Sgt Grit Newsletter - 30 JUL 2015

In this issue:
• My Nightmare
• Nature Vs. Nuture
• Flying Peons

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Platoon 107 PI March 1969 - submitted by Tom Flynn

Grit,

Platoon 104 PI March 1969. Thanks to Gunny Davis, Ssgt Richardson, and Sgt. Englade. I took my Plt. Book and checked out the names from Boot Camp.
at VirtualWall.org. Glad to say we all made it through.

Semper Fi

Tom Flynn
Cpl. USMC 1969-1970
RVN 1970-1971.

Note: I did this about 10 years ago. We had 75 graduate. I found 8 names on The Wall. Another two possible, that is, names like Charles Smith are hard to verify.

Sgt Grit


Limited Time Under Armour Specials


Saddest Night

In 1968-69 we had a MgSgt. flying out of DaNang, his name was Robert Michael Lurie Sr. His son, Capt. R.M. Lurie Jr. was a Huey pilot with HML-167. Every once in a while, Bob Jr. would go over to DaNang, climb into the C-47 (spooky gunship) and fly co-pilot for his dad and once in a while the MgSgt would come over to Marble Mt., climb into the Huey and fly co-pilot for his son. Since he was a rated pilot with more hours and more combat time than anyone in the group, the MgSgt had a standing invitation to the O Club. The quietest evening I ever experienced in the club was when young Bob was killed and Sr. Came to collect his son and take him home. You could have heard a pin drop. The saddest night of my tour!

J. M. "Mike" Jeffries
Capt. USMC Ret.


My Nightmare

I had a bad dream. No. A nightmare. One of those times when you are so glad to wake up and realize where you are in the here and now. I was so glad it brought tears to my eyes. A first for me.

Haven’t we all wished we could start over? Haven’t we all wished we could suddenly find ourselves at our high school graduation, or some such youthful moment, and know everything we know now? Everybody has. My dream made that real. So sad. So tragic.

I dreamed I never joined our Marine Corps. I dreamed I went to school, got a job, somehow got out of the draft, and led a life of pretty women and fast cars. My wisdom allowed me to become successful, rich even. But I didn’t have the Corps.

Would it be the same to have all the wisdom and experience I achieved in those brief four years and not actually having done it? My dream made me realize not. My best friends, my brothers, wouldn’t know me at all. I wouldn’t be part of their lives, part of their struggles, part of their grieving. I wouldn’t be part of their memories of liberty in so many places, so many outrageous shared moments.But in my dream they weren’t shared anymore. In my dream I read about them in the newspapers, in magazines. I was an outsider. Shared experiences are what make up life. In my dream I was nobody. In my dream I had a house and a family (Where did MY family disappear to? I’ve lost them forever! They never were!) but they didn’t understand at all my insights on sacrifice, horror or fidelity.

I woke up very happy. My life is as good as it gets. You guys were with me when my life really started and have been with me ever since. Those four years were the beginning of my rich life.

I feel like buying you a beer.

Semper Fidelis,
Joe


Proud Marine

Dr. Kinders holding his customized USMC sign from Sgt Grit I wanted to share a photo with you. Dr. Kinders is the UCO Vice President for Public Relations, as well as the adviser for Central Veterans, and just received his Doctor of Education degree. He was very happy with the name plaque we got from your company. Thank you to your staff for customizing it for us!

Thank you,
Aviva
University of Central Oklahoma


In The Rear With The Gear

Sgt Grit,

Despite all the hoopla about the absence of support troops to be found in the "poseur" ranks there were so many of us there could have been an extra grunt regiment formed. I served from 6/1/65 to 1/22/69 starting with Platoon 244 MCRD SD (anyone out there remember DIs Sgts Smith and Brasher and Cpl Goddard?), and ending with 1st Force Service Regiment, Force Logistics Command at Red Beach, or Camp Books for the formally inclined, Da Nang.

My last duty tour started with a big shock. From 12/24/67 to March 20 something I was with the First MPs in the city of Da Nang. I was trained in supply at Camp Lejeune and did not know anything about MP duty. That's the Corps for you. There was no better or safer duty for a Marine in RVN, at least so we thought until TET. Da Nang City and its environs got a bit testy in that little uproar but not really too bad. All my combat arms buddies get a big salute for that particular time.

My MOS, however, is/was 3041, company or battalion level supply man and I eventually, in March '68, was sent out to FLC to help supply the field Marines. By then the TET offensive had slacked off and despite Walter Cronkite we all know who came out on top. Usually, Camp Books was the place for an easy tour. A few incoming 82 mm mortars and 122 mm rockets disturbed the peace occasionally but it was generally pretty tame. We patrolled and guarded our perimeter and that of Ammunition Supply Point Two and took a little small arms fire from the occasional hidden pot shooter. Just enough to keep a person interested in his surroundings. There were also a few incidents when we got incoming small arms fire from a nearby SeaBee compound but we always forgave them as they were quick to allow us in their chow line and sometimes would even share their whiskey with us. Hell, they were almost Marines as far as we were concerned.

So, all of that is just to say that everyone in Nam was not a field Marine but those who were not are also very proud of our time and I, for one, am upfront about my MOS as I firmly believe all real Marines are.

Semper Fi
Warren Sikes
208XXXX

Cpl of Marines


2nd Recon Battalion Unit Items


My Old Addled Mind

Grit,

The story in the 23JUL15 Newsletter from David Singleton got my attention. A maggot leading a run and calling cadence? Permitted by a Marine Drill Instructor? Because his voice was very loud and he could make up stuff as they ran? Really? Is this the kind of thing that happened at MCRD SD? If so, I can understand why PI has a far more respected reputation as a recruit depot. But somehow, my old addled mind refuses to allow me to accept that such an incident occurred. In my humble opinion, no proud, professional or self-respecting USMC Drill Instructor would or could allow something like this to occur. And all of them were proud, professional and self-respecting.

Gerry Zanzalari
220....
Cpl. Of Marines
1966 - 1970
RVN 1968 - 1969

Note: Hmmmm........"far more respected reputation". I might throw that comment in with your questioning the cadence by a recruit.

Sgt Grit
MCRD SD
3rd Bn, Plt 3021
1968


Great Pilot

Regarding this Marine finding out that the pilot his aircraft was an enlisted man, I, too, knew another fine pilot. In 1955 I was stationed at MCAS El Toro and assigned to H&MS-33. At that time some of us could collect partial flight pay if we flew a minimum of hours within a quarter. We had some F9Fs, a TV-2, an RD-3, an RD-4, and a couple of Ad Skyrays. I had flown in the AD-4na several times but my favorite was the AD-5. On several occasions I had the chance to fly from El Toro to NAS Sand Point in Seattle. My uncle Roy was a retired USMC Colonel and lived in Belleview which was close to Sand Point. Our pilot was M/Sgt Woodring and my NCOIC, Gy/Sgt Tom Maiberger flew in the right seat while a S/Sgt from supply, who's name I can't remember, and I flew in the rear compartment.

We were all enlisted Marines and all wore flight suits which showed no rank. We flew from El Toro to McClellan AFB to refuel. The Air Force had no enlisted flight crews so they assumed that we all were officers. A staff car would pull up and ask if we cared to go to the officers club and wait. We sure as he-- didn't mention that we were all enlisted. From there we flew to Larson AFB in Washington and received the same treatment. Next stop was NAS Sand Point outside od Seattle. Sgt Woodring has a sister there and Sgt Maiberger liked the sister and I had my aunt and uncle there and the Sgt from supply just liked the liberty there.

We left El Toro on Friday and left Sand Point on Sunday. I was usually the last one to report to the plane for the return flight to El Toro. Every time I got there I found the other 3 sucking on their oxygen masks to get their heads clear for the return flight. We were quite a crew and M/sgt Woodring was one heck of a great pilot.

Sid Gerling
Sgt of Marines
1406---


Operation Silver Lance, Coffee And A Sweet Roll

Hello Sgt Grit;

I've been reading about Operation Silver lance in past and current issues of the newsletter. I was involved Silver Lance from the execution of planning until the after action reports.

In 1964 I was transferred into the First Marine Division Embarkation section. We were the planners for the movement, loading and supervision of the complete operation from the states. In all of the orders I saw the change of orders for the Fourth Marines from Hawaii was almost a last minute decision by FMF Pac and higher command.

We did detailed planning during December of 1964 and January 1965. Once orders were issued to load troops and cargo, I helped supervise the loading in San Diego and Del Mar. I don't remember the exact number of ships and troops involved but it included units from Camp Pendleton, 29 Palms, El Toro, Sea Bees and Force Recon.

During the operation I was stationed at the command ship directing all cargo and troops to the beach keeping track of every unit and load bound for the beach.

While the landing was going on, General Fairborne's tent and equipment didn't make it to the beach and I was dispatched in a Captian's Gig to locate the load. After many hours in the wet, dark night, moving from one circling landing crafts and LCUs to another, I finally located the general's cargo and directed it to the beach. After the operation was over, the general wanted to know who located his gear and I got a personal thank you from him with a cup of coffee and a sweet roll.

As to the embarkation of the Seventh Marines, I was also involved in the planning and loading of the Regiment for deployment to Okinawa and points West. It was a quick plan and move starting In April of 1965 and lasting about two weeks. It went very quickly and without a hitch. I'm not familiar with what happened to them after they left Camp Pendleton except that the majority of them landed in Okinawa.

During the rest of the summer after orders were issued to move the Division to Okinawa, Division Embark worked practically day and night to plan, move and load the Division for the displacement to Okinawa. The last of the Division left towards the end of August 1965 from San Diego. If I remember correctly the Seventh Marines were the first to leave in April, the Fifth Marines early summer and the First Marines and Division Headquarters and other supporting units at the end of August.

I was the last man on the pier that night and made the long walk from the Northmost pier all the way South to our operation office. It was about 2AM and the walk is a mile. I don't know how remember how many ships were involved but every pier was full. It was eerily quiet except for ship noises and smells and I remember thinking about what would start taking place when reveille at 5AM when the ships would awaken and prepare to get underway. These Marines aboard were embarking on the adventure of their life.

A few days later on Labor Day in September of 1965, I kissed my wife and kids goodbye and left with eleven other members of Division Embark under Major Roy Moss aboard a Marine Corps C130 for a 4 day trip to Okinawa to greet the Division and oversee the unloading, staging and redeployment to Viet Nam.

I was literally involved from day one until everything was concluded in Viet Nam with the whole operation. It took approximately 16 months from the beginning of silver Lance to move everything from stateside to Viet Nam. I left Viet Nam on October 30 1965 and made it home on Halloween, One day short of 14 months since I left the states, but that's another story.

Jerry R. Hattox
GySgt USMC (Ret)
1954-1978


ANGLICO

Larry Wolf. Well I didn’t remember your name this morning when I read your response in Sgt Grits newsletter but after I thought about it for a few hours I remembered an article I’ve saved over the years. It’s amazing on how our memories work. After reading the Newsletter I was out for my morning walk and thought that one of the pictures in an article, 72 ANGLICO Marines Take “Big Step Into Nothing” Weekly has a picture of a LCpl Larry Wolf in it. Got home, pulled it out and there you are. The article was in the “Globe”, Friday, October 10, 1969. You are sitting with Cpl Dan Sumeracki, chutes on, waiting for the 46 to pick up a load. For some reason a puppy was there. Yes I remember the “Swoop Circle” very well. It was a honor to be a part of ANGLICO. Semper Fi

Ken VanHooser
USMC, 68-71


Nature vs Nurture

America's SgtMaj's sword wielding father during a parade at Marine Corps Barracks Vallejo, CA. Circa 1973-74.

As a wee lad my father would often bring me to his office when he was SgtMaj of the Marine Barracks in Vallejo, California. I mostly remember there was a soft serve ice cream machine somewhere in the building and a footlocker full of toy trains my dad’s predecessor had left behind in the office.

Morning colors was a daily event with an entire formation rendering honors. I always stood next to my dad on the steps of the headquarters building mimicking everything I saw the Marines doing. Here I was, a three or four year old kid responding to the commands: “Parade rest! Atten-hut! Hand salute! Order Arms!”

One morning I realized I wasn’t a Marine and must look silly doing all that parade deck stuff. So I just stood there while the Marines went through their morning ritual. Then I heard my dad’s voice softly rumble like very distant thunder: “What the %&#$ do you think you’re doing?” Instantly I was all snap and pop again.

It has been said when it comes to nature vs nurture, it is apparent that I was groomed for what I have become. Interestingly, all my dad’s Marines used to refer to me as the ‘next SgtMaj’ all the time. Like jungle cats grooming a cub, they’d growl asking when I was going to join up.

One day dad sat me down and very seriously said: “You know you don’t have to be a Marine right?” I responded that I understood and didn’t really want to be a Marine when I grew up. From then on I was adamant I wasn’t ever going to join, right up until about a week before I walked into the recruiting office.

Dang it, I guess it’s in the blood.

America's SgtMaj
worldsfinest[at]americassgtmaj.com


Silver Lance

Tnx to 1stSgt Brewer for the info about Operation Silver Lance. That was probably the operation that the SgtMaj had confused with Operation Steel Pike. Not all of us have 'fading memories'. I can still remember most of what happened during the several tours that I spent in-country like it was only last month. I didn't arrive in RVN until later that year, and was assigned to 3rd Marines in the western TAOR -- near Hill 362, just a little west of the Da Son ville (Grit should remember that one). I found my info referencing 3/9 setting up security for Chu Lai on 6 May 1965 using a Wikipedia link. I tried to access the May 1965 command chronology for 3/9, but it comes up blank -- April and June are listed, but for some reason, May is blank. The Wikipedia source indicates that "units" from 3/9, and not the entire battalion moved into Chu Lai to secure the area, a day ahead of the 3rd MEB landing on 7 May 1965. The bulk of 3/9 still had the responsibility for the Da Nang airstrip at the time.

"On 6 May units from the ARVN 2nd Division and 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines secured the Chu Lai area. On 7 May, the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade (United States) (3rd MEB), composed of the 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, elements of Marine Aircraft Group 12 (MAG-12) and Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 10 landed at Chu Lai to establish a jet-capable airfield and base area."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chu_Lai_Base_Area

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


Phonies

Sgt. Grit,

In reply to Ron Mandell’s post “Sincerest Type of Flattery”, I can understand Ron’s thought that Posers and fakes and wanna-be’s can’t actually steal any veteran’s valor, and I do agree with that, however, for me it’s not so much the act of stealing one’s valor as it is the act of lying and pretending to be something that they are not and in the case of Marine posers, a title that we earned and love. Stealing and lying at any level is at the very least dishonest and shameful, but to lie about being a veteran and a highly decorated one at that is to me, one of the highest levels of despicability. I get pissed when I read of a phony airman, soldier, sailor and or coastguardsman wearing uniforms and ribbons and spewing bullsh!t stories and posturing all around town trying to impress people, but when I read of a poser turd claiming to be a Marine, it just lights me up with anger to higher level. Once or twice a week I will get on the internet and read the “Stolen Valor” stories and watch the videos and honestly, after I get over being pissed I even laugh a bit at some of these fvck-nuts because they are so mentally screwed up and it’s so obvious they are fakes. They are only making an a-s of themselves, I reason to myself, and all too often even non-veterans can tell they are fakes and posers, but it just strikes a nerve no matter how trivial their actions are perceived to be.

A few weeks ago I watched a video of a guy in a bar who was a dead ringer for a young, albeit fat Hitler, who was claiming to be a colonel and an Air National Guard pilot and he had all sorts of patches and badges on his fatigues. He puffed up when he asked the guy filming him if he knew what the patches represented. The veteran who confronted him and filmed him knew immediately that the dork was a fake and he was probably both laughing and shaking with anger as he listened to this goober’s bullsh!t stories. It’s obvious that the dork was fairly well educated on the military in general to be able to smoothly tell his bullsh!t history as well as he did, despite the fact that anyone with an ounce of common sense listening to him would be able to tell he was a wimpy bullsh!tter, but I know for sure that I could not have kept my composure for as long as the vet who filmed the whole thing. This guy was probably a lifetime loser who had been beaten up weekly as a kid and had his lunch money taken away and now he could hide behind some bullsh-t military stories and feel like the hero that he was unable to truly be. Why can’t these a-sholes just join the military if you want to be in uniform? As a kid I wanted to be railroad locomotive engineer and even today I still wish that I could have done that job, but I don’t walk around the mall in blue and white pinstripe Carhardt coveralls and coat with a red bandana tied around my neck. Be proud of who you are and what you are. But then too, I do realize that people who do this sh-t have serious mental issues.

Because I do not know the army and air guard regulations I could not have challenged this particular jerk on his patches, but if that jerk-wad had been claiming to be a Marine, all I would need to oust him would be to ask him five or six questions and I probably would have embarrassed him. I realize that these sick individuals are all over the place and there is little that can be done to them legally unless they break the Stolen Valor law and someone pushes the issue, but I applaud and highly encourage anyone who actively goes after these a-sholes. I have only personally been confronted by two individuals who lied about being Marines. One is a person I used to work with and getting tangled up in that could have caused unnecessary problems at work and the other a-swipe was a guy who walked up to me in a mall when he saw my Marine cover and claimed to be “Force Recon”. I asked him a few questions and when it became obvious that he was a fake my wife grabbed my arm and pulled me away. Even she could tell the guy was lying. I would not have allowed it to get physical, but I would have verbally embarrassed him more than what I did before my wife pulled me away. I honestly believe this problem is becoming far more widespread than many of us realize. No one is being physically hurt by these nefarious individuals, but why should they be allowed to tell these blatant lies when we are confronted by them and when they are the ones who put themselves out there with their bullsh-t? To anyone who actively goes after these people, I personally thank you!

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


Flying Peons

In response to Marine Robert Bliss question posted in the 16 July Grit Newsletter concerning enlisted pilots in the Marine Corps. Yes the Corps had enlisted pilots and in early 1958 I had the privilege of flying with an all enlisted flight crew from Hawaii to El Toro.

This was back before the Corps had solidified its Marine Air-Ground Task Force concept of ground, air and logistics under a single commander. In fact, in the Pacific at least, there was a separate Command Structure and Headquarters for Marine Aviation – Air, FMFPac headquartered at El Toro.

After an interesting assignment to some mystical far-eastern sites in Japan and Okinawa, a group of us were being transported back to CONUS. As luck (or good fortune) would have it we were booked on the personal aircraft of the Commanding General, Air FMFPac. As I remember the aircraft was a VIP configured R5D (AKA C54 or civilian DC-4) with several booth-like tables (good for some poker games) as well as some very comfortable commercial-like seating.

But the most interesting feature of the flight was the crew – pilot and co-pilot were Master Sergeants. On their flight jackets they had Master Sergeant Insignia with the words “Flying Peons” inscribed in the middle of the insignia. I seem to remember a Chief Warrant Officer as part of the crew perhaps as Flight Engineer or some other position. As a young Sergeant, this was truly a great experience that few got to enjoy - A very professional flight crew and an amazingly comfortable aircraft for those days; no fold-down web seating and sharing the space with a bunch of cargo.

The last enlisted pilots (Flying Peons) in the Marine Corps retired in February 1973. For more on enlisted Naval Aviation Pilots visit: http://bluejacket.com/nap_index.htm

Marine Palmer Brown
156..../091392


MP and CID Research

The story I am working on presently concerns the investigation of a murder in Swann County, NC (fictional) of a recently released convict. The investigator is an ex-Marine, either CID or MP, and is also called onto the Marine base when two helicopters collide in a training mission and a FIM92 Stinger missile launcher and several missiles go missing at the crash site. The two cases, the murder and missile theft, are related, and solving one solves the other.

In researching the MOS of Marine MPs and CID agents, I find there is little on the web of any detailed nature. I am reading "Warrior Police," by Colonel Cucullu and Chris Fontana, which deals with army MPs, and it's a start. And of course, I have read "One Bullet Away," several on the Battles of Fallujah, one and two, and have ordered "Generation Kill" and others. But the daily life and duties of a Marine MP/CID soldier are somehow nowhere to be found. So what I really want is to speak with any Marine(s) who served as an MPs or CID agent in Iraq or Afghanistan. I would, of course, if permitted, fully credit any such source in the book's acknowledgements.

And, of course, if you have any idea of what further reading I could do, I would be most grateful for the direction.

Best regards, and thanks again for your time,

Tim Garvin
tvgarvin[at]gmail.com
919-451-4637


United States Marine

The United States Marine Corps is a war machine born on the splintered wooden decks of 18th Century British Men 'O War amid shot and shell and mangled spare parts.

We formed our emblem with vengeance. We tamed the eagle, nature's consummate predator. For strength of resolve, we heaved the ship's iron anchor, its rope fouled and tangled amid burning, grimy gunwales. Then we overran our perimeter, captured our domain and temporarily borrowed the globe from god.

Our brand of white hot fire and brimstone has been seared into the psyche of friend and foe during 240 years of romping, stomping, death-before-dishonor gut-wrenching glory.

We are occasionally uncouth, always rough, rugged amphibians; monsters from the sea; warriors cast in steel, blood, guts and muscle, eager to smite our nation's enemy.

We are the finest of fighters. Our left fist offers repentance, the right bloody riotousness. We overcome fear as we advance toward the enemy with fire that scorches our eyes and death embedded in our souls.

While others have knocked on Valhalla's door, Marines have kicked it in, charged through it and conquered what lay beyond.

With an allegiance to our Corps of "Semper Fidelis," and our ethos to America, "Corps, Honor, Country," we set sail under bright stars on waves of foamy seas for the freedom of all.

We live worse than soldiers, talk like sailors, scorn airmen and slap the hell out of all three at will. We strut like peacocks, salty, self-centered and overbearing.

Warriors by day, lovers by night, drunkards by choice, assassins by trade.

We are Marines by god!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!

1775 - 2015
M. N. Snitz
Copyright TX, United States Copyright Office, Library of Congress
Washington, D.C. 2006. Revised 2015


Going Back

Freedom Hill (Hill 327) and the 3rd MarDiv Here's a little trivia for you, and for what it's worth -- on one of my earlier trips back to Vietnam a few years ago (just made #12 this past Feb), I hired a driver through the concierge desk at the Furama Resort on China Beach...The driver had grown up in the Da Nang area, and was a former NVA/PAVN soldier c. 1979-1982!

He told me that he had spent most of his time fighting in the war in Cambodia. I wanted to take a short afternoon tour of some of my old stomping grounds from my earlier days with 3rd Marines on my first tour, before the regiment pulled out of Da Nang, and moved up to Camp Carroll in the fall of '66. On the way out, we passed through the old Dog Patch cluster, and saw that the old beer can shacks have all been replaced with mostly cinder block buildings. Then, as we passed what used to be the Hill 327 PX, which is now a rock quarry, on what used to be one of the most traveled roads in the Da Nang area years ago, the road turned into not much more than a washed out trail.

There is almost nothing left that would indicate our presence during the days of the "American War", however as we approached what used to be the old division headquarters on Hill 510, which is also another rock quarry, I spotted the old red and gold "Camp Reasoner" CP sign, still standing somewhat, along the right side of the road where Recon Bn used to be located. I remember that the sign had been erected when the CP belonged to 3rd Recon, before we all moved up north to the DMZ in the fall of '66 -- during the tail end of Operation Hastings, and the beginning of Operation Prairie I. 1st Recon then took over the Da Nang Recon CP until 1st MarDiv pulled out in mid-1971. Then we drove out past the old 11th Marines CP,out to Da Son ville, and then turned left up through the pass near Hill 362, and out to the BaNa mountains, where they're building a new 36 hole golf course, just north of the old Happy Valley area...This area used to be part of 2/3's TAOR before they moved down to Dai Loc in the spring of '66.

BaNa used to be an old French resort during the old French-Indochina days, and was later used as a mountain-top radio relay site and rest stop for 1st and 3rd Recon patrols during the 60's. Not much left of the old French resort nowadays, but the Vietnamese have built a tram to the top of the mountain, and several resort hotels on the hillsides. At almost 5000 feet, it provides a terrific viewpoint...A friend of mine from Chula Vista, Tom Addis, works for IMG golf course design. Tom is the golf course site supervisor and course sculptor for the new mountain course project at BaNa...During his 14 years in SEA, Tom has done numerous world class golf courses in Vietnam, including the Montgomerie Links GC at China Beach (part of which is the old ROK Marine CP area), and the beautiful Vinpearl course in Nha Trang.

Here's a couple of current pix of Freedom Hill (Hill 327) and the 3rd MarDiv-- then 1st MarDiv headquarters area at Hill 510 for ya -- other two were taken during a 'pit stop' at the Red Beach Resort with my driver.

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


Rise of the Valiant

Bob Zimmerman holding his award for winning Feature Documentary

The 2015 Major Norman Hatch Award has been awarded to filmmaker Bob Zimmerman, of Tuscola IL, for his documentary Rise of the Valiant. Each year, the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation presents a series of awards to both Marines and civilians from around the nation, recognizing their exemplary work in advancing and preserving Marine Corps history. Zimmerman’s film won for Feature Documentary. The 2015 awards were presented during a special ceremony National Museum of the Marine Corps on April 25, 2015

Photo of the Rise of the Valiant DVD cover The story is told by veterans of the 6th Marine Division who relive their experiences during World War Two, from they time of their enlistment in the Marine Corps to coming back home after the war. However, the primary focus of the film is their experience at the Battle of Okinawa, which claimed the lives of 250,000 people during the 82-day battle. Their combined interviews provide a fascinating and moving portrait of the battle. The interviews are supplemented with war footage and photographs from the National Archives, the Marine Corp History Division, the National Museum of the Pacific War, and personal collections.

Bill Sloan, the author of the book The Ultimate Battle, provides commentary regarding the historical context of the experiences of the Marines. Eric Sizemore, a voice actor from Champaign, Illinois, provides the narration.

Rise of the Valiant and Bob Zimmerman’s first film Out of Nowhere, a documentary about the Champaign music scene are available locally at Exile on Main and That’s Rentertainment in Champaign, IL. The films are also available on Amazon by clicking on the link at www.razfilms.com.


