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From the now-"pacified" north shore of the Gulf Coast, we're in the
consolidation and restoration phase now. Just got my phone back this
morning. Other services coming along slowly. This has been - and continues
to be - an object lesson in what we have all be taught. Adapt, Improvise,
Overcome. I'm presently exercising all three steps.
A Grunt In South Mississippi
State Bumper Stickers
For a limited time only, we will be making these State Marine
bumper stickers, so you can show your pride in
Country and Corps. From Alabama...to Wyoming - every state
Each week for the next 3 weeks we will have a NEW limited time
Special similar to above, INCLUDING a Veterans Day, Beirut, and the
Birthday Ball special....Be on the lookout...
New Items Coming Soon
Be on the look out for over 50 new items will be added THIS WEEK to our Marine Corps
Product line-up...Check for updates often...
It's 05:46, I have been home about 25 minutes, and I didn't crack until I
walked in the house. I'm composed now. We just celebrated our 1st wedding
anniversary so this was the first time I ever saw Brian leave but it's his
2nd deployment to Iraq he also deployed to Desert Storm and Saudi. At
times standing in the grassy lawn of the field house was unnerving, trying
and then turned to sweetness only to turn back and the sorrow coming up my
throat to my mouth and eyes almost choked me. I never missed a step and
neither did Brian. One moment we are talking pleasantly by his sea bags and
then we are swarmed with Commissioned Officers stating "One more little big
thing MSgt. Riddle" and I would watch Brian walk off again.
I was proud of my husband, standing taller than most barking out orders
watching the younger enlisted men jump to their feet and run towards his
voice. I stood in the darkness alone, guarding my husband's sea bags and
backpacks against what I have no idea ants maybe but it gave me something to
do and I felt like I was helping. I remember the pride when I heard his
voice above the crowd. "If I can have everyone's attention! I need you in
formation in front of that oak tree NOW!"
I heard the commissioned officers speaking in their little huddle "Yes,
MSgt. Riddle will lead these 80 and so n so will be in charge of those 8."
That's my husband, in charge of 80 men, I thought and smiled. Then the
realization set in, that's a lot of lives to be in charge of and my smile
faded. I thought of the weight Brian must be carrying. I took a step
closer to his sea bags and backpacks standing over them so nothing would
disturb them as my husband called off names from his roster.
"I want everyone to get in groups of 15 - 20 and walk over to the armory to
pick up your bayonets and K-Bars then meet back here." I heard the stomping
of boots as everyone grouped up and walked across the dark front lawn of the
field house. I saw my husband walking back towards me. "Honey I need to go
across the street and get my weapon, it might take a while do you want to
leave or wait?" He asked me. I couldn't tell from his voice or face if he
wanted me to leave or wait so I chose to wait. "Would you mind getting me a
Gatorade while I am gone?" Anything, anything I can do for him, "Not a
problem babe, any special color you would like?" "Just something red, I
I watched him cross the front lawn of the field house where the other men
had headed before him; he walked alone, in the dark, back tall and straight.
His pace was with conviction and purpose. Again my heart swelled with
Jumping in my car and turning the AC on full blast as the temperature had to
be 85 - 90 degrees. I drove over to the C-Store and I could feel the tears
building up behind my eyes. "I am not going to cry now, I am not going to
cry now," I repeated all the way. I grabbed a Gatorade and a tea for me and
walked to the cashier at the front of the store. I wondered if she could
see I fighting back tears, I wondered if she could see my husband was
leaving in my face, I lowered my head so we would not make eye contact.
I drove back to the field house parking lot, my head lights shining on a
hundred men or more, some had family next to them, some were talking on
their cell phones, some were taking pictures while a few laid on their packs
getting one last wink of sleep. I rolled the car windows down and smoked a
cigarette while waiting for Brian to return. I could hear voice and then
this clicking as the men returned from the armory. All of them were
clicking as they walked across the parking lot. All of them were now
carrying big black guns across their backs; their guns or gun straps were
clicking with each step. They all actually looked happy; after all isn't
this what they were trained for? All these young men, 18 - 19 - 20 years
old carrying these long black guns across their backs, they were ready for
what ever came their way now, they were Marines with weapons now.
Brian returned, sweat pouring off his forehead, lip, down his neck, this was
the first time I ever saw my husband armed, actually he chose a pistol this
deployment and he look really cool with his hand gun and shoulder holster
strapped across his chest. "I can't believe this!" His voice had changed
to annoyance. "These guys are driving me nuts and have me running all over
the place. Smith didn't pack his gas mask, so everyone looks at me. "MSgt
what are we going to do about this?" Brian looks at his Captain and
states, "I don't know sir, it's 03:00 we may have to call someone to bring a
mask up to Cherry Point or try to locate one at Cherry Point." "That's
unacceptable" Captain responded. "That's the only answer I have now sir; I
will put someone on this now sir. He speaks to the non commissioned
officers first then returns by my side going on about how if he doesn't do
it the job wouldn't get done; Smith knew about this deployment for 2 months.
The trucks roll in, reminded me of something out of an ole black and white
war movie. Brian moved into action once again. Everyone form a chain lets
get these sea bags loaded in the back of truck! Move it! Move these sea
bags to the truck now" Men and women scatter, I hear groans. Brian yell's
again "Make sure your bayonets and k-bars are secured inside your sea bags,
you are not allowed on the plane with these on your person or in your back
packs" Brian heads back towards me, grabs his 2 sea bags and totes them to
the back of the truck. "I need more people at the back of this truck
loading these sea bags!" he yells, 5 men hustle to his voice. I hear grunts
and groans from the human chain as sea bags are shifted forward up the line
to the truck.
Brian returns to my side, I smile. "This is actually going pretty smooth,"
he tells me. "I'm glad honey" I do want it to go smooth for him, I don't
want him stressed out before he deploys, that was my job the last couple
weeks, taking all the pressure off him so he would worry or stress. Again I
think of how proud I am of him. I turn he is gone. Captain approaches me,
"We are really lucky MSgt step up for this, and this is a tremendous
undertaking he has taken on. He is a good man Ryn" I respond with "Thank
you, that means so much to me. "I know he is a great husband."
