AmericanCourage #247 03 MAR 2011
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Just a note to ask for all your good wishes and prayers for the 3/9 stationed in Afghanistan. My son is deployed on his second tour. Unlike the first tour this one is much different. He was with the 2/2 Warlords during the Marjah offensive, came home unharmed in May.
Got itchy to go back and cross decked with the 3/9 where he received a Navy Achievement Medal for helping with the training. His deployment with them started in Dec. Since then has not had a shower. Baby wipes are his bath. Let's pray for some shower morale and get these stinky Marines cleaned up. His MOS is 331 Machine Gunner. He said he loves his job and maybe next year "there may be Korea" and I can fight a real war". Keep all of them in your prayers.
A very Dedicated Marine Mom
In This Issue
Let's get to it. Father/daughter Marines of the year, another imposter, thankful in Granada, 2nd of 10 boot camp series, and many interesting responses about John Wayne.
There's a story of a drive for a SgtMaj and a LtGen, both 3 war veterans. Between them 2 Navy Cross's, a Silver Star and Bronze Star. Both very highly thought of by a PFC. Marines; that's what makes it the Marine Corps.
Got an email the other day noting that my salutation was a Navy saying. Well of course it is. We are part of the Navy. So are the words hatch, bulkhead, head, aye aye Sir, by your leave, etc... Even the word Marine is nautical. Instead of Marine how about water soldier, wet doggie, amphibious hounds. It's our heritage and tradition, it's who we are.
Fair winds and following seas.
These are a few photos we enjoy: First one
CWO Gordon F Heim, USMC
an AP press photo from Peleliu
And I had put the last 3 items together on one page for some close family friends first one is from a Bodfish Reunion great friend the one and only a sign from his property 2001 Loomis the National Chaplain Father O'Brien was a best friend he was age 18 during Peleliu and knew my father as the man who put the fire out on Peleliu that almost got me.
The last photo
my father is smiling and looking over his shoulder at the scholarship recipients for that year. Father Denis next to him and as you probably recognize Medal of Honor winner - Mitch Paige and next to him Medal of Honor winner- Everett Pope all great friends and a photo that brings a smile to our faces ..
Semper Fi, Diane
Received my on-line newsletter today and enjoyed the comments. Marine McCuen's letter reminded me of a brief exchange I recently had with a couple of 1st MarDivAssn, Evergreen Chapter members re: the comments by the new Commandant.
All three of us happen to have done stints with the division in Korea without ever having "done" San Diego, Parris Island or the "hills of Quantico", as the new Commandant specified. I guess this also puts us at some odds with "Air Winger Mike" since we never experienced the Yellow Foot Prints either? Oh, well.
At a D/2/7 reunion in San Diego in 1997, 28 of "us" were honored at Morning Colors, MCRD, by being presented honorary graduation certificates. The event made the local news and in the process of writing that story, the reporter occasioned to interview LtGen "Brute" Krulak, USMC-Ret about the situation and he expressed amazement that boot camp-less Marines were sent into combat in Korea.
Attached is a photo taken by one of the wives of the honorees. Anyway, do keep up the great job.
SSgt USMCR 1949-1958
PFC D/2/7 Nov/Dec 1950
I think a USMC Tee-Shirt with Doberman's recognized as the real USMC War Dog/ "Devildogs" would be appropriate. See attached:
Admittedly the English Bulldog is the USMC Mascot but the Doberman was the real hero in many WW II campaigns, he was a fighter. I have had eight Doberman's and my current Marine, Baron, is 32.5" to the withers and 112 pounds of protection and companionship.
