In many a strife we've fought for life
And never lost our nerve;
If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven's scenes,
They will find the streets are guarded
By UNITED STATES MARINES!
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Our Marines are doing a great job under difficult circumstances in Afghanistan and Iraq. Just as Marines have always done. Job Well Done! Do not believe what you here and see in the press. You have more support than you might think and we know the outstanding job you're doing.
And for those of you that have returned: WELCOME HOME!!!
I WAS BORN INTO THE CORPS
I tell everyone I meet I got 56yrs in corps they look at like I'm then I tell about my father was with the 2nd Div. at Guadalcanal & other places. about a month I was at the post office I was told by another Marine I wasn't a real Marine because I was an air dale! 200 plus missions in 6 months of flying,med-vac,sar,med-vac off hill 881 & the battle Hue city & I wasn't a real Marine. HE told I had steak every night all can remember is try to make the water taste better with PRESWEETENED CHERRY KOOL-AID. Another Marine who said he had 23yrs in corps was out with a bunch of protesters, one yell me because I had an AMERICAN FLAG sweater on he took her side. I was born into the corps I am proud to be a Marine, Once Marine ALWAYS A MARINE! SEMPER-FI ye olde sarge 65-69
OUR COMMON TIE
Guys,Gals,Grunts,Swabbies,Airdales etc........ I only know one thing about the service personal I see and have known. We all missed home, our loved ones, and friends. We all sacrificed for our brethren and country. We all wore the uniform with Pride and a sense of Honor.
Some of us were in combat.
Some of us broke nails on a teletype.
Some of us got sweaty in the mess.
Some of us had easy living.
Some of us lived in dirt.
Our common tie is that we were service personal and no matter what conditions we served in, we are comrades in arms, and I respect any one that took time out of civilian life to serve. We are the persons We have become because of all of us.
May God always bless America, and may all uniformed and non uniformed personal know in there heart that they have served in the common good for all mankind no matter what there MOS.
Lt. Wayne H. Rost USMC/CID/CIA ret. Semper Fi
Here is a funny and VERY true story. I graduated from Parris Island in late October of 1981 in platoon 2063. Anyway...we were practicing for what I believe was the Battalion Commander's inspection and the DI's had us "on line" in the squad bay. They paced back and forth checking and rechecking that we had shaved closely, had brushed our teeth and gargled with mouthwash and knew our "knowledge." I recall our younger DI going from recruit to recruit and splashing a small amount of Aqua Velva into his hand and then plastering it across each cheek of each recruit. (I still bust out laughing when I think of that). Then he moved down the ranks again and after pouring a cup-full of mouthwash into each person's mouth, instructed them to gargle, and then swallow because, "he did not want any maggot to offend the Battalion Commander with our sh!t-smellin breath." Apparently he ran out of mouthwash about a dozen or so recruits after me and did what I will never forget. He yelled for one of the "house-mouses" to get him the Aqua Velva and he made the rest of the platoon gargle with it! From that point on my memory is a bit clouded, but I don't believe he had them swallow it! I do remember him explaining that the after-shave was no different from the mouth wash. It must not have hurt anyone internally...they all made it to graduation! I'll say this much....I was scared sh!tless back then, but when I look back now, there isn't too much that happened in boot camp that doesn't bring a smile to my face every time I think about it!
Cpl 0331, 81-85
THAT WAS ALL IT TOOK
I read every one of your news letters. I am a 55 year old "Nam" Marine. As I think back on my service in the Marines, I think about my reason for enlisting in the Marines. I was raised in rural poverty, and the way out was the military. As early as 14 I had made the decision to go in the military. I had settled on the Army to get training in the construction trades. At the Armed Forces Day at high school there were a navy recruiter, who looked like an old man. The Army recruiter had a bad case of acne and looked like hell warmed over. The Air Force recruiter looked like he had slept in his uniform. In walked Sgt Brown, ramrod straight, 5 Ft 10 inches 160# of dress blues and Marine bearing. I was sitting next to one of the best looking girls in the school. She took a deep breath and said "look at that". That was all it took. I forgot about everything and enlisted in the Marines for 4 years. Now almost 39 years later I don't regret it for a minute.
Walter E. Seneff
Sgt. 2132617 65-69, Viet Nam 67-68-69
POSTAGE STAMP FOR CHESTY
Your help and support is needed. Please lend a hand.
The Postal System has yet to approve a stamp honoring Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller or any individual Marine for that matter. Lots of Army, Navy and Air Force members have been honored, but never an individual Marine. Puller's military awards and combat records surely support the issuance of a U. S. stamp honoring him, as well as the U. S. Marine Corps. Signature sheets with over 155,000 signatures in 1997 did not do the trick nor has repeated follow-ups made a dent.
It is now time, to pull no punches. We need to lay it on heavy if we are to ever get the Postal System to issue a stamp honoring "Chesty".
The battle has been on going for over 6 years now - without an approval answer. Lots of "It is under consideration." replies but never an approval.
What is needed from you now is a short note on a postcard asking for approval of the Puller stamp. A message as simple as " It is now time for you to approve the Puller stamp." Send your cards/messages to the following addresses:
(Don't try email -they have blocked the system.)
U. S. Postal Service
475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, D. C. 20260-2437
Stamp Advisory Committee
U. S. Postal Service
475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, D. C. 20260-2437
Perhaps if each of you would reach out to everyone you know, maybe 100 or more (the more the better) of your friends asking that they send postcards asking for a Chesty Stamp.. Also, ask your friends to continue the chain and contact their friends to also write the Postal Service. The Postal system then might finally wake up and approve a Puller stamp Again, your help in needed now, if we are ever see a Puller Stamp.
Semper Fi, and many thanks in advance for your support in the past and hopefully now.
Major (Retired) Jacques Loraine
WHAT THIS WORD MEANS?
After reading the Marine Newsletter from Sept 19th about the origin of the word/phrase "oohhrahh", my husband (also a former/always Marine - 85-89, says that whoever said this word means "murderer" or "killer" is wrong. He claims it is just a made-up battle cry from the early days. Is there any documented proof of what this word means? Our oldest son is also a Marine, newly graduated from MCRD, SD. We are very curious to know the real story here.