Short Rounds

In 1967 I served at MCAS Beaufort with MGySgt JJ Quinn, an enlisted pilot who flew C-47. He had retired and worked for the FAA for several years before he volunteered to go active and flew C-47's dropping flares out of Chu Lai in 1966. MGySgt Quinn was a fine gentleman. Many times I watched him telling stories to young Lieutenants and Captains and he had them all spellbound. These officers treated him like the hero he was and showed him a great deal of respect.

Ron Briggs
Sgt 1965-1969
1st MAW DaNang 1968-1968


Was mp in downtown Jacksonvile section shortly after that happened...picked up two boots hitching on road back to base and conversation got around to the 'Tragedy" they both said Mckeon was great di and good man. No one knew there was a problem till they got back to quarters and discovered people missing. All that illustration crap about screaming is exactly that, at least that's what two of the guys there said.

Sgt Don Wackerly
53-56 Jacksonville MP's 1956


I may have missed something or got something wrong. I think 1st SGT Herb Brewer said 1965 was the 1st time the 4th Marines had set foot on US soil since WWII. I think I finished T&R about June 1953. When I reported to Camp Pendleton, I could have sworn that I was assigned to 1st Batt 4th Marines, Weapons co. 81 mortars. Then transferred to Anglico, 1/4. When the 3rd Div headed for Korea I was in Anglico, FSCC Sig Co Hq Bn 3rd Mar Div and as most know the truce was signed while we were in route, so we ended up in Camp Gifu Japan. But someone correct me if I’m wrong about 4th Marines.

Doran Cooper Sgt.
53-56 1377...


There is a new book on the market called Remembering Douglas Eugene Dickey USMC. It is about a young Marine who is a Medal of Honor Marine for heroism in Vietnam, it tells of family background, the courageous act in battle, the company and platoon, and the battles they fought in. It is a book every Marine should read. I am proud to say I was a member of his platoon. I think this would be a great book for you to carry. It is available at Barnes and Noble and also Amazon. It was published June 20th 2015. Thank you for listening.

Jerry Idziak
USMC Retired
Semper Fi


Attention James V.Merl

D.I. S/Sgt. McKeon

The book: Court-Martial At Parris Island, The Ribbon Creek Incident
Written by John C Stevens 111
Available on Amazon plus/minus $ 15.00

I read somewhere that his son was a D.I. also.

Semper Fi
Bill McDermott
180....


Quotes

"We have therefore to resolve to conquer or die: Our won Country's Honor, all call upon us for vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world. Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions."
--George Washington, General Orders, 1776


"I like the enemy knowing there are a few guys like me around."
--General James 'Maddog' Mattis


The Eagle S**t Once A Month!

Don't get pissed, REENLIST! Ship for six!

Fair winds and following seas.

Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 30 JUL 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 30 JUL 2015

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• My Nightmare
• Nature Vs. Nuture
• Flying Peons

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Grit,

Platoon 104 PI March 1969. Thanks to Gunny Davis, Ssgt Richardson, and Sgt. Englade. I took my Plt. Book and checked out the names from Boot Camp.
at VirtualWall.org. Glad to say we all made it through.

Semper Fi

Tom Flynn
Cpl. USMC 1969-1970
RVN 1970-1971.

Note: I did this about 10 years ago. We had 75 graduate. I found 8 names on The Wall. Another two possible, that is, names like Charles Smith are hard to verify.

Sgt Grit


Saddest Night

In 1968-69 we had a MgSgt. flying out of DaNang, his name was Robert Michael Lurie Sr. His son, Capt. R.M. Lurie Jr. was a Huey pilot with HML-167. Every once in a while, Bob Jr. would go over to DaNang, climb into the C-47 (spooky gunship) and fly co-pilot for his dad and once in a while the MgSgt would come over to Marble Mt., climb into the Huey and fly co-pilot for his son. Since he was a rated pilot with more hours and more combat time than anyone in the group, the MgSgt had a standing invitation to the O Club. The quietest evening I ever experienced in the club was when young Bob was killed and Sr. Came to collect his son and take him home. You could have heard a pin drop. The saddest night of my tour!

J. M. "Mike" Jeffries
Capt. USMC Ret.


My Nightmare

I had a bad dream. No. A nightmare. One of those times when you are so glad to wake up and realize where you are in the here and now. I was so glad it brought tears to my eyes. A first for me.

Haven’t we all wished we could start over? Haven’t we all wished we could suddenly find ourselves at our high school graduation, or some such youthful moment, and know everything we know now? Everybody has. My dream made that real. So sad. So tragic.

I dreamed I never joined our Marine Corps. I dreamed I went to school, got a job, somehow got out of the draft, and led a life of pretty women and fast cars. My wisdom allowed me to become successful, rich even. But I didn’t have the Corps.

Would it be the same to have all the wisdom and experience I achieved in those brief four years and not actually having done it? My dream made me realize not. My best friends, my brothers, wouldn’t know me at all. I wouldn’t be part of their lives, part of their struggles, part of their grieving. I wouldn’t be part of their memories of liberty in so many places, so many outrageous shared moments.But in my dream they weren’t shared anymore. In my dream I read about them in the newspapers, in magazines. I was an outsider. Shared experiences are what make up life. In my dream I was nobody. In my dream I had a house and a family (Where did MY family disappear to? I’ve lost them forever! They never were!) but they didn’t understand at all my insights on sacrifice, horror or fidelity.

I woke up very happy. My life is as good as it gets. You guys were with me when my life really started and have been with me ever since. Those four years were the beginning of my rich life.

I feel like buying you a beer.

Semper Fidelis,
Joe


Proud Marine

I wanted to share a photo with you. Dr. Kinders is the UCO Vice President for Public Relations, as well as the adviser for Central Veterans, and just received his Doctor of Education degree. He was very happy with the name plaque we got from your company. Thank you to your staff for customizing it for us!

Thank you,
Aviva
University of Central Oklahoma


In The Rear With The Gear

Sgt Grit,

Despite all the hoopla about the absence of support troops to be found in the "poseur" ranks there were so many of us there could have been an extra grunt regiment formed. I served from 6/1/65 to 1/22/69 starting with Platoon 244 MCRD SD (anyone out there remember DIs Sgts Smith and Brasher and Cpl Goddard?), and ending with 1st Force Service Regiment, Force Logistics Command at Red Beach, or Camp Books for the formally inclined, Da Nang.

My last duty tour started with a big shock. From 12/24/67 to March 20 something I was with the First MPs in the city of Da Nang. I was trained in supply at Camp Lejeune and did not know anything about MP duty. That's the Corps for you. There was no better or safer duty for a Marine in RVN, at least so we thought until TET. Da Nang City and its environs got a bit testy in that little uproar but not really too bad. All my combat arms buddies get a big salute for that particular time.

My MOS, however, is/was 3041, company or battalion level supply man and I eventually, in March '68, was sent out to FLC to help supply the field Marines. By then the TET offensive had slacked off and despite Walter Cronkite we all know who came out on top. Usually, Camp Books was the place for an easy tour. A few incoming 82 mm mortars and 122 mm rockets disturbed the peace occasionally but it was generally pretty tame. We patrolled and guarded our perimeter and that of Ammunition Supply Point Two and took a little small arms fire from the occasional hidden pot shooter. Just enough to keep a person interested in his surroundings. There were also a few incidents when we got incoming small arms fire from a nearby SeaBee compound but we always forgave them as they were quick to allow us in their chow line and sometimes would even share their whiskey with us. Hell, they were almost Marines as far as we were concerned.

So, all of that is just to say that everyone in Nam was not a field Marine but those who were not are also very proud of our time and I, for one, am upfront about my MOS as I firmly believe all real Marines are.

Semper Fi
Warren Sikes
208XXXX

Cpl of Marines


My Old Addled Mind

Grit,

The story in the 23JUL15 Newsletter from David Singleton got my attention. A maggot leading a run and calling cadence? Permitted by a Marine Drill Instructor? Because his voice was very loud and he could make up stuff as they ran? Really? Is this the kind of thing that happened at MCRD SD? If so, I can understand why PI has a far more respected reputation as a recruit depot. But somehow, my old addled mind refuses to allow me to accept that such an incident occurred. In my humble opinion, no proud, professional or self-respecting USMC Drill Instructor would or could allow something like this to occur. And all of them were proud, professional and self-respecting.

Gerry Zanzalari
220....
Cpl. Of Marines
1966 - 1970
RVN 1968 - 1969

Note: Hmmmm........"far more respected reputation". I might throw that comment in with your questioning the cadence by a recruit.

Sgt Grit
MCRD SD
3rd Bn, Plt 3021
1968


Great Pilot

Regarding this Marine finding out that the pilot his aircraft was an enlisted man, I, too, knew another fine pilot. In 1955 I was stationed at MCAS El Toro and assigned to H&MS-33. At that time some of us could collect partial flight pay if we flew a minimum of hours within a quarter. We had some F9Fs, a TV-2, an RD-3, an RD-4, and a couple of Ad Skyrays. I had flown in the AD-4na several times but my favorite was the AD-5. On several occasions I had the chance to fly from El Toro to NAS Sand Point in Seattle. My uncle Roy was a retired USMC Colonel and lived in Belleview which was close to Sand Point. Our pilot was M/Sgt Woodring and my NCOIC, Gy/Sgt Tom Maiberger flew in the right seat while a S/Sgt from supply, who's name I can't remember, and I flew in the rear compartment.

We were all enlisted Marines and all wore flight suits which showed no rank. We flew from El Toro to McClellan AFB to refuel. The Air Force had no enlisted flight crews so they assumed that we all were officers. A staff car would pull up and ask if we cared to go to the officers club and wait. We sure as he-- didn't mention that we were all enlisted. From there we flew to Larson AFB in Washington and received the same treatment. Next stop was NAS Sand Point outside od Seattle. Sgt Woodring has a sister there and Sgt Maiberger liked the sister and I had my aunt and uncle there and the Sgt from supply just liked the liberty there.

We left El Toro on Friday and left Sand Point on Sunday. I was usually the last one to report to the plane for the return flight to El Toro. Every time I got there I found the other 3 sucking on their oxygen masks to get their heads clear for the return flight. We were quite a crew and M/sgt Woodring was one heck of a great pilot.

Sid Gerling
Sgt of Marines
1406---


Operation Silver Lance, Coffee And A Sweet Roll

Hello Sgt Grit;

I've been reading about Operation Silver lance in past and current issues of the newsletter. I was involved Silver Lance from the execution of planning until the after action reports.

In 1964 I was transferred into the First Marine Division Embarkation section. We were the planners for the movement, loading and supervision of the complete operation from the states. In all of the orders I saw the change of orders for the Fourth Marines from Hawaii was almost a last minute decision by FMF Pac and higher command.

We did detailed planning during December of 1964 and January 1965. Once orders were issued to load troops and cargo, I helped supervise the loading in San Diego and Del Mar. I don't remember the exact number of ships and troops involved but it included units from Camp Pendleton, 29 Palms, El Toro, Sea Bees and Force Recon.

During the operation I was stationed at the command ship directing all cargo and troops to the beach keeping track of every unit and load bound for the beach.

While the landing was going on, General Fairborne's tent and equipment didn't make it to the beach and I was dispatched in a Captian's Gig to locate the load. After many hours in the wet, dark night, moving from one circling landing crafts and LCUs to another, I finally located the general's cargo and directed it to the beach. After the operation was over, the general wanted to know who located his gear and I got a personal thank you from him with a cup of coffee and a sweet roll.

As to the embarkation of the Seventh Marines, I was also involved in the planning and loading of the Regiment for deployment to Okinawa and points West. It was a quick plan and move starting In April of 1965 and lasting about two weeks. It went very quickly and without a hitch. I'm not familiar with what happened to them after they left Camp Pendleton except that the majority of them landed in Okinawa.

During the rest of the summer after orders were issued to move the Division to Okinawa, Division Embark worked practically day and night to plan, move and load the Division for the displacement to Okinawa. The last of the Division left towards the end of August 1965 from San Diego. If I remember correctly the Seventh Marines were the first to leave in April, the Fifth Marines early summer and the First Marines and Division Headquarters and other supporting units at the end of August.

I was the last man on the pier that night and made the long walk from the Northmost pier all the way South to our operation office. It was about 2AM and the walk is a mile. I don't know how remember how many ships were involved but every pier was full. It was eerily quiet except for ship noises and smells and I remember thinking about what would start taking place when reveille at 5AM when the ships would awaken and prepare to get underway. These Marines aboard were embarking on the adventure of their life.

A few days later on Labor Day in September of 1965, I kissed my wife and kids goodbye and left with eleven other members of Division Embark under Major Roy Moss aboard a Marine Corps C130 for a 4 day trip to Okinawa to greet the Division and oversee the unloading, staging and redeployment to Viet Nam.

I was literally involved from day one until everything was concluded in Viet Nam with the whole operation. It took approximately 16 months from the beginning of silver Lance to move everything from stateside to Viet Nam. I left Viet Nam on October 30 1965 and made it home on Halloween, One day short of 14 months since I left the states, but that's another story.

Jerry R. Hattox
GySgt USMC (Ret)
1954-1978


ANGLICO

Larry Wolf. Well I didn’t remember your name this morning when I read your response in Sgt Grits newsletter but after I thought about it for a few hours I remembered an article I’ve saved over the years. It’s amazing on how our memories work. After reading the Newsletter I was out for my morning walk and thought that one of the pictures in an article, 72 ANGLICO Marines Take “Big Step Into Nothing” Weekly has a picture of a LCpl Larry Wolf in it. Got home, pulled it out and there you are. The article was in the “Globe”, Friday, October 10, 1969. You are sitting with Cpl Dan Sumeracki, chutes on, waiting for the 46 to pick up a load. For some reason a puppy was there. Yes I remember the “Swoop Circle” very well. It was a honor to be a part of ANGLICO. Semper Fi

Ken VanHooser
USMC, 68-71


Nature vs Nurture

As a wee lad my father would often bring me to his office when he was SgtMaj of the Marine Barracks in Vallejo, California. I mostly remember there was a soft serve ice cream machine somewhere in the building and a footlocker full of toy trains my dad’s predecessor had left behind in the office.

Morning colors was a daily event with an entire formation rendering honors. I always stood next to my dad on the steps of the headquarters building mimicking everything I saw the Marines doing. Here I was, a three or four year old kid responding to the commands: “Parade rest! Atten-hut! Hand salute! Order Arms!”

One morning I realized I wasn’t a Marine and must look silly doing all that parade deck stuff. So I just stood there while the Marines went through their morning ritual. Then I heard my dad’s voice softly rumble like very distant thunder: “What the %&#$ do you think you’re doing?” Instantly I was all snap and pop again.

It has been said when it comes to nature vs nurture, it is apparent that I was groomed for what I have become. Interestingly, all my dad’s Marines used to refer to me as the ‘next SgtMaj’ all the time. Like jungle cats grooming a cub, they’d growl asking when I was going to join up.

One day dad sat me down and very seriously said: “You know you don’t have to be a Marine right?” I responded that I understood and didn’t really want to be a Marine when I grew up. From then on I was adamant I wasn’t ever going to join, right up until about a week before I walked into the recruiting office.

Dang it, I guess it’s in the blood.

America's SgtMaj
worldsfinest[at]americassgtmaj.com


Silver Lance

Tnx to 1stSgt Brewer for the info about Operation Silver Lance. That was probably the operation that the SgtMaj had confused with Operation Steel Pike. Not all of us have 'fading memories'. I can still remember most of what happened during the several tours that I spent in-country like it was only last month. I didn't arrive in RVN until later that year, and was assigned to 3rd Marines in the western TAOR -- near Hill 362, just a little west of the Da Son ville (Grit should remember that one). I found my info referencing 3/9 setting up security for Chu Lai on 6 May 1965 using a Wikipedia link. I tried to access the May 1965 command chronology for 3/9, but it comes up blank -- April and June are listed, but for some reason, May is blank. The Wikipedia source indicates that "units" from 3/9, and not the entire battalion moved into Chu Lai to secure the area, a day ahead of the 3rd MEB landing on 7 May 1965. The bulk of 3/9 still had the responsibility for the Da Nang airstrip at the time.

"On 6 May units from the ARVN 2nd Division and 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines secured the Chu Lai area. On 7 May, the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade (United States) (3rd MEB), composed of the 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, elements of Marine Aircraft Group 12 (MAG-12) and Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 10 landed at Chu Lai to establish a jet-capable airfield and base area."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chu_Lai_Base_Area

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


Phonies

Sgt. Grit,

In reply to Ron Mandell’s post “Sincerest Type of Flattery”, I can understand Ron’s thought that Posers and fakes and wanna-be’s can’t actually steal any veteran’s valor, and I do agree with that, however, for me it’s not so much the act of stealing one’s valor as it is the act of lying and pretending to be something that they are not and in the case of Marine posers, a title that we earned and love. Stealing and lying at any level is at the very least dishonest and shameful, but to lie about being a veteran and a highly decorated one at that is to me, one of the highest levels of despicability. I get pissed when I read of a phony airman, soldier, sailor and or coastguardsman wearing uniforms and ribbons and spewing bullsh!t stories and posturing all around town trying to impress people, but when I read of a poser turd claiming to be a Marine, it just lights me up with anger to higher level. Once or twice a week I will get on the internet and read the “Stolen Valor” stories and watch the videos and honestly, after I get over being pissed I even laugh a bit at some of these fvck-nuts because they are so mentally screwed up and it’s so obvious they are fakes. They are only making an a-s of themselves, I reason to myself, and all too often even non-veterans can tell they are fakes and posers, but it just strikes a nerve no matter how trivial their actions are perceived to be.

A few weeks ago I watched a video of a guy in a bar who was a dead ringer for a young, albeit fat Hitler, who was claiming to be a colonel and an Air National Guard pilot and he had all sorts of patches and badges on his fatigues. He puffed up when he asked the guy filming him if he knew what the patches represented. The veteran who confronted him and filmed him knew immediately that the dork was a fake and he was probably both laughing and shaking with anger as he listened to this goober’s bullsh!t stories. It’s obvious that the dork was fairly well educated on the military in general to be able to smoothly tell his bullsh!t history as well as he did, despite the fact that anyone with an ounce of common sense listening to him would be able to tell he was a wimpy bullsh!tter, but I know for sure that I could not have kept my composure for as long as the vet who filmed the whole thing. This guy was probably a lifetime loser who had been beaten up weekly as a kid and had his lunch money taken away and now he could hide behind some bullsh-t military stories and feel like the hero that he was unable to truly be. Why can’t these a-sholes just join the military if you want to be in uniform? As a kid I wanted to be railroad locomotive engineer and even today I still wish that I could have done that job, but I don’t walk around the mall in blue and white pinstripe Carhardt coveralls and coat with a red bandana tied around my neck. Be proud of who you are and what you are. But then too, I do realize that people who do this sh-t have serious mental issues.

Because I do not know the army and air guard regulations I could not have challenged this particular jerk on his patches, but if that jerk-wad had been claiming to be a Marine, all I would need to oust him would be to ask him five or six questions and I probably would have embarrassed him. I realize that these sick individuals are all over the place and there is little that can be done to them legally unless they break the Stolen Valor law and someone pushes the issue, but I applaud and highly encourage anyone who actively goes after these a-sholes. I have only personally been confronted by two individuals who lied about being Marines. One is a person I used to work with and getting tangled up in that could have caused unnecessary problems at work and the other a-swipe was a guy who walked up to me in a mall when he saw my Marine cover and claimed to be “Force Recon”. I asked him a few questions and when it became obvious that he was a fake my wife grabbed my arm and pulled me away. Even she could tell the guy was lying. I would not have allowed it to get physical, but I would have verbally embarrassed him more than what I did before my wife pulled me away. I honestly believe this problem is becoming far more widespread than many of us realize. No one is being physically hurt by these nefarious individuals, but why should they be allowed to tell these blatant lies when we are confronted by them and when they are the ones who put themselves out there with their bullsh-t? To anyone who actively goes after these people, I personally thank you!

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


Flying Peons

In response to Marine Robert Bliss question posted in the 16 July Grit Newsletter concerning enlisted pilots in the Marine Corps. Yes the Corps had enlisted pilots and in early 1958 I had the privilege of flying with an all enlisted flight crew from Hawaii to El Toro.

This was back before the Corps had solidified its Marine Air-Ground Task Force concept of ground, air and logistics under a single commander. In fact, in the Pacific at least, there was a separate Command Structure and Headquarters for Marine Aviation – Air, FMFPac headquartered at El Toro.

After an interesting assignment to some mystical far-eastern sites in Japan and Okinawa, a group of us were being transported back to CONUS. As luck (or good fortune) would have it we were booked on the personal aircraft of the Commanding General, Air FMFPac. As I remember the aircraft was a VIP configured R5D (AKA C54 or civilian DC-4) with several booth-like tables (good for some poker games) as well as some very comfortable commercial-like seating.

But the most interesting feature of the flight was the crew – pilot and co-pilot were Master Sergeants. On their flight jackets they had Master Sergeant Insignia with the words “Flying Peons” inscribed in the middle of the insignia. I seem to remember a Chief Warrant Officer as part of the crew perhaps as Flight Engineer or some other position. As a young Sergeant, this was truly a great experience that few got to enjoy - A very professional flight crew and an amazingly comfortable aircraft for those days; no fold-down web seating and sharing the space with a bunch of cargo.

The last enlisted pilots (Flying Peons) in the Marine Corps retired in February 1973. For more on enlisted Naval Aviation Pilots visit: http://bluejacket.com/nap_index.htm

Marine Palmer Brown
156..../091392


MP and CID Research

The story I am working on presently concerns the investigation of a murder in Swann County, NC (fictional) of a recently released convict. The investigator is an ex-Marine, either CID or MP, and is also called onto the Marine base when two helicopters collide in a training mission and a FIM92 Stinger missile launcher and several missiles go missing at the crash site. The two cases, the murder and missile theft, are related, and solving one solves the other.

In researching the MOS of Marine MPs and CID agents, I find there is little on the web of any detailed nature. I am reading "Warrior Police," by Colonel Cucullu and Chris Fontana, which deals with army MPs, and it's a start. And of course, I have read "One Bullet Away," several on the Battles of Fallujah, one and two, and have ordered "Generation Kill" and others. But the daily life and duties of a Marine MP/CID soldier are somehow nowhere to be found. So what I really want is to speak with any Marine(s) who served as an MPs or CID agent in Iraq or Afghanistan. I would, of course, if permitted, fully credit any such source in the book's acknowledgements.

And, of course, if you have any idea of what further reading I could do, I would be most grateful for the direction.

Best regards, and thanks again for your time,

Tim Garvin
tvgarvin[at]gmail.com
919-451-4637


United States Marine

The United States Marine Corps is a war machine born on the splintered wooden decks of 18th Century British Men 'O War amid shot and shell and mangled spare parts.

We formed our emblem with vengeance. We tamed the eagle, nature's consummate predator. For strength of resolve, we heaved the ship's iron anchor, its rope fouled and tangled amid burning, grimy gunwales. Then we overran our perimeter, captured our domain and temporarily borrowed the globe from god.

Our brand of white hot fire and brimstone has been seared into the psyche of friend and foe during 240 years of romping, stomping, death-before-dishonor gut-wrenching glory.

We are occasionally uncouth, always rough, rugged amphibians; monsters from the sea; warriors cast in steel, blood, guts and muscle, eager to smite our nation's enemy.

We are the finest of fighters. Our left fist offers repentance, the right bloody riotousness. We overcome fear as we advance toward the enemy with fire that scorches our eyes and death embedded in our souls.

While others have knocked on Valhalla's door, Marines have kicked it in, charged through it and conquered what lay beyond.

With an allegiance to our Corps of "Semper Fidelis," and our ethos to America, "Corps, Honor, Country," we set sail under bright stars on waves of foamy seas for the freedom of all.

We live worse than soldiers, talk like sailors, scorn airmen and slap the hell out of all three at will. We strut like peacocks, salty, self-centered and overbearing.

Warriors by day, lovers by night, drunkards by choice, assassins by trade.

We are Marines by god!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!

1775 - 2015
M. N. Snitz
Copyright TX, United States Copyright Office, Library of Congress
Washington, D.C. 2006. Revised 2015


Going Back

Here's a little trivia for you, and for what it's worth -- on one of my earlier trips back to Vietnam a few years ago (just made #12 this past Feb), I hired a driver through the concierge desk at the Furama Resort on China Beach...The driver had grown up in the Da Nang area, and was a former NVA/PAVN soldier c. 1979-1982!

He told me that he had spent most of his time fighting in the war in Cambodia. I wanted to take a short afternoon tour of some of my old stomping grounds from my earlier days with 3rd Marines on my first tour, before the regiment pulled out of Da Nang, and moved up to Camp Carroll in the fall of '66. On the way out, we passed through the old Dog Patch cluster, and saw that the old beer can shacks have all been replaced with mostly cinder block buildings. Then, as we passed what used to be the Hill 327 PX, which is now a rock quarry, on what used to be one of the most traveled roads in the Da Nang area years ago, the road turned into not much more than a washed out trail.

There is almost nothing left that would indicate our presence during the days of the "American War", however as we approached what used to be the old division headquarters on Hill 510, which is also another rock quarry, I spotted the old red and gold "Camp Reasoner" CP sign, still standing somewhat, along the right side of the road where Recon Bn used to be located. I remember that the sign had been erected when the CP belonged to 3rd Recon, before we all moved up north to the DMZ in the fall of '66 -- during the tail end of Operation Hastings, and the beginning of Operation Prairie I. 1st Recon then took over the Da Nang Recon CP until 1st MarDiv pulled out in mid-1971. Then we drove out past the old 11th Marines CP,out to Da Son ville, and then turned left up through the pass near Hill 362, and out to the BaNa mountains, where they're building a new 36 hole golf course, just north of the old Happy Valley area...This area used to be part of 2/3's TAOR before they moved down to Dai Loc in the spring of '66.

BaNa used to be an old French resort during the old French-Indochina days, and was later used as a mountain-top radio relay site and rest stop for 1st and 3rd Recon patrols during the 60's. Not much left of the old French resort nowadays, but the Vietnamese have built a tram to the top of the mountain, and several resort hotels on the hillsides. At almost 5000 feet, it provides a terrific viewpoint...A friend of mine from Chula Vista, Tom Addis, works for IMG golf course design. Tom is the golf course site supervisor and course sculptor for the new mountain course project at BaNa...During his 14 years in SEA, Tom has done numerous world class golf courses in Vietnam, including the Montgomerie Links GC at China Beach (part of which is the old ROK Marine CP area), and the beautiful Vinpearl course in Nha Trang.

