Sgt Grit Newsletter - 22 JAN 2015

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7 year old grandson in desert digital cammies

This is my 7-yr-old grandson. I bought him a set of digital camo. He looks good in the uniform... he looks and acts like a Marine. I didn't tell him to stand that way for the picture. That a typical Marine Corps stance. He also has a set of dress blues.

Stephen P. Marson

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Never Met, Know Him

Robert Clark is a person I've never met, but I know him well. He was the Marine who had my back on those miserably long nights, cold with fear and anticipation, praying for one more sunrise, one more day closer to going home alive. His story, "The High Ground", in the 15 Jan. 2015 Newsletter, was a poignant read for me and, I'm sure, many Vietnam Veterans. I was so moved by how his words spoke directly to my experience, both then (last night) and now (last night), that I printed out his story to read again, and to share with others. My hope is to have my psychologist read it, giving her a better understanding of the emotional turmoil that faces every combat veteran. I hope Mr. Clark does not mind his inspirational words being used to facilitate my efforts to confront the demons of "just last night".

Thank you!

David B. McClellan, USMC, RVN '69-'70.


"The High Ground" by Robert Clark is probably the most compelling piece of writing about what combat does to the young men who experience it that I have ever read. Mr. Clark, you have found a way to put into words, things and emotions that have never before been able to be interpreted. I and thousands of others are humbled by your expertise.

Robert Mulroy
Msgt 1265xxx
Oct '52 - Sep '75​


VIP Cartoons

Gordon Flash newsletter aboard USS Gordon in 1950s

Cartoon in the Gordon Flash Newsletter in 1950s

Sgt. Grit,

This maybe a bit much for your newsletter, but returning from Korea on the USS Gordon someone put together a newsletter full of all the tripe usually allowed in a service paper. This ship was at sea so maybe the Publisher was given his lead and these VIP Cartoons were allowed to be printed, the rest oif the newspaper was news of the day which at the time was mostly about Russia. Even had a Marine that had escaped Russia and joined the Marine Corps serving in Korea.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Proud Grandpa

Ella wearing USMC sweatshirt from Sgt Grit's with pink tutu

Ella wearing USMC t-shirt from Sgt Grit's

Here are some photos of my Granddaughter Ella, maybe you know the sweatshirt and the LBD... it cracks me up; a USMC sweatshirt & a pink tutu. The LBD... she is all girl.

Semper Fi, from the land of the great white north... today was 3 degrees and we have very little snow. Tonight... -15 degrees.

Pete Berg

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Marines Under Armour Hi-Vis Hoodie


Okinawan Social Studies​

During the summer of 1960 I decided I was tired of my father telling me what to do, so at the old age of 17, I joined the Marines. Boy that fixed everything. Now I had those nice DI's telling me every move to make. Next thing I knew all my old buddies were graduating from High School in the Spring of '61. However, I on the other hand was still diligently doing my homework, for my High School GED test, in the bars of Okinawa. I learned some interesting things in my pursuit of Okinawan Social Studies. My GED was passed successfully. After a year of Asian Studies in Okinawa and floating around Japan, Philippines, Hong Kong, and a quick trip to deliver banana shaped Army Helicopters to Vietnam, on the cruise ship LPH-5 Princeton, I returned to the States to bone up on the multiple varieties of Californian vegetation in the hills surrounding Camp Pendleton. I took time out in the summer of 1962, to make a quick trip to my home state of Utah to marry my childhood sweetheart. Settling back down to marital bliss in San Clemente, CA, my new wife and I made plans to have a beer party at our apartment at the conclusion of a 4-day Marine Corps hill hiking event scheduled to hone our Ready Battalion Landing Team (BLT) skills. Unfortunately for the beer party plans, as soon as we returned back to base, the married personnel were told that we had one hour to go home pack our gear, kiss our wives good-bye, the Ready BLT was mounting out. It seems the Soviet Union had interrupted my scheduled party by delivering ICBM's to Cuba. Of course Hollywood Marines (2nd Battalion, 1st Marines) were the first contingent of Marines to land at Guantanamo Bay to dissuade Castro and Khrushchev of the folly of their actions. We immediately secured Gitmo and by our presence, Khrushchev understood he was messing with Marines and turned his ships around and headed them back to Russia. The "Cuban Missile Crisis" was over.

I returned to Utah for Christmas and retrieved my wife. My last year in the Corps was spent as a "Salty" 1st Recon Battalion Marine with a full row of ribbons, Marine Expeditionary, Armed Forces Expeditionary and Good Conduct. At the time prior to the Vietnam war, a full row was a row more than most Marines could muster. My 4 years were up and I was discharged in September 1964. Shortly thereafter the Vietnam War broke out. I was still a reservist for 2 more years of obligation. I figured I would be called back up. By the time my 2 Reserve years were over I was married, a father of 2 boys, and going to college. I was never called back. Even though I did my Cold War duty, I still feel guilty to this day I never went to Vietnam.

Semper Fi,
L/Cpl DL Rupper @gitmo62
1/5, 1/9, 2/1, 1st Recon Bn


Marine Recruiters Thwart A Robbery

Marine Recruiters Thwart Robbery

Three Marine recruiters in Seattle, WA, stopped a robbery in action and apprehended the one of the thieves in mall parking lot.

One of the SSgt's said that he put the thief in a wrist lock rather than taking him down to the ground because he was wearing his dress blues and did not want to get his uniform dirty.

Absolutely motivating!


That Deep Raspy Voice

As you know I am on a US Tour. I did all of Route 66 and of course stopped by your place while doing so. Sorry I missed you as you were out for Thanksgiving. I was so proud to see the foot locker I made for you on display just inside the main hatch. I went to California and then Turned around and followed the Southern Coast East. I stopped for a month in Rock Port, Texas and spent Christmas and left there the morning of New Years Eve continuing east. Now I am on Harbor Island in a nice little condo and will be here until at least April First. I haven't set foot on Parris Island since I left there in 1972. I have now been there three times in the last couple weeks. I feel so humbled when I sit there and watch what is going on and seeing the places that were so much a part of my life. I see and talk to Drill Instructors that are there now and realize that I have been retired longer than they have been in. I see the kids with peach colored faces. And I hear the rifles on the range and went by the Obstacle Course. I've seen the wash racks and remember standing there with a bucket doing laundry and when the smoking lamp was lit. I know with these leaders and these young recruits we are in good hands. I have been to the Air Station and watched the Marines in flight and support and it fills me with so much pride to know I was a part of it. I have been so blessed that I will get to spend three months near these Awesome Marines.

I seen a Drill instructor sitting at a table at the PX and I said to him... Ya know something... I went through here 42 years ago and today is my first day and time back here. I never thought I would ever be talking to another Drill Instructor while he was wearing that cover let alone one sitting here eating an Ice Cream Cone. In his quick wit as all Drill Instructors have, He looked at me and said well don't post any pictures on Facebook. We had a good laugh and a nice short conversation afterwards. That deep raspy voice was exactly the way I always remembered it. I think that all Marines of the past that have the means to come back to this place to do so sometime in their lives. It means so much and you get to sit on the sidelines and watch other young folks do what is necessary to become United States Marines. Semper Fi my good Friend.

GySgt. Mac


Operation Meade River

A machine gunner with the 7th Marines takes a break during Operation Meade River near the city of Da Nang, Vietnam.

November 1968 (LCPL R. Sanville/Marine Corps/National Archives)

Machine gunner taking a break in DaNang, Vietnam 1968


More Luck Of The Draw

I must say I agree with much of the comments by A Former Hat, GySgt Ret. We may have served together at one time since I spoke, and still do poorly, Vietnamese and served in Operation Union 1 and 2 and earned the combat action ribbon as well as group awards. In fact when I returned to the states in Oct 1967 I was stationed at A Co 1/6. A Lance Cpl from Trenton, NJ was there and surrounded by Viet Nam returnees. He told me he would like to volunteer to go to Viet Nam. I advised him that he should not volunteer for anything and not to be swayed by the romanticism of war he was hearing. I told him the Marine Corps would put him where they thought he should be and he did not owe an explanation to anyone.

However, I am bothered that there is no distinction on grave markers for Vietnam Era and Vietnam Service vets. My brother served in the US Army 1963 - 1965 in Germany and has a Vietnam Vet marker. How will anyone visiting the cemeteries know who is who. All service should be honored and no one need apologize for not having been to war, but there should be two distinct markers. I hope the former hat would agree.

J Kanavy, Cpl, USMC​


The submission from "The Former Hat", a Gunnery Sergeant, in which he states that he is "honored to wear 8 stars on my Vietnam Campaign Ribbon and several stars on my Purple Heart Ribbon." He has that wrong. WE are honored by your wearing of those ribbons and stars. Like many others I never served in combat. I missed the Vietnam War by a year due to High School (but my dad and brother were both 'Nam Vets) and I never got close to the first Gulf War because by that time I was in the middle of trying to fight being medically retired (a fight I lost). I only have 2 medals; a Navy Achievement Medal, and a Good Conduct Medal. Plus a pair of Aircrew Wings, but not the prized Combat Aircrew Wings and an Expert Marksmanship Badge. But still, I am proud of my service, my Corps and my Country. To the "former hat" thanks for your service, Big Brother!

JAH II, SSgt, Ret.​


This guy sounds full of shiat.

​ 1stSgt D.


Sgt Grit,

After reading the story by the "retired hat", Gunnery Sergeant about SgtMaj Petty, it finally penetrated my thick head that 'IT REALLY DOESN'T MATTER A RAT'S HIND END' whether a Marine served in combat, or not. We ALL did the job that was assigned to us by HQMC.

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


Sgt. Grit,

I enjoy very much reading the comments in your newsletter every month from all the Marines, young and old. I found the comments in the "Luck Of The Draw" especially interesting as a Vietnam Era Veteran. I did not serve any of my active duty in Vietnam, but did honorably serve my active duty as a United States Marine at Camp Pendleton California.

I enlisted in the Marine Corps on a six month delayed entry program in March of 1969 and was in boot camp in San Diego June 12, 1969. I was seperated on June 11, 1971 under honorable conditions and received my Honorable Discharge Certificate on March 4, 1975. I was told upon enlistment that the Marine Corps would determine where they needed me the most and I was quite surprised at the end of graduation from boot camp that my MOS was an 01. My specific MOS was 0161-Assistant Marine Corps Postal Clerk. I worked at the base post office as well as postal units in the San Onefre Area, Margarita Area and the Headquarters Building.

I remember SSgt. Lopez who taught me very well how to do my job and I only wish I had the opportunity to tell him how much I appreciated the example he demonstrated of a squared away Marine.

The Marines I served with didn't serve any time in Vietnam either, but we still performed our jobs with honor and were proud to be Marines. I have always felt slighted because I was attached to H and S Battalion, MCB and not something like First Marine Division or Third Marine Division. My father and grandfather were also Marines and I know they were proud of my Marine Corps service.

I display my Marine Corps colors in my office, on my truck and my discharge certificate is hanging on my wall as well as my boot camp platoon picture. I am proud of the title of U. S. Marine, Leatherneck and Jarhead of which no one can take away from me, because I earned it.

I acknowledge all Marines I meet with a "Semper Fi", because they know what it means and I will always believe "Once A Marine, Always A Marine".

SEMPER FI,
CPL USMC 69/71


Like many other Marines, I was ordered to VN when I graduated from school. I found this out at the First Sergeant's desk, myself and two other Marines sat on the other side, the Marine on my left was told he was to go to NAS New Orleans, the one on my right to some NAS in New England. Me, to Viet Nam! I was a bit upset when the the Sergeant said to me relax, "I was only kidding, you're all going to Viet Nam. lol.

Sent there by boat, San Pedro harbor, bands, dancing girls all there, me so high up could barely see the girls. 10 days later, through a typhoon, we stopped in Okinawa. My two buddies got off but I stayed on to Da Nang harbor, down the cargo net, to a landing craft and onto the beach. No facilities, just dirt and plants, waited for transport, only reading material was a wanted poster for Marines, just the heads. Finally after about 45 min. trucks arrived to take us and our gear, no weapons yet, to Da Nang. From there 30 miles south to Chu Lai by 6x, again no weapon. Checked in, before I knew what was happening, sirens went off, I was assigned to a machine gun emplacement to feed ammo to the gunner, still no weapon. Luckily there was no attack, next day, off to the armory. When I entered the long narrow bldg. from a side door I just stared at a wall of Thompson Machine guns lining the wall. The armorer covered them with a canvas curtain and issued me an M-14 and ammo. I spent a split tour in Viet Nam with stops in Japan and Okinawa, did one month of guard, night patrols, in a fighting hole with the only company being a fellow Marine and later a dog handler and his dog, who took our other fighting hole, guarded the flight line with shotguns and other stuff. In all that time I never saw any action. Oh, we were mortared but no shots fired. So I guess I am a Viet Nam veteran just like the grunts who waded through the rice paddies, but I feel like I am really closer to those who didn't go.

I do remember being on night watch when I heard an automatic weapon go off. I ran to the hut where the sound came from to find a Marine in the hut holding an AK-47, we got those from the South Korean Marines for Playboy magazines, you know how they got them, from what I could discover after I told him to stand off was that he and a bunkmate hated each other, with the final straw being one peed on the other's bunk. I called for the Sergeant of the Guard, explained the situation. He asked me which position I shot best from, I said prone and he said take that position and hold a bead on that Marine and if he tries anything shoot him, I took my position sweating bullets while the Sergeant went unarmed into the hut. I don't remember how long it was before he brought the Marine out, it seemed like a lifetime.

I guess we all have experiences and to me, because of my experience in Viet Nam I consider all Marines and other Servicemen/women to be Viet Nam Veterans who served their country during that time. I'm glad I came home, I'm glad my brother came home. I'm sad my best friend a drafted Army medic, was KIA in the delta going to help one of his buddies.

I am always Proud to be a United States Marine, I am proud to have served my Country and hope all who served take pride in their service, no matter what they were assigned to do. Not everyone who served in country has a combat action ribbon, but we all did our jobs as we were assigned.

Semper Fi
Patrick Lally, Cpl. E-4
RVN '66 & '67


Homes For Our Troops

LCpl Thomas Parker house built by Homes For Our Troops

LCpl Thomas Parker with family prior to ribbon cutting at new home

Sgt. Grit,

On Saturday, I attended a ceremony turning over keys to a new house presented by Homes for our Troops to Marine L/Cpl Thomas Parker in Polson, MT. Parker was wounded in Afghanistan in 2010 as a member of 3/5. Veterans greeted him at Missoula Airport in January 2011 on his first trip home. This is the first HFOT home in Montana. One year ago, my wife and I also attended a home turnover by Homes For Our Troops to Marine Sergeant Justin Maynard in Cottonwood, AZ.

The homes that are built include a flag pole, and the first element of the ceremony is the raising of our National Colors prior to the ribbon cutting. For Marines in particular, there is one Flag missing - the Marine Corps flag.

Through the work of Milt Cruver, I understand that Sgt. Maynard was presented a Marine flag by your organization. We want to make sure that L/Cpl. Parker also has a Marine flag (in fact, I promised him we would see that he got one to which he was very grateful).

Homes For Our Troops is an outstanding organization that has built 180 homes for wounded warriors from all military service branches with 49 more planned or awaiting qualified recipients. I applaud those who have donated time and money to this noble effort. As Tomy Parker said, the custom home provides simple yet necessary accomodations for providing independence to those who have been severely wounded. Their website is at HfoTUSA.org, if anyone is interested in volunteering or wishes to support in some way.

Following are some pictures of the events on Saturday... they started at the local VFW (weather was snow, some ice, and in the 20's) before moving to the ribbon cutting ceremony at the new home.

Semper Fidelis,
R. Meade Phillips
Montana Pack Leader, Military Order of the Devil Dogs
Past National Vice Commandant, Marine Corps League
Past CA Department Commandant; Past Commandant Detachments 937, 930, 597


The Voyage

USS George Clymer underway 1950s

(Photo courtesy U.S. Navy Archives)

About the the second day out on the USS Clymer I began feeling more than a little seasick and fed the fish until there was nothing left. I thought that would be the end of it, if there was nothing down there to throw up, you wouldn't have to hang over the rail anymore, WRONG! A couple more days of dry heaves and I seriously thought about letting go of the rail and just get it over with. Some wise old salt told me if you keep your belly full so the juice doesn't slosh around, you won't get sick. I made a record fast trip to ship stores and bought 2 huge boxes of soda crackers and ate till I thought I would pop. MAGIC, I started feeling a lot better right away and actually enjoyed the last couple days of the trip.

I felt lucky to be on the Clymer as the times we were in rough water I could see the bottoms of the LST's or LSD's, whatever they were, and was very glad not to be aboard one of those.

Bud Davis
L/Cpl 6412
VMA 212 '60-'63


DI's Wrath

Just remembered the comments about tie ties in boot camp. When we got our bucket issue there was a cardboard box with a string in it with metal clips. Had no idea what it was for until one of the Drill Instructor's gave us instructions on their use and how to separate them. Along the length they had metal pieces at each end and two clips side by side about every 8 inches. Using one of our safety razor blades we were instructed to cut through the space between two clips. One recruit caught the DI's wrath as he wound up with lengths of frayed string with two clips on the other end. He was probably thinking about cutting his wrist instead of the string.


Pet Peeve

Sgt Grit,

The email about the various USMC covers you carry, and the story by Mike Benfield, brings up a pet peeve of mine regarding people who wear a cover while eating in a restaurant.

You have to consider that the Army, Air Force and Navy don't know any better. As far as civilians go, they're all uncouth cruds anyway. How many Marines would wear their cover into a restaurant, without having a guilty conscience; my Drill Instructor would turn over in his grave if I kept mine on.

Surely, you remember the drill: remove your cover before entering the mess hall; always before entering a Marine Corps office building. Wally-world doesn't count, so I always keep my cover on, but 95%-plus any building I go in, and as soon as I step out the door, my cover goes back on (my balding head).

Also, the comment about the itchy tropicals; you don't know what "itch" means until you have to wear long-sleeved woolen shirts.

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


Camp Lejeune Drinking Water

Sgt. Grit,

The other day I received another letter from the Department of The Navy regarding the drinking water issues at Camp Lejeune years ago. When not out on MED cruises, I was stationed at Camp Geiger from 1981 to 1985 and was wondering if the water supply at Geiger was contaminated like the water on Lejeune, assuming that the same chemical disposal practices were common then at both bases? I made attempts to contact several people to get a legitimate answer but have yet to receive confirmation one way or the other. The best I have obtained up to this point from one individual is that they are "pretty sure" the situation was limited to main-side Lejeune.

Semper Fi.

Mike Kunkel
Cpl 0331
Lima 3/8 Weapons Platoon


Interesting Tours

Thanks Grit for the comment on interesting Tours, I always kept my eyes open for fear I might miss something. Sitting in the SlopSoot tossng Beer and gripping about where I was and what I was doing seemed to never do any good, while getting out and finding out what was going on helped to pass the time and lighten the burden of being away from home. In Bermuda in the 1950's a guy working for the tourists offered Scuba Diving training to the Marines. I was one of three that took the offer. Another time in the 1950's we were offered Training at the Submarine School in a deep water tank again I was one of three that took the offer. In Detroit I got to watch the Police training for Mob Control. Life is too good to pass up some of the stuff out there, and it wasn't all Military. In Detroit we were Recruiting a platoon of Marines from Detroit and we got offered a tour of the city with stops at the local Beer Companies, at one we got Beer and Sausages. H-ll the USO isn't the only one offering good stuff to the Marines.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Short Rounds

Submit some of your stories about your most alarming, scariest, troublesome, intimidating, WTF (what the f--k), heart pounding moments in the Corps.

Sgt Grit


I will miss this man's life stories. He brought truth and history to print so younger Marines, like myself, could live the Old Corps through him. Semper Fi.​


An old memory came up recently about the little can opener we were supplied with our delicious C-rations back in the 60's. Those of us in the Grunts called it an "ET-Wa, Eaty-wa, or ah-dee-wa". Anyone else remember the term or why, and where it came from? We still had a lot of Korean era vets in our company so maybe it's Korean?

Harris, M. Cpl '60-'65
9th, 3rd, 7th, 3rd Marines, respectfully.


I have two sets of Blues. Was at 8th & I as my last duty station in 1971 & 1972. I was a cook. We helped direct cars at Arlington National Cemetery. I loved being there. What an honor. I was recruited in Parris Island, and forgot about it. When I came stateside from Nam, I was sent on a cruise and West PAC. We were in Singapore when my orders were cut to 8th & I. I came back to the World alone. I had to get a passport and fly to Okinawa then home.

JW


Corrective Action

In the 15 JAN 2015 Sgt Grit Newsletter the Author's name of the story titled "The High Ground" was misspelled. The correct name of the Author is Robert Clark not Robert Bark. In the responses to his story in this weeks newsletter the author's name has been corrected prior to its release.

Semper Fi.


Quotes

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


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


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


"Let Bravery be thy choice, but not bravado."
--Menander (342 BC - 292 BC)


"This is my rifle, this is my gun... One is for pleasure, and one is for fun"

"I have more flight time jumping out of the back of six-bys, than you have in the Marine Corps."

"Marines show their pride. We were in the Marine Corps, not 'the service'."

Fair winds and following seas,
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 22 JAN 2015
If you are having trouble viewing this issue, see it on our website:
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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 22 JAN 2015

In this issue:
• VIP Cartoons
• That Deep Raspy Voice
• Pet Peeve

Online Store TShirts Men's Headgear Patches Women's

Flags   Family Member   Ka-Bars   Auto   Headgear  Jackets  ALL CATEGORIES  

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

This is my 7-yr-old grandson. I bought him a set of digital camo. He looks good in the uniform... he looks and acts like a Marine. I didn't tell him to stand that way for the picture. That a typical Marine Corps stance. He also has a set of dress blues.

Stephen P. Marson

Get your Devil Pup a set at:

Kid's Digital Desert Camo Utility Blouse

Kid's Digital Desert Camo Utility Trousers

8-Point Digital Desert Kids
Utility Cover


Never Met, Know Him

Robert Clark is a person I've never met, but I know him well. He was the Marine who had my back on those miserably long nights, cold with fear and anticipation, praying for one more sunrise, one more day closer to going home alive. His story, "The High Ground", in the 15 Jan. 2015 Newsletter, was a poignant read for me and, I'm sure, many Vietnam Veterans. I was so moved by how his words spoke directly to my experience, both then (last night) and now (last night), that I printed out his story to read again, and to share with others. My hope is to have my psychologist read it, giving her a better understanding of the emotional turmoil that faces every combat veteran. I hope Mr. Clark does not mind his inspirational words being used to facilitate my efforts to confront the demons of "just last night".

Thank you!

David B. McClellan, USMC, RVN '69-'70.


"The High Ground" by Robert Clark is probably the most compelling piece of writing about what combat does to the young men who experience it that I have ever read. Mr. Clark, you have found a way to put into words, things and emotions that have never before been able to be interpreted. I and thousands of others are humbled by your expertise.

Robert Mulroy
Msgt 1265xxx
Oct '52 - Sep '75​


VIP Cartoons

Sgt. Grit,

This maybe a bit much for your newsletter, but returning from Korea on the USS Gordon someone put together a newsletter full of all the tripe usually allowed in a service paper. This ship was at sea so maybe the Publisher was given his lead and these VIP Cartoons were allowed to be printed, the rest oif the newspaper was news of the day which at the time was mostly about Russia. Even had a Marine that had escaped Russia and joined the Marine Corps serving in Korea.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Proud Grandpa

Here are some photos of my Granddaughter Ella, maybe you know the sweatshirt and the LBD... it cracks me up; a USMC sweatshirt & a pink tutu. The LBD... she is all girl.

Semper Fi, from the land of the great white north... today was 3 degrees and we have very little snow. Tonight... -15 degrees.

Pete Berg

Browse our selection of Devil Pup gear.


Okinawan Social Studies​

During the summer of 1960 I decided I was tired of my father telling me what to do, so at the old age of 17, I joined the Marines. Boy that fixed everything. Now I had those nice DI's telling me every move to make. Next thing I knew all my old buddies were graduating from High School in the Spring of '61. However, I on the other hand was still diligently doing my homework, for my High School GED test, in the bars of Okinawa. I learned some interesting things in my pursuit of Okinawan Social Studies. My GED was passed successfully. After a year of Asian Studies in Okinawa and floating around Japan, Philippines, Hong Kong, and a quick trip to deliver banana shaped Army Helicopters to Vietnam, on the cruise ship LPH-5 Princeton, I returned to the States to bone up on the multiple varieties of Californian vegetation in the hills surrounding Camp Pendleton. I took time out in the summer of 1962, to make a quick trip to my home state of Utah to marry my childhood sweetheart. Settling back down to marital bliss in San Clemente, CA, my new wife and I made plans to have a beer party at our apartment at the conclusion of a 4-day Marine Corps hill hiking event scheduled to hone our Ready Battalion Landing Team (BLT) skills. Unfortunately for the beer party plans, as soon as we returned back to base, the married personnel were told that we had one hour to go home pack our gear, kiss our wives good-bye, the Ready BLT was mounting out. It seems the Soviet Union had interrupted my scheduled party by delivering ICBM's to Cuba. Of course Hollywood Marines (2nd Battalion, 1st Marines) were the first contingent of Marines to land at Guantanamo Bay to dissuade Castro and Khrushchev of the folly of their actions. We immediately secured Gitmo and by our presence, Khrushchev understood he was messing with Marines and turned his ships around and headed them back to Russia. The "Cuban Missile Crisis" was over.

I returned to Utah for Christmas and retrieved my wife. My last year in the Corps was spent as a "Salty" 1st Recon Battalion Marine with a full row of ribbons, Marine Expeditionary, Armed Forces Expeditionary and Good Conduct. At the time prior to the Vietnam war, a full row was a row more than most Marines could muster. My 4 years were up and I was discharged in September 1964. Shortly thereafter the Vietnam War broke out. I was still a reservist for 2 more years of obligation. I figured I would be called back up. By the time my 2 Reserve years were over I was married, a father of 2 boys, and going to college. I was never called back. Even though I did my Cold War duty, I still feel guilty to this day I never went to Vietnam.

Semper Fi,
L/Cpl DL Rupper @gitmo62
1/5, 1/9, 2/1, 1st Recon Bn


Marine Recruiters Thwart A Robbery

Three Marine recruiters in Seattle, WA, stopped a robbery in action and apprehended the one of the thieves in mall parking lot.

One of the SSgt's said that he put the thief in a wrist lock rather than taking him down to the ground because he was wearing his dress blues and did not want to get his uniform dirty.

Absolutely motivating!


That Deep Raspy Voice

As you know I am on a US Tour. I did all of Route 66 and of course stopped by your place while doing so. Sorry I missed you as you were out for Thanksgiving. I was so proud to see the foot locker I made for you on display just inside the main hatch. I went to California and then Turned around and followed the Southern Coast East. I stopped for a month in Rock Port, Texas and spent Christmas and left there the morning of New Years Eve continuing east. Now I am on Harbor Island in a nice little condo and will be here until at least April First. I haven't set foot on Parris Island since I left there in 1972. I have now been there three times in the last couple weeks. I feel so humbled when I sit there and watch what is going on and seeing the places that were so much a part of my life. I see and talk to Drill Instructors that are there now and realize that I have been retired longer than they have been in. I see the kids with peach colored faces. And I hear the rifles on the range and went by the Obstacle Course. I've seen the wash racks and remember standing there with a bucket doing laundry and when the smoking lamp was lit. I know with these leaders and these young recruits we are in good hands. I have been to the Air Station and watched the Marines in flight and support and it fills me with so much pride to know I was a part of it. I have been so blessed that I will get to spend three months near these Awesome Marines.

I seen a Drill instructor sitting at a table at the PX and I said to him... Ya know something... I went through here 42 years ago and today is my first day and time back here. I never thought I would ever be talking to another Drill Instructor while he was wearing that cover let alone one sitting here eating an Ice Cream Cone. In his quick wit as all Drill Instructors have, He looked at me and said well don't post any pictures on Facebook. We had a good laugh and a nice short conversation afterwards. That deep raspy voice was exactly the way I always remembered it. I think that all Marines of the past that have the means to come back to this place to do so sometime in their lives. It means so much and you get to sit on the sidelines and watch other young folks do what is necessary to become United States Marines. Semper Fi my good Friend.

GySgt. Mac


Operation Meade River

A machine gunner with the 7th Marines takes a break during Operation Meade River near the city of Da Nang, Vietnam.

November 1968 (LCPL R. Sanville/Marine Corps/National Archives)


More Luck Of The Draw

I must say I agree with much of the comments by A Former Hat, GySgt Ret. We may have served together at one time since I spoke, and still do poorly, Vietnamese and served in Operation Union 1 and 2 and earned the combat action ribbon as well as group awards. In fact when I returned to the states in Oct 1967 I was stationed at A Co 1/6. A Lance Cpl from Trenton, NJ was there and surrounded by Viet Nam returnees. He told me he would like to volunteer to go to Viet Nam. I advised him that he should not volunteer for anything and not to be swayed by the romanticism of war he was hearing. I told him the Marine Corps would put him where they thought he should be and he did not owe an explanation to anyone.

However, I am bothered that there is no distinction on grave markers for Vietnam Era and Vietnam Service vets. My brother served in the US Army 1963 - 1965 in Germany and has a Vietnam Vet marker. How will anyone visiting the cemeteries know who is who. All service should be honored and no one need apologize for not having been to war, but there should be two distinct markers. I hope the former hat would agree.

J Kanavy, Cpl, USMC​


The submission from "The Former Hat", a Gunnery Sergeant, in which he states that he is "honored to wear 8 stars on my Vietnam Campaign Ribbon and several stars on my Purple Heart Ribbon." He has that wrong. WE are honored by your wearing of those ribbons and stars. Like many others I never served in combat. I missed the Vietnam War by a year due to High School (but my dad and brother were both 'Nam Vets) and I never got close to the first Gulf War because by that time I was in the middle of trying to fight being medically retired (a fight I lost). I only have 2 medals; a Navy Achievement Medal, and a Good Conduct Medal. Plus a pair of Aircrew Wings, but not the prized Combat Aircrew Wings and an Expert Marksmanship Badge. But still, I am proud of my service, my Corps and my Country. To the "former hat" thanks for your service, Big Brother!

JAH II, SSgt, Ret.​


This guy sounds full of shiat.

​ 1stSgt D.


Sgt Grit,

After reading the story by the "retired hat", Gunnery Sergeant about SgtMaj Petty, it finally penetrated my thick head that 'IT REALLY DOESN'T MATTER A RAT'S HIND END' whether a Marine served in combat, or not. We ALL did the job that was assigned to us by HQMC.

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


Sgt. Grit,

I enjoy very much reading the comments in your newsletter every month from all the Marines, young and old. I found the comments in the "Luck Of The Draw" especially interesting as a Vietnam Era Veteran. I did not serve any of my active duty in Vietnam, but did honorably serve my active duty as a United States Marine at Camp Pendleton California.

I enlisted in the Marine Corps on a six month delayed entry program in March of 1969 and was in boot camp in San Diego June 12, 1969. I was seperated on June 11, 1971 under honorable conditions and received my Honorable Discharge Certificate on March 4, 1975. I was told upon enlistment that the Marine Corps would determine where they needed me the most and I was quite surprised at the end of graduation from boot camp that my MOS was an 01. My specific MOS was 0161-Assistant Marine Corps Postal Clerk. I worked at the base post office as well as postal units in the San Onefre Area, Margarita Area and the Headquarters Building.

I remember SSgt. Lopez who taught me very well how to do my job and I only wish I had the opportunity to tell him how much I appreciated the example he demonstrated of a squared away Marine.

The Marines I served with didn't serve any time in Vietnam either, but we still performed our jobs with honor and were proud to be Marines. I have always felt slighted because I was attached to H and S Battalion, MCB and not something like First Marine Division or Third Marine Division. My father and grandfather were also Marines and I know they were proud of my Marine Corps service.

I display my Marine Corps colors in my office, on my truck and my discharge certificate is hanging on my wall as well as my boot camp platoon picture. I am proud of the title of U. S. Marine, Leatherneck and Jarhead of which no one can take away from me, because I earned it.

I acknowledge all Marines I meet with a "Semper Fi", because they know what it means and I will always believe "Once A Marine, Always A Marine".

SEMPER FI,
CPL USMC 69/71


Like many other Marines, I was ordered to VN when I graduated from school. I found this out at the First Sergeant's desk, myself and two other Marines sat on the other side, the Marine on my left was told he was to go to NAS New Orleans, the one on my right to some NAS in New England. Me, to Viet Nam! I was a bit upset when the the Sergeant said to me relax, "I was only kidding, you're all going to Viet Nam. lol.

Sent there by boat, San Pedro harbor, bands, dancing girls all there, me so high up could barely see the girls. 10 days later, through a typhoon, we stopped in Okinawa. My two buddies got off but I stayed on to Da Nang harbor, down the cargo net, to a landing craft and onto the beach. No facilities, just dirt and plants, waited for transport, only reading material was a wanted poster for Marines, just the heads. Finally after about 45 min. trucks arrived to take us and our gear, no weapons yet, to Da Nang. From there 30 miles south to Chu Lai by 6x, again no weapon. Checked in, before I knew what was happening, sirens went off, I was assigned to a machine gun emplacement to feed ammo to the gunner, still no weapon. Luckily there was no attack, next day, off to the armory. When I entered the long narrow bldg. from a side door I just stared at a wall of Thompson Machine guns lining the wall. The armorer covered them with a canvas curtain and issued me an M-14 and ammo. I spent a split tour in Viet Nam with stops in Japan and Okinawa, did one month of guard, night patrols, in a fighting hole with the only company being a fellow Marine and later a dog handler and his dog, who took our other fighting hole, guarded the flight line with shotguns and other stuff. In all that time I never saw any action. Oh, we were mortared but no shots fired. So I guess I am a Viet Nam veteran just like the grunts who waded through the rice paddies, but I feel like I am really closer to those who didn't go.

I do remember being on night watch when I heard an automatic weapon go off. I ran to the hut where the sound came from to find a Marine in the hut holding an AK-47, we got those from the South Korean Marines for Playboy magazines, you know how they got them, from what I could discover after I told him to stand off was that he and a bunkmate hated each other, with the final straw being one peed on the other's bunk. I called for the Sergeant of the Guard, explained the situation. He asked me which position I shot best from, I said prone and he said take that position and hold a bead on that Marine and if he tries anything shoot him, I took my position sweating bullets while the Sergeant went unarmed into the hut. I don't remember how long it was before he brought the Marine out, it seemed like a lifetime.

I guess we all have experiences and to me, because of my experience in Viet Nam I consider all Marines and other Servicemen/women to be Viet Nam Veterans who served their country during that time. I'm glad I came home, I'm glad my brother came home. I'm sad my best friend a drafted Army medic, was KIA in the delta going to help one of his buddies.

I am always Proud to be a United States Marine, I am proud to have served my Country and hope all who served take pride in their service, no matter what they were assigned to do. Not everyone who served in country has a combat action ribbon, but we all did our jobs as we were assigned.

Semper Fi
Patrick Lally, Cpl. E-4
RVN '66 & '67


Homes For Our Troops

Sgt. Grit,

On Saturday, I attended a ceremony turning over keys to a new house presented by Homes for our Troops to Marine L/Cpl Thomas Parker in Polson, MT. Parker was wounded in Afghanistan in 2010 as a member of 3/5. Veterans greeted him at Missoula Airport in January 2011 on his first trip home. This is the first HFOT home in Montana. One year ago, my wife and I also attended a home turnover by Homes For Our Troops to Marine Sergeant Justin Maynard in Cottonwood, AZ.

The homes that are built include a flag pole, and the first element of the ceremony is the raising of our National Colors prior to the ribbon cutting. For Marines in particular, there is one Flag missing - the Marine Corps flag.

Through the work of Milt Cruver, I understand that Sgt. Maynard was presented a Marine flag by your organization. We want to make sure that L/Cpl. Parker also has a Marine flag (in fact, I promised him we would see that he got one to which he was very grateful).

Homes For Our Troops is an outstanding organization that has built 180 homes for wounded warriors from all military service branches with 49 more planned or awaiting qualified recipients. I applaud those who have donated time and money to this noble effort. As Tomy Parker said, the custom home provides simple yet necessary accomodations for providing independence to those who have been severely wounded. Their website is at HfoTUSA.org, if anyone is interested in volunteering or wishes to support in some way.

Following are some pictures of the events on Saturday... they started at the local VFW (weather was snow, some ice, and in the 20's) before moving to the ribbon cutting ceremony at the new home.

Semper Fidelis,
R. Meade Phillips
Montana Pack Leader, Military Order of the Devil Dogs
Past National Vice Commandant, Marine Corps League
Past CA Department Commandant; Past Commandant Detachments 937, 930, 597


The Voyage

(Photo courtesy U.S. Navy Archives)

About the the second day out on the USS Clymer I began feeling more than a little seasick and fed the fish until there was nothing left. I thought that would be the end of it, if there was nothing down there to throw up, you wouldn't have to hang over the rail anymore, WRONG! A couple more days of dry heaves and I seriously thought about letting go of the rail and just get it over with. Some wise old salt told me if you keep your belly full so the juice doesn't slosh around, you won't get sick. I made a record fast trip to ship stores and bought 2 huge boxes of soda crackers and ate till I thought I would pop. MAGIC, I started feeling a lot better right away and actually enjoyed the last couple days of the trip.

I felt lucky to be on the Clymer as the times we were in rough water I could see the bottoms of the LST's or LSD's, whatever they were, and was very glad not to be aboard one of those.

Bud Davis
L/Cpl 6412
VMA 212 '60-'63


DI's Wrath

Just remembered the comments about tie ties in boot camp. When we got our bucket issue there was a cardboard box with a string in it with metal clips. Had no idea what it was for until one of the Drill Instructor's gave us instructions on their use and how to separate them. Along the length they had metal pieces at each end and two clips side by side about every 8 inches. Using one of our safety razor blades we were instructed to cut through the space between two clips. One recruit caught the DI's wrath as he wound up with lengths of frayed string with two clips on the other end. He was probably thinking about cutting his wrist instead of the string.


Pet Peeve

Sgt Grit,

The email about the various USMC covers you carry, and the story by Mike Benfield, brings up a pet peeve of mine regarding people who wear a cover while eating in a restaurant.

You have to consider that the Army, Air Force and Navy don't know any better. As far as civilians go, they're all uncouth cruds anyway. How many Marines would wear their cover into a restaurant, without having a guilty conscience; my Drill Instructor would turn over in his grave if I kept mine on.

Surely, you remember the drill: remove your cover before entering the mess hall; always before entering a Marine Corps office building. Wally-world doesn't count, so I always keep my cover on, but 95%-plus any building I go in, and as soon as I step out the door, my cover goes back on (my balding head).

Also, the comment about the itchy tropicals; you don't know what "itch" means until you have to wear long-sleeved woolen shirts.

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


Camp Lejeune Drinking Water

Sgt. Grit,

The other day I received another letter from the Department of The Navy regarding the drinking water issues at Camp Lejeune years ago. When not out on MED cruises, I was stationed at Camp Geiger from 1981 to 1985 and was wondering if the water supply at Geiger was contaminated like the water on Lejeune, assuming that the same chemical disposal practices were common then at both bases? I made attempts to contact several people to get a legitimate answer but have yet to receive confirmation one way or the other. The best I have obtained up to this point from one individual is that they are "pretty sure" the situation was limited to main-side Lejeune.

Semper Fi.

Mike Kunkel
Cpl 0331
Lima 3/8 Weapons Platoon


Interesting Tours

Thanks Grit for the comment on interesting Tours, I always kept my eyes open for fear I might miss something. Sitting in the SlopSoot tossng Beer and gripping about where I was and what I was doing seemed to never do any good, while getting out and finding out what was going on helped to pass the time and lighten the burden of being away from home. In Bermuda in the 1950's a guy working for the tourists offered Scuba Diving training to the Marines. I was one of three that took the offer. Another time in the 1950's we were offered Training at the Submarine School in a deep water tank again I was one of three that took the offer. In Detroit I got to watch the Police training for Mob Control. Life is too good to pass up some of the stuff out there, and it wasn't all Military. In Detroit we were Recruiting a platoon of Marines from Detroit and we got offered a tour of the city with stops at the local Beer Companies, at one we got Beer and Sausages. H-ll the USO isn't the only one offering good stuff to the Marines.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Short Rounds

Submit some of your stories about your most alarming, scariest, troublesome, intimidating, WTF (what the f--k), heart pounding moments in the Corps.

Sgt Grit


I will miss this man's life stories. He brought truth and history to print so younger Marines, like myself, could live the Old Corps through him. Semper Fi.​


An old memory came up recently about the little can opener we were supplied with our delicious C-rations back in the 60's. Those of us in the Grunts called it an "ET-Wa, Eaty-wa, or ah-dee-wa". Anyone else remember the term or why, and where it came from? We still had a lot of Korean era vets in our company so maybe it's Korean?

Harris, M. Cpl '60-'65
9th, 3rd, 7th, 3rd Marines, respectfully.


I have two sets of Blues. Was at 8th & I as my last duty station in 1971 & 1972. I was a cook. We helped direct cars at Arlington National Cemetery. I loved being there. What an honor. I was recruited in Parris Island, and forgot about it. When I came stateside from Nam, I was sent on a cruise and West PAC. We were in Singapore when my orders were cut to 8th & I. I came back to the World alone. I had to get a passport and fly to Okinawa then home.

JW


Corrective Action

In the 15 JAN 2015 Sgt Grit Newsletter the Author's name of the story titled "The High Ground" was misspelled. The correct name of the Author is Robert Clark not Robert Bark. In the responses to his story in this weeks newsletter the author's name has been corrected prior to its release.

Semper Fi.


Quotes

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


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


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


"Let Bravery be thy choice, but not bravado."
--Menander (342 BC - 292 BC)


"This is my rifle, this is my gun... One is for pleasure, and one is for fun"

"I have more flight time jumping out of the back of six-bys, than you have in the Marine Corps."

"Marines show their pride. We were in the Marine Corps, not 'the service'."

Fair winds and following seas,
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 15 Jan 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 15 JAN 2015

In this issue:
• Luck Of The Draw
• Hill 510 - 11th Marines
• The High Ground

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Sgt Rousseau as base photographer in Korea

Sgt. Grit,

I've written before about my tour in Korea but I didn't mention much about my job as Base Photographer.

I took some photo's of damaged and ruined equipment for the Ordnance Officer. The pictures came out so good the CO asked me to be the base Photographer (We had none at the time). I was issued a Graphic, complete in the box with all the accessories. I had to beg, borrow or steal film, Developer and Paper, never having enough for the CO's demands. We finally got a Marine Corps Photog, an Old Hand with WWII experience. I was kept on the job until the Photog was ready to let me go (meaning I had all the cr-p jobs). Here's a photo of me with one of the Interpreters down town looking for stuff to shoot and supplies. "Note the Herring Bone Twill Dungarees" and Sergeant Stripes painted on sleeves.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Luck Of The Draw

Sgt. Grit,

I have read with great interest the many comments and opinions concerning Vietnam Era Veterans and Vietnam Veterans. I can only relate and comment concerning my experiences, but I think my fellow Marines may find my comments interesting.

I went to Vietnam the first time in October 1965 after the Santo Domingo crisis in April 1965. I was an 18 year old hot shot combat veteran, or so I thought. The Domingo escapade was mostly digging fighting holes in their golf course. Never the less, I had combat experience! I knew nothing of real combat when it comes right down to telling the truth. But I would soon learn during an operation called Hastings.

I eventually would serve a total of 44 months in Vietnam (Arizona, Deckhouse I, II, III, Union I, II, III, Hue City, Baxter Garden just to name a few). My last tour was from February 1970 until January 1971 as a Sergeant assigned to the Combined Action Program. I was wounded twice that required hospital time which cut two of my tours short by several months. I'm honored to wear 8 stars on my Vietnam Campaign Ribbon and several stars on my Purple Heart Ribbon. I guess I was never very good a getting my azz down. I never volunteered for duty in Vietnam - period. My unfortunate situation is that I learn languages rather easily. I learned Vietnamese during my first tour there, and somehow that information made it into my SRB. Now, you can guess the Marine Corps' response to having that information. I was volunteered for duty 4 times by Headquarters Marine Corps. And I was indeed a feisty young prick. I held every rank from PFC to Sergeant twice. SSgt and GySgt I held only once. I guess I was more arrogant than feisty.

