battery 1/13
RVN 1966-'67​


Camouflage Combat Uniforms

In the previous Sgt. Grit Newsletter, we outlined the basic utility uniforms worn by Marines from pre-WWII through Vietnam.

​As far back as 1940, the Marines considered camouflage combat uniforms but the first recorded use was by Carlson's Raiders (2nd Raider Battalion) in August, 1942. For the Makin Island raid, some of the Marines dyed their khaki uniforms black.

The first officially adopted uniform was the Model (M) 1942 one-piece reversible Jungle Suit as used by the US Army. This had a multi-shade green mottled 'cloud' (called 'frogskin') pattern that reversed to mottled brown/tan 'clouds.' Very awkward to use when nature called - especially under fire - and quite hot in tropics, it wasn't too popular.

In May, 1942, the Marines adopted a two-piece camouflage suit modeled after the P41 sage green utility uniform, with multi-green 'frogskin' reversing to brown/tan. Unlike the P41 utilities, the camo uniform used the Army herringbone twill material. The jacket has the USMC/EGA stenciled on the left breast pocket and displayed on both sides. Unlike other Marine utilities, this has domed snap fastener closure instead of the bronze/steel riveted version marked 'US Marine Corps'. This uniform remained in use into the Korean War and photos suggest some were still in use by Recon units even later.

NOTE: Over the years (1940-present), Marines have used specialized camo, like white parkas for artic conditions or Ghillie sniper suits. Those variants won't be addressed here.

In late 1942 the Marines adopted the classic camouflage helmet cover, using the same reversible 'frogskin' pattern in cotton twill. This helmet cover became the icon of Marines fighting in the Pacific and was worn through the Korean War (1950-53) era. The Marines (and Navy shore parties) received a reversible camo poncho in this same 'frogskin' pattern, with Marines also being issued a shelter half and securing straps to match. The shelter half is seen in many films and photos, worn rolled horseshoe-style over the Marine field marching/transport pack.

In 1959 the 'Mitchell' camouflage pattern helmet cover was adopted. This used a three tone green 'wine leaf' and red-brown 'branches' design, with a hint of yellow, interspersed on a light green background, and reversed to a brown/tan/sand mottled 'cloud' pattern. A matching 'Mitchell' shelter half was provided, although not as widely issued as a simple olive green [OD] version. The shelter halves had matching straps to secure the rolled shelter, blanket, tent pins & rope together, them using web straps, affixed horseshoe-style over the haversack.

The Mitchell pattern was used for US Marine and US Army helmet covers throughout the Vietnam War and into the mid-1970s when the Woodland pattern was adopted.

NOTE: The author has owned several in-country made full suits or jackets, dating to1960-61, created from the Mitchell pattern shelter halves (actually too hot to be practical) and commercially made hunting suits/jackets using a lighter weight cotton in this pattern. The author recalls seat and windshield covers for the M422 "Mighty Mite" (the USMC's AMC Jeep substitute) made on Okinawa from Mitchell shelter halves.

The commercial Mitchell pattern, along with a cloud-based pattern commonly called 'duck hunter' in shades of greens or browns, was used by early US Marine and Army Special Forces advisors in Vietnam.

With the US entry into the Vietnam War, US Marine Corps advisors assigned to the South Vietnamese Marine Corps [SVNMC] often wore the tiger stripe 'sea wave' pattern uniform of that service with a 'US Marines' embroidered tape worn over the left breast pocket. The SVNMC adopted this style uniform in 1956 and its use continued through 1972.

As mentioned in Part 1, the Marines used the ERDL camouflage Tropical Combat rip-stop cotton poplin utility uniform, based on the Third Pattern OG107 (olive green) uniform, circa 1968. This uniform was issued in either lime-green and brown-dominate patterns to better match the various micro-climates of Vietnam (mountains/jungle or coastal). There was a matching full-brim 'boonie' hat provided but no helmet cover. Although issued unmarked, documented examples show the EGA iron-on transfer on the left breast pocket flap and USMC on the gusseted pocket.

In the late 1970's (post-Vietnam War), the services began to adopt the Woodland pattern utility uniform. Made of cotton/poly blends, it used a pattern of green, black and tans to provide camo under varied situations. During the next few years, the uniform was modified several times by changing materials, pocket design, and other features. The author has observed no less than six variations dated from 1974 to 1985. The USMC/EGA was applied to the left breast pocket using an iron-on transfer and an embroidered name tape applied over the right breast pocket.

In the mid-1980's, the Battle Dress Utility uniform [BDU] using a cotton/poly blend material was adopted. In 1989, the uniform was also made in rip-stop cotton. This camo pattern was 1.6 times larger than the earlier Woodland pattern and used special dyes to reduce infrared signature. Again, several variants of this uniform exist. This pattern used the sewn-on name tape (right breast) and a 'US Marines' tape over the left breast.

In 1990, the six-color [browns/tan/black/white] Desert Battle Dress Utility uniform (called the 'chocolate chip' pattern) was adopted, along with a Nighttime Desert Grid pattern. This was the uniform commonly worn during the (First) Gulf War of August 1990 to February 1991.

In 1992, the simplified three-color [browns/black] Desert Combat Uniform (called the 'coffee stain' pattern) was adopted. Both Desert uniform designs used sewn-on name tapes and branch of service tapes.

The Desert Combat Uniform [DCU] 'coffee stain' was used in the early years of the Iraq War (2003-05) until phased out for the MARPAT uniform.

Circa 2004-05, the Marine Corps discarded the all-services BDU/DCUs in favor of the MARPAT digital design. This uses a unique pattern of greens (tropical) or browns (arid) computer-designed grids to create a camouflage effect. Official USMC utilities have a small EGA/USMC icon imbedded randomly throughout the design. Like the previous uniforms, sewn-on name tapes and US Marine tapes are used. This pattern is currently in use.

For future articles, we'll describe the evolution of Marine Corps '782 gear'... What did the Marines do differently than the Doggies for web gear and why is it called '782 gear'?

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


No Thanks

I got this story second hand (third?) from my daughter who got it from a teacher. At the school complex that encloses three separate schools, (elementary, middle and high school) my eight year old granddaughter was attending a presentation by mixed service representatives that did NOT include any Marines. They had a jet to display, much talk, etc. She raised her hand and when recognized asked, "When are the Marines going to be here?". One of the servicemen replied that "we represent all services." She came back with, "So, no Marines are going to be here?" He said, "no, but we can help you with your questions." She simply replied, "No thanks." and turned away. I understand every adult present fell out laughing! I would LOVE to have seen it!

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


Sillyvilian​ Asked

Hot dang!... finally, something that I know something about!... that being the 175... supported them at An Hoa for about six months in '70... and had staff cognizance (was the Ordnance Ossifer at higher) over a couple batteries at 29 Palms in the mid-70's... First and Third batteries, from fuzzy memory... three tours in that particular sand pile can affect the brain... Regarding barrel life... this can get a bit complicated, so bear with me. The early barrels had an "EFC" or Effective Full Charge life of 375 rounds. There were three different charges... charge 3 was an Effective Full Charge. Beyond that, arithmetic came in... if they were shooting closer in, with, for example, charge 1, it took three rounds to equal one Effective Full Charge... or, maybe a charge 1 for a mission, followed by a charge two... equaling an EFC. Keeping accurate log books was important, as reaching the 375 EFC total meant a barrel change... which was not a task you were going to accomplish with the $49.95 hundred piece tool set from Sears. Our cannon mech crew at LSU-1 an An Hoa usually did the swap with one M543 5-ton truck wrecker, and a borrowed LVT-R1 (amtrack maintenance version... had a boom on it that could handle the weight.) Gunny Flannagan and his crew once pulled off a swap in less than an hour from parking the carriage until it drove away. Bear in mind that the swap also meant that the breech mechanism had to come off the old barrel and be threaded onto a new one, along with disconnecting and reconnecting the recoil mechanism. Later barrels, known as "auto-frettage" barrels, had a much longer EFC life... not real sure, but it may have been as high as a thousand EFC rounds. Shipping the things meant a tractor-trailer, which could carry two... they didn't always make it back to Da Nang and the Defense Property Disposal lot (run by Dept of the Army Civilians)... I think we may have buried a couple at An Hoa, for lack of retrograde shipping. Besides the EFC count, there were a couple other ways that a barrel might be condemmed. Artillery (and tank main guns) were subjected to periodic inspection by borescope, and 'pull-over' gauge. The borescope came in several sections that screwed together, took 110V power for the built-in light, and had optics and a angled mirror that allowed the operator to visually inspect the length of the bore for heat checking, cracks, erosion, etc. (If you saw this monster, you would complain less about a colonoscopy...).

The pull-over gauge was a flat plate with a vernier scale on it, with a sliding section, and two toggles. It would be inserted, folded nearly flat, and as it was 'pulled-over' past center, would measure the interior diameter of the bore at specific distances from the breech. During my time at An Hoa, 3rd Guns had two in-bore premature detonations... the first splintered the barrel (we lost some infantry Marines in their tent) on that one, and the second one cut the barrel neatly in two, with the b-tt falling on the transmission cover... the aluminum valve body on top of the tranny looked like a hot spoon had scooped through a pound of butter.

Aberdeen Proving Grounds flew a civilian expert all the way from Maryland to look at the problem... he really, really didn't want to be there. The VIP helo landed close to the gun position, and the blades were still turning, when the sillyvilian asked "ever had this before?"... Battery XO said, yeah, once... couple months ago. With that the expert said "I dunno what you had before, but you got it again... ship all the pieces to Aberdeen"... and went an got back in the Huey.

I think that if you look it up, you will find that the muzzle velocity of the 175, fired at charge 3, is the same as an M-16 firing ball... and the obturator pad, AKA 'gas check pad' in the breech assembly of a 175, also fits the 8". Long story to go with that, for another time.

Ddick


Vicariously Relive​

50 years ago today, I was on mess duty at MCAS Cherry Point and next month would extend my tour of active duty by three months so I could go to Viet Nam with Bravo Battery 3rd LAAM Bn. At the time, I had no appreciation for what I had because I was a rebellious individual and bridled at authority. To this day, I say the Corps and I were incompatible and it's true. It took me almost 50 years to gain appreciation for that period of my life. I've always been proud of being a Marine but never had the inclination to go back and do it again. All that has changed in the Fall of my life. On the occasions when I'm told, "Thank you for your service." I usually reply, "It was my pleasure. I'd go back and do it again but I get to be 17 years old again." and incompatible or not, I mean it. Thank you Sgt. Grit for allowing me to vicariously relive that most important part of my life through your weekly newsletters. I appreciate the newsletter and the Marines who contribute to it, more than you will ever know.

Semper Fi,
Cpl. Jerry D.
USMC 1962-1966
RVN 1965-1966


A Jarhead's Journey

I am a decorated combat veteran that served as an adviser to the 1st Division of ARVN along the DMZ in 1965 and 1966. I take the most pride in one thing along with my brothers and sisters who served in the Corps: War or peace time, combat or combat support (1) we all signed that blank check, (2) earned the title of Marine, and (3) paid that check in full with an honorable discharge. Semper Fi!

(Capt.) Jim Lowe

Available in paperback form at "A Jarhead's Journey".

All royalties donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.


Old WWI Vet

Sgt. Grit,

Some years ago I was visiting an Old WWI Vet. We talked about our wars and he said, one of the biggest problems of WWI was the "COOTIE's" which were lice. He showed me the outfit he made to help remove cooties which was much like the one I have shown here, the date on this cartridge head is 1917. When they were relieved from the front lines and moved to the rear area they started big fires and got great pots of water boiling. They took their clothes off and dropped them in the boiling water, while the clothes were boiling they bathed usually like I did in my three wars, in a small basin (helmet) of water. The clothes were taken out dried and put on again free of "Cooties". The VFW even had a "COOTIE" Club after the war for the guys that served in the trenches and suffered "COOTIE's". The club was phased out after some of the other wars we had to fight. I would imagine that Iran and Iraq have some dandy bugs.

Gy. Sgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Boot Camp Buddies

Hi Sgt Grit,

In March of 2012 I submitted a story about my foolish act at MCRDPI rifle range back in 1958, which appeared in Sgt Grit newsletter of April 5, 2012. Surprisingly, another member of my boot camp Platoon 281 happened to see it and requested my contact info. After receiving notice from Sgt Grit I promptly and eagerly replied and days later I received an email from that Parris Island "boot camp buddy" Richard "Rich" Robbins on the west coast. We both thought it a little amazing, that after 56 years, we once youthful, 17 year old Marine recruits, now 73 and 74 year old senior (Marine) citizens, were suddenly re-connected by an electronic device called email. Needless to say, this mutually unexpected reunion has been enjoyable for both of us, engaging in nostalgic boot camp recollections and typical USMC scuttlebutt. Comparing notes we find our civilian lives and interests have many similarities, plus we both still adhere to certain Marine Corps habits, such as grabbing our shirt-sides, pulling them tightly-in backward then stuffing them into the backside of our trousers and also, aligning the edges of our shirt-front, belt buckle and zipper flap of our trousers. And don't even think of stepping on our shined (for the most part) shoes.

Both Rich and I hail from different parts of eastern Massachusetts but while I still live here Rich (smartly) relocated to California in the early 80's. We didn't know each other at the time of our individual enlistments but assuredly, we must have been on the same train that July of 1958 from Boston to Yemassee, and on that nice bus to PI. We ended up in the same platoon for those 13 awesome weeks of hell and graduation day of October 1958 was the last time we would muster together, until June of 2014.

We both pulled the same duty station, 1st Mar. Div., Camp Pendleton but as typical, our paths never again crossed (including ITR Camp Geiger at Lejeune). Rich was assigned to 3rd Amtrac Bn (Camp Del Mar) for a year then to electronics schooling at TI and San Diego after which he was sent to 1st Marine Brigade (Airwing) FMF at Kanehoe. I went to 1st Bn 9th Marines (then based at Camp San Mateo) for a little over a year before shipping out to 1st Bn 3rd Marines, 3rd Mar. Div. FMF (then based on Okinawa). While in SE Asia in 1961 our separate units were summoned to readiness to respond to Pathet Lao communist aggression in that country of Laos, but which our orders would be recalled. We would both make it to Cpl-E4 before completing of our four years.

Since our initial emails of 2012 Rich and I have stayed in touch and plan to carry it on. And as luck would have it, we had the opportunity and pleasure to meet in person last June when Rich happened to travel to Mass. for another purpose. We met for lunch in Plymouth, which by-the-way is hometown to his Pilgrim ancestors, securing his membership in the Mayflower Society (I hope he doesn't mind me taking the liberty to mention this personal, but rather interesting fact. If he does, guess I'll have to get down and give him fifty). I'll go further to say that he's also a dedicated member of his local chapter of The Marine Corps League, which he proudly and effectively serves.

Anyway Sgt Grit, thanks to you and to your dedicated staff for your superb website and products catalog, which caters specifically to Marines and especially for your newsletter, which provides a convenient path in helping make these kind of unexpected reunions possible.

Lastly, for a grin, I've attached two different sets of photos of Rich and myself: one of "then" from our 1958 MCRDPI book and the other of "now" from our 2014 lunch reunion. Regardless of the space in time and age, I think we all share the same passion for our great United States Marine Corps and always will... so here we both stand, Recruits then, Marines still.

Semper Fi, even after we die,
Lionel "Leo" Caldeira 1958-1962

"Once a Marine, Always a Marine"​


I Don't Feel So Bad

"This is NOT a problem, but a thank you for the speed in which my order was filled & shipped. I ordered the Marine Corps cane & the John Wayne coffee mug. I love the cane. I was upset when my doctor told me I had to start using a cane, but now that I have this Marine Corps cane, I don't feel so bad. Fedex delivered my box with three of four sides ripped and taped up. Luckily nothing was damaged. The funny thing is the rips were right at the 'Fragile Handle with Care' sticker.

Again, thanks.​


Providing Support

Hershel Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation

Established in 2012, is a charitable 501c.3, not-for-profit organization that pursues specific endeavors and goals through the vision of Marine Corps Medal of Honor Recipient Hershel "Woody" Williams. The Foundation is carrying out his vision to honor and recognize Gold Star Families by establishing permanent memorial monuments in communities throughout our country.

Our Goals:

- Educate and raise awareness in the American public about Gold Star Families and the sacrifices that they have made for the freedoms we enjoy every day as Americans, through outreach, education, and example.

- To assist in the promotion, creation, and implementation of Gold Star Families Memorial Monuments in every state throughout the country, and in many communities.

Donations can be made at Hershel Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation.


Short Rounds

Lance Corporal has more letters than most of the other ranks, so Lance Corporals must be more important.

LCpl Fuller


The greatest customer service ever. Far beyond expectations, but came as no suprise. Semper Fidelis Marines!

Hector Lopez, D.D.S.
Family Dentistry


Glad to be part of the Greatest Brotherhood in the World!

Sgt. Thomas J. Murphy (Ret.)


Cpl. Stumps letter needs to be posted and read at every VA hospital, all Marine Corps League meetings. He may get his wish and save some lives.

Bailey, CPL '62-'66


All Marines should try to get a copy of the most recent Leatherneck February 2015. It has an outstanding story "10 Days on Iwo Jima" reprinted from May 1945. This is the 70th Anniversary.

What is really gripping is the sermon given by the 5th MarDiv Chaplin at a religious service dedicating the 5thMarDiv cemetery on Iwo 21 Mar 1945.

That's WHY WE FIGHT.

JM Stone, LCpl, '65-'69


Sgt Grit,

I want to say the suicide letter by Cpl Eric Stump, USMC, 0311/0351 was OUTSTANDING!

J Kanavy,Cpl​


Quotes

"In my experience, Marines are gung ho no matter what. They will all fight to the death. Every one of them just wants to get out there and kill. They are bad-azs, hard-charging mothers."
--From the book "American Sniper" by Chris Kyle


"A Marine should be sworn to the patient endurance of hardships, like the ancient knights; and it is not the least of these necessary hardships to have to serve with sailors."
--Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery


"Lying offshore, ready to act, the presence of ships and Marines sometimes means much more than just having air power or ship's fire, when it comes to deterring a crisis. And the ships and Marines may not have to do anything but lie offshore. It is hard to lie offshore with a C-141 or C-130 full of airborne troops."
--Gen. Colin Powell, U. S. Army Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff During Operation Desert Storm


"Get on line with two sheets and a blanket... move!"

"Get on my quarterdeck... NOW!"

"Scuz brush bulkhead... move!​"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 05 FEB 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 05 FEB 2015

In this issue:
• The Navy's Police Force
• In Any Clime And Place
• Wishing I Was Still In Afghanistan

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Throwback Thursday Photo

US Marine Corps officers Col. Pedro del Valle (11th Marines CO), Gen.Thomas Holcomb (Commandant of the Marine Corps), and Gen. Alexander Vandegrift (CG 1st Marine Division) inspecting 11th Marine Regiment at Camp Lejeune, Jacksonville, North Carolina, United States, 1942.

(Photo is part of the USMC Henry Siderman Collection)


3rd Bn, 5th Marines, Vietnam​

3rd Bn, 5th Marines Vietnam buddies at reunion

3rd Bn, 5th Marines buddies in Vietnam

I have been attending the 3rd Bn, 5th Marines, Vietnam reunion for 11 years. For the first 9 years, I was the only one attending from the 81 mm mortar section in which I served. I had not been contact with any member of the section since I rotated back to the states in Aug., 1967. I started a computer search for the section members in 2012. Out of about 25 Marines that I served with, I have located 17. This past year there were 9 of us attending with a promise of 4 others attending in 2015. One of them had died of leukemia and one of those attending had leukemia but was in remission.

I have included some pictures. One picture is Joe Maplethrope, Sonny Scheffler, and myself in August 1966, and another of us 48 years later in May, 2014. The other picture is of the 9 of us that were in attending. It was amazing how the years just faded away and we were "19-year-old kids" again... I would like to encourage any Marine that is reading this... If you have the opportunity to attend a reunion, please do so. It is very therapeutic!

I am also including an article from a May 1967 issue of "The Sea Tiger" about my mortar squad during Operation Union II.

Semper Fi,
Carl Gregory, Sgt. USMC


The Navy's Police Force

Sgt Grit,

I applaud you on the handling of the New Marines' Hymn in your last newsletter. You had it tied in beautifully with your newsletter. For what it is worth, I researched the source of this hymn and have forwarded an address which is depicted above. If you move to "Defense budget reductions" you will see in the seventh paragraph reference to President Truman's dislike of the Marine Corps stating "The Marine Corps is the Navy's police force and as long as I am President that is what it will remain. They have a propaganda machine that is almost equal to Stalin's." He and the Secretary of Defense, Louis A. Johnson, wanted to eliminate the Marine Corps altogether. And interestingly about this same time in 1950 they were planning an amphibious invasion of Inchon, Korea.

SecDef Louis A. Johnson

Marvin Haverkamp


All That Matters

As the conversation of Vietnam Era vs Vietnam Combat Veteran continues, I would submit one possible difference between the two that may help draw a distinction. Many Vietnam Combat Veterans received a "special welcome" home by anti-war protesters. Those of us that experienced that reception know exactly what I'm talking about. Even if you did not serve "in-country" you may have had to endure the same treatment simply because you wore the uniform. That said, I would refer to a comment by Pete Dahlstrom in the 28 January Newsletter who said it best in response to Era Marines vs Combat Marines during the Vietnam War... "Can you honestly say 'I am a Marine'?" If you can, no other questions need be asked. Don't be so d-mned sure that you missed out by not slopping through the jungles and rice paddies. That may sound glorious to some, but trust me, it's not all that you may think it is. I have no regrets, nor should you! I am a Marine... you are too. And that is all that matters.

HERMAN M.


Vietnam Ribbon Cover/Hat


John J. McNamara

The excerpt below appeared at the end of the January newsletter. Could this be a reference to John J. McNamara, who was a U.S. Marine, lecturer, and author of several books, the last being "Millville's Mac - The Life Story Of A World War II Combat Marine", published in 2014 shortly before his death? If not, who does this refer to?

Thanks so much,
Linda Roy

"Leader of men, teller of tall tales, legend in his own mind, U.S. Marine extraordinaire, stream fordable, air drop-able, beer fueled, water cooled, author, history maker, lecturer, traveler, freedom fighter, defender of the faith. Wars fought, tigers tamed, revolutions started, bars emptied, alligators castrated. Let me win your hearts and minds or I'll burn your damn hut down!"


In Any Clime And Place

I have been reading submissions from other Marine regarding their lack of combat service and would like to submit my own feelings on this subject.

While I yield to no one in my admiration of those who served in harm's way, I have yet to hear one of those folks tell me that I "missed" anything. Some have told me that the experience of combat made them stronger, others bear wounds that have yet to heal. None of them have ever said "I wish you had been there!" Most of them were proud of the wounds, (physical, or otherwise), borne in the service of their country but had no desire to see them inflicted on anyone else. Interestingly enough, most of the hard feelings that I have witnessed were focused on those who were "in country" but not in combat. (I have no documentation or statistics to quote, just my own opinion, perhaps others with more experience would care to comment.) Nonetheless, the vast majority of Marines that I have encountered seem to believe it is our "commonality" as Marines that is most important. And, for that, I agree, and am grateful for all the service of my fellow Marines, the glory we share from those who have gone before us, and the brotherhood that is extended. It was my pleasure and privilege to serve from 10/72 - 7/93, in any clime and place my superiors were pleased to send me. From my very humble beginnings and the examples of those Marines with whom I served, I learned and became a better Marine. I can only hope that my own example inspired and made others want to be better Marines also.

On another note, I have been culling my library and found that I have two copies of my recruit training book, MCRD, Parris Island, Platoon 2018, graduating January 1973. If you are a fellow alumnus of this platoon, I would be pleased to forward my spare copy. I would also be pleased to hear a synopsis of your Marine career, how you remember our days at Parris Island, and how you are doing now.

Finally, in submission for the bold print at the end of your newsletter. I wish I had attribution, but I'm sure I heard it first when I reported to 1st Radio Bn, FMF, KMCAS, Hawaii, - "You stupid boot, I've worn out more seabags than you have socks!" (I confess I used it later in my career.)

George M. Button
MSgt USMC (ret)


God, Country, and Corps

I purchased the Wool/Poly Reversible Jacket. Wear it all the time and always getting complements on the jacket from Marines and civilians. When I say Marine I mean active, retired and all who have served as Marines. You can take the Marine out of the Corps but not the Corps out of the Marine.

Semper Fi, Always faithful to God, Country and Corps.

MSgt Bill Dugan '56-'77
Nam '69-'70, Recruiter '70-'74
Swing with the Wing!


Marines Wool and Poly Reversible Jacket


Hollywood Marines

LCpl DL Rupper,

I joined 2/1 in August '63. We really were Hollywood Marines for sometime in '64, the Battalion went to CBS in Hollywood. We were in some kind of show which featured Vicki Carr. Never saw the show but they fed us some good chow. Our bus broke down on the way to Pendleton and we sat there most of the night until a new bus came. This battalion went to Okinawa in January '65 to become 3/3. Then to Chu Lai in May '65. I served again in 3/3 '67-'68 up on the Z.

V. Randall 2511


All Service Should Be Honored

Sgt. Grit,

A reply to J Kanavy, Cpl, USMC

I emphatically agree with you that, "All service should be honored." However, that's as far as my agreement goes. I'm strongly opposed to different markers or headstones for different types of service or service in a war zone.

If I have my history correct, Marines of the WW II time frame and possibly into Korea wore patches on their uniforms to designate the unit, division, or wing to which they were assigned. I believe the practice was discontinued because many thought it divided Marines in very wrong ways. I agree with that premise.

A Marine is a Marine, is a Marine - period. I'll write again - What your duty assignments were while you were on active duty is absolutely the "Luck of the Draw". When you completed recruit training, marched across the parade deck at one of the depots, you became a U.S. Marine. We are brothers. We have a kinship that no other organization can claim. To identify one Marine's duty assignment as being special is, I believe, disingenuous to all Marines who served. Just let it be said that we, as Marines, did our duty and will continue to do exactly that until we are finally called to guard the gates. All of us are identified as being special - WE ARE MARINES.

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


We All Have Dreams

Make sure that you follow your dreams!

Brothers following their dreams


USS George Clymer​

Bud Davis' story about his fun on the USS George Clymer stirs the gray matter. One can grumble about government waste, but it doesn't seem to apply to ships.

I read William Manchester's book "Goodbye Darkness" which included his short tour in Okinawa via the Okinawa invasion. It caught my eye when I found he was transported to Okinawa in the USS George Clymer. This was in 1945.

I was in the 1st Stage of the 9th MEB in August 1964 and ended up on the USS George Clymer, fondly known as "Greasy George". Scuttlebutt at the time said it was a convert luxury boat and as such rode the waves easier. We didn't think so. Scuttlebutt also said that Greasy George had a confrontation with some dock in the Philippines; I think that was career limiting for whoever was at the helm.

Every now & then the name pops. In this Newsletter & other places. To me Clymer = the 9th MEB.

Corporal Don Harkness
1961-1965


A Little Off Key

I got quite a chuckle out of the "Juke Box" story published this week. I had a similar experience at MCRD in 1964. I won't mention names or platoon numbers for fear of embarrassing others, but will share the tale.

One of my platoon mates was the son of a Marine Colonel and apparently played in a rock band in high school. Somehow our drill instructors learned of that and made him the Platoon Musician. They would call for him to report to the Duty Hut and he would use coat hangers to beat on an upturned waste basket. Eventually they made him the Platoon Juke Box and would place him in one of the wall lockers that separated the office from the bunk area of the drill instructors. When a drill instructor tapped on the wall locker, he would start singing The Marines' Hymn. That soon became an every evening event.

One evening the Field Officer of the Day came through the platoon area and of course was wearing his sword as a symbol of his duty assignment. He entered the Duty Hut to inspect the happenings and I am completely confident that our Platoon Juke Box could hear every word being said and knew exactly what was happening. As the Major finished speaking with the drill instructor, he turned and accidently banged the wall locker with the scabbard of his sword. Immediately from within began "The Marine's Hymn" at a high volume. The drill instructor froze in his tracks and probably was envisioning Portsmouth Naval Prison. The Major remarked something to the effect of "That sounds a little off-key, but pretty good," and departed the area.

The wall locker was taken (with all internal components) out to the platoon street where it was upended and turned over and over several times. As I recall, that was the last time the Platoon Juke Box was ever turned on.

Michael Hackett
SSgt USMC
1964-1969​


When The Marine Took The Stage

The story of the service hymns reminded me of something I saw on the Jay Leno show several years ago. It was Fleet Week or something, but Jay had members of all of the services in the audience. At one point, he invited a member of each branch to come on stage and sing their "anthem." One by one, a soldier, airman, and sailor came down and did their best. Throughout this the camera was showing the audience's reaction. When the Marine took the stage (a young Corporal in Dress Blues as memory serves), I looked at my wife and said, "Watch this." The Marine began to sing and the camera turned towards the audience as 8-10 Marines in dress blues popped to attention. Damn, I was proud. And the kid did a fair job singing the Hymn, too.

Semper Fi!

Tom Mahoney
'67-'71​


Welcome Home Brother

Having served 4 years in the Corps, I will forever be defined as a Marine, regardless of whatever accomplishments my life work has attained. Like you I wear that title with pride. Having said that, I firmly believe my destiny was never attained. You see I never served in combat. My outfit came within hours of invading Cuba, but in the waining hours of the night, we were told to stand down. We were all anxious, and scared but all were prepared to do our duty. Even though my DD214 does not reflect a combat tour, my heart knows I would have stood with my brothers and done my duty.

I am also a proud "Warrior Watch Rider" which is a motorcycle group that honors those who served their military duties for the greatest country on the planet. I participated in many rides to honor those veterans and overwhelmingly the most dedicated riders are the Vietnam Nam Vets. I am humbled to be in their company and look forward to hearing their stories and share in their heart felt greeting to all veterans, young and old. Last year we traveled from Pennsylvania to California on our bikes and encountered many Vietnam vets along the way who were anxious to share their battle stories with us. At first I made a point of stating I was not a combat vet. After hearing that statement my riding buddies quietly pulled me aside and firmly told me to desist and accept the greeting of "Welcome Home Brother" because they said you are a "Marine". That title was qualification enough for them.

So in closing, accept a humble and heartfelt "Welcome Home Brothers" to all veterans. Guys keep the stories of your Vietnam experience coming they are appreciated.