Here's a couple of current pix of Freedom Hill (Hill 327) and the 3rd MarDiv-- then 1st MarDiv headquarters area at Hill 510 for ya -- other two were taken during a 'pit stop' at the Red Beach Resort with my driver.

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


Rise of the Valiant

The 2015 Major Norman Hatch Award has been awarded to filmmaker Bob Zimmerman, of Tuscola IL, for his documentary Rise of the Valiant. Each year, the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation presents a series of awards to both Marines and civilians from around the nation, recognizing their exemplary work in advancing and preserving Marine Corps history. Zimmerman’s film won for Feature Documentary. The 2015 awards were presented during a special ceremony National Museum of the Marine Corps on April 25, 2015

The story is told by veterans of the 6th Marine Division who relive their experiences during World War Two, from they time of their enlistment in the Marine Corps to coming back home after the war. However, the primary focus of the film is their experience at the Battle of Okinawa, which claimed the lives of 250,000 people during the 82-day battle. Their combined interviews provide a fascinating and moving portrait of the battle. The interviews are supplemented with war footage and photographs from the National Archives, the Marine Corp History Division, the National Museum of the Pacific War, and personal collections.

Bill Sloan, the author of the book The Ultimate Battle, provides commentary regarding the historical context of the experiences of the Marines. Eric Sizemore, a voice actor from Champaign, Illinois, provides the narration.

Rise of the Valiant and Bob Zimmerman’s first film Out of Nowhere, a documentary about the Champaign music scene are available locally at Exile on Main and That’s Rentertainment in Champaign, IL. The films are also available on Amazon by clicking on the link at www.razfilms.com.


Short Rounds

In 1967 I served at MCAS Beaufort with MGySgt JJ Quinn, an enlisted pilot who flew C-47. He had retired and worked for the FAA for several years before he volunteered to go active and flew C-47's dropping flares out of Chu Lai in 1966. MGySgt Quinn was a fine gentleman. Many times I watched him telling stories to young Lieutenants and Captains and he had them all spellbound. These officers treated him like the hero he was and showed him a great deal of respect.

Ron Briggs
Sgt 1965-1969
1st MAW DaNang 1968-1968


Was mp in downtown Jacksonvile section shortly after that happened...picked up two boots hitching on road back to base and conversation got around to the 'Tragedy" they both said Mckeon was great di and good man. No one knew there was a problem till they got back to quarters and discovered people missing. All that illustration crap about screaming is exactly that, at least that's what two of the guys there said.

Sgt Don Wackerly
53-56 Jacksonville MP's 1956


I may have missed something or got something wrong. I think 1st SGT Herb Brewer said 1965 was the 1st time the 4th Marines had set foot on US soil since WWII. I think I finished T&R about June 1953. When I reported to Camp Pendleton, I could have sworn that I was assigned to 1st Batt 4th Marines, Weapons co. 81 mortars. Then transferred to Anglico, 1/4. When the 3rd Div headed for Korea I was in Anglico, FSCC Sig Co Hq Bn 3rd Mar Div and as most know the truce was signed while we were in route, so we ended up in Camp Gifu Japan. But someone correct me if I’m wrong about 4th Marines.

Doran Cooper Sgt.
53-56 1377...


There is a new book on the market called Remembering Douglas Eugene Dickey USMC. It is about a young Marine who is a Medal of Honor Marine for heroism in Vietnam, it tells of family background, the courageous act in battle, the company and platoon, and the battles they fought in. It is a book every Marine should read. I am proud to say I was a member of his platoon. I think this would be a great book for you to carry. It is available at Barnes and Noble and also Amazon. It was published June 20th 2015. Thank you for listening.

Jerry Idziak
USMC Retired
Semper Fi


Attention James V.Merl

D.I. S/Sgt. McKeon

The book: Court-Martial At Parris Island, The Ribbon Creek Incident
Written by John C Stevens 111
Available on Amazon plus/minus $ 15.00

I read somewhere that his son was a D.I. also.

Semper Fi
Bill McDermott
180....


Quotes

"We have therefore to resolve to conquer or die: Our won Country's Honor, all call upon us for vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world. Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions."
--George Washington, General Orders, 1776


"I like the enemy knowing there are a few guys like me around."
--General James 'Maddog' Mattis


The Eagle S**t Once A Month!

Don't get pissed, REENLIST! Ship for six!

Fair winds and following seas.

Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 23 JUL 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 23 JUL 2015

In this issue:
• The Night I Believed I Was...
• Operation Silver Lance
• A Marine’s Marine and a crack DI

Online Store TShirts Men's Headgear Patches Women's

Flags   Family Member   Ka-Bars   Auto   Headgear  Jackets  ALL CATEGORIES  

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Facebook Twitter Sgt Grit Blog Sgt Grit's RSS Feeds

My office in the house "cave" is completely filled with memorabilia so my Wife has set up a 2nd office in the garage.

As you can see I have many items I purchased from Sgt. Grit.

Semper Fi,
Pfc. R O Berg--1472xxx


The Night I Believed I Was Going To Die

Boot Camp MCRD San Diego – May 1966

While we were double timing on one of the base streets one afternoon. I was allowed to run beside the platoon and call out the songs because my voice was very loud and I could make up stuff as we ran.

At one point a rival platoon from the company street next to ours was seen in the distance running towards us. They had one of the largest Drill Instructors I had ever seen running beside them calling cadence. The night before was one of those rare times when it had rained slightly and there were some puddles in the middle of the street. I could not resist this opportunity. I waited until the exact moment the rival platoon and their DI was opposite ours and I did a “give me your left foot.”

Due to the perfect execution of this command a beautiful wall of water covered a significant number of the rival Marines including their DI. The DI stopped his platoon and my platoon and began to express his displeasure to me in a way that only a DI can do properly. I, of course, believed my insignificant life was about to end. I was ordered to double time around my own platoon when we started again. Our DI turned us onto a side street and stopped our platoon. At this point our DI and our platoon members congratulated me and I was immediately restored to my position of calling out the songs. It was a great moment. I still laugh about it but when I tell the story I still remember that I thought my life would truly end on a street at MCRD in May 1966

David B. Singleton


D-mn Fine Pilot

Regarding the submission by Robert Bliss on the enlisted pilot. In 1966 I was flying from Iwakuni MCAS to Danang on an old Korean war vintage plane, I think a C-54 but not sure. I was with MAG-15 at the time and was not real fond of flying back then and that old plane had me a little nervous. It was pouring rain also and that didn't help matters much. We took off and as we climbed the plane appeared to fill with smoke. Needless to say I was ready to open the hatch and jump without a parachute. There was a Lt. Col. with pilot's wings sitting near me and must have seen the look on my face and he said take it easy it is just condensation from the moist air forming from the pressure change as we gained altitude. About an hour later I noticed the pilot getting out of his seat in the cockpit and as he walked to the rear of the plane I noticed he was wearing Master Sergeant's chevrons. I asked the Lt. Col. about this and he said that this was the last enlisted pilot in the Corps and that during WWII and Korea that it was not unusual for enlisted to become pilots.

The Col. also said he was a d-mn fine pilot and had turned down a chance to become an officer to remain enlisted. Later I was allowed to go up to the cockpit and sit in the co-pilot's seat and and talk to the Master Sgt. He was a nice guy and and we spent about an hour talking about flying. He was very gracious about answering all my questions and put me at ease. It was kind of ironic that the plane was full of officer pilots being transferred to Vietnam and beingflown there by an enlisted pilot.

Cpl. Howard Nethery
'65-'68


Operation Silver Lance

We’re all getting older, memories fading, somewhat forgetful, and trying to share the best knowledge we can before the bugle sounds. I have always encouraged everyone to record their memoirs, if nothing else for their families. But on Operation Silver Lance and Steel Pike, Both Master Gunnery Sergeant Jim Mackin, and the Sergeant Major were technically correct.

Reinforcing our commitment to our allies of NATO, Operation Steel Pike was the largest peacetime amphibious landing exercise in the European theater since World War II, consisting of 84 ships and 28,000 Marines in November, 1964.

Operation Silver Lance was conceived by Lieutenant General Victor H. Krulak during the period of 19 February 1965 through 12 March 1965. The objective was to prepare the Marine Corps for its war in Vietnam. Silver Lance consisted of 70,000 Sailors and Marines, and 80 ships.

It was to be the largest operation ever held on the west coast with a contingency of 31,000 Marines. It was to include 6,000 Marines from the 1st Marine Brigade out of Hawaii, and would have been the first time the 4th Marine ever set foot on U. S. soil since the end of World War II. They never made it to the shores of Camp Pendleton: reducing the III Marine Expeditionary Corps to 28,000 Marines from Pendleton. A difference of four ships between the two operations.

In route to the Operation Silver Lance, the 4th Marines with its complementary forces, were ordered to Okinawa, and then to Vietnam to continue the buildup of American Forces in Vietnam. On 14 April 1965, the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines made an amphibious landing at Da Nang on Red Beach 2.

Fifty-five miles to the south, the 1st and 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines; supported by 3rd Recon Battalion; and 3rd Battalion, 12th Marines (Artillery) landed on 7 May 1965, to provide security for the construction of Chu Lai Airfield. On 12 May 1965, the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines landed to reinforce the security of the airfield. As predicted by General Krulak, twenty five days later Chu Lai Airfield became operational during the first week of July 1965.

Currently my information shows that the 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines TAOR was in and around the Da Nang area, and never participated in the Chu Lai Enclave region.

By the end of 8 July 1965, there were over thirty thousand Marines deployed to Vietnam. Including supporting arms, air wing groups, service support groups, and heavy equipment support. The war continued for ten years after the first landing in Vietnam.

References used were:
1. Victor H. Krulak, First to Fight, An Inside View of the U. S. Marine Corps.
2. The Marines In Vietnam 1954 – 1975, An Anthology and Annotated Bibliography.
3. GySgt V. Mroz, Editor: The 1st Word, 1st Marine Division (REIN) FMF; Vol. 1. No 1; 1st Marine Division in the field; 5 Feb 1965.

Semper Fi

Herb Brewer
1st Sgt USMC (RET)


April 9, 1962

Sgt Grit,

I was looking at the following chronology:

April 9, 1962 - The leading elements of Marine Task Unit 79.3.5, a helicopter task unit codenamed Shufly commanded by Col John F. Carey arrived at Soc Trang, Republic of Vietnam.

Significance: This was the first Marine squadron-sized unit together with a small security force to deploy to Vietnam as a result of the establishment of the U.S. Military Assistance Command on February 8, 1962. They were to provide helicopter support to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) in its campaign against Communist Vietnamese forces called Viet Cong (VC).

Next entry: March 8, 1965 - The 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) commanded by BGen Frederick J. Karch landed at Da Nang, Vietnam, consisting of two Marine battalions, one arriving by air and over the beach. The following day, the MEB assumed control of the Marine Task Unit 79.3.5 at Da Nang which became Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 16.

Soc Trang is in the Mekong delta.

Jim


Phony Operation

Grit,

Keep up the good work. As near as I can figure "Operation Silver Lance" was a phony operation to move the 1st Marine Brigade from Hawaii and the 7th Regiment from Camp Pendleton to Viet Nam. Short version, I was in 3/11 (we supported the 7th Marines). We were going aboard ship for an Operation with the Brigade. Loaded ship at Del Mar, at night. Big top secret move. Stopped in HI for a week liberty, next stop Okinawa. 1/7 with G/3/11 landed at Chu lai around 1 Aug (give or take a week).

Of course the cat got out of the bag when we got 3 days liberty in San Diego after we got aboard ship. Big investigation who let the "cat" out of the bag. We were told not to bring civilian clothes.

To All Thank You All for your Service it wasn't a job it was an adventure.

Semper Fi
Jim Leonard
SSgt USMC (Ret)


Invasion Of The Fiji Islands

It was interesting to hear stories of the service of those veterans who have either passed on or on death bed. I read a death notice several years ago of a man who the notice said was in on the "invasion of the Fiji Islands, and that he was one of 200,000 men." That's about 12 divisions. First of all, I doubt that we ever invaded the Fiji Islands or if any troops were stationed there in any great numbers, if at all. I calledthe person who wrote the column, and she said she just wrote what the family told her. I had always thought my step-father was a gunner on a tank in the Army's 6th Armored Division during WWII. When I saw his DD214, it said his MOS was clerk-typist. Now he may have been crossed trained, but now I'll never know for sure.

I think looking at a person's DD214 would give the family, funeral director, or newspaper a good idea of the veteran's service. We all embellish stories, and sometimes when they're repeated enough they become gospel. I have no qualms about telling people I am a Marine, but I was an office pogue, or as the grunts would say: office pinkie! I was proud to serve in the 3rd Marine Division, FMF, (in the field) on Okinawa.

The only action that we had was when the Dali Lama was exiled from Tibet. For a few short hours, they had us thinking we were going to board ship. That "crisis" ended briefly.

I'm glad the readers here are calling these pretenders on their exploits.

James V. Merl
1955...
1957-1960


Close It Up

I don't want a BAR, all I wants a candy bar.

Close it up ladies, close it up, make him smile

With a clip and two rounds, lock and load.

Are there any more at home like you?

Did your mother have any children that lived?

After standing at attention for three or four minutes, That's it ladies, mill around, scratch your a-s..

What are you smiling at, do you think I'm funny, I should be on TV? followed by thump, thump....

Standing guard inside a Dempsty Dumpster..

Day #2 Whoa, whoa, stop, stop, you're not even a mob, a mob has a leader, you're a herd.

A lot of memories, ninety percent of them good.

Christmas will be 29 December this year

Bill Mc Dermott
Platoon 347
Oct 3-Dec 28 1958
Parris Island


Attitude Is Everything Day 58

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

Here are a few of their comments:

Tony Russo Sr. - My sailor uncle, who was only two years older than me, use to say that the Marines were part of the Navy. My answer to him always was, "Yes, the fighting part!"

Joseph Gulli - Except for Doc. That is.

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


It Never Lets Me Down

I love this newsletter ! It never lets me down. I always read something that I can relate to and comment on. This week goes to Capt. Jinx. I here you loud and clear. Where are all of the cooks, clerk typist, supply guys etc. I remember a gunny sgt. I don't think I ever knew his name. When I was assigned to the Liberty Bridge ferry crossing on the Song Tu Bon he would cross the river a few times each day taking hot chow to the men at Phu Loc 6. He was in the process of setting up a mess at Phu Loc 6 in Mar 69' when he was killed when the hill was attacked.

I will never understand why some alpha hotels have to pretend to be something other than what they were.

I was 1371 Combat Engr. and doggone proud of it!

SEMPER FI!

Snakefighter


Enlisted 1919

To Sgt. Robert Bliss,

I, too, am a Marine veteran, having served during the 1950’s. My Uncle Millard T. Shepard was an enlisted pilot, having enlisted during 1919 and retired after 35 years of service in 1954. He served in Marine Aviation, and was one of the first pilots to receive his commission from the President of the United States. He also was awarded the Silver Star for his service during the Nicaraguan Campaign, and the Haitian Medal during the Haiti Campaign. He flew the Ford Tri-motor airplane, hauling the gearfor the pilots who made up the then-current Flying Team, and visited every chance he got. He went on to serve in the Korean war and was awarded the Legion of Merit. I am delighted to confirm that there were, indeed, Enlisted Pilots in the Marines. His picture can be seen in the camouflage album in USMC, the Complete Picture, put out by the Marine Corps Association, on page 256, second from the left. So don’t let anyone tell you that there weren’t enlisted pilots, FOR THERE WERE! My Uncle Millard died in 1982 and was buried in Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.

Semper Fi,
Autumn Day W706460


In Other Words

I retired in 1988 as a MSGT with 22 yrs of service, both active and reserve. I was the Regt Comm Chief of the 25th Marines, in Worcester, Ma.

Around June of 2008, I was on one of the Marine Corps web sites, when I noticed a request for retirees to come back on active duty to help out when the Corps was spread a little thin. I decided what the h-ll, and started to fill out the information. I completed the boxes about MOS, and Date of Rank, but the box asking for my Date of Birth didn't go back far enough, only to 1950! I clicked on that date and sent it off, keeping my fingers crossed.

About a week later, I received a package in the mail from HQ Marine Corps. Hot D-m I thought, I going back in! I opened it, and read "Dear MSGT Culliton, according to our records, you are 6 months away from your 60th birthday. At that time you will be eligible for your Reserve Retirement. Please sign where indicated, and return this form. Thank you for your service." In other words "don't call us, we'll call you!" A rude awakening!

I still have a seabag packed, and if they ever called, I'd go in a minute!

Semper Fi
Paul Culliton
MSGT USMC (ret)


Error Of Their Ways

In answer to Robert Bliss, Yes I remember several enlisted pilots in VMF 214 in Korea in 1950 and 1951. They were called “Flying Sergeants” Flying F4U Corsairs. One I remember very well was TSgt Monk Taylor, who I later ran into at Flight school in Pensacola, FL. The Marine Corps finally saw the error of their ways and commissioned him a Captain and gave him a job as a flight instructor.

The navy also had enlisted pilots during WWII and the Korean “police action”. A navy chief landed a R5D (four engines) at the half built field at Hagaru to evacuate wounded.

Semper Fi!
W. F. Mitchell


Sincerest Type Of Flattery

Dear SGT Grit!

I just read Captain Jinx’s “Isn’t Life Amusing” letter wherein he states in part, in reference to “Posers”, that he finds it humorous that 40 years ago we ‘Nam vets were considered 'persona non gratta' because we served in ‘Nam, however now, 40 years later, many of the same people who condemned us then, now want to claim that they were a part of us.

I totally agree! Life is definitely amusing!

At the risk of receiving a firestorm of vindictive, I would carry this a step further by admitting that when I read, or watch video tales of “posers”, it upsets me not at all.

Nope. Unlike so many, I don’t get violent. I don't get angry. I don't shout, foam at the mouth, or threaten, nor do I even get hot under the collar. Instead I feel complimented.

I say, “Emulate me as much as you want, I will just feel prouder and prouder."

Yup! You see, in point of fact, emulation IS the sincerest type of flattery.

Nope, and I’m not offended by anyone attempting to “steal” my valor. You see, I don’t believe that its possible for someone to steal my valor or anyone else’s for that matter.

Semper Fi,

Ron Mandell
Cpl of Marines 67-70
‘Nam 67-69
Retired Army Major


A Marine’s Marine and a crack DI

Sgt. Grit,

In reply to Joe Holt’s post regarding forbidden smiles, I recalled one time that I laughed in boot-camp in front of a DI and I paid the price. I went through Parris Island in the summer of 1981 with platoon 2063. It was one of the very first days of First Phase and Sgt. Mazenko was instructing us pukes on the proper way to make a rack. We were assembled school-circle in the rear of the squad-bay as he went through each piece of bedding. When he got to the cotton sack that covered the mattress and called it a fart-sack I broke into a face-wide grin, but I did reach up to cover my mouth. Apparently the ever so small snicker that slipped and the movement to cover my mouth was enough to alert Mazenko.

I was somewhere in the middle of the circle, but he was on me like stink on sh-t and went into one of his patented, profanity laced verbal assaults. I can’t recall it verbatim, but it was something to the effect of “Kunkel, you filthy-as-ed maggot, do I f-cking amuse you? Get on your f-cking face scumbag.” Of course I did push-ups and “bends and motherf-ckers” for what seemed like eternity, but the funny thing about Mazenko was that he actually had a hell of a sense of humor and showed it at times. Oh, he tried his best not to, but it slipped. He was in his early twenties and as such, not much older than many of us, but we did some things throughout our training that were so ridiculously stupid they were comical and he had to turn his head on many occasions so that we would not see him laugh and so that he could maintain his military bearing. He was a Marine’s Marine and a crack DI, but his weakness was that he was human and had a sense of humor and because we were so stupid at times I know he had to work hard to keep from cracking up at our stupidity. Although I never did crack a smile after that altercation, I did laugh internally and a lot of things that happened.

We had one recruit from our platoon who was from the West Indies. He worked hard to assimilate and did graduate on time with us, but there were times that he struggled. He was about 6’5” and as such stuck out from the rest of us, particularly since the DI’s had him march at the rear of the formation while most of us where organized in the squads from tallest to shortest. One day after PT, we got back from a run and they walked us under this water sprinkler contraption to help cool us down. It was on that rear lot with the dirt track over behind the Second Battalion chow-hall. Anyway, we all formed up in platoon formation afterwards, but our tall platoon mate was seen over in one of the squads of another platoon.

One of our recruits requested permission to speak to Mazenko. “Speak freak”, said Mazenko. Sir, Recruit “Jones” is over in Platoon 20XX, sir.” Mazenko looked over and started to get pissed and then turned around and said, “aaaww leave his a-s over there, let them deal with him for a while.” But once again we saw Mazenko sneak a smile as he turned around. Mazenko started to march us back to the barracks and we moved right passed the other platoon when “Jones” stole a glance our way and saw us. He was too scared to do anything so he just remained in ranks.

We “got him back” that night on free time but when he was returned to our deck Mazenko PT’d the sh-t out of him. Every time I think of this stuff today, and it’s been thirty-four years since, I still crack up laughing. I know there were more than a few things like that situation that made us laugh back then, but we were just too d-mn scared to even crack a smile especially after seeing what happened to dumb-as-es like me who did laugh, however, no matter what boot camp story I think about these days, it always brings a smile to my face. God Bless all my brother and sister Jarheads and all Marine families! Corpsman too!

PS. To all my sister Jarheads; is the term BAM still used? No offense, just asking!

Semper Fi
Mike Kunkel
Cpl 0331
Lima 3/8


Annual Retiree Appreciation Day!

Camp Lejeune
Retiree Information Seminar and Health Fair
September 26 2015
0900-1400
Marston Pavilion

Guest Speakers:

* MCIEast-MCB Command Representation

* Mrs. Rawls; Director of the Winston-Salem Compensation Division

* The Honorable Congressman Walter B. Jones

* CAPT. Freedman, CO Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune

Presentation of the “Whitey” Welbourne Award

Lunch will be served


Taps

We lost another Marine on July 12, 2015. James Warren Thomas was 90 years old at his time of death. He served as a private first class in the Marines during World War II, receiving a Purple Heart for injuries while serving in Iwo Jima.

Although Jim and I were 25 years apart we share our Marine combat experience together. He is now guarding the gates of heaven with his fellow Marines. Rest in Peace Marine.

Jon DeWitt
SGT 1966-1969


KNIGHT, Robert Leland – Of Grand Blanc, Michigan , age 85, died on Sunday, June 28, 2015 at his residence.

Bob served eleven years in the Marine Corps both regular and reserve, serving a one year tour of combat in Korea from 1950 - 1951.

Mr. Knight was a member of the Flint Detachment Marine Corps League since 1992. He served as the Detachment Commandant for two years and was active in the Honor Guard/Color Guard. He was still a member of a veteran group of Marines and FMF Corpsmen who served with Dog Company in Korea from 1950 - 1955. He was very active in the Genesee and Shiawassee County Young Marines. He was a member of BPOE.

He leaves behind his wife Barbara and son Bradley Paul Knight.

Bob was featured in James Brady’s book “Why Marines Fight” , Chapter 38 titled “A Machine Gunner They All Called Hollywood” . Bob was a terrific Marine and better person. He was also very involved with the Young Marines of Genesse and Shiawassee counties. Semper Fi Bob.

Bill Domby
USMC 67-71


Short Rounds

In answer to the post of Robert Bliss. Served our Marine Corps from Feb 62 through April 1970 and during that time I kept hearing of a MSgt that was supposed to be the last enlisted pilot in the Corps. I can't recall his name but he was still flying fixed wing prop planes during that time.

Semper fi
SSgt of Marines
Roger Everline
1963 DaNang - 1965 Marble Mountain, Dong Ha, Khe Sahn - 1969 Chu Lai


In ref to Robert Bliss story of 7/15 about enlisted pilots, in 1957 we had a warrant officer that flew the R4D assigned to H&MS 14 at Edenton NC. He had been an enlisted pilot during Korea. Just about all of them were gone by then'.

Bob Sullivan '56-59


Did any of you readers have SSgt. Matthew McKeon as a Drill Instructor? He was the Parris Island Drill Instructor who led the infamous night death march that killed six recruits. That incident supposedly changed some of the ways recruits were handled after mid 1956. Be interesting to know what kind of a DI he was.

James V. Merl
1955...
1957-1960


Ken Martin and Ken Van Hooser, I was at 2nd ANGLICO same time as you guys. Was Airborne and a Radio Tech. Saw your letter and brought back memories. Must admit I do not recognize either name but I drove a dark blue Chevelle chrome reverse wheels and jacked up, Remember a lot of muscle cars there and of course Swoopers Circle. Semper Fi.

Lawrence J. Wolf


In Book III of The Corps by W.E.B. Griffin, he writes a lot about flying sergeants and how they came to be. I have read all the books in this series, and the man knows about the Marine Corps.

Dale R. Rueber
Sgt. of Marines


I was a crew chief on a C-47 out of MCAS Beaufort during the 1960's. If my memory is correct I flew with a enlisted pilot. I can't remember his name and I think his rank was Master Gunnery Sergeant. Maybe some one can remember his name.

MSgt Bill Dugan USMC Retired
Semper Fi
God Bless America


In the 16th July newsletter, there was a question about enlisted pilots. I was station at Cherry Point from 1959-1962 and was in VMT-1, a retraining squadron. My Sgt.Major Ryner was one of our trainers who flew our jets and retrained the officers. He could fly circles around most of the officers.

Cpl E-4 G. King USMC


Quotes

"Because every Marine, if he was in a tough spot – whether a bar fight, or tonight in Helmand River Valley, our fellow Marines would get to us, or die trying."


"Entirely satisfied if we gave 100% And entirely dissatisfied if we gave 99% And those [noncommissioned officers] taught us the great pleasure of doing what others thought impossible."
--General James 'Maddog' Mattis


"In a society under the forms of which the stronger faction can readily unite and oppress the weaker, anarchy may as truly be said to reign as in a state of nature."
--James Madison, Federalist No. 51, 1788


"If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace."
--Thomas Paine, 1776


If ya got one draw one, if ya got two turn one in.