SSGT Robert Burdoin, USMC ('52-'55)
Hi my name is Meghan Layman, I am from Walkersville MD.I just wanted to share this with you all, my Father and I both made Marine of the year for 2010 Shangri-La Detachment in Frederick MD. My Father served in Vietnam 1967-1968 Charley 1, 4th Marines, 3rd Marine division. He is always on the lookout for the Marines he served with if anyone out there remembers my Father send me an e-mail megoorah2005 @ yahoo .com (no spaces) he would to reunite with you. He graduated from good old PI on Dec 15, 1966 Plt 211. He is by far the best Marine I know. I have always looked up to him and done my best to make him proud. I think becoming a Marine has done the job.
Semper Fi Meghan.
P.S. the photo with our covers on is before the Birthday ball began, The one with our Marine of the year award and no covers is the aftermath of the Ball OORAH (see more photos).
Being an old Vietnam era salt (CVN Kitty Hawk, 1973-74), I am caught between two generations of Marines (sh-t happens, my Marine son says with a shrug). While still an enlisted Marine my father, later 1st Lt. Karl Rushing, helped bring his buddies out of the Chosin Reservoir and was a proud member of the "Frozen Chosin" until he passed away with full military honors. In his professional online business profile, under "employment history" the retired college professor and inventor simply listed "Korean War." How proud he would be to know that his grandson, Sgt. Ira Rushing, has decided to remain active duty, moving from being in Harrier avionics for five years to tank training (where, he says, he hopes to see some up-close action).
I eagerly look forward to every issue of Sgt. Grit as a way to better understand these two fine Marines who have been such a strong force in my life.
Felder Rushing, former USN
And I Quote...
"Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence; true friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks and adversity before it is entitled to the appellation."
Recently, my girl friend and I along with a old Navy Corpsman were on a cruise to the Caribbean. One of the stops was at Granada.
While on this beautiful island we took a tour of a Fort (Fredrick I believe) our tour guide was a very friendly lady named Alice.
She saw that we were American so she kept telling us "Thank God for the United States Marines"" When our Gov. General called Washington for help, they sent the Marines and they saved us. The Marines stayed 18 months then left after making sure we could do it on our own, God Bless the Marines."
She was so thankful it made my eyes leak. My girl friend says that I stood taller and my chest puffed up every time she praised the U.S. Marines, even though I had been on civilian assignment for a lot of years prior to Granada.
T. S. Wilkins
Feb.25th. My Day I was Wounded. LZ Russell 1969. 2bn. 4th Marines. 0331. Echo. Co.
All Marines who served with Echo.Co.2bn. 4th Marines. LZ Russell 1969 Survivor. My buddy KIA. James.. Dwight.. Logan.. Always "Semper-FI"... DI DI...
A Marine is Marine, just like General Amos said, why someone needs further explanation is beyond me... but what I can gather from MSgt Orlandi's reply was that maybe he wants to stand out for a personal accomplishment. We don't need "further guidance" and if you do, then take a hard look in the mirror... Is there really a difference between a "Marine Veteran" and a "Veteran Marine"? That is ridiculous at the least, and thoughts like that are why this great nation is going in the direction it's going, because everyone wants to have their own spin on something, let's not take the United States Marine Corps in the same direction... Bottom line, a Marine is a Marine and when I retire, I'll still be a Marine and when I'm 90 years old, I'll still be a Marine... let's leave it where it is and all just be proud to be a Marine...
Dear Sgt. Grit,
I am sad to report the passing of another Marine. My stepfather, Patrick Dean Swift, Captain in 1st MarDiv. @ Camp Pendleton.
He served in Korea and was at the Chosin Reservoir, where he was awarded the Bronze Star & the Purple Heart for wounds received there. He was the toughest SOB we ever knew, but he was loved very much.
He was 82 years old, but he had a lifelong love affair with "his" Marine Corps!
He passed Feb. 14th in Laguna Hills.
SEMPER FI Pat!
Regarding the newsletter stuff about contract PFC's not getting a promotion ceremony, this is what I recall from my time in, 1978 to 1998. Since a contract PFC had enlisted for a guaranteed rank upon completion of boot camp or some school or other requirement, it was basically a more or less guaranteed promotion. Thus it was not held in quite as high a regard as a meritorious promotion or one for time in grade requirements.
