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Dear Sgt. Grit

Well the time has come and my son has been deployed. It was the hardest thing I have ever gone through as a mother! This was my first deployment and I want to tell you that it is not myth or exaggeration when they say that the Marine family, IS a family.

I went up to Lejuene with 2 of my sons 7 seven siblings. It was hard to enjoy the last two days with him knowing that my son was going clear across the world in less than two days and into a place that held danger for him. For Goodness sakes I used to worry when it got dark and he stayed up at the park to play basketball!

What I saw made my heart swell. I saw lean, handsome, tough Marines. Standing tall and proud, courageous, diligent. I saw these same tough Marines, holding their grey haired grandmothers, whispering gently in their ears "I'll be back granny". I saw Seasoned Marines, holding their babies in their arms and kissing them gently. I was overwhelmed with pride. I thought, if this is what defends us, I am so proud to be an American. There was a tenderness among us, that surpassed, race, creed, color. At one point while walking to get a bottle of water I was crying and a Hispanic woman came up hugged me and walked away. When the buses were loaded and I stood crying, a pretty young black woman came up and held my hand. We never met, never introduced ourselves but we stood there for ten minutes holding hands, never uttering a word.

When the buses pulled away I felt so alone. Like I would die, as my handsome Marine smiled, gave me a thumbs up and blew me and his siblings a kiss goodbye. The night before, one of his squad leaders invited us to his house for a get together, his mother was from Tampa Florida like me. His wife, said, your not driving home after the buses leave, your staying here. I had only met her once before. When I was walking across the parking lot watching the buses fade, I thought everyone had left. Not so. Lance Cpl. Chitwoods family had been looking for me. When his mother spotted me, she threw her purse at her daughter in law and ran up to me and held me in her arms. Then took us home to her house so that we could all be together. I was not alone. I am not alone and I won't be alone. God Bless the 3/2 , Kilo Company, deployed. They are known as the Betio Bastards! I am the proud mother and proud American of these group of unsung heroes

Faith Carman
Proud mother of PFC Justin Carman 3/2 Marines
My Son is MY Hero! SEMPER FI!

Regarding: LT BOBO

My step-grandmother was Lt BoBo's cousin and she died in early 90's.

We found Lt BoBo's Medal of Honor among her things and gave Lt Bobo's Medal to the Niagara County Historical Society in Lockport NY. (Lt Bobo grew up in the Buffalo area)

Just wanted you all to know where the medal was. My father just died 6 months ago and the oral history is gone....he is the one who turned the medal over to the Lockport Historical Society back in the early 90's. (He was in his 70's when he died 6 months ago).

I went to WA and visited the Viet Nam Memorial and found LT Bobo's name ...I am honored to be traced to such a honorable and heroic Marine.

Now you know where his medal is. If you have any questions let me know.


I am amazed. After 60 years have gone by, they still do not get it, We are at war and the only way you fight is kill or be killed, I was taught this in boot camp in 1953,by my drill instructor, We have watched the b.s. in Korea taking 3 years to decide what kind of table they should sit around at the peace talks while the guys died, then the same b.s. in Vietnam ,and Beruit,I guess our Marine brothers who died in ww 2 must be turning over many times with what is going on. Please it's not the military ,it's the gut less leaders from both sides of the aisle, God bless every one in any branch of our forces, The last President who had any balls was H.S.

Semper Fi.
Sgt Frederick E Bruynell

"The circumstances that endanger the safety of nations are infinite, and for this reason no constitutional shackles can wisely be imposed on the power to which the care of it is committed. "
-- Alexander Hamilton

My son enlisted in 1972 just out of High School and retired after 20 years, His son (my # 3 grandson) is on his 7th year as a Marine and is in his third tour of duty in Iraq. My number 7 grandson is a Poolee now in San Diego having joined after graduating High School. I am proud of all three and there service to our country. I was a misfit having joined the Army and did a stint in Korea 51/52 and despite all my talking the fruit of my loins choose to be Marines. We look forward to going to his graduation in September and I guess he will be a career Marine.

God Bless America
George A Plew

We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.
--Benjamin Franklin

Sgt Grit

My father a WW2 Navy man wore a USMC belt for the rest of his civilian life always claiming it to be the best. As an ocean going yachtsman I always have appreciated a product that will stand up to severe conditions. Unfortunately most of the knock- offs available at retails stores are brass plated and quickly rust at sea. This led me to request your catalog in hope of purchasing the genuine article.

During my two years in the Mekong delta of Vietnam I never had much to do with the Marines who were largely deployed in I Corps, but two more recent events have made me feel confident about the future of our country and the World's best standing army the USMC.

In 1992 I was doing relief work for FEMA in the aftermath of "Andrew" in South Florida. As part of the immediate response all services were asked to put up tent camps to house the residents of the 110,000 homes that were completely destroyed and the 500,000 homes that were severely damaged. One camp in Florida City was erected by a unit from LeJuene. To help restore confidence to the displaced residents the Marines running the camp were ordered eat and sleep and interact with the locals.