Deb from Indiana
Former Marine Wife & Proud Marine Mom
FULL OF LOVELY SURPRISES
I have a million funny stories, one about a really interesting wine made with a Tiger penis. Some kind of virility juice, I guess. I said I didn't need it, but they insisted. We were also asked to be the first guests at a new hotel and ended up being the guests of honor and good luck tokens.
My policeman friend turns out to be a 'heavy' in the security section of the police department. He's the same guy that first gave me and my girl friend a hotel room in Da Nang. Totally illegal. Vietnam has been full of lovely surprises and touching acts of kindness.
I went all over the area west of Da Nang. I visited a 'Hill 22' where the locals claimed Marines were based. There was a house nearby reputed to be a place where Marines stopped and sought refreshment. They showed me a repaired wall where they claimed the Marines were ambushed one day. I have photos and will pass them along when I get them scanned. I also met an old gal who said she was a nurse and worked in the laundry of the same Hill 22. Maybe she did both at the same time, they are funny folks. They do love us though, and really get excited when they realize they have a Marine vet sitting at their little tables. Everything stops and they pull out old photos and look at me as if they are trying to remember me. You got to love em.
I'm really busy with paperwork since I will be marrying my girlfriend, probably in December.
Huu Thanh is sending me a new order for an Air Force squadron gift shop here at Travis Air Force Base. In the shipment are replacement stones for you. We are still consolidating the order and will give you a heads up when its on its way.
Attached are a few photos of the stones getting worked. These will be colored, for an extra buck.
Keep the faith
I WAS THERE FROM D-DAY
Not at all sure where some of these idiots come from but John G. Hogan the former Major USMCR who came up with that ridiculous line denigrating the Bush administration, sounds like a Major I encountered on Iwo. He never poked his head above ground but gave orders from the depth of a foxhole or mouth of a cave. . "The decision by the US Navy to stop shelling with the 16 inchers and sail away from Iwo Jima prematurely, thereby unnecessarily delaying securing the island by some weeks and resulting in excessive casualties" as reported by Frank Hall, F-2-21, 3rd Marine Div, 1942-45 also escapes me. I was there from D-day to the day it was secured and never felt we were deserted or needed more firepower out of the Navy. I liked the close ground support we got from the air, which was much more effective.
Sgt. Walter Dodd
BATTLEFIELD HEROISM/WALL STREET JOURNAL
I have talked to this man, and this is legit. Now I know the individual Marine will not call this man. Soooo......friends, moms, girlfriends, dads, help you Marine get in contact so he can tell his story. After all the negative press and Jessica Lynch type heroes, it would be outstanding to read some real heroic stories in a nations forum.
Jonathan Eig, a reporter at The Wall Street Journal, is looking for stories of battlefield heroism in Iraq or Afghanistan for an upcoming article. Contact him at email@example.com or (312) 750-4130.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
One S. Wacker Dr., 21st floor
Chicago, IL 60606
MY LAST CONTACT
I was fortunate to be able to attend the General's funeral. He was clearly larger than life as a warrior, husband, father and citizen. The Commandant, along with former commandants Gray, Mundy and Barrow, and an honor guard of BGs/MGs represented the Marine Corps well.
My last contact with the General was at a mess night at which I was the President about a month prior to his death . He was one of our honored guests and his humility, manners and respect for our traditions was apparent when he quietly came over to me and asked my permission as President of the Mess to leave early since he was not feeling well.
Colonel J.S. Shi USMCR (Ret.)
SOMETHING FROWNED ON IN MILITARY CIRCLES
Like LCpl. Brobst, I was told the same thing many moons ago. I don't know any speakers of the language with which to confirm this. It would have come into use during Korea. There was a Turkish Brigade attached to the 1stCavDiv on the western part of the MLR (not a DMZ yet) when the Chinese got involved.
The line was north of Pyongyang when the Chinese offensive started. The Turks and a good portion of the 1stCav were overrun and the Turks lost their Brigade colors - something frowned on in military circles, of course.
The story goes that, under the leadership of the Brigade commander, a group went back through the Chinese lines, recaptured their colors and used the word as their battle cry. That's as I understand it, for what it's worth.
MSgt. J.J. Leist(Ret)
THE ONLY PROMISE THE MARINES MADE
Dear Sir, When my 17 year old son told his father and I that he wanted to become a Marine, my heart skipped a beat. He had always talked of military and I had accepted that. I thought that he would choose a nice safe ship or something like that. He told us that the other branches offered him the world but the only promise the Marines made was to make him a Marine. He will graduate from high school on May28,04 and leaves for Parris Island on June 1. I found your web site and ask for your news letter not expecting to learn so much and have such a peace in my heart about his choice. Thank you for the knowledge that you send out to the people who only know what the liberal media would like us to know. Please pray for my son. His name is Lee and I know when he goes to boot camp he will be under the direction of some of the best men in the world.
Kim Darden Conover, NC
HE NOT ONLY SHOWED UP
You know, tonight I was reading your (our) news letter, and the stories of Al Grey(General), reminded me that when I was with the 2nd Marines at Lejuene and working for him (young 1st Lt. back fresh from Viet Nam), that he was not only incredible with the enlisted but we junior grade officers as well. When we had our meetings to bring him up to speed on the regiment, it was informal and he rarely held to protocol, but still got to point and needs of the regiment. I didn't think the Col (at the time) new me that well, as I was only the S-4 A, but out of proper etiquette, I gave him an invitation to my wedding, and darned if he not only showed up for my wedding in his dress White's, but he was one of the "Life's of the Party" at the reception held at the "O" Club there at Lejuene. And they guys that talk about him wanting to be around the enlisted and Lts of Marines was true as that's where I found him all that afternoon of that reception. He was and is in My eyes a Marines Marine.
