Independence Day, 4th of July, is coming up. Look up from the
grill, set your beer down, take a few minutes and contemplate
what independence means to you. It is what we all defended.
Is it today what you think it should be? Think about what it
meant 236 years ago. Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin and
the others, what did it mean to them? WE are/were the tip of
the spear, we should have the most keen sense of what it means.
What it means makes all the other days of the year possible.
OK, enough BS from me. Pick up your beer, hope your burgers
didn't burn while I rambled. H-ll pop open another cold one for
"Our flag's unfurled to every breeze
From dawn to setting sun"
"Let freedom never perish in your hands."
In This Issue
Here we go: He was nuts, platoon commanders were wounded, red-
faced and sweating, he said no, Torpedo Tickler, "boystown",
hard time making E6, booking wasn't anticipated.
'Fall in, alphabetically, by rank"
Chesty: Leading from the front.
(Get the print)
Old Corps, New Corps, Marine Corps
At the Golden Triangle Veterans Memorial park on Hwy 87 in Port
Arthur, Texas on Monday May 28th (Memorial Day) 2012. My wife
and I arrived at 2pm as the band began to play and the service
started at 2:30pm. When we got there the pavilion was full but
we were able to squeeze into the back left hand corner under the
roof in the shade.
While the program was going on I was listening to a friend of
mine, retired Colonel Chris Lamson, with 25 years active duty in
the Marines and I looked over my right shoulder and noticed the
old veteran setting on the wall. His wife had been holding the
umbrella over his head and laid it down to stand up where she
could see the speaker and hear what was being said.
When I turned to look the second time I noticed this Marine had
stepped forward, picked up the umbrella and was holding it over
the older gentleman. You can tell by the shadow that only the
left shoulder and arm of the Marine was in the shade. Notice his
right hand behind his back standing at parade rest in full dress
blues. Not once did he flinch.
The temperature forecast that day was predicted to be 90 degrees
or more in the shade. In Southeast Texas the humidity can also
match the temperature. If you have ever worn a set of dress
blues you would understand how hot they are.
He stood there until the service was over. When it was over I
walked up to him and said "Thank you for such a kind act for the
old veteran" He just looked at me and nodded as if to say, "it
was my duty". As I walked away with a tear in my eye and my
heart swelling it made me proud to know that the old traditions
are still carried on. It was 57 years ago this summer that I
joined the Marines.
Cpl. Bill Feidler
Port Arthur, TX
If this story doesn't make you proud and bring a bit of moisture
to your eye, you have no soul.
C Company 3rd Tank Bn, Chu Lai, Early 1965
Dear Sgt Grit,
My three platoons were attached to Battalions and my
Headquarters was located inside the Regimental Headquarters
perimeter less than a mile from the beach.
The one of the Company CP was taken after we had been there a
week or so and only shortly before some VC's slipped in between
two outpost and shot up our water point with French 22cal
submachine guns and threw hand grenades at our cooks' tents. One
of my two cooks, a Corporal, was wounded by a grenade fragment
in his elbow. He was the only Marine to return fire at the VCs.
My other cook was very lucky. He had a dud grenade land under
the head of his cot. He never woke up during the excitement. The
next morning, there was the grenade next to his duffle bag with
his name clearly stenciled on the bag. That was quite a picture.
The only other casualties from this was the total unnecessary
loss of two helicopters and crews that collided on takeoff from
the carrier before dawn. They were FRAG to pick up my Corporal
whose wound was not serious and could have waited.
The picture of the tanks in formation was later and on the hill
we had moved to. We had received some promotions and had a
formation for that. This was prior to Starlite.
The picture with the Retriever was taken about the same time.
I had two platoons attached to Battalions involved in Starlite.
Both platoon commanders were wounded and evacuated. I had one
tank commander killed. We lost one tank, C-24. I really hated to
see it left behind, but it was badly damaged and the 1st Tank Bn
company commander who was in charge felt that it was too
dangerous to try to extract the tank and get it back to the
beach. Considering the circumstances, I am sure that was the
I returned to CONUS shortly after Starlite, as I was on the tail
end of a 13 month tour when I took C Company to Vietnam.
Major USMC (ret.)
Show your support by sending a package to a Wounded Marine. Did you know that there are hundreds of Marine Amputees from Iraq and Afghanistan? Please think of them in their time of recovery.
3 Wounded Marine Packages to choose from:
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3
Gotta Love The Corps
Just like Kim in the 6/14 newsletter, I had my seabag lost. I
was wounded 2 May 68, and medevaced to USS Repose, 249th Camp
Drake, Tachikawa AFB, to Portsmouth Naval Hospital, by June 14.