Unfortunately, word that the Federal Government was giving out free food and accommodation quickly spread amongst the homeless, mostly alcholics,and drugs users, throughout the US and shortly busloads of these dregs of humanity were pouring in to the area. As many of the needy had lost everything including IDs it was difficult to tell initially who was genuinely distressed.

I remember seeing Marines freshly showered, in clean uniforms with polished shoes, standing in chow lines and eating beside the dirty, smelly, bums without outwardly complaining. The discipline involved made realize what it meant to be a Marine.

Later in 96 I was asked by a civilian working in GITMO to come and return his sailboat to the US. When I arrived at the NAS with over 200 pounds of gear for the long sailing trip around Cuba I found that a gale had closed the Navy's harbor ferries down and no one was there to meet me and carry my gear. While sitting on the apron waiting, a squad of Marines in "black face" and camouflage fatigues came through. In spite of the fact that they had been patrolling the base perimeter all night and were themselves exhausted, two of them shouldered their M16s and picked up my load and carried it 1/2 a mile to a ramp where a LCM later picked us up. I will always be grateful to those guys!

Ken Clark
Sarasota, Florida

Hi SGT Grit!

I've spent 6yrs in the Corps from 1964 to 1970 and 2 tours in Nam from 65 to 67 with 3/3. While in the Corps,My life changed forever but for the good. Not only for myself but for my country. The Marines was the best thing that ever happened to me and for that I thank the Corps. The point that I'm trying to make is that I own a 1950 Dodge 1/2 ton P/U street rod and right after 911 I went to a car show with my truck. While I was at the show I met a friend of mine who does pin striping and I asked him to put One Nation Under God and "SEMPER FI" on my tail gate. Well he did and it came out great with the colors he used. Well right after that was done, All of the people at the show were taking pictures of it and I was real proud to have that on my truck. Then the unthinkable happened. 2 state troopers,2 city police officers and 5 staff members came up to me and asked if I had something on my truck that should not be there. Well I told them I DON'T THINK SO! One of the troopers took a look and the other trooper asked him if there was anything there and he said nothing that I could see. And after he said that, I heard a voice say "I THINK THAT SHOULD NOT BE THERE AND I WANT IT TAKEN OFF" Well the hair stood up on the back of my head and the MARINES in me came out. The person who said it was a camel jockey and his wife. I flew off the handle and told him that if he doesn't like it that he should get the F - - K out of my country. Well needless to say, He and his wife were doing this all day to other people at the show and after the police saw what one p!ssed off Marine can do, They were asked to leave the show field and not return. So if you think that I over reacted and should not have done what I did, Then I'm sorry! But being that I will be a Marine till the day I die, I think I did the right thing.


"Every man who loves peace, every man who loves his country, every man who loves liberty ought to have it ever before his eyes that he may cherish in his heart a due attachment to the Union of America."
--James Madison

Just wanted to let you know that my son, LCpl Scott V. Redhead will be returning back to Iraq. I hate to see him go again, but our family believes in what he and all the others are doing over there. Please keep him in your prayers. He is home now in Maryland and will leave to return to North Carolina. There he will wait to be deployed again. As a mother, I need all of the support that I can get.

Thank you for listening,
Debi Redhead
Mother of a proud Marine

I am the almost eighty year old Marine who wrote about keeping our national secrets last week.. I sent this to my local newspaper, the Virginian Pilot. It was printed on 28 June. Thought that would be the end of it. Several days later received a letter from an 81 year old "military widow". She had sent a letter to the Editor in support of my position and sent a newspaper page with her letter of support. She also requested that I send the page back to her. I did with a note telling her "Thank you mam, my mother taught me to respect my elders and you barely made the cut."

Yesterday, 5 July, another letter from a lady citing me by name and supporting my stand was printed. I just hope all this support from ladies does not get my bride of soon to be 58 years jealous. I do not think it will because she proudly wears her Marine Corps jewelry. In front of my house, I fly both Old Glory and my Marine Corps Flag. My play room has so many USMC items, mostly given me by my three daughters that I have run out of wall space. Even a DI Bobblehead. So many shirts that I am running out of closet space. Hats, you name it. My nephew whose son is now a Gunny sent me a clock he had made from an old phonograph record backing a Marine Corps Seal. My younger brother who was a sea going Sergeant of Marines died last year.

While at DaNang, I visited one of my Sergeants who contracted some exotic bug. As I came out of the hospital at Marble Mountain, I ended up in the triage area, where Marines were on cots after being wounded. I wanted to stop and chat but couldn't force myself to do it. Thought it would be bad for morale for them to see a middle aged Lt. Col, cry.

Come to think about it, women do most of the shopping. Two women writing letters to the Editor may cause some to take pause about bad mouthing the military, the war or the Commander-in- Chief. Advertisers read the letter and may temper the position of the paper fearing a boycott of their business if they advertise in a particular paper.

Even a person with a quadruple by pass, deterioration of the lower spine and arthritis that causes me to have to hunt and peck to write this epistle can do something. I do thirty minutes a day on my treadmill and do three miles in thirty minutes, which I believe to be six miles per hour. NEVER GIVE UP! At least try to do something for God, Country and Flags!

