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Always Faithful by Captain William W. Putney

Reviewed by Carol Conley

Retired Captain William Putney, of the United States Marine Corps, recounts his story of the 3rd Marine War Dog Platoon used in World War II in his memoir Always Faithful. In June 1943, Putney enlisted in the Marine Corps. Fresh out of college with a degree in veterinary medicine, he was hoping to serve his country with honor and courage. It came as a disappointment when his orders sent him to be a line officer in the War Dog Platoon. However, he was soon engrossed in the training of the dogs and handlers for combat in the Pacific. Putney?s writing flows easily carrying the reader along on his journey as he describes the almost seven months of training, the trip to Guadalcanal, and the tension filled, dangerous liberation of the island of Guam. After the war was over he was horrified to learn that the war dogs were being euthanized. No attempt was being made to retrain them for safe return to the civilian owners who donated them. He spearheaded the effort to establish a detraining program of the courageous dogs serving our country with courage and distinction. His efforts paid off when the Marine Corps established the war dog detraining program. The program was a huge success and out of 559 Marine Corps dogs, only 19 had to be euthanized (15 due to health reasons and only four were considered too incorrigible for civilian life). Putney paints the reader a clear picture of what the training, the dogs and their handlers, and war was like. It is at times humorous and horrifying without bogging us down in military slang incomprehensible to the non-military reader. This memoir is a wonderful story for the history buff, military buff, and dog lover.

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Making of a Marine

Submitted by: Matthew G. Heslin

Sgt. Grit,
I am a former Drill Instructor. MCRD San Diego. 1958-1960. I?ve written this story for Marines. It takes place at Parris Island, (my alma mater) South Carolina. The shock is the same regardless of which coastal transformation station they attended. You are welcome to print it if you wish. I?m sure many boot camp alumnus will recognize something familiar.
Former Sergeant of Marines,
Matt Heslin

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Boot Camp Joke about an AWOL Recruit

As the sun rose over Parris Island, the senior drill instructor realized that one of his recruits had gone AWOL. A search party was dispatched immediately. After a few hours the recruit was discovered hiding in some bushes. He was sent back to the base and promptly escorted to the drill instructor's office. The instructor asked the young recruit, "Why did you go AWOL?"

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Boot Camp Hog Boards

Submitted by: Ed Aldridge

When I was in MCRD, Parris Island in April of 76, I experienced one of the most harrowing experiences of my life but at the same time one of the funniest.

We were in the 6th week of training and we had just put up a hog board (a bulletin board with pictures of our girlfriends wearing bikinis or less) at the front of the squad bay, just outside of the Drill Instructors quarters.

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Learning the Corps Values

Submitted by: Thomas E.Ricks

On a hot night in 1992, on my first deployment as a Pentagon reporter, I went on patrol in Mogadishu, Somalia, with a squad of Marines led by a 22-year-old corporal. Red and green tracer bullets cut arcs across the dark sky. It was a confusing and difficult time. Yet the corporal led the patrol with a confidence that was contagious.

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Touch Not This Wall by Harley Melton

Reviewed by Chris Spencer

Touch Not This Wall: A Novel of the Vietnam War……..and After

Touch Not This Wall is a novel that is more than anything else about friendship and love. But not just any friendship or love, but a friendship and love between two Marines born from the fiery furnace of combat in Vietnam. I never served in combat but I have known enough combat vets to know that a friendship formed in war is in many ways closer than that of a man and his wife or a man and his child.

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Remember Them by Mike Morgan

Sgt Grit,
This Sunday my church will have our annual Memorial Day Service. We Honor those who have fought and died to allow us the right to worship and serve Jesus Christ. Those who have served will be recognized during the service, we have a Color Guard from a local high school ROTC come in. This year we will honor a special Marine who just passed away last week. Cpl. David Miller, he was an Iwo Jima Marine, a Purple Heart Recipient and most importantly a Pastor of 45 years. I sat next to him during our Sunday services and many of opportunity to talk with him. His love for the Corps was only surpassed by his love for Jesus Christ and serving Him. In Honor of his service to our country, I have enclosed something that I wrote to display on our bulletin board at my church. I am no writer, but just wanted our younger generation to remember where their freedom comes form and its cost. It is not directly related to the Marine Corps, but to all of our servicemen and woman. If possible could you pass this on to allow some of the youth of America to understand what freedom cost. Thank you to those who have served and serve.

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The Marine by James Brady

Reviewed by Joseph W. Lugo

Once again Mr. Brady comes through in the tradition of Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone.

The Eagle, Globe and Anchor for those Marines is a special emblem of the few, the proud and the honorable. They honor the code, the Corps and their God.

So does the hero of Mr. Brady's novel. Colonel James "Oliver" Cromwell starts his adult life by going to college, then joining the Marine Corps. The adventure continues from basic training to the Korean War.

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A Fallen Soldier’s Legacy

The Painting
Author Unknown

Years ago, there was a very wealthy man who, with his devoted young son, shared a passion for art collecting. Together they traveled around the world, adding only the finest art treasures to their collection. Priceless works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet and many others adorned the walls of the family estate. The widowed elder man looked on with satisfaction, as his only child became an experienced art collector. The son's trained eye and sharp business mind caused his father to beam with pride as they dealt with art collectors round the world.

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Silent Warrior

Silent Warrior
Reviewed by Scott Klund

This is a Biography of Carlos Hathcock a Marine Corps sniper. While reading this book I was just a little bored with it. Then I find out it is the second book to "Marine Sniper" by Charles Henderson. So I went out and bought this book. Carlos Hathcock was a Marine Corps sniper during the Vietnam War. Mr. Hathcock has 93 confirmed kills out of as many as 300. Mr Hathcock was also one of the most famous snipers in United States history. Mr. Hathcock also had a $30,000 bounty on his head. I do not know about you, I?m damn glad he was on our side. These 2 books were well worth the reading. Being in the Marine Corps infantry myself, I learned a lot from just reading these books. Mr. Hathcock also won top honors at a National Rifle match one year before going to Vietnam. Carlos N. Hathcock served his country with duty and honor. At the age of 57 Carlos Hathcock died from Multiple Sclerosis. It was said that it was a sad day for many Marines who knew him. Looking back at the 2 books I will admit that I had a tear in my eye.

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