AmericanCourage #252 12 MAY 2011
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Well, Sgt. Grit, we've had a couple of candidates for old liberty cards. That prompted me to dig into my strong box for
mine. It was issued in 1954 at HQFMFPAC, Pearl Harbor. Anybody
got an older one?
Michael O'Connell, USMC/USMCR 1953-1961
In This Issue
Lots of good stuff this week...Are you ready for this?
Before and after photos, old liberty cards, Wounded Warrior Lounge get's Grit-ified, ceremony after the crucible, and a drop by visit with Chesty
A couple of good stories on Honor Flights, LCPL gets a ride from WO, another Air Force mess tale, plus a whole lot more.
Don't forget to check in at the Sgt Grit Blog and our Facebook page for the latest stories and comments!
"Rough seas, headwinds and a bunk in the bilge."
"heart breakers and life takers", who believed we were all John
In response to Cpl. C.E. Walters 6441, I was in VMA332 first
time around in 1968 when we flew the A-4's. In July of '68 we
started the transition to the A-6 and became VMA(AW)332.
Please enjoy the photo of the last known squadron picture of
VMA332 and the photo of the Avionics Shop. After attending A-6
schools either at Oceana, VA, or Whidbey Island, Wa, most of us
ended up with VMA(AW)533 at Chu Lai in early '69, Then on to
Iwakuni, Japan in late '69-'70.
We are having a reunion of 533 Marines this May 20-22 in Vegas.
Jerry Callaway Sgt 6214 Com/Nav
View this and other reunions at the Grunt.com reunion page...Submit your upcoming reunion as well!
Here you can see the before "Sgt Grit-
ification" and after at the lounge for the Wounded Warriors at
Thanks for the assist.
Michael / "Doc"
M. G. LaMar, MD, USN-Ret. (HC)
Support Operation Caregiver
The attached was forwarded to me ... LOL it's for an Army
Birthday Ball invite, seems the Army wants to rob us of Iwo
Jima. And it's from an Army Military Intelligence Battalion ...
Can we say oxymoron ...
This is an Army Ball Invitation for a unit at DLI California.
While reading the story from Gunny Walters about his two home
comings from Nam, I couldn't help but remember mine, but for a
Prior to rotating back, I remember reading and hearing the
stories of servicemen being spit on and called names by the
anti-war dirt bags. It was suggested (but never ordered) to
travel in civvies. But I had no intention of doing that.
I returned from Nam in June of 68. The military charter plane
landed somewhere south of LA. El Toro maybe. I don't remember.
Anyway we bused up to LA international. I went to the TWA
counter and bought a ticket home to NY. When the plane was
boarding the stewardess upgraded myself and 4 other servicemen
from the cheap seats to the Lounge. This was forward of First
Class. It was like sitting at a fancy booth at a night club. We
were offered drinks (even Champagne) before the plane even took
off. I opted for a beer. They couldn't do enough for us.
When we landed at JFK (might have still been called Idelwild
back then ) I caught a bus to the LIRR train station in Jamaica,
which is a very busy place. Anticipating the worst, I positioned
myself with my back against a billboard, on the train platform,
so no one could come up behind me, while I waited for my train.
I had no problems at all. While no one welcomed me home, no one
tried to spit on me either. Which is a good thing, because, I'd
probably still be on the inside looking out, doing 99 without
parole, if someone did. The fact that I stand 6'3" and don't
smile much, might have had something to do with it. Or maybe
most of the dirt bags were hanging out in Calif. Come to think
of it, I think they might still be there.
Sgt. Bill Michell
Wanted to reply, respectfully, to Cpl. White's [(0811) L Btty,
3/1] letter in the 4/28/11 newsletter. I became a Marine in 1977
and got my EGA at graduation. A couple of years ago I traveled
to Parris Island to see my son graduate. He had gotten his EGA
after the Crucible.
Boot Camp is now 13 weeks, and the recruits become Marines in
that ceremony at the end of the Crucible, sometime around the
end of the 12th week. It is not like it used to be, where you
and I became a Marine at graduation. They become Marines in that
private, Marines-only ceremony, a powerful moment. They have not
been given the EGA early, They become Marines then, and they
have earned it. After that, they have liberty, they are called
Marines, the relationship with the Drill Instructors is
different, etc. That gives them a week of not being a recruit
any more before the parade and ceremony where the families comes
I'm with you on the rest of what you had to say, Cpl. White,
just wanted to explain what's going on with the making of
You can see the ceremony here, but you better have some Kleenex handy.
These new Marines have just finished their training, have had
about 5 hours sleep in the last 4 days, have overcome the last
obstacle, and they cannot control their emotions as this
ceremony takes place.
SGT. USMC 1977-1983
Father of a Marine 2009
And I Quote...