Mike Snellgrove Capt. Inactive 69-80
I recently made a journey to the battlefields of my father. He was a 19 year old Corporal when he landed on Red Beach /Guadalcanal at 9am 8-7-42. When he left in early 1943 he had been promoted to Sergeant. This place has always held a mystifying place in my mind since Dad did not talk about his experiences on the Canal. I have now been to Alligator Creek, Bloody Ridge, the Matanikau River and Point Cruz. I've been to the places where three Medals of Honor were won and could only think how these men were in the fight of their lives but as one returning veteran told me, "We never thought we were going to lose". I was asked to speak at the Memorial Service on August 7th and it is with respect for all Marine Units everywhere that I include these with my message:
August 7th, 2003 American Memorial Service Guadalcanal
Sixty-one years ago this morning, thousands of young Americans were being readied to land on beachheads that would forever change their lives. Among these young men was my Father.
Because these young men were not battle hardened veterans there were many who doubted their determination and resolve. They were wrong. For you see, they were veterans of the Great American Depression of the 1930's. For the most part, they had grown up with little or no material possessions and now they were being asked to make a great sacrifice. Every one of these young men sacrificed a great deal, far too many made the ultimate sacrifice.
In America, we call these young men and women of this era, "Our Greatest Generation." For without them, the world as we know it, would not exist today. Much has been written about these young men and much has been forgotten. But for those sons and daughters of this generation, we owe our very existence.
This small island known as Guadalcanal has a special place in the historical records and hearts of the United Sates Marine Corps, for this is the place where the Marines earned their reputation as an elite fighting force.
Some six to eight weeks ago on its way home from the war in Iraq, instead of sailing directly home from Australia, the officers and enlisted men of the First Marine Division requested and were given permission to sail north through The Slot.
They passed unannounced within 3000 meters of your coastline so they could get a glimpse of this place called Guadalcanal. The Marines hold this place in reverence and it will live forever within the hearts and souls of The Corps. You are not forgotten. To the descendents of the Islanders who helped our fathers in this struggle, we will forever be in your debt. Thank you for helping bring them home alive.
In closing, I would ask that God continue to bless our Armed Forces as they continue the struggle against oppression and in particular the Marine Corps and the First Marine Division and may God continue to bless America.
Thanks to all of you for Keeping our Country Safe!
QUICK THINKING DRILL INSTRUCTORS
Hey Sgt Grit,
I enjoyed the article re: the term turd.I also had a "run in" with a young Lieutenant. While serving as the SOP Instructor at DI School, San Diego, From '70-72,I frequently presented SOP updates to the new Series officers. On one occasion as I spoke I used the word turd. I don't remember the exact context, but I do remember being immediately challenged by the new Officer. He wanted to know what right I or anyone had to call a trainee a turd. In what I believe to have been in the best tradition of quick thinking drill instructors, I immediately responded that TURD is an acronym for Trainee Undergoing Rigid Duress. The classroom erupted with applause from the other officers and I calmly completed my Presentation without skipping a beat.
IF I COULD GO BACK
hello sgt grit,
hi my name is sgt cassady i was in the marines from july1995-july 1999. i was stationed in hawaii with 1/3 i was a 0311 or also known as 03 hump a lot. i marrie a lady in hawaii in june of 1999 and she talked me into joining the army. what a big mistake that was i spent 3 years with the 4th ranger training bn at fort benning, ga. now i am stationed with the 2/37 ar out of friedburg, ge. i changed my mos to 91w a combat medic. i have meet a lot of devildogs that have changed over. i really miss the corps there is a hugh difference mainly in the discipline, esprit de corps,and brotherhood. i really miss the marine corps and if i could go back tommorow i would. i have been to several schools in the army but nothing compares to the cohesion and teamwork like i had when i was in the corps. i went to parris island in may of 1994 and got released because i could not qualify with the m16, i went home and was dissipointed with my self so i started praticing and went back a year later and earned the title of us marine. i still call cadence the same have the stickers on my truck, and read your section every time you send me an e-mail.thanks for all you do. i am currently in baghdad, we have an internet cafe so ever chance i get i come check my e-mails my email is firstname.lastname@example.org my name is sgt cassady i am currenly divorsed from my first wife and my wife of 3 years carrie which i am married to now supports you guys and hangs my marine photos and awards all over the house thanks for your time.
semper fi and oooohrah sgt(p)cassady
IF I REMEMBER CORRECTLY
OOHRAH, or OOOHHHRAAHH have many different definitions, but the following say MARINE to me:
Watchful, Attentive, Alert, Wary, Cautious, Observant, Heedful, Aware, Vigilant and Careful. All these words make a fine warrior. If I remember correctly, I learned most of these in Boot Camp. Stay safe MARINES.
82-94 USN, Retired
Sgt. "Pappy" McCarthy asked about the long rations he enjoyed while with 1st Recon Battalion. (He liked the spaghetti and also the chili--both of which were my LEAST favorite.) I was with 1st Recon too but in 1970. I used to trade them whenever I could. The chili con carne was so unpopular among the Marines in Bravo Co. that we gave most of them to the South Vietnamese who burned the half-barrels.
In any case, Pappy, those long rats still are manufactured by Mountain House, and you can buy them in any backpacking store and in most sporting goods stores. I still use them on hunting and backpacking trips, but my favorite always has been the chicken and rice variety.
Cpl. Bernie Kuntz
1st Marine Division
1st Recon Bn.
Bravo Co., 1st Platoon
IT DOES MAKE SINCE
This is the first time I've written to you. I really enjoy the newsletter. It is refreshing to hear from so many people that have similar opinions and thoughts as me. Seeing that we're all Marines, it does make since, huh?
Your statement about these new Marines needing to stay in touch with each other really hit home for me. I served from 1974 to 1978 (Parris Island, 29 Palms and Pendleton). Up until about 5 years ago, I had not heard from any of the Marines I had served with since the early 80's. I finally got in contact with one of my buddies, Sgt. Glenn Klingaman (2851-Aviation Radio Repairman, as was I). We stayed in touch, sent each other our old pictures and tried to make contact with the other Marines in our unit through various internet services and magazines. We finally made contact with three others.
