To Jeremy M.

Sir: As a United States Marine, you will be a family-member of the greatest fraternity in the History of man. And, as such, you will be charged with (and will faithfully carry out) the duty of protection of the rights and freedoms of ALL who are blessed enough to live in our Great Nation. Your History teacher and the others in your life who today deride your decision to become a United Sates Marine will be among those for whom you will lay your life on the line to defend. "No greater love has a man that he lays down his life for another."

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As an obviously intelligent man, you can do the math: which is easier to shoot off: an ill-informed mouth with a captive audience of High School young people, or a Weapon to save the lives of innocent non-combatants and fellow warriors. Which would any human being rather have: the deep-seated knowledge that they lived a life that had an end, or the Glory of knowing that on the Seventh Day, He rested, and the Marines overran His perimeter and have been guarding the Zone ever since (it’s in the Book of Genesis - look it up) - a life that will go on forever, because the Marine Corps will go on forever. When assailed by those who would tell you "you’re too good to be just a Marine," take a moment and look deeply into your Soul - down in your 'NO B.S. Zone' -- and know that your decision is the right one, and their ignorance is just part of the freedom you will defend (yes - there is a portion of the Bill of Rights that is usually edited out: (The Freedom to be stupid).

Semper Fidelis, Semper

Paratus, Poolee
Connely/R USMC RVN ’66 - ‘68

June 7, 2008

By Tom Segel

Harlingen, Texas June 7, 2008: It started with a short note from a Marine friend asking me for a bit of help. The lady he was championing is Sharon Hyland-Kyser. The name didn’t trigger any pings in my memory bank, so I went to my all-knowing writing assistant - Google. According to that trusted search engine, the name Sharon Hyland-Kyser was contained in more than 3,500 Internet entries. She is the lady who welcomes home heroes.

Her story has been told with far better words than I can place in print. Briefly, Sharon was asking herself a searching question after the great national tragedy of 9-11. She was asking what she could do to help keep her country strong and safe. This thought remained in her mind as she completed college and entered the business world. As the business agent for a large construction company, Sharon was well on her way to success in a very lucrative position.

Being the wife of a paratrooper in the 173rd Airborne Brigade and coming from a family where father, grandfather and great grandfather were all Marines, Sharon was well aware of how poorly some of our young warriors have been treated by their own countrymen.

It was in the Philadelphia Airport that she noticed some of the soldiers returning home were walking past almost anonymous. No greetings, no cheers, no welcoming reception. This, she decided, was wrong, and a situation that had to be corrected.

A giant move in that direction took place last July when Sharon Hyland-Kyser quit her big six-figure a year job, rolled up her sleeves, and started an organization called "A Hero’s Welcome". It was all based on her belief that nobody wearing the uniform of the United States of America should return from war without a strong welcome home.

She started out small, turning out groups of people with signs and flags to greet any service man or woman they learned was returning home. "A Hero’s Welcome" caught fire. Its efforts started being coordinated with other patriotic organizations such as Gathering of Eagles, Warriors Watch and the Patriot Guard Riders. People started contacting Sharon about helping out in other areas of the country. There were stories in local newspapers and on home-town television. Glenn Beck interviewed her on his national television show. In less than one year, "A Hero’s Welcome" grew to more than 30 chapters across the United States. The result has been more than 1,500 American Heroes have been welcomed home from combat and the number gets larger as the pages of our calendar turn.

But, the story doesn’t end here. At this hour Sharon’s paratrooper husband finds himself and his fellow soldiers in combat. The 173rd Airborne Brigade has been committed to the conflict in Afghanistan. Sharon could have remained a Blue Star Wife, supported her husband and continued her welcoming home efforts. But, none of this was enough. This past weekend, she raised her hand and took the oath as a United States Marine.

She is no longer just the founder of "A Hero’s Welcome", she is:

Candidate Hyland-Kyser, Sharon 2671 Officer Candidate School

Semper Fidelis Tom Segel

"No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave."