"Let us recollect that peace or war will not always be left to
our option; that however moderate or unambitious we may be, we
cannot count upon the moderation, or hope to extinguish the
ambition of others."
Get patriotic quotes like this and many others on one of our
I was in the Marines in Korea, 5th anti tank plt., 1st Marine
div. Got out and almost starved trying to find a job. Well I
went back into the Army (family was too large for the Marines).
While at Ft. Eustis Va. I found out Gen. Puller lived nearby. I
decided to go see him. Took three days to get myself and uniform
in shape and went to see him.
When I arrived at his home He was sitting on the porch. I
walked up and gave Him a good Marine salute and the greeting of
the day. He looked at me and said "Well a Solider boy" come to
see me. I had all my Marine Corps ribbons on from Korea. He then
said come closer, I did and He said well at least you were a
Marin once. but I see you have the Marine Good conduct ribbon,
lol you weren't too good a Marine if you have that.
Then He called "Mother". His wife came and He asked Her to
bring a glass of lemonade for me and one of His "specials". We
sat for about three hours. I left and returned to Ft. Eustis.
That was one the most rewarding times in my life, the time I
spent talking to Him. He died one month later, I was very lucky
to have seen Him and talked to Him. I will Never forget it.
Retire SFC Robert L. Hebert Sr
I'm now 78 yrs young and remember every min. of it all
Just a very short note of condolence to the family of L/Cpl
Jackson. Please know that your son will always be remember by
all who knew him and that he will forever be in the hearts of
all Marines past and present.
To the parents of L/Cpl Jackson, Shawn and Faye Marceau, Fallen
Marines are never forgotten. That is what Semper Fidelis is all
about. May God bring you comfort and peace.
S/Sgt USMC inactive.
Pic of my truck with your products.
I would like to touch base on two topics that I have discovered
while reading this week's Newsletter. Having been on active duty
since August 11th, 1989 I think I've earned my right to voice my
opinion on a topic as it pertains to the Marine Corps I am
serving in and for all those that have served before me.
The first one is how and why people, whether Marines or
civilians, feel the need to place an acronym to the Eagle, Globe
and Anchor. Is it easier to say, does it sound more cool that
way, do they not know any better? My father is a Marine, served
post Korean War and one thing he told me before I went to
Recruit Training was "son, don't ever say EGA, it's an Eagle,
Globe and Anchor".
For the last 21 years and 8 months, anytime I have heard ANYONE
use the term "EGA", I have corrected them to the proper words.
It angers and disgusts me that after all the wars and conflicts
we have fought in, after all the lives that have been lost,
after all the history we have created as a Marine Corps, EGA is
thrown around like it's just another acronym. To my Marine
brothers and sisters out there, I ask you to not use the acronym
EGA when describing our symbol, to correct others when they use
it and lastly, think back to when you graduated Recruit Training
and how you felt, did YOU think of it as an EGA?
On a second note, I 100% agree with Cpl. White (0811) L Btty,
3/10, in that the Eagle, Globe and Anchor is a symbol earned and
not just another trademark worn on a t-shirt. If you want to
brand your body with an Eagle, Globe and Anchor, go earn it... I
challenge you to sweat, bleed, feel the pain, learn the history
and pass through the trials and tribulations it takes to earn
the title Marine because I can assure you, it's a lot more
painful than getting it placed on your arm as tattoo... but then
again, "Navy Son" is probably the same guy who is caught at bars
and VFW's claiming to be a Marine, how sad...
1989 - present
Dear Sgt. Grit;
Several weeks ago, I sent the attached letter to you regarding
my problem of not being recognized for the Combat Action Ribbon.
Kindly, you published my message in the following weeks edition,
and for a couple of weeks after that you received messages
pertaining to the same subject, so I know the problem was not
Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that after this 12 year
battle, and very possibly, as a result of your making it known
by publishing it, someone may have gotten the message to the
right person, as last week I received approval and recognition
for the award. So, thank you for the possible reason of a happy
ending, and whether the publication did or did not have anything
thing to do with the final decision, thank you anyway for trying
to help me out.
Chuck Tucker 1109343 USMCR
"A Marine Veteran is a person who once served his country and at
one point wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States
Government" for the amount of "Up to and Including His Life."
This is an Honor and there are way too many people in this
Country who no longer understand that.
Semper Fidelis, Marines
Cpl Tom Lucas, Jr.
1986 - 1991
And I Quote...
"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit
-- Voltaire [Francois Marie Arouet] (1694-1778)
I receive and enjoy the Sgt Grit newsletter very much. The
letter from Bill Heise in today's version, which is also
highlighted in the subject column of the e-mail is an urban
legend. You can easily find it on Snopes.com and news video of
the perp in the back of a police car is also on line. There was
a theft, and the corporal did get stabbed after stopping the
perp, but the other Marines merely pinned him to the ground
until the police arrived. Cpl Duggen was back on Toys for Tots
duty the next day, after receiving stitches.