Brian returns to me as we watch both trucks being loaded. He makes on trip
down the sidewalk then back again yelling to get the big packs loaded now.
The buses roll in and then leaves again to let everyone know it's 04:34 chow
will be served, then muster up formation at 05:15 and the buses will leave
I know that now I don't have much time left with him before we separate for
7 long months. What do I say? I don't want to say goodbye. God Speed? Be
safe? I love you? I will miss you? I feel that choking feeling again in
my throat. "Want to go to the car and sit for a minute?" I ask. "I will
turn the AC on." "Really?" He responds and smiles. We walk to the car; I
start it and turn the AC on full blast as promised. I hand him a napkin to
wipe his face and neck. We hold hands, kiss a couple times, and tell each
other how much we love we other. I assure him I will take care of
everything, house, vehicles, dog. I remind him Minna and I might run down
to Red Cross at the hospital to volunteer in Alabama, Mississippi or
Louisiana after the 8th of Sept. He smiles as we had discussed it earlier
and he thinks it will be a great idea, even donated some of his clothes for
It's 04:55; he said he better get back to the troops. We exit the car and
see the marines have already formed formation names are being called out.
We hug, kiss, and hug again. "MSgt. Riddle bus #1" "I got to go
sweetheart." "I know" "I love you" "I love you too Brian" he touches my
hand squeezed it then ran to the front of the line. He says something to
the Marine calling out names then walks to the bus door. He waits while
everyone loads in, he is last one on. He turns to my direction and throws
me a kiss, I forgot to move to catch it, and instead I just stood there like
a deer caught in headlights.
All the men and women are loaded; the baggage doors close, the drivers take
their seat. I see him sitting behind the drivers seat; he has taken out his
roster of names and is discussing something with the man across the aisle
from him. The bus door closes. I feel the tears; I will not cry I will not
cry I will not cry.
Seems like a hundred long steps to my car, get in start the engine, the
tears are coming now, I see out the back window the buses turning on the
street. I drive off the parking lot, turning the opposite direction. Tears
are burning now; it's a long silent drive home. I can only imagine how long
it would be for Brian leaving Camp LeJeune to Cherry Point, boarding a plane
to ______ then Iraq and finally trucked into Camp __ ________. Brian said
it might be a week before he gets a shower.
The house is lit up as I pull in the drive way, I had purposely left the
lights on in two of the bedrooms, the kitchen and the living room, I also
had turned the TV on in our bedroom so the house would not be silent when I
I turn the key to the front door, Minna greets me, she steps out on the
porch and looks for Brian, she knows he left with me, where is he? "He is
not coming back for awhile Minna" I tell her, then that choking feeling
comes over me, it really hurts now, and this animal like noise fills the
living room, it was me, that noise came out of my mouth. I am wrecked with
tears, can't control the shaking, I had not thought it would hurt this bad,
I thought I was tough, Minna paces back in forth like she is looking for
someone to help me, I hold her face in my hands. I tell her it's okay, we
are going to be fine, she cries with me, she knows this is wrong, he
shouldn't have to leave, we want him here with us, where we can touch him,
hold his hand, see him smile hear his laughter.
I walk to the kitchen, clean up the coffee pot and cups from the coffee I
had made at 01:30, only a few hours ago. I wipe my face clean from the
sticky tears, day one has started only 211 more to go, guess I need to go
grocery shopping, the fridge is empty, yeah and the car needs gassed up,
make sure I pull those POA papers out so I can sign the lease on the 6th,
call Mom before she leaves for Texas, remember to call Bill and Freda this
weekend, now what do I fix to eat for one???? And life goes on...
Proud Wife of:
MSgt. Brian Riddle -
HQ 2nd FSSG - TRT - G3
Camp LeJeune, NC
I feel sorry for the poor b*stards who are not supporting our troops. That
includes the crowd that says "I support the troops, but not the war". Bravo
Sierra! They do not experience the depth of honor, courage and commitment
each one of you display in your letters.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that
among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
To some it is obviously not self-evident, some are not equal we are Marines,
alien rights is what some think, and the some find pursuit of happiness
beyond their capacity.
I am not really sure what to feel or think about everyone else's opinion
about the work our Military is doing in the Middle East. I am a proud wife
of a man who has dedicated his life to his family and the Marine Corps. As
you can imagine, I wince every time I see Cindy what's-her-name dishonoring
her Son's sacrifice. Knowing my husband, the father of my child is in the
same vicinity of terrorism and mayhem, terrifies me daily. However, our
troops are accomplishing so many amazing things that we never hear about.
My husband is in Communications. While over in Iraq their "Shop" was a
tent. A couple of Marines and some elementary skills later, and a new
building is born. Yes, they built it, got the materials, brought it to
code, ran the electrical up to US and Iraq standards. A couple of the
Marines even built a front porch. They did this in their "spare time". The
building will eventually be turned over to the people of Iraq. And the
media says that nothing is being done...?!?!
I am a Marine wife, and my husband is leaving for Iraq again in September. I
just wanted everyone at Sgt Grit to know how much this newsletter has helped
me in hard times. Just to see the Marine Corps family share there
experiences is a beautiful thing. I have never been prouder of my husband
and I hope you all can a pray for my love when he is gone. My prayers and
thoughts are with you. God bless all the brave men and women at home and
This is a letter I wrote to our Editor showing my feelings on the protests
Letter to the Editor:
I am becoming more and more appalled at those saying they are "against the
war, but support our troops". It amazes me that they don't see what an
oxymoron that statement is. By protesting what these courageous troops are
involved in, American citizens are demeaning what they have chosen as jobs
in service to our country. The same people saying this isn't a "war on
terror, but a war of terror" really angers me. They are calling my son, who
is on the front lines in Afghanistan, and the thousands of others who with
pride are sacrificing daily for our country, "terrorists". This is support
of our troops?