Calvin Coolidge

Memorial Tattoo LCpl Spencer Hi, our son LCPL William (Billy) Spencer was killed in Iraq on December 28, 2006, he was going after his squad leader, to pull him out of the street after he had been shot, Billy was also shot by the same sniper, so was the young man that went after Billy, Billy was our youngest child, 20 when he was killed, so to my point, everyone in the family has tattoos, all 6 of us, except my husband, who was never to crazy about the idea, I had a few before we married still didn't care for them now is different, he went with the rest of us and this is a picture of after sitting for about 6 hours what he came out with! He is a changed man, of course, but now everywhere he goes our son is sure to go too! a little peace is what he now has. We are so proud of our son, our hero, that I thought you would like to see him to, we know you are proud of all our soldiers and our heroes, so we just wanted to share.

Thank You
Gold Star Mom
Dawn Spencer

LCpl James E. Newman, Pvt Crystal L. Wiley-Newman, Pfc Joshua W. Newman and LCpl Stephen A. Newman This picture says it all.

May 8, 2008
Parris Island, South Carolina
LCpl James E. Newman, Pvt Crystal L. Wiley-Newman, Pfc Joshua W.
Newman and LCpl Stephen A. Newman

"The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have past at home in the bosom of my family. "

Thomas Jefferson

Secrets of WWII

I recently read a post in the newsletter about a Marine whose father "ran the train and that's all" during WWII. Similarly, I grew up hearing stories of my Dad and his brother playing football and baseball all across Europe during WWII and never engaging in combat. However, as a teenage I learned my uncle was a nose-gunner in the Army Air Corps and had in fact seen a considerable amount of combat. But it was not until I joined the Marines that I learned the rest of the story about my Dad. I was getting ready to leave for the airport to begin my trek overseas when Dad called me into his bedroom. He had pulled a small jewelry box out of his dresser and showed me his WWII ribbons. They included a Purple Heart with 3 clusters. He told me he landed at LeHarve, France in late 1944 and I could figure out the rest. With that he said, "Don't ever tell your Mother what you are asked to do. You always enjoyed baseball, she will believe that is what you are doing."

I never had to tell Mom the baseball story and I had a greater understanding of my Dad.

Bob Ehrle, Corporal USMC 1975-1980

Navy Lt. Cmdr. Christina M. Williams in Iraq with 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Fwd)

"Character is the single most important ingredient of leadership."

Gen. H. Norman Schwartzkopf

My Heart on the Line By Frank Schaeffer The Washington Post

Before my son became a Marine, I never thought much about who was defending me. Now when I read of the war on terrorism or the coming conflict in Iraq , it cuts to my heart. When I see a picture of a member of our military who has been killed, I read his or her name very carefully. Sometimes I cry.

In 1999, when the barrel-chested Marine recruiter showed up in dress blues and bedazzled my son John, I did not stand in the way. John was headstrong, and he seemed to understand these stern, clean men with straight backs and flawless uniforms. I did not. I live in the Volvo-driving, higher education- worshiping North Shore of Boston. I write novels for a living. I have never served in the military.

It had been hard enough sending my two older children off to Georgetown and New York University . John's enlisting was unexpected, so deeply unsettling. I did not relish the prospect of answering the question, "So where is John going to college?" from the parents who were itching to tell me all about how their son or daughter was going to Harvard. At the private high school John attended, no other students were going into the military.

"But aren't the Marines terribly Southern?" asked one perplexed mother while standing next to me at the brunch following graduation. "What a waste, he was such a good student," said another parent. One parent (a professor at a nearby and rather famous university) spoke up at a school meeting and suggested that the school should "carefully evaluate what went wrong."

When John graduated from three months of boot camp on Parris Island, 3,000 parents and friends were on the parade deck stands. We parents and our Marines not only were of many races but also were representative of many economic classes. Many were poor. Some arrived crammed in the backs of pickups, others by bus. John told me that a lot of parents could not afford the trip.

We in the audience were white and Native American. We were Hispanic, Arab and African American and Asian. We were former Marines wearing the scars of battle, or at least baseball caps emblazoned with battles' names. We were Southern whites from Nashville and skinheads from New Jersey, black kids from Cleveland wearing ghetto rags and white ex-cons with ham-hock forearms defaced by jailhouse tattoos. We would not have been mistaken for the educated and well-heeled parents gathered on the lawns of John's private school a half-year before.