Standing proud former Corporal and retired Philly PD
Tom Spoltore --0311 --1959 to 1963​


Third Bn Jukebox

Hope this doesn't burst Secret Squirrel's bubble, but being a jukebox at MCRD in 1968 was hardly a first... his platoon number indicates that he was in Second Bn, which was on the south side of the grinder at MCRD SD... may still be, AFIK, but earlier in the century, say, around 1962 or 1963, in Lima Company, Third Bn, down by the "little grinder' and the airport, we had a Series Gunnery Sergeant, Amtracker by MOS, who had this scary affect involving his eyes... I swear the man could look a hole through a 3/4" mild steel plate... and if you were a Drill Instructor of lessor rank, it was not a death-ray beam you wanted aimed your way. At the time, I had been a Sergeant all month... or nearly so... maybe a few days short... and I had the duty.

A Quonset hut "Duty Hut" of the era, accommodated the four platoons of a series... two platoons at each end, each platoon's DI's having the same sparse furniture ('furniture' for lack of a better term) there would be for each quarter of a hut, two double wall lockers, a field desk and folding stool, a waste can, and probably a board with six or seven spring clothespins labeled with days of the week on the wall behind the desk. The latter was the repository for dental or, rarely, medical appointment cards, and one of the primary duties of the 'secretary' or 'house mouses'. There would frequently be a curtain of sorts suspended between the two lockers on each side, and behind that would be one oil stove in the middle of the hut (never, ever saw one lit...) and in each quarter, one tightly made rack, for the duty DI.

The wall lockers, for whatever reason, were usually arranged so that the double locker closest to the wall had the doors to the center of the hut, and was used by the Duty to hang changes of uniform... the other double locker was set so the doors faced the hatch, and was rarely used.

I had created a jukebox, by stuffing a maggot into the locker closest to the center line of the hut, and for my listening pleasure, had established a brevity code of musical selections... no crass exchange of money here, just simple 'taps'... one rap on the locker would produce the occupant's best efforts at our beloved Hymn, two raps would produce "Into the air, junior birdmen" (to the AF tune), and so on. Four taps, as I recall, some way too many years later, would produce a barracks ballad of Korea vintage, that went something like "Fifth Marines, oh, Fifth Marines, those dirty sons of b-itches... the line their azs with broken glass and wonder why it itches... etc. etc. etc." (have to wonder if that Pvt is still alive... and remembers learning the song?)

For some reason, the rest of the platoon was in quarters, and the jukebox, for the moment, was silent. And then Gy Wentworth... he of the death ray eyes, walked in... the usual pleasantries and military courtesies ensued... "Afternoon, Gunny"... Afternoon, Sgt Dickerson, how's it going?"... "got everything squared away, Gunny, going good" ("good to go" had not been invented yet... and may be obsolete by now?) With a quick scan of the area, the Gy decided to pass through the curtain, and proceed to the two 'duty huts' on the other end of the Quonset... as he did so, for absolutely no good reason, he reached out and tapped the nearest locker... and from out of the vents at the top and bottom of that locker door, came: "From the Halls of Montezuma, to the"... well, you probably know the rest of the words... And I got 'the look"... with no further action... thankfully...

So yes... in Third Bn, we made Marines... but "Mary Had A Little Lamb"?... GMAFB! (full disclosure... in 1957, DDick was a squad leader (most of the time...LOL) in Platoon 281... that'd be 2nd Bn... about where the parade bleacher restrooms are now...

​Ddick


A Brief History

From time to time, I note that folks inquire or comment about USMC dungarees or utilities. As a long-time (30 years) collector of USMC uniforms and 782 gear, permit me to offer a brief history of the utility uniform from Pre-WWII to Vietnam (attached). In the future, I'll offer a history from post-Vietnam to Present.

C. 'Stoney' Brook
Corporal of Marines
0811/0844
1961-65​

US MARINE CORPS UTILITIES

(Pre-WW II through Vietnam)

Prior to 1941, the US Marine 'combat uniform' was either the green wool uniform or the khaki cotton uniform, with web gear [belt, pack, canteen, etc.] added to carry ammo, rations and the bayonet. Marines wore a campaign cover (later called the Smokey Bear) or the flat WWI style Brodie helmet.

The Marines used a blue denim two piece suit as a "dungaree" or work uniform, as well as a coverall of the same material. This was a simple design, based on the clothing used by railroad crews, had one breast and two waist pockets. It was from this two piece design the classic M1941 utility uniform was created.

For clarification, the term 'dungarees' was used prior to WW II and the term 'utilities' adopted after WW II had begun; at least through WW II, both terms were seen used as synonyms.

M-1941

The two piece sage green herringbone twill utility uniform was worn throughout WWII, from Guadalcanal and on through the Korean War, with some still being issued in the early 1960s ("until supplies are exhausted").

Full-cut, with three pockets, the material was very durable but prone to fading ('salty') in sun and water. The single breast pocket had USMC and an EGA stenciled. The pockets were square-shaped, with some made more 'rounded' on the bottoms. The four front close buttons, of steel or bronze, were uncovered and marked 'US Marine Corps'; the buttons were attached with rivets.

Although the material was quite sturdy, the craftsmanship could be spotty. Many uniforms are seen with mismatched color lots used to make a single garment. It is notable that USMC herringbone is not the same pattern as that used by the US Army.

Until very late in WW II, these coats weren't commonly marked with rank (chevrons).

M-1944

Towards the end of WW II, the uniform was modified to make it capable of carrying a combat load in lieu of the haversack, The sage green herringbone twill coat had a single flapped breast pocket, with USMC and the EGA, and no waist pockets as with the M1941 pattern. Instead, two externally accessed map/grenade/flotation pockets were placed on either side of the front closure. The coat also incorporated an internal gas flap. The trousers for this pattern incorporated a unique 'ass-pocket' with two buttons, reportedly designed to carry a folded poncho. This was the first USMC combat uniform to have thigh pockets, to carry ammo, grenades or ration boxes.

Due to its late arrival, the M1944 saw little use in WW II but was used in Korea and still issued well into the 1960s. Regardless, it never enjoyed the popularity of the M1941 style.

M-1947

After WW II, the M1941 was slightly modified by making the torso trimmer, the sleeves shorter and pockets a different shape. The herringbone twill was a darker shade of green. With the left-over M1941 and the M1944 patterns, this was the combat uniform used in Korea and into the 1960s. It was then being phased out by the M1953 uniform.

M-1953 UTILITIES

Made of gray-green (sage) herringbone cloth, the M- 1953 utilities were designed to be worn tucked in the trousers. The design featured button cuffs, two breast pockets and a single inner 'map/grenade' pocket on the left. Except for the cuffs, all buttons were covered to prevent snagging.

Coats made from 1953 to 1955 have the 'old style' 1936 eagle-globe-anchor with two 'ribands' (ribbons) on the left pocket. Those made from 1956 through 1968 have the 1954 single riband emblem.

This uniform commonly had the wear's rank stenciled on the upper sleeves until 1959 when the wide metal pin-on insignia (sans crossed rifles) was adopted during the transitional rank period.

US MARINE CORPS PATTERN 1957 UTILITIES

This cotton sateen uniform was issued from 1958 until approximately 1963 or "until supplies were exhausted." This design incorporated all features from the M1953 utilities such as covered buttons and an inside map/grenade pocket.

Marines assigned to the Third Marine Division (Okinawa) commonly attached an in-country embroidered nametape (usually of herringbone twill) above the left pocket. On returning to stateside, they often retained the nametape as a sign of being 'salty'.

This utility uniform used the current pin-on collar rank insignia with crossed rifles, which was adopted in 1959-62 as the rank structure was modified.

OG-107 UTILITIES

About 1963, the P1957 was replaced by the OG107 sateen uniform, an all-services (Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force) fatigue/utility uniform of olive green cotton sateen with exposed buttons. Marines and Corpsmen used an iron-on transfer to apply an EGA and USMC lettering to the left breast pocket.

The P1957 and OG107 uniforms were the type worn by the first Marines to land in Vietnam in March, 1965. The cotton sateen material quickly proved unsuitable for tropical climates, tending to hold body heat and to rot from humidity.

TROPICAL COMBAT COAT, RIP-STOP COTTON, (THIRD PATTERN) circa 1967-69

The two previous patterns had exposed buttons, side adjustments tabs and shoulder epaulets and were used from about 1963 through 1967. These designs were derived from paratrooper suits used in WW2, with slanted upper pockets and large lower pockets allowing access to rations or grenades below the web combat belt.

The 3rd Pattern simplified the design by covering the buttons, eliminating the epaulets and tabs, and used a lighter 'rip-stop' material to better handle the tropical heat.

This uniform was used throughout the Vietnam War by all US services.

TROPICAL COMBAT COAT [CAMOUFLAGE] circa 1969-72

Based on the Third Pattern Coat, this coat (with matching trousers and boonie hat/cover) was adopted in 1969 using the ERDL [Engineer Research & Development Laboratory] camouflage design. The camo pattern was made in different dominant colors (browns or shades of greens), depending on the terrain.

Although issued to many Marine units, like Recon or Infantry, is was not the primary combat uniform in Vietnam. As with all camo patterns, it was most effective when the wearer remained motionless as movement drew visual attention to the disruptive design.

This camouflage pattern and the coat style became the basis for the post-war Woodland pattern utilities.​


Wishing I Was Still In Afghanistan

Corporal Stump

(This is not a suicide letter)

Tonight, as a United States Marine with 3 combat tours to Afghanistan, a Bronze Star w/ "V" for valor (heroism), Purple Heart, and 2 Navy Achievement Medals for actions in Afghanistan... I thought about SUICIDE. I didn't think about it because I thought life was too hard. I didn't think about it because I didn't think I could conquer whatever obstacle lies ahead. After all, what can stop a Marine... Nothing.

I thought about it because after all my years of service, training to fight and fighting on our nations behalf of freedom and safety I found myself not in service to my true calling, my obligation, my oath to protect this nation. I found myself laying on my barracks room floor, wishing I was still in Afghanistan. Remembering the harsh nights of rain, hail, and snow over our heads as our mud hut that we fought so hard to get, caved in on us... I truly missed those nights. For in that misery, among the cursing and laughter I felt my soul [if one could say we have one], at peace. I was serving my purpose. I was doing what needed to be done, not because it was easy, but because it was hard. All the talking and chest bumping couldn't put a man in my shoes that night. It was OUR night, the night of gladiators. But those days and nights have passed and as I go from one medical appointment to the next, not training Marines about things I've learned through blood and sweat, dealing with all the people who tell me what they would have done in war, getting all the advice from people who have never been on the receiving end of enemy fire on how to deal with my nightmares and of course being belittled by your local 1st Sgt, I think what is my purpose now? To wait around and be forgotten? To have my experience and expertise washed away in my mistakes?

As a Marine, as a defender of nations and preserver of freedom I feel misplaced with idol hands. I feel left behind by a country who promised me peace after war... As I laid on my floor thinking about it, I decided not to be one of the 22 (who committed suicide everyday). I decided that if the nation and Corps have forgotten about me then so be it. But they are not the world, or my end aspirations in life. And I want everyone of you veterans out there of every service to remember. Your life doesn't stop when your initial purpose is completed. You simply need to re-orientate and attack a new objective. Take the peace you have earned and go after your dreams that you have fought so hard to preserve.

If I help one veteran from giving the pricks the satisfaction then my courage in writing this message will have served its purpose.

Semper Fi,
Cpl Eric Stump
USMC
0311/0351


Seabees Joing Marines

Seabees Join Marines at Elliot To Aid in Road Sweeping Operations - August 1969

A four mile hike before breakfast is said to be very healthful. However, the Marines and Seabees at Elliot Combat Base don't necessarily agree. It is their job to sweep almost four miles of Route #9 between Elliot and Bridge 912 for mines, booby traps and ambushes each morning.

The Marines are members of "A" Company of the 11th Marine Engineers. The Seabees are MCB 62 men who walk the road with the Marines to point out places where Battalion men will be working and in progress construction which may be booby trapped. From 20 to 30 Marines make up the major part of the sweep team. Of these, about 18 provide point (forward), flank (side) and rear security.

Three two-man teams perform the actual sweep. One man on each team operates the detection gear as his partner probes for hidden demolition. A Sergeant in charge, a Hospital Corpsman, a radioman and, often, a Marine sentry dog and his handler comprise the rest of the team. A five-ton truck follows behind to carry the men to the starting point after the sweep. Many times tanks and other heavy armored vehicles come along to provide greater fire support. Engineering Aid Constructionman Danny Hawes is one of the Seabees who walks the route with the Marine group each morning. It is his job to point out new working areas which must be swept. Certain places off the road such as those where equipment operators pick up fill dirt with their scrapers are also checked.

At the end of each hike Hawes reports to the operations officer on all mines and traps found. Presently, two men from the First Platoon of 62's Charlie Company also travel with the team. The men, who are assigned the mission on a rotation basis, are taking the place Builder Third Class Frank Ryncarz who previously worked with the sweepers. The Charlie Company men are responsible for making sure that the sites where the company is building culverts are swept. Each morning the sweep team and the Seabees clamber aboard a truck which takes them to the main gate of Elliot Combat Base. There the Marines don the headsets of their detection devices. They assemble the main component of their detectors, a long collapsible pole with a flat metal plate attached. As the gate guards remove the road barriers, the team forms into three columns, one in the middle of the road and one on each road shoulder. At a signal from the Sergeant the columns move out, each man keeping well away from the men around him. Moving slowly as they sweep the detectors back and forth before them, the Marines try to cover every inch of roadway and shoulder. If they detect something the spot is marked. The next man in line then probes the ground with a bayonet to discover what caused the reading on the detector.

The team has discovered relatively little enemy activity along the route lately. Since mid-July, however, the sweep teams have discovered two Claymore anti-personnel mines, two 60-pound anti-tank mines and several grenades, dud mortars and artillery rounds. Any demolition found is destroyed by the Marines with c-4 plastic explosive. Although the four mile walk each morning is more than a mere constitutional for the three Seabees, it means a much more healthful place to work for 62's other Bees on Route #9.


Short Rounds

"Ribbons don't tell where you're going; they tell where you been." You are a Marine - That's all that matters.

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


Would you believe that they had a mighty Mite jeep on Pawn Stars about three months ago for sale. I was surprised to see one in Nam like the story shows.

Ted


Quotes

"[A] bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference."
--Thomas Jefferson, 1787​


"I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and a constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold."
--1stLt. Clifton B. Cates, USMC in Belleau Wood, 19 July 1918


"There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial."
--Ayn Rand


"Courage is endurance for one moment more."
--Unknown Marine Second Lieutenant in Vietnam


"My only answer as to why the Marines get the toughest jobs is because the average Leatherneck is a much better fighter. He has far more guts, courage, and better officers... These boys out here have a pride in the Marine Corps and will fight to the end no matter what the cost."
--2nd Lt. Richard C. Kennard, Peleliu, World War II


"The Navy was our mother,
The Marine Corps was our father,
They were never married,
I am one proud bastard."

"OHHHHH!... Daddy's gone now... were gonna play!"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 05 FEB 2015
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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 05 FEB 2015

In this issue:
• The Navy's Police Force
• In Any Clime And Place
• Wishing I Was Still In Afghanistan

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US Marine Corps officers Col. Pedro del Valle (11th Marines CO), Gen.Thomas Holcomb (Commandant of the Marine Corps), and Gen. Alexander Vandegrift (CG 1st Marine Division) inspecting 11th Marine Regiment at Camp Lejeune, Jacksonville, North Carolina, United States, 1942.

(Photo is part of the USMC Henry Siderman Collection)


3rd Bn, 5th Marines, Vietnam​

I have been attending the 3rd Bn, 5th Marines, Vietnam reunion for 11 years. For the first 9 years, I was the only one attending from the 81 mm mortar section in which I served. I had not been contact with any member of the section since I rotated back to the states in Aug., 1967. I started a computer search for the section members in 2012. Out of about 25 Marines that I served with, I have located 17. This past year there were 9 of us attending with a promise of 4 others attending in 2015. One of them had died of leukemia and one of those attending had leukemia but was in remission.

I have included some pictures. One picture is Joe Maplethrope, Sonny Scheffler, and myself in August 1966, and another of us 48 years later in May, 2014. The other picture is of the 9 of us that were in attending. It was amazing how the years just faded away and we were "19-year-old kids" again... I would like to encourage any Marine that is reading this... If you have the opportunity to attend a reunion, please do so. It is very therapeutic!

I am also including an article from a May 1967 issue of "The Sea Tiger" about my mortar squad during Operation Union II.

Semper Fi,
Carl Gregory, Sgt. USMC


The Navy's Police Force

Sgt Grit,

I applaud you on the handling of the New Marines' Hymn in your last newsletter. You had it tied in beautifully with your newsletter. For what it is worth, I researched the source of this hymn and have forwarded an address which is depicted above. If you move to "Defense budget reductions" you will see in the seventh paragraph reference to President Truman's dislike of the Marine Corps stating "The Marine Corps is the Navy's police force and as long as I am President that is what it will remain. They have a propaganda machine that is almost equal to Stalin's." He and the Secretary of Defense, Louis A. Johnson, wanted to eliminate the Marine Corps altogether. And interestingly about this same time in 1950 they were planning an amphibious invasion of Inchon, Korea.

SecDef Louis A. Johnson

Marvin Haverkamp


All That Matters

As the conversation of Vietnam Era vs Vietnam Combat Veteran continues, I would submit one possible difference between the two that may help draw a distinction. Many Vietnam Combat Veterans received a "special welcome" home by anti-war protesters. Those of us that experienced that reception know exactly what I'm talking about. Even if you did not serve "in-country" you may have had to endure the same treatment simply because you wore the uniform. That said, I would refer to a comment by Pete Dahlstrom in the 28 January Newsletter who said it best in response to Era Marines vs Combat Marines during the Vietnam War... "Can you honestly say 'I am a Marine'?" If you can, no other questions need be asked. Don't be so d-mned sure that you missed out by not slopping through the jungles and rice paddies. That may sound glorious to some, but trust me, it's not all that you may think it is. I have no regrets, nor should you! I am a Marine... you are too. And that is all that matters.

HERMAN M.


John J. McNamara

The excerpt below appeared at the end of the January newsletter. Could this be a reference to John J. McNamara, who was a U.S. Marine, lecturer, and author of several books, the last being "Millville's Mac - The Life Story Of A World War II Combat Marine", published in 2014 shortly before his death? If not, who does this refer to?

Thanks so much,
Linda Roy

"Leader of men, teller of tall tales, legend in his own mind, U.S. Marine extraordinaire, stream fordable, air drop-able, beer fueled, water cooled, author, history maker, lecturer, traveler, freedom fighter, defender of the faith. Wars fought, tigers tamed, revolutions started, bars emptied, alligators castrated. Let me win your hearts and minds or I'll burn your damn hut down!"


In Any Clime And Place

I have been reading submissions from other Marine regarding their lack of combat service and would like to submit my own feelings on this subject.

While I yield to no one in my admiration of those who served in harm's way, I have yet to hear one of those folks tell me that I "missed" anything. Some have told me that the experience of combat made them stronger, others bear wounds that have yet to heal. None of them have ever said "I wish you had been there!" Most of them were proud of the wounds, (physical, or otherwise), borne in the service of their country but had no desire to see them inflicted on anyone else. Interestingly enough, most of the hard feelings that I have witnessed were focused on those who were "in country" but not in combat. (I have no documentation or statistics to quote, just my own opinion, perhaps others with more experience would care to comment.) Nonetheless, the vast majority of Marines that I have encountered seem to believe it is our "commonality" as Marines that is most important. And, for that, I agree, and am grateful for all the service of my fellow Marines, the glory we share from those who have gone before us, and the brotherhood that is extended. It was my pleasure and privilege to serve from 10/72 - 7/93, in any clime and place my superiors were pleased to send me. From my very humble beginnings and the examples of those Marines with whom I served, I learned and became a better Marine. I can only hope that my own example inspired and made others want to be better Marines also.

On another note, I have been culling my library and found that I have two copies of my recruit training book, MCRD, Parris Island, Platoon 2018, graduating January 1973. If you are a fellow alumnus of this platoon, I would be pleased to forward my spare copy. I would also be pleased to hear a synopsis of your Marine career, how you remember our days at Parris Island, and how you are doing now.

Finally, in submission for the bold print at the end of your newsletter. I wish I had attribution, but I'm sure I heard it first when I reported to 1st Radio Bn, FMF, KMCAS, Hawaii, - "You stupid boot, I've worn out more seabags than you have socks!" (I confess I used it later in my career.)

George M. Button
MSgt USMC (ret)


God, Country, and Corps

I purchased the Wool/Poly Reversible Jacket. Wear it all the time and always getting complements on the jacket from Marines and civilians. When I say Marine I mean active, retired and all who have served as Marines. You can take the Marine out of the Corps but not the Corps out of the Marine.

Semper Fi, Always faithful to God, Country and Corps.

MSgt Bill Dugan '56-'77
Nam '69-'70, Recruiter '70-'74
Swing with the Wing!


Hollywood Marines

LCpl DL Rupper,

I joined 2/1 in August '63. We really were Hollywood Marines for sometime in '64, the Battalion went to CBS in Hollywood. We were in some kind of show which featured Vicki Carr. Never saw the show but they fed us some good chow. Our bus broke down on the way to Pendleton and we sat there most of the night until a new bus came. This battalion went to Okinawa in January '65 to become 3/3. Then to Chu Lai in May '65. I served again in 3/3 '67-'68 up on the Z.

V. Randall 2511


All Service Should Be Honored

Sgt. Grit,

A reply to J Kanavy, Cpl, USMC

I emphatically agree with you that, "All service should be honored." However, that's as far as my agreement goes. I'm strongly opposed to different markers or headstones for different types of service or service in a war zone.

If I have my history correct, Marines of the WW II time frame and possibly into Korea wore patches on their uniforms to designate the unit, division, or wing to which they were assigned. I believe the practice was discontinued because many thought it divided Marines in very wrong ways. I agree with that premise.

A Marine is a Marine, is a Marine - period. I'll write again - What your duty assignments were while you were on active duty is absolutely the "Luck of the Draw". When you completed recruit training, marched across the parade deck at one of the depots, you became a U.S. Marine. We are brothers. We have a kinship that no other organization can claim. To identify one Marine's duty assignment as being special is, I believe, disingenuous to all Marines who served. Just let it be said that we, as Marines, did our duty and will continue to do exactly that until we are finally called to guard the gates. All of us are identified as being special - WE ARE MARINES.

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


USS George Clymer​

Bud Davis' story about his fun on the USS George Clymer stirs the gray matter. One can grumble about government waste, but it doesn't seem to apply to ships.

I read William Manchester's book "Goodbye Darkness" which included his short tour in Okinawa via the Okinawa invasion. It caught my eye when I found he was transported to Okinawa in the USS George Clymer. This was in 1945.

I was in the 1st Stage of the 9th MEB in August 1964 and ended up on the USS George Clymer, fondly known as "Greasy George". Scuttlebutt at the time said it was a convert luxury boat and as such rode the waves easier. We didn't think so. Scuttlebutt also said that Greasy George had a confrontation with some dock in the Philippines; I think that was career limiting for whoever was at the helm.

Every now & then the name pops. In this Newsletter & other places. To me Clymer = the 9th MEB.

Corporal Don Harkness
1961-1965


A Little Off Key

I got quite a chuckle out of the "Juke Box" story published this week. I had a similar experience at MCRD in 1964. I won't mention names or platoon numbers for fear of embarrassing others, but will share the tale.

One of my platoon mates was the son of a Marine Colonel and apparently played in a rock band in high school. Somehow our drill instructors learned of that and made him the Platoon Musician. They would call for him to report to the Duty Hut and he would use coat hangers to beat on an upturned waste basket. Eventually they made him the Platoon Juke Box and would place him in one of the wall lockers that separated the office from the bunk area of the drill instructors. When a drill instructor tapped on the wall locker, he would start singing The Marines' Hymn. That soon became an every evening event.

One evening the Field Officer of the Day came through the platoon area and of course was wearing his sword as a symbol of his duty assignment. He entered the Duty Hut to inspect the happenings and I am completely confident that our Platoon Juke Box could hear every word being said and knew exactly what was happening. As the Major finished speaking with the drill instructor, he turned and accidently banged the wall locker with the scabbard of his sword. Immediately from within began "The Marine's Hymn" at a high volume. The drill instructor froze in his tracks and probably was envisioning Portsmouth Naval Prison. The Major remarked something to the effect of "That sounds a little off-key, but pretty good," and departed the area.

The wall locker was taken (with all internal components) out to the platoon street where it was upended and turned over and over several times. As I recall, that was the last time the Platoon Juke Box was ever turned on.

Michael Hackett
SSgt USMC
1964-1969​


When The Marine Took The Stage

The story of the service hymns reminded me of something I saw on the Jay Leno show several years ago. It was Fleet Week or something, but Jay had members of all of the services in the audience. At one point, he invited a member of each branch to come on stage and sing their "anthem." One by one, a soldier, airman, and sailor came down and did their best. Throughout this the camera was showing the audience's reaction. When the Marine took the stage (a young Corporal in Dress Blues as memory serves), I looked at my wife and said, "Watch this." The Marine began to sing and the camera turned towards the audience as 8-10 Marines in dress blues popped to attention. Damn, I was proud. And the kid did a fair job singing the Hymn, too.

Semper Fi!

Tom Mahoney
'67-'71​


Welcome Home Brother

Having served 4 years in the Corps, I will forever be defined as a Marine, regardless of whatever accomplishments my life work has attained. Like you I wear that title with pride. Having said that, I firmly believe my destiny was never attained. You see I never served in combat. My outfit came within hours of invading Cuba, but in the waining hours of the night, we were told to stand down. We were all anxious, and scared but all were prepared to do our duty. Even though my DD214 does not reflect a combat tour, my heart knows I would have stood with my brothers and done my duty.

I am also a proud "Warrior Watch Rider" which is a motorcycle group that honors those who served their military duties for the greatest country on the planet. I participated in many rides to honor those veterans and overwhelmingly the most dedicated riders are the Vietnam Nam Vets. I am humbled to be in their company and look forward to hearing their stories and share in their heart felt greeting to all veterans, young and old. Last year we traveled from Pennsylvania to California on our bikes and encountered many Vietnam vets along the way who were anxious to share their battle stories with us. At first I made a point of stating I was not a combat vet. After hearing that statement my riding buddies quietly pulled me aside and firmly told me to desist and accept the greeting of "Welcome Home Brother" because they said you are a "Marine". That title was qualification enough for them.

So in closing, accept a humble and heartfelt "Welcome Home Brothers" to all veterans. Guys keep the stories of your Vietnam experience coming they are appreciated.

Standing proud former Corporal and retired Philly PD
Tom Spoltore --0311 --1959 to 1963​


Third Bn Jukebox

Hope this doesn't burst Secret Squirrel's bubble, but being a jukebox at MCRD in 1968 was hardly a first... his platoon number indicates that he was in Second Bn, which was on the south side of the grinder at MCRD SD... may still be, AFIK, but earlier in the century, say, around 1962 or 1963, in Lima Company, Third Bn, down by the "little grinder' and the airport, we had a Series Gunnery Sergeant, Amtracker by MOS, who had this scary affect involving his eyes... I swear the man could look a hole through a 3/4" mild steel plate... and if you were a Drill Instructor of lessor rank, it was not a death-ray beam you wanted aimed your way. At the time, I had been a Sergeant all month... or nearly so... maybe a few days short... and I had the duty.

A Quonset hut "Duty Hut" of the era, accommodated the four platoons of a series... two platoons at each end, each platoon's DI's having the same sparse furniture ('furniture' for lack of a better term) there would be for each quarter of a hut, two double wall lockers, a field desk and folding stool, a waste can, and probably a board with six or seven spring clothespins labeled with days of the week on the wall behind the desk. The latter was the repository for dental or, rarely, medical appointment cards, and one of the primary duties of the 'secretary' or 'house mouses'. There would frequently be a curtain of sorts suspended between the two lockers on each side, and behind that would be one oil stove in the middle of the hut (never, ever saw one lit...) and in each quarter, one tightly made rack, for the duty DI.

The wall lockers, for whatever reason, were usually arranged so that the double locker closest to the wall had the doors to the center of the hut, and was used by the Duty to hang changes of uniform... the other double locker was set so the doors faced the hatch, and was rarely used.

I had created a jukebox, by stuffing a maggot into the locker closest to the center line of the hut, and for my listening pleasure, had established a brevity code of musical selections... no crass exchange of money here, just simple 'taps'... one rap on the locker would produce the occupant's best efforts at our beloved Hymn, two raps would produce "Into the air, junior birdmen" (to the AF tune), and so on. Four taps, as I recall, some way too many years later, would produce a barracks ballad of Korea vintage, that went something like "Fifth Marines, oh, Fifth Marines, those dirty sons of b-itches... the line their azs with broken glass and wonder why it itches... etc. etc. etc." (have to wonder if that Pvt is still alive... and remembers learning the song?)

For some reason, the rest of the platoon was in quarters, and the jukebox, for the moment, was silent. And then Gy Wentworth... he of the death ray eyes, walked in... the usual pleasantries and military courtesies ensued... "Afternoon, Gunny"... Afternoon, Sgt Dickerson, how's it going?"... "got everything squared away, Gunny, going good" ("good to go" had not been invented yet... and may be obsolete by now?) With a quick scan of the area, the Gy decided to pass through the curtain, and proceed to the two 'duty huts' on the other end of the Quonset... as he did so, for absolutely no good reason, he reached out and tapped the nearest locker... and from out of the vents at the top and bottom of that locker door, came: "From the Halls of Montezuma, to the"... well, you probably know the rest of the words... And I got 'the look"... with no further action... thankfully...

So yes... in Third Bn, we made Marines... but "Mary Had A Little Lamb"?... GMAFB! (full disclosure... in 1957, DDick was a squad leader (most of the time...LOL) in Platoon 281... that'd be 2nd Bn... about where the parade bleacher restrooms are now...

​Ddick


A Brief History

From time to time, I note that folks inquire or comment about USMC dungarees or utilities. As a long-time (30 years) collector of USMC uniforms and 782 gear, permit me to offer a brief history of the utility uniform from Pre-WWII to Vietnam (attached). In the future, I'll offer a history from post-Vietnam to Present.

C. 'Stoney' Brook
Corporal of Marines
0811/0844
1961-65​

US MARINE CORPS UTILITIES

(Pre-WW II through Vietnam)

Prior to 1941, the US Marine 'combat uniform' was either the green wool uniform or the khaki cotton uniform, with web gear [belt, pack, canteen, etc.] added to carry ammo, rations and the bayonet. Marines wore a campaign cover (later called the Smokey Bear) or the flat WWI style Brodie helmet.

The Marines used a blue denim two piece suit as a "dungaree" or work uniform, as well as a coverall of the same material. This was a simple design, based on the clothing used by railroad crews, had one breast and two waist pockets. It was from this two piece design the classic M1941 utility uniform was created.