If we all thought of something we truly believed in, something we valued and
were completely committed to and then consistently heard others criticizing
our job-we would take it personally, just as our troops are. Our son, has
commented several times that "If we weren't over here (Afghan & Iraq) the
enemy would be in the U.S." The protests against the war is distracting to
them, when their minds should be totally focused on their missions.
No one wants war! Yes, lives have been lost and certainly even one life lost
is too many, but there has never been a time in our country's history when
war wasn't the main element in protecting liberties. I can honestly say that
if my son made the ultimate sacrifice serving his country nothing anyone
said, including the President of the U.S., could answer the question "why?".
No answer would ever suffice for me. I would proudly hang onto the fact that
he was doing a job he felt called to do, a service he was completely
committed to follow through on, a mission he was fulfilling in order to
insure the safety and freedom of his family and loved ones. Anything else
would be demeaning to his memory.
As American let's refocus on the real issues: The risk of the freedoms we
enjoy daily; the risk of terrorists killing thousands in one day in our
country. Let's do whatever it takes to send POSITIVE messages to every
military person who are fighting this war and their families and especially
to those families who have endured the ultimate sacrifice for us.
Kathy L. Guzzo
Proud Mom of LCpl Brian M. Guzzo
2/3 Whiskey Co, Afghan
How ironic it is that this not so lean, not so mean, 62 year old has to make
sure the box of Kleenex is handy before he begins to read this weekly news
letter. God bless the past, present, and future Marines (and other services
as well ) for all the sacrifices and contributions they have made for the
betterment of humanity. I cannot technically give you a Semper Fi, but will
do so on behalf of my son. Semper Fi. and thank you.
Ron---ex army--proud father of Lcpl Allan USMC.
"I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of
tyranny over the mind of man."
-- Thomas Jefferson
I want to thank everyone for the wonderful letters that are sent
to you. I read them religiously. I would like to thank all the service men
and women for being there for us. I love them all. I was in the Corps from
1958-1962. I went into the Air Force for the next 16yrs. I done a tour of
duty in Vietnam, Korea, and the Philippines My Marine experience was the
greatest experience of my life. They took an Idaho farm boy, straight from
the farm, and made a man out of him. At the time I had two brothers in the
Corps. The oldest brother spent 20yrs and the other brother wished he had.
I also had a two brothers who were in the paratroopers, the 82nd and the
101st. The brother in the 101st lost his eyes in Vietnam in 1966. We
regret non of our military duty as it made men out of all of us. My mother
is gone now but I know she was so proud of everyone of us and I am proud to
say I was a Marine. My grandson is currently in the Marines at Camp
Pendleton. He has served his tour of duty in Iraq and the entire family can
not be more proud of him. Our heart felt sympathy goes out to all the
families of the service men who have lost their loved ones, past, present
and future. Also, our prayers and thoughts are with the GI's who are
wounded in combat. May the get well and may they come home to a wonderful
life with their loved ones and friends. I love your news letters and keep
up the good work.
VMA 211 & VMA 121
This Sunday (28 Aug 05),
my nephew heads to MCRD Parris Island, yet he is
only the latest in a long line who have "answered the call" to duty for
Country. We've had an Uncle who served with the Army on Bataan..never to
return...one with the Marines on Okinawa-wounded, but lived to tell the
tale-cousins(brothers) in the Army, captured by the Germans...one returned,
one did not...and those who served in the 1950's in the D.C. Guard, Marines,
Army and Air force, which include My Dad, and three Uncles. In the 1960's
and early 70's there was a Brother-in-law in the Army-Viet Nam, one in the
Marines..5 Purple Hearts, Myself in the 2ND MAW MAG-31/32, and more recently
my son in the Coast Guard...my daughter(and her husband) in the Air force.
Now my nephew, Dan Poteet, continues this "tradition of service" by joining
My Wife and I mourn the loss of every one of our Nation's service men
and women who have given the ultimate for their country, and honor all who
continue to "answer the call"!
(Sgt 2nd Maw/Mags-31&32/H&MS 31/32 Avionics 1970-1974)
I have always been very proud of my son, Richard, growing up he was always a
very respectful, honest and caring. Always willing to help out around the
house, even one day when I asked him to take his little sister to a movie
with one of those boy bands that were popular in those days, he never
complained and took her with a smile! He graduated early from high school,
was in the gifted program and I was looking forward to him going to college
and having a successful career. Then one day he came home and said he was
going to join the US Marine Corp, I was crushed, with all the unrest in the
world, I didn't want my son in harms way (actually didn't want anyone's son
in harms way). I tried to bribe him not too go, offered him my Suburban and
even my 50 inch Plasma screen if he would just go too college first, but he
didn't sway, he stuck to his guns and joined, well on September 20, 2004 he
started his first day as a US Marine Recruit, just so happens it was my
birthday. Then in December, I with my family went to San Diego to see him
graduate, I can't even put into words how I felt that first time I saw him
after 13 weeks as he was standing in formation getting ready for his 4 mile
Motivational Run! My little boy had changed in 13 weeks to not only becoming
a man but also a US Marine. During the graduation ceremony, I cried so hard
that I actually filmed the wrong young Marine graduating! I have never been
prouder of my Son as he graduated and became a US Marine. He is a better man
then I would ever hope to be.
All of you Marines deserve our utmost respect and gratitude for what you do
and provide for us, a home that is safe and were freedom is enjoyed, THANK
Father of US Marine Richard A. DeGise
I have been reading your newsletter lately, and I must say that it makes me
feel so proud to be a Marine wife. My husband and I have 3 sons together,
and they always say how they are going to grow up and be Marines just like
Daddy! My husband is currently in Haditha, Iraq with 3/25 H&S Co. and
everyday he and his brothers are in our prayers. We are so proud of him and
all Marines. A big thank you and a hug to all the Marines and their
families. We are all one big family always.
Noemi Garcia wife of Sgt. Garcia, Mario, A.