When it was time to wear uniforms and not pjs, my seabag was
designated, 'Lost in Transit', which rated me a whole new issue,
so I started dressing like a Marine. Went home on leave July 4th
Napping in the lounge at Dulles, when someone kicked me in the
same leg, in the same spot(s) , that just a month before were
shrapnel wounds. I shot up out of my chair to find a boot
Marine, fresh out of boot camp, and wearing dress blues with Pfc
chevrons. He said,'square away that uniform Private, or I call
the MPs'. It seems that I neglected to sew my rank on my winter
wool shirt, so I looked like a Private.
As I stood up to put on my blouse, the pfc caught sight of
ribbons, badges, and my LCpl stripes, and locked himself to
attention,'Sir the private apologizes for the mistake', and
stood there, red-faced and sweating. "Get out of my space,
maggot!. and he took off. That really felt good.
My lost seabag caught up with me at NNSY, so I had one issue
always cleaned and pressed, ready for inspection. This time ALL
my chevrons were correct. Never had to sweat inspections ever
again! Gotta love the Corps.
Viet Nam 67-68
My son in law has never seen his daughter. He is stationed in
Okinawa at Futema Air Station. I do know he reads your weekly
post because we talk about the stories sometimes and he sees the
stuff I order. If you want to put the picture in the post then
by all means you may but I just thought you would get a kick out
My Great Grand Daughter already knows to hang on to a Marine.
In the picture my Great Grand Daughter is 17 days old. My Grand
Daughter is wearing her husband's T- Shirt. It's just a
picture that was taken of the baby and no one thought about what
the back ground was. But me being a 23 year Marine caught it in
an instant. Semper Fi!
Thursday the 28th of June 2012 (also on Thursday in 1962) marks
50 years since my best buddy Fred and I landed at Lindbergh
Field, San Diego International Airport. Next stop MCRD San
Diego, the infamous yellow foot prints and a whole new direction
in my life through training that would serve me well for the
next 50 years, and more if that be God's will.
It was dark when we landed, which seems to be the norm rather
than the exception. Like everyone else over the years, we were
put on a bus for the short ride to MCRD. Through the gates, stop
in front of receiving and in a heartbeat, life changed in a
manner that does not have to be explained to any Marine.
Yellow foot prints and they yelled at us. Haircuts and they
yelled at us. Bucket issue and they yelled at us. Shower and get
dressed in the yellow sweatshirt, utility trousers with web belt
and tennis shoes and they yelled at us. Initial paperwork and
picture for our SRB and they yelled at us. Make a head call? I
can't because I'm scared sh--less. 0200. Hit the rack and they
yelled at us.
Fifty years. It seems like just yesterday until I say it out
loud and then it seems like a ghost of history. Fifty years and
my Marine Corps pride continues to increase every day. Fifty
years and I would do it all over again but I get to be 17 years
Semper Fi to the 76 swinging Richards that shared that
Semper Fi to our Drill Instructors - Sgt Maj Pacheco surviving.
Gunny Way, Gunny Clark, Gunny Broadhead deceased.
Semper Fi to all the Marines I served with over the next four
years, two months and twelve days.
Semper Fi to all the Marines at Sgt. Grits.
Forged on the anvil of discipline.
The Few. The Proud.
Best Father's Day
Had the pleasure of spending father's day in Cleveland, Ohio
with 3 other Marines from American Legion Post 537, Oregon
Ohio. Our service time spanned from Korea thru Vietnam. The
Marines from Quantico had displays of all the modern weapons,
vehicles, clothing, etc. used by the modern day Marines. What
an awesome display.
Most of the displays were set up around the Rock and Roll Hall
of Fame. 3 .8 miles down the shore line of Lake Erie the
Marines had demos of Martial Arts, bomb sniffing dogs, the
Marine Band from Quantico, and the world famous Silent Drill
Platoon. I served with a drill team in Millington, Tenn. in
1959 so this was really special to watch.
After their performance there was an amphibious assault landing
from the lake, and the air. Troops were drooped from Helos and
Ospreys. Also had F18s and Harriers. I could go on forever
about the fantastic show they put on.
I know the young Marines of today are carrying on the traditions
of The Corps that would make any old Marine proud. It sure
impressed this old Marine. (59-63) The estimated crowd was
over one hundred thousand Jarheads and their families.. Best
Father's day in many years.
C.E. Walters 1867+++ 6441 Air Winger VMA-332
Couple of comments:
on THE FLIGHT LINE,
I got to see history made by the Helicopters, when in the first
part of September I saw a copter taking gasoline supplies, in
drums, slung below in a cargo net to the Marines on line. And
something I didn't physically see, but within a week or so after
that the FIRST transport of a Marine Company to the front lines.