After graduation one new Marine told John, "Before I was a Marine, if I had ever seen you on my block I would've probably killed you just because you were standing there." This was a serious statement from one of John's good friends, an African American ex-gang member from Detroit who, as John said, "would die for me now, just like I'd die for him."

My son has connected me to my country in a way that I was too selfish and insular to experience before. I feel closer to the waitress at our local diner than to some of my oldest friends. She has two sons in the Corps. They are facing the same dangers as my boy. When the guy who fixes my car asks me how John is doing, I know he means it. His younger brother is in the Navy.

Why were I and the other parents at my son's private school so surprised by his choice? During World War II, the sons and daughters of the most powerful and educated families did their bit. If the idea of the immorality of the Vietnam War was the only reason those lucky enough to go to college dodged the draft, why did we not encourage our children to volunteer for military service once that war was done?

Have we wealthy and educated Americans all become pacifists? Is the world a safe place? Or have we just gotten used to having somebody else defend us? What is the future of our democracy when the sons and daughters of the janitors at our elite universities are far more likely to be put in harm's way than are any of the students whose dorms their parents clean?

I feel shame because it took my son's joining the Marine Corps to make me take notice of who is defending me. I feel hope because perhaps my son is part of a future "greatest generation." As the storm clouds of war gather, at least I know that I can look the men and women in uniform in the eye. My son is one of them. He is the best I have to offer. He is my heart.

"National defense is one of the cardinal duties of a statesman."

John Adams

It always amazes to me that the 'anti-war' people can't realize that if they would just keep most of their vile thoughts to themselves that any war could be over sooner with fewer casualties. I spent some time in Vietnam and I am convinced that if the 'anti-war' crowd at that time (the traitor Jane for example) had just said 'I don't agree with what we are doing but I respect the USA attempt to help the Vietnamese and keep my mouth shut'. If that had happened, Vietnam would be a democracy today and many, many American lives would have been saved. The same is true today. If the 'loyal' opposition would make ONE statement that they do not agree with the Presidents decision to go to war (approved by many of the same people by the way) but that they will support him and the troops who are fighting until it's over, many of our brave men and woman would probably be home by now. These traitors only embolden our enemies and extend the wars they are so eager to end. Let the professionals do their job, keep your mouth shut until it's over and then you can protest all you want. I have seen many bumper stickers and signs that say 'support the troops, end the war' I say 'support the troops, let them win the war!'

Ben Colletti CPL, USMC Vietnam 67-68

"Just wanted to let you know, Bill Nulti, Marine, died this AM. He carried a flame thrower on Iwo Jima and later a pistol into the tunnels there I was not there, I am younger by a generation but I was in Rhodesia and Vietnam with the British Army. Bill was a friend."

J Dabnor

"Are you willing to spend time studying the issues, making yourself aware, and then conveying that information to family and friends? Will you resist the temptation to get a government handout for your community? "

Ronald Reagan

Young boy looking through a Marine's sniper rifle scope Sgt. Grit, We had the pleasure of meeting Marines from Camp LeJeune, NC during Fleet Week in NYC a few weeks ago. I wanted to extend a big thank you to them. They were wonderful with the children showing them their weapons and such. A sniper Marine even gave my son his war paint (something he has been wanting for a long time). Just goes to show that Marines are and always will be the very BEST. Enclosed is a picture of my son trying out a sniper rifle with the help of a Marine. Thank you all Marines and special thanks to the Marines from Camp LeJeune.

Sincerely, Irene Marine Supporter :)

Good Day Sgt. Grit - Just finished reading my 12 June Newsletter. Once again, the postings on the newsletter got this Marines emotions flowing. Your Newsletter is always a joy to receive. I have sent a couple of letters (postings) in the past and enjoy being able to communicate feelings to other Marines and their Families. To the Proud Parent of Brad, (who was nameless), I know that feeling well. I posted a note when my Son left for Iraq and when he returned. Those days, weeks and months in between are enough to make a Parent lose their mind. It is horrible when you here the news and they announce American troops killed, another Marine/Soldier killed by road side bomb, by ambush or mortar attack at a FOB. The hours of relentless sleep and nerve racking hours following that announcement can not be fully described in words. Only the Parent of that Marine or Soldier can know that feeling. Know that there are many of us out here that have and will continue to have those feelings with you. We can only pray for their safe return and the safety of all our troops in harms way.

