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I just thought I would share something funny that my kids' said the other day. We were sitting around the house doing nothing, waiting for Daddy to come. (He's currently an Instructor at OCS, MCB Quantico.) While chatting with my kids I decided to ask each of them what they wanted to be when they grew up. My 6 year old daughter says, "When I grow up I want to be a Dentist or a Marine," to which my 3 year old replies, "I wanna be a little Gunny." My daughter then replies with, "A Gunny just like Daddy?" Then my son says "Yeah, OOH RAH MARINES! Just like Daddy." What a proud moment that was for me (and for Daddy).
Thanks for letting me share.
Melissa - Proud wife of a Gunny
Through the Generations Calendar
2007 Calendar with unique photos submitted by Sgt. Grit Customers. Photos from WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq, and much more. Over 100 smaller photos throughout the calendar.
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I feel the need to thank those Marines again, for their assistance to the Americans that wanted to flee Lebanon. This was not a mandatory evacuation, the people chose to leave. I am saddened by the people that complained about the efforts made from the American government, to secure their lives.
As much rhetoric as we may have heard about the evacuations, they were flawless. In the hour of need, who wouldn't be happy to see the United States Marines arrive? I am lucky to have my husband in the communications field in the USMC. He is aboard the USS Nashville, with the 24th MEU, that was the first to arrive in Lebanon. Michael has emailed stories of Marines holding children, while they were missing their own. My husband was able to watch a 16 month old girl while her mother made sure they would be comfortable for a rest. She thanked Mike, and he said "No, Ma'am thank you for letting me hold your daughter." You see, our daughter is 17 months old, and my husband is missing her with all of his heart.
The world needs to realize that our Troops train as intensely for humanitarian aide as they do for combat. As a last thought, no one has reported that this is the exact same unit that aided in Katrina.
Mrs. Michael Smith
To Sgt. Grit and Marine family,
Claims by writers to this newsletter cannot always be verified even though I know you try. Last weeks newsletter had a letter from someone named Sherry who claimed that her step-grandmother was a cousin of Lt. John Paul Bobo; posthumous recipient of the Medal of Honor. (see 2nd letter in newsletter #127)
I served with Lt. Bobo during his entire time in Vietnam and I was with him at Getlin's Corner where he paid the ultimate sacrifice for his fellow Marines and country. Since that time in 1967, the Marines of the "Flaming I" 3/9 who survived on that hill have become very close to John's family which includes three brothers and one sister. John was the oldest of the siblings and is dearly loved by each and every one of them.
Sherry's letter insinuates that John's MOH was just willy-nilly passed along so someone could store it in a trunk. Sherry's letter also insinuates that John's immediate family is uncaring as to the disposition of something so important to the Bobo family of Niagara Falls (not Buffalo), New York.
Lt. John Paul Bobo's Medal of Honor is proudly displayed by one of his brothers. A brother whose own son is named after John and that son is now serving as a major in our beloved Corps.
The entire family of Lt. John Paul Bobo is a loving patriotic family that truly understands the meaning of Honor-Courage- Commitment. They are entrusted with the respectful duty of caring for the highest symbol of military bravery our country can bestow and they continue to honor their oldest brother John's sacrifice.
The Marines that served with and loved Lt. John Bobo will always be vigilant in protecting the accuracy of anything written about him. This includes making it appear his family wasn't taking care of his MOH! I would expect an investigation into Sherry's claims that (A) MOH purported to be John's is being displayed, will take place right away.
Marines of India Company, 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines will gather for our reunion in San Antonio, Texas July 26-30th 2006 at the Menger Hotel. If you served with I/3/9 in any era, you will be welcome.