None of the Marines in my boot camp platoon had ceremonies, they just got their chevrons handed to them and told to get them on their stuff. But every other time I ever saw or heard of one of our people getting promoted, there was some sort of ceremony for it. I cannot remember anyone ever getting just handed their stuff and told they were a "whatever rank" now.
And I Quote...
"No passion so effectively robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear."
Re: Request for Replacement of Awards and Decorations
Sgt. Fisher, you said you were advised to submit Standard Form 181 to St. Louis when you requested an update to your awards and decorations. Since SF 181 is the Ethnicity and Race Identification form, I'm sure you meant to say Standard Form 180 which is a Request Pertaining To Military Records.
Patience, low expectations and persistence are the keys when requesting an update to and replacement of your awards and decorations. I was told in 2005, they receive in excess of 5,000 requests per month and there was a 12-14 month backlog on requests.
I had to send in two requests to get my A&D records squared away. The first time it took them 18 months to respond and then it wasn't correct. Fortunately, I had a copy of the updates from a fellow Marine I went to and returned from Viet Nam with. His was correct so I knew what I'm entitled to. Submitting a copy of his paperwork, along with a second request, resulted in a much quicker turnaround on the next go around.
It helps to do a little research on the awards you think you qualify for. If you Google "USMC ribbons and medals chart", along with precedence of ribbons and medals, most web sites have a picture of the award and a brief description of the qualifications for that award.
A friend of mine's father is a retired Marine, served in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. He and his wife just celebrated their 65th anniversary, she is a retired RN. Amazing!
I would like to respond to Sgt. Federmans' comment about John Wayne.
True John Wayne did not serve in the Military but he did a lot to make a positive impact and to promote military service. He was a Patriot in his own right. He gave to military charities and hosted service members at him home in Newport Beach California.
He traveled to combat zones and greeted the troops in USO shows. John Wayne did not do this for self promotion but out of respect for the Country and the Military. He had a sense of community.
Several years ago the Wayne family donated money to the Orange County California Sheriff's Dept. to purchase helicopters for the air support unit. The aircraft were aptly named "DUKE" and that is their call sign. So although John Wayne did not serve in the military, he served the military his country and community. To this I thank him proudly.
Sgt. Jeff Wolven
P.S. Thanks Sgt. Grit for the great newsletter.
John Wayne portrayed the American way of life. He was not a Marine nor did he serve but he did deliver the American way of life that he loved through his acting abilities. He gave courage, hope, and a basic "go get em " attitude. He was always cautious of his actions so as not to embarrass himself or his country. He is what I would like to be. I believe that he is more than an actor... the same as Hanoi Jane is more than just an actress.
SSgt Daniel Huntsinger
In answer to Bill Federman and his hatred of John Wayne I have to give John Wayne's reason he didn't enlist.
Wayne had just signed a lucrative contract (his first) with Republic when the war broke out. He told Yates, the head of Republic, that he was going to enlist and Yates told him he would sue him for every penny he had and every penny he ever made. It is doubtful if the Marines would have taken him anyway due to his football related injury.
I never knew Wayne but when I was in flight school in Pensacola, Wayne was there making "The Wings of Eagles". The movie people held up our flying one day so that they could film a particular scene. A half dozen of us, mostly Marines, were in a group b- tching about the holdup (that's what Marines do), when Wayne came over to us, introduced himself and shook hands all around and apologized to us for the holdup and told us how lucky we were to be flying instead of just play flying like he was. He didn't have to do that.
Years later, when he was dying of Cancer, I used to go by his place in Newport Beach in my boat. If he happened to be out in the yard, I would throw him a salute. He always waved back.
Even though he didn't serve in uniform, he was a Patriot.
W. F. Mitchell
As follow-up to Mr. Federman's post on John Wayne, two stories...