Thanks for an excellent job on the catalog & e-mails.
Note: Hopefully they pinned him to the ground with 'energy and purpose'!
Marine Corps Basic Class 6-68, Aug. 26-27, 2001 Foxtrot Co.,
6-68 (TBS-Quantico) in Chicago Aug 263-27
Visit official website www.tbs6-68.com
Or contact rlorish @ gmail .com or GuentherD1 @ aol .com
View this and other reunions at the Grunt.com reunion page...
Submit your upcoming reunion as well!
To PFC William N. Thompson:
Your stories about MCRD-PISC are very interesting but please use
the correct terminology. I don't know when or how long you were
in the Marines but I was on active duty from Jan 1962 to May
1966. If I used the term "fatigues" instead of utilities or
dungarees and "latrine" instead of head, I would still be doing
push-ups or bends and thrusts. Those are Army terms.
Cpl J. W. Riner 1982640/2575
Naval Security Group - RVN 1966
When I was stationed in Minneapolis, MN, I met a WWII female
Marine at the new Minneapolis VA. While waiting to see the
doctor she saw me in uniform and started to talk to me. I don't
remember her name, but I do remember that at the end of WWII she
was one of approximately five women Marines that went over to
West Germany to teach them how to utilize the Teletype machines,
afterwards they were discharged from active duty as was the
practice of the times.
I have never forgotten her and it saddens me that her story and
those of other women Marines were not written down for future
Marines. I do know that there is a place in Washington D.C. or
Virginia that is trying to get as many stories as possible from
the women who served. It would be a shame to lose their
stories, so please pass the word to these women.
Grit: This should answer the eligibility questions in your
"Murch" Cpl. '54-'57
I was with G/2/5/ 1st MarDiv, and we were in the uniform of the
day before we could leave Pendleton, the cowboy Marines who
cared for our beloved Korea war veteran RECKLESS were allowed to
wear blue jeans cowboy boots and hats. etc, Our CO was Colonel
D.M. Schmuck and was a 100 mile Boon Docker and a very solid
Marine. On the 14th of January I had the Great Honor of sharing
my beer winnings with S/Sgt Reckless. It was cold beer and we
put them away.
Our motto was:
ALL THE WAY, GUNG HO etc depending who was calling cadence.
Semper Fi and Gung Ho L/Cpl 1649009
Hey There Sarge,
I read your stories every time I received them and pass them on
to my retiree friends.
I have been retired on 30 for over 35 years and still going
strong although not as strong as I would like. I did however
want to let you in on a thing that has been going on for few
years. In North Carolina, some people got together and put on a
thing called Honor Flights. They accept applications from all
WW2 vets and if you qualify you get to go on an all expense
round trip flight to Washington, DC and visit all the WW2
monuments from all the services. It is a way for the civilians
to say thank you for your service to the country during WW2.
I was on a trip yesterday and I would definitely encourage all
WW2 vets to apply for a trip. I understand that all 50 states
now have Honor Flights that emanate from their state to DC. It
is well worth the time to apply for it. I was on a trip
yesterday from New Bern, NC and there were 108 of us Vets on the
flight with an additional Guardians along with us to help and
keep track of us. Us older farts have a hard time walking and
they provide Wheel chairs and people to push them so you get to
see everything. They also provide you with box lunches and
drinks at $0.00 to you! Because of that trip, I felt as much a
Marine as I did for the over 30 years that I was on active duty.
I hope you can pass this on to the rest of the retired or
discharged vets from WW2 so they can take advantage of this
great endeavor to tell us Thanks for the Memories!
MGYST, USMC (RET)
Honor Flight Network Website
I was stationed at MP Co. H&S Bn, 1st FSSG 86-88 I believe. One
day I had walked from the company office over to the base day
care to pick up my son, who had to have been less than 6 months
old. I had to pick him up this particular day because my wife
wasn't available or something, and we only had one car.
I was walking back to the company area carrying my young son in
my left arm, with a diaper bag over my shoulder, and a baby seat
in my right hand. A car pulled up alongside me, and when I
looked, I saw the blue sticker on the car. I stopped and
started grounding all my baby gear, except my son of course, in
preparation to salute and probably receive an asz chewing.
Instead, the Marine inside said "LCpl, don't worry about all
that! It looks like you have your hands full. Hop in I will
give you a ride", or something to that effect.
It was in fact a Warrant Officer. He gave me a ride to the
company office and told me to carry on. I have never forgotten
that. I was really strapped for money raising kids and being
only a LCpl. Especially living in California, and this Gunner
knew how hard it was on us. If by some miracle that Warrant
Officer reads this and remembers that day, I want to say Thank
You from the bottom of my heart, and I have paid it forward
Once and Always
We want to thank the Disposable Heroes Project/Crossfit
Native guys for taking time from their busy schedule to
stop by Sgt Grit.