I, too, have been a faithful reader of the newsletter and have laughed and cried with many of the writings. My son graduated college and went to OCS in Quantico, and later followed with TBS at Camp Lejeune, NC. He is now with the 3rd Recon Bn in Okinawa and training in 29 Palms for deployment to Iraq next month. I've had and worn proudly a red "Semper Fidelis USMC" t-shirt for several years, but not until an incident this past weekend, did that t-shirt had a deeper effect on me than in the past. I had taken my car in for an inspection sticker and had walked to get a coffee. While waiting to cross a 4-lane highway, a car slowed down and although I noticed it, I just assumed he was going to say something to this old lady standing half-way in the middle of the street. Instead, he yelled "Ooh-Rah" and drove on. I know to some, this may be an insignificant occurrence, but my eyes welled up and I got chill bumps on my arms and the temperature had to be 90 degrees. I've always been proud of my son, but I've never felt more pride than I did at that moment. I wanted to chase the car down and thank him for honoring my son that way and me too as a proud Mom. My nephew Captain is also in the USMC and is also in Iraq. Their dedication and love for the Corps is hard to describe to non-Marine families, but to those of us that are Marine families, we know what it means and the pride that their families have in them. Thanks to the gentleman in the red Mustang - "Ooh-Rah" to you.
Mom in St. Albans, WV
"The Iraq war is being played out against a backdrop of bitter partisan politics in the United States. Of those on the front lines, 70% get out after four years of service, with no long- term benefits. All they want is praise for their valor and service. They want to be able to say. 'I served at Fallujah, Najaf, or Mosul' and be respected for their dedication. Their valor is absent from this war because it is not reported. In Fallujah for instance, 100 Marine squads engaged in 200 firefights in cement rooms, using rifles, pistols, grenades and knives. By any historical comparison, this was extraordinary. In Hue City in 1968, there was one fight inside a house. In the entire history of the SWAT teams in the United States, there have not been 200 fights with automatic weapons inside rooms. Yet the courage of our soldiers and Marines in battles in Fallujah, Najaf, etc. received little press notice. Now we face the test of whether the press will place the tragedy of Haditha in perspective, or whether Haditha will unfairly become a false symbol... What happens if the youth of America adopt the same fractious attitudes as their political leaders? Who then will serve? In the tone of our criticisms while we are at war, we as a nation should be very careful that we do not undercut our own martial resolve. If we as a nation lose heart, who will fight for us?"
--Bing West, former assistant defense secretary
I read the letter in the Sgt. Grit newsletter and I sympathize with you having your Marine magnet vandalized. I have flown a Marine flag on my antenna since my son graduated from Boot Camp in 2001. That is until recently. I have had my flag cut off my antenna several times and this last time they completely broke my antenna off. I have since started putting USMC decals all over my vehicle. I will continue to display these decals although I can't afford to keep replacing antennas. I also wear my son's EGA and his rank pin. I dare anyone to stop me! My son's recruiter Gunny Sgt. Carbonetto once said that the only thing meaner than a Marine is his Mom! Trust me try to stop me from displaying my USMC items, you will learn this saying is true!
God Bless all our troops and bring them home safe!
Proud Mom of LCpl. James Myers Jr.
Sgt Grit: Don't know if this is completely true , (snicker snicker) but heard that Jack Martha and Jane Fonda were getting married. Cindy Sheehan will be the b---h of honor. Wedding party will be dressed in yellow and Cindy will wear a clean sweatshirt. Honeymoon will be in Cuba.
Major USMC Ret.
Bad mouthing John Murtha and the Dixie Chicks is really getting old. Sounds like a bunch of children in the school yard bad mouthing another kid. If you don't like Murtha, when it's time for his re- election, go help his opponent. Put your energy, money and support into getting the 'other guy' elected and send Murtha home.
Same for the Dixie Chicks. If you don't like them, don't listen to them. They make beautiful music but their political sense is nonexistent. All they did was voice their opinion, a right that Marines have fought and died for, and as far as I can tell, not a single American service person has been wounded or killed because of what they said.
Neither are anywhere close to those 'Hanoi Jane' Fonda types and should not be treated as such.
I was touched by the letter from Candi and Jim Warrington of Gibbon, Nebraska, who wrote of some coward(s?) destroying the "Proud Parent of US Marine" magnet that adorned their automobile. I would like to simply say as a veteran of multiple tours in South Vietnam that thoughtless acts such as these diminish the perpetrators and not their targets.
Your memories of your son, his legacy and those of his fellow Marines contribute to the fabric of freedom and tradition that binds the many generations of our proud Corps and serves as a moral compass that guides us and future generations. My thanks to you and all Marine families who share in the selfless acts of our loved ones.