AND, within a month after that a Battalion of same was put on
line from a rear area. So to my knowledge in September &
October 1951, the Marines, AGAIN made history.
on NO BOOT CAMP:
When we were activated in July '51, a unit of 155's in Dallas,
TX., many had not been to a boot camp, and there were strict
guidelines in place as to who COULD go, who HAD to go, etc.,
onward to Korea. This was defined by several things, as to how
long you had been in the unit, prior service etc. etc. One
instance, I remember distinctly, was if you had attended 15
meetings, you qualified to go on to Korea. This friend of mine
told the Sargent he thought he had 13, & was that enough??? The
Sgt., looked at him and asked, do you want to go to Korea?? He
said NO, Sgt., told him to get back in line & stop asking dumb
Chesty's last regimental command
Crusty Ol'Top Sgt
Had been waiting about 20 minutes for the Camp Lejeune main PX
to open one morning. About 15 Marines in a semi-circle around
the doors, standing, watching and waiting.
When all eyes fall on this clueless private who breaks rank on
our silent formation. Walks front and center and tries the doors
- LOCKED - turns and addresses no one in particular and asks
"Oh, are they not open yet?"
We are all looking at him like "No S_ _ t Sherlock"
But leave it to this crusty ol' Top Sgt who replies "Yeah, We're
just all standing here waiting on a bus"
Laughed so hard that more than 30 years later my side still
aches... oh well, I guess you had to have been there...
He Was Nuts
I was the RO one night in Feb '69 up on the ridge line above 1st
MarDiv HQ. Went up on a react patrol, where we normally slept
and stood various watches. Well that night, I was lucky enough
to be selected to go out on a 5 man LP. We were out on a point
up above the react guys. Long about 1130pm one of our guys let
loose with a grenade. When queried why, he said he heard a
noise/movement in front of him.
He was told he was nuts, it was just the 5 of us out there, and
to take it easy for the rest of the night. 10 minutes later we
were in a firefight with the right flank of a herd of bad guys
coming over the ridge line. What I can remember of the night
was that we were alone out there, bad guys were in front of and
between us and the road we took out there, and no one was coming
to get us until daylight.
Lots of ammo later, the sun started to rise and the Huey's were
up. We had 2 fly over our LP, They rocked left and right
signifying that they saw us, and then they went to work on the
north and east side
Of the ridge line. About 10 am we were greeted by a 6 by loaded
with Marines, we were invited onboard, and away we went. I still
have the flower, now dried and pressed, that I picked up that
morning. It was the first thing I saw as the sun rose and it had
a yellow color.
Submitted to our Facebook Page.
Join us there to see more
Swab Jockey, Deck Ape, Snipe, Hull Scraper, Cable Greaser,
Plankton Picker, Dixie Cup, Duck, Salt Licker, Rail Polisher,
Torpedo Tickler, wave watchers and potbellied coffee mugs
(CPO's), some I don't recall at the moment, lots of good
memories of floats.
Thanks Robert Bliss for elevating my remembrances of factual
situations to a sort of cartoon "Fantastic Stories". I assure
you that the DI incident did actually happen however. A good
reason for not including names, including my own, is that I am
not about embarrassing anyone. If I don't put the names in or
identify the unit I can give a more well-rounded coverage of
what it is I am reporting.
How that DI ever got through DI school, if he ever went, remains
a mystery to me. As a recruit in boot camp back I couldn't
possibly know that DI's circumstance. Mental illness?
Alcoholism? Who knows? Still what I say happened did happen just
as I said it did. Now, about my "sack". I have eight kids. My
"sack" and the "nuts" that reside therein are just fine. Semper
As always, Anonymous 3/3/3
On June 12, 2012, Sgt Wendell "Griff" Griffith reported to Post
1 at heaven's gate. Griff had served a tour as a MSG at the
U.S. Consulate in Leningrad, USSR. We met when he reported to
the embassy in Caracas, Venezuela. He was one of a long line
of Marines in his family to serve - uncles, brother, and son.
As he said in his self-authored obituary - "I served, proudly,
in the United States Marine Corps. I am still a Marine." He was
so much more. He was a husband, father, educator and friend.
At Northwest Florida State College he taught American History
and the Constitution. He felt very deeply about our country and
how young people should understand why we are as great as we
are. We were friends and brothers for 37 years he will be
E. F. Lavelle
1972 - 1976
my guess is that it's a typo error. since he was a grunt, if he
ever carried a PRC-25, (or for that matter, ever stood near a
Marine carrying one) his secondary MOS coulda been 2531, field
concerning the story titled 1948 I went in in Sept 50 we
were issued tit-ties and a 2 1/2 gallon bucket had to return
the bucket after graduation also our herring bone twill were
called dungarees remember the cosmoline was hard to get off of
your rifle the receiving barracks for Parris Island was out in
the swamp at Yammasee we were issued uniforms at the building
where Iron Mike is and was in the plt that afternoon no yellow
footprints the old hbts were more comfortable than what is
worn today and some of DIS were PFCs and CPLs they were the
meanest keep up the good work
SEMPER FI rbs
Referring to MCAS Yuma. Went there numerous times TDY from El
Toro and Santa Ana. Between 1972 and 74. I was with HMH 361 and
HMHT 301 back then. Have to dig out papers to make sure
designation are correct Remember the air conditioned barracks
well, and sitting around after sundown, hoping it would cool
off. Never did while we were there.