1) While at ITR (?), I was the stupid one who asked if you could really pull a grenade pin with your teeth. The instructor requested that John Wayne come down and try it.
2) I saw the Green Berets at the air conditioned Air Force theater in Dong Ha. I remember popcorn and ice-cold RC Cola. I also remember John Wayne standing up and looking around when the incoming started. There was much laughter. There was also much laughter when the sun sets in the China Sea at the end of the movie.
In your last issue of Sgt. Grit, Someone wasn't happy with john Wayne. Well in my opinion He was a true American hero. He was like superman to us kids growing up in the 40's and 50's. If it hadn't be for him I probably wouldn't have joined the Corps in the first place. This year is his one hundredth anniversary of his birth. Let's give him a Marine Corps Hymn, Him, Him F--k him. Jim Lowell 3rd Batl.8th Marines 2nd Mar Div. Feb 2 1964 to Feb 2 1968
And I Quote...
"Beyond the very extreme of fatigue and distress, we may find amounts of ease and power we never dreamed ourselves to own; sources of strength never taxed at all because we never push through the obstruction."
I think my DI's said something like this. They just used the English language a bit differently.
I agree with Lou Famiano about Ribbon Creek. There was a lot of S#&T stirred about it and Chesty Puller was called to testify about Marine Corps training. The loss of life was tragic and It was a dark chapter for us but we moved on and are better for it.
Hands down Marine training is the best and incidents' like Ribbon Creek were used as a learning experience and helped us to do it better. God bless the recruits who tragically lost their lives. I have them to think for saving mine. The attention to detail and everything else pounded into our brain housing groups was a direct result of that tragedy.
Sgt. Jeff Wolven
Facebook Homecoming Photos
We just requested homecoming photos last week so keep an eye out for upcoming photos of the day posted just like these:
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"Why I Joined The Marine Corps"
Some of my earliest memories of wanting and aching to be a Marine started on Sunday mornings. Allow me a little latitude here my brothers, ok? You see. I was raised a Roman Catholic and somehow survived the ordeal, which made Parris Island often seem like a weekend at Chesapeake Bay.
Our Sunday mornings always started the same ... No breakfast ... had to fast for Holy Communion and rush to Mass. My brother and I always seemed to be running late. What could anyone expect from a nine year old boy and his little brother? Patrick is 3 1/2 years my junior. But since he had not received his First Holy Communion yet, Mom would give him some toast, so he wouldn't get sick. I was always tempted to take a bit, but didn't.
If I did, I would burn in H-ll. Besides he would have gladly shared anyway without fear of his or my condemnation to that fiery pit.
We began our run to Mass ... sprinting the mile and a half to St. Thomas Moore Catholic Church in Southeast Washington, DC. I can hear my mother's voice even today, "hurry up, don't be late and don't take that short cut across the hill. It's always wet and dirty. We didn't call it "Dirty Hills" for nothing. She continued ... And don't embarrass me walking into Mass with mud and grass on your shoes." So there we were pushing through the front door, tucking our shirts into our trousers, running down Joliet street towards the neighborhood creek, and laughing as we crossed the bridge. Of course, you we didn't listen. We were late, so we sprinted over the hill and through a couple of apartment building basements. These were our regular haunts that we knew as well as our own bedroom. We finally arrived at St. Tom's exactly at 9:00 a.m.
After Mass, Pat and I would sprint just as hard home as we did to church.
You see "Victory at Sea" started at 10:00 a.m. and we didn't want to miss a scene. And that Richards Rogers musical score told the real story of the heroism and horror we were about to see and somehow participate in. Mom always had breakfast on the table by the time we burst through the door. She shouted, "You guys will drive me crazy."
We knew she was just kidding. She loved us, of course, but we knew something else too. She was proud of us. We pretty much raised ourselves, as did most of the kids in our neighborhood. Parents didn't dote. But they were always around just to keep things on the level.