To Kate Coffman - Your posting was awesome, the video brought tears to my eyes, remembering when my Son returned from Iraq. Thank you for sharing that with us. Semper Fi Cpl Zander Behnke and all Marines near and far. God bless you and bring you home safe to your Family, your immediate Family and your Marine Family. Ooh-Rah!

J.D. Sgt of Marines

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. "

John Stuart Mill

Sgt. Grit,

I can hardly believe that my son's 5 yr enlistment is almost up. He starts his terminal leave August 4th and will be separated on Sep 8. It just doesn't seem possible that these 5 yrs have gone this quickly. But, the Corps has been a tremendously positive influence in him. One of his goals when he went in was to make the rank of Sgt within his 5 yrs...he was just promoted to Sgt. on May 1 of this yr. And how handsome he looks in his dress blues with those 3 stripes. What a difference I see in him and other young men his age. I work as a police/fire/911 dispatcher and I see so many that could use a good kick from the Corps to straighten them out.

I'm somewhat sad about his leaving because I feel like I'm leaving old friends behind. I wonder if I can still be called a Marine Mom? He is "once a Marine, always a Marine" so am I "once a Marine Mom, always a Marine Mom?" I've been asked what I'm going to do with all the Marine Corps stickers and stuff on my car when he gets out and I reply...they stay right where they are, he's still a Marine! Do other moms and dads go through this as well? If I know the USMC family, and I think I do, I am sure I can still say that I am a Marine Mom!

SEMPER FI, Proud Marine Mom of Sgt. Clark - HMX-1 AVI

I will never be 1st lady Nor grace a movie screen I'll never be world famous Nor will I be a queen But I would never change my lot With any that I've seen For you see I am the mother of a UNITED STATES MARINE & my JANNA KATHLEEN


For CPL Mike Kunkel L/3/8

The following is about a Texas Marine that served with L/3/8 in WWll.

Meta In our Shelby Cemetery there about three dozen veterans buried. There is only one Marine buried there. Of the three dozen veterans buried there, only one was killed in combat. That one killed in combat is that one Marine.

Emmet Lee Veith joined the Marine Corps after Pearl Harbor, landed on Tarawa(Bloody Tarawa) was wounded, recovered, and rejoined his unit. He landed on Saipan and was killed June 19, 1944, one day after his twenty third birthday.

Of his father and two uncles he was the only son born. Because of his death the Veith family name will cease in this area. At this Fathers Day Weekend, I think of the Fathers days he gave up with his father; and with his children.

NO, Freedom is not free.
We expect and require a lot of our Marines..... and they meet or exceed.
Semper Fidelis
Ken Mathis
U S M C 59-63

"Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there."

John Wooden

I found my first copy of Sgt. Grit in a laundry room in Tallil, Iraq in 2006. I have since ordered many things, and passed my copies around to many of my friends. The sad part of this story is that I had died 9 months earlier, and I woke up in the Ga. National Guard with a dirty 4 letter word on my shirt that said ARMY. LOL, I have been in the guard for 2 yrs and 11 months, and spent 17 months of that deployed. I am proud of my service in the guard, and I serve with some of the best soldiers you can find anywhere.

About 1/3 of the unit I serve in is former Marine, and having served with the Corps, and now with the Army, I can verify that they do try to compare themselves with us daily. All the former Marines in the unit are treated with a lot of respect, and we constantly hear the question " Is this how the Marines do it?"

I am still Marine, even though the tag says ARMY, and all my troopers will tell you that. We all miss the Corps, and we still maintain the highest standards in everything that we do, just like we learned in the Corps.

I served in Liberia in 1990, Desert Storm in 90-91, and Bosnia in 1993, with the Corps. I served in Iraq with the 48th Infantry in the Triangle of Death in 2005-2006, and we have orders for Afghanistan in 2009. I served in the Corps from 1987-2000 and after a 5 yr break went straight into some of the worst places in Iraq with the Army.

This just proves that the change is forever, because even in an elite Army unit, the former Marines still stand out.

Just so you know, I may wear the Army nametape, but when it's time to go west, I'll be in Marine dress blues.