Did get some 4x4 time in with my personal Jeep. Someone
Mentioned San Luis, Mexico. Don't remember the name of the town
South of the border. But at the time there was an entertainment
center out there. The building were arranged in a somewhat
horseshoe shape. About 20 or 30 of the buildings. about 1 or 2
city blocks I would guess from the end of one leg over to the
end of the opposite.
Just a wide dirt park anywhere open lot in between. First time
there we went down in my open top CJ5 jeep. If I remember right
we had about 8 Marines crammed in it and just hanging on sitting
on the edges. Suffice it to say you could obtain just about
anything you wanted, beer, wine, whiskey, drugs. Entertainment
was normally on the more raunchy side and we heard the stories
of some of the more "talented" females. Yep they were true, saw
something never saw before or since...
Food, You could get, beef, sheep, horse, dog, cat, monkey. Just
had to ask for it. And then there was some I couldn't guess what
it was, and don't want to. As long as you behaved yourself, the
federales could care less what was happening. We called the area
"boystown" Yep those were the days, before everything became
Sgt Marines (NLA)
1968 -74 and RVN 70-71
A lot gets said about medal inflation and how some branches of
the military seem to get more than their fair share of shiny
things and ribbons, for less work. I found an interesting bit
of internet research on the topic and thought your readers might
enjoy it. The author gives you permission to reprint the
article so long as you provide a link back to the original piece here.
I was wasting time on the net today and clicked a link to the
Congressional Medal of Honor Society. I stumbled across a
section of the site dedicated to men who won the Medal twice.
Considering how difficult it is to win it once, and the fact
that most of those who win it die in the process, it seems to me
that a second award would be unheard of. Not so. 19 men have won
it twice. I noticed that of the 19 double winners, 7 were
Marines, 4 were in the army and the rest were in the Navy. I
expected the Marines would be well represented. I was a little
surprised the army would have so few. What really blew me away
was the navy. 8 double CMOH awards for the Navy, Wow! I thought
it even more interesting that all of the awards were pre-WWII.
These Navy guys weren't SEALs they were just regular deck
I clicked on one. It reads:
"Lafferty participated in the transfer of two torpedoes across
an island swamp and then served as sentry to keep guard of
clothes and arms left by other members of the party. After being
rejoined by others of the party who had been discovered before
the plan could be completed, Lafferty succeeded in returning to
the mother ship after spending 24 hours of discomfort in the
rain and swamp."
I guess you get a MOH for each torpedo you transfer.
Compare that to one of the Marines:
"Hoffman was attempting to organize a position on the north
slope of the hill when he saw 12 of the enemy, armed with 5
light machineguns, crawling toward his group. Giving the alarm,
he rushed the hostile detachment, bayoneted the 2 leaders, and
forced the others to flee, abandoning their guns. His quick
action, initiative, and courage drove the enemy from a position
from which they could have swept the hill with machinegun fire
and forced the withdrawal of our troops."
Let's check another Marine.
"Pvt. Kelly ran through our own barrage 100 yards in advance of
the front line and attacked an enemy machinegun nest, killing
the gunner with a grenade, shooting another member of the crew
with his pistol, and returning through the barrage with 8
Marines are awarded medals for acts of bravery in battle. In the
Navy you can get the MOH for, "returning to the mother ship
after spending 24 hours of discomfort in the rain and swamp."
Incidentally they didn't accomplish the mission. Apparently you
get the first MOH for being off the ship 24 hours and the second
for being in the rain. The Marines have a special term for being
off the ship for 24 hours, shore leave.
Hope you enjoyed the story and thanks for all your good work.
The FLIGHT LINE
Submitted by: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #1, #8, (AUG. 2011)
The Helicopter was starting to play a very important part in the
day to day operations of all branches of the service and the
MARINE Corps was in fast forward to develop as many uses as
possible for this newly acquired versatile piece of equipment.
The Navy initially designated the aircraft the HSS-1 Seabat
(Helicopter, Submarine, Sikorsky) , the MARINES preferred to
call it the HUS-1 Seahorse (Helicopter, Utility, Sikorsky) and
the Army adopted is as the Choctaw. In around 1962 the Dept. of
Defense changed all the designations to a standard UH-34 and the
model designation followed. The "D" model became the most
versatile and common. Sikorsky built about 15-1800 of the
aircraft and somewhere build by Sud-Est of France and Westland
in the United Kingdom built several hundred. The Westland Corp.
built a turbine powered model that was very successful using 2
T-53 turbine engines.