For clarification, the term 'dungarees' was used prior to WW II and the term 'utilities' adopted after WW II had begun; at least through WW II, both terms were seen used as synonyms.

M-1941

The two piece sage green herringbone twill utility uniform was worn throughout WWII, from Guadalcanal and on through the Korean War, with some still being issued in the early 1960s ("until supplies are exhausted").

Full-cut, with three pockets, the material was very durable but prone to fading ('salty') in sun and water. The single breast pocket had USMC and an EGA stenciled. The pockets were square-shaped, with some made more 'rounded' on the bottoms. The four front close buttons, of steel or bronze, were uncovered and marked 'US Marine Corps'; the buttons were attached with rivets.

Although the material was quite sturdy, the craftsmanship could be spotty. Many uniforms are seen with mismatched color lots used to make a single garment. It is notable that USMC herringbone is not the same pattern as that used by the US Army.

Until very late in WW II, these coats weren't commonly marked with rank (chevrons).

M-1944

Towards the end of WW II, the uniform was modified to make it capable of carrying a combat load in lieu of the haversack, The sage green herringbone twill coat had a single flapped breast pocket, with USMC and the EGA, and no waist pockets as with the M1941 pattern. Instead, two externally accessed map/grenade/flotation pockets were placed on either side of the front closure. The coat also incorporated an internal gas flap. The trousers for this pattern incorporated a unique 'ass-pocket' with two buttons, reportedly designed to carry a folded poncho. This was the first USMC combat uniform to have thigh pockets, to carry ammo, grenades or ration boxes.

Due to its late arrival, the M1944 saw little use in WW II but was used in Korea and still issued well into the 1960s. Regardless, it never enjoyed the popularity of the M1941 style.

M-1947

After WW II, the M1941 was slightly modified by making the torso trimmer, the sleeves shorter and pockets a different shape. The herringbone twill was a darker shade of green. With the left-over M1941 and the M1944 patterns, this was the combat uniform used in Korea and into the 1960s. It was then being phased out by the M1953 uniform.

M-1953 UTILITIES

Made of gray-green (sage) herringbone cloth, the M- 1953 utilities were designed to be worn tucked in the trousers. The design featured button cuffs, two breast pockets and a single inner 'map/grenade' pocket on the left. Except for the cuffs, all buttons were covered to prevent snagging.

Coats made from 1953 to 1955 have the 'old style' 1936 eagle-globe-anchor with two 'ribands' (ribbons) on the left pocket. Those made from 1956 through 1968 have the 1954 single riband emblem.

This uniform commonly had the wear's rank stenciled on the upper sleeves until 1959 when the wide metal pin-on insignia (sans crossed rifles) was adopted during the transitional rank period.

US MARINE CORPS PATTERN 1957 UTILITIES

This cotton sateen uniform was issued from 1958 until approximately 1963 or "until supplies were exhausted." This design incorporated all features from the M1953 utilities such as covered buttons and an inside map/grenade pocket.

Marines assigned to the Third Marine Division (Okinawa) commonly attached an in-country embroidered nametape (usually of herringbone twill) above the left pocket. On returning to stateside, they often retained the nametape as a sign of being 'salty'.

This utility uniform used the current pin-on collar rank insignia with crossed rifles, which was adopted in 1959-62 as the rank structure was modified.

OG-107 UTILITIES

About 1963, the P1957 was replaced by the OG107 sateen uniform, an all-services (Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force) fatigue/utility uniform of olive green cotton sateen with exposed buttons. Marines and Corpsmen used an iron-on transfer to apply an EGA and USMC lettering to the left breast pocket.

The P1957 and OG107 uniforms were the type worn by the first Marines to land in Vietnam in March, 1965. The cotton sateen material quickly proved unsuitable for tropical climates, tending to hold body heat and to rot from humidity.

TROPICAL COMBAT COAT, RIP-STOP COTTON, (THIRD PATTERN) circa 1967-69

The two previous patterns had exposed buttons, side adjustments tabs and shoulder epaulets and were used from about 1963 through 1967. These designs were derived from paratrooper suits used in WW2, with slanted upper pockets and large lower pockets allowing access to rations or grenades below the web combat belt.

The 3rd Pattern simplified the design by covering the buttons, eliminating the epaulets and tabs, and used a lighter 'rip-stop' material to better handle the tropical heat.

This uniform was used throughout the Vietnam War by all US services.

TROPICAL COMBAT COAT [CAMOUFLAGE] circa 1969-72

Based on the Third Pattern Coat, this coat (with matching trousers and boonie hat/cover) was adopted in 1969 using the ERDL [Engineer Research & Development Laboratory] camouflage design. The camo pattern was made in different dominant colors (browns or shades of greens), depending on the terrain.

Although issued to many Marine units, like Recon or Infantry, is was not the primary combat uniform in Vietnam. As with all camo patterns, it was most effective when the wearer remained motionless as movement drew visual attention to the disruptive design.

This camouflage pattern and the coat style became the basis for the post-war Woodland pattern utilities.​


Wishing I Was Still In Afghanistan

(This is not a suicide letter)

Tonight, as a United States Marine with 3 combat tours to Afghanistan, a Bronze Star w/ "V" for valor (heroism), Purple Heart, and 2 Navy Achievement Medals for actions in Afghanistan... I thought about SUICIDE. I didn't think about it because I thought life was too hard. I didn't think about it because I didn't think I could conquer whatever obstacle lies ahead. After all, what can stop a Marine... Nothing.

I thought about it because after all my years of service, training to fight and fighting on our nations behalf of freedom and safety I found myself not in service to my true calling, my obligation, my oath to protect this nation. I found myself laying on my barracks room floor, wishing I was still in Afghanistan. Remembering the harsh nights of rain, hail, and snow over our heads as our mud hut that we fought so hard to get, caved in on us... I truly missed those nights. For in that misery, among the cursing and laughter I felt my soul [if one could say we have one], at peace. I was serving my purpose. I was doing what needed to be done, not because it was easy, but because it was hard. All the talking and chest bumping couldn't put a man in my shoes that night. It was OUR night, the night of gladiators. But those days and nights have passed and as I go from one medical appointment to the next, not training Marines about things I've learned through blood and sweat, dealing with all the people who tell me what they would have done in war, getting all the advice from people who have never been on the receiving end of enemy fire on how to deal with my nightmares and of course being belittled by your local 1st Sgt, I think what is my purpose now? To wait around and be forgotten? To have my experience and expertise washed away in my mistakes?

As a Marine, as a defender of nations and preserver of freedom I feel misplaced with idol hands. I feel left behind by a country who promised me peace after war... As I laid on my floor thinking about it, I decided not to be one of the 22 (who committed suicide everyday). I decided that if the nation and Corps have forgotten about me then so be it. But they are not the world, or my end aspirations in life. And I want everyone of you veterans out there of every service to remember. Your life doesn't stop when your initial purpose is completed. You simply need to re-orientate and attack a new objective. Take the peace you have earned and go after your dreams that you have fought so hard to preserve.

If I help one veteran from giving the pricks the satisfaction then my courage in writing this message will have served its purpose.

Semper Fi,
Cpl Eric Stump
USMC
0311/0351


Seabees Joing Marines

Seabees Join Marines at Elliot To Aid in Road Sweeping Operations - August 1969

A four mile hike before breakfast is said to be very healthful. However, the Marines and Seabees at Elliot Combat Base don't necessarily agree. It is their job to sweep almost four miles of Route #9 between Elliot and Bridge 912 for mines, booby traps and ambushes each morning.

The Marines are members of "A" Company of the 11th Marine Engineers. The Seabees are MCB 62 men who walk the road with the Marines to point out places where Battalion men will be working and in progress construction which may be booby trapped. From 20 to 30 Marines make up the major part of the sweep team. Of these, about 18 provide point (forward), flank (side) and rear security.

Three two-man teams perform the actual sweep. One man on each team operates the detection gear as his partner probes for hidden demolition. A Sergeant in charge, a Hospital Corpsman, a radioman and, often, a Marine sentry dog and his handler comprise the rest of the team. A five-ton truck follows behind to carry the men to the starting point after the sweep. Many times tanks and other heavy armored vehicles come along to provide greater fire support. Engineering Aid Constructionman Danny Hawes is one of the Seabees who walks the route with the Marine group each morning. It is his job to point out new working areas which must be swept. Certain places off the road such as those where equipment operators pick up fill dirt with their scrapers are also checked.

At the end of each hike Hawes reports to the operations officer on all mines and traps found. Presently, two men from the First Platoon of 62's Charlie Company also travel with the team. The men, who are assigned the mission on a rotation basis, are taking the place Builder Third Class Frank Ryncarz who previously worked with the sweepers. The Charlie Company men are responsible for making sure that the sites where the company is building culverts are swept. Each morning the sweep team and the Seabees clamber aboard a truck which takes them to the main gate of Elliot Combat Base. There the Marines don the headsets of their detection devices. They assemble the main component of their detectors, a long collapsible pole with a flat metal plate attached. As the gate guards remove the road barriers, the team forms into three columns, one in the middle of the road and one on each road shoulder. At a signal from the Sergeant the columns move out, each man keeping well away from the men around him. Moving slowly as they sweep the detectors back and forth before them, the Marines try to cover every inch of roadway and shoulder. If they detect something the spot is marked. The next man in line then probes the ground with a bayonet to discover what caused the reading on the detector.

The team has discovered relatively little enemy activity along the route lately. Since mid-July, however, the sweep teams have discovered two Claymore anti-personnel mines, two 60-pound anti-tank mines and several grenades, dud mortars and artillery rounds. Any demolition found is destroyed by the Marines with c-4 plastic explosive. Although the four mile walk each morning is more than a mere constitutional for the three Seabees, it means a much more healthful place to work for 62's other Bees on Route #9.


Short Rounds

"Ribbons don't tell where you're going; they tell where you been." You are a Marine - That's all that matters.

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


Would you believe that they had a mighty Mite jeep on Pawn Stars about three months ago for sale. I was surprised to see one in Nam like the story shows.

Ted


Quotes

"[A] bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference."
--Thomas Jefferson, 1787​


"I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and a constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold."
--1stLt. Clifton B. Cates, USMC in Belleau Wood, 19 July 1918


"There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial."
--Ayn Rand


"Courage is endurance for one moment more."
--Unknown Marine Second Lieutenant in Vietnam


"My only answer as to why the Marines get the toughest jobs is because the average Leatherneck is a much better fighter. He has far more guts, courage, and better officers... These boys out here have a pride in the Marine Corps and will fight to the end no matter what the cost."
--2nd Lt. Richard C. Kennard, Peleliu, World War II


"The Navy was our mother,
The Marine Corps was our father,
They were never married,
I am one proud bastard."

"OHHHHH!... Daddy's gone now... were gonna play!"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 29 JAN 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 29 JAN 2015

In this issue:
• The New Marines' Hymn 1956
• Korea Prisoner Exchange
• A Discernible Pause

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1956 business card with New Marines' Hymn printed on back

Thought you might like this hymn that was printed on the back of a business card of Calvert Studio, Ocean Side, CA in 1956.

The New Marines' Hymn

In answer to President Truman's Speech of 5 September 50

From the Halls of Montezuma
To the shores of Tripoli
We'll police our G-d D-mn Navy
As long as they're at sea.

First to fight the Army's battles
and to win the Navy's fights
And still our old friend Harry
Tries to louse up all our rights.

Our flag's been flown from every ship
Since the Navy's start
A Marine detachment in their midst
Kept the fleet from falling apart.

Uncle Harry says we're just police
and he should really know
We've arrested wars since we began
and dealt the final blow.

We have Honor, we have Glory
We're the finest ever seen
But still our propaganda
Is a second rate machine.

Harry's Army and his Navy
Never look on Heaven's scenes
Cause they know the Angels are all in love
With United States Marines.

Marvin Haverkamp


Korea Prisoner Exchange

Korea prisoner exchange pic 1

Korea prisoner exchange pic 2

Hi Sgt Grit,

I thought you might like to see a couple of old pictures that I took in Korea. This was the prisoners exchange. I was there and want everyone to know that they took off all their clothes do to thier shorts and threw them at us. They did not want to go back looking like they were taken care of. This was a long time ago...

Sgt. Bob Holmes, 135XXXX


That Is Six Years People

Sergeant Grit,

There is one thing about the Reserve that most people never think about. We live where we train. That is we are normally all the same age, went to all the local schools, and have a history with people that others in the unit know. We are, in a very loose sense, really a "band of brothers, sisters". For a minimum of six years we serve with each other, get to know what it is to be around each other, and put up with all of the particularities of unit and the Corps. That is six years people. You do anything that long you have a real sense of what to do and how to get it done.

Later,
Peter​


2015 St. Patrick's Day T-shirt Special


Luckily I Was Not Injured

The most harrowing moment while I was in the Nam was during a rocket attack. They were trying to hit the 11th Marine battery on Hill 34. My company, Comm Support Co, 7th Comm Bn was the berm guard for the artillery stationed on the hill. The rockets managed to hit about 5 duds among the guns, hit our Bn supply, put at least two in our softball field, & through a water buffalo (not the animal, but the kind which was pulled by a vehicle.) I was the 7th Marine in a two man fighting hole, and so was the top-most one in the hole. The last rocket landed about 25 feet from this hole, and in front of our observation tower, throwing a lot of dirt, gravel, stones and who knows what else on top of me. Luckily I was not injured. Aside with pulling bridge guard duty on the Rt 1 bridge over the Cau Do river, the Bn did not do any jungle fighting. Of course, we had radiomen spread from the DMZ to Hoi An with the Korean Marines there, to whatever unit needed communicators. The only other bad time was when the DaNang ammo dump exploded on 30 Apr 1969. We were trapped on Hill 34 for two days, along with a USO show with falling ammo (mostly duds) falling on us. These duds hit our CO'S jeep, and put holes in the roofs of our hooches. I was glad to rotate back to the world some three weeks later.

Sgt J.T. McAniff III
1964-1972, '68-'69 Vietnam


I Wear It With Pride

Hey Grit,

I received your desert twill jacket and when I wore it, I got a lot compliments on it. The jacket is very good and I'll be wearing it to all my Veterans meetings. Some people asked me where I got it, so I told them from the Sgt. Grit magazine that I get. So I gave them your address and told them your toll free phone number so they can call you and order one if they want. I just love this jacket and will wear with Pride. Thanks for the good service, and the good service from your staff. I think the person was Jessie who took my order. So, could you thank her for her service and for placing my order. She was a very good saleslady.

Thanks Again,
Tony Packowski
FR. Manitowoc, WI.


Marines Wool and Poly Reversible Jacket


My Parents And The Corps

I moved here in Anderson, SC, about a little over four years. It blew my mind when I saw so many men who said they were in the Corps, were not only wearing their covers inside, but at the dinner table. Before I came in the Corps, my parents taught me that you don't wear your hat (cover) inside and you sure don't wear it at the table. Then The Marine Corps confirmed what my parents taught me. I was raised up being taught the South had the best manners of all, then when I got here in the South, it was a real shock to see the men wearing their covers inside and at the table. Can't believe these men get out of the Corps then forget their manners.

Warren Parris
Vietnam 1967-1969
SGT​


Gen. Mattis' Next Mission

Destroying the PTSD Victim Myth
By William Treseder
Military 1 Advisor

Retired Marine General Jim Mattis, the most beloved and feared military leader in modern history, is not happy with the state of the nation. Last Wednesday night, at San Francisco's Salute to Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans, he explained why.

The appropriately nicknamed Mad Dog took aim at a dangerous moving target: Post-Traumatic Stress. "You've been told that you're broken," said Mattis, "That you're damaged goods" and should be labeled victims of two unjust and poorly executed wars. The truth, instead, is that we are the only folks with the skills, determination, and values to ensure American dominance in this chaotic world.

The alternative is something so obvious that it is pathetic we don't talk about it more. "There is also Post-Traumatic Growth," Mattis told the crowd. "You come back from war stronger and more sure of who you are."

Read the rest of this article at Destroying the PTSD Victim Myth.


A Discernible Pause

"The Marines' Hymn" I had here it played and sung hundreds of times, but the first time that I truly heard "The Marines' Hymn" was at the end of my first parade on the grinder at MCRD in San Diego in 1964. It was at the end of the Friday afternoon parade, and I knew in my heart that I was going to be a Marine. I realized that this was my "Theme Song". It was a glorious moment... a true epiphany. I truly cherished this moment.

Years later, I was with my girl and some friends at Madison Square Garden... Ah h-ll, let me tell you the whole story. It was 1968, and the country was in the toilet. There were riots and demonstrations against the Vietnam War every day. I was asked by Corporal Jim Duffy if I would like to go with a few other Marines and their wives to see the British Royal Marines at Madison Square Garden. At the time I was a Lance Corporal and this kind of invitation didn't come that often. I readily agreed.

On the appointed night, at the appointed time, we all met in civilian clothing. The place was packed and the show was wonderful, but the true high point of the evening came after the intermission. The entire British Royal Marine Marching Band came into the arena. They were marching only to the beat of their drums. The Beautifully appointed drum major signaled for the band's attention and on his downbeat they played the United States Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard's anthems. Each was played beautifully, but their was no apparent break between each of the anthems. So they sounded like one continuous piece of music. At the end of the Coast Guard anthem there was a discernible pause. In fact, it was long enough to command the attention of everyone in the arena. Suddenly the silence was broken, all of the instruments of the entire band thundered "The Marines's Hymn". At the first note, Corporal Duffy bolted to attention. I was a heartbeat behind him, within a second Gunny Jenson was standing with us. Then all of the other Marines in our group were standing with the wives and girlfriends. As I looked out across the arena men and women were standing in groups and alone. Hundreds of clusters of people stood at attention as our "Hymn" echoed throughout the vast arena. Only our blessed "Hymn" could be heard. At its conclusion everyone sat down. Not a word was spoken. There was only silence. It was as if we all were in a church. There are certain truths and symbols that men hold sacred... the "Marines' Hymn" is one of these. It is the very lifeblood of our beloved Corps.

In word and music, it focuses all of the history and the mission into a sacred prayer. In that arena, standing in the silence with my fellow Marines, I was touched by the blessing of the sacred brotherhood... I was a Marine with Marines. There is no greater honor and privilege.

Lance Corporal R.L. Graziano
Platoon 294 "A Stelling Star"
2nd Bat / 25th Marines '64-'68


The Senator's Wife

Sgt, Grit,

My Mother was a Nurse that took care of Older TB cases. One of her Patients was the Mother of Denver's Premier Lawyer, Later a Republican Senator from Colorado. I had Got out at the end of WWII and went back in a few months later, a while Later, was in Quantico going to Ordnance School. One day I was told to report to the Sgt. Maj. I went into his Office and he said; "What's Your B-tch?" I said, "I have no B-tch, Why?" He said the Schools Commander wants to see you and promptly took me in to see him. When I was escorted into the Office, the Lt.Col. Said; "What's Your B-tch?" I was shook and replied, "I Have No B-tch, Sir!" He said, "why is a Senator coming to Visit you?" At that moment I was so d-mned mad at my mother because I knew she had a finger in this some how! I told the Col. that the Senator was a Friend of the Family, ONLY! The Col. Laughed and the Sgt. Maj. laughed and I was told which Conference Room we would meet in and any thing we wanted, all I had to do was tell the Steward.

About that time a Limo with 81st Congress License Plates pulled up at Headquarters and the Col. said "Go greet him! I met the Chauffeur at the door, He Said Mrs. Millikin (the Senator's wife) wanted to see me, I went to the Limo and met Mrs. Millikin, she asked to see my family. I went back and told the Col., he said you've got liberty for the rest of the day, GO! Now unless you were familiar with Quantico at the time, Off base housing wasn't the best and the house my family lived in also had Rats and Mice that ate through the Walls and wooden boxes to get at your food. We had to buy a tin box large enough to put our food in, we only had one child at the time and I knew my wife wouldn't be to Happy seeing anyone in her one room home with tin cans nailed to cover the rat holes in the floor and walls, but what the H-ll I was Stuck.

The Chauffeur followed my instructions and went to where we lived, I took Mrs. Millikin, quite probably, into the worse house she had ever been in and got her a chair near the table, my wife was nursing the baby. It all ended on a good note, Mrs. Millikin would report to my Mother that we would be leaving Quantico shortly. I think she knew not to worry my Mother.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Broadcast 1938

Sgt Grit,

In a previous blurb I made reference to "The Lady From 29 Palms", which, by coincidence is playing right now (0925, 21Jan15), and you provided a link for YouTube watchers. But, this time around, I found a version of "The Marine's Hymn" on YouTube, that very few, if any, of your readers have ever heard. It was recorded at Columbia Records, in 1942, by Kate Smith, on a 78 RPM disk. Again, the words of the version which she sings do not match the ones that all recruits have to sing in the gas chamber, but it will still give you goose bumps!

"Marines' Hymn" by Kate Smith 1942.

"God Bless America" by Kate Smith 1938.

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


More Luck Of The Draw

Sgt Grit,

My two cents worth in response to J Kanavy's​ comments about distinguishing between Viet Nam Vets and Viet Nam Era vets on grave-markers. I served from '73-'77. I was not "in-country" but I served and was willing to go. My brother did two tours in-country with the Army. While I was at K-Bay, our sister squadron deployed on a moment's notice for Operation Frequent Wind and the evacuation of Saigon. Some have had to stay "in the rear with the gear", but not always by choice. I also spent Desert Shield/Desert Storm in CONUS with the Army teaching USAF and USN pilots how to defeat a specific Iraqi Air Defense system. My parents - both Marines - spent WWII at El Toro overhauling F4Us. Both their grave stones proudly say WWII. They did their part. I did mine, and so did every other Viet Nam Era Marine. Even though I never left CONUS for either war, my grave stone will still say VIET NAM-DESERT STORM.

Jeff Howards
Sgt, USMC '73-'77
CPT, USAR, '77-'93


Regarding the submission by a former "Hat" in response to the submission by Mr. Bender, as to who is and isn't a VN vet... I have the highest regard for Mr. Bender's service, and for the Hats combat service and subsequent wounds. I agree with everything he said except the last statement, that we all are VN vets.

Does that mean that anyone who was in the Corps in 1983-84 is a Grenada vet and a Beirut vet? Is anyone who was in the Corps in 1991 a Desert Storm vet? If a person with such a distinguished record as the Hat tells you, you are a VN vet, then you will really start to believe it. Once you believe it, the next step is to place an order with Grit for all the appropriate clothing items that proclaim you as such, hat, shirt, jacket, etc. You will proudly put on your new clothes, puff out your chest, and go downtown, where you will eventually meet a VN vet. The conversation might go like this.

VN vet: Hey brother, when were you there, what outfit? Where were you based? and all the other questions that vets ask each other.
VN-Era vet: Well, I wasn't actually in VN.
VN vet: Oh? Where were you? Thailand? Laos? Offshore?
VN-Era vet: I was stationed at (pick any stateside post).

What might the next line of this conversation be? The VN-Era vet might be letting himself in for some embarrassment and verbal abuse. Back in April 2013 Grit ran a letter by me about "They also serve who only stand and wait". I said anyone who served performed his duty, no matter where it was. He can be a proud veteran. But maybe not a VN vet. Just my opinion.

Paul Lindner, Cpl. 1959-1963​


Sgt. Grit,

After many comments I have seen as well as one or two statements I have made as well - I have come to a final conclusion as to how I feel after reading many comments pro and con! My final conclusion is as follows:

I have served with one Marine who went to Vietnam as I stayed out of Asia - I would have served honorably no matter where I was sent - as I am a Marine!

I had a very close buddy after I was discharged an Army friend who served in Vietnam.

I met a Marine who serves in Afghanistan and Iraq - was in 8 years.

All of us had the discussion over I am considered a Vietnam Marine - even if I did not serve in the Asian Theater. All 3 said they considered that if I served in the Marine Corps during the (conflict-War) I - to them I am a Vietnam Marine whether I was over there or not - as if I was prepared to die for my Country, I am entitled to the respect of this Honor as a Marine. I have a t-shirt that says Vietnam Era MARINE!

I have been told by World War II and Korean Veterans as well that I am entitled to this accolade as well. It seems that a few of you out there are going to get upset - but I have to live with myself as I enlisted to serve my Country and had no choice where they sent me - as they sent me where I was needed the most at that particular time in my duration of service.

May the Lord above keep those Marines in harms way safe, and may all Brothers who serve return home safe and sound. Sadly, I have seen Marines killed in training and non-combat zones too!

Bruce Bender
Cpl USMC 1963-1967
Vietnam (Era) Marine


All the debate about Era versus Combat, all the debate about combat MOS versus support MOS, all the debate about Peacetime versus Wartime is sadly wasted. There is only one status that will ever matter. The sole issue is simply this : can you honestly say "I am a Marine"? If you can, we will never question anything else.

Pete Dahlstrom '68-'74
and (daughter) Khat Dahlstrom '98-'02
Semper Fi


Biggest Explosion

Sgt. Grit,

I arrived in-country in November 1967. While waiting for assignment we came under a mortar attack while at III MAF Transient Center in DaNang, a day later I was assigned to MAG-12 in Chu Lai and everyone staying in DaNang or going further north to Phu Bai and Quang Tri told me how lucky I was to be heading south instead of north. Then on January 31st, 1968, we came under rocket attack for over an hour with rockets and mortars hitting our flight line and taking out some parked aircraft as well as killing some Marines in the MAG-13 living area. Some landed in the fuel farm, but the biggest explosion came when they hit our bomb dump. The explosions in the bomb dump went on for over 48 hours until one of our aircraft dropped a 1000 lb. bomb in the middle to finally end the explosions. When the they hit the bomb dump it was like a massive earthquake rocking the entire base from the southern-most end to Americal Division and the NSAD Sand Ramp to the north. I wear hearing aids today as a result.

Semper Fi!

​Gene Hays
MSgt, USMC Retired
Author and Historian


"Bees Join Marines To Dump NVA" - May 1969

Marines in Vietnam have gone into battle in tanks, trucks, tractors, jeeps, bulldozers and now a giant earth mover. Two MCB, 62 men, EOCA Tommy J. Giddons and EO1, C.M. Vail, are responsible for this latest innovation in combat transportation.

The two equipment operators were working at 62's Cam Lo Bridge project when "B" Company 1st Bn., 9th Marines, received a call for help from a reconnaissance team nearby. The recon team was engaged in a fire-fight with the enemy and needed reinforcements. When the Marines grabbed their weapons and began looking for transportation to the battle site, the two Seabees volunteered theit TS-24 earth mover. The Marines scrambled into the scoop of their new assault vehicle and, with the Seabees driving, off they went.

EOCA Giddons at the controls took the Marines to the edge of the fighting and waited there for their return. The enemy forces withdrew when the reaction force arrived. EO1 Vail went into the bush with the Marines to assist them in getting back to the earth mover for the return trip. Staff Sergeant W.W. Miles, leader of the Marine reaction force, said, it would have taken us at least 35 to 40 minutes to get there on foot, but the Seabees got us there in five minutes, and they drove us close in toward the fire-fight.

Captain K. E. Junkins, commanding officer of "B" company commented, "The Can-Do attitude of the Seabees and the working rapport of the Marines and Seabees has proven that they are a winning team!"


Juke Box

Summer 1968 MCRD San Diego, CA. What a wonderful time it was for platoon 2046. I don't even have to look up what the platoon number was – it's somehow right there in my brain housing group ready for quick access, similar to my service number (Sir My Service Number Is: 2414XXX, SIR).

I can still recall hearing my favorite band (the Animals) music coming across the grinder from Mainside. It must have been Sunday because we were normally pretty busy with other activities to notice any music from that distance. Living in those Quonset huts with no creature comforts sure didn't seem fair to me when the rest of the world was going on as usual. All we had to do is look to the east across the freeway and see those houses up there with life going on, cars whizzing down the freeway going somewhere, anywhere. But here we were, doing our best to please our drill instructors (not D.I's). Maggot this and Maggot that and what is your major malfunction seemed to be all we could accomplish. Well, it must have been my love of music that brought about the next incident in the continuing parade of events that helped me turn from a pathetic civilian to a United States Marine.

I kind of thought I was chosen at random for this next activity, but now I know that God has a plan and purpose for everything. Private, come here. Get in that wall locker and when you see a coin come through the air vent – start singing. Next thing I know, there I am crammed inside that dark wall locker with just a little light streaming through the air vents at the top of the door. Next I hear my Drill Instructor talking to the Drill Instructor of the platoon next to ours about his new Juke Box. My Drill Instructor asks for a nickel from the other Drill Instructor and I can see the nickel dropping through the air vent at the top of the door. I just remain quiet. My Drill Instructor becomes noticeably upset because of the silence. The language that follows is not really suitable to repeat, but let me just say that I was motivated to action. I didn't even know that the things that were proposed were even possible for a human being to experience. I've heard talk of what it sounds like to be in a 55 gallon drum, and that day I got a good idea with all the punching and kicking on that metal wall locker. Well, the next nickel comes through the slot and the only song I can think of is "Mary had a Little Lamb". Not exactly the kind of song that one Drill Instructor wants to play on his Juke Box for another Drill Instructor. Oh boy, I was pulled out of that "Juke Box" pretty rudely, beat severely about the head and shoulder, and told to get away and never come back. The other Drill Instructor must have liked my singing though because he was carrying on and laughing that could be heard all the way over to mainside. I wonder if that Marine listening to the Animals over on mainside heard what was going on over in the Quonset huts?

Semper Fi
Sgt. A. 2414xxx (1968-1972)


Sgt Grit's School Circle

70th Anniversary Iwo Jima Flag Raising Parade Flyer

To all Veterans & friends,

On Saturday February 21st at 0830, the annual parade in Sacaton, Arizona to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Flag Raising on Iwo Jima, will begin with a flyover of a B-17G Bomber (Sentimental Journey) accompanied by Marine Corps V-22 Ospey & Marine Corps AH-1Z Super Cobra (not yet confirmed).

Over 150 entries from all across the United States, will be in line & on display for all who attend, to see. There will be Iwo Jima survivors, Code Talkers & Native American Veterans Groups from New York to Florida to Oklahoma up to Michigan & Wisconsin. From Washington to Montana & the Dakotas. Kansas, New Mexico, And all over Arizona. Representing many tribes. American Legion Posts, VFW posts, Marine Corps League Detachments. ROTC groups from all branches. Veterans Motorcycle Clubs, Bagpipers and many other groups to honor this day. I hope that you have the time to come & see history.

It is something that your children & grandchildren should be a witness to. I have participated in this event for the last 14 years. And once again, I will be supplying vehicles for the dignitaries. I am looking for volunteers to help drive these honored Veterans & Elected officials.

Please contact me by calling or though the post. I hope to see all of you there.