Semper Fi,
Sgt. J.M. Wilson
A Troop 108th Recon Ga.
48th Infantry Brigade

Sgt Grit,
I just wanted to share with you my Memorial Day.
My son Matthew is involved in the Silver Lake Young Marine unit here in Coeur d"alene Idaho. This Memorial Day I was so proud to be standing at the Memorial Gardens as I was surrounded by many retired Marines and service men from all branches. The walks were lined with our country's flags standing tall just as if they were soldiers. I believe it was the first time in years that I was at a public function and all who were there stood for our country's flag and also sang the national anthem. There was such patriotism and my heart welled with pride. As the color guard approached I could only imagine what many of these men and women had gone through in fighting and serving time for our country and my freedom. As I watched my son and the others walk in step behind the Marine colour guard I was reminded that there are still many who love this country and would gladly give their lives for it. It was an honor to participate and partake in this ceremony. The most amazing part was hearing the bell rung for each name that was called for those who have gone home to glory. Thank you to all who have sacrificed. My family is indebted to you for our freedom. May God Bless each of you.

Respectfully and Full To Overflowing in Gratitude,
Liz Benjamin -- Ma B!

"Government's first duty is to protect the people, not to run their lives. "

Ronald Reagan

To you guys in the Corps.
Sgt. Grit, I am a disabled Vet. from the post Viet Nam era and never saw any action but I just wanted to say that when I was on board ship, I never felt more comfortable than when you guys were on board ship watching our butts! My hats off to you and all other Marines that serve in the places of the world where there is tyranny and injustice. But most of all, I thank all of you who have put your lives at risk to protect me and mine. God keep you in his hands and watch over you with His mighty sword and His M-16, that is if He has one! Again, I cannot express enough how much I do appreciate what you and yours have done for me and mine! SEMPER FI!

From an old squid,
Gary Biggs
P.S. Watch your six Devil Dogs!

"Once upon another time, namely Franklin Roosevelt’s, most of a group of German saboteurs that had infiltrated this country were caught, tried by a military tribunal that was convened by executive order for that purpose, promptly convicted and then executed - all within seven weeks. Can anyone imagine that kind of swift and effective justice from this court?"

Paul Greenberg

"Yet another U.S. Marine, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani, had charges dropped Tuesday in the so-called Haditha massacre - bringing the total number of Marines who’ve been cleared or won case dismissals in the Iraq war incident to seven. ‘Undue command influence’ on the prosecution led to the outcome in Chessani’s case. Bottom line: That’s zero for seven for military prosecutors, with one trial left to go."

Michelle Malkin

I received a call from a Marine son thanking me for sending his father a catalog. He said his Dad really liked and appreciated the catalog. Turns out his Dad is retired SgtMaj. Served with Chesty in Korea and 1/9 in Vietnam. He then told me this story.

In their town in Texas a Marine was killed in Iraq. The anti- everything crazy church group from Kansas showed up at the funeral. The Patriot Guard was there and so was the SgtMaj. He got in his car pulled up in front of Kansas crazies and played his Marines Hymn car horn over and over and over again. The Kansas crazies complained to the police who just laughed and said he was exercising his free speech rights.

Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

Sgt Grit my son just came back from Iraq in may and he just got married on Saturday June 14th in Cleveland Ohio and while the reception was in progress the Marine Corps league was having a convention at the same hotel the men and women came over to the reception and got my son and his new wife and took them over to their banquet and he received a standing ovation when they entered the room then he gave a little talk on Iraq and then they came back to the reception.

Mark Oknefski

"An army of sheep led by a lion would defeat an army of lions led by a sheep."

Arabian Proverb

Hi there, I am on your catalog email list, blah blah blah.

I know folks write letters to you and I was just wondering if you all have heard of Snowball Express or had anyone write in about it?

It is a non-profit for families of Fallen Heroes. Many of the Auxiliaries, Gold Star Families and TAPS are behind the success of Snowball. I'd like to get the word out and perhaps you will think it is a good organization too. They are hoping to bring it to Texas in 2009. Thanks for your time. Bunny Brainerd SBExpress Family coordinator, American Airlines Flight Attendant and wife of VietNam vet.