As a brand new SSgt, I had the professional pleasure of serving with a Marine who took me under his wing and put me on the right track to becoming a Marine leader. His name was Sergeant Major Petty. Sgt/Major Petty never served in Vietnam or any war for that matter. He wore only two ribbons - the National Defense and the Good Conduct Medal with 7 stars. He forgot more about leadership than I will ever know. His comment when asked about his lack of a fruit salad on his chest was - Ribbons don't tell where you're going; they tell where you been.

Every Marine who ever served or will ever serve, serves at the pleasure of the Marine Corps. Duty assignments are at the discretion of the "Corps".

For those of you who never set foot on the ground in Vietnam, rest assured that:

1. You did your duty as you were assigned.
2. You performed those duties professionally with love of country and "Corps" in your heart, even though you may not have recognized it then.
3. You were disparaged equally with those of us who did have boots on the ground.
4. Today your service is equally honored as it should be.
5. You are just as much a Vietnam Veteran as any who were in country.

It's the luck of the draw.

Statics:

- 9,087,000 million men served on active duty from August, 1964 until May, 1975.
- 2,594,000 million men were "in country".
- 75,000 were disabled - 300% more than WW II and 70% more than Korea.

Again, It's the luck of the draw.

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


Hill 510 - 11th Marines

11th Marines on Hill 510 in Vietnam in 1970

11th Engineer Marines on bridge in Khe Sanh 1968

The first photo shows Marines of Echo and Whiskey Battery, 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines, 1st Marine Division working on clearing gun positions for fire support base on Hill 510, 35 miles southwest of DaNang. (Defense Dept. Photo, Taken by GySgt Parnell on or about 17-18 Jun 1970)

The second photo shows Marines of 11th Engineers as they swarm all over bridges as work is being rushed to Operational Route #9 to Khe Sanh on Operation Pegasus. (Defense Dept. Photo, Taken by SSgt J.A. Reid in April 1968)

Submitted by
John Ratomski


Marines Under Armour Hi-Vis Hoodie


Marine Corps Never Saw Fit

Sgt Grit,

For years now, it has bothered me that the Marine Corps never saw fit to put me in a combat situation; initially, I was assigned to a 60mm mortar section of the local USMCR company, when I first joined in March, 1949. Our company, as was hundreds of others, was activated when North Korea attacked, and by 21 August 1950, we were on a troop train headed for Camp Pendleton.

After arriving at Camp Pendleton, I was pulled from the company, and began working for an old WWII Tech Sergeant, by the name of Jesse. Most of the Company was integrated into the 5th Marines, and made the landing at Inchon in September, and here I sat processing other Reservists as they came into Pendleton. Somewhere along here my MOS was changed to 0143, Clerk Typist, and in October I was transferred to Marine Barracks, U. S. Naval Station, San Diego, CA, and remained there until April 1951.

I was transferred to MCRDep, assigned to a recruit platoon in the 3d Recruit Training Battalion, graduating in June. At this point, my date of rank as PFC was 1 September 1949; the day after graduating from booth camp I began working in the Battalion office, and within a month of graduation, I was promoted to Corporal (E3).

So, from October, 1950 to April, 1956, I was stationed at MCRDep and the Amphibious Base at Coronado; five and one half years; transferred to the 3dMarDiv, on Okinawa for 14 months, and then right back to MCRDep for another 2 years.

Up and down the West Coast, MCAS, Iwakuni for a year, then to MCAS, Yuma, and onto HQMC in March 1967. By the end of 1969, I was fed up enough to submit my letter of intent to retire, THEN the Marine Corps issued me orders to Vietnam. Talk about the irony of the whole situation; the orders were cancelled and I hung it up on 31 January 1970. At the end of this month, it will be 45 years since I retired; now that makes me an old Marine!

It still bothers me that here I am a Gunnery Sergeant, with 5 service stripes, a Good Conduct medal (with 1 silver star), the National Defense Service medal (with 1 bronze star), and I finally realized that none of this would have happened if I HAD gone to Korea, and possibly, not come back! The best thing that ever happened during all this time was the fantastic lady that I would meet and marry, and have her around for over 56 years.

I guess it all works out in the long run.

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


PI 50 Years To The Day

Cpl LaBozzetta and wife with CG and SgtMaj or MCRD Parris Island

Sgt Grit,

My wife & I planned a visit to Parris Island for 19 September 2014. It was fifty years to the day that I graduated with Platoon 157.

Unbeknownst to me, my wife was planning a surprise for me. With the help of a few members of my Marine Corps League Detachment (Tamarac Det. 755) she was able to get in touch with the correct Marines aboard Parris Island to help in the planning. ​She was hoping that maybe I would get recognized as a past recruit who was aboard the base for the day. What got arranged was reserved VIP seating at the Morning Colors Ceremony and the Graduation Ceremony. In between the two ceremonies I was asked to pose with the Commanding General and Depot Sgt Maj, along with my wife Lucretia, on the steps of the Headquarters Building (photo attached). As the General was giving his talk to the spectators at the Morning Colors he stood directly in front of me and glanced at me when he said something to the effect that the Marines of today build upon the Marines of the past.

We live about seven hours from PI and have visited the base many times over the years, but this visit will stick in my memory for many years to come.

Semper Fidelis,
Mike LaBozzetta
Cpl. 1964-1967
3371​


WWI And Truman

I have something to add about President Truman. Awhile back it was said that he was at the battle of Belleau Wood, he was not. Truman was an artillery officer with the 35th Infantry Division. This is a National Guard division made up of men from Kansas and Missouri. The 35th got in country about the same time as the battle and were put into one of the defensive sectors under French control. They did participate in the Argonne Offensive. I am researching them because my Great-Great Uncle was a rifleman in the 137th Regiment. I believe Truman's WWI experience affected his view of the active duty Army and probably played a role in his disdain for Gen. MacArthur. The 35th was constantly treated badly by the active duty component, and on the eve of the Argonne Offensive had many officers relieved and active duty officers put in those billets.

Years ago I read a book about WWI that stated because of censorship rules, Army units could only be identified as being "American Expeditionary Force" components, while some loophole in the rules allowed reporters to identify "Marines" in a battle. This caused a lot of b-tt-hurt in the Army and is a big reason why Marines were left out of the European theater. That is what the book said anyhow. The book stated that Gen. Eisenhower was one of the leaders keeping the Marines out of Europe. I wish I could remember the book, it was one of those I read on duty overnight about 20 years ago.

Gunny Rousseau, keep 'em coming, I really enjoy your letters. If I can find the disc with my Iraq pictures I'm going to submit a picture of me guarding a train in Iraq, hopefully to compliment your Korea pictures.

Semper Fi,
EAS
Iraq​


The Family That Prays Together

The family that prays together, stays together. The Marines are proof of that.

Photo by Sgt Frances Johnson

Deployed Marines praying


Yoshiwara

Sgt. Grit,

Yoshiwara was the area in Japan Proper where houses of ill repute had been for years and men wanting company of kind would go there. A lot of you that served in Okinawa will not know there was a Yoshiwara in Okinawa. This old brain doesn't recall it's location but I went there with a Member of the "Morning Star" Newspaper where I worked during Liberty Time.

When I last went to Okinawa, a year or so before I retired, I ran into an old Friend that had as exciting career as one could want serving in Two Wars as a Radioman.

Some time in the early 1950's (I believe) a plane with Eight Marines aboard went down some where in the Washington area. All men were put on duty and flew as "Observers" in the search planes, Rusty, my friend had just came back after doing his tour as Observer on a plane intending to get some chow at the Gedunk nearby. As he headed toward the gedunk a plane came down and cartwheeled between him and the gedunk so he forgot his wanting food and went to his Quarters.

During Korea on a Patrol he got separated from the Patrol during a Firefight and later found his bearings and was headed toward our lines when a Sniper saw a figure coming into our lines and was getting his sight on the figure when a Sergeant said: "Stop! That's Rusty" (There was so much more to this story I wish I could tell you.)

So here I was in Okinawa and ran into Rusty, he said he was working as Proof Reader at the Morning Star, but his time was up and asked if I wanted the job? I took over from Rusty as a Proof Reader at the Morning Star Newspaper for the grand sum of $5.00 an hour, the time one worked as Proof reader was about 4 to 6 hours a week, some times less and only with permission from your commanding Officer.

It was at the Morning Star I learned of many secrets of the Island and Yoshiwara. As I had a car one of the Okinawan Proof Readers showed me the Island and Where Yoshiwara was. Americans couldn't get into the Area, it was one area Out of Bounds for Americans but I got The Grand Tour around the out side with Girls hanging out of windows gesturing us to come in. He even pointed out Twins waving at us. Okinawa was a Bummer for most Marines but my Tour as Proof Reader kept it from being too boring.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Every Day Environmentalist

This is how Marines make clouds following the sound of thunder. We are every day environmentalist... are you?

Photo by Cpl Ali Azimi

Marine firing a Howitzer


Keep In Mind

Just read in the newsletter Wally Mackow's letter about being ignored while on a visit to Parris Island. He needs to keep in mind that almost everyone on that base is a Marine. It is not unusual for a Marine stationed there to see returning Marines and you really cannot expect them to fawn over them all -- if they did, they would have no time to earn their pay. It's nice when people recognize my service but I never expect it when out in the world, and I would not ever expect it on a Marine Corps base because there, you are not special, you are the same as everyone else. By the way, Wally, did you think to thank THEM for their service?

Semper Fi to one and all and a Happy New Year!

M. F. Weaver
CWO-4 (Ret.)
1965-'06​


Fed The Fish

The voyage that Norm is referring to was 9 days long as there was some maneuvers involve as well. About the the second day out I began feeling more than a little seasick and fed the fish until there was nothing left. I thought that would be the end of it, if there was nothing down there to throw up, you wouldn't have to hang over the rail anymore, WRONG! A couple more days of dry heaves and I seriously thought about letting go of the rail and just get it over with. Some wise old salt told me if you keep your belly full so the juice doesn't slosh around, you won't get sick. I made a record fast trip to ship stores and bought 2 huge boxes of soda crackers and ate till I thought I would pop. MAGIC, I started feeling a lot better right away and actually enjoyed the last couple days of the trip.

I felt lucky to be on the Clymer as the times we were in rough water I could see the bottoms of the LST's or LSD's, whatever they were, and was very glad not to be aboard one of those.

Bud Davis
L/Cpl 6412
VMA 212 '60-'63


The High Ground

By Robert Clark

A couple of years ago someone asked me if I still thought about Vietnam. I nearly laughed in their face. How do you stop thinking about it? Every day for the last twenty-four years, I wake up with it, and go to bed with it. But this is what I said. "Yea, I think about it. I can't quit thinking about it. I never will. But, I've also learned to live with it. I'm comfortable with the memories. I've learned to stop trying to forget and learned instead to embrace it. It just doesn't scare me anymore."

A psychologist once told me that NOT being affected by the experience over there would be abnormal. When he told me that, it was like he'd just given me a pardon. It was as if he said, "Go ahead and feel something about the place, Bob. It ain't going nowhere. You're gonna wear it for the rest of your life. Might as well get to know it."

A lot of my "brothers" haven't been so lucky. For them the memories are too painful, their sense of loss too great. My sister told me of a friend she has whose husband was in the Nam. She asks this guy when he was there. Here's what he said, "Just last night." It took my sister a while to figure out what he was talking about. JUST LAST NIGHT. Yeah I was in the Nam. When? JUST LAST NIGHT. During s-x with my wife. And on my way to work this morning. Over my lunch hour. Yeah, I was there.

My sister says I'm not the same brother that went to Vietnam. My wife says I won't let people get close to me, not even her. They are probably both right.

Ask a vet about making friends in Nam. It was risky. Why? Because we were in the business of death, and death was with us all the time. It wasn't the death of, "If I die before I wake." This was the real thing. The kind where boys scream for their mothers. The kind that lingers in your mind and becomes more real each time you cheat it. You don't want to make a lot of friends when the possibility of dying is that real, that close. When you do, friends become a liability.

A guy named Bob Flanigan was my friend. Bob Flanigan is dead. I put him in a body bag one sunny day, April 29, 1969. We'd been talking, only a few minutes before he was shot, about what we were going to do when we got back in the world. Now, this was a guy who had come in country the same time as myself. A guy who was loveable and generous. He had blue eyes and sandy blond hair.

When he talked, it was with a soft drawl. Flanigan was a hick and he knew it. That was part of his charm. He didn't care. Man, I loved this guy like the brother I never had. But, I screwed up. I got too close to him. Maybe I didn't know any better. But I broke one of the unwritten rules of war.

DON'T GET CLOSE TO PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO DIE. Sometimes you can't help it.

You hear vets use the term "buddy" when they refer to a guy they spent the war with. "Me and this buddy of mine..."

"Friend" sounds too intimate, doesn't it. "Friend" calls up images of being close. If he's a friend, then you are going to be hurt if he dies, and war hurts enough without adding to the pain. Get close; get hurt. It's as simple as that.

In war you learn to keep people at that distance my wife talks about. You become so good at it, that twenty years after the war, you still do it without thinking. You won't allow yourself to be vulnerable again.

My wife knows two people who can get into the soft spots inside me. My daughters. I know it probably bothers her that they can do this. It's not that I don't love my wife, I do. She's put up with a lot from me. She'll tell you that when she signed on for better or worse she had no idea there was going to be so much of the latter. But with my daughters it's different.

My girls are mine. They'll always be my kids. Not marriage, not distance, not even death can change that. They are something on this earth that can never be taken away from me. I belong to them. Nothing can change that.

I can have an ex-wife; but my girls can never have an ex-father. There's the difference.

I can still see the faces, though they all seem to have the same eyes. When I think of us I always see a line of "dirty grunts" sitting on a paddy dike. We're caught in the first gray silver between darkness and light. That first moment when we know we've survived another night, and the business of staying alive for one more day is about to begin. There was so much hope in that brief space of time. It's what we used to pray for. "One more day, God. One more day."

And I can hear our conversations as if they'd only just been spoken. I still hear the way we sounded, the hard cynical jokes, our morbid senses of humor. We were scared to death of dying, and trying our best not to show it.

I recall the smells, too. Like the way cordite hangs on the air after a fire-fight. Or the pungent odor of rice paddy mud. So different from the black dirt of Iowa. The mud of Nam smells ancient, somehow. Like it's always been there. And I'll never forget the way blood smells, stick and drying on my hands. I spent a long night that way once. That memory isn't going anywhere.

I remember how the night jungle appears almost dream like as the pilot of a Cessna buzzes overhead, dropping parachute flares until morning. That artificial sun would flicker and make shadows run through the jungle. It was worse than not being able to see what was out there sometimes. I remember once looking at the man next to me as a flare floated overhead. The shadows around his eyes were so deep that it looked like his eyes were gone. I reached over and touched him on the arm; without looking at me he touched my hand. "I know man. I know." That's what he said. It was a human moment. Two guys a long way from home and scared sh-tless.

"I know man." And at that moment he did.

God I loved those guys. I hurt every time one of them died. We all did. Despite our posturing. Despite our desire to stay disconnected, we couldn't help ourselves. I know why Tim O'Brien writes his stories. I know what gives Bruce Weigle the words to create poems so honest I cry at their horrible beauty. It's love. Love for those guys we shared the experience with.

We did our jobs like good soldiers, and we tried our best not to become as hard as our surroundings. We touched each other and said, "I know." Like a mother holding a child in the middle of a nightmare, "It's going to be all right." We tried not to lose touch with our humanity. We tried to walk that line. To be the good boys our parents had raised and not to give into that unnamed thing we knew was inside us all.

You want to know what frightening is? It's a nineteen-year-old-boy whose had a sip of that power over life and death that war gives you. It's a boy who, despite all the things he's been taught, knows that he likes it. It's a nineteen-year-old who's just lost a friend, and is angry and scared and, determined that, "Some *@#*s gonna pay." To this day, the thought of that boy can wake me from a sound sleep and leave me staring at the ceiling.

As I write this, I have a picture in front of me. It's of two young men. On their laps are tablets. One is smoking a cigarette. Both stare without expression at the camera. They're writing letters. Staying in touch with places they would rather be. Places and people they hope to see again.

The picture shares space in a frame with one of my wife. She doesn't mind. She knows she's been included in special company. She knows I'll always love those guys who shared that part of my life, a part she never can. And she understands how I feel about the ones I know are out there yet. The ones who still answer the question, "When were you in Vietnam?"

"Hey, man. I was there just last night."


Taps

Good Morning Sgt. Grit,

I Hate to be the Bearer of Bad News. We have lost another United States Marine. William, "Bill" Costello received His Final Orders Apx. one week ago. Before WWII, Bill was stationed in China with the United States Marines. I believe that was The Sixth Marine Division.

I met Mr. Costello when I joined The Marine Corps League, Captain Paul L. Gormley Detachment 823 in Hudson New Hampshire. Captain Gormley was K.I.A. in Vietnam. From the information that was given to us; The Captain's last word's to his First Sgt. "Make Sure All of Our People Get Out of Here"! The Captain Never Made It Out.

Jim Angelo


I'm reporting that Cpl. Thomas M. Christensen of Crescent City, Ca. has recently reported for duty at Heaven's Gates. Tom was wounded early in December 1950 by a Chinese grenade that fractured his skull and rendered him with a severe concussion during the breakout at the Chosin Reservoir in Korea. During the trip down the winding mountain road that lasted several days to the Port of Hungnam and evacuation, Tom was in and out of consciousness, but three things stuck in his memory. He remembered his litter being placed in a warming tent one night and an officer coming in and shaking his hand. He remembered one morning having his litter placed inside a weapons carrier along with that of another Marine and a Corpsman lashing the two litters to some stationary fixtures inside for one leg of the trip. The last memory was (always) the bitter cold that he and others had to endure. Tom eventually recovered from his other injuries but the frostbite and gangrene that followed left him missing some toes on both feet with circulation problems below the knees as well. Tom was medically retired as a Corporal with a certain percentage of disability. Through physical therepy and sheer determination Tom was able to walk at at normal pace and gait for most of the rest of his life, but any long walks or running was out of the question. He eventually raised a family and carved out a career for himself at FedCo.

Semper Fi!
Jim Quam
Sgt. of Marines


Short Rounds

I want to thank you for helping me with my dads 78th birthday. Just when you think an old gunny has it all. Thank you again.

Mrs. Beth J.


Quotes

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


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


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


"Make a hole and make it wide, part like the red f--------n sea."

"This is my rifle. There are many other, but this one is mine..."

"I pulled mess duty at the last supper."

"I was assigned to the Marine Detactment on Noah's Ark!"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 15 Jan 2015
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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 15 JAN 2015

In this issue:
• Luck Of The Draw
• Hill 510 - 11th Marines
• The High Ground

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Sgt. Grit,

I've written before about my tour in Korea but I didn't mention much about my job as Base Photographer.

I took some photo's of damaged and ruined equipment for the Ordnance Officer. The pictures came out so good the CO asked me to be the base Photographer (We had none at the time). I was issued a Graphic, complete in the box with all the accessories. I had to beg, borrow or steal film, Developer and Paper, never having enough for the CO's demands. We finally got a Marine Corps Photog, an Old Hand with WWII experience. I was kept on the job until the Photog was ready to let me go (meaning I had all the cr-p jobs). Here's a photo of me with one of the Interpreters down town looking for stuff to shoot and supplies. "Note the Herring Bone Twill Dungarees" and Sergeant Stripes painted on sleeves.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Luck Of The Draw

Sgt. Grit,

I have read with great interest the many comments and opinions concerning Vietnam Era Veterans and Vietnam Veterans. I can only relate and comment concerning my experiences, but I think my fellow Marines may find my comments interesting.

I went to Vietnam the first time in October 1965 after the Santo Domingo crisis in April 1965. I was an 18 year old hot shot combat veteran, or so I thought. The Domingo escapade was mostly digging fighting holes in their golf course. Never the less, I had combat experience! I knew nothing of real combat when it comes right down to telling the truth. But I would soon learn during an operation called Hastings.

I eventually would serve a total of 44 months in Vietnam (Arizona, Deckhouse I, II, III, Union I, II, III, Hue City, Baxter Garden just to name a few). My last tour was from February 1970 until January 1971 as a Sergeant assigned to the Combined Action Program. I was wounded twice that required hospital time which cut two of my tours short by several months. I'm honored to wear 8 stars on my Vietnam Campaign Ribbon and several stars on my Purple Heart Ribbon. I guess I was never very good a getting my azz down. I never volunteered for duty in Vietnam - period. My unfortunate situation is that I learn languages rather easily. I learned Vietnamese during my first tour there, and somehow that information made it into my SRB. Now, you can guess the Marine Corps' response to having that information. I was volunteered for duty 4 times by Headquarters Marine Corps. And I was indeed a feisty young prick. I held every rank from PFC to Sergeant twice. SSgt and GySgt I held only once. I guess I was more arrogant than feisty.

As a brand new SSgt, I had the professional pleasure of serving with a Marine who took me under his wing and put me on the right track to becoming a Marine leader. His name was Sergeant Major Petty. Sgt/Major Petty never served in Vietnam or any war for that matter. He wore only two ribbons - the National Defense and the Good Conduct Medal with 7 stars. He forgot more about leadership than I will ever know. His comment when asked about his lack of a fruit salad on his chest was - Ribbons don't tell where you're going; they tell where you been.

Every Marine who ever served or will ever serve, serves at the pleasure of the Marine Corps. Duty assignments are at the discretion of the "Corps".

For those of you who never set foot on the ground in Vietnam, rest assured that:

1. You did your duty as you were assigned.
2. You performed those duties professionally with love of country and "Corps" in your heart, even though you may not have recognized it then.
3. You were disparaged equally with those of us who did have boots on the ground.
4. Today your service is equally honored as it should be.
5. You are just as much a Vietnam Veteran as any who were in country.

It's the luck of the draw.

Statics:

- 9,087,000 million men served on active duty from August, 1964 until May, 1975.
- 2,594,000 million men were "in country".
- 75,000 were disabled - 300% more than WW II and 70% more than Korea.

Again, It's the luck of the draw.

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


Hill 510 - 11th Marines

The first photo shows Marines of Echo and Whiskey Battery, 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines, 1st Marine Division working on clearing gun positions for fire support base on Hill 510, 35 miles southwest of DaNang. (Defense Dept. Photo, Taken by GySgt Parnell on or about 17-18 Jun 1970)

The second photo shows Marines of 11th Engineers as they swarm all over bridges as work is being rushed to Operational Route #9 to Khe Sanh on Operation Pegasus. (Defense Dept. Photo, Taken by SSgt J.A. Reid in April 1968)

Submitted by
John Ratomski


Marine Corps Never Saw Fit

Sgt Grit,

For years now, it has bothered me that the Marine Corps never saw fit to put me in a combat situation; initially, I was assigned to a 60mm mortar section of the local USMCR company, when I first joined in March, 1949. Our company, as was hundreds of others, was activated when North Korea attacked, and by 21 August 1950, we were on a troop train headed for Camp Pendleton.

After arriving at Camp Pendleton, I was pulled from the company, and began working for an old WWII Tech Sergeant, by the name of Jesse. Most of the Company was integrated into the 5th Marines, and made the landing at Inchon in September, and here I sat processing other Reservists as they came into Pendleton. Somewhere along here my MOS was changed to 0143, Clerk Typist, and in October I was transferred to Marine Barracks, U. S. Naval Station, San Diego, CA, and remained there until April 1951.

I was transferred to MCRDep, assigned to a recruit platoon in the 3d Recruit Training Battalion, graduating in June. At this point, my date of rank as PFC was 1 September 1949; the day after graduating from booth camp I began working in the Battalion office, and within a month of graduation, I was promoted to Corporal (E3).

So, from October, 1950 to April, 1956, I was stationed at MCRDep and the Amphibious Base at Coronado; five and one half years; transferred to the 3dMarDiv, on Okinawa for 14 months, and then right back to MCRDep for another 2 years.

Up and down the West Coast, MCAS, Iwakuni for a year, then to MCAS, Yuma, and onto HQMC in March 1967. By the end of 1969, I was fed up enough to submit my letter of intent to retire, THEN the Marine Corps issued me orders to Vietnam. Talk about the irony of the whole situation; the orders were cancelled and I hung it up on 31 January 1970. At the end of this month, it will be 45 years since I retired; now that makes me an old Marine!

It still bothers me that here I am a Gunnery Sergeant, with 5 service stripes, a Good Conduct medal (with 1 silver star), the National Defense Service medal (with 1 bronze star), and I finally realized that none of this would have happened if I HAD gone to Korea, and possibly, not come back! The best thing that ever happened during all this time was the fantastic lady that I would meet and marry, and have her around for over 56 years.

I guess it all works out in the long run.

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


PI 50 Years To The Day

Sgt Grit,

My wife & I planned a visit to Parris Island for 19 September 2014. It was fifty years to the day that I graduated with Platoon 157.

Unbeknownst to me, my wife was planning a surprise for me. With the help of a few members of my Marine Corps League Detachment (Tamarac Det. 755) she was able to get in touch with the correct Marines aboard Parris Island to help in the planning. ​She was hoping that maybe I would get recognized as a past recruit who was aboard the base for the day. What got arranged was reserved VIP seating at the Morning Colors Ceremony and the Graduation Ceremony. In between the two ceremonies I was asked to pose with the Commanding General and Depot Sgt Maj, along with my wife Lucretia, on the steps of the Headquarters Building (photo attached). As the General was giving his talk to the spectators at the Morning Colors he stood directly in front of me and glanced at me when he said something to the effect that the Marines of today build upon the Marines of the past.

We live about seven hours from PI and have visited the base many times over the years, but this visit will stick in my memory for many years to come.

Semper Fidelis,
Mike LaBozzetta
Cpl. 1964-1967
3371​


WWI And Truman

I have something to add about President Truman. Awhile back it was said that he was at the battle of Belleau Wood, he was not. Truman was an artillery officer with the 35th Infantry Division. This is a National Guard division made up of men from Kansas and Missouri. The 35th got in country about the same time as the battle and were put into one of the defensive sectors under French control. They did participate in the Argonne Offensive. I am researching them because my Great-Great Uncle was a rifleman in the 137th Regiment. I believe Truman's WWI experience affected his view of the active duty Army and probably played a role in his disdain for Gen. MacArthur. The 35th was constantly treated badly by the active duty component, and on the eve of the Argonne Offensive had many officers relieved and active duty officers put in those billets.

Years ago I read a book about WWI that stated because of censorship rules, Army units could only be identified as being "American Expeditionary Force" components, while some loophole in the rules allowed reporters to identify "Marines" in a battle. This caused a lot of b-tt-hurt in the Army and is a big reason why Marines were left out of the European theater. That is what the book said anyhow. The book stated that Gen. Eisenhower was one of the leaders keeping the Marines out of Europe. I wish I could remember the book, it was one of those I read on duty overnight about 20 years ago.

Gunny Rousseau, keep 'em coming, I really enjoy your letters. If I can find the disc with my Iraq pictures I'm going to submit a picture of me guarding a train in Iraq, hopefully to compliment your Korea pictures.

Semper Fi,
EAS
Iraq​


Yoshiwara

Sgt. Grit,

Yoshiwara was the area in Japan Proper where houses of ill repute had been for years and men wanting company of kind would go there. A lot of you that served in Okinawa will not know there was a Yoshiwara in Okinawa. This old brain doesn't recall it's location but I went there with a Member of the "Morning Star" Newspaper where I worked during Liberty Time.

When I last went to Okinawa, a year or so before I retired, I ran into an old Friend that had as exciting career as one could want serving in Two Wars as a Radioman.

Some time in the early 1950's (I believe) a plane with Eight Marines aboard went down some where in the Washington area. All men were put on duty and flew as "Observers" in the search planes, Rusty, my friend had just came back after doing his tour as Observer on a plane intending to get some chow at the Gedunk nearby. As he headed toward the gedunk a plane came down and cartwheeled between him and the gedunk so he forgot his wanting food and went to his Quarters.

During Korea on a Patrol he got separated from the Patrol during a Firefight and later found his bearings and was headed toward our lines when a Sniper saw a figure coming into our lines and was getting his sight on the figure when a Sergeant said: "Stop! That's Rusty" (There was so much more to this story I wish I could tell you.)

So here I was in Okinawa and ran into Rusty, he said he was working as Proof Reader at the Morning Star, but his time was up and asked if I wanted the job? I took over from Rusty as a Proof Reader at the Morning Star Newspaper for the grand sum of $5.00 an hour, the time one worked as Proof reader was about 4 to 6 hours a week, some times less and only with permission from your commanding Officer.

It was at the Morning Star I learned of many secrets of the Island and Yoshiwara. As I had a car one of the Okinawan Proof Readers showed me the Island and Where Yoshiwara was. Americans couldn't get into the Area, it was one area Out of Bounds for Americans but I got The Grand Tour around the out side with Girls hanging out of windows gesturing us to come in. He even pointed out Twins waving at us. Okinawa was a Bummer for most Marines but my Tour as Proof Reader kept it from being too boring.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Keep In Mind

Just read in the newsletter Wally Mackow's letter about being ignored while on a visit to Parris Island. He needs to keep in mind that almost everyone on that base is a Marine. It is not unusual for a Marine stationed there to see returning Marines and you really cannot expect them to fawn over them all -- if they did, they would have no time to earn their pay. It's nice when people recognize my service but I never expect it when out in the world, and I would not ever expect it on a Marine Corps base because there, you are not special, you are the same as everyone else. By the way, Wally, did you think to thank THEM for their service?

Semper Fi to one and all and a Happy New Year!

M. F. Weaver
CWO-4 (Ret.)
1965-'06​


Fed The Fish

The voyage that Norm is referring to was 9 days long as there was some maneuvers involve as well. About the the second day out I began feeling more than a little seasick and fed the fish until there was nothing left. I thought that would be the end of it, if there was nothing down there to throw up, you wouldn't have to hang over the rail anymore, WRONG! A couple more days of dry heaves and I seriously thought about letting go of the rail and just get it over with. Some wise old salt told me if you keep your belly full so the juice doesn't slosh around, you won't get sick. I made a record fast trip to ship stores and bought 2 huge boxes of soda crackers and ate till I thought I would pop. MAGIC, I started feeling a lot better right away and actually enjoyed the last couple days of the trip.

I felt lucky to be on the Clymer as the times we were in rough water I could see the bottoms of the LST's or LSD's, whatever they were, and was very glad not to be aboard one of those.

Bud Davis
L/Cpl 6412
VMA 212 '60-'63


The High Ground

By Robert Clark

A couple of years ago someone asked me if I still thought about Vietnam. I nearly laughed in their face. How do you stop thinking about it? Every day for the last twenty-four years, I wake up with it, and go to bed with it. But this is what I said. "Yea, I think about it. I can't quit thinking about it. I never will. But, I've also learned to live with it. I'm comfortable with the memories. I've learned to stop trying to forget and learned instead to embrace it. It just doesn't scare me anymore."

A psychologist once told me that NOT being affected by the experience over there would be abnormal. When he told me that, it was like he'd just given me a pardon. It was as if he said, "Go ahead and feel something about the place, Bob. It ain't going nowhere. You're gonna wear it for the rest of your life. Might as well get to know it."

A lot of my "brothers" haven't been so lucky. For them the memories are too painful, their sense of loss too great. My sister told me of a friend she has whose husband was in the Nam. She asks this guy when he was there. Here's what he said, "Just last night." It took my sister a while to figure out what he was talking about. JUST LAST NIGHT. Yeah I was in the Nam. When? JUST LAST NIGHT. During s-x with my wife. And on my way to work this morning. Over my lunch hour. Yeah, I was there.

My sister says I'm not the same brother that went to Vietnam. My wife says I won't let people get close to me, not even her. They are probably both right.

Ask a vet about making friends in Nam. It was risky. Why? Because we were in the business of death, and death was with us all the time. It wasn't the death of, "If I die before I wake." This was the real thing. The kind where boys scream for their mothers. The kind that lingers in your mind and becomes more real each time you cheat it. You don't want to make a lot of friends when the possibility of dying is that real, that close. When you do, friends become a liability.

A guy named Bob Flanigan was my friend. Bob Flanigan is dead. I put him in a body bag one sunny day, April 29, 1969. We'd been talking, only a few minutes before he was shot, about what we were going to do when we got back in the world. Now, this was a guy who had come in country the same time as myself. A guy who was loveable and generous. He had blue eyes and sandy blond hair.

When he talked, it was with a soft drawl. Flanigan was a hick and he knew it. That was part of his charm. He didn't care. Man, I loved this guy like the brother I never had. But, I screwed up. I got too close to him. Maybe I didn't know any better. But I broke one of the unwritten rules of war.

DON'T GET CLOSE TO PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO DIE. Sometimes you can't help it.

You hear vets use the term "buddy" when they refer to a guy they spent the war with. "Me and this buddy of mine..."

"Friend" sounds too intimate, doesn't it. "Friend" calls up images of being close. If he's a friend, then you are going to be hurt if he dies, and war hurts enough without adding to the pain. Get close; get hurt. It's as simple as that.

In war you learn to keep people at that distance my wife talks about. You become so good at it, that twenty years after the war, you still do it without thinking. You won't allow yourself to be vulnerable again.

My wife knows two people who can get into the soft spots inside me. My daughters. I know it probably bothers her that they can do this. It's not that I don't love my wife, I do. She's put up with a lot from me. She'll tell you that when she signed on for better or worse she had no idea there was going to be so much of the latter. But with my daughters it's different.

My girls are mine. They'll always be my kids. Not marriage, not distance, not even death can change that. They are something on this earth that can never be taken away from me. I belong to them. Nothing can change that.

I can have an ex-wife; but my girls can never have an ex-father. There's the difference.

I can still see the faces, though they all seem to have the same eyes. When I think of us I always see a line of "dirty grunts" sitting on a paddy dike. We're caught in the first gray silver between darkness and light. That first moment when we know we've survived another night, and the business of staying alive for one more day is about to begin. There was so much hope in that brief space of time. It's what we used to pray for. "One more day, God. One more day."

And I can hear our conversations as if they'd only just been spoken. I still hear the way we sounded, the hard cynical jokes, our morbid senses of humor. We were scared to death of dying, and trying our best not to show it.

I recall the smells, too. Like the way cordite hangs on the air after a fire-fight. Or the pungent odor of rice paddy mud. So different from the black dirt of Iowa. The mud of Nam smells ancient, somehow. Like it's always been there. And I'll never forget the way blood smells, stick and drying on my hands. I spent a long night that way once. That memory isn't going anywhere.

I remember how the night jungle appears almost dream like as the pilot of a Cessna buzzes overhead, dropping parachute flares until morning. That artificial sun would flicker and make shadows run through the jungle. It was worse than not being able to see what was out there sometimes. I remember once looking at the man next to me as a flare floated overhead. The shadows around his eyes were so deep that it looked like his eyes were gone. I reached over and touched him on the arm; without looking at me he touched my hand. "I know man. I know." That's what he said. It was a human moment. Two guys a long way from home and scared sh-tless.

"I know man." And at that moment he did.

God I loved those guys. I hurt every time one of them died. We all did. Despite our posturing. Despite our desire to stay disconnected, we couldn't help ourselves. I know why Tim O'Brien writes his stories. I know what gives Bruce Weigle the words to create poems so honest I cry at their horrible beauty. It's love. Love for those guys we shared the experience with.

We did our jobs like good soldiers, and we tried our best not to become as hard as our surroundings. We touched each other and said, "I know." Like a mother holding a child in the middle of a nightmare, "It's going to be all right." We tried not to lose touch with our humanity. We tried to walk that line. To be the good boys our parents had raised and not to give into that unnamed thing we knew was inside us all.

You want to know what frightening is? It's a nineteen-year-old-boy whose had a sip of that power over life and death that war gives you. It's a boy who, despite all the things he's been taught, knows that he likes it. It's a nineteen-year-old who's just lost a friend, and is angry and scared and, determined that, "Some *@#*s gonna pay." To this day, the thought of that boy can wake me from a sound sleep and leave me staring at the ceiling.

As I write this, I have a picture in front of me. It's of two young men. On their laps are tablets. One is smoking a cigarette. Both stare without expression at the camera. They're writing letters. Staying in touch with places they would rather be. Places and people they hope to see again.

The picture shares space in a frame with one of my wife. She doesn't mind. She knows she's been included in special company. She knows I'll always love those guys who shared that part of my life, a part she never can. And she understands how I feel about the ones I know are out there yet. The ones who still answer the question, "When were you in Vietnam?"

"Hey, man. I was there just last night."


Taps

Good Morning Sgt. Grit,

I Hate to be the Bearer of Bad News. We have lost another United States Marine. William, "Bill" Costello received His Final Orders Apx. one week ago. Before WWII, Bill was stationed in China with the United States Marines. I believe that was The Sixth Marine Division.

I met Mr. Costello when I joined The Marine Corps League, Captain Paul L. Gormley Detachment 823 in Hudson New Hampshire. Captain Gormley was K.I.A. in Vietnam. From the information that was given to us; The Captain's last word's to his First Sgt. "Make Sure All of Our People Get Out of Here"! The Captain Never Made It Out.

Jim Angelo


I'm reporting that Cpl. Thomas M. Christensen of Crescent City, Ca. has recently reported for duty at Heaven's Gates. Tom was wounded early in December 1950 by a Chinese grenade that fractured his skull and rendered him with a severe concussion during the breakout at the Chosin Reservoir in Korea. During the trip down the winding mountain road that lasted several days to the Port of Hungnam and evacuation, Tom was in and out of consciousness, but three things stuck in his memory. He remembered his litter being placed in a warming tent one night and an officer coming in and shaking his hand. He remembered one morning having his litter placed inside a weapons carrier along with that of another Marine and a Corpsman lashing the two litters to some stationary fixtures inside for one leg of the trip. The last memory was (always) the bitter cold that he and others had to endure. Tom eventually recovered from his other injuries but the frostbite and gangrene that followed left him missing some toes on both feet with circulation problems below the knees as well. Tom was medically retired as a Corporal with a certain percentage of disability. Through physical therepy and sheer determination Tom was able to walk at at normal pace and gait for most of the rest of his life, but any long walks or running was out of the question. He eventually raised a family and carved out a career for himself at FedCo.

Semper Fi!
Jim Quam
Sgt. of Marines


Short Rounds

I want to thank you for helping me with my dads 78th birthday. Just when you think an old gunny has it all. Thank you again.

Mrs. Beth J.


Quotes

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


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


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


"Make a hole and make it wide, part like the red f--------n sea."

"This is my rifle. There are many other, but this one is mine..."

"I pulled mess duty at the last supper."

"I was assigned to the Marine Detactment on Noah's Ark!"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 08 Jan 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 08 JAN 2014

In this issue:
• A Brotherhood Of Warriors
• Vietnam Vet And My Resume
• 69 Year Coma And A Wake Up

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GySgt Kelly's granddaughters wearing Sgt Grit shirts and night pants

GySgt Kelly's granddaughters in Sgt Grit shorts

Grit,

Merry Christmas to you and all of your troops there in Oklahoma City and I hope you all have a Happy, safe and healthy New Year. The pics are of two of my granddaughters, Meghan and Kelly on Christmas day sporting some of your wear. They were both thrilled at old grandpa's choices too.

Semper Fi,
Tom Kelly
GySgt USMC Ret

Get your own ladies gear at:

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A Brotherhood Of Warriors

Join The United States Marines. Travel to Exotic Distant Lands. Meet Exciting and Unusual People. And Kill Them. OOH RAH and Semper Fi Till I Die.

I have a full size American and Marine Corps Flag on a lit ten foot wood pole on my front porch. I also have a full size American Flag on a lit pole on my back porch. You want to know why? I have them there because I CAN have them there. I Earned the right to have them there, that's why!

"A US Marine's life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "OOH RAH! What a ride!"

It cannot be inherited. Nor can it ever be purchased. You and no one alive can buy it for any price. It is not possible to rent and cannot be lent. You alone and our own have earned it with our blood sweat and tears. You own it forever. What am I talking about? I'm talking about the Title Of United States Marine. That's what I'm talking about!

"I like being a Marine, because being a Marine is serious business. We are not a Social Club or a Fraternal Organization, and we do not pretend to be one. We are a Brotherhood of "Warriors", nothing more and nothing less, pure and simple. We are in the azs kicking business, and business is good!"

Semper Fidelis - Always Faithful... "It's More Than A Motto... It's A Way Of Life... Live it, I DO."

Semper Fi and OOH RAH!

Hanline, Ralph J. 2003536
Feb. 20, 1962 - Aug. 20, 1966


Sgt Grit Limited Time Special


29 Palms

Sgt Grit,

I enjoyed the letter concerning the song, "The Lady From Twentynine Palms". On my first trip (1964) into that town, I and some buddies went into a little cafe for lunch and, lo and behold, that song was playing on the jukebox. What a great beat it has! Today, as the leader of a little band (Cool Waters Band) in eastern Washington state, we play and I sing that song. Peope love it! Every time we perform that song, I get visions of my time at MCB 29 Palms. Some Marines who've served there think only about the dry heat and sleeping in tents out in the field. Being in artillery, when not in the field, we lived in AC squad bays. Ah, the joys of being 'gun bunnies'!

Semper Fi and Happy New Year to all Marines!
Bob Lonn, 0811 (and proud of it)​


Felt The Brotherhood

In response to the article "Noticed and Ignored" by Adam Mackow, I would like to submit and entirely different experience.

Last January I was vacationing in Hilton Head. And while I've been in that area many times, I've never stopped at Parris Island because I'm always armed, being a retired Police Officer, and I remember how much trouble I had getting on base when I was still working and in the Reserves.

Anyway, I called the base to see what the procedure was, since there was a graduation ceremony coming up and I really wanted to show it to my wife. I was politely informed that there was a gun/pawn shop in Port Royal that would hold them for me while I was on base.

There were six platoons graduating, so there were six or eight bleachers set up for the families. After clearing the metal detectors, I looked around, and not much looked familiar. It had been 49 years since I graduated. Back then everything was wood. Now everything was brick and looked like a collage campus.

I went up to a D I Sgt. to get my bearings. I was wearing a jacket with a Marine Corps patch and a pin with my rank (Sgt). We spoke for a few minutes then I thanked him and went to find a seat in the bleachers. I got about halfway past the first one when the Sgt, tapped me on the shoulder as he walked past and said "You're with me". My wife and I followed him past all the bleachers until we got to the VIP section, I guess, because it was roped off from the rest. We stepped over the rope and he sat us in the first row, front and center. I couldn't have paid for better seats. We thanked him and he was gone. I really felt the brotherhood that day.

Sgt. Bill Michell
'65-'68, '75-'77


Vietnam Vet And My Resume

As a Marine Vietnam vet, I had a somewhat different experience than Gary Neely. I got out of the Corps in 1968 to go into politics and, I thought, fix things. (Okay, I was pretty naive at 22.) At Mount Wachusetts Community College, I ran twice for student council and then for council president, and, though I didn't have a group of high school friends there going in, I won every time. I used pictures of me in Vietnam on my posters. At the University of Massachusetts, I decided at the last minute to run for the student senate, on write-ins, against a kid who had lived in the dorm for a year. I won. I never hid that I was a vet.

I graduated from UMass in June, 1972, and in November of that year I defeated an incumbent Massachusetts Democrat state senator by 9 votes, in a 4-1 Democrat district last won by a Republican in 1938, the first of my five wins. (Including being nominated by both parties in 1976.) I always used pictures of myself in the Corps in my campaign flyers. In 1982, I was fed up with politics and retired undefeated to become an association executive.

For 31 years, I held increasingly responsible and better paying jobs. My resume always had a section on my service in the Corps, including the six years I spent in the active reserves while a senator ('77-'83). If it hurt me, I didn't know it. And if they were biased against Marines, I didn't want to work for them. Looking at the later results at some of the jobs I didn't get, they could have used a little Marine discipline.