Get more info at:

www.irahayespost84.org

Frank V. Aiello
(480) 619-8672


Taps

Yesterday GySgt Merrill "Hootch" Henry, who served with VMM-261, VMO-6 and HMX to name a few from 1946 to 1967 received his orders to stand his post at Heaven's Gate. To those who served and have preceded him in taking their post, Hootch is on his way crack open some San Miguel's.

Spencer Sikder,
Proud nephew-in-law


Short Rounds

Sgt. Grit,

There will always be Marine Aviators -- just rearrange the letters for Marine!

airMen reMain

An original from Sgt. Max Sarazin, 1194xxx


This is my rifle. This is my gun. This is for fighting. This is for fun.

Jim Connor
Sgt 1955 - 1959 Proud Marine


Quotes

P.J. O'Rourke quote

"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you d-mn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences."
--P.J. O'Rourke


"The United States does not need a Marine Corps mainly because she has a fine modern Army and a vigorous Air Force... We [the Marine Corps] exist today--we flourish today--not because of what we know we are, or what we know what we can do, but because of what the grassroots of our country believes we are and believes we can do."
--Brig. Gen. Victor Krulak, USMC​


"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


"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


"Leader of men, teller of tall tales, legend in his own mind, U.S. Marine extraordinaire, stream fordable, air dropable, beer fueled, water cooled, author, history maker, lecturer, traveler, freedom fighter, defender of the faith. Wars fought, tigers tamed, revolutions started, bars emptied, alligators castrated. Let me win your hearts and minds or I'll burn your damn hut down!"

"Gangway! Make a hole!"

"Stand by to fall out!"
"Aye, aye, sir!"
"Fall out!"
"Aye, aye, sir!"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 29 JAN 2015
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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 29 JAN 2015

In this issue:
• The New Marines' Hymn 1956
• Korea Prisoner Exchange
• A Discernible Pause

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Thought you might like this hymn that was printed on the back of a business card of Calvert Studio, Ocean Side, CA in 1956.

The New Marines' Hymn

In answer to President Truman's Speech of 5 September 50

From the Halls of Montezuma
To the shores of Tripoli
We'll police our G-d D-mn Navy
As long as they're at sea.

First to fight the Army's battles
and to win the Navy's fights
And still our old friend Harry
Tries to louse up all our rights.

Our flag's been flown from every ship
Since the Navy's start
A Marine detachment in their midst
Kept the fleet from falling apart.

Uncle Harry says we're just police
and he should really know
We've arrested wars since we began
and dealt the final blow.

We have Honor, we have Glory
We're the finest ever seen
But still our propaganda
Is a second rate machine.

Harry's Army and his Navy
Never look on Heaven's scenes
Cause they know the Angels are all in love
With United States Marines.

Marvin Haverkamp


Korea Prisoner Exchange

Hi Sgt Grit,

I thought you might like to see a couple of old pictures that I took in Korea. This was the prisoners exchange. I was there and want everyone to know that they took off all their clothes do to thier shorts and threw them at us. They did not want to go back looking like they were taken care of. This was a long time ago...

Sgt. Bob Holmes, 135XXXX


That Is Six Years People

Sergeant Grit,

There is one thing about the Reserve that most people never think about. We live where we train. That is we are normally all the same age, went to all the local schools, and have a history with people that others in the unit know. We are, in a very loose sense, really a "band of brothers, sisters". For a minimum of six years we serve with each other, get to know what it is to be around each other, and put up with all of the particularities of unit and the Corps. That is six years people. You do anything that long you have a real sense of what to do and how to get it done.

Later,
Peter​


Luckily I Was Not Injured

The most harrowing moment while I was in the Nam was during a rocket attack. They were trying to hit the 11th Marine battery on Hill 34. My company, Comm Support Co, 7th Comm Bn was the berm guard for the artillery stationed on the hill. The rockets managed to hit about 5 duds among the guns, hit our Bn supply, put at least two in our softball field, & through a water buffalo (not the animal, but the kind which was pulled by a vehicle.) I was the 7th Marine in a two man fighting hole, and so was the top-most one in the hole. The last rocket landed about 25 feet from this hole, and in front of our observation tower, throwing a lot of dirt, gravel, stones and who knows what else on top of me. Luckily I was not injured. Aside with pulling bridge guard duty on the Rt 1 bridge over the Cau Do river, the Bn did not do any jungle fighting. Of course, we had radiomen spread from the DMZ to Hoi An with the Korean Marines there, to whatever unit needed communicators. The only other bad time was when the DaNang ammo dump exploded on 30 Apr 1969. We were trapped on Hill 34 for two days, along with a USO show with falling ammo (mostly duds) falling on us. These duds hit our CO'S jeep, and put holes in the roofs of our hooches. I was glad to rotate back to the world some three weeks later.

Sgt J.T. McAniff III
1964-1972, '68-'69 Vietnam


I Wear It With Pride

Hey Grit,

I received your desert twill jacket and when I wore it, I got a lot compliments on it. The jacket is very good and I'll be wearing it to all my Veterans meetings. Some people asked me where I got it, so I told them from the Sgt. Grit magazine that I get. So I gave them your address and told them your toll free phone number so they can call you and order one if they want. I just love this jacket and will wear with Pride. Thanks for the good service, and the good service from your staff. I think the person was Jessie who took my order. So, could you thank her for her service and for placing my order. She was a very good saleslady.

Thanks Again,
Tony Packowski
FR. Manitowoc, WI.


My Parents And The Corps

I moved here in Anderson, SC, about a little over four years. It blew my mind when I saw so many men who said they were in the Corps, were not only wearing their covers inside, but at the dinner table. Before I came in the Corps, my parents taught me that you don't wear your hat (cover) inside and you sure don't wear it at the table. Then The Marine Corps confirmed what my parents taught me. I was raised up being taught the South had the best manners of all, then when I got here in the South, it was a real shock to see the men wearing their covers inside and at the table. Can't believe these men get out of the Corps then forget their manners.

Warren Parris
Vietnam 1967-1969
SGT​


Gen. Mattis' Next Mission

Destroying the PTSD Victim Myth
By William Treseder
Military 1 Advisor

Retired Marine General Jim Mattis, the most beloved and feared military leader in modern history, is not happy with the state of the nation. Last Wednesday night, at San Francisco's Salute to Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans, he explained why.

The appropriately nicknamed Mad Dog took aim at a dangerous moving target: Post-Traumatic Stress. "You've been told that you're broken," said Mattis, "That you're damaged goods" and should be labeled victims of two unjust and poorly executed wars. The truth, instead, is that we are the only folks with the skills, determination, and values to ensure American dominance in this chaotic world.

The alternative is something so obvious that it is pathetic we don't talk about it more. "There is also Post-Traumatic Growth," Mattis told the crowd. "You come back from war stronger and more sure of who you are."

Read the rest of this article at Destroying the PTSD Victim Myth.


A Discernible Pause

"The Marines' Hymn" I had here it played and sung hundreds of times, but the first time that I truly heard "The Marines' Hymn" was at the end of my first parade on the grinder at MCRD in San Diego in 1964. It was at the end of the Friday afternoon parade, and I knew in my heart that I was going to be a Marine. I realized that this was my "Theme Song". It was a glorious moment... a true epiphany. I truly cherished this moment.

Years later, I was with my girl and some friends at Madison Square Garden... Ah h-ll, let me tell you the whole story. It was 1968, and the country was in the toilet. There were riots and demonstrations against the Vietnam War every day. I was asked by Corporal Jim Duffy if I would like to go with a few other Marines and their wives to see the British Royal Marines at Madison Square Garden. At the time I was a Lance Corporal and this kind of invitation didn't come that often. I readily agreed.

On the appointed night, at the appointed time, we all met in civilian clothing. The place was packed and the show was wonderful, but the true high point of the evening came after the intermission. The entire British Royal Marine Marching Band came into the arena. They were marching only to the beat of their drums. The Beautifully appointed drum major signaled for the band's attention and on his downbeat they played the United States Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard's anthems. Each was played beautifully, but their was no apparent break between each of the anthems. So they sounded like one continuous piece of music. At the end of the Coast Guard anthem there was a discernible pause. In fact, it was long enough to command the attention of everyone in the arena. Suddenly the silence was broken, all of the instruments of the entire band thundered "The Marines's Hymn". At the first note, Corporal Duffy bolted to attention. I was a heartbeat behind him, within a second Gunny Jenson was standing with us. Then all of the other Marines in our group were standing with the wives and girlfriends. As I looked out across the arena men and women were standing in groups and alone. Hundreds of clusters of people stood at attention as our "Hymn" echoed throughout the vast arena. Only our blessed "Hymn" could be heard. At its conclusion everyone sat down. Not a word was spoken. There was only silence. It was as if we all were in a church. There are certain truths and symbols that men hold sacred... the "Marines' Hymn" is one of these. It is the very lifeblood of our beloved Corps.

In word and music, it focuses all of the history and the mission into a sacred prayer. In that arena, standing in the silence with my fellow Marines, I was touched by the blessing of the sacred brotherhood... I was a Marine with Marines. There is no greater honor and privilege.

Lance Corporal R.L. Graziano
Platoon 294 "A Stelling Star"
2nd Bat / 25th Marines '64-'68


The Senator's Wife

Sgt, Grit,

My Mother was a Nurse that took care of Older TB cases. One of her Patients was the Mother of Denver's Premier Lawyer, Later a Republican Senator from Colorado. I had Got out at the end of WWII and went back in a few months later, a while Later, was in Quantico going to Ordnance School. One day I was told to report to the Sgt. Maj. I went into his Office and he said; "What's Your B-tch?" I said, "I have no B-tch, Why?" He said the Schools Commander wants to see you and promptly took me in to see him. When I was escorted into the Office, the Lt.Col. Said; "What's Your B-tch?" I was shook and replied, "I Have No B-tch, Sir!" He said, "why is a Senator coming to Visit you?" At that moment I was so d-mned mad at my mother because I knew she had a finger in this some how! I told the Col. that the Senator was a Friend of the Family, ONLY! The Col. Laughed and the Sgt. Maj. laughed and I was told which Conference Room we would meet in and any thing we wanted, all I had to do was tell the Steward.

About that time a Limo with 81st Congress License Plates pulled up at Headquarters and the Col. said "Go greet him! I met the Chauffeur at the door, He Said Mrs. Millikin (the Senator's wife) wanted to see me, I went to the Limo and met Mrs. Millikin, she asked to see my family. I went back and told the Col., he said you've got liberty for the rest of the day, GO! Now unless you were familiar with Quantico at the time, Off base housing wasn't the best and the house my family lived in also had Rats and Mice that ate through the Walls and wooden boxes to get at your food. We had to buy a tin box large enough to put our food in, we only had one child at the time and I knew my wife wouldn't be to Happy seeing anyone in her one room home with tin cans nailed to cover the rat holes in the floor and walls, but what the H-ll I was Stuck.

The Chauffeur followed my instructions and went to where we lived, I took Mrs. Millikin, quite probably, into the worse house she had ever been in and got her a chair near the table, my wife was nursing the baby. It all ended on a good note, Mrs. Millikin would report to my Mother that we would be leaving Quantico shortly. I think she knew not to worry my Mother.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Broadcast 1938

Sgt Grit,

In a previous blurb I made reference to "The Lady From 29 Palms", which, by coincidence is playing right now (0925, 21Jan15), and you provided a link for YouTube watchers. But, this time around, I found a version of "The Marine's Hymn" on YouTube, that very few, if any, of your readers have ever heard. It was recorded at Columbia Records, in 1942, by Kate Smith, on a 78 RPM disk. Again, the words of the version which she sings do not match the ones that all recruits have to sing in the gas chamber, but it will still give you goose bumps!

"Marines' Hymn" by Kate Smith 1942.

"God Bless America" by Kate Smith 1938.

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


More Luck Of The Draw

Sgt Grit,

My two cents worth in response to J Kanavy's​ comments about distinguishing between Viet Nam Vets and Viet Nam Era vets on grave-markers. I served from '73-'77. I was not "in-country" but I served and was willing to go. My brother did two tours in-country with the Army. While I was at K-Bay, our sister squadron deployed on a moment's notice for Operation Frequent Wind and the evacuation of Saigon. Some have had to stay "in the rear with the gear", but not always by choice. I also spent Desert Shield/Desert Storm in CONUS with the Army teaching USAF and USN pilots how to defeat a specific Iraqi Air Defense system. My parents - both Marines - spent WWII at El Toro overhauling F4Us. Both their grave stones proudly say WWII. They did their part. I did mine, and so did every other Viet Nam Era Marine. Even though I never left CONUS for either war, my grave stone will still say VIET NAM-DESERT STORM.

Jeff Howards
Sgt, USMC '73-'77
CPT, USAR, '77-'93


Regarding the submission by a former "Hat" in response to the submission by Mr. Bender, as to who is and isn't a VN vet... I have the highest regard for Mr. Bender's service, and for the Hats combat service and subsequent wounds. I agree with everything he said except the last statement, that we all are VN vets.

Does that mean that anyone who was in the Corps in 1983-84 is a Grenada vet and a Beirut vet? Is anyone who was in the Corps in 1991 a Desert Storm vet? If a person with such a distinguished record as the Hat tells you, you are a VN vet, then you will really start to believe it. Once you believe it, the next step is to place an order with Grit for all the appropriate clothing items that proclaim you as such, hat, shirt, jacket, etc. You will proudly put on your new clothes, puff out your chest, and go downtown, where you will eventually meet a VN vet. The conversation might go like this.

VN vet: Hey brother, when were you there, what outfit? Where were you based? and all the other questions that vets ask each other.
VN-Era vet: Well, I wasn't actually in VN.
VN vet: Oh? Where were you? Thailand? Laos? Offshore?
VN-Era vet: I was stationed at (pick any stateside post).

What might the next line of this conversation be? The VN-Era vet might be letting himself in for some embarrassment and verbal abuse. Back in April 2013 Grit ran a letter by me about "They also serve who only stand and wait". I said anyone who served performed his duty, no matter where it was. He can be a proud veteran. But maybe not a VN vet. Just my opinion.

Paul Lindner, Cpl. 1959-1963​


Sgt. Grit,

After many comments I have seen as well as one or two statements I have made as well - I have come to a final conclusion as to how I feel after reading many comments pro and con! My final conclusion is as follows:

I have served with one Marine who went to Vietnam as I stayed out of Asia - I would have served honorably no matter where I was sent - as I am a Marine!

I had a very close buddy after I was discharged an Army friend who served in Vietnam.

I met a Marine who serves in Afghanistan and Iraq - was in 8 years.

All of us had the discussion over I am considered a Vietnam Marine - even if I did not serve in the Asian Theater. All 3 said they considered that if I served in the Marine Corps during the (conflict-War) I - to them I am a Vietnam Marine whether I was over there or not - as if I was prepared to die for my Country, I am entitled to the respect of this Honor as a Marine. I have a t-shirt that says Vietnam Era MARINE!

I have been told by World War II and Korean Veterans as well that I am entitled to this accolade as well. It seems that a few of you out there are going to get upset - but I have to live with myself as I enlisted to serve my Country and had no choice where they sent me - as they sent me where I was needed the most at that particular time in my duration of service.

May the Lord above keep those Marines in harms way safe, and may all Brothers who serve return home safe and sound. Sadly, I have seen Marines killed in training and non-combat zones too!

Bruce Bender
Cpl USMC 1963-1967
Vietnam (Era) Marine


All the debate about Era versus Combat, all the debate about combat MOS versus support MOS, all the debate about Peacetime versus Wartime is sadly wasted. There is only one status that will ever matter. The sole issue is simply this : can you honestly say "I am a Marine"? If you can, we will never question anything else.

Pete Dahlstrom '68-'74
and (daughter) Khat Dahlstrom '98-'02
Semper Fi


Biggest Explosion

Sgt. Grit,

I arrived in-country in November 1967. While waiting for assignment we came under a mortar attack while at III MAF Transient Center in DaNang, a day later I was assigned to MAG-12 in Chu Lai and everyone staying in DaNang or going further north to Phu Bai and Quang Tri told me how lucky I was to be heading south instead of north. Then on January 31st, 1968, we came under rocket attack for over an hour with rockets and mortars hitting our flight line and taking out some parked aircraft as well as killing some Marines in the MAG-13 living area. Some landed in the fuel farm, but the biggest explosion came when they hit our bomb dump. The explosions in the bomb dump went on for over 48 hours until one of our aircraft dropped a 1000 lb. bomb in the middle to finally end the explosions. When the they hit the bomb dump it was like a massive earthquake rocking the entire base from the southern-most end to Americal Division and the NSAD Sand Ramp to the north. I wear hearing aids today as a result.

Semper Fi!

​Gene Hays
MSgt, USMC Retired
Author and Historian


"Bees Join Marines To Dump NVA" - May 1969

Marines in Vietnam have gone into battle in tanks, trucks, tractors, jeeps, bulldozers and now a giant earth mover. Two MCB, 62 men, EOCA Tommy J. Giddons and EO1, C.M. Vail, are responsible for this latest innovation in combat transportation.

The two equipment operators were working at 62's Cam Lo Bridge project when "B" Company 1st Bn., 9th Marines, received a call for help from a reconnaissance team nearby. The recon team was engaged in a fire-fight with the enemy and needed reinforcements. When the Marines grabbed their weapons and began looking for transportation to the battle site, the two Seabees volunteered theit TS-24 earth mover. The Marines scrambled into the scoop of their new assault vehicle and, with the Seabees driving, off they went.

EOCA Giddons at the controls took the Marines to the edge of the fighting and waited there for their return. The enemy forces withdrew when the reaction force arrived. EO1 Vail went into the bush with the Marines to assist them in getting back to the earth mover for the return trip. Staff Sergeant W.W. Miles, leader of the Marine reaction force, said, it would have taken us at least 35 to 40 minutes to get there on foot, but the Seabees got us there in five minutes, and they drove us close in toward the fire-fight.

Captain K. E. Junkins, commanding officer of "B" company commented, "The Can-Do attitude of the Seabees and the working rapport of the Marines and Seabees has proven that they are a winning team!"


Juke Box

Summer 1968 MCRD San Diego, CA. What a wonderful time it was for platoon 2046. I don't even have to look up what the platoon number was – it's somehow right there in my brain housing group ready for quick access, similar to my service number (Sir My Service Number Is: 2414XXX, SIR).

I can still recall hearing my favorite band (the Animals) music coming across the grinder from Mainside. It must have been Sunday because we were normally pretty busy with other activities to notice any music from that distance. Living in those Quonset huts with no creature comforts sure didn't seem fair to me when the rest of the world was going on as usual. All we had to do is look to the east across the freeway and see those houses up there with life going on, cars whizzing down the freeway going somewhere, anywhere. But here we were, doing our best to please our drill instructors (not D.I's). Maggot this and Maggot that and what is your major malfunction seemed to be all we could accomplish. Well, it must have been my love of music that brought about the next incident in the continuing parade of events that helped me turn from a pathetic civilian to a United States Marine.

I kind of thought I was chosen at random for this next activity, but now I know that God has a plan and purpose for everything. Private, come here. Get in that wall locker and when you see a coin come through the air vent – start singing. Next thing I know, there I am crammed inside that dark wall locker with just a little light streaming through the air vents at the top of the door. Next I hear my Drill Instructor talking to the Drill Instructor of the platoon next to ours about his new Juke Box. My Drill Instructor asks for a nickel from the other Drill Instructor and I can see the nickel dropping through the air vent at the top of the door. I just remain quiet. My Drill Instructor becomes noticeably upset because of the silence. The language that follows is not really suitable to repeat, but let me just say that I was motivated to action. I didn't even know that the things that were proposed were even possible for a human being to experience. I've heard talk of what it sounds like to be in a 55 gallon drum, and that day I got a good idea with all the punching and kicking on that metal wall locker. Well, the next nickel comes through the slot and the only song I can think of is "Mary had a Little Lamb". Not exactly the kind of song that one Drill Instructor wants to play on his Juke Box for another Drill Instructor. Oh boy, I was pulled out of that "Juke Box" pretty rudely, beat severely about the head and shoulder, and told to get away and never come back. The other Drill Instructor must have liked my singing though because he was carrying on and laughing that could be heard all the way over to mainside. I wonder if that Marine listening to the Animals over on mainside heard what was going on over in the Quonset huts?

Semper Fi
Sgt. A. 2414xxx (1968-1972)


Sgt Grit's School Circle

To all Veterans & friends,

On Saturday February 21st at 0830, the annual parade in Sacaton, Arizona to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Flag Raising on Iwo Jima, will begin with a flyover of a B-17G Bomber (Sentimental Journey) accompanied by Marine Corps V-22 Ospey & Marine Corps AH-1Z Super Cobra (not yet confirmed).

Over 150 entries from all across the United States, will be in line & on display for all who attend, to see. There will be Iwo Jima survivors, Code Talkers & Native American Veterans Groups from New York to Florida to Oklahoma up to Michigan & Wisconsin. From Washington to Montana & the Dakotas. Kansas, New Mexico, And all over Arizona. Representing many tribes. American Legion Posts, VFW posts, Marine Corps League Detachments. ROTC groups from all branches. Veterans Motorcycle Clubs, Bagpipers and many other groups to honor this day. I hope that you have the time to come & see history.

It is something that your children & grandchildren should be a witness to. I have participated in this event for the last 14 years. And once again, I will be supplying vehicles for the dignitaries. I am looking for volunteers to help drive these honored Veterans & Elected officials.

Please contact me by calling or though the post. I hope to see all of you there.

Get more info at:

www.irahayespost84.org

Frank V. Aiello
(480) 619-8672


Taps

Yesterday GySgt Merrill "Hootch" Henry, who served with VMM-261, VMO-6 and HMX to name a few from 1946 to 1967 received his orders to stand his post at Heaven's Gate. To those who served and have preceded him in taking their post, Hootch is on his way crack open some San Miguel's.

Spencer Sikder,
Proud nephew-in-law


Short Rounds

Sgt. Grit,

There will always be Marine Aviators -- just rearrange the letters for Marine!

airMen reMain

An original from Sgt. Max Sarazin, 1194xxx


This is my rifle. This is my gun. This is for fighting. This is for fun.

Jim Connor
Sgt 1955 - 1959 Proud Marine


Quotes

"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you d-mn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences."
--P.J. O'Rourke


"The United States does not need a Marine Corps mainly because she has a fine modern Army and a vigorous Air Force... We [the Marine Corps] exist today--we flourish today--not because of what we know we are, or what we know what we can do, but because of what the grassroots of our country believes we are and believes we can do."
--Brig. Gen. Victor Krulak, USMC​


"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


"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


"Leader of men, teller of tall tales, legend in his own mind, U.S. Marine extraordinaire, stream fordable, air dropable, beer fueled, water cooled, author, history maker, lecturer, traveler, freedom fighter, defender of the faith. Wars fought, tigers tamed, revolutions started, bars emptied, alligators castrated. Let me win your hearts and minds or I'll burn your damn hut down!"

"Gangway! Make a hole!"

"Stand by to fall out!"
"Aye, aye, sir!"
"Fall out!"
"Aye, aye, sir!"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 22 JAN 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 22 JAN 2015

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7 year old grandson in desert digital cammies

This is my 7-yr-old grandson. I bought him a set of digital camo. He looks good in the uniform... he looks and acts like a Marine. I didn't tell him to stand that way for the picture. That a typical Marine Corps stance. He also has a set of dress blues.

Stephen P. Marson

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Never Met, Know Him

Robert Clark is a person I've never met, but I know him well. He was the Marine who had my back on those miserably long nights, cold with fear and anticipation, praying for one more sunrise, one more day closer to going home alive. His story, "The High Ground", in the 15 Jan. 2015 Newsletter, was a poignant read for me and, I'm sure, many Vietnam Veterans. I was so moved by how his words spoke directly to my experience, both then (last night) and now (last night), that I printed out his story to read again, and to share with others. My hope is to have my psychologist read it, giving her a better understanding of the emotional turmoil that faces every combat veteran. I hope Mr. Clark does not mind his inspirational words being used to facilitate my efforts to confront the demons of "just last night".

Thank you!

David B. McClellan, USMC, RVN '69-'70.


"The High Ground" by Robert Clark is probably the most compelling piece of writing about what combat does to the young men who experience it that I have ever read. Mr. Clark, you have found a way to put into words, things and emotions that have never before been able to be interpreted. I and thousands of others are humbled by your expertise.

Robert Mulroy
Msgt 1265xxx
Oct '52 - Sep '75​


VIP Cartoons

Gordon Flash newsletter aboard USS Gordon in 1950s

Cartoon in the Gordon Flash Newsletter in 1950s

Sgt. Grit,

This maybe a bit much for your newsletter, but returning from Korea on the USS Gordon someone put together a newsletter full of all the tripe usually allowed in a service paper. This ship was at sea so maybe the Publisher was given his lead and these VIP Cartoons were allowed to be printed, the rest oif the newspaper was news of the day which at the time was mostly about Russia. Even had a Marine that had escaped Russia and joined the Marine Corps serving in Korea.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Proud Grandpa

Ella wearing USMC sweatshirt from Sgt Grit's with pink tutu

Ella wearing USMC t-shirt from Sgt Grit's

Here are some photos of my Granddaughter Ella, maybe you know the sweatshirt and the LBD... it cracks me up; a USMC sweatshirt & a pink tutu. The LBD... she is all girl.

Semper Fi, from the land of the great white north... today was 3 degrees and we have very little snow. Tonight... -15 degrees.

Pete Berg

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Okinawan Social Studies​

During the summer of 1960 I decided I was tired of my father telling me what to do, so at the old age of 17, I joined the Marines. Boy that fixed everything. Now I had those nice DI's telling me every move to make. Next thing I knew all my old buddies were graduating from High School in the Spring of '61. However, I on the other hand was still diligently doing my homework, for my High School GED test, in the bars of Okinawa. I learned some interesting things in my pursuit of Okinawan Social Studies. My GED was passed successfully. After a year of Asian Studies in Okinawa and floating around Japan, Philippines, Hong Kong, and a quick trip to deliver banana shaped Army Helicopters to Vietnam, on the cruise ship LPH-5 Princeton, I returned to the States to bone up on the multiple varieties of Californian vegetation in the hills surrounding Camp Pendleton. I took time out in the summer of 1962, to make a quick trip to my home state of Utah to marry my childhood sweetheart. Settling back down to marital bliss in San Clemente, CA, my new wife and I made plans to have a beer party at our apartment at the conclusion of a 4-day Marine Corps hill hiking event scheduled to hone our Ready Battalion Landing Team (BLT) skills. Unfortunately for the beer party plans, as soon as we returned back to base, the married personnel were told that we had one hour to go home pack our gear, kiss our wives good-bye, the Ready BLT was mounting out. It seems the Soviet Union had interrupted my scheduled party by delivering ICBM's to Cuba. Of course Hollywood Marines (2nd Battalion, 1st Marines) were the first contingent of Marines to land at Guantanamo Bay to dissuade Castro and Khrushchev of the folly of their actions. We immediately secured Gitmo and by our presence, Khrushchev understood he was messing with Marines and turned his ships around and headed them back to Russia. The "Cuban Missile Crisis" was over.

I returned to Utah for Christmas and retrieved my wife. My last year in the Corps was spent as a "Salty" 1st Recon Battalion Marine with a full row of ribbons, Marine Expeditionary, Armed Forces Expeditionary and Good Conduct. At the time prior to the Vietnam war, a full row was a row more than most Marines could muster. My 4 years were up and I was discharged in September 1964. Shortly thereafter the Vietnam War broke out. I was still a reservist for 2 more years of obligation. I figured I would be called back up. By the time my 2 Reserve years were over I was married, a father of 2 boys, and going to college. I was never called back. Even though I did my Cold War duty, I still feel guilty to this day I never went to Vietnam.

Semper Fi,
L/Cpl DL Rupper @gitmo62
1/5, 1/9, 2/1, 1st Recon Bn


Marine Recruiters Thwart A Robbery

Marine Recruiters Thwart Robbery

Three Marine recruiters in Seattle, WA, stopped a robbery in action and apprehended the one of the thieves in mall parking lot.

One of the SSgt's said that he put the thief in a wrist lock rather than taking him down to the ground because he was wearing his dress blues and did not want to get his uniform dirty.

Absolutely motivating!


That Deep Raspy Voice

As you know I am on a US Tour. I did all of Route 66 and of course stopped by your place while doing so. Sorry I missed you as you were out for Thanksgiving. I was so proud to see the foot locker I made for you on display just inside the main hatch. I went to California and then Turned around and followed the Southern Coast East. I stopped for a month in Rock Port, Texas and spent Christmas and left there the morning of New Years Eve continuing east. Now I am on Harbor Island in a nice little condo and will be here until at least April First. I haven't set foot on Parris Island since I left there in 1972. I have now been there three times in the last couple weeks. I feel so humbled when I sit there and watch what is going on and seeing the places that were so much a part of my life. I see and talk to Drill Instructors that are there now and realize that I have been retired longer than they have been in. I see the kids with peach colored faces. And I hear the rifles on the range and went by the Obstacle Course. I've seen the wash racks and remember standing there with a bucket doing laundry and when the smoking lamp was lit. I know with these leaders and these young recruits we are in good hands. I have been to the Air Station and watched the Marines in flight and support and it fills me with so much pride to know I was a part of it. I have been so blessed that I will get to spend three months near these Awesome Marines.

I seen a Drill instructor sitting at a table at the PX and I said to him... Ya know something... I went through here 42 years ago and today is my first day and time back here. I never thought I would ever be talking to another Drill Instructor while he was wearing that cover let alone one sitting here eating an Ice Cream Cone. In his quick wit as all Drill Instructors have, He looked at me and said well don't post any pictures on Facebook. We had a good laugh and a nice short conversation afterwards. That deep raspy voice was exactly the way I always remembered it. I think that all Marines of the past that have the means to come back to this place to do so sometime in their lives. It means so much and you get to sit on the sidelines and watch other young folks do what is necessary to become United States Marines. Semper Fi my good Friend.

GySgt. Mac


Operation Meade River

A machine gunner with the 7th Marines takes a break during Operation Meade River near the city of Da Nang, Vietnam.

November 1968 (LCPL R. Sanville/Marine Corps/National Archives)

Machine gunner taking a break in DaNang, Vietnam 1968


More Luck Of The Draw

I must say I agree with much of the comments by A Former Hat, GySgt Ret. We may have served together at one time since I spoke, and still do poorly, Vietnamese and served in Operation Union 1 and 2 and earned the combat action ribbon as well as group awards. In fact when I returned to the states in Oct 1967 I was stationed at A Co 1/6. A Lance Cpl from Trenton, NJ was there and surrounded by Viet Nam returnees. He told me he would like to volunteer to go to Viet Nam. I advised him that he should not volunteer for anything and not to be swayed by the romanticism of war he was hearing. I told him the Marine Corps would put him where they thought he should be and he did not owe an explanation to anyone.