Lt. Col.Henry T. (Tom) Cook,
USMC (Ret.) 1945-1970

Sgt Grit,

I read your column each time it comes to my email address. Today though, it was time to reply, not just read. I am a Proud Marine Mom and my son will be returning soon for his 2nd tour... of which I am more concerned with than the first tour. If my son were to make the ultimate sacrifice for our country, I sure as hell wouldn't want all the media to broadcast the gory details. Would that make his sacrifice any bigger? The two that have been on the news, and were tortured,etc... I JUST DON'T NEED TO KNOW ALL the details! The media was happy (it seems) to give out every detail though. Even at the 7am news there were details. Too many details. It would be hard enough to have lost your "person", but to have the media glamorize the incident, and go over it and over it and over it. Why?

My heart and prayers go out to all those that have lost their loved ones serving our country. My heart goes out to those that have had their loss reported over and over and their lives ripped apart with every break in the news by having to hear those details over and over for days. Those that have fought for my county and my freedom of speech, I thank you, but I choose to use that freedom of speech properly and with concern for others. Unlike the media, sometimes I think that the media has way too much ability to speak about whatever they want, without giving a real crap about what the parents, or spouses, or children left behind feel. Having stated that one of "our Boys" has made the ultimate sacrifice would and should be all of us Americans need too hear. NOT all the gory details. Let the families grieve with pride and dignity. With each sacrifice that is made, and every uniformed person sent to Iraq, we should as Americans remember why we are over there in the first place. We don't need those losses glamorized at all, instead we should turn off the news; all salute and raise our flags even higher for each and every loss(sacrifice).

Proud as h&ll of my Marine and yours
Carrie Wagner

"Patriotism is not chic in the circles of those who assume the role of citizens of the world, whether they are discussing immigration or giving aid and comfort to the enemy in wartime."
--Thomas Sowell

Sgt Grit,

This is in response to the July 6, 2006 newsletter from Julie Steveson, Mother of a Marine (almost) ,

Ma'am, reading your letter I flashed back to July 31st 1983 when I was riding away in the recruiters car looking back at my mother crying.

Raised by her only, in a single parent household, going off to boot camp was the toughest day of "our" lives.

I still remember the tears in her (our) eyes.

As much as you want to protect them, there is a time to let go and let them spread their wings.

I grew up really fast those next three months, but I never would have made it, if not for my mother.

I owe everything to her, and I'm sure your son feels the same.

Just remember what the Honorable Ronald Reagan said,

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."

Your son, and the son's and daughters to follow will all make a difference.

No matter how big or small the differences they make is not the concern, but it's the difference in us and others, that they sometimes make we should concern ourselves with.

Congratulations on raising your son with the values needed in the Corps.

Semper Fi,
Corporal Dave "Smitty" Smith
VMA-131 Diamondbacks

I couldn't help tear up reading some of the stories/comments listed on your site. I also am now an extending part of the Marine family, my 19 yr. old daughter just graduated from boot camp at Parris Island on 23 June 2006. I was blessed to be able to attend this very special event and I was very proud and tears were falling, especially at the EGA ceremony! I am so proud of her and what she has chosen to do with her life! I have a couple of bumper stickers on my car and a pin on my purse. She is now at MCT and at the end of the month she will find out her MOS and location of her school, we are all excited to know where she will go next. I must have taken over 200 pictures those 2 1/2 days at Parris Island and am excited to start her scrapbook honoring her decision to join the Marines. I have lots of people ask me, "Aren't you afraid she'll be sent to Iraq?". I tell them that of course I don't want my daughter to die, I would be devastated, but it is out of my hands. She made a decision and she signed on the dotted line to put her life on the line for her country and I am very proud of her for that. We are a Christian family and I trust God with her life, He is ultimately the One who will decide when it is her time to die, not the Marines, not the war, not the enemy. I get very funny looks from people when they get that answer, but that's ok, my daughter feels the same way and is proud of me for standing up for her decision. God Bless all of our troops and all of your family members whether stateside or overseas.

Very proud mom of a Marine,
from Yuma, Arizona

The Last Letter Of Col. Sullivan Ballou:

July 14th, 1861
Washington D.C.

My dear Sarah.

The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days -- perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write you again, I feel impelled to write lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more.

Our movement may be one of a few days duration and full of pleasure -- and it may be one of severe conflict and death to me. Not my will, but thine 0 God, be done. If it is necessary that I should fall on the battlefield for my country, I am ready. I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in, the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans upon the triumph of the Government, and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and suffering of the Revolution. And I am willing -- perfectly willing -- to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this Government, and to pay that debt.

But, my dear wife, when I know that with my own joys I lay down nearly all of yours, and replace them in this life with cares and sorrows -- when, after having eaten for long years the bitter fruit of orphanage myself, I must offer it as their only sustenance to my dear little children -- is it weak or dishonorable, while the banner of my purpose floats calmly and proudly in the breeze, that my unbounded love for you, my darling wife and children, should struggle in fierce, though useless, contest with my love of country?