It really was a great thing. Unfortunately, Glenn passed away 9-6-03. I will miss my friend and fellow Marine. So, Listen Up you newer Marines!!! Stay in touch with each other now because it'll be d*mn near impossible later!!!
The letter from Sgt. Nick Sparacino, "What Makes A Marine!!" came at a perfect time. Here in Kentucky (Ft. Knox, Ft. Campbell) anyone in uniform is referred to as a "soldier". It doesn't bother me too much when the Kentucky Air National Guard members (Air Force uniforms) are referred to as such, but it really fires me up to hear Marines called that. The local Marine Reserve Unit (8th Armor) has been referred to that way almost constantly since the FIRST Gulf War. I finally had had enough and sent e-mails to each TV station in Louisville earlier this AM stating the Army has soldiers, the Navy has seamen and the Air Force has airmen. But Marines ARE MARINES! I informed each TV station that a Marine earns the title Marine and that it is not a designation simply handed out. I did this just BEFORE I read the newsletter. Good thing, because now, with a 'full clip', I might have further pursued this matter in a way most unbecoming!
Along the same lines, in the 1 Sept.'03 issue of TIME magazine, the article "Is The Army Stretched Too Thin" there is talk of relieving the 101st Airborne with Marines (page39, second column). I considered that part ok. It was when the Marine Corps was referred to as "the nation's preeminent quick-and-dirty warriors" that my eyebrows rose and the hair on my neck started to rise. What does this phrase mean? I know the Marine Corps is very proud of some of the names we've been called...Leathernecks, Devil Dogs, even Jarheads, but "quick and dirty warriors"? I am unable to tell if ,this is some sort of compliment or if it someone's idea of being cute. I wrote TIME magazine immediately after reading the article but have not been given the courtesy of a response. Maybe some of you other "quick and dirty warriors" -er- Marines should write TIME magazine and ask about this, we'd be able to find the meaning of this phrase. And, hey, if it is a compliment, let's add it to our tradition!
Keep up the good work and rest easy Glenn.
I KNEW IT WAS MY CHANCE
"A few good men," were sought by the Marine Corps when I decided to join in 1979. I knew it would be tough. I expected to be disciplined, even beaten - like in the movies, where young men trained for Vietnam. And ultimately, I knew it was my chance to serve my country, further my education, and see the world. I needed to score twice as many points in my entry exam as the vast majority of future Marines. Why? Because of my gender.
In 1979 I was an 18-year old daughter of a conservative, traditional Hispanic family in the Midwest. Voted "most lady-like" by the faculty of my high school, I surprised everyone who knew me. But the surprise was on me when I took classes on makeup, etiquette, and poise during the all-female Marine Corps boot camp training.
"Recruits!" bellowed a short, dynamic female drill sergeant. "You WILL learn to conduct yourselves like Women Marines." She warned, "In the past, we've had a few misguided recruits try to commit suicide by drinking detergent. Don't bother. You'll only belch bubbles and get a stomach ache."
Sixty-two female Marine recruits in Parris Island, South Carolina awakened to the crashing sounds of wooden bats beating hard against a large aluminum garbage can at 0330. And at dusk we carefully slipped our worn out bodies into our perfectly made Marine Corps bunks and fell asleep after singing the Lord's prayer.
There were history classes, exercise sessions, drill marches. In the end, Parris Island's top brass was invited to a tea party held by my female platoon. This occasion was the event which was to prove we WM's (Women Marine's) were ready to graduate and embark into the male-dominated world of the U.S.M.C., most likely in administrative positions.
We became confident and strong - both mentally and physically. Two months later, fifty-one of us graduated.
Fast-forward 20 years: a marriage, and two teenaged children later. The skills I learned while in the Marines served me well as a secretary in fast-paced offices. They served me well in managing a household. But little did I know I was yet to make the best use of my Marine Corps skills.
"Ladies and gentlemen," said a counselor at the University of Texas Health Science Center, in San Antonio, Texas. "Do not despair if you fail a test, or a class, or the entire program." The counselor showed a videotape of friends and family of medical students who had committed suicide due to academic pressure. "Of 480 applicants for this program, only 79 were accepted. What matters most is not whether you get A's B's or C's. What matters MOST, is that two years from now, you will have the letters, R.N., after your name."
Of the 79 students who started a bachelor's nursing class with me in the Fall of 1998, only 45 graduated. For me and other male military veteran classmates, the two years of nursing school were much more difficult than boot camp. But that Marine Corps discipline helped me get through nursing school.
I joined the Marine Corps to serve my country and see the world. Today, as a traveling nurse, I serve my patients and see the country. In 1979, the United States Marine Corps needed a few good men. Today, I believe the nursing profession could use a few good Marines.
Happy birthday and Semper Fi!
Ms Lillian G. RN
TEN SHORT DAYS LATER
A few weeks ago I watched with pride as my oldest son joined our band of brother and graduated from boot camp as a United States Marine. The whole affair brought back many fond (ha) memories of MCRD for me.
Ten short days later I put him on an airplane back to Camp Pendelton for his 21 days of infantry training. After he graduated from that he flew out to Aberdeen Proving Grounds for his MOS school.
He sent me a thank you card for being his dad and for being a Marine. He enclosed a poem...
A foot note when we were on float in 1976-77 with BLT 3/4 they had us sew name tags on our cammies and ulit could not wait to rip the off.
Thank you ,
Herbert D. Dewey SSgt 1975-1988
SKINNY BODIES TO THE FRONT
Hey Sgt. Grit.
My dad added some comments to the list of Boot Camp Lines.
Under #5 Fat Bodies to the end of the line, skinny bodies to the front....My dad says "I was last in the chow line because I was the shortest one in the platoon. So these fat guys would line up behind me. They could only eat lettuce and veggies, skim milk, no bread, and no dessert. The fat guys would steal boxes of cereal and eat it at night. They had to show the DI's their trays before eating. I felt sorry for them. One guy lost over 50 lbs in 13 weeks. It was like a forced diet."