However, I am bothered that there is no distinction on grave markers for Vietnam Era and Vietnam Service vets. My brother served in the US Army 1963 - 1965 in Germany and has a Vietnam Vet marker. How will anyone visiting the cemeteries know who is who. All service should be honored and no one need apologize for not having been to war, but there should be two distinct markers. I hope the former hat would agree.

J Kanavy, Cpl, USMC​


The submission from "The Former Hat", a Gunnery Sergeant, in which he states that he is "honored to wear 8 stars on my Vietnam Campaign Ribbon and several stars on my Purple Heart Ribbon." He has that wrong. WE are honored by your wearing of those ribbons and stars. Like many others I never served in combat. I missed the Vietnam War by a year due to High School (but my dad and brother were both 'Nam Vets) and I never got close to the first Gulf War because by that time I was in the middle of trying to fight being medically retired (a fight I lost). I only have 2 medals; a Navy Achievement Medal, and a Good Conduct Medal. Plus a pair of Aircrew Wings, but not the prized Combat Aircrew Wings and an Expert Marksmanship Badge. But still, I am proud of my service, my Corps and my Country. To the "former hat" thanks for your service, Big Brother!

JAH II, SSgt, Ret.​


This guy sounds full of shiat.

​ 1stSgt D.


Sgt Grit,

After reading the story by the "retired hat", Gunnery Sergeant about SgtMaj Petty, it finally penetrated my thick head that 'IT REALLY DOESN'T MATTER A RAT'S HIND END' whether a Marine served in combat, or not. We ALL did the job that was assigned to us by HQMC.

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


Sgt. Grit,

I enjoy very much reading the comments in your newsletter every month from all the Marines, young and old. I found the comments in the "Luck Of The Draw" especially interesting as a Vietnam Era Veteran. I did not serve any of my active duty in Vietnam, but did honorably serve my active duty as a United States Marine at Camp Pendleton California.

I enlisted in the Marine Corps on a six month delayed entry program in March of 1969 and was in boot camp in San Diego June 12, 1969. I was seperated on June 11, 1971 under honorable conditions and received my Honorable Discharge Certificate on March 4, 1975. I was told upon enlistment that the Marine Corps would determine where they needed me the most and I was quite surprised at the end of graduation from boot camp that my MOS was an 01. My specific MOS was 0161-Assistant Marine Corps Postal Clerk. I worked at the base post office as well as postal units in the San Onefre Area, Margarita Area and the Headquarters Building.

I remember SSgt. Lopez who taught me very well how to do my job and I only wish I had the opportunity to tell him how much I appreciated the example he demonstrated of a squared away Marine.

The Marines I served with didn't serve any time in Vietnam either, but we still performed our jobs with honor and were proud to be Marines. I have always felt slighted because I was attached to H and S Battalion, MCB and not something like First Marine Division or Third Marine Division. My father and grandfather were also Marines and I know they were proud of my Marine Corps service.

I display my Marine Corps colors in my office, on my truck and my discharge certificate is hanging on my wall as well as my boot camp platoon picture. I am proud of the title of U. S. Marine, Leatherneck and Jarhead of which no one can take away from me, because I earned it.

I acknowledge all Marines I meet with a "Semper Fi", because they know what it means and I will always believe "Once A Marine, Always A Marine".

SEMPER FI,
CPL USMC 69/71


Like many other Marines, I was ordered to VN when I graduated from school. I found this out at the First Sergeant's desk, myself and two other Marines sat on the other side, the Marine on my left was told he was to go to NAS New Orleans, the one on my right to some NAS in New England. Me, to Viet Nam! I was a bit upset when the the Sergeant said to me relax, "I was only kidding, you're all going to Viet Nam. lol.

Sent there by boat, San Pedro harbor, bands, dancing girls all there, me so high up could barely see the girls. 10 days later, through a typhoon, we stopped in Okinawa. My two buddies got off but I stayed on to Da Nang harbor, down the cargo net, to a landing craft and onto the beach. No facilities, just dirt and plants, waited for transport, only reading material was a wanted poster for Marines, just the heads. Finally after about 45 min. trucks arrived to take us and our gear, no weapons yet, to Da Nang. From there 30 miles south to Chu Lai by 6x, again no weapon. Checked in, before I knew what was happening, sirens went off, I was assigned to a machine gun emplacement to feed ammo to the gunner, still no weapon. Luckily there was no attack, next day, off to the armory. When I entered the long narrow bldg. from a side door I just stared at a wall of Thompson Machine guns lining the wall. The armorer covered them with a canvas curtain and issued me an M-14 and ammo. I spent a split tour in Viet Nam with stops in Japan and Okinawa, did one month of guard, night patrols, in a fighting hole with the only company being a fellow Marine and later a dog handler and his dog, who took our other fighting hole, guarded the flight line with shotguns and other stuff. In all that time I never saw any action. Oh, we were mortared but no shots fired. So I guess I am a Viet Nam veteran just like the grunts who waded through the rice paddies, but I feel like I am really closer to those who didn't go.

I do remember being on night watch when I heard an automatic weapon go off. I ran to the hut where the sound came from to find a Marine in the hut holding an AK-47, we got those from the South Korean Marines for Playboy magazines, you know how they got them, from what I could discover after I told him to stand off was that he and a bunkmate hated each other, with the final straw being one peed on the other's bunk. I called for the Sergeant of the Guard, explained the situation. He asked me which position I shot best from, I said prone and he said take that position and hold a bead on that Marine and if he tries anything shoot him, I took my position sweating bullets while the Sergeant went unarmed into the hut. I don't remember how long it was before he brought the Marine out, it seemed like a lifetime.

I guess we all have experiences and to me, because of my experience in Viet Nam I consider all Marines and other Servicemen/women to be Viet Nam Veterans who served their country during that time. I'm glad I came home, I'm glad my brother came home. I'm sad my best friend a drafted Army medic, was KIA in the delta going to help one of his buddies.

I am always Proud to be a United States Marine, I am proud to have served my Country and hope all who served take pride in their service, no matter what they were assigned to do. Not everyone who served in country has a combat action ribbon, but we all did our jobs as we were assigned.

Semper Fi
Patrick Lally, Cpl. E-4
RVN '66 & '67


Homes For Our Troops

LCpl Thomas Parker house built by Homes For Our Troops

LCpl Thomas Parker with family prior to ribbon cutting at new home

Sgt. Grit,

On Saturday, I attended a ceremony turning over keys to a new house presented by Homes for our Troops to Marine L/Cpl Thomas Parker in Polson, MT. Parker was wounded in Afghanistan in 2010 as a member of 3/5. Veterans greeted him at Missoula Airport in January 2011 on his first trip home. This is the first HFOT home in Montana. One year ago, my wife and I also attended a home turnover by Homes For Our Troops to Marine Sergeant Justin Maynard in Cottonwood, AZ.

The homes that are built include a flag pole, and the first element of the ceremony is the raising of our National Colors prior to the ribbon cutting. For Marines in particular, there is one Flag missing - the Marine Corps flag.

Through the work of Milt Cruver, I understand that Sgt. Maynard was presented a Marine flag by your organization. We want to make sure that L/Cpl. Parker also has a Marine flag (in fact, I promised him we would see that he got one to which he was very grateful).

Homes For Our Troops is an outstanding organization that has built 180 homes for wounded warriors from all military service branches with 49 more planned or awaiting qualified recipients. I applaud those who have donated time and money to this noble effort. As Tomy Parker said, the custom home provides simple yet necessary accomodations for providing independence to those who have been severely wounded. Their website is at HfoTUSA.org, if anyone is interested in volunteering or wishes to support in some way.

Following are some pictures of the events on Saturday... they started at the local VFW (weather was snow, some ice, and in the 20's) before moving to the ribbon cutting ceremony at the new home.

Semper Fidelis,
R. Meade Phillips
Montana Pack Leader, Military Order of the Devil Dogs
Past National Vice Commandant, Marine Corps League
Past CA Department Commandant; Past Commandant Detachments 937, 930, 597


The Voyage

USS George Clymer underway 1950s

(Photo courtesy U.S. Navy Archives)

About the the second day out on the USS Clymer I began feeling more than a little seasick and fed the fish until there was nothing left. I thought that would be the end of it, if there was nothing down there to throw up, you wouldn't have to hang over the rail anymore, WRONG! A couple more days of dry heaves and I seriously thought about letting go of the rail and just get it over with. Some wise old salt told me if you keep your belly full so the juice doesn't slosh around, you won't get sick. I made a record fast trip to ship stores and bought 2 huge boxes of soda crackers and ate till I thought I would pop. MAGIC, I started feeling a lot better right away and actually enjoyed the last couple days of the trip.

I felt lucky to be on the Clymer as the times we were in rough water I could see the bottoms of the LST's or LSD's, whatever they were, and was very glad not to be aboard one of those.

Bud Davis
L/Cpl 6412
VMA 212 '60-'63


DI's Wrath

Just remembered the comments about tie ties in boot camp. When we got our bucket issue there was a cardboard box with a string in it with metal clips. Had no idea what it was for until one of the Drill Instructor's gave us instructions on their use and how to separate them. Along the length they had metal pieces at each end and two clips side by side about every 8 inches. Using one of our safety razor blades we were instructed to cut through the space between two clips. One recruit caught the DI's wrath as he wound up with lengths of frayed string with two clips on the other end. He was probably thinking about cutting his wrist instead of the string.


Pet Peeve

Sgt Grit,

The email about the various USMC covers you carry, and the story by Mike Benfield, brings up a pet peeve of mine regarding people who wear a cover while eating in a restaurant.

You have to consider that the Army, Air Force and Navy don't know any better. As far as civilians go, they're all uncouth cruds anyway. How many Marines would wear their cover into a restaurant, without having a guilty conscience; my Drill Instructor would turn over in his grave if I kept mine on.

Surely, you remember the drill: remove your cover before entering the mess hall; always before entering a Marine Corps office building. Wally-world doesn't count, so I always keep my cover on, but 95%-plus any building I go in, and as soon as I step out the door, my cover goes back on (my balding head).

Also, the comment about the itchy tropicals; you don't know what "itch" means until you have to wear long-sleeved woolen shirts.

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


Camp Lejeune Drinking Water

Sgt. Grit,

The other day I received another letter from the Department of The Navy regarding the drinking water issues at Camp Lejeune years ago. When not out on MED cruises, I was stationed at Camp Geiger from 1981 to 1985 and was wondering if the water supply at Geiger was contaminated like the water on Lejeune, assuming that the same chemical disposal practices were common then at both bases? I made attempts to contact several people to get a legitimate answer but have yet to receive confirmation one way or the other. The best I have obtained up to this point from one individual is that they are "pretty sure" the situation was limited to main-side Lejeune.

Semper Fi.

Mike Kunkel
Cpl 0331
Lima 3/8 Weapons Platoon


Interesting Tours

Thanks Grit for the comment on interesting Tours, I always kept my eyes open for fear I might miss something. Sitting in the SlopSoot tossng Beer and gripping about where I was and what I was doing seemed to never do any good, while getting out and finding out what was going on helped to pass the time and lighten the burden of being away from home. In Bermuda in the 1950's a guy working for the tourists offered Scuba Diving training to the Marines. I was one of three that took the offer. Another time in the 1950's we were offered Training at the Submarine School in a deep water tank again I was one of three that took the offer. In Detroit I got to watch the Police training for Mob Control. Life is too good to pass up some of the stuff out there, and it wasn't all Military. In Detroit we were Recruiting a platoon of Marines from Detroit and we got offered a tour of the city with stops at the local Beer Companies, at one we got Beer and Sausages. H-ll the USO isn't the only one offering good stuff to the Marines.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Short Rounds

Submit some of your stories about your most alarming, scariest, troublesome, intimidating, WTF (what the f--k), heart pounding moments in the Corps.

Sgt Grit


I will miss this man's life stories. He brought truth and history to print so younger Marines, like myself, could live the Old Corps through him. Semper Fi.​


An old memory came up recently about the little can opener we were supplied with our delicious C-rations back in the 60's. Those of us in the Grunts called it an "ET-Wa, Eaty-wa, or ah-dee-wa". Anyone else remember the term or why, and where it came from? We still had a lot of Korean era vets in our company so maybe it's Korean?

Harris, M. Cpl '60-'65
9th, 3rd, 7th, 3rd Marines, respectfully.


I have two sets of Blues. Was at 8th & I as my last duty station in 1971 & 1972. I was a cook. We helped direct cars at Arlington National Cemetery. I loved being there. What an honor. I was recruited in Parris Island, and forgot about it. When I came stateside from Nam, I was sent on a cruise and West PAC. We were in Singapore when my orders were cut to 8th & I. I came back to the World alone. I had to get a passport and fly to Okinawa then home.

JW


Corrective Action

In the 15 JAN 2015 Sgt Grit Newsletter the Author's name of the story titled "The High Ground" was misspelled. The correct name of the Author is Robert Clark not Robert Bark. In the responses to his story in this weeks newsletter the author's name has been corrected prior to its release.

Semper Fi.


Quotes

"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]


"The first day I was at Camp, I was afraid I was going to Die! The next two weeks, my sole fear was that I wasn't going to Die! After that I knew I'd never die because I became so hard that nothing could Kill Me!"
--(World War I Recruits Bootcamp Comment)


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


"Let Bravery be thy choice, but not bravado."
--Menander (342 BC - 292 BC)


"This is my rifle, this is my gun... One is for pleasure, and one is for fun"

"I have more flight time jumping out of the back of six-bys, than you have in the Marine Corps."

"Marines show their pride. We were in the Marine Corps, not 'the service'."

Fair winds and following seas,
Sgt Grit

©2015 Sgt Grit Inc
All rights reserved
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Sgt Grit Newsletter 22 JAN 2015
If you are having trouble viewing this issue, see it on our website:
http://www.grunt.com/corps/newsletter/10402/

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 22 JAN 2015

In this issue:
• VIP Cartoons
• That Deep Raspy Voice
• Pet Peeve

Online Store TShirts Men's Headgear Patches Women's

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This is my 7-yr-old grandson. I bought him a set of digital camo. He looks good in the uniform... he looks and acts like a Marine. I didn't tell him to stand that way for the picture. That a typical Marine Corps stance. He also has a set of dress blues.

Stephen P. Marson

Get your Devil Pup a set at:

Kid's Digital Desert Camo Utility Blouse

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8-Point Digital Desert Kids
Utility Cover


Never Met, Know Him

Robert Clark is a person I've never met, but I know him well. He was the Marine who had my back on those miserably long nights, cold with fear and anticipation, praying for one more sunrise, one more day closer to going home alive. His story, "The High Ground", in the 15 Jan. 2015 Newsletter, was a poignant read for me and, I'm sure, many Vietnam Veterans. I was so moved by how his words spoke directly to my experience, both then (last night) and now (last night), that I printed out his story to read again, and to share with others. My hope is to have my psychologist read it, giving her a better understanding of the emotional turmoil that faces every combat veteran. I hope Mr. Clark does not mind his inspirational words being used to facilitate my efforts to confront the demons of "just last night".

Thank you!

David B. McClellan, USMC, RVN '69-'70.


"The High Ground" by Robert Clark is probably the most compelling piece of writing about what combat does to the young men who experience it that I have ever read. Mr. Clark, you have found a way to put into words, things and emotions that have never before been able to be interpreted. I and thousands of others are humbled by your expertise.

Robert Mulroy
Msgt 1265xxx
Oct '52 - Sep '75​


VIP Cartoons

Sgt. Grit,

This maybe a bit much for your newsletter, but returning from Korea on the USS Gordon someone put together a newsletter full of all the tripe usually allowed in a service paper. This ship was at sea so maybe the Publisher was given his lead and these VIP Cartoons were allowed to be printed, the rest oif the newspaper was news of the day which at the time was mostly about Russia. Even had a Marine that had escaped Russia and joined the Marine Corps serving in Korea.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Proud Grandpa

Here are some photos of my Granddaughter Ella, maybe you know the sweatshirt and the LBD... it cracks me up; a USMC sweatshirt & a pink tutu. The LBD... she is all girl.

Semper Fi, from the land of the great white north... today was 3 degrees and we have very little snow. Tonight... -15 degrees.

Pete Berg

Browse our selection of Devil Pup gear.


Okinawan Social Studies​

During the summer of 1960 I decided I was tired of my father telling me what to do, so at the old age of 17, I joined the Marines. Boy that fixed everything. Now I had those nice DI's telling me every move to make. Next thing I knew all my old buddies were graduating from High School in the Spring of '61. However, I on the other hand was still diligently doing my homework, for my High School GED test, in the bars of Okinawa. I learned some interesting things in my pursuit of Okinawan Social Studies. My GED was passed successfully. After a year of Asian Studies in Okinawa and floating around Japan, Philippines, Hong Kong, and a quick trip to deliver banana shaped Army Helicopters to Vietnam, on the cruise ship LPH-5 Princeton, I returned to the States to bone up on the multiple varieties of Californian vegetation in the hills surrounding Camp Pendleton. I took time out in the summer of 1962, to make a quick trip to my home state of Utah to marry my childhood sweetheart. Settling back down to marital bliss in San Clemente, CA, my new wife and I made plans to have a beer party at our apartment at the conclusion of a 4-day Marine Corps hill hiking event scheduled to hone our Ready Battalion Landing Team (BLT) skills. Unfortunately for the beer party plans, as soon as we returned back to base, the married personnel were told that we had one hour to go home pack our gear, kiss our wives good-bye, the Ready BLT was mounting out. It seems the Soviet Union had interrupted my scheduled party by delivering ICBM's to Cuba. Of course Hollywood Marines (2nd Battalion, 1st Marines) were the first contingent of Marines to land at Guantanamo Bay to dissuade Castro and Khrushchev of the folly of their actions. We immediately secured Gitmo and by our presence, Khrushchev understood he was messing with Marines and turned his ships around and headed them back to Russia. The "Cuban Missile Crisis" was over.

I returned to Utah for Christmas and retrieved my wife. My last year in the Corps was spent as a "Salty" 1st Recon Battalion Marine with a full row of ribbons, Marine Expeditionary, Armed Forces Expeditionary and Good Conduct. At the time prior to the Vietnam war, a full row was a row more than most Marines could muster. My 4 years were up and I was discharged in September 1964. Shortly thereafter the Vietnam War broke out. I was still a reservist for 2 more years of obligation. I figured I would be called back up. By the time my 2 Reserve years were over I was married, a father of 2 boys, and going to college. I was never called back. Even though I did my Cold War duty, I still feel guilty to this day I never went to Vietnam.

Semper Fi,
L/Cpl DL Rupper @gitmo62
1/5, 1/9, 2/1, 1st Recon Bn


Marine Recruiters Thwart A Robbery

Three Marine recruiters in Seattle, WA, stopped a robbery in action and apprehended the one of the thieves in mall parking lot.

One of the SSgt's said that he put the thief in a wrist lock rather than taking him down to the ground because he was wearing his dress blues and did not want to get his uniform dirty.

Absolutely motivating!


That Deep Raspy Voice

As you know I am on a US Tour. I did all of Route 66 and of course stopped by your place while doing so. Sorry I missed you as you were out for Thanksgiving. I was so proud to see the foot locker I made for you on display just inside the main hatch. I went to California and then Turned around and followed the Southern Coast East. I stopped for a month in Rock Port, Texas and spent Christmas and left there the morning of New Years Eve continuing east. Now I am on Harbor Island in a nice little condo and will be here until at least April First. I haven't set foot on Parris Island since I left there in 1972. I have now been there three times in the last couple weeks. I feel so humbled when I sit there and watch what is going on and seeing the places that were so much a part of my life. I see and talk to Drill Instructors that are there now and realize that I have been retired longer than they have been in. I see the kids with peach colored faces. And I hear the rifles on the range and went by the Obstacle Course. I've seen the wash racks and remember standing there with a bucket doing laundry and when the smoking lamp was lit. I know with these leaders and these young recruits we are in good hands. I have been to the Air Station and watched the Marines in flight and support and it fills me with so much pride to know I was a part of it. I have been so blessed that I will get to spend three months near these Awesome Marines.

I seen a Drill instructor sitting at a table at the PX and I said to him... Ya know something... I went through here 42 years ago and today is my first day and time back here. I never thought I would ever be talking to another Drill Instructor while he was wearing that cover let alone one sitting here eating an Ice Cream Cone. In his quick wit as all Drill Instructors have, He looked at me and said well don't post any pictures on Facebook. We had a good laugh and a nice short conversation afterwards. That deep raspy voice was exactly the way I always remembered it. I think that all Marines of the past that have the means to come back to this place to do so sometime in their lives. It means so much and you get to sit on the sidelines and watch other young folks do what is necessary to become United States Marines. Semper Fi my good Friend.

GySgt. Mac


Operation Meade River

A machine gunner with the 7th Marines takes a break during Operation Meade River near the city of Da Nang, Vietnam.

November 1968 (LCPL R. Sanville/Marine Corps/National Archives)


More Luck Of The Draw

I must say I agree with much of the comments by A Former Hat, GySgt Ret. We may have served together at one time since I spoke, and still do poorly, Vietnamese and served in Operation Union 1 and 2 and earned the combat action ribbon as well as group awards. In fact when I returned to the states in Oct 1967 I was stationed at A Co 1/6. A Lance Cpl from Trenton, NJ was there and surrounded by Viet Nam returnees. He told me he would like to volunteer to go to Viet Nam. I advised him that he should not volunteer for anything and not to be swayed by the romanticism of war he was hearing. I told him the Marine Corps would put him where they thought he should be and he did not owe an explanation to anyone.

However, I am bothered that there is no distinction on grave markers for Vietnam Era and Vietnam Service vets. My brother served in the US Army 1963 - 1965 in Germany and has a Vietnam Vet marker. How will anyone visiting the cemeteries know who is who. All service should be honored and no one need apologize for not having been to war, but there should be two distinct markers. I hope the former hat would agree.

J Kanavy, Cpl, USMC​


The submission from "The Former Hat", a Gunnery Sergeant, in which he states that he is "honored to wear 8 stars on my Vietnam Campaign Ribbon and several stars on my Purple Heart Ribbon." He has that wrong. WE are honored by your wearing of those ribbons and stars. Like many others I never served in combat. I missed the Vietnam War by a year due to High School (but my dad and brother were both 'Nam Vets) and I never got close to the first Gulf War because by that time I was in the middle of trying to fight being medically retired (a fight I lost). I only have 2 medals; a Navy Achievement Medal, and a Good Conduct Medal. Plus a pair of Aircrew Wings, but not the prized Combat Aircrew Wings and an Expert Marksmanship Badge. But still, I am proud of my service, my Corps and my Country. To the "former hat" thanks for your service, Big Brother!

JAH II, SSgt, Ret.​


This guy sounds full of shiat.

​ 1stSgt D.


Sgt Grit,

After reading the story by the "retired hat", Gunnery Sergeant about SgtMaj Petty, it finally penetrated my thick head that 'IT REALLY DOESN'T MATTER A RAT'S HIND END' whether a Marine served in combat, or not. We ALL did the job that was assigned to us by HQMC.

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


Sgt. Grit,

I enjoy very much reading the comments in your newsletter every month from all the Marines, young and old. I found the comments in the "Luck Of The Draw" especially interesting as a Vietnam Era Veteran. I did not serve any of my active duty in Vietnam, but did honorably serve my active duty as a United States Marine at Camp Pendleton California.

I enlisted in the Marine Corps on a six month delayed entry program in March of 1969 and was in boot camp in San Diego June 12, 1969. I was seperated on June 11, 1971 under honorable conditions and received my Honorable Discharge Certificate on March 4, 1975. I was told upon enlistment that the Marine Corps would determine where they needed me the most and I was quite surprised at the end of graduation from boot camp that my MOS was an 01. My specific MOS was 0161-Assistant Marine Corps Postal Clerk. I worked at the base post office as well as postal units in the San Onefre Area, Margarita Area and the Headquarters Building.

I remember SSgt. Lopez who taught me very well how to do my job and I only wish I had the opportunity to tell him how much I appreciated the example he demonstrated of a squared away Marine.

The Marines I served with didn't serve any time in Vietnam either, but we still performed our jobs with honor and were proud to be Marines. I have always felt slighted because I was attached to H and S Battalion, MCB and not something like First Marine Division or Third Marine Division. My father and grandfather were also Marines and I know they were proud of my Marine Corps service.

I display my Marine Corps colors in my office, on my truck and my discharge certificate is hanging on my wall as well as my boot camp platoon picture. I am proud of the title of U. S. Marine, Leatherneck and Jarhead of which no one can take away from me, because I earned it.

I acknowledge all Marines I meet with a "Semper Fi", because they know what it means and I will always believe "Once A Marine, Always A Marine".

SEMPER FI,
CPL USMC 69/71


Like many other Marines, I was ordered to VN when I graduated from school. I found this out at the First Sergeant's desk, myself and two other Marines sat on the other side, the Marine on my left was told he was to go to NAS New Orleans, the one on my right to some NAS in New England. Me, to Viet Nam! I was a bit upset when the the Sergeant said to me relax, "I was only kidding, you're all going to Viet Nam. lol.

Sent there by boat, San Pedro harbor, bands, dancing girls all there, me so high up could barely see the girls. 10 days later, through a typhoon, we stopped in Okinawa. My two buddies got off but I stayed on to Da Nang harbor, down the cargo net, to a landing craft and onto the beach. No facilities, just dirt and plants, waited for transport, only reading material was a wanted poster for Marines, just the heads. Finally after about 45 min. trucks arrived to take us and our gear, no weapons yet, to Da Nang. From there 30 miles south to Chu Lai by 6x, again no weapon. Checked in, before I knew what was happening, sirens went off, I was assigned to a machine gun emplacement to feed ammo to the gunner, still no weapon. Luckily there was no attack, next day, off to the armory. When I entered the long narrow bldg. from a side door I just stared at a wall of Thompson Machine guns lining the wall. The armorer covered them with a canvas curtain and issued me an M-14 and ammo. I spent a split tour in Viet Nam with stops in Japan and Okinawa, did one month of guard, night patrols, in a fighting hole with the only company being a fellow Marine and later a dog handler and his dog, who took our other fighting hole, guarded the flight line with shotguns and other stuff. In all that time I never saw any action. Oh, we were mortared but no shots fired. So I guess I am a Viet Nam veteran just like the grunts who waded through the rice paddies, but I feel like I am really closer to those who didn't go.

I do remember being on night watch when I heard an automatic weapon go off. I ran to the hut where the sound came from to find a Marine in the hut holding an AK-47, we got those from the South Korean Marines for Playboy magazines, you know how they got them, from what I could discover after I told him to stand off was that he and a bunkmate hated each other, with the final straw being one peed on the other's bunk. I called for the Sergeant of the Guard, explained the situation. He asked me which position I shot best from, I said prone and he said take that position and hold a bead on that Marine and if he tries anything shoot him, I took my position sweating bullets while the Sergeant went unarmed into the hut. I don't remember how long it was before he brought the Marine out, it seemed like a lifetime.

I guess we all have experiences and to me, because of my experience in Viet Nam I consider all Marines and other Servicemen/women to be Viet Nam Veterans who served their country during that time. I'm glad I came home, I'm glad my brother came home. I'm sad my best friend a drafted Army medic, was KIA in the delta going to help one of his buddies.

I am always Proud to be a United States Marine, I am proud to have served my Country and hope all who served take pride in their service, no matter what they were assigned to do. Not everyone who served in country has a combat action ribbon, but we all did our jobs as we were assigned.

Semper Fi
Patrick Lally, Cpl. E-4
RVN '66 & '67


Homes For Our Troops

Sgt. Grit,

On Saturday, I attended a ceremony turning over keys to a new house presented by Homes for our Troops to Marine L/Cpl Thomas Parker in Polson, MT. Parker was wounded in Afghanistan in 2010 as a member of 3/5. Veterans greeted him at Missoula Airport in January 2011 on his first trip home. This is the first HFOT home in Montana. One year ago, my wife and I also attended a home turnover by Homes For Our Troops to Marine Sergeant Justin Maynard in Cottonwood, AZ.

The homes that are built include a flag pole, and the first element of the ceremony is the raising of our National Colors prior to the ribbon cutting. For Marines in particular, there is one Flag missing - the Marine Corps flag.

Through the work of Milt Cruver, I understand that Sgt. Maynard was presented a Marine flag by your organization. We want to make sure that L/Cpl. Parker also has a Marine flag (in fact, I promised him we would see that he got one to which he was very grateful).

Homes For Our Troops is an outstanding organization that has built 180 homes for wounded warriors from all military service branches with 49 more planned or awaiting qualified recipients. I applaud those who have donated time and money to this noble effort. As Tomy Parker said, the custom home provides simple yet necessary accomodations for providing independence to those who have been severely wounded. Their website is at HfoTUSA.org, if anyone is interested in volunteering or wishes to support in some way.

Following are some pictures of the events on Saturday... they started at the local VFW (weather was snow, some ice, and in the 20's) before moving to the ribbon cutting ceremony at the new home.

Semper Fidelis,
R. Meade Phillips
Montana Pack Leader, Military Order of the Devil Dogs
Past National Vice Commandant, Marine Corps League
Past CA Department Commandant; Past Commandant Detachments 937, 930, 597


The Voyage

(Photo courtesy U.S. Navy Archives)

About the the second day out on the USS Clymer I began feeling more than a little seasick and fed the fish until there was nothing left. I thought that would be the end of it, if there was nothing down there to throw up, you wouldn't have to hang over the rail anymore, WRONG! A couple more days of dry heaves and I seriously thought about letting go of the rail and just get it over with. Some wise old salt told me if you keep your belly full so the juice doesn't slosh around, you won't get sick. I made a record fast trip to ship stores and bought 2 huge boxes of soda crackers and ate till I thought I would pop. MAGIC, I started feeling a lot better right away and actually enjoyed the last couple days of the trip.

I felt lucky to be on the Clymer as the times we were in rough water I could see the bottoms of the LST's or LSD's, whatever they were, and was very glad not to be aboard one of those.

Bud Davis
L/Cpl 6412
VMA 212 '60-'63


DI's Wrath

Just remembered the comments about tie ties in boot camp. When we got our bucket issue there was a cardboard box with a string in it with metal clips. Had no idea what it was for until one of the Drill Instructor's gave us instructions on their use and how to separate them. Along the length they had metal pieces at each end and two clips side by side about every 8 inches. Using one of our safety razor blades we were instructed to cut through the space between two clips. One recruit caught the DI's wrath as he wound up with lengths of frayed string with two clips on the other end. He was probably thinking about cutting his wrist instead of the string.