There I was, twenty feet in the air hanging by my jock strap and the Gunny passed the word "turn in all athletic gear".

Green side out, brown side out, run in circles scream and shout. (That won't mean much to the new guys!)

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 23 JUL 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 23 JUL 2015

In this issue:
• The Night I Believed I Was...
• Operation Silver Lance
• A Marine’s Marine and a crack DI

Online Store TShirts Men's Headgear Patches Women's

Flags   Family Member   Ka-Bars   Auto   Headgear  Jackets  ALL CATEGORIES  

Request a catalog
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Free Standard Shipping until 5 PM CDT on Friday, July 24, 2015

Offer valid until 5 PM (Central Time) on Friday, July 24, 2015. You must use discount code OOHRAHFS in your seabag or during checkout to get free standard shipping.
*Limit one discount code per order. Discount cannot be applied to previous orders.

 
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Photo of PFC Berg's wall covered in USMC posters, signs, and more.

My office in the house "cave" is completely filled with memorabilia so my Wife has set up a 2nd office in the garage.

As you can see I have many items I purchased from Sgt. Grit.

Semper Fi,
Pfc. R O Berg--1472xxx


The Night I Believed I Was Going To Die

Boot Camp MCRD San Diego – May 1966

While we were double timing on one of the base streets one afternoon. I was allowed to run beside the platoon and call out the songs because my voice was very loud and I could make up stuff as we ran.

At one point a rival platoon from the company street next to ours was seen in the distance running towards us. They had one of the largest Drill Instructors I had ever seen running beside them calling cadence. The night before was one of those rare times when it had rained slightly and there were some puddles in the middle of the street. I could not resist this opportunity. I waited until the exact moment the rival platoon and their DI was opposite ours and I did a “give me your left foot.”

Due to the perfect execution of this command a beautiful wall of water covered a significant number of the rival Marines including their DI. The DI stopped his platoon and my platoon and began to express his displeasure to me in a way that only a DI can do properly. I, of course, believed my insignificant life was about to end. I was ordered to double time around my own platoon when we started again. Our DI turned us onto a side street and stopped our platoon. At this point our DI and our platoon members congratulated me and I was immediately restored to my position of calling out the songs. It was a great moment. I still laugh about it but when I tell the story I still remember that I thought my life would truly end on a street at MCRD in May 1966

David B. Singleton


D-mn Fine Pilot

Regarding the submission by Robert Bliss on the enlisted pilot. In 1966 I was flying from Iwakuni MCAS to Danang on an old Korean war vintage plane, I think a C-54 but not sure. I was with MAG-15 at the time and was not real fond of flying back then and that old plane had me a little nervous. It was pouring rain also and that didn't help matters much. We took off and as we climbed the plane appeared to fill with smoke. Needless to say I was ready to open the hatch and jump without a parachute. There was a Lt. Col. with pilot's wings sitting near me and must have seen the look on my face and he said take it easy it is just condensation from the moist air forming from the pressure change as we gained altitude. About an hour later I noticed the pilot getting out of his seat in the cockpit and as he walked to the rear of the plane I noticed he was wearing Master Sergeant's chevrons. I asked the Lt. Col. about this and he said that this was the last enlisted pilot in the Corps and that during WWII and Korea that it was not unusual for enlisted to become pilots.

The Col. also said he was a d-mn fine pilot and had turned down a chance to become an officer to remain enlisted. Later I was allowed to go up to the cockpit and sit in the co-pilot's seat and and talk to the Master Sgt. He was a nice guy and and we spent about an hour talking about flying. He was very gracious about answering all my questions and put me at ease. It was kind of ironic that the plane was full of officer pilots being transferred to Vietnam and beingflown there by an enlisted pilot.

Cpl. Howard Nethery
'65-'68


Tough Old Marine Mug


Operation Silver Lance

We’re all getting older, memories fading, somewhat forgetful, and trying to share the best knowledge we can before the bugle sounds. I have always encouraged everyone to record their memoirs, if nothing else for their families. But on Operation Silver Lance and Steel Pike, Both Master Gunnery Sergeant Jim Mackin, and the Sergeant Major were technically correct.

Reinforcing our commitment to our allies of NATO, Operation Steel Pike was the largest peacetime amphibious landing exercise in the European theater since World War II, consisting of 84 ships and 28,000 Marines in November, 1964.

Operation Silver Lance was conceived by Lieutenant General Victor H. Krulak during the period of 19 February 1965 through 12 March 1965. The objective was to prepare the Marine Corps for its war in Vietnam. Silver Lance consisted of 70,000 Sailors and Marines, and 80 ships.

It was to be the largest operation ever held on the west coast with a contingency of 31,000 Marines. It was to include 6,000 Marines from the 1st Marine Brigade out of Hawaii, and would have been the first time the 4th Marine ever set foot on U. S. soil since the end of World War II. They never made it to the shores of Camp Pendleton: reducing the III Marine Expeditionary Corps to 28,000 Marines from Pendleton. A difference of four ships between the two operations.

In route to the Operation Silver Lance, the 4th Marines with its complementary forces, were ordered to Okinawa, and then to Vietnam to continue the buildup of American Forces in Vietnam. On 14 April 1965, the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines made an amphibious landing at Da Nang on Red Beach 2.

Fifty-five miles to the south, the 1st and 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines; supported by 3rd Recon Battalion; and 3rd Battalion, 12th Marines (Artillery) landed on 7 May 1965, to provide security for the construction of Chu Lai Airfield. On 12 May 1965, the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines landed to reinforce the security of the airfield. As predicted by General Krulak, twenty five days later Chu Lai Airfield became operational during the first week of July 1965.

Currently my information shows that the 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines TAOR was in and around the Da Nang area, and never participated in the Chu Lai Enclave region.

By the end of 8 July 1965, there were over thirty thousand Marines deployed to Vietnam. Including supporting arms, air wing groups, service support groups, and heavy equipment support. The war continued for ten years after the first landing in Vietnam.

References used were:
1. Victor H. Krulak, First to Fight, An Inside View of the U. S. Marine Corps.
2. The Marines In Vietnam 1954 – 1975, An Anthology and Annotated Bibliography.
3. GySgt V. Mroz, Editor: The 1st Word, 1st Marine Division (REIN) FMF; Vol. 1. No 1; 1st Marine Division in the field; 5 Feb 1965.

Semper Fi

Herb Brewer
1st Sgt USMC (RET)


April 9, 1962

Sgt Grit,

I was looking at the following chronology:

April 9, 1962 - The leading elements of Marine Task Unit 79.3.5, a helicopter task unit codenamed Shufly commanded by Col John F. Carey arrived at Soc Trang, Republic of Vietnam.

Significance: This was the first Marine squadron-sized unit together with a small security force to deploy to Vietnam as a result of the establishment of the U.S. Military Assistance Command on February 8, 1962. They were to provide helicopter support to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) in its campaign against Communist Vietnamese forces called Viet Cong (VC).

Next entry: March 8, 1965 - The 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) commanded by BGen Frederick J. Karch landed at Da Nang, Vietnam, consisting of two Marine battalions, one arriving by air and over the beach. The following day, the MEB assumed control of the Marine Task Unit 79.3.5 at Da Nang which became Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 16.

Soc Trang is in the Mekong delta.

Jim


Phony Operation

Grit,

Keep up the good work. As near as I can figure "Operation Silver Lance" was a phony operation to move the 1st Marine Brigade from Hawaii and the 7th Regiment from Camp Pendleton to Viet Nam. Short version, I was in 3/11 (we supported the 7th Marines). We were going aboard ship for an Operation with the Brigade. Loaded ship at Del Mar, at night. Big top secret move. Stopped in HI for a week liberty, next stop Okinawa. 1/7 with G/3/11 landed at Chu lai around 1 Aug (give or take a week).

Of course the cat got out of the bag when we got 3 days liberty in San Diego after we got aboard ship. Big investigation who let the "cat" out of the bag. We were told not to bring civilian clothes.

To All Thank You All for your Service it wasn't a job it was an adventure.

Semper Fi
Jim Leonard
SSgt USMC (Ret)


Sgt Grit 1/2 Unit Gear


Invasion Of The Fiji Islands

It was interesting to hear stories of the service of those veterans who have either passed on or on death bed. I read a death notice several years ago of a man who the notice said was in on the "invasion of the Fiji Islands, and that he was one of 200,000 men." That's about 12 divisions. First of all, I doubt that we ever invaded the Fiji Islands or if any troops were stationed there in any great numbers, if at all. I calledthe person who wrote the column, and she said she just wrote what the family told her. I had always thought my step-father was a gunner on a tank in the Army's 6th Armored Division during WWII. When I saw his DD214, it said his MOS was clerk-typist. Now he may have been crossed trained, but now I'll never know for sure.

I think looking at a person's DD214 would give the family, funeral director, or newspaper a good idea of the veteran's service. We all embellish stories, and sometimes when they're repeated enough they become gospel. I have no qualms about telling people I am a Marine, but I was an office pogue, or as the grunts would say: office pinkie! I was proud to serve in the 3rd Marine Division, FMF, (in the field) on Okinawa.

The only action that we had was when the Dali Lama was exiled from Tibet. For a few short hours, they had us thinking we were going to board ship. That "crisis" ended briefly.

I'm glad the readers here are calling these pretenders on their exploits.

James V. Merl
1955...
1957-1960


Close It Up

I don't want a BAR, all I wants a candy bar.

Close it up ladies, close it up, make him smile

With a clip and two rounds, lock and load.

Are there any more at home like you?

Did your mother have any children that lived?

After standing at attention for three or four minutes, That's it ladies, mill around, scratch your a-s..

What are you smiling at, do you think I'm funny, I should be on TV? followed by thump, thump....

Standing guard inside a Dempsty Dumpster..

Day #2 Whoa, whoa, stop, stop, you're not even a mob, a mob has a leader, you're a herd.

A lot of memories, ninety percent of them good.

Christmas will be 29 December this year

Bill Mc Dermott
Platoon 347
Oct 3-Dec 28 1958
Parris Island


Attitude Is Everything Day 58

A Marine should be sworn to the patient endurance of hardships, live the ancient knights...

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

Here are a few of their comments:

Tony Russo Sr. - My sailor uncle, who was only two years older than me, use to say that the Marines were part of the Navy. My answer to him always was, "Yes, the fighting part!"

Joseph Gulli - Except for Doc. That is.

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


It Never Lets Me Down

I love this newsletter ! It never lets me down. I always read something that I can relate to and comment on. This week goes to Capt. Jinx. I here you loud and clear. Where are all of the cooks, clerk typist, supply guys etc. I remember a gunny sgt. I don't think I ever knew his name. When I was assigned to the Liberty Bridge ferry crossing on the Song Tu Bon he would cross the river a few times each day taking hot chow to the men at Phu Loc 6. He was in the process of setting up a mess at Phu Loc 6 in Mar 69' when he was killed when the hill was attacked.

I will never understand why some alpha hotels have to pretend to be something other than what they were.

I was 1371 Combat Engr. and doggone proud of it!

SEMPER FI!

Snakefighter


Enlisted 1919

To Sgt. Robert Bliss,

I, too, am a Marine veteran, having served during the 1950’s. My Uncle Millard T. Shepard was an enlisted pilot, having enlisted during 1919 and retired after 35 years of service in 1954. He served in Marine Aviation, and was one of the first pilots to receive his commission from the President of the United States. He also was awarded the Silver Star for his service during the Nicaraguan Campaign, and the Haitian Medal during the Haiti Campaign. He flew the Ford Tri-motor airplane, hauling the gearfor the pilots who made up the then-current Flying Team, and visited every chance he got. He went on to serve in the Korean war and was awarded the Legion of Merit. I am delighted to confirm that there were, indeed, Enlisted Pilots in the Marines. His picture can be seen in the camouflage album in USMC, the Complete Picture, put out by the Marine Corps Association, on page 256, second from the left. So don’t let anyone tell you that there weren’t enlisted pilots, FOR THERE WERE! My Uncle Millard died in 1982 and was buried in Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.

Semper Fi,
Autumn Day W706460


In Other Words

I retired in 1988 as a MSGT with 22 yrs of service, both active and reserve. I was the Regt Comm Chief of the 25th Marines, in Worcester, Ma.

Around June of 2008, I was on one of the Marine Corps web sites, when I noticed a request for retirees to come back on active duty to help out when the Corps was spread a little thin. I decided what the h-ll, and started to fill out the information. I completed the boxes about MOS, and Date of Rank, but the box asking for my Date of Birth didn't go back far enough, only to 1950! I clicked on that date and sent it off, keeping my fingers crossed.

About a week later, I received a package in the mail from HQ Marine Corps. Hot D-m I thought, I going back in! I opened it, and read "Dear MSGT Culliton, according to our records, you are 6 months away from your 60th birthday. At that time you will be eligible for your Reserve Retirement. Please sign where indicated, and return this form. Thank you for your service." In other words "don't call us, we'll call you!" A rude awakening!

I still have a seabag packed, and if they ever called, I'd go in a minute!

Semper Fi
Paul Culliton
MSGT USMC (ret)


Error Of Their Ways

In answer to Robert Bliss, Yes I remember several enlisted pilots in VMF 214 in Korea in 1950 and 1951. They were called “Flying Sergeants” Flying F4U Corsairs. One I remember very well was TSgt Monk Taylor, who I later ran into at Flight school in Pensacola, FL. The Marine Corps finally saw the error of their ways and commissioned him a Captain and gave him a job as a flight instructor.

The navy also had enlisted pilots during WWII and the Korean “police action”. A navy chief landed a R5D (four engines) at the half built field at Hagaru to evacuate wounded.

Semper Fi!
W. F. Mitchell


Sincerest Type Of Flattery

Dear SGT Grit!

I just read Captain Jinx’s “Isn’t Life Amusing” letter wherein he states in part, in reference to “Posers”, that he finds it humorous that 40 years ago we ‘Nam vets were considered 'persona non gratta' because we served in ‘Nam, however now, 40 years later, many of the same people who condemned us then, now want to claim that they were a part of us.

I totally agree! Life is definitely amusing!

At the risk of receiving a firestorm of vindictive, I would carry this a step further by admitting that when I read, or watch video tales of “posers”, it upsets me not at all.

Nope. Unlike so many, I don’t get violent. I don't get angry. I don't shout, foam at the mouth, or threaten, nor do I even get hot under the collar. Instead I feel complimented.

I say, “Emulate me as much as you want, I will just feel prouder and prouder."

Yup! You see, in point of fact, emulation IS the sincerest type of flattery.

Nope, and I’m not offended by anyone attempting to “steal” my valor. You see, I don’t believe that its possible for someone to steal my valor or anyone else’s for that matter.

Semper Fi,

Ron Mandell
Cpl of Marines 67-70
‘Nam 67-69
Retired Army Major


A Marine’s Marine and a crack DI

Sgt. Grit,

In reply to Joe Holt’s post regarding forbidden smiles, I recalled one time that I laughed in boot-camp in front of a DI and I paid the price. I went through Parris Island in the summer of 1981 with platoon 2063. It was one of the very first days of First Phase and Sgt. Mazenko was instructing us pukes on the proper way to make a rack. We were assembled school-circle in the rear of the squad-bay as he went through each piece of bedding. When he got to the cotton sack that covered the mattress and called it a fart-sack I broke into a face-wide grin, but I did reach up to cover my mouth. Apparently the ever so small snicker that slipped and the movement to cover my mouth was enough to alert Mazenko.

I was somewhere in the middle of the circle, but he was on me like stink on sh-t and went into one of his patented, profanity laced verbal assaults. I can’t recall it verbatim, but it was something to the effect of “Kunkel, you filthy-as-ed maggot, do I f-cking amuse you? Get on your f-cking face scumbag.” Of course I did push-ups and “bends and motherf-ckers” for what seemed like eternity, but the funny thing about Mazenko was that he actually had a hell of a sense of humor and showed it at times. Oh, he tried his best not to, but it slipped. He was in his early twenties and as such, not much older than many of us, but we did some things throughout our training that were so ridiculously stupid they were comical and he had to turn his head on many occasions so that we would not see him laugh and so that he could maintain his military bearing. He was a Marine’s Marine and a crack DI, but his weakness was that he was human and had a sense of humor and because we were so stupid at times I know he had to work hard to keep from cracking up at our stupidity. Although I never did crack a smile after that altercation, I did laugh internally and a lot of things that happened.

We had one recruit from our platoon who was from the West Indies. He worked hard to assimilate and did graduate on time with us, but there were times that he struggled. He was about 6’5” and as such stuck out from the rest of us, particularly since the DI’s had him march at the rear of the formation while most of us where organized in the squads from tallest to shortest. One day after PT, we got back from a run and they walked us under this water sprinkler contraption to help cool us down. It was on that rear lot with the dirt track over behind the Second Battalion chow-hall. Anyway, we all formed up in platoon formation afterwards, but our tall platoon mate was seen over in one of the squads of another platoon.

One of our recruits requested permission to speak to Mazenko. “Speak freak”, said Mazenko. Sir, Recruit “Jones” is over in Platoon 20XX, sir.” Mazenko looked over and started to get pissed and then turned around and said, “aaaww leave his a-s over there, let them deal with him for a while.” But once again we saw Mazenko sneak a smile as he turned around. Mazenko started to march us back to the barracks and we moved right passed the other platoon when “Jones” stole a glance our way and saw us. He was too scared to do anything so he just remained in ranks.

We “got him back” that night on free time but when he was returned to our deck Mazenko PT’d the sh-t out of him. Every time I think of this stuff today, and it’s been thirty-four years since, I still crack up laughing. I know there were more than a few things like that situation that made us laugh back then, but we were just too d-mn scared to even crack a smile especially after seeing what happened to dumb-as-es like me who did laugh, however, no matter what boot camp story I think about these days, it always brings a smile to my face. God Bless all my brother and sister Jarheads and all Marine families! Corpsman too!

PS. To all my sister Jarheads; is the term BAM still used? No offense, just asking!

Semper Fi
Mike Kunkel
Cpl 0331
Lima 3/8


Annual Retiree Appreciation Day!

Camp Lejeune
Retiree Information Seminar and Health Fair
September 26 2015
0900-1400
Marston Pavilion

Guest Speakers:

* MCIEast-MCB Command Representation

* Mrs. Rawls; Director of the Winston-Salem Compensation Division

* The Honorable Congressman Walter B. Jones

* CAPT. Freedman, CO Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune

Presentation of the “Whitey” Welbourne Award

Lunch will be served


Taps

We lost another Marine on July 12, 2015. James Warren Thomas was 90 years old at his time of death. He served as a private first class in the Marines during World War II, receiving a Purple Heart for injuries while serving in Iwo Jima.

Although Jim and I were 25 years apart we share our Marine combat experience together. He is now guarding the gates of heaven with his fellow Marines. Rest in Peace Marine.

Jon DeWitt
SGT 1966-1969


KNIGHT, Robert Leland – Of Grand Blanc, Michigan , age 85, died on Sunday, June 28, 2015 at his residence.

Bob served eleven years in the Marine Corps both regular and reserve, serving a one year tour of combat in Korea from 1950 - 1951.

Mr. Knight was a member of the Flint Detachment Marine Corps League since 1992. He served as the Detachment Commandant for two years and was active in the Honor Guard/Color Guard. He was still a member of a veteran group of Marines and FMF Corpsmen who served with Dog Company in Korea from 1950 - 1955. He was very active in the Genesee and Shiawassee County Young Marines. He was a member of BPOE.

He leaves behind his wife Barbara and son Bradley Paul Knight.

Bob was featured in James Brady’s book “Why Marines Fight” , Chapter 38 titled “A Machine Gunner They All Called Hollywood” . Bob was a terrific Marine and better person. He was also very involved with the Young Marines of Genesse and Shiawassee counties. Semper Fi Bob.

Bill Domby
USMC 67-71


Short Rounds

In answer to the post of Robert Bliss. Served our Marine Corps from Feb 62 through April 1970 and during that time I kept hearing of a MSgt that was supposed to be the last enlisted pilot in the Corps. I can't recall his name but he was still flying fixed wing prop planes during that time.

Semper fi
SSgt of Marines
Roger Everline
1963 DaNang - 1965 Marble Mountain, Dong Ha, Khe Sahn - 1969 Chu Lai


In ref to Robert Bliss story of 7/15 about enlisted pilots, in 1957 we had a warrant officer that flew the R4D assigned to H&MS 14 at Edenton NC. He had been an enlisted pilot during Korea. Just about all of them were gone by then'.

Bob Sullivan '56-59


Did any of you readers have SSgt. Matthew McKeon as a Drill Instructor? He was the Parris Island Drill Instructor who led the infamous night death march that killed six recruits. That incident supposedly changed some of the ways recruits were handled after mid 1956. Be interesting to know what kind of a DI he was.

James V. Merl
1955...
1957-1960


Ken Martin and Ken Van Hooser, I was at 2nd ANGLICO same time as you guys. Was Airborne and a Radio Tech. Saw your letter and brought back memories. Must admit I do not recognize either name but I drove a dark blue Chevelle chrome reverse wheels and jacked up, Remember a lot of muscle cars there and of course Swoopers Circle. Semper Fi.

Lawrence J. Wolf


In Book III of The Corps by W.E.B. Griffin, he writes a lot about flying sergeants and how they came to be. I have read all the books in this series, and the man knows about the Marine Corps.

Dale R. Rueber
Sgt. of Marines


I was a crew chief on a C-47 out of MCAS Beaufort during the 1960's. If my memory is correct I flew with a enlisted pilot. I can't remember his name and I think his rank was Master Gunnery Sergeant. Maybe some one can remember his name.

MSgt Bill Dugan USMC Retired
Semper Fi
God Bless America


In the 16th July newsletter, there was a question about enlisted pilots. I was station at Cherry Point from 1959-1962 and was in VMT-1, a retraining squadron. My Sgt.Major Ryner was one of our trainers who flew our jets and retrained the officers. He could fly circles around most of the officers.

Cpl E-4 G. King USMC


Quotes

"Because every Marine, if he was in a tough spot – whether a bar fight, or tonight in Helmand River Valley, our fellow Marines would get to us, or die trying."


"Entirely satisfied if we gave 100% And entirely dissatisfied if we gave 99% And those [noncommissioned officers] taught us the great pleasure of doing what others thought impossible."
--General James 'Maddog' Mattis


"In a society under the forms of which the stronger faction can readily unite and oppress the weaker, anarchy may as truly be said to reign as in a state of nature."
--James Madison, Federalist No. 51, 1788


"If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace."
--Thomas Paine, 1776


If ya got one draw one, if ya got two turn one in.

There I was, twenty feet in the air hanging by my jock strap and the Gunny passed the word "turn in all athletic gear".

Green side out, brown side out, run in circles scream and shout. (That won't mean much to the new guys!)

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 16 JUL 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 16 JUL 2015

In this issue:
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• Hard Lessons From My Old Man
• I Did My Job

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Cpl Greg Coats and SSgt Codi Tanksley

Let me start this story by saying, I know each of these warriors well. I consider both to be great friends. Pictured is Cpl Greg Coats and SSgt Codi Tanksley. I could write a book on these two Marines, but I will keep my observation short this time. Both of these Marines were in the store at the same time this past week. These Marines both served during the Iraq War and served heroically at that. I made sure that these two met when they were in. I felt the need to bring these brothers together.

Greg was doing some pictures for our catalog and he had come over to find a lighter to get some of the IPs off the shirt. That was when I introduced them. What I witnessed then was just short of tears for me. Immediately proceeding the handshake and introduction, one Marine was helping the other Marine burn IPs off his clothing as if they had been best friends forever. I knew at that moment I should get a pic, but of course, the moment passed. They spent the next hour laughing and reminiscing of their service and I looked on with immense joy.

This is what Marines are all about. They are brothers. 'Nuff Said.

Semper Fidelis
Kristy Fomin
C.O.O. Sgt Grit Call Center
(Marine Wife)


Smiling Drill Instructor

Plt 1001 MCRD PI 1980

Reading some of the funny boot camp stories reminds me of the night our DI SSgt. DeSisto yelled, "Out of the head!". The reply, "Out of the head, aye-aye sir!".

We all come racing through that hatch like ants to a picnic. I was near the end with one hand holding a towel around my waist and the other holding my shaving kit. When my wet shower shoes hit the concrete on the quarter deck my ankles went to the sky and my back to the floor right in front of the DI. He went from his usual scowl to a full on, burst out laugh. He immediately turned and walked into the duty hut slamming the door behind him. You could hear him in there just busting a gut laughing. I can't help but smile thinking about it 35 years later.

Jeff Strayer


New USMC Canes


Hard Lessons From My Old Man

America's SgtMaj's dad in Vietnam

After I graduated high school I spent the summer in unrepentant sloth. Graduation parties, bonfires on the beach, and the consumption of alcohol led to many late nights and even later mornings. I hadn't gotten a job nor had I registered for college. Why would any 18 year old when he was having so much fun, right?

Early one morning in late July my father entered my room. He announced his presence by nearly splintering the door off its hinges, which was impressive because it was already open. This was followed by a sonic boom that in my memory sounded like: "What the h-ll are you doing?"

My father was a child of the Great Depression who had joined the Marine Corps in 1947. He'd served for 33 years fighting in both Korea and Vietnam on multiple tours. He had been a machine gunner, a sniper, and a Reconnaissance Marine. Among his hobbies as a young jarhead were boxing, jiu jitsu, and All Marine Judo competitions. On his time off he got into brawls in local bars because he thought it was fun. When he held his out hands, each finger went off in a different direction as he'd broken them all on someone's face at one time or another. His nose had been broken so many times a doctor once exclaimed: "How in the world do you breath through that thing?"

This was the figure who suddenly filled my door frame vibrating with rage. He had watched me stagnantly p-ss away my summer and was about to inform me this joyous era of my life was coming to an abrupt close. There was a cadence to his speech not unlike an artillery battery firing.

The walls vibrated as he loudly pointed out I had no job, was not registered for school, and had no prospects to speak of. With disgust he noted I had become physically soft. Prior to graduation I had run track at school as well as karate, and weight lifting on my own time. Since graduation I had not so much as stepped outside while the sun was up. He announced that I would have a job within 30 days or he would throw me out into the street.