I had to retire October 1, 2013 due to pulmonary fibrosis, but I'm hoping the lung the VA gave me on December 23, 2013 will improve to the point were I can return to part time work as a consultant or substitute teacher. If so, my resume will still list my USMC service proudly. No compromise, no surrender.

Semper Fidelis,
Robert A. Hall
Once a SSGT, still a Marine


69 Year Coma And A Wake Up

WWII Marine James Hill awakes from 69 year coma

Truth or Not?

San Diego

An American Marine injured during the Second World War and stuck in a deep coma ever since, has finally regained consciousness this Monday at the Naval Medical Center (NMCSD). James Hill, a 95-year old former Sergeant who is decorated with two purple heart medals and a Navy Cross, was severely injured by the explosion of an artillery shell during the battle of Iwo Jima, on the 27th of February 1945. Doctors had been able to miraculously save his life, but the shock was so violent and the brain damage was so severe, that they thought he was condemned to remain inert for the rest of his life.

It is a controversial new treatment that was recently applied to Mr. Hill, that somehow extracted him from his unconsciousness. This new approach developed by a German scientist, Professor Hans Friedritch Muller, is based on the use of various experimental drugs and repeated series of low voltage eletroshocks. This technique is still in its development phase and had been allowed to be tested only on four patients who were considered to have "very low probabilities" of recovering.

The surprising turnout of the experiment unfortunately comes many years to late to save the military hero's marriage and family life. His wife remained loyally at his side for nine years, caring for their two children, one of which she was bearing when he was dispatched overseas and whom he never never had seen before yesterday. She finally filed for divorce and obtained it in 1954, and got remarried one year later. Her new husband legally adopted Mr. Hill's children, since he was considered "brain dead". Sixty years later, he now wakes up to find out his wife and son are already dead, and his unknown daughter is turning 70 years old. He however has four grandchildren and three great grandchildren, whom he has never met, a strange solace that hopefully will help him accept his situation.

The readaptation process is also expected to be extremely difficult for the old man, if not impossible. Most of his muscles have not been stimulated for years and a long program of physiotherapy will be need before Mister Hill can even move his arms normally, and he might never be able to stand or walk again. His accustomation to the wide range of new technologies that appeared during his coma should also prove very difficult if not completely impossible, considering he has never seen a computer in his life. Bringing the man to understand the world's historical evolution since 1945 and explaining to him the context in which he has awakened, should already take a lot of time and effort, and also quite a bit of diplomacy.

According to the Guinness World Records, Mr. Hill is now the holder of many certified records, including the longest coma ever recorded and the longest coma from which anyone ever emerged. The former record for the longest coma ever was held by Elaine Esposito, dubbed the "sleeping beauty," who stayed in a coma for 37 years and 111 days before succumbing in 1978, while the record of longest coma ever survived was held by the American Terry Wallis from the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, who on June 11, 2003, regained awareness after spending 19 years in a minimally conscious state.

(Found on worldnewsdailyreport.com)


Wallet

Sgt. Grit,

Thanks to Bill Mauney for showing his 1966 3rd Mar. Div. Christmas wallet. I have also had mine since about February of 1967 when I was with 'C' Co. 1/4 somewhere in the Thua Thien Province. Somehow, although I lost most everything else, I did manage to keep hold of that wallet. Not much else lasted very long in that weather and climate. My first thought when I saw it is about the same as today: I do wish they had spelled out the word Christmas and not used the not-so-welcome X-Mas. Still, it was a smile in an otherwise very busy time for us.

Doc John Patrick
HM3 Ret.​


Montford Point Responses

M/Sgt Frank Peace said that when he entered the Corps in 1961 the pay for recruits was $78.00. I was a disbursing/travel expense clerk from 1957-60. The pay for an E-1 then was $83.20. For an E-2 it was $85.80 and an E-3 it was $99.37 per month. All pay based on being under two years in service.

In 1958 Montford Point was a base for various schools. I went to travel expense school there. We had heard that it was were black Marines trained before integration. There was still vestiges of segregation in North Carolina at the time, especially in Jacksonville. However, every barber on base was a black man. But they wouldn't let the movie, Something of Value, be shown because of the MauMau theme.

The nicest thing about Camp Lejeune and North Carolina was that you could drink beer at 18. Coming from Camp Pendleton, that was like manna from the sky!

The name Montford Point comes up quite a lot here in the Detroit area.

James V. Merl
1655xxxx


This is in regard to MSgt Frank Peaces' letter about Montford Point. I believe the story of Black Marines shooting up Jacksonville is an "urban Legend". I retired in Jacksonville, NC (home of Montford point and Camp Lejeune) and have never heard of this historically. However there was a widely read fictional pocket novel in the 60's that related this very story, which I have read.

MSgt Patrick Farmer
1960-1986​


In the letter written by MSgt. Peace, he has the facts wrong. The Montford Point Marines existed from 1942 to 1949. Harry Truman was President from 1945 to 1953. Randolph McCall Pate was Commandant from 1956 to 1959.

I know nothing about the rest of his story, but heard different versions of basically the the same story line with different people.

Sgt Don Lown
1954-1964​


I'm curious as to MSgt Frank Peace's submission regarding the incident. It reminded me of Hari Rhodes' book, "A Chosen Few", which dealt with just such an incident around the time the facility was being shut down, and was written as fiction. Is there any documentation of such actual incident?

Duke, USMC '66-'70


Ammo Christmas Tree

Here is a Christmas tree that is fit for a Marine!

Semper Fi!

Ammo Christmas tree


Bowling And Salutes

I came home for my first leave after MCRDPI plt 147 and ITR in 1961. My uncle, a 1st Sgt in the Army was also home on leave. He asked me if I would care to go bowling with him and I agreed and also suggested we wear our uniforms, no problem. I had fired 189 at the rifle range with 190 being minimum to qualify which assured me that I would leave PI as a E-1 slick sleeve. So while climbing the steps of Sammy White's Bowling Alley near my home in Newton, Massachusetts we met 2 young soldiers on their way out. They looked at the seasoned 1st Sgt with many hash marks and then at the young guy with no stripes and decided this must be an officer and saluted me. You can imagine the response from my uncle Roy, he might could've made Gunny in the Marines.

Semper Fi,
Tom Piercy
Corporal of Marines​


It's Effect Is Felt Today

Safe Conduct Pass Chieu Hoi Pass

Sgt. Grit,

World War I was fought by all the Armed Services of the United States, however there was a small problem that affected Harry Truman, George Marshall, Douglas MacArther and many others but that is not talked about. There was a Reporter for the Chicago Tribune I believe (I'm reaching back into this old brain) named Floyd Gibbons who was with the Marines at Belleau Woods, he lost an eye during his Stint as a War Correspondent with the Marines.

His story was the first real story about the War, according to all the information, he was sent to the Marines because General John J. Pershing felt the Belleau Wood Battle would be a small part of the War and General Pershing wouldn't allow Reporters into the Big Battles coming up. But Floyd Gibbons story was the first Big Story of the War and was picked up by newspapers all over America which left people to believe the Marines were the only ones fighting the War. Don't believe it? it's the Facts. This left a Hard Spot in the hearts of many of the Army Officers and Soldiers who had fought just as hard and Died. There is no taking back all those newspapers and rumors and stories, its effect is felt today.

Going through my junk and stuff I keep finding the silly stuff from the Vietnam War. I found this item that was called the magazine Case. It was to protect your full mag's in the magazine pouch in your cartridge belt. When you got in a fire fight you would have to rip this plastic pouch to get your magazine out and after you had won the Fire Fight, you would be able to distribute "CHIEU HOI" passes to the enemy or they could pick them up after they killed all the Americans and Surrender to the nearest American. This was another of Sec. Defense MacNamara's schemes. I had a bunch of these along with a bunch of the Paper CHIEU HOI Passes that collectors of Vietnam War Souvenirs used to buy from me at Gun Shows. (Note the date under Chieu Hoi). Grit you ought to have a wall so we could send you junk like this to show people just how stupid some of it was. Do many of you remember the MacNamara line? He had all those big Helicopters putting up all those big Stands?

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Note: Actually Gunny I do have a hallway dedicated to stuff people have sent me and my own collection.

Sgt Grit

Sgt Grit Collection Hallway


From The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol. #1, #2)

November 22, 1950. It is 0500 and at the end of this workday I am going home to see the love of my life - for the first time since September 10th, when I drove her to Earlham in Richmond, Indiana to go to College. I will be leaving Camp Lejeune in eleven hours and can hardly wait to be on my way. We have been in constant contact with each other since 9/10 and have our plans for this Thanksgiving weekend pretty much in order. I don't know what time her bus will reach Philadelphia or Mt. Holly but I expect it to be quite late. I will not reach my home until after midnight so it does not make much difference. We will be spending tonight in our respective homes. I will go to her house about 1000 in the morning to see her. Then she will come to The Hemlocks early Thanksgiving afternoon to see my parents and we will all go to her house for our first Thanksgiving dinner. Mary and I will go out after dinner and I will take her home between 0200 and 0300. On Friday morning I will pick her up and we will be off to somewhere nice until later in the day. We will stop by my house for a couple of hours sometime during the afternoon to visit with my parents and be off again for the evening and we will return to her house where we will sleep in her room. Saturday morning I will return to The Hemlocks for one of my Mom's famous breakfasts. Mary will eat at her home. I will pick her up just after Noon and we will go wherever we wish. Saturday afternoon we will return to my house and her parents will come over for one of my Mom's special Thanksgiving dinners. Saturday evening we will be off again for who knows where and we will return to The Hemlocks and Mary will sleep with me. (Yes, my mother had finally decided that she could. My Dad had agreed to this early on but it was something that my Mom took a lot more time to agree to. She really loves Mary and I think this had a lot to do with her decision.) Sunday morning we will probably sleep late and then have one of my mother's big breakfasts. We will then go over to her house for a late lunch. She will have to be taken to the Greyhound Station and I will do that. Then I will go back home where I will remain until 1900 when I have to leave for the base. That is cutting everything pretty close but with her having to go some 600 miles and me having to go 500 miles this is necessary. I can hardly wait. It is finally 1500 and I am going over to my barracks to get ready for the trip north. It seems as though everyone on base was leaving for somewhere. It was my plan to be pretty close to the gate at 1600 but I find that I am about as far back as usual.

I went thru the gate at about 1630 but I will make up this time and reach Petersburg at 2000, Washington at 2200 and be home just after 2400. I was in Petersburg at the usual time, 2000, to fill the tank - and my belly - and walked into The Hemlocks just after midnight. I went straight up to my room. My mother heard me come in and came running across the hall. She asked "Were you listening to your radio?" I replied "I had some music on." She said "Did you hear about the big accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike?" I said "No, I did not. What are you trying to tell me?" She said Mrs.'B' had called to tell us that Mary was one of those killed in that Greyhound bus... It took a few moments for this to settle in and I screamed "NO" loud enough to be heard in Mexico. I repeated "NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO - This cannot be! What happened?" She said "The Pennsylvania State Police have not sorted it out yet but there were two tractor-trailers, the Greyhound bus and about a dozen cars approaching the Midway when all hell broke loose. There was a patch of fog and the cars went every which way. The bus driver and some half dozen of his passengers were among those killed. The 'Bs' were notified within minutes that Mary was one of the deceased. I don't think I would call them now but you will want to call them first thing in the morning." Mom and I went downstairs. We were up all night. The 'Bs' probably knew I would be home by now and I thought that maybe I should call them but Mom did not think so and I didn't.

I decided to call them about 0900, an hour before I had planned to visit Mary. They had been up all night, too. And they had made some plans for the viewing and funeral. The Perinchief Funeral Home would be handling the services. The viewing would take place at 1900 on Friday evening and the funeral at 1300 on Sunday. They asked if I had anything to suggest. I told them that I would suggest an all white casket with gold colored handles and that Mary be dressed in all white, too. That would leave the only other color inside the casket her jet black hair. And she should wear the gold pin that I had given her when I completed my courses with the Marine Corps Institute and the gold and opal ring I had given her when she graduated from high school in 1948. They agreed with all of my suggestions. I told them that I was reasonably certain that most of those that would be at the viewing would be classmates from the classes of 1947 & 1948; that I would wear my Dress Blues and stand at the head of the casket with them. And my mother, who was listening to all this, said she and Dad would stand at the foot of the casket - as long as they could do so. And this is pretty much the way it went. I stood at the head of the casket with the 'Bs' - in my Dress Blues - with tears flowing from my eyes almost the entire time. There was nothing I could do about that. I had called the base and invited CWO4 R. R. Dyer and his wife, Louise, and Gunny Sergeant Joe N. Harbin and his wife, also a Louise, to come up and stay at The Hemlocks. They did - in Mr. Dyer's new Chrysler. Mary was buried in the Odd Fellows Cemetery. It was a really beautiful service - but under trying conditions. My guests from Camp Lejeune had stayed at The Hemlocks for two nights and loved the place. They returned to Lejeune immediately following Mary's burial and Mr. Dyer told me to return 'whenever I was ready to do so'. It was a horrible ending to a really beautiful relationship. I departed at 1900, reached the base at 0400 and was at my desk by my usual time 0750 Monday morning. It was a very hard day, a disastrous ending to what was a very unusual but beautiful relationship. I really loved that girl - with ALL my heart. She was one of a kind - from a lovely family - and I wanted badly for her to be my wife.

Semper Fi. The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny with the Santa Claus beard.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


Oh, Karma

OH, Karma... she's a real beyitch... Got well deserved lumps all over me about my foxtrot uniform charlie kilo - uniform papa over the Kamikaze genesis... hope that doesn't make me a libural... (that part about not knowing that the things you know are the ones that just aren't so...) Have been described as often wrong, never in doubt... and knew I should have checked... will have to get a volunteer, preferably somebody who owes me a lot of money, to count my corrective pushups...

I had an excellent large format book of all of the great naval battles of recorded history... illustrated, documented, sourced, etc... given to me, so I gave it to a young neighbor, who is currently in his third year at Annapolis. When he was accepted, his letter of acceptance happened to arrive on an election day. His Dad passed the word when he came in to vote (I volunteer as a poll worker...). Here in TN, one signs an application for a ballot, which is given to the machine operator, who enables the electronic machine, etc. The lad himself came in later, to vote for his first time, and from my post, I could see that he signed with his left hand. He just happened to get my machine... and as I congratulated him on his selection to the Naval Academy, I told him it was a real shame that he would not be able to go Marine option... since he's been looking at our flag pole for about ten years, he kinda has the idea that the coot across the street is a Marine... and he looked a little puzzled... even after I told him it was because we didn't accept left-handed applicants... so, my excuse is, had I not given the book away... I coulda checked, so some slack is deserved? (yeah, I know... Goo whatever... 'round here, a Goo-Goo (candy) is a diabetic coma wrapped in plastic...).

Ddick


Taps

Marine Brothers and Sisters,

We have recently been notified that the old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny Harold T. Freas, Sr. reported to his final post guarding heaven's gates on 5 December 2014 after giving his long time illness one h-ll of a fight. Most of us have come to know the Master Gunnery Sergeant by his submissions in the Sgt Grit Newsletter titled "From The DISBURSING CHIEF". We are glad that we all had the opportunity to be taken back to the "Old Corps" days by his stories that were filled with recollections of delicious sounding chow, ups and downs of Marine Corps life, as well as tales of road trips up and down the eastern coast. The MGySgt will be missed and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones.

View his obituary at MGySgt Harold T. Freas, Sr.


Short Round

In the Dec 31st Newsletter, I wrote about Vietnam Era Veterans in response to Cpl Bruce Benders article of Dec 24th. While I stand By my assertions, I do have to stand corrected to one matter, which is that Vietnam Era Veterans is a nationally recognized service organization by the Dept of Veterans Affairs right along side the Marine Corps League.

Bill Allen
Cpl
RVN 1966 1/5


Roger F. Torres comment of being a House Mouse in Boot Camp. I served with Roger in Viet Nam 16 Mar 67 to 28 Mar 68, did not know he was ever a mouse. He was about 5' 6", and 125 pounds but was a hell of a good Marine. My BEST FRIEND and Commrade.

Semper Fi
Raymond Edwards, SGT MAJ, USMC (Ret) '66-'96


To: Peter D, Vic DeLeon, & others,

Douglas AC-47's (Attack) were called Spooky or Puff. Fairchild AC-119's were either Shadows or Stingers (added 20mm cannon). Lockheed AC-130 Spectre's were called Ghostrider's, Stinger II's, & also Spooky.

Utech, T. A.
2438835
RVN '68-'69
F/2/24 '83-'84


Quotes

Quote by 1stSgt Dan Daly

"Come on you son's of b-tches, do you want to live forever?"
--1stSgt Dan Daly, inscribed on the wall of the National Museum of the Marine Corps


"During the course of administration, and in order to disturb it, the artillery of the press has been leveled against us, charged with whatsoever its licentiousness could devise or dare. These abuses of an institution so important to freedom and science are deeply to be regretted, in as much as they tend to lessen its usefulness and to sap its safety."
--President Thomas Jefferson, Second Inaugural Address, 1805


"You guys are the Marine's doctors - There's none better in the business than a Navy Corpsman..."
--Lieutenant General "Chesty" Puller


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


"I have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress..."
--President Ronald Reagan


"We are United States Marines, and for two and a quarter centuries we have defined the standards of courage, esprit, and military prowess."
--Gen. James L. Jones, USMC (CMC); 10 November 2000


In Formation after chow... D I: "Leave them alone, you had yours now you let them have theirs!"

"Arrogance, My Asz, It's Pride, USMC."

"Maggot... if you don't get outta my sight NOW!... We will need a 5-man funeral detail... Two handles on the sh-tcan, two for road guards, one to count cadence..."

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 08 Jan 2015
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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 08 JAN 2014

In this issue:
• A Brotherhood Of Warriors
• Vietnam Vet And My Resume
• 69 Year Coma And A Wake Up

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Grit,

Merry Christmas to you and all of your troops there in Oklahoma City and I hope you all have a Happy, safe and healthy New Year. The pics are of two of my granddaughters, Meghan and Kelly on Christmas day sporting some of your wear. They were both thrilled at old grandpa's choices too.

Semper Fi,
Tom Kelly
GySgt USMC Ret

Get your own ladies gear at:

Shades of Pink Women's Semper Fidelis USMC T-shirt

Women's Oohrah Grey Shorts

Embroidered Black and White
Plaid USMC Night Pants



A Brotherhood Of Warriors

Join The United States Marines. Travel to Exotic Distant Lands. Meet Exciting and Unusual People. And Kill Them. OOH RAH and Semper Fi Till I Die.

I have a full size American and Marine Corps Flag on a lit ten foot wood pole on my front porch. I also have a full size American Flag on a lit pole on my back porch. You want to know why? I have them there because I CAN have them there. I Earned the right to have them there, that's why!

"A US Marine's life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "OOH RAH! What a ride!"

It cannot be inherited. Nor can it ever be purchased. You and no one alive can buy it for any price. It is not possible to rent and cannot be lent. You alone and our own have earned it with our blood sweat and tears. You own it forever. What am I talking about? I'm talking about the Title Of United States Marine. That's what I'm talking about!

"I like being a Marine, because being a Marine is serious business. We are not a Social Club or a Fraternal Organization, and we do not pretend to be one. We are a Brotherhood of "Warriors", nothing more and nothing less, pure and simple. We are in the azs kicking business, and business is good!"

Semper Fidelis - Always Faithful... "It's More Than A Motto... It's A Way Of Life... Live it, I DO."

Semper Fi and OOH RAH!

Hanline, Ralph J. 2003536
Feb. 20, 1962 - Aug. 20, 1966


29 Palms

Sgt Grit,

I enjoyed the letter concerning the song, "The Lady From Twentynine Palms". On my first trip (1964) into that town, I and some buddies went into a little cafe for lunch and, lo and behold, that song was playing on the jukebox. What a great beat it has! Today, as the leader of a little band (Cool Waters Band) in eastern Washington state, we play and I sing that song. Peope love it! Every time we perform that song, I get visions of my time at MCB 29 Palms. Some Marines who've served there think only about the dry heat and sleeping in tents out in the field. Being in artillery, when not in the field, we lived in AC squad bays. Ah, the joys of being 'gun bunnies'!

Semper Fi and Happy New Year to all Marines!
Bob Lonn, 0811 (and proud of it)​


Felt The Brotherhood

In response to the article "Noticed and Ignored" by Adam Mackow, I would like to submit and entirely different experience.

Last January I was vacationing in Hilton Head. And while I've been in that area many times, I've never stopped at Parris Island because I'm always armed, being a retired Police Officer, and I remember how much trouble I had getting on base when I was still working and in the Reserves.

Anyway, I called the base to see what the procedure was, since there was a graduation ceremony coming up and I really wanted to show it to my wife. I was politely informed that there was a gun/pawn shop in Port Royal that would hold them for me while I was on base.

There were six platoons graduating, so there were six or eight bleachers set up for the families. After clearing the metal detectors, I looked around, and not much looked familiar. It had been 49 years since I graduated. Back then everything was wood. Now everything was brick and looked like a collage campus.

I went up to a D I Sgt. to get my bearings. I was wearing a jacket with a Marine Corps patch and a pin with my rank (Sgt). We spoke for a few minutes then I thanked him and went to find a seat in the bleachers. I got about halfway past the first one when the Sgt, tapped me on the shoulder as he walked past and said "You're with me". My wife and I followed him past all the bleachers until we got to the VIP section, I guess, because it was roped off from the rest. We stepped over the rope and he sat us in the first row, front and center. I couldn't have paid for better seats. We thanked him and he was gone. I really felt the brotherhood that day.

Sgt. Bill Michell
'65-'68, '75-'77


Vietnam Vet And My Resume

As a Marine Vietnam vet, I had a somewhat different experience than Gary Neely. I got out of the Corps in 1968 to go into politics and, I thought, fix things. (Okay, I was pretty naive at 22.) At Mount Wachusetts Community College, I ran twice for student council and then for council president, and, though I didn't have a group of high school friends there going in, I won every time. I used pictures of me in Vietnam on my posters. At the University of Massachusetts, I decided at the last minute to run for the student senate, on write-ins, against a kid who had lived in the dorm for a year. I won. I never hid that I was a vet.

I graduated from UMass in June, 1972, and in November of that year I defeated an incumbent Massachusetts Democrat state senator by 9 votes, in a 4-1 Democrat district last won by a Republican in 1938, the first of my five wins. (Including being nominated by both parties in 1976.) I always used pictures of myself in the Corps in my campaign flyers. In 1982, I was fed up with politics and retired undefeated to become an association executive.

For 31 years, I held increasingly responsible and better paying jobs. My resume always had a section on my service in the Corps, including the six years I spent in the active reserves while a senator ('77-'83). If it hurt me, I didn't know it. And if they were biased against Marines, I didn't want to work for them. Looking at the later results at some of the jobs I didn't get, they could have used a little Marine discipline.

I had to retire October 1, 2013 due to pulmonary fibrosis, but I'm hoping the lung the VA gave me on December 23, 2013 will improve to the point were I can return to part time work as a consultant or substitute teacher. If so, my resume will still list my USMC service proudly. No compromise, no surrender.

Semper Fidelis,
Robert A. Hall
Once a SSGT, still a Marine


69 Year Coma And A Wake Up

Truth or Not?

San Diego

An American Marine injured during the Second World War and stuck in a deep coma ever since, has finally regained consciousness this Monday at the Naval Medical Center (NMCSD). James Hill, a 95-year old former Sergeant who is decorated with two purple heart medals and a Navy Cross, was severely injured by the explosion of an artillery shell during the battle of Iwo Jima, on the 27th of February 1945. Doctors had been able to miraculously save his life, but the shock was so violent and the brain damage was so severe, that they thought he was condemned to remain inert for the rest of his life.

It is a controversial new treatment that was recently applied to Mr. Hill, that somehow extracted him from his unconsciousness. This new approach developed by a German scientist, Professor Hans Friedritch Muller, is based on the use of various experimental drugs and repeated series of low voltage eletroshocks. This technique is still in its development phase and had been allowed to be tested only on four patients who were considered to have "very low probabilities" of recovering.

The surprising turnout of the experiment unfortunately comes many years to late to save the military hero's marriage and family life. His wife remained loyally at his side for nine years, caring for their two children, one of which she was bearing when he was dispatched overseas and whom he never never had seen before yesterday. She finally filed for divorce and obtained it in 1954, and got remarried one year later. Her new husband legally adopted Mr. Hill's children, since he was considered "brain dead". Sixty years later, he now wakes up to find out his wife and son are already dead, and his unknown daughter is turning 70 years old. He however has four grandchildren and three great grandchildren, whom he has never met, a strange solace that hopefully will help him accept his situation.

The readaptation process is also expected to be extremely difficult for the old man, if not impossible. Most of his muscles have not been stimulated for years and a long program of physiotherapy will be need before Mister Hill can even move his arms normally, and he might never be able to stand or walk again. His accustomation to the wide range of new technologies that appeared during his coma should also prove very difficult if not completely impossible, considering he has never seen a computer in his life. Bringing the man to understand the world's historical evolution since 1945 and explaining to him the context in which he has awakened, should already take a lot of time and effort, and also quite a bit of diplomacy.

According to the Guinness World Records, Mr. Hill is now the holder of many certified records, including the longest coma ever recorded and the longest coma from which anyone ever emerged. The former record for the longest coma ever was held by Elaine Esposito, dubbed the "sleeping beauty," who stayed in a coma for 37 years and 111 days before succumbing in 1978, while the record of longest coma ever survived was held by the American Terry Wallis from the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, who on June 11, 2003, regained awareness after spending 19 years in a minimally conscious state.

(Found on worldnewsdailyreport.com)


Wallet

Sgt. Grit,

Thanks to Bill Mauney for showing his 1966 3rd Mar. Div. Christmas wallet. I have also had mine since about February of 1967 when I was with 'C' Co. 1/4 somewhere in the Thua Thien Province. Somehow, although I lost most everything else, I did manage to keep hold of that wallet. Not much else lasted very long in that weather and climate. My first thought when I saw it is about the same as today: I do wish they had spelled out the word Christmas and not used the not-so-welcome X-Mas. Still, it was a smile in an otherwise very busy time for us.

Doc John Patrick
HM3 Ret.​


Montford Point Responses

M/Sgt Frank Peace said that when he entered the Corps in 1961 the pay for recruits was $78.00. I was a disbursing/travel expense clerk from 1957-60. The pay for an E-1 then was $83.20. For an E-2 it was $85.80 and an E-3 it was $99.37 per month. All pay based on being under two years in service.

In 1958 Montford Point was a base for various schools. I went to travel expense school there. We had heard that it was were black Marines trained before integration. There was still vestiges of segregation in North Carolina at the time, especially in Jacksonville. However, every barber on base was a black man. But they wouldn't let the movie, Something of Value, be shown because of the MauMau theme.

The nicest thing about Camp Lejeune and North Carolina was that you could drink beer at 18. Coming from Camp Pendleton, that was like manna from the sky!

The name Montford Point comes up quite a lot here in the Detroit area.

James V. Merl
1655xxxx


This is in regard to MSgt Frank Peaces' letter about Montford Point. I believe the story of Black Marines shooting up Jacksonville is an "urban Legend". I retired in Jacksonville, NC (home of Montford point and Camp Lejeune) and have never heard of this historically. However there was a widely read fictional pocket novel in the 60's that related this very story, which I have read.

MSgt Patrick Farmer
1960-1986​


In the letter written by MSgt. Peace, he has the facts wrong. The Montford Point Marines existed from 1942 to 1949. Harry Truman was President from 1945 to 1953. Randolph McCall Pate was Commandant from 1956 to 1959.

I know nothing about the rest of his story, but heard different versions of basically the the same story line with different people.

Sgt Don Lown
1954-1964​


I'm curious as to MSgt Frank Peace's submission regarding the incident. It reminded me of Hari Rhodes' book, "A Chosen Few", which dealt with just such an incident around the time the facility was being shut down, and was written as fiction. Is there any documentation of such actual incident?

Duke, USMC '66-'70


Bowling And Salutes

I came home for my first leave after MCRDPI plt 147 and ITR in 1961. My uncle, a 1st Sgt in the Army was also home on leave. He asked me if I would care to go bowling with him and I agreed and also suggested we wear our uniforms, no problem. I had fired 189 at the rifle range with 190 being minimum to qualify which assured me that I would leave PI as a E-1 slick sleeve. So while climbing the steps of Sammy White's Bowling Alley near my home in Newton, Massachusetts we met 2 young soldiers on their way out. They looked at the seasoned 1st Sgt with many hash marks and then at the young guy with no stripes and decided this must be an officer and saluted me. You can imagine the response from my uncle Roy, he might could've made Gunny in the Marines.

Semper Fi,
Tom Piercy
Corporal of Marines​


It's Effect Is Felt Today

Sgt. Grit,

World War I was fought by all the Armed Services of the United States, however there was a small problem that affected Harry Truman, George Marshall, Douglas MacArther and many others but that is not talked about. There was a Reporter for the Chicago Tribune I believe (I'm reaching back into this old brain) named Floyd Gibbons who was with the Marines at Belleau Woods, he lost an eye during his Stint as a War Correspondent with the Marines.

His story was the first real story about the War, according to all the information, he was sent to the Marines because General John J. Pershing felt the Belleau Wood Battle would be a small part of the War and General Pershing wouldn't allow Reporters into the Big Battles coming up. But Floyd Gibbons story was the first Big Story of the War and was picked up by newspapers all over America which left people to believe the Marines were the only ones fighting the War. Don't believe it? it's the Facts. This left a Hard Spot in the hearts of many of the Army Officers and Soldiers who had fought just as hard and Died. There is no taking back all those newspapers and rumors and stories, its effect is felt today.

Going through my junk and stuff I keep finding the silly stuff from the Vietnam War. I found this item that was called the magazine Case. It was to protect your full mag's in the magazine pouch in your cartridge belt. When you got in a fire fight you would have to rip this plastic pouch to get your magazine out and after you had won the Fire Fight, you would be able to distribute "CHIEU HOI" passes to the enemy or they could pick them up after they killed all the Americans and Surrender to the nearest American. This was another of Sec. Defense MacNamara's schemes. I had a bunch of these along with a bunch of the Paper CHIEU HOI Passes that collectors of Vietnam War Souvenirs used to buy from me at Gun Shows. (Note the date under Chieu Hoi). Grit you ought to have a wall so we could send you junk like this to show people just how stupid some of it was. Do many of you remember the MacNamara line? He had all those big Helicopters putting up all those big Stands?

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Note: Actually Gunny I do have a hallway dedicated to stuff people have sent me and my own collection.

Sgt Grit


From The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol. #1, #2)

November 22, 1950. It is 0500 and at the end of this workday I am going home to see the love of my life - for the first time since September 10th, when I drove her to Earlham in Richmond, Indiana to go to College. I will be leaving Camp Lejeune in eleven hours and can hardly wait to be on my way. We have been in constant contact with each other since 9/10 and have our plans for this Thanksgiving weekend pretty much in order. I don't know what time her bus will reach Philadelphia or Mt. Holly but I expect it to be quite late. I will not reach my home until after midnight so it does not make much difference. We will be spending tonight in our respective homes. I will go to her house about 1000 in the morning to see her. Then she will come to The Hemlocks early Thanksgiving afternoon to see my parents and we will all go to her house for our first Thanksgiving dinner. Mary and I will go out after dinner and I will take her home between 0200 and 0300. On Friday morning I will pick her up and we will be off to somewhere nice until later in the day. We will stop by my house for a couple of hours sometime during the afternoon to visit with my parents and be off again for the evening and we will return to her house where we will sleep in her room. Saturday morning I will return to The Hemlocks for one of my Mom's famous breakfasts. Mary will eat at her home. I will pick her up just after Noon and we will go wherever we wish. Saturday afternoon we will return to my house and her parents will come over for one of my Mom's special Thanksgiving dinners. Saturday evening we will be off again for who knows where and we will return to The Hemlocks and Mary will sleep with me. (Yes, my mother had finally decided that she could. My Dad had agreed to this early on but it was something that my Mom took a lot more time to agree to. She really loves Mary and I think this had a lot to do with her decision.) Sunday morning we will probably sleep late and then have one of my mother's big breakfasts. We will then go over to her house for a late lunch. She will have to be taken to the Greyhound Station and I will do that. Then I will go back home where I will remain until 1900 when I have to leave for the base. That is cutting everything pretty close but with her having to go some 600 miles and me having to go 500 miles this is necessary. I can hardly wait. It is finally 1500 and I am going over to my barracks to get ready for the trip north. It seems as though everyone on base was leaving for somewhere. It was my plan to be pretty close to the gate at 1600 but I find that I am about as far back as usual.

I went thru the gate at about 1630 but I will make up this time and reach Petersburg at 2000, Washington at 2200 and be home just after 2400. I was in Petersburg at the usual time, 2000, to fill the tank - and my belly - and walked into The Hemlocks just after midnight. I went straight up to my room. My mother heard me come in and came running across the hall. She asked "Were you listening to your radio?" I replied "I had some music on." She said "Did you hear about the big accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike?" I said "No, I did not. What are you trying to tell me?" She said Mrs.'B' had called to tell us that Mary was one of those killed in that Greyhound bus... It took a few moments for this to settle in and I screamed "NO" loud enough to be heard in Mexico. I repeated "NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO - This cannot be! What happened?" She said "The Pennsylvania State Police have not sorted it out yet but there were two tractor-trailers, the Greyhound bus and about a dozen cars approaching the Midway when all hell broke loose. There was a patch of fog and the cars went every which way. The bus driver and some half dozen of his passengers were among those killed. The 'Bs' were notified within minutes that Mary was one of the deceased. I don't think I would call them now but you will want to call them first thing in the morning." Mom and I went downstairs. We were up all night. The 'Bs' probably knew I would be home by now and I thought that maybe I should call them but Mom did not think so and I didn't.

I decided to call them about 0900, an hour before I had planned to visit Mary. They had been up all night, too. And they had made some plans for the viewing and funeral. The Perinchief Funeral Home would be handling the services. The viewing would take place at 1900 on Friday evening and the funeral at 1300 on Sunday. They asked if I had anything to suggest. I told them that I would suggest an all white casket with gold colored handles and that Mary be dressed in all white, too. That would leave the only other color inside the casket her jet black hair. And she should wear the gold pin that I had given her when I completed my courses with the Marine Corps Institute and the gold and opal ring I had given her when she graduated from high school in 1948. They agreed with all of my suggestions. I told them that I was reasonably certain that most of those that would be at the viewing would be classmates from the classes of 1947 & 1948; that I would wear my Dress Blues and stand at the head of the casket with them. And my mother, who was listening to all this, said she and Dad would stand at the foot of the casket - as long as they could do so. And this is pretty much the way it went. I stood at the head of the casket with the 'Bs' - in my Dress Blues - with tears flowing from my eyes almost the entire time. There was nothing I could do about that. I had called the base and invited CWO4 R. R. Dyer and his wife, Louise, and Gunny Sergeant Joe N. Harbin and his wife, also a Louise, to come up and stay at The Hemlocks. They did - in Mr. Dyer's new Chrysler. Mary was buried in the Odd Fellows Cemetery. It was a really beautiful service - but under trying conditions. My guests from Camp Lejeune had stayed at The Hemlocks for two nights and loved the place. They returned to Lejeune immediately following Mary's burial and Mr. Dyer told me to return 'whenever I was ready to do so'. It was a horrible ending to a really beautiful relationship. I departed at 1900, reached the base at 0400 and was at my desk by my usual time 0750 Monday morning. It was a very hard day, a disastrous ending to what was a very unusual but beautiful relationship. I really loved that girl - with ALL my heart. She was one of a kind - from a lovely family - and I wanted badly for her to be my wife.

Semper Fi. The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny with the Santa Claus beard.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


Oh, Karma

OH, Karma... she's a real beyitch... Got well deserved lumps all over me about my foxtrot uniform charlie kilo - uniform papa over the Kamikaze genesis... hope that doesn't make me a libural... (that part about not knowing that the things you know are the ones that just aren't so...) Have been described as often wrong, never in doubt... and knew I should have checked... will have to get a volunteer, preferably somebody who owes me a lot of money, to count my corrective pushups...

I had an excellent large format book of all of the great naval battles of recorded history... illustrated, documented, sourced, etc... given to me, so I gave it to a young neighbor, who is currently in his third year at Annapolis. When he was accepted, his letter of acceptance happened to arrive on an election day. His Dad passed the word when he came in to vote (I volunteer as a poll worker...). Here in TN, one signs an application for a ballot, which is given to the machine operator, who enables the electronic machine, etc. The lad himself came in later, to vote for his first time, and from my post, I could see that he signed with his left hand. He just happened to get my machine... and as I congratulated him on his selection to the Naval Academy, I told him it was a real shame that he would not be able to go Marine option... since he's been looking at our flag pole for about ten years, he kinda has the idea that the coot across the street is a Marine... and he looked a little puzzled... even after I told him it was because we didn't accept left-handed applicants... so, my excuse is, had I not given the book away... I coulda checked, so some slack is deserved? (yeah, I know... Goo whatever... 'round here, a Goo-Goo (candy) is a diabetic coma wrapped in plastic...).

Ddick


Taps

Marine Brothers and Sisters,

We have recently been notified that the old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny Harold T. Freas, Sr. reported to his final post guarding heaven's gates on 5 December 2014 after giving his long time illness one h-ll of a fight. Most of us have come to know the Master Gunnery Sergeant by his submissions in the Sgt Grit Newsletter titled "From The DISBURSING CHIEF". We are glad that we all had the opportunity to be taken back to the "Old Corps" days by his stories that were filled with recollections of delicious sounding chow, ups and downs of Marine Corps life, as well as tales of road trips up and down the eastern coast. The MGySgt will be missed and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones.

View his obituary at MGySgt Harold T. Freas, Sr.


Short Round

In the Dec 31st Newsletter, I wrote about Vietnam Era Veterans in response to Cpl Bruce Benders article of Dec 24th. While I stand By my assertions, I do have to stand corrected to one matter, which is that Vietnam Era Veterans is a nationally recognized service organization by the Dept of Veterans Affairs right along side the Marine Corps League.

Bill Allen
Cpl
RVN 1966 1/5


Roger F. Torres comment of being a House Mouse in Boot Camp. I served with Roger in Viet Nam 16 Mar 67 to 28 Mar 68, did not know he was ever a mouse. He was about 5' 6", and 125 pounds but was a hell of a good Marine. My BEST FRIEND and Commrade.

Semper Fi
Raymond Edwards, SGT MAJ, USMC (Ret) '66-'96


To: Peter D, Vic DeLeon, & others,

Douglas AC-47's (Attack) were called Spooky or Puff. Fairchild AC-119's were either Shadows or Stingers (added 20mm cannon). Lockheed AC-130 Spectre's were called Ghostrider's, Stinger II's, & also Spooky.

Utech, T. A.
2438835
RVN '68-'69
F/2/24 '83-'84


Quotes

"Come on you son's of b-tches, do you want to live forever?"
--1stSgt Dan Daly, inscribed on the wall of the National Museum of the Marine Corps


"During the course of administration, and in order to disturb it, the artillery of the press has been leveled against us, charged with whatsoever its licentiousness could devise or dare. These abuses of an institution so important to freedom and science are deeply to be regretted, in as much as they tend to lessen its usefulness and to sap its safety."
--President Thomas Jefferson, Second Inaugural Address, 1805


"You guys are the Marine's doctors - There's none better in the business than a Navy Corpsman..."
--Lieutenant General "Chesty" Puller


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


"I have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress..."
--President Ronald Reagan


"We are United States Marines, and for two and a quarter centuries we have defined the standards of courage, esprit, and military prowess."
--Gen. James L. Jones, USMC (CMC); 10 November 2000


In Formation after chow... D I: "Leave them alone, you had yours now you let them have theirs!"

"Arrogance, My Asz, It's Pride, USMC."

"Maggot... if you don't get outta my sight NOW!... We will need a 5-man funeral detail... Two handles on the sh-tcan, two for road guards, one to count cadence..."

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 01 Jan 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 01 JAN 2015

In this issue:
• A White Cluster Christmas
• Our Returning Veterans
• Montford Point

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Sgt Grit New Years 2015 Banner

Sgt Grit and Staff would like to wish all Marines and their families a very blessed and Happy New Year! May this year see many of our deployed Marines return home safely to the company of their loved ones, that of their fellow Marines, and be welcomed home by a grateful nation. Semper Fi brothers and sisters! Another Job Well Done!


A White Cluster Christmas

Marine stockings on mantel

How cool! Angela found these stockings on the Internet and ordered each of us one (including Gisele). It's a White Star Cluster Christmas after all!

Here are some comments left in reference to this post on Facebook.


Andrew - I was most impressed that she ordered something from Sgt Grit. I was like... "How the h-ll do you know about Sgt. Grit?" and she says, "I have a catalog at my office" so I said... "Well Son of a b-tch, I married the right one!"


Pete - You sure did son-in-law!


Tammy - They look awesome! You're wife is brilliant and beautiful! You're a lucky man Andy!


My Battle Jacket

Here is a pic of my MP uniform in my "I Love Me Room". It is from the 60's and all the extra white gear and badge were obtained over a period of years. The Battle Jacket is mine, but as I recall, it couldn't be worn on leave or liberty at the time, only aboard base.

MSgt Tom 1962-1989​

Tom's MP uniform from the 1960's


Sgt Grit Vietnam Veteran Commemorative Pocket Knife


Our Returning Veterans

After spending 6 yrs. in the Corps and doing 2 combat tours in Nam, I got out in 1972 and went to college. At that time vets on campus were about as welcome as a wh-re in church. They were a couple dozen of us vets and we just hung out together and learned to basically ignore the non-vet students. Over time, out of curiosity, I asked a few male students about their anti-war beliefs and protest actions. What I learned from everyone of them was in truth they couldn't care less about Viet Nam as a country; most couldn't find it on a world map. What they really cared about was impressing the college girls and keeping their pink azses off the firing line. While I fully appreciated their first motivation their second was as foreign to me as the Chinese alphabet.

I joined the Corps at the age of 17 precisely because I wanted adventure and to live a man's life. I'm sure most of my fellow Marines felt the same way. Most of us were the sons of WW2 and Korean War vets and learned as children that military service, particularly in the time of war, was expected and a right of passage into manhood. Since the college kids draft avoidance served them well, I'm sure there was no life long pride in it. I would not want to be in a combat situation with people that didn't have the lion's heart to be there. While these types have had no real bearing on my life I've learned to ignore and avoid them. The group that did have a bearing on our lives and who scorned us was our preceding generation. They were in power in the work force with the authority to hire returning vets. Because the media had done such a good job of painting us as baby killers and drug addicts, they turned their backs on us. You quickly learned not to mention your military experience at a job interview. That to me was the hardest part of the Viet Nam experience. It was the catalyst the started many a good vet down the road to ruin.

I hope we as a society have learned from this and take better care of our returning veterans. They are the best of us and deserve our gratitude.

Semper Fi,
Gary Neely / Sgt. of Marines
'66 to '72​


Meritorious Demotion

Lance Corporal rank with 2nd award bar attached

Enlisted ranks through Sergeant then back down Corporal

The result of following the 12th General Order - To walk my post from flank to flank and take to sh-t from any rank!


Noticed And Ig​nored

Semper Fi,

My wife and I recently were traveling north from Florida. We had a great visit at the 8th Air Force Museum, in Pooler, Ga. My dad flew B-17s in WW2 and 29s during Korea. A really great museum. When we got to the Carolinas my wife suggested we stop at PI. Now it was 1600 hrs and around the 4th of July. We stopped at the reception center, made a head call and stepped up to the reception desk. I was wearing a ball cap with EGA [from Sgt Grit] with a PH pin. I wore a 9th Marines tee shirt. We were noticed by the young woman, in utilities, and young man in civvies and ignored. Eventually we left. Now I respect all Vets and those presently serving our country. This bothered me to the point I wrote a letter to the base commander. I never got a response.