May God bless and Protect You,
MSgt 'Mac' McNeir
My wife and I own a sports bar and grille here in Pensacola, the Cradle of Naval Aviation. Through our door pass some of the finest Marines and Sailors one could ever hope to know. A few standout and the relationships that build over the course of being stationed here multiply and grow. However, there is a time when duty calls, and its takes them away from us. Perhaps it a deployment into Harms Way, or just a new duty station. We have been blessed by these individuals and share a tear as they leave.
This morning, I was going through my normal amount of mail, when I noticed a very large envelope with a return address from Iraq. Our total focus was on this and as my wife and I opened up the envelope, a plastic encased American Flag, and a certificate of its authenticity fell out. As we read the certificate, we realized by its content, that this Flag had flown with a Marine Apache Helo AH-1W (HMLA-169 Vipers) Squadron on Close Air Support night missions over the desert on 4 July 2006 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. It was beautifully scripted to us, our patrons and employee's of our business. This certificate had been signed by LT. Col Biagio Colandrea, Jr. and SgtMaj Ronald Green. What made this even more meaningful, the LT Jeff "Odd Job" Speakman was aboard this flight with Lt Col Colandrea. "Odd Job" was one of our former patrons while stationed here for Flight School. Having been present at his "Winging" ceremony and watched this young Marine become even a better man and person, made this Flag even more special, and yes by God brought out the tears of joy that one of our own would take the time to send such a wonderful and thought gift to us. His simple Thank You card inside the envelope reflected on how important his duty to his God, Country and fellow Marines are to him and HMLA 169.
There is no doubt "Odd Job", that we miss you dearly and love you more, but we understand your commitment, dedication and respect you have for your Duty. We know that you and many others are in Harms Way doing what is right so that we, as Americans can continue to live the life we have and secure our future.
Thank you and God Bless you and everyone serving for us.
Semper Fi son. Come home to us soon.
John & Dale
"I say this struggle is one about values. Our values are worth struggling for. They represent humanity's progress throughout the ages and at each point we have had to fight for them and defend them. As a new age beckons, it is time to fight for them again."
--British Prime Minister Tony Blair
A couple years ago, I decided that I wanted to be a cop. I started looking at what would be the best way to achieve that goal. It didn't take me long to realize that the military was a smart option for me. I started looking at different branches of the military. It seemed like they all offered the same thing; lots of benefits and money. I wasn't really interested in the Marines at first because they seemed a little too hard core for me. It seemed like an 8 week boot camp was just about right. I thought that extra five weeks in the Marine's training made a man go crazy and be nothing but a killer (probably saw Full Metal Jacket too many times).
I had pretty much decided on the Army until I talked to one of my dad's coworkers who is a Marine that served for 23 years. This Marine, Rick, changed my view about the Marines completely. As I talked to Rick, I found that he had a good sense of humor and a good personality. Not the image I had in my mind of a Marine. But when he talked about the Marines you could see his face lighten up and he'd talk all day about them. You could tell he had a passion for the Marines that I've never seen from someone who used to be in the Army or someone who used to be in the Navy. He told my dad and me how becoming a Marine makes you part of a brotherhood. The Marines don't promise you money or benefits. They promise you the challenge of a lifetime, but upon completion, you earn the title of a Marine. They promise to make you the best. Maybe it's because he was a recruiter for 17 years, but after talking with Rick, I decided I want to be a Marine.
I'm not signed up yet (my mother won't sign), but as soon as I turn 18 or I can talk her into signing I'll join. The plan now is to start with the reserves as an MP, then do OCS and go active duty after college as an officer. Even as a 17 year old, I can't think of anything better than being able to serve my country especially as a Marine. I'm counting down the days until I can earn the right to call myself a Marine and become part of the brotherhood.
What this country needs are more people who will stand up for freedom. People forgot way too fast what those little diaper heads did to us on 9/11. We have too many b***ards brainwashing people (along with the media's help) into thinking that we as Americans are the bad people. If we're so bad, tell me why The United States have been around for over 230 years? Why are we the guardians over the rest of the world? It's time people realize how great it is to be an American. We have our freedom but it does not come free. Anyone who wants to argue that can go whine with those beret wearing, French. I would be glad to fight any day for what we have.