"It'll break your mother's heart but I'll do it!" He stormed away leaving the doorframe scorched and smoking behind him.

Still being a teenager, I was naturally outraged at my father for threatening to throw me out of MY home and forcing me to be a productive citizen. What a d-ck.

The month of August ticked away. I hardly saw or spoke to my dad that month, seeking to avoid him as much as possible. On the night of August 30 my parents were in their bedroom and my father was agonizing about what he was about to do to his son.

"Honey, I don't want to but he's going to make me kick him out," he confided to my mother.

"Why?" she asked him.

"It's the end of the month and he hasn't gotten a job!"

"What do you mean? He's been working for weeks now." I'd started working at a print shop sometime in mid August, I simply hadn't told him. Take that dad.

"MIKE! YOU SON OF A B-TCH!" He stomped down the hallway to the kitchen where I was.

"YOU WERE GOING TO LET ME SWEAT IT OUT!" Grinning and scowling at the same time, he was simultaneously ticked off, relieved, and impressed. We talked about my new job and he explained that as long as I had a job or was going to school I would always have a place to stay in his house. There would be no deadbeats under my father's roof.

Thanks for the lesson dad, I think it stuck.

Semper Fidelis!

America's SgtMaj
worldsfinest[at]americassgtmaj.com


Sgt Grit 2/9 Unit Gear


No Vietnam Service Medal

2/9 Koh Tang Veterans, who did NOT receive the Viet Nam Service Medal and Viet Nam Campaign Medal, what a travesty! How can anyone say that these Marines and associated units (Navy, Army, Air Force) who served with them and backed them up are not eligible?

I was with the 11th Navy Seabees, Two tours Northern I-CORP with the 3rd Marines. For my action with the Marines, I received the Viet Nam Service Medal with FMF insignia and Silver Star attachment, The Viet Nam Campaign Medal and above all the Combat Action Ribbon! While not at An Hoa, I was at Khe Sahn, Cam Lo, My Chang Bridge, The Rock Pile, Dong Ha, Quang Tri and I am a TET '68 Survivor! Operation Dye Marker in the DMZ.

By the way just for your edification, one of my Brother Seabees in '65 was awarded Posthumously, the MOH for saving a Marine Fire Team pinned down by the NVA. Maybe some of you have heard of CN Marvin Shields U.S.N. Seabee Team 1106.

Along side my Brothers in the Brothers in the Corps, I wouldn't have wanted to be any where else! I am always proud to say to a Marine "SEMPER FI" "WELCOME HOME"!

Ron Pariseau, PO3C
11th U.S.Navy Seabees
1967-1969


Enlisted Pilot

I was talking to my neighbor about his grandfather who served 31 years in the Corps. He enlisted in or around 1930. He explained that he has a picture of his grandfather with E-5 stripes on his shirt standing next to his fighter plane. They called them "peons flyers". His grandfather didn't get a field commission until he was the only one to came back to his carrier out of the whole squadron. Up to that time, he was a wing-man for a Lt. and was at Peal Harbor on Dec. 07, 1941, fought over the "canal". My neighbor tells me that he has some pictures of his grandfather as an enlisted Marine standing next to his plane. If he allows me to make a copy of them, I'll try to put them in the next news letter.

Is there any of you "Hard Corps" Marines around that might remember when the enlisted men flew with the officers? Or is this person, who had to join the army because those who can't get in the Marines will have somewhere to go, just pulling my leg (as they would say)?

Semper Fi. my friends,
Robert Bliss
MOS: 0341 - and proud to be a grunt!


Isn't Life Amusing

Sgt Grit,

I spent 6 years serving in the United States Marine Corps and was honorably discharged in Jan of 1973. During the 42 years since my discharge, my occupation has involved a LOT of travel - repeated visits to 46 of our 50 states and visits to 37 foreign countries. Having driven and flown millions of miles during those 42 years, I have chanced to meet thousands and thousands of people along the way. Unfortunately some of those people were Marine "posers" and others were just plain Vietnam Veteran "posers". I have lost count of the number of posers I encountered, so I don't know exactly how many were pretending to be "Marine Snipers" or "Force Recon Marines". However none of them ever claimed to have been in Motor T, Supply or HQ office personnel. All of the pseudo - Vietnam "veterans" however claimed to be either Marines or SEALs or "Special Forces " or were "in Recon", or the Green Berets, "were Snipers" or were in "Black Ops - Special Ops - Wet Work" with TOP SECRET CLEARANCES. Give me a break! A few well chosen questions exposed every d-mn one of them as frauds. I find it very humorous that 40 years ago, we Vietnam veterans were considered 'Persona Non Gratta' because we stepped up and served our country during an unpopular war, yet 40 years later, many of the same people who condemned us then now want to claim they were part of us. Isn't life amusing sometimes? However to my authentic fellow Marines and my fellow Vietnam vets, thank YOU for YOUR service and Welcome Home! You were a Vietnam Vet before it became popular.

Semper Fi,
Captain Jinx


Col. William Barber

I was reading the Sunday paper on July 5, 2015 when a picture caught my attention. It was a picture of Col. William Barber, who was the Regimental C.O. when I served with Fox Co. 2/2 in the 2nd. Mar. Div. at Camp Lejeune from 1968 to 1969. The story was about his home town, West Liberty, Morgan Country, Kentucky; honoring him (and rightly so!) with a bronze statue. The statue shows him as a Captain during the Korean War in the battle of Toktong Pass with Fox Co. Col. Barber received the Medal of Honor and a bullet lodged in his pelvis for that action. Fox Co. kept the pass open which allowed those at "Chosin" to escape from a much larger force of Chinese. Col. Barber had a company of 240 Marine take position at the pass against a force of 1400 Chinese. After 14 days and nights, 80 Marines left their position after the last of the American forces made it through. The plaque on the statue credits Col. Barber with telling his men "We will hold and we're going to pay for it". That my friends is a Marine and courage!

Col Barber retired from active duty in 1970 and passed away in 2008. If there is anyone who wants to learn more about this battle then please read "The Last Detail of Fox Company". It is truly an excellent book to read. Anyone who would like to read the story and see the photos and video of the statue need to go to Kentucky.Com and pull up the article from July 5, 2015.


Old Alma Mater

My trip was short and sweet. I recently revisited "our" old alma mater - the University of MCRD, San Diego campus. I graduated there just over 59 years ago. Coincidentally, I was there on a Thursday, the day before graduation. I guess a lot of the guys got time off to visit with those who came to their graduation.

I visited the Marine Corps museum while I was there, where I ran into a lot of new Marines with their families - the museum happens to be next door to the receiving barracks where I arrived, 24 January 1956. It is housed in a similar building - architecturally - to the receiving barracks. As I walked the museum I got a sense of Deja vu. I could see myself in the haircut line, receiving a cover that was too big for me (never wore a cap before then), then downstairs receiving my "bucket issue" (do they still do that? I forgot to ask), the sweatshirt, and most of all using Brasso (never heard of the stuff) on all the window latches and door hardware, what seemed like all night (just till lights out, anyway).

Now for the real story of my trip. I met and spoke with several of these new Marines and their families. If you have been out of the Corps for a while you need to revisit the place if you still have a heart for the Corps. These young sharply dressed, evenly tanned, young men with their slender, fit and hardened bodies, will make you even more proud. Not only proud for yourself but proud for them. God, I was so proud of these guys - hey Marines don't cry... do they? Someone pass me a tissue. Sad to think they have to go out into harms way against the unconditional warfare that we see today. The politicians need to visit these young guys on a regular basis just keep in touch with reality, for when they have to make their decisions as to when and where to send this men, oh so young and eager to do right by their country.

Jerry's visit to MCRD San Diego

At the museum with my bride of 58 years.

As you can see I haven't strayed too far from the mess hall.

Through the years my mother lost track of the year book I received with all the dates and pics from boot camp, and I cannot recall my unit. Arrived 24 Jan. 1956 and graduated near the end of April. Drill instructor was GSgt Costello. Best I can recall my platoon 215, 219, 315, or 319 - can't seem to narrow it down any closer than that. I asked if they had any information about this in the museum archives and the answer was, not that far back! D-mn, am I that old?

If anyone recognizes any of my info, I would appreciate some direction. An do, visit the Museum. They are continuing to improve it.

Gotta love that San Diego weather!

Jerry Wilson
1956 - 1959 (3 year active duty enlistment, 3 year reserves)


I Simply Said

My Father-In-Law was a WW-II vet and his kids, including my wife, were always told never to ask their dad about his service during the war.

In 1998 he was dying from cancer and wanted someone to drive him to New Jersey to visit his elder sister. Of course I volunteered. On the way there we passed the exit to Fort Indian Town Gap and he told me that he was stationed there before he was sent overseas. I asked, "What did you do in the service?" He said that he was a Tech Sgt in the quartermaster corps and was sent to the Pacific and, was involved in the invasion of Okinawa. There is more but I'll move on. 22 Apr. 1999 he died.

The day after, my wife and her two brothers were sitting around the kitchen table trying to write his obit. and, they knew only that he was in the Army. I spoke up and told them what I knew.

My wife looked up at me and asked how I new all of that. I simply said, "I asked him."

Semper Fi| Snakefighter


Same Time, Same Place

This past 4th of July weekend, I was on vacation with my wife, and my oldest daughter, and my 7yr old granddaughter. We were enjoying a Beach Boys tribute concert, and during the bands break my granddaughter wanted some ice cream, so my daughter and I took her to get some. As we were returning, a man about my age, 66 yrs, was watching us, and as we approached, he stood and said "Semper Fi". I returned the greeting, and as he was wearing a Marine Corps cap, I asked when he was in, '67-'70, me too '66-'70. Was he in 'Nam? When, with who? '68-'70, 3/26. When I heard that, I said "no sh-t"! I was there too, '68-'69 with Hq 26th marines. We began talking, and the years fell away. We were remembering things that happened 45-46 yrs ago, as though it were last week. Sometimes I can't remember things that happened last week! My daughter and granddaughter returned to their seats with my wife, and when she asked what happened to me, my daughter said I was talking to a fellow Marine. My wife said I would be gone awhile, because I had found another Marine, and our stories always took some time.

We talked for about 20 min, and about that time, the concert was starting again, so we said our goodbyes, wished each other well, "Semper Fi" and returned to our seats. Once again we were in the same place, same time.

"Semper Fi"
Paul Culliton
MSGT USMC (ret)


July 8th, 1957

How many have the same story. Graduate HS on a Sunday, enlisted Monday morning at the Marine recruiting office. Three weeks later left Whitehall street NYC by train for MCRD PI. Seventeen years old still wet behind the ears. Platoon 198. You grow up real fast. Spent three years, met great people, and completed my military active service as a United States Marine before my twenty first birthday. To this day when people hear that you're a Marine, they know your someone special. My active time 1957-60, the world was a quiet place. I only wish it was like that now. To all you on active duty now, keep up the good work and we know you'll do us proud.

Semper Fi
Charlie May
164xxxx
Marine Detachment USS Randolph CVA15


Steel Pike

I'm not sure what operation the SgtMaj was on at the time he departed Hawaii with the 1st Marine Brigade for Okinawa, and then on to Chu Lai, Vietnam; but it wasn't Steel Pike... I happened to be at Camp Gieger (CLNC) awaiting air transportation to San Diego and Camp Pendleton with a west coast draft during that period, and I remember those times well... Operation Steel Pike took place in the late fall - October and November of 1964, on the coast of Spain, and was the largest peacetime amphibious landing exercise in history, conducted by the US Navy and Marine Corps... The operation involved 84 naval ships and 28,000 Marines of the 2nd MarDiv out of Camp Lejeune, and was commanded by Vice Admiral John S. McCain, Jr.

As to the landing at Chu Lai, according the 4th Marine Regt command chronology report, "RLT-4 Headquarters and BLT's 1/4, 2/4 embarked aboard assigned shipping during period 27-29 April, and sailed for Chu Lai, Vietnam. Commencing on D-Day, 7 May, RLT-4 off-loaded at Chu Lai, Viet Nam"... However, 3/9 arrived at Chu Lai from Da Nang to secure the area on 6 May 1965 - the day before RLT-4 landed.

"On 6 May 1965 units from the ARVN 2nd Division and 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines secured the Chu Lai area. On 7 May, the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade (United States)(3rd MEB), composed of the 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, elements of Marine Aircraft Group 12 (MAG-12) and Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 10 landed at Chu Lai to establish a jet-capable airfield and base area."

"Chu Lai Air Base became operational on 1 June 1965 and remained in use by Marine aviation units until September 1970."

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


Mush

Grit,

It'll be quite some time before I run out of stories. Between me and Dickerson we should write a book. He and I served together in 3/5 back in 1966.

Mush was a combat engineer. Ray Mush. His real name was Ray Maslanka, but I only discovered that a week or so after I met him. Mail call I think. He was one member of a team of engineers attached to India Company. Three or four guys.

Mush was a likable kinda guy. There were times though when he got so full of himself and had so much energy it could get under your skin, but once you got to know him, he was a star. Mush stood out from the others.

Everybody knows that combat engineers are nuts. Not just crazy, but downright scary at times. Blowin' stuff up is one of the more entertaining parts of being a Marine, but when an engineer gets the notion to blow something up it's so calculated it borders on the sinister. I wonder what selection process they went through? Their psychological profiles must be something to see.

I normally confined my own demolition activity to tossing grenades in holes or buildings. Any real cool stuff went to the engineers.

I was very impressed on Hastings when they were finally given the green light to clear a helizone in the jungle. We'd been flailing away with Ka-Bars and Filipino machetes for hours trying to clear any space at all, and when we were finally equipped with chain saws the task got only moderately quicker. Finally somebody turned the engineers loose. The explosions didn't do our nerves any good, but they did manage to blow the jungle all to h-ll. This event alone was all I needed to prove my attitude about engineers. You only had to see the looks on their faces to understand. They were in a frenzy. They didn't just blow trees down, they felt the need to launch each tree to an ever increasing height. They were considerate enough to yell "Fire in the hole!" before each blast, but more than a few times they yelled only a second or two before ignition. We actually had some minor casualties from flying wood and gravel.

Poor McGuire only wanted to hobble into the jungle a few feet to take a pee. He'd already been hit a couple of times on a couple of different occasions the day before. He had pressure bandages on two or three parts of his body. One was wrapped around his head, which is probably why he never heard the engineers yell. One of the most heartbreaking memories I have of that day was the vision of McGuire stumbling out of the bushes trying to button up his trousers with his only good hand, near tears, with a new small stream of blood on his shirt. "I can't even take a pee without getting hit!"

A month or two after we were in country I was transferred to 1/5. To mortars. Mortars was a pretty good billet. We stayed with the CP group. We didn't have to do patrols. I got a lot of sleep I wouldn't have gotten if I'd been in a rifle platoon.

In the Spring, Charlie Company was mounting up for a big operation. It took us a full day to prepare. Different units were being attached to us. FO's. Engineers. Various other communication guys. Naval gunfire and Air support. Even a liaison guy for the Koreans. Just before dawn we were all squared away and we were told to muster in a particular tent till the helos arrived. As I lifted the tent flap to enter somebody shined a flashlight right in my face. Before I could complain someone shouted from the dark.

"Jesus Christ, we've had the big green weeny this time! I know this guy, and wherever he goes, there's trouble!"

It was Mush. I recognized the voice, and his attitude and volume were unmistakable. I was happy to see him, but strangely enough I felt the same sentiments toward him. My most vivid memories of him were connected to India Company. We immediately started comparing war stories, more for the benefit of the other guys than ourselves. We were old salts and we were trying to convince anyone that would listen.

Within an hour they had us loaded on H-34s and were airborne. Twenty minutes later we landed, then spent the next week or two slogging around the countryside playing tag with the g--ks.

In the late afternoons or evenings the Company would set up a perimeter for the night. Mush would normally set in somewhere in my vicinity or I would do the same near him. We felt comfortable around each other. It's not that we were friends, but we'd had common experiences so we felt familiar. He was proud when I'd tell crazy stories about him. It didn't take long before most guys knew about Mush and his zany ways, but there was one incident that absolutely convinced everybody that he was truly scary.

On this particular day we set in early enough so we had a couple of hours of daylight left. Time enough to start fires and cook stuff. Time to dry our socks. Time to be social. Because I was in mortars I wasn't actually required to be on the perimeter so I could flop almost anywhere I wanted to. I decided to drop my pack next to some sort of hedge. A raggedy, sparse sort of hedge. About twenty feet long and no more than four feet high.

It was made up of a type of bush I'd only seen in Vietnam. Most guys remember them. This type of bush had tiny leaves lining both sides of the fronds. They were very fragile looking, but their most intriguing characteristic was that if you touched one of the fronds, they'd wilt. All the leaves on that particular branch would just sort of collapse. The first bush of this sort I'd seen really got me wondering. What sort of magic Mother Nature type of sh-t was this? A bush that withers when you touch it? This is too cool! After I'd seen my first one it was like most other things... when you've seen one, you've seen'em all. It got boring real quick. We all knew what they were and what they did. Except Mush.

I was sitting down with a can of Chicken and Noodles heating up on my C-rat stove in front of me. Mush came walking over just to shoot the breeze I'm sure, but as he approached I casually reached out and touched a branch on the hedge. It wilted. It shrunk to about half its original size. Mush stopped in his tracks. He first stared at me, then the wilted leaves, then me again. In a very low tone of voice he asked:

"How da f-ck you do that?"
"What?"
"Just now. What you did with that bush?"
"What? This?", as I touched another frond. It instantly wilted.
He stared at me like I was the devil himself. I couldn't believe he'd never seen this type of bush before. He was obviously confused.
"Sh-t Mush. You musta seen these things before. They're all over the place."

Ray reached over very slowly and touched one of the branches. Again, it drooped. He looked like he was going to jump out of his skin. He touched another, then another all with the same result.

"Howzat do that?"
"I dunno. It just does."

Everybody in the vicinity looked on as Mush turned around, walked over to his pack, took his entrenching tool out of it's case, then opened it up to the straight position. He was holding it like a baseball bat when he walked back towards me. He had the craziest look in his eye. For just a second I thought he was going to go after me with it, but as he got to the hedge he started chopping at the hedge. Violently. Faster and faster. Cutting it. Chopping it. Clubbing it. Once or twice he dropped the E tool and stooped to yank the remainder of a bush out of the ground. I picked up my noodles and got out of the way. Dirt and leaves were flying everywhere. Five or ten minutes went by. He'd gone completely looney. Eyes wide as saucers. Grunting away at the hedge. From one end to the other. He left nothing. By the time he'd completely demolished the hedge he was breathing hard and wringing with sweat.

He'd acquired an audience for the last few minutes of his frenzy, but he was oblivious to anything or anybody but the hedge. You could tell by the looks on everybody's faces he had us worried. Me most of all.

He stood still for a moment, staring at the chewed up strip of earth. Then he walked back over to his pack and just plopped down in a heap. He sat there, panting, staring at where the hedge had been.

I was into my fruit cocktail by now so I just sidled up to Mush and said, "You OK Mush? What the f-ck was that all about?" He was still staring away, but a few seconds later he looked up at me with a real dull look in his eyes and said, "I hate anything I don't understand."

Like I said before, Mush wasn't just nuts, he was scary.

Joe Holt


Not Recommended

Reading Vernon R.'s "Sad Performance" post, I can sympathize. At PI in 1966, (Platoon 3020) I weighed about 155 soaking wet and stood about 5 foot nine. In pugil sticks, I drew this waaaaay tall guy with long arms... I had to look up to see his face! He was standing there with his legs apart beating me over the head like he was chopping with an axe and I couldn't reach him. So I crawled between his legs, giving him a rap in the balls on the way. (We wore only helmets and jock straps back then). Since he was bent over holding his jewels when I reached the other side, it lowered him to my level and I beat cr-p out of HIM over the head from behind. The DI (Sgt Jones, AKA "The Good Fairy", and even smaller than me) called time and didn't say anything, but he was having trouble controlling his laughter. Obviously this is not a recommended bayonet technique, but "Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome".

S/Sgt Richard Holland
USMCR 1966-1974


Fire Mission

1/12 Bravo & Charlie Battery's Recent Viet Nam Era Reunion

After so long, the data still circles in my mind. It becomes clearer with the meeting and re-acquaintance of Marine friends past. I salute you all, every one!

In my mind I can see it, seemingly such a short while ago.

FIRE MISSION!

Coordinates...
Target...
Will Adjust, Over...

Range...
Deflection...
Site...
Quadrant...

Fire!

On the way, Over;
Roger, on the way.

Drop 100, Right 100,
FIRE FOR EFFECT!

INCOMING!

Marines manning their 105's while under fire to return fire. Our Infantry preparing for a ground assault. Humping ammo to the guns. Such Dedication, Devotion to Duty, with Marine Corps discipline and training to carry it out.

The Outright Audacity of us all, We spit fire and destruction in the enemy's face. The cost however in friends lost was high.

Once again I swell with pride. Thank You.

Richard Harvey
1/12 Battalion Fire Direction Center
April 1966 - May 1967
Da Nang, Camp Carroll, Gio Linh


This Group Gets It

My wife and I drove to D.C. over the 4th to see the parade, fireworks and visit some old friends. The parade was O.K. but, I have seen better.

One entry in the parade was a group of Vietnamese Americans. As they approached, the first thing I noticed were the men dressed in RVN uniforms of the branches of service carrying the U.S., P.O.W. & RVN flags. Next was a group carrying a huge banner that stated in bold letters "FREEDOM IS NOT FREE". My emotional bucket has been pretty much emptied out over the years but, I have to say, I teared up a little when I saw it.

This group gets it. They really get it! This did more for me than any "Welcome Home or Thank You" ever did.

This gives me more cause to say "What We Did Was NOT IN VAIN!"

SEMPER FI!
1st Mar. Div. '68
Snakefighter


I Just Did My Job

Pfc Hensley and Cpl Gonzales

Dear Sgt Grit,

Just like most Marines, I honor all Marines, especially those who served during WW2 and Korea. Recently I had the honor of meeting a Marine from the Battle of Iwo Jima, Pfc. Robert Hensley, 3rd Marine Division. As a Garland Deputy Marshal, I get the chance to meet many citizens during the week. On one occasion 3 months ago I observed a senior citizen entering the lobby of the building I am assigned to. As he got closer, walking slowly with the aid of his cane, I noticed that he was wearing a cover with the Marine Corps Emblem. So I gave him a strong "Semper Fi Marine" greeting! He stopped, straighten up and looked over at me and with a slight smile on his face he returned the greeting! And as almost all Marines do, I asked when he served and what unit he served with. He responded proudly that he is a WW2 Marine and served with the 3rd Marine Division at Iwo Jima. So he stopped next to my desk and we discussed our experiences in the Corps. As you can guess, my part of the conversion was brief and his was a bit longer and more interesting!

He is Pfc. Robert Hensley, USMC, and as he began to talk about his Marine Corps experiences and mentioned that he was at Iwo Jima. I asked him about his part in the battle for Iwo and he talked about him being in the 3rd Marine Division. Pfc Hensley said that they arrived at Iwo on the 5th day of the battle. He was a truck driver and "his Ford Truck" was loaded with ammo, so as soon as they could, they hit the beach. When they landed he said that the terrible carnage on the beach was undescrible! Upon getting on the beach he and another truck were sent to resupply a unit that was heavily engaged with the enemy. As Pfc. Hensley and a second truck arrived at the unit's supply point, he remembers how ecstatic the Marines were! They told him that he had just saved their lives because they were about to run out of ammunition and the Japanese would have overrun them! After they finished unloading the trucks, he asked one of the officers what they could do to help. The officer pointed at a pile of stretchers and told him that he and the 2nd driver should "take one of those and go out on the runway and remove the dead off of the landing strip!" They told him that the landing strip was needed to allow planes to make emergency landings!

His voice began to soften and his eyes appeared as if they were looking off into the distance as he continued "So we went out onto the strip and began picking up bodies and pieces of bodies, placing them on the stretcher. Then we would take them to the collection point next to the airfield." I could only guess at what was going on in his mind, going back to those awful scenes of war. Of body parts that had once been young warriors running toward the sounds of battle, just a short time before. His trip back to those terrible days was short one as my handshake brought back! I told him that it was an honor to be in the presence of a United States Marine, a Hero to those of us who came after him and his brothers! Pfc. Hensley was a humble Marine and replied, "I am no Hero, I just did my job!"

As we were ending our discussion, he looked over and saw a coaster with a Marine Corps Emblem on top of my counter. He said that it was a great gift and I told him that my wonderful daughter, Ashley, made it and had given it to me last Christmas! He mentioned how great it was that my daughter would make such a special gift for me and I agreed! As my new Marine brother slowly walked out of the building I thanked our God, who had given this country so many great men and women such as Pfc. Hensley! A few days later I was talking to Ashley and mentioned my meeting with the WW2 Marine. I asked if she would make another Marine Corps Coaster, so that I could give him one next time that he came to the building! She readily agreed and a few days later Ashley handed me another coaster, just like mine!

With Ashley's coaster in hand, I waited to see my new Marine Brother again. And as several weeks went by I grew concerned that Pfc. Hensley may had received Transfer Orders to guard the "Streets of Gold". Then on Monday, July 6, 2015, I saw my Marine Brother walking into the building and I started smiling. As we met and exchanged greetings, I asked him to stop by my desk when he had completed his business. A short time later he came walking up and I presented him with the Marine Corps Emblem Coaster that my beautiful daughter had made for him. Pfc. Hensley then took it, looked at it and with a wide smile he thanked me. He asked me to tell Ashley that he was very grateful and that it was truly a special gift! He said that it was such a special gift, he is going to have it mounted next to a picture of him at Iwo Jima. The picture had been taken when he was on an "Honor Flight" to Iwo Jima two years ago! He will treasure it along with his "Iwo Jima Honor Flight" picture which will be passed on to his grandson! As Pfc. Hensley walked out of the building, I was reminded of Our Brotherhood, Young Marine or Old Marine - Semper Fi!

I am enclosing a picture taken when I presented Pfc. Hensley the USMC Coaster!