The Navy Seabat relied on sonar dipping gear and an autopilot
that permitted low-altitude hover at night or in poor visibility
to perform its anti-submarine mission. The UH-34 served in many
roles under the Designation as a "D" or Dog model. It could very
easily be internally re-configured to perform a VIP (Very
Important Person) or a SAR (Search And Rescue) mission in a very
short time. The low altitude and airspeed required for this type
of operation made successful auto-rotations unlikely in case of
an engine failure and mandated a particularity trusting and
courageous aircrew to fly these high-risk missions. The Navy
continued to use the H-34 from about 1954 to sometime in 1962
when the SH-3 (Twin Turbine Powered) Sea King was brought into
service for that specific role. In addition to the anti-
submarine role the H-34 served in the Navy as the H-34 (J) for
VIP and SAR Duties. The Coast Guard acquired about 6 for SAR
The Army employed the H-34 principally for general utility
purposes, as well as VIP transport flights and SAR flights.
One of the most challenging missions flown by Army H-34s was the
evacuation of the Congo in 1964, but Army H-34s did not
participate in Vietnam and did not fly in the assault helicopter
Beginning in about 1956, the H-34 saw its introduction into
combat during intensive operations with the French in Algeria.
In 1955, The U.S. MARINE Corps received its first HUS-1 as an
interim type, ostensibly until the HR2S (later H-37) entered
service However, the HUS lasted far longer in USMC service ,
and in much greater numbers than, than the HR2S ever did.
Ultimately the MARINE Corps took delivery of 515 UH-34D's.
From the late 50's until the CH-46 entered service in 1965, the
UH-34 operated as the mainstay of MARINE Corps helicopter units.
Also, in early 1956 back in Hawaii, HMR-161 was loading aboard
the USS Princeton (CVS-37, and later designated as LPH-5) to
take part in Operation Firm Link which was to be held in
Bangkok, Thailand in mid Feb. This exercise was in actuality a
"Show of Force" by member nations of the SEATO (South East Asia
Treaty Org.). HMR-161 was the only helicopter unit to
participate and the Squadron returned to Hawaii in March of
In response to "Cpl Dave Popper's" article regarding his talk w/
MOH Hector Cafferata. I am a proud member of the "Chosin Few".
I served w/ "C/1/5, 1stMarDiv at the Chosin as a Company Runner.
On the night of Nov.27, 1950 at approximately 2300 hrs. I
happened to be in our Captains tent warming up. The temp
outside was around minus 40degF. with wind chill factors
lowering the temp to minus 70degF. Suddenly we heard over our
SER300 radio that the Chinese had broken thru the defense
position of 2nd Battalion and they needed support.
We all rushed out of the tent and routed our other platoon
Leaders to head for the 2nd Battalions area.
This was a night I will remember for the rest of my life. Our
outfit fought until daybreak. Scuttlebutt got back to us that
in the Chinese break thru of the 2ndBat's defense line, there
was one "Marine" that was found standing in a small dugout w/
his Cpt. lying wounded, and this Marine was standing there,
wounded, w/out his boots on. It was reported that there were at
least 20 or more dead Chinese lying around and near the dugout.
We later found out that this Marine was "Pfc. Hector Caferata".
Many years after my discharge from the USMC in 1952, I had been
visiting my brother-in-law, also a former Marine, and his wife
and family in Toms River, N.J. We had gone down to Atlantic
City for a day and while walking along the boardwalk, my
brother-in-law told me he wanted me to see this memorial that
was along the boardwalk for the Korean War Veterans.
When I entered the memorial and was reading all the plaques w/
names of "Fallen Heroes" of the Korean war, plus living Veterans
that were highly decorated for their actions in Korea during the
Chosin campaign. There was the plaque w/ Pfc. Hector Cafferata
and the citation award of the MOH.
I just had to put my hands on the plaque and thank God for
Richard J. Feuerherm (former Sgt. USMC - 1948-1952)
We Get Older
An open barracks classic-post Nam era maybe? To the tune of
"auld lang syne"
To all the Lifers in The Corps
Leave me the f--k alone,
I signed for four, I've done my tour
And now I'm gettin' short,
No more PT, no more CG's
To this I raise my glass,
So take your Eagle- Globe- and -Anchor
And shove it up your a--.
I don't think many of us would disagree that as we get older,
the reality is that most Marines,(non-career in particular)
might say we were having some of the best times of our lives. I
still have a few "Lifer" buddies who agree. Lucky to have unit
Brothers living close by. We all know it. Exciting and sometimes
very dangerous. Living what most "non-alpha dogs" fear to do.
That's why we write on our site Sgt. Grit has provided for us.
Thank You Sergeant. Marines ARE different. "Roger That" to a
previous letter. People don't understand us. Not a bad thing. It
is what it is. The Marine Corps Ethos.
