Sgt. Grit Community
Submit Your Story

How Sgt. Grit changed my Marine Corps life and Marine Corps family.

I'm a Beirut Marine (Feb.-May'83 & Oct.-Dec.'83)with 2/6 H&S Co. Comm. Plt. I was coming home from work one day and I was behind a truck with a "Beirut Marine" bumper sticker (from Sgt. Grit.com of course). First of all,ever since I've been out of the corps,I have never heard of Sgt. Grit or have I ever met any Beirut vets here in my hometown of Lynn,Mass. As I was saying,I'm behind the truck with the bumper sticker. I hollered out,"when were you in Beirut?",he hollered back at me,"Oct.-Dec.'83". I asked, "who were you with?" he responded,"2/6". Well that blew my mind. I proceeded to tell him that we were there at the same time during my 2nd tour and to follow me to my house,which was right around the corner. His name is Joe Cafferelli and he was a police officer on his way to work. Well, we shot the sh** for what seemed like forever. I told him that we should exchange numbers and talk later so he wouldn"t get in trouble from his boss for being late. He asked me,do you see these bars on my shoulders?…I am the boss (LMAO). It felt so good to finally talk to someone who has seen what I've seen and experienced the same losses as I have. He then told me about the Beirut memorial in N. Carolina and the one here in Boston,Mass. I never knew…please forgive my ignorance. Out of the 241 who gave there all,9 were from Mass. The BVA  Mass. chapter is headed by a remarkable woman by the name of Christine Devlin. Her son,L/cpl. Micheal J. Devlin 1962-1983 of Westwood,Mass. was taken from her on that fateful day of Oct 23,1983. This woman organizes the memorial event every year and should be commended for her own personal sacrifices she makes so that those brave peacekeepers will never be forgotten. Finally,Joe told me about the Sgt. Grit website,where he got that sticker.I tell every marine that I meet now,young and old alike,to grab a couple of six-packs when they go to your web-site…"because you're going to be there awhile." It feels like coming home every time I'm on the site. If it weren't for you Sgt. Grit,I wouldn't have never been able to expand my Marine Corps family (including your Co.) with these wonderful people in it. "Semper Fi" to all. Les we forget,"The first duty is to remember". Sincerely, L/cpl. Darryl J. Bradley Sr. Mar.'82-Mar.'85.

read more

My time in Beirut

I would like to share some memories of my own, and see if anyone of your readers served in Beirut, especially between August 1982 and February 1984. I was with Bravo Co. 1/8, 24th MAU, incountry May to November 1983. I have good memories and bad, as anyone who has been in combat has. Some of the good ones usually involve the crazy things that we did to keep our sanity, ie practical jokes on each other, or just silly things, like the night we took a close hit at the University, a shell landed outside the area we chose to sleep in, the room was full of choking dust, our ears were ringing, and as they cleared, we could hear the steady snoring of one of the Marines. I still carry the bad memories, and will keep them to myself, we all know about them. Combat, though tragic  in many ways, can bring about the most hilarious things. One night we were taking fire, every one was geared up and in thier positions, when this 2nd Lt came running up with his helmet and flakjacket on over white skivies, did he ever stand out like a sore thumb. But a memorable time was the day all hell broke loose, a Sunday, we were at the University position, and Sunday was traditional Barbecue day. The Company Gunny and 1st Sgt were at the grill, both Vietnam Vets, calmly donned flak jackets and brain buckets, and continued to grill. (at that time most of the incomming rounds appeared not to be directed at us, but soon it was clearly meant to ruin our day). War is hell, and you make the best of a bad situation, SNAFU is the word. Most people outside of the military don't realise that unlike the wars of the past, time out doesn't exist for Christmas and New Years, it continues as routine.

read more

Beirut Memorial

Beirut Memorial

Greetings All… (Please, read the article I have included at the end of this email.)

My time in Beirut Lebanon came after the October 23, 1983 bombing of the 1st Battalion 8th Marines (1/8) Barracks. When 2/8 relieved them, they became the last unit deployed as part of the "MultiNational Peacekeeping Force". When my unit, 3/8, relieved 2/8, we became the "External Security Force" for the U.S./U.K. Embassy. The Men that died are my Brothers – Marines, Sailors and Soldiers alike. For the U.S. Postmaster General and the 15-member Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee to turn down the request the request for Beruit Commemorative Stamps is one thing. Their reasoning ten years ago was that the group wanted to honor positive events and that Beirut lacked significance in American history. Now as we near the 20th Anniversary of this tragic event, we have seen stamps for Desert Storm released while troops were still deployed, and just about a year for the September 11th stamps to come out. Not exactly real positive events, and certainly the Beruit Bombing was indeed of grand historical significance…a wake-up call on terrorism for the United States. Perhaps an unheeded wake-up call.