Fred "Speedy" Gonzales
Corporal of Marines
2nd LAAM Bn. 1962 - 65


Chesty

Puller Chronicles Vol 1 book cover

Dear Sgt. Grit,

Thought you and your Marines would be interested in knowing, that Ms. Meriwether Ball, a distant cousin of Lt. General Lewis "Chesty" Puller, wrote a new book on her investigation into his strong past, the personal side. The title is; "Puller Chronicles; Volume 1, Second Edition".

The book can be purchased at:
Puller Chronicles Volume 1: Secrets and Mysteries of the Greatest Marine's Heroic Ancestral Faith

Ms. Ball came to my home and spent the better part of the day with me, discussing my knowledge and experiences with Gen. Puller and also that of my family. The ties between "Chesty" and my family were very close, as well as myself.

Her book is very interesting and factual and supported by Col. Jon Hoffman, USMC (Ret), Author of "Chesty, The History of Lieutenant General Lewis B. Puller, USMC; and by Col. Robert J. Abbitt, USMC, (Ret).

There is a book review on the Amazon Website, of which I found to be most favorable. Ms. Ball gave me a copy. Yes, I read it and found it rather interesting, plus her discussions with me... well... I will just say was very good and I know she did her homework and was factual. She is writing a second book and I do look forward to seeing/reading that one.

The numbers are shrinking quickly of the Marines/Folks who served with or personally knew "Chesty". I am the last in my family.

As always Sgt. Grit... thank you.

Steve Robertson


Remember This One

Sgt. Grit,

It's now 1710 CT, on the 4th of July, in the Hendersonville, Tennessee area. I have been decaling HO gauge flat cars for most of the afternoon and listening to the Sirius XM channel "40s on 4". They have been playing patriotic songs most of yesterday and especially today.

The announcer, with "tongue in cheek" has been making remarks about the songs being played, and has mentioned about the safety factor of the fireworks and the injuries resulting from misuse of same; he has stated that the 2d Battalion of the 1st Marines will perform some fireworks, for the safety of the listeners (actually sounds like a legitimate fire fight that was recorded "somewhere". Of all the services, I found it very interesting that he would mention a Marine Battalion.

Just played a song a little while ago, "There's a Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere", by Elton Britt, recorded in 1942. I wonder how many of your readers will remember this one! First time I heard it was on a wind-up RCA Victrola Record Player, in 1943; I was 12 that year; I also "joined up" 6 years later!

With all our faults and problems, this is still the greatest country on God's green earth!

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


Reunions

3d Battalion 11th Association

We are having our annual 3/11 reunion this year in Charleston, South Carolina September 23-27, 2015. Anyone who would like more information please follow the information below.

Our reunion is for:
All members from WWII to present that served with 3rd Battalion 11th Marines.

We also have a website page on Facebook under 3rd Bn 11th Marines Artillery. Type it in the search box and it will take you to it. Additionally, we are included in the website for all Marine Corps Artillery. We need pictures to make that site go. Sign in on your battery page and look who else has signed up.

Thank You,
Joseph Boyd
CPL of Marines


Marine Corps Mustang Association
30th Anniversary Reunion Muster

Location: Crowne Plaza Hotel-Jacksonville FL Airport

Dates: September 15th to September 18th, 2015

Contact: Joe Featherston (Jrhd[at]aol.com)

The association will unveil and dedicate a large bronze plaque at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, Triangle (Quantico) Virginia, July 22, 2015 at 1045. The public is welcome, space may be limited.


Taps

Larry Ward obituary

Another great Marine, Larry Ward, has been permanently transferred for new duty at the Gates of Heaven. I got to know Larry through my Civil War reenactment group. During events, we used to swap sea stories. Of course, being a career Marine, and former Drill Instructor, he had many more interesting stories than I did. From a past newsletter, I know some of the readers had the honor of becoming Marines under Larry as their SDI. It was an honor for me to have him as a friend.

The obituary is from the 07/08/15 edition of the Washington Post.

Ron Goodrich


Marines of E Co, 2/9, and A Co, 1/5 in 2015

4th July 1965, Remembrance

In remembrance of our fellow Marines who have proceeded us by higher orders, the Marines of Echo Company, Second Battalion, Ninth Marines, and Alpha Company, First Battalion, Fifth Marines calibrated our 50th anniversary of our landing at Da Nang, Vietnam, on 7 July 1965.

1stSgt Herb Brewer


Short Rounds

Ken Martin, I was at Courthouse Bay at the same time you were. Yes that is LtCol Robert Schueler presenting you with your NAM w/V. I arrived at 2nd ANGLICO April '69, Med Cruise in May, Jump School in October and then to GITMO until May '70. Left 2nd ANGLICO for NAM in July '70, returned to the World in July '71 and discharged. Served with Gunnery Sergeant Sam Dunn in Nam. Lost him in April 2010. Still miss him.

Ken VanHooser
Cpl
1968 - 1971


In 1969 my DD 214 said when my GC would commence... a couple years ago, I wrote to HDQ USMC and had my DD 214 changed to reflect that I could wear the Good Conduct Medal.

So whoever wrote that can get his.

So now I have 3, USMC '66-'69... VA Nat Guard '76-'79... US Army '80-'82.

Mark Gallant
Chu Lai '68


What a beautiful feel good story about a Marine Veteran.

Homeless Piano Player Gets A Fresh Start With A Makeover And Paying Job


After two - three months aboard the USS Princeton LPH-5, USS Alamo & the USS Pickaway as a BLT, 1stBn 5thMar went ashore at Chu Lai about 60 miles south of Danang off Hwy 1, in June of 1966 after Operations Jackstay in IV Corps & Operation Osage in I Corps. The Battalion then established Hill 54 Combat Base 10 Kilometers NW of Chu Lai Airfield where 1stMarDiv Hq were at this time. The Marines in this BLT only did a nine month tour as 1/5 spent 8 months at MCAS Kaneohe in the 1stMar Brigade barracks. At the time Hawaii was considered overseas duty, so 17 mos served.

Bill Allen Cpl
H/S Co. 1/5


Quotes

"Freedom is never given; it is won."
--A. Philip Randolph


"On evenings like this most of us will remember the tragedy of losing comrades Beautiful Marines... And we remember them, everyone, who gave their lives so our experiment called America, could live."
--Gen Jim "Mad Dog" Mattis


"What a glorious morning for America!"
--Samuel Adams, Upon hearing the gunfire at Lexington [April 19, 1775]


"Left, right, left, right...
Double time...
Left, right, left, right, left, right, left..."

"I love working for Uncle Sam, Let's me know just who I am!"

"1,2,3,4 United States Marine Corps...
1,2,3,4, I love the Marine Corps...
My Corps...
Your Corps...
Our Corps...
Marine Corps...
Hmmm Good...
Hmmm Good"

"I don't want no teenage queen, I just want my M-14!"

"If I die in a combat zone...
Box me up and ship me home...
Pin my medals upon my chest...
Tell my mom I've done my best"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 23 JUL 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 23 JUL 2015

In this issue:
• The Night I Believed I Was...
• Operation Silver Lance
• A Marine’s Marine and a crack DI

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As you can see I have many items I purchased from Sgt. Grit.

Semper Fi,
Pfc. R O Berg--1472xxx


The Night I Believed I Was Going To Die

Boot Camp MCRD San Diego – May 1966

While we were double timing on one of the base streets one afternoon. I was allowed to run beside the platoon and call out the songs because my voice was very loud and I could make up stuff as we ran.

At one point a rival platoon from the company street next to ours was seen in the distance running towards us. They had one of the largest Drill Instructors I had ever seen running beside them calling cadence. The night before was one of those rare times when it had rained slightly and there were some puddles in the middle of the street. I could not resist this opportunity. I waited until the exact moment the rival platoon and their DI was opposite ours and I did a “give me your left foot.”

Due to the perfect execution of this command a beautiful wall of water covered a significant number of the rival Marines including their DI. The DI stopped his platoon and my platoon and began to express his displeasure to me in a way that only a DI can do properly. I, of course, believed my insignificant life was about to end. I was ordered to double time around my own platoon when we started again. Our DI turned us onto a side street and stopped our platoon. At this point our DI and our platoon members congratulated me and I was immediately restored to my position of calling out the songs. It was a great moment. I still laugh about it but when I tell the story I still remember that I thought my life would truly end on a street at MCRD in May 1966

David B. Singleton


D-mn Fine Pilot

Regarding the submission by Robert Bliss on the enlisted pilot. In 1966 I was flying from Iwakuni MCAS to Danang on an old Korean war vintage plane, I think a C-54 but not sure. I was with MAG-15 at the time and was not real fond of flying back then and that old plane had me a little nervous. It was pouring rain also and that didn't help matters much. We took off and as we climbed the plane appeared to fill with smoke. Needless to say I was ready to open the hatch and jump without a parachute. There was a Lt. Col. with pilot's wings sitting near me and must have seen the look on my face and he said take it easy it is just condensation from the moist air forming from the pressure change as we gained altitude. About an hour later I noticed the pilot getting out of his seat in the cockpit and as he walked to the rear of the plane I noticed he was wearing Master Sergeant's chevrons. I asked the Lt. Col. about this and he said that this was the last enlisted pilot in the Corps and that during WWII and Korea that it was not unusual for enlisted to become pilots.

The Col. also said he was a d-mn fine pilot and had turned down a chance to become an officer to remain enlisted. Later I was allowed to go up to the cockpit and sit in the co-pilot's seat and and talk to the Master Sgt. He was a nice guy and and we spent about an hour talking about flying. He was very gracious about answering all my questions and put me at ease. It was kind of ironic that the plane was full of officer pilots being transferred to Vietnam and beingflown there by an enlisted pilot.

Cpl. Howard Nethery
'65-'68


Operation Silver Lance

We’re all getting older, memories fading, somewhat forgetful, and trying to share the best knowledge we can before the bugle sounds. I have always encouraged everyone to record their memoirs, if nothing else for their families. But on Operation Silver Lance and Steel Pike, Both Master Gunnery Sergeant Jim Mackin, and the Sergeant Major were technically correct.

Reinforcing our commitment to our allies of NATO, Operation Steel Pike was the largest peacetime amphibious landing exercise in the European theater since World War II, consisting of 84 ships and 28,000 Marines in November, 1964.

Operation Silver Lance was conceived by Lieutenant General Victor H. Krulak during the period of 19 February 1965 through 12 March 1965. The objective was to prepare the Marine Corps for its war in Vietnam. Silver Lance consisted of 70,000 Sailors and Marines, and 80 ships.

It was to be the largest operation ever held on the west coast with a contingency of 31,000 Marines. It was to include 6,000 Marines from the 1st Marine Brigade out of Hawaii, and would have been the first time the 4th Marine ever set foot on U. S. soil since the end of World War II. They never made it to the shores of Camp Pendleton: reducing the III Marine Expeditionary Corps to 28,000 Marines from Pendleton. A difference of four ships between the two operations.

In route to the Operation Silver Lance, the 4th Marines with its complementary forces, were ordered to Okinawa, and then to Vietnam to continue the buildup of American Forces in Vietnam. On 14 April 1965, the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines made an amphibious landing at Da Nang on Red Beach 2.

Fifty-five miles to the south, the 1st and 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines; supported by 3rd Recon Battalion; and 3rd Battalion, 12th Marines (Artillery) landed on 7 May 1965, to provide security for the construction of Chu Lai Airfield. On 12 May 1965, the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines landed to reinforce the security of the airfield. As predicted by General Krulak, twenty five days later Chu Lai Airfield became operational during the first week of July 1965.

Currently my information shows that the 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines TAOR was in and around the Da Nang area, and never participated in the Chu Lai Enclave region.

By the end of 8 July 1965, there were over thirty thousand Marines deployed to Vietnam. Including supporting arms, air wing groups, service support groups, and heavy equipment support. The war continued for ten years after the first landing in Vietnam.

References used were:
1. Victor H. Krulak, First to Fight, An Inside View of the U. S. Marine Corps.
2. The Marines In Vietnam 1954 – 1975, An Anthology and Annotated Bibliography.
3. GySgt V. Mroz, Editor: The 1st Word, 1st Marine Division (REIN) FMF; Vol. 1. No 1; 1st Marine Division in the field; 5 Feb 1965.

Semper Fi

Herb Brewer
1st Sgt USMC (RET)


April 9, 1962

Sgt Grit,

I was looking at the following chronology:

April 9, 1962 - The leading elements of Marine Task Unit 79.3.5, a helicopter task unit codenamed Shufly commanded by Col John F. Carey arrived at Soc Trang, Republic of Vietnam.

Significance: This was the first Marine squadron-sized unit together with a small security force to deploy to Vietnam as a result of the establishment of the U.S. Military Assistance Command on February 8, 1962. They were to provide helicopter support to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) in its campaign against Communist Vietnamese forces called Viet Cong (VC).

Next entry: March 8, 1965 - The 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) commanded by BGen Frederick J. Karch landed at Da Nang, Vietnam, consisting of two Marine battalions, one arriving by air and over the beach. The following day, the MEB assumed control of the Marine Task Unit 79.3.5 at Da Nang which became Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 16.

Soc Trang is in the Mekong delta.

Jim


Phony Operation

Grit,

Keep up the good work. As near as I can figure "Operation Silver Lance" was a phony operation to move the 1st Marine Brigade from Hawaii and the 7th Regiment from Camp Pendleton to Viet Nam. Short version, I was in 3/11 (we supported the 7th Marines). We were going aboard ship for an Operation with the Brigade. Loaded ship at Del Mar, at night. Big top secret move. Stopped in HI for a week liberty, next stop Okinawa. 1/7 with G/3/11 landed at Chu lai around 1 Aug (give or take a week).

Of course the cat got out of the bag when we got 3 days liberty in San Diego after we got aboard ship. Big investigation who let the "cat" out of the bag. We were told not to bring civilian clothes.

To All Thank You All for your Service it wasn't a job it was an adventure.

Semper Fi
Jim Leonard
SSgt USMC (Ret)


Invasion Of The Fiji Islands

It was interesting to hear stories of the service of those veterans who have either passed on or on death bed. I read a death notice several years ago of a man who the notice said was in on the "invasion of the Fiji Islands, and that he was one of 200,000 men." That's about 12 divisions. First of all, I doubt that we ever invaded the Fiji Islands or if any troops were stationed there in any great numbers, if at all. I calledthe person who wrote the column, and she said she just wrote what the family told her. I had always thought my step-father was a gunner on a tank in the Army's 6th Armored Division during WWII. When I saw his DD214, it said his MOS was clerk-typist. Now he may have been crossed trained, but now I'll never know for sure.

I think looking at a person's DD214 would give the family, funeral director, or newspaper a good idea of the veteran's service. We all embellish stories, and sometimes when they're repeated enough they become gospel. I have no qualms about telling people I am a Marine, but I was an office pogue, or as the grunts would say: office pinkie! I was proud to serve in the 3rd Marine Division, FMF, (in the field) on Okinawa.

The only action that we had was when the Dali Lama was exiled from Tibet. For a few short hours, they had us thinking we were going to board ship. That "crisis" ended briefly.

I'm glad the readers here are calling these pretenders on their exploits.

James V. Merl
1955...
1957-1960


Close It Up

I don't want a BAR, all I wants a candy bar.

Close it up ladies, close it up, make him smile

With a clip and two rounds, lock and load.

Are there any more at home like you?

Did your mother have any children that lived?

After standing at attention for three or four minutes, That's it ladies, mill around, scratch your a-s..

What are you smiling at, do you think I'm funny, I should be on TV? followed by thump, thump....

Standing guard inside a Dempsty Dumpster..

Day #2 Whoa, whoa, stop, stop, you're not even a mob, a mob has a leader, you're a herd.

A lot of memories, ninety percent of them good.

Christmas will be 29 December this year

Bill Mc Dermott
Platoon 347
Oct 3-Dec 28 1958
Parris Island


Attitude Is Everything Day 58

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

Here are a few of their comments:

Tony Russo Sr. - My sailor uncle, who was only two years older than me, use to say that the Marines were part of the Navy. My answer to him always was, "Yes, the fighting part!"

Joseph Gulli - Except for Doc. That is.

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


It Never Lets Me Down

I love this newsletter ! It never lets me down. I always read something that I can relate to and comment on. This week goes to Capt. Jinx. I here you loud and clear. Where are all of the cooks, clerk typist, supply guys etc. I remember a gunny sgt. I don't think I ever knew his name. When I was assigned to the Liberty Bridge ferry crossing on the Song Tu Bon he would cross the river a few times each day taking hot chow to the men at Phu Loc 6. He was in the process of setting up a mess at Phu Loc 6 in Mar 69' when he was killed when the hill was attacked.

I will never understand why some alpha hotels have to pretend to be something other than what they were.

I was 1371 Combat Engr. and doggone proud of it!

SEMPER FI!

Snakefighter


Enlisted 1919

To Sgt. Robert Bliss,

I, too, am a Marine veteran, having served during the 1950’s. My Uncle Millard T. Shepard was an enlisted pilot, having enlisted during 1919 and retired after 35 years of service in 1954. He served in Marine Aviation, and was one of the first pilots to receive his commission from the President of the United States. He also was awarded the Silver Star for his service during the Nicaraguan Campaign, and the Haitian Medal during the Haiti Campaign. He flew the Ford Tri-motor airplane, hauling the gearfor the pilots who made up the then-current Flying Team, and visited every chance he got. He went on to serve in the Korean war and was awarded the Legion of Merit. I am delighted to confirm that there were, indeed, Enlisted Pilots in the Marines. His picture can be seen in the camouflage album in USMC, the Complete Picture, put out by the Marine Corps Association, on page 256, second from the left. So don’t let anyone tell you that there weren’t enlisted pilots, FOR THERE WERE! My Uncle Millard died in 1982 and was buried in Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.

Semper Fi,
Autumn Day W706460


In Other Words

I retired in 1988 as a MSGT with 22 yrs of service, both active and reserve. I was the Regt Comm Chief of the 25th Marines, in Worcester, Ma.

Around June of 2008, I was on one of the Marine Corps web sites, when I noticed a request for retirees to come back on active duty to help out when the Corps was spread a little thin. I decided what the h-ll, and started to fill out the information. I completed the boxes about MOS, and Date of Rank, but the box asking for my Date of Birth didn't go back far enough, only to 1950! I clicked on that date and sent it off, keeping my fingers crossed.

About a week later, I received a package in the mail from HQ Marine Corps. Hot D-m I thought, I going back in! I opened it, and read "Dear MSGT Culliton, according to our records, you are 6 months away from your 60th birthday. At that time you will be eligible for your Reserve Retirement. Please sign where indicated, and return this form. Thank you for your service." In other words "don't call us, we'll call you!" A rude awakening!

I still have a seabag packed, and if they ever called, I'd go in a minute!

Semper Fi
Paul Culliton
MSGT USMC (ret)


Error Of Their Ways

In answer to Robert Bliss, Yes I remember several enlisted pilots in VMF 214 in Korea in 1950 and 1951. They were called “Flying Sergeants” Flying F4U Corsairs. One I remember very well was TSgt Monk Taylor, who I later ran into at Flight school in Pensacola, FL. The Marine Corps finally saw the error of their ways and commissioned him a Captain and gave him a job as a flight instructor.

The navy also had enlisted pilots during WWII and the Korean “police action”. A navy chief landed a R5D (four engines) at the half built field at Hagaru to evacuate wounded.

Semper Fi!
W. F. Mitchell


Sincerest Type Of Flattery

Dear SGT Grit!

I just read Captain Jinx’s “Isn’t Life Amusing” letter wherein he states in part, in reference to “Posers”, that he finds it humorous that 40 years ago we ‘Nam vets were considered 'persona non gratta' because we served in ‘Nam, however now, 40 years later, many of the same people who condemned us then, now want to claim that they were a part of us.

I totally agree! Life is definitely amusing!

At the risk of receiving a firestorm of vindictive, I would carry this a step further by admitting that when I read, or watch video tales of “posers”, it upsets me not at all.

Nope. Unlike so many, I don’t get violent. I don't get angry. I don't shout, foam at the mouth, or threaten, nor do I even get hot under the collar. Instead I feel complimented.

I say, “Emulate me as much as you want, I will just feel prouder and prouder."

Yup! You see, in point of fact, emulation IS the sincerest type of flattery.

Nope, and I’m not offended by anyone attempting to “steal” my valor. You see, I don’t believe that its possible for someone to steal my valor or anyone else’s for that matter.

Semper Fi,

Ron Mandell
Cpl of Marines 67-70
‘Nam 67-69
Retired Army Major


A Marine’s Marine and a crack DI

Sgt. Grit,

In reply to Joe Holt’s post regarding forbidden smiles, I recalled one time that I laughed in boot-camp in front of a DI and I paid the price. I went through Parris Island in the summer of 1981 with platoon 2063. It was one of the very first days of First Phase and Sgt. Mazenko was instructing us pukes on the proper way to make a rack. We were assembled school-circle in the rear of the squad-bay as he went through each piece of bedding. When he got to the cotton sack that covered the mattress and called it a fart-sack I broke into a face-wide grin, but I did reach up to cover my mouth. Apparently the ever so small snicker that slipped and the movement to cover my mouth was enough to alert Mazenko.

I was somewhere in the middle of the circle, but he was on me like stink on sh-t and went into one of his patented, profanity laced verbal assaults. I can’t recall it verbatim, but it was something to the effect of “Kunkel, you filthy-as-ed maggot, do I f-cking amuse you? Get on your f-cking face scumbag.” Of course I did push-ups and “bends and motherf-ckers” for what seemed like eternity, but the funny thing about Mazenko was that he actually had a hell of a sense of humor and showed it at times. Oh, he tried his best not to, but it slipped. He was in his early twenties and as such, not much older than many of us, but we did some things throughout our training that were so ridiculously stupid they were comical and he had to turn his head on many occasions so that we would not see him laugh and so that he could maintain his military bearing. He was a Marine’s Marine and a crack DI, but his weakness was that he was human and had a sense of humor and because we were so stupid at times I know he had to work hard to keep from cracking up at our stupidity. Although I never did crack a smile after that altercation, I did laugh internally and a lot of things that happened.

We had one recruit from our platoon who was from the West Indies. He worked hard to assimilate and did graduate on time with us, but there were times that he struggled. He was about 6’5” and as such stuck out from the rest of us, particularly since the DI’s had him march at the rear of the formation while most of us where organized in the squads from tallest to shortest. One day after PT, we got back from a run and they walked us under this water sprinkler contraption to help cool us down. It was on that rear lot with the dirt track over behind the Second Battalion chow-hall. Anyway, we all formed up in platoon formation afterwards, but our tall platoon mate was seen over in one of the squads of another platoon.

One of our recruits requested permission to speak to Mazenko. “Speak freak”, said Mazenko. Sir, Recruit “Jones” is over in Platoon 20XX, sir.” Mazenko looked over and started to get pissed and then turned around and said, “aaaww leave his a-s over there, let them deal with him for a while.” But once again we saw Mazenko sneak a smile as he turned around. Mazenko started to march us back to the barracks and we moved right passed the other platoon when “Jones” stole a glance our way and saw us. He was too scared to do anything so he just remained in ranks.

We “got him back” that night on free time but when he was returned to our deck Mazenko PT’d the sh-t out of him. Every time I think of this stuff today, and it’s been thirty-four years since, I still crack up laughing. I know there were more than a few things like that situation that made us laugh back then, but we were just too d-mn scared to even crack a smile especially after seeing what happened to dumb-as-es like me who did laugh, however, no matter what boot camp story I think about these days, it always brings a smile to my face. God Bless all my brother and sister Jarheads and all Marine families! Corpsman too!

PS. To all my sister Jarheads; is the term BAM still used? No offense, just asking!

Semper Fi
Mike Kunkel
Cpl 0331
Lima 3/8


Annual Retiree Appreciation Day!

Camp Lejeune
Retiree Information Seminar and Health Fair
September 26 2015
0900-1400
Marston Pavilion

Guest Speakers:

* MCIEast-MCB Command Representation

* Mrs. Rawls; Director of the Winston-Salem Compensation Division

* The Honorable Congressman Walter B. Jones

* CAPT. Freedman, CO Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune

Presentation of the “Whitey” Welbourne Award

Lunch will be served


Taps

We lost another Marine on July 12, 2015. James Warren Thomas was 90 years old at his time of death. He served as a private first class in the Marines during World War II, receiving a Purple Heart for injuries while serving in Iwo Jima.

Although Jim and I were 25 years apart we share our Marine combat experience together. He is now guarding the gates of heaven with his fellow Marines. Rest in Peace Marine.

Jon DeWitt
SGT 1966-1969


KNIGHT, Robert Leland – Of Grand Blanc, Michigan , age 85, died on Sunday, June 28, 2015 at his residence.

Bob served eleven years in the Marine Corps both regular and reserve, serving a one year tour of combat in Korea from 1950 - 1951.

Mr. Knight was a member of the Flint Detachment Marine Corps League since 1992. He served as the Detachment Commandant for two years and was active in the Honor Guard/Color Guard. He was still a member of a veteran group of Marines and FMF Corpsmen who served with Dog Company in Korea from 1950 - 1955. He was very active in the Genesee and Shiawassee County Young Marines. He was a member of BPOE.

He leaves behind his wife Barbara and son Bradley Paul Knight.

Bob was featured in James Brady’s book “Why Marines Fight” , Chapter 38 titled “A Machine Gunner They All Called Hollywood” . Bob was a terrific Marine and better person. He was also very involved with the Young Marines of Genesse and Shiawassee counties. Semper Fi Bob.

Bill Domby
USMC 67-71


Short Rounds

In answer to the post of Robert Bliss. Served our Marine Corps from Feb 62 through April 1970 and during that time I kept hearing of a MSgt that was supposed to be the last enlisted pilot in the Corps. I can't recall his name but he was still flying fixed wing prop planes during that time.

Semper fi
SSgt of Marines
Roger Everline
1963 DaNang - 1965 Marble Mountain, Dong Ha, Khe Sahn - 1969 Chu Lai


In ref to Robert Bliss story of 7/15 about enlisted pilots, in 1957 we had a warrant officer that flew the R4D assigned to H&MS 14 at Edenton NC. He had been an enlisted pilot during Korea. Just about all of them were gone by then'.