I cannot describe to you my feelings on this calm summer night, when two thousand men are sleeping around me, many of them enjoying the last, perhaps, before that of death -- and I, suspicious that Death is creeping behind me with his fatal dart, am communing with God, my country, and thee.

I have sought most closely and diligently, and often in my breast, for a wrong motive in thus hazarding the happiness of those I loved and I could not find one. A pure love of my country and of the principles have often advocated before the people and "the name of honor that I love more than I fear death" have called upon me, and I have obeyed.

Sarah, my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me to you with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me irresistibly on with all these chains to the battlefield.

The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them so long. And hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when God willing, we might still have lived and loved together and seen our sons grow up to honorable manhood around us. I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me -- perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar -- that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not, my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battlefield, it will whisper your name.

Forgive my many faults, and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have oftentimes been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness, and struggle with all the misfortune of this world, to shield you and my children from harm. But I cannot. I must watch you from the spirit land and hover near you, while you buffet the storms with your precious little freight, and wait with sad patience till we meet to part no more.

But, O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the garish day and in the darkest night -- amidst your happiest scenes and gloomiest hours -- always, always; and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath; or the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by.

Sarah, do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again.

As for my little boys, they will grow as I have done, and never know a father's love and care. Little Willie is too young to remember me long, and my blue-eyed Edgar will keep my frolics with him among the dimmest memories of his childhood. Sarah, I have unlimited confidence in your maternal care and your development of their characters. Tell my two mothers his and hers I call God's blessing upon them. O Sarah, I wait for you there! Come to me, and lead thither my children.

"The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time; the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them."
-- Thomas Jefferson

Sgt Grit,

I'm not a Marine, however I have had, what I class as, the honor and privilege, volunteering time with 'The Iraq Page' compiling articles of the fallen, many of them young Marines. A great deal of people class sportsmen, musicians, actors and the like as idols. These Marines - they're Heroes, every one of them. A group of ordinary people who have done extra-ordinary things.

When a soldier falls on the field of battle, they earn the right to live forever.

SGT Andrew Massard
Australian Army.

Dear Sarg,

We told our 3 year old boy, when faced with the possible prospect of being questioned by the Border authorities during a trip through Canada, to answer by saying Yes, Sir. Turns out they did not ask him any questions, but as we drove away he piped up from the back seat with a very loud "Yes-Sir! Yes-Sir! Yes-Sir!"

Fast forward 5 years and following the death of his grandmother he tells us that we should "create a Tessaro family flag and fly it at half staff to honor grandma".

Fast forward another 10 years and he has found himself at Parris Island. No, we were not surprised.

The Few, The Proud... the Mom,
Michelle Tessaro

"If the present Congress errs in too much talking, how can it be otherwise in a body to which the people send 150 lawyers, whose trade it is to question everything, yield nothing, & talk by the hour?"
--Thomas Jefferson

My 19 year old son is preparing now for deployment on the 26th MEU early next year. I would love to hear from Marines who have been aboard a MEU. What is it like to be on this ship? He is very excited to be preparing for this. He loves what he is doing even though he misses his family at home. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance.
Mother of Marine LCPL Matthew Moore

The Musical Car Horn is a great toy for an eighty year old retired Marine (1944-1968). My wife keeps telling me that I'm going to get "locked up" for excessive horn blowing. It will be worth it. Enjoy the shocked looks and big smiles from former Marines.

Semper Fi,
MSGT John E. Godwin USMC RET,
Shreveport, LA.

Dear Sgt. Grit

People ask me ALL the time why I joined, I simply reply "I was born to, it's my duty." I guess it's just something some will, unfortunately, never understand.

Semper Fi
Poolie S.F. Candelaria

"Victory at all costs,
Victory in spite of all terror,
Victory however long and hard the road may be;
for without Victory, there is no survival."
-- Winston S. Churchill

Hangin out with the Boys

My best friend Sam and I are Marine poolees from Oklahoma. Last Saturday we had our monthly pool function in Bartlesville. We rode separate this time because we each had a car full of possible enlistees. On the way there Sam was rear ended by a car that was going 115+ miles an hour. His car rolled several times, and to look at it you would think nobody survived. One out of four didn't. Everyone thought that Sam would be in the ICU for at least a week, then be in the hospital for a couple of weeks. It's been 6 days, and he will be leaving. He had a Sergeant Major, and our NCOIC come visit him. He saluted them, and wouldn't stop until they finally saluted him back. He looked at them, and told them he wanted to start training again, even though he had just started walking again that day. Today, a lady who had worked on him at the accident scene, came in and told him she couldn't believe he was alive, or that he was recovering so quickly. Sam looked at her, and said "God loves Marines." and to that she replied, "I believe that now."

Recruit Statum

"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters."
--Daniel Webster

My name is Mike Dubala, LCPL USMC, 1972-1976.
My dad was in the Air Force for 21 yrs. He retired in 1972 at Tinker AFB, Ola. Shortly after he retired, I joined the Marines on the delayed entry program.