"I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from
distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to
shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his
conduct, will pursue his principles unto death."
Dear Sgt. Grit
Tonight I have just finished your latest newsletter with tears of both
sorrow and joy. Tears of sorrow for those Marine Moms who won't get to hold
their sons and daughters this Labor Day and tears of joy & pride for my son
who is finishing his training at Camp Pendleton and will graduate a CH46
Crew chief next Friday, and for his best friend ( my adopted Marine
son) who returned home this week from his first tour of duty. I have sent
many care packages to both of these fine Marines over the last 7 months. I
can almost fill the custom form out without even looking at it. Both of
these boys left for boot camp at Parris Island just 3 weeks after graduation
last year. I can honestly say that the last year has been the hardest and
the best year of my son's life. For any of your readers that would like to
help out our fine soldiers there is a website
-http://anysoldier.us/it will give you names of deployed soldiers from
all branches of the military - it will also tell you their specific needs
for care packages. My office gathered items and sent a number of care
packages for Memorial Day. Keep those newsletters coming. May God Bless
each and every one of our Marines and their families.
Proud Marine Mom of two Lance Corporals
One by birth, One by adoption
"We all share the love of peace, but our sons and daughters must learn two
lessons men everywhere and in every time have had to learn; that the price
of freedom is dear but not nearly so costly as the loss of freedom-and that
the advance and continuation of civilization depend on those values for
which men have always been willing to die."
Little did I realize how earning the Eagle, Globe & Anchor almost forty
years ago would make me a Father again at 59. I had already finished my
officer training (PLC) when I first married, graduated from LSU, and was
commissioned in June ' 70. I served on active duty till the end of ' 73 and
my oldest daughter was born at Camp Lejeune. Although I returned to civilian
life, my Marine Corps training and leadership experiences have proven to be
a major factor in my personal and professional life for decades since.
Vietnam effected all of us back then, some more than others. I know now that
those early years are the very reason my second wife and I have been
recently blessed with a daughter. Although the Marines are truly the "best",
I must admit that this has nothing to do with fertility.
My wife and I have be married for nine years now, and from day one she has
known about the Marine Corps and Vietnam. When we decided to have a child,
our only option was to adopt. It wasn't surprising when she suggested we
"Give A Life" to a child that was as much in need now, as the children I
remembered so many years ago. After much research and time, we found an
adoption agency that had a relationship with an orphanage in Lan Song
Province, Vietnam. Our dream came true in the Summer of 2002 when we
traveled to Vietnam to have a beautiful four month girl join our family.
Needless to say, this old Marine could not be more happy. To see a beautiful
country in such a different light and to give a better life to a child such
as this, is the true legacy the Marines have give me. For that alone I will
be forever grateful.
My daughter will grow up an American, knowing what the Marines are truly
about; keeping our way of life such a blessing to have. To have served in
this capacity has, is, and will always be my Honor and Privilege; especially
being able to do it as a U. S. Marine.
Our full story can be experienced on a website my wife created;www.skyeluong.0catch.com
My son joined the Marines in the delayed entry program when he was 17. He
left for boot camp in San Diego a week after he graduated from high school
in May of 2004l. He graduated and went on to 29 Palms until April 1st,
2005. On April 1st he left for Okinawa and not is in Fugi, Japan. I haven't
seen him since March but am anxiously waiting because he will be home for
Christmas. He missed his 19th and will miss his 20th birthday at home. I
am very VERY proud of him. Especially when I get a phone call from one of
his buddies in Okinawa telling me he is a true Marine. He did train for 7
days with the 14 Marines that were killed in the amphibious assault vehicle.
My son is a crew chief of one. He tells me that he is wanting to go to
Iraq. That is what he is training for. I am very active in the Blue Star
Mothers in my home town, Any parent, mother or dad, that has a chapter in
their area, I urge you to get acquainted with the organization. I couldn't
have made it through some of the terrible hard times that I have gone
through. These people that protest the war, I have no use for. Don't they
realize that are young men and women are out there fighting for them? If it
wasn't for troops like this, where would this country be. My thoughts and
prayers are for all of our troops and for the USA, IT IS STILL THE GREATEST
MOM = Mother
Dear Sgt Grit,
Here we go again, being a wife of a retired Marine, my panties are in an
uproar. My passion for "Our Military Heroes" has lead me to this
point...antiwar, out of touch, activist...which by the way "our Marines"
gave them the freedom of speech...giggle...Ok here is my freedom...For the
record...These men and women who have died for our country made that choice
when they entered into the military, for our freedom...I know the pain of
loosing a child, but you will not find me placing blame on one man, or any
one else, seems a little silly to do that. The ones that have died are being
dishonored by our do-gooders like Cindy Sheehan, riding on her merry bus to
stop the war and talk with the person she accuses of murdering her son. He
MADE the choice to be at service for our country...Get over it.
I love my Marine and am VERY proud of him...You wont find me DISHONORING his
Giggle..now that I'm almost out of steam...God Bless all of " Our Military
Men and Women, and keep them SAFE from our antiwar activist"
Mrs. Herbert E. Brown ll
Dear Sgt Grit. -I am still loving my bumper sticker my daughter gave me> Do
Draft Dodgers have reunions?... and have had some incredibly wonderful
conversations here in Beaufort as a result of it.
I was wondering were Cindy Sheehan and Jane "the communist sl^t " Fonda were
when Saddam Hussein was gassing the Kurds and have his rape chambers stocked
with innocent women and having anyone who displeased him? Wonder where they
would be now if they had asked?
"The troops returning home are worried. 'We've lost the peace,' men tell
you. 'We can't make it stick.' ... Friend and foe alike, look you accusingly
in the face and tell you how bitterly they are disappointed in you as an
American. ... Never has American prestige in Europe been lower.... Instead
of coming in with a bold plan of relief and reconstruction we came in full
of evasions and apologies.... A great many Europeans feel that the cure has
been worse than the disease. The taste of victory had gone sour in the mouth
of every thoughtful American I met."