I want to give a big thanks to all the service members around the world for keeping America Free! You are with us in our prayers and I'll be coming to fight the good fight with you as soon as possible.
Sam Jones, MN
"If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin."
After watching the biased news last night, it sure was nice to come to work this morning and find your Newsletter waiting for me.
The letters always give me a lift and bring a tear to my eye, knowing that there are so many brave and loyal Marines who take pride in their job protecting us and our country.
In spite of what we are told by the likes of Wolf Blitzer, Paula Zahn, and others; America is still the greatest country on earth, thanks in no small part, to the UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS!
Joel Swanson ('70-'84)
My son came home on leave a couple of weeks ago. He did not bring any uniform with him, just his bearing. We went on our annual family camping trip and came home one day early. We were able to go to church on Sunday because of that. During service there is a "meet and greet" where people walk around shaking hands, greeting, and hugging. Our pastor saw our son, whom he has known since Chris was about 5 or so. After hugging, our sometime wrestling coach pastor remarked, wow! You sure have gained a lot of muscle! I overheard this remark and couldn't help but note "that's your tax dollars at work!". We all got quite a chuckle out of that one!
One very proud Marine mom!
I just wanted to take the time and Thank EVERYONE, for your letters and your support! Keep up the good work! God Bless and Be Safe
Marine MOM and Daughter
I have two sons that finished boot camp in Parris Island, SC in 12/05. We are Catholic and when we came home we went to Christmas Eve Mass. My sons were dressed in their dress uniforms. One young gentleman with a baby child came up to them and thanked them for their duty and the safety to this country. Several older men gathered around them and told of World War II and again thanked them for their service. It seems that everywhere they go there are many people who thank them by just their eyes, but again, you have the young, college students who think they are wrong and they take that so personally because they are that age. I keep reminding them that what they are doing is honorable and respectful and they will never forget this experience.
Thanks so much,
Mary Vander Veer
Mother of Kyle and Matthew Vander Veer
Soon to be stationed overseas in some capacity
"When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary."
-- Thomas Paine
Thanks for your wonderful newsletter. I frequently find myself in tears reading the touching stories about our great Marine men and women. In reading the newsletter dated 8/10/06, the story written by Sgt. Darryl D. J. Newton brought tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat. SSgt. Carpenter and his Marine detail did a marvelous thing and gave a gift of pure love to the Marine combat veteran who was wounded in Vietnam and was desperate for help. Thank you to Sgt. Newton for the story and to SSgt. Carpenter for his humanity, dedication, and love.
Thanks also to Sonya and her son, Sgt. Rice KCIA for his letter. Thanks to all the wonderful men and women of the Marine Corps. for their dedication and service to this great country. We can never thank them enough.
I am the proud sister of two Marine brothers.
As a Corpsman of Marines, I am proud to serve my country. I wouldn't have it any other way. One of the things that concerns me is that people forget why we are over here in Iraq. We are here to do something that has never happened before. We are helping a nation find it's democracy. We never had that when our country first started. We were at a sizable disadvantage when we struggled for our freedom. We did not have the help of an experienced country who has gone through the same transformation. We had the same insurgency in our own lands when the Loyal Subjects of Great Britain did the same sort of things to our government while they lived in our newly formed country.
For Sgt. Jack Albright:
First, let me thank you and your outstanding group of fine Americans for the absolutely great things that you do. I, like you and many Americans, was outraged by the small group of people that were using the funerals of our Brothers to further their own political agenda. What you have done to make that right is worthy of the finest Marines that have gone before you. My Sergeant Major has always reminded us, his SNCO's, that their are two types of serving Marines. The first type is your true Marines, the Corporals, Sergeants, Staff Sergeants and so on that are doing the right thing, all the time, even when no one is looking. Then you have the E-4's, E-5's and so on that are only here to collect a paycheck. You are definitely in the first group: doing the right thing because you know it is right. Be proud of the fact that you are a SERGEANT of MARINES! God Bless you and Patriot Guard!