read more

Story of Beruit

Story of Beruit

Hey Sgt. Grit

I wanted to send you this picture. My mom saved it for me and I have never shared it with anyone until this year. I showed it to my daughter (29) and son (33) was trying to show them or explain to them what those of us in the military face. I got tears from them and the best d*mn hug I ever had. Maybe just maybe some do get it at least my daughter and son did. The real heroes of Beirut were those who never came home. GySgt. Dennis West, 1st Sgt Tandy Wells, Captain Mike Hatcher were all close friends. Wells and Hatcher were hats with me on first tour at PI 69-73. Dennis was the closest thing my kids had as a godfather and served at OCS with me 76-80. I have never been able to go to the memorial or for that matter the memorial in DC for Vietnam. Just can’t hold those emotions like I use to. Anyway working as IC in Iraq now for past two years seen the “New Breed” of Marines and it makes me proud to know the torch is being carried so high by so many harden warriors. The only story I can think of about that time is how d*mn proud I am to have been a member (1st Sgt MSSG-24) of that MEU. There was and never will be a better commander that LtCol Tim Gerrity and Sgt Maj. Dudly. They were the best of the best and because of the politics at the time Col Gerrity paid the price. We were put into those bombed out buildings not at his call but higher up yet when the finger pointing began it fell to him. I will not mention the names of those who did this deed, but the almighty will reckon with those on their final day I am sure. The Marines of MEU 24 and BLT 1st Bn 8th Marines were and will always be the finest bunch of Marines I ever served with and to those still living as well as the fallen hold a special place in my memories and heart. God Bless them all.

read more

Beirut Memorial Ceremony

Beirut Memorial Ceremony


We went to J-ville this past weekend for the Beirut Memorial Ceremony, had a blast, took me a few days to come out of my funk, but I?m there now. The cool thing was that I was able to spend time with a fellow Marine that I haven?t seen since 1983, that?s the reason I go there. Myself and Rutter went to the Memorial at night and hung some dogtags on the sentry standing guard at the Memorial. Pictures are attached, the dogtags read; In memory of all Marines, Sailors and Soldiers who died in Beirut for the sake of Peace. Semper Fi, Whiplash

read more

Beirut Vets in Ohio

Beirut Vets in Ohio

I would like to thank you and everyone at Sgt Grit for making part of our week-end special. My wife on Friday went out and hunted down the UPS man and got the box from him and we were on our way to Ohio. The trip is around 6 1/2 hours, about 420 miles. As we arrived at the hotel I was on my cell phone letting my Brothers know we had made it. Our first night we spend togther eating steaks and drinking beer at the MCL, the wives get to catch up with whats been going on over the past year, and they get to welcome other wives (or girlfriends) and warn them it going to be a wild week-end. On Sat. is the service, it only lasts about an hour and the day couldn’t have been better, the sun was out and it was warm. After the service we go back to the MCL for a light lunch, and more beer. After lunch we head back to the hotel for a little down time ( ok, a nap). The rest of the day we just spend together, Joe, one of our Brothers, just bought a new house and we all went out to see it, and drink more beer. Later we went to the VFW and had dinner, more steaks, shrimp, and yes you know it, more beer. After dinner I brought out the box of goodies. This was the week-end for gifts, Jon, the commander of the VFW and also a Beirut vet had given us Beirut Veterans hat, patchs, and a coin, he had picked up the tab at the MCL and the drinks were on him at the VFW. Now it was my turn, I had a speech that I had worked on all week and I thought it would go smooth, well, as I looked out at the group I saw Joe, he had a tear it his eye all ready, that choked me up so I cut my speech short. Joe had started the memorial 4 years ago, and each year he and Jon work every hard on it to make it the best. I gave Joe the jacket, Jon got the beer mug and the planer, Shorty, a Navy Beirut vet, I gave the freedom figurine to. Shorty job in the Navy he worked very close with Marines, he calls them “My Marines” they guarded him, I told him now he will have a Marine watching over him once again. Shorty has placed his Marine on his desk at home. I told everyone else to come up and pick something out as I was pulling it all out of the box. Jeff asked me what I wanted, I told him “I have all of you, thats my gift” well Jeff said he would not take anything till I did, so I have a new hat. The rest of the week-end we spent together, come Sunday we have breakfast at the MCL and said our good-bys. I am counting the days till next year. Thank you for make our week-end.

read more