Can you guess where and when the above quote came from? Was it the New York
Times in 2004? Was it on CNN in 2005? Was it in the previous month's
edition of The Nation?
Actually the above quote was from an article in Life Magazine January 7,
1946 !!!!! The account was provided shortly after the war had ended and the
Marshall plan began to take effect. Does it sound familiar?
I just wanted to let all the marines and marine families past and present to
know how proud I am to be an American. I live in 29 Palms, CA home of the
largest Marine Corps base so I definitely love the marine corps especially
the dress blues and the hair cuts.
Dear Sgt. Grit
I am the MOM of Cpl.Josh Gramling, RCT-8, HQ Security Plt, Camp Fallujah,
just returned home safe on 16AUG05. While I am very
relieved that my son is home safe, my heart still breaks for those
Patriotic men and women (NOT children-even though they are all their
mothers' babies) still in harm's way. It is just the calling of military
families that when you become a Marine Mom or Dad, or sister, or brother, or
wife of one, you become the same for all. Until the job is done and all come
home safe, I will continue to pray for and support them all. Those parents
of fallen heroes from all branches who protest against this war on terror do
the ultimate disgrace to their loved ones. Their most honorable service
given is not diminished by the protests, but I am sure is painful to our
Americans working, fighting, and living to support the freedoms of others.
We must never forget the warriors nor fail to honor the commitment they
willingly volunteered in service to our country. As an Air Force veteran,
Army Air Corps daughter, Navy niece (x2),Navy sister(x3), Army sister
(x2),Army aunt (x1), and PROUD MARINE MOM, I salute all the American
warriors both at home and on foreign soil. I stand with all military
families and pray for a safe return home, and peaceful night's rest for all.
Cindy Shehan...go home and send a public apology to all the military
fighting for the rights of others and their families. YOU are increasing the
harm to OUR sons and daughters!
PROUD MARINE MOM of Cpl. Joshua Gramling
"The sacred rights of mankind...are written, as with a sun beam, in the
whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can
never be erased or obscured by mortal power."
August 22, 2005 Our daughter Lynsey deployed to Iraq. On our trip home from
Cherry Point we were listening to the radio. It was a talk show and the
topic was Mrs. Sheehan. We had left our daughter that morning feeling sad
and proud at the same time. After listening to that show and hearing what
was going on in Crawford Texas needless to say we become angered ,but even
more proud of our daughter. She just like Mrs. Sheehan son was not forced to
join the military ,there was no draft when they joined. I hope her son Casey
joined for the reasons my daughter did. To defend our country from
terrorists who choose to destroy us, just like the ones who destroyed the
victims of 9/11. Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran seem to be the breeding ground
for these people. Shouldn't we try to stop another 9/11 from happening
again. Unfortunately to have peace in this world you have to begin by
eliminating evil. Mrs. Sheehan seems to be grieving more for herself than
for that of her son. Casey did what he chose to do for a living. He served
honorably, let him rest in peace honorably. Pray for those serving our
country. Pray they come home safe. Pray for the families who have lost some
of our brave military. Mom of LCpl. Johnson who is proudly serving in Iraq
for our great country.
Hi, Sgt. Grit.
Thanks, as always, for the newsletter. I would like to
share with you and your readers part of a verse of scripture. Ezekiel 22:30
says, in part, "I (God) looked for a man among them who would build up the
wall and stand before Me in the gap on behalf of the land". I LOVE that
concept..."stand in the gap on behalf of the land". What a perfect picture
of Marines, and of all men and women who serve in our Armed Forces (along
with their families, who also sacrifice). Thank you, Marines, active duty
or not, for standing in the gap. Some have fallen there, some have been
brutally scarred there, and some have returned from there safe but changed.
Only God knows what we owe you. Our own son will once again be actively
standing in a few days in Iraq. Thanks to all who stand with him. "Semper
Fi" from a Marine mom.
"If we take the generally accepted definition of bravery as a quality which
knows not fear, I have never seen a brave man. All men are frightened. The
more intelligent they are, the more they are frightened. The courageous man
is the man who forces himself, in spite of his fear, to carry on." -General
Thanks for the newsletter I have really enjoyed it. I was beginning to think
that I was the only one who could not believe how much Cindy Sheehan was
disgracing the memory of not only her son but all the others who have died
while serving this country. If I am not mistaken I believe her son went
voluntarily into the Army and knew what the consequences were by doing so.
I'm sure it is a terrible feeling to lose a child during a war but I cannot
fathom how a parent could disgrace her child's memory by doing what she is.
It was 15 years ago last week that I was sitting in a barracks laundry room
washing my newly issued desert cammies preparing to deploy the following day
to Saudi Arabia in support of "Desert Shield". I can vividly remember
calling my Mom and telling her that just in case anything was to happen to
me where she could find all of my belongings. I can remember listening to
her try to keep her composure as I was telling her the name and address of
the self-storage center. I can remember telling her not to worry as this was
something that I had trained for and that I believed in my training and my
My unit was the first Marine helicopter squadron to arrive on station in
Saudi and I can remember the nerves and anxiety of what was to come. I can
remember the stifling heat when the C-5 arrived and opened the rear door to
unload the Cobra and Huey helicopters that we had brought. I can remember
the MRE's that we had to eat while waiting for the rest of the support units
to arrive before we could have hot chow made. I can remember sleeping on the
ground while waiting for the cots and hard back tents to arrive. I can
remember the constant training operations that were conducted in order to
prepare for what was to come. I can remember the frustration I felt when I
was able to read a two week old newspaper about the protesters back home who
were trying to turn the public opinion. But most of all I remember the
unending flow of letters and care packages from family, friends and total
strangers. Anyone who doesn't believe that the men and women who are
overseas fighting are not affected by the lack of support being shown by the
media and antiwar protesters don't know what they are talking about. Stop
the political BS and let the men and women know that they are in your
thoughts and prayers, it truly does mean a lot when a total stranger will
take the time to write or even thank you in person.