As for the best times, of course I'm not talking about the meat
grinder contacts of WWII and Korea. From The Khe Sanh Hill
Fights in Quang Tri Province to the rice paddy fire fights in
The Delta, and all points in between, beginning to end. We had
the Honor of being trained and led by those Marines in my Rifle
Company, they had been there, from Lance Corporal "re-treads" to
Corporals and Sergeants, Staff NCO's and Officer's.6th RCT
Marines that had been in the "Dominican" as far back as
'65.Marine Corps History in the flesh. Teaching us what they
knew. Passing it down. Our Skipper was a Mustang, came to us
from 2nd Force Recon. Captain Chuck Diesher. HARD. Our CO was
none other than Col. Wesley Fox, Congressional Medal of Honor
Recipient. Got it while in command of Alpha 1/9 on Dewey
Canyon,1969,Vietnam, Republic of. Humped us around Korea, his
first time there was as a private in 1951... not enough thanks
can be given to all present on "those days"... but to my point.
My worst day in The Corps was 23 October '83. While at Barnum
Hall at Little Creek, we listened to the reports coming out of
Beirut, literally sick to our stomachs, knowing we would not get
any payback for 1/8. Somebody call me on it if I am wrong, but
I'm sure 2/6 got the REACT mission. Meanwhile, we picked up the
continuing Big Pines advisory/military assistance ops in
Honduras. 2/8 was busy taking names on Grenada with the
Airborne. Later ran the tower on Charlie range at RR Det.-
Lejeune. NCO clubbed there with a Sergeant from Fox 2/8 who had
recovered the Cobra crew that was shot down on the beach. He
said the Cubans had "executed" them. B-stards. I'm still p-ssed
off about Beirut, and could give a s--t who knows it. As a Third
Generation Cop, I owe my success in that career to The Corps.
The strength I gained allowed me to survive the next 18 years.
Mentally and Physically, that conditioning literally saved me
from death my last day on duty.
To all the young Gyrenes "Downrange" as they say today, however
many tours you may have done or will do, consider a career in
Law Enforcement. America needs you now as much as ever. Maybe
more than ever. From where I sit I see the best young hard
chargers we have ever had. Better Trained. Better equipped...
"Emergency" Law Enforcement, High Risk Patrol Jurisdictions,
SWAT, whatever the "AO", ain't no walk in the park. Like war,
it's no movie or TV show. It's mean, dark and dirty. I took my
last hit a few years ago, the "Forced Retirement" hit. All rehab
in my future, but the cycle continues. I am not some sort of
"recruiter". Just an American Warrior, still proud like you...
my days on watch are over. I do not enjoy it yeti would rather
be "downrange " with you,
It's no big secret that the Cop Ranks are full of Marines. As a
Marine you already have the basic skills. Just like in The Corps
you will be cross-trained to be mission specific. It IS
basically just a change of AO. I had to think long and hard
about whether or not to submit this letter. Some may not like
it. I don't care. I know that most Marines out there, cop or
not, will back me up.
If you want to continue to serve after active duty at least look
into it. Use that GI Bill for your Criminal Justice Degree like
those of us before you. Thank you for your service Marines, and
again, America needs you... Stay in the fight.
Go "From Green to Blue"
Cpl. "D.T." Jones
Patrol Supervisor; DT-Weapons Instructor; SWAT
Spartanburg County, S.C. (Retired)
Sgt. Grit /staff, we lost a great one this week.
Major Marbaugh has gone to his final duty station and heavens
streets will be a little better guarded as of 6/19/12. Major
Marbaugh served from 1938 to 1954. He served in Panama with the
Banana Fleet, Korea at the Chosin reservoir , Samoa,
Bougainville, and others . He personified Marine. More
information about him and his time in the Corps can be found at:
Marbaugh Videos (WitnessToWar)
Corporal of Marines 90-95
Stop Hanging Out
Recently there have been several stories about the best and
worse Mess Halls. Back in the early 60s the Mess Halls at Geiger
and later 2/8 at Lejeune were large undecorated areas; chow was
served into slotted metal trays and you were seated at large
tables with a bench on either side that would seat 8 to 10
In Oct 62 I transferred to MB Naples Italy. We were part of the
naval support facility and ate in the Navy Mess. It was totally
and completely different from Lejeune. We did go down a serving
line but it was manned by Italian civilians and we ate at 4
person tables just like in a nice restaurant. The food was
delicious and you could even go back for seconds.
Sometime later, in either 63 or early 64, several of us were
selected to go to Tripoli Libya and spend some time with the
British Army. After all these years I have forgotten why but it
was related to commemorating some joint action the Corps had
with the British Army Green Howards regiment. Anyway we were
housed with them and also ate with them. After a year or so of
eating Navy chow it was a shock to be issued a mess kit prior to
our first visit to their Mess Hall. I don't think any of us
could eat more than a bite or two of the British chow and then
we washed our kits using the 3 barrel system that we had used in
the field with 2/8. I always thought if this was their main side
chow what the heck would it be like to eat there field rations.