Sgt Kirk Suiter HMLA 367 6114 Huey/Cobra Captain (OKC)
Sgt Brad McKee 8541 Fallujah / Ramadi (Louisiana)
Co-Founder Samuel Macaloso (Louisiana)
These dedicated Marines are continuously raising money
through exercise for wounded Marines and Fallen heroes.
This is a great bunch of guys and we are proud to include
them in the Sgt Grit family of Marines.
In response to corporal Ciesielski's comment about only the USCG
and USMC having Latin phrases because they are the two smallest
branches and the most educated, please allow and old SeaBee to
educate you further. The US Navy SeaBees, while not a branch in
and of itself, is also a rather small unit. We don't claim to
be educated in school book knowledge but we are educated in
providing hot water and refer units so y'all grunts can get
cleaned up and have a cold beer once in a while. We do have a
Latin Phrase: Construimus, Batuimus which translates into We
Build, We fight!
God Bless All My BIG Brothers!
CM3 Jim Hartman
USNMCB 21 and USNMCB 71 1968 - 1974
My oath to preserve, protect and defend had no expiration date!
Recently my wife and I were leaving a Lowes in Holly Ridge, N.C.
just 20 miles south of Camp Lejeune. I saw a guy with a high and
tight wearing a T-shirt with an Marine Corps Emblem on front and
a 3rd Div Emblem on the back. I pulled over and ask who he was
with? He didn't understand I said I was with 2/9 and I
recognized his shirt. He still didn't understand so I said I was
with 2nd Bat 9th Marines.
He then said well I never served and that the shirt was given to
him by a friend. I pulled away letting it go with my wife saying
no big deal it was just a free T-shirt. I went on to explain it
was a big deal he never earned the right to wear the shirt and
those of us that were there did and how can someone be that
bold. I would say if you have the guts to be a poser don't do it
right in the heart of Marine Country.
And I Quote...
"Happiness is a state of being convincingly deceived."
Sgt. Grit. Here's one about my experience on the Air Force side
of the base at DaNang.
It was sometime in 1968. My buddy Skip and I, both Sgts were
returning from MAG-36 at Marble Mountain back to Tango in
DaNang. We knew the Air Force had a USO on their compound so
thought we'd snag some non-mess hall chow there. We were in a
jeep and were stopped at the gate by a two striper Airman who is
eating a sandwich. He tells us we can't enter the compound with
those "guns", M-14s. We advise we're just going to snag
something to eat and will be on our way. Again, he tells us we
can't enter the compound without leaving our "guns" at the gate.
I advise him Marines don't surrender their "weapons" to anyone,
nor do we eat a %^&* sandwich when on duty, and drive on
through the gate.
We get to the USO, clear and shoulder our weapons and get in
line to get some chow, all the while getting stared at by the
Air Force people. While we are waiting for our order two Air
Police Sgts approach us. We don't give them any grief, just
tell them we want to get some chow and be on our way.
Fortunately these guys had been around and hang with us shootin'
the bull until we get our chow and escort us back the gate. We
thanked them and advised they need to have a talk with the young
Airman who is still at the gate. I don't write this to beat up
on our Air Force Brothers... but just another example of how
screwed up that war was.
Sgt USMC '65-'69
CWO4 Robert M. Black, Veteran who served in WWII in the Pacific,
Korea, Vietnam, and many unreported actions passed away on April
22 of stomach cancer at the age of 86. He SERVED HIS COUNTRY
for 30 YEARS retiring in 1972 at Cherry Point, NC. He was
attached to A4 Squadrons and as a Production Officer at NARF,
Marine Corps Command Chronologies for the Vietnam War
A great friend and fellow Marine sent me this link and there is
lots of info out there.
Of course the info was organized by our government, so naturally
you have to dig to find what you want:)
Semper Fi Cpl. Gary Kratochvil
One of the first things I learned in the Corps (1953-1961) was
that you were not saluting the man, but the uniform. While at
2nd Tank Bn I was sent for four moths maintenance school at Fort
Knox, Ky. The school was great, but one day, as I walked down
the street dressed in Utilities, I met an Army PFC coming the
other way. He looked me directly in the eyes and walked by
without saluting. I was astonished, and called him back. I
demanded to know why he didn't salute and his response was,
"You're not an Army Officer."