Then he added #42..."PORT SECTION MAKE A HEAD CALL!" "AYE AYE SIR!" 36 guys trying to take a dump in 6 toilet bowls and 6 pissers. One minute later the DI yells "CLEAR THE HEAD". Only 12 out of 36 got a chance to take a dump or pee. Starboard section is next...same thing happens.
Geez. I couldn't even imagine......
God Bless Our Troops!
NO NEW RECRUIT COULD CARRY A WEAPON
As an additional response to the items by Sgt ANDRUS and Sgt RAPA about the lack of military people in police depts. I'd like to add this. In 1973 after leaving the Corps I joined the Biloxi, MS Police Dept. along with 11 others. None of whom had any military background. At that time it was an accepted policy that no new recruit could carry a weapon until they had successfully completed the Mississippi State Law Enforcement Academy's firearms training. That meant that new officers were riding in patrol units as second partners without the ability to respond to critical situations, or the ability to back-up, or protect their fellow officers or themselves. (Always seemed to me a rather stupid rule to put a man with a badge as a police officer on the street un-armed). Anyway, as it turned out, someone in the administration saw that I was a Marine with Vietnam combat experience and made me the exception to the rule. From day one, I was issued and carried a weapon. And, when I finally got assigned to the academy I was the top qualifier in my class on the firearms course. Though I never rubbed it into the faces of my "civie" classmates or fellow dept recruits, I knew that my Marine training was what put me ahead of them when it came to weapons, shooting and the ability to take charge of situations we faced on the streets.
Joe Newman SSGT
USMC 1965 - 1971
WE WERE CURIOUS
ITEM ABOUT EXCHANGING RIFLE PARTS FROM ARMY GUARDS RIFLES:: WITH 6TH REGIMENT IN ICELAND IN '41, WE WERE ON DETAIL LAYING CEMENT FOR QUONSET HUTS AND BEING GUARDED BY AN ARMY PRIVATE WITH A NEW GARAND RIFLE. NATURALLY, NEVER SEEING ONE BEFORE AND STILL HAVING '03 SPRINGFIELDS, BARS AND 45S, WE WERE CURIOUS AND ASKED HIM TO STRIP HIS WEAPON. HE DIDN'T KNOW HOW. DURING A LIGHT RAIN AND WITH A LITTLE TRIAL AND ERROR BY A MARINE HE WAS SHOWN HOW, BUT NOT HOW TO REASSEMBLE IT AS WE RETURNED TO WORK LAYING CEMENT DECKS FOR QUONSET HUTS FOR THE ARMY.
GUNG HO OLD CORPS. DL FINNEY. 22ND REG.
Just came back from a Bear hunt with two buddies from 1st tanks in Vietnam, the last time we saw each other was 37 years ago in country. One was a jimmy Bridges from Ca, the other was Carmine Montemarano from Staten Island, New York.
Of course to us we never changed, we had some old photos to compare (Eh). We spent a week up near the Canadian Border and had a great time. We told stories some painful and some funny but it was so great to see these guys.
Also Carmine shot a Black bear (432lbs) which he is going to stuff and call him Rocky after me.So if any of you nam tankers read this and want to join us next year please let me know.
Joe "Rocky" Consentino
Nam Tanker 67-68
The five years I spent in the Marine Corps ... and the leadership training I received prepared me for owning my own business! Recently I was honored as one of the 17 Top Women Entrepreneurs in America! My award from President Bush was "upstaged" by a "lady" named Isabelle. I was very disappointed when the president was evacuated to Camp David. Hopefully there will be another opportunity.
I thought you'd like to read a news clip about a former WM. http://www.jaxnews.com/news/2003/jn-localnews-0925-searp-3i25l5735.htm
I was a member of an all state platoon from the state of Idaho 35 years ago. A couple of us put our heads together this summer and sent a letter to the Governor Dirk Kempthorne and this pages http://idahonut.bravepages.com/usmc3056/govspeech_files/ceremony.htm shows what happened. I thought you might enjoy it. It was a great day for us here in Boise, Idaho.
YEMASSEE, SC REUNION
Sgt Grit:Since I had experienced the Yemassee S.C. experience in June of 1957, my wife and I drove up to Yemassee from Orlando so I could relive my past memories. Not to sure what was going to take place, but we got to the train station early on Friday the 19th. Looks a lot smaller now then it did 40 some years ago.
They had a flyer they handed out which was called "First Annual Yemassee Train Depot Reunion", and they also sold T-Shirts.
Their was a small ceremony that started a little after 1100 to a group of approximately 200 people. I would estimate the number of former Marines present to be between 75-100. Most of the Marines seemed to be from the surrounding area, although I did speak to one that had come down from Connecticut. Quite a few seemed to have come through Yemassee in the early 40's, and some in the early 50's. After the speeches by the local dignitaries, the old Salts got up and related Marine Corps related experiences. Everyone has a story, and everyone enjoyed them. God bless them all.
The old Barracks is still there, and a part of this reunion thing is that they want to relocate the Barracks to a spot next to the Train Station. Estimated cost I was told would be around 175K. All donations being gratefully excepted. If you didn't make it this year, go next year. It can only get better.
Had a good time, and looking forward to the second annual reunion. To donate or to get additional information you can call 843-589-2565, or go to http://www.yemassee.net.
Wayne K. Gray
USMC 1957 - 1971
Sgt O'Brien-Kinsay's story "proceeded to wrap us" reminded me of one of my own tales. One of my last duty stations was NCOIC of the Corpsmen at Recruit Field Training Division, San Onofre. The recruit series would hump from one training area to another, and if it was a hot day and we were in the dry river bed the D.I. would P.T. the recruits after we got to our destination. This usually included the added exercise of rolling back and forth in the fine sand in the river bottom cause the sweaty recruits to become covered in the white sand, hence the term "sugar cookies" It was pretty hard to keep a straight face looking at these poor sand coated recruits. I'm sure some of the Marines out there can remember this particular form of torment, I mean training.
Yours "Doc" Lunsford
WAS IT PUNISHMENT
Here's a short yarn you may want to include in your next newsletter:
Once a Marine ...