Sgt. Grit, I was in a hotel in Dearborn, MI in March. This is Final Four time. Everybody is here for basketball, mostly. I'm in an elevator heading to my floor and everybody is a Jayhawk fan. The gentlemen across from me notices my sweatshirt and asked where I served. I replied "I haven't had the privilege, Sir. I'm the proud father of a Marine who is getting married here today." He inquired as to duty, I replied with the answers and in the process was pulling my son's picture from my wallet. That is a reflex reaction of Marine Dads and Moms. Did I mention the smile of pride on my face? I saw his as well.

Out comes his ID -- retired O-5 and introduces me to his wife -- retired CIA. Just the three of us, and it sounds hokey, but time stopped as we shook hands and introduced ourselves. The ride was too short and I got off at their floor and I don't know how long we stood there and talked. Still too short and more stories to exchange but we each needed to get someplace. I thanked them both for their service and they asked me to give their best to my son and his soon-to-be new wife, and I headed down the corridor and the LTC asked me "Is this your floor?" We were on 7 and I told him the elevator I was heading to 9. He did save me from attempting an embarrassing entry into someone else's room.

Just like most people writing about episodes like this, I don't remember his name. I just remember how nice and courteous his wife were and the all-to-brief exchange we had. And it both calmed me down and energized me because I had been outside pacing around the hotel trying to get my words straight for the toast I was expected to make at the wedding reception.

And my words came easier a few hours later and his service to his beloved Country and Corps was included in my toast. And following my toast came that of his Best Man, who also cited my son's courage and heroism in battle. My thanks to a Marine Lieutenant Colonel and his Lady out there who don't know that they gave me that little added encouragement to say a little bit more that was already in my heart.

You do meet the best class of people when you go out in public with your gear and wear your pride.

And for those Marines out there who haven't gotten the word yet

-- Sergeant Kristopher Benson, 3/7, Weapons, 81s Platoon (currently IRR) tied the knot on 3/29/08 to the very lovely former Ms. Jaime Robinson.

Proud Marine Dad and SMAO -- s/f Dennis Benson

"When the defects of others are perceived with so much clarity, it is because one possesses them oneself. "

Jules Renard

I just read Bill Obers letter. It makes me so d*mn mad that those little pinkos could disrupt something so special. Those people would probably be the first in a disaster looking for the Marines to save there sorry butts. they are a bunch of miserable human beings period. When and if they get to the gates of heaven I hope which ever Marine is on duty kicks their sorry butts the other direction. Sad to think our boys are dying to give them the right to be disrespectful . I hope to god they never show up at an event I attend because I know my big mouth with over ride common sense. I come from a family of 5 generations of Marines and cant imagine anyone ever being disrespectful to the Corps. We buried my older brother who served in Korea last fall, with full military service I have never been to such a beautiful service all made possible by the Corps . The Marine Corps league stood by him throughout. thank you to all the Marines past and present for being there for all of us.

Lucy Borum

Sgt Grit, I found this on a forum for shooters and gun owners Thomas B.

The USMC in Afghanistan.....

This provides a little insight into the modern Marine Corps fighting terrorists. This is from a Reconnaissance Marine currently in Afghanistan. He talks like a Marine in the field- and he is worthy of our thoughts and prayers as are all of our military deployed in some God-forsaken place.

It's freezing here. I'm sitting on hard, cold dirt between rocks and shrubs at the base of the Hindu Kush mountains along the Dar 'yoi Pomir River watching a hole that leads to a tunnel that leads to a cave. Stake out, my friend, and no pizza delivery for thousands of miles.

I also glance at the area around my a$s every ten to fifteen seconds to avoid another scorpion sting. I've actually given up battling the chiggers and sand fleas, but them scorpions give a jolt like a cattle prod. Hurts like a b*stard.

The antidote tastes like transmission fluid but God bless the Marine Corps for the five vials of it in my pack.

The one truth the Taliban cannot escape is that, believe it or not, they are human beings, which means they have to eat food and drink water. That requires couriers and that's where an old bounty hunter like me comes in handy. I track the couriers, locate the tunnel entrances and storage facilities, type the info into the handheld, shoot the coordinates up to the satellite link that tells the air commanders where to drop the hardware, we bash some heads for a while, then I track and record the new movement.