Adam "Wally" Mackow
Kilo 3/9 '68-'69


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Montford Point

Many Marines don't know this and it should be taught in history classes in the Corps. Montford Point was basic training for black Marines. The only whites on the base were the officers because there were no black officers in the Corps at that time. A black Marine went across the tracks in Jacksonville, North Carolina to visit a wh-re and the white people hung him from the flag pole. The commanding officer heard about this and he went to town to bring the body back to the base and when he tried to lower the body they shot him. He went back to the base and armed all the black Marines with BAR's which was the brownie Automatic Rifle and they all went to town and shot up Jacksonville and brought the body back. Randolph McCall Pate was Commandant and Harry Truman was President, and upon hearing this it was helping their decision to abolish that boot camp and integrate the military. Back then you were not allowed to have civilian clothes on the base and the basic pay was seventy eight dollars a month and was that way when I enlisted in 1961. Back then you didn't enlist for the money or anything other than your love for the Corps. There are good and bad people in all the services, but remember they are not the Corps. The Corps will live on because the United States needs the Corps. Be blessed and Merry Christmas gyrenes...

MSgt Frank Peace
1961-1981​


Operation Chinook

Christmas gift from the Corps inside view

Christmas gift from the Corps backside view

Just wondered how many still remember their Christmas Gift from 1966. As I remember we got them sometime in January 1967 after we got in off of Operation Chinook at Camp Evans north of Hue.

Bob Mauney


Radio Telegraph School 1957

Marines in Radio Telegraph School in 1958

Marines of C Company, 1st Recon Battalion in 1959

Sgt. Grit,

I would like to submit two photographs from my time in the Corps. The first one is from Radio Telegraph School at MCRD in San Diego. The photo was taken 7 March 1958 of class 151, which started in the fall of 1957 and ended in spring of 1958. I am hoping that anyone that didn't get a copy, or lost their copy, will see it and have it as a memento again. I am submitting it as a result of seeing Cpl Dick Martell's photo of his Radio Telegraph School class from Christmas of 1965. I noticed that the locale of the two photo's is different. Ours was just outside the classroom.

A side note re: our wearing of class A winter greens in March of 1958 yet. Back then, everyone in the Corps, no matter what part of the world you were stationed, had to wear the same uniform no matter the temperature in your locale. Yes it was a very warm that day for winter greens. I also recall having to wear tropicals or khaki's when the weather turned cold too early, but the calendar said we could not wear winter uniforms yet. I am pretty sure that regulation is long gone and it is up to the post commander to dictate uniform wearing depending on locale climate and temperature.

Some of the names I remember are as follows: Clenin, Johnson, Dobbs, Morris, Dillon, Workman, Sullivan, Sgt. (E-4) Goldstein, Groh, Lore... I believe that except for the one Sgt. Goldstein, everyone was a Pvt or PFC. The Lance Corporal rank (E-3) had not been introduced yet.

Radio Telegraph School, MCRD 7 Mar 1958 RLH

The second photo is from my final unit assignment with 'C' Co., 1st Recon Bn., 1st MarDiv at Camp Pendleton. The same applies here for anyone in the photo from the period 1959-1960 if their copy got lost or mutilated. I am sorry but I only remember, at most, a few of the names of the guys in the photo: Foote, Betts, Goodfield, Wedlake, Priest... all PFC's or L/Cpl's.

1st Recon Bn., 1st MarDiv. RLH 1959-1960

Robert L. Hammershoy, Cpl E-4
166----/2533
1957 – 1960​


Dedicated To 1/9

Mt Whitney ascent in 2014 for Marines of 1/9

Yosemite half dome with Marines with Marines of 23rd Marine Regiment

Sgt Grit,

​First photo is Mt. Whitney ascent in September 2014, 705 ft. short of reaching the summit elevation due to one in our party getting altitude sickness. Hike dedicated to 1/9.

Second photo is in 2013 on sub dome before going up the cables of Half Dome in Yosemite with the colors dedicated to the Marines of 1/9, and I ran into some young active duty current era Marines of the 23rd Marines with their colors.

Semper Fidelis

Tim Haley
Charlie Company 1/9
Vietnam '67-'68
60mm Mortars
Weapons Platoon Sgt


Proudly Served In The Corps

Cpl English and Brandi

Brandi wearing her dress blues

Here I am with Brandi Alexandra, a 6 lb. Reindeer Chihuahua in her Woman Marine Dress Blues. I am a Vietnam Nam Era Veteran who proudly served in the Corps from Nov. '68-'70, at MCRD San Diego,CA. Believe me, I would NEVER change those two years for anything! I was assigned to the Provost Marshals Office where I had the honor of working with GySgt. Jimmy Howard, Medal of Honor recipient, and worked in Casual Company, both H&S Bn. MCRD. San Diego. I Loved My Jobs!

I now serve, along with Brandi, as a member of the 2nd Congressional District Veterans Advisory Council working directly with Congressman Stephen Pearce, Vice-Chair for Women Veterans of New Mexico, Unit 1, Las Cruces and Dona Ana Co., NM, and formerly served as President of Desert Chapter 2, Woman Marine Ass'n. Brandi also serves as unofficial mascot for Women Veterans of NM, Unit 1 and has participated in the Veterans Day Parade in Las Cruces, and has been "Pinned" by Mesilla Valley Hospice for her support of Veterans.

Brandi proudly serves as a Veterans Advocate and is a Federally Certified Medical Alert Service Dog & Therapy Dog. Yes, little critters accomplish BIG things! Semper Fi!

Cpl. Lori English


You're Not Going To Believe This

Snow blankets Camp Pendleton on New Years Eve 2014

Here is a picture of Camp Pendleton on 31 December 2014. Told you that you wouldn't believe this.


The Lady From 29 Palms

Sgt Grit,

In one of my previous submissions I mentioned the loss of my wife, of 56+ years, and how that I now keep my TV (DISH) tuned to the Sirius XM satellite channels. Recently, in one of your newsletters there was mention of 29 Palms; ironically, one of the songs that pops up on the Sirius channel 4 (40s on 4), is "The Lady From 29 Palms", sung by some of the various artists of the 1940s, one of which is the Andrews Sisters. The song has multiple "hits" on YouTube, for anyone wanting to hear how this old WWII song sounds.

Some of the wording of the song could NEVER apply to any Marines stationed there: i.e., "she had 29 Cadillacs, 29 sables from Sachs"... "she was a dynamite kisser"... Can't you just see some old Marine giving a lady a Cadillac, or a sable coat? Well, maybe Gunny Rousseau, or Ddick.

For anyone wanting to hear these old songs, it does require the Sirius XM satellite radio reception. It is listed as "40s on 4". If you can relate to the 1940s, as I can, there are many "tear jerkers" coming out of WWII.

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

Here's a link. There are many versions. Andrew Sister, Doris Day and others.

The Lady From 29 Palms


Cave Hopping

Sgt. Grit,

In the 1960's I was transferred to Nuclear Ordnance. We had just finished the Eastern Marine Corps Matches where I was the Senior Pistol Armorer and I was Hoping for Training at the Colt Factory. I went to Hdqtrs Marine Corps to my Detail Sergeant to see if I could get out of Nuclear Ordnance. It was not to be! Finally after Training we were sent to 29 Palms and a year later I was sent to Okinawa. A short time after arriving in Okinawa I ran into a Friend who was in EOD and I asked him if he ever went Cave Hopping to let me know so I could come along. There was still live Ordnance in some of the Caves and I believed EOD used the Caves as Training for EOD.

One morning about 6AM he showed up and said; "Come on, we're going Cave hopping!" I saw things that blew my mind, like a case of Japanese Hand Grenades that lay open with grenades, some still in their cases, where water had dripped over them for years and the calcium in the water had coated most of the box and some of the grenades. It was marked on a sheet as a "TO DO" and we looked at several Caves some marked as "TO DO" and some sealed up again. However in one cave there were boxes with Human Bones and the Skull sitting on top. I was told these were the bones of Soldiers gathered up some time after the war and placed in caves. It was an interesting day viewing these caves, I wonder if they haven't sealed them all up!. So my tour with Nuclear Ordnance ended on a Positive note; an experience I wouldn't have had otherwise. You never know just what great things might happen with a new Transfer.

Years ago, just before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor I worked for an old Man that rebuilt furniture. In those days they used Excelsior (a shredded wood product) to fill the pillows of the sofa or whatever. I was paid the enormous sum of $2.00 weekly to fluff the excelsior (pull it apart and fluff it the best you could). The man I worked for was a Former Marine Member of the "COOTIE" Club, a part of the VFW that served in the Trenches of Europe during World War I. The Trenches had rooms dug into the sides and man made billets with bunks built into the walls using whatever was convenient to fill the gap between bunk and body. Usually straw or weeds wrapped tightly in a bundle then smashed to fit the Body.

In Europe they had Bed Bugs, (COOTIES as they were called) that infested any bed they could and lived gloriously on good old American Red Blood. So when the Veterans came home from "OVER THERE" after the War they brought home the Cooties with them and families had to work to rid themselves of the "COOTIES". In world War II I remember they (and I even believe during the Korean War) used those bug sprays and spray powders, down your back and front to rid you of the parasites. Warriors have a lot to deal with other then the Enemy. Ain't it a B-tch!

GySgt, F, L, Rousseau, USMC Retired


Gen. Mattis' Next Mission

Destroying the PTSD Victim Myth
By William Treseder
Military 1 Advisor

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

Standing in front of an uproarious crowd in San Francisco, General Mattis spoke from the heart about his country, his Corps, and his fellow veterans. He covered two main topics: the need for America to stay engaged with the rest of the world; and the role of our shrinking military in the 21st century.

There were no wasted words, per usual. General Mattis' sharp mind and quick tongue were on full display. He tore apart the cowards who swell the ranks of Al Qaeda and fund Hezbollah (we're all looking at you, Iran). He described the dedication of our Middle Eastern allies in the fight against extremism, and how we cannot leave them stranded as we finish the drawdown. He lamented the growing national debt that will "enslave future generations." He even stopped long enough during the Q&A to slap down any notion that he supported women in the infantry.

And then he got controversial.

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

To a now-silent theater full of combat vets he explained how the nation has a "disease orientation" toward combat stress. Mad Dog's death blow was swift: "In America, victimhood is exalted."

So what's the problem? We fought, we got a little screwed-up, and now civilians try to get us to talk about it a lot. Big deal.

Except that it matters to General Mattis, and we should probably care what he thinks because chances are he's right. The problem, he contends, is that eventually we start believing it. We start seeing ourselves as broken. We buy into the myth.

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

This concept resonates strongly with me, and several other combat vets with whom I spoke/mumbled late into the evening over drinks. After all, it's a process we've all been through many times in the military. Growth after trauma is how we train to become physically fit and mentally capable of working together as a combat-effective team.

Break down, repair, break down, repair, break down, repair. It's a natural cycle, which offers a well-trod path to progressive improvement.

So why do we think that the story of our personal development ends when we go to war? The myth of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder tells us that we are now broken and cannot be repaired. We are a threat to ourselves and others. We need medication to be stable. We will be constantly challenged by the civilian world as we stumble along, out of phase with the safe and boring environment back home.

What if instead we could look forward to rapid growth as we heal from our wounds stronger than ever before? What if we could rebuild ourselves, and all we needed was the loving support of those around us and a little bit of time? Progress, evolution, healing, restoration - these are watchwords of Post-Traumatic Growth.

You have not heard the last of this, from General Mattis or others. A new domestic front is opening up for the veteran community even as the final combat operations feebly draw to a close.

We are now fighting to take control of the narrative that will define the collective military and veteran community. Americans who have never served and lack any empathy for us sit on the sidelines, labeling us "heroes" or "broken" or both, depending on their mood or the latest news reports.

Veterans know that we are neither of these things. 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.


Marines Pause With M249 SAWs

Santa droping of Marines on rooftop with M249 SAWs

Up on the rooftop five Marines pause, with their M249 SAW's.

Eric Johnson


Night Before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas
and all through the Corps
Not a soul had liberty
and all troops were sore.

When out on the grinder
I heard such a clatter
I sprang from my rack
to see what was the matter.

There was the Commandant
in a gold plated tank
Drawn by ten colonels
bucking for rank.

He marched swiftly
past each mans rack
Pouring 20 pounds of sand
into each mans pack.

As he rode off
he exclaimed with a shout
Merry Christmas you bastards
You'll never get out.

J L Stelling


My First Christmas Away

Good morning MARINES and friends,

Many years ago as a young Marine I remember my first Christmas away from home, I spent it in a jungle thousands of miles away from home just like Sgt. Grit. After coming home I realized just how important it was to be close to family and friends.

Over the last few months I have had the pleasure and the honor of working with a particular person there on several purchases. She has been wonderful and has gone as far as becoming a friend to me. She has, I feel, done as all us Marines say and that is "we take care of our own" and I thank her for that.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you and your families a Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year! You Marines are now my Marines and I have your back. All of the rest of you that are not Marines well don't worry as I leave no one behind, so I have your back as well.

Thank you for your service and for the service you now provide as it shows me you are all the BEST of the BEST and this goes double for you Christina! Bet you thought I was not going to mention you by name now did you?

Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night!

Gunny Reyes
RVN '69 – '71
USMC (ret)


​Lasting Art Treasure

Iwo Jima flag raising painting

I thought that you, the crew, and our members might enjoy the attached picture. The work of art was presented to me by the sister of a young man prior to his leaving for PISC to begin his journey in our illustrious Corps. While making the presentation, she indicated that a special addition might be seen right away, but if not it would eventually be identified. Please let me know if you see the overall impact that it can have once seen. Once framed, it was in my office in Levittown, Pa., and has been with me for close to 50 years.

This one-of-a-kind, mixed-media art rendition of Joe Rosenthal's immortal photo of the second flag-raising on Mount Suribachi is, for me, a lasting art treasure.

Happy Holidays
Semper Fi
Ed Duncan, MGySgt (Ret)
'61-'91 Once a Marine, Always a Marine


From The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #1, #1)

Happy New Year and Semper Fi To All of You Jarheads!

After dinner we sat in the living room and talked - and talked until it was time for me to leave for Camp Lejeune. My Mom asked "Did you call Kitty?" I told her I had not; that I had been going steady with Mary for more than 4 years and I intended to remain true to her. I said "I have a pretty good idea that a call to Kitty might well lead into something I wished to avoid." She said "Don't forget you owe Stevie a trip to the zoo." I said "I'll take care of that in due course." She asked if there was anything she could fix for me to eat on the way back to the base. I told her that I never had anything to eat on the way back to Camp Lejeune. Mary and I would have had a very good meal in N.Y.C. before I started the trip back to CLNC and I didn't need anything more until morning. I left home at 1900 and was at the Servicemen's Lounge in Washington, D.C. just before 2200. There were three Marines standing there. They had missed their rides and were glad to see me. There were the four of us for the remainder of the trip. We arrived at the base just before 0400, right on time. I had them sign me in on my leave papers and was able to get almost an hour of sleep before I had to get up. Boy, did I fill my belly in the chow hall.

When I walked into the Travel Office everyone looked at each other and Louise said "You are not due back until next Monday." I said "I decided to save some of my leave time till Thanksgiving or Christmas - or I would be landlocked here over the holidays." With the Second Marine Division having departed the base, it was a rather quiet time in the Travel Office. Everyone wanted to know all about my leave and I guess I told them everything. I told them about our stay in Ocean City, New Jersey, and having the whole house to ourselves for two weeks. They were quite surprised to hear about Mary going to Earlham when they had sort of expected that we were about to be married. I told them that it was quite a surprise to me, too, but that we had quite a nice trip to Richmond, Indiana, to make up for it. I told them that the hard part for me was that I would not see Mary before Thanksgiving after more than four years of seeing each other almost every weekend. Now it was a 10-week countdown until we could look into each others eyes again.

I returned home on the weekend and every weekend until Thanksgiving week. My next trip home would be on the day before Thanksgiving and believe me I could hardly wait for that day to come. We were still communicating weekly and had already planned what we would do when we reached our homes. We might see each other on Wednesday night but we would stay at our respective homes that night. I would stay with Mary on Friday night and - get this - my Mom and Dad had decided that Mary could stay with me at The Hemlocks on Saturday night. Actually, my Dad thought from day one that it was okay. It was my mother that had taken so long to convince. But she really loved Mary and I think that went a long way towards changing her mind. Incidentally, Mom had taken Dad to the Hollywood Inn almost weekly since I first took her there. They really liked this place and wondered why they had not learned of it before. But that's the way it goes.

Again I wish you all a Happy New Year.

The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


Lawd Forbid

Dunno why, but the other day as zipping up my boots (8", side zippers... common style with EMT's, Paramedics, FireFighters, LEO's around here) got to thinking about footwear over the years... started out in the 1957 Corps with 3 pair of issue footwear... one pair of boots, that had eyelets and hooks, one pair of boondockers, which were similar to the boots, only not as tall, and having eyelets only... and one pair of dress shoes. All were brown... and except for the dress shoes, were 'rough-out' leather, meaning that the smooth side of the single thickness of leather was to the inside. Both boots and boondockers had soles and heels of what was known as 'cord'... meaning there were bits of white cord incorporated into the rubber. The construction was what I think is known as 'a GoodYear welt', meaning that the soles were sewn to the uppers... and the heels were nailed to the soles. The dress shoes were similar in construction, but the soles were leather and the heels were rubber. Regardless of the uniform, utilities or service (greens, trops, or kahki), the condition of one's heels were always a matter of considerable interest to any inspecting SNCO or Officer.

At the time, post Korea, pre the Dominican Republic ("DomRep"), in the 1st MarDiv, the boots or boondockers could be turned in to Company Supply, to be sent somewhere 'down Mainside' (Camp Pendleton) to have soles and/or heels replaced... for 'free'... but if a pair had to be replaced... that meant a trip to that Corps version of Jos. A. Banks... known as 'Cash Sales'... nothing free there, although there was something known as "RC, 1/3"... that being "Reduced Cost, One-Third"... where one might, if flush with cash, and if able to find an item that fit, could buy uniform items at one-third of new retail. These items required an SRB entry, as they would have someone else's name stamped in them... which could lead to accusations of theft, if the legal purchase was not documented. These items had come from sources such as punitive or medical discharges those who were not entitled to retain all their uniform items... (The Corps has never understood the difference between 'economical' and 'cheap').

In my first unit, which shall be nameless other than "Charlie Company, First Anti-Tank Battalion, First Marine Division", the uniform of the day, most days, was "U", or Utilities, on the training schedule, and unless otherwise noted, this was understood to mean boots and bloused trousers... no exceptions. So... if the boots had been 'turned in', they weren't likely to be back for a week or more... so that meant boondockers... and the trousers bloused way low... and hoping that the SNCO's wouldn't notice. Just how the troops were expected to be in compliance, considering that most of us made $84/month, and an extra pair of boots purchase made a major dent in scarce liberty money, was never explained...

Later on, after Robert Strange McNamarra (had to love that middle name... it fit!) became the SecDef, and joint purchasing was recommended by his 'Whiz Kid' number crunchers who came from Ford Corporation with him, we had smooth outer, lace-up boots (just like all other branches), and we went from rough-out brown to smooth black... and, so here we are, some fifty-seven years later, back to "brown, rough side out" boots... which can be purchased... lots of ways other than 'Cash Sales'... for what would have been two month's pay, back in the day...

The "Jungle Boot"... molded sole (no stitching on a new one for repair...), nylon canvas sides, couple eyelets" for drainage "at the instep, came about, so far as I know, in the early to mid 1960's... and initially, came with a pair of thin, stainless steel inserts, which were intended as a defense against the dread "punji stick"... these inserts tended to get fatigue cracks in the area of the ball of the foot after a couple zillion flex cycles, and usually got thrown away after not very long. Full disclosure: within six months of the 1965 landings at DaNang, every place and clime in the USMC, including Recruiting Stations, had a "VC village"... which include various nefarious items, like the "Malay Whip", and other booby-trappery, including 'punji pits' (hole in the ground, camouflaged, holding sharpened bamboo stakes, which had been smeared with (insert here four letter word for 'excrement"... intended to inflict a nasty and infected wound.)... Further disclosure: in roughly six months as a Grunt Platoon Sergeant, I saw exactly one of our troops suffer a minor wound from a "Punji"... in this case, it was a steel plate, with a vertical spike, which penetrated his boot, and scratched the inside of his instep... ironically enough, it was not from the VC... but a left-over, in a tree line... placed by the Viet Minh... to wound either a Frenchman, or a Vietnamese soldier in French employ.

The pattern of the lugs on the moulded sole on the jungle boot changed, or at least it was different from some vendor, in 1966... bigge and fewerr lugs, supposedly better at expelling mud, and so on. Had never yet seen these style of soles, until Operation Colorado (Tam Ky area, August of '66). By that time, our boots were like second skins... off at night (maybe), back on when time to walk the line... or something happening... or seeming to happen, but in a way, old friends... scuffed, worn, to the point of being misshapen light gray things down there at the bottom of the trou, maybe with a dog tag laced into the instep (one on the neck, one on a foot... just in case... sounds morbid now, but just the way it was...) I noted the different style first on a couple of pairs of new-looking boots... that were sticking out from under a poncho. The owner, along with too many others in that row, from 1/5, was waiting for a routine, non-emergency medevac. I can still see those boots... and muse about the things that stick in one's mind... and... still have grooves in the lower legs from years of using booby-trap springs as blousing garters... hard to come by, but lasted forever... and sure held the trou... Lawd forbid we should ever adopt the doggie "tuck'em in the boot top" method of 'blousing'...

Ddick


Lost And Found

Hi my name is Ronald Harris and I'm contacting you about my Grandfather Arthur A Bitle. I recently had family over for a Christmas gathering and heard my grandfather was one of 4 Marines to survive a Japanese attack and found your story the next day. My family doesn't know the details of the story but I thought it would be amazing if your father and my grandfather survived that same patrol Together.

He was stationed in San Diego and was part of 3 invasions, I'm told. He is also in the book "Follow Me", I believe on page 64 washing his socks on Guadalcanal. And we aren't sure if the rifle leaning against the tree next to him in the picture is a Springfield or the Japanese rifle he returned home with.

My grandfather passed December 9th 2002, but my brother, mother and I would love to get anymore information on his service and unit, so I was hoping you could point me in the right direction.

Thank you!
Ron Harris​


Short Rounds

To Peter D,

Peter it was a C47 that started it all, go to Historynet.com and you can get the whole story of the C47 Douglas D C-3 that was known as puff the Magic Dragon or Snoopy. That is what I was told in 1968, the C130 was called Shadow starting as it took over for the C47 but it did continue as a attack/cargo plane as it was called.

Vic DeLeon
Semper Fi


She wondered What makes a Marine do the things they do, such as Dan Daly and John Basilone to earn the Congressional Medal of Honor? Is it adrenalin, fear, or what?

Have her read "I'm staying with my Boys" the life story of John Basilone from childhood, right to where he gets killed on Iwo.

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


COSMOLINE - Manufactured by E F Houghton and Co., Philadelphia. Thought it would never clean off my rifle (ser # 2059XXX). Hated the stuff until 1982 when I was employed by Houghton as a sales engineer. Product put quite a bit of food on the table.

Earl Herrington 1802xxx
8th Engr Bn
1958-61​


It should have been noted that in addition being Marines, those pictured in the "Old Corps Photo" are all Medal of Honor recipients.

R.P. Shannon​


To LtCol. Joe Neff,

​ I never expected to get an answer from an officer of the Corps and I thank you Sir.

Cpl. Vic DeLeon


I was in the Corps from '62 to '66. I did not have to go to Viet Nam and to this day have regrets. I lost a number of friends to the war and try to remember them as often as I can. We had to put up with the media cr-p and anti-war cr-p of the 60's and 70's, and when then Marines came home they were spit on for doing their job. I feel that is the point that the idiots missed they, as the history of the Marine Corps, were doing the job assigned to them and did it with honor!

Semper Fi,
Cpl. '62-'66​


I really enjoy all of the articles that Cpl Bruce Bender sends in. However, I am not in agreeance with the statement Viet Nam Era Marine. I believe you are a Viet Nam Marine veteran or not. I know of retired veterans who served 20-30 years during which there was Viet Nam. Iraq & several conflicts of other consequences, of which they never participated in any. I believe they are called Veterans. Just my take.

Cpl Bill Allen
Rvn 1966 1stBn/5thMar


Dear Sir,

I read with interest Bruce Bender's letter asking what constitutes a Vietnam Veteran. In my opinion, ONLY those men and women who were qualified to wear the Vietnam Service Medal are Vietnam Veterans. All military service is honorable. However, serving DURING Vietnam is in no way comparable to serving IN Vietnam.

Ivan Kass
Corporal, USMC
Chu Lai, Vietnam 1967


In the photo General Vandegrift's name is spelled incorrectly there is no letter "r" before the letter "g" saw the same mistake on signs marking Vandegrift Blvd outside Camp Pendleton Ca. Regarding the comment Luck of the Draw a month or two ago I made a comment regarding a statement by Montel Williams who stated he was a Vietnam veteran. I said he was a Vietnam Era Veteran. There is a difference to most of us who served in country, but still respect those who served.

Semper Fi
George


In your 25 Dec. Newsletter Marine Edwin O'Keefe, former L/Cpl, said it best with his response to the maggot "Wanna be" by writing "I wear only one stripe, with crossed rifles, and two ribbons with pride, because it is all that I earned." To that I offer a fact: A "Wanna be" will "Never be" a Marine, no matter how many ribbons, stripes and hash marks. Thank you Marine O'Keefe for putting a fine point on the issue of worms and posers.

Former L/Cpl David B. McClellan
'68-'70, RVN '69-'70, An Hoa Basin, I Corps.


Quotes

"I heard the bullets whistle-and believe me, there is something charming in the sound."
--George Washington


"Don't you forget that you're First Marines! Not all the communists in Hell can overrun you!"
--Col. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, USMC rallying his First Marine Regiment near Chosin Reservoir, Korea, December 1950


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


"I have told you people time and time again. Your rifle is your best friend. You let it down and it'll sure let you down."

"There is the right way, the wrong way, and the Marine Corps way."

"You can always tell a Marine, but you can't tell them much."

Happy New Year!
Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 01 Jan 2015
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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 01 JAN 2015

In this issue:
• A White Cluster Christmas
• Our Returning Veterans
• Montford Point

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Sgt Grit and Staff would like to wish all Marines and their families a very blessed and Happy New Year! May this year see many of our deployed Marines return home safely to the company of their loved ones, that of their fellow Marines, and be welcomed home by a grateful nation. Semper Fi brothers and sisters! Another Job Well Done!


A White Cluster Christmas

How cool! Angela found these stockings on the Internet and ordered each of us one (including Gisele). It's a White Star Cluster Christmas after all!

Here are some comments left in reference to this post on Facebook.


Andrew - I was most impressed that she ordered something from Sgt Grit. I was like... "How the h-ll do you know about Sgt. Grit?" and she says, "I have a catalog at my office" so I said... "Well Son of a b-tch, I married the right one!"


Pete - You sure did son-in-law!


Tammy - They look awesome! You're wife is brilliant and beautiful! You're a lucky man Andy!


My Battle Jacket

Here is a pic of my MP uniform in my "I Love Me Room". It is from the 60's and all the extra white gear and badge were obtained over a period of years. The Battle Jacket is mine, but as I recall, it couldn't be worn on leave or liberty at the time, only aboard base.

MSgt Tom 1962-1989​


Our Returning Veterans

After spending 6 yrs. in the Corps and doing 2 combat tours in Nam, I got out in 1972 and went to college. At that time vets on campus were about as welcome as a wh-re in church. They were a couple dozen of us vets and we just hung out together and learned to basically ignore the non-vet students. Over time, out of curiosity, I asked a few male students about their anti-war beliefs and protest actions. What I learned from everyone of them was in truth they couldn't care less about Viet Nam as a country; most couldn't find it on a world map. What they really cared about was impressing the college girls and keeping their pink azses off the firing line. While I fully appreciated their first motivation their second was as foreign to me as the Chinese alphabet.

I joined the Corps at the age of 17 precisely because I wanted adventure and to live a man's life. I'm sure most of my fellow Marines felt the same way. Most of us were the sons of WW2 and Korean War vets and learned as children that military service, particularly in the time of war, was expected and a right of passage into manhood. Since the college kids draft avoidance served them well, I'm sure there was no life long pride in it. I would not want to be in a combat situation with people that didn't have the lion's heart to be there. While these types have had no real bearing on my life I've learned to ignore and avoid them. The group that did have a bearing on our lives and who scorned us was our preceding generation. They were in power in the work force with the authority to hire returning vets. Because the media had done such a good job of painting us as baby killers and drug addicts, they turned their backs on us. You quickly learned not to mention your military experience at a job interview. That to me was the hardest part of the Viet Nam experience. It was the catalyst the started many a good vet down the road to ruin.

I hope we as a society have learned from this and take better care of our returning veterans. They are the best of us and deserve our gratitude.

Semper Fi,
Gary Neely / Sgt. of Marines
'66 to '72​


Noticed And Ig​nored

Semper Fi,

My wife and I recently were traveling north from Florida. We had a great visit at the 8th Air Force Museum, in Pooler, Ga. My dad flew B-17s in WW2 and 29s during Korea. A really great museum. When we got to the Carolinas my wife suggested we stop at PI. Now it was 1600 hrs and around the 4th of July. We stopped at the reception center, made a head call and stepped up to the reception desk. I was wearing a ball cap with EGA [from Sgt Grit] with a PH pin. I wore a 9th Marines tee shirt. We were noticed by the young woman, in utilities, and young man in civvies and ignored. Eventually we left. Now I respect all Vets and those presently serving our country. This bothered me to the point I wrote a letter to the base commander. I never got a response.

Adam "Wally" Mackow
Kilo 3/9 '68-'69


Montford Point

Many Marines don't know this and it should be taught in history classes in the Corps. Montford Point was basic training for black Marines. The only whites on the base were the officers because there were no black officers in the Corps at that time. A black Marine went across the tracks in Jacksonville, North Carolina to visit a wh-re and the white people hung him from the flag pole. The commanding officer heard about this and he went to town to bring the body back to the base and when he tried to lower the body they shot him. He went back to the base and armed all the black Marines with BAR's which was the brownie Automatic Rifle and they all went to town and shot up Jacksonville and brought the body back. Randolph McCall Pate was Commandant and Harry Truman was President, and upon hearing this it was helping their decision to abolish that boot camp and integrate the military. Back then you were not allowed to have civilian clothes on the base and the basic pay was seventy eight dollars a month and was that way when I enlisted in 1961. Back then you didn't enlist for the money or anything other than your love for the Corps. There are good and bad people in all the services, but remember they are not the Corps. The Corps will live on because the United States needs the Corps. Be blessed and Merry Christmas gyrenes...

MSgt Frank Peace
1961-1981​


Operation Chinook

Just wondered how many still remember their Christmas Gift from 1966. As I remember we got them sometime in January 1967 after we got in off of Operation Chinook at Camp Evans north of Hue.

Bob Mauney


Radio Telegraph School 1957

Sgt. Grit,

I would like to submit two photographs from my time in the Corps. The first one is from Radio Telegraph School at MCRD in San Diego. The photo was taken 7 March 1958 of class 151, which started in the fall of 1957 and ended in spring of 1958. I am hoping that anyone that didn't get a copy, or lost their copy, will see it and have it as a memento again. I am submitting it as a result of seeing Cpl Dick Martell's photo of his Radio Telegraph School class from Christmas of 1965. I noticed that the locale of the two photo's is different. Ours was just outside the classroom.

A side note re: our wearing of class A winter greens in March of 1958 yet. Back then, everyone in the Corps, no matter what part of the world you were stationed, had to wear the same uniform no matter the temperature in your locale. Yes it was a very warm that day for winter greens. I also recall having to wear tropicals or khaki's when the weather turned cold too early, but the calendar said we could not wear winter uniforms yet. I am pretty sure that regulation is long gone and it is up to the post commander to dictate uniform wearing depending on locale climate and temperature.

Some of the names I remember are as follows: Clenin, Johnson, Dobbs, Morris, Dillon, Workman, Sullivan, Sgt. (E-4) Goldstein, Groh, Lore... I believe that except for the one Sgt. Goldstein, everyone was a Pvt or PFC. The Lance Corporal rank (E-3) had not been introduced yet.

Radio Telegraph School, MCRD 7 Mar 1958 RLH

The second photo is from my final unit assignment with 'C' Co., 1st Recon Bn., 1st MarDiv at Camp Pendleton. The same applies here for anyone in the photo from the period 1959-1960 if their copy got lost or mutilated. I am sorry but I only remember, at most, a few of the names of the guys in the photo: Foote, Betts, Goodfield, Wedlake, Priest... all PFC's or L/Cpl's.

1st Recon Bn., 1st MarDiv. RLH 1959-1960

Robert L. Hammershoy, Cpl E-4
166----/2533
1957 – 1960​


Dedicated To 1/9

Sgt Grit,

​First photo is Mt. Whitney ascent in September 2014, 705 ft. short of reaching the summit elevation due to one in our party getting altitude sickness. Hike dedicated to 1/9.

Second photo is in 2013 on sub dome before going up the cables of Half Dome in Yosemite with the colors dedicated to the Marines of 1/9, and I ran into some young active duty current era Marines of the 23rd Marines with their colors.

Semper Fidelis

Tim Haley
Charlie Company 1/9
Vietnam '67-'68
60mm Mortars
Weapons Platoon Sgt


Proudly Served In The Corps

Here I am with Brandi Alexandra, a 6 lb. Reindeer Chihuahua in her Woman Marine Dress Blues. I am a Vietnam Nam Era Veteran who proudly served in the Corps from Nov. '68-'70, at MCRD San Diego,CA. Believe me, I would NEVER change those two years for anything! I was assigned to the Provost Marshals Office where I had the honor of working with GySgt. Jimmy Howard, Medal of Honor recipient, and worked in Casual Company, both H&S Bn. MCRD. San Diego. I Loved My Jobs!

I now serve, along with Brandi, as a member of the 2nd Congressional District Veterans Advisory Council working directly with Congressman Stephen Pearce, Vice-Chair for Women Veterans of New Mexico, Unit 1, Las Cruces and Dona Ana Co., NM, and formerly served as President of Desert Chapter 2, Woman Marine Ass'n. Brandi also serves as unofficial mascot for Women Veterans of NM, Unit 1 and has participated in the Veterans Day Parade in Las Cruces, and has been "Pinned" by Mesilla Valley Hospice for her support of Veterans.

Brandi proudly serves as a Veterans Advocate and is a Federally Certified Medical Alert Service Dog & Therapy Dog. Yes, little critters accomplish BIG things! Semper Fi!

Cpl. Lori English


You're Not Going To Believe This

Here is a picture of Camp Pendleton on 31 December 2014. Told you that you wouldn't believe this.


The Lady From 29 Palms

Sgt Grit,

In one of my previous submissions I mentioned the loss of my wife, of 56+ years, and how that I now keep my TV (DISH) tuned to the Sirius XM satellite channels. Recently, in one of your newsletters there was mention of 29 Palms; ironically, one of the songs that pops up on the Sirius channel 4 (40s on 4), is "The Lady From 29 Palms", sung by some of the various artists of the 1940s, one of which is the Andrews Sisters. The song has multiple "hits" on YouTube, for anyone wanting to hear how this old WWII song sounds.

Some of the wording of the song could NEVER apply to any Marines stationed there: i.e., "she had 29 Cadillacs, 29 sables from Sachs"... "she was a dynamite kisser"... Can't you just see some old Marine giving a lady a Cadillac, or a sable coat? Well, maybe Gunny Rousseau, or Ddick.

For anyone wanting to hear these old songs, it does require the Sirius XM satellite radio reception. It is listed as "40s on 4". If you can relate to the 1940s, as I can, there are many "tear jerkers" coming out of WWII.

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

Here's a link. There are many versions. Andrew Sister, Doris Day and others.

The Lady From 29 Palms


Cave Hopping

Sgt. Grit,

In the 1960's I was transferred to Nuclear Ordnance. We had just finished the Eastern Marine Corps Matches where I was the Senior Pistol Armorer and I was Hoping for Training at the Colt Factory. I went to Hdqtrs Marine Corps to my Detail Sergeant to see if I could get out of Nuclear Ordnance. It was not to be! Finally after Training we were sent to 29 Palms and a year later I was sent to Okinawa. A short time after arriving in Okinawa I ran into a Friend who was in EOD and I asked him if he ever went Cave Hopping to let me know so I could come along. There was still live Ordnance in some of the Caves and I believed EOD used the Caves as Training for EOD.

One morning about 6AM he showed up and said; "Come on, we're going Cave hopping!" I saw things that blew my mind, like a case of Japanese Hand Grenades that lay open with grenades, some still in their cases, where water had dripped over them for years and the calcium in the water had coated most of the box and some of the grenades. It was marked on a sheet as a "TO DO" and we looked at several Caves some marked as "TO DO" and some sealed up again. However in one cave there were boxes with Human Bones and the Skull sitting on top. I was told these were the bones of Soldiers gathered up some time after the war and placed in caves. It was an interesting day viewing these caves, I wonder if they haven't sealed them all up!. So my tour with Nuclear Ordnance ended on a Positive note; an experience I wouldn't have had otherwise. You never know just what great things might happen with a new Transfer.

Years ago, just before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor I worked for an old Man that rebuilt furniture. In those days they used Excelsior (a shredded wood product) to fill the pillows of the sofa or whatever. I was paid the enormous sum of $2.00 weekly to fluff the excelsior (pull it apart and fluff it the best you could). The man I worked for was a Former Marine Member of the "COOTIE" Club, a part of the VFW that served in the Trenches of Europe during World War I. The Trenches had rooms dug into the sides and man made billets with bunks built into the walls using whatever was convenient to fill the gap between bunk and body. Usually straw or weeds wrapped tightly in a bundle then smashed to fit the Body.

In Europe they had Bed Bugs, (COOTIES as they were called) that infested any bed they could and lived gloriously on good old American Red Blood. So when the Veterans came home from "OVER THERE" after the War they brought home the Cooties with them and families had to work to rid themselves of the "COOTIES". In world War II I remember they (and I even believe during the Korean War) used those bug sprays and spray powders, down your back and front to rid you of the parasites. Warriors have a lot to deal with other then the Enemy. Ain't it a B-tch!

GySgt, F, L, Rousseau, USMC Retired


Gen. Mattis' Next Mission

Destroying the PTSD Victim Myth
By William Treseder
Military 1 Advisor

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

Standing in front of an uproarious crowd in San Francisco, General Mattis spoke from the heart about his country, his Corps, and his fellow veterans. He covered two main topics: the need for America to stay engaged with the rest of the world; and the role of our shrinking military in the 21st century.

There were no wasted words, per usual. General Mattis' sharp mind and quick tongue were on full display. He tore apart the cowards who swell the ranks of Al Qaeda and fund Hezbollah (we're all looking at you, Iran). He described the dedication of our Middle Eastern allies in the fight against extremism, and how we cannot leave them stranded as we finish the drawdown. He lamented the growing national debt that will "enslave future generations." He even stopped long enough during the Q&A to slap down any notion that he supported women in the infantry.

And then he got controversial.

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

To a now-silent theater full of combat vets he explained how the nation has a "disease orientation" toward combat stress. Mad Dog's death blow was swift: "In America, victimhood is exalted."

So what's the problem? We fought, we got a little screwed-up, and now civilians try to get us to talk about it a lot. Big deal.

Except that it matters to General Mattis, and we should probably care what he thinks because chances are he's right. The problem, he contends, is that eventually we start believing it. We start seeing ourselves as broken. We buy into the myth.

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

This concept resonates strongly with me, and several other combat vets with whom I spoke/mumbled late into the evening over drinks. After all, it's a process we've all been through many times in the military. Growth after trauma is how we train to become physically fit and mentally capable of working together as a combat-effective team.

Break down, repair, break down, repair, break down, repair. It's a natural cycle, which offers a well-trod path to progressive improvement.

So why do we think that the story of our personal development ends when we go to war? The myth of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder tells us that we are now broken and cannot be repaired. We are a threat to ourselves and others. We need medication to be stable. We will be constantly challenged by the civilian world as we stumble along, out of phase with the safe and boring environment back home.

What if instead we could look forward to rapid growth as we heal from our wounds stronger than ever before? What if we could rebuild ourselves, and all we needed was the loving support of those around us and a little bit of time? Progress, evolution, healing, restoration - these are watchwords of Post-Traumatic Growth.

You have not heard the last of this, from General Mattis or others. A new domestic front is opening up for the veteran community even as the final combat operations feebly draw to a close.

We are now fighting to take control of the narrative that will define the collective military and veteran community. Americans who have never served and lack any empathy for us sit on the sidelines, labeling us "heroes" or "broken" or both, depending on their mood or the latest news reports.

Veterans know that we are neither of these things. 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.


Marines Pause With M249 SAWs

Up on the rooftop five Marines pause, with their M249 SAW's.

Eric Johnson


Night Before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas
and all through the Corps
Not a soul had liberty
and all troops were sore.

When out on the grinder
I heard such a clatter
I sprang from my rack
to see what was the matter.

There was the Commandant
in a gold plated tank
Drawn by ten colonels
bucking for rank.

He marched swiftly
past each mans rack
Pouring 20 pounds of sand
into each mans pack.

As he rode off
he exclaimed with a shout
Merry Christmas you bastards
You'll never get out.

J L Stelling


My First Christmas Away

Good morning MARINES and friends,

Many years ago as a young Marine I remember my first Christmas away from home, I spent it in a jungle thousands of miles away from home just like Sgt. Grit. After coming home I realized just how important it was to be close to family and friends.

Over the last few months I have had the pleasure and the honor of working with a particular person there on several purchases. She has been wonderful and has gone as far as becoming a friend to me. She has, I feel, done as all us Marines say and that is "we take care of our own" and I thank her for that.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you and your families a Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year! You Marines are now my Marines and I have your back. All of the rest of you that are not Marines well don't worry as I leave no one behind, so I have your back as well.

Thank you for your service and for the service you now provide as it shows me you are all the BEST of the BEST and this goes double for you Christina! Bet you thought I was not going to mention you by name now did you?

Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night!

Gunny Reyes
RVN '69 – '71
USMC (ret)


​Lasting Art Treasure

I thought that you, the crew, and our members might enjoy the attached picture. The work of art was presented to me by the sister of a young man prior to his leaving for PISC to begin his journey in our illustrious Corps. While making the presentation, she indicated that a special addition might be seen right away, but if not it would eventually be identified. Please let me know if you see the overall impact that it can have once seen. Once framed, it was in my office in Levittown, Pa., and has been with me for close to 50 years.

This one-of-a-kind, mixed-media art rendition of Joe Rosenthal's immortal photo of the second flag-raising on Mount Suribachi is, for me, a lasting art treasure.

Happy Holidays
Semper Fi
Ed Duncan, MGySgt (Ret)
'61-'91 Once a Marine, Always a Marine


From The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #1, #1)

Happy New Year and Semper Fi To All of You Jarheads!

After dinner we sat in the living room and talked - and talked until it was time for me to leave for Camp Lejeune. My Mom asked "Did you call Kitty?" I told her I had not; that I had been going steady with Mary for more than 4 years and I intended to remain true to her. I said "I have a pretty good idea that a call to Kitty might well lead into something I wished to avoid." She said "Don't forget you owe Stevie a trip to the zoo." I said "I'll take care of that in due course." She asked if there was anything she could fix for me to eat on the way back to the base. I told her that I never had anything to eat on the way back to Camp Lejeune. Mary and I would have had a very good meal in N.Y.C. before I started the trip back to CLNC and I didn't need anything more until morning. I left home at 1900 and was at the Servicemen's Lounge in Washington, D.C. just before 2200. There were three Marines standing there. They had missed their rides and were glad to see me. There were the four of us for the remainder of the trip. We arrived at the base just before 0400, right on time. I had them sign me in on my leave papers and was able to get almost an hour of sleep before I had to get up. Boy, did I fill my belly in the chow hall.