I left for San Diego in August of 1972. I ended up at Camp Lejeune. I worked for 6 months to get my MOS of 3051, General Warehouseman.

Then one day the company Gunny, Gunnery Sgt. Johns, asked me if I wanted to be company driver. I said sure, and filled out the papers to get my Military license.

I was company driver for 3 yrs.

About a year ago, my Wife, daughter and I were eating at a local Mexican restaurant, and I noticed that there was a table of about 8 or 9 people by us. The young man, with his short hair, I took was in the military.

When they were leaving he came over to our booth and asked me if I was a MARINE? I told yes, I served from 1972-1976, and that I still was a MARINE, since, Once a MARINE ALWAYS a MARINE! He thanked me for serving and I found out that he was in the Army. I told him thank you for serving.

That is the first time that I had someone come up to me and THANK me for serving.

Now when I am out and see a young person in uniform or short hair, I asked them if they are in the service and which branch. Then I proceed to THANK them for serving and tell them that I am a MARINE!

Semper Fi!
Michael R. Dubala
LCPL, 1972-1976

Sgt Grit:

I read with interest, Jim Curtis' entry about Sgt Wright and recommendation for the Medal of Honor.

I recall that the intrepid NCO was pinned with the Bronze Star at the War Memorial (Iwo Jima statue) in Arlington by the Asst Sec of defense and the Asst CMC. It appears that someone high in the Pentagon felt that Wright's award was too little. (I also recall that Pvt Jessica Lynch received a Bronze Star for getting captured. This cheapened the award.) I assume that Wright's C. O. wrote him up for the Bronze Star I believe he rates no less than a Silver Star.

In July 2004, I was in Arlington attending a reunion of the RVN era 3/3. Many of our old warriors visited our wounded at Bethesda and Walter Reed Hospitals. Then Cpl Wright was a patient at Reed. He was invited to attend our banquet, and he did.

I had an opportunity to meet this remarkable, outstanding NCO outside the Double Tree Hotel. I introduced myself and handed him my Young Marine 'business card.' We chatted for a while and he demonstrated his new prosthesis on his right arm. His left forearm was covered with a bandage. He had a remarkably positive, professional attitude. He attempted to put the card in his trouser pocket and missed. It fell to the deck. As I reached for it, a very attractive lady standing behind him picked it up. I assumed she was his wife/girlfriend. I soon learned she was his mother.

He demonstrated the pincers on the prosthesis and stated, "Ya' know, Skipper, I just hope those Docs at Reed can fix a trigger puller on this gadget, I need to get back to my troops." The tears welled up in my eyes and I turned to his Mom and told her, "I attend these get- togethers, so I can once again, be permitted to walk among giants. Madam, your son is one of them." As I choked up, I told them they would remain in my prayers.

Giving addresses at the banquet were our own Col John Ripley, former CO of Lima 3/3 and Maj Gen John Admire, former 2nd Plt cmdr of my Mike 3/3. Last to speak was Cpl Wright, who spoke only a few minutes. His comments brought a roar of applause that was probably heard across the Potomac on the Mall.

In the engagement when Cpl Wright was wounded, he demonstrated remarkable presence of mind in instructing a "green" Corpsman how to treat his wounds and at the same time directing the fire of his surviving troops. During this same fight, his Company Commander, Capt Bryan Moran led an assault on the flank of the enemy which resulted in the enemy fleeing. The Captain was killed in this fight. He received a posthumous Navy Cross. He is buried in the National Cemetery in his native Memphis. A bronze bust of Capt Moran is displayed in the Library at his Alma Mater, the University of Tennessee at Martin.

I believe Sgt Wright rates a medal for his distinguished service. He is an icon. He is an inspiration to all brother Marines who meet him. I pray that he will be permitted to have a great career in our beloved Corps.

Semper Fi,
Larry Green
Captain of Marines

"On the eve of a holiday that used to stir patriotic emotions- the Fourth of July-it has been painful to see examples of how little remains of that glue that holds a society together... Patriotism is not chic in the circles of those who assume the role of citizens of the world, whether they are discussing immigration or giving aid and comfort to the enemy in wartime. The decline and fall of the Roman Empire was as much due to the internal disintegration of the ties that bind a society together as to the assaults of the Romans' external enemies. The pride of being a Roman citizen was destroyed by cheapening that citizenship by giving it to too many other people. The sense of duty and loyalty eroded among both the elites and the masses. Without such things, there could be no Roman Empire. Ultimately, without such things, there can be no United States of America. In neither case have tangible wealth and power been enough to save a country or a civilization, for the tangibles do not work without the intangibles."
--Thomas Sowell, USMC

Sgt. Grit,

My son started out in the Delaware County Young Marines and in 2002 went to Parris Island. Justin has done (2) tours in Iraq, 2002 & 2003 as a Combat Engineer. Justin's home base was Folsom Marine Training Depot, In Folsom, Pennsylvania. My Marine has been juggling war, college and recruiting, in York, Pennsylvania for 4 years (recruiting 2 summers) and I am exceptionally proud of him. Justin now leaves for Camp Pendleton on July 23, 2006, as an active Marine. Justin went active July 1, 2006, he'll do his new training with his new unit for a while and then back to Iraq in September 2006.