I then preceded to educate him what the Globe & Anchor was and
that from that moment on he had better break his arm at 30 paces
or we would do it for him. He looked astonished that anyone had
ever addressed him down in that manner. All he said was , "Yes
Sir." then saluted and left as I returned his salute. I was
really angry that he failed to honor the uniform so many great
Marines had fought and died in. Maybe he learned a lesson that
Ed Dodd- formally 1st Lt. USMC
I do feel strongly about people that are not Marines wearing an
EGA, but I do feel that Corpsmen are an exception. You are
correct Corpsmen serve right alongside of Marines and we depend
on them. If anyone else deserves to wear it, you guys do. I
have had some very close friends that were Corpsmen, and I had
the same respect for them. I am not a member but have a friend
who is the "Sergeant at Arms" for a chapter of the "Leathernecks
M. C.", and he says the only people besides Marines that are
allowed to join are Corpsmen. So a big "HOORAH!" to all of our
FMF Corpsmen brothers, past and present. If it wasn't for you
all, a lot of Marines wouldn't be here.
(0811) L Btry 3/10
May Bin Laden's Virg-ns all have full beards just like him!
My nephew, a MARINE from birth, LCpl in the 2ND BTN 3RD MARINES
serving in Afghanistan. See his tats
I have searched online but am unable to verify the following
quote, "Marines are the nicest, most helpful people you would
meet and would do anything for you. That is, until you pi-s
them off, then they change and all h-ll breaks loose." Anyone
out there heard of this quote I heard recently?
Sgt of Marines, 84-90
An interesting before and after.
I want to report to you the passing of a Marine Raider. Joe Loy
passed away on Monday May 2nd. He was a member of our Marine
Corps League South Hills Pittsburgh Detachment 726. Joe joined
the Raiders on New Caledonia in 1943. He was in I Company, 3rd
Raider Bn and participated in the campaign on Bouganville.
After the Raiders were disbanded he became a member of I
Company, 3rd Bn 4th Marines and participated in the Guam and
Okinawa campaigns. He was a wonderful man and I'm glad I got to
know him before he passed on. He will be missed by many people.
Semper Fi Joe, you have a new post at Heaven's Pearly Gates.
I am a Marine. Active duty 1977-1981. In the letters you
publish I notice a lot of people want their deceased Marines
remembered. At our church at Easter and Christmas for a
donation you can someone remembered. At Easter and Christmas
for the last two years I have put in the following: In memory
of all deceased veterans and their families. It is not much but
it is one little thing I can do.
Corporal Keith Rickmers
Wonderful stuff. Phonies trying to pass as Marines. In 1970
while learning to speak and write Vietnamese attending Defense
Language Institute, Presidio of Monterey, CA, some fellow
jarheads and I came upon a guy saying, he, too, was a Marine.
I asked him where he went thru bootcamp and he said P.I. Still
not believing him, I then asked if he was in the 6th, 7th or 8th
battalion. He answered he was in the 7th recruit trng
battalion. We picked him up and tossed him off of the dock. Of
course, he was Army. He had a good swim to shore.
Semper Fi, SSgt Brown, USMC, retired
Thought I would pass along a couple of pictures of my Grandson
Jacob and I wearing a couple Grit hats.
Like Grit I was a Sergeant with 1st Marine Airwing and served in
Hi there, this is the second time that I have had direct contact
with you guys. All I can say is, "Hoorah" ... you guys are the
greatest customer service in the world! The Veteran's
Administration should take a page out of your book.
I found SGT.GRIT quite by accident, I was looking for a recipe
for SOS. You guys offered an honest to God, Marine Corps
recipe, with all the facts surrounding its birth. You hooked me
on your style and respect for all Marines and future Marines.
I am now a loyal customer and I have the Tee shirts and K-Bars
to prove it. I wouldn't miss your weekly informal email for love
nor money. It makes me feel at home enjoying the comradeship of
fellow Marines. Once again thanks. Tell Grit that I was there
and have the most respect for him because those, of us, who
faced combat know what valor is. Semper Fidelis.
Note: Thank you! For those of you who miss a good SOS.
Semper Fi Sgt Grit
And I Quote...
"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."
Get patriotic quotes like this and many others on one of our
Boot Camp Stories from 1963, Lessons for Life -- 9 of 10
William N. Thompson, Honorable Discharge, USMC, Pfc (E-2),
9. A Prive Runs Through It
We participated in many drills and exercises during our Infantry
Training at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, the four weeks
immediately after we left Parris Island. We fired Browning
Automatic Rifles and machine guns, we threw hand grenades, went
through a confidence course, and put on and took off masks in a
One day we practiced a group exercise. Three of us held our
rifles and side by side we ran through a 100 yard course which
had high grass, screaming all the way. We were supposed to hit
the ground and assume a prone firing position each 25 or 30
yards, dropping when we saw a signal from the side. Then we
would get up and run again, and fall again, until we reached the
end. The whole exercise would take one to two minutes.