Sept. 19, 2003
I was interviewing a University of St. Thomas graduate, a captain in a suburban Minneapolis police department, for a story to run in our alumni magazine. During our conversation the captain noted that she had attended the National FBI Academy at Quantico. I asked her if she had ever driven by the football field there. She had. I told her that when I was in the Marines three other guys and I had raked the football field by hand in the muggy heat of late August 1969. And the grass was real, real long! It looked like it hadn't been cut in a month.
"Was it punishment?"
"No," I said, it was just part of being assigned to Base Special Services for six months while waiting for a security clearance to become a guard at NSA. She said that her chief also was a Marine and had attended the FBI Academy at Quantico "before he went on to become ... whatever he became."
I answered, "He went on to become a former Marine."
She smiled, nodded, and shaking her head just a little, said, "Yeah. 'Once a Marine always a Marine'."
End of story.
2375775, Golf 2/4, RVN-1968-69
MA'AM MO OFFENSE, BUT
Last summer, I was at the beach near Lewes Delaware, and I went to my usual beach barber to get a hairdo. I became a little nervous when I found that there was a female hairdresser styling heads that day in addition to my usual barber. I was in for a proper high and tight, and I have seen some bad ones done by stylists. My sister is a hair stylist, and she could not cut a high and tight to save her life. I was hoping that I would be next up when my usual barber's chair freed up, but no such luck. The old gal said, "Next"! Well, I was on deck. I approached her rather sheepishly and said, "Ma'am, no offense, but I want a high and tight, so if you're not used to cutting those, then I'll just wait for the other barber". She looked me straight in the eye, stiffened up, and said, "Your a Marine, aren't you"?! I had no idea how she knew this, but I replied,
"Yes Ma'am". She then went on, "I cut heads for 20 years just outside of Parris Island, and another 5 years at Dover AFB! I think I know how to cut a high and tight! Now, sit down!"
I immediately complied as though a Drill Instructor had given the command. My usual barber, and the other customers were in stitches as I sat there just a little red faced. We had a great conversation for the 15 minutes that the haircut took.
She said she can spot a Marine a mile away by the way we carry ourselves. She said that Marines are all the same. When I left she said, "God bless the Marine Corps".
Best d*mned high and tight I ever got!!!
WITHIN 60 SECONDS
IN 1972 I WAS STATIONED AT PISC 2ND RECRUIT TRAINING BATTALION. ON ONE HOT JULY EVENING I HAD BEEN CHECKING GUARD POSTS AND DROPPED BY THE RECRUIT RECEIVING BARRACKS TO GET A CUP OF COFFEE FROM A FRIEND SSGT. ROB GRESHAM. WHILE THERE, HE RECEIVED A CALL THAT A BUS WAS INBOUND WITH NEW RECRUITS, SO I HUNG AROUND FOR A LITTLE BIT LONGER MAINLY TO FINISH MY COFFEE). AS MOST OF THE "OLD" HATS REMEMBER, THE GREYHOUND OR TRAILWAYS BUS DRIVERS WOULD ALWAYS TURN THE INTERIOR LIGHT ON IF NON-RECRUITS WERE ON THAT BUS. NEEDLESS TO SAY, THERE WAS A NEW BUS DRIVER THAT HOT JULY NIGHT, SO WHEN THAT BUS PULLED UP TO THE CURB THERE AT THE WOODEN BARRACKS ON PANAMA STREET, THE STAGE WAS SET FOR WHAT I THOUGHT WAS ONE OF THE MOST HILARIOUS SIGHTS I HAD EVER WITNESSED. TO MAKE A LONG STORY SHORT, WITHIN 60 SECONDS OF GRESHAM ENTERING AND LEAVING THAT BUS, THERE WERE APPROXIMATELY 75 PEOPLE ON THE "YELLOW" FOOTPRINTS. ONLY FORTY TWO OF THOSE WERE ACTUAL RECRUITS. AS GRESHAM TOLD ME LATER, "I KNEW I WAS GOING TO LEAVENWORTH FOREVER". AFTER HE DID A ROLL CALL, HE INSTRUCTED THOSE WHO WERE NOT CALLED TO "GET BACK ON THE BUS, SIT DOWN, AND KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT". (MYSELF AND FOUR OTHER DRILL INSTRUCTORS OF COURSE WERE ROLLING WITH LAUGHTER DURING THIS WHOLE ESCAPADE). I'LL ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT LITTLE WHITE HAIRED GRANDMOTHER WHO SET A LAND SPEED RECORD FROM THE FOOTPRINTS TO THAT BUS. MY FRIEND ROB RETIRED AS A MGYSGT BUT HE ALWAYS TOLD ME THAT HE GOT NERVOUS WHEN HE SAW LITTLE WHITE HAIRED LADIES APPROACHING. I STILL LAUGH TODAY WHEN I REMEMBER THIS INCIDENT AND MY LATE FELLOW MARINE. SEMPER FI!!!
IRONICALLY, NO COMPLAINTS WERE EVER REGISTERED THAT WE WERE AWARE.