Pet Peeve

Sgt Grit,

The email about the various USMC covers you carry, and the story by Mike Benfield, brings up a pet peeve of mine regarding people who wear a cover while eating in a restaurant.

You have to consider that the Army, Air Force and Navy don't know any better. As far as civilians go, they're all uncouth cruds anyway. How many Marines would wear their cover into a restaurant, without having a guilty conscience; my Drill Instructor would turn over in his grave if I kept mine on.

Surely, you remember the drill: remove your cover before entering the mess hall; always before entering a Marine Corps office building. Wally-world doesn't count, so I always keep my cover on, but 95%-plus any building I go in, and as soon as I step out the door, my cover goes back on (my balding head).

Also, the comment about the itchy tropicals; you don't know what "itch" means until you have to wear long-sleeved woolen shirts.

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


Camp Lejeune Drinking Water

Sgt. Grit,

The other day I received another letter from the Department of The Navy regarding the drinking water issues at Camp Lejeune years ago. When not out on MED cruises, I was stationed at Camp Geiger from 1981 to 1985 and was wondering if the water supply at Geiger was contaminated like the water on Lejeune, assuming that the same chemical disposal practices were common then at both bases? I made attempts to contact several people to get a legitimate answer but have yet to receive confirmation one way or the other. The best I have obtained up to this point from one individual is that they are "pretty sure" the situation was limited to main-side Lejeune.

Semper Fi.

Mike Kunkel
Cpl 0331
Lima 3/8 Weapons Platoon


Interesting Tours

Thanks Grit for the comment on interesting Tours, I always kept my eyes open for fear I might miss something. Sitting in the SlopSoot tossng Beer and gripping about where I was and what I was doing seemed to never do any good, while getting out and finding out what was going on helped to pass the time and lighten the burden of being away from home. In Bermuda in the 1950's a guy working for the tourists offered Scuba Diving training to the Marines. I was one of three that took the offer. Another time in the 1950's we were offered Training at the Submarine School in a deep water tank again I was one of three that took the offer. In Detroit I got to watch the Police training for Mob Control. Life is too good to pass up some of the stuff out there, and it wasn't all Military. In Detroit we were Recruiting a platoon of Marines from Detroit and we got offered a tour of the city with stops at the local Beer Companies, at one we got Beer and Sausages. H-ll the USO isn't the only one offering good stuff to the Marines.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Short Rounds

Submit some of your stories about your most alarming, scariest, troublesome, intimidating, WTF (what the f--k), heart pounding moments in the Corps.

Sgt Grit


I will miss this man's life stories. He brought truth and history to print so younger Marines, like myself, could live the Old Corps through him. Semper Fi.​


An old memory came up recently about the little can opener we were supplied with our delicious C-rations back in the 60's. Those of us in the Grunts called it an "ET-Wa, Eaty-wa, or ah-dee-wa". Anyone else remember the term or why, and where it came from? We still had a lot of Korean era vets in our company so maybe it's Korean?

Harris, M. Cpl '60-'65
9th, 3rd, 7th, 3rd Marines, respectfully.


I have two sets of Blues. Was at 8th & I as my last duty station in 1971 & 1972. I was a cook. We helped direct cars at Arlington National Cemetery. I loved being there. What an honor. I was recruited in Parris Island, and forgot about it. When I came stateside from Nam, I was sent on a cruise and West PAC. We were in Singapore when my orders were cut to 8th & I. I came back to the World alone. I had to get a passport and fly to Okinawa then home.

JW


Corrective Action

In the 15 JAN 2015 Sgt Grit Newsletter the Author's name of the story titled "The High Ground" was misspelled. The correct name of the Author is Robert Clark not Robert Bark. In the responses to his story in this weeks newsletter the author's name has been corrected prior to its release.

Semper Fi.


Quotes

"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]


"The first day I was at Camp, I was afraid I was going to Die! The next two weeks, my sole fear was that I wasn't going to Die! After that I knew I'd never die because I became so hard that nothing could Kill Me!"
--(World War I Recruits Bootcamp Comment)


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


"Let Bravery be thy choice, but not bravado."
--Menander (342 BC - 292 BC)


"This is my rifle, this is my gun... One is for pleasure, and one is for fun"

"I have more flight time jumping out of the back of six-bys, than you have in the Marine Corps."

"Marines show their pride. We were in the Marine Corps, not 'the service'."

Fair winds and following seas,
Sgt Grit

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

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

Unsubscribe from the Sgt Grit Newsletter and Special Offers email list.
Sgt Grit Newsletter 15 Jan 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 15 JAN 2015

In this issue:
• Luck Of The Draw
• Hill 510 - 11th Marines
• The High Ground

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Sgt Rousseau as base photographer in Korea

Sgt. Grit,

I've written before about my tour in Korea but I didn't mention much about my job as Base Photographer.

I took some photo's of damaged and ruined equipment for the Ordnance Officer. The pictures came out so good the CO asked me to be the base Photographer (We had none at the time). I was issued a Graphic, complete in the box with all the accessories. I had to beg, borrow or steal film, Developer and Paper, never having enough for the CO's demands. We finally got a Marine Corps Photog, an Old Hand with WWII experience. I was kept on the job until the Photog was ready to let me go (meaning I had all the cr-p jobs). Here's a photo of me with one of the Interpreters down town looking for stuff to shoot and supplies. "Note the Herring Bone Twill Dungarees" and Sergeant Stripes painted on sleeves.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Luck Of The Draw

Sgt. Grit,

I have read with great interest the many comments and opinions concerning Vietnam Era Veterans and Vietnam Veterans. I can only relate and comment concerning my experiences, but I think my fellow Marines may find my comments interesting.

I went to Vietnam the first time in October 1965 after the Santo Domingo crisis in April 1965. I was an 18 year old hot shot combat veteran, or so I thought. The Domingo escapade was mostly digging fighting holes in their golf course. Never the less, I had combat experience! I knew nothing of real combat when it comes right down to telling the truth. But I would soon learn during an operation called Hastings.

I eventually would serve a total of 44 months in Vietnam (Arizona, Deckhouse I, II, III, Union I, II, III, Hue City, Baxter Garden just to name a few). My last tour was from February 1970 until January 1971 as a Sergeant assigned to the Combined Action Program. I was wounded twice that required hospital time which cut two of my tours short by several months. I'm honored to wear 8 stars on my Vietnam Campaign Ribbon and several stars on my Purple Heart Ribbon. I guess I was never very good a getting my azz down. I never volunteered for duty in Vietnam - period. My unfortunate situation is that I learn languages rather easily. I learned Vietnamese during my first tour there, and somehow that information made it into my SRB. Now, you can guess the Marine Corps' response to having that information. I was volunteered for duty 4 times by Headquarters Marine Corps. And I was indeed a feisty young prick. I held every rank from PFC to Sergeant twice. SSgt and GySgt I held only once. I guess I was more arrogant than feisty.

As a brand new SSgt, I had the professional pleasure of serving with a Marine who took me under his wing and put me on the right track to becoming a Marine leader. His name was Sergeant Major Petty. Sgt/Major Petty never served in Vietnam or any war for that matter. He wore only two ribbons - the National Defense and the Good Conduct Medal with 7 stars. He forgot more about leadership than I will ever know. His comment when asked about his lack of a fruit salad on his chest was - Ribbons don't tell where you're going; they tell where you been.

Every Marine who ever served or will ever serve, serves at the pleasure of the Marine Corps. Duty assignments are at the discretion of the "Corps".

For those of you who never set foot on the ground in Vietnam, rest assured that:

1. You did your duty as you were assigned.
2. You performed those duties professionally with love of country and "Corps" in your heart, even though you may not have recognized it then.
3. You were disparaged equally with those of us who did have boots on the ground.
4. Today your service is equally honored as it should be.
5. You are just as much a Vietnam Veteran as any who were in country.

It's the luck of the draw.

Statics:

- 9,087,000 million men served on active duty from August, 1964 until May, 1975.
- 2,594,000 million men were "in country".
- 75,000 were disabled - 300% more than WW II and 70% more than Korea.

Again, It's the luck of the draw.

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


Hill 510 - 11th Marines

11th Marines on Hill 510 in Vietnam in 1970

11th Engineer Marines on bridge in Khe Sanh 1968

The first photo shows Marines of Echo and Whiskey Battery, 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines, 1st Marine Division working on clearing gun positions for fire support base on Hill 510, 35 miles southwest of DaNang. (Defense Dept. Photo, Taken by GySgt Parnell on or about 17-18 Jun 1970)

The second photo shows Marines of 11th Engineers as they swarm all over bridges as work is being rushed to Operational Route #9 to Khe Sanh on Operation Pegasus. (Defense Dept. Photo, Taken by SSgt J.A. Reid in April 1968)

Submitted by
John Ratomski


Marines Under Armour Hi-Vis Hoodie


Marine Corps Never Saw Fit

Sgt Grit,

For years now, it has bothered me that the Marine Corps never saw fit to put me in a combat situation; initially, I was assigned to a 60mm mortar section of the local USMCR company, when I first joined in March, 1949. Our company, as was hundreds of others, was activated when North Korea attacked, and by 21 August 1950, we were on a troop train headed for Camp Pendleton.

After arriving at Camp Pendleton, I was pulled from the company, and began working for an old WWII Tech Sergeant, by the name of Jesse. Most of the Company was integrated into the 5th Marines, and made the landing at Inchon in September, and here I sat processing other Reservists as they came into Pendleton. Somewhere along here my MOS was changed to 0143, Clerk Typist, and in October I was transferred to Marine Barracks, U. S. Naval Station, San Diego, CA, and remained there until April 1951.

I was transferred to MCRDep, assigned to a recruit platoon in the 3d Recruit Training Battalion, graduating in June. At this point, my date of rank as PFC was 1 September 1949; the day after graduating from booth camp I began working in the Battalion office, and within a month of graduation, I was promoted to Corporal (E3).

So, from October, 1950 to April, 1956, I was stationed at MCRDep and the Amphibious Base at Coronado; five and one half years; transferred to the 3dMarDiv, on Okinawa for 14 months, and then right back to MCRDep for another 2 years.

Up and down the West Coast, MCAS, Iwakuni for a year, then to MCAS, Yuma, and onto HQMC in March 1967. By the end of 1969, I was fed up enough to submit my letter of intent to retire, THEN the Marine Corps issued me orders to Vietnam. Talk about the irony of the whole situation; the orders were cancelled and I hung it up on 31 January 1970. At the end of this month, it will be 45 years since I retired; now that makes me an old Marine!

It still bothers me that here I am a Gunnery Sergeant, with 5 service stripes, a Good Conduct medal (with 1 silver star), the National Defense Service medal (with 1 bronze star), and I finally realized that none of this would have happened if I HAD gone to Korea, and possibly, not come back! The best thing that ever happened during all this time was the fantastic lady that I would meet and marry, and have her around for over 56 years.

I guess it all works out in the long run.

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


PI 50 Years To The Day

Cpl LaBozzetta and wife with CG and SgtMaj or MCRD Parris Island

Sgt Grit,

My wife & I planned a visit to Parris Island for 19 September 2014. It was fifty years to the day that I graduated with Platoon 157.

Unbeknownst to me, my wife was planning a surprise for me. With the help of a few members of my Marine Corps League Detachment (Tamarac Det. 755) she was able to get in touch with the correct Marines aboard Parris Island to help in the planning. ​She was hoping that maybe I would get recognized as a past recruit who was aboard the base for the day. What got arranged was reserved VIP seating at the Morning Colors Ceremony and the Graduation Ceremony. In between the two ceremonies I was asked to pose with the Commanding General and Depot Sgt Maj, along with my wife Lucretia, on the steps of the Headquarters Building (photo attached). As the General was giving his talk to the spectators at the Morning Colors he stood directly in front of me and glanced at me when he said something to the effect that the Marines of today build upon the Marines of the past.

We live about seven hours from PI and have visited the base many times over the years, but this visit will stick in my memory for many years to come.

Semper Fidelis,
Mike LaBozzetta
Cpl. 1964-1967
3371​


WWI And Truman

I have something to add about President Truman. Awhile back it was said that he was at the battle of Belleau Wood, he was not. Truman was an artillery officer with the 35th Infantry Division. This is a National Guard division made up of men from Kansas and Missouri. The 35th got in country about the same time as the battle and were put into one of the defensive sectors under French control. They did participate in the Argonne Offensive. I am researching them because my Great-Great Uncle was a rifleman in the 137th Regiment. I believe Truman's WWI experience affected his view of the active duty Army and probably played a role in his disdain for Gen. MacArthur. The 35th was constantly treated badly by the active duty component, and on the eve of the Argonne Offensive had many officers relieved and active duty officers put in those billets.

Years ago I read a book about WWI that stated because of censorship rules, Army units could only be identified as being "American Expeditionary Force" components, while some loophole in the rules allowed reporters to identify "Marines" in a battle. This caused a lot of b-tt-hurt in the Army and is a big reason why Marines were left out of the European theater. That is what the book said anyhow. The book stated that Gen. Eisenhower was one of the leaders keeping the Marines out of Europe. I wish I could remember the book, it was one of those I read on duty overnight about 20 years ago.

Gunny Rousseau, keep 'em coming, I really enjoy your letters. If I can find the disc with my Iraq pictures I'm going to submit a picture of me guarding a train in Iraq, hopefully to compliment your Korea pictures.

Semper Fi,
EAS
Iraq​


The Family That Prays Together

The family that prays together, stays together. The Marines are proof of that.

Photo by Sgt Frances Johnson

Deployed Marines praying


Yoshiwara

Sgt. Grit,

Yoshiwara was the area in Japan Proper where houses of ill repute had been for years and men wanting company of kind would go there. A lot of you that served in Okinawa will not know there was a Yoshiwara in Okinawa. This old brain doesn't recall it's location but I went there with a Member of the "Morning Star" Newspaper where I worked during Liberty Time.

When I last went to Okinawa, a year or so before I retired, I ran into an old Friend that had as exciting career as one could want serving in Two Wars as a Radioman.

Some time in the early 1950's (I believe) a plane with Eight Marines aboard went down some where in the Washington area. All men were put on duty and flew as "Observers" in the search planes, Rusty, my friend had just came back after doing his tour as Observer on a plane intending to get some chow at the Gedunk nearby. As he headed toward the gedunk a plane came down and cartwheeled between him and the gedunk so he forgot his wanting food and went to his Quarters.

During Korea on a Patrol he got separated from the Patrol during a Firefight and later found his bearings and was headed toward our lines when a Sniper saw a figure coming into our lines and was getting his sight on the figure when a Sergeant said: "Stop! That's Rusty" (There was so much more to this story I wish I could tell you.)

So here I was in Okinawa and ran into Rusty, he said he was working as Proof Reader at the Morning Star, but his time was up and asked if I wanted the job? I took over from Rusty as a Proof Reader at the Morning Star Newspaper for the grand sum of $5.00 an hour, the time one worked as Proof reader was about 4 to 6 hours a week, some times less and only with permission from your commanding Officer.

It was at the Morning Star I learned of many secrets of the Island and Yoshiwara. As I had a car one of the Okinawan Proof Readers showed me the Island and Where Yoshiwara was. Americans couldn't get into the Area, it was one area Out of Bounds for Americans but I got The Grand Tour around the out side with Girls hanging out of windows gesturing us to come in. He even pointed out Twins waving at us. Okinawa was a Bummer for most Marines but my Tour as Proof Reader kept it from being too boring.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Every Day Environmentalist

This is how Marines make clouds following the sound of thunder. We are every day environmentalist... are you?

Photo by Cpl Ali Azimi

Marine firing a Howitzer


Keep In Mind

Just read in the newsletter Wally Mackow's letter about being ignored while on a visit to Parris Island. He needs to keep in mind that almost everyone on that base is a Marine. It is not unusual for a Marine stationed there to see returning Marines and you really cannot expect them to fawn over them all -- if they did, they would have no time to earn their pay. It's nice when people recognize my service but I never expect it when out in the world, and I would not ever expect it on a Marine Corps base because there, you are not special, you are the same as everyone else. By the way, Wally, did you think to thank THEM for their service?

Semper Fi to one and all and a Happy New Year!

M. F. Weaver
CWO-4 (Ret.)
1965-'06​


Fed The Fish

The voyage that Norm is referring to was 9 days long as there was some maneuvers involve as well. About the the second day out I began feeling more than a little seasick and fed the fish until there was nothing left. I thought that would be the end of it, if there was nothing down there to throw up, you wouldn't have to hang over the rail anymore, WRONG! A couple more days of dry heaves and I seriously thought about letting go of the rail and just get it over with. Some wise old salt told me if you keep your belly full so the juice doesn't slosh around, you won't get sick. I made a record fast trip to ship stores and bought 2 huge boxes of soda crackers and ate till I thought I would pop. MAGIC, I started feeling a lot better right away and actually enjoyed the last couple days of the trip.

I felt lucky to be on the Clymer as the times we were in rough water I could see the bottoms of the LST's or LSD's, whatever they were, and was very glad not to be aboard one of those.

Bud Davis
L/Cpl 6412
VMA 212 '60-'63


The High Ground

By Robert Clark

A couple of years ago someone asked me if I still thought about Vietnam. I nearly laughed in their face. How do you stop thinking about it? Every day for the last twenty-four years, I wake up with it, and go to bed with it. But this is what I said. "Yea, I think about it. I can't quit thinking about it. I never will. But, I've also learned to live with it. I'm comfortable with the memories. I've learned to stop trying to forget and learned instead to embrace it. It just doesn't scare me anymore."

A psychologist once told me that NOT being affected by the experience over there would be abnormal. When he told me that, it was like he'd just given me a pardon. It was as if he said, "Go ahead and feel something about the place, Bob. It ain't going nowhere. You're gonna wear it for the rest of your life. Might as well get to know it."

A lot of my "brothers" haven't been so lucky. For them the memories are too painful, their sense of loss too great. My sister told me of a friend she has whose husband was in the Nam. She asks this guy when he was there. Here's what he said, "Just last night." It took my sister a while to figure out what he was talking about. JUST LAST NIGHT. Yeah I was in the Nam. When? JUST LAST NIGHT. During s-x with my wife. And on my way to work this morning. Over my lunch hour. Yeah, I was there.

My sister says I'm not the same brother that went to Vietnam. My wife says I won't let people get close to me, not even her. They are probably both right.

Ask a vet about making friends in Nam. It was risky. Why? Because we were in the business of death, and death was with us all the time. It wasn't the death of, "If I die before I wake." This was the real thing. The kind where boys scream for their mothers. The kind that lingers in your mind and becomes more real each time you cheat it. You don't want to make a lot of friends when the possibility of dying is that real, that close. When you do, friends become a liability.

A guy named Bob Flanigan was my friend. Bob Flanigan is dead. I put him in a body bag one sunny day, April 29, 1969. We'd been talking, only a few minutes before he was shot, about what we were going to do when we got back in the world. Now, this was a guy who had come in country the same time as myself. A guy who was loveable and generous. He had blue eyes and sandy blond hair.

When he talked, it was with a soft drawl. Flanigan was a hick and he knew it. That was part of his charm. He didn't care. Man, I loved this guy like the brother I never had. But, I screwed up. I got too close to him. Maybe I didn't know any better. But I broke one of the unwritten rules of war.

DON'T GET CLOSE TO PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO DIE. Sometimes you can't help it.

You hear vets use the term "buddy" when they refer to a guy they spent the war with. "Me and this buddy of mine..."

"Friend" sounds too intimate, doesn't it. "Friend" calls up images of being close. If he's a friend, then you are going to be hurt if he dies, and war hurts enough without adding to the pain. Get close; get hurt. It's as simple as that.

In war you learn to keep people at that distance my wife talks about. You become so good at it, that twenty years after the war, you still do it without thinking. You won't allow yourself to be vulnerable again.

My wife knows two people who can get into the soft spots inside me. My daughters. I know it probably bothers her that they can do this. It's not that I don't love my wife, I do. She's put up with a lot from me. She'll tell you that when she signed on for better or worse she had no idea there was going to be so much of the latter. But with my daughters it's different.

My girls are mine. They'll always be my kids. Not marriage, not distance, not even death can change that. They are something on this earth that can never be taken away from me. I belong to them. Nothing can change that.

I can have an ex-wife; but my girls can never have an ex-father. There's the difference.

I can still see the faces, though they all seem to have the same eyes. When I think of us I always see a line of "dirty grunts" sitting on a paddy dike. We're caught in the first gray silver between darkness and light. That first moment when we know we've survived another night, and the business of staying alive for one more day is about to begin. There was so much hope in that brief space of time. It's what we used to pray for. "One more day, God. One more day."

And I can hear our conversations as if they'd only just been spoken. I still hear the way we sounded, the hard cynical jokes, our morbid senses of humor. We were scared to death of dying, and trying our best not to show it.

I recall the smells, too. Like the way cordite hangs on the air after a fire-fight. Or the pungent odor of rice paddy mud. So different from the black dirt of Iowa. The mud of Nam smells ancient, somehow. Like it's always been there. And I'll never forget the way blood smells, stick and drying on my hands. I spent a long night that way once. That memory isn't going anywhere.

I remember how the night jungle appears almost dream like as the pilot of a Cessna buzzes overhead, dropping parachute flares until morning. That artificial sun would flicker and make shadows run through the jungle. It was worse than not being able to see what was out there sometimes. I remember once looking at the man next to me as a flare floated overhead. The shadows around his eyes were so deep that it looked like his eyes were gone. I reached over and touched him on the arm; without looking at me he touched my hand. "I know man. I know." That's what he said. It was a human moment. Two guys a long way from home and scared sh-tless.

"I know man." And at that moment he did.

God I loved those guys. I hurt every time one of them died. We all did. Despite our posturing. Despite our desire to stay disconnected, we couldn't help ourselves. I know why Tim O'Brien writes his stories. I know what gives Bruce Weigle the words to create poems so honest I cry at their horrible beauty. It's love. Love for those guys we shared the experience with.

We did our jobs like good soldiers, and we tried our best not to become as hard as our surroundings. We touched each other and said, "I know." Like a mother holding a child in the middle of a nightmare, "It's going to be all right." We tried not to lose touch with our humanity. We tried to walk that line. To be the good boys our parents had raised and not to give into that unnamed thing we knew was inside us all.

You want to know what frightening is? It's a nineteen-year-old-boy whose had a sip of that power over life and death that war gives you. It's a boy who, despite all the things he's been taught, knows that he likes it. It's a nineteen-year-old who's just lost a friend, and is angry and scared and, determined that, "Some *@#*s gonna pay." To this day, the thought of that boy can wake me from a sound sleep and leave me staring at the ceiling.

As I write this, I have a picture in front of me. It's of two young men. On their laps are tablets. One is smoking a cigarette. Both stare without expression at the camera. They're writing letters. Staying in touch with places they would rather be. Places and people they hope to see again.

The picture shares space in a frame with one of my wife. She doesn't mind. She knows she's been included in special company. She knows I'll always love those guys who shared that part of my life, a part she never can. And she understands how I feel about the ones I know are out there yet. The ones who still answer the question, "When were you in Vietnam?"

"Hey, man. I was there just last night."


Taps

Good Morning Sgt. Grit,

I Hate to be the Bearer of Bad News. We have lost another United States Marine. William, "Bill" Costello received His Final Orders Apx. one week ago. Before WWII, Bill was stationed in China with the United States Marines. I believe that was The Sixth Marine Division.

I met Mr. Costello when I joined The Marine Corps League, Captain Paul L. Gormley Detachment 823 in Hudson New Hampshire. Captain Gormley was K.I.A. in Vietnam. From the information that was given to us; The Captain's last word's to his First Sgt. "Make Sure All of Our People Get Out of Here"! The Captain Never Made It Out.

Jim Angelo


I'm reporting that Cpl. Thomas M. Christensen of Crescent City, Ca. has recently reported for duty at Heaven's Gates. Tom was wounded early in December 1950 by a Chinese grenade that fractured his skull and rendered him with a severe concussion during the breakout at the Chosin Reservoir in Korea. During the trip down the winding mountain road that lasted several days to the Port of Hungnam and evacuation, Tom was in and out of consciousness, but three things stuck in his memory. He remembered his litter being placed in a warming tent one night and an officer coming in and shaking his hand. He remembered one morning having his litter placed inside a weapons carrier along with that of another Marine and a Corpsman lashing the two litters to some stationary fixtures inside for one leg of the trip. The last memory was (always) the bitter cold that he and others had to endure. Tom eventually recovered from his other injuries but the frostbite and gangrene that followed left him missing some toes on both feet with circulation problems below the knees as well. Tom was medically retired as a Corporal with a certain percentage of disability. Through physical therepy and sheer determination Tom was able to walk at at normal pace and gait for most of the rest of his life, but any long walks or running was out of the question. He eventually raised a family and carved out a career for himself at FedCo.

Semper Fi!
Jim Quam
Sgt. of Marines


Short Rounds

I want to thank you for helping me with my dads 78th birthday. Just when you think an old gunny has it all. Thank you again.

Mrs. Beth J.


Quotes

"A Marine will dive into the Jaws of Death and bring back the Jaw Bone."
--(WWII era Commedian whose Brother was a Marine)


"He shows the Resolute countenence of a Marine who just went through Hell and has lit his cigarette on the tines of the Devils pitchfork."
--(A Marine Serving in Iraj or Afganistan)


"We Marines are Truely Blessed. We get to enjoy the Sweet Taste of Freedom because we know its Price."
--(Marine Veteran, John Chipura, Survivor of the 1983 Beirut Bombing. He became a New York Fireman who wrote the above for the 225th Birthday of the Marine Corps. He was killed September 11 at the World Trade Center.)


"Make a hole and make it wide, part like the red f--------n sea."

"This is my rifle. There are many other, but this one is mine..."

"I pulled mess duty at the last supper."

"I was assigned to the Marine Detactment on Noah's Ark!"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 15 Jan 2015
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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 15 JAN 2015

In this issue:
• Luck Of The Draw
• Hill 510 - 11th Marines
• The High Ground

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Sgt. Grit,

I've written before about my tour in Korea but I didn't mention much about my job as Base Photographer.

I took some photo's of damaged and ruined equipment for the Ordnance Officer. The pictures came out so good the CO asked me to be the base Photographer (We had none at the time). I was issued a Graphic, complete in the box with all the accessories. I had to beg, borrow or steal film, Developer and Paper, never having enough for the CO's demands. We finally got a Marine Corps Photog, an Old Hand with WWII experience. I was kept on the job until the Photog was ready to let me go (meaning I had all the cr-p jobs). Here's a photo of me with one of the Interpreters down town looking for stuff to shoot and supplies. "Note the Herring Bone Twill Dungarees" and Sergeant Stripes painted on sleeves.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Luck Of The Draw

Sgt. Grit,

I have read with great interest the many comments and opinions concerning Vietnam Era Veterans and Vietnam Veterans. I can only relate and comment concerning my experiences, but I think my fellow Marines may find my comments interesting.

I went to Vietnam the first time in October 1965 after the Santo Domingo crisis in April 1965. I was an 18 year old hot shot combat veteran, or so I thought. The Domingo escapade was mostly digging fighting holes in their golf course. Never the less, I had combat experience! I knew nothing of real combat when it comes right down to telling the truth. But I would soon learn during an operation called Hastings.

I eventually would serve a total of 44 months in Vietnam (Arizona, Deckhouse I, II, III, Union I, II, III, Hue City, Baxter Garden just to name a few). My last tour was from February 1970 until January 1971 as a Sergeant assigned to the Combined Action Program. I was wounded twice that required hospital time which cut two of my tours short by several months. I'm honored to wear 8 stars on my Vietnam Campaign Ribbon and several stars on my Purple Heart Ribbon. I guess I was never very good a getting my azz down. I never volunteered for duty in Vietnam - period. My unfortunate situation is that I learn languages rather easily. I learned Vietnamese during my first tour there, and somehow that information made it into my SRB. Now, you can guess the Marine Corps' response to having that information. I was volunteered for duty 4 times by Headquarters Marine Corps. And I was indeed a feisty young prick. I held every rank from PFC to Sergeant twice. SSgt and GySgt I held only once. I guess I was more arrogant than feisty.

As a brand new SSgt, I had the professional pleasure of serving with a Marine who took me under his wing and put me on the right track to becoming a Marine leader. His name was Sergeant Major Petty. Sgt/Major Petty never served in Vietnam or any war for that matter. He wore only two ribbons - the National Defense and the Good Conduct Medal with 7 stars. He forgot more about leadership than I will ever know. His comment when asked about his lack of a fruit salad on his chest was - Ribbons don't tell where you're going; they tell where you been.

Every Marine who ever served or will ever serve, serves at the pleasure of the Marine Corps. Duty assignments are at the discretion of the "Corps".

For those of you who never set foot on the ground in Vietnam, rest assured that:

1. You did your duty as you were assigned.
2. You performed those duties professionally with love of country and "Corps" in your heart, even though you may not have recognized it then.
3. You were disparaged equally with those of us who did have boots on the ground.
4. Today your service is equally honored as it should be.
5. You are just as much a Vietnam Veteran as any who were in country.

It's the luck of the draw.

Statics:

- 9,087,000 million men served on active duty from August, 1964 until May, 1975.
- 2,594,000 million men were "in country".
- 75,000 were disabled - 300% more than WW II and 70% more than Korea.

Again, It's the luck of the draw.

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


Hill 510 - 11th Marines

The first photo shows Marines of Echo and Whiskey Battery, 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines, 1st Marine Division working on clearing gun positions for fire support base on Hill 510, 35 miles southwest of DaNang. (Defense Dept. Photo, Taken by GySgt Parnell on or about 17-18 Jun 1970)

The second photo shows Marines of 11th Engineers as they swarm all over bridges as work is being rushed to Operational Route #9 to Khe Sanh on Operation Pegasus. (Defense Dept. Photo, Taken by SSgt J.A. Reid in April 1968)

Submitted by
John Ratomski


Marine Corps Never Saw Fit

Sgt Grit,

For years now, it has bothered me that the Marine Corps never saw fit to put me in a combat situation; initially, I was assigned to a 60mm mortar section of the local USMCR company, when I first joined in March, 1949. Our company, as was hundreds of others, was activated when North Korea attacked, and by 21 August 1950, we were on a troop train headed for Camp Pendleton.

After arriving at Camp Pendleton, I was pulled from the company, and began working for an old WWII Tech Sergeant, by the name of Jesse. Most of the Company was integrated into the 5th Marines, and made the landing at Inchon in September, and here I sat processing other Reservists as they came into Pendleton. Somewhere along here my MOS was changed to 0143, Clerk Typist, and in October I was transferred to Marine Barracks, U. S. Naval Station, San Diego, CA, and remained there until April 1951.