A couple days in we were taken over to Wheelus Air Force base
for an afternoon off. Needless to say the first thing we did was
find a good old American snack bar so we could eat some real
My last Mess Hall memory has nothing to do with the food. My
final duty station was back at PI and since I was attached to
food service we had the option to eat at any Mess Hall. Went to
early evening chow one afternoon at the Second Bn recruit Mess
Hall with 2 Sgts. We were seated in the permanent personnel
section when who should walk in but the Commanding General and
his staff which included the Base Sgt Major. As we were the only
ones there the General made a "bee line" over to us.
Of course we all jumped to attention but the General told us to
carry on. Asked us how chow was and if we had anything we wanted
to tell him. Well one of the Sgts decided he was tired of having
fish every Friday and preceded to let the General know about it.
The other Sgt went back to eating but I was too nervous to eat
around that much rank and simply set there. The General thanked
the Sgt for his input and then proceeded to finish his
inspection. The Sgt Major however took one or two steps and then
did a nice about face and no uncertain terms let the one Sgt
know that in the future he had better come to him before saying
anything to the General.
The other one he chewed out for continuing to eat. He never said
anything to me but gave me a stare that seemed to say you better
stop hanging out with these guys. I was discharged a short time
later so I don't know what ever happened to these two guys but I
suspect they had a hard time making E6 as long as that Sgt Major
John P Vaughn
Reading about the numerous Cuban missile crisis stories and
about how returning Vietnam vets were treated reminded me of my
time in service. I was stationed at Camp Lejeune in 1968 with
the 10th Marines, we were mobilized and trucked out into the
nearby woods for riot training in response the anti-war
protests going on in Washington D.C. Sure am glad we never had
to follow thru on that training.
Also, I was flying home for annual leave on standby (remember
how much fun that was), when time came for dinner to be served a
nice young stewardess came by to tell me they had no meal for me
since my booking wasn't anticipated. I told her that was fine
but several people nearby volunteered their meals and thanked me
for my service, pretty cool I thought.
Cpl B.J. Moses, USMC 1967-69
"Take ten... expect five... get three... on your feet, outta the
shade and into the heat... saddle up, move out!" (before
running became all the rage, Marines hiked... grunts more than
other units, but that was seen as the way to toughen troops...
some of the more memorable/longer ones are still talked about
today by those old enough to have participated... 'around the
horn' (pretty much the perimeter of Camp Pendleton)... to, or
from, 29 Palms for Pendleton units... spent only 23 days in
Lejeune in 24 years, but suspect there will similar long hikes
on that side of the country as well. Gen Graham, as CG at 29
Palms, would take HqCo Force troops out for 25-milers... with
deep squats at the turn-around point, no sitting... and he did
it with Port and Starboard halves of the company, so that work
"Reveille, Reveille... heave out and trice up, clean sweepdown
fore and aft, carry all trash to the fan tail, the smoking lamp
is lit in all authorized smoking spaces, stand clear of the mess
decks until pipe-down" (never did figure out, or hear, any
bosun's call that piped us down to chow... and only a squid
would put tomatoes in SOS)
On the phone: "motor pool... two-bys, four-bys, six-bys, and big
ones that bend in the middle and go pshew!... if you can't truck
"Hey diddle-diddle, straight up the middle"
On longevity: 'I've surveyed more sea bags than you've surveyed
socks" (to 'survey' , in the day, meant to turn in a worn-out
item for a (hopefully. new) like item)
'my first office hours was for buffalo sh-t on my spear'... 'is
that your service (or serial) number... or the national debt?.
'When the Lord said let there be light, I was the firewatch
'(who turned them on) "
"I've used more ink signing payrolls than you've drunk coffee in
the mess hall'
Morning formation: " two dead, one in the head, and I wouldn't
be here if I could get special liberty... all present and
accounted for... "
'Fall in, alphabetically, by rank"
"Smmeeedly! " (DI's cry for the recruit messman who waited on
DI's at recruit messhalls... tough job... )
Maybe some of these will generate more... and stories to go with
them... have sort of realized that for many of the VN
generation, the time may have been boot camp, ITR, VN, maybe
barracks duty and an early out, with no time riding around with
the gator navy... and then there are those sayings that belong
to the aviation side.
Marines leaving Pendleton for a tour with the Wing up at El Toro
would be advised that wing-wiper 782 gear consisted of a pair of
boots with elastic sides (supposedly a safety item for those
working around liquid oxygen). a long rubber comb (carried
sticking out of the right hip pocket) and a pair of earmuffs
(noise attenuation)... covers, especially utility, were
considered optional... (having a cover sucked into the intake of
a jet engine was not considered career-enhancing?)