Pat and I began the ritual, sitting at our tiny kitchen table and eating the greatest breakfast in the world. Our kitchen pushed into the living room. It was a small two bedroom place, but we loved it. We thought, I'll bet nobody else's Mom would do this every day. And she did too ... every day of the week .. eggs anyway you wanted them, beacon, sausage, toast, cinnamon rolls, orange juice and hot tea. She worked the night shift at the Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC. To this day, I do not know how she did it. What a woman!
Everyone knew not to say a word, when the music began. I believe this is where and when I developed an interest in classical music, which I have to this day. The Corps had many affects upon me ... Classical music? Who would have guessed. Ha! Thank you Chesty Puller!
Then the combat footage would begin to roll revealing the unimaginable. The courage, the selfless sacrifice, the humility of that service ... The pride of being a United States Marine. I would say, "That's what I want to be ... a Marine". Can you imagine how many young boys got the same message, I did while sitting and watching "Victory at Sea" on Sunday morning eating breakfast?
After TV, Mom would ask about homework and other things nine and six year old boys could care less about. We affected some kind of "Ok Mom" response and went about the rest of the afternoon ... playing whatever the sport of the season was. Most of us liked football. It was kind of like war at least that's what we imagined. This is when we proved ourselves. When hurt, no one ever cried ... ever.
These many decades later I look back on those early years and bless every moment. What little we had really counted for something. And those hours watching brave men act without regard for themselves changed my life for the better. I feel sorry for people who are not Marines or Corpsmen. They just don't know, do they?
A few years ago, I received an entirely unexpected gift. Tucked among the many Christmas gifts was the "Victory at Sea" DVD collection. My wife thought, I would like it. How do wives know such things? Maybe my Mom told her about those countless Sunday mornings sitting with Pat looking into the kind of man I wanted to be. After all, wives are Mom's too. They just know things, don't they?
This turned into something I didn't expect. Hope you traveled back in time with me Marines and Corpsmen. Better times, huh?
Warm regards, "Iron Mike" Watson "Semper Fi"
And I Quote...
"Tyranny, like h-ll, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."
When I read that some feel they can't say they are a Marine at 70 and over... I think that's crazy... My dad was proud to say he was a Marine till the day he passed. He served honorably in Korea in the early 50s, went to boot camp at Parris Island, and returned to Camp Pendleton after Korea. Later became a Police Officer and always had his Marine sticker, and keychain on his rigs. He was a simple farm boy from Ohio and never let anyone forget he was a Marine.
My oldest son being raised with this became a Marine in 2002. Went to San Diego Recruiting Depot. He served with pride for 6 yrs. and even though he joined the National Guard to look after his little brother he still says Marine. Both my sons are currently serving overseas. I am very proud of them both.
I so enjoy the newsletters. I always look to see if anyone was from my dad's or sons era and duty area. Thank you so much for all these cool newsletters. I never replied before but just had to say thank you.
And to the one Marine who encountered the imposter. Way to go. Nothing burns me more as a mother and daughter of a Marine to hear people bragging when they have never walked around the parade deck...
As for all of us civilians we walk around it... My heart roared with pride watching my son step on the parade deck as we walked around it. I haven't earned that right. After losing so many of my sons friends overseas... I am so glad you clued him in. I am and always will be proud of our service men and women. And can never thank them enough for my freedoms.
Semper Fi Mom, Sharon Erickson (and Army mom)
Hi Sgt Grit,
Just wanted to reply to Groucho who sent the picture to you from December, 1968. My son was with Alpha Co 1/3.
He was stationed in K-Bay, HI and served with them in Iraq in 04-05. Just wanted to say Semper Fi and hello to one of my son's brothers-in-arms from a different time. Let him know the 1/3 is still on the job and proud!
Marine Mom of
LCpl Ryan Smith
Dear Sgt. Grit:
After reading the article about President Roosevelt's son during WW2 I clicked on the "Who's Who..." link to see if I recognized anyone from my past Marine Corps service in Vietnam where I found two of the best Marines the Corps had to offer.