I was transferred to MCRDep, assigned to a recruit platoon in the 3d Recruit Training Battalion, graduating in June. At this point, my date of rank as PFC was 1 September 1949; the day after graduating from booth camp I began working in the Battalion office, and within a month of graduation, I was promoted to Corporal (E3).

So, from October, 1950 to April, 1956, I was stationed at MCRDep and the Amphibious Base at Coronado; five and one half years; transferred to the 3dMarDiv, on Okinawa for 14 months, and then right back to MCRDep for another 2 years.

Up and down the West Coast, MCAS, Iwakuni for a year, then to MCAS, Yuma, and onto HQMC in March 1967. By the end of 1969, I was fed up enough to submit my letter of intent to retire, THEN the Marine Corps issued me orders to Vietnam. Talk about the irony of the whole situation; the orders were cancelled and I hung it up on 31 January 1970. At the end of this month, it will be 45 years since I retired; now that makes me an old Marine!

It still bothers me that here I am a Gunnery Sergeant, with 5 service stripes, a Good Conduct medal (with 1 silver star), the National Defense Service medal (with 1 bronze star), and I finally realized that none of this would have happened if I HAD gone to Korea, and possibly, not come back! The best thing that ever happened during all this time was the fantastic lady that I would meet and marry, and have her around for over 56 years.

I guess it all works out in the long run.

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


PI 50 Years To The Day

Sgt Grit,

My wife & I planned a visit to Parris Island for 19 September 2014. It was fifty years to the day that I graduated with Platoon 157.

Unbeknownst to me, my wife was planning a surprise for me. With the help of a few members of my Marine Corps League Detachment (Tamarac Det. 755) she was able to get in touch with the correct Marines aboard Parris Island to help in the planning. ​She was hoping that maybe I would get recognized as a past recruit who was aboard the base for the day. What got arranged was reserved VIP seating at the Morning Colors Ceremony and the Graduation Ceremony. In between the two ceremonies I was asked to pose with the Commanding General and Depot Sgt Maj, along with my wife Lucretia, on the steps of the Headquarters Building (photo attached). As the General was giving his talk to the spectators at the Morning Colors he stood directly in front of me and glanced at me when he said something to the effect that the Marines of today build upon the Marines of the past.

We live about seven hours from PI and have visited the base many times over the years, but this visit will stick in my memory for many years to come.

Semper Fidelis,
Mike LaBozzetta
Cpl. 1964-1967
3371​


WWI And Truman

I have something to add about President Truman. Awhile back it was said that he was at the battle of Belleau Wood, he was not. Truman was an artillery officer with the 35th Infantry Division. This is a National Guard division made up of men from Kansas and Missouri. The 35th got in country about the same time as the battle and were put into one of the defensive sectors under French control. They did participate in the Argonne Offensive. I am researching them because my Great-Great Uncle was a rifleman in the 137th Regiment. I believe Truman's WWI experience affected his view of the active duty Army and probably played a role in his disdain for Gen. MacArthur. The 35th was constantly treated badly by the active duty component, and on the eve of the Argonne Offensive had many officers relieved and active duty officers put in those billets.

Years ago I read a book about WWI that stated because of censorship rules, Army units could only be identified as being "American Expeditionary Force" components, while some loophole in the rules allowed reporters to identify "Marines" in a battle. This caused a lot of b-tt-hurt in the Army and is a big reason why Marines were left out of the European theater. That is what the book said anyhow. The book stated that Gen. Eisenhower was one of the leaders keeping the Marines out of Europe. I wish I could remember the book, it was one of those I read on duty overnight about 20 years ago.

Gunny Rousseau, keep 'em coming, I really enjoy your letters. If I can find the disc with my Iraq pictures I'm going to submit a picture of me guarding a train in Iraq, hopefully to compliment your Korea pictures.

Semper Fi,
EAS
Iraq​


Yoshiwara

Sgt. Grit,

Yoshiwara was the area in Japan Proper where houses of ill repute had been for years and men wanting company of kind would go there. A lot of you that served in Okinawa will not know there was a Yoshiwara in Okinawa. This old brain doesn't recall it's location but I went there with a Member of the "Morning Star" Newspaper where I worked during Liberty Time.

When I last went to Okinawa, a year or so before I retired, I ran into an old Friend that had as exciting career as one could want serving in Two Wars as a Radioman.

Some time in the early 1950's (I believe) a plane with Eight Marines aboard went down some where in the Washington area. All men were put on duty and flew as "Observers" in the search planes, Rusty, my friend had just came back after doing his tour as Observer on a plane intending to get some chow at the Gedunk nearby. As he headed toward the gedunk a plane came down and cartwheeled between him and the gedunk so he forgot his wanting food and went to his Quarters.

During Korea on a Patrol he got separated from the Patrol during a Firefight and later found his bearings and was headed toward our lines when a Sniper saw a figure coming into our lines and was getting his sight on the figure when a Sergeant said: "Stop! That's Rusty" (There was so much more to this story I wish I could tell you.)

So here I was in Okinawa and ran into Rusty, he said he was working as Proof Reader at the Morning Star, but his time was up and asked if I wanted the job? I took over from Rusty as a Proof Reader at the Morning Star Newspaper for the grand sum of $5.00 an hour, the time one worked as Proof reader was about 4 to 6 hours a week, some times less and only with permission from your commanding Officer.

It was at the Morning Star I learned of many secrets of the Island and Yoshiwara. As I had a car one of the Okinawan Proof Readers showed me the Island and Where Yoshiwara was. Americans couldn't get into the Area, it was one area Out of Bounds for Americans but I got The Grand Tour around the out side with Girls hanging out of windows gesturing us to come in. He even pointed out Twins waving at us. Okinawa was a Bummer for most Marines but my Tour as Proof Reader kept it from being too boring.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Keep In Mind

Just read in the newsletter Wally Mackow's letter about being ignored while on a visit to Parris Island. He needs to keep in mind that almost everyone on that base is a Marine. It is not unusual for a Marine stationed there to see returning Marines and you really cannot expect them to fawn over them all -- if they did, they would have no time to earn their pay. It's nice when people recognize my service but I never expect it when out in the world, and I would not ever expect it on a Marine Corps base because there, you are not special, you are the same as everyone else. By the way, Wally, did you think to thank THEM for their service?

Semper Fi to one and all and a Happy New Year!

M. F. Weaver
CWO-4 (Ret.)
1965-'06​


Fed The Fish

The voyage that Norm is referring to was 9 days long as there was some maneuvers involve as well. About the the second day out I began feeling more than a little seasick and fed the fish until there was nothing left. I thought that would be the end of it, if there was nothing down there to throw up, you wouldn't have to hang over the rail anymore, WRONG! A couple more days of dry heaves and I seriously thought about letting go of the rail and just get it over with. Some wise old salt told me if you keep your belly full so the juice doesn't slosh around, you won't get sick. I made a record fast trip to ship stores and bought 2 huge boxes of soda crackers and ate till I thought I would pop. MAGIC, I started feeling a lot better right away and actually enjoyed the last couple days of the trip.

I felt lucky to be on the Clymer as the times we were in rough water I could see the bottoms of the LST's or LSD's, whatever they were, and was very glad not to be aboard one of those.

Bud Davis
L/Cpl 6412
VMA 212 '60-'63


The High Ground

By Robert Clark

A couple of years ago someone asked me if I still thought about Vietnam. I nearly laughed in their face. How do you stop thinking about it? Every day for the last twenty-four years, I wake up with it, and go to bed with it. But this is what I said. "Yea, I think about it. I can't quit thinking about it. I never will. But, I've also learned to live with it. I'm comfortable with the memories. I've learned to stop trying to forget and learned instead to embrace it. It just doesn't scare me anymore."

A psychologist once told me that NOT being affected by the experience over there would be abnormal. When he told me that, it was like he'd just given me a pardon. It was as if he said, "Go ahead and feel something about the place, Bob. It ain't going nowhere. You're gonna wear it for the rest of your life. Might as well get to know it."

A lot of my "brothers" haven't been so lucky. For them the memories are too painful, their sense of loss too great. My sister told me of a friend she has whose husband was in the Nam. She asks this guy when he was there. Here's what he said, "Just last night." It took my sister a while to figure out what he was talking about. JUST LAST NIGHT. Yeah I was in the Nam. When? JUST LAST NIGHT. During s-x with my wife. And on my way to work this morning. Over my lunch hour. Yeah, I was there.

My sister says I'm not the same brother that went to Vietnam. My wife says I won't let people get close to me, not even her. They are probably both right.

Ask a vet about making friends in Nam. It was risky. Why? Because we were in the business of death, and death was with us all the time. It wasn't the death of, "If I die before I wake." This was the real thing. The kind where boys scream for their mothers. The kind that lingers in your mind and becomes more real each time you cheat it. You don't want to make a lot of friends when the possibility of dying is that real, that close. When you do, friends become a liability.

A guy named Bob Flanigan was my friend. Bob Flanigan is dead. I put him in a body bag one sunny day, April 29, 1969. We'd been talking, only a few minutes before he was shot, about what we were going to do when we got back in the world. Now, this was a guy who had come in country the same time as myself. A guy who was loveable and generous. He had blue eyes and sandy blond hair.

When he talked, it was with a soft drawl. Flanigan was a hick and he knew it. That was part of his charm. He didn't care. Man, I loved this guy like the brother I never had. But, I screwed up. I got too close to him. Maybe I didn't know any better. But I broke one of the unwritten rules of war.

DON'T GET CLOSE TO PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO DIE. Sometimes you can't help it.

You hear vets use the term "buddy" when they refer to a guy they spent the war with. "Me and this buddy of mine..."

"Friend" sounds too intimate, doesn't it. "Friend" calls up images of being close. If he's a friend, then you are going to be hurt if he dies, and war hurts enough without adding to the pain. Get close; get hurt. It's as simple as that.

In war you learn to keep people at that distance my wife talks about. You become so good at it, that twenty years after the war, you still do it without thinking. You won't allow yourself to be vulnerable again.

My wife knows two people who can get into the soft spots inside me. My daughters. I know it probably bothers her that they can do this. It's not that I don't love my wife, I do. She's put up with a lot from me. She'll tell you that when she signed on for better or worse she had no idea there was going to be so much of the latter. But with my daughters it's different.

My girls are mine. They'll always be my kids. Not marriage, not distance, not even death can change that. They are something on this earth that can never be taken away from me. I belong to them. Nothing can change that.

I can have an ex-wife; but my girls can never have an ex-father. There's the difference.

I can still see the faces, though they all seem to have the same eyes. When I think of us I always see a line of "dirty grunts" sitting on a paddy dike. We're caught in the first gray silver between darkness and light. That first moment when we know we've survived another night, and the business of staying alive for one more day is about to begin. There was so much hope in that brief space of time. It's what we used to pray for. "One more day, God. One more day."

And I can hear our conversations as if they'd only just been spoken. I still hear the way we sounded, the hard cynical jokes, our morbid senses of humor. We were scared to death of dying, and trying our best not to show it.

I recall the smells, too. Like the way cordite hangs on the air after a fire-fight. Or the pungent odor of rice paddy mud. So different from the black dirt of Iowa. The mud of Nam smells ancient, somehow. Like it's always been there. And I'll never forget the way blood smells, stick and drying on my hands. I spent a long night that way once. That memory isn't going anywhere.

I remember how the night jungle appears almost dream like as the pilot of a Cessna buzzes overhead, dropping parachute flares until morning. That artificial sun would flicker and make shadows run through the jungle. It was worse than not being able to see what was out there sometimes. I remember once looking at the man next to me as a flare floated overhead. The shadows around his eyes were so deep that it looked like his eyes were gone. I reached over and touched him on the arm; without looking at me he touched my hand. "I know man. I know." That's what he said. It was a human moment. Two guys a long way from home and scared sh-tless.

"I know man." And at that moment he did.

God I loved those guys. I hurt every time one of them died. We all did. Despite our posturing. Despite our desire to stay disconnected, we couldn't help ourselves. I know why Tim O'Brien writes his stories. I know what gives Bruce Weigle the words to create poems so honest I cry at their horrible beauty. It's love. Love for those guys we shared the experience with.

We did our jobs like good soldiers, and we tried our best not to become as hard as our surroundings. We touched each other and said, "I know." Like a mother holding a child in the middle of a nightmare, "It's going to be all right." We tried not to lose touch with our humanity. We tried to walk that line. To be the good boys our parents had raised and not to give into that unnamed thing we knew was inside us all.

You want to know what frightening is? It's a nineteen-year-old-boy whose had a sip of that power over life and death that war gives you. It's a boy who, despite all the things he's been taught, knows that he likes it. It's a nineteen-year-old who's just lost a friend, and is angry and scared and, determined that, "Some *@#*s gonna pay." To this day, the thought of that boy can wake me from a sound sleep and leave me staring at the ceiling.

As I write this, I have a picture in front of me. It's of two young men. On their laps are tablets. One is smoking a cigarette. Both stare without expression at the camera. They're writing letters. Staying in touch with places they would rather be. Places and people they hope to see again.

The picture shares space in a frame with one of my wife. She doesn't mind. She knows she's been included in special company. She knows I'll always love those guys who shared that part of my life, a part she never can. And she understands how I feel about the ones I know are out there yet. The ones who still answer the question, "When were you in Vietnam?"

"Hey, man. I was there just last night."


Taps

Good Morning Sgt. Grit,

I Hate to be the Bearer of Bad News. We have lost another United States Marine. William, "Bill" Costello received His Final Orders Apx. one week ago. Before WWII, Bill was stationed in China with the United States Marines. I believe that was The Sixth Marine Division.

I met Mr. Costello when I joined The Marine Corps League, Captain Paul L. Gormley Detachment 823 in Hudson New Hampshire. Captain Gormley was K.I.A. in Vietnam. From the information that was given to us; The Captain's last word's to his First Sgt. "Make Sure All of Our People Get Out of Here"! The Captain Never Made It Out.

Jim Angelo


I'm reporting that Cpl. Thomas M. Christensen of Crescent City, Ca. has recently reported for duty at Heaven's Gates. Tom was wounded early in December 1950 by a Chinese grenade that fractured his skull and rendered him with a severe concussion during the breakout at the Chosin Reservoir in Korea. During the trip down the winding mountain road that lasted several days to the Port of Hungnam and evacuation, Tom was in and out of consciousness, but three things stuck in his memory. He remembered his litter being placed in a warming tent one night and an officer coming in and shaking his hand. He remembered one morning having his litter placed inside a weapons carrier along with that of another Marine and a Corpsman lashing the two litters to some stationary fixtures inside for one leg of the trip. The last memory was (always) the bitter cold that he and others had to endure. Tom eventually recovered from his other injuries but the frostbite and gangrene that followed left him missing some toes on both feet with circulation problems below the knees as well. Tom was medically retired as a Corporal with a certain percentage of disability. Through physical therepy and sheer determination Tom was able to walk at at normal pace and gait for most of the rest of his life, but any long walks or running was out of the question. He eventually raised a family and carved out a career for himself at FedCo.

Semper Fi!
Jim Quam
Sgt. of Marines


Short Rounds

I want to thank you for helping me with my dads 78th birthday. Just when you think an old gunny has it all. Thank you again.

Mrs. Beth J.


Quotes

"A Marine will dive into the Jaws of Death and bring back the Jaw Bone."
--(WWII era Commedian whose Brother was a Marine)


"He shows the Resolute countenence of a Marine who just went through Hell and has lit his cigarette on the tines of the Devils pitchfork."
--(A Marine Serving in Iraj or Afganistan)


"We Marines are Truely Blessed. We get to enjoy the Sweet Taste of Freedom because we know its Price."
--(Marine Veteran, John Chipura, Survivor of the 1983 Beirut Bombing. He became a New York Fireman who wrote the above for the 225th Birthday of the Marine Corps. He was killed September 11 at the World Trade Center.)


"Make a hole and make it wide, part like the red f--------n sea."

"This is my rifle. There are many other, but this one is mine..."

"I pulled mess duty at the last supper."

"I was assigned to the Marine Detactment on Noah's Ark!"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 08 Jan 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 08 JAN 2014

In this issue:
• A Brotherhood Of Warriors
• Vietnam Vet And My Resume
• 69 Year Coma And A Wake Up

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GySgt Kelly's granddaughters wearing Sgt Grit shirts and night pants

GySgt Kelly's granddaughters in Sgt Grit shorts

Grit,

Merry Christmas to you and all of your troops there in Oklahoma City and I hope you all have a Happy, safe and healthy New Year. The pics are of two of my granddaughters, Meghan and Kelly on Christmas day sporting some of your wear. They were both thrilled at old grandpa's choices too.

Semper Fi,
Tom Kelly
GySgt USMC Ret

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A Brotherhood Of Warriors

Join The United States Marines. Travel to Exotic Distant Lands. Meet Exciting and Unusual People. And Kill Them. OOH RAH and Semper Fi Till I Die.

I have a full size American and Marine Corps Flag on a lit ten foot wood pole on my front porch. I also have a full size American Flag on a lit pole on my back porch. You want to know why? I have them there because I CAN have them there. I Earned the right to have them there, that's why!

"A US Marine's life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "OOH RAH! What a ride!"

It cannot be inherited. Nor can it ever be purchased. You and no one alive can buy it for any price. It is not possible to rent and cannot be lent. You alone and our own have earned it with our blood sweat and tears. You own it forever. What am I talking about? I'm talking about the Title Of United States Marine. That's what I'm talking about!

"I like being a Marine, because being a Marine is serious business. We are not a Social Club or a Fraternal Organization, and we do not pretend to be one. We are a Brotherhood of "Warriors", nothing more and nothing less, pure and simple. We are in the azs kicking business, and business is good!"

Semper Fidelis - Always Faithful... "It's More Than A Motto... It's A Way Of Life... Live it, I DO."

Semper Fi and OOH RAH!

Hanline, Ralph J. 2003536
Feb. 20, 1962 - Aug. 20, 1966


Sgt Grit Limited Time Special


29 Palms

Sgt Grit,

I enjoyed the letter concerning the song, "The Lady From Twentynine Palms". On my first trip (1964) into that town, I and some buddies went into a little cafe for lunch and, lo and behold, that song was playing on the jukebox. What a great beat it has! Today, as the leader of a little band (Cool Waters Band) in eastern Washington state, we play and I sing that song. Peope love it! Every time we perform that song, I get visions of my time at MCB 29 Palms. Some Marines who've served there think only about the dry heat and sleeping in tents out in the field. Being in artillery, when not in the field, we lived in AC squad bays. Ah, the joys of being 'gun bunnies'!

Semper Fi and Happy New Year to all Marines!
Bob Lonn, 0811 (and proud of it)​


Felt The Brotherhood

In response to the article "Noticed and Ignored" by Adam Mackow, I would like to submit and entirely different experience.

Last January I was vacationing in Hilton Head. And while I've been in that area many times, I've never stopped at Parris Island because I'm always armed, being a retired Police Officer, and I remember how much trouble I had getting on base when I was still working and in the Reserves.

Anyway, I called the base to see what the procedure was, since there was a graduation ceremony coming up and I really wanted to show it to my wife. I was politely informed that there was a gun/pawn shop in Port Royal that would hold them for me while I was on base.

There were six platoons graduating, so there were six or eight bleachers set up for the families. After clearing the metal detectors, I looked around, and not much looked familiar. It had been 49 years since I graduated. Back then everything was wood. Now everything was brick and looked like a collage campus.

I went up to a D I Sgt. to get my bearings. I was wearing a jacket with a Marine Corps patch and a pin with my rank (Sgt). We spoke for a few minutes then I thanked him and went to find a seat in the bleachers. I got about halfway past the first one when the Sgt, tapped me on the shoulder as he walked past and said "You're with me". My wife and I followed him past all the bleachers until we got to the VIP section, I guess, because it was roped off from the rest. We stepped over the rope and he sat us in the first row, front and center. I couldn't have paid for better seats. We thanked him and he was gone. I really felt the brotherhood that day.

Sgt. Bill Michell
'65-'68, '75-'77


Vietnam Vet And My Resume

As a Marine Vietnam vet, I had a somewhat different experience than Gary Neely. I got out of the Corps in 1968 to go into politics and, I thought, fix things. (Okay, I was pretty naive at 22.) At Mount Wachusetts Community College, I ran twice for student council and then for council president, and, though I didn't have a group of high school friends there going in, I won every time. I used pictures of me in Vietnam on my posters. At the University of Massachusetts, I decided at the last minute to run for the student senate, on write-ins, against a kid who had lived in the dorm for a year. I won. I never hid that I was a vet.

I graduated from UMass in June, 1972, and in November of that year I defeated an incumbent Massachusetts Democrat state senator by 9 votes, in a 4-1 Democrat district last won by a Republican in 1938, the first of my five wins. (Including being nominated by both parties in 1976.) I always used pictures of myself in the Corps in my campaign flyers. In 1982, I was fed up with politics and retired undefeated to become an association executive.

For 31 years, I held increasingly responsible and better paying jobs. My resume always had a section on my service in the Corps, including the six years I spent in the active reserves while a senator ('77-'83). If it hurt me, I didn't know it. And if they were biased against Marines, I didn't want to work for them. Looking at the later results at some of the jobs I didn't get, they could have used a little Marine discipline.

I had to retire October 1, 2013 due to pulmonary fibrosis, but I'm hoping the lung the VA gave me on December 23, 2013 will improve to the point were I can return to part time work as a consultant or substitute teacher. If so, my resume will still list my USMC service proudly. No compromise, no surrender.

Semper Fidelis,
Robert A. Hall
Once a SSGT, still a Marine


69 Year Coma And A Wake Up

WWII Marine James Hill awakes from 69 year coma

Truth or Not?

San Diego

An American Marine injured during the Second World War and stuck in a deep coma ever since, has finally regained consciousness this Monday at the Naval Medical Center (NMCSD). James Hill, a 95-year old former Sergeant who is decorated with two purple heart medals and a Navy Cross, was severely injured by the explosion of an artillery shell during the battle of Iwo Jima, on the 27th of February 1945. Doctors had been able to miraculously save his life, but the shock was so violent and the brain damage was so severe, that they thought he was condemned to remain inert for the rest of his life.

It is a controversial new treatment that was recently applied to Mr. Hill, that somehow extracted him from his unconsciousness. This new approach developed by a German scientist, Professor Hans Friedritch Muller, is based on the use of various experimental drugs and repeated series of low voltage eletroshocks. This technique is still in its development phase and had been allowed to be tested only on four patients who were considered to have "very low probabilities" of recovering.

The surprising turnout of the experiment unfortunately comes many years to late to save the military hero's marriage and family life. His wife remained loyally at his side for nine years, caring for their two children, one of which she was bearing when he was dispatched overseas and whom he never never had seen before yesterday. She finally filed for divorce and obtained it in 1954, and got remarried one year later. Her new husband legally adopted Mr. Hill's children, since he was considered "brain dead". Sixty years later, he now wakes up to find out his wife and son are already dead, and his unknown daughter is turning 70 years old. He however has four grandchildren and three great grandchildren, whom he has never met, a strange solace that hopefully will help him accept his situation.

The readaptation process is also expected to be extremely difficult for the old man, if not impossible. Most of his muscles have not been stimulated for years and a long program of physiotherapy will be need before Mister Hill can even move his arms normally, and he might never be able to stand or walk again. His accustomation to the wide range of new technologies that appeared during his coma should also prove very difficult if not completely impossible, considering he has never seen a computer in his life. Bringing the man to understand the world's historical evolution since 1945 and explaining to him the context in which he has awakened, should already take a lot of time and effort, and also quite a bit of diplomacy.

According to the Guinness World Records, Mr. Hill is now the holder of many certified records, including the longest coma ever recorded and the longest coma from which anyone ever emerged. The former record for the longest coma ever was held by Elaine Esposito, dubbed the "sleeping beauty," who stayed in a coma for 37 years and 111 days before succumbing in 1978, while the record of longest coma ever survived was held by the American Terry Wallis from the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, who on June 11, 2003, regained awareness after spending 19 years in a minimally conscious state.

(Found on worldnewsdailyreport.com)


Wallet

Sgt. Grit,

Thanks to Bill Mauney for showing his 1966 3rd Mar. Div. Christmas wallet. I have also had mine since about February of 1967 when I was with 'C' Co. 1/4 somewhere in the Thua Thien Province. Somehow, although I lost most everything else, I did manage to keep hold of that wallet. Not much else lasted very long in that weather and climate. My first thought when I saw it is about the same as today: I do wish they had spelled out the word Christmas and not used the not-so-welcome X-Mas. Still, it was a smile in an otherwise very busy time for us.

Doc John Patrick
HM3 Ret.​


Montford Point Responses

M/Sgt Frank Peace said that when he entered the Corps in 1961 the pay for recruits was $78.00. I was a disbursing/travel expense clerk from 1957-60. The pay for an E-1 then was $83.20. For an E-2 it was $85.80 and an E-3 it was $99.37 per month. All pay based on being under two years in service.

In 1958 Montford Point was a base for various schools. I went to travel expense school there. We had heard that it was were black Marines trained before integration. There was still vestiges of segregation in North Carolina at the time, especially in Jacksonville. However, every barber on base was a black man. But they wouldn't let the movie, Something of Value, be shown because of the MauMau theme.

The nicest thing about Camp Lejeune and North Carolina was that you could drink beer at 18. Coming from Camp Pendleton, that was like manna from the sky!

The name Montford Point comes up quite a lot here in the Detroit area.

James V. Merl
1655xxxx


This is in regard to MSgt Frank Peaces' letter about Montford Point. I believe the story of Black Marines shooting up Jacksonville is an "urban Legend". I retired in Jacksonville, NC (home of Montford point and Camp Lejeune) and have never heard of this historically. However there was a widely read fictional pocket novel in the 60's that related this very story, which I have read.

MSgt Patrick Farmer
1960-1986​


In the letter written by MSgt. Peace, he has the facts wrong. The Montford Point Marines existed from 1942 to 1949. Harry Truman was President from 1945 to 1953. Randolph McCall Pate was Commandant from 1956 to 1959.

I know nothing about the rest of his story, but heard different versions of basically the the same story line with different people.

Sgt Don Lown
1954-1964​


I'm curious as to MSgt Frank Peace's submission regarding the incident. It reminded me of Hari Rhodes' book, "A Chosen Few", which dealt with just such an incident around the time the facility was being shut down, and was written as fiction. Is there any documentation of such actual incident?

Duke, USMC '66-'70


Ammo Christmas Tree

Here is a Christmas tree that is fit for a Marine!

Semper Fi!

Ammo Christmas tree


Bowling And Salutes

I came home for my first leave after MCRDPI plt 147 and ITR in 1961. My uncle, a 1st Sgt in the Army was also home on leave. He asked me if I would care to go bowling with him and I agreed and also suggested we wear our uniforms, no problem. I had fired 189 at the rifle range with 190 being minimum to qualify which assured me that I would leave PI as a E-1 slick sleeve. So while climbing the steps of Sammy White's Bowling Alley near my home in Newton, Massachusetts we met 2 young soldiers on their way out. They looked at the seasoned 1st Sgt with many hash marks and then at the young guy with no stripes and decided this must be an officer and saluted me. You can imagine the response from my uncle Roy, he might could've made Gunny in the Marines.

Semper Fi,
Tom Piercy
Corporal of Marines​


It's Effect Is Felt Today

Safe Conduct Pass Chieu Hoi Pass

Sgt. Grit,

World War I was fought by all the Armed Services of the United States, however there was a small problem that affected Harry Truman, George Marshall, Douglas MacArther and many others but that is not talked about. There was a Reporter for the Chicago Tribune I believe (I'm reaching back into this old brain) named Floyd Gibbons who was with the Marines at Belleau Woods, he lost an eye during his Stint as a War Correspondent with the Marines.

His story was the first real story about the War, according to all the information, he was sent to the Marines because General John J. Pershing felt the Belleau Wood Battle would be a small part of the War and General Pershing wouldn't allow Reporters into the Big Battles coming up. But Floyd Gibbons story was the first Big Story of the War and was picked up by newspapers all over America which left people to believe the Marines were the only ones fighting the War. Don't believe it? it's the Facts. This left a Hard Spot in the hearts of many of the Army Officers and Soldiers who had fought just as hard and Died. There is no taking back all those newspapers and rumors and stories, its effect is felt today.

Going through my junk and stuff I keep finding the silly stuff from the Vietnam War. I found this item that was called the magazine Case. It was to protect your full mag's in the magazine pouch in your cartridge belt. When you got in a fire fight you would have to rip this plastic pouch to get your magazine out and after you had won the Fire Fight, you would be able to distribute "CHIEU HOI" passes to the enemy or they could pick them up after they killed all the Americans and Surrender to the nearest American. This was another of Sec. Defense MacNamara's schemes. I had a bunch of these along with a bunch of the Paper CHIEU HOI Passes that collectors of Vietnam War Souvenirs used to buy from me at Gun Shows. (Note the date under Chieu Hoi). Grit you ought to have a wall so we could send you junk like this to show people just how stupid some of it was. Do many of you remember the MacNamara line? He had all those big Helicopters putting up all those big Stands?

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Note: Actually Gunny I do have a hallway dedicated to stuff people have sent me and my own collection.

Sgt Grit

Sgt Grit Collection Hallway


From The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol. #1, #2)

November 22, 1950. It is 0500 and at the end of this workday I am going home to see the love of my life - for the first time since September 10th, when I drove her to Earlham in Richmond, Indiana to go to College. I will be leaving Camp Lejeune in eleven hours and can hardly wait to be on my way. We have been in constant contact with each other since 9/10 and have our plans for this Thanksgiving weekend pretty much in order. I don't know what time her bus will reach Philadelphia or Mt. Holly but I expect it to be quite late. I will not reach my home until after midnight so it does not make much difference. We will be spending tonight in our respective homes. I will go to her house about 1000 in the morning to see her. Then she will come to The Hemlocks early Thanksgiving afternoon to see my parents and we will all go to her house for our first Thanksgiving dinner. Mary and I will go out after dinner and I will take her home between 0200 and 0300. On Friday morning I will pick her up and we will be off to somewhere nice until later in the day. We will stop by my house for a couple of hours sometime during the afternoon to visit with my parents and be off again for the evening and we will return to her house where we will sleep in her room. Saturday morning I will return to The Hemlocks for one of my Mom's famous breakfasts. Mary will eat at her home. I will pick her up just after Noon and we will go wherever we wish. Saturday afternoon we will return to my house and her parents will come over for one of my Mom's special Thanksgiving dinners. Saturday evening we will be off again for who knows where and we will return to The Hemlocks and Mary will sleep with me. (Yes, my mother had finally decided that she could. My Dad had agreed to this early on but it was something that my Mom took a lot more time to agree to. She really loves Mary and I think this had a lot to do with her decision.) Sunday morning we will probably sleep late and then have one of my mother's big breakfasts. We will then go over to her house for a late lunch. She will have to be taken to the Greyhound Station and I will do that. Then I will go back home where I will remain until 1900 when I have to leave for the base. That is cutting everything pretty close but with her having to go some 600 miles and me having to go 500 miles this is necessary. I can hardly wait. It is finally 1500 and I am going over to my barracks to get ready for the trip north. It seems as though everyone on base was leaving for somewhere. It was my plan to be pretty close to the gate at 1600 but I find that I am about as far back as usual.