Early June, 1963, MCRD SD... word came down that DI's who were
not on duty with their platoons that day would muster at the
flag pole at 0600. Uniform to be summer service Charlie,
raincoat, pizz cutter, plan on being gone all day. We had been
tagged to simulate the press party that would be in trace of
President Kennedy for his visit to a Carrier Task Force the
following day. We were counted off into heli-teams, and staged
on the grinder. Soon enough, a formation (if it'd been UH-1's,
coulda said a 'herd of Hueys'... but these weren't) of Marine
H-34s settled onto the grinder like locusts headed for Pharoh's
bean fields. (probably the only time in four years I was ever
on the grinder uncovered... rotary wing types tend to get
excited sometimes about things flying around in their rotor
wash...and besides that, even DI's would have to buy the
replacement for a lost cover... not to mention looking like an
absolute idiot for the rest of the day)
We were loaded soon enough, and flew off, around the end of
Point Loma, and out to sea about 30 clicks... to set down on the
flight deck of USS Kitty Hawk. From memory, the birds left, and
headed back toward land... probably to NAS North Island, or
Miramar, to wait. Rows of chairs had been set up on the
starboard side of the flight deck, forward of the tower. The
fancier chairs were in the front, and may all have been on the
forward elevator (if there is one on that side... some sea-going
Marine who served in her can set us straight on that, maybe?)...
This being a Navy show, we were loose to mill drill about, and
pick whatever chair appealed. I lacked the nerve to plant my
Sgt butt in THE chair... but a super-duper Master Chief from the
ship's company decided it would fit him just fine. I estimated I
was about where some under-secretary of the Navy would sit on
the 'real' day.
We got to see the entire live-fire rehearsal for the following
day... everything the Navy had in their trick bag!... submarines
broaching, destroyers running depth charge patterns, F-4's
knocking drones out of the sky with Sidewinders, Anti-Submarine
Warfare helos dipping radiosondes, all kinds of 'fly-bys'
cruiser and destroyer maneuvers, etc.. Probably the most
impressive of these was when we were advised over the 1MC to
watch forward of the port bow... there was an A3J Vigilante
headed our way, oblate spheroid reproductive glands to the
bulkhead, and below flight deck level... by the time we saw it,
it had come and gone... silently... and then the shock wave got
Long day by the time we got back to MCRD (helos came back and
got us), but memorable, for sure. I think the President's
actual visit was on the 6th of June... and that may have been
the day he stood on the yellow footprints at Receiving
Barracks... there is one set missing at the right front, or 4th
squad leader position... would guess those are in a museum
somewhere today. (I tend to avoid museums, out of fear that the
curator will nail my feet to the deck and make me an exhibit...)
and to save Grit the trouble, will hint for those that need
it, that 'oblate spheroid' is sort of a football shape, and a
bulkhead is a wall, and... messing with effete PC censors can be
There was a PAO short film made of the whole dog and pony show,
with the title "United States Arriving"... have not been able to
track it down. For them as has not been around the haze gray
and underway types, when an Important Person, e.g the Commander
of the 7th Fleet, is about to come aboard ship, the Bos'un of
the Watch will make like a mockingbird with his withhle, and the
announcement will be " Seventh Fleet,... Arriving"... the CIC,
of course, is "United States"...
Self portrait of bulldog smoking a cigar
Posted by Fredd Thrasher
EGA Tattoo - Posted by Carl Alexander
Lots more tattoos posted - see the latest USMC tattoos!
08-02 Marine Warrent Officer Class 1966(7th WOCSC)
08-15 Golf Company 2/7 Reunion
9-5 VMF/VMA-311 Reunion Assn
Get details and see more upcoming reunions
"Marines know how to use their bayonets. Army bayonets may as
well be paper-weights."
--Navy Times; November 1994
"For those looking for security, be forewarned that there's
nothing more insecure than a political promise."
"What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly. Heaven knows
how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be
strange indeed, if so celestial an article as Freedom should not
be highly rated."
"Why in hell can't the Army do it if the Marines can. They are
the same kind of men; why can't they be like Marines."
--Gen. John J. "Black Jack" Pershing, USA; 12 February 1918
"A fondness for power is implanted, in most men, and it is
natural to abuse it, when acquired."
"The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of
all the departments in one, and thus to create whatever the form
of government, a real despotism."
"[I]f the public are bound to yield obedience to laws to which
they cannot give their approbation, they are slaves to those who
make such laws and enforce them."
"Oderint dum metuant"
Let them hate, so long as they fear.
"Most bad government has grown out of too much government."
"The United States Marine Corps, with its fiercely proud
tradition of excellence in combat, its hallowed rituals, and its
unbending code of honor, is part of the fabric of American myth.
--Thomas E. Ricks; Making the Corps, 1997
God Bless the American Dream!