Sgt of Marines
John Augustine 2\5 68 TET
Read your letter on 8/11. I to am A vet from 2\5 H&S company 06s . TET was
h&ll on us. By the way my handle back then was the Greek. We sure didn't
have the support back then that our brothers and sisters have today. I thank
God for all the people who our reaching out with care package for them
I just wish we didn't have the Cindy Sheenan's to dishonor our men & woman
who our fighting an dieing for our freedom and the freedom of the Iraqi
Greetings Sgt. Grit.
Wanted you to know how very much impressed I was reading about "Grandpa
Gunny". A sincere "Semper Fi" and Well Done to both of you. These days, as
in the past, we still hear about the Old Corps, and today's Corps. Chesty
Puller said it best. "New Breed, Old Breed, doesn't make a bit of difference
as long as it's the Marine Breed". Gunny's letters prove that adage well.
I'm d*mned proud of these young Marines and the great job they're doing. The
support shown by their parents, loved ones, families and friends is nothing
less than awesome.
L/Cpl.1959899 USMC 1961-1966
Sgt. Alabama, Dept of Public Safety(Retd)
Send Cindy Sheehan enough mail to keep her busy for a long time. Yes, give
her something to do and get her out of the Press. He son applied for,
interviewed for and took a job. He knew the risks and rewards. He died doing
the job he wanted to do. Since the DRAFT is not a function of our lives
anymore her son chose to do what he was doing. Let his memory be just that;
the memory of a hero!
Just read the latest issue of the newsletter and, as usual, it was filled
with uplifting, proud and generous comments in support of out brave and
glorious serving Marines (and the brave men and women of our sister
Services). I too have read the blurbs about Cindy Sheehan, and while my
heart goes out to her for her loss, I can feel nothing but contempt for her
efforts to denigrate he son's sacrifice. SPC Casey Sheehan volunteered to
join the Army and served his first enlistment without going to Iraq. By all
accounts he was an outstanding soldier and when asked to reenlist, he did so
without hesitation even though knowing that by doing so he would be sent to
Iraq. While there, SPC Sheehan was assigned as a mechanic to an artillery
unit. He volunteered for a rescue detail when some soldiers were ambushed
and received a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his actions during the
ensuing skirmish. I don't know the details, but obviously his actions were
worthy and honorable. SPC Sheehan was killed by a rocket attack on his
position. When Ms Sheehan met with the President after her son's death, she
said the President was "caring and supportive". Later, for whatever reason,
she has done an about-face and become one of the most vocal, not to say
vituperative, critics of our involvement in the Middle East. What really
sticks in my craw, however, is the statement she made: "America is not
worth dying for." Thank God that the majority of us do not agree with that
opinion; I wonder how Cindy Sheehan will be able to explain that stand to
her son when next she meets him. I for one am most thankful that so many
believe that our freedoms, our form of government and our Constitution are
worth dying for and honor all who have made that supreme sacrifice, from the
Revolutionary War to the present. When the Cindy Sheehans outnumber those
who love our country, we will certainly lose our country. Until then, Cindy
Sheehan and her ilk will have their right to vilify this country protected
by patriotic young men and women willing to risk their lives, who believe
that America IS worth dying for.
When my boyfriend (PFC Josh Bales) and I first started dating (nearly 8
months ago now) he was very adament about being upfront with his decision to
join the military. I told him that it didn't matter what he wanted to with
his life, I still wanted to be with him. At the time he was enrolled in Army
ROTC at the college he attends, but by mishandled paperwork and the grace of
God, that turned into enlisting in the Marine Corps. As the daughter of a
Marine I couldn't be any prouder. All throughout boot camp I wrote him
everyday and did all the research I could on the Marine Corps. You would
think my dad and I were talking in a foreign language by the number of
Marine acronyms we used in everyday conversation. Those three months were
hard, but I knew he was worth it and that gave me strength to stay the
course. On 12 August, he graduated from Parris Island MCRD. I cried the
first time he put on his dress blues for me. Sometimes it's hard to tell
who's prouder of him being a Marine, him or me!
Well, the next Friday after he came back was my birthday and he took me out
to a nice restaurant to celebrate that Saturday. He donned his dress blues
and I wore a simple black dress. As we were eating our meal, a gentleman who
looked to be in about his 50s-60s came up to our table and asked Josh where
he was stationed. They talked for a few minutes and it became evident that
this man is a Marine too. After he went back to his table, we finished our
meal and asked for the check. The waitress told us that it had already been
taken care of and that our benefactor had already left. Josh looked around
and noticed that the older gentleman had left. This simple act of
brotherhood meant a lot to Josh and I and I only wish we could have said
thank you to the man. It made us prouder to be a part of the Marine Corps
family than we have ever been. We didn't even catch his name. But this
message is for him, the old Leatherneck eating at DuPont Lodge, Cumberland
Falls, KY on the evening of 20 August 2005: "If you're reading this right
now thank you for your service in the past and may God bless you for your
generosity now. Through your actions, you have set high standards for Josh
and I to strive to and I hope that we can make you and the Marine Corps
proud. Neither of us will ever forget this simple act that says so much
about the Marine Corps brotherhood and that has touched our hearts forever.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts."
Proud Girlfriend of PFC Josh Bales, USMCR - Ft. Knox, KY
Individual preparedness is the foundation of national preparedness.
First I am a daughter and daughter-in-law of Marines, wife of a 82nd
Airborne Special Forces Sgt., and very proudly a mother of two Marines. I
am a military minded person. I understand commitment, sacrifice, love of
country, call of duty - patriotism. I wasn't around when my Father and
Father-in-law served but have always been proud to say they are Marines.