I was at the ready when they signaled for my unit of three to
"go." I was off, looking to the right and to the left and
forward, always yelling, sort of a Marine Corps "rebel yell." I
saw nothing to the side, so I kept running and yelling. When I
looked ahead, I realized that I had crossed the end line. I was
still running, but now I was looking into the eyes of a drill
instructor. "Oh! Crap," I said to myself, as indeed I had
screwed up again. Here it comes. More bends and thrusts. No
options. We were off the Island. By the time we reached infantry
training, we could be pretty certain there would be no more
hitting. Maybe KP duty.
I was shocked when not one but three drill instructors
approached me. How bad had my actions been, anyway? One of
the drill instructors yelled. "This is the one over here."
Another asked, "Is that the John Wayne, is that the Marine."
It was very rare to be called a "Marine" in training. I stood
at attention. A drill instructor said, "Marine, we love your
enthusiasm, we love it." He then yelled at all the troops who
were in formation, as the exercise had come to an end. He
yelled, "This is the way Marines do it. This is a Marine."
While I was relieved, I was hardly "proud" of myself. I had
screwed up. I thought, "They like this? Wow! They must like
dead heroes. Do this in combat, and I'm dead." I am lucky, I
just have boot camp and infantry training stories to tell. I
don't think I would have been around to tell real war stories.
Dear Sgt Grit,
I started receiving your newsletters after ordering a Marine
Corps watch for my husband. After reading some of the letters
posted, I decided to post one of my own. So on August 20, 2009,
I wrote explaining my husband's story of being wounded in Viet
Nam and having tried for years to find the brave Marine who
saved his life. He tried for years but was never successful.
All we knew was his name, J. L. Houston.
In less than a month after I posted the letter we received a
call from, none other than J. L. Houston. You can imagine this
was a very emotional time for us. So for over a year we have
been corresponding by phone and e-mail with J. L and his lovely
wife Louise. And just last month we drove to Florida, from New
Hampshire to finally meet and thank in person this very brave
Marine. We instantly became friends and will cherish their
friendship. Hopefully we will get together with them again
someday and we will continue to keep in touch by e-mail and
What a great feeling it was after all these years to be able to
thank J. L. Houston from the bottom of my heart for saving my
husband's life. This has meant so much to my husband Sgt.
Donald E. Roberts to finally be reunited with JL.(Larry), and to
thank him as well.
So Thank you Sgt. Grit for helping to make this possible. If I
had not started getting your newsletters, we may never have
found him. So we thank you and keep up the great work.
Joy A. Roberts.
Wife of a Marine
Not only do I have a Liberty Pass, I have an MCAS Beaufort EM
Club Card and an MCAS Cherry Point Out Of Bounds Pass and a MAC
Boarding Pass from Da Nang to Okinawa.
Greetings from Da Nang
I just wanted to drop you a note and tell you I think your store
is the best. I have had to put a limit on my spending in your
online store because I would go broke if I didn't. I enjoy
receiving the catalog in the mail also. It gives me the chance
to see what is new and what I want this year. lol I also wanted
to tell you a little story that happened about a year ago.
Let's start with some background info. My son at the age of
12 came home from school on 9/11 and said "when I get grow up I
am joining the military". I understood and was very proud that
at that age he knew what needed to be done and that he was
willing to do it. In my head I thought that by the time he was
old enough this entire thing would be over. (Wishful thinking on
He graduated from high school in May 2007 and in October he was
at boot camp in San Diego. I was their proudest mom in the world
and also the scaredest. I had very limited contact with him and
that was very hard as I have to that point always been very
involved in my kid's lives. Graduation comes and I was again
about to bust with pride. Then after all his training was over
and it was time for him to go to his first duty station, in
Two years with only phone calls and the very rare video chat
were the longest two years of my life. He left for Japan on
Mother's Day. Well after two long years he was coming home but
he would not tell me when to pick him up from the airport. Every
day for the week before Mothers Day I would leave work and hold
my breath on the way home hoping he would be there. It was the
worst walking in and he wasn't here. I was going crazy. Then on
Mother's Day 2010 I had gotten a phone call from him telling me
Happy Mother's Day. I asked again when he was coming home and
again was told I would know when he walked through the door.
Again I am going crazy and by now it isn't taking much to get me
there. I go to work (I work for a National hotel chain from 3p
to 11p), and come home and still no son. I am sitting on the
couch feeling a lot bummed out about to go to bed when I hear
car doors. I look out the window and see a shuttle bus out in
front of my apartment and there he was, my son was standing at
the bottom of the stairs. I was afraid to move because I was
afraid it was a dream and if I did he would be gone. He was
looking at me and said "are you just going to stand there". I
moved then, I moved down the stairs so fast even I thought that
I was going to fall and break something (on me).