The first, Sgt. Major Joseph Dailey, was the 3d Mar. Div. Sergeant Major serving in that capacity when I was assigned to be the driver for (then) Major General William K. Jones who was the C.G. of 3d. Mar Div. in Quang Tri at that time while his regular driver was on leave.
My personal observations of General Jones were that he was a very quiet, reserved Marine officer. Because of his demeanor one would never know that as a Lt. Colonel he earned his Navy Cross the hard way during that bloody battle of Saipan. While under withering Japanese fire he and his Marines knocked out 24 enemy tanks in two days of fierce fighting under his leadership and devotion.
He was also awarded the Silver Star during the battle of Tarawa when he saved the day after Japanese troops broke through the American lines in the dead of night with his superior and brilliant execution of infantry tactics.
I remember two incidents that will always be with me. Even as a small-town boy from Clear Lake, Iowa I had never seen a rat in my life. Since my sleeping quarters were actually the General's sandbagged bunker the rats had a habit of pitching woo in my sleeping bag. As I laid in the rack one night I noticed one of those huge suckers sneaking in my hooch entry and quite slowly ambling towards my rack. Enough of this I thought and chambered my . 45, letting loose one round that scattered him back to Dong Ha. After hearing the shot General Jones appeared in my doorway demanding to know why I had interrupted his nap. When I sheepishly explained to him my intense dislike of infested, warm blooded creepy critters sharing my sleeping bag, not paying rent or even kissing me good morning when they left he stated that next time perhaps I should just shut the door to the bunker.
As I said, I was a small-town kid from Clear Lake, Iowa but I never said I was very wise or smart at that time.
After spending so many years in the Corps and having experienced all that heavy combat during three wars he had a special place in his heart for the grunts. While driving him and several other staff officers to church services we were approaching a very tired, unwashed, unkempt looking Marine dragging his 16 by the sling. Even thought the two yellow stars displayed on the license plate of the jeep clearly defined the status of its occupants the weary Marine failed to salute as we drove by. A very young butterbar Lt. looking to gain points or favor asked the general if we should turn around and admonish him for his lack of proper recognition and respect. General Jones looked at the Lt. and in a stern, dignified and fatherly tone of voice said, "Doesn't it look like he's had enough for one day?' I had to smile at that retort. It proved to me that he took care of the enlisted men he commanded as he was also well known for flying his personal helo into the various small combat bases around Quang Tri like VCB to deliver ice cold Carlings Black Label beer and Cokes.
He was eventually nominated and promoted to Lt. General by President Nixon and went back to Vietnam to oversee the drawdown of the last of the American Marines still in-country.
The other name I came across was that of Sgt. Major Joseph W. Daily. At that time in early '69 he was the 3d. Division Sgt. Major headquartered and working with Major General Jones in Quang Tri. I also had the privilege to be his driver.
As was General Jones, Sgt. Major Dailey was another quiet and reserved senior staff NCO and like the general was awarded the Navy Cross and Bronze Star with the "V" device as the Company Gunnery Sgt. in Korea. In August of '69 he was promoted to be the 5th. Sgt. Major of the Marine Corps until his retirement in 1973.
After being wounded in July of '69 I eventually ended up at Balboa Naval Hospital. Sgt. Major Daily was making his first tour of all bases in the US and stopped at the hospital. He had heard through the famous Marine Corps grapevine that I was there and he took the time out of his very busy schedule to talk to me for 20 minutes, just one lowly PFC who had been his driver. I still think of and appreciate that very decent gesture 42 years later.
Two great Marines with a combined 66 years of active duty having the honor of being ascribed the label "A three war Marine." Two great Marines from the "Greatest Generation" who saw and experienced it all during their storied careers who will never be forgotten by me.