MY RESERVE UNIT IS STILL OVER THERE
I am an I&I Marine that was attached to a reserve unit during operation Iraqi Freedom. In my over 6 years in the marine corps have I seen such a cluster. I have no Idea who approved such an Idea of Active duty Marines being attached to the very same unit they Inspect and Instruct to fight in a war. It was nothing but a constant conflict of Interest the whole time we were over there. It is not The Sgt said this or the Gunny said that. It is that Sgt is Buddy Buddy with that Cpt. So whatever that Sgt says will override whatever order that active SSGT Said. My reserve unit is STILL over there as we are used for everything these days but nothing has changed. I was injured in May, I truly believe my injury would not be permanent had I been with my fellow active duty marines in an active duty unit. We left our homes believing we were going to be attached to an active duty unit but the powers that be in what I believe a RIBBON chasing rage decided to take on missions as a reserve Battalion, Now not only are we getting (from what i understand) a GWOT (which really doesn't signify anything), because of the powers that be, they are STILL over there and will probably will remain there till the new year. In the same breath though, I truly believe these marines and the rest of my brothers in the fleet that fought side by side in this war, lost there lives, are permanently injured (which really does change the rest of your life) or just had mental difficulties are getting screwed because, this war was by far a bigger Campaign then desert storm, Coalition forces are still dieing, but we will not be recognized like they have in the best. That truly breaks my heart. I am being medically discharged once they can fix me well enough to manage without surgery and the heavy load of medication I am on, not to mention the constant visits to my specialist teams. I will leave the Marine Corps feeling let down by the Corps and that hurts. A message to my fellow brothers that are able to stay in: DONT LET OUR CORPS GO TO SHAME, WHENYOU BECOME THE POWERS THAT BE FIGHT HARDER FOR YOUR MARINES AND RECOGNIZE THEM FOR A JOB WELL DONE. MAKE OUR CORPS THE WAY IT USE TO BE: HONOR COURAGE, AND COMMITMENT.......SEMPER FIDELIS
BUT SHE DOESN'T LIKE IT
My daughter graduated from Parris Island in August of this year. When she went in, I was concerned about two things: 1. Would she make it? 2. Would she get the right training?
When we went to her graduation I was satisfied. She had gotten the same training as the men, and when I looked into her eyes, I saw the same look that I've seen in the mirror for 34 years.
She is a Marine.
My problem now is getting her to take her pack off once in a while. She severely injured her leg and won't use her crutches enough because she doesn't want to look like she is goofing off. She says that the Sgts stay on her about it, so she has to behave, but she doesn't like it. Today, when she called she told us that she is going weightlifting, because she thinks she is getting soft.
One more thing, she considers herself a rifleman first, a logistics clerk second. Her favorite training exercise was the urban fighting.
Vietnam 72, MAG 12
WHO WERE THEY?
I am writing this to relay a story of how you have to be a Marine to understand. I served on active duty from 1981-1985. I have been married to my wife since 1982. Not long ago, we were walking in the PX at Ft. Lewis, WA. Behind me, I heard, "Hay, Marine." (I was wearing my Marine Corps ball cap) I turned around and up walked two men and we began to talk and relate when we served and where etc. When we parted, my wife asked, "Who were they?" I replied that one was a Marine and the other was a Corpsman who fought in Viet Nam. She asked if I knew them and I smiled and said no but they're Marines. All she could do was look at me and shake her head. She's been with me all of these years, three while on active duty, and still doesn't understand. I tell her it's a "Marine Thing"
Semper Fi to all Marines. Those of you over there fighting,
keep up the good work.
FMF Pac Band
HIGHEST COMPLIMENTS I HAVE GOTTEN
I laughed until the tears rolled down my face with the story about Commandant Al Gray (HE LOVED HIS MARINES). He was far and above my favorite Commandant . I remember meeting him twice. The second time he remembered me, and punched me in the arm. One of the highest compliments I have gotten to date.
The name tapes hit our unit in early '92. They were optional for a time, then required on any new BDU's. Definitely had a negative impact on moral - We were proud of our differences with the Army, and you had your name stenciled the back (Sea Service Deployment). We had no use for them. We hung on to our old BDU's until they were unserviceable (we would still take them out on training missions).
I'd like to way in on the M-16 vs AK-47 bit. I understand the M-16 and M-16A1 may not be well suited for Vietnam, but the M-16A2 served me very well for 8 years, including SWA. I never had a miss-fire with live rounds. The trade off for cleaning vs High precision is a no brainer for well trained Marines. We were able to accurately engage the Iraqis 300 to 500 HUNDRED yards beyond there maximum effective range! Devastating! Yes, you had to clean it and lube it well, but it wouldn't get so dirty it would jamb in one fight. The only thing I'd trade it for would be the M-14.
Sgt M.A. Taylor 88-96
2nd and 3rd Force Recon Co
NEVER HURT MY CAREER
Your notes about General P.X. Kelley brought back some memories. In 1979 I was an enlisted Marine reservist and a Cadet at Valley Forge Military College. Major Gen Kelley was a chapel speaker and as the token Marine they introduced me to him. He asked where I had been accepted for the next year, I told him the United States Naval Academy Prep School and Villanova University. He spoke to me for about 30 mins and then put his hand out showing me his Villanova Ring. He said "Villanova never hurt my career." Two years later as a Marine 2nd Lt at Quantico I stood in line to speak with the General Kelley as he was now the Deputy Commandant. I told him that we had met before and he responded "two years ago at Valley Forge." To say I was surprised is an understatement. Two years later I was on Okinawa, our Regiment was lined up at Camp Hanson to meet the Commandant. All the Battalion Commanders thought they were going to get a chance to speak with General Kelley but he said he wanted to meet the Company Commanders the Regimental Commander introduced him to me as Lt McKenna General Kelley said "Is that Paul? How are you." General Kelley is a special man that has always had the ability to remember his individual Marines and above all the desire. I still where my Villanova Ring with the Eagle Globe and Anchor on the stone and every time I put it on I think of the man that first put his hand out. I have been told a dozen other stories like this. General Kelley is one of the men that has shown us what being part of the Marine Family is all about.
"Always A Marine"
Paul Wm. McKenna, Jr.
1977 - 1985 USMC
THE HEADSHEDS UPGRADING
From the Gunnys Desk:
After reading the latest issue of Sgt. Grits Newsletter it has brought back many of old memories from the Marine Corps. Lets see in the mid 70s they took away our Tropical Uniforms and had us in Green Trousers w/short sleeve khaki shirts then in 77 or 78 they took away our Sateen Utilities and gave us Cammies but being the Marines that we are we Starched and Ironed them even when it was against regs. Then in 1991 they made us put name tapes on our Cammies so that everyone would know your name. When it came to that I made a comment to my CO that Chesty is surely going to roll over in his grave at this issue. The Marine Corps has had many changes in the past and there'll be more as we continue our heritage of being Marines. As the Subject lines state the old helmet cover had a green cammie side and a brown cammie side. Lets not forget the old knapsack and haversack that you would join together to make a Field Transport Pack w/your shelter half over the top and your e-tool on the back. Now they have the ALICE pack, and I believe that the old Shelter halves are a thing of the past also. I don't agree with the headsheds upgrading of the Uniforms but as all Good Marines that we are we just say uck it and drive on.