There is my son and it is still Mothers Day (for about 2 more
minutes) but still Mothers Day. It was a late night and the
best day in my life in a long 2 years (nothing except maybe
becoming a Granny could come close to when he graduated MCRD
Well as if that wasn't enough the next afternoon he handed me
his credit card and told me not to go over $100.00 and to get
myself something. Well my first stop was GRUNT.com. were I
ordered a t-shirt a couple bumper stickers and the pewter heart
w/ EGA necklace. No I didn't spend the 100.00 even with the
postage charges but I got things that I could wear or stick on
my car that would let everyone that sees me know I am a very
proud Marine Mom.
I have gotten several t-shirts and will continue to get them. I
average about 2 or 3 new ones a year. I get a new one when one
of the ones I already have starts to fade or look over worn (I
wear them all the time). The old one are put up and when I have
enough I will make a blanket out of them for my son to hang on
the wall or o the back of his couch to show my son that no
matter what while he had the back of the US and his fellow
Marines I was at home having his back and supporting him with
every breath I take.
I would like to thank all the men and woman that chose to defend
this great country and the parents of those people. I know how
hard it is to give your son/daughter to the government trusting
that they will take as good care of them as if they were their
own children and pray that they all come home safe. My son and
his unit in Yuma AZ are set to deploy this year to Afghan and I
would just pray that they all come home the way they left.
It's been a couple of years ago that I approached a little old
man in a fast food restaurant and thanked him for his service as
a Marine; the SGT GRIT cap and suspenders were good clues. I
swear that he was a good 6" inches taller afterwards. I didn't
know someone his age could experience a growth spurt. His new
smile was nice to see.
Recently, I happened to notice a USMC license plate on the front
of the car on front of me in a parking lot. An elderly man was
alone on the passenger/front seat. The window was down and I
approached slowly hoping I would not startle him. (At 6'2" &
300lbs I've been told I'm intimidating.) His USMC cap clinched
the deal and I shook his hand and thanked him for his service.
He smiled and asked if I too was a Marine. I told him I was
never "in the service" but I sincerely respected anyone who
is. Or was.
0230 hrs, 7 April 2011, I attended a Patriot Guard flagline for
another Honor Flight for veterans en route to D.C. The weather
finally cooperated here this year and the flags were snapping in
the cool, not cold, wind. Other send offs have been miserable;
bitterly cold, raining, snowing, and /or all of the above.
This year was the best: The chartered bus pulled in and the
driver stopped smoothly, lowered the front suspension and turned
on all the interior lights. As I stood by my flag watching more
veterans check in to get on the bus, I observed one man, about
5'6" followed closely by his high-school age escort who wasn't
any taller, got off the bus. He stood in front of this huge bus
with his hands in his pockets for several minutes and beamed at
the flags and relished the fact that someone remembered him and
his contribution to his country. Soon he and his escort got
back on the bus. I can't tell you where they sat down - it was
breezy and I must have gotten something in my eyes because
things got sort of blurry for a few seconds...
Fair Winds and Following Seas
Sgt Grit While reading your newsletter last night, my
daughter, a second grade teacher called to tell me about her day
or (vent). I being the good listener for at least five minutes
let her go on.
Seems she spotted two boys "laughing louder" more than usual one
was holding his you know what in his hand (not exposed) She
heard the one boy say something about his rifle and gun. My ears
then "perked up" and laughter came out of my mouth. I couldn't
resist. I repeated the boys statement "this is my "rifle" it is
for "fighting" this is my "gun" it is for "fun". She said
figures I would know what that meant. The boys when
"questioned", where did they hear that? Responded from the movie
"Full Metal Jacket "a little note was "attached" to their little
back packs to include extra homework.
In response to the EGA I wear with "pride". My Marine Uniform
hangs "high and tight" in my closet. Shirt starched and pressed
the necktie properly knotted by a Marine who lives nearby and
served with me somewhere in the Republic of Vietnam. I can
actually wear the uniform if I take a deep breath. Just wish I
could find my Garrison Cover left somewhere in Long Beach the
the night before departure
I am an "FMF Corpsman" issued the Marine uniform and wore
proudly while attached and when reporting back in the "States"
assigned back to the Navy was informed by the check in clerk
that I needed to get a Navy Uniform. I then informed him that
when he stamped the official check in I would do so immediately
I wear proudly a ball cap purchased from Sgt Grit that has the
EGA imprinted with a "Caduese" (Medical insignia) down the
center of the EGA with "DOC" embroiderd on the side. In
addition I wear the Golf shirt with the same EGA / Medical
insignia over the heart which has been recently approved at 100%
(the heart) and is full of wires, pipe and plaque. Agent Orange
I recently re-decorated my den. Decided to pop out of the can.