When I walked into the Travel Office everyone looked at each other and Louise said "You are not due back until next Monday." I said "I decided to save some of my leave time till Thanksgiving or Christmas - or I would be landlocked here over the holidays." With the Second Marine Division having departed the base, it was a rather quiet time in the Travel Office. Everyone wanted to know all about my leave and I guess I told them everything. I told them about our stay in Ocean City, New Jersey, and having the whole house to ourselves for two weeks. They were quite surprised to hear about Mary going to Earlham when they had sort of expected that we were about to be married. I told them that it was quite a surprise to me, too, but that we had quite a nice trip to Richmond, Indiana, to make up for it. I told them that the hard part for me was that I would not see Mary before Thanksgiving after more than four years of seeing each other almost every weekend. Now it was a 10-week countdown until we could look into each others eyes again.

I returned home on the weekend and every weekend until Thanksgiving week. My next trip home would be on the day before Thanksgiving and believe me I could hardly wait for that day to come. We were still communicating weekly and had already planned what we would do when we reached our homes. We might see each other on Wednesday night but we would stay at our respective homes that night. I would stay with Mary on Friday night and - get this - my Mom and Dad had decided that Mary could stay with me at The Hemlocks on Saturday night. Actually, my Dad thought from day one that it was okay. It was my mother that had taken so long to convince. But she really loved Mary and I think that went a long way towards changing her mind. Incidentally, Mom had taken Dad to the Hollywood Inn almost weekly since I first took her there. They really liked this place and wondered why they had not learned of it before. But that's the way it goes.

Again I wish you all a Happy New Year.

The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


Lawd Forbid

Dunno why, but the other day as zipping up my boots (8", side zippers... common style with EMT's, Paramedics, FireFighters, LEO's around here) got to thinking about footwear over the years... started out in the 1957 Corps with 3 pair of issue footwear... one pair of boots, that had eyelets and hooks, one pair of boondockers, which were similar to the boots, only not as tall, and having eyelets only... and one pair of dress shoes. All were brown... and except for the dress shoes, were 'rough-out' leather, meaning that the smooth side of the single thickness of leather was to the inside. Both boots and boondockers had soles and heels of what was known as 'cord'... meaning there were bits of white cord incorporated into the rubber. The construction was what I think is known as 'a GoodYear welt', meaning that the soles were sewn to the uppers... and the heels were nailed to the soles. The dress shoes were similar in construction, but the soles were leather and the heels were rubber. Regardless of the uniform, utilities or service (greens, trops, or kahki), the condition of one's heels were always a matter of considerable interest to any inspecting SNCO or Officer.

At the time, post Korea, pre the Dominican Republic ("DomRep"), in the 1st MarDiv, the boots or boondockers could be turned in to Company Supply, to be sent somewhere 'down Mainside' (Camp Pendleton) to have soles and/or heels replaced... for 'free'... but if a pair had to be replaced... that meant a trip to that Corps version of Jos. A. Banks... known as 'Cash Sales'... nothing free there, although there was something known as "RC, 1/3"... that being "Reduced Cost, One-Third"... where one might, if flush with cash, and if able to find an item that fit, could buy uniform items at one-third of new retail. These items required an SRB entry, as they would have someone else's name stamped in them... which could lead to accusations of theft, if the legal purchase was not documented. These items had come from sources such as punitive or medical discharges those who were not entitled to retain all their uniform items... (The Corps has never understood the difference between 'economical' and 'cheap').

In my first unit, which shall be nameless other than "Charlie Company, First Anti-Tank Battalion, First Marine Division", the uniform of the day, most days, was "U", or Utilities, on the training schedule, and unless otherwise noted, this was understood to mean boots and bloused trousers... no exceptions. So... if the boots had been 'turned in', they weren't likely to be back for a week or more... so that meant boondockers... and the trousers bloused way low... and hoping that the SNCO's wouldn't notice. Just how the troops were expected to be in compliance, considering that most of us made $84/month, and an extra pair of boots purchase made a major dent in scarce liberty money, was never explained...

Later on, after Robert Strange McNamarra (had to love that middle name... it fit!) became the SecDef, and joint purchasing was recommended by his 'Whiz Kid' number crunchers who came from Ford Corporation with him, we had smooth outer, lace-up boots (just like all other branches), and we went from rough-out brown to smooth black... and, so here we are, some fifty-seven years later, back to "brown, rough side out" boots... which can be purchased... lots of ways other than 'Cash Sales'... for what would have been two month's pay, back in the day...

The "Jungle Boot"... molded sole (no stitching on a new one for repair...), nylon canvas sides, couple eyelets" for drainage "at the instep, came about, so far as I know, in the early to mid 1960's... and initially, came with a pair of thin, stainless steel inserts, which were intended as a defense against the dread "punji stick"... these inserts tended to get fatigue cracks in the area of the ball of the foot after a couple zillion flex cycles, and usually got thrown away after not very long. Full disclosure: within six months of the 1965 landings at DaNang, every place and clime in the USMC, including Recruiting Stations, had a "VC village"... which include various nefarious items, like the "Malay Whip", and other booby-trappery, including 'punji pits' (hole in the ground, camouflaged, holding sharpened bamboo stakes, which had been smeared with (insert here four letter word for 'excrement"... intended to inflict a nasty and infected wound.)... Further disclosure: in roughly six months as a Grunt Platoon Sergeant, I saw exactly one of our troops suffer a minor wound from a "Punji"... in this case, it was a steel plate, with a vertical spike, which penetrated his boot, and scratched the inside of his instep... ironically enough, it was not from the VC... but a left-over, in a tree line... placed by the Viet Minh... to wound either a Frenchman, or a Vietnamese soldier in French employ.

The pattern of the lugs on the moulded sole on the jungle boot changed, or at least it was different from some vendor, in 1966... bigge and fewerr lugs, supposedly better at expelling mud, and so on. Had never yet seen these style of soles, until Operation Colorado (Tam Ky area, August of '66). By that time, our boots were like second skins... off at night (maybe), back on when time to walk the line... or something happening... or seeming to happen, but in a way, old friends... scuffed, worn, to the point of being misshapen light gray things down there at the bottom of the trou, maybe with a dog tag laced into the instep (one on the neck, one on a foot... just in case... sounds morbid now, but just the way it was...) I noted the different style first on a couple of pairs of new-looking boots... that were sticking out from under a poncho. The owner, along with too many others in that row, from 1/5, was waiting for a routine, non-emergency medevac. I can still see those boots... and muse about the things that stick in one's mind... and... still have grooves in the lower legs from years of using booby-trap springs as blousing garters... hard to come by, but lasted forever... and sure held the trou... Lawd forbid we should ever adopt the doggie "tuck'em in the boot top" method of 'blousing'...

Ddick


Lost And Found

Hi my name is Ronald Harris and I'm contacting you about my Grandfather Arthur A Bitle. I recently had family over for a Christmas gathering and heard my grandfather was one of 4 Marines to survive a Japanese attack and found your story the next day. My family doesn't know the details of the story but I thought it would be amazing if your father and my grandfather survived that same patrol Together.

He was stationed in San Diego and was part of 3 invasions, I'm told. He is also in the book "Follow Me", I believe on page 64 washing his socks on Guadalcanal. And we aren't sure if the rifle leaning against the tree next to him in the picture is a Springfield or the Japanese rifle he returned home with.

My grandfather passed December 9th 2002, but my brother, mother and I would love to get anymore information on his service and unit, so I was hoping you could point me in the right direction.

Thank you!
Ron Harris​


Short Rounds

To Peter D,

Peter it was a C47 that started it all, go to Historynet.com and you can get the whole story of the C47 Douglas D C-3 that was known as puff the Magic Dragon or Snoopy. That is what I was told in 1968, the C130 was called Shadow starting as it took over for the C47 but it did continue as a attack/cargo plane as it was called.

Vic DeLeon
Semper Fi


She wondered What makes a Marine do the things they do, such as Dan Daly and John Basilone to earn the Congressional Medal of Honor? Is it adrenalin, fear, or what?

Have her read "I'm staying with my Boys" the life story of John Basilone from childhood, right to where he gets killed on Iwo.

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


COSMOLINE - Manufactured by E F Houghton and Co., Philadelphia. Thought it would never clean off my rifle (ser # 2059XXX). Hated the stuff until 1982 when I was employed by Houghton as a sales engineer. Product put quite a bit of food on the table.

Earl Herrington 1802xxx
8th Engr Bn
1958-61​


It should have been noted that in addition being Marines, those pictured in the "Old Corps Photo" are all Medal of Honor recipients.

R.P. Shannon​


To LtCol. Joe Neff,

​ I never expected to get an answer from an officer of the Corps and I thank you Sir.

Cpl. Vic DeLeon


I was in the Corps from '62 to '66. I did not have to go to Viet Nam and to this day have regrets. I lost a number of friends to the war and try to remember them as often as I can. We had to put up with the media cr-p and anti-war cr-p of the 60's and 70's, and when then Marines came home they were spit on for doing their job. I feel that is the point that the idiots missed they, as the history of the Marine Corps, were doing the job assigned to them and did it with honor!

Semper Fi,
Cpl. '62-'66​


I really enjoy all of the articles that Cpl Bruce Bender sends in. However, I am not in agreeance with the statement Viet Nam Era Marine. I believe you are a Viet Nam Marine veteran or not. I know of retired veterans who served 20-30 years during which there was Viet Nam. Iraq & several conflicts of other consequences, of which they never participated in any. I believe they are called Veterans. Just my take.

Cpl Bill Allen
Rvn 1966 1stBn/5thMar


Dear Sir,

I read with interest Bruce Bender's letter asking what constitutes a Vietnam Veteran. In my opinion, ONLY those men and women who were qualified to wear the Vietnam Service Medal are Vietnam Veterans. All military service is honorable. However, serving DURING Vietnam is in no way comparable to serving IN Vietnam.

Ivan Kass
Corporal, USMC
Chu Lai, Vietnam 1967


In the photo General Vandegrift's name is spelled incorrectly there is no letter "r" before the letter "g" saw the same mistake on signs marking Vandegrift Blvd outside Camp Pendleton Ca. Regarding the comment Luck of the Draw a month or two ago I made a comment regarding a statement by Montel Williams who stated he was a Vietnam veteran. I said he was a Vietnam Era Veteran. There is a difference to most of us who served in country, but still respect those who served.

Semper Fi
George


In your 25 Dec. Newsletter Marine Edwin O'Keefe, former L/Cpl, said it best with his response to the maggot "Wanna be" by writing "I wear only one stripe, with crossed rifles, and two ribbons with pride, because it is all that I earned." To that I offer a fact: A "Wanna be" will "Never be" a Marine, no matter how many ribbons, stripes and hash marks. Thank you Marine O'Keefe for putting a fine point on the issue of worms and posers.

Former L/Cpl David B. McClellan
'68-'70, RVN '69-'70, An Hoa Basin, I Corps.


Quotes

"I heard the bullets whistle-and believe me, there is something charming in the sound."
--George Washington


"Don't you forget that you're First Marines! Not all the communists in Hell can overrun you!"
--Col. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, USMC rallying his First Marine Regiment near Chosin Reservoir, Korea, December 1950


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


"I have told you people time and time again. Your rifle is your best friend. You let it down and it'll sure let you down."

"There is the right way, the wrong way, and the Marine Corps way."

"You can always tell a Marine, but you can't tell them much."

Happy New Year!
Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 25 Dec 2014

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 25 DEC 2014

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• Cosmoline

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Sgt Grit and Staff Merry Christmas

Sgt Grit and Staff would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! Take time to remember all of the brother and sister Marines that are not at home with their families this Christmas and pray for their safe return.

Semper Fi


Semper Fidelis Through And Through

Marine Kenyon holding his 2 week old son in USA Flag

Hello my name is Jennifer Kenyon and my husband Justin is a Marine. We had this photo taken with our son when he was only 2 weeks old. I really wanted to share it with you because it's just a great picture! I was hoping maybe you could share it with others by putting it in your newsletter or magazine. Thank you and have a great holiday!

Jen Kenyon


Hi Dad

I would just like to send a story to all the family members who read and purchase items from Sgt. Grit. My wife arranged for our son L/Cpl Bradley Antkowiak (Okinawa, Japan – Camp Hanson) a MP with the 3rd Law Enforcement to fly home (Philadelphia, PA) for a surprise Holiday visit. This was all done without my knowledge. When I came home from Christmas shopping and our son surprised me with a "Hi Dad", I was in total shock. This was the best Christmas gift I ever received in my life, having our son home with us again. Our boy has been gone from home for 13 months and hearing his voice and seeing him in person just made me cry. We all missed him dearly last Christmas when he was away and we are all making up the lost time together and missed holidays more than ever. We are proud of our son and support not only him but all our troops in this unsettled world. May every family member of a soldier that is away from home have the joy that we had when we first saw our boy again after being away for over a year.

God bless all our service men & women. And God bless the USA.

Sincerely,
Fred & Angie Antkowiak
Proud parents of a US Marine​


If You Weren't There Shut Up Vietnam Clock


Commandant's Christmas Card

WWI Marine Cpl Haas

WWI Marine Sgt D.B. Hill

Earlier this year, I inherited the personal items of my paternal grandfather Sgt Oscar S. King, so I sent a few of the photos to you. Here is another set from his collection. Both of the men pictured served with my grandfather in the 78th Co. 2/6.

The photo of the Marine sitting is Cpl. Haas, and the second is Sgt. D.B. Hill, from Crowley, Texas. This man and my grandfather were good friends and remained in touch many years after the war. If there is anyone out there who knew these men, let me know.

The last photo is of the 1919 Christmas Card each Marine received from the Commandant.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all my Marine brothers and sisters.

Semper Fi,
Stephen King
Sgt. of Marines
1976 - 1982


USMC Man Cave

USMC Man Cave View 1 Close Up

USMC Man Cave Service Wall

We wanted to share our MANCAVE with you. We are addicted to your products for obvious reasons.

Semper Fi,
Nicole Baptiste-Patterson and SSGT Darian Patterson


Immorality

I read with great anticipation MY HEART ON THE LINE in this weeks newsletter. Frank's story held me until, "If the idea of the immorality of the Vietnam War was the only reason those lucky enough to go to college dodged the draft, why did we not encourage our children to volunteer for military service once that war was done?" I thought Frank was being sincere and truly had his eyes opened. However, I as a Vietnam Era Veteran find it hard to buy his story when he used the statement... "immorality of the Vietnam War." Was Frank sincere? I do not believe so.

Sgt. T. E. Kinsey
'68-'70​


Mr. Kinsey,

After reading your submission concerning Frank's story, I felt the need to respond. I am not a Vietnam War veteran, missed it by about 28 years; however I am a Global War On Terrorism veteran. I only have a limited understanding of what it was like to be in the Vietnam War or what is was like for all veterans of the war to return home to an ungrateful nation. But, from what I have learned through talks with Vietnam War veterans and those who failed to answer our nation's call to duty, civilians/draft dodgers/protesters did not agree with the war and thought that it was evil, wicked, not needed (immoral). "For those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know." - Anonymous.

Since Mr. Frank didn't serve during the Vietnam War era, I think that he is just saying that now since he has a son that serves, it has opened his eyes and revealed to him that his thoughts of the past were incorrect. As he stated "If the idea of the immorality of the Vietnam War was the only reason those lucky enough to go to college dodged the draft, why did we not encourage our children to volunteer for military service once that war was done?" Since this is how those who did not serve thought back then, he is just saying... if we thought that the Vietnam War was so bad and wicked, why did we not encourage our children to serve once the war had ended and we were once again at peace as a nation... This of course is just my take on it.

I don't think that he meant any disrespect or harm by his statement, but what do I know... I'm just a boot.

Merry Christmas brother and Semper Fi!

J. Williams
Sgt USMC '00-'07


Intelligent Sand Fleas

When I was at my first duty station (MCAS Beaufort) as an MP it was our duty to raise the flag in the morning and lower it at night. We had very intelligent sand fleas there. At first call to colors they made a circle around the flag pole (Bldg 1), it was so thick you could see them. They hovered until reveille/retire colors at which time they attacked. They must have had training from Parris Island because they did it with such precision. Of course I got a tip to invest in Avon's Skin So Soft with a little bit of Rubbing Alcohol to keep from being the snack of the day, but only after I suffered the first time to acquaint me with my new friends.

Theresa Gilreath
GySgt
15Apr75-30Jun98​


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Inner Strength

As I read Frank Schaeffer's letter about his son I experienced a wide range of emotions. First I was offended by the family's social status that would preclude them from something so petty as defending our country. And he is right, since Vietnam, the upper classes have felt that the military is something that only the lower and middle classes should participate in while they go about their business of making sure their careers are successful. Mr. Schaeffer's friends or acquaintances who questioned his son's mental stability for joining the Corps makes me sick to my stomach.

I believe that we all have instances in our lives where we suddenly realize that what we once did or what we once thought is absolutely wrong. We are faced with the reality that we are human and that we erred, sometimes very badly, but that we must move on and commit to a different and better path. I commend Mr. Schaeffer for his new view of our Marine Corps. And then there is his son. What inner strength he must possess. To take the path he chose in light of the opposition he surely encountered at home and in his personal life. Perhaps he is a part of a new "greatest generation" as his father stated, but I like to think that he is just like all Marines of the past, totally dedicated to their country and fellow Marines. Semper Fi to this Marine and thanks to Mr. Schaeffer for a wonderful letter.

Merry Christmas to all Marines around the world!

Sgt. C
'67-'71​


Divine Wind Corrections

I want to forward a slight correction to the story submitted by Ddick. He stated: "'divine wind'... relates back to a victory in the Russo-Sino war of very early 20th century."

Actually the history behind the term Kamikaze is:

"The Japanese word Kamikaze is usually translated as "divine wind" (kami is the word for "god", "spirit", or "divinity", and kaze for "wind"). The word originated as the name of major typhoons in 1274 and 1281, which dispersed Mongolian invasion fleets under Kublai Khan."

Both times, large fleets from China and Korea, gathered off of the Japanese coasts. And while Samurai gathered to repel the invaders, both times a strong typhoons pounded the heck out of the massive fleet and ultimately resulted in the invasions being called off.

Here is a link for more details:

Mongol Invasions of Japan

Bob Vandenberg
7208 1st Lt.
1980 - 1985


In regards to "Kamakazi" (Divine Wind), it is NOT from the Sino-Russian war in early 20th century. It goes WAY back farther into history, to 1274 and 1281 actually. When Kublai Khan was attacking Japan with a huge armada, a Divine Wind (tsunami) destroyed and sank the fleet, saving Japan from the Mongol invasions.

Rev. M.K. McKay, RN
HM3 1970-72​


Old Corps Photo

MGen Vandergrift, Col Edson, 2ndLt Paige, and Plt Sgt Basilone

The Marines shown in this photo are MGen A. Vandergrift, Col M. Edson, 2ndLt M. Paige, and Plt Sgt J. Basilone.

Semper Fi,
David Bushlow


Luck Of The Draw

Spent last night with very good friend (known him for over 40 years) discussing over the Vietnam Era as to if you were NOT THERE are you considered a Vietnam Veteran? Interesting topic and more interesting answers as I have asked many this question - to my surprise many more have said if you served during the Vietnam War you are a Vietnam Veteran because you had no choice where you were sent? Luck of the draw so to speak! Interesting answers from many people - especially after so many years!

Respectfully Submitted Sir!
Bruce Bender
Vietnam Era Marine
1963-1967 CPL​


Christmas Joke

Three Marines died on Christmas Eve and were met by Saint Peter at the pearly gates.

'In honor of this holy season' Saint Peter said, "You must each possess something that symbolizes Christmas to get into heaven."

The LCPL fumbled through his pockets and pulled out a lighter. He flicked it on. "It represents a candle," he said.

"You may pass through the pearly gates" Saint Peter said.

The young Captain reached into his pocket and pulled out a set of keys. He shook them and said, "They're bells."

Saint Peter said "You may pass through the pearly gates."

The old Master Gunnery Sergeant started searching through his pockets and finally pulled out a pair of women's panties.

St. Peter looked at the man with a raised eyebrow and asked, "And just what do those symbolize?" The Master Guns replied, "These are Carols."


Cosmoline

Sgt. Grit,

In a recent letter to you I mentioned that we had to clean some .50 Caliber Machine Guns and some .30 Caliber Machine Guns to send to the front lines in Korea. I was thinking about that a bit later remembered when I was being sent to Korea. At Camp Pendleton, we were issued our 782 Gear (Packs, Cartridge belts, etc.) and our M1 rifles. When World War II ended there was a lot of surplus weapons that were put into Cosmoline (a tar like substance) for storage.

Each man received his rifle and had to clean it and prepare it to sight in and fire for record. We found the easiest way to clean our rifles was to strip them down and get into the shower with our M1's and use the hot water to rid the rifle of cosmoline, then oiled them down and rubbed down the stock with Linseed oil and rubbed and rubbed until the Linseed oil was in the wood and the stock was not sticky or oily. I bet there are some old Marines that cringe at the word "COSMOLINE".

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Assorted Nuts

Sgt Grit and your great staff,

Happy Holidays to all and Happy New Year! Thanks for your help through out the past year with some of my purchases; greatly appreciated.

In response to the 1944 Christmas Menu at MCAS Cherry Point: "Assorted Nuts"? I thought the assorted nuts were there to enjoy the meal? LOL!

To all those serving and to those who have done their duty to our great Nation, Thank You. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Semper Fi,
Bob Applegarth, Sgt, 1965-1971


SOB By Presidential Proclamation

Reading that short story about a past president, Harry Truman in the last newsletter, reminded me of my Truman story. In the summer of July 1951, when the Korean War was running on all eight cylinders, Truman as president, called the Marines SOBs. That kind of ticked me off as I had always dreamed of being a Marine and to be called an SOB by our president seemed a bit far fetched, but it did happen. Twenty-two months later, I hit the beach at Parris Island to become a SOB, I guess, by presidential proclamation.

Be that what it may, in May of 1953, I received my "for further transfer," orders i.e., Korea, when I was with the 2nd Tank Bn. at Swamp Lagoon. Frankly, as a young hot dog PFC trained to be a warrior, I was looking forward to getting into action as my young, innocent, naive mind led me to believe that I could single-handedly stop the Communist onslaught that America feared at that time. I had my last leave time before heading west to enter the Forgotten War, so I went home to be with my family for about a week. Leaving the safety of my family on the Vermont dairy farm on which I was raised, I went to New York to catch a plane to Treasure Island, CA for said further transfer.

Walking around Times Square in New York City before heading to the airport, my young, innocent, naive mind made me walk down a side street right off the Square. As I passed Sardi's Restaurant (by the way, the owner of Sardi's had been in the Corps in WWII), two well-suited men stepped out onto the street followed by a man in his famous fedora hat being followed by two other well-dressed men. It happened: I ran smack into HST, knocking his hat off his head and before the Secret Service agents could draw down on me. Fortunately, they recognized a young Marine in uniform who was either on his way over there or had just returned from there, and no action was taken (thank God)! I kept on running and hearing no shots fired, I counted my blessings that one or more of those Secret Service guys had to have been a Marine.

Chris Vail
Sgt., 1952 - 1958


Dirty Laundry

Sgt. Grit,

Remember in boot camp the scrub brush and the soapy water and the tables we scrubbed our clothes on. Some guys did this in Camp Geiger too! I went home after Camp Geiger on a bus from North Carolina with my sea bag and dirty laundry.

My mom went apesh-t when I emptied my sea bag on the Persian Living room carpet! She made me take it to the Chinese Laundry around the corner. Major cities had these Chinese hand laundry's - that did predominately linens - table clothes - and shirts. The old Chinese gentleman spoke little English and gave you a receipt with Chinese characters on it for a stub. He weighed the sea bag - and bowed to me. Two days later I went to pick it up - and my mom paid back then like $20.00 (which was very expensive for those days - when a regular laundry would cost less than $5.00.) The Chinese guy went berserk yelling and screaming and pointing at me - the guy's wife came out of the back to quiet him down - and calmly explained to me that my skivvies and utilities were so dirty I clogged the pipes when they cleaned the dirty clothes. My utilities were now sparkling - and my skivvies were bright white - rough socks were smooth to my skin. A rare treat for a Marine after boot camp.

Went to a few nice restaurants and met a nice girl at a military dance in the great city of New York - then alas - my leave was up - went to the Port Authority Bus Station in New York City - and the Marine went into survival mode carefully watching his wallet and his gear aboard the bus - as we trusted only other Marines to watch our backs.

Bruce Bender
1963-1967
Cpl USMC


Like His Son

Hello Sgt. Grit, employees, and readers,

I feel the need to address the article submitted by Mr. Schaffer. Like his son I come from a place where wealth is not uncommon. A lot of kids get cars for their 16th birthday and people go to Ivy League colleges. The idea that entering the Marine Corps is a fault of the young man or his educators really makes me mad. I was born with a host of things that kept me from serving my country; however before I was aware of their extent I fully intended to join the Corps. I was planning on attending college after serving but I felt a strong need to do my part. In part because I could not serve I entered the education profession, working to help people that way. If joining the Corps is what a person wants, it is neither a mistake or a fault but a choice to admire.

Thank you for your time,
Jack Wier​


Radio School 1965

Marines in Radio School in 1965

This was our class, at radio school, C & E Bn. MCRD San Diego. Christmas season of 1965 some of us made up a song that went to the tune of "The Twelve Days Of Christmas." We called it the, "Twelve Reenlistments." Her it is...

On my 12th reenlistment, my General gave to me...

12 Honorable Discharges
11 Bouncing Betties
10 Rusty Bayonets
9   B.A.R.'s
8   Three point fives
7   Booby Traps
6   Forty-fives
5   M-14s
4   Bursting Bombs
3   Amphibious Tractors
2   Sherman Tanks
And a 106 Recoilless Rifle.

Semper Fi & Merry Christmas,
Dick Martell
Cpl 2141---​


From The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #12, #4)

Merry Christmas and Semper Fi to all of you Boots!

I joined the Marine Corps seven months after I graduated and Mary didn't graduate until June of 1948. She decided to take a one year hiatus between high school and college. She went to New York City to live with her Aunt Jenny and work towards becoming a model. She soon found out that it wasn't a very nice profession - but she had an advantage - she didn't have to pay rent. She said it soon could be seen why so many young girls were drawn to the pulp magazine end of the business. If they had to pay rent they had little choice. Mary stuck with it for most of the year - and when she was ready to quit - and move on to college - she hit pay dirt - she got a one year contract with Prince Matchabelli Perfumes. It paid $1,000 a month and she would be in their Life magazine ad once a month. She really enjoyed doing this and would probably have continued with P.M.P. except they wanted her to change her jet black hair to either red or blonde - without a guarantee of a contract renewal - and she would not do that.

She had been coming home each weekend by Greyhound - down Friday evening and back on Sunday. Then, when I bought the 1949 Hudson, I would go from Camp Lejeune to N.Y.C. on Friday night, back home on Saturday morning, back to N.Y.C. on Sunday afternoon, then back to Camp Lejeune. Mary slept with her aunt in a king size bed but they had a sofa bed in the living room that I got to sleep on for four hours - 0200 to 0600 - before heading for home. Her Aunt Jenny was a grandmother with kids in Boston and Providence. Once a month she would visit one of them - and her grandkids - on a weekend and Mary and I would sleep in the big bed. Aunt Jenny asked Mary once if I had not come up that weekend. Mary told her that I had. She said "You must not have changed the linen on the sofa." Mary told her "He didn't sleep on the sofa. He slept with me." Well, Aunt Jenny told Mary's parents and they told her that we were living a 'Platonic lifestyle' and slept together in Mary's bed whenever they were at their house. Aunt Jenny learned something new. She told Mary "If it's okay with your parents it's okay with me." And I told my Mom "I hope that is the way you will look at it, too."

I asked her "What did you think of your lunch?" She replied "I loved it. I will have to bring Dad here sometime." We returned home. It was almost 1500 and I would be leaving for Camp Lejeune in about four hours. We sat in mother's favorite room - the kitchen - while she prepared dinner. I asked her "What are you fixing?" She said "I'm not telling you. It's a surprise." Well, it wasn't a surprise for long. I could soon smell the odor of Yankee Pot Roast. It was one of my favorites. She wanted to send me off with something I was quite fond of. Dad had spent the whole day at the Olds dealership. He said, "I 'almost' bought a new car - but didn't - because my next one is going to be another Buick." (Dad had owned several Buicks - starting with a 1939 Century Touring Car and a decade later one of the first Roadmaster Rivieras)...

Happy Holidays and Semper Fi to 'You All' from The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


Short Rounds

One small correction to Bob Lonn's assessment of Harry Truman. The Pusan perimeter is on the SouthEAST coast of South Korea, not the Southwest. The letter itself was spot on: HST despised the Corps!

Gary Nash
Former 0302


I'm proud you exposed the latest phony. I'm glad a real Marine "jack him up".

Dave
B/1/9 '67-'68


After seeing the picture of this fat piece of cr-p wanna-bee, I nearly lost my breakfast. These t-rds need to be knocked down, and that uniform stripped off them in public, and let them run away naked.

I am sick to death of these punks. Many of my brothers died that others may wear that remembrance. I wear only one stripe, with crossed rifles, and two ribbons with pride, because it is all that I earned.

Semper Fi,
Edwin O'Keefe
L/Cpl. of Marines
'61 - '64


I also lost my beloved Marine soulmate, but that does not stop me from ordering from the catalog nor reading the newsletter. Please remind Barbara of one of the newer slogans: "Once a Marine Wife, Always a Marine Wife." That slogan is on my American Legion hat and I proudly wear the Marine wife necklaces in memory of my beloved husband.

Karen Balske


I was reading Cpl. Bradshaws article on the red flac. It sure brought back memories of me at PI. In Sept. of '57 in platoon 266. It was still hot then. All I remember was the red flag. When we saw that up we knew no drill on the parade field. But it didn't stop our D.I. from drilling us in the barracks. Like push-ups, squat thrust, or rifle drill. I think it would have been less torture to go out and be drilled in the heat!

B. OTIS
'57 / 60​


For Marine Paul Murtha, we called utilities "dungarees" when I was in ('53-'56).

Semper Fi,
Bob Rader, Sgt


July 1960 we had tye-tyes for laundry, also wore utilities. I also remember 8-man squad drill along with the LPM drill. For final field we had to be proficient in both. When and why did it stop?

Jim Logan 1831xxx


HM1 Stark and his wife at Marine Corps Ball

Gunny, Chief Corpsman, and beautiful woman at Marine Corps Ball

Merry Christmas Sgt and Thank You for everything you do for the Corps. The 1st picture was taken at this years Marine Corps Ball in Boca Raton, Florida, it is of my wife and I. The 2nd picture is of a Gunny, a Navy Chief Corpsman, and a beautiful woman.

Chuck Stark
HM1/USN


WWII Marines celebrating the Marine Corps birthday on November 10th

Marine Corps League colorguard at Cookies Tavern 10 November

Here are a couple more pictures from Cookies Tavern in South Philly on 10 November 2014. The 1st photo is of the two WWII Marine Veterans and the 2nd photo is of the Marine Corps League colorguard.


Quotes

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


"There can be no greater error than to expect, or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. 'Tis an illusion which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard."
--George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796


"Be the hunter, not the hunted: Never allow your unit to be caught with its guard down."
--#Mattisisms


"Come on, you sons of b-tches! Do you want to live forever?"
--GySgt. Daniel J. "Dan" Daly, USMC near Lucy-'le-Bocage as he led the 5th Marines' attack into Belleau Wood, 6 June 1918


"Gone to Florida to fight the Indians. Will be back when the war is over."
--Colonel Commandant Archibald Henderson, USMC in a note pinned to his office door, 1836


"I' m here to finish a job no one ever started..."

"I came here to chew gum, take names, and kick ass... I'm outta gum, and my pencil's broke..."

Don't get p-ssed; re-enlist!

USMC or 'U Suckers Missed Christmas'!

Merry Christmas
Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 25 Dec 2014
If you are having trouble viewing this issue, see it on our website:
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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 25 DEC 2014

In this issue:
• Commandant's Christmas Card
• Intelligent Sand Fleas
• Cosmoline

Online Store TShirts Men's Headgear Patches Women's

Flags   Family Member   Ka-Bars   Auto   Headgear  Jackets  ALL CATEGORIES  

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Sgt Grit and Staff would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! Take time to remember all of the brother and sister Marines that are not at home with their families this Christmas and pray for their safe return.

Semper Fi


Semper Fidelis Through And Through

Hello my name is Jennifer Kenyon and my husband Justin is a Marine. We had this photo taken with our son when he was only 2 weeks old. I really wanted to share it with you because it's just a great picture! I was hoping maybe you could share it with others by putting it in your newsletter or magazine. Thank you and have a great holiday!

Jen Kenyon


Hi Dad

I would just like to send a story to all the family members who read and purchase items from Sgt. Grit. My wife arranged for our son L/Cpl Bradley Antkowiak (Okinawa, Japan – Camp Hanson) a MP with the 3rd Law Enforcement to fly home (Philadelphia, PA) for a surprise Holiday visit. This was all done without my knowledge. When I came home from Christmas shopping and our son surprised me with a "Hi Dad", I was in total shock. This was the best Christmas gift I ever received in my life, having our son home with us again. Our boy has been gone from home for 13 months and hearing his voice and seeing him in person just made me cry. We all missed him dearly last Christmas when he was away and we are all making up the lost time together and missed holidays more than ever. We are proud of our son and support not only him but all our troops in this unsettled world. May every family member of a soldier that is away from home have the joy that we had when we first saw our boy again after being away for over a year.

God bless all our service men & women. And God bless the USA.

Sincerely,
Fred & Angie Antkowiak
Proud parents of a US Marine​


Commandant's Christmas Card

Earlier this year, I inherited the personal items of my paternal grandfather Sgt Oscar S. King, so I sent a few of the photos to you. Here is another set from his collection. Both of the men pictured served with my grandfather in the 78th Co. 2/6.

The photo of the Marine sitting is Cpl. Haas, and the second is Sgt. D.B. Hill, from Crowley, Texas. This man and my grandfather were good friends and remained in touch many years after the war. If there is anyone out there who knew these men, let me know.

The last photo is of the 1919 Christmas Card each Marine received from the Commandant.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all my Marine brothers and sisters.

Semper Fi,
Stephen King
Sgt. of Marines
1976 - 1982


USMC Man Cave

We wanted to share our MANCAVE with you. We are addicted to your products for obvious reasons.

Semper Fi,
Nicole Baptiste-Patterson and SSGT Darian Patterson


Immorality

I read with great anticipation MY HEART ON THE LINE in this weeks newsletter. Frank's story held me until, "If the idea of the immorality of the Vietnam War was the only reason those lucky enough to go to college dodged the draft, why did we not encourage our children to volunteer for military service once that war was done?" I thought Frank was being sincere and truly had his eyes opened. However, I as a Vietnam Era Veteran find it hard to buy his story when he used the statement... "immorality of the Vietnam War." Was Frank sincere? I do not believe so.

Sgt. T. E. Kinsey
'68-'70​


Mr. Kinsey,

After reading your submission concerning Frank's story, I felt the need to respond. I am not a Vietnam War veteran, missed it by about 28 years; however I am a Global War On Terrorism veteran. I only have a limited understanding of what it was like to be in the Vietnam War or what is was like for all veterans of the war to return home to an ungrateful nation. But, from what I have learned through talks with Vietnam War veterans and those who failed to answer our nation's call to duty, civilians/draft dodgers/protesters did not agree with the war and thought that it was evil, wicked, not needed (immoral). "For those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know." - Anonymous.

Since Mr. Frank didn't serve during the Vietnam War era, I think that he is just saying that now since he has a son that serves, it has opened his eyes and revealed to him that his thoughts of the past were incorrect. As he stated "If the idea of the immorality of the Vietnam War was the only reason those lucky enough to go to college dodged the draft, why did we not encourage our children to volunteer for military service once that war was done?" Since this is how those who did not serve thought back then, he is just saying... if we thought that the Vietnam War was so bad and wicked, why did we not encourage our children to serve once the war had ended and we were once again at peace as a nation... This of course is just my take on it.

I don't think that he meant any disrespect or harm by his statement, but what do I know... I'm just a boot.

Merry Christmas brother and Semper Fi!

J. Williams
Sgt USMC '00-'07


Intelligent Sand Fleas

When I was at my first duty station (MCAS Beaufort) as an MP it was our duty to raise the flag in the morning and lower it at night. We had very intelligent sand fleas there. At first call to colors they made a circle around the flag pole (Bldg 1), it was so thick you could see them. They hovered until reveille/retire colors at which time they attacked. They must have had training from Parris Island because they did it with such precision. Of course I got a tip to invest in Avon's Skin So Soft with a little bit of Rubbing Alcohol to keep from being the snack of the day, but only after I suffered the first time to acquaint me with my new friends.

Theresa Gilreath
GySgt
15Apr75-30Jun98​


Inner Strength

As I read Frank Schaeffer's letter about his son I experienced a wide range of emotions. First I was offended by the family's social status that would preclude them from something so petty as defending our country. And he is right, since Vietnam, the upper classes have felt that the military is something that only the lower and middle classes should participate in while they go about their business of making sure their careers are successful. Mr. Schaeffer's friends or acquaintances who questioned his son's mental stability for joining the Corps makes me sick to my stomach.

I believe that we all have instances in our lives where we suddenly realize that what we once did or what we once thought is absolutely wrong. We are faced with the reality that we are human and that we erred, sometimes very badly, but that we must move on and commit to a different and better path. I commend Mr. Schaeffer for his new view of our Marine Corps. And then there is his son. What inner strength he must possess. To take the path he chose in light of the opposition he surely encountered at home and in his personal life. Perhaps he is a part of a new "greatest generation" as his father stated, but I like to think that he is just like all Marines of the past, totally dedicated to their country and fellow Marines. Semper Fi to this Marine and thanks to Mr. Schaeffer for a wonderful letter.

Merry Christmas to all Marines around the world!

Sgt. C
'67-'71​


Divine Wind Corrections

I want to forward a slight correction to the story submitted by Ddick. He stated: "'divine wind'... relates back to a victory in the Russo-Sino war of very early 20th century."

Actually the history behind the term Kamikaze is:

"The Japanese word Kamikaze is usually translated as "divine wind" (kami is the word for "god", "spirit", or "divinity", and kaze for "wind"). The word originated as the name of major typhoons in 1274 and 1281, which dispersed Mongolian invasion fleets under Kublai Khan."

Both times, large fleets from China and Korea, gathered off of the Japanese coasts. And while Samurai gathered to repel the invaders, both times a strong typhoons pounded the heck out of the massive fleet and ultimately resulted in the invasions being called off.

Here is a link for more details:

Mongol Invasions of Japan

Bob Vandenberg
7208 1st Lt.
1980 - 1985


In regards to "Kamakazi" (Divine Wind), it is NOT from the Sino-Russian war in early 20th century. It goes WAY back farther into history, to 1274 and 1281 actually. When Kublai Khan was attacking Japan with a huge armada, a Divine Wind (tsunami) destroyed and sank the fleet, saving Japan from the Mongol invasions.

Rev. M.K. McKay, RN
HM3 1970-72​


Old Corps Photo

The Marines shown in this photo are MGen A. Vandergrift, Col M. Edson, 2ndLt M. Paige, and Plt Sgt J. Basilone.

Semper Fi,
David Bushlow


Luck Of The Draw

Spent last night with very good friend (known him for over 40 years) discussing over the Vietnam Era as to if you were NOT THERE are you considered a Vietnam Veteran? Interesting topic and more interesting answers as I have asked many this question - to my surprise many more have said if you served during the Vietnam War you are a Vietnam Veteran because you had no choice where you were sent? Luck of the draw so to speak! Interesting answers from many people - especially after so many years!

Respectfully Submitted Sir!
Bruce Bender
Vietnam Era Marine
1963-1967 CPL​


Christmas Joke

Three Marines died on Christmas Eve and were met by Saint Peter at the pearly gates.

'In honor of this holy season' Saint Peter said, "You must each possess something that symbolizes Christmas to get into heaven."

The LCPL fumbled through his pockets and pulled out a lighter. He flicked it on. "It represents a candle," he said.

"You may pass through the pearly gates" Saint Peter said.

The young Captain reached into his pocket and pulled out a set of keys. He shook them and said, "They're bells."

Saint Peter said "You may pass through the pearly gates."

The old Master Gunnery Sergeant started searching through his pockets and finally pulled out a pair of women's panties.

St. Peter looked at the man with a raised eyebrow and asked, "And just what do those symbolize?" The Master Guns replied, "These are Carols."


Cosmoline

Sgt. Grit,

In a recent letter to you I mentioned that we had to clean some .50 Caliber Machine Guns and some .30 Caliber Machine Guns to send to the front lines in Korea. I was thinking about that a bit later remembered when I was being sent to Korea. At Camp Pendleton, we were issued our 782 Gear (Packs, Cartridge belts, etc.) and our M1 rifles. When World War II ended there was a lot of surplus weapons that were put into Cosmoline (a tar like substance) for storage.

Each man received his rifle and had to clean it and prepare it to sight in and fire for record. We found the easiest way to clean our rifles was to strip them down and get into the shower with our M1's and use the hot water to rid the rifle of cosmoline, then oiled them down and rubbed down the stock with Linseed oil and rubbed and rubbed until the Linseed oil was in the wood and the stock was not sticky or oily. I bet there are some old Marines that cringe at the word "COSMOLINE".

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Assorted Nuts

Sgt Grit and your great staff,

Happy Holidays to all and Happy New Year! Thanks for your help through out the past year with some of my purchases; greatly appreciated.

In response to the 1944 Christmas Menu at MCAS Cherry Point: "Assorted Nuts"? I thought the assorted nuts were there to enjoy the meal? LOL!

To all those serving and to those who have done their duty to our great Nation, Thank You. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Semper Fi,
Bob Applegarth, Sgt, 1965-1971


SOB By Presidential Proclamation

Reading that short story about a past president, Harry Truman in the last newsletter, reminded me of my Truman story. In the summer of July 1951, when the Korean War was running on all eight cylinders, Truman as president, called the Marines SOBs. That kind of ticked me off as I had always dreamed of being a Marine and to be called an SOB by our president seemed a bit far fetched, but it did happen. Twenty-two months later, I hit the beach at Parris Island to become a SOB, I guess, by presidential proclamation.

Be that what it may, in May of 1953, I received my "for further transfer," orders i.e., Korea, when I was with the 2nd Tank Bn. at Swamp Lagoon. Frankly, as a young hot dog PFC trained to be a warrior, I was looking forward to getting into action as my young, innocent, naive mind led me to believe that I could single-handedly stop the Communist onslaught that America feared at that time. I had my last leave time before heading west to enter the Forgotten War, so I went home to be with my family for about a week. Leaving the safety of my family on the Vermont dairy farm on which I was raised, I went to New York to catch a plane to Treasure Island, CA for said further transfer.

Walking around Times Square in New York City before heading to the airport, my young, innocent, naive mind made me walk down a side street right off the Square. As I passed Sardi's Restaurant (by the way, the owner of Sardi's had been in the Corps in WWII), two well-suited men stepped out onto the street followed by a man in his famous fedora hat being followed by two other well-dressed men. It happened: I ran smack into HST, knocking his hat off his head and before the Secret Service agents could draw down on me. Fortunately, they recognized a young Marine in uniform who was either on his way over there or had just returned from there, and no action was taken (thank God)! I kept on running and hearing no shots fired, I counted my blessings that one or more of those Secret Service guys had to have been a Marine.

Chris Vail
Sgt., 1952 - 1958


Dirty Laundry

Sgt. Grit,

Remember in boot camp the scrub brush and the soapy water and the tables we scrubbed our clothes on. Some guys did this in Camp Geiger too! I went home after Camp Geiger on a bus from North Carolina with my sea bag and dirty laundry.