I went thru the gate at about 1630 but I will make up this time and reach Petersburg at 2000, Washington at 2200 and be home just after 2400. I was in Petersburg at the usual time, 2000, to fill the tank - and my belly - and walked into The Hemlocks just after midnight. I went straight up to my room. My mother heard me come in and came running across the hall. She asked "Were you listening to your radio?" I replied "I had some music on." She said "Did you hear about the big accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike?" I said "No, I did not. What are you trying to tell me?" She said Mrs.'B' had called to tell us that Mary was one of those killed in that Greyhound bus... It took a few moments for this to settle in and I screamed "NO" loud enough to be heard in Mexico. I repeated "NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO - This cannot be! What happened?" She said "The Pennsylvania State Police have not sorted it out yet but there were two tractor-trailers, the Greyhound bus and about a dozen cars approaching the Midway when all hell broke loose. There was a patch of fog and the cars went every which way. The bus driver and some half dozen of his passengers were among those killed. The 'Bs' were notified within minutes that Mary was one of the deceased. I don't think I would call them now but you will want to call them first thing in the morning." Mom and I went downstairs. We were up all night. The 'Bs' probably knew I would be home by now and I thought that maybe I should call them but Mom did not think so and I didn't.

I decided to call them about 0900, an hour before I had planned to visit Mary. They had been up all night, too. And they had made some plans for the viewing and funeral. The Perinchief Funeral Home would be handling the services. The viewing would take place at 1900 on Friday evening and the funeral at 1300 on Sunday. They asked if I had anything to suggest. I told them that I would suggest an all white casket with gold colored handles and that Mary be dressed in all white, too. That would leave the only other color inside the casket her jet black hair. And she should wear the gold pin that I had given her when I completed my courses with the Marine Corps Institute and the gold and opal ring I had given her when she graduated from high school in 1948. They agreed with all of my suggestions. I told them that I was reasonably certain that most of those that would be at the viewing would be classmates from the classes of 1947 & 1948; that I would wear my Dress Blues and stand at the head of the casket with them. And my mother, who was listening to all this, said she and Dad would stand at the foot of the casket - as long as they could do so. And this is pretty much the way it went. I stood at the head of the casket with the 'Bs' - in my Dress Blues - with tears flowing from my eyes almost the entire time. There was nothing I could do about that. I had called the base and invited CWO4 R. R. Dyer and his wife, Louise, and Gunny Sergeant Joe N. Harbin and his wife, also a Louise, to come up and stay at The Hemlocks. They did - in Mr. Dyer's new Chrysler. Mary was buried in the Odd Fellows Cemetery. It was a really beautiful service - but under trying conditions. My guests from Camp Lejeune had stayed at The Hemlocks for two nights and loved the place. They returned to Lejeune immediately following Mary's burial and Mr. Dyer told me to return 'whenever I was ready to do so'. It was a horrible ending to a really beautiful relationship. I departed at 1900, reached the base at 0400 and was at my desk by my usual time 0750 Monday morning. It was a very hard day, a disastrous ending to what was a very unusual but beautiful relationship. I really loved that girl - with ALL my heart. She was one of a kind - from a lovely family - and I wanted badly for her to be my wife.

Semper Fi. The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny with the Santa Claus beard.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


Oh, Karma

OH, Karma... she's a real beyitch... Got well deserved lumps all over me about my foxtrot uniform charlie kilo - uniform papa over the Kamikaze genesis... hope that doesn't make me a libural... (that part about not knowing that the things you know are the ones that just aren't so...) Have been described as often wrong, never in doubt... and knew I should have checked... will have to get a volunteer, preferably somebody who owes me a lot of money, to count my corrective pushups...

I had an excellent large format book of all of the great naval battles of recorded history... illustrated, documented, sourced, etc... given to me, so I gave it to a young neighbor, who is currently in his third year at Annapolis. When he was accepted, his letter of acceptance happened to arrive on an election day. His Dad passed the word when he came in to vote (I volunteer as a poll worker...). Here in TN, one signs an application for a ballot, which is given to the machine operator, who enables the electronic machine, etc. The lad himself came in later, to vote for his first time, and from my post, I could see that he signed with his left hand. He just happened to get my machine... and as I congratulated him on his selection to the Naval Academy, I told him it was a real shame that he would not be able to go Marine option... since he's been looking at our flag pole for about ten years, he kinda has the idea that the coot across the street is a Marine... and he looked a little puzzled... even after I told him it was because we didn't accept left-handed applicants... so, my excuse is, had I not given the book away... I coulda checked, so some slack is deserved? (yeah, I know... Goo whatever... 'round here, a Goo-Goo (candy) is a diabetic coma wrapped in plastic...).

Ddick


Taps

Marine Brothers and Sisters,

We have recently been notified that the old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny Harold T. Freas, Sr. reported to his final post guarding heaven's gates on 5 December 2014 after giving his long time illness one h-ll of a fight. Most of us have come to know the Master Gunnery Sergeant by his submissions in the Sgt Grit Newsletter titled "From The DISBURSING CHIEF". We are glad that we all had the opportunity to be taken back to the "Old Corps" days by his stories that were filled with recollections of delicious sounding chow, ups and downs of Marine Corps life, as well as tales of road trips up and down the eastern coast. The MGySgt will be missed and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones.

View his obituary at MGySgt Harold T. Freas, Sr.


Short Round

In the Dec 31st Newsletter, I wrote about Vietnam Era Veterans in response to Cpl Bruce Benders article of Dec 24th. While I stand By my assertions, I do have to stand corrected to one matter, which is that Vietnam Era Veterans is a nationally recognized service organization by the Dept of Veterans Affairs right along side the Marine Corps League.

Bill Allen
Cpl
RVN 1966 1/5


Roger F. Torres comment of being a House Mouse in Boot Camp. I served with Roger in Viet Nam 16 Mar 67 to 28 Mar 68, did not know he was ever a mouse. He was about 5' 6", and 125 pounds but was a hell of a good Marine. My BEST FRIEND and Commrade.

Semper Fi
Raymond Edwards, SGT MAJ, USMC (Ret) '66-'96


To: Peter D, Vic DeLeon, & others,

Douglas AC-47's (Attack) were called Spooky or Puff. Fairchild AC-119's were either Shadows or Stingers (added 20mm cannon). Lockheed AC-130 Spectre's were called Ghostrider's, Stinger II's, & also Spooky.

Utech, T. A.
2438835
RVN '68-'69
F/2/24 '83-'84


Quotes

Quote by 1stSgt Dan Daly

"Come on you son's of b-tches, do you want to live forever?"
--1stSgt Dan Daly, inscribed on the wall of the National Museum of the Marine Corps


"During the course of administration, and in order to disturb it, the artillery of the press has been leveled against us, charged with whatsoever its licentiousness could devise or dare. These abuses of an institution so important to freedom and science are deeply to be regretted, in as much as they tend to lessen its usefulness and to sap its safety."
--President Thomas Jefferson, Second Inaugural Address, 1805


"You guys are the Marine's doctors - There's none better in the business than a Navy Corpsman..."
--Lieutenant General "Chesty" Puller


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


"I have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress..."
--President Ronald Reagan


"We are United States Marines, and for two and a quarter centuries we have defined the standards of courage, esprit, and military prowess."
--Gen. James L. Jones, USMC (CMC); 10 November 2000


In Formation after chow... D I: "Leave them alone, you had yours now you let them have theirs!"

"Arrogance, My Asz, It's Pride, USMC."

"Maggot... if you don't get outta my sight NOW!... We will need a 5-man funeral detail... Two handles on the sh-tcan, two for road guards, one to count cadence..."

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 08 Jan 2015
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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 08 JAN 2014

In this issue:
• A Brotherhood Of Warriors
• Vietnam Vet And My Resume
• 69 Year Coma And A Wake Up

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Grit,

Merry Christmas to you and all of your troops there in Oklahoma City and I hope you all have a Happy, safe and healthy New Year. The pics are of two of my granddaughters, Meghan and Kelly on Christmas day sporting some of your wear. They were both thrilled at old grandpa's choices too.

Semper Fi,
Tom Kelly
GySgt USMC Ret

Get your own ladies gear at:

Shades of Pink Women's Semper Fidelis USMC T-shirt

Women's Oohrah Grey Shorts

Embroidered Black and White
Plaid USMC Night Pants



A Brotherhood Of Warriors

Join The United States Marines. Travel to Exotic Distant Lands. Meet Exciting and Unusual People. And Kill Them. OOH RAH and Semper Fi Till I Die.

I have a full size American and Marine Corps Flag on a lit ten foot wood pole on my front porch. I also have a full size American Flag on a lit pole on my back porch. You want to know why? I have them there because I CAN have them there. I Earned the right to have them there, that's why!

"A US Marine's life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "OOH RAH! What a ride!"

It cannot be inherited. Nor can it ever be purchased. You and no one alive can buy it for any price. It is not possible to rent and cannot be lent. You alone and our own have earned it with our blood sweat and tears. You own it forever. What am I talking about? I'm talking about the Title Of United States Marine. That's what I'm talking about!

"I like being a Marine, because being a Marine is serious business. We are not a Social Club or a Fraternal Organization, and we do not pretend to be one. We are a Brotherhood of "Warriors", nothing more and nothing less, pure and simple. We are in the azs kicking business, and business is good!"

Semper Fidelis - Always Faithful... "It's More Than A Motto... It's A Way Of Life... Live it, I DO."

Semper Fi and OOH RAH!

Hanline, Ralph J. 2003536
Feb. 20, 1962 - Aug. 20, 1966


29 Palms

Sgt Grit,

I enjoyed the letter concerning the song, "The Lady From Twentynine Palms". On my first trip (1964) into that town, I and some buddies went into a little cafe for lunch and, lo and behold, that song was playing on the jukebox. What a great beat it has! Today, as the leader of a little band (Cool Waters Band) in eastern Washington state, we play and I sing that song. Peope love it! Every time we perform that song, I get visions of my time at MCB 29 Palms. Some Marines who've served there think only about the dry heat and sleeping in tents out in the field. Being in artillery, when not in the field, we lived in AC squad bays. Ah, the joys of being 'gun bunnies'!

Semper Fi and Happy New Year to all Marines!
Bob Lonn, 0811 (and proud of it)​


Felt The Brotherhood

In response to the article "Noticed and Ignored" by Adam Mackow, I would like to submit and entirely different experience.

Last January I was vacationing in Hilton Head. And while I've been in that area many times, I've never stopped at Parris Island because I'm always armed, being a retired Police Officer, and I remember how much trouble I had getting on base when I was still working and in the Reserves.

Anyway, I called the base to see what the procedure was, since there was a graduation ceremony coming up and I really wanted to show it to my wife. I was politely informed that there was a gun/pawn shop in Port Royal that would hold them for me while I was on base.

There were six platoons graduating, so there were six or eight bleachers set up for the families. After clearing the metal detectors, I looked around, and not much looked familiar. It had been 49 years since I graduated. Back then everything was wood. Now everything was brick and looked like a collage campus.

I went up to a D I Sgt. to get my bearings. I was wearing a jacket with a Marine Corps patch and a pin with my rank (Sgt). We spoke for a few minutes then I thanked him and went to find a seat in the bleachers. I got about halfway past the first one when the Sgt, tapped me on the shoulder as he walked past and said "You're with me". My wife and I followed him past all the bleachers until we got to the VIP section, I guess, because it was roped off from the rest. We stepped over the rope and he sat us in the first row, front and center. I couldn't have paid for better seats. We thanked him and he was gone. I really felt the brotherhood that day.

Sgt. Bill Michell
'65-'68, '75-'77


Vietnam Vet And My Resume

As a Marine Vietnam vet, I had a somewhat different experience than Gary Neely. I got out of the Corps in 1968 to go into politics and, I thought, fix things. (Okay, I was pretty naive at 22.) At Mount Wachusetts Community College, I ran twice for student council and then for council president, and, though I didn't have a group of high school friends there going in, I won every time. I used pictures of me in Vietnam on my posters. At the University of Massachusetts, I decided at the last minute to run for the student senate, on write-ins, against a kid who had lived in the dorm for a year. I won. I never hid that I was a vet.

I graduated from UMass in June, 1972, and in November of that year I defeated an incumbent Massachusetts Democrat state senator by 9 votes, in a 4-1 Democrat district last won by a Republican in 1938, the first of my five wins. (Including being nominated by both parties in 1976.) I always used pictures of myself in the Corps in my campaign flyers. In 1982, I was fed up with politics and retired undefeated to become an association executive.

For 31 years, I held increasingly responsible and better paying jobs. My resume always had a section on my service in the Corps, including the six years I spent in the active reserves while a senator ('77-'83). If it hurt me, I didn't know it. And if they were biased against Marines, I didn't want to work for them. Looking at the later results at some of the jobs I didn't get, they could have used a little Marine discipline.

I had to retire October 1, 2013 due to pulmonary fibrosis, but I'm hoping the lung the VA gave me on December 23, 2013 will improve to the point were I can return to part time work as a consultant or substitute teacher. If so, my resume will still list my USMC service proudly. No compromise, no surrender.

Semper Fidelis,
Robert A. Hall
Once a SSGT, still a Marine


69 Year Coma And A Wake Up

Truth or Not?

San Diego

An American Marine injured during the Second World War and stuck in a deep coma ever since, has finally regained consciousness this Monday at the Naval Medical Center (NMCSD). James Hill, a 95-year old former Sergeant who is decorated with two purple heart medals and a Navy Cross, was severely injured by the explosion of an artillery shell during the battle of Iwo Jima, on the 27th of February 1945. Doctors had been able to miraculously save his life, but the shock was so violent and the brain damage was so severe, that they thought he was condemned to remain inert for the rest of his life.

It is a controversial new treatment that was recently applied to Mr. Hill, that somehow extracted him from his unconsciousness. This new approach developed by a German scientist, Professor Hans Friedritch Muller, is based on the use of various experimental drugs and repeated series of low voltage eletroshocks. This technique is still in its development phase and had been allowed to be tested only on four patients who were considered to have "very low probabilities" of recovering.

The surprising turnout of the experiment unfortunately comes many years to late to save the military hero's marriage and family life. His wife remained loyally at his side for nine years, caring for their two children, one of which she was bearing when he was dispatched overseas and whom he never never had seen before yesterday. She finally filed for divorce and obtained it in 1954, and got remarried one year later. Her new husband legally adopted Mr. Hill's children, since he was considered "brain dead". Sixty years later, he now wakes up to find out his wife and son are already dead, and his unknown daughter is turning 70 years old. He however has four grandchildren and three great grandchildren, whom he has never met, a strange solace that hopefully will help him accept his situation.

The readaptation process is also expected to be extremely difficult for the old man, if not impossible. Most of his muscles have not been stimulated for years and a long program of physiotherapy will be need before Mister Hill can even move his arms normally, and he might never be able to stand or walk again. His accustomation to the wide range of new technologies that appeared during his coma should also prove very difficult if not completely impossible, considering he has never seen a computer in his life. Bringing the man to understand the world's historical evolution since 1945 and explaining to him the context in which he has awakened, should already take a lot of time and effort, and also quite a bit of diplomacy.

According to the Guinness World Records, Mr. Hill is now the holder of many certified records, including the longest coma ever recorded and the longest coma from which anyone ever emerged. The former record for the longest coma ever was held by Elaine Esposito, dubbed the "sleeping beauty," who stayed in a coma for 37 years and 111 days before succumbing in 1978, while the record of longest coma ever survived was held by the American Terry Wallis from the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, who on June 11, 2003, regained awareness after spending 19 years in a minimally conscious state.

(Found on worldnewsdailyreport.com)


Wallet

Sgt. Grit,

Thanks to Bill Mauney for showing his 1966 3rd Mar. Div. Christmas wallet. I have also had mine since about February of 1967 when I was with 'C' Co. 1/4 somewhere in the Thua Thien Province. Somehow, although I lost most everything else, I did manage to keep hold of that wallet. Not much else lasted very long in that weather and climate. My first thought when I saw it is about the same as today: I do wish they had spelled out the word Christmas and not used the not-so-welcome X-Mas. Still, it was a smile in an otherwise very busy time for us.

Doc John Patrick
HM3 Ret.​


Montford Point Responses

M/Sgt Frank Peace said that when he entered the Corps in 1961 the pay for recruits was $78.00. I was a disbursing/travel expense clerk from 1957-60. The pay for an E-1 then was $83.20. For an E-2 it was $85.80 and an E-3 it was $99.37 per month. All pay based on being under two years in service.

In 1958 Montford Point was a base for various schools. I went to travel expense school there. We had heard that it was were black Marines trained before integration. There was still vestiges of segregation in North Carolina at the time, especially in Jacksonville. However, every barber on base was a black man. But they wouldn't let the movie, Something of Value, be shown because of the MauMau theme.

The nicest thing about Camp Lejeune and North Carolina was that you could drink beer at 18. Coming from Camp Pendleton, that was like manna from the sky!

The name Montford Point comes up quite a lot here in the Detroit area.

James V. Merl
1655xxxx


This is in regard to MSgt Frank Peaces' letter about Montford Point. I believe the story of Black Marines shooting up Jacksonville is an "urban Legend". I retired in Jacksonville, NC (home of Montford point and Camp Lejeune) and have never heard of this historically. However there was a widely read fictional pocket novel in the 60's that related this very story, which I have read.

MSgt Patrick Farmer
1960-1986​


In the letter written by MSgt. Peace, he has the facts wrong. The Montford Point Marines existed from 1942 to 1949. Harry Truman was President from 1945 to 1953. Randolph McCall Pate was Commandant from 1956 to 1959.

I know nothing about the rest of his story, but heard different versions of basically the the same story line with different people.

Sgt Don Lown
1954-1964​


I'm curious as to MSgt Frank Peace's submission regarding the incident. It reminded me of Hari Rhodes' book, "A Chosen Few", which dealt with just such an incident around the time the facility was being shut down, and was written as fiction. Is there any documentation of such actual incident?

Duke, USMC '66-'70


Bowling And Salutes

I came home for my first leave after MCRDPI plt 147 and ITR in 1961. My uncle, a 1st Sgt in the Army was also home on leave. He asked me if I would care to go bowling with him and I agreed and also suggested we wear our uniforms, no problem. I had fired 189 at the rifle range with 190 being minimum to qualify which assured me that I would leave PI as a E-1 slick sleeve. So while climbing the steps of Sammy White's Bowling Alley near my home in Newton, Massachusetts we met 2 young soldiers on their way out. They looked at the seasoned 1st Sgt with many hash marks and then at the young guy with no stripes and decided this must be an officer and saluted me. You can imagine the response from my uncle Roy, he might could've made Gunny in the Marines.

Semper Fi,
Tom Piercy
Corporal of Marines​


It's Effect Is Felt Today

Sgt. Grit,

World War I was fought by all the Armed Services of the United States, however there was a small problem that affected Harry Truman, George Marshall, Douglas MacArther and many others but that is not talked about. There was a Reporter for the Chicago Tribune I believe (I'm reaching back into this old brain) named Floyd Gibbons who was with the Marines at Belleau Woods, he lost an eye during his Stint as a War Correspondent with the Marines.

His story was the first real story about the War, according to all the information, he was sent to the Marines because General John J. Pershing felt the Belleau Wood Battle would be a small part of the War and General Pershing wouldn't allow Reporters into the Big Battles coming up. But Floyd Gibbons story was the first Big Story of the War and was picked up by newspapers all over America which left people to believe the Marines were the only ones fighting the War. Don't believe it? it's the Facts. This left a Hard Spot in the hearts of many of the Army Officers and Soldiers who had fought just as hard and Died. There is no taking back all those newspapers and rumors and stories, its effect is felt today.

Going through my junk and stuff I keep finding the silly stuff from the Vietnam War. I found this item that was called the magazine Case. It was to protect your full mag's in the magazine pouch in your cartridge belt. When you got in a fire fight you would have to rip this plastic pouch to get your magazine out and after you had won the Fire Fight, you would be able to distribute "CHIEU HOI" passes to the enemy or they could pick them up after they killed all the Americans and Surrender to the nearest American. This was another of Sec. Defense MacNamara's schemes. I had a bunch of these along with a bunch of the Paper CHIEU HOI Passes that collectors of Vietnam War Souvenirs used to buy from me at Gun Shows. (Note the date under Chieu Hoi). Grit you ought to have a wall so we could send you junk like this to show people just how stupid some of it was. Do many of you remember the MacNamara line? He had all those big Helicopters putting up all those big Stands?

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Note: Actually Gunny I do have a hallway dedicated to stuff people have sent me and my own collection.

Sgt Grit


From The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol. #1, #2)

November 22, 1950. It is 0500 and at the end of this workday I am going home to see the love of my life - for the first time since September 10th, when I drove her to Earlham in Richmond, Indiana to go to College. I will be leaving Camp Lejeune in eleven hours and can hardly wait to be on my way. We have been in constant contact with each other since 9/10 and have our plans for this Thanksgiving weekend pretty much in order. I don't know what time her bus will reach Philadelphia or Mt. Holly but I expect it to be quite late. I will not reach my home until after midnight so it does not make much difference. We will be spending tonight in our respective homes. I will go to her house about 1000 in the morning to see her. Then she will come to The Hemlocks early Thanksgiving afternoon to see my parents and we will all go to her house for our first Thanksgiving dinner. Mary and I will go out after dinner and I will take her home between 0200 and 0300. On Friday morning I will pick her up and we will be off to somewhere nice until later in the day. We will stop by my house for a couple of hours sometime during the afternoon to visit with my parents and be off again for the evening and we will return to her house where we will sleep in her room. Saturday morning I will return to The Hemlocks for one of my Mom's famous breakfasts. Mary will eat at her home. I will pick her up just after Noon and we will go wherever we wish. Saturday afternoon we will return to my house and her parents will come over for one of my Mom's special Thanksgiving dinners. Saturday evening we will be off again for who knows where and we will return to The Hemlocks and Mary will sleep with me. (Yes, my mother had finally decided that she could. My Dad had agreed to this early on but it was something that my Mom took a lot more time to agree to. She really loves Mary and I think this had a lot to do with her decision.) Sunday morning we will probably sleep late and then have one of my mother's big breakfasts. We will then go over to her house for a late lunch. She will have to be taken to the Greyhound Station and I will do that. Then I will go back home where I will remain until 1900 when I have to leave for the base. That is cutting everything pretty close but with her having to go some 600 miles and me having to go 500 miles this is necessary. I can hardly wait. It is finally 1500 and I am going over to my barracks to get ready for the trip north. It seems as though everyone on base was leaving for somewhere. It was my plan to be pretty close to the gate at 1600 but I find that I am about as far back as usual.

I went thru the gate at about 1630 but I will make up this time and reach Petersburg at 2000, Washington at 2200 and be home just after 2400. I was in Petersburg at the usual time, 2000, to fill the tank - and my belly - and walked into The Hemlocks just after midnight. I went straight up to my room. My mother heard me come in and came running across the hall. She asked "Were you listening to your radio?" I replied "I had some music on." She said "Did you hear about the big accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike?" I said "No, I did not. What are you trying to tell me?" She said Mrs.'B' had called to tell us that Mary was one of those killed in that Greyhound bus... It took a few moments for this to settle in and I screamed "NO" loud enough to be heard in Mexico. I repeated "NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO - This cannot be! What happened?" She said "The Pennsylvania State Police have not sorted it out yet but there were two tractor-trailers, the Greyhound bus and about a dozen cars approaching the Midway when all hell broke loose. There was a patch of fog and the cars went every which way. The bus driver and some half dozen of his passengers were among those killed. The 'Bs' were notified within minutes that Mary was one of the deceased. I don't think I would call them now but you will want to call them first thing in the morning." Mom and I went downstairs. We were up all night. The 'Bs' probably knew I would be home by now and I thought that maybe I should call them but Mom did not think so and I didn't.

I decided to call them about 0900, an hour before I had planned to visit Mary. They had been up all night, too. And they had made some plans for the viewing and funeral. The Perinchief Funeral Home would be handling the services. The viewing would take place at 1900 on Friday evening and the funeral at 1300 on Sunday. They asked if I had anything to suggest. I told them that I would suggest an all white casket with gold colored handles and that Mary be dressed in all white, too. That would leave the only other color inside the casket her jet black hair. And she should wear the gold pin that I had given her when I completed my courses with the Marine Corps Institute and the gold and opal ring I had given her when she graduated from high school in 1948. They agreed with all of my suggestions. I told them that I was reasonably certain that most of those that would be at the viewing would be classmates from the classes of 1947 & 1948; that I would wear my Dress Blues and stand at the head of the casket with them. And my mother, who was listening to all this, said she and Dad would stand at the foot of the casket - as long as they could do so. And this is pretty much the way it went. I stood at the head of the casket with the 'Bs' - in my Dress Blues - with tears flowing from my eyes almost the entire time. There was nothing I could do about that. I had called the base and invited CWO4 R. R. Dyer and his wife, Louise, and Gunny Sergeant Joe N. Harbin and his wife, also a Louise, to come up and stay at The Hemlocks. They did - in Mr. Dyer's new Chrysler. Mary was buried in the Odd Fellows Cemetery. It was a really beautiful service - but under trying conditions. My guests from Camp Lejeune had stayed at The Hemlocks for two nights and loved the place. They returned to Lejeune immediately following Mary's burial and Mr. Dyer told me to return 'whenever I was ready to do so'. It was a horrible ending to a really beautiful relationship. I departed at 1900, reached the base at 0400 and was at my desk by my usual time 0750 Monday morning. It was a very hard day, a disastrous ending to what was a very unusual but beautiful relationship. I really loved that girl - with ALL my heart. She was one of a kind - from a lovely family - and I wanted badly for her to be my wife.

Semper Fi. The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny with the Santa Claus beard.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


Oh, Karma

OH, Karma... she's a real beyitch... Got well deserved lumps all over me about my foxtrot uniform charlie kilo - uniform papa over the Kamikaze genesis... hope that doesn't make me a libural... (that part about not knowing that the things you know are the ones that just aren't so...) Have been described as often wrong, never in doubt... and knew I should have checked... will have to get a volunteer, preferably somebody who owes me a lot of money, to count my corrective pushups...

I had an excellent large format book of all of the great naval battles of recorded history... illustrated, documented, sourced, etc... given to me, so I gave it to a young neighbor, who is currently in his third year at Annapolis. When he was accepted, his letter of acceptance happened to arrive on an election day. His Dad passed the word when he came in to vote (I volunteer as a poll worker...). Here in TN, one signs an application for a ballot, which is given to the machine operator, who enables the electronic machine, etc. The lad himself came in later, to vote for his first time, and from my post, I could see that he signed with his left hand. He just happened to get my machine... and as I congratulated him on his selection to the Naval Academy, I told him it was a real shame that he would not be able to go Marine option... since he's been looking at our flag pole for about ten years, he kinda has the idea that the coot across the street is a Marine... and he looked a little puzzled... even after I told him it was because we didn't accept left-handed applicants... so, my excuse is, had I not given the book away... I coulda checked, so some slack is deserved? (yeah, I know... Goo whatever... 'round here, a Goo-Goo (candy) is a diabetic coma wrapped in plastic...).

Ddick


Taps

Marine Brothers and Sisters,

We have recently been notified that the old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny Harold T. Freas, Sr. reported to his final post guarding heaven's gates on 5 December 2014 after giving his long time illness one h-ll of a fight. Most of us have come to know the Master Gunnery Sergeant by his submissions in the Sgt Grit Newsletter titled "From The DISBURSING CHIEF". We are glad that we all had the opportunity to be taken back to the "Old Corps" days by his stories that were filled with recollections of delicious sounding chow, ups and downs of Marine Corps life, as well as tales of road trips up and down the eastern coast. The MGySgt will be missed and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones.

View his obituary at MGySgt Harold T. Freas, Sr.


Short Round

In the Dec 31st Newsletter, I wrote about Vietnam Era Veterans in response to Cpl Bruce Benders article of Dec 24th. While I stand By my assertions, I do have to stand corrected to one matter, which is that Vietnam Era Veterans is a nationally recognized service organization by the Dept of Veterans Affairs right along side the Marine Corps League.

Bill Allen
Cpl
RVN 1966 1/5


Roger F. Torres comment of being a House Mouse in Boot Camp. I served with Roger in Viet Nam 16 Mar 67 to 28 Mar 68, did not know he was ever a mouse. He was about 5' 6", and 125 pounds but was a hell of a good Marine. My BEST FRIEND and Commrade.

Semper Fi
Raymond Edwards, SGT MAJ, USMC (Ret) '66-'96


To: Peter D, Vic DeLeon, & others,

Douglas AC-47's (Attack) were called Spooky or Puff. Fairchild AC-119's were either Shadows or Stingers (added 20mm cannon). Lockheed AC-130 Spectre's were called Ghostrider's, Stinger II's, & also Spooky.

Utech, T. A.
2438835
RVN '68-'69
F/2/24 '83-'84


Quotes

"Come on you son's of b-tches, do you want to live forever?"
--1stSgt Dan Daly, inscribed on the wall of the National Museum of the Marine Corps


"During the course of administration, and in order to disturb it, the artillery of the press has been leveled against us, charged with whatsoever its licentiousness could devise or dare. These abuses of an institution so important to freedom and science are deeply to be regretted, in as much as they tend to lessen its usefulness and to sap its safety."
--President Thomas Jefferson, Second Inaugural Address, 1805


"You guys are the Marine's doctors - There's none better in the business than a Navy Corpsman..."
--Lieutenant General "Chesty" Puller


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


"I have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress..."
--President Ronald Reagan


"We are United States Marines, and for two and a quarter centuries we have defined the standards of courage, esprit, and military prowess."
--Gen. James L. Jones, USMC (CMC); 10 November 2000


In Formation after chow... D I: "Leave them alone, you had yours now you let them have theirs!"

"Arrogance, My Asz, It's Pride, USMC."

"Maggot... if you don't get outta my sight NOW!... We will need a 5-man funeral detail... Two handles on the sh-tcan, two for road guards, one to count cadence..."

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 01 Jan 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 01 JAN 2015

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