It's all about intelligence. We haven't even brought in the snipers yet. These scurrying rats have no idea what they're in for. We are but days away from cutting off supply lines and allowing the eradication to begin.

I dream of Bin Laden waking up to find me standing over him with my boot on his throat as I spit a bloody ear into his face and plunge my nickel-plated Bowie knife through his frontal lobe. But you know me. I'm a romantic. I've said it before and Ill say it again: This country blows, man. It's not even a country. There are no roads, there's no infrastructure, there's no government. This is an inhospitable, rockpit, sh!thole ruled by eleventh century warring tribes. There are no jobs here like we know jobs.

Afghanistan offers two ways for a man to support his family: join the opium trade or join the army. That's it. Those are your options. Oh, I forgot, you can also live in a refugee camp and eat plum-sweetened, crushed beetle paste and squirt mud like a goose with stomach flu if that's your idea of a party. But the smell alone of those 'tent cities of the walking dead' is enough to hurl you into the poppy fields to cheerfully scrape bulbs for eighteen hours a day.

I've been living with these Tajiks and Uzbeks and Turkmen and even a couple of Pushtins for over a month and a half now and this much I can say for sure: These guys, all of em, are Huns. Actual, living Huns. They LIVE to fight. Its what they do. Its ALL they do.

They have no respect for anything, not for their families or for each other or for themselves. They claw at one another as a way of life. They play polo with dead calves and force their five- year-old sons into human cockfights to defend the family honor. Huns, roaming packs of savage, heartless beasts who feed on each others barbarism. Cavemen with AK 47's. Then again, maybe I'm just cranky.

I'm freezing my a$s off on this stupid hill because my lap warmer is running out of juice and I can't recharge it until the sun comes up in a few hours.

Oh yeah! You like to write letters, right? Do me a favor, Bizarre. Write a letter to CNN and tell Wolf and Anderson and that awful, sneering, pompous Aaron Brown to stop calling the Taliban 'smart.' They are not smart. I suggest CNN invest in a dictionary because the word they are looking for is 'cunning.' The Taliban are cunning, like jackals and hyenas and wolverines. They are sneaky and ruthless and, when confronted, cowardly. They are hateful, malevolent parasites who create nothing and destroy everything else. Smart. Pfft. Yeah, they're real smart.

They've spent their entire lives reading only one book (and not a very good one, as books go) and consider hygiene and indoor plumbing to be products of the devil. They're still figuring out how to work a Bic lighter. Talking to a Taliban warrior about improving his quality of life is like trying to teach an ape how to hold a pen; eventually he just gets frustrated and sticks you in the eye with it.

OK, enough. Snuffle will be up soon so I have to get back to my hole. Covering my tracks in the snow takes a lot of practice but I'm good at it. Please, I tell you and my fellow Americans to turn off the TV sets and move on with your lives.

The story line you are getting from CNN and other news agencies is utter bullsh!t and designed not to deliver truth but rather to keep you glued to the screen through the commercials. We've got this one under control. The worst thing you guys can do right now is sit around analyzing what we're doing over here because you have no idea what we're doing and, really, you don't want to know. We are your military and we are doing what you sent us here to do.

You wanna help? Buy Bonds America.

Saucy Jack
Semper Fidelis

"In this era of big government, we sometimes forget that many of our proudest achievements as a nation came not through government, but through private citizens, individuals whose genius and generosity flourished in this climate of freedom."

Ronald Reagan

This is in response to Debra Bowers in Sparks, Nevada

After reading the first story in this weeks' newsletter I felt a fire lit under me. I wanted to come out to Nevada and give some folks a stern talking to. I agree with you, shame on those who asked you to stop wearing your t-shirts. Those shirts are representative of EXACTLY what your young Marine is fighting for, Your first amendment right to free speech. This right and others are the rights we have had many a Marine, Sailor, Soldier and Airman fight and die for. I hope you'll make that point to those who decided they were the fashion police and are able to wear your shirts to work again. I think we all get flack about our support for our armed service men and women but I won't waiver because they won't. Stay strong and I pray that your Marine and all Marines come home safely.