Being married while my husband was with the 82nd was an experience I am
proud to have been through with him. I didn't enlist myself but with him
serving I understood the military ways. Even with my brief military
experience I feel I know and do have a better understanding of the
soldiers'/marines' desire to serve and complete the mission at hand. It
wasn't easy watching my sons deploy to Iraq, but my heart was anxious for
those who have done their duty to be able to come home. Someone has to step
up and take on the tasks that these marines/soldiers had been taking care of
for their tour of duty. When my son is scheduled to come home with his tour
of duty coming to an end, they will meet their replacements and be very
happy someone has stepped up which allows them to have a very well deserved
welcome home. No one wants to send their loved ones into harms way - BUT -
we did as human beings agree many years ago to stop the type of insanity and
injustice that has and is going on not only in Iraq but around the world.
Instead of being so critical of those who have and are serving, we should be
thanking them everyday for their sacrifice which has given us what we do
have - FREEDOM TO - . . .
I have been proud to be part of the sacrifice that my sons are giving to
make this world a better place. God has given us heroes and angels and
these men & women whether husbands, wives, sons, daughters, nephews, nieces
or neighbors/friends fit the description of both in my mind. Their
families trials and sacrifices as well have not gone unnoticed or
unappreciated in my heart. Thank you to all - you truly understand and have
let your Patriotic light shine on the world. Semper Fi
Courage and Strength
Marine Mom in Ohio
Dear Sgt Grit -
I am very proud and happy that LCpl. Tim Murphy, 3/8 I Co. 4th Platoon, has
finally returned home to his Family after a 7 month tour in Iraq. We are so
very proud of all you and all our Military. But I have a special love of
Marines. Thank them for the difficult jobs that they are doing. Hope they
are all Back Home with there Friends and Loved ones real soon.
Plus Happy 21st Birthday Tim.
Marilyn J Miller
My husband is over in Iraq right now and I have a story that I would like
to share with other wives who are going through the same situation. My
deployed in February this year and has been gone for almost 7 months. He
has missed quite a bit in the past seven months,(including the birth of his
first child) but thankfully he will be home soon. I will admit my happiness
mostly contributed to the fact that we are finally counting down to the last
3 weeks, but I have an overwhelming happiness that I would like to share.
First of all I just recently gave birth to a perfect healthy beautiful boy.
not biased or anything) It has been rough, and I have had many frustrating,
heart aching nights missing my husband. But tonight, after I laid my son to
and had a few moments to reflect back on this deployment, I can't help but
feel so thankful for everything I have. I want to send a message to all the
wives whose husbands are deployed. I hope that they can experience what I
If I had to give any advise to these women I would tell them to embrace this
time alone. If my husband was home I would not realize just how much I love
Having him home all the time would make it hard to appreciate everything
that he is, and everything that he does for our family. Yes, I have had
where I have cried myself to sleep. My heart has never hurt so much out of
loneliness, but at the same time...I would have never realized how much our
relationship is based on spirit and heart. It is very easy to get caught up
on the physical person, and forget their soul. I know this sounds cheesy,
I have never felt closer to husband and he is thousands of miles away from
right now. I sit here tonight, getting ready to fall asleep in our bed,
which seems enormous and empty when he is gone, anticipating his arrival. I
never been so excited for a day to come in my life. My husband hasn't met
his son, and I can not imagine what he is going through being millions of
away, especially when he calls and hears him crying. But, I try to stay
positive. I am so lucky to have bonded with my baby. My baby is my life
right now, and I am so happy to be able to have a part of my husband right
me everyday. It is very easy to get caught up in the negative thoughts, and
the feeling sorry for yourself routine. And with that kind of attitude,
deployment will be a true challenge, but just remember that your husband
needs you to be strong. Take advantage of your time alone. I used to hate
quiet nights and nobody to talk to. I sometimes close my eyes and listen to
favorite tv sitcom and pretend he his sitting right next to me on the couch.
I can not say that not a night goes by that I don't miss him more than
anything. But, if he never left, I probably wouldn't realize how much I miss
Deployments are very rough, and very hard on a marriage, but embrace this
time to reflect on all the happy moments you have shared, and the happiest
moments that are in the future. Smile, take a deep breath and know that you
doing the "toughest job in the corp." I am so very proud of my husband, and
so very proud of me. I hope that this letter is HEARD by at least one of
women in the same boat, because I know how important an uplifting pat on the
back means. Keep your head high and Semper Fi!!
The only tie that I have to your site and the Marine families featured in
your newsletter is that I am a fellow American. I have never served this
country as a soldier. While members of my family have, they were not
Marines. I just wanted to let all of the former veterans, active duty
personnel and those that love them know that I appreciate all that they do.
Thank you for loving your country and its freedoms more than yourself. My
prayers and thoughts are with you daily.
Proud American supporting OUR troops and families,
The past several weeks here in Ohio have been a challenge. Loosing so many
Marines is such a short period of time from the same geographical area was
devastating. As a Marine and a member of the Leathernecks Motorcycle Club,
I attended as many funerals for our fallen brothers as I could. In 3 weeks,
I attended 9 funerals, and spoke to the parents at most of them.
Even though every funeral was unique in one way or another, every single one
was based on the same ideal: These men were heroes. The parents and
families expressed their pride in their sons for joining the Marines, even
if they didn't understand why at first. At several of the funerals, the
parents or minister asked that every person that had served in the military
stand to be recognized. Every time, we received a thunderous ovation.
I saw the families of KIA Marines attending the funerals of other Marines to
express their sympathies and condolences. I spoke to the Mom of one Marine
KIA in April that had attended all but 1 funeral since her son had been
killed. She told me that she cried for the family at every one. The one
funeral she missed was because two were scheduled so close together that she
couldn't make the commute.
One of the Leathernecks, Bob, spoke to his son, Justin, serving in Iraq on
August 1st. Justin asked Bob to attend the funeral of Justin's best friend
August 6th. Bob attended the funeral of Justin's best friend - 3 days after
being informed that Justin had also been killed. I stood beside Bob at a
couple of funerals and listened as he consoled other parent's that had lost
One father asked the two Marines that had informed him of his son's death to
stand during the funeral. As the two Marines stood at attention, the father
told the congregation that he had wanted to hate those two Marines for
informing him that his son was killed but couldn't. He went on to thank
them for their understanding and compassion and asked forgiveness for his
During this time, I also saw the Honor Guard perform in a truly outstanding
manner. Often there were multiple funerals in a single day and these men
and women performed their duties flawlessly. One would think that the
repetitiveness of so many funerals would dull the sense of responsibility
and the performance of the duties, but that was definitely not the case.