My pride in my son overwhelms me sometimes but I have every reason to be proud. Justin is 22 and has seen more than an average man can comprehend. I pray to God every day to keep him under his angels wings and protect him, as it is said in the Bible, Psalm 91. I am sure there are many prayers being sent to Iraq by many many people, don't give up they are working. Our men, women, boys and young ladies need them everyday. Justin says to me "Mom, I'm doing what I signed up for, to PROTECT OUR COUNTRY, and I LOVE MY MARINE CORPS."

You can only guess why my Pride in my son is overwhelming. God Bless Cpl. Justin D. Cox, and all our troops.

Proud Marine Mother, Semper Fi
Joan L. Karr

Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary, The Devil, walketh about seeking who he may devour.

Dear Sgt. Grit,

My name is USAF SSgt. Larry Cormier and I have the honor of having your catalog. I saw your catalog at my son's house in Tucson, Az. and saw the pride that the Marines have. My son was in the Marines and he stands tall when someone tells him thanks for being in the service and for being in the Marines. They do the same when they see me also because I have one of the U.S. Air Force Retired caps. I only wish it was a Marines cap.

When he went through boot camp, I saw something I didn't know about. I was always told you have to be crazy to be in the Marines, but what I saw that day really changed my mind. The Marines is a family type of service. I had Marines coming to me and thanking me for being in the military. Even the just graduated Boots. I just wanted to hide some where and cry for what I was told and for what I said.

Sgt. Grit, I know you think this is strange, but I'm with an outfit known as the Young Marines. It takes me time to get the ranks correct because in the Air Force the only person you called by rank were CMSgts. But I'm learning and very proud because now, indirectly I'm a member of the Corp.

SSgt. Larry Cormier
U.S.A.F. Retired

There is no point, in a situation like this, being an 80% ally. --John Howard,
Prime Minister of Australia

One of the wonderful thing about being a Marine is being part of a brotherhood. All Marines are brothers. It's a fantastic feeling calling my son Joseph my brother (two tours in Iraq for Joe and I did Nam).

But we have a black sheep in the family. Is it possible to disown him. Representative John Murtha D-Johnstown, PA, a Marine reserve veteran, is constantly criticizing the actions of all the troops in Iraq and wants to pull out. He even went as far as to call the Marines accused of killing Innocent civilians " in cold blood" at Haditha.

Doesn't Murtha know the meaning of "Semper Fi"?

Buzz Barkovich
Pittsburgh, PA

The first time I saw you walk away was the first day of kindergarten. You walked away and never looked back. You see, most kids at this age are slow to walk away into the unknown but not you, you leaped with both feet. From that day I always knew you would be adventurist type and boy was I right, you never walked away from the unknown.

The second time I saw you walk away was when you left for Marine Corp Boot Camp and the out come was the same as the first. Not a hesitation in your step. You walked away with your head held high and your shoulders back as if to say, "bring it on".

The third time I saw you walk away was at the airport as you departed for a two hitch overseas. You knew when you left you would not see your family and friends for at least two long years. This time you had a hesitation in your step. Your head was low and your shoulders were shrugged. This was the first time in nineteen years that I ever saw you hesitate at walking away into the unknown. My chest got heavy and my throat was dry, but I can tell you that my head was high and my shoulders were back as if to say,

"Yeah that Marine is my Son".

You know I am tired of watching you walk away. One of these days I hope to see you walking towards me.


Awash as we are in the cranky appraisals of our war in Iraq and the congressional projects to end it summarily, we have every reason to conclude that for some Americans a real war is not nearly as amusing as one produced in Hollywood. A real war is a lot more difficult to script than a war headed for the silver screen. Inopportune events take place. Even unconvenanted happenings occur. During World War II more than 14,000 American POW's died in German and Japanese hands. President Franklin Roosevelt had not anticipated such brutal treatment. Other unanticipated enormities took place, for instance, the dithering in the hedgerows of France after the D-Day landings. Still, no congressional investigations were convened to distract our leaders from bringing the war to a diplomatically viable conclusion.

Emmett Tyrrell, Townhall

"Whatever enables us to go to war, secures our peace."
-- Thomas Jefferson

The issue of who should wear the Eagle, Globe and Anchor has draw and overwhelming response. I can not post all of them. Following is my response and some of your responses abbreviated.

I will tell what I think. I ain't telling my Momma she can't wear an emblem showing her support for me, our country, and the Corps. While I was in Vietnam my mother (all 5'0", 95 lbs) stood up to Vietnam War protesters at a local mall in 1969. She can wear the emblem. After living through the 60's and 70's and all the BS associated with it. And all the anti-this and anti-that since then, I will take any support I can get. I think our country and our Corps can use it also.

Semper fi
Sgt Grit

I have been paying attention to the discussion about who deserves, or has the right to, wear the emblem of the United States Marine Corps. I am not sure if there is a correct answer to please all but I would like to offer an example that I believe will help clarify the situation.