6114/6018 "Everyone fights, no one quits"
You know how some Marines are gung-ho Marines(the ones you can spot across the room--the ones that were probably DI's or Recruiters) and then there are those that are the ones that are proud but you have to ask if they are Marines. Since my husband's retirement (he is one of the later) I have been told that I am the one that seems to be the Marine. That I am more gung-ho. Maybe that is the pride I have of being an Air Force child and sister, an Army sister(2 brothers), a police sister (all 3 brothers), a Marine wife (and now mom), and most of all AN AMERICAN. I wear my EGA that my husband and son have bestowed on me because they tell me that the Love I have for them keeps them going. I wear it beside my American flag because I am proud of them. I wear them for my son and his friends -- as I put them on I pray that God will keep him and his fellow Marines safe to come home to their families. I may not have "earned" it but just try to take away my EGA. I will fight you just as hard as I would if you tried to take away my American flag.
I sign myself a W.A.M.M.
(Wife and Mom of Marines)
Mrs. Gunny and LCpl Mom
"The hour is fast approaching, on which the Honor and Success of this army, and the safety of our bleeding Country depend. Remember officers and Soldiers, that you are Freemen, fighting for the blessings of Liberty - that slavery will be your portion, and that of your posterity, if you do not acquit yourselves like men."
--George Washington (General Orders, 23 August 1776)
A Few Calendar Contest Participants Even if they didn't make it to the calendar, these entries are still winners in our book!
This is my son Nicholas wearing his daddy's cover. He wears it quite often and I just happened to take a picture. It was taken on our couch by me.
Sgt. Brandon and Erica Hammett
This is my son, SSgt. Eric Mattison with his daughter, Ireland. The picture was taken Dec. 2005 in Tucson, AZ.
I'm not sure what kind of pictures you are looking for so I sent a couple different kinds. There should be 6 of them. Hope these are okay. If you want me to send more of certain kind let me know.
Sir or Ma'am,
I took this picture in July 2005 the day my husband, Sgt. Sean H. Miles left to Iraq. The picture is of the two most important men in my life, my husband and my son. This is my favorite picture, throughout his deployment I found comfort in looking at it. To me it shows two sides of the corps, devotion to not only the mission at hand but to family. Our son was his pride and joy. Yes, I said was. My husband was killed January 24, 2006, less then two weeks before he would have completed his 7 month tour. He was killed by small arms fire in the city of Karmah. His squad was ambushed while on patrol. While already undercover calling in for air support, Sean noticed one of his Marines still in the impact zone. Without hesitation he ran out into hostile fire and pushed his Marine behind a wall for safety, this is when he was mortally wounded.
I am very proud of my husband. He was the ideal husband, father, son, brother, and Marine. His legacy lives on in the heart of all who had the privilege of knowing him.
Mrs. Genevieve L. Miles
Proud Marine Wife of Sgt. Sean H. Miles, USMC
I just received my shirt that I ordered (Corona design w/the Marine Corps) and I LOVE IT! Thanks Grit! I went to the bar and everybody was giving it the double look and it sparked up a lot of conversations!
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!
-- Ben Franklin
There have been numerous tributes to those Marines who have given their last full measure of honor, courage and devotion but the following hit a special cord and was especially meaningful to me and well worth sharing with the Marine Corps community .....it is entitled "Marine Farewell".
God bless all those who are serving in our beloved Corps today and all those who have gone before. May we always keep them close in mind and heart.
Ken Springer, Capt USMC '62 - '68
"Any Nation That Does Not Honor It's Dead Shall Not Long Endure" - Abraham Lincoln
"Our enemies may be irrational, even outright insane, driven by nationalism, religion, ethnicity or ideology. They do not fear the United States for its diplomatic skills or the number of automobiles and software programs it produces. They respect only the firepower of our tanks, planes and helicopter gunship's."
All Men are Created Equal...
God Bless The Marine Corps
God Bless America!
Welcome Home Marine.
Marine Sweetheart T-Shirt
Proud Grandparent of a Marine Pin
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Buffalo Wing Sauce
Mom To The Corps Necklace
Marine Corps Bar Stool
The Moorines Cow
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