Their spirit de corps shown thru each and every time. I am proud to call
these men and women my brothers and sisters.
During the funeral processions, I saw hundreds and thousands of people
lining the streets, holding flags, their hand on their hearts, honoring the
fallen men of 3/25. Hundreds of cars came to a stop, people left their cars
to show their respect. A solitary figure, holding a flag in her left hand,
right hand on her heart, tears streaming down her face. Hundreds of
students, standing in front of the school where one Marine graduated, and
this during summer break.
As I said before, the past few weeks have been hard on the communities of
Ohio. I shed tears for the fallen and for the families left behind. I
cried for the wives, the mothers and fathers, the sisters and brothers. I
wept for the fiancé's and for the children of the Marines we lost. I wept
for the child that was born the day his father died, within minutes of the
In your prayers, please remember the families of these Marines and all the
men and women serving.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his
Except for ending Slavery, Fascism, Nazism and Communism, WAR has never
I just sent an email to you about a veteran marine I met and I forgot to
mention that most of us here in California are not proud of Ms. Shaheen and
I personally believe she is being led around by some operatives. I also
noticed that the counter demonstrators got little or no attention from the
media but should we be surprised by that. I find it hard to believe that
her son would want her to defame his sacrifice with her stupidity. Now I
have let off the steam. Semper Fi.
Jim McCuen K-3-8 58-62
My wife and I just returned from Hawaii and The American Legion National
Convention. My main goal for the trip was to visit the U.S.S. Arizona
Memorial. I did, and it was even more
than I imagined it would be. From the introduction video until we were
aboard the Memorial was as I thought. But once aboard it was chilling. The
first place I went was to the side where you can see the oil rise to the
surface. You cannot take your eyes off this phenomena. It makes you think
the spirits of those trapped Heroes are sending you a message. As you look
down and see the ship itself underneath you, close your eyes and think of
the horror and confusion of that fateful day. It is crowded with others
wanting to share the experience, but if you hang back near the time for the
shuttle to pick you up you will be able to see the wall of names in
solitude. Take your time and scan the names and try to imagine the
magnitude of what happened. Half of those killed that day were on the
U.S.S. Arizona. There is a small wall in front of the large one with the
names of those who survived but wanted to be buried in the "Punchbowl" close
to their shipmates. DO NOT MISS THIS EXPERIENCE! We toured the submarine
U.S.S. Bowfin which was very interesting. Then there was the U.S.S.
Missouri; It is magnificent. We spent two hours there and could have stayed
longer. Do not miss The National Cemetery at the "Punchbowl". It is serene
and very well kept. Sergeant Henry O. Hansen, one of the flag raisers on
Iwo Jima is buried there. So is Ernie Pyle, a great correspondent from WWII
who was always with the troops. He was killed by Japanese machinegun fire
on the pacific island of le Shima. Hawaii has surfing, swimming, great
places to eat, and many tourist
events. But, you owe it to yourself and to all those who sacrificed there
to visit these three Memorials. It will impact your life. Ben Terry,
former MSgt of Marines.
"The eyes of the world being thus on our Country, it is put the more on its
good behavior, and under the greater obligation also, to do justice to the
Tree of Liberty by an exhibition of the fine fruits we gather from it."
I am the proud wife of an outstanding man and marine. My husband, Cpl Jeremy
Jacobsen, is currently deployed in 29 Palms CA due to leave for Iraq
beginning of September. Not only is he going to be missing out on an
important chapter in our 1 year old daughters life, but I am also 11 weeks
pregnant with our second child. It will be strange to be pregnant and have
had the baby all without him here, but I know that what he is doing is so
important. He may be missing out on some things here at home, but he is
doing so to protect not only the future of the children in Iraq, but to
protect the future of our own children. I am so very proud of my husband
and will be praying everyday for his safe return and the return of the other
men and women currently serving when there mission is completed.
Husband Cpl. Jeremy Jacobsen USMC
5 Battalion 14th Marines
4Th Marine Division
My husband and I traveled from central Arkansas to Crawford, Tx (about
500 miles) this week-end to show our support for our troops, and this war on
terror. We were excited when we left Arkansas, but even more excited when
we returned home. The media, of course, was one-sided as usual, but those
of us who were there know there were THOUSANDS of supporters on hand showing
our love for the brave troops and backing the war and our President! We
are, by far, the majority in this country! ALL the anti-war ostriches have
is more media coverage, and some backing from a few of the "rich and
famous" who have nothing better to do with their time or money.
We met so many great people this week-end.. people who have sons and
daughters in the military and people who don't. We met many brave Heroes of
the Vietnam War, some being in wheel chairs, but feeling strong enough about
showing support that they braved the 100 degree temp to be there! One
veteran we met had ridden 900 miles on his motorcycle to be there! We met
Korean War and World War II patriotic Heroes who also stood in the heat and
waved their United States flags!
We met parents of fallen HEROES and we shed tears with them for their
losses. You didn't see these fine people turning against our President or
this war. Why? Because they know that this war is necessary to avoid
fighting terrorists over here! Thank God for families like this. You are
heroes also! God Bless You!
Yes, there were representatives at the Rally from all walks of life, and we
were all united in our support. There were no strangers there...only
friends we hadn't met until that day but will never forget!
One of the highlights of the Rally was that our son, Cpl. Kevin Clairday,
USMC, who is in Iraq, called by chance while we were there. We were able to
take the cell phone to the stage, and it was announced that he was on the
phone from Iraq, and several thousand people cheered him and the other
troops!! How exiting and encouraging for Kevin and the others guys
there!!!!! Even though media coverage is one-sided, the troops know they are
loved and supported by this Country, and won't let a few pessimistic
complainers dampen their morale.
Our thanks goes out to all