Thanks for giving me the forum to write this, Sgt. Grit. It is truly appreciated. And, if there any Marines who served with these two men still out there I would certainly like to hear from them,
Sincerely, Semper Fi and a big thank you.
PFC Kevin R. Anderson
Sgt..I know the water problem has been discussed however it needs to be constantly mentioned. There are too many former Marines who were stationed at Lejeune who are unaware of the severity of the toxic water issue. If I had not been notified I would have caught my Breast Cancer in its final stages. Instead I discovered it early had a mastectomy and chemo and am now trying to heal.
There were over 900,000 people living at Lejeune but less than 200,000 have registered. Our mission will not end until everyone has been notified. As an example we currently have 70 men with Breast Cancer plus a plethora of others from birth defects to leukemia, pancreatic, stomach issues, brain cancer and the list goes on. We are asking you our "Brother" to continue this crusade until all of our former "Brothers" have been notified and are getting help if necessary.
Thanks in advance for your help... "Semper-Fi"
My dream that I wanted to be a military family. I can't because I'm deaf. :-( as ALL of my families and friends are part of military family. Navy, Army, Air Force and Marines. I LOVE THEM and my neighbor of 25 years is a Marine, now police officer. He and I get closer and closer. I taught him the signs to communicate each other. It's AWESOME! I'm looking forward to get the catalog from you.
I just read Edward Hoffman's question regarding James Roosevelt, so I did a quick "Wikipedia" search, which led me to an article online in the Corps' History Division. According to that article, Roosevelt's first military experience was in the Navy ROTC program at Harvard. The article doesn't elaborate on how he first joined the Corps as a lieutenant colonel in the Reserve in 1936--before WWII (but having the President as a father might have helped).
In my opinion, it was to his credit that he later "requested and was granted permission to resign his commission as a lieutenant colonel. Shortly thereafter, at his own request, he was re- commissioned in the Marine Corps Reserve, in the grade of captain..." in 1939. Check out the rest of this interesting article
Once a captain, USMCR; always a Marine
My X father-in-law fought under his command at Chosin Reservoir. TO why I became a Marine. I started young reading and studying everything I could get my hands on about history traditions and about never leaving one of its own behind whenever humanly possible. I knew then even if it killed me I was bound and determined I some proud day would earn that proud and coveted title U.S Marine.
At a young age I developed a fascination with military history and the greatest tactical military minds of the greatest military leaders of all time throughout history I picked up a lot of knowledge which became very beneficial. Make a long story short... Old Marine Corps history and traditions had a large part in it. When I read that book called the Marine. Right then and there Mr. Chesty Puller who scratched his way all the way up from a buck private no ROTC no college to be the 2 Star General. He became my hero and my ideal of what every All American man should be...
Sarge I proudly earned that coveted title U.S Marine. August 1966 when my beloved mother flew out from Anderson Ind. not only to see her son become a man but pin my emblems on my collars and see her young man become a real man. A UNITED STATES MARINE.
Semper Fi Sgt. Grit and welcome home.
Baby Blue Marines and Umbrellas:
I was told that slackers being tossed out were issues a set of sky blue clothing to be discharged in. I was at a drumming out in 1965, but my memory doesn't extend to the ex-Marine's outfit. We were told in boot camp that Neville Chamberlain carried an umbrella and thus it was the symbol of appeasement, so Marines never did.
Best as I know, both true.
Once a SSgt, still a Marine
Sgt. Grit: in the e mail of 2-24-2011 W. E. ask the meaning of Baby Blue Marine. Internet Movie Data Base shows a 1976 movie with that title staring Jan Michael Vincent. The synopsis is that a would be Marine fails basic training and is sent home wearing the "baby blue" fatigues of a washout.
Another letter from Mike about the imposter list his USMC service number. People should use caution about listing this number on the internet because it can be used to steal their identity for criminal purposes. I know jarheads are extremely proud of their service and their membership in the brotherhood of my beloved CORPS, but protect yourself.