Decorated each of the four walls with various pictures one wall
"Marine" for me One for my father a World War II Marine. One for
my wife and I with Navy pic's etc. We met and married forty one
years ago while stationed at the US Naval Hosp. Orlando Fla. She
still has a "Request of leave Chit" to get married
In response to Liberty Cards I have my father's Liberty card
authorizing him to go ashore at Yokahama Japan Oct.25th 1945. My
wife and I have our Liberty card to "sight sea" (Navy term)
Orlando. My Shadow Box is divided with Medals, Ribbons
(including the "CAR" not issued at time of discharge), various
Navy/Marine coins etc.
A little story of "Gung Ho"... While studying to be Motivational
Manager I was issued a hard cover back book titled "Gung Ho"
It was a story about a flock of geese.
The Geese fly in "V" formation with a leader "honking "to follow
me. This is their form of communication .When the leader "tires"
another takes it place without missing a "flap of a wing". The
result "all the geese" "are part of a team" with a "leader"
"Gung Ho" or "Semper FI" Brother
Semper FI... Fairwinds /Following Seas ...Always a
Marine/NavyCorpsman.. Married to the Navy (Wife)... Son of a
Doc" "FMF" "Nam "67 -68... Navy '65-69... Married '70
I appreciate the response but it is I who am thankful for the
And the wonderful people, and their families, in the Air Force,
Army, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine and Navy.
I try to "thank" any veteran, even those younger than I (and it
appears as if there are a LOT more of them than used to be) but
the Marines appreciate it more. Or that's what it seems like,
Semper Fi and thank you, Sgt. Grit.
The History Channel is now casting skilled marksmen for the
fourth season of its hit competition show, TOP SHOT. The casting
call is included below and attached as a flyer. If you'd like to
post it on your website, include it in a newsletter or just pass
it on to interested folks, feel free!
If you have any questions regarding this show or the casting
effort, please contact me. Thank you!
Email TopShotCasting@gmail.com with your name, city/state, phone
number, a recent photo of yourself and a brief explanation of
why you are America's next "Top Shot." Visit http://pilgrimfilms.tv/casting/topshot/ for more details. Call
our casting hotline if you have additional questions:
Top Shot Season 4
And I Quote...
"The only foundation of a free Constitution, is pure virtue, and
if this cannot be inspired into our people, in a greater measure
than they have it now, they may change their rulers, and the
forms of government, but they will not obtain a lasting
Get patriotic quotes like this and many others on one of our
I am the mother of a young man, 14 yrs old, who is in love with
the Marines. We are lucky enough to live on the West Coast so he
is attempting to participate in the Devil Pups camp. I have to
admit that he has spent most of his life not telling me about
his passion. I have always supported our troops thankful that
they give up part or all of their lives so that I can have my
freedom and safety, but I am also against the wars. It wasn't
until I met a man different from any others I had ever met
before and fell in love him, that my son told me about his
passion. The man I met was a Major in the USMC and very
dedicated to helping the youth and supporting the future of our
country through mentoring them. With my sons passion I began to
find out more information about the Marines.
I soon found out that my Grandfather, William F. Binderup, had
been a Marine. I don't know his rank or unit, but I do know that
he was at Iwo Jima and fought in the most brutal battle of the
Second World War. It is said that while on Iwo Jima, he was one
of 250 men that volunteered to charge up Mt. Surabachi. He was
one of the 27 men who survived that battle. He did his basic
training at Camp Pendleton in San Diego. It was there that he
fell in love with California. My dad told me that the other guys
in his unit called him Grandpa because he was the oldest at 36
years of age. He was determined to fight for our freedom. Now
that I have gotten to know this unique breed of men (and women)
we call the Marines, I feel proud that my son wants to walk in
the footsteps of his Grandfather.
My Grandfather passed away just months before I was born, I
never met this man who was said to be kind and generous. He
returned home a decorated Marine, returned to raising his then 5
children (My Aunt was born after his return), at the age of 65
he passed away from ALS. I think he would be proud of my son
wanting to be a Marine too.
I truly enjoy reading your articles and stories. Since I met My
Marine I have been trying to figure him out, hopefully I have
many years to do so. I think there is a definite Marine quality
to all the Marines I have met so far. I send many blessings to
all the Military men, women and families of the United States.
I read your news letter of Marines of all ages with their
thoughts of fellow MARINES: recently my wife and I were at a
local eatery waiting for our food, my back was to this young
man, my wife had a look of question as the young man stared at
my back of my vest. He came up to me and showed his belt with
the Eagle, Globe & Anchor as the buckle, SEMPER FI brother I
said. You see the colors on my vest are LEATHERNECK MC MARINE
with battle colors on each side of the Globe & Anchor. I am very
proud to wear these colors to the young Marine I hope you read
this we will meet again. SEMPER FI
Tom C. Henry #2478679 Vietnam Vet 1968-1969
God Bless America!
No guts no glory, ooh rah!