My mom went apesh-t when I emptied my sea bag on the Persian Living room carpet! She made me take it to the Chinese Laundry around the corner. Major cities had these Chinese hand laundry's - that did predominately linens - table clothes - and shirts. The old Chinese gentleman spoke little English and gave you a receipt with Chinese characters on it for a stub. He weighed the sea bag - and bowed to me. Two days later I went to pick it up - and my mom paid back then like $20.00 (which was very expensive for those days - when a regular laundry would cost less than $5.00.) The Chinese guy went berserk yelling and screaming and pointing at me - the guy's wife came out of the back to quiet him down - and calmly explained to me that my skivvies and utilities were so dirty I clogged the pipes when they cleaned the dirty clothes. My utilities were now sparkling - and my skivvies were bright white - rough socks were smooth to my skin. A rare treat for a Marine after boot camp.

Went to a few nice restaurants and met a nice girl at a military dance in the great city of New York - then alas - my leave was up - went to the Port Authority Bus Station in New York City - and the Marine went into survival mode carefully watching his wallet and his gear aboard the bus - as we trusted only other Marines to watch our backs.

Bruce Bender
1963-1967
Cpl USMC


Like His Son

Hello Sgt. Grit, employees, and readers,

I feel the need to address the article submitted by Mr. Schaffer. Like his son I come from a place where wealth is not uncommon. A lot of kids get cars for their 16th birthday and people go to Ivy League colleges. The idea that entering the Marine Corps is a fault of the young man or his educators really makes me mad. I was born with a host of things that kept me from serving my country; however before I was aware of their extent I fully intended to join the Corps. I was planning on attending college after serving but I felt a strong need to do my part. In part because I could not serve I entered the education profession, working to help people that way. If joining the Corps is what a person wants, it is neither a mistake or a fault but a choice to admire.

Thank you for your time,
Jack Wier​


Radio School 1965

This was our class, at radio school, C & E Bn. MCRD San Diego. Christmas season of 1965 some of us made up a song that went to the tune of "The Twelve Days Of Christmas." We called it the, "Twelve Reenlistments." Her it is...

On my 12th reenlistment, my General gave to me...

12 Honorable Discharges
11 Bouncing Betties
10 Rusty Bayonets
9   B.A.R.'s
8   Three point fives
7   Booby Traps
6   Forty-fives
5   M-14s
4   Bursting Bombs
3   Amphibious Tractors
2   Sherman Tanks
And a 106 Recoilless Rifle.

Semper Fi & Merry Christmas,
Dick Martell
Cpl 2141---​


From The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #12, #4)

Merry Christmas and Semper Fi to all of you Boots!

I joined the Marine Corps seven months after I graduated and Mary didn't graduate until June of 1948. She decided to take a one year hiatus between high school and college. She went to New York City to live with her Aunt Jenny and work towards becoming a model. She soon found out that it wasn't a very nice profession - but she had an advantage - she didn't have to pay rent. She said it soon could be seen why so many young girls were drawn to the pulp magazine end of the business. If they had to pay rent they had little choice. Mary stuck with it for most of the year - and when she was ready to quit - and move on to college - she hit pay dirt - she got a one year contract with Prince Matchabelli Perfumes. It paid $1,000 a month and she would be in their Life magazine ad once a month. She really enjoyed doing this and would probably have continued with P.M.P. except they wanted her to change her jet black hair to either red or blonde - without a guarantee of a contract renewal - and she would not do that.

She had been coming home each weekend by Greyhound - down Friday evening and back on Sunday. Then, when I bought the 1949 Hudson, I would go from Camp Lejeune to N.Y.C. on Friday night, back home on Saturday morning, back to N.Y.C. on Sunday afternoon, then back to Camp Lejeune. Mary slept with her aunt in a king size bed but they had a sofa bed in the living room that I got to sleep on for four hours - 0200 to 0600 - before heading for home. Her Aunt Jenny was a grandmother with kids in Boston and Providence. Once a month she would visit one of them - and her grandkids - on a weekend and Mary and I would sleep in the big bed. Aunt Jenny asked Mary once if I had not come up that weekend. Mary told her that I had. She said "You must not have changed the linen on the sofa." Mary told her "He didn't sleep on the sofa. He slept with me." Well, Aunt Jenny told Mary's parents and they told her that we were living a 'Platonic lifestyle' and slept together in Mary's bed whenever they were at their house. Aunt Jenny learned something new. She told Mary "If it's okay with your parents it's okay with me." And I told my Mom "I hope that is the way you will look at it, too."

I asked her "What did you think of your lunch?" She replied "I loved it. I will have to bring Dad here sometime." We returned home. It was almost 1500 and I would be leaving for Camp Lejeune in about four hours. We sat in mother's favorite room - the kitchen - while she prepared dinner. I asked her "What are you fixing?" She said "I'm not telling you. It's a surprise." Well, it wasn't a surprise for long. I could soon smell the odor of Yankee Pot Roast. It was one of my favorites. She wanted to send me off with something I was quite fond of. Dad had spent the whole day at the Olds dealership. He said, "I 'almost' bought a new car - but didn't - because my next one is going to be another Buick." (Dad had owned several Buicks - starting with a 1939 Century Touring Car and a decade later one of the first Roadmaster Rivieras)...

Happy Holidays and Semper Fi to 'You All' from The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


Short Rounds

One small correction to Bob Lonn's assessment of Harry Truman. The Pusan perimeter is on the SouthEAST coast of South Korea, not the Southwest. The letter itself was spot on: HST despised the Corps!

Gary Nash
Former 0302


I'm proud you exposed the latest phony. I'm glad a real Marine "jack him up".

Dave
B/1/9 '67-'68


After seeing the picture of this fat piece of cr-p wanna-bee, I nearly lost my breakfast. These t-rds need to be knocked down, and that uniform stripped off them in public, and let them run away naked.

I am sick to death of these punks. Many of my brothers died that others may wear that remembrance. I wear only one stripe, with crossed rifles, and two ribbons with pride, because it is all that I earned.

Semper Fi,
Edwin O'Keefe
L/Cpl. of Marines
'61 - '64


I also lost my beloved Marine soulmate, but that does not stop me from ordering from the catalog nor reading the newsletter. Please remind Barbara of one of the newer slogans: "Once a Marine Wife, Always a Marine Wife." That slogan is on my American Legion hat and I proudly wear the Marine wife necklaces in memory of my beloved husband.

Karen Balske


I was reading Cpl. Bradshaws article on the red flac. It sure brought back memories of me at PI. In Sept. of '57 in platoon 266. It was still hot then. All I remember was the red flag. When we saw that up we knew no drill on the parade field. But it didn't stop our D.I. from drilling us in the barracks. Like push-ups, squat thrust, or rifle drill. I think it would have been less torture to go out and be drilled in the heat!

B. OTIS
'57 / 60​


For Marine Paul Murtha, we called utilities "dungarees" when I was in ('53-'56).

Semper Fi,
Bob Rader, Sgt


July 1960 we had tye-tyes for laundry, also wore utilities. I also remember 8-man squad drill along with the LPM drill. For final field we had to be proficient in both. When and why did it stop?

Jim Logan 1831xxx


Merry Christmas Sgt and Thank You for everything you do for the Corps. The 1st picture was taken at this years Marine Corps Ball in Boca Raton, Florida, it is of my wife and I. The 2nd picture is of a Gunny, a Navy Chief Corpsman, and a beautiful woman.

Chuck Stark
HM1/USN


Here are a couple more pictures from Cookies Tavern in South Philly on 10 November 2014. The 1st photo is of the two WWII Marine Veterans and the 2nd photo is of the Marine Corps League colorguard.


Quotes

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


"There can be no greater error than to expect, or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. 'Tis an illusion which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard."
--George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796


"Be the hunter, not the hunted: Never allow your unit to be caught with its guard down."
--#Mattisisms


"Come on, you sons of b-tches! Do you want to live forever?"
--GySgt. Daniel J. "Dan" Daly, USMC near Lucy-'le-Bocage as he led the 5th Marines' attack into Belleau Wood, 6 June 1918


"Gone to Florida to fight the Indians. Will be back when the war is over."
--Colonel Commandant Archibald Henderson, USMC in a note pinned to his office door, 1836


"I' m here to finish a job no one ever started..."

"I came here to chew gum, take names, and kick ass... I'm outta gum, and my pencil's broke..."

Don't get p-ssed; re-enlist!

USMC or 'U Suckers Missed Christmas'!

Merry Christmas
Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 18 Dec 14

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 18 DEC 2014

In this issue:
• Marine Mama
• The Corps We've Got Right Now
• My Heart On The Line

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Reindeer replacements

Santa contacted the Marine Corps for possible replacements for Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen... The Corps sent Santa two of our own to relieve his aging herd... He named them SEMPER and FIDELIS.


8th and I

Love my plates. Only a Marine understands... Semper Fi!

Ed Fiducia

Square away your POV with Sgt Grit's Marine Corps Auto Accessories.

8th and I license plate


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Marine Mama

​It is a story of Thanksgiving, surprise, but most of all Love for a Mama, and family who haven't seen their Marine for a year, and very soon will again not see for another year.

I know there are so many families who have their beloved children, family members, and friends who are serving our great country near, and far, and so many other countries around the world. Whether it be in a combat or non-combat zone it is never easy to be separated from your loved ones for so long, but as Americans we're forever grateful to God and our Troops for keeping us safe and giving us our many freedoms.

I was given the best early Christmas gift a Marines' mama could ever have hoped for. While sitting at our computer wondering why our oldest son was not yet home he did arrive later than usual, and was followed by our Marine who very nonchalantly walks in behind his brother and simply says "Hi Mama" with a smile from ear to ear. Yes this mama's Marine is home, and we are so blessed to have our family united under the same roof again for the time being. There's no place like home, and this home is ever so at peace, with the greatest joy and appreciation for his safe return.

While he is 100% Marine, he still allows his mama to kiss him good night and echo the childhood whisper of "Sweet Dreams". It's so wonderful and such a beautiful feeling that does a mother's heart good.

From our family to yours it is our sincerest wish that as many of you as possible receive the gift of having your beloved Marine or what ever military branch they serve under, Troop Hero home for the most special and blessed time of the year Christmas, and hopefully the New Year too!

God Bless Us Everyone, and Especially God Bless Our Troops from past, present, and those in the future yet to join one of our many great military forces.

God Bless America forevermore! We support our troops always have and always will.

Merry Christmas Everyone, and a Safe, Healthy, and most Happy New Year, and all those that follow!

Proud U.S. Marine Family
Mama & Papa Delgado & Sons


Snoop And Poop

Just sounding off with thoughts about being in the rear and not in the bush. At DaNang in '65, the rear and the front were only the direction you were facing. After immediate clearing of the strip areas did the lines become established. Then the rockets and mortars began. With a M.T. 3531 MOS many of those runs out to forward sites became quite warm and many a return to DaNang home base was with truck rails shot away and air holes in the 6x's body. MLR time at night attch. to grunt units around the base was interesting also. While we pretty much didn't worry about NVA, charlie had a huge perimeter to "snoop and poop" around, and they did it often to test response times etc. Each day dozens of civilians were brought onto the base for pay to do chores for the govt., how many Charlies came along with those numbers? There was almost no accountability on those numbers who left the base at 1600 hrs. If charlie hid behind he had to be rooted out after dark. He knew where all their stuff was while we had to find it all. Hey, look, I'm sorry to ramble on as I did and I pray often for our grunt brothers who did the hump. Their the finest.

Semper Fi,
MGM/Joe Corps '63-'67 Nam '65-'66


Inspiration Before The Battle

GySgt Walgren's Speech before assault on Marjah, Afghanistan

GySgt Walgren's speech before the Marine assualt on Marjah, Afghanistan.

Gotta love the Gunny!


Never Quit, Never Give Up Attitude

Jim Brower headstone

Dear Sgt. Grit,

Here is how I used one of your coins. Most tombstones (called Memorial Stones today) tell you little or nothing about the person. I wanted anyone doing genealogy on me or my family to know that I made three accomplishment in my life. When I die, people will know that I am currently still a Marine assigned to guarding the streets of Heaven. They will know that I was a Chiropractor. And I was pilot.

The paint may fade with time, but the image of the Eagle, Globe and Anchor should last as long as the stone.

If it was not for the "Never Quit, Never Give-up" attitude that I learned while I was on active duty in the Marines, I doubt if I could have completed the 4-years of chiropractic college and I doubt if I could have become am instrument rated, commercial pilot. I am 73-years-old and I am currently fighting Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia that may eventually kill me, but I am giving this cancer one H-ll-Of-A Fight because the Marines taught us that there are no rules in a fight for your life.

Just one more use for Grunt.com coins.

God Bless the Marine Corps,

Jim Brower
Active duty 1961-1964, but still a Marine!


Stolen Valor

Obviously, this poser didn't think that anyone would notice that he had every ribbon on the Marine Corps ribbon chart upon his chest. Not to mention that he also has an EOD Badge and a Navy Seal badge.

(This photo was obtained from thebrigade.thechive.com.)

Stolen Valor Poser


Vietnam If You Weren't There Shut Up T-Shirt


Christmas Shipping Deadlines


The Corps We've Got Right Now

The recent Old Corps/New Corps discussion in the newsletter brought to mind a great Marine we lost in 2000 - Lt. Col. William Corson - whom I had the honor of meeting and becoming friends with in 1980.

I would be surprised if there are not more than a few newsletter subscribers who remember Bill Corson. He joined the Marines as a teenager during WWII, fighting on Guam and Bougainville, rising to the rank of Sergeant. After returning to civilian life and earning a Master's Degree in economics, Bill re-entered the Corps as an officer. He served as a tank commander during the Korean War and commanded a tank battalion in Vietnam in 1966. In 1967 he was placed in charge of the Combined Action Program.

Two other Marines and myself were having lunch with Bill one day at his table at the Hay-Adams when one of the others said something to the effect, "Not like the Old Corps, eh Colonel?" to which Bill replied, "There's no Old Corps and there's no New Corps. There's just the Corps we've got right now."

Somehow I think Gunny Rousseau would appreciate that observation.

Semper Fidelis,
Gary Harlan
Sergeant of Marines


Here's My Take

In Response to Me. Deleon:

I've had the conversation about Combat Marines vs. Non-combatant Marines with many Marines who did not get shot at.

Here's my take:

You made it through the toughest initiation of all the services.

You volunteered when others would not.

You served, wore the uniform proudly, and we're ready and willing to put yourself in harms way.

You did not shirk your duty nor ignore your conscience.

I did not win the Medal of Honor, Navy Cross, Silver Star, etc while serving in Vietnam Nam. I did the best I could. I led my Marines to the best of my ability. Don't sell yourself short. You don't have to be shot at to be a Marine. You are a "Bro" forever.

Five days ago I presented the flag to the wife of a L/Cpl reservist who served his four years plus two years inactive. He was never deployed. He was only 69 yrs old. He is a Marine.

Case closed. Thanks for your service. You were and are important.

Joe Neff, LtCol, USMCR(Ret)


One And Done Grunt

One of my memories of boot camp is the last day. During the late afternoon/early evening of our last day, we were gathered around our Platoon Commander in a loose grabasstical formation and he was reading out the MOS/duty stations for each of us. As he called each (now) Marine's name and spieled off the future duty station and MOS of that Marine, I recall standing there with b-tt cheeks clenched tight, whispering a mantra to myself, "Please God not 0300, Please God not 0300." God must have heard me and decided to smile down on my dumb azs because when S/Sgt Way got to me I heard sweet words come out of his mouth, "Private Downen. Port Hueneme 1100." WTF? What the h-ll is an 1100? Oh well. At least it's not 0300. After four months of school at the Seabee base at Port Hueneme (Oxnard) CA, I reported into h-ll, oops sorry, 29 Palms, as an 1141 Electrician.

Even though I ended up a Continuous Wave Radar Repairman in a HAWK missile Battalion, I did get to play Grunt once. I was with Bravo Battery, 1st LAAM Bn on Monkey Mountain just a little north and a little east of Da Nang. In early 1966, we got a new 1st Sgt and he came to us from Recon. I'm sorry, I don't remember his name but I remember one of his decisions. He decided we should start patrols down the side of the mountain. Okee dokee then. The first patrol was down the north side of the mountain and it was a fairly large one, probably 10-12 Marines of which I was one. Our piece of Monkey Mountain (Hill 647) was just a skosh over 2,000 feet high (remember that because it's about 600 ft shy of a half mile). So we follow this little creek down the side of the mountain and get almost down to the beach (probably making so much noise you could have heard us in Da Nang on the other side of the mountain) when Farrell (I think that's who it was) slipped on a wet rock in the creek and messed up his knee something fierce. Until I talked to a couple of guys who were on the patrol with us, I remembered hauling him on down to the beach and calling in a medivac but a couple of the other guys remember carrying his long lanky azs (God we were all so skinny in those days) back up the mountain to the battery area. The patrols continued but the size was cut back and that was the only one I went on. No contact with Sir Charles. Does that qualify me for a one and done Grunt?

Forged on the anvil of discipline.
The Few. The Proud.
Cpl. Jerry D.
USMC '62-'66
RVN '65-'66​


Kicking My Own Azs

I was re-reading some of my Sgt. Grit newsletters and came upon this from Chris Eddins - Lakeview, Alabama. He has a lot of pride in "I am the grandson of a First Division Marine, Staff Sergeant Robert (Pete) Nelson, who served his country proudly during WW2," and states he wishes YOU would make him a shirt that says "Still kicking my own azs for not joining the Corps 23 years ago". Of course now you would have to add 5 years to that.

So, put that in your next newsletter, and see if he orders one.

Semper Fi
Rusty Norman
Echo 2/9 1969
USMC 1966-69​


Suicide By Knife

Short nihongo lesson for Gy Rosseau... Hari Kari, or "Seppuku" is suicide by knife to the belly... bit of a ritual that went with that... the sacrifcial planes (and boats) were Kamikaze... roughly, 'divine wind'... relates back to a victory in the Russo-Sino war of very early 20th century. The explosive-laden boats I have also heard referred to as some form of "Baka"... our snack bar/boot repair/translator entrepreneur at MB Naha used to refer to one of us as "Baka-tadae"... or crazy... or, sometimes, ol' Toshio would just call the guy a crazy dumb sumb-tch (Tosh was fluent in a couple of languages, one of which was Marine slang... recall a rumor heard when up at Schwab to shoot the range about 1960 that some 3rd Recon Bn grunts poking around on the coast north of Schwab had found a sea cave with a couple of the Baka boats still hidden inside... pretty plausible, given that it was only 15 years after the war...

BTW... have decided we might call the really, really old Gunny (Freas), 'the Portuguese Lothario'... used to work with one, taught me the difference between "Gar-see-ah" and 'Garsha'. I got a quarter that sez Freas is a Portuguese family name...

Ddick


Forgave Me For Being A Jughead

To Vic DeLeon:

If your story was '69-70 , and it was a C-130, it might have been "The Shadow". In the '80s and '90s I had the honor of working as a veterans advocate with USAF (ret) Col. Franz Schmucker who had (in '69) pulled my sad Marine b-tt out of a jam when we were both younger. He forgave me for being a Jughead and I ignored the fact that he was one of my fathers wingwipers...

Semper Fi to all our Brothers, regardless of branch.

Peter D.


Skivvie Guard Duty

MCRD San Diego, 1951, after we hand washed our skivvies, and were told by Cpl. Netterberg that if he saw any nicotine stains on them, "you will chew them out", clean skivvies were hung with tie-ties and care, and had 4-hour shifts of guard duty till dry. That was the old Corps you hear stories about.

Dick Watson
Cpl '51-'55
1266xxx
Would do it again in a heartbeat... Semper Fi


Harry T

Sgt. Grit,

The letter titled "Anti-Corps, Harry T" sent by GySgt FL Rousseau, was right on the money! In fact, I refer to that very truth in my recently completed book, EXCITEMENT: Shot At And Missed, which is at my publisher and should be in print by early Spring 2015. It is a first-hand account of the Marines of F-2-5, 1st MarDiv, as related to me by my brother, Sgt. Ken Lonn, a Section Chief of 60mm mortars and rockets in Korea, 1951-52. The book takes the reader from hometown, through boot camp and a year in Korea. Here is an excerpt dealing with the President's desire to eliminate the Marine Corps.

-----

"Because of President Truman's personal dislike for the United States Marine Corps, and guided by his Cabinet and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Marine Corps was slashed from a peak strength of 485,833** officers and enlisted at the end of that war to a total Corps strength of only 74,279. The Administration and its Army advisors had concluded that the Marine Corps would no longer be needed. This was strongly stated by Truman's Secretary of Defense, Louis A. Johnson, to Admiral Richard L. Connally in 1949, to whit, "We'll never have any more amphibious operations. That does away with the Marine Corps. And the Air Force can do anything the Navy can do nowadays, so that does away with the Navy."

The Second World War had been won! Marines had fought with determination, bravery and tenacity. And the thanks they got was; 'Take a hike! Your services are no longer needed! Don't let the door hit you in the b-tt as you leave!' That was not exactly the 'thank you' the heroes of Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Iwo Jima and Okinawa expected.

But when the conflict erupted in Korea, the leadership in Washington DC soon came to realize that the nation did, indeed, still need its 'soldiers of the sea', because in the early days of what became known as the Korean War, the outcome was looking very bleak. In fact, by the end of July, the situation was very much in doubt for the U.N. forces. With the Army clinging desperately to its small perimeter at the southwest end of the Korean peninsula, the Marine Corps was ordered to send troops to the battle zone – immediately! Yeah, right!"

-----

I'll let you and your readers know when the book will be available.

Semper Fi
Bob Lonn​


Regarding Harry,

Harry was not against the Corps, he wanted to combine all services! Check your history, he fired the "God" of the Army in Korea! We need more Harry Trumans!

Darrell "Gene" Cordes
Sgt. "Old Corps"​


Olde Salt Colleagues

I owe a sincere apology to Daniel Flynn; shortly after I forwarded the below response to his posting, I began hearing an echoing refrain in my brainless housing group: "Battle jacket, battle jacket, battle jacket." I contacted two of my olde salt colleagues and put the question to them, and they both, independently responded that my future was destined to be an occupant of a nursing home for olde folks. Incidentally, there were also kahki style Battle jackets (I have photos of my brother June, 25 1950, where he is wearing one at the Marine Reserve Battalion out of 'Boston, MA - he and his unit coincidentally were that very day on the way to Camp Lejeune for summer training when the North Koreans invaded South Korea; that two week training went on for two more years).

Will Clifford
Capt., USMC (Ret)
CWO-3


Product Of The Depression

Sgt. Grit,

A Career in Navy/Marine Corps Meals. I got thinking about the meals I have had in Navy and Marine Corps Mess Halls. The most remembered was the beans for Breakfast on Wednesday and Sundays mornings in Navy Mess Halls during World War II. Aboard ship, we Marines ate the same thing as the Sailors.

I am a product of the Depression, when some times we didn't get all the things we needed for Breakfast. Most breakfast were Oatmeal probably because it was the cheapest meal to prepare and the most nutritious.

Entering the Mess Halls were not the same as eating at home. You line up according to your Platoon schedule, then with your DI rushing you through the chow line so he could get back on schedule with your training. At Treasure Island, during WWII they had recalled two Old CPO's that were at least in their seventies and they ran the Mess Hall Lines which were constant from Dawn and Before. After Boot camp came (from my point of view, cause I was loaded aboard ship soon after) ship board food. Some great and some forgetful. "C" Ration Breakfasts, Lunches and Dinners were the norm, with long lines waiting at your designated mess hall entrance, sometimes getting in line for Lunch after Breakfast because there were several thousand on board the ship.​

I went from Pearl Harbor to Guam in June of 1944 arriving as the Island was Secured, so we lacked the fine meals at tables in the Mess Hall to meals made from "C" rats and served in your meat can and cover, with you sitting where ever hoping to get some of the chow before someone screamed about get moving again.

Korean War Chow wasn't much different from WWII chow, they had been working on it, BUT there were warehouses full of WWII "C's" that needed to be eaten up.

Between Wars I had been at Guard Detachments that served great food and Infantry Training that served WWII Rations, now and then some one would scream and we would have Steaks, mashed Potatoes and Gravy, just like home.

But with all the training, I was hard as a rock and hungry all the time.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


My Heart On The Line

By Frank Schaeffer
The Washington Post

Before my son became a Marine, I never thought much about who was defending me.

Now when I read of the war on terrorism or the coming conflict in Iraq, it cuts to my heart. When I see a picture of a member of our military who has been killed, I read his or her name very carefully. Sometimes I cry.

In 1999, when the barrel-chested Marine recruiter showed up in dress blues and bedazzled my son John, I did not stand in the way. John was headstrong, and he seemed to understand these stern, clean men with straight backs and flawless uniforms. I did not. I live in the Volvo-driving, higher education-worshiping North Shore of Boston. I write novels for a living. I have never served in the military.

It had been hard enough sending my two older children off to Georgetown and New York University. John's enlisting was unexpected, so deeply unsettling. I did not relish the prospect of answering the question, "So where is John going to college?" from the parents who were itching to tell me all about how their son or daughter was going to Harvard. At the private high school John attended, no other students were going into the military.

"But aren't the Marines terribly Southern?" asked one perplexed mother while standing next to me at the brunch following graduation. "What a waste, he was such a good student," said another parent. One parent (a professor at a nearby and rather famous university) spoke up at a school meeting and suggested that the school should "carefully evaluate what went wrong."

When John graduated from three months of boot camp on Parris Island, 3,000 parents and friends were on the parade deck stands. We parents and our Marines not only were of many races but also were representative of many economic classes. Many were poor. Some arrived crammed in the backs of pickups, others by bus. John told me that a lot of parents could not afford the trip.

We in the audience were white and Native American. We were Hispanic, Arab, and African American, and Asian. We were former Marines wearing the scars of battle, or at least baseball caps emblazoned with battles' names. We were Southern whites from Nashville and skinheads from New Jersey, black kids from Cleveland wearing ghetto rags and white ex-cons with ham-hock forearms defaced by jailhouse tattoos. We would not have been mistaken for the educated and well-heeled parents gathered on the lawns of John's private school a half-year before.

After graduation one new Marine told John, "Before I was a Marine, if I had ever seen you on my block I would've probably killed you just because you were standing there." This was a serious statement from one of John's good friends, a black ex-gang member from Detroit who, as John said, "would die for me now, just like I'd die for him."

My son has connected me to my country in a way that I was too selfish and insular to experience before. I feel closer to the waitress at our local diner than to some of my oldest friends. She has two sons in the Corps. They are facing the same dangers as my boy. When the guy who fixes my car asks me how John is doing, I know he means it. His younger brother is in the Navy.

Why were I and the other parents at my son's private school so surprised by his choice? During World War II, the sons and daughters of the most powerful and educated families did their bit. If the idea of the immorality of the Vietnam War was the only reason those lucky enough to go to college dodged the draft, why did we not encourage our children to volunteer for military service once that war was done?

Have we wealthy and educated Americans all become pacifists? Is the world a safe place? Or have we just gotten used to having somebody else defend us? What is the future of our democracy when the sons and daughters of the janitors at our elite universities are far more likely to be put in harm's way than are any of the students whose dorms their parents clean?

I feel shame because it took my son's joining the Marine Corps to make me take notice of who is defending me. I feel hope because perhaps my son is part of a future "greatest generation." As the storm clouds of war gather, at least I know that I can look the men and women in uniform in the eye.

My son is one of them. He is the best I have to offer. He is my heart.


From The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #12, #2)

It was getting late and I wanted to see my bedroom - and the new furniture my parents had purchased for me. Mom asked if I wanted anything more to eat before we went upstairs. My answer was "No!" We went upstairs. They showed me their room. They had gotten a new king size bed - but most of their furniture was that which they had for years. They showed me the other two rooms on that floor. They were to be for guests and had all new furniture - a king size bed in one and twin beds in the other. My Mom must have had a ball when shopping for furniture. Then we went into my room. I could hardly believe my eyes when she flipped on the lights. It was beautiful. I gave them hugs when I saw it. All of these rooms were the same size - quite large - about 12 x 20 feet. They said that those on the 3rd floor were the same. The only difference was the height of the ceilings - 10 ft. on the 2nd floor and 8 ft. on the 3rd. My bed was a queen size and made me think of sometime sharing it with the love of my life, Mary. The rest of the furniture was quite masculine and appropriate for a Marine Sergeant. I thanked them over and over. I went into a bathroom, took a shower and got ready to turn in for the night. Boy did I sleep - until my usual wake up time - 0500. When we lived on the farm that was the time that everyone was up and my parents had not gotten out of the habit.

They were in one bathroom while I was in the other - and we all went downstairs together. We went into the kitchen so Mom could prepare breakfast. Dad said that he was going to take the Oldsmobile to Anderson Olds for a complete check-up and he doubted that he would be back for lunch. He asked if I would like to ride along. I declined. I told him I wanted to talk with my Mom. After Mom had done the dishes we went into the living room. She said "I understand you wanted to talk with me?" I said "Yes. We have to talk." She was both attentive and puzzled. I went on "As they say, I am now free, white and twenty one. Do you know what 'Platonic' means?" She replied "I never heard the word. How is it spelled?" That didn't surprise me. I said "Capital 'P'-l-a-t-o-n-i-c. You can look it up in the dictionary or the Book of Knowledge later. But I will tell you what it means right now. A 'Platonic relationship' or 'Platonic lifestyle' means a love that is devoid of or without sexual relations... Are you with me so far?" She said "Yes, I am with you. Continue." I continued "Mary and I have been going steady for more than four years - and we are very much in love with each other. And it is our choice to live a Platonic lifestyle - until we are married... Do you understand that so far?" She said "I think that is commendable. I am glad to hear that." I told her "It is also our choice to 'sleep together' at various times. You are a Christian Scientist by choice and Mary's parents are Quakers by choice and they are aware of our choice to live a 'Platonic lifestyle' - and permit us to 'sleep together' in their home. And I expect you to permit us to do the same here. I know this may be a shock to you - and your way of thinking - but I want you to think this over carefully before you say anything. I will be leaving for Camp Lejeune at 7:00 PM. There is no hurry for a decision. I do not expect to see Mary again before Thanksgiving weekend. But I would like to have her stay with me for a day or two that weekend. I will be staying with her at her house for part of that weekend. PLEASE, I hope you can accept this. Now, How about you and I going out for lunch - and I will not take 'No' for an answer. Dad doesn't expect to be back for lunch."

Semper Fi. The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


Short Rounds

I've been following the tracking of a package I ordered. We have a present thief in our neighborhood, so I want to keep a close eye on when it arrives. My son was concerned that the package would get stolen. I told him not to worry because it is a Marine Corps bear and if anyone tried to steal him, the bear would kick his b-tt!

Rita Larson


Quotes

"There can be no greater error than to expect, or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. 'Tis an illusion which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard."
--George Washington


"Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding and should, therefore, be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense. Their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties which may make anything mean everything or nothing at pleasure."
--Thomas Jefferson


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


"For over 221 years our Corps has done two things for this great Nation. We make Marines, and we win battles."
--Gen. Charles C. Krulak, USMC (CMC); 5 May 1997


"It is mostly a matter of wills. Whose will is going to break first? Ours or the enemy's?"
--General James Mattis


"You people are making me very unhappy! Just because the sand fleas get in your noses and your ears and crawl down your necks, you clowns think you have the right to kill them. I don't care how much they bite, you will pretend that you do not feel it!

Do you hear me?

"Yes, sir!"

"You can slap a sand flea in the jungle and if the enemy sees you slap or hears you move, you'll be dead before you get your hand down. You can knock a bug off your shoulder and be dead before that bug hits the deck."

"Still wandering around on the DMZ" every night!

God Bless the American Dream!
Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 18 Dec 14
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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 18 DEC 2014

In this issue:
• Marine Mama
• The Corps We've Got Right Now
• My Heart On The Line

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Santa contacted the Marine Corps for possible replacements for Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen... The Corps sent Santa two of our own to relieve his aging herd... He named them SEMPER and FIDELIS.


8th and I

Love my plates. Only a Marine understands... Semper Fi!

Ed Fiducia

Square away your POV with Sgt Grit's Marine Corps Auto Accessories.


Marine Mama

​It is a story of Thanksgiving, surprise, but most of all Love for a Mama, and family who haven't seen their Marine for a year, and very soon will again not see for another year.

I know there are so many families who have their beloved children, family members, and friends who are serving our great country near, and far, and so many other countries around the world. Whether it be in a combat or non-combat zone it is never easy to be separated from your loved ones for so long, but as Americans we're forever grateful to God and our Troops for keeping us safe and giving us our many freedoms.

I was given the best early Christmas gift a Marines' mama could ever have hoped for. While sitting at our computer wondering why our oldest son was not yet home he did arrive later than usual, and was followed by our Marine who very nonchalantly walks in behind his brother and simply says "Hi Mama" with a smile from ear to ear. Yes this mama's Marine is home, and we are so blessed to have our family united under the same roof again for the time being. There's no place like home, and this home is ever so at peace, with the greatest joy and appreciation for his safe return.

While he is 100% Marine, he still allows his mama to kiss him good night and echo the childhood whisper of "Sweet Dreams". It's so wonderful and such a beautiful feeling that does a mother's heart good.

From our family to yours it is our sincerest wish that as many of you as possible receive the gift of having your beloved Marine or what ever military branch they serve under, Troop Hero home for the most special and blessed time of the year Christmas, and hopefully the New Year too!

God Bless Us Everyone, and Especially God Bless Our Troops from past, present, and those in the future yet to join one of our many great military forces.

God Bless America forevermore! We support our troops always have and always will.

Merry Christmas Everyone, and a Safe, Healthy, and most Happy New Year, and all those that follow!

Proud U.S. Marine Family
Mama & Papa Delgado & Sons


Snoop And Poop

Just sounding off with thoughts about being in the rear and not in the bush. At DaNang in '65, the rear and the front were only the direction you were facing. After immediate clearing of the strip areas did the lines become established. Then the rockets and mortars began. With a M.T. 3531 MOS many of those runs out to forward sites became quite warm and many a return to DaNang home base was with truck rails shot away and air holes in the 6x's body. MLR time at night attch. to grunt units around the base was interesting also. While we pretty much didn't worry about NVA, charlie had a huge perimeter to "snoop and poop" around, and they did it often to test response times etc. Each day dozens of civilians were brought onto the base for pay to do chores for the govt., how many Charlies came along with those numbers? There was almost no accountability on those numbers who left the base at 1600 hrs. If charlie hid behind he had to be rooted out after dark. He knew where all their stuff was while we had to find it all. Hey, look, I'm sorry to ramble on as I did and I pray often for our grunt brothers who did the hump. Their the finest.

Semper Fi,
MGM/Joe Corps '63-'67 Nam '65-'66


Inspiration Before The Battle

GySgt Walgren's speech before the Marine assualt on Marjah, Afghanistan.

Gotta love the Gunny!


Never Quit, Never Give Up Attitude

Dear Sgt. Grit,

Here is how I used one of your coins. Most tombstones (called Memorial Stones today) tell you little or nothing about the person. I wanted anyone doing genealogy on me or my family to know that I made three accomplishment in my life. When I die, people will know that I am currently still a Marine assigned to guarding the streets of Heaven. They will know that I was a Chiropractor. And I was pilot.

The paint may fade with time, but the image of the Eagle, Globe and Anchor should last as long as the stone.

If it was not for the "Never Quit, Never Give-up" attitude that I learned while I was on active duty in the Marines, I doubt if I could have completed the 4-years of chiropractic college and I doubt if I could have become am instrument rated, commercial pilot. I am 73-years-old and I am currently fighting Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia that may eventually kill me, but I am giving this cancer one H-ll-Of-A Fight because the Marines taught us that there are no rules in a fight for your life.

Just one more use for Grunt.com coins.

God Bless the Marine Corps,

Jim Brower
Active duty 1961-1964, but still a Marine!


Stolen Valor

Obviously, this poser didn't think that anyone would notice that he had every ribbon on the Marine Corps ribbon chart upon his chest. Not to mention that he also has an EOD Badge and a Navy Seal badge.

(This photo was obtained from thebrigade.thechive.com.)


The Corps We've Got Right Now

The recent Old Corps/New Corps discussion in the newsletter brought to mind a great Marine we lost in 2000 - Lt. Col. William Corson - whom I had the honor of meeting and becoming friends with in 1980.

I would be surprised if there are not more than a few newsletter subscribers who remember Bill Corson. He joined the Marines as a teenager during WWII, fighting on Guam and Bougainville, rising to the rank of Sergeant. After returning to civilian life and earning a Master's Degree in economics, Bill re-entered the Corps as an officer. He served as a tank commander during the Korean War and commanded a tank battalion in Vietnam in 1966. In 1967 he was placed in charge of the Combined Action Program.

Two other Marines and myself were having lunch with Bill one day at his table at the Hay-Adams when one of the others said something to the effect, "Not like the Old Corps, eh Colonel?" to which Bill replied, "There's no Old Corps and there's no New Corps. There's just the Corps we've got right now."

Somehow I think Gunny Rousseau would appreciate that observation.

Semper Fidelis,
Gary Harlan
Sergeant of Marines


Here's My Take

In Response to Me. Deleon:

I've had the conversation about Combat Marines vs. Non-combatant Marines with many Marines who did not get shot at.

Here's my take:

You made it through the toughest initiation of all the services.

You volunteered when others would not.

You served, wore the uniform proudly, and we're ready and willing to put yourself in harms way.

You did not shirk your duty nor ignore your conscience.

I did not win the Medal of Honor, Navy Cross, Silver Star, etc while serving in Vietnam Nam. I did the best I could. I led my Marines to the best of my ability. Don't sell yourself short. You don't have to be shot at to be a Marine. You are a "Bro" forever.

Five days ago I presented the flag to the wife of a L/Cpl reservist who served his four years plus two years inactive. He was never deployed. He was only 69 yrs old. He is a Marine.

Case closed. Thanks for your service. You were and are important.

Joe Neff, LtCol, USMCR(Ret)


One And Done Grunt

One of my memories of boot camp is the last day. During the late afternoon/early evening of our last day, we were gathered around our Platoon Commander in a loose grabasstical formation and he was reading out the MOS/duty stations for each of us. As he called each (now) Marine's name and spieled off the future duty station and MOS of that Marine, I recall standing there with b-tt cheeks clenched tight, whispering a mantra to myself, "Please God not 0300, Please God not 0300." God must have heard me and decided to smile down on my dumb azs because when S/Sgt Way got to me I heard sweet words come out of his mouth, "Private Downen. Port Hueneme 1100." WTF? What the h-ll is an 1100? Oh well. At least it's not 0300. After four months of school at the Seabee base at Port Hueneme (Oxnard) CA, I reported into h-ll, oops sorry, 29 Palms, as an 1141 Electrician.

Even though I ended up a Continuous Wave Radar Repairman in a HAWK missile Battalion, I did get to play Grunt once. I was with Bravo Battery, 1st LAAM Bn on Monkey Mountain just a little north and a little east of Da Nang. In early 1966, we got a new 1st Sgt and he came to us from Recon. I'm sorry, I don't remember his name but I remember one of his decisions. He decided we should start patrols down the side of the mountain. Okee dokee then. The first patrol was down the north side of the mountain and it was a fairly large one, probably 10-12 Marines of which I was one. Our piece of Monkey Mountain (Hill 647) was just a skosh over 2,000 feet high (remember that because it's about 600 ft shy of a half mile). So we follow this little creek down the side of the mountain and get almost down to the beach (probably making so much noise you could have heard us in Da Nang on the other side of the mountain) when Farrell (I think that's who it was) slipped on a wet rock in the creek and messed up his knee something fierce. Until I talked to a couple of guys who were on the patrol with us, I remembered hauling him on down to the beach and calling in a medivac but a couple of the other guys remember carrying his long lanky azs (God we were all so skinny in those days) back up the mountain to the battery area. The patrols continued but the size was cut back and that was the only one I went on. No contact with Sir Charles. Does that qualify me for a one and done Grunt?

Forged on the anvil of discipline.
The Few. The Proud.
Cpl. Jerry D.
USMC '62-'66
RVN '65-'66​


Kicking My Own Azs

I was re-reading some of my Sgt. Grit newsletters and came upon this from Chris Eddins - Lakeview, Alabama. He has a lot of pride in "I am the grandson of a First Division Marine, Staff Sergeant Robert (Pete) Nelson, who served his country proudly during WW2," and states he wishes YOU would make him a shirt that says "Still kicking my own azs for not joining the Corps 23 years ago". Of course now you would have to add 5 years to that.

So, put that in your next newsletter, and see if he orders one.

Semper Fi
Rusty Norman
Echo 2/9 1969
USMC 1966-69​


Suicide By Knife

Short nihongo lesson for Gy Rosseau... Hari Kari, or "Seppuku" is suicide by knife to the belly... bit of a ritual that went with that... the sacrifcial planes (and boats) were Kamikaze... roughly, 'divine wind'... relates back to a victory in the Russo-Sino war of very early 20th century. The explosive-laden boats I have also heard referred to as some form of "Baka"... our snack bar/boot repair/translator entrepreneur at MB Naha used to refer to one of us as "Baka-tadae"... or crazy... or, sometimes, ol' Toshio would just call the guy a crazy dumb sumb-tch (Tosh was fluent in a couple of languages, one of which was Marine slang... recall a rumor heard when up at Schwab to shoot the range about 1960 that some 3rd Recon Bn grunts poking around on the coast north of Schwab had found a sea cave with a couple of the Baka boats still hidden inside... pretty plausible, given that it was only 15 years after the war...

BTW... have decided we might call the really, really old Gunny (Freas), 'the Portuguese Lothario'... used to work with one, taught me the difference between "Gar-see-ah" and 'Garsha'. I got a quarter that sez Freas is a Portuguese family name...

Ddick


Forgave Me For Being A Jughead

To Vic DeLeon:

If your story was '69-70 , and it was a C-130, it might have been "The Shadow". In the '80s and '90s I had the honor of working as a veterans advocate with USAF (ret) Col. Franz Schmucker who had (in '69) pulled my sad Marine b-tt out of a jam when we were both younger. He forgave me for being a Jughead and I ignored the fact that he was one of my fathers wingwipers...

Semper Fi to all our Brothers, regardless of branch.

Peter D.


Skivvie Guard Duty

MCRD San Diego, 1951, after we hand washed our skivvies, and were told by Cpl. Netterberg that if he saw any nicotine stains on them, "you will chew them out", clean skivvies were hung with tie-ties and care, and had 4-hour shifts of guard duty till dry. That was the old Corps you hear stories about.

Dick Watson
Cpl '51-'55
1266xxx
Would do it again in a heartbeat... Semper Fi


Harry T

Sgt. Grit,

The letter titled "Anti-Corps, Harry T" sent by GySgt FL Rousseau, was right on the money! In fact, I refer to that very truth in my recently completed book, EXCITEMENT: Shot At And Missed, which is at my publisher and should be in print by early Spring 2015. It is a first-hand account of the Marines of F-2-5, 1st MarDiv, as related to me by my brother, Sgt. Ken Lonn, a Section Chief of 60mm mortars and rockets in Korea, 1951-52. The book takes the reader from hometown, through boot camp and a year in Korea. Here is an excerpt dealing with the President's desire to eliminate the Marine Corps.

-----

"Because of President Truman's personal dislike for the United States Marine Corps, and guided by his Cabinet and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Marine Corps was slashed from a peak strength of 485,833** officers and enlisted at the end of that war to a total Corps strength of only 74,279. The Administration and its Army advisors had concluded that the Marine Corps would no longer be needed. This was strongly stated by Truman's Secretary of Defense, Louis A. Johnson, to Admiral Richard L. Connally in 1949, to whit, "We'll never have any more amphibious operations. That does away with the Marine Corps. And the Air Force can do anything the Navy can do nowadays, so that does away with the Navy."

The Second World War had been won! Marines had fought with determination, bravery and tenacity. And the thanks they got was; 'Take a hike! Your services are no longer needed! Don't let the door hit you in the b-tt as you leave!' That was not exactly the 'thank you' the heroes of Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Iwo Jima and Okinawa expected.

But when the conflict erupted in Korea, the leadership in Washington DC soon came to realize that the nation did, indeed, still need its 'soldiers of the sea', because in the early days of what became known as the Korean War, the outcome was looking very bleak. In fact, by the end of July, the situation was very much in doubt for the U.N. forces. With the Army clinging desperately to its small perimeter at the southwest end of the Korean peninsula, the Marine Corps was ordered to send troops to the battle zone – immediately! Yeah, right!"