Semper Fi Lucian J. La Joie 1st Mar Div RVN 69-71
I think the term, Baby Blue Marine, was used during WW2.When recruits failed to make it through basic training they were given a set of blue civilian clothes and sent home.
And I Quote...
"It behooves you, therefore, to think and act for yourself and your people. The great principles of right and wrong are legible to every reader; to pursue them requires not the aid of many counselors. The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest. Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail."
Boot Camp Stories from 1963, Lessons for Life 2 of 10
2. Sir--Six Years of School-Sir. Sir-No Sir-College Sir!
No one can really be prepared, but I did seek to be vigilant of my surroundings. I kept thinking of the advice from my fellow reservists in Lansing - stay anonymous. As I had always been somewhat of an extrovert, a member of debate teams, and prone to enjoy shooting my mouth off and arguing, this was a task that demanded constant attention.
The lesson from Lansing was reinforced as I observed fellow recruits who had won the attention of the drill instructors. No matter what they did, they were in trouble. No matter how they answered the drill instructors questions, they were wrong. If they were right, the drill instructors just kept asking questions and yelling at them. Inevitably they were stuck. Sooner or later a recruit would answer the drill instructor with the word "You." In their face-like two inches away--the drill instructor would be screaming like a mad man, "Ba-ba-baaaaaa- Yew, Yew, Yew, the private thinks I am a female sheep, ba, ba, baaaaa. Yew! Yew! Yew! is that what I am, Prive, a female sheep?" And on it would go, soon the recruit would be doing some arduous physical exercise. I would think. "Thank God, it isn't me, I could never take that." I would have to be very careful whenever a drill instructor addressed me. Oh, God, I hoped, the drill instructor would never ask me anything.
The second day we were in the barracks and the senior drill instructor called my name. It WAS my turn. The trip from Lansing to Detroit to Charleston to Beaufort and Parris Island involved over fifteen hours of travel time including stops. I tended to have a five o clock shadow, and I certainly did not make an effort to shave during that travel time. When I had arrived, I was wearing some baggy, ill-fitting tan denim pants and a sloppy old shirt. I am quite sure that I did not paint a pretty picture for the personnel on the Island.
Now I was in Marine Corps-issue utilities. I had had a shower (quite an experience - as 73 of us were marched bare a-s naked through cold water in about three minutes), and I had shaved. But the drill instructor remembered how I had looked. He told me that I stood out as the biggest rube he had seen that day. He asked me if I were from Kentucky or West Virginia. (His offense to those beautiful states, not mine). I said "No, Michigan." He said he was surprised, that he thought all hillbillies were from the mountains. He then asked me how much education I had. I replied. "Sir--Six Years. Sir!" He began to cuss. "D-mn. D- mn. How did you get in, and what the h-ll do they expect us to do with you? D-mn. Six Years. You didn't even get to high school. What the h-ll is the Marine Corps coming to?" The wheels were turning in my head. What am I supposed to say? What am I supposed to say? I couldn't lie. My record was in the file. I sucked it up. I had to give the truth.
"Sir!" His response, "Speak, maggot." "Six years college, Sir." He responded, "Will I'll be d-mned, you sure fooled me, you sure look like a rube to me." "Yes Sir," I replied, waiting for some mis-favor on his part. He yelled at me. "Get the H-ll Out of my Sight."
The truth is, no mis-favor ever came to me from my position as perhaps the "most (formally) educated" of the 73. Occasionally I was told that I had a lot of "school-housin" but d-mn-little "brian-housin." And several times I was "cross-examined" about this thing or that thing, and I certainly did get my turn as the goat, that is, the recruit on trial. I did my share of extra exercises when it was my turn. But I was never picked-on because I had a couple of college degrees under my belt.
William N. Thompson, Honorable Discharge, USMC, Pfc (E-2),
"Don't you give up on me maggot!
God Bless America!