I want to clarify something from the start. I have just short of seven years active duty starting in 1968. I was discharged as a Staff Sergeant. I have the right to comment. The example I want to offer is my own. After being in Viet Nam I returned home and after a few stops I ended up at El Toro, which was near my home of record. I got in a cab and headed home to my Mother's house. As I pulled up I had the cabbie let me off a few houses down the street. She was on the front porch and as I walked up she looked at me, wearing my class "A" greens and carrying my sea bag. She yelled my name and began to run towards me. As we met she started crying and holding so tight I thought I would break. She continued to hold me for what seemed like an eternity. She let me know that she had been so worried about me each and every day I was gone. She seemed so relieved that I was home. My absence had worried her so.

She has long since passed away, but here is my question to you: would You want to tell her that she does not , or has not earned the right, to wear the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor?

SSgt Huntsinger

Marines be Proud.

I earned the right to wear the EGA in 1962 at MCRD San Diego. I have been proud of that fact all my life. As we Marines know, it's not an easy thing to do. Over the years I've meet many proud parents who wear the EGA, out of pride and respect for their Marine. The only thought I've had is to ask how their Marine was and please send them a 'SEMPER FI' from an older Marine. We Marines wear our EGA with pride and respect for our fallen brothers. What makes us think a loving relative cannot also. I say to them 'SEMPER FI' and hope your Marine comes home safe and sound.

Dennis A. Willaims
Las Vegas, Nv.
USMC 1962-1966

I know I earned the right! Drill Instructor Sgt. DeVito, (Plt. 2202, Paris Island), told me so. While on active duty my Mom would send care packages full of goodies. Always enough for everyone in my unit to get some. She wrote hundreds of letters, not only to me but also to my MARINE brothers. She wore the EGA proudly in order to let everyone know that she was a Proud MARINE MOM! I have no doubt that when she reported in to St. Peter, she did so with that EGA pinned to her chest! Yes, She earned it!

0369, MARINE

I guess Mr. Wayne Luznicky would like to take me out and make me remove mine --- Well let him try. I'm the mother of a Marine. His job right now is burying our Marines at Arlington. I wear an EGA everyday, and when people see it and remark on it, I ask them to pray for our men in uniform.

Beth Lord
Mother of a Marine and proud to show it everyday.

The realization came to me that my boys were now men willing to make the supreme sacrifice to serve their country and their Corps. So while other young men and women feel it is right to party and bad mouth our great nation my sons made a difference. To those of you who think I don't have the right to wear or display Marine Corps attire or memorabilia, I worried while my sons went through boot camp and have sleepless nights as I worry about my son serving in Baghdad. I will wear "my son is a MARINE" button PROUDLY on my lapel.

Bob L.
Proud father of 2 Marines

If this father of a Marine wishes to show is pride in his son..go for it..When I was off participating in the Southeast Asian war games, 67-68, and through my time in 66-70..my dad wore an EGA every day..He was an industrial blacksmith, and happily drove the head of anyone who dared disparage my Marine Corps through their southern aperture. Anyone who has family in the Corps is a "part" of the Corps. As an extra added attraction, I would sure like to hear from any of the guys I was an instructor with at the CounterInsurgency School at Little Creek amphib base..

Proud member of USMC Pipers
Mic Doley

There are a number of reasons non-Marines should wear something other than the Eagle, Globe, & Anchor earned by those wearing it as part of a Marine uniform. While not offensive, it at least minimizes its stature as a badge of honor, courage, strength, duty, tradition.

The most obvious reason against non-Marines wearing the EGA is that there are other symbols, including other forms of the EGA, readily available. The Sgt Grit catalog has numerous examples if it must indicate the Marine Corps. Tradition indicates the use of the blue-starred "Service Flag" (gold replacing blue in the event of the ultimate sacrifice) for parents or relatives.

Ian Montgomery
SGT, USMC, 87-93

We spend a lot of time without our Marines, with only the symbols they have left with us. They comfort us, they give us pride in our country, our Marines and even ourselves. People should respect that, not point fingers and tell us we are "unworthy" of the symbol. We don't claim to be, we merely are displaying the love in our hearts for the men and women behind the symbol. Let that be enough.

Victoria Yare
A Marine wife and mother


If Steve Semenek is so upset with the proud father wearing the EGA, why doesn't he go to the Sgt. Grit catalog and order: Product # 15351 It is only $3.49 plus shipping This is the "Proud Dad of a Marine" Maybe, the Sgt will realize that in order to wear the EGA you must first earn it.

Wilford Verill
USMC 66-70 RVN 68-70

About a year ago, my father tried to give that tie clasp back because he was uncomfortable in wearing it because other Marines would single him out and make him feel like trash. I asked him to keep it and wear it proudly. He had as much to do with making this Marine as my drill instructors. I then told him that if anyone made him feel bad or uncomfortable for wearing it to refer them to me, and I will take care of it.

Mark Sasak

This in response to: Those with the beef over the father wearing the EG&A. Be happy he's not dating Cindy Sheehan!