-----

I'll let you and your readers know when the book will be available.

Semper Fi
Bob Lonn​


Regarding Harry,

Harry was not against the Corps, he wanted to combine all services! Check your history, he fired the "God" of the Army in Korea! We need more Harry Trumans!

Darrell "Gene" Cordes
Sgt. "Old Corps"​


Olde Salt Colleagues

I owe a sincere apology to Daniel Flynn; shortly after I forwarded the below response to his posting, I began hearing an echoing refrain in my brainless housing group: "Battle jacket, battle jacket, battle jacket." I contacted two of my olde salt colleagues and put the question to them, and they both, independently responded that my future was destined to be an occupant of a nursing home for olde folks. Incidentally, there were also kahki style Battle jackets (I have photos of my brother June, 25 1950, where he is wearing one at the Marine Reserve Battalion out of 'Boston, MA - he and his unit coincidentally were that very day on the way to Camp Lejeune for summer training when the North Koreans invaded South Korea; that two week training went on for two more years).

Will Clifford
Capt., USMC (Ret)
CWO-3


Product Of The Depression

Sgt. Grit,

A Career in Navy/Marine Corps Meals. I got thinking about the meals I have had in Navy and Marine Corps Mess Halls. The most remembered was the beans for Breakfast on Wednesday and Sundays mornings in Navy Mess Halls during World War II. Aboard ship, we Marines ate the same thing as the Sailors.

I am a product of the Depression, when some times we didn't get all the things we needed for Breakfast. Most breakfast were Oatmeal probably because it was the cheapest meal to prepare and the most nutritious.

Entering the Mess Halls were not the same as eating at home. You line up according to your Platoon schedule, then with your DI rushing you through the chow line so he could get back on schedule with your training. At Treasure Island, during WWII they had recalled two Old CPO's that were at least in their seventies and they ran the Mess Hall Lines which were constant from Dawn and Before. After Boot camp came (from my point of view, cause I was loaded aboard ship soon after) ship board food. Some great and some forgetful. "C" Ration Breakfasts, Lunches and Dinners were the norm, with long lines waiting at your designated mess hall entrance, sometimes getting in line for Lunch after Breakfast because there were several thousand on board the ship.​

I went from Pearl Harbor to Guam in June of 1944 arriving as the Island was Secured, so we lacked the fine meals at tables in the Mess Hall to meals made from "C" rats and served in your meat can and cover, with you sitting where ever hoping to get some of the chow before someone screamed about get moving again.

Korean War Chow wasn't much different from WWII chow, they had been working on it, BUT there were warehouses full of WWII "C's" that needed to be eaten up.

Between Wars I had been at Guard Detachments that served great food and Infantry Training that served WWII Rations, now and then some one would scream and we would have Steaks, mashed Potatoes and Gravy, just like home.

But with all the training, I was hard as a rock and hungry all the time.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


My Heart On The Line

By Frank Schaeffer
The Washington Post

Before my son became a Marine, I never thought much about who was defending me.

Now when I read of the war on terrorism or the coming conflict in Iraq, it cuts to my heart. When I see a picture of a member of our military who has been killed, I read his or her name very carefully. Sometimes I cry.

In 1999, when the barrel-chested Marine recruiter showed up in dress blues and bedazzled my son John, I did not stand in the way. John was headstrong, and he seemed to understand these stern, clean men with straight backs and flawless uniforms. I did not. I live in the Volvo-driving, higher education-worshiping North Shore of Boston. I write novels for a living. I have never served in the military.

It had been hard enough sending my two older children off to Georgetown and New York University. John's enlisting was unexpected, so deeply unsettling. I did not relish the prospect of answering the question, "So where is John going to college?" from the parents who were itching to tell me all about how their son or daughter was going to Harvard. At the private high school John attended, no other students were going into the military.

"But aren't the Marines terribly Southern?" asked one perplexed mother while standing next to me at the brunch following graduation. "What a waste, he was such a good student," said another parent. One parent (a professor at a nearby and rather famous university) spoke up at a school meeting and suggested that the school should "carefully evaluate what went wrong."

When John graduated from three months of boot camp on Parris Island, 3,000 parents and friends were on the parade deck stands. We parents and our Marines not only were of many races but also were representative of many economic classes. Many were poor. Some arrived crammed in the backs of pickups, others by bus. John told me that a lot of parents could not afford the trip.

We in the audience were white and Native American. We were Hispanic, Arab, and African American, and Asian. We were former Marines wearing the scars of battle, or at least baseball caps emblazoned with battles' names. We were Southern whites from Nashville and skinheads from New Jersey, black kids from Cleveland wearing ghetto rags and white ex-cons with ham-hock forearms defaced by jailhouse tattoos. We would not have been mistaken for the educated and well-heeled parents gathered on the lawns of John's private school a half-year before.

After graduation one new Marine told John, "Before I was a Marine, if I had ever seen you on my block I would've probably killed you just because you were standing there." This was a serious statement from one of John's good friends, a black ex-gang member from Detroit who, as John said, "would die for me now, just like I'd die for him."

My son has connected me to my country in a way that I was too selfish and insular to experience before. I feel closer to the waitress at our local diner than to some of my oldest friends. She has two sons in the Corps. They are facing the same dangers as my boy. When the guy who fixes my car asks me how John is doing, I know he means it. His younger brother is in the Navy.

Why were I and the other parents at my son's private school so surprised by his choice? During World War II, the sons and daughters of the most powerful and educated families did their bit. If the idea of the immorality of the Vietnam War was the only reason those lucky enough to go to college dodged the draft, why did we not encourage our children to volunteer for military service once that war was done?

Have we wealthy and educated Americans all become pacifists? Is the world a safe place? Or have we just gotten used to having somebody else defend us? What is the future of our democracy when the sons and daughters of the janitors at our elite universities are far more likely to be put in harm's way than are any of the students whose dorms their parents clean?

I feel shame because it took my son's joining the Marine Corps to make me take notice of who is defending me. I feel hope because perhaps my son is part of a future "greatest generation." As the storm clouds of war gather, at least I know that I can look the men and women in uniform in the eye.

My son is one of them. He is the best I have to offer. He is my heart.


From The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #12, #2)

It was getting late and I wanted to see my bedroom - and the new furniture my parents had purchased for me. Mom asked if I wanted anything more to eat before we went upstairs. My answer was "No!" We went upstairs. They showed me their room. They had gotten a new king size bed - but most of their furniture was that which they had for years. They showed me the other two rooms on that floor. They were to be for guests and had all new furniture - a king size bed in one and twin beds in the other. My Mom must have had a ball when shopping for furniture. Then we went into my room. I could hardly believe my eyes when she flipped on the lights. It was beautiful. I gave them hugs when I saw it. All of these rooms were the same size - quite large - about 12 x 20 feet. They said that those on the 3rd floor were the same. The only difference was the height of the ceilings - 10 ft. on the 2nd floor and 8 ft. on the 3rd. My bed was a queen size and made me think of sometime sharing it with the love of my life, Mary. The rest of the furniture was quite masculine and appropriate for a Marine Sergeant. I thanked them over and over. I went into a bathroom, took a shower and got ready to turn in for the night. Boy did I sleep - until my usual wake up time - 0500. When we lived on the farm that was the time that everyone was up and my parents had not gotten out of the habit.

They were in one bathroom while I was in the other - and we all went downstairs together. We went into the kitchen so Mom could prepare breakfast. Dad said that he was going to take the Oldsmobile to Anderson Olds for a complete check-up and he doubted that he would be back for lunch. He asked if I would like to ride along. I declined. I told him I wanted to talk with my Mom. After Mom had done the dishes we went into the living room. She said "I understand you wanted to talk with me?" I said "Yes. We have to talk." She was both attentive and puzzled. I went on "As they say, I am now free, white and twenty one. Do you know what 'Platonic' means?" She replied "I never heard the word. How is it spelled?" That didn't surprise me. I said "Capital 'P'-l-a-t-o-n-i-c. You can look it up in the dictionary or the Book of Knowledge later. But I will tell you what it means right now. A 'Platonic relationship' or 'Platonic lifestyle' means a love that is devoid of or without sexual relations... Are you with me so far?" She said "Yes, I am with you. Continue." I continued "Mary and I have been going steady for more than four years - and we are very much in love with each other. And it is our choice to live a Platonic lifestyle - until we are married... Do you understand that so far?" She said "I think that is commendable. I am glad to hear that." I told her "It is also our choice to 'sleep together' at various times. You are a Christian Scientist by choice and Mary's parents are Quakers by choice and they are aware of our choice to live a 'Platonic lifestyle' - and permit us to 'sleep together' in their home. And I expect you to permit us to do the same here. I know this may be a shock to you - and your way of thinking - but I want you to think this over carefully before you say anything. I will be leaving for Camp Lejeune at 7:00 PM. There is no hurry for a decision. I do not expect to see Mary again before Thanksgiving weekend. But I would like to have her stay with me for a day or two that weekend. I will be staying with her at her house for part of that weekend. PLEASE, I hope you can accept this. Now, How about you and I going out for lunch - and I will not take 'No' for an answer. Dad doesn't expect to be back for lunch."

Semper Fi. The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


Short Rounds

I've been following the tracking of a package I ordered. We have a present thief in our neighborhood, so I want to keep a close eye on when it arrives. My son was concerned that the package would get stolen. I told him not to worry because it is a Marine Corps bear and if anyone tried to steal him, the bear would kick his b-tt!

Rita Larson


Quotes

"There can be no greater error than to expect, or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. 'Tis an illusion which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard."
--George Washington


"Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding and should, therefore, be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense. Their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties which may make anything mean everything or nothing at pleasure."
--Thomas Jefferson


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


"For over 221 years our Corps has done two things for this great Nation. We make Marines, and we win battles."
--Gen. Charles C. Krulak, USMC (CMC); 5 May 1997


"It is mostly a matter of wills. Whose will is going to break first? Ours or the enemy's?"
--General James Mattis


"You people are making me very unhappy! Just because the sand fleas get in your noses and your ears and crawl down your necks, you clowns think you have the right to kill them. I don't care how much they bite, you will pretend that you do not feel it!

Do you hear me?

"Yes, sir!"

"You can slap a sand flea in the jungle and if the enemy sees you slap or hears you move, you'll be dead before you get your hand down. You can knock a bug off your shoulder and be dead before that bug hits the deck."

"Still wandering around on the DMZ" every night!

God Bless the American Dream!
Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 11 DEC 14

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 11 DEC 2014

In this issue:
• Glad I Didn't Go Into Combat
• Old Corps
• Anti-Corps Harry T

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Marine veteran sitting with Santa in a 2013 Sgt Grit Christmas Shirt

Hey we recently got Santa's approval on a shirt I am sure you will recognize!

Gunny's Place

Get Sgt Grit's 2014 Christmas Shirts:

2014 Sgt Grit Exclusive Christmas Santa Long Sleeve T-Shirt

2014 Sgt Grit Exclusive Christmas Santa Long
Sleeve T-Shirt

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Glad I Didn't Go Into Combat

Referring to Jerry D's letter about combat; when I entered our proud service I thought I would be humping some where in the world, I guess that's what all eighteen year old kids would think or I could be wrong. I to am glad that I didn't go into combat. I lucked out being in Motor T. I did get a chance to go on a patrol some where I think was north of Camp Books. So, I guess that was the closest I got to being in combat. Had we gotten into a situation and I did fail we went on a sweep and saw a Huey in action and a C-130, or it was called Puff the Magic Dragon, or Spooky. Whatever you wanted to call the plane, getting down to it, I'm glad I was not in combat, and then I wish I was. I guess fate had another plan for me from the rear.

Vic DeLeon
Semper Fi


Marines Under Armour Fleece Sweatpant


Breaking News

Santa's Osprey from Facebook Post

This image was posted this week on the Sgt Grit Facebook Page. The image, taken by a Marine Corps Combat Photographer, displays an MV-22 Osprey preparing to take flight. The text on the image reads "You're not going to believe this sh-t, but... Word around Marine Corps Air Stations this year is that Santa retired his reindeer, put his sleigh in storage, and got himself an MV-22 Osprey! No more Ho! Ho! Ho! Santa's new slogan: Out-friggin'-standing! Told you that you wouldn't believe this sh-t."

Here are a few of the comments left by our fans.


Miriam G. - That's awesome. I can't Wait for Christmas Eve so I can stay up and watch Santa's new MV-22 Osprey. I am sure the reindeer will be flying in comfort with Santa. A Merry Christmas to all.


Dwaine G. - Just be glad it isn't an A-10 Wart Hog.


Karen S. - H-LL YEAH! That is the most AWESOME military aircraft since the FIRST Stealth Bomber! OOOHRAH! MAN!


Ronetta M. - There's a big Osprey in Christmas lights at the Bell plant in Amarillo. Santa's at the helm!


Roger P. - He still needs Rudolph to guide his bird, though. Through fog, clouds, and smog. As for the other reindeer, well, venison for our fellow Marines in combat zones.


MV-22 Osprey with rednose like Rudolph

Skeeter S.


Read more of the comments left on the Sgt Grit Facebook Page.


Vietnam Watch with Rubber Strap


Old Corps

Dear Sgt. Grit,

I am an active member of the Lofton Henderson Detachment of the Marine Corps League in Lorain, Ohio. I have read all the ridiculous arguments for the distinctions between "Old" and "New" Corps. I graduated in June of 1954 and enlisted in 1955. Not only were Women Marines a separate organization, we had our own Director. I went in under the double banner from the head of the eagle, and, so far as I am concerned, that is truly the OLD CORPS. If any Marine enlisted under that depiction they are Old Corps, otherwise, if they enlisted under the single banner, they're New Corps. Check with Sgt. Grit (not that he's an expert on the situation)... but he has a mug labeled OLD CORPS, and it has the double banner on the emblem.

Pfc. Autumn Day


Me Looking Important

Gunny Rousseau on train in Korea

Sgt. Grit,

During the Korean War, damaged equipment (Tanks, Truck, Weapons Carriers and such) had to be taken to Combat Service Group about a hundred Miles behind the lines. But just getting on the lines was the only pleasant part of the deal. Tent with heat, bunk beds and Fresh hot Chow. Sometimes stopping enroute and getting a meal at an Army or Air Force Post where the food was served at tables with checkered table cloths and Pretty Korean Maidens. Of course the terrible part of the ordeal was the dirt, smoke and dust that covered you. But as you can see at the bottom of the locomotive is a pipe where steam comes out. So you put your "C" rations in an expeditionary can, pull the can up the steam pipe and have the engineer turn on the steam for just a moment or two... VOILA... Hot Chow.

Here I am at the controls of a stopped train with the engineers on top and me looking important.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


The Surprise

The Surprise

Wife surprises Marine returning from Afghanistan. A surprise reunion following a year-long separation from loved ones can overwhelm even the most disciplined, battle-hardened Marine with emotion.


Anti-Corps Harry T

Sgt. Grit,

At the end of World War II there were Several Attempts to get Rid of Our MARINE CORPS (There were attempts prior to this but nothing of consequence). Our President Harry S. Truman was an Army Captian that served in France during World War I, but something Happened in World War I that made the U. S. Army quite mad at the Marine Corps.

A Chicago Tribune Reporter by the name of Floyd Gibbons reported the Story of Belleau Wood, of the Bravery of the Marines that dug out the Germans and won a Battle Hard Fought. Harry Truman fought in that Battle as did other members of the U.S. Army but Floyd Gibbon, who Lost an eye during the Battle wrote a Story that was picked up by most news papers in the US. The Chicago Trib. story was the most News Worthy, the Marines were praised all around the Country, stories of the Marines Bravery eclipsed stories of the other Hero's in the War, Hence the Marines were Hated by most WWI Serving U.S. oldiers.

Harry gathered some Democratic Friends who were Members of the U. S. Congress and they tried to push through a Plan to rid the USA of the Marines by making all Armed Forces of the USA the "United States Armed Forces" no more Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines, just the "United States Armed Forces". Well Congress put the Kabosh to that in a hurry. The Delightful part of this Story comes about a year Later.

The North Korean Army Crossed the 38th Parallel requiring the Commanding General to call for the only U.S. Armed Force that could do the Job. General MacArthur called President Harry Truman and asked for a Brigade of Marines.

After World War 2, the U.S. Army advertised; "Join the U. S. Army and become an AMBASSADOR". Wherever the Army Went they carried no weapons. Weapons were at each Base for Arming an ARMY with "Weapons" most had never fired or fired only a few shots.

Don't believe it look it up, might take some time. I know about it because I was there, I carried a .30 Caliber Semi Automatic Rifle, M1. I was trained and was an Expert.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Lovely Summer Resort

Sgt Grit,

Graduated high school in June, 1956, enlisted July 10, 1956, a special date: Married 7/10/65, son began as midshipman, 7/10/84, heart attack, 7/10/91 Any way; arrived at Yemassee early AM with about 200 young nervous boys and was greeted by ONE Marine Corporal Military Policeman in full uniform, white helmet liner, .45 cal. pistol on hip. He continually screamed, "fall in, dress is right, an cover down". Of course we had no idea what he was talking about. I would suspect thousands of young men experienced this introduction to that lovely summer resort of Parris Island.

Corporal Rowe 1623xxx​


Perception

Marine perception of Santa Clause flying in the night sky

We posted this image to the Sgt Grit Facebook Page this week. The image displays Santa Claus flying across the night skyline with his team of reindeer. The text on the image reads "What normal people see... Santa and his reindeer. What Marines see... Flying Venison."

Here are a few of the comments left by our fans.


Miriam G. - Ok Marines those reindeers are off limits, I want my Christmas presents to get to my house.


Anthony V. - If it flies, it dies.


James P. - If it sits still... it dies too!


Rick G. - Fast food to go.


Read more of the comments left on the Sgt Grit Facebook Page.


Make You Feel Better

I have just finished reading the story about tie-ties. I went thru Parris Island starting in July of 1961. I had forgotten about using tie-ties on wash day out back of our barracks. I also remember during the hot summer days they had green, yellow, red and black flags flying... depending on the temperature. The day the whole platoon lined up to get our medical shots... about three in each shoulder. The DI knew some of shots (like yellow fever) made you sore. So with the black flag flying, on a day when the DI's knew it was well over 100+ degrees... we were all doing extra push-ups behind the barracks. Then maybe some rifle exercises with our M1's... all this to make you feel better.

Cpl G.Bradshaw
1941xxx 1961-1967


Guadalcanal Video

Grit,

An excellent Guadalcanal video, about 15 minutes long, combining actual WWII combat footage, footage from "The Pacific" and footage from 2012.

The Tenaru (Alligator Creek)

Semper Fi
Bush


From The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #12, #3)

My mother said "Where would you like to go?" I told her that "There is a very nice place not too far from here that I think you would enjoy. I have been there many times over the years and it just gets better every time we go there. I am sure you will be able to find something that you like. It's a little more upscale than the 'Cup', 'Kennedys' or 'Gardners'. Or you might prefer the Steakhouse in Mt. Holly? That was always good and they have quite a menu. Or the Red Lion Inn for something Italian? Or the Bordentown Grill?" She said "The Red Lion Inn and the Bordentown Grill are too far away." I said "I can get to either of them in less than 30 minutes. When I took Mary to Earlham we drove 75 miles to eat at the Hollyhock Hill Restaurant one evening - and she suggested going back there for breakfast the following morning - but we did not do that. The distance is not a problem - but if you wait much longer Dad will be home and maybe we can all go out to dinner." She said "I could have fixed you a nice lunch while we have been trying to decide where to go." I said "Oh, no, you don't. We're going out this time. Now where shall it be?" She said "Let's try the first place that you mentioned." I said "Okay, let's go." We headed for my Buick.

We had not gone far when she said "I have always been partial to Buicks and this is really a beautiful car. The ride is so much smoother than the Oldsmobile but Dad could not get a Buick when he got the Olds." The Hollywood Inn was only about ten minutes from the house and we were soon there. Mom liked the looks of the place even before she got out of the car. And when she stepped inside she liked it even more. The hostess led us to a booth and gave us their huge menus. Mom said "I think this place is lovely - and I love these menus. I am going to take my time when ordering." The waitress asked "What would you like to drink?" I told my Mom "Their milkshakes are fantastic - and huge. Mary and I usually share one." Mom asked the waitress for a few more minutes to decide on the drinks. The waitress said "We can split a milkshake into 2 glasses if you like." We ordered a 'Jumbo Shake' in 2 glasses and two of their special Club Sandwiches. They were huge, too. I told Mom "Take your time. There is no reason to rush." While we were eating I told my mother how Mary and I had decided to live a Platonic lifestyle. And how we slept together - as Mrs. 'B' had described it as 'beautiful'. I told her that my driving 1500 miles each weekend made it quite easy for me to sleep whenever I had the chance to do so. And Mary's hectic modeling career made it easy for her to sleep, too. Mary was 5'7" and 128 pounds, quite thin. And I was 6'2" and 178 pounds. When we were together on a sofa we didn't cover the cushions. She would lie down with her back against the back of the sofa and I would lie down facing her. I would have my arms around her body and she would have her arms around my neck. We were usually kissing when we fell into a deep sleep - and sometimes when we awoke. The 'Bs' came home one day and found us this way. They said "That is beautiful."

Happy Holidays and Semper Fi to 'You All'!

The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


Marine Taking A Moment

Here we have a Marine in Afghanistan taking a moment. Caption this image.

Marine in Afghanistan taking a momemnt


Lost And Found

5th Comm Bn Christmas tree in DaNang, Vietnam

Marines of 5th Comm that were in DaNang, Vietnam

Sgt. Grit,

I am a past member of the USMC, 5th Com Bt. July 1965 through June 1966. I have attached the picture I took of the Christmas billboard 1965, a picture of our Christmas tree and a picture of the 5th Com. Btn. logo sign.

OK now you know who I am. I am interested in finding 11 other Marines that landed from Japan in DaNang in July 1965 to set up General Walt's Command Center. I have many pictures of the swamp we lived in "Dog Patch" and the area we survived in.

At age 72 I am skimpy with my time and I don't understand things like I used too. The holidays just seem to take on a life of their own.

Thank you,
Sgt. Jay Wackler 232xxx
USMC, Honorable Discharge 1966
Email: jaywackler[at]gmail.com


Reunions

Sgt. Grit,

Hoping you could put a notification in your newsletter for a reunion of Charlie Battery 1-12, 1965-1969. Washington DC on June 17-21.

Contact: Bruce Parker

Cell: (248) 310-8195

Email: Bparker[at]kreher.com


Taps

Please be advised that Frank P. Keller Sr. (4th Marines, 23rd Regiment, 2nd Battalion, E Company) survivor of Iwo Jima, passed away on Nov. 2, 2014. Corporal Keller served under Lt. Drizin along with 13 other Marines on what has come to be known as the "lost patrol". RIP Marine.

Frank P. Keller


It has been a truly wonderful experience shopping with Sgt. Grit these past years, one I will always look back on fondly.

However, my own precious Marine passed away today after a lengthy, drawn out combination of illnesses, and my heart is very heavy with sadness in losing my soul mate. He always looked forward to receiving your catalogs for new items he knew we would most likely order which we did.

I hope you will understand the very great loss I feel and will honor my unsubscribing.

Thank you,

SEMPER FI!

Mrs. Barbara XXXXX
Honored wife of Lance Corporal Richard XXXXX
2nd Batt/7th Marines
Viet Nam Vet
US Marine Corps 1966-1969


Short Rounds

From the early days. Catalog has changed considerably. Cpl Michael Davis retired from Fox Btry, 2/14 as a 1st Sgt. He was kind enough to share this picture and memory with me.

Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit

Old Sgt Grit Catalog


An awesome poem by John Wayne.

"The Sky"


US Marines were referred to as the "Black Death" by enemy combatants in the battle of Fallujah in '04. Appropriately, the song 'The Man Comes Around' tells of the Apocalypse of the Revelation of St. John. This video is dedicated to the men who have been wounded and killed during their service to the Corps.

Semper Fi. -Inspired by Generation Kill-

When The Marines Come Around - By Johnny Cash


Clarence Milster. I enlisted in the summer of 1955 and was issued utilities. Have never heard of dungarees as a Marine Corps item of clothing. The Navy wore dungarees.

Paul S. Murtha, Sgt USMC
JUNE '55 To June 1960​


It was good to be updated about the base at Edenton, NC. Sixty years is a long time ago, I am wondering if MACS 5 is still active. Sully, if I recall the good liberty was in Elizabeth City, with the Navy from Norfolk, VA. Went on line to see what is what in Edenton, all I could say is the town grew up. My thanks for the interest to respond. Extending good wishes for the up coming holidays to you.

Robert P Nowicki (Ski)
Semper Fi​


Received my "Battle or Field Jacket" as we called it in 1947 when I enlisted in the USMC. I'm 85 and I still can zip it up.

CWO4 William A Cimbalo, Retired


On 3 October 1958, Plt 347, 3rdBn, P.I., we called them utilities.

Bill McDermott


Tell the Marine who wanted to learn more about the use of Dobermans on Guam to get a copy of the book "Always Faithful" by Wm. Putney.

Semper Fi,
Bob Rader #140xxxx


There is a memorial to those dogs who served in WWII on Guam. I found that info in a coffee table book entitled "A Day in the Life of the Military" (I could be wrong about the title) that came out several years ago.

James V. Merl
1655xxx


Quotes

"'Tis well."
--George Washington, last words, 14 December 1799


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


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


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


"Sad will be the day when the American people forget their traditions and their history, and no longer remember that the country they love, the institutions they cherish, and the freedom they hope to preserve, were born from the throes of armed resistance to tyranny, and nursed in the rugged arms of fearless men."
--Roger Sherman, signer of the Declaration of Independence


"Marines I see as two breeds, Rottweilers or Dobermans, because Marines come in two varieties, big and mean, or skinny and mean. They're aggressive on the attack and tenacious on defense. They've got really short hair and they always go for the throat."
--RAdm. "Jay" R. Stark, USN; 10 November 1995


"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States or America."
--Constitution of the United States


"Least amphibious of all the Corps' major installations, Two-Niner Trees."

"Every day is a Holiday, Every meal is a Banquet."

"You silly people think you're tired, do you?"
"Yes, sir!"
"Well, I've got news. You're gonna practice to be tireder!"

Gung Ho!
Sgt Grit

©2014 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 11 DEC 14
If you are having trouble viewing this issue, see it on our website:
http://www.grunt.com/corps/newsletter/10342/

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 11 DEC 2014

In this issue:
• Glad I Didn't Go Into Combat
• Old Corps
• Anti-Corps Harry T

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

Hey we recently got Santa's approval on a shirt I am sure you will recognize!

Gunny's Place

Get Sgt Grit's 2014 Christmas Shirts:

2014 Sgt Grit Exclusive Christmas Santa Long
Sleeve T-Shirt

2014 Sgt Grit Exclusive Bulldog T-Shirt


Glad I Didn't Go Into Combat

Referring to Jerry D's letter about combat; when I entered our proud service I thought I would be humping some where in the world, I guess that's what all eighteen year old kids would think or I could be wrong. I to am glad that I didn't go into combat. I lucked out being in Motor T. I did get a chance to go on a patrol some where I think was north of Camp Books. So, I guess that was the closest I got to being in combat. Had we gotten into a situation and I did fail we went on a sweep and saw a Huey in action and a C-130, or it was called Puff the Magic Dragon, or Spooky. Whatever you wanted to call the plane, getting down to it, I'm glad I was not in combat, and then I wish I was. I guess fate had another plan for me from the rear.

Vic DeLeon
Semper Fi


Breaking News

This image was posted this week on the Sgt Grit Facebook Page. The image, taken by a Marine Corps Combat Photographer, displays an MV-22 Osprey preparing to take flight. The text on the image reads "You're not going to believe this sh-t, but... Word around Marine Corps Air Stations this year is that Santa retired his reindeer, put his sleigh in storage, and got himself an MV-22 Osprey! No more Ho! Ho! Ho! Santa's new slogan: Out-friggin'-standing! Told you that you wouldn't believe this sh-t."

Here are a few of the comments left by our fans.


Miriam G. - That's awesome. I can't Wait for Christmas Eve so I can stay up and watch Santa's new MV-22 Osprey. I am sure the reindeer will be flying in comfort with Santa. A Merry Christmas to all.


Dwaine G. - Just be glad it isn't an A-10 Wart Hog.


Karen S. - H-LL YEAH! That is the most AWESOME military aircraft since the FIRST Stealth Bomber! OOOHRAH! MAN!


Ronetta M. - There's a big Osprey in Christmas lights at the Bell plant in Amarillo. Santa's at the helm!


Roger P. - He still needs Rudolph to guide his bird, though. Through fog, clouds, and smog. As for the other reindeer, well, venison for our fellow Marines in combat zones.


Read more of the comments left on the Sgt Grit Facebook Page.


Old Corps

Dear Sgt. Grit,

I am an active member of the Lofton Henderson Detachment of the Marine Corps League in Lorain, Ohio. I have read all the ridiculous arguments for the distinctions between "Old" and "New" Corps. I graduated in June of 1954 and enlisted in 1955. Not only were Women Marines a separate organization, we had our own Director. I went in under the double banner from the head of the eagle, and, so far as I am concerned, that is truly the OLD CORPS. If any Marine enlisted under that depiction they are Old Corps, otherwise, if they enlisted under the single banner, they're New Corps. Check with Sgt. Grit (not that he's an expert on the situation)... but he has a mug labeled OLD CORPS, and it has the double banner on the emblem.

Pfc. Autumn Day


Me Looking Important

Sgt. Grit,

During the Korean War, damaged equipment (Tanks, Truck, Weapons Carriers and such) had to be taken to Combat Service Group about a hundred Miles behind the lines. But just getting on the lines was the only pleasant part of the deal. Tent with heat, bunk beds and Fresh hot Chow. Sometimes stopping enroute and getting a meal at an Army or Air Force Post where the food was served at tables with checkered table cloths and Pretty Korean Maidens. Of course the terrible part of the ordeal was the dirt, smoke and dust that covered you. But as you can see at the bottom of the locomotive is a pipe where steam comes out. So you put your "C" rations in an expeditionary can, pull the can up the steam pipe and have the engineer turn on the steam for just a moment or two... VOILA... Hot Chow.

Here I am at the controls of a stopped train with the engineers on top and me looking important.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


The Surprise

Wife surprises Marine returning from Afghanistan. A surprise reunion following a year-long separation from loved ones can overwhelm even the most disciplined, battle-hardened Marine with emotion.


Anti-Corps Harry T

Sgt. Grit,

At the end of World War II there were Several Attempts to get Rid of Our MARINE CORPS (There were attempts prior to this but nothing of consequence). Our President Harry S. Truman was an Army Captian that served in France during World War I, but something Happened in World War I that made the U. S. Army quite mad at the Marine Corps.

A Chicago Tribune Reporter by the name of Floyd Gibbons reported the Story of Belleau Wood, of the Bravery of the Marines that dug out the Germans and won a Battle Hard Fought. Harry Truman fought in that Battle as did other members of the U.S. Army but Floyd Gibbon, who Lost an eye during the Battle wrote a Story that was picked up by most news papers in the US. The Chicago Trib. story was the most News Worthy, the Marines were praised all around the Country, stories of the Marines Bravery eclipsed stories of the other Hero's in the War, Hence the Marines were Hated by most WWI Serving U.S. oldiers.

Harry gathered some Democratic Friends who were Members of the U. S. Congress and they tried to push through a Plan to rid the USA of the Marines by making all Armed Forces of the USA the "United States Armed Forces" no more Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines, just the "United States Armed Forces". Well Congress put the Kabosh to that in a hurry. The Delightful part of this Story comes about a year Later.

The North Korean Army Crossed the 38th Parallel requiring the Commanding General to call for the only U.S. Armed Force that could do the Job. General MacArthur called President Harry Truman and asked for a Brigade of Marines.

After World War 2, the U.S. Army advertised; "Join the U. S. Army and become an AMBASSADOR". Wherever the Army Went they carried no weapons. Weapons were at each Base for Arming an ARMY with "Weapons" most had never fired or fired only a few shots.

Don't believe it look it up, might take some time. I know about it because I was there, I carried a .30 Caliber Semi Automatic Rifle, M1. I was trained and was an Expert.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Lovely Summer Resort

Sgt Grit,

Graduated high school in June, 1956, enlisted July 10, 1956, a special date: Married 7/10/65, son began as midshipman, 7/10/84, heart attack, 7/10/91 Any way; arrived at Yemassee early AM with about 200 young nervous boys and was greeted by ONE Marine Corporal Military Policeman in full uniform, white helmet liner, .45 cal. pistol on hip. He continually screamed, "fall in, dress is right, an cover down". Of course we had no idea what he was talking about. I would suspect thousands of young men experienced this introduction to that lovely summer resort of Parris Island.

Corporal Rowe 1623xxx​


Perception

We posted this image to the Sgt Grit Facebook Page this week. The image displays Santa Claus flying across the night skyline with his team of reindeer. The text on the image reads "What normal people see... Santa and his reindeer. What Marines see... Flying Venison."

Here are a few of the comments left by our fans.


Miriam G. - Ok Marines those reindeers are off limits, I want my Christmas presents to get to my house.


Anthony V. - If it flies, it dies.


James P. - If it sits still... it dies too!


Rick G. - Fast food to go.


Read more of the comments left on the Sgt Grit Facebook Page.


Make You Feel Better

I have just finished reading the story about tie-ties. I went thru Parris Island starting in July of 1961. I had forgotten about using tie-ties on wash day out back of our barracks. I also remember during the hot summer days they had green, yellow, red and black flags flying... depending on the temperature. The day the whole platoon lined up to get our medical shots... about three in each shoulder. The DI knew some of shots (like yellow fever) made you sore. So with the black flag flying, on a day when the DI's knew it was well over 100+ degrees... we were all doing extra push-ups behind the barracks. Then maybe some rifle exercises with our M1's... all this to make you feel better.

Cpl G.Bradshaw
1941xxx 1961-1967


Guadalcanal Video

Grit,

An excellent Guadalcanal video, about 15 minutes long, combining actual WWII combat footage, footage from "The Pacific" and footage from 2012.

The Tenaru (Alligator Creek)

Semper Fi
Bush


From The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #12, #3)

My mother said "Where would you like to go?" I told her that "There is a very nice place not too far from here that I think you would enjoy. I have been there many times over the years and it just gets better every time we go there. I am sure you will be able to find something that you like. It's a little more upscale than the 'Cup', 'Kennedys' or 'Gardners'. Or you might prefer the Steakhouse in Mt. Holly? That was always good and they have quite a menu. Or the Red Lion Inn for something Italian? Or the Bordentown Grill?" She said "The Red Lion Inn and the Bordentown Grill are too far away." I said "I can get to either of them in less than 30 minutes. When I took Mary to Earlham we drove 75 miles to eat at the Hollyhock Hill Restaurant one evening - and she suggested going back there for breakfast the following morning - but we did not do that. The distance is not a problem - but if you wait much longer Dad will be home and maybe we can all go out to dinner." She said "I could have fixed you a nice lunch while we have been trying to decide where to go." I said "Oh, no, you don't. We're going out this time. Now where shall it be?" She said "Let's try the first place that you mentioned." I said "Okay, let's go." We headed for my Buick.

We had not gone far when she said "I have always been partial to Buicks and this is really a beautiful car. The ride is so much smoother than the Oldsmobile but Dad could not get a Buick when he got the Olds." The Hollywood Inn was only about ten minutes from the house and we were soon there. Mom liked the looks of the place even before she got out of the car. And when she stepped inside she liked it even more. The hostess led us to a booth and gave us their huge menus. Mom said "I think this place is lovely - and I love these menus. I am going to take my time when ordering." The waitress asked "What would you like to drink?" I told my Mom "Their milkshakes are fantastic - and huge. Mary and I usually share one." Mom asked the waitress for a few more minutes to decide on the drinks. The waitress said "We can split a milkshake into 2 glasses if you like." We ordered a 'Jumbo Shake' in 2 glasses and two of their special Club Sandwiches. They were huge, too. I told Mom "Take your time. There is no reason to rush." While we were eating I told my mother how Mary and I had decided to live a Platonic lifestyle. And how we slept together - as Mrs. 'B' had described it as 'beautiful'. I told her that my driving 1500 miles each weekend made it quite easy for me to sleep whenever I had the chance to do so. And Mary's hectic modeling career made it easy for her to sleep, too. Mary was 5'7" and 128 pounds, quite thin. And I was 6'2" and 178 pounds. When we were together on a sofa we didn't cover the cushions. She would lie down with her back against the back of the sofa and I would lie down facing her. I would have my arms around her body and she would have her arms around my neck. We were usually kissing when we fell into a deep sleep - and sometimes when we awoke. The 'Bs' came home one day and found us this way. They said "That is beautiful."

Happy Holidays and Semper Fi to 'You All'!

The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


Lost And Found

Sgt. Grit,

I am a past member of the USMC, 5th Com Bt. July 1965 through June 1966. I have attached the picture I took of the Christmas billboard 1965, a picture of our Christmas tree and a picture of the 5th Com. Btn. logo sign.

OK now you know who I am. I am interested in finding 11 other Marines that landed from Japan in DaNang in July 1965 to set up General Walt's Command Center. I have many pictures of the swamp we lived in "Dog Patch" and the area we survived in.

At age 72 I am skimpy with my time and I don't understand things like I used too. The holidays just seem to take on a life of their own.

Thank you,
Sgt. Jay Wackler 232xxx
USMC, Honorable Discharge 1966
Email: jaywackler[at]gmail.com


Reunions

Sgt. Grit,

Hoping you could put a notification in your newsletter for a reunion of Charlie Battery 1-12, 1965-1969. Washington DC on June 17-21.

Contact: Bruce Parker

Cell: (248) 310-8195

Email: Bparker[at]kreher.com


Taps

Please be advised that Frank P. Keller Sr. (4th Marines, 23rd Regiment, 2nd Battalion, E Company) survivor of Iwo Jima, passed away on Nov. 2, 2014. Corporal Keller served under Lt. Drizin along with 13 other Marines on what has come to be known as the "lost patrol". RIP Marine.

Frank P. Keller


It has been a truly wonderful experience shopping with Sgt. Grit these past years, one I will always look back on fondly.

However, my own precious Marine passed away today after a lengthy, drawn out combination of illnesses, and my heart is very heavy with sadness in losing my soul mate. He always looked forward to receiving your catalogs for new items he knew we would most likely order which we did.

I hope you will understand the very great loss I feel and will honor my unsubscribing.

Thank you,

SEMPER FI!

Mrs. Barbara XXXXX
Honored wife of Lance Corporal Richard XXXXX
2nd Batt/7th Marines
Viet Nam Vet
US Marine Corps 1966-1969


Short Rounds

From the early days. Catalog has changed considerably. Cpl Michael Davis retired from Fox Btry, 2/14 as a 1st Sgt. He was kind enough to share this picture and memory with me.

Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit


An awesome poem by John Wayne.

"The Sky"


US Marines were referred to as the "Black Death" by enemy combatants in the battle of Fallujah in '04. Appropriately, the song 'The Man Comes Around' tells of the Apocalypse of the Revelation of St. John. This video is dedicated to the men who have been wounded and killed during their service to the Corps.

Semper Fi. -Inspired by Generation Kill-

When The Marines Come Around - By Johnny Cash


Clarence Milster. I enlisted in the summer of 1955 and was issued utilities. Have never heard of dungarees as a Marine Corps item of clothing. The Navy wore dungarees.

Paul S. Murtha, Sgt USMC
JUNE '55 To June 1960​


It was good to be updated about the base at Edenton, NC. Sixty years is a long time ago, I am wondering if MACS 5 is still active. Sully, if I recall the good liberty was in Elizabeth City, with the Navy from Norfolk, VA. Went on line to see what is what in Edenton, all I could say is the town grew up. My thanks for the interest to respond. Extending good wishes for the up coming holidays to you.

Robert P Nowicki (Ski)
Semper Fi​


Received my "Battle or Field Jacket" as we called it in 1947 when I enlisted in the USMC. I'm 85 and I still can zip it up.

CWO4 William A Cimbalo, Retired


On 3 October 1958, Plt 347, 3rdBn, P.I., we called them utilities.

Bill McDermott


Tell the Marine who wanted to learn more about the use of Dobermans on Guam to get a copy of the book "Always Faithful" by Wm. Putney.

Semper Fi,
Bob Rader #140xxxx


There is a memorial to those dogs who served in WWII on Guam. I found that info in a coffee table book entitled "A Day in the Life of the Military" (I could be wrong about the title) that came out several years ago.

James V. Merl
1655xxx


Quotes

"'Tis well."
--George Washington, last words, 14 December 1799


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


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


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


"Sad will be the day when the American people forget their traditions and their history, and no longer remember that the country they love, the institutions they cherish, and the freedom they hope to preserve, were born from the throes of armed resistance to tyranny, and nursed in the rugged arms of fearless men."
--Roger Sherman, signer of the Declaration of Independence


"Marines I see as two breeds, Rottweilers or Dobermans, because Marines come in two varieties, big and mean, or skinny and mean. They're aggressive on the attack and tenacious on defense. They've got really short hair and they always go for the throat."
--RAdm. "Jay" R. Stark, USN; 10 November 1995


"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States or America."
--Constitution of the United States


"Least amphibious of all the Corps' major installations, Two-Niner Trees."

"Every day is a Holiday, Every meal is a Banquet."

"You silly people think you're tired, do you?"
"Yes, sir!"
"Well, I've got news. You're gonna practice to be tireder!"

Gung Ho!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 04 DEC 2014

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 04 DEC 2014

In this issue:
• The Only Japanese American
• Battle For Okinawa
• Proper Honors For A Marine

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Cpl Seitz wearing his jacket from Sgt Grit's

I wore this jacket at a Veteran's Day function in Amherst, Ohio, and received many compliments and requests for the vendor's address. I could hardly refuse, and gladly gave it to them. I hope many responded. It seems that everywhere I go, I get many compliments about it. Thank You very much.

Semper Fi,
George Seitz
Cpl, 1962-1967

Get the highlighted jacket at:

USMC Black/Digital Desert Twill Jacket

USMC Black/Digital Desert Twill Jacket


The Only Japanese American

Sgt Grit,

When I joined the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, in Sept 1959, I did not know what I was in for. Being the only Japanese American in the entire 1stMarDiv., it was scary. Then I met the Old Corps Marines. The Battalion 1st SGT was a Marine Raider, many of the senior Staff NCO's and Officers were veterans of many of the major battles of the Pacific and Korea. For some reason, these Marines took a liking to me and told me stories of the Pacific war/Korea they participated in. To this day, I still remember their stories as if it was yesterday. I am proud to have met these Old Corps Marines. They and my Battalion Commander, LtCol K. J. Houghton, made me the effective leader that I would become in the Marines and later in civilian life. Many of these Marines have are gone now, but what they taught me, I taught other Marines and people that worked for me for 27 years in civilian life. You never forget those that came before and after you. So Marines, teach and train your Marines and continue the legacy. Semper Fi.

Sgt Ted K. Shimono
1959-1968


Embroidered Eagle, Globe & Anchor Hooded Zip Up Heavyweight Sweatshirt


Battle For Okinawa

Suicide boats used by the Japanese during the Battle for Okinawa

Sgt. Grit,

During the Battle for Okinawa most Marines are aware that the Japanese used Suicide (Hari Kari) planes against us. But there was more, they used Suicide Boats against us also. Inclosed is a picture of the suicide boats. Some boats had Ford and Chevrolet engines in them. They were not effective for lots of reasons, we had PT Boats and other types of patrol craft that kept them from being very effective, as soon as they began their run the PT boats were on them. There were problems with this idea on stopping the Hari Kari Boats also, some were armed with two depth charges, which went off at shallow depths which could cause damage to nearby ships and serious injury and death to American and Allied Personel.