Bob Sullivan '56-59


Did any of you readers have SSgt. Matthew McKeon as a Drill Instructor? He was the Parris Island Drill Instructor who led the infamous night death march that killed six recruits. That incident supposedly changed some of the ways recruits were handled after mid 1956. Be interesting to know what kind of a DI he was.

James V. Merl
1955...
1957-1960


Ken Martin and Ken Van Hooser, I was at 2nd ANGLICO same time as you guys. Was Airborne and a Radio Tech. Saw your letter and brought back memories. Must admit I do not recognize either name but I drove a dark blue Chevelle chrome reverse wheels and jacked up, Remember a lot of muscle cars there and of course Swoopers Circle. Semper Fi.

Lawrence J. Wolf


In Book III of The Corps by W.E.B. Griffin, he writes a lot about flying sergeants and how they came to be. I have read all the books in this series, and the man knows about the Marine Corps.

Dale R. Rueber
Sgt. of Marines


I was a crew chief on a C-47 out of MCAS Beaufort during the 1960's. If my memory is correct I flew with a enlisted pilot. I can't remember his name and I think his rank was Master Gunnery Sergeant. Maybe some one can remember his name.

MSgt Bill Dugan USMC Retired
Semper Fi
God Bless America


In the 16th July newsletter, there was a question about enlisted pilots. I was station at Cherry Point from 1959-1962 and was in VMT-1, a retraining squadron. My Sgt.Major Ryner was one of our trainers who flew our jets and retrained the officers. He could fly circles around most of the officers.

Cpl E-4 G. King USMC


Quotes

"Because every Marine, if he was in a tough spot – whether a bar fight, or tonight in Helmand River Valley, our fellow Marines would get to us, or die trying."


"Entirely satisfied if we gave 100% And entirely dissatisfied if we gave 99% And those [noncommissioned officers] taught us the great pleasure of doing what others thought impossible."
--General James 'Maddog' Mattis


"In a society under the forms of which the stronger faction can readily unite and oppress the weaker, anarchy may as truly be said to reign as in a state of nature."
--James Madison, Federalist No. 51, 1788


"If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace."
--Thomas Paine, 1776


If ya got one draw one, if ya got two turn one in.

There I was, twenty feet in the air hanging by my jock strap and the Gunny passed the word "turn in all athletic gear".

Green side out, brown side out, run in circles scream and shout. (That won't mean much to the new guys!)

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 09 JUL 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 09 JUL 2015

In this issue:
• The Most Boot PFC
• MARS Call To My Mommy
• 2/9 Koh Tang Veteans

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Cpl Ken Martin receiving NAM with combat V

From the "wayback" files 1969. 2nd Anglico, Courthouse Bay. The memory is fading... I think that is Lt Col. Schuler (sp) presenting me with the Navy Achievment Medal with Combat V. After the photographer left and the door was closed the Lt. Col. advised me that on my way to the barber shop, I might want to stop and see the Corpsman about getting some regulation eyewear.

Why did I feel like I was the only one in the Company without jump wings? I did make 10 static line jumps at my Brothers jump school at Seneca Falls Airport in New York. But as the most boot PFC informed me "That Don't Count."

Honored to have served with that bunch.

Ken Martin
Corporal of Marines
1967 - 1970
RVN '68-'69


Choose Your USMC Era Veteran 11oz Mug


Sun Rising In Wrong Direction

Just to echo a bit on DDick's "Dead=Red", I was with the 1st Marine Brigade in Hawaii in March of '65, we pulled out of Pearl Harbor headed for an operation called Steel Pike off Camp Pendleton. Problem was, when we went out on deck the next morning, the sun was rising in the wrong direction. 17 days later we landed at White Beach, Okinawa. On arrival, the 1st Marine Brigade became part of our parent unit, the 3rd Marine Division and after about a six week work-up on Okinawa, we headed further south. I landed on the beach at Chu Lai with 2nd Battalion, Fourth Marines on 7 May 1965 and I am positive we were the first American Marines or Americans period on that beach. That afternoon, the Engineers and SeaBees started working on the SATS mat airfield and A-4's were operational off that strip within a month. Only light contact with the VC until Operation Starlight in August but any live captured Vietnamese was considered a VC suspect, if dead, they were confirmed VC.

SgtMaj, USMC (Ret)


MARS Call To My Mommy

Hey Grit,

I agree. 1st MARDIVHQ was on the hill, down the road from freedom hill in the Fall of 1969. I had been hurt at AN HOA earlier, medivaced to 1st Med in Danang and after some time at NAC (northern artillery contonement) was sent back to AN HOA with a no-duty chit to complete my recovery. While back at An Hoa, I sent some pics back home which included some deceased enemy. These pics could not be developed in-country so I sent them to my Uncle in the states. Or so I thought. I accidentally sent them to my mom. She immediately had them developed, and to her horror saw these pics along with pics of me after my injury. She surrounded our local congressman and raised plenty of h-ll that her little boy was hurt and still in a forward unit. Said congressman called HQ MC and as they say chit rolls down hill. Word finally got to my Lt. and he ordered me to catch the next chopper to Danang/1st MARDIV HQ with a chit in hand to make a MARS call to my mommy assuring her I was OK and to quit harrassing the Congressman.

Semper FI,
Deck, A.C. NCOAD (Not currently on active duty)
3rd 8inch Howitzer Battery (SP)
RVN 1969-1970
USMC 1968-1974


2/9 Koh Tang Veterans

I appreciated Herb Brewer's posting about the 2/9 Koh Tang Veterans. I've had the honor of meeting several members of the Koh Tang/Mayaguez Veterans Organization through my good friend, Al Bailey, and, in the future, I'm looking forward to meeting additional members. A great group of men-Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force. Much to my regret, I missed a chance to see some of them again at an informal get-together at Al's place this past month, due to tasks assigned by the boss (my wife), but hope to see Al in another week or so.

If any readers of the Sgt. Grit Newsletter are Koh Tang vets, but not members of the Organization, I would encourage you to join, and get back together with your brothers. I am not a combat veteran myself, but I have met enough people who are, and have seen how many suffer from PTSD (a lot of these guys do), and how important it is to support each other. There are several books out about Koh Tang, one of the most recent is titled "The 14 Hour War", and includes interviews with a number of those who were in the battle. Well worth purchasing and reading, although some of the interviews have been edited for several reasons. Al graciously emailed me a complete copy of his interview, which I printed and keep in my copy of the book.

Even though Koh Tang is considered the last action of the Viet Nam War, and the names of those who were lost are on The Wall, those who were involved were not awarded the Vietnam Service Medal or Vietnam Campaign Medal. I would be interested in comments from those who served in Vietnam on this. I know veterans from other branches who served in Thailand, never setting foot in Vietnam, but were awarded these medals. Under that criteria, the Koh Tang Vets would seem to qualify, in my view. I did not serve in Vietnam (by the time I got my WestPac orders, and arrived in Okinawa in April, '71, as the 1st MarDiv was being pulled out. I spent my first 6 months at Camp Schwab, where the 9th Marines were based, and developed a respect for that Regiment (I was with 7th Comm Bn), as well from meeting the Koh Tang Vets of E & G/2/9. Of course, I also highly respect all of the other Regiments and units too!

Ron Goodrich
1968-72


Marines Unisex Straw Cowboy Hat


Never Heard Of Korea

It was the morning of 25 June 1950 when I went across the street to Pettengill's store on Old Wharf Rd. in Dennisport, MA to get the Daily Record, the headline of which read, "North Korea Invades South Korea". Didn't mean too much, never heard of Korea, but the map inside was very interesting. We were staying at Eddy's Silver Camps on Cape Cod, Barbara Eddy was my classmate, and we had been promoted to seniors. I would finish my senior year in North Attleboro High School before enlisting in the Marines.

Sgt. Max Sarazin, 1194xxx
1951-1954


Sad Performance

I was in Platoon 124 when JFK came to MCRD San Diego in 1963. We were at the Pugil Stick Pits where he came to observe. I drew the largest recruit in our platoon to fight. Pvt. Garner knocked me around the pit just a few feet from JFK. It was a sad performance on my part. That is me in 1968 in Leatherneck Square.

Vernon R.

Vernon in 1968 at Leatherneck Square


Chesty

Sgt. Grit,

I do see most strongly, and through the years of your website/newsletters, that you have a tremendous respect/love for "Chesty". Sir, I can honestly say... he loved his Sergeants above all and most strongly felt that the Sergeants were the "Backbone of the Marine Corps". He openly stated many times, it is the Sergeants that make everything happen and perform to the mission. He was most critical of the Officer Staff if they didn't listen or follow the recommendations of their Sergeants. Sir, I could make you laugh on a few examples of a Sergeant telling "Chesty" of how his Officers weren't listening and oh h-ll, "Chesty" had all of them in and barking "orders".

Semper Fi,
Steve Robertson


Mines and More Mines

1970 - At morning quarters it was announced that due to the upcoming 4th of July, extra precautions should be taken. All personnel are to be vigilant, watching for anything not right. The USMC sweep team and security detail loaded aboard a weapons carrier, having decided to drive out over LTL-1D instead of walking to our work area on LTL-4. Immediately after leaving Freedom Bridge their vehicle hit a mine... blowing the 10 Marines aboard into the air. NMCB-62 Detail Buford and USMC personnel assisted in the MEDEVAC of seven of the U.S. Marines involved in the mining incident. Three were transferred by ambulance back to DaNang. The weapons carrier was a total loss.

When we started out to our work site the water tanker detonated a mine, which caused the MEDEVAC of two Seabees EOs Pike and Gillion. EO3 Gillion had severe burns over 50% of his body. Operations were halted and all NMCB-62 equipment and personnel were left lined up on LTL-1D. We were informed that a 3-Star General was flying in to assess the situation. Just as his chopper was to set down at the same approximate location as the NMCB-62 incident, a USMC jeep detonated a mine resulting in one Seabee, EO2 Nelson M. Hyler, and two Marines becoming KIAs.

ALL operations were ordered to be ceased, and personnel and equipment were directed back to the Hill.


Now That's Called Improvising

Regarding Joe Holt's smoking story... At ITR Camp Pendleton in the Summer of 1957, our platoon was sitting in bleachers getting a lecture on the use of explosives when the instructor stopped mid-sentence, stared at one Marine and asked him, "What are you smoking?" Turns out the Marine ran out of money and stripped a bunch of butts he had scrounged and rolled the tobacco in a laundry slip. Now that's called improvising!

1657xxx


Attitude Is Everything Day 52

Attitude Is Everything Quote of the Day 52

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

Here are a few of their comments:


Jason Chrzan - Mattis 2016!


Michael Jay Fulton Sr. - I love that man.


Bill Simons - Dear ISIS, read the above.


Doug Brassard - No better friend, no worse enemy.


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


Forbidden To Smile

You aren't supposed to laugh in boot camp.

It only takes a minute or two in boot camp to realize there's not much to laugh about, but even if there was, you are forbidden to smile, much less laugh. If a drill instructor saw any of us having too good of a time I can guarantee we'd all be on our faces doing push-ups till sundown.

Once I laughed. I couldn't help myself. The drill instructor, in this case our PMI (Primary Marksmanship Instructor) said something that I'm sure he thought was humorous. I wasn't the only guy who thought it was funny, but for some reason it really made me laugh out loud. A lot. Loudly. D-mn near hysterical. I'm pretty sure there was some psychological excuse for my lack of control, but that didn't mean sh-t to our drill instructor.

Imagine. Third week of boot camp. We're all at the rifle range sitting in some bleachers listening to some of the first instructions on how to become a proficient rifleman. Eighty of us or so. The PMI made it perfectly clear that the rifle range was the one place in boot camp where questions were welcomed. Marksmanship was our vocation and he wasn't gonna bust our chops over some chickensh-t things as if we were back at the recruit depot.

We were being given instructions on how to adjust our rifle slings for proper use at the range. Step by step he showed our "volunteer" how to do each step. One requirement was to have a sling looped tightly around our bicep. When the PMI said it needed to be tight one of our group held his hand up to ask a question. Simple as that. Simple question, yet a colorful answer.

"Sir, How tight should the sling be?" The PMI scanned our group for a second then replied, "How tight is a gnat's azs stretched across a rain barrel?" Instantly I drew an image in my brain of a very distressed gnat with a very distressed look on his face. Everyone smiled. I laughed. And laughed some more. Gigglin', hopping around on my bench seat and shaking the entire bleacher. I could not stop. Couldn't. Honest.

After a moment of my attending drill instructor givin' me the stink-eye he finally ordered me down from the bleachers, me still grinning, interrupting the class. On my face. Push-ups. Forever. I could pump out thirty or forty with little problem, but this was a matter of discipline as far as the drill instructor was concerned. I lost the smile after about twenty push-ups. I have no idea how many I did... or tried to do, but it wasn't long before I couldn't even keep my face out of the dirt, layin' there like a sweatin' slug.

Life went on. That was forty something years ago, but I have to tell you whenever I imagine how tight a gnat's azs is stretched across a rain barrel I still smile. Can't help myself.

Joe Holt


Windward Marine 4 Oct 1963

Windward Marine 4 Oct 1963 page 1

Windward Marine 4 Oct 1963 page 2

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

Norm Spilleth
1960 - 1964


Lost And Found

Sgt Grit,

I have a hard copy book of MCRD San Diego, 1st Battalion, Platoon 145 and 146 (June-August 1955). I have copied this entire book as JPEG's and will gladly share them with any former members of either platoon.

Art Kidd
Capt USMC Ret


My name is John Colburn, retired Gunnery Sgt, MOS-6042 (airframes), Retired October 1979 at ElToro MCAS. Moved to Seattle, WA and went to work for the Boeing Company.

On father's day my 2 son's and I were going thru the local BURLINGTON COAT FACTORY'S antique section and I found a cruise book from HMM-165, (WHITE KNIGHTS) the cruise was in 1976 aboard the USS TRIPOLI LPH-10, in 1976. Anyone interested in this book let me know at (jhcusmcret[at]juno.com), MCRD SAN DIEGO, PLT-178.

Also am looking for the former Commanding Officer of MCAS EL TORO who was COL HENRY R. VITALI and the SGT/MAJ HERMAN L. SMITH. He was the Sgt/Maj for MCAS YUMA in 1979. Thanks for all your help.

John Colburn
'59-'79
Semper Fi


Around 40 yrs ago I interred MCRD SD, It was Xmas eve of 1975. With a foggy mind, I'm pretty sure my Plt. no. was 1143 Sr DI was Staff Sgt. Paxton and his side kick DI Halib not sure how to spell that, But he was the mean one, I don't remember the 3rd one because he was always changing...

My name is Griffith I was prior service Army... When we Graduated I had PFC stripes and a Hash mark...

So if any of my Plt Brothers can verify the Plt. no. 1143 I would appreciate it...

And I sure would like to locate a Plt. Book.

Semper Fi and God Bless.


Short Rounds

My EAS date fell on a Sunday so I was released from active duty on a Friday "At the convenience of the Government", which happened to conclude my active service at two years, eleven months and twenty-nine days. Unblemished service record but missed the GC by one day, my blues look pretty empty with just the NDSM and Expert Rifleman Badge.


JFK's visit to MCRD/Kitty Hawk was 6 June 1963... not November. Google Kitty Hawk or the San Diego Union-Times (newspaper) archives.


Regarding your phonetic alphabet, sir, not in the Old Corps. Your newer NATO version wasn't in place when I served: Able, Baker, Charlie, Dog, Easy, Fox, George, How, Item, Jig, King, Love, Mike, Nan, Oboe, Peter, Queen, Roger, Sugar, Tare, Uncle, Victor, William, Xray, Yoke, and Zebra.

One, Two, Tree, Fower, Fiver, Six, Seven, Eight, Niner, Ten.

Sgt. Max Sarazin
1194xxx, 1951


Concerning photos of 1963 JFK visit to MCRD - This was taken June 6th 1963. The Marines standing tall are PVT Donald Beckwith right behind is my self PVT Robert Cooper. 1st day of boot camp. What an awakening we got.


Quotes

"Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood."
--John Adams


"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."
--Abraham Lincoln


"I have never been bewildered for long in any fight with our enemies – I was Armed with Insight."

"Images flash through my mind - and I speak from my heart: of an Eighth & 'I' parade in honor of John Glenn who remarked that night: He had been a Marine for 23 years... but not long enough. That was from a man fought in WWII & Korea and was the first American to orbit the earth, His wingman in Korea, baseball legend Ted Williams, put it well when asked which was the best team he ever played on. Without hesitation he said, 'The U.S. Marine Corps'."
--General James "Mad Dog" Mattis


"If it moves salute it - if it does not move - paint it!"

"KEEP YOUR INTERVAL!"

"Alright people, move it up. Make the man in front of you smile."

God Bless the American Dream.
Gung Ho!
Sgt Grit

©2015 Sgt Grit Inc
All rights reserved
7100 SW 44th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73179
888-NOV-1775
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Subscribe to this newsletter.

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 09 JUL 2015
If you are having trouble viewing this issue, see it on our website:
http://www.grunt.com/corps/newsletter/10691/

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 09 JUL 2015

In this issue:
• The Most Boot PFC
• MARS Call To My Mommy
• 2/9 Koh Tang Veteans

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

From the "wayback" files 1969. 2nd Anglico, Courthouse Bay. The memory is fading... I think that is Lt Col. Schuler (sp) presenting me with the Navy Achievment Medal with Combat V. After the photographer left and the door was closed the Lt. Col. advised me that on my way to the barber shop, I might want to stop and see the Corpsman about getting some regulation eyewear.

Why did I feel like I was the only one in the Company without jump wings? I did make 10 static line jumps at my Brothers jump school at Seneca Falls Airport in New York. But as the most boot PFC informed me "That Don't Count."

Honored to have served with that bunch.

Ken Martin
Corporal of Marines
1967 - 1970
RVN '68-'69


Sun Rising In Wrong Direction

Just to echo a bit on DDick's "Dead=Red", I was with the 1st Marine Brigade in Hawaii in March of '65, we pulled out of Pearl Harbor headed for an operation called Steel Pike off Camp Pendleton. Problem was, when we went out on deck the next morning, the sun was rising in the wrong direction. 17 days later we landed at White Beach, Okinawa. On arrival, the 1st Marine Brigade became part of our parent unit, the 3rd Marine Division and after about a six week work-up on Okinawa, we headed further south. I landed on the beach at Chu Lai with 2nd Battalion, Fourth Marines on 7 May 1965 and I am positive we were the first American Marines or Americans period on that beach. That afternoon, the Engineers and SeaBees started working on the SATS mat airfield and A-4's were operational off that strip within a month. Only light contact with the VC until Operation Starlight in August but any live captured Vietnamese was considered a VC suspect, if dead, they were confirmed VC.

SgtMaj, USMC (Ret)


MARS Call To My Mommy

Hey Grit,

I agree. 1st MARDIVHQ was on the hill, down the road from freedom hill in the Fall of 1969. I had been hurt at AN HOA earlier, medivaced to 1st Med in Danang and after some time at NAC (northern artillery contonement) was sent back to AN HOA with a no-duty chit to complete my recovery. While back at An Hoa, I sent some pics back home which included some deceased enemy. These pics could not be developed in-country so I sent them to my Uncle in the states. Or so I thought. I accidentally sent them to my mom. She immediately had them developed, and to her horror saw these pics along with pics of me after my injury. She surrounded our local congressman and raised plenty of h-ll that her little boy was hurt and still in a forward unit. Said congressman called HQ MC and as they say chit rolls down hill. Word finally got to my Lt. and he ordered me to catch the next chopper to Danang/1st MARDIV HQ with a chit in hand to make a MARS call to my mommy assuring her I was OK and to quit harrassing the Congressman.

Semper FI,
Deck, A.C. NCOAD (Not currently on active duty)
3rd 8inch Howitzer Battery (SP)
RVN 1969-1970
USMC 1968-1974


2/9 Koh Tang Veterans

I appreciated Herb Brewer's posting about the 2/9 Koh Tang Veterans. I've had the honor of meeting several members of the Koh Tang/Mayaguez Veterans Organization through my good friend, Al Bailey, and, in the future, I'm looking forward to meeting additional members. A great group of men-Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force. Much to my regret, I missed a chance to see some of them again at an informal get-together at Al's place this past month, due to tasks assigned by the boss (my wife), but hope to see Al in another week or so.

If any readers of the Sgt. Grit Newsletter are Koh Tang vets, but not members of the Organization, I would encourage you to join, and get back together with your brothers. I am not a combat veteran myself, but I have met enough people who are, and have seen how many suffer from PTSD (a lot of these guys do), and how important it is to support each other. There are several books out about Koh Tang, one of the most recent is titled "The 14 Hour War", and includes interviews with a number of those who were in the battle. Well worth purchasing and reading, although some of the interviews have been edited for several reasons. Al graciously emailed me a complete copy of his interview, which I printed and keep in my copy of the book.

Even though Koh Tang is considered the last action of the Viet Nam War, and the names of those who were lost are on The Wall, those who were involved were not awarded the Vietnam Service Medal or Vietnam Campaign Medal. I would be interested in comments from those who served in Vietnam on this. I know veterans from other branches who served in Thailand, never setting foot in Vietnam, but were awarded these medals. Under that criteria, the Koh Tang Vets would seem to qualify, in my view. I did not serve in Vietnam (by the time I got my WestPac orders, and arrived in Okinawa in April, '71, as the 1st MarDiv was being pulled out. I spent my first 6 months at Camp Schwab, where the 9th Marines were based, and developed a respect for that Regiment (I was with 7th Comm Bn), as well from meeting the Koh Tang Vets of E & G/2/9. Of course, I also highly respect all of the other Regiments and units too!

Ron Goodrich
1968-72


Never Heard Of Korea

It was the morning of 25 June 1950 when I went across the street to Pettengill's store on Old Wharf Rd. in Dennisport, MA to get the Daily Record, the headline of which read, "North Korea Invades South Korea". Didn't mean too much, never heard of Korea, but the map inside was very interesting. We were staying at Eddy's Silver Camps on Cape Cod, Barbara Eddy was my classmate, and we had been promoted to seniors. I would finish my senior year in North Attleboro High School before enlisting in the Marines.

Sgt. Max Sarazin, 1194xxx
1951-1954


Sad Performance

I was in Platoon 124 when JFK came to MCRD San Diego in 1963. We were at the Pugil Stick Pits where he came to observe. I drew the largest recruit in our platoon to fight. Pvt. Garner knocked me around the pit just a few feet from JFK. It was a sad performance on my part. That is me in 1968 in Leatherneck Square.

Vernon R.


Chesty

Sgt. Grit,

I do see most strongly, and through the years of your website/newsletters, that you have a tremendous respect/love for "Chesty". Sir, I can honestly say... he loved his Sergeants above all and most strongly felt that the Sergeants were the "Backbone of the Marine Corps". He openly stated many times, it is the Sergeants that make everything happen and perform to the mission. He was most critical of the Officer Staff if they didn't listen or follow the recommendations of their Sergeants. Sir, I could make you laugh on a few examples of a Sergeant telling "Chesty" of how his Officers weren't listening and oh h-ll, "Chesty" had all of them in and barking "orders".

Semper Fi,
Steve Robertson


Mines and More Mines

1970 - At morning quarters it was announced that due to the upcoming 4th of July, extra precautions should be taken. All personnel are to be vigilant, watching for anything not right. The USMC sweep team and security detail loaded aboard a weapons carrier, having decided to drive out over LTL-1D instead of walking to our work area on LTL-4. Immediately after leaving Freedom Bridge their vehicle hit a mine... blowing the 10 Marines aboard into the air. NMCB-62 Detail Buford and USMC personnel assisted in the MEDEVAC of seven of the U.S. Marines involved in the mining incident. Three were transferred by ambulance back to DaNang. The weapons carrier was a total loss.

When we started out to our work site the water tanker detonated a mine, which caused the MEDEVAC of two Seabees EOs Pike and Gillion. EO3 Gillion had severe burns over 50% of his body. Operations were halted and all NMCB-62 equipment and personnel were left lined up on LTL-1D. We were informed that a 3-Star General was flying in to assess the situation. Just as his chopper was to set down at the same approximate location as the NMCB-62 incident, a USMC jeep detonated a mine resulting in one Seabee, EO2 Nelson M. Hyler, and two Marines becoming KIAs.

ALL operations were ordered to be ceased, and personnel and equipment were directed back to the Hill.


Now That's Called Improvising

Regarding Joe Holt's smoking story... At ITR Camp Pendleton in the Summer of 1957, our platoon was sitting in bleachers getting a lecture on the use of explosives when the instructor stopped mid-sentence, stared at one Marine and asked him, "What are you smoking?" Turns out the Marine ran out of money and stripped a bunch of butts he had scrounged and rolled the tobacco in a laundry slip. Now that's called improvising!

1657xxx


Attitude Is Everything Day 52

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

Here are a few of their comments:


Jason Chrzan - Mattis 2016!


Michael Jay Fulton Sr. - I love that man.


Bill Simons - Dear ISIS, read the above.


Doug Brassard - No better friend, no worse enemy.


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


Forbidden To Smile

You aren't supposed to laugh in boot camp.

It only takes a minute or two in boot camp to realize there's not much to laugh about, but even if there was, you are forbidden to smile, much less laugh. If a drill instructor saw any of us having too good of a time I can guarantee we'd all be on our faces doing push-ups till sundown.

Once I laughed. I couldn't help myself. The drill instructor, in this case our PMI (Primary Marksmanship Instructor) said something that I'm sure he thought was humorous. I wasn't the only guy who thought it was funny, but for some reason it really made me laugh out loud. A lot. Loudly. D-mn near hysterical. I'm pretty sure there was some psychological excuse for my lack of control, but that didn't mean sh-t to our drill instructor.

Imagine. Third week of boot camp. We're all at the rifle range sitting in some bleachers listening to some of the first instructions on how to become a proficient rifleman. Eighty of us or so. The PMI made it perfectly clear that the rifle range was the one place in boot camp where questions were welcomed. Marksmanship was our vocation and he wasn't gonna bust our chops over some chickensh-t things as if we were back at the recruit depot.