Semper Fi Ray Lancaster GySgt USMC (ret) FOREVER
NO MATTER HOW LOW
In regards to Pfc Herbert Jacques comment on a low serial number, where mine was in 800,000 area his was 444596. Not surprising since he got in Aug. 27, 42 and I didn't make it until Mar. 43 (actually I am somewhat surprised that there were 400,000 between his enlistment and mine). I've found that no matter how low your serial number is, there was always some old salt with a lower one.
I also wish to make a slight correction to former Sgt. Nick Sparacino's gung ho letter. Don't know about today's Corps but in WWII those in the FMF all had shoulder patches identifying their outfit. Even after the 4th Marine Division was deactivated, I continued to wear my shoulder patch until discharged.
Sgt. Walter Dodd
TURNED AROUND AND SAID
Good morning Sgt. Grit,
It is a pleasure to be aboard---------- I enjoy you site, keep up the great work. Out of all the services the Corps has always been a close knit family. I play the bagpipes with the Shriners "Highlanders" Pipe band and when we play the military set most of the time members of the Corps are the only ones to stand up. Right now there are 30 members in our band and out of that 5 are Marines, last summer it was a hot day in Pittsburgh (95*) and we were stopped in a parade while the units ahead of us were at the reviewing stand. There was a short wall next to where we were standing and the Drum Major said to the band " the band can fall out and sit down if they want-------- the Pipe Major who is Korean Marine Vet - turned around and said " the Marines will stand fast"--------- which really got a laugh, BUT the Marines did stand their position and waited for the parade to proceed. It is all done in good fun, there are all branches of the service in the band but the Corps guys are just a little bit
closer than the others.
Your Aye, Semper Fi, Dale Brown
I wonder how many Marines remember The Four S's? When I arrived at Parris Island in October 1942 as a boot, I slept overnight in a tent, taking up quarters in the wooden barracks the next morning. That morning at 0500 hours, our Senior DI, Sgt McCoy, an old China Marine, barked at us with, "You people know about The Four S's? Ya' don't, huh? When I give the order, you WILL do The Four S's in the head, S#*t, SHAVE, SHOWER, and SHAMPOO! When you are finished, you will stand in ranks as you are now, for my inspection! You have FIVE MINUTES, AND FOUR OF THEM ARE GONE! DO IT!!"
Cpl Orville B. King, USMC 478727
FROM THE SGT GRIT BULLETIN BOARD
I am a newbie here but I would like to share a story with the group. While I was visiting my family in Georgia this summer, my brother and I were sitting outside a local restaurant waiting for some other members of our family to arrive. I was wearing a red baseball cap with "Once a Marine, Always a Marine" embroidered in gold thread around a Marine Corps emblem. (That I bought from SGT Grit.) An old gentleman, who appeared to be in his late seventies, came shuffling by while being supported by a middle aged woman I assumed to be his daughter. He abruptly stopped by me and the woman snappily said "Come on. Why are you stopping?" He said "I want to visit with this Marine." He then brought himself up straight, executed a snappy salute to me, and said "Semper Fidelis Marine." Of course, I immediately stood and returned his salute and greeting. He was a World War II Marine and had been discharged in 1949. We talked briefly about our Marine service while his daughter waited impatiently. Then, with another hand salute and "Semper Fi", he continued on into the restaurant. It really made my day and reminded me that we are part of a special fraternity that stretches back more than 225 years and forward into eternity. It gave me the warm fuzzies inside. Take care.
My father sometimes has to go to Chappel Hill to see a specialist about his cancer, and he used my vehicle one time, due to his being in the shop. He made the comment that when he went to pay his fee for parking, the attendant said no charge, then Semper Fi! He said it puzzled him. The next time he went in his car and paid the fee, with no response. I told him he didn't pay with my car cause it had a Marine Corps tag on the front plate and sticker in the back window. That the man must be a Marine! My father said he wasn't sure, so I let him take my car again, and it happened again! Now my father will mention every now and then about me picking him up a Marine Corps plate!! I tell him, no way dadd-e-o! Earn yours like I did! P!sses him off cause he will be 70 this year!! At the same time, it's the only thing I know for sure he won't out do me in!!
About three months ago, moved into the present barracks. A month or so later, I was shopping at one of the local supermarkets when I passed a checkout line. I was wearing a cover that indicated my prior service when this older gent (not that there are that many older than me) gave me a Semper Fi. We BSed for a time while his wife politely stood by. She commented that this happens all the time -- greeting other Marines. When I commented on this, he pointed to the nearby "bagboy" and he said that he's one of us, too. The latter overheard this and nodded affirmative. The three of us then exchanged Semper Fis. Semper Fi & Gung Ho,
I was in during the cold war period and find the men that were in during this time do not like to admit to being in the corps. I don't know why? I am very proud that I served in the best.
cpl Paul Bussemey (57-59)
SEMPER FI MY BROTHER...THIS COUNTRY NEEDS A MARINE ESPECIALLY ONE AS DAVIS IS...AND IF HE NEEDS ANY HELP WILL STAND BY HIM...HOOOOOOOOOOORAAAAAAAAAAAAAH
i am a marine from the 24th mau. Beirut, served from 1980 to 1984. did not whine, do not b!tch......i am glad i am here to talk.....marines are here to talk the talk, and walk the walk.....what do you want me to do? what im told? yes! semper fi. with love for the corps, regroup later alive or dead, we will regroup, and ease the survivors.
marine that still remembers
My grandson, Marc Miller, leaves Oct 5 for Parris Island, to begin his training as a Marine!! We are so proud of him and he is both excited and kinda nervous!! Our church is having a "laying on of the hands" ceremony for him that Sunday, to pray for him as he leaves!
God Bless all the Boys !!!!!
Sgt. Grit. Just wanted to thank you all the time and effort you have given getting all of this information out to us. Reading most of th