Among other exciting things they intended to us​e against the Invasion Forces were Swimmers, that had explosives attached to themselves and could damage a ship, their purpose was to put explosives on the ships screw which would prevent the ship from moving but I saw ships screws turning from time to time which would make it difficult for a swimmer to attach anything to the screw.

And when we Arrived in Japan after they surrendered there were hundreds of tunnels dug into the hills with tracks coming from them where suicide boats could be launched (we could still see the tunnels when we went to Korea, stopping at Japan). The Invasion of Japan according to Naval Intelligence at the time, would cause nearly a million casualties (both American, Allied and Japanese).

Many of us that were preparing for the invasion of Japan, expected it to be our last day on Earth. Even a friend who was a Gunner on a B25, expected he wouldn't live through the invasion of Japan. All this information will be in books about our preparation of the Invasion of Japan but little thought will be given to the thousands of ships and thousands of men that were there, the thoughts and the letters that were not mailed because the writer lived through the Invasion.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Nothing Bad Happened To Me That Day

I was at 'Hollywood' boot camp in 1964. About a week before Thanksgiving my girlfriend sent a letter and enclosed a piece of Juicy Fruit gum. The DI felt it during mail call and made me open the letter. (a few weeks before a stick of Clark's Teaberry gum got through detected) I had to go outside and do squat thrusts in the sand pit until the flavor was gone. Although I chewed like mad the flavor remained when he appeared after about 5 minutes. I relied "Sir, Yes sir," when I was asked if the flavor was gone. He replied "Bulls---, maggot. Keep going." The second time he came out he told me to get my bayonet and give the gum a proper burial among the Ice Plant. The next time he was on duty was the day before Thanksgiving. My youngest sister had sent a birthday card that was embossed. The DI felt it and remembering the gum made me open it. When he saw what it was he asked me how old I was going to be and when? With all the proper 'Sir's' in place I revealed I was going to be 18 on Thanksgiving.

The next day was a holiday for most people, but in boot camp everyone knows, it was just another day in training. Lined up before the evening meal I heard the Senior DI calling out for me to report to the front where he stood. I got my b-tt up there as fast as I could, not knowing what the heck was going on. He told me to get in the front of the line. As we entered the mess hall for our Thanksgiving feast he walked along side of me and told the kp recruits to give me more turkey, mashed potatoes, and an extra dessert. My mind kept racing over and over as to what calamity was going to happen later. After the meal and in formation to march back to our area the DI walked up to me and wished me a Happy Birthday. That evening was just an easy evening of spit polishing our dress shoes for graduation that was quickly approaching and polishing our brass. Nothing bad happened to me that day.

Phil Bennink, Sgt '64-'68


Vietnam Black Cover/Hat


Life Was Good Then

I remember those who got PFC out of boot camp and it was one, who was the honor guide whose name was Hill. 1958, plt 231, 2nd bn., MCRD. I spent two years in the Corps before I was promoted to PFC. Then the next 7 years I had 7 promotion warrants, up and down. Would not have changed it for the world. Life was good then, I call it my p-ss and vinegar days.

Robert D Gordon
Sergeant of Marines
1958-1969


Bea Arthur & Hollywood Tie -Ties

Boot Camp clothes pin or hollywood tie-tie

In the 26 November 2014 news letter, Rusty Norman presented a very convincing argument for Bea Arthur having served in the Marine Corps. I would just like to pass along the evidence which led me to believe that she did not serve in the Corps. She appears to have been a strange lady. It makes me wonder why she would say she had not served in the Corps if she had. The rest of us are proud of our service, why would she not be proud too? I guess we'll never know but note how she changes the subject away from WWII after giving her answer and both she and the interviewer share a little titter.

I knew I had seen this and wasn't crazy.

Bea Arthur On Her Rumored Stint In The Marines.

One of the guys I went through boot camp with still has one of the clothes pins we used at MCRD San Diego in the Summer of 1962. He calls it a "Hollywood Tie-Tie" and attached is a picture of it he sent to me. He says he also has his name stamp with which we stamped our name on our clothing issue. I never used the name stamp after boot camp. If I bought any replacement clothing items I marked them with a black magic marker. I was never chastised for that.

Cpl. Jerry D.
USMC 1962-1966


Gladly Enjoy A Beer

Support vs Combat; I just had to reply to this:

On my first tour, I was in north I Corps. "DMZ Marines" yea, been there, done that. On my second tour, FLC in Da Nang. I tried like h-ll to get back into the 3rd MarDiv. My old TAOR, but no way. I wound up "in the rear with the beer" as a P.O.W. Guard, etc. it's true life is better not on the line, - what I learned - that does not mean anyone who was not in the direct line of fire got away with something or should somehow feel he didn't do what others did. If you are a Viet Nam veteran, I will gladly enjoy a beer with you and swap sea stories.

CoB 1st Bn. 8thMar 2dMarDiv
CoK 3rd Bn. 4thMar 3rdMarDiv
MPCo., HqBn, 1stMarDiv


What's Your Excuse

Improvise, Adapt, Overcome! What's your excuse numb nuts?

(Photo by Sgt Ray Lewis)

Wounded Marine in Afghanistan


As The Bus Was About To Close Its Doors

Back in '53, when I first arrived at the 3d MAW at the MCAS located at Opa-Locka, Dade County, Florida, segregation was in full bloom in South Florida. Marines who were on liberty in downtown Miami had to return to base and turn in their liberty cards by midnite. To achieve this there was a city of Miami bus scheduled to for this last run about 10:30 PM. None of the major roads like NW 27th Ave., or Interstate 95 had been built yet, so the bus had to travel side streets to get to the Opa-Locka Gate on time.

By the time the bus was ready to return the vehicle was packed with Marines. As the bus was about to close its doors an aged black woman quickly climbed on board and tiredly sat down in a front seat, which was a No-No as well as being prohibited by way of a city ordinance which stated that "Colored Had To Sit Rear To Front".

The driver insisted he couldn't move the bus until she sat in the back. Unfortunately, the bus was so packed she couldn't go anywhere. The Marines insisted the driver drive on or they would all be late, which he insisted he couldn't. After several moments of back and forth arguing and shouting, a Staff Sergeant from the Wing motor pool pushed his way to the front and gently escorted the driver off the bus. Then the SSgt sat down and proceeded to drive the bus to the Air Station allowing the woman to get off on Opa-Locka Blvd, then continued on to the gate. As soon as we reached the gate and he opened the doors again everyone rushed out of the bus scattering to the four winds.

Unbeknownst to the Marines we had been followed by several police cars from the City of Miami and the Sheriff's Department.

In the morning the entire Wing was called to report to the admin bldg. where we were confronted by the Wing Commander who demanded that the perpertrators report anyone who had helped "hijack" the bus. No one spoke up. In retaliation the CO called for the elimination of the city bus for use by the Marines. Instead, a military bus was assigned to pick us up to be driven by the SSgt almost as a permanent assignment.

Arnold Pakula


Proper Honors For A Marine

Mrs. Sterling receiving U.S. Burial Flag for Marine Husband

Mrs. Sterling with picture of Marine Husband and his Burial Flag

U.S. Colors Presented in a small private ceremony for Sgt. Dale Stirling, USMC / VIETNAM / deceased.

I have had a bit of difficulty organizing a time for getting together with Mrs. Stirling and presenting her with the United States Colors on behalf of grateful Nation and the Office of the President of the United States.

At Sgt. Stirling's funeral, Mrs. Stirling did not want any fanfare, however she did want me to Thank Cpl. Mike Steer for representing the United States Marine Corps (via the 49th Marines, Mission, B.C.) at the funeral. Cpl. Steer was there in his Dress Blues to pay respects to a Fallen Marine and to ensure that the Funeral would not be lacking a USMC presence. Elaine tells me that everyone that attended the service was very impressed with the handsome Marine attending. Thank you so very much Mike.

Terry and I (my Camera Person) went over to her home in Langley, British Columbia this morning. Prior to the colors being presented, Terry and I sat with Elaine and had a good yak. Mrs. Stirling is doing fine and enjoying life.

When the time came, I asked if it would be okay if I formally present her with the Colors. She said that would be fine and we made it happen.

So, on behalf of the "Theodore H. Snow" Post of the American Legion, Vancouver, B.C., Canada and the Vietnam Veterans in Canada, est. 1986, The flag was presented, the appropriate words were spoken and a smart, 3 second Hand Salute was rendered on behalf of all of us.

If you look closely, I got a huge haircut for this.

Gerry Flowers


From The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #12, #1)

I had told Kitty that my parents had sold the farm and were on an extended vacation; that I was staying at the Cedar Lodge in Moorestown, N.J., when I went north on weekends. I do not recall having given her the address of the Cedar Lodge and I had been invited by Mr.'B' to stay with them - to avoid travel and expense - while my parents were on vacation. It is my best guess that Kitty may have called the Cedar Lodge to find out the address - and discovered that my parents had been there but had just moved to The Hemlocks - and got that address. I can think of no other way that she could have had the address. I said "I know what you were paid for the farm - $464,088 - but I am curious about what you paid for The Hemlocks. I was told it was an all cash transaction by Mr.'B'. Did you know that he was the realtor that handled the transaction?" My Mom and Dad looked at each other. Dad said "I had no idea until you just told us." Mom said "Our dealings were with a woman. She must have worked for him." I said "I am sure she did." Mom said "She was a lovely lady and it was a very quick sale. She never asked us exactly what it was we were looking for. I suppose a professional realtor always leads you to their most expensive offering first. She picked us up at the lodge and we went down to Mt. Laurel Road. She asked where we were from. I told her we had lived most of our lives in New York City - but the last 10 years in Medford. She was a little surprised to hear that." She asked "Then you know just where you are right now?" Mom replied "Oh, yes, we have been on this road thousands of times." They were slowing down. Mom was shocked when they pulled into The Hemlocks. They stopped in front of the house. Dad asked "I guess they want a pretty penny for this place?" The realtor said "It has just been reduced from $100,000 to $80,000 for a quick sale." Dad, the businessman that he was, asked "I wonder if they would take $75,000 CASH?" The realtor said "You shall know in just a few minutes." They went to the door. Mrs. Cecil welcomed them in. My mother said "Oh, Arnold, I love this place. I want to see the kitchen." While my parents were back in the kitchen the realtor asked Mrs. Cecil if she would accept $75,000 CASH. She said "I will split the difference - $77,500 CASH." My Dad was told this and was asked how long it would take for him to get the cash. He looked at his watch and said "My bank is in Mt. Holly. I can have a cashier's check before 2:00 PM. And when can we expect to move in?" Mrs. Cecil asked the realtor about a couple of homes in Moorestown that they had talked about. They were vacant and were available immediately. Mrs. Cecil said "As soon as I have your check I will move into one of these homes - and you can move into The Hemlocks."

It was a very, very fast transaction - from start to finish - an amazing deal. My parents had admired The Hemlocks for years and were quite familiar with what happened to the farm when the Turnpike went through the property. But I never heard either of them say that they would like to someday own The Hemlocks. This may well have been the culmination of their dreams. I would have thought The Hemlocks would have sold for two or three times what my parents paid. And we later found out that the original asking price - just after Mr. Cecil passed away and Mrs. Cecil decided to move into something smaller - was $250,000. The close proximity to the very busy N.J. Turnpike must have been a deterrent - but it certainly worked in favor of my parents. (The Cecils weren't hurting. The state had taken only 7 acres of 'undeveloped farmland' - for which they received about $70,000, but they were required to pay an additional $300,000 for destroying this dairy farm.)

Semper Fi. The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


The Tank Wasn't Hurt

For a number of years in the 60's and 70's, there existed in the two military branches (Army and Navy... Air Force is a corporation, sells 'flight hours'... and the Corps is a cult...) anyway, they both owned and operated a family of more or less amphibious vehicles known as "LARC"(s) and "BARC"(s). These were primarily intended for lighterage use... as in moving materiel from ship to shore rather than as assault vehicles. (if they had, had pistol grips and magazines, and fire selector switches... the media would've gotten that wrong more often than not, also...) the LARC, commonly pronounced 'Lark" like the bird, was the acronym for 'Lighter, Amphibious Resupply, Cargo"... BARC was similar, only the 'B' was for 'barge' (It was a big honker... could carry a tank, etc)... these things had aluminum hulls, boat-shaped in the case of the LARC, and humongous rubber tires, which doubled as the only suspension system. The LARC had a 3-man cabin in the front, and a rear engine, with a flat deck between the two. The thing would come alongside break-bulk shipping vessels, usually civilian, and receive cargo pallets by crane. Once loaded, they could return to shore, transit most beaches, and hit the road. Since they could travel on roads at reasonable speeds, they could go directly to a supply or ammo dump for direct unloading. Besides probably the SeaBees, Navy Shoremaster units also used them. In the mid-70's, 'floats' would periodically leave the 3rdMarDiv on Okinawa for something like a Pacific side MedCruise for landings in exotic places, including Australia. The Tracked Vehicle Bn (later re-named) at Camp Schwab (two companies each of LVTP-7 and M-48 tanks) would be tagged to send a platoon (+) of Amtracks (YATYAS) and a platoon of tanks along... don't recall if we had invented MEU or MAU yet, or were still using BLT, but the float in question was headed for Australia, among other places. At the time, there were some moderately salty types who had endured a Viet-Nam R&R in Australia, and there was considerable finagaling to get assigned to one of the units going...

They went... and they came back... with the sickest, sorriest running bunch of P-7's imaginable... the platoon all made it ashore, but just barely... seems that the LSD they were riding had re-fueled them with DFM (Diesel Fuel, Marine) instead of DF-2... DFM is a lower grade distalate, on top of which it was suspected that there was water contamination in the ship's tanks. The field expedient fix for that was to pump two 55-gallon drums full and set those aside before refueling the tractors... not a good idea.

The ship, which shall be nameless, mostly because I don't remember her name or number, was swinging at anchor in OraWan Bay at Schwab... ballasted down, stern gate open, etc. After watching 'our' platoon of tracks make it back to the beach, a couple of us from the Battalion Maintence shop caught a ride out to the ship in an LCU. LCUs come in several configurations, some with one ramp, some with two, etc. and all are big enough to carry three tanks or so... not real fast, maybe 10 knots flank speed, but a big hunk of steel at any rate.

There was a chop running in the bay... which, inside the well deck of the LSD meant there were 3-4 foot waves sloshing about... and the LCU was sloshing with them. Up on the wing walls were able-bodied Sailors handling the lines to get our LCU secured... ordinarily, I would snarkily have referred to these worthys as 'squids'... but since they were dancing a dangerous ballet amidst all the noise and fumes with only whistle instructions from a salty old Chief, I had to take off my cover to them... 300 tons of floating steel on the end of inch and a half line... moving at the whim of semi-captive saltwater... is something that could take off about anything caught between the line and anything hard. They got us secured... enough that a rough terrain forklift carrying a CONEX box could come down the ramp from the mezzanine deck to the ramp of the LCU... forward... and when the driver hit the brakes, the CONEX (which had inside it a fair share of the portable comm assets of a Bn of the Ninth Marines) slid off... into the salt water between the LCU ramp and the ship's ramp. The COMMO present was not Happy... more like Grumpy...

And... getting back to the LARC/BARC tale?... lashed securely to the forward part of the starboard wing wall was the BeachMaster's LARC... which had been somewhat modified by a LCU on a previous trip... best estimates were that it was now, width-wise, in the range of three, maybe four, feet wide... probably enough recyclable aluminum there to build a couple 2015 model year F-150's...

Reminded me of a ship that came into Naha harbor 1960 or so... Navy ship, civilian crew... had quite a mixed load, including most of the year's replacement vehicles for the 3rd Division Replace and Evacuate program. One of the items in the manifest was some M-48 tanks. On the way over, the ship had encountered some really rough seas... and one of the tanks came loose... Tis' said that the Division MTO broke into tears every time the winches brought up what was left of a thoroughly smashed motor transport asset... and the tank had wound up in the middle of a temporary refrigerated space... along with two or three tons of what had been butter. The tank wasn't hurt...

Ddick


Lost And Found

Sgt Grit,

I would like to hear from anyone that was at the MCAA Mojave Air Base. I'm 78 and don't have much time left to hear from them.

Sgt Jack Micheletti
1955 - 1962


Short Rounds

RE: Mike Cruden, Honoring My Dad.

You are a part of a "Marine Family," your father was part of "The Marine Family." You have every right to wear USMC items, the "Gold Star" you wear gives you that right, your dad paid for you to have that right. Get a shirt or hat that says, "Proud Son Of A U.S Marine Who Gave His All."

USMC VET
Brian Stack
"Once And Always"


I don't know when the Corps started calling Dungarees, Utilities?

Clarence Milster
USMC


I received a request for a story about WWII Doberman Pincers. He mentioned 11 or 13 were killed on Guam. Anyone work with them?

Sgt Grit


For Mike Cruden:

As far as I'm concerned, Marines relatives can wear the emblem to honor their Marines. My wife does. Lots of kids wear Grit Gear.

Semper Fi.

Robert A. Hall
Former SSgt
USMC 1964-68
USMCR, 1977-83


Quotes

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
--George Orwell, 1984


"Oderint dum metuant."
"Let them hate, so long as they fear."
--Caligula


"Marines don't know how to spell the word defeat"
--General James "Mad Dog" Mattis


"Demonstrate to the world there is 'No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy' than a U.S. Marine."
--General James "Mad Dog" Mattis


"We have two companies of Marines running rampant all over the northern half of this island, and three Army regiments pinned down in the southwestern corner, doing nothing. What the h-ll is going on?"
--Gen. John W. Vessey Jr., USA, Chairman of the the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the assault on Grenada, 1983


"And what's your excuse numb nuts!"

"Excuse me Scrotum Head, but you must think you're in Caveman Platoon. Straighten your back before I break it!"

"We've done so much with so little for so long, we can do almost anything with nothing! The difficult we do immediately... the Impossible takes a little longer..."

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 04 DEC 2014
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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 04 DEC 2014

In this issue:
• The Only Japanese American
• Battle For Okinawa
• Proper Honors For A Marine

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I wore this jacket at a Veteran's Day function in Amherst, Ohio, and received many compliments and requests for the vendor's address. I could hardly refuse, and gladly gave it to them. I hope many responded. It seems that everywhere I go, I get many compliments about it. Thank You very much.

Semper Fi,
George Seitz
Cpl, 1962-1967

Get the highlighted jacket at:

USMC Black/Digital Desert Twill Jacket


The Only Japanese American

Sgt Grit,

When I joined the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, in Sept 1959, I did not know what I was in for. Being the only Japanese American in the entire 1stMarDiv., it was scary. Then I met the Old Corps Marines. The Battalion 1st SGT was a Marine Raider, many of the senior Staff NCO's and Officers were veterans of many of the major battles of the Pacific and Korea. For some reason, these Marines took a liking to me and told me stories of the Pacific war/Korea they participated in. To this day, I still remember their stories as if it was yesterday. I am proud to have met these Old Corps Marines. They and my Battalion Commander, LtCol K. J. Houghton, made me the effective leader that I would become in the Marines and later in civilian life. Many of these Marines have are gone now, but what they taught me, I taught other Marines and people that worked for me for 27 years in civilian life. You never forget those that came before and after you. So Marines, teach and train your Marines and continue the legacy. Semper Fi.

Sgt Ted K. Shimono
1959-1968


Battle For Okinawa

Sgt. Grit,

During the Battle for Okinawa most Marines are aware that the Japanese used Suicide (Hari Kari) planes against us. But there was more, they used Suicide Boats against us also. Inclosed is a picture of the suicide boats. Some boats had Ford and Chevrolet engines in them. They were not effective for lots of reasons, we had PT Boats and other types of patrol craft that kept them from being very effective, as soon as they began their run the PT boats were on them. There were problems with this idea on stopping the Hari Kari Boats also, some were armed with two depth charges, which went off at shallow depths which could cause damage to nearby ships and serious injury and death to American and Allied Personel.

Among other exciting things they intended to us​e against the Invasion Forces were Swimmers, that had explosives attached to themselves and could damage a ship, their purpose was to put explosives on the ships screw which would prevent the ship from moving but I saw ships screws turning from time to time which would make it difficult for a swimmer to attach anything to the screw.

And when we Arrived in Japan after they surrendered there were hundreds of tunnels dug into the hills with tracks coming from them where suicide boats could be launched (we could still see the tunnels when we went to Korea, stopping at Japan). The Invasion of Japan according to Naval Intelligence at the time, would cause nearly a million casualties (both American, Allied and Japanese).

Many of us that were preparing for the invasion of Japan, expected it to be our last day on Earth. Even a friend who was a Gunner on a B25, expected he wouldn't live through the invasion of Japan. All this information will be in books about our preparation of the Invasion of Japan but little thought will be given to the thousands of ships and thousands of men that were there, the thoughts and the letters that were not mailed because the writer lived through the Invasion.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Nothing Bad Happened To Me That Day

I was at 'Hollywood' boot camp in 1964. About a week before Thanksgiving my girlfriend sent a letter and enclosed a piece of Juicy Fruit gum. The DI felt it during mail call and made me open the letter. (a few weeks before a stick of Clark's Teaberry gum got through detected) I had to go outside and do squat thrusts in the sand pit until the flavor was gone. Although I chewed like mad the flavor remained when he appeared after about 5 minutes. I relied "Sir, Yes sir," when I was asked if the flavor was gone. He replied "Bulls---, maggot. Keep going." The second time he came out he told me to get my bayonet and give the gum a proper burial among the Ice Plant. The next time he was on duty was the day before Thanksgiving. My youngest sister had sent a birthday card that was embossed. The DI felt it and remembering the gum made me open it. When he saw what it was he asked me how old I was going to be and when? With all the proper 'Sir's' in place I revealed I was going to be 18 on Thanksgiving.

The next day was a holiday for most people, but in boot camp everyone knows, it was just another day in training. Lined up before the evening meal I heard the Senior DI calling out for me to report to the front where he stood. I got my b-tt up there as fast as I could, not knowing what the heck was going on. He told me to get in the front of the line. As we entered the mess hall for our Thanksgiving feast he walked along side of me and told the kp recruits to give me more turkey, mashed potatoes, and an extra dessert. My mind kept racing over and over as to what calamity was going to happen later. After the meal and in formation to march back to our area the DI walked up to me and wished me a Happy Birthday. That evening was just an easy evening of spit polishing our dress shoes for graduation that was quickly approaching and polishing our brass. Nothing bad happened to me that day.

Phil Bennink, Sgt '64-'68


Life Was Good Then

I remember those who got PFC out of boot camp and it was one, who was the honor guide whose name was Hill. 1958, plt 231, 2nd bn., MCRD. I spent two years in the Corps before I was promoted to PFC. Then the next 7 years I had 7 promotion warrants, up and down. Would not have changed it for the world. Life was good then, I call it my p-ss and vinegar days.

Robert D Gordon
Sergeant of Marines
1958-1969


Bea Arthur & Hollywood Tie -Ties

In the 26 November 2014 news letter, Rusty Norman presented a very convincing argument for Bea Arthur having served in the Marine Corps. I would just like to pass along the evidence which led me to believe that she did not serve in the Corps. She appears to have been a strange lady. It makes me wonder why she would say she had not served in the Corps if she had. The rest of us are proud of our service, why would she not be proud too? I guess we'll never know but note how she changes the subject away from WWII after giving her answer and both she and the interviewer share a little titter.

I knew I had seen this and wasn't crazy.

Bea Arthur On Her Rumored Stint In The Marines.

One of the guys I went through boot camp with still has one of the clothes pins we used at MCRD San Diego in the Summer of 1962. He calls it a "Hollywood Tie-Tie" and attached is a picture of it he sent to me. He says he also has his name stamp with which we stamped our name on our clothing issue. I never used the name stamp after boot camp. If I bought any replacement clothing items I marked them with a black magic marker. I was never chastised for that.

Cpl. Jerry D.
USMC 1962-1966


Gladly Enjoy A Beer

Support vs Combat; I just had to reply to this:

On my first tour, I was in north I Corps. "DMZ Marines" yea, been there, done that. On my second tour, FLC in Da Nang. I tried like h-ll to get back into the 3rd MarDiv. My old TAOR, but no way. I wound up "in the rear with the beer" as a P.O.W. Guard, etc. it's true life is better not on the line, - what I learned - that does not mean anyone who was not in the direct line of fire got away with something or should somehow feel he didn't do what others did. If you are a Viet Nam veteran, I will gladly enjoy a beer with you and swap sea stories.

CoB 1st Bn. 8thMar 2dMarDiv
CoK 3rd Bn. 4thMar 3rdMarDiv
MPCo., HqBn, 1stMarDiv


As The Bus Was About To Close Its Doors

Back in '53, when I first arrived at the 3d MAW at the MCAS located at Opa-Locka, Dade County, Florida, segregation was in full bloom in South Florida. Marines who were on liberty in downtown Miami had to return to base and turn in their liberty cards by midnite. To achieve this there was a city of Miami bus scheduled to for this last run about 10:30 PM. None of the major roads like NW 27th Ave., or Interstate 95 had been built yet, so the bus had to travel side streets to get to the Opa-Locka Gate on time.

By the time the bus was ready to return the vehicle was packed with Marines. As the bus was about to close its doors an aged black woman quickly climbed on board and tiredly sat down in a front seat, which was a No-No as well as being prohibited by way of a city ordinance which stated that "Colored Had To Sit Rear To Front".

The driver insisted he couldn't move the bus until she sat in the back. Unfortunately, the bus was so packed she couldn't go anywhere. The Marines insisted the driver drive on or they would all be late, which he insisted he couldn't. After several moments of back and forth arguing and shouting, a Staff Sergeant from the Wing motor pool pushed his way to the front and gently escorted the driver off the bus. Then the SSgt sat down and proceeded to drive the bus to the Air Station allowing the woman to get off on Opa-Locka Blvd, then continued on to the gate. As soon as we reached the gate and he opened the doors again everyone rushed out of the bus scattering to the four winds.

Unbeknownst to the Marines we had been followed by several police cars from the City of Miami and the Sheriff's Department.

In the morning the entire Wing was called to report to the admin bldg. where we were confronted by the Wing Commander who demanded that the perpertrators report anyone who had helped "hijack" the bus. No one spoke up. In retaliation the CO called for the elimination of the city bus for use by the Marines. Instead, a military bus was assigned to pick us up to be driven by the SSgt almost as a permanent assignment.

Arnold Pakula


Proper Honors For A Marine

U.S. Colors Presented in a small private ceremony for Sgt. Dale Stirling, USMC / VIETNAM / deceased.

I have had a bit of difficulty organizing a time for getting together with Mrs. Stirling and presenting her with the United States Colors on behalf of grateful Nation and the Office of the President of the United States.

At Sgt. Stirling's funeral, Mrs. Stirling did not want any fanfare, however she did want me to Thank Cpl. Mike Steer for representing the United States Marine Corps (via the 49th Marines, Mission, B.C.) at the funeral. Cpl. Steer was there in his Dress Blues to pay respects to a Fallen Marine and to ensure that the Funeral would not be lacking a USMC presence. Elaine tells me that everyone that attended the service was very impressed with the handsome Marine attending. Thank you so very much Mike.

Terry and I (my Camera Person) went over to her home in Langley, British Columbia this morning. Prior to the colors being presented, Terry and I sat with Elaine and had a good yak. Mrs. Stirling is doing fine and enjoying life.

When the time came, I asked if it would be okay if I formally present her with the Colors. She said that would be fine and we made it happen.

So, on behalf of the "Theodore H. Snow" Post of the American Legion, Vancouver, B.C., Canada and the Vietnam Veterans in Canada, est. 1986, The flag was presented, the appropriate words were spoken and a smart, 3 second Hand Salute was rendered on behalf of all of us.

If you look closely, I got a huge haircut for this.

Gerry Flowers


From The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #12, #1)

I had told Kitty that my parents had sold the farm and were on an extended vacation; that I was staying at the Cedar Lodge in Moorestown, N.J., when I went north on weekends. I do not recall having given her the address of the Cedar Lodge and I had been invited by Mr.'B' to stay with them - to avoid travel and expense - while my parents were on vacation. It is my best guess that Kitty may have called the Cedar Lodge to find out the address - and discovered that my parents had been there but had just moved to The Hemlocks - and got that address. I can think of no other way that she could have had the address. I said "I know what you were paid for the farm - $464,088 - but I am curious about what you paid for The Hemlocks. I was told it was an all cash transaction by Mr.'B'. Did you know that he was the realtor that handled the transaction?" My Mom and Dad looked at each other. Dad said "I had no idea until you just told us." Mom said "Our dealings were with a woman. She must have worked for him." I said "I am sure she did." Mom said "She was a lovely lady and it was a very quick sale. She never asked us exactly what it was we were looking for. I suppose a professional realtor always leads you to their most expensive offering first. She picked us up at the lodge and we went down to Mt. Laurel Road. She asked where we were from. I told her we had lived most of our lives in New York City - but the last 10 years in Medford. She was a little surprised to hear that." She asked "Then you know just where you are right now?" Mom replied "Oh, yes, we have been on this road thousands of times." They were slowing down. Mom was shocked when they pulled into The Hemlocks. They stopped in front of the house. Dad asked "I guess they want a pretty penny for this place?" The realtor said "It has just been reduced from $100,000 to $80,000 for a quick sale." Dad, the businessman that he was, asked "I wonder if they would take $75,000 CASH?" The realtor said "You shall know in just a few minutes." They went to the door. Mrs. Cecil welcomed them in. My mother said "Oh, Arnold, I love this place. I want to see the kitchen." While my parents were back in the kitchen the realtor asked Mrs. Cecil if she would accept $75,000 CASH. She said "I will split the difference - $77,500 CASH." My Dad was told this and was asked how long it would take for him to get the cash. He looked at his watch and said "My bank is in Mt. Holly. I can have a cashier's check before 2:00 PM. And when can we expect to move in?" Mrs. Cecil asked the realtor about a couple of homes in Moorestown that they had talked about. They were vacant and were available immediately. Mrs. Cecil said "As soon as I have your check I will move into one of these homes - and you can move into The Hemlocks."

It was a very, very fast transaction - from start to finish - an amazing deal. My parents had admired The Hemlocks for years and were quite familiar with what happened to the farm when the Turnpike went through the property. But I never heard either of them say that they would like to someday own The Hemlocks. This may well have been the culmination of their dreams. I would have thought The Hemlocks would have sold for two or three times what my parents paid. And we later found out that the original asking price - just after Mr. Cecil passed away and Mrs. Cecil decided to move into something smaller - was $250,000. The close proximity to the very busy N.J. Turnpike must have been a deterrent - but it certainly worked in favor of my parents. (The Cecils weren't hurting. The state had taken only 7 acres of 'undeveloped farmland' - for which they received about $70,000, but they were required to pay an additional $300,000 for destroying this dairy farm.)

Semper Fi. The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


The Tank Wasn't Hurt

For a number of years in the 60's and 70's, there existed in the two military branches (Army and Navy... Air Force is a corporation, sells 'flight hours'... and the Corps is a cult...) anyway, they both owned and operated a family of more or less amphibious vehicles known as "LARC"(s) and "BARC"(s). These were primarily intended for lighterage use... as in moving materiel from ship to shore rather than as assault vehicles. (if they had, had pistol grips and magazines, and fire selector switches... the media would've gotten that wrong more often than not, also...) the LARC, commonly pronounced 'Lark" like the bird, was the acronym for 'Lighter, Amphibious Resupply, Cargo"... BARC was similar, only the 'B' was for 'barge' (It was a big honker... could carry a tank, etc)... these things had aluminum hulls, boat-shaped in the case of the LARC, and humongous rubber tires, which doubled as the only suspension system. The LARC had a 3-man cabin in the front, and a rear engine, with a flat deck between the two. The thing would come alongside break-bulk shipping vessels, usually civilian, and receive cargo pallets by crane. Once loaded, they could return to shore, transit most beaches, and hit the road. Since they could travel on roads at reasonable speeds, they could go directly to a supply or ammo dump for direct unloading. Besides probably the SeaBees, Navy Shoremaster units also used them. In the mid-70's, 'floats' would periodically leave the 3rdMarDiv on Okinawa for something like a Pacific side MedCruise for landings in exotic places, including Australia. The Tracked Vehicle Bn (later re-named) at Camp Schwab (two companies each of LVTP-7 and M-48 tanks) would be tagged to send a platoon (+) of Amtracks (YATYAS) and a platoon of tanks along... don't recall if we had invented MEU or MAU yet, or were still using BLT, but the float in question was headed for Australia, among other places. At the time, there were some moderately salty types who had endured a Viet-Nam R&R in Australia, and there was considerable finagaling to get assigned to one of the units going...

They went... and they came back... with the sickest, sorriest running bunch of P-7's imaginable... the platoon all made it ashore, but just barely... seems that the LSD they were riding had re-fueled them with DFM (Diesel Fuel, Marine) instead of DF-2... DFM is a lower grade distalate, on top of which it was suspected that there was water contamination in the ship's tanks. The field expedient fix for that was to pump two 55-gallon drums full and set those aside before refueling the tractors... not a good idea.

The ship, which shall be nameless, mostly because I don't remember her name or number, was swinging at anchor in OraWan Bay at Schwab... ballasted down, stern gate open, etc. After watching 'our' platoon of tracks make it back to the beach, a couple of us from the Battalion Maintence shop caught a ride out to the ship in an LCU. LCUs come in several configurations, some with one ramp, some with two, etc. and all are big enough to carry three tanks or so... not real fast, maybe 10 knots flank speed, but a big hunk of steel at any rate.

There was a chop running in the bay... which, inside the well deck of the LSD meant there were 3-4 foot waves sloshing about... and the LCU was sloshing with them. Up on the wing walls were able-bodied Sailors handling the lines to get our LCU secured... ordinarily, I would snarkily have referred to these worthys as 'squids'... but since they were dancing a dangerous ballet amidst all the noise and fumes with only whistle instructions from a salty old Chief, I had to take off my cover to them... 300 tons of floating steel on the end of inch and a half line... moving at the whim of semi-captive saltwater... is something that could take off about anything caught between the line and anything hard. They got us secured... enough that a rough terrain forklift carrying a CONEX box could come down the ramp from the mezzanine deck to the ramp of the LCU... forward... and when the driver hit the brakes, the CONEX (which had inside it a fair share of the portable comm assets of a Bn of the Ninth Marines) slid off... into the salt water between the LCU ramp and the ship's ramp. The COMMO present was not Happy... more like Grumpy...

And... getting back to the LARC/BARC tale?... lashed securely to the forward part of the starboard wing wall was the BeachMaster's LARC... which had been somewhat modified by a LCU on a previous trip... best estimates were that it was now, width-wise, in the range of three, maybe four, feet wide... probably enough recyclable aluminum there to build a couple 2015 model year F-150's...

Reminded me of a ship that came into Naha harbor 1960 or so... Navy ship, civilian crew... had quite a mixed load, including most of the year's replacement vehicles for the 3rd Division Replace and Evacuate program. One of the items in the manifest was some M-48 tanks. On the way over, the ship had encountered some really rough seas... and one of the tanks came loose... Tis' said that the Division MTO broke into tears every time the winches brought up what was left of a thoroughly smashed motor transport asset... and the tank had wound up in the middle of a temporary refrigerated space... along with two or three tons of what had been butter. The tank wasn't hurt...

Ddick


Lost And Found

Sgt Grit,

I would like to hear from anyone that was at the MCAA Mojave Air Base. I'm 78 and don't have much time left to hear from them.

Sgt Jack Micheletti
1955 - 1962


Short Rounds

RE: Mike Cruden, Honoring My Dad.

You are a part of a "Marine Family," your father was part of "The Marine Family." You have every right to wear USMC items, the "Gold Star" you wear gives you that right, your dad paid for you to have that right. Get a shirt or hat that says, "Proud Son Of A U.S Marine Who Gave His All."

USMC VET
Brian Stack
"Once And Always"


I don't know when the Corps started calling Dungarees, Utilities?

Clarence Milster
USMC


I received a request for a story about WWII Doberman Pincers. He mentioned 11 or 13 were killed on Guam. Anyone work with them?

Sgt Grit


For Mike Cruden:

As far as I'm concerned, Marines relatives can wear the emblem to honor their Marines. My wife does. Lots of kids wear Grit Gear.

Semper Fi.

Robert A. Hall
Former SSgt
USMC 1964-68
USMCR, 1977-83


Quotes

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
--George Orwell, 1984


"Oderint dum metuant."
"Let them hate, so long as they fear."
--Caligula


"Marines don't know how to spell the word defeat"
--General James "Mad Dog" Mattis


"Demonstrate to the world there is 'No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy' than a U.S. Marine."
--General James "Mad Dog" Mattis


"We have two companies of Marines running rampant all over the northern half of this island, and three Army regiments pinned down in the southwestern corner, doing nothing. What the h-ll is going on?"
--Gen. John W. Vessey Jr., USA, Chairman of the the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the assault on Grenada, 1983


"And what's your excuse numb nuts!"

"Excuse me Scrotum Head, but you must think you're in Caveman Platoon. Straighten your back before I break it!"

"We've done so much with so little for so long, we can do almost anything with nothing! The difficult we do immediately... the Impossible takes a little longer..."

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 27 Nov 2014

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 27 NOV 2014

In this issue:
• Banana Wars and Tell Your Mother
• USO Shows
• The 12th General Order

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Sgt Grit and Staff would like to wish all Marines and their families a very safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving. May we all remember to pray for our brothers and sisters that are forward deployed so that we can enjoy this holiday season in true American fashion. May God bless you all and remember that "Every day is a holiday, Every meal is a feast, and Every paycheck is a fortune!"

Semper Fi!

Scales for Thanksgiving


Support​ vs Combat

I've often wondered what the ratio was for support troops vs combat troops. I've seen figures for Viet Nam ranging as high as 10-1. I think it's safe to say that is probably not far off the mark. (see the included article: Myths & Misconceptions: Vietnam War Folklore).

I've talked to more than a few Marines who served in a support position and occasionally the subject of regret over not having been in combat comes up. I have yet to find a single support Marine - REMF, in the rear with the gear and the beer and all the other derogatory comments about the jobs the non-03xx Marines did - who does not have some measure of regret that he never got the opportunity to take Charlie to the big dance and that includes myself. I can only tell you from my own perspective, about 98% of the time (80% of statistics are made up on the spot, as is that one – LOL) I am thankful my tour of duty did NOT include any combat. Judging only from what I've read and what I've heard, combat is some messed up sh-t. As always, you have my deepest appreciation for all you do for the Marine community.

Thanks & Semper Fi
Forged on the anvil of discipline.
The Few. The Proud.
Jerry D.


Banana Wars and Tell Your Mother

While working as a rifle instructor on the range at Camp Lejeune in 1955-7, I came to know and old Master Sergeant who ran the pistol range. He already had 30+ years in the Corps and was as crusty as they came. His name was Duncavage. Sometimes on the weekends he would come into the slopshoot and regale us with stories about the Banana Wars where he had served with Chesty Puller. He ran the pistol range with an iron hand. On every Monday when a new group of shooters reported in he would give a demonstration as to how to shoot the 45 automatic. On slow and rapid fire he would blast out the ten ring every time. Then he would go to the course where the target would face you for three seconds and then turn away. If you hit anywhere on the target you got points. Sergeant Duncavage would fire ten rounds in this course but it looked like he was missing the target completely. Titters would be heard from those watching the demonstration. "The old bast-rd missed the target completely," someone would say. But then when the targets were pulled in to be examined there they were--ten perfect shots in the head of the target where no one was looking. He pulled that on every group of shooters who came to his range.

One Monday a new group of shooters came in among whom was a bushy tailed 2nd Lieutenant, probably fresh out of Quantico. When Duncavage walked by the Lieutenant without saluting him (we old hands knew that on the ranges you didn't have to salute any officer below field grade, but this young shave-tail apparently didn't know that). The Lieutenant called Sergeant Duncavage back and asked why he hadn't saluted him. Sergeant Duncavage snapped to attention and rendered the appropriate highball. The Lieutenant began to walk away triumphant but Sergeant Duncavage called after him, "Now go home and tell your mother you met a real Marine!" You couldn't make up a story like that.

S/Sgt. Paul E. Gill, 1954-68


Vietnam Veteran Ribbon T-Shirt


USO Shows

Marine Recon unit taking photo with USO guest in Vietnam

Vietnamese prisoner captured by Marine Recon unit

Sgt. Grit,

In my 27 Years of Service I've seen a lot of USO shows (actually this is the term used for all shows shown to us in a War Zone). Top Actors during the 1920's, 30's, 40's made USO Shows during WWII, most of them went to the European War. I did get to see Bob Hope, Jack Carson and some lesser named Actors, but not often. Now in Vietnam most of the military men were not familiar with this group but the Girls were Pretty with short dresses and did a shimmy or two. This was the Group Al Jolson (WHO?) put together and sent to Vietnam. No l didn't see Al, Jolson was a big hit during the 1920's and 1930's, and he died in the 1950's so he wasn't there, but if you have a Group and a Manager who's still around, they could be sent to perform for us. You can see the guys enjoying seeing the girls.

Earlier that week Recon brought in a Prisoner (note the Ho Chi Minh sandals) and we even polished our boots in Vietnam as you can see.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Iwo Jima Marines

Iwo Jima Marines join other brother and sister Marines to celebrate USMC birthday

This year at Cookies Tavern in South Philadelphia, PA, there were two Iwo Jima Marines that joined with other brother and sister Marines to celebrate our 239th Birthday!

Semper Fi


Reward Was An Orange

While going through Staging Battalion at Las Pulgas, one of the courses was Escape and Evasion. As I remember it we had to go from one hill down to a valley and up to the summit of another hill without being captured by the aggressors, who happened to be reservists. We were allowed a bayonet and poncho and the reward for completing the course was an orange. It was nearing dark and the instructor pointed out to us the smudge pot on the hill where we would receive our piece of fruit. It didn't look that far away, but was I wrong. We got the word to take off and as we started to descend the hill I could hear others mumbling that there was no way some weekend warrior is going to capture me when I'm off to WESTPAC. I wasn't half way down the hill when I began stumbling over all kinds of vegetation and brush and before I knew it I was at the bottom of the hill. Now the fun begins as I had to circumvent a creek and start up the hill. The aggressors were yelling surrender, give it up, it isn't worth it. Many did surrender, but not me. I'm grabbing onto branches and whatever I could feel in the dark. Suddenly the bushes in front of me started erupting and I didn't know what to make of it, so I got into the prone position, placed the poncho over my head and had the bayonet at the ready. I peeked from under the poncho and two eyes were staring at me as a very large owl came swooping down. Back under the poncho. Well, I eventually made it to the top, bloodied, mud head to toe along with torn utility trousers. I was handed my orange and the individual walked away shaking his head. I looked around and saw many of the Marines I had started off with huddled around the smudge pot shivering in their ponchos, but no oranges. Was I the only idiot who completed this course? The big question in my mind was, was it worth it? With a few choice words and I do mean choice, I took my reward and flung it down the hill as the others watched, probably wondering what's this guy's problem.

Sgt. Joe Alvino, USMC


1954 Ford and 45 Years

1954 Ford F-100 restored driver side view

11th Marines Coins with the names Grit, Fuller, Goog, and Hunts

I have seen in the past few newsletters, Marines sending pictures of their cars and trucks with items from your store. I have just completed a nut and bolt restoration/customizing of my 1954 Ford F-100. I wanted to have something special made to honor my friends, friends I made 45 years ago in a really ugly hooch. I had the honor and the privilege to be with 11th Marines and living, eating, a tad bit of drinking, and standing watch with Don Whitton, John Gugliotta, and Jim Fuller. We still speak and visit to this day.

I wanted a custom job done. I did not want just a decal. I contacted Sgt Grit's Custom Department and they had four challenge coins made for me exactly as I wanted them. On each wheel dust cap is an 11th Marines Regimental logo and below is engraved each of the names: Grit, Goog, Fuller, and Hunts. Perfect fit. I would urge you all to try the custom department. If you can dream it, they can do it.

And yes, everyone notices the caps.

SSgt Dan Huntsinger
USMC '68-'74
11th Marines, DaNang '69-'70


USMC OD Green T-Shirt


Bea Arthur