We were being given instructions on how to adjust our rifle slings for proper use at the range. Step by step he showed our "volunteer" how to do each step. One requirement was to have a sling looped tightly around our bicep. When the PMI said it needed to be tight one of our group held his hand up to ask a question. Simple as that. Simple question, yet a colorful answer.

"Sir, How tight should the sling be?" The PMI scanned our group for a second then replied, "How tight is a gnat's azs stretched across a rain barrel?" Instantly I drew an image in my brain of a very distressed gnat with a very distressed look on his face. Everyone smiled. I laughed. And laughed some more. Gigglin', hopping around on my bench seat and shaking the entire bleacher. I could not stop. Couldn't. Honest.

After a moment of my attending drill instructor givin' me the stink-eye he finally ordered me down from the bleachers, me still grinning, interrupting the class. On my face. Push-ups. Forever. I could pump out thirty or forty with little problem, but this was a matter of discipline as far as the drill instructor was concerned. I lost the smile after about twenty push-ups. I have no idea how many I did... or tried to do, but it wasn't long before I couldn't even keep my face out of the dirt, layin' there like a sweatin' slug.

Life went on. That was forty something years ago, but I have to tell you whenever I imagine how tight a gnat's azs is stretched across a rain barrel I still smile. Can't help myself.

Joe Holt


Windward Marine 4 Oct 1963

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

Norm Spilleth
1960 - 1964


Lost And Found

Sgt Grit,

I have a hard copy book of MCRD San Diego, 1st Battalion, Platoon 145 and 146 (June-August 1955). I have copied this entire book as JPEG's and will gladly share them with any former members of either platoon.

Art Kidd
Capt USMC Ret


My name is John Colburn, retired Gunnery Sgt, MOS-6042 (airframes), Retired October 1979 at ElToro MCAS. Moved to Seattle, WA and went to work for the Boeing Company.

On father's day my 2 son's and I were going thru the local BURLINGTON COAT FACTORY'S antique section and I found a cruise book from HMM-165, (WHITE KNIGHTS) the cruise was in 1976 aboard the USS TRIPOLI LPH-10, in 1976. Anyone interested in this book let me know at (jhcusmcret[at]juno.com), MCRD SAN DIEGO, PLT-178.

Also am looking for the former Commanding Officer of MCAS EL TORO who was COL HENRY R. VITALI and the SGT/MAJ HERMAN L. SMITH. He was the Sgt/Maj for MCAS YUMA in 1979. Thanks for all your help.

John Colburn
'59-'79
Semper Fi


Around 40 yrs ago I interred MCRD SD, It was Xmas eve of 1975. With a foggy mind, I'm pretty sure my Plt. no. was 1143 Sr DI was Staff Sgt. Paxton and his side kick DI Halib not sure how to spell that, But he was the mean one, I don't remember the 3rd one because he was always changing...

My name is Griffith I was prior service Army... When we Graduated I had PFC stripes and a Hash mark...

So if any of my Plt Brothers can verify the Plt. no. 1143 I would appreciate it...

And I sure would like to locate a Plt. Book.

Semper Fi and God Bless.


Short Rounds

My EAS date fell on a Sunday so I was released from active duty on a Friday "At the convenience of the Government", which happened to conclude my active service at two years, eleven months and twenty-nine days. Unblemished service record but missed the GC by one day, my blues look pretty empty with just the NDSM and Expert Rifleman Badge.


JFK's visit to MCRD/Kitty Hawk was 6 June 1963... not November. Google Kitty Hawk or the San Diego Union-Times (newspaper) archives.


Regarding your phonetic alphabet, sir, not in the Old Corps. Your newer NATO version wasn't in place when I served: Able, Baker, Charlie, Dog, Easy, Fox, George, How, Item, Jig, King, Love, Mike, Nan, Oboe, Peter, Queen, Roger, Sugar, Tare, Uncle, Victor, William, Xray, Yoke, and Zebra.

One, Two, Tree, Fower, Fiver, Six, Seven, Eight, Niner, Ten.

Sgt. Max Sarazin
1194xxx, 1951


Concerning photos of 1963 JFK visit to MCRD - This was taken June 6th 1963. The Marines standing tall are PVT Donald Beckwith right behind is my self PVT Robert Cooper. 1st day of boot camp. What an awakening we got.


Quotes

"Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood."
--John Adams


"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."
--Abraham Lincoln


"I have never been bewildered for long in any fight with our enemies – I was Armed with Insight."

"Images flash through my mind - and I speak from my heart: of an Eighth & 'I' parade in honor of John Glenn who remarked that night: He had been a Marine for 23 years... but not long enough. That was from a man fought in WWII & Korea and was the first American to orbit the earth, His wingman in Korea, baseball legend Ted Williams, put it well when asked which was the best team he ever played on. Without hesitation he said, 'The U.S. Marine Corps'."
--General James "Mad Dog" Mattis


"If it moves salute it - if it does not move - paint it!"

"KEEP YOUR INTERVAL!"

"Alright people, move it up. Make the man in front of you smile."

God Bless the American Dream.
Gung Ho!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 02 JUL 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 02 JUL 2015

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

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

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

Semper Fi,
Sgt Grit & Staff


Chesty Puller

LtGen Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller

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

Happy Birthday CHESTY, Wherever You Are!

Steve Robertson

Happy Birthday Chesty


60th Reunion On Board PI

Al sharing a moment with MCRD PI mascot

1955 Marines taking a photo with MCRD PI CG and SgtMaj

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

Semper Fidelis,
Al Pasquale


1948 Began My Transformation

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

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


Tough Old Marine Cover/Hat


This Helmet And A Picture

Helmet worn by Hanoi Jane

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

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

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


Sgt Grit Exclusive USMC 240th Birthday T-shirt Special


Trained Killers Don't Smile

First time grabbed by the stacking swivel.

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

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

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

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

LCpl Stone
Plt 305, PISC 1965


Father's Day Gift

LCpl Hildalgo in his new USMC polo

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

Semper Fi, that is all!

LCpl Hidalgo, David P.

Get this moto performance polo at:

USMC Under Armour Coldblack Performance Embossed Polo

USMC Under Armour Coldblack
Performance Embossed Polo


Salute Anybody That Moved

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

R.L. Duke
1962/66


1963 JFK Visit to MCRD

JFK's arrival to MCRD San Diego in 1963

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


I've Got Smokes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joe Holt
India 3/5, 1966


My Ginny And Being In The Corps

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

Bill McManigal


Quite A Few Azzholes

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

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

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

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

DDick


Don't Ask

Sgt Grit,

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

Mike


Requested Permission To Speak

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

Semper Fidelis,
DB Wright
'59-'74 GySgt


Attitude Is Everything Day 48

Attitude Is Everything Quote of the Day 48

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

Here are a few of their comments:


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


Dan Garrett - Semper Fi Colonel North! Ooh Rah!


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


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


5th of Feb 1968

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

Dutch Van Fleet
US Marine


EXCITEMENT! Shot At And Missed

Excitement, shot at and missed book cover

Sgt. Grit,

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

"This is one of the best military books I've read! It brought back memories of my time in the Marines. Everyone, whether a Marine or not, will enjoy this riveting, first-hand account of the F-2-5 Marines in Korea. The chapters concerning boot camp, both poignant and funny, brought back many memories of my time at MCRD. This is the real deal!"

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

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

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

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

Semper Fi
Bob Lonn


Windward Marine 26 July 1963

Windward Marine 26 July 1963 page 1

Windward Marine 26 July 1963 page 2

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

Norm Spilleth
1960 - 1964


Always Momentary Silence

Marine Ron Balske in Blues

Karen Balske wearing memorial shirt for Ron

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

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

Karen Balske


Lost And Found

Dear Sgt. Grit,

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

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

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


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

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


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

Contact me at rlmyers5[at]comcast.net.

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


Short Rounds

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

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

Once a jarhead...always a jarhead.

MSG. Bob Krieger USA ret.


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


Sgt Grit,

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

Semper Fi,
Larry


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

Stone LCpl, one each
Plt 305 Jan-Mar 1965


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

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

Tanx for the memory.

Snakefighter


"Good Conduct Medal"

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

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

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

Semper Fi


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

Norm Spilleth
Bachelor Corporal
1960-1964


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

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

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

Snakefighter


Quotes

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


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


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


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

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

"Big green Weenie!"

"A warrior of the Jarhead tribe."

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

Fair winds and following seas.
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 02 JUL 2015
If you are having trouble viewing this issue, see it on our website:
http://www.grunt.com/corps/newsletter/10682/

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 02 JUL 2015

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

Online Store TShirts Men's Headgear Patches Women's

Flags   Family Member   Ka-Bars   Auto   Headgear  Jackets  ALL CATEGORIES  

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Facebook Twitter Sgt Grit Blog Sgt Grit's RSS Feeds

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

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

Semper Fi,
Sgt Grit & Staff


Chesty Puller

LtGen Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller

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

Happy Birthday CHESTY, Wherever You Are!

Steve Robertson


60th Reunion On Board PI

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

Semper Fidelis,
Al Pasquale


1948 Began My Transformation

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

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


This Helmet And A Picture

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

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

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


Trained Killers Don't Smile

First time grabbed by the stacking swivel.

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

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

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

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

LCpl Stone
Plt 305, PISC 1965


Father's Day Gift

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

Semper Fi, that is all!

LCpl Hidalgo, David P.

Get this moto performance polo at:

USMC Under Armour Coldblack
Performance Embossed Polo


Salute Anybody That Moved

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

R.L. Duke
1962/66


1963 JFK Visit to MCRD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


I've Got Smokes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joe Holt
India 3/5, 1966


My Ginny And Being In The Corps

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

Bill McManigal


Quite A Few Azzholes

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

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

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

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

DDick


Don't Ask

Sgt Grit,

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

Mike


Requested Permission To Speak

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

Semper Fidelis,
DB Wright
'59-'74 GySgt


Attitude Is Everything Day 48

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

Here are a few of their comments:


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


Dan Garrett - Semper Fi Colonel North! Ooh Rah!


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


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


5th of Feb 1968

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

Dutch Van Fleet
US Marine


EXCITEMENT! Shot At And Missed

Sgt. Grit,

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

"This is one of the best military books I've read! It brought back memories of my time in the Marines. Everyone, whether a Marine or not, will enjoy this riveting, first-hand account of the F-2-5 Marines in Korea. The chapters concerning boot camp, both poignant and funny, brought back many memories of my time at MCRD. This is the real deal!"

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

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

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

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

Semper Fi
Bob Lonn


Windward Marine 26 July 1963

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

Norm Spilleth
1960 - 1964


Always Momentary Silence

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

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

Karen Balske


Lost And Found

Dear Sgt. Grit,

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

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

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


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

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


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

Contact me at rlmyers5[at]comcast.net.

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


Short Rounds

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

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

Once a jarhead...always a jarhead.

MSG. Bob Krieger USA ret.


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


Sgt Grit,

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

Semper Fi,
Larry


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

Stone LCpl, one each
Plt 305 Jan-Mar 1965


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

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

Tanx for the memory.

Snakefighter


"Good Conduct Medal"

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

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

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

Semper Fi


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

Norm Spilleth
Bachelor Corporal
1960-1964


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

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

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

Snakefighter


Quotes

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


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


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


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

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

"Big green Weenie!"

"A warrior of the Jarhead tribe."

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

Fair winds and following seas.
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

©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.

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 25 JUN 2015
If you are having trouble viewing this issue, see it on our website:
http://www.grunt.com/corps/newsletter/10666/

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 25 JUN 2015

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

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

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

Pam S. Weiler


Good Conduct Medal From 1958

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

Tom Schwarz
USMC 1497XXX
1955-1959


My New USMC Shirt

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

Semper Fidelis!

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

Get this moto performance t-shirt at:

U.S. Marines Under Armour Performance T-shirt


My Memories of Boot Camp

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

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


The Expression On His Face

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

Semper Fi,
Keith Kowalski

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

Dress Blues Baby 2 Piece Set


That's Me In 1969

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

Michael Giles


I Learned A Lot

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

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

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

Semper Fi 'til I die!

Wears, M.S.
USMC 1965 to 1969


A Rare Flicker Of A Smile

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

Sgt Hodder, USMC


A Note From Your Mommy

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

Ron Hawkins
Former Gysgt. of Marines


Good To Go For One More Day

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

Thanks,
Jerry Nealey


Fell Over Laughing

Sgt. Grit,

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

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


Proud Of Being A Marine

Ma Grit,

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

Semper Fi,
Tim Rudd


The Griper

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

George Iliffe
MGYSGT (Ret)


Between Meal Sustenance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DDick


A Great Man

Grit,

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

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

Semper Fidelis,
Reddog '45-'57


Windward Marine 29 June 1962

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

Norm Spilleth
1960 - 1964


Attitude Is Everything Day 41

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

Here are a few of their comments:


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


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


Gil Woodside - My boyhood hero!


Dan R Martinez Sr. - Marines are forever!


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


Platoon 1066, 1969

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

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

Semper Fi!

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


Vietnam War Trivia - The Origin of Chu Lai

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

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

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

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


West... Chu Lai

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

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

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

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

DDick


Sgt. Grit,

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

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

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


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

MSgt Bill Dugan
USMC Retired


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

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

Jim Mackin
MGySgt USMC (Ret)
1964 - 1987


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

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

Bill Wilson
Semper Fi 'til I die!


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

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

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


The Guy Was Crazy

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

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

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

J L Stelling


Lost And Found

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

Frank Fellman
1967XXX
SSgt USMC
20Sep61 to 04Jan68


Short Rounds

To Gunny Rousseau,

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

Semper Fidelis,
Gary Harlan


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

Joe Mowry
Cpl-E4


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

Read: Lance Corporal Montague.

Mary Dassau SFC (ret)


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

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


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

Randal Hodder


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

Sgt LW Dornan 1965-1968


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

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


So sorry... God bless Gunny Kyle.

Jenetha
Proud Mom of 3 Marines


Hello Sgt. Grit,

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


Quotes

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


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


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


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


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


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


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

"The Crotch."

"Welcome to the Suck."

Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 25 JUN 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 25 JUN 2015

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

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

Pam S. Weiler

Marines gathered at Barb's Grit-Together


Good Conduct Medal From 1958

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

Tom Schwarz
USMC 1497XXX
1955-1959

Tom's Good Conduct Medal from 1958


Sgt Grit Exclusive USMC 240th Birthday T-shirt Special


My New USMC Shirt

Tim in his new Marine t-shirt

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

Semper Fidelis!

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

Get this moto performance t-shirt at:

U.S. Marines Under Armour Performance T-shirt

U.S. Marines Under Armour Performance T-shirt


My Memories of Boot Camp

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

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


1st Battalion 4th Marines Unit Gear


The Expression On His Face

George in infant dress blues

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

Semper Fi,
Keith Kowalski

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

Dress Blues Baby 2 Piece Set

Dress Blues Baby 2 Piece Set


That's Me In 1969

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

Michael Giles

Sgt Giles in 1969


I Learned A Lot

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

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

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

Semper Fi 'til I die!

Wears, M.S.
USMC 1965 to 1969


A Rare Flicker Of A Smile

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

Sgt Hodder, USMC


A Note From Your Mommy

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

Ron Hawkins
Former Gysgt. of Marines


Good To Go For One More Day

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

Thanks,
Jerry Nealey

Jerry Nealey's memory box


Fell Over Laughing

Sgt. Grit,

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

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


Proud Of Being A Marine

Ma Grit,

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

Semper Fi,
Tim Rudd


The Griper

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

George Iliffe
MGYSGT (Ret)


Between Meal Sustenance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DDick


A Great Man

Grit,

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

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

Semper Fidelis,
Reddog '45-'57


Windward Marine 29 June 1962

Windward Marine 22 June 1962 page 1

Windward Marine 22 June 1962 page 2

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

Norm Spilleth
1960 - 1964


Attitude Is Everything Day 41

Attitude Is Everything Quote of the Day 41

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

Here are a few of their comments:


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


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


Gil Woodside - My boyhood hero!


Dan R Martinez Sr. - Marines are forever!


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


Platoon 1066, 1969

Platoon 1066 reunion 2015 picture with Drill Instructors

Platoon 1066 reunion 2015 marching in formation

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

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

Semper Fi!

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


Vietnam War Trivia - The Origin of Chu Lai

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

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

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

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


West... Chu Lai

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

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

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

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

DDick


Sgt. Grit,

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

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

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


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

MSgt Bill Dugan
USMC Retired


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

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

Jim Mackin
MGySgt USMC (Ret)
1964 - 1987


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

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

Bill Wilson
Semper Fi 'til I die!


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

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

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


The Guy Was Crazy

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

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

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

J L Stelling


Lost And Found

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

Frank Fellman
1967XXX
SSgt USMC
20Sep61 to 04Jan68


Short Rounds

To Gunny Rousseau,

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

Semper Fidelis,
Gary Harlan


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

Joe Mowry
Cpl-E4


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

Read: Lance Corporal Montague.

Mary Dassau SFC (ret)


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

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


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

Randal Hodder


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

Sgt LW Dornan 1965-1968


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

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


So sorry... God bless Gunny Kyle.

Jenetha
Proud Mom of 3 Marines


Hello Sgt. Grit,

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


Quotes

Col Jessup Quote

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


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


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


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


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


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


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

"The Crotch."

"Welcome to the Suck."

Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 18 JUN 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 18 JUN 2015

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

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GySgt Kyle receiving a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal

Retired Gunnery Sergeant Kyle on a bridge

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

Prayers for his wife Jodie.

Kristy Fomin
Sgt Grit C.O.O.


March Into The Fence

Before and After picture of Tony Mastriani

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

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

Tony Mastriani
2326XXX
Semper Fidelis


1963 JFK Visit To MCRD San Diego

President JFK viewing recruits at MCRD SD 1963

President JFK observing a pugil stick bout at MCRD SD 1963

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

Semper Fi!

PS: Love your store & products!

Respectfully,
Lee VanTreese


Dirty, Green Humanoids

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

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

Cpl. Norm Spilleth
1960 to 1964


Marines Location Served in Korea Cover/Hat


Monopoly Money

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

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

George Iliffe
MGYSGT (Ret)


3rd Tank Battalion Unit Gear


My Memories Of Boot Camp

Sgt Grit,

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

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

Age 74 and still a Marine!

Jim Brower - 1977XXX


Due West Into The Sun

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

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

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


Pliable Enough To Do The Job

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

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

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


Felt No Pity

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

Don Wackerly
Sgt '53-'56


Good Conduct Medal With A Bar

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

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

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

Barry D. Farris


Take Us To Inchon

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

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

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

GySgt. Paul Santiago
1946-1968


Fifty Years Ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Semper Fi
Herb Brewer


Staff Ranked Marine... Follow-up

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

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

No Foggy memories here.

Sgt. Wayne Sanders
Marine through and through.


NAME

My response:

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

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

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

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

Let me know.

Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit


His response:

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

Semper Fi


Replacing Purple Heart Citation

Sgt Grit,

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

Mr. Dillon,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wayne Dillon
SgtMaj USMC (Ret.)
1975-2003


Attitude Is Everything Day 37

Attitude Is Everything Quote of the Day 37

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

Here are a few of their comments:


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


WWII Peleliu Marines

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

(Colorized by Paul Reynolds)

1944 WWII Marines in Peleliu


The Old Corps

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

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

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

Semper Fi!

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


PHIBPAC Swabbies

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

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

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

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

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


Sgt John Basilone Foundation

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

Sgt John Basilone Foundation | Wounded Veteran | Wounded Warrior Project

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

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


Windward Marine 22 June 1962

1962 Windward Marine page 1

1962 Windward Marine page 2

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

Norm Spilleth
1960 - 1964


Never Been That Scared

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

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


Sgt Grit Reunites Young Love

Rusty's love from 1966

Santa Fe Train from 1966

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

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

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

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

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

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


But The Smells

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

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

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau


Forlorn Hope

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

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

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

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

DDick


Short Rounds

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

John Ratomski


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

Pete Dahlstrom '68-'74


Quotes

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


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


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


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


"No guts no glory, ooh rah!"

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

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

Gung Ho!
Sgt Grit

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

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

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

Prayers for his wife Jodie.

Kristy Fomin
Sgt Grit C.O.O.


March Into The Fence

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

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

Tony Mastriani
2326XXX
Semper Fidelis


1963 JFK Visit To MCRD San Diego

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

Semper Fi!

PS: Love your store & products!

Respectfully,
Lee VanTreese


Dirty, Green Humanoids

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

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

Cpl. Norm Spilleth
1960 to 1964


Monopoly Money

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

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

George Iliffe
MGYSGT (Ret)


My Memories Of Boot Camp

Sgt Grit,

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

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

Age 74 and still a Marine!

Jim Brower - 1977XXX


Due West Into The Sun

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

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

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


Pliable Enough To Do The Job

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

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

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


Felt No Pity

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

Don Wackerly
Sgt '53-'56


Good Conduct Medal With A Bar

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

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

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

Barry D. Farris


Take Us To Inchon

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

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

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

GySgt. Paul Santiago
1946-1968


Fifty Years Ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Semper Fi
Herb Brewer


Staff Ranked Marine... Follow-up

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

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

No Foggy memories here.

Sgt. Wayne Sanders
Marine through and through.


My response:

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

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

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

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

Let me know.

Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit


His response:

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

Semper Fi


Replacing Purple Heart Citation

Sgt Grit,

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

Mr. Dillon,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wayne Dillon
SgtMaj USMC (Ret.)
1975-2003


Attitude Is Everything Day 37

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

Here are a few of their comments:


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


WWII Peleliu Marines

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

(Colorized by Paul Reynolds)


The Old Corps

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

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

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

Semper Fi!

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


PHIBPAC Swabbies

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

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

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

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

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


Sgt John Basilone Foundation

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

Sgt John Basilone Foundation | Wounded Veteran | Wounded Warrior Project

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

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


Windward Marine 22 June 1962

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

Norm Spilleth
1960 - 1964


Never Been That Scared

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

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


Sgt Grit Reunites Young Love

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

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

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

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

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

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


But The Smells

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

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

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau


Forlorn Hope

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

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

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

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

DDick


Short Rounds

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

John Ratomski


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

Pete Dahlstrom '68-'74


Quotes

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


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


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


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


"No guts no glory, ooh rah!"

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

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

Gung Ho!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 11 JUN 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 11 JUN 2015

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

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Sgt Grit,

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

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

Julian Etheridge

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


Reading His Favorite Catalog

Korean War Vet MSgt Burris reading his Sgt Grit Catalog

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


Korean Service Commemorative T-shirt


Late Arrival At MCRDSD

Head at MCRD San Diego 1960s

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

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

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

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

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


Don't Thank Me

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

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


50 Years To The Day

Cpl Martell's picture with 1st RTBn DIs 2015

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

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

Semper Fi
Dick Martell
Cpl 2141xxx


Property of MCRD 11oz Mug


Windward Marine 15 June 1962

Windward Marines 15 June 2015 page 1

Windward Marines 15 June 2015 page 2

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

Norm Spilleth
1960 - 1964


Colorized Marine Corps History

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

Colorized by Royston Leonard-UK (Royston Colour)

Marine aiming M1 Garand during WWII colorized


I Learned Something That Day

Sgt. Grit,

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

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

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

"Where's your cover?"

"Lost it!"

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

I learned something that day!

Semper Fi,
R Anderson 2414XXX


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

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

Marine Corps Golf Shirts

Marine Corps Unit Gear

USMC Engraveable Coins


India 3/9

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

Semper Fi!
SSgt Bob Tollison


Had To Go To Sick Bay

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

Tom Balash
Corporal of Marines
1961 - 1964


Dog Tags Returned

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

GySgt Paul Reyes
(Ret)

GySgt Reyes returning Marine's dog tags to his daughter


Post Traumatic Growth

Destroying the PTSD Victim Myth
By William Treseder
Military 1 Advisor

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

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

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

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


Attitude Is Everything Day 34

Attitude Is Everything Quote of the Day 34

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

Here are a few of their comments:


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


Ron Jaworski - Couldn't say it better.


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


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


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


But No One Relieved Me

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Fog Of Time

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

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

Jim Mackin
MGySgt - USMC (Ret)
1964 - 1987


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

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


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

Semper Fi,
Gene


Marine Corps Pride

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

Old sportscar with custom cheetah paint job and USMC sticker


Ask Any Corpsman

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

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

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


Where The Money Went

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

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


Calling For Sgt York

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

That ship was old and rocked like a babies craddle!

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

Robert P. Mc Leod
Sgt Maj USMC (Ret)


So Both Of Us Will Remember

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

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

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

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

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

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

G


Lost And Found

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

Chick Harmon
Cpl 1965-1969

Plt 342 MCRD PI 1965


Reunions

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

2015 PI Reunion with Bluffton, SC Police Department

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

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

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

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


NOW HEAR THIS!

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

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


Short Rounds

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


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

S/Sgt. M.L.Gregor, USMC


Quotes

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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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


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


"Carry On, Marine!"

"Stay Motivated Marine!"

"Semper Fi - Do or die!"

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

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

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

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Sgt Grit,

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

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

Julian Etheridge

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


Reading His Favorite Catalog

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


Late Arrival At MCRDSD

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

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

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

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

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


Don't Thank Me

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

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


50 Years To The Day

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

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

Semper Fi
Dick Martell
Cpl 2141xxx


Windward Marine 15 June 1962

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

Norm Spilleth
1960 - 1964


I Learned Something That Day

Sgt. Grit,

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

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

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

"Where's your cover?"

"Lost it!"

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

I learned something that day!

Semper Fi,
R Anderson 2414XXX


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

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

Marine Corps Golf Shirts

Marine Corps Unit Gear

USMC Engraveable Coins


India 3/9

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

Semper Fi!
SSgt Bob Tollison


Had To Go To Sick Bay

I had a similar experience at P.I. to the six D.I.'s. Arrived at Parris Island in February, 1961, and went to Third Battalion, Platoon 311. I don't remember my DI's names. On the morning of the 15 day test, I was very sick, and had to go to sick bay. I was admitted, and stayed for five days. I was set back, (sh-t canned) and went to the rifle range to a platoon fresh out of forming. It was Plt. 113, C Co., 1st RTBn. My DI's were: SSgt. W. Grabenbauer, SSgt. W. Noland, Gy.Sgt. Caskey (Old Corps G