Jessica Lewis Proud wife of LCpl. Lewis

Way to go Debra! Semper Fi. Wear that shirt under clothing. Display those decals proudly. My son is also a Marine Lieutenant, stationed at Camp Lejeune. On May 13, his Battalion arrived safely back at camp after a 7 month deployment. The 3/1 was the first Marine Battalion to return without a casualty. I also have the Marine Dad decals on my car. A few months ago I was riding on the freeway and a large Harley biker roared along side of me, with his thumb up in the air, he yelled, "Semper Fi". Just a few weeks after that I was picking up my order at the Taco Bell drive-thru and a young man, in a Marine cut stuck his body out the window to shake my hand. He said, "OOO Rah, sir, thank your son for us. I served during the invasion." There are so many opportunities to wear great Marine gear (from Sgt. Grit) and have people approach you. Be proud and thank you son for all of us.

Jim Jackson Waukesha, WI

My blood is boiling re: Debra Bowers story about her being told not to wear her Marine shirts to work. I am a very proud mother of a Marine. My son is a Marine going on 16 years now. He's on his way back for another tour of Iraq, leaving behind a wife and 3 small sons. The gall of these people to condemn our "heroes", while they go on every day in their selfish little world, taking all for granted. I have a big sticker on the back of my car that says "If you can't stand behind our troops, STAND IN FRONT OF THEM". Because of our kids fighting, these people are given the right to free speech and show what ignorant idiots they really are. I wish we could have them walk in our soldiers shoes for just one day and see what they have to say, if they survive it.

I love my country and nobody will ever stop me from speaking or wearing what I want to show my Patriotism. It's the Land of the Free, BECAUSE of the Brave and people need to be reminded of that!

Proud Marine Mom, Pat Kelly New York

You recently published an article written by one of our employees regarding her being asked not to wear a t-shirt that displayed a patriotic message. Please be assured that the issue was NOT the patriotic message that was displayed, but the inappropriate, unprofessional style of her t-shirt. Lest anyone get an incorrect perspective of Washoe County and of our Department, we’d appreciate you publishing the attached clarification article. Thank you so much!

Cherie Collins (775-325-7818)
Washoe County Juvenile Services

I have reviewed the article printed in your publication that was sent to you by Debra Bowers in reference to the direction she received from Washoe County Juvenile Services supervisory staff and their personal appearance standards. Washoe County Juvenile Services does have a dress code policy which states in part, “Business attire appropriate for the employee’s position and work responsibilities must be worn. The immediate supervisor will determine whether clothing and footwear are appropriate for job conditions.” The Department has communicated to staff that crew neck t-shirts are not appropriate workplace attire, and the employee was advised that crew neck t-shirts are not appropriate attire.

The policy further states, “ To maintain a neutral environment for the just adjudication of matters before the Department, employees must not display commercial or non-commercial emblems or advertising advocating any organization or cause.” The mission of Washoe County Juvenile Services is to help create a safer community by providing a continuum of sanctions and sociali zation services to at-risk youth and their families. Juvenile Services, in its activities and programs, is committed to maintaining a neutral environment.

I hope the above clarifies Washoe County Juvenile Services’ responsibilities in meeting its obligations to the community and at risk youth and their families. Please feel to contact Cherie Collins at (775) 325-7818 if you have questions.

Mike Pomi, Director, Washoe County Juvenile Services

"The government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government."

James Madison

to Debra Bowers wear the d*mn shirt, tell the un patriotic fools to kiss your a** from an old gunny sgt

Good news about the war is hard to come by. See below.

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Pacifism is a Luxury Paid for by Warriors
Pacifism is a Luxury Paid for by Warriors

I've Got a Marine And I'm Not Afraid to Use Him
I've Got a Marine And I'm Not Afraid to Use Him

God Bless America!
Welcome Home Marine, Job Well Done.
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter VS AmericanCourage Newsletter:

You receive both (alternating weeks) what's the difference?

In short...The AmericanCourage Newsletter has MORE family member stories, "support the Corps" stories from Marines, and patriotic quotes. It started after the events of Sept. 11, 2001 to give supporters of the Marine Corps and American patriots a voice.

The Sgt Grit Newsletter is HARD CORPS Marine! If you are interested in topics that delve into Marine Corps history, Corps Stories, Boot Camp and other things that "only a Marine might understand" - then be sure to read the Sgt Grit Newsletter (every other week) - More about the newsletter