Semper Fi !
Norm "Frenchy" LaFountaine
UH-34D & UH-1E Gunship Crew Chief
RVN 68 & 69

I used to believe not even a family member should wear the Eagle, Globe and Anchor unless they were a Marine, but have changed my mind. A few years ago I found out that a co-worker of mine (she is retired now) lost her father before she ever knew him. He died on Iwo Jima. I had known her for sometime and finding this out was just floored me. I already knew her (I thought) as a good person, and the thought of someone denying her the right to wear a small memento leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

I find that even when we are old and set in our ways we may still have lessons in humility to learn.

"If you pursue evil with pleasure, the pleasure passes away and the evil remains; if you pursue good with labor, the labor passes away but the good remains."

Dear Sgt. Grit,

I am the wife of Cpl. Antonio Lanza, and a local artist to Beaufort, SC. My community is undergoing a public art project, "The Big Swim: 100 Mermaids by 100 Artists", that will last through October 2007, sponsored by the City of Beaufort and the Arts Council of Beaufort County.

My wish is to create a Marine Corps mermaid, "Fidella", which would symbolize Marines from around the world. I am requesting photos, candid or professional, representing the Marine's service history, duty or experience. I plan to decoupage them onto the mermaid and have it displayed in downtown Beaufort for locals and tourists alike to enjoy. Seeing that Beaufort is home to MCRD/ERR Parris Island, MCAS Beaufort, and Naval Hospital Beaufort, I have been getting a great response, but I still need more help.

If you would like to help me out, please send your photographs to: Emily Lanza/ACBC; P.O. Box 482; Beaufort, SC 29901. Photographs will not be returned. If you wish to send your high resolution photographs by email, please send them to: Emily@BeaufortCountyArts.com.

Semper Fidelis
by Mel Lewis

The Marine Corps of today face not only the horrific challenges that modern strategic military capabilities demand. But it must face and prepare (as it has throughout 2 centuries of faithful service) the far reaching possibilities of the future. The truest measure of their ability too meet the challenges presented them, lies not in their numbers nor in the instruments with which they work. Instead it is to be found in the courage and personal sacrifices of the few proud men and women who have fought their way (against insurmountable odds) to the very top of their craft. This earning them the right to call themselves the "United States Marine Corps" (dedicated too my lovely wife Roben , for whom I am very proud and still love very much in love.) 4 July 06

Sgt Grit,

Just wanted to say that your newsletter continues to motivate me. I am 25 years old and have been out of the Corps for 2 whole months. Each time you send out your news letter it makes me want to ship over for another term. Semper Fi to all of you that were or support the Corps. I wish that all of the people that we fought for could feel the way we do. Oh well. I guess it is true about the saying that freedom has a different taste for those who fight for it. Semper Fi and Happy 4th of July.

Sgt Gehris
USMC 2000-2006

A Few Calendar Contest Participants

Even if they didn't make it to the calendar, these entries are still winners in our book!


This picture was taken late February 24, 2006. In it is my husband, LCpl James Buckland, and our little girl, Shelby, who is 2. He was leaving for Iraq that night and she was telling her Daddy goodbye.

Thank you,
Tonja Buckland

PFC Datres hugging his mother Gina Datres.
October 13, 2005
USMC Emblem Ceremony.
Parris Island, SC

This picture was taken May 29, 2004. It was my sons Matthew Langlois' wedding. The other marines are his brothers Christopher Langlois & Andrew Langlois and his brother in laws Christopher Fetters and Evan Wertley. They rented a uniform for the ring bearer Evan Wertley.

Thank you
Heidi Binder

My husband and I had agreeded not to shoove our chocolate cake into each others face because of his dress blues and my dress my mother had made (we scrapped to pay for the wedding ourselves and didnt want to have to come up with $ for dry cleaning). Everyone, including my own family, was cheering my husband on to put the cake into my face and I could tell he was about to so I quickly shooved it in his and ran as fast as i could while he was chasing me and I was dodging his marines. At the same time my brides maids were trying to block his marines from catching me...eventually he gave up to clean off his face and I was safe from the attack of the cake. :)

"The unforgivable crime is soft hitting. Do not hit at all if it can be avoided; but never hit softly."
--Theodore Roosevelt

Posterity who are to reap the blessings will scarcely be able to conceive the hardships and sufferings of their ancestors.
--Abigail Adams

You Only Have The Rights You Are Willing to Fight For.
You Only Have The Rights You Are Willing to Fight For.

No Better Friend, No Worse...
No Better Friend, No Worse...

God Bless America!
Welcome Home
Semper fi
Sgt Grit

New items!

Women's USMC Sunburst T-Shirt
Women's USMC Sunburst T-Shirt

Marine Kamp Shirt
Marine Kamp Shirt

Proud Grandparent of a Marine Pin
Proud Grandparent of a Marine Pin

Pink EGA Pin
Pink EGA Pin

USMC Flag Decal
USMC Flag Decal

3 PC Digital Short Set
3 PC Digital Short Set

Marine Wife Gold Necklace
Marine Wife Gold Necklace

Marine Sweetheart Frame
Marine Sweetheart Frame

All New Items